Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold


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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 16:01

Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Reasoning: Halflings and Kobolds are currently too similar to denote two separate races. Many of their apts match. I also slightly buffed the resultant race (higher DEX than current Halfings from level 15 on.) I'm not saying there are too many races; just that this particular pair either needs to be merged (as in the following suggestion) or made more unique from each other.

New Kobold:
Starting Stats STR 6; INT 7; DEX 11
Gains: Dex every 3rd level.
This keeps Halflings' high DEX and stat total; STR and INT are averaged with Kobold's. I boosted the Halflings 1 Dex with 5th level to 1 every 3rd; as EXTREME dex and the dodging/stealth abilities that grants better make up for the low HP apt. Yes, this is the one CHANGE here that's not drawing from what's already there and it's a non-trivial boost, but it's an interesting boost.

Mutations:
Carnivorous 3
Saprovore 2
Slow Metabolism 1

This is just the mutations of the two races added together; EXCEPT the rMut.

Apts:
A - Average of original Apts.
S - Original Apts were the same already.
Ko - Kept the Kobold Apt.
Ha - Kept the Halfling Apt.


Fighting: 0 A, Short: 3! S, Long: -1 A, Axes: -1 S, Maces: -1 A, Polearms: -3* Ha, Staves: -1 Ko, Slings: 4! Ha, Bows: 1 A, Xbows: 2! Ko, Throw: 3! S, Armour: -2 S, Dodge: 2 S, Stealth: 4 S, Shields: -2 Ko, UC: 0 Ko, Splcast: -3 Ha, Conj: -1 Ko, Hexes: -1 Ha, Charms: 0 A, Summ: 0 Ko, Nec: -1 A, Tloc: 1 Ha, Tmut: -1 Ko, Fire: 0 S, Ice: 0 S, Air: 1 Ha, Earth: 0 S, Poison: 0 Ko, Inv: 1 S, Evo: 2 Ha, Exp: 1! S, HP: -2 Ko, MP: 0 S

In the most extreme cases I took the extreme apt. (Slings, Xbows, Splcast, Polearms) otherwise I just averaged and alternated (if it was 0 and -1; I alternated which race I went with). Exception being Tmut; which takes the Kobold apt because of the removal of mutation resistance. Most the apts. were the same or only one point apart.
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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 16:32

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Kobolds and halflings have been trying to wrestle each other onto the chopping block since mountain dwarves were removed, since odds are pretty good it's eventually going to be one or the other, for exactly the same reason as every one of the previous species removals.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 16:33

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I think the rMut is more interesting than the carnivorous mutation, and frankly I'd rather the new race be called "Halfling" because I like them better. I don't know where the KoBe thing came from because I'd much rather play HaBe, is it the convenience of saprovore?

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 16:45

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I dunno why but I've always hated that halflings are in the game. Maybe its the Air aptitude. I know its utterly irrational.

Also, kobolds are just part of crawl's identity. Halflings are not. I think I petitioned for halflings to be replaced by gnolls once actually.

That being said, I think rmut is far more interesting than carnivorous, particularly since carn doesn't do that much for them compared to trolls and ghouls
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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 17:02

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Well carni allows for abusing Ely I guess (or Berserk), rMut just... does nothing?

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 18:04

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I think they're both interesting, and less similar than say, hill orcs an minotaurs.

I've never once though "Kobold or Halfling, eh it doesn't matter" Halflings are significantly sturdier, significantly worse spellcasters, and much less capable of abusing god abilities than Kobold. To me they play very differently, particularly early on. I think of Halflings as the "bashier" of the two, and Kobolds as the "blastier" of the two. I think having two choices for small (not tiny) races is a good thing.
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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 18:15

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Siegurt wrote:I think they're both interesting, and less similar than say, hill orcs an minotaurs.

