Dumb Mod Idea: Arcana [WIP]

So, this is a concept that came about when I discovered I could add skills via a mod. Basically add a skill for numerous anomalous ideas, and add a resource of some sort that is needed to make and/or power them.

A rough summary of some of the random ideas I’ve thought up:

Recipes: Most of them likely shouldn’t be autolearned. They’re weird devices that need to be learned from rare texts. A few such items might be available in item groups to use, and the few that rely on the skill to work would allow one way to exercise that skill, but if anything the lowest skill book likely needs to be at skill level 1 or higher. Basically either you spend points on it, or earn that first level through playing with whatever magical items you find.

Motes of Essence: These would be strange items that are death drops, in limited amounts, from Netherworld monsters and many other creatures with an overt, otherworldly nature. They are used in quantity to create the various items, and as fuel/ammo for most of them.

Crafting Tools: Certain items might be needed to start working with enchanting items. Ritual implements, essentially. Tools for various symbolic purposes. Some might be mundane like needing a cutting quality, others might be special tools like a stone altar, a silver dagger, a patera for libation, etc.

The Offering Chalice: An alternative means of generating motes of essence. Likely a rare find, assuming it’s actually findable without crafting it yourself, at great expense. It would be a part of recipes for creating motes using a wide array of symbolically important items, at a harsh enough ratio to make it more efficient to just hunt monsters.

Summoning Items: Monster-creating items like the goo canister can be made to use certain skills to determine the result. Needless to say, this makes it a natural choice for an example item to use the skill. Since many of the obvious choices for summoning would be supernatural creatures and thus drop essence motes, it would need a high cost of motes to use, and likely need very high skill to ensure the result is friendly. A SIMPLER alternative would be for the summoned creatures to be variants that don’t drop motes, preventing it from being used for mana farming.

Spells? Or The Equivalent: Actually adding innate abilities as a mimicry of spellcasting is beyond what I could mod in. Adding tools and weapons that produce various specific effects while consuming essense would be the simplest option. For example a talisman of fire instead of learning a fireball spell seems a lot less high-fantasy to me. Think Heretic or Hexen, not Final Fantasy.

Permanent-effect items: Essentially, enchanted items that yield some benefit or function that doesn’t use essence to fuel it. These would be advanced recipes, even moreso than items that consume resources to use, these need a high cost in essence to actually create, and symbolic costs related to what the item does. In addition, the base item itself would need to be made beforehand, likely at some expense even if it doesn’t consume mana to make the unechanted object.

Alternative Energy: It’s possible to create an effect that harms the player in some way. An item that inflicts a custom effect in exchange for reverting to a different item would allow for creating a resource of some type at the player’s expense.

EDIT: Oh…oh. “unknown skill arcana” it says. Fuck. Seems that adding skills via mods is fundamentally broken.

EDIT 2: Ahah, I’ve figured that issue out.

Here, have bonus screenshot:

I am intrigued, tell me more. This sounds like craftable artifacts which wouldn’t have to be figured out by trial and error, and I’m all for that.

Some effects that would be fun to see: ranged attacks (bolts, rays, fans, stars), clouds of (acid, status effect, smoke, radiation), healing abilities, summon lava/water, smash wall, build wall, grow plants, summon animals(MEAT) and summon NPCs (umm…MOAR MEAT!?!)

I’m pretty sure the devs are death on magic abilities in mainline, but I’d activate this as a mod, every time.

One minor issue I’ve discovered is that while I can get it to use the skill for crafting, and figured out how to make an item that does the “hurt yourself as a means of crafting essence” thing, the game does not like using unexpected skills for ranged weapons.

In any case so far I have…a chalice, which can be crafted with high enough arcana skill. Using the chalice hurts like hell but allows using it to acquire blood essence, which can in turn be used as one of several ways to to acquire the other major type of essence. Blood essence also currently fuels a currently-sorta-buggy ranged weapon that’s basically a very roundabout Strife reference, as the net result is a lightning weapon that is powered by your own life force.

More items fueled by blood essense, as well as mundane ones, will be cooked up as I work out the bugs.

I assume coding a summoning ability akin to the elderitch tentacle from Dungeon Crawl would be difficult, since its static with a movable appendage attacking anything and extending whereever it pleases.

Probably, yes. For now working on the basics of recipes for obtaining the basic materials needed for more advanced magic.

For example…

“id”: “blood_athame”,
“type”: “TOOL”,
“symbol”: “/”,
“color”: “red”,
“name”: “athame”,
“description”: “An ornate silver dagger, seemingly made for ritual purposes. It seems quite a bit sharper than silver has any right to be.”,
“price”: 18000,
“material”: “silver”,
“techniques”: “RAPID”,
“weight”: 658,
“volume”: 3,
“bashing”: 1,
“cutting”: 14,
“flags” : [“STAB”, “SHEATH_KNIFE”],
“to_hit”: 2,
“max_charges”: 0,
“initial_charges”: 0,
“charges_per_use”: 0,
“turns_per_charge”: 0,
“ammo”: “NULL”,
“revert_to”: “null”,
“category”: “weapons”,
“use_action” : {
“type” : “consume_drug”,
“activation_message” : “The edge of the athame seems too dull to so much as break the skin, yet some strange urge leads you to test this. Upon pressing the dull blade to your flesh, wounds open elsewhere on your body!”,
“effects” : [
“id”: “bleed”,
“bp”: “TORSO”,
“duration”: 100

This one exists mainly to inflict blood loss on command, which the expected response being to staunch it with rags and use blood-soaked rags as a component for blood magic. Blood drawn via vacutainer would work too and would be more efficient/safe, but wouldn’t be as readily available as athame abuse.

Fire spell: turn pools of blood into raging fires.

Well, current mod content is over at: http://smf.cataclysmdda.com/index.php?topic=11013.0

I also made an interesting discovery. Artifact item IDs can be referenced in recipes, but there’s a catch. If a map already has any artifacts generated, it’ll be valid. In a fresh world, no such luck. Even then, artifacts are supposed to be unique, so a recipe that allows crafting one will cause oddities as it seems artifacts have undefined plural names.

EDIT: Artifacts can be modded in via save editing of artifacts, but I can’t think of a way to induce this in a mod.

An example…

{“type”:“artifact_tool”,“id”:“arti_test”,“name”:“testing item”,“description”:“A strange test item. Should increase all stats when carried, increase carrying weight when wielded, shoot lightning when activated, and recharge via sunlight.”,“sym”:58,“color”:925696,“price”:0,“materials”:[“stone”],“volume”:3,“weight”:70,“melee_dam”:0,“melee_cut”:0,“m_to_hit”:0,“item_flags”:[],“techniques”:[],“ammo”:“NULL”,“max_charges”:1,“def_charges”:1,“charges_per_use”:1,“turns_per_charge”:0,“revert_to”:“null”,“charge_type”:2,“effects_wielded”:[17],“effects_activated”:[1],“effects_carried”:[5]}