Thread: Wizards vs ?(Please help me)
I have a name for these sort of people. But my characteristics may come across as a ripoff of Tolkiens wizards (probably because they are both based mainly on druids). If anyone has any suggestions on how I can improve these people, please answer. Here is a description of these "druids".
Clothing- pants, tunic, robe/cloak(color not mattering), sandals/boots.
Appearance- Normally bearded, longhaired or baldheaded, wear skullcaps ( a medieval hat resembling a beanie)Heights vary.
Weapons- staff, and/or sword, and spells/varying powers.
It seems to me like most people will think I'm trying to copy Tolkien without actually copying Tolkien. But I can't vouch for other people's opinions before hearing them. I'm not rying to do that, It just turned out that way.
They could use the staves as weapons but if they carry swords why would they need to? If you have no reason for them to carry staves then it seems they are a device to show the reader that these are 'different' people and seems a bit 'traditional'. He must be a wizard - he has a staff. I'd suggest using something else to bind them together as being seen as different - give them all shaved and tattooed heads or maybe something like a deformed hand like a genetic similarity between them which perhaps has other uses. Make them blind to the world as it is but they 'see' with other senses?
But I still want them to carry staffs (the staffs have no magical power) just because the staff seems like somone like these people would carry
Someone? Probably just a typing error, but you could do something with that... if their "staffs" are sentient and just look like walking sticks... I don't know. But think about the implications of their staffs being called someone. Maybe all the staffs are one being and connect the wizards? Of course, those sound more like sci-fi than fantasy, so probably not the way you want to go, but again, think about possible implications, as you know more about these people than I do. Also, what is your name for these people? And if they are going to be main characters, then what they use their magic for and their own personalities will go a long way towards separating them from Tolkien's wizards.
And check your PM or the Redwall, Narnia, or...? board!
Have you read Magician by Raymond E. Feist? It was a book I really enjoyed reading. It has some interesting theories about Magicians/Wizards.
I'm `stealing' some of Feist's ideas concerning Magicians for my own story. His ideas would solve your staves (sp?) problem.
Here is my idea on magic.
Magic needs a focus point, at least, the more complex magic. It's more of a saveguard than actually necessary. Since magic is a quite complex method of energy manipulation. If there is one tiny factor then the whole magiccal field can collapse. If the focuspoint is the magician self the collapse of the field can totally destroy or harming the magician (depending on the amount of energy used). To bypass this unfortunate sideeffect the focuspoint of a spell is often an object outside the magician. It can be scrolls, but they are difficult to carry around if you are in an emergency situation. Staves (sp?) are quite good for being a focuspoint. You can carry it around all the time, it wouldn't look silly for an old wizard to have it, and it profides a good focuspoint.
If the spell goes wrong and the magically field collapses, the staff would be destroyed instead of the magician.
The better the staff is made (type of wood, craftmanship put into the stick), the better the energy focussed on it will pass through, and the spell will be more effective. And if it all goes wrong, the better the energy can dissolve in it and leaving the staff less damaged.
Besides that, staves are quite obvious. If you have all your wizards walking around with one, anyone can see they are wizards. Staves are not easy to lose. Other wizards wear big pointy heads (like Gandalf used to wear), but in a strong wind they can be blown away, but a walking stick isn't that easilly lost.
You can make it a traditional thing, that it goes with the wizard atire, but hasn't got any practical values (except walking with it, but then all your wizards need to be old). Since they are `normal' humans, you might come across a young wizard, and why would he need a staff for?
Because your wizards are human (at least, I remember you saying that), is there some place they are trained? Like Terry Pratchett's Unseen University? Or do they begin as an appreintice of an older wizard?
Good luck with your story, and if you have more questions, feel free to ask.
PS: If you care to use my views on magic, please mutilate it in such an amount that it isn't recognizable as my views posted here. It would be a bit silly to see two different books with exact the same rules of magic.
PPS: Since my views are stolen more or less from Feist, I'm still mutilating them to be the same but still completely different.
I have obvious respect for Tolkiens use of magic, or should I say 'art' as that is what it was to the elves. A beautiful idea and yet still somehow can be flawed, but only as flawed as the person utilizing or abusing this gift.
If this threads still going as I think and write about my system of magic I will add more posts.
Happy writing and Peace
I also have a question for anyone who comes to this thread- I have much the same problem as ar-edain, but with elves. I do not want my elves to be like the tolkien-elves, or at least not entirely. Any thoughts on potential differences or just definitions of how you think of the tolkien-elves would be helpful.
My wizardish people are called druids, unless there evil. An evil druid is a sorcerer. They don't have to be human. They can be humans, elves, half-dwarves, gnomes or members of several races I made up. Dwarves do not have the capabilities for magic, unless they can put it into their craft. Even then, it is very weak magic. All elves have a certain degree of magic. An elvish druid is completely different from a human druid. The robe or cloak is just because many of them travel. (And you definetly want a robe or cloak if your travelling in the northland, it's cold.)The walking stick is for support when walking. The sword is for fighting. As for magic, they just summon it. There is no ridiculous hand motions (Unless they are using a healing spell) and I can use staffs for magic. Some do not travel. As for how they learn magic, they just know. Eventually, they just realize they can perform magic. There is no characteristic that locks them all together. They are as different as pine and oak, which are still both trees. There powers vary too. Some can only heal, some have powers for war, and some do things like talking to animals or changing the current of water or air. None are all powerful and they have no control over life and death. They are mortal, but have a strong will and cannot be killed. that is one of the reasons the two dieties may slect someone to be a druid. Or a sorcerer. The old are normally more powerful, they've had more practice. I don't have a reason for the different hair and beard paterns yet. I'll come up with one. Not all of them carry staffs. (Alot of people that aren't druids carry staffs) A staff or sword is just a travellers preference. Some might even have an axe or a spear. it depends on what there powers are for. If they have powers they can use for fighting, they might not carry anything. If they have a bad leg, they'll probably carry a staff. Or, they might use the staff for some reason. They all have different powers. Some have a wide range of powers, while some don't.
Of course this has nothing to do with you, except show you that what you're doing is fine, but you might need to make sure that each druid himself or herself (since there were female druids) has a different personality. I'm just giving you examples of what I did....no copying ideas from me!
It seems to me like your druids are already pretty different than Tolkien's wizards, except for in physical appearance, and since that doesn't seem to neccessarily be consistent, you are probably okay.
I'm not trying to completely base my druids on celtic druids. Only partially. (I spent over a year trying to get a basic idea for my elves. I'm still working on that idea, and I probably will be for a few more years.) Instead of staffs, maybe they should carry walking sticks. I think i just had a decent idea!