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Myrthos March 30th, 2013 20:46

Frayed Knights 2 - Making Spells
The Rampant Coyote explains what he changed to the spells in Frayed Knights 2.

A while ago I talked about doing something kinda weird for Frayed Knights 2Random spell generation. (And note – the picture to the right is FK1. The special effects in FK2 are currently minimal and not very photogenic).
It got mixed in, across several permutations, with a completely revised initiative system. Which doesn’t really count as an initiative system anymore – it’s a totally different interface for taking actions. It was inspired a little by collectable trading card games. Not that I’m turning an RPG into a CCG, but when a single player is playing a group of characters I started envisioning it a little bit more like choosing an action out of a “hand” of options.
There’s still a lot under construction, but the initial prognosis is… promising. Very promising. No doubt there’s a lot of work to do on the balancing front, but so far, given relatively few rules, it’s looking good.
One aspect of making the spells was to make them sound over-the-top, a little like spells from old-school Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, or the original release of Hackmaster. I think I succeeded. Here are some of my favorites:
“Baba Yaga’s Unbelievable Armor Intensification”
“Primordial Magic Defense Impairment of Ariel”
“Underwhelming Revival”
“Fangal’s Cryptic Magic Defense Bonus”
“Arkan’s Introductory Magic Defense Failure”
“Sufficient Vim”
“Cleansing of Apuleius”
“Penelope’s Occult Boon”
“Oakfather’s Empowerment”
“Wimpy Spellwipe”
“Wussy Crawl”
“Worthy Armor Restriction”
“Brutus’s Explosive Core Punishment”
“Zalem’s Unfathomable Spiky Devastation”
I’ll tell ya – I want to use Zalem’s Unfathomable Spiky Devastation just based on the name. (For the record, it’s a Sorcerer spell that does piercing damage to a single target). Sadly, the random tables are pretty large, so the chances I’ll ever see that spell again are almost non-existent. To be honest, I learned quite a few new words as I was putting together the tables. I’d never even heard the word, “caliginous” before (and it still fails my spell-checker). Pretty cool stuff, really. I learned a lot of new words reading Gary Gygax’s text back when I was a kid, too.
Although if I decide to localize for other languages, I’ve got some serious challenges in hand.
More information.

Roq March 30th, 2013 20:46

Caliginous is nice: "It was a caliginous and stormy night!".

RampantCoyote April 1st, 2013 07:41

Some other fun ones: "Proleptical" and "Zoetic." The former may not make the final cut, but it's kinda fun.

Another one I'd heard but never knew the definition of was "Nostrum." As in, unproven ("quack") medicine. I also don't know if "Anathema" can be adjectivized "Anathematic" (or if "adjectivized" is a word…) but it's in there.

Myrkrel April 2nd, 2013 01:24

I absolutely love the ornate, elaborate spell names. It really brings great flavor to a game. Gygax (and Jack Vance) would be proud.

RampantCoyote April 3rd, 2013 00:10

I really need to read Vance one of these days… :)

It's still a little too early to tell - until all the elements come together - but with at least half the party casting spells, it should make for some pretty interesting choices. I've had spells that were combos of poison damage plus armor reduction - which seemed to me a pretty effective way of dealing with a high-hit-point bad guy. Lotsa little things like that. Should be fun to play with when it's all together (not soon enough! But it's progress).

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