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Gods redux

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  • Mark Mackey
    Hi all. This group is dying nicely, isn t it? :). I ve been thinking about the (very short) discussion a couple of months ago about the religion system. I ve
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
      Hi all.

      This group is dying nicely, isn't it? :).

      I've been thinking about the (very short) discussion a couple of months
      ago about the religion system. I've had a nagging feeling for some time
      that it's not quite right, but it's taken until now (and a few games of
      Crawl worshipping different gods) for me to work out what it is.

      It's the Invocations skill.

      The problem as I see it with the current system is that the gods
      originally fell into two categories:

      1) Gods designed for a certain play style (eg Vehumet for
      conjurer/summoners, Sif Muna for all other spellcasters, Trog/Okawaru
      for axe maniacs). If you want to play a munchkin conjurer, then Vehumet
      is a no-brainer. Similarly, for a trollish gladiator Trog is the way to
      go. No thought required.

      2) The rest. These all had their advantages/disadvantages, but you could
      choose any one of them and expect it to be useful (well, maybe except
      for Xom :).

      This has changed with the introduction of Invocations. Many of the gods
      are now career choices: you either have to dedicate the game to them or
      they are not worth pursuing. Included in this category are all of the
      good gods, Makhleb, Yredelemnul, and even Nemelex (although for
      different reasons). Why do I think this? It's because the powers that
      these gods grant only work if you use them a lot. If you don't spend
      half your xp invoking whatever power your god gave to you first, then
      the god will never be useful to you.

      A good example is Makhleb. I played a Makhleb-worshipping conjurer a
      while ago, as a change from yet-another-bloody-Vehumetite. I figured
      that a god of violent death might appreciate a trigger-happy conjurer as
      a worshipper, and the ability to summon 'servants of Makhleb' and hurl
      'greater destruction' sounded nifty.

      I was wrong.

      Makhleb was utterly useless, apart from the 'gain power from killing in
      Makhleb's name' thing (which Vehumet does nearly as well). The reason?
      With the current skill system, unless you deliberately pump huge amounts
      of xp into Invocations early on Makhleb's powers are unusable due to
      terrible fail rates (and do poor damage when they do work, probably). I
      was a conjurer, but this argument would apply equally to a
      combat-oriented character who preferred to trash critters with an axe
      rather than fling Makhleb's random bolts around. My character had maxed
      out piety, Makhleb thought he was the bee's knees, but I never used
      *any* of Makhleb's powers because the ones that I could use were too
      weak to be useful, and the ones that might have been useful had failure
      rates of 'Terrible'.

      The Shining One has the same problem. If you try to play a paladin who
      prefers to rely on his own sword rather than bothering TSO every time a
      goblin hoves into view, then you end up at a stage where TSO thinks
      you're great, yoiur piety is maxed out, but TSO won't send you one of
      his divine warriors when you ask because you didn't spend enough time
      flipping Smites around earlier in the game. Elyvilon is even worse: if
      you don't spend all of your xp in the early game healing up, then
      'incredible healing' is never going to be useful, because by definition
      if you need to use it it needs to work first time or you're dead.

      My suggestion? Remove Invocations from the calculation of failure rates
      for god-given abilities. The failure rate should depend on piety only:
      if your god is happy enough with you he'll send a divine warrior to help
      you or whatever. This may mean fiddling with the piety cap: as is it's
      perhaps a bit too easy to get maxed-out piety.

      I have less problem with Invocations affecting the power of the effect:
      you can rationalise that by saying that only by Smiting hundreds of
      critters can you learn how to Smite them exactly where it hurts the
      most. However, I'd argue for Invocations' effect here to be lessened as
      well.

      Invocations was AFAICR originally added to give characters who relied on
      god-given abilities a way other than Spellcasting to get a decent amount
      of mana. I think its remit has expanded too much, and it should return
      to this primary purpose. Its effect on failure rates makes most gods
      unusable except as a 'class' choice, which IMO is un-Crawl-like.

      Rant over. Next rant on Evocations coming up soon :). Any comments?

      --
      Mark Mackey
      The Association for the Advancement of Dungeon Crawling
      Hints, tips and spoilers
      http://www.swallowtail.org/crawl/
    • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
      // Hi all. // // This group is dying nicely, isn t it? :). Well, I tried twice to reply to the last big religion post, but one got lost, and the power when out
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
        // Hi all.
        //
        // This group is dying nicely, isn't it? :).

        Well, I tried twice to reply to the last big religion post, but one got
        lost, and the power when out on the second and so I gave up. Maybe I'll
        try again.

        // I've been thinking about the (very short) discussion a couple of months
        // ago about the religion system. I've had a nagging feeling for some time
        // that it's not quite right, but it's taken until now (and a few games of
        // Crawl worshipping different gods) for me to work out what it is.
        //
        // It's the Invocations skill.
        //
        // With the current skill system, unless you deliberately pump huge amounts
        // of xp into Invocations early on Makhleb's powers are unusable due to
        // terrible fail rates (and do poor damage when they do work, probably). I
        // was a conjurer, but this argument would apply equally to a
        // combat-oriented character who preferred to trash critters with an axe
        // rather than fling Makhleb's random bolts around. My character had maxed
        // out piety, Makhleb thought he was the bee's knees, but I never used
        // *any* of Makhleb's powers because the ones that I could use were too
        // weak to be useful, and the ones that might have been useful had failure
        // rates of 'Terrible'.

        This is extremely odd... firing up a raw fighter, joining Mahkleb, and
        bringing my piety up to only 165 (hardly max) puts me at "Very Good,
        Very Good, Poor, Very Poor". At Invocations 5 (very easy to get since
        Invoctaions advances 30% faster) they're all useable.

        Now part of your problem here is that you're also a conjurer... Mahkleb
        is a god designed as an alternative to spellcasting... specifically
        giving conjuration and summoning abilities to characters who don't
        want to bother with such things. As such, they certainly will boost
        Invocations, since they'll have considerably less interest in boosting
        Spellcasting and they'll want mana... failing that, regular plinking
        with Lesser Destruction is more likely to happen since they're not using
        conjurations. Catering to every silly play style is impossible... the
        fact that Ghoul or Mummy Berserkers are bad choices is not a reason to
        "fix" them. When you make your bed, you should have to lie in it.

        This isn't to say that they isn't problems with the system. The system
        really hasn't been properly updated to match any of the other changes
        other than some spot adjustments... a standard plague all over Crawl.
        Conjurations have been adjusted so that spells are useful in respect
        to each other, but monster HPs aren't appropriate to handle that, nor
        have invocations and other things been really adjusted for the changes
        in effect wrt power levels... and all of this is pointless to try and
        do unless we know how much damage melee can/should do, and that system
        has so many factors out of wack. This is why I'm not bothering with
        religion right now... I need melee to get monster HPs at which point
        I should know where spellcasting, invocations, and bows should be.
        Until then it's just one of a thousand problems that cannot be solved
        without having to solve them again.

        // I have less problem with Invocations affecting the power of the effect:
        // you can rationalise that by saying that only by Smiting hundreds of
        // critters can you learn how to Smite them exactly where it hurts the
        // most. However, I'd argue for Invocations' effect here to be lessened as
        // well.
        //
        // Invocations was AFAICR originally added to give characters who relied on
        // god-given abilities a way other than Spellcasting to get a decent amount
        // of mana. I think its remit has expanded too much, and it should return
        // to this primary purpose. Its effect on failure rates makes most gods
        // unusable except as a 'class' choice, which IMO is un-Crawl-like.

        Ah, it's one little skill that's trival to learn. Melee and Spellcasting
        as a style typically require at least *three* skills to be boosted, one of
        which (Fighting or Spellcasting) is much harder to advance than normal.
        I don't call that a "class" choice... I call this putting a limit on
        what would otherwise be a completely free add-on to the character.
        It makes religion more of a priviledge than a right, and even then
        there are options for people that want religion without Invocations.

        Encouraging more of a concentrated "priest style" play in some cases is
        a good thing... we don't force magic users into getting enough skill
        in three different skills to cast Fire Storm, yet a lot of characters
        seem to work for that. If a character is only going to use lower level
        spells then they get to spend the exta XP elsewhere... the same happens
        with invocations. As a Makhlebian, if I'm unwilling to become skilled in
        invoking god's power (the name really does suggest casting ability) then
        the greater powers are less useful to me... however, I can just as easily
        throw that XP into melee or Enchantments and just use the lesser abilities
        (which are very easy to cast with little or no Invocations and are good
        enough to at least soften up a target)... the other Invocation gods are
        pretty much the same, it doesn't require much (if any) Invocations to
        use the first two or three, but the top abilities require a bit of work.

        This is very Crawl-like... you still can be everything, it's just
        that that takes a bit longer in some cases. There's some advantages in
        focusing on spellcasting (high level spells) and there's some advanatages
        in focusing on invocations (top abilities). Or you can go half way and
        ignore the rest... your choice. I really can't see this changing when
        that system gets fully redone... some gods will always be like this.

        // Rant over. Next rant on Evocations coming up soon :). Any comments?

        Oh, Evocations is certainly broken. It's just a bunch of experimental
        code that was thrown together to see what would work when I added it as
        part of the "what do we do with low level Spriggans and the new class
        templates".

