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Commonly referred to as "Magic Points" or MP in Role Playing Games (and depicted by the Mana Meter), "mana" is the popular term for quantified magic, conceptualized as a sort of supernatural energy — the spiritual fuel that makes Functional Magic work (in addition to other spell components) that gets used up as the character casts spells or performs other superhuman acts. Typically each magic user has a store of mana on or inside their person (in which case this limit is caused by the character having a finite supply to work with), or draws it from a Background Magic Field on demand (in which case this limit is caused by the strain that gathering it places on their body). Each character can use only a limited amount of mana before running out, thus restricting the number and strength of spells that can be cast consecutively.

How it's regenerated once used depends on the story. It could simply require rest or eating, or it could require more exotic means, such as Intimate Healing or feeding on the Life Energy of others. Sometimes all that's required is a good old primal scream and focusing on what's important, really, really hard with a lot of emotion.

Mana (or "magic points") can come under many names, each carrying its own associations: it may be Life Energy, or mental power or Soul Power, but any concept can be associated with a supernatural energy: blood, love, friendship, jello, etc. The same setting may have multiple non overlapping magic energy types (eg. a separate one for nerdy wizards, musicians, and physical fighters), or even ones that require no mystical "energy" whatsoever.

The term is a Melanesian/Polynesian word for the power of the elemental forces of nature, as embodied in an object or person (essentially a badass is someone with lots of mana). The current usage no doubt descends directly from Larry Niven's novel The Magic Goes Away and related stories from the 1970s, in which he used "mana" to refer to the non-renewable resource which powered magic in prehistoric times, whose depletion ushered in the "modern" historical era. It has since then become such a common term for magic energy in modern fiction that many audience members still call it mana even when it's called something else in-universe (e.g. The Elder Scrolls, where the official term is "magicka".)

In some works, mana and Life Energy overlap: creatures and other beings who are inherently magical often require to remain suffused in magical power, else they become weak, or worse. Talented casters can, in some cases, use up their mana stores to the point where they faint or, in extreme cases, die from mana deprivation, making it similar to Cast from Hit Points. When it's called ki, it's typically martial-arts-based and can be improved through physical training.

If someone has a lot of mana stored up, expect various people in anime to comment on how their aura is strong.

Not to be confused with the holy sustenance (often assumed to be breadlike, though the original source describes it as being quite different) rained from heaven by God for the Israelites in The Bible. That's manna, with two Ns.

A Mana Potion can be a way on hand to restore used up mana, or it can restore on its own with Regenerating Mana.

Compare with Vancian Magic. See also Psychic Powers (the Science Fiction genre's version of human special powers).

Mana Meter is a subtrope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover is about a world that revolves around the use of mana. Mana is used to perform magic, so the more mana one possesses, the more impressive the magic they can perform. However, just having a lot of mana isn't enough, since the user also needs to practice fine mana control. The main character, Asta, is unique in that he possesses no mana from birth.
  • Reiryoku (Spiritual Energy) in Bleach. Not to be confused with Reiatsu (Spiritual Pressure), which is the force produced by that energy being released, or with Reishi (Spirit Particles), which is the substance spiritual beings are composed of.
  • Dragon Ball: "Sentô-ryoku (literally "fighting power", and actually called such in the Latin American dub)" or "Power level" is an famous use of this trope; it resembles Ki. Note that power level isn't something that can be used up like most of the other examples and is more like a Character Level than a Mana Meter. It can go down, but only if the character is really low on energy. Generally when it starts dropping, that means the fighter is on their last legs, and is fighting to stay conscious. (On one occasion, Gohan actually got his dropped to zero when Recoome broke his neck.) Senzu beans are the local Mana Potion equivalent, which instantly heal all injuries and restore one's fighting power to full strength; normally it's replenished only by rest and recuperation followed by lengthy power-up sequences involving yelling and grunting.
  • Fairy Tail uses magic power (maryoku), which functions as this. Once a wizard runs out of power, it is gradually replenished by absorbing Ether-nano in the atmosphere, which is a time-consuming process unless they happen to be a Slayer-type wizard, allowing them to consume the same element as their magic to regain combat ability.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: "Linker Cores" are ethereal organs in the bodies of mages and magical creatures that store magic power. It can be temporarily drained, but replenishes over time.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Michel stole Life Energy apparently to fuel his powers and make him stronger. While this is part of it, it soon turns out that the other part is just to keep himself alive through the process of altering his DNA to merge with Michal.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi outright uses RPG terminology to differentiate Chi as HP and Mana as MP. Ki Manipulation is the ability to draw on one's own internal Life Energy, and Magic is the ability to manipulate and draw in elemental forces from without. Using one interferes with the other unless one somehow knows the "Kanka Technique" which fuses them. Negi's ability to share mana with his students via "Pactio" contracts is impressive.
  • "Chakra" in Naruto is the fuel for all ninjutsu, genjutsu and some taijutsu. Naruto's ace in the hole, especially early on, is that he has much more chakra than anyone else (even after accounting for his highly inefficient usage). If he runs out, he can badger his demonic passenger for more.
  • Shaman King had "Furyoku", which is translated as "Mana" in the English manga.
  • "Reiki," "Yoki," and "Seikoki" in YuYu Hakusho are three forms of energy that can be used to perform magic and other supernatural feats.
  • In Zatch Bell!, this is simply called "Power from Within."

    Comic Books 
  • In Gold Digger, all living creatures produce "ether," which hovers invisibly around them. For most people, the stuff is both undetectable and useless, but spellcasters use it to power their spells. Rakshasas like Gen eat the stuff.
  • In Mampato en Rapa Nui, (both in the comic and in its animated adaptation) mana is a form of energy from Easter Island that can be channeled and used for prodigies such as moving the gigantic moai from side to side using a form of telekinesis.

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: From Ambush: magical energy is called Mana, as Jared says:
    "All her clothes were conjured. Not many people can waste mana that thoughtlessly."
  • I Woke Up As a Dungeon, Now What? has an entire mana cycle. Dungeons draw a certain amount of mana from the planet itself, but can also gain mana from digesting non-living items or from people fighting and using mana within themselves. They then spend the mana to create, sustain, and improve their rooms, minions, traps, and other contents. This in turn releases purified mana into the surrounding environment, where it can be absorbed by living things that then use that mana to sustain themselves and to power various supernatural effects. Without the pure mana dungeons release, plants cannot grow and other forms of life are left weakened.
  • Oversaturated World: Group Precipitation: "Mana Points, by Tophe and Masterweaver", in where terminology of magical energy quantification is discussed.

