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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



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Nicely composed poll, I like it :yes:

 

I voted for Mana/Needs to be protected/Combo: on a second thought, regarding the second question, I actually prefer "both".

 

Instead, regarding the first question, it could be a combination of mana and weariness/exhaustion: I stil think that when a mage concentrate for a spell, his/her entire attention must be focused on gathering the necessary mental power to cast it.

 

So yes, the mage drains his "mental power" reserve, while also getting fatigued after performing such tasks, especially if he/she does that often. So yeah, I suppose I still find the D&D 3.5 wizard (or sorcerer, if you don't want the "memorize" mechanic") quite the perfect solution.

"The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance" - Wing Commander IV

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I think that magic based on exhaustion its better from a roleplay-logical perspective. In a sense its the same as mana, but at least it gives you the option to cast a spell knowing that it probably will fail (or crit if u have more than -for example- 70% your energy).

 

What I REALLY REALLY dont like to see its 6 spells to cast like diablo3-dragon age and maybe the sorceress class in d&d. What compells me about wizards is the ability to select (or have selected) the best spell for the rigth situation: using your REAL int to win the fight. Wizards must be versatile.

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I'd like to see you get a certain amount of mana (say 20) every combat and a pool (say 100) that refills when you rest (which happens at plot specific moments) The amount you get in each combat doesn't replenish your pool so you can expend a lot to get out of tough situations or get past difficult battles, but are never forced nor encouraged to do nothing.

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I'd like to see you get a certain amount of mana (say 20) every combat and a pool (say 100) that refills when you rest (which happens at plot specific moments) The amount you get in each combat doesn't replenish your pool so you can expend a lot to get out of tough situations or get past difficult battles, but are never forced nor encouraged to do nothing.

I don't think this will work at all for Project Eternity, as it has been inspired by the infinity engine rpg's, wich have a more open structure. In susch a case regaining a portion of mana after each combat and only resting at plot specific points would be arbitrary and silly in such a game.

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I didn't choose any of those. Personally, something along the lines of what functioned in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - Second Edition would be quite apetizing: you can cast spells as often as you want, without any fatigue/mana present, but each and every attempt at casting would not only hold the risk of simply being unsuccessfull, but also having side effects, from lesser ones (like spoling the food in your backpack) up to major (demonic possession).

As such, magic would become a thing of true danger to both the caster AND the people around, making the general prejudice against mages (finally) logical.

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Whatever magic system we get, it needs to have more interesting spells than most modern rpgs that go for little more than different levels of fireballs, lightning bolts, and some generic magical-damage magic-missile spell (though these could probably still be in there). Spells should have cool aesthetics and effects/descriptions, like IE spells such as Tashas Hideous Laughter, Axe of Torment, Mechanus Cannon, Swarm Curse, Seven Eyes etc.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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Another big question is: Will there be divine magic?

 

I hope not. It makes faith a much more interesting and morally complex concept if the gods aren't physically manifested.

 

If the answer is yes.. I hope it will be very narrowed down in what it can do and only reflecting the faith in question. Divine magic should be a manifestation of a very specific divine power instead of Clerics getting massive generic spell lists.

 

Divine magic could also be more subtle in nature.. blessing, bolstering allies or weakening those who the deity opposes. Not so much fireworks.

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The question of divine intervention is actually a pretty important one. On one hand, I wouldn't want clerics going around, healing and resurrecting through supernatural means (unless divinity will be explained as in the Planescape universe, in which case this is absolutely fine). Instead, I would opt for introducing a mechanic (although that could be difficult) where, depening upon how much favour one has with his or her god (of course this stat would be a hidden one), there would be a % chance for divine intervention at certain critical moments, both mechanical (the character is nearing death), as well as plot ones, as decided by the developers.

This could be especially appealing if, in certain cases, without divine intervention a given plot line can enly end "bad" or "worse".

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No cooldowns please - it always seems like an artificial restriction based on... what? Broken game mechanics? I like the exhaustion idea - you have to pace yourself during a battle, maybe if you risk casting while exhausted there's a chance it could go wrong or off target, or just do nothing.

 

Interesting poll - much more so than how many different genders/species I'm allowed to have sex with!

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Still playing through Planescape Torment...

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Availabilty.

I find memorizing system kinda unrealistic. Yes, unrealistic magic. Remember one spell three times, than use it two times and still remember one. Wut. I know about legit D&D explanation, but it doesn't really help.

But mana has it's own flaws. It limits resource managing to one combat, it may look too casual in case your party in the middle of hostile dungeon.

