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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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I can go either way, the only thing that really matters to me is if the game is balanced.

 

I would of course prefer a system different from the one used in D&D. It worked fine, it was just tedious to manage sometimes.

Edited by dlux

:closed:

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How about a novel concept. I've been playing DOTA 2 recently and one of my favorite heroes is Invoker. His magic system is different in that you level elemental affinities. Ice, Wind, Fire. You can combine the three elements in different orders and invoke spells. So Ice, Ice, Fire gives you a certain spell and Fire, Ice, Ice gives you something else. The strength, range and effectiveness of the spell depends on the level of your elemental efficiency. He relies on a mana pool rather than a Vancian magic system. You could make it so that mages who focus entirely on fire can cast extremely high damage yet incredible close range spells. If you want to launch a fireball from 100 yards away a strong talent in wind affinity might be needed. Something like this would need a lot of time spent balancing to get right and I'm not 100% sure how it could get implemented in game, but if it did, it would be an interesting new direction in RPGs.

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The resting every three minutes thing should just not be possible in the first place, if you try to rest too soon you should be getting a, 'you're not tired' or 'you don't feel like resting now' message to prevent you from just resting constantly and completely obliterating the limiting mechanics that are in place.


"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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I voted other for magic system. I don't know what I want exactly, but I'd like to see the devs break out of the conventions of either mana or "you can cast 3 fireballs and then you need a nice nap." I don't know how to fix this exactly, but both these systems have huge flaws and exist mainly because they're easy to manage.

 

I do have one half idea. Make a hybrid system. When you're high enough level, early level spells become trivial to cast, so you could spam a first level fireball like a fighter can swing a sword, while high level spells require preperation and thought put into them. This might turn out to be a balance nightmare, but at least it isn't the same old systems.

 

 

For spell progression, I went with individual spells. One of the best things about DnD and consequently the IE games, was the incredible list of spells. Tons of unique and interesting things to do with each new level of spells.

 

 

I voted yes to seperate sides to magic, but it doesn't have to be the same as DnD. I only want them to do this if they're really going to differentiate them though, and it's not just a different list of spells to choose from.

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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.

First of all, I've never played a game with a Vancian system where you NEEDED any spell at all. Have you?

 

Second, half the fun of any game is discovery. You're trying to tie the 'meta gaming' argument to the vancian system, which is a bit dishonest. You don't have to *know* precisely which spells to memorize ahead of time, since in a worst case scenario if you happened to not have the absolute best spell for the situation, you can make due some other way by simply using your noggin and being creative, or take your lumps like a true adventurer and accept the fact some fights will be tougher than others due to your party's lack of preperation - - and that being 100% prepared for every single encounter eventually makes for really BORING, soulless gameplay.

Edited by Stun
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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.

First of all, I've never played a game using the Vancian system where you NEEDED any spell at all. Have you?

 

Second, half the fun of any game is discovery. You're trying to tie the 'meta gaming argument" to the vancian system, which is a bit dishonest. You don't have to *know* precisely which spells to memorize ahead of time, since in a worst case scenario if you happened to not have the absolute best spell for the situation, you can make do some other way, or take your lumps like a true adventurer and accept the fact that you won't be 100% prepared for every single encounter.

 

I never said you needed as in actually needed specific spells. What I mean is that spells that have little use outside of specific circumstances and conditions rarely get used at all because nobody bothers memorising them in the Vancian system unless they know ahead of time that said situation will be coming up. Sure you can get by without said spell but that doesn't change the fact that said spell won't get used and rarely if ever will get used on a first play through.

 

It's not so much about not being totally prepared that bothers me, it's that I get spells that I will never use on a first play through, they just sit in my spell book until the end of the game.

 

What I suggest is that the spell uses per day is the same as the Vancian system, just you are not limited by what spells you have memorised. Now, I never played 3rd edition D&D but isn't this very similar to how the Sorcerer class played?

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I'll reiterate my previous post on this subject:

 

Vancian should be consider as a staple. A mage has slots (or however you'll call them, probably something more immersive) in his spellbook. Spells cast this way are powerful and without any penalties. However - and here comes the juicy bit - the very same mage can also use raw magic and fire off the very same spells without using slots. This does come at a price, though: they can fail, they drain the sorcerer's health, and then they can be miscast, which has very severe consequences (equipment destruction, permanent stat loss, even death when casting high-level spells).

To further develop this idea, we could have some kind of a class that can only cast raw spells, but is a much tougher fighter, called warlock or sorcerer or something.