     Film-Live Action 
  • This is the source of Gamera's power in the Heisei Trilogy. In the second movie he needs to gather mana from all across the globe in order to defeat the Mother Legion. However this has ramifications in the third movie as depleting the Earth's mana created an environment the Gyaos, the villains of the first movie to reproduce and evolve at an unprecedented rate.

  • The energy meter in the Otakon LARP can vary slightly. It may represent Magic, Chi, or Psionics. Essentially, they all represent a character’s ability to use powerful abilities in a limited form. They rarely overlap, and not every character has an ability that requires the use of their energy meter. A character whose Mana is reduced to Zero can continue, but cannot use or maintain any abilities that require whichever form of Mana the ability uses. Mana is restored at noon and midnight every day.

  • Trope Codifier: In Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away series, Mana is a non-renewable resource, and generations of basing entire civilizations on heavy magic use eventually drains the entire world. Later stories (not all written by Niven) reveal that Mana comes from the Sun, raining down on the world like light does, only someone had erected a tremendous shield around the world to prevent any more Mana falling upon it.
  • Night Watch (Series). Others do appear to use some internal generation of mana-like power, but it's the opposite. Magicians are the ones that cannot generate this "mana", but can only use what normal people generate. The higher their level, the less of this "mana" they generate.
  • It's usually called Essence in the Whateley Universe, and what makes a mutant a 'wizard' type is the natural ability to call it up.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere has Investiture, the divine energy of Adolnalsium and its sixteen Shards, which power the magic systems of every world in the series. It takes on different forms and names in different worlds (anyone who does call it Investiture is probably a worldhopper), but it's fundamentally the same thing, and certain rules are constant across the Cosmere.
    • Elantris: AonDor is powered by the Dor, an enourmous store of energy on another plane of existence. The glyphs that Elantrians can draw in the air give shape to that energy, allowing it to affect the world in a particular way. Near the end of the book, a few other forms of magic show up such as ChayShan, a martial art that seems to allow for superhuman feats and makes the user glow when used, and the Dakhor monks who gain superhuman abilities by reshaping their very bones. Raoden suspects, and Word of God confirms, that these arts also draw upon the Dor.
    • Warbreaker: Awakening is fueled by an energy called "BioChromatic Breath". People are born with one Breath, but can give it away fairly easily to someone else (which doesn't kill them, though it does dampen their ability to perceive the world), and many wealthy and powerful individuals stockpile thousands of Breaths. The more Breaths one has, the more spectacular magical effects one can produce. Not only do most magical effects allow you to recycle the Breath used, but holding large amounts of Breath makes you healthier, better able to perceive the world, and instinctively better at using Breath. This results in a system that encourages people to stockpile more and more Breath. In fact, the supposed God-Emperor's true purpose is simply to act as a living repository of the massive number of Breaths left behind by the actual God-Emperor, who has been Walking the Earth for centuries.
    • The Stormlight Archive features the titular Stormlight. This mysterious energy is carried in the uber-hurricanes known as highstorms, and can be stored in gemstones (gems are charged by leaving them outside in a storm). Once charged, gemstones can be used to fuel the fabrials. Additionally, the mages known as Surgebinders can draw Stormlight from gems and hold it in their bodies for short periods of time, which boosts their physical abilities and allows them to expend Light to use the Surges.
      • Rhythm of War goes into an exploration of the nature of both Stormlight and two other types of light: Voidlight, which powers the Voidbringers, and Lifelight, which can seemingly only be used by Lift. Each of the three Lights is the energy of one of the three gods: Honor, Odium, and Cultivation, respectively. Furthermore, Navani discovers a way to create "anti-Light" by inverting the Intent carried by the Light to create a destructive interference that cancels both of them out: the Mana equivalent of antimatter. Anti-Voidlight can permanently kill a Voidbringer, and Anti-Stormlight can do the same to spren; this discovery means that the Forever War is no longer forever.
  • The Banned and the Banished: Mages of the Chiric and Choric styles store mana in their hands, which turn a dark red shade that lightens as the power is slowly used up. Both types can recharge from sunlight, and Choric "wit'ches" can also use moonlight or the glow from a ghost (gaining access to different types of spells when they do so.) However, they can't recharge a hand unless it's completely empty of power, which can be problematic if a Chiric mage is running out of mana near sundown.
  • The Magic: The Gathering novels have had several explanations for how mana (symbolized in the game by Land cards, such as Mountains for red mana, or Swamps for black) works. Niven's The Magic Goes Away was an inspiration in the game, but the official canon eventually created its own explanation: that mages could focus on strong memories of a place to draw power out of it. Jeff Grubb's novels, which worked out most of the details, focused heavily on mages' personal connections to the lands they drew upon, to justify how the game mechanics would work out in the world. Later books downplayed the memory aspect of it all.
  • In the Dragons And Dwarves duology, the energy that spills through the gate and allows magic in Cleveland is called Mana.
  • In the web-novel Domina, characters with powers make constant references to their "reservoir," their power source. Everyone has a different one, and they drain and replenish at different rates. Laura, notably, doesn't appear to have one, though that might just be because her power is so easy to use that she's never noticed.
  • Dungeon Engineer: Mana comes from mana flares and produces ambient mana, as said in the first chapter.
  • In the Tough Magic series, magic is measured by sorvs.
  • Journey to Chaos: The source of power for all magic (but not all spiritual skills). It flows from the Sea of Chaos, through the veins of Noitearc, and into world fruit through the Eleven Mana Gates. Then it can be used by the people living in those world fruit as fuel for spells. Its absence on Threa (Eric's homeworld) is the reason why no one on Threa can perform magic.
    • A Mage's Power demonstrates its necessity for life before that of magic. Eric, who has been starved of mana for his entire life, discovers that even the most bland of Tariatlan food tastes delicious because it is loaded with mana.
    • Looming Shadow shows this from the opposite direction-without mana Eric cannot cast magic nor enjoy food.
  • In the Discworld series, research wizards have isolated the basic unit of magic, called the thaum, which is enough magical energy to create one white pigeon or three billiard balls. Further research has shown that thaums are made up of resons (literally thingies), which can be divided up into five "flavors": up, down, sideways, sex appeal, and peppermint.
  • In the Schooled in Magic series, magic is fueled by mana both from within the body and from the world around them depending on the type of magic being used. For example, a rune or spell-work might be powered by a ley line running below a site. Mana is not limitless and can be used up and dissipated. Or it could build up in a location (like at a ley line) and cause strange effects.
  • Mithgar has <fire> (spelled with angle brackets to distinguish from other uses of the word "fire"), the innate life-energy of all beings. Every living thing and most inanimate objects have <fire>; Mages have a natural ability to tap their own <fire> and use it to cast spells, at the cost of causing them to age (they can regain lost youth through extended hibernation). Black Mages instead use other peoples' <fire>, taken from them through a less than pleasant process; Mage society at large finds this practice abhorrent, and Black Mages are treated as outcasts and criminals.
  • In Children of the Black Sun, the main limitation on mages' power is not how much magic they can handle but how much they can gather in. Their abilities in this regard are basically determined by birth. The lowest grade of mage never has more than a small amount of magic, and can't do anything about that fact. Higher mages, however, can use rituals which gather magic to themselves, allowing them to perform greater feats provided they've had a chance to charge themselves first. And then there are Sympaths like the protagonist, who sweep up vast amounts of magic from the senses and emotions of people around them automatically. It was the villain's plan to use the protagonist as a magic accumulator, surrounding her with pain that fed her magic and then taking that magic for himself. Her escape from him starts the plot.
  • In The Traitor Son Cycle, the hermeticists must gather energy from the outside and can't cast once they've run out of it, unless they recharge. The two most popular sources are the sun (golden magic) and the Wild (green magic), though it turns out death is a good mana source as well (Black Magic).
  • In The Black Magician Trilogy, mages' magic reserves are a pool of energy that renews with rest, while Black Magic is the forbidden practice of fatally draining others' Life Energy for use as Mana. In a variant, it can also be infused into construction to serve as a permanent Reinforce Field. An invasion squad of black mages is thrilled to realize that every building in the nobles' district is a mana reserve...
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (2017): What is used to power magic items and activate attunements. There are many different types of mana, generated from seven different places on the human body: The left hand, the right hand, the left leg, the right leg, the mind, the heart, and the lungs. An attunement mark will appear on one of these points and indicates which part of the body is best at producing mana for improving that attunement. Corin is terrified of overusing his mind mana because it can cause brain damage, but everyone tells him he is being overly cautious. He invents a watch that can identify how much mana someone can use before it starts becoming dangerous, and discovers that everyone was right, he really was being too careful with his mental mana.
  • Cradle Series: "Madra" is the energy sacred artists use for everything, from the flashiest techniques to basic body reinforcement. It is made by cycling "aura," the natural energy of the world, through their bodies in specialized breathing exercises.
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level: Mana is a key element of the story, and how much you can store and use at any given time is a measure of your power as a witch, a demon, or a dragon. Azusa briefly tries to pass herself off as much, much weaker than she really is, but a trained mage can easily see the overwhelming aura of power she radiates at all times.
  • The Scholomance: One of the two forms of magical energy that's needed to cast any spell, mana is generated through personal effort. This is a subjective measure — El suffered diminishing returns building mana with push-ups as she became fitter, but can make a fair amount by crocheting because she finds the work difficult and unpleasant. Wizards have a limited personal capacity for mana and can store extra in "sinks" like Power Crystals. Or they can drain malia from living victims instead...
  • In A Certain Magical Index, there is natural mana produced by ley lines on the Earth, but there are also several ways to produce mana, which is why there are different schools of magic. However, mana is incompatible with AIM fields of espers, which disallow the existence of a magician-esper hybrid. AIM fields also function as the science-side equivalent of mana, produced by the Personal Realities of espers. Huge enough amounts of it can result in the creation of artificial angels. Telesma, meanwhile, is the variation used by real angels. Telesma is highly dangerous, destructive, and cannot be controlled by humans, unless there is a medium such as the Curtana in England.
  • Mages (that is, pretty much everyone) in Maburaho have limited numbers of spells, and their numerical mana is extremely difficult to replenish without making a Deal with the Devil. Running out of spells causes instant death; though, fortunately, they seem to be able to measure their remaining spell counts very precisely and most people (except the protagonist) are born with hundreds or even thousands of spells.
  • In Slayers, although the term "mana" is never actually used, all spellcasters tap into magical energy to fuel their spells. Indeed, the novels confirm there are two Fantastic Measurement Systems relating to a mage's affinity for mana; pool capacity (how much of a mana reserve they have) and bucket capacity (how much they can tap from their reserve at once).

