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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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#41
Chairchucker

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I always kind of interpreted the traditional 'elements' as being more 'states of matter'. So you have solid (earth), liquid (water), gaseous (air and kind of fire) and love (Milla Jovovich.)

 

Or something along those lines.



#42
Bonecrusher

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solid liquid gas plasma?


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#43
TrashMan

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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.

 

You make the classic mistake of making something that sounds "cool" but completely forget the unfortunate implications that it creates.

 

Those beign that with magic you command body parts to tear themselves free...or animate them (and other objects) as you see fit.

 

Which then begs the question - why not simply command the heart to tear itself from the chest? Or head to tear itself from the shoulders?

Why not animate all the body parts from a recent battlefield into a giant flesh golem? Or assorted tins, pans and pot into a walking metal monster?



#44
Chairchucker

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Yeah I dunno none of them seem all that plasmaish. Plasmaesque? Whatevs. Maybe less was known about plasma by the Greeks or whoever it was. Also I basically slept through Chemistry so... yeah.



#45
Chairchucker

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You make the classic mistake of making something that sounds "cool" but completely forget the unfortunate implications that it creates.

Those beign that with magic you command body parts to tear themselves free...or animate them (and other objects) as you see fit.

 

Which then begs the question - why not simply command the heart to tear itself from the chest? Or head to tear itself from the shoulders?

Why not animate all the body parts from a recent battlefield into a giant flesh golem? Or assorted tins, pans and pot into a walking metal monster?

 

I could be wrong but it seems like you think he made that spell up when in fact I'm pretty sure he ripped it straight from DnD.

 

In answer to all of your 'why not' questions, I believe that many of them are also spells in DnD. So the answer to 'why not' is 'that's not what this particular spell does, but there are others which do something more like what you're suggesting.'



#46
TrashMan

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Which begs the question why ever use that spell to begin with, when the "rip heart out" is far more efficient, direct and deadly.



#47
Chairchucker

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Which begs the question why ever use that spell to begin with, when the "rip heart out" is far more efficient, direct and deadly.

 

Indeed, why ever cast magic missile when power word: kill is more effective? The mysteries of spells and their relative power.



#48
TrashMan

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And why would ripping out a heart require more power than ripping out an arm?

 

See what the problem is when the magic is allowed to do too much without any limitations?



#49
Iucounu

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Of course there should be elements, but schools of magic as well (or some other structure for an intelligent magic system). If Obsidian came up with a boring fire/ice/lighting magic like in Diablo, PE would be pretty much dead for me. 

Magic is just a key factor for me in such games. Basically, I think everything should be possible with the right sort of magic. Even the mind shouldn't be reserved only to Blickers, but to very powerful mages with specialised spells aswell, although perhaps not so powerful, or just different in nature. For example, the effect that Blickers become more powerful the more minds are nearby, could be something that is very difficult to translate into some spell. 



#50
Chairchucker

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And why would ripping out a heart require more power than ripping out an arm?

 

See what the problem is when the magic is allowed to do too much without any limitations?

 

Game systems can have any number of explanations, or none at all. Perhaps because one can't see the heart. Perhaps because it is more firmly embedded in the chest than a hand is attached to an arm. Perhaps for some nebulous reason involving the person's body more strongly resisting attacks against more vital organs. Perhaps because 'game balance'.

 

Also I'm really not sure what your second sentence has to do with this particular conversation arc given that the example had rather specific limitations.



#51
Bonecrusher

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Yeah I dunno none of them seem all that plasmaish. Plasmaesque? Whatevs. Maybe less was known about plasma by the Greeks or whoever it was. Also I basically slept through Chemistry so... yeah.

 

earth represents - solid, water - liquid, air - gas, fire - plasma (from wiki: The flame is the visible portion of the fire. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. )

air represents - spring, fire - summer, earth - autumn, water - winter

Some people also assign different things to the elements (directions like north/south/east/west)

 

these elements are not just "magical attributes", more than that. They are view of composition of world's itself, the elements also have spiritual meanings. and they are not just a simple classicifation for "fireball - icebolt - lightning bolt" spells... (as in Fireball = Fire element, lightning bolt = Air element, etc...)

 

by the way you tell Greeks, but Greeks use Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Aether system (Japanese use similar system too: earth, water, wind, fire, void)

but the classic elements we generally use are based on Aristotle's system, and it's a bit different than Greek elements. (there is no spirit, void, or aether)


Edited by Bonecrusher, 18 March 2013 - 12:09 PM.


#52
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.


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.


Ciphers have nothing to do with the absurdity of having real-world modern chemistry and physics in a fantasy world of magic and souls. What are you even talking about?


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. :?


