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Solthar

What do you think of this for a dynamic magic system in a RPG?

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Hi Everyone! I took my dynamic spell idea I posted here ages ago and revised the hell out of it. Now I have a Brand New Idea (tm) that''s - get this - ''User Friendly''!!! First Lets start with the bases of the system, The Spell Objects. Now these can be anything the developer wants them to be, from cards to runes. For the hell of it I''m going to use glyphs in this example. Now, there are 6 different Classes of Glyphs, each of which cause a different effect. They are as follows: *Glyph of Effect (fire, ice, life, death,...) *Glyph of Form (sphere, lance, column,...) *Glyph of Intent (Hostile, Neutral, Benevolent) *Glyph of Power ( User Defined at casting time, low, med, ...) *Glyph of Target (self, other, nearest enemy, nearest friend,...) *Glyph of Size (I think you understand what goes here...) Say the user combined these glyphs: Fire, Lance, Hostile, Low, Other, small. The mage would get a low powered fire lance that flies toward the targeted person/beast Now lets try Fire, Sphere, Neutral, low, Self, small. Now they get a glowing ball of flame - or a magical torch Now one final example: Fire, sphere, benevolent, low, Nearest Friend, small. The target would get additional protection vs. fire damage. Basically, with this system, all the programmer would have to worry about (besides balancing) is what each effect does if the intent is hostile, neutral, or benevolent. So - what do you think?

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Purdy sweet. What would be really awesome but somewhat difficult is to allow players to make their own subclasses under these basic glyph types. Not impossible for say, a mush. But graphics would be really hard.

Good luck then...

======
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates

"Question everything. Especially Landfish."
-Matt

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That is a much better look at it. I will add it to the doc immediately

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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Just one quick question.. by glyph, you me an object you hold in your hands? I mean, you did say "objects" This to me doesn''t make a whole lot of sense in these terms. I mean, to cast a spell, you should make the player have an order of casting equal to what you have..
cast effect form intent power target size
Or perhaps rearrange them a little.. making target last.
cast fire lance hostile low small baddie''snamehere
humm.. perhaps power first..
cast hostile mega huge fire lane at landfish
This way, you''ve got a pretty good set of adjectives before the noun and then the target.

Anyways, answer me about the objects.. and how one would go about using them (does the creature have 6 arms to hold all these at once, or do you pull them out one at a time and say a few words of invocation.. etc)?

If you ask me.. this would work fine for a vocal or sigal type thing.. where you spoke a word for each one, as in the examples above.. cept the words would be in an arcane language. Or one where you used actions (symantics) to create a sigal or pattern in the air, which directs your intent, or a combo of both.

J
p.s. i''ve been working on what i said there at the end.. different types of mages, those who cast by words, those who cast by actions, those who cast by pure thought and those who do a combination of them

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quote:
Original post by Niphty
cast hostile mega huge fire lane at landfish



LOL! or:
cast hostile mega wimpy flaming goblin at landfish


-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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Yeah, I think that a few of us have played around with forms of that idea. I think I remember a post about ''drawing'' symbols with the mouse. Maybe? The glyphs could be anything. A deck of cards comes to mind. Or magic words, mantras. Arm/hand movements. Magical gems. Chips of wood marked with runes. Matbe the player would get a little frustrated selecting six different attributes for each spell. And how are the hostile, neutral and benevolent spells related to eachother? It depends on what type of spells you have. Elemental spells are easy to do hostile or neutral or benevolent. But what about healing spells (No, I realise that you can make a game without healing spells, even argue against them, but most game have them and players expect them.)? Or telepathy?
Maybe you could combine Size and Form.

Think outside the dodecahedron

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Well, to me, a hostile version of a life spell is a death spell.

Like I stated earlier, the developer of the game must think through each aspect of the game, and select effects that are the best for the game. Also, A mage should be able to save premade spells in some fassion, so that they can have quick access to their previous well thoughtout spells.

As to Niphty''s question as to how a mage would holds six glyphs (lets assume they''re fist sized rocks with runes on em). Well, a mage should be able to levitate small objects without much effort, right? so why not have them float over his head, slowly spinning, in a circle (and of course have awsome animations of the effects combining into one)

Also, I should point out that not all Effects should have actions for each Intent. Make it so that when they try one of these, something random (but related to the Effect) happens. For example, A mage casts life with neutral intent - and a swirling vortex of vampyrisim (sucks targets life and drains to caster) appears, then the next time he casts the spell, his HP drops by about 75%.

