Space Colonizers:Skills

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Skill Slots

Each Active Party Member gets a specific number of skill slots that correspond to the level of the character, and the player can draw from a General Skill Pool to assign skills to characters. Some Skills will not be able to be used by a character, like a Punching move going to a character holding a Sword, and some moves may be available for multiple characters to use. Others may only go to a specific character, due to that character having knowledge or ability to use it; but the player may still choose to not have it in their slots.

Ideas on how this could work

Sample Party:

  • Samantha (level 10)
    • Samantha is designed to be a balance of physical moves and fire magic, a physical tank. The fire spells all have a chance of burning the opponent.
    • Iron sword (left hand, subtype of sword)
    • Iron shield (right hand, subtype of shields)
    • Iron armor (torso, subtype of armor)
    • Iron boots (feet, subtype of shoes)
  • Ryan (level 8)
    • Ryan is designed to be a magical tank with some healing abilities. The wood spells are mostly physical in nature. Wood Healing, even though not directly physical, does draw from the surrounding environment.
    • Healing Staff (left hand, subtype of staff)
  • Roy (level 8)
    • Roy is a Ranged Water Magical Attacker, with proficiency in speed and magic.
    • Water Staff (left hand, subtype of staff)
    • Speedy Shoes (feet, subtype of shoes)
    • Water spells in this instance are all long range moves, so Roy can get somewhere, shoot, then move again, before the opponent has time to react.
"Bonk" and "Kick" exist in case he is stuck in a melee situation.
  • El Mithro (level 5)
    • El Mithro is a physical attacker, with Skills coming from lucha libre.
    • none
Skill ID Skill Name Skill Details Characters - Skill Slots
Punch Basic Attack, naturally learned at level 3 Samantha - 1
Fire breath Fire Spell, ESS Skill, requires transformation to Elemental Form for use Samantha - 2
Skill No. 16 Sword Stab Technique, available when character has a sword equipped Samantha - 4
Kick Technique, available when character has shoes equipped Samantha - 5, Roy - 2
Skill No. 001 Fire Ball - Level 1 Fire Spell, learned from catalog Samantha - 6
Fire Punch Fire Spell + Basic Attack, needs to be in Human or Elemental Form. Samantha - 7
Bonk Technique, available when character has a staff equipped Ryan - 1, Roy - 1
Wood Heal - Level 1 Wood Spell + Technique, available when character has a healing item equipped and has read a healing catalog Ryan - 2
Tame Basic Attack, available when character reaches level 4 Ryan - 4
Skill No. 21 Summon Desert Otter Wood Spell + Water Spell, learned from catalog Ryan - 5
Skill No. 12 Wood Throw Wood Spell, learned from catalog Ryan - 6
Skill No. 012 Water Strike - Level 1 Water Spell, learned from catalog Roy - 3
Skill No. 002 Water Ball - Level 1 Water Spell, learned from catalog Roy - 4
Pile Drive El Mithro - 1

Main Type

Skills are broken into multiple groups, depending on the situation one finds themselves in. Note, the following are not strict definitions. There are going to be overlaps, exceptions, and things that fit one or more of them. Some of them require other skills to be learned first.

Physical Skills

Physical Skills are ones that, as the name implies, are physical. Arrows, Swords, Fists, etc. They are associated with equipment, and characters learn them through experience (leveling or ranking up), tutors, trainers or reading a book. They are divided into two groups: Basic Attacks and Techniques.

Basic Attacks
Skills that do little more than directly affect the target. Firing an Arrow, Slashing with a Sword, etc.
Skills that push a person's body to it's limit, costing them Endurance Points. These moves can break bricks,

Skills in this grouping include but aren't limited to: Archery, Kendo, Karate, Fencing, Boxing, Kung Fu, Sword Play, etc. They come from the body itself, or equipment extending them. Most Skills take into consideration Physical Strength and Defense, and focus on close-range actions.

Magical Skills

Magical Skills draw from the character's spirit, rather than the body, and combine it with an energy known as Mana (which can come from an external source, like a storage container), and most often, with elemental tokens, to cast Spells that achieve tasks that Equipment is not suited for, or is, but not as well.

