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High vs. Low Magic Fantasy
I made a discussion here not long ago regarding how magic should/could work in fantasy universes, and it opened up a whole new can of worms for me when it comes to the horde of different universes out there.
I've ultimately come to the conclusion that I personally enjoy worlds with low magic as compared to high magic. However, what everyone considers high and low magic seems to differ drastically, depending on which part of the internet you scour for such information.
When I think of high magic, I think of the Forgotten Realms, or the Elder Scrolls, where magic is fairly easily accessible, understood, and most importantly; common. Magical items are sold in adventurer's markets like food at a grocery store, and it's entirely possible for a single person to take down a massive dragon if they know what they're doing, or perhaps wield a weapon enchanted specifically for slaying dragons. High magic universes are usually the place to go when you want to read/play/watch some epic journey where anything is possible.
Low magic, to me, would fall along the lines of Conan the Barbarian. I've also heard Game of Thrones would fall under this category, though I've never read/watched it myself (I know, I'm a terrible person). In a low magic world, the use of magic exists, but is so rare and dangerous that those who wield it are often perceived as evil sorcerers, or untrustworthy folk dabbling in things they shouldn't be. Things like teleportation and telekinesis are usually out of the question, and something as simple as a broken leg can act as a game-changer for an adventurer, no matter how many religious figures he may or may not travel with. I feel as though these settings offer a more realistic approach to the usual fantasy stories, focusing more on the trials and tribulations of a dangerous world.
I thought it might be interesting to discuss this, as I'm sure there's a significant number of us that are familiar with different fantasy worlds. I've recently started reading an old Conan the Barbarian novel I had sitting on my shelf, and so far I feel myself a lot more intrigued by the more gritty nature of the setting as compared to the more fantastical setting a lot of my D&D novels are set in.
Which do you prefer? Do you even agree with my own definitions of high/low magic? I find myself really interested in this sort of thing, and someday hope to write my own books in my own setting once I can settle on something I feel satisfied with, so hearing other people's opinions is very important to me.