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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why Ask Demon?

I got this in my e-mail today:

How does "Ask Demon" work in Realmspeak? Seems to me that this would be pretty hard to replicate in an online game. Surely you could just replicate the effect by asking your opponent via TeamSpeak the question? And how does it work single-player?

Good questions!! Basically, it works like any spell. You cast it during the actions phase, and during the assign targets phase, you specify a Demon, a player (by name), and a question. There is no logic preventing you from asking whatever you want, but it does remind you that you must ask a yes/no question about the past or present, or a question that requires a number response.

Once the spell is energized, the targeted player gets a dialog that looks like this:

Really, they have three options, and three options only. Once the target player responds, the casting player will get a simple dialog with the answer (ie., Dave responded YES). Simple.

Why not just throw up a dialog that says "Hey, you cast Ask Demon, so go ahead and ask your question to the person you want to ask..." Well, for a couple of reasons. First, if you use voice to ask the question, then there is no easy way to make it private. Everyone will hear the question, and everyone will hear the answer. I think that kind of defeats the purpose of the spell, as it is supposed to be a SECRET communication. Now I know that TeamSpeak has the capability of sending private text, or alternatively, you could use MSN or IM or whatever, but then you have to hope that everyone has the right software, and/or knows how to do it. I'd rather just let RealmSpeak handle the busy work, and let the players play.

Regarding single-player: when it comes up with player names during the assign target phase, it filters out your own name. If you are playing alone, the interface will recognize this, and report that there are no valid targets. After all, why would you risk a confrontation with a demon to ask yourself a question? :)

Honestly, I've never used this spell before either, so I don't really understand its utility. I suppose if you were playing a referee'd championship game, and needed to know something important (ie., do you have the Flying Carpet?), it could mean the difference between winning and losing. That's hypothetical, of course, but you get my drift.

If no-one actually uses this spell, why work on it at all? I wasn't going to, but then, why leave just one spell unfinished? I want to someday make the claim that RealmSpeak is "finished", and without tackling every last spell, this is something I wouldn't be able to do.


Anonymous said...

Just a thought on ask demon - away from my set, but can't you cast it to interrupt the demon's spell (if you're playing with that optional rule). Good way to nullify its attack while your henchman slices it to pieces (eg slow knight - don't want the PotP to hit me first). So there's a reason for "Ask Demon" in single player.


vincegamer said...

But that would apply to any spell that can target a denizen/monster.