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  1. MELF'S Acid Arrow (Example) Could there be special Wizards in the world that you have to talk to before being able to cast a certain Spell? Cool I found Melf's Acid Arrow but... I have NO idea how to use it at all so it just sits in my Grimoire. Whenever I try it just fizzles. I would have to find this Melf and he would teach me. Same thing for other spells and magic. Now, the Spells in P:E will hardly have the same the NAMES as the D&D equivalent (some might?). That scroll you found randomly or by chance somewhere but can't use could hold the powers of the Ultimate Ultimate spell. There could be a clue on the scroll on "How to unlock potential" which leads to another Clue, leading to another Clue, finally finding the Wizard behind it all and you get to learn the super duper omega vega sega Spell that simply obliterates. Perhaps you have to take the Scroll to the Spell Forge in New York (appearantly, that's a printing press btw). Only at the Spell Forge can the last piece of Magic be printed onto the Scroll in a way only the Spell Forge can. Thoughts?
  2. So I've been reading the different arguments for and against Vancian magic (sp?) and cool-down based, stamina based, and other metrics based magics. I wanted to propose another possible mechanism. I will lay out the problems as I see them, and then lay out my solution. Finally, I will try to address how this solution answers the problems as laid out. If you are not interested in reading the whole thing, look for the yellow text. The Aspects of Vancian magic (and its problems as outcomes): 1- The one-time use of memorized magic severely limits the magic-user to only using a limited number of spells per rest. This is done so as to make magic-use challenging and tactical. This is not a problem. 2- Because no player has complete knowledge of the challenges he will face in a dungeon/battle it proves difficult for the magic-user to know whether they should become involved (magically) in that particular battle. If they do, they might use up spells that may be necessary for a future battle (possibly just around the corner). Players will save even rudimentary first-level spells "for the right moment" and completely neglect one aspect of their combat choices completely. 3- However, the party is in need of a combat-ready member, and thus magic-users are relegated either to "stone-throwing duty" or heavy-magic users in parties who are "rest-spammers." This breaks the magic mechanics and side-steps the limitations put there in the first place. The Problems with "metrics-based" (cool-down/stamina/mana) magic: 1- Magic becomes more of an option for a magic user. As the risks of using magic decreases, magic-users are more likely to make this an option in combat. This is also not a problem, and is what the developers (probably) want. 2- However, the magic-user is no longer limited to a per-rest restraint, but more of a per-battle restraint. That is to say that with the end of each battle, the party can effectively wait long enough to "cool-down" the magic user so as to get into battle again. 2- This waiting time removes the player from immersion if he/she chooses to wait until the magic-user's cool-down is complete. 3- Further, because spells are (mostly) limited to a per-battle restraint, the management of spells over a series of battles no longer plays a role. Thus if two smaller battles of low-challenge monsters arrives (two camps of 8-10 goblins 2 minutes apart), the magic-user will always be ready to unleash those spells that are cool-down sensitive. Lower-tier spells are no longer an issue over multiple battles. 4- These problems are similar to all self-recharging mechanics (stamina, mana). Ultimately, the same players who rest-spammed, will now effectively wait-spam until their magic-users are fully recharged (to the best of their abilities). This will remove those same players from immersion. There are likely other problems that I have not considered, so please let me know. I have tried to summarize the general gist of most reactions to these systems. ----------------------------------------------------------- This solution to this problem actually comes from an intelligent application of the Vancian system in Baldur's Gate II (an IE game) to create a challenge in both resource-management as well as effective magic-usage. In the game, Baldur's Gate II:Throne of Bhaal, during the final arena with the boss (Melissan), the player is not allowed to rest (you are in another plane of existance, you cannot rest at all), and thus magic becomes a very limited resource. However, you need to use magic (and strong magic at that!) to weaken the boss before you can even fight her, by fighting monsters that are unleashed from "spirit pools". As you defeat each group of monsters and unlock each pool, two of the three pools "restore" your party as if you are resting. Thus they act as "rest-areas" without you actually resting for 8 hours and they restore your magic during that time. However, the spirit pools are one-time use only. Thus these pools become a very limited and precious resource and there is no opportunity to spam rest or spam wait. If you do not use magic, these spirit pools are useless (forcing the player to use magic). So it seems simple enough, instead of letting "resting" restore your magic use (or stamina or mana, etc), utilize specific "spirit pools" found all throughout the P:E to restore the magic. It actually also makes more sense, from a lore perspective - I get into that at the end of this post. The "pools" act like the D&D spell "Wish" where you can restore your parties magic completely. The pools are on a cool-down (every 8 hours) and several pools can be found in a dungeon (they are spread all throughout the P:E world). Perhaps, some merchants have taken the waters of these pools and sell them to adventurers. These "potions of restoration" act like the D&D cleric's level 6 spell "wonderous recall." They allow some (random) of your soul-powered spells to return to you, so as to allow magic-users to cast these spells again. Perhaps some spirit pools allow partial rejuvination, and some only allow certain schools of magic to be restored (Spirit Pool of Divination - only allows divination spells to be restored). This allows for much more interesting combinations of restoration and more interesting puzzles and challenges in dungeons. Again you can have partial restoration through potions (Potion from the spirit pool of divination). I will now go through the problems as stated before and show how this mechanic solves these problems. 1- Vancian magic: Players will save even rudimentary first-level spells "for the right moment" and completely neglect one aspect of their combat choices completely. The player now no longer has a reason to save his or her spells. As long as the player can manage his/her resources until the next pool, s/he can utilize their spells to the most tactically advantageous way possible. If they don't use it, they lose it as they reach the next pool (all spells are restored, regardless if used or not.) 2- Removes the player from immersion The player is now even more immersed in the game, as they try to figure out (through a skill perhaps?) what kind of spirit pool they have uncovered, whether it would be best to save this pool for later use, etc and they are kept on their toes as their try to fight past monsters to get to the next "spirit pool." This continues to keep the player thinking about resource management. 