Higgs Bozon particle, Enstein-Rozen bridge, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Halley’s comet… when a significant discovery is made, it is often named after the person or persons who made the discovery. Wouldn’t the development of a new spell be accompanied by the same honor?
Leomund, Tensor, Mordenkainen — just to mention a few — are forever immortalized by the spells bearing their names. I would envision a world where most spells carry with them the name of the wizard who developed these spells. Further, I imagine that all wizards strive to improve upon existing spells. Dave’s Fireball was improved upon by Steve’s Stupendous Fireball, that was later altered to become Ricardo’s Dazzling Fireball. Each is slightly (or substantially) different than the next.
I’ve always wanted to create a few hundred deviations of existing spells, touting the names of powerful wizards. I’ve never found the time, as there has always been other projects that seemed more pressing. Sadly, I probably will never get around to it. But I think it would be a lot of fun and add some depth to the spell system. After all, isn’t Leomund’s Tiny Hut more evocative than Tiny Hut? Doesn’t it make you wonder who Leomund was?
Years ago, I read a post by a man who ran games for his children. He did something very similar. I wish I could cite the source so you could read the full article.
Each of his children’s wizards received a Magic Missile spell. But each spell was named something entirely different. His daughter’s spell would create a number of sparkling stars that would fly unerringly towards their target. His son’s wizard would create a number of glowing pixies that would shoot their bows at the designated targets. Another child’s wizard would simply point at the targets and make pew pew sounds and shots would shoot forth from his fingertips.
The stats for each of the spells were identical, but the names of the spells, and their visual effects, were vastly different.
I hope someone runs with this idea. If you do, please come back and tell us how it worked out. I suspect players will really enjoy it.