Spider god


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

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 01:49

Re: Spider god

dpeg wrote:KoboldLord: I thought about this, and I believe that your reaction, while natural, is a bit hypocritical: we're playing a game where the only content is murder.


You will find remarkably few murdered persons currently playing Crawl. Or posting on the forums for Nethack, Dwarf Fortress, Something Awful, or any number of other places new Crawl players come from. The same cannot be said about the other thing, and when those people start talking to other people the buzz that starts is going to be… not good.

Regardless of its actual gameplay merits, Elona is currently most notorious in the general gamer community for being the roguelike where you can make a baby with your pet, and the list of pets includes a 'little girl'. Being Orc Jesus is funny and hilarious to most of the people who hear about it, and the people who get overly offended probably won't be missed. Being Spider-Rapist is not funny, and the people who decide to check out the game based on that feature probably aren't going to improve the Crawl community.

dpeg wrote:Design-wise, I like my gods wacky. Mating with a god is a good step in that direction, as is a god nailed to the sky, or a slime deity.


I like wacky, too, but trust me on this one. You don't want to go there.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 02:08

Re: Spider god

dpeg wrote:You note that most uniques are male, and you know that the spider that gets eaten is the male one?

Yeah, but spider-banging dudes isn't awesome either.

Don't get me wrong: mating with the Spider God is wholeheartedly awesome, as is mating with spiders. Ix is plenty wacky without humanoid monster transformation.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 02:08

Re: Spider god

njvack wrote:That seems elegant... this assumes Arachnophobia would be an active ability (and I think it should be).

If it were still a passive effect, it could be only an occasional thing, enough that it would provide a good source of spiders but not so much that you get swarmed (ha ha) with them.

dpeg wrote:You note that most uniques are male, and you know that the spider that gets eaten is the male one?

Not all uniques and monsters are male, though. If Crawl were totally genderless it'd be one thing, but as nvjack pointed out, mating with a spider that used to be a female unique (especially one as sexualized as Margery) has the potential for some pretty creepy overtones that we probably should avoid. Even if the Margery-spider no longer has an explicit gender recorded by the game, the player's gonna know. I'd rather try to find a balance for the mating mechanic between prudish and creepy, but if it comes down to it, I'd rather go with prudish than creepy.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 02:24

Re: Spider god

Some Chei altar vaults have statues that cast Liquefaction. Some Ix altar vaults could have statues that cast a spell that is like Kirke's porkalator, but temporarily puts the player in spider form. Or their could be spider priests enemies that transform you.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 02:27

Re: Spider god

I do wonder if the mating thing is just in bad taste, though if there's a general consensus that it's okay to include then why not.

dpeg wrote:I have no idea what 4chan is.

... really? That's a bit of a shock. And seriously, don't go there if you want to keep your sanity.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 02:30

Re: Spider god

jejorda2 wrote:Some Chei altar vaults have statues that cast Liquefaction. Some Ix altar vaults could have statues that cast a spell that is like Kirke's porkalator, but temporarily puts the player in spider form.


I had a thought along these lines yesterday, a unique that appears in early spider altar vaults with a bite that Spiderlates the player.

(Another idea I had, back during the very early brainstorming when the core idea was still just "a god who requires the player to be transformed before joining", was to make a pig god and have Kirke always generate near the pig god's single altar. This may or may not have been a serious idea, I'm not sure.)

Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 05:32

Re: Spider god

Count me as another person who feels iffy about putting spider-rape in the game. Ix is weird enough and cool enough without it.

Edit: To clarify, I only object to mating with humanoids turned into spiders, not the mating ritual with Ix or other spiders.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 06:14

Re: Spider god

Maybe a quick poll would be the way to go if this were to be implemented, along the lines of 'Would you consider this in poor taste?'

OTOH personally I feel that a game about consequence free violence, blasphemous worship, book burning etc. (all of which can be related to real-world controversies and the potential to offend) is not going to 'cross a line' with a mechanic seemingly based more on the natural world than 4chan style rape memes.

Given that the tone of Crawl is on the whole a conservative and restrained one where controversial areas are concerned I just can't see this one, relatively minor part of a niche god leading to an 'undesirable element' flocking to the game community. There's so many other more extreme places they could get their jollies.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 06:19

Re: Spider god

molari wrote:Maybe a quick poll would be the way to go if this were to be implemented, along the lines of 'Would you consider this in poor taste?'

OTOH personally I feel that a game about consequence free violence, blasphemous worship, book burning etc. (all of which can be related to real-world controversies and the potential to offend) is not going to 'cross a line' with a mechanic seemingly based more on the natural world than 4chan style rape memes.


The contentious point isn't the idea of spider mating in and of itself, as far as I can tell, it's the mechanic of humanoids being transformed into spiders against their will and then mated with. Other spiders are just simple beasts fulfilling a biological need, and Ixhuachatetl is a god and more than capable of enforcing consent, but sentient humanoids presumably would not be okay with getting turned into spiders and made to have sex.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 06:25

Re: Spider god

nicolae wrote:
molari wrote:Maybe a quick poll would be the way to go if this were to be implemented, along the lines of 'Would you consider this in poor taste?'

OTOH personally I feel that a game about consequence free violence, blasphemous worship, book burning etc. (all of which can be related to real-world controversies and the potential to offend) is not going to 'cross a line' with a mechanic seemingly based more on the natural world than 4chan style rape memes.


The contentious point isn't the idea of spider mating in and of itself, as far as I can tell, it's the mechanic of humanoids being transformed into spiders against their will and then mated with. Other spiders are just simple beasts fulfilling a biological need, and Ixhuachatetl is a god and more than capable of enforcing consent, but sentient humanoids presumably would not be okay with getting turned into spiders and made to have sex.


I guess the idea of a person transformed into a sentient spider by an evil spider God and then mated with by a person (or octopus thing etc.) who has also been transformed into a spider by the same God is so fantastical and removed from the real world seriousness of rape that the link seems pretty tenuous, certainly compared to other much more explicit existing links to the 'real world' eg Orc Jesus
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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 06:31

Re: Spider god

dpeg wrote:I have no idea what 4chan is.

