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Post Reply What is the difference between superpowers and magic?
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29 / M / São Paulo
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Posted 9/29/16

pathogen772 wrote:

All magic is superpowers but not all superpowers are magic



Uhn, just no?!
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27 / M / Far west texas
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Posted 9/29/16
Super Powers need to be scientifically explainable (for fiction by their own in world rules, it does not actually need to be possible in real life)
Magic is mystic in origin (taught by a master, inherited by some relic, or possession of some sort, discovering you are part inhuman like elf or dragon ect.) and can not be explained by science.

As for specific powers there is a bit of a blur between magic and superpowers as they can both cause the same sort of abilities and what matters is the origin stories. Super strength can be a super power if it's genetic or body augmentation or it can be magic if it's a body enforcement spell. Fireballs can be magic if its mana or a super power if its a mutant with pyrokinesis.

You need to know what causes an ability and not just a description of the end result to decide if it's magic or a superpower.
qwueri 
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Posted 9/29/16 , edited 9/29/16
Super powers usually unique to an individual, inherent abilities that effect a very specified range (usually their bodies or space immediately around them). There's usually either a genetic or super science cause for the abilities. There's usually no activation necessary for super powers to work, they just do. And while abilities can be trained and adapted, they are usually fairly stable in power (unless some external force introduces new powers).

Magic powers are usually a trained skill. There may be a genetic component and/or affinities towards certain powers, but the source(s) of magic power tend to be common within their universes (commonly mana). Magic powers usually require incantations, foci, and/or other external activation. Acquiring more magical power usually comes from learning new incantations or altering old ones, and acquiring magical artifacts that grant greater magical power.

Both magic and super powers tend to show up frequently in the same source materials. Both DC and Marvel have their versions of sorcerers and cosmic powers. Lots of anime using magic tend to treat the activation of magic more akin to super powers. And non-magical characters thrown up against magic users frequently exhibit super-human abilities.

The easiest way to differentiate super powers and magic powers is the motif. Magic makes heavy use of witchcraft and occult motifs, super power motifs revolve heavily around crime-fighting and sci-fi placed a decade or two ahead of the publishing date.
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Posted 9/29/16 , edited 9/29/16

qwueri wrote:

Super powers usually unique to an individual, inherent abilities that affect a very specified range (usually their bodies or space immediately around them). There's usually either a genetic or super science cause for the abilities. There's usually no activation necessary for super powers to work, they just do. And while abilities can be trained and adapted, they are usually fairly stable in power (unless some external force introduces new powers).

Magic powers are usually a trained skill. There may be a genetic component and/or affinities towards certain powers, but the source(s) of magic power tend to be common within their universes (commonly mana). Magic powers usually require incantations, foci, and/or other external activation. Acquiring more magical power usually comes from learning new incantations or altering old ones, and acquiring magical artifacts that grant greater magical power.

Both magic and super powers tend to show up frequently in the same source materials. Both DC and Marvel have their versions of sorcerers and cosmic powers. Lots of anime using magic tend to treat the activation of magic more akin to super powers. And non-magical characters thrown up against magic users frequently exhibit super-human abilities.

The easiest way to differentiate super powers and magic powers is the motif. Magic makes heavy use of witchcraft and occult motifs, super power motifs revolve heavily around crime-fighting and sci-fi placed a decade or two ahead of the publishing date.


^This. Also, there is plenty to discuss when talking about real definition magic even if they were written by occultists.I would like to add a few features based on research about it on occultist materials:

- 1) Magic can be differentiated in nature with profane and sacred sources. a.k.a when Giulliano Kremmerz (1861-1930) in La Scienza dei Magi ("A Ciência dos Magos" or, in English: "The Science of Mages") makes an entire chapter to point out the difference between magic on the profane side and the religious one that is called Theurgy. This author seems to see Magic from religion as spiritism as sin and deviation and deturpation from the mystical sources whose act behind the inner logic of the world. Also, is good to notice that witchcraft was a source of divination and religion before Christianity etc et ali. I will return to study this and summarize this discussion with later in detail. Have I said this subject fascinates me in every sense ?!

It is important to note that this Italian mystic really doesn't like Kardec's doctrine at all. He actually despises it as a false truth. Well, he also despised actual science, although, it makes more fascinating reading such a ludicrous and intricate material. I will return soon with more details after reading the 3 volumes that have been translated into Portuguese. I do not know if this has been published in English, but you guys have Crowley's works as source materials.


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Posted 9/29/16

qwueri wrote:Both magic and super powers tend to show up frequently in the same source materials. Both DC and Marvel have their versions of sorcerers and cosmic powers. Lots of anime using magic tend to treat the activation of magic more akin to super powers. And non-magical characters thrown up against magic users frequently exhibit super-human abilities.


Superman has superpowers because Earth's yellow sun affects differently those used to the red sun of planet Krypton.

Spiderman has superpowers because he was bitten by a radioactive spider, but still can't fly or stop bullets.

Doctor Strange uses magic, because he studied sorcery to combat Dormammu of the Spirit Plane.

Does that clear things up?
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Posted 9/29/16
Magic can be considered a subdivision of superpowers. Many superheroes such as Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Captain Marvel/Shazam, Thor, etc. have at least partly 'magic' powers.
Posted 9/29/16 , edited 9/29/16

You are either born with super powers or you gain them. You learn magic it isn't gained or forced upon anyone.
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Posted 9/29/16 , edited 9/29/16

Ravenstein wrote:

Magic can be considered a subdivision of superpowers. Many superheroes such as Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Captain Marvel/Shazam, Thor, etc. have at least partly 'magic' powers.


Ya know this is only valid when you have both Magic and super powers on a shared universe, don't you?




drozy wrote:


You are either born with super powers or you gain them. You learn magic it isn't gained or forced upon anyone.


And what abou Kaze no Stigma? The main character has a pact with the Kami of the Wind and manipulating elements there is a gift, but it is considered divination element magic.

Posted 10/12/16
lol, magic. Without internal power, the mage is impotent. oh wait, we're discussing not real things here?
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16 / F / Kuto-ko Tokyo Japan
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Posted 10/12/16
Super power can swim in very ocean but
Magic can fly in ocean
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Posted 10/12/16
I'd say that the difference between magic and superpowers is merely aesthetics. Both generally let the characters do things that a normal human could not.
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Posted 10/12/16
Magic, a power or force that can be used or created sometimes just a special type of force or energy.
Where such powers seems like magic, such as unnatural for such world/setting or just a world with magic?

Superpowers, can contain or use said magic but not a form of magic? (depends on story and content?)
Like if a superpower is the magic controlling the things around there with their special force from such a superpower?

Magic could also be looked like in a more "simple" matter about skills or things being quite unreal.
- "I could not take my eyes away from him/her."
- "Such a magical show that was!"
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 10/12/16
Never thought I would see this thread again.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 10/12/16
Didn't think there was a difference.
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 10/13/16
Depends upon the series. In the larger scale of things, they can be considered one and the same; however, within each "world" there are unique parameters that render it essentially pointless to try and pinpoint the "differences." There are no set rules.
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