On Creating a Fantasy World


#1

Hello everyone. I am looking to get some opinions on an endeavor I am undertaking, and this area seemed to be the best place to put my questions.

I have been working on building a fantasy world from the ground up, and I am doing my best to have this world be based in a Judeo-Christian understanding of creation. Specifically speaking, I’m trying to explore the notion of God having created a magical world. I am trying to avoid direct reference to Jewish and Christian history and theology, but I’d still really like the world to properly reflect and point towards God.

The major issue I’m tackling right now is with Angels. I have a handful of ideas about their purpose in my universe, an I wanted to know if it would be considered sacrilegious / blasphemous to have angels be direct and active actors in the world. I can’t really think of a good way to ask illustrate my question… is it okay to point back to God while creating a structure that is, in some way, fundamentally different from the structure that God has created in our world? For example, rather than being created out of God’s desire to share himself, could the angels in my game have their main purpose be to govern whatever physical realities god creates? (Note: god is lowercase there to distinguish between God, and whatever name I give my analogous deity.)

I really want this to be a good world that points to God, but I also want it to be different… any help or guidance would be appreciated.


#2

I don’t see why not.

Obviously, though, your human-analogs would have less dominion over the world, if angels explicitly rule physical things or structures.


#3

I don’t think it is “sacrilegious / blasphemous.” It’s fantasy, and like lots of fantasy/sci fi, it’s a product of the imagination… As long as it’s not disrespectful or mocking of people’s religions.


#4

Tolkien did this excellently in The Silmarillion. He was a practicing Catholic and his writing reflects his worldview, although it’s not explicitly stated.

So absolutely, it’s possible.


#5

As long as its more like lord of the rings and less like say hary potter. By that i mean dont get bogged down with witchcraft and wizardsand ect…


#6

Thanks for the responses everyone. That’s sort of the way I was leaning, but I wanted to make sure.

Ialsop, it’s funny you say that. This entire world started with a brief discussion about how a realistic magic system migbt work. The mages are representative of the Church XD


#7

Modern fantasy easily demonstrates that ‘magic’ need not be within the sphere, capacity, or administration of the religious (be they pagan or Abrahamic).

Of course, if you just want religious mages then more power to ya. Just saying that spellcasters can exist both inside and outside organized faiths. We’re not all maiden clerics or old sages with long beards. :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

Well if you consider yourself a “spell caster” i will say that that is a sin in the eyes of the church. I dont know if you care at all, but it is. Just so you know.


#9

And see thats good! Thats like lord of the rings. Harry potter, which im NOT saying is immoral to read, though it is spiritually ugly, was representative of the occult religions. So it sounds like you have that all figured out! Awesome! :smiley:


#10

I second that mention of Tolkien. He basically created a system of metaphysics for his fantasy world if what I’ve heard is correct. Basically you should structure the fantasy world “iconographically”. I wouldn’t recommend trying to fit everything though, maybe come up with a main philosophical focus and structure out from there. Maybe you could work in some mystery cult elements for the magic… yeah, I’ve thought about this a lot myself as a fan of JRPGs.

We call the Sacraments the Divine Mysteries for a reason is all I’m saying. Has nothing to do with Mithraism… was just a part of popular culture to have Mysteries when the Church was born. it’s not intrinsically pagan.


#11

I don’t because I don’t use an outdated lexicon to fuss about labels. Magic and spellcasting is and never will be limited to prancing around in the woods worshiping some obscure goddess.

Don’t think I’m clueless about your approach to the word. I repeat: it’s outdated. At the risk of sounding like a wizarding Tony Stark, I say your ideas need an upgrade.


#12

I actually like how JRPGs visually represent the many varieties of magic in fantasy. Some mages perform in the Tolkien way (via adherence to a god or demon). Others use magic… FOR SCIENCE!! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself. :p)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to purchase some elementium manacoils for my next experiment. :whacky:


#13

Well, given the JRPG trope of pitting technological advancement against magical power and knowledge why not aim for Magitech? I hear many occultists and other neopagans are quite passionate about science.


