Abomination player species


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Spider Stomper

Posts: 215

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 22:57

Abomination player species

I propose Abomination as a challenge species with unique strategic considerations to add to Crawl's variety and replay value.

Features:
Cannot worship good gods, Fedhas, or Trog
Cannot become berserk
Inherent rank 1 evolution mutation
Chance to lose a mutation instead of gaining is reduced to -1% per existing mutation from -2% (but still capped at -33%)
Can equip or remove shields in a single turn
Does not gain random stat increases from level-ups, but instead gains a variable stat bonus equal to XL/3
Unique nutrition system

Nutrition details:
Cannot eat rations
Can eat any chunks at any time, but never eats chunks automatically
Does not starve or faint, but cannot use abilities that have a hunger cost without sufficient nutrition to pay the cost
HP loss causes proportional nutrition loss (maybe 5 nutrition per 1 HP?)
Eating a chunk applies a small, short-term, stackable regeneration effect similar to killing something with the Powered by Death mutation
Has 5 nutrition states, "Little", "Small", no label, "Bulky", "Large"
[*]Little: (0-2,400) Little size category, gains DEX bonus , -30% HP modifier
[*]Small: (2,401-4,800) Small size category, gains 50/50 DEX/INT bonus, -15% HP modifier
[*]: (4,801-7,200) Medium size category, gains INT bonus
[*]Bulky: (7,201-9,600) Hybrid size category (but can wear boots), gains 50/50 STR/INT bonus, +15% HP modifier
[*]Large: (9,600-12,000) Large size category, gains STR bonus , +30% HP modifier
When splitting an odd stat bonus, INT gets the smaller bonus
Size category changes that invalidate equipped items cause them to merge, similar to transmuting into another form, except that new items can be equipped to replace the merged items (provided the merged items are not cursed).

Stats:
6 STR, DEX, and INT

Aptitudes:
+1 Fighting
-2 Armour
-1 Spellcasting
+1 Summoning
+2 Transmutations
-1 Evocations
+3 Stealth
-1 Experience
+3 MR

Reasoning:
The inherent level of evolution and the inability to worship Zin are intended to force players into the mutation game. Trog is primarily disallowed because berserk is, but also because INT pretty much only matters to magic users. Denying access to TSO and Ely are just for thematic consistency.

Changing chance to remove mutations from -2% to -1% might not be a good idea, but I want to really emphasize the mutations aspect.

The fast shield swapping and special equipment merging is intended to make the equipment-related consequences of changing size as painless as possible. I want to encourage strategic flexibility through size changes, but I don't want the consequences of this feature to be more frustrating than necessary.

The low, balanced stats are meant to compliment the sizeable flexible stat bonus. In theory, being able to reallocate up to 9 stat points should be even more valuable than Demigod's ability to select 9 stat points, so the base stats should be lower to compensate. On split stat bonuses, the preference is against INT because INT is already more prominent being the middle stat, and because STR and DEX are more consistently useful than INT. The HP modifiers on size categories are to respect and comply with the general design trend that smaller species should be harder to hit and larger species should have more HP.

Attaching nutrition loss to HP loss is partly meant to provide an additional means of downshifting sizes, whereas the flexibility in chunk consumption is meant to make upshifting more consistently available. Disallowing ration consumption is meant to make availability of chunks strategically relevant, and the regen effect on consumption is primarily meant to reduce downtime between fights in order to allow chunks to be stockpiled more efficiently but also meant to give DEX-oriented players a reason to care about eating chunks. The restrictions on berserk and use of abilities with a hunger cost are primarily to preserve the relevance of hunger costs, but also to provide DEX-oriented players another reason to care about eating chunks.

For aptitudes, I tried to keep them somewhat well-rounded, with the armour penalty meant to discourage over-reliance on armour (since it's not terribly reliable when changing sizes) and the bonuses to Summonings and Transmutations are a flavorful nod to the chaos theme.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8689

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 23:15

Re: Abomination player species

Do you like playing the Vampire species?

Spider Stomper

Posts: 215

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 23:51

Re: Abomination player species

Yes, Vampire is one of my favorite species, but the current version IMO is not as good as older versions, because the nutrition states are so lopsided. It used to be that low nutrition was good for sneaky stabbing and high nutrition was good for sustained fighting. Now, low nutrition is good for sneaky stabbing and high nutrition isn't good for anything.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 368

Joined: Thursday, 12th June 2014, 06:56

Post Thursday, 27th December 2018, 00:26

Re: Abomination player species

You've got two major things going here:

  • Size and stats changes based on nutrition
  • Innate Evolution mutation

The first is a major pain in the butt, which is what I believe duvessa is trying to say. Having to juggle food to manage your character's current state causes a ton of micromanagement, especially when the species can only change its state based on perishable food, which encourages players to do tedious-but-beneficial things like making "fridges" of living monsters to stockpile chunks/blood.

