by Adam Meyers
Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series. There's not a huge amount of magic described, but I think there's enough to work with.
Zombies, flesh and brain eating undead. and Voodoo zombies
Actually, one of my favorite novel series would be a very good world setting. The series is by Mercedes Lackey and it's about the Heralds of Valdemar.
In the history of the world the ancient Mage Wars destroyed all of the old civilization. What was then the wilderness became the new cradle of civilization, and the old lands became the territories of the Magical beasts and monsters summoned during those wars. In one of those early Kingdoms with a Tyrand King, one Nobe left his lands with his people to found a new Kingdom. He became King Valdemar. To ensure that the values are upheld and that corruption is averted he summoned with the old Magic the "Companions" which look like beautiful white horses. These companions would choose an individual to be their partner - usually as a young child rescuing him or her from an abusive environment - and would help that child reach their full potential. Even the Monarch would be required to be chosen before being named a legitimate heir.
Anyway, all that back story aside, the world is gritty, and in terms of abilities they are classified as "gifts". For example, the Mindspeak (telepathy), Fetching (like teleporting objects to you from far away), Empathy (feeling emotions, but can also be used as a weapon to control the feelings of others), and of course the Mage Gift. Beyond that the Heralds of Valdemar function kind of like Paladins, although ones without any specific religious requirement apart from the Ideals of the Kingdom.
I think that would be a very interesting world to run a campaign from within. Even non-magic users would benefit from the underlying system.
The gift structure from Simon R Green's The Nightside series. Demon magic from the Bartimaeus Trilogy (and summoning from the same).
The gemstone magic of R. A. Salvatore's DemonWars saga:
Brent Week's Night Angel Trilogy is where we got my sons name from so i hope it wins
I'd say the Magic rules from Discworld, admittedly they could probably be done with the core rules but I'm not entirely sure it accounts for things like non-magical users randomly summoning dragons into existence with pure imagination.
I would suggest:
Dave Duncan's Pandemia books- A handful of men, A man of his word.
Diana Wynne Jones- Chrestomanci books, if she hadn't written those books, then I reckon that Harry Potter would not have been written.
Mercedes Lackey- Valdemar series
I would also vote for Super Heroes, Diane Duanes Young Wizards, but would also suggest her Tales of Five books.
I'll put in a vote for The Force, Super Heroes, Last Airbender, Spirit/Demon binding and the Final Fantasy system as my top picks. Everyone else has pretty much already suggested what I would have said anyway.
The Force (Star Wars), Super Heroes for me, because those setting are harder to bring in. So it would be cool to see you do it.
I suggest Katharine Kerr's Deverry series...
but bear in mind that you've no hope of permission from the author.
Two more possibilities Circle of magic by Tamora Pierce (Craft magic) and the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (Channeling)
I'd definitely go for "The Last Airbender" and "The Force". Maybe cover some of the non-hermetic elements (Wood, Metal, etc.).
Are you also going to cover some of the unique existing fantasy RPG worlds like WotC's Eberron, Dark Sun, Iron Kingdoms, etc?
Just be sure you've got permission to use any setting that's mentioned... XD;
anything by Mercedes Lackey as she has alot of interesting "Magic", especially her Bedlam Bard or Elemental Masters series.
Diane Duane's young wizards, Anne McCafferey's The Rowan, or Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series
A lot of these ideas sound great.
Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles might be interesting - possibility for druid, witch, and werewolf magic.
The prospect of picking only one of these in a vote is frustrating in the best of ways.
Definitely Final Fantasy 7! I really like the Materia system too. In fact, I once ran a campaign where all Magical Items required something like Materia to function as Magical weapons which in turn allowed me to issue much more powerful weapons earlier than would otherwise be possible by giving them an expiration.
Another system I really like was the one used by the first Fable. Basically, polar opposite spells were on either side of a bar. Adding a point to one side means one less possible point in the other. So, for example, if we used an elemental ability example with 10 possible points you could be 5 each fire and water, or just 10 fire, or 9 fire and 1 water, etc. As a basic concept anyway I really liked it.
How about Sartan & Patryn rune magic from The Death Gate Cycle?
Ursula K. LeGuin's excellent EarthSea, setting of 'A Wizard of EarthSea' and other stories.
Final Fantasy 7? I think the Materia system would work wonders with the Spheres of Powers system. I imagine you could easily turn the Spheres into equip-able items, limit the number of spheres a person can have on them, set it up so that feats give the Materia boosts in powers and that the only way for the Materia to use it's stronger abilities is if someone has 'training' in the Materia skill area.
Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy
I think a cool world would be Fiore from the Manga/Anime Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima.