2015-06-25

Mundane Magic

Magic is awesome. Fireballs and sleep spells and summons, oh my!

Regular tabletop role playing magic, however, is mostly focused on what might be useful to, y'know, an adventuring party. While that is useful to the players, you'd think that in a world with magic people would come up with relatively mundane, day-to-day uses for it. Because what good is magic to a farmer if it doesn't help with the harvest? What is good for a merchant if it doesn't help her make a profit or balance the books?

 So here's some more everyday uses of magic, many of which conveniently duplicate things we've achieved via technology (i.e. we know they're actually useful). I guess the list could be looked at as a background detail generator table or some such - if you squint hard enough, that is.
  1. Legal documents sealed/signed with drop of blood. Magic can then be used to verify identities of the relevant persons. Anyone who works with paperwork carries a special needle for drawing blood together with writing implements.
  2. Enchanted ledgers that total up income and expenses on their own and are capable of updating them. (Sort of like magical spreadsheet apps. Only inkier.)
  3. Harvest-mages wander the rural countryside looking for work. They mostly only knows spells that speed up harvest, such as Beltor's Fruit Shaker or Greater Wheat Reaper. They get a lot of call in wartime, when being able to bring in the harvest quick and with few people is important.
  4. Mages specialising in pest control. Rats routed, bedbugs banished, termites terminated - or your silver back! Gives me ideas for wizards in coveralls.
  5. Credit-enchanted items - work like our credit cards, but on magic, rather than technology. Come to think about it, if I were a wizard in a fantasy setting, banking in general would seem like a field that could benefit from magical expertise.
  6. Pay crystal balls for contacting home when you're away.
  7. Spells for copying texts from one sheet to another. Who needs printing again?
  8.  Magically-powered keywords allow accessing relevant chapters of a book quickly. Useful in big manuals, encyclopedias and reference books.