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Post-Modern Magik

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Maybe he's listening to Hammerfall.

Judge: [responding to an arrow shot] You're a fool! No weapon forged can harm me!
Buffy: That was then... [raises a rocket launcher] This is now.

Most fantasy is based on ancient folklore, but why not set your fantasy in the industrial age or further? When you do this, you are forced to update some of the trappings of your fantasy.

If vampires can't safely go out in daylight, does sunscreen help them? What about just shining a flashlight at them with a UV bulb? What about the UV ray from moonlight? Given that Christianity was regarded as the one true faith in medieval Europe, it made sense that only crosses would affect them, but in a different region and time, how well would that weakness carry over? Would a cross work on a Taoist vampire? What could you use on a Muslim vampire when Islam is against the use of symbols for its faith? Would there even be any Muslim Vampires, considering that Islam forbids the drinking of blood? Is it the faith of the wielder that matters? Can a Jew fend off vampires with a Star of David? What about the fact that in addition to being haram, blood is also not kosher (i.e. treife)? Can Gordon Gekko fend them off with his wallet?note 

This is Post Modern Magik. It's what you get when you decide that magic shotguns make as much sense as magic swords, and vampires that don't show up in mirrors also don't show up on camera.

Even if a series tries to avoid modern day entirely, the tendency for magic to act like computer programs has bled into the "pure" magical genre.

Can be common in Fantasy Kitchen Sink, where you have robots and fairies both running around. However, many of those authors try to separate the sci-fi and fantasy elements; the most common way around this is to make a rule that magic gives off an anti-technology field (or vice-versa) so that at any one place only magic or technology works.

Note that this is not Magitek. Magitek is technology created with magic, like a camera which is really just a box with an Imp inside drawing really fast, or an "Internet" made from magic mirrors and living books. Post Modern Magik concerns itself with how non-magical technology interacts with magic, like when regular cameras aren't able to take pictures of vampires due to the use of silver halide photo-chemicals and mirrorsnote , and demons are real, but can be beaten up by mutants or be fooled by realistic androids.

Common in Urban Fantasy settings, and often seen where Our Monsters Are Different (especially vampires). Now to figure out where this fits in Harmony Versus Discipline.

Compare Magic from Technology, Muggles Do It Better (when today's technology trumps magic), Modernized God and Sufficiently Analyzed Magic. See also Magick for post modern spellings of magick.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Ayakashi are strengthened and created by human belief, but fading superstition has left most of them unable to penetrate their Weirdness Censor. Garaku's solution is to use a human-like form (which is normally visible) and create an identity as a famous artist. Thanks to the enormous audience made possible by modern mass media (including online streaming), he's grown much more powerful than his Fish out of Temporal Water former master.
    Garaku: An ayakashi gains power as it is recognized and revered by humans. Just as Shirogane's powers were heightened as he was deified at a shrine for a long time... you know nothing of cars, planes, TV and the internet. Nor do you realize how many people fill this world now. And how many of them recognize Garaku Utagawa. All of that makes me stronger.
  • Blue Exorcist has bits like this, what with one of the main types of Exorcists being The Gunslinger that has access to various kinds of special bullets, grenades of holy water, the majority of the cast using cell phones, and recently the Illuminati have created an artificial Gehenna Gate through obvious technological means.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Stiyl Magnus used a photocopier to mass-produce the runes needed for his spells. When he was defeated the first time due to a fire sprinkler washing out the ink, he learned from this, printed the runes on cards, and laminated them.
    • There are a number of magicians who utilise forms of Post Modern Magik in the series, from hiding magic within everyday items, to using industrial lasers to carve runes quickly, to incorporating a Magically-Binding Contract into the terms and conditions of a social networking service. Using magic in this way is limited and often illegal due to the treaty between Magic and Science Sides, though the border isn't clear - when facing Richard Brave, whose use of Vitamin B sprayed runes to support his Flaming Sword was deemed illegal, Stiyl notes that their positions could easily have been the other way around because the people in charge of judging such things are arbitrary hypocrites.
  • Shikabane-hime in Corpse Princess mostly use guns, which may be enchanted. Their contracted monks use zadan, a sort of Buddhist-flavoured magic with a variety of effects that include healing, repelling shikabane, purifying the ground... or in the case of Sadahiro and Akira, powering up the gun to incredible levels.
  • The skyscraper headquarters of Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Queen Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund takes advantage of this with features ranging from specially polarized windows so the daytime view can be appreciated to a fiber-optic network that can focus concentrated sunlight on any spot within the place at the touch of a remote control.
  • Durarara!!: Take the Dullahan. Without a head, it cannot speak. Imagine the horror, the isolation, the depths such a being would go being separated in communication from humanity... or you could give one a cell phone, a data plan, and a message board membership.
  • Fate/Zero's Gilgamesh in an ancient Hindu spaceship dogfighting Lancelot in a magically enhanced F-15, and King Arthur riding a motorcycle to battle Alexander the Great in his divine chariot. Yeah, it's that kind of story.
    • The Nasuverse in general tends to avoid this, due to magi actively shunning modern technology. A major part in Kiritsugu's success is his ability to combine his magecraft and modern weaponry in a manner considered heretical but extremely effective. For example, his custom Origin Bullets are filled with his own powdered bones, which contains Kiritsugu's dual Origins (base 'orientations' of an individual) of 'Binding' and 'Severing'. A magus uses magecraft to defend against the bullet? The Origins are forced directly onto his Magic Circuits, overloading them and ripping them apart.
  • the Garden of sinners has several occasions where magic utilized the conveniences of the modern era. In the 5th movie, one mage, a talented puppet maker, saved time and space by creating familiars using an enchanted movie projector she carried around, while another turned an apartment complex into his personal fortress and drove all the previous occupants to suicide with some basic subtle psychology. The kicker, though, was the following sequel, where the protagonist had to deal with a mage who could manipulate people with his words alone. Solution? Music player and ear buds.
  • Years ago, Ai Enma got requests for her job as Hell Girl by mail. Nowadays, she has her own website that you send your request on. Her computer looks rather out of place in the old Japanese hut she lives in.
  • Hellsing is an exercise in pushing traditional vampire rules as far into the modern era as possible. It starts with holy crosses melted into firearms and bullets, blessed bayonets being held up to form crosses, and Claymore mines being used to fight zombies suited in military equipment and weapons, used by Nazi vampires created by modern surgery by grafting bits of Mina Harker's exhumed remains, and eventually culminating in the 9th Crusade being waged against Britain with the crusaders in plate armor and rifles being flown in with helicopters.
  • High School D×D has devils and other supernatural creatures who live on Earth, go to school and run companies (albeit while keeping their true nature a secret from their classmates/colleagues). Ordinary people can summon devils to make deals with them (which the main cast compare to the kind of part-time jobs that ordinary students have), but don't have to seek out old grimoires for instructions. Instead, the devils have their familiars transform into humans, stand on the street and hand out pamphlets with summoning instructions (thus blending in among the countless humans doing the same thing).
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, when the vampire-like Pillar Men awaken in 1930's Europe and plan to annihilate everyone in their way, Nazi scientist Rudol von Stroheim quickly learns that they are weak to UV light. Before long, he has his soldiers equipped with UV spotlights on their shoulders, and he also has a cannon-like machine that fires an intensely bright beam of UV light strong enough to vaporize any Pillar Man at least until Kars obtains a MacGuffin that grants him immunity to UV light.
  • A recurring element in Little Witch Academia (2017) involves magical people and creatures using modern conveniences. There's a dragon who uses the internet to trade on the stock market, the yeti who's depressed because he's being cyber-bullied, Constanze's constant construction of magitek, Lotte's crystal ball that can connect to the internet, and of course Professor Croix's own heavy usage of sleek-looking magitek that wouldn't be out of place in an Apple store. All this in contrast with the otherwise extremely Hogwarts-like setting.
  • Modern Magic Made Simple, a.k.a. "Easy to Understand Modern Magic"'s in the title. Misa is the "Modern Day Mage" who uses the electronic patterns in computers and technology instead of "classic" magic that uses the earth's electromagnetic field and brain signals.
  • Negima!:
    • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has this in spades, involving things like robots using magic, a massive hacking battle between a robot and a magical girl, the (mage) protagonist using a cell phone, a magic internet that's somehow compatible with the mundane internet, guns that fire magic bullets, etc.
    • The Stealth Sequel, UQ Holder!, goes even further, with apps you can download on your phone that allow even the Muggles to use simple spells (or not-so-simple ones - if they're rich enough).
  • How does the drifter god Yato of Noragami answer prayers without a shrine to call his own? With a cellphone or on Twitter, of course!
  • Casters in Outlaw Star are guns designed to fire magic bullets with various effects ranging from simple explosions to small gravitational singularities. The lead's is shaped like a gun, while the rival's is shaped like a Buddhist ringed staff.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is this in atmosphere, if not a full example. The setting of Mitakihara City has an extremely gritty industrial or sterile digital feel that feels out of place compared to other Magical Girl settings, which tend to be set in more green suburban regions. As a result, the juxtaposition of frilly, pastel colored magical girls amid factories and skyscrapers creates a disconnect that assists in the Post Modern Deconstruction of the genre. Within the setting, there are straight examples, with Homura fighting with completely normal firearms to make up for her weak magic powers, and in one of the manga Spin Offs, a smartphone application is used to trace magic.
  • Happens a few times in Spirited Away. What appears to be a stink spirit comes into the bathhouse. Turns out it is a river spirit that got polluted by a lot of human junk. The reason why Haku couldn't find his way home was because the River he is a spirit of was covered by an apartment block.
  • Discussed in the novelisation of Your Name. When Mitsuha sees Tessie and Sayaka watching the ritual she's performing despite her entreaties for them not to show up, she briefly entertains the thought of sending curses via Line messaging.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero has Magical Girl transformations controlled by a smartphone app. Their phones also warn them when their supernatural enemies are approaching, and seemingly prevent them from being frozen in time during the attacks.

