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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 Taint 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. Thaumcraft 6 began work in early 2018 and is available for Minecraft 1.10 and 1.12.

The mod has been abandoned by its developer Azanor in late 2018 due to him being too busy to work on it. Development of the mod was handed over to another developer, KingLemmingCoFH (of Thermal Expansion fame), but it has not been updated since due to to the fact that that developer has their own mods to work on. In light of this, a few fan-made add-ons have attempted to fill in the gaps left in Thaumcraft 6.

A rebooted version of the mod is being developed by KingLemmingCoFH; it is an early state of development at the time of this writing. Watch this space.

Thaumcraft contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 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!"
  • Air-Aided Acrobatics: The uprising focus in the Thaumic Tinkerer add-on, which propells the user in the direction they're facing at the cost of some Aer essentia.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Flux Focus in Thaumcraft 6 pierces enemy defense.
  • Armor of Invincibility: Thaumium Fortress Armor. On par with Diamond armor, easier to enchant, and you can even make face plates to add additional effects to the helmet. Void Thaumaturge robes also serve this role, being stronger but requiring a lot of warp.
  • 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.
    • In Thaumcraft 4, the Primal Focus can easily be this. It is one of the first things you can unlock in the Eldrich tab, and fires projectiles that explode! Awesome! That said, the projectiles waver semi-randomly, making it possible to miss your mark. In addition, the projectiles explode, which can tear up the terrain around you. That said, you can fix the accuracy problem with the seeker upgrade that makes the focus shoot homing projectiles.
  • Blow You Away: Added in Thaumcraft 6, the Air focus mainly deals large amounts of knockback to enemies, but little damage. Earlier, the Uprising Wand Focus from the Thaumic Tinkerer add-on allows you to use wind to fly around. Outside of Wand Foci, the Sword of the Zephyr from multiple versions has this as well, hitting multiple foes at once and forming a whirlwind around yourself while blocking, pushing enemies away.
  • 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.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Equal Trade focus can be this for more building-oriented players. Its main purpose? Switching blocks in the world with ones in your inventory. However, it can be used for redecorating areas you've dug out, and can even be given Silk Touch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: An elemental focus added in Thaumcraft 6, which has the main effect of dealing high damage and being able to destroy softer blocks.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Distintegrate focus in Thaumic Horizons. It actually deals low damage to mobs, but its main selling point is its ability to make mobs and blocks disintegrate into their component essentia crystals.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Aptly named Eldritch Guardians, who can spawn in the world or drop onto your head if you have high Warp.
  • Elemental Powers: The various foci tend to follow this pattern, usually in a Fire, Ice, Lightning pattern, but Thaumcraft 6 adds Earth and replaces Lightning with Air.
  • Elemental Weapon: When you unlock infusion, you gain the ability to infuse various tools with the elements, ranging from the Wind-elemental Sword of the Zephyr, the Fire-elemental pickaxe of the core, the Earth-elemental Shovel of the Earthmover, to the more non-standard Water-elemental Axe of the Stream and the Hoe of Growth.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: One of the six base essentia types, Perdito, is associated with Entropy and Destruction.
  • Fantastic Fallout:
    • Thaumcraft 2: 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.
    • Thaumcraft 3: Taint is 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.
    • Thaumcraft 4: Taint is back 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.
    • Thaumcraft 6: Taint does not spawn naturaly, only appearing from a Flux Rift when too much Flux is in the aura.
  • Fantastic Science: The mod's aesthetic heavily leans on this trope, with the player described as a scholarly researcher rather than a traditional fantasy sorcerer, and many of the blocks and items are centered around performing experiments or generally being a sort of magic-based Mad Scientist.
  • Fantasy Metals: Thaumium, a metal created through alchemy, is an important metal to the mod. Alchemical Brass, introduced in Thaumcraft 6, is more mundane, but is used in making the more magitek machinery in Artifice. Later on in most versions, Voidmetal is unlocked, which is used for tools and armor that have the property of rapidly repairing themselves.
  • 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 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 don't have Basic Flux research done and the arcane alembics made, these tend to be common if you like making Tallow from Zombie Flesh.
    • In Thaumcraft 4, Giant Angry Zombies were renamed "Furious Zombies", and mainly are spawned via Sinister Nodes, not unlike a mob spawner.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The aptly-named Goggles of Revealing look like purple welding goggles with gold rims, and they allow you to see Nodes with perfect clarity, as well as measure how much essentia is in a container just by looking at it.
  • 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.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol:
    • In Thaumcraft 5, the Grappler Wand focus acts as this.
    • In Thaumcraft 6, the aptly named Arcane Grappler replaces the aforementioned wand focus, and functions as you would expect. It needs to be charged with vis though.
  • Hollywood Acid: Liquid Death, which can be crafted through alchemy. Deals insane damage to mobs, and makes them drop crystals on death.
  • 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.
    • Outside of wands and staves, Voidmetal equipment is among the most powerful in Thaumcraft, requiring a fair amount of warp to obtain.
    • 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 cut, and now it can act as sort of magical shotgun. The abiltiy to freeze water was later re-added, as well as making it slow struck enemies.
  • 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.
    • The Vis Powered Generator in Thaumcraft 6 allows you to generate RF, the standard power source used by tech mods, with aura.
  • Magic Mirror: The, well, Magical Mirror. It acts like a portal between two locations, but only for items. You can also make essentia mirrors that act like the aforementioned mirrors, but for essentia.
  • 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. their faces are hidden for good reason.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: In Thaumcraft 6, too much flux in the aura will spawn a flux rift, a rip in space time that destroys nearby blocks, spawns Taint, causes various events, and spawns void seeds upon closing.
    • Also in Thaumcraft 6, there is the rare Crimson Portal, from which several Crimson Cultists will emerge and attack you. Luckily the portal itself can be closed early by attacking it.
  • Our Mages Are Different: 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.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Frost Focus in Thaumcraft 4 shoots a projectile that bounces off of surfaces and enemies. It is downplayed a bit if you choose the scattershot upgrade, making it not able to recoil off of enemies, but it can still bounce off of walls. That said, this can work against you, as you can very well hit yourself with the ice ball.
    • In Thaumcraft 6, this is a possible way the projectile focus effect can work.
  • Place of Power: In many versions of Thaumcraft, naturally-generating Nodes are your main method of charging wands. However, this is Played With, as you can move them, though this often comes at the risk of damaging the node. They can also be corrupted by Taint, making them spread taint. You can also break them to get Etheral Essence, but this is ill-advised by most players.
  • 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. Thaumcraft 6 makes this a focus effect, meaning you can attach it to a projectile or bolt to weaponize it.
  • 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 Eldritch Abominations 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.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Shambling Husks were once Crimson Knights who had their head ripped off and replaced by an Eldritch Crab which now controls their corpse.
  • Ritual Magic: Infusion has this flavor, being used to create a lot of equipment by using both items and essentia. Some recipes are unstable, requiring you to stabilize the altar with occult objects like candles and heads.
  • 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.
  • Spell Crafting: A new feature in Thaumcraft 6 - instead of each focus having set effects, you can match an effect (like the standard elemental powers) to a medium of delivering the effect (such as touch, projectile, a bolt...). You can even later make one attack split into multiple at some point.
  • 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...
    • Some versions of Thaumcraft have Crimson Revelations, a book sometimes dropped by Crimson Cultists that allows access to more tainted research options... and gives warp when studied.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wetware CPU: One of the components you can build Golems with to make them smarter is made of a zombie brain.