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463 members have voted

  1. 1. Magic System

    • Vancian (Memorization)
      190
    • Mana Pool
      143
    • Other
      130
  2. 2. Spell Progression

    • Individual Spells (MM->Acid Arrow->Fire Ball ->Skull Trap)
      292
    • Spells get upgraded (MM LVL 1-> MM LVL 2)
      94
    • Other
      77
  3. 3. Should there be separate Arcane & Divine sides to magic?

    • Yes (D&D)
      268
    • No (DA:O)
      102
    • Other
      93


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Shamelessly promoting my own topic because it directly correlates with my own opinion on this.

 

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

 

It's essentially a power system similar to 4th edition D&D.

I'm another advocator of resource-management over mechanical time-limit since It means more player-side responsibility rather than one-sided limitations given at the whim of the designers. I share the reorganization of the problem but solution may vary.

 

Vanican/memorization system is the sole reason for old D&D to have camping/random encounter system. Did my guess fail or Sawyer has another system for resource-management in mind? Too little info at the moment.

 

It's not necessary to have Vancian casting in order to have strong strategic gameplay (rather than just tactical gameplay). A mana pool that doesn't regenerate on its own would work like that.

This can be a possible solution. With Vanican system, the players may prepare "wrong spells" for their upcoming obstacles and there are no DM in CRPG. Also, reagent system can include some crafting and resource management. Yeah, what we need to know before any judgement is how actually whole the system work.

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As much as I prefer Vancian magic over mana, I think the bigger issue here at the moment is how does magic work in the first place and will Magic-Users be given back their rightful utility spells or will we they be once again reduced into glorified archers with blue and red missiles instead of normal arrows.

Edited by Hobo Elf
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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.

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I see a lot of people wishing for 4e mechanics in this game which I'm kinda confused about cause I've seen it trashed on Amazon and a lot of RPG sites. I've never played P-n-P (just never been around people who were interested in it unfortunately), but I dunno, it seems kinda surprising to me to see people on here recommending it all of a sudden?

 

Anyways, I like the vancian system of memorizing spells, it adds a cool strategic element, but they would need to come up with a solid rest system if they're going that route.

 

As mentioned already with the mana pool system you just always spam the same stuff every fight. Kinda lame IMO.

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Yes but no matter what system used to power or restrict access to spells this is going to happen anyway. You will find the combination of spells or powers or what have you that works best for the way you deal with situations and use them to the exclusion of the rest

 

Sure, there are always minmaxers, but I'd just prefer if the base mechanics weren't tilted in favor of that playstyle. I'd still play the game and enjoy it if it had Vancian magic, it's just not something I'm big on.

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Not a fan of Vancian. A yes to individual spells with no 'spell upgrades', though, and perhaps spell research. Anyone remember Betrayal at Antara? The game could be painful, but I always thought it a shame that the magic research system never appeared again after that.

 

To really know what would make sense we'd need to know how magic works first, however...


Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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I see a lot of people wishing for 4e mechanics in this game which I'm kinda confused about cause I've seen it trashed on Amazon and a lot of RPG sites. I've never played P-n-P (just never been around people who were interested in it unfortunately), but I dunno, it seems kinda surprising to me to see people on here recommending it all of a sudden?

 

Anyways, I like the vancian system of memorizing spells, it adds a cool strategic element, but they would need to come up with a solid rest system if they're going that route.

 

As mentioned already with the mana pool system you just always spam the same stuff every fight. Kinda lame IMO.

People generally don't like the 4E system because it is extremely game-y, heavily influenced by modern MMORPGs both in style and mechanics.

 

The fact that people wouldn't mind this in actual computer games shouldn't be surprising. 4E almost seems made entirely to be used in computer games.


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Memorising or mana, things always boil down to how mage replenishes his magical resource. Spell slots, mana or ingredients, they are all magical resources, just like hit points. Strategy is't just about placing spells into slots, it's about how hard to get your slots back. And that is what determines spellcaster's gameplay - where exactly resource replenishment fits into game and battle encounters.

So really, stamina or ingredients can work as well as memorising spells - if there are no stamina potions, or ingredients are costly and have weight, ect.

