Umaga, God of the Swarm


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Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 30th April 2012, 21:14

Umaga, God of the Swarm

Ok, Just because I like making god concepts for the game, I got to thinking today about another one I thought would be interesting.

Umaga is the god who watches over swarms of vermin and pests (because I'm including spiders). While not a god that is normally worshipped (bugs aren't pious), she is rumored to have influence over groups of insects, and the ability to control what lands of the world suffer infestations. That said, she isn't concerned so much with the individual insects, and generally isn't upset if you kill bugs (since making a group of enemies neutral is Jiyva's schtick anyway).

Those who do elect to follow Umaga will find themselves taking on certain insectlike qualities, as they begin the process of turning into one. Umaga also grants followers some powers manifesting in control of insects.

Umaga piety is gained in the following ways:
Using wads of enslavement on insects/bugs/arachnids (or Random effects and getting them to be enslaved)
sacrificing poisonous corpses, potions, and weapons by praying over them. Even those which are insects/bugs/arachnids.
using her children and their products (eating honeycomb/royal jelly, letting beetles destroy walls within LOS)

Umaga dislikes:
the use of poisons
harming non-hostile insects/bugs/arachnids (more in a moment)

When following Umaga, there is a very small chance of each bug/insect/arachnid, even summoned ones, being generated neutral.
At a low piety, you can summon a small swarm. A small swarm summons up to eight (depending on available space) weak insects/bugs/arachnids in a square around a single target, one square away (so they still have to close in). This swarm is very short lived, and the insects summoned die after roughly one attack (they exist for 3 turns). At higher piety/invocations, this can go up to maybe 10 turns, but no more, and the summons are more dangerous. This s probably good for slowing pursuers, or softening up an enemy, rather than killing them outright.
At the next rank, you gain a random insectoid mutation, and the chance for bugs/arachnids/insects to be generated neutral increases. (you'll ultimately get 3 of these)
Next, you can create a blinding cloud of insects for a short while somewhere in LOS (blocking LOS like clouds do)
At the next rank, you gain a random insectoid mutation, and the chance for bugs/arachnids/insects to be generated neutral increases. (you'll ultimately get 3 of these)
Next, any time you are full or above, you have a very small chance each turn you take or spawning a Royal Jelly at your feet. (I know this is powerful, the chance would need to be quite low, as this is probably really useful in the extended game. I'm thinking you should spawn one per about 10,000 turns).
At the next rank, you gain a random insectoid mutation, and the chance for bugs/arachnids/insects to be generated neutral increases more. (you'll ultimately get 3 of these)

If you offend Umaga by killing neutral insects or using poisons, her wrath is survivable, but not pleasant:
you lose one of your insectoid mutations, the remaining two or one (if any) shuffle (so you have something, but not what you were working with/planning around).
you gain vulnerability to poisons (since she doesn't give rPois, this would only make them neutral again if you had a resistance).
you don't spawn royal-jelly anymore
all insects that were neutral are hostile, and more are not generated neutral while under penance
occasionally an area you have already explored will have a hive-worth of 'k' enemies in it.

Possible Insectoid mutations (like DS mutations, pretty much all beneficial, and some can only be obtained this way. This might be too powerful when stacked with DS mutations. Note that some have 3 ranks. It might be best to bring them down to two, since getting all 3 would be rare, and keep you from getting any others from the list):
You have (small,normal,large) antennae surveying the area around you (sometimes, often, constantly). (Passive Magic Mapping, basically, with more map being revealed more often with each rank)
You have a (tiny,large,huge) horn that can burrow through rock (digging through walls and statues, makes a lot of noise. bigger is quicker, and probably a better passive attack if this grants one).
You have a (thin,solid,thick) exoskeleton (+2,+4,+6 AC respectively)
You have a (small, large, huge) set of (butterfly, dragonfly, wasp, fly, ladybug) wings (noise-producing flight at slow,normal,fast speeds respectively)
You have (a few, some, many) compound eyes (chance each turn to see something invisible, bonus to accuracy)
You can shoot gobs of sticky web (like nets, but not using the throwing skill. can Spider-form do this?)
You grow (2,4) extra limbs. (extra unarmed/passive attacks. maybe extra rings if it isn't too powerful. most armour no longer fits)
Your limbs stick to walls (spider-form style clinging)
Your body is segmented/your body is beginning to shrink to insect-size (+EV)

I'm unsure what else might fit in here...
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Monday, 30th April 2012, 23:23

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

And now to tear it apart with feedback! :D


First, piety gain. Enslavement, eating food, and watching beetles burrow through walls and what not are all scummy. Need piety? Go back to that spider you left on D:5 and zap it with a Wand of Enslavement or just cast the spell on it. Or go find that Boring Beetle and follow it around a little while. Or eat that Royal Jelly you just squirted out.

