View Full Version : Arcanobable

2016-06-23, 10:57 AM
Hey playground, I'm looking to play a incredibly smart, kind of nutty wizard/scientist in my upcoming campaign, and I was wondering what kind of tricks/buzzwords you guys had for talking about magic in a highly technical sense. Just phrases I would be able to throw in when casting spells or rituals, in a sort of soft sci-fi way (flux capacitor, rerouting the hyperdrive power, etc.) for roleplaying.


2016-06-23, 11:24 AM



Alternate reality







Roll 2d10 and enjoy your combinations! For longer rituals, add a column of phrases like "Directly overrides...", "Should compensate lack of..." and similar - and then roll 2k10 again.

2016-06-23, 11:33 AM
Arcanobable grows in strength the more thought through it is.

The Law of ...
Conservation of ...
____'s Principle

The 6 elemental particles (AEFNPW) theorem and the consequences thereof. This extends into things like:
We know the stabilizing feature of binding a magic circle to Earth and have heard the tall tale of the mage that bound it to Air, however what about Fire or Water? We can predict that either binding would reduce the stability significantly but Fire might allow for attaching punishment spells and Water might leave a residue even after a creature leaves.

The structure of a spell. For example:
The standard summoning spell is an interesting example. It involves the summoner, the summon, and the summon's initial & desired positions. In the general case it is magic that originates from the summoner and ties the summon to both the initial & desired positions. One could push from the initial position or pull from the desired position.

Using the latter, one would start with the designation of the desired position (both its position and its dimensions) <gestures at point and traces the limits>. Then one would set the summoning description and tie the search subspell to the desired position <traces a glyph on the center point>. Finally one would tie a limited duration retrieval subspell to the search subspell <traces a web at the tail of the glyph with arcs to the limits of the position>.

2016-06-23, 03:46 PM
You could always try spurious logic - things like

"Its called the theory of differential spellcasting, so I caught a few of you in my Fireball - but I hit more of them."

2016-06-23, 07:52 PM

Tons of random generators, including some for exactly this.

2016-06-24, 01:18 AM
Contagion - "Oh, it's simple. You just use psychic contagion to invoke a rest state." Sleep

Sympathy/Antipathy - "It's simple. I'll just empower the sympathetic link to an already expired enchantment and then trigger an adjudicated coalescence glyph." Dispel Magic

Quintessential - "I just summoned a quintessential bullete and enacted a 1.3 second phase-shift on its tunnel when it went through thes wall." Stone Shape

You can also get a lot of mileage out of using regular terms in context to create the impression of something ineffable. Consider that scientist think they can make warp drives work, and their explanation of how is that they make the spacetime distortion "thicker and curvier (http://io9.gizmodo.com/5963263/how-nasa-will-build-its-very-first-warp-drive)."

"I waited until it was parallel to its horizon and bumped it."

"Oh this is too easy, I'll just pull this... and done."

"It's simple, really, you just find one without a location and locate it."

"Force is really just an idea that your body thinks."

"Just demiconjure the glyphs and make them a little more square. Necromancy won't fit in square glyphs."

2016-06-24, 02:29 AM
If you have a cleric in the party, try this old chestnut, "So what precisely are the gods? Extremely powerful beings that act as a source of power, or merely beings that act as an intermediary between their clerics and the same source of magic that wizards draw on?" It also works for warlocks, though they should have more of an idea of the nature of their patron, and paladins might just stab you for heresy first.

2016-06-26, 08:22 AM
If you know anything about gravitational/electric fields, you can start talking about things like magical potential (energy/difference) and use the same kind of terminology as there. The force required to move one level of magic from infinity to the point in the field? Hmm. Could work.

2016-06-26, 06:41 PM
Other words and partial phrases that an be used to make someone sound scientific:

"...is on the fritz."
"Neutralizing the..."
"...would result in a system feedback that causes..."
"...are coterminous to the..."
"...would maximize the potential of..."
"...would cause a diminishing effect on..."
"...could expedite the process of..."
"...and cause a complete shock to the system."
"...or, I might be wrong and it'll just turn into a banana."
"...That, or the universe could implode and pull us along."

Also, crazed laughter. Nothing says mad genius like crazed laughter when something works or fails.

2016-06-26, 09:53 PM
If spellcasting is not language dependent, mix it up as far as what language you cast in in and out of game. Mix languages in spells if possible, and know as many languages as possible(IC and OOC).

If it IS language dependent, throw in useless words and phrases that you are convinced are required for part of the incantation. Casting fireball might require you to say "goats wearing socks on tuesday" in elven, or reciting the first ten digits of pi in celestial. Likewise, use random words from Latin, Japanese, German, any language you know, bonus points if they are meaningless/irrelevant to the situation.

Likewise, good arcana is basically numerology so repeat numbers in threes, sevens, nines, whatever tickles your fancy. Numerology is extra awesome when summoning extraplanar monsters or dealing with time/space/planar travel.

If nothing else, quote Rick from the TV show Rick and Morty.

2016-06-27, 12:36 PM
If spellcasting is not language dependent, mix it up as far as what language you cast in in and out of game. Mix languages in spells if possible, and know as many languages as possible(IC and OOC).

In D&D, the language of magic is Draconic, much like Latin was the language of academia and religion until the Renaissance and the printing press. Speaking a few words in the Dovahzul (https://www.thuum.org) language of TESV:Skyrim can make your magibabble infinitely more interesting and exotic. For example;

"The simplest spells are merely manifestations of the bo do Lah given form by means of the rot, the ofan and the dreh."

Liberal use made of Thuum.org's translator ("https://www.thuum.org/translator.php).

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-06-27, 04:44 PM
I keep reading this title as arachnobabble. Reverse the spiderity!

[/that is all]