DISCUSS: ELEMENTS

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harmonic
It's like toothpicks against a tank
4120
There are spell elements (fire, water, lightning, etc) other stuff (holy/dark) and physical elements, etc.

I was thinking about the various ways to use elements for RPG skills. Some people seem to use a generic "physical skill" element that applies to a huge amount of skills, others tend to stick to the tried-and-true FIRE LIT ICE.

I've seen: FIRE ICE LIT EARTH

Fire vs Ice
Lit vs Earth

I've seen: FIRE WATER WIND WATER ICE EARTH With a wheel in various configurations.

There's also HOLY and DARK which I've seen a million ways used.

also... physical elements like SLASHING PIERCING BLUNT (used widely in my 2 games)

How do YOU organize your elements?
I like this idea:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Four_elements_representation.png

Where you have the four basic ones, and others are combinations of the four.
I still want to see someone use the Four Fundamental Forces in place of elements. Figure out a good way of using Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak Nucleic Force and Strong Nucleic Force, maybe tossing in Dark Energy for funsies.
author=Shadowtext link=topic=1056.msg14947#msg14947 date=1210122536
I still want to see someone use the Four Fundamental Forces in place of elements. Figure out a good way of using Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak Nucleic Force and Strong Nucleic Force, maybe tossing in Dark Energy for funsies.

You would need to add NERD as a fifth element seriously man you just managed to make yourself look like a dork at a homebrew game-making forum. I guess we can't call be like Fonz 8) 8) 8) 8)

I think that it's best to have a small number of strengths/weaknesses in an RPG because up to a certain point you start to have more shit than you can comfortably manage without ingame reference materials that spoon-feed you the information and defeat the entire purpose. Having just three or four (I made a prototype for a game once that had physical, magical, heat, cold and it was actually pretty sweet).

It is also neat when enemy weaknesses are not arbitrary but rooted in logic. Blue Dragon is brilliant in this regard -- every enemy weakness is completely logical. Monsters made out of poop are always weak to water, for example (and seriously Blue Dragon wins the award for a video game with the largest percentage of its monsters being consituted of poop).

On the other end of the spectrum is the Shin Megami Tensei series, where enemies are weak to completely random elements and the core mechanic of the game revolves around figuring out which element every new enemy is weak against. In Persona 3, for example, your objective is to take advantage of the system to always win every battle with only your main character's first turn -- if you fail to do so you will often either lose the battle or burn through tons of resources recovering.

But basically, if you have a system, use it. If you have an element system in your game, make it a major factor. If it isn't, you have a game like Final Fantasy 6 where you very rarely every notice elemental affinity influencing damage except for those rare cases you accidentally heal an enemy.
author=brandonabley link=topic=1056.msg14965#msg14965 date=1210126593
author=Shadowtext link=topic=1056.msg14947#msg14947 date=1210122536
I still want to see someone use the Four Fundamental Forces in place of elements. Figure out a good way of using Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak Nucleic Force and Strong Nucleic Force, maybe tossing in Dark Energy for funsies.
You would need to add NERD as a fifth element seriously man you just managed to make yourself look like a dork at a homebrew game-making forum. I guess we can't call be like Fonz 8) 8) 8) 8)
T_T Is it....is it because I said "funsies?"
I use:
Fire, Ice, Thunder, Air, Earth, Wind, Water, Holy, Light, Dark, Evil
Biological (not exactly called that- but it contains sleep, poison, etc.)
Healing, Time (you know, stop, slow, quick, etc.)
Chaotic (spells have unpredictable effects)
and, of course, Non-Elemental or Neutral.

Sixteen elements. Many more if weapon effects are considered.

Holy and Light don't have to be the same. Holy can include divine influences, while Light is actual luminous effects. Dark is different from Evil, as well. Evil is demonic magic, while Dark is the dark energy or void in a spell.

Slimes seem to dislike Ice, because it hardens them and makes it harder for them to dodge attacks. Likewise, Fire makes it easier to do the same.