[intelligence] I'm fighting the Good Fight with my posts.

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Arcanum had an interesting magic system based more on stamina then mana. Fallout didn't have any magic. KoTOR2, NWN2, TOEE, V:tMB and the Infinity Engine games were based on existing IPs. While something new could be very interesting, I'm placing my vote for the Arcanum style with maybe a bit more polish.

 

And now I really want to play some good old games.

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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.

First of all, I've never played a game using the Vancian system where you NEEDED any spell at all. Have you?

 

Second, half the fun of any game is discovery. You're trying to tie the 'meta gaming argument" to the vancian system, which is a bit dishonest. You don't have to *know* precisely which spells to memorize ahead of time, since in a worst case scenario if you happened to not have the absolute best spell for the situation, you can make do some other way, or take your lumps like a true adventurer and accept the fact that you won't be 100% prepared for every single encounter.

 

I never said you needed as in actually needed specific spells. What I mean is that spells that have little use outside of specific circumstances and conditions rarely get used at all because nobody bothers memorising them in the Vancian system unless they know ahead of time that said situation will be coming up. Sure you can get by without said spell but that doesn't change the fact that said spell won't get used and rarely if ever will get used on a first play through.

 

It's not so much about not being totally prepared that bothers me, it's that I get spells that I will never use on a first play through, they just sit in my spell book until the end of the game.

 

What I suggest is that the spell uses per day is the same as the Vancian system, just you are not limited by what spells you have memorised. Now, I never played 3rd edition D&D but isn't this very similar to how the Sorcerer class played?

 

I can't speak exactly on 3rd ED, but in general... yes.

 

Sorcerers don't memorize - they have fewer spells, but they have "spell points" - or so many spells of each level they can cast per day. So if they have Magic Missile, Burning Hands and Sleep for 1st level spells and they can cast 4 1st level spells per day (4 level 1 spell points, as far as I'm concerned), they can cast 4 Magic Missiles or 4 Burning Hands or any combination of those 3 spells.

 

Better. Not great, but better.

 

 

-

 

 

Another idea - spell levels are a bad idea. There are many better ideas out there, but one I'd like is picking fields or schools or some such, and you get the abilitiy to do certain things and as you get more powerful (level up) those abilities become more powerful and more diverse. 1st level mage choose fire affinitiy, for example, and therefore can create small gouts of flame. These gouts can be used to light torches, set flammable materials on fire, or cause damage to enemies a short distance away. At level 2 they do more damage, can shoot farther, and maybe some new trick. Depending on how elaborate you want to go, you might even have options as to what aspects increase as you level (damage, range, etc.) and what extra tricks you can now do.

 

Being wedded to how D&D did (and with Next now, does things again) is not necessary. There are many ways to do it.

 

Many ways that, IMO, are much better than studying your spell book every morning so you get exactly 3 uses of rope trick but, even though you know swim as a fish, you can't cast it as you didn't focus on it this morning.

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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.

First of all, I've never played a game using the Vancian system where you NEEDED any spell at all. Have you?

 

Second, half the fun of any game is discovery. You're trying to tie the 'meta gaming argument" to the vancian system, which is a bit dishonest. You don't have to *know* precisely which spells to memorize ahead of time, since in a worst case scenario if you happened to not have the absolute best spell for the situation, you can make do some other way, or take your lumps like a true adventurer and accept the fact that you won't be 100% prepared for every single encounter.

 

I never said you needed as in actually needed specific spells. What I mean is that spells that have little use outside of specific circumstances and conditions rarely get used at all because nobody bothers memorising them in the Vancian system unless they know ahead of time that said situation will be coming up. Sure you can get by without said spell but that doesn't change the fact that said spell won't get used and rarely if ever will get used on a first play through.

 

It's not so much about not being totally prepared that bothers me, it's that I get spells that I will never use on a first play through, they just sit in my spell book until the end of the game.

 

What I suggest is that the spell uses per day is the same as the Vancian system, just you are not limited by what spells you have memorised. Now, I never played 3rd edition D&D but isn't this very similar to how the Sorcerer class played?

 

I can't speak exactly on 3rd ED, but in general... yes.

 

Sorcerers don't memorize - they have fewer spells, but they have "spell points" - or so many spells of each level they can cast per day. So if they have Magic Missile, Burning Hands and Sleep for 1st level spells and they can cast 4 1st level spells per day (4 level 1 spell points, as far as I'm concerned), they can cast 4 Magic Missiles or 4 Burning Hands or any combination of those 3 spells.

