Created By: Maklodes on July 2, 2011 Last Edited By: DAN004 on August 6, 2014
Troped

Our Mages Are Different

How can someone become a mage - heredity? Scholarship? Chance?

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DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

Formerly "Mages Are Like X."

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How does someone become a mage? Why should someone have the power to alter reality? Obviously, mages use magic — but how does one gain access to magic? Look no further - this page will detail them.

Note that these analogies could be mixed: for instance, it is possible that the innate ability to wield magic is based on bloodline (as with the mage race), but that to develop this innate ability, the mage must use ancient lore (as with the scholarly mage). Also note that this is about how the mage acquires power, not the source of that power: i.e., whether magic is drawn from nature, from the elements, from other planes, from the spirit world, or whatever.

It is also possible that there are multiple kinds of mages in one setting; sometimes they are mutually exclusive, sometimes they can be mixed (see above). when one of them is supposedly rare or unusual in universe, see Wrong Context Magic.

Despite the name, this can sometimes apply to Differently Powered Individual as well; see also How To Give A Character Superpowers.

    Mages are like... 

Mages are like Artists

Artist-like mages gain their ability based on creativity and imagination. As with being a great artist, being a great mage may require practice and technical skill to some extent, but a sense of artistic creativity is vital. These mages may have their heads on a cloud as a result of their wild imagination. Associated trope: Imagination-Based Superpower, Art Attacker

Mages are like Athletes

The ability of the athlete-like mage to wield magic is based on years of intensive, exhaustive training. In Asian works, may sometimes overlap with the Monks subtype. Associated trope: Charles Atlas Superpower, Full-Contact Magic, Ki Manipulation, Kung-Fu Wizard

Mages are like Gadget Users

Sometimes they're not so much "mages" as they are "magical equipment users": Their magic abilities come from what they have in their person - be it an accessory, a clothing, a weapon, etc. Depending on the work, said equipments may be so vital to the character that he/she is as good as a Muggle without it; or they already have magic abilities by themselves and the equipments are just there to help them; or (when this is subverted) their magic abilities come purely from themselves and said equipments only act as a crutch. Common with the Magical Girl genre. Associated trope: Upgrade Artifact, Amplifier Artifact, Magic Wand, Clothes Make the Superman, Magical Accessory

Mages are like Gods

In this variant, a mage is not a human being. The mage may take on the appearance of a human, but the actual nature of the mage is divine, whether demonic or angelic. May overlap with the Theurgist subtype if these gods can allow their followers to use a portion of their power.

Mages are like Lottery Winners

Mages get their ability to wield magic completely at random. Nothing but chance determines who is likely to wield magic. Associated trope: Randomly Gifted

Mages are like Monks

Mages' most notable feature is their mental discipline and force of will — abilities that might be cultivated through meditation. It seems likely that in worlds where reality responds to sufficiently intense strength of will, these mages might be likely. Associated trope: Enlightenment Superpowers

Mages are like Mutants

Magic is acquired by being exposed to some kind of substance/energy. It may or may not cause any adverse effects to the mage's body. It may also overlap with the race subtype if the mutation is passed down to offspring. This one is often the most common way to turn a non-mage to become a mage, alongside Gadget Users. Associated trope: Super Serum, Touched by Vorlons

Mages are like Naturalists

Here, one can become mage by getting closer to nature. How exactly that is may vary, and overlap with other means: Maybe you're close with a mystical entity pertaining to nature that entrusts you with the power of nature (Cultist), maybe you study hard about nature (Scholar), maybe you find deeper meaning in how nature works and thus become enlightened (Monks). They're not just limited to those, however; e.g being kind and friendly to nature may make them help you in return, or there's an unseen force of nature (often, but not always, confined to a place) that you can manipulate by different means. Associated trope: In Harmony with Nature, Background Magic Field, Sentient Cosmic Force

Mages are like a Race

The ability to do magic is passed from parents to children. It may skip generations, or crop up unexpectedly on occasion, but it is ultimately based on inheritance. When mages are like this, they'll tend to make an isolated community of themselves, but not always. Associated trope: Witch Species, Superpowerful Genetics

Mages are like Scholars

Mages of this kind are studious and resourceful. They know dead languages and ancient history to a huge extent. You can find a classicist-like mage to poring through dusty tomes of forgotten lore in a huge library. Expect them to come with Ancient Artifacts. Alternately, or in addition, they're likely to not only understand magic, but to have an understanding of the natural world itself — understanding things like chemistry and physics, as well as the attendant tools to formulate such laws, such as advanced mathematics. Associated trope: Sufficiently Analyzed Magic, Magic Is Mental

Mages are like Theurgists

Theurgists here refers to 2 things: "cultists" and "priests". They share similar underlying premise: They draw their powers from a "higher source". The split was codified by Dungeons & Dragons as a means to distinguish normal wizards or warlocks from monks or priests.
  • Cult mages (or warlocks) draw their powers through worship, or contract, with an evil or dark entity. Oftentimes the magic used here tend to be nasty/destructive, and may have unwanted side effects to the user.
  • Clerics (or priests) draw their powers through the verse's God, or a similarly divine being, through worship or contract (like cultists). Magic that they used will tend to be supportive or healing, but sometimes may include Holy Hand Grenade.

Ironically, the original Magi were priestlike, and they did follow a dualistic faith with a God of Evil, but they considered themselves followers of the good god. In some cases, they may even be able to summon said entities themselves to help. Associated trope: Religion Is Magic, Deal with the Devil, Bargain with Heaven, Wild Magicnote 

See also Functional Magic for "Our Magic Is Different". Compare Magicians Are Wizards (when stage magicians are lumped together with actual magic users).


