(custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

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(custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  GM_ODA on Thu May 23, 2013 8:38 pm

Neverwinter Nights has 186 Arcane spells in it as it comes standard. We have added over 80 custom spells here so far, and are working our way through a list of c.1000 spells one-by-one. This means ultimately there will be about 1200 spells available to Arcane casters, yielding c. 120 spells per spell level available in game. Now, we want to ensure that each mage is unique, so we cannot allow any single caster to possess ALL the spells. For this reason, we are considering capping the total number of spells an Arcane caster can call upon (e.g. cap the number of spells in a spellbook).

The cap I am proposing is 2 spells per level + stat MOD, of any spell level (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd... 9th, Epic). In this way, the following are possible.

lv 1 stat 18 max spells per spell level : 6

lv 10 stat 27 max spells per spell level : 28

lv 20 stat 36 max spells per spell level : 53

lv 30 stat 45 max spells per spell level : 77

lv 40 stat 54 max spells per spell level : 102

Note, it is likely to be rare to find casters with such maximums in game as this example relies on heavy min-maxing. It is more likely that the typical lv 40 caster will have less than about 90, or 3/4 of all the spells in any given level available to them (in their spellbook). Even though I am proposing a cap on the total number of spells, this cap is far higher than the total number of spells available presently in any spell level 1 through Epic.

Our custom spell system requires casters to carry an inventory 'spellbook' even if the class does not usually require it - in some cases the inventory item is named 'Prayer Book'. Even though Sorcerers don't "learn" spells in the way a Wizard does, Sorcs must glean some lore from the game world to be able to cast the custom spells - look at this as the Sorcerer meeting new arcane agents willing and able to perform new tasks hitherto unknown to the Sorcerer.

Spells Copied from Another's Spellbook or a Scroll: ... must first decipher the magical writing. Next she must spend a day studying the spell. At the end of the day, she must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). A Wizard who has specialized in a school of magic gains a +2 on this check if the spell is in the same school. ... if success the Wizard can write the spell into their spellbook. ... if fails, caster cannot understand or copy the spell ... and cannot attempt to [gain this spell] again until such time as the caster gains another rank in Spellcraft.

Writing a New Spell into a Spellbook ... once understood ... the process takes 23 hours, costing 100 GP per spell level - for a Sorcerer, treat this as the Sorcerer making the initial contacts with the new entity and 'contracting' for future support.

FEEDBACK?

[Be well. Game on.
GM_ODA]

NOTE I omitted a teensy bit in my post, it is now included in UNDERLINE ITALICS above.


Last edited by GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  Animayhem on Thu May 23, 2013 9:24 pm

Why can there instead be a master arcanist at the college by which one could learn spells? They could be patterned after the Priests in temples who have their people seek certain items before they are taught the spell?
As for learning privately from one arcanist to another, a spellcraft roll could be done to see if they understand it. You must keep in mind however that sorcerers need charisma and wizards intelligence so the success/ fail rolls must be even for each skill.
Certain custom spells maybe necessary to the rp of the arcanist. If you start nerfing arcanists then you will have to nerf other casters, clerics druids bards.

I suggest a combination spellcraft roll and charisma/intelligence roll to determine if you can learn from the other arcanist and maybe a professor patterened like the temple priests.
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  Animayhem on Thu May 23, 2013 9:38 pm

Write now there is a natural difficulty level built in. The only way at the moment an aracnist can learn a custon spell outside of another, is by randomly putting their spell book and an item in a research desk.
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  BobbyBrown15 on Thu May 23, 2013 11:06 pm

I am not sure how the effectiveness of this cap may work as it stands, the only way is to test it, however i do not expect wizard players to like this cap with their variety severely limited, as for wizards that is their advantage, variety. However this variety is also a weakness, perhaps the wizard prepared the wrong spells, perhaps he was caught off guard, variety is as much a weakness as a advantage, it requires planning and foresight, as it stands everyone here knows what to expect by now except for the new arrivals. My main worry is how the flowing in playerbase will see this cap, it may in fact scare them away if this cap is too strict, while it is a good idea and heads back to the idea of traditional DnD, the makers of NWN in my eyes, effectively broke DnD inside of the NWN program, spells do not work as they should, they have botched and done many things that do not even make sense. I have 2 reasons to be against this cap.

1. The playerbase we so want to increase, their reaction to it could "possibly" be negative to it and drive them away. This I KNOW is the opposite of what we want to happen.

2. The implementation of the cap itself and its affect to the wizard class "IN NWN", the game is made in a way that I see is a far cry from normal DnD and the cap may have a far worse effect than an aid, severly breaking the wizard class and making it far weaker than it should be, however the only way to know this is to test the cap and its implementation.

