It's a Kind of Magic


From Episode 15 of the weekly Storyteller Tactics episodes

Each week we release a new story and two Storyteller Tactics cards from the deck, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

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What is the It's a Kind of Magic tactic?

Sci-fi genius Arthur C. Clarke once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

From Mary Poppins to Steve Jobs, magic and technology both promise wish fulfillment. But magic has a dark side too. It's like Sophocles said: "Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse." Maybe he'd anticipated social media, way back in 450 BC.


How to use It's a Kind of Magic

So you want to make your innovation feel magical. See if you can apply the "logic" of magic to the story you tell.

Which kind of magic does your user gain?

1. Learned Magic: gained by studying, but hard to master.

  • Eg; any new skill can seem magical to a novice.
  • How can you help them progress?

2. Instinctive Magic: natural, but not everyone has it.

  • Eg; musical ability is a mix of Learned and Instinctive magic.
  • How can you help them discover the magic inside?

3. Granted Magic: given by others, but with their own agenda.

  • Eg; social media is "free", but we lose our privacy.
  • What kind of strings are attached?

4. Stolen Magic: taken from others, at great risk.

  • Eg; trying to take short cuts, like The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
  • What's the risk? What's the prize that makes it worthwhile?

Magic has its own rules (including things you can't do). And it always comes with a cost (otherwise we'd use it all the time).

  • Who is your hero?
  • What kind of magic do they get?
  • How do you help them learn, discover, receive or steal it?
  • What are the rules?
  • What are the costs?
  • What's the higher goal that makes the risk worthwhile?
  • What could be the "curse" that comes with this magic?

🤔 Confused? Enlightened?

Let us know! We are still developing Storyteller Tactics. Drop us an email with your feedback. We reply to every single one.

- Charles & Steve.