Demigods feedback and help wanted!


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 17:26

Demigods feedback and help wanted!

I've been working on a patch for the Demigods "abstract worshippers" proposal. It's reached a stage where I need to start dispatching minions from the various gods to challenge the player.

Since there was a lot of support for the idea (in the Implementables thread) from Tavern posters, I thought it might be useful to brainstorm here: particularly for minion names, but also theme ideas in general, for these minions. Obviously there's an obvious theme for some gods; but others (Xom? Nemelex?) are a bit harder. And it'd be nice to come up with various random naming schemes for different races and gods.

For reference:
Wiki Discussion - https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:species:demigod
Mantis Item - https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=3046
Gods - Zin, TSO, Kiku, Yred, Xom, Vehumet, Okawaru, Makhleb, Sif, Nemelex, Ely, Fedhas, Chei, Ash

Names:
Currently, Crawl has two ways that it generates random names for monsters. The first (make_name) is used for Pan Lords, unidentified scrolls, and a few other things. The second (give_monster_proper_name) is right now used exclusively for Beogh-blessed orcs. Actually, it's a very extensible text file system (same as randart names, etc.) - you can see the current version here: http://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl/blobs/master/crawl-ref/source/dat/database/monname.txt. As you can see, it only includes orc names at this time.

My idea for making the minion names somewhat distinctive is to start adding new races to monname.txt; it can be used for those races, falling back to the random name generator if a particular race isn't found.

Rather than this effort benefiting Demigod players only, it might have other uses. Actually, give_monster_proper_name is already used for certain monsters in Zot Defence, so this will be immediately noticable there. It'd also be possible to make the function available in Lua, so a vault designer could use it to generate a name for a special monster in a god-themed vault (maybe the entire minion generator). Maybe it could be used to roll random names when you start a new game (these are just ideas).

Certain races might have templates for their names, which can be job-customised, e.g.: @human_forename@ @human_surname_hunter@ - Derek Ratcatcher, Jo Yaktrapper.

The more names we have, the better - we don't want them repeating too often!

Minions:
Minions will largely be player races and backgrounds, with appropriate themes for their gods. Kiku sends necromancers, liches; Sif sends wizards; Trog sends ogres and giants; Fedhas sends centaur hunters (or perhaps wandering mushrooms); etc. The wiki discussion has a pretty thorough list - there's enough to be getting on with and have distinct classes of worshipper for the gods, but I'd love to hear any more specific ideas or themes.

They need to scale right up from something appropriate to a low-level character, to something that could still present a challenge to an XL:27 player who just got the Orb. The minion code can handle scaling HD, HP, etc. but it'd be nice to have some more ideas about appropriate ways to scale the threat.

Something to bear in mind; these are semi-uniques, not uniques; they can have the same abilities as existing players, monsters, gods - nothing unique or new. I'm thinking about using randomised player dolls for the tiles, perhaps recolouring some existing ones; if any graphics artists have any good ideas, that would be welcome, but I think properly unique tiles are best reserved for actual uniques.

Minion Speech:
Using monster speech text files, we can give different gods' minions lines to randomly shout out. This is how existing Crawl speech works; and you can have different messages for different statuses (confused, frightened, casting a spell, etc.) For Nemelex minions we can have have "The foo draws a card..." (where you'd normally see messages like 'The monster's eyes start to glow").

The speech file already has god-specific dialogue I can use - but actually it's not hugely varied, so this is somewhere else where a few new ideas couldn't hurt. Also certain gods are currently omitted from this.

God Speech:
Finally, we need lines of dialogue for the gods to announce when they've sent a minion to defeat you! They might also have something to say when you either kill the minion or run away (other gods might comment on such things also; e.g. gods taunting each other on failures). They can even comment and taunt you throughout the fight.

Thanks for any contributions!
Last edited by mumra on Wednesday, 21st September 2011, 23:17, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 18:55

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Trog/Oki: These minions will be equipped with massive amounts of darts and in the case of Oki they will have animal skins, right?

On a more serious note:

Xom: Shapeshifters and Ugly Things. Species that are random in their properties.

Nemelex: Maurice type sneaky characters. Maybe harpies? Or Vampires... Vampire tricksters sounds pretty appropriate.
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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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 19:13

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Should minions try to focus on a representation of the god's abstract theme, or try to be similar to what a powerful worshipper of that god would be, or both?
For instance, a wandering mushroom would fit Fedhas's thematic domain (plants), whereas a centaur hunter would represent a stereotypical Fedhas worshipper (ranged hunter).

Anyway, ideas:
Elyvilon sends minions who don't attack you directly but use effects of Elyvilon's penance and wrath to dull your weapons, making it easier for other enemies and minions to kill you. They also regenerate like crazy and heal other monsters.
Xom names: I feel like the Xom naming algorithm would just be the scroll naming algorithm.

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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 19:50

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Chei: Naga Wizard with Slouch, and has a good chance to "mysteriously disappear" when at red health (NOT a tele...if you wait a bit, the naga will reappear at the same spot). Loot will have ponderousness, but have LOTS of nice boni to them to make up for it.

Yred: Fighter that can use Pain Mirror every once in a while, and lasts longer than player-cast Pain Mirror. Upon death, rises from the grave as a zombie, which you must kill again for the loot.

Sif Muna: A caster with a randomized spell-list that is similar to player ghost spell-list generation. On top of that, also has Swiftness, Deflect Missiles, Flight, and Haste.

Trog: A berserker with Regen and magic resistance, equipped an antimagic weapon. Summons Brothers in Arms upon death.

Xom: +1 to bobross419's Xom idea.

