Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
malachantrio

Is the study of magic a lost art?

This topic is 4939 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I will try to keep this post making as much sense as possible but unfortunately ideas kinda stream out of my head without much planning so bear with me a little. I play a lot of RPG games, and I always like to be a mage or some kind of derivative therin. I spend all my time levelling up and, in most games, 'purchasing' new spells or spell upgrades. Often when describing my character to someone else I find myself saying things like I'm a lvl 28 mage with FireBall spell 9. Without sounding amazingly picky and pedantic, in a way that kinda takes the mystery out of being a mage. Its just a little depressing that my character's knowledge of the arcane forces can be summed up with a name and a number. Often I think to myself this spell that throws lightning is very nice but what I really want is something that errupts from the skies to my enemies. No okay I know this is starting to seem pointless and vague and probably annoying too but, I was thinking the other day and came up with something that I'd like some opinion on. What if the player decided how his spells worked, how they damaged, the range, the power etc... Of course this needs to be regulated to save everyone having a spell that costs 1 mana and annihlates the entire universe. So how about this: Instead of leveling up and 'purchasing' a spell, you purchase a spell type for instance fire projectile or fire radial, lightning rain anything you can think of really and also a 'school of study' such as projectile speed. Then the character can create a new spell of whatever type (fire projectile for example) and call it whatever they like. Then the player can choose to start studying attributes of the spell like the speed of the projectile which might have the effect of stunning an enemy. if you set yourself to study this particular school then as you use the spell the speed of the projectile gradually increases, thus increasing the stun effect of the spell. However to keep the play balanced you give the school of study a side effect. e.g. as the projectile gets quicker it uses more mana. the player may study that for a while and get a stun effect on his spell of 3.9 seconds and then the player decides I want to increase the damage, so he starts to study projectile size. See now you can even use inter dependencies and say that as the size of the projectile gets bigger the speed gets slower (not too much though so the player can still customize exaclty how they want the spell even though it would take alot of time and much studying) and uses more mana. You could even have more schools of study such as mana consumption, impact explosion etc.... As you go through the game you may even learn how to study two schools on one spell at the same time. I understand that this would be an absolute nightmare to play balance. I have no intention of implementing it in any games I am currently involved in as I don't have the experience, and to be honest with my first few projects I am trying to start out small. But I would like the opinion of any one who has anything to say about this - good or bad (I won't even take offence if you flame me down) And finally thank you for reading through this drivel - A coherent writer I most seriously am not :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
forgive my very short reply, but I am about to be kicked out.
May I suggest you look up a roleplaying game called Mage the Ascension, by White Wolf. They are going to release a new version soon, but if you look up the concept of Spheres, and how their magic system works, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
The difficult part is to translate the beauty of this system to a computer game. _Very_ tricky (because essentially, it all depends on what the player wants, so how do you prevent the player from abusing the system, eh?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by ahw
May I suggest you look up a roleplaying game called Mage the Ascension, by White Wolf. They are going to release a new version soon, but if you look up the concept of Spheres, and how their magic system works, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


Ars Magica is infinitely superior to Mage the Ascension. [razz] The 4th edition rulebook is available for free on rpgnow.com. The 5th edition came out last December. [wink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Geeks[lol] The only real magic is Magic: the Gathering[grin]. Ok back on topic now. Have you every played Diablo 2 1.10+? I never got around to it, but from playing 1.09, I know that they started to work on a quite complex magic system in which everything was related. You might wanna look into how they did that. Also take a look into Arcanum for more magic ideas. YOu can mix and match a lot of stuff. I have the game, but never really played it. Then there's Baulder's Gate. In that one you have to 'learn' the spells from scrolls and such.

Now on to the question of customizing your spells. I think you really need to look into the game Warzone 2100. It is a militaristic RTS game that has the most intresting unit system I have ever seen. You basically 'build' your army from plans that you recover. That and you must research all the upgrades. However, you get to mix and match to your liking. For example, if you have 2 types of tires and 2 types of turets, you can have 4 different vehicles. Now that is over simplified, but in the game there are thousands of possiblilities from mixing and matching.

