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  1. 1. Magic System

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

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

    • Yes (D&D)
    • No (DA:O)
    • Other

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Personally I never liked memorizing spells. Like others have said before, it made so many spells useless since you had to play it safe. Also why couldn't/wouldn't mana based magic require tactics? Glorifying the tactical aspect of memorized spells to me seems a bit thin. We all love the good old IE games and it seems a lot of people want them "back" only a bit updated.


I am with those who want something new. We've seen the old and it was fun while it lasted, some of us still play the old games. But I'd really like to see -new- things as well, go outside the box, please! I will of course play the game, whatever it will look like in the end but the reason I registered here is to atleast voice my opinion about matters such as this.


For TL;DR no spell memorization!

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i hope we'll have smth other than vancian and mana pool. it's about time we get smth novel.

Edited by molarBear

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1. Vancian magic is ****ing terrible, I literally can't believe anyone supports it. It's the primary impetus for the five minute day pioneered by D&D, and it's stupid as hell. It sucks all the fun and reason out of the game. It's a casting system so atrocious even D&D has abandoned it (Alhamdulillah). It's intended to curb Wizard Supremacy, but all it means is that the party takes a nap after every battle. All the band-aid solutions in the world can't change this fact. You stop wizard supremacy by making nonwizards fun and interesting to play, not introducing a system that's only purpose ever has been to make the party take a nap after every battle.


2. I prefer systems where my old spells remain useful (by scaling with my level/intelligence/whatever) but I get new spells I might want to use as well.


3. Arcane/Divine is silly D&D crap. IRL, religion and magic have always been intimately intertwined for a reason - they represent part of the same comprehension of reality. The separation of the two is a strictly modern affair. Arcane magic is an appeal, ultimately, to modernity and scientific naturalism: it represents systemized comprehensions of reality on the basis of experimentation and observation, a society that controls its reality through reason and force of will rather than bowing before the universe/God. In settings intended to evoke historical eras wherein scientific knowledge was limited, literacy was for ****, God was Great and much was forgotten, it's ****ing stupid.

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I have never enjoyed the vancian system but see the mana pool as only marginally better. Reading through the topic there are some good ideas how about a combination of ideas.

A mana pool to provide flexibility and to remove the need to forecast what spells you will need.

Stronger spells use more mana than low level spells.

Skill levels can modify these mana usages

Each spell has a time to cast also able to be modified by skill and bonuses

Each spell has a time period after being cast that the caster is at a negative to cast.

If a caster wishes to spam low level spells the cast time is small and the cool down is short and small negative however the penalty stack and will cause failed casts resulting in loss of mana and other accidents … self-damage item damage loss of spells from repertoire party damage (go nuts here).

Large spells use mana faster and you end up with larger negatives and can cause smaller spells to fail with the existing negatives.

To stop the resting at every quiet spot make the trickle for mana restoration unaffected by sleep and if the game world has an event timer continuing the world activity will prevent just loitering in a non-combat zone.

If you have different schools of magic one school can use mana pools one can use spell components with time to cast and cool down negatives. The number of components required can be a limited as limited resources will make casters careful about wastage. It also makes for more of a differentiation between schools.

Another school could require (you guessed it ) natural elements that are present in the game world again in limited supply with similar timer mechanics.

The casters that use deities as their source may have and internal sense of how in favour they are with their deity and how much attention is being payed limiting their pool. Also if the actions being taken can cause unwanted attention be their deity or favour if he likes what he sees.


While we are on magic systems I really would like move utility magic both in and out of combat.

Each school really should have different focuses not just dressed up different colour magic missiles for each school.

I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg expand to your hearts content.

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It's intended to curb Wizard Supremacy, but all it means is that the party takes a nap after every battle.


If the game's any good, you're not supposed to use your entire arsenal in every battle - rest spam is a sign of a bad implementation. You're actually supposed to strategically manage your very powerful arsenal, as opposed to casting crappy magic in every battle like a PvZ peashooter.