Ely: Deep Elf Fighter-like character (ie. melee and magic) with relatively high health, recovers health faster than you can deal damage, and recovers from status effects after one turn. Goal is to drop its "faith" so that it can't heal anymore.
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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 20:08

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Joehai must be the RNG's forum account... because he obviously hates us all lol.
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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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 20:16

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Xom's minions should include lolFelids. And I'm serious about that one.

Is it possible to make monsters use decks? Or give them deck-like abilities? That's the sort of thing I'd expect from Nemelex.

Vehumet's minions should just be ordinary spell casters. Because Vehumet is boring and doesn't give any real abilities.
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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 20:40

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Anything that requires coding new abilities / spells / monsters is too much - if it's something you haven't seen in the game, I probably can't do it.

There are still some good ideas here, though. If people can include a few names with each suggestion, just names you'd expect each character to have, that would help me start structuring name generation.
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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 21:06

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Nemelex: Kind of Cheesy, but take names from card games: Poker, Euchre, Pinochle, Canasta... Obviously I'd say use the ones that someone unfamiliar with card games would think is just a name, not Texas Hold'em.
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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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 21:33

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

Xom: An animated teddybear (just a normal bear called xom's teddybear) with chaos claws, He has the additional ability to animate your weapon against you as the xom effect. His dialogue: "Please save me" "I was once a man"
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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 21:38

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

tazoz wrote:Xom: An animated teddybear (just a normal bear called xom's teddybear) with chaos claws, He has the additional ability to animate your weapon against you as the xom effect. His dialogue: "Please save me" "I was once a man"


+1
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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Post Saturday, 10th September 2011, 22:08

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

If you kill the teddybear, does an insane six year old girl cast "Summon Aircraft" and bomb the crap out of the level? Or is that a bit TOO obscure a reference? :)
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 00:42

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

nicolae wrote:Should minions try to focus on a representation of the god's abstract theme, or try to be similar to what a powerful worshipper of that god would be, or both?
For instance, a wandering mushroom would fit Fedhas's thematic domain (plants), whereas a centaur hunter would represent a stereotypical Fedhas worshipper (ranged hunter).


Oh yes, I forgot to answer this.

I think both types are ok, it'll make things more varied (of course, not sure what unique name you'd give a plant!)

Xom can definitely have random names :)

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 01:51

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

mumra wrote:Oh yes, I forgot to answer this.

I think both types are ok, it'll make things more varied (of course, not sure what unique name you'd give a plant!)


Maybe names drawn from the taxonomic nomenclature for plants and fungi. Omphalotus, Agaricus, Amanita, etc., are all mushroom genera, for instance, and sound namey enough to suffice for a wandering 'shroom. (Of course, a wandering mushroom isn't anything like any of those, but I feel like the purists would have left town long ago at the inclusion of fungi as plants.) Plus with this scheme, it'd be easy to get craploads of names.

Edit 2: For plants like oklobs, there's carnivorous plant genera: Drosera, Dionaea, Aldrovanda, Sarracenia, etc.

Troll names: Trolls strike me as the "rend flesh first, introduce self later" type. Simple, violent compound nouns like Bloodfang, Fleshripper, Snarltooth, Goreclaw, that kind of thing.

Nemelex minions:
How easy would it be for you to implement Card effects as a monster spell? Nemelex minions could be dwarves, kobolds, etc. (good Evocations species) that have a random selection of card effects, not all of which would benefit the caster.
On the "embodiment of abstract theme" angle, perhaps monsters whose remains and drops are an opportunity to take a gamble -- random unID'd consumables or mutagenic corpses. I had the idea of Nemelex sending three minions at once, one of which has a really good item to drop and the other two have crap, and when you kill one of them the rest vanish. Kind of like the old Monty Hall game, except the doors are monsters that are trying to kill you. (Bonus hilarity if they're actually pre-identified door mimics. "Nemelex booms: 'Pick a door, any door, mortal!'") I think that'd probably be a bit too New for inclusion, though.

Edit: IIRC, spellcasting monsters have six spell slots, zapped at random, right? Perfect odds for some divine Russian Roulette -- a spellcaster minion of Nemelex, five of whose slots are cantrips and the last is something devastating. Might be a little too meta to make an obvious impression, though.
Last edited by nicolae on Sunday, 11th September 2011, 02:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 02:30

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

bobross419 wrote:Nemelex: Kind of Cheesy, but take names from card games: Poker, Euchre, Pinochle, Canasta... Obviously I'd say use the ones that someone unfamiliar with card games would think is just a name, not Texas Hold'em.


nicolae wrote:Maybe names drawn from the taxonomic nomenclature for plants and fungi. Omphalotus, Agaricus, Amanita, etc., are all mushroom genera, for instance, and sound namey enough to suffice for a wandering 'shroom. (Of course, a wandering mushroom isn't anything like any of those, but I feel like the purists would have left town long ago at the inclusion of fungi as plants.) Plus with this scheme, it'd be easy to get craploads of names.

Troll names: Trolls strike me as the "rend flesh first, introduce self later" type. Simple, violent compound nouns like Bloodfang, Fleshripper, Snarltooth, Goreclaw, that kind of thing.


I really like all of this; I'll play a bit with splitting the words into syllables and mixing them up to make new ones ... so e.g. we get lots of words that sound like they might be plant genii but aren't necessarily real ones.

nicolae wrote:Nemelex minions:
How easy would it be for you to implement Card effects as a monster spell? Nemelex minions could be dwarves, kobolds, etc. (good Evocations species) that have a random selection of card effects, not all of which would benefit the caster.


