Created By: KeyofEden on July 27, 2013 Last Edited By: lycropath on September 24, 2013
Troped

Mage Marksman

A character able to use ranged weapons and functional magic.

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Trope
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Combining swordplay and sorcery is a viable strategy in your Standard Fantasy Setting, but perhaps this magic wielding character prefers to engage enemies at a distance to use their Improbable Aiming Skills. Or perhaps this character lives in a setting where Fantasy Gun Control isn't in effect and swords are obsolete. Enter the Mage Marksman.

The Mage Marksman comes in two flavors:

1.) The Magic Gunman, who uses a gun in tandem with magic. Aside from simply being another means of bringing the pain, magic spells may supplement the missile weapons, such as time spell that makes it easier to land headshots, or using telekinesis to rip an enemy out of cover. The Magic Marksman is commonly found in Urban Fantasy and Gaslamp Fantasy settings, where magic exists but using a sword simply wouldn't make much sense.

2.) The Magic Ranger, who uses archery instead of firearms. The Magical Ranger's powers may include summoning animals in fights, Trick Arrows, Magic Music, or your standard fare Elemental Powers. The Magic Ranger will usually be found in the Standard Fantasy Setting, but may wander into other fantasy settings too.

Compare Magic Knight, wherein the character uses a sword and magic. See also Postmodern Magik. Not to be confused with Depleted Phlebotinum Shells, where the weapons or bullets themselves are magically enhanced.

Examples

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     Magic Gunman 

Anime & Manga

Literature
  • Harry of The Dresden Files routinely uses guns in combination with his magical tools, as does most everyone in the supernatural community. There are few creatures so mighty that they can't be brought down by modern weaponry applied correctly.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • The Coruscant Nights trilogy, set a year or so after Revenge of the Sith, introduces a Jedi sect called the Gray Paladins who eschew lightsabers in favor of blasters and favor a minimalist approach to the Force. The mainstream order considered them borderline heretics.
    • Members of the New Jedi Order often carry blasters in addition to lightsabers. This shouldn't be too surprising given many of their number are former military.

Myths & Legends
  • Railroad Bill was an African American outlaw who robbed trains and sold goods to the poor at a reduced price, like a Postbellum Robin Hood. Aside from his skill with rifle, he was believed to use shapeshifting powers to evade capture time and time again.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Dragon magazine #71 has Murlynd, a "Quasi-Deity" of the Greyhawk campaign setting. He is able to shoot guns in combat as well as casting spells.
    • The Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms campaign settings had primitive firearms (e.g. flintlocks) that could be used by spellcasters.
  • Shadowrun
    • Mages can cast spells, but smart ones will keep a firearm handy as well.
    • Casting spells can cause fatigue damage as well as possible body damage, or even death.
    • Chi-Adepts can use their magic powers to enhance their ranged combat skills, becoming something like Gunkata embracers, with a mix of gymnastics and dual-wielding pistols as their signature combat style.
  • Most pyskers in Warhammer 40K prefer to fight at long range, though using their powers to assist their shots is more of an RPG occurence (Dark Heresy, etc.).
  • Deadlands had Hexslingers; a combination of a Huckster (a spell-caster) and a gunslinger, who specialised in spells that affected their shooting.
  • The Castle Falkenstein supplement Sixguns & Sorcery has spellslingers, gunslingers who could enchant magical spells onto their bullets.
  • Pathfinder. Spellslingers from the Ultimate Combat book. They are a wizard archetype who can use spells to magically enhance bullets.

Video Games

     Magic Ranger 

Anime & Manga

Literature
  • Discworld's Mustrum Ridcully is a wizard who likes to hunt animals with a crossbow in his spare time.
  • After Conall loses to Dhugal in an informal archery contest early in The Kings Justice, Kelson explains to Dhugal why it wouldn't have been fair for him to have joined the competition, and he shoots an arrow "precisely in the center of the target." Then he demonstrates how he can use his Deryni powers to enhance his archery skills, shooting a second arrow exactly alongside the length of his first. Dhugal is suitably astonished when Alaric Morgan does likewise at Kelson's request (without looking at the target while he shoots); the result is four arrow shafts in a tight square in the target. The scene foreshadows their parts in the rescue of Duncan from Loris and Sicard; Kelson and Morgan use their powers to deflect the arrows of Loris' archers as they shoot at the captive Duncan.

Tabletop Games
  • Also in Pathfinder is the standard animal-summoning Ranger class, and the Arcane Archer prestige class, who can give their arrows a number of magical effects and also use arrows to deliver area of effect spells.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons any spellcasting character proficient in archery would qualify. In 3.X Edition an archery-track ranger (as opposed to a Dual Wielding-track one) is a particular example, having a class spell list and automatically gaining archery-improving feats.

