Progress Update-Area of Effect and Psionics

Well, I haven’t been doing these because there hasn’t really been any progress, but this week I did some real math examination that I think is worth mentioning. In a couple of recent posts (Lance of Vengeance and Hell Freezes Over), I ran into, discussed, and hopefully rectified, a broken mechanic in Mind Weave. The way the AoE for spells using the Chaos (Indirect) finger works right now for low values of AoE works great, but for higher values, it becomes very exploitable. How exploitable you ask? I made this spreadsheet to illustrate it for myself, but suffice to say hundreds of miles radius exploitable, without being unbelievable. The solution, I decided, was a soft cap where AoE points beyond thirty were more expensive, preventing the exponential increase in range. 30 AoE is still pretty high, giving you 5% damage 500 feet from the epicenter, but it’s acceptable for a powerful character to get there. In fact, pretty far beyond 30, even up to 50, the AoE equation already worked pretty well. It was after that it started majorly breaking down. The soft cap makes anything that high prohibitively expensive, preventing city killing spells or even enchants from being viable (a house enchanted to once a year cause an earthquake could do serious damage in a dozen mile radius, but I’m fine with that).

The other major limitation on AoE (and anything is spell form) is the fatigue. For long spells, between the added fatigue each arc and the compounded chance of failure, there’s a pretty good chance of making a mistake. I made this spreadsheet to help myself visualize the effects, and a fit mage can really cast hugely powerful spells like Hell Freezes Over with just a little Will and decent morale. However, short spells rarely fail, even when pretty tired. I like how that feels. In my next play test session I’m going to carefully track everyone’s fatigue to see how it works out in gameplay. Should be fun.

I’m also doing more with the Psionic abilities. I’m really liking how they’re turning out. They are pretty unique in a way that makes it so they aren’t just another form of magic or melee combat. They’re mostly mental with only limited effects on the physical world. This week I’m going to feature one in the ability rotation and tomorrow’s monster has a couple.

And, finally, my thesis is really close to completion. I will really graduate this semester after defending in November and I have high hopes of getting back into coding in the coming months.

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