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The Theory of Magic


Ever wanted to create your own spells? Or roleplay a wizard with truly scientific understanding of magic? Or even just explore the hidden relationships between the spells of 5e? Then this is the book you need to take your role play wizarding to the next level!

The Theory of Magic is a scientific approach to the magic seen in 5e created after a succesful kickstarter (£6.5k raised!). In this book we explore the evidence we have and attempt to build a mathematical model to describe magic from first principles in an accessible way. We then create spell creation guidelines based off of this model and explain how our findings explain other features of magic and how it might alter gameplay. We also include a Theory of Magic Subclass for those so inclined. 

This book is not just here to explore 5e's magic system but to also explain complex maths and the scientific method in an approachable way so much effort has been taken to make this as accessible as possible. All of which accompanied by incredible art from the community. 

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Matteo G March 27, 2023 1:05 pm UTC
Next step in the project: a kickstarter for the starting of CERM ("Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Magique") and the building of the Large Magic Collider.
Customer avatar
Yotam L March 06, 2023 8:05 pm UTC
Well written, but I was somewhat disappointed.
The book has 22 pages of actual content:
Determining how magic works, spell creation rules, and a subclass.
The author tries to ascertain rules by using the existing spells as "empirical" evidence. We know why a fireball does uniform damage instead of being stronger at the core and weaker in the periphery, and why invisibility is broken by attacking: balance. simplicity, playability, etc. And that's okay: if by using these we could have gotten a handy ruleset for homebrewing magic: for example, letting a caster cast a spell for 2 actions to get higher damage using the same spell slot. That's not included: instead, we have a highly unbalanced system, and only for damaging & healing spells. Area, number of targets, range -- al rely on random rolls (?)

The subclass seems quite unbalanced: wizards that can revivify, for example. Two 2-nd level wizards, one with divination subclass and the other with this subclass can regularly...See more
Customer avatar
Luka Z January 16, 2023 7:31 am UTC
This book is awesome but i do need to hire a private teacher to learn this stuff.
Customer avatar
bob D January 13, 2023 1:19 pm UTC
Hey this seems really cool and i've heard some good stuff about it, but is there any preview pages out there somewhere? I've been thinking of getting it but i have no idea if my DM will allow it and i'd end up just buying it for myself but i'd love to see some snippets first.
Customer avatar
Oliver R October 15, 2022 11:48 pm UTC
This book reminds me of the transformation of psychology experimentation in the early 20th century to more rigorous foundations by Spearman (inventor of spearman's correlation coefficient to understand relationships). Until then it was a lot of hand wavy conjecture not properly tested,
There are still problems, but usually with the theory (that does not integrate evolutionary thinking) rather than bad experimental tests.

But I digress.
So, a critical first foray which game designers would benefit from studying. Just be aware that this is unlikely to be of use to Game Masters. Did get me thinking though so cheers.
Customer avatar
Silver D October 12, 2022 12:43 pm UTC
This book is amazing ! Thank you so much for that !

By the way, in the Wizard subclass there's talk of a Spellcrafter feat but its not in the book.
Is it something that will come later ?
Customer avatar
Gorilla O October 28, 2022 9:04 pm UTC
Aha it's a mistake on my part. It's just a feat that lets you craft spells (Although in practice I've found it more fun for everyone to have access to this when playing, turns out as a GM I still can't follow the rules even if I published them). RAW this adds an element of strictness to it that makes sense in universe, that in order to craft spells you'd need some level of wizarding education. So the intention would be when you get the option to take a feat you can take "spell crafting" and start making your own spells instead ^_^
Customer avatar
Silver D December 09, 2022 6:25 pm UTC
Also, would it be possible to have examples or a template on how to translate current existing spells into mathematical equations of the Magic Theory ? Because I'm playing a wizard into a new campaign and i'm trying to have a spellbook full of those equations for every spells but my math level is not good enough to be able to translate them without an example.
Customer avatar
Peter P September 13, 2022 10:49 am UTC
odeargods this is GORGEOUS.

I had two looks at 5e and I didn't want to anymore. So much of the system is broken, recent revisionist changes to the world are horrific. Screw it, I back to OSR.

But the idea of a systematisation of the system of which *of course* the current owners are incapable, I was tempted. You managed to make it sound pretty tempting, though. Worth dropping the money on? I really wasn't sure. Time to dissolve NoDoz into water instead of having good coffee for a few days.

OHDEARGODS this supplement alone would almost make it worth opening 5e again.

Not to mention; the aesthetics of the post-appendix section are beautiful.

Sir, if I may please?
p.25, Appendix part 2, typo in the title.

And if the last section, the part that looks astonishingly good... if a) it were written in an in-world style, that explained why it's called a "Gygax"...See more
Customer avatar
Gorilla O September 13, 2022 1:24 pm UTC
Thank you for the kind words (I'll pass them on to the artist who did the post-appendix section)! If you get the chance please leave a review, it helps a whole lot ^_^

Also I can't believe that typo got past me ahahaha thank you!
Customer avatar
Peter P September 14, 2022 9:17 am UTC
... that's what I get for posting tired after work. I thought that WAS a review. That's *my* bad, sorry.
If I may, I'd like to give it the weekend to do so. It's been a long time since I covered statistics in high school or undergrad, so I'd like to cover this thing from start to finish before I a) repeat the above comments and b) add to it including comments on pedagogy and so on.
I don't know what I have to do to encourage work like this (that you put this effort into 5e and not other systems like BFRPG or Champions or... eh, other systems probably too deprecated, I was out of gaming for so long, ICE MERP or whatever the modern equivalent is, what level was Gandalf again :D ? ... o take this blade from my heart!), but I want to. Thank you.
Customer avatar
Gorilla O September 16, 2022 11:41 am UTC
So you (and everyone knows) I have updated the file to deal with the surprisingly small amount of Typos I have been told about ^_^
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This title was added to our catalog on September 11, 2022.
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