RPG Classics Mailbag
This mailbag will probably be viewed as anticlimax after last week's extravaganza, but oh well. Get used to it. This week, we titillate our readers' imagination by demanding that they come up with their very own magic system! Amaze your friends! Astound the audience! Summon giant meteors from space to do four-digit damage! And that's not all: read on. But first, we interrupt with a message from our sponsor. Er, wait, no, that's not it. But Megaman X wants to go first, and he has this Ragnarok Buster thingy, so...
First off, I *Do* have to comment on my mailbag, and all of your miserable failures...
Conerning Adamant, Megaman984, Crystalys and Future Trunks. To those people; your complementary cigars and moogles are in the mail!
Concerning Adrian Nadler and LiteYear: You spoony fuels have no one but to blame but yourself. No, not even Cid. You did it wrong, and I said so. And no, "If you don't like it don't read it" isn't an excuse; I think I speak for all Mailbag-makers when I say that defeats the whole purpose of entering. But, instead of trying to improve like a couple other people did, you just used that excuse. This calls for...
So sorry! |-P
Hey! You've finished with the mailbag; you're not allowed to use that any more! Ozzie, tell him he can't use it any more.
Why? You've already done it so eloquently.
Yes, but I'm in a whiny mood.
And Concerning Dab, Cabus, Zero and a few others: You let me down! Especially Cabus since I told you God-knows how many times. So, for all of you...
*grabs Messup sign before he can do any more mental damage*
Maybe I'm letting this power get to my head. Nah...with as little head as me that's impossible. Saved by stupidity again!
Well, if you insulted me or something, that little detail woulden't matter...since you would NOT have an head anymore!
As for the beef of the entry: This will be the actual magic system for my game, Honor Forces. First, there are 12 elements:
The Main magic spells of each of the 12 divisions do what is listed here. here are 14 spells, 5 of which are main. If you go to #rpgc or #evilc you'll see me cast Fire Lv. 5 of the like. [element] Lv. [#] is the main spell of a division. There are 5 altogether, and there are 9 other spells that do other things, like cause death or another status ailment.
Each element has a god summon. However, you have to know [element] Lv. 1 to do what's called SUMMOMORPHING (Lunaris tasted my supreme Summomorphing skillz, didn't ya Lunaris?) which means you turn into that monster a-la BoF1, but more complicated.
Yeah yeah..whatever, but I suppose that you never felt what a Planetary Personal Cannon does, ne?
Each God has two spells, and you can use either one per turn you're summomorphed. If you know [element] Lv. 1 you can only last 1 turn. But if you know [element] Lv. [x], you can summomorph for x turns. Up to 5, see.
Anyway, you learn spells with Runes (for lack of better word). Each Rune is element specific. A Fire Runs will cause you to gain Fire Spells. The bigger the rune, the faster you learn spells. Your first spell has to be the Level 1. Let's take Fire for example.
X equips the Small Fire rune.
Now, I can cast Fire Lv. 1. This causes small Fire Based Damage, and can cause Burn, which takes away HP and MP per turn. And now, I can summomorph into Phoenix for one turn and one turn only. After this, you can learn the 9 other optional spells as you wish.
X finds a Master Fire Rune.
But now, if you check, I actually gained 35 RP because I had a master rune, which is 5x. OK, now supposed that made me learn Fire Lv. 5. Now, I can summomorph into Phoenix for 5 straight turns. However, if I gain even more RP, I can master the element and Summomorph as I please so long as I have the MP. (If I run out, I automatically revert.)
Now, like FF6, anyone can learn any spell. However, it's wisest to have people learn spells of their element first, because, let's take Spar for example. He's a plantman, so his best spell division is Bio, maybe with some Heal on the side. But if I gave him Fire runes, he'd do poorly because he has a low Fire element. Therefore, you should only learn spells of the elements you are highest in, not elements you are strong/weak in.
And if you thought THAT was a lot, wait till you see my class system! Booya! 3 classes per Element, and that ain't all! |-P
No fair, he's already used this in one of those nifty RPGMaker thingies. Speaking of which, I got an entry from Rast, which I have to print 'cause he's Rast and he's technically my boss, though he isn't really. Or just 'cause I'm a nice guy. ^_^
Nice... guy? Sorry, aren't you Cidolfas?
