YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt


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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 06:30

YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

Ok, before I start, there are two things I have to get out.

DISCLAIMER 1: I am a total noob, which obviously doesn't stop me from making a god proposal. Read at your own risk and criticize as much as possible, but please be gentle :)

DISCLAIMER 2: I have read the philosophy behind Crawl-Design, the things the devs won't implement and the Wiki page about the other Hunter God proposals (https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... god:hunter). As far as I understand, the biggest issues with the ohter gods have been:
1. Use of too similar abilities to other gods (like ammo gifts, or summoning)
2. Use of abilities that are already in the game (like weapon/laucher/ammo enchanting)
3. Appealing only to a narrow range of builds.

So I thought about these things and hope to propose a god with:
1. A unique feeling
2. Fresh abilities
3. Usable by a wider range of characters

Here I go:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Maestri, God of the Hunt

This god is all about hunting (who'd guess?). Maestri's ideal picture of a follower, would be a lone Ranger that strolls the woods with his animal companion enforcing the laws of nature. He/she despises everything that tries to alter nature in an unnatural way (Demon-Mutations, Necromantic Magic, ...)

Appreciates:

1. Killing a foe for the first time (like creating a trophy out of it)
This should result in +1 Piety and his Piety should be capped at the number of different kills you have made (max 200 of course). Having to kill 200 unique foes before being able to reach full piety sounds like an interesting mechanic to me. This rewards exploration of different branches, gives some incentive to go for the tough unique or the OOD monster and opens up some cute uses for Polymorph other. Unfortunately I don't know how many different monsters Crawl has, so there might be a multiplier needed for the Piety cap. I envision this to be his main Piety gain.

2. Killing an enemy with clean meat (like actual hunting, very small chance of piety increase)

3. Killing an enemy that disturbs the laws of nature (things with mutagenic meat, very small chance of piety increase)


Deprecates:

1. Having more than one ally (It is you and your companion (see below) after all ,Piety loss)

2. Eating unclean meat (You are a Huntsmen after all, not a vulture, small Piety loss)

3. Getting your companion killed (big Penance)

4. Use of Necromantic Magic or similar (small Penance)

5. Actively gaining mutations (small penance)


Abilities:


Hunting Companion: At level * you get a hunting companion. You can choose between some species. At each extra * the companion evolves to a stronger one. Should the companion get killed, you can only get a new one after you have endured penance and you only get one at level * power even if you are higher. You then have to slowly train your companion again. Possible companion ideas:

jackal, hound, wolf type: high HP, good melee attack

eagle: medium HP, swift, flying, medium attack strength

snake: medium HP, poison attack (maybe ranged)

raven: low HP, small attack, but can see invisible and raises your MP by a small amount


Sure missles (passive, at *): your companion doesn't block any projectiles (magic or normal, whatever) from you.


Mutation protection (passive): Maestri "protects" you from mutaions by giving you a chance to gain an "animal" mutation instead of your regular one. So each time you would get a mutation there is a check (maybe 10% per *) to gain a mutation, that Maestri is OK with (Fur, Claws, etc.)


Clean Shot (passive): With each level of * the chance to generate a corpse is increased, if the enemy was killed by a melee or ranged weapon or the companion (no spells). This is possibly useful for a wider range of characters such as Kobolds and Trolls, Transmuters and hungry Spellcasters. This is also important for worshippers, since they are advised to eat clean meat. I don't know what the chance for getting a corpse currently is (but it feels like 50%), so I would suggest an increase by 2.5% per *. This would raise the corpse generation from 50% to 65% at ******, which feels significant, but not overpowered.


Camouflage (at ***, costs piety, 1MP per turn): You can move one space into a wall/plant (like a Rock worm).
You count as invisible as long as you stay in that square and are not fighting/making noise, only monsters that saw you going in or that can
see invisble can detect you. You can only step out in the direction you stepped in, so no Passwall.
This is potentially useful for a wide range of characters, ranged chars can wait until their prey is in a good shooting distance, stabbers can shout around a corner, hide in the wall and then stab the Monster while passing. And it is also a reasonable escape option for everybody, if you have a little space between you and YASD and a corner ahead.