 

As for 4th edition, it does not exactly make more sense than 3d or 2d. Why exactly a ranger can use some sort of snipe ability only once per combat? Does he forget it and the re-memorises? I know it mimics sort of "dramatic moments" or "fate points" maybe, but still :3

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The spell preparation and reagent system from Ultima IV achieves many of people's desired objectives, as well. Mages must plan ahead, they cannot mindlessly spam powerful abilities, but there's no incredulity stemming from memorisation (personally, I don't think memorisation actually has this problem, but, again, many do - I think documenting it better would help).

 

I never played Ultima IV, but it sounds interesting looking it up online for how it worked.

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As I mentioned in an earlier thread, there is no game that has ever come close to the utility of magic, and the awesomeness of mage battles in BG2. I actually struggle to come up with even one other game where magic amounted to anything more than crowd control and nukes. The vancian magic system was a big part of what made magic an important strategic part of the IE games, so at least consider using mechanics that resemble memorization.

 

edit: and for the love of god, stay away from cooldowns that make the game play like an offline MMO (I'm looking at you DA:O).

Edited by Continuity
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It's simply because previous version of D&D are not as suitable and easily adapted to video games as 4th edition. And I personally prefer 4th edition, even though people bash it. Then again, I only played 3.5 twice.

For the record, I loathe 4th edition. Also, it broke the pattern of quality.

 

1st edition was great. But 1.5 (Unearthed Arcana) was unbalanced.

2nd edition was great. But 2.5 (Skills & Powers) was grossly unbalanced.

3rd edition was great (though I continue to lament the loss of dual-classing). But 3.5 was broken.

4th edition was terrible. Pattern broken.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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It should be ritual based.

 

Want to fire a fireball at a troll? Dance around for 3 minutes chanting while making mystic signs.

 

Want to stop time? Hire three other dances, dance in tandem for 7 hours and 15 minutes and slaughter a goat.

 

:)

Actually I wouldn't mind exploring a slower, more subtle and more powerful magic system instead of the more typical "lightning bolt!" "lightning bolt!" "death!" system. Spells would take minutes to cast, but in semi-vancian style a small number of them could be cast beforehand and then held in reserve to be triggered in combat. This sort of system would probably focus on buffs, healing, and other things you can do outside combat.


SODOFF Steam group.

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My only gripe with 4th ed. is that the powers don't really make sense for fighters, for example. But that's a minor gripe I can take for better gameplay. Then again, my groups games are fairly houseruled when it's required. (Cyberpunk campaigns, skill challenges involving more than dice rolling in form of "mini-games", reflavouring classes to suit the character as much as you want, etc)


My thoughts on how character powers and urgency could be implemented:

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

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I don't know, people have been decrying the vancian style magic system for years but no one has been able to do better. The only other system in use is mana or, in ttrpgs spell points, which when you come down to it is still a form of vancian magic only without the slots being filled from the outset.

 

There are also fatigue based systems. For example, in the PnP game Blue Rose, when you cast a spell you have to roll to see if the effort causes you fatigue. The more powerful the spell, the more difficult the roll. In addition, each subsequent casting within a short timespan increases the difficulty of the fatigue roll. The effect is that rapid casting is more likely to cause you to build up fatigue, and eventually you can pass out if you push yourself too hard.

 

Anyway, I don't like D&D's spells-per-day system, so I hope they don't end up using it. If they want to force you to prepare spells strategically, that's fine with me, but casting the prepared spells should drain mana or build up fatigue or something. A system like the one Everquest used would be a way to keep the strategic element of having to choose a small number of your known spells to prepare, while not leaving mages useless after their meager number of spells per day run out. In Everquest's system (both in the computer game and the OGL PnP game), you scribe your spells in a spell book but can only memorize eight at a time. This forces you switch spells around depending on the circumstances you find yourself in, but since casting your memorized spells drains mana (which regenerates over time, a process that you can expedite by meditating), you can cast them as much as your mana will allow and only need to rest for a few minutes to replenish your mana when it runs out. This system, to me, strikes a good balance between utility and strategic preparation.

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I'm really not a fan of the Vancian system. Mainly the reason is that you never know what spell you're going to need until your 2nd play through of the game. This really hampers magic users. I like systems where I have all my spells available to me to use at a moments notice. Otherwise specialty spells just never get used.

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As I mentioned in an earlier thread, there is no game that has ever come close to the utility of magic, and the awesomeness of mage battles in BG2. I actually struggle to come up with even one other game where magic amounted to anything more than crowd control and nukes. The vancian magic system was a big part of what made magic an important strategic part of the IE games, so at least consider using mechanics that resemble memorization.

