I have seen many attempts at introducing a magic system in Minecraft and all of them have fallen into very similar traps: artificially imposed elemental systems, mana bars, “rare” items that are in weird places from a game design standpoint, overpowered systems, game mechanic replacement… The list goes on. I’m hoping this suggestion can be free from of most, if not all, of those things. Since I’m envisioning this an an entire update, the post itself will be long and detailed.
At its core, Minecraft is about manipulating the world and rules around you in creative ways to build, craft, and make each world your own. Just as Redstone follows this philosophy, so will this suggestion. The ‘magic’ in this theoretical update will be the Conversion of energies already present in Minecraft, along with a few added ones (since updates always include extra stuff).
Similar to how Redstone carries signals, Amber will carry energy.. Amber Ores can be found between level 64 and 48 (This is realistic and will give people a reason to mine at a variety of levels instead of just at Y13). When mined, the ore will drop several ambers similar to how redstone drops several redstone. The difference is that Amber Ore will drop a variety Amber colors which correspond to different energies. There are 3 major colors of Amber in the Overworld, each one is associated with a different primary energy:
Heat -- Orange
Motion -- Brown
Light -- Yellow
These ambers can’t be used by themselves, they have to be ‘Set’. To set Amber, you have to build a ‘Gem Setter’, which serves as a dedicated crafting table for most Amber infused items. In the gem setter there are 4 spaces to place items in a Y shape as the input.
The first Amber related item a player should build is a ‘Scepter’. The base Scepter is made in a normal Crafting table with 3 sticks, 1 Wood Plank, and 1 Glass Pane.
Once a base Scepter is made, the player will be able to insert this base scepter into the middle slot in the Gem Setter and any Amber into the two slots on the top (shown below). This will produce a Scepter that is able to ‘Absorb’ the energy type in the right slot and ‘Emit’ the energy type in the left slot. Practically, this means that with the scepter in hand, you will be able to emit an energy type by left clicking on a valid target, and absorb an energy type by right clicking. The limiter is shown by the glass ball on the top of the scepter. If its full, the glass will be completely white and you won’t be able to absorb any more energy, if its empty, you can’t emit. Additionally, the Scepter has a durability like any other tool.
In the example Scepter above, you would be able to absorb heat and emit light. If you aimed at a Lava Block and absorbed, you would turn it into Magma, if you did it again, it would turn into Cobblestone. Doing so would fill up your scepter with energy. If you then emitted the energy, your scepter would light up the space around you as if the sun were shining on it. Not only would you have a movable light source, but the light retains the behavior of sunlight, damaging zombies and skeletons, banishing phantoms, turning spiders non hostile etc. While you emit, you drain the energy you previously absorbed.
This concept is carried throughout the system. Whatever secondary effects a specific ‘energy’ does in the game it retains when you use it from Amber. If you emit Heat on a Nether Portal it turns on, if you emit Lightning on a Creeper, it turns it into a Charged Creeper. Now that I’ve mentioned lightning, I’ll move onto the next level of the system.
Using the Gem Setter, you would be able to combine Gold Nuggets and different primary Ambers (kinda like colors) to create more advanced energy manipulations:
Heat + Motion = Explosion
Heat + Light = Lightning/Electricity
Motion + Light = Magnetism
Lastly, there are rare Ambers that do special energy manipulations which cannot be combined the way common energies can:
Life Amber - Found in rare overworld structures
Soul Amber - Found in the Nether
Redstone Amber - Found in the End
Gravity Amber - Also found in the End
Descriptions of what all the energies do in a Scepter is in the Spoiler Tag
Absorbs fire, and other heat from hot blocks like lava, turning them into logical cooled down versions
Also absorbs heat from enemies, like Blazes (damaging them) and zombies on fire
Emits fire on normal block and on enemies
Emitting turns certain smeltable blocks into their smelted versions (e.g. Sand to Glass)
Absorbs flow from blocks, like water and lava, which stops them from spreading. Effectively this creates a new set of blocks called “Still XXXX” which can be broken with your hands. Picking up Still Lava will set you on fire until you drop it from your inventory.
Absorbs speed from mobs its used on (must point and hold).
Emitting on a block, will push the block in the opposite direction of where you pointed. If the block cannot be moved because there’s another block in the way, it breaks the block.
Will also return flow to still blocks.
Using on a mob will cause knock back but no damage
Absorbs the light around the player in a 4 block radius to night time levels. (Only works in lit environments) This allows hostile mobs to spawn around the player and turn existing spiders hostile.
Emits light around the player that has all the properties normal sunlight has. Damaging Undead, de-spawning phantoms, turning spiders friendly etc.
Absorbing while an object is exploding will absorb the explosion
Emitting will cause a small explosion (smaller than TNT) at wherever its pointed
Absorbing during a storm will cause lighting to strike the player. However, the lightning does no damage because it gets absorbed into the scepter
Emitting will cause lighting to strike at whatever the scepter is pointing towards. Like all the other elements, the lightning will retain the properties it already has in game, which is mainly transforming whatever it hits, causing fires, and doing damage.
Magnetism (New-ish Energy)
Absorbing Magnetism on a block causes the block to have a ‘negative charge’. The block will now pull other blocks towards it from up to one block away. (Think a Sticky Piston pulling except it happens from all 6 directions at once). If a particular block is immovable (e.g. Obsidian), then the Negative block will get pulled to the immovable block. Additionally a player or mob that gets near the block will get sucked in at a similar rate that flowing water pushes the player.
