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In my last post, I talked a little about magic. One of the things mentioned is that magic needs to have limits. One way to limit magic is making it cost something. You basically need to make an economy for the magic. So I compiled a list of costs that might be involved to use magic. It is by no means exhaustive, and if you have any other ideas, please comment.

The following are ideas that can be used as ‘magic currency’ and put a limit on the power of a magic user:

Mana, mp, mental energy

Physical energy (makes you tired)



Rare ingredients (eye of newt, etc)

Sacrifice person, animal, body part, etc


Ingested metal (Mistborn series)

Color (Warbreaker)







Electricity (technology)

Ammo (like guns)

Losing a sense (like sight)

Available only under certain circumstances (midsummer’s eve, after liking this blog, etc)

Complex rite performed or symbol made

Making calculations

Dancing or singing

Using a special artifact (sword, wand, etc)

Faithfulness to a god or demon

Powerful emotions

Cards, dice, or luck

Lifeforce of an animal or person

Adherence to a strict code


Having a likeness connected to an object or person (voodoo)

Literal money

Using a special language

And the list could go on and on. Any other costs you can think of, please comment. The more creative, the better. Magic doesn’t always have to be portrayed as some old man reciting from a dusty tome.



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