I don't think it's so easy unfortunately (an assumption based on never having seen any monsters using cards). It'd be interesting to see a proper Unique using decks, though - even if behind the scenes it's just a set of six monster abilities that happen to behave like cards.

nicolae wrote:On the "embodiment of abstract theme" angle, perhaps monsters whose remains and drops are an opportunity to take a gamble -- random unID'd consumables or mutagenic corpses. I had the idea of Nemelex sending three minions at once, one of which has a really good item to drop and the other two have crap, and when you kill one of them the rest vanish. Kind of like the old Monty Hall game, except the doors are monsters that are trying to kill you. (Bonus hilarity if they're actually pre-identified door mimics. "Nemelex booms: 'Pick a door, any door, mortal!'") I think that'd probably be a bit too New for inclusion, though.


I had an idea along those lines for a stand-alone Nemelex vault; would be easily doable with Lua.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 02:39

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

nicolae wrote:Maybe names drawn from the taxonomic nomenclature for plants and fungi. Omphalotus, Agaricus, Amanita, etc., are all mushroom genera, for instance, and sound namey enough to suffice for a wandering 'shroom. (Of course, a wandering mushroom isn't anything like any of those, but I feel like the purists would have left town long ago at the inclusion of fungi as plants.) Plus with this scheme, it'd be easy to get craploads of names.


Using pre defined lists for as many gods as possible would definitely cut down on the workload.

A few examples.

Ely minions could have names pulled from Nobel Prize winners, Famous Doctors, or Names of Medicine:
Penicillin, Mother Theresa, Marie Curie

Zin minions could have names pulled from lists of Judges, Famous Lawmen, or Nobel Prize winners:
Wyatt Earp, Judge Reinhold (I jest, but he is the most famous Judge)

Vehemut minions could have names pulled from lists of weapons designers:
Kalishnakov, Wesson, Hechler

Mahkleb minions could have names pulled from lists of serial killers or hardcore war heroes:
Charles Manson, Zodiac, Carlos Hathcock

Jivya minions could be named after flavors of Jello!:
Orange, Strawberry, Purple (sorry, couldn't resist)

Using lists like that would minimize the number of names that would need to be created on the spot. Some of these may infringe on copyright though :(
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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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 03:13

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

bobross419 wrote:Using pre defined lists for as many gods as possible would definitely cut down on the workload.


I feel like really obvious references probably won't make it into the game, especially if they're anachronistic (though I do like the names Wesson and Hechler...)

Nemelex card game names: I pored through some lists of card games at Wikipedia, and picked out a slew that sounded like Crawl unique names but weren't obvious as card game names (to me, at least, some of these are really popular in other countries). All of these are popular enough to have their own Wikipedia pages. Not all of these are actually gambling games, there's a bunch of solitaire games even.

  Code:
Alhambra, Babette, Grand Duchess, Jubilee, Ladybug, Little Spider, Moojub, Nertz, Rouge, Noir (from the game Rouge et Noir), Sir Tommy, Sly Fox, St. Helena, Bisley, Bristol, Canfield, Duchess, Eagle Wing, Gargantua, King Albert, Klondike, Martha, Miss Milligan, Monte Carlo, Mrs. Mop, Nestor, Simple Simon, Westcliff, Yukon, La Belle Lucie, Acey, Deucey (from the game Acey Deucey), Ambigu, Baccarat, Bastra, Bingo, Blackjack, Bouillotte, Brelan, Lansquenet, Monte Bank, Pasur, Pok Deng, Quinze, Rummoli, Yaniv, Cassino, Cuarenta, Escoba, Koi-Koi, Scopa, Badango, Bartok, Cabo, Daifugo, Dou Di Zhu, Dupa Biskupa, Durak, Eleusis, Ligretto, Mao, Musta Maija, Palese, Paskahousu, Pusoy Dos, Ristiseiska, Skitgubbe, Bezique, Botifarra, Marjolet, Tarocchini


I had not realized just how many damn card games there were.

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 06:21

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

[quote=nicolae]Troll names: Trolls strike me as the "rend flesh first, introduce self later" type. Simple, violent compound nouns like Bloodfang, Fleshripper, Snarltooth, Goreclaw, that kind of thing.[/quote]

I've always thought of troll names as being simple, monosyllabic, and guttural—"Trog" actually being a great example.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 14:04

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

The names don't have to be extremely fancy. Most uniques use a simple (humanoid) first name. Generally, there are several sources you could draw from:

1) Lists of custom names for each god.
These could be quite extensive, and may even overlap with each other. For example, the database code would allow defining "combat god names" (shared among Trog and Okawaru), "undead god names" (shared between Kikubaaqudgha and Yredelemnul") or "good god names". Personally, I'd prefer references to our world to be kept unobtrusive, i.e. use (to pick up a previous suggestion) famous people's first names rather than the full one.

2) Name generators, general or on a per-god basis.
This could be done in the code, as is the case for the standard Crawl name generator, or via the database files, as happens for artefact names.

3) Actual player names, taken from the highscores or log file.
Both on the servers and for local players, it could be fun to occasionally encounter pseudo uniques named after previous characters. Not sure how viable this is, but at the very least, the log files keep track of character backgrounds, so you could search for e.g. Hunters for Fedhas, or Fighters for Okawaru. Obviously, this'd make more sense if the gods are also stored in there.

Probably best to mix up several ways of name generation. There might even be a small chance of sending out an appropriate real unique the player hasn't encountered yet.

As for specific names, I really like the card name suggestions. Zin could make use of stereotypical biblical names, i.e. names that are still recognizably biblical even in today's age, like Jesaja, Abraham or Noah. Random names for Xom are fine but I'd limit the length to at most 10 letters. Longer names are fine for scrolls and even pan lords, but I think for those mini boss fights shorter names would be better.
Okawaru could use typical noble names, such as Charles or Edward, or generally speaking, knights and other fighters', both historical and literary. Similarly, TSO could send fighters named after crusaders or holy figures, and Elyvilon famous healers and pacifists, or how about some minions named for real life gods and goddesses: Asclepius, Hygieia ("Hygiene"), Iaso ("Medicine"), Aceso ("Healing"), Aglaea ("Healthy Glow"), and Panacea ("Universal Remedy").