And the last dungeon shouldn't all be Dark or Evil based, either. Especially since skills are learned in about the same order as listed above, meaning you'd get the last Dark or Evil spells just before the final dungeon/tower/whatever. Sucks.
I've got three physical elements:
- Slashing
- Piercing
- Bludgeoning
I'm treating these as more properties of the weapon instead of regular elements. For example, Bludgeoning attacks ignore some of the defence granted via armour while piercing attacks don't, but they deal more damage on a critial hit. Enemies might have different vulnerabilities for each weapon type, but so far I'm thinking "No".

For more magical attacks, I only use four:
- Burning and other hot stuff
- Freezing and other cold stuff
- Electricity
- Acid
These are more like the typical elements: Enemies have different vulnerabilities to each element. Spells from each category also have their own traits based on their element. For example, Electricity atacks don't do any MaxHP damage but more CurHP damage, but Acid attacks deal less CurHP damage but more MaxHP damage.


Too many elements can be a bad thing. Star Ocean 2 was terrible for this. There was a mess of elements, half of which I had no idea what they were or what spells did what kind of damage. Plus most gear didn't protect you from any of it (well, nothing that I remember) which made all the elements in the game really pointless.

I really like FF10 for its whole four elements. It was enough to add strategy and not cause characters to have a slew of spells for assorted elements that were barely used or have elements whose spells couldn't be used by most of the party. Think to FF6, if a boss was weak to Water or Wind, what could you do? Call in Strago, or... just murder the boss and not care. Having characters who can use the variety of elements is important. (wheee tangents!)
author=GreatRedSpirit link=topic=1056.msg14987#msg14987 date=1210131903
I've got three physical elements:
- Slashing
- Piercing
- Bludgeoning
I'm treating these as more properties of the weapon instead of regular elements. For example, Bludgeoning attacks ignore some of the defence granted via armour while piercing attacks don't, but they deal more damage on a critial hit. Enemies might have different vulnerabilities for each weapon type, but so far I'm thinking "No".

For more magical attacks, I only use four:
- Burning and other hot stuff
- Freezing and other cold stuff
- Electricity
- Acid

Do you play D&D? Because that is pretty much exactly how D&D works.
I played it a few times a year ago, then almost everybody I played with quit all about the same time :(

I do draw a fair bit of my ideas from D&D though, I really like the mechanics behind it. Hell, I've even divied up my defence mechanics into "Defence" (resist getting hit) and "Resistance" (damage reduction). Element wise though, its a coincidence. I stole got the SPB idea from Vagrant Story and FIE from other games and Acid was chosen since, as I understand it (its been years since I last took Chemistry), its pretty much anti-electricity: It takes electrons instead of giving them.

I'm getting a lot of ideas from D&D, but the element breakdown isn't one of them :P (well, not consciously anyways)
Fire beats Water (and vice versa).
Wind beats Earth (and vice versa).
Light beats Dark (you get the idea).
Poison beats Wood.
Divine is just there, since it's different than light.

And for physical elements, I just have the old slash, pierce, and bash. Nothing too difficult, I don't think. And I'm not smart enough to make enemies that have arbitrary weakness. :<
I just use the Fire/Water/Earth/Wind deal. And there's Dark and Holy. No need to make things complicated.
I use nine magic elements and four physical elements.

--- Magic ---

Flame <-> Crystal
Bolt <-> Aqua
Gaea <-> Air
Shadow <-> Light
Creation > All of the above

'<->' means those elements beat each other.

--- Physical ---

Slash --> Works on anything that doesn't fall under the below categories.
Thrust --> Works on tough looking/armored enemies
Uppercut/Ranged --> Works on flying enemies
Downwards --> Works on smaller enemies

----------

Nothing too intricate I think. It's what I've stuck with most of the time. Though the physical elements may go after SEB.
I almost wish I had something decent to say here, really.