3- Vancian magic-users are relegated either to "stone-throwing duty" or heavy-magic users in parties who are "rest-spammers." Magic-users can now take their proper role as magic-users. If they do not do so, they will miss their chance to use magic in between spirit pools. 1- Cooldowns: The party can effectively wait long enough to "cool-down" the magic user so as to get into battle again. The restoration of magic is no longer dependent on wait-times and cool-downs. The concern of "dumbing down the game" is removed as players are forced to once again manage resources and spells as before in the Vancian system. 3- Cooldown: The management of spells over a series of battles no longer plays a role Resource management continues to be a factor between spirit pools. Players are forced to consider that they might not find a pool for long periods of time or that there might be another pool a short distance away. Sneaking and information gather through rogues become more important. They become effective as scouts looking out for enemies as well as trying to find the next spirit pool. Even then, perhaps the next spirit pool might only restore certain spells. For those who do not manage their spells effectively, they will be forced to carry potions of spiritual restoration and hope that the spell they want is restored. Players are punished for lax play, and rewarded for strategic play over several battles. 4- Cooldown: Lower-tier spells are no longer an issue over multiple battles Once again, lower-tier spells are an issue for multiple battles. Players cannot spam level 3 flaming arrows and wait for them to cool-down between fights. Perhaps a few level one spells can continue to be on cool-down (or maybe potions would have to restore them), but these tweaks can be made over time and with enough play-testing a proper balance can be found. LORE It never made much sense (in D&D) that magic spells were memorized each morning and forgotten after being used. It also didn't make much sense that by resting you would restore these spells. I would imagine that the magic-user was not resting but rather spending his 8 hours in camp memorizing new spells. Not quite the restful break for the magician. In P:E, magic-use and its derivatives (apart from chanters?) are linked to channeling the spirits in some way. Thus as each person in this world channels their spirit in this world, they are likely to weaken this link in some way. However, spread all throughout the world are "pools" or portals in which the links to the spirits and people is much stronger and this link can be strengthened at these pools. However, the pools can only be used every so-often as the energies emanating from these pools gets used up. Over time, the energies in these pools recharge and allow people to "refresh" their links with their souls. Some merchants have tried to make a profit from this, as many pools found inside the cities are protected or bought (and can be found only in the hands of the very wealthy). These merchants have asked adventurers going out on their journeys to gather the waters of these pools and to return them to the merchants. The price paid for these waters is good, but purchasing these waters is quite expensive (merchants need to make a profit afterall). What do you guys think? Please forgive any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  3. I've seen a number of threads on what type of magic system people would prefer and most of them seem to be following the standard tropes. However, a few years ago I ran into a Mana Based homebrew for D&D 3.5 that did some really interesting and inovative things and that I think could work really well for this kind of game. For those of you who don't want to follow the link; the basic premise of this system was that, rather than gaining a huge pool of mana so you could pay for increasingly more costly spells as you leveled, your mana pool would be kept relatively tiny and the cost of spells would actually decrease. This was accomplished by setting there pool equal to your primary casting stat + your level + your con-mod* and providing a level based chart for spell costs. While this means that your pool would increase a bit over the course of play, you'd have to be really trying in order to break 60 points by level 20; which is nothing compared to the 232 points the official mod gave to wizards. The first outcome of this is that you get a really smooth and easily controlled power curve. Since a character's resources aren't going to change to much you can make sure that they're always able to cast a similar number of level appropriate spells, so at level 1 they're not going to fire two magic missiles and then switch over to a crossbow and at level 20 they're still not going to be able to spam Dragon Slay. Yes this does mean that eventually the cost of lower level spells goes down to zero, but this isn't actually a problem. The thing is, when you're fighting Cthulhu, nobody cares if you can cast an infinite number of fireballs; it just isn't relevant. One of the other interesting things this does is let you put a reasonable limit on the number of different spells a single character has access to at any given time. If you rely on the limited casting of a Vancian Magic system then you have to eventually give the player many spell slots; which they might, reasonably, choose to fill with many different spells. This seems detrimental to play for three different reasons. It encourages the bars of abilities found in games like WoW. These take up a good amount of space on the screen and break immersion (especially if you're controlling them via mouse). Having a large number of spells that have to be fit into premade slots of fixed level actually hampers experimentation and tactical play. The reason for this is simply one of numbers and effort. When given a relatively large number of choices it becomes significantly easier to repeat a small number of good selections as many times as necessary. Ironically, they're still likely to have a spell for almost any given situation on-hand or, failing that, enough generic spells to bludgeon most monsters into submission based on sheer weight of magic. Having discreet chunks of spell power makes gradual recovery harder since you have to come up with a scheme that's more complex or cumbersome than "the number slowly ticks up". While it can be done, this tends to encourage all-or-nothing recovery and, since no one want's to play while their favorite character has been rendered all but useless, this tends to encourage the five minute work day. With this system your power isn't determined so heavily by the variety of spells you have (in fact, there could be some advantages to purposely limiting your selection) . When combined with Grimoire this opens some interesting possibilities. One way of doing it would be to tie your spells to a Grimoire; under this system you could have trade offs between the number of spells it holds (capping at maybe 5 for one-handed spell books and 7 for two-handed ones) and other attributes like mana cost, strength and casting speed. Alternatively, if you wanted to take a page from demon souls, you could have the number of spells available be determined by a secondary stat; which would help discourage S.A.D. and allow Grimoires to effect spells on a more fundamental level (rather than just making spells faster or stronger the Book of Ra might convert all spells into fire spells while the Book of the Shattered Prism might multiply all projectile spells). And, of course, there's nothing to say you can't do both. After all, there will be more than one casting class. The