    Comic Books 
  • An anthology comic had a scientist, determining a mathematical basis to all spells, devise a computer that calculates this principle to summon an entity capable of curing his son's terminal illness. The computer summons a demon, which breaks out of its control and tries to conquer the world, but still running the program the computer evolves itself with magic to employ stronger and stronger spells to banish it. Unfortunately, it develops self-awareness and decides it wants to rule afterwards, forcing the scientist to destroy it.
  • The premise of 30 Days of Night rides on this. Sunlight is one of the main Achilles' heels for vampires, so the polar regions would be intensely vulnerable in the dead of winter, where there is either very little sunlight or none at all due to the seasons and Earth's axial tilt. This allows the vampires to go on an uninterrupted rampage through Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the US, for thirty straight days.
  • 666: Humanity is starting to fight back against The Legions of Hell by closing the portals they use to bring in more troops. The first one is closed by Mercy Killing the tortured victims forming a pentacle with a holy sword one by one (the executioner begging forgiveness from each), but the process is greatly accelerated when it turns out that a rocket launcher does the job just as well, faster, and from further away.
  • Astro City:
    • Appears twice in the "Confession" story arc.
      • First is with Mordecai Chalk, a cyborg monster-hunter with iron- and silver-enhancements, assorted mystical runes, weapons that fire anti-monster ammunition, and an onboard database that references thousands of occult tomes. He tries to fight an occult serial killer and barely manages to survive.
      • Second is an alien squad fighting a vampire with holographic crosses, holy water-soaked cables, and a two-handed stake-launching cannon.
    • Steeljack's steel skin proves useful when he fights a group of demons vulnerable to being attacked with iron.
    • The Silver Adept, the sorceress supreme of the series, uses the Aethernet — a magic-powered internet — to respond to emails, track appointments, and get navigational updates across the myriad dimensions.
    • American Chibi owes her origin to an Eldritch Abomination trying to get into the world via video games. Hummingbird II is dubious.
      Hummingbird: But— computer games? Creepy elder-god pixel-things?
      Assemblyman: Hey, modern times, modern forms.
    • When Hummingbird II needs to open a portal to the mystic realm of Khapak Iqun, it required a magic spell augmented with a technological gateway.
  • In the first issue of the Doctor Strange miniseries, The Oath, Doc is seriously injured by a silver bullet fired from Adolf Hitler's personal weapon. The shooter wasn't a sorcerer, but he figured that a pistol with that kind of history would have enough Bad Mojo around it to blow right through Doc's protective spells.
    • In issue #5 of the 2020-21 anthology series Marvel, Wong goes to another dimension to rescue an entrepreneur and his Magical Native American assistant. They're using a tablet to record a weak spell she uses to loan strength and play it back at increased volume and speed to vastly increase its power. Wong discovers that the entrepreneur is planning on using this method to steal the Time Master powers of an Eldritch Abomination native to the dimension they're in.
  • In the Marvel Comics event Doomwar, where Black Panther fights a war with Doctor Doom, T'Challa invents "Shadow Physics", a discipline that combines alchemy and science to exploit quantum entanglement for unlimited teleportation and mass transmutation. In the same story, Doom uses vibranium as a source of unlimited mystical power and applies it to his Doombots and Powered Armor. In the end he's defeated when T'Challa uses shadow physics to render all vibranium inert.
  • The French comic Dies Irae has the hero find an old magic book and try it out, substituting the ingredients for modern adaptations: a mermaid's hand from a mermaid Barbie, vulture's blood becomes Coke, chimera (in the sense of "unreachable dream") hairs from an "I Coulda Been a Contender!" guy's bike streamers, etc.
  • At a time when he was free of the Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze carried a shotgun loaded with hellfire. Similar weapons were also owned by the Caretaker and Vengeance. This showed up again in The Movie.
    • Honestly, the character's core concept — a blazing demonic motorcycle rider — is a textbook example of this trope.
    • His kindred spirits Daimon Hellstrom and Jaine Cutter have both been in possession of a "breathing gun", an enchanted living gun that makes its own bullets and is especially adept at killing demons.
  • Hellblazer: John Constantine is a mascot of this trope, complete with All Myths Are True. Vampires, demons, and gods walk among us in the cities, and it's a matter of time before something actually goes wrong. Alan Moore said in an interview that he wanted to create a more believable wizard who is "functional on the streets". The Constantine grew out of that.
    • Constantine also crosses paths with and fights other magick users, with their post modern magick taken from different regions of the world.
  • In a Hitman (1993) story, Tommy Monaghan and the demon Etrigan need to get a hold of the "Ace of Winchesters", a demonic weapon (read: lever-action shotgun) forged by a mystic who was also a member of the original Texas Rangers, to take down the Mawzir, a powerful servant of the patron demon of gunpowder. This particular demon is immensely powerful in Hell since the gun became the dominant form of violent death in the world. The Mawzir himself is a ten-armed demon wielding a firearm in each hand, and he is made from the damned souls of five Waffen SS officers.
  • This was a running theme in Kieron Gillen's run on Iron Man. At one point, Tony fights an Apocalypse Cult using genetic engineering technology to modify women into being able to withstand being impregnated by the Eldritch Abomination they worship.
  • Justice League of America enemy Doctor Destiny used technology to manipulate and manifest dreams into reality. The Sandman (1989) revealed that the power source of his device was a Power Crystal created by the anthropomorphic personification of dreams himself, and that his modifications actually usurped his connection to it.
  • In Loki: Agent of Asgard, Loki explicitly likes to combine magic and technology, because magic is "telling a story the universe believes" and technology is "very gullible". The guy has spells for enhancing cellphone reception and hacking the internet. Also, as the All-Mothers showed, TV screens are just as good for arcane remote communication as mirrors or water surfaces.
  • Marvel UK introduced the Mys-Tech organization to the Marvel universe. A global business headed by a cabal of people who promised Mephisto thousands of souls in exchange for power and influence that use their resources to combine magic and technology for more power. Their creations include demon cyborg assassins and various genetically, cybernetically and magically modified agents.
  • Phonogram, in which magic is intricately bound up with pop music.
  • Preacher's Saint of Killers uses a pair of revolvers that were made from melting down the Angel of Death's sword.
  • In the "Rock Zombies" arc of Runaways, a spell is recorded and hidden in a song, then broadcast on a popular radio station, turning a decent portion of L.A. into monstrosities.
  • The Blasphemy Cartel from Strange (2022) uses crypto blockchains as digital prayer wheels to fuel powerful spells, like gathering millions of lost souls to possess their revenants.
  • Trese features the eponymous character using variations of existing beliefs and supernatural traditions. Examples include trying to bribe a local goblin with imported chocolate instead of the local cheap kind and using a watch in freezing a suspect in time. One memorable incident involved binding a God of War into eternal combat by making him a high level raid boss in an MMORPG.
  • The comic Werewolves on the Moon is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The Wonder Woman villain Circe is no stranger to adapting magic to work with modern technology. When Wondy fought Medusa, Circe broadcast the fight on live TV and enchanted the camera so that if the gorgon ever looked into it, everybody watching would be turned to stone.
  • In an X-Men comic book, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine are fighting Dracula. When Wolverine holds two of his claws in the shape of a cross, Dracula just laughs, saying that one has to have faith for a cross to work. Kitty tries with a real cross, but Drac just brushes it aside as well. He is finally burned by her Star of David, hanging around her neck.
    • Gambit has an associate from the Guild of Thieves who uses magic to hack data files. He can use it to set up untraceable communication lines and pump up the funds in his own personal account.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Asgard and, to a large extent, the wanded Wizarding World run on various forms of Magitek, but as per The Dresden Files the non-magical world is rapidly catching up - and is finding ways around that pesky limitation about magic causing technology to fail.
    • Indeed, this is a large part of what makes HYDRA so incredibly dangerous in the first book - they have an Evil Genius who's essentially a living AI and a lethal (but imperfect) copy of Asgard's Destroyer, but they also have a vastly powerful necromancer who animates undead dragons. On the heroic side, there's Wakanda and MI13, the former of which runs on vibranium powered technology (and magic) and is ruled by a King empowered by an ancient Goddess, while the latter employs wizards and muggles (and mutants, come to that), combining magic and technology to better handle menaces from both sides.
  • While Harry Potter has severe limitations on this, My Immortal pretty much has this willy nilly (largely due to the author not caring about canon), ranging from flying cars to iPod time machines.
  • The Oversaturated World is set in an Alternate Universe where Sunset Shimmer introduces magic to the human world, causing everyone on the planet to gain magical abilities, and ascends to a position she denies is godhood. Most stories in the setting have to do with how people incorporate magic into their basically twenty-first century lives.
  • To the Stars combines Magical Girls with space-age technology. Their soul gems, normally a serious weak point, get high-tech armor and decoys. A complicated system of robots and auto-dispensers distributes the "grief cubes" magical characters use to replenish their mana/life-force, making the once-common death by running out of magic almost unheard of. If their body gets destroyed or severely damaged, they can simply transfer to their clone body. Even so, no real scientific understanding of magic has been achieved—after all, even the incubators don't get it—but it gets all that fancy augmentation because magic is humanity's only real edge against the alien invaders.

    Films — Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: Departing somewhat from the more classic magic themes of the previous movies, here the plot starts off from the principle that a device based on a spectrometer created by a Teen Genius can not only detect the magic from another world, but also capture and stock it.
  • In Turning Red, in the denouement, Ming has to re-banish her red panda spirit into Mei's Tamagotchi pet, since it was the most readily available container. The virtual pet has been replaced by an icon of the spirit, but otherwise functions exactly the same.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Blade Trilogy films have the eponymous hero using advanced technology such as ultraviolet weapons (including bullets with a UV-emitting chemical inside, and a UV light), the vampires engaging in experimental genetics to overcome their weaknesses, and using low-tech such as sunscreen and UV-filtered motorcycle visors to protect themselves in daylight.
  • Child's Play (1988) starts with Charles Lee Ray, a serial killer, almost dying from a gunshot wound in a toy store. Using a voodoo ritual, he puts his soul in a talking doll.
  • The first quarter of Daybreakers establishes the logistics of a world run by vampires, with shielded cars, underground streets, and soldiers wearing full body gear to protect themselves from the sun. The plot of the movie is kicked off by the world's supply of human blood running low as non-vampire humans are hunted and farmed into extinction (with clear parallels to peak oil), and the people in charge abandoning the hunt for an artificial substitute against the advice of the protagonist. There are lots of nifty details that make the film's world a more plausible place, even though the actual cause of vampirism is left as Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
  • Eternals: The Putting the Band Back Together act shows how the nigh-immortal and superpowered Eternals have adjusted to the modern day. Sprite, Sersi, Kingo, and Phastos have fully embraced the internet age, with Sersi blending in well as a modern-day museum curator (Sprite even comments that she's always on her phone), Kingo getting rich off of the movie industry (even bankrolling the team's travels since he has a private jet), and Phastos settling in suburbia. Ajak, Gilgamesh, Thena, and Druig have adopted varying levels of modern technology but otherwise live off the grid; Druig's isolated village has rifles and a working blacksmith. At the end of the film, Thena seems mystified by a modern-day toaster.
  • The first two Evil Dead movies hinge on how playing a recording of a magical incantation is as effective as reciting it live. This gets taken further in the video game sequel A Fistful of Boomstick, when the incantation's played over a live TV broadcast: the entire broadcast area is enveloped by the demon-summoning spell (let's be glad it was a local station).
  • The core premise of Ghostbusters is that spirits can be classified on a modern scale and detected, fought, and contained with the right technology. Its Expanded Universe went on to apply the trope to other kinds of supernatural beings, how they relate with the modern world, and how best to fight them.
    • Ivo Shandor, the madman who designed Dana's apartment building, incorporated mystical geometries and arcane materials into the structure to make it a focusing device for ghostly energies.
  • The villains in Halloween III: Season of the Witch are trying to carry out a mass Human Sacrifice on Samhain. In the modern age, kidnapping children and spilling their blood on an altar is slow and cumbersome, so instead, they create a toy company that, around Halloween, sells masks containing computer chips that each have a piece of Stonehenge embedded in them. The chips are activated through exposure to a television commercial, the resulting spell liquefying the heads of those wearing the masks.
  • In the DVD Commentary for Hellboy (2004), creator Mike Mignola mentions that Hellboy's entire shtick is taking mystical artifacts and objects and turning them into tools and other utilitarian objects, specifically noting the scene where Hellboy's gear is presented. There's a sledgehammer in there, for instance. The metal for his gun was obtained by melting down several holy relics. The wooden handle is carved from a piece of the True Cross. The emblem set into the handle is in fact a magical amulet on each side. Naturally, on top of that there are various different types of bullets for battling different supernatural creatures, including ones containing silver and wood.
  • This memorable quote from Hocus Pocus: "We're talking about three ancient hags versus the 20th century. How bad could it be?" to which the Talking Animal responds "Bad." To demonstrate, said hags figure out how to fly around the sky by using vacuum cleaners instead of brooms.
  • The climax of Invitation to Hell features the main character putting on an experimental thermal spacesuit he'd developed, meant to withstand the atmosphere of Venus, to venture into the bowels of Hell itself to rescue his family. The suit comes with a laser gun.
  • In an example rife with Unfortunate Implications, the film-of-the-book of The Manitou has the titular Native American evil spirit battle a good Native American shaman to no effect in a modern hospital, only for the shaman to realize the Manitou is vulnerable to the spirits of modernity. In this case means throwing a computer at the Manitou. Ouch. Double ouch when that fails for the Native American shaman because it's "white man's magic," thus requiring the Caucasian female to save herself by banishing Native American spirits with the spirit of fax machine, photocopier, and FM radio.
  • For that matter, the vampires in Near Dark shoot guns at humans. Most movie vampires seem to think that's cheating or something...
  • The Norweigan film The Troll Hunter incorporates a few details from old troll myths, such as their ability to 'smell a Christian man's blood'. The troll expert in the film admits he doesn't really know how that interacts with Islam.
  • The UV bullets were also used in Underworld (2003) against vampires. The vamps already had silver bullets for werewolves, but the UV bullets inspired them to make guns that fire Silver Nitrate bullets. The liquid enters a werewolf's bloodstream and tissues and is impossible to get out. When humans purged werewolves in a later film, they use SN bullets and gas bombs. And also Mace-like spray to determine if someone is a Lycan. It's not clear how they dealt with the toxicity.
  • VHS:
    • In the V/H/S/2 segment "Phase I Clinical Trials", ghosts exist at certain frequencies normally undetectable to humans... at least until Herman, a man blinded in a car crash, receives an ocular implant that he later finds allows him to see at those frequencies. Specifically, he sees the ghosts of a family that it's implied he killed in that car crash, and they are not happy. The doctor who installed the implant seems to know about this side effect, telling Herman that there might be visual "glitches". Herman also meets Clarissa, a woman who was deaf until she received a similar aural implant, which allows her to hear ghosts.
    • In the V/H/S/94 segment "Terror", vampire blood violently explodes when exposed to direct sunlight. The Villain Protagonists are a militia group who seek to weaponize this, regularly draining a captive vampire's blood in order to create a light-activated bomb with which to destroy a federal building.