... really? That's a bit of a shock. And seriously, don't go there if you want to keep your sanity.


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There's an ongoing roguelike general on /vg/ dominated by DCSS discussion that's exposing a lot of new players to the genre, and to this game in particular-- IMO a good thing


On topic: this game is so abstracted I would probably think of mating in terms of strategy, not ethics-- even cannibalism doesn't raise an eye from the player (or the game, in most cases). Given that mating isn't pornographic or too suggestive (and therefore distracting-- that's the real crux of the issue, isn't it?), IMO it should be judged like any other mechanic in the game. The devs should be able to say, "This doesn't offend us, and if it offends you, sorry but too bad." Besides, there is nothing forcing the player to participate in such behavior, especially if playing this god is sub-optimal from the beginning.

As for the fringe case of somebody getting a little too much satisfaction from it-- such a scenario might already exist in the game. Maybe some people get their kicks from clubbing orcs on the head-- or "murdering, enslaving, and devouring" Marjery, or whatever. The world is certainly strange enough. It's impossible to avoid every weird fetish and pointless to try. Personally, the only satisfaction I imagine getting is the kind one gets from watching a zombified Duvessa pummel her brother to death-- the best kind.

PS. Would flavor suffer too much if, upon being transformed, your former victim suddenly finds you attractive? Instead of being a human trapped in a spider's body, (s)he's just a spider, or has spider sens...ibilities. It'd be less cruel (and cruelty can be fun), but perhaps more in line with the general tone of Crawl.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 07:22

Re: Spider god

molari wrote:I guess the idea of a person transformed into a sentient spider by an evil spider God and then mated with by a person (or octopus thing etc.) who has also been transformed into a spider by the same God is so fantastical and removed from the real world seriousness of rape that the link seems pretty tenuous

Well, not that tenuous; like minmay said, several people have already commented on it and it's not even in the game yet. I mean, fantasy trappings aside, it's still somebody having sex that they didn't ask for. I hadn't realized the implications of that particular mechanic during the brainstorming session (in our defense, at least, it was one of the last ideas added, so we had less time to think about it), but I'd rather not add something that's going to creep players out, even if there are players who don't care. I don't want Crawl to creep anybody out.

inkydood wrote:On topic: this game is so abstracted I would probably think of mating in terms of strategy, not ethics-- even cannibalism doesn't raise an eye from the player (or the game, in most cases).

That's because half of the potential playerbase doesn't have to be realistically concerned about being cannibalized in real life, which is not the case for sexual assault. Ultimately, that's the reason why this bothers people more than the killing and eating and the blasphemy. The issue isn't explicit or pornographic or "distracting" spider sex. The issue is the idea of a humanoid having sex against their will, which is not an uncommon or unreasonable interpretation of the "scared humanoids turn into mate-with-able spiders" mechanic. And this is because, to many people, it suggests a real-life traumatic thing that, for a too-large number of women, is not just an abstract idea. The vast majority of players don't have to worry about getting murdered or someone they know getting murdered, they certainly don't have to worry about getting eaten afterwards, book burnings are not all that common (and in any case are mere property damage), and seeing an orc act like Jesus is going to, at most, inspire some grouchy indignation. But, statistically (at least in the US), if you need two hands to count the women you know, one of 'em has probably experienced some kind of sexual assault. And I think, maybe, that if the intended mechanic is going to remind some people of that, maybe we should leave it out. Scared humanoids turning into spiders is not a core concept of the god by any means.

Oof... this is a hell of a discussion... I just wanted to help make a fun spider god...

So, ah, what do people think of the other stuff? One of the ideas I had was that Spidergod could be a god to facilitate speedruns. It wasn't a design goal to make Spidergod specifically for speedruns, but I thought the powers sort of worked together that way -- innate speed, innate clinging and web bridges to get past water and lava obstacles, Skulk to sneak past groups of opponents to get to a rune or portal, Arachnophobia to skip tough confrontations, Descent to drop through branches -- but since I've never done a speedrun I don't know how viable it actually would be for that.
Last edited by nicolae on Thursday, 16th August 2012, 07:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Pandemonium Purger

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 07:33

Re: Spider god

If you ask me, I love the so absurdly bizarre (that it's hilarious) idea of turning stuff into spiders and mating with them. :p

But of course, this is me and I personally find myself out of my natural habitat here. But whatever, I guess. :x
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 07:43

Re: Spider god

Yes I agree - while this is an important issue, and I'm ok with it for reasons listed,the overall balance/flavour of the God should also be discussed.

As a fairly sub-optimal player (handful of wins but usually die in late dungeon due to boredom/carelesness) I always look first at flavour over balance or gameplay! The thing that stuck with me most from the proposal is this idea of being drawn inexorably down to this unspeakable spidery horror in the bowels of the earth (the Descent mechanic).

Non temple Gods seem, whether by design or not, to be more 'hands on' or tangible than the pantheon: Lugonu's future altar desecration, Jivya's physical link to the Slime pits. The first thing I thought when I read the complete proposal was 'I want to meet the Spider God in person'. Some kind of hidden sub-vault of Zot5 - could even be pure flavour without enemies etc. where I can scuttle to get a glimpse of my terrifying deity. Of course, Gods help the non-spider character who tried this: I'm sure their fate would be quite unspeakable.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 09:32

Re: Spider god

About mating with transformed beings... I think does not fit as well as the rest of the gimmicks basically because I don't see how they can be transformed if previously the player has had to cast a spell on herself to become a spider. Divine powers ?
Personally the mating with spiders it's quite good, but less attractive if you do the same with transformed beings.

If this goes ahead, a less humiliating alternative is that a transformed one becomes a true spider and you perform a mating ritual in which both parts agree...with all the final consequences for the consumed partner, avoiding the forcing issue. It does not happen in nature, after all.

