Created By: Earnest on September 2, 2009
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Magic as: Art vs. Science vs. Mysticism

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Rather than Magic Versus Science, it's Magic in aspect A versus Magic interpretation B. Basically, a wizard of Vancian Magic will sneer at a colleague who uses reality as a canvas, casting spells based on poetic rules. And of course both will scoff at the witch who's magic follows ineffable rules of deep meaning.

Magicians who follow Magic A Is Magic A will be academic, studious, and always "researching" new spells. Artistic mages usually have some form of Functional Magic that they tap into in unconventional ways. Hermetic Magic practitioners follow ritual like academic magicians but usually ignore they "how" and "why" in favor of theological explanations or even plain old faith. Expect these mages to be on differing sides of Harmony Versus Discipline.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • September 2, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In Dungeons And Dragons, wizards spend years learning how to cast spells. Sorcerers have no training, just raw power--which they may or may not have the discipline not to abuse. The two have been known to conflict.
  • September 2, 2009
    Floria
    Discworld witches versus Discworld wizards? There is considerable philosophical difference (village wisewoman versus academic theoretician), but in the books I've read there wasn't enough overlap for much competition or rivalry.
  • September 3, 2009
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • In Shadowrun, ideological conflicts between various types of magic users have been a standard setting element since the beginning, particularly between Hermetic and Shamanic mages.
  • September 3, 2009
    Koveras
    Title suggestion: Our Magic Is Different.
  • September 3, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    No, All the Our Blank Is Different stuff is about how authors make their versions vary in certain ways but this appears to be "you have character who treat magic in one way versus character who treat it another way".
  • September 4, 2009
    Koveras
    @UT: Ah, if it's about the characters' interpretations of how magic works, than it's different. I thought it was more about how magic actually works in the particular setting...
  • September 4, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    (it's me, Sooty, as i was in the above) Yeah, there's potential for confusion there but note the comparison with the Magic Versus Science trope and the focus on how one wizards treats another in the second line. Plus so far the examples we get are going for the magic user conflict.

    In Warhammer, it gets justified by different races having to approach magic in different ways due to their different mindsets and how they open themselves up to Mind Rape by an Eldritch Abomination. So short lived humans takes magic, split it up into specialities and study it in an academic and scholarly manner in colleges to make it safe; the hair brained Skaven ratmen use Green Rocks to power magical contraptions and their minor "wizards" are called engineers; Dark Elves and Chaos worshippers make pacts with daemons while High Elves will elegantly weave the winds of magic around them like a tapestry.
  • September 4, 2009
    calronmoonflower
    More Dn D examples.

    The the psion, wilder, and ardent classes are Psionic. The psion develops powers though strict mental discipline that takes years. Wilders use raw emotion to manifest their powers. Ardents recognize basic connections the world and develop powers through the understanding of those connections.
  • September 5, 2009
    TBeholder
    Second part is mostly the "Controllability" scale (from AD&D Net Wizard's Handbook): Magic is Chaos -- Magic is Art -- Magic is Science.

    @UT: it's more like our bugs.

    Our Magics Are Different ? UnEqualRites ?
  • September 5, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    Un Equal Rites - I love it. I also dislike Our Bugs Are Different for completely having nothing to do with the Our Monsters Are Different index.
  • September 6, 2009
    MetaFour
    So, this is about disagreements within a story about how the Functional Magic works?
  • September 6, 2009
    Earnest
    Not just that, but it comes with a grain or two of Fantastic Racism (or more accurately, prejudice). These magicians can all be taping the same source of magic, but doing so in different ways which have different advantages and limitations. Or they might be drawing on different sources of power entirely, which requires different methods and mindsets. Regardless, they disagree about which method is best or the "true" way it should be gone about.

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