Magic system revamp opinions?

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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:07 pm

Hi folks,

I've been thinking about the basic behind the scenes mechanics of the NWN spells (and some spellcasting items such as scrolls and wands), and eventually revamping basically all the spell scripts in the game (consolidating them into fewer scripts, streamlining them, adding in the ability for me to more easily make general spell edits, enabling me to more closely control all aspects of spell scribing with fewer resources, etc.).

My basic plan is to consolidate all the spell scripts into about 10-15 scripts (cutting down on module resource numbers). This would be the first step of the process in building a new spell system from (almost) scratch.

What would this mean for players? Not a whole lot, right away.

Further development down the road for a custom spellcasting system I have in mind (with changes to spellcasters to go with it). I'm still pondering the exact mechanics of how this one would work, but it involves changing to a "spell energy" system instead of spell slots. The hard part is figuring out how to get it to work with the game gui (since the radial menu is dang handy, but I can't alter it).

The ability to assign caster level when scribing scrolls...and the loss of the ability to stack scrolls, since I would not be making 40 copies of every spell scroll in the toolset with different tags and resrefs, instead using variables assigned to the scrolls during creation. This would make having scroll cases more important.

Lots floating around in my head about this right now, so I thought I'd ask folks their opinions. Specific comments are welcome, as are suggestions for this. It won't happen for quite a while (another of my "long range" projects), but I'll have down what I want to do when I get more dedicated time to work.

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Post by daveyeisley on Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:41 pm

Well, without spell slots.... I am wondering what the difference would be between memorizing casters and spontaneous casters.... other than perhaps the amount of spells they can learn...
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:02 pm

The one concern I'd have is the loss of the radial casting. There's not enough quickslots as is, and I use the numpad on the keyboard heavily for radial casting.

The memorized caster vs spontaneous I'm curious about as well. Sorcs have "spell slots", but those slots work as casts per day, or a type of spell energy already (although limited to spell energy per level). If wizards are able to emulate that, it could nerf the point of sorcerers, who give up number of spells known for that flexibility in how they cast their spell slots.
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Post by evilkittenofdoom on Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:35 pm

So this energy system... is something like mana? Because if that's the case, then wizards and sorcerers could still have the same difference. Sorcerers get more base mana than wizards for the lack of variety in their spells.

To me, mana is an all purpose energy that functions as the battery of all magic, from the lowest light spell all the way up to wail of the banshee. It's just how much mana that powers the spell that changes. How magic actually "works" in Aenea, I don't know, but this is always how I saw it.

A more specific, rough and completely spontaneously created system for calclating base mana would be something like
(Warning, it's in algebraic form, so those who hate algebra need not hurt their brains trying to figure it out. Not too complex here, but still, I'll give a little warning Very Happy )
Spoiler:
[(Casterlevel) x (Y)] + [(casting stat modifier) x 2.5] = mana total per rest.

Where Y = 5 for sorcerers, 4 for wizards/clerics/druid and 3 for bards/paladins/rangers

Crude, but something that might work. I didn't test out any of the specifics as to how it would hold up at each level. As I said, it was completely spontaneous. Hopefully that might help spark some other ideas here too if it isn't doable/useful/what you had in mind.

Personally, I don't like the radial menu except in a very few select instances (usually when I need to find a random spell that's rarely used) so that's not too much of a loss for me, however I can see it being a large problem for others, as MannyJabrielle mentioned.

I am very interested in finding scrolls that will retain caster level. That would make the scribe scroll feat more useful than it already is, and it's pretty dang handy. I'm also interested in seeing how it wil work, because I've never seen such a thing implemented before. If anyone can do it, it'll definitely be The Amethyst Dragon.


Last edited by evilkittenofdoom on Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:39 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : If you havent figured it out by now, yes... I do use algebra on a regular basis.... and my friends/parents thought I'd never use it again.. lol)
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:49 pm

There would be a significant change if it was a "mana" like system, and wizards could choose which spell to cast at a whim.

The difference isn't in casts per day (which is actually a very poor difference of only 2 casts per spell level difference), the difference is, wizards can have every single spell, but have to choose which ones to prepare. Sorcs get spontaneous casting for the very limited spell list (or to be a bit more clear on this difference... sorcs can only know less than a quarter of the spells a wizard can, and that's just counting the default nwn spells, not including the custom ones on aenea which widens the spells known gap even further).
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Post by evilkittenofdoom on Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:57 pm

Maybe they could "assign" mana to each spell before resting? But that just puts us back to where we are now...

hrmm... that does pose an interesting problem, doesn't it....

