Why do magic systems and wizard classes in general in games tend to always be very limited...

Why do magic systems and wizard classes in general in games tend to always be very limited, unimaginative and otherwise disappointing? What makes a truly great magic system?

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Because it's hard to not make mages OP.

Being able to summon a massive ball of roiling hot magma that makes a section of the battlefield basically untouchable, from another plane of existence is pretty goddamn powerful. So you gotta tone it back and make it so that those who are hit don't take NEARLY as much as they should. Because you'll get all sorts of whiny bitches complaining about how strong mages are.

It's also hard to add a lot of variety in the spells without making them basically exact copies of each other.

For example: You have 2 spells,
One is a living roots spell that does damage over time as it strangulates the target, and keeps them from moving. It's most suitable for druids/witches.
Another is a spell that summons eldritch tentacles from another dimension that deals damage over time as it strangulates the target and keeps them from moving. This one's most suitable for Cultists/fanatics.

They may be different flavors, but they're exactly the same in terms of mechanics, and no matter how hard you think of coming up with a unique spell, it's either too powerful to be implemented, or there's already a spell that serves the same purpose.

As much as I'd love to see some god-like elder mages, that could easily destroy entire towns and villages with just a flick of the wrist, and actually show it in-game and not just through some bullshit flavor text/codex, it won't ever be done, because it would be far too OP.
And if it is done, then they would be either your ally, or just some dude who would hide behind the scenes and never show his face because the players would straight-up be eviscerated before they even had a chance to fight.


If you standards are so high then you shouldn't be playing videogames about wizards.

A lot of this

There is also the issue of actually making the game. Assuming it's a game with classes, the more imaginative you make it, the more systems you have to include in the game to accommodate them. If it's really that amazing, you've essentially made a separate combat system just for one class. It's a problem of workload.

You might say "well why not just be clever about making the combat system so you avoid this problem?", you are basically saying "why don't they just be good at developing games?". The answer to that should be obvious.

The only games with good magic systems are either D&D-based games or games where magic is the only combat system.

Post your ideal magic system
Draw it if you want to

Yeah it's mostly balancing issues
Even if you made a game on a world scale where your spells could affect continents it wouldn't be very satisfying, as it soon becomes the norm. I think the sweet spot is where your spells are used used crucially in a meaningful way that turns the tides of your luck

Magicka did it pretty well. And then they ruined it by making it a DLCfest.

In the end they treat magic like most JRPGs - Here's ton of spells but if you want to actually win battles you'll only use like 5 cause the rest is fucking useless.

What if you have a magic system in an RPG where spells are tied to magic weapons such as staves? Say you only get about 4-5 spells in a "set". These spells are designed to complement each other, allowing for combos, and you never get simple and basic spells like fireballs because those are just too boring and don't allow for much complexity.

Most of the spells in D&D are completely useless. The games based on it take it to the next level because you get useless shit like detect evil and know alignment which have no purpose in the game because the game is structured like a slaughterfest with no meaningful NPC interaction.

To start, you'd need to define magic in such a way that Wizards aren't useless or OP as fuck. Wizards are people who work within and around rules that people like Warriors and Thieves can't even begin to comprehend outside of literal entry-level shit like Prestidigitation.

Generally, though, unless the game is fully centered and focused around mages and magic, having a good magic system without everything else suffering is a problem, and you still need a good game at the end of the day.

If you really wanted good magic so badly, play a tabletop and go play an Arcanist.

Plasmids in Bioshock and Bioshock 2 are essentially like that but those games aren't RPGs.

I'll give you that a good portion of D&D spells are useless…

If you're just playing a trash-digging murderhobo and your DM lets you get away with this (which it sounds like he absolutely did).

If the game is well designed those sorts of spells have interesting, if not technically "necessary" uses. Like using know alignment on a questgiver to figure out how likely he is to backstab you. Of course you'll probably just play through the quest anyway, but it's a nice touch.

Try the other direction. Let wizards be OP as fuck ((in theory), but then make martial classes OP as fuck on their own as well, anime style if you have to.

Know Alignment is actually pretty legit depending on the campaign in question. If your DM likes throwing traitorous sumbitches at you or people who look skeevy on a glance, Know Alignment is a good way to glean someone's potential actions without needing to engage talking and getting shivved in the gut for your troubles.

Pathfinder Unchained Monks are super ridiculous for that, then. Being able to travel yards worth of space in a single bound (i.e. counting as a 5-foot step), unloading a flurry of FOTNS style punches, and later in levels just outright learning to use shunpo like it's no big deal.

Though to be fair, I am all for all classes being OP. Inquisitors with sublevels in Rogue for dat sneak dice damage and consistent, stealth-based DPS from range, Arcanists who literally don't fear being grappled (far worse than a Barbarian attempting to go ham on them) and are warping reality with snaps of the fingers, Ninjas raining shuriken on people and slaughtering whole armies with ease with ki pools 'n' shit.

And don't even talk to me about Gunslingers. Fucking A.

Look at it this way. If there's a way for a wizard to do it then there's going to be away for a non-western to do it. This means that you cast an alignment but any kind of Rogue abilities like read emotion or whatever equivalent dialogue skill it just makes magic useless. On the other hand you have games like Morrowind were not picking a wizard is foolish because a simple alteration spell completely negates half the thief skills

Mmmm. I have you call here on this one.

Yes, magic can make things like stealthing easier. But a flaw with games like Morrowind in the aspect of magic is that D&D has answers to rampant magic users and a variety of ways to detect magic usage.

