What fantasy story has the best magic system?

What fantasy story has the best magic system?
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#1

i read a book called Master of the Five Magics that has a FANTASTIC magic system. magic is split up into Thaumaturgy (magical binding of two objects together, imagine like voodoo dolls), Alchemy (potion making), Magic (elemental powers), Sorcery (illusion) and Wizardry (conjuring demons). The main character is on a quest to study all of these so the story has time to go super deep into how they work and what rituals they require.

If you like fantasy and have read some books with magic, which one do you think did magic the best?

also do you like hard or soft magic systems? for reference in fantasy a soft magic system is like Harry Potter, everything just kinda works and the rules of the magic, if there are any, are left vague. you also don’t generally need any ingredients for spells. hard magic is the opposite of that, there are usually very clear rules and items or rituals are needed.


#2

Is it cheating to say the Ivalice from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (2)? I mean, it’s a game and not a book, though the Tactics Advance games feature the protagonists being taken to the world via magic books in the present day.

The core idea of its magic system is that there’s a thingy called Mist, which is essentially magic water vapor that becomes fog if it gets dense enough. People can absorb this magic water vapor, and through special weapons or extensive training (according to gameplay mechanics) they can cast spells, leading to a sort of “firm, not quite hard not quite soft” magic system.

Sure, while there are set rules, the setting of Ivalice is so law-heavy it’s not really clear what’s a rule regarding Mist and what’s another law (such as the job system being relegated to “one main job and one sub job at a time, even if you mastered literally everything you possibly could”).


#3

Well one guy mentioned a video game so if nen from Hunter x Hunter counts then it’s a really fleshed out ‘magic’ system. It isn’t exactly magic but to the general public it can look like magic.
I think the wikipedia explains it best, if you want thorough read and description of it read that.


#4

Hard magic systems are more my preference these days but I can still enjoy soft systems if they are written well enough. As far as literature goes I always liked that magic in the Inheritance cycle wasn’t some work around easy solution to any problem but that it still took the same physical toll as actually undertaking that action. There was a bit more to it as far as rules and it wasn’t a perfect hard system but I liked it a lot. By contrast, I hate how ill-defined magic is in Tolkien’s stories.

I think the best example of a hard system though is Alchemy from the FMA franchise. It’s similar in nature to the system above in that any magical action you undertake requires an equal cost - albeit this time a material one cause alchemy. It’s also a bit more consistent and well thought out and is incredibly diverse and interesting for such a simple system.


#5

Yes to FMA! You can tell Arakawa took a lot of time making sure that system makes sense in her world. Plus she also shows the good and bad sides of using alchemy.


#6

i havent seen fma but i keep hearing it as a good example


#7

Basically you can convert any kind of matter into another shape, configuration or variety of matter as long as the value/amount of material used remains the same. That’s not 100% accurate but close enough.


#8

Personally, I have become really engulfed in the new Netflix Show “The Dragon Prince” (My Discord Avatar is in fact from it.) And it has a very interesting magic system. Basiaccly, there are 6 “Primal Sources” which are the cores of the universe itself. These are The Sun, The Moon, The Stars, The Earth, The Sky, and The Ocean. To cast a Spell, a Mage would need access to one of these sources. For example, to cast a Wind Breath Spell they would need to be in a storm or other sky-related thing. However, there were “Primal Stones”. They were basiaccly concentrated Primal Sources that allowed spells to be cast anywhere. However, they are VERY rare.bOne day However, a Human Mage Created a New magic: Dark Magic. It’s Source was in fact the Essence of Magical Creatures.