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In RPGs, magic and physical are made painfully distinct. Some characters have good physical attacks, they are usually incapable of magic. Some characters have good magic attacks, they usually do minimal physical damage. Some characters use magic to heal, they generally don't damage anything.

Magic-using characters and character classes are usually considered mentally strong but physically weak. They are adept at destroying their adversaries without getting terribly close to them, but against multiple enemies they function best with the help of a physically strong class (meat shield).

Magic is generally split into at least four elements, as originally posited by the ancient Greeks (Greeks, geeks, coincidence, probably).

  • Fire makes things hot and burns them; opposes water/ice
  • Water makes things soggy, and sometimes cold (ice); opposes fire
  • Earth calls upon the power of really big rocks, and maybe plants; opposes wind
  • Wind is embodied in tornadoes and weather and junk; opposes earth

Much to the chagrin of Captain Planet, there is generally no heart element. There are, however, two other common ones.

  • Holy stops the pain and makes everything better, even if you're dead; opposes shadow
  • Shadow or dark uses mysterious demonic power because, why not; opposes holy

Whereas health points (HP) keep track of a character's vitality, mana or magic points (MP - also known as Flower Points in Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario because flowers are tough, roar!) are a meter of magic power. Magic spells consume MP, which must be restored in order to continue tripping the light fantastic. MP is typically restored through the use of items named after highly alcoholic substances, like ether and tincture. It is therefore implied that, depending on your phrasing, magic can only be performed while drunk; magic can only be witnessed while drunk; magic only happens while drunk. Discuss.