The way they balance it is that you can make a uber powerful unit, but it takes a lot of resources and a lot of time to build. For your spells, you should be able to get them quite powerful, but the side effects is that the cool down time is really high and the mana costs are also high. You can even have other spells cast as side effects as well, such as 'slow' or 'health leech' that is proportional to how powerful the spell is. However, these effects are neglibible until a spell reaches a certain power level. So anyone just using it will not be at a disadvantage, but anyone who want's to really abuse the power, will have to suffer some.

I'm sure there are lots of possibilities for you to consider. Those are just a few ideas of mine. I would like to see a mgic system similar to FF7 as well, having the magic you could attach to your weapons. That is a great idea in limiting what you are doing as well and it something else you should look into.

- Drew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A system of magic words/runes could be used to implement this idea.

What happens you take base words and add modifer words to them to create spells. Each school of magic would have a set of words and the more you study that school the more words you learn.


So you study elemental school with a fire displine and learn the first elemental fire word "FI" you also have level 1 in the forms of magic school so you know RA which is the throw magic. You also have level 1 in the school of augmentation so you can only have 1 modifer per word.

so you create your first spell by combing FI-RA and you get fire thow which lets you throw a fireball. Further study in augmention allows you to have two modifers per word and you also study life 1 which gives you growth "GR" so now you can creata a new spell

FI-RA-GR

which is creats a fireball that increase in size when you throw it.

you could also create
GR
|
FI-RA

which is fireball that becomes hotter when you throw it.


thow in some stats that determine and you have yourself a magic system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Fruny
Ars Magica is infinitely superior to Mage the Ascension.

Agreed ;¬) The spontaneous magic system is superior to any other game I've played - the way it's structured makes it easy to grasp, but it's open ended enough to allow real creativity. Shame it's a bit too open ended for a computer game, at least on the spontaneous side. The formulaic spells grouped by art and dependant on scores in arts could work though.

TechnoGoth: I wrote a system similar to what you describe for a live roleplay game. In that context, such a system works really well because it's easy for any player to know the basis phrases, but the mage characters can still be creative in designing (maybe even on the spot) spells that are combinations of those phrases. I also had the phrases build up into the spell vocals (erm, in LRPs people shout vocals to let people kow they are casting, in case that's not obvious) - so the vocal for a touch healing spell is "HeTo" (for heal-touch) or the vocal for a protection from fire spell could be "FirProDur" - protect-fire-duration.

It struck me while writing it that you could add conditional statements, and make spellcasting almost like programming ;¬)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LMAO :-D
Well, if we are gonna play geeks, I must admit that I am still very passionate about the magic system in a little game called Simulacres. Basically, each and every spell was a skill, just like any other skill, which had to be learnt on its own, practised, and improved. This made each spell a very personal thing, and also a big investment, but this also made each magician much more unique, IMO.
drew_benton : n00b [razz] How can you even call MtG a magic system...
it's like calling Diablo a roleplaying game. Oh the heresy! Burn the witch [flaming]

;-)

But seriously, it seems to me that the more interesting/free/powerful the magic system in a PnP RPG, the more impossible it becomes to convert to a computer version...
when I hear they couldn't even put all the Disciplines for Vampire Bloodines, for fear of breaking the game, I can only wonder at the scale of the challenge of implementing something like Mage the Ascension.

And yes I know of Ars Magica... I just never got around playing it, so I wouldn't dare to compare it to Mage. Especially given how much praise I have heard about it over the years. Shame on me, I know :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
as for that magic words/runes combination system: it's been done, and it rocks.

Look up Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld 2 and its great but unrecognized brother Arx Fatalis (the system in Arx Fatalis is particularly inspiring, and retains the spirit of the originals)

And yes, you gotta find the runes. You wind up treasuring each one you find, and you wind up testing all kinds of stuff with it. The Create rune is particularly useful =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't forget the other Ultima's, and their spoken rune/Reagent casting systems. Some games also use Deities or Spirits, which they invoke and use their powers (Final Fantasy's Materia, Secret Of Mana, etc). The only things that annoyed me about the Morrowind casting system was that you always had to buy any custom spells you made, you couldn't make them yourself. They were also never as good as the standard ones you purchased from vendors, not to mention organizing them was a pain in the ass. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!