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 on: November 01, 2013, 06:54:37 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Shadowfax
I was finishing up my ideas for rune magic and realized that there was going to a LOT of
skills.  Consider the following revision:

Combine 'sun runes', 'frost runes' and 'lightning runes' into a single 'elemental runes' skill,
dependent on 'carve runes'.  You carve the elemental runes on a piece of equipment, and it gains
the element affinity of the power source you use on it.  For example, if you want fireabsorb on a piece
of equipment, you carve elemental runes on it and apply a bottle of sunlight.

This would tie the 'elemental runes' dependency to the composition of the target object, which actually
makes more sense IMHO.  You could carve such runes on a bone piece of equipment if you know
'scrimshaw', for example.

This puts 19 skills/spells in the group, or roughly one for every other level.  Definitely big and
kind of "flat", but doable.

carve runes (woodcarving)
  carve totem
  carve effigy
  elemental runes
    solar flare
  dew catcher
    distill dew - spell purifies bottle of dew and turns it into a heal potion
    regeneration runes - raises regeneration of room
    water weird - carve runes around the base of a spring conjured by 'unnatural spring' to summon this water minion
    ice fog - as former cleric spell, see below
  lightning catcher
    lightning field
    arrest lightning

Okay, druid has a bottle of magic dew.  Same question as a bottle of sunlight:  what does he do with

Use dew <room> - Dew is scattered throughout the room as an early warning detection system, works like

Use dew <target> - Douses target with magic water, damaging FIRE types mobs.  Also puts out players
who are on fire, and snuffs out fires created with 'firestarting'.

Again, like sunlight bottles, the skill provides useful yet limited options for your collected
dew.  Also, like with sunlight, you have an option to increase the rate of collection, and that is
by using 'control weather' to make the room more humid (good cross-group synergy!).

'Regeneration runes' works with magic dew because players are carbon-based lifeforms comprised of mostly
water.  Makes more sense than moonlight, at least.

All right, the elephant in the room here is the placement of the 'ice fog' spell.  Here's my case for
moving 'ice fog' from control weather into the runecraft tree:

As cleric spells, 'ice fog' and 'blizzard' had an excellent relationship.  Although 'ice fog' did less
damage than 'blizzard', 'ice fog' had the advantage of being able to be cast anywhere, whereas 'blizzard'
could only be used outside, thereby making 'ice fog' useful even after the higher level 'blizzard'
was learned.

As druid weather spells, 'ice fog' would be forced outside with 'blizzard' and would simply be
'blizzard lite', becoming obselete as soon as 'blizzard' could be learned.  Pulling 'ice fog' from
the control weather group and placing it as a frost power rune subgroup re-captures that great
synergy they had with one another as cleric spells.  'Blizzard' would remain the more powerful cold
damage area effect spell, but 'ice fog' would be able to be used anywhere you bring your bottle of
magic dew and remain relevant throughout the druid's career.

Just so you know, I'm not trying to be contrary or complicated.  I absolutely love these spells and
want them to work out for druids!

Okay, now for the lightning power runes subgroup:

What do you do with lightning in a bottle?  Bottled lightning is ionized, so it attracts more

Use lightning <room> - Use in a stormy room to charge up lightning catchers faster.  Slight power-up to
all electricity-based attacks, regardless of source or target.

Use lightning <target> - Discharged against a single target, doing a tiny amount of zap damage and
giving him a positive zapsave debuff

Letting bottled lightning be used as such helps the druid set the stage for call lightning spells (or
lightning mage spells for cross-class synergy!).

'Lightning field' is an exit trap, exactly as Draak suggested.

'Arrest lightning' is a more proactive version of 'lightning catcher'.  How does a druid arrest
lightning?  I envision it as an event-based skill occuring round by round until successful, like
lockpicking.  A low-level druid would have to find a room where it is raining, and types
'arrest lightning'.  A druid that knows 'control weather' could make it stormy himself
and then try to arrest lightning.  Alternatively, a druid could engage in combat against a mob that
uses 'call lightning', 'lightning bolt' or 'ball lightning' and try to catch it (of course, he wouldn't
be able to do anything else while thus engaged, which would make a interesting defensive option).  In
any of these scenarios, a failure could result in lightning striking near the druid as an almost-had-it,
or lightning could strike the druid, damaging him.

'Simulacrum' allows you make carve a statue out of whatever material is at hand, depending on the room
terrain, and power it up with bottled lightning.  Could have different versions.  An earth simulacrum
simulacrum for DESERT/SANDY/BEACH/WASTELAND, and perhaps even an ice simulacrum for ICE.  All simulacra
would have probably high zapsave.

 on: October 31, 2013, 05:52:14 am 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Draak
I have to echo Shadowfax's point about skills that allow you to make resources that you cannot use.

The mage skill brew potion is an excellent model for druid consumable generating skills to follow. Brewing is incredibly useful in and of itself, and you can learn other skills that refine it. Forage is a great way to go -- the food gathered can be eaten for hp, but it proves useful for other skills and spells as well, such as making liveoaks and thunder seeds, and using in various brewing skills across multiple classes.

