Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 247

Joined: Monday, 10th November 2014, 21:32

Post Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 01:33

Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

In summary, my proposal is a rework of certain demonspawn mutations/demonspawn abilities in order to do the following:

    Make Demonspawn mutations interesting at Rank #1
    Make Demonspawn mutations distinguishable at Rank #1
    Eliminate "gimmie" mutations where a 1 or 2-rank mutation has a generic resistance or cloud immunity tacked on to make it three ranks.
    Make demonspawn mutations slightly more consistent in terms of level achieved, typing, and being at least somewhat unique to demonspawn

The problem I see with Demonspawn mutations is that there are generally two types of mutations. Mutations that give their benefit immediately and are enhanced with ranks (e.g. demonic guardian, spirit shield), and mutations that give minor benefits with the unique aspect given at rank 2 or 3 (e.g. flaming blood, passive freeze). In addition, frostmail/passive freeze and flaming blood/hellfire are indistinguishable until rank #3 or being spoiled on the tiering of mutations, along with ranks #1 and #2 being redundant.

I view the mutations where you don't get the benefit until Rank #2/3 as generally worse than those where the benefit is immediately apparent; in addition to starting the game with rC+ and freezing cloud immunity being not-unique to Demonspawn, it makes it much harder for new players to learn about the kind of interesting things Demonspawn can do if they need high levels or a lot of luck to get access to the powers. As an aside to this, when mutations are given is very valuable but very random. I respect this and don't want to make many tweaks, but I think a Demonspawn should get rank 1 in their slot loss mutation by level 7, mostly because it makes the decision to adapt to claws a lot more interesting compared to the occasions where you get rank 1 claws at level 12+.

Anyway, as for the actual mutation tweaks:

Rework into a scales facet with no ice resistance attached. +4/+8/+12 AC seems reasonable to match Sanguine Armour's situationality lategame, but since fire is rare early +6/+9/+12 seems too strong. In addition, it may be worth decreasing the timer from 300 to 300/200/100 auts to account for the fact scales facets should be relatively consistent.

Reasoning: Icemail is a facet whose unique benefit is... a situational large AC boost, combined with a minor resistance. I think that fits much better as a Scales facet, and to avoid being nearly strictly better than rC+ scales, ditching the cold resistance seems fine.

Foul Stench:
Give the "sickness on hit" benefit at Rank #1.

Reasoning: Sickness is a relatively weak debuff to apply to monsters, so it is fine to give some indication at rank #1 that you are a rotting hellbeast who causes enemies to hold their nose while trying to punch you.

Ignite Blood:
At Rank #1, give flame cloud immunity and cause your own blood to catch on fire. At Rank #2, give the prior rank #2 "all blood catches on fire" ability. At Rank #3, your high pressure blood sprays further and more often (not quite Jory death levels). No rF+

Reasoning: Also, because getting the weaker on-hit benefit at rank #1 distinguishes it as a distinctly demonspawn mutation, and high pressure blood is a cool bonus perk that helps its viability lategame when many enemies are bloodless. rF+ is removed as a small nerf. Flame Cloud immunity is kept because it's necessary for the mutation, unlike other instances of tacked on cloud immunity.

Hurl Hellfire:
At Rank #1, give rHellfire (33% or 50% reduction, not immunity). At Rank #2, give the ability to throw a beam of hellfire (single target, lower damage, same HP cost). At Rank #3, give the current ability to throw a hellfire... fireball.

Reasoning: rHellfire would be a uniquely demonic resistance worthy of being at Tier #3. Flame cloud immunity is lame, and letting players access hellfire one rank earlier with while making it even riskier to use is probably a worthwhile tradeoff. It still cannot come early enough to negate the need for a solid ranged option, so I don't think it's an unnecessarily strong buff. You could potentially give Hellfire Beam at Rank #1 and rHellfire at Rank #2, but that could give the Hellfire Beam by late lair.

Passive Freeze:
Make it a three-tier mutation where tier 1 gives a 33% chance to freeze, and each tier increases the chance to freeze by 33%. Give an ice enhancer at Rank #3.

Reasoning: Passive Freeze is a fairly interesting capstone regardless of the damage it deals, but it's not likely to come before the mid 20s. Making it have a chance to affect monsters as soon as you get a rank in your Tier #3 mutation can allow it to actually have a nontrivial impact on the game, while removing the tacked-on resistances makes the ranks feel more impactful. Additionally, the lategame ice enhancer keeps this mutation viable for when "take a big melee hit to freeze the enemy" stops being a worthwhile trade.

Black Mark:
Remove rN+ and give a 10% chance to apply Black Mark at level #1 instead. Keep rTorment and the (overall) 20% chance to Black Mark at Ranks #2 and #3.

Reasoning: Again, front-loading the uniquely demonspawn aspects and allowing the mutation to gain power as it ranks up, along with limiting the number of tacked-on resistance ranks.

