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Old April 19, 2010, 19:05   #1
PowerDiver
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repartitioning spells mage vs priest

All of this talk about adding new spells is misguided IMO. Roguelikes are games of inventory management. The game ought to be balanced so that a warrior can win, so let's consider a warrior to be the baseline. If a spellbook allows a caster to save too many inventory slots compared to a warrior with a bunch of stacks of rods, it is unbalancing.

I'd like to see a distinction that mages are elemental [fire, cold, acid, elec] masters, and priests get healing, earth and light magic. The way to make the classes more distinct is to reduce the overlap. Here's an outline of the kind of thing I have in mind. I'm sure I will miss a couple, but my viewpoint should be clear enough.

I'd switch poison mastery to priests. Some exceptionally nasty poisons are life-based, and curing belongs to priests, so that fits better IMO.

(0) Remove all enchant and branding spells. That's not related to my points above, but so long as I am talking about removing spells I wanted to mention it.

(1) Remove CLW from mages

(2) Remove Illumination [light room] from mages

(3) Move stinking cloud from mages to priests. It could be their first attack spell.

(4) Remove cure poison from mages.

(5) Remove resist heat and cold from priests.

(6) Move stone to mud from mages to priests. This requires fixing vaults so they are blocked by rubble, not granite. [Actually, I would prefer stone to mud be removed from the game entirely, but in any case it is clearly earth magic.]

(7) Move spear of light from mages to priests.

(8) Move heroism from mages to priests, and make a larger difference between heroism and berserker.

(9) Move resist poison from mages to priests, and remove it from resistance spell

I think these sorts of changes would make the classes feel a lot more distinct. They might partially satisfy the people who think priests need more useful spells in their spellbooks.
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Old April 19, 2010, 19:20   #2
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I think I like the general idea here, but I'm torn about some things:

As far as holy light dealing damage I'm totally with you, but I feel like tons of wizards from fiction (e.g. Gandalf) can create a magical glow to see and read by.

Transmutation or alchemy those seem more like wizard than priest skills (if we had a druid then that would probably be the best fit, but I think wizard is closer than priest).

If the resistance spell loses poison does that mean that Colluin should also? I don't like the resistance effect being different from the resistance spell.

In addition I think that maybe priests should lose detection to mages (or maybe just that mages should get it). Things like crystal balls and scrying seem more like something a wizard would do and less like something a priest would do.

I'm interested in trying to rebalance, but if we're going to try to differentiate the mage and priest class then I'd like to be (somewhat) consistent with the literature.
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Old April 19, 2010, 19:34   #3
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I would rather differentiate mages from priests by playstyle rather than by elements. In my opinion, mages should be reliant on spells to deal their damage directly, while priests should be reliant on spells to make them capable of standing in melee despite being worse at it than straight-up warriors. Moving a bunch of direct-damage spells from mages to priests is directly counter to that.

I do agree that mages and priests should have distinct ability sets, and this is borne out in the early game at least: mage knowledge spells and priest knowledge spells fill distinct holes (with priests getting better knowledge of walls and evil/invisible monsters, but mages getting better knowledge of generic monsters and dungeon features), mages have better movement and direct damage spells (until Orb of Draining shows up, anyway), priests get better healing and recovery spells, and so on. Things get fuzzier once the dungeon spellbooks come into play, particularly since many of the priest spellbooks seem designed to address "glaring omissions" in the town books (particularly Ethereal Openings and Godly Insights, which remove the mage's two primary advantages over priests: movement and detection).
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Old April 19, 2010, 21:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_m View Post
In addition I think that maybe priests should lose detection to mages (or maybe just that mages should get it).
ISTR assorted RPGs referring to the class of detection spells under the category of "divination" spells. I never looked it up, but there is an obvious assumption about the root of the word divination that I am making. I don't mind giving detect magic as a low-level mage spell, of course, and the game is set up so that there is practically no difference between detect magic and reveal objects.

However, I was careful to limit my wording to light for priests, so I don't mean to rule out the possibility that clairvoyance might be changed to light the level without revealing objects.