Exhaustion looks interesting. It makes you think about careful usage of powerful spells (unlike mana) and doesn't make your mage useless weakling with stuff when all spells casted (like memorization). I don't know how it will work in actual game though.

Specialization

I always preferred system with long but important spells. Many weak "magic bolts"? That's some magic archer. Instant resurrection and fire storm? Fine, but there's lack of tension for me.

Combos

I'm closer to "yes", but again it's usually made one-sided and without cons. Oil + fire = napalm party. Ice + fire = ice damage + fire damage. Oookay.

Edited by Milten
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I want to add something not relevant to magic system, but rather about style.

 

I think a lot of RPGs today miss a big chunk of immersion by not implementing vocal part of spells (chanting). Only sound we usually hear is from spell itself. I think chanting spells is cool and also helps to understand what's happening in combat (if somebody chants attack spell in BG2 which has "...mortissss..." in it you probably have trouble). If there are Magic Schools in game, working on every of them to sound different seems like a good idea.

Edited by Shadenuat
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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.

 

I like the idea of the fatigue system, especially it was used across all classes so everyone had a reason to rest and pace themselves in battle. This would also be a great way of showing the raising power of a mage as they level up as they become more efficient at casting so they are able to channel more power and hence use more powerful spells. It would be similar to how a swordman learns not just new 'moves' but how to swing their sword in a more efficient and effortless manner as they gain experience.

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i still like the idea of spellcasting being a tactical decision, it should take time, and require careful planning to throw a giant fireball into your enemies. there doesnt need to be a per-day limit or anything on the spell, because the nature of the spell should be sufficiently limiting

 

magic missiles should take 2-3 times as long to throw out as swinging a sword once. the damage should be in proportion to the time involved in the casting.

 

super powerful insta-blasts should be reserved for items of limited use, or given some other type of downside. a disentegration ray that takes just a moment to cast should require both a very high level caster, and also a drain on their hp or something.


Killing is kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there. and the other player is there. and it's just the two of us. and I put the other player's body in my van. and I am the winner. - Nice Pete.

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Combination betwean memorisation and skill, mana/stamina would be ideal for me. Having your spellbook, you still have access to all spells, you just cast them at slower rate and maybe higher exhaustion. One can not predict and be 100% prepared for every encounter and situation, but there is fun in unpredictable.

 

There is another way than, something that OP suggest, like exaustion, but I dont know if anyone has tried application called Alchemy? You start with 4 basic elements and build upon results of those. If foundation of reality can be summed down to those as ancient greek and some older civilisations thought. One could have Magic system based on that. It should be pretty straight forward and result of spells you create is based on your attributes and skills. Magic would work like One Power in Wheel of Time series. Since we can pause and cast, this system would be great for this kind of game.

magic021.jpg

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I must say I kind of like the idea of the exhaustion system. I've never heard of it before. But if you truly are exhausted you should have to sleep to recover. Get somewhere quiet and away from enemies to nap for at least a few hours. Just waiting around should not be enough to recharge your exhaustion meter or whatever. In the end it should balance out to be equivalent to the old sleep-to-restore-spells mechanic. The system could also be more finely grained so that the power of the spells is inversely proportional to how exhausted they make you. For instance, if you shoot a 3rd level fireball and roll a 20 that should make you more exhausted than if you only rolled a 2 and something like finger of death should only be able to be used a very small number of times in battle before you have to sleep for a while to recover. For those who want to sling spells with impunity 24/7 this system could also include some ranged (and melee for the suicidal mage) attacks that are no more damaging than a crossbow bolt which would not cause fatigue, at least not to a measurable extent.

 

The sleep system could also be finely grained so that even an hour of sleep will help at least to some degree. Speaking of the sleep system, I'd like to see sleeping out of the sight of enemies always restore you to some degree. If you encounter monsters they should be at random times. Not always as soon as you fall asleep.

 

Another system could be that your diety powers your magic. Your spells are sort of like prayer, praying for his assistance in a particular way. But if you are constantly bothering him he might shoot a lightning bolt at you and refuse to give you magic for a while. Another system could be that your mana is sourced from your companions fatigue and that the more spells you use and the more powerful the spells the more fatigued your companions get, reducing their effectiveness in combat. This idea comes from the HBO series, Carnivale. He had magic, but it carried a serious price. Something like that could be interesting.

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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I'd like to see the devs go old school on magic - spells have to be memorized and they only replenish after resting. Mages should be completelly useless in close combat and be able to change the course of a battle. I don't know what spell combos are but I don't like them since they're something new and scary. :)

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:) Resting is horrible mechanic for PC game and was abused like hell in old DnD games where you could spam sleep and cast your most powerful spells all the time in late game.

