Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?


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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 03:48

Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Letting my escapist thread die, here's another question, more open-ended:

Of the existing spellbooks which are not currently available as starting equipment, which is the most likely candidate for an interesting new class?

As an example, in the other thread I suggested that the Book of Burglary might be an interesting starting book. That's a non-starter apparently, but maybe there's a better candidate?

It could well be that none of the existing non-starting books in their current form would be appropriate, but which comes closest? And would there be a way to polish it into something that would be appropriate.

This time I won't suggest a specific book myself, I don't need to give anyone a target to shit on. And if you think the whole question is just pointless, then you can just not bother with this discussion. Either something will come of this, or it won't, it costs you nothing to let other people indulge their foolish whims.

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 04:51

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Starting books:
  Code:
Book of War Chants
Book of Maledictions
Book of Changes
Book of Debilitation
Book of Stalking
Book of Spatial Translocations
Book of Minor Magic
Book of Conjurations
Book of Callings
Book of Necromancy
Book of Flames
Book of Frost
Book of Air
Book of Geomancy
Young Poisoner's Handbook


Starting spells:
  Code:
a - Fire Brand   Charms/Fire    2
b - Freezing Aura   Charms/Ice    2
c - Shroud of Golubria   Charms/Translocation    2
d - Repel Missiles   Charms/Air    2
e - Poison Weapon   Charms/Poison    3
f - Regeneration   Charms/Necromancy    3

a - Corona    Hexes    1
b - Sure Blade    Hexes/Charms    2
c - Ensorcelled Hibernation    Hexes/Ice    2
d - Confuse    Hexes    3
e - Enslavement    Hexes    4
g - Invisibility    Hexes    6

a - Fire Brand   Charms/Fire    2
b - Freezing Aura   Charms/Ice    2
c - Shroud of Golubria   Charms/Translocation    2
d - Repel Missiles   Charms/Air    2
e - Poison Weapon   Charms/Poison    3
f - Regeneration   Charms/Necromancy    3

a - Corona   Hexes    1
b - Slow   Hexes    2
c - Inner Flame   Hexes/Fire    3
d - Enslavement   Hexes    4
e - Cause Fear   Hexes    4

a - Fulsome Distillation    Transmutation/Necromancy    1
b - Evaporate    Transmutation/Fire    2
c - Passwall    Transmutation/Earth    3
d - Dig    Transmutation/Earth    4
f - Petrify    Transmutation/Earth    4

a - Apportation    Translocation    1
b - Portal Projectile    Translocation    2
c - Blink    Translocation    2
d - Shroud of Golubria    Charms/Translocation    2
e - Teleport Other    Translocation    3
f - Passage of Golubria    Translocation    4
g - Control Teleport    Charms/Translocation    4

a - Magic Dart    Conjuration    1
b - Blink    Translocation    2
c - Call Imp    Summoning    2
d - Repel Missiles    Charms/Air    2
e - Slow    Hexes    2
f - Conjure Flame    Conjuration/Fire    3
g - Mephitic Cloud    Conjuration/Poison/Air    3

a - Magic Dart    Conjuration    1
b - Throw Frost    Conjuration/Ice    2
c - Mephitic Cloud    Conjuration/Poison/Air    3
d - Lightning Bolt    Conjuration/Air    5
e - Bolt of Cold    Conjuration/Ice    6
e - Freezing Cloud    Conjuration/Ice/Air    6

a - Summon Small Mammals    Summoning    1
b - Call Imp    Summoning    2
c - Call Canine Familiar    Summoning    3
d - Summon Scorpions    Summoning/Poison    4
e - Summon Ice Beast    Ice/Summoning    4

a - Pain    Necromancy    1
b - Animate Skeleton    Necromancy    1
c - Lethal Infusion    Charms/Necromancy    2
c - Vampiric Draining    Necromancy    3
d - Regeneration    Charms/Necromancy    3
e - Control Undead    Necromancy    4
f - Animate Dead    Necromancy    4

a - Flame Tongue   Conjuration/Fire    1
b - Throw Flame   Conjuration/Fire    2
c - Conjure Flame   Conjuration/Fire    3
d - Inner Flame   Hexes/Fire    3
e - Sticky Flame   Conjuration/Fire    4
f - Fireball   Conjuration/Fire    5

