A New Perspective on the Mage class within Darkon

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Varnak_the_UnNamed
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Joined: 2013-06-27
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A New Perspective on the Mage class within Darkon

Post by Varnak_the_UnNamed » 2013-12-27

Goal
The purpose of this initiative is to:
1. Add diversity to the mage class,
2. Find common ground regarding the Fireball Area of Effect (AOE)
3. Balance some powers
This will be addressed by adding some new spells/spell variants, adjusting the rank necessary to obtain some spells, and the introduction of minor revisions.

Presented By:
Varnak of Ched Nasad (Sergio Saenz)

Cosigned by:
Vekin of Azaheim
Lord Valfryn of Chosen Blood
Dr. Squirrel

Proposed Solutions

New Rules
Casting Multi-ball Spells: New mage spells have introduced a multi-spell ball option. This rule is designed to clarify what is and is not acceptable within Darkon. A caster who invokes a spell that has the Multi-ball rule has the option to throw up to all the spell balls at the same time or throw them sequentially. The spell requires an invocation line in the same way as all other spells, however if the spell balls are not thrown at the same time, then the caster must announce the name of the spell prior to throwing. In addition, the caster is affected by all rules regarding “holding a spell” until the last spell ball is thrown. This includes disruption from an attack, the remaining unspent spell balls will target the caster and each one is considered independent when considering a “Protection from <element>” spell.
For example, a mage casts Chain Lightning, invokes the spell “I <player name> invoke Chain Lightning, and throws one of the three spell balls. The caster decides to throw the spell balls sequentially. On the next throw the caster yells “Chain Lightning” and throws the spell ball. Before the last ball is thrown the caster is struck and his spell is disrupted. The caster is targeted by the remaining spell ball, Lightning Bolt, and takes the appropriate damage. If the caster had two spell balls left and was struck the caster would suffer the effects of two Lightning Bolts, etc. A protection from Lightning spell would only protect the caster from the effects of one of the spells.

New Spells or Variations
Frost Spike
Rank: 1
Length: 150 words
Range: Throwing distance
Cost: 1 sp (special)
Duration: 24 hours
Area of Effect: Single Target(s)
Material Component: Javelin with Blue head and White shaft
Description: This spell allows the Mage to call forth a spike of ice, which causes white damage upon impact and does Ice damage to creatures affected by damage specific types. The Mage can cast 1 Frost Spike for every 2 ranks, rounded down, to a max of 3 Frost Spikes.
For example a 5th rank Mage could cast 2 Frost Spikes. The cost of this spell is equal to the number of bolts summoned, i.e. 1-3 pts.
Frost Spikes may be activated and deactivated at the Mage’s discretion and my only be used by the caster. Frost Spikes can be dispelled with Dispel Magic and cannot be repaired via Mending. This spell lasts for 24 hours, regardless of the Mage’s death.
Reason for Change/Addition: Unlike the traditional Mage in a fantasy setting, Darkon Mages are basically magic fighters. This is because the benefit of casting a range spell is significantly reduced by being immobile. Where in this is used to balance the potency of higher level magic, it inhibits low level casters. It has been my experience that other than Burning Hands, Fireball is the only offensive spell cast.
In smaller countries/groups with newer players it is often not an option to be guarded. This ability would allow mages to cast a very weak offensive spell but move around, thereby allowing them more participation.
Is it balanced: The damage of the spell, a single white, is the least powerful missile in the game of Darkon. As a Mage levels up, he is given the opportunity to cast more than one, up to a maximum of 3.
Lastly the addition of this spell keeps with the precedent of no more than one offensive spell per rank.
What will it add to the game: A low level ranged attack that allows the Mage player to engage in melee, move around, and more fully participate in the game. It also reinforces the “wielder of arcane powers” aspect of a Mage, and adds diversity to the spell list.
How could it negatively impact the game: NA