Oh, no, dear me. They call me Mr. Button-Pusher. Who're you?
The Great Ozzie!
Wanna try for The Great Pancake?
Urk... uh... no?
Well, it's not really that innovative, but I would use a blown-up version of FF's current summon system.
It would have all the current kinds of summons, and not much would be different, except they would last 10-60 minutes, after which time they would do an insane amount of damage, or (for the 60-minute) instantly kill anything, even major bosses.
It would keep battles from being easy because who wants to wait that long? The time thing would be the major detterent.
Believe it or not, that's what Square claims was the point about GFs in FF8. Everyone kept complaining about how long the summon effects were, as well as how easy they made most battles. To which they replied, that's the POINT. You want an easy battle, you've got it, it just takes ten times longer than usual. Now we turn to Melissa LaMont, who gives us a short but sweet answer. No?
I would have each character have various elements, and then they can learn any spell in that element or elements, but they can't gain new elements. Also, spells have requisites. For example, you need Nova Storm and Hellfire to learn Dark Inferno. To learn Pure Spring, you need Healing Rain and Purify. And so on and so forth.
Neat idea, yep. Makes for some real choices in the game: Choose an element or combination of elements at the start of the game, and that affects what you can learn later on. Nice. How about hearing from I Abibde, recently known as Get Shorty? Although I think it doesn't quite fit, but hey, we all believe in giving a man the right to reinvent any ridiculous-sounding names he wants. Right?
Great! I want to be called Supreme Commander Ozzenator!
Um, except for people who've signed away all their rights in a selfishly-worded contract, of course.
Be forewarned. Large blocks of text follow, as usual.
Greetings. :-) I did not respond to the previous Mailbag on account of the fact that I have a fondness for the RPGC web site regardless of who is in charge of managing it. (In addition, a certain former manager who is now, unfortunately, persona non grata was actually very helpful in getting important information through from me to Hiryuu, whose e-mail address was down at the time, for the purpose of updating the Rygar shrine.) Not only that, but my submission for the Battle Royale ("Mailbag X" is a rather stylish title) was, sadly, not quite up to par, and thus was not used, but I think I am ready to submit quality material for this week, since I enjoy coming up with magical theories, but first, I would like to note that a certain gentleman in a yellow coat needs to retrieve a certain purple octopus, who has been so impolite as to hide in my chest-of-drawers for fear of being immolated by a Sixty-Four-Speed Irradiated Napalm Projection Cannon. He is presently stinking up the entire dorm room, and rather NEEDS to be immolated.
I will not if you force me to use that...outdated.........thing!
That said, I feel that the best way for a character in a console-based video role-playing game to earn magical power is to 1.) earn it, 2.) go out of her / his way to earn it, and 3.) pay for it, and I do not mean with gold. A magical spell is not something that should just fall right into the lap of a curious apprentice. That magician should go on a private quest to find it if the player really wants it. Such a private quest should not happen in the course of regular play, either. (Sa Ga Frontier is a good example of this, actually, though the would-be magician can take a small army along with her / him to retrieve the Arcana Tarot and the Rune Stones, which are not really that hard to get.) In addition, the magical spell should come with a price. To gain the ability to heal, the magician should sacrifice her / his ability to hurt, that is, she / he should suffer a reduction, large or small, in attack power. I also find that having a magical spell cost Hit Points instead of separate Magic Points is an excellent way to balance out combat.
They tried that in a game called variously Lennus or Paladin's Quest, and it was BAD. Real BAD. There might be a way to do it so it makes sense, but I can't think of any.
In such a way could the curious apprentice, who would start out having, perhaps, fair statistics, trade physical power for magical power, ideally shaped by the player, who could mold her / his particular apprentice into a destroyer, a healer, a summoner, or what have you, depending on her / his personal tastes and on her / his choice of private quests and trade-offs. Such a process would also affect the story of the CBVRPG in which the system is implemented, and would interlock nicely with the system of controlled interaction that I have discussed in a previous Mailbag. It would be even better if ethical concerns were introduced into the process of gaining magical power. A very powerful magician could also be in constant danger of dying because of becoming too strong, and a healer who can bring back the dead could live in constant fear of what she / he has seen on the other side. Final Fantasy VIII, for all its faults, took one step in this direction by having the Guardian Forces erase the memories of the primary characters.
