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Zanshibumi

Spellcasting mechanics (finally)

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I'll explain the magic system I'm building. Maybe some of you have ideas I could use. The part I feel could use the most improvement is the weaving itself, the building of the patterns with the spheres (it could be a less simple). Especially if anyone finds a way of doing this with actual threads instead of spheres. But any kind of help or advice is appreciated. ----------------------------------- You basically weave magic using eight elements: - Thread Meaning: The basis of all magic. Your training as a spell weaver started by teaching you to extract Thread from the reality around you and weave it in new patterns. When you weave thread in another element's pattern you create pure magic of this element. For example, if you weave a square of Thread, you build Earth. Pattern: Thread's pattern is a triangle and it's behavior is stable. A spell weaved in Thread's pattern creates a source of that same element. Behavior: Stable. Sample spell: Earth weaved in Thread casts "Earth power source". - Earth Meaning: Solid matter, the ground that supports everything. Earth weaves into solid, resistant spells. Pattern: Earth's pattern is a square. It builds walls of the used element. Behavior: Attracting. Earth magic spheres attract other magic stronger than usual. Sample Spell: Life weaved in Earth casts "Living Wall". - Fire Meaning: Fire, destruction, pain and the renovation of all things. Fire weaves into damaging, unstable spells. Pattern: Fire's pattern is a three pointed centered star "Y". It builds attacking spells. Behavior: Fire magic spheres destroy any other sphere they get too close to (touch). Sample Spell: Time weaved in Fire casts "Decrepitude". - Air Meaning: Air, space, etherealness, lightning. Air weaves into subtle, hard to stop, spells. Pattern: Air's pattern is a centered "X". It builds magic defenses. Behavior: Pushing. Air magic spheres repel other magic stronger than usual. Sample Spell: Water weaved in Air casts "Water shield". - Water Meaning: Water, liquids, cold. Water weaves into spells with different paths and uses. Pattern: Water's pattern is a 5 point zigzag "W". It builds buffing spells. Behavior: Waving. Water magic spheres' attraction/repusion intensity slowly varies with time. Sample Spell: Death weaved in Water casts "Undead knight". - Life: Meaning: All that is alive, mutation, evolution. Life weaves into mutating, complex spells. Pattern: Life's pattern is a five point star. It builds summoning spells. Behavior: Mitosis. Life magic spheres sometimes become two of the same kind. Sample Spell: Fire weaved in Life casts "Summon Fire Elemental". - Time: Meaning: Just time, the distance between two points in different moments. Time weaves into spells with a shorter or longer lifespan than usual. Pattern: Time's pattern is a circle. It builds spells that cast the basic element effect but with altered time characteristics. Behavior: Shifting. Time magic spheres sometimes jump to a slightly past or future position. Sample Spell: Life weaved in Time casts "Speed Daemon". - Death: Meaning: Death, the undead, ends. Death weaves into deathless or deadly spells. Pattern: Death's pattern is two angles one inside the other "<<". It builds spells that destroy the opponent's walls, creatures, magic, ... Behavior: Immobility. Death magic spheres aren't affected by the rest of spheres. Sample Spell: Earth weaved in Death casts "Destroy Wall". --------------------------------- Well, the casting is like this: You start with a small amount of Thread and also generate more Thread by yourself. Let's imagine you start by weaving Thread into a Thread pattern, to create a Thread generator, to augment your Thread generation speed. You pick three Thread spheres from your magic pool and put them in your canvas. As the spheres enter, they start interacting with each other. The function is ((-3*cos(3*x)) / x) Where x is the distance between two spheres. This makes the spheres keep stable at different distances (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, etc...). The player then drags those spheres to try to make them keep stable forming an element pattern. In this case, the player moves the spheres to build a triangle. When they stabilize (low speed, correct pattern) the player can hit a key to accept the pattern and weave the spell. In this case he'd have a "Thread source" spell. As the spell is weaved it becomes a sphere, just like an element. So it could be used to weave another spell. -------------------------------------- The basic spells are: - Thread woven in Thread: Smallest spell, a simple triangle of Thread spheres to weave "Tread source". - Other element weaved in Thread: "X source" where X is the Element used. - Thread weaved in other element: Element magic. This is the initial source of elements. -------------------------------------- Some spells don't follow this rules at all. - Three "Thread source" spells woven in Thread: "Thread generator" - Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Life woven in Life: "Summon Elemental Maelstrom" - A "Slow" spell woven with Time spheres in an infinite symbol: "Time Stop". - etc... -------------------------------------- And that's all. Any ideas are welcome. [Edited by - Zanshibumi on May 23, 2007 2:21:51 AM]

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Very interesting system Zanshibumi. Does your system figure out the effects from some sort of rules, or would each spell have to be preprogrammed? It seems to me to be the latter, and thus kind of artificial. There is nothing wrong with that.

It looks like your system would work really well for a strategy game.

The spellcasting system that I have been working on is more like a programming language expressed as a non-commutative algebra. Where each spell is like a linear operator, and you can make new spells off of other ones.

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Quote:
Original post by Platinum314
Very interesting system Zanshibumi. Does your system figure out the effects from some sort of rules, or would each spell have to be preprogrammed? It seems to me to be the latter, and thus kind of artificial. There is nothing wrong with that.

I've tried mathematical spell systems in the past. I've never managed to make them both beautiful and balanced. It's close to impossible to build an automatic system that takes into account the usefulness of many effects. You can simplify or limit the effects to allow the balancing, but you end up with an overly simple system.

Generating a simple number with some sub-effects works for damage spells. You've got the 5d6 fireball, the 6d6 fb, the 6d6 delayed fb, etc...
However, with summons, for example, if you don't clearly differentiate between different creatures, they lose all individuality. Having a Dragon, a fire elemental and a goblin is better than having a big creature with 1000 hp, a medium creature with 100 hp and a small creature with 10hp.


For me the solution is thinking about those relations between spells but then detailing them one by one. For example, I'll have a way of calculating how much damage should an attack spell do because of it's cost (each sphere of Fire costs 4 Thread, water 5).
However, I wouldn't allow a simple water spell to deal more raw damage than fire, for flavor, so I'll add other strengths to it which balance the cost and damage. And I won't feel the need to modify my damage/price calculations, I'll just use it as a guideline.

It's the system D&D was supposed to follow. Wizard pure damaging spells deal 1d6/lvl, cleric's 1d4/lvl. Any damage spell with extra effects would have to deal less damage. However those where just guidelines. (they later broke the system, but that's outside the point).

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Ok, with some help from TheAdmiral I've got the spheres moving gracefully to their positions in the patterns. Some are easier (triangle, square, pentagon and circle) some are a bit too hard and need polish (the 'Y' and the 'W').

The player presses 1, then clicks in a position, presses, clicks, etc... The Spheres move around a bit, reaching a position of equilibrium and the player drags some sphere not correctly placed until the shape is done.

However, TechnoGoth made me think I should do something in the visual part. I need a visual representation of the spells being weaved. Spheres moving around could maybe work with a bit of light trails and a bit of movement. But I think it's too simple.

What if those points where actually expansions in a pattern? You know, like the classical representations of gravity in space.

What if instead of points they where the tips of threads? You drag the threads from outside the canvas and they interweave into the patterns. ... In some way.

What if, ... Ok I severely lack creativity.

[Edited by - Zanshibumi on May 24, 2007 3:19:28 AM]

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