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What's the ONE Thing You've Wanted In RPG's Over The Past Decade?

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In terms of storytelling, I actually don't think I've been missing much. A sense of scope, emotional connection, banter, playfulness, seriousness, and so on that we got from older games seem to have carried over quite well into newer ones. I guess I haven't played anything that came out in the last couple years that I was really into, but there's still a good catalogue throughout the last decade. The thing I miss the most is tactical combat being the thing that strings encounters together. Even if I still know the game inside and out, I still love playing Baldur's Gate and using my knowledge of the engine to law the smack down on some enemies. Not only that, but the limitations of the engine actually make the spell effects look incredible, better than even more modern games like Dragon Age in a lot of ways.

 

I guess I also see a lot of room for sophistication in a simpler engine. Developers frequently have big ideas that they can't fully execute on because too much variation will create such a taxing workload that it becomes unfeasible. When working with something like Unity, having the world be more responsive wouldn't be as big of a challenge as it would in Mass Effect, for example. But I guess that's more potential I'm seeing than something I missed. The old Infinity Engine games weren't really responsive in that way either.

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For me, it would have to be a sense of control over magic (as a Mage/Wizard). Games almost ALWAYS give you the same-old-same-old spell list, even if you get a few feet of wiggle room to "customize" your own spell list, and the same stupid cliche themes apply:

 

Fire = most damage/extra damage over time

Ice/frost = less damage, but lots of slowing and freezing in place.

Lightning = middling damage, but most concentrated one-shot damage, and/or most piercing/critical damage/chance.

 

Stuff like that. I'm soooooo sick of fire, it's not even funny. "Oh, you picked the magic class? You get... FIREBOLT! 8D!"

 

No... no no no! I want to build a Mage who couldn't care less about ever using fire, except to light pipes and make cantrips, etc. Out of ALL of magic, why is the absolute best thing a Mage can do always burn stuff?

It'd be nice to have a mage with only utility spells, some of which just so happened to be useful in combat.

telekinesis used as knockdown, but usually just used to move stuff out of reach. Dazzle as a cantrip to entertain kids, but easily used as a flashbang, entangling roots is actually a gardening spell adapted, etc.

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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.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Non-elemental spells for wizards, look no further!

 

 

And this is just 2nd ed wizard/sorcerer spells for level 0 and 1! :)
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Lephys and JFSOCC, excellent points!

 

I've heard that Two Worlds 2 has a pretty powerful magic system, but I haven't played that yet and it's not really a classical RPG.

 

Anyway. I have never understood the fascination with fire magic. (I do know where it comes from, but it is a bit old-fashioned nowadays.)

It would be interesting to see what they come up with if ALL elemental magic was forbidden. Maybe we'd find that without it, offensive magic is suddenly a much darker affair.

 

I mean, Harry Potter is a good example. The only guys who even had offensive spells were the bad guys. The fireball as a non-necromantic and non-evil alternative didn't exist, because it doesn't actually make sense. In that universe, the only guys using fire magic would be Voldemort et al. Just something to consider.

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It would be interesting to see what they come up with if ALL elemental magic was forbidden. 

 

 

Well, to be fair, I find that any kind of seemingly-harmless magic can be used offensively with a little creativity. With space magic, you can simply teleport opponents to their deaths, or turn their archers' projectiles against them, or make that huge rock you've been holding in a pocket dimension appear over their heads. (Not to mention the endless possibilities for support: teleporting melee-oriented allies close to their squishies, while scattering their close combatants; hiding injured allies in pocket dimensions; screwing with ranges so your archers can fire basically point-blank at anything, etc. etc.) Illusion's fine for concealing traps, reducing opponents to sobbing wrecks with fear, making them attack each other, and a lot of protection/misdirection oriented shenanigans that are not that harmful directly. Metallomancy would let you turn your enemies' weapons into deadly shrapnels, or simply crush plate-wearing opponents. Hell, even the seemingly useless plant control could, at least, slow them as per the classic Entangle, or turn their bows into useless pieces of gnarled wood or fine dust, whichever you prefer; but more savvy mages could make harmless plant life grow vicious thorns and synthetise deadly neurotoxins, then animate said plants to wreak utter havoc among enemy combatants. And I didn't even start about how a character well-versed in healing magic could swiftly become absolutely terrifying, because, frankly, that's kind of self-evident...

 

Man, I want to play a game where I can make my own spells.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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-A good&deep battle system with realistic blood&gore. I like to see my enemies annihalted by powerfull spells or giants stomping poor souls with effect. İt has to be a balanced system where me and my party share same stat system with enemies.