Now why didn't this problem occur to me, even though I READ all of the previous posts.... *sigh* ok... time for bed... my brain doesnt like to work without sleep...
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:27 am

Keep in mind that my idea for changing to "semi-unslotted" is not fully fleshed out, nor even mechanically 5% figured out...

So far, the thoughts go something like this:

Divine Casters (clerics/druids/rangers/paladins/blackguards/etc.): Before sleeping, casters "pray for inspiration" for certain spells (aka, pick their "available spell list" for the next day via some sort of menu). After sleeping, casters wake with the list of spells available and a full supply of magical energy to power those spells. Spells are then spontaneously cast, with higher level spells using up more of the available spell energy.

Arcane Casters (bards/sorcerers/wizards): Similar to divine casters, they would pick a spell list for the next day from what they have available (bards and sorcerers use from their normal lists, wizards pick from their spellbook to create a shorter list). Arcane casters then use up magical energy to power their spells which are spontaneously cast from their picked list. Sorcerers would have more magical energy than wizards to make up for the lack of the ability to expand their spell lists much.

I'd have to come up with a simple way of letting casters know exactly how much energy they have remaining, since without enough energy you'd get "phantom" castings, where you go through the animations of casting, maybe even send out a projectile, but get no real effects.

Metamagic would have to be set as "casting modes" (rather than prepared ahead of time). This would allow multiple metamagics on a single spell (so yes, with enough energy and the right feats, you could both Maximize and Empower a fireball for 90 points of damage). Metamagic would increase the energy cost of a spell.

Magical energy supplies would slowly refill throughout the day, with 24 game hours the longest it would take to fully restore all magical energy (sleep would restore all magical energy).

The biggest problem comes from the radial menu for casting. I like having it, but I can't think of a way to manipulate it to work with my ideas. The second big hurdle is working out an easy way for casters to pick their spell lists each day.

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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:34 am

Hey... I just fell in love with this idea for one reason.... *stacking metamagic*

Nuff said...

A thought: Bonus spell slots property would have to somehow add an equivant amount of energy to
the character's daily limit.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:45 am

daveyeisley wrote:A thought: Bonus spell slots property would have to somehow add an equivant amount of energy to
the character's daily limit.
Yup. I'd just have to figure out how to work it into the scripting.

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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:52 am

I have such an option in PnP, but very few players opted for it. The main reason appeared to be that it seemed to differ from D&D so much.

In implementation, Sorcerers would gain extra mana per day as their bonus spell slots convert to extra mana pts. But as every class gets to 'freecast', the Sorcerer loses some of their prestige. But as I personally dislike the idea of memorized spells, the benefits gained by the many outweigh the CHA ego of the few. Magic system revamp opinions? Icon_smile

BTW - the mana pts per day were totalled by adding the various spell lists (eg follows)

5/5/5/5/4/4/4/4/3/3 = 27 9th lvl pts + 24 8th lvl pts + 21 + 24 + 20 + 16 + 15 + 10 + 5 + whatever 5 Lvl 0 pts were decided, but for now .5 rounding up for 3 = 165 totsl, I believe at a glance.

Now, if this mana system is consiidered too much, then the slots were converted to casting of the spell slots per day, thus such a Wizard could memorize any three 9th lvl spells, and cast any combo 3 times per day. We tried it both ways, preferring the latter as to stop 9th lvl spell spammage.


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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:36 am

With the wizards... picking a shorter list, does that mean wizards can only prep less spells, with the selection being drawn from their spellbook?

One of the current perks on wizard casting vs sorc casting is on a given spell level, you could fill all your slots with a single spell, or a separate spell per slot.

So say a wizard has say, 9 slots for say, level 1. He could memorize all magic missiles, or memorize a magic missile, a shield, a mage armor, a negative energy ray, ect. If they're limited to only memorizing a given number of spells, that would kinda stink. Wizards would lose a bit of versatility and become more like sorcs in casting then.
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:53 am

In my PnP game, the Wizard would have the ability to have as many spells in his books as his INT would allow. As with the prior examples, each day, the Wizard could memorize three 9th lvl spells from these full lists and cast them in any combination 3 times per day.

In my mind's eye, the radial dial would show three 9th lvl spells from which to chose, and would blank out when they were used 3 times that day.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:01 am

Elhanan wrote:.....We tried it both ways, preferring the latter as to stop 9th lvl spell spammage.

