However, if you want to make your magic user truly unique, try describing what these components look like to your fellow party members.
|"What did you cast?" What does it LOOK like I cast?|
Develop Your Spellcasting Style
If you were playing a martial character, you'd ask yourself certain questions. Questions like:
- What is my weapon of choice?
- Who taught me to fight?
- How long have I been doing this?
- Do I use a particular fighting style, or did I make up my own?
Just because your weapon of choice happens to be the primal forces of the elements, or psychic attacks on the free will of your enemies, that's no reason you can't go through the same steps.
|That isn't how wizard's duels work!|
For example, say you're playing a wizard in Pathfinder. You've examined the prominent wizard colleges in Golarion, and you decide your character graduated from the abjuration program in Nex. So, you have an established school, with a long history of both powerful tradition and innovation in the magical arts. Your instructor was a pragmatist, who often tested your reaction times by flinging objects at you, and then when you were more established, throwing magic at you without warning. You were average in power, but developed a unique flair for deflecting elemental spells. Because you were used to reacting quickly, your somatic components are short, sharp gestures instead of wide, sweeping ones.
Alternatively, say you were a conjurer who graduated from the arcane college in Korvosa. An arrogant caster, your imp familiar is imperious and impatient, a tiny reflection on your soul. A master linguist, you make sure to always use the correct language of the plane you're summoning your creatures from. Infernal for devils, celestial for heavenly beings, and abyssal for when you need a slavering demon horde to come to your aid. Perhaps your imp intones the spells simultaneously, adding an echoing resonance to the magic as you connect a space on the material plane to the far reaches of the ether where you are calling forth minions from.
Stand Out From The Other Casters
There are so many different flavors you can add to your magic. If you want to make your next experience unique, or just jazz up your current one, you might consider using some of these spices.
- Language: The language you use for different spells can make a big difference. You could also use language as a way to reflect certain metamagic feats. For example, you might speak your incantations in Ignan in order to let loose with a maximized burning hands.
- Directing The Magic: When you move your hands, what are you doing? Do you mimic the motions of the spell, or do you simply direct it as if you were practicing a more martial art form? When you cast Black Tentacles, do you jam your fingers upward, mimicking the motion of the conjured tendrils? When the cinder flies from your finger when you cast Fireball, do you open your hand violently to trigger the detonation? Or are your motions more like a kata, using your entire body to summon, control, and direct your spells?
- Special Effects: A spellcaster's power comes in a variety of different flavors, and that can add some tell-tale signs that power is about to be unleashed. For example, if your magic user has arcane tattoos, or a divine birthmark, do they glow when she casts spells? Does the air stir around the sorcerer as he unleashes bolts of raw power? Do a warlock's features distort, taking on a cast similar to her heritage when she calls upon the dark power of her pact?
These are just a few ways you can stand apart from other spellcasters when it comes time to showcase a unique art. Everything from casters who speak their spells in rhyme, to those who incorporate their motions into an interpretive dance, are an option. So, if you want your casters to stand out, give us more than a twist-and-flick when it comes time to make your magic.
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