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How to create a fantasy magic system

Updated: Feb 24

As a world builder or RPG player, you hold a tremendous amount of power. You have the ability to create entire worlds, craft intricate systems of magic, and design characters that capture the imagination of those who experience them. But with that power comes great responsibility. To make a fantasy world that is interesting and believable, you need to plan it out carefully and know a lot about what makes a story or game interesting.

That's why we're here to challenge you to create a fantasy magic system that truly stands out. Too often, fantasy stories and games rely on lazy cliches or vague hand-waving when it comes to magic. But with a little bit of planning and structure, you can create a system that is both internally consistent and fascinating to your audience.

Introduction: Setting the Stage for Your Fantasy Magic System

Whether you're creating a soft magic system with few rules that can't be amended or a hard magic system that operates more like an arcane science, the magic users in your fantasy novel or world are wielding magical powers that have to have a logic and coherence of their own. Fantasy writers who create their own magic system without giving it an internal logic risk committing the most heinous of all writing sins: confusing the audience.