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nonsi
2019-04-12, 06:45 AM
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I'm experimenting with an idea that had recently popped to mind.
Instead of classifying spells into schools or any other sub-division, I thought about specifying what spells do.
Assuming this little experiment has no effect on what any of the official spells perform in practice, I wonder how this could be put to use in terms of spell-research pricing, chances of success (maybe) or anything else for that matter.


So far I've accumulated the observations detailed below regarding how to define what a spell does in general.
If anyone notices something I've left out, please share.
Ditto for ideas how this could be put to beneficial use (one thing that immediately comes to mind is not having to read a spell's detailed text to remember what it does exactly).




So, it goes like this:




The Target (self/ally/opponent/familiar/mount...):
===============================
Object (Animal / Plant / Undead / Animated / Inanimate)
Mind
Soul
Environment


The Manipulation:
===========
Creation
Modification
Destruction
Movement: Attract / Repel / Control
Augmentation: Buff / Debuff
Temporal


The Means:
=======
Spatial
Energy: Air / Earth / Fire / Water / Light / Darkness / Positive / Negative / Sonic / Force
Alignment: Chaos / Evil / Good / Law
Phase: Prime / Elemental / Ethereal / Astral


Potency:
======
0th:
1st:
. . .
9th

mesc
2019-04-12, 07:20 AM
The Target (self/ally/opponent/familiar/mount...):
===============================
Object (Animal / Plant / Undead / Animated / Inanimate)
Mind
Soul
Environment



I think body should be included here for spells like polymorph.

If you manage to set up an online database it would be very useful for DMs. You would easily be able to search for a specific spell you feel is needed.

Mark Hall
2019-04-12, 10:55 AM
In Spells and Magic (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16864/Players-Option--Spells--Magic-2e?affiliate_id=315505), the 2e supplement, they expanded on a few ideas, by developing categories of schools.

The standard 8 schools were the Schools of Philosophy. They focused on HOW the magic did what it did. An alteration spell might make a fireball by turning all the air into fire.

Schools of Effect included the Elemental schools, Dimensional Magic, Force, and Shadows. They focused on WHAT the magic did... if it made Fire, it was a Fire school.

Schools of Thaumaturgy went beyond that, and focused on the form the magic took... Alchemy, Artificers, Geometers, Song Mages, and Wild Mages.

nonsi
2019-04-12, 12:58 PM
I think body should be included here for spells like polymorph.


AFAIK, humans and primates are part of the animal kingdom. No reason to make humanoids an exception.
The term "Animal" represents any type of creatures that reproduce biologically.





If you manage to set up an online database it would be very useful for DMs. You would easily be able to search for a specific spell you feel is needed.


I'm not sure what kind of database you're talking about. There are already plenty of online spell-databases out there.

nonsi
2019-04-12, 01:55 PM
In Spells and Magic (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16864/Players-Option--Spells--Magic-2e?affiliate_id=315505), the 2e supplement, they expanded on a few ideas, by developing categories of schools.

The standard 8 schools were the Schools of Philosophy. They focused on HOW the magic did what it did. An alteration spell might make a fireball by turning all the air into fire.

Schools of Effect included the Elemental schools, Dimensional Magic, Force, and Shadows. They focused on WHAT the magic did... if it made Fire, it was a Fire school.

Schools of Thaumaturgy went beyond that, and focused on the form the magic took... Alchemy, Artificers, Geometers, Song Mages, and Wild Mages.

AFAICT, my proposal covers all of the above.
Geometry, Song and Wild Magic are just flavor. ATM, I have nothing better to offer beyond a spell-by-spell distinction regarding which spell can fit which of the various flavors.

mesc
2019-04-12, 09:38 PM
AFAIK, humans and primates are part of the animal kingdom. No reason to make humanoids an exception.
The term "Animal" represents any type of creatures that reproduce biologically.




well dnd has the animal type which is different from humanoid type, and I assumed you used the dnd term. On another note, why did you combine living things with object? Would it not be better to seperate them into like object and creature?



I'm not sure what kind of database you're talking about. There are already plenty of online spell-databases out there.

There are a lot of spell databases but their categorization is different, since most of them use the descriptors in spells, while yours you are creating new descriptors for them, and depending on how you do it, these new desceiptors may help in filtering spells.

nonsi
2019-04-12, 10:56 PM
well dnd has the animal type which is different from humanoid type, and I assumed you used the dnd term. On another note, why did you combine living things with object? Would it not be better to seperate them into like object and creature?


True, but since constructs are both monsters and objects (animated objects), I find "Object" to be sufficient in terms of what kind of target a spell addresses.
You either target a physical object, and abstract object (mind and soul are too different to associate together in this case) or an area. No matter what a spell does - it will do it on one of those.





There are a lot of spell databases but their categorization is different, since most of them use the descriptors in spells, while yours you are creating new descriptors for them, and depending on how you do it, these new desceiptors may help in filtering spells.


Oh, I see.
While I do agree that it could promote what I'm suggesting here, creating an online database of spells with re-written descriptors (1. Writing a crawler vs. an existing online spell-DB. 2. Tweaking all spell descriptors. 3. Establishing a new online DB) is an endeavor of proportions that are just out of my capabilities (time-wise) anywhere in the near future.