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Old 08-07-2015, 12:23 PM   #1
Phantasm
 
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Default [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

Let me describe the terms I've been using in my setting since before Thaumatology was released:

"Mage" and "magician" are synonymous (in fact, "mage" is just shorthand for "magician"), and are anyone with a Magery advantage and/or performs what I've called "arcane" magic - the standard magic system; what the Basic Set, Magic, and Thaumatology call Ritual Magic; Syntactic magic; Path/Book magic; Ritual Path Magic, etc.

"Wizard" is a mage who uses the standard Magic magic system or one of its close variants.

"Sorcerer" is someone who uses Path/Book magic. In fact, I've even gone ahead and renamed "Magery (Path/Book)" to "Sorcery" in the setting document to avoid confusion. Before Thaumatology was released, sorcerers used Ritual Magic, but that didn't quite fit how I envisioned it working; Path/Book fit it to a T. I'm also going to toss in a sidebox for sorcerers to use Ritual Path Magic, though that doesn't quite fit the way I want it to work outside of a single Book, as I use Effect Shaping rather than Energy Accumulation.

("Priest" and "cleric" are pretty synonymous for the clergy, though in the document I've been using "priest" for everyone in the priesthood and "cleric" for those in the priesthood blessed with spells or powers - in fact, the higher up you are in the Church hierarchy, the less likely you are to have spells, being political appointments. I also use "cleric" for those outside the Church hierarchy who the gods have blessed with spells - the gods have their agendas separate from the Churches', after all.)

And now... there's Thaumatology: Sorcery (and even before that with the Pyramid article), which is a good fit for my setting's wizards, but not my setting's sorcerers. Terms are getting confused, since what my setting calls "Sorcery" is not PK's Sorcery! Players are getting confused as they think I'm talking about PK's Sorcery when I'm talking Path/Book; my use of the term in the setting document predates the Pyramid article - and even Thaumatology - by a few years.

Seriously, I'm running out of terms to use.

So, could people toss out some other names that I could use for my Sorcery to help avoid this confusion?
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Last edited by Phantasm; 08-07-2015 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

I refer to sanctity-based casters as "Holy Men/Women" or "Theurges when they aren't actually priests. As for a name for path/book...well witchcraft comes to mind.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

Looking through the sidebar in Thuamatology, I come across warlock, witch, and conjuror. You could also use thaumaturge/thaumaturgist. There's also goety (goetist? goetician?) and theurge, though those terms have a more moral component and might be better used for religious magic.
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

I believe the root for goetia is goes, pronounced go-ace in the original Greek or go-ease in the Received Pronunciation. The "moral" aspect of it has to do with reliance on illusion and deception; originally a goes was the opposite of a magos (mage), who dealt in true power.

Thaumaturge is a good word; etymologically it means wonder-worker. I tend to think of it as suitable for people whose magic is the focusing of an inborn power.

Necromancer is sometimes used for magic generally, but it tends to connote "black magic" or the idea that all magic is black.

One of my sourcebooks for Worminghall said that the medievals referred to magic as "the exceptive arts," so you might try "exceptivist," though the word is totally unfamiliar.

If you want to emphasize secrecy, you could say occultist, or esotericist, or arcanist, or mysterian.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

I tend to differentiate between Arcane and Divine spell casters as well as a few misc titles. The titles are as follows with a quick explanation behind each. Of course there is some overlap with other suggestions, but these are just my interpretation of these titles that I've come up with over the years.

►►Arcane:
Spoiler:  


►►Divine:
Spoiler:  


►►Other:
Spoiler:  


The majority of these titles simply tell where the magic users are currently situated rather than what type of magic they utilize. Though this can always change easily. I just hope they'll help others in finding a few nice names/titles.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

For Ritual Magic, I'd go with calling it Witchcraft and practitioners Witches (and maybe Warlocks.) That should keep it distinct from your old school GURPS Magic wizards. So that suggests your magic users break out as follows:

Arcane Magic Users

All: Referred to as Mages or Magicians

Wizardry: Based on standard GURPS Magic, spells as skills.

Witchcraft: Ritual Path/Book Magic

Possibly adding in Sorcery using the new GURPS Powers supplement? I'm not clear whether or not you want to do that.

Divine Magic Users

All: Theurgists (esoteric, but I'm trying to come up with something generic and separate from specific type.)

Formally trained, in the hierarchy: Clerics sounds right - the word implies formal rules and scholarship. It's not clear what you use here - Power Investiture? If you're fond of the Rolemaster terminology you could also call it Channeling.

Gifted: I liked the suggestion of Thaumaturge. Mystic might work as well. I would assume Divine Favor or simply Powers. People might be uneasy with these magic users - saints tend to live short lives and end in messy deaths.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:08 PM   #7
simply Nathan
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
(in fact, "mage" is just shorthand for "magician")
Actually, they have common roots but the former variant is not a shorthand or abbreviation for the latter.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #8
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: [Fantasy] Mages, Wizards, Sorcerers, and other Magical Nomenclature Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
Actually, they have common roots but the former variant is not a shorthand or abbreviation for the latter.
I meant in the setting, not in RL. My bad.
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