New God: Excalibur


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Temple Termagant

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Joined: Sunday, 6th November 2011, 14:42

Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 05:56

New God: Excalibur

Ever wanted to pray to a sword? Believing in Excalibur gives you a long sword that can be gradually improved. Increased piety levels will "upgrade" the sword by increasing the enchantment bonus as well as the weapon type. The powers all revolve around improving the sword itself along with cool techniques.

Likes:
Killing enemies

Hates:
Training other weapon types
Not using Excalibur - causes much faster ambient piety loss
Waiting (Decay close to what Okawaru has)

0*
-Gain the Exaclibur Sword as your weapon. Excalibur starts as Long sword and gradually upgrades itself to a Great Sword. Unequipping Excalibur results in piety loss along with a rapidly accelerated piety decay.
-Excalibur will improve its enchantment level with more piety. Starts off as a +1 Long Sword. Invocations will also increase the enchantment level

1*
-Excalibur becomes a +2 Long Sword

2*
-Excalibur becomes a +3 Long Sword
-Brand Weapon- Randomly brands Excalibur for a small amount of time. Invocations will increase the duration of the brand and higher levels will increase the damage done by the brand. Costs MP and Piety
List of Brands - Holy Wrath, Flaming, Freezing, Vorpal, Venom, Electrocution, Anti-magic

3*
-Excalibur becomes a +2 Great Sword
-Passive Cleave - Excalibur will act like an axe and cleave when you melee attack

4*
Excalibur becomes a +4 Great Sword
-Passive SH and AC - Excalibur is strong enough to start passive imbuing you with additional defensive power. Invocations will increase the amount of gained.
-Passive Brand Weapon bonus - The random brand provides an additional defensive bonus depending on what it is:
Holy Wrath - rN+
Flaming - rF+
Freezing - rC+
Vorpal - Protection bonus
Venom - rPois
Electrocution - rElec
Anti-Magic - sInvis


5*
Excalibur becomes a +6 Great Sword
-Whirlwind - Flourish Excalibur in a circle around you. In a 2 square radius around you, deal unavoidable damage to everyone around you. Hits allies as well. Costs MP, Piety, Food.

6*
-Excalibur becomes a +8 Great Sword
-Passive Brand Weapon Bonus - Brand Weapon is permanent and recasts will roll a different brand to use. Defensive bonuses are improved (rN+ becomes rN++, Protection bonus is doubled, rPois, rElec, and sInvis provide MR+

At 27 Invocations results in a +5 bonus to Excalibur as well as increasing the AC and SH by +5 as well.

Wraths
Upon leaving you have to fight Excalibur! Excalibur becomes a dancing weapon with a random brand (or the last used brand). The overall power is the same as the highest piety level it has ever been at. Stats are also based off the wielders XL. If you defeat Excalibur, congrats! You have the opportunity to do multiple deicides in one run! Running away via blinking or TP will spawn Excalibur on the floor you go to. Basically, it'll chase you down to the ends of the earth.

The pros of Excalibur is that it provides you a guaranteed weapon throughout the game, removing the randomness factor of finding a usable weapon either through RNG or god gifts. In addition, Excalibur can become an insane mid game weapon as a branded +8 or better great sword with cleave.

The cons of Excalibur is that besides being a strong weapon, the abilities don't add much. Resistances can be easily achieved through jewelry/resistance scarf/dragon armour. Compared to Okawaru or Trog, the late game effectiveness of whirlwind is far worse than Finesse or Berserk, especially considering how strong late game weapons can be. In terms of end game weapons, a +13 Great Sword is pretty strong, but a decent randart triple sword can be just as impressive and you get the bonus of usable god abilities. The exact number bonus can easily be tweaked though to balance it.

Overall, Excalibur is another fighter god alternative that will probably follow the same path as Okawaru where you use it for early and mid game but ditch it for late game. Alternate ways to run the enchantment bonus would to have it become a +X triple sword for late game.
Edit: An additional idea was having the choice of turning it into a Demon Blade or a Eudemon Blade (Or a triple sword) and have bonuses corresponding to what you choose.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Sunday, 20th August 2017, 06:29

Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 06:50

Re: New God: Excalibur

Problems:


Heavily aptitude-based god means the god is only good for certain species. Even Deep Elves can play Trog as an archer, but for this god you need a good long blades apt. Gods typically are supposed to be broadly useful to characters and this one is a bit narrow.

