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Solthar

A unique (hopefully) magic system idea....

62 posts in this topic

Chaos and Order were the two blind gods in the beginning. One wove the strands of life and the other destryed them. The stuff was passed from one to the other in a continuous loop and so the universe was born... as Raymond E. Fiest explains in A Darkness at Sethanon (I think that was the book ).

Then came the lesser gods. They were formed out of the ''stuff'' that was torn appart. Ultimately resides chaos and order. There is a kind of hierarchy of orders in truth. You just rely on the god that you worship to give you the power. This means that you could make people worship a god to gain favours of spells. Fire would not be an effective spell against another fire-weaver because that would be in conflict with the god that you worship. So you are bound by which different gods you may worship at the same time (fire and water would be an obvious no-no... too much conflict). You may worship more than one god, but no god whom you worship is to be in conflict with any other whom you worship.

This would also allow for feuds between the gods that require you to triumph over the other gods magic.

Ideas?

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Such is a good idea

The most used mages get weaker, the least used ones get stronger...

Hmmmm....
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About play balance.

Let the player define effect and the computer define cost. AND to create a spelll research should have to be done. So the old mage in the hut would have to already researched through past spells, tombs of lore ,etc. to figure out how to cast the spell.

So time must be spent researching how to combine different spheres into a spell. AND the cost of a fireball that would destroy a circular mile would be extremely large. (Say 1000mp, & a burning 11kt diamond in an alchemist''s oxygen solution)

and limiting the effect of fire when more people used fire? I still like the old AD&D idea of elemental planes of positive & negative energy, fire, water, air, and earth. Each spell tapped into the unlimited energy of that plane.

-=-=-=-=-=-
Is 'amthst' a word?
What is the meaning of an NPC's life? simple-
"To make the player have fun by dieing horribly you %$^@ goblin! ESCALATE GOBLIN GENOCIDE!"
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Imagine, trying to code all of that, and I said earlier, any new discovery won''t be a discovery to anyone since the recipe will be on the net in a heartbeat which would defeat the point to finding new spell combinations. Elemental resource pools are a good idea - one dries up with over use as the other get stronger as they slowly regenerate. Soulbringer uses just the opposite approach as this - one element gets more powerful with use and establishes an imbalance.

Back on the idea of elemental balance, imagine terrible cold, wind, and earthquakes from the lack of fire.

On the idea of scripting spells, it would become a terrible pain in the wazzoo to have to script a new spell all the time. Most people are too lazy to type much less type an entire script. Most RPG''s assume that the script is good already. Now instead of using scripts, make the player keep ingredients for the spells sitting around. Limit the use of a spell by it''s cost to ingredients. Various ingredients cause different reactions/spells to be executed. This isn''t a new idea, one edition at lest of D&D had the optional requirements for the player to have the proper herbs and such available to cast a spell. It wasn''t used a lot.
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quote:
Original post by Whirlwind

Imagine, trying to code all of that, and I said earlier,



That will definately be fun <BG>

quote:

any new discovery won''t be a discovery to anyone since the recipe will be on the net in a heartbeat which would defeat the point to finding new spell combinations. (snip)



We have been debating this very issue... and have come up with a way that may inpede the players from posting these to the web. Ultimately we have decided that with the number of spells that our MMORPG is going to have, if players want to post them... good luck





Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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I''ve got a similar idea I''ve been working on (View it here)

One new idea my system has that you may want to consider is variable effects. Specifically, the exact same spell formula will work somewhat differently based on caster, target and environment. This keeps newbies from picking up spells off the internet. They could kill themselves using someone else''s successfull formula. Mind you, this isn''t random, and experienced players will learn how to modify existing spells for their characters over time.


Pax
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I personally don''t think that people will want to post their spells... well, some will. But I don''t think the majority will. Most people will probably want to hoard their new-found spells to themselves and friends -- ESPECIALLY if they are very powerful spells or spells that took a good bit of time to discover.

The thing I keep thinking of is the spellbook of some archaic mage ... a veritable treasure chest of knowledge. It would be a lot like in the DragonLance series and the books of Fistandantilus...

Another cool thing that could come of this magic system is customizable defense systems for peoples'' valuables. Traps and such... a mage could set up a customized spell or set of spells to protect his house. Very neat...

- SantaClaws
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I like the trap idea... Hmmm...


And about darkside - it's idea is almost so close to mine that is is frightning! perhaps we could pool resources, pax? Only true difference is that I make my sytem a bit more complex with the idea that for each sphere (you call it 'atoms') there are an arbitrary amount of aspects, so an air sphere spell can do anything from blow an object to electrocute it

Edited by - Solthar on August 22, 2000 1:55:49 PM
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Effect and power of a spell is determined by the player's mastery of the according sphere, correct?

