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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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Hope there's more than one type of spellcaster. Maybe even "offensive" cleric-like casters (imagine something like a morninglord in IWD2).

I enjoy learning spells from scrolls, but I also like the convenience of sorcerers (auto-learning spells, but still only x casts per rest).

 

Mana-based casting would be boring. Limited casts would be a lot better. Game should be so difficult you'll need to prep a fight anyway. So -- maybe if there was some way to regain x cast spells other than resting. Maybe individual "meditation" (du-duuuuh, idea!).

 

So, meditation system:

 

Let's say you've got an evocation wizard. He has memorized 4 fireballs, 3 crapballs and 2 dongballs. He casts them all in battle as the badass he is. Combat is over. He meditates - because he's out of combat and can do that - and he regains his spells. The whole party doesnt have to rest and this doesn't pass time, only a small "cast time" on the wizard's part, perhaps. Say, 5 seconds. He can meditate while the rest of the part is looting or something.

But imagine they never get out of combat, and more enemies close in. He can't do ****, because he's in combat and has cast all his balls. He's porked. As it should be.

Resting could have automatic meditation included for all casters.

 

This would go well together with a DnD spellbook-like system of either learning scrolls (wizard) or levelbased (sorc).

Edited by Zed
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I picked "other" for the first option, as I'm not really tied to Vancian or a Mana Pool system.

 

They have a wonderful oppertunity to do something completely different here. Magic comes from the soul, so they could make a fatigue system, and make it such that using spells too often without resting will cause penalties to certain things, and maybe even eventually cause physical harm to the caster. Lower "level" spells cause less fatigue than the higher level ones so that it's not just managing your "mana", but also trying to manage your debuffs, as well. Fatigue might recover slowly while sleeping outside the city, a little bit faster but still not great if the player carries things like firefood or food, and quickly by sleeping in an inn. Maybe the fatigue pool is very large so that you could do a whole lot of really powerful things early on, but end up having to rest inside a town for a week of game time to finally return to full power afterward. Continuous activation of defensive abilities that they may have might drain their fatigue, so that you're enticed to use them only when you really need them. Fighters, Rogues, and other such classes have special attacks that deal fatigue damage.

 

 

I'm likely going to be fine with whatever they choose so long as the player has a limit, has to spend time to recharge (and I mean a moderate to significant amount of time, not just the BG style "rest after each fight" recharge), and is thus "rewarded" for smart play.

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Personally, I'd like to see Obsidian come up with some new system here. Something new and different but definitely something closer to D&D in design than say Dragon Age Origins. Also it would hopefully work better with a RTwP system. But I have no idea what that system would be or look like.

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I like the exhaustion idea. I also think mana systems and per day systems are okay. I don't see why it has to be either or. BG2 had sorcerers and mages, and I played both and enjoyed both. My first choice would be a variety of different systems. Some magic might require a ritual. Some might require praying to your god. Some might depend on how exhausted the incantations make you. And you could still have the more traditional mana and memorization systems as well. More variety = more replayability. Some of these system may be a better fit with the game narrative and of course that should take precedence.

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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1. Voted others.

 

I think this feature really depends on the core of the combat system and its balance. Going by the Infinity Engine combat, a simple mana bar won't work. It won't feel the same, especially if it regen or there are potions. The way spells are treated as a resources need to create the feeling of urgency after multiple encounters. Not just one encounter than reset like "modern" games. This is how D&D was(is) balanced: a normal encounter (encounter level = party level) should consume 25% of the party resources. So after 4 encounter you have to "rest".

 

I'm not a big fan of memorization though. It always felt a tad too inflexible to me. I guess Josh Sawyer will have to think on this one to have something flexible while keeping the IE games feeling of a spellcaster.

 

2. Individuals naming spells.

 

There is something awesome using spells that have history and their own names. It's a like famous move in gymnastics: they immortalize the 1st to use them, their creator or their most popular user.

 

3. Separation between Arcane and Divine, I selected others here.

 

We already know this is tied to the "souls" mechanics, so I doubt there is a division when it come to who allow you to cast spells. I personally think that "divine" should be a school of magic (sort of like a miracles school of magic).

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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BTW sorry about the poll options. I was at work and time was limited. I just chose the IE method the most common alternative and the 'Other' option.

 

I am a little surprised that the Vancian system has garnered less that 50% of the vote. I know many people are frustrated with it after years of PnP but it really has not been done much in cRPGs in the last 10 years. It's all been mana based or cool-down based. This is probably due to the lack of large parties and distinct classes in RPGs during that same time.

 

Glad to see the support for individual spells as apposed to upgradeable spells. I hate when I add a skill point to my magic missile and it does 7% more damage. Not exactly inspiring. There was nothing like gaining a level and being able to cast stoneskin.

 

Also glad to see a clear preference for an Arcane and Divine separation. Healers are healers and mages are mages.

Edited by oldmanpaco

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Stun? I get it, you don't like anything but Vancian.

It would be more accurate to say that I prefer the system(s) used in the old infinity engine games, which, btw, also included the implementation of Sorcerers.

