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

I say keep the most iconic ones. Mordenkainen, Tenser, Bigby... these are part of D&D's history.

Fear not! I am confident that no electrons were harmed in the making of that blog - unless WoTC are now using anti-matter servers.

But what of the catgirls?! Who will think of the catgirls?

Dweomer of Note -- Melf's Acid Arrow
Crafted by one of Mordenkainen's allies, a mage who humorously called himself Melf the Elf, this version of the classic acid arrow can be split to strike two or three enemies, doing one-half or one-third as much damage to each (rounded down). Scrolls with this dweomer are commonly offered as payment to adventurers who aid the Circle of Eight.

Oooh, I like that very much. Except I'd like to see a bit less fluff, I can do the fluff myself.

As mentioned, organizations tend to imply something going on *right now*. And as for 'Golden Wyvern' and all that - in addition, the names were mind-numbingly stupid and boring.
 

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tuxgeo

Adventurer
Could anyone in the EN World brain trust here tell me who "Nystul" was, famous for "Nystul's Magic Aura?" I'm fairly sure that's not just somebody's name spelled backward.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
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.

Technically true, but there are a few tidbits:

- those were new names, while spells names have a history from the earlier editions of the game; theoretically this implies nothing, but practically it does tend to transpose to the game world as well
- characters of the past die, they may be so special that they achieve godhood or similar, but the default is that after some time they're gone or at least so much beyond mortals that they are out of the game; organizations never really die, there's always the threat/hope that the evil/good group makes a comeback; this to me means that I an have spells named "Melf" and "Mordenkainen" in non-Greyhawk settings without the need to actually really have more than a vague memory that there were once great wizards with such names
- it just feels so much more natural to remember the names of the person who presumably invented the printing machine or the telephone, rather than the company they were working for
- I can bet that designers who come up with new organizations names will be very tempted to define such groups in some detail, and then use them in more places (prestige classes et al, or even published adventures) which will make them existing by default
- also, to keep the spells names short those organizations names needed to be so generic that they sounded more like taverns and hostels
 

Chris_Nightwing

First Post
I love this idea. It could be as easy as listing the spell entry, then having a note at the end:

Dweomer of Note -- Melf's Acid Arrow
Crafted by one of Mordenkainen's allies, a mage who humorously called himself Melf the Elf, this version of the classic acid arrow can be split to strike two or three enemies, doing one-half or one-third as much damage to each (rounded down). Scrolls with this dweomer are commonly offered as payment to adventurers who aid the Circle of Eight.

I seriously cannot like this enough. In book terms, I love small sidebars with explanations, and to give both flavour and mechanics in this entirely optional way is awesome. Further, it encourages casters to customise their own spells - making up new ones was always difficult due to power levels and exploitation - but tweaking an existing spell to add a little kicker is a great idea. Now I really want to do this!
 

Buugipopuu

First Post
Spell names in D&D should be geeky and idiosyncratic. None of this "Holy Smitebash" or "Raging Flamepunch" crap. I always liked the fact that D&D spell names were generally simple and descriptive.
 

FireLance

Legend
Spell names in D&D should be geeky and idiosyncratic. None of this "Holy Smitebash" or "Raging Flamepunch" crap. I always liked the fact that D&D spell names were generally simple and descriptive.
Actually, some of my favorite spell names used words that I had never heard before, such as "prismatic", "incendiary", "mnemonic", and "phantasmal". Certainly gave my vocabulary a jolt, I can tell you. :)
 

Danzauker

Adventurer
Voted no. Always thought named spells were crap.

It's OK if they put the names of the creators in the fluff blurb, but not in the spell name itself.
 

RoboCheney

First Post
Like 'em, they add some color to D&D, but can't say I care too strongly either way.

Now the 15 min / 1 hour / 8 hour rest mechanic in that one thread would make a sweet poll topic ;-p
 

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