Basic plot rewrite outline

Content and general development discussion, including maps, quests, and server code from the development team.
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Rotonen
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Post by Rotonen » Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:54 pm

Now that the flaming is over and I feel like participating in this thread once again (Sorry for the arrognance..):

Technology has not been developed in a way we're generally thinking about it. Why would one create complex mechanical things to do something a simple spell can do? For example why would someone build a microwave oven if one can just heat the food with mana? Well a crude example, but you get the idea. The frame of reference ( the entire world for that matter too) is different. Even the laws of nature are different. So they DO HAVE developed technology that's JUST AS ADVANCED as ours (well it could be even more advanced or less advanced, depends on how we're going to develop things), but it's just different because the world is different.
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Post by Kyokai » Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:23 pm

Rotonen wrote: So they DO HAVE developed technology that's JUST AS ADVANCED as ours (well it could be even more advanced or less advanced, depends on how we're going to develop things), but it's just different because the world is different.
Are you suggesting mana-driven machines? :) That sounds cool

Mandrake: I think you've got a good foothold with the in game origins of these mythos. Also, Bjorn and I have been talking about making books into in-game items, similar to the way morrowind did, so it's perfectly possible to have the book be an available item :)
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Post by Rotonen » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:36 pm

We have oil and nuclear power, they have mana. Why not? ;)
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Post by Talaroc » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:49 pm

Rotonen: Interesting idea, sounds cool and makes sense to me.

Mandrake: By way of explination on the "destroy/destroyed" bit, what you've got there ("So a truce was called/Lest the gods destroyed all that had been created") is essentially a shortening of, "So a truce was called so that the gods would not destroy all that had been created." As such, yes, it's in past tense, but the verb remains in present tense. Just wanted to clarify.
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Post by mandrake » Sat Mar 12, 2005 2:42 am

Doesn't Mana cost energy to use? Does a person feel weary after using Mana? I ask, because if Mana makes people feel tired after using it, then it would make sense to have science involved then.

For example, we can all walk, can we not? Then why do we drive cars? If we can just walk from A to B, why drive at all? Science is a way of enhancing natural things. If Mana exists, it must have limatations, ones that science could have been used to get around.
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Post by Rotonen » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:21 pm

Yeah, but the main point in my idea is that it all revolves around mana. I'm not implying that every piece of technology should be built to operate with mana alone. And even if it might feel unethical to us, people could actually be used as fuel.. We should not let our own world limit our imaginations. :) (Yes, once again, crude examples..)
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Post by Catfish_Man » Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:59 pm

mandrake wrote:Doesn't Mana cost energy to use? Does a person feel weary after using Mana? I ask, because if Mana makes people feel tired after using it, then it would make sense to have science involved then.

For example, we can all walk, can we not? Then why do we drive cars? If we can just walk from A to B, why drive at all? Science is a way of enhancing natural things. If Mana exists, it must have limatations, ones that science could have been used to get around.
Well, we get around that by a) gathering fuels and b) building power plants/engines. If mana is "life energy", one could imagine a machine that sucked in the ambient energy around it and focused it for use. It might have side effects though; possibly the ambient mana being given off by living things is responsible for the "sparkle" in life, so the area around a "mana engine" would seem slightly dull and wearying... the magical equivalent of smog, in a certain sense? On a darker note, the idea of using life as fuel comes up. Magical systems as a whole are no stranger to blood sacrifice...

<edit> Pushing the analogy further, something like batteries could be useful as well; a way of storing mana. Games and novels have, of course, come up with thousands of ideas for this, from gems to spirits. </edit>
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Post by Rotonen » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:02 pm

Catfish_Man: You're basically describing the Mako energy -> Materia conversion in FF7, aren't you? :) The idea would fit in nicely, since in FF7 the sucking of the energy is unbalancing the world and it's threatening to suck the planet dry too. (We do have that idea about parties trying to shift that balance in their favour, right?)
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Post by Catfish_Man » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:17 pm

Rotonen wrote:Catfish_Man: You're basically describing the Mako energy -> Materia conversion in FF7, aren't you? :) The idea would fit in nicely, since in FF7 the sucking of the energy is unbalancing the world and it's threatening to suck the planet dry too. (We do have that idea about parties trying to shift that balance in their favour, right?)
Actually, I haven't played more than 5 minutes of FF7 :) The idea is nothing new though; I was probably referencing Mercedes Lackey's books the most, but for most of it I didn't have any particular source I can remember. It's a fun idea to play with though
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Post by mandrake » Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:47 pm

I can't stand FF7, heh.

