So I was watching a crime drama where one cop shot off his gun in the car, nearly deafening the driver. It got me to thinking - Does a fireball make a sound? I mean, it’s an explosion of fire, right? So how loud is that? What about other spells? Webs? Magic bolts? Do lightning bolts carry thunder behind them?
If spells are hugely loud, like gun shots, then they would warn others in the area about the battles. If not, then mages can be quieter killers than guys in metal armor, and that doesn’t seem right. Spell casters need to voice their spells, and in Legend Quest, spell singers actually increase range by increasing the sound of their voices. Even if the spell itself doesn’t make noise, the spell caster probably does. I think most of us include that in our games (hearing the sounds of spell casters chanting), but I don’t think we factor in the sound of the spells themselves. As with so many of my posts, I think the answer is that it depends on your game, your rules, and your players. For me, I’m still thinking. You know - wouldn’t a fireball and a lightning bolt have a distinct smell too? Man, this gets complicated.