    Myths & Religion 
  • In ancient Hawaiian religion certain natural sites or people were believed to hold a great deal of mana, such as the rims of volcanoes or the (frequently fought over) island of Moloka'i. Chiefs also held mana in their bodies and it was believed that a commoner who looked at them directly could steal it, thus chiefs were preceded by warriors who warned commoners to look away and killed anyone who disobeyed, leading to the modern accounts of spectral Nightmarchers alleged to come out on certain nights to resume their duties.
  • Aside from the non-example of manna mentioned in the introduction, there is a reference to something like this in The Bible. When an old woman touched Jesus's robe, believing it would heal her disease, he noticed despite being in a large crowd of people because he felt "virtue" (Greek dunamis) flow out of him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • It doesn't use this for magic, instead having a Vancian Magic system, but does use it for Psionics, which have a pool of Power Points. You can also spend more Power Points when using weak powers to put them on par with their higher-level counterparts, though there is a limit on how much PP you can expend at once. Certain feats and class features allow characters to "Overchannel", which increases this limit but also causes the user to take damage from the strain.
      • In 4th Edition, instead of having both At-will and Per-encounter powers like most classes, psions have lots of At-will powers which can be boosted to Per-encounter strength by expending Power Points from a limited pool.
    • Unearthed Arcana has a "Spell Points" variant rule which makes wizards and sorcerers work more like psions, though since most spells weren't designed for this kind of scaling, it ends up being easier just to play a psion and call it a wizard.
  • The Dark Sun setting has a Mana system, as spellcasting required drawing power from living things in one's environment. Preservers drew power slowly from their surroundings, so they didn't kill anything; while Defilers drew power quickly and forcefully, destroying plant life around them and leaching vitality out of the soil (and eventually even harming animals), as good as salting the earth. In case you couldn't guess, the world of Dark Sun is mostly a desert now. Most people have come to rely on psionics instead of magic as a result.
  • In Pathfinder, although the fundamental spellcasters rely on Vancian Magic like D&D, several classes make use of what are essentially mana systems to fuel various class abilities. Almost always these are for augmenting their other powers rather than being their primary mechanic. Monks and Ninjas use a "ki pool", The Gunslinger uses a "grit pool", and the Magus uses an "arcane pool". The Summoner has a slightly modified version: Evolution Points are used to buy the various abilities and attributes of their Eidolon. Arcanists are probably the closest as yet with their "arcane reservoir", as many of the abilities fuelled by the reservoir are similar to spells in effect (options include sending out bolts of lightning or icy projectiles at foes, for instance), the reservoir can be used to strengthen your (semi-Vancian) spells, and a master arcanist can use the reservoir to cast spells instead of expending a spell slot.
  • Spheres of Power Spell points. Unlike most other implementations of this mechanic, you can still use your spheres' base talents when you're out of spell points, you just can't augment it or activate some of the deeper talents.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, mana is drawn from the land, though some creatures (both humanoid and not) can provide it as well. In addition, mana is divided into five colors, and each color can only fuel certain kinds of spells, apart from colorless mana.
  • In Duel Masters, any card can be placed into the mana zone. To summon a creature or cast a spell, the player must tap the required number of cards from the mana zone.
  • "Energy" in the Pokémon TCG must be attached to the characters for them to use certain powers. Some of the powers require a certain "colour" of mana (like the Magic: The Gathering example) while others require the energy cards to be discarded in order to activate.
  • Almost every The World of Darkness game has its own version of Mana, conveniently broken down into points:
    • Both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem use Vitae (mystically-enhanced blood) to fuel Disciplines. Vitae is measured in blood points.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse uses Gnosis (the ambient power of Gaia), while Werewolf: The Forsaken uses Essence (the stuff of the spirit world).
    • Mage: The Ascension uses Quintessence, the "free" version of the energy that, when bound up, makes all of creation. Mage: The Awakening uses Mana, the essence of the Supernal Realms filtered down into the Fallen World. Both systems are unusual in that mages don't need to spend Mana to cast spells — they can optionally spend it to keep their magic from screwing up in the worst possible moment.
    • Promethean: The Created uses Pyros (a raw form of the "Divine Fire" that enacts change in the universe).
    • Wraith: The Oblivion uses Pathos, emotional strength reaped from humans.
    • Changeling: The Dreaming and Changeling: The Lost both use Glamour, although they use it to refer to different things; for Dreaming, it's the substance of dreams and creativity, while for Lost it's basically the same thing as Pathos, above.
    • Geist: the Sin-Eaters uses Plasm (the stuff of the dead), which can be gathered by visiting the Underworld, staying in haunted houses... or eating ghosts.
    • Hunter: The Reckoning uses Conviction (a measure of the inner reserves of the hunter's devotion).
    • Demon: The Fallen uses Faith (human faith, reaped and processed by demons through divine revelation). Demon: The Descent uses Aether (waste energy produced by the God-Machine).
    • Kindred of the East uses Chi (the energy that flows through the world).
    • Princess: The Hopeful has Wisps (the essence of a Hopeful's belief and hope). Minions of the Darkness also often expend their Shadows (stains on the soul left by witnessing or performing acts of cruelty) to fuel their more potent abilities.
    • Leviathan: The Tempest has Ichor, the divine blood of Tiamat that flows through the veins of her descendants.
    • Genius: The Transgression has Mania, the stuff of thought and innovation.
    • All races have Willpower (raw inner strength), which is used similarly and often in concert with the above. Mortals with special powers (such as hunters from Hunter: The Vigil) use it exclusively in place of other forms of "mana".
    • In Mummy: The Curse, while the Arisen gain power from Sekhem, they have no "common" pool of power. Rather, they draw strength from their five defining soul Pillars, and may need to spend from one or the other depending on circumstances. Meanwhile, in Mummy: The Resurrection, the Amenti have Sekhem as their "common" pool of power, representing the life energy flowing through the world.
    • The major exception is Beast: The Primordial, which has Satiety, representing not so much any form of energy as it does how well the Horror inside has fed.
  • Trinity Universe (White Wolf):