Anyway, the concept of Mana comes from Peloponnesian mythology. It's a creative magic that is bestowed when someone does an act of creation. The magic is drawn from the caster and the earth, and imbues the creation with power.

What I was trying to say, however, is that using mana in some form might cause the magic users to feel weary (casting spells can't be simple or easy- lest anyone can do it), thus making science a more readily way of doing things.

This (in the past) could cause some interesting scenerios in warefare. Have you guys ever played Arcanum? Or watched the movie Howls moving castle? It sheds some very interesting lights on the whole magic and science co-existing concept.
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Post by Rotonen » Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:17 pm

I've already played around with this idea to some degree in another thread. I introduced the concept of "manaflow" as the quantity (and speed) of mana flowing through one's body. Your resistance towards it allows you to wield more at once safely. You can try to wield more but you could end up exploding yourself. (Yeah, it's partially loaned from Arcanum. In Arcanum one could exeed the mp quantity for hp penalties, I think. In this system the amount of magical resistance could define the maximum ratio for mp/time wihtout penalties.)
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Post by Aacheron » Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:00 pm

I think I'll join in here; have to say I only glanced through most of the thread, but... what not.

Rotonen wrote:I introduced the concept of "manaflow" as the quantity (and speed) of mana flowing through one's body. Your resistance towards it allows you to wield more at once safely. You can try to wield more but you could end up exploding yourself.
Akin to chi/ki? Too much superheats the whole system, so to speak? "As if the wind blew too briskly through a straight corridor", and what not. Causes people to violently and swiftly spread themselves across several square kilometres.
Rotonen wrote:In Arcanum one could exeed the mp quantity for hp penalties, I think.
One didn't have "MPs" in Arcanum, but a stamina metre in addition to one's HP metre. Stamina points (or whatever they were called) were used up when running, striking in close combat, carrying loads, basically doing whatever, at varying degrees depending on the level of strain of the action. Magic also used stamina, so the caster got tired from casting spells (no fiddly MPs here). If you reached 0 stamina, you passed out. Even if you went really low but above 0, a single blow from an enemy could knock you unconscious. Recovering took minutes in game-time, which means _a lot_ of combat turns...

Oh, that is, if we're talking about the late Troika Studios' brilliant steampunk/fantasy game Arcanum, hehe.
Rotonen wrote:In this system the amount of magical resistance could define the maximum ratio for mp/time wihtout penalties.
Somehow I can't shake the thought of electrical circuits when I hear "resistance" here... Sort of, resistance would make a person/creature _less_ magical, but less prone to "burning out" or violently and swiftly spreading oneself over several square kilometres. Then again less resistance is like a circuit with low resistance - electricity/magic flows fast, but can burn the circuit/person out if the current gets too strong.


By the way, if anyone's read Philip Pullman's book triology "His Dark Materials", that gives a nice view of this whole "flow" concept. Not too detailed, but still.


Just my 0,05 ?...
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Post by Aacheron » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:29 am

EDIT: OK, this is just a load of wash, but whatever...
EDIT: After doing some reading around, I see you've based quite a lot off this present storyline, so I think I won't bother rewriting stuff, then...


OK, I did some brainstorming, and came up with a sort-of creation-story for the world. I originally wrote up a mere piece of "proto-Kalevala" as I called it; a prosaic writing resembling the Finnish national epic, telling the tale of creation. It's wish-wash, but it's a start. It helped me visualise the tale of creation to some extent, and I'm still slaving away on that. If nothing else, it could be an artistic piece of decorative text. Well, anyone who gets inspired by it, feel free to share your thoughts...

