Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Frayed Knights – The Manual: Magic and Spells, Part Two

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 21, 2011

Here are more excerpts from the rough draft of the Frayed Knights manual. For this installment and the next one, I thought I’d share some actual spells. I’ve decided to only include a sampling here, to reduce viewer fatigue. :)  A dozen spells of each magic type.  Today, I thought I’d share the two magic types that the player is guaranteed to have during the game – sorcery, and nature magic.  Next time, I’ll share some spells from two types that players may choose to develop, or may simply find themselves on the receiving end: dark magic and divine magic.

I’ve tried to make Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon a pretty rich, deep game that will appeal to hardcore gamers yet (hopefully) not scare off new players too badly. My thought process throughout the design is to make certain the player has a rich palette of choices through all major activities. There should almost always be something more left in the player’s bag of tricks to try and turn a situation to his advantage – be it a standard action, feat, item selection, drama star power, or magic spells – be it from an activated item (like a potion) or traditional spellcasting. And really, magic is the single biggest source of those options.

I hope you find these interesting. Please note, as always, that these spells are still being balanced and fine-tuned. Almost daily. So none of this information should be considered final.

Spell Descriptions
The following are the spells available in the game, separated by category. And here’s what it all means:

Name: The name of the base spell.

Level: The spell level. A character must be of at least this level, and have an attribute score of this value or higher, to cast the spell.

Target: The type of target this spell effects. It may be one of the following –
SELF – The spell has no target, and only affects the caster, OR it affects the environment and party in a special way.
ENEMY: This spell affects the currently selected enemy in combat.
ENEMY GROUP: This spell affects the entire enemy group, and may hit several (or all) opponents.
FRIENDLY: This spell affects a single target from your own group. You must select the target in the casting menu before you cast the spell.
FRIENDLY GROUP: Every member of your group is affected by the spell, though the actual effects may vary by individual.

Some spells can only affect certain kinds of enemies – specifically (for The Skull of S’makh-Daon) undead.

Attack Modifier: For spells targeting enemies or enemy groups, this is the modifier that gets applied to accuracy (chance of hitting). The higher the value, the more likely the spell will hit its target.

Endurance Cost modifer: Spells have a standard endurance cost based on their level and the caster’s level. But some spells cost more or less endurance than standard – the Endurance Cost Modifer. This is applied before the spell cost is altered by other things, like spellcasting feats.

Duration: The number of turns this spell has an effect. Note that some effects are instantaneous and duration has no effect on these – specifically normal damage,healing, recapacitation, and cause status effect.

Rarity: Common spells are immediately known when the caster is able to cast spells of its level. But “rare” spells are unknown and cannot be cast until the caster learns them through some means – usually by scrolls or as quest rewards.

Spellstone Cost: This is the type of spellstone the caster must expend to cast this spell. The appropriate spellstone must be in the caster’s personal inventory (not the party inventory), and it is permanently expended when used. Base spells only require one spellstone, but higher-level upgrade feats (“Escalate Spells” or higher) require two spellstones.

Upgrades: “None” means the spell cannot be upgraded with a spell upgrade feat. “Effect” means the spell’s effects can be upgraded (where appropriate) by all five feats. “Duration” means the spell’s duration can be extended by using the feats.

Effect: A list of spell effects (as explained in the above section).

Description: A short text description of what the spell does.

 

Sorcerer Spells
——————————————————–

Name: Cheat Sheet
Level: 1
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -4
Spellstone Cost: None
Effect: Special
Description: A wonderful way to violate all kinds of privacy through magic. This spell maximizes the knowledge level of the target enemy for the purposes of the monster journal. You only need to cast this spell once per monster type – it immediately maxes out your knowledge of the creature.

Name: Blurry Form
Level: 2
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 6
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Defense Mod: 2 points.
Description: This spell makes the target shimmer and become blurry in the air. Besides being a great party trick to convince people they’ve had too much to drink, it is also used to make the recipient harder to hit in combat.

