God: Ishmael the Starved


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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 00:28

God: Ishmael the Starved

Before his ascension into the pantheon of Gods, Ishmael was a farmer who would share his crops with hungry people in his village. He lived a life of poverty, eating only when his survival required it. Through this humble lifestyle, he was able to feed many mouths that'd otherwise starve or resort to crime. He once made a week's long trek across a desert with only water. Ishmael followed various teachings of the good Gods, and became an apostle. He traveled the world, feeding the poor, spreading the holy words of those he worshipped. The good Gods were so impressed, they used their power to elevate him to a deity. Now Ishmael asks his own followers to live hungry as he did. To give him their excess food so he can continue to share it with others and make the world a better place. This great deed doesn't go unpaid. In exchange for this sacrifice, Ishmael grants his worshippers many powers and abilities.


Racial Restrictions: Demigods, Demonspawn, and Undead species cannot follow Ishmael.

Appreciates: Fasting. You or your allies killing the undead, demons, or evil creatures.

Deprecates: Inactivity(-1 piety every 500 turns), eating flesh(-1 piety). You use unholy magic or items(penance). You attack allies(penance). Switching to an evil God(punishment).

Punishments: Will never actively punish you while you are under penance unless you convert to an evil god (Beogh, Kikubaaqudgha, Lugonu, Makhleb, or Yredelemnul). Switching to other gods will not result in any wrath, and converting to Shining One, Elyvilon or Zin will transfer half of your piety to them.

The possible forms of divine retribution include: Making a loud noise near you. Removing one ration from your inventory. Forcing a bad mutation upon you.


Piety Level

Worshipper - : Fasting: An ability that grants piety to the user. Cost: One ration in your inventory.

Laity * : Passively removes hit & damage penalties while ‘starving’. Allows you to use spells and abilities while ‘starving’.

Deacon ** : Holy Armor: Temporarily gain +5 AC. Time extended by higher invocations. Cost: Hunger ###.

Priest *** : Passively increases STR, INT, and DEX each +1 while hungry, +2 while very hungry, +3 while nearly starving, +4 while starved, +5 while fainting.

Bishop **** : Summon Holy Swine: Temporarily summons one Holy Swine as an ally. Cost: Hunger #####. MP 5. Time extended by higher invocations.

Archbishop ***** : Passively increases LOS by 1.

Cardinal ****** : Blinding Light: Permanently blinds all enemies in LOS, without fail. Cost: Hunger #######. MP 10.

Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 00:36

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

where is the hungry hungry hippos ability? 2/10
Remove spell hunger.
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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 02:59

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

I like the idea of a new god joining the good god pantheon.

You can instantly die if you run out of food, and this god encourages you to spend as much of the game as possible as hungry as possible. This mechanic will result in many players accidentally starving to death. Is that a deliberate decision?

The impact of restricting food sources and encouraging sacrificing rations will be felt much more heavily by casters than meleedudes. Is this a deliberate decision?
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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 11:38

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

chequers wrote:I like the idea of a new god joining the good god pantheon.

You can instantly die if you run out of food, and this god encourages you to spend as much of the game as possible as hungry as possible. This mechanic will result in many players accidentally starving to death. Is that a deliberate decision?

The impact of restricting food sources and encouraging sacrificing rations will be felt much more heavily by casters than meleedudes. Is this a deliberate decision?


They should stay out of 'fainting' and manage their hunger properly. Ishmael requires the user to put some thought into their gameplay and make tough decisions.

The hard part on the design side would be giving characters the right amount of piety for Fasting. If it gives you too little, you'll be forced into a hungry game and keep losing a little piety by being forced to eat butchered meat. If it's too generous, there won't be much of a challenge there. Spellcasters' hunger should be taken into account while getting that balance right.

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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 13:09

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

it can't get any more tedious than this. And for what gain? 5 AC and swines lol. +1 LOS is a negative effect rather than a boon.

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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 15:34

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

chequers wrote:I like the idea of a new god joining the good god pantheon.

You can instantly die if you run out of food, and this god encourages you to spend as much of the game as possible as hungry as possible. This mechanic will result in many players accidentally starving to death. Is that a deliberate decision?

The impact of restricting food sources and encouraging sacrificing rations will be felt much more heavily by casters than meleedudes. Is this a deliberate decision?


You could push the intelligence boost up a bit, it would make most of the low-mid tier spells cost no hunger. I find that hybrids or even spell-heavy builds that don't go much past level 5 magic until late game don't consume more rations than melee dudes. In some cases they consume less because they can cast hungerless regen and kill things before they get into melee. So they take less damage in most fights and spend less time healing when they are damaged.

it can't get any more tedious than this. And for what gain? 5 AC and swines lol. +1 LOS is a negative effect rather than a boon.


I wouldn't laugh at holy swines. He doesn't list piety as a cost, just hunger. While it's not exactly in keeping with the theme of the god, what's stopping a player from constantly consuming chunks and cranking out 10+ swines?

