New Species: Argons


If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it belongs here. Also, come here if you just need to get hammered.

User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1580

Joined: Saturday, 18th June 2016, 13:57

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 00:40

New Species: Argons

A species I thought out for fun.

Argons are, unlike most other living beings, made of gas. Although they have been known neighbours of other species through history, some think they originated on a far away star.

They get a +2 to EV, because they have no feet.
They get a +2 to AC, because their vaporous body is rather resilient.
They cannot use boots. They can use any other equipment humans can use.
Argons are constantly flying, and weak against airstrike.
Argons have an Elec branded hand-to-hand attack. The power of the electric damage depends on the hand-to-hand skill.
Argons don't gain elemental resistances from equipment. Instead, at levels 2, 5, and 8, they gain a 50% elemental resistance bonus, that can be allocated against any one of the five elements (Elec, Pois, C, F, N). It's possible to stack two 50% bonuses against the same element, reaching 100% resistance and complete immunity.
Argons cannot change to a different form and are immune to polymorph spells.
Argons are immune to mutations and malmutations. When a malmutation spell hits them, they instead lose health, as if hit by a Smite spell. rMut has no effect on Argons.
Having no flesh, Argons are immune to rotting and petrification.
Argons can use the "Argon flash" ability, which causes blindness on all creatures in LOS (visible and invisible). Argons start with one use of Argon Flash, and they gain one more at each level. The ability has no other cost. It can be used while confused.

Starting Stats: 8-8-8
Aptitudes: 0 across the board
XP to level: As Gargoyles
MR: 5 per level.

Please discuss!
I Feel the Need--the Need for Beer
Spoiler: show
3DsBeTr, 15DsFiRu, 3DsMoNe, 3FoHuGo, 3TrArOk, 3HOFEVe, 3MfGlOk, 4GrEEVe, 3BaIEChei, 3HuMoOka, 3MiWnQaz, 3VSFiAsh, 3DrTmMakh, 3DsCKXom, 3OgMoOka, 3NaFiOka, 3FoFiOka, 3MuFEVeh, 3CeHuOka, 3TrMoTSO, 3DEFESif, 3DsMoOka

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 312

Joined: Thursday, 11th April 2013, 21:07

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 15:47

Re: New Species: Argons

My feeling is that some of what's written in the OP would need to be adjusted to make sense as a species, but maybe it would help to clarify the design intent?

You seem to intend for this to be a stronger species: That's totally okay, there should always be space in the game for easier difficulty options.

But then you've gone on to write that bit about the UC-linked unarmed brand, coupled with formless. Is this an oversight, or is it *really* your intent to incentivize every player choosing Argon into deep UC skilling, and then simultaneously restrict the form spells that otherwise provide UC with what little differentiation it has?

[What benefit would be provided to new players, learning to approach the game through that lens? Is the concept here to have a species that says "Okay, with these dudes you just punch stuff, no need to worry about weapons"? How would that be substantively different from Minotaur?]

If part of the concept here is to differentiate the species through weapon limitations, I think it would be more compelling to enforce a hard weaponless restriction: "With these dudes, you don't need to worry about weapons at all." (Of course, then you bump against Felid.) This would be an easy lore sell: They are an animate cloud of gas, they have no hands and they cannot melee. Maybe revive some of those Faerie Dragon ideas and pivot the concept into a Wisp/Io kind of thing?


If it's not your intent to enforce UC play with this species, then its unarmed (aux?) brand damage should not be keyed to UC: In this case, the brand damage would be better keyed off of something like XL.


Re: Argon Flash: A 27-times per-game maximum cap on an active species ability is kind of problematic. It's just not going to see player use, at all. Players will probably use it a couple of times before Temple, then they're going to end up trying to save it and probably forgetting it exists. This might be more compelling with an alternate cost/use system or some kind of species downside to explicitly highlight its relevance.
Last edited by Implojin on Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 16:05, edited 1 time in total.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6163

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 16:04

Re: New Species: Argons

Implojin wrote:Re: Argon Flash: A 27-times per-game maximum cap on an active species ability is kind of problematic. It's just not going to see player use, at all. Players will probably use it a couple of times before Temple, then they're going to end up trying to save it and probably forgetting it exists. This might be more compelling with an alternate cost/use system or some kind of species downside to explicitly highlight its relevance.