Name: Demotivate
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 3
Spellstone Cost: None
Effect: Cause Status Effect – STUNNED: 1 point.
Description: Target becomes highly uninterested in anything, including survival. Recreational use of this spell on self is not recommended.

Name: Invoke Snoring
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 4
Spellstone Cost: None
Effect: Cause Status Effect – ASLEEP: 2 to 3 points.
Description: Target sleeps. Probably not peacefully, since they are usually in the middle of a fight when this spell hits.

Name: Hustle
Level: 3
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 20
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Haste: 2 points.
Description: Accelerates the target character’s speed by a small amount, giving them an extra action about once every five turns.

Name: Incendiary Crackleball
Level: 4
Target: Enemy Group
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Fire): 3 to 12 points.
Description: This lower-level fireball variant sacrifices raw damaging power for a sparkling white-hot storm of incendiary submunitions. While it is unlikely to kill any but the weakest opponents outright, it will cause mild injury to a group of enemies. It also puts out a very awesome display of pyrotechnics.

Name: Nails to Chalkboard
Level: 4
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 2
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Sonic): 4 to 14 points.
Description: The caster emits a focused screeching sound guaranteed to make the target’s hair (if any) stand on end. Probably causes some minor rupturing of the blood vessels, too.

Name: Blindness
Level: 5
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – BLIND: 3 to 8 points.
Description: If you keep casting this spell, your opponents will go blind.

Name: Mass Gas
Level: 6
Target: Enemy Group
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – SICKENED: 5 points.
Description: Delivering the extremely toxic (but generally non-lethal) fumes of the legendary Giant Karathian Barking Tree Spider, which sickens a group of opponents for several turns.

Name: Silence
Level: 6
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Cause Status Effect – SILENCED: 3 to 8 turns.
Description: Used to get your opponents to finally quit talking. Not very handy, unless that talking is actually spellcasting, in which case it can be incredibly useful to shut them up.

Name: Rest Stop
Level: 7
Target: Self
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Effect: Special
Description: This spell hides the entire party from all perception for several minutes. This otherwise incredible utility is unfortunately rendered less useful by the need for everyone to remain relatively motionless. However, it is perfect for allowing the entire party to rest up and take a breather in the field without risk of interruption by hostile enemies.

Name: Power Word: Defenestrate
Level: 10
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 4
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Intermediate Spellstone
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Blunt): 13 to 35 points.
Description: Tosses opponent out a magically created window. Yes, we’re serious.

 

Nature Spells
——————————————————–
Name: Negligible Healing
Level: 1
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 2
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Healing: 4 to 10 points.
Description: This spell causes a cool heart-shaped lightshow around the target. Some minor healing effects have also been reported.

Name: Writhroots
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 4
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Defense Mod: -2 points.
Description: This spell causes grasping, binding tendrils of plants to emerge and bind around a target. Besides being incredibly annoying, this also reduces the target’s ability to perform fancy footwork to protect him or herself from attacks.

Name: Life Trickle
Level: 3
Target: Single Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 8
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Healing Over Time: 2 points.
Description: Gradually heals the subject by a small amount every turn.

Name: Treat Disease
Level: 3
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 8
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1:Negate Status (SICKENED): 4 to 8 points.
Effect 2:Resist Disease Damage: 6 points.
Description: Removes or reduces the duration of the sickened status, and reduces the damage of disease.

Name: Snakebite
Level: 4
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Effect
Effect 1:Damage Over Time (Poison): 2 points.
Effect 2:Modify Might: -1 to -2 points.
Description: Inflicts an enemy with snakebite venom, causing minor damage over time and a loss of abilities.

Name: Curse of Loose Bowels
Level: 5
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 7
Effect 1:Modify Might: -1 to -3 points.
Effect 2:Modify Charm: -1 to -3 points.
Description: Don’t ask. Well, okay, the spell causes debilitating cramps in the abdominal region (and below), resulting in a loss of Charm and Might in the victim for the duration.

Name: Restore Sight
Level: 5
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 4
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Negate Status (BLIND): 3 to 8 points.
Description: Restores sight to the recipient – or at least reduces the blindness duration. It still won’t help them see things your way, though.