The god functions quite similarly to Ashenzari. Crawl hates redundancy, so that's not a good thing.

Upgrade system is weird because you transition from 1h to 2h mid game, when some characters definitely want shields.

+8 greatsword isn't... great. That is not a good final upgrade for the diety. Even when you get a brand (which was available a long time ago to normal characters) it's still not great. Even with cleave it's mediocre at best.

Getting a random upgrade is a very weak and unreliable ability, because certain brands are only good in certain scenarios. Again at ****** having to scum your brand repeatedly to get an optimal brand for the enemy type is annoying and tedious.

Passive defense/slaying upgrade at 27 invo is pretty much garbage.

If I like long blades, why would I want this god when I can just get a strictly superior weapon (not even counting opportunity cost of a god) such as a demon blade, triple sword or double sword, which isn't cursed on either?

+9 triple sword is significantly stronger than a +13 great sword due to the way strength scaling works.

Also, how do you start worshipping this god? Do you pick up an unrandart that spawns in place of an altar or something? Or is it magically gifted to you at an altar?

Lastly, Excalibur is, what, a holy sword? It's weird flavor in this context because of the good god flavor. A possessive demonic sword would fit better IMO, but that's more of a nitpick than the former criticisms.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Tuesday, 21st February 2012, 14:46

Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 10:05

Re: New God: Excalibur

It would probably be better if Excalibur was a spirit that incarnates into whatever weapon you're wielding when you convert at an Altar. Make piety gain fast and keep the mediocre (in terms of power) but straightforward powers, in order to make Excalibur ask "do you want to be at ****** at DL12, in exchange for having to ditch your god at DL14?" (i.e. getting piety with your final god later). Make this overt by having the ****** power be "Consecrate Ground: sacrifice Excalibur in order to create an Altar to the god of your choice at your feet". Keep the dancing weapon wrath, but after a random timeout. Flavour is you use Excalibur's sacred might to engrave the name of the other god into the ground, hence creating the altar. Bonus style points for using Excalibur to create an altar to Lugonu, then having her corrupt it.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 12:38

Re: New God: Excalibur

Bobbunny wrote:Hits allies as well.

With this God-ability you practically ensured my support for this proposal, no matter what else it says.
Maɟaŋ

Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 13:30

Re: New God: Excalibur

Bobbunny wrote:The pros of Excalibur is that it provides you a guaranteed weapon throughout the game, removing the randomness factor of finding a usable weapon either through RNG or god gifts.

Crawl can be easily gamed to ensure a high-quality weapon, depending on what you need or want, so this really isn't a problem. And as people have pointed out, your suggested weapon-gift is paltry compared to what a player can expect to find.

1) pick a weapon class and type
2) if you want to be Be, take trog. You will get what you want eventually, or something in the same class that overwhelms your need for that specific type.
3) If not Be, follow the weapon tree up using normal dungeon drops, skill appropriately (close to min delay or better yadda yadda) You might consider Kiku or TSO or Laguna for special access to brands.
4) Otherwise, while doing this, take care to ID scrolls that are 3 or less if you find a bailey, or 2 or less otherwise... you are looking for brand weapon. Save them for when you have your desired type.
5) If you find acquirement, use it once you have seen the weapon types in your class that are below your desired outcome. You have a high chance of getting what you want, especially if its a top-tier type.
6) If you still dont find what you want, check out the shops in Orc, and failing that, hit up the Hall of Blades.
7) If you still dont have it, go ahead and do the lair side branches, then go to Vaults and check the bottom.
8) If you still dont have it, clear slime and check that vault, then do depths.
9) If you still dont have it, you are VERY unlucky but no worry, you probably have a second best choice that is working fine having made it this far. Zot might load it, otherwise check crypts which has some smaller troves, then start into extended. You dont really care at this point, however. You have already beaten the game, essentially.
10) Depending on your character build, go to a Zig and do a few floors. Pretty risky if you are melee focused however (even the most powerful tanks get overwhelmed eventually), so keep escape options open and dont do another floor if you are asking yourself "can I do another floor?"