By Author

  • Charles Stross:
    • Played with in The Merchant Princes Series, which starts out as a fantasy novel where "world-walkers" commute from a parallel medieval universe to the present-day US. The world-walkers steal some nuclear weapons and threaten the US. Over six books, the US Government finds out that's happening, and Dick Cheney (!) puts Lawrence Livermore Labs onto finding out how, builds "world-walking" technology onto combat helicopters and aircraft, and we end in Tom Clancy territory.
    • This is very similar to Stross' earlier story A Colder War, where the Soviet Union has shoggoths displayed in a May Day military parade, and a sleeping Cthulhu as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Meanwhile the United States has a continuity-of-government shelter on an alien world, reached through a portal gate under the White House.
    • This is the point of The Laundry Files. All magic is based around very complicated mathematics. This made it very hard to do... until Turing invented the computer.
      • "The Medusa Effect" (also found in basilisks and cockatrices) is caused by a tumor in humans, and "makes about 1 percent of the carbon nuclei in the target body automagically turn into silicon with no apparent net energy input", and is both a particle and a wave. It can be deployed from any Internet-connected CCTV camera in Great Britain, and a good deal of modern cell phone cameras and video cameras, since any DRM chip can emulate the neural net caused by the tumor. One simple firmware update, and you're good to go.
      • Theoretical computational demonologists can develop a disease of the brain known as Krantzberg Syndrome, which some believe is caused by their own mathematical thoughts causing minor summonings in their own head.
      • The tie-in RPG mentions that even traditionalist thaumaturges rarely work magic without computers these days. Who wants to spend 48 hours chanting and start over every time your tongue slips, when you can get a speech synthesizer to do it for you?
      • In The Fuller Memorandum, Bob exorcises a haunted plane with a thaumic "degaussing resonator" that chimes periodically (pulled from a military-issue field exorcism kit), while reading the necessary script from an ebook reader with a backlit screen: bell, book, and candle for the modern age. This is noted to be the cheapest and most efficient, yet riskiest, options for exorcism, compared to dropping it into the ocean (where the electrolytes in salt water will degauss it eventually) or hauling it out to Wales to shoot it with a gigantic degaussing gun made for explicitly this purpose. If that weren't enough, said haunted plane is a Concorde specifically enchanted to fly missions through a dimensional portal so that the Eldritch Abomination bound on another planet is kept imprisoned via observer effect.
      • In one of the books, a cosmetics company has taken Erzebet Bathory's Blood Bath ritual and used it to create a line of anti-aging creams. The company's CEO mentions that thanks to modern computational demonology, the creams don't need more than 14 parts per million virgin blood... but sadly they still need to use the real stuff, since it's impossible to reliably synthezise the stress hormones generated by being kidnapped and ritually sacrificed in a profitable way.
  • China Miéville loves this trope.
    • Kraken has several examples, such as a prop phaser from Star Trek that's been enchanted so that it actually works.
    • Perdido Street Station, in spades. Among other things, blood sacrifices have been replaced with electrostatic generators.
    • The Pied Piper in King Rat overcomes his chief weakness — the inability to musically control more than one type of creature at a time — by mind-controlling a DJ and having her record mix tracks of his performances.
  • Mercedes Lackey's works:
    • The lead of The Serpent's Shadow, Dr. Maya Witherspoon, uses her largely untrained healing perceptions to help determine the effectiveness of new medical concepts like electrical stimulation and antiseptic surgery; in addition to using her knowledge of anatomy and the actual progression of tuberculosis to efficiently cure it via magic.
    • In Sacred Ground, the very first page mentions that the "sweatlodge" Jennifer uses for her ritual purposes is a modern electrically-heated sauna, and Jennifer's grandfather makes the point very clearly that the specifics of the ritual materials are irrelevant next to the essence of the magic.
    • Similarly, the SERRAted Edge series is about a company of racecar-driving elves who own a car company and their attempts to create a marketable product. Their foes are evil elves who make their money by making porn of some seriously illegal stuff and enjoying the pain of the people involved. It's mentioned that they have some serious copy protection; any attempt to duplicate the tapes just wipes the original and copies nothing, which people keep trying even though they're warned not to.
  • Stephen King's work is full of this:
    • Christine:
      • The climax: Evil possessed car threatening your day... do you find some magic spell to exorcise it? Bring the ghost closure so he can move on? No, you run over it with an oversized Caterpillar truck, crushing it and re-crushing it over and over until it stops healing itself, then have your local junkyard turn it into a 3-foot-square cube.
      • "Car possessed by ghost" qualifies all on its own. Especially as the novel's protagonist already theorises that it's a result of post-modern blood sacrifice magic ritual. Specifically, the previous car's owner's attitude towards the machine, and its history as well (two of the guy's family members died in it), equaled to having unknowingly performed a kind of enchantment ritual on the car.
    • Another one of Stephen King's works, a short story called The Mangler, revolves around a demon-possessed steam-press ironing machine. Which got accidentally possessed because over time the various ingredients needed for the possession ritual have been on the clothes it's washed or have been accidentally dropped in by workers using the machine.

