Casting spells from books using evocations


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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 00:31

Casting spells from books using evocations

What if books could be used like scrolls. As I see it whenever you successfully cast a spell directly from a book that spell disappears from the book. The spell power and success of the spell will depend completely on the evocations skill, to make things simple 1 evocations = 1 in schools of magic and spellcasting, armour and shield have no effect on success but intelligence has. (you still need to read.)

It would make pure fighters much more interesting as with high enough evocations you could cast tornado/firestorm etc. It would make spellbooks useful for all classes but at a much more limited scope.

Suddenly finding the tenth book of summoning with your fighter is great.

I feel it would add an additional tactical element to the game and strengthen the weaker classes while having little effect on the super powered casters . Most spells aren't that powerful if you can only cast them once (haste becomes a potion of speed), but each book gives quite a few tactical options to combat, you would have interesting choices to make, do i take with me a book of flames or a wand of fireball? etc. the reliance on evocations balances the ability.

If you can cast spells from scrolls, why not from books? :)

Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 01:06

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

aren't Tomes of Destruction already fulfilling this purpose?

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 01:33

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Tomes of destruction cast random conjurations, I'm talking about being able to cast all the spells in the game with evocations, there are so many interesting situational spells that aren't used because they are only useful in very specific rare situations.

Because of tomes of destruction random effect, they have nothing to do with tactics, they have everything to do with flipping a coin and hoping to get something that deals enough damage to take out whatever is attacking you, pretty much a weaker wand.
Last edited by tazoz on Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 12:52, edited 1 time in total.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 08:43

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I like this idea a lot. Evcocation has a lot of potential anyway, but the more you can do with it, the more it becomes a no-brainer to just go Nemelex and abuse all the other powers that could come with it. So the first thing is probably to figure out a split between Nemelex powers and other evocation.
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Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 09:02

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

it ties in nicely with this proposal for rods, which i'm very fond of:
https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... :item:rods

and yes, i fully agree with the nemelex/evocations issue. i haven't weighted on the matter because i haven't played nemelex much, but any buff to evocations would be a buff to nemelex, who's already very strong, and the main reason (and means!) to train evocations. perhaps his abilities could somehow change to invocations. but then again, you still have to evoke decks. so i don't know.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 11:49

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I like this proposal. Like casting, but more limited, and should probably be capped at lower power (you are, after all, getting access to every spell you run across for the cost of a single skill). Also, Evocations skill should determine the level of spell you are able to cast, as well as your success. Since you would want to tote around a bunch of books, this proposal would emphasize Str as an Evoker's stat like the coming change to Misc. Items.

Should nearly empty books weigh less?Could they be consolidated into other books? Otherwise you might end up tossing books when they get low, since they take up both an item slot and quite a bit of aum.

Should monsters be able to use books? If they could and use up a spell, does that spell disappear from the book, and you can no longer learn that spell from that book?

Perhaps Nemelex should dislike using other items for evocations very often (something like only 1 out of 10 Evocations should be non-card, within a timeframe, not a total number of Evocations). You would still get to use staves and whatnot, but Wands, Rods, Misc. Items, and possibly Books would be limited. It seems like that would be consistent with flavour to me, since you are supposed to rely on the luck of the draw, not something safe and reliable.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2011, 13:56

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Dolphin: The power level of the spells needs to be tested, once the idea is implemeneted in the game we can play with the power level to find what is most balanced.

I feel that the spells should cost their normal mana cost, so you don't get free castings through this ability, unlike wands and rods. (casting free storms seems a bit over powered. :) )

You also need 10 necromancy/summoning/conjurations to cast most of the most powerful spells in the game (no rejuvenation/ deaths door/ summon greater demon/ firestorm etc.) Also the 'forbidden' books should cause the same effects that happen if you fail to memorize the spells, when you miscast the spells from the book.

The most convenient way to access this ability would be to add it to the evocations screen (using wands screen), all the books you have appear, you select one, all the spells and chances to cast appear, you choose the spell and it is cast.

About Nemelex, I like your idea Dolphin, Nemelex could punish you for evoking books or rods, this would also give a much needed restriction to the over powered Nemelex.

It would have been fun allowing monsters (maybe spellcasters) to cast spells from books (making the spells disappear), but I suspect the coding would be a bit too complicated, also orc wizards summoning dragons seems a bit unfair. ;)

I think it's better to leave the weight of the book as it is when using spells. I wouldn't want casters to cast all the spells they don't need from a book to make it lighter, it seems a bit cheap.

Temple Termagant

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Post Thursday, 5th May 2011, 03:21

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

spellcasting involves mainly memorising the spell so you cast it without the spellbook, however, if you think it will be better to use the book rather than memorise it, i still think it is logical to rely on Spellcasting skill.

