Saruul - God of Domination and Control


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 04:49

Saruul - God of Domination and Control

Saruul - God of Domination and Control


Flavour

Saruul the Grey takes the form of a man swathed in grey robes, when he desires to move among men on the mortal plane. He carries with him enigmatic and terrible devices of metal and glass, and arouses strange compulsions and desires in those he meets - bending the weak to his own inscutable will.
Saruul only respects and assists those who help themselves. He is an elitist but meritocratic God who seeks fellow creators (and destroyers) rather than blind followers. He encourages adherents to make the maximum use of their own powers and talents, as well as devices they find, and recognises kindred spirits in those who would manipulate others to do their bidding.

Background

Design the Gods you want to play yourself! There are certain playstyles e.g. Hex based magic user or evocations focussed which I like the flavour for but seem sub optimal in pwoer or underrepresented in God choices. As a hybrid player I often gravitate towards Gods with a broader utility playstyle, but am not overall a fan of Gods (Ash, Chei) who provide significant drawbacks as well as benefits. Also, I like the idea of a God who enhances what you have rather than provides you with an entirely new skill set, and that could appeal to a broad range of races and playstyles

II. Short version

NAME: Saruul the Grey
PIETY GAIN

•killing anything which is asleep, confused, paralysed
•summons killing enemies

PIETY LOSS

•over time

ABILITIES (more details below):

•Evocations boost (passive, * piety)
•Shop discount (passive, ** piety)
•Berserk allies (active, *** piety)
•Reduce enemy MR (passive, **** piety)
•'Overload' wands (active, ***** piety)
•Choose apprentice (active ****** piety)


* PIETY

Evocations boost (passive) "You feel an attuned to magical devices"
Raise Evocations aptitude by +2
Saruul encourages his believers to learn about and make use of arcane and scientific instruments, and to take advantage of what they find around them

** PIETY

50% discount in all shops (passive) "The dominance of your personality allows you to easily manipulate other to your advantage"
Saruul enhances the natural authority of his adherents, and admires those who use such magnetism for profit

*** PIETY

Berserk allies (Activated with food/piety - invocations determies length) When active all allies (temporary or permanent) become berserk.
Spurred on by your exhortations, your minions throw themselves into battle without heed for their own safety. Saruul looks on with satisfaction at this display of power and persuasion in his apprentice

**** PIETY

Reduce enemy MR (passive) "Your enemies seem more suspectible to your Words of Power"
All enemies in LOS have MR reduced (by an amount based on invocations) making them more susceptible to Hexes
As your power grows you find you can divine weak points in your enemies psychic armour, allowing you access to their minds

***** PIETY

Overload wands (Active, piety cost) "You can manipulate magical devices to enhance their power"
Ability which targets a wand in your inventory (which is then fired like a normal wand). It will use up all its charges when it is fired for an enhanced effect eg wands of healing will heal all its charges at once, wands of paralysis will ahve a greater chance of bypassing MR etc.
Your mastery of arcane mechanisms allows you to focus their power in terrifying ways

****** PIETY

Choose apprentice (Active, piety cost) "You can choose an apprentice."
Targeted ability which creates a permanent ally out of an enemy in LOS (perhaps living only to avoid being overpowered). You can only have 1 apprentice at a time.
Each succesful apprentice kill/attack increases their chance of 'betrayal' slightly (basically increasing % of reverting to hostile). Healing with wands is the only way to decrease this 'betrayal'
Eventually, disciples of Saruul achieve the strength of mind to bend even the most powerful to their will. Beware though, that eventually your apprentice may desire to themselves become the master


WRATH, ABANDONING

•All summons will be generated hostile
•Your MR is reduced

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 06:51

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

Berserking allies, because your 20 ordinary golden dragons didn't quite cut it? ;)

I guess this is too OP, because you can have all the sweet loot from the shops and every single summing spell that is OP now (read: every single summoning spell) gets ridiculous when all your minions are berserking, and gaining piety is trivial, because your OP summons kill a metric asston of enemies in no time. It's like having BiA on for the whole game for virtually no price.

I'm not an expert, but I guess that any idea of buffing summons before summoning overhaul will be rejected, because it will break the game completely.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 08:35

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

Yay with this god i think one can finish 15runer in <30k...orb of energy+zerked hydras/drags
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Pandemonium Purger

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 08:53

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

Sorry that I haven't read this through yet, but I wouldn't exactly call Ashenzari a god that provides significant benefits at a significant price.

Cursed equipment is hardly much punishment, unless you like to use six different weapons just because.

Edit: Now that I have, I kind of have to agree with what the others say.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 09:39

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

I guess it depends how you play - if you're a ranged character that needs to swap weapons a lot, or due to found equipment need to do a lot of ring swaps then I think Ashenzari's drawbacks are very real (in fact they need to be otherwise it woudl be too powerful)

As to Saruul, changing berserking all allies to berserking 1 chosen ally (with significant piety cost) should make that power mroe balanced

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 09:51

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

molari wrote:I guess it depends how you play - if you're a ranged character that needs to swap weapons a lot, or due to found equipment need to do a lot of ring swaps then I think Ashenzari's drawbacks are very real (in fact they need to be otherwise it woudl be too powerful)

As to Saruul, changing berserking all allies to berserking 1 chosen ally (with significant piety cost) should make that power mroe balanced


one single 'zerking hydra is the solution for almost any situation in midgame and piety is free for any summoner. A 'zerking dragon is, well, almost unstoppable in an entire 3-runer.