 

However explain how what I suggested would be at all unbalanced? You claimed that an MP system is unbalanced

LOL really? where did I claim that?

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Also glad to see a clear preference for an Arcane and Divine separation. Healers are healers and mages are mages.

That depends entirely on the setting. If the setting has definite, no doubt about it gods, then there's an argument to be made for a separation between divine and arcane magic. In a setting where the existence of the divine is unknowable, such a distinction makes no sense.

 

That said, Vancian magic would probably be about the closest you could come to a dealbreaker for me. I loathe Vancian casting.

 

The only thing close to a Vancian system I liked was a system in Sovereign Stone (an obscure 3.X D&D setting.) Essentially, the mage had the ability to know (and cast) an unlimited number of spells, but the spells the mage knew fell into 3 categories, which were limited depending on level: Intimate Knowledge (which where cast normally), Quick Reference (which required one round of study before they could be cast), and Full Reference (which needed to be studied for a number of rounds before they could be cast depending on the difficulty of the spell.) Then, when casting spells, each round the mage rolled a d20, added their casting modifier for that particular type of spell and when the cumulative result equaled or exceeded the casting threshold (a number determined by the dificulty of the spell, ranging from 6 to 292 among the published spells) the spell would be cast. Each round casting a particular spell required a progressively harder fatigue check, which if failed caused subdual damage that could eventually render the mage unconscious. This, admittedly, was pretty cumbersome in a table top game, but I think could work well in a cRPG. Such a system allows for flexibility, but still retains elements of strategic planning, balances powerful magic so it can't be spammed, and allows a mage to actually spend their time using magic instead of spending 90% of their time throwing rocks at enemies.

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I will admit to the problems created by Vancian magic systems (determining refresh mechanisms, principally).

 

But I think they offer by far the richest solution from a storytelling point of view. A crucial question which I think confronts a game like this, when considering magic systems, is the question "what makes a system narratively interesting?"

 

My answer would be that to be narratively interesting, a system has to allow for the casting of a spell to be made a narratively significant event.

 

That's more or less impossible in a WoW style (cooldown-based) magic system. Every new encounter will generally see the casting of one's natural or prefered "rotation".

 

There's not too much I like about D&D 4E, but the division into At-Will, Encounter and Daily abilities, I think actually works nicely. Having a "nuke" which actually functions as a "nuke" (i.e., the final answer, when all else fails) actually makes a single spellcast a narratively meaningful event. At the same time, one never ends up completely 'out of gas' (as you will always have your at-wills). It also forces the player to consider the strategic merit of pulling out the big guns, and the unfortunate consequence implied by using a rarely available ability when it is not strictly necessary.

 

Whatever system the game goes with, I would like to see abilities of "daily" rarity. They mechanically reflect the progression of the narrative (e.g.., reflect whether you had to pull out the 'big guns', or were compelled to exhaust your resources), and create dramatic tension, as resources are exhausted, in a way that a system without finite magical resources does not. Anyone who has ever exhausted the last of their spellbook in the depths of a dungeon teaming with the undead knows what that feels like. There is simply no such thing, in most non-Vancian systems.

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I hate mana pools and (usually) cooldowns. (Cooldowns can be done right, but you end up with more of a fatigue meter, and it's still hard.)

I'm indifferent about Vancian. I don't hate it, I rather like it, in fact.

 

I do REALLY hate leveling spells. I can live a little more with them just gradually improving with use, but leveling spells has never sat well with me. And it tends to lead to restricted variety.

 

In the realm of plausible, I think a vancian system where at high level you start to lose the need to memorize a few low level spells might work nicely. Like if at level 18 you could cast your most frequently used level 1 spell 'at will,' and then at 28 your most frequently used level 2, or something.

 

Possibly the reason I don't have a huge gripe is that I like Sorcerers, and they tend to be about making the right decisions to give your spell choices a cohesive theme, which I think is nice. Often times one spell school will have a set of spells that work well together, which gives your sorcerer a good flavor. I think people fall into that with wizards, too, but don't realize it as much.

 

In the realm of amusing, what if you had to build up a reserve of blubber by eating all the time, and then every spell you cast converted the blubber to magical energy, joule for joule or watt for watt or however it works?

 

Possibly I also don't have a huge gripe because I also like how the day/night cycle works in.

Edited by khango
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On the "healing is for clerics, damage is for mages", that's a D&D trope that some other games copied from D&D. It doesn't have any real precedence in fantasy fiction prior to D&D, and it certainly isn't a staple of fantasy.

 

I'd rather have "removed gods" - deities that aren't proven to exist - so faith has meaning. I have no problem with different types or sources of "magic" but I do think the "arcane vs. divine" should stay with D&D and, since Obsidian isn't making Project Eternity a D&D game, Project Eternity shouldn't use that dynamic.

 

My two cents on that.

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On the "healing is for clerics, damage is for mages", that's a D&D trope that some other games copied from D&D. It doesn't have any real precedence in fantasy fiction prior to D&D, and it certainly isn't a staple of fantasy.

 

I'd rather have "removed gods" - deities that aren't proven to exist - so faith has meaning. I have no problem with different types or sources of "magic" but I do think the "arcane vs. divine" should stay with D&D and, since Obsidian isn't making Project Eternity a D&D game, Project Eternity shouldn't use that dynamic.

