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Powerful magic! Do you enjoy?

SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
Some examples of powerful magic IMO
  • ohk spells(finger of death on nwn1/blood boil on vtmb/disintegrate - arcanum)
  • Town nuking spells(hailstorm on g3)
  • dominate spells(Dominate monster on nwn)
  • army summoning spells(army of darkness on g1/g2)
  • "freezing" spells(ice lance on g3)
  • Teleportation spells


On Baldur's Gate/Neverwinter Nights, Finger of Death OHK enemies who fails a save. Phantasmal killer is a tier 4 spell that does the same but allows a WIS and a FORT save to OHK the enemy. On non TTRPG based games, Gothic 1 had Death to the undead(ohk any undead) as a circle 4 spell. It has a high charging time but allow no saves. VtMB has blood boil that not only OHK most targets but also transform then into blood grenades who damages nearby enemies.

Arcanum had a more powerful version. Disintegrate. It not only can be used on living but can also be used on objects, allowing you to disintegrate heavy fortificated doors and access areas that you would't had access

About army summoning spells, Gothic 1/2 had it and 3 limited to one instance of summoning, except by army of darkness, you can't have multiple summons. Pathfinder Kingmaker has animate dead which creates d4+2 undeads or 3~6. Each skeleton is if i remember correctly CR 7(cr = challenge ratting). You can even summon a Thanadaemon which has the same CR of a adult dragon(cr = 13),

i7Gq4iF.png

Charm AND dominate spells are a necessity on ToEE. Mainly once you reach the temple. Charm is a tier 1 spell who made possible to solo icewind dale. Without that spell, there are no way to solo IWD on low levels as a arcane caster.

Might & Magic VI has a dark magic spell called Armageddon. It deals 50 + Dark Magic skill damage(a lot) on everything on the map(including allies and NPC's and your own party). Dragon's Breath also is so powerful that i once time OHKilled a high level enemy and my party with the AoE damage because i miscalculated the distance. And M&M VI has finger of death too that can OHK anything that is not MAG immune.

Enemy "halting" spells like Bigby's crushing hand on NWN1 are amazing too. Ice Prison on Pathfinder Kingmaker is my favorite 5th tier spell by far. On Gothic 3, Water Mages with Ice Lance can prevent almost all enemies except bigger ones with high cold resistance from even doing any damage. On G3 i love to freeze enemies and cast ice explosion on then.

diBGwNn.jpg

Once you reach end game and learn HAILSTORM, you can do pretty dope things, like nuke a orc army at distance

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What about shapeshift spells? On PF?KM you can even assume creature forms like a SILVER dragon and raise a thanadaemon army

NgVBuJX.jpg

Teleportation spells are another amazing thing. On arcanum, you can travel everywhere. On M&M VI, you can place beacons and teleport back any time. Morrowind had mark/recall spells and divine intervention too.

What do you think about this games with really powerful magic?

Rik_KirtaniyaProont
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Comments

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,262
    I pretty much echo DrHappyAngry's stance. As long as it's properly balanced within the game world, I do very much enjoy these kinds of "tip the scales" type of magic. If you prefer a more "let the dice fall where they may!" approach to combat, then you might enjoy the way how no two battles will wind up the same depending on luck and saves. If you prefer a more careful, strategic approach, then proper planning and implementation of counter-spells and strategies ("OK guys, we're going up against the Lich Lord and his vampiric minions, so you can bet he'll be tossing around a number of Death spells. Best load up on Death Wards before we go in!") can turn what would ordinarily be a very tough encounter into a steamroll. Such magic provides the opportunity for vastly different approaches (and thus, gaming experiences), that you wouldn't get in a more "by the numbers" RPG where every character class gains fairly regular numerical increases to their attacks or spells, to be countered by similar increases in your enemy's health, defenses or saves.

    Rik_KirtaniyaJuliusBorisovProontlolien
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,788
    I really enjoyed high-level spells in PST. Felt very satisfying mostly because of badass cinematics.

    KamigoroshiRik_KirtaniyaJuliusBorisovProont
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    I like powerful magic if it's tied to equally high risks for the user. Especially if such spells of epic proportions require careful planning and preparations before they can be casted at all. For the same reason I quite like the Wild Mage kit - it's the only spellcaster who has the misfortune of getting their own spells blasted into their faces.

