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Old December 29, 2017, 23:38   #28
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Thanks for all the discussion, it's very helpful. I should say first up - for now, I'll leave Magic Missile in the second book but make it level 3 and 1 mana and back to its previous (lower) damage.

There has been some talk previously about what the principles behind the class changes are, but I probably haven't made them very clear, so I'll do that.

As suggested in the original post linked in the first post of this thread, I'm looking at two pairs of opposing realms of magic - Nature-Arcane, and Holy-Death. You can think of it a bit like this
with Wisdom meaning the ability to harmonise with the creation order and Intelligence the ability to create something distinct
Now details:

Nature magic draws on the things in Middle Earth as it was created - animals, plants, weather, geology. It will have spells to directly affect monsters (and @), to modify the environment, and to use the elements of poison, gravity, ice, water, plasma, sound and meteors. Its pure spellcasting class is the Druid (not entirely happy with the name, but haven't found a better one) who will be fairly average in most skills but bad with devices.

Arcane magic I tend to think of as technology. It will have spells of detection, teleportation, dungeon modification, and mental control over objects, and will use the elements of acid, fire, electricity and cold, or directly use mana to wound or create explosive effects. Its pure spellcasting class is the Mage, who will be an exceptional device user but poor at fighting.

Holy magic uses the power of the Valar, the beings entrusted with the care of Middle Earth. It will have spells to empower the spirit of the player, to daunt and dispel evil, to bring revealing light and to create effects of holy power. Its pure spellcasting class is the Priest, who will be fairly poor at most skills but have an excellent saving throw.

Death magic uses necromancy, the ability to directly control the souls of intelligent beings and (to a lesser extent) creatures. It will have spells to sense and drain the spirits of living monsters, directly affect evil beings and damage the spellcasting ability of monsters, and will use the elements of darkness, nether, chaos and disenchantment. Its pure spellcasting class is the Necromancer, who will be fairly unskillful across the board.

This gives an idea of the realms, and the pure spellcasters, but other classes can then be chosen which combine aspects of one of these realms with others and/or with combat ability. Examples here include Rangers (Archery and Nature magic) and Rogues (Stealthy combat and Arcane and/or Death magic).

Overall the intent is to make magic use coherent and to make it feel like you are using the magic of a given realm, rather than just a grab-bag of utility spells. This will mean that pure spellcasters can no longer expect to get magic for everything they do; instead, they get a more focused set of spells in fewer books and will have to carry some other items.

Naturally, some people will not welcome this change. It is, however, not too hard to revert by changing edit files; in fact, I'm considering including a data file with the old classes to make that easy.
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
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