Magic A Is Magic A
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Basic Information

Magic A is Magic A is a Speculative Fiction Trope regarding magic or supernatural powers, applied consistently and with respect to what had happened previously in the story. It means more than just lip service is paid to whatever Laws Of Magic the setting has established. This contributes verisimilitude, and can help maintain Willing Suspension of Disbelief. For the scientific equivalent, see Minovsky Particle.

Sadly, this is a rare trope in fiction and media.



Game and Story Use

  • Most role-playing games give enough structure that Magic A will have no choice but to be Magic A throughout the campaign - for this we mostly rejoice. It functions as a road map of sorts for the players so they have some sort of warning about what's possible in the setting.
    • Some Indy RPGs subvert this, or let players define their own magic. If you're running such a game for more than just a one-shot, it might be a good idea for the GM and players to discuss the subject and decide where on the spectrum they want this campaign to fall. Just because the system is flexible and elegant, you don't necessarily have to let magic be undefined or chaotic. The group should figure out what fits the setting and their tastes.
    • On the other hand, too much structure can be stifling, or drain the mystery and wonder out of magic. Some gamers prefer to be able to improvise, or at least customize.
  • Consistent, reliable magic leads to magitek - and often not in a good way - and can have some serious implications for world building. "That RPG" often leads to worlds where there is a logic gap as to why there is anything like a pseudo-medieval society in place whilst the rules as written would imply a lot more magical "technology".
  • Inherently chaotic magic makes it harder to cheese and rules lawyer and will wind up those who want to recreate the Tippyverse in your campaign, but it can also be very hard to implement well in RPG rules.
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