Evocations usually only involves the handling of magical items.
but reading a book is all about your ability to read the spells.

rather than using evocations, i still think it is sensible to use Spellcasting skill.
so i would try to build on your suggestion of using books as consumables:

rather than memorising a book, reading the spell directly off a book, still relies on Spellcasting and the respected magic school skills, but since we are using the book as a consumable, we can cast the spell much easier using the book than casting it from memory.

for example,
we can cast a Mephitic cloud level3 spell by using a book, with greater success than trying to cast it from memory when you have low skills in Conjurations.
of course magic hating dieties will still frown upon reading from a book just as casting spells from memory.
(Trog worshippers shouldn't be able to use books that way)
this could allow Spriggan casters to use conjurations easily(or easier), by using books as reference material?

i wouldn't think evocations will be a fitting skill. how would we read a spell off a book when you don't have the skills to understand the words?

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 12:08

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I chose evocations mainly because for now the evocations skill is quite boring, it doesn't add much tactical choices.

The logic behind it is that intelligence allows you to read the words and once the words are read the spell is cast. On the other hand you need evocations to understand how the spell books work in the same way that you need evocations to activate rings. Think about it logically, how would a person evoke a magic ring? most likely through a command word or such, maybe using some sort of inner energy, how is that different from evoking a spell from a spell book, the only difference is that you need intelligence to actually read the words after you manipulate the power.

How I see it working: the player presses the key V the list of wands and spell books appear so new players will understand that you can also use spellbooks, once you press on a spell book, on he top of the screen it explains to the player that the success of casting the spells is dependant on evocations and that the spell will dissapear after use, by the spells you have the chance of success and the power in a similar manner to the cast spells screen.

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 15:19

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I am afraid this idea is nifty, but what does it solve? And what kinds of problems will it introduce (apart from the work to design, code and balance it). I've always loved the idea to turn something into a resouce... with books this happened when Trog started burning them, and more recently, when you can use them up to forget spells.
Considering book as one-off spells is interesting but I believe the natural scope for this (if at all) is a god. Note that non-casters should not be made to look like casters -- we're happy with the distinction. Apart from melee, non-casters can explore ranged combat and evocable items.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 20:00

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Thanks, Dpeg.


A way to balance it is to enable 1 level of spells for each 3 levels of evocations, so you would need level 3 evocations to cast level 1 spells, 6 for level 2 spells, 9 for level 3 etc. until 27 evocations for level 9, making casting the later spells much harder. (After 15 the cost becomes quite meaningful.)

In a way this suggetsion highlights the missed potential of Nemlex, because of the random nature of cards, a god that was designed to be a swiss army knife became a god of spammed summons and a few stacked broken spells, while this suggestion gives evokers a huge choice of single use effects, making evokers the most versatile yet complicated characters due to the amount of strategy needed to play them well.

Does it really break the barrier between melee and casters? The conjuration books are pretty much the same as more versatile weaker wands, the utility can be found in scrolls and potions and the better spells in rods and the summons are fun in general and fit much better with melee builds than most casters. Fighters can anyway always train magic as well as fighting which breaks this gap. Being able to cast spells only once is a huge difference, most casters cast the same spell thousands of times during the game, it makes fighters the same as casters in the same way that rods and wands do, which fits in with evocations.

I do feel that it does solve a few issues, at it stands now there are very little differences between one fighter and the other, the choices come down to gods and weapon type and heavy or light armor. Eventually the weapon type will have a bit more meaning once the weapons special attacks are implemented but the choices remain the same. The skills are trained in a very linear manner, you turn off weapon at a certain point and leave armor/dodging and fighting on.

My suggestion makes every level of evocations meaningful, so fighter types have to decide, do I train evocations one more level or leave it and be able to evoke weaker spells but have stronger melee skills or do I compliment my melee with normal spells and be able to cast spells at will but be unable to wear heavy armor. There is also the choice of what spell books the player carries with him. Choices are good and make the game richer as long as they add to the game play.

Trog would naturally dislike using spellbooks in such a manner so the suggestion wouldn't make the strongest (3 rune) god stronger and would still leave a subclass of pure fighters. (Trog should put the user under penance to avoid abuse)

It would make most characters a tiny bit stronger by being able to cast level 1 and later level 2 spells just from evocations natural growth, but as the early spells aren't really that great it isn't a big deal.(carrying around a book for one casting of summon butterflies or raise skeleton won't break the game) Another thing to remember is that most wands are better than conjuration based books (if each spell can be cast once) and the early level charms won't break the game as they are quite weak. Consider the fact that you will need level 9 evocations to cast mephic cloud.

