Wesnoth and Magic

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Ranger
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Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Ranger »

Is there any explanation to why humans seem to be the most magic-proficent race in the game? Besides undead who can be considered largely human-based fraction, the only other race that show significant ability in magic are elves. I guess we can roughly compare elven druids to white mages and archmages to enchantresses. But they likely spend centuries of their life to achive level of mastery that some humans reach before end of their relatively brief lifes. I mean arent the elves generally considered most magical race because of their connection to realm of magic? What do you think?
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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StandYourGround
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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by StandYourGround »

Seems simple enough. Humans are aggressively motivated to master their arts, while elves generally take for granted the abilities they innately possess. Because of this, humans seem to be more proficient, because they have less time to waste, and the stakes are higher. Elves have centuries to learn, so even the most skilled are in no rush to perfect their abilities. Also, neither race is necessarily known by its magic users. I imagine mages represent as much of a minority among humans as enchantresses represent among elves.
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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by AI »

Also, elves only live about two centuries unless they're already very proficient in magic, in which case they may live another century.

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by A Guy »

Being magical if and of itself does not grant proficiency of magic. Drakes, for example, have magic energy running through their body, but they can't use it for anything but firebreathing.
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Ranger
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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Ranger »

A Guy wrote:Being magical if and of itself does not grant proficiency of magic. Drakes, for example, have magic energy running through their body, but they can't use it for anything but firebreathing.
Wonder if they really can't? maybe they just dont want?
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Dugi »

Looking several dozens of topics back in Writers' Forum, I have found my earlier post on a similar topic. It is merely an explanation, based only partially on mainline campaigns and UMC.

Quoting:
'There are several accessible worlds, like the Faerie world, Inferno, some elemental planes (elementals come from there), world of the dead,... Each of them has different laws of nature, its own magic, its own inhabitants. In the faerie world, the air is much heavier compared to water in bodies, so beings can fly with ease (scientifically, Boltzmann's constant is significantly different, also the fine structure constant). In Inferno, mass is much more dense and creatures of the same size are stronger and tougher (scientifically, Planck's constant is higher). Elemental planes are places with different nature, and the life there developed differently - anorganic life for earth elementals, some kind of medusa-like reticuli in the case of water elementals, plasma and magnetic fields in the case of fire elementals. The plane Rythé that Shadowmaster mentioned in IftU is another planet in the same world as Wesnoth is, they are just aliens that live far far away.

If these creatures come to another world, the passage through the barrier between the world refracts its very nature, that in effect translates the differences between the worlds into a series of enchantments. This makes fairies float, demons super tough, elementals capable of using their elemental nature etc. Therefore, it adds some unique magic into their flesh, that does not have much in common with usual DNA codes. When these otherwordly creatures interbreed with common races, their offsprings share a part of their DNA and also a part of the enchantments. This makes elves a bit fairy-like (if they don't neglect this magic power within them, if they neglect it, it will fade away in their bodies, this makes the difference between archers/fighters and shamans). It also makes the trolls a bit earth-like (their skin is like stone, if they develop their elemental part they can use interesting fire magic as Troll Shamans).

Beings usually don't have reasons to visit other worlds, but they may do so if they have a reason to and they possess the knowledge required for it. They may try to help their cousins (like fairies in IftU), to destroy and conquer (demons), just to take over uninhabitable territories like lava or deep caves (elementals), or to help their descendants (spirits).

Each world has its own magic, fairy magic is mostly related to plants, demonic magic is mostly related to destruction and evil (according to Shadowmaster, it was not always so), elemental magic is related to the element they belong to (earth elementals can control rocks, fire elementals can breathe fire,...), necromantic magic is related to sucking life energy and passages between the world of the dead and the world where the dead formerly lived in,...

This makes trolls' special powers tied to rocks and lava, elvish powers tied to plants (faerie fire is described as bringing parts of the faerie world to cause destructive chaotic power surges, so this is tied to the passage between worlds, but ensnare and thorns are related to plants), liches' powers are related to draining and dragging things from the world of the dead,...

Other creatures were created with magic from mundane creatures by unknown beings deep in the past, such as mermen (hybrids between fishes and humans), orcs (hybrids between apes and humans) or nagas (hybrids between serpents and humans), so they also possess some residual magic (orcs have strength, mermen have some water-related powers) that gives them some special powers and makes them vulnerable to arcane, or just not resistant to it. Gryphons are probably magical hybrids between horses (or some other four-legged animal, their feet look kinda feline) and eagles (or some other predator birds).

Humans are perfectly mundane creatures in this world, that does not limit their magical powers into a single direction like otherworldly hybrids, and makes them resistant to arcane. Their magic is related to this world, so their magic is the most powerful here, but it is related to theories and knowledge, unlike elvish magic, that is related to their own nature and controlled mostly with instincts. The magic of this world contains the forces of anorganic nature (lightnings, fireballs, snowstorms) and the forces of life (healing, lightbeam, as opposed the the forces of the dead that contains the dark magic). Silver Magi are a mystery.

