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Author Topic: Xenosynthesis and magic fields  (Read 28515 times)

Untrustedlife

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #195 on: April 10, 2016, 09:39:38 pm »

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There are various examples of magical powers in the story. For the most part, these were seen to have been learned rather than innate abilities. The wizard Sudemong had researched the secrets of the universe in ancient books and interpreted and perhaps expanded this knowledge through his work on the chalk boards and laboratory. Sasmar learned his powers from his order of monks, the largest magical organization which is referenced, and Cado learned those powers as well, and this was only possible after he understood the nature of death and evil. The dwarf Shodil learned her powers directly from a supernatural being, and she gained additional powers due to the nature of her altered body. A person with powers might not understand how they work at all, in fact, just how to make them happen (if that). Powers might be versatile enough to be used for several purposes -- at that point it is up to the game to provide reasonable access to the possibilities. There weren't examples in the story of world-wide effects, or effects that affect a large area, but these are fair to explore as well. As in the story, named "spells" (e.g. Finger of Death) are probably the exception rather than the rule, although there'd be nothing wrong with having a world on occasion that had only a few named, definite abilities, or no learnable magic at all. The world can also generate more general magical skills, which might be shared between different types of magic and methods of producing effects.

Methods, costs, limitations and side effects also need to be considered when world generation comes up with the powers that are going to be available. Story examples of this sort of thing are drawing symbols in the air, expending significant concentration, blowing dream-smoke, touching a material to be altered, the billowing pink cloud when Sudemong was banished, the corruption of Cado's hand by hate, the transformation of Shodil into a tree, etc. Some powers might be so powerful that they can only be used a few times in someone's lifetime before the side effects would render a further use of the power impossible. There were times in the story that were stressful enough that Cado struggled to remember exactly how to use his powers -- that might be harsh, but it could come up. The redirection of the touch attack back on Sasmar in the beginning would be an example of a reaction moment from the combat dev stuff coming up during a casting -- there will be a moment between the declaration of an attack and the completion of the attack which can be exploited. There was also an instance where Cado attacked the medium of the illusions (the smoke) to dispel the magic -- if effects are tied to something in the environment, this sort of thing would be automatic, and every additional mechanic like this allows for more creativity on the part of the player. The book hitting Sudemong in the head during his portal creation is more of a traditional casting disruption. In general, miscast or wrongly measured or otherwise mistaken or perturbed conditions could lead to a variety of inconveniences and disasters as well as some good luck. Having something like ingredients or specific gestures or words would also allow conscious modification and experimentation with spells, though this would likely be dangerous.

If somebody unfamiliar with a power is present when the power is being used, for instance a warrior adventurer confronting a cult leader or faerie, then that person will experience any visible/audible/etc. methods being used, and might even gain a reaction moment to do what he or she will, but the game won't spill the beans as to the nature of the effect until it happens, and you might not even know what happened afterward if there's no obvious symptoms. You might turn around a corner and see red smoke there, and having had some experience, know that a particular variety of cultist had just used a power, without knowing anything else. Withholding information should make a Dwarf Fortress player's first experience with magic properly awe-inspiring.

Side effects can be tied to the overall metaphysics/cosmology. The swollen leaky fluid finger and the plants growing from limbs and the glazed-over eyes all generally go with the category/atmosphere of the powers themselves. There was also the idea of a balance being maintained, a rule in the story's world, which is tricky to put into practice in general in a computer game, but using things like corrupting side effects and other proportional costs is straightforward enough, and something like the balanced resurrection/dream-granting effect of the priest's desperate spell is also possible. Cado surmises that Ostra's corruption could be avoided by using the illusion power with elements of truth. Ostra either didn't know because he lacked a broader perspective, or he didn't care (or perhaps even invited the change). There's no reason to assume that somebody with a power truly understands how it works, and deeper insights and interconnections between magic systems, at first unknown to the mortal world, are important for player research, etc.


Someone quoted this earlier, its been awhile since I read this but its stood out to me, it seems like the magic generator that toady is working on is pretty in line with these plans and it seems fine to me, I'm tired of arguing, i'd rather have pleasant conversation and let toady develop the way he wants if he sees what we say and takes it into consideration, then fine.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 10:07:01 pm by Untrustedlife »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #196 on: April 11, 2016, 10:45:40 pm »

Apologies to the others for not responding very promptly to your own comments, I became somewhat distracted.

When it comes to fields, I would think there are at least two kinds of fields:
- Powered, i.e. some kind of power source maintains the field, and that source will deplete and disappear over time ("magic crystals", both stationary and portable. They may or may not be possible to recharge (blood sacrifice is a classic method, but the method ought to be in line with the fields itself).
- "Permanent", akin to black smokers in that they provide a more or less variable constant power output. "Permanent" sources may be destroyed/shut down, both via natural fluctuations and through intervention, and their sources might not be truly unlimited, but they are over the time scale of fortresses.

