I’m still working through my ideas for the different smiths of the Seven States, and so of course I’m looking at the connections between smiths, resources, and terrain. Toward the end of July, I wrote about this interesting connection I saw between The Settlers of Catan and Magic: the Gathering, how defined resources spawned from comparable terrain types. Could they be alike?

Magic remains more or less silent on the nature of the mana that’s being drawn from the land. What we can determine is that it comes from the land, it produces the energy necessary to power incredible magical effects, the inhabitants of the land can interact with mana to some lesser degree, and that mana can be used to produce more mana.

Mana is actually a little more ambiguous with the elimination of the mana burn rules. Since overdrawing no longer leads to direct damage, mana is a freer energy source. The mana pool of a planeswalker empties at the end of each phase, so mana is more transient, more ephemeral in nature — it’s there and then it’s gone. It has less impact.

That’s all a little too ambiguous for the game I’m designing. Magic has a specific place in the world and it could almost be called an abstraction of potential energy. Magic is a resource to be harvested and put to work. Magic is abstraction. It’s why you can create a zombie from a corpse, but why you don’t have to kill a creature to obtain a corpse.

So, what are the resources provided by terrain, and how does the smith interact with those resources? It’s probably worth looking at the terrain and seeing how the different states generate power. The definitions for each state are still pretty abstract, but this could be where we figure out exactly what each one of them means.