Spell ideas


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Shoals Surfer

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Post Monday, 12th August 2019, 11:54

Spell ideas

For some time, it really bothered me how there are so few utility spells in regular DCSS. These ideas are not very original, but if anyone likes them well enough, enjoy! The question marks indicate that I'm not sure about the level or spell school(s) for a given spell, and the forward slashes mean the names aren't certain. That's it for now. Feedback is always welcome.

Lee's rapid construction - L5? Earth Utility spell for partially blocking LOS or pursuing enemies.
Spoiler: show
Power up to 6#
Range @-> or @>

Orthogonal targeting only, no diagonals. Creates three short-lived "rock wall" tiles in the specified directed location. They can be dug through, deconstructed, or shattered as normal. Can't be placed over lava or water tiles.


Olgreb's rebreather/ hazard control/ shielding – L6 Charms/Poison Protective spell
Spoiler: show
Power up to 8#
Range @

Confers a temporary resistance to poisons, rot, and asphyxiation. Maximum duration would be around 400 auts.
Maybe insert a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. reference in the description text.


Deadly catalyst – L5 Hexes/Poison VMs rejoice!
Spoiler: show
Power up to 8#
Range @--->

Inflicts -rPois on target. Duration increases with SP, at 6# or above it also halts incoming healing and regeneration. Elyvilon hates the spell, and will excommunicate for using it.


Magic barrier – L4 Charms Protection at a price, because item generation is trolling us all.
Spoiler: show
Power up to 5#
Range @

Provides up to 60 MR, each resisted spell or ability takes away 1MP while barrier lasts.


Unravelling / Entropic surge – L8? Hexes/Translocations? Damage + debuff spell
Spoiler: show
Power up to 10#
Range @---->
Area 3x3 with randomly selected 8 out of 16 outer tiles

Disrupts the fabric of time and space in a large area, causing damage and additional irresistible effects. The effects include a random blink, confusion (4d13 auts), secondary light damage, secondary heavy damage, and paralysis (6d11 auts). Targets capable of blinking, teleportation or banishment take 15% less damage, and their maladies last 15% less time (rounded down).
Lugonu acolytes exclusive at 6*?

Damage formula : (SP/20)x(1d5) + 7d7, the additional light and heavy damage to be copied from {distortion}. Not yet sure of the secondary effects % chance distribution, an even 20% for each doesn't seem right.


Cryosleep – L7? Ice Recovery spell
Spoiler: show
Power up to 8#
Range @

The caster uses magic to enter hibernation, which will drastically increase regeneration rates and reduce stat drain randomly by up to 4 combined. During the effect, the caster is effectively paralysed and will be vulnerable to {flaming} attacks and spells, but also be immune to rot and poisons, and very resistant to cold.

HP and MP rate/turn are set to SP/14 for SP/20-1 turns. After the effect ends, the HP and MP rate/turn are improved by SP/1000 for 3+d4 turns. All actions are slowed as per the Frozen debuff. Recasting Cryosleep within 200 auts has a 33% chance of outright killing the caster. For additional appeal, dying from this titles the character "[Species] popsicle".
Unusable by bloodless vampires, gargoyles, ghouls, mummies.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 12th August 2019, 12:20

Re: Spell ideas

We used to have this:
  Code:
Resist Poison
Enchantment/Poison Level: 4
This spell protects the caster from exposure to all poisons for a period of time.


The trend has been to remove utility spells, so I wouldn't hold my breath to see these implemented...
...{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz
{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMo
HuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 09:31

Re: Spell ideas

Sprucery wrote:The trend has been to remove utility spells, so I wouldn't hold my breath to see these implemented...


That's a shame, I would think that a system this versatile would be perfect for varied utility spells. Apportation and Lesser beckoning are spells I enjoy using just for how different they can make a game. Being able to draw in shooters or meatshields is pretty useful while also giving the game style. No LRD for that obsidian statue vault? Just grab the loot from a distance and move on.

I suppose that most of my defensive or supportive spell ideas stem from the number and variation of attack spells. It would also help to reinforce that idea about "you don't have to fight/ kill everything and everyone".
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 13:46

Re: Spell ideas

I think a spell which gives a resistance (or weapon brand) is bad design. I can see why such spells would get removed. There might be room for other utility spells though.

From your proposals, Deadly Catalyst and LRC look fun to me.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 15:17

Re: Spell ideas

petercordia wrote:I think a spell which gives a resistance (or weapon brand) is bad design. I can see why such spells would get removed. There might be room for other utility spells though.

From your proposals, Deadly Catalyst and LRC look fun to me.


Logically speaking it's not clear why weapon brand spells/resistance spells are "bad design" while transmutation spells are "good" or "neutral" design. The only difference between the two is that tmuts give you a new sprite.

