Kikubaaqudgha calls the trunk updates from the earth!

Hello crawlers, and welcome back to Trunk Updates. While I’ve been away in a far corner of Pandemonium, my fellow devils have slacked off and left this space blank! Well, not slacked exactly, because they’ve been hard at work in Tar:7, as the length of this post portends. There have been several big moves, in the direction of item sets, a necromancy overhaul, and a new species, as well as balance adjustments following the opportunity attacks change and of course a wild grab bag of other changes. Before we dive into those, let’s mention community contributions since we last wrote: dilly sent in several new guarded unrand vaults, sdynet tweaked the rings of the Octopus King, and Aliscans, chequers, nlavsky, perryprog, and spicyCebolla each sent in various fixes and adjustments. I know there’s a big backlog of pull requests on the GitHub right now, but with luck we’ll bring in a bunch more new community work in the next month. Until then, let’s look at the rest of the changes!

Item sets

In an effort to increase run-to-run variation, experiment with new interesting item effects, while not increasing item pressure, the new notion of an item set is introduced. Only one type of item from a set can generate normally in a given game (though certain special situations, like rare vaults or shops, or perhaps a forgotten god, might bend this rule). Currently there are two item sets:

  • The hex wand set: alternating between Paralysis and Charming.
  • The bolt wand set: alternating between Acid, and two new wands: Light and quicksilver.
    • wands of light fire a bolt of blinding light, checking AC and EV but no resists. The beam blinds what it hits, and deals  damage identical to an acid wand.
    • wands of quicksilver fires a quicksilver bolt, dispelling the magical effects of targets it hits. Does slightly more damage than acid.

Watch this space for future exciting item sets!

Corpseless necromancy

As foreshadowed in the last post, hellmonk and PleasingFungus have been hard at work on overhauling Necromancy to not use corpses directly, as well as make Necromancy less awkward to use and give Kikubaaqudagh some bone polish. Their efforts have paid off, and crawl’s Necromantic magic now deals directly in the shadow between life and death, instead of meddling with the long-dead.

  • Kikubaaqudgha is buffed:
    • The pain brand can be applied to ranged weapons.
    • Torment no longer requires a corpse sacrifice.
    • Corpse Delivery is removed and replaced with Unearth Wretches, which summons some paralysed, 1 HP, 0 will monsters that die in a few turns, to use Necromancy spells on.
  • Animate Dead now gives a duration, and for the duration killed monsters with corpses have a power-dependent chance to become zombies. The zombies are permanent as long as the player is on the level, and are destroyed by a subsequent cast of Animate Dead.
  • Simulacrum is now a smite-targeted spell that gives an irresistable status. Monsters that die with this status spawn a power-dependent number of simulacra.
  • Death Channel cannot be re-cast while active.
  • Corpse Rot is now Level 4 Necromancy/Poison/Air. When cast it produces miasma for each corpse-producing monster killed in sight, scaling with power.
  • New Spell: Necrotize (L1 Necromancy). Necrotize deals damage identically to the old Pain spell, but additionally gives the monster a short-lived status that causes it to animate as a skeleton on death (if it has a skeleton). It replaces Animate Skeleton and Pain in all player usable places.
  • The spells Animate Skeleton, Pain, and Excruciating Wounds are removed.


The roiling success of hellmonk’s April fools Mayflytaurs’s mechanic comes back in a modified form. Welcome Meteorae!

Meteorae have an exciting variety of bonuses – great attributes and aptitudes across the board, passive mapping, and exploration healing, regaining HP and MP when viewing new territory. In exchange, they have one big downside: instead of getting 6,000 turns of Zot clock for each floor, they get 600! Meteorae are humanoid beings. (In the night sky, they look like dots because they’re very far up.) Hat tip to Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. They also glow in the dark, with permanent backlit status (not halo!), that they can’t escape by transmuting (Dithmenos can hide them, though!).

Along with their introduction comes a softening of the Zot clock, a slight move away from “instant death”. The Zot clock now applies very heavy draining the first time it trips, and gives the player an additional set of turns. Only at very low max HP will it outright kill the player.

Balance adjustments

The introduction of attacks of opportunity was a significant shift, and there have been several follow up changes to adjust balance while keeping the tighter tactics they introduce.

  • Some early game monsters are nerfed a bit in terms of base damage.
  • Consumable generation is increased.
  • Monsters slower than the player don’t get opportunity attacks.
  • The maximum duration of paralysis a monster can inflict is reduced to 5 turns.
  • Dungeon shafts attempt to send the player to a location outside of LOS of monsters.
  • Using all un-explored stairs and hatches is now fast.

The rest

Of course, this wouldn’t be a trunk updates post without a potpourri of other assorted changes. First of all, advil has done a host of behind the scenes work, improving the shopping menu, the plumbing of various bits of UI and save handling. And of course, Sastreii’s artistic endeavors continue to beautify the dungeon as well as clarify UI elements: you might have noticed the flashy new status icons for various status effects that are applied to monsters. Read on for the rest:

  • Timed hell effects no longer apply on a timer, and instead have a chance to apply on each level entry.
  • Hunter‘s starting dexterity is increased.
  • Positive stat mutations now give +4 to the primary stat and -1 to the other two.
  • Formicids’ base dexterity is increased by 3.
  • Formicids  can now wield giant (spiked) clubs.
  • Demonspawn demonic touch damage is doubled.
  • Uskayaw grants piety for ally damage.
  • Lugonu’s Bend Space is adjusted. It no longer does damage, and makes a better effort to blink monsters away from the destination.
  • Stones always mulch when thrown.
  • Shadow dragon scales AC increased
  • Weapon descriptions now display a “damage rating“, describing the contributions to weapon damage from various sources.
  • New item: scroll of poison. When read the scroll of poison fills every unoccupied space on the screen with poison clouds for 10-20 turns.
  • +MP items remove MP when they are taken off.
  • New unrand: the +8 trishula “Condemnation” {holy, Anguish Fly rN+}. Inflicts 4-8 turns of the Anguish status on targets it hits.
  • New unrand: the +3 mountain boots {rDislodge, rC+}. Prevent the player from being involuntarily moved by physical means (trampling, shafts, tentacles, etc.).
  • The amulet of Vitality now gives two pips each of Regen and RegenMP, and is now evil (Borgnjor is said to have made or used it or been involved in it somehow).
  • Scrolls of holy word are removed
  • Animated Armour now flies.
  • Sandblast no longer uses stones as ammo. Instead it takes twice as long to cast as a normal spell, and has its range increased by one.
  • Airstrike’s bonus from empty space is doubled.
  • Finally, Deep Dwarves are removed.

Wow! It’s been a few months since we last wrote and a lot has happened. Still more is on the horizon, though through the haze what exactly remains as mercurial as a quicksilver elemental. So, until next time, happy crawling!

Whisper “Farewell” when you leave, Dimli…