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Personalised spells

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Arcanists toss ruin balls, summon rabbits and toss about diseases.

Thaumaturges are pyromaniacs and cryomaniacs.

Atrologists draw cards.

Conjurers heal you, make you wet and then blow you away.


Pretty basic things, right?


I've been wondering what would happen if your character decided to create their own spells - or rather, bending certain spells of their respective school to act in a certain manner. Would tutors outside of the major guilds teach the exact same spells in the exact same manner as the WoL casts them?

Maybe your arcanist temporarily inflicts someone with an STD. Maybe you have a thaumaturge that goes about giving people the common cold somehow? Perhaps you're an astrologist who plays a mean hand of poker. Maybe you're a badass airbending conjurer.



I personally love having some imagination incorporated into your characters' spellbooks - to a certain degree. For example, my character - Lloyd - had a personal tutor at home, in lieu of being taught at the Arcanists' Guild, and thus does not have access to the knowledge that the guild harbours. (Though I'm not sure if they'd just give grimoires to any half-decent looking adventurer) 


One of Lloyd's spells he's most proud of is his personal glamour - or, illusion, for wont of a better term (a spell I've only used once; making sure all parties involved approved), which essentially means he's able to give life to a magical structure through arcane formulae and geometrical designs; said structure usually turns out as a person or small item. The illusion is incredibly weak, broken in a hit or two and drains the caster of their aether reserves, quickly.




How far would you go/have you gone - to personalise your spells to fit your character respectively?

And how do people usually react to spells that aren't in your average PvE spellbook?

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I have seen several characters that would bend PvE spells in order to achieve a better spectrum of what they want. Say, a blizzard II freezing a greater distance, or perhaps even across a lake to form a bridge.


As for one of my characters, Kirkirik is a Conjurer who can really cast earth spells. With that being said, I simply can't just have him cast the three stone spells. Instead, he can manipulate the earth around him into constructs for brief moments of time like a golem but one that can shape-shift. Another spell he once casted was a rock in the form of a stalactite that churned in the air, causing friction and when crashing down, exploded into molten earth. There is still the issue of the Elemental's whim on choosing not to do such destructive spells, but it is allowed on certain occasions... just not in the Black Shroud.


Another spell that Kirkirik has managed to cast was an aetherial beam that had created crystals from it's path. The crystals themselves are not aetherial, but the beam is just earth aspected in order to manifest them. They tend to shatter after a moment and the spell is one of his more stronger ones that drain him greatly.


Personally, I love seeing how people can manipulate or alter their perspective of the magic of Final Fantasy. It creates unique and interesting ways to solve problems as long as it isn't always a deus ex machina.

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The spells we see ingame are simplifications of what the lore tells so that the game works with precise mechanics in my opinion, nothing more. 


I usually use and bend the whole elemental wheel to whatever seems logical on the spot... I play a character with very random conjury skills that are very similar to BG's Wild Surge, which means I can roll dices and stuff and create totally random and unexpected results, the most common being, casting a wild flame instead of manipulating water, etc. Well, she is a walking danger.


I find the idea amusing to play with since she is favoured by the elementals and so they don't give a shit, like a huge trollface to Stillglade conjurers. Not that she uses a lot of conjury to begin with anyway. Too afraid of it, not that much interested in it (for now).

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I would say I do this to a point where I never use the game spells. What I may use is the IC mechanics of drawing Aether and elements and use of a focus.


Some things I think that help in RPing spell casting. In essence use it to flavour your character and don't let it dominate.


1. Don't overdo it, keep it simple.. think competent mage not "I am the god of hell fire!"


2. Let the other player interpret the effects on them. So describe the spell, and what is happening enough so they get the picture but let the other player determine how and to what degree they are affected. This works well in healing where some folks like to play being injured for a long time and others are happy for a "woosh" fix.


3. Cantrips! Have some trivial effects that let you be magical without causing problems. These could just mimic everyday things. Such as opening a bottle, sweeping the floor, sunblock, mending a rip etc..


4. Oddness. Like (3) above but use this to bring some flavour to your character. Arcanist who turns the pages with magic, the Thaumaturge who warms his drink with a flaming finger, the Conjurer emotion compass, etc..

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Sometimes I feel like I borderline lore break with my use of thaumaturgy, especially since I think of it in the 1.0 version rather than the current umbral and astral, fire and ice, form. Was 1.0 thaumaturgy completely retconned or did they just sweep it under a rug? I don't know, but in any case, I like the creative liberties that version leaves room for since it seems capable of much more. Even so, I only use it as a frame work since I like to have my characters develop their own spells.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How did I miss this thread. :)


While I'm generally a big fan of "Mechanics Constitute Lore, Too," I don't feel that the spells we see in our Action/Traits list are the extent of what can be done. Consider, for instance, the way that Thaumaturgy and Conjury were changed between 1.0 and 2.0. The lore devs admit this was a change made entirely for and by the battle team, and so they just sort of... swept the way things were under the rug, but the old lore still exists (for instance, Essences and Permutations, found now in the Gubal Library). Does that mean conjurers can no longer control certain elements and thaumaturges can no longer heal? I tend to view it that the spells we have use of on a class in game are just the most well-known, the most taught, and the most generally useful spells in battle and for adventurers.


So, with that in mind, I've always been a big fan of extrapolating other applications of magic from the metaphysics we get both from NPC discussions and from the spells themselves. This includes making smaller spells (a tiny Blizzard to cool your drink) and bigger ones (a spell to dispel others). This also gives a way, IMO, to weave in some real world magical practices to add depth beyond "I cast a spell and..."


How far would you go/have you gone - to personalise your spells to fit your character respectively?


A fair bit. :) L'yhta seeks a "Grand Unified Theory" of magic, so she has spells that blend the different disciplines together. They include things like small cantrips, circles of shielding, rituals to alter forms, spells to amplify other spells, and so on. I always take care to tie things back to the lore -- her cantrips are tiny versions of spells we already see. Her amplifications use the geometries of arcanima to tap additional aether. Most of what she does in this regard requires crystals as an added power source. Versatility has its costs. :)


And how do people usually react to spells that aren't in your average PvE spellbook?


In the circle I run with, so long as they plausibly come back to lore and benefit the story, the response is generally positive. The key is to not let these sorts of things dominate the RP; they should be for flavor and to explain things, not to control the flow of a story. Also, I tend to feel that these sorts of "custom" spells should have a fair number of limitations on them so that those who don't build them don't feel like their RP or contribution is being minimized.

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