Of course, beings can use different kinds of magic that they are tied to. Necromancers aren't undead themselves, but they study magic of the dead to learn to control it and become immortal (to a certain extent). Orcish and mermen shamans/magi can use the usual magic, but it interferes with their residual magic that keeps them hybrid, that makes them worse at it than humans. Elves can use the conventional magic, but it is extremely rare, because it is much easier for them to use their residual faerie magic; but death magic doesn't belong to them just like it doesn't belong to humans (but unlike them, humans are not tied to the faerie magic, so they are still better at necromancy), and in addition it allows them do do something their own magic cannot even imitate, so elvish necromancers are more likely to appear than elvish red magi.
'

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Ranger »

Thanks Dugi it was a very interesting read and it answers many of the questions raisen in this thread. ^_^
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by AI »

Dugi wrote:Looking several dozens of topics back in Writers' Forum, I have found my earlier post on a similar topic. It is merely an explanation, based only partially on mainline campaigns and UMC.

Quoting:
Could you also quote or at least link to the rest of the thread? Because I recall pretty much everyone disagreeing with you.

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Telchin »

Besides undead who can be considered largely human-based fraction, the only other race that show significant ability in magic are elves.
I should probably mention Saurians, who were somehow not mentioned in this thread so far, despite using magic even in the default era. I guess you didn't count them as "significantly able" because their Augurs go only to level 2 (while Elvish Shamans and human Magi go up to level 4), on the other hand according to the wiki they have much shorter livespan than humans, so even those magical abilities they can develop are an achievement. In the mainline campaigns there are also Mermaid Initiates (DW, HttT, UtBS), Dwarvish Runemasters (SoF, THoT) and Troll Shamans (DiD, UtBS). And that's not getting into UMCs, where anything goes (shameless shilling: my UMC has Magic Tentacles!).
Is there any explanation to why humans seem to be the most magic-proficent race in the game?
I believe it's not from any in-universe reasons, but because most developers and players of BfW are humans. Therefore humans are sort-of "default race": they are protagonists iof most mainline campaigns (AToTB, TSG, HttT, Liberty, DM, DiD, EI, NR, TRoW), they don't get their race mentioned in unit's type (Spearman vs. Goblin Spearman), they have most units (4 of 6 default factions use humans) and they are main inhabitans of the eponymous kingdom. Therefore if there is an important character in a story (including powerful magicians), there is a good chance said character is a human, unless the story demands otherwise.

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Crow_T »

To the OP, I think elves are more connected to nature, not magic per se- to them "magic" is just a product of their very being, it's accepted as the way things are. To humans magic is something to be researched and exploited for power, so they take it to the next level. (I'm actually kicking around a campaign based on this premise :geek: ).

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Dugi »

AI wrote:Could you also quote or at least link to the rest of the thread? Because I recall pretty much everyone disagreeing with you.
It was here. You remember wrongly that everyone disagreed with me, just Shadowmaster said that it does not need a logical/philosophical explanation and then the need of it was discussed, and then the discussion turned elsewhere.

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Iris »

Dugi wrote:It was here. You remember wrongly that everyone disagreed with me, just Shadowmaster said that it does not need a logical/philosophical explanation and then the need of it was discussed, and then the discussion turned elsewhere.
And I still think not everything needs an explanation, especially when the explanation risks sounding incredibly far-fetched.

That big citation in italics continues to be wrong in multiple ways. But it’s okay, nothing of this is canon anyway. I am pretty sure hope everyone reading these threads is aware that no-one really has the definitive word on how the world of Battle for Wesnoth works.

(Also, who in the world is this Shadowmaster person you speak of?)
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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by Dugi »

shadowm wrote:And I still think not everything needs an explanation, especially when the explanation risks sounding incredibly far-fetched.
Ranger asked for an explanation, so I wrote one. I have written that although it should not clash with mainline or most of UMC, it is just imagination (that can be valid, because there is no truth).
shadowm wrote:(Also, who in the world is this Shadowmaster person you speak of?)
Back then, you posted using the nickname Shadowmaster, not this shortened version. And I personally like your old nickname more.

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Re: Wesnoth and Magic

Post by TheCripple »

shadowm wrote:
Dugi wrote:It was here. You remember wrongly that everyone disagreed with me, just Shadowmaster said that it does not need a logical/philosophical explanation and then the need of it was discussed, and then the discussion turned elsewhere.
And I still think not everything needs an explanation, especially when the explanation risks sounding incredibly far-fetched.
I'd agree, particularly when this one has really obvious explanations that occur to people who might notice it - for instance, elven magic might just be less battle focused, and thus show up less in the game.

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