The system described in Chapter 3 attempts to depict magic as many cultures, from native American animists to European witches to Voodoo priests, think it works. Unlike sword-and-sorcery magic, with fireball-tossing wizards and spectacular effects, the magic of the Shadow War is usually quieter, less obvious and harder to identify as supernatural. Voodoo magic (like other mystic systems such as European witchcraft) has two elements: applying one's will to determine the outcome of events, and controlling spirits to perform specific tasks. The line between the two elements is blurry (see the sidebar on p. 14), but they are what makes a magician able to affect the world without using physical means.
Using willpower to determine the outcome of events is the source of such disciplines as visualization and the power of positive thinking. Its principle is that the human will, properly trained, can create certainty out of randomness. By willing one of the many possible results to happen, the magician makes it occur. Note that this power cannot force the impossible to happen, only the probable. Also, most magic doesn't make events happen with absolute certainty, but simply increases the likelihood of the desired event. Small, individual events are easier to control than those that will affect large groups of people. It is easier to cause one person to suffer ill fortune than to curse an entire village. Intelligent beings are harder to affect than animals or inanimate object, as their willpower is often at odds with the intentions of the sorcerer. Still, mind over probability is a very powerful force, and has the advantage that most rational, scientifically-minded people will ignore the connection between the wish and the event.
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