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How to integrate Magic and Technology:

 1 d Roy, Fri, 13th May '11 9:19:51 PM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
The world of my story is a slightly futuristic world just like ours, but with only difference being magic being almost seemless incorporated with technology. I looked up in Magitek, but most examples, as far as I read (probably not thoroughly because I was kinda sleepy back then) the page, none of them was not quite what I was looking for.

How do you think magic can be incorporated to technology? Some of the things that I thought of involves vehicles being equipped with wind element - based magic to make them more aerodynamic, combining earth and fire elements in large scale to facilitate geothermal energy generation and such.

One of the Xanatos Gambit that N used is making a wizard use Anti-Magic near an anti matter power generation facility, destroying anti matter's casing, effectively exploding it and taking the wizard along with around a million of people, almost starting World War III.

This is one of the reason why I, despite having a brain that is more or less wired completely against scientific methods, am doing research in physics.

So, any ideas?

I need a drink
From my personal experiences, just go wild. The way I've always interpreted Magitek, was that it was a form of science of technology, but one that made no sense. You didn't really need to explain it. Of course I'm an advocate of "Show Don't Tell" so Im approaching this from a completely visual viewpoint.

If you want a film that really plays with the whole idea, just watch Thor. All of Asgard can essentially be summed up as magitek.
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
An accurate depiction
One of the first applications will be in military matters. Snipers will use wind magic to fire more accurately. Fire or force will make common bullets more destructive. Durability of vehicles and communications will be affected, as will reconnaissance.

It'll also mean that anti-magic can significantly cripple a military force that over-relies on magic v. technology.

edited 13th May '11 10:00:32 PM by Morgulion

This is this.
 4 Gault, Sat, 14th May '11 6:56:42 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
I have a story planned that deals with this VERY extensively. Like, it's the defining political conflict of the century. I'll give you one example of mixing Magic and Tech, an single-use autoinjector for use in combat. It uses both technology and magic to heal a soldier, but the thing is the injector is just simple morphine. The magic comes in when you inject the chemical. See, the needle is secured behind a piece of paper under the cap that is enchanted with a seal that, when broken by the needle emerging, triggers an on-contact healing spell.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 5 Leradny, Sat, 14th May '11 7:54:51 PM from Alameda, CA
...why not just enchant the needle?

 6 Gault, Sun, 15th May '11 8:32:24 AM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
Because the injectors are intended to be disposable. Enchanting the needle would be unnecessary, paper seals are far easier to mass-produce, and inscribing magic effects on paper is an old and reliable practice. The same sort of thing is used to seal packages, messages and secure storage devices. If the paper seal is broken under X conditions then Y.

edited 15th May '11 8:33:09 AM by Gault

un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 7 Leradny, Sun, 15th May '11 10:52:53 AM from Alameda, CA
unnecessary

Enchanting a needle with a one-off spell would be much more efficient. Needles are thoroughly sterilized after one use—the re-enchantment step would just be added onto the end. Also, they are much more durable than paper.

 8 Gault, Sun, 15th May '11 11:13:31 AM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
A paper seal is the simplest mechanical trigger known to work with magic. If they enchanted the needle, how would it know, physically speaking, when to activate the spell? With an object there isn't any sort of intelligence to determine when the effect should be called. A constant effect would wear off for something like this over long periods of time and as these things are intended to be transportable over long distances...

Also there's a cap on the end.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 9 Leradny, Sun, 15th May '11 11:18:46 AM from Alameda, CA
when to activate the spell

Assuming healing magic is seen as something that is "natural", skin contact could be the trigger of the spell while the needle is just a handy conduit.

edited 15th May '11 11:19:32 AM by Leradny

 10 Gault, Mon, 16th May '11 8:50:58 AM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
How to tell it's skin though? And not something else like the plastic cap over the tip of the injector? You don't want to be able to make the injector much less effective by accident, just by bumping into something while holding one or dropping them.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 11 Eldritch Blue Rose, Mon, 16th May '11 9:24:30 AM from A Really Red Room
The Puzzler
Personally I imagine my dwarves having a mix of magic and technology. The priests would use their earth magic to better secure dwarven structures in the case of earthquakes, cave-ins, and various other underground related accidents. These priests would also be in hospitals along with various medicines, doctors, and surgeons to better assist in the healing process. Of course we can't forget dwarven enchanters, but their function is a bit more obvious. tongue

Gault: I have a story planned that deals with this VERY extensively. Like, it's the defining political conflict of the century. I'll give you one example of mixing Magic and Tech, an single-use autoinjector for use in combat. It uses both technology and magic to heal a soldier, but the thing is the injector is just simple morphine. The magic comes in when you inject the chemical. See, the needle is secured behind a piece of paper under the cap that is enchanted with a seal that, when broken by the needle emerging, triggers an on-contact healing spell.

