Ideas for Automatic Spell Triggers?

Wavelength

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I am designing a mechanic for my game where players may assign a skill to "Trigger" (automatically and immediately get cast) when a specified condition is met.  The benefit to doing so is that actions cast via Trigger won't use up the character's turn; the drawback is that the skill isn't available for selection on the standard Skills menu during combat if it's assigned to a trigger.


I'm finding it very hard to come up with a robust list of trigger conditions, though!  Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • Triggers when this character KO's an enemy (can only occur once per turn).
  • Triggers when this character's ally KO's an enemy (can only occur once per turn).
  • Triggers when this character's ally is KO'ed by an enemy.
  • Triggers when this character's HP falls below 20%.
  • Triggers when this character spends 200 MP during a battle.
  • Triggers when this character has at least five skills simultaneously on cooldown.
  • Triggers at the beginning of each battle.
  • Triggers when any ally has at least four positive states on them.
  • Triggers when all enemies have a different negative state on them.



There are few other elements in my specific game that I can use as counterbalances where triggers are easy or hard to achieve.  There are also some complex rules that dictate which battlers will automatically be targeted by the Triggered skill (for example, a "One Enemy" skill that triggers when you KO an enemy will select the nearest alive enemy as its target; a "One Ally" skill assigned to the same condition will select the user).  I don't want minutia to get in the way of a good brainstorm, though!  Don't worry about details like balance or targeting - if your idea is cool in your head, I'd love to hear it!


Can you help me think of some cool trigger conditions that a player could assign to skills?  What kind of easy-to-recognize events happen during the course of a battle that are common enough that a player can occasionally make it happen, yet not so common they will be happening every single turn?
 
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YoraeRasante

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Final Fantasy XII's Gambit System has many triggers like this, liberated as you progress instead of all at once. But the triggers and the targets are linked there.
 

xdan

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Being drained HP or MP.


When a certain field effect (like a storm) is on.


Also have you considered reactions to certain skills or elements? Like being triggered by physical attacks or by fire attacks. There's a script designed specifically for this.


I have a state called "acid blood" that makes the user's blood poisonous, meaning that he reacts to blood draining skills with a poisoning skill (similar to The Witcher's black blood potion).
 
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Kes

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@xdan Which script would that be?  Sounds interesting.
 

Kes

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Not considering practicability, ease of implementation or system/mechanic requirements...


[triggers could be at every 'occasion' or after every so many]

  • the basic 'every nth turn'
  • took more than n%hp in 1 hit
  • took n amount of hits 
  • took a blow for an ally (taunt/substitute/other)
  • used n unique skills of 1 element in a row (reset if same skill is used twice in a row)
  • has used each skill they own/have equipped once during the same battle (then twice, thrice, etc.)
  • used an element before/after another skill of an 'opposing' element (friend or foe)
  • hit an elemental weakness (multiple times in a row?)
  • guarding
  • evade/critical
  • acts first/last during a turn
  • Guard breaks (only if using such a system/mechanic)
  • reloading (only if using such a system/mechanic)
  • total damage/healing greater than a certain value (can be spread across multiple targets)
  • dealt/healed n% of an enemy/actor's hp (hp% for each target tracked individually per actor)


One thing to consider is whether you want these triggers to be more passive/generic (triggered under a broader range of actions/tactics which most players can fulfill without changing their style of play much) 
Or more proactive/specific (dependant on tactics and external skill/mechanic use not available to all characters/parties/play styles)
 

Another Fen

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I actually planned to not just list suggestions, but since it's quite late I might justedit this post later: :)


- This character attacks the same target the second turn in a row


- This character acts a second time before taking damage


- At the end of a turn this characters party outnumbers the opponents in inputable members


- This character KO's an enemy that has 100% MP left


- This characters overkills a target by at least 50% of its maximum health


- This character is attacked by their actions target


- This character is attacked while defending


- This character survives a damaging attack with 70% health or more.


- This character survives a damaging attack with less than 10% health.


- A (harmful) state on this character runs out without getting forcefully removed
 

BloodletterQ

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I was thinking another suggestion would be the Chase skills from Etrian Odyssey where an ally uses a specific element which is then followed up.
 

gigaswardblade

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here an idea for you:disagree with its opinion. that'll trigger it for sure. (;


(to heck with it, im posting it anyway.)
 
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PsychicToaster

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Please let the skill pop up say "Trigger Warning:" lol. 


This is was a productive contribution to the discussion. 
 
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gigaswardblade

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Please let the skill pop up say "Trigger Warning:" lol. 


This is was a productive contribution to the discussion. 
i just made a similar joke but i didnt wanna get penalized or something for posting something unproductive and i dont know how to delete posts so i just changed it to some stupid crap that i didnt even mean.
 