 

Better. Not great, but better.

 

See, that is how I would like it. However I think in the game the magic user shouldn't be restricted in how many spells they know. Just in how many uses per-day of each level they can cast.

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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.

First of all, I've never played a game using the Vancian system where you NEEDED any spell at all. Have you?

 

Second, half the fun of any game is discovery. You're trying to tie the 'meta gaming argument" to the vancian system, which is a bit dishonest. You don't have to *know* precisely which spells to memorize ahead of time, since in a worst case scenario if you happened to not have the absolute best spell for the situation, you can make do some other way, or take your lumps like a true adventurer and accept the fact that you won't be 100% prepared for every single encounter.

 

I never said you needed as in actually needed specific spells. What I mean is that spells that have little use outside of specific circumstances and conditions rarely get used at all because nobody bothers memorising them in the Vancian system unless they know ahead of time that said situation will be coming up. Sure you can get by without said spell but that doesn't change the fact that said spell won't get used and rarely if ever will get used on a first play through.

 

It's not so much about not being totally prepared that bothers me, it's that I get spells that I will never use on a first play through, they just sit in my spell book until the end of the game.

 

What I suggest is that the spell uses per day is the same as the Vancian system, just you are not limited by what spells you have memorised. Now, I never played 3rd edition D&D but isn't this very similar to how the Sorcerer class played?

 

I can't speak exactly on 3rd ED, but in general... yes.

 

Sorcerers don't memorize - they have fewer spells, but they have "spell points" - or so many spells of each level they can cast per day. So if they have Magic Missile, Burning Hands and Sleep for 1st level spells and they can cast 4 1st level spells per day (4 level 1 spell points, as far as I'm concerned), they can cast 4 Magic Missiles or 4 Burning Hands or any combination of those 3 spells.

 

Better. Not great, but better.

 

See, that is how I would like it. However I think in the game the magic user shouldn't be restricted in how many spells they know. Just in how many uses per-day of each level they can cast.

 

Which would make it impossible to have some cool spells which would be overpowered if you could spam them.

Edited by Infinitron

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I never said you needed as in actually needed specific spells. What I mean is that spells that have little use outside of specific circumstances and conditions rarely get used at all because nobody bothers memorising them in the Vancian system unless they know ahead of time that said situation will be coming up.

Or, unless they spend a few seconds reading the spell descriptions. Take the BG2 7th level Cleric spell: "Sunray". Its a spell that destroys undead. That's pretty much its only function. Well? Simple Common sense and minimal awareness of the game you're playing dictates when that spell will be useful and when it won't. So you memorize it when you feel you need to.

 

What's the problem?

 

Sure you can get by without said spell but that doesn't change the fact that said spell won't get used and rarely if ever will get used on a first play through.

Why are you speaking in such abstract "what-if" terms? Can you give me a specific example of what you're talking about? Some spells are more popular than others. So what? it happens. Happens in all non-vancian systems as well. You're not saying anything here.

 

It's not so much about not being totally prepared that bothers me, it's that I get spells that I will never use on a first play through, they just sit in my spell book until the end of the game.

So....don't memorize them?

 

What I suggest is that the spell uses per day is the same as the Vancian system, just you are not limited by what spells you have memorised. Now, I never played 3rd edition D&D but isn't this very similar to how the Sorcerer class played?

That's what wands and scrolls are for. To let you cast spells you didn't memorize. And before you respond again with "but they're expensive", let me jog your memory of the BG and IWD games, where the game flooded you with so many scrolls that they had to put scroll cases in the game because people were complaining about inventory management problems. Ditto with wands. An average Playthrough of the BG games typically sees your Mage and cleric's inventory filled up almost exclusively with wands.

 

You never needed to spend a single gold piece on them.

Edited by Stun

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Vancian is probably my least favorite magic system. It seems rather arbitrary to limit spell use to X amount of spells of level Y per day.

 

Did anyone play Ars Magica? Now that game had an awesome magic system. Each magical aspect had its own skill value, and spells generally required the combination of two of them. Creo (I create) Ignem (Fire) for example were two skills that handled everything from a flash of flame to horrible conflagrations laying waste to a small town.

 

Spell power was balanced by:

a) Fatigue: Every cast spell would potentially fatigue your magus, and fatigue gave increasingly negative modifiers on pretty much everything

b) Ritual: Powerful spells could not be cast with the snap of a hand, but required the magus to prepare for it and remain undisturbed during the casting

c) Vim: extracted magical energy, from magical creatures or sites or artifacts. Powerful spells and any spell that was meant to have a permanent effect (for example, EVERY healing spell) consumed an amount of vim as appropriate for the spell's power.