Leradny: ...why not just enchant the needle?

Gault: Because the injectors are intended to be disposable. Enchanting the needle would be unnecessary, paper seals are far easier to mass-produce, and inscribing magic effects on paper is an old and reliable practice. The same sort of thing is used to seal packages, messages and secure storage devices. If the paper seal is broken under X conditions then Y.

Leradny: Enchanting a needle with a one-off spell would be much more efficient. Needles are thoroughly sterilized after one use—the re-enchantment step would just be added onto the end. Also, they are much more durable than paper.

Gault: A paper seal is the simplest mechanical trigger known to work with magic. If they enchanted the needle, how would it know, physically speaking, when to activate the spell? With an object there isn't any sort of intelligence to determine when the effect should be called. A constant effect would wear off for something like this over long periods of time and as these things are intended to be transportable over long distances...

Also there's a cap on the end.

Leradny: Assuming healing magic is seen as something that is "natural", skin contact could be the trigger of the spell while the needle is just a handy conduit.

Gault: How to tell it's skin though? And not something else like the plastic cap over the tip of the injector? You don't want to be able to make the injector much less effective by accident, just by bumping into something while holding one or dropping them.

Pardon me for interrupting you guys, but what is magic? Who brings magic into a story?

edited 16th May '11 9:25:17 AM by EldritchBlueRose

So now I know that my lack of success in college is due to ADD — or sleep apnea. I need to do a sleep study some time.
 12 Gault, Mon, 16th May '11 9:30:09 AM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
I'm not sure what you mean. You mean our own definitions of magic and how it works in our stories? That could very well differ. I suppose the author would be the one to bring magic into a story, or if you meant it the other way, a character whose a Mage.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 13 Leradny, Mon, 16th May '11 11:48:06 AM from Alameda, CA
How can your mages use magic effectively if there's such an arbitrary set of limits? If they can harness the power of magic to heal on command, it's highly likely that they will figure out how to fine-tune the spell so it recognizes what is supposed to be healed and what isn't. Otherwise the industry of magical healing isn't going to advance very quickly as the system more closely resembles jumping through hoops rather than using a set of tools to your advantage.

 14 Eldritch Blue Rose, Mon, 16th May '11 12:55:03 PM from A Really Red Room
The Puzzler
I'm not sure what you mean. You mean our own definitions of magic and how it works in our stories? That could very well differ. I suppose the author would be the one to bring magic into a story, or if you meant it the other way, a character whose a Mage.

My point exactly. Writer's magic systems will most likely vary, so please remember to be civil about debating how magic should or should not be. This goes out to everyone in general.
So now I know that my lack of success in college is due to ADD — or sleep apnea. I need to do a sleep study some time.
 15 Gault, Mon, 16th May '11 3:11:06 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
Firstly, Leradny, the point you raise is valid. I suppose that under the established rules one could use magic to do that. Objects can be enchanted with a sort of will of their own, but here's why that doesn't happen in this case.

An enchanted object (usually) lacks the intelligence of a Mage who can make a decision about it's use as enchanting it to do that is more complicated and as such would be redundant, more expensive and take more time. These combat aids are manufactured in bulk, so price and speed are important. Plus, one Mage only really has so much magic in him to enchant things with. It's simply more efficient if they use the seals. Why go through the more complicated, cost ineffective route when there's a solution that works just as well, is faster and cheaper, and uses less magic? That's my rationale anyways.

And my Mages can still use magic effectively and cast spells as they normally do, I don't know where you got that from. I was talking about enchanting objects this entire time, not general use of magic. I was really just offering up an example from my own ideas, not making any sort of proclamations over how magic necessarily should be used. I'm not sure where the accusation of incivility came from. As far as I can tell, this has been a perfectly civil conversation.

edited 16th May '11 3:25:11 PM by Gault

un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 16 Leradny, Mon, 16th May '11 3:34:42 PM from Alameda, CA
Yeah, we're just having a long-winded conversation.

An enchanted object (usually) lacks the intelligence of a Mage

And tools don't have any intelligence, yet we still have about eighty different tools for making certain holes. Spade/shovel, chisel, drill bit, awl, sewing needle, pushpin, syringe, rapiers, lances...

Having paper seals be the only cost-effective substance for enchantment rings a bit hollow without any context, is what I'm saying.

 17 Gault, Mon, 16th May '11 11:49:34 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
And I am attempting to provide that context. Also, I think we're talking past one-another.

I don't think your comparison works. A tool functions because there is an intelligent person using it. The analogy would be more accurate if Magic were the tool and Mages the only people who can use it. These injectors are a fusion of Tech and Magic having been designed with the express intention of being usable by a non-Mage. Magic traditionally needs a Mage to direct it to productive ends. The seals form a cheap and effective solution to that.

