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Old September 22, 2008, 22:07   #1
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New Feature for V

This is a feature i'm adding into my version and was wondering what others thought about it. There has been much discussion about mage's being mostly warriors who can cast spells while spells that do damage are not very useful at high levels. I would like to add a magic power feature to the system. Here is how it would work. All damage would be multiplied by the magic power multiplier. A "normal" character would have a magic power multiplier of 1.0. This would be class, level, race, and equipment dependent. This allows a mage to cast a better spell than an equivalent level ranger or other spell casting class.

Class Multiplier LVL bonus
Mage 1.0 .05
Rogue .8 .04
Ranger .7 .03

Every 5 levels the LVL bonus would be added to the class multiplier so that at level 50, the mage would have a class multiplier of 1.5.

Race Multiplier - Human 1.0
Dunaden 1.1
High Elf 1.15
Half-Orc 0.75

I just made up the numbers for the example, they would have to be balanced.

Equipment Bonus

Certain equipment could provide a bonus of either ego or non-ego values. A robe of Spellcasting[0, +5] (+5) could provide a 1.05 multiplier and they would be additive also allowing for penalties as well, so that Gloves of Accuracy might actually have a penalty to the equipment bonus. The ego values would be [Empower] which would be (+50) or x1.5 and [Maximize] which forces the RNG to not roll, but assume max values for all spells. There could be other ego values such as [Mana-Half] which would reduce mana usage by half, perhaps having this be an activated "spell" that could be used once per 500 turns, [Maximize] too.

Adding it all up

The final damage caused by a spell would then be calculated by the following:

damage rolled(spell based) * Race Bonus * Class Bonus * Equipment Bonus

This could add up quite nicely IF proper penalties for shooting or fighting were added to compensate. Maybe as a mage you couldn't wield any weapon that weighed more than 5.0 regardless of STR without getting a -10 ToHit per 1.0 above 5.0.

Take the following example of a Firebolt for a level 50 dunaden mage with a [Maximize] ego item:

6+(pLev-5)/5 d8 ==> 6+9 ....15d8 MAX 120

Roll 120 damage.

120 * 1.1 * 1.5 = 198 damage



Last edited by bpleshek; September 23, 2008 at 20:11.
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Old September 23, 2008, 09:55   #2
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I like the idea of mages being able to use thier spells as a main attack rather than having to use weapons to keep up.

IMO you're on the right track for that.
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Old September 23, 2008, 11:21   #3
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Originally Posted by Elsairon View Post
I like the idea of mages being able to use thier spells as a main attack rather than having to use weapons to keep up.

IMO you're on the right track for that.
I've written a ten part (so far) article on designing a magic system on the Ascii Dreams blog, with reference to Angband you may want to look at. My main analysis of the problems from the latest part is:

Angband spell casters have a number of problems that I wanted to address in Unangband. Firstly, and most paradoxically, the damage output for spell casters is too low, which means they end up relying on other attacks than their spell books, and spells primarily to provide heals, teleports, cures and so on. Secondly, the mana stat is too inflexible a restriction, particularly at low levels once a character runs out of mana, they have to run away and rest (until they find rare and powerful mana granting items deep in the dungeon). And finally, every spell caster can learn all the spells they have available to them there is no opportunity for specialisation at the cost of available spells.

I believe however that there is much more complexity than just boosting damage. Have a read and give me your feedback.

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Old September 23, 2008, 16:17   #4
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Well I was going to add another resistance to the mix too, spell resistance but I was going to spell out the details in another post. I'll check out your post.

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Old September 23, 2008, 17:27   #5
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Mages are already weak with combat, so I don't see why you need to make them weaker. The reason they fight is because spellcasting is pathetic. I also think your system makes it hard for the player to keep track of what is going on.

