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p.178 of the Player's Handbook 3.5:

Arcane Magical Writings

To record an arcane spell in written form, a character uses a complex notation that describes the magical forces involved in the spell. The notation constitutes a universal arcane language that wizards have discovered, not invented.

Well. Who invented this universal arcane language?

Official answers, please. :)

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Is this maybe setting-specific? I don't know much about post-2e, but in different settings it might change, (e.g. the Dark Sun setting has different magic) –  Dakeyras Jan 28 '13 at 22:22
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Is there even a creator? Maybe magic in D&D is like Maxwell's equations in real life: discovered, universal, sans creator. –  okeefe Jan 28 '13 at 22:28
    
@Dakeyras It's not really setting-specific: it's a quote from the core D&D3.5 PHB that presents, afaik, a generic D&D setting that is based on, but is not exactly matching Greyhawk(?). –  OpaCitiZen Jan 28 '13 at 22:29
    
@OpaCitiZen Even if it's core, alternative settings might have alternative magic systems without the Universal Arcane Language –  Dakeyras Jan 28 '13 at 22:33
    
@Dakeyras: True. What I'm interested in here is the answer from and for this core setting, though. :) –  OpaCitiZen Jan 28 '13 at 22:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

"Discovered, not invented" is the 3e designers' way of saying "please don't think too hard about this: we're not going to explain it any more, and we really hope the debates that plagued AD&D will go away and not bother 3e."

Lots of design details in 3.x like this, that might not make sense at first, are simply attempts to handwave having to explain how something that has to work a certain way mechanically actually works fictionally. AD&D was full of such details, and players and DMs debated minute details of how spell components and wishes actually worked to the point where there were thousands of column-inches devoted to "solving" these holes, never to be successful. 3e attempted to break with that tradition by removing such lacunæ from the rules-fiction interface, by using fiat declarations like this. They are, in essence, signs that read "Nothing to see here, please move along."

Given that text like this is deliberately intended to avoid giving an official answer, you will have to be satisfied with ignoring it, or making up your own answers for your own group.

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