New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Scholars and masters of the elements of our world.
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Zaroth
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New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Zaroth » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:26 am

Hi, new elemancer here, wandered onto the forums because of questions, ideas, etc.
So first, my questions.
Do the books in the library do anything? I saw rows of books, but there’s nothing in them.
Next, how does teaching of elemancy work? I get marksmanship and maybe channeling, but what exactly is teaching pyromancy,, or geomancy? For that matter, why is elemancy divided into those four elements specifically? Why couldn’t my character, say, exclusively study the patterns for lightning, or salt, or grass? I have actually read the lore – apparently it’s not known where the elemancers draw from, but I couldn’t find anything on why they draw on those four specific elements. Is it a psychological thing (the same reason we don’t just try to know everything), or is there a more solid answer? If the former, again, why those four elements specifically? I guess they sort of represent the four states of matter, or at least, earth water and air do, but why specifically water (and not edit the base water template to become another pseudo-liquid, same for air. Not too sure about earth, earth is a lot of things.) Fire I guess could be plasma, but really that’s more lightning and less fire so…yeah I’ve already seen some of the threads where fire fits somewhere weird. I guess what I’m asking is: were these four elements decided on for simplicity’s sake, or was there a more lore specific purpose behind it?
A little more combat oriented, are the functions of a wand and a staff different? You can apparently zap with a wand, but is that just giving you a free channel of a certain element? Can you use it in multi element casting by using an aero channel with an alder wand? And what about staffs? They’re apparently two handed and can fire bolts of things, but can you zap with them also? How’s that work? (They’re melee weapons apparently, which is super weird, considering elemancers seem to be kind of pushed towards ranged builds because of marksmanship requirements).
That’s a good note on which to switch over to my ideas, I think. So apparently elemancer staffs are considered melee weapons. That makes sense, to an extent, because you can just pound away on the enemy with it. But I could argue you could do the same with a heavy musket or flintlock and have similar effects, yet they’re not classified as melee? It seems that the most an elemancer would get form the stuff is the free ranged/spellcasting attacks from it. I’m not sure how this could be done mechanically but that seems like a weird gap between the skills an elemancer learns and the tools that are available. I guess what I’m arguing is that, same way a wand isn’t just a pretty stick, an elemancer staff isn’t just a staff used to smack things over the head with, even though it could certainly be used that way.
Also, wands. Going to be honest here, this kind of stems from the character build I envisioned, and why it ended up not possible. I wanted to have my character be an elemancer who mostly battles uses wands. But apparently, wands aren’t considered weapons at all – and why not? I mean they’re exclusively used to channel more effectively, like a staff, and a staff is considered a weapon. It would be nice if, for versatility’s sake, there could be different paths of progression for expression of elemancy (in combat – not strictly required, see below):
-staff. Basically walking railgun,, or cannon, or whatever. Staffs seem to be far more powerful than wands since they can fire a spell without the elemancer having a channel open, but slower, and two handed. In this way, the casting style of the elemancer could be reflected in their weapon of choice.
-wands: The difference between wielding wands and wielding a staff in combat is probably like wielding a greataxe verses a rapier. You can dual wield them, you can be versatile/faster/more precise with them, but you will never be able to bring the same sheer power as a staff in a single blast. You’d instead focus on being fast, keeping out of range, and hitting from all angles and dishing the hurt across multiple blasts.
-These are of course just combat oriented abilities. A more academically focused elemancer probably wouldn’t care much for these, and would be more versatile in their magic because of it. (you can get more patterns and things if you don’t want all the different wand abilities and ranged abilities and things.)
-On the same vein, seeing elemancer abilities melding better with general abilities would be nice (dual wielding wands, or volleying with a spell, or burning people with a fire shield and grappling, if that’s not already doable, or maybe being able to escape combat easier with fare winds/bonuses to guerilla tactics with it – this one might be hard since you’d need to somehow recognize velocity of the enemy relative to the player’s, etc.).
Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling, and, as I said, I’m new here. So, feedback, annoyed grumbling, screams of rage, snarky sarcastic posts about why x and y are stupid ideas, suggestions for improvements, answers, tips, everything would be cool and most welcome, and I totally understand about talking about stuff vs. actually coding it.
Thanks,
-Zaroth

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Akila
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Akila » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:45 am

I'm not sure which books n the library you mean, so I can't anser that one. If you mean the books you can buy, you can 'study' them for lessons rather than buying lessons from trainers.

Training the specific elements helps improve aim with them and also opens up new spells and abilities, especially when you decide which two elements you want as a jouneyman, and which one you want to master.

