Fate of Io
[gameplay] Brainstorm: Character Abilities
2005/05/07 22:43:17 PDT by Temporal [manager]
Edited at 2005/05/08 02:06:56 PDT
[Temporal's avatar]

We need to decide what special abilities each character should have. Post your ideas here. Feel free to post abilities even if you don't know which character should have them; we can then discuss how to fit them in. Be sure to read up on the characters for ideas.

Try not to get too far into the exact mechanics of your ideas just yet. Explaining how they might be used in a puzzle is good, but there's no need to develop mathematical equations for computing damage or anything like that.

Here's a summary of ability ideas we already have for each character. Feel free to further discuss any of these to flesh them out.


  • Group Management: When multiple chacters are selected and Syne is one of them, several AI helper algorithms will kick in to make the group coordinate their efforts.


  • Flight: Dell can fly.

  • Eumonetics: Dell can use eumonetic techniques, though he does not learn any until later in the game. His affinity starts out close to air, but shifts towards water late in the game.


  • Ranged attack: Enna can shoot enemies and objects with her bow and arrows.


I don't think we have anything for Cade.


  • Eumotech: Rheya can design and construct eumonetic devices.

  • Eumonetics: Rheya can use eumonetic techniques, though her power is relatively weak. She's more effective when she makes use of eumotech. Her affinity is between air and fire.


  • Pets: It was suggested that Ko could tame and train pets, although this was still pretty up-in-the-air.


  • Morph: Brooke can morph herself or another person into an animal which she is closely familiar with. (IMO, we need to place some serious limitations on this ability.)

  • Eumonetics: Brooke can use some eumonetic techniques, with an affinity for earth.


No ideas here either.

2005/05/07 23:06:33 PDT by mystik3eb [0/43]
Awards: 1 from Dev
[mystik3eb's avatar]

Cade: He has the armblades, this would be nice for cutting bushes or other-type things, like in Zelda. Maybe he can bash into things really hard because of his brashness *shrug* I really can't think of much else he's capable of.

Rush: I know someone (I think Dev...?) liked the idea of Rush being able to do a simple First Aid kinda thing. Maybe he could also do something I suggested for Cade, making more sense since he's taller and stronger, and he has a sword. I really can't think of much else for either of these two.

As for Brooke: I remember many a discussion about her morph ability, the limitations and such. I think it was said she should only be able to morph one person at a time, it had to be through physical contact with her, I don't remember if she could morph herself or not, and I don't remember if there was a timer on being transformed or if it wore off (I believe it was that she had to touch them again...I don't remember). As to what she could morph them to, I don't know if that was ever decided. Maybe there could be something similar to Gau, like a study ability...unless we wanna make it as simple as touching the creature to be able to morph into them. Also, the types of creature she could morph them into should be defined...I don't know how broad we'd wanna go with this, we could get creative or we could stay simple, I don't really know what you wanna do. There's my two cents and everything I can remember from previous discussions.

2005/05/07 23:21:13 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

What I recall about Brooke's morph:

  • She can morph herself, or another person by touch.

  • When she morphs another person, she must touch them again to un-morph them.

  • She can only morph people into a creature with which she is closely familiar. Gaining this familiarity requires living together for some time.

  • She can only morph one person at a time.

I still think this ability is over-powerful. Tyrus uses the same ability to morph himself into an Antarean; specifically, one which he had captured and lived with for some time. More specifically, Dell, IIRC. If that's possible, then it should be equally possible to morph yourself to look like any of your family members, which doesn't seem right.

2005/05/08 02:37:58 PDT by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

For reference, that discussion began here and continued on to the next page. It'd probably be a good idea to go back and review all the things in that thread, since this task is somewhat of a continuation.

As for Brooke's morph ability, those right there are the limitations we came up with, except that instead of "living with" it was more a direct, intensive period of study and/or physical contact. Perhaps even someone you've known all your life wouldn't be a valid shape until you take the time to study them in this particular manner. And I seem to remember talking long, long ago about Proteans never using this power for the purposes of impersonation or duplicity--this prevents any honorable Protean from doing what Tyrus does.

And here's another thought: suppose the physical size of the target shape is directly related with the amount of eumonetic energy used to morph into it. Initially, Brooke can only morph into very small animals, like skunks. Once she inherits more eumonite, she can change into Antarean-sized creatures, then finally, perhaps by the very end of the game, into creatures her own size. Someone like Kydran, who has had access to a large amount of ore, could shift into very large creatures; in fact, he does so at the end of Part I.

2005/05/08 11:48:08 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

If the morph ability is a eumonetic technique (which it would have to be, because eumonetics are the only way such a thing could work), then there must be a specific statement used to carry out the technique. As we know, Proteans do not know the language, so the statement has to be identical for all Proteans. We could use this to explain why the limitations exist.

Perhaps "Morph the person whom I am touching into the shape of the animal I am most familiar with."? Or, "have most recently studied"?

Normally "animal" would prohibit morphing into other people, but perhaps Tyrus' contempt for Antareans is so great that he really believes them to be no more than animals, or something.

Do we want Brooke to be able to study new creatures over the course of the game?

Funny side note: Eumonetics cannot create or destroy matter. So, morphing Ko into a skunk would have to create a large rock or something as a side effect, and morphing him back would have to steal a chunk of matter out of the ground.

2005/05/09 14:44:40 PDT by Captain Vimes [0/13]
Awards: 1 from Dev

Studied, however, sounds right, since the body is a very, very complicated thing. What with all the tubes and the nerve connections, and the whatnot. Trying to do it without preperation and you could end up a dog shaped piece of flesh, which is never a good idea.

Dev, you got an idea for the shape differentials, though it could similarly be argued that it would take more eumonic energy to change into animals that are disporportionate / radically different from your own mass, seeing that the amount of mass to transfer would be higher, so a simple change (Such as, say, hair length. This could be the preffered way of make-up for Proteans. Who knows.) would take next to no energy, while changing into animals, especially ones particularly larger or smaller, would take significantly more.

2005/05/09 15:21:02 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

In purely theoretical terms, arranging matter does not cost much energy. For example, it should theoretically cost no more energy to rearriange the atoms from a rock into a PC than it would to simply move the rock a few feet to the left. That is to say, complexity does not necessarily require energy.

However, eumonetics may arbitrarily require more energy than basic phisics necessarily needs, just in order to make things interesting. So, we can say that morph requires more energy for larger beings and don't really have to justify that. (Excess energy becomes heat.)

Note that the person performing "morph" does not need to know the exact internal structure of the animal. Since eumonetic techinques are arbitrary requests spoken in a certain language, simply naming an animal defined elsewhere is sufficient. Of course, Proteans do not know the language or the names of any animals, so they're stuck with a static phrase. Perhaps when the technique was originally invented, the inventor intentionally named the animal as "the animal which I have studied" in order to build-in a limitation.

2005/05/09 22:24:33 PDT by mystik3eb [0/43]
[mystik3eb's avatar]

...so...what about my other ideas? Yay? Nay? *shrug*

I was thinking that since you don't have Brooke for a majority of the game, and when you do have her in Part II it's for simpler stuff like just solving puzzles or getting through mazes, maybe worrying about it being limited enough isn't a huge concern. Either way, I think the most important thing to figure out for Morph is exactly what specific "study" needs to be done and for how long until she can use it. I think it's limited enough as is. Well, that's me anyway.

2005/05/10 11:01:26 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

The reason I am concerned about limiting it is because all Proteans are supposed to have this ability. If it's too powerful then it begs the question, "Why have the Proteans not won the war with this?".

Regarding the Cade and Rush ideas: I just don't see cutting down bushes as an ability that would be very useful or easy to integrate into puzzles. First aid might be ok, but it wouldn't be useful in puzzles at all, and might overlap too much with the eumonetic healing abilities of other characters.

