Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:26 pm

getter77 wrote:Lots of nifty ideas from other folk thus far...excellent.


As an aside it would be cool if you'd check your PMs on the Codex.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:19 pm

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:It's a level 9 spell. The cream of the crop. It's fine as it is. In other games Mass Dominate is an AoE spell (NWn2 for instance) and it doesn't matter how many targets you catch in the AoE. Having *only* three attempts to dominate, as opposed to 5 attempts in Darksun - is already enough nerfing. Maybe one thing: don't allow several attempts at the same target in a given round. E.g. using all 3 attempts on the Balor to finally overcome his saves.


The rest of the 9th level spells aren't nearly as powerful as it is. Greater Disintegrate would be inferior in all but the strangest situations compared to it. Not only do they have the same range, but Dominate Monster gives 3 chances for the save to fail, where in Greater Disintegrate it's just one.

And look at Acid Burst or Meteor Shower. They are nowhere near the jump in power compared to 8th level spells that Dominate Monster is. It's much simpler to tune Dominate Monster to the same power as the rest of the spells, than it is upgrade the rest of the 9th level spells.

Dominate Monster is more than 3 times as powerful as the 8th level spell preceding it. Acid Burst is merely a bit more powerful, and somewhat more versatile.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:15 am

Tiavals wrote:The rest of the 9th level spells aren't nearly as powerful as it is. Greater Disintegrate would be inferior in all but the strangest situations compared to it. Not only do they have the same range, but Dominate Monster gives 3 chances for the save to fail, where in Greater Disintegrate it's just one.

Solved by my proposal of not allowing a second attempt at the same target in the same round.

Tiavals wrote:And look at Acid Burst or Meteor Shower. They are nowhere near the jump in power compared to 8th level spells that Dominate Monster is. It's much simpler to tune Dominate Monster to the same power as the rest of the spells, than it is upgrade the rest of the 9th level spells.

Dominate Monster is more than 3 times as powerful as the 8th level spell preceding it. Acid Burst is merely a bit more powerful, and somewhat more versatile.

I agree. We need more level 9 spells which are more powerful. The existing ones are too lame for lvl9 spells. Except Dominate Monster.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby getter77 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:43 am

-Right on the HItDice part of Summons. Honestly, I've never quite "got" the whole HitDice aspect of things, so all I've ever done is just look at the sum of stats and abilities/enemy level and made my reckonings from there.

-Good to know on the whole Epic Level bit, though I will say I'm surprised to see a reluctance past 20---though that is probably just a part of me expecting many people wanting to export max level parties from KotC 2 into a subsequent module: Wasn't that kind of the shake of things with people on NWN 2 > MoB > SoZ? Then again, from what I've seen of those games(Let's Plays on Youtube)----things seem to become a bit more unhinged as all the "Maths" doesn't seem to scale gracefully with all they generally have out there in those levels versus say the mid-game. I should suppose that a 1-20 campaign fleshed out with an eye for replayability to be pretty well reasoned though, and a feat in and of itself.

-Hooray for more outlandish Elemental stretching---probably yet another contributing factor to that being something of a highly regarded game after all this time.

-Understood on the extra. My general line of thinking I try to manifest isn't so much "what can be shoehorned in?" but rather "What stands as a logical inclusion given a mid-high magic setting and hasn't already been trod to the point of predictability by scores of past games?"

-Well, +2 DEX and +1 Attack Roll are pretty handy for Bow users, especially given the earlier Sideline about how +ToHit to create a chance to deliver effects matters more than raw numbers. So while the Micro-Archer's raw damage is down alongside Str, the accuracy and such rises nicely as suddenly everything becomes a much larger target to hit than otherwise. I guess if using a Composite or some such that benefits from high Str it makes the downside even harsher, but still.

-I don't quite follow you on Chromatic Orb in terms of duration concerns? I was just picturing it doing the usual 2d10 damage at CL 19/20, with all else up to that point being as it currently is----but then with the feat taken you could then pick from the past effects under the spell progression at will with each casting.

-Presuming all work on boosting the base as was clarified on the Spider, I'd say that the Familiars are in pretty good shape. The only other direction they could be taken is something more akin to an Animal Companion, but IIRC that was moreso a Ranger/Druid thing?

-Understood on the Sorcerer. Hmm...what about some sort of called Counterspell bonus? Kind of like how a Favoured Enemy is done for Rangers in past games, only School/Class based? It would kind of fit given the whole "mastery of all" angle.

-I'm always a fan of more spells at higher levels, so as to really give players pause for thought in the few they'd get to pick from a host of them.

