Channeled Spellcasting

By on February 15, 2010 1:10:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Demiansky

Join Date 03/2008
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I had an idea for a new way of casting spells.  Rather than simply the classic way, which was to begin casting and at the finish of the cast, witness an effect, instead some spells would be "channeled."  Channeled spells take multiple turns to cast and manifest different effects throughout the duration of the cast.  For instance, "fire channel spell."

The fire channel spell would take 8 turns to cast.  On the first 2 turns, it would fire fireballs at targets of your choice.  On turns 3-4, it would summon fire elementals to fight for you.  On 5-6, walls of fire would appear at locals of your choice.  On turn 8, you would see the most powerful components of the spell, possibly a massive column of fire appearing in the center of the battle field which envelops all in its range. 

There are plenty of spin offs to this idea.  The effects might not even be certain, with different effects occuring throughout the channel.

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February 15, 2010 2:15:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It seems like you're onto not one, but two major categories of possible spells. The example in your OP would seem like the more powerful type, where you perform a long-term ritual that lets you choose where to target the spell effects each turn during the long ritual. That seems interesting, but maybe too complex to make it through all the balance-hassling. But a multi-turn spell that simply intensified its effects on a single target, e.g. a dragon or a city, would be great fun on account of both 'chain' special effects and all manner of strategic decisions.

Are you seeing this as a sort of 'midsize' overland spell in MoM, where your base casting time and mana cost determine when the counter starts, but then you pay 'maintenance' only for the X turns that the spell takes to complete its cycle?

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February 15, 2010 3:02:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds like a good idea. Allows there to be very strong spells, but allows people time to try and counter spell them instead of being surprised by a sudden doom spell out of nowhere.

It would also be awesome if, when you enter tactical combat in a tile under the effects of a channeled spell, that the tactical combat would be heavily effected by the channeled spell. Target a fortifed city with the fire spell to get fireballs raining down on it, then attack with troops. When it goes to the tactical combat there are random fireballs falling each round of combat. Would be pretty fun.

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February 15, 2010 5:11:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
The fire channel spell would take 8 turns to cast.  On the first 2 turns, it would fire fireballs at targets of your choice.  On turns 3-4, it would summon fire elementals to fight for you.  On 5-6, walls of fire would appear at locals of your choice.  On turn 8, you would see the most powerful components of the spell, possibly a massive column of fire appearing in the center of the battle field which envelops all in its range. 
That's just chaining different spells. For channeling I'd expect something in the lines of "Start a torrent of fire upon your enemies, which damage increases by each turn you keep channeling it" (with possible area of effect increase too as the channeling gets more energy). Or channel energy that your sovereign accumulates during some turns and depending of the numbers of turns used to accumulated energy, the spell cast will be more powerful than normal.

Just how I see the channeling thing (setting aside the fact that channelers are called channelers for the Shrads thing).

But chainning spells sounds interesting by itself.

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February 15, 2010 6:12:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's just chaining different spells.

The "just" there seems valid only for the real RPG crowd, unless maybe is spell chaining common in recent TBS fantasy games? (I don't have recent first-hand experience on account of wanting strong random map systems and being too poor-and-lazy to have seriously tried Dominions 3.)

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February 15, 2010 6:43:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not chaining as written, but many games like this allow you to cast spells one after the other. I don't really see the difference between chaining a fireball and a summon fire elemental spell together, and simply casting a fireball, then casting a summon fire elemental.

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February 15, 2010 7:07:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Chain spells should require some kind of ritual that affects costs/effects of the spells chained. Maybe even can create combos. If there isn't any mechanic related to it, then it's, as Cerevox points, just casting spells one after another.

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February 15, 2010 8:16:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, the point is that using a channel spell as listed in the original post would be stronger than simply casting them in sequence one by one, because it locks you into the commitment for that spell for 8 turns.  Ideally, chain spells would generally be high end spells that have lot's of umph if you can finish the whole thing and get it to land in the proper place--- but aren't completely vacant for the 8 turns you are casting them.  So really what a channel spell is, is the caster powering up something really, really powerful.  The effects that occur between turn 1-7 are simply side effects spilling out that you can put good use to.  Sometimes, those effects might not even necessarily be constructive.  If you cast a mighty meteor swarm that takes 8 turns to manifest the end effect, meteors might slip out during the process, crashing in at random locations (possibly your own troops.)  Whether you want to take this risk to get the mighty end effect, of course, is up to the player.

And besides, in Master of Magic tactical combat, every spell was--- poof--- one turn, be it a mighty doom bolt or a piddly starfire. 