#14

Trust me, i know. I realize your not some stereotypical spell person in the woods. i know how satan works through **** like the new age movement. Trust me, i know. The new stuff you think is ok and dandy is denounced by the church.


#15

Magitech’s my fave trope and it could actually stand to push for more positive depictions. Besides, much of real occultism and neopaganism are passionate about pseudoscience at best. It wasn’t them that brought us the magic of electricity, the internet, and wireless transmission.

Being more of a transhumanist, I think it’s better to really draw out the distinction between the magic dealing with the divine/demonic and that of the sort often implied by Clarke’s Third Law.

Uh-huh. I am so utterly denounced because I can channel lightning between my palms and can communicate my thoughts over long distances.

This is Galileo all over again. Only this time, the clergy and religious laypeople are truly being technophobic and anti-scientific.

Better that the OP start thinking up an order of Magitech Monks ala Canticle of Leibowitz instead of listening to your opinion.


#16

Yup. And anti-science? HAHAHA somebody has been reading too much dan brown…LOL some people never learn.


#17

Yep. You’re definite proof.

I’d ask you (as I’ve asked dozen other self-proclaimed witch hunters on these boards) to prove how I’m worshiping Satan by manipulating fire with my fingers.

Then again, you’d probably dodge it and run off to the Adoration Chapel because you know you don’t and never will have the answer.


#18

Tech is magical if advanced enough is what he is saying. I would drop the progressivist part and use it in alignment with Divine Revelation. Humans are too unreasonable to decide such things for the whole race. But I think transhumanism can be baptized so hmm…


#19

:thumbsup:

When I think of divine magic, I think of something that is literally beyond the capability of the conventional. It’s a matter of scale. It’s like on one hand, you have a magical academy that systematically tries to quantify arcane forces and solve quantum physical riddles.

But on the other, you have a church where the clergy simply get down on their knees in awe of a deity’s majesty.

As you say, it’s about the mystery. It’s a mystery that not even the religious themselves always comprehend.


#20

I didn’t expect my topic to garner so many responses XD

I don’t mean that they represent the Church in that they are the organized religion, I mean that they represent the Church in that they provide the order and stability of the world. They are the keepers of knowledge, the researchers, and the main hubs of magic provide the focal points for the development of civilization and seek to better the areas around them. There will be organized religions, some properly disposed and some deviants, but the mages will be the true keepers of knowledge, ensuring that it is maintained regardless of what happens in the world.

I’m actually going to have to disagree with you here. Harry Potter is anything but occult. Occult practices rely on an exterior force to perform their feats, they typically focus on the attempt to bind an external force to your will in order to accomplish your goal. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is actually quite similar to Tolkien in that is an innate gift to be nurtured and developed, and which can be misused. It’s true that Tolkien magic is more directly related to Eru than Rowling’s magic to God, but neither force could really be considered occult because it does not attempt to exercise mastery over another (Again, when properly used). I do understand your concern, however, and am working quite hard to make sure that the magic in my world is appropriately connected to god. (It is actually quite directly related to god in my world.)

Magic, in my world, is not a matter of spells or incantations, it is a matter of understanding what magic is, and how it works, as well as how to shape it. It’s a slightly complex system, but one that I’m trying to make intuitive, and one which holds no relation to real occult practices.

I saw mention of magitech, I am avoiding that for now, and am avoiding “technology” in general. There may be some vestiges of it (such as with the Dwermer in the Elder Scrolls), but most of the world has not developed along those lines. I haven’t quite gotten that far yet, I’m still figuring out the very beginnings of civilization. Once I have a more complete history I’ll share it with some people to get feedback on both its “realism,” it’s orthodoxy, and on how enjoyable it is.

Thank you all for the input, it is greatly appreciated.


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