a - Freeze   Ice    1
b - Throw Frost   Conjuration/Ice    2
c - Ozocubu's Armour   Charms/Ice    3
d - Throw Icicle   Conjuration/Ice    4
e - Summon Ice Beast   Ice/Summoning    4
f - Condensation Shield   Ice/Transmutation    4

a - Shock    Conjuration/Air    1
b - Swiftness    Charms/Air    2
c - Repel Missiles    Charms/Air    2
d - Flight    Charms/Air    3
e - Static Discharge    Conjuration/Air    3
f - Lightning Bolt    Conjuration/Air    5

a - Sandblast   Earth    1
b - Stoneskin   Transmutation/Earth    2
c - Passwall   Transmutation/Earth    3
d - Stone Arrow   Conjuration/Earth    3
e - Petrify   Transmutation/Earth    4
f - Lee's Rapid Deconstruction   Earth    5

a - Sting    Conjuration/Poison    1
b - Cure Poison    Poison    2
c - Mephitic Cloud    Conjuration/Poison/Air    3
d - Olgreb's Toxic Radiance    Poison    4
e - Venom Bolt    Conjuration/Poison    5


Unused spells under level 5:
  Code:
Abjuration
Agony
Airstrike
Alistair's Intoxication
Bolt of Magma
Cigotuvi's Degeneration
Corpse Rot
Dispel Undead
Excruciating Wounds
Ignite Poison
Insulation
Iskenderun's Mystic Blast
Leda's Liquefaction
Phase Shift
Polymorph Other
Projected Noise
See Invisible
Shadow Creatures
Silence
Sublimation of Blood
Summon Butterflies
Summon Demon
Summon Elemental
Tukima's Dance
Twisted Resurrection
Warp Weapon


Unused spells after level 5:
  Code:
Bolt of Draining
Bolt of Fire
Borgnjor's Revivification
Chain Lightning
Conjure Ball Lightning
Controlled Blink
Darkness
Death Channel
Death's Door
Deflect Missiles
Delayed Fireball
Demonic Horde
Dispersal
Dragon Form
Fire Storm
Haste
Haunt
Ice Storm
Invisibility
Iron Shot
Lehudib's Crystal Spear
Malign Gateway
Mass Abjuration
Mass Confusion
Metabolic Englaciation
Necromutation
Ozocubu's Refrigeration
Poison Arrow
Orb of Destruction
Poisonous Cloud
Ring of Flames
Shatter
Simulacrum
Statue Form
Summon Dragon
Summon Greater Demon
Summon Horrible Things
Summon Hydra
Summon Ugly Thing
Tornado
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 05:07

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Anyway, I think a "Morpher" that starts with a book of morphology and a wand of polymorph would be interesting. Giving them summon butterflies as a starting spell would also be interesting as they can polymorph them into more useful allies.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 05:13

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

pubby wrote:Anyway, I think a "Morpher" that starts with a book of morphology and a wand of polymorph would be interesting. Giving them summon butterflies as a starting spell would also be interesting as they can polymorph them into more useful allies.

Neat idea!

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 05:49

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

You'd also make the butterflies hostile, unless there are really weird rules for butterflies in particular. (Poly other is a hostile action)

edit: nevermind apparently the game just gives you a warning about trying to polymorph your own allies for no reason. This sounds like something that Crawl isn't supposed to let you do though so maybe I will bug report it.
Last edited by crate on Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 05:58

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

crate wrote:You'd also make the butterflies hostile, unless there are really weird rules for butterflies in particular. (Poly other is a hostile action)


I tried it out in wizard mode on butterflies and snakes before posting and they didn't turn hostile.

I think they only turn hostile if they successfully resist it.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:21

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Anyway, I think a "Morpher" that starts with a book of morphology and a wand of polymorph would be interesting. Giving them summon butterflies as a starting spell would also be interesting as they can polymorph them into more useful allies.