By Title

  • Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Bottle Imp" might be one of the earliest versions of this. The hero has purchased the eponymous Artifact of Doom which grants wishes, but results in an eternity in hell if not sold for a price less than that which it was purchased. He is despondent after having to buy it back for a penny, but his wife astutely notes that due to exchange rates, coins do exist which are worth less than a cent.
  • Carnacki the Ghost-Finder is possibly the first protagonist to fully embrace this trope, devising updated versions of medieval-era protective wards that incorporate electrical wires and multicolored neon lighting.
    • One of his favorite weapons was the Electric Pentacle, a star formed out of early electric light tubes. Granted, this was a time when electricity was a pretty new idea and many people considered it pretty damn magical...
  • Turns up from time to time in Cthulhu Mythos stories, as when Robert Bloch's "The Sorcerer's Jewel" shows what happens when a crystal once used by mystics for fortune-telling is ground into a camera lens, and photos are taken through it.
  • Dance of the Butterfly takes place in our contemporary world. The demon hunters equip themselves with modern firearms, using bullets "imbued" with special qualities to be more effective against their supernatural opponents. This is depicted as a tracer-like illumination when they are fired.
  • Post-Big Uneasy, the world of Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. is full of this trope: modern-day vampires wearing sunscreen and buying expired donor blood, werewolves using giant hairdryers, etc. Some technologies have been devised specifically because of magic, such as the "Necro-Centrifuge" that can separate wood ash from vampire remains, in the event a vampire-killer's choice of wood for the stake is relevant to securing a murder conviction.
  • In Differently Morphous, the warlock Diabliere keeps his spellbook on his phone. This includes sound files for the chanting.
  • Discworld mainly has Magitek, but Carpe Jugulum had vampires who were able to condition themselves against the traditional weaknesses, like fear of holy symbols or the inability to cross running water. Later books featured the Uberwald Temperance League, a sort of Alcoholics Anonymous for vampires that channels their cravings for blood into cravings for less lethal things, like coffee or photography.
    • Count Magpyr is described as basically having vaccinated his children with holy water, helping them build up an immunity through very small amounts (his daughter remarks this gave them a lot of colds). The 'holy symbols only matter if the wielder has faith' variant also comes up, as doubt-riddled Omnian priest Mightily Oats is unable to ward them off with his turtle amulet. However, these defenses are all heavily dependent on mental focus and force of will - when the vampires find themselves cornered towards the end of the book and begin to panic, they become vulnerable again. It even ends up working against them - because the Count has given his family an encyclopedic knowledge of the MANY religions on the Disc, most of which have very simplistic symbols, they can't *stop* seeing them just about everywhere.
    • This trope is also applied to the Elves' weakness to iron, in that Elves seem to have some sort of sixth sense based on magnetism and contact with iron (especially magnetic iron) basically amounts to sensory deprivation.
  • The Dresden Files is almost completely based around this; its working title was Semiautomagik. Some examples:
    • Using $100 bills in a love potion (as a substitute for powdered diamonds). Notably, this works, but makes the love potion "sleazy" (as in, the target acts more like a porn star than a lovestruck damsel).
    • At the end of Dead Beat, the hero needs to fight a necromancer who has summoned an army of centuries-old zombies - and the older they are, the more powerful they get. He could raise zombies of his own, but violating dead sentient beings in such a way is a major crime. So what does he do? Revive a T. rex from a skeleton at a natural history museum.
    • Using a powder made from Cold Iron and depleted uranium to bind ghosts to the earth (depleted uranium standing for weight in the sympathetic magic).
    • Dewdrop fairies can still be bribed with milk and honey — but they'll do anything for pizza.
    • Black Court Vampires Hate Garlic, and garlic powder is just as effective against them as the cloves are.
    • Talismans work against some types of vampires but not others, and depend on the faith of the wielder. Harry, whose faith is in magic itself, uses his pentacle amulet to great effect.
    • In Blood Rites Harry defeats a vampire using holy water balloons. Later, he uses a paintball gun that has ammo loaded with holy water and garlic powder.
      • This trope is used against him in the same book, when a baddie recognizes a flaw in his shield, and brings mooks with flamethrowers to ambush him. The shield stops the actual fire, but not the heat, and Harry's left hand is seriously injured for the next few books.
    • There's a rule that strong magic causes technology to fail. This means that the hero is forced to drive around in a Volkswagen Beetle, because any car made after the Sixties will die on him, and he can cause computers and closed-circuit TV cameras to short just by thinking at them.
      • It's then later explained that this tendency actually has evolved with humanity and technology, and once took the form of the "witches cause milk to curdle" myth.
    • While regular iron can hurt beings from the Land of Faerie, certain bullets can hurt them even more so.
    • Also used as a bluff against The Fair Folk in Grave Peril. While in the faeries' domain, Harry throws down a handful of nails. Outraged that he would bring iron into Faerie (the equivalent of walking into a neighborhood and dumping radioactive toxic waste), the faerie in question is distracted long enough for Harry to accomplish what he needs to before informing her that the nails are aluminum.
    • When there's a need to kill a powerful vampire duke in the middle of his well-defended estate in a hostile country while he's calling all of his minions to him with intent to return and kill everyone, said duke's defenses are impressive, but they can't prevent you from using magic indirectly, such as yanking a Soviet communications satellite from orbit and dropping it on his head.
    • If you need a backup if the magic doesn't work, carry a gun. A big one. Harry has a predilection for revolvers (a .38, a .357 and a Dirty Harry a.k.a. M29 .44 Magnum). Thomas and Ramirez go for Deagles, and Murphy prefers a .45 1911 and a Belgian P90 automatic.
      • Less human factions are more than happy to use them as well. Expect everyone from Fae, Vampires, and Fallen Angels to be outfitting their footsoldiers with good old human firepower. In particular Binder is a mercenary who's main magical trick is summoning a bunch of demons he's allied with, arming them with machine guns, and using them as muscle for whoever happens to be paying him.
    • Don't have the magic to face a Naagloshii? Well, there's always the Nuclear Option.
    • This goes the other way too. In Dead Beat, Mab refers to technology as "human ferromancy".
    • There is also the time when Mother Winter (the most ancient of the Faerie Queens) quotes Einstein as proof that the Summer Knight's mantle of power is not destroyed.
      Mother Summer: What can be done with an item of value?
      Harry: Uh... it can be destroyed...
      Mother Winter: No, it can't. Your own sage tells you that. The German with the funny hair.
  • In Harlan Ellison's short story "Djinn, No Chaser", Connie frees a genie trapped in a lamp by a sorcerer for ten thousand years with a simple can opener.
  • Fate/strange Fake has many examples. False Caster is addicted to the Internet and equipped a SWAT team with pseudo-Noble Phantasms, and the Mob has access to wizards.
  • In The Forsaken Children, this pops up a lot. For example, satyrs were originally similar to most portrayals (pan flutes, wine, frolicking in fields and having wild sex), but with the advent of electro and dub-step, they've become full on ravers.
  • Good Omens is full of these. Crowley adapts his methods of temptation to modern times by causing minor-but-widespread inconveniences, such as phone service outages, so that people take out their frustration on each other (described as putting 'a light tarnish' on their souls). He also manipulates the construction of a major highway so that it creates the shape of a demonic sigil, with the thousands of cars that use it each day having a similar effect to that of a prayer wheel. He's a bit of an outlier here, though, because most of his fellow demons still find it more impressive to make individuals wholly succumb to vice one at a time, even if it takes decades (and Crowley himself believes humanity is much better at their job than they are, sending his superiors in Hell contract paperwork as inspiration for Faustian bargains). The Four Horsemen, sans Death, are another example: War is introduced instigating conflicts as an illegal arms dealer, Famine has his hands in both the diet and junk food industries (it doesn't matter if people are eating as long as the food contains no real nutritional value), and Pestilence has been replaced by Pollution, who prefers to cause environmental disasters but can also create computer viruses, which they plan to use to kick off Armageddeon by causing the world's defense systems to go haywire. They've also replaced their horses with motorcycles.
  • In Grunts! by Mary Gentle, a dragon collected modern weaponry from different realities. Orcs seized the hoard and were cursed to become cigar-chewing Marines. Pegasi don't last long against a Bell HU-1 helicopter armed with Sidewinder missiles, but guns are vulnerable to misfire spells usually used on bows. Luckily, there are magical countermeasures for misfire spells, and so on. And then the aliens came. The reverse later comes to apply; pegasi armed with Hellfire anti-tank missiles and a dragon with a technological cloaking device.
  • Harry Potter mostly avoids this in favor of Magitek, but does have a flying car and an enchanted train station. Also, the fourth book tells us that Hogwarts is enchanted so that electricity won't work on the school grounds. Potter fans are fond of debates about whether Muggle weapons could kill a wizard. And also fanfics about modern tech defeating wizards. There's supposedly a quote from Rowling which says someone with a shotgun could beat a wizard, but it's probably made up.
  • The Heartstrikers:
    • The series starts sixty years after magic has returned to the world. Dragons and spirits are a common sight, but most still hire humans with guns. Phones have "mana contacts" that connect to the user's magic (that is, soul) in order to project a personal Augmented Reality field, thaumaturgy is treated the same as any other science, and there are farms for raising magical creatures for their parts which can be used in spells—which in turn leads to arguments about "factory farms" and "free-range."
    • The sequel series DFZ takes place twenty years later, after the ancient gods have risen again. Robbing the dead is a terrible idea because there are so many death gods around, and the Spirit of the Forgotten Dead has an office full of priests who look like any other blue-collar worker. The Cleaners have magical keys that will open the door of any apartment that they bought at auction, Artificial Intelligences interface directly with their user's magic in order to anticipate their needs, and the most magical places in the city have supernaturally good wi-fi.
  • The Hollows
    • Played with, depending on the type of magic involved:
      • A spell using the highly ritualistic and symbolic layline magic that calls for blood will require cutting a specific finger with a silver ritual knife in order to work. Very magic classic(TM) rather than Post Modern.
      • However, the more physical branch called earth magic, which revolves around creating potions and activating the magic with a few drops of witch blood, takes a much more modern approach. Need blood to kindle the magic? Disposable finger sticks like a diabetic might use. Measuring liquids into your caldron? Lab style graduated cylinder, much more accurate. Heating your mini caldron? Sure you want to light the flame from your hearth (which may be a gas hob), but you're more likely to actually cook the potion over a can of sterno or a bunsen burner.
    • Several characters use "splat guns", little gas powered guns loaded with paintballs, except they're filled with the potion of your choosing. Way better than trying to throw a bottle of liquid over someone.
    • In order to make a magic circle properly secure against something as powerful as a demon, you need to ensure it's free of conduits between the outside and inside. Wires, plumbing and gas mains are more obvious examples, but several modern items can count too, including receiving a mobile phone call and a radio controlled watch updating.
    • In later books discussed by Trent researching and testing old wild, elven magic spells to figure out things like whether a spell that calls for flour is actually dependent on the flour, or on the tiny fragments of millstone that used to permeate traditional, stoneground flour.
  • In Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, the main character spends a long time trying to find out which vampire-slaying myths are true. One he proves is that a vampire who was Jewish will be repelled by a star of David. He even applies modern psychology to the problem by concluding that this, and a couple other weaknesses, are entirely psychosomatic. The vampires think that they should be affected by holy symbols, so they react as if it were actually harming them.
  • Jason Wood's Digital Knight is all about this trope. Vampire? Good thing the hero lives next door to a tanning parlor. Werewolf? Go into the X-ray room of the hospital and grab a bucket full of silver chloride. Medusa? Mirrored sunglasses.
  • In the novel John Dies at the End, two college dropouts become freelance Action Heroes after a run-in with a supernatural drug lets them see the paranormal. Their fight against unholy horrors includes the use of traditional weapons like crucifixes and holy water, along with modern innovations like Testamints and, in a pinch, a Bible bound to a baseball bat with electrical tape.
    • Also demons cannot stand the sound of celestial harmony, so the boy use '80s power ballads which work just as well.
  • In R.S Belcher's King of the Road, Brotherhood of the Wheel member Dusty Acosta is a modern hobo who investigates the Rail (the weird happenings along the US railway system). To help another member solve the case of a serial killer clown cult, he decides to do his own magic ritual. Using a mixture of hobo magic with elements of voodoo and santeria, he combines that with his love of Insane Clown Posse. Instead of the Loas and chicken sacrifice, he contacts ICP's "Dark Carnival" and uses Faygo soda. He's able to get vital information to solving the case.
  • In the Kitty Norville series, police officers end up carrying spray bottles of holy water and pistol crossbows that fire wooden quarrels. Silver paint isn't just a chrome-like color scheme. Faeries wards work just fine if the herbs come in pill form. There's a DNA test for lycanthropy and vampirism.
    • It's a plot point in the fourth book that vampires appear in mirrors and on camera if they want to or appear blurry or not at all if they don't; "it's all tricks of the light". Vampires tend to seem technophobic just because they're old-fashioned, but several have been seen using laptops and other modern technology. One vampire is perfectly willing to feed on someone with her fangs, but also uses a needle and syringe when she wants to be considerate to a wary, reluctant donor. And in the first book, a police detective brings Kitty to a murder scene so she can get the scent of the killer, and tries to treat her as evidence or witness to the crime just based on that scent even though she was nowhere near there when it happened.
  • The titular website in Magik Online allows users to purchase and download magical powers like a supernatural app store.
  • Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series heavily features this trope, as sorcerers in this series draw power from the environment around them and are strongest in urban settings. Sorcerers can do things such as cast protection spells by using subway passes as tokens of power (because the writing on the back states that only customers who have paid for tickets can enter certain areas) and throw lightning bolts by siphoning off power from nearby electric lights. Golems are made from urban garbage, wizards can animate graffiti as attack animals, and gorgons have hair made of animated cables and cameras. London itself is full of guardian spirits such as the Beggar King, the Neon Court, and the legendary Blue Electric Angels- embodying the telephone system and the Internet.
  • In the Mercy Thompson series, any holy symbol will work on a vampire, so long as it has meaning to the user. Mercy has a lamb (as in "the Lamb of God"), since she doesn't like crosses. Elsewhere, magic and technology don't interact much, though having the local witch on your speed-dial has to count for something.
  • In Modern Healing Mage enchantments can apply to almost anything, so long as the runes can be written on it. There are guns that are enchanted to fire various magical energies (providing infinite ammo so long as the mage can keep drawing more energy forth), automatically aim at targets and more. Clearly, enchanters are inspired by video game cheaters.
  • Night Watch (Series) runs with this partly. The old battle amulets exist alongside things like enchanted SIM-cards to make people calling from a specific seem more persuasive.
    • Final Watch also includes things like submachinegun bullets enchanted to be able to kill an Other up to the second Twilight (a magical dimension existing in parallel with ours) level. There is also a remote-controlled turret with enchanted rounds which will kill most Others because an inanimate object has no thoughts or malice and is very difficult to detect before you're filled with enchanted lead.
    • Modern weapons also mean the Others must be ten times more careful about breaching The Masquerade. A nuke leaves an Other nowhere to hide, as the blast penetrates into every Twilight level, except teleport, which is a difficult and time-consuming process for most.
