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LJ Community thought - Thaumatography

So, one idea I'm toying with for an LJ community (and I don't think I should build any more, I've got four of them that have legitimate traffic, and mod three or so more) - a group discussing the way magic operates in fantasy novels and media. So...maybe posts about wand magic in Harry Potter, or the strangely broken spells in Howl's Moving Castles. May be a low-traffic group, but there could be a few interesting discussions of it.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
herefox
Oct. 18th, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Broken spells in the movie or the book? They're very different beasts.
spottylogic
Oct. 18th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
In the book--are there spells in the movie? I guess the Witch of the Waste's curses qualify--but it was the description of spells in the book that set me off on this...
herefox
Oct. 18th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
I don't remember the movie that well. I was torn between "Ooooh pretty!" and "Waahh, Sophie has the personality of a dishrag!" in the movie.

I'd never thought of the spells being broken, per se in the book. Other than that curse that Sophie tries to help Michael figure out I don't really remember any specific examples, though there are clearly two systems of magic at work in the book.
spottylogic
Oct. 18th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Howl specifically states that the written version of each powerful spell has an intentional flaw or mistake, to prevent people from getting too cocky. it was such an interesting observation that it stuck with me.
herefox
Oct. 18th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh! Broken that way, I thought you meant broken as illogical. That's actually an old concept...a lot of the alchemists would do a similar thing though I believe their reasoning was to protect the knowledge. If you didn't know enough to fix the error you didn't deserve to be able to work the procedure.
paka
Oct. 18th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
And of course, what I want to know, is how you'd do either of those as a role-playing system.
spottylogic
Oct. 18th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read Steve Jackson Game's "Practical Thaumaturgy" (itself based on "Real Magic")? It's an amazing book on incorporating "real world" magic into an RPG setting...excruciatingly well-thought-out by someone with, literally, a Masters' degree in magic.
tenar10r
Oct. 18th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
I feel like a noob. I've never heard of this book but it sounds facinating.
spottylogic
Oct. 18th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
It's a little bit obscure--the overlap between gamers and hard-core occultism is actually kind of small. Both Real Magic and Practical Thaumaturgy are remarkable books, though - the author (Isaac Bonowitz, certified pompous f**k) defines 40 or so magical "laws" and shows how their interactions in a ritual can be used to control and refine energies. It's very impressive!
unclehyena
Oct. 19th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
Jackson republished "Practical Thaumaturgy"? Cool! I treasure my old Chaosium version from 1979 or so...
spottylogic
Oct. 19th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
Huh, I didn't know it was a second edition, interesting!
unclehyena
Oct. 19th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Now that a few of the cobwebs have cleared...

It's actually "Authentic Thaumaturgy", and there is a Wikipedia article. The Jackson version is supposedly significantly expanded and updated, and just from looking at the cover it is clear that the art has improved a couple of quantum levels.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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