Bolts to Boas!?


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Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 463

Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01

Post Saturday, 9th April 2016, 02:02

Bolts to Boas!?

I'll probably rehash that Kitsune thing in a few weeks. Until then, here's another idea: an upgraded Sticks to Snakes spell. This spell is really fun and well-designed and I think it would be cool to have it with stronger monsters so it could be useful into the later sections of the game.

Name: Bolts to Boas
Level: 5 or 6, possibly 7
School: Transmutations
Sources: Fen Folio, Book of Alchemy
Effect: Transmutes up to 7 bolts (not-steel, not-silver) into high-level snakes. Higher spell power gives stronger snakes. The following snakes may be generated, in order of increasing power.

- Black Mamba
- Anaconda
- Sea Snake

Some relevant pages:
http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Snake
http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Sticks_to_Snakes

Sticks to Snakes is godly even well into lair because of its unique properties of being a summon spell while not having a summoning cap. It has the ability to flood an entire level cheaply and easily (so long as the player has the necessary arrows). It's a great damage spell, even being able to take down Giants and Minotaurs. It's a decent escape spell because ball pythons can restrict enemies and because all snakes can block arrows. With its lack of a spell cap, the limiting factor is instead the number of arrows the player has.

It has its flaws, however. Despite me describing it as decent at this, it is far from reliable at shielding the player from projectiles, even in a narrow corridor. Centaurs chop them apart. This is in contrast to at least one of the spells a summoner will have access to. It's also bleh against poison-resistant enemies, even minor ones like phantoms, wraiths, and hungry ghosts.

Bolts to Boas operates with the same principle, but with bolts and stronger snakes. Having Bolts to Boas allows Transmuters that can find it additional escape options as well as a nasty damage option.

For some odd reason the Sticks to Snakes page implies the snakes can follow you up and down stairs. That's not true in Trunk, so it wouldn't be here either.

Pros:
- Coming up with additional uses for Sticks to Snakes is a lot of fun. Same deal here.
- The higher-level snakes are tankier, adding more utility.
- Gives transmuters a strong mid-to-late-game option significantly different from their other ones while also balancing itself by the fact that extended and zot enemies can still massacre hoards of snakes. Most of the latter and almost all of the former are also immune to poison.
- Makes the Fen Folio a bit better and more useful to a wider range of spellcasters. I know I personally hate getting this book since I never use anything in it; iron shot is generally too low-level by the time I obtain this and hydra form is a death sentence because of its frailty. Admittingly, I haven't given summon forest a fair shake.
- This is essentially a re-hash of a level 2 spell with no extra baggage attached, making it simple to program.

Cons:
- Single spell school may be a little OP. Transmuters are already arguably the strongest class among the entirety of the warrior-mage and mage classes. Could add poison to the type, but that doesn't make sense for Boas and currently StS doesn't have this restriction despite having the same percentage of poisonous snakes.
- Sticks to Snakes is at its strongest in the early game, where the limited arrows actually matter. That won't be a problem here by the time this spell is a thing.
- Bolts to Boas is the only thing I can come up with for a name. There's no particular gameplay reason to restrict it just to bolts, but StS only works with arrows currently and it makes sense that a stronger bolt with stronger magic would make stronger snakes. I hate to design based on flavor but I have nothing else.

Other notes:
- Mana vipers are obviously out because there's already a spell that does that and holyfuckingshit mana vipers are already amazing even summoned only one at a time.
- Shock serpents are out because they damage the player.
- Guardian serpents: No.
- It would be a con to say that tankier snakes no longer carry the same weaknesses, but this spell is used much later in the game, where there are much worse threats than ones that can be easily blocked with meat shields.
- lol, anteaus

For this message the author PowerOfKaishin has received thanks:
Airwolf

Dungeon Master

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Joined: Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 03:08

Post Saturday, 9th April 2016, 02:13

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

I wish I had that picture of Antaeus getting killed by s2s moccassins right now.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 463

Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01

Post Saturday, 9th April 2016, 02:27

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

CanOfWorms wrote:I wish I had that picture of Antaeus getting killed by s2s moccassins right now.


I should've known. But to be fair, if you can kill Anteaus with S2S you can do it with most decent-level summoning spells.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 395

Joined: Monday, 28th April 2014, 19:50

Post Saturday, 9th April 2016, 20:42

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

PowerOfKaishin wrote:
CanOfWorms wrote:I wish I had that picture of Antaeus getting killed by s2s moccassins right now.


I should've known. But to be fair, if you can kill Anteaus with S2S you can do it with most decent-level summoning spells.


The important thing about S2S for that is the fact that (unlike "real" summoning spells) it has no summon cap.

If a player kills Antaeus with only summoning spells they're probably gonna have to use more variety, at least if they want to be able to surround him with eight dudes.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 463

Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01

Post Sunday, 10th April 2016, 16:32

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

genericpseudonym wrote:
PowerOfKaishin wrote:
CanOfWorms wrote:I wish I had that picture of Antaeus getting killed by s2s moccassins right now.


I should've known. But to be fair, if you can kill Anteaus with S2S you can do it with most decent-level summoning spells.


The important thing about S2S for that is the fact that (unlike "real" summoning spells) it has no summon cap.

If a player kills Antaeus with only summoning spells they're probably gonna have to use more variety, at least if they want to be able to surround him with eight dudes.


Well yeah, but what player doesn't have that sort of variety when they fight Anteaus?

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1738

Joined: Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 02:48

Post Sunday, 10th April 2016, 17:11

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

PowerOfKaishin wrote:Well yeah, but what player doesn't have that sort of variety when they fight Anteaus?


Then maybe they should go win instead.

Or use a weapon.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 463

Joined: Monday, 20th July 2015, 04:01

Post Monday, 11th April 2016, 15:19

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

I should've said Summoner. If you're a dedicated Summoner and can't take down the hell lord with piss for resists you shouldn't be in hell
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Dis Charger

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Joined: Wednesday, 7th August 2013, 08:25

Post Monday, 11th April 2016, 19:56

Re: Bolts to Boas!?

S2S works on Antaeus, because it's a virtually a melee-only creature (only bolt spell like ice giants) and it has no rPois. Summons that weak wouldn't work on other hell lords, virtually at all.
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