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, understanding chemistry and laws of physics seems to be the only requirement for using alchemy.
  • Magicians in A Certain Magical Index are scholars, they gain their powers from learning ancient knowledge but they align themselves with religions so they overlap with priests.
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, the mages are somewhere between Lottery Winners and Athletes: magical abilities are pretty random (a child of two Muggles can grow up to be a powerful mage, and vice versa), but becoming a qualified mage (not to mention a combat mage) requires years of extensive physical and magical training and continuous workouts to keep yourself in shape. Extensive training and innate magical power are depicted largely interchangeable.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Puella Magis are formed by a contract with Kyubey, in that they're given magical powers (and a wish) and in return you have to fight Witches (Eldritch Abominations of the verse).
  • In One Piece, it's closer to superpowers, but Devil Fruits can turn any of its eaters into "mutant" superbeings. Also, as the power of the fruit is limited only by the user's creativity, fruit users are also akin to artists.
    • For Haki (basically force of will), anyone can get access to and learn it by training (athletes), but it's a rarity for someone to have a special form of Haki named King's Disposition (lottery winners). Nevertheless, if you happen to have it, it too can be trained.
  • Ninjutsu in Naruto are mostly studied and trained. Some, however, have abilities that are inherited (called "Kekkei Genkai"). Aburame clan, in particular, also made a deal with certain mystical bugs that will help the clan whenever needed, in exchange for said bugs to live in their bodies.
    • Practitioners of Senjutsu (sage techniques) are basically Naturalists, mixed with Monks in that they can access nature energy and then use it to turn one's chakra into a stronger form by becoming close to nature; this is done primarily via meditation (i.e being perfectly still).
    • The First Hokage also have an unique kind of DNA that allows fast regeneration and control of plant life, and said DNA sample is used on some people as a source of power (mutants); i.e Danzo, Zetsu and Madara.
  • Magic in Fairy Tail is totally mundane and accessible to anyone, but it requires training, making them a mix between Athletes and Scholars.
  • In Hunter Hunter, everyone has an aura that can be used to achieve supernatural effects by learning Nen. Using basic Nen techniques requires extensive physical training (Athletes) and, since controlling the aura requires a strong will, meditation (Monks). Furthermore, Nen allows everyone to create unique abilities in different categories. You can achieve any effect you want as long as you place restrictions, but the more an ability suits your personality, the stronger it will be, (Artists). Also, people with innate Nen abilities and people who belong to the Specialist Nen category are Lottery Winners.
  • Shamans from Shaman King learn to channel spirits through meditation (Monks). However, other Shamans have a spiritual lifestyle that leds them to interact with nature spirits, like Horo Horo (Naturalist), or spirits of beings considered deities (Theurgist).
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an interesting example. By making a contract with Kyubey, a girl gets a Soul Gem that allows her to become a Magical Girl in exchange for a wish, making them Gadget Users. it is revealed however that the Soul Gem is actually the girl's soul, taken apart from the body. This grants magic but also makes the soul get corrupted with time, making them Mutants
  • In The Slayers, magic power is a combination of lottery and scholarship. To be a mage, you have to have both natural talent ("bucket" and "pool" capacity for magical power) and a mind to study and master the magical science. Gourry Gabriev, for example, has the magical talents but lacks the mental capacity to master magic, which makes him a muggle.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • In Star Wars, the Jedi seem to be a combination of Monks, Naturalists and a race: They are already born sensitive to the Force, but need to develop their connection in order to gain special abilities. The Sith also do the same, but by different means.