2. I prefer systems where my old spells remain useful (by scaling with my level/intelligence/whatever) but I get new spells I might want to use as well.


Which is the case of a considerable amount of spells in D&D.

3. Arcane/Divine is silly D&D crap. IRL, religion and magic have always been intimately intertwined for a reason - they represent part of the same comprehension of reality.


Oh look, a real world parallel that has no bearing on anything whatsoever.

Edited by Delterius
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I would favor a system similar to Titan Quest, where the player has a number of abilities that have a cooldown period, combined with a overarching mana bar. This would allow some in-combat flexibility, but players would be recommended to invest in a wide variety of spells.


When it comes to the spell schools, I think that they should be divided into individual elements or schools, with each having three core abilities, with these abilities having upgrades. If it where my own design, this means each school gets an Offensive Spell, a Defensive Spell, and a Utility Spell. There is a reason to invest in multiple schools, however: Spells from two different schools can be combined into new spells. These combined spells are divided into tiers, according to how many schools are involved, and generally become more powerful or have additional uses.


For example:


[Tier 1] Fire = FIREBOLT, which is a small bolt of fire.

[Tier 2] Air + Firebolt = FIREBALL, because the air is providing oxygen for the flame, which makes a bigger boom.


[Tier 2] Fire + Water = STEAM, which means that characters caught within the fog would be scalded. Especially good against aquatic creatures, like frogs and crabs. Persistant.


[Tier 3] Fire + Water + Psionic = STEAMBOX: The enemy trapped inside an invisible box, and then the box is filled with steam. Also a defensive move, since the enemy is trapped within the confines of the box - though they can still use items and move around. The size of the box is dependent on the caster's skill in the Psionic Defensive spell Forcefield.






Offense Spell - Firebolt: Throws a simple ball of fire, which can burn foes and objects. Upgrades add homing abilities, increase the number of firebolts, and increase odds of cauterization. Characters who both possess the Firebolt skill can throw a firebolt(s) at their allie, who can take these balls and throw them in turn at another allie or enemy, which allows parties to daisy-chain their firebolts across the battlefield.


Defense Spell - Circle of Flame: Wraps allies in damaging flames. Upgrades adds fire effects to weapons, makes the flames cause cauterization which prevents injuries from being healed, and barriers of flame can be set up. Enemies are free to move through the firewalls, but receive damage in the process. They can put out the Circle of Flame's effects with certain spells, like those of Earth.


Utility Spell - Flames of Desire: Drawing upon the passion that fire is affiliated with, characters can use this ability in battle to attract enemies and friends to themselves or specific objects. For example, see that spike pit? There is something nice down there. Often used by thieves, assassins, and saboteurs, because they can make the guards kill themselves or have targets pursue objects they desire, which is good for getting them out of the way. Resembles a spell used by Twilight Sparkle in the Friendship is Magic series, where the entire town was fighting over a worthless doll.




Offense Spell - Telekinesis: Move enemies, allies, and objects on the battlefield. Number and size is determined by upgrades, along with the force of throwing.


Defense Spell - Forcefield: Creates a wall of force on the combat grid, which prevents enemy movement. Upgrades allow the player to set up more barriers, to encapsulate enemies, and to add barriers to allies.


Utility Spell - Telepathy: Can be used in combat to know the enemy's next move, and outside of combat can be used to get information. The player can upgrade the amount of information that can be obtained, the rate that telepathy cools down, and increase the number of NPCs that it checks.

Edited by Sabin Stargem
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If the game's any good, you're not supposed to use your entire arsenal in every battle - rest spam is a sign of a bad implementation. You're actually supposed to strategically manage your very powerful arsenal, as opposed to casting crappy magic in every battle like a PvZ peashooter.