    • Trinity uses Psi, the psionic energy that permeates the universe.
    • Aberrant uses Quantum as fuel, which apparently is generated automatically over time.
    • Adventure! uses Inspiration, representing "telluric energy" drawn from an energy field propagating through the universe.
  • Exalted uses rules similar to the classic World of Darkness Storyteller system, with "Essence" as the power stat, which affects what "Charms" (skill-based superpowers/spells) the character can take, and which is used to calculate the character's "motes" (magic points).
  • In "standard" GURPS magic, casting spells uses up some of the magic user's Fatigue Points, just like any other hard work, and can only be done in an area with ambient magical force, called "Mana". GURPS borrowed as much from Niven as D&D did from Jack Vance. Supplements have varied sorts of mana, even a type that is actively malevolent.
  • The Dark Eye uses "astral energy" in point form, recoverable by sleeping, meditation and extremely expensive mana potions.
  • Cartoon Action Hour avoids this by using Clusters, called Spell Clusters as wizard-type characters will be using them most.
  • Averted in Eon where magicians channel mana from the surroundings to produce effects. The effects possible are only restricted by how much mana you can channel and hold at one time. Mana is not a generic concept though, there are 21 different kinds of mana that have different uses, and two of those can't even be channeled by mere mortals. When there is one kind of mana you lack you could transform a suitable type of mana into the one you want.
  • In Nomine has Essence, the energy of the universe, which is generated by most beings daily, and can be used by angels and demons, ethereal beings (beings generated by human dreams), and a few supernaturally-aware humans to fuel Songs and sometimes other supernatural abilities, as well as to provide a boost to mundane actions. Ordinary humans spend their Essence unconsciously to boost themselves when they really want to succeed at something.
  • Rifts and other books by Palladium Books uses P.P.E, or Potential Psychic Energy. The name comes from an in-universe book written in the 1970s about magic. It's called Potential Psychic Energy because all people are born with a large store of it, but with the exception of magic users, almost all a person's P.P.E. disappears as it is used in the creation of talents and other things that define the person as an adult. Every living creature has some P.P.E. inside them, and magic users become living batteries able to store vast amounts. Inexplicably, a person's P.P.E. doubles at the moment of death; this is the in-universe reason for the use of sacrificial victims in connection with rituals. It's also the reason young victims are preferred, as a small child has 3-5x the P.P.E. an adult has.
  • In Conspiracy X, magicians draw their power from the Seepage. You see, 95% of humans actually have psychic potential, but since humans were created by the Atlanteans utilizing genetic material from three different species the vast majority cannot use even a fraction of it. The rest dissipates passively over time (and spills out in great amounts when great emotions such as fear or anger are experienced). This is the "aura" psychics can see. So basically, Seepage is the untapped psychic potential of the entire human race. Unfortunately, since so much of it is the product of negative emotions, over the ages it has not only gained an alien consciousness of its own, it is actually malevolent. It actively seeks to cause fear and suffering to expand itself. It often manifests in explainable, "spontaneous" supernatural phenomena, and it causes people to go mad if they mess too much with it. Those who don't go mad may be transformed into vampires, werewolves, or other such monsters.
  • The player characters of Nobilis use Miracle Points, which conveniently abbreviates to MP. They get five in each of the four stats (Aspect, Domain, Persona and Treasure) and can buy more, and the rule is that you can only spend them in powers of 2 — 1, 2, 4 or 8 + wound points at a time — to use miracles above the level of the stat in question. Of note, in Chancels, Nobles get a 3 MP discount on everything, making them really, really scary — someone with Treasure 5 can pull off Imperial Miracles with a single MP and a bit of prep time.
  • The first edition of Ironclaw had magic points, but the current edition has a unique system of spellcasting with no hard limit on how many spells can be cast. It takes an action to prepare the spell, another action to cast the spell, and a third to refresh the spell before it can be prepared again, with some advanced spells requiring a more basic spell to be prepared first.
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy uses magic points named zeon, that are gained and/or bought when your character levels up. In addition to it the game has also another stat, that shows how much zeon you can summon from your reserve each turn and is so critical as having many zeon points.
  • Unknown Armies: Adepts use "charges", energy generated through their devotion to whatever fuels their school of magic. Every school of magic has different ways to generate charges (Bibliomancers gain charges by acquiring new books, Plutomancers gain charges by earning money, Entropomancers gain charges by taking unnecessary risk...). Charges come in three types: minor (easily gained, fuel weak spells), significant (harder to gain, fuel stronger spells), and major (nearly impossible to gain, can literally change the world forever). Adepts also have a "taboo" they cannot violate (Bibliomancers can't give away or sell their books, Plutomancers can't spend more than $1,000 in one transaction, Entropomancers can't risk someone else's life instead of their own...). Violating this taboo immediately erases all of the adept's charges.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Characters gain a pool of Magic Points from their spellcasting class and level. Every spell has an MP cost to cast; MP can be regained through rest, meditation, and/or ritual observance, depending on the class. Later editions do away with this mechanic.
  • Shadowrun: Mana is present in the setting, but seldom relevant to gameplay. Mana is generated from all living organisms on Earth as they live their lives, their combined energies fueling Earth's Background Magic Field. Mages tap into this for energy to power their spells, meaning that it's usually way more common for a mage to knock themselves out channeling too much mana through their bodies and converting it into spells than running out of Mana (the latter, in fact, cannot happen by the rules as written). Very big or persistent emotional, life-affcting or magical effects (like being on a Ley Line, a major ritual site or a place where a lot of people have experienced the same things at once) can leave a lasting impression in the local manasphere that makes tapping into it highly unpleasant for the unprepared, as the local mana has been 'polluted' by the impressions.
  • 'Disney Lorcana'' uses Ink, which is represented by a player putting an Inkable card (denoted by the swirl around their ink cost in the corner) onto the play area face down in their "inkwell". The ink is then exerted (turned sideways) to spend it on playing other cards.

