|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A standard naming convention for specialized magic- (or magic-equivalent-) users; they are referred to as somethingmancers, and their specialized form of magic is called somethingmancy. The something is usually the Greek word for the thing or some other acceptably important-sounding term for it. As an example, death mages are known throughout all of fiction as necromancers. This structure makes it quite easy to create names for branches of magic using just about anything you can think of. You use fire? You're a pyromancer. Water? Hydromancer. Ice and cold? Cryomancer. It's that simple.
A very pervasive trope, and old enough that it's very prone to being played with.
A notable variant is when people with Psychic Powers get classified by the suffixes "Kineticist" and "Kinesis". So a fiery psychic is a pyrokineticist/pyrokinetic, a water-controlling psychic is a hydrokinetic, a cold-manipulating psychic is a cryokinetic and so on with the endless possibilities of Greek and Pseudo Greek. Also if a work features a Fantastic Science, there's a good chance that it's going to have a similar naming scheme.
Technically, the -mancy and -kinesis suffixes are frequently misnomers (see the analysis tab for details).
See Necromancy for a common specific subtrope.
- 1 Whatevermancy
- 2 Whateverkinesis
- 3 Whateverjutsu
Anime and Manga
- In Popotan Ai uses Anthomancy: She divines by flowers, specifically dandelions.
- The light-hearted Stanley and His Monster series by DC Comics included a character who practiced "Jell-O-Mancy".
- Hellblazer does this a lot, usually with the title character.
- Kieron Gillen's Phonogram is centered around London's Britpop scenesters, who practice "phonomancy," or the application of music as magic.
- The Harry Potter books have Arithmancy, a class Hermione (and only Hermione) takes. This one is an accurate use of the suffix, though, as arithmancy is divination by numbers. Amusing when you consider that Hermione once stated that she considered divination to be very "woolly".
- Also, Legilimency and Occlumency, the arts of mind reading and blocking mind reading, respectively. Legilimency comes from Latin "legens" and "mens", which mean "reader" and "mind;" Occlumency, from "occlude," which means "conceal," and "mens." Or alternitavely, from "occulus" meaning "eye".
- Don Callandar's novels: Pyromancer, Aquamancer, Geomancer, and Aeromancer.
- William Gibson's iconic Cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. Actually a good use of the "mancer" suffix - a "Neuromancer" "divines information" with a "neural interface", albeit through the use of technology rather than magic. Also a pun, "New Romancer", connected to the New Romantic music genre of the '80s. Lampshaded by the titular AI in conversation with the protagonist.
- One of the Elric of Melnibone stories referred to Elric as a nigromancer, evidently meaning someone who uses black magic.
- The Mistborn trilogy features metal-fueled magic called allomancy, in which only four out of sixteen metals involves divination (the mythic atium that gives you a few seconds' sight into the future, its pair malatium that allows you to see glimpses of a person in their own past, gold which allows you to see a glimpse into your own past, and gold's alloy electrum which lets you see a few seconds into your own future and is largely useless except as a counter to atium). The similar magical system is called feruchemy, which is poorly named for the opposite reason - it is indeed a chemical magic, but only two of the sixteen metals contain iron. The blood-based magic, hemalurgy, is the only one with a truly appropriate name.
- The Dresden Files have a few; Pyromancy, Necromancy, Neuromancy, and the like. Joked about when Harry refers to wizard Peabody as a "Bureaucromancer." When he calls Mac "a master Beeromancer". He's not kidding, either. Queen Mab refers to mortal technology as "Ferromancy".
- T.A. Pratt's Marla Mason series has all kinds of sorcerers with different (and often bizarre) specialties depending on what they draw power from: pyromancers, aquamancers, geomancers, pharmacomancers, necromancers, biomancers, technomancers, sex magicians(who are jokingly referred to in the books as pornomancers), aviomancers, vermomancers(who have power over vermin like rats and roaches) nihilomancers(who can drive their enemies to suicide), herbomancers, mycomancers(who derive power from mushrooms of all things), and nearly every other kind of -mancer one could possibly imagine. Marla herself, an Anti-Heroine/very Dark Action Girl, refers to herself half-seriously as a "brute-force-o-mancer."
- And Another Thing introduces "Tyromancy", which uses cheese to predict the future.
- One of David Langford's spoof Occult Detective stories features a discussion of various methods of divination, each with a -mancy name. They get increasingly ridiculous, before ending with the art of predicting the future by doing absolutely nothing. Which is, of course, dormancy.
