A Neural Network Invents D&D Spells, and Decides “Dave” Is the Most Magical Name Of All

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Research scientist Janelle Shane, whose wonderful neural networks we’ve covered before, has turned her experiments from guinea pig names to D&D spells – and the results are just as entertaining.

She first ran a dataset of 365 examples, and the results weren’t particularly useful or amusing. However, one of her readers – Jo Scott – helped her out by compiling all 1,300 spells from the 4th edition. “Using the new dataset,” Shane explained, “I was able to train a much better-performing neural network. It simply had many more examples of spells to work with; that is, more examples of the words and letter combinations that appear in D&D spells, and thus was able to deduce better rules about how to create them.”

“Even this more-sophisticated neural network is not without some oddities,” Shane continues. “For example, you’ll notice in the results below that it seems to have a particular fondness for bears. And it has invented the name ‘Dave’ which is now, for some reason, its favorite.”

I leave you now with just a few of the wonderful Dungeons & Dragons spells generated by the latest neural network. For the full list of results, including all the Daves, check out Shane’s Lewis & Quark blog.

  • Crackling claus
  • Tidal treket
  • Wall of Storm
  • Grasping Mane
  • Tweel Strike
  • Trickstrak empester
  • Phantasmal assault
  • Bund Wind
  • Dance of Sack
  • Poxsare
  • Dumination
  • Storm of the gifling
  • Chorus of the dave
  • Song of the doom goom
  • Death’s Death’s Proud Bear
  • Shield of Farts
  • Ward of Snade the Pood Beast
  • Summon Storm Bear
  • Divine Boom
  • Song of blord
  • Spirit Boating
  • Treeking of Star
  • Primal Prayer Bear
  • War Cape
  • Gate Sail
  • Chilled arrow
  • Charm of the cods
  • Curse Clam
  • Cursing wink
  • Conjure Mare
  • Healing of Bat
  • Mordenkainen’s lucubrabibiboricic angion

Tag yourselves, I’m Curse Clam.

Next up, Shane hopes to use her neural network to generate Dungeons & Dragons character names. You can help her with this new project by entering your D&D character’s name, race, and class via this form. As with the spells, the more data she has on hand, the better the results will be – so let’s help her out!

(Via Lewis and Quark; image via Wizards of the Coast, LLC)

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