    Video Games 
  • In the Lunar games, all special attacks, including Ki Manipulation use up the same MP. However, they do not all count as "magic" as defined by the series. This gets weird in Lunar: Eternal Blue, when Ronfar's healing spells are determined to be "not magic."
  • The MMORPG City of Heroes uses Endurance to fuel all superpowers, whether they are magical, technological, the result of mutation or scientific experimentation, or plain ol' martial arts.
  • Shin Megami Tensei games have Magnetite, a mystical substance that makes up the physical bodies of demons when they are summoned; it is, unsurprisingly, produced most richly by human bodies and a critical need for the series' Magic from Technology. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has Magatsuhi, quite possibly related if not the same thing as Magnetite; large enough stockpiles of the substance are enough to recreate the world from nothing or utterly obliterating the cycle of life and death. It is very clearly shown that the effects of forcefully removing an individual's Magatsuhi is quite painful to the drainee and may have long-reach consequences, leaving the victim weak and despondent.
    • Magnetite is usually only used for summoning demons, but in the second Raidou Kuzunoha game, it also functions as MP. Raidou can't cast magic, but his demons can, and they require Magnetite to cast it. It also functions closer to standard MP in how you recover it — rather than requiring you to get it from a defeated enemy, you can rest and recover all of your Magnetite. You can also drain it mid-combat, which is useful for long, drawn-out battles.
  • Since Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the Zelda series generally allows Link access to a Magic Meter in order to use magic powers, although it is not present in all games (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess being a notable example).
  • The Ultima series uses a hybrid system in which casting spells does cost mana, but it also requires special ingredients called reagents to be cooked up into a usable spell. Certain spells in Dungeons & Dragons use something similar, called "material components".
  • Mana is a large staple of Disgaea and later Nippon Ichi strategy RPGs as it is needed to create characters, unlock events and improvements, upgrade chararacters or skills, reincarnate, and so forth. Mana is treated in-game as a sort of secondary XP/currency. SP is used for special moves and casting spells.
  • All player characters in Kingdom of Loathing have "MP" and it all works the same way. The twist is that what MP stands for is different for different classes. Mysticality (spellcaster) classes have mana points, but Muscle (warrior) classes have muscularity and Moxie (rogue) classes have mojo points.
  • Star Ocean, where MP equates more to mental strength rather than magical energy. In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, when you run out of MP, you get incapacitated (adding more to the mental strength fact) and that only Runology (magic) consumes MP. Killer moves consumes HP instead.
  • Geneforge has essence, which functions in the same way, but is semi-living goo that can (and often is) stored outside of people's bodies.
    • Also energy, which is used up faster by spellcasting but rapidly regenerates, and is not needed to make Mons.
  • Paladin's Quest, a RPG for the SNES, has no MP. All magic use is tied to Hit Points. Healing, for obvious reasons, is not available as magic, and instead is in "bottles" which provide a character with a specific number of uses until they are refilled.
  • In the GBA Golden Sun series, the heroes are masters of "Psynergy", a type of magic/Psychic Power. They encounter a martial arts school, and the head of the dojo comments on how their powers differ from Ki Manipulation. "Psynergy comes from the mind, while Chi comes from the body." It's commented that Psynergy is genetic, while "anyone" can eventually learn to use Chi, however nobody in the party does. However, there are Ki techniques (not Chi) from a different temple/dojo, with Psynergy substitutes that the heroes can learn.
  • Most of the role-playing games in the Super Mario Bros. franchise use a Mana system for special attacks. Super Mario RPG and the first two Paper Mario games use Flower Points, the first and fourth Mario & Luigi games use Bros. Points, and the third Mario & Luigi game uses Special Points. Super Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Paper Mario: Sticker Star instead use inventory items as special moves.
  • The World of Mana (Seiken Densetsu) series, naturally, uses it as the source of magic (and all life in general), with assorted spirits overseeing each of the elements, coming from The World Tree. How much is available depends on how active the heroes have been at breaking said tree.
  • BioShock
    • The Plasmids from BioShock and 2are powered by "EVE," which is mechanistically identical to mana.
    • BioShock Infinite has Salts, which fulfill the same function.
  • The Atelier Iris sub-series does the same thing. Most alchemists are required to befriend mana spirits to improve the success rate of the items they create. The older Atelier games avoid this completely however; the alchemists simply make things like bombs without any outside "mystical" assistance, keeping with the Low Fantasy feel of the setting.
  • Licensed Star Wars games which feature Force use generally model it in a very RPG-ish fashion, with "Force powers" (spells) powered by "Force points" (mana).
  • Tales Series
    • Tales of Symphonia. The characters spend a majority of the game trying to restore the mana flow to both worlds, and eventually restoring the source of Mana, the Giant Kharlan Tree. In Symphonia life can't even exist without mana.
    • In Tales of the World Radiant Mythology series, mana is born from the World Tree and flows out into the world, providing it with life. Without mana, the world itself would die. The Descender is born from his/her world's World Tree, which uses its mana to give birth to a Descender. A Descender's power also fluctuates with the strength of mana and the World Tree it comes from. Although the Descender is incredibly strong regardless of how weak the World Tree is, it has been said that the stronger the World Tree's mana is, the stronger the Descender will be. However, it is mana which sustains the life and power of the Descender. In the most dire straits, a lack of mana in the land can adversely affect the Descender, leading to blackouts. The first Radiant Mythology has a story that focuses a lot on mana.
    • Tales of Vesperia starts out with "Aer" later revealed to be toxic. At the end of the game, Rita discovers a way to replace Aer with actual "Mana".
  • Many Final Fantasy games have mana, but there also are many exceptions. I, III, and VIII use a mana pool. The games mentioned use a Dungeons & Dragons-style "uses per day" system, with VIII having some twists on the idea. The first game had its system converted to a mana pool in later remakes for ease of use. Final Fantasy XIII's battle system is another exception, there is no MP in this game, either. Magic functions as it does in Valkyrie Profile, essentially: An alternate form of attack with some charge times tacked on. III's system is labeled as MP though (at least in the DS version) and can be restored by an elixir as mana often can be.
  • World of Warcraft: All classes except rogues, warriors, death knights, and hunters use mana. note  The previously mentioned classes tend to forget this fact and rush into battle before the mana users are ready.