Rest spam is me playing the game optimally, which yes, is "bad implementation." Why would I strategically manage my arsenal when I could, you know, not? There's nothing to stop me from burning through my spells, then taking a nap after every single encounter. And if there's nothing to stop me, it is exactly what I will do.
Which is the case of a considerable amount of spells in D&D.

No it isn't. Every spell that "remains useful" is something stupid like Knock which serves the sole purpose of invalidating a fellow party member's abilities. Spells that fulfill caster-specific roles (AoE attacks, heals, buffs, debuffs, etc) become almost completely useless after a couple levels. Unless you really were still casting Sleep after you got Disintegrate.
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I played the role of the bugger, and voted "other" on everything.


That is because I feel magic should be accessible through several methods.

  1. The priest - through rituals to channel your soul's power, and higher powers. Basically you pray a lot. - Spells per day
  2. The monk - through mediation, vows, and movement to focus your chi you can work magic. - Basically you do Ti Chi for magic. System like Diablo III where you build up Chi and spend it, though there should be non-combat ways to build Chi
  3. The wizard - through studying the magic that came before, you learn arcane rituals to work magic. Read book, follow book, mix things up and hope it does not go boom. - Spells per day, and a mix an match effects system.
  4. The sourcer/natural mage - through intuition you learn to cast a few spells. - Advantages could be more spells per day, a manta pool that regenerates over time vs. spells per day, or fewer more powerful spells per day - Disadvantages would be the lack of ability to learn more ritual spells
  5. The alchemist - it's all Science!!! A la Sons of Ether from White Wolf. - Powers fueled by materials and the time it takes to mix them.

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1) I am also quite opposed to a Vancian system. I mean, I think it *could* work, but I don't think it's optimal, and in all situations where I've played CRPGs with it, it meant that mages often sat out waiting to be used. I really think that another system would be much better, and that Vancian would be TERRIBLE if the theme is "magic is from the soul".


I also don't see how mana potions are substantially different than health potions for fighters/meatshields. Both keep a team member in the game when otherwise they'd be out. Even if this is horrible, I'd think there are some potential fixes to that problem without going full Vancian. (Diminishing returns on mana potions? Limits on when a potion can be used again? Limits on certain spells?) And I'd rather look into some non-Vancian system, than go Vancian. If we did go Vancian, I'd have to insist on the spontaneous casting.


2) I support the divine-arcane divide, or something similar to that. I just mean that I don't want the guy casting fireball to be the same person casting healing spells for the most part. It could be "white magic-black magic" or whatever else have you. I really just mean that I divide up the concepts differently, and having at least two systems makes me feel better, as even if magic is all the same source, I wouldn't want ultra-cross specialization in it, as just an aesthetic choice.


I'm going to use the terms "mages" and "clerics" just to make things easier shorthand by tying ideas to the conventional roles, not on the source of the magic. Also, "abstract magic" refers to pure magic(like magic missile) or magic that works on the fundamental nature of reality(like time magic).


So, here's some different conceptions:

a) "Mages" focus on elements, abstract magic, conjuration, and transmutation.(physics) "Clerics" instead use magic focused on healing, life-based nature powers, necromancy, buffing.(life)

b) "Mages" focus on elements, abstract magic, conjuration, and transmutation.(physics) "Clerics" instead use magic focused on healing, life-based nature powers, necromancy, buffing.(life) Psychics focus on manipulation, misdirection, mental harm, and information. (mind/knowledge)

c) Warmages focus on buffs, close range magic attacks, healing, personal transmutation.(combat) Druids handle blasting, summoning, healing, nature powers.(nature) Wizards handle misdirection/manipulation, information, necromancy, abstract magic, conjuration.(arcane magic)

d) Warlocks focus on powers with themes of demons, darkness, void, death, etc.(dark/demonic themes) "Clerics" focus on powers with themes of holiness, restoration, providence, personal improvement, life, divinity, etc.(holy/spiritual themes) Druids focus on powers with the theme of nature, elemental forces, living organisms, transformation, etc.(nature themes)

