New crusader


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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:23

New crusader

Elliptic changed crusader. Here is the commit message:

  Code:
   A new stab at War Chants.

   Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Repel Missiles, Poison Weapon, Regeneration.

   No high-level spells so that crusaders are more about using a few aids to
   melee stuff than about ramping up to Haste. This will also hopefully make
   medium-armour crusaders more attractive, since it isn't that hard to start
   casting these spells in ring or scale mail.

   Silence was added to Enchantments in place of Levitation (which has too
   many sources), since it only appeared in this book and Sky previously.


He also boosted their charms skill from 2 to 3. I really like this book. It's the perfect package to go for a medium armour hybrid.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:32

Re: New crusader

*Like. (Except that I will miss the fling with Ozzy's Armour :P)
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:35

Re: New crusader

dolphin wrote:*Like. (Except that I will miss the fling with Ozzy's Armour :P)

This.

Poison weapon works on ranged weapons, right? This should help a lot if you can find a sling to shoot poison rocks at ogres with.

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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:43

Re: New crusader

Nice to see medium armour becoming more useful! Good job! As said Poison slings poison slings!!
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:50

Re: New crusader

I've always thought Stoneskin would go well with the crusader in medium armour archetype - unfortunately they aren't a transmutation-based background.

Pity there's no way to poison something then throw it.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 12:55

Re: New crusader

Jeremiah wrote:Pity there's no way to poison something then throw it.

Let's see, wield, cast and throw. 6 keystrokes per dart. No, I'm not missing it.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 13:19

Re: New crusader

Actually, I was thinking it would be nice if you could cast poison weapon on something in the quiver/inventory without wielding it, as the main advantage of throwing is that you don't have to switch away from your melee weapon. But I guess that would mean having a dialogue and menu for 'what do you want to poison' every time you cast it, which would be even worse.

However, I have often wished that branded throwable melee weapons would get to use their brand when thrown, though I'm sure there is some reason why this is a bad idea.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 13:29

Re: New crusader

I like it. Only the name crusader doesn't fit the background at all because he is not a religious warrior unless joining some god like TSO or Zin. We have a lot of alternative names in some threads. "Thaumaturge" fits for the background since it enhances objects by magic, chiefly.

Off topic: Maybe with a little changes/improvement on the book of brands, the arcane marksman could be revived as a ranged crusader. I suggest improving the corona spell to reduce the chance of damaging projectiles whenever they impact on a lighted target, thus avoiding to get rid of projectiles in the early game, when the AM is fragile.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 13:31

Re: New crusader

Jeremiah wrote:However, I have often wished that branded throwable melee weapons would get to use their brand when thrown, though I'm sure there is some reason why this is a bad idea.

Because it would be a safe way to id brands, especially distortion. There's already plenty of ways to poison enemies from a distance (sting, poisoned darts and needles, launcher and poison weapon). We don't need more.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 14:05

Re: New crusader

galehar wrote:
Jeremiah wrote:However, I have often wished that branded throwable melee weapons would get to use their brand when thrown, though I'm sure there is some reason why this is a bad idea.

Because it would be a safe way to id brands, especially distortion. There's already plenty of ways to poison enemies from a distance (sting, poisoned darts and needles, launcher and poison weapon). We don't need more.


I'd prefer to throw a dagger of electrocution and bzap.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 14:42

Re: New crusader

I've always thought the name Crusader is weird. I know we used to have Paladins for gods, but the name crusader doesn't really fit. 'Thaumaturge' is a bit complicated though, especially compared to all the other names, I'm sure there's loads more though.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 14:43

Re: New crusader

Bim wrote:I've always thought the name Crusader is weird. I know we used to have Paladins for gods, but the name crusader doesn't really fit. 'Thaumaturge' is a bit complicated though, especially compared to all the other names, I'm sure there's loads more though.

I totally agree. Crusader heavily hint at a religious background, and it isn't one. We already brainstormed a bit on the subject but couldn't find anything good enough to warrant a change. More suggestions are welcome.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 14:53

Re: New crusader

Enchanter. wait, no, erm... :P

Possibly imbuer/imbuner? I'm not sure if either of those are actual words, but it does imbue things with magical properties. Even something like 'Rune Mage' or something might work better? I know its not technically anything to do with runes, but it fits better, and most people would have an inkling into what a rune mage might do. Not sure, less caffeine addled people may have better ideas.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:08

Re: New crusader

i'm not sure it's a good idea, given that the modern (current) use of the word seems to lean somewhere else, but anyway: warlock?
at least it makes some sense, thematically, given that it's roughly equivalent to "witch". thaumaturge, and i say this from the deep understanding granted by 60 seconds of googling, doesn't seem a good fit either given its religious background, only noone would care because who's heard the word before.
i really can't think of anything better.

