Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 10:56

Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Hi folks. Long-time player (since 0.4.5 I think), long-time journeyman (my morgue folder is so clogged that opening it makes my computer's HD crank for quite a while), long-time observer (have spent hours trawling the learndb but am too timid for IRC), no-time online player (I hate lag and I don't want to be person #49230481 to ask how to get things set up the way I prefer).
I don't really know the customs of this tribe, or what new people are supposed to do in the Tavern. While I've played for years, my experience of the game has always been cloistered. I've tried (oh, how I've tried) to hook friends on DCSS, and in some cases I've even succeeded, but for the most part I've always played alone with little feedback. I thought I'd finally come greet the community responsible for making my all-time favorite game, and hopefully find a way to give back a bit. Here's my peace offering -- I was bored today and wrote up a god proposal.

Pleasure to meet you all!



Roshuum the Immutable

Theme: Roshuum aims to be three things -- a god a stealthy character would preferentially benefit from, a god whose presence in the pantheon would encourage the use of Hexes, and a potential answer to the question, "What might a god be like who was lawful but not good?". Here's my rough draft.

Roshuum is an unchanging and tranquil god who observes and presides over the natural order of the world. Feeling that the cosmos is best served through the eternal maintenance of quietude, Roshuum commands supplicants to silence the chaotic opponents of natural law while themselves being agents of quiescence. To accomplish this, Roshuum grants servants a number of boons to strip the raucous armies of chaos of their unruly voices and minds.

Roshuum appreciates the eradication of all creatures and weapons of a chaotic nature, and admires when followers eliminate their opponents without undue noise. Conversely, the use of chaotic magic or armaments, the casting of loud spells, and the intentional raising of one's voice will earn Roshuum's displeasure. As a bulwark of law, Roshuum does not mind if a follower converts to worship of Zin.

(Appreciates: praying over chaos-brand weapons, slaying chaotic creatures, lethal blows on sleeping opponents (significant piety gain)
Dislikes: casting Transmutation spells, deliberate self-mutation, using chaos-branded weapons, using noisy weapons, casting any spell with noise louder than "a bit loud", voluntary shouting
Suppresses/negates involuntary shouting caused by mutation ("Roshuum's presence soothes you of your sudden urge to yell."))

(Roshuum is considered lawful but non-good and non-evil.)

Granted Powers

* -- Active -- Mute (3 MP, Piety, Food)
The stilling essence of Roshuum lashes out, temporarily silencing any feeble-minded creature. Naturally chaotic opponents have their innate chaos permanently suppressed. (A failed MR save silences a single opponent for a few turns. Additionally, without a save chance, shapeshifters and ugly things are locked into their current form/color. Enemies with the spell "polymorph other" lose the ability to cast it. Chaos spawns lose their chaos brand. Power and silence duration are invo-dependent.)
"You can now mute the chaos of your foes."
"You can no longer mute your foes."

** -- Passive -- Roshuum casts quiet over the din of the battlefield.
(Your melee attacks no longer make noise. Enemies no longer shout when you are spotted.)
"A comforting quiet falls over you and your surroundings."
"The clamor of your surroundings returns."
"Foo's shout is smothered by a sudden silence!"

*** -- Active -- Quietus Strike (5 MP, Piety, Food)
For a short time, Roshuum will cause your wielded weapon to hum with an orderly, lulling series of tones. Whenever you cause damage to an enemy with this weapon, there is a chance they will uncontrollably lapse into sleep. (MR saves, invo-dependent.)
"Roshuum will grant your weapon a soporific hum."
"Roshuum is no longer ready to empower your weaponry."
"You feel your [weapon] resonating in tune with the cosmos."
"Your [weapon]'s soothing hum ceases."

**** -- Passive -- Your spells and commands preside over even magical silence. (Piety)
(You can cast spells, perform invocations, and issue ally commands when under Silence. Each instance of doing so is prompted by the game and costs a small amount of piety.)
"Roshuum is granting your voice dominion over unnatural silence."
"Your voice loses its divine augmentation."

***** - Active -- Filibuster (10 MP, Piety, Food)
As Roshuum enforces the silent laws of the world, so can these laws be momentarily repealed for the benefit of an especially pious disciple. The mind of a single targeted opponent is exposed to all voices in the universe in an instantaneous moment of tumultuous chaos. Any foe who manages to resist shall find its will powerless to withstand further magical assaults -- and any who does not will meet a fate worse than death. (Can only be used once per target; trying again displays "Foo has already been traumatized by exposure to ultimate chaos." An opponent who saves against this invocation has their MR permanently reduced to zero; a failed save instakills the enemy, entirely erasing their corpse and inventory. Non-mindless targets only. Large piety cost.)
"You can now strip away your opponents' will to resist."
"You can no longer decimate your opponents' wills."

