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Unequal Rites

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V's a wizard, for the record.

"A wizard being called a sorcerer is sort of like having a PhD and someone telling you that you only managed to graduate because you have natural talent.
A wizard being called a warlock is like having a PhD and being told you only managed to graduate because you gave the dean a quickie in the alley behind the movie theater."

It's not uncommon to see a lot of rivalry between magicians in a fantasy setting, be it due to academic pride, competitive spirits, or plain envy. This is especially common if the setting has Mutually Exclusive Magic... and even if it all comes from the same source.

Much like the rivalry involved in Magic Versus Science, magic users will be prejudiced against each other based on their philosophy regarding magic, how they study it, and/or how they cast spells. You'll frequently see mages versus wizards versus witches versus clerics versus shamans *deep breath* versus druids versus warlocks. Put another way, a wizard of Ritual Magic will sneer at a bard who approaches magic as music, casting spells based on poetic rules. And of course both will scoff at the cleric whose magic is based on articles of faith rather than academic or artistic viewpoints. All of these magic-users, coming from formal traiditons and trained in specific ways, will look down their noses at the village Hedge Mage and his cobbled-together collection of knowledge and minor spellcraft. And then you have things like Psychic Powers and Ki Manipulation, which carry the additional question of whether they're magic at all or something else entirely.

Frequently the themes behind the various forms of magic will take one of the various points within Functional Magic. Magicians who follow Magic A Is Magic A will be academic, studious, and always "researching" new spells. Artistic mages usually have some form of Functional Magic that they tap into in unconventional ways. Hermetic Magic practitioners follow ritual like academic magicians but usually ignore the "how" and "why" in favor of theological explanations or even plain old faith. Expect these mages to be on differing sides of Harmony Versus Discipline, with some seeking to "control" magic, others to "channel" it, and some to understand and influence it. Conflict between different schools of magic can also be connected to a setting's regional and cultural divides if different communities all follow their own distinct magical traditions.

Objectively, expect all these magical approaches to be valid in their own right, usually have Competitive Balance, while at times being capable of a Yin-Yang Bomb when various disciplines collaborate. (For example, ritual magic is usually stronger than other magic, but takes longer and requires spell components. Meanwhile, academic wizards usually only need to speak or even think to use a spell, but their craft requires great training, study, and discipline.) One frequent representation of this is the Trash Talk seen when people with opposite Elemental Powers fight each other. Only very rarely will these settings reveal there are Red Mages who combine these varying forms of magic.

This trope is named for the Discworld book Equal Rites.

Mages that ignore differences and mix-n-match supposedly-incompatible varieties of magic are described under The Red Mage. Compare Magic Versus Science and Hard on Soft Science, since usually one approach will be more scientific than the other. Of course, if you throw in science as well, expect all degrees of deadly projectiles to start flying.

Magic or Psychic? covers the conflict between Functional Magic and Psychic Powers, specifically.

For a trope that covers a (usually) different kind of prejudice among fantasy characters, see Fantastic Racism. Compare Klingon Scientists Get No Respect.

See also Our Mages Are Different for the "participants" of this conflict.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon: An omake in the World Guide explains that magic is separated into an elf school and a gnome school. Both involve commanding tiny elemental spirits, but elvish magic is about compelling them with precise instructions, while gnomish magic beseeches the spirits and makes polite requests. Elven magic produces consistent results, but gnomes view it as disrespectful to the spirits; gnomish magic is easier on the caster and can be more powerful than elven magic (if the spirits are feeling generous), but elves look down on it as primitive. Eventually, the two races went to war, and found that spirits don't care about ideology; magic killed both sides just the same.
  • In The Ancient Magus' Bride, Alchemists, who treat magic as a science that can be learned by anyone, with enough practice, use a form of Hermetic Magic; Mages are born with their powers, which stem from communication with the world of Wild Magic and are therefore both much more potent and much more dangerous to learn.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: In the first movie, it is revealed that Clow Reed had a rival in the form of a water-diviner known only as Madoushi. She was always trying to outdo him, but he always prevailed, mainly because her power was used mainly for personal gain (thus limiting its potential), and Clow Reed used it for other (benevolent) purposes too. The rivalry is complicated because she had feelings for him, which may have been reciprocated note ...but she became a threat and had to be sealed away in an alternate dimension by Clow. (In the English dubbed version, she is a former student of his who actually became his girlfriend... and then turned to The Dark Side, whereupon Clow broke up with her and then sealed her away.)

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Justice League Elite: In one story, the team goes up against the witch Circe. The team mystic, Manitou Raven, shows disdain for Circe's methods, claiming that they barely qualify as magic because they don't involve any kind of personal sacrifice as his magic does.
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose: The world of witches is portrayed as being perpetually divided by methods and ideologies. This is presented as largely a good thing, as it allows for individuality and prevents zealots like Raven Hex or Azure from organizing the witches for evil ends.

    Fan Works 
  • Black Sky: Dying Will Flames are very not magic, in spite of the resemblances. Magic comes from the blood, and Soulfire - as it is called by the magical protagonists - comes from the soul (duh). Squalo is quite miffed by the wizards' insistence to label the Flames as magic, while Narcissa Malfoy blatantly considers the Flame-Actives as different from magicals and muggles.
  • Child of the Storm: There are two schools of magic - Wanded and Wandless. As a rule, Wanded is more controlled and precise, more standardised, and much quicker to pick up, while Wandless takes longer to develop, but is much more intuitive and flexible, and practitioners live much longer. The differences are inborn, and compared to being right or left handed. However, like being right or left handed, they're not exclusive or insurmountable; there are varying degrees of overlap in talent (e.g. there are Wanded wizards such as John Constantine with natural ability at Wandless magic), and they can be overcome through training - moreover, Giovanni and Sindella Zatara, parents of Zatanna Zatara, invented a fused version of the Art.
    • Additionally, Wandless practitioners have a number The Dresden Files style distinctions: Wizard (gender-neutral term, part of the White Council: the In-Universe equivalent of a PhD and/or a Black Belt, though a certain level of power is required), Sorcerer/Sorceress (mid to heavy weight practitioner, but poorly educated), Warlock (also gender-neutral, power-level irrelevant - someone who's broken one of the 7 Laws of Magic), and 'Minor Talent' or 'whatevermancer' for lesser/more specialised practitioners. Wizards tend to look down on all of the others, and not entirely without reason... but the associated arrogance can be their downfall.
  • The Discworld of A.A. Pessimal runs with the logic and philosophy of canon and suggests several refinements. For instance, the Eight Orders of Wizardry that nearly destroyed the world in canonical books like Sourcery still exist. But these days, they have become the Unseen University equivalent of American student frats, and are just drinking and dining clubs for Wizards and Students of a like mind. Some applications of magic, as they evolve, are blending the analytical Wizard approach with the intuitive Witch approach: the City Air Watch, now it is accepting Wizards as aircrew, is the examplar of this.
  • Harry Potter and the Boiling Isles: Eda is rather unimpressed by how human wizards usually need to use wands to cast spells, since in the Isles wands are simply training tools used by young witches and witches can cast spells solely by drawing a spell circle for the desired spell, and even Harry has to admit (when seeing the goons Gregore hired), that the magic of the Isles seems powerful. Upon meeting Hedwig she also takes a moment to rub in how her Palisman Owlbert can become a flying Magic Staff while the other owl can't. When Eda has to admit that they have one thing over the Boiling Isles system in that they let wizards use any kind of magic instead of limiting it to a single type like with the Coven system, she feels like she's going to throw up.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, contains a minor example, as it turns out “normal” wizards, or at least Amboyse from Pachet's Fine Spells and Scrolls, look down on Native magic (the kind that Paul knows). Whether the Native wizards feel the same way about “normal” magic is not known.

