[Runequest] The language of sorcery?

royce at efn.org royce at efn.org
Wed Aug 10 11:54:57 EST 2011

Hi, Guys,
   What is the language of sorcery?  Or, am I wrong in assuming that
sorcery is written and cast in a mode that we would call language? 
(That'd be hard to explain.)
   In a Fantasy Medieval Europe settings, what would be the historically
logical linguistic choices for sorcery?  I had a few ideas, mentioned
below, but I'd be more interested in your opinions -- especially where
they disagree with my superficial notions.

A few superficial notions:
   One could argue that sorcery is handed down from the Babylonians and
Egyptians, and is therefore recorded in one or both of these
pre-classical tongues.  Or one could argue that the classical Greeks
would've been the ones to systematize sorcery; presumably through the
Library of Alexandria.  And there is Latin, which was the language of
the Empire, and then of the Church.
   Further, if one were to assume that the Church worships the Greco-Roman
pantheon (with a dozen altars in every Church), then Latin and Greek
would be the languages of Church divine magic, as well.

   Anyways, all thoughts are welcome.

P.S.  It just now occurred to me that a GM could go in plenty of other
interesting directions.  Perhaps sorcery could be written in a language
from fabled Atlantis -- or even from Neanderthals.  Talk about a dead

P.P.S.  By the way, did the description of orcs in RQ III (AH edition)
remind you more of extinct hominids than of Tolkien?  Just a thought.

P.P.P.S.  Not that anybody really cares, but I decided to simplify my RQ
sorcery rules by eliminating the manipulation skills and simply limiting
the magic points that can be allocated to manipulating a spell (intensity,
duration, & range) to 20% of the spell skill level.  In other words, if my
wizard has 53% in Erectile Enhancement, then he can spend up to 10.6, or
11 magic points to manipulate the spell.  He rolls to cast the spell, but
need not make a roll to manipulate the spell.  Sound practical?

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