Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22
Ieoh Jian Council
The Ieoh Jian Council is a congregation of seven martial monks, that ascended to divinity by fighting their way out of the afterlife, and spend eternity honing their martial skills and, most importantly, enlarging their collection of exotic and powerful weapons. Each of the seven monks is specialized in a weapon type (dagger, long blade, polearm, staff, axe, mace and unarmed).
Gameplay wise, Ieoh Jian is all about weapons, mobility and martial proficiency. They will reward your character for being able to use several different varieties and quickly switch between them. They will empower your crosstraining and help dynamically move between weapon types, as well as lend you weapons of their own collection occasionally. You'll be taught to make weapons fly and converge on enemies, to hit pressure points and to maintain a constant evasive dance.
Inactivity. Using shields and ranged weapons other than throwing is forbidden.
Council Interest Mechanic
As you attack enemies in melee, the Council will become interested in the fight, and they will aid you by materializing weapons in the general vicinity. These weapons can attack on their own (like a weaker Tukima's Dance) or you can grab them from the air by walking into them. If you already had a weapon when you walk into the tile of another, you will leave your previous weapon behind (visually, it would be the same as a normal tile swap with a friendly monster, except the weapons will be swapped).
The materialized weapons are always vorpal or speed branded, and their base types improve with your skill level and piety, as well as their enchantment level. At endgame, you may expect +6 to +9 vorpal/speed weapons of powerful base types. In high tension situations, the Council may decide to aid you by materializing an artifact weapon from their own personal vault, which will be notified in the text window. These weapons are normal artifacts, except they can't have any negative properties. At higher piety levels and higher tension, you may expect more powerful artifacts and enchantment levels.
If you stop hitting enemies in melee for more than two consecutive turns, animated weapons will start to disappear quickly as the council lose interest. If your own weapon was animated, it will be the last to disappear and it will always come back to your hands.
Piety level (-) "Young Dog"
- Substantially increases the effects of crosstraining. All weapon types + Unarmed Combat crosstrain at 100% rate.
- Hitting enemies in melee has a chance to materialize vorpal/quick weapons, as if they were affected by a weaker Tukima's dance. Walking into them allows you to equip them immediately, leaving your current weapon behind.
- Project/Recall Weapon: (Active, small MP, small hunger): If you have a weapon equipped, you project it to an enemy or a target tile, dealing damage and animating the weapon at the target location. While unarmed, you can recall a chosen animated weapon, dealing damage to all enemies it passes through as it comes back to you.
- Flowing Blade:Your martial abilities improve as your connection to the Council strenghtens. All of your weapons gain new auxiliary attacks that trigger on movement.
- Long Blades and Maces/Flails gain Whirlwind: When moving from a space adjacent to a monster to another space adjacent to it, the monster is hit for the weapon's base damage.
- Short Blades and Axes gain Lunge: When moving directly towards a monster, you perform a powerful lunging attack, hitting for 2.0 times weapon damage.
- Staves and Polearms gain Pole Vault: When moving directly into a wall or solid obstacle, you vault two spaces in the opposite direction, hitting all enemies around your landing spot. Can't be used if the landing spot is occupied.
- Afterimage: Equipping an animated weapon by grabbing it from the air grants a powerful but very short EV and MR boost.
- Pressure Points: Your Flowing Blade attacks get a chance to inflict slowness and paralysis.
Piety level (******) "Golden Dragon"
- Steel Dragonfly Technique: (food, 5 MP, piety, active) Projects all Council weapons towards a single monster, unsummoning them after the strike (all summoned weapons are thrown at once and they immediately disappear). Paralysed and slow enemies have a chance to explode.
Ieoh Jian Council's wrath (and stealing mechanic)
The Council have their own spin on excommunication. By default, their rage shouldn't be too powerful, and should be based on combat debuffs, summoning animated weapons against you, and corroding your gear. However, the interesting point is that, the moment you abandon the Council, you get to keep whatever weapons were manifested at the time (you normally relinquish them voluntarily to the council).
The council's rage is substantially affected by the quality of weapons stolen. If you steal a powerful randart, the backlash caused by this should be longer and more dangerous.
Notes on this last design:
There have been a few changes since the third revision that I think will make the God simpler and more fun.
For starters, Disengage is gone and instead we get Pole Vault, which is a much more tactical ability that doesn't allow mindless kiting, while still providing a tool to gain distance (or shorten it) that plays with the rest of the kit.
I toyed with the idea of throwing weapons with F, but it surprisingly turned out to be more confusing than the ability alternative, from my tests. It made it unclear whether you need to train throwing (which you don't), it makes it difficult to add a mana cost, forces you not to quiver anything, etc. Having Project Weapon in ability form also allowed me to include Recall Weapon, which is an interesting positional ability (it incentivises putting your weapon to the opposite side from the enemy, which plays with Pole Vault very well).
Another major change is the removal of the "status effect roulette". I think the roulette was unnecessary to incentivise swapping weapons, and a huge cognitive load as you kept track of who has what status effect. Instead, Afterimage now gives you a defensive boost when swapping. Also, Pressure Points now causes slowness and paralysis with all special attacks, which I think is interesting because it already involves a natural need to cycle weapons. Some weapons are better suited to exploit slowness (polearms for example, or weapons you can Lunge with) while others deal better with paralysis (thanks to stabbing), while others are best at causing the status to begin with (long blades and m&f thanks to the more spammable whirlwind).
I moved which weapons have which attack around, so there is always a meaningful choice. Axes are the best for charging headfirst into a big group of enemies, thanks to the damage amplification you can get on a Lunge+Cleave. This makes them combine very well with Pole Vault weapons so you can quickly jump in and out of the fray. Long Blades and Maces are the best to hit pressure points, while Polearms and Short Blades are the best to exploit status effects (Slowness and Paralysis respectively). Staves and Polearms are always an interesting choice thanks to the mobility that Pole Vault gives even for exploring the dungeon.
Finally, I decided to stop trying to make Unarmed an exception with its own private role. The player is now able to wield anything they want as they traverse the dungeon. The arguable benefit of using unarmed (which is powerful at high levels) is offset by the fact that they will not summon anything behind themselves the first time they grab a weapon from the air, as opposed to weapon-wielding followers of ICJ, which will always start with more armed support.
Third revision (Ieoh Jian Council):
Second revision (Wikanna Council):
First version (Wiruiamesh)