Also "Blindness" in DCSS isn't really a "save your bacon" kind of effect, it's a pretty limited "you can stab stuff ok, and get a small bonus to avoid being hit" which doesn't sound like the kind of thing you are going for in a 27-use-ever kind of ability.
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

Slime Squisher

Posts: 357

Joined: Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 19:14

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 17:44

Re: New Species: Argons

It's a bit different to have "inflict blindness on something" vs "screen-wide debuff", especially if this effect is long lasting or permanent on monsters. In situations like elf 3 end vault, ambush vaults with ranged enemies, cyclops vault in orc, or the Vashnia encounter slamming a bunch of ranged enemies with blindness would be pretty valuable. I also don't think this is frequent enough where it would be so helpful 27x a game, so you could use it on occasion in a tough but less significant spot too. I'm not sure the once/level tether is the best mechanic, but as a species ability it's kind of interesting.

I'm also not convinced they're particularly strong as-written. No elemental resists from gear means that in typical 3 rune games they'll always be susceptible to negative energy and two of electric, poison and cold. A basic human can do much better than this even with below average gear luck. Argons would be among the worst species choices for extended, either taking full damage from torment or sacrificing any elemental resists while trying to trudge through branches like Cocytus and Gehenna.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 120

Joined: Saturday, 10th January 2015, 22:27

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 20:03

Re: New Species: Argons

Yup, I'd have to agree: What's the goal behind creating this species? How does it create a different and interesting game experience, compared to playing as another species?

Is this a UC-oriented species? We already have ghouls and trolls.
Aside from that, the main thing seems to be the elemental gimmick, and that mostly just replaces gear resists with limited-but-chosen resists over time.

Maybe if you offered tradeoffs instead? Say, you can choose a resist/enhancer and you receive a vulnerability de-enhancer? Then you could shoot for middle-of-the-road characters, or you could specialize and have, say, a character that's immune to fire and does massive fire damage...but also incredibly ice vulnerable and sucks with ice magic/items?

Blades Runner

Posts: 612

Joined: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 23:54

Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 04:59

Re: New Species: Argons

The species is strong as written because elec brand uc is bettter-than-claws melee damage early. Good unarmed combat damage isn't a unique feature, as has been stated.

Ignoring all the fluff mutations, the two core concepts are the limited-use ability and the resistance gimmick. A limited-use species ability might be interesting, but the ability provided is generally low impact, the maximum number of uses is very high, and you quit getting more charges if you do extended. I think you'd be better off with a stronger ability that gains charges on, say, the same scale as felid extra lives.

I'm less optimistic about the resistance gimmick. DCSS resistances are not anywhere close to equally useful and it's also really weird to get all 3 choices that early. I suspect that people will tend to take the same things in most games. Maybe a species with no ability to get resistances at all (including MR, even) would be interesting with sufficient compensatory goodstuff (ideally interesting goodstuff and not just like, more HP and defenses), but I'm not sure that it would be fun.

Xenon is a better noble gas.
Remove spell hunger.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 312

Joined: Thursday, 11th April 2013, 21:07

Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 05:53

Re: New Species: Argons

I don't see the resistance gimmick being relevant as-written, which is why I didn't address it above. (I'm assuming there's an unwritten corollary that the species is intended to be locked out of quaffing !resistance, else this gimmick would be even more irrelevant.)

Players are going to take rF because OOFs are scary. Players are going to take rElec because elec damage has scary variance. Less-experienced players are going to take rPois because Lairbranches, more-experienced players are probably going to take rC. Some players will erroneously double-down on rF because OOFs are scary. The above resistances are enough to clear the game without trouble, and Argon players will end up with stronger characters for it -- when you remove newbie trap resist choices from gearing decisions, players will end up with more stats, and actually-stronger characters as a result. The entire gimmick reduces down to irrelevance as-written.

Could this gimmick be reshaped into something more interesting? Maybe, but I'm not holding my breath. Playing a potionless DCSS game with no resists doesn't particularly result in compelling gameplay choices, you mostly just end up LOS-breaking giants and dragons and getting irritated at drain.

