Magic and game designs


I settled on a battle system and looking into inventory systems, but which game (s) do you think use the best magicl system in a fantasy setting. I should clarify I mean mechanics of using as I have the types of magic already defined. Thanks.


Final Fantasy 7 and the Materia system.


My all time favourite magic system in a choicescript game is that in Seven Winds. But, it’s so very much integral to the character and the game itself. Waywalkers does something similar and I liked it too.

In your case, what are the types of magic you have defined? How does magic fit in your world? How does a person learn, and use magic? How is magic limited?

Those are important questions before you start working on a magic system.


I have a deep back story for the magic so have details well ingrained into the story just looking at the mechanics of make it work well in game I loved
Waywalkers but not right for this type of game I am building. Final fantasy comes close to the style ad @CitizenShawn is helping with a much improved battle system. Just gathering ideas and trying to offer the best I can to the player. :smile:


The easiest, oddly for me it was Marvels D100 system. All abilities are based on a D100 skill check to see how well or bad that particular feat goes off; used it as a basis in my old WIP.


First few design used dice but found dice does not work as nicely in CoG games, from my experince as a lot of negitive feedback, so have done away with dice for the most part and rely on skills and stat checks.


I can understand that, but taking in mind what the stats are you can play it out a few ways.

For example (Using D100 stat system):
Magic is at 75%

Now depending on what you allow the MC to do with magic you can base the success/failure on their Magic skill (or a combination of skills). So if a player comes across a redshirt, and they cast a magic force bolt, since it is a basic spell the result should be an auto-success to defeating such an easy foe. But if it is a big baddy the same spell should work but the fight should carry on.

Now if you want to spice up that same scenario (this a little randomness can be a good thing) you pick a range of numbers say 2-25 a minimum success,26-75 normal success, and 76-100 epic success. This way you can flavor the fight scene text up; (2-25) You cast your spell that you have known since you were apprenticed but the charging foe bellowing a vicious war-cry startled you somewhat, but you spell landed true knocking the creatin out. (26-75) You cast your spell that you have known since you were apprenticed, smiling wickedly as you let loose your magic bolt hitting you enemy soundly in their chest knocking them out. (76-100) You trained your whole life with magic, it is second nature to you. You release the powerful magical energies at your foe knocking them back several feet causing his companion to soil themselves as they flee with a high pitch scream.

Yes, I did leave the number 1 out (I am a fan of critical failures) but keeping in mind that the majority of players hate to fail and get game overs you can get creative here if you so choose. So if they do fail give them a second chance to succeed; You cast your spell that you have known since you were apprenticed but the charging foe bellowing a vicious war-cry startled you somewhat, (2-100) which hits your foot causing you to stumble back hitting the release lever holding up a chandelier causing it to fall and crushing your adversary.

I would think here if you critically fail twice here against your stats…even @FairyGodfeather might even agree sometimes bad things happen.

No character is perfect so, sometimes thing just go horribly wrong…


Food for thought, I do use some rand in the game but did a lot of reading on game designs of late. A lot of feedback form players reported that they do not mind failing due to stats but a rand factor, they may spend days, (or my case weeks lol), building their stats to be kick ass and still they fumble due to a roll of the die? I am working to have fails but more to a lack of skill then a random factor.


My suggestion is to have a non-random based system. Most of your readers will be ok with either but progression due to randomness is something that does not sit well with a vocal segment.

I’m in the process of building my magic system for my Helvetti Rising project and I’ll be happy to discuss things but my “system” is more of a big picture system to advance the story both through the first installment but into the second and third as well.

One thing about game design theory is that it is theory and much of what is out there may not apply to the CoG scripting and model of game building.


Game that has the best magic system, hmmm… I’d have to say Paper Mario (to specify: Paper Mario - The Thousand Year Door) for the GC, hands down (in my opinion).

While it is after all a glorified QTE, but whenever you used a Special Skill from one of the stars, it just felt so GOOD whenever you got off a fully powered Earth Tremor or Show Stopper (not Red Herring, Don’t know how I mixed that up).

To base off of Tremor from Paper Mario, why not have a series of buttons (or choices) you have to select in short order every time you cast magic to determine how effective it is? That would be loads more engaging than just a roll.


Very true and I take all I read with a grain of salt. :slight_smile: Always happy to talk shop and would be very interested in looking at your system.


I am losing signal due to the mountains so sorry if this is a double post.

Thanks I will have to check it out.


Final Fantasy 10

-Fast-paced battles for a turn-based RPG
-Non-linear levelling system (e.g. You can turn Auron, a tank-warrior to a spell-caster)
-Smart bosses (e.g. With one of the bosses, if you cast reflect on yourself, it will dispel it.)


I agree. :slight_smile:

I’m not opposed to bad things happening. I’m opposed to boring things happening. So, a failure of your spell fizzling out, nothing happening, that’s boring. A failure of your spell going wrong, backfiring on you in an interesting way, that’s more interesting.

If failure is exciting, and part of the game, and adds to the story, then that’s great. Like Indiana Jones, when he switches out the bag for the statue, and that’s a monumental fail. But what happens afterwards isn’t that he dies, it’s that he goes on to have more exciting adventure. If he’d succeeded, it wouldn’t have been half as interesting. I want failures to feel like that, to be as much part of the story as successes, to open up doorways and possibilities instead of closing them.


What I’m planning on doing for random rolls vs stats is if your stat is over the “difficulty level” or whatever you want to call it, you automatically succeed, but if your stat is lower, you can try to roll for success, and the choices will reflect the difference, for example:

“Kick the door down with my mighty muscles!”


“Dunno if it’ll work, but I’ll try to kick this door down…”

Just my two cents :smiley:


I really like that idea.


I like this, reminiscent of the Dungeons and Dragons “take 10” and “take 20” rule. 10 is the average chance, so 50%, so if your skill is 50, you will always succeed. You can “take 20” which basically let’s you automatically succeed if you spend enough time doing it, usually too much time that it would impact you in other ways, or not be an option if you were in a rush.