        Brent Ross
      • Gavin Duggan
        ... Hrm, all of the gods have a certain play style associated with them.. and the most common play styles have several gods which map nicely, with different
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
          > It's the Invocations skill.
          >
          > The problem as I see it with the current system is
          > that the gods originally fell into two categories:

          > 1) Gods designed for a certain play style (eg

          Hrm, all of the gods have a certain play style
          associated with them.. and the most common play styles
          have several gods which map nicely, with different
          variations on a theme. Taking Mahkleb with a Conjuror
          is a total mismatch though.. completely redundant
          (even the summoning spells; a high level conjuror can
          easily use summon spells.. especially with Vehumet's
          help.. his summoning-assistance is perhaps even better
          than his conjuration assitance).

          The whole point of Mahkleb's powers is a sort of
          pseudo-conjurations for primary-fighters... and all
          fighters need range attacks (maybe not need, but it's
          much easier with them, and if you dont want them,
          don't take Mahkleb. If you want a pet-god, take
          Yred.. he's pretty phat). It's great to be able to
          use minor-D to smoke your opponents as they approach
          or flee... and given that it makes up a good part of
          your combat ability, pretty easy to build up 5-10
          levels of invocations.. 'Good' or better with Major-D.

          TSO is more or less the same idea.. a primary fighter
          can use his powers for range attacks or mass-damage
          when need be.. and easily get enough invocations to
          make them potent. In general, if you're finding the
          gods not useful, then you're tryign to use them for
          the wrong style.

          (As a side note, it is somewhat awry that the only way
          to get invocations with TSO is through his turn undead
          power.. a problem I've attemtped to resolve with my
          alternate power sets for Zin and TSO.. I was about to
          release the new version of those, having taken Brent's
          last comments into account and made the changes much
          less mild, some time this week.. I'll type that up in
          another email).

          Oh, and Xom is by far the easiest of gods to get
          usefulness out of.. he just does good stuff
          constantly.. gives you good stuff, good mutations, and
          even the monsters he sends for you to play with are
          good for XP. :)



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        • Gavin Duggan
          A couple of months ago I suggested an alternate set of powers for Zin and TSO to try and make them less annoying to play. The changes were a bit radical, and
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
            A couple of months ago I suggested an alternate set of
            powers for Zin and TSO to try and make them less
            annoying to play. The changes were a bit radical, and
            Brent made some good points about why things were a
            certain way, although some were certainly
            surmountable.

            This time around, I've kept the changes smaller in
            scope, while trying to make the good gods more
            accessable. I could go into a huge spiel about each
            change, but they're mostly covered in the last emails
            and/or self explainitory. So here goes:

            Zin (Guardian.. got the names right this time)

            Activated Powers
            Holy Armour
            Pestilence
            Repel Undead
            Healing Touch
            Summon angels



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          • Gavin Duggan
            Aw crap.. accidentally hit send prematurly.. I hate using webmail. Oh well... here s the rest of the message: Zin s Activated powers: Holy Armour Pestilence
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
              Aw crap.. accidentally hit send prematurly.. I hate
              using webmail. Oh well... here's the rest of the
              message:

              Zin's Activated powers:

              Holy Armour
              Pestilence
              Repel Undead
              Healing Touch
              Summon Angel

              Holy Armour is a 2 mana, zero piety skill which gives
              a small amount of stackable AC for a short time (it
              can be renewed, but the duration can't be stacked).
              It's currently (3+Invocations/8) AC.. enough to be
              helpful, but not a huge amount and it goes up quite
              slowly.. and always requires 50 food. The food cost
              is important.. at higher levels it doesn't get cheaper
              like spells, so you can't just use it constantly, but
              can use it for fights that are relevant. Also, the
              food cost prevents it from being that good for
              spellcasters. Currently the only issue is that it's
              stackable with Ozocubu's and the coloured AC display
              doesn't show both... whether or not this should be
              allowed anyway I don't know, it might be a bit strong,
              but I can't really figure out how to justify them not
              stacking in character ("Your god won't armour you
              because you're surrounded by icy particles"?)

              Pestilence is lower strength (more small insects, less
              bees) than it used to be at low power, as it's now a
              second rather than 3rd power, although I did
              experiment with adding some slightly larger insects at
              higher power levels.

              Repel undead now costs a couple of piety, but given
              that by the time you've got it you shold have some
              invocations (esp with Holy armour being useful) it
              lasts longer and has decent repeling power.

              Holy touch is a solution I'm somewhat proud of..
              hopefully it's acceptable (it's as close as I got to a
              new mechanic.. no new bizzare code). I tried to come
              up with a form of healing that was relevant for some
              piety, but didn't replicate Evy's big healing or
              simple regeneration. In short, it has a timer.. it
              heals a good chunk of hitpoints (less than medium
              healing from Evy at first.. less than greater healing
              at high power), but can only be used once in a while..
              so you can't stack it up like true heal spells.. which
              limits it's pestilence/healing twinkyness.


              The misc powers for Zin stay the same.. praying for
              food when starving, protection from negative energy,
              and blocking fatal damage sometimes (chance of doing
              so goes up with piety). However, given that he's
              slightly more powerful now I've made the codes of
              conduct more standard across the good gods by making
              Zin dislike poison and stabbing as well as
              necromancy, evil summoning, and such.

