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Spell Assortment

Spell Assortment  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. What type of spell assortment would you like to see in Project Eternity?

    • NWN style (many versions of the same spell scaled to level, metamagic, etc)
      2
    • BG style (almost each spell has a unique quirk, low level spells remain useful in late game)
      42
    • Arcanum (few spell levels, numerous spell schools, no effect overlap between spells from a single school)
      8


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We have learnt a little about spellcasting system and grimoires quite some time ago, so I find it strange no one actually brought up the topic before. There is the common level convention in spellcasting, but different games treat the actual assortment of spells available rather differently. I will show three most prominent and relevant examples.

 

 

1. NWN 2

 

Spell of higher level are mostly scaled up versions of previous level spells. Some less blatantly obvious than the others, but the evident lack of variety is rather sad. Let's face it, all attack spells at all levels boil down to a simple formula: up to xDy of z damage in a cone/area/single target with or without some next to useless debuff at the end in a failed attempt to add flavour. Invisibility and concealment spells do pretty much the same thing and there is about 6 different types. Accursed Spell Mantle exists in 3 variants from Least to Greater and the Lesser Spell Mantle with empower metamagic actually work better than the Greater version.

 

In effect low level spells and debuffs actually become useless. Metamagic works for some spells, but they effectively use up higher slots, so it isn't really necessary unless you're a sorcerer and hard-pressed for the number of spells. In fact most metamagic feels like it was created exclusively for sorcerers, favoured souls and spirit shamans, because for other casters it's just too much hassle with little effect. Only epic spells add a bit of variety into the caster arsenal and they are very few.

 

 

2. Baldur's Gate 2

 

Attack spells are quite few and do not duplicate each other. Each has a distinct purpose even on different levels: meter Swarm is a huge AoE, Horrid Wilting deals massive damage and spares friendlies, Death Fog deals persistent damage, Chain Lightning affect an all enemies in caster's close vicinity, Melf's Acid Arrow with it's periodic damage is great for disrupting enemy spellcasting and so on. Upgraded variants of spells (Invulnerability Globe, Mantle, Spell Deflection and Turning, Summon Nishruu and Hakeashar) actually felt like they were worth the difference and knowing both variants didn't hurt, because it simply gave you more flexibility in terms of spell slot utilisation. Even all three versions of the Sequencer felt extremely useful for different ends, because you could only have one of each level.

 

All of this contributes to all spells having a unique feel about them. On your first playthrough when you come upon a scroll with a new spell, you feel extremely anxious about using it. Low level spells remain useful and even low level buffs and abjuration spells do not become irrelevant.

 

 

3. Arcanum

 

A very different approach, which is none the less non trivial. Only five level spells exist in each of 16 spell colleges. All five have very different effects, so they don't become obsolete. It come down to player's choice which array of spell he prefers, since you can't have them all. There isn't really much to say about it, other than that the extremely flexible spell system together with classless character model allowed to create any sort of character you like and play the game exactly how you please. But even if the player is locked into a mage profession this kind of broad choice with no redundancy allows for deep tactical decisions.

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I dont see another viable option other than BG2 style spells. Everyone wants quality stuff and for me out of these 3 options that's the only good one.


Derpdragon of the Obsidian Order

Derpdragons everywhere. I like spears.

 

No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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I think the key for me is that I want a large selection of spells, ranging from practical and sensible (old classics like equivelants of fireball, mage armour, dispell magic, magic missile etc) but also the things which are missing from some games which are the weird eccentric little spells which add character - I'm replaying IWD2 right now and found a scroll of Vipergout for instance - that's a ridiculous spell, but the fact it exists adds character and range to mages, and the only way to improve on it would be to have situations where actually the ability to vomit up snakes would be tactically really useful, even compared to the "practical" spells.

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I could arrange with the Arcanum system as with the BG system, the NWN system is just too boring. Of course I hope it gets as good as in BG 2 even its a different system.

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1. NWN 2

 

Spell of higher level are mostly scaled up versions of previous level spells. Some less blatantly obvious than the others, but the evident lack of variety is rather sad. Let's face it, all attack spells at all levels boil down to a simple formula: up to xDy of z damage in a cone/area/single target with or without some next to useless debuff at the end in a failed attempt to add flavour. Invisibility and concealment spells do pretty much the same thing and there is about 6 different types. Accursed Spell Mantle exists in 3 variants from Least to Greater and the Lesser Spell Mantle with empower metamagic actually work better than the Greater version.

