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Are new spells needed?
Poll ended at Sat Sep 27, 2003 2:36 pm
Yes 44%  44%  [ 4 ]
No 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
Perhaps 33%  33%  [ 3 ]
What about old spells? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
What spells? 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 9
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:33 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:19 am
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Location: Florida
Heres one:

Mana discharge (Mana 30)
This spell releases a ball of mana(irresitible) radius (level/10)+2 centered on the player doing damage (level*10)+100 at the center. The player takes (level + 1dlevel) damage as a result of being in the middle of such a massive storm.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 3:26 pm 
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Reaper

Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:40 pm
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Location: sitting on a Chaffinch Egg
Conveyance: Teleport To (Just like the Master Q ability)
Divination: *Probing* (tells everything [xp, extra damage, ac, etc..] about an individual monster. Completely fills out the monster memory if this is a typical member of the species)
Divination: Detect Objects (one of my favorites in Angband is only available with scrolls in ToME)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 1:17 am 
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Higher

Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:55 am
Posts: 71
Location: Nebraska
Geomancy: Summon Vortex


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 6:22 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:37 am
Posts: 222
Some thoughts on the subject of new spells:

Utility spells are worthwhile. There are a lot of direct-damage and summon-monster spells. However, it's utility spells which give rise to some particularly creative and ingenious play. Consider Stone Prison, whose uses aren't immediately obvious -- or the recent post describing use of Elemental Wave to clear out obstructions. These spells let you manipulate your environment, not just fight monsters in it.

Tradeoffs make life interesting. If you cast Fire Golem, you can control the fire golem -- but someone could sneak up on your own body while you're doing it. If you become a Maia with Avatar, you (should -- from the code it seems you don't!) get the Maia race's big disadvantage too. Geomancy spells are powerful and flexible, but take extra effort to cast. Gods have piety conditions.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 12:57 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:38 pm
Posts: 1970
Location: GMT-8:00
True, but there's a limit to what utility spells you can add to most schools without duplicating geomancy. On the other hand, several schools lack damage dealers even though there are GF_FOOs that correspond to them.

As it stands all mages basically must use the fire school because there are no other top notch damage dealers for the late game. I would like to see more options for dealing damage than just fireflash. (manathrust has weaker damage against evil monsters which are most important) It might be sensible to give every school except divination some baseline attacks.

If 3.0.0 is stable enough to do modules for I may do a massive rewrite of the magic schools. IMO they need it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:11 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:37 am
Posts: 222
Atarlost wrote:
True, but there's a limit to what utility spells you can add to most schools without duplicating geomancy.

Sure, if by "schools" you mean "elemental schools". Not so true of the others.

There's more to utility spells than just creating obstacles. Globe of Light is a utility spell. :) Consider the Death Mold's ability to apport objects to itself. That's a utility spell that mages don't have access to at all. It's particularly useful to Death Molds because they can't move reliably -- but there are plenty of other times it would be handy for a normal mage.

Quote:
On the other hand, several schools lack damage dealers even though there are GF_FOOs that correspond to them.

If you need a few attacks of all those different attack types, pick up Thaumaturgy, not Geomancy. They won't be as powerful unless you dump some serious skilll points there, but you do get a broad range of attack elements -- including some that don't really make a lot of sense. I am baffled, for instance, by the idea of casting a circular wave of arrow. The visible image of a wave attack is a huge, slowly but inexorably advancing, tsunami or moving cloud of the appropriate element. It's understandable with water, or fire, or poison, or even gravity if you Star Trek it a bit. But arrow?

There is also a thematic question here, on the subject of utility vs. damage spells: Should most of what a mage (as opposed to thaumaturge or geomancer) studies be attacks? Really, when we think of the best example of a general mage in the source material -- our favorite Maia Mage in grey -- we see a character who fights heroically with a sword as well as by standing back and throwing fireballs. Gandalf uses magic for utility spells like lighting the end of his staff (Globe of Light -- an advanced version of which is good to entertain hobbits!) as well as to call down fire on the wargs.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:14 am 
Fubar Obfusco wrote:
There's more to utility spells than just creating obstacles. Globe of Light is a utility spell. :) Consider the Death Mold's ability to apport objects to itself. That's a utility spell that mages don't have access to at all. It's particularly useful to Death Molds because they can't move reliably -- but there are plenty of other times it would be handy for a normal mage.

The return spell gives this ability if cast on an object, I think. Unless there is a monster on top of the item it should work the same way as the DM's fetch spell.

Fubar Obfusco wrote:
If you need a few attacks of all those different attack types, pick up Thaumaturgy, not Geomancy. They won't be as powerful unless you dump some serious skilll points there, but you do get a broad range of attack elements ...

I think you should be able to use another element than fire (or mana) to attack even if you are normal mage. The difference between normal mages and thaumaturges is the unpredictability and variety of the spells you get, so thaumaturgy wouldn't be useless even if we were to add more normal attack spells (for instance chain lightning :D)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:46 am 
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Master of Eyal

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:26 pm
Posts: 10230
Location: Angolwen
The point is that a Mage(as opposed to a sorceror) cannot bring up all its schools to level 50.
So you must decide to focus, take some levels of an utility school, some here some there and get lots of points in one or two elemental schools(which are the only ones meant to have attacks).
Or spend some points in various schools and use a sword too as Gandalf does. Things like Ice Storm, even though they are not as powerfull as Fireflash or Manathrust really works neat if you go melee Ice Storm + Fire Shield should be quite of an help. Or armor of fear if you dont feel like being constantly surrounded. You can also add up things like Thudnerstorm and Poison Blood which I'm sure sorcerors tend to overlook. Or you could just take utility schools and do normal melee.