All that might be too much for which to wish, but there it is.
And of course there are all those people who thought that GF thing was just a majorly corny plot device. After all, you don't lose EXP by using GFs during battle (which would be a natural idea if they really did make you lose your memories). And for those who don't know, CBVRPG stands for Console-Based Video Role-Playing Game, and I'm pretty sure he made it up himself, heh. We have yet another RPGC member up next, The Black Ninja, who was very nice in getting my FF Compendium galleries working, so here's my gratitude. Now I don't owe you any money, remember.
If you could make your own innovative magic system for an RPG, how would it work, what kind of spells would you have, and how would you keep it from making battles laughably easy?
My magic system would be called Meta-Force Summoning. This is how it would work: First, the character would have to go to a training center where they get taught (for a fee of course) how to use a spell. The form that the spell takes would then be dependent upon not only the caster's magic power, but also the offensive power of the weapon he/she is using. So that way if a character had high magic power, but a crappy weapon, the spell would be much less powerful. (Would take the offensive power of a weapon & divide it by the caster's magic power) Of course, this means that a caster's magic power would be max-ed out at 99.
The types of spells learned would depend on the character's personality. For instance, if a character had an introverted personality, he/she could learn something like X-Zone in FF5. Spells would come in these flavors: Elemental, Holy, Evil, & Almighty (Healing Magic).
The way I would keep it from making battles laughably easy (like FF6), would be to limit how many spells a given character can learn (say like 5) and then have the spells they learn be totally random. So there are no guarantees that because you are a high leveled character that you would learn a high leveled spell.
That ends my rant for this week. ~The Black Ninja
Hmmm... but doesn't that mean that in order to be a good spellcaster you ALSO have to be a good fighter? Aren't the two usually mutually exclusive? Oh well. It'd be challenging, that's for sure. I think. We have a new writer-in next!!!!!!!!
Um, one, two... how many exclamation marks is that?
! So there. I love new writers, they make me feel all warm and cozy inside. Scary, isn't it?
Dragonier here, Am I correct in thinking this mailbag is about magic systems? well try not to interupt, or I'll be forced to change into a dragon and hit you with a thunder bracelet.
Well, first off, my magic system would be kinda set up like SOM's. I'd have elemental magic and stuff, and some non-elemental stuff thrown in.
To make the game harder, every enemy would have a resistance or immunity to magic, from lowly slime and imps to the final boss.
Everybody will have some sort of magic like ability, but they would learn it through magic use, and not experience (so as a character uses certin magiks, they would devise new and more powerful spells.)
Therefore, if you like to avoid using magic on regular enemies, and conserve it for bosses, you are gonna have some pretty sorry magic spells at the end of the game.
Also, every magic will have a max amount of damage that it can inflict on the enemy, regardless of experience level (this max magic damage would be reduced against enemies with a resistance.)
And just to be evil, I would make some enemies completely immune to magic, and a boss that absorbs all magic thrown at him.
There will be no bad status spells, stat boosting spells, no reflect, wall, haste or life3. Only enemies will be able to use these spells, thus making the game even harder.
Ooh, you sadist you.
So, to conclude: No stat boosters, no bad status spells, no getting really powerful spells without actually using magic, and all enemies will resist some sort of magic.
Well Cidolfas, thanks if you print this, and if not, well I can't really complain.
Well, actually you can, technically. Just no one's gonna listen.
Oh wait, the hero WILL have draconic powers *cough*Bof3genesystem *cough*
So this is Dragonier signing out *WARP!!!*
No, seriously, I'm gonna start making people sign in if they want to sign out. It's just not fair, that's what it is. And if you take off on BoF3's system that obviously, Capcom's gonna sue.
...They have some really nasty lawyers.
Who am I suing? Where are they? Lemme at 'em!
Sigh... where's that anti-Ozzie security system Macc told me about? I wonder if it works on ALL morons? *presses button* *ten spike balls raise up from the floor*
Oh, man, not more SPIKES! *dissolves into eight bits of light*
Ooh! Pretty colors!
Don't look too closely. They can blind you, you know.
By poking your eye out. You're way too naive, you know that?
