Proposal - Nightstalker species


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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 14:15

Proposal - Nightstalker species

Suggestion for a species that gets the Nightstalker ability (same as demonspawn mutation) innately.

Why? To give players a chance to play a character with this interesting and powerful mutation without having to start up Ds characters and then get all the mutations except the one you want. IMO, nightstalker is different enough from the other mutations to be worth having a separate species built around it.

Concept: A species composed partly of darkness and partly of living flesh that innately dims the light around them as they grow in power. They are considered living (not undead) so do not get undead resistances/vulnerabilities. They are not necessarily demonic (though maybe should be banned from worshipping TSO because their innate darkness conflicts with his goal of lighting everything up...) Because they can't see things very far away, their aptitudes tend towards stealth and close combat, and they are generally bad with ranged attacks.

Species name could be decided later (suggestions include shadowspawn, shadowkin, duskling, twilight elf.)

They are normal sized and can use normal equipment. Normal metabolism & food.

They start with Nightstalker 1 at XL1, gain the second level of Nightstalker at XL10 and the third level at XL20.

Starting stats: Str 7, Int 8, Dex 9.
They gain +1 to Str, Int, or Dex every 5 levels.
-10% HP
Average MP
+3 MR per level

Suggested aptitudes:
fighting 1, short blades 1, long blades 0, axes 0, maces 0, polearms -1, staves 1, unarmed 1
throwing -2, slings -2, bows -2, crossbows -2, armour 0, dodging 1, shields 0, stealth 2
fire magic -1, ice magic 1, earth magic 0, air magic 0, poison magic 1
spellcasting -1, conjurations -2, hexes 1, charms 1, summoning -2, necromancy 1, translocations -2, transmutations 2
invocations 1, evocations 0, experience 0

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 14:32

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

I'm not convinced that Nightstalker needs its own species, but I do want to say that I appreciate the simplicity of the design. I do have a few questions and comments:

1) Fighting 1 offsets -10% to a certain extent; if that's intentional, does it make sense to move both back to 0 instead?
2) I get that short blades are higher aptitude because you want a focus on stealth/stabbing, but why are staves and unarmed favored? Are polearms disfavored because they are "ranged"?
3) What's the rationale behind the specific magic aptitude choices?

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 14:35

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Thank you for flat attributes!
Won (52). Remaining (15): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 5 Backgrounds: AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 5 gods: Jiyv, newNem, WJC, newSif, newFedh

Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 14:48

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

I have been meaning to post this exact idea, not necessarily the aptitudes and details, but the concept of removing nightstalker as a demonspawn mutation and moving it to it's own species. Nightstalkers affect on gameplay is so radically different than any other demonspawn mutation, and is found in only 3 other places in the entire game - robe of night, shadow card, and the lantern of shadows (might not reduce LoS any more though? haven't used it in a while). Nightstalker is too unique of a mechanic to be restricted to a random mutation on one species and is interesting enough to base an entire race on.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 15:03

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Lasty wrote:I'm not convinced that Nightstalker needs its own species, but I do want to say that I appreciate the simplicity of the design. I do have a few questions and comments:

1) Fighting 1 offsets -10% to a certain extent; if that's intentional, does it make sense to move both back to 0 instead?
2) I get that short blades are higher aptitude because you want a focus on stealth/stabbing, but why are staves and unarmed favored? Are polearms disfavored because they are "ranged"?
3) What's the rationale behind the specific magic aptitude choices?


1) Nightstalker is considered to be very powerful, so I thought giving them below average HP would balance that out a bit, but they could still have good fighting for doing damage.

2) Staves because there aren't really any species that have better staves apt than other weapons, so I thought it would be interesting (sorry not really related to species concept.) Unarmed because I think they could be a good transmuter species - and I would like to see another species that makes a good transmuter but doesn't also have the best weapon apt in the game. (yes I know draconians exist.)

3)Transmutations for the reasons above. Bad conjurations go with the theme of bad ranged attacks, summoning kind of similar (since summons can only attack in LOS - maybe necromancy should be lower for the same reason.) Also translocations seem to work better when you have full LOS so you can cBlink or Golubria to somewhere further away, so I gave them low apt for that too.
Ice and poison go well with the transmutation theme (you may notice that some of their apts are similar to the old Sludge Elves... :oops: )
Hexes go well with stealth/stabbing, charms are often buffs that work with the close combat theme (assuming buffs still exist in the future...)

