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Video Game / Thaumcraft

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Thaumcraft is a Game Mod for Minecraft revolving around the concept of "performing miracles", largely through converting physical materials into a raw energy called Vis. With this energy, Minecraftian wizards, known here as Thaumaturges, can infuse items, dig up the earth, and even duplicate precious gems. However, in order to do these things, Thaumaturges must first research the capabilities of the magic they wield.


Thaumcraft's name and fame were established by Thaumcraft 2, in 2012 for Minecraft 1.2. Thaumcraft 3 (2013, Minecraft 1.4 and 1.5) attempted to make The Corruption more interactive and less punishing, while also expanding on in-world structures. It also introduced Aura Nodes, strong focal points of magic in the world, and the full variety of over 50 magical aspects for Vis to take the forms of. Thaumcraft 4 (2014-15, Minecraft 1.6 and 1.7) featured the re-introduction of Taint, two overhauls to the research system, and a significant expansion to item infusion. The still in-development Thaumcraft 5 (2016, Minecraft 1.8) has started by focusing on the existence of magic in the world outside of Aura Nodes.

Most play is still done in Thaumcraft 4, however early versions of Thaumcraft 5 are becoming available.


Tropes featured:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Advanced Golems will occasionally say quite startling lines, but you're sure that "malicious intent in their eyes is only your imagination". Also a case of Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Golem uprising? I don't know anything about any golem uprising!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Crystal Core from Thaumcraft 3, made from four mixed crystal clusters and a nether star. When the proper arcane structure is made this object pulls the nearest Aura Node to it. However, the range at which it can draw aura nodes is not very far and if you wish to move a node over a large distance you need multiple cores, and seeing as how this requires a nether star you're going to be spending quite a bit of time in the Nether for wither skulls. However, breaking the "used" Crystal Core yields the original number of shards (a few changed to dull) and the nether star back, so it's only necessary to replace the clusters and infuse them again.
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  • Body Backup Drive: In Thaumic Horizons, an add-on to the mod, one of the last pieces of research the player unlocks allows them to create a body out of zombie tissue and set their soul to return to it if they die. It not only allows the player to die without counting a death (and without losing their save in hardcore mode), it also allows them to enhance the body they return to.
  • Cast from Hit Points: If you're desperate for Magic Tallow, letting yourself get burned in a crucible will create some...
  • Chain Lightning: One of the possible flavours for the lightning focus.
  • The Corruption: If an area's atmosphere becomes saturated with Taint, surface-level blocks will gradually change into Taint Blocks. In addition to making them impossible to extract usable resources from, most mobs that spawn on them will be Always Chaotic Evil Lightning Bruiser versions of themselves... and some of them will help the Taint spread.

    This is done away with in Thaumcraft 3, Taint being replaced with Flux. It still has consequences for overdoing things with thaumaturgy but no longer to the extent of the world destroying levels of taint that were possible in Thaumcraft 2.