Emitting on a block does the opposite, pushing out from all directions.
Absorbing Grass blocks will turn them into coarse dirt, Logs will be destroyed.
Absorbing Crops will destroy them leaving nothing.
Absorbing Mobs will cause a damage health effect (will heal Zombies)
Emitting on any type of Dirt block will change them to Grass blocks, using again will change Grass to Podzol.
Emitting on Crops will cause a Bonemeal like effect
Emitting on Mobs will cause a restore health effect (will hurt Zombies)
Absorbs Experience from you
Emitting will summon a mob to help you fight based on first drop in your inventory (e.g. having a bone in the top left will summon a skeleton). For the purposes of usefulness the mob will not be affected by natural sunlight.
Redstone Amber (Unlike the other Ambers this is meant to be more useful in other recipes)
Absorbs Redstone signals (absorbs very little energy)
Emits Redstone signals (uses very little energy)
Absorbing the gravity from Sand and Gravel prevents them from falling.
Absorbing gravity from non-flying mobs prevents them from falling when they walk off a ledge, making them float and unable to move.
Emitting gravity on a block makes it fall the way Sand and Gravel do
Emitting gravity on a flying mob will ground it.
Once the player moves on from the Overworld and into the Nether they will find a new mineral: Selenite. From the Scepter its apparent that Glass is able to hold Energy; Selenite is used to transmit Energy. Once you have Selenite, you could use the Gem Setter to make Conversion Orbs with Glass, Selenite, and two Ambers (If no Ambers are used will create a Neutral version). Conversion Orbs are the interface between the Amber System and the other systems in the game.
Conversion Orbs can be inlayed into armor and weapons at the Gem Setter. A Neutral Orb can also be used in lieu of Glass when making a Scepter. The difference between setting Conversion Orbs into equipment and setting Amber into a Scepter is that you can only set the Conversion Orb in one of the two slots. This way a weapon can only Emit or Absorb, but not both. The absorption and emission of energy in an equipable item can’t be controlled, it is contextual. (As an example, let's say you inlay boots with a Gravity Conversion Orb in the Absorption slot. While you are falling, the boots will activate and absorb your gravitational energy, causing you to fall slower.) While your equipment is converting, it also uses the durability of the item. The efficiency with which armor and weapons can absorb and emit is based on the armor. Iron and Diamond are terrible at conversion and their durability gets used much quicker, while Copper (yup, you read correctly) and Gold are great at conversion and their durability doesn’t get used much, if at all. The last thing I’ll mention is that the amount you can absorb and emit is based on the total number of items you have equipped with inlaid Conversion Orbs, each Orb being equivalent to one Scepter of Energy.
At this point I’d like to point out that using Conversion Energy can be used to accomplish most things in the game in a roundabout way. I could use Diamond gear to tank a creeper, but with this system, I could also absorb the creeper’s blast magically. Therefore, I think it makes sense to have 2 tiers of armors/equipment that’s physically superior, and a parallel 2 tiers of armors/equipment that’s magically superior. The difference between the way Copper and Gold handle Conversion Energy in this update is the same as the difference between the way Iron and Diamond handle Durability and Brute Force. Additional functions for Copper will include recipes with special blocks like the ones listed below, but more importantly, as conduit between the various emission, absorption, or functional blocks found, but not limited to the ones below. Copper Conduit would also be able to connect upward and underwater, almost necessitating Conversion Energy to be used in compact Redstone contraptions. Copper Ore would be found between Y=48 and Y=22. Copper Ore must be Smelted like Iron and Gold.
Conversion Orbs can also be used to make unique blocks. Some examples are:
Absorption Blocks: they have an AoE absorption based on the Conversion Orb used to make them, their purpose would be to charge any Amber items or Orbs you would like charged.
Emission Blocks: Have an AoE emission based on the Conversion Orb used to make them. Must be fueled by a Neutral Conversion Orb or attached to an Absorption Block
Redstone Transmitter: Since Selenite can Transmit, and Quartz resonates, I think a recipe with a Redstone Conversion Orb, Quartz, Selenite and Stone makes sense. It would work in one of the ways that has been discussed numerous times on this forum.
Redstone Absorber: Again, using the Redstone Conversion Orb and some Quartz, a lever, and stone; this device has two modes. The default would absorb a set number of pulses (determined similar to a repeater) before emitting one strong signal, making it a dedicated and compact counter. Mode 2 occurs if its powered, it would take a constant signal and pulse at a set rate, making it a dedicated and compact clock circuit.
Detectors: Half Redstone Conversion Orbs would unlock recipes for interesting detectors. For instance, using a Redstone-Motion Conversion Orb, you could make a Motion Detector that would send a signal if a mob passed through the detectable area
Compactor: Made by combining a Magnetism Orb, a Hopper, 2 Iron Blocks, and a chest. This Block, when fueled, would combine similar items. For Example, feeding it Ice will yield Packed Ice. Feeding it Sand will yield Sandstone.
Breaker: Requires a Motion Orb Iron Blocks, and a Dispenser. When Fueled, will attempt to push block directly in front of it. If block can’t move it will break the block.
The list can go on and in much greater detail, but this post is already ridiculously long. I also wanted to include potion stuff but I feel like its already too much. If you stuck around to this point, I really appreciate it and I can’t thank you enough! Please comment if you have any suggestions/tweaks to the idea or if you want more detail on the things I glossed over for the sake of brevity (lol).