 

My two cents on that.

 

I don't know about your clerics, but mine call lots of lightning and cast lots of glyphs, not even mentioning druids, or the evil necromancer ones...

 

I think if you have clerics, their spell selections should reflect their deity.

Edited by khango
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A stamina-based magic system would be nice like Shadowrun or Arcanum. Then again, I fainted in Arcanum a lot. :p So a mana pool would be great, I think.

 

As much as I enjoy the spell memorisation system, it doesn't make much sense: why does the person have to re-memorise spells they've memorized before? -__-

 

Maybe a hybrid system mixing mana pool and spell memorisation? Limiting spell castings of certain spells or levels of spells, while using a mana based system?

Edited by tilly
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On the "healing is for clerics, damage is for mages", that's a D&D trope that some other games copied from D&D. It doesn't have any real precedence in fantasy fiction prior to D&D, and it certainly isn't a staple of fantasy.

 

I'd rather have "removed gods" - deities that aren't proven to exist - so faith has meaning. I have no problem with different types or sources of "magic" but I do think the "arcane vs. divine" should stay with D&D and, since Obsidian isn't making Project Eternity a D&D game, Project Eternity shouldn't use that dynamic.

 

My two cents on that.

 

I don't know about your clerics, but mine call lots of lightning and cast lots of glyphs, not even mentioning druids, or the evil necromancer ones...

 

I think if you have clerics, their spell selections should reflect their deity.

 

The point is over there. I think you missed it.

 

I'm saying that I, personally, don't think PE will be (nor should be) based on the D&D model. As in "clerics" having "divine" spells.

 

They have said that this is all based on soul, and you draw power from your soul. The magic system of this world is almost certainly coming from internal energies, not external (i.e. gods)...

 

and don't we have enough clues that "gods" have disappeared (sorta like Dragonlance)?

 

But, again, the point is D&D is the game that set the trope of "clerics gain power from their gods, wizards from arcane energies" and, yes, D&D also established that Divine heals and Arcane doesn't. If you ignore 4E and how even non-magic (i.e. Warlords) could heal.

 

And bards, I suppose. But bards are fruity.

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I think if you have clerics, their spell selections should reflect their deity.

If there are clerics, and if there are definitely gods (both things I'd rather not have, though I would like heavily armored melee characters with healing/buffs) I agree entirely. Perhaps the one thing I really liked about 2E D&D (which never, in my experience made it into any cRPGs) was the spheres of divine magic, and minor/major access to them depending on god. I'd like to see something similar in PE if there are gods and clerics, and weapon seleciton should reflect the god as well (though that's a different topic.)

 

And bards, I suppose. But bards are fruity.

Hey! I like bards. No being mean to them (I particularly loved bards in IWD...that regen song was one of my favorite abilities ever.)

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And bards, I suppose. But bards are fruity.

Hey! I like bards. No being mean to them (I particularly loved bards in IWD...that regen song was one of my favorite abilities ever.)

 

And I love the Bard's Tale series, so... yeah, I'm just playing with how there's a sizable sub-set of D&D'ers out there who love to mock bards.

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And bards, I suppose. But bards are fruity.

Hey! I like bards. No being mean to them (I particularly loved bards in IWD...that regen song was one of my favorite abilities ever.)

 

And I love the Bard's Tale series, so... yeah, I'm just playing with how there's a sizable sub-set of D&D'ers out there who love to mock bards.

I know...I was teasing and just forgot to add a smilie. :facepalm:
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On the "healing is for clerics, damage is for mages", that's a D&D trope that some other games copied from D&D. It doesn't have any real precedence in fantasy fiction prior to D&D, and it certainly isn't a staple of fantasy.

 

I'd rather have "removed gods" - deities that aren't proven to exist - so faith has meaning. I have no problem with different types or sources of "magic" but I do think the "arcane vs. divine" should stay with D&D and, since Obsidian isn't making Project Eternity a D&D game, Project Eternity shouldn't use that dynamic.

 

My two cents on that.

I agree, but I do think there should be different spell schools. Then let the player define himself as either "a nuker" or a "healer" or "jack of all trades" based on the schools he's chosen to pursue.

 

Or is that too Skyrim-ish for us?

Edited by Stun
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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.

I'm basically taking Skyrim's alchemy system and applying it to all magic (so spellcasting then carries an inventory management component, like several Ultima games).

 

This is barely more complex than Skyrim's alchemy system, something many players engage in recreationally even when they don't need to.

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

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I agree, but I do think there should be different spell schools. Then let the player define himself as either "a nuker" or a "healer" or "jack of all trades" based on the schools he's chosen to pursue.

 

Or is that too Skyrim-ish for us?

It's skill-based, which makes it GURPS-ish, which makes it good.

 

Honestly, GURPS was a great system. Why didn't it get more use in CRPGs? Was Steve Jackson just being difficult?

 

I still remember my sense of wonder when I realised that the real world was moving from Tech Level 7 to Tech Level 8.

Edited by Sylvius the Mad

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

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