Jump to content

Considering the universality of the RQ magic systems.


Recommended Posts

Now that I've got the pdf of the RQ6 rules, it's always been a fascination of mine about how they manage to handle Magic in the game by considering real world cultures. There are now five magic systems in the game: Folk, Animism, Mysticism, Theism and Sorcery. It's a pretty comprehensive list, but my RPG background includes a fair whack of playing Mage in the 90s, so it's part of my fun to be able to look at how many cultures these systems can encapsulate. Looking at Mage, and a bunch of other games, some of the alternative magic systems include:



Voudun (Voudoo)

Chaos Magic



Sex Magic

Blood Magic


Weird Science

Virtual Reality and Technomagic

Clockwork Devices

Drug-enduced Ecstacy

'Hermetic Magic' (Ars Magica's Verb and Noun system)

Probability-based magic (from Maelstrom and Mage's Entropy Sphere)

Avatar-based magic (from Unknown Armies)

Various Adept Magic styles (From Unknown Armies)

Mythos Magic (Cthulhu)

Computational Demonology (The Laundry)

Ritual Magic

Now I've just put all those out as a brainstorm in effect, and there is a lot of overlap and it's by no means an exhaustive list. But my challenge is to see how many of these fit, in some way into RQs 'Big Five' so to speak.

Some of them are really just applications of the 'Big Five', or specific techniques associated with them at least -

Demonology - perverse form of Theism

Necromancy, Ecstasy and Voudun - Definitely linked to Animism.

Gnosticism, Sufiism, Pychics (think: Jedi Powers) - Mysticism

Ritual Magic, Blood Magic, Sex Magic (from description at least - never tried it myself!), Ars' Hermetic magic - all really applications and styles of Sorcery in effect, although they could be written into a number of other styles too (Theism, Animism, etc).

So really, the ones not really catered for essentially include all the techno, clockwork and pseudo-science based 'magics', as well as the more post-modern styles outlined in games like Mage and Unknown Armies but could be collected under the umbrella term 'Chaos Magic'.

While the techno-styles don't really have much universal application in most fantasy genres, I wonder whether they are not too dissimilar in theme to Alchemy (which is still part of the RQ rules from Arms and Equipment). That is, they are all trying to bridge the gap between observable scientific methods and magical applications. To a degree, this is kinda like Sorcery, but I do think there is a place for separating this mechanistic style of magical modernism as a separate category, and possibly integrating clockwork animation into the process (see Del Toro's Chronos) as well as general magical enchantments. Chaos Magic would relate to all those Jonny-come-lately, 20th century, PoMo, paradigm/paradox magical styles, based upon a Jungian collective unconscious and the like.

So that would give us seven in total: Folk, Animism, Mysticism, Theism, Sorcery, Alchemy (modernism) and Chaos magic (post-modernism).

Any thoughts on this, or possibly developing the two latter systems to be able to work?

Any thoughts on expanding

Edited by TrippyHippy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...