Proposal: Sif Muna's Library


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Post Friday, 1st January 2016, 17:40

Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

As Sif Muna grants you the ability to forget spells at will, you can swap spells relatively cheaply, but doing so requires either lugging spellbooks around, or travelling back to the books.
How about allowing followers to remember every spell they have ever found, without the need to carry the spellbook?
This would be a minor buff for people that want to be able swap spells wherever they are, freeing up some inventory slots.

Followers get this ability at ** piety (at the same time as forget spell, because books then become meaningless as consumable for forgetting), or possibly at ***, (to distribute things over piety levels, and before the gifting starts there aren't a gazillion books to manage anyway)

Flavour:
Sif Muna grants her followers unrestricted access to her library, containing every spell in existence. Mere mortals can only ever hope to look up books they have previously encountered though, or they would quickly become lost in the raw magical energy of the library.

Short:
Followers can remember any spell they have previously encountered directly from Sif Muna's library.


Ideally this would just show all spells you've ever seen in the Memorize spell list, maybe there should be a toggle to hide non-carried spells?

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Post Friday, 1st January 2016, 17:50

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Yes, the idea of Sif Muna's library comes up from time to time, and it's fitting (Sif's title is "the Librarian"). I believe it could work well if it's not just an interface nicety if, in addition to painless access of all spells seen/gifted, players don't get actual copies of book gifts. In other words, you get those gifts, but only as virtual books, adding to the Sif's library which you can access through memorisation. This means that abandoning Sif takes away access to those spell (and I also think you should forget spells not available otherwise, but that's a seperate matter).

gammafunk: any opinion on Sif's library?

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Post Monday, 4th January 2016, 23:07

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Dpeg: you realize you've just introduced DRM into a world of magic? Now THAT is an evil and monstrous act indeed...

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Post Tuesday, 5th January 2016, 02:10

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

I think maybe just scrapping the inconvenience of carrying and going back to textbooks altogether would be a better idea honestly.

Does anyone object to making textbooks simply not take up inventory space? You can add throw spellbook as a god ability for trog and just have a counter for the number of spellbooks you have.

I mean, I personally don't have an issue with going back for spellbooks, its kind of exciting imo. But spellbooks aren't really a resource(depending on your definition I guess), so there is no real reason to have them take up inventory space. Just my two cents.
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Post Tuesday, 5th January 2016, 08:18

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Yeah, with item destruction long gone, I still have to keep a spellbook stash on L:1 so that I can conveniently see all spells I have available in one glance. I tend to carry one spellbook with me (the book with the next spell I'm going to memorize next), so this change would basically free one inventory slot + save time and piety from backtracking.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 03:15

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Well, I guess books could be kept tracked in completely virtual fashion. So they're items on the ground, and you'd pick them up like now (or set them ablaze from afar for Trog's glory). Once you have picked them up, there's some key to look at your book collection. That way, you could still destroy them (to forget a spell), or throw them (for Trog) or, under the above proposal, mark them as "lent from Sif" (so that the librarian can take the book back and remove its spells from your memory if you have no other source).

This sounds good, but there is one interface screw: currently, you can pile up books, sorting those with spells you want. No matter how we display books and spells, it must be possible to browse spells without feeling like vi/emacs/regex. (Also, it's a lot of work that does not sound particularly urgent to me. But having a good interface design would already help a lot.)
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 03:24

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

dpeg wrote:Well, I guess books could be kept tracked in completely virtual fashion. So they're items on the ground, and you'd pick them up like now (or set them ablaze from afar for Trog's glory). Once you have picked them up, there's some key to look at your book collection. That way, you could still destroy them (to forget a spell), or throw them (for Trog) or, under the above proposal, mark them as "lent from Sif" (so that the librarian can take the book back and remove its spells from your memory if you have no other source).

This sounds good, but there is one interface screw: currently, you can pile up books, sorting those with spells you want. No matter how we display books and spells, it must be possible to browse spells without feeling like vi/emacs/regex. (Also, it's a lot of work that does not sound particularly urgent to me. But having a good interface design would already help a lot.)


What if when you pressed shift M, it displays the books like when you are searching for shops but in alphabetical order instead of displaying spells like it does now. Also, maybe have the books be separated into 2 categories: The higher level(Necro, Grimoir, Ice) and then the lower level, or "Basic" spellbooks. That way it might be easier to keep track of what you have.

You can also add a key to drop spellbooks if needed.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 03:26

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Tiktacy: yes, questions like this. I thought that perhaps one should be able to (de)select schools, and whether to sort by level ascending or descending. Still starts sounding like my emacs :)

Good point about still being able to drop books!

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 16:07

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

I think OP's version of his idea is best, and simplest.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 16:30

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Rast wrote:I think OP's version of his idea is best, and simplest.


Essentially what the OP is suggesting is to fix something that is more-less flawed by allowing players who follow a specific god to not be inconvenienced. Obviously, thats not how the devs like to do things. The devs like to apply features that make the game flow better to all players and not just specific characters who choose a specific playstyle.

In otherwords, its sort of a bandaid solution. While sometimes those kinds of solutions might be useful for experimenting with new ideas, this is not an appropriate context for one. Spellbooks are neither a tactical nor a strategic resource, nor do they effect combat in any way, and therefore act less like an item and more like gold or runes. I think it would be very hard to make an argument that spellbooks should take up inventory space, the only real roadblock is figuring out the specifics of what it would look like in-game. That and of course the mods need to put it on there list of priorities before it can be solved, but that's a given for all new additions to the game.

(Thats not to say the OP's idea wasn't a good one though, it often takes nice ideas like the OP's to get people thinking about ways to improve the game as a whole. Its not uncommon for threads to start as a smaller proposal and then start to spread across the board rapidly.)
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 16:54

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

I think I agree with tiktacy's general argument here, insofar as god powers aren't a great way to fix inventory problems. We already have a virtual "backpack" that characters hold their inventory in, they may as well get a virtual "spellbook" that they add spells to.

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 17:21

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

I went ahead and create a namespace on the devwiki: Spellbook management

I am certainly missing something, and I am a bit afraid that the interface could become too convoluted. Also thinking about this made me wonder: we probably give out too many spellbooks in general, and randart books are cool but don't fit too well with the virtualisation (I have no intent on scrapping them, but there are other possibilities). Comments on this are welcome, here or there.

Again, this is a lot more work than virtual runes or virtual gold. I am not entirely sure it'll be worth the effort, although the game would certainly be smoother afterwards.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 17:27

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

archaeo wrote:I think I agree with tiktacy's general argument here, insofar as god powers aren't a great way to fix inventory problems. We already have a virtual "backpack" that characters hold their inventory in, they may as well get a virtual "spellbook" that they add spells to.

Spoiler: show
Perhaps spellbooks should be reflavored as flash drives and have the player always start with a Kindle?


Here is what I imagine as a solid interface when it comes to having spellbooks as non-items:

  • Pressing Shift-M brings up a list of all spellbooks you currently have, seperated into 3 categories. The very top category will have the tier 1 text books that include level 8-9 spells in them. After that will be spellbooks that contain spells level 1-7. Then finally, the last category are artifact/sif spellbooks(sif specific ones could be highlighted blue?). The higher levels should be ontop simply because acquiring a higher level book can often have the biggest effect on gameplay and will naturally require planning and specific skill allocations, and therefore they are of higher priority for players to see.
  • while on this screen, you can press a key( '+' maybe?) to change into spell mode which allows you to see all spells sorted as they currently are.
  • Additionally, you can press a different key ('-' maybe?) that gives all books currently listed a letter, allowing you to then choose which ones you choose to drop if you ever want to. This would essentially be the same as the current drop menu if you only had books in your inventory. You cannot drop artifact spellbooks or gifts from sif muna.
  • If you are a follower of vehumet, a fourth category appears, listed at the very top, with a single "book" titled "Vehumets Gift of Destructive Magics" or something along those lines which contains the spells vehumet is currently offering you. This obviously can't be dropped.
  • Using the search option for books will list you books in your inventory as it currently does now.
  • Trog gains the ability to throw spellbooks. All spellbooks are evil to trog and therefore the book that is thrown should be random. Spellbooks while under trogs worship cannot be identified, even reading them while under him is enough for penance. Nerfs trog just a but, but considering trog is arguably the strongest god in the pantheon, its probably not an issue. Alternatively, you could just remove the ability to pick up spellbooks under trog and make the throw mechanic of his books non-existent.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 17:59

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

I am really worried that navigating very many spells is hard, so in the devwiki page linked above I suggest that you can toggle all (of the twelve) spell schools. It's not written there, but this selection should be persistent. That way, if you never care about Earth spells, you deselect that school, and spells with Earth are not listed anymore. Books that only contains spells with deselected schools are also hidden.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 18:15

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

dpeg wrote: I am a bit afraid that the interface could become too convoluted.

The main issue seems to be the urge to retain Trog's book burning stuff and the ability to forget spells by destroying books. The latter is easy enough to just remove, with a corresponding increase in the number of amnesia scrolls if it's thought to be a problem (I doubt it would be), and I think this mechanic should probably be removed regardless. The former is trickier.