One more thing - I believe that the higher the spell level (damage, size, element, etc.) from your mastery level (maybe have elemental masteries?) the greater the chance you have of one of your glyphs breaking. This feature will add reserve to the mage community, for who wants to risk the glyph that they retrieved from the 32nd level of wyrm caverns, and have to get it again?

Signing off,
Solthar

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I like it. One idea though - maybe dispense with the power rune, and replace it with a charging up time. The longer you hold the spell, the more devastating it becomes. Hold it too long and.... who knows? Maybe your head explodes,or your glyphs shatter, or maybe the spell just fizzles. More powerful mages increase their spell power quicker, and are able to charge them up for longer.

You then have some interesting tactics - if a fighter attacks you, you may be able to kill him with one big spell, but he may get to you before you can get it off. Hit him with a little one first, and you might delay him enough to finish him off with a bigger follow up spell.

Alternatively you could use this approach to dispense with levels altogether - All mages have the same basic level of ability, but some have a better selection of runes than others (because they have explored the world and found them) and some players have more experience of playing around with different effects.

Edited by - Sandman on October 31, 2000 1:12:01 PM

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Abandonkeep has a game called Dungeon Master. It uses a magic system that sounds similar to what you''re going for. Pretty decent game too. I remember killing hours playing it. For all the combinations you could have, not a lot of spells though. I know it went first with a power glyph then the others ment certain things like light or fire. If it''s been done before it can be done again, and better.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Your system is to limiting. dump the whole Fire and Ice, & Intent and Form junk. Your limiting yourself to the concepts of others. A better idea would be to look at energy and focus.

An example. Say I construct a runic spell of invigorate. This spell adds energy to a object. When focused on a flame, it causes them flame to burn brighter. Aim it at a person and it increases the persons stamina. Or say I construct a degenerate spell, which removes energy. Aided at water, it makes the water freeze (I''m sure some phyics brainiac will find some flaw with this idea but so be it). Agianst a human it weakens them. With focus think of a flame. The more focused it is the hotter it burns it also is smaller. If you focus energy you could form a fireball. Unfocus the spell and you get a explosion. Have a negative focus value and you get a inplosion.

This is a little messy but if some thinks this idea is anygood I might try and write something more lucid.

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Thought and designed something similar, however, I''ve never finished the design

Too little time to spend on things that really are interesting to me, maybe I should find a job in the game industry...

However I''ll work on it right now (at work, I don''t care) and tell you what I came up with, if anything usefull.

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It looks like a good idea. I think the other AP had a good comment, but I would keep most of what you have.

I would suggest removing the target glyph, and just let the user click on the screen target.

and I think other folks pointed out some limitations in the Power glyph - why would a player ever use a weaker spell?

If the functions associated with the power glyph were instead associated with the caster (skill, or level, or mana strangth or whatever) then you could eliminate the power glyph.

Just my $0.02

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With the power glyph...

Why would a high level mage use a ton of MP when killing a lesser creature?


Maybe each spell should have a ''Charge Time'' before you can cast it... you basically hold down your mouse button longer for a more powerfull spell. Certain skills would lessen the time required, of course, yet the most powerfull level should take a good 5 minutes of standing still to charge up (and imagine the fireworks )

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Solthar: Final Fantasy II for Super NES had spells that took more or less time to cast depending on their strength. It was quite cool, and required some planning and a little guess work.

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The whole idea sounds good, except I am constantly returning focus in my mind towards the player. Adding all of this flexibility adds an extreme amount of complexity to the person playing the game (especially during battle).

I mean, imagine, having to fight a big boss-type and stand there waiting for 5-minutes while the spell charges up. Meanwhile, ol'' big baddy is pummelling you left and right with everything he has. Sure, his magic would have to charge too, but his magic, presumably requires less time to charge because he is the baddy...

Now, take out the idea of charging magic. Instead, you (the player) have to grab x-number of glyphs, join them together in some fashion to produce this awsome spell. Again, meanwhile, big-baddy is still pummelling you left and right while you search your pouche(s) for the glyphs you are needing...

Somehow, the added complexity to the player doesn''t seem to strike by fancy as being something to play.

Maybe though, you can group a series of glyphs before you actually use them...?

For instance:

quote:

Fire, sphere, benevolent, low, Nearest Friend, small. The target would get additional protection vs. fire damage.



Would be changed to a preset stage (before the battle): sphere, benevolent, low, Nearest Friend, small.

and then during the battle: add Fire...

This does provide an interesting aspect to the whole process in that it adds strategy to the game big time. Uh, oh. I thought I would need this combination for my next battle. Now what am I going to do with Death, Lance, Hostile, High, Self, Large...?