As for patterns like lightning, salt, grass etc, you could put them into he specific four elements. Salt and grass could come under geomancy, due to that being the earth element. Lightning under aeromancy. You need to get mutichannel weaving to really understand this.

I may be wrong, and a GM or other can correct me on this, but the four elements for elemancy were chosen because in most fantasy games and books and even in some real religions, those are the four main elements that are used. Earth, wind, fire and air.

Admittedly, I glanced over the staff and wand things, because I have yet started to use them aside wielding an ordinary staff.
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Lysse » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:06 pm

In regards to staff and wand melee stuff, elemancers were never designed (as far as I can remember, as a non-staff member) to be melee fighters. A staff is more of a defensive weapon unless paired with magic flares, and serves as a great way to parry. I can't remember the specific bonus differences between Staff and Wand, but they do exist (something to do with accuracy, I seem to recall). Plus, wands are smaller and much more fragile, I imagine.

Elemancers, again as far as I'm aware, were not intended to be Battle Mages, but scholarly and academic type characters at heart, same with the Rooks.
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Zaroth » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:52 pm

By books, I meant the row of books in the college’s library.
“In regards to staff and wand melee stuff, elemancers were never designed (as far as I can remember, as a non-staff member) to be melee fighters.”
-exactly. I guess the explanation about staffs makes sense (defend in melee, attack with bolts from range). Wasn’t really asking about physical differences between wands and staves though.
“Elemancers, again as far as I'm aware, were not intended to be Battle Mages, but scholarly and academic type characters at heart, same with the Rooks.”
-This one’s probably going to be a longish reply. This actually does make a lot of sense to me; I get it – it’s not a university that teaches you how to kill with magic. But it’s not fair to say that’s the disposition of every single elemancer in the guild, whether as a teacher or a student. Wands and staffs are offered by the college, and although they may not be a “here’s how to kill people college” they are an institution of learning, and why wouldn’t they teach students how to use things they offer? Even modern day universities have martial arts clubs and things, which would actually make sense here: fighting is not a core concept of the elemancers. Learn to fight if you want, find more pacifist forms of assistance if you don’t. A wizard’s best tool in any remotely fantasy setting has always been versatility/usefulness, and it seems to be the case here, also. Not everyone has to get the wand skills, and maybe it could be presented that way, as some sort of club or association separate but part of the university; maybe you even have to pay club dues or something to continue being part of it, separate from the guild’s dues. I’m not pushing for combat to be a focus of the university, I like that it isn’t, and that it’s just a place to learn elemancy. But not every elemancer just wants to learn how to do stuff in labs, and some might think it silly to have something available and not use it to hold back whatever plague is going on. I think lore-wise, people are born with the ability to see/sense elemental patterns. They seek out the university to harness their potential as an elemancer, for their own reasons. At the same time, this could be a source of rp – a growing schism between elemancers who think elemancy is there to be learned and lived and breathed, others who think it’s a tool to be used offensively. (Personally I’d go with the first one, but I know my character belongs more to the second). At the end of the day though, I’m just making suggestions and justifying them with my personal views. I don’t want this to come off as confrontational or anything, and sorry if it did.
TL,DR: The world of Clok, filled with infested and crazed nethram creatures and all manner of evil things, is very dangerous, more dangerous than our own world not because of the constant danger of infested or whatever else, but because there’s less infrastructure. Things can attack you even on established roads, and the vastness of the world/lack of very vast communication (how long would it take a horse to get from Shadgard to Haiban, if the Clok world were real?) means you’re usually on your own. The university might be a place of learning in a highly defensible position, so it might not personally care, as an institution, but its members live in this world, and at least some of them might.
Still TL,DR: Clok sounds like a dangerous world – more so than our own – self-defense (or good running skills) is needed just to walk around.
Thanks for reading my rambling,
-Zaroth

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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Akila » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:02 pm

I believe what Lysse means by battlemage is your armour-wearing, claymore-wielding, bolt throwing nutcase.

Elemancers of course use their power to defend themselves, there is nothing saying that we can't, unlike the monastic order. But we also study patterns etc. My elemancer is conducting specific studies around her chosen element, for example, and needs to use living targets to do so. This has included player characters as well as animals and the infested.

