Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sheet Music as Magic Language

There's a lot said for "magic words" in literature and in D&D games.  A lot of magic guys need to say their magic words, like "a la peanut butter sandwiches" or whatever and then wave their hands and make the spell pop out.  What does magical writing look like in your game?

My daughter is learning to play the clarinet (her third instrument- bragging now) so we have a lot of sheet music around the house.  It looks, frankly, arcane. Even though I can sight read it still looks funny.

It made me think about spells and verbal and somatic components.  When she plays the clarinet, there are complicated fingerings of the buttons to make the basic sounds. She also needs to control the breath both in volume and quality to produce the right tone.  It's a lot like how they describe casting magical spells.

I betcha some spells require the materical component of a little whistle or like a recorder to blow into with valve or holes to press down just so to make the right sounds that the spells like to hear.  And other wizards may then be able to identify the spell by the sounds.

Like modern singers doing the American National Anthem (the trend hasn't seemed to creep into other anthems yet), there are lots of personal flares different wizards would use to personalize the spell- but the notes would all be the same, and recognizable.

Illusion spells would sound jazzy.  Direct damage spells would sound like Wagner.  Spells to make holes in the wall or otherwise move things around would sound like The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia or maybe use the piccolo.  All Cleric spells would sound like Benedictine chants.  Maybe with bells or a concertina as accompaniment?

What do you think of this description?  Can you think of other spells which would have their own characteristic sounds?

1 comment:

  1. Summoning ancient one like yog-soggoth would need either dubstep or glitch hop. Of course with traditional instruments.