How Do I Keep My Magic Separate?

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Sorry for pestering you with questions lately, but I could once again use your advice. I have a world with two factions at war with each other and a magic system based on magical pigments. One side uses written words to alter people/things in specific ways. The other can transform people/things into the thing they’ve drawn. Both have pros and cons: the written magic is more flexible, quicker, and requires less drawing skill, but the drawn magic is more powerful and less taxing. But since they both have different strengths, I’ve begun to wonder why each side doesn’t learn the enemy’s magic to be able to choose between both kinds depending on the situation or on individual talent/innate power. Is my premise flawed or can I make it work ?

Thank you,


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Five Useless Powers in Popular Stories

Bunny, Jack, and Santa in action poses from Rise of the Guardians.

Special powers are a cornerstone of speculative fiction. Whether they come from ancient magics or alien evolution, we love to see characters with abilities that humans cannot possess. Such powers provide excellent novelty and wish fulfillment. But sometimes storytellers don’t think about how their powers actually … read more »