For sure some people complain because they do not want Crawl to be notorious for being a game in which you can spider-rape your foes.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 09:43

Re: Spider god

Roderic wrote:About mating with transformed beings... I think does not fit as well as the rest of the gimmicks basically because I don't see how they can be transformed if previously the player has had to cast a spell on herself to become a spider. Divine powers ?

I think we can see casting spider form as a way for the player to prove to Ixy that he really is willing to join the religion (so not because the god NEEDS the player to be in spider form).

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 12:06

Re: Spider god

While I agree that the mechanic has a certain contentiousness, we also should realise that forced sex is a topic dealt with very commonly both in fiction (see: Game of Thrones) and in wildlife documentaries (see: Attenborough); so it is not necessarily something to shy away from, if it's dealt with correctly. I also think that when a non-human species is impregnating a human it is not really seen in the same light. For instance, the Alien films.

Also as others have said, we should bear in mind that this is a game where you already: routinely kill and eat your fellow species, raise creatures from the dead (and force them to your will), summon creatures from other realms (and force them to your will), and worship ancient and terrible gods.

However, I think an easier concept to deal with might be if as a spider you impregnated foes by burying eggs in their body rather than acting out a "mating" scenario.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 12:54

Re: Spider god

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 13:08

Re: Spider god

Why not remove the word "Mate" from the equation and call the ability "egg spawn" or something?

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 13:20

Re: Spider god

And consider it as a pure parasitism action (egg injection into the body, using it as incubator (leading to the target dead))

Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 13:28

Re: Spider god

Because mating with a spider, then eating it, is much cooler?

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 14:23

Re: Spider god

Of course it is.

I just tought of the tile indicator for the allies (sorry for the console players) : it's a small heart. Sometimes I imagine my zombies or my orcs gathering around for a large hug party because of this. For the mating aspect, when Ix apply the spider form to the humanoid, we could had a random between ally and neutral, and allowing mate only with allied spiders.

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 15:11

Re: Spider god

I strongly support removing "mating" from the descriptions, either by replacing it with parasitism for humanoids or preferably completely eliminating it.

About the permaspider-form: I think it could be granted in two steps:
(1) When the player joins the spider god, he gets a message saying "Ixhuachatetl extends the duration of your transmutation." .
(2) At ****** piety the player can pray at the altar of Ixhuachatetl to let the spider god turn him/her into a spider permanently.

After (1) the Spider Form spell cannot expire, but otherwise nothing is changed: the player can use the End Transformation ability (of course this may cause excommunication ...) but can't use other Form-changing transmutations, lots of mutations are surpressed and after leaving the spider god the player reverts to the original form.

After (2) the race of the player is changed to "Spider", although some effects of the original race (including but not limited to aptitudes) remain. The player can't change back after permanently becoming a spider. For perma-spiders I suggest the following differences from the properties described at the end of the first post:
- the 10% spell faliature chance is removed (the player gets used to being a spider)
- almost all form spells are castable (including Stoneskin), because the spider form is now the natural body of the caster, although casting Ice or Dragon Form causes excommunication by Ixhuachatetl, and Spider Form does nothing/is uncastable. (Blade Hands gives a relatively strong aux attack by transmutating the front legs of the spider into blades, although with the remaining 6 legs the spider can't move so quickly (movement speed is reduced to either 10 or 9). Or maybe it's simply uncastable.)
- 8 rings are wearable for all (original) races (between step (1) and step (2) only Octopode-spiders can wear eight rings). I think it would be strange for a deity supporting eight limbs to arbitrarily limit his followers to wear only 2 rings. The only 2 rings in (regular) spider form restriction can be justified by that the 6 legs created by transmutation can't conduct the magical power of a ring.
- The melded equipment is only expelled when the player permanently becomes a spider
- Mutations surpressed by Spider Form are cured when the player permanently becomes a spider, but the perma-spiders can gain (most of) them again. (I think it's logical that a Spider can get for example rF+ or fire breath mutation just like a Felid, Octopode or Human.) Demonspawn mutations surpressed by Spider Form reappear on the perma-spider body instead of disappearing ("Your demonic ancestry asserts itself by distorting your new archanid body ...").
- Probably the HP of the player should be balanced at least here (now the player isn't a huge troll but a small spider, so why does he have so much HP?)
- Maybe refilling/using spider swarm and/or the best stabbing bonus should be only reachable after permanently becoming a spider
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 16:50

Re: Spider god

I haven't heard about spiders laying eggs inside living beings... creepy but unrealistic
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 17:00

Re: Spider god

Of course I knew what I did when I came up with the ****** effect. (The proposal is a genuine team effort but I take responsibility for the mating concept.) However, instead of getting worked up about mating, sex and rape, I envisioned something quite different: To someone who is arachnophobic, the sight of a spider is terrible. But the horrors don't end there: who much worse must it be to turn into a spider? And of course, it doesn't end there either, at least not for all of them, since some actually take part in spider proliferation. The idea was to come up with something that's sinister beyond killing (I don't watch/read horror movies/stories, might be a typical theme there.)

I think it is interesting to ask why the god hates humanoids so much that merely killing will not always do (the flavour text answers this: Ixy feels deeply deceived and disappointed) -- but why do humanoids hate spiders? Perhaps these are subconscious traces of guilt?

It was equally clear from the start that a concept like mating would occasionally lead to profanity. (I have witnessed profanity before: back when there was no ##crawl-dev, for a while some players would makes jokes about KoCK and HoMo. Every freaking day. A certain developer would even join the fun, but I won't give names. :)) However, I have trust in the Crawl community that it does not degenerate. And I'd have never dreamed that perverted souls might turn to Crawl for an icky spider god. I still think that's pretty unrealistic.
Last edited by dpeg on Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 17:58

Re: Spider god

(ok this is a rather long post the second paragraph is most important if you don't want to read all)

You'd need to be really desperate if you are willing to invest probably a dozen hours in this game to become good enough to reach 6* of piety just for two lines of text like
  Code:
Nikola is turned into a spider by Ixdhbuezugewbzfmciiwzwhatshisnamemhrcm!
You mate with Nikola!