Piety loss for poison is, while thematic, also ironic. Many insects use poison and it'd, oddly, block you out of casting Spider Form and Summon Scorpions, spells you'd expect an insect god to support rather than hate.

Randomly generating stuff as neutral and getting ticked when you kill it would be annoying. Neutral stuff can and will attack the player at times and also being unable to Fireball a pack of Scorpions because one of them is neutral would be annoying. Jiyva gets away with it because most of the neutral stuff is in Slime and everything becomes neutral, so you don't have to worry about killing one Slime Creature in that pack while the rest come after you. For insects and such, they're all over the game.

The other abilities are kind of weak. The mutations are kind of neat, but too random so you'd more often then not end up with three tier one mutations. Plus, random mutations are the domain of Jiyva and, to a lesser extent, Xom. It'd be better to get set mutations at specific levels of piety. A temporary swarm that dies in one shot would be like a smite-targeted Summon Butterflies. Probably handy, but not really for attacking (and at least some of the devs thinks there's too many gods with allies as is). Insect clouds for blocking LOS would be useful, but you'd really expect more for a cloud of insects. And finally, giving Royal Jellies as a gift every so often would be bad, since they could be consumed for piety. You could burn at your piety making insect clouds or swarms and then chow down on your growing stack of jelly to get it back.

Also, have you looked at Rrragathor, the Wild Beasts god on the dev wiki? A few of the ideas here are very similar to that one, though Rrragathor is a bit more encompassing (supports not only insects, but also other types of creatures) with a bit more interesting choices to be made (for example, sacrificing armor slots for specific mutations as opposed to simply being unable to cast poison spells).
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 2nd May 2012, 16:26

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

No time for elaborate feedback but I find the proposal to be generic, for lack of a better word. The wiki has a section about the wasp god https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:god:propose:proposed_gods#wasp_god which has some radical ideas.

There's been ancient (pre DCSS) talk about a spider god. That's an absolutely lovable idea because it is clear how to worship the god: spider form! Obviously, the first power would be to make spider form permanent, further powers would need to make spider form stronger. I like to call that god the deity of invertebrates :)
Last edited by galehar on Wednesday, 2nd May 2012, 17:25, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fix link

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Wednesday, 2nd May 2012, 20:10

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

dpeg wrote:There's been ancient (pre DCSS) talk about a spider god. That's an absolutely lovable idea because it is clear how to worship the god: spider form! Obviously, the first power would be to make spider form permanent, further powers would need to make spider form stronger. I like to call that god the deity of invertebrates :)


So octopodes could worship Spider God too? A god of Just Spiders suggests different themes and powers to me than a god of all invertebrates.

Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 4th May 2012, 03:19

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

nicolae: Good point -- the idea for that god is obviously older than octopodes. The only thing that's relevant for my purposes would be that the god can only be worshiped in spider form -- not in any starting form. Finding a cool name is secondary.

Tartarus Sorceror

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

Post Friday, 4th May 2012, 03:25

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

dpeg wrote:nicolae: Good point -- the idea for that god is obviously older than octopodes. The only thing that's relevant for my purposes would be that the god can only be worshiped in spider form -- not in any starting form. Finding a cool name is secondary.


Well, as an aspiring biologist, I must take taxonomy seriously. :geek:

I spent way too long last night thinking up Spider God ideas. (One idea was a god of vermin, who would include not just spiders but worms, insects, snakes, rats, and bats, so that you could join it in either Spider Form or Bat Form. But then I couldn't think of anywhere to go with that.)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 4th May 2012, 03:51

Re: Umaga, God of the Swarm

dpeg wrote:nicolae: Good point -- the idea for that god is obviously older than octopodes. The only thing that's relevant for my purposes would be that the god can only be worshiped in spider form -- not in any starting form. Finding a cool name is secondary.


Kiku's name is actually a great name for a spider god; just putting that out there.
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