    But things like spawning one meteor after another... with the surrounding completely intact and all? Hard pass for me. Any such evocation or conjuration spell should be handled no different than a natural calamity imho. Complete with involving innocent bystanders and damaged property.

    Rik_KirtaniyaThacoBell
  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,741
    I am a simple power-hungry mage. I see powerful magic, I clik liek. :#

    Well, jokes apart, my preference of magic spells is not just how powerful they are, but how diverse and interesting the mechanics are. One of the reasons I absolutely HATE the magic system in vanilla Skyrim is because the spells are so frustratingly generic. (Thankfully, mods like Apocalypse solve that issue, which is one of the many reasons I always play modded Skyrim.)

    I especially like when you are given the option to customise and create your own spells. My favourite system is in Tyranny, where you can combine various spell sigils to create whatever kind of spell suits your fancy. Same reason why I like games where metamagic is a thing.

    Powerful magic is well and fine, but it has to be creative, not just generic stat upgrades to lower level spells. Not just increased area of effect or damage. Also the more choices for variety and customisation, the better the magic system impresses me.

    By the way,
    Charm is a tier 1 spell who made possible to solo icewind dale. Without that spell, there are no way to solo IWD on low levels as a arcane caster.

    I have soloed IWD as a Dragon Disciple without ever using any Charm or Dominate spells. There are, in fact, other ways to do that. :#

    JuliusBorisovProontlolien
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,921
    edited April 2020
    What constitutes "powerful magic" depends on two things.

    1. How it works within the mechanics of the game you are playing.
    2. How it works within the mechanics of the lore it exist in.

    Do o like powerful magic, I don't know do fish like water? Do humans like to breath?

    In context of a video game I prefer it to not break the game., And I've used many game breaking magical modes because I like being op or just don't like having to depend on non magical means... Seriously why would a archmage not have a spell to open locks?

    Within the context of lore, I do wish they would stay true to it, but when writing and I'm guilty of this myself when writing comics, we can always pull a spell ex machina out of our behinds because hey, it's writing, not coding so there isn't anything forcing us to stick to the rules we created.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    (...)
    I have soloed IWD as a Dragon Disciple without ever using any Charm or Dominate spells. There are, in fact, other ways to do that. :#

    How did you killed most starting enemies? I tend to use a lot of domination spells when i try to solo any game...

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 841
    The Almighty Sleep Spell.

    You don't run into sleep immunity until you're already in Kuldahar.

  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,741
    (...)
    I have soloed IWD as a Dragon Disciple without ever using any Charm or Dominate spells. There are, in fact, other ways to do that. :#

    How did you killed most starting enemies? I tend to use a lot of domination spells when i try to solo any game...

    @SorcererV1ct0r I was playing on insane difficulty, so doing all the town quests fetched me enough XP to get myself Mirror Image (level 2 spell) from the beginning. That, combined with shield and some kiting skills gave me enough survivability, to stay mostly safe from the majority of the early game mobs. Throwing daggers did the rest of the job. ;)

    Once I got skull trap though (it was pretty quick with the XP boost from insane difficulty and farming Yetis did the trick), there was no turning back. B)

    lolien
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,211
    I prefer magic that has multiple uses. Give me spells that let me do things outside combat, or provide alternate quest solutions. Siege of Dragonspear and Stygian did this well. Pillars occasionally did.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I prefer magic that has multiple uses. Give me spells that let me do things outside combat, or provide alternate quest solutions. Siege of Dragonspear and Stygian did this well. Pillars occasionally did.

    Yep. Arcanum too. You can even use necromancy to talk with the dead and solve quests in a different way...

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,626
    edited April 2020
    Arcanum has one of my favorite uses of magic. Makes the world very interesting and there are consequences for using it. Using summoning spells to start makes the game a breeze.

    More than anything, I just want my mages to have more going for them than the standard "can use fire and ice and wears pointy hats". I want flavor, personality. Planescape: Torment did this very well with having the likes of Mebbeth as a teacher. Morrowind also accomplished this with the Telvanni.