  • In An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, a few lucky humans are born with sorcery. Sorcery is general-purpose, but each sorcerer has one innate specialty usually based on their personality. They need book learning to do anything complex (so there's quite a market for sorcery blueprints) and mana to power their spells. Mysticism is what albinos- of all species- have. It is entirely intuitive, much more powerful than sorcery, not hindered by any of the limitations mentioned above, and isn't affected by anti-sorcery collars either. However, most albinos in the setting don't live to adulthood because criminals butcher them for Human Resources.
  • One of the worst insults you can deliver to a sorcerer in The Belgariad is to call him a "magician". Sorcerers use their Will, focused by a Word, to perform their feats. Magicians tell their (hopefully-)bound demons to go do something.
  • A Certain Magical Index has the magic side and the science side (the latter having both advanced technology and espers).
    • To begin with, both sides have a mutual treaty to minimise contact with each other. This results in the vast majority of the science side having no knowledge of magic, though the reverse is not true. A number of magicians look down on science. When science-side characters encounter magic, they often don't believe it's real and/or think it's actually esper abilities.
    • The science side was founded by Aleister Crowley, a legendary magician who founded the modern system of magic but later came to hate it. Aleister considers his personal style of magic to be superior to that used by others because it avoids collateral damage. His primary goal is to wipe out magic.
    • The science side is relatively unified, with no particular conflict between espers with different types of powers - telekinetics and telepaths don't hate each other, for example. There is conflict between espers of different power levels, but that falls outside this trope.
    • The magic side is heavily divided due to conflict between faiths, since most magic is based on religion. The three main magic factions are the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. These generally don't get along with each other and sometimes reach the point of open combat. Then there are smaller organisations like magic cabals, which are generally looked down on by the bigger groups.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci Chronicles, there are levels and ranks in magic from "the lowest certified witch" to the most powerful nine-lived enchanters. Passing references are made to people being sorcerers, magicians, hedgewitchs, warlocks, hags (though the last three are insulting).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Magician's Nephew, Jadis holds Andrew Ketterley in contempt for almost as many reasons as the reader does, but they're all different reasons — and the very first is this trope: "You are a Magician — of a sort ... a little piddling Magician who works by spells and books. There is no real Magic in your blood or heart."
  • In Tamora Pierce's Circleverse series, the two types of mages (ambient and academic) each view the other with derision; the academics view the ambients as backwater weaklings, and the ambients view the academics as stuffy snobs. Academic mages are those who have an inner font of plain power that they can channel into any direction they want. However, ambient mages have a different magic which only responds to (and can act upon) the magic within the outside world, and is associated with a certain discipline, such as metalworking, cooking, or gardening. Nearly all of the protagonists are ambient mages. And if you thought any kind of ambient magic could be useless or silly? No. NONE of them are.
  • In the Craft Sequence, there are two fundamentally different ways of working magic. First came Practical Theology— making (very binding) pacts with gods, who in return for worship both worked direct miracles and empowered their priests as divine spellcasters. Then, much more recently, the Craft was developed— magic woven from starlight by pure human will. A nearly-genocidal (nearly omnicidal, in fact) series of God Wars ensued between practitioners of the two arts. Craftspeople won, but the terms of the peace were at least tolerable for most Theologians and their surviving Gods.
  • The Diogenes Club short story "Sorcerer Conjuror Wizard Witch" has the main characters investigating four individuals, each fitting one of the terms in the title, and each said to protect the city of London in some mystical way, to see if one is evil. The Sorcerer is the Astronomer Royal, the Conjuror is a stage magician, the Witch is a high society hostess, and the Wizard is an old kook who keeps the ravens at the Tower of London. Each of them have some ongoing feuds with at least one of the others.
  • The Discworld stories play with this topic in various ways:
    • Witches versus wizards? There is considerable philosophical difference. Witches are village wisewomen who perform some unintrusive magic, but mostly use tricks and "headology" (psychology), though they're able to do pretty powerful stuff if they need to. Wizards go to Unseen University (i.e. Wizarding School) and spend long years learning, similarly, not to use serious magic unless absolutely necessary. The differences between them are mostly in their public image and in the kind of magic they... aren't using. The short story The Sea and Little Fishes presents the basic difference as basically the same as a hammer and a lever: wizards tend to use the magical equivalent of lots and lots of brute force, while witches tend to use their magic in subtler but equally as powerful ways. Equal Rites examines this, as it's about a girl who has a talent for wizardry, although she's also a skilled witch. When she shows up again some thirty-five books later, she's drifted more towards witchcraft, but still has a talent for quantum-based Magi Babble (the Elasticated String Theory) that would fit well in the High Energy Magic Building. Equal Rites also has the one direct magical combat between a powerful witch (Granny Weatherwax, by general acclamation the most powerful witch in the world) and a powerful wizard (Archchancellor Cutangle, who reached the rank in an era when if a wizard blinked, they died) in the books; they are interrupted after being stuck in a draw for a while and later both just seem embarrassed about the whole thing and try to pretend it never happened - though it should be said that Cutangle is left with an uncomfortable feeling that if it had gone on much longer, Granny would have won.
      Why was it that when she heard Granny ramble on about witchcraft she longed for the cutting magic of wizardry, but whenever she heard Treatle speak in his high-pitched voice she would fight to the death for witchcraft? She’d be both or none at all.
      • The Shepherd's Crown, the last book in the series, brings things full circle with a boy who wants to become a witch. Although he does prove adept at the medical and "social services" angle, he never manages to do actual witch-style magicnote . He does develop a preternatural ability to calm potentially violent situations and encourage people to improve their own lives, which his trainer believes to be something completely new. The plotline is never really resolved, most likely thanks to the book being unfinished (that is, it's a complete story, but not quite the final draft) when the author Died During Production.
      • As noted above, the point of the wizards at UU is to not use magic. You don't want ambitious, greedy or idealistic people with magic, because as is continually pointed out magic has a price! Recently, though, they seem to be making a better active contribution to society by studying and building magic devices, and other more useful applications, rather than just throwing fireballs around.
    • Aside from the rivalry between wizards and witches, there is also generational disconnect. Whereas old wizards believe that magic is all about rune circles and stuffed alligators, young wizards believe it's about splitting magical particles. Old witches believe magic is mostly psychology, while young witches believe it involves harmonizing with Nature and use of crystals. And, as Granny Weatherwax would say, dancin' around without yer drawers on. All of these views happen to be correct, in one way or another.
    • Necromancy, AKA Post-Mortem Communication, has a bad reputation on the Disc, yet its practitioners are formally permitted a modest degree of misbehavior under University statute. Fortunately, the allowed misconduct only rises to the level of being a bloody nuisance, hence (nowadays) not triggering outright hostility or anyone hunting down rogue necromancers with extreme prejudice. It's accepted that having someone around who (a) knows about this stuff and (b) is willing and licensed to use the occasional low blow or dirty trick in a good cause, is worth any minor annoyances. Added to that, the university having an "official" Necromancer gives them license to crack down on "unofficial" necromancers — with fireballs, if need be.
    • Prior to Ridcully's administration, members of the eight Orders of Wizardry often engaged in taunting and one-upmanship between themselves. Subverted in that by the time the series hits its stride, the existence of these Orders has faded into the background, so we don't get to see what differences (if any) spurred their old rivalries. Most likely everyone who cared wiped each other out in the mage war in Sourcery in any case.
    • All of this rivalry is rather beside the point, however, as the most powerful magic in Discworld history was that of sourcerers, not witches or wizards. (Witches and wizards, in different ways, manipulate the Background Magic Field of the Discworld, sourcerers radiate magic.) Sourcerers' relationship to other magic-users is that they both empower them by their very presence, and scare the living crap out of them. And the most brilliant magic-user still around today isn't a human at all, but Hex, a Magitek Artificial Intelligence which doesn't even have a gender.
    • There are also lesser grades within or affiliated to wizardry: student wizards who fail their final exams are often directed to socially and professionally more lowly supporting roles such as thaumatology. If a basic degree in wizardry equates to a B.A. degree, thaumatology could be seen as the lesser HND or City and Guilds qualification. Conjuring might be, by comparison, an NVQ. Or for American readers, a community college diploma as opposed to an Ivy League degree. There's also a passing mention of "magicians" being the magical equivalent of lab technicians.
    • Furthermore, different academic institutions at which wizards are trained have academic-style rivalries, such that the heads of Unseen, Buggarup, and Brazeneck Universities all trying to one-up one another. Among witches, regional differences between Circle Sea witchcraft and Genuan voodoo exist, but in Witches Abroad those differences aren't actually responsible for the conflict. While witchcraft is generally associated with rural culture, urban witches are revealed to exist in I Shall Wear Midnight having been hinted at in earlier books; the two styles have a Country Mouse/City Mouse relationship.
    • Reaper Man also parodies the arcane/divine debate with an argument between Archchancellor Ridcully and the High Priest of Blind Io (who happen to be brothers). While the two of them are throwing jovial barbs at each other, they have to stop quickly to prevent the other wizards and priests from murdering each other.
    • "Conjurers" on the Discworld are stage magicians who openly admit that they don't use magic at all but sleight-of-hand and other real-world illusion techniques. It's stated at one point that wizards despise them, but that ordinary people admire them simply because they use skills that anyone can develop instead of arcane and unearned talent.
  • In the Doctrine of Labyrinths world, there tends to be a different school of magic in each country, so a lot of the rivalry is tied up with politics. Most wizards don't study other schools of magic for this reason, even though they would probably be capable of more than one type of spells. Also, wizards visiting another country have to be very careful what they do—for example, in Melusine it's considered heresy to cast a spell of any kind on a person.
  • Dragaera divides magic into witchcraft and sorcery. Witchcraft is Ritual Magic mostly practiced by Easterners (baseline humans). Sorcery is a power anyone with citizenship in the empire can use: a powerful artifact called the Orb can be called upon mentally by anyone in Dragaera to fuel a wide variety of spells. Apparently it controls the energy/substance/something known as Chaos, the normally dangerously unstable power behind all magic. (The third kind of magic is direct manipulation of the stuff. Since it tends to get out of control and consume all in its path, trying it is a highly discouraged dead last resort.) Vlad Taltos is a user of both (and tried to command chaos once when the Godzilla Threshold had been crossed — fortunately, Aliera was there to keep it from expanding too much and leaving a Sea of Chaos where the city used to be).
  • Dragon Keeper Trilogy: Sorcerers and Necromancers are not the same thing, not that we see much of sorcerers.
  • The Dresden Files generally distinction between magic users are a little bit on the loose side, as they come in all varieties. There are some basic hierarchical distinctions and categories though:
    • Wizard is effectively a title, referring specifically to a member of the White Council and is basically equivalent to having a PhD in magic. Anyone with enough magical talent can try out, although it generally requires a wide range of magical knowledge as well as a substantial raw magical power.
    • The vast majority of magic users have some magical abilities, but no enough to become wizards. Harry uses the term "Minor Talent", and the RPG uses "Focused Practitioner" as well. Most are people with very minor magical power, although it can obviously range up to those just shy of being on the level of a Wizard.
      • A few times the "Whatevermancy" designations (such as Mort the Ectomancer who communicates with ghosts) are used to refer to specific skill sets. Harry goes to Mort for help on a few occasions for ghost-related problems, as his skills in that particular domain are much greater than Harry's - and in his area, his raw power is considered by Harry to be equal to his own. However Mort has basically no magical ability outside his specialization.
    • The term Sorcerer(Sorceress) is used a few times, but lacks a clear cut definition. The implication seems to put them somewhere near the middle of the spectrum, capable of considerable magical feats, but pretty much entirely focused on one aspect - and while some (though not all) have Wizard-level raw power, they lack the training and finesse of a full fledged Wizard. The one Sorceress we've seen so far, Hannah Ascher, has a lot of power (though not as much as Harry), but only uses it for fire magic, and only offensively. When asked about it, she says it's all she's ever needed, implying a lack of creativity. As Harry puts it, a Sorcerer may be more powerful than a Wizard, but while a Wizard can do anything that a Sorcerer can with a bit of study and effort, that's not all the Wizard can do, and the Sorcerer will lose to a Wizard just about every time. It has also been used in the context of nonhuman magic users like vampires.