Ah, that's another thing to consider... spell spammage. Would the system be spell energy per spell level, or a general pool of spell energy? If it's a general energy pool, there will be a lot of spamming spells in far greater quantity than is currently possible.
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Post by Papa-Lenin on Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:09 am

To me this idea looks really weird, when I want to play a game with mana system I can go play WoW or Lineage 2 or countless other MMO's,
In my oppinion spellbook in NWN is really nicely made, the only thing which I'd like to see changed would be ability to fill higher lvl slots with lower lvl spell when needed.

For example spell Flesh to Stone can fill only slots lvl 6 and 7 (when silenced or stilled) but can't load it to spell lvl 8 and 9 even though you can cast even more powerful magic on these levels. Thats the only complaint to this current system for me.
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:47 am

Papa-Lenin wrote:To me this idea looks really weird, when I want to play a game with mana system I can go play WoW or Lineage 2 or countless other MMO's,
In my oppinion spellbook in NWN is really nicely made, the only thing which I'd like to see changed would be ability to fill higher lvl slots with lower lvl spell when needed.

For example spell Flesh to Stone can fill only slots lvl 6 and 7 (when silenced or stilled) but can't load it to spell lvl 8 and 9 even though you can cast even more powerful magic on these levels. Thats the only complaint to this current system for me.

The second method I described is more like allowing Sorcerer freecasting for other classes, the Sorcerer generally having more spell slots per day.

As for the higher lvl spell slots, perhaps a Pseudo-Meta-magic feat could be granted to each caster class that would allow placing lower lvl spells in higher lvl spell slots?
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Post by Papa-Lenin on Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:12 am

Something like pseudo-meta-magic you described would be nice indeed!

Ahh yes i understand that now, like everyone beeing a sorcerer in second method, yep. Whats the reason to play a sorcerer then? For 2 more spells per day on each spell level and 80% smaller variety? With 100 resting potions in inventory?
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:37 am

While I do not like Sorcerers myself but as a current mage player, please do not dismiss extra spell slots lightly. Those extra casts per day can reallllly matter!

The Sorcerer would be no worse off than the current model; just every other class would be improved. The NWN Sorcerer already gets to sub spells each lvl, while 3E did not, I believe. Perhaps The Amethyst Dragon could make a static Re-lvl item for Sorcerers and Bards that would allow changes to be made for the past single lvl as often as wished?

The Clerics and Bards already have free-casting to some degree, so this design may not present the problems as a Mana based implementation might see.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:09 am

Those extra casts really aren't enitrely significant in comparison with wizards. The real advantage a sorc has over a wizard is the spontaneous casting. The advantage the wizard has over the sorc is spell variety.

Clerics have a limited version of spontaneous casting in regards to their cure/inflict spells, so they aren't really free-casters like sorcs and bards.

I'd have to hear how the actual gameplay mechanics of this would work, but currently, I'm leaning towards not liking the idea so much.

From the concept angle, while it'd be nice for my sorc to have a much greater casts-per-day capacity, the sorcerer class's flavor would be lost when all the other caster classes do the spontaneous casting as well.

And for my wizard, spontaneous casting would be very nice, but I would not be happy about him being limited in what range of spells he can prepare.


Or to more simply put it, if I wanted Agamemnon to cast like a sorcerer, I'd have made him a sorcerer instead of a wizard.
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:57 am

But there may be those like myself that wish to drop the old 'Memorize 5 MM's per Day' (never read anything by Jack Vance), and enjoy Free-casting w/o having to base our characters upon CHA.

How does the Sorcerer suffer if they lose nothing?

While I believe something should be granted to the class for incentive purposes (eg; ability to re-select spells known) since others gain freedom, the class itself has never appealled to me at all. Now comes an opp to play the classes I do enjoy while gaining more freedom in spell selection.

I believe this is a Win-Win scenario; not one of loss.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:42 am

This is what I love about this community. Input. Opinions. Sharing of ideas and thoughts.

Go Aenea!

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Post by RustyDios on Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:32 pm

After playing 90% melee classes my ENTIRE PnP/DnD/Nwn life/career and only really venturing into my first spellcasting class here in Aenea (with the extra help/guidance/explanations from this community) I found the entire magic-system awkward to get to grips with.
So after having learned the system, how to cast spells, use the radial effectively, memorise spells, reading up and understand how it works in PnP fully...

... I'm coming from a new player angle here... ... the magic system for NwN was hard to learn, and for here in Aenea you'd like an entirely new system for people to learn ?... that seems ludicrous to me.... ..

.. However...
... stackable Metamagic ?.. bonus! That is something I would like to see...

