Spellbooks!

Talk about the mods or features you'd like to see in Daggerfall Unity. Give mod creators some ideas!
Narf the Mouse
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Spellbooks!

Postby Narf the Mouse » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:44 am

As loot, bought and sold in stores, found on dead mages and such. This was an intended feature of the original game (hence why you have a spellbook, and why selling it means you can't cast spells).

So, just posting my interest and a few ideas.

1) Spellbooks could contain any circinate spell, depending on the level of the spellcaster and what type they are. This could be done using levelled lists.

2) Spellbooks could also contain random spells. These would be generated by taking the level of the NPC, and their skills, and running some formulas. So, for example, one generator might determine "3 Destruction spells of this gp and SP for each, 2 Alteration spells of this gp and SP for each, ...", and the Destruction spell generator could pull a template formula from somewhere (a list, or more advanced, a template generator), and say, "3-5 damage per level for 5-7 seconds at range" and roll some numbers.

3) NPCs could use the spells in the spellbook, and their AI could take them into account. This would require writing up a templated sub-AI for each type of spell, and could be made easier by adding tags to types of spells. For example, protection spells could be tagged as good for the start of the fight, while healing spells could be tagged as good when damaged. Area damage spells could be tagged as dangerous to user and allies. Some of these tags could be generated automatically, such as a danger zone for area spells.

By my estimation, #1 is fairly easy; mostly making levelled lists and making sure they're assigned and used properly. #2 is harder, partly in making sure the templates are sane, partly in making sure the generators are sane, and partly in avoiding meta-template madness. #3 is hardest, especially with #2. Making AI use spells reasonably is a hard problem, and one few games succeed at.

I think a mod to add spellbooks to the appropriate levelled lists, stores, loot, and such (in short, #1) would be a good place to start, and would be a complete mod by itself. :)
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.
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Jay_H
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Jay_H » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:53 pm

This is the only way I can think of adding new custom spells into the game. Theoretically adding them to merchants' spell lists could be possible, but I see too much conflict between mods. Making spellbooks consumable to teach one spell at a time would allow practically any new effect into the game. Even better if Spellmaker enables the new spell effect too.

Spell frequencies and types could vary based on enemies. Liches and vampires could carry them frequently; human spellcasters infrequently; harpies and nymphs rarely, etc.
Come give your feedback on the ideas in my general thread, and share your DFU characters in the character thread.
Quest-writing tutorial here. Guide for new Daggerfall players here. Daggerfall Mechanics thread here.
Narf the Mouse
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Narf the Mouse » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:11 pm

Jay_H wrote:This is the only way I can think of adding new custom spells into the game. Theoretically adding them to merchants' spell lists could be possible, but I see too much conflict between mods. Making spellbooks consumable to teach one spell at a time would allow practically any new effect into the game. Even better if Spellmaker enables the new spell effect too.

Spell frequencies and types could vary based on enemies. Liches and vampires could carry them frequently; human spellcasters infrequently; harpies and nymphs rarely, etc.

I don't really see a problem with having a dozen or more spells per spellbook. DF's spells are selected from a list of options, and built using ranges. Unlike some other games, where adding Y spell to X list can be almost as powerful as a new level, in DF, once you have the *basics covered, adding new spells just gives variations on options you already have.

Not so in certain other games, where just a dozen of the right spells means you knew exactly what kind of monster it was five minutes after preparing spells for the day, knew its exact surroundings before you became pretty close to undetectable, teleported in, stopped time for yourself, summoned a few specifically-picked monsters of your own, selected to exploit the monster's weaknesses, then teleported out, to a specially-prepared sanctum filled with more defences than the average King's castle.

Naming no names.

In DF, once you have your initial dozen spells, adding more just gives variety.

If you have four hundred spells to kill the monster, with a 40-60% chance of killing the monster, and a 60-40% of doing so before the monster kills you, you have far too many options. ;)

Given that a common Elder Scrolls mod is one that lets you delete spells from your spellbook, I think we're good there. ;)

* Free Action, Levitate, Damage, Invisibility, Mark-Recall, Shield, Healing, maybe a few more.

Edit: I should add that I'm viewing most spells you'd get as "vendor trash"; that is, "Oh look, another **ranged damage spell with an average damage in the range of 20-30 at my level. Sell, delete..." And with each specific spell being saleable once, and not for much, because the Mage's Guild/shopkeep is thinking the exact same thing you are, only in the form of "Oh look, another adventurer with Generic Spellbook #1037". Heh.

