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Magic Elements in RPG's (Fire Water...)


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#1 Kahiko   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:26 AM

Hello,

I have a question about the elements used in RPG's. I want the community's opinion how a system wich wil use a number of elements that are used in magic attack's and there strength's and weaknesses to eachother

Now some info for the game i am planning to design

It wil be much like the anime serie's Naruto where there are charchers that use Magic attacks and sword combat and it is pretty fast paced. Also there can be made combination of magik attack for example Earth + Water = mud or Water + wind = Ice

My system does not need's to be balanced I want it to represent reality as much as possible. The most used system i know is this one

Usually games use four elements.

Fire, Water, Wind and Earth.

Water > Fire > Wind > Earth > Water

Also i am unsure wich elements wil be in it i would like to see electricity

Know my problem with this system is that i want it to be logical

I could say fire beats water it evaporates it.
I could say water beats fire it extinguishe's it

Could you guys make a system with elements that is logical it doesnt have to be balanced so a fire mage could have a advantage over all the other mages


Sorry for my ingelish i dont have the enlish language installed on this school computer




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#2 SuperVGA   Members   -  Reputation: 1118

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:40 AM

Quote:
Original post by Kahiko
I want it to represent reality as much as possible

Then you should go with 118 elements and start with Hydrogen!
No, really! -Much less cliché. ;)

#3 Kahiko   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

I have thought about that but it would not make the gameplay fun. it also requires a realiy complex game engine and i think that we do not have discovered all the elements so the game wil be work in progress as long as reality exists altough i dont know this for certain so i dont think i wil be using that system, thanks for your reply.

#4 Tiblanc   Members   -  Reputation: 560

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:07 AM

You already have a counter example to the logical approach. Any system that you come up with that involves Fire and Water will be countered by this example. I would create a circular pattern for elemental superiority and forget about logic.

#5 webwraith   Members   -  Reputation: 235

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:14 AM

Firstly, forget realism to a degree. Believability is more important, IMHO.

Is your combat going to be turn-based like the Final Fantasies, or twitch-based, like Zelda? If it's the former, you could use a system where you apply the elements in different amounts ( see Bayonettas item creation system for an example of this ). Not sure how you might go about it in real-time combat.

As for strengths and weaknesses, you can't really say that one is stronger than another. As you've already pointed out, fire can evaporate water, just as water can douse fire. You often find buckets of sand at camp sites, which are used for the same purpose, and have you tried keeping a match lit on a windy day? I think the problem with all of these is the amounts. Any element ( when talking about the four magical/greek elements ) can neutralize any of the others as long as there is more of it.

If you use the system above, you could create electricity by, say, combining an amount of fire with an amount of air. You could create some sort of steam attack by combining fire and water, create lava by combining fire and earth, and so on. How you implement this is up to you, but I hope this at least helps get those creative juices flowing

#6 Kahiko   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:02 AM

Hmm the game would not be turne based more like WOW. I want it to be strategical thats the first priority. i am realy confused about this idea whenever i think about it i just stop thinking and my mind stops

Mud = Water + earth

Wood = Water + earth

Steam = Water + Fire

Ice = Water + Wind

Metal = Earth + Fire

Magnetic = Metal + electric

the list can go on for ever... i wil need to think realy good about this because it is like the base of the game

I was thinking of mayby instead using fire water etc... making Coldness Heat Solid's Liquid's Gasse's So they can manipulate the objects not control them example

So basicly first you wil can choose betwean

COLD

HEAT

Then you can choose between

SOID'S

LIQUID'S

GASSE'S

An example scenario could be a Charcher named BOB

BOB uses COLD LIQUIDS

He carrys water and trows it over his enemt than using his power he freezes it so his enemy cant move. then he stabs his opponent to death while not breaking a sweat because the opponent cant move

BOB 2 USES HEAT AND SOLID'S (i am no creative with names

BOB Freezes BOB2 using the above technique. if BOB would use HEAT LIQUIDS he cant unfreeze himself because the liqoud water just turned into SOLID ICE so he unfreezes himself

this idea presents some bizare outcomes to wich make it inpraticle but it can be used to creating something like it


#7 Edtharan   Members   -  Reputation: 606

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:08 AM

What you need to do is abstract the system. Don't apply lables to them, like Earth, Wind, Water or Fire yet. Just give the lables like A, B C and D. Later on you can give them whatever lable you want.

