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What's the difference between a mage, a wizard, a warlock, and a sorcerer?

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A mage (plural mages), or magus in archaic form (plural magi) is a person who is knowledgeable in the magical arts. They can be of any race, but in human usage the term commonly refers to humans. Mage is a blanket term for magic users of any power or field, though the ability to cast spells is deemed a defining requirement. In professional circles, "Mage" is an official title for a person who has passed Mage Apprenticeship. A wizard is a person that is aware of his or her surroundings and is able to control the environment with a mere thought. This person usually has a great deal of understanding of how things in this world operate, how people think and act, and how to comminicate on all levels with people and animals. Wizards are spiritual in their own way. They seem to be at peace with themselves, and they do not entertain immaturity. Yet they have a great deal of patience. Wizards are usually solitary because of how rare they are. If you know a Wizard, you will know that they are ... more
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The difference between the traditional types of spellcasters is minimal, although there can be specific boundaries defined in specific games (e.g. one can cast thing that another can't, they use different kinds of power or power with different sources, etc.). There's no real consensus on a division, though, even among layman's definitions: Both "wizard" and "warlock" are sometimes referred to as the male form of "witch," but it's commonly assumed that the pairing of the two terms was invented for convenience and not part of the original definitions. I find three possible etymologies for "warlock": oathbreaker (Scottish), caller of spirits (Norse), and man of the logs (Old English). (The last of those supposedly refers to the sticks used for reading runes, and became an insult used by Christians to speak of Pagans.) "Wizard" comes from the Middle English for wise and, besides cross-referencing the other terms, is used to refer to someone who's good at something. All the reliable ... more
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