I don't see the reason to conceptually differentiate these.   (Amusingly, the "black smoker" volcanic vents only last for about ten years or so at a time, the crabs and worms have to move from generation to generation.)

Let's say that every... thing that produces or consumes xenoenergeia does so every 100th tick outside of magical actions like spellcasting.  What's the real difference between a creature with a +1 and an artifact with a +1?  Sure, maybe some of those "run out of energy", but creatures also just plain die, and artifacts might be destroyed.  Aren't those all conceptually equivalent?

As far as I'm concerned, DF already have fields in the form of the various cavern biomes, as well as the good/evil ones, plus well known everyday ones in the form of temperature, precipitations, etc. (Additional) magic fields would, in themselves, basically result in new biomes (with different combinations of new fields and levels of existing ones leading to various new biomes). This, in itself is interesting, but it becomes even more so if you (and other agents) have means and motivations for changing/manipulating fields.

Keep in mind that part of why this idea exists is in response to Toady's desire to phase out Good/Evil/Chaos biomes in favor of sphere ones.  Presumably, the myth generator will do this, replacing these biomes with areas around cosmic egg shells or something.

One could e.g. imagine sapient magma creatures who wanted to expand their domain upwards (by melting non magma safe rock, layer by layer). Firstly, they'd want to prevent the main source from being weakened (resulting in lower magma levels) or shut down (resulting in obsizianization or draining of the magma sea), but it ought to be incredibly difficult, or even impossible, to achieve that. To expand the domain, they'd either have to increase the output of power from the source (removing blockage to restore or achieve maximum output, probably), or, usually, through artificial means, such as rituals (short term effect, so they'd have to be repeated again and again), opening conduits to the plane of magma (that would require effort to keep open), deployment of magma field "crystals" (which would have to be "manufactured" at a considerable cost (in various currencies appropriate to the fields) and would deplete over time), etc. When the efforts to depart from the "normal" state cease, the field would ease back.
Underlying this, there may be natural processes that shift the fields around (think tectonic plate movement or erosion), that may or may not operate on DF fortress level time scales. You could also have manipulative gods in the mix...
If you used this kind of logic, it would make sense to be able to affect the local temperature, precipitation, or other "non magical" fields through magical means.

That depends in some part on whether they are considered "magical" or not.

Magma might be just magma, and magic related to heat might not connect with actual surface temperatures.  It may in fact depend a lot on what "magic setting" you have.  Maybe all "physics" becomes related to a magic sphere at high levels, and spheres definitely don't have any practical effect at the low end.  In the middle, however, there may be some open question about whether mundane fire has anything to do with the FIRE sphere, or a magma forge has any relation to a MAGMA sphere.

Sacrifice to the magma gods might do nothing but power magma magic, but have no practical effect on actual magma.  In fact, magma magic might just be restrained to within touching distance of magma, if it's "field" is instead bounded by its physical representation, rather than its physical representation being bounded by its magical field.

However, any harvestable resource supported by particular field strengths would probably have to be either "organic", i.e. grow, or be some kind of condensation/precipitation/... on top of the surface of the area (which may be cavern floors or walls, not limited to the above ground surface), rather than messing with the underlying geology (increasing the magic X field inducing magic X gems to form in rock, and have those gems disappear when the field is reduced gets messy).
Apart from magic field strength manipulation, you might have "conventional" magic that requires the presence of the fields to work, but then you move over towards the "cause-effect" type of magic.

It seems pretty clear now that sort of "cause-effect magic" is what we're getting, and xenosynthesis allows for a more rational way of handling it without using MP or just infinite magic powers.  Still, I tried to present it in a way that would appease the more dead-set "no magic dwarves" crowd, (I believe the word "midichlorians" was used...) and it can work for that sort of game, as well. 

Considering as Toady's current system involves "sacrifice two plants and become slightly faded" as magic costs, and he talked in the GDC speech about how magic powers might only work in close proximity to certain magic artifacts like egg shells that create "magic biomes", this idea of xenosynthesis seems rather compatible with what Toady is doing. The main difference being the system where changes can occur, whether through player action or mere simulation causing death of biological actors upon this magic ecosystem.

To go all the way back to magic plants, however, the main idea behind xenosynthesis is to make plants and animals in some way a converter between magic energies and standard physics' energies, the way that real plants convert sunlight that would otherwise turn into waste heat energy into complex chemical energy that animals can consume and use, while burning calories and decomposers gradually break everything back down to base chemicals and heat.