-Meaningfull batltles/encounters, fights with less (or even zero) cannon fodder, ambushes, ruses, moral playing its part, deadly traps, neutral NPCs/animals can switch/take side while battle rages on.

-Less epic scaled story line, saving world/universe gets boring after 1000th time.

-NPCs should not allow to wander us in their houses/areas. Like Gothic&Risen games, they should have some memory of us, a better reputation system, mostly local, only truly heroic deeds should have spread nation/country wise.

 

 

Edit: Eh, that make 4 things :p

Edited by cyberarmy

Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

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Non-elemental spells for wizards, look no further!

 

 

And this is just 2nd ed wizard/sorcerer spells for level 0 and 1! :)

 

 

These work great in PnP.  Prestidigitation from me, while the rogue pickpockets the captain of the guard's keys*  (because why would a half-orc [our party member] be protecting that serving girl from the unwanted affections of those drunkards ... stupid backwater town and their prejudices)... 

 

*Chaotic Neutral FTW, just don't tell the Paladin of Tyr what we did ...  :shifty: ... and we should probably get an early start tomorrow... no, no reason, just wanna get back on the road is all... 

 

Or, perhaps you need to keep the BBEG from [heinous act requiring a fragile item] ... so cast grease ON THE ITEM and he drops it (shattering the thing).  And then taunt him for being a butterfingers for added effect  :w00t:

 

Or something else where you're not limited to what the game thinks you should be allowed to do ... e.g. had a 4th or 5th (caster level) wizard in a game, locked door, with the party rogue behind it (forget why) ... guards are in front of the door, buuut there's a hallway that is right next to the cell (or whatever), so

  • ventriloquism/ghost sound over thataway (or hell, just "invisibility")...
  • sneak past the short hallway where the guards are...
  • transmute stone to mud on the wall
  • waltz in (SHHH!! KEEP IT QUIET ROGUE!)
  • untie him and waltz out without the guards even noticing.  Maybe add an Alarm spell to the door/threshold so we know when they've opened the door (uhoh, they know he's gone now)
  • Continue onward to thwarting BBEG, or finishing this side dungeon crawl because "oh hey, that abandoned castle looks awesome, and who in their right minds would set up a cult here" (That's right folks, followers of Bane :facepalm: )

a CRPG (likely) wouldn't let you do that, because the terrain is (more or less) static, and not to mention, there's few (if any) of those type of "utility" spells ever in a cRPG.  Thing is, they have almost no usefulness when the game is only going to take 150 hours* to get through (assuming "all" of the side quests and everything is done, and you're not just blitzing everything or skipping over the pointless quests for the companions you don't like), as compared to a PW or PnP game where you might "always" have one of those spells in your back pocket (even if for the PW the DM tells you "okay, if you want to use this spell which isn't in the game, you'll need to leave a [spell level] slot blank, or keep this [item of negative slots] on you, so we keep things proper.  We'll track what you have spell-wise in DM-chat and on paper") for nothing more than those once in a while situations.

 

Hell, I'd permanently blow a 3rd or 4th level slot for one of the inter-dimensional safe-resting places instead of having to deal with "... aaaaand ambush!" every howevermany times we rest in "unsafe" areas because we're three days from town and still in the middle of tracking the hobgoblins that kidnapped the Mayor's daughter... 

 

 

*a totally made up number.

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There's also the problem that non-combat spells are limited by the player's imagination.  A game with premade content and dialogue options removes those limitations, so either first level spells like prestidigitation are underutilized or break the game.  Hell, even in 4E my level one changling illusionist would repeatedly and regularly cause nervous breakdowns and fake religious experiences with a combination of non-lethal damage, a daily mind-wipe ability, and change appearance.

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There's also the problem that non-combat spells are limited by the player's imagination.  A game with premade content and dialogue options removes those limitations, so either first level spells like prestidigitation are underutilized or break the game.  Hell, even in 4E my level one changling illusionist would repeatedly and regularly cause nervous breakdowns and fake religious experiences with a combination of non-lethal damage, a daily mind-wipe ability, and change appearance.

 

Um, "Limited" ... I don't think that means what you think it means...  ;)

 

Prestidigitation, etc. are "unlimited" in possibility for a PnP game (barring limits imposed in the rulebooks -- e.g. Prestidigitation could only make "small" things [under 1 pound] move, or clean/dirty things, or make food taste better -- essentially little magic tricks to entertain kids, or sweep dirt under a rug, make life suck less for an hour, etc).  