Also, with the traps ... you could have a property for the spell that determines when it is triggered -- immediately, a delayed time, or when something happens to the object it is targeted at.

For instance if you cast the spell on a sword, you could give it an on-equipped trigger, so that when the user equipped the sword, the sword would shock them or something. With some modification you could add some nice item/equipment protection spells ... its discouraging for someone to steal your stuff if they know it might cause their hand to rot away.

- SantaClaws

Edited by - SantaClaws on August 22, 2000 2:04:20 PM
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Effect is determined by player, power by sphere mastery/level. Interesting idea about triggers though - never thought of that...
maybee add something like this...

TRIGGERTYPE contact //radiussmall, radiuslarge, radius, equip, ..
TRIGGERACTION quickexpand // slowexpand, verticalcolumn, shockwave...

Edited by - Solthar on August 22, 2000 3:00:48 PM
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Just remember - KISS, anyways, the spell combos will make it to the boards, just checkout planetdiablo and you can see that they are keeping a list of things you can use the horodic cube to make. Also, based on the numerous walkthroughs for games out there on the net you can expect to see recipe lists. Also, remember that if you have too many spell combinations with a spell effect for each resulting combination, plan on targeting a 128-bit 50,000mhz CPU and a 1GB Ultra Ultra video card as your baseline system because your artist will be at making those effects for a while.
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When I said spell effect I meant the... um... (taps his brain, "Work, damn you!") ah, size of the effect?? A friend and I were talking about the system and thought that there would have to be some sort of precaution against characters creating enourmous complex effects for a small stupid spell... example:

Bob the Wizard is getting hungry. He pauses, raises his arms, and utters a long string of arcane syllables. Meteors start raining down from the skies, and a giant comet crashes down nearby. When the smoke clears, a giant crater sits in the ground, and in the middle: an apple.

Hehe.

Whirlwind: I would expect that a large amount of the effects could be generated using a particle system implementation in OpenGL or something. That way the users could customize their effects and its no extra work on the part of the artists.

- SantaClaws

Edited by - SantaClaws on August 22, 2000 3:31:21 PM
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I was thinking of using something similar for my sorcerers in my game Runemaster (not in Athalon, though).But here''s an idea I just had :
How about this - when the player creates a spell he must not only research, he also has to find some components for that research.Fors simple spells this would be easy -eg a mandrake root.But for powerful spells he''s have to go on a quest to find, say, some ancient scrolls.These quests could be randomly generated by the PC according to the spell''s power and type.

Runemaster
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Ah ,another idea.I think not all options hould be available in the beginning."Fall from sky" for example could only be used after you''ve got 400 skill points at magc or something like that.There should also be special rare items like a "Scroll of Channeling" or something that allow you to add special effects to your spell, but only once.Imagine how sought after they''d become...a kind of legend, that would add to atmosphere.

Runemaster
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quote:
Original post by Whirlwind

any new discovery won''t be a discovery to anyone since the recipe will be on the net in a heartbeat which would defeat the point to finding new spell combinations


Whirlwind, who would want to give away their kick-ass spells to everybody? I can''t imagine why you would do that.

Wait a sec! I just realized something. It''s highly possible that people will start exchanging spells! "You give me that cool ice spear spell of yours, and I''ll tell you about my Poison Song of Algirioch!"
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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

[quote] Original post by Whirlwind

any new discovery won''t be a discovery to anyone since the recipe will be on the net in a heartbeat which would defeat the point to finding new spell combinations


Whirlwind, who would want to give away their kick-ass spells to everybody? I can''t imagine why you would do that.

Wait a sec! I just realized something. It''s highly possible that people will start exchanging spells! "You give me that cool ice spear spell of yours, and I''ll tell you about my Poison Song of Algirioch!"


Yep, it would be the same people who write the trainers, break the data files, or run a site dedicated to the game (an or, not an and there). Also, a great spell is also a bragging right that states that ''I did this first!''.

On the particle effect thing, you could do real time texture blending with additive particle/polygon animations (cold sphere - round and blue mixed with dark sphere - round and black - would produce a elipsish dark blue effect).
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Yes! Yes! Yes!

Besides providing the ability to do anything (if you have enough power), this system is designed to create a magic economic system!


Power to the warriors of the Mind, for they tread where few dare!
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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

Whirlwind, who would want to give away their kick-ass spells to everybody? I can''t imagine why you would do that.