It's possible that it'd be easier to just turn books into stackable objects? Virtualizing books overall is "cleaner," but stackable books would make keeping Trog's current mechanics a lot easier.

Also thinking about this made me wonder: we probably give out too many spellbooks in general, and randart books are cool but don't fit too well with the virtualisation (I have no intent on scrapping them, but there are other possibilities). Comments on this are welcome, here or there.

What if books were dungeon features like bookshelves instead of items, and you just copied the spells into your own spellbook?
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 18:26

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

archaeo wrote: ... the ability to forget spells by destroying books.


Uhh, what?

Am I to understand that you can forget spells simply by destroying all copies of books that contain that spell?

I have never tried before, and I might be missing something here, but if this is really the case as I understand it then that probably takes the cake for the most un-intuitive feature in all of DCSS. It sounds like an easter egg honestly.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 18:46

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Tiktacy wrote:Essentially what the OP is suggesting is to fix something that is more-less flawed by allowing players who follow a specific god to not be inconvenienced. Obviously, thats not how the devs like to do things. The devs like to apply features that make the game flow better to all players and not just specific characters who choose a specific playstyle.

Sif Muna seemed like an appropriate god to apply this to because I figured Sif followers swap out spells more often. I attempted to keep it simple, and figured simply adding every spell you've seen to the M list wouldn't be that hard to implement.

Keeping track of virtual gifted books seems rather complicated (and would make Sif the only god to retract gifts)

If there is to be an overhaul, how about something like this: (I usually don't live long enough to swap spells a lot, so have no idea how big a thing choosing books to forget a specific spell is.)
  • Spells are written on pages in spellbooks
  • You have a spellbinder with infinite* capacity (i.e. spell inventory)
  • You can transfer pages from found books into your binder, but not the other way
    ('r'ead spellbook, 't'ransfer all pages into your binder, discards the empty book)
  • You can have as many duplicate pages of a page as you find
  • You can only 'M'emorise spells from your binder, not directly from books
  • Forgetting spells costs one page with that spell from your binder (or ?amnesia, or Sif piety)
-> Forgetting spells using a page is cheaper, as you only lose that page, not all spells from a book.
-> No more learning spells first, and keeping the books to burn as Trog gifts later. (Are people actually doing this?)
-> Interface for 'M'emorizing spells doesn't have to deal with books.

* For values of infinite that on closer inspection smell a lot like simply another large power of two.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 18:47

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Tiktacy wrote:Am I to understand that you can forget spells simply by destroying all copies of books that contain that spell?

If a book contains a given spell, you can destroy the book to forget that spell. No, I've never done this, either.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 19:22

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

dpeg wrote:I am really worried that navigating very many spells is hard, so in the devwiki page linked above I suggest that you can toggle all (of the twelve) spell schools. It's not written there, but this selection should be persistent. That way, if you never care about Earth spells, you deselect that school, and spells with Earth are not listed anymore. Books that only contains spells with deselected schools are also hidden.

An interim change that would be really nice (and probably not too hard to implement) would be a single-key toggle option to hide all spells for which you have 0 skill in the corresponding schools. Alternately (or in addition), have a toggle for hiding all spells with 100% fail. Both of these options are consistent with the convention of single-key toggles used on other UIs in the game. Having a way to turn schools on/off individually is nice, but I suspect filtering by skill=0 will have largely the same effect with less effort to implement and access.

Actually, I might even try writing a patch for that and putting it on Mantis (would give me an excuse to learn how the UI code works.) This would be useful even with the current stacking of books mechanic, as I think many players (especially when worshipping Sif) will keep a central stack of books to which they go when looking to change spells, using 'M' to access the grand list.

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 19:44

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Do Troglodytes burn books strategically that often either? I think either books should be made dungeon features as in Archaeo's suggestion or burning books strategically should be buffed (maybe have burning books start a 3x3 square of flames, excluding the square occupied by the player).

If the first option is taken then there is no need to group spells by book, and searching for a spell in your virtual library could work identically to ctrl-F.

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 19:53

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

archaeo wrote:
dpeg wrote: I am a bit afraid that the interface could become too convoluted.

The main issue seems to be the urge to retain Trog's book burning stuff and the ability to forget spells by destroying books. The latter is easy enough to just remove, with a corresponding increase in the number of amnesia scrolls if it's thought to be a problem (I doubt it would be), and I think this mechanic should probably be removed regardless. The former is trickier.
Actually, these are just side issues for me. (A trivial Trog solution would be burning on the floor only.) My fear is something else: suppose you have collected all your dungeon's books in one pile (in current Crawl) and you stand there and press 'M'. What you get is a very long list, certainly several pages. (This is from the point of view of a standard console -- it'll be a long list to browse in either case.) Currently, I solve this problem by dropping books that contain no interesting to spells. That way, I get a manageable list. Perhaps other players always know what spell they want to learn next -- I don't, and I like to consider my options by reading the M screen.