Here's the piece of cra-- err, writing I did. It's first in Finnish, then in English (translation emphasizing on literal meaning; prosaic values thrown somewhere dark and dreary when it comes to the English version...).

[This] means something is either not directly indicated/set out in Finnish (I know, nutty language), or my comments on something. Oh, and do keep in mind that it's late for me - 2:30 or so... So, this is not a masterpiece precisely.

- - -

Mieleni minun t?n??n tekevi, ajatukseni nyt kulkevi
Kertomahan teille tarinaa suurta, ikijumalten satua laajaa
Sankareista suurista uljaista, ja heid?nkin sankar?saduistaan

Alussa oli tyhjyys, ei aikaa, tilaa eik? avaruutta laisinkaan
Mut? Mana, voima ihmisten, tyhjyyden v?list? kumpusi
Ja Manasta, siit? ihmisten voimasta, teille nyt kerronkin

Manan laaja valtakunta Manan siemenist? kasvoi
Suureksi se kurotteli, avaruuden aavaa peitteli
Taivaita se kosketteli, korkeaksi kasvoi t?htipuu

Manan valtakunnassa ihmiset, sankarit, eliv?t
Jumalat ei jumaluuttaan Manan voimaan koskevan
Oli ihmisten voima, ihmisist? innokkaista kumpusi

Jumalista voima kumpusi, mut? ei Manan lailla raaka
Mana taikavoimainen, kaiken ihmisel?m?n l?hde
Oli Mana voima voimakkain, oli se taivaita halkaiseva

- - -

My mind today compels me, my thoughts now travel
To tell you a great story, [an] evergods? tale vast
Of heroes great courageous, and their hero-tales

In the beginning there was void, no time, realm nor astral space at all
But Mana, the power of men, flowed from between the void
And of Mana, that power of men, I will tell you now

The wide kingdom of Mana [i.e. the Mana World] grew from the seeds of Mana
To greatness it reached, the vastness of space it covered
The skies/heavens it touched, tall grew the star-tree

In the kingdom of Mana the humans, the heroes, lived
The gods could not of their divinity touch Mana
[It] was the humans? power, from eager humans it flowed

From the gods power flowed, but not raw like Mana
Mana magical, source of all human life
Mana was the strongest force, it would sunder the skies/heavens
Last edited by Aacheron on Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Catfish_Man » Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:27 am

Rotonen wrote:You can try to wield more but you could end up exploding yourself. (Yeah, it's partially loaned from Arcanum. In Arcanum one could exeed the mp quantity for hp penalties, I think. In this system the amount of magical resistance could define the maximum ratio for mp/time wihtout penalties.)
See "manaburn" in Angband as well. A good term, imo. Another fun concept is fueling spells with your own life energy; leads to ideas like "final strike" spells where you just burn all your life energy in a massive explosion (which would suck for an mmorpg).
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Post by Aacheron » Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:33 am

Catfish_Man wrote:See "manaburn" in Angband as well. A good term, imo. Another fun concept is fueling spells with your own life energy; leads to ideas like "final strike" spells where you just burn all your life energy in a massive explosion (which would suck for an mmorpg).
Mana burn also occurs in Magic: the Gathering; if you had any mana left over at the end of a phase, you received damage equal to the amount of mana. A nifty thing in certain 4th edition decks (no, I do not follow along with whatever's current) when you could use artifacts to make all mana sources generate double or triple mana, and your opponent had to keep tabs on using up all the mana from a certain source or none of it... But I digress.


Fuelling spells with life energy is available in ADoM (the roguelike); each HP is worth two MP, though it's easy to commit suicide or make oneself too vulnerable for monsters.

"Final strike"-type spells don't fit into MMORPGs, but the idea of making oneself vulnerable through the use of certain high-powered spells is nice. The player would be at the mercy of the next little gnat s/he met if s/he would "burn" too far with high-level spells. Makes for tactical playing, methinks.

Think Spirit Bomb from Dragon Ball Z, except it doesn't neccesarily use ambient life force to fuel it, it uses the player's...
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