One reason for this is called "Combinatorics" (yes it is a real word: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatorics ).

It is easier to think in terms of Combinatorics when using abstract lables.

Once you have use Combinatorics to work out how many conbinations there realy are you can then apply labels to each combination.

Quote:
Could you guys make a system with elements that is logical it doesnt have to be balanced so a fire mage could have a advantage over all the other mages

The problem with systems like this is that only fire mages will be played. No other mage type will be played by the players. This means that all your work in making the other mage types will be wasted. This wasted time and effort will take away from the time and effort you could have spent in making the things your players actually use even more fun.

So, if a choice is going to be always worse than another choice, then players will not choose it. If a choice is always better than other choices, then players will always choose it.

If something is in your game that the player will never use, then it is a waste of your time, and the time of the player to disciver it is useless.

#8 Kahiko   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:52 AM

Fire

Water

Electricity

Rock

Wind

- Fire

Fire vs Water Equal eachother the fire exstinguishe's and the water evaportes and turns into steam

Fire vs selectricity because the electricity can pass trough it with greater speeds than slow moving fire
This causes the electricity to hit sooner and make the opponent lose focus of his spell

Fire vs The rock passes trough the fire resulting in the rock hitting the target and the fire hitting the caster

Fire vs Wind the wind will provide the flame with oxygen to make it burn even more

- Electricty

Electricity vs water See 1 and 2
1.Pure Water doesnt conduct electricity making the water user capable of blocking electric attacks
2.Water containing salt conducts electricity making the electricty pass trough the attack to the caster and causing
it to lose focus of the spell

Water vs Fire Equal eachother the fire exstinguishe's and the water evaportes and turns into steam

Rock vs Electricity the Rock does not conduct electricty well enoughf to pass trough it and wil block the lightning

Electricity vs Wind They will not affect eachother because the both pass trough eachother The lightning wil hit first

- Water

water vs Electricity See 1 and 2
1.Pure Water doesnt conduct electricity making the water user capable of blocking electric attacks trough attack
2.Water containing salt conducts electricity making the electricty pass trough the attack to the caster and causing
it to lose focus of the spell

Water vs Fire Equal eachother the fire exstinguishe's and the water evaportes and turns into steam

Rock vs Water The rock wil be stopped by the water

Wind vs Water the water wil collide with the Water

- Rock

Rock vs Water The rock wil be stopped by the water

Rock vs Electricity the Rock does not conduct electricty well enoughf to pass trough it and wil block the lightning

Fire vs The rock passes trough the fire resulting in the rock hitting the target and the fire hitting the caster

The wind will colide with the rock


This is the closest i can come to realistic outcomes and this basicly makes the power of the spell the factor to winning the clash of the spells


#9 Leartes   Members   -  Reputation: 177

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:18 AM

Hi,

so you found out, that your system doesn't work as simple as you wanted it to do.
Instead of "fixing" it by discarding logic and building some random circluar stuff, I d suggest you think more about how the elements interact.

Fire can beat water and water can beat fire, it depends on what is stronger. Simple as that.
Wind can beat fire, but fire wont beat wind. Here I think if the wind is stronger, the fire dies, but if the fire is stronger, its power will get amplyfied by the wind.

By thinking that way you can model a "realistic magic system" much more easily.

#10 Platinum_Dragon   Members   -  Reputation: 162

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:05 AM

Quote:
Could you guys make a system with elements that is logical it doesnt have to be balanced so a fire mage could have a advantage over all the other mages
Water is healing spells [coolness property causes the feeling of refresh], fire is attack spells, wind is support spells [status boost: increase fire strength, cools down water, push enemies away], and earth is crowd control spells [create hills and cliffs to direct enemies mobility] QED

#11 klefebz   Members   -  Reputation: 244

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:47 AM

Elements can be used in any way.

In Parasite Eve II fire was high attack spells, wind was attack spells with special effects, water was healing and earth was support.

You can come up with any element you like.
Digimon games ussualy have "machine" element, in Digimon World 1 you had "poo" element.

Fire can beat water and water can beat fire, but it is mainstream that water beats fire.

#12 Primiano   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:13 AM

Hey Kahiko.

maybe you should try some complex concept without elements, I don't know, maybe science stuff, like hot cold, pression and all.



#13 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 09:18 AM

Wood, Metal, power, body, and spirit all tend to be central elements IE made of all four elements.

