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Weapon Familiarity, normal weapons and weapon upgrades


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@Trashman:

I agree that I'm complicating matters, but I don't feel that I'm doing it needlessly. My proposed system is different from yours in that mine features much larger familiarity bonuses that take much longer to accrue. To my mind, this is a good thing, because frankly I don't see the point otherwise. If familiarity bonuses are minor, they don't seem worth programming in. Just have a weapon upgrade system and let that handle it. I'd honestly be fine with that, but I really like the idea of weapon familiarity, so I'm trying to propose something that I think could have a significant impact on the game.

That said, half of your objections seem to be lore-based. You don't see any reason why magic and familiarity should be opposed systems. Fair enough, but allow me to offer a potential explanation. Magic in PE is soul-based, correct? So magical weapons have their own soulstuff, however undeveloped. Because that soulstuff doesn't belong to you, it fundamentally rejects you, like an organ from someone with the wrong blood type. This effect isn't overt enough to give you penalties to start with, but it does hinder you in developing a "rapport" with the weapon. If you want, since even warrior-types use their souls, you can even explain familiarity as the process of subconsciously aligning the weapon with the wielder's soul, and the weapon having its own soulstuff gives it a sort of spiritual inertia that makes this process more difficult.

Jamoecw's explanation also works, although it is entirely different from mine. Take your pick.

@Jamoecw:
I'm sorry, I'm missing something. Diminishing returns are definitely cool, but I'm not seeing how they're specifically useful for familiarity (as opposed to being useful for nearly everything). Well, unless you substituted weapon "level" instead of character level. That might be something. In any case, I feel like you have a specific point to make, and I'm just not getting it. Am I just being slow?

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@Trashman:

I agree that I'm complicating matters, but I don't feel that I'm doing it needlessly. My proposed system is different from yours in that mine features much larger familiarity bonuses that take much longer to accrue. To my mind, this is a good thing, because frankly I don't see the point otherwise. If familiarity bonuses are minor, they don't seem worth programming in. Just have a weapon upgrade system and let that handle it. I'd honestly be fine with that, but I really like the idea of weapon familiarity, so I'm trying to propose something that I think could have a significant impact on the game.

 

You realize that argument has been used to argue agaiusnt every little thing that is htere for immersion.

Why bother with weather? Or NPCs in town acting normally. Players dont' care if htey stand still, etc..

 

The idea that bonus has to be huge or GTFO is redicolous. Things dont' haev to have a SIGNIFICANT impact to be worth it. And speaking of which, that +1 to hit might be a life safer.

There is a point to it, just like there is a point to the +1 weapon (wether magical or masterwork)

I'm against illogical mechanics just for the sake of "balance" (balance agaisnt what?)

 

 

 

That said, half of your objections seem to be lore-based. You don't see any reason why magic and familiarity should be opposed systems. Fair enough, but allow me to offer a potential explanation. Magic in PE is soul-based, correct? So magical weapons have their own soulstuff, however undeveloped. Because that soulstuff doesn't belong to you, it fundamentally rejects you, like an organ from someone with the wrong blood type. This effect isn't overt enough to give you penalties to start with, but it does hinder you in developing a "rapport" with the weapon. If you want, since even warrior-types use their souls, you can

even explain familiarity as the process of subconsciously aligning the weapon with the wielder's soul, and the weapon having its own soulstuff gives it a sort of spiritual inertia that makes this process moredifficult.

 

That kinda works. Still don't like it tough.

I just find it silly that a weapons "soul" prevents you from getting accustomed to it's balance. Come to think of it, why would anyone create a weapon that is actively fighting you? It just makes littlesense.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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i like the idea of soul weapon. I mean it could be used to evolve the weapon without make it do more phisical damage, that would be nonsense. Soul-weapons could have some exp point and lvl and get gain magic effects added as it reaches higher levels. Something like:

lvl1 the get hot when in combat and do heat-damage to the opponent

lvl 2 the weapon is engulfed in flames, does more heat-damage and has a chance to apply the burn status

lvl 3 the weapon does more heat-damage and have a area around the target in which enemy suffer from heat-damage

 

I think it would be a nice feature in the game. End another good idea to me it is to remove casual drop. i mean you can obtain normal weapons or sometimes a good one weapon from enemy, but they are ruined and it is ridiculus that when you reach higher levels enemy drop semi-legendary weapons like in oblivion, bandits have glass equip and it's just ridicule. The equipement from half the game to the end should be crafted from a good smith, maybe with rare materials and magical metals. Or even legendary weapon of great heroes, or maybe a weapon blessed from a god or made with demon-blood.

I mean i am just tired of casual drop, i want to choose my weapon, not just kill enemy and monsters waiting they drop a good-stats one.

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Why +5 to familiarity?

+5 isn't a tiny bonus.

Now it's you who are turning it into an overpowered thing. +1... +2 tops.

Arbitrary example numbers, people... Arbitrary example numbers. +5 is only too-low or too-high if I know the context of the system. If, your rolls go from 0-100, it's not so bad. If they're 0-20, it's pretty huge. And since I can't claim intimately detailed knowledge of all the factors surrounding attack-modifier mechanics, my numbers don't mean anything, except within the context of the example.

 

I know it's not intended, and I understand your concerns, but, telling me my numbers should be adjusted is a waste of time, as I'm not going to argue with you, except to clarify the fact that they're intended to be adjusted, and emphasize the point of their role within the example, in case it was missed.

 

Besides, who said a bonus to hit must be standard on magic weapons (or even a big one)

No one did. My point was regarding the overall system balancing decisions. IF you decide that familiarity can give someone a +5 attack bonus, and that magic/enchantments can also give a +5 attack bonus, then you've got to balance for the possibility of a +10 to attack bonus. IF a +10 is overboard for all your mechanics and such in your game design, then you've got to arbitrarily limit the effects of things or put in mechanic exceptions at that point. In other words, a +5 might be fine, by itself, so you decide to give a magic sword that. But, then, you can't just say "6 would be too much, but 5 is good for this top-of-the-line magical enchantment on this sword," and assume no one's ever going to get any more attack bonus than that.

 

Hopefully that's clearer and makes sense.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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You realize that argument has been used to argue agaiusnt every little thing that is htere for immersion.

Why bother with weather? Or NPCs in town acting normally. Players dont' care if htey stand still, etc..

The idea that bonus has to be huge or GTFO is redicolous. Things dont' haev to have a SIGNIFICANT impact to be worth it. And speaking of which, that +1 to hit might be a life safer.

There is a point to it, just like there is a point to the +1 weapon (wether magical or masterwork)

 

The point of a +1 weapon is to be a natural point of progression to the +2 weapon, or the +3 or +4 or +5 or +9000 weapon. If you make a D&D game and try to tell me to get all excited about a weapon that gives you +1 to hit and damage, I am going to laugh at you. It's as simple as that. (Note that +1 weapons are actually a marked improvement over normal weapons in many games, due to being able to damage creatures that would otherwise be immune and being unbreakable. This has precious little to do with the +1 bonus.) Natural progression with small steps is important, but if the end result is still small, then it's really not worth bothering. Something epic is only epic if it helps a lot.

 

As for familiarity bonuses being small, you're right that the details are important, but you're talking about a mechanical bonus. Most people aren't going to go "wow, I have to use this weapon for a bit to get the full benefit out of it, that's so immersive!" Most people are just going to consider the bonus, and how to get the most out of it. If it's small, it'll either be quick to get and everyone will just farm +2 familiarity on all their weapons instead of trying to stick with any one thing, or it'll be slow and only the most hardcore farmer-types will bother, and even then only on weapons that are end-game already.

 

I'm against illogical mechanics just for the sake of "balance" (balance agaisnt what?)

 

This, I think, is ultimately where we differ. I have been modifying, rewriting, and then wholesale creating new pnp game systems for over a decade now. And I've been running games for even longer, in those systems and others. And of course I've been playing video games and interacting with people who play video games for most of my life. And what I've learned is that people trend towards optimal playstyles. Highest power. Not everyone does this, of course, but most people do. That means that whenever you design a game, most people are going to do whatever your game encourages. Not what you want it to encourage, mind you, but what its mechanics actually encourage. So when you offer players a choice, either explicitly or implicitly, if there is an obviously better answer, people will choose that one nine times out of ten. Which means you aren't actually presenting a choice to most of your players, and you're punishing the few players that will take it as an actual choice. This is a problem. The only way to offer an actual choice to the 90%, and to not punish the 10% for being "free thinkers," is to make sure neither choice is significantly better than the other. That's balance, and it is the only way to offer players true freedom. As such, it's the single most important element of game design. Except fun, I suppose, but fun is a lot harder to pin down.