I'm not sure I like the idea of all classes getting spontaneous casting (even to a slight degree), I thought the whole point between those that " have to prepare spells ahead of time from the vast lists they know" and those that "cast what little they know when they want ".. was .. erm.. exactly that ... (( I already don't enjoy the "spontaneous arcane feats" wizards get - should be a sorcerer only thing to me))...

Also I can see this new system using the VC commands alot... whilst I like the VC system, I do think we are slowly becoming more and more reliant on it, and this means more commands to remember, more typing, more "spelling" mistakes (excuse the pun) .... ....

Would the system have any effect on the actual spells ?... ASF ? .. SR ? ... Feats (such as Spell Focus, Combat Casting, Spell Penetration) ?.... Crafting Wands ? ....

I also don't like the idea of loosing the use of the radial, and I think from the way it's sounding, the use of the spellbook entirely for preparing spells, thats a loss of a large part of the GUI ....

I don't mean to come across all negative, I'm sure there would be alot of bonuses to a full custom spellcasting system... I'm just being very wary.. I don't want to go from "the frying pan into the fire"...

Lets keep the ideas flowing however.. I'm sure that if we could come up with something good, Magic system revamp opinions? 787378 would be the person to be able to implement it (in a polished,shining, easy to use format)....
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:45 pm

If free-casting is what you're after, go sorc. If skill points, bonus feats and all spells is what you want, go wizard. If you want the class benefits of sorcerer, you have to base it upon charisma.... just like if you want the class benefits of cleric, you're going to have to go wisdom, or intelligence for wizards.

What's to say the people who want free casting wizards have a more important say than those who want slot-casting wizards?

Those wanting free casters can go sorcerer. If wizards are changed to free-casters, the player who effectively looses the class they enjoy playing.... they're left with nothing. Everyone's a sorcerer now, no more wizards.

I beleive this has some upsides, but a lot of downsides. There will be loss.

I would not enjoy my wizard as much if he becomes effectively a sorcerer. I would not enjoy my sorcerer as much if the highlight of her primary class feature is given away to everyone else. Why play a sorc when I can go wizard, get more spells, and just drink a renewal potion when I want to swap around spell lists?

Homogenizing the classes isn't necessarily a win-win.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:01 pm

And this is why I put this out there, so I can get feedback.

From this and my delving into the requirements to get it working nicely (and coming up dreadfully short), it looks like the "alternate spellcasting" is not going anywhere.

I have started working on consolidating the spell scripts. This one will take a while, and should have no real effect in-game (other than making things easier in the long run for me). When I'm done, there will be a minor hak file update needed (so that spells will reference the correct script).

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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:01 pm

Spontanious or Free-casting is already used in NWN by Bards and Sorcerers, and partially by Clerics (and for Summons by Druids in PnP). It is not Arcane or Divine; not blooded or non-blooded. It simply allows more freedom for all casters.

AFAIK, Wizards would still be required to learn spells for a spellbook, and would be limited by INT restrictions as to the total number of spells like now. They would still be required to choose a list of spells from the book, though they would not be forced to memorize the same spell repeatedly for each slot, but select seperate spells for each of them.

This kind of system benefits all the casters including the Divine casters; some of which appear to need a boost . The Sorcerer is no worse than before; is simply not as unique. But here in Aenea, he still has the huge CHA bonus which seems to be used quite a lot in some Semi-classes and PrC's; an advantage of the class features themselves.

You wish to maintain some unique status for those that use CHA? Then add even more CHA related feats. For instance, Wizards can use HP to toss Elemental spell matter about here; have Sorcerers and Bards gain inate forms of Charms and Dominations.
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Post by evilkittenofdoom on Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:40 pm

That's an interesting idea there... while I see the point of people not wanting to have "All spontaneous casting" (Something I prefer, though a larger spell selection is nice to have), the sorcerers do kinda lose their uniqueness by doing so. However, giving sorcerers something else to balance that out a bit would be cool. Nothing drastic, but it would be something to still give them something slightly better than any other spellcasting class because of the drastically reduced spell list. Maybe give them +1 spell DC, or +1 Caster Level... or something entirely unique and new for the sorcerer class. Anything that will help to make them still worth playing for their unique nature.

Granted that the CHA being used in many SCs is a powerful perk, but that is there with or without the proposed change, so it's not really "balancing" much of anything IMHO with concerns to the proposed change to the magic system.