Being able to drop books from the virtual spellbook bag is one solution, and toggling schools would be a second one.

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 19:59

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

njvack wrote:
Tiktacy wrote:Am I to understand that you can forget spells simply by destroying all copies of books that contain that spell?

If a book contains a given spell, you can destroy the book to forget that spell. No, I've never done this, either.


Why would you not?
A ?amnesia is a pretty valuable resource in the early game, whereas your starting spellbook is not.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 20:38

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Speleothing wrote:A ?amnesia is a pretty valuable resource in the early game, whereas your starting spellbook is not.

Personally, I have always found enough ?amnesia (even though almost always the first ?amnesia is read-id'd). I don't think I've ever used a book to unmemorize a spell either.
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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 20:39

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Regarding forgetting spells through book destruction: we should definitely try to keep these two topics apart. Experience has shown that it is much easier to achieve interface changes than to combine them with gameplay changes as well.

For example, I would always argue that instead of removing book destruction, it is better to reduce the generation rate of ?amnesia. (I could explain, but this is really not the appropriate place for this. We're hijacking rigrig's thread already. Also, I am not neutral in this regard: I suggested amnesia through book loss -- perhaps as a compensation for removal of the amnesia spell, but I am not sure on that one.) Once we start discussing this bit, moving onwards with slotless spellbooks becomes much harder and potentially impossible.

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Post Wednesday, 6th January 2016, 21:42

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

dpeg wrote:Regarding forgetting spells through book destruction: we should definitely try to keep these two topics apart. Experience has shown that it is much easier to achieve interface changes than to combine them with gameplay changes as well.

For example, I would always argue that instead of removing book destruction, it is better to reduce the generation rate of ?amnesia. (I could explain, but this is really not the appropriate place for this. We're hijacking rigrig's thread already. Also, I am not neutral in this regard: I suggested amnesia through book loss -- perhaps as a compensation for removal of the amnesia spell, but I am not sure on that one.) Once we start discussing this bit, moving onwards with slotless spellbooks becomes much harder and potentially impossible.


Sorry about that, I was totally in shock having discovered this.

Its not that its a bad mechanic even, its just essentially an easter egg. I will drop that topic though, my apologies for derailing it a little bit. Feel free to delete my posts involving the destroying of spellbooks or splitting them into a different thread archeo(or any other mods).

Also, the thread was a little hijacked, but rig seems to be perfectly fine with it, and its natural for a suggestion like this to give rise to interesting discussion. If at any time mods feel like a new thread should be made for this specific topic, I'm sure nobody would object to locking this topic and having someone start up a new one focused on this topic alone.
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Post Thursday, 7th January 2016, 07:11

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

njvack wrote:
Tiktacy wrote:Am I to understand that you can forget spells simply by destroying all copies of books that contain that spell?

If a book contains a given spell, you can destroy the book to forget that spell. No, I've never done this, either.
I do this every Skald game to forget Infusion after I've learned what I want(Shroud, Spectral Weapon, Regen)

It is kind of superfluous though. It'd be cool if amnesia was rare enough that it mattered more.
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Post Friday, 15th January 2016, 08:48

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Is there any chance of scrolls getting in?

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Post Wednesday, 7th December 2016, 17:15

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

What about this?

* Reading (or picking up) a book places all spells it contains into a spell inventory, possibly flavored as the player's own spellbook.
* Accessing the spell memorization screen displays a menu of schools with spells available to memorize, and an "all" option.
* Upon selecting a school (or all), the known but non-memorized spells are shown in ascending order, sorted first by level, and then alphabetically.

With this method, there's no need to keep track of how the spells were obtained; a simple binary flag for known/unknown would suffice. This also means the player wouldn't need to remember which spells are in which artifact spellbooks.

The catch is that there needs to be a way to view the details of memorized spells, which I currently do by reading books. Probably the simplest way to address this would be to have a toggle to show currently memorized spells in the memorization screen, though adding an option to view spell details in the spellcasting / spell keybinding screen would make more sense thematically.

Edit: I've been reminded that pressing "I" displays the list of known spells in a way that allows viewing descriptions.

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Post Friday, 9th December 2016, 04:19

Re: Proposal: Sif Muna's Library

Chicken wrote:Dpeg: you realize you've just introduced DRM into a world of magic? Now THAT is an evil and monstrous act indeed...


DRM = Divine Rights Management. Seems appropriate.
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