I draw a blank on the undead and/or demonic gods, but literary canon probably helps with this.

Thanks for working on the patch, this sounds great!
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 14:41

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Devs should have their name added to the list for their favorite god.

Also, could add folks from the forums... maybe based on thanks or ratings or something. Wouldn't you all just love to kill KoboldLord?
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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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 16:13

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Everyone has their own opinions on names, so mumra should just pick ideas that seem good and are simple enough.

Here is my take:

Trog: I like guttural one-syllable names better than roleplaying-style descriptive names. (I wouldn't like the latter for Fedhas either, by the way.)

Good gods: jpeg's ideas for the good gods are very good. Splitting up decent names into syllables and combining these is also a great idea from this thread.

Nemelex: I am not sure about the card games as names for Nemelex minions. I happen to know almost all games from the list, and most strike me as not fitting well (perhaps because I know the game in question). The only I wouldn't mind is Robert Abott's Eleusis (a great game, by the way). But I wanted to mention something completely different: It may not be obvious to the player, although some card names hint at this, but the theme behind Nemelex's card play is Tarot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot). Many of the figures represented by Tarot cards would make fine names for Nemelex minions, in my opinion. (The minions will be hard to get right because monsters currently use neither decks nor god effects. We will have to substitute something, but that is another topic.)

Fedhas: nicolae's idea of using (syllables from) plant names for Fedhas is great.

Apart from this, using the same set of names for certain gods (e.g. Makhleb/Okawaru or Yredelemnul/Kikubaaqudgha) seems acceptable to me. It is not ideal, but would definitely be okay for a start.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 17:57

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

dpeg wrote:Nemelex:(The minions will be hard to get right because monsters currently use neither decks nor god effects. We will have to substitute something, but that is another topic.)


Nemelex is described as a trickster god. I would think that stealth, blink, distortion/dispersal (granted this is lugonu's special), invisibility, etc. would highlight this aspect. You can associate card players with rogues and scoundrels, the kinds of guys that would pick your pockets (like Harpies but take gold, unequipped items, etc.), stab you in the back, but flee at the first sign of confrontation (increasing fleeing threshold to something like 90% would make this guy extremely annoying).

Focusing more on the trickster aspect than the card decks might alleviate the coding issues. I would assume adding pick pocket abilities would be easier than monster deck abilities because this ability is already in the game. Doesn't Maurice steal your shit?

Actually, just read Maurice's wiki page.... He would be the poster child for a Nemelex worshipper I would think. How hard would it be to add a mechanic for a thief minion to "sacrifice" stolen items? For each stolen item there is a one in x chance that it is converted into a deck. This would serve to satisfy the expectation that Nemelex minions have something to do with decks while minimizing coding issues. This might be abusable by a crafty player though that loads up his/her inventory with a bunch of junk to try and have Neminion convert it into decks. Maybe weight the theft towards artefacts > ego > useful potions/scrolls > other.
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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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 18:00

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

bobross: Neat ideas, although item theft and subsequent sacrifice are aout of the question. Perhaps a Nemelex minion should just get some standout card powers (like blink and Tomb and some of the summonings) plus card-related messages.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 20:07

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Most card effects are rather similar to spell effects, especially in the Deck of Destruction. It may be a simple solution just to give them a random set of spells that matches up with card effects and change their casting messages to stuff like "Nemelex Dude draws a card!" or "Nemelex Dude draws three cards and throws two of them away!" They could even be given a Cantrip spell that throws messages like "Nemelex Dude marks four cards in a deck" or "Nemelex Dude looks at the top two cards of his deck and then shuffles them back in" to simulate Nemelex's other abilities.
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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 20:10

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

TP: yes, exactly. We'd be cheating left and right, but who cares?

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Post Sunday, 11th September 2011, 20:53

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

dpeg wrote:TP: yes, exactly. We'd be cheating left and right, but who cares?


What about some poor young lad, stars in his eyes, full of wonder and joy in his heart, who finds out that the Nemelex minion card draws are faked -- faked! -- with spells and flavor text? His world would be ruined. Just utterly ruined. I won't be a part of it, no sir.

Ashenzari minions:
- Random species/backgrounds, with cursed items (of course), minions who are casters have the ability to curse the player's gear. Ashenzari minions are slightly better at casting and fighting than equivalent monsters of their level (to represent the Ashenzari skill boost) and always know where the player is on the level.
- Giant eyeballs. Ash is supposed to be all-seeing, after all, and what would be better for that than a giant eyeball? (Gimmicky, sure, but it's no worse than the curse toe/skull suggestion at the devwiki.)

Xom minons:
- In vault design, you can specify monster HD and spell sets, so I figure that functionality wouldn't be too hard to include with minions. Xom, being bonkers and amused by incomprehensible whims, might find it hilarious to send a goblin with ten times the HD and random deadly conjurations -- or a hard-core draconian with 2 HD and six cantrips. (Or, possibly this might work better with Nemelex the trickster?)

Demonic and angelic names.
- For demons, you could do worse than stealing 'em from medieval grimoires like the Lesser Key of Solomon.

- For angels, there's some old school crazy Gnostic texts that have lists of angels we could slap on TSO and Zin minions (Zinions), like the Apocryphon of John, got a whole bunch of angels around halfway through. "The first one began to create the head. Eteraphaope-Abron created his head; Meniggesstroeth created the brain; Asterechme (created) the right eye; Thaspomocha, the left eye; Yeronumos, the right ear; Bissoum, the left ear; Akioreim, the nose; Banen-Ephroum, the lips; Amen, the teeth; Ibikan, the molars; Basiliademe, the tonsils; Achcha, the uvula; Adaban, the neck; Chaaman, the vertebrae..." It goes on like that for a while.

