Thoughts on fat-based magic systems?

So I’ve been considering the prospects of magic systems which is directly tied to being fat, and I’m a little torn between 2 potential directions.

Option A: Being fat is itself the requirement for using magic, as fat is needed to store magical power.

Option B: Being fat is a side effect of the diet necessary to use magic, as magic comes from eating certain magical foods in high quantities.

Or I can just do a bit of both. I’m curious which idea you guys are more interested in. There’s a poll below just to gauge interest. I don’t have too many other ideas atm, so this is just some broad-strokes stuff.

  • Option A
  • Option B
  • Both
  • Other (comment with ideas)

0 voters

3 Likes

I like option A better but option B does make more sense and if you also like muscle then you have an excuse to have both (though you don’t really need one). I do believe that most wizards would be on the fit side in world B but I don’t know how much an athlete eats relative to a fat person

2 Likes

Variation of magic where fat can be stored as fat on decided parts of the body, specifically where the energy is channeled, but isn’t necessarily stored in the body. An optional clause used only as a means to shoe one’s strength rather than prepare magic for use.

1 Like

Magic is corruptive and ultimately fattening. Using magic fills you with hunger, driving you to consume more.

4 Likes

One could even feed (hah) into the other, with mana-infused foods being consumed and the resultant magical adipose being burned when casting spells.

Then you can have fun imagery of mages greedily devouring more for power (literally “power-hungry” :grinning:), or an enormously bloated mage whose ready to pop with a devastating spell.

If we’re talking fat magic, I personally love the idea of a “lipomantic vampire.” A lipomantic vampire would kill lesser foes by withering their foes and storing the mass they stole onto their own frame, getting bigger with the more they wither. Additionally, they would also be able to transfer their body fat onto an extra-scary enemy in order to severely hamper their enemies’ mobility.

3 Likes

Option B is basically what I’m going to be using for my game world, although it’s gone through a few changes. Mana would be linked to calories in food, so in additional to physical energy, somehow the food also provides magical energy.

Originally, the idea was that it’s your typical medieval fantasy settings with dungeon crawling/adventuring as the main focus. Going along with the trope of “spoiled rich kids buy adventurers to carry them in parties,” there would be nobles that conscript a harem of women to support them through dungeons and coerce them into eating way too much food in order to keep going. Because a slim physique would still be the preferred taste, once the women started to put on too much weight, they’d generally be dropped from the party and have to find work elsewhere while being burdened with a huge appetite.

One thing in common with Option A is that there would be a crystal in the player’s house used to generate skill points to modify your abilities. These would be powered by assigning someone to pour their magical energy into it and boost the point generation, which would increase with the weight of the user. So, the other fate for the party members was to be hidden inside an estate and fattened continually to keep boosting the noble’s power.

Your role in the game would be to basically break the conscription (enslavement) process and build influence to shift society’s preference to bigger women. I’m not really sure how to write it and definitely wouldn’t be able to do a reputation/morality system very well, so it all got simplified and it’s not nearly as bleak anymore. I still enjoy the idea of someone eating too much while being over-confident in their metabolism or being forced into circumstances where they need to overeat to survive (like logitechk1’s stories), so the general idea of Option B is still gonna be pretty pervasive in my game world. I feel like having Option A holding true, but being at odds with societal expectations, is a compelling idea as well.

Sorry for the wall of text, it’s been a while since I typed out my ideas for worldbuilding and this was a good excuse to try to solidify some of the concepts. I’d be interested in reading how you’d take either route, Shugoki.

I honestly do like the idea of both, where low fat doesn’t lock you out of casting spells enitirely, but defintely dimishes the effects of spells, or only prevents casting if the user has literally no fat whatsoever after too many casts or something.

Meanwhile, some kind of powerful spell that could affect an entire village requires vasts amounts of weight from the caster in order to be used. Couple that in with mana potions what are instead weight gain potions - or just some magic food items that really pack on the pounds - and the caster can become quite the threat!