Empathic Bond (5 MP, piety, at *****): You see what your companion sees and if one of you gets damaged, each takes the half hit. All enchantments (positive and negative) affect both of you.
I envision this also to be useful to a wider range of types. The stabber can use the bigger sight to watch prey, the spellcaster can "boost" his hitpoints, a Skald can enchant away.
This is also pretty useful should you get separated via a Teleport trap (now even more dangerous than before), you can see where your companion is going and if he is in danger. A reunion is now high on your priority list and I think this creates good tension.



Penance:

I am not sure about his penance yet, but it should probably include a reduction in corpse generation. (And more)



Conclusion:

My goal was to create a god with these three things in mind:
1. A unique feeling
2. Fresh abilities
3. Usable by a wider range of characters

Did I succeed? You be the judge, but here is my take on it:
1. The way you gain Piety feels unique (at least to me)
2. I feel like having only one ally (unlike spam summons) is different from other abilities, haven't seen things like Camouflage or Empathic Bond around so far, either.
3. I think Masetri's abilities are not tailormade to suit a Hunter, many builds seem to be able to benefit from him/her.

Thanks for reading.


P.S.: Maestri is an anagram of Artemis, the greek goddess of the Hunt.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 07:59

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

Interesting concept. I especially like the "Killing a foe for the first time", that sounds cool. But I don't like the companion aspect. It doesn't sound really fun.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 10:45

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

At ***** damage is shared, one notable problem is if you companion dies. He is back to level 1. A quokka won't last long at all at higher levels even if he is only taking half the damage. You'd pretty much always be under penance anywhere past D:6 or so if your companion happens to die.

I'm sure mid-level Necromancers would just love that clean shot for aboms hehe.
KoboldLord wrote:I'm also morbidly curious now as to how Shatter is abusable for 'stealth tricks'. It's about as stealthy as the Kool-Aid Man smashing through the walls and running through the room

Vestibule Violator

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 16:58

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

Interesting god. A little like Yred in gifting a small number of strong permanent allies, but distinct enough in theme, piety mechanics, conducts and other abilities.

He sounds like he would hate polymorph. So the synergy of piety gain with polymorph other is not so good. Otherwise I like the piety gain mechanic. Possibly the companion should be immune to polymorph to prevent abuse and annoyance. It also would fit the theme. The companion is one of Maestri's great hunters, he will not have those unnaturally altered.

Another possible power could be getting full (or more) exp from fighting with the companion (see what the companion sees, learn what the companion learns). Fights an ally is involved in give 50-100% exp, depending on how much damage the player did compared to the ally.

One problem with giving sight of what the companion sees is that this could be outside the standard viewport. On console LOS barely fits into the viewport, so messages would have to be generated if something enters the companion's view that is outside the viewport. Simply teleporting the companion with the player would lessen the problem, but would also remove the interesting reunification race scenario you mentioned.

A telepathic link to the companion for simple commands like "stay" and "come" might be useful, especially for stabbers. Also the damage sharing should only work if the companion is closeby. Eliminating turn cost and noise of ally commands for the companion would be pretty cool IMO.

I think demons should be added to the list of enemies that give piety. Unclean enemies get very rare in the late game.

Clean shot could safely go up to 80% or even 100% IMO.

Maestri could support the wearing of monster hides.

I think starting the companion one level below the current max if it dies instead of at level 1 would be better. This would address bobross419's concerns.

Edit: High probability companion life saving for piety might be nice at 6*. Otherwise the god will either be very unappealing in the endgame and post-endgame, or the companion would have to be extremely durable.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Location: Surabaya, Indonesia

Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 17:12

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

Maestri could support the wearing of monster hides.

Could be extended to wearing dragon armors, troll hides, etc, but only from monsters killed by the player (so the god doesn't care when you pick a random GDA from the floor).

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 17:21

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

Interesting ideas in there, it is obvious you tried the usual pitfalls -- thanks a lot for that!

The piety rule is really good, I like it better than the bounty stuff from some other hunter god.

I am not convinced about the companion concept, we just have so many gods with companions.

Sure Missiles is too similar to Fedhas, for my taste (and I consider Fedhas to be a god with ranged combat appeal).

Please wikify your proposal before it gets stale here! There are definitely new and unique ideas.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 07:10

Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 17:55

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

I love everything about this god, but I am concerned about pet mechanics. For example Camouflage actively works against your pet. If you use Camouflage to escape your pet is left in the corridor and vulnerable. As soon as your pet dies you go into penance and lose your Camouflage ability. This can be fixed by having Camouflage affect both the player and the pet.