Keep in mind that many monsters wield specific weapon types, so focus the above list with that in mind. The hardest weapons to get are the 1handed top tier slots: Quickblades, Eveningstars, Broadaxes, Double swords or whatever the F they are called these days... Thats because the top tier 2h weapons seem, as far as I can tell, to be more often dropped in vaults and in the acquirment code, probably because they are "better" algorithmically. Quick blades are an exception, but there are no 2h shortblades and the DEVs for whatever reason have deemed that QBs should be super rare because that is cool or something. It cant be because they are OP.

I can in most games pull two to three, sometimes more, of the specific weapon I want. I can even get two of them branded and highly enchanted, probably at least 25% of the time.

And that is looking for a specific weapon type in a specific class. If you are more flexible, crawl will easily fullfill your weapon needs. Keep that in mind when you are designing a god around the concept of "removing RNG randomness on weapon drops".

Temple Termagant

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Joined: Sunday, 6th November 2011, 14:42

Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 18:06

Re: New God: Excalibur

Thanks for all the replies and feedback!

Heavily aptitude-based god means the god is only good for certain species. Even Deep Elves can play Trog as an archer, but for this god you need a good long blades apt. Gods typically are supposed to be broadly useful to characters and this one is a bit narrow.

I don't disagree with this point, maybe have it scalable with any melee weapon training would make it more broad. The intention was to have a melee god; while obviously Trog and Okawaru can and have been run with ranged characters, I felt like by and large they are primarily melee, and this god is supposed to be another melee god.

The god functions quite similarly to Ashenzari. Crawl hates redundancy, so that's not a good thing.

Not sure how I see the similarity. Gear requirements or something?

Upgrade system is weird because you transition from 1h to 2h mid game, when some characters definitely want shields.

The initial intention to force an upgrade to 2H was because I thought shields are too great and would just include a bonus to AC and SH with it. I've won this game literally once (took a large break and won recently with a MiMo) so I don't have a great idea on weapon balance. The focus is on the sword, and a shield would take away from it ;)

+8 greatsword isn't... great. That is not a good final upgrade for the diety. Even when you get a brand (which was available a long time ago to normal characters) it's still not great. Even with cleave it's mediocre at best.

Crawl can be easily gamed to ensure a high-quality weapon, depending on what you need or want, so this really isn't a problem. And as people have pointed out, your suggested weapon-gift is paltry compared to what a player can expect to find.

And that is looking for a specific weapon type in a specific class. If you are more flexible, crawl will easily fullfill your weapon needs. Keep that in mind when you are designing a god around the concept of "removing RNG randomness on weapon drops".

TL;DR Weapon is bad, and the "pro" of giving a solid unrandart weapon isn't good enough for mid game, not even counting late game.
Like I said before, I have no idea what's a good power level of weapons and thought about the stronger options. Another important point was the RNG factor of the brand power itself and I figured that more RNG is bad and just being able to choose from a smaller set of options would be better (Freezing, Flaming, Vorpal) With that being said, I'm pretty sure Vorpal is pretty bad and not sure it deserves a spot.
Ignoring overall progression, this is what the 6* be:
6*
-Choose between three options: Turn Excalibur into either a Demon Blade, Eudemon Blade, or a Triple Sword
Demon Blade has Draining as well as whatever permanent brand you're using. Gives a chance to regain HP and MP on kill (Treads a bit on Mahkleb/TSO/etc. but I feel like it's a broad enough design to work) Alternate ability would probably Torment resistance (Again, going towards Kiku area but it's hard to find ideas)

Eudemon Blade has Holy Wrath and the permanent brand you're using. Grants rN+++. the rN+++ is very TSO like which is a problem with this design; making something "holy" but isn't obviously just a worse/copied TSO ability.

