New race suggestion: 'Parasite'


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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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 00:40

New race suggestion: 'Parasite'

Not seeing this on the list of bad idea/never gonna happen list, but if something similar has been suggested before, my apologies. Also, this is very rough, I'm no expert on coding or how this'd be implemented.

So, a parasite species. I'm picturing something looking like a facehugger from the Alien movies, though if it floats your boat, think of the brain slugs from Futurama ;) A small, almost entirely defenseless creature that survives by attaching itself to other species and controlling them.

To avoid having to deal with a bunch of body plans, this ability would work only on (most) humanoid species; feel free to add exceptions like two-headed ogres to avoid the various 'can't do, won't do' lists on the wiki. I'd probably suggest not allowing undead either; see later, however.

Unattached, the creature is fast, but incapable of using any equipment or spells. To do either of those, it needs a host, which it would attach itself to via its sole ability, a sort of grapple attack perhaps based on unarmed combat. If it succeeds, physically it becomes that creature in terms of stats, resistances, etc.

I'd suggest the chances of a sucessful possession would be fairly low, though the creature has an alternate option, that of possessing a freshly killed corpse. That would work 100% of the time, but the corpse possessed would effectively be undead, would gradually rot like a ghoul, and not heal naturally.

Death of the host would leave the parasite intact, but obviously in a very bad situation where it either finds another host quickly, or gets stamped into a stain on the dungeon floor by whatever killed the host. There would also be the problem that all the stuff your host was carrying would now be sitting on the dungeon floor, waiting to be grabbed by whatever got you.

Spells/skills would carry over from host to host. It's the parasite learning them, after all, and using the body it's possessing to make the appropriates movements to cast and fight. Physical attributes would not.

I hope you all get the basic idea: A class which could potentially gain quite an advantage with the right body, but which would have to run a high risk to gain that body. Alternatively, it can kill the creature and then switch, but with less rewards. Tactically, the player would also have to keep an eye on the surrounding while switching, gathering up equipment, reequipping everything, etc.

A last note: I seem to remember ToME had something akin to this, though I think it was more of a mental possession than something digging barbs into some creatures spine. I mention that now in case you have a 'Simpsons already did it' kind of policy of not adding things other roguelikes have already tried to do. ;)

Anyhow, thoughts, feedback? I realise there's a lot of gaps in this, and a lot of work to do on the idea, but I figured I'd gauge people's responses to the basics first.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 00:55

Re: New race suggestion: 'Parasite'


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Mines Malingerer

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Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 03:21

Location: Missouri

Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 01:02

Re: New race suggestion: 'Parasite'

Damn it, I didn't think to look in the good ideas sections. Thanks for the link ;)

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 02:06

Re: New race suggestion: 'Parasite'

I seem to remember that recently people were, jokingly, talking about how since the Felid was such a success, the next step would be an even smaller, even less capable of wielding or using items kind of critter.

And it was, apparently! =D
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Mines Malingerer

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Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 03:21

Location: Missouri

Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 02:17

Re: New race suggestion: 'Parasite'

As long as we don't get to the point of ToME's death mold: An immobile character that gets around by blinking/teleporting only. ;)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 03:32

Re: New race suggestion: 'Parasite'

I was just thinking about an Oklob Dryad race. You get a racial ability to sprout an Oklob sapling from any corpse in line of sight, and you can transfer your consciousness to any plant in line-of-sight. If you get a plant on a staircase, it snakes roots downstairs and you can start on the new level from there. You can move individual plants randomly with translocations, but otherwise you have to kill a corpse-bearing creature to move at all.

But then I realized that the whole corpse mechanic would step of Fedhas' toes. Too bad.

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