 

They're severely limited in a cRPG, because you cannot say "oh, hey, I'm gonna make [thing] dirty because it'll make the staff focus on it, and the rogue can go grab the back door key" or "gonna entertain the kids here to keep them (more or less) quiet and forget they're forced to hide in a basement while the rest of the party gets child-stealing slavers out of the house" or whatever else thing you could think up to use one of them for.

 

Your example works too ... making people have "religious experiences" wouldn't be allowed in a typical cRPG (granted, a DM would probably tell you [the player] to cut it out eventually).  4E in itself is rubbish IMO ... it tends WAY too far towards turning D&D into "WoW on paper".

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For me, it would have to be a sense of control over magic (as a Mage/Wizard). Games almost ALWAYS give you the same-old-same-old spell list, even if you get a few feet of wiggle room to "customize" your own spell list, and the same stupid cliche themes apply:

 

Fire = most damage/extra damage over time

Ice/frost = less damage, but lots of slowing and freezing in place.

Lightning = middling damage, but most concentrated one-shot damage, and/or most piercing/critical damage/chance.

 

Stuff like that. I'm soooooo sick of fire, it's not even funny. "Oh, you picked the magic class? You get... FIREBOLT! 8D!"

 

No... no no no! I want to build a Mage who couldn't care less about ever using fire, except to light pipes and make cantrips, etc. Out of ALL of magic, why is the absolute best thing a Mage can do always burn stuff? We can do that WITHOUT magic! It's easy enough to make a flamethrower, or molotov cokktails (take THAT, overly senstive censor!). But, the fact that you can wave your hand to make it instead of generating sparks or heat with physics is somehow the greatest thing in the universe? Even though it can burn the crap out of all your friends (and yourself) in the process?

 

Don't get me wrong... fire's a fine element. But, sweet lord! I'm sick of it being THE go-to element for magic. Magic does not EQUAL fire. You can do PLENTY of magic without ever even using a lick of fire.

 

Hell, you want magical fire? I want to make fire that freezes people. Yeah, it physically behaves like fire, but it frost-burns and freezes the crap out of stuff, like flames of liquid nitrogen. Now we're talkin' magic!

 

And, on the note of actual control over magic... I want either spell customization (logistically simpler than it seems), OR such a variety of spells that I feel like I'm actually weaving magic the way I want to. Want to use Ice magic? Awesome, how so? Do you want to hurl razor-sharp shards of ice at people? Maybe you, instead, want to freeze bodies of water? Orcs crossing that river, knee-deep in it? FROZEN! Nice... Or maybe you want to hurl "boulders" of ice at enemies, that then explode into clouds of ice "dust" (tiny shards of ice crystal) that blind targets and deal AoE damage, etc.? Why not that instead of a fireball? Or, maybe you want to use Frost/ice formation to stick enemies together? Pool moisture on them, then freeze it? Now they suck at fighting you, unless they've practiced 3-legged-race fighting a lot.

 

There are so many things I would do if I could ACTUALLY wield magic. I'd want to invent my spells by finding ways in which to weave the elements. Not just "hurt that thing, but in a flavorful way, with my favorite glowy color of element."

 

That would be nice and something very close was almost a reality in  The Broken Hourglass thanks to jcompton.  Unfortunately the game was never finished.  


The day Microsoft makes a product that doesn't suck is the day they make a vacuum cleaner.

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Feel like I've seen this thread before. Nevermind, it has some good posts, and far be it from me to miss a chance to grab a soapbox...

 

1. No linearly-increasing hitpoints with level. It gets mighty old seeing my characters smacked with sixteen arrows to the face before keeling over.
1.a More defensive abilities and animations. As my characters get more badass, they should duck/parry/block/dodge more often, not get hit in the face more often (and not die).

 

2. No half-assed attempts at "PvP balance." Support classes, if they are included, should be support classes primarily. Why on earth would a a gutter thief be more proficient at exploiting combat weaknesses than an experienced fighter?

2.a This includes equipment as well. No attempts to balance anachronistic or outdated equipment. "Gothic" plate armor should be better than mail, full stop, at least with regards to combat.

 

3. Well-written, interesting, dynamic, thematically relevant NPCs that I will care about. Yeah, I know, I'm the only one.

 

4. An attempt to make putting the party in danger not always the best option. I know this would be amazingly hard to implement, but I am sick and tired of intentionally handicapping my group, giving constantly refusing payment, fighting in every vanguard action, and covering every retreat having the "best" outcome (at least after reloading due to TPKs). In other words: plot consequences for taking combat damage, or something of the sort. Incidentally, I don't mean an "ironman mode;" I don't consider having to start the game over "plot consequences."

