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Thread: Artifacts of Power

  1. #11
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    I assume that Heroes and Champions default gear will be at least masterwork quality. Making masterwork items for base units could perhaps be possible with just an increase in cost/time to produce.
    I hope that there are lairs, dungeons, etc. in the world not a part of the warring factions for us to discover, explore, and loot.
    I assume that (non-faction aligned) Dragons could make an appearance in the game. As such it would be nice if defeating one gave scales allowing the player to make Dragonhide armor.
    I would hope that Adamantine, Cold Iron, and Mithril were rare resources discoverable on the map (like resources in Civ). Having one of your mines suddenly find a vein could be a random event as well as having one you have become depleted.
    Darkwood could likewise be a rare resource found on forest tiles and perhaps there could even be a powerful Druid/Nature spell that creates it.
    Alchemical Silver could require silver (I assume there is already gold and silver in the game?) although if no creatures in the game have damage reduction/silver (no lycanthropes for example) then you can probably skip this as it actually weakens weapons against everything else.
    Once you have a masterwork item (from loot, came with hero/champion, paid extra to make, etc.) you can enchant it because perhaps all player/wizards are assumed to have the Craft Magic Arms and Armors feat. To make basic magic weapons/armor (+1, +2, etc.) you just pay the appropriate money and you're done.
    To balance this somewhat perhaps instead of limiting the + by caster level limit who can use it instead. In D20 the person creating the item has to have a caster level of 3x the bonus. So instead you say that you must be 3x the bonus to use the item. Since base units are capped at level 5 this means level 1 and 2 units can't use magic armor or weapons at all while level 3-5 can use +1 if you want to pay to equip them. (I'd say doing so should also pose the risk of allowing the victor to acquire them should they fall in battle)
    If heroes come in at level 6 and go up to 15 then they can +2 items from the start but must gain levels to use stronger magic items up to the max +5 at their level cap.
    Likewise if Champions come in at around level 11 and go to 20 they'd be able to use +3 from the start, +4 as soon as they level once, and then +5 on 15-20.
    The fun comes when you add special abilities. Special abilities would require you have the necessary spell(s) (assuming they are in game) and would require you spend the appropriate amount of mana to cast them all. If this is more mana then you have in a turn it could simply take multiple turns to finish creating the item (leaving you no mana during those turns for anything else). Once you begin you should not be able to stop until the item is complete without destroying all the components and having to start over from scratch.
    Example: A Holy Avenger requires a Cold Iron Longsword (that you found, or made if you have access to cold iron) and a blacksmith shop in the capital. The creating wizard must be good (if you have alignment), must have the spell holy aura in their spellbook, and must pay 60,630gp. When in non-Paladin's hands it acts as a +2 weapon and so it's not usable by any base units (they top out at +1) but is usable by Heroes and Champions. In the hands of level 18+ level paladin (the Caster level for this item is 18) it become +5 with all it's speical properties. (Note this means a level 6-17 Paladin could use the weapon but it would function as a +2 cold iron weapon just like it does for non-Paladins)

    ---------- Post added at 04:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:51 PM ----------

    Another quick Example:
    To make a +3 Longsword of Wounding:
    Masterwork Longsword + "Mage Sword" in spell book + mana cost to cast said spell + 50k gold (+3 from bonus +2 from Wounding)
    The resulting weapon would be usable by level 10 Hero/Champions and above. (while a +3 sword is usable by lvl 9 the CL for Wounding is 10 and you take the higher of the two)

  2. #12
    Asmodai, you said a mouth-full! Lol.

    To address the simplest first: There will be lairs, dungeons, etc, packed with loot. There may be dragons in some of the lairs (I want them in there, we'll just have to see how it goes.) There will also be veins of rare ores you can discover and make use of in item creation. I like the idea of having certain random events that would discover/deplete a vein.

    Now, I want to say that the system you propose is very interesting. It's got a lot of depth and a lot could be done with it. However, I'm afraid it's a bit too much for a game like WoM. The magical item system in MoM was very easy to understand and although we want to go a little beyond that we want to hold on to as much of it's simplicity as we can.