Rework into an HP focused scales facet, where you gain a rank in Regeneration at ranks #1 and #3, and a rank of Robustness at Rank #2. Alternately, remove Robust entirely.

Reasoning: Robustness is a boring, purely defensive, and totally non-unique mutation. This makes it a much better fit for the Scales slot rather than the Tier 3 slot. However, it's also extremely powerful. For an HP focused mutation, 0.8 Hp/turn and +10% HP is at least comparable to Rugged Brown Scales +3 AC and +7% AC, so that would probably be a worthwhile addition to the scales slot.

I don't really have a good idea for these two, but they either need something to distinguish themselves from each other more clearly than a hidden stealth penalty to hooves and slightly different damage. Perhaps remove one and replace with some sort of wings/tail option that prohibits the cloak slot?

Reasoning: Two mutations that do the exact same thing don't really do much besides muck up the pool. You can simply double the weight of whichever mutation is kept if you want to keep "loses boots" the same probability.

For this message the author milski has received thanks: 2
Hellmonk, luckless

Blades Runner

Posts: 554

Joined: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 23:54

Post Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 02:24

Re: Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

I appreciate the intent here even if I disagree with some of the specific proposals. It would also be nice to take a look at balance imo.

Hurl Hellfire
rHellfire is probably on the won't do list somewhere and this mut does next to nothing when you get rank 1 (you are not likely to face much damnation before extended). You are correct that the current mut is lame until rank 3, when it becomes extremely good. I don't have any better ideas for it atm.

Passive Freeze
To be honest I think this mut is boring. Retaliation damage is done elsewhere (spines). The current version is coincidentally quite bad, but I don't know that having two mutation sets that do retaliation damage is a big improvement in terms of mutation variety. Ice enhancer is kind of neat but I'd rather see passive freeze removed entirely tbh. Maybe you could combine the enhancer with icemail into a T3 mut that gives icemail/bigger icemail/ice enhancer or something.

Black Mark
You fixed the problem that rank 1 is boring but it's still weaksauce late game compared to every other T3 mut that isn't passive freeze. Imo significantly increase the rate of activation, like 20% at rank 1 and 40% at rank 3, and remove draining as a possible effect. Also not a fan of stochastic rTorment, would like to see it changed to a consistent percentage reduction in line with other forms of rTorm.

If you want a cloak slot removal mut, how about a creepy back tentacle that gives you a constriction aux?
Remove spell hunger.

For this message the author Hellmonk has received thanks: 3
duvessa, milski, nago

Spider Stomper

Posts: 247

Joined: Monday, 10th November 2014, 21:32

Post Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 03:34

Re: Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

Yeah, I wanted to avoid trying to go too much on the balance side of things. If I was doing that, maybe combining icemail and freeze would be good, and I agree with Black Mark being more likely to proc and removing drain (maybe add mutation? I'd say slow but that steps on Miasma). Constrictor aux attack for cloaks is also good.

In place of rHellfire you could do hellfire bolt, hellfireball, and hellfirestorm (smite targeted, chance to biggen area). Maybe give immunity to friendly fire on the hellfire instead of rHellfire. Or do HellIgnite at rank 3 for like 75% of max HP, for the sheer ridiculousness of it.

Also how do Demonspawn work sith drastically reduced hellcrawl EXP? Do they get compensatory buffs of any kind?

Spider Stomper

Posts: 247

Joined: Monday, 10th November 2014, 21:32

Post Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 03:36

Re: Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

Also, Spiny is stupid because as far as I can tell ranks do almost nothing (1 damage, when every xL increases damage by 0.5 on average). Maybe change Spiny back to being more dependent on ranks, or make the damage XL only and the proc chance more like 33%/50%/66%?

Blades Runner

Posts: 554

Joined: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 23:54

Post Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 03:39

Re: Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

Hellcrawl ds get all their muts by xl 24 (maybe 25? not 100% sure) to compensate for having less exp available. They're otherwise unchanged.
Remove spell hunger.

Dungeon Dilettante

Posts: 1

Joined: Monday, 20th November 2017, 02:27

Post Monday, 20th November 2017, 03:41

Re: Demonspawn Mutation Reworks:

Good day. Came by to say that, as a prolific Demonspawn player, I absolutely love what you've done with the mutations. The body slot mutation thing is a relief, making nightstalker tier 3 is more interesting (though rip dithspawns. I enjoy being an evasive riposting stealthy dick in dcss), and I like the new mutations (tentacle is unique in that it has actual utility whereas other mutations are antannae, or just plain damage auxillry). Only critique is that I feel like crystal skin could be a scale rather than a tier 2 mutation in lines of wave of death or masochism. It just feels kinda lame in comparison, and feels more like a scale. To prevent overlap with large bone plates, make plates give more shield/additional AC. They are large bone plates after all. Have them be like physical shield while crystal skin is more like a magical shield.