Triple Sword has Speed in addition to all three brands. Grants rF++, rC++, and +10 AC on hit. Does fight the design of the new double sword which is a real problem. Speed + useful brands actually might be too good as well.

Demon Blade gives you the ability to swarms of creatures and sustain through it easily. Thematic wise, the draining and regen on kill is Excalibur using their energy for your own.

Eudemon Blade is basically what you'd expect as a TSO worshiper. The largest problem with this design is that it functions as just a worse TSO, and thus not a great choice.

Triple Sword is just straight damage and value. Excalibur at its peak is supposed to be a legendary sword, and this sword protects you and does tons of damage.

Passive defense/slaying upgrade at 27 invo is pretty much garbage.

Not if it's high enough! The flavour problem with invocations and a magical sword is that you're trying to believe in something you're trying to restore power to. I didn't want Invo to be completely useless so the choice was either a stat boost at 5/6* piety that increases with Invo, but that starts going in towards the mechanics of the other two big melee gods. Definitely an issue to think about.

Also, how do you start worshipping this god? Do you pick up an unrandart that spawns in place of an altar or something? Or is it magically gifted to you at an altar?

You find an unrandart sword (+0 Lost Sword) on the ground and praying/picking it up will trigger a notification about it. An Altar could also work, but I like the idea of finding an unrandart early to be more fun.

Lastly, Excalibur is, what, a holy sword? It's weird flavor in this context because of the good god flavor. A possessive demonic sword would fit better IMO, but that's more of a nitpick than the former criticisms.

One of my design thoughts on the 6* was Excalibur actually being a spooky sword that turns into a demon blade initially. Secret Evil Sword unlocked!

It would probably be better if Excalibur was a spirit that incarnates into whatever weapon you're wielding when you convert at an Altar.

One of the powers used to be dancing weapons for Excalibur, but the problem with the whole spirit deal is that it is literally what Heplia does. An interesting idea though would be able to summon the spirit to fight with you (i.e. Brother in Arms or Summon some dude power).

Consecrate Ground: sacrifice Excalibur in order to create an Altar to the god of your choice at your feet". Keep the dancing weapon wrath, but after a random timeout. Flavour is you use Excalibur's sacred might to engrave the name of the other god into the ground, hence creating the altar. Bonus style points for using Excalibur to create an altar to Lugonu, then having her corrupt it.

The whole point of having the dancing weapon wrath follow you is because the other gods have their own forms of penance that follow you where you go. Magical floating sword can't really do that. The new altar god is cool, but having a power that involves losing your current god to another as an explicit sacrifice sounds like poor design for where you want to go with a god. Consecrating Ground sounds like a cool spell though.

Edit for Invocations talk: Whirlwind does have an added effect depending on brand (Flame/Freezing explosion or maybe another pass with Vorpal). Other ideas I had for invocations related abilities (that isn't passive slaying/defense) were:
Summon spiritual Excalibur to fight with you: Get a dancing weapon next to you that is a copy of the Excalibur you're using.
Imbue Strength (Stat Steroid): Get some stats with duration that is increased with invocations
Invoke Brand: Lose your current brand for another one and cause an explosion around you that is the same as the brand you were using before (Vorpal is shatter or something)
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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 20:33

Re: New God: Excalibur

Aside from the whole "Excalibur is a thing that is from real-world mythology" which Crawl has been trying to get away from somewhat, fundamentally I'm not sure a god that is exactly "you get an unrand melee weapon that interacts with invocations" is a particularly good idea. Even if it's likely to be the best weapon you'll find in a game. I just am not sure "your deity slot is also your weapon slot" is great. Maybe it could be?

Also, the "melee god" niche is pretty full already; I mean, most of the gods in Crawl offer a fair amount to characters who kill stuff in melee a lot. And some like Usk and Wu Jian and Hep are pretty focused toward supporting melee.

It might be more interesting if you could choose a (non-artefact) weapon from your inventory and have that be the focus of your God's attention, with your god upgrading its base type and enchantment and giving some kinds of abilities based on the weapon, and piety gain depending on using that weapon (maybe with some disincentives to swapping, like piety loss or drain). Vaguely like Hep but for a weapon. (Actually, I think that would be a more interesting role for Oka than his current attic-cleaning behavior.)