edit: also yeah that book works. ozocubu's armour would be a decent fit, but it only works with light armour, and stoneskin would be nice were it not for the transmutations part. something like see invisible might give it some more depth (and the spell's not used nearly anywhere i think), but i'm fine with it as is.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:15

Re: New crusader

Change crusader to enchanter.
Change the current enchanter to stalker.
Change stalker to transmute-a-bit-earth-a-bit-stab-a-bit-I-don't-really-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-backround-er. Or just remove it. ;)

Actually, alchemist might be a better name for the current stalker, though I'm not sure how well that would fit with stabbing.

Edit: absolutego posted while I was writing, but how about:

crusader -> enchanter
enchanter -> stalker
stalker -> warlock (warlock seems to fit quite well with the distilling/poisoning part of the background, and could also go with the stabbing, given the possible origins of the word - thanks Wikipedia.)

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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:36

Re: New crusader

Frankly, I liked the previous Crusader book much better. Maybe Haste didn't belong in there, but I'd much rather have Ozo's Armour than yet another weapon branding spell that gets obsolete the minute you find a weapon with the corresponding brand.
True, Ozo becomes obsolete as well if you decide to go for medium armour, but if I decided to go that route I'd stay with leather/troll/swamp dragon armour in the early game until I find dragon armour (or ice/pearl(!!!) dragon armour) since that's the only -3 EV armour that's IMO worth wearing barring very good randarts, and in the meantime I'd value the AC boost from Ozo higher than a fairly common brand like poison.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:46

Re: New crusader

AC bonus from ozo is 4 + ice / 3. Crusader already has a lot of skills, investing a lot in ice might not be the best thing to do. And at low ice skill, the GDR provided by ring or scale mail might be more effective than the small AC boost.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:48

Re: New crusader

Since the "Crusader" primarily deals with weapon egos, you could rename him to "Brand Manager". It works for the marketing folk.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:50

Re: New crusader

the poison brand is common on short blades, and that's about it. being able to brand a big sword, axe or whatever you find/are skilled with with poison is pretty decent. and you can burn whatever enchant weapon scrolls you find on your weapon of choice, knowing you'll be able to make it useful against most of what you find in a long time.

it's not outrageously strong, but certainly useful. (i would still like to see something else in there, hence the proposal.)

xuaxua: :D
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 15:52

Re: New crusader

I thought silence went pretty well with the theme of "buff before battle, silence, and it's just your preparations and you".

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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 16:22

Re: New crusader

absolutego wrote:the poison brand is common on short blades, and that's about it. being able to brand a big sword, axe or whatever you find/are skilled with with poison is pretty decent. and you can burn whatever enchant weapon scrolls you find on your weapon of choice, knowing you'll be able to make it useful against most of what you find in a long time.

it's not outrageously strong, but certainly useful. (i would still like to see something else in there, hence the proposal.)

xuaxua: :D


Well, poison is poison, whether it's delivered with a +9/+9 excutioner's axe or a +0/+0 dagger. If you find a dagger of poison you might as well use it even if you don't plan on training short blades: even with no skill it has the same attack delay of, say, a scimitar with 8 in long blades, and switching weapons is faster than casting a spell to change brand. Also, there's always blowguns and needles, which I would prefer to a melee weapon anyway as a means of applying poison.
But yeah, I'm not saying it's totally useless, just that the narrowing down of their range of tricks makes them less exciting to me. They could as well have both Ozo and poison weapon without looking terribly overpowered (they still certainly couldn't compete with the old crusaders with zerk).
Also, as caddybear said, silence was a good fit. I understand lvl 5 is considered too high for a starting book these days, but silence is fairly rare otherwise, so chances are a crusader wouldn't find it if he didn't start with it.

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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 16:28

Re: New crusader

It would help if the brand spells would overwrite the current brand for the duration of the spell. That would enable you to (e.g.) slap a flaming brand on your pain Axe for fighting the hydra.

It would also keep brands useful for the entire game since you can adjust to the monster you are fighting and give you a reason to learn more than frost (to tide you over till you get a branded weapon).
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 16:40

Re: New crusader

i would like that medium armour will hopefully get some utility.
As for name, I like Witcher.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 17:01

Re: New crusader

Jeremiah wrote:Change crusader to enchanter.
Change the current enchanter to stalker.
Change stalker to transmute-a-bit-earth-a-bit-stab-a-bit-I-don't-really-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-backround-er. Or just remove it. ;)

Actually, alchemist might be a better name for the current stalker, though I'm not sure how well that would fit with stabbing.