    Proont
  • shabadooshabadoo Member Posts: 312
    Nope! I like only weak and pathetic spells...said no mage ever. I guess it depends which end of the spells your on.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    Anyone tested Fictorum? Projectile physics on spells + destructive scenario seems pretty dope https://store.steampowered.com/app/503620/Fictorum/

    OnlySomeHen.gif?t=1586010329

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,820
    Anyone tested Fictorum? Projectile physics on spells + destructive scenario seems pretty dope https://store.steampowered.com/app/503620/Fictorum/

    While the game looks really interesting, I'd prefer not to test my magical powers by blowing up buildings. That's not very nice. :D

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,820
    Here's something about 5th edition DnD. 5th edition makes a lot of spells less powerful than in older editions; e.g. Cone of Cold only deals 8d8 damage. However, there is one evocation spell that was not weakened, but rather was strengthened significantly: Meteor Swarm!

    In 5th edition, Meteor Swarm calls down four meteors at four points of your choice within a mile. Each meteor deals 40d6 damage (20d6 fire, 20d6 bludgeoning) to everyone in a 40 foot radius! For comparison, that's the same total damage and radius as the epic spell Hellball in 3rd edition (10d6 fire, 10d6 acid, 10d6 electricity, and 10d6 sonic in a 40 foot radius).

    Proont
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    edited April 2020
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    Here's something about 5th edition DnD. 5th edition makes a lot of spells less powerful than in older editions; e.g. Cone of Cold only deals 8d8 damage. However, there is one evocation spell that was not weakened, but rather was strengthened significantly: Meteor Swarm!

    Enemies got nerfed too on 5e... Almost all spells on 5e got a huge nerf in relation to 3.5e.
    • Finger of Death no longer OHKill. Only deals 7d8 + 30 necrotic damage
    • Create undead create far weaker mobs
    • Feeblemind was a 5th tier spell. Now is a 8th tier
    • Warlocks no longer has at will invocations
    • Eldritch Spear no longer exist with the 250 feet range.
    • Eldritch Blast no longer can deal up to 9d6 damage, only (d10+CHA mod) *4
    • Metamagic is sorcerer only
    • High tier magic usage is extremely limited, like 1/2 casts of any spell above tier 6
    • Stoneskin which negated the damage on 2e, gave DR 10/+5 on 3.5e, now only gives nonmagical weapon resistance.

    But believe on me. 5e is far better than 4e to be any type of arcanist. 5e still fun, but many things that was possible no long are. Don't get me wrong, a lv 17 warlock is still amazing. Is like having a squad of 4 crossbowman equipped with "force heavy crossbows" with unlimited ammo. But i really miss the trilling of facing a lich knowing that a finger of death can mean death and the PC being able to do the same...

    Post edited by SorcererV1ct0r on
    OlvynChuruZaxares
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,626
    I'm personally not a fan of 5e. It's better than 4th, but that's a very very low bar. It has neither the customization and freedom of third or the distinct personality of 2nd. It just feels bland all around in comparison.

    SorcererV1ct0r
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    I'm personally not a fan of 5e. It's better than 4th, but that's a very very low bar. It has neither the customization and freedom of third or the distinct personality of 2nd. It just feels bland all around in comparison.

    5e did some great things.
    • Reduced the number inflation past lv 10
    • Reduced the focus on magic items, now is more about chars than his magical gear
    • At will scaling cantrips
    • Less pun pun builds
    • DMing is funnier
    • Sorcerers bloodlines matters
    • Warlock pacts matters

    But 5e also made the game too streamlined and bias in favor of the party... I mean, tomb of horrors on 2e and 3.5e is insane. On 5e, it is just a cakewalk...

    WarChiefZeke
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,626
    edited April 2020
    5e and even 4e had some great ideas for classes. The Star-Pact Warlock is probably my all time favorite class. I love the concept.

    But that's about all the good I can say about it. Now it's just a party based dungeon crawler board game. Everyone feels and acts the same The other versions of DnD were that, of course, but so much more.