Skills in this grouping are divided into one or more types (still under review):

Fire Spells  (Fi)
High Power for a low cost. Fire Spells overpower all other spells, at the cost of little range options (e.g. most of the time, it is a straight line they attack in).
Water Spells  (Wa)
Water has a lot of varieties on range, and what can be done in them. Flooding, Raining, Gushing, etc.
Wind Spells  (Wi)
Works with simple forces, like pushing and pulling, ascending and descending
Wood Spells  (Wo)
Powers up and/or gives additional side effects to Basic Attacks and Techniques.
Electric Spells  (El)
Hits multiple targets in series or parallel, often exceeding the limit of 2 actions per turn.
Yin Spells  (Yi)
Removes any enhancements a character may have, and does a little damage each turn
Yang Spells  (Ya)
Helps Characters recover Health, Mana and Endurance
Ice Spells  (Ic)
Helps form Temporary Obstacles, such as walls. These walls could be made from the opponents.
Metal Spells  (Me)
Defense upgrades and utility for tanking
Aether Spells  (Ae)
Aether mana can be used for any spell, and Aether spells can take any mana. These are extremely rare, many of which are only available to the Aether Elemental Shapeshifter.
Typeless Spells
Spells that doesn't require any tokens.

Magic Skills can be learned from Catalogues, and use Magical Strength and Defense in their calculations. They tend to focus on more long-range attacks, in-battle buffs and debuffs, status effects, etc..

Complex Skills

Complex Skills are ones that are mutiple types, sometimes being both Physical and Magical, using Mana, Tokens and sometimes Endurance. They bring all the Strengths and Defenses involved and can be learned from a variety of sources, but sometimes getting them requires learning other moves first.

Some Examples:

  • Fire Punch is a Fire Spell + Basic Attack (Fire Basic Attack). May require the character also have regular Punch.
  • Wood Heal - Level 1 is a Wood Spell + Technique (Wood Technique). Healing is more Yang's area, but Wood also covers it at a slightly higher cost, different method of doing it, and being a complex action instead of a simple one.
  • Summon Desert Otter is a Wood Spell + Water Spell (Wood and Water Spell). Due to being 2 or more types of spells, it is a complex action.

Use of them requires all of the actions the character has for that turn.

Combination Skills

Combination Skills are made from one or more skills used in succession or series, that unlock hidden features of the move.

Some Examples:

  • Using Fire Ball 2 turns in a row, will increase the power of 2nd Fire Ball. 3 times in a row, will increase the power of the 3rd. And So on.

Other notes

Skills that are similar, even if different types, may be unavailable for one reason or the other. For example:

  • Punch (Basic Attack) and Fire Punch (Fire Spell + Basic Attack), despite being different types, would both be unable to be used, if the character knowing it holds something in their hands.

Ranged weapons should not require stocking ammunition/arrows for their basic attacks

  • Special kinds of ammunition can be acquired (to be used via techniques?) that may cause special effects or simply be more effective, but these can and do run out over time. E.g. burning arrows, frost arrows, poison arrows, exploding arrows.

Methods of Learning Skills

There are a variety of ways a single character or the entire party can learn a skill. As with all other skills, the potential for filling more than one of these are always present. These moves still need to be assigned to a slot to be used in battle.

Natural Skills / ESS Skills / Species Skills
Skills that are available only to the single character, due to being from their own body or spirit, whether due to their species, something unique about them, or something else. These are available at the start of the game, or through leveling or ranking up, and are often defaultly available. Multiple Characters may have access to this skill, but that is due to them all meeting the same qualifications.
Example: The skill Kick is available to anyone with feet or wearing shoes. Wearing something in the "feet" equipment slot may make this disabled, and taking them off will re-enable it.
Reading Skills / Tutoring Skills
Skills a character can know by reading a book, like a Catalogue or Manual, or through training with Tutor. Most of these skills will stay with the character for the rest of the game, only becoming disabled if the character can't perform it at that time.
Equipment Skills / Consumable Skills
Skills associated with Items (like Equipment or Consumables). They are available to anyone in possession of the item, and become no longer so, if they lose or use it. Transferring equipment also transfers the skill, assuming the character recieving the equipment meets the other prerequisites of the skill.
Unlockable Skills
Skills that need you to meet conditions in game play to use. "Reach Level 10", "Finish this Side Quest", "Wear this armor for 10 hours", etc. These may involve Skill Trees to help map progress in a specific grouping of skills.

As said, many of may these overlap. Some Examples:

  • All Kendo skills are "Equipment Skills", due to needing a sword. But some are far more advanced than just Slash, requiring you to get trained in it by a tutor.

Current List of Subtypes

Types of moves can be further divided and/or grouped into subtypes, to serve one purpose or the other. All skills can be more than one subtype.

To come up with subtypes, you need to answer the following questions.

  • Is it a Punch? Kick? Stat booster? Item Modifier? Equipment?

