7 Ages of Magic
Reworking a thing I did a couple of years ago. Originally it was inspired by The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions, but considering society as a vehicle for magic.
The seven ages are:
- Age of Reclusive Sorcerer
- Age of Itinerant Sorcerer
- Age of Folk Magic
- Age of Regulation
- Age of Revolution and Innovation
- Age of Incorporation and Ignorance
- Age of Mistrust and Decline
1. Age of the Reclusive Sorcerer
Magic is feared/forbidden/evil. Magicians are separate from human civilisation. The Divine is separate from Earth. Humans pay dearly for venturing outside.
Thematic Elements: hidden horror, secrecy, things humanity was not meant to know
Games: Wraith, Kult, Call of Cthulhu
2. Age of the Itinerant Sorcerer
The magician walks into the Earth to connect with human communities, seeking disciples. Magicians as Gods/Divine Spark on Earth.
Thematic Elements: magicians as deities, ages of myth
Games: Exalted, Stormbringer, Barbarians of Lemuria, Everway
3. Age of Folk Magic
Human communities in balance between their civilisation and liminal elements of their community (fair folk, ghosts, myths). Wise women and cunning men.
Thematic elements: village magic, fairies and ghosts, walking legends, small communities
Games: Beyond the Wall, Runequest (Spirit Magic/Primitive cultures), Everway
4. Age of Regulation
Human civilisation realises a taxonomy of magical and Divine elements; seeks to categorise, gain control over. Humanity divided between minority of powerful sorcerers and majority of peons. Humans, not the Divine, decide who is worthy of Magic.
Thematic elements: secret societies, initiation rites, religion, vampires
Games: Ars Magica, Vampire, Runequest
5. Age of Revolution and Innovation
The human majority take back power from minority gatekeepers. Individuals find new ways to do magic outside prescribed methods. Freedom to conjure.
Thematic Elements: personal empowerment, meritocracy, superheroes identified as ordinary humans
Games: Wild Talents, Unknown Armies, Mage, D&D, Ghostbusters, Spirit of the Century
6. Age of Incorporation and Ignorance
Magic becomes commodity, weaponised, mass manufactured, disposable
Thematic Elements: technology and science, greed, separation from the Divine, spiritual listlessness
Games: Cyberpunk, the Bret Easton Ellis RPG, Changeling
7. Age of Mistrust and Decline
Humanity mistrusts magic. Earth is purged of self-serving magic. Magicians withdraw wholly to the realm of the Divine.
Thematic Elements: the Apocalypse
Games: Apocalypse World, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Werewolf