Wait a sec! I just realized something. It''s highly possible that people will start exchanging spells! "You give me that cool ice spear spell of yours, and I''ll tell you about my Poison Song of Algirioch!"



This is a good thing... A magic system that is an integral piece of the economy, as well as a way to get people to actually interact with one another is a good thing. Wouldn''t you agree



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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And I just thought of a ''power'' system that would theoretically avoid the feared ''newbies with armageddon'' situation.

basically do something like this:

SPELLPOWER x

Where x is the mp used, in percent. Also make it so the person can go over 100, but give them an exponentialy increasing risk of something VERY bad happening...

Thus the same spell for a level 1 charactor is less powerfull than the exact same spell for a level 10 charactor
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Ok, I''m starting to like the idea of a limited amount of magical power for differnt elements of magic. But I propose an addition. What if each player slowly "hoarded" an amount of power for each element. The player could divide up his total max m.p. into the different catergories.

With that addition, there could be oracles and such that players could seek out to gain magical power.

So take Tark, the Wizard for example.
Tark needs to fill up his "fire" m.p. because everyone is hoarding it because a war is about to start. So Tark goes off to seek the "Obelisk of fire" to help him regenerate. And, perhaps enchant a special stone to allow a limited channeling of the obelisk''s power.

This is cool! And it would fit right in with my idea of objects granting greater magical power...

-=-=-=-=-=-
Is 'amthst' a word?
What is the meaning of an NPC's life? simple-
"To make the player have fun by dieing horribly you %$^@ goblin! ESCALATE GOBLIN GENOCIDE!"
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The idea of scripting your own spells seems cool. I might try it myself (programming the system into my game, I mean), but not the way some of you have illustrated.

I don't think many people will like having to type long lines of text to cast spells. I think they should be able to script their spells, either using a text or graphical scripting system, within constraints dictated by what disciplines they chose to learn, and of course their own experience level. Each spell would then have its own button in a spell-selection window, which you can hotkey.

So if you write a text script like this:

FistOfFlame # The name of the spell is "Fist of Flame"
{
if( stillactive )
cancel; # Spell is already cast; don't cast it again.

cast fire Flames;

Flames.SetSource( RightHand, Attached );
Flames.SetDamage( 10.0 );
Flames.SetDuration( 30.0 );
}

The game might scan the script, and based on the damage and duration specified, it will determine the spell requires a Fire Mastery of 4 and uses 20 Energy (mana) to cast. And each time the mage punches something, the creature he punches will recieve 10 damage points.

But if this slightly different script is written:

Fury
{
cast fire Flames;

Flames.SetSource( RightHand, Attached );
Flames.SetDamage( 10.0 );
Flames.ApplyForce( Caster.Orientation.Forward, 1.0 );
}

No duration is specified, meaning it's an instant spell, which is also why the stillactive line is unnecessary. It will be continuously cast as long as the user holds the Cast button down. Anyway, since it applies force to the flame, an Air Mastery of 2 might be needed along with the fire requirements. This spell should create a flamethrower-like spout of flame from the caster's right hand.

Then I might have a spell like this:

FireBall
{
if( time - lastcast < 1.0 )
cancel; # Fire delay is one second.

cast fire Flames;

Flames.SetSource( RightHand, Loose );
Flames.SetDamage( 20.0 );
Flames.SetPhysics( Floating ); # Instead of falling, bouncing, etc.
Flames.SetDuration( 5.0 ); # Flies for 5 seconds.
Flames.ApplyForce( Caster.Orientation.Forward, 2.0 );
Flames.DestroyOnHit( );
}

...and that would create a typical fireball that fires no faster than one fireball per second. Due to the damage and force, it will have higher Fire and Air requirements than FistOfFlame or Fury. The actual rules governing fire, such as how applied force affects it when it's attached or loose, will be built in to the engine.

With a system like this, the user can experiment beyond the usual spells seen in games, to see what is possible. Of course, plenty of playtesting will have to go into this before such a thing will be released.

Edited by - CGameProgrammer on August 22, 2000 9:35:23 PM
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Actually I changed my mind. It''s probably not good to let the user set the damage, duration, or rate of casting; those would have to be determined by the engine based on the user''s mana supply and elemental masteries.

~CGameProgrammer( );

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I tend to disagree - what about you being a high level mage, and wanting to cast a weak spell? Did, in you learning of the ways of magiks, cause you to forget the weaker spells?

Basically, doing somethign strongly does not make it better, doing something intelligently does.
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