Daggerfall is not low fantasy. ;)

** Or Free Action, or Disintegrate, or Levitate, or whatever...
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.
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jman0war
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby jman0war » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:28 pm

The best implementation of spell casting and spellbooks in a game is Arx Fatalis, imo.
The number of possible spells would be rather limited, but to be honest, I think that's ok.

I find myself neglecting magicka in DF generally speaking and always trend toward Tanking.
However with a re-invented spell system that could change.
some of my Daggerfall work can be found here: http://www.thehungryartist.com/games.html
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Jay_H
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Jay_H » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:19 pm

I'm not familiar with Arx Fatalis's system. How's it go?

I had the idea of making one spell drop at a time from how Diablo 1 did it. You'd look forever for spells like Telekinesis, Teleport, and Mana Shield, but you'd also be happy when things like Fireball and Firewall would drop. You just keep farming and hoping something you want shows up.

Spell books in DFU could also sell for a lot of money.
Come give your feedback on the ideas in my general thread, and share your DFU characters in the character thread.
Quest-writing tutorial here. Guide for new Daggerfall players here. Daggerfall Mechanics thread here.
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jman0war
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby jman0war » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:32 pm

Jay_H wrote:I'm not familiar with Arx Fatalis's system. How's it go?

Well, let me try to explain. This is from memory.

You find and pickup Runes.
The Runes have a unique symbol carved into them, like a Z. When finding Runes the symbol gets written into your SpellBook.
When you click on a Rune, or the symbol in your SpellBook, it makes a unique sound, a sort of vocal sound.

When you have a few Runes or rune symbols in your SpellBook, you try and 'make a spell'.
You can get like a "spell recipe", that shows you that you need the following 3 Runes in the following order to cast "FireBall".

So to do this you hold down a key combination, like ALT+Q I think.
That brings up your characters outstretched hand and there are some sparkles and visual and audio information to let you know that with those keys pressed, you're in "spell creating mode" (or whatever it's called).

With the mouse button pressed down, you draw the shape of the 1st rune in the air.
If it's accurate enough, you hear the sound of the Rune, and the Rune gets displayed as an icon in the upper right of the screen.
Then you try and draw the next Rune shape, and the 3rd one.

If you've succeeded, then the Rune icons get replaced with the FireBall spell icon, and now the spell is ready to fire.
You can press 1,2,3 to fire your queued up spells.
You are limited to queuing up 3 spells.
Which makes for some planning.

There are also some frantic moments where you've fired your spells then have to scurry away quickly and try to queue up some more.
The game is not paused when you're drawing Rune shapes in the air, so you can still be attacked.
You end up becoming quite adept at drawing the rune shapes and memorizing spells.
some of my Daggerfall work can be found here: http://www.thehungryartist.com/games.html
Narf the Mouse
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Narf the Mouse » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:42 pm

While that's interesting, a revision of Daggerfall's magic system is a topic for another thread. :)

This thread is about building out the intended and existing Spellbook system.
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.
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jman0war
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby jman0war » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:06 am

Fair enough.
Why Spellbooks?

Why not seed some misc spells among the pieces of paper, maps, and recipes one finds in dungeons?
Pick it up, 'use' the found paper and get text that says 'The spell Levitation has been added to your spellbook".
If you already have that spell, then maybe keep it in INV and sell.
some of my Daggerfall work can be found here: http://www.thehungryartist.com/games.html
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Jay_H
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Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Jay_H » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:09 am

That's a very valid idea. There are a lot of meaningless parchment items found in dungeons that could get repurposed for things like this.
Come give your feedback on the ideas in my general thread, and share your DFU characters in the character thread.
Quest-writing tutorial here. Guide for new Daggerfall players here. Daggerfall Mechanics thread here.
Narf the Mouse
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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:32 pm

Re: Spellbooks!

Postby Narf the Mouse » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:42 pm

jman0war wrote:Fair enough.
Why Spellbooks?

Why not seed some misc spells among the pieces of paper, maps, and recipes one finds in dungeons?
Pick it up, 'use' the found paper and get text that says 'The spell Levitation has been added to your spellbook".
If you already have that spell, then maybe keep it in INV and sell.

That sounds good, too. I just don't want the thread drifting way off-topic. :) Expand on current spellbook system is one thing; make new system is another. :)

Hmm...Maybe even maps to spellbooks? Could have maps to treasure...But now I risk derailing my own thread, heh. So if someone wants to discuss it, hit the new thread button. :)

Anyway, yeah, I like the idea of spells just scrawled on paper/parchment here or there.

And maybe that Orc Warrior looted a Mage...
Previous experience tells me it's very easy to misunderstand the tone, intent, or meaning of what I've posted. If you have questions, ask.

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