Butterflies are HD:1. So this class would basically have a "summon low-HD-monster" spell that takes two turns to cast for the first time and one turn for subsequent "summons", until the butterflies are all polymorphed. This might be decently strong on the first few levels, but it will soon become very weak. By Lair, it will be a useless spell combination.
Now, this isn't actually a problem per se. The same thing is the case with other spells (Beastly Appendage, Call Imp, Flame Tongue...). But there's more: Polymorph Other is level 4, meaning that until XL 4 at the very least, they'll need to rely on limited wand charges (not enough to kill the monsters with this spell until then).
The only other spell that they have that will actually kill standard monsters is Sticks to Snakes. This solves the above problem to an extent, but it also lacks strength past a certain time in the game (I'd say it's still good in some points in Lair, though). Otherwise, the Book of Morphology is completely useless at killing monsters that aren't poisonous. The other books have a progression to usable, strong* higher-level spells that continue the class flavour.
This class' flavour (polymorphing butterflies) is restricted to early D levels (and even then, you have to be XL 4 or more!), and the starting book is pretty much useless by then. What is this class? Sadly not more than a bad summoner - Call Imp is way better than this butterfly "trick" - with some really weak higher-level spell in his starting book.

*unless you're a Stalker, in which case it's a pity you exist because that class should really be removed

Really, we've used up all spells that are interesting and strong enough early on, without being overpowered (for instance, IMB for Cj would be a really bad idea balance-wise). The only thing I find sad is the removal of Silence from every book. I think it could fit in with AM decently. Please make it non-Air for that purpose though (maybe L6 if that is too strong). Enslavement really doesn't fit in there anyway, because "inner flame and then enslave" has nothing to do with the AM flavour, which is shooting at things you have weakened with Hexes. AM is strong enough without the combination anyway - Cause Fear is good enough for that.

Phase Shift is another spell that is interesting and good, but not overpowered. However, the only book it fits in flavour-wise is Sk's, and the only book it fits in spellschool-wise is Wr, and the former is impossible for obvious reasons while the latter would really make Spatial Translocations even more overpowered. So there's no way in there.

Otherwise, we have a class for every single spell school. It is pretty much impossible to design a class without redundancy - it would, like AM and St compared with En and Tm, have to bring out new possibilities in a spell school already used.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:52

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

How about a melee necromancer who does not rely on summons and is not a thrall of yred? Excruciating Wounds, Dispel Undead, Corpse Rot, Deaths Door, uhh Silence? Swap Phase Shift for Death's Door? I know, it's a nonexisting book...
Last edited by XuaXua on Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:53

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

XuaXua wrote:How about a melee necromancer who does not rely on summons and is not a thrall of yred? Excruciating Wounds, Dispel Undead, Corpse Rot, Deaths Door, uhh Silence?

You could start said class with, oh, how about the book of necromancy.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 06:59

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

crate wrote:
XuaXua wrote:How about a melee necromancer who does not rely on summons and is not a thrall of yred? Excruciating Wounds, Dispel Undead, Corpse Rot, Deaths Door, uhh Silence?

You could start said class with, oh, how about the book of necromancy.

Contains none of the spells I specified. That focuses on draining and corpse raising. This focused on killing and corpse manipulation.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 07:00

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

XuaXua wrote:
crate wrote:
XuaXua wrote:How about a melee necromancer who does not rely on summons and is not a thrall of yred? Excruciating Wounds, Dispel Undead, Corpse Rot, Deaths Door, uhh Silence?

You could start said class with, oh, how about the book of necromancy.

Contains none of the spells I specified. That focuses on draining and corpse raising. This focused on killing and corpse manipulation.


Lethal infusion does exactly what your book does, and it does it on d:2 and not like d:8. Pick up a weapon and kill away. Use Regeneration for backup. Done. As I said:
Otherwise, we have a class for every single spell school. It is pretty much impossible to design a class without redundancy - it would, like AM and St compared with En and Tm, have to bring out new possibilities in a spell school already used.
This is especially hard if the book representing the school is as versatile as the Book of Necromancy.

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 08:52

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Well any book that contains excruciating wounds, death's door, or dispel undead will not be a starting book anyway....

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 09:46

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

XuaXua wrote:How about a melee necromancer who does not rely on summons and is not a thrall of yred? Excruciating Wounds, Dispel Undead, Corpse Rot, Deaths Door, uhh Silence? Swap Phase Shift for Death's Door? I know, it's a nonexisting book...