I'd never thought of Orcs and Minotaurs as that similar. Hill Orc is less extreme. The two match on Fighting and UC and that's it. Orcs are better with axes, but worse at all other weapons and pretty average in magic (not so gimped you'd never use it). I actually see them as more similar to humans and do think they could use more uniqueness, but they aren't horrible. Their unique part is the +3 Invo they share with DD and Ds; with both those other races being more popular and HO being the more !boring of the group...anyways.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 18:35

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

So now there would be no small species with mediocre (-1) HP, only ones with bad HP. Other small/tiny species with bad HP already exist.

I'd suggest basically cutting kobolds, retaining halflings, maybe making some changes to halflings (improving a few of their spellcasting aptitudes, mainly). Lose the innate rMut. Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 19:32

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I like Halflings more personally, but both could get usurped by more interesting designs. Goblins(better dark magic), Leprechauns(half price at stores), etc.
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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 20:15

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Entirely separate from the mechanical issues at hand here, I would prefer to keep Kobold over Halfling as kobolds have actual (and varied!) representation in the game. The Crawl versions of Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves have successfully differentiated themselves from the Tolkien origins, but I don't think Halflings have done enough on that front. They don't feel as if they truly fit in Crawl.

As for the HP aptitude, would it be so bad to give Kobold 2.0 HP -1? Big kobolds are noticeably beefy when you first come across them compared to other goblins and kobolds.

rMut rarely comes in useful before you'd be able to find an amulet of resist mutation. I don't see how it makes a race interesting. On top of that, kobolds and halfling already share a similarity with saprovore/slow metabolism in that they don't need to worry about food as much. Might as well roll that into one. Compare against spriggans (who have extreme dietary restrictions, but a very slow metabolism) and trolls (who can eat anything, but pretty much have to eat everything).

Having the game's best aptitudes for slings, crossbows, and throwing along with being Small is definitely interesting to me.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 20:23

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Removed the borderline ad hom comments, let's keep those out of GDD folks.

Thank you!

(For transparency: I edited out my own little dumb joke about people being upset at the devs killing Frodo, I meant it in good humor but I don't want to contribute to a derail so I removed it, my bad.)

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 20:50

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

What about adding Gnomes in place of Halflings? It was a Gnomish Wizard who created the Orb we're all diving for, no?

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 21:20

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

^where is this lore mentioned? :o

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 21:47

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Klown wrote:^where is this lore mentioned? :o


http://crawl.develz.org/learndb/index.html#orb_of_zot

Read that, plus click the link to the "Wizard's Castle" entry.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 23:24

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

and into wrote:So now there would be no small species with mediocre (-1) HP, only ones with bad HP. Other small/tiny species with bad HP already exist.

I'd suggest basically cutting kobolds, retaining halflings, maybe making some changes to halflings (improving a few of their spellcasting aptitudes, mainly). Lose the innate rMut. Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.
I agree. Removing halflings and buffing Ko's HP apt by 1 would also be acceptable.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 03:18

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

and into wrote:I'd suggest basically cutting kobolds, retaining halflings, maybe making some changes to halflings (improving a few of their spellcasting aptitudes, mainly). Lose the innate rMut. Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.

This is the best way to go, I think. But replace Slow Metabolism with Carnivore 3.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 03:55

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Brannock wrote:rMut rarely comes in useful before you'd be able to find an amulet of resist mutation. I don't see how it makes a race interesting.


rMut an be quite rare. I've gone entire 15 rune games without finding rMut. That said, I'm not sure how much having intrinsic mutation resistance - especially just 66% (so much weaker than an amulet of rMut) really changes your playstyle, aside from making mutators or quaff id-ing potions without rMut or plentiful mutation curing a bit less dangerous (but still risky).

Overall, I think the basic "buff Kobold HP since they're not overpowered anyway" sounds good to me. Whether or not to add another, more distinct small race seems like a different matter. Gnomes seem like a good fit that could be differentiated from kobolds/halflings, but I know they've already been removed once so I don't know what they'd need to be to be considered interesting (I don't think there's a race right now with non-negative spell-casting apt and a positive earth apt besides DE, but it seems like aptitudes alone are generally not considered interesting enough to make a race worth including).