In light of this some pseudo-amoral kiddies coming to crawl for spider rape is a ridiculous idea imo. /b/ will satisfy their needs more efficiently.

In regards to the questionable nature of this. Of course saying "rape is much worse than killing" is ridiculous. However, the argument that noone has been killed by elven arrows and spells but a lot of people have experienced sexual assault has also been made. It still strikes me as a hypocritical, because it goes into fantastical detail in the case of violence but not of rape. The same goes for the "not a lot of murder victims play crawl."
What I mean to say is, the violence in Crawl is far away from real-world violence (as rightly pointed out by several posters here) but this spider-assault equally so. No person has been transformed into a spider and subsequently raped. I don't think that the idea of a victim of violent crime taking offense to Crawl's portayal is any less implausible than a victim of sexual crime taking offense to this hypothetical portrayal of rape. I assume that the messages used above are as explicit as it would get.

I think it's because it's easy enough to picture someone who would get way too much pleasure from spider-banging Margery.


"people who play violent videogames apparently get way too much pleasure from brutally killing people" - same principle. The degree of fun I have killing people in Crawl is entirely unconnected to the degree of fun I have killing people in real life (ok that sounds weird you know what I mean) and should be absolutely unrelated to any morality we share in society. Same goes for anything else that is undesirable physically but usually irrelevant virtually.

Without knowing anything about Elona, it sounds a lot more risque than what we intend to do here... the same attention to this cannot be expected.

A poll isn't a very good idea imo, this isn't a democracy but a game where devs decide what to do based on what they think reasonable.

On an unrelated note, is everyone here using "4chan" as a synonym for /b/? I think that in some other boards on the site people actually have discussions and don't just "try to shock, entertain, and coax free porn from each other."

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 18:21

Re: Spider god

The concern was more with the concept and how it could be interpreted as being similar to rape, and how Crawl is really not the best game to be exploring or dealing with that issue. The idea of someone getting off on it was just used as an example to highlight why some people found it creepy. But I've said my piece: currently I'd prefer if it was left out, but if it stays in, it stays in, and maybe no one will get bothered. If it goes in, and people do get bothered, I'd ask that people not double down and get super-defensive about it, though. Just, like... don't be Those Guys.

Here's an alternative idea, now that I think of one -- after mating with Ix (which I still find mostly okay), Ix will occasionally use humanoids scared by Arachnophobia as an incubator. A fleeing humanoid has a chance that, after a few moments of running, they will burst open horrifically Aliens-style and spiders will come out. This supports the parasitism theme, and becoming filled to bursting with living spiders would surely be terrifying for a humanoid. Or, instead of exploding all at once, they run off as spiders burst out of them every few turns, doing large amounts of damage, while the humanoid screams in horror.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 18:33

Re: Spider god

nagdon wrote:For perma-spiders I suggest the following differences from the properties described at the end of the first post:
- the 10% spell faliature chance is removed (the player gets used to being a spider)

The two step process to perma-spider seems pretty complicated and unnecessary.

Ix might encourage more diverse play styles if the -10% spell failure chance was mitigated under Ix somehow, though. Say, the penalty is reduced by 2% for each star of piety (so the penalty is gone at *****). That would also help deal with the complaint that you need a spell to join Ix in the first place but then under Ix you basically become the Terriblest Wizard.

- 8 rings are wearable for all (original) races (between step (1) and step (2) only Octopode-spiders can wear eight rings). I think it would be strange for a deity supporting eight limbs to arbitrarily limit his followers to wear only 2 rings. The only 2 rings in (regular) spider form restriction can be justified by that the 6 legs created by transmutation can't conduct the magical power of a ring.

IIRC, adding new slots during play would be a big interface hassle, especially when those slots are eventually lost, either because you're not a spider anymore or because Ix doesn't help you handle your spider body anymore. I think it might be okay if Octopodes retained the ability to wear eight rings under Ix, though, since the character will have eight ring slots in or out of Spider Form.

- The melded equipment is only expelled when the player permanently becomes a spider

Melded equipment is pushed out because otherwise it will take up slots in the inventory while the player is still in perma-Spider Form and the player will have no means of getting rid of it. It would just require tedious inventory juggling before casting Spider Form to join up.

- Mutations surpressed by Spider Form are cured when the player permanently becomes a spider, but the perma-spiders can gain (most of) them again. (I think it's logical that a Spider can get for example rF+ or fire breath mutation just like a Felid, Octopode or Human.)

Ix is a deity strongly concerned with form -- spiders don't have horns, claws, or mottled scales -- and flavorwise, Ix ensures that the spider body it helps sustain will remain a perfect example of the type. It would also involve going through the list of mutations and seeing which ones are normally suppressed in Spider Form but can be unsuppressed by Ix. (Also, spiders don't breathe with vertebrate lungs or through their mouth, so fire breath would be out, though I guess we left Real Biology far behind ages ago.)

I suppose if someone comes up with a cool way to handle unsuppressing mutations while still keeping flavor, we could have a look at that. (Unsuppressing resistances might be appropriate -- you still have the form of a spider, you're just resistant to flame or negative energy or whatever, and without a really lucky ring selection you're not going to have many other options to get resists.)
Last edited by nicolae on Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:27, edited 4 times in total.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 18:38

Re: Spider god

nicolae wrote:Here's an alternative idea, now that I think of one -- after mating with Ix (which I still find mostly okay), Ix will occasionally use humanoids scared by Arachnophobia as an incubator. A fleeing humanoid has a chance that, after a few moments of running, they will burst open horrifically Aliens-style and spiders will come out. This supports the parasitism theme, and becoming filled to bursting with living spiders would surely be terrifying for a humanoid. Or, instead of exploding all at once, they run off as spiders burst out of them every few turns, doing large amounts of damage, while the humanoid screams in horror.


