Energy Flavors
Use Energy to power your spells! Now in morality, elemental, and law/chaos flavors!


(permanent link) added: 2011-08-17 10:51:48 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2011-08-18 11:38:51)

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I'm pretty sure we don't have this, but stop me if we do.

When a setting has Magic and Powers, or even just a lot of Phlebotinum powered devices, there comes a point when all of these will have their own unique and non-interchangeable Power Sources. They may be combined into a Yin-Yang Bomb or even All Your Colors Combined, but by and large White Magic spells can only be empowered with The Force, while The Dark Arts use the more morally corrosive Dark Side to fuel their spells.

Elemental Powers will of course run on their own brand of elemental energy, though they may be combinable to create the other core elements. Wind and Water energy to create Ice (or would that be Water and Earth?)

Settings that use all of these various energy types usually has some form of Resources Management Gameplay, with all the complexities that involves. In contrast, some universes go with a generic Non-Elemental energy or Magic Points that can be used to empower any kind of spell or ability. This has the benefit of simplifying things, albeit at a loss of flavor... well, setting flavor, anyway.

There are a few halfway points in this set up. One is using neutral energy that, upon harvesting, has to be assigned a flavor. Another is a mechanic, unit, artifact or other ability that allows one flavor of energy to be changed into another (possibly at a net loss). A third is to provide Power Sources that can potentially make many different kinds of energy flavors on demand, like flavor shots in coffee.

  • Magic: The Gathering does this with its five colors of mana. As the game has evolved, there are now new ways to combine, acquire, change, and pay for spells and monsters that give more flexibility than early years. However, gaming with more than one color in a deck is still something of a challenge for new players.
  • The World of Darkness (both new and old) has many such energy flavors, usually one (or more!) per gameline. A common one in the core book was Essence, which powered ghosts, but that various other supernaturals could gain access to.
  • The Astro Boy 2009 movie had Red and Blue energy being separated from a meteorite. Red energy is evil and destructive, while Blue is good and loving. They also mutually annihilate each other... which begs the question of how the meteorite managed to have them in itself in a mixed state.
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