    • A Warlock is any (human) who has broken one of the Laws of Magic, ranging from a full on wizard to someone with only minor abilities. Part of the purpose of the White Council is to find Warlocks and, almost without exception, execute them immediately. It's acknowledge that this is a very harsh response, but since black magic almost always makes you go mad with power, it's generally considered the best option.
  • The Earthsea series makes a distinction between "true" magic (based on an ancient language, studied in a Wizarding School, practiced only by men) and several lesser forms of magic, including sorcery, illusionism and village witches. There are also other forms of religious magic in different cultures.
  • Iar Elterrus:
    • Burden of the Emperor features the conflict between the wizards and in general arcane spellcasters of the titular Empire and the priests of the setting's dominant monotheistic religion, which blooms into a full-scale world war involving the attempt to summon an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Gray Sword setting: regular mages draw their power from a certain specialty, e.g. Fire, Wind or Pain. The latter grants the already Crapsack World setting a "pain counter" device, just to make sure the torturers don't cut nobody no slack.
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles has:
    • Wizards: Use staves to cast magic, often grow beards, absorb magic from their surroundings to use later through their staffs, and seem to store the magic in them. Nobody likes them, especially not the main characters, dragons in general, or anyone with their own magic. They in turn don't like dragons, fire-witches, or any of the main characters.
    • Magicians: Can cast a number of different spells picked up from studying a number of different sources. Often mistaken for other magic users, such as wizards, which annoys them. Innately curious about other kinds of magic, highly scientific in their studies, prone to Techno Babble, these habits annoy others.
    • Witches: Use cats and objects's innate magic in their spells. Broomsticks are the only reliable transportation for them. They get along reasonably well with other magic-users, but make it a point to keep everyone else scared enough of them to leave them alone.
    • Fire-witches: Innate magic users, immune to most spells, and to fire which they have a special affinity for, can instinctively control spells, even by other casters. Wizards must be careful not to absorb their magic, the results end badly for the wizard. All fire-witches share a few personality traits and most are unpredictable but reasonably hospitable/friendly, but there are a few who are downright nasty. Most people are at least a little scared of any fire-witches they meet.
    • Dragon Magic: Normally only used by dragons, a few others have picked up a few spells of this type. Not the kind of magic most people expect to see, so anyone who recognizes it will be surprised and impressed. Rare enough that there are no hard and fast rules on how its users are seen by other magic users, so they are judged more on their individual temperaments than anything else. However, they definitely tend to like Dragons and are seen as friendly enough that a Dragon will teach them.
    • Sorceresses: Mentioned briefly as having gotten a reputation for being helpful. Now they all have to live in remote and hard to get to places to avoid being bothered all the time with requests for aid.
    • Fairy godmothers: Passingly mentioned in the first book but not explored past that.
  • In Fablehaven, wizards are dragons that took human form permanently to drastically increase their magical powers, witches are mortals who have somehow learned dark magic, and magicians and warlocks are... something. The only thing known about them is that they (and witches) make up the bulk of those who claim to be wizards. The genuine article is quite rare and much more powerful. Due to their millennia-long lifespan, a remnant of the immortality they possessed as dragons, they tend to be the Wizard Classic.
  • In Eric Nylund's A Game of Universe, the direct magic-users (Muses) are looked down upon by psychologists, who can also do magic. The Psychologists think the Muses are misusing raw mental power by wrapping it up in mysticism, but the Muses think that their powers are supernatural in origin and can't be explained by psychological means.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Most non-Divination wizards consider Divination to be useless. Divination is described by Professor McGonagall as "one of the most imprecise branches of magic." Supporters of the subject claim that it is an inexact science that requires innate gifts, rather than something that can be easily taught academically. Even most Seers, claimed or actual, agree, with Professor Trelawney, who teaches it, pointing that out in her very first lesson. Those opposed claim that the subject is irrelevant and fraudulent. Trelawney appears to be totally inept at it, as Hermione never fails to point out; in fact, Hermione drops the class as useless. Sybil's predictions are mostly Entertainingly Wrong or obviously fraudulent with the exception of the two regarding Voldemort, which she has no memory of... or so it seems.
      • As the sightings of 'the Grim' in the third book actually Sirius' animagus form, guessing Harry's birthday wrong in the fourth book actually Voldemort's birthday - his Horcrux is in Harry's head, and her prediction of Dumbledore's death in the sixth book implies, the latter of which she herself disregards as incorrect, the problem is less prophetic ability, more a predisposition to interpret her predictions in the most melodramatic fashion possible.
    • Professor Snape opens his class in the first book by discussing how many wizards fail to appreciate the subtle art and expertise that goes into mixing potions, since it involves no wand-waving or showy displays found in other magic.
    • Humorously mixing this with Hard on Soft Science, Horace Slughorn is at one point seen talking to other teachers at a school party, admitting that every member of the faculty thinks their subject is "the most important."
    • Similarly, Neville's grandmother doesn't want him to take Charms at NEWT level, viewing it as a "soft option". Professor McGonagall promptly reveals this is because she failed her Charms OWL.
  • The Heir Chronicles: The weir (magic-users) come in 5 types: wizards use magical incantations in Latin, soothsayers have visions, sorcerers make magical objects, warriors have superhuman physical capabilities and shoot fire from their swords, and enchanters have a Compelling Voice. And then there's the Old Religion, a kind of Old — meaning blood ritual — magic that predates the Hereditary Inherent Gift-using weir. And that's all we know about it. It is presumably usable by Anaweir, which would make it a kind of Hedge magic (magic available to all weir guilds and anaweir) like tarot cards.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar books, Magic or Psychic? applies. In most situations they are treated as separate disciplines with their own strengths and weaknesses, and users are judged primarily on how well and creatively they can exploit their talent. In Herald-Mage Vanyel's day, however, there was a stigma against "plain Heralds" which was so ingrained that he had to do a nationwide retcon after his death to make people forget magic existed, so that the Heraldic system isn't discredited.
  • Valentin Ivashchenko's works:
    • Warrior and mage novels:
      • Prior to the series' events, a war to extinction between the last grandmaster necromancer and the alliance of everything else.
      • Full-scale war between human-dwarf-hobbit empire of arcane mages and human supremacy priest state.
      • Cold war between said empire and elven "tree-hugger" kingdom.
      • The Empire masterminds the destruction of the snake god's state.
    • Honour, Rapier and a little Wizarding: arcane human empire's wizards and mages, elven nature mages and the creatures of chaos.
    • Revenge of the Cursed: civil war: mages and varied sentient races versus human supremacy church.
  • Oddly enough, the Land of Oz books lean on this trope. Witches and Wizards, of course, are considered the highest of all magic users. But then you have sorcerers and sorceresses, common conjurers, alchemists (those who mix magic potions and powders), and the like. Conjurers and alchemists seem to be the lower-end.
  • Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Legends of Ethshar series has a large number of different types of magic, several of which are strongly opposed to one another. In-world, different experts have classified magic into between 3 (psionic, clerical, arcane) to 12 different disciplines! The main ones are (deep breath): Wizardry (rituals, requires components, taps into raw chaos, possibly the most powerful), Sorcery (use of "talismans" which appear to be some form of ultra-advanced technology such as a genetic scanner and a wand that acts as a machine gun and grenade launcher), witchcraft (psychic powers including telepathy and telekinesis, as tiring to use as doing something by hand), warlockry (a different form of psychic powers, stronger and not tiring, but as it gets stronger with use, eventually draws one to the source of the power never to be seen again; said source is either a meteor, crashed UFO, or Lovecraftian Horror that no-one can get near without becoming a warlock too powerful to resist its call), theurgy (priests call upon gods to manifest and aid them, no priest can be heard by more than a handful of gods, each only capable within their narrow specialty), demonology (calling and binding demons), and things such as herbalism, science, ritual dance, necromancy and prestidigitation have all been mentioned at one point! Clearly priests and demonologists hate one another, as do wizards and sorcerers; there was a major war which the priests and wizards won when the gods and demons took to the field themselves after 200 years of fighting. Warlocks are new and regarded with suspicion, but can work well with witches (power and precision working together) as a Yin-Yang Bomb. *pant, pant, pant* The politics of magic is a major underlying theme of the series.
  • Magic by the Numbers: In the first book, Master of the Five Magics, the five crafts are treated differently. Thaumaturgy is a profession, alchemy is an industry, magic is controlled by The Order, sorcerers are feared but valued independent agents, and wizards are carnival tricksters... but old-school wizards were on a level with kings, if not above them.
  • There's a few minor cases of this in The Magicians, though it takes place only at Brakebills. Intermediate students are sorted into certain groups based on their magical disciplines, and several of these groups have long-standing rivalries: for example, the Physical Kids- who practice messy physics-based wizardry- despise the Naturals with a passion.
  • In Matthew Swift, though Wizards (who control magic through rules) and Sorcerers (who draw on raw magical power) get along reasonably well, they both have very little respect for Warlocks, who earn magical powers by bargaining with the various spirits in the area.
  • In Moonshine by Jasmine Gower, there's Ritual Magic and Methodical Magic. Methodical magic is formulaic and knowledge-based, done using only the caster's own reserves so even small magicks are tiring and enchanting an item will kill the caster. Ritual magic involves calling upon another entity (such as a fairy) and requesting its power, additionally Human Sacrifice is involved. So much energy is drawn that magic items are possible to create.
  • In Delia Marshall Turner's Nameless Magery the protagonist, who comes from a world where magic is revered as a sentient, semi-divine force with a personality of its own, experiences culture clash when she lands on a planet where the mages fear magic and treat it as a dangerous tool that needs to be handled carefully.
  • The Nasuverse has a lot of different types of supernatural effects:
    • The main one is Magecraft, also known as Thaumaturgy, which is the one most commonly used by humans. People who practice Magecraft are called magi. The basic principle is a form of Clap Your Hands If You Believe, both in the creation of a magic system (which requires enough people to believe in it for long enough for it to become "engraved" upon the world) and in execution (magic words are more about the magus hypnotising themself into believing what they're doing is possible than anything else).
    • Beyond that is True Magic, used by magicians. Unlike Magecraft, which works within the world and is bound by its rules, True Magic exists beyond the world and so can do basically anything. In the Age of the Gods, there wasn't a distinction between the two, but as the gods and their power continued to fade, Solomon created the first modern Magecraft system to ensure that humanity would still have some access to mysterious power. In the present day there are only five forms of True Magic left in the world, and only two of them have living active magicians.
    • Somewhere in the gap between the two are Reality Marbles. These are extremely rare, especially among humans since they require an alien worldview; typically only particularly old vampires end up developing them. They don't technically count as True Magic since they don't transcend the world so much as overwrite part of it with a different world that comes from within the user, with its own rules. Most of the time this is contained within the users body, granting them access to some entirely unique powers that don't require belief from anyone else. A Reality Marble user that's also a magus can combine the two, casting a spell that expands the effect of the Reality Marble into the world around them, drawing other people into it. However, the world doesn't like people doing that and will fight back, requiring a constant stream of Mana to maintain it.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Night Watch (Series) shows a more benign example - wizards, sorcerers, warlocks were originally direct spellcasters, while witches and enchanters specialized in creating powerful artefacts. As of the series' events, there are almost no pure representatives of those traditions, although the Inquisition often issues their operatives rare or obscure artefacts to give them a certain combat advantage. Witches do tend to be Closer to Earth, which allows them to use more primal forces but also ages them to an old crone in under a decade, requiring them to maintain their youthful appearance with magic. Typically, an old witch will crumple to dust, if her magic is taken away. Vampires and werewolves (which also includes other kinds of "weres") are special cases. They're the only type of Other, who are able to turn normal humans into Others. They are also kept at the bottom of the Other hierarchy. The Dark Others dislike them for their animalistic nature and a focus on physical strength, as opposed to magic. The Light Others don't like them, because both of those groups need to feed on human blood and meat, respectively, and the Grand Treaty forces the Night Watch to hand out hunting licenses for them using a lottery-based system to pick which humans will be sacrificed for the greater good. While vampires are typically reviled, high vampires are treated with more respect due to their experience and strength. The author also can't seem to decide whether vampires and werewolves are truly undead or not.