Abandonment -- Penance, except if worshipping another lawful god (i.e., Zin).
Penance -- 50% chance to halve your effective MR when subjected to a hostile MR check. ("You suddenly feel the magnitude of universal law encroaching on your sanity.")
Retribution -- Radius 1, long-duration silence centered on you in high tension, 2d10 turns confusion, irresistable sleep, Hexes miscast effects ("You hear/feel a sudden crack/thump, like a gavel falling.")

Feedback welcome!

For this message the author Xiphias has received thanks: 2
Bloax, palin

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 12:44

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

I like this proposal. It seems relatively complete and internally consistent. It seems exceptionally good for stabbers -- perhaps too much so, given the ability at ** -- but I'm sure it could be tweaked slightly if there were balance issues. I like the detail that casting-oriented characters might choose to take this god in order to avoid silent specters/Mennas, but they don't much other benefit here and they lose the benefits from Sif Muna / Vehumet. I suppose that's fine, in that it would encourage a more hybrid casting style, where the others are more focused on pure casters and especially conjurations/summoning.
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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 13:10

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Man, this is really good, and it overlaps significantly with a proposal I've left on the backburner for quite a while! I will still post mine sometime soon, and perhaps our ideas can make a nice synthesis. Welcome to the community!

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 14:07

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Lasty wrote:I like this proposal. It seems relatively complete and internally consistent. It seems exceptionally good for stabbers -- perhaps too much so, given the ability at ** -- but I'm sure it could be tweaked slightly if there were balance issues. I like the detail that casting-oriented characters might choose to take this god in order to avoid silent specters/Mennas, but they don't much other benefit here and they lose the benefits from Sif Muna / Vehumet. I suppose that's fine, in that it would encourage a more hybrid casting style, where the others are more focused on pure casters and especially conjurations/summoning.


If anything the problem here is that the god is too weak. I mean, look at other gods, such as Trog, Kikubaaqugha, Fedhas, Elyvilon, Yredelemnul, Vehumet... they are all much more powerful than this god. That said, the design isn't terrible, I just don't think any of my characters would use him, stabbers preferring Ashenzari, Kikubaaqudgha or Trog. In particular, in what way is this god actually useful before Quietus Strike? The ** ability is pretty weak to be honest - the shouting thing is kind of useful, but not until your character is a really good stabber that can approach groups in the first place, so again no help in the early game there.

Mute is decent against orc priests, orc wizards and the like, but other 1* abilities (Lesser Healing, Berserk, mushrooms Kikubaaqudgha's first book, zombifying) are more than decent. Other gods don't have a good 1* ability, but become strong at 2* (Vehumet, Ashenzari (I think Ashenzari's skill boosts start at 2*? Not sure though).

Quietus Strike is also very much like Slimify (one hit and you win) and very much like Ensorcelled Hibernation (checks MR, puts to sleep). I'd much prefer the ability if it was unresistable, but required multiple hits (1d6?) to put a monster to sleep, as it would solve both of these "problems".

Is this the god of "others must obey laws but you don't?" Because that seems to be the theme not only behind Filibuster, but also of casting during silence. Filibuster seems a desperate attempt to save a very weak god, and while it does make the god somewhat useful I honestly can't see how it fits the theme. My thoughts don't jump from "god enforcing laws" to "god letting you break laws if you follow the laws before" to "make a guy hear really loud voices", and that is kind of what Filibuster is. The problem with the theme, though, if we stick with it, is that it is somewhat redundant with Zin ("Immutable" makes this most obvious). I know that Crawl pretends that Zin is "good", but if we are thinking along the good/neutral/evil, lawful/neutral/chaotic spectrum that D&D uses, I think he is lawful+neutral without much question.

While we're at the silence thing - OK, it's unnatural and not in line with the laws of nature, so you are allowed to cast during silence, maybe this is consistent with the "law" aspect - so why on earth does the god have not one, but two abilities that enforce unnatural silence?

Also, we don't need a god that encourages the use of Hexes. Hexes are a very strong school, I have no idea why people say it's weak, do they never play Enchanters or Arcane Marksmen? No, it won't take care of everything by itself, but neither will fire magic, necromancy, poison magic, etc. I hear this a lot, and it always baffles me. The problem with the school is not that it is weak, but that there are several extremely strong hexes and a bunch of completely useless hexes. This god caters to the extremely strong hexes and does completely nothing for the probematic category.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 16:33

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

I have to agree with Cerebov on a bit here in that what the God does doesn't really fit with what the god is about - even the God's persona of Lawful Stealthy sort of contradicts itself. That said, the abilities are kind of interesting and not necessarily weak as Cerebov says, so perhaps you might change around the God's Theme.