Edit: absolutego posted while I was writing, but how about:

crusader -> enchanter
enchanter -> stalker
stalker -> warlock (warlock seems to fit quite well with the distilling/poisoning part of the background, and could also go with the stabbing, given the possible origins of the word - thanks Wikipedia.)


Crusader -> enchanter
Stalker sounds like someone who peeps you from bushes and sends you morbid presents at home, so Stalker -> Warlock/Witch if it wasn't for the lack of summoning stuff, therefore alchemist sounds fine if it wasn't a transmuter class.... simply rogue ?
Enchanter -> bard (weird stuff, I know I know...)
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 17:18

Re: New crusader

I don't really think Enchanter fits, just as its too entrenched as a different entrenched. Stalker, in my mind, definitely doesn't fit for a crusader!!! Ozzys Armour and the like don't really fit into the theme the word stalker conjures up somehow, plus they don't really do any 'stalking' every crusader I've played has been just a buffed up fighter! (obviously, different play styles, but still....) And again, they're already entrenched and I don't think they really that any of the names need to be moved or changed, even just for the confusion aspect.

I'd like overwriting brands, but I think that would be far too overpowered in most cases, if you get a +9/+9 and can swap any brand onto it, it'd do away with any reason to pick up anything else, plus, as they're all low level spells, its not like there would be much cost. However, I've always liked the thought of that being a really nice god ability (temporary brand wipe), although perhaps a little too niche.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 17:21

Re: New crusader

galehar wrote:at low ice skill, the GDR provided by ring or scale mail might be more effective than the small AC boost.


True, but medium armour is also going to seriously impair your evasion (not to mention spellcasting), at least until you build up some serious armour skill. Overall, for the early game I'd rather have decent EV and AC and next to no GDR but with the ability to freely upgrade to more powerful spells when I find them, than mediocre GDR and AC and next to no EV, and being stuck with lvl 3 spells for a long time.
On top of that, most species which are a good fit for a crusader have a better aptitude for dodging than armour. A dedicated medium armoured hybrid background just doesn't make much sense to me.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 18:28

Re: New crusader

If you want a light armour hybrid with high level spells, you can play an IE or an AE and hybridize. With the GDR buff of 0.8, medium armour hybrid casters are a viable playstyle. Having a background with a clear way to explore it is interesting. And we can adjust the recommended species accordingly.

With armour, evasion, spellcasting and melee, it looks like it's the closest we can get to a "jack-of-all-trade". How about renaming it to bard?
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 18:49

Re: New crusader

Then the war chants would be war songs indeed... oh wait, chants are also songs

I was always thought about bards as wimpy mind deluders musicians, but a combat-oriented bard concept is original, perhaps more available to other races with taste for arts like elves or merfolk. Ossian was a fake bard portrayed as a poet and a warrior by the writer James McPherson.

And by the way, which spellcasting classes are nowadays the easiest to hybridize ?
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 22:00

Re: New crusader

So, I threw my bard suggestion on IRC, and someone suggested Skald, which is a bard with a viking flavour. The idea of renaming crusader to bard is heavily influence by D&D's bard who is the archetypal hybrid. A viking flavour instead of a D&D one is better, and the name sounds cool.
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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 22:16

Re: New crusader

Skald sounds very well for the War Chanter.

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Post Monday, 20th June 2011, 22:22

Re: New crusader

Bard makes me think of Shakespeare. Skald sounds awesome, and more fitting with the background, but it might not be very clear to new players who don't know much about Vikings what a skald is and what to expect from the background.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 08:28

Re: New crusader

Roderic wrote:
Jeremiah wrote:Change crusader to enchanter.
Change the current enchanter to stalker.
Change stalker to transmute-a-bit-earth-a-bit-stab-a-bit-I-don't-really-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-backround-er. Or just remove it. ;)

Actually, alchemist might be a better name for the current stalker, though I'm not sure how well that would fit with stabbing.

Edit: absolutego posted while I was writing, but how about:

crusader -> enchanter
enchanter -> stalker
stalker -> warlock (warlock seems to fit quite well with the distilling/poisoning part of the background, and could also go with the stabbing, given the possible origins of the word - thanks Wikipedia.)


Crusader -> enchanter
Stalker sounds like someone who peeps you from bushes and sends you morbid presents at home, so Stalker -> Warlock/Witch if it wasn't for the lack of summoning stuff, therefore alchemist sounds fine if it wasn't a transmuter class.... simply rogue ?
Enchanter -> bard (weird stuff, I know I know...)

Stalker could go to Nightblade (rolemaster class IIRC) who dealt with poison magic, and assassination/stealth.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 08:32

Re: New crusader

RFHolloway wrote: Stalker could go to Nightblade (rolemaster class IIRC) who dealt with poison magic, and assassination/stealth.

The stalker background has been changed. It's not stealth/poison anymore (was too similar to assassin). It's Tmut/stealth/stabbing.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 10:33

Re: New crusader

Another suggestion for crusader: Magus-at-arms or mage-at-arms.

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 11:52

Re: New crusader

I do have to agree that Skald isn't very clear to people who don't know viking mythology. It's not a massive problem, but all of the other classes are pretty straightforward. Battlemage is straight forward, and I quite like that, but nearly every class could be considered a 'battlemage'. Bard however is too DnD for my liking, its the only setting that I've ever found bard as a hybrid fighter.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 11:59

Re: New crusader

skald is spectacularly opaque. battlemage is passable, and just for the record i really wouldn't mind sticking with crusader.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 12:12

Re: New crusader

absolutego wrote:skald is spectacularly opaque. battlemage is passable, and just for the record i really wouldn't mind sticking with crusader.

If we consider the link between the name and the playstyle, skald isn't worse than crusader. It's even better, because crusader is outright misleading, since this isn't a religious background. I don't think being obscure is a problem if we can come up with a nice and flavourful descriptive text.
Edit: And it's certainly not more obscure than reaver was. It didn't even refer to something real or known as far as I can tell.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 12:24

Re: New crusader

I agree that it sort of fits, but every other class is very guessable to anyone who has the slightest knowledge on rpg based games. Obviously, it doesn't hurt to have people read and find out, but I think it might seem a bit out of place compared to things like 'earth elementalist' and 'fighter' which are very straight forward, and one of the key points (for me) of crawl is that it's accessible for first time users. If you send someone tiles, they can pretty much work out the basics in seconds, no explaining, no 'what the heck is a skald?' it's just simple which is fantastic.

However, I'd much prefer it over Bard, as that is far too DnD centric for my liking. I'm all for battlemage, I think that of all the spell classes it is the most 'battle' focused, so would fit nicely, and is pretty easy to understand off the bat.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 12:35

Re: New crusader

If old Viking legends are not an acceptable source for background names, we'd better do something about the berserker, too. For the tiny fraction of all users who come to Crawl completely unfamiliar with other forms of table-top or computer fantasy role-playing games, there's always the description attached to every background name. Sounding cool is more important than being intuitive to non-players, since gameplay experience will trump everything else once you actually start playing.

Battlemage was an intentionally bad suggestion. I don't know if you've been following 4e D&D development, but they caught quite a bit of crap from the player base for including base classes with that kind of portmanteau name.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 12:50

Re: New crusader

i think everyone knows what "going berserk" means, but i've never set foot in an english-speaking country, so what do i know.

Bim wrote:I agree that it sort of fits, but every other class is very guessable to anyone who has the slightest knowledge on rpg based games. Obviously, it doesn't hurt to have people read and find out, but I think it might seem a bit out of place compared to things like 'earth elementalist' and 'fighter' which are very straight forward, and one of the key points (for me) of crawl is that it's accessible for first time users. If you send someone tiles, they can pretty much work out the basics in seconds, no explaining, no 'what the heck is a skald?' it's just simple which is fantastic.


that was my point, which i failed miserably to explain: it'd be the only word in the class list that's not plain english ("berserker" may not be in a dictionary, but the verb should). you may not know what a healer or a reaver do, but the words convey something about their playstyle.

minmay wrote:Battlemage wasn't even a serious suggestion...


well, it's hardly the worst, so get to the serious stuff and we can wrap this up!
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 12:53

Re: New crusader

How about Arcane Warrior? As in Arcane Marksman, except for melee.

Also, how about starting off with some sort of small bonus item to help with level 1? Crusader has a spectacularly bad start due to having no level 1 spells and fairly crappy combat skills (compared to the combat backgrounds). Some darts might help with that without providing a bonus past level 1.

Alternatively to keep with the magical theme some new level 1 charm would be nice. A small damage and to hit bonus to your next attack could be cool. Something like +2/2 slaying, maybe dependant on power to go to +5/5 or something, dissipates quickly over time. I think it would be quite helpful, and gameplay would be similar to how brand spells are used. An issue with this is that it would still be very useful past level 1, when Crusader is not really weak.
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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 13:03

Re: New crusader

Galefury wrote:How about Arcane Warrior? As in Arcane Marksman, except for melee.