The second problem i see that too entirely different builds are meant to benefit from the new god - summoners and stabbers. These two playstyles almost never overlap (summons don't care about being noisy), so enemy MR discount is useless for a summoner, and 'zerking allies is useless for a stabber. Evocation apt is unimportant for everyone but a nemelexite or CBoE user and shop discounts don't fit the theme either. It is like giving Sif Muna users an ability to greatly enhance AC of heavy armour worn - you are unlikely to choose Sif and wear CPM during a 3-runer. Gods are meant to help a chosen playstyle of a char and not to support every build possible.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 23:30

Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 10:01

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

The 'theme' is using what's around you/manipulation - the design is deliberately supposed to offer some advantage to lesser played builds but not be an obvious choice for many . There are already plenty of Gods who fit a clearly defined playstyle and do so extremely efficiently - the fighter God, the conjurations God etc. There's nothing to say all a Gods abilities have to be useful to a player eg Beogh's walk on water does not fit cleanly with having a bunch of allies who can't swim!

I agree that Evocations are currently not that improtant - I'm trying to make them more so rather than appeal to any existing strong 'evocations' playstyle

Not sure how 'piety is free' is a given - this would depend on amount of piety given for ally kills, piety decay rate, and piety cost for activating abilities.
I agree that the initial suggestion gave berserking en masse too much power. But is a controleld and limited use ally berserk really more powerful than other mid game tools like a band of orc knights, haste, mephitic cloud, etc.?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 10:50

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

onton wrote:Gods are meant to help a chosen playstyle of a char and not to support every build possible.

This isn't true. Some gods have a narrow audience, but several others don't. Gods with a broader audience are considered more interesting, so new god designs shouldn't try to focus on a single playstyle.
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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 10:55

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

The god is a grab bag of powers -- without the explanation, I wouldn't see a theme. And that's bad: we want gods whose actions speak for themselves.
Also what galehar said.

I believe a god helping summons is possible, but there's a reason that the proposal I favour (called "constant piety" on the dev wiki) makes you pay with blood (maxHP) for piety and powers.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 11:24

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

You should split the evocations into another god - the only reason to train them with enchanters/summoners is for staves and cboe which isn't the type of evoc items you had in mind.

Your abilities are extremely straightforward and overpowered. Try coming up with abilities that change the way the game is played rather than being a straight-up buff. For instance, allow hex spells to be smite targeted so you can use them with summons easier.
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Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Wednesday, 14th September 2011, 23:30

Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 12:09

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

As galehar mentioned, there is no reason that a God has to appeal to only 1 playstyle. Yes, as is if you're playing a summoner you don't tend to train evocations - but my aim was a) to have a God viable for both, no reason that all pwoers have to be useful to both and b) boost a weak playstyle like focussing on evocations, and some of the currently fairly useless evocable items also

pubby - Overpowered how? There's not much information there. Though I do like the idea of smite targetting for hexes. Many Gods don't actually change the way the game is played radically - Okawaru, Vehumet etc.

Currently there is no God which focusses primarily on enhancing summons, making better use of evocables or Hexes. I'm not sure why, assuming that these are viable playstyles, 1 God can't appeal to all 3 even if most hybrid characters won't use all abilities. The main potential problem would seem to be ubeing underpowered, but feedback so far seems to suggest the opposite.

dpeg - playstyle theme was supposed to be making better use of existing player skills and found objects, rather than providing brand new abilities (I personally find these kinds of Gods interesting). Evocations and Hexes because they currently seem weaker than most. Summoning because manipulating summons is something that can't really be done at present but gives the magic user another option.
Flavourwise - I thought the idea of a Nyarlothotep/Nietzsche hybrid who recognised the will to power only and rewarded manipulation of objects and domination of weaker willed beings was a strong theme, but then of course my opinion is bound to be biased!
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 16:34

Re: Saruul - God of Domination and Control

I've personally always felt that gods should have a significant impact on playstyle, whether they're broad or not, and be a more interesting choice than "is this a simple upgrade to my abilities" (Vehumet, I'm staring right at you). Not everyone seems to agree with that, but it's how I'd prefer things to be.

Now, I think your god would be a bit boring and not as broad as you think. It ONLY supports stabbers and summoners, neither of which are uncommon playstyles (SpEn and MuSu anyone?). And people using Hexes to a lesser extent, but those are unreliable. Don't use any of those? No piety for you. Consequently, that's a rather narrow audience. Compare with Okawaru. The only build he doesn't support is summoning. Every other character can use Heroism and Finesse for offensive or defensive purposes and those weapon and armor gifts are loved by every character... well usually, except when he trolls you with Distortion, which is both frustrating and hilarious. Heck, even Jiyva fits a broader appeal as pretty much anyone who isn't undead can go chill with him and reap all of his benefits (though he supports unarmed characters marginally more).

Flavor-wise, the god's abilities are thematic. Gameplay wise though, they're scattered all over. Anyone worshipping the god will benefit from about half of his abilities, unless they drop into a summoning/hexer playstyle, which is a pretty narrow and weird niche. You say it's supposed to make better use of player skills, yes? Well, he only supports Evocations (but you don't get piety for a lot of them), hexes, summoning, and, indirectly, stabbing (piety only). You have exactly two skills with affect Evocations, one that affects summoning, and one that affects hexes. With the exception of hex-based wands, these do not mesh together at all. And it also has a permanent ally who will betray you, so Yred and Beogh are laughing at Saruul over that.

So, the gameplay themes and style are weak, a bit random, and do not play well with each other. If you look at other gods, the typical follower will get to benefit from everything they do. But, not here, as most people will trash hex wands sometime before or after Lair and very few people, if any, are going to be using both hexes and summonings and evocations (Crystal Ball of Energy not withstanding). And if someone is only looking for an evo boost... well, they can't get piety just using their evocations. Sucks to be them.

Like someone said in the telekinetic god's thread, you may want to step back and look at your proposal as if some random stranger was suggesting it rather than it being your own proposal. Trust me, it helps.
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