    Literature 
  • In Lord of the Rings, wizards such as Gandalf are like gods: Gandalf is a Maia (as is Sauron), not a human.
  • In Harry Potter, the ability to use magic is hereditary and how pure someone's bloodline is seems to be a big deal for some wizards. It is however possible for magic to manifest in a non-wizard child (so called muggle-born). The reverse is also true; the so-called "squib" are Muggle Born of Mages.
    • Mages here are also gadget-users in that they're reliant on Magic Wand to do their magic. Using magic without wand is, consequently, considered a masterful feat in universe, and people who achieved it can be counted by just one hand.
  • In Mistborn mages literally are aristocrats — the noble families are noble because there's a chance an allomancer will be born in their bloodline, while it should be impossible for the slave race of skaa.
  • In The Bible, in Exodus 7, both Aaron and the Egyptian "sorcerers and magicians" are capable to transforming rods into snakes (although Aaron's snake is more powerful). The popular explanation for Egyptian sorcerers' apparent ability to perform miracles is that they were demon-worshippers, while Aaron's magic, of course, comes from God.
  • In The Dresden Files, mages are generally a race; while anyone can use rudimentary magic with the proper training, the amount of raw power they're able to bring to bear seems to be inborn. Additionally, wizards have much longer lifespans than regular humans.
  • In War Breaker mages are scholars; every person has a Breath from birth, but you need a lot of Breaths to do anything significant. Basically, everyone is born with 1 Mana Point, but Breaths can be transferred between people. Magic is treated like a science, where mages are still trying to figure out all the rules to make a successfull spell, why certain spells cost more Breath than others, and, given how scarce they are, the way to use Breaths more efficiently.
  • The Deryni in the works of Katherine Kurtz are a combination of categories:
    • The raw ability is inherited.
    • The use of the powers must be taught, and through practice a certain level of physical endurance must be built up ("Athletes").
    • Each actual use of the powers entails a deep concentration bordering on self-hypnosis, a concentration which must also be learned ("Monks").
    • The Haldanes (and possibly other humans) have dormant abilities that are activated by rituals or other overt actions involving psychic power ("Mutants").
    • Thanks to persecutions and efforts to escape the same, some people turn out to have the powers seemingly at random ("Lottery Winners").
  • Sorcerers in the Belgariad are a mix of Lottery Winner and Monk — the potential for sorcery is present in every human, but unless you're being guided in some way you'll probably never unlock your potential (without vaporizing yourself). Once the power is released that first time, it's probably closer to Monk, since everything you do is by force of will.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Magicians are scholars. Before Mr. Norrell emerged on the scene, most magicians were theoretical, researching spells in older books, but never doing them. Mr. Norrell does the spells, but he has to rely on his study of older works to do it.
  • In The Sword of Truth, magical gift is sometimes inherited from one's ancestors (less and less common ever since a major magical disruption 3,000 years ago), and sometimes, it seems, pops on its own (there used to be a time when nearly everyone was a wizard, so there isn't much difference). However, it is possible for a wizard to take an apprentice without a gift, and teach him to use magic, with the process probably using some magical procedures. The wizards trained that way are, apparently, considerably less capable.
  • Inheritance Cycle:
    • Racial: Dragons naturally have massive amounts of magical energy, which their Riders can then draw upon. Elves also have a lot of magic naturally, but their approach is more like Artists or Scientists.
    • Cultists: Sorcerers summon and bind spirits for energy, but that has the risk of the spirits possessing them and creating a Shade.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, Surgebinders are a strange sort of priest-like mage. They gain power by wholeheartedly embracing the First Ideal of the Radiants and one of the ten other ideals, thus forging a bond with a sprennote  and gaining a Shardblade and power over two of the ten forces of nature.
  • In The Dragon Knight, magickians are priests. Their (entirely defensive) magic is awarded to them by a Celestial Bureaucracy called the Accounting Office, as payment for their work foiling the eternal threat of the Dark Powers. Sorcerers, meanwhile, are magickians' Evil Counterparts; their entirely offensive magic is powered by their service to the Dark Powers.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The magic performed by the Red Priests of R'hllor veer close to the Cultist category, as its implied their considerable power comes from allegiance to the Red God. Some, though, such as the shadowbinder Melisandre, come with their own abilities of varying origin.
    • Skinchangers are more random, as it's mentioned that only one person in a thousand is born as one. There's also slight hereditary there somewhere, as having the blood of the First Men allegedly makes it more likely to become on. The series' six Stark siblings, for instance, are all skinchangers.
    • The Alchemist's Guild in King's Landing are likely scholars, as while their practice is rooted in science, they draw upon plenty of ancient knowledge.
  • In the Land of Oz real magic seems to be the result of study more than biology. When the Wizard from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comes back to Oz in a later book, Glinda teaches him "real" magic to replace his stage magic. He becomes one of only three people in all of Oz legally allowed to practice magic. note 
  • Rithmatists are partly random chance, being about .1% of the population, and apparently chosen during a religious ceremony. However, to be a good Rithmatist you need to be good at freehand geometric drawing in order to make strong lines of power, and a talented artist in order to make useful chalklings.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Divine spellcasters, particularly clerics and paladins, gain their abilities through allegiance to supernatural forces. This is usually a deity, although archfiends can grant spells in some settings, and other setting such as Greyhawk follow Clap Your Hands If You Believe by allowing them to give their allegiance to a non-personified force such as Order. Divine spellcasters can also lose their powers by acting contrary to their oaths.
  • Ironclaw:
    • Scholars: Elementalists, Green and Purple mages, and especially Thaumaturgists learn magic through intensive study, while Most Clerics of S'Allumer aren't actually channeling the divine so much as using their own power to cast spells recorded in the holy scriptures centuries ago. The possible exception is the Sacerdotal prayers in the oldest, untranslated, editions.
    • Cultists: Druids and Blessed Priestesses of Lutara make pacts with nature spirits to cast their spells, while Necromancers enslave the restless dead to wield immense power. However some Druid spells, all Blessed weapon spells, and every single Necromantic spell carries a risk of the spirits breaking free and doing other stuff when three sixes are rolled.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Magicite makes "mutant" mages, eventually granting Esper's spells to the person that holds it for a given time. Technically, the original Espers were created in a similar way, as they used to be normal people that were altered by being caught in a crossfire between The Warring Triad.
  • In Elsword, Aisha's three job branches turn her into different kinds of mages:
    • Elemental Master has her study and train hard to master elemental magic; a mix of athlete and scholar.
    • Void Princess is her making a contract with a demon to access dark magic; said demon gives her an outfit that lets her wield dark magic. A cultist mage, combined with gadget user.
    • Dimension Witch uses magical artifacts and enchanted stones that are the source of her space and time magic; a gadget user, with some touches of scholar (she studies on how she can apply said magic).
  • Fire Emblem: Mages are like scholars. Most games describe tomes as simply a weapon type that you would train to use in an academic setting rather than a physical one. Anyone could use magic as much as anyone could use a sword. Further the tomes are often in ancient tongues or sources of other arcane wisdom, and the most powerful mages are typically scholars or Really 700 Years Old so they have had time to learn more about magic. Though some people have natural aptitude for using magic well, it's also incredibly rare to meet someone who can use magic innately without the use of books, staves or other tools.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Here, mages are athletes, in that mages gain their abilities through lots of practice.
  • Minecraft mods
    • Thaumcraft 4 thaumaturges are scholars, researching the techniques for making magic wands, tools, devices and minions, which they craft using collected magical energy and the refined essence of items.
  • Cepters from Culdcept are a variant of scholars. Their powers come from cards that are pages of the Book of Creation, which are found scattered throughout the world (or, of course, in the hands of other Cepters).
  • In Final Fantasy VIII the Sorceresses are like a Race, being genetically compatible women who inherit the ability to use magic when a fellow sorceress passes her powers upon death. Other humans can use a lesser form of magic called Para Magic which can be used by anyone by a process of controlling energy or by Junctioning a Guardian Force making their abilities closer to mutants.
  • Dragon Age is a weird case of Mages are like aristocrats in that it tends to run in families and Mages are like lottery winners in that it crops up seemingly randomly.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Nasuverse, mages are commonly hereditary. Most magi families pass their magic circuits from generation to generation, and in the case of having more than one child, is not uncommon for them to either send them to other houses or keep them out of the loop.
  • In Dragon Age, mages are like a race, although the inheritance seems to be fairly unpredictable. Also, mages are kept isolated by force in most societies due to the fact that they are prone to getting possessed by demons.

    Web Comics 
  • In Code Name: Hunter, magic requires strong "essence" (willpower, faith, conviction, etc). However, even among those with strong essence, only a rare few actually get magical talent, apparently at random.
    • Of note, mages are powered by the aggregate essence of their entire culture, so a nation full of happy, productive, empowered citizens (like most first-world countries) has much more magical potential than a nation of downtrodden peasants like Astoria.
  • El Goonish Shive is a mixed case: "The most common form of magic in EGS is powered by spiritual energy from the spell caster. This energy can be innate, or obtained and/or enhanced via training. Power alone isn't enough to cast spells. One must train in a specific fashion to obtain access to their spells, or have the power awakened within them by being that are capable of such things."

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra: Benders are a mix of Racial, Athletes, and Monks: Bending abilities are hereditary, and for example Aang's (Airbender) and Katara's (Waterbender) children, Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi, are an Airbender, a Waterbender, and a non-bender respectively. On the other hand, since Benders control the elements with physical movements, one's prowess in magic is also determined by the skill of one's master and the amount of basic form training. Lastly, to fully utilize the power of the elements, one needs to understand their philosophical nature (controlling earth can be difficult for someone who lacks determination, whereas wind requires certain flexibility and calmness of mind).
    • The Avatar (who can bend all four elements) is a special case in that he/she also has traces of Theurgist and Lottery Winner in him/her: The Avatar's power comes from the spirit of light, Raava, that inhabits his/her body, and the Avatar has all the knowledge and power of the previous generations of Avatars in his/her hands. Who gets to weild this power is chosen by Raava alone, so from the point of view of humans this is completely random.
  • In the animated TV version of Frosty the Snowman Frosty comes to life after a magic top hat is placed on his head. The previeous owner of the hat is a bumbling magician who didn't realize the hat had actual magic and spends most of the show trying to get it back.


