An interesting post on balance in fantasy.

It’s tempting to make your mage a siege-engine of shock and awe, but it can also break your world.


I’ve come across this a lot. An author has spent hundreds of pages building a coherent world that feels lived-in and real. This is nothing to sniff at; creating a sense of verisimilitude in a place inhabited by goblins, elves and demons ain’t easy. But good writers do it all the time. It’s a strange and impressive alchemy that makes the fantastic believable and the outlandish relatable.

But then, the good guys get attacked. Some terrible foe emerges, ripping up the earth, raising devils, pummeling the lines of soldiery with blocks of ice, thunderbolts and gouts of molten lead. And the mage sighs, grits his teeth in concentration and WHAM!

When the smoke clears, all the bad guys are dead, and the mage is… well, he’s a bit tired and grouchy…

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