In a sense, it's just a way to convert science we all can understand into the magic system, and vice versa, which I believe would be critical for DF thematically.  DF is the game it is because of emergent gameplay.  Even relatively simple systems, if enough of them interact together, produce extremely complex and difficult-to-predict emergent outcomes, and this is the core of DF's appeal.  A magic system that sits off in an isolated corner of the game with no impact upon or relation to the rest of the game's systems drains out this key strength of DF.  Making magic fields interactive with herds of migratory animals and your farms means that there's an on-the-map-interactable component of the magic system even when you're not casting spells from adventurer mode.  Likewise, having your character's spellcasting in Adventure Mode drain some aspect of the surrounding magic field that is maintained by a finite number of local critters you might also be killing is a direct consequential impact of your choices that goes beyond mere "MP bars". 

Besides, I've always liked base-building in games like Terraria, so making a wizard adventurer have to set up a little farming for magic mushrooms/seeded crystal growths/flocks of magic-eating, metallic-magical-egg-laying geese in the basement to serve as "magic ammo" for spells is great fun for me.
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PatrikLundell

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #197 on: April 12, 2016, 03:57:29 am »

:
When it comes to fields, I would think there are at least two kinds of fields:
- Powered, i.e. some kind of power source maintains the field, and that source will deplete and disappear over time ("magic crystals", both stationary and portable. They may or may not be possible to recharge (blood sacrifice is a classic method, but the method ought to be in line with the fields itself).
- "Permanent", akin to black smokers in that they provide a more or less variable constant power output. "Permanent" sources may be destroyed/shut down, both via natural fluctuations and through intervention, and their sources might not be truly unlimited, but they are over the time scale of fortresses.

I don't see the reason to conceptually differentiate these.   (Amusingly, the "black smoker" volcanic vents only last for about ten years or so at a time, the crabs and worms have to move from generation to generation.)

Let's say that every... thing that produces or consumes xenoenergeia does so every 100th tick outside of magical actions like spellcasting.  What's the real difference between a creature with a +1 and an artifact with a +1?  Sure, maybe some of those "run out of energy", but creatures also just plain die, and artifacts might be destroyed.  Aren't those all conceptually equivalent?
:
I admit the black smokers themselves have a limited life time, but their underlying power source is essentially eternal. The difference between powered and "eternal" is that you can, in principle, predict when a powered source will run out of power, while an eternal source won't run out. On top of this you have destruction of conduits/items/creatures of course, and that may make any calculations obsolete.

I'm not sure I understand what the second paragraph is meant to argue against. "Organic" or manufactured with the same effect aren't fundamentally different. A living magic creature may require a given field or "suffocate" outside of it, or might just have some magic ability disabled but otherwise be the same (Sun berries only grow wild in good biomes, but can be cultivated just fine in neutral ones, and I don't think unicorns have any trouble living in neutral biomes [one might possibly want them to require a good biome to be able to reproduce, but I doubt that's implemented]). A magic item might likewise deconstruct if it requires a magic field to maintain it, or simply deactivate when no longer powered. A D&D +1 sword isn't powered. It's merely a magical tempering of the sword that remains after the tempering action has been performed (and +X swords are boring anyway).

:
One could e.g. imagine sapient magma creatures who wanted to expand their domain upwards (by melting non magma safe rock, layer by layer). Firstly, they'd want to prevent the main source from being weakened (resulting in lower magma levels) or shut down (resulting in obsizianization or draining of the magma sea), but it ought to be incredibly difficult, or even impossible, to achieve that. To expand the domain, they'd either have to increase the output of power from the source (removing blockage to restore or achieve maximum output, probably), or, usually, through artificial means, such as rituals (short term effect, so they'd have to be repeated again and again), opening conduits to the plane of magma (that would require effort to keep open), deployment of magma field "crystals" (which would have to be "manufactured" at a considerable cost (in various currencies appropriate to the fields) and would deplete over time), etc. When the efforts to depart from the "normal" state cease, the field would ease back.
Underlying this, there may be natural processes that shift the fields around (think tectonic plate movement or erosion), that may or may not operate on DF fortress level time scales. You could also have manipulative gods in the mix...
If you used this kind of logic, it would make sense to be able to affect the local temperature, precipitation, or other "non magical" fields through magical means.

That depends in some part on whether they are considered "magical" or not.

Magma might be just magma, and magic related to heat might not connect with actual surface temperatures.  It may in fact depend a lot on what "magic setting" you have.  Maybe all "physics" becomes related to a magic sphere at high levels, and spheres definitely don't have any practical effect at the low end.  In the middle, however, there may be some open question about whether mundane fire has anything to do with the FIRE sphere, or a magma forge has any relation to a MAGMA sphere.

