Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 22, 2011

Yesterday, I listed a couple dozen base spells from the Nature and Sorcery spell lines that are in Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon. Those are two lines that all players will be fairly familiar with by the end of the game. Today I’m sharing a dozen spells each from the Divine Magic and Dark Magic lines. These are optional lines that you the player can choose as early as the first time you level up a character – or at some point after that so long as you have a couple of character points saved up. But being able to cast the spells and being very effective at them are two different things.

Many players will only experience these spells on the receiving end. Enemy spellcasters will use them. Sometimes traps will use these spells (or even upgraded versions of these spells) as their payload. And there are some magical items usable by your party that mimic these spell effects.

All of the priest spell lines get the core healing spells, though they come at different levels and endurance costs. Divine casters get access to the spells earlier than Nature casters, who in turn get them earlier than Dark Magic casters. Besides earlier direct-healing, Divine Magic gets unique access to anti-undead spells, restoration magic, and some “buffs” that directly affect defense, accuracy, and armor. Dark Magic, by contrast, gets the most spells that do damage-over time and cripple opponents with direct attribute loss.  Nature magic emphasizes healing-over time and augmentation of attributes, though it’s a little more general than the other priest magic lines.

So here are a dozen sample spells from Divine and Dark Magic:

Divine Spells
——————————————————–

Name: Pause the Dead
Level: 1
Target: Enemy (Undead Only)
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 2
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – STUNNED: 1 to 2 points.
Description: Stuns an undead creature for a single round. Because not all undead are slow shufflers like zombies.

Name: Halt
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: -2
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 5
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – STUNNED: 1 to 2 points.
Description: Stuns a target for a single round. Just long enough to say, ‘Neener, neener.’

Name: Resist Fire
Level: 3
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -1
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 10
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Resist Fire Damage: 6 points.
Description: Protects target from fire damage for a time. Really major damage may get through.

Name: Wake Up!
Level: 3
Target: Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 1
Upgrades: Effect
Effect 1: Negate Status (STUNNED): 2 to 4 points.
Effect 2: Negate Status (ASLEEP): 2 to 4 points.
Description: Removes or reduces the stun and sleep status on a target friendly creature.

Name: Blessing
Level: 4
Target: Single Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 4
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1: Modify Might: 1 point.
Effect 2: Modify Reflexes:1 point.
Effect 3: Modify Luck: 2 points.
Description: Gives target character an edge in several abilities at once (Might, Reflexes, and Luck). Not a huge edge, and not for very long, but it could easily tip the odds in a difficult fight. And most importantly, it gives them good self-esteem.

Name: Shred the Dead
Level: 4
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 2
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Divine): 6 to 16 points.
Description: Does substantial damage to an undead enemy.

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 points.
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: Break the Silence
Level: 6
Target: Single Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 4
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Negate Status (SILENCED): 3 to 8 points.
Description: Ends or reduces the silence status on one character.

Name: Mass Restore Sight
Level: 8
Target: Party
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 4
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Negate Status (BLIND): 3 to 8 points.
Description: Restores sight to the recipients – or at least reduces the blindness duration. It still won’t help them see things your way, though.

Name: Mass Consequential Healing
Level: 10
Target: Friendly Group
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 6
Spellstone Cost: Advanced Spellstone
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Healing: 8 to 20 points.
Description: This spell provides a fairly respectable amount of healing to take place on the target. Unfortunately, enemy combatants have been known to undo the effects of this spell in less time than it takes to cast it. (Divine Version)

Name: Mass Reap the Dead
Level: 11
Target: Enemy Group
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: -2
Spellstone Cost: Intermediate Spellstone
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Divine): 8 to 18 points.
Description: Does substantial damage to all undead enemies.

Name: Massive Healing
Level: 11
Target: Single Friendly
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 6
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Healing: 15 to 31 points.
Description: Heals an incredible amount of damage. The target in need of this spell is likely either on death’s door, or has the constitution of a mammoth.

Dark Spells
——————————————————–

Name: Intimidate
Level: 1
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Modify Reflexes: -1 to -2 points.
Description: Shakes up an opponent just enough to throw them off their game (and lower their reflexes one to two points). Not a highly effective spell, but fun to make your targets flinch.

Name: Doom & Boom
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 2
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect 1:Damage (Dark): 3 to 10 points.
Effect 2:Modify Luck: -1 to -2 points.
Description: Reduces the victims luck by a point or two. Then demonstrates this by smacking them upside the head with magical damage.

Name: Gobsmack
Level: 2
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – STAGGERED: 3 points.
Description: Knocks your opponent for a loop. They can still act, just not well, for a couple of turns

Name: Creeping Crud
Level: 4
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Basic Spell-Stone
Duration: 6
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1: Cause Status Effect – SICKENED: 3 to 8 points.
Effect 2: Damage Over Time (Disease): 3 to 4 points.
Description: Infects target with the symptoms of a really nasty disease. It’s short-lived but pretty disgusting.

Name: Pathetic Worm
Level: 4
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 2
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Modify Might: -2 to -3 points.
Description: Does some serious reduction to the target’s Might, and temporarily turns them into wusses.

Name: Flay
Level: 6
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Edge): 7 to 16 points.
Description: Imagine a dozen whips made with barbed wire striking the subject from all sides. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it, just cast this spell and see for yourself.

Name: Zot
Level: 7
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 5
Effect: Fool’s Luck: -3 to -4 points.
Description: A nasty spell in the evil priests’ bag of tricks, it curses the victim with bad luck for several crucial seconds.

Name: Stop Thy Foul Utterances
Level: 7
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Cause Status Effect – SILENCED: 4 to 12 points.
Description: Or S.T.F.U. for short. Silences one’s opponent.

Name: Village Idiot
Level: 8
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 2
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Modify Brains: -5 to -6 points.
Description: Makes the target much, much more stupid.

Name: Curse of the Slug
Level: 9
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 2
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: None
Duration: 5
Upgrades: Duration
Effect: Modify Reflexes: -5 to -6 points.
Description: Target becomes sluggish and dull, telegraphing actions and extremely slow to respond to actions.

Name: Netherscorch
Level: 11
Target: Enemy
Attack Mod: 0
Rarity: Common
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Advanced Spellstone
Upgrades: Effect
Effect: Damage (Fire): 14 to 38 points.
Description: Contrary to popular belief, the name of this spell is derived from the source of the flame rather than its intended target location. But it’s often employed to the latter effect anyway.

Name: Plague
Level: 12
Target: Enemy Group
Rarity: Rare
Endurance Cost Mod: 0
Spellstone Cost: Advanced Spellstone
Duration: 10
Upgrades: Duration
Effect 1:Damage Over Time (Disease): 7 points.
Effect 2: Cause Status (SICKENED): 10 points.
Description: This is a version of Wasting Disease that aflicts an entire party at once. A really vile spell. For villains. Or the ruthless kind of dark hero that’s so popular these days.


Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 16 Comments to Read



  • Eldiran said,

    Minor issues and nitpicks:
    Shred the Dead’s Target line implies it hits a single enemy, but the description says otherwise.

    For Mass Restore Sight you might want to have it say “recipients” just for consistency.

    Mass Consequential Healing’s Target is “Common”.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Good catches. The “Common” thing was an error in the code I wrote to pull out the spell information for each spell, but the descriptions are my own bad. Those are things I’ll need to fix in the actual spell data tonight, as this is what they say in-game as well.

  • Charles said,

    I’m curious as to the level of magic resistance the mobs will have.

    I remember my biggest gripe with the MMs was the impression that the power spells only worked on weak mobs, making them unworthy of their cost in SP / runes. Toughies resisted so often that trying a power spell ended up being a waste of a round, better used spamming energy blast yet again.

    In UW, I tended to go the other way. I figure if you managed to gain a spell, you should be entitled to at least a fair chance that it’ll work when needed.

    I may have missed it but did you reveal your take on this?

    Congratulations on nearing the end of a massive project!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I think I’ve erred more in the same direction as you, Charles. There are some monsters with high magic resistance, and bosses tend to be slightly more resistant than rank-and-file bad guys (but for that matter, so will most player characters). So yeah, it is possible to stun a boss and wail on him with some impunity. That’s actually been a little bit of a problem with game balancing during beta.

  • Maklak said,

    Perhaps there should be an increased spell duration feat.

    Buffs last so short, and are so weak, that it is probably better to nuke enemies till they die. Same for most debufs, but ‘Halt’ on repeat may be a viable tactics against a single strong enemy.

    Can blessing be used for locks and traps? Looks like something for Dirk, but 4 turns is very short.

    ‘Creeping Crud’, ‘STFU’, ‘Village Idiot’ and especially Plague look strong. Other debuffs seem about as useful as Benjamin’s roots in Pilot.

    ‘Doom & Boom’ has both damage and debuff, but no duration. Does this mean it -1 to -2 luck expires after one round?

    I suggest durations ‘lasts till end of current combat’ and ‘lasts till end of next combat’. This will make buffing before boss fights more viable. There is nothing wrong with this, as these spells still cost stamina, and not all stamina can be easily replenished after using it.

  • Noumenon said,

    I like the “points of stun” in that it lets you have some effect even against resistance, just lowering the duration, etc. It does kind of give the monster an alternate hit point system. Either you can get his HP down to zero, or you can get his stun resist down to zero which will kill him equally. It depends if you can stack. If you can build a party where every single character attacks stun, that’ll be lots more effective than if one attacks HP, one attacks Stun, etc.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    @Maklak: Heh – I think I fixed the Doom & Boom duration problem before writing this article but after generating the stats.

    Anyway – all of the spells with “Upgrades: Duration” can have their duration extended with the appropriate feat. Combats usually last around 5 rounds for a short combat, or up to 20 on a boss combat, so a level 4 duration upgrade may last you two or more fights.

    Yes, blessing and all of the buffs can be used outside of combat, which makes them perfect for handling traps. 4 turns is basically four tries at a trap, so it’s a good thing.

    @Noumenon: The difference with the status effect points and something like hit points is that status effect points (which equate to “turns of this condition”) are non-cumulative… the one with the biggest impact sticks. So, for example, let’s say you hit someone with Stagger (4). He’s now staggered for four rounds. The next party member hits him for Stagger (2). Nothing happens, as four is less than two. However, three rounds later, the enemy has only one round of Staggered condition left… THEN you could hit him with Stagger (2) to keep him on the ropes an extra round.

    BTW – Writhroots (Ben’s low-level spell) is pretty dang useful. The problem is that nobody’s Defense can be dropped down below 1, and those low-level threats at the beginning of the game (and in the pilot) had a very low defense. Pus Golems still start with a Defense of 1, so Writhroots does nothing against them. But once you are out of the Temple of Pokmor Xang, they give you an edge. Not a huge edge, but an edge.

  • Kimari said,

    Just an FYI, I’m not reading these last posts about the game just so I can play it with fresh eyes and be surprised/amused at the spells and other abilities I find.

  • Maklak said,

    Maybe spells should have verbose in-game descriptions with stats rather than manual entries for all of them.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    They have both. These entries were actually auto-generated (except for the description) from game data. I found some bugs in the code that did this that I’ve since had to go and fix. But that was after generating the list from which I took these samples.

  • Modran said,

    Maklak said it, but I’ll say it again: I love the concept of debuffs in RPGs, I tend to spam them in cooperative games, but in solo game, combat duration is so short that it’s more useful to just wail on them.
    5 turns combat on average might make it a little more interesting. I know the 1 round fights in jap RPGs are particularly frustrating in that aspect… So, do people often use them in the beta?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    So, do people often use them in the beta?

    Once they get tired of losing, yeah… ;)

    Actually I’ll let them answer. There are a few I use regularly, but it depends on who I’m fighting and what level I’m at.

  • Hajo said,

    Maybe spells effects like “blind” or “stun” could last some minutes and allow the party to bypass an encounter. On the other hand, this makes such spells really powerful – I’m still wondering if a combat-less RPG could be made, and be interesting. But maybe such effects could help. But it would require to design the game very differently – exp can’t be gained in combat, weapons are not that important, and the whole “level up” and “stronger monsters” power spiral would not exist, but replaced by something else …

  • Hajo said,

    Another point: If you have an AI in FK which select roles in groups of enemies (who goes front-line to attack, who will drop back to cast from a distance) or does other tactical decisions, the silence spell could shut this down, and make the group appear less coordinated. Or make the group generally do more random things, due to the lack of “Duck, he aims at you!” battle hints between group members.

    A pity that you do not have bards among the enemy … or maybe you have and I have no idea ;) I think silence can be very powerful spell.

    And if there is a tavern with an annoying band … silence spell could be fun, too.

  • Maklak said,

    Hajo, what You are writing about looks like adventure (pixel hunt + use item) games. With a big enough world, multiple ways to solve puzzles, and multiple ways to talk to people this could still be fun, but not as appealing to people who like action games and combat.

  • Modran said,

    (that reminds me that I have to try the Quest for Glory games one day)

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