last thing this sort of mana system does is bring mages more into line with mundane classes. Normally Mages get a completely unique mechanic (like vancian magic) or a completely new stat (like mana) while mundane characters either get to use their abilities for free or use stamina. The problem with this is it leave the mages playing a slightly different game. This can make balancing the two types of classes hard (just look at D&D 3.5) and, on a more interesting note, this makes it hard for mundanes to gain magical abilities and for mages to gain non-magical abilities. What tends to happen is either the character is free to use abuse the ability as much as they want , because the resource it draws on isn't used for anything else) or they can't use it a relevant number of times, because they haven't invested or couldn't invest in it. With this sort of system, there's no reason "mana" couldn't be some form of stamina that gets used by all of the classes. In fact, that would go along way towards explaining how some of the more impressive physical feats are performed and just what HP is. Right, I guess that's all I have to say for now; so, does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
  4. Hello again! Sorry for making yet another thread about magic, but I thought this deserved to be discussed separately from cooldowns and even Vancian magic. Well, in another thread, someone commented that he thought the reason he disliked vancian magic is that it looks like an instant respecification of the character. Like, you have a wizard decked with only fire spells, like fireball, flame shield, summon elemental, and what not. Suddenly the next day, he could memorize completely different things, like clairvoyance, invisibility, phantasmal force, teleport and what not. If you have a system like, say, Diablo, or DA, or even like Arcanum, this kind of thing really wouldn't fly. If you compare the spells to other abilities, like they are in those, that approach really wouldn't fly. But spells in D&D aren't abilities. In setting, the ability to create a frozen icicle that you can hurl toward your enemy doesn't come from understanding "the true nature of ice and cold". Spells aren't like a field of science, like combinatorics or thermodynamics. Spells are much more discrete sets of knowledge. They are, in D&D, like a specific theorem or equation. The reason changing your spells every day isn't like a respec is the same reason a warrior exchanging his sword for a mace isn't a respec. Spells, in those games, are like items, not specific abilities. And I really like them for it. One of the really cool things about spells as items is that they allow you to go wild in designing them. Consider, for example, a spell that summons a dead shield maiden to yourself. These maidens all have specific names, stories, and all were buried in the same church, which the spell's creator desecrated and bound to him through this spell. Every time you summon one of the maidens, she is freed, to the point that the spell will eventually run out! Heck, if an enemy summons one of them, he will "spend" one of the shield maidens. If someone (maybe the party itself, maybe one of its enemies, triggered by a player action) was to cleanse the temple, the spell would fail completely. Now, about this example, actually taken from the DCC RPG (a P&P game). I really love this kind of approach, the one where spells are something you can interact with, instead of simply a combat option or a piece in an adventure game like puzzle. But this makes much more sense in a game that has spells as items. If you spent your sole skill point you got when you leveled up to get this ability, and suddenly it runs out, or is gone, or is modified because one of the shield maidens was possessed by a devil, it would be extremely unfair. At the very least, it would either lead to the more predictable abilities to be more worthwhile or to the unpredictable ones to be really unbalanced to compensate. Now, I don't want to sound biased. Obviously, I much prefer spells as items, but I expect some of you disagree. I understand most people who prefer spells as abilities like them because the game is more balanced, than when you simply let casters have lots of cool toys that can run amok. I don't care much about exact balancing however. I think having the game run amok is part of the fun. Having it be unfairly hard or easy sometimes, based on your decisions, is part of what makes it worth playing. But maybe there are things I am not seeing here, so I would love if people who disagree with me would chime in and explain their position. Of course, those who agree are also welcome to comment.
  5. So, what magic schools would you like to see in the game? I hope to see Necromancy (summon dead, communicate with dead, create army of undead, suck the lifeforce from people, steal souls and have access to their powers/abilities) Elemental (lightning, fire..etc, old hat) Nature (create vines that wrap/trap people, summon bees/birds..etc) Demonology (summon demon, turn into demon, gain power from demon) Summoning (sommon other worldly creatures/beings to fight and do your bidding) Illusion (become invisible, disguise yourself) Pact magic - Making pacts with demons/gods/beings of power Construction magic (create artificial creatures from elements that you can summon to fight for you later, even the dreaded flesh golem that is made from different species parts) Mind magic (manipulate people, turn enemy to friend, make enemies fight each other, turn people into thralls, force to tell the truth, make people forget) Shadow magic (creat tools weapons from shadow, create shadow creatures, create an area of darkness, become invisible in shadow) Body magic (healing, shapeshifting) Cannibal/ghoul magic (eat the dead to gain power, high power allows you to transform into that person with all their abilities/skills/memories to use as a disguise) Telekenesis (throw objects, pull objects, create force fields, use wtih lockpicking can unlock doors/locks) Etc.
  6. in the recent interview at gamebanshee.com i read that "Healing magic of any sort is extraordinarily rare" and resurrection is non-existent. but isn't this one of the main functions of the priest class?
  7. Just an idea here, but one thing that I liked about the DnD based spell systems that PT/BG/BG2/IWD/IWD2 used is that they included a very wide and varied list of spells. Many spells were redundant with others, and some were extremely powerful while others were almost useless. This was in part because they were taken from the PnP game, but it wound up being a good thing for the CRPG. The reason for this is that choosing your spell repertoire was not a simple matter of "get the best possible spells" but instead you had to evaluate and assess each spell, and maybe try them out in the game in order to determine which ones fit your playing style. This added to the depth, complexity, realism (well, sort of - it is magic), and overall enjoyment of playing the game. IMO that's the #1 weakness of all other games with magic - there's not much strategy or thinking required. So my idea is this: start designing a set of of logical and concise spells, but then mix in some extra ones, maybe shuffle some things around, add some filler and redundancy and less logical ones. In other words, don't make it so perfect that everyone will strive for the exact same set of top spells. Then leave it to the player to discover what set of spells are the best combination. More importantly, see how different players pick the ones that they think are best.