(All completed research will be available in book form for the low low price of 30,000 riln.)
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Zaroth » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:46 pm

“In regards to staff and wand melee stuff, elemancers were never designed (as far as I can remember, as a non-staff member) to be melee fighters.”
Clarification:
I didn’t say wands and staffs should be melee weapons (currently, staffs are, wands aren’t weapons at all). I was actually questioning it. It doesn’t make sense to beat away on a person with a staff when you can instead walk away and fire at them with your far more destructive magic, unless you want to knock them unconscious or something. (See gun analogy in first post) It doesn’t make sense for wands to be melee at all, because, as Lysse said,, they’re fragile and small. As Lysse also explained, however – defend at close range, attack at long – makes sense to me, though, at least for a staff. Wands wouldn’t be able to do that at all, hence why I said maybe they should be considered ranged weapons. (I asked this a while ago on chat, why wands aren’t ranged weapons, and I guess it’s a mechanics thing, since they can be used in melee range, too.) How are guns handled, though? Doesn’t it make sense to use those in melee as well, or, well, as much sense as it does to use a wand when it can be sliced apart by a sword or mauled by teeth? I don’t know, I’ve honestly never used guns before, don’t know what roundtime there is on them, or what’s required. Actually, how are wands and elemancer staves even made? (I’m assuming it’s not just a stick of wood, otherwise anyone could carve them.)
“I believe what Lysse means by battlemage is your armour-wearing, claymore-wielding, bolt throwing nutcase.”
Oh, ok, yeah, that makes sense. Elemancy is far too versatile for that, and anyone using it in only a *strictly* offensive measure probably wouldn’t be accepted by the college (I’m guessing at least some measure of creativity is required to be an effective elemancer).
Another question: lore says that elemancer conjuration vanishes once the elemancer stops enforcing a pattern on it, because without the pattern it shouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. But suppose you have a geomancer and a pyromancer. The geomancer creates a pile of sand, and, at the same time (or a few seconds later – elemancers can apparently maintain their channel open and keep something in existence for a little bit longer that way), the pyromancer superheats it, melting it into glass. Would that glass remain? How much memory does this pseudo matter have? Would it remember that the sand it used to be wasn’t supposed to be in the first place, or would it think “I used to be sand, I got fused into glass by a bunch of energy – that makes sense”? If it doesn’t, when would it vanish? Would a pyromancer’s fire even be hot enough to manage that? If not, how about elemantic lightning (fulgurites)?
-Zaroth

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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Akila » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:53 pm

Regarding your second question, I shall quote our great creator:

"Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!"
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Rias » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:24 pm

