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Old June 9, 2015, 16:23   #51
MattB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonymousHero View Post
I can certainly appreciate using spells for flavor, but IME there are quite a few spells that I will literally only cast once for the experience.
To the best of my memory, here is a list of spells that I never even bothered learning, let alone casting once, during my latest competition win.
--- yes=learned (but not necessarily ever cast)
--- no=not learned
--- n/a=not available to ranger

Book 1: Magic for Beginners

a) Magic Missile - yes
b) Detect Monsters - yes
c) Phase Door - yes
d) Light Area - yes
e) Treasure/object Detection - n/a
f) Cure Light Wounds - yes
g) Find Hidden Traps/Doors - yes
h) Stinking Cloud - no

Book 2: Conjurings and Tricks

a) Confuse Monster - no
b) Lightning Bolt - yes
c) Trap/Door Destruction - no
d) Cure Poison - yes
e) Sleep Monster - no
f) Teleport Self - yes
g) Spear of Light - yes
h) Frost Bolt - no
i) Wonder - no

Book 3: Incantations and Illusions

a) Satisfy Hunger - yes
b) Lesser Recharging - no
c) Turn Stone to Mud - yes
d) Fire Bolt - no
e) Polymorph Other - no
f) Identify - yes
g) Reveal Monster - no
h) Acid Bolt - no
i) Slow Monster - no

Book 4: Sorcery and Evocations

a) Frost Ball - no
b) Teleport Other - yes
c) Haste Self - yes
d) Mass Sleep - no
e) Fire Ball - no
f) Detect treasure (or whatever it's called) - no

Book 5: Resistances of Scarabtarices

a) Resist Cold - yes
b) Resist Fire - yes
c) Resist Poison - yes
d) Resistance - yes
e) Shield - yes

Book 6: Raal's Tome of Destruction
(squelched without using)

a) Shock Wave - n/a
b) Explosion - n/a
c) Cloudkill - no
d) Acid Ball - no
e) Ice Storm - no
f) Meteor Swarm - no
g) Rift - no

Book 7: Mordenkainen's Escapes

a) Door Creation - yes
b) Stair Creation - yes
c) Teleport Level - no
d) Word of Recall - yes
e) Rune of Protection - no

Book 8: Tenser's Transformations

a) Heroism - yes
b) Berserker - yes
c) Enchant Armor - yes
d) Enchant Weapon - yes
e) Greater Recharging - no
f) Elemental Brand - yes

Book 9: Kelek's Grimoire of Power
(squelched without using)

a) Earthquake - no
b) Bedlam - no
c) Rend Soul - n/a
d) Banishment - n/a
e) Word of Destruction - no
f) Mass Banishment - n/a
g) Chaos Strike - n/a
h) Mana Storm - n/a

Please note, the list I used might be a little out of date.
But the fact remains that out of the 54 spells available to me, I didn't even bother learning 26, or very nearly half, of them.
Having said that, I'm not for the reduction in book numbers. So you want book 4 for TO and haste? It'll still cost you a slot. Only want *Destruction* from book 9? Is it worth a slot or not?

Finally, I know I was missing out on a bit of experience by not learning those spells, but it's really not very much, is it?
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Old June 9, 2015, 16:48   #52
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However, there's another point which I've come across after playing a bunch of roguelikes with lots of skills. It's going to be impossible to make all spells useful in every game. It's probably going to be impossible to make all spells useful at all. However, it is possible to make all spells useful for at least one game. You can do this by altering when players get access to spells. Right now, all players immediately have access to the first 4 books. That means to be useful, every spell must compete with all the other spells in those books. What if the subset of spells the player had access to changed with each game. Maybe some games your mage would learn acid bolt before frost bolt, simply because they find the acid bolt spell first.
Here's a thought - how about randomised spellbooks? So at the beginning of every new game, just as all the flavoured items are randomised, so is the assignment of spells to books. Mix up all the town-book spells and split them into four evenly-sized books containing a random assortment of low-level spells, and then do the same with the dungeon books. So maybe in one game, your random 'starter book' might contain:

Phase Door
Find Traps, Doors & Stairs
Cure Poison
Spear of Light
Satisfy Hunger
Haste Self

But then in another game you'd start out with a different set. Remove the guarantee that the magic shop and temple will always stock all four town books, tweak the price and native depth to reflect the fact books now contain a mix of spells of different levels, and then it will take correspondingly longer for the player to collect all four and have the full set of town-book spells available to them.

EDIT: Plus the inventory management puzzle would be interesting and different each game - maybe some games you luck out and find all your favourite spells are clustered in one or two books and you can happily squelch the remainder, but other games they're evenly distributed across all the books and you've got to either carry them all or decide which spells to do without this time around.
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Old June 9, 2015, 16:53   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
Here's a thought - how about randomised spellbooks? So at the beginning of every new game, just as all the flavoured items are randomised, so is the assignment of spells to books. Mix up all the town-book spells and split them into four evenly-sized books containing a random assortment of low-level spells, and then do the same with the dungeon books. So maybe in one game, your random 'starter book' might contain:

<snip>

EDIT: Plus the inventory management puzzle would be interesting and different each game - maybe some games you luck out and find all your favourite spells are clustered in one or two books and you can happily squelch the remainder, but other games they're evenly distributed across all the books and you've got to either carry them all or decide which spells to do without this time around.
Yeah, I could go for this.
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Old June 9, 2015, 17:21   #54
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One caution I will have for randomly-generated spellbooks and shops is that you don't want to "force" the player to townscum for access to a spell. I remember way back in the day (EDIT: in ToME 2, I should clarify!) townscumming for many in-game days just to get the bookstore to generate a spellbook of Identify or Magic Map, because I refused to play the game without them. If you want to switch up the order in which players can learn spells, then you must either:

1) randomize the minimum required levels for spells, or
2) remove spellbooks from the store

If all spells are potentially available in the town if you get lucky, then you just end up townscumming until you have whatever spells you want.

