Who cares about Otiluke, Mordenkainen, Rary and whatever geezer names they trot out.

Elf Witch

First Post
What "us"? Unless you were the person to create and play those characters in Gary's old group then there's no reference to you. That reference was in response to those who complain the iconic characters are Mary Sues, which yeah, I can see that but it's still important flavor. Elminster is still an important character to the FR lore for a whole lot of people too, he just has current content.

That was a brain fart I thought I typed them. I am slightly aphasic from a stoke and sometimes words get mixed up.

I write and read and used to edit a lot of fanfic and believe me Mary Sue was an insult.

Though like I said most PCs are Mary Sues especially now a days.
 

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Raith5

Adventurer
I am in two minds about named spells. I like the way they link back to the history of the game. But ultimately, when I am playing I am more worried about the history of the game world than the game system and names from D&D lore essentially work against immersion in the game world.

If we are trying to make a modular system which is able to be used by as many gaming tables as possible then we should leave names of Greyhawk and FR wizards out. If we are trying to create a game with a distinct history then we should leave them in. I think the declared logic of DDN tries to have it both ways on this and many other issues.
 
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MarkB

Legend
I do like the names, and the sense of history they provide.

Plus, those ancient mages need to keep their names attached to the spells, so that they can properly collect on their royalties when new spellcasters buy them for their spellbooks. Grimoire piracy is a growing problem in the magic industry.
 


Herschel

Adventurer
Sources of inspiration from the Dying Earth to Dr. Strange use flowery spell names: Phenahl's Second Hypnotic Spell, The Crimson Bands of Cytorakk, The Excellent Prismatic Spray, Thrindle's Combustion, The Flames of the Faltine.

They sound cool. You can develop the proper nouns in them or not. To the old player, they're a fun bit of nostalgia. To the new player, they mean nothing - but they may still sound cool.

And, the /name/ of a spell doesn't hurt anything, it's the horribly broken mechanics that are the problem. ;)

In my perfect world, there would be good, balanced mechanics AND historical background. I'd like Bigby's Clenched Fist to be a good, useful spell that doesn't break the game and also a point of reference as to how/why Bigby developed it.

Maybe call it new school mechanics with old school flavor and history.
 

arscott

First Post
I think it would be great if every wizard spell had a cool vancian name. But having a few random, lesser used spells with such names while the rest are unimaginative descriptions like "cone of cold" and "lightning bolt"? Not that great.

Mordenkainen I like. It's a cool, fantasy sounding name, attached to some interesting spells. And, you know, it's Gary Gygax. I'd like to see the name attached to a few more iconic spells, even. How about Mordenkainen's Magical Missile? or Mordenkainen's Mirror Image?

Bigby is great. Took a theme and ran with it. I think the designers really dropped the ball when "Mage Hand" didn't have bigby's name attached to it.

But can we all agree that Serten's spell immunity and Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer are just the oldschool equivalent of 4e's bloodfang whateverdrakes?

Every name in the spell lists should

a) sound like the name of a wizard, either by being an evocative fantasy name (such as Mordenkainen), or a stuffy and bookish name (like Bigby)

b) have a theme. Mordenkainen is sort of the magical Leonardo DaVinci or Isaac Newton. A broadly talented supergenius: The giant that other mages stand on the shoulders of. Bigby is the guy who did one thing really well. But the rest of the big names don't really have anything going for them.

We have to recognize that Otiluke, Tenser, and Melf have never been Iconic characters. They're not even important to Greyhawk. They're just the lazy anagram name's of somebody's old characters. The fact that those various somebodies were really important to the history of early D&D shouldn't be the guiding principle.

Let's invent some new Iconic wizards. Let's add some vancian flavor without resorting to wizard's names.

Esfandiar's Waylaying Winds
Gogmodan's Unspeakable Resurrection
Charm of Cacaphonous Coloration

etc.
 

Aberzanzorax

Adventurer
Much better than


Tenser's Floating Disk
Melf's Acid Arrow
Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer


would be:

Floating force-carrier
Goo-sticking-acid-shot
Re-remembering spell-slot bringer-backer

?
 

Greg K

Legend
I started with Holmes and I had wanted the names removed with 3e, I wanted the names removed. While I appreciate the history, I do not play in Greyhawk. Save the greyhawk wizard names, Greyhawk deities, etc. for a Greyhawk supplement or stick the Greyhawk references into an appendix using Greyhawk as a sample setting.
 

Dragonhelm

Knight of Solamnia
When I was first gaming back in the 2e days, I remember being enamored with the names behind the spells. Just who were Bigby, Tenser, etc.? Eventually, I came across the name Circle of Eight.

So I eventually went to a nearby hobby shop and asked someone there. He pointed me to the City of Greyhawk boxed set. There was a wealth of information there on the Circle.

The search for the lore was great. I just wish there was more info on the lore behind the spells out there, readily available to the next generation of gamers.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Not every spell needs a name- even in the real world, sometimes, the innovator's name just gets lost with time, or the discovery was made virtually simultaneously by several researchers.

We don't talk about Og's Fire, do we? Or the inventor of the toothbrush, right?
 

JRRNeiklot

First Post
I started with Holmes and I had wanted the names removed with 3e, I wanted the names removed. While I appreciate the history, I do not play in Greyhawk. Save the greyhawk wizard names, Greyhawk deities, etc. for a Greyhawk supplement or stick the Greyhawk references into an appendix using Greyhawk as a sample setting.

Mordenkainen is famous for plane hopping. His spells could easily spill over into multiple campaign settings.
 

the Jester

Legend
Not every spell needs a name- even in the real world, sometimes, the innovator's name just gets lost with time, or the discovery was made virtually simultaneously by several researchers.

We don't talk about Og's Fire, do we? Or the inventor of the toothbrush, right?

Case in point: horrid wilting, which first appeared in 2e as Abu-Dalzim's horrid wilting.
 



Not every spell needs a name- even in the real world, sometimes, the innovator's name just gets lost with time, or the discovery was made virtually simultaneously by several researchers.

We don't talk about Og's Fire, do we? Or the inventor of the toothbrush, right?
This reminds me...

The inventor of the water toilet and the inventor of toilet paper can probably look back on their life, and say: "We really did improve this world. And no is going to blow up someone else with it. Right, Noble, Oppenheimer et al?"
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
I once played a wizard (back when I was about 11) who invented John's Acid Bolt, it was a variation of Melf's Acid Arrow that basically created a small pool of acid where the bolt hit, he invented it by miscasting Melf's Acid Arrow and having the arrow explode before impact and showering the rest of the group with acid... Sigh... Those were the good ol'days.

Warder
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
There is also a very subtle implication about having names in spells: so-and-so invented a spell, and your character can, too!

Yeah. This one is huge. I had a 1st ed character create a spell. Of course it was named after the character in the classic of which we are speaking of in this thread.

That GM added the spell to his campaign stuff. It was called that in campaign (and the cachet of creating that spell was a useful perk for the character). Then the GM used it in later games, so it became part of his history. Of course I did the same - no matter what world it was in, I had that spell with that character's name attached.
 

Greg K

Legend
Mordenkainen is famous for plane hopping. His spells could easily spill over into multiple campaign settings.

It depends on the setting, the cosmology of the DM's world, and the DM. I and every DM I have gamed used closed worlds. You won't find characters hopping from one campaign world to another campaign world via the planes, because those other campaign settings do not exist from the perspective of our campaigns.

Even when we ran a published setting like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms, there was no cross-over (regardless of the what is written in articles like the "Wizards Three" or the authors/designers). Players could not bring in characters from other campaigns in which they had played. You made up a brand new character
 



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