You wouldn't send a Wizard with Invisibility to stealth out, even if he has an easier time initially cloaking than the Rogue and with less chances of the d20 biting you in the ass. A big reason for that is that people trying to deter thieves WOULD have some way to detect magic and/or see through invisibility. For reference, See Invisibility is a 2nd level spell for most classes (except the Bard?), so a Wizard wearing goofy robes walking around invisible is eventually just going to be seen and pointed out. But a Rogue is trained in invisibility WITHOUT magic, so the guards keeping would-be thieves out have their work cut out for them.

Or you could be a Ninja and use Invisibility as your ki power because lol ki.

Doesn't even need to be anime style, just make martial classes as powerful as mythical heroes at the same level that mages can explode cities with a handwave so that there is more to fighters than just protecting mages at lower levels.
Pic somewhat related.

IMO the best spell is prestidigitation. it allows simple tricks with magic, like creating glowing orbs or making knocking sounds or very simple illusions. Used well by someone who knows their shit, it can be the most effective spell ever.

But how the fuck do you provide the AI and scripting for NPCs to react in interesting ways to a spell that has nearly limitless potential in attracting or diverting attention, either with visual, audio, odorous, temperature, etc effects? How do you code it so the player can adjust all those possible variations on the fly and apply them to a non-static simulated world?

You can't, so devs just make wizards shoot fire, or ice, or lightning, in slightly different ways, because there's no point in doing mental magic and even if there were most people would say "this shit sucks where's the meteor spell".

There are two ways to make wizards satisfying without making them OP and breaking the game. Either you design the game around magic and have that as the main method of combat or you make the other classes just as OP. The problem most people have is that mages are usually the only ones who are supernatural in fantasy settings so you end up with these guys who can throw giant fireballs and bend the rules of reality to their will being compared to at best a strong and fit but still normal human with a sword and shield. They try and balance this by making every single mage a frail glass cannon and giving them cast time limits or mana but it's still a 1 sided contest.

What mages should be compared to is not Henry the knight who swings a sword real good, they should be compared to Henry the anime knight who has the strength of a troll and a supernatural body that can tank nearly anything. You have to make the other classses supernatural if you want them to compete with a mage that isn't bogged down by most of the usual limits. The problem with this is that you go off into the completely supernatural overpowered territory and it becomes hard to relate. A lot of anime or manga that has these superpowered characters has the same problem, they become so over the top when they could kill 5000 mooks that you know the only danger will be when someone with a higher power level appears. Likewise you know the incredibly powerful villain won't be defeated by any kind of special strategy or something to get around his power, it will be because the main character gets a higher power level.

This can be the case anyway in RPGs with levels. Attacking the level 100 final boss with a level 2 sword you found on a goblin at the start of the game likely won't do much. You want to try and avoid this kind of thing though, it's fine to be tanking regular sword hits from bandits if you are wearing some heavy armour but if you can tank steel swords while naked just because you are a high level then it's shit and immersion breaking.

I wouldn't mind seeing more attempts at a game where you can only play as a mage since that seems the better way to do it. They could always try having the three normal classes but just making a mage play them all. So a warrior style class would be something like a battlemage who shields himself with magic, enchants his blade and also enhances his body to be able to jump high and run fast. A rogue would be a mage based on doging using blink style teleports and highly dangerous touch based spells along with some magical misdirection like clones or stealth spells. The more average mage would then be based on casting massive grand magic, rather than the usual stand in place for 20 seconds to cast he could have sonme kind of special mechanic where he builds up charge from fighting enemies which he can then spend on special grand tier magic.

Having these kind of numbers is also a good step towards making a fun mage class.

I'd like to see this type of system adapted to a smaller scale wizarding game.

At the very least, I'd like to see games play more with elemental/sorcerous paths instead of schools of study.
It just makes more sense to me for whatever reason.

Here's the thing, though.

A level 20 Fighter is a pretty scary Fighter…but if you're going to compare a Level 20 Wizard to a martial class of equal level, then it has to be a martial class whose key feature isn't "being a physical jack-of-all-trades".

A Level 20 (Unchained) Barbarian should basically be Hercules with his Hera-induced rage, tearing people apart literally with his bare hands and frothing at the mouth for battle. A human maelstrom of death and destruction; a pretty good counterpart to the Wizard.

A Level 20 Paladin should be a walking avatar of their deity smiting the bad shit away and tanking damage like no one's business. Their very steps should purify the land under their feet and they radiate a visible aura of warm, comforting light.

A Level 20 Swashbuckler should basically be Dante: pulling off CUH-RAY-ZEE levels of acrobatics, feats, and daring maneuvers, constantly using and regaining panache points to the dance around the battlefield and lay waste to the enemies.

A Level 20 (Unchained) Monk is basically Goku minus being of an OP race.

Like, I vibe with the user in that pick, I totally do. But a Fighter is a REALLY bad example of a martial class to compare to a Wizard, especially in that a Wizard IS a reality-warper…but is usually delegated to support. Like, yes, you COULD cast Fireball a bunch of times. But due to how your spell system works and you actually being in a party of other damage-dealers, you do better giving your enemies hell without actually damaging them.

What does Holla Forums think of Two World's build-a-spell system?

I just started playing, so I think it looks good in theory but I don't know how it actually works out in the game.

The way how magic works in the warhammer universe is prolly one of the best imo.

Insanely powerful spells, but with the possibility of getting fucked over from overexposure.

Although, it could be bias talking because I love the chaos

I've seen videos of it doing really interesting things, never managed to get much out of it myself but I didn't finish the game either.