 

 

 

++++++++ It destroys immersion of the game, since time doesn't flow realistically.

Edited by Aoha
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Lots of others from me.

 

I'd like to see Obsidian come up with a unique magic system.

 

I'd like magic to not necessarily prelude a "caster" class. So how effective magic is in combat would be more of a class to class balancing system than an overall rule.

 

And no spell combos. It's gimmicky and I never felt like it really offered anything but "limitations" on what spells I should choose for characters.

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I like the idea of an exhaustion system, the spellcaster should see his ability to cast spells only be limited by his inherent abilities (constitution, stamina, will, ens...). It would allow a great variety of playstyle and require to use our spellcasters intelligently. The exhaustion should distinguish different states:

 

- Fresh: the spellcaster is at his height (no spell cast since a certain time) and is granted casting bonus (increased damage, ens...) for a short time (the first two spells casted)

 

- Normal: the spellcaster knows no bonus or penalties

 

- Tired: the spellcaster suffer several casting penalties

 

- Very tired: the spellcaster suffer casting penalties and can suffer side-effects (spellfaillure, reverse spell, uncontroled magic, ens...)

 

- Exhausted: the spellcaster is no longer able to cast most spells (will test or similar) and can become unconscious (constitution test) or worse (HP draining, even maybe death).

 

Following the state of exhaustion of the spellcaster, he would need to rest (one or several night sleep depending of his state of exhaustion) and to stop practising magic for a certain time (depending of his mental and physical abilities) to recover completely. Such mechanic would oblige the player to use magic with caution and the spellcaster could use a greater variety of talent as he wouldn't be able to cast too intensively. I always found the D&D wizards too vulnerable in close combat, but I think a spellcaster should be able to fight in close combat with a certain efficiency although he wouldn't be as good as a pure fighter. In this particular case, it would compensate the exhaustion mechanic (which should be more difficult to bear for low-level spellcasters as they don't master yet the ways of magic).

 

Their array of spell should be varied: quick spells easier to cast and less tiring and much more powerfull ones who would leave the spellcaster exhausted (or even inconscious or dead) in return of incommensurable effects capable of turning the tide of battle by themselves. It would allow very different playstyle for the player, especially if the spells can be combined for increased effects.

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Both mana or exhaustion would work for me. I also liked the sustained spell system in DA:O. It's incredibly irritating to have to keep casting defensive spells and buffs every minute or so. Just take a chunk off my mana pool and be done with it.

Speaking of sustainables and defensive effects.. I really hate the "christmas tree" effect in NWN games where you spend 5 minutes buffing up after every rest. And the visuals stack up to obscure your character under a huge mess of runes and sparks and whatnot.

 

Defensive spells should have short durations or have a cumulative cost to maintain so they would only be cast reactively. Or only one defensive spell at a time etc.. no christmas trees and buff-stacking tedium please.

 

"I might encounter monsters so I'll just cast Mage Armor, Stoneskin, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Protection from Elements, Spiderskin, Mirror Image, Protection from Arrows, Fox's Cunning, Ghostly Visage, Protection from Spells, Greater Resistance, Shield, Nightshield and Shadow Shield just in case and be on my merry way through the woods!"

Edited by 1varangian
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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.

 

I really like your idea of exhaustion. And also seeing it applied to physical abilities could also be very interesting. However I have some comments:

 

- the "magic vitality" you speak of, is nothing but a mana pool. A non traditional one, but it is still one. The difference is that after a certain threshold your spells start failing more and more... until you eventually collapse or even die.

 

- the amount of magic points (or vitality points or non-exhaustion or whatever you want to call it) should depend on some attribute. Maybe Constitution and Intelligence/Wisdom for magical abilities.

And if you consider this mechanism applied to physical abilities as well, then for those Constitution and Strength.

 

- and like other systems it suffers from the potion or sleep spamming. A possible solution was the one you mentioned:

make potions very rare and only allow sleeping in town.

But to avoid people going back and forth from town, have random hostile encounters.

 

 

BTW, I also recommend checking this overview of different magic systems in cRPGs:

http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,1431.0.html

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No for buffing after every rest. That is not fun, but its necessary. I`d hope that game mechanics wouldnt force you to it.

 

But i would like to have high level spell/skill combos such as timestop+improved alacrity+spell trigger to spawn 3 skeletons and after that you spam finger of death 5 times before time stop ends. Thats possible in bg2 with items, that improve casting time...

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