 

5. Interactive environments. I know this is also hard to implement, but I want my Fireball spells to start brush fires, etc.

 

6. Interactive communities. If I pickpocket some dude, I want to hear about how he got whacked by the mafia for not paying his debt, or up and left town, etc.

 

7. No random, nonsensical loot. I'm looking at you, Dragon Age.

 

8. No pointless sex scenes. I'm looking at you, The Witcher.

 

9. Some degree of "rock-paper-scissors" interaction between different equipment types, such as blunt weapons being effective against chain mail, swords being very effective against poorly armored attackers and parrying blows, etc.

 

Edit: I guess that wasn't "one thing." Oh well.

Edited by smithereen
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Don't get me wrong... fire's a fine element. But, sweet lord! I'm sick of it being THE go-to element for magic. Magic does not EQUAL fire. You can do PLENTY of magic without ever even using a lick of fire.

 

Hell, you want magical fire? I want to make fire that freezes people. Yeah, it physically behaves like fire, but it frost-burns and freezes the crap out of stuff, like flames of liquid nitrogen. Now we're talkin' magic!

In other words, you want a palette-swapped fire spell relabeled "ice." Ignoring the fact that nitrogen is an element and fire is just the heat and visible light released by certain chemical reactions, of course.

 

 

Yes, it does annoy me that much that you said "flames of liquid nitrogen." Don't bring real-world elements into this if you're not prepared to suffer the chemistry!

 

Edited by AGX-17

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There's also the problem that non-combat spells are limited by the player's imagination.  A game with premade content and dialogue options removes those limitations, so either first level spells like prestidigitation are underutilized or break the game.  Hell, even in 4E my level one changling illusionist would repeatedly and regularly cause nervous breakdowns and fake religious experiences with a combination of non-lethal damage, a daily mind-wipe ability, and change appearance.

 

Um, "Limited" ... I don't think that means what you think it means...  ;)

 

Prestidigitation, etc. are "unlimited" in possibility for a PnP game (barring limits imposed in the rulebooks -- e.g. Prestidigitation could only make "small" things [under 1 pound] move, or clean/dirty things, or make food taste better -- essentially little magic tricks to entertain kids, or sweep dirt under a rug, make life suck less for an hour, etc).  

 

They're severely limited in a cRPG, because you cannot say "oh, hey, I'm gonna make [thing] dirty because it'll make the staff focus on it, and the rogue can go grab the back door key" or "gonna entertain the kids here to keep them (more or less) quiet and forget they're forced to hide in a basement while the rest of the party gets child-stealing slavers out of the house" or whatever else thing you could think up to use one of them for.

 

Your example works too ... making people have "religious experiences" wouldn't be allowed in a typical cRPG (granted, a DM would probably tell you [the player] to cut it out eventually).  4E in itself is rubbish IMO ... it tends WAY too far towards turning D&D into "WoW on paper".

 

 

I didn't make my point very well.  Games, even fantasy games, are still governed by our implicit understanding of the rules of physics at some basic level.  Magic breaks these rules, by definition.

 

Non-combat magic works so-so in P&P because it has three limitations:

 

One is the imagination of the player.  We come up with all these crazy ways to use magic, but individual players don't have the creativity of players as a whole.  I would have never thought to drop a giant boat on a dragon.  The person who came up with that might not have thought about casting grease underwater to create a cloud that suffocates Kraud and provides cover.  Etc.  We can come up with these crazy things on our own, but we're ultimately limited in imagination.  

 

In a cRPG, where all interactions are made by a designer, who's a professional at imagining uses for things, the designer can either come up with more ways to break the system than we could, or artificially limit the power of the spell at the cost of a small amount of verisimilitude.  One breaks the game, and the other means the comment is never quite satisfying.

 

The later example is also practiced in PNP.  The artificial combat/non-combat magic limitation is hackish, but it's the only thing to keep us from prestidigitating a bubble into a villain's heart shut.

 

Finally, there's the DM, who like the designer implements hard limits on the uses of magic.  This also artificially limits the simulation, even if it is more fun.

 

The point to all this is pretty simple.  Non-combat magic would be ridiculously hard to implement in a substantive way into a computer game, because most options would either be too limited, or prestidigitation would become a brute force tactic.  The other option is to make an incredibly emergent game, but that doesn't jive with hand-crafted content.

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In other words, you want a palette-swapped fire spell relabeled "ice." Ignoring the fact that nitrogen is an element and fire is just the heat and visible light released by certain chemical reactions, of course.