Because a 1 in 6 chance of fates worse than death every time you take an action is a good system.

I don't actually know the rules, but from what I know of the universe I'm probably not exaggerating

Alright virgins, Suggest me a game with great magic system where i can summon doom sunbolt of mega fuck you

Dragon's Dogma had breddy gud magic

is about right up your alley. See Grand Bolide in particular. Of course you have to channel uninterrupted for 10 years before you can actually cast it.

And to expand on this, most of the really powerful spells had some pretty long cast-times to balance them out, so you'd have to have your pawns cover your ass while you casted them, since getting hit could cause you to stagger or get knocked down, interrupting your spell.

Yep Dragon's Dogma probably has some of the best magic in any game I've played. Well balanced, but still very powerful.

I already played DDA, would've been better if casting a spell doesn't take the whole fucking battle holy shit Jesus.

It doesn't, with the appropriate augments and equipment. You can get high maelstroms off in about 10-15 seconds.

Look into the Runed Age it pretty easily summarises my idea of a near ideal magic system. just in case the embed dont work: youtu.be/cxKcGNjSpM4

The system above actually does a really good job in making you "FEEL" like a wizard, but that's because you have to discover, create and LEARN the system which most games do not do and simply hand you the powers with little to no explanation on how you actually earned them so you FEEL at best like a two bit sorcerer not just through some lack of power, but because you did very little to earn that power.

Most games never address how you "earn" the power. Even the western fantasy archetypes of DnD seem to cling to is the idea of the "bigger number". Simply granting a bigger dmg output doesnt make you feel like a wizard, warrior, or hunter, it makes you feel "powerful" in a very brutish and mundane sense and thats something I feel NEEDS to be addressed.

A good swordsman shouldn't be a dude with a straight dmg increase, a good swordsman is someone who can maneuver their weapon and themselves in new and better ways in combat.

By providing a straight dmg increase, you're providing an abstract for technical skill, but instead of performing abstraction you could simply give them more and better techniques to work with and allow their skill to shine through the way they utilize these techniques. By granting the player new techniques to master, you allow them to experiment further after reaching a "milestone". While normally, they may have simply been utilizing the same strategies over and over again, when presented with a "new" option to add to their retinue, they will feel the need to experiment and come up with new and interesting techniques in the process.

While some games have managed to make this work to some degree (blade and soul for an MMO was pretty okay with this) Magic never quite receives the same love not only that but "HOW" you earn the reward matters just as much imo as to "WHAT" you earned.

You don't earn experience as a blacksmith by cooking just because you're working with fire and you dont become a gardener by chopping wood all day long because you work with plants.

So why in the everliving world of fuck do you become a master wizard, a scholarly pursuit, by mindlessly spamming "fireball" and blowing up gremlins?

A fighter has to occasionally dodge and block the gremlins attacks and may string together attacks in succession as a combo. A hunter earns combat skills in much the sameway, how the fuck does a mage learn an "Ice" spell by casting "fire" all day long?

So to actually answer OP's question…

1.) Encourage Action: Make the player understand how magic works in the world PERSONALLY through research and experimentation.

2.) Stimulate the mind: Magic must only be effective when utilized by those strong in mind. Force the player to prepare for encounters ahead of time and create the ideal environment for the perfect spell

3.) Weaken the body: Emphasizing "mind over matter", the mage is physically frail and incapable of greatness without foresight and cleverness.

4.) Nourish Creativity: Even conventional threats lead to unconventional solutions. Allow for improvisation by providing the tools necessary in combat.

5.) Manifest Mystery: Magic is a curious wonder that is guarded jealously, both for the safety of the few in power and for the safety of the world as a whole. Let the player experience this as they wander and study the world, being one of the sacred few spellcasters.

TL;DR Make them do the legwork. Make magic powerful but require research, talent, and training. Make the system flexible to allow for "on the fly" casters. Make magic rare.

Also sorry if this is all over the place, it's way too late where I am but i feel this makes up the gist of it.

Is there a SINGLE EXAMPLE of a lightning spell in vidya that's not some shitty buzzing / crackling / sizzling effect that slowly moves across the screen?

Is there not a single instance where a lightning spell actually summons a bolt of fucking lightning that flashes out at the target instantly and makes an ear-splitting crash and trailing boom of thunder?

I love the idea of lightning mages, but they're never satisfying at all.
It's like picking a gun class, but every time you pull the trigger it just makes a quiet fart noise and bubbles come out.

The best magic systems let you get creative, like a high magnitude jump with slow fall spell in Morrowind to turn the game into saints row 4 or making a spell in oblivion that buffs your combat stats and summons armor/weapon so your magic build can temporarily become a warrior one. I know of no games outside of early TES games that let me make my own spells that are something other than just bigger fireballs, does anyone have any suggestions for games I've missed?

DMoMM had a surprisingly entertaining magic system but some abilities bordered on the overpowered. You can kill almost anyone in the game by spamming the basic fireball to get adrenaline up then using the ice magic's instant freeze special attack, for example. It's hilarious to see all the build up to a fight with a lich and just freeze the fucker then smash him to bits.

Because all magic in game has to essentially boil down to some numbers the computers will process.
Esoteric and poorly defined "mystical" shit doesn't work


Doesn't D&D have Call Lightning?

you can do some pretty crazy shit.

Like summoning anvils and a tornado around you, so you're untouchable as anvils pummel anything that comes close.

Or a 3 spell that fires of 3 bolts that each create 3 bouncing fireballs when they hit something, and each fireball splits into 3 homing electric balls that freeze enemies.