 

I just find it silly that a weapons "soul" prevents you from getting accustomed to it's balance. Come to think of it, why would anyone create a weapon that is actively fighting you? It just makes littlesense.

 

It seems perfectly natural to me, but whatever. That's subjective. As for why people would make a weapon that's actively fighting you... that's every weapon since the invention of the rock-that-you-can-hit-people-with. Call it weight, or recoil, or what have you, every weapon is fighting you in one way or another. You make those weapons because the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. And a powerful magic sword that I can just pick up and use, and the downside is that in two years someone's normal sword might be just as good? Yes please. I'd pay quite a lot to skip ahead two years.

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Arbitrary example numbers, people... Arbitrary example numbers. +5 is only too-low or too-high if I know the context of the system. If, your rolls go from 0-100, it's not so bad. If they're 0-20, it's pretty huge. And since I can't claim intimately detailed knowledge of all the factors surrounding attack-modifier mechanics, my numbers don't mean anything, except within the context of the example.

 

I know it's not intended, and I understand your concerns, but, telling me my numbers should be adjusted is a waste of time, as I'm not going to argue with you, except to clarify the fact that they're intended to be adjusted, and emphasize the point of their role within the example, in case it was missed.

 

Well, I assumed you awere taking in D&D terms as a point of refference (and thus, using a D&D scale, where +5 is a gigantic bonus)

So for scaling purposes, familiarity bonuses should be fairly low.

 

 

 

 

No one did. My point was regarding the overall system balancing decisions. IF you decide that familiarity can give someone a +5 attack bonus, and that magic/enchantments can also give a +5 attack bonus, then you've got to balance for the possibility of a +10 to attack bonus. IF a +10 is overboard for all your mechanics and such in your game design, then you've got to arbitrarily

limit the effects of things or put in mechanic exceptions at that point.

In other words, a +5 might be fine, by itself, so you decide to give a magic sword that. But, then, you can't just say "6 would be too much, but 5 is good for this top-of-the-line magical enchantment on this sword," and assume no one's ever going to get any more attack bonus than that.

 

Hopefully that's clearer and makes sense.

 

And that's exactly why I want to keep familiarity bonuses low and to-hit magical enchantments also low (and rare). So that (in D&D terms) you won't ever get higher than +5, no matter how many perks, feats and enchantments you gather. There is quite simply a cap.

 

 

 

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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The point of a +1 weapon is to be a natural point of progression to the +2 weapon, or the +3 or +4 or +5 or +9000 weapon. If you make a D&D game and try to tell me to get all excited about a weapon that gives you +1 to hit and damage, I am going to laugh at you. It's as simple as that. (Note that +1 weapons are actually a marked improvement over normal weapons in many games, due to being able to damage creatures that would otherwise be immune and being unbreakable. This has precious little to do with the +1 bonus.) Natural progression with small steps is important, but if the end result is still small, then it's really not worth bothering. Something epic is only epic if it helps a lot.

 

The point of a wepon is what you make it. I'm personally not fond of things just being there as a padding and massive scaling that renders your previosu accomplishments pointless.

It's a different kind of balancing and experience I guess.

 

And whiel everyone likes good loot (more or less), I think it's a games job to make it all relevant. If I find a magical sword (+1) I SHOULD be excited. If I'm not, the game is doing something wrong.

 

 

 

As for familiarity bonuses being small, you're right that the details are important, but you're talking about a mechanical bonus. Most people aren't going to go "wow, I have to use this weapon for a bit to get the full benefit out of it, that's so immersive!" Most people are just going to consider the bonus, and how to get the most out of it. If it's small, it'll either be quick to get and everyone will just farm +2 familiarity on all their weapons instead of trying to stick with any one thing, or it'll be slow and only the most hardcore farmer-types will bother, and even then only on weapons that are end-game already.

 

And if most people are going to switch weapons to a +9000, like you say? Then who cares?

I'm not here to dictate how people will play and what they will do.

If I am to design a mechanics system, then I want it to be as immersive as possible and well thoguh-off.

People might do X or Y? Well, they might alos do Z. There's more than extreems in the world.

And ifthat wants to do X, Y or Z - let them do it.

So what if they "farm" familiarity (note that it would require you to use the weapon for some time, so you really couldn't switch weapons all the time)

Familiarity isn't there to balance early weapons with late game ones. TI's jsut there ae a little bonus. A little something for those that do decide to stick with one (well that and upgrades and enchantment)

 

 

 

This, I think, is ultimately where we differ. I have been modifying, rewriting, and then wholesale creating new pnp game systems for over a decade now. And I've been running games for even longer, in those systems and others. And of course I've been playing video games and interacting with people who play video games for most of my life.

 

Then we have something in common. Except for running games. It's so hard to get a PnP session going here..the onyl PnP I played is over Skype sadly.

 

 

 

 

And what I've learned is that people trend towards optimal playstyles. Highest power. Not everyone does this, of course, but most people do. That means that whenever you design a game, most people are going to do whatever your game encourages. Not what you want it to encourage, mind you, but what its mechanics actually encourage. So when you offer players a choice, either explicitly or implicitly, if there is an obviously better answer, people will choose that one nine times out of ten. Which means you aren't actually presenting a choice to most of your players, and you're punishing the few players that will take it as an actual choice. This is a problem.

 

Humans are biologicly inclined for efficiency. INCLINED. We are after all not total slaves to our instincts.

I todl you before I'm against illogical mechanics for the sake of balance. Why? Because I don't think they are opposed. You can make a logical mechanic. It's the same as people claiming fun and realism don't mix. But it does.

 

Choice is choice. What is desirable differs from person to person. Yes, most people probably would power game. But not all. It is still a choice. And the less unbalanced it is, the less attractive it is.

 

 

The only way to offer an actual choice to the 90%, and to not punish the 10% for being "free thinkers," is to make sure neither choice is significantly better than the other. That's balance, and it is the only way to offer players true freedom.

 

While I understand where you are going, I still call BS: That's not freedom. That's avoiding the consequences of actions. The idea out of a dozen choicves, they must all be made artificially equal, just so that player A wouldn't have it worse than player B? Frak no.

Player A needs to grow soem balls and stop being a whiny b****. Who cares what player B does? It's not competetive. There is no scoreboard.

RPG?s are about the journey...about the experience...not about the score.

 

 

 

 

seems perfectly natural to me, but whatever. That's subjective. As for why people would make a weapon that's actively fighting you... that's every weapon since the invention of the rock-that-you-can-hit-people-with. Call it weight, or recoil, or what have you, every weapon is fighting you in one way or another.

 

That's not even remotely similar.

The weapon isn't actively fighting you at all.

 

Again - why would a weapon fight you? If it is imbued with part of someones soul, wouldn't it be equally likely to work with you?

After all, maybe you are the type of person the previous sword owner would like - hence, the weapon likes you too.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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And whiel everyone likes good loot (more or less), I think it's a games job to make it all relevant. If I find a magical sword (+1) I SHOULD be excited. If I'm not, the game is doing something wrong.

 

So, you're right and you're wrong. I agree that the idea of a magic sword that isn't worth getting excited about is stupid. Magic swords should be rare and awesome. But a +1 isn't worth getting excited about. It's worth going "oh, that's neat" and that's about it. That's just the way the mechanics work, and there's nothing the game can do to change that (except using different core mechanics, I suppose, but that's outside the scope of this argument and not really the point anyway). The way you make magic swords good is by making them... good. Either you give them bonuses beyond +1 to hit and damage (like the aforementioned ability to hurt creatures that would be otherwise immune), or you increase the bonuses (so that a +1 magic sword flat-out doesn't exist; it's not magic until it's +2 or +3).

 

 

And if most people are going to switch weapons to a +9000, like you say? Then who cares?

I'm not here to dictate how people will play and what they will do.

If I am to design a mechanics system, then I want it to be as immersive as possible and well thoguh-off.

People might do X or Y? Well, they might alos do Z. There's more than extreems in the world.