Why not simply double the damage of all damage spells, and increase the mana for lower level chars? Perhaps give an additional 4 mana per cLevel irrespective of spell stat.
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Old September 23, 2008, 18:27   #6
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The idea was to make a mage ACT like a mage, not a fighter with spells. He should be a very weak fighter. I wanted to change the power of spells cast by non-mages as well as add to the number of total spells. Angband already has a ton of things to keep track of, fortunately, the computer will do all calcuations for them. The basics is that a mage casts a spell better than a ranger does at the same level and allows for more power if you have the right equipment. It's no different than Might for a bow. x3 becomes x4 is no harder to think of than a +10% spell damage bonus for wearing the "Robe of Vecna". Mages then will look for gear that would add to their spell power or reduce mana usage just like rangers look for gear that increases missile damage.

Also, magic power could also determine "buff" like spell length. Rather than haste self lasting plev+d20 turns it might be plev +d20 * magic power.


Last edited by bpleshek; September 23, 2008 at 20:13.
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Old September 23, 2008, 20:07   #7
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I agree that high level mages should be able to use spells for attack a lot more. all the basic spells are element based and any decent monster is resistant. that's fine for the lower level mosters but when you get a decent way in, then I think mages need more big damage dealing spells, at lower cost.

I think this could be acheived by making the existing spells more powerful or maybe even adding more non-resistable spells.

for all that, I still don't think a mage should be prevented from fighting. a grizzled level 50 mage has been around long enough to know how to handle himself with a sword. in fact we can even find glamdring, gandalf's own sword and it's not a bad find by any means.

I kind of think that a mage should be able to do serious damage at a distance much like a ranger can with a good bow and arrow set, but lets not remove his ability to hand to hand where he can. after all, he might well run out of mana and need to finish the job.


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Old September 23, 2008, 21:01   #8
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I agree on not nerfing mage melee, or if mage melee is nerfed either a "war mage" class should be introduced.

As to how to improve magic, I think mages should be able to do with magic what a fighter can do with a heavy crossbow. A mage should be able to do as much unresistable damage per round as a good ego heavy crossbow firing +9, +9 bolts with an x2 slay applied. I think mana use, max mana, and restore mana availability should be such that a mage can fire off as many good offensive spells as a fighter can reasonably carry crossbow bolts. If mana is not increased or cost decreased to that degree the spells need to do even more damage. Or we can go the other way and nerf bows until they are weaker than melee/magic for everyone except rangers.
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Old September 23, 2008, 21:13   #9
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The reason that a fighter is powerful with a weapon is because of practice. The more he practices, the better he becomes. The same likely applies to spells. The more one uses it, the more one ought to be adept at it. We assume that a mage practices spells much more often than he does swords because he doesn't study it. I wasn't suggesting a total nerf, but the fact is all mages now play as warriors in the end game. They should play as spellcasters. There are plenty of decent small weighted weapons(and more can be added if necessary) but the best weapon in the game(whatever it is) shouldn't be wielded with just a slight penalty for a mage over a fighter. The numbers i used like -10 to-hit per pound was just an example and balance would have to be found, but barring a really unique weapon, the mage should be a spellcaster. I'm not saying that the mage cannot wield a 17.0 pound Battle Axe of Balli Stonehand for the bonuses it provides or the 40.0 pound Mace of Disruption, but you cannot hand this weapon to some mage and expect him to be *nearly* as good with it as the warrior because the mage has his STR and DEX to 18/***. I'm not advocating for a skill based system as that is an entirely different subject and I believe the focus of SA. A warrior cannot use spells at high levels, why should a mage be able to use ANY weapon at high levels at good effectiveness.

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Old September 23, 2008, 21:30   #10
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Something I've been working on with DaJangband, is separating the mage class into two separate classes: the war mage (a class which can actually use magic primarily for combat, and isn't as good at non-combat related spells) and the wizard (pretty similar to the mage now except not quite as frail and not quite as good at the combat spells, focussing more on defensive and utility spells).

I still debating on how to make the war mage suitably powerful in combat magic to make his magic more effective than weapons. I'm thinking one easy way to do it would be to make every item which grants intelligence also grant extra magic power. I'm also going to make him start with extra mana.
Also, in the next version of DaJAngband, there will be aligned weapons. Bad weapons give bonueses to black magic (necromancers, assassins), and good weapons give spell bonuses to those who use the prayer realm. War mages, though they don't use the black realm, will also get a bonus from bad weapons. Aligned character classes also get a penalty for weilding opposite aligned weapons.
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