-Extra Psychic warrior feats eh? Hmm... My first idea was to check in on D&D Tactics on PSP and ToME 4's latest implementations for ideas(The latter especially becoming one hell of a trial-by-fire blender of sorts for class viability in a turn-based RPG setting), but alas neither seem to yet have everything up online for perusal for inspiration/hints. The one thing that comes to mind is some sort of Psychic/Dancing/Animated weapon whereby you could use an inventory weapon as something like a Summon---risk being that if it takes too much damage it is destroyed outright and thus a balance is struck between selling, equipping, and trying to use something strong enough, safely enough. With the right feats, I suppose you could manage something like Triple-Wielding, which would indeed trump the Fighter's potential at the fringe as the character bio intimates. Hopefully some other folk can chime in on some nifty and thematic doings.

Though I suppose a thing to do is actually fire up one or both personally and try to see what's afoot ingame. Eh, maybe... : \
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby screeg » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Some kind of dancing weapon for our Psychic friend does sound nifty. Not sure how hard it would be to implement with an actual inventory weapon.

Here are a couple of things I never liked about the D&D ruleset:

1. instant death magic --too binary. Against high level spellcasting opponents you more or less have to have protection from death effects. If there's one spell you absolutely must buff before combat, I think it reflects poorly on the design. It also just seems unfair, as if your opponent is using a cheat. It irritates me less to have it available to the player, since you are expected to kill around 1,000 monsters in the course of the game, while there are only a handful of you. Still, I wouldn't cry if the player didn't get it either, or if the death effect was restricted to targets of lower level than the caster.

2. resurrection -- too easy. Personally I would like to see a game with no resurrection whatsoever. It never fits with the rest of the gameworld. How would a king ever be assassinated with resurrection available from the nearest temple? Why aren't merchants selling life insurance? If priests literally hold the keys to life and death, why aren't the temples the rulers of the whole world? The real availability of limitless resurrection would result in a completely different society.

You'll recall that in older rulesets resurrected characters lost one permanent CON, which actually meant something since those stats were fixed for the life of your character. I know I'm probably not going to get much sympathy with the idea of banning resurrection outright, but how about making it significantly harder and less pleasant of an option?

Ideas:
> Permanent loss of one point of a random stat (less desirable since it could be gamed), or of the unit's primary stat! Yes, I'm that hardcore.
> Permanent loss of ten hitpoints, or according to a formula, ex. 4 hp +2/level.
> Permanent stat damage to party Cleric performing resurrection.
> Resurrection spell available to party only in form of artifact or uncopyable scroll (could be quest goal/reward!)
> Each temple will only offer one resurrection of one character for the entire game.
> Temple will not accept money for resurrection but only a powerful magical artifact.
> Characters themselves can only be resurrected one time, ever.
> Resurrected characters are reduced to the beginning of the previous experience level, ie. a minimum loss of one full level of experience. This last one is my least favorite, since "spending" experience points isn't much more painful than spending gold. There will always be more, and the whole fun of the game is in acquiring it, so I don't know if it would be an effective incentive to play well.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:16 pm

screeg wrote:2. resurrection -- too easy. Personally I would like to see a game with no resurrection whatsoever. It never fits with the rest of the gameworld. How would a king ever be assassinated with resurrection available from the nearest temple? Why aren't merchants selling life insurance? If priests literally hold the keys to life and death, why aren't the temples the rulers of the whole world? The real availability of limitless resurrection would result in a completely different society.


Most settings where resurrection is handy, do have kings that are "immortal" until they die of old age, or become bankrupt. Remember, it takes 25,000 gold to resurrect someone, which is a lot of money. It might be that the king's heir has a different use for the money, especially since he'd be dead if his daddy stayed in the grave.
And because it takes so much money to raise the dead, churches aren't any more important than in real life. I mean, they already give you life after death, why would you care about living that much anyway.
In effect, resurrection isn't limitless. And churches do usually have a lot of influence on the king, since they do hold the keys to his resurrection.

Ideas:
> Permanent loss of one point of a random stat (less desirable since it could be gamed), or of the unit's primary stat! Yes, I'm that hardcore.
> Permanent loss of ten hitpoints, or according to a formula, ex. 4 hp +2/level.
> Permanent stat damage to party Cleric performing resurrection.
> Resurrection spell available to party only in form of artifact or uncopyable scroll (could be quest goal/reward!)
> Each temple will only offer one resurrection of one character for the entire game.
> Temple will not accept money for resurrection but only a powerful magical artifact.
> Characters themselves can only be resurrected one time, ever.
> Resurrected characters are reduced to the beginning of the previous experience level, ie. a minimum loss of one full level of experience. This last one is my least favorite, since "spending" experience points isn't much more painful than spending gold. There will always be more, and the whole fun of the game is in acquiring it, so I don't know if it would be an effective incentive to play well.