This is my 2 cents on the matter.
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  Crescent_Black on Fri May 24, 2013 2:20 am

if this cap is for Custom spells only, im in agreeance for it, however. This strikes 2 other issues. 1st: is that if another teachs it to you, or you randomly learn some spell out of experimenting with the research desks.. are you then stuck with that learned custom spell.. Forever? Or will there be a means to remove it and learn something else in it's place? I personally would LOATH to stick with a Spell like "Clean" when I could have say, Short-range teleport, for instance.

However this brings another issue. Since the custom spells in the custom spell, spellbook, have their 'own' spells-memorized effectively giving more than what a wizards natural progression would allow by say, 40 spells memorized? quickly becomes 1000 spells memorized per day, via the custom spellbook alone, with it's 80+ known spells for a 40 lvl wizard, each custom spell grants up to 5 memorizations of EACH custom spell, hence how one wizard can memorize not even for that day.. but a few moments of idleness to memorize individual spells.. to be prepared.

The level progression spells and the custom spells work separately, one needs to be spoken with exact words to be cast and individualy memorized whilst the other is returned by resting and can be point and clicked. They function separately and I view that they should be handled, separately. It will make the issue easier and still just as balanced for total overall power. The issue is NOT the normal spell progression, but the custom spells, will the custom spells be too powerful? And if so, what do we do to keep 'it' balanced?
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Spelled correctly

Post  Silver Oak on Fri May 24, 2013 4:18 am

So can these be macroed?
Will that activate the spell?



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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  Crescent_Black on Fri May 24, 2013 4:23 am

the problem with macroing is it uses the shout channel, which is very disruptive to the server, and even then you only have so many quicktabs to use such from.
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  Silver Oak on Fri May 24, 2013 5:30 am

And I as a mage only reallyu worry about the spells I want as in right now in quickslots any way.
Granted I could stiull have a notebook full of others.
The Macros are always shout? Is that hard coded?

I did not know that.



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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 10:00 am

Animayhem wrote:Why can there instead be a master arcanist at the college by which one could learn spells? They could be patterned after the Priests in temples who have their people seek certain items before they are taught the spell?
As for learning privately from one arcanist to another, a spellcraft roll could be done to see if they understand it. You must keep in mind however that sorcerers need charisma and wizards intelligence so the success/ fail rolls must be even for each skill.
Certain custom spells maybe necessary to the rp of the arcanist. If you start nerfing arcanists then you will have to nerf other casters, clerics druids bards.

I suggest a combination spellcraft roll and charisma/intelligence roll to determine if you can learn from the other arcanist and maybe a professor patterened like the temple priests.

Friend Animayhem,

Good questions all. Let me clarify.

The required Spellcraft rolls are only required to learn spells found, for example, in scrolls or tomes or other arcane writings. In cases where a PC is being taught a spell, the teaching is to be automatic IF the PC learning is able to learn a spell of the level being taught. This means the learning PC must have less spells in their collection than the set cap, and the PC must be of sufficient level to learn the spell being taught.

Be well. Game on.
GM_ODA
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 10:10 am

Animayhem wrote:Write now there is a natural difficulty level built in. The only way at the moment an aracnist can learn a custon spell outside of another, is by randomly putting their spell book and an item in a research desk.

Friend Animayhem,

This type of Spell Research will still be permitted exactly as it works now - though the new CAP would limit the total number of spells of any level as noted.

KUDOS again, good point.

Be well. Game on.
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 1:29 pm

Friends Bobby Brown and Crescent Black,
Excelent points I will try to address your concerns here.

Bobby Brown wrote:
I am not sure how the effectiveness of this cap may work as it stands, the only way is to test it, however i do not expect wizard players to like this cap with their variety severely limited, as for wizards that is their advantage, variety. However this variety is also a weakness, perhaps the wizard prepared the wrong spells, perhaps he was caught off guard, variety is as much a weakness as a advantage, it requires planning and foresight, as it stands everyone here knows what to expect by now except for the new arrivals. My main worry is how the flowing-in playerbase will see this cap, it may in fact scare them away if this cap is too strict, while it is a good idea and heads back to the idea of traditional DnD, the makers of NWN in my eyes, effectively broke DnD inside of the NWN program, spells do not work as they should, they have botched and done many things that do not even make sense. I have 2 reasons to be against this cap.

1. The playerbase we so want to increase, their reaction to it could "possibly" be negative to it and drive them away. This I KNOW is the opposite of what we want to happen.

2. The implementation of the cap itself and its affect to the wizard class "IN NWN", the game is made in a way that I see is a far cry from normal DnD and the cap may have a far worse effect than an aid, severely breaking the wizard class and making it far weaker than it should be, however the only way to know this is to test the cap and its implementation.

and ...

Crescent_Black wrote:if this cap is for Custom spells only, im in agreeance for it ... [but] if another teaches it to you, or you randomly learn some spell out of experimenting with the research desks.. are you then stuck with that learned custom spell.. Forever? Or will there be a means to remove it and learn something else in it's place? I personally would LOATH to stick with a Spell like "Clean" when I could have say, Short-range teleport, for instance.