              It seemed like the biggest (only) beef many people had
              with the codes of conduct was actually that they
              happened accidentally a lot.. and even though stabbing
              didn't always result in penance it still happeneed too
              easily unless you were willing to be incredibly
              pedantic about checking monsters.. so I added two
              pieces of code to help:

              A) I added a highlight-non-agressive monsters flag,
              similar to the highlight-friends code.. but this only
              works on *nix unfortunately as it's in liblinux.cc at
              the moment.

              B) I wasn't sure about this one, but several
              experienced players said it should go in, so I've put
              it in experimentally with a compile time config flag..
              a question which asks "are you sure you want to strike
              XXXX unawares?" before stabbing. It's a bit out of
              character.. but it makes it much more reasonable to
              play a diciplined character without going around
              losing huge chunks of piety by accident. It's active
              for Zin, and TSO at the moment.

              If it's desireable to differentiate the codes for Zin
              and TSO, I'd suggest TSO allowing poison and Zin
              allowing stabbing, but in general no one seemed to
              object to both being strict on both counts.



              TSO

              Activated powers:
              Bless
              Smite
              Lightning bolt
              Holy Word
              Summon Daeva

              Bless is a short duration bonus to melee attacks. The
              bonus goes up very slowly with invocations, and isn't
              big but it's still useful. This was intended to make
              TSO more helpful to fighters, rather than another
              spellcasting god.

              Smite is exactly the same as before.. great stuff.
              Lightning bolt has moved down a rank, so it's slightly
              less powerful than before.. somewhere between shock
              and lightning bolt (although at high invocations it's
              still a big beat stick).

              Holy word has moved over from Zin.. Bless is melee
              assist, smite hits one target, Lightning bolt is a
              beam and Holy word is all badguys within line of
              sight, plus associated side effects.. great fun with
              good invocations.

              His misc powers and dislikes haven't changed, although
              the above accidental-stabbing-prevention code makes
              him much more fun to play as an alternative to
              Mahkleb for people who want to play a fighter with
              range attacks (and the style of play is quite
              different from Makhleb.. much more Melee, with smite
              doing heavy beats instead of summoning friends).



              Ok, so I failed to keep it short.. but the changes
              aren't huge.. moved a few powers around, made repel
              undead useful and gave them each a low level power
              which is useful for Priests/Paladins and for other
              classes who chose them at the temple. Hopefully I
              haven't made any stupid typos/mistakes this time in my
              hurry to type it up quickly since I screwed up sending
              it.

              I'd love to hear what people think of these changes
              (both Brent, and other players.. by private response
              if you prefer). If people are interested in playing
              them and there's no major problems pointed out I'll
              post the code this weekend for people to muck around
              with.

              G

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            • Mark Mackey
              ... I may have exaggerated slightly :). I d slightly dispute the useable description for the top powers, however. In general, these are the big guns that
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
                > This is extremely odd... firing up a raw fighter, joining Mahkleb, and
                > bringing my piety up to only 165 (hardly max) puts me at "Very Good,
                > Very Good, Poor, Very Poor". At Invocations 5 (very easy to get since
                > Invoctaions advances 30% faster) they're all useable.

                I may have exaggerated slightly :). I'd slightly dispute the 'useable'
                description for the top powers, however. In general, these are the big
                guns that your character pulls out when he really needs the help. If a
                Smite attack fails every now and again it's no big deal, but sitting
                surrounded by a bunch of '1's and failing to get an angel out of Zin
                several times in a row will kill you stone dead.

                Note that Elyvilon is *certainly* broken with the current system, as
                anything less than 'Excellent' in his top healing abilities makes them
                too dangerous to use for real.

                > I need melee to get monster HPs at which point
                > I should know where spellcasting, invocations, and bows should be.
                > Until then it's just one of a thousand problems that cannot be solved
                > without having to solve them again.

                Fair point. How's the rewriting of fight.cc going? Rather you than me
                :).

                <snip>
                > enough to at least soften up a target)... the other Invocation gods are
                > pretty much the same, it doesn't require much (if any) Invocations to
                > use the first two or three, but the top abilities require a bit of work.

                Fair points. However, the one argument I can put forward is that this
                encourages thinking 'outside the system'. I can't play a paladin who
                only calls on TSO when I really need him: I have to be willing to go and
                Smite a wall or two every time I have some spare xp in order to be able
                to use the big stuff. Crawl has always sort-of-encouraged going and
                throwing darts against a wall after taking down a big beastie as a way
                of getting your Darts skill up, but the current religion system almost
                mandates this sort of munchkinism for most gods.