2005/05/10 11:49:34 PDT by Kass [0/13]
Awards: 1 from Dev
Quote from Temporal:

However, eumonetics may arbitrarily require more energy than basic phisics necessarily needs, just in order to make things interesting. So, we can say that morph requires more energy for larger beings and don't really have to justify that. (Excess energy becomes heat.)


The reason I am concerned about limiting it is because all Proteans are supposed to have this ability. If it's too powerful then it begs the question, "Why have the Proteans not won the war with this?".

Um. e = mc^2? Doesn't that state (basically) that a tiny amount of matter equals an enormous amount of energy? Presumably if you wanted to turn a Protean into a massive dragon, it's going to take a farkload of energy to do. Assuming there's a finite amount available, this would easily explain why the Proteans don't just all morph into a fleet of dragons and end the war. They can't. There's not enough energy in the world. They might start stealing energy/matter from one another if too many people tried to transform into dragons at once... or they might start taking from the planet.

I suppose that could do it, though, if the equation's consistent... the mass of the planet would, presumably, still be greater than the mass of a whole fleet of dragons... so you could take from some mountain and not destabalize the planet. Maybe there should be some edict in Protean law to respect the planet and not take more than it could sustain.

2005/05/10 12:16:01 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

I already covered that:

Quote from Temporal:

Funny side note: Eumonetics cannot create or destroy matter. So, morphing Ko into a skunk would have to create a large rock or something as a side effect, and morphing him back would have to steal a chunk of matter out of the ground.

You're right. Creating matter would take far, far too much energy. Creating even a gram of matter would take energy on the order of a nuclear bomb. Thus, when morphing into a larger creature, matter would have to be borrowed from the ground or elsewhere.

However, there's a hell of a lot of ground out there and not very many people trying to morph, so I don't see this as a huge limitation. If they consumed an entire mountain morphing themselves into larger creatures, for instance, that would be far, far more than enough to make their army unstopable by any force. Doing some rough calculations here, the average mountain probably contains far more mass than all the people on the planet combined.

2005/05/10 22:31:52 PDT by BioKupo [0/0]

Anyone who's watched the anime Full Metal Alchemist will recognise what I'm gonna say :p

In that anime they have something similar to eumonetics except that it JUST affects matter (cannot effect the body). But more to the point there is the "rule of conservation - something of equal value must be presented"

Maybe work some kind of rule like that into the actual world. ^^

2005/05/10 23:42:39 PDT by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

Assuming for the moment that dragons are the largest creatures that exist in our world (probably true), a Protean that wanted to turn into one would then firstly need to study a dragon (whatever "studying" entails), and secondly would need a proportionate amount of earthly-charged eumonite to do the morph. Even if they had access to more eumonite--beyond what every Protean receives during their pilgrimage to the labyrinth grove--a Protean would have to find a dragon willing to be copied...

<tangent> ... well now there's a thought. Perhaps the studied animal form has to be willing? Does this mean that Proteans can only morph into creatures that can be willing in any sense of the word? i.e. is it possible to measure the will of a mosquito? </tangent>

It's probably safe to say that most Proteans have not had encounters with any dragons, given their rarity, let alone submissive dragons. The sympathetic relationship between Kydran and Aequus might have been our exception. This would mean, in fact, that the "sapphire dragon" into which Kydran morphs at the end of Part I isn't sapphire: it's Aequus' form. That might be funny in a way, since a smart player would deduce that the dragon they encountered in Chapter One (who really was Aequus) is actually Kydran--and this, of course, would all get cleared up in Part IV.

2005/05/10 23:54:07 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Kydran can morph into whatever the hell he wants. Since he knows the language, his only limitation is eumonetic energy.

2005/05/11 10:54:21 PDT by BioKupo [0/0]

Form being willing would definitly turn it into a more "summon-esque" event, not every creature is going to be willing.

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