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based on 3 game and magic system

Oct 29, 2019 3:26 pm
I know that many games that have magic based on elements use four elements (air, earth, fire and water)

I played a online game that only had 3 (earth, fire and ice). So I was thinking of trying a game like that. What do you think the pros and cons of such a system would have?

I was also thinking of having other things based on three as well. (I was wondering about using tri-stat as the system0. Does anyone else know a 3 stat system I could look at.

Any input would be good.
Oct 29, 2019 3:34 pm
My first thought is Rock-Paper-Scissors. If your magic system is based on three elements, I feel like an RPS system would be very easy to implement.
Oct 29, 2019 3:41 pm
I'd probably go for water floods earth which block wind which blows water or something. I always felt sea/land/air (3 world layers) are more obvious elements than fire ;)
Oct 29, 2019 3:44 pm
sea/land/air (3 world layers)
I like that. Another common trinity is Body/Mind/Soul
Oct 29, 2019 3:58 pm
that would even fit together nicely: body is made of earth, mind of water and soul of air
Oct 29, 2019 4:26 pm
That would go with tri-stat well. land/sea/air and body/mind/soul/

Never really used tri-stat but hear good things about it.
Oct 29, 2019 4:51 pm
You may need to include all the mixes (water could be ice+heatfire, mud/swamp/general ooze is earth and water, obviously magma is earth and fire)
Maybe if you can do a RPS system, But you need to choose three source things that clearly are circularly balanced.
For example if you had the ice/earth/fire idea you have to chose if ice or earth are stronger than fire. One would make ice>fire>earth>ice ... or ice
Oct 29, 2019 5:35 pm
I don't want to make it complicated. I understand about the mixes but have seen to many system become bogged down in them.

I think of D&D which slowly brought things like this in and all of a sudden it had tons of realms and elements and such. I want to keep it simple if I do it.
Oct 29, 2019 6:27 pm
Another three element system that exists is Attack/Defense/Support (or as a variant, Attack/Defense/Speed). I often see it in games, in Rock-Paper-Scissors manner, usually with red/green/blue palette as well. :D
Oct 29, 2019 6:32 pm
Oct 29, 2019 6:34 pm
Support sounds more fitting for Soul in my opinion. I'm not sure if mind is great for attack, however but I would still switch it around personally
Oct 29, 2019 6:42 pm
Well, Mind is usually associated with mages/wizards, and these are often main damage dealers... XD
Oct 29, 2019 6:49 pm
True. That way it makes sense!
Oct 29, 2019 7:43 pm
in the limit you could do a 3-way roll so players have to use the element/focus/approach combination, like rolling 2d4 and 1d6 for fire/mind/attack
Nov 16, 2019 1:57 am
A pro of the 3 way system is that it's simple to understand. Each element has something it's strong against, and weak against. Simple.

This also means it's an inherently balanced system since each element is virtually identical in terms of how strong it is.

A con of the system is that it's a bit too simple to be tactically interesting. It's basically Rock Paper Scissors. Everyone knows the optimal move against Scissors is Rock, and nothing else is worth trying.

You can try to add more mechanics to the 3 element system other than pure superiority. However, by introducing more factors, you risk losing the balance inherent in the simplicity of the system.
Last edited November 16, 2019 1:57 am, a total of 1 time
Nov 16, 2019 2:20 am
Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock?
Dec 17, 2019 2:03 am
Interestingly enough most folks draw on the typical Fire, Earth, Water, Air -- elemental package but then they associate Lightning with Air and Cold with water...

However if you research the Egyptian mythology you would find they too had four elements plus one but Fire (heat/fire/lightning) > Earth (dryness) > Air (cold) > Water (wetness) and the Void (wind, pure magic energy) that blew clockwise through the other 4 elements with each element stronger than the element in its clockwise position and weaker than the element in its counter clockwise position. I found this version of the elements to be very interesting.

Of course the oriental view of the elements is very different and I think they reflected that well in the old oriental adventures book.

Of course the biggest beef I have with DnD since conception are the schools as they seem to be a bit out of wack not totally just minorly -- for instances if you read Enchantments they are mind affecting magics but if you read the Illusion-Phantasm you see that it says it affects the mind perhaps one the most glaring issues I came across and had to fix. The next is why can wizards not heal someone -- the explanation I get the most often is because the rules (which are only guidelines not rules) say so or because of game balance -- neither of these of course explain the why it is that way within the world dynamics because neither of those reasons has anything to do with the world dynamics --- that and you have to ask 2 things -- why could bards (not sure if they still can) cast healing magic -- or even better -- why does a Transmutation spell heal you -- and if it can heal you when you change forms why can you not single out that healing aspect and just heal someone instead?

Of course I had fixed all that stuff way back in DnD 2e and even created the concept of meta-magics back then although I did not call them that I just made them part of being an arcane spell caster. Still later on I fine-tuned my magic system -- which uses something similar to the slots system now for arcane casters and also answered the why arcane casters do not cast healing magic by reorganizing those schools a wee bit better than I already had.

So basically when creating anything be sure you analyze what you are creating for game balance as well as answer all the arbitrary decision with in world aesthetics -- for instances my arcane spell caster can cast healing spells just none of them do because of the potentially nasty side-affect that can transpire -- of course clergy can do them because their diety removes this detrimental side-effect. Of course the diety also removes a lot of things from spells making them static in nature as well as restricted to just those spells that they specifically approve of.

And there in lies another rub -- did you know that in the Forgotten Realms there is a diety that is totally and completely passive and yet the have your typical cleric -- wearing armor and carrying weapons -- as their clergy? That made absolutely no sense at all.
Last edited December 17, 2019 2:11 am, a total of 7 times

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