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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Color connotations?

    I'm working on a spectrum-themed martial discipline, but I want to break away some from the traditional "Red is Fire, Orange is Acid, etc." of D&D's prismatic spells.

    So, what significance do the prismatic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) hold? I mean things like Disintegrate being a green ray, or what have you. I'm mainly looking for associations within D&D, but other sources aren't out of place.
    Last edited by Agent_0042; 2012-12-08 at 09:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent_0042 View Post
    I'm working on a spectrum-themed martial discipline, but I want to break away some from the traditional "Red is Fire, Orange is Acid, etc." of D&D's prismatic spells.

    So, what significance do the prismatic colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) hold? I mean things like Disintegrate being a green ray, or what have you. I'm mainly looking for associations within D&D, but other sources aren't out of place.
    You could go with the fact that red seems to be associated with evil, blue and gold with good, and green with nature.

    Also, there's a really high-quality fantasy series (The Children Of Man, Elizabeth C Mock) that has magic based on the color of the spectrum. The associations are:

    Red magic heals or kills, also one of the protagonists possesses a rare strain of red that lets her affect other people's thoughts or emotions.

    Orange magic is the magic of law, justice, and fire, with applications in tracking, binding, and the determination of truth, but it can also be used to enslave in evil hands.

    Green is the magic of life itself. In addition to serving as the fuel for the other forms, a green mage can vitalize plants and animals, or drain the life from a region and make everything in it die.

    Blue is the most confusing magic, essentially behaving as a sentient force. In small traces, it grants intuition about what to do next, while it can use those strongly attuned to it to speak prophecies about the future. It can also randomly manifest other powers if it needs to.

    Yellow is the magic of art, performance, and illusion. Yellow mages can manipulate the emotions of their audiences, or construct powerful illusions to make themselves, or other things, appear to be what they are not.

    Puple magic grants power over space and time. Purple spatial mages, or "poppers", can teleport to any location they've already visited. Purple temporal mages, called "steppers", can actually travel back in time. (This doesn't grant the ability to alter the past, the stepper will only exist as a sort of ghost, invisible to others and with no physical substance.)

    There are also two other kinds of magic that sort of break the rules, black and grey.

    Black magic is the corruption of all the other colors. Unlike the six color magics, which are morally neutral, black is inherently and always evil. However, black does grant considerable power, especially in Children of Man because of its ability to bypass one of the setting's main restrictions. Ever since the color magics were created (by the Shattering of what was once light magic, the unified power of all colors), no person has been able to weild all the colors of magic. But because black touches and taints every power, it can duplicate most of what you can do with the other colors. For example, you can use black to teleport even if you have no skill with purple.

    Grey magic is even weirder. The explanation of what it is and how it works is a major plot point, so I won't spoil it here. Read the book if you want to know!
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that people usually visualized Acid as green in D&D. Blue = ice is another sterotypical association, and black = necromancy/unholy magic, with white = holy magic.

    ReaderAt2046: my understanding is that Agent_0042 is looking for the stereotypes in D&D, so as to avoid them.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Well in magic the gathering they have the color wheel which basicly works like this (least it’s supposed to).
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    White is the color of order, equality, righteousness, healing, law, community, peace, absolutism/totalitarianism, and light. White's strengths are a roster of small creatures that are strong collectively; protecting those creatures with enchantments; gaining life; preventing damage to creatures or players; imposing restrictions on players; reducing the capabilities of opposing creatures, and powerful spells that "equalize" the playing field by destroying all cards of a given type. White creatures are known for their "Protection" from various other colors or even types of card, rendering them nearly impervious to harm from those things. Numerous white creatures also have "First Strike", "Lifelink", and "Vigilance". White's weaknesses include a focus on creatures, its unwillingness to simply kill creatures outright (instead hobbling them with restrictions that can be undone), and the fact that many of its most powerful spells affect all players equally—including the casting player.

    Blue is the color of intellect, reason, illusion, logic, knowledge, manipulation, and trickery, as well as the classical elements of air and water. Blue's cards are best at letting a player draw additional cards; permanently taking control of an opponent's cards; returning cards to their owner's hand; and countering spells, causing them to be discarded and the mana used to pay them wasted. Blue's creatures tend to be weaker than creatures of other colors, but commonly have abilities and traits which make them difficult to damage or block, particularly "Flying" and to a lesser extent "Shroud" or "Hexproof". Blue's weaknesses include having trouble permanently dealing with spells that have already been played, the reactive nature of most of its spells, and a small (and expensive) roster of creatures.

