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Author Topic: Druid skill trees - pass 4  (Read 10744 times)
Posts: 14

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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 07:01:58 am »

Suggestions for earth group:

earth (10)
earth aegis - druid shadow decoys
    unnatural spring
      mire - temp changes room type to swamp, event handler to lag/slow everything in room
  earthquake - like cleric spell
    landslide - super earthquake spell, see below
  fists of the earth
    stone coffin
      wall of stone

I suggest renaming 'earth wall' to 'earth aegis'.  Sounds sexier and provides a distinction between
this spell and other "wall" spells.

From 'earth aegis', I divided it up into three subgroups.  The first deals with earth mixing with water.
The second deals with seismic activity.  The third deals with stone manipulation.

I like the old d&d 'earth to mud' spell, but I'd suggest renaming it to 'mire' to avoid more name
duplication.  I'd assume such a spell would have terrain restrictions, like it doesn't work in

I didn't put 'squeaky floors' in, either.  You may be on the right track making it a hex.  Maybe it
gives the affected character a HUM flag for the duration.

'Landslide' is the "super earthquake" spell you're looking for.  Use it on MOUNTAIN, HILL, ROCK, or
PLATEAU to make a rockslide, ICE to cause an avalanche, or UNDERGROUND or CAVE to cause a cave-in, and
the name is generic enough to be valid in any other non-water terrain, even LAVA (where it would be a
pyroclastic flow).  It can't be avoided with 'fly'.  Might have a startup lag and probably a long
cooldown timer on the room, since you use up all of the loose debris in a casting.  'Earthquake' could
either be a power-up cast ahead of time or a recharge to reduce the room's cooldown timer.  Either way
it would shake loose more material for a 'landslide' to work with.

'Stone skin' can be a salve, as Draak suggested.  It turns your skin gray and stonelike.  Like Draak's
idea for 'barkskin', this could provide protection against a specific damage group.  'Barkskin' could
protect against the piercing group, and 'stone skin' could protect against the slashing group.

'Stone coffin' is an prison spell like 'crystal prison' or 'ice imprison'.

'Wall of stone' is a exit barrier like 'wall of ice'.  It would have similar restrictions, although
the concept here is that the druid is working with existing nearby stone, whereas a mage is gating in
ice or crystal from another dimension.  'Stone coffin' and 'wall of stone' would have shorter durations
than ice because they can't be melted.

water (4)
water walk

I still have high hopes for the water group.  Even if it ends up being obscure, it's a cool spell group.

I renamed 'tidal wave' to 'riptide'.  It sounds more menacing, and would make sense on the surface of
water or underwater.

This does not have to be a large group.  Since there aren't a lot of water rooms available to use until
the Archais archipelago, 'water walk' might not be obtainable until level 20.  These spells aren't
extremely useful until you get to the mainland, where there are rivers, lakes and oceans to be
had, but it would be a pity to ignore them entirely.  A druid who takes the time to learn the water
group should be king of the sea!

'Flood' would inundate rooms that are adjacent to already existing water rooms (or perhaps other
flooded rooms, too), allowing the other water spells to be used there.  You'd need a boat flag to
cross through a flooded room, making 'water walk' relevant.  Dispels 'mire'.  'Riptide' becomes
available, and you can try to drown people with 'whirlpool' in a flooded room.  Perhaps call it
'flash flood'.
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 06:16:16 am »

All right, all right.  I'll stop trying to mess up the fairly solid spell groups and and work on the
weak ones.  I know you've got a schedule to keep.  You've got to admit, though, that my arguments are
pretty compelling.  I'll say it one last time: solar focusing belongs in control weather group!  Okay,
I've said it.  Moving on, I've beaten that dead horse enough.

A sunlight/moonlight/lightning scheme is a fair compromise.  If we're going to set in stone that the
world of Alter Aeon does indeed have a moon, I guess it wouldn't be too far of a stretch if we were to
say that Alter Aeon's satellite is an iceball or covered with a layer of ice, and that would explain
its affinity to frost rune powers.  (This would also make it an interesting backdrop for a future
area!)  Then you can do your frost runes, moonbeams, and whatever other icy moon things you had in
mind.  Don't forget that ice fog would still make a great addition here for the same reasons I stated
earlier, but I can understand if you want to keep it in the control weather group.

Okay, Draak pointed out something that I had completely overlooked with my runecraft suggestions that
I should not have.  Leatherwork, or 'runic tattoo' as you have it now.  This would be a fantastic skill
for the hearty woodsmen that druids are supposed to be.  Druid should be able to tattoo or carve
leather.  The cross group synergy would be excellent, as well.  Druids can kill an animal, skin it, tan
its hide and then put some runes on that hide for a custom piece of equipment--the whole process,
start to finish.  It's perfect.

