P&C RPGs - Chapter 17, "Cool It !"

P&C RPGs - Chapter 17, "Cool It !"

A Chapter by dw817

This week we're going to go over a method that has only been seen in some of the newest RPGs, called a "Cool-Down."



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Chapter 17: "Cool It !"

Some details, ideas, and musings I've had experiencing effective RPGs and RPG Makers

© June 2019 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission

Last week we went over how important it is to have multiple players in a RPG party.

Not just to assist in combat but to get past certain obstacles and switches that may require multiple entry points and devices.

This week we're going to go over a method that has only been seen in some of the newest RPGs, called a "Cool-Down."

Which may be a good thing if you or someone you know or love is a HOTHEAD.

But no, it refers to something completely different.

A "cool-down" is the time it takes for some special ability in combat to become active again.

Here you can see five "cool-down" spell buttons. They work like this. Normally entering combat, all five are lit and ready to use. Once you click on one though, it becomes dark and may take a matter of seconds or more in order to become active again.

It could also be initially dark when you enter and you must wait a certain number of seconds before it can be active.

If it's a turn-based RPG, instead of seconds for a cool-down it might be a matter of combat turns.

It works like this. Let's say you have a spell that shoots fire at your opponent and does not use any magic points, but instead has a "cool-down" period of 3 moves. That means once you launch it you will need to wait 3-moves before you can use it again.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a "cool-down" versus standard consumable magic points ?

Let's look at the PROS and CONS of the Cool-Down method.

[1] Player does not need to carry consumable items to replenish magic points
[2] Spell can be used over and over again, you just need to wait until it's ready
[3] Forces the player to think strategically on when and where to use it

[1] If it's a healing spell, it might be disabled (cooling down) when you need it the most
[2] You cannot successively cast your spell like you can with magic points
[3] A cool down could leave you high and dry for when all your players are nearly defeated

Okay, now let's see the PROS and CONS for standard magic point usage.

[1] This spell can be cast over and over each turn, provided the player has enough magic points
[2] Other players can replenish magic points during combat adding ad infinitum ability on it
[3] If you never use combat magic except for bosses, those bosses will be a lot easier to beat

[1] Some attackers in combat could drain magic points directly from the player
[2] Running out during combat would prevent the player from casting until replenished again
[3] Requires consumable items in order to ensure the player does not run out of magic points

So you can see there are quite a few differences. Now while it still might be possible to cast a SILENCE spell on the player so they cannot use their special abilities, outside of that in a "cool-down" method the player can and likely would use their most devastating spells on their opponents.

So the way I see it, a "cool-down" period is a lot easier to code, not just for the programmer but the Worldbuilder and easier to manage for player as well. With a "cool-down" you don't need any items at all that "replenish" magic points as they would not be used nor can any attack take them.

Still, the traditional method of consumable items to increase magic points is a tried and true method that has been used for many years now.

It's up to you to decide how you would like to swing it. One, with regular magic points and items to restore them, or two, the very new and in some cases for "real-time" RPGs quite popular method of "cool-down."

. . .

Next week we're going to talk about the importance of Sub-Quests. That is, adventures you can go on that are not directly part of "winning" the game. Why they add so much to a game. Hope to see you there !

Until then, bye for now ...

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