Magic and the like

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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Saint Jiub on Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:51 pm

Basic ideas for spellmaking:

Spells will be composed of "seeds." Each "seed" will be a certain magnitude or a certain duration. The number of "seeds" the spell contains will determine the cost and difficulty of the spell.
There will be a couple of key words here:
Magnitude - how much, or how strong.
Sustain - how many rounds the effect will last.

Effects that we need to cover: (I'll mark with asterisks the ones we might not really need)
Illusion - Blind/Silence. Calm/Frenzy. Chameleon. Charm. Demoralize*/Rally*. Invisibility. Light. Night-Eye. Paralyze. Sanctuary.
Conjuration - Bound items. Command. Summon. Turn Undead.
Alteration - Element shields. Burden. Feather. Jump. Levitate*. Lock. Open. Shield. Slowfall*. Swift Swim. Water Breathing. Water Walking. (we could also combine the swim things into one effect, made distinct by the seeds used)
Destruction - Damage (this is for attributes, skills, etc. Heatlh/fatigue damage would go under Element). Disintegrate. Drain. Element damage. Weakness.
Mysticism - Absorb. Mark/recall. Detect. Dispel. Reflect. Soultrap. Spell Absorption. Telekinesis.
Restoration - Cure. Fortify. Remove Curse. Resist. Restore.

I'll be back later with my estimates for how much effect a spell should get per seed, and how much mana and difficulty seeds carry.


Last edited by Saint Jiub on Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Saint Jiub on Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:56 pm

Before I forget, I was thinking of limiting the number of seeds you could put into a spell based on your skill level. This would organically restrict people from throwing really powerful restoration effects into an alteration spell and then casting anyway just because alteration is at 88. I can't decide whether I want to do liner or exponential growth though.
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Slotha Sil on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:47 pm

Enforcing arbitrary limits is a sign of lazy design. Just make the more broken effects impractical for constant use. Besides, the system is self-balancing. Casting a three-seed spell reliably requires that you have decent skill in all involved schools, or your success chance will be lowered (we're putting all three skills into a single check). And you're casting several weaker effects instead of one significant.

We're balancing the system, not implementing ways to punish players for creative thinking. Unless one of us is secretly Monte Cook.
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Saint Jiub on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:07 am

Now that I've had some time to think about it, you're right - the seed limit will work itself out naturally by making spells too difficult to handle. The only thing I worry about is that without a seed limit it will allow people to cast spells from schools in which they're never put any effort. I don't want to punish characters for creative thinking, but I also don't want to reward them for doing nothing.
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Slotha Sil on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:47 pm

If they sneak in effects from schools they aren't good in, either the effects will be tiny or it will drag down the overall success chance of the spell. Don't forget that spells aren't cast in a vacuum, they have to match up against their target's stats and resistances. And I really doubt a dedicated caster would be willing to risk an action and a lot of mana for a significant spell unless he's desperate.

The way I think we're doing this is adding separate casting checks together on both sides, then deciding with one roll. For example, if you're casting a Silence and a Fire spell, you add your personality, agility (ranged attack roll) and Illusion skill, then add your willpower, agility and Destruction skill. The victim adds its willpower, agility and magick resistance twice (resistance to Fire gets added only once, of course). Then you make the roll as if you're resolving the usual single-type attack. If your Illusion is low, you might be able to carry the spell on account of your superior stats, but generally it carries a good chance it will make the margin too narrow to reliably roll under.

What worries me is what happens when one of the effects is a beneficial one that is targeting you. It will face no opposition, so its presence will drastically pull up the success chance of the other effect. Maybe we should ban multitargeting and leave it at that.
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Outlander on Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:17 pm

So do you mean, for example, casting Telekinesis + three seeds of Magnitude and two seeds of Duration to be able to lift things three yards away for the next two rounds, or are you suggesting some kind of wacky spell combining system?

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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Slotha Sil on Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:18 pm

Well "seed" would be the basic effect Telekinesis, and the duration and magnitude would be just nameless modifiers, but other than that, yes.

From the in-game books, I remember that the characters studying magic would learn spells like Silence or Water Breathing, but the actual strength of these spells and the magicka investment seemed to get decided on on the spot, when they were cast. I was going for that.
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Re: Magic and the like

Post  Saint Jiub on Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:37 pm

Outlander wrote:So do you mean, for example, casting Telekinesis + three seeds of Magnitude and two seeds of Duration to be able to lift things three yards away for the next two rounds, or are you suggesting some kind of wacky spell combining system?

I was more thinking that each "seed" would grant you a certain amount of distance or duration. So a one-seed Telekinesis (damn that's a lot of vowels) would give you, just to be abstract, 15 points to distribute between magnitude and duration. So lift 10 points for 5 seconds, or 5 points for 10 seconds. My ecksbawcks imploded shortly after I started trying to work on these things, which stalled me for a while, but I borrowed one from a gracious friend so I'm finally back into the "working on junk" mode.
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