If moonlight is the power source of frost, I think that it would be prudent to keep water weird in the
water group.  Draak's concept of carving runes around the unnatural spring used to fuel the spell is
interesting but unneccesary, especially when you consider the following argument:

water walk
  riptide (tidal wave)
      water weird

Now, you've got 'water weird' in the earth group.  At first glance, this seems logical.  You can create
a water weird from an unnatural spring, which is part of the earth group; however, I would say that a
water weird could also be created in a STREAM, RIVER, WATER, OCEAN or UNDERWATER terrain room without
the need of an unnatural spring.  It might also be possible to raise a water weird in a flooded room.
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 07:55:32 am »

A big, big issue being considered is whether to have mage alteration spells move to druid.  If you're
still on the fence about this one, Dentin, allow me to cast my vote:

No.  Duplication is the solution here (for the most part), and here's why:

1. Game balance.  As more classes are added to the mix and the playerbase becomes increasing diverse,
it is important that additional classes gain the ability to access commonplace skill and spell
abilities so that certain class combinations are completely cut out of the picture.  A player might
end up with mage as their fifth or sixth class, thus losing out of the many opportunties utility mage
spells have to offer.

2. Versimilitude.  Some skill and spell options are incredibly useful, and different schools, academies,
cadres or organizations within and without the world of Alter Aeon will have ensured that their
particular disciplines (and the students who practice them) would have access to those abilities if

3. Variety.  I can remember the days when mages and clerics actually shared a lot of the same spells,
and I would agree that dividing them up helped to clearly define class roles and build identities for
the different classes.  The skills and spells of different classes need not be (and should not be)
carbon copies of one another to work.  Consider 'overconfidence' vs. 'valor', or 'shadow bind' vs.
'entangling roots', or even 'flamestrike' vs. 'fireball' as examples.  Both can accomplish the same
primary function while retaining their distinct class flavor.

Noteworthy game functions that should remain universal:

Locomotion: 'fly', 'water breathing', 'climbing'.  These are BIG issues, because without them
you are completely cut off from entire areas.  'Fly' can be cast on others, but 'water breathing'
cannot.  While 'swimming' is an excellent substitute for 'water breathing' in a pinch, if druids are
going to shapechange they should be able to emulate a water breathing creature.  Likewise, I could
totally see a druid emulating a bird in order to fly.

Attribute booster: 'strength', 'dexterity', 'presence'.  Druids would probably lean toward the physical
attributes.  I see the change form group as the druid's pathway for melee combat.  'Haste' remains
purely within in the domain of mages, though.  That's like low-level time manipulation stuff.

Interaction: 'infravision', 'detect invisibility', 'sense life'.  The first two are absolute must-haves
for high level play.  While 'sense life' can let you indirectly discover most mobs, you still can't
read room longs or see objects without a light source.  Hence 'owl sight' below, which is comparable to
yet different than 'infravision'. (Clerics ought to have a form of 'detect invisibility' that works like
'detect magic' btw.)

Recovery: 'equine endurance' offers move regen, and I was also thinking along of the lines of
regenerative runes and such.  I like the concept that a druid can heal but does so by increasing
hp regen and not via instantaneous mana to hit point conversion like clerics.

So, without further ado, here are some druid change form spell ideas.  Feel free to pick and choose the
ones you like.  All change form spells can only effect the caster, since they represent a druid's
personal affinity toward and study of the subject animal or bestial trait.

change form
bear brawn - strength booster
  feral mind - passive skill, increases strength and/or duration of change form group spells, or gives them greater resistance to 'dispel magic'
  lion courage - morale booster
  equine endurance - move regen
    sense life - mimics the increased olfactory perception of many different animals
    eagle eyes - as 'extended sight'
      owl sight - can see as SUN_LIT in OUTDOOR rooms that aren't OVERCAST at night and/or INDOORS if you have a GLOW flag
        falcon wings - arms turn into wings, arm slot eq (and perhaps more) falls off into inventory
    frog gills - as 'water breathing', turns caster amphibious, or more correctly allows cutaneous respiration underwater
      newt regeneration - hp regen, might work faster while immersed in water
        chameleon skin - hide booster or possibly a weak form of invisibility involving checks when moving from room to room like 'stealthy movement'
    fox grace - dexterity booster
      tiger claws - gain wield flag, damage type claw
        canine teeth - gain bite attack in addition to other attacks
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