The Let's Play Archive

Planescape: Torment

by Shadow Catboy

Part 49: A Belated Mechanics Intro 3

A Belated Mechanics Intro 3:


Well, as promised here's another mechanics update.

The magic system of Dungeons and Dragons is based off of the magical system of a fantasy fiction author whose book had a world where spells were "memorized" and "forgotten" when cast. Powerful wizards could remember more spells, while weaker appretices could only remember one or two at the time.

And this system really is pretty good for a tabletop game.

Spells are divided into 9 levels, from weakest to the most powerful. As you can see TNO has 6 slots for Level-1 spells, 2 slots for Level-2 spells, and 2 slots for Level-3 spells (I just recently leveled so this changes things a bit). From here on out descriptions will precede the screenshots.

You might recall me shooting off one or two Chromatic Orbs. Personally I'm not a fan since they're all-or-none blasts. They can be remarkably powerful at higher levels when extra effects pop into view... if they work. If an enemy saves, tough noogies.

Identify. Eventually this'll be worthless since TNO will have massive Int and Wis and thus very high Lore skill, which lets him identify things on sight. Really, I'd rather just memorize awesome attack spells.

Like this one! Magic missile is the bread and butter of a blaster mage. 1d4+1 damage each missile, and right now TNO can shoot five of 'em, which means about 11 damage in an instant from afar.

This is one of the reasons I won't be pumping Cha very much until later in the game. One shot of this baby and my Charisma becomes superhuman.

Scripture of Steel, the awesome buff spell I learned from Dak'kon. Generally the spells from the Circle of Zerthimon are significantly more awesome than normal mage spells. I rarely use this though... our party doesn't really need any buffing.

An AC buff is useless for TNO. His armor is already pretty good thanks to a magic item.

Vilquar's Eye is pretty much identical to Blindness, save for the -1 penalty to the save, I believe. It can be a huge nerf against fighters... again, if it works.

Now, on to Level-2 spells.

Blood Bridge drains a certain amount of HPs from the caster and transfers 1.5x that to the target. TNO has been using this to sacrifice his life so he can heal up his allies (in particular, Dak'kon). Having to heal Dak'kon relatively frequently might give people the impression that he sucks as a fighter... in actuality he really kicks ass as a spellcaster-fighter, his defense just LOOKS bad compared to Morte's awesome damage reduction and TNO's regeneration.

Swarm Curse is pretty nifty, and I'm saving this for any spellcasters we might encounter since it utterly rapes their ability to cast spells. Also a pretty decent DOT.

Blur creates an illusion around the target caster making him hard to see, and thus hard to hit. It gives a whopping bonus of 3 points to my armor class (remember, lower armor is better) and also improves my saving throws. I might just have to teach Dak'kon this trick sometime.

Strength is always useful, since it lasts so damn long and gives a significant boost to attacks and to-hit if you can get it up to 19. The only problem is that its efficacy varies with the class of the target you cast it on. Warriors get the most gains, Wizards the worst.

I always felt Ice Knife was a fairly pansy spell, so there's not much to say. It's simply more effective for TNO to run up and smack things than shoot little frost bolts hoping that the enemies are bunched up close enough to do some minimal amount of area damage.

For the longest time we didn't have a 3rd-Level spell to fill TNO's 3rd-Level spell slots. On average it'll deal about 30-40 damage at level 10, with no chance of a saving throw on one target. Pretty sweet.

And here's the Axe of Torment, a 3rd-level spell we picked up from TNO's tomb. It can be devestating at high levels so long as it gets past the target's save.

Now here's Dak'kon's spells. I won't repeat any Zerth spells, but here's my favorite Level 1 spell by far.

Reign of Anger. A version of Magic Missile that deals an extra point of damage per missile. It really adds up. Once TNO gets this one he'll be replacing all his Magic Missile spells.

Power of One is Dak'kon's version of the Strength spell. It lasts half as long (but hey, 30 minutes per level kicks fucking ASS) but it gives an extra point of strength and the strength cap is increased.