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February 15, 2010 8:25:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Or darkness, light, weakness...any buff, any debuff, the numerous spells that stuck around the whole battle, the summoning spells....

One shots spells were in the major minority in master of magic.

 

So on channeling spells, basically, if you are calling forth a super fire spell, fire elemental would begin to manifest around the target due to increased fire mana levels? i actually kind of  like this idea.

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February 15, 2010 10:23:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What also might be interesting is if you could research your own spell chains.  You would have a certain amount of "points" to attribute to the chain based on some variable.  You would start out by deciding the build up effects.  If they are loose cannon, random effects, you gain extra points to spend.  If they are always positive, they cost points.  The earlier the effect is in the spell chain, the more or less you gain points.  Once you've fleshed out all of your build up effects, you pick an end effect. 

So you could have a chaos channel spell that completely throws random, possibly damaging effects for 7 rounds but gives the end effect even greater power.  You could also simply create a channel spell that is predictable and helpful all the way up to the final effect, but it wouldn't be a very big finale.

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February 15, 2010 10:32:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
Or darkness, light, weakness...any buff, any debuff, the numerous spells that stuck around the whole battle, the summoning spells....

One shots spells were in the major minority in master of magic.

 

So on channeling spells, basically, if you are calling forth a super fire spell, fire elemental would begin to manifest around the target due to increased fire mana levels? i actually kind of  like this idea.

Well, every single battle spell was a 1 turn cast in Master of Magic.  That's what I'm talking about.  There's no reason why a channel spell in Elemental battles can't involve buffs too. 

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February 16, 2010 2:43:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
So on channeling spells, basically, if you are calling forth a super fire spell, fire elemental would begin to manifest around the target due to increased fire mana levels? i actually kind of  like this idea.
I don't see why casting a superfireball would make fire elementals appear at any point of the casting process. Two totaly different types of spells. Unless we are talking of summoning fire kami that gather and explode?

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February 16, 2010 3:08:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Its like there is so much fire mana in that superfireball that some of the mana splashed around and manifested as random minor fire spells OR the massive amount of fire mana attracted wisps of free fire mana that gathered around and did little fire spells on thier own.

It is kinda like aftershocks or preshocks on an earthquake. The main deal was SO HUGE that you got little deals running around too.

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February 16, 2010 3:56:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
It is kinda like aftershocks or preshocks on an earthquake. The main deal was SO HUGE that you got little deals running around too.
They are stil earthquakes, not earth elementals. Just before a storm? You can smell ozone but no storm elementals shocking people.

Yes, magic is "magic" but unless presented with a consistent methodology of why "spirits appear from nothing", I don't see it (sorry if my viewpoint is of "everything is science/magic" and therefore make no distinction between them except in flavor). A fire elemental has some rudimentary intelligence (enough to follow some basic orders at least), so I find difficult to accept that it can get randomly generated by creating a blast of fire (except them appear from following the mana flow and being "auto summoned" by themselves and/or local spirits manifest or any ohter alternative that sounds plausible*).
No big deal anyway. Just like to rant.
* as far a "magic" goes.
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February 16, 2010 8:57:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,



Quoting Cerevox,
reply 12
It is kinda like aftershocks or preshocks on an earthquake. The main deal was SO HUGE that you got little deals running around too.
They are stil earthquakes, not earth elementals. Just before a storm? You can smell ozone but no storm elementals shocking people.


Yes, magic is "magic" but unless presented with a consistent methodology of why "spirits appear from nothing", I don't see it (sorry if my viewpoint is of "everything is science/magic" and therefore make no distinction between them except in flavor). A fire elemental has some rudimentary intelligence (enough to follow some basic orders at least), so I find difficult to accept that it can get randomly generated by creating a blast of fire (except them appear from following the mana flow and being "auto summoned" by themselves and/or local spirits manifest or any ohter alternative that sounds plausible*).
No big deal anyway. Just like to rant.
* as far a "magic" goes.

Okay seriously Winter, you are grasping at straws here.  This is silly.  You make plenty of good points in other posts, but this is arguing for arguing sake.  Yes, I want a cosmology to be consistent too, but you can come up with a billion and a half simple mechanisms by which a fire elemental would spill out of a super fireball spell while it is being cast.  This is a game about magic, remember?  The Devs can work it into the magical physics system however the hell they want to.  You could say that there are flows of magic that the channeler weaves that is repetitive for fire spells and that if some escape, they weave into their own sub-spells.  You could say that the channeler is opening a channel to the plane of fire to conjure a mighty meteor swarm, and other beings and forces escape from that portal, some of which you could wreste control over and some of which you could not.