    • It’s mentioned several times that Anton must constantly replace his mini-disc players, which get fried every time he uses a moderately-powerful spell. At the same time, prior to the first book, he was an IT guy and is well-versed in computers. The Others, generally, have no problem with modern technology and are seen using computers and cell phones plenty of times. This makes sense, as many of them are not very old.
    • It's mentioned several times that dropping The Masquerade will be disastrous for the Others, as modern technology has pretty much surpassed magic in terms of deadliness. Yes, a tri-blade will kill you with a simple flick of a wrist, but so will that punk kid from down the block with a 9mm. One of the threats in Day Watch is the possible resurrection of a crazy and powerful Dark Other from the days before the Grand Treaty and the Masquerade, who likes to take the form of a dragon. The characters pretty quickly agree that the humans would be able to, if not kill, then at least seriously hurt the dragon, but it would still result in devastation and loss of life. Helicopter gunships vs a mad dragon? Bet on the gunships.
    • Final Watch also describes how the Day Watch keeps track of all Others in their jurisdiction. Each person (especially an Other) has a unique aura visible only to Others. One of the first things that Others are taught is to recognize, remember, and send an aura to a different Other. The Others have an almost photographic memory for auras. However, there's no way for an aura to be inputted into a computer. Thus, the Moscow Day Watch employs a low-level Other who happens to be a talented artist and is their version of a sketch artist, except he paints auras, which are then scanned into a computer and entered into the database. Thus, when the Others' equivalent of an APB is put out, all Watchmen on patrol are given prints of the aura to remember. Certain tags are used to help querying the database for an aura, such as "is there a sharp curve in upper-left quadrant?".
    • In the same novel, Anton is nearly killed when a high-level earthquake spell is used against him. The kicker? He's driving in the middle of nowhere. No one should be able to know here he is. Then he realizes that the bad guys are tracking the GPS chip in his cell phone. Luckily, Geser foresaw this and gave him an enchanted SIM-card that throws off the GPS coordinates enough for any spell to miss by a few miles.
  • Pact is full of these, but the most significant example, is Diana Thompson, an Astrologer who uses skywriting equipment to reverse the usual trappings of astrology-she can create constellations which she then uses to fuel various effects, from foretelling to Emotion Control to creating astrology-based minions.
  • In Pale, technomancy is a specific magical discipline, though one that ironically has become less popular over the years as what qualifies as "cutting edge" has accelerated. Technomancers tend to pick an era and stick to it rather than chase the change, as the pattern-based nature of magic in this setting makes it hard to constantly pick up new things, so older generations of technomancers have largely become their own branches of mystical practice. Zed, a young technomancer, packs mostly older tricks like casette tapes which summon dancing, fighting spirits, a radio built-in to his car that lets him detect magical signals, and a card that can be inserted into a disk drive to generate literal bugs inside a computer, while his mentor Rad Ray Sunshine works through a flip phone and can turn passing birds into aerial drones.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians takes this in an interesting way. The gods of Olympus are the heart of Western civilization, which means that they naturally change and adapt with the times, because they embody aspects of civilization. It blends surprisingly well with their ancient roots.
    • For example: Dionysus loves Pac Man, Atlas hires mercenaries, Hephaestus is more of a mechanic than a smith, Zeus wears tailored suits, Ares drives a motorcycle and has a temple on a BATTLESHIP, Poseidon disguises his trident as a fishing rod, Aphrodite rides around in a limo, King Minos teaches someone how to summon the dead using cheeseburgers and coke, Apollo rides a sun Ferrari instead of a chariot, and don't even get us started on Daedalus...
  • Pretty much the premise of Ravirn is bringing Greek Mythology up to 21st Century tech. All of the gods have computers and it's changed how they do things, and the eponymous character constantly draws comparisons between programming and magic.
  • Rivers of London has featured such examples as plastic ghost-powered land mines, a pot farm using a comatose practitioner's everburning werelight for its grow-lighting, and magic-detecting "screamer" alarms that go off when ambient magic disintegrates the computer chips inside them.
  • In The Saga of Darren Shan, half-vampires look blurry in film, etc. while full-vampires can't be seen at all. This becomes a (minor) plot point in the ninth book, when the police are wondering exactly why they can't photograph one of the arrested "criminals".
    • And dragons are made through genetic engineering.
    • Also, apparently vampires and vampaneze aren't allowed to use guns. So, the vampaneze use ordinary people as gun-wielding foot soldiers. And then the vampires decide to use homeless people as a badass army of hobos with guns.
  • Ancient magical races in Secret City laughed their asses off, when humanity after conquering the Earth from them mostly refused to use magic. After the first science successes they couldn't hold back giggles, but shortly after they were amused and then excited by modern technologies. Need to get rid of an ancient monster? Use a satellite with a magic scanner and then kill it with an enchanted chainsaw. Want to get from Moscow to New York? Our company has no permanent portal to it yet; please pay extra fee for GPS-targeting. Spell you're working on is too complicated? You can 3D-model it with our newest software. Two agencies upholding The Masquerade actually depend on modern technologies, and one of them is also one of the largest media and Internet companies, providing a full spectrum of services to the mages' populace.
  • Pops up from time to time in Shaman of the Undead. For example, you can speak telepathically to somebody if you see him, but you can also use a photograph, because a photo is a perfect copy of a person. Also, demon hunters used to fight with enchanted swords, but now they've switched to enchanted guns.
  • In Dan Simmons' Summer of Night the Borgia Bell is said to have been created from Earth and Air (a meteor fallen to Earth) and can only be prophesied to be destroyed by the other two Classic elements, Water and Fire. So the heroes use a tank truck filled with gasoline, a flammable liquid. They also bring holy water just in case though.
  • In Temps, sorcerer Loric's briefcase contains, amongst more traditional tools, photocopies of a Tome of Eldritch Lore wrapped around "the disassembled neon tubes of a small but effective electric pentacle".
  • In Tinker by Wen Spencer, the title character, who lives in a Pittsburgh that alternates between existing in Earth and the dimension of Elfhome, creates a battery to store magical energy for those times when Pittsburgh is on Earth.
  • The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall, by John Kendrick Bangs, is a short story involving a watery ghost who appears for one hour, every Christmas Eve, at midnight, to the owner of the eponymous Hall, in a certain room. Waterproofing doesn't keep her out. Move to another room before she arrives, she'll just find you anyway. Steam-heating only shortens her visit by a few minutes and is hell on the woodwork. Try to sell the house, and she'll appear to warn the purchaser. note  The correct solution is to wear several layers of warm, waterproof clothing and a diving helmet, then go out onto the lake so she freezes, then put her in a frozen warehouse, with fireproof walls so it can't burn down. This was written circa 1894, by the way.
  • In Rick Cook's Wizard's Bane, a computer programmer pulled into a fantasy world from Earth develops a programming language for magic spells.
  • The Young Wizards books do this a lot: car antennas as wands, spells that use batteries and sugar cubes, and spellbooks uploaded onto computers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Being Human (UK), it's possible to kill a werewolf by placing him or her in a pressurized chamber during a full moon. Vampires don't show up on video, making for a unique subgenre of Snuff Film. They're also repelled by any object that a human puts faith in, which allows George, a Jew, to keep them at bay with his Star of David. Meanwhile, Death (or an agent thereof) can talk to ghosts through televisions.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a lot of these types of things, including:
    • "I Robot, You Jane" had a demon who would possess anyone who read a particular book possessing a computer after the book was scanned.
    • The Judge from "Innocence" who could not be killed by any weapon forged seems unstoppable, until the Scoobies realize that the trait is descriptive, not prescriptive, and weapon technology has come on a bit since that was written. Missile-launchers are rarely "forged". Even so, Buffy flat out stated they couldn't take chances but he was introduced as a collection of limbs, a head and a torso that had to be collected and assembled together, and he exits as a very similar collection, without anywhere near the army that was once required to be sacrificed in battle to do it.
    • In "The Gift", Glory was fooled into fighting a very realistic Buffybot that Spike had originally commissioned for... other purposes.
    • A sourcebook for the Buffy rpg implied that the comicbook style superscience displayed by Warren and Maggie Walsh was actually down to unconscious use of magic - in other words the technological 'inventors' were savants who unwittingly created Magitek, that could not have been built anywhere else other than on a Hellmouth. Buffy Season Eight proceeds to confirm this by having Hellmouth-born super-scientist Warren create secret bases and superscientific oddities around the world.
    • Jenny Calendar describes herself as a "Technopagan". Notable scenes include forming a pentagram of witches entirely over the Internet. They don't have to get anywhere close to the subject, and can still communicate.
    • In the Angel spin-off series, there's a Noodle Incident in "Life of the Party" involving a Holy Hand Grenade that didn't work on a Thraxis demon. Wesley and Knox get into an argument over whether the trigger or the spell failed.
  • In a last season episode of Charmed (1998), Billie combines her scrying stone with a GPS device, a serious upgrade compared to the sisters using their scrying stone on a map or globe.
  • Charmed (2018) runs even more with this trope, with Macy often finding a scientific basis for various spells or demonic actions. Meanwhile, demon Alistair Cain is the head of a multinational biotech company and his son is undergoing gene therapy for the conflict between his human and demon halves, while Elder Charity works for a firm that helps women in developing countries start businesses.
  • The Collector: The Devil's debt collectors used to have magic rings. Now they have magic cellphones.
  • In Haven, several centuries ago, the evil Mara and William gave hundreds of people dangerous powers called Troubles that are passed on through family lines in an effort to create chaos and suffering. These Troubles and the people who have them tend to adjust to modern times. Examples:
    • Dwight Hendrickson attracts bullets toward himself. This was a significant problem for his lineage, who were attractors for musketballs and - at one point - a cannonball. He gets around this by wielding alternate weapons like crossbows and tasers, as well as wearing a bulletproof vest because the bullets tend to curve towards center of mass. He also doesn't attract rubber bullets.
    • In "Countdown", a man causes people to see countdowns on digital screens, which turns them to stone when the timer hits zero.
    • Chris Brody uncontrollably makes people fawn over him through eye contact. It works over Skype.
    • In "Nowhere Man" and "Exposure", a woman inadvertently causes people to become invisible and intangible like ghosts when she takes their picture. According to Mara, the Trouble she gave to the woman's ancestor was to turn the victim into a ghost when she painted their portrait.
  • Reluctance to embrace this trope got a character on Highlander: The Series in deep trouble. Having already dragged his feet for ages before he even learned to read, the immortal Hugh Fitzcairn finds himself at a serious disadvantage in modern times, as he is computer-illiterate and doesn't know how to delete falsified evidence framing him for murder.
  • Turned out to be quite a hassle for Jeannie and Tony in I Dream of Jeannie. It is stated that one of the rules of magic is that genies cannot be filmed or photographed. Any photos will come out with nothing but empty clothes, Invisible Man-style. This particular quirk was eventually forgotten during the show's run... and then re-remembered during their wedding episode.
  • In season 4 of Legends of Tomorrow, the Legends connect the bones of a saint Constantine gives them to Gideon to allow her to track magical events throughout the timeline. Also, after Zari's air amulet's golden frame is melted in a fire, Ray embeds the amulet into a smartwatch for her. Later on, the demon Neron in Ray's body writes an app, whose lengthy terms of service include a clause that any user agrees to sell his soul to Neron. Also, apparently a black magic witch does not need a Human Sacrifice for magic because she can simply use electrical power in place of Life Energy, since life energy is just another form of energy. Legends of Tomorrow plays with this concept frequently.
  • The bad guys in The Librarians often combine magic with modern ideas, such as the cult of the Minotaur that's restructured itself as a corporation punningly named after the labrys (Golden Axe Food Company). The Librarians themselves try not to, since the whole point is to stop magic, but have a few tricks like connecting a tablet to a Magic Mirror for field communication. Morgan le Fay also uses a magically-enhanced smartphone app as a power boost.
  • Runaways (2017) has Morgan le Fay work to fully come out of her magical exile by gaining enough ritualists to merge the physical world and the Dark Dimension. How does she do this? By hijacking the Minoru family's tech company and putting out an enchanted cell phone that makes its users extremely possessive and influenceable, effectively making them ritualists by proxy.
  • A recurring gag in Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Sabrina or her aunts, when in need to get somewhere in a hurry, go flying in the night sky while riding atop a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom.
  • The main magic system of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Mojikara, is wielded through writing japanese kanji in mid-air using special equipment. It's been shown that precise calligraphy is required, or nothing works. Until the Sixth Ranger shows up, and reveals that he bypassed his lousy penmanship by creating "Electronic Mojikara"... that is, a cellphone with an autocorrect function that writes the kanji for him.
  • Sleepy Hollow:
    • The Headless Horseman, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, finds himself in the modern day. While he uses his old axes to chop people's heads off, he also loaded up with modern firearms.
    • The good guys trap and contain the Horseman using a combination of a magic circle and, because sunlight weakens him, UV lights.
  • Dean and Sam of Supernatural frequently encounter and make use of these. For example, one arc had them going after a weapon that was the only means of killing (no, not banishing, really killing) the monster from their tragic childhood. Rather than a mystic sword or something, turned out to be a revolver.
    • In an earlier episode, they face a Wendigo, which can only be killed by melting its heart. They don't have any hot tallow to pour down its throat, so they shoot it in the chest with a flare gun.
    • Death and War have replaced their horses with Mustangs, the kinds with engines, and Pestilence uses a pharmaceutical company to spread his diseases.
    • Also the episode where the Christian apocalypse is happening, and they run into pagan gods who really aren't happy about this.
    • The most prominent in the series is the shotgun shells filled with salt to banish spirits. The producers described it as sort of a "Eureka!" Moment.
    • A Dragon shows up, and can only be killed by a sword forged in dragon-blood. They found one, but it was trapped in a boulder ("it used to be all the rave"). When plan A (that the sword would accept Dean as a "valiant knight willing to step up and kill the beast") failed, out came plan B: Take out the C4 and blow up the boulder. This had the minor side effect of breaking the sword, but it still worked.
    • Faries have hidden their kidnappings, light appearances, and their other effects by forming groups preaching it was done by aliens.
    • At one point Bobby is faced with an Okami who normally can only be killed by a special knife that's been blessed by a Shinto priest. He doesn't have one, so he tosses her in a woodchipper.
    • In general, assorted supernatural nasties tend to be portrayed by ordinary-looking people. Which explains how they manage to stay hidden unless folks like Hunters specifically know what to look for. (And also saves on makeup.)
  • Numerous examples in The Twilight Zone (1959).
    • In "One For The Angels", Death wears a tailored suit and gathers souls like a businessman gathers clients. He can also be moved by sales pitches, though it's ambiguous if this was a true moment of weakness or just a test for pitchman Lew Bookman.
    • In the satirical episode "The Bard", Julius Moomer inadvertently summons William Shakespeare back from the dead using Ye Book of Ye Black Arte. Shakespeare then proceeds to write a television script.
    • In "Printer's Devil", the wily Mr. Smith causes various disasters with a cursed linotype machine, and attempts to get the protagonist Douglas Winters to sell his soul to him in exchange. He then uses the linotype in an attempt to kill off his assistant Jackie. Douglas' final solution to the problem? Use the linotype machine to write his deal out of existence and save Jackie's life.
    • In "Death Ship", not only is spaceship E-89's fate akin to the fate of the Flying Dutchman, it takes place in the near future rather than the present.
    • It's implied that the TV repairman in "What's in the Box" may have magic powers, or at the very least is not entirely human. Assuming it was intentional, his revenge is to enchant a television set to show future events, somewhat akin to a crystal ball.
