At its core, Magic is altering the properties of something in Eidos without using its material form as the medium for change. Take a tennis ball. You could accelerate it by hitting it with a tennis racket. You could also accelerate it by adding velocity to its Form in Eidos; since Eidos directly impacts how the material world works, the ball would sudden accelerate to the modified velocity.
There are three main guidelines:
- First, changes that do not make sense by material physics cease when the interference of magic ceases. The ball will not continue to defy friction and gravity, nor will it defy conservation of motion; if the ball is in the atmosphere, it will slow down and eventually stop, just as if you’d hit the ball with a racket. However, if you can make a ‘stable’ change, there will be nothing to revert – for example if you destroy a rock to pebbles, the pebbles will not reform into the rock, as pebbles are consistent within the system of reality.
- Second, while altering Eidos ignores conservation of mass and energy (just as cheating in a video game would bypass the physics engine); it is not an unlimited power. The more the change violates the rules of the world, the more mana it requires to actualize.
- Third, changing Eidos requires Mana (the IDS refers to Mana as ‘psionic particles’). The nature of this energy is poorly understood, and directly interacting with it is challenging. The greatest problem with Eidos – and for that matter mana – is they, by definition, are not part of the material world; there is no direct way to interact with them, and thus the actual mechanics of how a mage works magic is unknown – the conceptual leap from understanding that Eidos exists to understanding how to change it is what makes someone a ‘Mage’.
Types of Magic
One of the ways that mages interact with Eidos leverage magic is to create entirely fake data structures. By just inserting something with a set of basic properties into the data, you can create an Eidos construct. The most common and simplist application of this is creating force-fields or barriers, which is just inserting a the form of something that blocks things from passing through it.
The benefit to these is that they rely on physics for the vast majority of their applications, meaning the mage does not have to react to new information as long the Eidos construct is already prepared for it (such as blocking bullets, something too fast for most mages to react to).
The downside to these is the inverse of that - they rely on physics, yet they are not actually there; while writing an Eidos construct requires very little in the way of reading Eidos data, it requires a very strong ability to write, as well as the capacity to write a large amount of data quickly. Eidos constructs are hard to accomplish with autocasters as they require too much data (though it can be done in a limited capacity) and they tend to not be effectively unless the mage can write them with enough force to make a blue or green one.
An Eidos construct can be violet, blue, green, yellow or red; this order is the depth of how strongly they are written into Eidos, the further along the progression the more directly they interact with physics. A violet construct typically does not interact enough to effect matter, and will not stop a projectile. A blue ignores most of physics, typically only interacting with a specific element it was created for. Green, yellow and red tend to be stable enough to leverage most of the rules like a real object, and only red can chain Eidos effects beyond the mage the invoked the effect.
On of the most classic uses of magic is to leverage the existing environment and rules of physics. It takes comparatively little effort to accelerate a rock with magic, but a rock moving the speed of a bullet can still inflict substantial harm. This tends to be most adaptable use, as well as the use that requires the least power, though not inherently - used with substantial power this can be used to topple buildings, launch high velocity weapons, and even tear planes from the sky.
The main principle of this method tends to be interacting with the softer conditional variables of an object; while the essential properties of an object are quite hard to modify, the conditional ones such as speed and weight can manipulated with relative ease (though such a change has to be maintained by the mage actualizing it).
Tiers of Magic
The tiers of magic is a concept espoused by most people have an organized structure of mages, and mostly refers to the combat utility of the magic a mage can wield, particularly the range of the effect and amount of total impact it would have in an armed conflict.
Roughly akin to the power of a firearm. Most boosters or autocasters fall into this category, even if many of them are strictly superior to a firearm in how they operate, if they end up achieving a similar degree of scope to what a person with a firearm can accoplish, they fall into this catagory. Typically these magics effect at most a small area around the caster.
- Generating a bolt of lightning that leaps between the caster and a nearby target, usually knocking them unconcious or killing them outright.
- Personal barriers that block bullets and objects.
- An Eidos construct shaped like an arrow that can be shot at someone.
- A mage boosting their speed and strength.
Roughly akin to the power of modern artillery, such as a tank or short range missile. Magics of this class can usually destroy a vehicle or building, but are mainly differentiated by their effective range. Due to the range limitations on actualizing magic, usually magic in this class involves either an Eidos construct, launching a projectile, or a long range phenomena.
- A green Eidos construct the size of a small vehicle that can be sent more than a few feet from the caster.
- Rupture magic (red lances of power that cause things they strike to detonate violently).
- Launching superweighted tennis ball with enough power to travel most of a mile and destroy a vehicle.
Tactical magic means that a single instance of magic a mage wields can be treated as a tactical resource, redefining a battle field. This sort of magic is extremely rare, and not widely shared as assets of this caliber are typically considered matters of national security. If a nation or organization without a tactical mage attacks one with a tactical mage, they are at a severe disadvantage unless they have a way to neutralize it, and battles between two mages wielding tactical magic can result in widespread devastation.
- Red Dragon Construct. The Construct itself would likely be considered at the high end of Artillery as its range of effect is limited to around itself, but its ability to fire a highly destructive blast of data over vast distances means that the dragon is a tactical asset.
Magic of rumor and legend, magic so powerful that it can single handed be responsible for the outcome of an entire campaign, magic of this level could devastate an entire city.