Thought I would talk about spell sytem. First up is acquisition and power.
Since my early days of playing RPGs (tabletop and electronic), I have played a magic user of some type. So, when it came time to work on the magic system
of The Eye of Baal, there are many systems to draw inspiration. I like aquisition of spells by finding or purchasing spellbooks vs. automatically knowing
your next set of spells when you level. So, you will need to purchase or find spellbooks during your adventures. Each spellbook represents the very basics
of that spell. As long as you have the appropriate magic skill, you will be able to learn that spell. Originally, I was going to have a check against an
Arcane Language or learning skill to see if the character could learn the spell with consumtion of the spellbook once read. But, I decided that was a
little be to "hard core" for most gamers these days - even the old timers like myself. Thus, you can learn it as long as you have the appropriate skill.
One system of a spells power increase was Everquest's. The next level of the spell became available as you leveled. I liked this from a "what do I want to do today" type of play.
I started down this path originally when I remembered what happens in the later part of the character's life. In the end, it seemed 90% of your spellbook was worthless (though I understood why it was setup).
I liked Might and Magic's system where a spell became more powerful as you increased your knowledge of a magic skill. This path made it more about the character's knowledge vs. how many monsters were bashed
upside their head.
So,I settled on the following:
A spell has a total of 4 ranks. Rank 1 is the base level of the spell.
A spell's base power increases as you increase the character's knowledge of the skill (Novice, Expert, Master) and your skill rank.
There are tomes in the world which can change the spell. Either its power or some of the mechanics of the spell. These tomes can be found in dungeons, shops, and as loot.
The tomes are ranked II, III, IV (I know, not very original). A II ranked tome can be used by novices, III by experts, and IV by masters. Of course, the higher skill can apply
the lower level tomes. Master in Fire Magic can use Firball II on their fireball spell if they have not done so before.
Let's look at a quick example:
- Fireball I (base) spell.
It does 1d4 +1/skill rank fire damage to a single target.
- Fireball IV (used Firball IV tome)
It does 3d6+1 +1/skill rank fire damage to a single target.
- Some spells reduce their mana cost with each rank increase.
Some spells go from a single target to group target.
Some increase the duration of their effects with each rank.
I think this makes spell acquisition easy; but, provides the player a goal of increasing their spell's power. The IV tier tomes are not found in shops.
They will be results of quests, dungeon crawling, and loot drops (I'm thinking EQ style loot drops).
Casting a spell is similar to the melee combat system.
The chance of casting a spell is based on a percentage "TO CAST" roll.
This formula involves the Mind and Perception stats of the target; and, the Mind and Dexterity stats of the caster. Again, I tried to make stats important to both parties involved.
Failing a to cast roll results in a "fizzle" of the spell. So, your cleric may fail to cast that much needed healing spell on your warrior at the worst possible time. I know; I have had it happen
to me more than once during testing. Some may not like this; I find it a nice way to add chaos to a battle.
The caster's magic skill for the spell in use comes into play as well.
Back to that healing spell.
A cleric with high rank and leveled Healing Magic will almost always succeed. There is always a small percentage chance of failure.
So, increasing the cleric's knowledge (Novice, Expert, Master) and their adeptness (skill rank) in Healing Magic becomes important in preventing fizzles. I'll discuss skills in another post.
Just like melee combat, resists affect how a spell effect applies to the target. If casting a fireball on a monster immuned to fire damage, it doesn't matter how advanced the character's fire magic
is; the monster will not be affected by the fireball. On the other hand, if that monster is weak to fire based damage, that fireball could do double or triple damage.
Well, I hope that gives you something to think about. I appreciate the comments. And, enjoying the discussion.