Subtypes By Being a more specific form of a Main Type

Subtypes By Combining One or More Main Types

Note: not every possible combination is going to exist. Only include ones that do or will exist. Be sure to also include them on any main type pages they are also part of.

Skill Basics

SC - Range vs AoE .png
Base Power
A skill's Base Power is how strong a move is, independent of all other factors.
A Skill's Range is a description of how far out it can be from the caster.
Area of Effect
A Skill's Area of Effect is a description of how wide of area it applies to.
A Skill's Duration is how long it lasts, described in turns.
Damage over Time
A Skill's Damage over Time is a description of how much damage it does per turn.
A Skill's Cost is how much Mana, Endurance or other things that get used when it is cast.
Side Effect
A Skill's Side Effect describes what additional things it could do, such as burn or freeze
A Skill's Level shows how proficient a character is with it.
A Skill's Prerequisites is what needs to be filled out or done, before a character can use it.

Resources Used


Sources are real and fictional inspirations for things of a type.

Other Details

Velli's Ideas:

  1. if we want the randomness to feel the same, the relation between minimum and maximum needs to stay the same
  2. 10% of the maximum is way too extreme and even 25% should probably be limited to where the randomness is the gimmick of the skill
  3. otherwise, the minimum shouldn't be less than half of the maximum output

Sample Skills

ID Name Type Subtype(s) Base Power Range Cost Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 15 Sword Slash Technique Sword, Melee 10? 2 tiles? 2 Endurance Points? None 1 Strength of 3? Other Details
Skill No. 16 Sword Stab Technique Sword, Melee 20? 1 tile? 1 Endurance Point None 1 Strength of 3 Other Details
Skill No. 17 Grow Spell Wood - 0 tiles (only self)  (Wo) (Wo) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 18 Expand Spell Wind Base Power Range  (Wi) (Wi) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 19 Summon Scurry Rat Spell Summon, Land, Wood, Metal Base Power Range  (Wo) (Me) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 20 Summon Flitter Bird Spell Summon, Air, Wind, Fire Base Power Range  (Wi) (Fi) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 21 Summon Desert Otter Spell Summon, Amphibian, Water, Wood Base Power Range  (Wa) (Wo) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 22 Summon Abraham Lincoln riding a T.Rex Spell Summon, Fire, Electric, Wind, Water, Metal, Yang, Ying, Wood, Ice Base Power Range  (Fi) (El) (Wi) (Wa) (Me) (Ya) (Yi) (Wo) (Ic) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 23 Chain of Fire Balls Spell Fire, Electric, Projectile Base Power Range  (Fi) (Fi) (El) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. 24 Hurricane Spell Water, Wind Base Power Range  (Wa) (Wa) (Wa) (Wa) (Wi) Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Skill No. ID Hurricane Type Subtype(s) Base Power Range Cost Side Effect Level Prerequisite Other Details
Some Notes:

Rough Skill Ideas

These are rough ideas for concepts and/or names that have not been fleshed out.