                I'm not arguing that Invocations should be removed, only that if you've
                spent 100K turns doing everything in your power to please your god and
                get your piety to 200 then the god should damn well send one of his
                angels to help you when you ask, rather than saying "I know you're my
                absolute favourite High Priest, but you didn't say that _quite_ right,
                so can you try again?". More emphasis on piety and less on Invocations
                might also make the late game more interesting in a way, as if the top
                god-given ability was almost-guaranteed at piety 200 but was only at
                'Poor' at piety 120 when you first got it then there's a big incentive
                to keep pleasing your god. Currently, so long as your Invocations is
                decent then your piety is almost irrelevant so long as you keep it above
                120.

                --
                Mark Mackey
                The Association for the Advancement of Dungeon Crawling
                Hints, tips and spoilers
                http://www.swallowtail.org/crawl/
              • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
                // Zin s Activated powers: // // Holy Armour // Pestilence // Repel Undead // Healing Touch // Summon Angel // // Holy Armour is a 2 mana, zero piety skill
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
                  // Zin's Activated powers:
                  //
                  // Holy Armour
                  // Pestilence
                  // Repel Undead
                  // Healing Touch
                  // Summon Angel
                  //
                  // Holy Armour is a 2 mana, zero piety skill which gives
                  // a small amount of stackable AC for a short time
                  //
                  // Currently the only issue is that it's
                  // stackable with Ozocubu's and the coloured AC display
                  // doesn't show both.

                  I'd say that the real issue is that it's the third player in on the
                  strategy. There's also Stoneskin at level 2 (something which I don't
                  have too much love for, since it's a duplicate of OA... the downsized
                  Stonemail, which probably wasn't such a bad thing considering the
                  similarity between it and Statue Form).

                  In any case, the three current AC spells (ignoring Statue Form here)
                  already have arbitrary "already conflicts" errors in any case... well
                  maybe not so arbitrary, as OA doesn't work with heavy armour and Stone*
                  is "heavy" armour (Stonemail, in fact, is 80.0 aums of heavy).

                  // The misc powers for Zin stay the same.. praying for
                  // food when starving, protection from negative energy,
                  // and blocking fatal damage sometimes (chance of doing
                  // so goes up with piety). However, given that he's
                  // slightly more powerful now I've made the codes of
                  // conduct more standard across the good gods by making
                  // Zin dislike poison and stabbing as well as
                  // necromancy, evil summoning, and such.

                  "Evil summoning" is technically refered to as "unholy spells" (after
                  the conduct name). Most of them happen to be demon summoning, and
                  does include Hellfire... Banishment is also up as something that
                  should possibly be considered unholy.

                  // It seemed like the biggest (only) beef many people had
                  // with the codes of conduct was actually that they
                  // happened accidentally a lot.. and even though stabbing
                  // didn't always result in penance it still happeneed too
                  // easily unless you were willing to be incredibly
                  // pedantic about checking monsters.. so I added two
                  // pieces of code to help:
                  //
                  // A) I added a highlight-non-agressive monsters flag,
                  // similar to the highlight-friends code.. but this only
                  // works on *nix unfortunately as it's in liblinux.cc at
                  // the moment.

                  This is icky, the friend branding code is already a hack I wouldn't
                  want to add anything more to. This really isn't required, as option B
                  (prompting) is the better choice. A lot of the time it's pretty simple:
                  If a player approaches a monster that's not moving, they should either
                  yell and let the monster approach or accept a stabbing opportunity...
                  or if the player confuses a monster, and then attacks, TSO should consider
                  that unfair. The only time there's a real surprise is in melee when
                  the monster has just turned to flee (or the tradional "low energy" case
                  that caught things like paralyse and randomly screwed Paladins fighting
                  monsters with big weapons), and for those cases a prompt is good enough.
                  In short, I'd rather not complicate the display for such a small benefit.
                  I was planning on adding a prompt for it, once I again have a definition
                  of stabbing (to know if it's even needed) and what it does.

                  // If it's desireable to differentiate the codes for Zin
                  // and TSO, I'd suggest TSO allowing poison and Zin
                  // allowing stabbing, but in general no one seemed to
                  // object to both being strict on both counts.

                  Actually I did, and others have objected to making things too similar
                  in the past. I've done a lot of work trying to prevent this "good god
                  package" from solidifying. That might take additional conducts to do
                  apparently. TSO could be given the conduct I designed a few years back
                  for a potential Ranger god (no direct offensive spells... it can be as
                  simple as all spells with enchantments, divinations, or translocations
                  and without necromancy (which is what the test program listed)).

                  I've also been tempted to give Zin or Ely a conduct against cutting
                  weapons and/or eating meat (I've been thinking that might require a
                  "corpse for holy wafer" exchange program to work though... either that
                  or the "feed me" prayer code needs to be friendlier and finely balanced).

