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darkpegasus

Debilitating Magic

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I originally wanted a mechanic that facilitated magic as a crippling 'disease'. The more you used it, the faster it wore out your body. Now it's time to implement this and I see three options: 1. Don't do it because who wants a powerful mage that's knocking on death's door? 2. Gradually reduce the character's total health over the course of leveling up based on how many/severity of spells cast 3. Gradually reduce the character's total health over the course of a game based on how many/severity of spells cast Any thoughts?

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3. This would also test how the good the player is, as well as the game getting harder the player gets more handicapped as they go along, it just adds to the challenge of the game.

You could do it so the player has only a certain number of so many spells forcing them to think before firing off to many fireballs, this ads strategy, also I think it takes away from the kill that fool element and adds to the stay alive element.

Hope that helps and opens up a few more options for you.

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How about...

4. Have a gauge similar to mana in the game that gets used up as you cast spells. The difference will be this gauge fills up over time (a long period of time) and no mana potion is allowed.


This gauge affects everything related to the character, how fast he moves, how quick he heals, damage dealt, stats, etc.

Using spells are possible and players won't feel they are forced not to use spells. Magic usage will be available but limited and players must decide whether the trade off for casting spells is worth it.

Players will also consider using less powerful spells in situations that does not require it. For example, players will always cast the most powerful spell in their arsenal, casting a lvl 10 Fireball to kill everything from Imps to Demons. Now they may use that lvl 5 Firebolt on the Imp instead, if the Imp is worth the trouble of casting a spell on it.

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Nice idea. Here are my thoughts and some variations, depending on how complicated you want it:

1. Controlled shifts of sickness
Make the wear-out a little more specific and set up a couple of things that can hit you the moment you cast a spell. For example, upon casting a powerful spell, the character loses his balancing sense for a moment and his sight rocks from one side to the other permanently, making it hard to aim or move in a straight line (practical implementation: Put a sinus curve over the player heading). Or upon casting an energy spell, reverse the colors of the view, so that everything dark is light and vice versa. Or, upon casting some lightning thing, lower the contrast so bad the player can hardly see. Chasing away power gamers: Give the player a time delay of a second or so until his actions are performed. All those effects can fade out over time or, under grave circumstances, need to be explicitly cured.

2. Magic as a drug
You HAVE to cast in order to stay sane. And it needs to be destructive. If you don't disintegrate someone every other day, your view becomes shaky, you bleed health, you all of a sudden cast some crap without intending it. You start to see spectral creatures that attack you and drain conscience until you break down and have to rest or cast a heal, which makes it even worse ...

Damn, another one of those sick ideas that if one starts thinking about ...

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What I've done is implement a mechanic that prevents either health or magic energy from being very high. You overrun your energy, it costs twice as much in health. So trying to cast spells when drained is very dangerous. i.e. a character with 22hp won't have more hp coming for the most part. So casting a spell dry may easily cost him half of his strength. This is a very fatal system, so it makes over-casting a dangerous thing to to say the least.

*EDIT*

Alternately, you could simply have a Stamina stat, and use that for casting as well as everything else. Rapid depletion could cause permanent "CON' (or whatever your equivalent stat is) damage, resulting a character growing weaker and weaker if he tries to cast truly powerful stuff, or cast too much too often. More gradual in it's effect, and doesn't penalize the low-end spells so much; the stuff that in the long run won't matter so much, but might come in handy.

[Edited by - domhnall4h on January 14, 2008 9:57:54 PM]

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That's a very interesting idea, darkpegasus. ^_^

I am a little concerned about the degree to which it might penalise the player, which might reduce the player's enjoyment of the game.

However, used reasonably, it could also be a rather cool addition to a spell-casting experience.

What about leaving "Constitution" (or, as domhnall4h says, a reasonably equivalent statistic) static over time (as opposed to allowing it to increase, thus leaving the player relatively weak against later troubles, especially in contrast to character types that gain Constitution over time or levels, but without explicitly penalising spellcasters). One might then also inflict a health (or perhaps maximum health in the cases of more powerful spells) cost on the use of spells.

An idea that I had at one stage was of having both a willpower and a health stat. Willpower is the (renewable) resource consumed by magic, but is also a form of "armour" - high Willpower allows the character to "shrug off" damage more easily, represented by less Health being lost. Conversely, Health acts as a form of "armour" for Willpower - a well-healed and -rested character requires less strain to cast spells, effectively.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sleep
2. Magic as a drug
You HAVE to cast in order to stay sane. And it needs to be destructive. If you don't disintegrate someone every other day, your view becomes shaky, you bleed health, you all of a sudden cast some crap without intending it. You start to see spectral creatures that attack you and drain conscience until you break down and have to rest or cast a heal, which makes it even worse ...


I love that idea! That, I think, could be an incredible gameplay element. ^_^

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In the game there are 2 primary attributes that are relevant here, magic and constituition (health). Maybe spells have a level and once there is a large enough difference between your magic skill level and the spell's level it's no longer dangerous (i.e. it's like riding a bicycle, no more effort required). But for those that aren't mastered there may be a health penalty during the game (essentially helping kill off your own character - akin to black spells in Magic:The Gathering). To offset this, maybe 1 Magic point from your primary attributes could equate to 5 health points. So strategy comes into play because by expending magic points, you become more vulnerable to penalties due to reduced magic skill as described above.

My game is a turn-based strategy, so some of the ideas presented don't apply but they are still very good.

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Quote:
I originally wanted a mechanic that facilitated magic as a crippling 'disease'. The more you used it, the faster it wore out your body. Now it's time to implement this and I see three options:

1. Don't do it because who wants a powerful mage that's knocking on death's door?


You know, if the magic was powerful enough a mage's services could be seen as a patriotic duty that is an honour to fufill. The whole self-sacrificing warrior thing. If you have a turn-based stratagy game then wouldn't each unit or character be relatively disposable anyways? Or are you planning some character development or something to discourage that way of thinking?

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Quote:
Original post by kseh
Quote:
I originally wanted a mechanic that facilitated magic as a crippling 'disease'. The more you used it, the faster it wore out your body. Now it's time to implement this and I see three options:

1. Don't do it because who wants a powerful mage that's knocking on death's door?


You know, if the magic was powerful enough a mage's services could be seen as a patriotic duty that is an honour to fufill. The whole self-sacrificing warrior thing. If you have a turn-based stratagy game then wouldn't each unit or character be relatively disposable anyways? Or are you planning some character development or something to discourage that way of thinking?


The character I was referring to in this case is your avatar, so you really aren't that dispensable [grin]. And somehow I can't see too many people basking in the enjoyment of losing over and over because of their patrotic duty to the kingdom. But that could make for some interesting game mechanics in another game where mages sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

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Quote:
Original post by Thaumaturge
Quote:
Originally posted by Sleep
2. Magic as a drug
You HAVE to cast in order to stay sane. And it needs to be destructive. If you don't disintegrate someone every other day, your view becomes shaky, you bleed health, you all of a sudden cast some crap without intending it. You start to see spectral creatures that attack you and drain conscience until you break down and have to rest or cast a heal, which makes it even worse ...


I love that idea! That, I think, could be an incredible gameplay element. ^_^


That is a beautiful idea - force the player to either cast destructive spells that may bring down the local law/act as a beacon to enemies, or else suffer serious gameplay consequences.

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