  8. If some don't like Vanacian and many don't like cooldowns, what then? Here's an idea: Fatigue * EDIT: in case you havn't figured it out yet, red is health, green is morale * Lets say your mage starts the day with 100 fatigue (or 1000.. higher numbers might be better for balancing and nuances) He and the party go traveling. They've been on the road for 2 hours and the mages maximum fatigue has gone down, so now he's at 90/90. Max fatigue goes down as the day goes by and as you do physicly demanding things (long journesy, running, etc..). Even if you don't cast any spells, you will need sleep. So your group runs into some orcs. Battle starts. You launch a pretty powerfull spell that costs 15 fatigue. Roughly 10% of that costs is drawn from MAX fatigue. Your max fatigue has now dropped down to 88. However, your regular fatigue will regenerate by roughly 1 point per second. In 15 seconds the mage will be at 88/88. He can cast antoher spell immediately or wait. Had he/she cast a less pwoerfull spell, the max fatigue would have been reduced only by 1 point. Either way, as time passes and the battles go on, the MAX fatigue drops. At 25% the character (any character, fighter or mage) becomes tired. It's harder to focus, but not by much. At 0% the characte is dead tired. He cna still continue to fight and move, but the penalties become severe. Miscasting becomesalmost a certanty. The only way to recover MAX fatigue is by resting. Yes resting. Resting should be a part of any true RPG. It gives inns and villages a clear purpose. It is a safe haven to gather information, prepare, stock up, rest and heal. I'd propose even healing to be very difficult. A natural and slow process. Healign spells don't heal fully - they give back only a small amount of HP (and a character cannot be healed over 50% wihout rest), but increase natural regeneration. - Note it would still take hours for critical wounds to heal. Without healing magic it might take days. This even more gives a feelign of a real adventure and resource managment. Pulling back and regrouping becomes not onnly a valid tactic, but sometimes necessary (realistic, no?). Also, leaving a wounded companion in the inn to recouperate while you take another companion with you for a while becomes an enticing prospect. Personally, I'd rather have a few powerfull spells that I can't cast all of the time, and having to resort to a crossbow/staff/sword often enough, thanto have easily spammable low-level spells. That just sucks. More like Gandalf, less like Hawke.
  9. So, well to begin with could we bring to mind the Souls update and how Sawyer mentioned that the gods are meddlesome and also are purposely obscuring the nature of souls/how they work. I have an idea for why this might be and thought I'd make a thread on here to see if anyone has any of their own ideas/theories/what have you. What occurred to me is I'm guessing the most obvious reasoning. The souls spend time among the gods in-between re-incarnations, so perhaps the souls are intertwined with the gods and not just leaves floating about the godly landscape? Are souls a source of power for the gods as well as the earthly races? Are gods equivalent to a huge accumulation of souls who somehow ended up conjoined? Were gods maybe at the beginning individual extremely powerful souls who stayed awake when entering the realm of the gods and use freshly arriving souls as some sort of sustenance or power increaser? Like a water skin being emptied then sent back to re-fill with a new lifes worth of experiences? If any of that is spot on, then it would make a lot of sense for the gods to be actively interested in preventing magicians or anyone else from learning how to ably manipulate souls for if they do they may end up being able to manipulate the gods themselves or through artificial means turn themselves into gods. Of course it could be anything but this is what came to my mind.
  10. Hi there, I've put my TLDR in the Cooldown 2.0 thread but i really want to expand a bit. Seeing as there is much discussion around this cooldown thing i would like to propose a mechanic that seems pretty good to me (or course it does, duh!, i'm proposing it lol). Ok, let's get to the point. 1. Basics Each ability or spell has two components: Proficiency and Efficiency. Proficiency is gained (points) through the use of abilities/spells or combos, and starts to decay naturally (percentage of the current number of points) after a fixed amount or time. It stops decaying once you use the ability/spell or a combo that uses that ability/spell. Efficiency is lost (percentage of the current number of points) through the use of abilities/spells or combos and starts to regenerate naturally (points) after a fixed amount of time. It stops regenerating once you use the ability/spell or a combo that uses that ability/spell. 1.a. - Proficiency is measuring how skilled is the PC in using that ability/spell. It goes up each time you use an ability/spell against and enemy that is not below a certain level compared to yours and scales with that level difference. For example if you use an ability on a target that is 3 level below you (or more), you will get no Proficiency points, if you use the ability/spell against a target that is the same level as you, you get 5 Proficiency points and if you use the ability/spell against a target that is 3 levels above you (or more), you get 10 Proficiency points. Of course, some other game mechanics (like the ability/spell is saved against or blocked completely) might be used when fighting against targets way above your level. Proficiency is used to advance your ability, either by directly applying a buff to the effects of that ability/spell, or by simply moving towards the next tier (so using Bash will slowly gain you Proficiency points towards Improved Bash). The latter would mean that the PC only learns the most basic spells/abilities from external sources, and the more improved abilities/spells he discovers by actually using the related lower tiered ones. Also, Proficiency slowly decays (at the same time as the Efficiency goes up) but it will never reach 0 (it decays by a fixed percentage of the total points that you have, so the more time passes the less it decays). 