    • Invoked in "Mr. Garrity And The Graves". Mr. Garrity claims he can resurrect the dead through the application of various scientific principles that he picked up in the Himalayan Mountains. While this claim is entirely false, he did somehow manage to bring back the dead.
  • Ultraviolet (1998):
    • Vampiric weaknesses are scienced up, such as ultraviolet susceptibility (thus the title), carbon-based bullets (instead of stakes), and videoscreen-based vampire detectors.
    • On the other side of the war, the "leeches" are quite willing to use things like genetic engineering, dodgy legal matters, and psychological warfare. As we find out in the series finale, their big plan is to use synthetic blood as a substitute for humanity. Because humanity will be extinct. Because they plan to kill them all after causing a nuclear winter to block out the sun.
    • To expand on the videoscreen bit: The traditional vampire trait of not casting a reflection on mirrors is expanded to that they are not picked up on any recording devices. In the modern world this is also a hindrance, as it means vampires cannot use telephones directly, and unless a picture was taken before one is turned into a vampire, you can forget about getting a new photo ID.
  • Warehouse 13 works on the principle that any object can become an Artifact based on investiture of emotional energy and historical significance. Artifacts have ranged from an amphora at Pompeii (spews lava) to Man Ray's camera (drains youth) to gloves owned by the stuntman from Bullitt (allow the user to drive a car through walls) to Joseph Pilates' stretch bands (prevent muscular atrophy).
  • In Wednesday, Bianca's mother uses her powers as a siren to start MorningSong, a "personal development movement that helps people take control of their lives", whose followers' bank accounts she proceeds to drain to fund her lavish lifestyle. In other words, luring unsuspecting people in with the temptation of self-actualization before she dashes them against the rocks of bankruptcy.
  • The television adaptation of The Worst Witch had an episode where some girls cast a spell to make a magic lamp on a flashlight, and wish for unlimited wishes. When the torch starts running rampant after developing a mind of its own, they put a stop to it by removing the batteries.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Marigold the unicorn uses magic to send and receive text messages with Phoebe's cell phone.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jack Veneno of the Dominican Wrestling Fedeartion and the "International Wrestling" television show was said to wrap his hands in fist tape that had been cursed by a sorceror. Apparently not good for his health but also making his punches that much harder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • d20 Modern's Urban Arcana has a lot of this; a monster is almost as likely to have a weakness to Elvis paraphernalia as, say, holy water.
    • Urban Arcana IS Post-Modern Magik. You can send spells by e-mail. There are magic paint jobs for cars. The book is a source of plenty of amusement from the sheer incongruity of magic and technology. You can shoot Bullets of Cure Light Wounds.
    • There is a spell that makes traffic lights go green for you and make taxis arrive in 1 round (among other things).
    • There are also a number of Advanced Classes devoted entirely to it, the most noticeable being Techno-Mage.
    • It's even taken to its logical conclusion by Shadow-based fast-food restaurant The Prancing Pony. Their kid's meal comes with a choice of magical toy: A temporary tattoo (which gives the wearer a boost in a skill... but just a little one) or a wind-up familiar. The wind-up familiars are basically miniature clockwork golems, mass-produced for the franchise. Completely harmless, but darned useful...
    • The Analects Arcane column in Steve Jackson Games' online d20 Magazine, which usually showcased spellbooks from a vague Medieval European Fantasy setting, had three very different Post-Modern Magik spellbooks: The Arcane-ist's Cookbook (a wodge of computer printout using magic to "hack" technology, which has the same questionable accuracy as its inspiration); The Technonomicon (laid out like an engineering textbook, describes techno-magic in matter-of-fact terms); and The Tooninomicon (based on a young mage's theory that Clap Your Hands If You Believe applies to pop culture, contains spells that duplicate the abilities of Looney Tunes characters).
  • A fair bit of this is present in Deadlands, since any item that in some way is part of a legend of any kind becomes magical. For example, Wyatt Earp's badge is a shield against outlaw bullets but disables the wearer from ever turning down a request for help, and the gun that killed Wild Bill Hickok does extra damage when used to shoot someone from behind, but will inevitably make the wielder mean as a rattler.
  • This is pretty much the entire concept of GURPS Technomancer, hence the name. Examples include television sets being used as Crystal Balls, plastic golems, magical production lines, spells that do everything from deleting commercials on TV to making someone get a busy signal every time he calls you and even smart bombs driven by the pilot possessing a rat in the bomb with a little joystick!
    • The only reason why magic exists in the setting is due to a scientist working on the Trinity nuclear tests unwittingly closing a necromatic ritual by saying "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" which then turned the mushroom cloud into the "Hellstorm" - an everlasting tornado that spews mana into the world.
    • Russia also detonates their own bomb over Antarctica, leading to a second, large hellstorm (now blanketing the entire world in mana) which causes the local penguins to become sapient magic users with a hive mind, their own technology and the ability to transform humans into hive-mind penguins. Scientists within the universe theorize that each successive nuclear detonation weakens the fabric of reality further, and a third one would bend the laws of physics worldwide to such an extent that it would make life as we know it impossible.
    • One clever use of magic in the setting is that "seelie" sightings fill the role of UFOs step for step. Strange lights in the night sky? Seelies. Missing time? Kidnapped by seelies. Encounters with odd humanoids? Seelies.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, the Virtual Adepts and Sons of Ether (computer geeks and mad scientists, respectively) are known for technomagic, as is the Technocracy (though they'd react how any real scientific organization would if you called what they do "magic").
    • Truth be told, most of the Traditions have groups who integrate their magical practices with technology, but the Adepts and Etherites make it their primary focus.
    • Elsewhere in the Old World of Darkness, the Glass Walkers tribe of werewolves, urban-oriented tribe that they are, deal extensively with technology spirits. Meanwhile, the magical abilities of the Bone Gnawers, who typically live among the urban underclass, generally make use of what the Gnawers have available to them on the streets.
    • Wraith: The Oblivion has the Artificers. Traditionally, their unique Arcanos, Inhabit, was based around possessing and controlling objects; they were able to apply these principles to soulforging, making them serve primarily as blacksmiths for the dead and creators of the great soulsteel Citadels of the Hierarchy. However, younger generations have found the principles of Inhabit apply to telephone lines, and then the Internet, making a younger Artificers more likely to focus on becoming a digital ghost.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade manages to get in on the game as well. While most vampire Disciplines are ancient arts based in the body, the mind, or the soul, the Blood Magic of the Tremere has allowed for the development of a Path of Technomancy, allowing for the manipulation of electronic devices and data from afar. By the time of the 20th Anniversary Edition, this has developed to the point that some Thaumaturges have created magically-encrypted websites that can only be read by vampires, leading to a Kindred social media site only half-joking called "Fangbook."
      • This tendency towards old vampires using new tricks is especially present in the Nosferatu. Long the major info brokers and spies of Kindred society, they got in on the Internet when it was still ARPANET, creating a vampire-exclusive dark web they dubbed Schreck Net.
      • By the time of 5th edition, however, Technomancy is ratcheted back, if not written out entirely, and this trope has turned on vampires hard. The Camarilla, the traditionalists of vampire society, saw the War on Terror as a great excuse to do what they always did and use mortal authorities as a proxy against the warlike cultists of the Sabbat. Including three-letter agencies. One mini-Masquerade breach later, several world governments now know vampires exist and aren't happy with it. An ancient sanctum of elder vampire sorcerers protected by the most powerful blood magics turned out to be no match for a drone strike, and several airports have cameras set up to detect which passengers aren't showing vital signs. It's gotten to the point that the Camarilla has ordered its members to abandon modern tech entirely, complete with ordering the Nosferatu to dismantle Schreck Net.
  • Nearly any Munchkin game, no matter what the setting is, will include anachronistic weaponry. Such as a BFG in Munchkin Cthulhu, or the ever-popular Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment in the original Munchkin.
  • Pretty much the entire NWoD operates like this. Werewolves (and mages) can have dealings with technology-spirits. Hunter: The Vigil has the Cheiron Group, whose MO is to butcher supernatural creatures and stitch the remains to their operatives. Geist has Mementos, supernatural artifacts charged with the power of death, which can be literally anything, from an animal's skull or Vlad Tepes' sword, to a '68 WV Beetle or the jacket Elvis died in. The mystical energy that empowers mummies turns out to have impressive benefits when used in pharmaceuticals.
    • In Mage: The Awakening, the Free Council are the Spiritual Successors to the Etherites. Incidentally, in the fan-made Genius: The Transgression, this means that the Free Council are the few mages that can get along with Geniuses, and perform hasty swaps whenever one is mistaken for the other.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, vampires show blurred faces in mirrors, as well as on photographs and any kind of camera unless they make an effort of will to be seen clearly. One sourcebook has an in-character essay from a vampire who says that the Masquerade will likely be broken any day now, as camera phones are fucking everywhere.
    • The Prometheans take it to another level, with a whole new Promethean type spawned by nuclear energy. Then there are the Unfleshed, a Lineage of Prometheans borne out of automatons and machinery programmed with basic drives, from Mechanical Turk-style metal men to drones to probative attempts at AI.
    • Deviant: The Renegades is designed explicitly as a game of mad science and people made different by cruel experimentation; however, the game makes it clear that Deviants are not a new phenomenon, and where now they may be created through genetic engineering, nanotech, and cybernetics, they were once (and heck, still are) created through occult rites and bizarre alchemy.
  • Pathfinder elaborates on this a bit in two adventure paths: Reign of Winter and Iron Gods.
    • Reign of Winter includes a portion where Baba Yaga is captured by her renegade son Grigori Rasputin and imprisoned in 20th century Russia. The adventurers dispatched to rescue her quickly discover that the Russians, all survivors of the Great War, have seen more than their fair share of the horrors of war, and after that, some flying magician or obsolete medieval swordsman isn't very intimidating. Baba Yaga herself is kept in an arcane prison powered by electricity.
    • Iron Gods brings the traditional gameplay aspects to a world where alien technology mingles with the medieval setting of the world. Treasure troves can be found where swords and javelins are found alongside key cards and power armor. These technological weapons, such as chainsaws and death rays, can be enchanted and imbued with magical power just like any longsword or bow by a craftsman who knows the basics.
  • Rifts works similarly. In fact, the anti-magic empire in the setting has taken to deliberately giving captured mages cybernetic implants specifically to nullify their power. In addition, the human forces in Germany have found that Depleted Uranium hurts monsters pretty bad, and rounds containing still-radioactive Uranium actually keep them from using their supernatural healing abilities. It has also been discovered that the "running water" weakness of Rifts' Vampires is pretty liberal, and that even a Super-Soaker(tm) is a lethal weapon against them.
    • Coming at it from the other end, some mages decided to take the concept of magic as a type of energy literally, and created Techno Wizardry. This allows them to power technological devices with their own Mana reserve, as well as giving modern devices magical powers, such as guns that can shoot fireballs.
  • In Scion, you play the modern children of the gods and have relics that are tied to you and either have a unique property or let you channel your own power. The player is expected to craft a legend around his relics. Some of the sample relics include a smartphone that bounces its signal off a tower in Asgard (which lets it get reception anywhere), perpetual motion machines fueled by Legend that can replace gas tanks, and the tommy gun of Eliot Ness.
    • One of the example characters, a son of Thor, has a huge hand gun the hammer of which is made from a piece of Mjölnir. Also, in his demi-god and god incarnations, this character's muscle car can fly and, if covered with a slip cover, will be completely repaired of all damage the next day in a manner analogous to his father's goats.
    • A number of titanspawn are... updated. The Centaurs are a biker gang surgically attached to their bikes by a demented Scion, while Scylla is an oil rig whose "heads" are its former crew. One adventure hook given involves a Gorgon getting into the cosmetics business and selling makeup containing a small amount of its blood (which turns women into medusae).
  • Shadowrun combines Cyberpunk and magic, but separates the two to an extent. The concept of essence, sort of a measure of how connected to nature one is, or how much humanity one has left, determines magic power and susceptibility to magic. Thus, a heavily-cyborged person with a low essence has no spell casting ability, but can barely be touched by a fireball... or a healing spell. This is half world building, and half an anti-munchkin game balancer.
    • Technomancy (a new breed of "magic" based around the matrix and technology) tends to work a bit better with the world of cyber; though it still requires essence, so most technomancers are not cybered themselves. Fortunately for them, they don't need it most of the time on account of having what amounts to a biological wireless router in their heads.
    • The setting deals with interaction of magic and technology a fair bit even outside cybertechnology. For instance, if a spell is defined as requiring a line of sight to its target, does a live camera feed suffice? Answer: Any visual which has been converted into electronic data before reaching the spellcaster's eyes does not count. A purely optical system consisting of fiber optic cables and lenses, on the other hand...
    • There is a way to combine magic and cybertech... but it sucks. Some people can be so heavily cybered that their Essence drops below zero. This would normally kill them, but through the arts of cybermancy, they can be made to still live... in a way. And by "in a way," we mean they become a walking black hole for magic, need an implant that keeps their memories grounded to keep from experiencing permanent derealization/depersonalization disorder, and can easily develop cancer at any time. There's a reason they're called "cyberzombies."
    • Shadowrun also explores the idea of marketing technology to magic users to do their occult tricks and the commercialization of magic itself. The megacorporations will exploit anything to make money, including magic and its users. While having technology installed into the body disrupts Essence and digital representation disrupts occult foci there are no such restrictions on mages using modern devices to acquire spell components or to record their spell formula. One of the in-universe ads within the source books focuses on an expensive portable kit that features a water condenser/purifier for collecting morning dew in urban areas, a clean burning heater to brew potions, refrigration for perishable reagents, integrated wireless for referencing an eletronic spellbook or video tutorials, and a host of other convenience features.
  • Unknown Armies plays the whole Post Modern Magik thing to the hilt (it even has a source book by that name). In the game, magick doesn't arise out of a certain religion or belief system — rather, it arises out of doing something that shouldn't work and making it work, usually with extremely risky results. Certain magical schools include: Epideromancy, the ability to control flesh by wounding yourself; Videomancy, the ability to rewrite reality by obsessively watching television programs; Entropomancy, the ability to manipulate probability by doing Jackass-level things; Dipsomancy, one of the more versatile schools of magick, powered by alcoholism; and Pornomancy, the ability to control people and their emotions by performing ritual sex acts copied from a magical porno tape.
    • Unknown Armies takes the notion of Post Modern Magik a step further than this — instead of just finding small, modern innovations in archaic magic, the game makes a point of stating that what is considered to be "traditional" magic is obsolete. Magic-users who practice antiquated forms of occultism are shown to have fairly minor abilities when compared to what the postmodern magicians can bring to bear... until they manage to dig up the right ritual.
  • Witch Girls Adventures combines this with Magitek in the form of the discipline of Cybermancy. Modern Witch Girls can use cell phones, computers or Buck Rogers rayguns instead of wands to cast spells, have neon-plastic broomsticks (or ride enchanted motor-scooters), shoot Pong blocks instead of fireballs and otherwise update their magic to the 21st century. Traditional witches often look down on Cybermancy for this reason, of course.