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 00:00

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

nicolae wrote:
What about some poor young lad, stars in his eyes, full of wonder and joy in his heart, who finds out that the Nemelex minion card draws are faked -- faked! -- with spells and flavor text? His world would be ruined. Just utterly ruined. I won't be a part of it, no sir.


I'm very much willing to bet that "faking" the cards would be far easier than trying to make monsters actually use decks and both methods will probably end up with more or less the same results. They can drop a deck on death that'd correlate to whichever one they were using, perhaps partially drawn.


Anyway, I think Jiyva should only send the standard (or upgraded) slimes, blobs, and so forth as minions lest the lore be changed that the Royal Jelly (and maybe Dissolution) is the only intelligent follower Jiyva has left.


Edit: Also came to mind, maybe Lugonu doesn't hate the Demigod like the other gods do. This Demigod is ticking them off, so why should she do anything about it? Seeing the other gods get riled up over this would probably make her happy.
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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 00:10

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

TwilightPhoenix wrote:Edit: Also came to mind, maybe Lugonu doesn't hate the Demigod like the other gods do. This Demigod is ticking them off, so why should she do anything about it? Seeing the other gods get riled up over this would probably make her happy.


I agree, but think that she would try to make the demigod's life miserable just for the heck of it.

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 00:12

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

TwilightPhoenix wrote:Anyway, I think Jiyva should only send the standard (or upgraded) slimes, blobs, and so forth as minions lest the lore be changed that the Royal Jelly (and maybe Dissolution) is the only intelligent follower Jiyva has left.

Edit: Also came to mind, maybe Lugonu doesn't hate the Demigod like the other gods do. This Demigod is ticking them off, so why should she do anything about it? Seeing the other gods get riled up over this would probably make her happy.


The proposal at the devwiki suggests that only the main pantheon of gods (i.e., the ones in the Temple) would be bothered by Demigods, and that non-Temple gods (Beogh, Lugonu, Jiyva) wouldn't care at all.

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 15:11

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

dpeg wrote:Everyone has their own opinions on names, so mumra should just pick ideas that seem good and are simple enough.


It's exactly what I wanted - a good range of different ways to pick names; I'll try and use most ideas in some way or another (as jpeg suggested, mixing up different methods of name generation).

So, many thanks to everyone for all the suggestions so far - it's given me loads to work with. (Of course, if anyone has any more ideas, keep 'em coming!)

jpeg wrote:The names don't have to be extremely fancy. Most uniques use a simple (humanoid) first name.


One thing I'm inclined to at least experiment with, is using a "forename surname" pattern for certain races and gods. What I'm thinking is that this will actually help distinguish that these are only semi-uniques; the single word names are very memorable and distinct for uniques, in a way they're famous enough to be known only by a first name. Also this might help avoid name conflicts (although I should probably code a check to make sure names of uniques aren't generated by accident!) It can work by generating forename by race, and surname by class or god. However, it might just look odd having more complex names, so I'll cut it in that case.

jpeg wrote:3) Actual player names, taken from the highscores or log file.


Could be interesting possibility - using a variant of the player ghost code to generate minion of actual players (could get mummies this way).

bobross419 wrote:Devs should have their name added to the list for their favorite god.

Also, could add folks from the forums... maybe based on thanks or ratings or something. Wouldn't you all just love to kill KoboldLord?


As much as I'd love to do this ... it might just be slightly too wacky even for Crawl ;)

dpeg wrote:Perhaps a Nemelex minion should just get some standout card powers (like blink and Tomb and some of the summonings) plus card-related messages.


I was thinking about this; customising certain spell messages could still be a bit tricky (some special-casing in the monster spell routines). But, custom monster speech is easily done thru text files and that leads me onto a couple of new requests for everyone ...

Minion Speech
Using monster speech text files, we can give different gods' minions lines to randomly shout out. This is how existing Crawl speech works; and you can have different messages for different statuses (confused, frightened, casting a spell, etc.) For Nemelex minions we can have have "The foo draws a card..." (where you'd normally see messages like 'The monster's eyes start to glow").

The speech file already has god-specific dialogue I can use - but actually it's not hugely varied, so this is somewhere else where a few new ideas couldn't hurt. Also certain gods are currently omitted from this.

God Speech
Finally, we need lines of dialogue for the gods to announce when they've sent a minion to defeat you! They might also have something to say when you either kill the minion or run away (other gods might comment on such things also; e.g. gods taunting each other on failures). They can even comment and taunt you throughout the fight.

Thanks again for all the great stuff so far - it's an enormous help. If anyone has any ideas on these new topics, I'd love to hear them!

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 15:31

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Well, you can actually set specific messages per monster and per spell in dat/database/monspell.txt - for example:
  Code:
Berserker Rage Rupert cast

@The_monster@ roars madly and goes into a rage!

Maybe it'd be possible for the minions to get a god-specific lookup key, and then they could use their own spellcasting messages ("Blink nemelex_minion cast" and so on)? Obviously it's hardly vital, but that'd be something cool to have later on.

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 15:42

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

MarvinPA wrote:Well, you can actually set specific messages per monster and per spell in dat/database/monspell.txt - for example:
  Code:
Berserker Rage Rupert cast

@The_monster@ roars madly and goes into a rage!

Maybe it'd be possible for the minions to get a god-specific lookup key, and then they could use their own spellcasting messages ("Blink nemelex_minion cast" and so on)? Obviously it's hardly vital, but that'd be something cool to have later on.