    For the moment this is how I see item creation unfolding:

    Items for units will be manufactured by buildings in the cities (like the alchemists guild in MoM) and the equipment they make will probably automatically be equipped to units in the town. Players may actually have to “upgrade” existing units at some cost, but new units built in the city would automatically have the equipment. In MoM if you had a city with an alchemists guild and the city had access to mithril the mithril would automatically be used in the weapons. We are probably going to one up this and track what resources your entire empire has access to. So, if you have an adamant mine in one city and a magical weapons workshop (whatever we call it) in another city the city with the workshop would still be able to make weapons of adamant. Although this doesn't give you finite control over the weapons your regular units use it will allow you to give them a little extra pep by finding and using rare resources.

    With heroes we are also going to follow very much in the footsteps of MoM. Players won't use a spell to create items, but the actual item creation will be very similar. Your sorcerer will be able to enchant an item with certain properties based on his knowledge of the spell circles and his disciplines. The item will have a cost in mana to complete and, depending on your magical skill, you will be allowed to spend a certain amount of mana per turn on creating the item until it's finished. As you discover other materials, you'll be able to make use of them. For instance, you won't be able to use mithril until you've found a vien and built a mine (in a city that can reach it).

    I think this sticks to the spirit of MoM, but will allow us to expand the idea a bit and offer an even wider range of magical items.

  3. #13
    If in doubt on anything, stick to MoM's forumula. Can't go wrong there with that tactic.

    ---------- Post added at 04:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:09 PM ----------

    I just had a thought. As a part of diplomacy (Which is always lacking in 4x games.) it would be cool to have the option of "commissioning" an artifact to be built\enchanted by another wizard.

    Lets say you have a really cool sword and you want to add a flaming enchantment to it but don't know any fire spells, you could, through diplomacy, send it to an ally who know fire spells and have them add the enchantment to it. For a hefty fee of course, and if you aren't on good terms with them or they decide the artifact is worth going to war over, maybe there's a chance they'll betray you and keep the artifact for themselves?

  4. #14
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Having items for base units be manufactured by buildings in the cities and automatically equipped for new units (with older units able to upgrade) makes sense and I don't think it really conflicts with what I suggested, perhaps I just explained it badly. My focus for the bulk of that post however was on how to make gear for your heroes/champions not something that every unit in a squad would have. I think tying mithril gear to having a mithril resource is key but I'm not sure how I feel about it working for the entire empire automatically as it removes the ability to cut off a city from the supply and therefore weakens strategic play. In civ for example you have to have roads or water access to the resource to use it, something like that would be great so we have the option of blockading the trade route or tearing down the road to isolate an individual city. An isolated city can still make regular units but no new units would get the mithril bonus until the trade route was restored. If you do go the road route though I'd make sure to include upkeep for roads otherwise it can get quickly out of hand. That just covers base units with rare matrials though which isn't really magic items at all. Using a similar mechanic though you could have some sort of enchanting building that gives all units +1 weapons/armor but maybe that's too much? Maybe actual magic items are restricted to Heroes/Champions. With Heroes/Champions is where the difficult part comes in and I guess I just don't understand how you are going to be able to craft neat magic items for your Heroes from what you've said. Can you give me an example of what I wizard would do/require to make say some sort of magical weapon for one of his/her heroes?

  5. #15
    First, I want to say I love the idea of “blockading” a city. That will come into play with another feature we plan to add which is stockpiling food (like you can gold and mana crystals). “Starving” a city out is a great strategy and I think we should be able to implement it fairly easily from a technical point of view.

    Now, to explain magic items for units. There are two elements in item creation, magic and materials. As you pointed out they are completely separate. At the moment the thought is that the weapons produced in a magic weapon workshop (again, this isn't the name, it just doesn't have a name yet) will give a +1 bonus to attack and damage. I think that falls well within the “reasonable” range. If the city has access to a special material they will use it. (This may be a selectable option in the workshop or there may be a “level” to each material and it will use the best one.) So, if the city could get to mithril (it's not blockaded) then the workshop will make +1 mithril weapons. I hope that clears up our current plan for unit magic weapons. (If not say the word and I'll keep talking, lol.)