  • Lego's Nexo Knights line has high technology in a medieval fantasy setting. One of the supporting cast is a wizard named Merlok whose body was destroyed and his mind preserved as a hologram. He supports the titular knights in battle by casting magical buffs transmitted to them on the field over Wi-Fi. The series finale unveils a mecha body for him to go into battle with, finally allowing him to assist the knights directly with offensive spellcasting.

    Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry has plenty of this, with Dante shooting enchanted bullets, shotgun blasts and grenades as readily as he swings an enchanted sword.
    • In the first game, some Enemy Files point out that the demons you face (such as the Sin Scythes and Shadows) are used to fighting knights who wield swords, thus Dante's guns give him a massive edge because they have no idea what they're working against, even before taking into account said guns have infinite ammo because of Dante's devil power.
    • The reboot takes it even further. Are the demons trying to take over the world via opening some Sealed Evil in a Can? Nope, they're just corrupting our banking systems, news programs, club scenes, and soft drinks. One of the protagonists is a witch who has her Eye of Newt stored in aerosol spray cans, and her Wiccan magic symbols printed onto stencil sheets, and on a few occasions, powerful magic spells are hooked up to computer servers that are hacked into.
  • The Demonic invasion in Doom was caused by Martians experimenting with teleportation opening a portal to Hell, which was later found by human colonists. Many of the demons themselves are cyborgs, including the final boss of the first game.
    • The reboot took this even further: the UAC tapped Hell like an oil field, extracting Argent Energy, filtering out the harmful properties and wirelessly distributing it across the Solar System as an inexhaustible power source. And it worked without problems for nearly a century before Olivia Pierce came along and deliberately made things go wrong.
      • The way Revenants come into existence is quite telling: a human volunteer is surgically mutilated and cybernetically fitted with a jetpack and shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, then pumped full of unfiltered Argent Energy until they die in agony and reanimate as a demon. A demon with a jetpack and rocket launchers, that is. And then there's the Cyberdemon, an ancient Baalgar shadow lord's fossilized corpse reanimated with Argent Energy infusion and fitted with modern armor, a rapid-fire rocket launcher and a particle beam cannon to create the "ultimate battle demon" for UAC.
      • In-game codex entries reveal that not only Samuel Hayden's Wetware CPU Cyborg body is powered by Argent Energy too, the BFG fires Argent Energy as well.
  • Dwarf Fortress is set in a classic Medieval European Fantasy world, but also features a physics simulation that is realistic in most non-magical respects. This causes side effects that put it firmly in this trope.
    • Magical diseases follow the same contagion rules as mundane ones, making it possible for a Zombie Apocalypse to infect your fort even when nobody's been bitten, if somedwarf wears a tainted tunic.
    • Anything that came from an animal can be reanimated by a necromancer, including things like its empty pelt. This is an Ascended Glitch.
    • Forgotten Beasts are procedurally generated from all the materials and modifiers that the game can apply to creatures, sometimes resulting in a fearsome Werechinchilla.
  • In Eternal Darkness, Pious normally uses magic but is quite willing to use a pistol to try and take out Lindsey. One of the most prominent spells is enchanting weapons, which works on guns. Towards the end of the game, Michael destroys the Forbidden City using enchanted C4.
  • In Fetch Quest, Solomon had to collect the four mystic shotguns to activate a powerful EMP bomb.
  • Fury Unleashed has elementally-enchanted weapons that happen to be sniper rifles, man-portable autocannons, PDW's/SMG's, assault rifles, and magnum pistols.
  • Similarly, in Grim Dawn, you are equally likely to find a magical gun with a legendary backstory (for example, Oathbreaker, a cursed flintlock pistol that occasionally fires a magic missile when paired with the Oathbreaker's Shield) as you are an equivalent magic sword. It also has the Demolitionist class, whose skills involve enchanted Molotov Cocktails and hand grenades; their explosives are explicited out as a combination of regular old explosives, sorcery and blessings of an angry fire God.
  • In Minecraft, gunpowder can be added to magical potions to make them splash potions.
    • It is also fairly common in multiplayer worlds to decrease the travel time of minecart public transit lines by using mystic portals to relocate them to the nether.
    • An enterprising user has created a machine that uses enchanted armour to automatically create pathways above an endless Void in the End, an Eldritch Location.
    • With the addition of the Hopper to the game, players are now able to create automated potion brewing factories, although this isn't particularly widespread quite yet.
      • The Hopper and the Dropper can be combined to create conveyor belts of indeterminate length (as opposed to previous attempts which were hampered by the 5 minute time limit imposed on item entities), which aid immensely in inventions like the automated potion factory
    • Exaggerated with player-made mods that add more extensive technology and magic systems, and mod packs that incorporate both.
  • Nocturne (1999) revolves around a secret U.S. government agency called Spookhouse created for battling supernatural threats during the Interbellum era. The tools in your arsenal include mercury, silver and "aqua vampire" bullets for dealing with different types of monsters. The Spookhouse has also developed a weapon which fires pulses of simulated sunlight. And there is a mission where you foil Al Capone's plan to create an army of undead gangsters using technology acquired from one Doctor Frankenstein.
  • Dark Bloo Inn in Paper Mario: Color Splash is a hotel haunted by a group of Toads who had passed away long ago inside of it. As a ghost's duty is to scare people away from the building, one of them takes the pragmatic approach and spends his days at his laptop on review sites, bombarding the hotel with bad reviews.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduce Rotom, a spirit-like Pokémon able to inhabit and possess electronics. By Pokémon Sun and Moon, friendly Rotom are used to provide sentience to specially-made Pokédexes, and Pokémon Sword and Shield takes the concept to its logical 21st-century conclusion by having Rotom inhabit smartphones as all-purpose assistants—or, for one character, as a way to take selfies without needing to use his hands.
  • Numerous examples in The Secret World. Among some more common ones:
    • Modern weapons can be "infused with anima", an equivalent to making them magical. These weapons are used by player characters, secret military units, and most other factions in the game.
    • Vampires, werewolves, and other creatures are cross-bred with humans by numerous shady organizations and Mad Scientists. The entire Transylvania arc is built partly around the former Soviet Union's experiments with the paranormal, from the creation of vampire Super Soldiers to the training of "phantom cosmonauts" to explore parallel dimensions.
    • The Orochi Group's sins against nature and humanity in this regard could fill a whole page. They have their own version of the Bee-imbued player characters under a paramilitary organization called the Mitsubachi. They kept a Bee-imbued man Strapped to an Operating Table and used him as a source of organ transplants to give their drones access to Agartha, knowing that they would constantly regenerate due to the Bees' magical healing powers. They tried to turn supernatural creatures, many of them sentient, into food products, and added caffeine to their recipe for artificial blood in order to get their vampire customers more easily addicted (which backfired). They tried to turn the Filth into an energy source. Their bank, Faust Capital, is run by the demon Mephistopheles. And don't even ask about CEO Samuel Chandra, and especially not Chairwoman Lily Engel.
  • Most of the Shin Megami Tensei games have the main character using a specially-programmed personal computer to communicate with and summon demons. The Devil Survivor version explicitly notes that it automates the various "traditional" rituals.
    • Persona 4 involves the main characters exploring an Eldritch Location accessed through televisions.
    • Another example is in Persona 5, where access to the Metaverse is granted through a cellphone app.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV has the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado empowering their Samurai to protect the kingdom by giving them magical bracers...which have an easily-recognizable computer built in with a personal assistant AI called Burrows. It gets more complicated once you reach Tokyo.
  • Touhou Project has plenty of this, thanks to being about magical beings hiding from the modern world, but still capable of stealing modern tech. Subterranean Animism takes the cake, however, as the plot involved Physical Godesses feeding a dead sun god to a hell raven to create a living nuclear fusion reactor. Hatate is introduced two years later as an ancient youkai whose superpower is related to her cellphone camera.
    • Undefined Fantastic Object begins with the characters thinking that the sudden appearance of UFOs is connected to the Seven Gods of Fortune. The truth is actually far stranger: they were created by the Nue.