Thanks, that's great - should be pretty straightforward.

One thing that occurs to me is, maybe there should actually be a proper unique with card-flavoured abilities?
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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 15:49

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

mumra wrote:Minion Speech
Using monster speech text files, we can give different gods' minions lines to randomly shout out. This is how existing Crawl speech works; and you can have different messages for different statuses (confused, frightened, casting a spell, etc.) For Nemelex minions we can have have "The foo draws a card..." (where you'd normally see messages like 'The monster's eyes start to glow").

The speech file already has god-specific dialogue I can use - but actually it's not hugely varied, so this is somewhere else where a few new ideas couldn't hurt. Also certain gods are currently omitted from this.

God Speech
Finally, we need lines of dialogue for the gods to announce when they've sent a minion to defeat you! They might also have something to say when you either kill the minion or run away (other gods might comment on such things also; e.g. gods taunting each other on failures). They can even comment and taunt you throughout the fight.

Thanks again for all the great stuff so far - it's an enormous help. If anyone has any ideas on these new topics, I'd love to hear them!


First two things that popped in my head:

Kiku: "By the power of Grey Skull"
Trog: "HULK SMASH!"

Obviously these can't be used though.

Is it possible to put in a check for player class? Would allow for some interesting Trog and Vehemut dialogues, but might not be possible.

Trog Minion Berserk: "TRRRROGGGGG!" (if you read Drizzt Do'Urden books think Wulfgar's battlecry to Tempus)

Zin God Intro: "monster_name, show this heretic the error of his ways"

Nemelex God Intro: "Place your bets ladies and gentlemen"
Nemelex God Taunt/Kill Player: "The house always wins"

Ashenzari God Intro: "player_name, your time is at an end as foretold in the prophecies"

Hopefully those will help get the ball rolling.
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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 16:09

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

bobross419 wrote:Kiku: "By the power of Grey Skull"
Trog: "HULK SMASH!"


Hehe. I'd personally like to get in some reference to "the ever-living" ;)

bobross419 wrote:Is it possible to put in a check for player class? Would allow for some interesting Trog and Vehemut dialogues, but might not be possible.


This should certainly be possible - as far as I know, I can set a speech key based on any parameters.

Nice one for the rest - I especially like "The house always wins" :)

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 20:44

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

I am fine with most of what goes on here, but I'd like to point out Nemelex' relation to Tarot again. That card game is mystic, ancient (as in medieval) and encompasses life (read the wiki). It is a much better fit than current gambling games (and if it is obscure, that makes it even better in my opinion -- it isn't really that obscure, though).

To make that clear: I would object to "The house always wins." A line like that destroys my faith in Nemelex (whether as a worshiper or as a demigod) completely.

On a positive note, the Ash and Zin lines by bobross can be used as is. And perhaps some more:

Kikibaaqudgha: "[minion], dispatch this putrid pile of arrogant flesh!"

Kikubaaqudgha or Yredelemnul addressing the player: "You will make a better carcass/skeleton/zombie than a god, [player]."

Vehumet: "[minion] will let you end in hellfire."

Good gods: "[player], render unto the gods what is the gods."

Ashenzari: "The nails would be wasted on you." (refers to Jesus as well as Ashenzari being nailed to the sky)

Makhleb: "[minion], disembowel this inept agent of lackluster destruction."

Note that the speech files allow for very easy word replacement. We can run riot with synonyms :)

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 21:18

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Minion speech:
Yred/Kiku: "I shall add your corpse to my army of dead!"
Ash: "All of your weaknesses are revealed to me!"
Chei: "You'll learn to relax -- when you're dead."

God speech:
Fedhas: "My minions will recycle you back into the ecosystem."
Makhleb: "Cleanse this sinner, my servants!"

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 21:20

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

dpeg wrote:I am fine with most of what goes on here, but I'd like to point out Nemelex' relation to Tarot again. That card game is mystic, ancient (as in medieval) and encompasses life (read the wiki). It is a much better fit than current gambling games (and if it is obscure, that makes it even better in my opinion -- it isn't really that obscure, though).

To make that clear: I would object to "The house always wins." A line like that destroys my faith in Nemelex (whether as a worshiper or as a demigod) completely.


Perhaps some of Nemelex's lines can be along the lines of "You have drawn... the Magician!" - a tarot card loosely representing the minion's background.

For names I was thinking of using some of the original European tarot namings; Wikipedia lists the French versions of the Major Arcana here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_of_Marseilles, and there's a set of German names here: http://l-pollett.tripod.com/cards23.htm.

Thank for the other lines; yes, we can fully randomise adjectives verbs, and nouns with synonyms to create a lot of variations.

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Post Monday, 12th September 2011, 21:22

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

mumra wrote:
dpeg wrote:I am fine with most of what goes on here, but I'd like to point out Nemelex' relation to Tarot again. That card game is mystic, ancient (as in medieval) and encompasses life (read the wiki). It is a much better fit than current gambling games (and if it is obscure, that makes it even better in my opinion -- it isn't really that obscure, though).

To make that clear: I would object to "The house always wins." A line like that destroys my faith in Nemelex (whether as a worshiper or as a demigod) completely.


Perhaps some of Nemelex's lines can be along the lines of "You have drawn... the Magician!" - a tarot card loosely representing the minion's background.

For names I was thinking of using some of the original European tarot namings; Wikipedia lists the French versions of the Major Arcana here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_of_Marseilles, and there's a set of German names here: http://l-pollett.tripod.com/cards23.htm.