I played a Minecraft mod back when the game was in beta that did that. You could craft a stick into a wand to cast spells, and one of the spells was lightning bolt and it would actually call lightning down from the sky to fuck up whatever you targeted.

This was back in like 2012 though.

Dragon's Dogma had good looking magic, but most of it wasn't actually very good
The ice spell that left a platform behind sometimes was good
The ice spell that had multiple tendrils wasn't good(but could potentially be with more control over it and a better locational damage system, or if it held flying enemies)
The way staves worked with enchantments was good, but the enchantments themselves weren't
There are hints of promise, but most of it just looks cool and does damage to enemies after you stand around for a bit

Computers can do esoteric just fine
It doesn't have to be poorly defined to be mysterious to the user
Tolkien-tier "it does what the plot needs it to do and fuck you if you want to know how it works because muh Christian allegories" magic isn't the only kind of magic

Which D&D vidya in particular has this? There have been a few.

I'm aware of Call Lightning in the tabletop game, but that's not vidya so it doesn't count.
Also, I want to see a full massive lightning strike shooting from the tip of a wizard's finger or staff, not just from the sky.

High Gicel is amazing if you aim it correctly. If all of the tendrils hit a firedrake's heart, it can one-shot the fucker.

Wasn't this made by an user?
I remember someone showing off a design PDF that was basically this.
Infact I am pretty sure those are the exact same drawings.

Like I said, it just looks cool and does damage to enemies after you stand around for a bit
You might as well just play as a warrior and spam the Gotcha Bitch button

I think the only way around this is to tell non-magic users to deal with magic, the elements of life, death, existence itself, being more powerful than a sword. Or you make a game about wizards only, so you can go all out with Dragon's Dogma tier magic spells.

What's wrong with the Conan way?

I do not comprehend. Are standards not a good thing?

I don't understand.

Magicka had Lightning Bolt which was one of the best spells in the game.

One could say the same about most melee classes in non-action games as well - and a significant number of action games too. Rarely do you see melee combat more complex than attack/power attack/counter.

Two Worlds 2 has a pretty nice magic system.
Too bad the game itself is really generic and boring.

This is what D&D players believe.

The entire concept of mixed parties and balance is flawed to begin with. Either magic is powerful and unique - in which case other classes can't compare OR every skill in the end is equal to magic or equally magical (making magic pointless and less mystical) OR magic is weak making mages unattractive.

Or maybe magic does stuff the mundane doesn't without being overpowered. And who the fuck says being knowledgeable of the arcane means being able to perfectly utilize it beyond the comprehension of normal mortals? Knowing how atoms work doesn't mean you can just slap them together for a nuclear explosion.

nigga you can drink your enemies in DnD
turn to stone
stone to mud
purify water

Well it has to do with class variety.

the mage/wizard/sorcerer class is supposed to be some kind of wise man that knows the arcane secrets of the world.

Mages are associated with western medieval or renaissance culture. That means their inspiration comes from alchemists.

But if you want to add both a mage and a shaman you have to make them differently, even thou the underlying elements of the world are the same ( earth fire wind water) so you give mages fire and water and shamans earth and wind. There two classes even thou it would be assumed that both classes would know how to wield all the elements.

So why do games with 3 or less classes still not do it well

Diablo 1, Gothic and Might and Magic 6-8 did it right.

Yes it does.
Why the fuck bother with fireballs if a bow and arrow is just as good?

Of course, we are talking about modern RPG's where archers get magic-like abilities to teleport, shoot a hunderd arrow out of a bow and shit.

I'm not going to even bother if this is the example your limited imagination conjured. Even the assumption that a fire ball must be the same as an arrow because they are ranged attacks is too much.

D&D faggots will never learn.

MORROWIND!! In Vanilla you could cast command creature on the heart of lorkhan and steal it from Dagoth Ur. Lmao

Magic can literally do anything because it's fucking magic. It's also why there's no good magic system. Aint nobody got time to balance or be that creative especially with how limited game physics still is. Don't forget casuals would whine with the sheer amount of skill it would take to weave spells together for maximum effectiveness.

The hardest class to balance in a game is still archers though. Nobody actually knows what the fuck to do with them.

3 classes are still shit because even if the magic wielders aren't divided the physical ones are.

For example warrior, archer, mage

So I would go with 2 classes, the warrior class having access to all the schools of combat ( melee, ranged even stealth)

and the mage class having an equal number of schools to focus on. Thou I would also bunch up a few like ( elemental, necromancy, blood magic, animism, holy black magic )

But of course developers always decide for the player that some schools are good and some are bad and force the player to be good.

I for one would prefer a mage class that isn't a spell flinger but focused more on buffing himself and allies and debuffing the enemy.

You can also create your own spells, potions and enchantments. I remember playing it as a kid and By the end of the game I had a house with several mer hants that I had kidnapped with command creature and I had a robe an item with a constant effect levitation spell so that I always flew. Flying around shooting lighning bolts and shit.

balance, magic is OP

If I remember correctly, the muse class in ROSE online had this lightning spell that did exactly that. It even stunned sometimes.

I don't understand this point. You don't have to give martial classes abilities that serve as magic-substitutes to make them just as on par with magic classes - they can still be distinct. The existence of mythical heroes like with supernatural powers like Heracles and Perseus or the especially wise and crafty ones like Odysseus doesn't undermine the mystical things they fight.

I think there is also two other issues plaguing the mechanics.

1: magic is just another weapon. People have pointed out the problem in games like Skyrim where magic is basically just another ranged weapon you equip in the hand. And that is sort of all people expect out of it now.

