The spell system in Evocraft tends to get a lot of attention. On one hand, players give me tons of complements about the spell system. On the other hand, lots of people have something critical to say. Usually this is in the vein of, “oh man, I wish you would do X, Y, and Z too.” In this update, I’d like to unveil my plans for future spell system development. If you have any thoughts, let me know.
I think the spell system is successful because it demands creativity. I often tell my players, if you like to find wacky solutions to problems, play a magic worker. In Evocraft, if you cast an attack spell to hurt someone, you receive a curse (which eventually comes back to hurt you in return.) One reason I created this rule was to avoid a cliché RPG system where magic workers shout “lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!” like a broken record. I wanted magic to avoid too much of a battle focus. I wanted it to be bigger. A mage in Evocraft is a totally different job from a warrior – and I like that about this system (of course, you can play a warrior-mage, but anyhow…)
One of the issues I find is that Spellwork is very powerful. A single spell can change the whole game. This is the way I wanted it, but it becomes a problem when people hack the force point limitations. For instance, a player might grow a garden of force restoring herbs to compensate for that fact that he has only X amount of force points. This is a great player decision. But from a game standpoint, it can leave him with near unlimited power.
In the future, I plan to introduce a consequence system for all spells – not just Attack. This is the idea: when you cast a spell, you receive a repercussion that relates in some way to the power itself. These repercussions are not necessarily hurtful – you can find ways to use some of them to your advantage. But they do represent an additional price to pay for a spell cast.
Here are some ideas:
Shapeshift: Once returning, you lose some human trait, at least for a while.
Heal: You must take the life or energy of something else.
Enchant & Protect: A chaotic enchantment will be randomly rolled for you at some point.
Inscribe: Hmmm….I don’t know yet.
Attract: You repel something else. Choices.
Transport: Sometimes I secretly wonder if this should be a Spirit Work technique…uh-oh, is anyone reading this?
Divine & Decipher: You sacrifice one possible future in exchange to for another.
Construct & Conjure: Something else of yours is destroyed, when you least expect it.
Multiply & Enhance: If you make something bigger, something else gets smaller. If you make something smaller, something else gets bigger.
Attack: Curses, curses, curses….
This is only the beginning! If you have any thoughts, feel free to weigh in – send me and email at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have a good week!