 

Yes, it does annoy me that much that you said "flames of liquid nitrogen." Don't bring real-world elements into this if you're not prepared to suffer the chemistry!

No, I want an actual ice spell that behaves like fire. Not that does all the same things as fire. Fire doesn't freeze. Magical ice fire does. Boom. Already a functionally different spell.

 

As for your annoyance at my phrasing, I'm sorry that I was forced to compare non-existent, ficticious magical "fire" to real-world phenomenon. Had I been able to constructively compare it to something else that doesn't exist in our realm of physics that you would've intuitively understood, I would've done so. My bad.

 

To recap, my main point was simply that most cRPGs are perfectly resolved to just give you really specific things to do with magic, then call it a day. I want to see magic do things that only magic can do, or do things in ways only magic can do. Magically-created regular fire is fine, but it's hardly an illustration of just how magical magic is.

 

The point isn't that the game should have ice fire. The point was simply that ice fire was an example of both A) control over my magic (I want to use the element of ice, but weave it to behave like fire, because only magic can do that), and B) how much more interesting of a mascot a spell can be than "I can create and toss a molotov ****tail out of thin air!" Fireball.

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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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Don't get me wrong... fire's a fine element. But, sweet lord! I'm sick of it being THE go-to element for magic. Magic does not EQUAL fire. You can do PLENTY of magic without ever even using a lick of fire.

 

Hell, you want magical fire? I want to make fire that freezes people. Yeah, it physically behaves like fire, but it frost-burns and freezes the crap out of stuff, like flames of liquid nitrogen. Now we're talkin' magic!

In other words, you want a palette-swapped fire spell relabeled "ice." Ignoring the fact that nitrogen is an element and fire is just the heat and visible light released by certain chemical reactions, of course.

 

 

Yes, it does annoy me that much that you said "flames of liquid nitrogen." Don't bring real-world elements into this if you're not prepared to suffer the chemistry!

 

 

 

I think what Lephys is getting at is "have the magic ice-fire spell" look and behave like a propane fireball -- where it's not "just" a jet of heat and light, but it's almost alive looking.  Ice on the other hand is cold and hard and lifeless ... so switch it up -- make your ice spells "look" like fire (because you're a wizard and you can) but still have the same effect.

 

For example:

 

"As AGX finished his incantations, there was a quick rush of air.  Looking back over his shoulder, Lephys could see tongues of living flame shoot from AGX's hands, and even standing nearly 20 feet away could feel the bitter chill in the air as the Cone of Cold engulfed the lizard archers"

 

 

 

I didn't make my point very well.  Games, even fantasy games, are still governed by our implicit understanding of the rules of physics at some basic level.  Magic breaks these rules, by definition.

 

Non-combat magic works so-so in P&P because it has three limitations:

 

One is the imagination of the player.  We come up with all these crazy ways to use magic, but individual players don't have the creativity of players as a whole.  I would have never thought to drop a giant boat on a dragon.  The person who came up with that might not have thought about casting grease underwater to create a cloud that suffocates Kraud and provides cover.  Etc.  We can come up with these crazy things on our own, but we're ultimately limited in imagination.

This is not a limitation of the magic, just the wielder of said magic.

 

In a cRPG, where all interactions are made by a designer, who's a professional at imagining uses for things, the designer can either come up with more ways to break the system than we could, or artificially limit the power of the spell at the cost of a small amount of verisimilitude.  One breaks the game, and the other means the comment is never quite satisfying.

"Players" will always out-design a designer -- Going back to your above example, I doubt that Gygax forsaw some smartass conjuring a galleon on top of a red dragon ... or casting grease while underwater to suffocate a kraken.

 

The biggest difference is that for a tabletop game, the designer only sets base limits (e.g. "Grease can make a 100 sq. ft. area slippery, or a specific item"), but leaves very much up to the player (or DM) after that (see example below). A cRPG is the exact opposite -- you can only do that which the designer has expressly allowed (e.g. "Grease" only works on the ground).