Sacrifice to the magma gods might do nothing but power magma magic, but have no practical effect on actual magma.  In fact, magma magic might just be restrained to within touching distance of magma, if it's "field" is instead bounded by its physical representation, rather than its physical representation being bounded by its magical field.
:
The premise of my example was a world where there was a magma sphere field. If, instead, magma is a substance subject to magic manipulations the situation is different, and if sacrifices aren't doing what you want to do, you're not going to perform them in a vain attempt to do so anyway. A low magic world should obviously not provide for large scale magic weather manipulation, and it might require a high magic setting to allow such manipulation at all.
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JesterHell696

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #198 on: April 12, 2016, 06:28:42 am »

As I stated above (but after the FotF redirect), I believe there to be several flavors of magic, with utility magic falling outside of the scope of field magic, which I think is the topic of this thread.
Fields aren't just something to be used and harnessed in fortress mode, but also a potential threat (or source of threats) to adapt to (and they would affect adventurers the same way). I personally don't care about adventure mode, but for DF to be consistent, things have to work in a reasonable way in both modes.

My preferred system of magic is that in the Dominions game, all creatures have magic that comes from within and and they spend physical fatigue to cast spells and they can cast spell until exhaustion take them, in Dominions there are seven schools conjuration, alteration, evocation, construction, enchantment, Thaumaturgy and blood magic and eight DF style "spheres" called paths, fire, water, air, earth, life, death, astral and blood.

Now before you say Toady doesn't want that kind of magic I'll point out that he doesn't want that as the default setting but has said that if you want to play with magical flying dwarves that is also fine.

Much like how you don't care about adventure mode I care little about fortress mode, I only play fortress mode to set up steel gear for my adventurer so once I can mine and craft my own steel equipment in adventure mode I'll probably never play fortress mode again.

Now, if you can just wave your hand and get food, why would anyone bother to learn to hunt or gather food? If it could be used as an emergency measure at some considerable cost if you run out of food I wouldn't object, but if it's easier and cheaper than going about it the normal way there is no reason for the normal way to be used at all by anyone (essentially the argument against industrialized magic). As far as I understand you can already make yourself food independent through undeath in adventure mode (and I think DFHack provides means to create arbitrary items, such as food, which you can think of as magic conjuration, if you like).

Judging by myth gen video DF will have a variable magic systems capable of supporting industrial magic and I like industrial magic so that's what I want to play with, +1 swords here I come.

Also I don't use DF Crack and have no plan to start as I personally consider using to be cheating.


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Untrustedlife

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #199 on: April 12, 2016, 07:56:37 am »

snip

I play mostly adventure mode aswell.

The whole problem of "industrial magic" versus "uncontrollable magic" and how toady has said he is for both was why I really want a slider for how controllable magic is (or at least alot of world param options for customizing it) , (which I explained earlier)  but people have pointed out that that requires alot of extra work aswell (even if it just ,say, increases the number of magic biomes/ makes artifacts more powerful/increase the miscast number at low levels of control) which is what I proposed earlier.

So perhaps he can get to industrialization/control of magic differences (though he did mention runestone factories in the gdc talk :P) after the first big magic release.

Btw, I went ahead and asked on the fotf reply about how toady plans to handle the obvious AI implications so we can all stop arguing over that stuff even though we all know its a "trip" so to speak.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #200 on: April 12, 2016, 01:34:42 pm »

My preferred system of magic is that in the Dominions game, all creatures have magic that comes from within and and they spend physical fatigue to cast spells and they can cast spell until exhaustion take them, in Dominions there are seven schools conjuration, alteration, evocation, construction, enchantment, Thaumaturgy and blood magic and eight DF style "spheres" called paths, fire, water, air, earth, life, death, astral and blood.

Now before you say Toady doesn't want that kind of magic I'll point out that he doesn't want that as the default setting but has said that if you want to play with magical flying dwarves that is also fine.

Much like how you don't care about adventure mode I care little about fortress mode, I only play fortress mode to set up steel gear for my adventurer so once I can mine and craft my own steel equipment in adventure mode I'll probably never play fortress mode again.

Judging by myth gen video DF will have a variable magic systems capable of supporting industrial magic and I like industrial magic so that's what I want to play with, +1 swords here I come.

Also I don't use DF Crack and have no plan to start as I personally consider using to be cheating.

Since when do I not care about Adventure Mode? 

I've repeatedly stated how Adventure Mode would be impacted by all this, and even demonstrated how it would be potentially much more useful for an adventurer, who can actually travel and find and collect a much wider variety of magic-influencing items, or kill/destroy magic-generating creatures or items.  An adventurer who needed to keep a magical source with them would cetainly need to either have a base where they grew things, or at least stop by town and buy things, but that's hardly a negative.

Your statements are all raging against strawmen.  I have no idea why "DF Crack" even was brought up.

But regardless, I'm not the one arguing against "industrial magic", Toady was the one who said he didn't want wizards mass-manufacturing +1 swords.  Your problem is with him, not me.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #201 on: April 12, 2016, 01:50:34 pm »

I'm not sure I understand what the second paragraph is meant to argue against. "Organic" or manufactured with the same effect aren't fundamentally different. A living magic creature may require a given field or "suffocate" outside of it, or might just have some magic ability disabled but otherwise be the same (Sun berries only grow wild in good biomes, but can be cultivated just fine in neutral ones, and I don't think unicorns have any trouble living in neutral biomes [one might possibly want them to require a good biome to be able to reproduce, but I doubt that's implemented]). A magic item might likewise deconstruct if it requires a magic field to maintain it, or simply deactivate when no longer powered. A D&D +1 sword isn't powered. It's merely a magical tempering of the sword that remains after the tempering action has been performed (and +X swords are boring anyway).

Sorry, I think I misunderstood your argument.  I thought you were talking about fields that were permanent versus fields that depended upon things that could be destroyed or go away.  You're talking about magic items once they leave the field that made them.

In that case, it basically is just a matter of having some sort of minimum required power levels to operate if something consumes energy, while other things generate energy or have no energy requirements at all.  You could imagine a shield that has a windstorm around it being unpowered with no STORM sphere magic, a minor, useless breeze at little ambient STORM sphere magic, a strong wind surrounding the user slightly deflecting
arrows at moderate STORM sphere magic, a powerful gale whipping away arrows and unbalancing attackers in high STORM sphere magic, and possibly even a tornado that blinds the user and might be nearly impossible to turn off if the character is in extreme STORM sphere magic.

The premise of my example was a world where there was a magma sphere field. If, instead, magma is a substance subject to magic manipulations the situation is different, and if sacrifices aren't doing what you want to do, you're not going to perform them in a vain attempt to do so anyway. A low magic world should obviously not provide for large scale magic weather manipulation, and it might require a high magic setting to allow such manipulation at all.

You might, if that's just your religion. 

Anyway, I'm just trying to talk through differences this sort of magic scale can provide.

In a low-magic world, magic is something separate from "normal physics", like how in a D&D game, you can have a totally historical medieval social structure and industry even when there's fire-breathing djinn just on the other side of the next hill.  They're segregated sets of laws, and there might even be something physically segregating those djinn from walking too far away from some power source that sustains them.

In a high-magic world, magic might be the whole of physics, so one might not be able to rely upon a stone arch supporting a roof over your head without ensuring that the STONE sphere is well-charged, as weakening STONE sphere might mean stone has degrading physical properties.
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Untrustedlife

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #202 on: April 12, 2016, 02:35:19 pm »

snip you don't care about adventure mode snip

Since when do I not care about Adventure Mode? 

I've repeatedly stated how Adventure Mode would be impacted by all this, and even demonstrated how it would be potentially much more useful for an adventurer, who can actually travel and find and collect a much wider variety of magic-influencing items, or kill/destroy magic-generating creatures or items.  An adventurer who needed to keep a magical source with them would cetainly need to either have a base where they grew things, or at least stop by town and buy things, but that's hardly a negative.

Your statements are all raging against strawmen.  I have no idea why "DF Crack" even was brought up.

But regardless, I'm not the one arguing against "industrial magic", Toady was the one who said he didn't want wizards mass-manufacturing +1 swords.  Your problem is with him, not me.


He is likely referring  to a person who earlier said " I care little about adventure mode"

I don't believe that was you though so he was mistaken.

Actually, at first I wasn't sure I liked this system but it's starting to grow on me. I only read the first part of the thread and what you have said since I first posted. And a bit before. In your "ideal" for this system does every world have some magic from every sphere? Or only a couple spheres?

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #203 on: April 12, 2016, 02:39:45 pm »

I... I believe he meant DFHack. If he's never used it, he might not know the name. Crack and Hack have similar sounds and meanings in teh Cracker communitee, as well as in popular culture. So he probably didn't mean anything.

But if he did:

« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 02:41:47 pm by Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs »
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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #204 on: April 12, 2016, 02:56:34 pm »

:
Since when do I not care about Adventure Mode? 

I've repeatedly stated how Adventure Mode would be impacted by all this, and even demonstrated how it would be potentially much more useful for an adventurer, who can actually travel and find and collect a much wider variety of magic-influencing items, or kill/destroy magic-generating creatures or items.  An adventurer who needed to keep a magical source with them would cetainly need to either have a base where they grew things, or at least stop by town and buy things, but that's hardly a negative.

Your statements are all raging against strawmen.  I have no idea why "DF Crack" even was brought up.

But regardless, I'm not the one arguing against "industrial magic", Toady was the one who said he didn't want wizards mass-manufacturing +1 swords.  Your problem is with him, not me.
As I guess you've seen by now, JesterHell696 countered my post, not yours.

@JesterHell696:
The part of the Dominions system you're referring to is the weak portion of the battle system, and yes, it works as a spell system for large scale hands off battles, but outside of battle, "fatigue" would essentially be free in a DF setting (or rather annoying drumming your desk with your fingers while your adventurer regained the breath, but could possibly be simulated by the spell casting taking time [while drumming your finger on your desk]). The strong battle magic and the strategic layer uses material component "gems" that have to be harvested using limited resources (the single action per hero and turn to discover new gem producing sites, although collection once discovered is largely automatic). If we were to bring these "gems" into a DF context, they would probably be something an adventurer collected at spawning sites (or bought in the local store by the dozen, since the local kids long ago found out it was more profitable to collect these and sell to lazy mages than to toil at a farm). Current fortress mode would probably only be able to harvest those resources that happened to be spawned within the embark (later development might allow claiming spawning sites further away as a natural side effect of expanded fortress reach) or be traded for. The "gem" system probably can be considered to match the carving of magic rune stones in magic locales (or collection of hearts of lighting buzzards, or magic dew).

@Dozeb˘m Lolumzalýs: I assume he meant that in a derisive sense. Personally I use it both for utilities and conveniences ("cleanowned scattered x" removes a lot of tedium chasing items to designate, for instance, but the hauling is all done by dorfs as per normal) and to work around bugs (unkillable head skin, moronic visitors who are determined to path to the bottom of a murky pool rather than into my fortress, etc). People have rather differing opinions about what constitutes "cheating" and what they consider are just smart usages of mechanics.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #205 on: April 12, 2016, 03:08:53 pm »

He is likely referring  to a person who earlier said " I care little about adventure mode"

I don't believe that was you though so he was mistaken.

Actually, at first I wasn't sure I liked this system but it's starting to grow on me. I only read the first part of the thread and what you have said since I first posted. And a bit before. In your "ideal" for this system does every world have some magic from every sphere? Or only a couple spheres?

I had a separate thread on trying to find ways to cut it down to manageable by lumping spheres into categories, generally focusing upon getting everything into about 12 "families" of spheres, with the other 140 or so possible spheres being part of that family.  So that's what I had envisioned before.

Toady's new myth system seems to work where the spheres are all just a set of possibilities, and the generator only uses 8-40 of the possible spheres. 

When I asked him earlier, a FotF reply said something about how most of the effects of different spheres are unlikely to be unique, the way that evil biomes are, now.  I get the sense it will be something like "make a blizzard" is a power in the raws, and has tokens to make it associated with STORMS, WEATHER, and SKY spheres.  If a SKY sphere god is created, then a SKY biome might be created from some fragment of their being or their egg or whatever, and the "make a blizzard" power would be associated with some creatures within that biome.

I would presume the best marriage of Xenosynthesis to the system Toady appears to be building is "there are however many types of energy as major connections to spheres created in the myths", which could very well mean different types of magic plants and animals are randomly not in existence in the world unless the right type of spheres are chosen.  (So, if you have, say, fireflowers, which, when held, allow the user to throw a small ball of fire that bounces along the ground before them, then these would only grow in FIRE, WAR, and PLUMBING spheres, and if those spheres aren't in the world, they don't exist.) Presumably, some sort of effort might be made to make sure the giant animals and animal people code will be at least somewhat common (they could have multiple "possibility" spheres) to preserve the effort put into them.

That said, I presume Toady thinks of Magic Level 2 or 3 (the ones that have dwarves in it) are the "vanilla game", and the high magic settings are just rando-land for people who want to play civilizations of blue lizardpeople with exposed brains that control blizzards (wouldn't their brain get cold?) through "polluting" themselves. (Terms like "polluting" or "fading" not quite being defined, yet presumably being Bad StuffTM.)
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JesterHell696

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #206 on: April 13, 2016, 12:34:11 am »

Since when do I not care about Adventure Mode? 

I've repeatedly stated how Adventure Mode would be impacted by all this, and even demonstrated how it would be potentially much more useful for an adventurer, who can actually travel and find and collect a much wider variety of magic-influencing items, or kill/destroy magic-generating creatures or items.  An adventurer who needed to keep a magical source with them would cetainly need to either have a base where they grew things, or at least stop by town and buy things, but that's hardly a negative.

Your statements are all raging against strawmen.  I have no idea why "DF Crack" even was brought up.

But regardless, I'm not the one arguing against "industrial magic", Toady was the one who said he didn't want wizards mass-manufacturing +1 swords.  Your problem is with him, not me.

In the post you quoted was replying to PatrikLundell's post not yours.

As for Toady's stance he has said that he doesn't like industrial magic but also that he has little problem with people who do and in a old DF talk mentioned that a "slider" from mundane world with no magic to world where factory-based magic could be possible.

http://www.bay12games.com/media/df_talk_22_transcript.html#22.38

Quote
Threetoe:    Okay, the next question is, "How much magic will be available to dwarves, and what would you like to see it represented in? Will it be limited to alchemy or hedge-wizards, or will there be schools of magic available as different classes of soldiers are today?"