Edit: but unlike Sludge Elves, didn't want them to be too pushed towards unarmed/transmutations, so gave them better weapon apts as well.

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 15:13

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Piginabag wrote:[T]he concept of removing nightstalker as a demonspawn mutation and moving it to it's own species [...] Nightstalkers affect on gameplay is so radically different than any other demonspawn mutation [...] is interesting enough to base an entire race on.

If demonspawn didn't already have nightstalker I'd agree with this. I'm not necessarily against the idea even so, but I'm just not yet convinced.

Jeremiah wrote:1) Nightstalker is considered to be very powerful, so I thought giving them below average HP would balance that out a bit, but they could still have good fighting for doing damage.

2) Staves because there aren't really any species that have better staves apt than other weapons, so I thought it would be interesting (sorry not really related to species concept.) Unarmed because I think they could be a good transmuter species - and I would like to see another species that makes a good transmuter but doesn't also have the best weapon apt in the game. (yes I know draconians exist.)

3)Transmutations for the reasons above. Bad conjurations go with the theme of bad ranged attacks, summoning kind of similar (since summons can only attack in LOS - maybe necromancy should be lower for the same reason.) Also translocations seem to work better when you have full LOS so you can cBlink or Golubria to somewhere further away, so I gave them low apt for that too.
Ice and poison go well with the transmutation theme (you may notice that some of their apts are similar to the old Sludge Elves... :oops: )
Hexes go well with stealth/stabbing, charms are often buffs that work with the close combat theme (assuming buffs still exist in the future...)

1) High Fighting apt isn't necessary to have good damage; generally it's a significantly smaller effect than weapon skill unless you also have good auxes (see VS). I'm not saying you can't do this here, just carrying on the conversation.
2&3) I'd strongly suggest that you leave off this kind of ornamentation -- keep the idea simple and elegant. Nightstalker already makes some things stronger and other things weaker; the aptitudes don't need to lean into that. Use the aptitudes as a second layer of adjustment. For example, Nightstalker makes ranged combat stronger, since you can hit monsters out of your LOS without reciprocation; as such, it makes sense to me to give bad ranged and conjurations aptitudes to offset this power boost. However, Nightstalker already limits translocations and summons, so doubling down with bad aptitudes isn't necessary unless you really feel strongly that this race shouldn't be using these skills. I'd suggest stripping all the aptitudes down to +0 and then thinking carefully about what behavior you want to incentivize or disincentivize with the aptitudes considering that Nightstalker is a given. Keep in mind also that +0 is already a pretty good aptitude.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 17:52

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

To be honest I didn't really think about ranged combat being stronger - I assumed that by the time they see a monster it would already be nearly at melee distance so they wouldn't get much use out of ranged.

How does using bows etc work beyond LOS? Can you even target outside of LOS? I can see that it would be powerful with things like Firestorm, Freezing Cloud etc that you could target at the edge of LOS and would affect things beyond.

When I played a Ds with Nightstalker I remember Tornado being very strong as it would affect everything in sight (but the noise would also attract lots of things from beyond LOS which I didn't know were there until they were almost on top of me. I would imagine this would make certain monsters like juggernauts and anything else fast extra dangerous)

Nightstalker makes stealth very powerful so should they also have bad stealth aptitude to compensate for that? Or maybe something like hooves that reduces stealth?
(They could even have 1 level of Shoutitis mutation on the grounds that since they can't see things far away, when they do see something they are so surprised they sometimes can't help shouting. < this is not really a serious suggestion, I just thought it would be funny.)

I could see them having 0 aptitude for all melee weapons and unarmed, also summoning & translocations. I would still like to see another "good at transmutations" species, though this isn't necessary to the concept. (Sorry, I don't write code so would not be able to help with development or making patches.)

Edit: I would go and play another Ds with Nightstalker to see how the ranged thing plays out, but (lol?) ;) I can't guarantee I'd get the right mutation...

Tomb Titivator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:03

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

I suppose you could use wizard mode to scum quickly for the mutation.

+0 is a good aptitude, so with +0 UC and +0 transmut thy should be viable as transmuters.
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Dis Charger

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:11

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Written about a similar thought before; though it combined multiple things (originally called it a Grue had a mix of large species, stealth and magic affine attributes). In retrospect it's a little too complex, though I'm not sure it made it anywhere beyond brainstome pages. (Though having uneven weapon attributes was mirroring ogre and uneven magic was to make it passable/decent instead of amazing. Sidenote: -2 Summoning is the most common "bad" magic apt. for some reason. Why are some many races bad at summoning?) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mYq ... oelNs/edit

Direct note: I don't think just nightstalker is enough to float a species, yet I also think mine is a little complex.

