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Tired of the cliched set of Arcane Elements?

arcane mage classes skills class skill ability sorcerer caster

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Poll: Arent you tired of the cliche Arcane Elements? (59 member(s) have cast votes)

Are you tired of the cliched offensive arcane elements like fire, ice and lightning?

  1. Yes (26 votes [44.07%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.07%

  2. No (33 votes [55.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.93%

If yes, would you like something more exotic like:

  1. Telekinetics (Ex: Shockwaves, Implosions, Attraction/Repulsion) (32 votes [24.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.62%

  2. Dimensional Manipulation (Ex: Stay mobile through or hide inside pocket dimensions) (20 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  3. Control Matter (Ex: Radiation fields, particle beams, structural disruption) (28 votes [21.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.54%

  4. Metamorph (Ex: Grow lethal appendages, armor skin, spit digestive enzymes/poison/acid) (30 votes [23.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.08%

  5. Other (Post own ideas in comments) (20 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

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#21
Ieo

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I like the ancient Chinese elements.

 

The thing about "classical" elemental offensive attacks that we see in most fantasy settings is that these are very accessible to human understanding per their expected effects, which means from the gaming perspective, they're easier for players to quickly grasp. I'm fairly neutral about it overall, though. Animations may be problematic for fancier concepts.



#22
Ffordesoon

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@leo:

I think most of us get that. But a Kickstarted game is a perfect test bed for weirder, wackier spells, because it doesn't need to satisfy Joe Lowest Common Denominator to be successful.

#23
AGX-17

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I am. A new element to branch out of would be a great way to add replay value and something new to the genre. Fire, water, ice, earth, lightning have seen its fair share of use since the ancient greeks first go the idea they made up the cosmos. Well, now that its 2013, how about we draw some information from more current sources understanding? Biology, particle physics, quantum mechanics, there's a great deal of awesome fields of knowledge to draw inspiration for! Why isnt anyone trying something new like this? The setting doesn't necessarily demand it, theres no rule saying a fantasy rpg has to stay with old tropes, neither does it preclude the use of modern science-inspired elements, you can always rephrase them in a way that aligns them with the rest of the arcane world.
 
Yes, i realize some of the "elements" might best be suited as individual skills, but you get my point.

The "alternatives" you listed aren't "elements." And in the classical sense, ice (a phase of water, recognized even by ancients, Latin has a word, CONGELATIO, which means "freezing" or "to freeze," for instance,) and lightning aren't elements. Lightning isn't an element in reality, obviously. It's a phenomenon brought about by one of the four fundamental forces of the universe in the Standard Model: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong atomic force and the weak atomic force. And of course, there are no elementary forces in RPGs. What I'm tired of is a nonsensical set of "elements" in which one or more "element" isn't an element.

In the Western (Hellenic) tradition, the elements are air, water, fire and earth. In Chinese tradition it's fire, water, earth, wood and iron/metal. In Japan it's air, water, fire, earth and void. In Hinduism, it's air, water, fire, earth and akasha, which translates to "aether."

At any rate, back to my first point: none of your poll "alternatives" are elements. They're concepts and actions, not component materials. An element is a fundamental component material of the cosmos, not an action or a concept or a technique. Shapeshifting is not an element. Telekinesis is not an element. How can a world be made of shapeshifting?

Edited by AGX-17, 13 March 2013 - 09:29 PM.

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#24
Darth Trethon

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Cyphers will bring mind control with them....and will probably be the only class I ever play. Still I am fairly certain Obsidian will go well outside of the realm of everything that's been done before with this game....at least with the story. There are no greater storytellers out there than Obsidian(except maybe inXile) so when they say they want to keep the story completely under wraps until the game ships you know it's going to be mind blowing.



#25
TrashMan

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..



#26
aluminiumtrioxid

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 

How about "school of magic", then?



#27
Somna

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"New" elements?
 
MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 
How about "school of magic", then?
I was getting that kind of impression from the poll, myself.

#28
moridin84

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 

How about "school of magic", then?

 

Transmutation?

 

It's been done. 



