For years, I’ve been playing and roleplaying a mage. I can’t say that I’m at all, all knowing about the ways of how magic work roleplay wise. But personally I always felt more drawn to the more darker side of magic. This void / shadow.
I have this concept idea in my head regarding a new character I want to make. But this time I want to be prepared before diving in to roleplay. Could you give me some pointers? Like valid sources about void/shadow magic and what not.
It’s tricky because not even blizzard can decide on whether shadow is void or not, or whether varieties of dark magic are in fact some nebulous shadowthis or shadowthat.
If it helps any, void elves imbue their attacks with Shadowfrost and every caster is “dark” by definition, Umbric himself being a mage and they sure love portals even if they go straight into the void itself.
Where proper info fails us, everyone from warlocks to necromancers toss shadow bolts around as a sort of ill defined dark magic while only shadow priests get the full “Iä! Iä! N’zoth fhtagn!” treatment of late, trampling the old orthodoxy.
They use the whole toolbox of controversial magics with just about sufficient regard for safety. Shadow priests used to master the dark by force of will but these days you outright sprout tentacles and summon the faceless, a hero in name only completely divorced from the narrative. Your questing champyun is one thing, their mechanical ingame combat mode is another thing entirely, the spec recreated to cater fully to a fantasy without attachment to story.
The best kind of magic. There’s enough wiggle room to make distinctions, or not, personally I like to take refuge in the still largely vague shadow/blood magic for my evil needs, get out from under the shadow of Legion and Old God theme-brands. There’s a bit in the Last Guardian about mages disputing where their fire comes from/how it’s conjured into existence, which I always enjoyed although I don’t have it at hand, and I like to imagine if something as carefully (and offically) studied as the arcane isn’t completely understood by the mages who wield it, there’s probably a lot more mystery and open-ended questions about the nature of darker magic to explore.
You have flexibility with void magic when it comes to the kind of class archetype you can make.
You can make a shadow priest who is a Cultist of the Forgotten Shadow or some other type of cultist entirely that gains their powers through eldritch religious or quasi-religious methods; a Shadowmage which are basically warlocks that specialise in void magic; a Necrolyte, which are necromancers and warlocks that extensively use void magic…
There are also more archetypes of dark magic users you can play as that are not portrayed through a playable class, such as melee warriors using void magic, dark shamans, summoners, so on. Generally speaking, if there’s a type of class or vibe you’d like to play, there’ll most likely be something dark magic related in the lore that will catch your eye.
Another pointer I can give is that your character will probably have to hide that they practise void magic, especially if they’re knee-deep in it. Most places out there in Azeroth don’t see dark magic favourably, and even groups like the Forgotten Shadows have tenants and rules where they discourage any of their followers from biting more than they can chew.
Of course, your character wouldn’t necessarily be evil for doing any of these things from a fourth wall POV, but most people in-universe do not see it that way.
10.1 gave us a lot of Shadowflame techniques that could well be replicated IC through all sorts of means. It may be a mage casting fireballs and shadowbolts together, it could be a dark shaman twisting fire spirits with Shadow, in 10.1.5 we’ll have even warlocks summoning shadowflame imps and hounds instead of fel ones… and all of that and more could be apply to the frost (e.g. Ebonbolt spell) and/or Void.
The lot above me seem to have this part covered fairly well. If I were to offer a bit of tonal advice for the actual RP of it, one of the central themes of the Void is the constant balancing on a knife’s edge.
Even without an active Old God on Azeroth, the maddening whispers of the Void are an ever present risk to those who lack the discipline to “safely” make use of the stuff. It goes for most of the darker magics of the setting, true, but shadow magic can be insidiously subtle in its corruption.
And adding to the narrowing-down of what a playable Shadowmage might functionally be like: