Fate of Io
[gameplay] Brainstorm: Character Abilities
2005/06/26 17:17:34 PDT by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

You're thinking too literally, Stix. When trying to think of eumonetic techniques, you need to think of what properties are associated with the elements.

"Earth" does not literally mean "dirt" or "ground". It can mean those things, but the element of earth is also associated with things like hardness, solids, shape, strength, defense, steadfastness, tradition, stubbornness, slowness, etc. A strongly traditional, fundamentalist person would have an earth affinity.

Similarly, the element of water is associated with liquid, healing, soothing, life, kindness, flexibility, peace, laziness, inaction... Hippies would be water affinitives.

Fire is associated with action, offense, damage, hurting, heat, light, meanness, insensitivity, power, anger, passion, etc. Malicious types are often fire-affinitive, though being of fire does not automatically make you evil. Angry people can fight for good as well.

Air is associated with motion, flight, weather, impulsiveness, unpredictability, carelessness, etc.

So, as an example, a technique which creates a living creature would be water-earth: earth to give it shape, and water to give it life. Lightning is air-fire: air because it is associated with weather, but also because of its unpredictable nature, and fire because it causes damage, creates heat and light, and can, in fact, cause fires.

Starting to make sense?

2005/06/26 21:42:47 PDT by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

It's always struck me, ever since we created the eumonetics system, that this is doing too much for just three of our PCs. There are still five others that don't benefit from eumonetic abilities. So here's something random I thought I'd throw out: do mundane character abilities (ones not involving eumonetic ability) depend in any way on the character's elemental affinity? For instance, Delloran's flight ability is not eumonetic, but is clearly an air-affinitive act. Should all character abilities be somehow tied into their respective elemental affinities?

On a mildly related note, I had an idea for one of Syne's abilities. Since he's earth-water, he might be able to use all-out defense in combat. He does, after all, use a quarterstaff, so although he doesn't deal massive damage (as Cade or Rush might be able to), you can plant him somewhere and rely on him to defend against enemy attacks for a while before he needs help. This might be useful to block narrow passages or to occupy combatants while the other characters are doing other things. Or perhaps defense would be just one application of a broader ability? (Not sure what that general ability would be. Blocking? Holding objects in place?)

2005/06/27 09:40:19 PDT by Stix [0/49]
[Stix's avatar]

I'm getting it now. Maybe I should make sure I'm awake when I come here.

To be perfectly honest, I have a book about witchcraft that's pretty innocent and nature-like...and I can post some facts from there, here, if you'd like..so I can get it..a little.

2005/06/27 19:33:40 PDT by Aetrus [0/15]

as do I Stix, but its mainly filled with runes of various sorts.....

Speaking of which maybe we could use a sort of alphabet to pinpoint places of power/energy that can be drawn from. Letters that act as Runes for example. Syne might have a tatoo of the earth/water rune somewhere and not realize what it means until much later.

2005/08/22 19:21:15 PDT by Bahamut ONE [0/4]

Going back to character abilities since Rush seems to be our most physical character he could have abilities like "attack up, defense down" or some beserk like abilities. Maybe he could also be able to charge his strength to unleash very strong attacks if not interupted and maybe use combos depending on how long he has been "charging" for. Those kind of techniques combined would make him a great asset to the team compensating his lack of magic skills.

That's all I can think of for now. Syne is gonna need more then one passive skill too if we don't want him to be a boring character :0

2005/08/25 11:54:36 PDT by Captain Vimes [0/13]

Admittedly, that'd be cool, but then again, FoI isn't as combat oriented as other RPGs, so Rush would need a more 'well-rounded' innate skill that could have puzzle applications as well.

2005/09/13 22:45:03 PDT by Siemova [0/24]
[Siemova's avatar]

For a minute, I was thinking Ko was armed with a sling, but when I doublechecked it turned out his weapon of choice is a bola. Not exactly an ammunition sort of weapon, and it could be rather a pain to retrieve. ^_^ (I suppose you could give him an endless supply and chalk it up to video-gameness, but that strikes me as "cheating.") This idea could still work, though: since he's accustomed to throwing accurately, he could throw rocks. One use for this might be to rope-a-dope enemies, pelting them with harmless(?) but annoying stones, leading them on a futile chase or into an ambush. Maybe he could distract them by throwing a rock in one direction, then sneaking past when they went to investigate. He could also use this ability to set off switches and the like.

2006/04/08 23:56:40 PDT by grath longflech [0/0]

mabye for Cade he could have like anti-gravity or something since hes a construction worker making things lighter easyer to lift and such but there are some problems with this for ex: how ling can he lift something

2006/10/16 12:50:56 PDT by Davy boy2000b [0/13]
[Davy boy2000b's avatar]

I have yet to read up on the entire revised plot but I have most of it from memory from brainstorming and chat conversations, so bare with me as I get some thoughts down. I read through these 3 pages and jotted down on scrap paper what you see below. Alot of this sounds like I'm here to criticize people's ideas or to say people are wrong, please don't take offense as I'm not. I'm trying to develop people's ideas further.

I won't go into Brooke's morph skill as it's becoming a bit over-thought and the brainstorming almost qualifying for it's own 'Current Task'.

Quote from Mystik3eb:

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.

I like this idea, it would almost make sense to me. He has been in alot of fights and so would likely to have been wounded in some of them, so he can't just continue bleeding until he can find somebody to assist. A highly skilled (trained?) warrior would have to learn some fundamental first aid to stop bleeding, disinfection, stitching (oww), etc and so it would make sense that he had some basic first aid skills to assist his party with. I say skills and not eumonetics as not everything would be done this way, of course. Being that this world we have created isn't heavily involving magic/eumonetics, alot of characters would be naturally doing things the old fashioned manual way.

To take this a little further, we should remember that first aid is exactly that. Characters won't be healed to 100%, only made stable for further medical treatment. Stopping blood loss, cleaning wounds to stop infection, removing arrows/barbed objects from causing further tissue damage and/or blood loss. These are some, definately not all instances of what first aid does. Obviously it won't be so advanced that our players need to go to med school, but you get my drift I hope.

Quote from Mystik3eb:

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.

Surely anybody with a bladed instrument can do this? Albeit some more effective than others but my opinion this wouldn't qualify as a formal skill as such to consider.

Maybe if we look at what the weapons are and if he keeps them on all the time? Or if our PCs have thier weapons at ready at all times? Rush would be easy, he can sheath his sword, Syne could use his staff to assist walking but bows, bolas, armblades...where do they go out of confrontations or general puzzle use?

If I remember, Cade's armblades would be crudely strapped to his forearms, and so would act as an extension of his limbs. What if we have an object far up, say in a tree, and none of our characters are tall enough even if we have them standing on Rush's shoulders? Cade would be of use here I think. An example of putting our character's weapons to more practical use other than flat out offensive.

Quote from Dev:

<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>

Animals don't have 'will', surely? Will would come from free thought, and animals only go on instinct. They do what is needed to survive and without emotions or decision. A higher intelligence would allow free thought, Dragons would almost definately have free thought even though to humans he is shaped like an animal he still has high enough intelligence. It wouldn't be possibly to measure the will of a mosquito because they have no will to measure, they just exist. They just 'be'. This train of thought would mostly break the method of morphing into a willingly studied being. Possibly that 'higher' beings, i.e. those with free thought would require further studying - with consent.

Quote from Temporal:

But I guess poison should really be water... with poison gas being air-water and perhaps some other kind of poison being earth-water.

Will we really be needing to make poisoning a eumonetic ability? Is it part of the plot to have somebody only able to poison someone/something using eumonetic poison, like when out of reach? Surely poison would be part of herblore or knowledge of one's surroundings (i.e. a ranger), as poisoning chemicals are mostly natural. At least in our world the poison wouldn't be man made as I don't think the science is that advanced.

As I understand it, poison it contamination of something we would usually consume i.e. water or meat for arguements sake. The poison would be added for an effect, usually death, paralysis or impairment of sense/s. The poison would on the most part be of chemical imbalance and making this activity the result of eumonetics would have to be done by making something 'be'. Matter, i.e. Earth. Now I would have thought we could leave this here just as earth but I would have thought we'd have to add to the 'matter'. The matter would have to be of ill intent, maybe of Air, as it's unpredictability and freeform would be swayed to 'place' the matter in the right (or wrong for the victim) place. But then would could also say that to put the poison in one's body direct would ve water as the body functions with liquid internally, yet poisonous clouds would be of the air alignment.

I'm getting incredibly lost with this train of thought so I'll leave it for now, probably mostly because I don't know how we would be poisoning somebody - plot of offensive otherwise.

OH hold on, I just had a look at our element ring and saw that earth lies between water and fire - not air
. Fire means hate, pain, distaste, brashness, etc. I would have thought poison eumonetics would be of earth / fire alignment, naturally? It causes pain - biggest trait of poison, as well as fire affinatives are controlling - relative to our idea of poison this would be control of senses or limbs in paralysis.

Quote from Siemova:

since he's accustomed to throwing accurately, he could throw rocks. One use for this might be to rope-a-dope enemies, pelting them with harmless(?) but annoying stones, leading them on a futile chase or into an ambush. Maybe he could distract them by throwing a rock in one direction, then sneaking past when they went to investigate. He could also use this ability to set off switches and the like.

This makes alot of sense to me. He would have to catch his own meals and so would need to have accuracy with crude weapons such as stones, slings, and bolas. Of course nothing exists out of shear offensiveness in our game :) so we can use this to hit minute targets within range using small area of impact i.e. stones for example. It is important, however, to differentiate our Ko's inairing accuracy with stoning a tiny target as part of a puzzle with anybody else in our party being able to do anything different. Throwing a stone isn't difficult, but Ko's accuracy would have to of distinct advantage within his party.

Although I can't think of many examples, except small buttons from a distance. Our game spends alot of time outside and technology won't allow for electronic buttons. Maybe something being held in place with a string (given Enna and her bow isnt in the party) would be severed with a few sharp sides stones thrown at it?

Another use could be for a heavy fortified building or armoured foe with small openings for things like seeing, breathing, shooting arrows, etc. Ko could aim something in these small openings and cause harm.

Perhaps he can throw a rope over a branch for example to use as a pulley, or swinging rope? He would have to use rope alot to tie things down from wind, assemble shelter, snares, rope bridges, absailing. These would undoubtedly give alot of useful options to his party for the mentioned uses as well as the fact he can tie advanced knots for different uses.

Also, Ko is used to living in poverty, he has to salvage things from junk and fix things when they break. His village/settlement cannot really replace things, so they would have to fix things and to improvise when the specific tool (for example) isn't available. This fact could give him skills such as 'salvage', 'makeshift x' and 'improve y'.

More on Rush, what about his shear body weight and power? surley this would give him alot of uses such as shifting things? He would be fighting alot of long battles and so would need to track his foes/friends using his surroundings; footprints, broken plant stems, etc. One use of this would be to 'Scope ahead' for his party to determine number of enemies and/or dangers. Perhaps his skills in living it rough would allow him to identify mushrooms, plants, fish, animals or whatever as fit for eating or use in poisons, performance enhancers, clothing material from hide, and on and on.

Maybe Ko could have this skill as he lives in poverty with no technology. Or even Enna the 'eco-warrior'? Probably too many PCs to have these abilities, perhaps we can divide them down to each character. Rush would be the tracker, Ko the 'mushroom identifier' and Enna with the herblore.

I haven't put much thought into it just yet, but Syne only has 'group management' so far. Perhaps if we are lacking an ability in one of other PCs, we can give them some sort of party affecting ability, also. Moving onto the fact Syne's only ability is to organise everyone else, this is rather weak of the main character. He would surely be rather proficient with his staff and so this should be utilized in an ability of his some how? The size of the staff could also invalidate my suggestion on Cade's arm blades being an extension of his arms as no doubt the staff would out-reach Syne's staff.

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