    The aforementioned classes use resources similar to mana (rage, energy, runic power, focus), but with two main differences: First, the maximum amount you can have and the rate of regeneration don't scale with level and gear. Second, whereas mana regenerates more slowly if at all during combat, energy and focus regenerate at the same rate in and out of combat, and rage and runic power actually drain when you're not in combat.
    • Energy and Focus regenerate during combat, with Focus having an attack to replenish it faster (Steady Shot and Cobra Shot). Rage and Runic Power are gained by either hitting mobs or letting mobs beat on you.
  • EVE Online has a capacitor for ships, which is used to activate all the equipment on a ship with the exception of projectile weapons. The capacitor is drained by a certain amount with each activation, and has a base regeneration rate, which can be enhanced with a multitude of skills and ship fittings. As in World of Warcraft, one of the most important duties for any pilot is to find a balance that won't completely drain the capacitor, leaving the ship helpless while it regenerates.
  • The Reconstruction has three stats that different abilities can be cast from, of which Mind and Soul would correspond to different types of Mana. Interesting, not only is it just as frequent to Cast from Hit Points, Mind and Soul function as alternate HP counters, and dropping one of them to 0 will also defeat someone.
  • Power Points (PP) in Pokémon function like mana. However, it's different from most examples in that each move has its own set uses of PP rather than all moves drawing from one pool of it.
  • Kingdom Hearts has MP, with every spell taking up a certain amount or fraction of the MP in the meter. This was recharged in the first game by physical attacks, and by collecting MP Orbs. The second game had an MP meter that could be refilled by MP orbs as long as it still had some MP in it, but once it was all used up, you had to wait a short time for it to refill completely before you could use any spells. This could be sped up by collecting MP Orbs. Both games also had items that refilled MP, and abilities that gave other conditions for getting MP.
  • Pretty much all Roguelike games use some mana-type system which spell casting and psionics use, with mana regenerating over time. In the few games where the player could gain different divine powers by worshiping different gods there's a separate pool of "faith" or "piety" points which are expended to use those powers, with each religion having a different method of regaining points.
  • Nono from Solatorobo is something of a combination of mana and The Force. While it can be used to produce magical effects such as barriers and levitation, being attuned to it also results in being able to sense other people or objects who are tapping in, such as the Paladins and the amulet.
  • Crest Magic users from the Wild ARMs series are all Big Eaters, and they claim that casting spells uses a lot of energy. This results in the often scrawny or waiflike magic users consuming truly prodigious amounts of food (Celia in the first game at one point orders more food than should actually be able to fit in her body). The first game does use MP however, for two of the characters, and thus it might be that the fuel used for magic is perfectly normal bodily energy, as the other user uses his MP to fuel his various sword techniques. This makes a bit more sense when you realize that the only character who doesn't have MP, Rudy, is actually a Ridiculously Human Robot. Later games do away with traditional MP, but the implication that Crest Magic users burn lots of energy and eat lots of food remains.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Referred to as "Magicka" throughout the series. It is said to flow in from Aetherius through the sun and stars, allowing mortals on Mundus (the mortal plane) to use magic.
    • Mechanically, each spell has a casting "cost" of Magicka. The spell's power, Area of Effect range, and duration all contribute toward the calculation of the Magicka cost per cast. Through Oblivion, your maximum Magicka is equal to your Intelligence attribute, with multipliers based on your race and birth sign. Starting with Oblivion, it also regenerates on its own based on your Willpower attribute. Oblivion also changed the cost of casting a spell based on your Skill Level in that spell's governing skill. (For example, you have Destruction, Conjuration, Restoration, Alteration, Illusion and Mysticism skills. As you get better in each by casting spells of that type, casting those spells gets cheaper.) Luck also plays a part, as it does in everything. Skyrim revamps the system almost entirely, first by removing attributes (you can instead choose to add +10 to your Magicka pool with every level up) and then by adding Perks in the skill trees of the governing skills for spellcasting.
  • Darklands has "divine favor" points (DF). They are spent when a character prays to saints for miracles and are slowly regenerated over time. To regain DF faster a character can spend the day praying for divine favor instead of working or studying.
  • Diablo and its successors use a mana system, although in Diablo III different classes have different names for it.
  • In Tree of Savior, mana is referred to as the power to change divine grace into other forms. The Cleric and Wizard class families are said to use this in order to work their miracles and magic. However, the actual "mana" game mechanic is referred to as SP, similar to Ragnarok Online—and that covers all skill usage, including the non-spellcasting Archer and Swordsman class families.
  • FromSoftware:
    • Demon's Souls and Dark Souls III follow the traditional Mana system to a tee, however the source of Mana is in fact Soul Art.
    • Dark Souls and Dark Souls II replaces the Mana system by having magic as ammunition based, and recharges via resting at bonfire.
    • Bloodborne completely averts this trope by having all spells cast via literal ammunition. In order to cast a spell, the Hunter injects their blood-infused Quicksilver Bullets into certain hunter tools. Most of the more clearly-magical ones are Summon Magic cast using phantasms: white slugs which are leftover from the Great Ones.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest uses Spirit Energy for creating Soul Links, executing Charged Attacks, and opening Energy Gates. Energy Cells increase the capacity of the Mana Meter.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Magic and Skills work on a Cooldown system, but Sourcerers have access to special powers that also drain one or more Source Points from their limited reserve. Act II is based around maximizing the PCs' capacity for Source, which is replenished through Mana Drain, Soul Eating, rare consumable items... and one DLC that tops it up with every Resting Recovery.
  • So uh, a spaceship crashed in my yard.: Both members of the Player Party have Mana, called MP, but no way to use it:
    • Mark has 41 MP.
    • ARIA has 90 MP.
  • In Deltarune, the party can gather Tension Points (TP) by defending during battle, taking damage, or grazing against enemy attacks (the first and third of which are most effective). TP is gathered in a shared meter and can be spent on spells or certain ACT commands; leftover TP is converted to Dark Dollars after each battle.
  • Mana shows up in Hexen: Beyond Heretic and its sequel Hexen II in blue and green variants. More basic weapons use blue mana, slightly stronger ones use green, and the ultimate weapon of any player class uses both simultaneously. Mana can be found in crystals (pyramid-shaped for blue, cube-shaped for green, and round for both combined), and the Krater of Might, a metal goblet filled with purple liquid and marked with both mana symbols,note  is a portable refill-to-max of both types.
  • In the Black & White series, A God Is You, and your miracles cost mana to cast (and sustain, in some cases). Your followers generate mana by praying at your altars, but you can also gain an instant boost by sacrificing living things.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse:
    • Prana (the "energy" used to do magic) is separated between Odic force and Mana; the first is generated from the magus (small pool), and Mana is the energy in the environment (big pool). The two are essentially interchangeable, except for those rare occurrences where only Mana supply is affected. Higher Elementals are essentially made of Mana, similar to Energy Beings. How mana is gained and used are plot points of Fate/stay night.
    • In Angel Notes, set far in the future of most other Nasuverse stories, mana is completely gone after the Earth itself died. What is left of the Earth's lifeforce has turned into some other form of energy known as "Grain", which is deathly toxic to everything except lifeforms specifically modified to tolerate it (or the Ultimate Ones, but then they're near-impossible to kill anyway). Grain can still be used as a power source, however, and both magic and technology make use of it (granted, the line between the two has blurred significantly by this point, and there may in fact be no distinction between them at all anymore).
  • In An Octave Higher, Mana is the common name of a liquid substance that, when drunk, gives human beings the energy needed to cast spells. It is also known as curcuma zanthorrhiza, or temulawak. People can also replenish their Mana by sleeping, exercising and eating food, but not by much; certainly not enough to cast spells.

