Sunday, June 12, 2016

Boiling the Ocean

Despite a lack of posts, actual work on spell translation has been proceeding. While the first batch of spells is going through an editing pass for some consistency, here’s some thoughts about the process I took for spell translation.

  1. Define the Scope of the Spells to be Translated
  2. Organize the Spells into Similar Categories
  3. Batch the Translations in Each Category.


For the initial effort, I limited my translations to a “Blue Box” approach of only doing spell levels 1-3.

Only levels 1-3? That’s not enough!

Says you. The source material spell tables for levels 1-3 (remember that “Blue Box” = Cleric and Magic-User classes only), which leaves “only”…

  • Cleric spells: 36
  • Wizard spells: 78

…I think 114 spells is pretty good starting place.


Starting from those 114 spells, I organized them into categories. Since the goal is to translate these spells into use for Fate Core, it made sense to make each of the Fate Core “Four Actions” a separate category:

  • Attack
  • Defend
  • Overcome Opposition
  • Create Advantage

A quick read of each spell’s description allowed each spell to be categorized into one (or more) of the Four Actions. Additionally it had the benefit of further narrowing the scope of each effort.

For example looking at the Cleric spells in level 1-3, an initial review gave the following breakdown…

  • Attack: 1 spell
  • Defend: 0 spells
  • Overcome Opposition: 6 spells
  • Create Advantage: 37 spells

…You might have noticed that this adds up to more then the 36 spells I listed above. The reason for the higher number here is that a number of spells that were “reversible” would have the reverse effect fall into a separate Action category.

So looking at this categorization, it becomes a lot clearer where to spend time to do the most good.

Batch Translate each Category

So now even within each category, you could probably start picking and choosing spells with similar spell effects or descriptions, and limit from there.

Focusing again on Cleric spells 1-3 within the “Create Advantage” category, that means that you could look at spells like…

  • Bless
  • Detect Good/Evil
  • Detect Magic
  • Detect Charm
  • Find Traps
  • Know Alignment

…knowing that once you’ve worked out the basics of the Create Advantage action within one of the spells, you can leverage that work across similar spells.

This also has the advantage of improving consistency between similar spells and minimizing rework later on if you find yourself in a dead-end.

So what all this is leading up to is an explanation of why you’re not seeing spells being posted in a onesy-twosy fashion.

Look for some spells coming up pretty soon!