    THESE NEED MORE CONTEXT AND/OR REWRITING, AND I DUNNO HOW 
  • Disc World Ponder Stibbons is the only scientist. Most Wizards are classicists doing University protocol. They are monkish precisely because Wizardry is heretitable.
Witchcraft is not hereditary, none of Nanny's innumerable brood have Powers and nobody thinks this is unusual.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Sorcerers are hereditary.
    • Wizards are scholarly.
    • Warlocks gain their power from pacts with (usually sinister) forces.
  • Magic as art seems to be one of the varieties used by Tolkien, especially for Elven and Dwarven magic.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has magic users either needing to join with a guardian to be able to use any type of magic (sounds like mutants but not sure), there are also a few sorceresses but how their magic works is pretty vague.
  • What about Mages Are Like Artists? Magical ability is the result of creativity and imagination, although it may sometimes also require discipline and training (just as real artistic ability does). Christopher Stasheff's Wizard in Rhyme series has components of this. Magic in Peter Pan often seems to depend on imagination and belief. Also, this is at least the subtext to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

[[folder:Western Animation]]

Community Feedback Replies: 100
  • July 2, 2011
    Grain
    In Dungeons And Dragons, Wizards are like scientists and classicists, Druids and Priests are like Priests, and Sorcerers are like aristocrats. You should mention that these similes can overlap. I like this idea a lot, although I think that "aristocrats" might need a better simile.
  • July 2, 2011
    Lavalyte
    Allegorical Magic?
  • July 3, 2011
    Bisected8
    What about;

    Mages are like Gods: Anyone capable of using magic is explicitly some sort of divine being or at least a non-human creature.

    This variant exists in The Lord Of The Rings (since wizards like Gandalf are essentially the equivalent of Angels).
  • July 3, 2011
    Topazan
    Mages Are Like Athletes- the ability to wield magic comes from years of intensive, exhausting training and practice.

    I'm pretty sure I've seen it somewhere.

    or how about:

    Mages Are Like (Eastern) Monks- Magic comes from meditation and mental discipline.
  • July 3, 2011
    Damr1990
    Mages are like Aristocrats is the most common occurrance on the Nasuverse, where most magi faimilies pass their magic circuits from generation to generation, and in the case of havming more than one child, is not uncommon for them to either send them to other houses or keep them out of the loop
  • July 3, 2011
    StyxD
    Some examples:

    Mages are like Scientists
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, understanding chemistry and laws of physics seems to be the only requirement for using alchemy.

    Mages are like Aristocrats
    • In Harry Potter, the ability to use magic is hereditary and how pure someone's bloodline is seems to be a big deal for some wizards. It is however possible for magic to manifest in a non-wizard child (so called muggle-born).
    • In Mistborn mages literally are aristocrats -- the noble families are noble because there's a chance an allomancer will be born in their bloodline, while it should be impossible for the slave race of skaa.

    I'm not sure about this one, there may be not a lot of examples:

    Mages are like Mutants: Magic is acquired by being exposed to some kind of substance/energy. It may or may not cause any adverse effects to the mage's body. It may also overlap with Mages are like Aristocrats if the mutation is passed down to offspring.
    • In Final Fantasy VI that's how Magicite works, eventually granting Esper's spells to the person that holds it for a given time. Technically, the original Espers were created in a similar way, as they used to be normal people that were altered by being caught in a crossfire between The Warring Triad.
  • July 3, 2011
    c0ry
    All instances of a Witch Species involve Mages Are Like Aristocrats. Perhaps this should be a Super Trope of Witch Species?
  • July 3, 2011
    Speedball
    Is there a "Mages are like Doctors?" example? Because that's totally The Dragon Doctors. (failing that, Mori is explicitly a magical scientist...)
  • July 3, 2011
    Maklodes
    Could you explain that more, Speedball? What is the basis of their ability to wield magic? A combination of scholarship and experience?
  • July 3, 2011
    belgarathmth
    Couldn't this trope apply to any "Special", not just mages? Superheroes, pyschics, divine "chosen ones", force-sensitive (in Star Wars), come immediately to mind.

    Couldn't this apply to basically any story category of individuals who have some kind of innate advantage over other characters in the story?

    And then, apply the trope whenever that character is discovering and dealing with their advantages and the disadvantages that go with it.

    Usually, the trope would be invoked by some masterly character either teaching or otherwise helping the "advantaged" character come to terms with and learn to use their "advantage", or else the master or the "advantagee" attempting to explain the "advantage" to a "Normal".

    I think that using the word "Mages" may be too limiting for something that should be a broader category.

    Perhaps something like "Our Specialness Is Like Your X". ?
  • July 4, 2011
    NetMonster
    I vote to keep this about magic.

    Subtrope of Does This Remind You Of Anything.
  • July 4, 2011
    StyxD
    I think it should remain about mages, otherwise it might become a bit messy. At the very least, it should be about those kinds of powers that could be reliably gained by another person in the same way. Magic is not always called magic despite glaring similarity.

    Wouldn't "Mages are like Doctors" be exactly like "Mages are like Sciencists"? Since medicine is a science.
  • July 4, 2011
    azul120
    Mages Are Like Priests applies to Warlocks in Dungeons And Dragons.
  • July 4, 2011
    Aielyn
    I've been trying to figure out what this trope is about, and I'm still confused. To be clear, I don't mean I'm confused about the content (it's a list of analogies between Mages and other people), but about what makes it a trope (or is it intended as a trope at all? The description makes it sound like it's just a place to come up with various analogies, to be turned into separate tropes later).
  • July 4, 2011
    belgarathmth
    I'm also confused about this trope.

    A good trope generates a lot of examples of its invocation from literature, movies, and television.

    Perhaps some more examples from works of popular culture that invoke the trope would help?
  • July 4, 2011
    Maklodes
    As I mentioned, I mostly wanted to brainstorm about how magical types get their magic: I was conflicted about whether to post this on YKTTW or on the forums in Trope Talk. I guess I figured it seemed a little too trope-like to go in the forums, but perhaps it's not quite trope-like enough to go in YKTTW. I don't know.
  • July 4, 2011
    arromdee
    Don't forget Witch Species, which is pretty much "mages are like aristocrats"
  • July 4, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    I think this is an intriguing list and would work out well as a supertrope to various mage tropes. Perhaps each type should include a list of tropes that relate.
  • July 5, 2011
    Horticulturist
    Arromdee, Witch Species might also be a little like Mages Are Like Gods.