    Taint is back in Thaumcraft 4, in the shape of small biomes automatically generated in the world. Taint can be artificially spread through Flux Goo (created mostly by careless alchemy), and can also corrupt Aura Nodes, the focal points of magic that exist in the world. Fortunately, its spread can be turned off in the mod's config file.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Most Forbidden Knowledge is this. Ranges from "mostly harmless" to "taboo". Doing research into it will give the player Warp, which can cause... strange things to happen. In particular, the Primal Wand Focus. Flavor text expresses confusion at why would you even create such a thing.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Aptly named Eldritch Guardians, who can spawn in the world or drop onto your head if you have high Warp.
    • The Eldritch Tree, a living monster that looks like a tree. Sturdy but immobile. Drops Eldritch Logs and Hearthwood.
    • The Eldritch Grubs, small creatures that the Tree creates when attacked. Strong for their size, they drop the health-restoring yet dizzying Grub Husks.
  • Festering Fungus: The mod features Taint, which covers the ground in toxic slime, melts trees into goo and turns any mobs that die from the poison into Tainted versions of themselves that either spread the Tainted Land biome or just attack untainted mobs. Tainted Land also features its own unique monsters, like swarms of stinging bugs or large tentacles that grow from the ground.
  • Flesh Golem: You can make these, though it's a Forbidden Knowledge.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: the Wand Foci (in earlier versions, Wands) of Fire, Frost, and Lightning respectively.
  • Giant Mook:
    • In the third iteration of Thaumcraft, pumping too much Flux (a new mechanic to replace Taint) into the Aura can result in "A nearby Node spew[ing] forth something Foul", which means a Giant version of an angry zombie has spawned. Hitting it makes it grow even larger and can kill you in three hits with iron armor.
    • Giant Angry Zombies spawn when there is too much mortuus aspect in the aura as flux. Seeing as how zombie flesh is an easy source to make Magic Tallow from, when you dont have Basic Flux research done and the arcane alembics made, these tend to be common if you like making Tallow from Zombie Flesh.
  • Golem: You can make those to automate a lot of different tasks like harvesting, fishing, sorting, and even anything that requires left- or right-clicking. There's even a traveling trunk which will follow you around, carry your items, and fight for you.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation:
    • According to flavor text, temporary version of this happens to you when you complete the appropriately named "Eldritch Revelation" research, completely with page full of alien hieroglyphs you don't remember writing. Of course, to even attempt understanding such things one needs a rather special mindset to begin with...
    • Warp in general is a slowly advancing form of this, to the point at which highly advanced Thaumaturges may need to spend large amounts of time attempting to recover their own sanity to even safely move around their own homes.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Eldritch Guardians look like cloaked human figures. But if you look a little more closely, then, well, let's just say that they are called Eldritch Guardians for a very good reason.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Wand of the Thaumaturge in Thaumcraft 3, it is bar none the game's best wand for use in Thaumaturgy holding 1000 Vis. You do however need to research a number of things before the ability to research this wand comes up, and once you do unlock it, you find out you need a Nether Star. Have fun summoning and killing The Wither.
    • The Primal Staff in Thaumcraft 4. Capable of holding ridiculous amount of Vis and regenerating all aspects to some degree, its research requires a lot of tampering with Forbidden Knowledge.
    • Anything involving Ichorium in Thaumic Tinkerer / KAMI. Having TT/KAMI changes the Primal Staff into an Infinity -1 Sword.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Fire Focus. Comes in three flavors: spray, beam and Fireball.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Frost Focus. Used to be able to freeze water into ice. Sadly it was Dummied Out, and now it can act as sort of magical shotgun.
  • Magical Accessory: Several versions of the mod allow you to create extremely useful magical rings, boots, and other items.
  • Magitek:
    • A lot of research topics on Thaumaturgy and Artifice tech trees seem to be this.
    • Several add-on mods (Electro-Magic Tools, Thaumic Energistics) specifically deal in this.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Their faces hidden under helmets and hoods, the Crimson Cultists attempt to refine a ritual, known as "Opening of the Eye". You doubt it's a good thing. But you can still try and complete it yourself.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Thaumcraft 4 thaumaturges are scholars, researching the techniques for making magic wands, tools, devices and minions, which they craft using collected magical energy and the refined essence of items.
  • Portable Hole: The aptly named portable hole wand focus can open a temporary tunnel though most blocks. But it is very possibly to get stuck in solid stone if you do not exit in time.
  • Power at a Price: Players who have been delving into Forbidden Research, using void items or doing other questionable things accumulate Warp. It can be temporary, stable but removable, or permanent. Effects can range from hallutinations to a hit squad of EldritchAbominations spawning next to you.
  • Power Fist: Thaumcraft 6 drops the classic wands in favor of the Caster's Gauntlet, which appears to be permanently locked into a fist.
  • Shock and Awe: The Lightning Focus. Fortunately, using it on a creeper does not supercharge it.
  • Shout-Out: The Travelling Trunk is a shout-out to Discworld's Luggage.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know : Forbidden Knowledge. Learning it will leave a permanent mark on your character. Unfortunately, a number of useful and/or high level items such as Voidmetal and Infernal Furnaces involve Forbidden Knowledge, meaning avoiding it puts you at major disadvantage.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Thaumonomicon, the core book of the mod. While it doesn't initially look so harmful, if you choose to read too greedily and too deep...
  • Too Dumb to Live: People who actually summon the Super Charged Thaumic Slimes or try to settle in Tainted Lands without backing up their world.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: Thaumcraft 6 replaces the wands with a "Caster's Gauntlet."
  • Weird Weather: In 5, high flux in the aura can manifest as a Taint Storm, a purple thunderhead that rains toxic "flux goo" and has a high chance to turn the area into Tainted Land.

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