Protection from Fire (change rank)
Rank: 6
Length: No Change
Range: No Change
Cost: No Change
Duration: No Change
Area of Effect: No Change
Material Component: No Change
Description: No Change
Reason for Change/Addition: With the addition of Flame Bolt at rank 7, and in keeping with the pattern of Protection spells being offered one rank before their counterpart, this spell was reduced in rank by one.
Is it balanced: The Protection from Fire spell is unchanged aside from offering it one rank earlier. In keeping with the protection spells being offered before the major offensives of the same damage type it should have no major impact.
What will it add to the game: No major change aside from what has been stated earlier.
How could it negatively impact the game: N/A

Flame Bolt
Rank: 7
Length: 325 words (current fireball word length)
Range: Throwing distance
Cost: 1 sp
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: Single Target
Material Component: Red spell ball
Description: This spell allows the Mage to throw a single bolt of flame. When cast, the Mage throws a red spell ball at the target and, upon impact, the Flame Bolt engulfs the target, destroying any wooden weapons, shields, gates, siege weapons, and/or creatures hit by the spell ball.
Any creature with a set number of hit points struck by, or in the radius of a Fireball, will take two hits of damage; however this may be altered by the Elder of the event.
Reason for Change/Addition: The addition of this spell, in conjunction with increasing the rank of Fireball, is to address the concerns over the over powerful nature of Fireball’s Area of Effect.
Is it balanced: Flame Bolt is exactly that same as the Fireball spell with three differences, it is offered one rank earlier; it has no AOE, and is 25 words less, which is in keeping with the word count pattern already established.
What will it add to the game: The Flame Bolt spell will fill the niche left by moving Fireball back to rank 9 and to add spell diversity.
How could it negatively impact the game: N/A

Chain Lightning
Rank: 8
Length: 300 words
Range: Throwing distance
Cost: 2 sp
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: Single Target(s)
Material Component: Three blue spell balls
Description: This spell operates exactly like the lightning bolt spell except the caster may throw up to three spell balls. Once invocation has been said the caster may throw all the spell balls at one time or hold them. While the caster holds the spell balls he cannot move or speak just as with any other spell. In addition if the spell balls are not thrown at the same time or shortly their after the invocation line must be said again.
Reason for Change/Addition: To add variety to the offensive list and to add a level of strategy regarding the types of protection spells placed.
Is it balanced: Chain Lightning operates exactly like the existing Lightning Bolt spell with a few differences. First the Mage can throw up to 3 spell balls. Second the word count is doubled to 300. Thirdly the cost of the spell is 2 spell points. This spell will take the rank 8 slot left by the move of Fireball to rank 9, and provides an alternative to simple making an AOE lightning bolt.
In essence a Mage is casting three Lightning Bolts for the cost and word count of two. To balance this see the new rule “Casting Multi-ball Spells”
What will it add to the game: Spell diversity, without adding an AOE.
How could it negatively impact the game: N/A

Fire Storm (Fireball becomes Fire Storm)
Rank: 9
Length: 650
Range: No change
Cost: 2 sp
Duration: No change
Area of Effect: Single Target(s)
Material Component: Three red spell balls
Description: This spell operates exactly as Flame Bolt except the caster may throw up to three spell balls. Once invocation has been said the caster may throw all the spell balls at one time or hold them. While the caster holds the spell balls he cannot move or speak just as with any other spell. In addition if the spell balls are not thrown at the same time or shortly their after the invocation line must be said again. See new rule “Casting Multi-ball Spells”.
Reason for Change/Addition: Fire Storm is based on the existing Fireball spell. To replace the AOE of the existing Fireball, Firestorm uses a mutli-ball solution. This simplifies combat situations as a player need only see that they are hit, instead of attempting to determine if they are in the AOE.
Is it balanced: The first change to this spell, other than its name, is to change it from rank 8 to rank 9. The second change is the increase of length from 325 words to 650 words. The third change is to increase to 2 spell points.
In essence a Mage is casting three Flame Bolts for the cost and word count of two. To balance this see the new rule “Casting Multi-ball Spells”.
What will it add to the game: The change is meant to bring the current spell into balance with its destructive power, and speed up game play by removing the AOE effect of Fireball.
How could it negatively impact the game: Other offensive spells have been added to address the move/change, therefore Mage players are not left with less options, while at the same time addressing game balance. The potential gain in offense is offset by the new rule “Casting Multi-ball Spells”.