A screen-wide blind without fail is no joke either.

~~~

Regardless, sitting at hunger all the time and micromanaging that by intentionally casting spells to be hungry at the right level after eating would be tedious.
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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 17:09

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

TheMeInTeam wrote:what's stopping a player from constantly consuming chunks and cranking out 10+ swines?

Regardless, sitting at hunger all the time and micromanaging that by intentionally casting spells to be hungry at the right level after eating would be tedious.


You lose piety if you eat flesh chunks.

There's no requirement to be hungry, just a small attribute boost if you happen to be. You can also gain piety by killing evil/demon/undead enemies.

My current game(MiFi), I have over 50 rations at 3 runes, Depths 3. If this character had Ishmael, he'd still be loaded with rations while at 6 stars piety. He'd just have to be careful about spamming the hunger-inducing abilities too often.

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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 19:33

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

^ Most nutrition in crawl is from flesh though, unless you're a spriggan. I guess you could just tank the piety hits, depending on how much you build up in turn.

Another significant issue with this is that the game is designed around managing chunk consumption so that starvation isn't a significant risk. Some games you get food shops, others you don't *and* you get way fewer rations than others. I'm seeing a lot of 80-100+ in 3 rune games in terms of ration count. But you won't know which it is when these god abilities count the most.

Each 100 chunks eaten translates to just under 30 rations. In other words w/o chunks there are a number of builds that would be at risk of running out of food without using any of the proposed god abilities! So you'd have to constantly weight piety loss vs eating rations just to be able to use these abilities more than a couple times throughout the game (aside from the comparatively weak stat boost).

I'm going to convert my impression from "strong" to "would easily be the second worst god after Xom" based on this. Better than Xom because hey, even if you hit 0 piety you're not punished for it so at worst it's like playing w/o a god, and you might at least get SOME use out of it here and there. If nothing else one could use it as a pivot to dump extra food --> piety before converting to another good god for an extended run or something lol.

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Post Thursday, 10th October 2019, 21:33

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

The idea of a god with a hunger conduct is intriguing, and there's potential there, but this implementation isn't quite right. Starvation should be a sacrifice the player makes, so negating all the penalties of hunger sort of defeats the point entirely. Most of the abilities are fairly generic and non-thematic as well. Micromanaging hunger level also recreates everything that's annoying about Vampire blood level, except worse when you penalize eating chunks, since a ration takes you from starving to no hunger in one step. Avoiding chunks is also wasteful of food, which is off-theme for a God with a backstory around feeding the poor. I would suggest some of the following changes/ideas, in some configuration:

  • Don't penalize eating chunks, but forbid gourmand. Maybe even have a small penalty for eating rations instead.
  • Don't remove penalties for starvation. The player should have to make a choice to live with them and sacrifice spells/berserk accordingly. The penalties for hunger are currently not that significant, but living with them should be part of the experience of taking this god. I view this as absolutely critical to a starvation conduct god.
  • Donating a ration to increase piety is kind of clunky. I would either award exploration piety that increases substantially for hunger level (mostly starving only), or replace piety entirely with hunger level. This could be done by some combination of making abilities directly cost satiation, and/or having abilities become available or scale in power based on current hunger level.
  • Stat boosts for hunger level is okay, if a bit bland, and stepping on Chei's toes. At least it's on-theme. The problem is that the boosts end up offsetting the penalties of starvation or becoming meaningless in light of them. +Int doesn't help if you can't cast because of starvation, and +str gets offset by starvation hit/dam malus. They would be useful at pre-starvation levels at least. Slaying or regen might be better candidates, though slaying also is just offsetting starvation malus.
  • Feed the Hungry: vaguely Beogh-like ally accumulation mechanic, where the player can spend a ration to attempt to convert living/humanoid monsters to permanent allies, with HD-based difficulty and success increasing based on piety/hunger level. Possibly allow them to choose a number of rations to spend to increase effectiveness. I know people hate permanent allies, but this would be a distinctive ability that differs meaningfully from the passive abilities of Beogh and Yred. The closest existing analogue is Enslave Soul.
  • Nourishing Meal: Allow player to spend a ration to might allies , again with effectiveness and duration depending on piety/hunger level.
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Post Friday, 11th October 2019, 00:26

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

They should stay out of 'fainting' and manage their hunger properly. Ishmael requires the user to put some thought into their gameplay and make tough decisions

Crawl has many goals but two big ones are a) no instadeaths and b) no tedious but optimal play. I feel like you aren't so worried about these goals. Which is fine, but it means if you design a god without trying to match Crawl's priorities, it won't really be suitable for inclusion.

JFunk covered the major issue that managing hunger level is really tedious and boring. Vampires were reworked specifically because hunger management sucks.
  Code:
commit 54394cd99fa5c432558b7d739c41f7a7ea5ea98c
Date:   Sat Apr 20 13:29:30 2019 -0400

    Reduce vampires to two blood states

    Part 1 of a vampire revision. Vampire's mix of "togglable undead" with
    "food micromanagement" left a fun concept in an obnoxious place. The
    presence/absence of blood allowed the player to (tediously) remain in
    the hunger state of their choice almost all of the time. Since the extremes of
    the spectrum provided the most impact on playstyle, players tended to
    focus on one or the other.


Preventing instadeaths is as important as preventing tedium. I think this current design encourages the player to play on a knife edge of instant starvation by being hungry and using high-hunger abilities. This isn't the sort of design Crawl encourages.

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Post Friday, 11th October 2019, 14:46

Re: God: Ishmael the Starved

Crawl has many goals but two big ones are a) no instadeaths and b) no tedious but optimal play. I feel like you aren't so worried about these goals.


Core crawl gameplay doesn't overly worry about either of these. Consider paralysis, and how monsters track/follow the player in general --> advantages of luring/making noise in safe areas/etc.

That said, there's no good reason to introduce more of them.

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