PsychicToaster

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i just made a similar joke but i didnt wanna get penalized or something for posting something unproductive and i dont know how to delete posts so i just changed it to some stupid crap that i didnt even mean.

LOL. In the spirit of being productive, I'll take a crack at this thread. These are just off the top of my head, some may seem basic or even redundant, but I'm not really putting that much thought into them. Just kind of rattling them off.


Trigger:Adrenaline Rush


Gives a damage or stat boost upon landing a critical hit for X turns. Cannot take effect again for X turns. 


Trigger:Bloodlust


Increases [stat(s)] for x turns upon killing an enemy for X turns. Cannot take effect again for X turns.


Trigger:purge


Removes a random state when character is afflicted with 3 or more states. 


Trigger:Arcane Empowerment


Upon casting a spell that costs X mana or more, gain a buff for X turns or for one spellcast. Would work best with Skill Cooldowns so it cannot be abused.


Trigger:Transfusion


Gain %HP upon killing an enemy(either with a specific skill, a critical hit, etc.)


Trigger:Backlash


Upon taking [element] damage that deals more than X% of the character's current health, deals X% of that damage back to the target. Cannot take effect again for X turns.


Might have more later, but it is getting late for me. This is the time of night where everything starts to shut down and I start typing things that don't make very much sense. 
 

Dr. Delibird

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Not any specific suggestions because I am the tireds but maybe some combinations of actions could be triggers. Like if the character uses Flame followed by Water Balloon the skill Scald is used. Triggers like this add another level of interactivity with the mechanic without being a mundane task as it gives a worthwhile reward for the time spent.

As for more passive triggers you could do something involving the equips the character currently has equipped, this also adds a bit of strategy outside of battle which imho is a nice thing to have for a system like this.
 

Lord Semaj

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- Ally has been hit by a status effect -> AutoCure!


- You just struck the enemy for 777dmg -> Triggers the 7777 attack


- An ally has used a certain skill last/this turn -> C-c-c-c-combo!


- All five characters have used a different element -> Summon Captain Planet
 

Wavelength

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Sorry it's been such a loooooong time since you guys shared all of these cool ideas, but I wanted to sincerely say thanks and note that, as I've continued to design the "automatic triggers" mechanic, I've used some of your ideas for inspiration!

I really like the concept of triggers that can happen in the course of a standard battle, but that the player can also go out of their way to try to trigger. Using skills that cost HP if the trigger is to lose X health with Y amount of time. Buffing an ally's Crit rate if that ally has a spell that triggers when they land a Crit. Stuff like that makes for a great experience, I think!

Just wanted to highlight a few of my favorite Trigger ideas from posts in this topic so far:
  • "Reactions to certain skills or elements - like being triggered by physical attacks or by fire attacks"
  • "Took more than n%hp in 1 hit"
  • "Took a blow for an ally (taunt/substitute/other)"
  • "Has used each skill they own/have equipped once during the same battle"
  • "Guard breaks"
  • "Dealt/healed n% of an enemy/actor's hp (hp% for each target tracked individually per actor)"
  • "This character acts a second time before taking damage"
  • "This character KO's an enemy that has 100% MP left"
  • "This characters overkills a target by at least X% of its maximum health"
  • "This character is attacked by their actions target" (I might suggest the other way around - attacking an enemy that is targeting them - as a "counter attack" trigger!)
  • "This character is attacked while defending"
  • "This character survives a damaging attack with less than 10% health."
  • "A (harmful) state on this character runs out without getting forcefully removed"
  • "Upon killing an enemy with a specific skill, a critical hit, etc."
  • "Ally has been hit by a status effect"
  • "All five characters have used a different element"
And a few others I've come up with in the meantime that were inspired by your ideas from this brainstorm:
  • Character uses five different skills (resetting the count upon a trigger) - inspired by ideas from ShadowHawkDragon & Lord Semaj
  • Character deals damage or healing in an amount that ends in a 7 - inspired by idea from Lord Semaj
  • Character's resistance is hit by any enemy - inspired by idea from xdan
  • Party KO's an enemy before it takes its first action - inspired by idea from Another Fen
  • Character hits an enemy's elemental weakness (can only trigger on each enemy once per battle) - inspired by an idea from SHDragon
Cheers! :D
 

fireflyege

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When your mana gets drained, you attempt to drain the enemy's HP and when the enemy drains your HP, you attempt to drain its mana. That makes the battle with Mind Flayer type of enemies quite easy because mind flayers have minimal HP and most enemies that drain HP are the mages so draining MP from them saves up a turn you can cast offensive spells.

@gigaswardblade TRIGGERED!
 

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