To me sounds good, in the sense of creepiness. Leaving a trail of spiders from the guts while running away screaming is more appealing than passing through a foe and merely having two lines of text about mating. The spiders can even consume all the flesh leaving the naked skeleton :twisted:
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 18:41

Re: Spider god

Roderic wrote:To me sounds good, in the sense of creepiness. Leaving a trail of spiders from the guts while running away screaming is more appealing than passing through a foe and merely having two lines of text about mating. The spiders can even consume all the flesh leaving the naked skeleton :twisted:


Skeleton left behind, maybe there's a way to make the new spiders leave a trail of blood for a little bit... yeah, I like this. It's definitely got better visuals in-game and not just in the flavor text, while still keeping the body horror aspect. Maybe we can get a chain reaction effect going -- a humanoid who sees another humanoid burping up spiders through their eyeballs has a much stronger chance to be affected by Arachnophobia when they see you.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:32

Re: Spider god

Ix might encourage more diverse play styles if the -10% spell failure chance was mitigated under Ix somehow, though. Say, the penalty is reduced by 2% for each star of piety (so the penalty is gone at *****). That would also help deal with the complaint that you need a spell to join Ix in the first place but then under Ix you basically become the Terriblest Wizard.

Caster hybrids are already viable in spider form as the increased movement speed and EV offsets the penalties.

nicolae wrote:
pubby wrote:This allows the god to have broader appeal instead of just being felid 2.0 :evil: .

We tried to ensure that someone might find Spidergod appealing as something other than another god to cross off the list of "Gods I've Won With". But in the end it's still a pretty out-there niche concept, and both of us were okay with the idea that most players would want to play an easier and more straightforward god.

What is the point of an 'easy' god if it is placed far away from the temple most of the time?

I just can't see the appeal of this god other than the flavor. Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor why this god is appealing? Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor how this god is different enough from felids to warrant an entirely new god?
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:43

Re: Spider god

pubby wrote:What is the point of an 'easy' god if it is placed far away from the temple most of the time?

The "easier and more straightforward god" in that post wasn't Ix. It was the god someone would rather play instead of Ix. We both knew that Ix was not an easy or straightforward deity, and that most players would rather try something else, and we were both okay with that.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:50

Re: Spider god

nicolae wrote:I think it might be okay if Octopodes retained the ability to wear eight rings under Ix, though, since the character will have eight ring slots in or out of Spider Form.

I agree. This was more a case of forgetting something. I'll eventually return and update the original post.

I suppose if someone comes up with a cool way to handle unsuppressing mutations while still keeping flavor, we could have a look at that. (Unsuppressing resistances might be appropriate -- you still have the form of a spider, you're just resistant to flame or negative energy or whatever, and without a really lucky ring selection you're not going to have many other options to get resists.)

Yes, perhaps like Beogh is really concerned about pure Orcishness, Ixy would worry about pure Spiderness. Now, the god accepts spiders of all former forms, but they should at least look like decent spiders. This is also why I think that keeping behaviour differences (Mi retributtal, Oc rings, Fe lives etc.) are kept: those are more innate properties and they can augment a spider's life. (Code-wise, these special cases are less important, but I'll post a list of priorities at some later point.)
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 19:54

Re: Spider god

Descent. "You can instantly descend closer to Ixhuachatetl."
Instant escape hatch to first unexplored level with branch.
High piety cost.

This is quite similar to my Fortress Dwarves proposal and since I have tested the concept out already I'll share my thoughts.

The way Fortress Dwarves worked is that they had a permanent stasis ability, but could shaft themselves instantly (same effect as falling down a shaft). The shafting ability was fun for these two reasons:
- It was very noisy and so it attracted enemies to you, often causing you to have to shaft deeper and deeper. Without noise it put you in a safe spot about 90% of the time - better than a teleport. With noise it was about 33% safe.
- Being 6 floors too deep with low health is extremely tense and exciting.

Ix's ability is definitely more costly and safer, but not as much fun. That's not a bad thing for a rarely used escape button, but something closer to FD's ability may be worth considering.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 20:20

Re: Spider god

dpeg wrote:[list] [*] altar produces level-appropriate spiders once (15-20 turns after sight)
[needs a new, immature spider monster for early dungeon]

Already exists, it's just the base "spider" monster.

[list] [*] Arachnophobia. (Passive) "You terrify humanoid creatures."
Chance to affect (half-)humanoids only depends on piety and Inv (not
on monster), and caps at 33%.
Full xp and piety.
Affected humanoids flee (a la Elyvilon).

So they leave the level? This is more like pacification than fleeing, then. Fleeing = the monster runs away until it reaches a corner, and then runs back at you. Which would be kind of annoying as a god power (it sounds like this isn't what you're proposing though).

Arachnophobic humanoids may be turned into spiders (you can mate with).

Aside from potentially being in bad taste (I agree with the concerns other posters have raised), I worry this is too similar to Jiyva's slimify. This god already has a lot of ideas loaded into it, and I think this one can be safely dropped. We already have a weird god that transforms monsters into stuff.

Mating spiders: walk into neutral spider. Spider is devoured; an altar appears at its place, which will eventually produce spider (you cannot mate with).
Replenishes uses for spider swarm. Has cooldown.
Cannot mate with immature spiders (from altars) and with Spider spiders.

Sounds problematic. Aside from making most of the Spider branch easy (again, this seems too similar to Jiyva), there's going to be a problem of people traveling to the spider branch constantly so they can replenish their spider swarm ability. This reminds me of vampires who create "fridges" by leaving a bunch of sheep alive. It's not a fun game mechanic.

I also don't like the idea of making spiders neutral. Slime has the advantage of having all the loot in one spot.. so you can just dive to the bottom and take everything there. With Spider you'd have to explore 5 mostly-pacified levels, which would be pretty boring. You could skip it, but you'd be missing on free loot. You could "solve" this by simply taking out all of the loot from Spider, but this would be making the branch less rewarding (and therefore less fun) for everyone who isn't a follower of the spider god.