                  As I said in my post which got lost, not all gods need to be "good and
                  useful"... Mox (Xom with his niceness flag reversed) is very entertaining.
                  A god with a higher BD factor is more popular for the Real Roleplayer
                  crowd (and probably Loonies, too... Real Men depends) even if it is very
                  unpopular with the Munchkins, and I think it's better to use the add-on
                  feature of religion not only to provide the ability to fix character
                  weaknesses or beef up a specific strategy, but to also provide some
                  challenge play.

                  // TSO
                  //
                  // Activated powers:
                  // Bless
                  // Smite
                  // Lightning bolt
                  // Holy Word
                  // Summon Daeva
                  //
                  // Holy word has moved over from Zin.. Bless is melee
                  // assist, smite hits one target, Lightning bolt is a
                  // beam and Holy word is all badguys within line of
                  // sight, plus associated side effects.. great fun with
                  // good invocations.

                  I prefer Holy Word being left with Zin. It's a nice counterpart to Yred's
                  Drain Life ability (good priests have a LOS attack against all undead,
                  evil priests have a LOS attack against all life). I've considered giving
                  it the ability to heal all holy and god gift creatures in LOS to complete
                  the symetry.

                  Bless seems to be copying a bit of Stalker strategy, but maybe there's
                  a certain amount of symetry in that. It also doesn't feel quite right
                  to leave Dispel Undead only in the hands of necromancers.

                  // I'd love to hear what people think of these changes
                  // (both Brent, and other players.. by private response
                  // if you prefer).

                  I'd like to see some of the modified versions and details first.
                  Things like "Healing Touch" may just be double applying a factor (piety
                  cost also gives a limited number of casts in a period of time, although
                  it does allow for immediate repeat casts), or might be appropriate.

                  Brent Ross
                • Gavin Duggan
                  ... True.. although they all come from fairly different areas: Invocations vs Enchantments vs Transmigrations, and there s a fairly nice 3 way symetry to
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 4, 2003
                    > I'd say that the real issue is that it's the third
                    > player in on the
                    > strategy. There's also Stoneskin at level 2
                    > (something which I don't
                    > have too much love for, since it's a duplicate of
                    > OA... the downsized
                    > Stonemail, which probably wasn't such a bad thing
                    > considering the
                    > similarity between it and Statue Form).

                    True.. although they all come from fairly different
                    areas: Invocations vs Enchantments vs Transmigrations,
                    and there's a fairly nice 3 way symetry to them.. Holy
                    Armour has some of the features of each with higher
                    costs and much shorter duration. As much as I like
                    the aesthetics of stone skin, it's weak for most chars
                    (it's stackability with heavy armour is of limited use
                    for anyone who can cast it; fighters have to wear
                    armour too heavy to let them cast it, and mages are
                    better off with less armour anyway for many reasons;
                    weight, stealth, casting), but excluding them is easy.
                    And the synergistic magic between IF/OA and SF/SS is
                    just neat.

                    > ...Banishment is also up as something that
                    > should possibly be considered unholy.

                    I kinda liked (even though I've never used) that
                    Abjuration was allowed by the good gods.. "Get thee
                    back from where you came" seems appropriate somehow ;)

                    > // A) I added a highlight-non-agressive monsters

                    > This is icky, the friend branding code is already a

                    Agreed.. I wasn't too happy when I found how low-level
                    this is implemented. On the other hand, looking at
                    every monster before hitting them to see if they
                    haven't noticed you yet (often when you come around
                    the corner) detracts from the game too much though,
                    and the 'you stab as they turn to run' comes up a
                    surprising amount.. especially if you try to play a
                    stealthy priest or paladin (and why should a good god
                    mandate that you attack everything you see), so the
                    prompt seemed acceptable.. it was just more IC to try
                    and make it an RP decision rather than a mechanic
                    (semantics).

                    > If a player approaches a monster that's not moving,
                    > they should either yell...

                    If you could just speak, instead of yell and wake up
                    half the dungeon, this would be more acceptable.. but
                    even then, it's just too easy when you're on a roll to
                    accidentally slap some poor goblin who hadn't noticed
                    you.

                    > or if the player confuses a monster, and then
                    > attacks, TSO should consider that unfair.

                    Agreed.. confusion should be disallowed. To be
                    honest, even though you can't stab a paralysed monster
                    it could be added in as well. Perhaps I should
                    separate the flag for 'stabbing' and 'dishonourable
                    strike' so they can be determined differently.

                    > // If it's desireable to differentiate the codes for
                    > Zin
                    > // and TSO, I'd suggest TSO allowing poison and Zin
                    > // allowing stabbing, but in general no one seemed
                    > to
                    > // object to both being strict on both counts.
                    >
                    > Actually I did, and others have objected to making
                    > things too similar
                    > in the past. I've done a lot of work trying to
                    > prevent this "good god
                    > package" from solidifying. That might take
                    > additional conducts to do
                    > apparently.

