Spell Effects
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Kelson



Joined: 18 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:48 pm    Post subject: Spell Effects Reply with quote

I thought it would be useful to broadly characterize all possible spell effects. This will be helpful in creating and implementing my magic system (still rather early in the design phase) and as a nice tool to look back on for ideas. Please feel free to critique and/or contribute - I'm sure there are a number I've missed.

Code:

Spell Effects
    Damage                 (All kinds - elemental,force,etc - 90% of most games spell list)
    Damage Over Time       (All kinds - poison/burning,etc  - the other 10%)
    Alteration             (Attributes, Skills, Effects, Spells, Hunger, Thirst, Age)
    Transport              (Move things to a location)
    Illusion               (Audio, Visual, etc)
    Conjure                (Create stuff)
    Divination             (Thanks Kjartan  - Intelligence Gathering)
    Intangible             (Thanks Shasarak - Merge with Walk on Water?)
    Immunity, Resistance,  Vulnerability, Deflection
    Deafened, Silenced,    Flying, Blind, Choking
    Unconscious, Restrained

    Change Weather         (Falls under alterations, but a local area effect)
    Walk On Water          (Shouldn't have its own category...but...)
    Time Control           (Time Stop, Haste, Slow)
    Mind Control           (To include telepathy)
    Polymorphing           (Alter race?)

Targets
    Self                   (The Caster or Casters)
    Other                  (Not Self, but singular)
    Group                  (Some set of individuals, could include caster)
    Area                   (Some real-space volume)

Duration
    Instant                (Ends nearly instantly - magic missile)
    Permanent              (Lasts forever - Permanancy spell)
    Conditional            (Lasts until some set of conditions are true happens)
    Time Limited           (Lasts until some time has passed

Range
   Touch                   (Obviously, the caster needs to touch the target)
   Line of Sight           (Modelled in a Diku-esque via "same room")
   Limited Distance        (Fairly obvious, spell has a range of x feet)
   Global                  (Target can be anywhere in the world)


Dispel Magic would be Alteration(Effect), removing all effects
Heal Other would be Damage(but negative)
Counterspells would be Alteration(Spell)
Invisibility would be Illusion(Visual)


Last edited by Kelson on Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:44 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Kjartan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where do information-gathering spells go? To take some D&D examples, stuff like 'wizard eye', 'find the path', and 'clairvoyance'.
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Kelson



Joined: 18 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mistake on that; I went looking through the PHB yesterday to make sure my list was at least reasonable and I kept running into those types of spells, figuring I would find a good, generalized label, but then plum forgot. Thanks, it has been added.
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Sandi



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summonation - raising the dead and dark ones.

(Waddaya mean, that's not a word?)

I think you left out prophecy - yeh yeh, the game's too random to predict things, but since I put in all those random elements, I can take them out if I need to, to make a prophecy happen. Look, it said you would die on Tuesday. You didn't log in. When you did log in, for some odd reason it said "Tuesday" for the date, but I swear that exploding pot pie was just a coincidence....
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cron0s



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along with types of targets, you might also want to consider range. For example same room, same zone, line of sight etc.
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levitation or Flight.

Assorted methods of becoming invisible and/or intangible, and counteractions to allow the caster to be detected anyway.

Healing.

Enchanting weapons or armour.

Defensive or Protective magic (could come under other headings, potentially).

Alchemy/Herblore (e.g. production of potions).

Remote Action (e.g. telekinesis).

Landscape Alteration.

Necromancy (stuff relating to death, e.g. animating the dead).

Pseudobiology (e.g. making flesh golems, growing unearthly creatures in tissue vats, constructing homunculi, or producing uruk-hai).

Animation (e.g. bringing statues to life).

Mind-reading.

Nature (e.g. making trees and thornbushes grow several feet in a matter of seconds).

Invocation of holy powers (e.g. turning the undead).
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The customised spell creation system I created a few years ago divided spells into only three categories - Damage, Affect, and Action. Action was also divided into Move, Mob and Object, where the latter two involved creation. There were also various other flags, and multiple spells could be linked together.

Give a sufficient number of Affect types, this would allow you to cover pretty much any spell I can think of. For example, my system allowed for scry-like spells which moved you to your target, looked, then moved you back. Equally a healing spell would be (like in your example) a reversed Damage spell, just as summoning would be a reversed Action Move spell.

