AGNES: Tilly, shoot them with a magic missile.
TILLY: I can’t.
AGNES: What do you mean you can’t?
TILLY: I forgot the spell.
AGNES: What do you mean you forgot the spell?
TILLY: It’s a thing. It’s not going to help us.
RHIALTO THE MARVELLOUS, book IV of Jack Vance’s influential fantasy series DYING EARTH.
Click the above image of RHIALTO THE MARVELLOUS to read an informative blog post from The Evil GM on Jack Vance’s influence on D&D’s magic system (Vancian magic.) The basic theory behind this is that a wizard’s spells are so complex (s)he can only keep them in his/her memory until (s)he uses them, after which the spells are completely forgotten and must be re-learned. It is, indeed, a thing.
Also, the song “The Dying Earth” by the band “Wizard Eye.” Also a thing.
The last two days of rehearsal our actors have been exploring the four arcane elements with fight director Robert Najarian. After experiencing the raw elements in their bodies, the actors began to imagine the elements in combination with each other. Here’s a compilation of clips from one of my older brother’s favorite video games, Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber. The spellcasters in the back each cast a raw element spell with earth, fire, lightning/air, water, holy and dark. When you put two spellcasters with different elements next to each other, they can combine their magic to create an even bigger spell.