View Full Version : inspiring magic-user PCs with Bell Book and Candle (1958 film)!

03-09-2013, 03:16 PM
I came across a youtube clilp from the wonderful Bell Book and Candle film,
with Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart.

This clip includes the Xmas gift-giving scene, in which the conversation among
witches sound a great deal like what low-level wizards or mages or magic-users
would say to one another, and the seduction spellcasting scene, which is a
marvelous example of using humming for Verbal components and cuddling one's
cat familar as both Somatic and Material.

Has anyone else found this clip useful -- or found others which work just as
well for gaming purposes?

The youtube URL for this clip is

03-12-2013, 02:02 PM
Never used it myself but it could be good inspiration.

Soft Serve
03-14-2013, 02:54 PM
I watched the clip but I didn't feel anything relevant, I'm sorry.

I understand what you mean about the discussions lower level wizards might be having and how it covers that topic, but I feel like Harry Potter could be another decent source of that.

04-03-2013, 03:26 AM
but I feel like Harry Potter could be another decent source of that.

The problem with Harry Potter is that players are too familiar with it, so instead of seeing inspiration they can apply to any fantasy campaign, they just see Harry Potter.

The great advantage to using older clips like this one is that most players have never seen them before, so they take away from them only what you prep them for.

04-03-2013, 01:16 PM
when i want inspiration for magic, i turn to the writings of patricia mckillip. now there's how magic should be done!!!!

08-09-2013, 12:32 AM
Good inspiration, but not a good quickie prop.

08-14-2013, 02:59 PM
i don't see why not. model a few descriptives after her comments, and off you go.

08-17-2013, 10:39 PM
I suspect you have not had to initiate any gaming novices in a long time, then. :)

08-18-2013, 09:14 AM
Actually, many of us have new folks all the time - and to use stuff like that can actually stifle creativity in new people, who have seen shows like "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Excalibur" and even many episodes of Star Trek and the entire Star Wars series. They've read many fantasy and sci-fi books that have very good descriptions of magic and magical systems like Robert Jordan's (and Brandon Sanderson's) "Wheel of Time" series and Blake Charlton's "Spellbound" series (and countless others).

If it works for you, great - use it.

Please don't denigrate others when they can't seem to find the same level of inspiration in what motivates you. Just remember that what really tickles your fancy may leave others cold - and vice versa.

08-19-2013, 10:26 AM
I suspect you have not had to initiate any gaming novices in a long time, then. :)

your suspicion happens to be absolutely in error. all of my recent campaigns have had complete newbies and people who haven't played since BECMI was current. and i happen to be about to add another newbie to my gaming group. if you happen to be interested, you can read about some of them at http://epicfetch.com.

i will refrain from guessing why you do not make the connection with what works great for me, and has for years.

after all, we are different people, with different experiences. and i'm sure our particular gaming participants also happen to be different from each other. while i have not had a need for the type of prop you find useful, i may in the future, and will certainly make a note of it for future reference. on the other hand, the verbal props i mentioned have been quite useful for me and my groups. but i'm sure at some point, i'll run into someone for whom it does not work.


09-21-2013, 02:53 PM
i will refrain from guessing why you do not make the connection with what works great for me, and has for years.

I was not dismissing the efficacy of your own techniques but disputing your dismissal of the one which I had cited.

I was trying to add one more option, to supplement not to replace whatever options you might use.

Studies I have read claim that many teens and college age kids absorb inspiration in a film/video form far more quickly and efficiently than they do inspiration in a literary form, and while I would not want to live in a world without short stories and novels, sometimes I need to inspire my younger players quickly and without assigning them reading homework. A scant five minutes of viewing, and they know all they need to know to have a sense of one particular style of low-level magic -- and to learn that there are varieties beyond what they have seen in the excellent Harry Potter films and LOTR films or on a rerun of Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, none of which give any sense of the more subtle magic found in an urban fantasy story. Therefore, I offered the above for those game masters in similar situations, nothing more.

09-23-2013, 05:07 PM
ah, good.

and it was not my intention to come across as dismissive of your method. in reviewing the thread, i really do not see where i dismissed your idea, unless my bringing up what works for me while not addressing your comments directly came across that way.... would you be so kind as to educate me as to which of my comments came across as dismissive so that i can try to avoid that in the future, please? in all cases, i apologize for having unintentionally done so.

while it is truly said that a picture is worth a thousand words, i personally find the written word more effective in conveying the limits of a given power, while the visual side is better at demonstrating the capabilities quickly.

09-26-2013, 02:42 AM
Interesting clip! If we're doing old movie magic clips, you have to include this one from Bedknobs and and Broomsticks! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpmshIjeSv8


09-26-2013, 10:22 AM
now that was a fun movie. ^^

10-02-2013, 12:58 AM
now that was a fun movie. ^^

Better than the book. Muuuuch better than the book. And yes a fun movie.