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Basic Information

A magocracy is a form of government where users of magic - wizards, witches, warlocks and so forth - rule over those who don't (or can't) use magic. Perhaps the most powerful mage rules over others, or perhaps only the ability to use magic matters to qualify for government, instead of raw power.

This term could also, technically, be applied to various forms of autocracy where the autocrat happens to be a magician of some kind, especially if their magical abilities are the source of their political power.

See Also


Game and Story Use

  • As with an ethnocracy, a magocracy can be a regime that the PCs wish to overthrow. The magical powers of the ruling elite make this even more dangerous!
  • Consider how magic works in your campaign setting. If magical talent is inherited, society might resemble an aristocracy with powerful families of mages. But if it is a matter of knowledge and learning, elements of a Technocracy might creep in.
  • You might consider a semi-feudal state, with magicians replacing knights as the base tier and the service that is exchanged for land being magical rather than martial.
  • Different forms of magocracy might value different sorts of magical ability. In one, a wizard who can cast spells of the highest known grade rules, another might be ruled by sorcerers who have large reserves of energy but little power, a third might have a shaman-king whose array of spirit allies gives him a wide variety of spells, and a fourth might have a near-muggle ruler who nonetheless has vast theoretical knowledge or a single unique trick.
  • Ironically, if the traditional fantasy model of "wizard as antisocial academic" is applied, the ruling wizards might not actually be the most competent ones - just as with scientists and engineers, the most talented rarely seek, enjoy or benefit from promotion and usually only want enough authority that they can be left alone to get on with what they are good at. Those who end up in management are the second or third tier operators with more people skills but enough technical chops not to excite the contempt of those they manage. At least, that's what a successful model looks like…
    • For a non-working system consider placing either the monstrous egos and tiny attention spans of genuine Vancian wizards in control, or leaving organising things to a lose network of autists who have other things on their minds.
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