 

In effect low level spells and debuffs actually become useless. Metamagic works for some spells, but they effectively use up higher slots, so it isn't really necessary unless you're a sorcerer and hard-pressed for the number of spells. In fact most metamagic feels like it was created exclusively for sorcerers, favoured souls and spirit shamans, because for other casters it's just too much hassle with little effect. Only epic spells add a bit of variety into the caster arsenal and they are very few.

 

nwn2 has many problems, but spell variety isn't one of them. it's implementation of 3ed spell system is considerably more flexible than bg2's ad&d attempt.

 

but fundamentally, they're both d&d. i'd say comparing them, out of very specific context, is rather pointless.

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1. NWN 2

 

Spell of higher level are mostly scaled up versions of previous level spells. Some less blatantly obvious than the others, but the evident lack of variety is rather sad. Let's face it, all attack spells at all levels boil down to a simple formula: up to xDy of z damage in a cone/area/single target with or without some next to useless debuff at the end in a failed attempt to add flavour. Invisibility and concealment spells do pretty much the same thing and there is about 6 different types. Accursed Spell Mantle exists in 3 variants from Least to Greater and the Lesser Spell Mantle with empower metamagic actually work better than the Greater version.

 

In effect low level spells and debuffs actually become useless. Metamagic works for some spells, but they effectively use up higher slots, so it isn't really necessary unless you're a sorcerer and hard-pressed for the number of spells. In fact most metamagic feels like it was created exclusively for sorcerers, favoured souls and spirit shamans, because for other casters it's just too much hassle with little effect. Only epic spells add a bit of variety into the caster arsenal and they are very few.

 

nwn2 has many problems, but spell variety isn't one of them. it's implementation of 3ed spell system is considerably more flexible than bg2's ad&d attempt.

 

but fundamentally, they're both d&d. i'd say comparing them, out of very specific context, is rather pointless.

Comparing AD&D to 3.5 edition is like comparing Classic World of Darkness to New World of Darkness. The similarity exists only in name. Not to mention the fact that the actual implementation of PnP rule in NWN 2 left much to be desired.

 

Spell variety in NWN 2 was almost non-existent. I wonder how exactly the spell list was debated. "Mirror Image? We'll just add extra AC. But what about Imprisonment, Time Stop, Wish, Symbols, Spell Turning, Recall, Contingency? Meh, nobody uses them anyway, right? Let's throw in some more attack spells. How about Lesser Sphere of Yesterday's Leftovers? Or Greatest Yet Not So Great Stoneskin? How cool will it be to use Premonition as yet another one of them bloody DR spells?"

 

Do not forget no spell sequencers and a bad joke for automatic quicken spell.

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Comparing AD&D to 3.5 edition is like comparing Classic World of Darkness to New World of Darkness.

 

that's why i'm comparing implemented spell varieties and not the whole systems.

 

i'm not much of a speculative person, but i'd take nwn2's enchanter wizard, or any kind of bard, over bg2's any day (and not because of the class differences).

that's why i've said comparing them out of specific context is rather pointless.

 

i'm all for huge lists of unique and unorthodox spells. i hope we get them. but i also think that some spells can be missed if it means having wider build options

 

(not like these two things are mutually exclusive - rather the opposite. it's just that Your "poll's illustrations" makes them seem like they are).

Edited by sesobebo

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I like an option not on the poll --

 

A "rune word" or "Word of Power" setup where you have multiple runes with base, predetermined effects that can be mixed and matched and generally monkey'd with for more complex effects.

 

Having unique spells is fun, but only if there isn't a limit on the number of spells for the character.

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BG-style all the way. Spells not losing their utility as the relative level of the party goes up is a major factor in my vote. Also, I'd like to see non-combat spells serve a vital function in P:E. In D&D 3.X terms, divinations, transmutations, and enchantments need to get a bit more love. Not every worthwhile spell need be of the evocation, abjuration, conjuration, or necromantic schools. Yes, this will take some planning, but it'll also bring P:E closer to being a tabletop roleplaying game and I think this is a worthy goal.

Edited by Tsuga C

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

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