And... KirbyManiac, another newbie, is next! Let me see how many exclamation marks I have in my The Bag... ooh, running low. Um, how's this? !!! Sorry I used so many up already, but we mailbag people are very high-strung, you know. Easily excited.
Hah! That's saying a...
DID YOU SAY SOMETHING???
Uh! No! I! Did! Not!
Good. And stop that, you're wasting good exclamation marks.
This topic is right up my alley since quite a few of my friends were making an RPG (which happens to be based on an anime we're also making)...
Neato! We're thinking about getting an RPGMaker section at RPGC; check back for it!
Anyway, the way the magic system will work (currently) is that after selecting a spell, the character takes time in order to charge up before casting the spell. Depending on the spell's strength and the character's level, the time can vary (however, unless the character was weak and the spell all-powerful, you won't be waiting for more than a few seconds). While charging, the character is open to enemy attack (we're using a battle system like Star Ocean 2, where you control your characters' actions on a battlefield). At first, we planned that getting hit while powering up could possibly break your concentration and you'd stop trying to cast the spell, but that could get annoying.
Well, they do it in SO2. Adds some challenge, that's for sure.
As for spell types, each character has an innate element and learn spells of that element as they gain levels. There are also scrolls, each one containing a certain spell of a certain element, and characters learn the spell in a fashion similar to learning spells from Espers in FFVI.
As for "laughably easy" battles, I can't think of an RPG where battles are incredibly easy except for when you fight enemies with experience levels WAY lower than your own, even with all-powerful spells at your disposal (besides, the characters in our RPG won't even earn those kinds of spells until they reach the experience levels in the high double-digits).
Not bad at all. An amalgamation, you might say. As for laughably easy battles, shall I say... FF6? Next up is Geo, who I must say really does have a great innovation for this topic.
Here's how my magic system works: all your characters are magic users and magic is basically the only way to do any real damage. But! Casting spells weakens them. Permanently. And there are no level-ups. Your guys start as real badasses, and gradually get weaker and weaker and weaker. They're sacrificing their very lifeforces to save the world: damned noble, if I do say so myself. And I do. The key is to preserve them as much as possible, so you can sustain their lives long enough to win. It goes without saying that after this final victory, they ALL DIE. Kinda depressing, when you think about it. But hey: ces't la vie, eh? At least they saved all our asses. Quit kvetching. Bleh. I'm out of here.
That'd be really cool. Except for the fact that if the RPG is any decent length, you'll find yourself dying just before the final boss because you ran into too many enemies in the first level, which would suck. You could work around it, I suppose. But very nice idea! Jarlaxle is up next. *And the crowd goes wild!*
Anyway, a magic system eh? Well first of all I'd definitely make Magic very powerful, more powerful even than physical weapons, because if you think about it, shouldn't it be that way? I'd create the 8 elements, b/c they always are there, though i'd name them differently.
Flame, Fire, Flare
Maybe. Harder to remember, though.
I like the Fire/Fira/Firagra actualy!
Anyway i would make a system similar to FF9's, in which only selected characters would possess (as they call in in Star Ocean 2) the Blessing of Mana, or the ability to use magic. These characters will buy scrolls from magic shops, and will have slots for "equipping" scrolls, up to 3 at a time. This means that they are currently studying these 3 spells on these 3 scrolls, and will have to gain a certain amount of AP in order to learn it permanently (like FF9, only not in weapons and armor, but scrolls, more realistic.)
I would also create Warlock/Sorcerer characters, ones who are naturally skilled in magic, and gain spells at level up because it's an innate ability, plus their magic power would be much higher. This would probably take place of my above idea of scrolls, and balance out the attack power of magic users/fighters. A fighter would also naturally have a weak spot when attacked by magic, but would do large damage to a spellcaster. (we'll call them warlocks)
Warlocks also would have natural magical defense shields around them, so you don't have to waste MP casting protect or shell for a 10 second fight. These natural defenses could be activated and changed from the menu screen, and while they wouldn't be super powerful, they would help the spell caster a lot.
All in all, spellcasters at a high level would be able to take out a fighter no problem. They'd have kinetic barriers that absorbed damage and returned it twofold or absorbed it as mp, and you should have customization options. Broad categories of spells to learn, and specific skills the further you advance in level of that discipline.
