Tag: Magic

Book’em Nerdo – Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

Book’em Nerdo – Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

Burned through another book for the reading challenge last week. This was an interesting book in that it was an enjoyable read, but at the end, you feel like you really haven’t read anything. I’ll get into more of what I mean by that, but […]

D&D Campaign Building: Magic

D&D Campaign Building: Magic

So a couple of days ago I started building out a D&D Campaign – the first part can be found here. I want to try and write on it and add in more things a couple of times a week at least, might be more […]

High or Low – Magic in Writing and RPG’s

High or Low – Magic in Writing and RPG’s

When I was writing about fantasy last, see the Not Your Normal Fantasy article, I touched on a concept that I really didn’t have time to flesh out. That what the difference between high and low magic fantasy settings are.

Image Source: Kingkiller Wikia

Let’s jump into the top right away because there’s not much need to explain what magic is, but in fantasy, there is generally magic. It isn’t in every case, but in a lot of cases there is some level of magic. That’s where the difference between high and low magic fantasy settings come in. High magic settings, magic is common place. In your most common examples with D&D, there is generally a fair amount of magic, probably more medium magic, but magic isn’t something that’s going to be shocking to most people. Low magic is on the opposite end of the spectrum, magic and magical items – in an RPG – are rare. People covet magic, fight over magic, and things like magical healing are not to be found.

And the article is done. Or I’ll talk about why you might want to pick one setting over another.

First off, consider the story you are trying to tell. How important is magic to it? If magic is important to the plot, and gaining a specific type of magic or a specific magical item, ask yourself then, is that because magic is rare or not. Is the item important because it’s a forgotten relic from long ago with a magic that was long lost, and now a group of wizards are going to be fighting over it? Or was it thought long lost, and now that it’s been found regular people are fighting for it because magic is so scarce. But then again, it’s possible that magic doesn’t matter in your story, is that because magic is common place so it doesn’t stand out as special or because it’s so rare that the two people off to the side of the story who can use it aren’t going to drive the story?

Image Credit: Amazon

From there you can start fleshing out your world and determining how magic is used, is it swish and flick magic or dancing in a circle under the full moon magic? If you haven’t decided this can also help make your decision. Even if you have a lot of magic users, it can be a world that is harder to influence by magic if the magic only works during a full moon and requires extensive rituals. It could even be that everyone has some form of magic but if the ability to cast magic is too complicated most people won’t do that, creating a low magic world. Or for example, in Harry Potter, magic is simple, but the world as a whole is low magic, we’re just in the high magic part of it for the series, so even with swish and flick magic, it’s been hidden away. Hiding magic is always interesting and can make your world feel more low magic though it could eventually end up being higher magic magic as time goes on, such as if in the world of Harry Potter magic was to be revealed, it would make the whole world feel lower magic in some ways, but higher magic because it isn’t as isolated.

Finally, consider what level of magic you want s you consider where you want the focus of your story to lie. If you’re doing a story about a normal person who makes it big in a world where magic is common and overcomes that perceived deficit, than you’d want to go high magic. But if you don’t want your story to focus on magic, going with a lower magic setting would make sense. It’s possible in that last example that you could have a higher magic world, but magic is just common place, but you have to worry about the restrictions of magic.

Image Credit: Flavorwire

In fact, that’s another reason why you want to consider your magic level of your world. In a world with a lot of magic, a lot of problems are going to be solved by magic. Especially in stories about the hero overcoming lack of magic or just overcoming without using magic, you have to set-up a world where magic wouldn’t make that much sense to be used. That means the Harry Potter swish and flick magic might be too simple for your world because it doesn’t expend energy or resources. But if you can only cast a spell from a faerie circle, during a full moon, while dancing around in a circle and doing a chant in the fresh dew, you could have a lot of magic, because that magic is just hard to do. At the same time, if you are using magic, you don’t want to fall the other direction of making it too weak that there would be no reason to do any sort of magic, because the technology of your story works more effectively.

Finally ask yourself where your magic comes from, that is going to make a huge difference. Is it that it’s divine magic and anyone can get access to it if they believe in the right deity whether that deity is good or evil? Or does the magic come from within and some people just inherently have it like in The Magicians or Harry Potter? If you just have to truly believe in a deity, people are going to have magic, and there’s going to be a lot of it because people will believe since they can see very tangible proof. But if it’s an inherent ability, than you can decide how few or many people get to have it based off of how much magic your story needs.

These are just a few things to consider. It is interesting to look at it for books, but as well for RPG’s where you can take something like Dungeons and Dragons and turn it into a low magic setting. What do you do when a player wants to play a Wizard? It can create interesting stories as your players might have a rare character or you might not let them start out as a magical character at all.

What are some examples you like of high or low magic worlds? Have you played in a game where it was very high magic or very low magic?