Information gathering spells might be better handled as a separate category, but everything else would fit into the system I've outlined. For thematic reasons you'll likely want to break it up further, but from a pure design point of view I think it's probably better to keep the core system as simple as possible, then add the flavour later.
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Kelson wrote:

Code:

Duration
    Instant                (Ends nearly instantly - magic missile)
    Permanent              (Lasts forever - Permanancy spell)
    Conditional            (Lasts until some set of conditions are true happens)
    Time Limited           (Lasts until some time has passed



Duration
Concentrate (Lasts as long as the caster maintains it.)
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Kelson



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Tyche wrote:
Duration: Concentrate (Lasts as long as the caster maintains it.)


In the model above, that is handled as a conditional. As far as my uses of it, most spells are likely to be conditional based on caster concentration / maintenance. Maintenance would drain x energy every so often, if that energy doesn't exist then the spell ends. Concentration would require the caster not to leave a certain state or set of states; for example, must remain sitting.

While we're at it, another form of spell effect might be limited by being within a certain volume. For example, I cast area effect improved health regeneration; every player in the area gains the conditional spell improved health regeneration, the condition being they remain within the area.

Quotes from Shasarak:
> Levitation or Flight.
Flying

> Becoming invisible and/or intangible + detection spells
Illusions, Added, Divination

> Healing.
Reversed Damage

> Enchanting weapons or armour.
Permanent duration Alter(Attribute) ? (I know, could be any duration or a different effect)

> Defensive or Protective magic
Immunity / Resistance / Deflection

> Alchemy/Herblore
Conjure? And for the herbs, they just 'cast' the other effects

> Remote Action (e.g. telekinesis).
Transport(Object A to Location B)

> Landscape Alteration.
Kind of vague. Weather / Time are handled. Not sure what others to include. Things like quicksand could be handled as an area effect slow spell (it would be hard to model moving slow or dying though...hmm).

> Necromancy, Pseduobiology, Animation, Nature
Conjure / Alter(Effect(Dead) ==> Remove) / Damage Over Time(Poison)

> Mind-reading.
Mind Control / Divination

> Invocation of holy powers
Again, vague. Sounds similar to asking a God to cast something for you. Whereas others just cast it themselves; same end effects though? Turning undead would fall under Damage (if destroyed) or Mind Control (forced to flee / stay outside a radius).

KaVir wrote:
only three categories - Damage, Affect, and Action. Action was also divided into Move, Mob and Object, where the latter two involved creation. Give a sufficient number of Affect types, this would allow you to cover pretty much any spell I can think of.


I originally started off fairly similar, but then I realized that Damage was just an effect (essentially, Alter(Attribute(HP))) and that left me with Affect & Action, but an Action Alters the Attribute(Location). Of course, I don't actually have an Attribute(Location), but (to me at least) they all seemed to fall under Affects.

- Kelson
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Lindahl



Joined: 29 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Kelson wrote:
Immunity, Resistance, Vulnerability, Deflection


I'd call this protection. Vulnerabilities are inverse protection.


Kelson wrote:
Deafened, Silenced, Flying, Blind, Choking, Unconscious, Restrained


I would call flying and walking on water an alteration (properties of substance). However, I'd consider the rest as mind control - message inhibition or generation between brain and body part.

Kelson wrote:
Polymorphing


Agree with you, it's an alteration of race of physical makeup.

Kelson wrote:
Change Weather


I'd consider this conjuration not alteration. Dispel clouds, dispel sun, summon clouds, summon rain, etc.

Kelson wrote:
Time control


I'd consider this alteration of a speed attribute rather than time control.

Kelson wrote:
A counterspell would modify other spells, but I'm not sure how I would want to model it


I'd consider this mind control as well - interrupting the person's concentration. If you're talking about deflection - forcefully changing the target, then I'd consider it in the protection category.
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Kelson



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Lindahl wrote:
Kelson wrote:
Immunity, Resistance, Vulnerability, Deflection

I'd call this protection. Vulnerabilities are inverse protection.


And what about resistance? If I am protected from magic missiles, because they can't hurt me; I'm immune. If I am protected from magic missiles, because they do 50% less dmg, I am resistant to them.

Lindahl wrote:
I would call flying and walking on water an alteration (properties of substance). However, I'd consider the rest as mind control - message inhibition or generation between brain and body part.


This runs into the limitations of my implementation. Every effect falls under an affect. Damage affects hp, same with DoT. Illusions affect your sensory organs...etc. Unfortuantely, I'm not implementing real physics (or even an approximation by and large) in my world, so I had to make a special category for cases where altered attribute doesn't exist in my world (for example, no mass / weight to speak of - though I would consider implementing it; it would help with players picking each other up). Good points though


Lindahl wrote:
Kelson wrote:
Change Weather

I'd consider this conjuration not alteration. Dispel clouds, dispel sun, summon clouds, summon rain, etc.


