Today's symbol isn't something written... it's a hand gesture that goes by many names around the world. I first encountered it as the "fig" (Italian fico, Latin ficus) gesture, that came from ancient Greece as a sign of fertility, but has now bifurcated into either a sign of good luck and/or an obscene gesture. (With the issue of fertility, one can easily see how that bifurcation happens...) Towards Eastern Europe it's called Dulya and is used to ward off the evil eye.
|In America, though, I've got your nose!|
In role-playing games, I think there are a few areas in which it would be interesting to include an arcane symbology of hand-gestures...
- Thieves Cant: Instead of having roguish scoundrels develop a spoken language of their own, it may make more sense for them to use a SILENT system of sign language. Some players and GMs may feel the need to develop its basic details, but at minimum one can just keep track of proficiency using the thief's experience level.
- Wizard/Cleric Spell Casting: This is the infamous "somatic component" that never seems to get as much discussion as the verbal or material components. There are all sorts of ways one can go with this... Maybe great precision is needed, such that if the caster is distracted or fatigued, the wrong stroke of the finger could cause a disastrous mishap. Maybe, like in the Harry Potter universe, a sufficiently advanced wizard or witch can learn to do away with one or more of the more distracting components and rely only on the somatic.
- Not to leave out the fighters, there are also the tactical hand signals used by ground forces when trying to move quietly through dangerous areas. Of the three types listed here, these are probably easiest for the actual players to learn to do, rather than leaving it to the in-game characters.
The plant-man's monotone answer: "We're waiting for the bee."