Thus I think this god would be better if most/all spiders remained hostile towards you. The god also shouldn't have a conduct that forbids killing spiders. Consider Beogh - he doesn't care if you kill hostile orcs.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 20:25

Re: Spider god

Also, regarding altars:

Since the altars burst into spiders after a time limit, it will be important that players cannot recognise the altars ahead of time. Therefore (unlike any other god in Crawl), the spider god should not have altar vaults. Vaults mean players can know where an altar is, and avoid it. It would be much more effective if the altars are just placed normally, so they can achieve their intended purpose.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 20:37

Re: Spider god

evilmike: Arachnophobic humanoids are supposed to leave the level, yes. It is okay if they're confused for a bit, screaming etc. before eventually dashing off.

Arachnophobic humanoids turned into spiders: apart from the flavour (it's sort of a nightmare in a nightmare), this is also supposed to take care of the food problem in extended. Note that unlike Jiyva's slimify there's no way you can control this: it is completely random who'll turn out to be afraid of spiders, and after that it is random who's spiderised by the god (the latter effect would be quite rare, by the way).

Re: spider swarm replenish: As the rules are stated, that cannot be done in Spider. (The fridge problem also exists elsewhere, although less pronounced than for Vampires.) But there's no issue with Spider spiders; even if we allow that they can be attacked, it would be acceptable to have them unmateable. Perhaps there's a different, unexpected route. I agree that neither neutral nor friendly spiders is satisfactory, but to me, hostile spiders is neither.

Re: killing spiders: We considered to just allow this, as you suggest. But there's the fact that it seems strange for such a small god to let that allow to happen.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 20:45

Re: Spider god

evilmike wrote:Already exists, it's just the base "spider" monster.

The original idea had the potential for Ix altars very early in the dungeon, like on D:3. I think the current proposal knocked them back down to D:6, though. The immature spider was just so 1) you wouldn't have to deal with an altar falling apart on D:3 and turning into spiders that can easily kill you and 2) so you couldn't get infinite piety by mating with a spider and then mating with the resulting spiders. If the former isn't a problem now that altars are moved to D:6, and if we can change the results of spider mating to just "get piety and nutrition" instead of also creating an altar, this idea might not be needed.

So they leave the level? This is more like pacification than fleeing, then. Fleeing = the monster runs away until it reaches a corner, and then runs back at you. Which would be kind of annoying as a god power (it sounds like this isn't what you're proposing though).

Yeah, the fleeing wasn't explicitly the fleeing mechanic. It's just, the humanoid sees you and tries to get the hell out of dodge because spiders are horrifying.

Aside from potentially being in bad taste (I agree with the concerns other posters have raised), I worry this is too similar to Jiyva's slimify. This god already has a lot of ideas loaded into it, and I think this one can be safely dropped. We already have a weird god that transforms monsters into stuff.

That's a good point. I think I prefer the body-parasite idea I posted earlier, where scared humanoids have spiders hatching out of them instead. Aside from all the Other Issues, I think it would have a more visceral effect than just a transformation.

Sounds problematic. Aside from making most of the Spider branch easy (again, this seems too similar to Jiyva), there's going to be a problem of people traveling to the spider branch constantly so they can replenish their spider swarm ability. This reminds me of vampires who create "fridges" by leaving a bunch of sheep alive. It's not a fun game mechanic.

We thought of that, that's why the proposal says that spiders in the Spider's Nest are ineligible to mate with -- they're analogous to the vestal virgins who hung around in Roman temples. Though I suppose a particularly patient player could try to lead spiders upstairs into Lair a few at a time...

Thus I think this god would be better if most/all spiders remained hostile towards you. The god also shouldn't have a conduct that forbids killing spiders. Consider Beogh - he doesn't care if you kill hostile orcs.

Also a good point. We thought there should be something that makes Spider a little easier -- all the other non-Temple gods make their branches easier in some fashion -- but we couldn't think of anything, and neutral spiders was just the easiest idea.

Innate web immunity might not be enough, but I had an idea that you become resistant (or, rather, you aren't vulnerable) to spider bite poison if you yourself are capable of producing that poison in your bites. I.e. all spiders under Ix aren't rPois- to regular spider poisons; if you can produce strong poison, you aren't rPois- to redback bites; if you can produce the poison-with-confusion, you aren't rPois- for tarantella bites, and so on. Maybe that would help a little. That way, the poisonous nature of the branch is mitigated slightly.

dpeg wrote:Re: killing spiders: We considered to just allow this, as you suggest. But there's the fact that it seems strange for such a small god to let that allow to happen.

Flavorwise, I think this could go either way: you could say that Ix likes spiders too much to encourage infighting, but you could also that Ix appreciates the predatory nature of its ilk. Spiders are a small domain for a god in that not many gods care about spiders, but there are a lot of spiders to care about in the world. I think we should figure out whether it's better to have neutral spiders or hostile spiders or a mix, from a gameplay perspective.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 21:07

Re: Spider god

nicolae wrote:We thought of that, that's why the proposal says that spiders in the Spider's Nest are ineligible to mate with -- they're analogous to the vestal virgins who hung around in Roman temples. Though I suppose a particularly patient player could try to lead spiders upstairs into Lair a few at a time...

Ah, I glossed over that part, sorry. I agree that leading monsters out into Lair would be an issue, though

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 21:17

Re: Spider god

evilmike wrote:Ah, I glossed over that part, sorry.

It's cool. I wrote the Long Summary over a month ago and I don't think I've read it since. I get verbose.

I agree that leading monsters out into Lair would be an issue, though

We could just say that spiders native to the Nest won't follow the player back out into Lair, because they don't want to leave their homeland, though I suppose that could also be abused in its own right. If only those damn players didn't ruin everything...

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 21:27

Re: Spider god

pubby wrote:Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor why this god is appealing?

