Improving poison magic


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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 21:33

Re: Improving poison magic

TwilightPhoenix wrote:When did you play a Transmuter to cast Sandblast, LRD, Stoneskin, or Shatter? You typically play an Earth Elementalist. The other spells, Passwall, Dig, Alistair's, Condensation Shield, and Ignite Poison, are certainly not ones a Transmuter focuses on using (though they're always nice to have).

Sandblast, LRD, and Shatter are Earth only as of 0.8, or maybe even 0.7.

Stoneskin has bonuses with Statue form, though it doesn't work at all with other forms. The AC is nice when are going toe-to-toe in melee with blade hands. Stoneskin fits pretty well as a transmuter spell.

Passwall and Dig, I'll grant, aren't more used by transmuters than other builds. Using Alistairs before stabbing with blade hands works pretty well, but I guess that works with weapon, too, so maybe it isn't really transmuter specific.

Form users who can't wear a shield need Condensation Shield more than other builds do. Ignite Poison is great against hydras, but most other builds have another good method for dealing with those. It might be nice to add the poison school to ignite poison to make it easier for Venom Mages to cast it.

But the point is that the transmution spells are useful for transmuters, and don't need to be moved to Alchemy/Poison. New spells are a better way to strengthen Poison.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 22:49

Re: Improving poison magic

LunarHarp wrote:Sticks to snakes is great but no one uses it because evaporate is almost always better.

lolwut? That is simply not true.

About alchemy: I think transmutations is one of the best spell schools in crawl, maybe the best (also one of the strongest, but that's not what I'm talking about): it's fun to use, it has a natural power progression, interesting synergies both with itself and with many other schools, distinct spells, enough spells, but not too many, and it has good and coherent flavor. There is absolutely no reason to tear it apart by adding alchemy. Doing that would break way more than it would fix. Expanding poison is good, but I don't get why so many people want to cannibalize transmutations to do this. Many other directions were mentioned. Disease, vermin, acid are all nice things that fit pretty well into the current poison school.

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 23:25

Re: Improving poison magic

If you read the Alchemy proposal, you'll see that it includes moving only three spells (Fulsome, Evaporate, Ignite Poison) out of transmutations. It's not about splitting the transmutations school in two or anything like that, it's about broadening poison magic. The rest of the transmutations school would remain unchanged (and there are a couple of interesting ideas for low-level replacement transmutation floating around already, too).

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 13:33

Re: Improving poison magic

In this case it should be fine.

However I think that poison mages work as anti-healers. Then one can improve poison magic into three steps: poison (beggining) + acid/corrosion (midgame) + infection/plagues (long term, maybe merged with hexes). Alchemy maybe distorts the purpose of this background, which would be dealing with "toxic magic" rather than with potions.

I mean, on one hand there is the combo distilation (poison)+ evaporate and on the other hand is the sting and other kind of toxic spells. For the first tactic you have trasnmuters and stalkers. The latter could be redefined to make a background more adept to potions and alchemy stuff, letting transmuters more prone to "transmogrifications" and shape-shiftings and poison mages as toxic casters not as dependent on potion stuff like the other ones.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Monday, 8th August 2011, 21:03

Re: Improving poison magic

So, any news about improving this school of magic? I think even if you put alchemy at some point, its worth to implement the spells I suggested in the first post since they kinda should be in the game in any school.

Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 15:53

Re: Improving poison magic

I just dug out this post; there are plenty of ideas here - authors should consider moving them to the wiki page (https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:magic:alchemy) that MarvinPA already linked to. That way they won't get lost :)

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 12:13

Re: Improving poison magic

Buffing poison into Alchemy is a pretty old idea, but I've never seen it get this much traction.

I posted about it here https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=444&p=15516&hilit=alchemy#p15516 as part of the discussion of cross-spell school training.

I really like transmutations, but it has its share of problems. Fulsome/Evaporate drown out everything else early and mid game, but don't seem to match the feel of any the other spells in the school. Nothing seems to get better with higher levels of transmutations. Condensation shield is improved by ice, stoneskin and statue form improved by earth, spider form improved by poison magic. It's like another spellcasting skill check but only for a small range of skills.

People seem to be too focused on the fact that giving fulsome/evaporate to Alchemy would nerf transmuters. Yes, it would- if no other changes were made. It is possible (though hard) to skip Fulsome/Evaporate and manage early game with just spider form (it turns you basically into a spriggan with a poison attack). So don't get too stuck on Fulsome/Evaporate being Transmutations early game power.

