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Terminology Check: Mana

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Brykovian
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A quick little poll, just for a frame of reference ...

What do you think of when you hear the term "Mana"?

Do you think "bread from heaven" ... or "magical power" ... or something else?

-Bryk

prophx
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Terminology Check: Mana

When I hear Mana I think bread from heaven, but when I read it I see that it only has one 'n' and know that that's not it.

zaiga
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Terminology Check: Mana

I used to play Magic: the Gathering, so.... "magical power"

- René Wiersma

OrlandoPat
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Magic, definitely magic

I'll second that answer.

I've seen it used in a lot of fantasy books and games. I think Ars Magica used it as well as MTG. "Mana" (not Manna) refers to magic energy. For example, casting a spell requires a certain amount of Mana. In MTG of course, the land cards produced mana that fuel the spells.

phpbbadmin
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Re: Terminology Check: Mana

Brykovian wrote:
A quick little poll, just for a frame of reference ...

What do you think of when you hear the term "Mana"?

Do you think "bread from heaven" ... or "magical power" ... or something else?

-Bryk

For me, it depends upon context. If it's among people at church, it'd have to be the bread from heaven. Among other gamers, I think of the magic: the gathering variety.

If it was while playing a Christian based game, I'd still think bread from heaven.

-Darke

Brykovian
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Terminology Check: Mana

Thanks, folks ... you've confirmed what I thought ...

I'm working on a new design about sorcerors vying for magical control of a small island. When I started explaining the thing to my wife, I noticed her get a strange look on her face whenever I talked about the sorcerors using "mana" ... eventually, she explained that whenever she hears the term, she thinks of little chunks of bread. (She's not much of a gamer.)

So, you can imaging her thoughts when I explained a move in the game that is called "Manastorm" (and also the working title of the game as well) ... :? ;)

-Bryk

sedjtroll
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Terminology Check: Mana

Brykovian wrote:

So, you can imaging her thoughts when I explained a move in the game that is called "Manastorm"

I dunno, maybe you could make a good game out of people throwing bread at each other.

- Seth

Hamumu
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Terminology Check: Mana

Well, since manna is bread falling from heaven, you've got an even more interesting situation than flinging bread at people... just imagine, a map of ancient Jerusalem, and you move your people around trying to avoid the giant hunks of stale french bread falling from the sky (could even have shadow tiles you lay down to indicate where the bread will fall soon! Gradually replace with bigger and bigger shadows...). Keep your people alive the longest, and if they find the French Onion Soup, they can go to the already-fallen bread chunks to rip off a chunk, dip it in their soup, and pick up sustenance to move out of the next wave of falling bread more easily! I don't know, maybe a little too sacrilegious for the Bible Belt crowd.

But if you insist on making a game about casting spells, I think Manastorm is very good. Anybody geeky enough to play a game full of wizards has the magical connotation ingrained in their brains since childhood.

Brykovian
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Terminology Check: Mana

Hamumu wrote:
But if you insist on making a game about casting spells, I think Manastorm is very good. Anybody geeky enough to play a game full of wizards has the magical connotation ingrained in their brains since childhood.

It's not so much about casting spells as about spreading/maintaining control over an area. Once I've tweaked a few more things, I'll post the rules.

Thanks for the feedback ... and the, um, interesting game variant. ;)

-Bryk

FastLearner
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Terminology Check: Mana

Hilarious, Hamumu! And I really dig the spreading shadow thing, very cool execution of that idea.

Mana, btw, is a Polynesian word, with a m-w definition of "the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person."

Manna, with two Ns, is the stuff from the Bible. From Exodus, if I remember correctly. It's also at least 3 other things, including a plant laxative and stuff that insects secrete.

-- Matthew

Brykovian
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Terminology Check: Mana

FastLearner wrote:
It's also at least 3 other things, including a plant laxative and stuff that insects secrete.

That's it! I'm changing the theme of the game to somehow include plant laxatives! (makes the food-fighting theme seem pretty innocent, eh?)

-Bryk

Anonymous
Terminology Check: Mana

[Note: this is off topic]

Hamumu wrote:
Well, since manna is bread falling from heaven ...

It's interesting how people refer to "manna" as "bread". The Hebrews had no word to describe what was falling from heaven so they called it "what is it?" Which is more accurate interpretation. The only thing that we know about "manna" is that it was edible, provided some form of nutrients and spoiled overnight. [On the topic of board games ... those attributes might make for an interesting resource that could never be horded.]

It's very similar to how many people refer to Eve eating an apple in the Garden of Eden. She probably did eat an ancestor of the apple, but the fruit that made her realize she was naked is only referred to as "fruit from the Tree of Life".

- Jonathan

Scurra
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Terminology Check: Mana

I'd pronounce them slightly differently too, so I never had that problem. And since I rarely encountered the words out of context, the fact that most Magic players said "manna" didn;t confuse me.

"Mana" would have a longer "ah" sound at the beginning.
"Manna" would have a shorter "a" sound at the beginning.

But "mana" is a well-accepted term for sources of magical energy. So I'd carry on using it unless you can come up with another term.

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