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 07:58

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

It was also my suggestion at some point to combine Halfling and Kobold because of too many similarities between them. About some details:
- Halfling's innate rMut encouraged me several times to go into heavily mutating places without rMut amulet and I praised that I'm Halfling, not e.g. human. It was not that significant impact on the gameplay, though. rMut is rather a feature that most characters will not make a big use of. I think we could get rid of it.
- Please keep carnivore mutation. It helps freshmen on berserkers. It is also a mutation that had significant impact on my kobold casters and made them quite distinct.
- Kobold's HPs are fine. Kobold is not a challenge species and buffing it with more HPs would be unnecessary.
- Aptitudes are mostly close for both species and I do not mind too much which are chosen. If anything, I would like to retain kobold's spellcasting aptitudes, because I enjoyed their versatility in this matter.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 15:48

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Removing halflings while keeping kobolds at -2 HP would entirely defeat the purpose of the change, however, because the most prominent niche that halflings currently have is "small species, but significantly more robust compared to other small species."

I feel like a broken record in this threads but seriously, HP "aptitude" is the most important aptitude by far. In some cases the HP aptitude alone is not enough to justify an entirely new species though, and I think that's arguably the case here. However if some integration or removal were to happen, it is important that the -1 HP apt be retained. This has nothing to do with "giving kobolds a buff" but rather retaining the major gameplay niche that halflings currently occupy.

Broken record, track number two:

This isn't a question of "buffing" or "nerfing," not even a question of powerfulness in the abstract. Hill orcs didn't need a buff when MD were axed, but they got one, to help them pull double duty and better cover a couple of the niches that MD had been particularly suited for. Looking at it only in terms of "power level" and buffing or nerfing, in the abstract, is a terrible way to approach species design.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 16:11

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

The HP apt can distinguish races, but it can't be the only noticable difference as in this case. It's meant to be traded off against something else

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 16:14

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Agreed. And as I said, I think halfling and kobold are probably too similar. However, if there isn't a good idea for how to merge them, or take one out and make slight changes to the other to compensate, then the status quo is preferable to a botched reform.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 17:34

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Here's an idea to help distinguish them:

Give halflings the ability to steal from shops; a few suggestions as to how it might work...

You only get one chance to steal from each shop, after this the shopkeeper gets wary.

You can steal an item at random from the shop, the chance of success depends on the number of items remaining in the shop (if there are fewer items left, the shopkeeper can watch each one more closely.)

OR, you can try to steal a specific item, in this case more valuable items have a higher chance of failure as the shopkeeper is more careful about them.

Once you have attempted to steal an item, whether you succeed or fail, the shopkeeper gets angry and shuts the shop - this could potentially create interesting decisions - do you try to steal an item now and lose all the other items in the shop permanently, or wait until you have enough gold to buy them?

The good gods (especially Zin) regard stealing as an evil action and give penance/piety loss.

Edit: The name wouldn't have to stay as halfling - they could be called gnomes, gremlins, leprechauns, plains dwarves or whatever.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 18:20

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

and into wrote:Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.


I don't understand the burning need to have player species be species of monsters appearing in the game.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 18:41

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Bart wrote:- Kobold's HPs are fine. Kobold is not a challenge species and buffing it with more HPs would be unnecessary.


I'd put them in the bottom quartile. But of course somebody has to be.
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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 10:03

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

XuaXua wrote:
and into wrote:Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.


I don't understand the burning need to have player species be species of monsters appearing in the game.

Well for one thing, it makes the world of DCSS more cohesive and believable.

More importantly, "Humans but at 3/5ths scale" is a really dumb concept for a fantasy race.

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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 19:50

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I'd submit that "humans but at 3/5ths scale and with dog faces or something" isn't really better.
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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 21:01

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

duvessa wrote:I'd submit that "humans but at 3/5ths scale and with dog faces or something" isn't really better.


80

duvessa just snarkily backed me up on something.