- Averted in the Nasuverse, where the general term for that thing magi do is "Thaumaturgy", or miracle working (derived from an eponymous Real Life term). As the name implies, the aim of Thaumaturgy is to replicate or reproduce "miracles" or "true magic".
- In The Magicians, when Quentin finds his Discipline is unclassifiable, he says of himself "I'm a nothingmancer. I'm a squatmancer."
- Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds has "Tectomancers", who have mental control over the borders between the different technology levels. This is presumably derived from tectonic plates. However, "tekton" is Greek for "builder" (tectonic plates are the plates from which the Earth is built), so Tectomancy may mean ... something different from what the author intended.
- In the "Divination" episode of QI, the four contestants were invited to predict their scores by various methods of divination. Alan Davies was invited to use Pygomancy. Alan got the last laugh, however, by 'vanishing' from the set (he wanted to watch his football team, Arsenal, play in the finals). It was the only episode of QI in which he was not a panelist.
Alan: Well, you did say, "Divination, my arse," and all.
- Exalted has Necromancy (the dark magic of the Underworld, power of and over the dead), and Oneiromancy (power of dreams and over Wyld), although the latter is almost exclusively practiced by the Fair Folk.
- Dungeons and Dragons only uses the -mancer suffix for Necromancers, using more unique names for the other schools of magic.
- One exception is the NPC class Oracle, introduced in one issue of Dragon magazine. The class is a diviner with 26 different divining abilities, all pertaining to a different thing, and each ending with -mancy. However, this one is actually an appropriate use of the term -mancy, as the Oracle is a diviner.
- Actually, some of the subclasses (Kits in 2nd edition, Prestige Classes in 3rd) used class names ending in -mancer.
- Also, the Diplomancer, the slang term for a build with such high Diplomacy skill that a roll of the dice would turn enemies into fanatical servants.
- Unknown Armies uses this heavily. Every magic school is some kind of "-mancy." Examples include the entropomancer (who powers up through risking her own life), dipsomancer (power from alcohol), bibliomancer (power from acquiring rare books), and many others.
- However, calling everything _____mancy is mentioned as a modern fashion. The name "Urbanmancy" is an example of this, with the book stating that if mages cared about language it would be called "Polisurgy". Earlier schools of magic were generally named things like The Way Of The Cogs, or The Way Of All Freedom.
- One notable fan-made school of magick from the website is "Tropamancy". Yup. Inspired by this very wiki.
- Rifts has nicknames for various specialist psionicist classes with "fun" alternates. Pyrokinetic=Burster, Brontokinetic/electrokinetic=Zapper. Not one but TWO Necromancer classes. One from Africa, and a Russian alternate known as a Bone Wizard. Necromancers can learn bone magic spells and vice-versa though. There is also the Techno-Wizard, the Fire Sorcerer, the stone magic-using Stone Master, and the Nega-Psychic, who nullifies or negates magical effects and psychic abilities.
- FATAL has a total of '30' whatevermancy skills, ranging from gleaning information off of staring at the clouds to telling the future from someone's droppings (of course).
- Magic: The Gathering is full of mancers, and while they do have their share of future-seeing mancers, most mancers use the "control whatever it is" version 'cause it's more fun (some, like Retromancer or Anathemancer, are a little shaky on even what their prefix means). Matt Cavotta gives us the scoop on Magic's 'mancers here.
- In the New World of Darkness, changelings have oneiromancy as the art of entering and manipulating dreams (as opposed to interpreting them to tell the future) and mages have geomancy as the art of manipulating the local landscape to redirect ley lines to alter local auras (as opposed to divining using the landscape).
- In the Old World of Darkness's Vampire: The Masquerade, some vampire clans can learn Necromancy, which combines the historical divination aspect with the more modern pop culture raising zombies aspect. Also, Clan Tremere could learn the Path of Technomancy.
- The clanbook for the Mekhet in Vampire: The Requiem uses it correctly, however, outlining various methods of divination with "-mancy" as a suffix. This makes sense, as the Mekhet are the clan with the Discipline of Auspex and heavy occult trappings.
- The Ogre Kingdoms of Warhammer have Gut Magic, AKA "Gastromancy".
- Mage Knight miniatures had Technomancers, wizards who made mechanical golems and such, powered by a special mineral called Magestone. Death mages were also called Necromancers, and the 'Necromancy' ability specifically referred to returning a dead creature to play (especially a Zombie or Skeleton creature). Averted with their opposites, the Elementalists (who used the 'elements of nature' rather than the four classical elements). Oddly, the only actual Oracles in the game didn't have a specific -mancy.
