A while ago I talked about doing something kinda weird for Frayed Knights 2 – Random 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”
“Fangal’s Cryptic Magic Defense Bonus”
“Arkan’s Introductory Magic Defense Failure”
“Cleansing of Apuleius”
“Penelope’s Occult Boon”
“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.