Imagine a scenario of a player facing a tough encounter he has level 9 evocations and sees a spell book nearby, the player must decide is it worth it getting the spell book and hopefully get a spell to deal with the threat. He decides to try the spellbook and it was a book of flames, he happily casts conjure flame and runs for it. Maybe he had level 12 evocations and it was a book of necromancy, so he casts animate dead, etc.

Spells that might be problematic:
Tornado, fire storm, ice storm.- to be able to cast it the player needs level 27 evocations and he can only cast it once so they lose a bit of their power.
Revivification: the biggest problem spell in my eyes, maybe just disallow it but in general it's a problematic spell. (even for casters)
Mass confusion: requires level 18 evocations, it's nice that it will be at last used. :)
Deaths door: I feel is balanced with the additional requirements of level 10 necromancy, combined with level 24 evocations.
The various summon spells: These in my eyes are the most problematic spells(after revivication) as meat shields are powerful for fighters but most dangerous encounters will take out the weaker summons instantly if they don't ignore them and Okawaru and shining one don't like deaths of summons, so should be ok.

Spells that will be commonly used:
Fulsome distillation: ability to identify one negative potion or create potion of mutation, seems ok.
Summon butterflies: very strong but pretty much any non heavy armor caster could cast it by the time you find it.
Blink: nice but controlled blink scrolls and items with blink would do the same.
Cure poison: potion of healing is better.
Repel missiles: depends on evasion to be effective and one time use gives it limited effectiveness.
Swiftness: a weaker potion of speed
Abjuration: summoners are broken this is a good spell for every player to be able to potentially cast.
Tukimas dance: rare spell that would go well with melee characters.
Raise skeleton: nice defensive spell, not really over powered.
Animate dead: a great defensive spell but with only one casting will animate only 2 or three corpses.

Most of the higher level spells are fantastic and are better than potions but the high evocations skill required to cast them will balance out their power.

most of the spells are fun but not really as powerful as scrolls and potions are, as they are designed to have more powerful effects to go along with their limited use (consider the fact that wand of fire can cast multiple castings of bolt of fire a level 6 spell), it would mainly add a bit of color to non casters and make evokers much more fun and interesting to play.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 22:46

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

please don't special-case spell requirements or usage. thank you.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 22:48

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Questions:

1) How would MP cost of spell be handled?
2) Would casting a spell from a spell book cause a hunger cost?
3) How would the spell's power be determined?
4) What would the chances of casting be (can't be 100% all the time)?
5) Would using this ability train Evocations skill?


Opinion: Considering how difficult it is to get a lot of levels in Evocations (without Nemelex), I don't know that one-shot spells are worth it. Magic Dart a few times isn't really all that great; and is it worth training Evocations to 27 to use Necromutation... once?

The levels of Evocations would have to be tied to % success in casting and spell power, and be somewhat lower; I would suggest the following:

Evocations equivalent to Spellcasting for success rate
Evocations equivalent to round_up(school/1.5) for power rate (so Evocations 10 = Air Magic 7, for example)
Intelligence used the normal way for success rate/power

This would make Mephatic Cloud useful at something like Evocations 7 or 8, possible but dangerous at Evocations 5 or 6, and not really possible at Evocations 4 or less (if I have my general math right). On the other hand, you'd need something like Evocations 18 for Necromutation, which is a lot of investment but way less than Evocations 27, for a spell you'd only get to use once or twice during the game.

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 23:58

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Ibanix, expendables are invaluable in a game where there are a limited amount of dangerous encounters, an evoker won't be able to rely solely on spells as spellcasters do instead they will use them to get out of dangerous situations while using melee or memorized spells for others. Think of it as opening up new potions and scrolls the higher evocations you have, so at level 24 evocations and 10 necromancy you have an indestructable potion of necrmutation to use during for example the encounter with one of the unique pan lord levels. Making the encounter much easier.

1. Each spell costs its normal mana cost
2.Depending on evocations+intelligence (evocations is 1 spellcasting to 1 evocations)
3. The spell power is intelligence +evocations, for each point in evocations you gain 1 in all spell schools and spell casting, thus level 4 evocations gives level 4 in all schools and in spellcasting.
4.Depending on your evocations +intelligence, see number 3
5.Yes

It's not that difficult to get high evocations, just use a ring of levitation and macro for example l - afag the biggest problem is the hunger cost but during late game food is quite common. You can also use worthless wands, rods of striking etc.

The thing is that evocations gives you quite a few other benefits, stronger wands, rods, and the various spells found on items and stronger elemental staffs and decks. The fact that evocations won't be worth it even with the ability to cast spells from spellbooks, shows how weak evocations really is at this point in time.

I'm not really sure how powerful the ability really is, it needs some play testing, maybe the spell level - evocations requirements are unneccessary. It does seem a bit steep needing level 12 evocations to cast level 4 spells...