Toady:    Well, we've talked a lot about magic in the previous episodes. With dwarves, our sort of baseline idea is all artifact based, and that beyond that it would kind of be slider based, you could go to the no-magic world, or the very minimal magic world, or you could start getting into this kind of factory-based magic that we'd prefer to stay away from for the default setting. I mean it's like D&D magic often seems kind of factory based.

Threetoe:    Factory like your wizards are creating +5 swords every 2 hours or something like that.
Toady:    Yeah. It's not magical, really, it's just fantasy I guess. We're kind of hoping to thread a needle with the default, but to throw in some options. Of course, you can't just talk about throwing in all kinds of magical options in fortress mode without respecting some kind of "how would the interface work?", or "how would you choose to organize these things?" especially if they're all procedurally generated. It's a difficult problem. We'll just see what happens, but we'll probably start with artifacts.

Also in the GCD video Toady actually jokes about a rune "factory" when the myth generator provided ideal circumstances for it, I have no problem with Toady because I feel that that while the default settings won't have industrial magic the games mechanics will support it.


I... I believe he meant DFHack. If he's never used it, he might not know the name. Crack and Hack have similar sounds and meanings in teh Cracker communitee, as well as in popular culture. So he probably didn't mean anything.

I call it DF crack because it injects scrip into DF and in my mind it is a crack regardless of use, I do use Dwarf therapist and I also consider that a crack.

But if he did:


I'm a relativist and in my mind any external program that enables you do do something the base game does not is a crack even if it can also be used for other less cheaty things, also to me DF is a fantasy world simulator first so "lessening" the simulation is "bad" from my perspective.


@JesterHell696:
The part of the Dominions system you're referring to is the weak portion of the battle system, and yes, it works as a spell system for large scale hands off battles, but outside of battle, "fatigue" would essentially be free in a DF setting (or rather annoying drumming your desk with your fingers while your adventurer regained the breath, but could possibly be simulated by the spell casting taking time [while drumming your finger on your desk]).

I like the use of fatigue because it act as a detriment to spell-sword/battle mage type characters, spend you fatigue on spells or normal combat, its your choice because both draw from the same pool of energy.

The strong battle magic and the strategic layer uses material component "gems" that have to be harvested using limited resources (the single action per hero and turn to discover new gem producing sites, although collection once discovered is largely automatic). If we were to bring these "gems" into a DF context, they would probably be something an adventurer collected at spawning sites (or bought in the local store by the dozen, since the local kids long ago found out it was more profitable to collect these and sell to lazy mages than to toil at a farm). Current fortress mode would probably only be able to harvest those resources that happened to be spawned within the embark (later development might allow claiming spawning sites further away as a natural side effect of expanded fortress reach) or be traded for. The "gem" system probably can be considered to match the carving of magic rune stones in magic locales (or collection of hearts of lighting buzzards, or magic dew).

I already thought that Dominions magic Gems would fit quite well where the egg fragments or primordial dew was in the Myth gen and that made me very happy about the possibility of modding the dominions system into DF or at least something similar.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 01:28:56 am by JesterHell696 »
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expwnent

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #207 on: April 13, 2016, 04:51:54 pm »

I read the thread many years ago but I didn't comment yet. It would take a great deal of work but DFHack can implement this in its current form.

A thought on the base idea: cycles of spheres that turn into the next when depleted. More generally, well defined circumstances where a region aligned with a particular sphere can change. Maybe it'd work better as an alternate universe. I'll just ramble and see what happens. It has great potential for emergent behavior. Players and civilizations can try and mess with the natural order but even though it's deterministic and hopefully simple it's easy for it to go wrong. I also like the idea of very long migration patterns and how they might affect civs if it's a herd of strong animals, or just valuable ones that can't be domesticated.

I don't like the idea of spontaneous generation of things more advanced than plants. I guess that'd be acceptable. Non sentient life should be more subtlety influenced. Migration is a good simple one. I actually like the idea of more dramatic effects, up to and including lightning breath, explosions, and other silly things but only for extremely aligned / pure / unbalanced fields. Change should be as possible, well-defined, and error prone as working with water pumps, or maybe as hard as magma manipulation at most, but no harder or it will be too hard to be worthwhile. If we combine it with your physical gods idea from way back then gods are just large powerful fields. Not sure if I like that or not. Food for thought.

If you really want to get crazy you can start thinking about interactions between fields. I'm assuming a field is associated with exactly one sphere and they can overlap. The other way to do it would be to make them each have multiple sphere associations and probably not overlap.

Maybe one possible consequence could be splitting a field, thus making the area around your fort more difficult to manage.

Players should have valid options for how to deal with fields. Ignoring them completely should work fine if you start in a stable zone and don't mind the occasional avoidable bad event. Slight reshaping should be standard for large successful forts. Small forts won't have enough impact to need to worry about it unless they go out of their way. Weaponizing and industrializing should be possible but very difficult.