2: Basically magic is just a sort of "ki" in most games. It's something people shoot out like they are in dragon ball z. This is related to point one. Magic get's treated more like a martial art.

A return to games like DnD where magic had a shit load of uses that altered the very way things interacted with each other. This is what made it interesting. I notice people have more fun when magic is treated as a science. Since it allows them to utilize it for interesting and varied things.

A magic system based upon transmuting objects from an amassed number of lesser forms to a single greater form, and using such greater forms to win battles. Such as taking pounds of rat flesh in your bag and turning it into the corpse of some terrible beast, which you can then resurrect.

this very much.
Whenever I play tabletops, I love being the utility mage - scrying, clarvoyancing, summoning food, enchanting items, casting illusions, speaking tongues but participating very little in active combat.
it's nearly impossible in most CRPGs

That's because your imagination is limitless and so is a product of it we call magic. There's a reason "it's magic" is an expression, because magic can theoretically do anything.

The reason CRPGs cannot do such is due because the sheer amount of complexity involved. Consider the type of magic you want a type of Turning Test but for video games. Who has time to come up and program every single scenario a human being can possibly come up with involving magic and its uses? How would it make sense of it from something simple as your ice bolt freezing a river to make an ice bridge for your party to get across to casting combustion or lightning strike on a tree or trees to make it fall down to block the path of a monster or rival party then entrap and blind them with smoke by burning down their surroundings and when their own caster uses water stream to try and put out the fire you've made you use telekinesis to turn it back against them and soak them then quickly cast lightning strike again to fry them with the only one left standing their tank due to his extreme fortitude and resilience. You then use telekinesis again to grab his sword and shield which he cannot keep a hold on due to still being drenched and dazed by your lightning spell to knock him down with his own shield, twist his leg in a pothole in the ground your lightning strike made earlier while he falls backwards and then impale him with his own sword. How do you expect a computer to make sense of all that?

In a tabletop, you can come up with a completely bullshit but still reasonable explanation and as long as you can convince your GM and roll the right number, anything goes. How would you even balance, program, or make sense of that in a CRPG? How can a computer that cannot pass a Turning Test reason what or what is not fair game?


user, a fair amount of people on this board play or have played space station 13, and that piece of shit is made of spaghetti code running on fucking byond
You're going to have to try a bit harder than that if you want to come up with an example of something a game can't reasonably do

Pikmin but with necro
You start by gathering bones and putting them together in on a glyph stone and resurrect the spirit to the shell. Then you carry more bones back with you with your companions and slowly grow your army while killing adventurers and gaining adventurer skeletons or doing other things like bringing back pieces of the omega bone master to his tomb to summon him back to the world as the end game. And then when you summon the omega skeleman you take control of him and tear shit up.
You get to that end goal and then the real game starts. You gain more giant skeleton hordes and fight other giants and such, taking down whole cities and castles tactically and such, until you get so powerful you take conquest to other planets and planes, fighting other necros with super skeleton hordes and beasts of different lands until it reaches the pinnacle where you have skeleton stations on all planets, using spirit technology to ride skelecopters and spaceskulls through the galaxy to be the absolute god king of all skulldom. All the skeletons can basically be doofy and such because I really like getting attached to things like that instead of having these souless hordes of bone men.

Complete spell construction from a table of traits from an PnP system I was working on but got bored with before I finished filling out the magic tables.

Want a fireball?

It's a level 2 spell for something like ~15 mana that does 11-30 damage

The system is freeform so you need to put training points into "Magic" to get it up to level 2 to unlock the spell, and then spend a skill point to design/craft a new spell from the table. After that you can cast it as long as you have enough mana.

In the system a level 1 player have ~20hp and ~15 mana so it's an expensive spell that has the potential to one shot an enemy.

Yep, it was written on the 8chins by some resident fa/tg/uy. It's part of the reason i recommend it in the first place.

I want you to apply an idea known as equivalent exchange, that to gain something, you must sacrifice something.

If you want your idea of a mage to work you have to make it so that, while mages are powerful, there is a ton of work that must be put into becoming a mage of that power level.

The draw of Martial Classes in pen and paper titles is that they're easy to learn and apply while classes like Wizard are harder to utilize since they require foresight into what spells your party will need the most in the area that they're in.

If you just apply it willy nilly the players will feel it's cheap because it technically is,
Price = Supply + Demand if the supply (number of powerful mages) is higher than the demand (the number of people who actually want to play mages) the overall value (balance) of the game suffers.

Stop comparing legendary level casters to the average fucking mercenary.
If your magical example is a guy who can fold the universe in on itself to give someone a wedgie, compare him to motherfucking Gilgamesh or Enkidu, niggers who fucked up the shit of the gods because they were bored.
This is why people hate D&D, especially 3.5, because at extremely high levels the character should be a living legend regardless of class, not a living legend if magical or else just pretty good at whacking things with a sword.

Pic Related Maximum Overshilling in Progress

But magic is innately mysterious and the product of many thousands of scholars researching for thousands of years. You basically OWN the powers of life and death at your fingertips. While this definitely is a way of creating a balance and giving you the power of a true wizard, it doesn't make you FEEL like a true wizard should feel.

Morrowind actually does very well when compared to other western RPG's in the sense of spellmaking, it's just that when spells are an easy commodity that you can just buy, it turns an otherwise powerful reward and tool into a cheap crutch.

I keep repeating the same shit with this but the law of equivalent exchange was something that was practiced by real living alchemists, the idea that all things must come at an equal or greater price. This is the principle, I feel, should be applied to all magics.