The second one has potential, but I think you'd need a specifically curated set of mutations for it to work. Forcing people to adapt to a constantly changing character (as opposed to a series of permanent changes like Ds or Dr) is a new design space, but just getting Str-2, AC+1, or Horns 1 for a few thousand turns isn't going to change how anyone plays - you need "big gun" mutations like Inhibited Regeneration and Slow/Fast movement to really force people to adapt.

For this message the author ion_frigate has received thanks: 2
duvessa, Hellmonk

Blades Runner

Posts: 628

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

Post Thursday, 27th December 2018, 01:10

Re: Abomination player species

Sounds like a species where you micromanage nutrition for the entire game, just like vampire, but even worse because you have to carry backup equipment for different sizes.

Re: evolution, the problem lies with crawl's mutation system. Mutations that barely do anything (like Str-2, AC+1, Horns 1) dominate crawl's mutation design space. It's worth shifting that paradigm - why are 80% of crawl's mutations meaningless or nearly meaningless? If you increase the impact of individual mutations, an 'evolution species' could be an interesting addition to the game.

Re: vampire, the best nutrition state is usually satiated once you hit level 3, and usually alive before that point. Vampire nutrition management is extremely bad though, and the species is in desperate need of a full overhaul.
Remove spell hunger.

For this message the author Hellmonk has received thanks: 2
duvessa, sdynet

Spider Stomper

Posts: 215

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Thursday, 27th December 2018, 02:14

Re: Abomination player species

I actually like micromanaging my hunger state as a Vampire, except that the closer you get to Bloodless, the harder it is to lose nutrition. I guess it's not for everyone, but what challenge species is? That said, I don't want to encourage players to save monsters for later consumption (or to adopt a pet hungry ghost which, now that I think of it, I'll have to try at least once), and I tried to make this process generally more user-friendly than Vampire nutrition management. I would be open to decoupling the size changes from the nutrition mechanic, but I'm not sure what would work better. I guess maybe a pair of abilities, e.g. "Grow" and "Shrink", but that seems considerably less interesting than managing nutrition, and seems much less like a challenge.

About carrying extra equipment for different sizes... this isn't strictly necessary, but would be desirable in some cases. The only real problem I see with this is that Crawl's inventory system already tends to be frustratingly cramped.

I agree that if mutations aren't interesting enough without species exclusives, that's something that should be addressed independently of this proposal.

Re: Vampire, Bloodless is great for stabbers for much of the game because of the whopping +100 stealth bonus, and the ability to recover massive amounts of HP per stab. Alive does nothing for you that Full doesn't also do, and Full is little better than normal nutrition.

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 136

Joined: Friday, 13th March 2015, 13:33

Post Saturday, 29th December 2018, 03:25

Re: Abomination player species

Hellmonk wrote:Sounds like a species where you micromanage nutrition for the entire game, just like vampire, but even worse because you have to carry backup equipment for different sizes.

Re: evolution, the problem lies with crawl's mutation system. Mutations that barely do anything (like Str-2, AC+1, Horns 1) dominate crawl's mutation design space. It's worth shifting that paradigm - why are 80% of crawl's mutations meaningless or nearly meaningless? If you increase the impact of individual mutations, an 'evolution species' could be an interesting addition to the game.

Re: vampire, the best nutrition state is usually satiated once you hit level 3, and usually alive before that point. Vampire nutrition management is extremely bad though, and the species is in desperate need of a full overhaul.


Why not stay at thirsty? Seems preferable since going to satiated from thirsty is just a quaff away, while trying to get rpois/rC on demand is much harder. You can drink blood when you need to rest for long and by the time your good to go, it should be back at thirsty. I don't think Vp is that annoying to play.

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 178

Joined: Sunday, 11th May 2014, 11:26

Post Saturday, 29th December 2018, 04:08

Re: Abomination player species

Hellmonk wrote:Re: vampire, the best nutrition state is usually satiated once you hit level 3, and usually alive before that point. Vampire nutrition management is extremely bad though, and the species is in desperate need of a full overhaul.


I think Vp is fun, but some problems make me tired. I like Bloodless. Full saturation is useful in early games, but bloodless are more useful in the after.
However, if Vp attacks a living enemy, it will draining blood. I have to waste my turn to become a Bloodless again, or I have to use magic to drop the saturation. The same applies if HP is insufficient. I have to get out of bloodless and fill HP and go back to bloodless.
These actions are quite cumbersome.

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