    I also consider the lack of number inflation it's greatest sin. A level 1 ranger has 4 attack bonus (oh, I'm sorry, proficiency bonus) less than a level 20 ranger. 4! This is the difference between a mortal who has reached the pinnacle of mortal achievement and a baby faced newbie who can barely hold a sword. The difference of a lifetime of combat is 4! to innate attack bonus. I'll take the +20 difference, thanks. Also using a single stat to cover so many different aspects of a character like the profiency bonus does is simple dumbing down. All characters now have less strengths and less weaknesses and the differences between classes is much less pronounced. To me, it's very boring.

    And as you point out, it removed a lot of risk. Part of the fun of high level DnD was knowing that no matter how tough your character was or how good you were, one wrong step against a powerful enemy could mean your end. Not so anymore.

    SorcererV1ct0r
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    ^I don't think that everyone is the same on 2e/3.5e and even 5e. 4e in other hands, is homogenized like a mmo...

    The greatest sin of 4e is trying to copy post wow mmos. Details on spoiler.
    "All-in-all, 4e has been compared to vidya like World of Warcraft and all that shit, which shouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if it wasn't oddly stiffing in a mild way. Order of the Stick summed this up perfectly in their limited edition Dragon Magazine book; the 4e team relies on spacing and managing cooldowns and per-battle abilities, while the 3.5 team just blows all their gold and spell slots on as many game-breaking potions and spells as they want before standing atop a hill and whoring the fuck out of arrows and magic traps."

    source https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons_4th_Edition

    Instead of a limitation on the number of uses, you can create a cost or consequence or risk that offsets the benefit. Like, you can go into a rage but you take these penalties. Or you become exhausted. Or something. Or you have to make a Fortitude save each round to stay in the rage and not become exhausted and suffer penalties until you can rest. Those would be interesting mechanics that would also serve the story.

    4E limited pretty much every neat thing that every class could do with arbitrary cooldowns. And they unapologetically said they got the idea from World of Warcraft. And there’s nothing wrong with taking a good idea from another game and adapting it. But cooldowns are a patch. They are a bandaid. They fix a problem of a specific medium. In this case, they are part of a very complex design that was created to deal with the fact that combat over MMOs involves a certain amount of lag

    source https://theangrygm.com/reflecting-on-dd-4e/

    One thing amazing about 2e is that they keep the numbers low. For eg, this lv 30 NPC has only 80 hp. And two lv 10 wizards casting fireball can kill her if she fails on both saves. On 5e, a lv 10 player can have more health points than a lv 20 pc on 2e and most things deals far less damage with far less ways to deal CON damage...

    v9GKf0i.png
    https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Zallanora

  • BallpointManBallpointMan Member Posts: 1,634
    I love 5e. It's tied with 3.5 as my favorite edition, with each of them being strong in the areas that others are not.

    Relating to magic: I dont like super powerful magic. Call me crazy, but I prefer the idea that magic should be a scalpel and not a nuclear weapon. I want to think of a level 20 wizard and a level 20 fighter being roughly equivalent in power, just going about what they're doing in different ways.

    but then - my games tend to be lower to mid fantasy level. I like magic that fits into that realm.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,577
    So bigger flashy effects are fun in games, but when it comes to cinema and tv, I really appreciate well done subtle magic. Like Thulsa Doom's hypnotism in the original Conan movie, or the disembodied voice of a demon in Baccano. They invoke a wonderful sense of dread without being in your face. It's not nearly as easy to carry out such subtlety in a video game.

    ThacoBellPokotaProont
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    Magic don't need to make rain meteors to feel powerful.

    Phantasmal killer/Finger of Death/Wail of the Banshee fells powerful and doesn't throw flashy nuclear explosions.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,644
    My problem with powerful attack magic, instant kills, and curses is that it's too easy to become corrupted to evil ends by using them. Think about what you're really doing if you cast, say, Horrid Wilting on a group of animals, humanoids, or even sentient monsters. Now multiply the evil of that if you're getting a sadistic thrill out of the thought of it.

    I've just started binge watching the old BBC Merlin TV series, the campy one that has Merlin and Arthur growing up together from their late teens or early twenties, and the dragon that sounds like Sean Connery.

    I think they get the nature of magic really right in that series. Magicians and trained warriors are about equal in power at the same relative levels of mastery, but in different ways. Some problems a sword will solve better, and some problems a spell will solve better. Both swords and spells can be used for either good or evil, depending on the intent of the user.