I use

Slashing
Piercing
Blunt

as my three weapon elements

and pretty much the default for everything else.
Attribute matching....I just don't know about it anymore, man. I'm not sure there's a whole lot more to be gotten out of it. Making up new elements, using the old ones...

...in the end it all comes down to Rock Paper Scissors. The type dominance and whatnot is pretty much an arbitrary assignment. It adds a little extra depth to gameplay, but...

...but it's the only real strategic aspect to most RPGs. It feels like wading into the pool but not jumping in. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I think there needs to be something more done with RPSing.

There's probably an article to be had here, but I can't think of the main thrust of it right now. About making the most of the RPS mechanic, dressing it up in a way that players can both understand and not be bored by, and....I don't know. I really need to consider this in more detail. I'm having flashes of Sirlin's article about Game Balancing and Guilty Gear, like there's some sort of connection here that's just out of reach. We need more discussion about the general theory of elemental systems, and not just lists of what you've named your attributes and how many you've got. Guys! Don't fail me!
I mainly just use the basics such as fire, water, thunder, earth and then move on to others such as dark, holy etc. Basically what Feldschlacht IV said.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
ARIA uses

Crystal
Angel
Force
Magma
Void (Karsu loves this element)

There are no WHEELS or anything. However, since there are no elemental spells or whatever (you collect rocks that you can throw and add your Talent stat to) elements are supposed to be the object of much veneration! You'll want to study surroundings and talk to dungeon deziens to learn about a boss weakness. They are arbitrary-- but there are some similarities like MINIBOSS WOLFPUP and BOSS WEREWOLF are both weak to Force.


ARCANE MIST uses

Melee
Ranged
Blood
Magic

Melee is hand-to-hand weapons, Ranged is really like ANTI-FLYING stuff, Blood is for the Bloodmage, Necromancer and Guild Leader characters (blood is, like, the theme for AM), Magic is... magic.

I used a similar system for Versus Xerza, but took out Blood and replaced it with Healing.
Philadelphia uses:

Physical
Fire
Ice
Lightning
Sonic
Shadow
Ether
Star

Weaknesses and strengths typically make sense. Skeleton = weak to fire, but strong vs. ice and shadow, for example.
I like to have things as simple as possible; unfortunately, Solar Tear currently uses 19 "elements" (Blunt, bullet, blade, slugs, piercing, psyche, head, eyes, groin, balance, toxin, radiation, ice, acid, fire, explosion, electricity, laser and robot) NO MAGIC HERE BUDDY

In a small, simple game I'd like to make, I would use;
-Melee
-Ranged
-Pointy
-Blunt
(all weapons combine the above)

Then, the magical would be
-Elemental (a single attribute, yes)
-Biomancy (Life & Death magic. If you think of it, animating zombies isn't very diffrent from healing people with HOLY LIGHT MAGIC or something)
-Chronomancy (VERY predictable)
-Cosmic (or Anti-cosmic; that is, divine magic)

That'd all in all be eight attributes, which I still think is a bit much. I guess taking away, pointy, blunt, biomancy and chronomancy could work aswell.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21227
I tend NOT to split up my physical attacks - it seems like a wasted effort (and turns very FFVI-ish like Him mentioned about how attribute-affinity really didn't mean anything). I just stick with Physical. (I also make ghosts physical-immune).

Other than that, I have the basic Fire, Water/Ice, Earth, Lightning, Wind, Light Dark, Mystic/Magic, Poison. Nothing too fancy.

author=Mr.Nemo link=topic=1056.msg15146#msg15146 date=1210176057
Then, the magical would be
-Elemental (a single attribute, yes)
-Biomancy (Life & Death magic. If you think of it, animating zombies isn't very diffrent from healing people with HOLY LIGHT MAGIC or something)
-Chronomancy (VERY predictable)
-Cosmic (or Anti-cosmic; that is, divine magic)
I'd like to try something like this out in the future - something easy and straightforward.


I prefer a low amount of elements.
(I like:) Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Non-Elemental.

I don't do much with physical elements.
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