I had a bit of another brainstorm.
What if...What if...hehehehe. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/freak.gif" alt="" />
Hm. How will I make this a structured post. When ideas tumble about in ones head...
Gaining XP and Overview
What if you play a mage and magic as I proposed is based on energy. These 4+1 elements are more defined here and added to a game setting. The basics are that the mage needs to gain control over his powers that increase with experience. He will gain experience based on the use of that energy and only that energy. So if you use fire a lot you gain more experience there than in other elements.
Not only does expertise gain him more magical energy to utilise, the land itself will be of influence.
MAPS - Octagons
The playing area or map is more than a graphical layout. In DD it is dynamic with objects. But the map should be dynamic itself. It should have that nice graphical aspect but it should have a 2nd layer that is made of invisible octagons. They have 8 sides.
These octagons have certain parmeters or designations. Just like a spell has parameters like area of impact and strength etc, octagons alos have special attributes.
They have properties like:
1: Area type.
This means it is a forrest, plains, underwater, clouds and underground.
2: Magical element.
Each octagon belongs to an element. Thus it will give a magical energy or mana of that type.
Octagons can have special additions that do something to the players options or stats.
3a: Stone Circles : Give extra mana when tapped.
3b: Hunebedden : These are burrial sites by the 'Trechterbeker People' known for their distinctive pottery. They are heavy stones left by glaciers and put on other stones. Give mana when tapped into.
3c: Shrines and Ancient Temples
3d: Holy Trees : Give mana and bonusses.
A land type can be good or evil.
Need I go on? Under water you will see similar features. Or rather the equivalents. Likewise for all other types.
So my take is why limit the game to walking on land? Now, this could be a game on itself but you can use it as an addition to DD2. You just need to expand horizons of the DD world. Add lore and legend. Shrimpo, remember him? The story that they went beneath the seas and found a lost civilization?
Well, in 'my game' the player can be underwater and underground and even in the air.
To be able to go to such places he must master the elements.
HOW TO WALK ON AIR AND UNDERWATER
A mage seeks to master the elemental powers. As he gains xp he gains more ability to channel magical elemental energy. The more he learns the more spells he can use. But as an addition a player character besides his stats like Agility etc has an added feature, his will or intent or focus. This is important because this will allow him to concentrate on being in those weird places. to be able to survive there he needs to stay focussed on mainting a spell that allows him to be there.
So, a mage can walk on air if he can levitate. levitation takes this focus. Enemies can disrupt that focus and make him fall down. This focus is presented by a circle like a slice of a tree and as during battle he loses focus rings turn red until there are no more left. The mage has 2 options. He can strengthen his will to levitate but that will be at the expense of the power of his spells or weapon or the damge they do.
As a mage gains xp he can focus more and more until his mastery of the air element is so good he can do it subconsiously and it will be much harder for enemies to disrupt his focus.
Underwater a mage needs gills. This is like levitation a spell that allows him to breathe underwater. same applies here. loss of focus is loss of life <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />
On land there is no need for this focus. IF you are a land dwelling being ;-)
Underground, same thing. Or perhaps there are poisoneous gasses that can disrupt a mage's presence.
Tying it in with my previous ideas the total energy gauge could be used instead of the year rings gauge.
Note: I believe nowadays player chatacters are too 'stat'ic. Once you gain Intelligence you always have it. but when you are tired you are not so quick minded. During battles those stats may fluctuate. based on your race you suffer penalties in fights. So your agility may decrease when you are hit a few times. Same goes for foes. Strenth decreases etc.
A mage's powers increase for each element. As his powers over, e.g. air increase he can upgrade his spell of levitation. Underwater his gills spell can be upgraded too. In the air he can strengthen his focus (which means he needs less attention to stay afloat) by replacing or upgrading levitation to a 'Wings Spell'. With magical wings he can fight better and stay afloat longer. There can be as many of these upgrades as needed.
If you adopt a system like this you require replacement spells. What i mean is that when you polymorph on land you can become a mammal or vermin or whatever. Underwater you would become no such thing! Byt you can morph into a Swordfish or other sea creatures. It is basically the same spell. In DD we have statues that allow you to polymorph. They would work gor this too.
In one area you can not use specific spells. So yo cannot use fire underwater until you gain a certain mastery over BOTH elements!
