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The Eight Elements Magic System
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The Eight Elements Magic System

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Discover the secrets of the Arcane Arts and unleash Eight Elements against your foes!

Tired of endless memorization of spell-lists and strict rules that reduce magic to something mundane and dreary? Do you feel that magic should be a mysterious force, challenging the imagination of players and gamemasters alike?

Then let us welcome you to the Eight Elements freeform magic system! These rules have been devised to be both system- and setting agnostic and should fit into most gamegroups with only minor adaptations. Inspired by the magic from Malazan Books of the Fallen, the Warhammer Winds of Magic and the Chinese teachings of the Five Elements, these rules have been extensively playtested for several years.

The main idea about the system is to keep magic “magical”, to give players the feeling that magic is a mysterious thing that can be adapted and changed by their own imaginations, yet still has some established ground rules in the background to support any ideas they might come up with. We wanted the casting of spells to be like a type of music, more art than craft, where the rule system gives you the individual notes but you can choose to combine them and play a new, maybe even unique tune of your own creation.

To achieve this we have invented eight elements of magic. Each of these elements - air, fire, water, earth, darkness, light, metal and nature - stands for specific attributes, individual strands of reality and its own philosophical ideas. One element already allows a player to achieve many things, but combining several of them makes everything even more interesting.
Let's use an example: the Red Element is not only fire but also heat, friction, speed, passion, pain and the spark of life that sits at the core of every living being. Red magic stands for an existance of strong feelings, impulsive behaviour and passionate beliefs. Like fire the red mages burn bright and hot...yet they might burn out just as quickly if they are not careful.

The Eight Elements system rewards clever thinking, imagination and creative problem solving and is best suited for cooperative groups that have a well established trust between players and gamemasters.

Rulewise the system requires the use of several groups of D6s, ideally each group with a different colour. You won't need any other dice for it.

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Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Mattias B October 18, 2019 5:58 am UTC
How would you handle mind control in this system? It says Duul is the element for manipulating minds through trickery and illusions but at the same time it seems like you would need Gash, Weyan and Bragga depending on what aspects of the mind you are targetting. What can Duul do all on its own? Would it be simply illusions and similar tricks?
Customer avatar
Aleksandar P October 18, 2019 7:33 am UTC
Duul is definitely the main element of mind control. The other elements can also grant some sort of control, but that is more the usage of primal emotion. Complex thoughts, plans, likes and dislikes are all firmly in the domain of Duul.
With enough Duul you can even reshape the mind of a victim, remove or add memories and thus change the personality to a significant degree.

That sort of magic usage is the main reason why practitioners of the black element in my setting are viewed with an immense amount of suspicion. In some realms the mere usage of Duul is illegal and black mages might even be hunted.
Customer avatar
carlos patricio M September 28, 2019 2:14 am UTC
What would electricity be in this magic system?
Customer avatar
Aleksandar P October 01, 2019 2:00 pm UTC
Most likely it would be either part of Argens, the element of metal and civilisation or part of Gash, the element of fire and heat. Depending on how the GM wants to perceive it.
Customer avatar
Bruce G September 22, 2019 3:49 am UTC
I had already developed a five-tier system - Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void. This small booklet gave me my "Void" magic. Their "Duul" seems fairly close to my Void Magic, and then adds two more - 'Nature', and 'Metal'. I've read the "Malazan Books of the Fallen" and know a bit about how their magic system might work. The addition' of Nature (green growing living things) and it's opposite, Metal (no growth here - just solid metals), seemed to me to be even closer to what I want for my setting! Elementalists are one of the most respected and powerful magic users in my world! This was great! I'll be using this quite a bit in my newest campaign worlds and settings!
Customer avatar
Aleksandar P September 22, 2019 8:34 am UTC
That sounds great Bruce!
I hope your campaign goes well! Please let me know if you have any further questions!
Customer avatar
Christon S September 16, 2019 11:58 am UTC
so glancing over this I didn't see anywhere where you really talk about how much essence a spell caster would have starting out, how they get more, any hard limits ect?

so where do the essence dice come from? how have you used it in your games?
Customer avatar
Aleksandar P September 22, 2019 8:38 am UTC
I left these things vague by intention, since the answer to all those depends on how prevalent a GM wants to make magic in their games.
In my own campaign, where magic is rare but fairly powerful, a low level character would start out with around 5-6 essence points. An "average" mage, someone with quite a few years of experience, would have about three times that number. There is no real hard limit (since there are demigods in my setting that use the very same magic rules), but a mortal mage will find it very hard to gain more than about 25 essence points.
The essence dice come from the connection to a specific element. The tighter it is and the longer it has been going the more essence dice a mage has. Usually a "junior" mage would start our with 2 or 3 dice in their main element. It takes a few years of training to increase those dice. A very good, highly gifted and experienced high mage (someone who can use all eight elements) would probably have 7 dice in his main element,...See more
Customer avatar
Keith M September 15, 2019 5:33 pm UTC
"...To achieve this we have invented eight elements of magic..."
Forgive me for being "that guy", but I am not entirely sure you have "invented" these elements. The concept of this system sounds interesting, but again, "invented" might be a bit of a boastful assertion, given that there have been several CRPG's to do something at least vaguely similar. Even still, I do like the concept.
Customer avatar
Aleksandar P September 22, 2019 8:40 am UTC
I am sure there are games whose magic systems are somewhat similiar, but going by that logic the word "invented" is something hardly anyone should use, since there is always a very high chance that there is something similiar out there, no matter what kind of idea one might have. ;)
Customer avatar
Chad H October 05, 2019 4:43 pm UTC
You seem to quite relish being "that guy".
Customer avatar
Keith M October 07, 2019 2:30 am UTC
And yet... no one seems to want to change the phrasing in the above description. So, sure... given the flippant response of the publisher, now I don't mind being "that guy" who points out something like this.

With that said, Chad, what's your excuse for stepping into this conversation? :)
Customer avatar
Mattias B October 18, 2019 5:53 am UTC
Congratulations, you have been "that guy" now. Let's move on.
Customer avatar
Keith M October 18, 2019 12:42 pm UTC
And yet, Matthias B, just like Chad H, you are another to drop a comment in a conversation that wasn't directed towards you. Sooooo, congratulations... pot or kettle... which are you at this moment in time? :)
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File Last Updated:
September 13, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on September 13, 2019.