Well there's my idea, like it or like it.
Well, I... Hey! That's not much of a choice! What a gyp! Anyway, I do like it, especially that magic barrier thing, which would be even better if it would only protect against ONE type of attack (say, physical attacks, status attacks, or a certain elemental) and you changed it based on what enemies you encounter in each dungeon. See how much imagination our readers actually have when pressed to it? To emphasize the point, we continue with Megaman984.
I've never played any of those Paper RPGs, so I'm not sure if this has been used by any of those, but this is my idea:
At the beginning, you choose if you want your wizard(s) to be good, neutral, or evil. This alignment would affect the characteristics of your spells and would give you some alignment only spells. Good would be more healing spells; evil more destructive; neutral somewhere in between but not as powerful.
Next, you would choose which of the 4 elements you would want to study: earth, fire, water, or air. Each of the elements would overlap with each other and would all have destruction, healing, stats raising, and stats lowering spells, but each element would have it's own main characteristic. Fire would be mainly destruction spells. Earth would mostly pump up a character's stats for the battle. Water would be healing. Air would lower enemies' stats. The alignment you chose would also affect the type of spells you get.
Eventually in the game, your wizard(s) could decide to start to learn a totally different element or could decide to study two or more elements at a time. If you decide to learn a totally new element, you could still cast your old spells, but they wouldn't be as powerful. If you decide to learn two or more elements at a time, your spells would be just as powerful if you're still learning the same element, but you wouldn't learn spells as quickly. Also, if you study two or more elements at a time, your wizard(s) would start to learn joint spells, spells that have properties of the elements that make it up.
Spells would be learned through Magic Experience, but old spells would become more powerful by casting them more often. To make it possible to learn all the spells in the game, learning new spells wouldn't require a horrendous amount of Magic Exp. Magic Exp would be divided equally among your elements after your fight no matter if you cast no spells of one of your elements. Each wizard would of course gain the same amount of Magic Exp unless one of them dies and isn't revived by the end of the battle.
Casting spells would require two things: the necessary amount of MP and the necessary amount of Spirit Points. Spirit Points would be generated every round by your characters. Each character would generate a set amount of Spirit Points, but that amount would be raised through gaining levels. If your wizard runs out of MP, you could use a MP restoring item, or if you're out of those, you could choose to have him use one turn to convert some of his HP to MP. One MP would be generated for every 2 HP.
I'm not sure if my idea has been used before, so if it has don't laugh at me. All right you can laugh, a little. Okay, okay. You can laugh a lot.
Er, I would, but I'm not feeling particularly evil just now, and I don't know of any game which incorporates all that stuff at all. So good on yer. 8-) Basically you've combined good points of a lot of existing magic systems to make one more interesting and challenging than any single one. I think our readers should go into RPG Making, because the only battle system I've seen recently which is as innovative as this stuff is Chrono Cross. </foreshadowing> And CC could get fairly annoying, anyway, especially when re-equipping your Elements. But I digress. Our last contestant for the prize of Big Fat Nothing is Sorcerer. Fitting, no?
Hey there Cid! Its Sorcerer!!
Well, just thought I would reply to one of the mailbags on the newer RPGC, so here I go!
Go ahead. But stop wasting all those !s. They're a non-renewable natural resource. You're killing our planet!!!!!!!! Oops.
Ok, I believe the question was something like "make your own magic system, and how does it work, and why isn't it godly?" Well, my magic system would be a toss up between the traditional, learn them as you level up, the Diablo 1 (sorta, you'll see how it works in a minute), the materia system, the Parasite eve 1 weapon slot system and the GF system.
Ok, there would be Magic Points (MP). Now, as you go up in levels, you would slowly gain the ability to use certain spells. But, in order to actually use them, you have to buy little orbs (pretty much like materia). Once again, in order to use the spell, not only do you have to have the orb, but you have to have learned the spell from battle experience. Now then, Each weapon would have a basic number of slots-slots that can never be taken away. You could take them to a specialist and have the specialist add a slot on, but no more than 4 or 5. It would be REALLY expensive ( I mean REALLY, like, 55,000 gil or something, a real money drainer), this way, not only is there a maximum number of slots (that isn't that high to begin with) and its really expensive to get those extra slots.