Name: Mass Life Trickle
Level: 6
Target: Friendly Group
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 8
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Healing Over Time: 2 points.
Description: Gradually heals the entire party by a small amount every turn.

Name: Annoying Insect Swarm
Level: 7
Target: Enemy Group
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Intermediate Spellstone
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1:Modify Charm: -2 points.
Effect 2:Modify Brains: -2 points.
Effect 3:Modify Reflexes: -2 points.
Description: Annoys an entire group with biting insects. Detracts from their reflexes, brains and charm. Great against caster-heavy groups! Or embarrassing family members!

Name: Debilitating Affliction
Level: 7
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 8
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1:Damage Over Time (Disease): 6 points.
Effect 2:Cause Status (Sickened): 8 points.
Description: Inflicts a nasty illness upon the target, which damages them and renders them feverish and weak.

Name: Monkey Totem
Level: 10
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 17
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Modify Brains: 5 points.
Description: Makes your target smart and perceptive. Much more so than a monkey, we think, but the spell’s discoverer seemed to hold monkeys in great esteem. +5 to target Brains.

Name: Bloodboil
Level: 12
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Advanced Spellstone
Duration: 12
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage Over Time (Fire): 6 points.
Description: Causing one’s blood to boil isn’t always hyperbole. When it really happens, it’s pretty dang destructive.

 


Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 7 Comments to Read



  • cycletronic said,

    I know you probably get a ton of these, so feel free to let it flit away into the wind. While reading one of your Spell Manual posts, this idea came into my mind. Basically “The Sims” blended with an RPG. So your character has meters like “need to relieve oneself” and “boredom” etc. At the same time you’re in a dungeon battling monsters.

    I think the idea spawned with your idea of spellstones, and that made me think that “real” sorcerors probably make their own stones. I can envision them chipping away at stones and engraving them while traveling across the countryside between dungeons. Then they probably have to take them to some special magical place to imbue them with power. For whatever reason this sparked the idea of a merger between The Sims and a run-of-the-mill fantasy RPG. Or even better a merger between The Sims and Frayed Knights.

    I think there’s good potential for humor in there, but I’ve only had this idea for a minute now, so it could be totally awful.

  • McTeddy said,

    “Name: Power Word: Defenestrate

    Description: Tosses opponent out a magically created window. Yes, we’re serious.”

    I have just determined which combat spells I want my wizards to specialize in.

  • Serious Man said,

    I think I’d be more interested in this game if Dungeons of Dredmor didn’t fill my humorous rpg quota so much that I’m sick of it now. The jokes were funny the first couple of times but now it’s just stale. I hope your game will continue to provide fresh stuff as a player progresses.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    It’s a totally different animal, humor-wise. Besides, in a couple of months you should be ready for more punishment, right? :)

    Frayed Knights is much more character- and story-based. There are some similarities in the humor here and there, but the humor in Frayed Knights is a lot more like… well, the example from the pilot is perhaps the best example. The party comes across a maiden to be rescued. And rather than rescuing her immediately, they get into a (slightly meta-game) argument over the virtues and dangers of rescuing her. Because it’s like the oldest trick in the book…

  • GhanBuriGhan said,

    A few questions, if I may: What do the status points mean in Demotivate and Induce snoring? Is that also the duratio (status gets reduced by one every turn?).
    Whats the difference between stun and sleep? What are the effects of sickened?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    For status conditions, the points are the duration. From a code perspective, the spell that causes the effect is strictly fire-and-forget.

    Stun and Sleep are very similar – the character can’t take action while in either condition – but a sleeping character is much easier to hit, but will immediately awaken if injured. (For this reason, the AI will try to avoid trying to sleep a character afflicted with a damage-over-time spell).

  • Maklak said,

    > For this reason, the AI will try to avoid trying to sleep a character afflicted with a damage-over-time spell

    Good idea. We could use a 1 DoT on all friendly to prevent going asleep. Especially usefull for Benjamin.

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