  • Part of the premise of Bloody Urban is that it shows the ways that monsters fit into a version of the modern world that considers them completely normal, so it includes things like ghouls eating rotten meat out of supermarket dumpsters and vampires putting human hearts into their nutri-bullets.
  • Buildingverse works occasionally dabble in this trope. The most widespread is the idea that even the most powerful supernatural forces have mobile phones, from angels to fairy queens, but there is also travelling through phone-lines and other examples.
  • Crystal Heroes: The books in the library dungeon mention the study of magic as a biological process and mana and ether as a chemical substance in the atmosphere. Additionally, Ayanna's staff appears to have wires and electronic lights built into it.
  • The Dragon Doctors takes place in the future, but it's a future that looks a lot like the modern age, with magic. Most of the main characters apply modern science and societal notions to the fantastic, leading to a lot of Sufficiently Analyzed Magic.
  • Dragon Tails goes along a similar line of reasoning as Buffy vs. the Judge. A malevolent legendary creature's only documented weakness involves mirrors and moonlight, but it turns out to have an undocumented weakness to rocket launchers.
    • Also, a Gorgon's stare doesn't work if you look at it through a sniper scope and a stinger missile can take out a phoenix before it does the whole "ashes" thing.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court normally keeps magic and technology separate, even though two of the science teachers are practicing magicians. They probably want to avoid incidents like the one with the shadow-possessed robot.
    • Recent revelations show this definitely hasn't always been the case- there's a large room full of functional "robots" with no moving or electrical parts, yet which rely on socketed microchips.
    • And now it doesn't, since magic is being used as a branch of technology, connected to computers.
  • In Housepets! Sabrina uses a Ouija Board like an instant messenger with ghosts.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Belkar uses a sheet of lead to block a paladin's "Detect Evil" ability, explicitly comparing it to Superman's X-Ray Vision. In Dungeons & Dragons, which OotS parodies, the detect spells can be blocked by a thin sheet of lead, 2 inches of wood, or a foot of dirt.
    • Belkar later sues the person who used it on him (Miko Miyazaki) noting that harmful radiation also is blocked by lead, and many of the things she used it on are now dead. She killed them because they registered as evil, but that is simply a technicality.
    • In a later strip, Redcloak summons titanium and chlorine elementals, and later still, a silicon elemental.
      Redcloak: It's not my fault everyone else limits themselves to four elementals. Some of us got passing grades in chem. I mean, fire shouldn't even count. It's a chemical reaction. They aren't called "reactionals," you know.
      Demon Cockroach: He besieged me with science!
    • It should be noted that other wizards are aware of the Periodic Table of the Elementals, but refuse to use them because of tradition.
      Hinjo: What are those things?
      Vaarsuvius: Titanium. Very distasteful. Does he not know the classical elementals are classics for a reason?
  • Happens frequently in Sluggy Freelance:
    • When they raid a vampire's lair, the characters bring along a gatling gun that fires wooden stakes, a switchblade they silver-plated, and a whoopie cushion filled with holy water.
    • Demons who invade another dimension sell the human souls they capture in supermarkets, and, after some hassle figuring out how they work, use cellphones to coordinate their battle plans.
    • Cute Witch Gwynn creates a magical golem out of the various pieces of clutter around the apartment, named "Clutter Monster."
    • The Orsintos research center, though shrouded in mystery, seems to have been a government program designed to "weaponize ghosts," at least one of which communicates with the heroes via cellphone.
    • Three Words: Mecha Easter Bunny.
    • And, of course, the very first strip:
      Riff: I'm trying to summon the Devil online.
      Torg: Proves my point. In the new millenium you'll be able to sell your soul in a nanosecond! But wouldn't it be easier to just email him?
      Riff: Yes! Spam Satan!
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • Spirits of Rash victims can cause radios to malfunction. In Chapter 6, Lalli is shown using magic to unjam the crew's radio.
    • The summon Onni sends to the crew long-distance in Chapter 13 is implied to need a source of fire to be able to show up at its destination. The hint towards this is that it shows up via Emil's flamethrower.
    • An early attempt to cure the Rash sickness caused what appeared to complete brain death. What the scientists didn't know was that their cure caused the victims' souls to be stuck in the world without a way to the afterlife. The souls grew angry and insane over the following 90 years.
  • Use Sword on Monster, following some revisions to reality, introduced a "mage" who casts spells through a tablet app, which can also identify and counter or copy enemy spells.
  • xkcd: ''Time passes differently in Narnia, so by putting the CPU and storage for my machine there, I was able to run through the Folding@Home and SETI@Home databases in about an hour."

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Nearly all of Linkara's equipment and technology, most of which is taken from various sci-fi franchises, is actually only working because he used a spell that transforms the item it looks like into the item in question. Like enchanting a toy gun would make it a real gun, or a toy Sonic Screwdriver into the real deal. The more powerful an item'd be (Like, a Power Morpher) the more time it'd take.
  • Bay 12 Play-by-Post Games tend to feature a lot of it. Bay 12 Monster Girls and both Everything Gaidens in particular.
  • The Insane Cafe Series RPs Rise of the Shurlups and The Curse of the Haunted Hotel have this in spades.
    • A character uses a Remington 870 shotgun that fires bolts of green fire (no unlimited ammo though).
    • Another character wields an enchanted switchblade.
    • A villain uses mustard gas (enchanted for extra lethality)
    • Golems are made out of scrap metal and given heavy weapons.
  • Non-Urban Fantasy example: The Lay of Paul Twister's Paul Twister is a modern American trapped in a Standard Fantasy Setting. When a powerful wizard is working a dark ritual from behind a shield spell that the team's mage can't blast through, and Paul's Anti-Magic has been nullified, he reasons out another way:
    Gerald had said that magical shielding was a matter of energy versus energy. Well, kinetic energy is based on mass times the square of velocity. Time to see how it holds up against the force of two tons of metal moving at highway speeds!
    • When a wizard who has been to modern-day Earth and back has important secrets to keep, he secures them with a magical implementation of public-key encryption, which he studied during his time on Earth, correctly reasoning that not even Paul's Anti-Magic can break it.
  • SCP Foundation is a secret organization that tries to contain and use science to study many horrifying paranormal objects. It deals with objects ranging from ancient Egyptian God figures, Cain and Abel, and monsters from beyond our reality, to video games that level the actual player, a camera that takes photos of a persons desires, and a horrifying video of a Reagan speech.
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG: Mr. Welch attempted to use a roll of photographic film to strangle a werewolf. The GM didn't let him.
  • In Trinton Chronicles nearly everything runs on a blend of scientific principles and mystical energies. Robots can use pre-stored spells, magical items can double as personal protective shields, and even whole rooms can be enchanted to move objects around according to sorting needs.
  • An occultist-themed "Troll Science" meme is based on this trope. It begins by stating "The King's Pact binds them [i.e. demons]. They cannot show themselves or speak to us." Then it points out ways to circumvent the pact: "create ways to see without seeing" (computer imagery); "create ways to speak without speaking" (social media). The implication being, of course, that demons might be speaking through your computer even now.
  • The Point of Divergence in Vivere Militare Est is the Ghostapo using The Holocaust as a massive, industrial-scale Human Sacrifice to power all manner of preternatural weaponry, which manages to bring them Back from the Brink in 1945 and end World War II with a negotiated peace. We later see computers used to recite spells thousands of times faster than a human being can, human and animal souls being treated as a literal fuel called "gastplasm", Israel weaponizing golems, Japan pioneering the use of tsukumogami as AI-like systems for consumer appliances, and "despoiler bombs" that use those aforementioned computers and gastplasm to power massive spells that consume the souls of everyone in the target area. (One such despoiler bomb was dropped on Kyoto, which is still inhospitable to human life.)
  • Done a lot in the Whateley Universe. Demons and devils exist, but a tough enough mutant can fight them. The mutant Ecto-Tek hawks devises which can stop or even kill Weres, but are harmless to humans. Carmilla and Fey have specifically talked about devisers and whether that counts as modern magic.
    • And in "Christmas Elves", when Hekate wants to make sure that Fey cannot escape, she has the requisite magic circle welded into the (metal) floor of the base she's using.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, while battling the Enchantress and the Executioner, Iron Man's suit is damaged, Giant Man is out, and Wasp is caught by the Enchantress. When Hulk arrives and breaks the Enchantress' concentration. Thor powers up Mjölnir's thunder magic.
    Enchantress: Your magic is nothing against mine.
    Thor: You are not my target, witch!
    (Previously crippled Iron Man stands up surrounded by electricity)
    Jarvis: Armor energy reserves at 214%.
  • The matter of crosses affecting non-Christian vampires is discussed in Castlevania (2017). Sypha asks why a Hindu vampire would recoil from a cross, which Trevor explains as being a completely secular matter. Vampire senses are highly specialized to track and hunt fleeing prey - a "large, geometric shape" being brandished in their face without fear causes them to recoil in panic as their sight is temporarily disoriented.
  • Gargoyles breathes this trope.
    • For starters, there's the curse cast on the Clan that keeps them in their stone sleep "until their castle rises above the clouds." Xanatos, to break the spell, simply builds a skyscraper and plunks the castle atop it. Problem solved.
    • And again, when Demona casts a spell to freeze the entire city of Manhattan in stone all night, every night, until the sky burns (using a TV broadcast!). The solution? Disperse a hyper-flammable gas throughout the sky above Manhattan and light it on fire.
    • The system here was basically written so this trope could be had fun with; in the show's setting adding some kind loophole to spells makes them stronger, so wizards from ye olden times dealt with their requirement of a weakness by making their loopholes seemingly impossible... but modern technology can do quite a bit of things that were considered impossible centuries ago.
      • This was even set up with a minor Loophole Abuse earlier in the arc. The spell is stated to affect "All who see this, All who hear this". This allows Hudson's blind friend to be unaffected by the spell, because he couldn't see the broadcast. Hudson is able to recognize that magic is in play, and turns off the TV to stop the spell from affecting the Gargoyles. The Blind Friend, who was previously introduced in the Very Special Episode about reading books, is a bookworm who understands Latin, is able to translate the spell and give the Gargoyles the condition to break the Spell.
    • How to fight against a malevolent fairy? With iron-plated robots! Which also lead to the interesting clarification that energy is energy, whether the source is scientific or magical.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • In one episode, Uncle gets a fax machine, but doesn't understand it and tries to exorcise it. But, we find out at the end, he can cast spells over the phone just fine, despite his catchphrase that "magic must defeat magic" (apparently technology can still assist).
    • In a James Bond parody episode, an evil genius used a giant radio telescope and a satellite array to amplify the weak magic of a stone artifact to create a laser-based doomsday weapon.
  • The Real Ghostbusters often deals with this while trying to figure out how to defeat a supernatural enemy, whether it's by tricking the Headless Horseman into crossing running water through holography or jury-rigging solar-frequency lasers to fight off vampires. Some of the mythological figures have also taken on more relevant forms for the modern age: the Headless Horseman now looks like a headless motorcyclist, the Sumerian god Marduk appears as an ordinary New Yorker (though photographs can reveal his true form) and a famous pop singer turns out to be a genocidal banshee. One episode reveals that the Eiffel Tower is a primitive Magitek containment unit.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Post Modern Magick, Post Modern Magic


The New Gods

With the increase in technology, sleeker, more modern gods like the New Gods are appearing, channeling their power through technology and modern convenience. For example, Technical Boy (New God of the Internet) meets Shadow in a VR limo.

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Main / PostModernMagik

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