D&D 5E D&D Next Blog: What's in a (Spell) Name?

Dausuul

Legend
If I were being consistent with my general philosophy, which is that D&D should encourage homebrew and avoid pushing setting-specific material in the core, I would vote to remove the names.

However, I am not consistent. These names are too deeply entwined with the history of the game. Vote to keep.
 

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El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
I like the names. But for me, it only really works if they decide to make Greyhawk the default setting (and I don't think they are). In other worlds they'd have different names. At least that's the logic for me.

But for casual gamers, I don't think they care what the names signify (who they are, what game world, etc.), it just adds a sense of mystery and history to the spells...which is cool.

And it would definitely be a nod to old school players. An invaluable thing bought very cheaply. That's a win-win in my book.

B-)
 

FireLance

Legend
It seems odd that named people seem to be okay, but named organizations are less well received. Doesn't anyone else remember the indignation over Golden Wyvern and Emerald Serpent in the run-up to 4e? Do named organizations somehow intrude more than named individuals?
 


Kaodi

Hero
In one respect, if there is a default pantheon that is a mashup of gods from past settings, or includes even a single Greyhawk deity, then there is absolutely no reasonable argument that can be made that the traditional spell names should be ditched.

In a different respect, you could just italicize or colour the name in the spell name, or add flavour text based on the appropriate character, to, in effect, both use a generic name and include the traditional name.
 

GSHamster

Adventurer
It seems odd that named people seem to be okay, but named organizations are less well received. Doesn't anyone else remember the indignation over Golden Wyvern and Emerald Serpent in the run-up to 4e? Do named organizations somehow intrude more than named individuals?

Wizard names can be buried deep in the past. Bigby, Mordenkainen, those wizards can be dust and bone if you want, without changing anything in your current setting. There's no rule stating those wizards need to be alive.

Well, possibly an issue if you're running a campaign where magic has just come into the world, and your mages are the first of their kind. But that situation is unlikely, and can be handwaved.

However, the Golden Wyvern organization has to exist in the current time. It impinges on your current campaign in a way that a single individual who may have existed in the past doesn't.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Sure. The names are cool. It's fun when a DM lets you research your own to give your caster flavor. Kikjik's "Illusionary" Monkey Spray

But I don't have enough (expletive) to spare to give this question one.
 

Dausuul

Legend
It seems odd that named people seem to be okay, but named organizations are less well received. Doesn't anyone else remember the indignation over Golden Wyvern and Emerald Serpent in the run-up to 4e? Do named organizations somehow intrude more than named individuals?

I do remember that; as one of the people who argued strongly against Golden Wyvern and Emerald Serpent, I recognize that wanting to keep Bigby and Mordenkainen is somewhat inconsistent (see my post above).

My reply is that Bigby and Mordenkainen's spells, like Vecna's Hand and Eye, are part of longstanding D&D tradition. If they were being introduced now for the first time, I would be opposed to them. But after so many years, D&D wouldn't quite feel right without them.
 

FireLance

Legend
However, the Golden Wyvern organization has to exist in the current time. It impinges on your current campaign in a way that a single individual who may have existed in the past doesn't.
If named individuals can be dead, named organizations can be disbanded or destroyed. Learning and using a dead organization's secrets and techniques is no different from learning and using a dead archmage's spells.
 

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