It really doesn't make any difference how you look at it.  The bottom line is it's coolYou would really know that something cool and destructive is happening if fire is sputtering all over the place, foming elementals and rogue fireballs.

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February 16, 2010 9:31:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i am all for it, especially making the designable spell chains idea.

Often it is of great use to have a number of often even low level spells be cast at the beginning of the battle and making this into effects of a single casting of a channelled spell would spare much grief.

 On a related note it would be of great use to be able to advise a caster to cast a number of spells without choosing them in battle as spell tactic selectable before the battle (turn 1 cast barkskin, turn 2 regeneration, turn 3 flaming weapons... would be best to be possible to designate concrete targets in an existing army beforehand)

the channeling in itself is a great idea and is usable in strategic and tactical modes. Be it for the water to magma spell in strategical with global warming as a side dish, or as a fireball of doom in tactical, with fire arrows seeking out the targets before the big bad one is cast.

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February 16, 2010 10:25:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Demiansky,

Okay seriously Winter, you are grasping at straws here.  This is silly.  You make plenty of good points in other posts, but this is arguing for arguing sake.  Yes, I want a cosmology to be consistent too, but you can come up with a billion and a half simple mechanisms by which a fire elemental would spill out of a super fireball spell while it is being cast.  This is a game about magic, remember?  The Devs can work it into the magical physics system however the hell they want to.  You could say that there are flows of magic that the channeler weaves that is repetitive for fire spells and that if some escape, they weave into their own sub-spells.  You could say that the channeler is opening a channel to the plane of fire to conjure a mighty meteor swarm, and other beings and forces escape from that portal, some of which you could wreste control over and some of which you could not.

It really doesn't make any difference how you look at it.  The bottom line is it's cool.  You would really know that something cool and destructive is happening if fire is sputtering all over the place, foming elementals and rogue fireballs.
Sorry for not having an opinion you like? Or that I don't disagree with the idea being cool or not but that without mechanics as example about it (that task supposedly left to the Devs) I simply don't see it? If someone says: "When I cast a fireball, randomly fire elementals might appear.", I want to know why. Even if it's placeholder (a good placeholder, mind you). If I cannot picture it, then it means that I don't understand it or that I cannot like it.

Sorry if I offended you as it was not my intention (I don't see my post being out of line from what I usually write). My apologies for it.

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February 16, 2010 10:55:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,



Quoting Demiansky,
reply 14

Okay seriously Winter, you are grasping at straws here.  This is silly.  You make plenty of good points in other posts, but this is arguing for arguing sake.  Yes, I want a cosmology to be consistent too, but you can come up with a billion and a half simple mechanisms by which a fire elemental would spill out of a super fireball spell while it is being cast.  This is a game about magic, remember?  The Devs can work it into the magical physics system however the hell they want to.  You could say that there are flows of magic that the channeler weaves that is repetitive for fire spells and that if some escape, they weave into their own sub-spells.  You could say that the channeler is opening a channel to the plane of fire to conjure a mighty meteor swarm, and other beings and forces escape from that portal, some of which you could wreste control over and some of which you could not.

It really doesn't make any difference how you look at it.  The bottom line is it's cool.  You would really know that something cool and destructive is happening if fire is sputtering all over the place, foming elementals and rogue fireballs.
Sorry for not having an opinion you like? Or that I don't disagree with the idea being cool or not but that without mechanics as example about it (that task supposedly left to the Devs) I simply don't see it? If someone says: "When I cast a fireball, randomly fire elementals might appear.", I want to know why. Even if it's placeholder (a good placeholder, mind you). If I cannot picture it, then it means that I don't understand it or that I cannot like it.


Sorry if I offended you as it was not my intention (I don't see my post being out of line from what I usually write). My apologies for it.

Dude, did you even read my post?  I just said that I'm fine with mechanics of magic and spells being explained and consistent, I even prefer it.  You asked for a reason, and I gave you 2 of about a billion.   Do you really think the devs don't have the imagination to explain something like channeled spells?  It makes sense from a game balance and mechanism perspective, therefore making it make sense in relation to the setting and game cosmology is very, very easy.  You're concerns were answered higher in the thread before you even mentioned them.  I think you can understand if I get annoyed when someone keeps bringing up a subject in an attempt to discredit a useful idea when it's already been given an answer.  Your concerns are legitimate.  They have been answered.  Anything further is just making argument for argument sake. 

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February 16, 2010 11:02:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

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February 16, 2010 5:24:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, after winter's reply to me, i stopped reading BOTH your posts!  Forget stone walls for the city, lets put up text walls. Anyway, i understand where you are coming from winter. It dosen't make a whole lot of sense. But then, its magic, why would it need to make sense?