Maybe I'm just being a little too defensive because I play a sorcerer myself; I can't say

Oh and sorcerers get those feats too FYI. (Elemental flinging ones that cost 1 HP a cast)
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:40 pm

Elhanan wrote:But here in Aenea, he still has the huge CHA bonus which seems to be used quite a lot in some Semi-classes and PrC's

What huge bonus are you referring to? Benefits of having higher charisma? The sorc gains the same benefit for high charisma as a wizard does for high intelligence. Spell DCs, and bonus spells per level.

Clerics/paladins/blackguards gain better numbers with their cha based abilities, but if you also examine those classes, the cleric must sacrifice wisdom (their casting stat) to raise charisma for the benfits, that's a give/take; same with paladins, warblades, champs and blackguards who would have to sacrifice the highest strength to gain the higher charisma.

There are base and PrC classes that benefit from intelligence over charisma. Rogues, animators, assassins, acrobats, it balances out very well currently. If you want one particular subet of skills and abilities, you go for certain classes. If you want a different subset, you go for the other classes that have the synergy with those skills.
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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:59 pm

Well... lots of discussion here....

One side note about something in NWN that I feel got bastardized from PnP.... a big difference between Wizard and Sorc... Wizards had to decide ahead of time whether or not to apply metamagic, but their advance planning resulting being able to cast the spell as normal.... Sorcs could apply metamagic on the fly but had to take extra time in the casting. It never seemed fair to me that this drawback was removed from spontaneous metamagic in NWN... but thats just a little pet peeve side note...

I have to admit, having played my wizard for so long... I am very accustomed and comfortable with the spell slot system. It makes sense to me, and my main frustration with it is *exactly* what Papa-Lenin mentioned.... you should always be able to memorize a lower level spell in a higher level slot without needing to apply a metamagic feat.... not applying a feat would mean you gain no bonus whatsoever to the spell for doing so, but you should be able to use the higher level slot to get more casts of a lower level spell.

On Crid, I took the Silent Spell feat, just to be able to use some spells in a slot 1 level higher. He has no need to actualy worry about being silenced... Crid has an makes good use of Extend spell, but not all spells are viable for it.... so in order to get more flexibility slot selection, I had to dump a feat where it shouldnt have been necessary.

Stacking metamagic is another shortfall in the NWN implementation that I wish could be improved. Combining two metamagic feats into one spell is easy to do on paper, and Im not totally sure why it was an issue for Bioware... may have been the scripting aspect.

While the energy/mana/power points idea is very intriguing... and not alltogether a bad thing.... I do think the implementation would be extremely important in how it affects class identity.... done poorly it would make all casters into spontaneous casters... done well, it would make the magic system simpler and more flexible.

In the end, aside from my above points, I dont think the spell slot system is broken. No need to really fix it, maybe just improve the metamagic, and allow lower level spells to be used in higher level slots.... and.... how cool would it be to see the Heighten Spell Feat make a return!!! (that feat would pretty much solve BOTH problems, though it would mean a lot of spellscript editing to make the scripts check for the feats use and adjust values that used to be constants...)
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:41 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:

What huge bonus are you referring to? Benefits of having higher charisma? The sorc gains the same benefit for high charisma as a wizard does for high intelligence. Spell DCs, and bonus spells per level.

Clerics/paladins/blackguards gain better numbers with their cha based abilities, but if you also examine those classes, the cleric must sacrifice wisdom (their casting stat) to raise charisma for the benfits, that's a give/take; same with paladins, warblades, champs and blackguards who would have to sacrifice the highest strength to gain the higher charisma.

There are base and PrC classes that benefit from intelligence over charisma. Rogues, animators, assassins, acrobats, it balances out very well currently. If you want one particular subet of skills and abilities, you go for certain classes. If you want a different subset, you go for the other classes that have the synergy with those skills.

I am Ref the benefits of high CHA which are now available in Aenea for those that enjoy m/c characters. While I prefer to skip CHA based characters at all, many folks play them, and these implemented bonuses appear to be quite powerful.

While I find casting on the fly to be an attractive feature (pun intended), I dislike basing my characters on an ability that does not grant ST bonuses, and improves few skills used by myself in the game. When I have played Bards, I skip spells for the most part, and have never played a Sorcerer anywhere including solo.

Yes; I would adore playing a Mage with Spontanious casting; same said for Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Rangers. This feature would improve all these classes. So when the opp appears to be made available, I lobby for the change. I do not see the need to cling to the idea that the casting style is required for seperating the classes, but rather the methodology behind it: Wizards learn thru study while the others do not.

Memorization makes little sense IMO, and should be dropped if made possible.
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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:01 pm

Elhanan wrote:I do not see the need to cling to the idea that the casting style is required for seperating the classes, but rather the methodology behind it: Wizards learn thru study while the others do not.