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Not Your Normal Fantasy – Concept Article

Not Your Normal Fantasy – Concept Article

We all know fantasy pretty well, at least I’m assuming that we do. We’ve seen and/or read Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. We might have read the Shanara Chronicles, Wheel of Time, Mistborn, or so many other epic fantasy series or watched shows […]

City Building in D&D

City Building in D&D

Building a city as a home base or where your adventure is taking place can be a cool thing to do, it can also be a daunting thing to do, because putting together a whole city can be a lot of work. I rarely go […]

My Little Board Games

My Little Board Games

Now, This is meant as more of a play on the new game that came out called My Little Scythe. To see if you want to continue reading this, this is not about small games, though I’ll probably do a post on that soon now that I’m writing about it, it’s going to be about the nerdy things that I’m looking forward to when the kid has been born and is able to start playing board games, etc.

Critical Fail
Image Source: Amazon

The first thing that I think of is reading books to our kid and getting them into those worlds are make-believe and encouraging their creativity. For me growing up, my parents read to us kids a lot of books, and I’m excited to start doing that with a kid as well. And this is something that you can do even before they really truly understand it, but will be more fun when they do. The Swallows and Amazons series is the big one that I’m excited to read to them, it’s the one that I remember most fondly from my childhood. And there are plenty of other series, Harry Potter is one of the series that I want to read as well, something that my parents couldn’t have done for me because of how old I am. But I remember them reading Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, and Chronicles of Narnia as well. I have to imagine with how much Kristen and I read that it’ll rub off on the kid, but it’s something that we really want to encourage.

Then there are RPG’s. I actually think that most kids should play RPG’s. One, it’s a good form of play that they can do and really stretch imaginations. It’s also a good outlet for creativity, and is in some ways what kids are doing when they play make-believe. The other thing is that it puts yourself in a situation that you aren’t used to, it’s outside of the norms of social interaction and can be a good way to tease out those social interactions. As you can see, focusing in on that creativity is something that important in my mind for the development of a child, which I don’t think should be surprising.

I’m also really excited for teaching board games. I’m probably going to have to get a few simpler board games like My Little Scythe or My First Carcassone to start with, and actually on Board Game Breakfast from The Dice Tower, there’s a segment on games for younger kids that I’ll probably mind for information as well. But games like Ice Cool are already on my shelf that a kid is going to be able to play. Then as they get older I can introduce games like Tsuro and Splendor that are simple but have more strategy to them. This is there I’m looking to start developing the logical side of our child.

Image Source: Me!

I also want to teach them Magic the Gathering or Star Wars: Destiny or whatever the newest CCG (collectible card game) is. The reason for that is that I really want to teach the deck building and the logic that goes into those things. It means that right now I can’t totally fall of the Magic bandwagon even though I don’t get to play much. But deck building in those games is very much logic and very much finding the fun combinations that you can play. Plus, if they get into Magic or any CCG, they don’t have money to spend on anything else, as the joke goes. However, these deck builders are clearly further down the line, as they are very logical, but I want to introduce them for that reason, to help build that logic and reasoning skill that you can get in both CCG’s and board games.

Now, there are a ton more things that I’m excited to introduce at the right times. The first time that they see the Lord of the Rings movies or the original Star Wars movies. Taking them to Universal Studios when they are old enough to appreciate Harry Potter world. And it’ll be interesting to see what nerdy things that they’ll get into that will be coming out for them. What will be there Harry Potter or Hunger Games?

What nerdy things are you excited to introduce a child to? Is there some particular area that you’re really excited for?


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The Jargon – Board Game Edition

The Jargon – Board Game Edition

I’m doing something that’s a bit different style, I realize that there can be a lot of terms for various nerdy hobbies that might be a bit confusing. So I wanted to, for board games, run through what some of these terms are, if they […]

The Wiz Kids – Concepts

The Wiz Kids – Concepts

This is something that I hadn’t really thought about writing an article on until right now. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about and this popped into my head though as something my wife and I have been talking about. How to work […]

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 11: Too Cool For School?

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 11: Too Cool For School?

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons.

Image Source: Wizards

Von’thre takes advantage of the opportunity ahead of him to gain some more knowledge, because that is the smart and safe thing to do.


If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A every twenty-five episodes.


Our players are:

Ashley – Nori the Mountain Dwarf Champion Fighter

Kristen (@Kefka73) – Syldi the Half-Elf Rogue Thief

Clint – Von’thre the High Elf Divination Wizard

The DM:

Peder (@TheScando)


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Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
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Concept: Culling the Nerd

Concept: Culling the Nerd

Let’s start by what I mean by the title “Culling the Nerd“. It sounds ominous, but I don’t mean actually culling nerds out of your life, I’m talking tips, tricks, strategies for decluttering your nerd life when your collections grow to a hoard, and you […]