Author Topic: Alternatives to Mana/MP?  (Read 16316 times)

requerent

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Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« on: May 03, 2013, 09:56:39 PM »
I'm look for words to describe the quantification of magical energy.

Mana is the most common, Od is pretty good, and Qi/Chi/Ki are all okay also.

However, I'm looking for one that is Renaissance-localized: I'm working on a project cosmetically inspired by the Italian commedia dell'arte, but is very loosely based upon the historical conflict between the Basque people and the Spanish kingdoms.

I want an anglicized word that describes a localized Spanish version of Magic Points- alternatively a Basque or Italian version would work. I don't mind anglicizing a word myself though- so if it's in another language that's cool.


Edit: It would be nice to have a repository of words in different cultures/languages that describe this idea.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 10:01:28 PM by requerent »

Nymphaea

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 10:14:14 PM »
I usually find ideas like this by plugging the word I want through El Goog's translator:

Magia : "Magic"
Anima : "Spirit" / "Soul"

A lot of the terms I put in either came out sounding strange or sounding like normal english words you wouldn't associate with magic (like "vigor"). I quite like anima though :P

Eben

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 10:24:31 PM »
"Vigor" sounds like a great Ren word for magic power!

requerent

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 10:32:34 PM »
I guess some more context might be helpful---

The idea is that energy is drawn or drained from the natural environment and then used to animate units not too dissimilar from marionettes or puppets. Some have a continual power draw whereas others a one time animation cost.

These animations are extensions of the commanding unit, and result in a sort of hierarchy. So something that has to do with the divine right of kings could also be good. Something where power is drawn from nature but reserved for the commanding unit.

Vigor is better for like an inner life force, but not quite what I'm looking for. I think it's otherwise an awesome word.


Thanks for mentioning google-- It's pretty good. Something like Mundus could work.

mughinn

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 11:45:05 PM »
Energia (energy in spanish)
Natura (nature in latin i think)
Pater (father in latin)

I think they somewhat fit.

kraflab

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 01:09:29 AM »
Aether?

It's the stuff the fills the space between, but I could see it working for you.


Vanguard

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 05:13:52 AM »
What about plain old "Power?"

Xecutor

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 05:55:13 AM »
Judging from movies and books, mages are actually using their stamina to perform magic.
As they are breathless and can barely move after casting a lot.

guest509

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 06:28:29 AM »
Animus or Anima seem obvious.

Spirit or enlightenment maybe?

guest509

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 06:40:07 AM »
Regency. Domina. Arcanus, arcanus, arcana. Hegema, Hegima, hegemus, hegeminus, etc...Mastery, mystery, mysterious, mysterinous, mysterio...puppetry, puppetrous...nervous, nervinous, lignum..slav, slavus...galliwog, cochina...figurous...kratos...exousia, epitage...perpetuous...marionnetta, marionettous, marious...

There's a lot of crap in there, but some good stuff too.

Vanguard

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2013, 07:06:54 AM »
Let's cut out the middleman and just call it magic.

guest509

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2013, 11:46:39 AM »
Let's cut out the middleman and just call it magic.

Well sometimes it is theme specific. :-)

Krice

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 08:05:03 AM »
The idea is that energy is drawn or drained from the natural environment and then used to animate units not too dissimilar from marionettes or puppets.

I guess this is how "real" magic works anyway. At least in our culture there is no word or concept for mana. In fact I don't know where mana comes from. The idea that wizards have mana they collect and when they run out of it they can't cast spells is coming from.. well.. games? D&D?

Wizards channel some kind of power, that's their skill. Maybe then stamina could be used to limit their power, so in fact you don't need Mana/MP at all.

Vanguard

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 08:46:01 AM »
If I remember right, mana is originally a polynesian word describing some kind of spiritual force.  And yeah, magic power being a finite, liquid resource is most commonly seen in video games.

In old fairy tales and myths, magic usually either has no specified limit (like, there's no rule for how often Odin can turn into a bird.  He can probably do it whenever he wants) or else it has a finite number of uses for a specific power (three wishes, etc).

Video game magic tends to be really boring and samey.  I'd like to see more games where magic is the ability to alter and understand the world in ways subtle ways according to intuitive or alien "logic" rather than it being a medieval rocket launcher.  And more games where magic is outright evil.  And more games where wizards can use their abilities whenever they feel like it.  Or what about a game where you have to "pay" for your magic in some way?  Like, you need to keep performing human sacrifices if you want to keep your magic powers.  Something like that would be cool.

Also more games where fighters and other non-wizards are magical in their own way.  Thor and Cuchulain and Hercules are all obviously supernatural, but they aren't wizards.  It's dumb that games keep asking you to choose between a superhuman character with impossible powers versus a completely ordinary human being who works out.

requerent

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Re: Alternatives to Mana/MP?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 08:24:35 PM »
Quote
In old fairy tales and myths, magic usually either has no specified limit (like, there's no rule for how often Odin can turn into a bird.  He can probably do it whenever he wants) or else it has a finite number of uses for a specific power (three wishes, etc).

I think part of it has to do with suspension of disbelief. A mere mortal isn't capable of rationalizing the full potential of a God-like being. Most paradoxes in theist religions are solved by simply acknowledging that humans can't fully fathom Gods- to do so is an act of bigotry. It isn't our place to assume the capabilities and objectives of a divine being, we can only operate on what information they've given us. Just as a dog can only understand so many commands, so too is a person's perspective of divinity limited.

Unfortunately, for a video game, we need to find some way to rationalize their super powers in a logical way, otherwise we can't make gameplay mechanics out of the ideas. Whether it is casting time, recharge time, mana, stamina, or whatever, we're only trying to represent the idea of Opportunity Cost as it relates to the resources that a character has at its disposal. From a design point of view, whatever the energy currency is, it should be as discrete as possible.

As far as the narrative is concerned... it's a failure when that energy currency isn't an integral part of the story. That 'lolz I'm out of MPs' moment is a failure of the narrative- not necessarily the mechanics. Though oftentimes the two work together to destroy the meaningfulness of the game.