[omitting middle paragraph as it confused me can you please repost the thoughts from that paragraph rephrased or expanded some so I can have a second try at grasping your intent?]

The level progression spells and the custom spells work separately, one needs to be spoken with exact words to be cast and individually memorized whilst the other is returned by resting and can be point and clicked. They function separately and I view that they should be handled, separately. It will make the issue easier and still just as balanced for total overall power. The issue is NOT the normal spell progression, but the custom spells, will the custom spells be too powerful? And if so, what do we do to keep 'it' balanced?

We will be custom making each spell and on a case-by-case basis assigning what changes need making to ensure the new spells are not overpowered or unbalancing. The list of 1000 spells are taken from the D&D publications to date and is a sub-set of the total released for D&D over the decades, these were selected as being possible to script and worthwhile (different from other spells sufficiently to merit) scripting.





For those PLAYERS whose build depends on having 'every spell' - this means every spell native to NWN. In this system, a PC caster could have every spell in NWN with level and reasonable (primary) ability score. For example, in NWN I counted the following numbers of spells (standard Arcane list)

Level Number of Spells (in standard NWN)
0 (cantrips) 7
1 22
2 28
3 23
4 21
5 18
6 20
7 13
8 13
9 14
Epic (10) 6

=============
Total 185

Because with standard NWN spells, the most in any level of spell is 28 (2nd level), to have ALL 28 NWN level 2 spells a PC would have to be level 12 and have a primary ability score of 18 (a +4 mod). To have EVERY Arcane SPELL IN STANDARD NWN a PC would have to be at least level 21 and have a primary ability score of 18.

Part of the beauty of the magical setting Jack Vance gave us, and D&D copied, was the feeling that there were many spells, many mysteries of magic to be (re)discovered. And yet, the Lore Arcana was such that - well, Jack Vance said it best in this passage from Eyes of the Overworld


[Cugel has cleverly captured "the Laughing Magician" Iucounu, and wary of traps, has been perusing the wizards tomes and gear preparing Cugel's revenge upon his prisoner.]

... During this time he applied himself to Iucounu's tomes and folios, but with disappointing results. Certain of the tomes were written in archaic tongues, indecipherable script or arcane terminology; others described phenomena beyond his comprehension; others exuded a waft of such urgent danger that Cugel instantly clamped shut the covers.
One or two of the work-books he found susceptible to his understanding. These he studied with great diligence, cramming syllable after wrenching syllable into his mind, where they rolled and pressed and distended his temples. Presently he was able to encompass a few of the most simple and primitive spells, certain of which he tested upon Iucounu: notably Lugwiler's Dismal Itch. But by and large Cugel was disappointed by what seemed to be a lack of innate competence. Accomplished magicians could encompass three or even four of the most powerful effectuants; for Cugel attaining even a single spell was a extraordinary difficulty.
Jack Vance "The Eyes of the Overworld"

In the few pages following, despite his limited abilites, Cugel threatens others with the Spell of the Macroid Toe and finally the Spell of Forlorn Incistment. Throughout the Vance novels, there are hints and tempting clues to magics fabulous and less so, with exotic names and portents often most dire. In all this, even the great wizards were always seeking some tid-bit of lost spell lore.

It is hoped that Arcane casters would not despair but rejoice with the news that we plan to release 1000 spells into the game world. It is hoped that the fact that even the cap itself, should not negatively impact the strategy of any caster coming here from other servers - the standard NWN spells are ALL STILL ATTAINABLE.

All of the proposed system, the addition of 1000'ish spells and a cap on total lore, are all meant to ensure MORE liberty on the part of the caster while preserving the notion that the body of lore IS vast and perhaps beyond mortal ken. Remember SOME gods can cast ANY spell. This should help further differentiate various types of Arcane casters.

Don't want random spells in your spellbooks? OK, experiment less randomly. THINK about it and you will find the that things you put in the research table to discover what a spell's secret really is, are usually logical or at least make sense in a fantasy world. Adding so many spells means you can never be certain what strategy a wizard might take, nor what spells he might be found in the wizard's tomes. All in all, this should bring greater variance and freedom to wizardry of all sorts.

Be well. Game on.
GM_ODA



Last edited by GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: (custom) Spells - an overview of our plans

Post  GM_ODA on Fri May 24, 2013 1:48 pm

Crescent_Black wrote:the problem with macroing is it uses the shout channel, which is very disruptive to the server, and even then you only have so many quicktabs to use such from.

Macros in quickslots can invoke these spells, and channel can be specified in the macro so - for example, Daht Greelar (my Sorcerer PC) has BLINK in a quickslot for emergency use.

Be well. Game on.
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