1.b - Efficiency is measuring how that ability/spell is performing, considering on how many times it has been used, successfully, over a certain period of time. The Efficiency is regenerating naturally (or through other means like drinking from a well, whatever), slowly, over the course of time. Each time you use an ability/spell however, it drops by a percentage (let's say 5%) so that if you use it 5 times in a row it will only be at 77% Efficiency. This translates into reduced effects (for the sake of simplicity only direct damage or damage over time, or direct protection/healing or protection/healing over time). So if a certain ability does, let's say, 10-20 damage, after it's first use it will drop to 9-18 damage, after the second use it will again drop to 8-17 damage (rounded up) and so on. As you can see, it's not going to be a liniar drop so you don't get to use it only 20 times before reaching 0. You will actually never reach 0 as it will always go down by 5% (of the total Efficiency points). The first time you use it it will drop by 5 points, the second time again by 5 points, by the time you reach 80 points (out of 100) it will only drop by 4 points. All numbers are rounded up, so if it drops by 4.6 it actually drops by 5 points, as opposed to 4.2 that would translate into 4 points. There might be game mechanics or skills/perks that either reduce this decay per usage or rise your maximum Efficiency to more than 100 points. It's really open to any kind of tweaking, just like the Proficiency. EDIT: I forgot. Just like Proficiency, the Efficiency percentage that decays with each use should be calculated using the same rules, related to the level difference between the attacker and the target. 2. Combo I know that this is not really related to the system, but it would work great with it. The system lets the PC combine any previously learned ability/spell. At first you will be able to only combine 2 of them, but maybe as you get better and better you might combine more than 2. The effects of the combo are the added effects of the basic constituent abilities/spells calculated at their current level of Proficiency and Efficiency. The Proficiency and Efficiency system works in the following way for combos: - Each time you use a combo you will gain some proficiency points just like using an individual spell/ability but those points are divided equally towards each basic constituent ability/spell. - Each time you use a combo you will lose 5% (again just as an example) from the Efficiency of each constituent ability/spell. 3. Conclusions Such a system, at least in my intention, would do away with resting and cooldowns, mana or stamina. Every PC will only have those two resources (when talking about abilities/spells or combos), the stats only adding the the effects of those. The complexity of it comes from the two diverging directions. PCs are free to use whatever ability/spell or even combo in their arsenal. The advantage is that the more you use an ability/spell or combo you will slowly advance towards better abilities/spells and of course combos, the drawback being that if you abuse the system you will soon find yourself with really weak abilities/spells and combos. Moreover, the PC must decide weather to use a "strong" combo (strong because it has the added effects of the base constituent abilities/spells) or a more basic ability/spell. You wouldn't want to get caught with your pants down (low Efficiency) when encountering a strong hostile NPC because in your last encounter you "wasted" your best combos on some low level critters. The system could be tweaked and tested, and those numbers that i threw here are definitely not the best, they are only used as an example. The beauty of this system is that it no longer requires a cooldown, no longer requires a rest (or maybe you could regain the Efficiency but lose Profficiency through rest). Such a system means that the player really needs to use an ability/spell in order to advance (so encourages him to abuse it) but also means that the more it abuses it the weaker that ability/spell it will get (for the moment). Such a system would mean that the PC will have overpowered combos, but it also means that the player will surely not want to "waste" those OP combos on critters and will always try to save them for when it matters. This would add so much complexity to any fight (imho) as you will always try to "balance" the rewards of killing the opponents as fast as you can with the risk of not having your best combo at top efficiency for the next encounter. Also, in longer fight this would mean that the PC must rely on a well rounded and diversified arsenal, because if he uses the same abilities/spells and well as combos that use those abilities/spells as basic constituents he will soon lose all of those due to them being weaker because of low Efficiency. On the other hand he is encouraged to use them as often as possible in order to make them better (gain Proficiency). I'm pretty sure this is not perfect, some of you might just think it's rubbish (and by the way it's somewhat inspired from Rage of Mages 2, the Proficiency part at least) but i like it (again duh!) and with some tweaking and/or refinement i really think it would work. There's at least one person here that would, in theory at least, be excited to see it implemented. 4. Expanded The game could play with such a system, by adding skills that lower your Efficiency decay but also lower the Proficiency gained (you get a PC or companion that is able to use the preferred abilities/spells more often while not being able to advance that fast), or by adding items that will tweak any of those components (or by adding Max. Efficiency points). You could get abilities (non PC, or even PC) that would temporarily raise your Efficiency (PC) or temporarily lower your Efficiency (hostile NPC). And probably much, much more than that. P.S. Oh darn... lvl 10 Fire Dragon... where's my Ice Shard + Stun combo? Oh sh!t, Ice shard is at 65 Efficiency... what do i do, what do i do. Why did i used Ice Shard on those lvl 7 Rogues?!?!
  11. So have you ever played a game with some really cool spells or spell effects, but felt it didn't quite cater to your need. You can sling a fire arrow or an acid arrow at someone, but you feel an arrow of freezing a lightning arrow would fit your character much better? I would like to see some sort of ability for high level mages (if that is the route they go down) to be able to research and transcribe their very own spell. They could name it and based on how the spell comes about, (buffs, debuffs, AoE, saves etc) changes the spell casting time and the level of the spell. Perhaps it could increase the likeliness of spell failure if you are going a little extreme with your spell design. The recent update including the stretch goal at 2.4 Million, which I am hoping we will meet head on within the next week included weapon creation, customisation and enchantments Which I made a previous topic about, which was wonderful news in my mind. From this I would like to see a spell alteration/creation ability late in the game. Cone of Acid breath perhaps or maybe your magic missiles replaced with extremely angry chickens (for the wild mages out there). I just feel if mages created their own spells and name them after themselves, once you reach the height of your game, you should be able to join them as legends, forever known through the use of their spells. As an after thought, if then you could trade spells with friends and they are mysteriously scribed into scrolls somewhere in your friends game (do the same with weapons) it could be a really nice idea. Sharing a bit of your game world with them, and vice versa.