Sorry meant for
to also respond to .

The only ways are
1) make it a mage only game and make it overload on the cool stuff they can do
Self explanatory. It would be fun decimating waves of enemies that the big bad sender's at you before locking yourself in a power struggle with him (also being a mage).
2) make other classes just as overpowered
How unimaginable are you fucks? Sure, your wizard can fold the universe on itself, or perhaps instantly remove my barbarian from existence. You best believe my barbarian will then get so angry that he will rip open a rift from unexistence and back into the world. It's a fucking video game, logic doesn't have to follow common sense to a certain degree. Yes, your wizard can incinerate a world with the flick of a wrist, but the monk can channel his ki and punch the ground to destroy it just as well. The wizard casts a nuclear fireball at the fighter? The fighter raises his shield and charges, taking a cataclysmic nuclear mushroom cloud explosion in full and staggering out charred and blackened, but still standing.
I could go on for more archetypes. Rangerfags need not apply
3) make every class use magic
Spellblades, mystic knights, paladin (more divine energy but similar concept), barbarians calling on ancient spirits to give them magical powers.


Because nigga if magic were realistically portayed it'd be super fucking unbalanced.
I like runescape's system, where certain armor/monsters resist spells of certain elements better than others even if it isn't properly displayed in stats.

RPGs tend to "forget" training.
The barbarian who can carry his horse around can only do so because he trained for years, the mage who can summon a horse from thin air can only do so becausr he studied old scrolls for decades.
Especially modern RPGs tend to forget that aspect of "you work hard to get the cool shit".
Look at old school WoW, where leveling was a beautiful grind, and getting your first mount made you feel like a true king amongst peasants. You got the cool shit after working hard FOR HOURS, and only then.
In modern WoW, you get your first mount for 20 Gold at level 20.

My point is: You should get the cool and OP spells, as long as it was only as a reward for a lot of grinding/tough challenges.

No, it wasn't. The literal goal of alchemy was turning lead, an inferior common toxic metal of low value, into gold, a rare and valuable metal. Literally their goal was unequal exchange.

I always thought Fighters should be the wizards of martial classes. That one really grizzled dude who's impossibly prepared for every combat eventuality, a warrior of countless battlefields who can juggle 3 axes and 2 spears while pissing with his right hand. A wizard, at least in D&D, isn't really anything beyond "guy who casts spells", so a fighter shouldn't be anything more than "guy who fights". But at the same time, that jack of trades aspect should be their strength in the same way a wizard can do anything.
They should be phenomenally powerful because of their experience, not because of any special abilities like frothing battle rages or whatever.

as someone who has played pathfinder most of those classes are ass-terrible, especially the ninja and gunslinger

what system lets barbarians be Hercules without the DM modding the shit out of it? additionally the things you point out the barbarian doing isnt nearly as good as either wizardry or hercules, to even give them a fighting chance against lvl 20 dnd wizardry they would need wrestle tornadoes into submission and shit like that.
the swashbuckler has a problem, if a 20 level swashbuckler was as cool as dante it would be a decent matchup, but they never are, they are usually tied to dexterity or charisma for there damage, and damage that dosnt come from the strenght stat is mandated to be bad, imagin dante with no attacks and thats a 20th level swashbuckler
monks are either full casters but with ki or they just dont compare

Here you go. Three supernatural classes, melee (plus shapeshifting), ranged (and enchanting trinkets that buff/debuff) and a classical, direct damage dealing mage.

Also, he's dead in real-life too. ;___;




Use a lvl 1 spell slot to cast Magic Missile for 1dfuckton of irresisitible damage.

nigger are you joking?

you can't sleep after every fight in pen and paper

Magic and wizards? that shit's for faggots, have fun with your harry potter books, nerd

the primordial elements are able to be conjured and enchanted, even your own flesh.

this has basically led to my universe mixing sorcery with martial arts(armed and unarmed alike) into insanely overpowered versions of the old DnD classes and a few others from other games.

like for instance paladins are back to being dex based and eventually become paladin-sorcerer if they survive to age relying on archery and divine magic rather then the adventurer's standard of sword, shield, bow, and spear they used in their youth.
however i did make a type of crusader who uses ice to create barricades, additional armor, missile attacks, and most importantly a pair of team shielding spells.
the first is a physically focused one allowing you to become a one-man shield phalanx with a massive wall of icicles that generate from your shield and grow over the course of a few seconds impaling lesser foes and when fully formed able to deflect even the most titanic of blows and attack such as a dragon's breath.
the second is a reflective spell shield-wall modeled as an aurora, a greater form of what your shield does innately due to it's enchantments.

High level Wizards should be more powerful than even a high level fighter. Even a super strength, super tough, super fast guy with a sword is still, at the end of the day, a guy with a sword. An archmage can crack open reality and stop time multiple times a day. No amount of sword swing can top that.

They should have more diverse tools, but by no means should they be more powerful. That's the point of levels. If a wizard spends his entire life dedicated to conquering magic and in turn receives super powers a swordsman should be able to do the same with a sword. If a wizard can crack the fabric of reality a swordsman should be able to divide the world with his swings. Otherwise why would they be the same level at all?

Fighters need less exp to get the same levels so fighter levels aren't the same as wizard ones, also anyone can be a fighter infact most people are level 0 ones but very few people can become casters of any kind.
You're on the same side as the part most of the time any way so its not like blancen really matters at all but if you need it that's the Dm's job with items and the overall campaign, game rules. If you want a fighter to kill god he needs a sword of god killing

Even then, the experience requirements to level up do not accurately represent the gap between overall strength.