 

"P&P Grease Example"

 

 

  • Player - hey, if I cast this underwater, can I make a 7200 cu. in. bubble of greasy... stuff?
  • DM - um, where do you get the size?
  • Pl - well, it covers 100 sq ft (10x10 ft) on the ground ...that's 120x120 inches, and I'm just assuming a 1/2" thickness of the slippery goo
  • DM - (checks things quickly) No, you can't make it 7200 cu. in. But I'll go with 1/8 in. thickness on the ground, so you can get a 1800 cu. in. bubble of greasy stuff ... it'll last 2 rounds as a bubble down here, before floating to the surface (where it'll cover 25 sq. ft. like normal)
  • Pl - OK, well I'm casting that, and will center it in the cave where that fish thing just swam into (internal -- just hope the cave is small enough that this works ... )
  • (other stuff happens)
  • DM - As you're dragging the dead fish thing out of the water, you see that its gills are coated in a thick whitish substance, which vanishes as the grease spell reaches its time limit

 

 

The later example is also practiced in PNP.  The artificial combat/non-combat magic limitation is hackish, but it's the only thing to keep us from prestidigitating a bubble into a villain's heart shut.

Well that's more a limit of knowledge of the body -- I mean, in general we're talking Medieval Europe here, where medicine is "here, have this willow bark tea ... it'll make you feel better" without knowing that the tea contains acetylsalicylic acid (AKA aspirin).

 

Well, also that you're not allowed to make holes with prestidigitation. DM wouldn't necessarily have a problem with "oh, I'm gonna open an extradimensional space beneath this guy ... and then let him suffocate."

 

Finally, there's the DM, who like the designer implements hard limits on the uses of magic.  This also artificially limits the simulation, even if it is more fun.

 

The point to all this is pretty simple.  Non-combat magic would be ridiculously hard to implement in a substantive way into a computer game, because most options would either be too limited, or prestidigitation would become a brute force tactic.  The other option is to make an incredibly emergent game, but that doesn't jive with hand-crafted content.

I would argue that the DM is not a limiting factor in a tabletop game. Yes, they will limit you if you're going overboard with things -- but rarely have I run across a DM who imposes the same kind of hard limits on magic that a cRPG "DM" (i.e. the game mechanics) do.  Usually a DM in a tabletop game will award you extra XP for being a crazy person and thinking outside the box ...

Edited by neo6874
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I was never under the impression that elemental spells were the greatest spells ever. In my experience, spells like haste, disjunction, wish, mantle, and weird often end up being more useful, even of the raw damage in the first round wasn't as impressive.

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“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.” ― Mikhail Bakunin

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I want to be able to use spells and abilties creatively to change situations to my advantage rather than just conversation dialogue options driving the narrative.

 

 

You could combine magics in interesting ways for unique gameplay possibilties; not just use magic in combat. For instance a telekinesis spell and a scrying spell combined could be used to push an object that is far away. Fire and ice can be combined to make metal brittle and break; maybe weakening someone's sword or prison bars etc.

 

Perhaps I have a bluff skill and the scrying spell. I could use both to convince someone that something was true. Like showing only part of the picture to make something appear true.

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Many of the post above reads as "I want more freedom", and others noted that without a human DM, it's very hard to express real life possibilities in game terms.

 

You could combine magics in interesting ways for unique gameplay possibilties; not just use magic in combat. For instance a telekinesis spell and a scrying spell combined could be used to push an object that is far away. Fire and ice can be combined to make metal brittle and break; maybe weakening someone's sword or prison bars etc.

Combining spells seems like a presentation issue a "crafting" system for spells(I am certain it was done before) and sword breaking spells is easy to add behavior, iirc you already had a shock sword dropping in BG.

 

Perhaps I have a bluff skill and the scrying spell. I could use both to convince someone that something was true. Like showing only part of the picture to make something appear true.

Unless its a spell this effect a built in mechanic like disposition and dialogue option are already planed with mutliple options, something like that will be very time consuming.

 

Which is why we don't see too much freedom in video games, a computer don't do loose interpretations of the rules, to address any quirk of imagination we might have takes will require huge amount of effort and time for very little gain. Which is why we go by what we can quantify into the general system and AI routines we are all familiar with.

Edited by Mor

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@Mor  These are more wishes than expectations; but I think they would be neat. I agree with your reasoning about why they aren't generally implemented features. However I think a more simulationist approach should be apart of rpgs without question.

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A more interesting story. Some RPG's have scratched this, but I want it to be really in depth.

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They say hope begins in the dark, but most just flail around in the blackness...searching for their destiny. The darkness... for me... is where I shine. - Riddick

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This is not a limitation of the magic, just the wielder of said magic.

 

...it's a limitation of the magic of the wielder of said magic, yes. :huh: You're not disagreeing with his point here at all. All he does is count the ways in which a spellcaster is limited by the PnP system, and one that's important is "he can only find uses for his spells that his player can think of".

