Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
fan

How should magic work?

How should magic work  

281 members have voted

  1. 1. Availability of spells

    • Memorizing while sleeping
    • Mana
    • Cooldown
    • Always available, effectiveness based on exhaustion (see description)
    • Other
  2. 2. How specialized should a caster be?

    • Versatile, quick spells, not entirely useless in close combat
    • Needs to be protected, long casting time, spells change battles
    • Both
    • Other
  3. 3. Spell combos



Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting poll. I voted for mana, but I actually would like more of a combo system (not spell combo), in that you have a limited amount of soul power, and some actions drain it and some fill it. It refills slowly (read, very slowly) out of combat but you can stop and refill with rest or consumables.

 

As for spell combos (grease + fireball and what not), I voted yes, but I think they only work when you have a robust combat system with a lot of options, otherwise you end up building a party that is merely a combo death machine with little or no variety (as in DA2). Now, this can be mitigated somewhat (as with elemental resistances in DA2, but still not near enough), but these become arbitrary and gamey (why are random thugs immune to cold?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like spell slots, they made the casting system very tactical. You do not need to memorize spells, they are available as you please, only limited by slots (like the sorcerer in D&D with more known spells that are to be learned first of course and quite rare). The slots "recharge" every encounter. You have few slots so you have to choose wisely which spell to cast (long casting times), without the drawback of running out of spells.


"I feel stronger"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like to spam magic. But also don't like to sleep/rest to regain magic skills.

 

I prefer something between, such coooldowns/fatigue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like some sort of spell combos, for example if a mage cast a spell that creates a greasy surface, and then proceeds to cast some fire spell in the same area, the grease would catch the flame and instead of a slippery surface, you'd have a burning area.

 

And I prefer if magic is exhausting, as I like how it represents the taxation of using magic. Then, to not make mages overpowered, protection in battle would be needed for effective castings of spells(though some minor ones could be casted quickly, IMO).


Dude, I can see my own soul.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty flexible about the mechanics of the magic system. My only concerns are that low level mages be viable and that mages' power be in proportion to any special limitations placed on them. If other classes are roughly equal to mages in power, use of their special attacks should be similarly exhausting and require similar wind-up time. Casting mage armor shouldn't significantly deplete the mages resources unless use of armor is balanced in some other way.

Edited by Lady Evenstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Casting times: Depends on the spell, obviously (so both, I guess). There should be both earth-shaking magics with long casting times that can change the course of the battle, as well as quick jabs that only keep the enemy off balance or yourself alive for a few seconds longer.

 

Spell combos: Sounds nice, especially if used for something like increased utility or negating enemy spells instead of just making your fireballs bigger. Stuff like pushing back toxic clouds with gusts of wind, using cold to stun water elementals or as said above, the patch of grease that is burning instead of slowing.

 

Availability: Don't care as long as it prevents you from casting all day long and turning magic into spam. So no cooldown only system or mana regenerating during combat for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the second one, I picked other, because I'd like to blend the first two together. I would like spell casters to be highly vulnerable while they are casting their spells (with minor cantrips being quick, and stuff like hurling around meteorites taking upwards of a full minute), however, I would also like them to have the option of not-sucking at melee, too.

  • Like 1

Do you like hardcore realistic survival simulations? Take a gander at this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought for a long time that a system similar to the one you suggest with exhaustion would work well.

 

I'd add a system where higher level mages could mitigate exhaustion for low level spells. To take a D&D example, I think a 12th level mage should be able to cast magic missile as often as he wishes without a penalty with the caveat, of course, that low level spells should have limited to no use against similarly levelled enemies.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your idea.

 

On the topic of specialization, I'd like to see variety. Build your guy to be a glass cannon. Another build (or class) that's a melee caster. And another that may be a little of both, but still effective.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mana or Vancian system (spells memorised while sleeping), but some spells could be cast without preparing/effort (like Magic Missile) when the character reaches necessary power level. I don't want to see spell cooldowns or fighter-mages. I want wizards squishy but growing in power as the game progresses :)

Edited by Mutasir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just make a copycat D&D magic system like Bard's Tale did, though I did rather like that rune system in Ultima Underground where in order to "make" spells you had to find runes and arrange them in a 3x3 square like a puzzle. But I guess that only works in a dungeon setting, not a world where magic is common.

 

Also, building the fluff into the magic system would be good, isn't their crap about souls or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually magic, as compared to the D&D of IE games, should be seriously underpowered. Non magical characters have no way to do the damage of, say, a fireball, while resting and memorizing is a terrible way to restrict magical effectiveness.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually magic, as compared to the D&D of IE games, should be seriously underpowered. Non magical characters have no way to do the damage of, say, a fireball, while resting and memorizing is a terrible way to restrict magical effectiveness.

Seriously? I thought the appeal of AD&D was that fighters could really kick ass, magic was a tool just as relevant as a sword and normal fighters really could beat the crap out of wizards with pure strength.

