Gaming Tonic

Adding Vocal Components To Your Spell Caster

spell castingOne of the things that can sometimes feel bland in a fantasy rpg is spell casting.  I should be excited but hearing somebody say, “I cast Magic Missile” for the seventh time since we have been sitting at the table is just not that appealing.  I want my magic with a little bit of extra style.  Various editions of D&D and Pathfinder have the vocal, somatic, material component mechanic in some form or another but unless you play it up, it really is just another line of text in a spell description.  Today I want to get a little vocal.

One of the players in my group is a spell caster at heart.  He handed me a piece of paper with something he had worked up that would make spells a little more distinctive.  This will allow the caster to actually sound like they are casting a spell with very little extra work and if you memorize this chart, then you are actually speaking the language of magic (it’s true I saw it on Wikicraft).

So look at each of the following descriptions for the spell you want to cast, level, school, the area type it affects, and range, and then string together the collected sounds and you are spellcasting.  Of course you can always change the vocal component to sound more like a language from your homebrew world.


0-      un

1-      dra

2-      fa

3-      cun

4-      du

5-      eir

6-      mei

7-      ta

8-      bre

9-      ort



Abjuration – boda

Conjuration – la-ein

Divination – celess

Enchantment – intovon

Evocation – carak

Illusion – freia

Necromancy – vlroon

Transmutation – mogri

Universal – dius


Effect Area Type

Personal – e’mari

Radiance – domus

Touch – car’vel

Ray – ra’us

Target – deba’shu

Line – be’rel

Cone – contu’la

Burst – ebalu

AoE (other) – ta’ori



Personal – ect

Close – dri

Medium – vos

Long – zik

Other – lan

You can see how simple it is to throw some spice into your spell.  Now you still have to say your casting magic missile, but if you say "dra carak deba'shu zik" it has more flash and helps for the players and the DM with the immersion process.  This may take a second or two extra but that is time well spent in my opinion.  I remember playing the Dragonlance modules when I was 13 and writing down what Raistlin said from the books for every one of the spells he cast.  Shirak!  Anyway now that I have shed some light on the subject and tossed out the idea what do you think?  Is this something you could find yourself using in your game for your characters or NPCs if you are running the game?  Feel free to leave a comment about this or other devices that have used to make your character stand apart from every other character of that type.  Until next time, Roll Hard!

Comments (5) Trackbacks (1)
  1. We had a caster in one group I was in that made up cute little rhymes. He’d have between two and six different ones for each spell, depending on circumstances.

    For ‘blink’, one of them was something like:

    “Neither god nor hero can see all behind the curtain,
    Velocity is zero, let position be uncertain.”

    Yes, he was a physics geek.

    • That’s very creative and entertaining. I came up with a rhyming healing spell for a padded weapons group, but they never responded to email so it was difficult finding out when they got together.

  2. I will never forget a line in the DMG of AD&D 1st edition (by Gygax himself)

    “Volt and Ampere, Watt and Ohm let this discharge find its home”

    while the proposed system is nice I would prefer something like the little rhyme by Gygax :)

  3. I prefer the rhymes or short summons/chants myself. One of my favourite forms, which I try not to break out too often is the recipe/grocery list format, where you start reciting instructions or ingredients to the spell.

    Though, I do tend to dip into other languages. Most of my elfs use irish gaelic for spells and mix a bit into their language in general.

  4. I think writing all the lists, one expression at a time, on color-coded index cards (Cut in half would do.), then sifting through them while waiting for my turn to cast a spell would be doable. The thing is, the rest of the group would be clueless without a chart containing all the info. If I recited the “magic” words, then said “I pray for Blade Barrier,” that takes away from the atmosphere. It would be useful anyway, for a transition period, as the group gets used to the new system.

    I’ll bring this up with my home group, this Sunday.

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