Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting


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Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 15th October 2014, 21:41

Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

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Duplicated by myself from https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:god:propose:proposed_gods, which is no longer up to date. This document is "authoritative".
Edited on 16th October to incorporate suggestions.


This god loves to see followers cast terrifying spells with abandon, rewarding them with even more power for doing so. Many are the adherents of Serger who sacrificed their own lives in an over-ambitious crescendo of arcane might.

Followers open a portal of raw chaos within themselves! Each turn, they gain an amount of magic points (MP) proportional to their missing MP in addition to and after the normal gain. They gain an amount of glow balanced around (proportional, exponential, or logarithmic to) the quantity of MP restored. Serger appreciates followers regaining MP through this ability, particularly when they are using the auto explore command. With increasing piety, the rate of restoration improves; higher levels of the invocations skill reduce the ratio of glow to restoration.

The true chaos mage will never train invocations, because they understand Serger's true power only manifests when they are drenched in glow. The following powers only manifest when casting offensive spells at a target and glowing yellow or red.
- A chance of discharging some of the glow as a relatively controlled surge of power. This acts identically to normal surges from ring of ice, robe of archmage etc.
- A chance proportional to the severity of their glow to discharge all glow in an uncontrolled cascade of magical energy. This produces an effect equivalent to several (2-27) charges of a wand of random effects fired upon the previous target or direction. (Followers are advised to maintain a conservative distance from their foes.)

The following powers manifest passively while glowing yellow or red.
- Miscast spells will always have their intended effect in addition to their miscast effect.
- An aura of wild magic appears around the caster, increasing the caster's spell failure chance while causing any nearby enemy casters to target their spells randomly or outright fail, silence them, antimagic effects, etc..
- When gaining a mutation from discharging unspent glow, a disciple of Serger has a chance (based on piety) of gaining wild magic instead of a random mutation.
- When a disciple of Serger with the full 3 ranks of wild magic would receive another rank from the previous ability, they instead receive up to 3 ranks of the harmless (useless) mutation Internal Corruption specific to Serger worshipers. This helps "crowd out" awful mutations when the ability fails.

Magicians and clergy both regard this chaos god as a reliable source of untimely demise. Therefore, Serger worship is not available to starting characters or at the Ecumenical Temple. Prospective worshipers may seek Serger's altar in the Abyss, the Depths, or certain other very dangerous places; for this reason, swearing fealty to Serger often means renouncing worship of a different god. This behavior pleases the chaos god, who will reward apostates with a starting boost of piety similar to the monk's. However, actually surviving the punishments of their previous patron is left up to the worshiper.
Last edited by roguelikedev on Friday, 17th October 2014, 00:29, edited 4 times in total.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 15th October 2014, 22:53

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

Well if anything this would make the Tome of Destruction actually link to something that makes sense. I don't feel like auto explore should have any effect on an ability since its more of a convenience command rather than an actual game play mechanic. This god also seems to create an incentive to fail at casting certain spells which feels a little counter intuitive. If miscasting puff of flame could result in something as powerful as a bolt of flame it more worth while to simply keep the fail rate up.

Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 15th October 2014, 23:43

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

The proposal is a little rough. Would these different benefits be bestowed on you over time, or would you get all of them at once (like Gozag), or would you get them via "piety" in the manner of Xom?

Another issue is that having bad spellcasting rates be potentially good would be a problem, especially as described. You'd want to wear ring of wizardry when casting buffs or most tloc or tmut spells, but remove them and maybe even take measures to tank your success rate when it comes to, e.g., conjurations. There might be a way to make that work, but you'd want to make sure you don't encourage stuff like removing a ring of +intelligence or switching out a staff of wizardry that you would normally keep on, just in order to generate a miscast effect—that doesn't seem very fun.

One idea: Rather than spawning in the abyss (which is already Lugonu territory), why not remodel Serger as a god whose altar only appears later in the game (past D12, let's say) and who, upon joining, helps shield you from the wrath effects of a god you have abandoned? I always thought that would be a cool mechanic for a non-Temple god to have, trying to tempt you away from your current god by (partially, not fully) protecting you from wrath. You'd still get some wrath, of course. (And the cost of going from full piety with one god to no piety with another is already quite severe, albeit to varying degrees depending on which god you are leaving and which you are starting to worship.)

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Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 07:34

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

This sounds a lot like porting Marauders from MAGE: The Ascension to DCSS. (crash course: they're mad reality-warpers who passively redirect "miscasts" to nearby reality-warpers)

In pantheon terms it pretty much the outcome of a xom/vehumet/lugonu orgy
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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 16:30

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

Thanks for the input!

TL;DR: Can we talk about the glow-for-MP aspect of the religion?

&into: I purposefully left vague the details of Serger's progression, relation with invocation skill, etc. because I thought these would interfere with putting across the general flavor of the god. Point taken, though, I will edit my OP.