That'd only lead to the player always loading when someone dies. Which makes it meaningless.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:47 pm

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:In other games Mass Dominate is an AoE spell (NWn2 for instance) and it doesn't matter how many targets you catch in the AoE.
According to these pages http://nwn2.wikia.com/wiki/Dominate_Monster and http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Dominate_monster both Neverwinter Nights games had a single-target version of Dominate Monster.

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:It's a level 9 spell. The cream of the crop. It's fine as it is. In other games Mass Dominate is an AoE spell (NWn2 for instance) and it doesn't matter how many targets you catch in the AoE. Having *only* three attempts to dominate, as opposed to 5 attempts in Darksun - is already enough nerfing. Maybe one thing: don't allow several attempts at the same target in a given round. E.g. using all 3 attempts on the Balor to finally overcome his saves.
Yes, that's an interesting possibility. Single-target with sickened on a successful save sounds good too, together with reducing the duration of Dominate and Control spells to a fixed 8 rounds.

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:We need more level 9 spells which are more powerful. The existing ones are too lame for lvl9 spells. Except Dominate Monster.
Isn't that a somewhat harsh judgement? Meteor Shower lets you deal 24d8 points of fire damage (108 on average). How would you go about making it more powerful? It's true that it's easier to weaken Dominate Monster a bit, than to make every other level-9 spell more powerful.

getter77 wrote:Wasn't that kind of the shake of things with people on NWN 2 > MoB > SoZ?
With Mask of the Betrayer, it was. Not with Storm of Zehir, there you started at level 4 I think. If another game like Storm of Zehir was released I would buy it, regardless of the starting level.

I should suppose that a 1-20 campaign fleshed out with an eye for replayability to be pretty well reasoned though, and a feat in and of itself.
The idea isn't so much to have a single huge campaign like in KotC 1, but to have a variety of modules with different starting (and ending) levels.

-Hooray for more outlandish Elemental stretching
Well, they're good ideas for new enemies but I think for the summoning the original (balanced) four are enough.

-Well, +2 DEX and +1 Attack Roll are pretty handy for Bow users, especially given the earlier Sideline about how +ToHit to create a chance to deliver effects matters more than raw numbers. So while the Micro-Archer's raw damage is down alongside Str, the accuracy and such rises nicely as suddenly everything becomes a much larger target to hit than otherwise. I guess if using a Composite or some such that benefits from high Str it makes the downside even harsher, but still.
Yes, I know that you gain these bonuses. What I don't understand is 'physically' why should a small creature gain a bonus to their ranged attacks? The bonus to AC comes from the fact that a small target is more difficult to hit than a big one, but where does the DEX bonus come from? ;)

-I don't quite follow you on Chromatic Orb in terms of duration concerns? I was just picturing it doing the usual 2d10 damage at CL 19/20, with all else up to that point being as it currently is----but then with the feat taken you could then pick from the past effects under the spell progression at will with each casting.
Well, for example the first effect makes the target sickened for 1d4 rounds. If you were to choose that effect instead of the normal one for your level, perhaps it would make sense that the sicken duration be longer than just 1d4 rounds, or perhaps it doesn't matter.

-Presuming all work on boosting the base as was clarified on the Spider, I'd say that the Familiars are in pretty good shape. The only other direction they could be taken is something more akin to an Animal Companion, but IIRC that was moreso a Ranger/Druid thing?
Cool. I think the animal companion just makes things too complicated and unfair (you basically get two creatures to control for the price of one).

-Understood on the Sorcerer. Hmm...what about some sort of called Counterspell bonus? Kind of like how a Favoured Enemy is done for Rangers in past games, only School/Class based? It would kind of fit given the whole "mastery of all" angle.
I agree that counterspell fits with the class but the fact is, he's already great at counterspelling. Because he's likely to have learnt whatever spell he's trying to counter (meaning he can counter by casting the same spell, rather than a spell of higher level and same school).

-I'm always a fan of more spells at higher levels, so as to really give players pause for thought in the few they'd get to pick from a host of them.
On that matter would you say it's better to give 2 spell picks at every level up? Or just one, or even zero (as in Baldur's Gate).
Thank you for the ideas on the psychic warrior.

screeg wrote:instant death magic --too binary. Against high level spellcasting opponents you more or less have to have protection from death effects. If there's one spell you absolutely must buff before combat, I think it reflects poorly on the design.
Well, the Death Ward and Mass Death Ward spells can't be cast before combat. They're not absolutely necessary either, since you can buff by focusing on spell resistance and high saving throws, and you can also rely on resurrection spells.

How would a king ever be assassinated with resurrection available from the nearest temple?
This thread http://www.enworld.org/forum/d-d-legacy ... ction.html discusses just that. The common method is to cast Soul Bind to imprison the soul in a gem.

