[MUD-Dev] Waving Hands -- Debian's Spellcast for Linux

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Wed Dec 22 15:11:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Tue, 21 Dec 1999 13:31:15 -0500 
Travis Casey <efindel at io.com> wrote:

> On Tuesday, December 21, 1999, Dan Shiovitz wrote:
>> On Sat, 18 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

>> [..]
>>> Mage2Mage still seems much more promising.

>> The problem I have with mage2mage and that kind of "let's make
>> magic into a programming language" system is it seems biased
>> towards simple spells, like "CREATE + FIREBALL" and not more
>> interesting stuff like "MEND + NONMAGICAL + METALS + LESS THAN +
>> 3 + GRAMS".

> I think "seems" is a key word here.  There's no reason why it
> *has* to be biased towards simple spells.  It's true that complex
> spells will be harder to create than simple spells, but they don't
> necessarily have to be harder to *cast*.

Given that Mage2Mage supports and even encourages incremental spell
development either by aggregation or incorporation (ie the fact that
M2M spells are essentially modular and can reference and call each
other in structured programmatical forms), yes, I see the bias as
towards simple spells as Dan asserts, but the in-game reward systems
as easily tending toward specifically rewarding complex spells as
tougher to defend against and more effective/efficient.

> Also, simple spells may be less effective, depending on other
> aspects of the magic system.  For example, in my current (paper)
> fantasy campaign, I'm using a magic system which has an underlying
> programming language paradigm.  However, spells are powered by the
> caster's life energy (or their death energy -- more on this
> below), and gross effects like creating something from nothing are
> extremely costly.  Hence, while mages *can* do things like throw
> fireballs, doing so is likely to kill them.

Yup, or the mana mechanics I use, or any other base economic system
for magic.  Thus the efficiency concerns I reference.

> This puts the emphasis on less "flashy" spells that are carefully
> set up -- e.g., instead of throwing a fireball, burn out an
> opponent's heart.

Neat.  I must remember that one.  FWLIW I have a neat blindness
spell that works by curdling the aqueous humor of the opponent's
eyes rather than doing something simple to reverse, or which depends
on further mana consumption.

> Again, this depends on the setup.  In many systems, almost any
> spell can be countered with a simple "destroy magic" spell.

I have simple mana destruction spells, but they cost considerable
mana to invoke and carry a high flashback probability (danger they
will mis-cast and reverse in someway to damage the caller).

--
J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...


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