I'm not quite sure what problem you have with this.

edited 16th May '11 11:49:45 PM by Gault

un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 18 Leradny, Tue, 17th May '11 11:00:09 AM from Alameda, CA
I guess I just want to know if there's a reason for why paper seals and only paper seals are used for spells. Why can't it be used on metal, or stone, or cloth, or wood (which paper is generally derived from)? Has anyone tried?

In any widespread practice people don't just rest on their laurels because "it's old and reliable", especially if they care enough to make a practice of it, and especially if there's only one available material so far. They would experiment. What if there's a fire, for example?

What did people do with magic before paper, or even a written language? What if someone who doesn't know how to read or write develops magical powers?

 19 Gault, Tue, 17th May '11 3:25:13 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
I thought I already answered that. Paper seals are not only easier to produce, they're cheaper, more reliable and use less magic. They're just more efficient, it's simply a practical concern.

If this injector were to use an enchanted needle to deliver the spell, then the needle would need to be enchanted not only with the healing spell but also with magic that told it to only discharge that spell on contact with skin. That would be unnecessary in this situation where a simpler and more effective option exists. Enchanting the needle would take longer, take more magic and complicate it's operation all for no reason.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
 20 Leradny, Tue, 17th May '11 3:41:48 PM from Alameda, CA
Okay, IGNORE THE NEEDLES FOR NOW.

My question is: Can seals be inscribed on metal, stone, leather, cloth, or wood (which paper is generally derived from) at all? People would have been using those before paper.

 21 Gault, Tue, 17th May '11 4:52:56 PM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
Well if you're asking about how my magic system works, I suppose they could. It's just I imagine that wouldn't be particularly common, as the entire point of a seal is to be broken to trigger an effect. As such, paper would work fine. A seal to trigger a magical trap effect could for example be placed on a metal door to further secure it, but I don't know why they wouldn't simply make a paper seal a part of the door's mechanism as a metal seal would be much harder to break, delaying the activation of the magical trap.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
Responsible adult
Both of my primary universes have some aspect of this. Wordkeepers is set in present day, and the Suenyaverse is generally described as being equivalent to the 1910's-20's in tech level, so there's stuff going on there.

In the Wordkeepers-verse, magic and tech are... not really that integrated. Although 99.9% of all mages live in a fashion we would consider "normal" (save the magic), there's very little Magitek. Mostly because, in the early days of magic, scientific progress was advanced by mortals, and mages didn't concern themselves with it. As scientific advancements made more of an impact into mage's lives (as they did in mortal lives), there became mages who were intested in science, such that they pursued scientific careers outside of their magical abilities, but the culture was already established such that the melding of magic and technology simply wasn't thought of or tinkered with. And that's how it remains. There are a few exceptions, but it's still quite a rare thing, and most mages agree that most technological gizmos do what they do perfectly well without any magical assistance.

Suenyaverse is interesting, because I actively tried to imagine what effect magic would have on a developing culture (no Medieval Stasis here) and incorporated it. Some things we'd consider "advanced, " they've had for centuries: Iceboxes, for example, are centuries old due to the ease of learning ice magic, and their most important holiday is based around the legend of their discovering it. (Appropriately, it takes place in winter and lasts for 12 days.) Other things we have that would be appropriate for the era (1910's-ish) simply don't exist due to magical substitutes: There's no photography (but there's magical ways to capture an image and display it) or (naescent) airplanes (due to Giant Flyers being relatively commonplace). In particular, I've thought a lot about the effects of magic on medicine. So Suenyans have known about microbes for centuries, due to "Life" being one of the Elemental Powers available. But while wounds are almost negligible to their most skilled Healers, infections still require doctors and medicine to treat, because Life magic can't bring about the Death of other living things (including germs). And genetic conditions are thought impossible to treat with standard Life magic, since healing magic involves convincing the body to return to the way it's supposed to be—and if a body has a genetic condition, that is how it's "supposed" to be.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
 23 animemetalhead, Wed, 18th May '11 1:12:58 AM from Ashwood Landing, ME
Runs on Awesomeness
Magitek hasn't made much of an appearance in my story (and indeed, won't, yet), but if I expand to the 'verse like I want, it will start to play a bigger role as the masquerade begins to crumble.

The first real piece of magitek is actually an Anti-Magic weapon, ironically enough.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
 24 d Roy, Wed, 18th May '11 2:29:48 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
I'm actually considering that so called the magic conducting materials, the stuff you makes wands, staffs, and other magical artifacts with, would be used as a real natural resources, just like oil, and there are some complicate economic influence around it. Wonder what would be the good materials? Only thing that I can think of is crystals, I don't know what it's called, something that has a lot to do with sand, IIRC.

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Total posts: 24
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