  • The Obsidian Trilogy: Ritualized High Magick is in conflict with Wild Magic. The High Mages of Armethalieh look down on Wild Mages as evil Demon-worshippers, while the elites among them hide High Magick's history as a magic created through use of Wild Magic itself. True Wild Mages are invariably good people, while many High Mages are corrupt. This probably comes from the fact that Wild Magic is mostly outside mortal control, and its spells are just deals made with the Wild Magic, while High Magick is solely in human control.
  • Pact: Practitioners come in a variety of Master of One Magic flavors, but none are more feared and hated than Diabolist. This is for very good reason, as the creatures that diabolists deal with are the antithesis of creation, and each time one is brought into the world it diminishes the world as a whole-light gets a little less bright, people get a little less kind, and lucky breaks that save lives happen more infrequently.
  • Vitalij Zykov's Return series (pentalogy to be continued): almost every culture has its own magic specialty, with free-for-all relations between states and schools of magic. Pick your flavor: tribal orc shamans, tribal human shamans, innate human wizards, academic human and dwarven wizards discriminated against by the innate ones, academic human necromancers, "light" elven life-mages (who use the proficiency at upkeeping life for unparalleled torture), "dark" elven conjurers and dragons who use their own flavors of arcane spells and necromancy. The world also had two sentient species, referenced as Reptarh and Reptohors, who fought to mutual annihilation. The Reptohors magic is largely unknown and forgotten, but might have specialized on interacting with mind and consiousness. The Reptarh magic, learned by the protagonist in an Exposition Beam relic, can be used to interact with and upgrade every other human magic, while being different from them.
  • In R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse, all users of magic must belong to a school of sorcery. Each school approaches sorcery from a completely different angle. The schools are all essentially at war with each other for dominance, the secrets of each others' sorcery, or both. Those who are not in a school are called wizards and will be killed by any sorcerer who discovers them, making them extremely rare and short-lived. Women who use magic are called witches and are outlawed, making them also extremely rare. Sorcery is considered an abomination to religious types, but there are also magical abilities granted directly from the Gods, though these are much more nebulous. In addition, sorcery breaks down into three types:
    • The Gnosis, practised by the Mandate. It is far more powerful than the rest and its secrets hotly coveted and envy protected. Word of God compares it to philosophy, defining the terms of reality exactly and objectively. note 
    • The Anagogis, practised by most Schools in the Three Seas region. It is less powerful than the Gnosis. Word of God compares it to poetry, describing reality by use of metaphors and comparison.
    • The Psûkhe, practiced by the Cishaurim sorcerer-priests. It has the least raw power, but does have the benefit of being undetectable except by its effects. Word of God compares it to music, which is better at communicating emotion than concrete ideas.
  • There is quite some rivalry between Witches and Wizards in Septimus Heap, especially about Mother Nature and the situations in which Magyk is to be used.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The Guardians (fire mages) and waterlords (water mages) are old, deadly enemies. As you'd expect, the latter is more powerful. However, by the end of the series people who have both abilities appear.
  • In Skin Hunger, the inequality is created by Somiss, who starts a Wizarding School that is only for boys from wealthy families. After he achieves this, there seem to be no female magic users at all, while beforehand, most magicians were female and/or ethnic minority. The teaching methods are also very different - while people used to learn their magic spells from their mothers in everyday life, (and Sadima was just born with the ability to communicate with animals, no training required), Somiss established a Boarding School of Horrors where one of nine boys becomes a proper, privileged wizard, while the others ... are implied to die. They are actively discouraged from helping each other, and not given food. The only food they get to eat is that which they can produce by magic ... without any education on how to achieve this.
  • Split Heirs: Gorgorian sorcery is only practiced by women, with them deeming men doing magic “sissies”. Meanwhile, Hydrangean high wizardy is exclusively done by men, and they express contempt for Gorgarian sorcery.
  • Star Wars Legends: The various books feature Force users who are not Jedi Knights. They have some very different ideas about what the Force is or how to use it, and some of them have fallen under condemnation from both the Jedi Council and George Lucas because of it. Naturally, the main rivalry (which rose to multiple galaxy-spanning wars) has been between Jedi and Sith (originally formed from rogue Jedi) who use opposide sides of the Force, with opposing philosophies as well. Considering the Sith philosophy is built on Social Darwinism, domination, and cruelty, the Jedi have a point.
  • This Used To Be About Dungeons contains several unrelated magic systems. Unique "entad" items that can't be reproduced, but can be extraordinarily powerful; "ectad" materials that can be crafted into predictable, repeatable effects such as heating, producing water, or boosting plant growth; alienism that binds Eldritch Abominations to produce various effects, with a risk of Explosive Results if any mistakes are made; and chrononauts' ability to replay the day a limited number of times. But the biggest rivalry is between wizards, who are all about gathering magic and crafting stable structures, vs sorcerers, who are all about subverting and exploiting gatherings of magic.
  • In the Tortall Universe, magic is incorporated into academia, so there's a lot of catty infighting and biases over particular magics. The lightest example is the Insufferable Genius mages who insist that their personal discipline is the best/most important/strongest, but they also mix with more common prejudices, such as the disdain for "tribal" magic often found in universities and the near universal view that magic practiced primarily by women is frivolous and weak. The one that gets the worst is wild magic, which most mages deny even exists because it works with natural forces rather than focusing on the mage's own power.
  • The Traveler's Gate: Most Travelers look down on other Territories, but Grandmaster Naraka in particular looks down on Valinhall, dismissing it as an "artificial" Territory that was created a mere sixty years ago. Since Valinhall Travelers are very good at killing other Travelers, part of this might be simple animal fear.
  • Void Domain: Rune Magic is seen as archaic and outdated by the magical community, and is no longer taught. In practice, it's a Boring, but Practical option for easy semi-permanent enchantments, and Eva does a lively trade in selling useful runes. Blood Magic and demon summoning are also held in low regard, but for rather more solid reasons: while they're not evil in themselves, an amoral practitioner can get a lot more mileage out of them than someone who won't, for example, rip out people's hearts to make bloodstone.
  • The War Gods features several forms of magic.
    • Wand Wizards use tools to manipulate the magical field, require extensive training and must be human or half-human. They made up the aristocratic class of the old Empire, and the white wizards were all but killed off in the Fall. Black wizards are alive and well, and 'won' Kontovar. They act as a villain for the story. Wencit is the only White Wizard around in the story today, but he's also a wild wizard.
      • The difference between 'Black' and 'White' wizards is in how they gather power and the use they put their magic to. Black wizards make large use of Blood Magic, sacrificing people to fuel their spells. White wizards are sworn not to use blood magic (unless the other person consents to it) and not to use magic as a weapon except against other wizards.
    • Wild Wizards are able to be trained as Wand Wizards, but also have their own internal link to the magic field which allows them to manipulate magic at a much more basic level. Only three are described so far, Wencit, the Emperor Ottovar, who ended the Wizard Wars, and Prince Herrick, who caused the Fall of Kontovar. They also live a much longer life, although not immortal.
    • Mages are able to manipulate the magic field internally to produce powers, they are much more limited in power and versatility than Wand Wizards, but in numbers quite useful.
    • Clerics and champions channel the power of their god, provided they have their favor. Their own strength is essential to this, although evil can cheat by using human sacrifices to summon (the good guys can use this to cheat as well but since killing innocents would obviously lose the favor of their gods this generally takes the form of a Heroic Sacrifice).
    • Elves used to be warlocks, able to use magic naturally, but were very prone to darkness. They were weaker than wand wizards, but required a lot less training. After the Wizard Wars Empress Gwynytha crafted the spell which changed how they accessed the magical field to give them immortality at the cost of their magic.
      • Witches and Warlocks do still exist but are a lot weaker than the pre-immortality Elves were. Most of them don't even realize that they're using magic and just think they have some unusual ability.
    • The other races have different connections as well, mostly preventing them having magic (except for cleric/champion magic). The Dwarves can do psionic stonework. Hradani have the rage as well as strength and speed. Halfings...
  • All the different cultures in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time have different ideas on how to handle magic: Aes Sedai, Aiel Wise Ones, Seanchan damane and sul'dam, and so on. All think that their way is the Only Way, and that the other cultures' ways are stupid, criminal and/or dangerous. The attitude to male magicians - a necessary evil, or plain evil? - causes a deep split within the Aes Sedai, and the power struggle between different Ajahs may also count.
    • Furthermore, male and female spellcasting are similar in principle, but feel entirely different. Female spellcasters embrace their source of magic and exist in harmony with it, whereas men must seize their source and constantly struggle with it (and that's even when it's not corrupted with pure evil). Similar spells can work on entirely different principles - a man teleports by forcing apart a gap in the fabric of the universe, whereas a woman teleports by blending together two places until they overlap, and each describes the other method as "impossible". Finally, the two types of magic used together are orders of magnitude more powerful than either used separately.
      • There are also differences in power levels, men are on average stronger but can't combine their powers without women, women are on average individually less powerful but can form circles of up to 13 women (and a circle of 13 women can overpower any male channeler even if individually the women can barely channel at all, though 13 men would probably win, even if they couldn't circle). Additionally strength in the different types of magic varies between the genders, men tend to be more powerful with Earth and Fire magic while women are more powerful with Water and Air (the fifth type, Spirit, has minimal variation between genders).
      • Another interesting difference is that cats hate male channelers and love female channelers while dogs are the opposite.
    • The Aes Sedai vs. Wise Ones vs. Windfinder vs. damane split - that is, the place of female channelers in society - is just an instance of Culture Clash, which the series is full of. The different methods required for male vs. female magic is a better example of this, as are the varying approaches to all the non-channeling kinds of magic out there, particularly foresight: wolfbrothers, Foretellings, Dreaming and Min's viewings. We have never seen anyone use more than one of the above and no one agrees on how reliable any of them are.
      • Also not helping at all is the sheer size of the ego of everyone involved, and their inability to admit that they might be wrong.
    • There's also something of a direct conflict between natural dream-walkers (most of them wolves rather than humans) and channeler dream-walkers, and the channelers tend to deride the wolf-blooded as inferior at best, monsters at worst.
    • Also worth noting is luck/fate magic, which usually functions as passive plot armor to the person possessing it, causing them to regard it as something mundane to the point of barely being magical at all, whereas everyone that's not the actual possessor of the magic tends to have their life spontaneously rearranged in disproportionate ways (your wife leaves you and you're raped by a roving pack of demons so that the hat you drop falls in a puddle and keeps a luck mage from accidentally getting his boot wet) so you get a running debate between the one guy that thinks the power's no big deal and the thousands upon thousands that are pretty sure it qualifies him as a god.
  • Wind and Sparks: Alexey Pehov's series occurs as the two-millennia conflict between the white (arcane, hermetic) and the black (priest-like necromantic) schools erupts into yet another continent-spanning war. Plus there's a ritualistic red school which could have abstained from the conflict, but supported the whites. Technically, the empire housing the white school wins, but the gray school- which actually gave birth to the white and black one- is reborn.
  • The Witcher: Wizards tend to look down on priests, considering their power to be just magic achieved through mysticism and meditation rather than training.
  • Wizard of Yurt: There's tension between wizards who use magic (deemed "natural") vs. clergy and evildoers invoking saints or demons (i.e. the "supernatural"). Both wizards and clergy are taught they're incompatible. Many clerics are suspicious about magic, thinking it's often the "black arts" (although wizards don't believe in such a concept-intent is what matters). Wizards on the other hand often resent religious strictures.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ahsoka: When Morgan Elsbeth reveals to Shin Hati, a Dark Jedi, that she is a descendant of the Nightsisters of Dathomir, Shin immediately refers to her as a "witch". Morgan corrects her by describing herself as a "survivor" (as her sisterhood had been massacred many years before). Later, Shin's master Baylan has to reassure her that Morgan is not weaving any kind of "witchcraft" on them.
  • Luna Nera: The Bishop is a male sorcerer practising Hermetic Magic on behalf of the church. The witches are women who practise ancient Functional Magic. He wants to slaughter them all since they wouldn't teach him their kind years before.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Weaves of Saidar (female half of the One Power) are shown as white. Weaves of Saidin (male half) are also white, but covered with black tendrils representing the Dark One's corruption. Similar color-coding was in the books for male and female halves of the yin-yang Aes Sedai symbol: white "Flame of Tar Valon" and black "Dragon Fang". As presently Saidin is tainted, with its users inevitably going insane, they're hunted down by members of the Aes Sedai (which currently has only women due to the above) so they can be "gentled".