    What about Mages Are Like Artists? Magical ability is the result of creativity and imagination, although it may sometimes also require discipline and training (just as real artistic ability does). Christopher Stasheff's Wizard in Rhyme series has components of this. Magic in Peter Pan often seems to depend on imagination and belief. Also, this is at least the subtext to The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.
  • July 5, 2011
    Bisected8
    Why am I the only one who has my suggestion marked by name? O_o
  • July 6, 2011
    oztrickster
    Final Fantasy VIII has magic users either needing to join with a guardian to be able to use any type of magic (sounds like mutants but not sure), there are also a few sorceresses but how their magic works is pretty vague.
  • July 6, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Magic as art seems to be one of the varieties used by Tolkien, especially for Elven and Dwarven magic.
  • July 6, 2011
    Trotzky
    Disc World Ponder Stibbons is the only scientist. Most Wizards are classicists doing University protocol. They are monkish precisely because Wizardry is heretitable. Witchcraft is not hereditary, none of Nanny's innumerable brood have Powers and nobody thinks this is unusual.
  • July 6, 2011
    Koveras
    In the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, the mages are somewhere between Lottery Winners and Athletes: magical abilities are pretty random (a child of two Muggles can grow up to be a powerful mage, and vice versa), but becoming a qualified mage (not to mention a combat mage) requires years of extensive physical and magical training and continuous workouts to keep yourself in shape. Extensive training and innate magical power are depicted largely interchangeable.
  • July 6, 2011
    Confusion567
    I think Mages are like aristocrats and mages are like mutants both need better titles; Aristocrat implies rulership, and when I think "mutant," I think X-men... where they're born that way. Unfortunately, I don't have better suggestions for those two, and they're definitely very common, especially if you add superpowers into this, and other "not called magic" magics (Devil Fruit powers in One Piece work by this system; any normal person can eat one of the fruits and immediately and permanently gain incredible powers).

    For another classification, Mages are like prodigies. It's not inherited, but they are born into it. Essentially a combination of aristocrat and lottery winner, where some people have it at birth and have it forever, and others don't get it at all. X-Men fits if we include superpowers.

    Also, Mages are like animal tamers, for when a mage does no inherent magic themselves, but instead summons or allies with some magical being that casts for him. Wizards from the Bartimaeus series fit into this (they summon demons who do magic for them), as well as oztrickster's FF 8 example above.
  • July 6, 2011
    Aielyn
    Channellers in The Wheel Of Time fit Mages are like prodigies; although it appears to be a genetic ability, so that channellers often give birth to more channellers, it is not at all restricted to genetic family lines, and being the child of two channellers by no means ensures that you'll be a channeller. The important part, though, is you have to be born with the ability, and a special subset are born with "the spark", which means they'll develop it naturally, even if untaught.
  • July 6, 2011
    Grain
    Can aristocracy skip generations?
  • July 15, 2011
    Maklodes
    Mages are like animal tamers is actually one that I'm conflicted about; clearly, this is a type of mage, going back to Prospero in The Tempest and before. The sticky issue is whether it's a *source* of magic or a *property of the mage.* For the purposes of this YKTTW, we're talking about the properties of mages, not the sources of magic. For instance, I'm considering the distinction between a mage who creates a fireball by channeling the elemental plane of fire and a mage who creates a fireball by using drawing mana from the Earth and using it to superheat the air irrelevant (although magical sources could be another worthwhile trope). What interests me is whether the mage can create a fireball because she's read a bunch of musty old tomes about creating fireballs, or her father was also a fireballer, or she worships or makes a pact with the Demon Lord of Flames, or whatever: in short, "why can she do magic?" Not "how does she do magic?" or "what does her magic do?" What, in short, is the special property that separates mages from muggles?

    For example, if a mage can tame familiar spirits because of her incredible discipline and force of will allow her to mentally dominate her familiars, then it's Mages are like monks. If a mage can tame familiar spirits because she's conducted a lot of field observation of spirits, keeping notes on their behavior, and conducted experiments on how to trap and tame them, then it's Mages are like scientists -- and so on and so forth. That said, I think there might be some unique ways in which animal-tamer mages might be exceptional that haven't been mentioned yet: for instance, maybe they can tame familiars because of their extraordinary powers of charm and persuasion ( Mages are like diplomats?) or something like that?
  • July 17, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Mages Are Like Artillery? That's often their effective role in large-scale tactical engagements (blast the enemy from afar).
  • July 17, 2011
    Acebrock
    Dragon Age is a weird case of Mages are like aristocrats in that it tends to run in families and Mages are like lottery winners in that it crops up seemingly randomly.

    The Elder Scrolls is a bit more on the lines of Mages Are Like Athletes, in that mages gain their abilities through lots of practice.
  • August 5, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    The Deryni in the works of Katherine Kurtz are a combination of categories:
    • The raw ability is inherited ("Aristocrats").
    • The use of the powers must be taught, and through practice a certain level of physical endurance must be built up ("Athletes").
    • Each actual use of the powers entails a deep concentration bordering on self-hypnosis, a concentration which must also be learned ("Monks").
    • The Haldanes (and possibly other humans) have dormant abilities that are activated by rituals or other overt actions involving psychic power ("Mutants").
    • Thanks to persecutions and efforts to escape the same, some people turn out to have the powers seemingly at random ("Lottery Winners").

    BTW, I'd suggest changing "Mutants" to "Mutates". As written, the category suggests an alteration made after conception; more like Peter Parker + spider bite as opposed to X-men.
  • August 6, 2011
    Antigone3
    Sorcerers in the Belgariad are a mix of Lottery Winner and Monk -- the potential for sorcery is present in every human, but unless you're being guided in some way you'll probably never unlock your potential (without vaporizing yourself). Once the power is released that first time, it's probably closer to Monk, since everything you do is by force of will.
  • August 6, 2011
    Thuja
    One of my personal favorites, and perhaps a subtrope of Mages are like scientists comes from Diane Duane's Young Wizards universe: Mages are like computer programmers. Magic spells are written in the Speech, which is often described as the programming language in which the universe was written. Wizards are referred to as "the IT staff of the universe" on at least one occasion.
  • August 6, 2011
    ChocolateChip
    Mages are like computer programmers seems like a completely different trope than scientists. The scientists are experimenting with substances, forces, etc, to see how magic works, while the programmers either already fully understand how the system works or don't need to understand the inner workings in order to use it. I suppose both could coexist in the same universe, maybe even in the same character, but they are separate.
  • August 6, 2011
    Earnest
    "Mages Are Like Scientists" probably use Ritual Magic.

