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Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter Update #18: Expanded Magic System Overview

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Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter Update #18: Expanded Magic System Overview

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 6 February 2015, 20:50:40

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Shadowrun: Hong Kong

In the week since our last newspost about it, the Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter has continued its slow ascent, and it now has almost 850,000 dollars of funding. The Kickstarter updates during that time were for the most part fairly uninteresting behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, but today's update breaks the trend by describing some of the game's new mechanics in detail - namely, its expanded magic system. I quote:

Trevor King-Yost here.

I’ve worked on the design of all of our Shadowrun games here at HBS, most recently as Design Lead on the Director’s Cut of Dragonfall. Today, I’m going to spill some our newest additions to Magic for the trip to Hong Kong - “Dual Effect” spells and Dragon Lines.

Dual Effect Spells

Until recently, spells could only really work “one-way”. They were either an attack, a buff, or a debuff. During our pre-production phase, we prototyped some new features for magic spells and cyberware that will create more interesting effects and outcomes. Spells can now have an affect on both the caster as well as the target.

For example, we had the “Slow” spell in previous games, which reduced the target’s AP. Now we can make a similar spell that also adds that AP to your character, acting much like the “Haste” buff. This also lets us create enemies like Blood Mages who can steal HP from their enemies to heal themselves.

With the limited number of spell slots a character can bring on a given run, more spells can now pull their weight by providing dual effects. This functionality allows us to make more unique character abilities for your crew as well.

For instance, Gaichu, the ghoul Runner, has a Bite attack. After biting an enemy, he gains a healing effect, his strength increases, and his melee damage is boosted. This functionality is also used in a more behind-the-scenes way to create Gaichu’s stance-based sword combos, where each attack leads to a different one in sequence. The feature lets us add a “marker” effect to Gaichu to track which attack was performed last.

This work also gives Gobbet, our crew’s Rat Shaman, the ability to manipulate spirits, adding more tactical options to each fight. On her Spiritualist advancement path, she gains the ability to steal control of enemy spirits and turn them against their former masters. This path culminates in an ability to consume spirits, removing them from play in exchange for a buff.

Ley Lines vs. Dragon Lines

In Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall, Ley Lines had certain effects on spellcasting - reducing cool down and increasing the power of spells while standing in that tile. In Hong Kong, Ley Lines are known as “Dragon Lines” - powerful paths of magic that some say hold the secrets of the great dragons themselves.

Dragon Lines work differently than Ley Lines did in our previous games. We’re planning to have a bit more variation and different types of lines. Some lines can heal you when you successfully cast a spell while standing on them, while others amplify the effects on your targeted enemy. We’ll see what other kinds of variations we can come up with when the feature is fully implemented.

There’s still more new magic to come that we haven’t built yet, as well. We hope you enjoy these new magical abilities in Shadowrun: Hong Kong, whether you are playing as a Mage, a Shaman, or just running with Gobbet in your team.
Nice. More stuff like this please, HBS - we do love our crunchy bits.

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