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A Neural Net Created a Bonkers List of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Spell Names

A Neural Net Created a Bonkers List of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Spell Names

It’s hour seven of your weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and you’re deep in a haunted goblin forest, surrounded by face-eating wolves who want to eat your stinking sacks of lard bread (and faces). Then suddenly, a White Moon Demon rises from the ground and you go to cast a spell!: Mind Blark! Or how about Hold Mouse! Maybe a quick Finger of Enftebtemang? OK, well, they may not sound like the most most menacing spells ever, but they were created by a neural network, so… +1 to artificial intelligence?

These whacky, yet oddly game-suitable spell names are the result of electrical engineer and research scientist Janelle Shane’s side project training open-source neural networks with random datasets. In her spare time, Shane, who’s “a research scientist in industry,” has been training neural networks to generate variations on themes, with datasets including everything from Pokémon names and abilities (Tortabool can Healy Stream), to pick-up lines (“You must be a tringle? Cause you’re the only thing here.”).

Shane told Slate that thanks to a suggestion from one of her blog readers, this time around she fed a list of 365 Dungeons & Dragons spell names to a neural net. Shane used the 365-spell dataset to train the neural net to be able to predict the next letter in a phrase, but she noted that “in almost no time at all, it learned to reproduce the original input data verbatim, in order.” But by setting the “‘temperature'” flag to high — telling the neural net not to go with its best guess for the next character in a phrase — Shane says she was able to get it to make spelling errors, and then have it try to correct those spelling errors with clearly hilarious results.

Here is the complete list of Shane’s D&D spell names created by a neural net:

  • Moss Healing Word
  • Hold Mouse
  • Barking Sphere
  • Heat on Farm
  • True Steake
  • Finger of Enftebtemang
  • Fomend’s Beating Sphere
  • Purping Lightsin
  • Farming
  • Wrathful Hound
  • Q’s Invisibility
  • Cow of Auraly
  • Mind Blark
  • Stone Share
  • Puijune Magic Furs
  • Grove of Plants
  • Conjure Velemert
  • Vicious Markers
  • End Wall
  • Mous of Farts
  • Cursing
  • Gland Growth

Slate notes that even though these names are totally nuts, they do still seem to line up with Gary Gygax’s (the game’s co-creator) method of naming, which was often whimsical and goofy. Plus, this means that machines may already have more imagination than we give them credit for:


What do you think about these neural net-imagined D&D spell names? Cast a thought of comments below!

Images: Flickr / rui barros 

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