Exactly what spells can be sued when and where is a bit much now but i may give examples later.
Note that some spells are multifunctional so underground you can make a wall of earth but also on ground.
OCTAGONS AND MAGIC
So these land types exist of octagons. Each octagon provides magical elemental energy. A mage on such a octagon can tap into this resource. Until it is depleted he can use that energy as can his opponent. when the mana is gone he relies solely on his own energy like in current DD. These features add bonusses in the form of mana or boost some stats. Land can be good or evil so if you play a good character you gain only mana if you are on good soil. So in some cases enemies can have the edge and you need to plan ahead and use strategy. Smart AI would prevent some enemies to chase you on good soil. That can cause problems.
Some temples or shrines can be evil. So see the beauty yet?
Also, as a mage gains xp he can tap more than one octagon at the same time. E.g. the octagons around him! Or perhaps he can gain control over where mana goes, so he can cut off his enemies if they use magic! They would need to rely only on their own magical 'stamina'.
So a battle may need to be fought on many octagons. Now, you dont see octagons of course, but a mage..
A mage has a certain insticnt to sense whether an area has much elemental mana 'in' it. Perhaps this can be a sort of Wizard's Sight that gives him a flash of the terrain with black areas being evil and good areas showing colours in variations of blue, the darker the more mana!
MAKING IT EASIER - IF STATEMENTS
There is no purpose in casting levitation all the time. There are 2 options.
1: A special interface, a screen where you can plan your battle by dragging your needed spells of survival to be auto-cast when they or before they run out so whilst in mid air you wont fall to your death because you are busy. That is the attention aspect. You can also use other spells that are triggered by a certain circumstance. when you are attacke dby fire you can instantly put up a Water Shield or Wall of Water. things like that.
2: Only the focus aspect. So the ability to levitate tho magical in nature is an embedded ability like a stat like agility. This is gained at first level.
So what do you got now?
- magic tied to terrain type.
- Spells that work only in certain places.
- Spells can be boosted in parameters by the magical elemental mana in the octagons.
- Endless possibilities for quests and problems
- true dynamic area maps.
- Items that work only in specific locations.
- Items that grants the user powers in certain terrains only.
- more variety than walking on land so more cool graphics and worlds
- new creatures that live underground and underwater and in the air.
CLASSIFYING CREATURES and SPELLS
Each terrain type or 'world' has its own creatures. Examples for air:
Imagine a castle in the clouds and mountain tops to walk on in case levitation fails) They are like islands when magical energy runs out and you lose control over levitation.
So in air you find spells asociated with air. Air is illusions. So all spells that foll you. See the AD&D rulebooks. Added are new spells!
Gravity: Creates a gravity well under the enemy so it will either fall or needs to increase his link with intent so he suffers a loss in mana.
Gust of Wind
Rainbow Warrior : grants stat boost for air fighting. Allows breathing thinner air)
Summon air elemental
Polymorph Eagle + others animals)
Many other spells can be thought of. I think in the air live ethereals and more solif beings in solidified magical clouds. Should be a nice try for a gfx artist!
Entangle (with water plants)
Summon water elemental / sea animal ( electric eel?)
Water Warrior (increasdes speed under the sea and agility. Water has a resistance unless you are evolved in it)
I suppose the 'Mere People' live here.
Entangle (with tree roots-- smart huh?)
Avalanche (Increase in skill is bigger boulders)
fireball ( In fact, all fire domain spells belong here)
Fire Warrior (increases ability to withstand heat and fumes of volcanic settings)
polymorph (underground creatures like worms and what do i know. Rats?)
Summon skeletons and undead (they were burried right?) So gfx artist: they fall from the ceiling, not rise from the ground
Wall of earth
Summon skeletons and animals of the land and Dryads etc.
polymorph (land animals)
Tree of Life
Wall of earth
(basically use common sense when determining what can be used where. Lightning comes from the sky so it is an air type spell but there is no barrier between air and land. Now underground there can be no lightning strike. You can also not sue water underground unless you gain much power and have a spell like Flood Tunnel
Why not have telportation spells and drag down an airy creature down to eaeth where it lacks his area type mana and is more vulnerable?
DD is a fine game that makes me want more and more. When a game is good I tend to want to fantasize about it and improve it etc.
it could also be that I find the game subconsiously unrewarding...?
Well, if you got to here, what do you think?