Sounds bit like da axed Reaver but with nec focus. With the # of Undead Ghosts in Webtiles, Paladins would be welcomed back. :idea:

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 10:00

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Paladins aren't even unusually good at killing ghosts until 5*. And even then, Be isn't much worse at it, if at all. In addition, I don't think that ghosts are a serious threat by then, either.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 10:17

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

There was some decent ideas for resurrecting the Reaver background.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 11:37

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Somewhat off-topic: Ignite Poison would be an interesting starting spell, although the books containing it probably aren't good starting books. Maybe a spellbook containing something like Fulsome Distillation, Evaporate, Stoneskin, Polymorph Other, Ignite Poison, Statue Form could work as a Transmutation user without unarmed combat focus. Fulsome/Evaporate would somewhat overlap with Stalker, but turning poison/noxious clouds into fire with Ignite Poison probably makes it somewhat different.
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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 17:05

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Just going through the list of existing spellbooks on the Wiki (which in this regard seems to be a bit out of date, at least the main list of spellbooks at http://crawl.chaosforge.org/index.php?title=Spell_books), I identify only a few books that have spells in the appropriate level ranges:

Book of Dreams
Book of Envenomations
(Neither of these has an L1 spell, however, but at least they have nothing higher than L6)
Book of Burglary (already discussed)
Book of Hinderance
Book of Party Tricks
Book of Cantrips

I think the last two are the most interesting possibilities. Party Tricks would be fun to start with but is maybe too good and would also overlap quite a bit with Wizard.

With Cantrips, the class could start with nothing memorized, giving a wide choice as to which spell to start with, although it wouldn't be too long before you had all of them.

However, I think I'm starting to sense something. When people (including myself) start with magic, they kind of have an expectation that their starting book should contain some relativey badass spells at the higher end, and an all - L1 book wouldn't meet that expectation and might seem boring / pointless to many, maybe even to myself. I'll try to playtest this book using Wiz mode.

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2012, 17:09

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Why should casters start with great high-level spells? Fighters don't begin the game with bardiches or executioner's axes.

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Post Sunday, 29th July 2012, 04:42

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

cerebovssquire wrote:Paladins aren't even unusually good at killing ghosts until 5*. And even then, Be isn't much worse at it, if at all. In addition, I don't think that ghosts are a serious threat by then, either.

I was thinking bout gaining piety faster in Webtiles. I was under the impression Paladins was axed partly becuz of how slow piety gain used to be for TSO worshippers pre mid/late game. With the new early undead versions (orc undead, early "mini crypts", and ofc player ghosts), TSO piety would reap a lot faster. I´d fancy a new paladin version, with hefty undead/demon crits when using melee weapons, but thats another thread.

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Post Sunday, 29th July 2012, 04:46

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

You still don't get 5* piety before lair with new TSO.

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Post Monday, 30th July 2012, 02:40

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

crate wrote:You still don't get 5* piety before lair with new TSO.

Compared to 1-2 piety in the old versions? 4 piety * before Lair still pretty good, lot better then some gods.
Last edited by graffen69 on Monday, 30th July 2012, 13:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 30th July 2012, 10:21

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

The problem is that you don't get 5* piety before lair. You get more piety with new TSO but not 5*.
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2012, 09:07

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Exactly

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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2012, 18:30

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

What is the big deal about not getting 5* piety before lair? Not trying to sound like a jackass or anything, I just don't really see what the big deal is.

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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2012, 18:44

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Konebred wrote:What is the big deal about not getting 5* piety before lair? Not trying to sound like a jackass or anything, I just don't really see what the big deal is.


If you scroll back a bit, the discussion is specifically in the context of TSO being good for dealing with player ghosts infesting the early game. TSO's first ability that is useful against player ghosts comes at *****, which is to say that TSO has no abilities whatsoever that are meaningful when dealing with player ghosts infesting the early game.
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2012, 21:17

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

This is a bit off-topic...

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Post Thursday, 2nd August 2012, 05:34

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Look, the point I was trying to make was that Paladins if they were reintroduced to the game would get piety a lot faster than before. This was my own assumption of what I know of the game, which is to say “very little”. How it could be so heavily misinterpreted is beyond me, but if I did step on someone’s toes in the progress I apologies for it. But as I also stated when I wrote it and as Danr pointed out - that is a subject of another thread and is a bit off-topic so can we all please leave it at that. And for those of you who feel they most certainly can´t, please start another thread on this side-subject.
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Post Thursday, 2nd August 2012, 17:47

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

One thing I thought about after playing some Draconian and Demonspawn characters is a unique spellbook that gives the player a random spell so they have one from each spell level until they reach level 6 or 7. The reason for this is because giving the player a randart spellbook like the ones found in the dungeon—or gifted—would encourage start-scumming, whereas a gradual progression into the unknown like a Draconian or Demonspawn would hopefully lessen that tendency.