And ifthat wants to do X, Y or Z - let them do it.

So what if they "farm" familiarity (note that it would require you to use the weapon for some time, so you really couldn't switch weapons all the time)

Familiarity isn't there to balance early weapons with late game ones. TI's jsut there ae a little bonus. A little something for those that do decide to stick with one (well that and upgrades and enchantment)

 

...

 

Humans are biologicly inclined for efficiency. INCLINED. We are after all not total slaves to our instincts.

I todl you before I'm against illogical mechanics for the sake of balance. Why? Because I don't think they are opposed. You can make a logical mechanic. It's the same as people claiming fun and realism don't mix. But it does.

 

Choice is choice. What is desirable differs from person to person. Yes, most people probably would power game. But not all. It is still a choice. And the less unbalanced it is, the less attractive it is.

 

 

So, your general attitude here is "screw what the game encourages, players will decide what to do anyway so it doesn't matter." That's a great stance to be taking when you're playing a game, but it's rather pointless when designing one. It leads to a lack of consideration for your mechanics, and whether you like it or not it does lead to pigeonholing players. If I want to use a sword for the entire game, but I can't because it doesn't scale well enough to be viable in the endgame, you have artificially limited me. You have either forced me to play something I don't want to play, or you have screwed up my difficulty curve and made the game less fun.

 

As for balance/fun and realism, you're right that they aren't inherently opposed, but you're wrong in assuming that they're inherently aligned. And why should they be? Adventuring in real life wouldn't be fun for most people. I mean, I don't want to fall down a pit trap or get shot by arrows. And in real life, weapons are horribly unbalanced, even weapons that were widely used in the same era. Look at longbows and crossbows. Nearly any conscript soldier is going to want to use a crossbow, but a longbow is a clearly superior weapon in almost every way once you learn how to use it. It's simply better for the types of people who are going to be out saving the day. That's a terrible balance curve, though, and enforcing it in the game is just going to arbitrarily punish people who want to use crossbows. And for what? Greater immersion? Immersion is getting to play the character I want, thanks.

 

 

 

While I understand where you are going, I still call BS: That's not freedom. That's avoiding the consequences of actions. The idea out of a dozen choicves, they must all be made artificially equal, just so that player A wouldn't have it worse than player B? Frak no.

Player A needs to grow soem balls and stop being a whiny b****. Who cares what player B does? It's not competetive. There is no scoreboard.

RPG?s are about the journey...about the experience...not about the score.

 

There are two types of choices in games. I'm gonna call them personal and strategic choices. A personal choice is basically saying "this is the sort of character I want to play," while a strategic choice is saying "this is what I think will work best." Gameplay at every level is a mix of those choices, and in many cases they are confounded within a single decision (would my barbarian hero sneak into the enemy camp, even when that's clearly going to work better than a frontal assault?). Having such confounds in individual choices is fine and reasonable (although still dangerous if used too often). Having those confounds pervasive throughout the game, as equipment choices will necessarily be, is not okay. Why not? Because when personal choices become strategic choices, all you will do is make the game artificially harder for the people who decide to play the way they want to, rather than the way that's optimal. And the problem with making the game harder is that, if you've done the rest of your job right, the game should be somewhere near the optimum level of difficulty to be fun already (for their chosen difficulty, naturally; people like different levels of challenges, but they don't like the game arbitrarily spiking up or down in difficulty for no in-game reason). I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to constantly crank down the difficulty as the game goes on just because my personal choices are increasingly not viable. Especially not if some of my NPCs don't suffer from that problem, as it'll mean my PC will be outperformed no matter what I do for no good reason.

 

 

That's not even remotely similar.

The weapon isn't actively fighting you at all.

 

Again - why would a weapon fight you? If it is imbued with part of someones soul, wouldn't it be equally likely to work with you?

After all, maybe you are the type of person the previous sword owner would like - hence, the weapon likes you too.

 

I'm honestly not sure why you don't consider recoil "actively fighting you," but whatever. Think of it like an organ donation. Even if the person wants to donate their organ to you, even if you're the same blood type (and god help you if you aren't), there's a decent chance of rejection. Now, a weapon isn't an organ donation, and it's not gonna work in exactly the same way, but the idea remains that just because something is similar doesn't mean it's a part of you. Or, if you'd like a different metaphor, think of a magic weapon as a friend. You can get along really well with your friends, and even work well together, but you'll always be more coordinated with a puppet that you're directly controlling (like most video game characters). Which is not to say that the friend's independence isn't an advantage of its own, much like how a magic sword has advantages whether you're familiar with it or not. And it certainly doesn't mean that familiarity shouldn't apply at all, only that coordination takes a lot longer to achieve.

 

But I feel like you're trying to come up with reasons why my explanation might not work, rather than reasons why it necessarily won't work. This suggests to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you're more attached to your version of the mechanic than you are to its thematic explanation. I actually think that's totally cool and is a very good reason for maintaining your stance, but I'm not sure I've seen many arguments against my version from a mechanics standpoint. So let me ask you this: what is the thematic benefit you're trying to get from your mechanics (not the explanation, but the reason why you felt familiarity mechanics were important), and why do you think your suggested mechanics are better than mine for achieving that goal?

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No one did. My point was regarding the overall system balancing decisions. IF you decide that familiarity can give someone a +5 attack bonus, and that magic/enchantments can also give a +5 attack bonus, then you've got to balance for the possibility of a +10 to attack bonus. IF a +10 is overboard for all your mechanics and such in your game design, then you've got to arbitrarily

limit the effects of things or put in mechanic exceptions at that point.

In other words, a +5 might be fine, by itself, so you decide to give a magic sword that. But, then, you can't just say "6 would be too much, but 5 is good for this top-of-the-line magical enchantment on this sword," and assume no one's ever going to get any more attack bonus than that.

 

Hopefully that's clearer and makes sense.

 

And that's exactly why I want to keep familiarity bonuses low and to-hit magical enchantments also low (and rare). So that (in D&D terms) you won't ever get higher than +5, no matter how many perks, feats and enchantments you gather. There is quite simply a cap.

 

I don't disagree. I just thought that, from a design standpoint, it might be prudent to separate the two, rather than making sure you always account for the both of them (familiarity + enchantment) never being too powerful. My only other concern is, WHY, if you can enchant a sword to hit better, can it only hit SO much better? I mean, how does that even work? The sword magically corrects your swings, but only a little bit? Does that mean it knows where to strike at all times, and it just intentionally only slightly helps you get there, instead of just striking true every time, because it's a bastard sword (pun intended)? Or, maybe the enchantment enhances your muscular competency/control/dexterity? But, again, if so, why is it capped off so low? And wouldn't that overlap with familiarity? The delay for familiarity bonuses is simply due to the human limitation of not being able to immediately compensate for all the weapon's physical properties, despite knowing how and where to strike. So, you'd think they'd overlap. *shrug*

 

So, those are my only concerns. It just seems really arbitrary to cap each thing off so low. Plus, it just seems a little bit like cheating for some magic to simply make you better with a sword. Even magical Haste doesn't make you hit better. It just lets you hit with the same effectiveness more swiftly/frequently. I think, possibly, it might work better to let all the attack bonuses stem solely from your own (character's own) skills/talents and efforts, and let enchantments affect the sword, itself. With what I described, you've already got the opportunity, with any weapon, to develop an attack bonus over time/uses OR pay to customize the weapon to your character's hand, so to speak, to skip the time delay. I don't see it being completely necessary to also have magical enchantments improve the weapon's usability. Where do we draw the line, then (and, more importantly, WHY do we draw the line if we didn't already draw it for magical enchantments)? Why not alchemical oils applied to the sword that make it perform better, temporarily? Plus buffs? Plus enchanted helmets and rings and cloaks and boots? "Boots of Swordsmanship."

 

Basically, I'm not a fan of magic making a person actually DECIDE better. Barriers and stoneskin-type spells stop damage FOR you. They don't make you better at stopping damage. Haste makes you move faster, but not be better at reaction and tactics. I like it when permanent magical enchantments make the weapon perform better, not the weapon user. Maybe it's lighter with the same strength/durability, so it's easier to swing, or it does some elemental damage, or it cuts better when you do hit, or it returns like a boomerang when you throw it, etc. None of that should just make you super accurate and capable with the weapon, I don't think (but that's purely my opinion, I suppose.)