  • Lux in Tales of the Questor is a bit light on ritual, but otherwise fits the spell-casting thing pretty well. Word of God says lux is more akin to a really funky neutrino field than typical magic. Most of the populace treats it like magic, though, and it can summon lightning bolts.
    • The similarity to magic is actually a plot point a few times, though mostly in the filler arcs. Although the Racconans know that lux is a science and doesn't depend on witchcraft, rituals, or deals with the devil, most humans (living in a feudal-type society) are ignorant of this, making them treat lux-users as dangerous outcasts and associating them with others who claim to perform magical feats—like the human-sacrificing druids. It doesn't help that very few humans are born with the ability to channel lux. (Although those who are born with it are implied to be generally far more powerful than the best of the Racconans.)
  • In Drowtales, drow call the substance that powers their Functional Magic "Mana". In fact the author rather objects to the term "magic". Not only is it generated by the elves' own Life Energy, it is necessary to allow the fey races to remain immortal.
    • Eventually this is split into 2 distinctive forms: ether, generated by fae races and some types of plants, and nether, commonly known as demonic energy, imported from portals to netherworlds or created by demons and tainted individuals. For some reason, nether is far more powerful than ether (a nether bolt attack goes straight through an ether energy shield) and nether creatures devour ambient ether like candy.
  • TwoKinds has normal Mana, which is used for mainstream magic and will crystallize into a little blue rock when concentrated, and Dark Mana, which is actually The Lifestream used in place of mana, and allows summoning and necromancy (which usually doesn't work). It causes crystals to form as well, but this is simply a side-effect. Dark Mana causes brain damage, insanity and death.
  • Izzy from Adorable Desolation has the ability to map mana trails.
  • In The Dragon Doctors it's possible to go into "Mana Shock" when you accumulate too much; this happens to a girl who was turned to stone and left soaking in the bottom of a leyline for 2000 years. She nearly exploded when she went into Mana Shock later.
  • An unusual example in Housepets!, Pete and the Spirit Dragon are near-omniscient, but in regards to their game they limit their powers by making them cost "mana", which is accumulated at their temples.
  • Irregular Webcomic!. "Channeling mana..."
  • In El Goonish Shive, everyone has access to latent magic energy which they can use to cast spells if they have access to the spells in question and have enough magical energy built up. Very rarely, individuals are born who have no potential to gain the capacity for more magical energy beyond their innate latent magic energy.
  • Kubera: "Vigor" is a general personal energy used to cast spells or use magic items, but different entities regenerate it in different ways.
    • Gods have incredibly high amounts of Vigor, but the rules were changed after a recent and devastating war, so gods can no longer access their full power in the mortal realm. Instead, they are limited to using the Vigor of their summoner, and they can very easily kill the summoner if they are not careful. The death of their summoner means they are sent back to the divine realm.
    • Sura also have incredibly high Vigor reserves, but their natural rate of regeneration is so low as to be practically nonexistent. Instead, they only regenerate Vigor by devouring living creatures—both humans and other sura. They don't need to eat otherwise. In fact, a common trick in sura combat is to devour an opponent's eyes or other valuable body part, as something that has been devoured and turned into Vigor is very difficult for a sura to regenerate with their otherwise overpowered Healing Factor.
    • Humans have very low amounts of Vigor, which puts a noticeable cap on their power. Their Vigor regeneration is normally reasonable, but it depends on their mental state. Being worried and tired reduces their regeneration rate, while being rested increases it. It has also been noted that if their mental state is exactly right, their Vigor regenerates so fast that it becomes essentially infinite, allowing them to cast spells or use magic items that would normally kill them.
  • In Crystal Heroes, there is magic in people's bodies and naturally in the atmosphere. These are mana and ether, respectively. Magic is the process of gathering and focusing mana to produce a variety of effects.
    • In the gameplay scene, this is represented by MP.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, when fighting the king centipede, Mao mentions only being able to cast one or two more fireballs, and Kalliv mentions only having one shot at his vine spell. At the end of each chapter is an RPG-style status screen which shows the MP gauges of Yokoka's and Mao's parties, giving a visual representation of their capacity to use magic. Yfa describes being able to shapeshift in exchange for some "energy", suggesting this is the everyday term for the concept on Cisum.
  • Daughter of the Lilies: Every living thing has a "core" of magical energy, which mages learn to draw on. It replenishes naturally over time, but a mage can harm themself by trying to use magic while it's completely exhausted, and can suffer ill effects from using it inefficiently. They can also supplement their power with "cells", which are effectively batteries for magic.