Arcane Armor (Replaces Steelskin)
Rank: 10
Length: No change
Range: No change
Cost: No change
Duration: No change
Area of Effect: No change
Material Component: No change
Description: This spell allows the Mage to absorb all physical and magical damage, except green damage, from one attack and will absorb the first disrupted damaging spell from affecting the caster. A Mage may only have one Arcane Armor spell in effect at any given time and Arcane Armor may not be used in conjunction with Stoneskin. When the attack is absorbed, the headband must be removed. Arcane Armor may be used in conjunction with the Bracers of Defense; in this situation, any attacks absorbed are first deducted from the Bracers of Defense and then from the caster's Arcane Armor. Arcane Armor may not be pouched.
Except during Adventures, this spell may be cast once per day and will recharge automatically (just as normal armor does) in Hades,
or upon the call of "Lay On" at the start of a battle. Recasting this spell at any other time will cost additional spell points.
Is it balanced: This change from Steelskin, absorbs one less attack, reducing its effectiveness.
What will it add to the game: Arcane Armor is more in line with a classic mage.
How could it negatively impact the game: While reducing the effectiveness of Steelskin and the ability of a mage to fight in combat, it does reduce the effect of the first disrupted multi-ball spell.

Spell Rank Chart
Offensive Spells - Red
Defensive Spells – Blue
Changes - Highlighted


Original Chart:
http://chednasad.no-ip.org/tmp/original_wizz_spells.png

Proposed Chart:
http://chednasad.no-ip.org/tmp/proposed_wizz_spells.png

The original rank structure has a number of patterns:
1. No more than 1 offensive spell per rank
2. Offensive spells gain damage or the ability to neutralize an opponent per rank
3. All protection spells are provided one rank before their offensive counterpart
To this end, the pattern has been kept within the proposed changes

Addressed Concerns
1. Add diversity to the mage class:
Over the years of playing Darkon, as both a Mage and other classes, I have observed that Mages rarely cast any offensive magic until they attain Fireball. Occasionally you will see burning hands, but that is rather one off. To counter this trend I have added a number of offensive spells: Force Bolt, Flame Bolt, and Chain Lightning. Force Bolt does white damage with no especially offensive capabilities, Flame Bolt is used to address the displacement of Fireball/AOE issues, and Chain Lightning is a higher level version of lightning bolt. With these additional options it will be harder for Mages to know which Protection spells to put in place and will more tactics to come into play.
2. Find common ground regarding the Fireball AOE:
One of the number one complaints against the Fireball spell is the AOE, which is very powerful. In order to address this; the Fireball spell is moved back to rank 9. This serves two purposes, one it delays the acquisition of the Fireball, and two it reduces the total word reduction.
3. Balance some powers
In addition to the change to Fireball, a new spell Fire Bolt is added at rank 7, which previously had no offensive spells, and is similar to the Fireball but has no AOE.

Conclusion
In conclusion it is my hope that Darkon will see the benefits of adjusting the current Mage spells, add a new level of gameplay, reinvigorate older Mages, and address the loud concerns of the Darkon community on the nature of magic within our game.

Decision Points
Line Item 1
- Frost Bolt
Line Item 2
- Chain Lightning
Line Item 3
- Flame Bolt
- Protection from Fire
- Fire Storm
Line Item 4
- Mult-ball rule
Line Item 5
- Arcane Armor

PDF version
http://chednasad.no-ip.org/tmp/Darkon_Mage_A_New_Perspective.pdf

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