Dresden Files: New York
Laws of Magic
- Thou shalt not kill by use of magic. A plea of self-defense is allowed in mitigation, though it seems to work only rarely. Wardens often wield swords when detaining and executing warlocks to avoid a technical infraction of this Law. As an extension of the latitude of self-defense, Wardens are allowed some latitude in the heat of combat when they are employed with the consent of the Council. The use of magic to kill non-human beings is lawful. A wizard may use magic to kill a ghoul, a vampire or any being of the Nevernever without breaking this Law.
- Thou shalt not transform others. Doing this usually has dire consequences that completely destroys the mind of one being transformed. This law does not also apply to transforming yourself (See also shapechangers) though doing so is still somewhat dangerous.
- Thou shalt not invade the mind of another. During an attempt on his mind, Harry makes the comment that because of its outlaw status, research into mind magic is remarkably limited and as a result, training to resist such invasions is very basic.
- Thou shalt not enthrall another. Enthrallment is the term for magically dominating another through binding their will to one’s own. It is not the same as compelling non-human beings through their nature, arrangements, or exchanges. If the wizard does not actually control the being’s mind through magic, the Law is not broken. It is implied that this is one of the Laws which extends to wizards acting upon denizens of the Nevernever.
- Thou shalt not reach beyond the Borders of Life. This Law prohibits both research into and the practice of necromancy, described as the summoning, binding and exploitation of the unwilling dead. The Law applies specifically to human necromancy, but the Wardens (and, by implication, the rest of the Council) still frown upon any form of the practice. It is unknown if this rule would apply to dead non-human sentience, as most inhabitants of the Nevernever are ectoplasmic and not of flesh. Harry notes that Black Court vampires are vulnerable to necromancy in an unspecified fashion, and it is unknown if such use would constitute a breaking of the Law. Communicating with spirits of the dead who are willing to do so is not a violation of this law.
- Thou shalt not swim against the Currents of Time. This prohibits any attempt to change the past through temporal manipulation for fear of paradoxes. Even magical prediction is frowned upon except in the vaguest, most general forms. It is stated, however, that some beings in the Dresdenverse exist in the past, present, and future at once, and that such beings can be dangerous for this reason.
- Thou shalt not seek beyond the Outer Gates. Beings from beyond the Gates are known as Outsiders, and are among the deadliest known threats to humanity – their existence itself is antithetical to the universe. The Dresden Files RPG has expanded upon this law in its publications, establishing that is illegal to attempt to even learn anything about what lies beyond the Outer Gates, though it acknowledges that there is obviously some grey area here or the Wardens wouldn’t know what to look for.