    It adds a very interesting theme to the setting that magic is outlawed, and carries the death penalty for anyone caught using it. I think a setting where magic is heavily regulated or even completely forbidden makes a more interesting setting than a "high magic, everything is magic, and spells are cheap," kind of setting. Dragon Age comes to mind among games, "The Wheel of Time" in books, and "Once Upon a Time" and "Merlin" among TV shows.

    JuliusBorisovThacoBellProont
  • shabadooshabadoo Member Posts: 312
    I like systems that have drain/fatigue associated with spellcasting. ShadowRun did this quite well, I think. knowing/memorizing the the spell formula isn't the hard part. Having the mental strength to withstand channeling x amount of magical energy through your body is. It makes the mage more responsible for proper and judicious use of powerful magics...and not just for legal reasons.

    ThacoBell
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    edited April 2020
    I think they get the nature of magic really right in that series. Magicians and trained warriors are about equal in power at the same relative levels of mastery, but in different ways. Some problems a sword will solve better, and some problems a spell will solve better. Both swords and spells can be used for either good or evil, depending on the intent of the user.

    I honestly think that depends the setting. And swords IMO are overrated and overrepresented on fantasy or not. IMO polearms needs to be far more common.
    It adds a very interesting theme to the setting that magic is outlawed, and carries the death penalty for anyone caught using it. I think a setting where magic is heavily regulated or even completely forbidden makes a more interesting setting than a "high magic, everything is magic, and spells are cheap," kind of setting. Dragon Age comes to mind among games, "The Wheel of Time" in books, and "Once Upon a Time" and "Merlin" among TV shows.

    But you are seeing it as a modern conception of a central powerful state monopolizing the force in continental areas. That is not how things work on Faerun, nor in medieval life IRL. If magic existed, you can have a heavily regulated magic in big cities like Amn but there are no way to have heavily regulated weapons or magic in a icewind dale setting which a Nordic Barbarian inspired civilizatoin.

    On Faerun, you have much more types of government than democracies and absolutist monarchy. Theocracies where divine casters are the rulers and magocracies like Thay are two examples. Even Conan, a low magical setting has Thoth-Amon, a sorcerer as a country ruler king.

    But imagine if someone decides to outlaw magic or severely regulate it and a magocracy on other part of the world openly says "we will give citizenship and money to all magicians who come here", magicians will teleport to there and the kingdom that outlawed magic will suffer a huge loss in his power. While the magocracy will gain a lot of power.

    semiticgoddessProontZaxares
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,577
    The Dark Sun setting had an interesting setup with arcane magic generally being illegal unless you were working for one of the Sorcerer Kings. Man I hope they reboot that setting one of these days. It was the postapocalyptic D&D world where the world was ruined through magic and all the major cities were under the control of a powerful wizard/psionicist.

    ProontZaxares
  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    The Dark Sun setting had an interesting setup with arcane magic generally being illegal unless you were working for one of the Sorcerer Kings. Man I hope they reboot that setting one of these days. It was the postapocalyptic D&D world where the world was ruined through magic and all the major cities were under the control of a powerful wizard/psionicist.

    Not only that, the world is dying due the usage of arcane magic. Arcanists are hated, even those who are preserver and tries to use magic in a way that won't drain the little lifeforce that the world has. And 2e had different XP tables for different classes. Defiers level up so quickly, fast as thieves whilw preservers in other hands are the slowest to level up.

    The final battle on Dark Sun: Shattered Lands CRPG was insanely hard. If wasn't by domination, there are no way to win this battle...

    My fear is that a Dark Sun TTRPG on 5e would't be that good because 5e is too rigged towards the party and there are far less lethal things. Not mentioning that having a game where 85%+ of the world population is slaves on 90s is completely different than on 2020s

    Proont
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,577
    I haven't looked at 5th ed myself, but I'm sure they could adapt it, it's just a matter of upping the threat level.

    I remember the original ruleset for Dark Sun was so brutal everyone started at level 3, rolled 4d4+4 for attributes instead of 3d6 and everyone got a free psionic wild talent. Hell, even that spider in your home could have psionic powers. You were still expected to make back up characters in the event your character got offed.

    Man, that was such a fun setting.

    SorcererV1ct0rProontMantis37
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