- Shadowrun does this a lot, with technomancy (the magical manipulation of the Internet) and cybermancy (the practice of keeping someone alive with magic long after the cyberware has had its fill) to name a few.
- Talislanta uses this trope with Cartomancy, Cryptomancy, Crystalomancy and Necromancy, although all of these do include some divinatory effects. It averts it with its other Orders of magic, such as Mysticism or Invocation.
- Averted in GURPS. All of the various "mancy" spells are just different ways of using Divination. With the exception of Necromancy.
- The Technomancer setting, obviously, has Technomancy, which is the local name for Magitek.
- In Ever Quest wizards get 3 Alternate advancement abilities called Pyromancy, Cyromancy, and Acromancy that cause additional damage and resist debuff to Fire, Cold, and Magic respectively.
- In the Dresden Files RPG, one of the available templates for your character is a "Focused Practicioner" - apparently they were called that instead of Prefixmancers because it's easier to pronounce.
- Harry in the sidenotes jokes about Geekomancy. Examples have Chronomancers and such... and in the sample setting we got a honest-to-goodness Caffeinomancer (coffee themed potion specialist)!
- Legend of the Five Rings doesn't specifically use the -mancy/-mancer suffixes for its magic-users, but could justifiably do so: rather than directly creating the effects, the Shugenja talks to the relevant spirits (fire/water/earth/whatever) and asks them to (cause a fireball/heal someone/strengthen a weapon/summon Captain Planet).
== Western Animation ==:
- One episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy had the trio face off against a nasal-mancer, or nose wizard, who was using an enchanted scent to lure all the noses of the city, Billy's included, to the shopping mall where he resided so he could replace his lost nose.
- EYE Divine Cybermancy has "Cybermancy" (Hackers with psi abilities) and "Necrocybermancy", which is the process of installing cybernetic implants, similar to fantasy necromancy; The patient dies, is cybernetically modified, and gets his spirit called back into the body.
- Some Final Fantasy games have character classes that use this. Most spellcasters are referred to as Mages (White, Black, or otherwise,) but the Geomancer is a recurring character class whose powers are drawn from the terrain type the party is fighting on. (likely a direct result of Feng Shui User just not sounding cool in English)
- The Necromancer class was added to the Game Boy Advance remake of Final Fantasy V.
- The Game Boy Advance remake of Final Fantasy VI names Relm's class as "Pictomancer", because her magic comes from painting pictures.
- Averted in Final Fantasy XIV, where one of the two mage classes is called "Thaumaturge".
- RuneScape has the Culinaromancer, an Evil Chef mage, And Oneiromancy which is "dream magic". As it is a fantasy MMORPG, necromancy is naturally present as well. There is also a Dishing Out Dirt hobgoblin geomancer, and a literal Badass Bookworm "Liberomancer", Lexicus Runewright. At one point, a wizard known to possess magical beads even reveals that he is working on developing a type of magic called beadromancy.
- Played with by - what else? - Kingdom of Loathing, with the Pastamancer, who controls noodles, and can also summon the undead... through summoning noodly bodies.
- Actually used properly in Silent Hill when Dahlia mentions an event being "foretold by gyromancy". However, it leads to some heavy Narm when you learn what gyromancy is... According to The Other Wiki, gyromancy entails either spinning inside, or walking the circumference of, a circle drawn on the ground, with letters marking the rim, and the divination comes from when the spinner/walker stumbles over a letter. Repeat ad nauseum until a coherent sentence is formed.
- The Necromancer, Serpent Clan's most powerful unit, from Battle Realms.
- Combined with Fire, Ice, Lightning in Devil May Cry 2, resulting in Pyromancers, Auromancers, and Brontomancers.
- Adventure Quest and it's spinoffs Dragon Fable and Adventure Quest Worlds love this trope. Necromancers, pyromancers, technomancers, dracomancers, etc. It's probably only a matter of time before baconmancers start showing up in Dragon Fable.
- The Flash RPG MARDEK has necromancy, pyromancy, aeromancy, elemancy (which uses all four natural elements), and one character even claims to be an equillibriumancer.
- In said game's universe (a rather extensive one, with multiple inhabited planets of various levels of technological development), an equilibriumancer is one who uses the two moral elements, or Light and Dark. Sounds fitting with the balance, doesn't it?
- Mages in Lusternia subscribe to this naming philosophy: there are Pyromancers, Aquamancers, Aeromancers and Geomancers. (Interestingly, the conflict setup is Pyromancy V Aeromancy / Aquamancy V Geomancy, and is based on philosophy rather than Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.)
- Warcraft III throws out centaur pyromancers, geomancers, and more.
