Jim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO ColumnRoleCraft: The Magic of Roleplaying, Part 4: ConclusionJim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO Column - RSS 2.0
With this edition of RoleCraft, we come to the conclusion of The Magic of Roleplaying series. We'll look into the discipline of magic, and look at some of the most famous spell-casters around. These final two elements should I hope help roleplayers culminate all the ideas I've to put forth in this series, and lead you on to greater RP adventures.
The discipline of magic in MMORPGs is by all means unique to roleplayers. Many prefer the ease of play that simply allows the rules of the game to limit their magic use, be it by class or racial restrictions, or by the design of the game itself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course. However, if you desire to bring a higher degree of RP discipline into your spell-caster, then this closing article is for you.
Laws, rules, and regulations guide all of Life, to one degree or another. Even magic, which at times can seem to be in direct opposition to these laws, is in fact only subject to its own set of laws. Four ways you could roleplay a spell-caster under this premise: as one who is aware and learning these rules; as one who has already mastered this knowledge; as one who knows absolutely nothing about them; or as one who cares absolutely nothing about them.
But what are these rules? The first step in answering this is to look into your MMORPG and identify what in game elements (if any) are present that act as rules for spell-casting. Starting with class, you'll see that each has their own set of spells they can cast. For example, healers tend to cast spells of a positive and beneficial nature, while warlocks deal more in the darker arts. A bard may only cast spells with the aid of a musical instrument, and a wizard may do likewise only by employing a staff. These are rules set forth in game by the game designers, often taken from real life magic explanations, and also often overlooked by roleplayers.
There is yet a deeper realm for roleplayers to reach for, if they so choose, and that is taking the discipline of magic and giving it a more prominent focus in the act of roleplaying. In true roleplaying style, this discipline may take form in any and every way possible, whatever your imagination can create, limited only by the MMORPG itself.
Following is a list of some websites I use when creating a disciplined spell-caster character. Take these along with many of the books and websites shared in The Magic of Roleplaying, Part 2: Spell-caster Classes, and you should have ample information about following a certain magic discipline, or creating your very own unique set of rules.
Three Books of Occult Philosophy or Magic - Henry Cornelius Agrippa
The Laws of Magic, parts 1 through 8 - The Dresden Files RPG
The Laws of Magic: an excerpt from Authentic Thaumaturgy
Master of the Five Magics - Wikipedia (book series by Lyndon Hardy)
Rules of Magic - Journey to the Sea online magazine
Principles of Tolkien's Magic
Finally, I share with you some of my most favorite spell-casters, the most memorable mages and wizards I've come across in books and movies and other ways. Their examples are how I came to know and develop my own styles of roleplaying their kind. They still help inspire me when I happen to hit a snag on creating a new MMORPG spell-caster to this day. Hopefully they'll do the same for you, and even inspire your own spell-caster to renown.
Elric of Melniboné
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
The Charmed Ones (Charmed)
And with that, I'll conclude The Magic of Roleplaying series. I've divvied out the better part of my thoughts and ideas about roleplaying a spell-caster here. If you've found anything useful from this series, please make use of it for your own RP sessions as you see fit. Of course, if you think I've missed something, or have thoughts you want to add, please leave them below in the Comments section, or send them directly to my email at RoleCraft at gmail dot com, and via Twitter. Also click over to The RP Archives, a blog where I gather all the roleplaying knowledge from across the interwebs into one handy reference place. Until next time, role on!