#29
AGX-17

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Cyphers will bring mind control with them....and will probably be the only class I ever play. Still I am fairly certain Obsidian will go well outside of the realm of everything that's been done before with this game....at least with the story. There are no greater storytellers out there than Obsidian(except maybe inXile) so when they say they want to keep the story completely under wraps until the game ships you know it's going to be mind blowing.

Psshhhhh, inXile. Pssshhhh. They don't have MCA. Besides, elements and magic are more in the realm of the gameplay mechanics/design, it's true that the writers will have input on that area, but it's still up to the higher level game designers to actually determine the mechanics and what ultimately comes out of their ideas on magic or elements. It's being helmed by Sawyer so I don't see any problems in that realm of design. Avellone, so far as I know, is just working on writing. So far as I know.


Also, I needed to say this: OP, the idea of real-world chemical elements in a fantasy magic game about souls is just absurd. Absolutely ludicrous. Absoludicrous (© Seanbaby.) There's no "magic" in physics and cosmology unless you're using figurative speech about a personal interest and fascination.

Edited by AGX-17, 14 March 2013 - 11:37 AM.


#30
aluminiumtrioxid

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 

How about "school of magic", then?

 

Transmutation?

 

It's been done. 

 

Yeah, but the fact that - for example - projectile-type spells which do poison damage had been done before doesn't make throwing a freshly summoned, pulsating, luminous, extradimensional jellyfish at your opponents and watch as it pokes their eyes out with its venomous tentacles any less satisfying (and/or awesome).


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#31
Ffordesoon

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Also, I needed to say this: OP, the idea of real-world chemical elements in a fantasy magic game about souls is just absurd. Absolutely ludicrous. Absoludicrous (© Seanbaby.)


Uh, why is it absurd?

That's an honest question. I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out why a game with equipment presumably synthesized through processes dependent on crudely realized chemical reactions shouldn't have real-world chemical elements in it, especially if their properties are adapted to the game's universe. Those elements are in most fantasy universes, after all; I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure iron (swords, shields, etc.) and gold (coins) are on the real periodic table that exists in real life, right? Why shouldn't more interesting things be done with those elements than sticking their names on a weapon to denote how powerful it is? What valid, logical reason is there not to at least explore that idea?

For that matter, I admit I haven't been here very long, but every post of yours I've seen has been one putting another person down for suggesting an idea. Do you have any of your own ideas to offer, or are you just here to put people down? Because the latter isn't exactly helpful, you know. :?

#32
moridin84

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 

How about "school of magic", then?

 

Transmutation?

 

It's been done. 

 

Yeah, but the fact that - for example - projectile-type spells which do poison damage had been done before doesn't make throwing a freshly summoned, pulsating, luminous, extradimensional jellyfish at your opponents and watch as it pokes their eyes out with its venomous tentacles any less satisfying (and/or awesome).

 

How about spiders or toads?

 

I said on the previous page but Diablo 3 has really good examples of what the op is talking about. Tornados, shockwaves, swarms of locust, even summoning suicidal waves of zombies



#33
Ffordesoon

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Yes, as loath as I am to admit it given how disappointing the game was overall, D3 did a fine job with spell variety, at least visually.

#34
mcmanusaur

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So am I the only one who typically rolls my eyes when confronted with some newfangled version of magic that shuns the classical elements in favor of something theoretically more edgy and fanciful (but practically abstruse and nebulous) and focuses instead on hopeless abstractions? I'm not saying that breaking the elemental mold can't be done well, but too many games try and fail at this in an attempt to freshen a conventional mechanic that- in the case of magic- is often lackadaisical at best and overbearing at worst...



#35
TrashMan

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Earth? Fire? Water? Air?   Pffft... what kind of idio considers THOSE an element?

 

We all know the world is made of rage, p0rn and foul language. And some other, minor stuf like love.

 

Those new elements have to be included. Immagine summoning a swarm of flying d****!

Your enemy would **** their pants in fear.



#36
Darth Trethon

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Cyphers will bring mind control with them....and will probably be the only class I ever play. Still I am fairly certain Obsidian will go well outside of the realm of everything that's been done before with this game....at least with the story. There are no greater storytellers out there than Obsidian(except maybe inXile) so when they say they want to keep the story completely under wraps until the game ships you know it's going to be mind blowing.