We don't need more abilities like necromancer's harvest teeth, which allows you to gather teeth that to use you must learn other spells.

 on: October 30, 2013, 05:43:45 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Shadowfax
I forgot to rename 'fire runes' to 'sun runes'.  Sounds sexier and ties solar theme together better.  Heh.

 on: October 30, 2013, 05:26:19 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Shadowfax
Now we add power source skill groups, one at a time.  First is solar:

carve runes (woodcarving)
  carve totem
  carve effigy
    solar flare
    fire runes
Okay, so a druid catches some sunlight.  What does he do with it?  I really don't see the need to make
the druid sink more practices into another skill just to be able to use the bottled sunlight.  IMHO
the 'sunlight' spell should be the default option for bottled sunlight.  No additional skill/spell
needed.  (Mechanically, 'sunlight' would be still be a spell, just one that has be invoked via the
bottle of sunlight and maybe brewable, but it cannot be cast, like how 'poison cloud' functions.)
Syntax could work as such:

Use sunlight <room> - Invokes SUN_LIT room flag, lighting up the room and damaging mobs vulnerable to
sunlight.  (BTW this means mobs that DIE in sunlight, not ones that simply vanish.  Vanishing mobs just
disappear.  Big difference.)  Kills off shadow decoys.  Dispels room effect 'darken'.

Use sunlight <target> - Breaks 'shadow bind', interrupts 'cloak of darkness', and direct damages target
if vulnerable to sunlight.  Also one-hit KOs shadow decoys.  Might even do mega damage against shadow

As expected, either option consumes the bottle of sunlight.

'Solar flare' is a direct damage fire spell.  Consumes a bottle of sunlight.  Blinds target like
'color spray'.

Move 'sundrinker' to herbal tree.  It should be a salve and turn your skin green, as Draak
describes.  Using 'sundrinker' may give you the option to "use sunlight self", so you can bathe
yourself with bottled sunlight to take advantage of the salve.

I would say that a suncatcher can already collect moonlight and starlight.  Physically, moonlight
is sunlight reflected off of the moon's surface, and starlight is simply sunlight from suns that are
very far away.  Collecting their light just takes a lot longer.  Perhaps a druid with the
'moonlighting' skill carves suncatchers that more efficiently collect moonlight and starlight, but
I'd point out that because suncatching works more quickly in sunlight, a druid has an incentive to use
a bottle of sunlight on the room to quickly fill up his suncatchers.  'Moonlighting' would really only
be useful for a druid who has run out of sunlight bottles.

That's all I have time for today, but dewcatcher and lightning catcher ideas forthcoming...

 on: October 30, 2013, 05:22:50 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Dentin
The yearly Halloween Havoc bash on Alter Aeon is almost upon us! As an early treat, the level 34 Temple of Sand and Water area has been reopened, while the main event starts tomorrow morning, on Thursday, October 31, at 9:00 am EST (6 am system time).  The event schedule is roughly as follows:

Thursday, Oct 31

- The first waves of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts will be released on the mainland and the mid-level islands!  Hunt them down to collect prizes.

- The witch Verda will return, and has a fun little quest to do.

- Several pk arena battles will be run, with rewards for the winners.

Friday, Nov 01

- The Zankous Castle event area will be open again for the event.  This is a level 30 to 32 group area with a quest.

- Giant Frankenstein monsters will be out rampaging through cities for high level groups to hunt.

- Pumpkin cannons will be set up in various locations.

- Several pk arena battles will be run, with rewards for the winners.

Saturday, Nov 02

- A new level 22 area, a thieves den, will be opened on Archais southwest of Gad's Mountain.  This is a mid level area, with several quest hooks back to Seaside and Gad's Landing.

- Costume contests (see board 8 on friday night for details)

- The last of the pk arena battles will be run, with rewards for the winners.

Sunday, Nov 03

- For latecomers, most of the long-running activities will still be open, but the contests and pk battles won't be run.

We hope to see you there!

 on: October 30, 2013, 05:22:42 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Shadowfax
Looks good.  Things are shaping up nicely.

Let's start at the top, since that is what Dentin appears to be doing.  Runecraft tree is bit more
straightened out from last pass, but still a huge ugly cluster.  Let's address that:

For the purposes of illustration, seperate what I'll call the artificer skills from the others in
the runecraft tree.

(Please, no metal etching for druid.  Most metal items are tempered or alloyed in such a way that makes
them far removed from anything "natural" that a druid would be working with.  Reserve metalworking
for a future warrior smithing skill group.)

carve runes (woodcarving, or carving magic runes on wood)
  scrimshaw (carving magic runes on bone)
  petroglyph (carving magic runes on stone)

These skills can stand alone.  Each does essentially the same thing, and that is adding permanent
effect boosts to the target object of the appropiate composition.  I would suggest that the magic
runes glow, adding a GLOW flag to objects that don't have it already to give players a little
composite to work with.  (This would also mean that players would not necessarily want all of their
equipment to be carved on, such a thief trying to stealth.)  Also, consider how runecraft will interact
with other enchant skills.  Can you enchant something that has magic runes on it already, or are they
mutually exclusive?  I would say probably the latter, since anything carved on probably doesn't have any
composite left to work with anyway.