 

Anywho. Those are just my thoughts on the matter. Seems prudent to keep the attack bonuses in the same boat (just like familiarity overlapping with physical weapon customizations). What do you think of enchantments being an alternative to customizations? i.e. You can only ever get a +5 with a given weapon, either by becoming VERY familiar with it, or customizing it, OR enchanting it to "be" lighter or adapt to your movements/grip, etc? So that, you can either enchant it all the way to +5 (if you've got the money, or a party member capable of enchanting it that high), OR customize it to +5, OR use it until you get familiar enough with it for +5 to attack, or any combination of the above. Meh? Just thoughts, like I said.

 

Maybe we shouldn't do that, and could just stick with the individual limits to familiarity AND enchantment. *shrug*. It's not like it's a terrible problem or anything. I just like to explore possibilities.

 

 

 

And whiel everyone likes good loot (more or less), I think it's a games job to make it all relevant. If I find a magical sword (+1) I SHOULD be excited. If I'm not, the game is doing something wrong.

 

So, you're right and you're wrong. I agree that the idea of a magic sword that isn't worth getting excited about is stupid. Magic swords should be rare and awesome. But a +1 isn't worth getting excited about. It's worth going "oh, that's neat" and that's about it. That's just the way the mechanics work, and there's nothing the game can do to change that (except using different core mechanics, I suppose, but that's outside the scope of this argument and not really the point anyway). The way you make magic swords good is by making them... good. Either you give them bonuses beyond +1 to hit and damage (like the aforementioned ability to hurt creatures that would be otherwise immune), or you increase the bonuses (so that a +1 magic sword flat-out doesn't exist; it's not magic until it's +2 or +3).

 

I'm afraid you're mistaken on this one point, Jarrakul. It's true that games don't often MAKE more than a +2 or +3 matter very much, but that's not math's fault, and that's not "just the way the mechanics work." That's the design's fault. The fact is that +1 CAN be quite an improvement, if you do your math right (have weapon damage be the base for your total damage, as augmented by your character's skills and progression, for example. If your character does 5 X the base weapon damage, then a weapon damage of 5 would give you 25 damage, whilst a "+1" weapon would give you 30. That's +20%, that is).

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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So, your general attitude here is "screw what the game encourages, players will decide what to do anyway so it doesn't matter." That's a great stance to be taking when you're playing a game, but it's rather pointless when designing one. It leads to a lack of consideration for your mechanics, and whether you like it or not it does lead to pigeonholing players. If I want to use a sword for the entire game, but I can't because it doesn't scale well enough to be viable in the endgame, you have artificially limited me. You have either forced me to play something I don't want to play, or you have screwed up my difficulty curve and made the game less fun.

 

 

No, that's not my general attitude.

 

You are confusing realistic and logical consequences with artificial limitations. Wiat, I cna't take out a dragon with a spoon I found in the dumpster? WHY ARE YOU LIMITING ME?

don't be silly.

Familairty ALONE isn't there to make early game weapons equal to late game ones. Would they still be vialbe? Depends on the balance/scaling/stats. It wouldn't be optimal, but it could still be viable.

 

If you want your early weapon to be equal to later magical ones, then you need to upgrade it and do more than just get accustomed to it.

 

And please, don't bring in fun. Fun is subjective. What if I find all fo that you don't find fun, fun?

 

 

 

As for balance/fun and realism, you're right that they aren't inherently opposed, but you're wrong in assuming that they're inherently aligned.

 

I haven't said they are. I said that with carefull design they can be made to mesh well.

 

And agian, some peopel find fun in immersion. Some people dont' take everything personally and don't think of logical consequences and downsides as "punishment".

After all, if you are RP-ing a guy in a fictional world, then you have to accept the rules of that world - even those you may not like. So your crossbow/longbow example really doesnt' work.

You say immersion is getting to play the character you want? What if I want to play a giant midget who kills people with the word "NI"..or failing that, uses a trout as a weapon.

But trout isn't a viable weapon? WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME!

I don't see where this line of reasoning come, that the game MUST allow you to do whatever you want, play any character you want and never face any disadvantages. So in your example, the player should accept that a longbow and crossbow are different weapons with different pros and cons.

 

 

 

I'm honestly not sure why you don't consider recoil "actively fighting you," but whatever.

 

Because recoil doesn't change and increase to prevent you from getting accustomed to it?

Recoil is something everyone can get accustomed to equally easily. There's no soul or will behind it. Just a physical reaction.

 

 

 

 

So let me ask you this: what is the thematic benefit you're trying to get from your mechanics (not the explanation, but the reason why you felt familiarity mechanics were important), and why do you think your suggested mechanics are better than mine for achieving that goal?

 

Honestly, I just don't care much for your thematic explanation. I know PE is very much soul-centric, bu as with any theme, overuse is bad.

you know how same games havea theme? Like a dragon? and then everyhing is dragon-X? Dragon sword, dragon armor, dragon ale, dragon in. Simply, overuse of a theme or concept can have the opposite effect of getting people to hate it.

Thwre's soul powers in PE. Ok. Does that mean EVERYTHING has to do with souls? Not really.

 

And another difference is that you want to give familiarity a far greater role and importance that I want.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I don't disagree. I just thought that, from a design standpoint, it might be prudent to separate the two, rather than making sure you always account for the both of them (familiarity + enchantment) never being too powerful. My only other concern is, WHY, if you can enchant a sword to hit better, can it only hit SO much better? I mean, how does that even work? The sword magically corrects your swings, but only a little bit? Does that mean it knows where to strike at all times, and it just intentionally only slightly helps you get there, instead of just striking true every time, because it's a bastard sword (pun intended)? Or, maybe the enchantment enhances your muscular competency/control/dexterity? But, again, if so, why is it capped off so low? And wouldn't that overlap with familiarity? The delay for familiarity bonuses is simply due to the human limitation of not being able to immediately compensate for all the weapon's physical properties, despite knowing how and where to strike. So, you'd think they'd overlap. *shrug*

 

You make a good point, but consider this:

Why is ANYTHING capped? Why do swords only go to +5? Why not +10? Or +100? You are always going to have a cap.

 

As to why a to-hit enchantment is capped lower? Maybe because such enchantments are more difficult? Magic is magic after all, following strange rules and having strange limitations.

Basicly, for magic, lines are drawn wherever you want.

Maybe boots of swordsmanship don't work becaue the enchantment HAS to be on the weapon itself.

You can seriously invent any remotely sensible sounding reason.

 

Yeah, you could completely forbid +to-hit enchantments altogether and leave that only for familiarity, but I don't see why. Unless you want huge familiarity bonuses (which I don't), in which case it does make balancing sense.

 

 

 

Plus, it just seems a little bit like cheating for some magic to simply make you better with a sword.

 

As opposed to setting your sword on fire or allowing it to defelct magic or hit intangible creatures? But making a sword lighter/better balanced trough magic is a no-no?

How is that cheating?

 

 

 

Haste makes you move faster, but not be better at reaction and tactics

 

IIRC; didn't you get a +1 to hit - since you were faster your attacked were more difficult to dodge/block.

 

 

I personally don't have a problem with legendary magical weapons actually making you better - especially if it's a semi-sentiant weapon - but I do think such enchantments should be rare.

 

You can easily explain it if you want. Parts of souls of previous owners reside in the weapon, and with them a part of their skill? I guess it kinda makes the user seem a bit less heroic, bu whatever.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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You make a good point, but consider this:

Why is ANYTHING capped? Why do swords only go to +5? Why not +10? Or +100? You are always going to have a cap.

Well, things are capped by physics. You can't craft a +1,000 sword out of steel, because steel is only so strong and sharp and light. You can't swing a sword infinitely fast (regardless of soul powers, or just regular human abilities). So, yeah, things are naturally capped. It's only when you toss in the no-rules magic that things aren't capped. If you don't cap magic, obviously, it causes problems with the rest of the world. "Oh, even a 5-year-old who can channel magic can destroy the whole planet. But no one ever does, and also mages get taken down by swords sometimes, even though they're infinitely powerful and have no limitations." Clearly, ludicrous.