As for Talons v Hooves, a suggestion is that hooves are like horns, but for the foot slot. Hooves are stompy, and I'm stomping at the enemy. Talons make me think something a bit more squirrely, or tricky, while hooves are more just the blunt object. Have talons trigger like riposte, be an incentive for demonspawn to build EV?

Anyways, I have a couple of my own suggestions, if you wouldn't mind me dropping a few. On thing this change brought up was actually the feel that the fireblood and icemail mutations along with miasma were more a mutation of the blood. Your blood runs so cold that ice starts to form over the skin, your blood is ignitable, your blood is hideously diseased, etc. I especially liked the heart freezing, giving a bonus to ice spellpower. It was refreshing and new, especially since dcss demonspawn didn't feel remotely encouraged to take up magic. At best, you got rot 1 and went "Kiku gives me corpse rot", and it felt more like an excuse more than anything.

So I thought, why isn't there just a blood mutation slot? Can overall just restructure the mutation slots perhaps, or simply make this a line currently and remove one of the tier 2 mutations perhaps? Just spitballing there, but I do have some "blood" mutations if you are so inclined.


Level 1: Effects like Mark, Paralysis, anything generally that would require MR to resist goes away some amount of turns sooner than usual. ("Your skin becomes dry, and starts to shed")
Level 2: An effect that procs at the same rate as Miasma 1, except it's just an instance of acid damage that can corrode like corrosive spit. ("Your blood has become acidic")
Level 3: Your blood spatters out and leaves acid clouds ("puddles") ala Fireblood 1. ("You feel like you're melting from the inside out!")

Idea: Another cloud blood would overlap with miasma and fireblood, so I wanted it to have no offensive presence at the first level. Then, When it did become offensively present, it's not on a level as strong as miasma, and at level 3 is not as widespread as fireblood. This is mostly because acid and corrosion are fairly rare and powerful effects. However, acid cloud is cool, and come on. You know you want demonspawn to have some of this Alien xenomorph action.

Also, to further seperate them, the level 1 ffect is not offensive, but would be a unique effect for demonspawn to have.


Level 1: Like evocable Blink/Barachi jump, but on an exhaustion cooldown. Perhaps Exh can go to red as an increased length cooldown? ("You feel strangely aware of your own presence", or "You feel inhumanly jittery").
Level 2: Like frozen heart, but for Air Magic. ("Your skin sparks with electricity").
Level 3: The blink/jump effect of level 1 becomes a controlled blink. Still has the cooldown, obviously. ("You are in perfect control of your accelerated synapses").

Idea: The idea of the "blink" is that you are moving super fast because the electricity coursing through you is making your body work at hyper fast speed, but is only physically capable of exerting itself in short bursts. Anyways, I wanted something passive like icemail that also grants a spellpower boost for air magic. That being said, I am aware that blink is a powerful effect, so I have an alternative.


Level 1: An ability like evocable flight. ("You feel like something's missing").
Level 2: Air magic spellpower buff. ("You feel hollow")
Level 3: Something like an exhaustion based max power Fan of Gales, perhaps with small little tornado effects in a cone of effect? ("You have become a powerful gasbag")

Idea: You become more hollow for air, the airy version for the air magic spellpower buff as opposed to the electrtic version above. This idea feels a bit weak though, so yeah.


Level 1: Small poison brand to your attack, similar to Black Mark ("Your pores ooze a foul substance")
Level 2: Occasional poison clouds (or something weaker, like a suffocating cloud) spawns around you ala Qazlal clouds at minimal piety ("You emit an unbearable stench")
Level 3: Spawn poison and mephitic clouds like mid piety or higher Qazlal clouds. ("The air around you grows toxic")

Idea: Might overlap too much with miasma, but it does have some fun stuff in that you can Ignite Poison with this stuff. Also, thought it'd be cool to see the poisoncloud version of Qazlal. To specify as well, this isn't like diseased blood like miasma, but more like the demonspawn sweats chlorine or something equally awful.


Level 1: Spellpower or skill boost for Hexes and/or Charms? ("You feel oddly spirited/mischievous")
Level 2: Contaminating blood! It would be weird in that the blood will have a point of origin, spread outwards, and then stop and fade 2 or 3 spaces away from the origin. It does no damage, so it has to spread to get the most out of it's debilitating effect on enemies. ("Your blood appears to have taken on some bizarre properties").
Level 3: Clarity ("Your mind cannot be deceived"), or either ability scry or perma scry ("You are seeing some far-out stuff, man!")

Idea: Probably the least serious idea, but at least it's funny. Certainly the more unique of them.

Finally, if you wanna change miasma to a blood mutation, you can change the message progression to ("Your body oozes with a sickening gunk") ("Your veins turn black"), ("A foul miasma permeates around you").

Thank you guys for the recent demonspawn change! Thoroughly enjoying myself, and I hope I can help you make demonspawn an even more interesting experience!

For this message the author grandjackal has received thanks:

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