    Also, check the idnexes Magic And Powers and Functional Magic for stuff to blue shift the article with.
  • February 25, 2012
    johnnye
    Doesn't Functional Magic cover most of this trope?

    EDIT: Aaand it was a dead thread anyway. I Must Read Dates Before Posting x100
  • February 25, 2012
    animeg3282
    Reminds me of Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell for magicians are classicists - Before Mr. Norrell emerged on the scene, most magicians were theoretical, researching spells in older books, but never doing them. Mr. Norrell does the spells, but he has to rely on his study of older works to do it.
  • February 25, 2012
    surgoshan
    Mages are like monks: The Jedi of the Star Wars universe.
  • February 26, 2012
    Kossmeister
    • In Star Wars, Jedi seem to be a combination of "Mages Are Like Monks" and "Mages Are Like Aristocrats." They are already born sensitive to the Force, but need to develop their connection in order to gain special abilities.
    • In some versions of Arthurian legend, Merlin got his powers from his demon father, so that would be "Mages Are Like Gods."
  • February 26, 2012
    Catbert
    Personally I like this page idea, even if only as an Analysis page.
  • May 23, 2014
    Omeganian
    • In The Sword Of Truth, magical gift is sometimes inherited from one's ancestors (less and less common ever since a major magical disruption 3,000 years ago), and sometimes, it seems, pops on its own (there used to be a time when nearly everyone was a wizard, so there isn't much difference). However, it is possible for a wizard to take an apprentice without a gift, and teach him to use magic, with the process probably using some magical procedures. The wizards trained that way are, apparently, considerably less capable.
  • May 23, 2014
    StarSword
    Priests:
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • <warlock example>
      • Divine spellcasters, particularly clerics and paladins, gain their abilities through allegiance to supernatural forces. This is usually a deity, although archfiends can grant spells in some settings, and other setting such as Greyhawk follow Clap Your Hands If You Believe by allowing them to give their allegiance to a non-personified force such as Order. Divine spellcasters can also lose their powers by acting contrary to their oaths.

    Scientists:
    • The lore of The Elder Scrolls states that anyone can learn to use magic through practice, although the Art is usually taught by a mage to one or more apprentices.
  • May 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare How To Give A Character Superpowers.

    I really wanna call this Our Magicians Are Different, but...
  • May 23, 2014
    zarpaulus
    I would argue that Clerics, Druids and other divine spellcasters in D&D count as mages, obviously under "Priests".

    • Inheritance Cycle:
      • Aristocrats: Dragons naturally have massive amounts of magical energy, which their Riders can then draw upon. Elves also have a lot of magic naturally, but their approach is more like Artists or Scientists.
      • Priests: Sorcerers summon and bind spirits for energy, but that has the risk of the spirits possessing them and creating a Shade.

    • Ironclaw:
      • Scientists: Elementalists, Green and Purple mages, and especially Thaumaturgists learn magic through intensive study.
      • Classicists: Most Clerics of S'Allumer aren't actually channeling the divine so much as using their own power to cast spells recorded in the holy scriptures centuries ago. The possible exception is the Sacerdotal prayers in the oldest, untranslated, editions.
      • Priests: Druids and Blessed Priestesses of Lutara make pacts with nature spirits to cast their spells, while Necromancers enslave the restless dead to wield immense power. However some Druid spells, all Blessed weapon spells, and every single Necromantic spell carries a risk of the spirits breaking free and doing other stuff when three sixes are rolled.
  • May 23, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Since many of the examples are going to overlap between several categories (like zarpaulus' examples above), it would probably be better to list the examples under the usual media sections.

    Western Animation
    • Avatar The Last Airbender / The Legend Of Korra: Benders are a mix of Aristocrats, Athletes, and Monks: Bending abilities are hereditary, and for example Aang's (Airbender) and Katara's (Waterbender) children, Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi, are an Airbender, a Waterbender, and a non-bender respectively. On the other hand, since Benders control the elements with physical movements, one's prowess in magic is also determined by the skill of one's master and the amount of basic form training. Lastly, to fully utilize the power of the elements, one needs to understand their philosophical nature (controlling earth can be difficult for someone who lacks determination, whereas wind requires certain flexibility and calmness of mind).
      • The Avatar (who can bend all four elements) is a special case in that he/she also has traces of Priest and Lottery Winner in him/her: The Avatar's power comes from the spirit of light, Raava, that inhabits his/her body, and the Avatar has all the knowledge and power of the previous generations of Avatars in his/her hands. Who gets to weild this power is chosen by Raava alone, so from the point of view of humans this is completely random.
  • July 3, 2014
    SpiderRider3
    Harry Potter should be listed under Lottery Winners as well as Aristocrats, since Muggleborns end up with magic powers seemingly at random.
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 4, 2014
    DaibhidC
    "Witchcraft is not hereditary, none of Nanny's innumerable brood have Powers and nobody thinks this is unusual"

    But the Discworld Companion says that there have been many witches in the Ogg line previously, although unlike the Weatherwaxes, they don't produce any wizards.

    I think Discworld witches fit the atheletes model more than any of the others, though.

    Having said that, Discworld magic isn't actually hard to do, and this is the big secret of witches and wizards. Because the hard bit is doing magic and surviving.
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Who's managing this anyway?
  • July 6, 2014
    SharleeD
    Mages Are Like Classicists might not be the best choice, as it makes it sound like their knowledge has to have a Greek/Roman flavor. Something like Mages Are Like Historians might be better, as it carries no specific cultural trappings.