I think the "identity" of the casting classes has roots in the methodology you mention, yes.

At current, that methodology translates into a tangible game mechanic that further makes that
identity visible and real during play for both classes.

I believe what manny was referencing, and myself as well, is that it would be extremely tricky (but perhaps
not impossible) to change the mechanical format and still keep the feel and identity difference between
the classes intact during play. You can always RP something, but mechanics express it in a way that is separate from RP (though the two can be synergistic). I think if the spontaneous energy is done poorly, the methodology will still be intact for RP purposes.... but mechanically it will be damaged, and the classes would risk being overly homogenized by the change.

I am leaning against the change, but I am not totally against it. I just want to see some concrete mechanics that preserve the identity and feel that makes the classes different during play. I think Manny is making the same caution as well (correct me if im wrong), that it would possibly create problems in the act of solving some.

You do make a point that the change as stated thus far would only serve to improve the current non-spontaneous casting classes, and the ones who currently cast spontaneously would not lose anything with respect to themselves.

I think the "loss" that Manny was describing would be in how the classes would end up from a *game balance* perspective. If a class has a nifty thing not available to other classes, and you then change it and give that nifty to the others... the original class has not technically "lost" anything... it is still the same.... however when weighing benefits and advanatages of that original class against the others.... it would indeed have "lost" the *advantage/benefit/value* of that nifty thing for the purpose of comparison.

Thinking of it now, its similar in a way to how Clerics of Asis are supposed to be the masters of Healing and get Full Heal as a benefit for choosing Asis.... but in reality, with infinite stock Asis Full Heal Potions available, the advantage and value of this benefit is severely diminished, as basically anyone with money can gain access to the Asis Clerics big advantage. (Dont get me wrong, I dont want to see the infinite potions go away... that would hose many players fun lol. But the idea is to ensure that the added value for choosing Asis remains in place regardless, where it is currently lacking)

Hope that helps?


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Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:08 pm

Exactly what I mean Smile

The stacking of metamatics would be great too. As would the lower level spells in higher lots without necessarily boosting them with metamagic.

The metamagic feats themselves are hardcoded, but the actual tweaking the spells get from metamgic are in their scripts. Perhaps The Amethyst Dragon will be able to figure a way to allow stacking of metamagics anyway.

And if that's possible, perhaps also a way to allow a caster to fill up their entire spellbook with a level 1 spell if they wanted to do so! A psuedo meta-magic feat as Elhan has suggested would rock.
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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:17 pm

Well, if you are familiar with the heighten spell feat, it actually serves the purpose proposed *and then some*.

Heighten spell does NOT have a predetermined slot value. It can be applied to ANY spell of ANY level, and the caster *chooses* how many spell levels he wants Heighten Spell to add to the spell. This would mean with heighten spell, you can indeed fill your WHOLE spellbook with magic missiles by using heighten spell to adjust it for each spell level in turn, for however many spellslots you have in each level.

This would be a beautiful thing by itself... however, even better.... Heighten spell actually modifies the *INNATE* level of the spell as well, making it count as a more powerful spell for three main purposes... base spell DC, globes of invulnerability, and spell mantles.

If Magic system revamp opinions? 787378 can finagle a way to get this in game, he will be my HERO.... oh wait... he already is Magic system revamp opinions? Icon_smile

On the stacking... i can sort of concieve how the scripts could be edited (WOW that would be a crapload of work, but doable).... I think the problem is with the GUI... the spell scripts might be able to recognize and calculate variable for multiple feat combos... but the problem is the player not being able to actually *select* the metamagic combos for the spells.
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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:22 pm

hehe, and while I am tossing out pipe dream ideas.... Twin Spell would be so painfully awesome I might weep tears of pure joy Smile
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Post by Papa-Lenin on Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:00 am

Oh my, this 'Heighten Spell' is exactly what I was dreaming of since NWN came out in 2002, I don't know how it could be scripted though, as metamagics are hardcoded... Lets wait and see for what the server creator thinks about it.
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Post by Elhanan on Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:27 am

Again, I see the Wizard as still having to aquire scrolls to add to his spellbook as the current implentation. The Sorcerer would be able to rechoose his spell slots from the full lists daily, or as often as Magic system revamp opinions? 787378 would allow. The Wizard still must research his books, memorize slots from his current lists (which may or may not be complete) just as before, but now may select different spells for each slot instead of the repetative same spell several times over.