    Black is the color of power, ambition, greed, death, illness, corruption, selfishness, amorality, and sacrifice; it is not necessarily evil, though many of its cards refer directly or indirectly to this concept. Black cards are best at destroying creatures, forcing players to discard cards from their hand, making players lose life, and returning creatures from the players' graveyards. Furthermore, because Black seeks to win at all costs, it has limited access to many abilities or effects that are normally available only to one of the other colors; but these abilities often require large sacrifices of life totals, creatures, cards in hand, cards in library, and other difficult-to-replace resources. Black is known for having creatures with the ability "Intimidate", making them difficult to block. Lesser black abilities include "Deathtouch" and "Regeneration". Black's main weaknesses are an almost complete inability to deal with enchantments and artifacts, its tendency to hurt itself almost as badly as it hurts the opponent, and difficulties in removing other Black creatures.

    Red is the color of freedom, chaos, passion, creativity, impulse, fury, warfare, lightning, the classical element of fire, and the non-living geological aspects of the classical element earth.[41] Red's strengths include destroying opposing lands and artifacts, sacrificing permanent resources for temporary but great power, and playing spells that deal "direct damage" to creatures or players, usually via applications of fire. Red has a wide array of creatures, but with the exception of extremely powerful dragons, most are fast and weak, or with low toughness, rendering them easier to destroy. Some of Red's cards can turn against or hurt their owner in return for being more powerful for their cost. Red also shares the trickery theme with Blue and can temporarily steal opponents' creatures or divert spells, although generally not permanently. Many of Red's most famous creatures have the "Haste" trait, which lets them attack and use many abilities earlier. The ability to raise a creature's power temporarily is also common among Red's creatures. Red's weaknesses include its inability to destroy enchantments, the self-destructive nature of many of its spells, and the way in which it trades early-game speed at the cost of late-game staying power. Red also has the vast majority of cards that involve random chance.

    Green is the color of life, nature, reality, evolution/adaptability, ecology, interdependence, instinct, and indulgence. Green's strengths are on the battlefield, usually winning through combat with creatures, of which it has a broad menagerie. These tend to be strong for their cost and have abilities that make them more survivable like Regenerate and Hexproof. Green creatures also often have "Trample", an ability which allows them to deal attack damage to an opponent if blocked by a weaker creature. Many Green spells bolster its creatures' potency, both permanently and temporarily. Green spells often focus on growth, such as regaining life points and getting lands faster, thus allowing the player more resources and the capacity to get strong creatures on the battlefield faster. Green's weakness is an inability to defend against indirect attacks. It has few cards that allow it to counter attacks against the hand, library, or graveyard; Green also has few defenses against creatures that bypass its own powerful creatures when attacking, via abilities like Flying, Landwalk, or Intimidate. However, Green's weakness to Flying has somewhat been remedied by the introduction of the Reach keyword, particularly in Spiders.

    You could draw inspiration from this, or copy it etc.

    [edit]

    You could easily split the various spell lists up between these five colors. Heck some could even be “gold” and take on properties of two or more colors.
    Last edited by TheThan; 2012-12-09 at 01:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    These are just off the top of my head and highly influenced by the fact that I grew up in a Western society.

    Red: Blood, life, passion, anger, violence, sweetness, danger, change
    Orange: Autumn, fading, death, warmth, fire, planning, survival
    Yellow: Heat, sun, spring, flowers, women
    Green: Nature, spring, wildness, peace
    Blue: Water, calm, relaxation, death, cold, night, ice, winter
    Violet: Calm, the mind, unnaturalness
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    I developed a heraldic system for colours in a campaign once, I'll just throw the quick version in here:

    Black/Sable: Moral toughness, physical endurance, ruthlessness.
    Blue, dark/Sea: Mysteries, danger, reason
    Blue, light/Sky: Air, vision, beauty
    Green: Youth/growth, pride, honesty
    Orange: A taboo colour, associated with magic-induced calamity
    Red: Power, dominance, activity
    Violet: Magic, secrets, dreaming
    White/Silver: Nobility, purity, death
    Yellow/Gold: Royalty, ancientry, wealth
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    I don't know if this is any use to you, but in medieval astrology / heraldry, the seven heraldic tinctures are related to the seven planets.

    Argent (silver or white): the moon
    Purpure (purple): Mercury
    Vert (green): Venus
    Or (gold or yellow): the sun
    Gules (red): Mars
    Azure (blue): Jupiter
    Sable (black): Saturn

    (Yes, the sun and the moon are planets, and the earth is not. The word "planet" originally meant a wandering light in the sky.)

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that people usually visualized Acid as green in D&D. Blue = ice is another sterotypical association, and black = necromancy/unholy magic, with white = holy magic.
    Right, but Prismatic Spray (which is what I'm building this discipline around), and by extension the other Prismatic spells, are set up so that:
    • Red - fire damage
    • Orange - acid damage
    • Yellow - electric damage
    • Green - poison
    • Blue - petrification
    • Indigo - insanity
    • Violet - plane shifting

    Why? No reason. Gygax or a player choose it to be so, and it's been kept that way ever since for legacy reasons.