    The description for Mages Are Like Priests seems overly-biased towards that being a villains' category. There certainly are non-Evil mages who call upon otherworldly beings for their magic, such as Marvel's Doctor Strange or the many work-a-day magic-wielders from The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump.
  • July 6, 2014
    Quatic
    In the mythology&religion department, the theological theory of Pandeism applies a number of these theories to historical miraculous figures (like Jesus and the Buddha, which Pandeism essentially considers to be either unwitting or misunderstood magicians. Thus, "mages" are like lottery winners in that some few people are simply genetically gifted with the power to tap into the underlying power of the Universe-Creator (which has become our Universe), and use this power to manipulate the local laws of physics. But being a lottery winner isn't enough, as miracle worker are as well to a degree like artists (they must not only have the ability, but a certain creative knack) and like monks (one who has the ability but steadfastly refuses to believe it will be unable to use it; there must be some locus of belief, typically a strong religious belief). Interestingly, not everybody who is able to employ such abilities is even aware that they are doing so — some seemingly normal people might pray fervently for a minor miracle and see their prayers answered, believing that their prayer has been answered by an external god and never realizing that what they really did was to essentially cast a spell and bring about the result through their own internal power.
  • July 6, 2014
    DAN004
    May I take this over?
  • July 6, 2014
    Dalillama
    Minor copyedit, pouring to poring.
  • July 7, 2014
    dalek955
    • In Code Name Hunter, magic requires strong "essence" (willpower, faith, conviction, etc). However, even among those with strong essence, only a rare few actually get magical talent, apparently at random.
      • Of note, mages are powered by the aggregate essence of their entire culture, so a nation full of happy, productive, empowered citizens (like most first-world countries) has much more magical potential than a nation of downtrodden peasants like Astoria.

    The "aristocracy" version is Superpowerful Genetics.
  • July 7, 2014
    Mr.Movie
  • July 8, 2014
    hbi2k
    @Dan004 - The OP hasn't been active since 2011, so I'd call this well and truly Up For Grabs. Go ahead and grab it.

    I agree with a (much) earlier poster that this has a lot of overlap with Functional Magic.
  • July 8, 2014
    dalek955
    • Minecraft mods
      • Thaumcraft 4 thaumaturges are scientists, researching the techniques for making magic wands, tools, devices and minions, which they craft using collected magical energy and the refined essence of items.
    • In The Stormlight Archive, Surgebinders are a strange sort of priest-like mage. They gain power by wholeheartedly embracing the First Ideal of the Radiants and one of the ten other ideals, thus forging a bond with a sprennote  and gaining a Shardblade and power over two of the ten forces of nature.
  • July 8, 2014
    DAN004
    Heheheh *rubs hand*
  • July 9, 2014
    dalek955
    • In The Dragon Knight, magickians are priest-like. Their (entirely defensive) magic is awarded to them by a Celestial Bureaucracy called the Accounting Office, as payment for their work foiling the eternal threat of the Dark Powers. Sorcerers, meanwhile, are magickians' Evil Counterparts; their entirely offensive magic is powered by their service to the Dark Powers.
    • Cepters from Culdcept are like archaeologists. Their powers come from cards that are pages of the Book of Creation, which are found scattered throughout the world (or, of course, in the hands of other Cepters).
  • July 10, 2014
    hbi2k
    I'd consider a rename to something like Our Mages Are Different, Our Magic Users Are Different, or Our Wizards Are Different. The word "magician" carries strong associations with stage magicians as opposed to someone who actually wields Functional Magic. Also, I'd try to use the same word in the title and description. Listing all the things mages are like in a trope called Our Magicians Are Different seems inconsistent.

    Some kind of reference (even if it's just a "see also" at the very end) to Magicians Are Wizards also seems like a good idea, since that's another "things mages are like" associated trope.
  • July 10, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ good idea.
  • July 10, 2014
    Synchronicity
    • A Song Of Ice And Fire:
      • The magic performed by the Red Priests of R'hllor veer close to the Cultist category, as its implied their considerable power comes from allegiance to the Red God. Some, though, such as the shadowbinder Melisandre, come with their own abilities of varying origin.
      • Skinchangers are more random, as it's mentioned that only one person in a thousand is born as one. There's also slight Aristocracy there somewhere, as having the blood of the First Men allegedly makes it more likely to become on. The series' six Stark siblings, for instance, are all skinchangers.
      • The Alchemist's Guild in King's Landing are likely a mix of Classicists and Scientists, as while their practice is rooted in science, they draw upon plenty of ancient knowledge.

    Also, I seem to recall JK Rowling saying that muggleborn wizards had a magical ancestor somewhere along the line, so it still falls under Aristocracy.
  • July 11, 2014
    hbi2k
    Thoughts:

    • I'm not sure I like the "Mages Are Like Aristocrats" subtype as it currently stands. I'd consider splitting it into two subtypes: Mages Are Like Aristocrats, for when magic is heritable and inheriting it puts you higher on the social / political ladder, and something like Mages Are Like Racial Minorities for when magic is heritable and inheriting it puts you lower on the social ladder.
      • Alternately, figure out some different way of phrasing it that implies that magic is heritable without implying anything at all about being higher / lower on the social ladder. (Can't think of anything that works for that off the top of my head, at least not while keeping within the "Mages Are Like..." formula.)
    • I'd consider merging the "Mages Are Like Classicists / Archaeologists" and "Mages Are Like Scientists" subtypes into one subtype: "Mages Are Like Scholars".
    • Let's add Kung Fu Wizard and Full Contact Magic as associated tropes under the Mages Are Like Athletes and/or Mages Are Like Monks subtypes.
  • July 11, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ persecution or nobility of mages are not the point of this trope. So yeah, gonna change the name to something else.
  • July 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the Land Of Oz real magic seems to be the result of study more than biology. When the Wizard from The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz comes back to Oz in a later book, Glinda teaches him "real" magic to replace his stage magic. He becomes one of only three people in all of Oz legally allowed to practice magic. note 
  • July 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Should examples be sorted by media?
  • July 14, 2014
    hbi2k
    ^ I think it makes more sense than sorting by subtype, since the subtypes are not mutually exclusive. For example, in Harry Potter, the ability to do magic is genetic (muggleborns have magical ancestors per Word Of God), but WHAT you do with it is learned, so it's an example of both Mages Are Like a Race and Mages Are Like Scholars. Easier to put the example under "Literature" than have to make an entry for both subtypes.
  • July 14, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ aye, will do later
  • July 14, 2014
    Mr.Movie
    Can this be about superhuman abilities in general, and not just magic?
  • July 14, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Hmm... Perhaps, but I'll chalk it up to Tropes Are Flexible. But I'll definitely mention superhuman abilities.
  • July 14, 2014
    acrobox
    Fire Emblem: Mages are like scholars. Most games describe tomes as simply a weapon type that you would train to use in an academic setting rather than a physical one. Anyone could use magic as much as anyone could use a sword. Further the tomes are often in ancient tongues or sources of other arcane wisdom, and the most powerful mages are typically scholars or Really Seven Hundred Years Old so they have had time to learn more about magic. Though some people have natural aptitude for using magic well, it's also incredibly rare to meet someone who can use magic innately without the use of books, staves or other tools.
  • July 14, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    • In The Dresden Files, mages are generally a race; while anyone can use rudimentary magic with the proper training, the amount of raw power they're able to bring to bear seems to be inborn. Additionally, wizards have much longer lifespans than regular humans.
  • July 14, 2014
    CosmeF
    Magicians in ACertainMagicalIndex are scholars, they gain their powers from learning ancient knowledge but they align themselves with religions so they overlap with cultists.