 

"Players" will always out-design a designer

 

...unless the designer makes the spell waterproof, i.e. gives it additional limitations. Again, you're not disagreeing with anameforobsidian.

 

Well that's more a limit of knowledge of the body -- I mean, in general we're talking Medieval Europe here, where medicine is "here, have this willow bark tea ... it'll make you feel better" without knowing that the tea contains acetylsalicylic acid (AKA aspirin).

 

In general, we're not talking about Medieval Europe. :huh: We're talking about PnP and while his points are still valid in a sci-fi or steampunk setting, yours is very, very specific. (It's also weak, as knowledge of the body as in "stab it here or there to make it dead" was pretty common even in the Middle Ages.)

You can try to explain a design element away with "the people in that setting do not know about that possibility", but that doesn't make it less hackish. And of course, it's also a limitation. You're practically forbidding your spellcasters to ever accidentally find out about certain ways they could wield their magic.

 

I would argue that the DM is not a limiting factor in a tabletop game. Yes, they will limit you

 

Brilliant. :p

 

So... my point is, anameforobsidian made a good list of limiting factors in a PnP game, and you try to disagree with him for some reason, and I really don't understand why you would want to do that.

guess it's because you want to make the point that cRPGs are inherently more limited than PnPs, but that's obviously true, and nobody's denying it.

Edited by Fearabbit

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Many of the post above reads as "I want more freedom", and others noted that without a human DM, it's very hard to express real life possibilities in game terms.

 

You could combine magics in interesting ways for unique gameplay possibilties; not just use magic in combat. For instance a telekinesis spell and a scrying spell combined could be used to push an object that is far away. Fire and ice can be combined to make metal brittle and break; maybe weakening someone's sword or prison bars etc.

Combining spells seems like a presentation issue a "crafting" system for spells(I am certain it was done before) and sword breaking spells is easy to add behavior, iirc you already had a shock sword dropping in BG.

 

Perhaps I have a bluff skill and the scrying spell. I could use both to convince someone that something was true. Like showing only part of the picture to make something appear true.

Unless its a spell this effect a built in mechanic like disposition and dialogue option are already planed with mutliple options, something like that will be very time consuming.

 

Which is why we don't see too much freedom in video games, a computer don't do loose interpretations of the rules, to address any quirk of imagination we might have takes will require huge amount of effort and time for very little gain. Which is why we go by what we can quantify into the general system and AI routines we are all familiar with.

 

 

Actually the "bluff scry" wouldn't be too hard to do -- NWN PW servers had "similar" stuff in them.

 

was always a chat dialogue, but, hey, that's OK

 

setup:

(chat choices, get to a "here, lemme show you" choice)

 

Spell:

Cast "Clairaudience/Clairvoyance" (IIRC it was a "personal" spell, so the listener had to just check that the spell was cast on ~something~)

 

New dialogue opens:

(some random "wow!" type comment from the NPC)

Options:

  • See, timmy is fine ... I/we know those caves, and will get the bugbears who have him locked up
  • [bluff/lie] See, Timmy is fine ... he's playing in the caves
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This is not a limitation of the magic, just the wielder of said magic.

 

...it's a limitation of the magic of the wielder of said magic, yes. :huh: You're not disagreeing with his point here at all. All he does is count the ways in which a spellcaster is limited by the PnP system, and one that's important is "he can only find uses for his spells that his player can think of".

 

That is a limitation of the player, not of the magic. The magic itself is still unlimited (beyond the rules that create set "limits" -- e.g. "You can only lift an object with Prestidigitation if it's less than a pound").

 

It's like saying a Ferrari is limited to 100 KPH. (Note - I fully realize that the computer can be told to limit the car to e.g. 150KPH, but in that case, "The computer" is acting as a hard limit similar to limits written into the rules for magic ... anything other than that is NOT a limit of the car)

 

 

 

"Players" will always out-design a designer

 

...unless the designer makes the spell waterproof, i.e. gives it additional limitations. Again, you're not disagreeing with anameforobsidian.

 

anameforobsidian said ...a designer, who's a professional at imagining uses for things...can either come up with more ways to break the system than we could..."

 

To which I responded with the quote you're arguing against. READ FURTHER, where I mentioned that "Gygax probably never envisioned someone dropping a galleon on a dragon, or casting grease underwater".

 

tabletop -> players "redesigned" the "Conjure Galleon" spell to make a "deadfall trap" and the "Grease" spell into a "kill underwater sea-beasties" spell

cRPG -> "You can only conjure a galleon on water" and "You can only use 'Grease' to make a 10x10 square slippery on land.