Why use the real world tarot, when Nemelex has his own deck of tarot names already established?
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Post Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 00:01

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

I get the feeling Trog's lines should be pretty simple. For example, when he sends someone after you, it could be something as short and simple as "DIE!" or "DIE, <player name here, in all caps if possible>!"
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Post Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 01:08

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

TwilightPhoenix wrote:I get the feeling Trog's lines should be pretty simple. For example, when he sends someone after you, it could be something as short and simple as "DIE!" or "DIE, <player name here, in all caps if possible>!"


I definitely get the feeling that Trog is the kind of guy(god) that always uses all caps when updating his Facebook.
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Post Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 07:58

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

TwilightPhoenix wrote:I'm very much willing to bet that "faking" the cards would be far easier than trying to make monsters actually use decks and both methods will probably end up with more or less the same results. They can drop a deck on death that'd correlate to whichever one they were using, perhaps partially drawn.

If we're also dropping used decks, then I think it would be easier to just implement monster usage of decks. I don't think it would be really hard. We'll just cheat so monsters can only draw a subset of the cards, because many aren't appropriate for monsters. Being able to see the monster's deck and the cards he drew from it, and then identifying the deck type on sight could be fun.
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Post Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 11:44

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

galehar wrote:If we're also dropping used decks, then I think it would be easier to just implement monster usage of decks. I don't think it would be really hard. We'll just cheat so monsters can only draw a subset of the cards, because many aren't appropriate for monsters. Being able to see the monster's deck and the cards he drew from it, and then identifying the deck type on sight could be fun.


It'd be much better that way; there are only so many cards that have spell approximations. Still, for getting the minions working and testable, it'll be pretty easy to fake a small set of cards. I've worked out a system where the entire monster generation is controlled via text files so it's very easy to tweak. If deck usage gets implemented I can just remove the fake versions. Should have something to show perhaps tomorrow evening.
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Post Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 13:33

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

This thread make me subscribe, even if I follow DCSS since 0.6.0.

First thing first, you should change the text when praying (p). Why contemplate the meaning of life when you can :
Try to find your "father".
Answer to your worshiper's prayers.
Keep an eye on the pantheon.
Spend time to imagine your future mythology.


Names for minions: I think that simple names (one word) is good enough, if announced, the minions won't be mistaken with uniques. But a "adjective/noun" form is funnier.

Ashenzari
Perhaps great explorer names: Colomb, Armstrong, Polo, Cortés, Gargarin, Drake
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_explorers
or some geological names: Azore, Everest, Bermudas, Volga
Beogh
n/a
Cheibriados
Since it's the god of time, names can be given about time units, like day, month, year in different languages: Day, Jour, Tag, Giorno, Jouo, Dyng, Dìa, Annus, Joor, Anyo, Urte, Năm, Vuosi, Joer
Or even speed or time related: Knot, Einstein, Hertz, Frame, Paradox
Elyvilon
Like Bobross said, famous doctors and maybe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pharmaceutical_companies: Merck, Pfizer, Abbott, Novo...
Fedhas Madash
There it is lot of mushroom and fungus to borrow. ^^
Jiyva
n/a
Kikubaaqudgha
You could borrow some Voodo gods http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Vodou_gods: Damballa, Agwé, Ogoun, Erzulie
Lugonu
n/a
Makhleb
This list is the only thing that come to my mind :/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_cut
Nemelex Xobeh
Tarot themed seems good
Okawaru
The name of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_martial_arts: Laamb, Bok Fu, Kendo, Tegumi, Savate, Zipota, Kapap
Sif Muna
The list of magician is boring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_magicians
You could use the name of some Jedi/Sith.
The Shining One
Angels name
Trog
"Barbarian" names with lot of K, G, T: Crôm, Konan, Goth, Huns, Tatar, Baston, Tod
Vehumet
I love the idea of bobross about weapon designer names. But you could also add weapon and explosive names, or even more explosive!: Chagan, Sedan, Trinity, Storax, Raduga, Vela
Xom
RANDOM!
Yredelemnu
Other god of death: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_god
Zin
Maybe "Virgins" (catholic saints) or inquisitors.


The God's speech may be a way to prevent that this God is sending is minions, so the player don't get randomly chased by fanatics.

GJ mumra ;)

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Post Wednesday, 21st September 2011, 23:14

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

Right - the new Demigods are working (basically). The largest chunk of the coding is done (there are some minor bugs, but still).

At this stage I'm hoping that some of the good folks here on the tavern might want to get involved even more!

I've set things up so that all minions can be defined from external text files. They work exactly the same as the files for monster speech, randart names, etc. This means it's really easy to set up and tweak all kinds of different minions for each god.

The minion definitions use the same syntax as MONS and KMONS in vault maps (https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:help:maps:syntax:monster_info) but can be further randomised using text substitutions. The definitions allow you to specify spells, equipment, literally anything. Anyone who's played around with vault design might have seen this already.

Since no coding is required for this, and it's all taking me quite a long time (there are just so many gods, not all of whom I'm familiar with, and so many different possible races for each god!) - I thought I'd post here to see if anyone wants to help.

Compiling lists of names is also very time consuming - there are some great ideas in this thread, and I've started using some of them - but it takes ages going through various internet resources and adding the names to the file, then possibly breaking them up into symbols for recombination.

So; if anyone thinks they might want to help, let me know - I can help you get my Crawl branch compiling locally if you're not sure, and point you to the text files for editing and how they work, so you can start making changes and testing them locally.

Additionally, any testing and feedback would be great. I've got it all up on a Gitorious branch: https://gitorious.org/~mumra/crawl/mumra-crawl-2/commits/demigods - you can earn followers, and gods will send (mostly random but high HD) stuff at you, and see how the DG's religion screen works.

Thanks again for all the input!

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Post Thursday, 22nd September 2011, 01:23

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

mumra wrote:So; if anyone thinks they might want to help, let me know - I can help you get my Crawl branch compiling locally if you're not sure, and point you to the text files for editing and how they work, so you can start making changes and testing them locally.