 

edit: and for the love of god, stay away from cooldowns that make the game play like an offline MMO (I'm looking at you DA:O).

 

Well, there's always the Realms of Arkania series if you want a game where Magic-Users are well portrayed as the kings of utility. Fireballs can greatly damage enemies, but usually it would be smarter to just simply blind all the enemies and rust their weapons. That will be much less mana costly and actually produce better results as your fighters can dispatch the enemy with great ease thanks to your battlefield control. Not to mention that their staffs, when charged, can illuminate light and produce magical rope out of nothing, which ends up being 100x more useful than any amount of destructive spells you could have.

Now excuse me while I go spend 10 hours rolling my new RoA party.

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I don't hate "Vancian" magic (never heard this term, either, until 4E came out and people were complaining up a storm) but I'm not a fan.

 

I remember playing 1st and 2nd ED, me and my friends would lament there not being a spell point system until we finally invented out own.

 

So I'll not be upset with memorized spells, but personally I feel it is such an artificial construct that, narratively, makes so little sense to me. "I have to re-read the same words every day, and the second I cast the spell - POOF - it's erased from my memory." Whatever.

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This is really pointless. They've made their point clear: they're probably going after something totally new or try something different with old systems. You can only comment on previous titles shortcomings for the best result.

 

And for that, i'd say that watch out for making everybody able to cast everything or same POOL of spells: this became a problem in BG2 where rangers, clerics, mages, druids, sorcerers, monks, friggin' everybody has spells (and the same ones) so spamming was huge and roles were lost. It got only worse in ToB, what with fighter's summoning celestial fighters etc. Ofc potions lost importance due to resting and spells, you sold them for money.

 

Also, all-can-cast also means that magic becomes everyday/bland in the process... but i think you can redeem this if what more fighter types learn sparsely + spells are pretty specific/unique than MAGIC MISSILE/ARMOR SPELL. Dialogue/character spells, psionic spells, you name it. It's like those goofy innate abilities in BG series but more useful. Maybe have different pool of spells for lots of folks too? Heroes the TV Series RPG :-P

 

Also be careful with buffs, don't want to see the all-buffs-before-big-fight-(cos-i-can-rest-when-no-enemy-is-around). NWN 1 & 2 revolved around boring buff spells though (with extended periods or strenght) and that blew too. I think best magic is when it acts interestingly besides those effective direct spells - like really goofy but powerful/strangely working spells. Make spells fantastic and perhaps akin to grenades or an battle-turning interventions or DESPERATE by-chance moves when used at right time.

I'm still thinking about how different (and FUN) BG's would had been if something like Wild Mages were introduced from the start.

Edited by IEfan

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As mentioned before, "memorisation" was a poor word for it. You were effectively, using meditation, building a specific lattice of magical power in your mind, which, at the moment of casting was released. To cast the same spell again, the lattice needed to be rebuilt.

 

In earlier editions, the amount of time required to "memorise" spells was really quite onerous, plus the spellbooks from which the spells were "memorised" were massive. As such, a mage typically had to choose, before even embarking on his adventure, which spells he would have in his travelling spellbook (as his main spellbook was too large to transport), thus limiting his strategic options each day.

 

It was a much deeper system than CRPG translations made it appear.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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Perhaps there could be a compromise between vancian and non vancian casting. One possibility is predominantly vancian, but with a few weak at will spells. There could also be separation of arcane and divine, or even just based on class, with one class or type of caster having vancian, while other classes have a spell point/mana system, or something completely original.

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Perhaps there could be a compromise between vancian and non vancian casting. One possibility is predominantly vancian, but with a few weak at will spells. There could also be separation of arcane and divine, or even just based on class, with one class or type of caster having vancian, while other classes have a spell point/mana system, or something completely original.

 

How would this solve the problem of more specialised spells never being used in your first play through?

 

When you actually know what's coming then the Vancian system is amazing since you can be prepared. When you have no clue what you're about to encounter? You just have to load up on generic damage/status effect spells and it becomes dull and boring.

 

When I play Baldur's Gate I only enjoy magic users now because I can prepare them well. I couldn't even imagine how much I'd have disliked playing one on my first play.

 

Now, I love the idea of individual spells instead of certain levels of spells. I also want spells to not be rendered useless as you level up. I also like finding a scroll that has a spell on it and then adding that spell to my repetoire rather than just automatically learning new spells as I level up. Just please, no Vancian system, I just hate when quirky fun spells that are only useful in certain circumstances never get used on a first play through.