 

 

Well that's more a limit of knowledge of the body -- I mean, in general we're talking Medieval Europe here, where medicine is "here, have this willow bark tea ... it'll make you feel better" without knowing that the tea contains acetylsalicylic acid (AKA aspirin).

 

In general, we're not talking about Medieval Europe. :huh: We're talking about PnP and while his points are still valid in a sci-fi or steampunk setting, yours is very, very specific. (It's also weak, as knowledge of the body as in "stab it here or there to make it dead" was pretty common even in the Middle Ages.)

You can try to explain a design element away with "the people in that setting do not know about that possibility", but that doesn't make it less hackish. And of course, it's also a limitation. You're practically forbidding your spellcasters to ever accidentally find out about certain ways they could wield their magic.

 

That was poorly worded on my part, and should have probably read "Medieval Europe levels of technology/medicine". It's definitely not 20th century medical knowledge where "hey, if you put a bubble of air in his bloodstream here, here, here, or here; the BBEG will die".

 

Yes, a fighter in Medieval Europe would know "stab/cut him here, here, or here, and he's dead in 10 seconds flat" ... but the knowledge of WHY that was true wasn't known til much later (mid/late 19th century - I mean, seriously, "go to the barber, get the bad blood removed, and you'll be fine in a few days" was sound medical advice up to the mid/late 1800s). Aspirin wasn't "discovered" until the 1760s (or rather, the chemical that made it work), and it wasn't synthesized until the 1890s -- BUT "Willow bark" was known to help ease pain since antiquity (see: Hippocrates, ca.460-377 BC)

 

The other settings you mention would depend on where their "core rules" came from (e.g. AD&D, or 3E or something else entirely). Most people here seem to be keeping with AD&D or 3(.5)E rules for the sake of discussion ...

 

 

I would argue that the DM is not a limiting factor in a tabletop game. Yes, they will limit you

 

Brilliant. :p

 

So... my point is, anameforobsidian made a good list of limiting factors in a PnP game, and you try to disagree with him for some reason, and I really don't understand why you would want to do that.

guess it's because you want to make the point that cRPGs are inherently more limited than PnPs, but that's obviously true, and nobody's denying it.

 

How about you finish that quote, huh?

 

The DM is not a limiting factor of the magic.  HOWEVER, they can (and will) limit what you can do in the interests of keeping things fun for everyone else.

 

Wanna drop a galleon on the red dragon?  Sure go ahead (but next dragon will have heard of the adventurers who dropped a galleon on the other one, and will be flying).

Wanna drop a galleon on every band of "generic bandit mooks" you come across?  Stop that.

 

Wanna cast [set of spells] to make some influential person think you're (patron god[dess]), and get the information you need? Sure, go ahead.

Wanna do that to every random villager, and burn a RL hour of play time?  Stop that. 

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That is a limitation of the player, not of the magic. The magic itself is still unlimited (beyond the rules that create set "limits" -- e.g. "You can only lift an object with Prestidigitation if it's less than a pound").

 

Yes. However, that was exactly his point. If somebody has personal limitations to his imagination, then these directly affect his ability to use magic imaginatively, meaning his spellcasting is limited by his own mental capabilities.

That was literally all he wanted to say and all he said. So I don't understand why you try and disagree with him.

 

Now something he didn't explicitely say but that I think is implied - it's a problem that PnP games have this limitation, because if you're trying to roleplay a character much more imaginative than yourself, you're screwed. You just can't do it. And even if you disagree with it being a problem, it's certainly noteworthy that this limitation exists.

 

 

anameforobsidian said ...a designer, who's a professional at imagining uses for things...can either come up with more ways to break the system than we could..."

To which I responded with the quote you're arguing against. READ FURTHER, where I mentioned that "Gygax probably never envisioned someone dropping a galleon on a dragon, or casting grease underwater".

 

Yeah but he was talking about cRPGs. You can't do that in a cRPG. Every breaking of the system needs some form of implementation, and when you just can't summon grease underwater (at least without it bugging out somehow) because the designer didn't think of this possibility, then the spell is artificially limited.

Like he said - either the designer allows ALL THE WAYS a spell can be used, or he artificially limits it. There's literally no other option, so again, don't understand what you're disagreeing with or arguing against.

 

 

How about you finish that quote, huh?

 

Sorry but that whole thing just doesn't make any sense at all. "He's not a limiting factor, but he does limit what you can do (in some cases)."

What?! If he limits you 1 time in a months long campaign, he was still a limiting factor! Not an important one, but it is there. anameforobsidian never argued for anything more than that.

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