Credit to this post (in Russian) by Roger for bringing that up.
Let’s construct a planetary magic. Everything on this planet is connected, and “butterfly effect” is a Universe Law.
For example, at 9:02 AM someone kisses a blonde under the Triumphal Arch, and at the same time some other person boards a steamboat on Rhine river and releases a white pigeon. After about five minutes a third person, in Shanghai, should topple a rice bowl to the ground. That’s it, the spell is ready, now the mage activates it. He throws a rose into a fire, and by some mystic causality an unbreakable shield forms around him.
It’s important that the actions are precise and mundane, and the result can be precise and is certainly supernatural. When the spell is ready, the mage feels it’s time and he can activate it.
This magic has to be born in collaboration with other players. The mage is not an alchemist mixing magical components, he’s not a scholar reading boring text books; he’s an organizer. His task is to arrange other people to do precise actions at a strict time, in accordance to the mystical “butterfly effect” plan.
This is perfect for LARPS, where we get a lot of players involved in a strange and incomprehensible process. As a bonus, our mages would look either like creeps, or heist masterminds, or both.
I imagine the IF variation of this system would be hard to keep from falling into “soup can” territory, but it’s worth to try.
A variation of this idea is to give the mage a spell book. He has to write down every action he encountered or caused while playing: who did what and when. (This falls definitely on the “creep” end of the spectrum) Then he can use this list for the magicking.
Of course, like every magic system for games, this idea can be expanded and changed. Which would be only for the best.