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 45
  • July 27, 2013
    Chabal2
    Is this restricted to firearms, or can magic-using archers be included?
  • July 28, 2013
    KeyofEden
    Actually, scratch that. Keep it to firearms for now.
  • July 28, 2013
    KeyofEden
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Dragon magazine #71 has Murlynd, a "Quasi-Deity" of the Greyhawk campaign setting. He is able to shoot guns in combat as well as casting spells.
      • The Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms campaign settings had primitive firearms (e.g. flintlocks) that could be used by spellcasters.
    • Shadowrun. Mages can cast spells, but smart ones will keep a firearm handy as well. In Shadowrun, casting spells can cause fatigue damage as well as possible body damage, or even death.
  • July 28, 2013
    Chabal2
    Most pyskers in Warhammer 40 K prefer to fight at long range, though using their powers to assist their shots is more of an RPG occurence (Dark Heresy, etc.).
  • July 28, 2013
    GKaiser
    Live-Action Television:
    • Ryugunoh is the gun-toting deuteragonist, his comrades relying on a sword and a lance respectively. He still uses offensive and conjuring magic freely.
  • July 28, 2013
    DAN004
    No archery? D:

    • Devil May Cry has Dante shooting self-enchanted bullets, shotgun blasts and grenades as readily as he swings an enchanted sword.
    • Bullet Witch pretty much has this trope as its basis. Protagonist Alicia has a magical gun that looks like a broomstick, can morph into either sniper rifle, shotgun or gatling gun, and its ammo is reloaded with magic. Not to mention her deadly mass-destruction spells when things get really hairy.
  • July 28, 2013
    TBTabby
    Discworld's Mustrum Ridcully is a wizard who likes to hunt animals with a crossbow in his spare time.
  • July 28, 2013
    Astaroth
    ^^ I don't think Devil May Cry qualifies; Dante doesn't actually cast spells, he's just an incredibly talented fighter who uses magical weapons

  • July 28, 2013
    Generality
    • Harry of The Dresden Files routinely uses guns in combination with his magical tools, as does most everyone in the supernatural community. There are few creatures so mighty that they can't be brought down by modern weaponry applied correctly.
  • July 28, 2013
    foxley
    • Deadlands had Hexslingers; a combination of a Huckster (a spell-caster) and a gunslinger, who specialised in spells that affected their shooting.
    • The Castle Falkenstein supplement Sixguns & Sorcery has spellslingers, gunslingers who could enchant magical spells onto their bullets.
  • July 29, 2013
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
      • The Coruscant Nights trilogy, set a year or so after Revenge Of The Sith, introduces a Jedi sect called the Gray Paladins who eschew lightsabers in favor of blasters and favor a minimalist approach to the Force. The mainstream order considered them borderline heretics.
      • Members of the New Jedi Order often carry blasters in addition to lightsabers. This shouldn't be too surprising given many of their number are former military.

    Video Games:
    • Mass Effect's biotics invariably enter combat armed with some form of gun in addition to their powers.
  • July 30, 2013
    randomsurfer
    I don't suppose Luke using The Force to aim his torpedoes blowing up the Death Star in A New Hope would count?
  • July 31, 2013
    KeyofEden
    ^Well, the idea of this ykttw is to describe gun totting wizards. I'm not opposed to expanding the description to include archery, I'm just trying to come up with a way to make it sound good and focused while encompassing all the possibilities. I don't want it to become too vague.
  • August 6, 2013
    Irrisia
    • Pathfinder has a few examples.
      • The standard animal-summoning Ranger class
      • Spellslingers from the Ultimate Combat book. They are a wizard archetype who can use spells to magically enhance bullets.
      • The Arcane Archer prestige class, who can give their arrows a number of magical effects and also use arrows to deliver area of effect spells.
  • August 7, 2013
    DAN004
    I'm fairly certain that the playable sirens in both Borderlands games qualify, but I don't play the game to know the context. Someone?
  • August 7, 2013
    Astaroth
  • August 7, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^I've got the first game and I looked up the class on the Borderlands Wikia.

    Video Games:
    • In the Borderlands series, whose combat is almost entirely gun-based, the Sirens are women with various psionic abilities. Lilith can transit another dimension, while Maya can temporarily trap a foe inside it.

    Under archery:
    • In Dungeons And Dragons any spellcasting character proficient in archery would qualify. In 3.X Edition an archery-track ranger (as opposed to a Dual Wielding-track one) is a particular example, having a class spell list and automatically gaining archery-improving feats.

    And the Arcane Archer came out of D&D first.
  • August 7, 2013
    MaxWest
    The early Might and Magic games like II, III, and IV had the Archer class. Besides being good with bows and crossbows, they also could equip medium armors, some weapons, and got arcane magic spells.
  • August 7, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Addition to the Shadowrun example:

    Adepts can use their magic powers to enhance their ranged combat skills, becoming something like Gunkata embracers, with a mix of gymnastics and dual-wielding pistols sa their signature combat style.
  • August 7, 2013
    KTera
    Video Games:
    • Naoto from Video Game/Persona4 uses a gun but can also use magic through her Persona.

