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Is it possible to just be a MAGE and not a BLM?

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Posted (edited)

So, I'm looking to try a newer character who at least game & mechanics wise is a 'Black Mage' but I want her to be more...focused in her elements. Either a fire mage or an frost mage for example. Basically just a normal mage without the whole 'highly illegal and controversial' aspect of it. But I don't think there's ever an example of that in the world of 14.


I'll admit my knowledge about BLM/Thaumaturge lore is pretty low outside of the fact it's some pretty dark and bad magic that draws the Aether out of the world and uses the void, so I'm not entirely sure it's feasible in the 14 world but I just want to make sure you can actually make a standard frost/fire mage without all the evil/bad/controversial parts before I go and make a fool of myself in an RP setting.

Edited by Sohtak

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Posted (edited)

Black Mage is an ancient art mostly lost to the obscure corners of History for most people (like a lot of jobs), and said people mostly remember that Black magic and White Magic are what caused the War of the Magi in the previous era to ruin the world and cause a calamity, thus why it's still considered illegal by more arcane authorities that know that it's more than just myth and legends. 


Thaumaturges can come into many brands. Like conjurers, what mostly differentiate both casters in lore is the school of thought and how they gather and manifest aether to cast their spells. To make it short thaumaturges use their own powerful personal but very finite reserves, that can regen "fast", and channel it through staves and rods, using the gem as a focus. Conjurers pray and connect to their surroundings, seek nature's bounty, and "borrow" on the aether of the immediate land around. This gives them a way greater pool of mana, but still finite and they can't really abuse it since they depend on the good will of nature itself.


Conjurers have always used the elemental wheel to weave their spells. They have somewhat scorned Fire/Thunder/Ice elements more recently since the 7th Calamity though, but they technically can use them as well (probably less easy since you'll probably get more access to water and earth in forests, wind in high or open places, fire around heat, etc). 


Thaumaturges used to weave a few elemental aspected spells but were mostly focused on the polarity of the Wheel, so used to cast non elemental Astral and Umbral aspected spells (like Dia, Banish, the old Bio, Scourge, etc), at least under the guidance of the corrupted old master of the Ossuary. Since the Coco brothers replaced him they have shifted the balance on a half of the elemental wheel, which is Ice/Fire/Thunder spells. Which is coincidentally also the method used by Black Mages. Either way, going Umbral is a good way to open yourself to mana regeneration by dismissing a greatly increased power spell. Also this here will be my personal opinion but I totally believe you can play a thaumaturge casting Astral Water as damage spells and Umbral Earth as sustained casting. Or Astral Ice / Umbral Fire, or any combination. But there is nothing in lore that says that though, I just don't see why not. So unlike ingame, being a mage that casts Ice under Astral then Ice under Umbral doesn't seem to be far fetched to me if you want to play an ice mage for roleplay.


Also, keep in mind that unlike Black Mages that were all formed through the old Miachi tradition, and White Mages through the old Amdapori traditions, most cultures on Hydaelyn have developped their own brand of thaumaturgy or conjury. They come in many different flavors. Ishgardian chirurgeons certainly don't have the same devotion to nature than the Stillglade Fane conjurers we have as a base class for example.

Edited by Valence

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The difference in the magical classes/jobs is primarily in how they replenish their aether. Since everyone uses aether as fuel for magic, and everyone has a very limited personal supply, you need some way of replenishing it - or a different source - in order to use any kind of primarily magical combat style. The other classes/jobs also use aether - gladiators use it to create blinding flashes of light off their swords, monks use it to fire energy blasts and punch through walls, dragoons use it to jump really high, bards use it to enhance or degrade people's abilities, and so forth - but they use a relatively low amount of aether, and so get by on the natural slow regeneration over time.


If any kind of caster relied on that, they would cast one spell per battle and then nap for a few hours, which is a bit of a pain. So people came up with work-arounds.


White Mages and Black Mages both drew aether from the lifestream. White Mages, to fuel their spells of Air and Earth - Black Mages, to fuel their spells of Fire, Ice, and Lightning. This turned out to be a bad thing for various reasons and, after causing the destruction of three kingdoms and killing most of the world's population, was outlawed. White Magic is now used strictly by the Padjal, near-immortal horned beings chosen by the Elements of the Twelveswood, and Black Magic is still outlawed and used only by... well, outlaws.


Meanwhile, in this more modern era, we have three common schools (and a few less common ones). Thaumatury, which oscillates between attuning your soul toward Astral Fire (high aether use, powerful spells) and Umbral Ice (aether regeneration, weak spells). Conjury, which converts the ambient aether in the life around you to restore your own. And Arcanima, which uses geometric sigils recorded in tomes so you can use a very small amount of aether to cast a large spell. 



Long story short, just be a thaumatage. You use fire spells, ice spells, and there's nothing dark or evil about it. It doesn't use the void, it doesn't draw aether out of anything, it's perfectly safe to use. Or, as safe as any kind of magic, so you can still screw up and die, but you won't kill the entire planet in the bargain.

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Valence and Caldera already explained things pretty well, so I'll just add an older Compilation of Aether and Magic Lore


What separates the various Disciples of Magic is less what they cast and more how they cast it, how they manipulate aether. As Valence said, Conjurers have full control over the elemental wheel in lore, despite only using three elements in gameplay. Ultimately, the difference between a conjurer's fire spell and a thaumaturge's fire spell comes down to the mechanics of how each disciple casts magic: conjurers drawing external aether internally to cast a spell vs thaumaturges polarizing internal aether to cast.


Also, playing as one of the base classes makes a magical character a little simpler to roleplay. Not that you can't play as one of the Jobs, but doing so usually requires more specific hoops to jump through in one's backstory. And just because the game funnels you from the starter Class to its respective Job, doesn't mean the two are related lore-wise.


Hope this helps!

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