e) Dimensional mages focus on abstract magic, information, and conjuration.(metaphysics/reality) "Mages" focus on elements, transmutation, necromancy, misdirection/manipulation.(traditional arcane) "Clerics" focus on healing, buffing, spiritual/holy powers.(spirituality)

f) Spectralists focus on necromancy, knowledge, misdirection(mental), spirit-themed powers. (ghosts) Druids handle blasting, summoning, healing, nature powers.(nature) Arcanists handle conjuration, abstract magic, misdirection(illusions), transmutation. (traditional arcane - elements)


And so on and so forth. Basically, it's hard to exhaust the limits of the possible magical systems. However, I'd think 3 different schemes may be the most to push for.(but I think more than 1 would be very desirable) I think NWN2 kind of sort of had 4, depending on whether you lumped druids and clerics together or split them into two magical groups.

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I prefer the vanacian systme honestly.


Not only is it more tacticla and rewards preparedness more, but it also given the gmae gravitas. Having to rest, but the area being dangerous - a tactical decision.

With no mana and HP that replenishes after each battle you have ot make some tough choices.


And clearing that dungon when wounded and low on resources and thus making every resource count even more importnat - you just can't get that feeling anymore.


Furthermore, given that in modern games you enter every battle at full strength, then changes the battle dynamic. Because of this the enemies/monsters ususally suffer from HP or number inflation.

With the old system, even weak enemeis cna be a threat if tehy attack you when your'e wounded and tired.


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Apologies if this thread has already been made, but it's something I wanted to bring up.


The thread title is pretty self explanatory. We all know that in the Infinity Engine games, spells and abilities didn't operate under a system of cooldowns, it operated under the Vancian Casting Memorization system since they were D&D games and all.


Now, with Obsidian not utilising the D&D license for Project Eternity, would you prefer the use of cooldowns in modern (non-action) RPGs like the Dragon Age series, or MMORPGs?


Would you prefer the use of Vancian magic? Or would you prefer another alternative? Perhaps a memorization system that works differently the Vancian system? Perhaps a hybrid system that makes use of both memorization and cooldowns.


Vote in the poll and register your opinions here.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

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I'd only support cooldowns if they were measured in decades or centuries. For instance: cast a fireball and then wait until 2024 or 2114 before casting your next spell.

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I'd like a mix of things.


I love the D&D casting system for giving you those big, awesome spells, but the one thing I hate is forcing rest. If an hour of study allows you to cast them, and your intelligence is what determines the bonus number you can cast per day, why do you need 8 hours rest to get them back? Your intelligence is not drained, is it?


I feel that mages should study on their off time (not in combat) and be able to regain spells cast slowly, or dedicate an hour to get them all back in one go. As I understood spells for mages, you're learning to manipulate the magical energies of the universe to your own will, not burning your own energy to do it. Sorcerer's are powered by their charisma score, I took as being an innate connection with these energies through their very nature, so an hour's meditation would do the the same, no? Clerics also just need to pray to their God for an hour for these gifts, though doing so at the time of day their god does not favor should extend the time needed - but that does not mean they can't give prayers in their down time to slowly regain spells either.


I'd also like this game to feature what are essentially the level 0 spells from D&D - useful little tricks essentially. Prestidigitation that allows you to clean or dirty things, light a cigarette or warm a cup of tea, etc. I like the flavor they add, and they have some very useful applications to the player with a little ingenuity.

Edited by Hypevosa
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If souls power spells then perhaps how spells are powered varies depending on what sort of soul is had.


I think that spells might be like any other action, but perhaps there's a numeric total so that no more spell power than that total can be used at any given time. I don't think souls can grow tired nor be expended even temporarily. Here's an example: say my character Blueberry Girl has a magic rating of fifty. I can only use spell powers up to fifty total -- maybe with a magic shield of twenty-seven, a detection power of thirteen, and maybe I'd let ten points open so I can cast spells quickly without reducing the power of spells I have functioning.