    Anime and Manga:
  • August 27, 2013
    QuestionMarker
    Some Magic Rangers:

    • In World Of Warcraft, the hunter class has many arrows with special effects. Most of them are Trick Arrows, but some, such as Arcane Shot and Black Arrow, are undeniably magic. In addition, most of their special shots do some form of magic damage. Also, since hunters can use both guns and (cross)bows, they could also fit the Magic Gunman type.
    • In Warcraft 3, the hero unit Priestess of the Moon (the most notable being Tyrande Whisperwind) has a ranged attack and boosts ranged abilities of surrounding units, but can also cast spells.
  • August 27, 2013
    lycropath
    Some Magic Gunmen...

    And some Magic Rangers...
  • August 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    would a gunman who utilizes magic bullets count? then

    In Final Fantasy Unlimited -- Kuroki Kaze has the Magun. which can fire special Applied Phlebotinum bullets for Summon Magic.
  • August 29, 2013
    KeyofEden
    ^That sounds more like Depleted Phlebotinum Shells, but I'll watch the series a bit to double check.
  • August 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    just check out some vids in youtube or go check out the final fantasy wiki to save yourself time. those bullets are made of magic material called "soil". what a stupid term, but it IS magic.
  • August 30, 2013
    KAntonkage
    Quincy from Bleach namely the Ishida family use archery to channel their Reishi into arrows. Alzack and Bisca from Fairy Tail use something called "guns magic"
  • August 30, 2013
    DracMonster

    I give you my hat. Use it responsibly.
  • August 30, 2013
    dragonquestz
    I would tweak this to something like Mage Marksman, just to make it clear that the aiming itself isn't (necessarily) magic.
  • August 30, 2013
    KeyofEden
    ^ Good point, will do.
  • August 30, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Perhaps this will go under Mage Ranger?

    Literature:

    • After Conall loses to Dhugal in an informal archery contest early in The King's Justice, Kelson explains to Dhugal why it wouldn't have been fair for him to have joined the competition, and he shoots an arrow "precisely in the center of the target." Then he demonstrates how he can use his Deryni powers to enhance his archery skills, shooting a second arrow exactly alongside the length of his first. Dhugal is suitably astonished when Alaric Morgan does likewise at Kelson's request (without looking at the target while he shoots); the result is four arrow shafts in a tight square in the target. The scene foreshadows their parts in the rescue of Duncan from Loris and Sicard; Kelson and Morgan use their powers to deflect the arrows of Loris' archers as they shoot at the captive Duncan.
  • August 30, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Add to Dresden Files example that Harry also carries a revolver to get around the ban on using magic to kill mortals, because the Wardens have been watching him since he killed his mentor in self defense with magic.

    Also before 4E every spellcaster in D&D was proficient with crossbows, and at the lower levels it was sometimes more worthwhile for them to shoot instead of cast.
  • September 9, 2013
    lycropath
    Magic Gunmen Video Games:

    Magic Rangers
  • September 9, 2013
    Tallens
    • The Rogues from the first Diablo had bows as their primary weapons, but could also use magic spells.
  • September 10, 2013
    Mouser
    Dungeon Crawl has the Arcane Marksman class, which uses enchantments to make their enemies more vulnerable to their ranged attacks.
  • September 10, 2013
    Adbot
    Magic Gunmen:

    Video Games
    • The entire party in Wild Arms 3. Granted, Gallows is better with the magic than his gun, and Jet is the inverse, but all 4 can use either their guns or magic in combat.
  • September 10, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ... how about Marksmage as a name?
  • September 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    sooo~ Final Fantasy Unlimited is not an example?
  • September 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work names, put blank lines between media sections to make them more readable, and put spaces between asterisks (for bullet points) and the first word of several example.
  • September 11, 2013
    Sackett
    We should probably hard split this.

  • September 11, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Just make it Mage Marksman. "Ranger" can mean different things and/or associated with doing many things, not just archery.
  • September 15, 2013
    JustaUsername
    Okay, 5 Hats?

    So is it good to launch or does it need some improvement?
  • September 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Good enough for now. Launch plz.
  • September 15, 2013
    Tallens
    Got some stray examples still.
  • September 22, 2013
    rmctagg09
    Corvo Attano and Daud from Dishonored are both this and Magic Knights, using the powers granted to them by the Outsider in tandem with ranged weapons such as pistols and crossbows.
  • September 23, 2013
    reflaxion
    I don't remember Witch Hunter Robin too well. Did any characters ever use both witchcraft and guns to attack? I don't think Robin did - I'm pretty sure she used witchcraft only.
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