The Poison school is currently anemic, and too many utility spells are concentrated into charms/air making charms/air over-represented. There's no reason the utility spells can't be spread around. If Poison became Alchemy, potion type effects utility spells could be moved there (like swiftness, levitation, etc.).

I for one, don't see the problem with Fulsome enabling mutation potion roulette or identifying bad potions. Minmay says it's bad for the game, and I've heard that refrain before, but I've never seen a good argument as to why. People already use Nemelex, Jivya, and necromutation for mutation management, and I've never seen the call to arms against them. As for identifying bad potions, how is being able to do so from a corpse significantly worse from quaff id-ing in the corner of a cleared level? By the time you come across a mutagenic corpse (especially with their new lower drop rate) you likely already did all your potion id-ing.

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 13:53

Re: Improving poison magic

Hushed wrote:People seem to be too focused on the fact that giving fulsome/evaporate to Alchemy would nerf transmuters. Yes, it would- if no other changes were made. It is possible (though hard) to skip Fulsome/Evaporate and manage early game with just spider form (it turns you basically into a spriggan with a poison attack). So don't get too stuck on Fulsome/Evaporate being Transmutations early game power.


I agree; I think the key is to give Transmutations one or two new low-level spells that are better themed, and perhaps still have some late-game utility.

Hushed wrote:The Poison school is currently anemic, and too many utility spells are concentrated into charms/air making charms/air over-represented. There's no reason the utility spells can't be spread around. If Poison became Alchemy, potion type effects utility spells could be moved there (like swiftness, levitation, etc.).


There is certainly utility in other schools; the problem with Swiftness, Flight, Repel etc. is that they are universally useful and practically essential for most spellcasters; however I'm not remotely sure how you'd reflavour them to Alchemy!

Hushed wrote:I for one, don't see the problem with Fulsome enabling mutation potion roulette or identifying bad potions. Minmay says it's bad for the game, and I've heard that refrain before, but I've never seen a good argument as to why. People already use Nemelex, Jivya, and necromutation for mutation management, and I've never seen the call to arms against them. As for identifying bad potions, how is being able to do so from a corpse significantly worse from quaff id-ing in the corner of a cleared level? By the time you come across a mutagenic corpse (especially with their new lower drop rate) you likely already did all your potion id-ing.


Yeah, it's a null argument; mutation roulette is a bad strategy so enabling it is not an issue. Although thinking more, it is kind of thematic that a Transmuter has a way to permanently alter themselves :) I think it's a shame that bad potions have so little use beyond Evaporate and the id game. Now and again I'll quaff an un-id'd potion as an act of desperation, but if a game has reached such a point I'm probably dead anyway! So perhaps the Alchemy school could come up with some new uses for bad potions.

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 14:53

Re: Improving poison magic

There are already potions of speed, levitation and resistance. If poison changed to alchemy, and got fulsome/evaporate, thematically there'd be no problem with it taking potion related buffs as spells. Instead of swiftness being charms/air, you could have alchemy take it over as a speed effect. A high level alchemy spell (8?) could be a resistance buff, obviating insulation and resist poison. Levitation would probably stay Air thematically, to go with flight.

Basically utility needs to be spread across classes so that players can make more meaningful choices than just charms/air.

Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 15:19

Re: Improving poison magic

I suppose this is connected.

One reason evaporate is overpowered is that it's at least 7 useful effects in one spell: it imitates scroll of fog, steam kills things (jellies, eg), confusion, poison, decay, fire cloud, and alter self via drinking potions of mutation.

Splitting evap into two or more spells might be justified. Let evaporate only use potions of water (and call it evaporate water, perhaps). Create a new L4 spell that uses potions of degeneration, decay and mutation (and call it evaporate toxin). Adding a L6 spell that evaporates yummy potions (healing, heal wounds, might, brilliance, agility, invisibility, berserk rage) would be a really fun addition for buffing allies (call it evaporate salve).

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 22:29

Re: Improving poison magic

The use of reagents for Evaporate is almost the only thing keeping that spell in Transmutations, and is also the only thing that differentiates it thematically from Mephitic Cloud. I'd rather see the spell taken out (as I feel it should be).

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 22:39

Re: Improving poison magic

Evaporate is conceptually the much more interesting spell, in my opinion. Spells with reagents are interesting because use of a finite resource creates decisions. The question is whether this is worth the additional interface burden. (With Sandblast you can see it is possible to make the burder very small.) And of course you can produce very many reagents for Evaporate. Still, the spell has a lot more flavour than Mephitic Cloud ever had. In my opinion, Mephitic Cloud should be nerfed rather than Evaporate removed.

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