Do you people who think magic classes should always be more powerful than other classes also get mad when a class about killing things with Guns isn't more powerful than a class about killing things with melee weapons?

Wizards have many weaknesses that can be exploited. Still, one guy swings a sword real gud and the other commands a fundamental force of universal power. I feel the peak power potential should swing towards the Wizard, especially considering that they are totally reliant on that power source and are utterly useless without it. Unlike a high level fighter who can still murder like crazy and survive unreal punishment without his magic weapon or armor of choice, hell without a weapon or armor at all.

You're retarded and have no imagination, shut the fuck up.

Gilgamesh is more of a paladin, and Alexander could be one as well or just a fighter with a really high CHA score

And you are a whiny bitch who thinks every thing has to be sawyer balanced and like your favorite anime.

In what fucking game?
A high level wizard never really has a limit on how much magic they can use, either because they have ample reserves of spells or mana. The ability to interrupt a mages casting is so easy to mitigate because otherwise mages would be worthless. Their lack of defense can either be supplemented by their magic or isn't a problem because they stand at the back. Granted, if we're talking D&D, an enemy who knows its going to fight a wizard should be prepared to jump the wizard, but that's only because the wizard is so much more threatening than any other member in the party.

If we're talking random fight encounters, unplanned combats or fighting a giant beast, the fighter is going to be the one in the firing line because they have to be in melee range and his 'murder like crazy' power is only going to be equal to the Wizards at beat, but much more commonly its going to be substantially weaker.

Again, if I have two guys of the same level, why the hell is one of them better than the other? Shouldn't they be roughly equal since that's the point of a level; to represent overall progression and power? Why does a Wizard, who's only requirement in game is to tick a box, maybe go to a shop, maybe sit around for a little bit meditating, get to warp reality, while a Fighter who spends that same time training, honing their skills and mastering combat only gets to 'hit things'.

In fact we could test this really easy. We could do 'class olympics'. We could set a series of challenges for high-level classes of the same [EXP/LVL] to overcome. Break a wall. Do this much damage. Run really far. Win an argument. Bench press a carriage. Carry a log 5 miles. Now, looking at those things, tell me which class is going to win every fucking time? The only way a fighter might survive is if we add a 'Take the most damage' and 'Survive a poisoning best', but I'm pretty sure there's going to be magic to win that too.

He's acting like the peak ability of "swing a sword real gud" is the same as in our world, when that's absurd. The guy who's the best at swinging a sword will be making shockwaves with every swipe, slicing apart atoms, hitting you 50 times before you can blink.

And what have I said that makes you think that? Fuck off back to 3.5, shithead.

If you're that stronk you are just a god anyway


Because one is inherently more powerful by virtue of reality warping as a class feature, is rendered useless by a mouth gag or silence spell, dies in a single round when caught off guard, and has a hard cap on the amount of times he can use his abilities. The other guy use a pointy stick real well, never runs out of kill power, can survive unbelievable amounts of punishment, and isn't restricted nearly as much overall. If you have only played with DM's that let you rest after every encounter or doesn't even try to challenge a wizard in his many weak areas then that is on him, not the class.

Fuck off back to your shonen manga.

So you don't have anything else to say, got it.

Gee, I wonder how tools a fighter has to stop a mage from being a mage compared to how many tool a mage has to stop a fighter from being a fighter.


I will talk only about offensive magic because it's what matters to me.

Magic is only good when it's overpowered. Trying to perfectly balance it always makes it bad.

Unless it's ridiculously strong, it's not worth it, because you are normally sacrificing defense by being a mage, and magic costs MP while melee is free.

It's a big problem in most games. Magic just sucks and isn't worth using most of the time. Unless it's a game that doesn't have classes, and when enemies vary a lot in weaknesses and can be strong or immune to melee.

I tend to focus on melee and use magic for support and healing, in most cases.

See, bringing up D&D brings up a good point on why mages were fun to play in the old system.

Back in the day, when you started a wizard class, at level one, you were basically just a regular nerd with a stick. Your defenses were made of paper, and you got 1 fucking spell. But if you were extreme enough to make it through that early game then your hard work would pay off. By end game, you would be a wrecking machine.

There are hardly any games at all that even TRY to do that, even more modern D&D editions have bland and boring wizards. All because of "muh balancing" wizards generally start off with a respectable amount of spells, that just sort of get bigger with no real interesting effect. Hell, there are a lot of games where wizards START op as fuck. How does that make any sense? In most fantasy settings, being a powerful wizard is something that you must train for years to become. Attaining that level of power is something that some have driven themselves insane over after years of study and isolation, yet some fucking idiot who was raised by a farmer can just hurl fireballs? Bullshit.

I would love to see the game where you start with fucking nothing but a tree branch and a book of spells that you got from a thrift shop, but if you make it on your skill and wit, you end up being a bringer of apocalypse.

Bonus: have a feeling that your character is broken by end game, but still have the game be very challenging

Magic is there for versatility, not damage. Fucking god damn it hurts so bad to see the class you can get the most creative with in good ol' tabletop gaming become magic missiles now with four different colours! the class.

OR maybe powerful magic takes a longer time to execute because of all the components and rituals it requires (as it should) that the benefit output as a whole isn't dissimilar to that of a legendary hero who can perform amazing feats, albeit not as powerful as magic, but at more ease.
After all, magic in common culture and mythology isn't tossing giant fireballs with a flick of the wrist or freezing time, it's usually placing curses or divination.

What class is Jack, anyway?

