6 – Magic Systems, Part 1

Daystar and Alexander discuss what makes a magic system, what their purpose and function is, and some of the pitfalls and challenges to creating effective ones that enhance storytelling rather than distract from it.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected


Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher

Powder Mage, by Brian McClellan

The Runelords, by David Farland

Ra, by Sam Hughes

The Randi Prize, by Alexander Wales


0:40 What makes a magic system?

4:20 Examples of liked and disliked magic systems

10:30 Moh’s Scale of Sci Fi Hardness

14:34 Digging deeper into magic

18:40 Sanderson’s First Law

23:38 The Static-Emergent Distinction

30:50 Some challenges to building magic systems

32:43 Place of Technobabble

37:10 Entertainment over details