Psshhhhh, inXile. Pssshhhh. They don't have MCA. Besides, elements and magic are more in the realm of the gameplay mechanics/design, it's true that the writers will have input on that area, but it's still up to the higher level game designers to actually determine the mechanics and what ultimately comes out of their ideas on magic or elements. It's being helmed by Sawyer so I don't see any problems in that realm of design. Avellone, so far as I know, is just working on writing. So far as I know.


Also, I needed to say this: OP, the idea of real-world chemical elements in a fantasy magic game about souls is just absurd. Absolutely ludicrous. Absoludicrous (© Seanbaby.) There's no "magic" in physics and cosmology unless you're using figurative speech about a personal interest and fascination.

Actually they do....that's what makes Cyphers unique....didn't you read the updates when the stretch goal adding the cyphers was made? Mind control or at least heavy mind influence is their thing.



#37
aluminiumtrioxid

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How about spiders or toads?

 

They lack the cthulhuesque "ooomph" of my example :p

 

Although there is potential in spiders.


Edited by aluminiumtrioxid, 15 March 2013 - 05:58 AM.


#38
Mr. Magniloquent

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I'm not really concerned with new elements. A rose by another name. Any garden variety bolt spell is still a generic bolt spell no matter the element attached to it. The single most interesting thing about D&D has been it's spellcasting system. Observe:

 

Grim Revenge
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, Undead (caster must be undead)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One living humanoid
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

The hand of the subject tears itself away from one of his arms, leaving a bloody stump. This trauma deals 6d6 points of damage. Then the hand, animated and floating in the air, begins to attack the subject. The hand attacks as if it were a wight (see the Monster Manual) in terms of its statistics, special attacks, and special qualities, except that it is considered Tiny and gains a +4 bonus to AC and a +4 bonus on attack rolls. The hand can be turned or rebuked as a wight. If the hand is defeated, only a regenerate spell can restore the victim to normal.

 

This is an interesting spell. This is what using magic is about. It's these kinds of interesting spells that make magic in games worth anything. I have no interest in [Element] Orb spell iterations. These are insipid and banal. To me, interesting spell verge making or breaking a fantasy game. This is one area where I deeply hope Obsidian comes through.


Edited by Mr. Magniloquent, 15 March 2013 - 06:27 AM.

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#39
Crowseye

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Illusions, enchantments, curses, transmutation, commanding nature, commanding spirits and the undead ... all have been done (DnD includes all of them). 

 

I think the issue is really that, as developers have branched out to create their own IPs, a heavy emphasis has been placed on metaphysics and a setting's internal logic.  It is much easier to maintain internal logic and consistency with elemental magic, because players grasp that magic users are playing with the "stuff" that physically makes up the setting.

 

By contrast, what are illusions, curses, or transmutations?  I think we all grasp what they do, but how do they work in mechanical terms that are consistent with the rules laid out by the setting?  I can say that an elementalist draws or concentrates power from the elements that make up the universe, or opens a pathway to some elemental realm ... but what is the process by which one influences a mind or places a curse on someone?  

 

It's not impossible to come up with logic and rules to fit alternative types of magic, but it takes a certain amount of effort and creativity that either isn't plentiful in the industry or doesn't offer the type of benefits developers are looking for for the effort involved.



#40
Bonecrusher

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"New" elements?

 

MEh, there's a reason these are classic. It's relaly hard to justify "polymorph" as an element..

 

How about "school of magic", then?

 

I don't think elemental system is an issue. You can have both magic schools and elemental system at the same time. Some people think only magic cast is fire/water/air/earth based, however you already have other types of spells, thanks to the school of magic systems - D&D, Elder Scrolls, World Of Darkness, etc...

OP said Fire, water, ice, earth, lightning but this is not a common type of element order. Usually Fire/Air/Earh/Water are the "primary" elements and Lightning/Ice/Wood/Lava are the "combined" elements.


Edited by Bonecrusher, 17 March 2013 - 10:37 PM.






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