- The Mortal Kombat series has a resident necromancer and cryomancer in the form of the evil sorcerer Quan Chi and Lin Kuei assassin Sub-Zero respectively.
- Applied liberally to Erfworld, with the usual half-cutesy twists added. Here, the "death" mages are called Croakamancers, the illusion-casters are called Foolamancers, and the earth-specialist is a Dirtamancer. Every school of magic (except for a few, like Hat Magic) bears the Mancy suffix, and we get stuff like Hippymancy, Lookamancy, Luckamancy, etc. Dirtamancers do move earth, but they can also use... night soil.
- Dominic Deegan gives us Infernomancers (guys who got their powers from the demons of Hell), in addition to Necromancers. Interestingly, we get a quick peek at the first necromancer (Rilian), while he's trying to come up with a name for it. Other names in the running were "Necromagica," "Ghost in the Spell", "Rilianmancy" and "Kill-You-Dead".
- Technomancy in Harkovast.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal shows us that it at least knows something about this trope.
- Aubrey, in the January 9, 2002 strip of Something Positive, refers to using sex appeal to get into a club without paying a cover charge as "Vaginamancy".
- Rubbermancy in the S&M themed Collar 6
All The Tropes
- Tropes that use this form:
- Horoscopes for obvious reasons. "Horomancy" if you will. More acurately "Astromancy" or Astrology.
- Bibliomancy is divination from The Bible.
- Geomancy is the western word for Feng Shui.
- I Ching divination is a form of chartomancy.
- Chiromancy is another word for palm-reading.
- Oneiromancy is divination via dreams.
- Fortune Cookies are a form of aleuromancy.
- Infamous crystal ball gazing is also known as gastromancy.
- Tasseomancy is divination via tea leaves.
- Also, proper usage makes us all Technomancers
- Tyromancy is honestly the divination of the future by using cheese.
- Oinomancy is a form of divination conducted by examining patterns in wine
- Hepatomancy is the ancient art of divination by examining the entrails of animal sacrifices.
- Justice League had at least one instance of "ferro-kenesis."
- This is the stated powerset of Iron Butterfly of Shadow Cabinet.
- Superboy has "tactile telekinesis" which therefore really isn't telekinesis at all.
- Justified in that it's only early on that it's purely touch-based. He simply left Cadmus before they could teach him how to use his powers, and so it took a lot longer to gain any kind of ranged ability. It never manages to extend far outside his body, though.
- Subverted in Hellboy. Liz notes that her powers could be described as 'pyrokinesis', but she doesn't like the term.
- Pyrokenesis is a major plot point in Christopher Pike's aply-titled Magic Fire.
- In Misfits, one guy dubs his ability to manipulate dairy products "lactokinesis".
- D&D psionics seem to avoid the trope altogether, except for the fire-wielding Pyrokineticist prestige class, which suggests variants for the various energy types, like a Cryokineticist that wields cold (who actually shows up in the Frostburn book)
- The powers granted by pins in The World Ends With You are Psychic Powers, only some of which use the -kinesis form.
- As are a number of the psychic powers available in Psychonauts
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Madras, who could telekinetically control fabric, called his power "Fasmokinesis", bastardizing "yfasma", the Greek word for "cloth". Also, there was hydrokinesis, pyrokinesis, and many others.
- Naruto the Abriged Series does this, especially for an Ass Pull or Played for Laughs
- As mentioned above, both terms come from Real Life usage, and the various forms of -kinesis are still used widely today.
- Cytokinesis is happens when cell divide during mitosis, but is a process from mitosis.
Anime and Manga
- Toshiko Tatsuno of Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru practices meidojutsu, described as the art of "luring men with the illusion of gentleness, and taking their money".
- Naruto has three main schools of ninja techniques. Ninjutsu (which is basically magic that has some form of substance, like spitting fireballs or manipulating water), Genjutsu (Illusion-casting) and Taijutsu (Martial arts). Many individual ninja moves carry the name [X] no Jutsu, which roughly translates into "Art of the [X]" or "[X] Technique".
- Ninjas in Empowered's world can learn all kinds of cool magic, like kyonyujutsu (fake boobery magic), sosuijutsu (fast/quick/early to be drunk magic), sekushi nyanko "Monroe walk" jutsu (sexy cat "Monroe walk" magic), and more.
- If Hawk trains as a Ninja in Seiken Densetsu 3, he learns 4 Jutsu attacks corresponding to the elements: Water Jutsu, Earth Jutsu, Thunder Jutsu, and Fire Jutsu.
- In real life it's an alternative, and not much used nowadays, term for numerology.