Created By: WaxingNameDecember 11, 2012 Last Edited By: WaxingNameDecember 17, 2012
Troped

Stock RPG Spells

Improvement for the already existent but unthriving Stock RPG Spells page.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

NOTE: If you're going to tag this page, please mention that you tagged it and specify why in the comments below.

The page Stock RPG Spells is currently not in good shape. The page currently looks like it was launched without a YKTTW run, it has very few inbounds, and its spells are entirely based on Final Fantasy. This YKTTW is intended to improve the page and/or replace the page with something that can thrive.

In nearly every Role Playing Game, whether it be eastern, western, or tabletop, there's magic. And because there's magic, the first thing you need is a set of combat-oriented spells that help your party of playable characters win battles.

Either due to a case of Strange Minds Think Alike, or a case of following a tried-and-true way, a lot of RPGs have a lot of the same spells. The base set generally includes offensive magic, curative spells, status buffs, and status ailments. Like all patterns, there are always exceptions; these are just the most common ones.

Offensive

Offensive spells tend to be elemental in nature, with one of the most common setups being Fire Ice Lightning, or at least including that trio among a collection of other elements. Many games often give fire as the initial elemental spell, with the player gradually gaining the other elements along the way. Several RPGs also have Non Elemental spells, which are often acquired late-game and more powerful than the elemental spells.

Most RPGs have offensive magic come in multiple "levels" of strength. In general, higher-level magic tends to deal more damage per casting than lower-level magic, but at an increasing cost of Mana/MP. Higher-level magic is sometimes less MP-efficient in terms of Damage/MP than lower-level magic.

Several games also have offensive magic as being the most effective way to hit all enemies at once, and some include the ability to choose whether to attack a single target or multiple targets, with the multiple targets option generally splitting the damage between them.

Subtropes:

Curative/Restorative

The first type of curative magic seen across all RPGs is the type that simply restores HP. Much like offensive magic, this type of spell often comes in multiple levels, with higher levels restoring more HP than lower levels but at a higher MP cost.

The second type is the revival spell. When a character is KO'd in battle, revival spells allow another character bring the first out of the KO'd state so that he can keep fighting. In most games, however, they often only revive a character with only a portion of their full HP restored. Several games have an Auto Revive variation that automatically revives a character when he or she is KO'd.

The third type is the spell that removes status ailments. Depending on the game, one spell can remove all ailments, or each spell is specialized to remove a specific status ailment. Spells that remove "magical" status ailments can also be used to remove positive status effects (described below).

Subtropes:

Status Buffs and debuffs

Status buffs and debuffs directly affect the parameters that calculate damage done (attack and defense), evasion, or priority. They temporarily increase or decrease the numerical values of the stats, with the new numerical value being used as in damage calculations until the end of the battle. These types of buffs and debuffs generally have the ability to stack on top of one another, but there is often a cap above which or below which stats can't go higher or lower respectively. Games with this type of buff often have a "neutralizer" that returns the stats of all characters in battle to normal.

Positive Status Effects

Similar to status buffs, they affect the various stats that affect gameplay, but they tend to be simpler in their calculation. The most common type is the shield, which most often halves the amount of damage you take. In some cases there could be more powerful shields that completely nullify the damage taken. In many games, there are two types of shields: one that shields from physical attacks and one that shields magical attacks.

Another common type of positive status effect is the "brave" or "valor" spell, which increases, (most often, doubles) the amount of damage dealt, often only applied to physical attacks. These types of spells tend to wear off after the first use.

Games with this type of magic tend to classify it in the same boat as Status Ailments to make one pool of Status Effects. Often, these can be removed by the opponent with a spell that specializes in removing status effects.

Subtropes:

Status Ailment-causing magic

See also: Standard Status Effects

While the exact effects of ailment-causing magic is explained on the page above, the methods of causing them are also a pattern among RPGs. Some RPGs have status effects being caused by otherwise non-damaging spells, while others have them as a chance-based side-effect of damaging moves, and still others have them as a 100% effect of damaging moves. Sometimes RPGs can have all three types.

In general, Fire Ice Lightning spells tend to be part of the second type. A common pattern is that Fire spells cause the burn status, Ice spells cause the freeze status, and Lightning spells cause the paralysis status. Poison spells also tend to do damage and cause the poison status, either as a 100% attack or as an occasional side effect.

Status ailments that are often relegated to the first type (non-damaging moves that immediately cause the ailment) include confuse, silence, and immobility.

Subtropes:

Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • December 11, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    Might as well start with some of the ones that currently have their own pages, I wager:

  • December 12, 2012
    Stratadrake
    A quick note under curative/restorative: "re-revive" = Auto Revive.
  • December 12, 2012
    Arivne
  • December 12, 2012
    Chabal2

    Should specific elemental attacks (Blow You Away, Playing With Fire, Casting A Shadow, etc.) be mentioned?
  • December 12, 2012
    Koveras
    Common buffs (the tropes are used for other things but their effects are thus):

  • December 12, 2012
    shimaspawn
    I honestly think this page might be better off as a supertrope + index without individual work examples. Instead examples would be better off as subtropes.
  • December 12, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ I concur.
  • December 12, 2012
    StarSword
    ^^Thirded. Though it should probably mention D&D as the Trope Codifier.
  • December 12, 2012
    Mauri
    And while we are at it we should while a bit tedious order it a bit like a tech tree but there are some that might overlap...
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    I would like to agree with you, Shimaspawn, but I'm pretty conflicted about it because all of these subtropes that people have been putting down include things outside the scope of RPGs. This trope is purely about RPGs, and I wouldn't be sure how to classify the subtropes.
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    I'm considering expanding this to Stock RPG Actions, since that would be broader. Feedback would be appreciated.
  • December 12, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    The problem is that while all RPGs tend to have the same broad types of spells, they're called about fifty million different things. For instance, almost every RPG has healing magic, but it's called about fifty different things depending on the game. Cure/Heal/Life(up)/Revive/Repair/Aid/Recovery/Antidote/Restore..