  12. Please forgive the wall of text. I am a big fan of considering what went before. So the arguments about Vancian magic versus mana-based systems (and the completely understandable passion it generates) got me thinking. And, because I find myself less moved about it than some other folks, I thought that maybe I could add something new to the debate by casting my mind back to other RPGs from the Days of Yore. Of course, it should go without saying that pen and paper systems mechanically might not fit into a CRPG. But thematically... sure. Why not? Magic has always been divided into a giddying variety of types: divine versus arcane, sorcerer versus mage, cantrip versus spell, innate powa versus learnt, scroll versus memorized, generalised mage versus specialist... then you get funky stuff like bards or rangers or paladins all of whom access magic in the form of innate, modal, passive and spell-casting forms. Accessing magic is similarly broad, i.e. via using a wand, magic item or having a stack of five fire-and-forget offensive spells (all viable and powerful additions for a spellcaster). This is before we consider 3E style feats and meta-magic. Therefore pen and paper systems have always allowed spellcasters a broad range of tactics and methods to access magic. Too many perhaps, showcasing the piecemeal evolution of the hobby. So as I watch the debate unfold, it strikes me that the combatants (and I say this with respect) have perhaps not done a three-sixty and fully considered the diversity of What Went Before (WWB). Sorcerers, for example are as near-as-dammit using a mana system, the closest you'll get in an IE game. Sorcerers, by the way, are my favourite arcane spellcasting class. I often bang on about RuneQuest here, but please hear me out (read me out? Whatever). The magic there was (a) divided into two and (b) specifically rooted into the setting. There was Battle Magic and Rune Magic. Battle magic was predicated on the idea that magic was something anybody could access (classless system) if taught. It used a statistic, POWER, using a mana-type metric (boosted by items that one could store POWER in). Battle Magic consisted of buffs, minor healing and stuff. Rune Magic was the preserve of advanced cult members and was like powerful arcane magic in D&D. You could do all sorts of funky stuff with it. But the spell-list was relatively small compared to D&D but all the spells were useful. All the spells were impactive. All of the spells were fun. It was a case study in the Less Is More approach to game design. It combined hardcore, old school flavour with what would now be considered to be a mana-system, but was managed in a way that made sense --- lose POWER by casting spells and your character became physically weaker. The decision to cast spells was one made carefully. Of course, Rune Magic casters had all sorts of tricks up their sleeves to mitigate this, and this was also part of the fun. So, my conclusions 1. Old-skool Vancian magic evolved with the game to the point where there were so many options it began to undermine the whole fire-and-forget principle, creating bulky mechanics to underpin the innate clunkiness of design (meta-magic, prestige classes etc) 2. Sorcerers are almost there in terms of aping the mana model, and might be a model worth studying for this project 3. Other properly granular old-skool systems, like RuneQuest, managed to create impactive, fun, immersive magic systems using a mana-based model 4. Therefore it seems odd that the debate around a mechanic so potentially nuanced can boil down to Vancian versus Mana when there is obviously so much room to exploit in the natural gap between the two. Many thanks if you finished to read my post, and if only a handful of people Google 1st Edition Gloranthan RuneQuest after this then I'll be a happy man. Love & Peace
  13. I'm neutral because I adapted fine to all the magic mechanics I've come across. Instead of bemoaning Obsidian's basic decision on spell/ability cooldowns, let's have some constructive discussion on what can be done right with them. From Kickstarter comments Q&A (linked from Known Information sticky): Josh comments: (Geez, it's a fair bit of work to quote things when a thread is locked. )
  14. A white haired man appears at the top of the next sand dune... ...he waves at you and your adventuring party, in a half bouncing, running motion he bounds towards you. You and your party look at each other, eyebrows raised. The man is wearing an oversized backpack, nearly twice his height, the bag is overloaded with swords, bows, poles, staves, and various other weapons. All sticking out from various pockets at odd angles. A flails head swings precariously close to the man's head. As the man reaches your party, in a single swift motion, he swings the bag round and it unfolds into a large blanket with all the weapons laid out perfectly. He spreads his arm wide and gives a big grin. "What can I do you for?" Your party all step closer cautiously, wary of a lone traveller in this dangerous part of the world, was this a ruse of some sort? After a few moments you determine he is genuine. All questions directed at him regarding his travelling are answered with winks and nose taps. "This is a fine sword you have here, but I'm after a named variant, The Biting Ishktar of Fellowmane, have you heard of it?" Asks one of your party members. The rest of your team is genuinely impressed with the goods on offer and some of them are testing the weapons for weight and balance. "Heard of it? I own one of the last three, it's in my shop" Said the white haired man, thumbing over his shoulder as if his shop was right behind him. "Where is your shop merchant? There is nothing for hundreds of miles around!" Replied your party member, equal measures of eagerness and bitterness in his reply. The white haired man reached into his pocket and brought out a huge zipper. Attached it to the air itself just above the sandy ground and pulled up. The fabric of this realm unzipped, revealing an opening to a new plane of existence. Like a tent flap, the white haired man stepped in. A few seconds later he poked his head out of the flap. "Well, are you coming to shop or not?" You and party members enter an 'Aladdin's cave' of treasure. Weapons, armour, magical trinkets and even a few cages holding exotic animals. You wander around with your mouth open. "Take your time! Browse!" The white haired man sat down and put his feet up on a counter, at the far end of the overly filled room. An intricate wooden sign hung above him - Elkay's Weapon Emporium. -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- TL;DR Hello! This is a light hearted thread with two purposes. Remember our favourite magical items, be it from books, pen and paper games or video games. What magical item would you like to find in Elkay's Weapon Emporium? Or in Project Eternity? (Create your own magical item!) I love creating new magical items, not just the interesting properties, but the story behind it's creation and how it ended up in the current owners hands. I really hope Obsidian take great care in their items, randomized weapons can be fun in games like Diablo 3, but it really breaks immersion for me if there is no 'named items' with a good back story. -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- So here we go... One of my favourite, most rememberable items would be the famous Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity from Baldur's gate. I must've been about thirteen or fourteen when I first played and I remember genuinely being upset that I turned my male warrior to a female. I'd love to see a bag of monster holding, similar to a wand of monster summoning from various D&D settings. The key difference would be that there would be a lot charges and potentially could pull out huge monsters, such as red dragons, beholders or giant trolls! Gist of the story would be a family of leather workers fall on hard times.Their son being creative and a bit mischievous with magic creates a bag of holding, the family shoot to great fame and wealth. The son continues to better his bags and eventually creates a bag which can hold, frozen in time, living things. The story would play out with the son getting trapped in the bag. Hey, maybe he could be pulled out as a part of an event and he could join your party? -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- Lots of love, LK
