The Prana System
on Feb. 19, 2013, 11:33 a.m.
In the cosmology of Against the Dark Yogi the world is filled with cosmic energy. This seeps into everything and everyone. When it is in a living being it is called prana--life energy. And this energy isn't static; it is constantly flowing in and out of all beings with every action and every breath.
When you take an action, you expend some of your prana that flows out of you, providing the energy for the action. Over time energy them flows back into you. This give and take is constant, but normally it reaches something of an equilibrium within the body.
When in the body prana doesn't just go everywhere equally. Instead it pools up in swirling nexuses of energy known as chakras. There are four higher chakras, located along the center of the body--the crown chakra, the brow chakra, the throat chakra and the heart chakra. Below these higher chakras, beginning at the groin, are numerous lower chakras that follow down the legs to the bottoms of the feet.
Against the Dark Yogi uses this concept of prana to model actions in the game--particularly in combat. At the beginning of a combat a character starts with a number of points of prana based on her equilibrium. These points are placed in one five effective chakras (crown, brow, throat, heart and lower).
When a character takes an action in combat this usually costs a prana from a particular chakra. What's more, many traits allow different actions to be enhanced in different ways by the expenditure of additional prana. So, for example, making an attack may cost a lower prana. And the character may then use her traits to, for example, target more than one foe by spending a throat chakra and add a bonus to her damage by adding a crown chakra. Any number of these abilities can stack, provided they all can apply to the action being taken and provided the character has enough of the correct prana.
At the end of every round of combat a character gets back a number of prana--two for starting characters--which the player can then place in different chakras. This allows a player to prepare her strategy in combat by placing prana differently--different chakras allows for different actions and different enhancements. It also means that a player may want to pace herself in terms of prana spending--spend more than you get every round and eventually you may run out, or not leave yourself enough to put up a good defense.
This should allow for both a tactical and dynamic combat system.
In addition to the combat system, the prana system also plays into the use of siddhis--supernatural abilities. But that's a post for a different day.