  • Though "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"note , both The Bible and Christianity are no strangers to magic use (Christians did write most of the occult and alchemical books and folk Christianity abundantly makes use of charms and healing salves, after all). God magic = good and other magic = devil; how you react to the latter depends on the sect and time period, but at times the Catholic church just dismissed them as loonies.
  • King Saul consults a Witch at Endor on the night before a crucial battle, to G-d's great displeasure. She summons up the soul of a deceased Prophet of Israel who passes on the displeasure of G-d that His anointed King of Israel so lacks faith that he is doing something accursed in the divine eye - consulting a Witch and using magic to contact the dead. It isn't so much recalling the soul of the deceased prophet Samuel back from Heaven to answer Saul's questions about the next day's battle with the Philistines - it is implied Samuel has been sent with God's permission to pass on the divine message. The sin is that Saul has used a Witch as his intermediary. note 
  • In Norse Mythology practisioners of Seiðr (a type of shamanic magic) were looked down upon, particularly if practiced by men as it was deemed 'unmanly'. Yet civic Norse religion made use of several rituals like casting runes and blóts.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Depending on the setting and campaign, there can be rivalries or antipathy between practitioners of all the various types of supernatural abilities, whether by their incompatible philosophies, lifestyles or values.
    • Characters who use spells with the Evil descriptor are probably going to be viewed with suspicion at best by those on the upper third of the alignment spectrum. Necromancy can get a similar reaction due to assumptions of Bad Powers, Bad People, which caused problems when 3rd Edition classified the ubiquitous cure ___ wounds spells as Necromancy — the spell family has since been classified as evocations.
    • This story tells of a player playing a solo campaign as a heroic necromancer who travelled to lands ruled by cruel tyrants and taught the people there necromancy so they could overthrow their oppressors, instill democracy, and once all that was over and done with, have the undead thralls do all of the menial labor so that the living had all the time in the world to pursue their true passions. On his deathbed, he used a scrying spell to check up on all of the places he had been to for nostalgia's sake, and to his horror found that a group of heroes had been going around "saving" these lands from the "evil necromancer" and reinstating their tyrannical rulers due to an assumption of "necromancer bad". They also called him the "Arch-Lich", which offended him as he was not a lich and had no plans to become one. When they finally caught up to him, expecting a grand showdown with a cackling Evil Overlord, they instead found a heartbroken, dying old man who tearfully explained to them what he had done, why he had done it, and how they had ruined everything because of their ignorance and bigotry. Turns out the player was not playing a solo campaign at all, but was secretly being used as the Big Bad of another campaign without either party's knowledge. The DM said he played his part beautifully.
    • Beyond Necromancy, the other subschools of magic a Wizard can specialize in can have their own rivalries: Abjurists looking down on Evokers for being too destructive, Diviners disdaining Illusionists for creating falsehoods rather than revealing truth, Conjurers sneering at Enchanters for forcing others to fight for them rather than summoning a like-minded ally, and so forth.
    • Wizards are spellcasters who must endure years of unwavering discipline and intense magical study before they can cast even the simplest of spells. Sorcerers have no training, just an innate talent for magic that manifests naturally — and which they may or may not care to control. The two radically different approaches may cause the two groups to bicker or even war against each other, depending on the setting.
    • Wild Mages, when first introduced in Advanced D&D, were generally looked upon with scorn, distrust or other negative feelings by other magic users. This is because Wild Mages use a unique form of Entropy and Chaos Magic, which makes their spells have a significant chance of failing and exploding in a "wild surge" instead of working as intended. Wild surges are always chaotic, with results that can be anything from funny, to annoying, to potentially deadly. Needless to say, other wizards look down on wild mages both for their inability to retain control and for the practical reason that nobody really likes someone who has a chance of randomly hurling around fireballs, Gender Benders, and clouds of rainbow bubbles whenever they try to use even the mildest form of magic. Wild mages get it particularly bad in the Forgotten Realms, where their magic was born after the brutal death of the local Goddess of Magic and so they are often hated as heretics, blasphemers or religious profaners by both more devout wizards and by the deity's clergy.
    • Warlocks get their spellcasting powers through a Deal with the Devil (or archfey, or outsider, or...), whether by the Warlock themself or an ancestor. This tends to make them feared by common folk and disdained by the likes of wizards who had to work for their powers.
    • The Adept is a spellcasting class meant for NPCs, meaning that it's quite lacking when compared to a proper player class, and likewise "professional" mages in a setting are going to look down upon such "amateurs."
    • The subclass of wizards called witches, who are regarded as a more primitive form of wizardry. Depending on the setting, wizards may consider them savages and a few gods envious of their powers that they ordered members of their churches to hunt them down.
    • Divine spellcasters and arcane casters occasionally come into conflict. Clerics get their spells by praying to their deity, and thus can view arcanists as godless heathens or heretics, while mages may sneer at clerics for being "given" powers instead of working for them. There's a fair number of Prestige Classes with a "Witch Hunter" theme and abilities to help them combat arcane spellcasters.
    • Within the divine ranks, there can be friction between Druids who practice "natural" magic and more civilized Clerics, and between Clerics and classes like Favored Souls, who are similar to Sorcerers in that their magic comes from their force of personality rather than rigorous study.
    • The Binder class may get it the worst of all. These Willing Channelers get their powers by forming pacts with beings called Vestiges that are less than gods but more than mortal. Wizards look down on them as lazy, foolish, or cheaters, but they are often outright despised by divine casters, who consider them blasphemers and heretics for bowing to false gods. Though Binders are not evil by nature in any sense, the default assumption is that any setting with Binders is going to have organizations devoted to hunting them down, such as the Order of Seropaenes, an (unholy?) alliance between the usually-opposed churches of Heironeous, St. Cuthbert, Wee Jas and Vecna. When followers of the Lawful Good god of valor and chivalry are working with the Neutral Evil god of dark knowledge to come after you, you know you have a PR problem.
    • Psionicists tend to clash with more conventional spellcasters, since a Standard Fantasy Setting is usually ill-equipped to deal with something as "sci-fi" as Psychic Powers. Sometimes this extends to the rules, so that creatures with a resistance to magic have no defenses against psionics, while other times psionics are treated no differently than spells.
    • There can be a divide between dedicated spellcasting classes like Wizards and Clerics, and hybrid (or "dabbler") classes like Bards or Rangers that are much less capable with magic, both in-setting or around the tabletop.
    • And finally, there are a great many Prestige Classes built around defying this trope and blending various types of magic: Mystic Theurges who master scholarly wizardry and divine contemplation, Fochlucan Lyricists who combine the magic of bardic music and druidic secrets, Cerebremancers who cast arcane spells and manifest psionic powers, Anima Mages who supplement their arcane spellcasting with the power of a bound Vestige, etc. Interestingly, Anima Mages are hated even by other Binders because they forcefully extract power from vestiges to enhance their spellcasting, an act which makes them unable to be good aligned (and has earned them the reputation for being the embodiment of every bad stereotype of a Binder.
    • Birthright has magical forces that can be fully understood only by elves, half-elves and blooded humans. They can use True Magic, much like wizards in other settings. All others can only become Magicians and outside Illusion and Divination schools use only minor spells. For the Realm magic even a bloodline isn't enough, it's available only to regent wizards with their own magical holdings.
    • Dark Sun embraces psionics and respects elemental (priestly and druidic) magic, but hates and fears all users of arcane magic. This is because arcane magic requires tapping into either the life-force of the planet itself, which kills plants and burns soil into sterile ash; known as "Defiling", this is widely known to have ruined the planet into the barren dying Death World it is today. It is possible to use arcane magic through either "Preserving" (carefully drawing only the bare minimum of life-force, which does the world no harm) or by tapping the energies of either another plane or a powerful extradimensional being (necromancers draw from the Gray, shadow mages from the Black, and ceruleans from the Cerulean Storm), but these are so rare that the average person has no idea they exist and tars them all with the same brush.
    • In Dungeons Of Drakkenheim, the Flamekeepers are the currently dominant church, still riding high on their role in casting down the Arcane Empire over a thousand years ago. They have spent those thousand years oppressing worshipers of older religions, whom they dismissively lump together as "The Old Faith", and actively persecuting mageborn, whilst exulting their own divine magic as proof of their higher status and inherent righteousness.
    • Dragonlance has four types of main magic users: Wizards of High Sorcery, Clerics of the gods, Primal Sorcerers, and Mystics. The Wizards do not get along with the Sorcerers a lot of the time because the Wizards see the Sorcerers as infringing on their territory. The relationship between Mystics and Clerics of good deities is more friendly because of the Citadel of Light, which has both Mystics and Clerics working together to help people. Clerics of Neutral and Evil deities view of Mystics often depends on how their deity feels about Mysticism. And Wizards and Clerics sometimes do not get along because a Cleric, the last Kingpriest of Istar, was the one who tried to kill all Wizards on Ansalon prior to the Cataclysm. And since Wizards of High Sorcery are moon-dependent, there are three sorts of them — one per Krynnish moon. There's also the "renegade" category, which is where wizards who refuse to acknowledge the authority of the orders of High Sorcery are classified. Mostly, it's a place to file wizardly characters or magic-using classes that get imported from other game-settings.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The Spellplague damaged magic, but also gave room for a "new" generation of spellcasters as many older casters lost their powers. Among the drow, the new class of wizards call themselves "spellspinners", and they have a rivalry with their more experienced but often weaker ancestors.
      • When introduced in 2nd edition, the Maztica subsetting having inferior clerics and drastically weaker arcanists in the form of plumaweavers and hishnashapers was a plot point that helped justify why the not!Conquistadors were able to run roughshod over the setting. It's not a plot point that's aged well, and the 5th edition fan-led revival has taken pains to make Maztican spellcasters just as powerful as their rivals from the mainland.
  • Dragonstar: As the Empire is ruled by dragons, sorcerers, with their assumed draconic ancestry, are afforded a degree of special treatment. While wizards are regarded as an illegitimate class of arcane spellcaster playing with forces they have no inborn right to, or suspected of plotting to depose their betters.
  • Shadowrun:
    • Ideological conflicts between various types of magic users have been a standard setting element since the beginning, particularly between Hermetic and Shamanic magicians.
    • Psionics are generally looked down upon for having made up a whole new way to imagine magic works that is more restrictive and less useful than any of the accepted theories of mana with no actual advantages (Although thought forms, their conjured spirit equivalent, are free to summon, summon in one action and, unlike nature spirits, are not restricted to one area).
    • Full magicians, who can use both sorcery (casting spells) and conjuration (summoning, binding, and controlling spirits), tend to look down on adepts who are limited to one or the other. There are also physical adepts, whose magic is tuned toward augmenting their body and mind in various ways, which leads to most people thinking of them as street-sams without the chrome.
  • Ars Magica: The Order of Hermes tends to look down on non-Hermetic magicnote  as uncivilized, to such a degree that a member can take "Wizard" as a social Flaw. Consequently, they tend to get a bit peeved when "primitive outsiders" pull off stunts that their own Art can't replicate. Different Houses within the Order aren't immune either: the Faerie based spells used by House Merinita get a measure of distrust, and House Verditius' inability to cast spells without special tools gets them something of a bad rap.
  • Warhammer:
    • Different races having to approach magic in different ways due to their different mindsets and how they open themselves up to Mind Rape by an Eldritch Abomination. So short lived humans takes magic, split it up into specialities and study it in an academic and scholarly manner in colleges to make it safe; the hair brained Skaven ratmen use Green Rocks to power magical contraptions and their minor "wizards" are called engineers; Dark Elves and Chaos worshippers make pacts with daemons — if not the Chaos Gods themselves- while High Elves will elegantly weave the winds of magic around them like a tapestry. For the Slann, the most powerful wizards in the world who taught the elves their thing, magic comes as naturally as breathing.
    • In addition to the species/racial differences, there's also an arcane/divine dichotomy throughout, well, pretty much every civilised realm. In Bretonnia and parts of the Empire, for example, wielding arcane magic is usually grounds for a quick lynching, but the miracles a priest performs aren't a problem (or aren't considered magical). The Empire permits using arcane magic with the training and sanction of the Colleges, but certain peasants and preachers haven't quite got that message. In Bretonnia, all arcane magic is banned, but the situation is a little complex — College-trained mages visiting from the Empire usually get a pass thanks to politics, and the priestesses of the Ladynote  technically use arcane magic, but are widely believed to use divine magic. There are no priests of the Lady.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Psychic powers are universally bad news in humans. Those that are found are captured and put in the Inquisition's Black Ships and sent to Terra, where a thousand psykers are sacrificed daily so the Emperor's psychic beacon doesn't collapse (which would make FTL Travel impossible). Those that aren't suffer Mind Rape in order to control their powers, and undergo Training from Hell to develop them. Those that aren't caught by the Inquisition are ripe for possession by Chaos.
  • Old World of Darkness:
    • There are various forms of magic that are usually not mutually exclusive (at least within the supernatural race, wizard magic is not accessible to vampires and vice-versa). However, the societies, conspiracies or organizations that practice them look at each other with nothing but scorn and make learning more than one really hard for applicants.
    • The rivalry between the Mages, Tremere, Giovanni and Harbingers of Skulls/Cappadocians in Vampire: The Masquerade is particularly illustrative. The Tremere were formerly Mages and made a vampire copy of their old powers (weak and blood fueled, but still), the Giovanni accuse the Tremere of stealing their necromancy from them, while the Harbingers/Cappadocians did have theirs stolen by the Giovanni.
    • Since it runs on a Clap Your Hands If You Believe reality, Mage: The Ascension is fueled by this trope. Magical wars are fought over convincing the Sleepers that your faction's mystical philosophy is the correct one, some factions even claiming that their enemies use corrupted forms of their own mysticism. The funniest example is the Sons of Ether, who were a member of the non-player antagonist faction until said faction decided to go with light being a self-propagating wave instead of have a medium (the aforementioned Ether). Because the Sons really enjoyed being able to do things like wind-surf through the vacuum of space, this led to a violent rebellion and them joining the protagonist faction.
    • Sorcery, also known as linear magic or hedge wizardry, can be used by ordinary mortals operating within the bounds of consensus reality, but unlike the dynamic magic of Mages it is very limited in what it can do and sorcerers are still considered to be Sleepers.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • This kind of rivalry applies on a lesser scale in Mage: The Awakening, mostly with the Atlantean Orders' distrust of the Free Council and the built-in conflicts with Left-Handed Legacies, Scelesti, and Banishers. Plus some conflict with other racial magic. A mage tends to initially think a Werewolf's spirit-calling ability is cool, until he figures out how it works and then he's bored with your one-trick pony nonsense.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem there are both philosophical and religious reasons prejudicing users of Theban Sorcery against Cruac. The former is practiced by the Lancea Sanctum, an unholy church based off of Catholicism which sees humans as sinful, that vampires can never be saved, and that it is their duty to apply a masquerade friendly Scare 'Em Straight to humanity. Cruac on the other hand is practiced by the Circle of the Croan, an essentially pagan offshoot that sees vampires as divine and that they must be unbound. Most often both attempt to persecute and purge the other for "getting it wrong". Then add the Ordo Dracul into the mix, who in fact would love to learn everything about Cruac and Theban Sorcery possible so they can advance their study of the Coils of the Dragon. Essentially, taking the Suck out of Blessed with Suck via rigorous scientific(ish) study without a care for the religion of either. Naturally, the Lancea and Circle are not amused. None of these groups, however, would tolerate a member with these secrets leaving with their unlife intact.
    • Fan expansion Genius: The Transgression, as usual, just adds fuel to the fire with the Magic-Powered Pseudoscience known as Inspiration. Geniuses trying to explain themselves usually just gets mages inexplicably furious, and the way mages get stronger will cause a Genius to take a long jump into Illumination. Naturally, both sides make sure that one doesn't get mistaken for the other and given incorrect training, that wouldn't quite end well.
  • The Dark Eye treats magic and miracles as completely separate things. The miracles somewhat resembling "divine spells" were even only introduced late in the 3rd edition.
    • Magic users break into separate schools depending on how they were taught, including guild mages (academic, logical), elves (intuitive), witches (emotion-based), druids, illusionists, shamans and others around the edges.
    • Most of those groups can learn spells, most easily those familiar to their own school, though there are many spells known in more than one, and in addition has special rituals not available to the others—a mage can learn certain enchantments for a staff, a witch can learn curses, and so on. Most groups also have philosophy-based restrictions (e.g. mages have responsibilities to their guild, druids can't work magic while touching iron, lizardmen need a material focus for each spell).
    • The bigger schools are split according to attitudes/philosophies further. There are three guilds for mages—white, grey, and black—with one of the main differences being their attitude to demonology. Witches may have greater cohesion, but the sisterhoods, determined by the species of their familiar, which is tied to their personality, have their differences. Druids are split into those focusing on mind magic, and those focused on elementarism.
  • The five colors of magic in Magic: The Gathering all have at least one thing in common: They consider their way to be the only right one, two of the other colors are agreeable, if a bit misguided, and the last two are just dead wrong. A prime example would be Blue, the color of knowledge, respects Black for its ambition and desire for control and White for its diligence and drive for order. Green and Red, on the other hand, are mindless and savage and should either be locked down or eliminated. Of course, this is the abstract version of color philosophies: with actual organizations and people it gets more complicated, but the trope remains in force.
    • The rabbit hole can go even deeper when you start getting groups/people with dual color affiliations like the guilds in Ravnica some of which are two colors normally opposite on the spectrum such as White/Black who abide by very strict contracts and will use any means to enforce them or punish anyone who doesn't hold up their end of the contract. They consider basically the entire rest of the guilds as marks to be conned out of everything they own.
    • Things get really weird when you mix even more colors. Cards that require all five colors to cast are some of the most powerful in the game since they embody unification and cooperation between all five of the color philosophies. They are also relatively difficult to play due to their casting costs. This symbolizes that making the five colors cooperate is hard.
  • Exalted: There are a lot of bad blood between Sorcerers and Necromancers, mainly because Necromancy comes from the undead Eldritch Abomination who seeks to kill the world. But the most hated of all rites would be Autochthon-exclusive Voidtech, which horrifies even the masters of Hell.
  • Dragonstar: The galaxy is ruled by dragons, and official doctrine is that sorcerers are distant descendants of dragons and therefore superior to other classes, especially wizards who have to learn their craft.
  • Pathfinder inherits many of Dungeons & Dragons' prejudices, and adds some new ones.
    • The Oracle class, who draw on divine power without the patron deity or connection to nature that other divine classes possess can face this. Most Oracles are invested without any choice in the matter and with no idea why. Outsiders tend to find them off-putting, not least because their powers invariably come with a curse.
    • While the Arcanist class itself is the result of an aversionnote , their signature arcane exploits are mentioned as being seen as somehow "cheating" by some wizards. Of course, the reason this is known is that some other wizards figured out how to do arcanist-style exploits themselves.
  • Heroes Unlimited: In the Century Station subsetting, different Superhero Origins receive different reactions from the public at large. Aliens, and other "powered" heroes (Mutants and Experiments) to a lesser extent, are distrusted until they earn the "superhero" label for themselves; this is doubly the case for the obviously physically-mutated. By contrast, heroes who use Powered Armor, Bionics, Physical Training or other forms of tech or skill are more easily accepted, and Physical Training in particular has a strong blue-collar appeal among the average citizen. Magicians are also accepted, but magic itself is feared by the man on the street - best something left to mystic heroes to deal with.
  • Spears of the Dawn: There are two forms of magic. Firstly, ngangas are people born with the inherent ability to control ashe, the fundamental energy of the universe, through the use of talismans and ritual. Secondly, the marabouts are people who have been granted the blessing of the spirits and can work miracles by calling on their aid. Generally speaking, marabout magic is subtler and more elegant (it has to work within the natural order, but the details are handled by spirits who know exactly what they're doing), while nganga magic is more powerful but cruder (it can theoretically do anything, but is limited by the nganga's ability to figure out how). The griots form a possible third school, since they can empower, weaken or even strike down others with their songs, but that might be because the authority of griots is so well-respected in the Three Lands that Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau are D&D 5E derivatives set in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by Uplifted Animals who've attained a medieval level of technology and scavenge the ruins of human cities for "magic" artifacts.
    • Artisans, the dog equivalent to Sorcerers or Wizards, cast their "spells" using pieces of Sufficiently Advanced Technology, while Shepherds (Clerics) draw upon their faith in Man channeled through holy symbols that are probably another type of tech. Occasionally they have issues with Shepherds thinking Artisans use relics of Man without the proper respect, while Artisans think Shepherds take it too seriously, but it's nothing compared to cat magic.
    • Cats have an innate ability to absorb the powers of human relics they've studied and broken, anathama to the Man-worshiping dogs. Mancers absorb the same sort of relic used by Artisans during their initiation, and thenafter channel their internalized power through a focus crafted from bones, and unlike dogs they have no qualms against casting "unnatural" magics like necromancy, even if it causes some theological arguments with Ministers. Ministers on the other hand have their power chanted into them by existing Ministers, so they only require their voice to cast spells. A third type of spellcaster, dabblers, are members of other classes that pick up a bit of spellcasting later on, but they need both a bone focus and their voice to cast. And finally Wanderers practice Supernatural Martial Arts.
  • Whilst fundamentally based on Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, The Chronicles of Aeres has a unique history and so it has a slightly different set of mage vs. mage prejudices to the typical D&D world:
    • Druids are the original divine magic users of Aeres, as the Immordran are manifest spirits of nature that take tangible form as divine god-beasts. Clerics, in comparison, are a newly emergent phenomena, and not yet very trusted.
    • Warlocks officially don't exist, as Aeres lacks the more regimented approach to spiritual beings found in other D&D worlds.
    • Witches and Sorcerers are the "ur-arcanists", the two earliest forms of arcane magic user on Aeres. Whilst sorcerers are largely regarded with respect (except for draconic sorcerers, who only exist by swearing loyalty to the Dragon of Darkness, Aeres' equivalent of Satan), witches are often looked down upon by wizards for being oldfashioned and overly religious, whilst witches look down on their "inheritors" as being disrespectful and arrogant.
    • Dreamcallers are envied by wizards and sorcerers for their innate connection to the Dream Land and the power that stems therefrom, whilst Dreamcallers envy the fact that wizards and sorcerers keep their minds under their own control, instead of being torn between the worlds of waking and dreaming.
    • Alchemists look down on wizards as lazy, unrefined and too quick to take a blunt force approach to the use of transmutation magic. Wizards in turn look down on Alchemists as weak but unpredictably dangerous, and resent that alchemists avoided being harrassed by the anti-magical inquisition of the Imperium.
  • Unknown Armies has four different schools of magick (note the 'k'; magic without a k is stage magic), none of which are technically mutually exclusive but in practical terms usually are on account of the effort screwing with your brain like nothing else, all with different upsides and downsides. Practitioners of one usually view others with disdain for having rejected the "true" way of magick- and often think the same of others of their own type who happen to follow a different variant.
    • Ritual Magick consists of using 'cheat codes' baked into reality to create magickal effects. The good news is that they don't require a Taboo to be followed; anyone who knows one can cast one. The bad news is that they tend to require a lot of complicated ingredients (the one that removes a spell's effect from yourself requires you to crush a live starfish, for example), are often situational (like the significant ritual 'scurvy livestock' which curses your enemy's farm animals) and it's hard to tell whether a given ritual is legitimate or a trap that lets demons possess you or something. Ritual Magick practitioners often see Adepts and Avatars as crazy for how they let their magick dictate their life.
      • Tilts/Gutter Magick are an improvisational subset of Ritual Magick that involve using the principles of sympathetic magic to manipulate events. The good news is that they're not as situational as rituals are, the bad news is that their effects are often extremely subtle (to the point where it's difficult to tell if you pulled the ritual off or not), and regardless of success, each element used in a tilt can only be used once; use shared names in an attempt to Proxy someone and your name can never again be used in any Tilt, even if you fail to make the person your Proxy.
    • Avatar Magick involves 'going with the flow' of reality and representing some Archetype of what humanity can be; The Trickster, The Fool, The Captain, The True King, etc., and thus gain supernatural ability to do whatever it is their archetype does (The Fool avoids consequences, the Merchant trades things, the True King rules his territory, and so on), in turn having to follow a Taboo (i.e. A Demagogue is someone who reassures and provides certainty, so a Demagogue Avatar can never admit to being wrong) to represent how well they keep in character. The good news that it's less life-ruining than Avatar magick and less inconvenient than Rituals, but at the cost of being more limited. Avatars generally think of Ritualists and Adepts as being unable to reach true power because unlike the others, Avatars have the potential to ascend to the Invisible Clergy.
    • Adept Magick is the opposite of Avatar magick in that it involves 'swimming against the current' by rejecting reality so hard they gain power based on their obsessions. The good news is that this is the most powerful and flexible form of magick, and the bad news is that the obsession needed to generate magick tend to utterly ruin any chance of a normal life or meaningful connection to others- even other adepts, as Adepts are so laser-focused on their particular obsession and so certain that it's the real truth of the world that they think every other magick-user, even other Adepts, are doing it wrong.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate: Invoked in the Expanded Editions. The potential recruit Neera is a Wild Magic user, in a world where Wild Magic is new and often perceived as blasphemous, in addition to being unequivocally dangerous. In the first game, she's being pursued by Red Wizards of Thay, who want to vivisect her brain to try and figure out how her Wild Magic works. In the Shadows of Amn portion of the second game, she sets up a sanctuary for wild mages. And then goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when the Red Wizards invade it. In conversations, she'll also mention that whilst other wizards weren't usually that malicious towards her, the general reception to her powers tended to be along the lines of "stop doing that and learn real wizard magic", with varying levels of vitriol.
  • Baldurs Gate 3:
    • Gale makes comments early on implying he considers wizardry the only true form of magic, especially if the player argues in defense of their own magical abilities.
    • The hat "Birthright" is implied to have been owned by a sorcerer who looked down on wizards for lacking inherent power and decided to boast about it to a crowd of them. Its description contains, presumably, his last words.
      The thing that you poor sods simply cannot grasp is how effortless all this magical hootie-wootie castie-spellsie business is for me!
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls: Other spellcasters look down on pyromancy, considering it to be primitive and unsavoury, which the player's initial teacher in the subject admits is true, to a point. In fact, said teacher came to the Undead-infested kingdom of Lordran in part because it is literally the only place in the world where pyromancers are respected to some extent.