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I wonder if you can't combine the idea of a mana pool-like system with a memorization system. For example think of the idea of the more potent spells as those that require memorization, that you only get a very limited number of uses from, however, combine that with a second class of spells that use a mana pool-like system, that are much, much weaker, but can be used more consistently,

 

You could definitely make use of a specialization oriented system that suggested you needed to either branch out, or specialize, depending on your play style and goals for your character. However you'd specialize your weaker mana pool-like spells separately from your memorized spells. They might share a school system, but they'd cover different realms of that system. The Memorized spells would be your bigger, more complex spells. The mana pool-like spells would be simple spells that at their best might compare to cantrips, while still putting a limiter on them like a slow regenerating mana pool-like system. Though I'd prefer a small mana pool to the large ones.

 

-

 

You could take the second tier of your poll, and, again, use both. Have the very specific styled spells be your memorized spells, specific named spells that you can only memorize so many of at a time. In contrast your mana pool-like spells would use the upgrade of older spells. In my mind this means specialization would be even more limiting for the mana poo-style spells in this context where you have both. Because the memorized spells would be your variety, even if you've specialized in an entire school, but your mana pool-like using spells would be limited to one or two spells that you could highly customize and upgrade to your needs. Think of these cantrip level mana pool-like spells as being like your character in that you'd need to level them up toward different functions.

 

Example:

 

Perhaps your cantrip-like spell is a little ball of electricity. At a base you launch it toward an enemy and it does very little damage. Now, you could upgrade its damage to an extent, but your memorized spells would always do far, far more damage (or be better at any given/equivalent) effect we're talking about, we're just using a damage spell in the example). However you could also customize the ball of electricity to split itself when you launch it or to become a swarm of projectiles or to track enemies or explode or pierce or what have you. You'd only be able to upgrade it so much as you leveled, but you'd be able to customize it and combine upgrades to an extent to your character's needs.

 

Regardless they'd always be weaker than memorized spell equivalents, and used not as a main means of attack (or whatever the function of the spell) but as a sort of natural wand. In fact I'm not entirely sure the system should be, 'those one or two wands (or a staff, or whatever you're thinking) you're taught to craft that have a slowly regenerating power supply in them' that you can upgrade and augment as you gain levels and different forms of upgrade are made available to you. You could treat them as weapon sets, and prevent you from equipping new equipment in battle, but allow a character to switch between those two weapon sets letting you change between two of these effects. Obviously much more limited than Memorized casting, but pointedly so.

 

In contrast your memorized spell of 'the big squishy energy fist of doom' would be a named, already customized - by another mage long ago - spell that you have to memorize. You'd memorize charged of it much like in DnD. The spell's function would always be the same. However it would also be much more potent, and always be so.

 

-

 

I'm not entirely sure you have to go with an Arcane/Divine model at all . . . what if you made more base distinctions than that? I always felt, for example elemental (obvious) from arcane (the more wierd non-elemental effects and spells) and divine from nature. Regardless I'd want there to be much less cross over than you saw in DnD. I'd definitely want spells in one area to be wholly unique from spells in another, especially where memroized spells are concerned.

Edited by Umberlin

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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As mentioned before, "memorisation" was a poor word for it. You were effectively, using meditation, building a specific lattice of magical power in your mind, which, at the moment of casting was released. To cast the same spell again, the lattice needed to be rebuilt.

 

In earlier editions, the amount of time required to "memorise" spells was really quite onerous, plus the spellbooks from which the spells were "memorised" were massive. As such, a mage typically had to choose, before even embarking on his adventure, which spells he would have in his travelling spellbook (as his main spellbook was too large to transport), thus limiting his strategic options each day.

 

It was a much deeper system than CRPG translations made it appear.

 

Oh, I played it. And hated it.

 

We immediately did away with spell components as unnecessarily fun-killing. I've never played a role-playing game, in fact, where I've need spell components - unless you talk about the ones where you own a "components pouch" and it counts as what you need.

 

Explanations or no of what happens, they are just explanations for a codified game mechanic - they needed to balance magic spells against other classes, and they needed to give advancing wizards something to look forward to. Instead of just gaining new spells, you gained the ability to cast spells more often.

 

I'm about to commit heresy here, but I greatly preferred 4E's magic system.

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