Regarding Colluin, it doesn't matter too much if you double resist poison since there are no side effects and damage maximum is already halved compared to fire etc, so changing the activation to rBase doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
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Old April 19, 2010, 22:02   #5
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If you really want to be consistent with the literature remove priests completely and fold healing in with other magic.

There is no organized religion among the free races in Middle Earth.
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Old April 19, 2010, 22:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
However, I was careful to limit my wording to light for priests, so I don't mean to rule out the possibility that clairvoyance might be changed to light the level without revealing objects.
I think this is a good idea.
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Old April 20, 2010, 01:35   #7
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This will be kind of long, but I hope relevant. Executive summary: I think a fundamental rethink is a good idea (even if it doesn't result in a lot of change), and I suggest adding classes to V.

Given my desire for FAangband to be thematically consistent, I have put a lot of thought into character classes. I have kept the four schools of magic from O, with each school having a full caster and a half caster, for nine classes in all. I'll talk chiefly about the full casters; half casters can be handled as special cases where necessary.

Mage: These are the most "technological" magic users. They have control over the elements, teleportation and objects (good device skill and ID). I like Eddie's point about light, but also d_m's about functional light for mages. I have made damaging magic fairly weak in the early game, but increasingly powerful later. Saruman would have been a mage.
Half caster: Rogue.
Stat: INT.

Priest: These derive their power from the Valar (the gods, or maybe angels, if you like). I used to be of Atarlost's opinion that there is no organised religion in Middle Earth, but have changed my viewpoint a bit. There is certainly reverence to the Valar, most notably among the Numenoreans and their descendants; they used to make spring offerings to Eru/the Valar, and I think there was even a "High Priest" in Numenor. Religion in our modern sense indicates one of a number of competing belief system - in Middle Earth there was one correct belief system, and I would see priests as those who derived power from the (real) gods. Certainly within Tolkien's works calling on Elbereth had an effect. I generally like Eddie's comments about priests, and am in favour of keeping OoD in some form - although maybe it could *only* hurt evil creatures (priests might need some compensation for that). Actual definite priests are hard to come up with, but Gandalf was close.
Half caster: Paladin.
Stat:WIS.

Druid: Users of nature magic, with power over the environment and natural creatures. Some overlap with both mages and priests, they get attack spells based on lightning, light, water, gravity, etc. Examples of druids would be Radagast and Tom Bombadil.
Half caster: Ranger.
Stat:WIS.

Necromancer: These have power over the spirit world and the undead. Attack types include poison, dark and nether, and they get powerful dispelling magic. Sauron was a necromancer.
Half caster: Assassin.
Stat:INT.

I think V would benefit from a clear, stated idea of what the classes mean, and that's what Eddie is really doing, I think. It also helps to inform discussion of the "I think x class should get y spell" variety.

I also think that there would be a lot of good and very little bad in including new classes. NPP has introduced Druids, and that (together with a modification to Rangers) might be a good first step for V. Obviously I like the FA classes, but there are other models available (DaJ, Z, ToME for example).

That will do for now; thank you for your attention.
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Old April 20, 2010, 09:06   #8
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I don't know how much point there is in trying to do this stuff before the missile rebalancing...?
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Old April 20, 2010, 18:02   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_m View Post
As far as holy light dealing damage I'm totally with you, but I feel like tons of wizards from fiction (e.g. Gandalf) can create a magical glow to see and read by.

Things like crystal balls and scrying seem more like something a wizard would do and less like something a priest would do.
Those fictional wizard glows are typically centered on the wizard. Perhaps a new spell to increase light radius by 1 when in effect?

Let me turn the second statement upside-down. Wizards need a device activation, perhaps a Palantir, to view what the divinely inspired see directly in their holy visions.

Whatever solution is desired, I am sure we can find an argument to justify it.
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Old April 20, 2010, 18:18   #10
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Dworkin and I thought Gandalf called light from staves. Maybe give mages magical devices with minor but useful activations and or spell casting benefits.
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