Pssst ... I still lurk around here, and I asked if I could step in for this one. Hope nobody minds the has-been chipping in on this topic.
Do the books in the library do anything? I saw rows of books, but there’s nothing in them.
If you mean library and not the store, then no. It only serves as a sort of place to go and RP a scholarly fellow studying whatever in a library. It'd be nice to have more function to them at some point. Unless actual books that you can interact with have been added since I left, which is quite possible, so hopefully someone else who's still active will clarify. When I was still active, the library was just room descriptions, no actual book objects.
Next, how does teaching of elemancy work? I get marksmanship and maybe channeling, but what exactly is teaching pyromancy,, or geomancy?
Marksmanship knowledge of aim, arcs, and trajectories and the like. Channeling is the basic idea of channeling one's will, useful for any type of channeling (thaumaturgy, druidry, elemancy, sorcery). The elemancy skills are utilizing patterns and channeling to conjure different types of matter into existence, and subsequently follow various forms and sequences of alteration.
For that matter, why is elemancy divided into those four elements specifically?
On a meta level: Because they're the classics, and they're really fun to use as a base that can be combined into several other things while still maintaining practical limitations. On an IC level: Because those are, for whatever reason, the only base forms of matter elemancers have been able to successfully conjure. Why can thaumaturges only conjure golden light? Sorcerers only nether? Because that's just what channelers in this world have figured out to do with the methods and knowledge available to them. And really, if elemancy could conjure any state of matter at all, it would be much too difficult to implement mechanically, and much too powerful.
Why couldn’t my character, say, exclusively study the patterns for lightning, or salt, or grass?
There's a way to get lightning using some of the available base elements, actually. Grass or salt, though? They seem to contain too much that's too different from the known base elements, so their patterns can't be effectively observed, let alone duplicated. (Note that you don't get sent out to do, say, water surveys if you don't know hydromancy - you can't elemantically observe water patterns without basic knowledge of that element first.) Their ingredients appear to consist of more than the Classical Four, or if not, their composition is so complex and arcane that no elemancer has been able to figure them out. The Classical Four seem to be the "purest", and therefore simplest, forms of matter, pattern-wise.
(Snipped some repeated questions) I guess what I’m asking is: were these four elements decided on for simplicity’s sake, or was there a more lore specific purpose behind it?
Simplicity, and again, they were the most fun to come up with combinations for while still maintaining practical limitations.
A little more combat oriented, are the functions of a wand and a staff different?
Wands offer a small aim bonus to elemancy bolts when held, and can be zapped (the zap command) for very minor versions of their associated element (not very useful) or for adding their element to a multi-element weave without needing to actively channel that element (far more useful). Staffs can be used as staffs in melee, and can be zapped for a full single-channel effect of their associated element, or adding their element to a multi-element weave same as wands.
Can you use it in multi element casting by using an aero channel with an alder wand?
Both wands and staffs can, yes. This is arguably their most useful function: Providing an element that one doesn't know, or simply doesn't want to "waste" an open channel on (maybe to avoid the added prep time/channel droppage risk), for various multi-element weaves. I know there are one or two elemancers out there that don't learn how to channel some of the elements for RP reasons, and use wands to make up for this when they need that element for a weave (mostly lightning).
And what about staffs? They’re apparently two handed and can fire bolts of things, but can you zap with them also? How’s that work?
They can zap just like you can zap wands. Staffs have a more potent bolt, as mentioned above, mimicking a full open channel, rather than the wand's sort of gimpy version when zapped on its own without anything else woven in.
(They’re melee weapons apparently, which is super weird, considering elemancers seem to be kind of pushed towards ranged builds because of marksmanship requirements).
They're melee weapons because a staff is a staff. No reason not to let it function as the physical object that it is.
So apparently elemancer staffs are considered melee weapons. That makes sense, to an extent, because you can just pound away on the enemy with it. But I could argue you could do the same with a heavy musket or flintlock and have similar effects, yet they’re not classified as melee?
You can melee attack people with muskets, too. I don't think you can with a flintlock, though, outside some specific maneuvers. If people really want to (rather ineffectively) bludgeon with their flintlocks, I wouldn't see a compelling reason not to add that functionality, but nobody asked for it that I can recall during my tenure as a developer.
I guess what I’m arguing is that, same way a wand isn’t just a pretty stick, an elemancer staff isn’t just a staff used to smack things over the head with, even though it could certainly be used that way.
That's why elemancers tend to use them to zap bolts and add elements to their weaves instead of as cudgels, for the most part.
I wanted to have my character be an elemancer who mostly battles uses wands. But apparently, wands aren’t considered weapons at all – and why not? I mean they’re exclusively used to channel more effectively, like a staff, and a staff is considered a weapon.
They're not considered melee weapons, no. They're far too flimsy, and would break if used to strike any moderately hard surface with the intent to do harm. You can zap with them and use them to augment/aim your channeled bolts, however, so I think we can safely call them "weapons" in that regard. And again, they do (or at least should) improve your aim when casting elemancy bolts, so if you're throwing bolts around in battle while holding a wand, you're essentially channeling them through that wand - does that satisfy your character vision? Or were you hoping to have the wand be doing all the "magic" and your character only aiming and activating it, like firing a gun? In that case, you would be zapping it, but wand zaps on their own are really quite pitiful. Staffs are more fully effective on their own essentially because of physical real estate - the wand/staff has to contain the pattern to be channeled, and a wand just isn't big enough to hold the physical representation of a full base elemantic pattern.
-On the same vein, seeing elemancer abilities melding better with general abilities would be nice (dual wielding wands, or volleying with a spell, or burning people with a fire shield and grappling, if that’s not already doable, or maybe being able to escape combat easier with fare winds/bonuses to guerilla tactics with it – this one might be hard since you’d need to somehow recognize velocity of the enemy relative to the player’s, etc.).
Using multi-element weaving to combine elements, elemancy has a pretty awesome array of combat options already. You've got spells that explode and hit multiple enemies, spells that knock over, spells that knock over AND explode, spells that deal a little extra damage over time, novae that mass attack/knock over the whole room depending on which element you use, the shield pattern for punishing melee attackers (pyro) or varying levels of defense (the other elements), spells with super high single target damage, lightning which is high damage AND arcs to multilpe targest making it great for frying a whole room of baddies (at the cost of a significant chunk of extra energy), a staggering array of damage types so you can get around just about any target's defensive strengths by just using some form of damage they don't particularly resist, the unique destructive joy of Ash Cloud, the new aero mastery stuff to help with dodging and avoidance ... not to mention the utility of things like Aero Jump (so OP), hydro washing, some improved hiding/concealment ... really, Elemancers are pretty amazing swiss army knives of awesome just by sticking to their guild abilities alone.

