Just starting to brainstorm a magic system for a world I'm creating. I'm not looking for specific advice on my magic system but guidelines on things to think about when creating one in general.

Here's what I've come up with so far as things to think about.

  1. Where does magic come from? Why does it exist and why does it work?

  2. How do you use it? Is it based on spells or is more free-form? Do you need to say magic words, perform gestures, etc? Can you simply imagine what you want and it becomes a reality? Do you need anything to use it (such as a wand or other item)?

  3. Who can use it? Is everyone born with magic? All types of magic or only certain kinds? If not, only some people? Certain Races? Genders? Does it need to be "awakened" before it can be used? Is it natural, or does it need to be taught?

  4. What can it do? What can't it do? Can it create ice, or does it draw on the water in the air? Can it rewind time? Can it Teleport? Is there a cost to using it or can you use it over and over again without limits? If there is a cost is it permanent or temporary?

These questions are just the start, and while they probably cover many of the general categories to think about when coming up with a magic system I'm sure I missed some. Obviously not all of them necessarily have to be answered for every system. What did I miss, and what do YOU think about when creating a magic system. Any advice for someone creating a magic system?

Read:  How’s this for an ending?

(This is my first time trying something like this, mostly looking for guidance but also trying to understand how other people think.)

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