Encyclopaedia Arcana #30: Force Magic

Force magic is the magic of direct physical movement.  While force spells are often referred to as constructions of kinetic energy, they are better understood in terms of momentum.  Force mages can redirect and alter the momentum of objects and creatures, allowing them to be moved, protected, or damaged.

There has been a long-standing argument among mages as to which family force magic should be classified under.  Momentum is a sufficiently abstract concept to suggest the universal family, and like other universal magic force spells are invisible to normal sight.  However, the shielding and attack spells that force mages employ have much more in common with elemental magic than the relatively indirect effects of universalists.  Perhaps the best way to resolve the issue is to realise that the family system by which mages classify magic types is essentially arbitrary – at the moment force magic is considered elemental, but there’s always the chance that mages will change their minds.

Use the Force, Luke

The most basic use of force magic is ranged telekinesis, manipulating or moving things at a distance.  Most force mages start off practicing by lifting small objects, but it doesn’t take them long to move onto bigger ones.  At this point force mages tend to diverge into one of two paths.  Those with a utilitarian bent refine their telekinesis and learn to imbue themselves with surges of momentum, allowing them to leap great distances.  They also pick up the ability to create walls of force, invisible planes that redirect the momentum of anything that touches them into a nearby object.

Force mages with more aggressive tendencies specialise in combat.  Force magic is very, very good at breaking things, and over the centuries force mages have developed a wide variety of spells designed to shred, punch, crush, fling, bend, fold, and mutilate.  Like most elementalists force mages can also create shields, and unlike some types of elemental magic their barriers work just fine against mundane attacks, too.

Style-wise, force magic occupies an odd halfway house between the universal and elemental families.  Unusually for an elemental type, force magic leaves no visual trace – its spells and effects show up in a mage’s sight, but are invisible to the normal eye.  In terms of results, however, force magic is about as blatant as you can get.  The telekinetic spells of force mages use might be invisible, but when heavy objects are being thrown around like baseballs even the most magically clueless normal can tell that something strange is going on.  It doesn’t help that while force mages have plenty of raw power, their fine control is notoriously bad – they have a reputation for breaking things and for general bull-in-a-china-shop behaviour.  The result is that while force magic has the potential to be subtle, it usually doesn’t work that way in practice.

Nature and Demeanour

Personality-wise, force mages tend to be direct, energetic, and domineering, hard to persuade and hard to turn aside.  They have a reputation for determination and once they’ve set their mind on something it’s very hard to get them to stop.  If they have a weakness, it’s that they tend not to be very self-aware:  they’re good at getting things done, but they very rarely stop and question whether what they’re trying to get done is actually a good idea.

Force mages in both Light and Dark society often rise to positions of authority, though usually not the very top positions.  Their power and confidence draw people to follow them, but they have trouble with the subtleties of politics and their persistence tends to lead them into great successes and spectacular failures with equal frequency.  Those force mages who can overcome these weaknesses can accomplish a great deal, though whether their accomplishments are good or bad is usually up for debate.  One thing’s for sure – they’re never boring.

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2 Responses to Encyclopaedia Arcana #30: Force Magic

  1. Serack says:

    Interesting, sounds like a character of this archetype has been developed.

  2. Shecky says:

    There has: Onyx.

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