I don't think dual wielding wands would work, since you really need to focus on the wand to channel through it, and you can't just start the channel through one wand and then switch to the other before the first is finished. But then again, I'm not the elemancy guru, or a dev, or even a GM at this point, so maybe Jirato will have a different take. I'm just commenting on why I didn't allow them to be dual-wieldable when I made them.
It doesn’t make sense to beat away on a person with a staff when you can instead walk away and fire at them with your far more destructive magic, unless you want to knock them unconscious or something.
Right - it doesn't make sense to use an elemancy staff that way, unless you have a reason for wanting to use an elemancy staff that way. The option is there because the staff is a staff, and even if elemancers aren't being taught to be staff-wielding melee dervishes, why put some arbitrary restriction on elemancy staffs and say they can't be used as melee weapons when there's no physical/metaphysical reason to do so? Now, I did always want to make it so that if an elemancy staff got significantly damaged, it wouldn't function for zapping anymore ...
maybe [wands] should be considered ranged weapons.
Are you wanting to be able to effectively battle using wands only, and no actual channeling at all? If so, see above about original reasons for wands being wimpy with their zaps as opposed to staffs.
Actually, how are wands and elemancer staves even made?
A dedicated wand/staff-maker crafts them with a closely-guarded technique. But yes, they're more than just sticks of a specific kind of wood.
lore says that elemancer conjuration vanishes once the elemancer stops enforcing a pattern on it, because without the pattern it shouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. But suppose you have a geomancer and a pyromancer. The geomancer creates a pile of sand, and, at the same time (or a few seconds later – elemancers can apparently maintain their channel open and keep something in existence for a little bit longer that way), the pyromancer superheats it, melting it into glass. Would that glass remain?
It would vanish. Anything that starts as conjured matter will vanish once it is no longer maintained, regardless of its end state. Note that when you use multi-element weaves, the altered matter doesn't persist just because it's not one of the Classical Four base elements. It's still conjured matter, even if the pattern has been altered from the basic elements it's comprised of.
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Jirato » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:23 am

Just wanted to pop in and thank the Lore Hermit for coming out of his hermit hut to answer this. I pretty much fully agree with it all and it lines up with my vision of Elemancers as well.

Thanks Rias.
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[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Zaroth » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:27 pm

Cool, thanks for all the answers!
“They're not considered melee weapons, no. They're far too flimsy, and would break if used to strike any moderately hard surface with the intent to do harm.”
-Sorry,, I clarified this in a later post, I meant ranged weapon, not melee weapon.
“Are you wanting to be able to effectively battle using wands only, and no actual channeling at all? If so, see above about original reasons for wands being wimpy with their zaps as opposed to staffs.”
-By dual wielding wands I didn’t mean anything about interrupting the channeling. I just meant that, if you’re holding two wands, you could zap one or the other, not at the same time, or with individual roundtimes; you could either zap the wand in your left or right hand. (currently the mud won’t accept any arguments beyond a target, and will only use the first wand it finds in your hand.) I agree with you though, elemancers are crazy useful already, and this could be somewhat op. And no, I definitely plan on using channeling for the wands, that explanation about needing to somehow hold patterns in the objects makes a lot of sense, and makes me wonder if runes work on a similar principle.
-Actually this makes me wonder, do players have a dominant hand? I never got to pick one in character creation, so maybe it’s randomized (or just doesn’t exist at all).
“Note that when you use multi-element weaves, the altered matter doesn't persist just because it's not one of the Classical Four base elements. It's still conjured matter, even if the pattern has been altered from the basic elements it's comprised of.”
-The difference being that multi element weaving uses strictly conjured forces to effect changes in the product, while what I’m asking would specifically cause a “natural” change in the conjured material, through an energy source not conjured. E.G: If you use heat from a naturally existing source like a forge or a lightning strike to fuse conjured sand into glass, and then make that glass vanish, you’re actually destroying energy. (Whereas multi element casting is just bring forth energy, using it, and then returning the world to its normal state afterwards…I think?) Although I guess heat from a conjured fire persists, and that’s not exactly conserving energy so…
-Zaroth

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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by preiman » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:34 pm

on the matter of dominant hands, it really doesn't make a difference for most things, a few things such as buying and selling sometimes require a container in your right hand, but for the most part you can use either interchangeably, and i actually make an effort to play my main character Maric as left handed.
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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Jaster » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:53 am

preiman wrote:i actually make an effort to play my main character Maric as left handed.
My character is back handed.

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Re: New elemancer here, questions and ideas.

Post by Bryce » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:56 am

Jaster wrote:My character is back handed.
It's true. I backhand him every opportunity I get.

On-topic relevant info: There seems to be a slight right-hand bias in that some commands only check the right hand for a held item. Make a little noise about it on the BBS when you notice these and they'll probably get fixed to consider both hands.
ask jes for date
The horse thief Jessie doesn't seem too interested in talking about that.

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