I think it might take time to reduce or increase the power of presently set spells, which would make sense. Also, some spells might be difficult to deactivate or re-activate and require skill rolls or something like that. Some spells might have secondary, unpleasant effects (perhaps even random effects) on the caster.

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I think striking a balance is something that c/should be important. I'd say a good system would break spells into 3 catagories.


Top Tier (Prepared)


Most AoEs, substantial buffs/heals (resurrection), chain lightning, and suchlike should be in this catagory: you need to perform a rite or gather ingredients or carve a totem or capture a soul for a spirit bomb or what ever per cast. Just sleeping in a bed or letting time elapse is meaningless to these spells. Probably a limit of like 5-10 prepared so the gathering and crafting time can be made short without imbalancing things. Should also require mana to "activate" but it doesn't have to be a ton.


Mid Tier (Combined)


Things with multiple or powerful effects not quite top tier quality should go here (the rest of the AoEs, intermediate spells) and they'd be combined from…


Bottom Tier (Component Spells)


I never played Magicka but I have seen LPs, and in that game you cast most of your spells by combing various basic spells in different ways you memorize (what iThought of reading the subject line). Each basic spell can cost a certain amount of soul points or however using your soul for casting will work. Application of spells to whatever vessel/"weave" (WoT reference) the Top Tier spells are kept in the form of before being "activated" and producing their effect.



Now that I read this over it occurs you might prep a Top Tier spell and it'll act as a buff\other passive once primed and slowly fizzle down to nothing if you don't fully detonate it, and the sooner you set it off the more powerful the spell but trade off being less time using the buff.


For example if you have a Top Tier fire spell prepared and you have the vessel you're going to use to activate it on a companion priming it would give that companion's weapons fire enchants until you fired, but if you just immediately proceeded to use the big fire spell it'd be the most powerful.


Maybe staffs and wands or even certain things like amulets and rings are used as Top Tier spell holders that let you have more prepared spells/special prepared spells specific to an artifact\magnify the spells power if prepared/held within that object.

Edited by Azrayel
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I didn't care for the D&D system. You got a large selection of spells but a limited number of slots. So you had to decide between using slots for what you considered the best spells. I.E Fire balls VS something else. Do you take six slots for fireballs. leaving you three slots for other spells. Then if you used up your spells you couldn't get them back until you slept. If I have to choose between a system I think I perfer cooldowns. To me this also makes sense if spell casting is based on thepower of the soul. As time goes by your soul power increases and you can cast stronger and more spells.


There could also be hybrid system. Such as having class or race specific powers which can be used only a limited number of times. Regular spells use the cooldown system. I am sure there must be other systems that are better. One of the complaints of the D&D games was that spell caster didn't have a great deal of value early in the game but as you progressed into the game they became maore powerful, in fact very powerful. It was mainly a matter of keeping them alive until they matured. I hope Obs can come up with a better balance.


edit, yes, something like Azrayel suggests.

Edited by Nakia
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Two words: Spell components


For really powerful stuff, make material components a part of the deal. You can still do vancian or mana pools or cooldowns (blech!) for more the mechanics of casting spells, but there should be classes of spells that consume valuable and/or rare physical matter, which if balanced correctly might make players conserve such magic for really important fights and have to be more strategic and thoughtful.

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I think I'd prefer a variation of cooldowns. Not as instantaneous as you see in most action/RPG fantasy games nowadays, maybe it takes a bit longer to cool down. But I don't think it should require sleeping for X hours in order to use your spells again.

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I hate having to rest to use spells or recharge. All that does is force you to spam resting which is stupid. I am for cooldowns or a quick way to recharge without forcing resting. This might be one they need to set up optional choices in options for the players to decide what they prefer.

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