An RPG where classes are only guidelines for effective builds, and skills are trained and require earlier skills. Kinda like a huge diablo-esque skilltree.

Also, skills aren't used directly in combat, instead skills are various martial arts-like stances, that when combined do stuff in combat.
Any action would then be going from the stance you're in, through a second stance and end in a third.

Stance A: Stand relaxed
Stance B: Stretched fist

Basic attack: A -> B -> A

Magic would work by starting from a Channeling stance*, and then entering any regular stance.
Each regular stance would have some effect on the magic, and some of them would release the magic in some way.

A channeling stance could be:
Channel Fire
Channel Frost
Channel Lightning
Channel Healing

Casting a fireball could then be:
Channel Fire -> Stretched Fist -> x

And similarly
Channel Healing -> Stretched Fist -> x
would heal a distant target a small amount.

To cast as many fireballs as you can, you'd want to do
[Fire -> Fist -> Fire] in order to end up in Fire and be ready to cast again immediately.

Bigger spells would be cast by using non-releasing stances, and adding consecutive actions.

[Fire -> Arms in T -> Hands above Head] [Hands above Head -> Twirl -> One Leg Balance] [One Leg Balance -> Stomp Down -> x]
could be a sequence that would create a spinning fire nova around you, doing huge AoE damage.

And then we'd have the possibility of custom ritualistic magic dances in a videogame. Wouldn't that be something?

@zatnosk this is interesting, but it looks like it would drag after a couple battles. Maybe add an automation feature, where the player can chain stances to create complex actions? Conditional expressions and logical operators could go a long way in making this fun, too

@Antanicus Yeah, macros would definitely be a thing.

The player would activate the "attack" or "fire ball" action, but those actions would only be available if the stances have been learned and then put in sequence.

You could basically have a practice mode where you do stances and train actions. And the rest of the time, you'd do your practiced actions / spells.

With a "charge up" sequence and a "release" action, you could prepare a spell and hold it until the timing is exactly right.

@Antanicus how would conditional expressions work in this context? Based on the state of the character?

@zatnosk that might be an option, but it's not the only one. Imagine you could have a series of stances called as a function, to which you pass a parameter (eg. the weather conditions), so you can use the same sequence of moves to either produce a firestorm or a thunderstorm (using the argument as the defining stance)

@Antanicus But if the environment is real time, then I'd prefer to have one-button activation for actions - and then calling a function with different parameters would be equivalent to just having different actions trained.

@zatnosk This sounds like the play style for the Wizard in Gauntlet. You switched a spell by pressing a three button combination and then cast it by aiming with the right thumbstick. The first button determined which element your spell would be. I loved the playstyle. It felt awesome to have to remember the spell combinations and switch to the right one in the middle of a fight.

@0x1C3B00DA @zatnosk
I remember two worlds magic system was about collecting magic cards and combining them to make spells, they didnt do anything on their own.

I think arx fatalis had something similar.

@zatnosk @0x1C3B00DA
Talking about programmable orders, I've long thinked it would be interesting to see a simultaneous turn based strategy game where all the moves are part of a plan you write before starting your turn.

@0x1C3B00DA @zatnosk
Oh and the Chanter from Pillars of Eternity had something similar. As he gains levels he learns chants which he can combine into songs and give different bonuses to his team or get special summons.

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