  15. Got some spells you really want to see again, or maybe something completely novel? Then this might be the right place to drop them. After all, having more neat ideas to choose from can barely hurt.... Since I don't want this to blow up within a few hours, here's some simple rules: - See an idea you like? Press that little green button that says so! I'll later be able to compile something like a Top10 with this information. Afaik this board has an unliking function, in case you change your mind. - Obviously this means more than one spell idea per post is bad. Feel free to double-post though. - It does not matter whether your idea is from some other game, book, movie or completely new... but if you know something like this has been featured before, it might help to say where. Can help people with getting a clearer idea of what your thinking about. - This ain't a discussion thread, keep it tidy or we won't be able to find the actual spell ideas between all the blathering. And then this topic will die horribly. If you think something sucks, just don't like it. Or create a new topic for further discussion on the idea. - Since we don't know about the general magic system at this time, spells that rely on one particular implementation (like "restore 3 level 1 spells without having to rest") are not useful quite yet. - Whoever asks for a spell that lets you romance someone will recieve an arrow to the knee. So, put on your robe and wizard hat and get this spellbook going =P
  16. The topic of the class system has been on my mind given how update 7 actually significantly changes the traditional structure of the DnD system, and given that this system has more classes than many other RPGs(I think we're now at 7), I think that the topic of classes would be a really interesting one to explore, especially given how it touches issues of the magical system. The way that update 7 changes things is that it abolishes the skill-monkey class while keeping the skills, which is a really cool thing. I just want to bounce ideas around though, and I hope I'm not repeating too much that's been said. Here's some ideas for conceiving of a possible set of classes: * 2 or 3 core magic classes(I've thrown around ideas in another thread on magic) http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60372-vancian-magic-system/page__st__160?do=findComment&comment=1203875 DarkWaterSong did similarly above me. * Brute (in DnD terms: fighter, barbarian.) Heavy armor, heavy weapons, high strength and constitution build. * Monk (in DnD/NWN2 terms: monk, weaponmaster, swashbuckler/duelist, maybe some paladin features.) None to medium armor. None to medium weapons. Build uses dexterity and some vaguely magical stat. Special talents focus on high skill or magical attunement, and perhaps a lot of surprises. Conceptually a martial artist. * Magic Knight (In DnD terms: Eldritch Knight, sort of like a Paladin or Ranger, but less nerfed on magic.) Light armor, but maybe heavy given the backstory. Any weapon. spellcaster/warrior with some of both sets of abilities. May not be needed if multiclassing and magic system set up a certain way * Assassin (In DnD terms: Thug variant fighter, rogue/fighter, etc.) Light-Medium armor. Light to medium weapon. Focus on misdirection, high damage precision, possibly ranged attacks, poison, invisibility, finesse. Build uses very high dexterity. * Bard (in DnD terms: Bard.) Light-medium armor. Light-medium weapons. Support class. Focus on misdirection, buffing, information, ranged support, perhaps some magic. Just some thoughts, but feel free to throw things around or criticize. The point is getting what kind of conceptions people would think would be interesting for a class system. Like the degree of magic for classes. How bizarre or conventional the classes should be. Etc.
  17. I'm wondering about your thoughts on spell descriptions. Do you prefer the way spell descriptions are given in Dragon Age or do you prefer the ones in the Infinity games? If you have a different suggestion of how spell descriptions should be presented in the game, speak up!
  18. EDIT: sorry. Poll was broken when this was originally posted. NO was the only choice. :I. i am real good at the forums. #1. EDIT2: Wizard Tower is a generalization. It was the easiest way for me to express the concept. What I MEAN is a stronghold. and an INTERESTING one. Not a generic tower. You know: A Wizards tower that can be acquired in the latter portion of the game. I personally LOVED the Planar Sphere. It was one of my favorite things in Baldur's Gate II. It just felt...so...so...mysterious. so magical. the art and atmosphere was simply perfect. I wished they could have spent more time and resources making it even more dynamic. More exploration and creation. More magic. De'arnise keep was pretty cool as well (though I loved the planar sphere more.) Who would like to see something similar in Project Eternity? for the wizards tower, there are certain mechanics that, when properly implemented, are simply LOADS of fun. 1. Apprentice(s)--Selection of, Training of, turning them into your bestest friends(slaves). And the growth of their power and ambition(will they be loyal to you? will they betray you? is their apprenticeship just a means to an end for them?) I don't just mean you pick from a lineup of potential apprentices. Ideally, searching for and convincing potential applicants (or their parents) to become your students should be a journey in itself. 2. Exploration of magics and magical beings dark and wonderful. I can't think of much to say here. It's...Just the feeling of exploring Jon Irenicus's lab. Finding all the strange, horrible, and wondrous things there. The wonder of things beyond your comprehension. the djinn and the 'things' in the tubes that were once living beings. now imagine that YOU are the one who's delving into forbidden or lost magic and binding these great creature to your will. going to great lengths to create obscure magical apparatus. 3. Experiments. Learn more about magic. Learn more about anatomy. Can you use the body parts of living creatures to sew together a protector for your lab? Can you enchant someone's boots to cause spiders to fall madly in love with them? then again, why spiders? why not bears? the world needs more bears falling in love with villagers. can we do it? Let's find out. I assure you Mr. peasant sir that amorphous blob over there was absolutely NOT your son. it was a bandit. your son is the rooster in that cage over there. by the scorpions. There are just so many great examples of crazy magic in Baldur's Gate and Planescape torment. I love those things. Many great chances for hilarity, fantastic text, and, if you're too lazy to do it yourself, forcing apprentices to experiment on kidnapped peasants.
  19. I favor an exhaustion based casting system without cooldowns or mana pools. Basically, mages are able to cast as many spells as they want. However, each spell tires the caster. The same number of spells cast rapidly tire more than if cast at an even pace. Effects of exhaustion are cumulative: Spell failure chances increase, spells are less effective, defense is decreased, etc... In general, overall performance suffers. Therefore, the tactical option of nuking is available at a hefty price, (E.g. two high level spells in rapid succession at a boss fight, and the caster collapses) while being an unreasonable course of action in regular battles. Spells stay scant resources, but don't feel artificial in a way that "I have 3 fireballs and one confuse per day" does. Exhaustion empties to a semi-useful 75% on its own even during exploration, but can only be dropped to 0% by rare items, or by resting in a friendly area. (Btw, that's the reason I don't call it stamina/fatigue, as those normally regenerate to 100% on their own) I wouldn't limit this to spells, I'd actually like to see the same trade-offs for physical abilities.
  20. Do we have any information on the spell system? One of the things most intrinsic to the old Infinitey Engine games is the (2.5 ed ad&d) spell system. The depth and variation was really well implemented, and while not always balanced, I would sincerly hope that Obsidian is considering something of similar depth and breadth for Project Eternity. Sawyer, anyone, can you give us any info? Let me talk for a minute about what i mean when i say depth and breadth. The depth of the spell system in old IE games was a reflection of the 2.5 ed rules. Multiple resist types, save types, durations that forced you make hard choices and spell side effects (caster immobilization, chance for summoned fiend to turn on caster, etc) that forced you to think. I feel like mage battles were the best example of tactical combat in IE games being similar to a puzzle. Many spells had an effective counter-spell. All defensive magic spells had certain counters (which if not useful, are burning an available spell slot...), there was spell turning, and hell: you could even cast a resilient sphere on a fighter who was near death just as validly as on an enemy who was wreaking havoc with your back line. I appologize if this is reading a bit like a love letter, but I strongly feel like this is one of the shining features of the old school games I enjoyed so much. The breadth in the spells is obvious to anyone who played the Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale series. Beyond the cool ideas of some spells, there was a conscious effort to provide low level spells that suited low level players when they needed them, while providing good options for high level players later on. Some of the classic examples are spells that initially do 'a lot' of damage (for a low level party) but don't scale with the player level (ghoul touch, angazzar's scorcher) or others that do something like 1d4 + 1/lvl of caster (shocking grasp, burning hands i think, chromatic orb is similar). There is no doubt that the higher level mage spells were badass, but there was a breadth to the level 1 - 3 spells that let the player grow into them. You would find yourself a point where you needed to reevalute your spell selection because your power plane had shifted, and now the previously weak spells were more effective. What was great about the old system was that this was part and parcel of 2.5 ed ad&d, and if you took the time to learn the spells and read their descriptions, you were rewarded with a depth of gameplay that I haven't experienced yet again in a computer RPG. I sincerly believe there are some people at Obsidian who feel the same way, and I hope they are in charge of developing the spell system. So, with that being said.... TL;DR: how similar in depth and breadth will Project Eternity's spell system be to the old infinety Engine games?
  21. Since people are enthusiastic about powerful, battle changing spells with long casting times, I'm thinking counter-magic would be an interesting specialization for mage characters. After identifying the type of spell cast by the enemy mage by watching the casting animation, the counter-mage needs to performs the appropriate counter spell. If this is done quickly enough, the enemy's casting attempt fails, or even backfires.
  22. I was thinking about magic use in RPGs and would really love it if this game did not use the massively over used mana system. I think it'd also be pretty cool if magic wasn't mostly reactive and combat based. Some random ideas and things I'd like to see... Spells you had to plan ahead to use Maybe you need reagents the use of symbols/runes/glyphs on your gear/weapons or the ground an altar of some kind sacfice something to gain something all of the above If I'm playing a mage I'd like also to see and use magic in every aspect of the game, to see/feel/hear things others don't, to bypass problems that other classes may have greater issues with. I don't want it just to be the magic unlock and the magic persuasion. I'm no game designer and so I'll leave it up to you lovely devs to sort it all out, but I just thought I should throw that out there. Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?
  23. This was a popular topic in these forums back when Obsidian asked "If we (theoretically) did a Kickstarter, what would you like to see"? There were some great ideas there, but many of them were prohibitively expensive or impossible to implement. This is just idle speculating for fun, but if possible I would like to see something new - i.e. not MMO/Dragon Age style cooldowns or D&D memorized slots. My own ideal (probably totally over-ambitious) magic system should affect the lore, and exist/be useful outside of combat. Something that bothered me with D&D - if you could manipulate wind, why could you only do one specific thing like "create a gust of wind"? If you could do that, you should also be able to caress someone with a light wind at low levels, blow away toxic clouds, extinguish candles create a strong gust that pushes a hostile away (or sweeps the street if spring cleaning) / do a smaller focused air punch to knock people out or break small objects at mid levels keep a sailing ship moving / thicken air to slow down projectiles, hold someone still, or slow down a fall / fling heavy items at high levels Have such power and control that you can fly / create an impassable field / sharpen the air to a killing edge / strangle someone at a distance / blast down walls / pick locks with ease at epic levels. Magicians at epic levels would be feared or revered, a leader and a target for assassinations. When characters level up, they can choose to deepen an understanding of a domain (air, life, demonology, mind...), invest more points into power or finesse for a known domain, or put it in stats to get more stamina. Casting spells drain stamina (or mana), so all spellcasting would be like sorcerers in D&D. You can risk casting higher levels spells than you are normally capable of or you have stamina left for - force-casting. This carries a high risk of knocking the spellcaster out, and/or physically damaging them. High level and really strong willed characters can choose to force-cast something that is likely to kill them, which can be useful both in combat as a dramatic cut-scene event.
  24. Will we finally be able to cast 'a spell that teleports an opponent?s scrotum into his stomach to get digested'? Or, more importantly, will I finally be able to teleport an opponent's scrotum into someone else's stomach? If it actually made it into Planescape Torment, I somehow missed it... As a wider discussion, does anyone want to see any weird and wonderful spells/items in Eternity? If so, what sort of thing? I'm personally up form ever bit of humor they can get into the game, in whatever insane for it takes.
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