Your Magic's No Good Here
Sometimes characters in a fantasy or superhero setting travel to a different world or a different dimension. Once there, the character finds that his/her magic or super powers don't work the same way as in his/her home world.
Contrast with Magic A Is Magic A
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Anime & Manga
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, traveling from each world causes the world's magical laws to change, to the point that certain worlds don't even have magic.
- In Fairy Tail, when the main characters get transported to Edolas, they find out that their normal magic doesn't work, there are limited magic energy resources, and people have to use magic tools.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Makoto finds that science doesn't work quite the same on El Hazard as it did on Earth.
- In JLA/Avengers, the Speed Force doesn't exist on the Marvel Universe's Earth, so The Flash's Super Speed doesn't work.
- Green Lantern:
- When GL and Zatanna travel to the pocket dimension of Ys, they're initially handicapped by the fact that neither GL's power ring nor Zatanna's magic operates correctly under that dimension's rules.
- Green Lantern Rot Lop Fan comes from an area of the galaxy without light, so there is no concept of "green" or "lantern." He becomes F-Sharp Bell instead.
- In the Smax miniseries, Robyn is dismayed to discover that her high-tech toys don't work in Jeff's home dimension.
- In a Spin-Off novel of Labyrinths of Echo, Nests of Chimerae, Max is Trapped in Another World and apparently De Powered by its magic functioning differently from the magic in Echo. By the end of the book, however, he picks up a few nifty tricks and returns home.
- The Magician's Nephew:
- A British mob is narrowly saved from Jadis' wrath by the fact that her magic doesn't work in London. It's quite an annoyance to her to find that she's gone from being able to wipe out all life on her planet to being just a very tall human. In Narnia, she manages to find a workaround: using a wand.
- Likewise, Diggory brings a silver apple from Narnia to Earth. In Narnia, it can give immortality, on Earth it can merely heal.
- Earthsea Trilogy novel A Wizard of Earthsea:
- When Sparrowhawk (Ged) travels to the island of Osskil in the far north, his magic fails because he isn't familiar with the differences in magic there.
- The mage Vetch tells of the differences in magic between locations.
Sparrowhawk: They say, Rules change in the Reaches.
Vetch: Aye, a true saying, I can tell you. There are good spells I learned on Roke that have no power here, or go all awry; and also there are spells worked here I never learned on Roke. Every land has its own powers, and the farther one goes from the Inner Lands, the less one can guess about those powers and their governance.
- Xanth: "Isle of View" introduces Jenny Elf from the World of Two Moons. When she arrives on Xanth, her telepathy no longer seems to work. But she develops another ability never shown in her home environment; singing daydreams and trapping the unaware within them.
- In Angel, when the gang goes to Pylea, Angel is surprised to find out he can be under the sun without bursting into flames. Less good is that putting on his vampiric "game-face" is replaced by a uncontrollable berserker monster, thus his combat potential is actually a bit lower than on Earth (unless he risks hurting innocents).
- The Sliders went to more than one universe where magic was possible, most of which used different rules, so previous experiences didn't help much.
- On Charmed, going to Limbo greatly increases one's magical ability. Phoebe's ability to levitate a few feet off the ground on Earth practically became full-on flight while in this plane between life and death.
- This is one of the major premises of Once Upon a Time. The fairy tale characters have been brought to our world, the "land without magic", and turned into average people. After the curse is broken and magic is returned to Storybrook, Mr. Gold finds that while traveling beyond the town's limit, he cannot use magic.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Advanced D&D and 3.X edition: When creatures from the Prime Material Plane travel to other planes of existence they find that magic (spellcasting and items) don't work the same way they do on the Prime. Some spells/items have different effects, some don't work at all and some backfire. On rare occasions it's possible to use magic that can't be used on the Prime.
- BD&D Immortals set. Some planes (such as triplanes - no, not the airplane) lack the extra dimensions that are necessary for magic, thus preventing anyone - including visitors from other dimensions - from using magic while in them.
- Module I12 Egg of the Phoenix. In one of the mini-adventures the PCs go back in time several hundred million years to the time of the dinosaurs. Magic was much more potent then, so spells have double normal effect.
- Sometimes it doesn't even take leaving one's own home plane. Magic works differently in Mystara's Hollow World setting than it does on the outside of the very same planet, courtesy of the Immortals using the inside as a "nature preserve" of sorts for cultures that would have gone extinct in the outside world and using their own magic to prevent certain mortal tricks that could upset their pet project from working.
- The opening for the Kanna class in MapleStory has her in Japan on our world at level 200 with all her abilities. At the end of the tutorial she's transported to Zipangu in Maple World and she has to relearn all her magic.
- In Ultima VIII, Avatar is trapped in the world of Pagan, where magic is ruled by the Elemental Titans, servants of the Guardian. He then has to learn their magic from scratch and Beat Them at Their Own Game.
- Among the major activities of StarDestroyer.net is what they call a versus debate: theorizing what would result if two sides from different continuities fought it out. One of the rules is that each side's Applied Phlebotinum and super powers work just as well in the other side's setting as it does in their own. So, for example, a Jedi can still access the Force in the Stargate Verse, and a psyker is not rendered powerless by landing in the Forgotten Realms (although he might prefer the alternative). This also extends to theorizing that (from one thread) the Yuuzhan Vong would be just as resistant to the Warp as they are to the Force.