My point is that by allowing the player to precompile a set of glyphs, you provide them with less complexity during a battle and provide an effect of additional game strategy. Similar to wizards in DND needing to remember spells they will use in the day when they wake up or whatever. You prepare the wrong spells...

Regards,
Jumpster

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quote:

I mean, imagine, having to fight a big boss-type and stand there waiting for 5-minutes while the spell charges up. Meanwhile, ol'' big baddy is pummelling you left and right with everything he has. Sure, his magic would have to charge too, but his magic, presumably requires less time to charge because he is the baddy...



As I mentioned before, the player has a choice - he could waste loads of time charging up his most powerful spells, in the hope if killing his opponent in one hit (and I think of you charge up for 5 minutes you should pretty much be able to kill anything in one hit) OR he could use quicker, weaker spells to put his opponent off balance for long enough to charge up more powerful spells etc.

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Jumpster,

It is in my view of this design, or any that approach from its viewpoint, that the user should be able to pre-design spells. Making spells during battle would not only be an inconvenience - it would be annoying; nevertheless, a player should still keep the ability to create spells during a battle, for the obvious cost of the time it takes to arrange the glyphs, since who knows what they need for every battle before hand?

Also, I just got struck with a new idea! Make every effect glyph have an opposite (life-death, fire-water, earth-wind,...) and have some sort of global balance going on - sort of like a ying-yang deal. When someone uses a fire spell, the all fire spells loose just a tad of power, while water gains, and vice-versa. Also make it so the more powerfull the spell the more drastic the balancing.


What do you think?

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quote:
Original post by Forneiq

Yeah, I think that a few of us have played around with forms of that idea. I think I remember a post about ''drawing'' symbols with the mouse.



That one was my little pet

quote:

Maybe? The glyphs could be anything. A deck of cards comes to mind.



Your thinking of gambit... I like that idea. Maybe it could be just any object that you could magically charge yourself. This way, the player would have to choose how to charge certain objects when they had the choice, and order them in such a way as to not forget how they were charged... Could be interesting if there was no visual markings on an object to see how it was charged...

It is charged in a magical place, and so the player could just charge objects of the same type in the same way... Or they could mix and match

quote:

Or magic words, mantras. Arm/hand movements. Magical gems. Chips of wood marked with runes. Matbe the player would get a little frustrated selecting six different attributes for each spell. And how are the hostile, neutral and benevolent spells related to eachother? It depends on what type of spells you have.



I say, if it is difficult for the player to cast a spell using the system... Or it takes a little while to do it, then the spell must be of worth once cast. That means that quick-cast spell remain hotkeyed and designer spells are not.

quote:

Elemental spells are easy to do hostile or neutral or benevolent. But what about healing spells (No, I realise that you can make a game without healing spells, even argue against them, but most game have them and players expect them.)? Or telepathy?
Maybe you could combine Size and Form.



Telepathy is one of my favourites... Should never be forgotten

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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quote:
Original post by Solthar

Jumpster,

It is in my view of this design, or any that approach from its viewpoint, that the user should be able to pre-design spells. Making spells during battle would not only be an inconvenience - it would be annoying; nevertheless, a player should still keep the ability to create spells during a battle, for the obvious cost of the time it takes to arrange the glyphs, since who knows what they need for every battle before hand?

Also, I just got struck with a new idea! Make every effect glyph have an opposite (life-death, fire-water, earth-wind,...) and have some sort of global balance going on - sort of like a ying-yang deal. When someone uses a fire spell, the all fire spells loose just a tad of power, while water gains, and vice-versa. Also make it so the more powerfull the spell the more drastic the balancing.


What do you think?


I think that this balancing is GREAT... We seem to have come to this conclusion in both this thread and the Candle Magic thread. Draining the power from the area around really fits in with my system. Too much unbalanced magic use really does wear down the effect as things get more ''resistant'' to that effect. About the balancing though, you would have to set an upper and a lower limit for each... because otherwise people would cast fireballs for hours, just to make the next water damage spell absolutely cain the boss...

I think that the player should have a visualisation of the balance for each element, so that they can choose what spell will be more effective... As for the baddies, they should also change to the more effective spells in battle. It would be really diverse if the balances kept shifting in different ways

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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Try this link... It is a little program that I was tinkering around with last night when GDNet went down. It strives for balance... I am going to post a topic about it

True, it speeds up the whole process, but you can change it by changing the ''AUTO_BALANCE'' (I think it was) macro to have a different time (in seconds). Currently it starts its rebalance every 1 second for each element...

More explanation on it in the topic

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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