View Full Version : Spells & skills

08-21-2013, 08:57 PM
Spells & Skills - Actions & Abilities
Please keep a clear separation between spells, skills, abilities and actions. A spell isn't a skill. "Defend" isn't a spell, it's an action.

However, when I open the "Spellbook", the first 3 things I see are: "attack", "ranged attack" and "defend", so I start looking around to find out where I am. But no, the tab at the bottom of the book actually does say "Spells". As I start checking out the second page, I find my spells. Later on, I wonder how to use my skill "Warfare", so I open the skill book, locate warfare... only to realize I cannot use it. Eventually I find "Challenge" under Spells and also realize that it requires mana.

Poking around the interface a bit more, I realize that there are two markers called "actions" and "all spells". "actions" remove everything which consumes mana. "All spells" still show "Defend" and "Best health potion".

This really needs a redesign. As for the specific words "spells" and "skills", you have used them in the sense of the words "actions" (spells) and "abilities" (skills). I only put the words in parentheses to clarify which you've used in place of which word, not to imply that they actually are synonyms - they are not.

1. At the very least, change the words used for these books and change what's written on the bottom tabs to actions and abilities respectively. Anything else is very confusing. And as soon as something is confusing, it quickly gets annoying. Especially when it's the result of missuse of language. And the action markers could then be called "All actions", "All spells", "All skills". "Skills" wil be explained below, but in short: "Challenge" is not a spell - it's a skill.

I will hencefourth in this thread use actions for things you can do, and abilities for the various skill sets.

Furthermore, I'd like to point out that "Challenge", the first skill you get from the Warfare ability, is a skill and not a spell. It could be a spell, but then it would instead be part of a school of magic, for example the Primordial school of magic. It might even work the exact same way as the skills does - you get the target to attack you instead of someone else. And as a spell it would then cost mana.

However, Warfare is NOT magic. It's about strategy and tactics. For example, formations to use in order to protect weaker members of a group. Possibly since we're not dealing with army generals here, but rather small groups, it could even include "dirty tricks" such as taunting enemies into attacking the fighter instead of the mage. Thus, I really would like to give fighters abilities to shield their weaker group members through non-magical means. But then, please, keep these abilities away from the mana pool.

Possible ways of redesigning "Challenge":

Turn it into a free skill (does not spend any finite resources) and make it chance based
Make it work all the time vs specific creatures, such as humanoids which can be considered "honorable fighters". These creatures might respond to the challenge while others ignore it.
Introduce a new derived stat, Stamina, base it off Might and Vitality, and make it use Stamina. Probably while changing the name from "Challenge" to "Protect"
Leave it as is, and simply remove the mana consumption. And change the name to "Protect"

There are obviously balancing issues involved that I will not go into. I only concern myself with turning these skills into something I as a user can believe. If you keep the name Challenge, I'd like to see it use no resource (i.e. neither mana, nor stamina) since a challenge is something you voice (while not being a spell you cast with a vocal component). And if you do keep challenge, what would make most sense is to make it work vs some creatures only. On the other hand, the list of creatures which would respect a challenge would be rather short (a brigand certainly would not) and thus the skill would largely be useless. Changing name on the skill to Taunt while still making it "creature based" could mean you'd make it work against all "intelligent creatures". Or perhaps even all creatures of "normal intelligence", since a slightly smarter creature would ignore the taunt and go for the most dangerous or most easily killed opponent.
My recommendation: Call the skill protect, make it work vs all creatures in a single direction. Possibly add Stamina and make it use that. Else simply remove the mane consumption and make it chance based.

But please, keep skills as skills. Do not turn warrior skills into spells. And this goes for any action you can come up with that a warrior could do: Precision strike (ignore some armor), Fearless Assault (increase damage at the cost of lowering dodge / armor values), Dance of Winds (strike all opponents within melee range). They would all be skills. Not spells. None of them would use mana. If you wish, feel it's a good idea or that mages need more "stuff", sure - turn them into spells as well, but those would belong in the magic schools.