    So, on to the heroes. Let's say when you created your sorcerer you decided to split your points between fire and air. You start a new game and immediately open the “Create a magic item” interface. You choose a sword and see what you can enchant it with. The options you're presented with depend on what circles you chose when you created your sorcerer. So, in this case you have access to fire and air options as well as a base attack bonus based on something else (probably your current magical skill, but that debate is still undecided at the moment). You see that you can make a flaming sword +1 that grants the wielder the air-walk ability and the item creation window shows you it's cost in mana and it's estimate time of manufacture. If your city had access to mithril or adamant your could use it (thus significantly upping the base cost). You decide to create it now! After a long while (way too long, you should have focused on building up your magical skill a bit and saved a few mana crystals first, but it's your game, play it however you want) your item pops out of the old magical forge there and you can give it to a hero. (Because by the time that thing pops out you'll have hired a hero or two or three. You should have saved up for a few turns and built a temple or something!) This hero can now walk on air (slowly) and has a +1 flaming sword on his side. Not too bade really. I hope that clears it up a bit. Again, if it doesn't just say the word. I'm happy to answer questions.

  6. #16
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    In order to do this we're going to include a complete magical item creation system heavily influenced by the D20 system. (Yes, I know I keep saying D20 and I'm going to keep on saying throughout my posts.)
    Setting aside the basic unit items (I think we're on the same page here) the system you describe for Hero/Champions seems fine but not really based off D20 at all. Again that's fine and meshes with what you've said in the past about replacing the magic system as the D20 one is far too complex but it doesn't appear to follow with your quote above.
    What I don't follow in the system you describe is how you allow this item creation to improve through the course of the game and how you differentiate what effects (other than materials and +1, +2, etc.) a Wizard can create WITHIN one sphere... if you do these at all.
    So I guess what you're saying is that a Wizard can start making EVERY magic item they will ever be able to make on round 1 essentially (again, excluding materials). The limiting factor just that it will take a long time since your magic/gold income is so low at the start. In this case no extra abilities are unlocked as your wizard improves, what is available is solely tied to your initial circle choice. So for example money/mana/time is the only thing preventing you from say giving every one of your Hero/Champions +5 weapons and armor and the only reason to even make +1 through +4 is to get it quicker/cheaper???

  7. #17
    Let me back up a step and explain a little more about our magic system before I press on. I think that's where the confusion lies. I've said that our magical system is heavily “influenced” by D20 and that is absolutely the case. However, the system is also heavily influenced by the magic system in MoM.

    Our actual spell list is going to be pulled primary from D20. The spells effects and level are going to translate fairly straight across. For instance we have a fireball spell that is inspired by the D20 fireball spell.

    The way you make use of magic with our system is much more like MoM. You will start with few spells (perhaps even 0), a little magical skill and a few mana crystals. You will be able to divide your mana income between researching spells, increasing your skill level and saving up mana crystals. When you cast one of our spells you'll be able to increase the effect by spending more mana, just as you could in MoM.

    Now, our fireball spell is a tier 3 spell (level 3 in D20) and does 1d6 base damage in a 20 foot radius. So far this is pretty much D20 stuff. However, your sorcerer doesn't have a “level” he has magical skill. That skill dictates how much power he can expend at a time (much like level does in d20). However, he doesn't have spells per day, but a mana pool he can draw power from (just like in MoM). When you cast our fireball spell it does 1d6 + 1d6 (per mana price) up to a maximum of 20d6. Now, if you just got the fireball spell and your skill is very low you may only be able to cast it and not invest any more mana. In that case it's going to do 1d6 in a 20 foot radius. If, on the other hand, it's late in the game, you have a lot of magical skill and a load of mana crystals you can cast fireball, spend the extra mana and do 20d6 damage in a 20 foot radius.

    So far I hope this melding of MoM and D20 is clear.

    Now, let's step out into the real of magical items. My flaming sword example wasn't really very good because you're not going to be able to make the best equipment from the moment you start. (At least that's direction we're leaning right now. The reason we're discussing it is because it's not a done deal yet.) In D20 you have +1 through +5 and +1 through +5 effects. (I know you know this, I'm writing this for those who don't.) So, a +1 sword is a +1 weapon and a flaming sword is also a +1 weapon. A +1 flaming sword is a +2 weapon, etc. You sorcerer will be able to make weapons based on his current magical skill. (Again, this is the thought at the moment. We are open to suggestions.) When you first start the game you will probably only be able to make +1 weapons (certain things can change this like the Artificer discipline). That means you could make a +1 sword or a flaming sword, but not a +1 flaming sword and no air-walk. (Like I said my last example was bad. It just thought a +1 flaming sword of air-walk was cool. Sorry about that.) The higher your magical skill the more powerful the artifact you can make and the more mana you will spend on it per turn (meaning the higher your skill the faster you can make it.)