    So the best you can do is the general subtropes unless you want stupidly long lists from every RPG made.

    And, er, every subtrope listed so far is one I've seen in RPGs, so I don't know what you mean by "outside the scope of RPGs".
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^What I mean is that those tropes include examples from outside RPGs.
  • December 12, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ So? Why does that matter? There's no point in making media specific subtropes for something that's far more general. You can still list them on the supertrope index as the place where the examples of this can be found.
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Is that really okay? I'll do that, then.
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    Quick question: Are there any Stock RPG Spells that don't have their own pages? And if so, what are we to do with them?
  • December 12, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ Make tropes for them.
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Alright, but which of them don't have their own pages?
  • December 12, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ Let's figure out which ones do and then we'll see what's not covered.
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^And remember we agreed to TRS Standard Status Effects as a index for separate tropes, so I'll cover that decision, too.

    Also, I took a look at the Status Buff page and I found that it kinda combines my definition of Status Buffs and Positive Status Effects into one. Should I fix this page to be in line with it or should we fix that page to be in line with this?
  • December 12, 2012
    StarSword
    Do we need a section for detection and divination spells? How about utilitarian spells like Comprehend Languages?
  • December 12, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Depends if they're seen across multiple RPGs (JRPG, WRPG, TTRPG).
  • December 12, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^^ To be honest, I didn't really see the difference between Status Buffs and Positive Status Effects in the first place. You might wanna keep Status Debuffs as a separate category.

    Also, what about Super Strength and Super Speed I mentioned earlier?
  • December 13, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Super Strength and Super Speed are preexisting abilities rather than effects. I think Super Empowering would be a more catch-all term for it.
  • December 13, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Oh, we also have Status Buff Dispel to include somewhere.
  • December 13, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ Oh, OK.
  • December 13, 2012
    WaxingName
    Also, I did consider making Positive Status Effects and Status Buffs as part of one category instead of separate once, but I thought that there was a distinction between them.

    If there's no distinction between the two, would there also be no distinction between Status Ailments and Status Debuffs?

  • December 13, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Logically no, but from a gameplay standpoint status debuffs are generally lumped with status buffs while status ailments stand in their own category. Status buffs/debuffs also tend to automatically wear off after battles while status ailments generally persist until explicitly cured.
  • December 14, 2012
    Koveras
    Now that I think of it, the distinction between buff/debuff and status effects/ailments is that the former modify the target's numeric attributes, while the latter affect the target's functioning, meaning that they either give them additional abilities or prevent usage of existing ones (even most basic ones, like movement).
  • December 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Yep. That's the reason I separated them in the first place. I prefer we have consistency with Standard Status Buffs somehow, I just want to know whether to fix this or that.
  • December 14, 2012
    Koveras
    But then again, debuffing the enemy until his Strength is zero is effectively the same as the Paralysis status ailment.

    ...don't mind me, I am just musing.
  • December 14, 2012
    Nazetrime
    Maybe you should replace Force Field with Barrier Warrior or list it as a subtype. Just a thought.
  • December 14, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^^As I said in the description, there's usually a cap above/below which status buffs and debuffs respectively have no effect.

    ^Force Field is the ability. Barrier Warrior is the one who uses the spell.
  • December 16, 2012
    Mauri
    There is one part I'm wondering but then again those are a bit "off the combat" and more on menu and forging and that is the Enchantment section, a bit under status itself but on the weaponry. Not all games take it into account but some take the "enchant weapon" a bit too seriously (like giving it stat bonuses and all that... but then again it is on the mechanics and weaponry area).
  • December 16, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Make a separate trope for that like "enhance weapon" or something like that.
  • December 16, 2012
    Mauri
    I'm better off as an aide than a trope starter but then again it might be worked based on a previous failure and some experience on the editing but then it is another case of "missing superstar err supertrope" or mid level one so it might be tricky.

    Back on this trope itself: Terraforming spells are also outside this trope just wondering why... but then again they appear on some media and not on other... like freezing the lands and how the spells affect the environment. Those are far rare on some parts but appear on some other engines that in the end becomes part of the game mechanic itself like terraforming the land to screw with your opponents.
  • December 17, 2012
    Stratadrake
    In general, stock RPG spells tend to be combat oriented magics.
  • December 17, 2012
    justanid
    ^ Because they're often only usable on the battle screen, but some curative spells that can be used from menu screens.
  • December 17, 2012
    Mauri
    However taking into account the fact that while we have been with them coded in combat where they are used the most there is the case of "out of the box" ideas that in some playing groups the idea of using spells just for common tasks like firing the camp fire (or in some games such as Kartia The Word of Fate where magic is used to make coffee). There are things that are not mentioned but then again more cases of Mundane Utility for the use but then it may be falling out of the main idea of the trope if those aren't packed to do the use in-game/in-world.
  • December 17, 2012
    WaxingName
    This will be launched now. Hopefully everyone will increase the number of wicks.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable