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A pamphlet detailing an ethical approach to LeGuinian magic for fantasy games and stories.

Magic systems are more than rules and lore. They have political potential.

Magic systems inform how we understand the world around us.

Is the world full of things to be manipulated? To be exploited?

To exploit the world, we must first reduce it to a level of importance below us.

How would we justify exploiting things that have their own will?

Magic systems that center the user and their will over others create hierarchies and rifts between the user and the world, between living beings and dead things, between people and non-people. The real world and its hierarchies and economic systems inform our thinking in this way, so understandably that mode of thought would bleed into our make-believe worlds.

But what if a magic system didn’t reduce, but instead gave the world agency, and forced us to relate to the things around us, consider their desires, logic, and rights, and confront the consequences of our actions?

It would make the world more alive.

This magic system was conceived by Ursula K. Le Guin in her young adult novel A Wizard of Earthsea, in which magic power comes from being recognized and truly known for who one is—by their true name

Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 International. Share, remix, commercial or non-commercial. Simply credit me and insert a URL to this page.

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(11 total ratings)
Tagsessay, Magic, Magical Realism


Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

In order to download this project you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:

LeGuinian Magic Pamphlet.pdf 288 kB


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Hey, PayPal is giving me a hard time, is there a chance you could send me a link for billing or an email for a transfer instead of using itch buy button?

Did you get that resolved? cus I can still send you a download key.

(1 edit)

I did get it! Thank you!!! I hate you, PayPal!
Edit: I'll drop a review and a comment when I finish reading and get a few minutes to breathe :)

Aw nice! Thank you.


I love your pamphlet. I'm always glad to read things about True names and real magic beliefs. Thanks! I need to translate this some day!


Oh my gosh thank you! Yes please, I would be so happy to see the work translated for others to enjoy. Thank you so much for your kind comment, it always means a lot.