    What we're doing with the magic system is pulling stats and basic concepts from D20 and pulling execution from MoM. The result is that you'll be able to craft weapons much like you did in MoM, but the weapons you make will be classic D20. Like a Holy Avenger for instance.

    Have I been clear?

    Thoughts?

  8. #18
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Ok I think I understand both the materials and the progression (+1 vs +2, etc.) now. I'm sorry this has been so difficult for me to grasp. The special abilities are still a little unclear though, I understand the progression (such as flaming is treated as +1 for progression in your example) but just to make sure I understand what Special Abilities you have to choose from will be determined based off of your circle choices at wizard creation so if you're put enough ranks in the Fire circle you'd get flaming, flaming burst, etc. all right from the start it's just you won't be able to necessarily make them because of progression (flaming is +1 and flaming burst is +2). So you won't discover new special attributes during the course of the game you'll just become powerful enough to actually use the ones you've known since the beginning?

    A Holy Avenger is another more complicated matter as it is an example of a "Specific Weapon" instead of a standard magic weapon with the normal special abilities. I assume though that if you have enough ranks in the life circle you'd know how to craft a holy avenger right from the start (though you can't actually do it until you progress to the required level... is that correct?)

    Finally assuming that is all correct that covers the weapons and armor type things but will Heroes and Champions be able to be equipped with things like boots, cloaks, belts, etc... those items that D20 lump together as "Wondrous Items" (heck what about rings, potions, scrolls, rods, staffs, wands, etc. all use different feats in D20 so I'm curious if it's all rolled into the same system or if certain ones just won't be implemented at all or what).

  9. #19
    Maybe you've been quick to understand and I've been slow to explain, lol. Anyway, don't worry about it. You're not the only one who's going to want this info.

    I don't want to say you won't discover new item creation options (who knows what you might find in a dragon's lair), I would just say not to count on it. Basically the choices you make at character creation are going to tell what items you're going to be able to make. (And what spells you'll be able to research.)

    Your assumption is correct. Enough ranks in life gets you Holy Avenger. (In theory, remember, just in theory.) There will be other specific weapons for other schools.

    BTW, you seem to be very versed in D20. I don't think many people would have said "Holy Avenger! That's a specific weapon!"

    We haven't decided on the number of equipment slots. ATM the thought is something like "More than three, maybe not as many as you can really have in D20."

  10. #20
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Well as far as slots my thoughts would be:
    Head - headband, hat, helmet, or phylactery as well as pair of eye lenses or goggles on or over the eyes. This is 2 slots in D20 so you can wear a hat and goggles but I'd recommend you collapse it so you have to choose one or the other in WoM.
    Neck - amulet, brooch, medallion, necklace, periapt, or scarab. Same as D20
    Body - vest, vestment, or shirt as well as robe or suit of armor. Again this is 2 slots in D20 but I recommend collapsing them down to simplify.
    Shoulders - cloak, cape, or mantle. Same as D20 (though some of the above merger could be moved here such as a vest over your armor)
    Feet - pair of boots or shoes
    Hands (x2) - glove, pair of gloves, or pair of gauntlets; pair of bracers or bracelets; rings. This collapses 3 D20 categories into 1 though it's actually two slots so you could wear two rings for example but "pair of" magic items take both slots (similar to how a 2 handed weapon takes both hands). Example you could wear two rings but you could not wear a ring and pair of gauntlets since gauntlets take both hand slots. (the magic doesn't work if you're only wearing one of them, the set it one item).
    Held (x2) - Weapons, shields, rods, staffs, wands. Of course 2 handed weapons would take both slots.

    ---------- Post added at 05:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:21 PM ----------

    I guess my thought was just the merge the spell research with the item creation. So you learn new effects at the same time as you learn new spells instead of knowing everything up front. So to make that flaming sword the flaming effect requires you to have learned your version of flame blade, flame strike, or fireball. You don't have to research anything different, when a fire wizard learns fireball he automatically learns the flaming enchantment for items. That way you don't just start with every flame type magical effect because you put all your ranks in the fire circle but you don't have to research each effect either, you just get them as you add the relevant spells.

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