Now onto the battle usage:
In battle, the begging level of each spell can only be used once per battle. With every spell level, you gain one extra usage, a maximum of 10 levels, with a maximum of 7 usages. Each spell will have its own stats, a magic attack level, which measures the attack power of each spell, a defense level, which measures the defense against damage, and a HP level, which measures the amount of HP the spell has. With every level these stats will go up. Like in FF8, the character will go into a turn where he/she begins to use the spell. Also like in FF8, your spells can die, but unlike the GFs, they have a defensive stat, which would help them live. At the end of each battle, the spells used will get experience as well as the characters. But the more spells you use, the less experience each spell will get, meaning if you rely on magic too much, it will take much longer for each spell to gain a level.
Hope that works :)
I have no idea. I dunno if I really followed it all that well.
Hah, and you call yourself an RPG expert!
No, that's what *other* people call me. Of course I accept their praise with due modesty befitting one of my grand status.
That's an oxymoron, you know.
Uh... uh... no, YOU'RE an oxymoron! Hah, so there! No, don't try to get me back, I got you good!
Ah... second childhood. Isn't it grand?
I was about to end this, but I just received a last-minute reply from Merlin, and I just have to stick Merlin's entry in, so here goes.
Hmmm I haven't done one of these since the Battle Royale, but so it goes...
Nah, actualy, the last you sent was for the Big Brother thingy...remmber?
First you have to imagine that when the game begins, you choose from a group of characters that you'll use throughout the game. After picking your four or six or whatever number of characters, you choose not only your weapon preference (arrows swords etc.) but also what kind of magic you'd like them to specify in. There'd be a large range of magic, but with two general themes. There would be a broad magic category, and a more specific category. If you hate magic, then you could always elect to choose "Boost" Magic that makes your physical attacks more damaging.
For example, say you are really a pyromaniac in real life and you have little voices that tell you to burn things (*looks at Lunaris :P*) then you could choose "Fire Magic" or something. This category would let you cast the various kinds of fire type spells, but you wouldn't be able to learn Ice or Earth magic etc.
But, if you chose say "Elemental Magic" then you could be versed in all elemental magics, but the most useful ones would be unavailable to you. You would have to choose whether you want to be a more adaptable mage or a specific one.
Examples of general categories would be...Elemental (basic fire, ice etc), White (healing and holy magics), Black (destructive), Red (a little from white and black), Green (Earth and monster spells), Environment (status and time spells) etc.
More specific "schools" of magic would include things like Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Medicinal, Light (holy), Dark (destruction), Blue (monster spells), Earth, Telekinesis+Telepathy (mental magic), Chrono (Time magic), Status (status magics), Conjuration (Summoning) etc.
In terms of learning your newfound abilities, there'd be various ways. At Magic Shops located in many towns, they'd offer spells for you to learn, but if you were a Fire Mage you wouldn't be able to learn Cure3 for example. Also random townspeople may sell you magic books that have a few spells in them, you could get them by defeating monsters (especially Blue mages), winning them through minigames etc. And if you happen to get a magic book that outlines Time Magic that none of you can learn, you can sell it.
I think the restricitions that would keep a game from getting ridiculously easy is that a person would have to carefully plan out their tactics. Having four fire mages requires a whole different strategy to winning than with four medicinal mages.Furthermore, there wouldn't be any godlike spells like Ultima that wipeout everything either.
Well that is pretty much it, hope you enjoyed reading my weird schemes...now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming...
Very weird. Not bad, though, not bad at all. I'd talk longer but you're last-minute. But I will say this: *presses green button* *Piano falls on Merlin* Sorry, couldn't resist.
Yeah, well...It ain't our fault is Pianos likes him SOO much...
Okay! I've received a number of humorous topics lately (but not nearly as much as I'd like) and I'm going with one from Jarlaxle. If an RPG character of your choice was transplanted into our world, what kind of life would they live? What kind of job would they have, and how successful would they be? Hopefully more successful than this boondocked gig. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, you funny guy you.
I...can't...belive...that no one did something about the SaGas Magic and Arts system......Oh and, Save the Exclamation Points ! ! ! ! ! ! ! They are in danger ! ! ! ! ! !....Er..wops...