    • Dark Souls II: By the time of the game, pyromancy appears to have lost its "primitive" stigma and is now a respected school of magic alongside the others, but each significant kingdom in the game seems to look down on one particular school and those that practice it. Drangleic looks down on miracles, preferring scholarly pursuits such as sorcery (this might have had something to do with the king's brother, himself a scholar, discovering that Gwyn was a Jerkass God extraordinaire whose fear of humanity's power over the Dark caused him to try and seal it with the Darksign, unintentionally creating the Curse of the Undead). The only prominent cleric in Drangleic was Velstadt, one of the king's two right-hand men. The extremely religious kingdom of Shulva focused on miracles and shunned sorcery, and is implied to be Velstadt's homeland. The Old Iron King's kingdom focused on pyromancy, but it isn't known what they thought about other schools of magic. Meanwhile, hexers seem to think their spells are superior to all other no matter what land they come from, and they have a point, since hexes are more difficult to use than other schools of magic, requiring hefty investment in both Intelligence and Faith since they scale off the stat that is the lower of the two.
    • Dark Souls III: Karla, a witch specializing in Dark sorceries, disparages miracles since she hates the holier-than-thou clerics who tend to use them. However, with some prodding, she will reluctantly accept tomes containing Dark miracles of Londor and the Cathedral of the Deep. The actual miracle teacher, Irina, will accept the tomes as well, but really doesn't want to teach their contents to you since she is afraid of becoming corrupted, which will happen if you buy even one Dark miracle from her. For the same reason, pyromancy teacher Cornyx flat-out refuses to accept the pyromancy tome containing Dark pyromancies, requiring you to take it to Karla instead.
  • Demon's Souls: The Miracle wielding clerics view soul arts as an abomination. The pracitioners of soul arts dislike clerics for trying to hold them back and treating them like pariahs. The clerics aren't exactly wrong to dislike soul arts though — it's a dangerous power fueled by the souls of the dead that comes from the Old One itself, and the world is a Crapsack World because people abused soul arts in the past. It's heavily implied that "miracles" are actually powered by the Old One, making them just soul arts with a more "benevolent" flavor to them. Sage Freke outright accuses cleric of unknowingly worshipping the Old One itself.
  • Diablo III: The description of the Wizard on the game's website suggests that she's an outcast from the mage clans for her willingness to use "forbidden arts," and even calling herself a Wizard instead of a Sorceress is considered crass.
  • Dragon Age: Used all over the place with the most obvious example would probably the animosity between Blood Mages and Circle Mages loyal to the Chantry; as the Chantry teaches that blood magic is what led to the creation of the Darkspawn, coupled with the fact that blood magic can also be used to control human minds and bind demons to the caster's will, most orthodox mages take a very dim view of its practitioners, labelling them as Maleficars regardless of whether they've used their powers for evil purposes or not. Meanwhile, the power-mad Tevinter Magisters, who permit the usage of blood magic within their borders, are looked on with a mixture of fear and disgust; Circle Mages will collaborate with them for research projects- especially in the more esoteric fields- but that's about as far as they're prepared to trust them.
    • Orthodox Circle Mages also have a less-than-cordial relationship with Apostates- mages outside the control of the Circle and the Chantry- viewing them as potential maleficars, from the nature magic-wielding Dalish Keepers to shapeshifters like Morrigan and Flemeth. Even the relatively innocuous Hawke family isn't exempt. On the other hand, many factions within the Circles cooperate semi-openly with apostates, either because they oppose the Templars' control over the Circle or because they simply see apostates as the Templars' problem.
    • Even the Circle itself isn't exempt from this sort of thing, having divided itself into a number of different Fraternities with different ideas as to how mages should be governed and how they should use magic... and then, in the Witch Hunt expansion pack it's possible to find a book on Spirit Magic that's been hopelessly vandalized by a proponent of Entropy Magic.
    • Finally, pretty much all of the above mentioned mages have low opinions of Rivani Seers and Avvar augurs, who practice communion with benevolent spirits. Basically everyone see this as no better than Demonic Possession.
  • Flavor text descriptions for arcanists and occultists in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup describe a rivalry between the two breeds of enemy spellcasters. Arcanists don't like occultists because they see occultists as cowards who waste their skills on hiding from opponents instead of actually confronting them. Occultists don't like arcanists because they see arcanists as mindless brutes who crudely blast foes with spells, instead of using their wit and cunning.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Prior to the events of Oblivion, after centuries of being technically legal if frowned-upon, the new Archmage of the Mages Guild, Hannibal Travel, formally banned Necromancy. This created a significant schism within the guild, causing members, who still wished to practice it, to leave and join the Order of the Black Worm, a Dark Arts society led by the infamous/legendary Necromancer/Lich Mannimarco. The Mages Guild questline involves dealing with the Order and its rising power.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: After the previous game banned Necromancy, which is a sub-specialization of Conjuration, rifts began to form in the various schools of magic.
      • Skyrim takes place in the homeland of the Proud Warrior Race Nords, who have a cultural aversion to nearly all magic save for Restoration, and consider those who use it to be weak. While necromany isn't exactly accepted, it is still practiced somewhat openly through Skyrim, with only religious (rather than cultural) opposition.
      • In the College of Winterhold, Colette Marence, the in-house master of Restoration magic, would have you believe that it's the Restoration school that is discriminated against by her peers in the facility. The very first thing she asks you when you speak to her is whether or not you yourself consider Restoration magic to be as worthy of study as that of the other schools (and you can indeed respond to the negative if you wish). In addition, the lectures she holds on the subject come across as overly defensive, and, while her colleagues are somewhat dismissive of her, this more seems to be an aversion to her overbearing personality than of any specific problem with the school of Restoration.
      • The recurring in-game book titled "The Black Arts On Trial" is a series of debates on the ethics of Necromancy, and the arguments for and against the Mage Guild officially studying it in a controlled academic environment. While the book does come down on the side that Necromancy is wrong (the book's written by the above-mentioned Archmage), the author notes in it he can still respect the logic presented in the debates and the need to discuss the matter intelligently.
      • Another in-game book that looks at this subject is "Response to Bero's Speech". Bero, an illusionist, thinks poorly of the Destruction School of magic and gives a speech arguing that it should be treated as a sub-school within the the Alteration School instead of a school in its own right. The battlemage Malvisor responds by writing a treatise that points out multiple fallacies in Bero's arguments, argues an illusionist has no place criticising a school he hasn't studied for himself and takes a few snipes against Bero and his favored school of magic in the process:
      "It certainly isn't a coincidence that a master of the School of Illusion cast this attack on the School of Destruction. Illusion is, after all, all about masking the truth."
  • Fallen London: The "War of Illusion" storyline combines this trope with Magicians Are Wizards, as two factions of stage magicians struggle for dominance.
  • Gene Forge: Even the most liberal Shapers will regard Lifecrafters and other rebel Shaping-users as undisciplined savages without the wisdom or discipline to control the vast magical powers that they have learned "the easy way". In this case, they're generally right — the long, arduous training of a Shaper is as much about teaching proper responsibility and control (and weeding out those incapable of it) as it is about teaching the magic.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic II had a rivalry with the wizards and necromancers in a kind of ancient feud, though this is really only touched upon in the Evil campaign. Heroes V, being a Continuity Reboot, did the same thing, but gave more of a backstory, and it shows up several times in their respective campaigns.
    • The whole Wizards versus Necromancers idea was continued in Might and Magic VII; in fact, for most of the middle of the game, it was central to the plot.
    • In Heroes of Might and Magic IV this is why the Anti-Villain Protagonist of the Death campaign refuses to expand his kingdom after fighting tooth and nail to get it. He's Genre Savvy enough to realize that ambitious Necromancers are Hated by All and everyone else would be gunning for him if he seemed the least bit hostile. He's all too aware that his brand of magic doesn't have a very good reputation.
    • The necromancer/wizard split was not the only division in the old setting — interestingly, the part of the description where the wizard sneers at the cleric is averted. Instead, it is the philosophical divisions within the categories of spell-users that inspire rivalry: Archdruids (Druids that have deepened their commitment to nature) and Warlocks (Druids that seek power) tend to clash, Priests of Light (Clerics aligned with the Path of Light) and Priests of Dark (Clerics aligned with the Path of Dark) are adherents to mutually opposed religions and Necromancers by definition are opposed to the Path of Light while Wizards tends to support it. Things were more relaxed in the country of Enroth (where archmages and priests were even known to sometimes learn both associated schools of magic with the Paths of Light and Dark), and put in sharper contrast on the continent of Jadame (which was lacking in Light-aligned sorcerers and Dark-aligned clerics, and had a full-scale war between the Church of the Sunnote  and the Necromancer's Guild).
  • King of Dragon Pass: Among the Orlanthi, god-talkers and other users of divine magic are highly respected, but shamans, who deal with spirits instead, are weird outcasts on the fringes of their society. (One clan in Dragon Pass does disagree and hold shamans in regard equal to priests; if the player wishes to form a tribe with this clan, they may have to agree to give more respect to shamans.)
  • Knights of the Old Republic and its sequels delve into a much deeper exploration of the two major Force-using factions in the Star Wars universe. The movies tend to present it as a basic good vs. evil conflict, but the games show it as more nuanced, with the Jedi adhering to a stoic discipline and the Sith following their passions. There are several NPCs (and PCs, for that matter) who prefer to take a middle ground, seeing both philosophies as flawed extremes. One character in the second game even lampshades the Fridge Logic of the series' use of this trope, pointing out that the mere fact that the Jedi and Sith give contradictory, mutually exclusive descriptions of how the Force works yet both of their magic systems function perfectly fine is completely insane and, at the very least, suggests neither group has as good of an understanding of the Force as they like to pretend.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: In the game, (based Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules), wizard and sorcerers share the same spells and both can run out but warlocks can keep casting an unlimited number of times, but have very few spells. Oddly while there is the odd reference to demon/devils the class text say their power comes from their own souls, not pacts with residents of other realms.
  • Pillars of Eternity: Animancy (a branch of magical study focused on souls) is regarded with a degree of suspicion and hostility. It's not unfounded — animancy is extremely potent and potentially dangerous. The bad reputation is also justified because the Big Bad and his organization the Leaden Key have spent thousands of years trying to suppress it and keep it from advancing to the same level as the original Engwithian civilization. The original Engwithians were masters of animancy and even used it to create the gods. The Leaden Key fears that everyone discovering their gods are artificial soul constructs would doom civilization. The Wizard companion Aloth is particularly hostile to animancy, considering it dangerous and foolish. This is a hint that he was a member of the Leaden Key.
  • The Reconstruction: The game combines this with good old Fantastic Racism. Shra can't summon fire or ice from nowhere, so humans tend not to acknowledge that their ability to manipulate what's already around them is for all intents and purposes magic.
  • Salt and Sanctuary: Remarked upon and averted if you speak to a cleric of the Keepers of Fire and Sky, which are focused on harnessing the weave and the more arcane magics of Fire and Sky, while clerics of any order are more focused on divine magics. The cleric comments that one'd expect rivalry, but clerics of Fire and Sky do exist, and are in fact very important precisely because the mages are focused on destructive elemental magic. When your tower is full of wide-eyed apprentices flinging flames and lightning all over the goddamn place you don't look down on your healer for his different kind of magic.
  • In Six Ages, also set in Glorantha but many eons before King of Dragon Pass takes place, the Hyalorings give shamans and priests roughly equal respect, allowing both to be leaders and even clan chiefs. This causes a bit of confusion and suspicion with neighbors who practice one kind of magic rather than both. And then there's the Antler Society, a new shamanic movement whose practitioners work, act, and dress drastically different from traditional shamans. These differences—and especially the fact that the insular Antlers are loyal to each other before the clan as a whole—can cause strife in a clan.
  • StarCraft:
    • StarCraft: The protoss are split into at least two factions, the Khalai and the Nerazim, who have serious philosophical differences, including how they use their powers. The Khalai have a kind of hivemind, while the Nerazim oppose it. The two sides have had multiple conflicts over this. StarCraft II introduces the Tal'darim, a third faction who also do not have the pseudo-hivemind, and fuel their psionic abilities by huffing Terrazine gas.
    • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm: The game introduced the Primal Zerg, descendants of Zerg that were not incorporated into the Swarm under the Overmind. They consider the Zerg Swarm to be "tainted" and "broken". The Swarm, meanwhile, considers the Primals to be chaotic and directionless.
  • Warcraft: The 'verse is full of this. There's the main Priests, Paladins, Druids & Shamans vs. Mages, Warlocks, Necromancers & Death Knights rift, where the former think that all of the latter are reckless and/or evil, risking losing control, gaining the attention of the Burning Legion, joining the Scourge or worse. They are right, but mages think that they are using magic responsibly (and at least a few of them really are), and the former are just luddite fools, and the real villains are Warlocks, Necromancers and Death Knights. Then there's the good warlocks (read: player characters) who think they're strong enough to make a Deal with the Devil without losing control and think that everyone else are naive fools who don't go far enough or lack the willpower to do so. Good Death Knights use their powers to rebel against their former master. Finally, there's Always Chaotic Evil demon-worshipping warlocks and life-scourging Necromancers & Death Knights.
    • Fortunately, there New Council of Tirisfal is set out to subvert this, inviting spellcasters from all races and disciplines to work together for the common good.
    • The issue with mages isn't that they are necessarily evil, but that their power (arcane) is mostly chaos. Even if they are good, and do good, they risk getting corrupted eventually, no matter how responsible they try to be.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The series features at least three distinct types of supernatural power.
    • The first is Aura, a manifestation of one's soul, which is widely known about to the point where it isn't considered "supernatural" in-universe, and can be used by anyone with enough training to protect themselves from harm and gain a minor Healing Factor.
    • The second is magic, which has ancient, divine origins and is much less widely known about, and can only be used by eight known people on the planet.
    • The third type are the Grimm themselves, physics- and biology-defying abominations that reproduce in pits of annihilatory slime and have no souls, and have no publicly-known source; they are explicitly able to defy the Law of Conservation of Energy, and no mortal scholar can figure out why.