 

So, my point wasn't that we would ask "why is this enchantment's capability capped at SOME point?", but rather, "Why is this enchantment's ability capped SO LOW?", if that makes sense. In other words, you can't gain +20 fire damage from familiarity, so magic can obviously increase that oodles. But then, oh, it can't make the sword more easily swingable beyond a quantified +2 or +3? A haste spell can make you move twice as fast, but that can't be put into a permanent enchantment in a sword that makes you swing twice as fast/accurately? You just start running into head-scratching things, a bit. It's not entirely nonsensical or anything. It just starts rebelling against the order of things in your world.

 

You can seriously invent any remotely sensible sounding reason.

True, but also sort of part of my point. It doesn't really have to "make sense," because it's magic. But then, it kinda does, or it just seems like "the only reason this works this way in this living, ficticious world is because the mechanic happened to need it to, JUST so we could have plus-to-hit enchantments in this game."

 

Yeah, you could completely forbid +to-hit enchantments altogether and leave that only for familiarity, but I don't see why. Unless you want huge familiarity bonuses (which I don't), in which case it does make balancing sense.

Why would you need huge familiarity bonuses? And, regarding your not-seeing why I would even want to forbid those enchantments, it's the same thing as anything that can come from multiple sources. Take... weapon damage. Maybe it comes from elemental enchantments, AND from applied oils, AND from Strength, AND from buffs, AND from feats/abilities... Well, now, you've got to make sure that someone who gets ALL those things isn't slaying bosses in 1 hit. But, at the same time, you've got to make sure that getting only SOME of those things is actually worth it. If you're needing to do 100 damage to be effective, and your weapon is at 70, and oils add a max of 2 damage, and enchantments add a max of 5, and STR bonus adds a max of 3, and buffs add a max of 2... well, you're ending up with like 80 damage. So, it's not even worth the effort and time to just get one or two things. It's either everything, or nothing. If that makes any sense...

 

So, yeah, I think it would possibly be best to limit to-hit bonuses to PHYSICAL, non-magical factors (skills/feats, familiarity improvement, weapon customizations, etc.), so that you don't have to balance a whole 'nother factor that requires arbitrarily forced rules to be made up to explain its extra capping in one respect. *shrug*. I just think it's a feasible line of thought for the design, is all. Not "OMG IF WE DON'T DO THIS, THE GAME'S BROKEN!" I think it would make balancing easier and less convoluted, when it comes to attack ratings, without really hurting anything.

 

Like you said, magic can have any rules you want. So why would "well, it's just really hard to make swords make you better at swinging them effectively with magic, so that's gonna stop at +2" be fine, but "We actually don't have any magic that can make you any BETTER at all-around swordsmanship. We can make you swing faster, or swing harder, but we can't actually change your chance to hit well via magic" would be problematic or unacceptable in any way?

 

As opposed to setting your sword on fire or allowing it to defelct magic or hit intangible creatures? But making a sword lighter/better balanced trough magic is a no-no?

How is that cheating?

It's not. A) I said "seems a little bit like cheating," not "that's undoubtedly cheating, u_u," and B) I didn't argue against setting your sword on fire (which can easily be achieved via flammable sticky gel, without magic) or deflecting magic (if fictional magic exists, then a fictional material could exist that nullifies it) or hitting intangible creatures (oodles of things in the real world are intangible without being magic, and can only be affected by other intangible things, like electricity, which also aren't magic). NOR did I argue against making a sword lighter or better balanced through magic, if you'll look again.

 

I simply stated that that would constitute the exact same effect as both familiarity AND physical, non-magical customization of the weapon. In other words, reforging it to make it lighter or enchanting it to make it lighter are generating the exact same effect, as you can only make it SO light before it starts actually HINDERING your ability to swing it well, or at least doesn't increase it any further. So, if you get a +3 to hit from a magical enchantment, that should be 3 that you CAN'T get from either familiarity or reforging/customizing the weapon non-magically. I mean, you can't reforge a weapon to make it 1 lb down from 5 (stronger, lighter material or whatever, with arbitrary numbers) and perfectly balanced to boot, THEN enchant it to make it -3 lbs and even-better-than-perfectly balanced.

 

Basically, as long as magic is generating effects within the realm of physics, it can't do what physics won't allow.

 

So, to clarify, magical-style weapon improvement? Yes. Magical-style CHARACTER weapon-skill improvement? No. If you give a master swordsman a club, he's going to be less-than-optimally effective with it. If you give him a crappy sword, he's going to be better. If you give him his own personal, awesome-quality sword that he's ultra familiar with, he's going to be as good as his weapon skill allows. Nothing should make him better than that. It should only remove penalties, which is basically what imabalance, weight, unfamiliarity, etc. are.

 

One more clarification as to the difference (because I feel like a "what's the difference if it's adding to the attack rating?" coming): If you let an enchanted sword be magically better-balanced/lighter, and you give it to a master swordsman (in place of his mediocre blade), he's going to perform better with it. HOWEVER, if you give that same enchanted sword to a kid swinging a stick around, he's not going to perform ANY better with that sword than he is with his stick, because he sucks with a sword, no matter how awesomely balanced and easy-to-swing the sword is. The weapon's properties have changed, and the person's remain static, as is evident by different people and different situations with the same blade.

 

 

I personally don't have a problem with legendary magical weapons actually making you better - especially if it's a semi-sentiant weapon - but I do think such enchantments should be rare.

 

You can easily explain it if you want. Parts of souls of previous owners reside in the weapon, and with them a part of their skill? I guess it kinda makes the user seem a bit less heroic, bu whatever.

This I actually agree with. I'm not against a weapon EVER improving a skill, but I don't think it should be part of a standard enchantment system (like +1 fire damage, +3, +5, +8, etc.). So, the rarity that such a thing should have and the rarity that legendary items have (at least in comparison with standard enchanted items) coincide quite well.

 

And, see? I didn't even think of that until you said something about it. As far as I knew, I WAS against all forms of character skill improvement via magic equipment that I could think of thus far. Thanks for that.

 

Behold, the power of discussion, ^_^

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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 Why would you need huge familiarity bonuses? And, regarding your not-seeing why I would even want to forbid those enchantments, it's the same thing as anything that can come from multiple sources. Take... weapon damage. Maybe it comes from elemental enchantments, AND from applied oils, AND from Strength, AND from buffs, AND from feats/abilities... Well, now, you've got to make sure that someone who gets ALL those things isn't slaying bosses in 1 hit. But, at the same time, you've got to make sure that getting only SOME of those things is actually worth it. If you're needing to do 100 damage to be effective, and your weapon is at 70, and oils add a max of 2 damage, and enchantments add a max of 5, and STR bonus adds a max of 3, and buffs add a max of 2... well, you're ending up with like 80 damage. So, it's not even worth the effort and time to just get one or two things. It's either everything, or nothing. If that makes any sense...

 

So don't do that. Simple.

Why would you need 100 damage to be effective? What's wrong with 70? Or 80? You are fabricating a scenario with the express purpose or a mechanic not working. In other words, you already sabotaged it with those initial assumptions (that 100 is needed to be effective and that it's everything or nothing).

 

While your fears are completely understandable and logical, it does seem like you're going with worst-case scenarios. But that is good in a way. Spoting possible problems early on is vital in the development of any set of mechanics.

 

 

Like you said, magic can have any rules you want. So why would "well, it's just really hard to make swords make you better at swinging them effectively with magic, so that's gonna stop at +2" be fine, but "We actually don't have any magic that can make you any BETTER at all-around

swordsmanship. We can make you swing faster, or swing harder, but we can't actually change your chance to hit well via magic" would be problematic or unacceptable in any way?

 

 

That entirely depends on how do you see a "+to hit bous" and what magic can do.

Is +to hit a product of better weapon balance? Or does the weapon steer itself?

 

Why would either of those be outside of the bounds of magic, if you already show magic doing that in other instance.

Seeking and hitting? Magic missile.

Increase strength and speed = increased accuracy as the sword is easier to swing and correct mid-swing, also harder to parry

So making someone swing faster or harder actually WOULD increase his chance to hit.

 

At least to me it makes sense that enchantment has to be on the items you want it to effect. If you want to improve the swords balance, the enchantment HAS to be on the sword...it can't be on the boots...unless the +hit is actually a skill increase afforded by magic to the wearer, thus any items can do.