Less direct note: Why is it no race (has even elemental apts (unless they are one of the few were almost ALL apts are the same (Hu, Op, Na, Mu, Dg) even DE has 1101.
I'm beginning to feel like a Cat God! Felid streaks: {FeVM^Sif Muna, FeWn^Dithmenos, FeAr^Pakellas}, {FeEE^Ashenzari, FeEn^Gozag, FeNe^Sif Muna, FeAE^Vehumet...(ongoing)}

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:25

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

It's time to admit that you're doing product placement for a parenthesis distributor.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:26

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Also, didn't want to make apts too similar to Ds, so put some +/-2 in there where Ds is mostly -1-0
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Dis Charger

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:32

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Jeremiah wrote:Also, didn't want to make apts too similar to Ds, so put some +/-2 in there where Ds is mostly -1-0
Human and Octopode have almost identical apts.
I'm beginning to feel like a Cat God! Felid streaks: {FeVM^Sif Muna, FeWn^Dithmenos, FeAr^Pakellas}, {FeEE^Ashenzari, FeEn^Gozag, FeNe^Sif Muna, FeAE^Vehumet...(ongoing)}

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:41

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Lasty wrote:If demonspawn didn't already have nightstalker I'd agree with this. I'm not necessarily against the idea even so, but I'm just not yet convinced.
Nightstalker is far too strong to be a reasonable ds mutation, especially a tier 2 one.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 18:51

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

I really like this idea, given that Nightstalker is (as stated frequently above) a very powerful and game altering DS mutation relative to the other ones.

If this isn't sufficiently differentiating, what about giving it slightly above average aptitudes, but giving it blurry vision 1 or 2? That further increases the emphasis on ranged and stealth gameplay and plays somewhat into the no-scrolls race that people frequently request without being quite as stupid.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )
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Dis Charger

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 19:00

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Lasty wrote:It's time to admit that you're doing product placement for a parenthesis distributor.
I went ahead and redrafted on that guy a bit and gave him a (CYC) post. (link)
I'm beginning to feel like a Cat God! Felid streaks: {FeVM^Sif Muna, FeWn^Dithmenos, FeAr^Pakellas}, {FeEE^Ashenzari, FeEn^Gozag, FeNe^Sif Muna, FeAE^Vehumet...(ongoing)}

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 14th March 2016, 19:06

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

TeshiAlair wrote:That further increases the emphasis on ranged

Nightstalker itself is pretty strongly anti-ranged (as in, it is bad for player ranged combat), by the way. There are some spells you can use to attack out-of-los with nightstalker, though this is probably not really a thing the devs want to keep available, since various methods of out-of-los attacking (summons, LRD, clouds, singularity, projected noise sort of) have been removed or reduced in effectiveness over time.

In fact these out-of-los attack methods are probably the biggest obstacle you have to overcome for a nightstalker species, since I'm not sure what the right way to deal with e.g. fireball is in this situation.

But other than out-of-los attacking (which is problematic because it completely prevents enemy responses) nightstalker is not good for ranged attacks in general, since it reduces the range of many of them.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 17th March 2016, 04:47

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

I'm open to building a nightstalker species on the dcss:ca fork. One of the major purposes of this fork is to experiment with new / alternative species. If someone is willing to put together the graphics part (I think we just need a tile?), I can do the rest easily enough.

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 17th March 2016, 09:16

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

personally i would like to play nightstalker characters if it wasn't so exquisitely random.

definitely would play a nightstalker species.

if you want to make it transmuter friendly-er but not with apts how about an auxiliary attack of some description? or maybe claws1.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 17th March 2016, 10:19

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

um nightstalker is already very good for transmuter

Tomb Titivator

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Post Thursday, 17th March 2016, 16:51

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

jeremygurr wrote:I'm open to building a nightstalker species on the dcss:ca fork. One of the major purposes of this fork is to experiment with new / alternative species. If someone is willing to put together the graphics part (I think we just need a tile?), I can do the rest easily enough.

If you just want to test a new species, you don't need any special graphics stuff. Just reuse the Hu (or some other) tile and get it running.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 17th March 2016, 21:38

Re: Proposal - Nightstalker species

Yeah that's what I've done in the past, but it's still fun to have a tile if someone else makes it :) Someone with some actual artistic skill, unlike mysef.

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