You might point out that tmuts have drawbacks/limitations, but there's no reason this aspect of design couldn't similarly apply to spell brands/spell resists. It's the same concept, you could even accomplish the same thing by adding some transmutations (IE a form that's magic resistant). Also note that you can already get rPois, rF++, rC+++, rElec from various transmutations.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 15:52

Re: Spell ideas

In my opinion, a spell which does the same thing as peace of equipment is not fun. It's obnoxious to use. Even if it was a permacharm, it still wouldn't be fun. The transmutations all give you stuff which you can't get any other way, limit your options, and change the gameplay experience a lot. Of course, opinions on what's fun will vary :D
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 17:37

Re: Spell ideas

petercordia wrote:I think a spell which gives a resistance (or weapon brand) is bad design. I can see why such spells would get removed. There might be room for other utility spells though.

From your proposals, Deadly Catalyst and LRC look fun to me.


This will be helpful for refining the basics. If you have any other specifics in mind, I'll be happy to read them. Were there other spells removed from previous versions that interacted with the dungeon environment or enemies directly? LRC was mostly inspired by a few "instant wall" bits from other games. Deadly catalyst is pretty much a player-available Virulence from Snake pit.

And while on topic, are the actual levels appropriate? I don't want to screw up and make these too expensive compared to some indirect alternative.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 17:48

Re: Spell ideas

TheMeInTeam wrote:Logically speaking it's not clear why weapon brand spells/resistance spells are "bad design" while transmutation spells are "good" or "neutral" design. The only difference between the two is that tmuts give you a new sprite.

You might point out that tmuts have drawbacks/limitations, but there's no reason this aspect of design couldn't similarly apply to spell brands/spell resists. It's the same concept, you could even accomplish the same thing by adding some transmutations (IE a form that's magic resistant). Also note that you can already get rPois, rF++, rC+++, rElec from various transmutations.


This new transmutation could make for another good idea, but it'd likely get nowhere because of butterflies and Spire. That's certainly one problem with throwing about ideas like these: someone already figured out a different way to achieve similar results. Maybe something along the lines of RoF could happen. I'll think on it.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 20:45

Re: Spell ideas

petercordia wrote:In my opinion, a spell which does the same thing as peace of equipment is not fun. It's obnoxious to use. Even if it was a permacharm, it still wouldn't be fun. The transmutations all give you stuff which you can't get any other way, limit your options, and change the gameplay experience a lot. Of course, opinions on what's fun will vary :D


Tmuts give you very little you can't get "any other way". Blade hands vs swinging a trained 2h weapon is pretty similar. Dragon form gives you "breath fire" and...everything else is stuff you can otherwise access. Ditto for ice form and spider form, except neither of these give you otherwise inaccessible options.

There is almost no difference between them and resist/brand spells, design wise. I'm not saying the latter is necessarily good or bad for the game. Just that asserting that tmuts are fine while those wouldn't be fine is...not self-consistent.

Also having literally 0 or 1 source of MR going into depths is annoying. Not as annoying as the mutation system, but still a frustrating outcome that happens a bit too often for my tastes.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 22:31

Re: Spell ideas

TheMeInTeam wrote:
petercordia wrote:In my opinion, a spell which does the same thing as peace of equipment is not fun. It's obnoxious to use. Even if it was a permacharm, it still wouldn't be fun. The transmutations all give you stuff which you can't get any other way, limit your options, and change the gameplay experience a lot. Of course, opinions on what's fun will vary :D


Tmuts give you very little you can't get "any other way". Blade hands vs swinging a trained 2h weapon is pretty similar. Dragon form gives you "breath fire" and...everything else is stuff you can otherwise access. Ditto for ice form and spider form, except neither of these give you otherwise inaccessible options.

There is almost no difference between them and resist/brand spells, design wise. I'm not saying the latter is necessarily good or bad for the game. Just that asserting that tmuts are fine while those wouldn't be fine is...not self-consistent.

Also having literally 0 or 1 source of MR going into depths is annoying. Not as annoying as the mutation system, but still a frustrating outcome that happens a bit too often for my tastes.

Historically, transmutations were given a pass because: 1. You can only have one active at a time, you don't end up trying to stack them up for optimal effect. 2. The specific combination of 'use spell effects to make one specific kind of melee more effective' is *sort of* slightly unique (depending on what macro level you choose to view it at). 3. They all come with built-in deterrents for wandering around with nearly all the time (with the possible exception of necromutation, and beastly appendage for some races) the drawbacks they have don't preclude casting them over and over in advance of combat, but they don't make it optimal either and 4. They all already existed before it was deemed that "a bunch of passive self-effecting spells is super tedious to play with and just makes things more annoying and harder to balance" which was the primary motivator to remove the ones that did exist.

That doesn't mean that transmutations are specifically *good* design, but the 'only one at a time' thing removes one of the major drawbacks of the other self-directed charm-type spells, so while they have some similarities they don't have *all* the problems of the "bad" design spells.

Generally the consensus was that things that you can stack *and* which can be done in preparation for combat *and* which have no drawback for wandering around in is bad design because it's optimal to tediously recast all your buff spells while exploring. Removing some or all of these components is important to avoid said problem.
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