Spells: casting time

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Spells: casting time

Postby youngneil1 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:33 am

And another one on Spells: How about adding a casting time to spells?

Doubling the casting time makes actually quite a difference to just halfing the power of a spell and letting the caster cast it two times in consecutive rounds. Sure for e.g. damage spells, the cumulative damage would be the same but the whole damage would be applied in the second round only. This has quite large tactical effects, because:

a) it's harder to guess the tactic situation on the battlefield two rounds into the future. Many enemies right now forming a nice cluster for an area damage spell will have spread thin by then.
b) it's a spike damage this way, so enemy healers that would have otherwise healed the targets after round 1 cannot do so now cause the targets are taken down in one single swipe in round 2.
c) creatures that would be killed by half the damage anyhow will live a round longer in such situation - the potential for wasted "excess damage" is higher.
d) damage reduction will be only subtracted once instead of twice.
e) The caster loses the flexibility to totatlly change plans (retreat, cast heals...) in round 2 after the first preparation round - he has to commit beforehand to what he does or will lose that preparation round he spent.
f) We might make the act of casting vulnerable to interruptions. Let's assume the caster gets hit after the first preparation round - perhaps this will break his concentration? Another dimension for tactic gameplay and protecting casters.

So, what do you think about having a casting time mechanisms (obviously authors could still make all spells requite zero preparation rounds anyhow if they don't want to use such)? I think it would be a great tool for balance, variance and tactic gameplay.
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Re: Spells: casting time

Postby Dorateen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:01 pm

I'm all for casting times, with low level spells such as Mage Bolt (for example) remaining instaneous, while a fireball or ice storm might take a round of preparation. Same for healing spells. It certainly adds an element of tension, when you are waiting for that character to get off his/her spell before other party members are killed.
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Re: Spells: casting time

Postby sidermaniac » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:49 am

I like the idea as well. Another aspect is as you grow in proficiency (levels) you can reduce casting time.
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Re: Spells: casting time

Postby Lurking Grue » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:37 pm

Just a quick, "me too" post. I'd like there to be a customizable casting time for spells as well. For instance, for the bigger, AoE spells it would be great to have a 2 round casting time, so that it's not so easy to fine-tune with pinpoint accuracy who and what is hit, but you'd need to gamble a bit (between quick direct attack spell with a guaranteed effect and slow area attack spell with not so guaranteed effects).
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Re: Spells: casting time

Postby slowdive » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:28 pm

Sounds good. How would we implement such a process? Maybe for one round casting time, the spell happens at the beginning of that PC's next turn. What about spells that have less than one round, but not instantaneous? I guess there would be some kind of List where all the spells waiting to be cast and the owners of the spells would reside. And the List would be checked before each PC or Creature's turn? Any thoughts?
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