Basically, at the assumed tradeoff of mobility depending on the kind of world this takes place in, you become a bit of a literal magic-casting tank that’s only dangerous if faced head-on – not overpowering, but certainly not helpless either!

2 Likes

In Discworld, magic works on the principle that it takes the same amount of ‘energy’ to cast a spell to do somthing as is it would take to do it manually, which is why many wizards carry magical staffs to store extra energy. Also in Discworld they frequently have large feasts yet remain as thin as twigs on average, this is why I think option A makes the most sense.

Fat is what stores the energy for your spells - meaning: the more you weight, the higher your max MP. But you need to eat magic food to refill your supplies, and casting burns the MP but only a small part of the fat…

1 Like

I like the idea of mages needing to be fat and constantly loosing and gaining (more) weight, because this is also a good explanation why they can’t wear heavy armor: It simply doesn’t fit most of the time! Wide robes are the only clothes that work (at least in a fantasy setting where no stretching fabric is available).

2 Likes

More there are magic types better it would be for your lore!

We could have magic school depending where the fat is mainly stored:
Hourglass = Conjuration (Make a creature or object and make them disappear, transportation)
Apple/belly = Evocation (elemental, mainly offensive)
Face = Divination (Detection Knowledge)
Breasts = Enchantment (Charm person, mental control)
Pear = Abjuration (defensive spell and dissipation dispel)
Arms = Transmutation (transform an object to another or heal)
Backfat = Illusion (invisibility hallucination)
Overall = Generalist

In more there would have different type of food/drink that can be divided in food artisan schools:
Dairy, milk = increase the spell penetration and dissipation resistance
Fruits = Reduce the cooldown
Grains, beans and legumes = Increase the area of effect or the number of targets
Meat = Increase the duration
Confections, Sweet = increase the effect power
Vegetables = increase the range of the spell
Water = Stabilize effects reduce the random range/number
Alcoholic = Random effects, increase the random range/number at high level the spell have side effect totally random
Spicy = Increase speed cast or cast travel

2 Likes

I’m the type of person that likes Obesity-type of magics to carry some sort of drawback, so Option B would probably describe me the best. Whether that side effect is a desired outcome or not can vary depending on the type of magic used.

Here’s a little food for thought, based on some of the games I’ve played and the ideas I’ve come up with for my own rules over the years.

Since a lot of magic in various game systems use blood, or the essence of blood for their power, an obese mage would have more blood in their body and potentially be more powerful, In Pathfinder 1e, there is a class called Bloodmage/Bloatmage that operates on this premise, although they emphasize the blood aspect more than the obesity aspect.

Essentially, instead of flavoring spells with “calories”, magic spells are powered with a person’s blood or essence much like normal, but an obese person is a bigger container, and thus can be more powerful the fatter they are, at the expense of all of the drawbacks of being obese.

Option B
In other game systems, magic puts a toll on a person’s body: physically, mentally, or both. Pyromancer from the Warhammer universe often dance a fine line between their love of fire, and the toll it takes on their body as they constantly push themselves fight the allure of their magic. In the end, they oftentimes become either withered people, or they finally loose control entirely that they go up in a nova of flames.

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to flavor something in more obesity-related theme instead. For instance, an order of Lipomancers could have ties to some sort of entity of gluttony, obesity, hedonism or greed; , or something more benign such as fertility, harvest, or wealth. This entity empowers their followers with magic, but a side effect of using their magic is that you gain a little weight every time you tap into their powers.

It could be an unwanted side effect - the powers of a God of Gluttony are powerful, but he leaves his mark on you each time you call on his power by making you a little fatter and become a mark of shame, or a desired effect, such as power from a god of wealth (fat people in medieval eras were associated with wealth and beauty). However it goes, the mage, as she gets fatter and fatter would potentially be more powerful, but is more and more hindered by her body. She might be able to use magic to fortify her body, but that too could cause her to gain weight faster. Eventually she might reach a point where she is too big to adventure (too fat to move, or too fat to fit through dungeon corridors), and be forced to retire.

Working on the systems for an RPGMaker game that’s got a mix of both. Hopefully I’ll have something to show eventually.