I don't remember suggesting spell scrolls, but I like the idea. Let the player start with a spellbook with Magic Missile in it (since mages need some kind of offense to kickstart them), and then they must find every other spell they want. Spells become effectively another type of equipment. Again, in this scenario the stores would not stock spells, since the point is to force the player to adapt to not having the spells they normally rely on.

Last edited by Derakon; June 9, 2015 at 17:52.
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Old June 9, 2015, 17:48   #55
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One caution I will have for randomly-generated spellbooks and shops is that you don't want to "force" the player to townscum for access to a spell.
Nomad's randomized spellbooks can work, but I share Derakon's concern for making town-scumming an optimal or necessary strategy. One option would be to randomize at the start. So one game has these spells in magic for beginners, etc. Next game will have a different set of spells. Either that or no spell books in town. Or if they are in town, they are always available, have set spells in them, and are "level-locked" so you can't make use of it until you hit a certain level. Personally, I don't think I'd find the inventory management of trying to optimize the spell books you carry with you. I'd much rather prefer a system like DCSS.

In my conception the town would only stock empty spell books. The Black Market might have spell scrolls. I imagine each class would start with 2-3 spells in their book. So mages would have magic missile and detect monsters. Rogues would have detect objects and find doors/traps/stairs. Rangers would have detect monsters and maybe cure light wounds. Priests would have bless, detect evil, and cure light wounds. Paladins would have bless.
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Old June 9, 2015, 18:15   #56
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The issue I can see with spell scrolls is that it would add an awful lot of dungeon junk, especially for warriors. Squelching 18 useless spellbooks is no problem, but squelching a separate scroll for every individual spell would get old fast.

One possible alternative might be 'inscribed' spells as an immovable dungeon feature, i.e., stand on the special square, get the message, "Magic words are inscribed here: add the spell "Light" to one of your books?" (Warriors/classes who don't get the spell could just get some sort of "There is an inscription here, but the words swim before your eyes" flavour message. And characters who are too low level for the spell could maybe still attempt to learn it, but with a chance of confusion or fainting on failure.) Perhaps 'inscription' squares would only occur in special rooms with attendant traps and/or monsters, to make it harder to just scum for them.

Or maybe spell-learning opportunities could somehow come from killing monsters who use the appropriate realm of magic? Kill an Apprentice or a Kobold Shaman and there's a 1 in whatever chance that "a magical residue lingers in the air" in the square where he died that you can learn a MB1 spell from; if you're not an arcane caster or you've learned all the MB1 spells, then you're simply unaware of it and don't even see it generated. That way magic users would be forced to hunt high-level casters to get access to the top level spells.
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Old June 9, 2015, 18:31   #57
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Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
The issue I can see with spell scrolls is that it would add an awful lot of dungeon junk, especially for warriors. Squelching 18 useless spellbooks is no problem, but squelching a separate scroll for every individual spell would get old fast.
This is honestly really easy to deal with. Spell scrolls sell for 0 gold always. Non-arcane casters autosquelch it. I honestly wish books of the "wrong" type came autosquelched anyways.

Your ideas work as well though. I'm not particularly tied to one idea. As long as its easy to understand.
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Old June 10, 2015, 00:14   #58
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I'm currently looking at a scheme with
  • 25-30 spells for casters (in maybe 5 books), less for half-casters
  • Very few spells in common across realms
  • Spells can improve with character advancement (so priests only get one healing spell, which improves)
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Old June 10, 2015, 00:32   #59
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I'm currently looking at a scheme with
  • Spells can improve with character advancement (so priests only get one healing spell, which improves)
ToME 2 does this, and it has a few side effects. Chiefly, because SP scales with level and stats so drastically (from 2SP at level 1 to many hundreds at level 50 with max stats), spell costs must also inflate as they gain levels -- which leaves you with no "cheap but less-powerful" version of a spell you can cast when you don't need the full effects. If you ever play a mindcrafter in ToME 2, though, you'll get access to scaling spells that don't increase in cost, and they end up being laughably cheap in comparison (a cost-1 spell that detects everything and has an Enlightenment effect, say).

I think the correct solution here is to not scale cost but also not scale SP so drastically. Perhaps base your SP pools solely off of your stats, and make the scaling relatively flat. Then all else being equal, a level-30 mage can cast the same number of Magic Missiles as a level-1 mage, and kill level-appropriate enemies with the same number of castings. A level-50 mage will be able to cast more, but only because they've finished stat gain.
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Old June 10, 2015, 02:38   #60
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Spell scrolls could function just like regular scrolls. If you want the identify spell you read an identify scroll and instead of using it, you learn it. This could come at some cost and spell power or cost could change if you read another scroll and learned it better. For instance you could give spells levels and each time you read a scroll you go up one level so after a certain number of scrolls you get the full power of the spell while warriors and those who can't learn the spell can still use the scrolls.
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