                    Adding the stimulants restriction back (berserk
                    mutation not counting) is a possibility.. but it makes
                    him worse for fighters (who use Berserk, Might, Haste,
                    etc) and not for mages. I'm not sure why Zin or any
                    good god would allow stabbing though. To be honest,
                    given that the normal tactic to avoid stabbing is just
                    range attacks (either preemptively, or as they flee),
                    making it "causing damage to non hostile creatures"
                    would be nice for RP purposes.. but it's tricky to
                    code properly so I left it.

                    PetDeath+Stimulants(Zin) vs Poison+Stabbing(TSO) is
                    possible, but I wanted poison to be a Zin-sin so that
                    they couldn't use poison+pestilence as a twinky combo.
                    Perhaps PetDeath+Poison(Zin) and Stimulants+Stabbing
                    for TSO.. this prevents TSO from becoming an ubergod
                    for crusaders.. they have to give up Berserk (a tough
                    call, but potentially worth it for Bless, smite, etc).

                    > I've also been tempted to give Zin or Ely a conduct
                    > against cutting weapons

                    Certainly easy to code, but given that it rules out a
                    large number of artifacts and good weapons you find,
                    it could be a bit boring. Vegitarianism (not veganism
                    I think; Honeycombs and royal jellies are too key) has
                    the problem you mentioned.. food is critical, and
                    balancing it would be a challenge. Banning range
                    attacks or magic (by enumeration.. doing it by class
                    wouldn't work because of spells like Airstrike,
                    Conjure flame, etc) is also easy possible but would
                    force a career path for that god, and takes away a
                    huge portion of the game.. Trog already fills the "No
                    Magic" role.

                    PetDeath+Poison+Blades vs
                    Stabbing+Agression+Stimulants would be a pretty heavy
                    combo, but it would be playable if there was some way
                    to get a monster's attention without waking up the
                    neighbours. All told though, I'd say PetDeath+Poison
                    vs Stabbing+Stimulants is probably enough.

                    > As I said in my post which got lost, not all gods
                    > need to be "good and
                    > useful"... Mox (Xom with his niceness flag reversed)
                    > is very entertaining.

                    Ok, I just gotta disagree here.. there are plenty of
                    ways to make the game more challenging; gods should be
                    on the whole useful. In any case, the split certainly
                    shouldn't be with noble gods being challenge gods and
                    evil gods being easy.. and there are only 3 noble
                    gods.

                    As a side note: I think it would be interesting to
                    reward people substantially (10% score bonus?) for
                    playing aetheists (demigods excepted, and I'm sure
                    that it was you who voted for having played one Brent
                    ;).. or for following codes of conduct, whether
                    enforced by gods or not. If something like this was
                    done I could see making noble gods more challenging;
                    but failing that they should be more powerful in
                    proportion to their demands.. or at the very least not
                    harder to play in addition.

                    As far as player templates like True Roleplayers, Real
                    Men, Loonies, and Munchkins go.. don't forget that
                    most players are just players, a mix of all of the
                    above. Sure we all have tendancies in different
                    departments, but most players don't get off on
                    twinking the system or enjoy a purist roleplaying
                    experience. IMO it's more worthwhile for Zin et al to
                    be useful to the bulk of players than available as a
                    challenge option for the <5% who are bored with all
                    the "standard" options in a hugely diverse game. As
                    you point out, atheism, compile time hacks like "Mox",
                    and trying to move between non-good gods are all
                    challenge play opportunities for that crowd.

                    > Bless seems to be copying a bit of Stalker strategy,
                    > but maybe there's
                    > a certain amount of symetry in that. It also
                    > doesn't feel quite right
                    > to leave Dispel Undead only in the hands of
                    > necromancers.

                    Hrm, Dispel undead seemed a bit wierd to me.. Pure
                    "unravel undead outright" seemed like something only
                    powerful death-masters should be able to do, and it's
                    a bit of a "cut and paste" power. That's why I
                    replaced it with Holy Word, which is a much more
                    intersting form of destroying evil. Apart from the D&D
                    clerical tie, it makes more sense for TSO to have it
                    than Zin and while the symetry between good and evil
                    priests is neat Repel Undead is a better complement to
                    Drain Life.

                    > I'd like to see some of the modified versions and
                    > details first.
                    > Things like "Healing Touch" may just be double
                    > applying a factor (piety
                    > cost also gives a limited number of casts in a
                    > period of time, although
                    > it does allow for immediate repeat casts), or might
                    > be appropriate.

                    While it's true that piety does give a limited number
                    of uses, it also comes with other huge penalties..
                    denying you angels and making damage prevention less
                    likely. The idea with the timer wasn't to lower the
                    total number of uses further, but to give a larger
                    Delta HP for each point of time without breaking
                    things.