I could maybe ramble more but it looks crazy enough as it is.
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Dirst

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #208 on: April 13, 2016, 08:01:38 pm »

I think each field should be associated with a single Sphere, and they should definitely be allowed to overlap since a biome of NOTHING BUT RAINBOWS! will get old fast.  I have a couple ideas on implementation, let me know what you think.

1. The game already supports interactions and syndromes to accomplish a lot of Spherical Effects, and allegedly the game now also supports creating a whole new creature type after worldgen.  This means that creature variations can be applied as needed without bloating the raws in a combinatorial explosion of unlikely critters clogging selection menus.

Plants and creatures would require a certain amount of Sphere energy to be born, and release a bit more than that back into their surroundings over the course of their natural lifespan (or every X years for immortal critters and functionally immortal trees).  Mundane creatures have lower costs to maintain game balance, but mismanagement can still lead to all the livestock going barren.  "Thematic" animals would have a low but unusual cost (e.g., Ravens associated with MURDER).  Maybe include more than one "recipe" for some plants/creatures, and let it emit a weighted average of those over its lifetime... naturally occurring transmutation of one Sphere energy into others.  Moving creatures far from their home would also have a small but measurable effect.

Sphere-aligned "monsters" appear through creature variations, each variation with its own birth and emission rates, and probably a maintenance rate as well to stay healthy.  It might be difficult to build a dragon out of semi-random creature variations, so there will always be scope for "monsters" in the raws, so long as their costs are balanced with procedurally generated stuff.

2. Friend Spheres can co-exist peacefully, and might even function as substitutes (3 BIRTH "mana" usable as 1 PREGNANCY "mana", or whatever).  Strong unaligned fields create an effect similar to the current Savagery rating.  Even moderate levels of opposing Spheres can ramp up the oddness in an area.  This can be listed as a birth/maintenance cost, but emitting oddness back into the environment can get complicated... it would come out as something opposed to the local Sphere with the weakest opposing side, potentially completely unrelated to the Spheres that created the thing in the first place, and potentially changing as relative Sphere energies adjust to its presence.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 08:03:10 pm by Dirst »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Xenosynthesis and magic fields
« Reply #209 on: April 15, 2016, 12:32:55 am »

I read the thread many years ago but I didn't comment yet. It would take a great deal of work but DFHack can implement this in its current form.

Unfortunately, unless you're volunteering, I lack any real knowledge of DF Hack's inner workings, and I haven't even learned Lua.

I don't like the idea of spontaneous generation of things more advanced than plants.

It's been a year or two since I've gone through all this topic, but if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, then the creatures that are spontaneously generated are the obviously non-organic ones, like magma men and amethyst men, which presumably are inanimate objects zapped with enough sphere energy to make them semi-sentient incarnations of one sphere or another. Basically, "elementals" in games like D&D... Except bound to spheres instead of Greek elements, so you might have a music creature made of a swirling dervish of sound, or a walking cornucopia of a harvest sphere, or an animate amalgamation of discarded weapons, armor, and whatever bones still remain inside as a living embodiment of war.  (Or Fun, whichever.)

That said, as I'd argued with Tristain earlier, it could also show up with something like a cat who knows how to sing or a pig who can recite philosophy and asks you not to eat it.

If you really want to get crazy you can start thinking about interactions between fields. I'm assuming a field is associated with exactly one sphere and they can overlap.

Yes.  I'm envisioning it being like how the good/evil and chaos levels are entirely independent of one another, and you can have good chaos and evil chaos at the same time.  Each set of spheres is independent, can overlap, and creatures can randomly exhibit effects from any or possibly all sphere effects present.  (Like if a giant creature or animal person becomes undead in a terrifying biome.) A war-philosophy sphere pig might come off as Sun Tzu. (Or in Romance of the Three Kingdoms speak, Sow-Sow, ahaha-haha *shot*)

Maybe one possible consequence could be splitting a field, thus making the area around your fort more difficult to manage.

In my further "don't rock the boat" idea of the system, I was assuming it could be tied to biomes, so if your fort straddled biomes, you could have more than one set of fields on the same map.

Players should have valid options for how to deal with fields. Ignoring them completely should work fine if you start in a stable zone and don't mind the occasional avoidable bad event. Slight reshaping should be standard for large successful forts. Small forts won't have enough impact to need to worry about it unless they go out of their way. Weaponizing and industrializing should be possible but very difficult.

I could maybe ramble more but it looks crazy enough as it is.
Yes, that's basically the idea.  It's possible, but takes the kind of megaproject mentality that few would ever achieve.  Rather than being gamebreaking that you could alter the biome to your liking, having any real control should be the goal and achievement all in and of itself. 

It may require, if you do it through religion, a truly massive temple (or set of temples) where you dedicate your fortress to venerating a deity (or subset of a pantheon of deities) while observing careful care over their favored creatures, and it therefore becomes a great holy site filled with the holy magic of <insert deity name here>.
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