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Old October 28, 2015, 15:13   #11
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Actually, the explanation is simpler. They're magic books. Literally. They don't have spells in them, per se, just a bunch of buttons you push. The real skill in being a mage is in acting as a proper mana battery to empower the spell without destabilizing it (which would cause the spell to fail). Mages don't know diddly about creating new spells; they're more or less just mobile, self-regenerating ammunition.
With this inspiration, PosChengband needs a Book race to complement the Death-Sword:

Dark Tomes are ancient volumes of sentient Magick, animated by their own malevolent energy. 
As such, they are unable to use equipment the way other players can. Instead, they require
a proper mana battery, better known as a mage, to leech energy out of, and cast the spells
contained in their own pages.

Dark Tomes have the power to absorb magical essences from scrolls, staves, rods and wands 
their current minion finds in the dungeon.
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Old October 28, 2015, 15:26   #12
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Originally Posted by debo View Post
Maybe the spells are actually perl programs.
Maybe the spells/prayers are all one program. We choose the effect we want with the proper combination of 27 command line switches, which of course can't be memorized and change from patch to patch anyway. I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, as I've been calling command line options I use but don't understand "incantations" for years now.
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Old October 29, 2015, 16:21   #13
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Originally Posted by troycheek View Post
...These spells can't be overly complicated (as in, having to read aloud a whole chapter), else you wouldn't be able to cast them in the middle of battle between sword swings. It seems that by sheer repetition you couldn't help but memorize the words/gestures/whatever almost by accident without even trying....
Absolutely this. I think the spell/prayer memorization idea is pretty cool, and seems to fit the world of the game well.

Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
... priest books don't have prayers, exactly, but rather a bunch of holy relics glued to the pages like some kind of biblical scrapbook. It says a lot about Angband's universe that they're able to mass-produce these things...
I'm not sure I agree with the idea that priest prayer-books are full of holy relics in stead of actual words; otherwise blindness wouldn't prevent casting, as you could just fondle the book until you found Tinuviel's Toenail or whatever relic it is that got Uhu-Sticked to the pages for Orb of Draining.

Not to mention that most priests would just leave the book open to that page anyway, since they use that prayer about 20 times a second.
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Old October 30, 2015, 14:18   #14
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Perhaps reading the spell from the book is part of the casting ritual itself. No book means you can't complete the ritual, even if you have it memorized.
I'm trying to think of an analogy, and the best I can come up with is Angband is like fishing for sharks, and Sil is like hunting a bear with a pocket knife and a pair of chopsticks. It's not great. -Nick
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