Because chemistry is not magic. Physics is not magic. You can't wave your arms around or chant some magic words and summon a hydrogen fusion reaction. The real world is comprised of cause-and-effect relationships, magic and hard science cannot coexist in a fictional world with any degree of believability, because magical thinking involves no causal relationship between two things. Science has proven time and time again that superstition and magical thinking are simply fallacious. You can't have a fantasy world about souls and magic be believable if you simultaneously give that world the same physics as reality and the people in it modern knowledge of atomic physics and quantum mechanics. If real-world physics apply, then magic cannot exist. There's only so much disbelief that can be suspended. Now, I'm sure one uneducated in the ways of physics, chemistry and biology are perfectly fine with the idea of a Magnesium school of magic, but those of us who have an inkling of how our universe is actually ordered and works can't tolerate that level of absurdity.


I don't care what your ignorance of every post I've ever made causes you to think of me. It's called critical thinking. Look it up sometime. It's extremely valuable, and something which the majority of people seem to lack. Just because an idea is had doesn't make it good, appropriate or viable.

If you want an echo-chamber of people who sit around telling each other all the worst ideas are super great, go hang out on the Nexus sites' forums.

Edited by AGX-17, 18 March 2013 - 02:20 PM.


#53
Bonecrusher

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Actually you can mix magic with science - Arcanum, Shadowrun, World Of Darkness... However spellcasters are not scientists, so they will not care chemistry and hydrogen fusion reactions. They are much like philosophers - they will ask the questions instead of searching for the reasons.


Edited by Bonecrusher, 18 March 2013 - 03:24 PM.


#54
moridin84

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Have you ever read the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson?

 

One of the magical systems is called Allomancy wherein you ingest traces of certain metals and 'burn' them to create some effect. 

 

e.g.

 

Steel -> Push nearby metals

Iron -> Pull nearby metal

Pewter -> Enhance strength, speed, etc. 

 

Each metal has gives a precise effect and otherwise works within standard physic rules. For example, if you "pull" on an object heavy than you will actually be pulled towards the object rather than the other way around.


Edited by moridin84, 18 March 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#55
Mr. Magniloquent

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You make the classic mistake of making something that sounds "cool" but completely forget the unfortunate implications that it creates.

 

Those beign that with magic you command body parts to tear themselves free...or animate them (and other objects) as you see fit.

 

Which then begs the question - why not simply command the heart to tear itself from the chest? Or head to tear itself from the shoulders?

Why not animate all the body parts from a recent battlefield into a giant flesh golem? Or assorted tins, pans and pot into a walking metal monster?

 

I made no mistake. I have every understanding of what I wrote. Why don't I up the ante, and just have a spell which kills everything on the field? They exist within D&D quite comfortably and can be readily balanced so that non-wizard players don't feel inadequate or render a scenario too easy. Regardless, you missed the entire point of the post. I was stating that types of elements are not what is important. Rather, the function of a spell is what makes magic interesting within a game.



#56
Chippy

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I'd like spellcasters to be able to effect other skills with their spells - maybe a smith who can use fire based spells and cold based to forge and improve weapons, or a thief who used snap-freeze traps to solidify and shatter enemies (human/mouse trap laced with  vertical cone of cold :devil: ) that sort of thing.

 

Also interesting if fighters (say: smith) and thieves could just dabble in magic to obtain that.

 

Maybe I'm still suffering from post Dragon Age and Skyrim spell effects, but it seemed the former made an attempt to link spells (which I never needed even on Nightmare) and the latter didn't matter if it was fire/ice; magic was just different coloured fruit to chuck at any enemy for consistant damage.

 

So I appreciate Obsidian wont do that, but would pick building on IE, TOEE spells with more features rather than just creating new ones that do the same thing?.  Hope that didn't sound like it came from a prat, but that's my gist of it. :no:


Edited by Chippy, 18 March 2013 - 04:52 PM.


#57
Chairchucker

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Because chemistry is not magic. Physics is not magic. You can't wave your arms around or chant some magic words and summon a hydrogen fusion reaction. The real world is comprised of cause-and-effect relationships, magic and hard science cannot coexist in a fictional world with any degree of believability, because magical thinking involves no causal relationship between two things. Science has proven time and time again that superstition and magical thinking are simply fallacious. You can't have a fantasy world about souls and magic be believable if you simultaneously give that world the same physics as reality and the people in it modern knowledge of atomic physics and quantum mechanics. If real-world physics apply, then magic cannot exist. There's only so much disbelief that can be suspended. Now, I'm sure one uneducated in the ways of physics, chemistry and biology are perfectly fine with the idea of a Magnesium school of magic, but those of us who have an inkling of how our universe is actually ordered and works can't tolerate that level of absurdity.


I don't care what your ignorance of every post I've ever made causes you to think of me. It's called critical thinking. Look it up sometime. It's extremely valuable, and something which the majority of people seem to lack. Just because an idea is had doesn't make it good, appropriate or viable.

If you want an echo-chamber of people who sit around telling each other all the worst ideas are super great, go hang out on the Nexus sites' forums.

 

Your argument seems to be more or less 'this can't happen in our universe so it can't happen in any'. Sucks for the fantasy genre I guess. Most games I've played that have magic still do have laws of science, with the caveat that magic can temporarily break those laws. Magically produced fire still sets things on fire using whatever the chemical properties of fire are. (Again, slept through Chemistry.) If you magically summon an object in midair, gravity still tends to apply after the initial science breaking spell is cast. Magically enhanced missile weapons seem to adhere to some form of Isaac's laws of motion.



#58
Ffordesoon

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@AGX-17:

Ah, I see. Allow me to retort.

Putting aside the fact that your argument is based on a view of the world very nearly as tenuous and "magical" as that of the people you criticize (and I say this as someone who generally agrees with your view of the world), and that elements of reality and fantasy can commingle in fictional universes with relative ease, said argument simply has nothing to do with the OP's argument.

The OP suggested looking to current science as an inspiration, not that we should simply shove the whole of scientific thought into a fantasy game. He also suggested that perhaps some elements from the periodic table could be adapted to the universe. I noted that some of them already are in use in many fantasy universes (iron, gold, etc.), and as such, it did not strike me as a particularly large leap to use them in a fantasy universe. You seem to have confused this with shoving physics and chemistry textbooks into PE wholesale.

While I would agree that science is not magic and magic is not science, both can coexist in a fictional world as long as that world is internally consistent. There are literally thousands of examples from all media that make this argument for me, including the entire "science fantasy" subgenre. If you don't care for such works, fair enough, but it is, I think, rather rude to posit your opinion on the matter as fact.

As to the acidic little retort my puzzled query regarding your posting habits seems to have kicked off: I apologize, it was not my intention to offend. I admit, it's not a question that can be asked without causing at least a small amount of offense, given that it's a bit of a backhanded insult in many ways, but I had hoped to minimize the offense as much as possible. I'm sorry I failed to minimize it further.

That said, I find it telling that you chose to respond in the way you did. I humbly submit that responding with a mixture of veiled insults and a near-explicit insinuation that I should get off of this forum if I don't like having veiled insults lobbed at me does not exactly help your case.

There is also a rather large gap between critical thinking and relentless negativity. The former is essential to reasoned discourse. The latter is lethal to it. One can be critical without being a jerk.

I shall attempt to acquaint myself with your posting history, however, as you are correct that I could be going off of a mistaken impression gleaned from a small sample of posts.

#59
TrashMan

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And why would ripping out a heart require more power than ripping out an arm?

 

See what the problem is when the magic is allowed to do too much without any limitations?

 

Game systems can have any number of explanations, or none at all. Perhaps because one can't see the heart. Perhaps because it is more firmly embedded in the chest than a hand is attached to an arm. Perhaps for some nebulous reason involving the person's body more strongly resisting attacks against more vital organs. Perhaps because 'game balance'.

 

Also I'm really not sure what your second sentence has to do with this particular conversation arc given that the example had rather specific limitations.

 

Waht doesn't it have to do? Implications of magic have to be seriously considered in order for a world to be truly believable.

 

And while you can invent any explanation, not all are good nor make much sense (and again require you to be consistent).

 

Take for example the "you can't see the heart". Fine. But I can see the head. So why not rip the head off insted of the arm? So as you can see, you have to pay attention to explanations and the workings of magic.



#60
forfs

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And why would ripping out a heart require more power than ripping out an arm?

 

See what the problem is when the magic is allowed to do too much without any limitations?

 

Game systems can have any number of explanations, or none at all. Perhaps because one can't see the heart. Perhaps because it is more firmly embedded in the chest than a hand is attached to an arm. Perhaps for some nebulous reason involving the person's body more strongly resisting attacks against more vital organs. Perhaps because 'game balance'.

 

Also I'm really not sure what your second sentence has to do with this particular conversation arc given that the example had rather specific limitations.

 

Waht doesn't it have to do? Implications of magic have to be seriously considered in order for a world to be truly believable.

 

And while you can invent any explanation, not all are good nor make much sense (and again require you to be consistent).

 

Take for example the "you can't see the heart". Fine. But I can see the head. So why not rip the head off insted of the arm? So as you can see, you have to pay attention to explanations and the workings of magic.

 

 If you apply logic to magic you can make every single spell inconsistent. Give me a spell description you think is consistent and I will make it ridiculous with logic. I can make any spell insta-kill. Your suspension of disbelief should start the minute you accept that there exist magic. At this point such questions as "why not stop his heart when I can stop his hand" are invalid. A correct answer to any of such question is (to quote "Your Highness" movie) : magic, m***f***







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