Monday, October 5, 2009

Magical Monday - Color of Magic

I'm using the five colors from Magic the Gathering CCG for "alignment" and as an option for practitioners of magic. Not sure what mechanics if any. Proly just use it for spell lists and flavor. The schools listed for each color are for adapting 2nd ed and greater spells. I don't intend to use them in game. Colors replace them. I was using purple for "the color from beyond" before I ripped off Jale from Carcosa, thanks Geoffrey!

I have cool names for all the elemental magics except "white magic", any suggestions?

For more read wiki Planetary Hours and Magical Traditions.

Color / Celestial Ruled Magic

The five colors, in addition to being an ethos/alignment, shape the nature of magic. The color's characteristics infuse each practice. Thus red magic is destructive and violent. While white magic is peaceful and loving.

Many practitioners choose to focus on magics aligned with one or a few colors. Usually matching the color of their alignment and almost never opposing colors. Multi-colored & rainbow wizards exist. They have more spells, but each is of lower power.

There is a sixth "color" of magic, Jale the unnatural color of cosmic void and the alien intelligences that dwell there. Its ethos is as incomprehensible as it's magic is powerful. There for an endless stream of practitioners seek out its secrets, go insane and generally run amok.

Each color is tied to a celestial body. The colors' relative powers wax and wane as their celestials trace the pattern of creation through the constellations. Some authorities hold that all these "planets" are inhabited and may be reached by brave travelers if the proper steps are taken.

Each celestial body has great significance for Hermetic Wizards, Astrologers, Augurers, and the like. Each is associated with a day of the week and with the ceremonies and holy days of certain deities. This relation between day of week, celestial body, and gods is less meaningful to other traditions such as Norse wyrd and rune magic.

The Colours of Magic

Red - ethos: anger, hate, destruction, violence, war.
example: orcs, gnolls, barbarians
opposes: white & blue
elements/schools: fire/pyromancy, evocation

Green - ethos: wild, nature, animal, plant, growth, empathy, balance.
example: fey, many animals, basilisk
opposes: blue & black
elements/schools: earth/geomancy, summoning, alteration/transmutation, enchantment/charm

Blue - ethos: power, mind, thought, force, electricity, analytical.
example: invisible stalker, intellect devourer, doppelganger
opposes: red & green
elements/schools: air/aeromancy, water/hydromancy, abjuration, illusion, some enchantment

White - ethos: life, good, light, love, peace, creation, healing, right-hand path.
example: unicorns, knights templar, celestial
opposes: black & red
elements/schools: pos energy/white magic, conjuration, divination

Black - ethos: death, evil, shadow, dark, pain, decay, corruption, left-hand path.
example: undead, necromancers, death cults, oozes, infernal
opposes: white & green
elements/schools: neg energy/maleficium, necromancy

Jale - ethos: chaos, void, incomprehension, insanity, cosmic alien.
example: Shoggoth
opposes: all
elements/schools: wild

The Celestial Bodies, names of the days and associated gods for various cultures. [and one thousand curses apon formatting tabular data]
Modern    Color Cosmic name/"planet" Norse day/"planet"                  
------ ----- -------------------- ------------------
Sunday White Baetul Paradise Sunnudagr Asgard, Æsir
Monday Black Morzaad Dark Dungeon Helsdagr Hel, underworld
Tuesday Red Zog Red Wastes Tysdagr Muspellheim, fire
Wednesday Blue Megothrool Blu Plnet Odinsdagr Niflheim, ice
Thursday Clear Azubal Sky Realm Thorsdagr Jötunheimr, Jötnar
Friday Green Thoonar Green Garden Freyjasdagr Vanaheimr, Vanir
Saturday Jale Carcosa Void Laugardagr Svartálfaheim, Svartálfar
Earth Teglath Midgard/Álfheimr, Humans & Álfar(fey)

Modern Thracian day/god Elven god Egyptian god
------ ---------------- --------- ------------
Sunday Solis Sol Helios Ra
Monday Lunae Luna Selene Set
Tuesday Martis Mars Ares Anhur
Wednesday Iovis Jupiter Zeus Atum
Thursday Mercuris Mercury Hermes Thoth
Friday Veneris Venus Aphrodite Hathor
Saturday Saturni Saturn Cronus Ptah
Earth Terra Gaia Geb


  1. Black magic is death and decay in general, and it opposes both white and green. Green and white magic are both life-based. Green magic is wild life, so what is white magic? Civilized life. Cities, crops, government.

    Armies fall more within the bounds of red.

    But white magic is also about creation, so craft and industry are included.

    I don't know what your other names are, so I can't come up with something that fits the rest. But maybe this helps?

    Red and Green = Chaotic
    Black and Purple = Neutral
    Blue and White = Lawful

    What do you think? Blue and white really do seem lawful, but they're all arguable.

  2. It's a lot more "clear" if you've played Magic the Gathering.

    White is very much law, civilization, bureaucracy, shinning knights. It's not life based as much as it's Lawful Good. Resurrection is white, Reincarnation is Green.

    Roman legion would be a white army. A horde of naked, blue haired Celts would be red (or maybe green). Zombie Lord's undead host is a black army. Blue army might be a school of mermen or in place of an army field a 20th lvl wizard.

    If we're going by Jeff Rients' LNC alignment then
    all 5 colours = Law
    not picking a side = Neutral
    Jale/Purple = Chaos

    Jale/Purple is Cthuhlu, the Cosmic Alien Intelligences, extra dimensional, it is outside and opposed to the system. At Ragnorok all colours will band together to maintain the status quo and oppose Jale. Jale will try very hard to unmake reality.

    >Blue and white really do seem lawful,

    If I had to pound them into a more traditional alignment:
    Red Green = Chaos (CE and CG)
    Blue = Neutral
    Black White = Law (LE and LG)

    But, it doesn't really fit well, which is one of the points.

    > but they're all arguable.

    Yep, that's a reason I like it!

  3. Looking for an element for white I'd move air from blue to white:

    1. This is a traditional association
    2. It keeps blue from having two elements.


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