Well you get the idea, doing damage with spells is possible, but not the only way.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 12:03 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 7:18 pm
Posts: 2438
Location: California (or sometimes Erebor)
Essence of Speed, Thunderstorm, Ice Storm, Fiery Shield, Stone Skin, plus a weapon enhancer spell (Poison Blood, Water Bite from Yavanna, Demon Blade from a wand, or Divine Aim from Tulkas)!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:26 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:38 pm
Posts: 1970
Location: GMT-8:00
My problem is that there is that all mages must use the same schools. Between your necessary utility schools you suck up a lot of points, and to get top notch attacks you must invest in fire.

Only Fire and Mana have high end damage dealers. Fireflash beats Manathrust against evil and is a ball spell, so there's little question here. Some may argue that tidal wave should be in this category, but it works poorly against fast monsters.

Only Fire and Water have low mana attacks. GoL doubles as a utility spell. Vapour has duration. If spells like vapour worked out of LOS this comparison might go in its favor, but they don't.

Mana is certainly intended to be a damage dealer along with the elemental schools, but it remains that only one of the five damage dealing schools actually works for endgame use. (water requires your enemies to be close to you)

I would also claim that mages are not set up like melee charachters. There are too many schools required for a fighting mage to have much left for melee skills. Too many of the combat augmentation spells are in the same schools as the attack spells anyhow.
I intend to rewrite magic in a module, but I plan on waiting for 3.0.0 so I won't have to do it twice.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 2:43 am 
Not to mention the problem of coming up with a damage spell that wouldn't fall under an elemental heading almost by default... Lightning? Sonic? Air. Acid? Shards? Earth. Et cetera.

Nothing says they'd have to be put under a given heading, but it becomes a consistency thing. I don't want to say folks have painted themselves into a corner, but...

Well, honestly there are probably ways out. But still. :p

And as long as I'm here, another spell or two:

Synapse Spark (Mind 15)
Causes an electrical disruption in a target's brain, doing mild electrical damage and causing haste, but also with a high chance to cause sleep and/or confusion. Creatures with no mind suffer only a mild electric shock.
At level 10, can also Stun.
At level 15, does a matching amount of physical damage as the jolt makes the target's muscles seize. (mindless creatures included)
The idea here is that the sleep and confusion components could last longer than the haste effect, but they might not... an interesting risk, I think. Plus the idea of simultaneously confusing and hasting a monster is strangely amusing to me.

Information Overload (dual school Divination, Mind 25)
Slams a vision of the entire dungeon into the target's mind, all at once. Target takes a meager amount of damage for every creature on the level. Confusion resistance lowers damage, and Chaos resistance completely negates. Creatures without a mind are unaffected.
At level 5, the vision begins to extend into the future, bombarding the target's mind with the chaos of raw possibility. Confusion resistance no longer offers any protection, and Chaos resistance can only reduce the damage inflicted.
This one could work as though the target had cast Mass Genocide, taking damage for every creature noted on the level. Damage could start at 1d1 per creature and very, very slowly climb in die size. If cast upon yourself, could provide ESP briefly while inflicting the same damage noted.

I won't claim either of these spells are any good, but I hope they are at least food for thought...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:02 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:19 am
Posts: 210
Location: Florida
Pooka wrote:
I won't claim either of these spells are any good, but I hope they are at least food for thought...


I like em :D Always thought the mind school was kinda boring.....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:49 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:47 am
Posts: 245
any spell or spell effects that don't "just deal damage" alway make the game more interesting (though it could lead to game balance issue, do not use without medical advice)

the haste but confuse one is a good example of such a spell... I'd cast it in the middle of a group of ennemies to have them starting fighting each others, with a little help to the confused guy.

the second one is less clear to me... do you cast it on the monster or on yourself...

i.e is it an enlightment spell that deals damage to the player or a spell that provides hte monster IA a boost, but deals damage to the monster....

these "dals damage but" kind of spells are particularly interesting for thaumaturgists, which are naturally good at dealing damage, but could do with a little more utility spells.

Of course giving thaums these kind of spells is against the very spirit of thaumaturgy, but the whole art of thaum is in the smart use of side effect... view/light at low level is great for lighting the dugeon....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:47 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 5:07 am
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Location: In Mirkwood, spider hunting
Would it be possible to have an attack/spell that does no damage, but only has an impact effect?

Just thinking that the Air School could use a spell like that... no damage, unless you happen to be next to a wall when it's cast...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:50 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:37 am
Posts: 222
Ravenred wrote:
Would it be possible to have an attack/spell that does no damage, but only has an impact effect?

Check out Gust of Wind: http://www.t-o-m-e.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1888

Now, arguably it should always do at least some crushing damage if the enemy is caught up against a wall. The important part is a low-level spell that gives access to the "knocking foes back" effect -- at level 1, it can do only 1d2 damage. This spell makes being able to command the winds useful to those who would like to keep their enemies at a distance.

Better yet, here's a new writeup of it:

Gust of Wind (Air 1) Calls up a forceful wind which can blow your foes back several steps. If a monster is blown into a wall, it will take damage. There is a small chance it will be stunned, which increases with the spell level. Heavier monsters will be affected somewhat less than light ones.Items may also be caught up in the wind and blown; fragile ones may take damage if crushed against a wall.
At spell level 1, it affects one monster.
At spell level 6, it affects monsters and items in a line (like a beam spell).
At spell level 11, it has a ball effect. Monsters and items are blown away from the center of the ball. The size of the ball increases with higher spell levels.


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