Blades Runner

Posts: 612

Joined: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 23:54

Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 06:01

Re: New Species: Argons

Broadly agree, though I expect that it might be optimal to take rpois at xl 2 for many combos.
Remove spell hunger.
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 901

Joined: Monday, 29th September 2014, 09:04

Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 07:02

Re: New Species: Argons

Argons don't gain elemental resistances from equipment.
What about mutations?

Can you get 150% resistance to a single damage source?

Does 50% resistance for poison/elec function as rPois/rElec+, or as a literal 50% damage reduction? What about the case of poison dot inflict chance?

Why not include rCorr as an option?

What are their HP and MP modifiers?
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1580

Joined: Saturday, 18th June 2016, 13:57

Post Thursday, 12th September 2019, 13:10

Re: New Species: Argons

OK, so, the objectives.

One objective is that of creating a species that makes certain choices independently of equipment. The reason comes later.

Second, the idea is that the species should play different from other species, without being ultra-limited in its choices. So, a species that is different without being Felid or Octopode.

The "no feet - flying instead" deal was born out of thematic reasons, but they aren't the only ones. No feet means being cut out from one of the most powerful items in the game, the boots of running. I think that they can trivialise most games. The constant flight that cannot be stopped means that you are simply weak against airstrike, you don't have the thing where you have to get bored swapping flight on and off.

And this is one reason why I think that choosing your own resistances independently of equipment can be good. It means no swapping.

There is another reason for these resistances. There correctly was some talk about new vs old players, who would see different needs and choose different resistances. Isn't that good? A player that struggles to get beyond Lair will like being able to get a relevant resistance. Yes, he will die later. But he would die anyway. In the meantime, he saw and learned something new, without having to rely on the RNG.

And it means a different relationship to equipment and inventory. It means choosing ego armour differently. Enhancer rings are simply enhancer rings. It means lower inventory pressure.

This having been said, I tried to think about how strong the species would be, but I couldn't really eyeball it. Elemental resistances are important, but also depend on playstyle. I think there was some famous post some time ago discussing how unnecessary they were. For me, they are pretty important. So the resistance system also works as a tradeoff for the nice things.

Argon Flash could be powered up. For example, you could also receive a corrosive aura and immunity to corrosion with corrosion removal while it lasts.

Now, I admit that, in retrospective, the choice of Elec as punch brand was rather silly. It works on just about everything, like claws, and it would need a recalculation of progression. Which other brand would be good and how it should be chosen (should the player get the choice?) is an open question. I right now like the idea of silver punches (like claws 1 + bonus against chaotic creatures), but that's pretty niche; then again, it could serve as a useful balance in Abyss and Pan (?). It also wouldn't be overwhelmingly superior to using weapons.

Concerning immunity to mutations, the idea came from thematic reasons (stable gas), but it also was because I think that there is a consistent subset of players who have less fun having to worry about teleportitis, berserkitis, or horns making your awesome helmet fall down. I had to add the health damage, because, otherwise, one could get fire immunity and make pets out of fire orbs.

The resistances peak at 100%, I wouldn't allow the player to go to 150%, simply because I have no idea of how it would work. Because Crawl gives odd values to +++, there should be text stating that 50% is 50% and 100% really means immunity. About poison, it probably would be better if 50% just worked like rPois+, but 100% were still immunity. If more elements are added, then I would also add one or more 50% to distribute.

Everything that wasn't otherwise specified I imagined as Human (tweakable).

I actually like the idea of elemental enhancers that you get to distribute. I would make them separate from the resistances, however. I am not sure if the species would become overladen.
I Feel the Need--the Need for Beer
Spoiler: show
3DsBeTr, 15DsFiRu, 3DsMoNe, 3FoHuGo, 3TrArOk, 3HOFEVe, 3MfGlOk, 4GrEEVe, 3BaIEChei, 3HuMoOka, 3MiWnQaz, 3VSFiAsh, 3DrTmMakh, 3DsCKXom, 3OgMoOka, 3NaFiOka, 3FoFiOka, 3MuFEVeh, 3CeHuOka, 3TrMoTSO, 3DEFESif, 3DsMoOka

Return to Crazy Yiuf's Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.