    In WarBreaker mages are scholars; every person has a Breath from birth, but you need a lot of Breaths to do anything significant. Basically, everyone is born with 1 Mana Point, but Breaths can be transferred between people. Magic is treated like a science, where mages are still trying to figure out all the rules to make a successfull spell.
  • July 14, 2014
    CosmeF
    I would like to suggest another category: mages that get their power from an artifact or item. They lose their powers partially or totally if they're separated from the power source. Sometimes, anyone that lays their hands on the item gets the power, but the item may not work if the wielder is deemed unworthy.
  • July 15, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Currently, they're lumped with Mutants and Scholars.
  • July 15, 2014
    DAN004
    I actually would like to argue that worshiping good gods can be a valid source of magic. Just that the original sponsor says it's more like "magic-wielding good priests".

    I dunno how to word it, though.
  • July 15, 2014
    DAN004
    Dungeons And Dragons and Nasuverse also needs more context.
  • July 15, 2014
    DAN004
    Added examples. Phew!
  • July 15, 2014
    hbi2k
    ^^^ Maybe change "Mages Are Like Cultists" to the more neutral "Mages Are Like Priests," and then note in the following paragraph that good-aligned religious magic users tend to be called "priests," "monks," or "clerics" as opposed to "mages" or "wizards," to better distinguish them from other types of magic-users in the setting. Maybe also note that this likely due to the influence of Dungeons And Dragons, which codified the distinction.
  • July 15, 2014
    frogpatrol
    Naturalist means a scholar of nature, not a nature lover or appreciator.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/naturalist?s=t

    Substitute "Nature lover" for naturalist?
  • July 15, 2014
    frogpatrol
    Also, what about Mages Make Bargains or the more general Mages Pay A Price, like Faust. They have given up something or make compacts with other beings, individually, not collectively. The whole basis of Ron Edwards' Tabletop RPG Sorcerer.
  • July 15, 2014
    acrobox
    I think thats covered by Cultists.
  • July 15, 2014
    frogpatrol
    Faust, for example, did not belong to a cult. I say split into "Mages Are Like Debtors" and "Mages Are Like Cultists".
  • July 15, 2014
    Andygal
    In Dragon Age, mages are like a race, although the inheritance seems to be fairly unpredictable. Also, mages are kept isolated by force in most societies due to the fact that they are prone to getting possessed by demons.
  • July 16, 2014
    lycropath
    In Final Fantasy VIII the Sorceresses are like a Race, being genetically compatible women who inherit the ability to use magic when a fellow sorceress passes her powers upon death. Other humans can use a lesser form of magic called Para Magic which can be used by anyone by a process of controlling energy or by Junctioning a Guardian Force making their abilities closer to Scholars.
  • July 16, 2014
    CosmeF
    Magic in Fairy Tail is totally mundane and accessible to anyone, but it requires training, making them a mix between Athletes and Scholars. Interestingly, according to the Opening Narration, for wizards "magic is an art", making it a possible candidate for Artists too (I have to admit I don't know enough about how creativity affects magic.

    Also, in Hunter X Hunter, everyone has an aura that can be used to achieve supernatural effects by learning Nen. I'm not sure if you can count Nen as an example, because it's not as ample as magic tends to be, though its scope is wider than, for example, Avatar's bending. Using basic Nen techniques requires extensive physical training (Athletes) and, since controlling the aura requires a strong will, meditation (Monks). Furthermore, Nen allows everyone to create unique abilities in different categories. You can achieve any effect you want as long as you place restrictions, but the more an ability suits your personality, the stronger it will be,(Artists). Also, people with innate Nen abilities and people who belong to the Specialist Nen category are Lottery Winners.
  • July 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Moar examples? Thoughts on description?

    Or launch?
  • July 20, 2014
    robinjohnson
    • On the Discworld, the eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard. The eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son is a Sourcerer, and a Very Bad Thing, which is why there's a strong tradition for wizards to be celibate.
  • July 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ where would that fall under?
  • July 23, 2014
    hbi2k
    I'm inclined to say Just Launch It Already. This is looking really good.
  • July 23, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know of Wizards And Witches and maybe Magic And Powers.
  • July 23, 2014
    DAN004
    I would also consider adding "Wizards are like Gadget Users" where their magic abilities purely come from their equipments. Thoughts?
  • July 24, 2014
    hbi2k
    ^ I could see that. Trying to think of examples... the Golden Age Green Lantern (back when the ring was powered by magic instead of Sufficiently Advanced technology) would probably count. Maybe Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, where all his magic seemed to come from the hat.
  • July 24, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the animated TV version of Frosty The Snowman Frosty comes to life after a magic top hat is placed on his head. The previeous owner of the hat is a bumbling magician who didn't realize the hat had actual magic and spends most of the show trying to get it back.
  • July 25, 2014
    DAN004
    I believe Magical Girl genre has many examples of Gadget Users. I have nil context for them though...
  • July 26, 2014
    dalek955
    • Rithmatists are partly random chance, being about .1% of the population, and apparently chosen during a religious ceremony. However, to be a good Rithmatist you need to be good at freehand geometric drawing in order to make strong lines of power, and a talented artist in order to make useful chalklings.
  • July 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Final bump.
  • August 2, 2014
    CosmeF
    • Shamans from Shaman King learn to channel spirits through meditation (Monks). However, other Shamans have a spiritual lifestyle that leds them to interact with nature spirits, like Horo Horo (Naturalist), or spirits of beings considered deities (Theurgist).
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an interesting example. By making a contract with Kyubey, a girl gets a Soul Gem that allows her to become a Magical Girl in exchange for a wish, making them Gadget Users. it is revealed however that the Soul Gem is actually the girl's soul, taken apart from the body. This grants magic but also makes the soul get corrupted with time, making them Mutants
  • August 4, 2014
    aurora369
    In The Slayers, magic power is a combination of lottery and scholarship. To be a mage, you have to have both natural talent ("bucket" and "pool" capacity for magical power) and a mind to study and master the magical science. Gourry Gabriev, for example, has the magical talents but lacks the mental capacity to master magic, which makes him a muggle.
  • August 6, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know Wizards And Witches and maybe Magic And Powers.
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