The first level 1 spell would be manually chosen from a small pool by the player at character creation, but the rest will be unknown until the player successfully memorises them at the appropriate level with the appropriate number of spell slots. This will force the player to use spell combinations that normally would not occur in a typical game with the consolation prize being a guaranteed lvl 6-7 spell. Essentially, the player will learn one random level 2 spell, one random level 3 spell, and so on until they reach the last spell.

After successfully playing several Tornado/Firestorm/Freezing Cloud/Poison Cloud wizards that do not invest any experience points into Ice or poison, I don't think the current level of the player's skills should have any bearing on the likelihood of the spells chosen (i.e. it's possible that a player, who has invested a lot of points in earth magic, might learn a lvl 6 air spell).
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Post Thursday, 2nd August 2012, 19:36

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

Sounds a bit like the new Vehumet planned for 0.12.
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Post Friday, 3rd August 2012, 00:56

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

I'd like to see a speed/air hybrid type class.

Possible spells:

core:
Swiftness
Phase Shift
airstrike

Possibles:

haste (too strong, but thematic)
blink
warp weapon (too lucy?)
see invisible
insulation

The class should probably start with a whip for the high attack speed, and it's a not too powerful starting weapon. Either leather armor or robes. Maybe give boots similiar to how gladiator starts with a helmet, but that might be too strong.

Class names: Dancer, acrobat, ninja, runner...anything that implies speed/evasiveness.

If I could pick any 6 reasonable spells I'd probably go with

swiftness 2
blink 2
see invis 4
insulation 4
airstrike 4
phase shift 5

Probably a bit too heavy on the level 4 spells, could use a level 3 spell. I'd love abjuration, although I'm not sure you'd consider it on theme. Swiftness is already a very powerful spell, so giving haste would be too much. Other than swiftness though, I don't think the rest of the book is too powerful, but it is a style I'd like to play.

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Post Friday, 3rd August 2012, 01:25

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

I'm afraid I don't really see how frickin' Airstrikes are in theme with dancers and acrobats. Even very tenuously. Also See Invisible and Insulation, which have the additional drawback of being near-useless.

The set also doesn't have any way of interacting with monsters until around Temple when Airstrike comes online, so the character is forced to attempt to melee and/or kite at range with spears or thrown items. Which means it's going to play a whole lot like a warper, only not as good because warpers only have to sink xp into one magic skill.

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Post Friday, 3rd August 2012, 03:19

Re: Which existing spellbook might be a good new starter?

It's basically like the blademaster from warcraft 3. A fighter based on speed and cunning - one of their skills is windwalk [the blademaster from war3, not the class proposal] - moving so fast they become invisible. Invisibility could work for this class, but it's too high level really. I can see an airstrike being generated by their lightning fast movement. Granted it's tenuous, but I felt like having some ranged damage would be useful utility without being too strong. Maybe it is, dunno. I just liked that it isn't conjurations, and is pure air. See invisible and insulation are just in keeping with the spell schools the more core spells use; they aren't really perfect. No, they aren't great spells. I'd rather have haste. I was trying to not make it overpowered. I thought they could at least be marginally useful...I will usually learn them if I haven't found an item source of sInv or rElec, and then forget them when I learn them. I didn't want the starting spellbook to have 3 or 4 spells total.

They'd have charms/air/translocation, and that isn't too many schools to have in their book. I intend the character to be melee, not a pure mage. I originally thought whip for a starting weapon but now I could see a falchion or scimitar as well as a quarterstaff fitting the theme of fast weaponry. Maybe a choice of those three.

it's basically a fighter class infused with the power of air, to contrast it with skalds, who get fire/ice/poison branding and regen as necromancy for tanking, I see the wind class as being a bit more good aligned, and very fast. They'd rather avoid the damage than soak it up.

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