I wouldn't try to make all the elements make combination elements you will end up staying up all night for several weeks in a row. Instead you should just make a consistent rule-set for how elements interact.

Maybe take something from electricity or pressure mechanics, and have the four elements affect 1 spell based on what's going inside it's system. Opposites won't mix/repel(air/earth, fire/water), anything else will mix, a mix of 2 elements will repel/'not mix'. Then based on which elements are at each node in your spell system, it controls which spell you cast(a system being able to cast a handful of spells with the right amount of tinkering).

#14 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:18 PM

If you're feeling ambitious you might reassess from the start exactly what you're doing.

IRL, the "element" scheme - fire\water\earth\wind - is basically just an older way of understanding what things are made of. Hence the hydrogen comment, and the modern concept of "elements" which are different types of atoms. The "elements" in question correspond with plasma, liquid, solid and gas; the more common states of matter that we encounter on an everyday bases.

This is irrelevant; what you're building has nothing to do with what things are made of. You're trying to come up with a set of "seperate but equal" classes which interrelate so that some have advantages over others.

In a game prototype I'm making, I have cannons, tanks and infantry. They have unique properties which let them contend with other units. Without going into my game's rules, the point is that it's the same thing you're dealing with here. It's just a very different theme.

So the "elements" scheme is just a convention for classes, one you can throw away and replace with whatever you want.

Should you?

Sure, why not. But make sure you understand exactly what you're throwing out and what you're doing.

The reason for the use of the classical elements in this manner is because it is inuitive. The player already knows how the classes will interrelate. Of course water beats fire. Duh. My tank\cannon\infantry system has the same advantage; it's intuitive (for example) that the tank is the fast one.

So the off-the-shelf, familiar system is the one to use if you don't care about this part and are focusing your energy on other things.

If you make up something else, the challenge for you is to clearly communicate to the player how the classes interrelate.

Creatively, it can be anything. The classes could be, I dunno, philosophical ideas. Gods. Flavors. Whatever. Go nuts, it's art. And it's magic. Magic spells don't have to be made of dirt or water. Decide on your themes and setting and everything. If you're reopening this issue rather than taking a scheme off the shelf, than what your clases are, is an art issue.

But don't forget that the challenge for you is one of communication.

#15 generic_username   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:17 AM

http://www.kongregate.com/games/Badim/doodle-god

This should help you brainstorm element combinations.

#16 Portugal Stew   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:31 AM

You could take it one step lower, and subdivide them into Heat, Cold, Wet, and Dry, which can can combine as following:
Heat + Wet = Wind
Heat + Dry = Fire
Cold + Wet = Water
Cold + Dry = Earth
You could elaborate on this and make more involved elemental ratios, and then develop a sort of chemistry where you can have procedural effects arise based on the ratios of elements. Perhaps negating elements release energy and leave the remaining element as a precipitate to react further; for example, Wind and Fire react, negating Wet and Dry, creating energy and an excess of Heat, which will then either harmlessly disperse or react directly with, say, water, negating the Cold creating Energy and an excess of Wet, and so forth until the elements essentially dilute beyond use.

#17 Edtharan   Members   -  Reputation: 606

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:44 AM

Quote:
Original post by JoeCooper
This is irrelevant; what you're building has nothing to do with what things are made of. You're trying to come up with a set of "seperate but equal" classes which interrelate so that some have advantages over others.

I agree with this. What the "elements" are is irrelevent. What is important is how they interact.

Quote:
Original post by JoeCooper
Creatively, it can be anything. The classes could be, I dunno, philosophical ideas. Gods. Flavors. Whatever. Go nuts, it's art. And it's magic. Magic spells don't have to be made of dirt or water. Decide on your themes and setting and everything. If you're reopening this issue rather than taking a scheme off the shelf, than what your clases are, is an art issue.

But don't forget that the challenge for you is one of communication.

In a design I came up with a while ago, I replaced the elements with Gods. I had several Gods and each God had several spells associated with them. A player was not limited to taking spells from just one of the Gods and could, if they wanted to, take spells from multiple (or even all) of the gods.

The relationships between the Gods, and the spells they had, was down to the back story of the gods (one was a god of life, another a god of death one was a god of trickery, etc). IT was the "personality" I created for the God that determined how the spells interrelated.

