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Designing Ikos

Posted May 20, 2016 at 09:43 PM by Grim
Updated May 20, 2016 at 09:52 PM by Grim

Time to take a little peek behind the curtain of the Working Group as it were. Because Ikos was a tough one and given there are bound to be questions and such, I figured it's good to have some whys backing the system up if not a simple thing.

Let's start at the beginning with Old Ikos. Old Ikos had a lot of interesting concepts we really liked, but the idea of a sphere that manipulated chance the way old Ikos did is difficult to moderate in any decent fashion.

If you think we went straight from that into what we put into the wiki now, you're in for a surprise. There was a lot of discussion, a lot of potential concepts passed back and forth. There were guardian spirits, various degrees of chance, runes as Platonic concepts, living enchantments, there were tulpas in there. Suffice to say we went through a lot of different concepts.

Eventually we went for something that set it as a contrast to Song. Where Song was mainly about buffing and debuffing other people, Ikos was now about buffing and debuffing inanimate objects. Where Song was mostly about area of effect and distance, Ikos was about being up close and personal.

So now that we knew what it would do, it was a question of choosing how you would do it. One thing we wanted when revamping magic was to make the other magic skills feel different. If they were all about counting vis and doing all the magic with your head, then they wouldn't be very different. This is why adjuration is all about planning and preparing, Shamanism is all about keeping up good relations with your guardian spirit, etc.

Fair warning, if need be ikos, shamanism, etc, all will be pulled and edited if problems we didn't see coming are suddenly coming to the fore.

So, anyway. Back on topic. One of the things we wanted to keep is naturally the Runic nature of Ikos. We wanted the runes front and centre, they were always there throughout the discussions. So what we ended up going with was a concept that let you write runes that you pretty much magically slammed into something else to make it different.

Because running out of vis is something that universally sucks at low levels, there are two options for things to do while out of runes. You can do glyphs and eventually their grown up counterpart, formations. Or you can gamble with your life and health and try to grab a random rune out of the ether for casting purposes. One option is nice and risk free as long as you're not disturbed and have peace to work for a while, the other's an immediate risk that might just get you out of a jam.

Now it's worth mentioning that Ikos is deliberately weak out of the gate. If you do a comparison in terms of sheer casting power, arcane spheres will come out ahead every time. Seeing as their vis increases exponentially whereas runes increase linearly. The trade off here is that ikonomancers can learn more runes, thereby increasing their manapool in a way arcane spheres can't. In other words, if you want to be really, really powerful, you need to go out there and do the work.
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  1. Old Comment
    I am so excited to dive into this. I think it's going to pair well with gadgeteering... *hums innocently and flexes*

    Thanks for all the had work you and the MT did on this sphere.
    Posted July 29, 2016 at 05:50 PM by Faengwen Tash Faengwen Tash is offline
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