Why aren't merchants selling life insurance?
Perhaps in some game worlds they do.

why aren't the temples the rulers of the whole world?
Because they were defeated by good-aligned player characters? :lol: Depends on the game world really. It's easy to imagine clerics or wizards as the rulers of certain nations, or members of ruling councils.

Tiavals wrote:That'd only lead to the player always loading when someone dies. Which makes it meaningless.
That's what I was thinking; if there's a permanent penalty of even a single ability point, then any time a character dies it's better to reload and try the battle again. It would make death effects even more frustrating.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby screeg » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:48 pm

That's what I was thinking; if there's a permanent penalty of even a single ability point, then any time a character dies it's better to reload and try the battle again. It would make death effects even more frustrating.

We look at the same problem two different ways. My issue with Resurrection is it's too cheap, it's not much of a penalty at all by level 6 or 7, which leaves a whole lot of game where you don't make a decision to reload, it's just easier (too easy) to bring dead characters back to life. So what I'm suggesting is having a real consequence instead of just a monetary penalty, which is more or less meaningless in a game where more money will always be available.

Right now you've got: Finally killed the Chromatic Hydra, what a fight! Three characters dead though. ~five seconds pass~ There! All resurrected, what's next?

What I'd like to see is: Finally killed the Chromatic Hydra, what a fight! Three characters dead though, that will be costly ~sound of wheels turning~ Maybe I should reload and try to kill it with only one death, or I could come back later when we're better prepared.

That requires the player to make compromises and consider his strategy more carefully. It's not a punishment. Personally I think it would be an improvement. And it doesn't have to be an ability point (although since those improve over time I don't think it's such a big deal), I listed eight different ideas. That's my $0.02 anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about alienating KotC fans, it's not exactly a casual game in the first place.

On that matter would you say it's better to give 2 spell picks at every level up? Or just one, or even zero (as in Baldur's Gate).

No more than one, although zero would be even better. I like having to discover rare spells in game instead of just picking them up automatically (quest reward, anyone?).
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby BlueSalamander » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:54 pm

- On Dominate Monster, I'm leaning more towards keeping three targets, but no target can be selected more than once, and the duration is just eight rounds. Reasons for this: 1) makes the spell more enjoyable and useful and 2) it's not uncommon to have spells of much higher effectiveness than other spells of the same level, for example: Glitterdust, Fireball, Holy Smite, Harm, Mass Harm, Irresistible Dance. Mass Hold Monster is still useful if there are a lot of targets to incapacitate, you'd rather coup-de-grace them, or you only have a standard action to spend (since Dominate requires a full-round action). Making Dominate Monster close range would be annoying because you don't often have three targets in close range to the wizard.

- On dead characters: if you have three guys dead there are two bad consequences already: 1) your three dead guys didn't receive any experience award from this tough battle and 2) it will cost 75,000 gold to bring them back without a further experience loss. Sufficient to consider fighting again no? On the other hand, if the three of them have lost a point of constitution then there's no discussion, you just have to reload so that your characters remain fully effective.

- On zero spell picks at level up, I think it made things really difficult for wizards in Baldur's Gate 2. You would level up and not get an immediate increase in power. You had to buy most of the spells. In Dark Sun, you had a single pick per level and your spell book could never be complete. ToEE had 2 spell picks per level (I think) and that was the main source of spells. Interesting how each game used a different system. One pick may be best.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:35 am

Shame about the overpowered Dominate Monster. It made the true final fight of KOTC1 childishly easy(just dominate the balors and tadah). But ah well.

As for spell picks, I would definitely prefer 2 per level, if not more. You just don't get enough spells for the wizard anyway. You can get maybe half of what you find interesting even with 2 picks, since there are so many cool spells to be had. If it's only 1, then you get even less. If it's zero, might as well not have a wizard, since the module creator is likely to give spells that you don't like. I'd rather be a psionicist who can choose what he can do, than someone who's at the mercy of the game.

The only "problem" there is, is that wizards get a far larger variety of spells for each spell level than the other classes. Clerics have perhaps 1/3 of the spells wizards do, which causes spell choosing to be kinda pointless for them, since they get everything. For the wizard, it's good to have at least 2 per level, since there's so many to choose from. For the cleric/druid/ranger/paladin, 1 might suffice.

If I get only 1 spell per level for the wizard, I will just choose the boring sure-kill spells that I know will always be useful, instead of the cool spells that might be useful in certain uncommon circumstances. And I prefer variety. Suppose I played the game twice, each time having a wizard. If it's just 1 per level, that means they'll be more or less identical, since I know I want certain spells, because of their power.
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