I'm wondering why more isn't done with aether. I mean, it's universally used to propel flying battleships and occasionally power various handwavium devices and weapons. E.g.
Practical aether travel as we know it today all began with Professor Etienne Moreau, who in 1860 hypothesised that the aether, like the matter and energy throughout the universe, was not evenly distributed. If it was instead affected by its interaction with matter, it might be distributed in vortices, thin patches, and even compacted clumps. He also theorised that interaction of matter, energy and aether indicated that it was possible for each to be used to manipulate the other. Just as matter could be burned to release energy, and energy expended to move matter, so could matter be used to grip or grasp the aether, and energy used to manipulate it. Thomas Edison, an American inventor, fell into discussions with Moreau about his theories, and through these discussions it was Edison who devised a practical use for the luminiferous aether. Its nature suggested to Edison a device which could sail at speeds heretofore undreamed of.
I'm wondering - are there any rules/universes that go further, and use it as a kind of "scientific" magic?
Example:In 1895, Wilhelm Roetgen discovered the X-Ray. However, his experiments since 1888 had revealed anamolies in the electromagentic wavelength. It was postulated that this could be caused by luminiferous aether. There was tremendous excitement as nations quickly grasped the potential for improving aethership navigation and speed. In 1897, Nikola Tesla invented a primitive device (electromagnetic spectrum analyser) that could isolate and measure aether waves. Better able to navigate the aether currents, navigation time from Earth to Mars was halved. With the spectrum analyser, it was observed that human beings could subtely effect the aetheric waves with their own innate electromagnetic fields - directly effecting localised changes in light, heat and electromagnetic polarity. Germany was quick to see the military potential, and established their elektromagnetische Stoßtrupp in 1905, with England quick to follow through with their MI-13 department. A further breakthrough occured in 1908 when Thomas Edison succeeded in miniaturizing the ESA device to the size of a pair of goggles. Now "aether adepts" as they were so called, were able to more effectively control aether in the field. (<--explanation fluff)
Practical effects:Aether adepts influence and direct light, heat, gravitation and magnetism. This gives them a range of abilities:
Heating/freezing (heat/ice beam or spray, or AoE attack)
Magnetism (jam weapons, redirect bullets, deflect metal/bullets, levitate/leap off metal)
Gravity (crush, freeze in place, levitate)
Light (invisibility, dazzling light)
If they can use aether to move things, then potentially there's room for telekinetic style stuff aka push, pull, force fields. Possibly they could "stun" and disorientate humans by scrambling the electromagnetic fields in their bodies.
In addition to or instead of aether goggles (goggles are common on steampunk/VSF minis) perhaps they could use silver "conducting wands" which you can say are strapped to their arms inside their sleeves or something.
That gives you an idea of the kind of thing I'm looking for.
I'm not interested in simply rebranding and rebadging fantasy magic to port over all the D&D spells etc, but rather a limited collection that reflects the properties of aether as commonly shown in VSF literature. I like the idea of "scientific" magic for Weird War I-era conflicts, as opposed to the generic occult-Nazi-werewolf-zombie stuff of the Weird War II era.
So - does this sort of VSF "scientific aether magic" exist already? I'd rather save myself reinventing the wheel if there's an existing game or RPG I can "borrow" ideas from.
This is not
-aether to power handwavium weapons/steampunk mech suits etc
-spiritualist or occult magic
-vampires, werewolves, zombies (which I'm soooo sick of)
-chemically assisted mutants (aka Jekyll/Hyde)
-the usual fantasy magic
...but actual mages, using a "scientific" form of magic. Be it aether or whatever - basically "magic" is manipulating a pseudo-scientific phenomena.
For example, Warmachine uses magic in a steampunk setting, but that's fantasy magic - i.e. undead pirates, dragons and trolls kinda rule out using it for an alternate-WW1 setting.