Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

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nobody
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Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by nobody » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:29 pm

Wiki wrote:One of the most iconic glyphs of the Arcanists, the power of the `shaol` glyph will cause a held item to begin levitating of its own accord and follow its owner. While it will avoid collisions and interference from others, it can in no way be specifically directed or guided - it simply follows the owner, and that is all. Its weight limit is around 50 pounds, and it seems to avoid carrying living creatures even if they weigh or are applying pressure under the weight limit, so it unfortunately cannot be used as transport for living beings or as, say, a stepstool or similar. The levitation effect draws some energy from the owner, and the owner may experience lowered overall energy levels with heavier items even up to a minute or so after the levitation effect has ended.
The SHAOL glyph currently has a number of issues that are undesirable. Some of them are bugs, some are issues of theme, and one of them is an issue of utility. So as to not encourage bug abuse, I'll not mention the bugs beyond the necessity of addressing my ponderings on how to fix them and their potential for abuse is presently minimal (thanks in no small part to past bug squishing). The issue of utility is that containers when filled above the weight capacity simply stop following the owner. There isn't a statement about it or a warning or anything, just one room you have a bag following you around and then you enter another room and the bag doesn't follow. I probably severely hampered my ability to sell that glyph effect because I felt the need to explicitly warn potential customers that they shouldn't use large containers and that even with containers with a 50 pound weight limit they should be constantly vigilant about not losing track of it.

My recommendations for fixing the assorted issues:
- For the utility issue, add more noise (an active statement on entering the new room and potentially also one on leaving the prior room, or a warning that it looks to be getting unsteady as weight is added, etc) to the weight check function so that containers do not invisibly stop following OR make SHAOL not work on containers with a capacity greater than 50 pounds (and consider removing the weight check or increasing the weight limit by a small amount to account for the weight of the container itself)
- Make the "levitating" tag override the "this object can be sat on tag" and the "this object can be laid on tag" so that levitating objects are no longer valid targets for sit or lay.
- For tools that have the levitating tag, treat the tool as also having the "in use" tag so that the tool cannot be used (because it cannot be held while levitating)
- For other items that have interactions for which the item can be on the ground (darts and dice but I can't recall any others) have the levitating tag mask the use tags (so dice cannot be tossed for example)
- Require the owner to have a free hand when the levitating object is dismissed, and move it to their first open hand as with get to prevent weirdness with placing things on the ground that otherwise couldn't be
- Consider modifying campfire bundles to spawn a new campfire object that is tied to the room in which it was lit rather than changing the existing object
- NPCs that notice a levitating object but not an owner should probably be automatically made paranoid

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Rias
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Rias » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:57 pm

The more I think about all the special-case issues with this glyph, the more I want to make it into something more akin to the traditional Floating Disk spell where it's just a ... floating disk ... of force in the person's aura color, and can have 50 pounds of stuff put on it. It'll lose a little utility and a little coolness of having items themselves levitating around, but there would be so much less worry about bugs and unintended side effects. And it'd seem more in-theme with fortourgy, I think.

I'll mull it over a bit more. If anyone has any thoughts on that possible change, post them here.

Dennis
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Dennis » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:03 pm

I think a floating platform of force in the person's aura color that can hold things on top is just fine. People will be able to put lanterns on it so they still get the same floating lantern effect among other things.

I have been trying to find someone to give me a SHAOLed item but I haven't found anyone yet, I should post on a board.

I think changing it to a traditional force disk is fine. It'll simultaneously adds to it and take away from it, and a floating disk that follows you everywhere is still quite fantastic.

Plus, yes, force magic! think about the unintended consequences of force constructs existing in the world! Invisible walls!

It might be cool if it was executed through, like, an artifact item the owner can interact with to make the disk activate. Like it's an unassuming ring that the person can take off and activate, whereby it expands and projects a force platform that levitates and follows behind.
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Rias
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Rias » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:11 pm

Dennis wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:03 pm
It might be cool if it was executed through, like, an artifact item the owner can interact with to make the disk activate. Like it's an unassuming ring that the person can take off and activate, whereby it expands and projects a force platform that levitates and follows behind.
That's where the possibility of Arcanists imbuing objects with occult power comes in. It may be that class's saving grace! But the common usage of shaol will still be diagram-activated.

nobody
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by nobody » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:14 pm

I like the floating disk better for the same reasons you do. The only loss of utility I forsee is that if a lit torch/candle/lantern is placed on the disk, it should still give off light and I believe that currently it won't. I'll be reporting a bug I just found that should explain why I think that. I could also see people thinking, 'well, if I can do this then I should be able to make a force barrier that holds a door shut' or whatever, but I feel like you've been pretty explicit with the 'spells do certain things and only those things' including in the IC description of the shaol glyph, so I'm not overly worried about that bit.

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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Agelity » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:18 pm

Dennis wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:03 pm
Plus, yes, force magic! think about the unintended consequences of force constructs existing in the world! Invisible walls!
Like a barrier that prevents access to a certain direction for however long the Arcanist can keep it up, perhaps capable of being bypassed by those with high enough arcana or brute force (or something).

...but perhaps that's better for a separate spell idea. Would be very frustrating for opponents to deal with when trying to capture resource points and the like, or if the Arcanist is being a bit of a jerk. As long as there's some manner of causing it to collapse so it can't be too thoroughly abused.

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Rias
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Rias » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:22 pm

nobody wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:14 pm
I could also see people thinking, 'well, if I can do this then I should be able to make a force barrier that holds a door shut' or whatever, but I feel like you've been pretty explicit with the 'spells do certain things and only those things' including in the IC description of the shaol glyph, so I'm not overly worried about that bit.
Right. Occult diagram results are not freeform, they do one specific thing (or set of things) only. One could try to tell the disk to change shape or block a door or launch toward their enemy's face, but the disk isn't going to listen. It'll just remain floating there, silently mocking those demands as it bobs serenely in the air.

Dennis
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by Dennis » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:25 pm

I think the reasoning behind my musing was that you could tie in a charge system with an occult item, giving more usability to recipients of the SHAOL effect rather than one time levitate/and then not. (E.G. a sangstone ring imbued with SHAOL that could be used to create a platform for up to 6 hours, dismissed and activated at will. An Arcanist can recharge it by spending the time, anomalum, and knowledge to enhance it further.)

But yes, I was completely on a tangent there. I will be perfectly honest that I have no experience with it so far though I will aim to change that, but I think a SHAOL diagram activated that creates a force platform where you could place up to 50 lbs of materials is perfectly fine! :)

If you wanted a cheeky breeki probably would never fly workaround on the light thing you could add a 'hanging' hook to the platform to hang a lantern upon.

As for me, I would likely put sit-down food on it and serve food as a portable restaurant.
"Always remember that we are a community before anything else. Before being a 'game' or a 'world' we are a bunch of folk who get together to have fun."

nobody
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Re: Making SHAOL worse, making SHAOL better

Post by nobody » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:15 pm

The earlier referenced bug report now exists (3349) and as a bit of preemptive bug checking: with a force platform, can it be dismissed with items still on it? What happens to those items?

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