I also had spells that dealth with the elements directly, however, I didn't have a dominance (or Scissors/Paper/Rock) relationship between them. Instead, each element didn't interact with the other elements.

For example: One could create a wall of fire and this spell would burn any character that entered it. However, I deliberatly left out a wall of water as this could interact with the fire (instead you had spells that allowed you to walk on water, breath underwater, etc). If you cast a wall of fire on water, then the wall of fire would be on the surface of the water.

This way, each of the elemental spells could be cast and I didn't have to work out how they combined or affected each other.

#18 Kahiko   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 05:16 AM

I have decided to continue with a complex system with no intention to create balance. I decided that this would fit the game the most, i wanted to create something unique and complex where tactics wil win. Thank you for helping me it helped alot to look trough my current system again and making changes

#19 Heaven   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:03 AM

I think the comments (some your own!) that alluded to going with a more fundamental approach are spot on. Thinking of fire, water, earth, and air as standalone elements is insufficient, IMHO, to logically describe the intuitive interactions you're looking for.

States. We need states. Solids, Liquids, and Gases. Let's add Plasma as well. These are our base states.

Now let's add some forces, things that combine with our states. We'll have Energy and Motion. We'll further divide Energy into positive energy (Heat) and negative energy (Cold).

So what are some possibilities with such a system?

First, some abbreviations...

Heat (H)
Cold ©
Motion (M)

Solid (S)
Liquid (L)
Gas (G)
Plasma (P)

Bob is a practitioner of Solid Based Motion magic (i.e., "Earth Bender"). He can manipulate the solids around him, using them as defenses to BLOCK incoming attacks or as projectiles.

Fred however, studied the art of Gas Based Motion magic (i.e., "Air Bender"). He can manipulate the air around him, DEFLECTing incoming attacks or using the motion of the air to move his opponents (e.g., knockbacks). He can also enhance his own mobility by increasing his jump distance, or reduce falling damage.

Sam devoted his life to the study of Liquid Based Cold Motion magic (i.e., "Water Bender").

George is a student of Plasma Based Motion (e.g., "Fire Bender"), and is also studying the higher art of Plasma Based Heat Motion (i.e., lightning manipulation).

You may want to also introduce Light into the equation as another incarnation of Energy. Possibly also subdividing it into Light and Dark:

Energy->Heat (active)
Energy->Cold (active)
Energy->Light (passive)
Energy->Dark (passive)

You could then assign a difficulty to each state/force combination to come up with a hierarchy for determining skill or mastery levels. It would seem intuitive for the following progression of difficulty:

solids > liquids > gases > plasma

That is, it's easiest to learn solid manipulation. A little harder to learn how to manipulate liquids. Just a bit more difficult to learn how to manipulate gases, and finally the most difficult to manipulate plasma. Or you could rationalize it this way:

gases > liquids > solids > plasma

Since air is much lighter and contains less particles to deal with.

I'm going to ramble now, using some of the above to come up with some ideas...

I could start by learning Solid manipulation. I could create small units of earth/dirt starting with a small pile that could slow my opponent's movement and working my way up to walls which could completely obstruct a passageway for example.

Next I could add Motion to my Solid Manipulation skills resulting in at first the ability to project small units of earth at my target (small projectile attacks) all the way up to localized earthquakes.

I could then add Heat to my studies of Solids and at first maybe I could heat up my opponent's weapon causing him to drop it (if metal) or consuming it (if wood). Then later maybe I could actually even convert my summoned/created earth to lava.

Just some thoughts. Hope they've been useful!

Take care.

#20 Edtharan   Members   -  Reputation: 606

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by Kahiko
I have decided to continue with a complex system with no intention to create balance. I decided that this would fit the game the most, i wanted to create something unique and complex where tactics wil win. Thank you for helping me it helped alot to look trough my current system again and making changes

If you want the player to use tactics to win, then you will need some kind of balance. If the game is unbalanced, then there will very likely be dominated or dominent tactics.

A dominated tactic is one that is weaker than other, or is not useful at all. A player would never use this as it is a waste of their resources (it is also a wate of developer resources to include it in your game).

A Dominent tactic is one that is always useful. A player would never use any other tactic because if they did, then the other player using this tactic would win. This is worse than a dominatged tactic as it makes all of the other tactics useless and using any other tacitc is a waste of the player's resources (and it makes the time and effort spent developing all the other tactics a wate of developer resources too).

This is why balance is important.




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