  • Beach WZRD removes the gendered aspect but keeps the distinction. Witches mostly deal with practical, down-to-earth matters like basic healing and birth, try not to make heavy use of spells – and theirs are called "curses". Wizards foray much deeper into the arcane arts, learn and devise spells that are able to re-shape reality… and consider themselves as obviously superior in every way to the "amateurish" witches.
  • Since its world is based on D&D 3.5 rules, The Order of the Stick has the same examples of this. In Start of Darkness, Xykon is looked down upon often by wizards for his being a sorcerer, which, naturally, pisses him off. Since this is Xykon, these people tend not to live much longer. Especially notable when Dorukan is fighting Xykon and at one point asserts the superiority of his wizardry to Xykon's sorcery. Xykon responds by casting Energy Drain every turn, while giving a Break Them by Talking speech about the advantages of spontaneous casting. At the beginning of Start of Darkness, Xykon is told that sorcery is like a rubber mallet, whilst wizardry is a finely crafted watch. At the end, Xykon says that he'd much rather have the sledgehammer than the watch.
    • Some of his frustration stems from the fact that, while it's never stated in as many words, Xykon himself is not stupid, nor wholly reliant upon brute forcenote , even though his magic isn't as complex as that of research-dependent wizards. In a setting where wizards often waste time looking for exactly the right spell, Xykon uses complex sequences of spells to achieve effects that no single spell can manage (such as using energy drains to de-level someone to the point of losing a level-dependent immunity, then hitting them right in the newly-exposed weakness, or using spells to draw fire to drain resources or open up a counter-attack, or even physically beating someone when the situation calls for it). He wins the vast majority of victories simply by using what he has, rather than trying to grasp for an ideal solution that he lacks.
    • Wizards looking down on sorcerers becomes a recurring theme for the strip, and especially for Xykon — in contrast to the dangerously obsessive V who believes researching arcane magic is be-all and end-all, Xykon figures the power you have is the power you use, and power you can't use is worthless. Incidentally, the page quote references the incident shown in the picture — it was a response to another forumite wondering why Vaarsuvius would be insulted at being called a sorcerer or warlock. Vaarsuvius also expresses disdain for divine magic for about the same reasons they're disdainful of warlocks.
      Vaarsuvius: How should I know how long divine spells take to cast? It's not as if they were real magic!
    • The author behind OotS also wrote a series of articles about worldbuilding where he came up with a setting where Druids ended up as the most persecuted class. This is because the dominant church of the setting doesn't want the common people to know that it's possible for people who don't follow the church's dogma to gain magical abilities — and unlike most settings, Sorcerers are held in high regard because they are born with magic and so are seen as having been blessed by one of the gods.
  • Infernomancers, who get their powers via Deal with the Devil bargains, don't have a very good reputation in Dominic Deegan. While Infernomancers were employed by Callan in the Callan-Maltak war, they were eventually hunted down by the kingdom's holy knights after they had outlived their usefulness. There is a reason Infernomancers tend to practice their magic in secret. It doesn't help that Infernomancers deal with literal forces of evil who prey upon the greedy/vulnerable.
    • Necromancers also get a rather bad rep for the usual reasons, although the first necromancer (who's actually still around) is a case of Dark Is Not Evil and Good is Not Nice.
    • Meanwhile, Maltak orcs have their own shamanistic nature magic, split in two traditions: life-affirming akta and death-linked nakta. Practitioners of one type don't get along with those of the other, and while the akta-using clan used their powers in the aftermath of a magical catastrophe to make their lands a fertile haven in the wasteland of their homeland, the natka-using one went on the warpath and violently attacked any and all trespassers in orc lands, even an aid caravan from sympathetic humans. Of course, things are not what they appear...
  • To Prevent World Peace has two opposite magical systems. There are magical girls, whose power comes from power items, and born mages, who have their powers since birth and usually don’t need any additional artifacts. Other magic users consider magical girls system to be "cheating", mostly because it lets them survive as depowered humans, when their transformed form is killed. The fact that the mages are considered Always Chaotic Evil and the magical girls Always Lawful Good, doesn’t help at all.
  • In Magick Chicks, the goddess of witches Hecate really doesn't like magical girls for some reason. This is bad news for Melissa Hellrune, since she's a witch who recently became a Magical Girl after acquiring a mysterious wand.
  • Erfworld:
    • There is rivalry between the various disciplines and eight schools of magic, based on combinations of the elements Life, Matter, and Motion. Many Casters view the world only through the lens of their discipline, such as believing that the world is largely Foolamancy (a position not necessarily advanced by Foolamancers themselves) to believing that the world is all Numbers to numerous other variations.
    • Notably, Dame Olive Branch looked down on any caster whose magic did not include Life in its make-up. She argues with Wanda, a Croakamancer, in which some interesting points are made. Despite being much older and stronger than Wanda, she ends up coming off as the loser of an argument about the value of life. Olive's narcissism, poor arguing skills and her actual low regard for life presumably all teamed up and had her poison her side's casters with Heroine buds, despite them being her side's greatest strength.
      Olive: [holding a plant] You think this is just an object, don't you? It's not. It's a living thing. Like you and me. But you think we're all objects, too. Right? Look what you do with a person, when the Life is gone. That is an object, Wanda. Not this.
      Wanda: Not true. That plant is scenery, inventory, provisions.
      Olive: It's not—
      Wanda: ... Or ... a piece of terrain. But this unit can move, fight, follow orders. This unit has Motion, and that is something a Hippiemancer would know nothing of.
      Olive: No, you don't know what you're talking about. Yes sure, there is Motion. But it's less important than Life. That ought to be perfectly obvious to any living being.
      Wanda: Says the Florist. The three Elements were created equal. Are you a Titan, to say otherwise?
      Olive: I'm alive, to say otherwise. Life is the most important thing in the world. Would you want to lose your Life?
      Wanda: No, but I wouldn't want to lose my Motion, either. I wouldn't want to be that plant. I'm no tree. Speaking of which, where is my brother?
    • As a general rule, most casters seem to consider Croakamancy to be distasteful and unnatural. Carnymancy is also disliked, considered cheating by many. There are hints that Hippiemancy is considered useless, which makes sense for a magic centered around peace in a world almost literally made for eternal war. (Although the experiences Wanda and Jillian had with Olive Branch proved that theory wrong in some of the most horrific ways possible.) Dirtamancers occupy a strange niche: They're often considered creeps, but they're also so fantastically useful in the Magic Kingdom that they easily end up filthy rich and high in status anyway.
    • Carnymancers are also distrusted because they are very secretive about how their abilities actually work and what they are capable of and they have a reputation for being con artists. And since their abilities center around breaking rules they are feared for being able to do things that other casters believe are not supposed to be possible. For different reasons they are especially disliked by Thinkamancers and Predictamancers. The latter is because the two schools have opposing religious beliefs about Fate, with Predictamancers seeing Fate as holy and Carnymancers seeing it as the ultimate enemy.
    • Perhaps the epitome of this mindset are the Thinkamancers, who consider their discipline holy and all others "just" magic. They've made themselves self-appointed guardians of all magic and its secrets (what with being telepaths and enablers of caster fusions) and will kill or cripple anyone who even comes close to finding out a single secret of Thinkamancy, or does something as obscene as researching how Thinkamancy could, for example, collaborate with Dollamancy.
  • In Unsounded, Duane looks down on casters who use magic items—spellbooks, prepackaged summoning spells, and so on—instead of focusing on "core technique," as well as those who don't fight fairly. He seems to have a point; his self-restrictions make him skilled enough to defeat Quigley, even though the latter is a very powerful wizard who ignores most of Duane's rules of engagement. Ironically, Duane happens to be a "tacit caster," a rare individual who can cast spells without speaking the magic words, which his opponent considers unfair and somewhat unnatural.
  • There's two types of magic-users in Blind Springs, Academic and Orphic, and they were in a brutal war. The Orphic rulers were portrayed as literally blood-thirsty tyrants (while they were tyrannical the only blood they use is their own) by their Academic overthrowers, who are very controlling and insist on marking anyone who might have Orphic powers.
  • Defied in Collar 6. Dominant and Submissive magics work together like cogwheels, and certain rare individual can do both. However, psionics and Blood Magic are outright considered impossible, despite the Big Bad and his High Preist specializing in them, as opposed to the soul-based Dom/Sub magic types.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Bending styles are often subject to this. Each nation has one form of bending that is intwined with their philosophy, and benders from each nation tend to get smug about it every so often; firebending is often dismissed as useless except for destruction (albeit that this is as much about the Fire Nation's century-long campaign of conquest as anything), airbending as overly flighty, earthbending as being stodgy and stubborn, and waterbending as being passive and wishy-washy. Open-minded benders can, however, draw from other bending arts to create new moves for their own style; Iroh, a firebender, used waterbending principles for his signature ability to re-direct the flow of lightning. This is also a big problem for the Avatar, who is the only person in the world who can bend all elements and has to learn all conflicting styles.
    • Airbending is the element of spirituality, pacifism, and rejection of the material, and is largely focused on dodging, redirecting enemies' attacks, and movement. This is Aang's native element, and it occasionally causes problems when the situation calls for him to stand his ground and finish a fight instead of getting away.
    • Waterbending is all about reaction and flexibility, and places great emphasis on using an enemy's attacks against them. It's similar enough to Airbending that Aang learns it quickly, but his predecessor Roku (a Firebender) had a lot of trouble as Firebending is not a defensive style and Roku considered indecision his Fatal Flaw.
    • Earthbending involves standing your ground, defending instead of dodging, and hitting back harder. Aang has a lot of trouble with this one because his first instinct is to dodge a threat and get out of trouble, while Earthbending refuses to give ground. It takes a whole episode, Bitter Work, for Aang to even learn the basics, and even then he only manages it when he has to stay in place to protect Sokka, who's stuck in a crack and immobile.
    • Firebending is the element of energy, passion, and (often enough) Attack! Attack! Attack!. Aang is able to learn some fundamentals easily, but because Airbending doesn't really teach the gravitas of holding fire in your hand (and he's twelve), it gets out of control and scares him away until the final season. The Fire Nation only makes things worse by teaching firebenders to draw their passion from rage, which makes most firebenders ticking time bombs- and is absolutely useless for teaching Aang, who's very even-tempered. Zuko is only able to teach Aang effectively after learning that the true nature of Firebending is to draw passion from joy and love of life- things Aang does understand.
      • The Legend of Korra: Korra decides to briefly give up her Airbending training due to her difficulty learning it and declares she doesn't need it to be the Avatar. Since Airbending requires patience and spirituality (extremely important attributes for an Avatar that Korra does not possess). She only taps into it to save her crush from being attacked.
  • The Dragon Prince: The main conflict is at least partly based on this. Inherently magical creatures, like elves and dragons, are born with a connection to one of the six types of primal magic (earth, sky, sea, sun, moon and stars) and can learn to channel it through spells. Humans, lacking such a connection, have developed dark magic, whereby you extract the magic from a magical creature and use it for your own purposes. Wielders of primal magic consider dark magic to be an abomination, and even among humans it has an unsavory reputation.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Bridle Gossip", Twilight Sparkle, who is a student of unicorn magic and Sufficiently Analyzed Magic, shows a lot of disdain towards things like "curses" that are done "artificially" as opposed to drawing from innate power. She's got a pretty good reason, though, since she thinks they don't work/exist, besides making no sense based on her extensive knowledge of magic. In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she likewise has a hard time accepting that Pinkie Pie has an innate but weird and completely unanalyzable precognitive sense.
  • The Owl House: In general, this is actually averted. While the various schools of magic are kept seperate via government mandate, there isn't any law or stigma forbidding interactions across coven lines. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a single positive relationship in the series between two poeple of the same magical discipline that doesn't involve immediate family members or multi-track students, even among background extras. That said, there are a few episodes that delve into this topic.
    • "I Was a Teenage Abomination" shows that despite being a prodigy at plant magic, Willow's fathers, initially have her enrolled in the Abomination track (something which she has zero talent in) because they felt that it'd lead to her having better career opportunities when she graduates. It's unclear just how much Harvey (the stricter of the two) being an Abomination witch himself played a role in this decision.
    • "Through the Looking Glass Ruins" shows that some people look down on Illusionist Coven due to their magic being the only one to lack any tangible effects.
    • "Them's the Breaks, Kid" shows that at least when Eda was young bard magic was often considered lame, with Raine lamenting how people don't take them seriously and other students expressing disbelief that a bard is so strong.
  • Seis Manos: Sifu Lo is surprised to find out that there exist more ways to access magic than his usual Daoist Martial Arts Magic, such as Curandera herbalism and Bruja sorcery.
  • Thundarr the Barbarian: Ariel is a sorceress, and will instantly and angrily correct anyone who dares call her a "witch".
  • Ultimate Book of Spells: Cassie wants to train to become a 'Supreme Sorceress', since 'witches get no respect.'