Perhaps instead of having elementals spawn, there could be a side effect to large or powerful spells. When you cast the super fireball, there is a chance that it will rain down little fireballs along its path at random points. Makes you be careful about just where you aim it to keep from splattering your own cities on its way out. A few quirky side effects would make some of the spells more intresting. Of course, not every spells should have them, but for some it might be nice.

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February 16, 2010 5:43:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
its magic, why would it need to make sense?
As you stopped reading my posts (which is fine, I don't force anyone ) I would only have to say that that is one of the lamest excuses for justify something (in a videogame, book, tabletop game...), and could not explain you why.

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February 16, 2010 7:52:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Naw, its a great reason. Whenever someone starts babbling about it being unrealistic that an elf can shoot arrows out of the air, i always get a huge laugh. Its an ELF!! Of course its unrealistic. Its a fantasy game, set it up however you want, change any rule you want, throw logic and sense out the window. As long as its fun, its all good.

But i really do get your point though. The game should at least be internally consistent.

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February 17, 2010 12:00:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, er, I have to agree with Wintersong on that point.  People are drawn to Sci-fi and Fantasy specifically because it creates a coherant setting that ISN'T our own.  But people still expect that setting to make sense.  Honestly, I don't see how channeled spells can't fit into a magic physics system.  Give me a physics system, and I'll indicate how it'd fit in.

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February 17, 2010 12:54:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Will I get executed for saying I want magic like in the last two Harry Potter movies?

 

I'm thinking, specifically, the fire magic lord moldywart was throwing around in the fifth, and the one the headless headmaster whipped out in that cave.

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February 17, 2010 3:43:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
Naw, its a great reason. Whenever someone starts babbling about it being unrealistic that an elf can shoot arrows out of the air, i always get a huge laugh. Its an ELF!! Of course its unrealistic. Its a fantasy game, set it up however you want, change any rule you want, throw logic and sense out the window. As long as its fun, its all good. But i really do get your point though. The game should at least be internally consistent.

When you direct a group of player during enough time in roleplaying games (just to mention one of the possible activities), you learn that even the most (apparently) unimportant things must be consistent. There must be a reason for them and, if conditions are the same, they should be repeatable. Games should be fun? Yeah, that's why we play. Unrealistic = Non consistent? No way that can be fun. Unrealistic = new set of rules? That's good.

So it's not a matter of:

  • A: "Hey, this is cool!"
  • B: "Well, two things: a) I don't envision it as you do; I don't see it as it doesn't make sense per se and you give no explanation."
  • A: "It's cool. It's magic. You shut up, you are arguing. Devs will make it fit."

But of "Does it make sense?". It you cannot thing of a way for it to make sense, it doesn't work no matter how "cool" it is. And "It's magic" is the same as "Because God says so". Or "The Devs will do the work" doesn't cut it for me.

If I want to have female population to have an impact in population grow, I don't just say it and let the Devs do the work. I actually create a thread about it and try to touch some view points about how it could work (or not work). That allows me to develop the idea, make it grow, see if it can make sense, look for limits... That's my way and if someone doesn't like it, life is unfair, sue me for it. But I think that in general my posts all follow the same pattern (of sillyness but that's because I'm silly).

Anyway, /thread for me before someone gets (more) offended or something.

(Egads x2)

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February 17, 2010 8:25:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But of "Does it make sense?". It you cannot thing of a way for it to make sense, it doesn't work no matter how "cool" it is. And "It's magic" is the same as "Because God says so". Or "The Devs will do the work" doesn't cut it for me.

If I want to have female population to have an impact in population grow, I don't just say it and let the Devs do the work. I actually create a thread about it and try to touch some view points about how it could work (or not work). That allows me to develop the idea, make it grow, see if it can make sense, look for limits... That's my way and if someone doesn't like it, life is unfair, sue me for it. But I think that in general my posts all follow the same pattern (of sillyness but that's because I'm silly).

Anyway, /thread for me before someone gets (more) offended or something.

(Egads x2)

You were declaring that channeled spells couldn't make sense in a coherant magical setting.  I said they could, and gave numerous examples.  I then declared that the dev's, who are responsible for crafting the story, were competent enough to work it into the story.  It's that simple, dude.  I've said it about 4 times already, and you still keep arguing as though I'm stating something completely different.  Well, it's obvious now that you simply can't admit error.

You are using smoke screens and mirrors to consistently shift your argument to smaller and smaller declarations.  I've only once on this forum accused someone of arguing for arguments sake, but it looks like I've hit #2. 

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