    Web Original 
  • Mana in the main series of Arcana Magi is treated as a form of energy, with two types, kinetic and potential, that is used by magical people to cast spells and activate magical items. Mana is common now in Arcana Magi Universe.
  • Aura in Chaos Fighters; using it effectively requires charging, i.e. accumulating it into something. However, aura are atom sized particles and in-universe it is partially explained using quantum mechanics and partly using classical wave theory.
  • Mystic power in Phaeton is sometimes called mana or something like that to save time and is used in the same way.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10 we are led to believe that Gwen's powers are purely magic-based, but Ben 10: Alien Force starts Doing In the Wizard by explaining that Gwen's powers originate from an alien grandmother, who states that 'magic' is caused by mana. If that wasn't enough, the granny then sheds her skin to reveal an energy being made of mana, and says that Gwen can do the same. Naturally, she refuses.
    • Eventually, they go for an interesting blending of the former 'magic' explanation and newer 'alien powers' explanation. Magic is mana manipulation, and being part mana-made energy being makes you really good at it. Grandma Verdona's powers and 'magic' powers are different ways of using the same thing and Gwen is learning both (around this time, she starts to use spells like she did in the original series as well as the Green Lantern-lite powers that had replaced them when Alien Force began.) Charmcaster and Hex, the magic-based villains, on the other hand, come from another dimension where all mana comes from: Ledgerdomain is a dimension where 'the sky isn't parallel to the earth' so you might get lost forever if you try to fly, and it's a Planet of Hats whose hat is wizardry. Charmcaster is sort of jealous that Gwen is able to easily pick up what it took her years and years of study to learn.
  • Parodied in The Owl House, in an early episode it is revealed that witches and humanoid demons have a sack of magic bile attached to their heart which allows them to cast spells. Played more straight with "glyphs" which are used to command ambient magic in the air.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Uncle's and Dao Long Wong's "Chi Spells" seem to be Hermetic Magic with an eastern flavour. How Chi is distributed is a major part of the plot throughout the seasons.

Alternative Title(s): Mana Points, Magic Points, Magical Energy