If more slots and complete spell lists do not seem to suffice to emplace the Sorcerer as the royalty of Freecasting, then try and suggest ways to improve the Sorcerer and Bard so they can maintain their roles. But if it is possible to allow us to shelve the memorizized spells, pls allow us to do so. Having to sit out huge amounts of RL time to sort out current choices is rather annoying....

"So where is this vast army of the dead?", says the mage.

"Not many on the field of battle; were dealing with living Drow and Blackguard instead", says the warrior.

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It burns us....


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Post by Papa-Lenin on Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:30 am

You are touching another thing which annoys me on this server... 90% enemies die in one round, they're basically beeing greatcleaved by strong build without any hassle.

Because of this, noone wait for you to prepare spells, because they simply dont need you to survive; because of this noone care that someone will cast some ab/ac buffs on fighters, because they simply don't need it
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:54 am

But if it is possible to allow us to shelve the memorizized spells, pls allow us to do so.

That's one of my main points though...

What about those of us who have wizards who like how they're set up now? If you really want sorc-style no slot fussing, play a sorc.
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Post by Elhanan on Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:33 am

Perhaps options for both could be done.

But seeing as this is a thread of opinions on revamping the old system, I continue to contend for the updated version if it can be implemented.
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Post by inthecorridors on Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:12 am

I'm picturing that wizards can still only cast spells they memorized that day, but can choose to cast 300 fireballs or 6 wails to use up their spell power/mana/whatever. (Numbers random + exaggerated for the point). They'd still be the casters who can know allll the spells, but have to study and choose wisely, where sorcs would still be the ones who know comparatively few but can cast more often choosing out of all they know.

This is a system I would enjoy.
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:58 am

For now, I'm scrapping the major change to the system, since I haven't been able to figure out a way to do it without it becoming tedious or complicated for spellcasters to use.

Still working on consolidating the spell scripts though. It will make things much easier for me to keep updated in the long run.

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Post by RustyDios on Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:29 am

Okay.. so what we're planning on doing here is to make it so wizards(and other prepare spells previously casters) can prepare spells per day from the vast lists they know and cast any combinations of the ones memorised for that day ? ....So they can cast as many "fireballs" per day provided they have it memorised ?....

Isn't that exactly how sorcerors and bards work ?... but with a much much limited list... (( To view it another way : The spells they know are the ones they have already prepared/memorised for that day..))...

And whilst there can be many advantages to a new system we want, we look to be loosing the exceptional quality of spontaneous classes... whilst in theory they actually loose nothing, they just loose everything that makes them special...

or to put it another way ...

Lets give EVERY class the ability to Turn undead (clerics loose nothing but now they're just not as special either).. and make it so anyone can shapechange (druids loose nothing here either, but all the other classes benifit).... and allow everyone to have an animal companion (druids and rangers loose nothing, but yet again they loose they're uniqueness)... and have everybody get a movement speed increase based on level (monks loose nothing but become less unique too) ... .... ... I hope that puts it in a way and context that will make the prepared-to-spontaneous casters notice excactly what sorcerors stand to loose by that particular change....
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Post by evilkittenofdoom on Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:18 am

Not quite. I think what's being put forward here isn't the "spontaneous casting" that you're referring to. It's more of removing the "Spell level slots" and replacing that with a solid number that you can use for ALL known spells. Wizards, clerics etc would still have to prepare spell beforehand, but their spells would have no limit to what spells are known and where.
(Ex. A wizard that has 5 level 1 spell slots can only prepare 5 magic missile spells. The proposed change would allow him to prepare as many as his "solid number" would allow)
Sorcerers and bards would still be the only class to retain the "spontaneous casting" ability, plus they'd have even more spontaneous casting ability from this freedom. A sorcerer is still bound to the same "spell level slots" for each spell level, in that they only can cast each spell level (metamagic aside) a specific amount of times per day. The change would remove that and allow for them to cast any known spell from a pool of a "solid number" until that number no longer supports the spell they want to cast (Mana/MP/SP, from almost any other game)

This doesnt really remove any classes unique traits.... it just gives ALL classes more freedom as to what spells they want to use from their available spells list.

However, all that aside... what difference does it make at the moment? Seeing as the idea is not exactly reasonably applicable (as far as I can see here), I'm not sure this whole thing even matters.
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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:16 pm

Papa-Lenin wrote:You are touching another thing which annoys me on this server... 90% enemies die in one round, they're basically beeing greatcleaved by strong build without any hassle.

Because of this, noone wait for you to prepare spells, because they simply dont need you to survive; because of this noone care that someone will cast some ab/ac buffs on fighters, because they simply don't need it

Against the one-shot cleave enemies, sure... they dont need a caster ...

