View Full Version : Spell Incarnations

12-05-2009, 09:53 AM
The PHB presents us with a plethora of spells to use for our magic-users. But does Cure Light Wounds look the same when cast by a cleric and a bard? Summon Monster look the same when cast by a cleric and wizard? Are your fireballs really hot (blue or white), or are they about-to-fizzle red flames? When you cast Command, do you say just one word, and your mind does the rest, or is there some archaic language involved?

12-05-2009, 01:01 PM
Always pictured my bard's effects as non-detectable by mortal senses (minus the performance to make it work, that is), unless the effect is something that either affects the senses or produces something that would be picked up by normal human(-oid) capabilities. Under stuff like Detect Magic, though, little note-like motes dance around (to the Power of Rock~!) the target/effect. I imagine the other flavors of magic work along the same lines, but with more appropriate fluff.

So, I guess my answer is yes, they do indeed look the same, unless you're able to actually "see" the magic and not just its effect. Prolly the influence of Mage: the Ascension and The Dresden Files on how I view stuff like that, though, where each wizard's workings are unique to the individual.

(In a more Metal DnD, I'd totally buy the always-visible swirling energies and 'solid' magic blasted forth from the bard's +2 Axe~. And how awesome would an all-"bard" party be? Dethklok with swords: "We will make everything metal... Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity!")

12-07-2009, 12:40 AM
in one of my dm's campaigns (not one in which i'm in) he has arcane, divine, and psionics all give off a different characteristic, in this case the eyes of the caster/manifester glow a specific color when casting, or when an effect is currently active.

i myself like using different styles of magic to represent different cultures and/or different school/style/teacher's special characteristics. some examples:

runic casters who use runestones (aka dice) to randomly roll a word or words, which they must then use all of the resulting words in describing the spell effect or suffer backlash (and creating some really odd spell effects, some of which are quite amusing)...

casters who use hieroglyphic symbols which rely on specific geometric relationships, and can write them in the air with their fingers...

casters who must compose a rhyme (singing optional for the player) describing what they want to happen...

a particular teacher has a signature style of a trailing haze of sparks and smoke which obscure the caster (providing concealment), but also mark the students as followers of his unusual and controversial philosophy...

i could go on, but i don't want to bore anyone. ^^

with regards to the all-bard party... gives a whole new meaning to 'air guitar' and somatic components.

Soft Serve
12-07-2009, 01:10 AM
I think in terms of psionics the player should be free to describe it as it comes from their mind.

Arcane I think is up to the GM since Arcane is (usually) taught and the color would depend on who first developed the spell.

Divine I think would match the will of whatever entity is granting the power. Such as a good god would be bright and shiney and an evil one would be more dark or vicious.