Something from here

You know, Magic can just be easily balanced by requiring the player to research and experiment with shitloads of spells and tomes before he can summon eldritch beings and literally tear the earth into two

I've barely watched the show, and even I know he's bullshit.
And that's just what I've seen personally.

Still takes him a whole episode to learn to jump well.

Holy fuck, I meant Shaolin. How did I even make it two words?

I just thought he might fit as a Swordsage which is a class from that book

Like the other guy said, he's probably more like a Swordsage, but that's if we're going by 3.5, where he must be a class from the Book of Weeb Fightan or else he's going to be completely fucking useless. In a system that's not ass retarded, he'd just be a regular fighting guy, just one that's really, really good.

Daily reminder that magic is real.

Magic = selling your soul to Satan, in exchange for worldly pleasures, riches, wealth and demonic help.

Never get into the occult, alchemy, new age, theosophy or luciferian philosophies.

Jesus is LORD.

Sounds like a pretty shit deal


That is an example from actual games, faggot.
Warriors do shit like lightspeed dashes, whirlwind attack or sword cuts that split mountains.
Archers have stuff like charged shots, rain of arrows and similar.

Basically, every single class feels like it's powered by magic, since "mundane" classes have long since stopped being mundane.
There is strength in subtlety and overuse of magic destroys it's mystical aspect and sense of wonder.
If everything is magical, nothing is.

Because it leads to the player ascending the game.

See Morrowind.

Wasn't Jesus just a magician?

By your logic, the only kind of magic that any setting should have should involve a bunch of virgins sitting around an academy jerking each other off while making marginal advances in magic and anything beyond parlor tricks require months of paperwork and preparation to use.

because it was shit

No, that's not my logic.
Reductio Ad Absurdum doesn't do you any honors.

Yes it is, since you're the dumbass who thinks a guy swinging a sword really hard feels like magic.

There are good magic systems though, unfortunately they all just so happen to have uninteresting examples from unimaginative devs like in Morrowind.

The thing about magic being overpowered is that a lot of the time, martials are underpowered as a direct result of the system.

Look at an actual HEMA duel. The first thing you will notice is that things are moving very fast. In the time it should take a mage to cast any spell larger than a basic fireball, an actual swordsman has taken 4 or 5 "actions". This is where the untapped balance of martials are: speed. Basically, in the time it take a wizard to cast a giant half health spell, a fighter should have had 5 chances to take a tenth of their health or more.
This also means that they can block, parry, dodge, riposte, disarm, &c. At the sane rate.

The other thing about melee combat, is that it has a tendency to tie you up until it's finished. This gives martials the built a built in utility.

Finally, one you're in a system where casting a spell takes 5 (quicker) rounds, and melee will (soft) lock you in and prevent you from changing focus, you can get the final balancing point of martials over casters: interruptions. Most spells have don't mind of vocal, somatic, and/or mental component, that must be completely carried out over a significant length of time. If one were to be stabbed in the fucking face while doing so, they would lose focus and stop it.

Furthermore, a lot of spells are stronger and harder to dodge than they should be. For example, fireball isn't actually a magma ball, and it isn't supposed to explode on impact, it's just a ball of flames that will quickly dissipate on impact. Flames don't actually hurt people very badly instantly, for example, snuffing out a candle with your fingers, it takes prolonged exposure.

You see these a lot better in real time games than in turn based games. I think a good example of what I'm taking about is dark souls, overall. Actual direct damage spells like soul arrow are easy to dodge and take time to cast, which can be interrupted through the poise system or should I say "could be interrupted through the poise system". Pure mages will usually lose a one on one fight, especially if the distance is closed and they get trapped in close combat.

magic should be magic, Tolkien style. not poor copy of LoTR like bad fantasy settings do, but copying the technique.
magic should be obscure, not well understood, superstitious, and rare. magicscience is dumb boring shit. anime style exposition explaining how magic works in this particular anime world xd is dumb boring shit.

also magicka was goofy but cool that it gave you sawed-off magic use, stupid powerful but dangerous to yourself. playing-with-fire magic is great.

If you really want to have magic, you need to have another power that's just as strong. Hence why I like modern day/future magitech settings like Shadowrun.

Sure, magic is p neat, but technology is also fucking baller. As long as magic doesn't work too well with technology and vice versa, the two can essentially balance each other well. Magic missile ain't shit compared to an ak-47 after all.

Wizards. In the world of Arthur, there was Merlin, Morgana and 100,000 whatever.
In the world of LOTR there was like 5 wizards and 100,000 whatever.

Wizards in myth are demigods. Wizards in games can retain OP if they are fielded as part of an army such as a strategy game, but in games where you play 1 character wizards need to be brought to heel for simple balance purposes.

No, it's not you galactic wrongularity.

Sending shockwaves is not "merely swinging a sword".
Instant light-speed dashes are not "merely swinging your sword".
Materializing and fireing 20 arrows at once or at superhuman speeds is not "merely shooting an arrow"

Everything you just said, fighting games already does. That's exactly how the rushdown and zoner archetypes match up against each other. Typically, a rushdown character will have tools to help them get in the other characters face, and stay there. These can be: better dashes (or even a run), better jumps (including smaller hitboxes), better normal moves (bigger hitboxes, more frame advantage, and options afterwards like mixups and combos). Meanwhile, the zoner (which could be a wizard) has worse (but not always bad) normals (weak, small, little to no follow ups), but powerful special moves, which require more effort to execute (arcane motions that Holla Forums sucks at doing, like moving the stick down and then forwards before pressing a button), but control a lot of space.

Because videogame studios tend to be soulless clusters of drones.