Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
d33ts

Magic system for an action RPG

This topic is 3323 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

This is an idea (not exactly original - I seem to recall something similar being used in the book Eragon) for the way magic could work within an action RPG in which there would probably be no levels, maybe skills though. Combat would be heavily player skill based, and similar to something like Age of Chivalry mixed with Mount and Blade. The way magic would work is: You learn more spells as you improve your magical ability, probably just through a magic skill which may be split into different types of magic similar to Oblivion. But instead of having a mana pool like other games, each time you cast a spell, a chunk of your health will be taken away, proportional to how good the spell is. Therefore casting spells carries with it the risk of accidentally killing yourself by using a spell you're not ready or healthy enough to use. Also, you wouldn't know exactly how much damage to your character the spell will cause, just a general idea based on how good of a spell it is. This system seems like it would enable some incredibly powerful spells to be used, but at the same time to keep the game balanced by adding in risk. For example, someone could completely annihilate another character using a strong spell, but then they would be completely vulnerable to the next person to come along (the damage would be visible in some way). See my earlier post about a completely open ended MMO to see the setting this system would ideally be applied to, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
It's not a bad form of doing things, but the usual problem with this concept is that in most systems magic wielding character's are already on the low end of the health and physical damage spectrum.

The better way of doing something of this form is to allow a resistance against the drain of the spell.
If the spell is too large for you to resist the drain of, then your health is taxed; otherwise, you were able to cast at no loss to your health.

Drain over time can be designed to increase in difficulty mildly with immediate repetition of the same family of spells, but if this is applied you have to be careful to make sure that the increase is not out of proportion to the average combat time itself. You don't want to leave magic wielder's left for dead because it's impossible to cast.

But yes, this concept has surfaced in many forms over the years.
The earliest form I can think of is circa the late 1980's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's a great idea!

Like Kemp said though, they are already pretty low on the spectrum of health and damage mitigation.
Also, many players could just cheat the system by casting the most devastating spell, killing opponent, then taking potions and moving on. Combat would be extremely simple.

But yeah, that could be worked in nicely.
PS: Eragon is a good place to be reading about fantasy :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JasRonq
What happens when you cast a hugely powerful heal spell?


Zombie mode, I guess.

But yeah, the main problem there is that barbarians wind up being able to cast the most magic, since they've got all the HP.

How about if your INT and WIS attribute modify the % of health you lose when you cast? So a big dumb guy with 5000 HP casting a simple Detect Evil spell will lose 2000 HP when he does it, but a weedy little mage with 1000 HP will only lose 10 to the spell, and could cast a lightning bolt, which would kill the brute for trying it, for just 50 HP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really like this idea. In response to JasRonq my suggestion would be, just don't have heal spells. And there is no guideline that says magic users must have lower health points. It is just kind of an assumed thing in so many games, I guess because the stereotypical concept of someone that is into magic reads books all day and is fragile because of it? If in your world magic users are taxed in terms of health whenever you use magic then it makes sense to me that magic users would be as physically strong if not more so than the normal person.

My idea immediately went to introducing fatigue, where as you cast spells its weakens you (maybe movement/attack speed, hp/regen, physically aging the character??, whatever fits for your game), and after a certain level of fatigue it starts draining your health. Kinda sounds like a mana bar is being replaced with a fatigue bar, but just an idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this kind of system sounds good on paper but it probably won't be good in practice. This is because the player can die through a random event (that the spell they try to cast drains them too much due to a high random roll). IF you had a set amount of life drained for a given spell level, but the player had to use their own skill to set the spell level.

As an example imagine a bar with a slider moving up and down it. If the slider is at the bottom of the bar, then the spell will be weak, and so will the amount of health drained from the character. However, if the slider is at the top of the bar then the spell will be powerful, but so will the drain to the character's health.

The player presses a button to stop the slider and determine the power of the spell and hence the drain they receive.

At first the speed that the bar moves up and down will be fast, but if the player leaves it for a while then it will slow down some what. This means that a player trying to get a spell off quickly runs a greater risk of mucking up the timing and getting the wrong power level of the spell (it might be too weak, or it might give them too much drain than they can handle). But, as the rate of movement slows down over time, if the player take their time they have a better chance of getting the desired level of spell they want.

In an action game, this gives the player a gameplay choice as to the risk vs skill they want to take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure a setup like this would have a positive impact on the flow of combat. It favors just opening up with the big guns and getting the fight over asap, because if you start off small and get in trouble, your health will be too low to resort to the big guns without it killing you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heal spells could cause your maximum health points to go down every time you use it. To restore those lost points you'd have to go to a special location (like a cleric or an inn).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or maybe you could set it up so that spells use mana, and once the mana is gone spells start to leech off your hit points at a specific conversion, say each HP is worth 3 mana, or something. Then you can pause in your spellcasting, let your mana recharge, and use it to heal yourself.

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!