    ReaderAt2046: my understanding is that Agent_0042 is looking for the stereotypes in D&D, so as to avoid them.
    Actually, I'm hoping to use them. I don't want all of my Green maneuvers to be poison-based, because that's boring. If I can have one that poisons, one that disintegrates, one that does acid damage, one that causes plants to grow wildly, and so on, I'll be happy.

    @Everyone else: Thanks for the responses, though to be clear I'm specifically looking for ROYGBIV.
    Last edited by Agent_0042; 2012-12-09 at 12:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    • Red - physical / blood
    • Orange - fire / sunlight
    • Yellow - poison
    • Green - acid
    • Blue - lightning
    • Indigo - cold / deathly
    • Violet - psychic / illusory
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    I'm rather surprised no one's mentioned the emotional spectrum from the Green Lantern comics, though I suppose it might be harder to build martial classes focused on these emotions. The emotions and ways you might make them into a martial class are:

    Red-Rage (first thing that comes to mind is barbarian)
    Orange-Greed (Someone focused on disarming/destroying his opponents weapons/armor: "If I can't have it, no one can!")
    Yellow-Fear (Attacks cause fear effects against their target)
    Green-Willpower (Focused on dealing as much damage as quickly as possible)
    Blue-Hope (Best at fighting in a group and supplying bonuses to their allies)
    Indigo-Compassion (Deals nonlethal damage, calms emotions, and always gets Diplomacy as a class skill)
    Violet-Love (Enters physical combat as a last resort, can make touch attacks that charm person)

    However you may want to do something a little more original. I think everyone else's suggestions are far better in that respect.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent_0042 View Post
    Right, but Prismatic Spray (which is what I'm building this discipline around), and by extension the other Prismatic spells, are set up so that:
    • Red - fire damage
    • Orange - acid damage
    • Yellow - electric damage
    • Green - poison
    • Blue - petrification
    • Indigo - insanity
    • Violet - plane shifting

    Why? No reason. Gygax or a player choose it to be so, and it's been kept that way ever since for legacy reasons.
    Well red and green at least make a lot of sense. What other color would you assign fire to? And mind you, if you change the colors, you'll want to change colors and/or breath weapons of chromatic dragons
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Here's something I just googled up...

    Red – Strength, health, energy, power, the will, attracting power, lust, conquer fears, moon blood, courage, survival, sex, passion.

    Pink – love, friendship, harmony, affection, tenderness, spiritual love, caring, loving yourself, healing emotions, good will.

    Yellow – intellect, concentration, creativity, inspiration, thinking, memory, learning, communication, new beginnings, logic, and the mind in general.

    Orange – quick changes, luck, attracting positive energy, energy building, fun, and energy for goals. The color Orange is a combination of Yellow and Red, therefore both energies are present with less intensity.

    Green – money, business, fertility, good fortune, growth, abundance, healing, and success. Green has both Male and Female energies so it is a very balanced color. It is associated with Venus and Mercury.

    Blue – truth, peace, protection, calm, creativity, soothing, cooling, bliss, spiritual well being, healing, and truth. Blue has a female energy to it, and is associated with the moon, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter.

    Purple – the spirit, spirituality, luck, protection, wisdom, understanding life’s mysteries, expansion, knowledge, reaching your higher self and highest potentials.

    Brown – earth, stability, solid foundations, study, healing the earth, material needs. It is also associated with the hearth and home.

    Black – reversing, protection, banishing, binding, absorbing, endings, justice, and endings.

    White – spirituality, purity, wholeness, the goddess, balance, protection, healing, raising vibrations. White is also associated with the Moon and female energy. The color white is a combination of all colors, therefore it be used for any purpose.

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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elimu Marimech View Post
    Well red and green at least make a lot of sense. What other color would you assign fire to? And mind you, if you change the colors, you'll want to change colors and/or breath weapons of chromatic dragons
    I could see fire as blue, myself.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Gas fire can definitely be blue, and fireworks seem to indicate it's possible for fire to take just about any colour.
    I wonder what it says about a culture if they associate fire with green or blue.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    Gas fire can definitely be blue, and fireworks seem to indicate it's possible for fire to take just about any colour.
    You can color a flame any hue with various compounds or elements, although the natural color of flames is rarely anything other than orange/white/blue, to my knowledge.
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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    You can color a flame any hue with various compounds or elements, although the natural color of flames is rarely anything other than orange/white/blue, to my knowledge.
    The "natural" colour of fire depends on how much ready access to oxygen it has. The more oxygen, the hotter and bluer the flame.

    Even with objects that produce a green (or whatever colour) flame, the specific hue is affected by how much access to oxygen there is.

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    Default Re: Color connotations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    The "natural" colour of fire depends on how much ready access to oxygen it has. The more oxygen, the hotter and bluer the flame.

    Even with objects that produce a green (or whatever colour) flame, the specific hue is affected by how much access to oxygen there is.
    But in the Middle Ages, fire is always represented heraldically with gules and or (red and yellow).

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