 

 

 

 

One more clarification as to the difference (because I feel like a "what's the difference if it's adding to the attack rating?" coming): If you let an enchanted sword be magically better-balanced/lighter, and you give it to a master swordsman (in place of his mediocre blade), he's going to perform better with it. HOWEVER, if you give that same enchanted sword to a kid swinging a stick around, he's not going to perform ANY better with that sword than he is with his stick, because he sucks with a sword, no matter how awesomely balanced and easy-to-swing

the sword is. The weapon's properties have changed, and the person's remain static, as is evident by different people and different situations with the same blade.

 

Actually, the kid would - by definition - be better with that sword than a normal one.

 

 

 

 

So, to clarify, magical-style weapon improvement? Yes. Magical-style CHARACTER weapon-skill improvement? No.

 

Meh. I don't mind really. Especially if you go with soul-powers, then legendary weapons granting knowledge (skill) doesn't seem far-fetched.

But if it's in, I would want it to be VERY rare.

 

 

 

 

This I actually agree with. I'm not against a weapon EVER improving a skill, but I don't think it should be part of a standard enchantment system (like +1 fire damage, +3, +5, +8, etc.). So, the rarity that such a thing should have and the rarity that legendary items have (at least in comparison with standard enchanted items) coincide quite well.

 

And, see? I didn't even think of that until you said something about it. As far as I knew, I WAS against all forms of character skill improvement via magic equipment that I could think of thus far. Thanks for that.

 

 

You're welcome :D

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So don't do that. Simple.

Why would you need 100 damage to be effective? What's wrong with 70? Or 80? You are fabricating a scenario with the express purpose or a mechanic not working. In other words, you already sabotaged it with those initial assumptions (that 100 is needed to be effective and that it's everything or nothing).

 

While your fears are completely understandable and logical, it does seem like you're going with worst-case scenarios. But that is good in a way. Spoting possible problems early on is vital in the development of any set of mechanics.

The 100 damage was arbitrary. I'd rather use actual numbers, for examples, instead of using good old unknown variables and algebraic expressions. 100 is whatever number of damage actually allows you to be on-par with stuff of a given level, in a given scenario (whatever level/scenario/stuff you want to imagine up to your heart's content.) I mean, if you go up against the last boss with a flimsy copper sword from the beginning of the game, and woven straw armor, you're probably not quite going to be where you should in the numbers. And if quality equipment means anything at all, while it's not going to determine 100% of your effectiveness, it's going to contribute a good bit. So, lacking it would put your numbers somewhere below whatever 100 represents. But, there HAS to be a number there, because the whole system is based on numbers.

 

So, my example was simply looking at whatever that number happens to be and making design/balancing decisions around it, in hypothetical "I'm sitting here designing P:E" land.

 

And yes, you're right that my concerns/points aren't necessarily applicable. I'm glad you got a little something out of what I was saying, though. Like you said, just exploring possibilities here. Sometimes I do it more than anyone really sees a need for, and I don't expect my every word to be some crazy, dramatic revelation or anything of how the system should absolutely be, heh. No worries on that.

 

 

That entirely depends on how do you see a "+to hit bous" and what magic can do.

Is +to hit a product of better weapon balance? Or does the weapon steer itself?

 

Why would either of those be outside of the bounds of magic, if you already show magic doing that in other instance.

Seeking and hitting? Magic missile.

Increase strength and speed = increased accuracy as the sword is easier to swing and correct mid-swing, also harder to parry

So making someone swing faster or harder actually WOULD increase his chance to hit.

Ehh... if the weapon steers itself, why does it need your input/aiming at all? Magic missile... You can cast it in the opposite direction, and it will make its way to the target. PLUS, it's not a physical thing. It's pure magical energy. You're basically just commanding it, and it's acting. So, that type of control does seem a bit weird in just slightly/sorta/kinda helping a sword find its mark.

 

And it depends. If you know HOW to correct mid-swing, then the sword allowing you to swing it faster and harder will make you better. Otherwise, it will just make your attacks more frequent (however accurate they are), and give them more force when they strike. If you take a primitive rifle, and give it a larger powder charge with each bullet and a clip, it doesn't make it any more accurate. It just allows it to fire faster and hit harder.

 

Also, yes, the kid with the enchanted lighter/balanced sword would be "better," just as a person WITH a sword would be "better" than a person without a sword. But, giving someone who doesn't have a sword a sword doesn't increase their ability with a sword. You have 2 factors: Your ability, and the tool's hindrance (weight, cutting edge, balance, etc.). Sharpening a sword makes the SWORD cut better with the same swing. It doesn't make you swing the sword any more skillfully, while simultaneously making your however-skillful swings more effective.

 

So, you can do one of 2 things with magic: You can actually increase the character's ability at USING the tool, or you can increase the effectiveness of the tool. If you make a 15-lb greatsword suddenly weigh 7lbs but be just as strong, you're not making the swordsman any better at fighting with a greatsword. You're making him less hindered by the sword's weight, allowing him to use more of his ability that he already had. If he sucks with a greatsword, he's gonna get tired more slowly, but he's not going to suddenly start wielding the sword with more expertise. He can swing the sword faster, sure. But he could already swing a 7-lb something faster than a 15-lb something. If you reduce its weight to 0-lbs, he's not going to simply keep swinging the sword even faster. He can only swing any object so quickly. And if you allow his muscles to magically swing more swiftly/forcefully with the same effort, he's STILL not going to be any better at actually comboing those things together and reacting to stuff (like correcting mid-swing) without his mind being enhanced, which is exactly what I'm talking about when I say his "skill" with the tool isn't being increased.

 

Also, regardless of whether or not the magic makes his muscles tougher and quicker, or makes the sword lighter and better balanced, you can't really get a stacking benefit there, beyond a certain point. If you can swing a 7-lb sword as if it's weightless because of your strength, then going and reforging the sword to make it lighter isn't going to make you swing it as if it weighs -3 lbs, nor is getting familiar with it going to help at all. That's my point, as well.

 

That only leaves "This enchantment actually makes you more skillfull/knowledgable at wielding a sword," which we discussed with the legendary-type stuff and souls bestowing skill and whatnot.

 

It's exactly how you said: "It depends on how you look at a +to hit." It does, and there are 2 different ways to look at it, side-by-side.

 

I think such effects from enchantments on weapons shouldn't stack with the effects of non-magical weapon modifications and/or familiarity, UNLESS the weapon bestows actual skill, in which case it should be a rare, legendary weapon, most likely. That sums up my view, and I hope it makes sense why my view is my view.

 

At least to me it makes sense that enchantment has to be on the items you want it to effect. If you want to improve the swords balance, the enchantment HAS to be on the sword...it can't be on the boots...unless the +hit is actually a skill increase afforded by magic to the wearer, thus any items can do.

No argument there. :)

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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That entirely depends on how do you see a "+to hit bous" and what magic can do.
Is +to hit a product of better weapon balance? Or does the weapon steer itself?
 
Why would either of those be outside of the bounds of magic, if you already show magic doing that in other instance.
Seeking and hitting? Magic missile.
Increase strength and speed = increased accuracy as the sword is easier to swing and correct mid-swing, also harder to parry
So making someone swing faster or harder actually WOULD increase his chance to hit.

Ehh... if the weapon steers itself, why does it need your input/aiming at all? Magic missile... You can cast it in the opposite direction, and it will make its way to the target. PLUS, it's not a physical thing. It's pure magical energy. You're basically just commanding it, and it's acting. So, that type of control does seem a bit weird in just slightly/sorta/kinda helping a sword find its mark.

And it depends. If you know HOW to correct mid-swing, then the sword allowing you to swing it faster and harder will make you better. Otherwise, it will just make your attacks more frequent (however accurate they are), and give them more force when they strike. If you take a primitive rifle, and give it a larger powder charge with each bullet and a clip, it doesn't make it any more accurate. It just allows it to fire faster and hit harder.

Also, yes, the kid with the enchanted lighter/balanced sword would be "better," just as a person WITH a sword would be "better" than a person without a sword. But, giving someone who doesn't have a sword a sword doesn't increase their ability with a sword. You have 2 factors: Your ability, and the tool's hindrance (weight, cutting edge, balance, etc.). Sharpening a sword makes the SWORD cut better with the same swing. It doesn't make you swing the sword any more skillfully, while simultaneously making your however-skillful swings more effective.

 

Now we're entering the land of nitpickery here.

 

But I have swung real swords a few times.