Gonna go buy a lottery ticket.
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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 21:22

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

XuaXua wrote:
and into wrote:Then rename these new halflings "kobolds" just because kobolds actually exist as monsters in the game.


I don't understand the burning need to have player species be species of monsters appearing in the game.


Species name and physical description are purely flavor. I think keeping the flavor that is already backed up with monsters in the game makes more sense. It isn't a "burning need."
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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 03:07

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I prefer Kobolds because they're cooler.

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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 15:28

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Currently, the only halfling flavor implemented in the game is the vault that suggests that halfling children are delicious when roasted over an open campfire. Consequently, if halfling are kept they could get perma-mark status to reflect the fact that all the monsters in the dungeon want to eat them. Otherwise, there's nothing notable about them at all that isn't inherited from Tolkein and other pre-existing sources. Kobolds may be early-game losers, but they're early-game losers with many vaults, nasty blowguns and poison darts, Pikel, and demonologists backing up their in-game identity.

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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 16:04

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Redcap = 10x more interesting than Ha & Ko combined.

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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 17:20

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Many of their apts match.


Really? I count shortblades, armour, dodging, stealth, and throwing (we can ignore axes, inv, fire, ice, earth). If your halflings and kobolds are playing too similarly, then I'd say that says a lot about your playstyle (stabbing dodgers who evoke things to get out of trouble, maybe?) and a lot less about apts.
Not that apts are at all enough to differentiate species, but that doesn't really seem to be a concern now. And I like having more than one small race to choose from. We have plenty of normal size, some large, some mixed and two tiny.

A rename/mod to halfling to be more 'crawl-like' would seem fine. More-other kobolds have helped with their lore, as well as theme vaults. The same could be done for halflings. A Halfling-like species might also fit with the new satyr/fauns. Redcap is also a fun concept, though the hex apt may need to be changed with that. Flavor mods seem interesting, but let us keep a second small species!
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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 18:39

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Dodging, armour and stealth seem like 3 pretty important apts to have the same, considering they're relevant to some degree for everyone.

Their melee weapon skills also may as well be the same. None of the differences are huge, and they both have a 0 apt in their highest skill. I guess Ha might have a slight advantage in being able to go short blades -> long blades but that doesn't seem very significant.

I guess some of their spell apts are a little different but I don't see much meaningful gameplay distinction there (other than HaTm being unusually bad I guess).

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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 18:48

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

really halfling is just kobold but better at everything except maybe transmutations

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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 19:59

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Kobold is the new Mountain Dwarf?
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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 20:05

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

XuaXua wrote:Kobold is the new Mountain Dwarf?


Kobolds were always the REAL Mountain Dwarf of Crawl.
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Post Sunday, 4th May 2014, 20:45

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

I like both races and think they're fun to play and quite different. Most importantly, halflings are way sturdier than Kobolds, they've got a great shield apt for a small race.
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Post Monday, 5th May 2014, 18:59

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

Midpoint wrote:Flavor mods seem interesting, but let us keep a second small species!

What about Spriggan then? It's not like those are going away any time soon.

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Post Monday, 5th May 2014, 19:23

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

and two tiny.

Spriggan and Felid are tiny, not small. And they manage not to play the same (although some tactics are similar), despite the game changing differences that size modifiers make.

And maybe that's the real issue with Kobaflings. Size modifiers affect lots of stuff, including shields, EV, stealth, weapon selection etc., and may be part of the reason for overlapping play. I'm not sure that tinkering with apts, say by making Ha be even more of the tanky small species by cranking the Armour apt and turning down dodging, would make people much more likely to use heavier armour on halflings + all the changes that come with that. Dodge modifiers with size are just a big deal. But hey, maybe it is worth tinkering with half's a bit to emphasize the differences.
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Post Wednesday, 7th May 2014, 05:00

Re: Remove Halfling; Integrate into Kobold

duvessa wrote:I'd submit that "humans but at 3/5ths scale and with dog faces or something" isn't really better.

That's because flavor text causes you physical pain.

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