 

Instead of just introducing arbitrary restrictions like the Vancian system, Ars Magica balanced spell power through a combination of time required (rituals) and rare resources (vim) as well as fatigue acting as a kind of mana pool. That made it feel sophisticated, and casting a major spell meant the spending of both time and resources and was an accomplishment in itself, more than just clicking on your level 9 spell slot.

 

But the devs have already stated that a character's magical potential is tied to his or her soul, so most of this discussion is probably pretty moot anyway. :)


When in deadly danger

When beset by doubt

Run in little circles

Wave your arms and shout.

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Why not try something entirely different? Let's give magic real power... and a real cost.

 

What if magic "built up" in a person's system with each use, and each new spell had an increasing chance of a devastating misfire?

 

What if exceptionally strong magic incapacitated the user for a bit?

 

What if magic literally consumed calories like exercise and so wizards were perpetually having to eat humongous meals?

 

What if....

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Stun? I get it, you don't like anything but Vancian. However explain how what I suggested would be at all unbalanced? You claimed that an MP system is unbalanced so I gave a different suggestion. All you are doing now is not explaining how it's bad, rather you just resulted to talking down the opposition to Vancian without actually saying why other suggestions are bad. You're simply dismissing anything but Vancian and that's not condusive to discussion.

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Mix of vancian, memorisation and mana/stamina point based? + rewards based on spell school that you use most. Wasnt there like 5 threads about magic system already?


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Arcanum had an interesting magic system based more on stamina then mana. Fallout didn't have any magic. KoTOR2, NWN2, TOEE, V:tMB and the Infinity Engine games were based on existing IPs. While something new could be very interesting, I'm placing my vote for the Arcanum style with maybe a bit more polish.

 

And now I really want to play some good old games.

 

I liked Arcanum's system too. The fact that both spells and physical attacks were tiring meant that it didn't have the imbalance that D&D has where spellcasters only can use a handful of big damage spells per day while a fighter with a two handed sword can power attack multiple times per round, every round to deal out some pretty heinous damage. In Arcanum, any kind of sustained attacking would exhaust you, regardless of whether you were shooting fireballs or swinging an axe.

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Good question! I'm not a fan of Vancian casting as I find it too limiting - I'm not exactly a fan of a mana pool system either, but I guess that would be the lesser of two evils in this case. There does need to be a finite resource, so managing said resource would be a part of the challenge - otherwise magic just comes down to spamming (anyone that's currently playing TSW knows what I'm talking about). :)

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Another idea - spell levels are a bad idea. There are many better ideas out there, but one I'd like is picking fields or schools or some such, and you get the abilitiy to do certain things and as you get more powerful (level up) those abilities become more powerful and more diverse. 1st level mage choose fire affinitiy, for example, and therefore can create small gouts of flame. These gouts can be used to light torches, set flammable materials on fire, or cause damage to enemies a short distance away. At level 2 they do more damage, can shoot farther, and maybe some new trick. Depending on how elaborate you want to go, you might even have options as to what aspects increase as you level (damage, range, etc.) and what extra tricks you can now do.

I like this idea, but I also like the idea of having to prepare spells in advance.

 

So, imagine a crafting system where spells need to be mixed before use (by combining magical components), and you can only cast the spells you've previously made. But you can invent new spells by mixing together different components in new ways. I'm not talking about discovering pre-designed spells (like Ultima Underworld), but by having each component and means of preparation impart different abilities - like how alchemy works in Skyrim.

 

Then, as the mage grows more powerful, he might learn new methods of preparation, or might become more effective at preparation, or might gain the ability to use more different ingredients in combination at a time.

 

You know, I really like this idea. You could build a whole game around this.

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

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Another idea - spell levels are a bad idea. There are many better ideas out there, but one I'd like is picking fields or schools or some such, and you get the abilitiy to do certain things and as you get more powerful (level up) those abilities become more powerful and more diverse. 1st level mage choose fire affinitiy, for example, and therefore can create small gouts of flame. These gouts can be used to light torches, set flammable materials on fire, or cause damage to enemies a short distance away. At level 2 they do more damage, can shoot farther, and maybe some new trick. Depending on how elaborate you want to go, you might even have options as to what aspects increase as you level (damage, range, etc.) and what extra tricks you can now do.