Gimme a bad, unbalanced replica and give me a finely crafted blade - the difference is VERY noticable.

I will not be more "skilled" with the second but I will be "better". A light, balanced blade is easier to guide and correct trajectory mid-swing.

If I can swing a blade faster and with less effort, I WILL be harder to block - by virtue of speed alone. Striking a target is NOT only a function of skill.

So technicly, it does make you better, but indirectly.

 

To-hit does not equal only skill.

 

 

 

So, you can do one of 2 things with magic: You can actually increase the character's ability at USING the tool, or you can increase the effectiveness of the tool. If you make a 15-lb greatsword suddenly weigh 7lbs but be just as strong, you're not making the swordsman any better at fighting with a greatsword. You're making him less hindered by the sword's weight, allowing him to use more of his ability that he already had. If he sucks with a greatsword, he's gonna get tired more slowly, but he's not going to suddenly start wielding the sword with more expertise. He can swing the sword faster, sure. But he could already swing a 7-lb something faster than a 15-lb something. If you reduce its weight to 0-lbs, he's not going to simply keep swinging the sword even faster. He can only swing any object so quickly. And if you allow his muscles to magically swing more swiftly/forcefully with the same effort, he's STILL not going to be any better at actually comboing those things together and reacting to stuff (like correcting mid-swing) without his mind being enhanced, which is exactly what I'm talking about when I say his "skill" with the tool isn't being increased.

 

I'd actually use another analogy here. A musket vs. a rifle with a laser sight. Will I be more accurate with a rifle? You bet. Even if I never used a rifle before - because the weapon itself makes it easier to be accurate.

 

 

 

Also, regardless of whether or not the magic makes his muscles tougher and quicker, or makes the sword lighter and better balanced, you can't really get a stacking benefit there, beyond a certain point. If you can swing a 7-lb sword as if it's weightless because of your strength, then going and reforging the sword to make it lighter isn't going to make you swing it as if it weighs -3 lbs, nor is getting familiar with it going to help at all. That's my point, as well.

 

Uum...yeah, a point no one even argued against, so I don't know why you even bothered brining it up.

How can there even be such a thing as negative weight?

 

 

That only leaves "This enchantment actually makes you more skillfull/knowledgable at wielding a sword," which we discussed with the legendary-type stuff and souls bestowing skill and whatnot.

 

Erm...no
 

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Now we're entering the land of nitpickery here.

You say "nitpicky," I say "true but annoyingly technical to some people despite its verity." *shrug*

 

But I have swung real swords a few times.

Gimme a bad, unbalanced replica and give me a finely crafted blade - the difference is VERY noticable.

I will not be more "skilled" with the second but I will be "better". A light, balanced blade is easier to guide and correct trajectory mid-swing.

If I can swing a blade faster and with less effort, I WILL be harder to block - by virtue of speed alone. Striking a target is NOT only a function of skill.

So technicly, it does make you better, but indirectly.

 

To-hit does not equal only skill.

Exactly. I don't know why you're stressing this, since I already acknowledged it. You're emphasizing the non-skill aspect of "betterment" factors. Cool. I did that, too. THEN I noted that the skill aspect simultaneously exists. They're not in two different universes or something.

 

So, why am I being so "nitpicky"? Well, because the difference in which function an enchantment is allowed to serve is circumstantially evident. Hence the "negative weight" example that you felt the need to so belittlingly point out was obvious. If the enchantment is increasing your skill with the sword, then you still operate better with the sword (and therefore gain a mathematically quantified to-hit bonus) even with all the optimal non-skill factors already in place. The sword weighs nothing and is completely balanced and you have plenty of strength and speed of muscle fibers, yet you're magically +n better than what you were, already, with all those same factors. Whereas if enchantments can only increase those non-skill factors, you're already at the cap.

 

Meaning, of course, that enchantments and non-enchantments (anything granting attack bonuses permanently, basically, are already governed by the same cap. If you allow enchantments to boost actual skill with the weapon, then you've got a whole separate train track of attack bonuses that you've got to balance into the rest of the system.

 

If you still think I'm just being nitpicky, then cool. But, I'd rather make as much sense of the balancing/design process as I can, rather than arbitrarily making things convoluted for basically no gain, then capping things off for arbitrarily-invented lore reasons just so my system works. That's just my personal preference, though.

 

 

 

That only leaves "This enchantment actually makes you more skillfull/knowledgable at wielding a sword," which we discussed with the legendary-type stuff and souls bestowing skill and whatnot.

 

Erm...no

 

 

I literally have no idea what you're saying "no" to. All I did was reference what we already mentioned previously, which didn't warrant any "Erm... no" before. I don't know what has changed. *blink blink* o_o

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If you still think I'm just being nitpicky, then cool. But, I'd rather make as much sense of the balancing/design process as I can, rather than arbitrarily making things convoluted for basically no gain, then capping things off for arbitrarily-invented lore reasons just so my system works. That's just my personal preference, though.

 

 

And I postulate that it does make sense. It's not arbitrary...well, not any more than your method is.

Both make sense, both have caps, and both serve the same purpose.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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And I postulate that it does make sense. It's not arbitrary...well, not any more than your method is.

Both make sense, both have caps, and both serve the same purpose.

Yeah... *scratches head*... I honestly don't know why I used "arbitrary" where I did, there. I'm pretty sure I didn't mean to, haha. I just meant that the "because magic can't do that" balancing after the mechanic decision would be arbitrary, that's all. Well, other than for the purpose of balancing. In the lore, it would be arbitrary (only for numbers balancing, which exists outside the actual game world).

 

Annnnywho. That IS me being overly technical, heh. I tend to do that. This I realize.

 

I'm quite fine with either way of handling it, honestly. If it's not really that much more trouble to just allow all manner of things to provide attack bonuses, then balance it all out, then my concern shall be proven quite unfounded. That would be the only potential worthwhile benefit from my suggestion, really.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Yeah... *scratches head*... I honestly don't know why I used "arbitrary" where I did, there. I'm pretty sure I didn't mean to, haha. I just meant that the "because magic can't do that" balancing after the mechanic decision would be arbitrary, that's all. Well, other than for the purpose of balancing. In the lore, it would be arbitrary (only for numbers balancing, which exists outside the actual game world).

 

I still don't see why it would be arbitrary in the lore.

If something makes sense I don't think it qualifies. Especially since "the exception proves the rule" is alive and well in Real Life too.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I still don't see why it would be arbitrary in the lore.

If something makes sense I don't think it qualifies. Especially since "the exception proves the rule" is alive and well in Real Life too.

Because. The lore wasn't the lore until you, the creator of the fictional world, decided it was. So, if you say "Err... there's a cap to how much magic can improve someone's skill with a weapon, and it's not even based on their current skill (or lack there-of) with a weapon, but instead on the amount by which other things in the world can improve their weapon skill, so as to be nice and balanced in the quantified mechanics that only exist in abstraction outside this actual world's lore," it's a bit arbitrary, in terms of the lore. In other words, it serves ONLY the mechanics, and not the lore.

 

Not that there wouldn't be some form of cap, in the lore, but, ideally, you'd have it based on something else. But, the mechanics-balancing (because there is a game, and human, real-world interaction with this lore) dictates that it must be based on the total amount of attack bonus you ever want a character to have, all things considered.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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So... This thread has captured my imagination.  Great discussion guys.  Through-out the day I have read the entire thread - start to finish - and now feel compelled to add my two cents.

 

There's too much I wish to quote and there-for am not going to quote a thing.

 

So where to start...

 

Firstly I think part of what OP is going for is the feel that a PC doesn't necessarily need great gear to become powerful/unique/heroic/whatever you want to call it.  This is something I strongly agree with.  If I'm to use what is possibly my all time favourite game as an example I'll talk about the Cleric/Monk/Sacred Fist build in Neverwinter Nights 2.  This build is something noone could deny was incredibly over-powered.  The fact is you could literally become an imovable object with while wearing absolutely no gear what-so-ever and still do incredible damage.  This is what made it my favourite build.  Not because it was over-powered but because it didn't rely on gear.  That's the part of DnD rules I've always loved.   Some classes (not all) could scale incredibly well on levels alone.  This is something I strongly favour and something I hope will be an option - and not something limited only to casters - in P:E.  This is also fundamentally something I think OPs familiarity mechanic could help to achieve.