  • Ice elemental spell named "polar ice".
  • Shield castable on an ally that absorbs the next attack entirely?
  • Mind-control an enemy for a turn, using it like a summoned minion?
  • Mines that become invisible after placement and explode when any combatant steps on the field, even allies (the player has to remember where they placed the mines).
  • Teleporting
  • A spell that snares an enemy for a short period, but restores its health
  • Skills that push an enemy backwards
    • and possibly onto danger tiles or mines
    • AoE skill that pushes units away from its centre?
  • Conversely, a skill to pull an enemy towards the user. Potential varieties:
    • Binding to the user for a small time. User can move with them if Strength is high enough above their Defence. The Binded Characters may take Damage along with the User, if another move has an AoE to include the adjecnt tiles. Tammy suggests two seperate skills:
      • A skill that temporarily creates a connection (electricity) between the user and an enemy (could also work on allies!). Damage and healing are split up between the connected characters while the bond lasts.
      • A technique to grab an enemy and "carry" it (attach it to the user) until the end of the user's turn. That means it must be used before moving to have any effect. The enemy will move where the character grabbing it does, but will be free again by the time its turn begins.
    • Pulls in, does damage on impact, then pushes back. - Tammy instead suggests a skill that pulls in an enemy and tosses it a small number of fields behind the user. E.g.:
Where O is the user, 1 is the enemy's position before using the skill and 2 is the enemy's position after using it.
  • The classic chain lightning that jumps to other enemies in the proximity, dealing less damage on each jump
  • A spell that "hovers" on a character and deals damage if the character didn't move on that turn. Probably mainly an enemy skill, as it could either be useless (enemies probably move around a lot) or devastating (surround an enemy so it can't move) in player's hands
  • Do ranged characters have a line of sight for their attacks? Temporary conjurable cloud that can be moved through, but blocks this line of sight
  • If we are still going with terrain levels: skills that lower or elevate fields
  • A skill that applies a disease aura to an enemy that also debuffs all adjacent enemies as long as they remain next to the diseased one
  • A skill that temporarily covers an area with fog. Characters inside fog cannot be targeted by ranged attacks and cannot use range attacks with specific targets.
  • Damage skill that requires that a unit is between the attacker and the target? I'm not sure what kind of attack could provide a logical explanation for the requirement.
    • May require a range-extender + power booster, allowing a move that is weak at first to be boosted once it passes through the tool. Tammy suggests an object that can be placed on the grid which enhances (range?) all ranged skills if they would pass through by travelling in a straight line from the user to the target. Things to consider:
      • Can enemies benefit from these?
      • How long do they last? A set number of turns or until dismantled by the "owner" (sensible if enemies can use them)?
      • How many can be placed at a time? Can there be only one per "owner" that is moved to other positions?
      • Especially if enemies cannot benefit, can they destroy the enhancer?
  • A skill that causes a unit to absorb a part of the HP of everyone else (or for a less obviously useful skill, everyone allied) within a certain radius, which can be used on enemies and allies alike. One could transfer HP to a character that gets hit more often or from stronger enemies to weaker ones.
  • A pummel technique that uses up all of the user's endurance and does more damage the more endurance they had?
  • A spell that requires the caster's mana to be full, but does not drain all of it when used.
  • Polymorphing the target into a frog, which has reduced stats for a limited time or until an ally of the polymorphed target is standing directly next to it. This may work best as a skill only used against the player-controlled characters as it doesn't interfere with AI-controlled hordes enough but turns the final enemy into a joke if no others are left to break the curse early. Used on player characters, it becomes a minor annoyance that forces the player to diverge from their strategy and move units in certain ways to work around it, which is fun. Adequacy for two-player matches yet to be evaluated.
  • Heal balloon: A balloon can be placed on the field which heals all allies withing a certain proximity of it when it pops. It can be popped by allies or any enemy attack. Balance it so that the balloon does not provide worthwhile healing by placing and then popping it (two character turns); its main purpose is to discourage the enemy from casting multi-target spells, lest their attack will pop it and cause a heal that is worthwhile (courtesy of only one character turn having been used while the one that popped it was the enemy's turn). An easier alternative is to make it poppable only by the enemy.
  • An AoE skill that pulls enemies toward its center. Would be perfect as a water spell, not only because the theme fits a whirlpool (suction), but also because it goes with the theme of the element (AoE attacks), the spell being AoE itself and bringing enemies into position for more AoE to be used on them.
  • Float: A skill that applies the "Flying" status to its user for a short time. Flying units are not affected or stopped by elements on the ground (including ground-based units?); other traits (immunity from melee attacks?) to be decided.
  • A calming/drowsy-inducing technique, that includes setting up sound speakers and playing calming music. Making the character a powerful bard. The bard is a DJ, sort to speak.

Skill table thingy

Note: This is a Work In Progress

Basic idea for a more useful skill table. Things can be left blank if undecided, suggestions/uncertainties marked with "?".

Quick type is simply a quick identifier of the kind of skill this is, like "Damage (ranged single)", "Damage (ranged AoE)", "Buff (self)", etc. This is not meant to be a clear or fixed identifier, just a note to ourselves for a quicker overview.

Elements don't have to be final or in any way decided; this is more about knowing what kind of elemental affinity the skill will probably have than about precise mana usage.

Descriptions are best kept simple but clear & complete. More elaborate than "deals damage [full-stop]"; See Fireball description. This information is important and any part of it can be what makes the skill different from otherwise similar ones.

Name Quick type Element(s) Description
Fireball Damage (ranged single)  (Fi) Deals fixed Fire damage (scales with level?) with slight random factor to one enemy.
Grow Buff (ranged? single)  (Wo) Increases one ally's weight, strength and defence & decreases speed ("fat" status?)
Inflate Buff (ranged? single)  (Wi) Decreases one ally's weight, strength and defence & increases speed ("inflated" status?)

(Random idea: Fat and inflation effects would also make sense to cause to an enemy, as they come with disadvantages. Same skills or seperate ones? Can enemies do this to player characters?)