Monkey: :shock: :?

Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 01:13

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

tazoz wrote:It's not that difficult to get high evocations, just use a ring of levitation and macro for example l


As an aside from the main issue, the above promotes victory dancing - which is boring and repetitious, and my understand was that there was a push to get away from victory dancing.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 09:05

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I don't see the point of this idea. Spells are not designed to be casting once. Books are not evoked. We already have an item to provide a limited access to spell for evokers: rods (and some ideas to improve them).
More use of the evocations skill would be good, but using it to cast spells isn't very interesting. Let's improve miscellaneous items instead.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 10:45

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

Galehar, I doubt it if I can change your mind (if you read this post) and I'm sorry to hear that you don't like the idea as I feel it would make the game better.

while spells weren't originally designed to be cast once, pretty much every spell has a use in specific situations, even when cast once. Many of the spells are memorized by wizards and cast only once or twice as they aren't needed more often.

Certain spells would be more interesting if you only had the option to cast it once, notice that when you memorize a new spell the first casting of the spell is always the most satisfying and enjoyable.

Of course books are not evoked, that is the whole idea, to make books evokable. If you meant in a logical sense, ie. books in reality can't be evoked, this is also wrong, the game is set within a world based on fantasy so we create are own rules, the reasoning behind evoking a book, is that you call up the energy of the spells that lie within the book and release them.

There are precedents in fantasy settings for this idea, thiefs in dungeon and dragons had the unique ability to cast spells from both priest and wizard scrolls. One of the coolest skills thiefs gained in throne of Baal (the baldur's gate expansion) was this ability as suddenly your previously
one dimensional character could use scrolls of time stop or meteor storm, etc. making the chracter much more interesting.

I have to admit its hard to argue against the idea that cool new stuff is being developed and I applaude the development team for doing so. The main advantage that my idea has is that the power advancement is completely linear to the the characters advancement in the game as it's based on an ingame feature that has been worked on and balanced. You should get access to spells at about the same time casters would normally gain access to the same spells. Making this idea much more balanced than even wands.

The best thing about this idea is that it is based on a common resource, it's much easier finding multiple books than rods/misc items, as it stands a player can wait half of the game until he finds an item designed to be used by a master of evocations, this is a problem since it pretty much makes playing an evoker a bad choice. (you should never rely on luck when desgining a character build)

I would argue that this ability would be amazingly fun, suddenly you look at all the spells in a different light, you have to think very carefully if to use a spell and how to use it effectivly, you don't just spam poisonous clouds you instead tactically place it so you can lure as many creatures as you can into it and try and keep them in it as long as you can.

You think very carefully do I use evaporate to cast a poisonous cloud or to cast a confusing cloud as you can only cast one. etc.

I can give similar examples for most spells that have unique effects.
Even simple spells such as summons become interesting, having one ice beast is completely different than having as many as you want, so you wait until you face an ice themed enemy or tank while the ice beast deals damage to a fire themed creature. Even spells such as ice form and spider form are useful in certain situations, even if your character is not unarmed.

Ibanix: for now victory dancing is a huge part of the game, for evocations to become meaningful you need to have a way to increase the skill level, which for now unfortunately doesn't exist. (it would be nice if evocations increased over time if you had in your inventory certain items.) One way to bypass this is to make spells cast through books train evocations at a much faster rate ie. take more xp from your pool. (I quite like victory dancing as it gives quite a bit of control on the advancement of the character, eventhough it can be tedious)

I wanted to mention that I've come to the conclusion that the level restriction was a mistake and if implemented (unfortunately, it seems unlikely) should probably use the formula in my original post.

Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 11:19

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

A quick note: People are already complaining about the weight of wands and that you have to carry around so many (and then they argue for being able to move charges from one wand to another -- don't even start this again, it won't happen). The same will happen with books, only that then you'd carry a bunch of books for single use (as opposed to the multiple uses you get out of a wand).
I like the idea of one-off uses, and this is why I suggested that miscellaneous items should have two powers, one for repeated use, the other using up the item. Comments on the wiki page linked above are welcome.

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 11:40

Re: Casting spells from books using evocations

I don't think the weight issue is as relevant to this idea, wands are used by all characters, evoking books is designed to be used by evokers and fighters who should have enough strength (even evasion based builds), casters don't really need the extra boost this ability gives and even if they do want to use the ability they would need to carry less books because they already have most of the important spells memorized.

The problem lies in the fact that wands are just as important for casters because they give them the ability to survive once they run out of mana, this ability costs mana to use so the problem is not as relevant.

Even now many of my characters carry around a bunch of books that I found through out the dungeon just so I can forget and memorize spells without returning to the stash or I found books that I want to take to the stash and haven't found time to do so and these are wizards.

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