 

The problem with this in NWN2 was that it then ended up making characters like the before mentions Cleric/Monk/SF incredibly overpowered with good gear as opposed the poor fighter with similar gear but no spells to enhance his power on top of it.  This is where the balance of that game failed miserably.  I don't want to see the same thing happen with P:E and I'm thinking you guys can agree on that.

 

Basically the beauty of the DnD system was that in most cases the majority of power given to any class came from the class and the levels that class achieved more-so than the gear it used.  This is something I feel in integral to this game.

 

There's always going to optimisation through gear, that's unavoidable but it should not be too punishing on the player that makes the choice to use a less optimal piece of armor because they prefer the way it looks.

 

Now to come back to the familiarisation of weapons.  A lot of ideas have been thrown around and almost all of them have their merit but the one I like the most and the one that I think thematically ties in to world obsidian are attempting to create is the soulbound magic weapons.  This is something I was thinking off long before I read Jarrakul's suggestion.  I think I've probably taken it a step further, however.

 

Now I know Trashman made the arguement that focusing too much on the core theme of the game can be a bad thing - and I agree - I dont think that's at all the case here.  It's been stated that all the magic/power of this world comes from a person tapping into their soul.  This is something we can assume from the lore we've been given.  This is also why the idea makes perfect sense.

 

So if we assume all magic comes from the manipulation of ones soul a magic weapon must have a part of (if not the entirety) of the soul of the person who imbued it with magical power in the first place.  Simply put; Magic weapons have a soul.  So to unlock the power of this weapon one must learn to understand the soul bound to it.  I think this is an amazing concept and not something I can recall being used before.  It probably shouldn't be too long of a process to unlock a magic weapons full potential otherwise it'd be punishing players too much for using new gear.

 

Now, I want to take this a step further and talk about the familiarisation aspect.  Say a PC has used the one weapon for a very long time, he's become familiar with it.  Is there any reason he can not make the choice to imbue the weapon with a part of his soul?  Say he's a wizard, why can't he use a fire spell and imbue the weapon with it's powers?  If some heroic warrior from the past has done something similar I see no logical reason why not.  There must however be a drawback to this.  He's giving up part of his soul.  Literally ripping that part out and giving it to the weapon.  If he choses to imbue it with the chosen firespell he should then lose access to that spell for good.  After all that part of his soul no longer resides within him.  This, for me adds a VERY interesting game mechanic.  It's power, but at a cost.

 

Now there's the balance issue.  The wizard can use his fire spell but the poor fighter doesn't have one.  The magical soulbound enchantments would have to be class-specific.  A fighter might choose to add a rush attack ability to a weapon, and thus the weilder rushes a distance to attack any enemy he targets.

 

It's basically a crafting system when you think about it, but comes at a great cost.  It's a HUGE decision to lose a spell for good to enhance a weapon.  Huge decisions like this in an RPG are, in my opinion, what makes the games.  That regret you might feel for wasting that spell you could now really use is just as powerful an emotion as the excitement of putting your own soul into a weapon.

 

The next question is one of limitation.  Obviously you're facing huge balance issues if you allow someone to put their soul in a weapon that is already magical and thus contains a soul.  As the lore we have been given says though multiple souls can exist within one entity but has chaotic results.  If the players so chooses to imbue an already magical weapon with a piece of his own soul it must come at an ever greater cost.  Perhaps his soul drives the original soul out altogether.  Perhaps his soul fights constantly for domination fot he other soul and the powers of the weapon are in constant flux.  Perhaps they find a happy medium and something like a 2d6 acid weapon infused with a 2d6 fire spell becomes 1d6 of each.

 

The thing I feel this system achives and something that has been in hot debate over the course of this discussion is that it can allow a player to still scale into the later stages of the game with his weapon of choice without too much of a massive punishment for doing so without relying on enhancements like smithing, re-forging, other forms of imbueing.  I think this is important because it still feels like YOUR weapon.  YOU put in all the work to get it where it is.  Not some black-smith, or some wizard with imbueing powers.

 

I'm sure there are some cons to this you'll point out but it's probably the way I can best see this working and fulfilling all the requirement to not disrupt the balance of the game.

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Because. The lore wasn't the lore until you, the creator of the fictional world, decided it was.

 

That is kinda obvious isn't it. If sometime becomes lore because I decree it so, then its' lore.

 

 

 

In other words, it serves ONLY the mechanics, and not the lore.

 

Mechanics and lore can go hand-in-hand. The creation process can go BOTH ways. Mechanics can serve the lore. Lore can serve the mechanics.

They can feed off eachother.

Personally feel that that various enchantments effects having various degrees of difficulty and limitations feels more real than a blanket limit that's the same for everything. If anything, that feels more artificial.

 

 

 

Not that there wouldn't be some form of cap, in the lore, but, ideally, you'd have it based on something else.

 

What else? I really don't see why X is more "valid" or better than Y, when both are arbitrary.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Basically the beauty of the DnD system was that in most cases the majority of power given to any class came from the class and the levels that class achieved more-so than the gear it used.  This is something I feel in integral to this game.

 

There's always going to optimisation through gear, that's unavoidable but it should not be too punishing on the player that makes the choice to use a less optimal piece of armor because they prefer the way it looks.

 

I know I'm gonna sound conflicting by saing this - and that's because the concepts I want are conflicting and hard to put together - but something like gear being almsot irrelevant is something I definately do not want.

Great matters. It is a simple truth of the world.

And I personally think that if a player decides that he doesn't like how full plate looks and he rushes into combat in leather armor, he should get his ass whooped.

 

Also, familiarisation was only a tiny part of weapon improvement. To keep a weapon competetive, I strongy prefer re-forging and enhancing, and mostly trough blacksmithing.

 

A blade that is redicolously strong and sharp but completely un-magical is what I would love to see (in adition to all the standard magical fare). Actually, it might even be interesting if a weapon is so un-magical that it simply refuses to be enchanted.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I know I'm gonna sound conflicting by saing this - and that's because the concepts I want are conflicting and hard to put together - but something like gear being almsot irrelevant is something I definately do not want.

Great matters. It is a simple truth of the world.

And I personally think that if a player decides that he doesn't like how full plate looks and he rushes into combat in leather armor, he should get his ass whooped.

 

Also, familiarisation was only a tiny part of weapon improvement. To keep a weapon competetive, I strongy prefer re-forging and enhancing, and mostly trough blacksmithing.

 

A blade that is redicolously strong and sharp but completely un-magical is what I would love to see (in adition to all the standard magical fare). Actually, it might even be interesting if a weapon is so un-magical that it simply refuses to be enchanted.

Ok, so perhaps I didn't quite understand what you were getting at.  Can I assume what you want is to be able to - over time - create that +5 weapon and also have the familiaristion benefits you've built up over time?

 

I wasn't saying that gear doesn't matter.  I think at some point I actually said it always will.  There's always optimal gear.  I meant something more along the line's of 'hey I just found this great +4 full plate but I prefer the look of the +2 full plate I already have.  Yeah you might get hit afew more times in combat but it's not a massive punishment for the choice you made.  Where-as wearing leather instead of a full plate when you're a fighter with little dex is certainly going to hurt you a lot more.

 

Still is the ability to create a character that doesn't get punished for using the same weapon though-out the game intrinsically the same as being able to create a character that doesn't rely on gear at all.  You're saying you don't want to be punished or have a mechanic that doesn't hurt you as much for making a choice that, in almost all games of this type, would normally punish you mechanically.

 

I guess the forging (etc.) arguement comes down to personal preference.  If I was to use one weapon though-out the entire span of the game I'd prefer any improvements to be my own.  It's my weapon and everything about it resonates who I am and what I've accomplished with this weapon.  Not just: 'Hey dude, I really like this weapon, I'm attached to it so... can you make it so it's actually good!'  As I said though that's just how I'd prefer it to play out.

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Pintash those were two fine posts, I hope you'll stick with us for a while longer :)

 

I'm not sure how I like your concept of tying soul power to familiarisation, but I think it's an excellent part for magic enchantments. So you know every magical weapon has a soul attached to it, which lore-wise makes every magical weapon Actually magical And understanding the soul bound to the blade could over time unlock more features. (so, magical weapons which grow with you as well)

 

It's a slight tweak, I'm curious what you think.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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