How would clean shot work with aoe spells like fireball, fire storm, or Mephitic cloud? If clean shot allows pets to be hit by aoes then pets should vary in resistances. This way a FE can pick a fire resistant pet, an IE can pick an ice resistant pet and so on.

Pets break stealth. Since these pets are so important they need either very good AI, manual control by the player, or improved ally commands. A piety skill could even give you manual pet control. You would control both the pet and yourself for a short period of time. At a minimum each pet needs a different AI. For example the raven would need to avoid combat and stay out of monster LoS. Otherwise a pet with such low hp would result in frequent penance.

For a pet class to work well with stabbers it needs serious thought. If you want stabbers to worship Maestri you need to make pets optional and reduce piety gain, or you need to have some way of pets not breaking stealth, or you need to create a pet specifically for stabbers. I think a pet for stabbers would work best thematically. For example, a trapdoor spider, or an invisible monster like an unseen horror could work well with stabbers.

What happens on pet death needs to be carefully thought about. If it is a huge penance then pets need to be very good, fairly robust (resistances and possibly berserk), and have a good AI. Alternatively, if pet death causes large piety loss such as a full * then pets don't need such a strong AI.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 21:11

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

minmay wrote:I don't like the companion idea. There's a reason the Escort Mission is so hated. It's annoying to have to protect a "friend" who is dumb as a rock. And permanent allies in general don't currently work very well.

The conduts are too similar to Zin. I would get rid of all the piety-loss actions; there are plenty of gods where there's basically nothing you can do to lose piety short of outright abandoning them (Vehumet, Kiku, Makhleb, Lugonu, Ash), and they work well enough.

Clean shot should be 100% at high piety, I think.


Assuming companion doesn't get axed, maybe a piety cost for healing your companion instead of the OPs piety-loss actions. This could be abusable though depending on the durability of your companion, piety cost, and monsters being fought. With a breath timer or something similar the abusiveness could be reduced though and give a way to reduce penance chances.
KoboldLord wrote:I'm also morbidly curious now as to how Shatter is abusable for 'stealth tricks'. It's about as stealthy as the Kool-Aid Man smashing through the walls and running through the room
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 21:12

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

ryzol wrote:Alternatively, if pet death causes large piety loss such as a full * then pets don't need such a strong AI.


That seems backwards to my thinking, could you elaborate?
KoboldLord wrote:I'm also morbidly curious now as to how Shatter is abusable for 'stealth tricks'. It's about as stealthy as the Kool-Aid Man smashing through the walls and running through the room

Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 22:14

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

bobross419 wrote:
ryzol wrote:Alternatively, if pet death causes large piety loss such as a full * then pets don't need such a strong AI.


That seems backwards to my thinking, could you elaborate?

Fundamentally pet death causing penance is a bad mechanic because your pet is most likely to die in difficult situations. Being put into penance in difficult situations is likely to cause death. So IF pet death causes penance pets need to be very resilient. Imagine trying to do Zot with this god. You have torment, hellfire, dragon breath, demon summons, acid attacks, draconian swarms, and more. If the pet does not have high resistances, high health, and a good survival AI your pet will die.

With all other gods penance occurs because you took an action that your god forbids. Being put into penance for what something else does is bad design.

Options for pet death besides penance:
Pets are immortal and solely provide buffs based on the pet. Monsters would need to be able to walk through the pet or you would have a great mobile shield.

Pet death causes no penance or piety loss, but getting a new pet costs piety.

Spider Stomper

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Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Sunday, 4th September 2011, 22:20

Re: YAGP: Maestri - God of the Hunt

ryzol wrote:Options for pet death besides penance:
Pets are immortal and solely provide buffs based on the pet. Monsters would need to be able to walk through the pet or you would have a great mobile shield.

Pet death causes no penance or piety loss, but getting a new pet costs piety.


This is a better idea, in my opinion. The ally mechanic changes the current pet proposal would require will make this god proposal very unlikely to be implemented (or only in the very far future). An immortal pet that doesn't attack but gives you bonuses will be much saner to implement, and also can be flavored very neatly as a "spirit guide".

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