I like to think of weather changes being more of a sliding scale type of issue. It makes sense for a mage to change the weather to stormy, but it isn't done by making a lot of clouds. This may require more thought though...perhaps conjure clouds + alter cloud attributes...

Lindahl wrote:
I'd consider this alteration of a speed attribute rather than time control.


The need for a subcategory comes with my plans for timestop (localized, of course) and several future seeing spells (the details of which are beyond the current discussion). Haste/slow fell under it as singular person being time slowed (where in my world it actually slows down everything to the player, rather than just slower movement).

Lindahl wrote:
Kelson wrote:
A counterspell would modify other spells, but I'm not sure how I would want to model it

I'd consider this mind control as well - interrupting the person's concentration. If you're talking about deflection - forcefully changing the target, then I'd consider it in the protection category.


Well, I'd like not to leave it in either category. Some counterspells will change the nature of the target spell - instead of a fireball flying out at the enemy mage, you shoot a ball of air at them. Or instead of firing the fireball at them, the ball explodes upon creation (engulfing the caster). Instead of a spell silencing the enemy mage, it magnifies his voice 100%. Things like that would be cool - I prefer to focus on non-damaging spells, but they're useful for examples.

Final example: Instead of enchanting a sword to make it a flame tongue (fiery sword), the spell enchants it to be hot to make the sword hilt burst into flames.

- Kelson
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shasarak



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Kelson wrote:
Quotes from Shasarak:
> Becoming invisible and/or intangible + detection spells
Illusions, Added, Divination

It may not be that simple. I've not played AD&D since the first edition, but even then there wasn't just a choice of "invisible", you could also be astral, ethereal, duo-dimensional, psionically invisible, or several other things.

Some of these are essentially illusion (invisibility). Psionic invisibility is a form of mind control (like The Shadow clouding your mind). Duo-dimensionality is a kind of alteration, but rather more profound than a change of shape - you become two dimensional, which means you are completely invisible if you turn sideways on (but take triple damage when hit).

There's also the question of camouflage - Predator-style. That could constitute illusion, but it could also be Alteration.

Being ethereal is a sort of transformation - it makes you intangible to conventional matter (so you can occupy the same space as another object). Depending on implementation you may or may not be invisible to normal creatures, and they may or may not be invisible to you. But it also makes you tangible to other ethereal entities which would normally not be able to harm you.

Being astral is slightly different again. There your body remains somewhere else (unconscious) and your mind is projected out some distance from it. The projection is almost invulnerable, but also unable to affect any material object. It remains attached to the body with a silver cord. If the projection is destroyed, the cord typically rewinds back to the body leaving you unhurt (although very powerful astral creatures might be able to snap the cord and kill you).

Being ethereal or astral is also the mechanism for travelling to other planes of existence.

In AD&D two or more planes of existence could occupy the same point in physical space, so the question of "moving" from one plane to another (or existing in both at once, in the way that a powerful undead creature does) is not as simple as "movement".

Quote:
> Remote Action (e.g. telekinesis).
Transport(Object A to Location B)

Telekinesis could do a lot more than that. Think, for example, about a guy firing an arrow at you. You could use telekinesis to move his arm so as to break his aim, or you could deflect the arrow in flight. The first, particularly, is not a relocation effect (and could be used in close combat).

Quote:
> Landscape Alteration.
Kind of vague. Weather / Time are handled. Not sure what others to include. Things like quicksand could be handled as an area effect slow spell (it would be hard to model moving slow or dying though...hmm).

Creation of quicksand or mud (or the reverse, mud to rock) is one possibility, but I was thinking bigger: opening craters, causing volcanoes to appear and erupt, earthquakes, flattening hills and raising up valleys....

Quote:
> Invocation of holy powers
Again, vague. Sounds similar to asking a God to cast something for you.

Pretty much, yeah. Smile But repelling a vampire with a crucifix involves this. Also you could think about some Peter Jackson-ified events in LOTR: Saruman invoking the wrath of Caradhras (the mountain) and Arwen invoking the spirit of the river at the Ford of Bruinen.