Also, how about starting off with some sort of small bonus item to help with level 1? Crusader has a spectacularly bad start due to having no level 1 spells and fairly crappy combat skills (compared to the combat backgrounds). Some darts might help with that without providing a bonus past level 1.

Alternatively to keep with the magical theme some new level 1 charm would be nice. A small damage and to hit bonus to your next attack could be cool. Something like +2/2 slaying, maybe dependant on power to go to +5/5 or something, dissipates quickly over time. I think it would be quite helpful, and gameplay would be similar to how brand spells are used. An issue with this is that it would still be very useful past level 1, when Crusader is not really weak.

Arcane Warrior does sound ok and is the best proposal so far among the "descriptive name" ones. I still like the flavourful Skald better, but there it's just tastes.
No we're not giving it bonus items. And certainly not darts which litter the ground of D:1. Adding a new spell to the book would be good, though. Especially a L1 spell. But a slaying bonus is too strong, and it would be a no brainer to cast it before every fight for the whole game.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 13:14

Re: New crusader

Probably another one of my stupid ideas, but...

how about a level 1 charm or charms/earth, Phantom Armour, that creates a temporary piece of +0 non-torso armour in a random slot that is currently unfilled (and where you can wear armour.) So, it would create either gloves, hat/helmet or boots if you had at least one of those slots empty and your species allowed you to wear something there.

It would give a small AC bonus which could be nice for low-level characters who have many empty armour slots, but would become obsolete as soon as you find something for each slot.

If it sounds like it could be too powerful for a level 1 spell, then cap it at one piece of phantom armour at a time, so a level 1 character can't fill all their armour slots with repeated castings and get too much AC.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 14:03

Re: New crusader

About the slaying bonus spell: I don't think +5 slaying for one attack would be worth casting before every fight throughout the whole game, and if it is it could be toned down to a max of +3 for example. Even with +5 for major fights there are better things to do with your turns past the early game, like zapping a wand, attacking with a ranged weapon, conjurations, buff potions and other buff spells. And for minor fights it's just not needed.

While it would probably be optimal to cast it before every minor fight it is just too much hassle. Quite a few low level spells fall into this category, mostly low level conjurations. I think this should be balanced to do about as much extra damage as casting magic dart. That makes it no more of a no-brainer to cast than magic dart. I know adding damage to an existing attack gets affected by AC differently than casting magic dart (which is why I suggested +5 slaying = 1d5 damage at max power instead of 1d8 like magic dart), but I think the difference would be small enough to not really matter. And like I said, if it's too much it can be toned down.


I also like the phantom armour idea. Flavor issue: it's really a conjuration, not a charm, because it creates something from nothing. That aside, maybe scale number of created items with power (while also disallowing creating more than those from multiple castings)? Also I don't see why it would be restricted to slots you can wear something in. It would be good for gameplay, but makes no sense from the flavor. It's phantom armor that you create out of thin air for yourself to wear, already on your body. It can be made large or small to fit you, or have holes for horns or claws or be shaped to cover a beak. Dropping this restriction would extend its usefulness past the early game for some species, which might not be desired. It would be nice to pick up for Slime though, to cover slots which you otherwise cant. This would be pretty cool IMO.

Flavor aside a minor AC bonus would be very helpful, and restricting it to uncovered slots means it automatically stops being useful at some point (this is good, there are already too many low level charms that are useful even in extended endgame). Also unlike Ozo's it doesn't interfere with wearing armor, which fits the new book very well.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 14:19

Re: New crusader

I missed the part about it affecting only one attack, but it's still wrong. Slaying bonus is different from enchantment bonus, and it scales with skill level. At high level, even +2/+2 will do much more damage than magic dart.

The phantom armour is ok. The flavour isn't very exciting, but what can you expect from a L1 buff? The balance seems all right.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 14:37

Re: New crusader

this morning I've come up with the name "Default Hybrid"
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 14:41

Re: New crusader

There's nothing wrong with making it work like an enchantment bonus instead of like a slaying bonus. My intention was to give some free charms-styled damage to help kill D:1 Hobgoblins and other early threats. Possible names: Strength (simple and short) or Enchant Weapon (suggests a way of achieving the extra damage more in line with the branding spells, but I don't really like the implications regarding vorpalize scrolls). Tukima's Smash Hit would be funny, but probably too silly.

Anyway, starting at level 2 Crusader has enough options for extra damage, so Phantom Armour is probably a much better spell to add.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 21st June 2011, 14:54

Re: New crusader

Dark Age of Camelot (MMORPG) features a Skald class:
http://camelot.allakhazam.com/class.html?cclass=25
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