Ah, nuts, I hate compiling stuff. But I'd be willing to give it a shot, sure, particularly on the minion names.

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Post Thursday, 22nd September 2011, 01:59

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

nicolae wrote:
mumra wrote:So; if anyone thinks they might want to help, let me know - I can help you get my Crawl branch compiling locally if you're not sure, and point you to the text files for editing and how they work, so you can start making changes and testing them locally.


Ah, nuts, I hate compiling stuff. But I'd be willing to give it a shot, sure, particularly on the minion names.


Luckily you only have to compile once; changing the text files does not require recompilation. And Crawl is fairly painless to compile once you're set up; what OS are you on?

It'd be possible to set up an online server to test on; but then you wouldn't be able to test your changes so quickly (although I want to get that set up once there's at least one minion defined for each god, so it's available for general testing and feedback).

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Post Friday, 23rd September 2011, 06:08

Re: Demigods feedback and help wanted!

I'm not so great with names, but I'll try my hand at some god speech.

Fedhas: "Those born of flesh may/must not escape/transcend the cycle!" I have trouble picturing Fedhas caring all that much about divine politics, but the notion of a flesh-and-blood mortal escaping from the natural cycle of life and death by becoming an immortal god would disgust him.

Yredelemnul: "Mortals are fit only to serve!" Demanding the servitude of the dead, and by extension all mortals, is sort of his deal. If you win: "You cannot evade death's/my grasp forever!"

Ashenzari: "You would claim divinity? Then suffer for it!" She's certainly had to suffer plenty; why should you have it any easier? On victory: "The worst is yet to come, mortal."

Elyvilon: "Your path to ascension leaves only blood and misery in its wake!" Becoming a god by slaughtering thousands of dungeon denizens? Not really her thing. On victory, if she sends living worshipers: "More bloodshed...know you nothing else?"

Zin: "Know your place, mortal!" He likes order; gods are meant to be gods and mortals are meant to be mortals.

Cheibriados: "You haven't the time or the patience to earn a place by our side." Or maybe, "Getting a bit ahead of yourself, aren't you?" He doesn't like the idea of someone trying to take the fast track to power and divinity. If you've bested him several times before: "You're beginning to test even MY patience." On victory: "Next time, then." or "I've all the time in the world to put an end to this."

Vehumet: "You think you're more powerful than ME?!" Or "Your power is insignificant before us/me!" The notion of a mortal having the raw power to match a god is just preposterous to him. On victory: "That was a mere cantrip! You have yet to suffer the full force of my might!"

Sif Muna: "You know nothing of godhood." Or something else to do with a mortal lacking the knowledge necessary to be a god. On victory: "Battle cannot teach you that which you lack."

Xom: "Oh, this looks fun! I wanna play too!" Assuming he's never the first to attack you. Or, if it isn't out of character for him and he sends consistently threatening foes, "Oh, just what I need up here. Another BORE." Or of course he could just stifle a giggle as he sends some utterly ridiculous thing to fight you.

Nemelex is already getting plenty of discussion, and I can't come up with anything for The Shining One, Trog, Okawaru, or Kikubaaqudgha off the top of my head. Maybe I'll get some more ideas later.

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Post Friday, 23rd September 2011, 08:08

Re: Demigods feedback and help wanted!

Nice ones, Sjohara!

TSO: The holy grail is long gone, mortal." (I'd like it if sounded unclear whether the orb of ozt is meant.)

Okawaru: "Your place and grave is the battlefield." (Warriors should die valiantly on the battlefield.)

Kikubaaqdgha: "No gods are made from flesh." "What can rot is not immortal." (The player is zombie/skeleton material to Kikubaaqudgha, not a divine aspirant. Similar for Yredelmnul.)

Yredelemnul: "You will make a fine zombie but you will never transcend the shackles of flesh."

Trog: "Die, puny!" "Silly mortals." (This is not so much about caster vs non-caster, it is an even bigger threat.)

General: "Render unto the gods what is the gods."

It is perhaps not necessary to address the character each time. Sometimes, it will do if the god talks to his minon instead (there are some proposals for that upthread.)

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Post Friday, 23rd September 2011, 09:09

Re: Design a Minion (help the Demigod reform)

bobross419 wrote:Nemelex: Kind of Cheesy, but take names from card games: Poker, Euchre, Pinochle, Canasta... Obviously I'd say use the ones that someone unfamiliar with card games would think is just a name, not Texas Hold'em.


This is hilarious! Here are some italian card game names: Briscola, Scala Quaranta, Rubamazzetto, Scopa, Scopone, Cirulla, Tressette! :D

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Friday, 23rd September 2011, 10:17

Re: Minion names and builds (Demigods)

mumra wrote:Luckily you only have to compile once; changing the text files does not require recompilation. And Crawl is fairly painless to compile once you're set up; what OS are you on?


I usually play on a Vista machine.

In the demigods patch branch, which files have the text for names and minion definitions?

Halls Hopper

Posts: 86

Joined: Friday, 1st April 2011, 23:44

Post Friday, 23rd September 2011, 12:11

Re: Demigods feedback and help wanted!

Hi, I'm Syraine in ##crawl; this being something I'm interested in, I'll help you with some text and such if you'd wish. In terms of Xom suggestions, I suggest a chance to have a pitiful natural holiness creature (eg. a rat) with absurdly high HD and a powerful conjurations spell (eg. Throw Icicle, Stone Arrow), dangerous non-summoning demons such as sixfirhy in packs, HD:1 Balrugs and summoning rewards, like a friendly permanent chaos spawn.
Last edited by The Mantis on Sunday, 22nd July 2012, 12:37, edited 1 time in total.
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