Against the enemies who are NOT easily cleaved.... melee builds have an *extremely* hard time without caster support. I can vouch for this from all sides.... melee PC, caster PC, and DM posessing such NPCs.

The main advantage of being a fighter/melee build is being ready and able to do your thing *all the time*. You dont have to worry about spells and slots, or running out of swings with your weapon.

The tradeoff is that your weapon maybe be ill-equipped to handle some more specialized enemies (it will still wreck a large portion), and *that* is when you really want well-prepared caster to back you up.


Folks not waiting for you to prepare spells is just a player being inconsiderate. I dont think it speaks to the balance of the server much at all. Changing things to make meleers more dependent on casters would be unfair, I think.


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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:26 pm

As for elhanans idea of having the wizard select one spell per spell slot which is his available "spells known" for the day, which would then be castable spontaneously up to their energy limit for the day..... sure it would make wizards a LOT more flexible... might even possibly be more fun.

So then you have sorcs that no longer have the full spontaneous casting advantage (all they have left at this point is more casts per day, and a still small list of spells known)... so what do you replace it with? Make their spells better? Give them free feats? Increase their spells known?

None of those options really strike me as balanced (depending on what free feat or feats), and the last option basically homogenizes the classes.... maybe somebody else has better ideas....

Maybe have deity choice impact the effectiveness of *certain* spells or spell schools for sorcerors? It kinda smacks of cleric, though... though it does lead me down the path of a topic that was visited previously.... sorcerors and Dragon Disciples being able to select the nature of their draconic heritage... and gaining benefits based on that heritage.... in 3.5 there is a slew of feats to implement this...


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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:35 pm

inthecorridors wrote:I'm picturing that wizards can still only cast spells they memorized that day, but can choose to cast 300 fireballs or 6 wails to use up their spell power/mana/whatever. (Numbers random + exaggerated for the point). They'd still be the casters who can know allll the spells, but have to study and choose wisely, where sorcs would still be the ones who know comparatively few but can cast more often choosing out of all they know.

This is a system I would enjoy.

I sort of agree.... one thing i wanted to point out....

This system would involve BOTH sorcs and wizards having to choose wisely.... the difference being:

Wizards can change their choice day by day as to what spells they have available, and can increase their reservoir of spells known for this process thru scrolls.

Sorcs have to choose *extremely* wisely during levelup, because they cannot add spells from scrolls, and cannot change their spells available day by day. They are locked in at each levelup... their benefit of being able to select on the fly would be totally nerfed by giving wizards the same flexibility... and the question remains what to give to sorcs to balance this.... ugh...
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Post by Maeglin Dubh on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:06 pm

daveyeisley wrote:and the question remains what to give to sorcs to balance this.... ugh...

A new set of metamagic feats that are powered by the user's hitpoints, rather than spell level? It follows the blood-fueled magic theme...
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:44 pm

How about a "limited" Spontaneous casting for wizards that works like cleric spontaneous casting of healing spells.

The wizard could "spontaneously cast" a spell per spell level, the exact spell chosen by the wizard. This could represent "The wizard has cast this spell so many times, it has become utterly second nature to him". There'd still be the slot-based memorizations, but in a pinch the wizard could burn those slots for his spontaneously casted favorite spell of that spell level.

If this could be done, it'd give a bit more flexibility to wizards in their casting ability without detracting from others. If it's mechanically possible, it could also be a good idea to expand upon the clerics' spontaneous casting (which only works on the cure/inflict line of spells).... I can completely see clerics of Asis having heal as a spontaneous cast, clerics of Ragnor harm as a spontaneous cast, clerics of Gort having haste or freedom of movement as a spontaneous cast... Druids could get their summon creature spontaneous castings
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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:56 pm

All very good ideas Smile
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:17 pm

And a post by Svair in the upcoming changes reminded me of Palemasters...

With the updating of the spell scripts, would it be possible for palemasters to get the 1/2 caster level per class level they get in PnP?
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Post by Alundaio on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:30 pm

Glaced through this thread so bare with me.To bypass the radial when using mana. Maybe it would be possible to make items that cast the spells they've learned? Update the item via a VC command when you level or do it in script.  Have an Item for each spell level. Then they can put that on their quickslot and select a spell from that. BUT that really would be only effective for Manny's Spontaneous Idea. Unless you can make it work like the Rod of Wonder (How it makes you *cast* a random spell). I dunno I haven't done any scripting in NWN so really I don't know what I'm talking about.
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