The aspect of redirecting failed spells is not actually central, or even present in my original concept. Bear with me a moment here. I was playing deep elf conjurer and decided to ignore Vehumet in favor of Oki, hoping for cool artifact armor. By the time I started picking up runes I hated the entire character: the apparently minor reduction in casting cost and MP reward on kill which Vehumet offers add up to a great deal over the course of clearing a floor (as no deep elf conjurer should forget.) It started seeming like a personal insult that I should have to blow my entire MP bar on each small encounter, then rest away whatever small amount of piety the fight was worth. Then I thought: what if there was a god who refilled MP faster than I could spend it, scorns safe/conservative spell casting, and encouraged me to rush from fight to fight without rest? How could that be balanced?

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 16:46

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

The idea of a magic berserk has come up a few times, and the idea of glow as a consequence rather than slow/exhaust is an interesting idea.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 17:03

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

I've always found glow quite interesting, and it seems like a missed opportunity that it's never been significantly expanded (AFAIK.) If some Serger abilities let me use glow as a resource, it could lead to fun situations where I have to find an enemy to dump my glow on RIGHT NOW or risk half a dozen mutations at once.

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 18:32

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

I like this idea. It rewards what would otherwise be non-optimal play, which is great, because I have never played a game in which optimal play was fun(Although DCSS is much better in that regard than, say, Nethack)
Psiweapon wrote:This sounds a lot like porting Marauders from MAGE: The Ascension to DCSS. (crash course: they're mad reality-warpers who passively redirect "miscasts" to nearby reality-warpers)

Depends on what edition. Back in 1e, Marauders were just jerks who thought they could Ascend by going around being jerks. (Compare and contrast with the nephandi, who thought they could get everyone to ascend by murdering everyone and blowing up everything. Also, the Nephandi are working with a evil space dragon who lives on one of the moons of Jupiter and is CEO of Pentex, who make captain planet villains look well written.)

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 20:41

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

Bikeshedding issue here: A serger (called an overlocker outside of North America) is a type of sewing machine. Admittedly I know a lot of people who sew, but reading the name just makes me think of the machine, not a powerful god of arcane might.

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 20:54

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

ion_frigate wrote:Bikeshedding issue here: A serger (called an overlocker outside of North America) is a type of sewing machine. Admittedly I know a lot of people who sew, but reading the name just makes me think of the machine, not a powerful god of arcane might.


It won't matter. "S" is taken; twice, conceptually. Needs to be a different letter altogether. No more bikeshedding discussion on a proposal; the mods don't like it.
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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 21:49

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

Thought a bit about this and realized that he seems fairly low on abilities. All he has is the two surge abilities and increased MP regen.
A few power ideas I thought of off the top of my head:
1:(always on, costs no piety): Miscast effects have a (piety based) chance to give glow instead of their normal effect.
2:(always on, costs no piety) You have an halo sorta like the one TSO gives out. The size of the halo is based on how much glow you have, and enemy casters get a miscast chance (also based on how much glow you have) if they are inside the halo.
3:(costs piety)A patch of floor chosen by the player gives a miscast chance to enemies that stand on it, and the chance increases for the longer they stand there. The miscast chance goes away when the enemy leaves that spot. This spot returns to normal after some amount of time, or if it ever exits your LOS, Both the miscast chance and the duration are based on how much glow you have.
4:(might cost piety): You can cast any spell you have memorized with a 100% success chance, at the cost of a miscast effect and glow. This would overide ability 1.
5: (always on, costs no piety): You gain cosmetic mutations similar to the symptoms of radiation poisoning based on how much glow you have. They would not go away when your glow goes below the threshold required to obtain them. They don't have an in game effect, but would add a small amount of fluff at no cost. Plus, I like the idea of someone looking into their mutation screen and seeing things like "You have been rendered sterile" or "your hair has fallen out."
6(always on, might cost piety): you have a chance (based on piety) of gaining wild magic instead of a bad mutation when glow dissipates. If you have wild magic 3, you don't get a mutation at all.

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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 21:57

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

I learned the word "bikeshedding" today.

@XuaXua: New gods are really required to have unique initials?

@khalil: I like #5-6 a lot. It would be tough to justify requesting a bunch of actual new mutations, but access to useless "fluff" mutations wouldn't require very much code, and would actually make the religion much stronger by reducing the chance of additional (awful) mutations.

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Post Thursday, 16th October 2014, 22:23

Re: Serger, Chaos God of Spellcasting

roguelikedev wrote:@XuaXua: New gods are really required to have unique initials?

Yes, allthough you are allowed to stretch it: TSO's initials are apparently 1.

roguelikedev wrote:@khalil: I like #5-6 a lot. It would be tough to justify requesting a bunch of actual new mutations, but access to useless "fluff" mutations wouldn't require very much code, and would actually make the religion much stronger by reducing the chance of additional (awful) mutations.

I would hope it wouldn't require much code, but with a project as old as this you can never know.

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