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Spellcasting casting-time iniative-based

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:47 am
by Atoch
Even if it is most probably already to late to implant any new suggestion, I would like to present a (not so) new(?) idea and read your thoughts about it.

If I don’t misunderstand, there is already a system implanted, that gives every lasting (spell-)effect a (hidden) initiative-value to simulate the duration of this effect more correctly.

So, why not use a similar system for the spellcasting-process itself?

A caster, of course, would be vulnerable to concentration checks, if he suffers any damage during his spellcasting. An (anticipated) spell-effect could be “out-runned” or countered with a fast spell. “Invisibility” should become to be quite loved by the casters as well. (hmm, correct grammar?)
In every big encounter the first goal is: Kill the Mages!
And until now, the most effective way to do this is: Maximal firepower! (exception: the mage in need of killing happens to be a dragon...)
But if long casting-times are vulnerable to disruptions, “maximal firepower” would become quite a risky strategy!

Examples:
"Magic Missile" and “True Strike” could be initiative-delayed with a value of 0 (=instant casting)
"Wind Wall" and “Invisibility” could have a value of 2, "Meteor Shower" a value of 9.
“Summon Elemental” could have a value of 5, for the summoning part, and than get delayed again in order to get control over the elemental.

Every new system has, of course, the potential to give birth to new feats!

such as:

Metamagic Quicken: Your spellcasting time is shorten by 4 to the minimum value of 0. The kind of your spellcasting action (move/standard/full round action) is not influenced by this feat. Spell level +1.
Requires: Level 1 Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard, Bishop, Champion, Mage Knight, Psychic Healer, Storm Warrior, Warlock, Rouge, Ranger, Paladin

Perhaps close combat caster should be given access to an improved version:

Improved Metamagic Quicken: Your spellcasting time is shorten by 4 to the minimum value of 0 without the normal +1 spell-level cost.
Requires: Level 1 Mage Knight, Rouge, Paladin, Ranger (?); Metamagic Quicken


There could also be feats (or skills), which help to correctly identify the spells casted by your enemies. (The “Improved Counterspell” feat could be expanded with this feature)

Applying “Metamagic Empower”, etc. should also increase the casting time.

Summary:

Pro:
- adds a whole new layer of tactical depth, without adding new mouse-clicks and disturbing the fluidity of the combat
- the almighty casters get a bit nerfed, without losing their potential as the mightiest under the sun (or moon).
- less “phoney” casting, more immersion conserving

Con:
- Implantation (adjustment to balancing, documentation, testing, A.I., casting-animation, …)
- with “Ready vs. Spell” there is already a game mechanic, which takes into consideration the vulnerability of the casting-process (albeit it is (for the small heroes party) a quite useless one)
- ?

So, any thoughts?

Re: Spellcasting casting-time iniative-based

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:59 am
by BlueSalamander
Hello Atoch, thank you for your post. I did think about this idea before but decided not to use it. I just think that it would make spellcasters less fun / more frustrating to play.

Just like in games with a real-time-with-pause system, a spell may be taking effect when it is no longer appropriate because of the delay between casting and execution.

For example, you cast Meteor Shower because there's a group of enemies you want to cast it on. But then you have to wait a full round for execution and in that time, the enemies have scattered, they're in melee with your party members, or they've been killed by your other party members. So your powerful spell is made useless. Not because your casting was interrupted, but because the battlefield has changed.

Otherwise, you are right that there is a system that gives every lasting effect an initiative number to simulate the duration. This number is not hidden, you can display it by mousing over it (for effects like Web) or by displaying the effect's details in the character sheet (for effects like Hold Person). All initiative numbers are updated when a creature is killed or a new creature joins the battle.

All that being said, there is already a notion of casting speed for spells. It is limited to free action, move action, standard action and full-round action (meaning the character's move action and standard action, not a complete round in the battle). I think that works well enough. Cheers!

Re: Spellcasting casting-time iniative-based

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:21 am
by Atoch
Fair enough!

It is satisfying to see ones fireball placed on the most optimal spot.

But … it is only made possible by the abstraction of the combat as turn-based. It is more a feature of a game mechanic than of the (simulated) world and so, for me, it always felt a little bit “cheaty”.
But it works and, as both sides have the same advantages, it is not unfair.

Keep up the good work!