 

It was 3.5E that made magic seriously OP, more like a "super-power". I mean in a setting where magic is common, it should be as relevant as any other style of combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really dislike the spells per day system that D&D and its variants use. I almost never play a spell caster in those systems because of how awkward I find it. It never feels realistic to me (I mean to the extend that a magic system can be realistic); it seems like a nonsensical way for magic to work. I would much rather see a fatigue system such as the one OP suggests (or really any system other than Spells Per Day, but the fatigue system sounds better). I have some pen and paper games that use such a system, and I think it strikes an excelent balance between utility and seeming like a system that could actually exist in a world that had magic users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably compare thngs to Arcanum too much, but I'd love to see a more sophisticated version of the Fatigue system for that game. So maybe running at high speeds, dodging, attacking, etc. drains the same sort of energy magic does. So kinda like Exhaustion in the poll, yeah. Spell combos would be sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually magic, as compared to the D&D of IE games, should be seriously underpowered. Non magical characters have no way to do the damage of, say, a fireball, while resting and memorizing is a terrible way to restrict magical effectiveness.

Seriously? I thought the appeal of AD&D was that fighters could really kick ass, magic was a tool just as relevant as a sword and normal fighters really could beat the crap out of wizards with pure strength.

 

It was 3.5E that made magic seriously OP, more like a "super-power". I mean in a setting where magic is common, it should be as relevant as any other style of combat.

 

I'm not talking about making magic less relevant than physical fighting. Instead, I'd like them to be balanced appropriately, something I feel the IE games didn't do.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exhaustion / fatigue based system. Definitely the most interesting and also best for a mature setting where power should come at a price.

 

Also with long casting times for more powerful spells that can be interrupted. Interrupting enemy spellcasters and protecting your own while they conjure something battle-changing adds a lot to the tactical side of things.

 

Freedom to build a frail archmage or a caster with combat skills is a must as well.

 

It would be good if the same fatigue / exhaustion system would work for warriors and combat abilities, so the same rules apply to everyone and all classes need to rest equally. But magic would be more dangerous as you could potentially kill yourself by channeling too much energy.

Edited by 1varangian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I would like to see would be the ability to "power up" your spells.

 

Being able to gradually buff your spell power is something a CPRG platform would allow very nicely. Spending more stamina on a spell would result in more damage / larger AoE / longer duration / harder to resist etc.

 

Much more elegant than learning similar, more powerful versions of the same spell at a higher level. And you wouldn't need as many spells. You could power up your Fireball to effectively become Firestorm. This would be limited by feats and levels of course.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this exhaustion idea, much more interesting than resting/mana/dreadful cooldowns.

It's the system used in the best magic p&p rpg : Ars Magica.

Developpers really need to look more to this game for inspiration regarding magic systems, rather than the 'silly' D&D system...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting idea.

 

But what about the tanks in your team, do they also suffer from exhaustion or can they whack the **** out enemies without any penalties? Wouldn't make much sense of only wizzards got exhausted.

 

What about a long epic battle against a dragon or something... would you need anti-exhaustion potions or do you just wait until a character is not exhausted anymore (by waiting a few rounds) and then continue attacking?

 

Anyway, I wouldn't just call it exhaustion, that is too general (if only wizzards can actually get exhausted in battle). Seeing that Josh said that magic is somehow connected to a characters soul, maybe you should call it "soul exhaustion". E.g. The more spells your wizzard casts, the more his soul tires....

Edited by dlux

:closed:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

other penalty should include movement speed reduction, so that when baddies close in on the caster, he might be in trouble if he wasted his spells

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I though about something different, a modyfication of memorizing while asleep.

1. Mage would remember or write on his staff letters/runes/whatever - for ex. A, B, C, D etc.

2. Each spell would be a word made from different number of letters depending on a spell level starting from 1 or 2 letters for ex. magick missile A+C, firebolt A+B, sleeping B+C, ligthning A+B+C mage at the beginning would write on his staff 2/3 or more letters.

3.The longer word the longer casting would take.

4. After casting the letter would be used and would have to be rewritten or rememorized while resting (or in other way?).

5. New formulas for spells could be found or bought.

6. Leveling - Every for ex. 5 levels mage would increase number of letters he remembers/writes and would be able to use longer spells/or longer spells would be cast faster. While game proceeds you could find add-ons to his staff - for ex. another slot for letter or increase of speed of casting.

The differences between this system and memorising while sleeping are: 1. you may choose at the beginning of the battle from most of the spells your mage knows 2. the selection decreases while figthing. 3. the more complex spell you would use the less number of spells you would have.

I think such system would be something new (I think so) and would be leave a variety of tactics in each figth - there would be no one scheme for all figths like it was in for ex. Baldur's Gate 1 - every slot in spellbook at level 1 and 3 was used for fireball and magic missiles.

I also vote for combos.

Mage while using other weapon than staff should not be able to cast spells.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer a mix of Mana and Vancian, with cooldowns.

 

On one hand, you should be able to memorize spells, deciding what spells to have in your repetoire. These you then prepare. But using them costs mana, and when you use them, they go on a cooldown. Mana, like Health, should have little to no natural regeneration.

 

That way, choosing your spells becomes strategy, just like with vancian.

It gets tactical, because the spells you use go on cooldowns - but there is nothing stopping you from choosing to prepare multiple uses of the same spells (or with different metamagics attached to them).

It is still subject to attrition, because they would require mana.

 

It's a system that I consider the best of all worlds.


t50aJUd.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...