You get permaswiftness (by the way, how does it work with traps and stealth, like regular swiftness or not?), huge evasion too while potentially keeping decent HP and/or aptitudes. If octopodes keep their 8 rings that could be even more powerful combination. Plus some abilities seem like very powerful panic buttons.
pubby wrote:Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor how this god is different enough from felids to warrant an entirely new god?

Different HP and aptitudes (unless you're playing a felid of Ix), no extra lives.

The idea does sound pretty crazy, but on other hand, Crawl already has gods of slowness, orcs, slimes and RNG...

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 21:37

Re: Spider god

We could just say that spiders native to the Nest won't follow the player back out into Lair, because they don't want to leave their homeland, though I suppose that could also be abused in its own right. If only those damn players didn't ruin everything...


You could also give spiders spawned in the Nest a special flag (nest_spider or whatever), so that both problems are solved. You can lure them up, so you can't abuse the fact that they won't follow up on non-Ixy chars, but you still can't mate with them in the Lair.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 22:27

Re: Spider god

Sar wrote:
pubby wrote:Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor why this god is appealing?

You get permaswiftness (by the way, how does it work with traps and stealth, like regular swiftness or not?), huge evasion too while potentially keeping decent HP and/or aptitudes. If octopodes keep their 8 rings that could be even more powerful combination. Plus some abilities seem like very powerful panic buttons.
pubby wrote:Could someone explain without mentioning any flavor how this god is different enough from felids to warrant an entirely new god?

Different HP and aptitudes (unless you're playing a felid of Ix), no extra lives.

The idea does sound pretty crazy, but on other hand, Crawl already has gods of slowness, orcs, slimes and RNG...

Actually this god feels werid.

Most of the gods in the game....add?...a playstyle.

If you go nemlex, you can now manipulate decks. You don't have to. You could go nemlex and never touch decks. He just adds the advantage.
Kiku helps you into necromancy.
Sif throws magic at your head.
Veh makes magic easier.
Yred adds free undead army
etc.

This god FORCES you to be a stabber. With all of the above if you never want to invoke a single god ability, you technically could and they don't lock you out of any particular playstyle. True the good gods put some limits on your play, but that fits well enough. This seems EXTREMELY constricting in some sense. I'm not saying its a bad thing but this is in some ways even more severe than trog worship. At least for trog if i find some amazing tome on d3 and want to ditch him later, I can. It'll suck, but I can. As far as i see it ditching this god IS the ultimate "you cannot win" flag. I mean I think it'd be a brand new challenge to see if you could 3 and 15 rune off a spider abandonment before vault.

Furthermore there's not many gods who you CANT join because it'd just be a giant waste of you skills. If i have armor at 15 and join any god in the game that's still useful, but it basically means going spider god would be stupid.

Actually since it's been talked about before I think we need to NOT make the same mistakes that current gods when it comes to punishment. I really don't understand why punishment doesn't already scale with piety(abandon them early less pain then abandon late), but this one is pretty insane. Why not start the trend here by sending decently powerful spiders for early abandonment with the punishments ramping up as you climb the piety tree? Perma spider form can be the final tier and the punishment is now you're stuck that way with none of the benefits.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 22:55

Re: Spider god

Eji1700 wrote:This god FORCES you to be a stabber.

Speed boost, huge amounts of EV and self-shafting can be useful for a lot of characters. If the 10% Spellcasting penalty would be removed I'd definitely try a spider mage, else I'd go for a troll or ogre spider.
Eji1700 wrote:With all of the above if you never want to invoke a single god ability, you technically could and they don't lock you out of any particular playstyle.

What about Chei?

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 23:09

Re: Spider god

Eji1700: Yes, the god is pretty narrow. We're aware of it and it's stated right in the original post. The glamour comes from "spider form for real", just like Jiyva's appeal comes from "have jellies eat stuff for you". This is certainly not for everyone, and these gods will never make it into the Temple because of that. As nicolae said, the idea of a spider god has been around for ages, and we just settled down to flesh it out. It was clear from the outset that being a permaspider (the basic premise of any spider god design, I hope) is a niche affair, so we just catered for that.

Regarding wrath: An overhaul is quite important but unfortunately not in sight (I once made a proposal but it was too complicated). I'd really love to see flexible wraths in the game, as that would pave the way for Lugonu followers to desecrate altars of other gods. However, I believe that it's a least prudent to start with permanent Spider god wrath. (The random gods will feature a similar problem and I have no qualms about locking in a player into a niche god. Not everything has to be measured in winning chances. There's no doubt that enough players will want to explore niche gods, no matter what.)

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 23:16

Re: Spider god

Ix is a niche god and that's probably not going to change as long as there's permaspider involved. What I want to try to accomplish is to make it so that if a player does give Ix a shot (because they like spiders, because they want to try the stealth + speed abilities, or because they just want to win with every god once), that their willingness to try a bizarre niche playstyle is rewarded by making that particular niche playstyle viable. If Ix is going to be a god just for stabby sneaky quasi-felids, then at the very least, I think it needs to be a good god for stabby sneaky quasi-felids, and not just an exercise in masochism.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 23:39

Re: Spider god

I know this has been said before, but this god seems waaaay too niche. Jiyva is the niche god of Slime, but it works because he enhances your current character with slimy powers- he doesn't actually turn you into a jelly and thus invalidate half the game's items and your race. All the other gods are like an additional facet of your character that adds to what already exists- but this God makes the God more of an issue than your actual character, because it's a God that is acting like a Race.

The way crawl stands now is
Class- Starting skills and Gear- Rapidly becomes irrelevant, but technically unchangeable
Race- Aptitudes and innate, fixed abilities- Relevant for the entire game, unchangeable
God- A set of abilities reliant on behavior, as relevant as you make it, changeable

But making the spiderform permanent makes this god practically impossible to worship unless you specifically planned to do so from the very start. There's no aspect of "Hmmm, why not pick up the Spider God this game" because very few characters are compatible with permaspiderform, as opposed to how other gods can support almost any playstyle even if it isn't strictly "optimal."