Maybe you need an "Invocation" category that is distinct from conjuring (creation of an object) or summoning (fetching of a material, albeit possibly supernatural, creature)?
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Kelson



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

shasarak wrote:
there wasn't just a choice of "invisible", you could also be astral, ethereal, duo-dimensional, psionically invisible, or several other things


Astral and Ethereal are really setting-dependent (not all settings have other planes of existance). That being said, I feel all these types of invisibility are covered. There is invisible so you don't appear to exist, illusion. Invisible to particular players because they mentally can't see you, mind control. Astral / Ethereal are covered by planar properties (Alter(Attrbutes=Plane)) or (Transport(NewPlane)). Diku-derivs typically handle being Astral/Ethereal as an effect that is essentially incorporeal (intangible), perhaps with a couple other effects. In my game, the equivalents are actual alternate planes/zones; the rooms are linked to the 'prime material plane'. So beings in the 'Astral' plane aren't seen normally by those in the 'Prime Material' plane; simply because they aren't in the room.

Not sure how I would want to handle duo-dimensionality; my game doesn't use a true physics system (or even an attempted approximation), nor is it graphical. That makes something like this difficult to describe in a meaningful way to the players. I'll keep thinking about it.

shasarak wrote:
Stuff about AD&D Planes of Existance


As described above, being in the Astral / Ethereal plane is not an 'effect'. The game sees you as actually being in a different location, thus while the player might THINK they're in the same room as someone in the Prime Material Plane, this isn't quite true. The resulting 'effects' are implied.

shasarak wrote:
>Transport(Object A to Location B)
Telekinesis could do a lot more than that. Think, for example, about a guy firing an arrow at you. You could use telekinesis to move his arm so as to break his aim, or you could deflect the arrow in flight. The first, particularly, is not a relocation effect (and could be used in close combat).


Isn't moving your arm back transporting it from the initial position backwards? Deflecting the arrow consists of transporting it perpindicular to its motion.

shasarak wrote:
Creation of quicksand or mud (or the reverse, mud to rock) is one possibility, but I was thinking bigger: opening craters, causing volcanoes to appear and erupt, earthquakes, flattening hills and raising up valleys....


Conjure mountains, earthquakes. Alter Hill Height?

shasarak wrote:
Pretty much, yeah. Smile But repelling a vampire with a crucifix involves this. Also you could think about some Peter Jackson-ified events in LOTR: Saruman invoking the wrath of Caradhras (the mountain) and Arwen invoking the spirit of the river at the Ford of Bruinen.


Turning undead is either damage (destroying the target(s)) or mind control (making them move away). The same works with a crucifix, the result is a mind control effect on the vampire that forces it to keep its distance or take damage (conditional spells, yay).
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Spazmatic



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:53 pm    Post subject: Devil's Advocate Reply with quote

I think you've got all the traditional spells covered. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the "traditional" game-type spells miss out on much of the excitement, intrigue, and complexity of story-type spells.

To contrast this, consider the complexity of the elven magic that protects Rivendell versus "c 'sanct' me". One spins around consequences, deep effects, chained effects, the other... is simple.

So, consider - maybe I would like to cast a spell to cause the entire region to be cursed with death...? Farmer's crop fail, the plants wither, Chuck and LadyChuck can't make no BabyChuck, etc. It's a curse, but not an attribute-curse... would this go under alteration? What if I want to curse someone Ella Enchanted style?

Okay, so let's get more subtle and confusing. What if my goal is to alter an illusion? Is that alteration or illusion? What if I want to change the result of a divination? Alteration? Illusion? Counterspell?

What if I'm an evil, soul-sucking demon-humping rock star of a warlock, and I want to steal some stiff's soul so I can bring my beloved Frankenmom back to life? I'm not sure I can find the spell type for that - do souls have substance, are they illusions?

Does turning a page in a book count as transportation or alteration?

Alteration may be carrying a bit too much weight. After all, everything from cutting down trees with magical chainsaws to making flowers grow to cursing someone's attributes to causing an aching for chocolate to curing cancer to the Fountain of Youth seems to fall under there - that's a lot of altering.

Anyways, I realize no system can really handle everything, but hopefully by bringing up these bizarre (maybe) exceptions, you'll end up with a better system in the long run. Smile
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Lindahl



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Spell Effects Reply with quote

Kelson wrote:
Lindahl wrote:
Kelson wrote:
Immunity, Resistance, Vulnerability, Deflection

I'd call this protection. Vulnerabilities are inverse protection.


And what about resistance? If I am protected from magic missiles, because they can't hurt me; I'm immune. If I am protected from magic missiles, because they do 50% less dmg, I am resistant to them.


Protection does not have the same meaning as immunity. Resistance is protection too - albeit not as effective as immunity.
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