Next, we add the skills that require no collected element.

carve runes (woodcarving)
  carve totem
  carve effigy

Notice how I reverse carve runes and carve totem!  You need to learn to carve magic runes on wood
before making totems out of wood.  Since the various catchers are dependent on 'carve runes',
this puts the power rune skills within easier reach as options for mid-level druids.  This is important!
The only way a druid will have enough practices to explore all of the power rune skills before reaching
max level would be at the expense of the other groups.  Making more options available at lower levels
lets them choose and practice them sooner, making them stronger characters.

Another thing to consider: are totems hold-only or can they be wielded?  I had suggested a shillelagh
or magic club spell as a means for low-level druids to have a magic damage weapon option available at
low level comparable to spirit hammer.  (You would carve a piece of gathered wood into a club and
enchant it, making a timeout magic pound weapon.)  If totems can be wielded, perhaps they can serve this

 on: October 25, 2013, 04:58:59 pm 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Draak
Take fists of stone out of runic trees, put in earth. Change into a low-level direct damage spell -- druid stomps foot, sending a fist-sized chunk of stone or earth into the air in front of him, then does a quick punch to send it magically hurtling at a target. Does normal damage. Call it just stone fist.

I think it would look cool in conjunction with earth wall. Druids could act like earthbenders if they wanted to.

 on: October 25, 2013, 07:37:17 am 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Draak
Just making sure you saw these additional druid hexes:

will o' the wisp-> the target glows with soft white light. Wandering mobs are compelled to follow it. Non-wandering mobs and mobs with the GUARD flag receive a saving throw to break the effect each time they move to another room. NOCHARM mobs are immune.

Alternatively, this could create a glowing ball of fey magic that has the same properties as the target described above.

mermaid's (siren?, kelpie's?) kiss -> high level hex causes a living, non-waterbreathing target to begin drowning regardless of terrain (unless already underwater). They receive a saving throw each round to break the effect.

siren's song -> some sort of temporary charm or peace effect, a target afflicted with this curse wanders off mindlessly unless restrained?

Don't forget drowse!

 on: October 25, 2013, 07:32:49 am 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Draak
Your herbal tree is a hot mess. Simplify it with this distinction:

Poultices are reactive -- you use them to treat conditions (with the exception of defoliate).

Salves are proactive -- you use them to induce conditions. They generally cause a temporary change in the appearance and properties of the target's skin.

Poultices are bundles of herbs used for medicinal effects.

A poultice of staunching is placed on wounds to increase hitpoint regeneration and stop bleeding effects (such as from bloodletting stab).
A poultice of draw poison is used to draw poison from a wound, decreasing the target's poison register over time.
Another might be a poultice of counterhex, which removes curses from the target by lowering the level of the curse until it is gone (smoke wafted over the target as the poultice is burnt?)
Defoliate could also be smoke from a burnt poultice.

Salves are herbal pastes with magical properties. They are applied topically.

A pheromone salve increases charisma, especially with animals.
A barkskin salve invokes the barkskin condition.
A sundrinker salve invokes the sundrinker condition (hpregen/moveregen in sunlight, skin turns green)
A stoneskin salve invokes the stoneskin condition.
Maybe add a thorns salve to grow weak damage-reflecting spines.

Multiple salves should not stack, except maybe barkskin or sundrinker and thorns.

Ditch the normsave for barkskin and stoneskin. Have barkskin reduce damage from piercing attacks, and stoneskin reduce damage from slashing attacks. Both will remain useful throughout a druid's career, and are mutually exclusive. Mages will get crystal scales for normsave.

Find something better to do with the hpmor acorn spell. At least give it decent name.

 on: October 25, 2013, 07:25:43 am 
Started by Dentin - Last post by Draak
Sunlight, starlight and moonlight are all photons. Why would they do different things?

Also, unless Alter Aeon is in the middle of a globular cluster, the amount of starlight that can be caught is negligible. Go full on with my lightning and dew suggestions, and make a 'moonlighting' skill to allow catching moonlight and starlight as substitutes for sunlight (suncatchers crafted by druids with the skill will work at night, but charge at a slower rate than during the day).

Not sure why you are linking earth/stone with starlight when you already have an earth tree?

Please no stone golems. Golems are crafted constructs powered by captured elemental spirits. They result from a blend of magecraft and necromancy.

Each of the three 'catcher' rune groups should produce a simulacrum: liveoak for sunlight, shambling mound (which actually can't shamble, since it is rooted in place) for lightning (starlight) and water weird for dew (moonlight). Water weirds can be made in beach/river/stream/swamp/marsh rooms, OR from springs made by create water.

I think wicker men are appropriate in the carving tree, perhaps dependent on carve totem? They would be similar to claymen, but when they take fire damage they burst into flames, gaining -hpregen and fire damage reflection. You begin by carving a branch, which becomes the backbone of the wicker man, then enchant it with pseudo-life. Dry grass and other materials are magically woven around the branch in the appropriate shape, and it becomes a wicker man.

This places druid created minions all within the rune trees. All other minions are either forcibly grown plants or recruited animals.

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