I could understand this god a lot more if it granted Spiderform as an toggleable ability that wouldn't wear off until you wanted it to, in addition to the other stuff like web throwing. Storywise, perhaps permanently becoming a spider requires the unfathomable power of the Orb of Zot, and until then you must content yourself with worship, transformation and the persecution of your own loathed 4-legged species.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2012, 23:49

Re: Spider god

dpeg wrote:Eji1700: Yes, the god is pretty narrow. We're aware of it and it's stated right in the original post. The glamour comes from "spider form for real", just like Jiyva's appeal comes from "have jellies eat stuff for you". This is certainly not for everyone, and these gods will never make it into the Temple because of that. As nicolae said, the idea of a spider god has been around for ages, and we just settled down to flesh it out. It was clear from the outset that being a permaspider (the basic premise of any spider god design, I hope) is a niche affair, so we just catered for that.

Regarding wrath: An overhaul is quite important but unfortunately not in sight (I once made a proposal but it was too complicated). I'd really love to see flexible wraths in the game, as that would pave the way for Lugonu followers to desecrate altars of other gods. However, I believe that it's a least prudent to start with permanent Spider god wrath. (The random gods will feature a similar problem and I have no qualms about locking in a player into a niche god. Not everything has to be measured in winning chances. There's no doubt that enough players will want to explore niche gods, no matter what.)

Noted. I look forward to the "abandon spider god and win" challenges.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2012, 01:15

Re: Spider god

(English is not my first language, i apologize in advance for the weird phrasing)

The problem is not the mating per se, be it consensual or not, in a work of fiction. The problem in this specific case is the indirect celebration of non-consensual sex through a game mechanic. Which -for sure- wasn't intended by the proponents of the idea, but still comes off as that.

dpeg wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I really like the idea of first having someone (especially a named one) freak out in sight of a spider, then have my god turn the guy into a spider so that we can mate. It's pretty cruel (and yes, rape is horrible in real life and I won't accept real-life rape jokes) but it fits my idea of "revenge on the humanoids" really well. And arachnophobia is a nice trope, of course.


So you're saying that since it fits we shouldn't take offense. Or better, implying that it should be looked at the same way we look at Greek mythology, hardly anybody is offended by Zeus' escapades.

Which is something i can get behind, but the huge problem is, it's not the same medium. Would it have been a novel, book, or show, or even a story-driven rpg, it would have had narrative significance that would have worked toward character development.

So why exactly more traditional media and forms of storytelling are allowed to get away with it, so to speak..
Divine mating in myths and traditions is highly symbolic, as the union of two aspects (must look at the specific content for the meaning).
In fiction, whether it is the same (and it can be, definitely) or it becomes a really bad taste wish-fulfillment power fantasy, depends entirely on the context.
In rpgs the players develop their character in a world that is influenced by them and influences them in turn, interacting with npcs tailored to this purpose.

Crawl is no rpg, and while it is a world with flavourful mythology, it has not the space or the structure to give this kind of character development. The interactions happen exclusively in the mind of the player. To this extent is much more similar to a sandbox game, where imagination and freedom are of the essence. If a player wants to imagine him/herself as some creature going around ingravidating the denizens of the dungeon for whatever reason s/he can even now (something similar, how many of us find satisfying dismembering and eating named npcs?), but the moment the game turns it into a dynamic to aspire to it become gamification of rape.

dpeg wrote:"I believe that your reaction, while natural, is a bit hypocritical: we're playing a game where the only content is murder."


The "npc's don't give consent to murder as well" argument is countered not only by the inherent difference between rape and murder, but by the difference of the mindset of the perpetrators of the two acts.
Killing in fiction is symbolic of having bested something or someone, even someone that never experienced it for real knows that it's very different in real life. Sex in fiction is often taken as face value, when ironically most of the time is anything but. And this is a very touchy area, since way more people than we think have trouble telling the difference between reality and fantasy when it comes to sexuality. While i revile the idea of art educating people, i admit that symbols don't exist in a vacuum.

Sexual violence in fantasy, is a dynamic both of total surrender and total possession (highly idealized, very different from real life, sexual fantasy analysis is often very similar to dream interpretation).
Sexual violence in real life is a crime of control, with nothing to do with instinct and attraction, but based on a psychopatic thirst for power, using sex as a mean, with nothing else than power as the goal.
In fiction it can be both or neither, it can be everything we want it to be according to the meaning the author wants to give to it, but its portrayal is extremely context sensitive.
The fact that some symbology of myth, psyche, and fantasy coincide in form with doable real-life crimes is the source of all controversy.

And, yes, people don't get sexually assaulted by spiders in real life. But it's still a player, a human being, playing as the spider rapist, and it's still the devs that allowed it. If that's what they wanted, more power to them, but something tells me it's not their intention.
So, while it's all in the mind of the player, at the same time it stops being as such when you reward the players for spider-raping.

The solution proposed of making the victims willing after their transformation doesn't solve the problem; while the victims did change mind along with their form, the perpetrators of the act didn't change their mind in the slightest, just had to make the subjects willing. the sexual act has still been enforced on to them, no matter how happy they were made after the moment.

I understand the link with the mythos, the idea of purity of the spider deity, and that is not in bad taste. I'm fine with spider transformations as a way of the deity to make things right, fine with parasitism, fine with divine mating, -not- fine in the slightest with non-consensual sex as a game mechanic. Make it similar to slimify if you must, but leave forced npc mating out of this.

I also don't like the idea of a confirmed 'true and only one' creator of the world since it's something i'd prefer to remain a mystery, but that's just me.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2012, 01:30

Re: Spider god

Gnard wrote:I also don't like the idea of a confirmed 'true and only one' creator of the world since it's something i'd prefer to remain a mystery, but that's just me.


I suppose that not everyone in the Crawl universe agrees that the Ixhuachatetl creation myth is true. But I do like giving Crawl a creation myth, and I especially like giving Crawl a creation myth that suggests that the dominant species were not the pinnacle of creation but in fact the creator's worst mistake.
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