I like this idea, but I also like the idea of having to prepare spells in advance.

 

So, imagine a crafting system where spells need to be mixed before use (by combining magical components), and you can only cast the spells you've previously made. But you can invent new spells by mixing together different components in new ways. I'm not talking about discovering pre-designed spells (like Ultima Underworld), but by having each component and means of preparation impart different abilities - like how alchemy works in Skyrim.

 

Then, as the mage grows more powerful, he might learn new methods of preparation, or might become more effective at preparation, or might gain the ability to use more different ingredients in combination at a time.

 

You know, I really like this idea. You could build a whole game around this.

 

I like it, too. We should start a Kickstarter for a new RPG. :shifty:

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I mentioned this in a previous post, but I personally don't like the idea of magic complying with human classification. To me, magic is an unknowable, mysterious force that men just tap into for power, so it always bothered me that I couldn't cast illusions just because I chose the wrong wizard specialization. It seemed like a very "mechanical" limitation, that always took me out of the moment. Taking it a step further, I also think it's rather silly that all spells that heal are "restoration magic" in Elder Scrolls and the like systems. I prefer WoW's model where multiple "types" of magic can all have the same effect, because to me, it represents the concept that magic is not something man invented, but rather something that man has discovered.

 

In terms of gameplay, I prefer a mana system to spell memorization, but it's not the end of the world either way. I also enjoy the struggling to find a safe place to rest in order to continue the journey.

 

I don't really understand the second question in the poll - why do all spells need to be 1 or the other? I personally like that magic missile improves as you level up, but that it's largely surpassed in effectiveness by later spells. Maybe I misunderstood the question.

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I'm sure it can if you've never been with a woman before. I'm sure it's the closest some of you will ever get to being with a woman.

Spamming insults now when out of arguments, aren't we?

I'm just saying, if you've never been with a woman before a romance in a game is probably more immersive for someone than someone who has been with a woman. What's wrong with that? Not really insulting. It's like the difference between a boy seeing boobs for the first time and the difference between a man seeing them for the thousandth time.

 

You know what? I could just as easily say that the people who are opposed to romance in games hold that position because they're 30-year old virgins who live in their mother's basement and don't like in-game romances because it reminds them of the pants-****ting terror they experience when they talk to women in real life. I don't make that argument because it would be rude and baseless, but that's essentially what you're doing here. It's dickish. Please stop.

Well you could say that but you'd look stupid because most, if not all, of us have been with women. That's why we don't need romances in our video games. Can't you see that? Edited by Grimlorn

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I don't really understand the second question in the poll - why do all spells need to be 1 or the other? I personally like that magic missile improves as you level up, but that it's largely surpassed in effectiveness by later spells. Maybe I misunderstood the question.

 

I think what he means is that instead of entirely different new spells, games without the Vancian system tend to give you spells that are direct "upgrades" to older spells. He's not referring to the leveling up of existing spells.

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What I don't like in having spell you can use once or twice per day is that I think it gets in the way of each encounter being a challenge on its own.

 

I'd rather have to manage my resources on a per fight basis so that each encounter requires me to use them all and use them well, than having to decide which easier fights i can win without my major spells and which I don't.

 

I don't like having a spell so powerful I can't use it on every fight.

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Another idea - spell levels are a bad idea. There are many better ideas out there, but one I'd like is picking fields or schools or some such, and you get the abilitiy to do certain things and as you get more powerful (level up) those abilities become more powerful and more diverse. 1st level mage choose fire affinitiy, for example, and therefore can create small gouts of flame. These gouts can be used to light torches, set flammable materials on fire, or cause damage to enemies a short distance away. At level 2 they do more damage, can shoot farther, and maybe some new trick. Depending on how elaborate you want to go, you might even have options as to what aspects increase as you level (damage, range, etc.) and what extra tricks you can now do.

I like this idea, but I also like the idea of having to prepare spells in advance.

 

So, imagine a crafting system where spells need to be mixed before use (by combining magical components), and you can only cast the spells you've previously made. But you can invent new spells by mixing together different components in new ways. I'm not talking about discovering pre-designed spells (like Ultima Underworld), but by having each component and means of preparation impart different abilities - like how alchemy works in Skyrim.

 

Then, as the mage grows more powerful, he might learn new methods of preparation, or might become more effective at preparation, or might gain the ability to use more different ingredients in combination at a time.

 

You know, I really like this idea. You could build a whole game around this.

 

Seems like it'd be far more effective for a game in itself for what is being described here. Getting way too complex for a game like this.

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