See this and this.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 4th December 2017, 21:08

Re: New God: Excalibur

njvack wrote:Actually, I think that would be a more interesting role for Oka than his current attic-cleaning behavior.

Well that explains everything.

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njvack

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 5th December 2017, 13:22

Re: New God: Excalibur

You guys are so very kind, you know that?

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 5th December 2017, 17:29

Re: New God: Excalibur

Because we make slightly mean jokes? Nobody really likes Okawaru anyways, his feet stink of cabbages.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 5th December 2017, 19:26

Re: New God: Excalibur

I like Oka's foot smell.

Seriously, though: Oka's a fine god, I just think "god of combat who gives you gear and makes it better" is more interesting than "god of frequent-but-bad acquirement" and the Excalibur proposal made me think about that again. I definitely think there's the potential for an interesting god here. The core of the OP's idea is solid, I think, I just wouldn't flavor it with a British sword and wouldn't make it about long blades.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

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crawlnoob, Majang

Temple Termagant

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Post Thursday, 7th December 2017, 03:14

Re: New God: Excalibur

Excalibur is just a filler name tbh; I couldn't think of a very "Swordy" name in my heat of invention. I wanted to make something that could involve deicide while still being really cool thematically (You can kill people physically with your god!).

Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 7th December 2017, 04:57

Re: New God: Excalibur

I vote we name this god "Rod".
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 8th December 2017, 18:39

Re: New God: Excalibur

I'd trust that.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 16th December 2017, 18:47

Re: New God: Excalibur

This idea seems neat. I think scaling his abilities with Evocations would fit better thematically. You would Invoke (a) the god to change brands and Evoke (V) the weapon itself to use its abilities. Would make the UI a little cleaner too, as there seems to be alot of potential abilities.

As this god's main focus seems to be your weapon slot I would suggest that it should work with anything thats currently wield-able as a weapon (..maybe not blowguns). Quickblades and GSC are the two furthest extremes for melee weapons and I can see alot of races like Kobolds and Halflings picking this god purely for a +10 Quickblade of changing brands. While Ogres and Trolls might be tempted for an early enchanted GSC, it still may need to be buffed somehow as they're going to use every scroll of enchantment on the first one they find anyways.

I would like to see this god work with magic staves though. Being able to change an enhancer stave to fit any magic school is a bit weak for a god. Maybe give the stave a list of common spells of its current element (brand) that can be evoked from the staff? This would likely be a fixed spell set for each element so that the power level of these extra spells are controlled. They unlock based on piety and are likely slightly easier to cast (based on Evocations). This gets a caster through midgame when they might not have found any spell books yet. This is a bit weak for later in the game but I'd argue that the other weapon forms are as well and this at least saves some spell slots for weaker spells.

Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Monday, 18th December 2017, 14:46

Re: New God: Excalibur

njvack wrote:I just wouldn't flavor it with a British sword and wouldn't make it about long blades.


I agree. So what if instead of a long sword, we just have it pick a weapon in the category that has the highest aptitude for the player's species? (random choice if it's a tie.) This allows the choice to switch to the god late-game with less of a penalty if the player so chose. Plus they are further rewarded for playing the species how they are "supposed to" be (i.e., they've already been using a weapon that species has good aptitudes for, mages notwithstanding).

I think it would be cool if the altar was a little weapon-in-a-stone icon, and the weapon got removed from the icon when you began worshiping it. We'd need several different icons, one for each weapon category, but it would look super neat!

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 18:21

Re: New God: Excalibur

Imho it'd be cleaner to just have him give you a unrand weapon (unique to the god, not an existing unrand) rather than reusing long sword/great sword. He could just increase the base damage by 1 at certain times - either directly on piety, or on a gift timeout, etc. It'd allow you to go slightly past a great sword in power, and make it a very good weapon eventually. This would also make it easier to have a prompt at the start asking the player what weapon type they'd like - they could request a mace, sword, polearm, etc.

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