                    In any case, the code is available already to you
                    Brent, in my peri:~/crawl/[src|bin]. (rcsdiff
                    -rbefore_new_gods)

                    G

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                  • Jeremy W. Murphy
                    Hi everyone, long time no participate. Just finished exams, so I m right back into wasting time playing games, yay! ... Yes, it adds an air of authenticity to
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 13, 2003
                      Hi everyone, long time no participate. Just finished exams, so I'm right
                      back into wasting time playing games, yay!

                      At 09:35 AM 05/11/2003, you wrote:

                      > > ...Banishment is also up as something that
                      > > should possibly be considered unholy.
                      >
                      >I kinda liked (even though I've never used) that
                      >Abjuration was allowed by the good gods.. "Get thee
                      >back from where you came" seems appropriate somehow ;)

                      Yes, it adds an air of authenticity to one's actions. And considering one
                      is often banishing demons, it seems like a generally holy spell to me.


                      > > // A) I added a highlight-non-agressive monsters
                      >
                      > > This is icky, the friend branding code is already a

                      I think the idea of a prompt "Do you want to attack this creature
                      unawares?" sounds best, with an option in the config file to toggle it.


                      > > If a player approaches a monster that's not moving,
                      > > they should either yell...

                      I've only played a Paladin a few times but I got soooo frustrated with
                      having to check if an enemy was aware of me or yelling to make sure, etc!


                      >Agreed.. confusion should be disallowed. To be
                      >honest, even though you can't stab a paralysed monster
                      >it could be added in as well. Perhaps I should
                      >separate the flag for 'stabbing' and 'dishonourable
                      >strike' so they can be determined differently.

                      I think `stabbing' is a type of dishonourable strike, no? And I would
                      guess the only type that would build up the stabbing ability. I can't
                      quite envisage how the fine art of assassination applies to getting a free
                      blow on a fleeing or confused enemy.


                      > > I've also been tempted to give Zin or Ely a conduct
                      > > against cutting weapons

                      On a similar note, is there - currently or planned - a system of damage
                      moderated by weapon type vs. monster? Similar to D&D, I guess, where
                      crushing weapons do more damage than others to skeletons, that's the only
                      typical example I can think of. Certainly not a feature I'm dying for but
                      just thought I'd mention it. :) Cheers.

                      Jeremy
                    • Christopher Masiero
                      Hi Guys!, I m new here. Just been lurking, but every once in a while you might have the unfortunate displeasure of my own thoughts. Like now =) ... I ve
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 13, 2003
                        Hi Guys!, I'm new here. Just been lurking, but every once in a while you
                        might have the unfortunate displeasure of my own thoughts. Like now =)

                        >On a similar note, is there - currently or planned - a system of damage
                        >moderated by weapon type vs. monster? Similar to D&D, I guess, where
                        >crushing weapons do more damage than others to skeletons, that's the only
                        >typical example I can think of. Certainly not a feature I'm dying for but
                        >just thought I'd mention it. :) Cheers.
                        >

                        I've tinkered with a few rule systems on the odd occasion, and I made
                        something for this kind of purpose.

                        It's common to see rules for weapon type Vc armor type in many systems, but
                        what most miss out on are mosnters that dont wear armor. It's easy tho as
                        you just make up a few armor type for it. Like hard bone/soft bone for
                        skeletons and the like, soft flesh/hard flesh for most monsteres without
                        worn armor and no natural armor like protection (scales for example). It's
                        usually not to hard to classify critters, depends on how complex/detailed
                        you want to make it.

                        Chris.

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                      • John Norris
                        ... I think that you re confusing Banish with Abjuration. They re two different spells. John -- John Norris Research Programmer Center for Simulation of
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 13, 2003
                          > > > ...Banishment is also up as something that
                          > > > should possibly be considered unholy.
                          > >
                          > >I kinda liked (even though I've never used) that
                          > >Abjuration was allowed by the good gods.. "Get thee
                          > >back from where you came" seems appropriate somehow ;)
                          >
                          > Yes, it adds an air of authenticity to one's actions. And considering one
                          > is often banishing demons, it seems like a generally holy spell to me.

                          I think that you're confusing Banish with Abjuration. They're two different
                          spells.

                          John
                          --
                          John Norris
                          Research Programmer
                          Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets
                          http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/jnorris
                        • Jeremy W. Murphy
                          ... Ah yeah, so I am, good point. Jeremy
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 13, 2003
                            At 02:05 AM 14/11/2003, you wrote:
                            > > > > ...Banishment is also up as something that
                            > > > > should possibly be considered unholy.
                            > > >
                            > > >I kinda liked (even though I've never used) that
                            > > >Abjuration was allowed by the good gods.. "Get thee
                            > > >back from where you came" seems appropriate somehow ;)
                            > >
                            > > Yes, it adds an air of authenticity to one's actions. And considering one
                            > > is often banishing demons, it seems like a generally holy spell to me.
                            >
                            >I think that you're confusing Banish with Abjuration. They're two different
                            >spells.

                            Ah yeah, so I am, good point.

                            Jeremy
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