A Theme I have in mind that might build on these abilities is like a 'Crime God' that sort of makes your character act like 'A Thug' in the dungeon. He wouldn't necessarily have to focus on stabbing, but he would benefit from keeping the Noise down:

Ie:


Piety *: Avoiding Trouble (passive) - Enemies in your LOS that Shout make no noise are ignored by other enemies. (Enemies produce no noise when they Shout)

Piety **: Gag (Active) - You gag your victim, preventing him from producing any noise. (Enemy produces no Noise - regardless of what they do)

Piety ***: No Witnesses (Ability) - Enemies that witness you killing another monster may be 'convinced' to just walk away (Enemies turn unaware and must see you again)

etc etc.
A Google Doc I wrote up in regards to making a new 'workable' definition for the Roguelike Genre:
Defining the Roguelike Genre
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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 17:28

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

In my opinion the best existing gods are ones that have strong theme, rather than trying to be "the god you take for combo/build X" (where in this case X would be "SpEn"). I would drop the directly-hex-related aspects and make this guy the god of silence; as it is you've built The Stabber God, and we already have several gods that do that in a more interesting way, as was mentioned above. Ashenzari, for example, is a great god for a stabber, but none of his powers are directly related to stabbing at all, and as such he is, in fact, a great god for basically anyone. Roshuum's ***** ability, conversely, is just a really expensive Banish unless you are not only a Hex user, but dedicated to hexing high-MR enemies.

Flavorwise, I remember thinking of a god of silence at one point based on the Babylonian creation myth, which involves Tiamat trying to sleep and being constantly woken up by the noise of her grandson Marduk running around and messing with the wind (leading her to try and kill everyone, and eventually get torn apart by Marduk). So the silence god could be just trying to get some rest, and furious at the noisy neighbors in the mortal world making such a godawful racket, I mean honestly do you even know what time it is??

Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 18:36

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Thanks for the replies so far! Cerebov, I can definitely see where you're coming from, though you'll have to direct me to wherever-the-current-discussion-about-Hexes is to gauge how I would modify the proposal in light of it. Whenever I've used Hexes, I've always found them rather poor alternatives to other spells (hmm, I can spam slow/cause fear on a troll and watch it fail three times in a row, or I can meph/sticky flame and win by default), but I never found the high-end hexes to be overpowering either (Silence is great and all until some guy wakes up on the edge of LOS and summons a hellion).

That being said, I agree that the proposal as written is too shoehorned for a specific build. I tried to work in a mutation protection subtheme with the no-save aspect of Mute -- like with Zin you get "mutation protection" versus the most troublesome offenders, but have to be proactive and aggressive with it, and know your enemies, and it doesn't stop you from glow or some chump with a poly wand. I agree that this god would need more appeal to Any Given Character, but what could it be?

How would it affect gameplay if one of the passive abilities conferred the dagger-stab bonus upon any weapon type?

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 19:27

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

How would it affect gameplay if one of the passive abilities conferred the dagger-stab bonus upon any weapon type?
Uh no, dagger stab is like +1000% bonus damage. It's only balanced because daggers have such low damage potential. Give that to say, a GSC and I wouldn't be surprised if you could do close to 1000 damage in one hit.

You essentially have a god of Silence. Stop thinking about stabbing and just think about that theme. Instead of "your voice ignores silence", go for "you can telepathically command your allies, invoke this god and cast spells". Instead of Filibuster, why not something resembling scroll of vulnerability (but not an exact copy)? Getting to do whatever you want (within a certain radius) and never waking up anything by noise in Tomb (and Zig) is already a big appeal if you ask me. Lightning wands and discs of storm that don't ever break stealth seems very powerful too (especially considering the disc no longer cares about rElec in trunk). Also, instead of Quietus strike, I'd think an active ability to turn your silence aura into a sleep aura would be better - maybe resisted with HD rather than MR.

If a stabber can't take advantage of making no noise whatsoever, they were not a worthy stabber to begin with. Especially since this god would give you second chances if you failed your stealth sneak.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 20:15

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

I like this.

Months ago I tried to propose a sleep/dream god based on stealth and control about sleeping or dormant beings, like some competitor of Yredelemnul, enforcing not killing the dormants but gaining more of them and converting the dungeon in a hexed silent place full of sleepers. It looked too much challenging ... but I see that your abilities are better than the ones I thought and may fit the theme: silence precedes and keeps sleep and therefore dream.
duvessa wrote:Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 21:05

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

My initial reaction is that I would never take this god on a stabber, because if I am stabbing things I usually want a god to help me when my stabs fail. This means that I don't want abilities that do exactly what my spells already do--check MR and instakill things when they work. I want a god who kills things without checking MR (Nemelex, Kiku, etc.) or who makes me better at everything (Ashenzari ... note Ash actually does a better job of improving stabs than this proposal does for the most part, since he makes the hexes you already have stronger plus he makes you better at fighting if they fail) or who gives me escape/survival abilities (Zin, Nemelex, etc.).

Silence is not a very good spell for stabbers, since it kills your stealth and basically prevents you from doing most sorts of stabbing (you can still needlestab or use wands, but you can't use spells or just walking up to an enemy) ... and a successful stab means that silence is not relevant, since if you can stab something it already can't cast spells (unless you distractionstab via allies). It is really a spell for characters who want to melee things like liches and high-tier elves and mummies (these are not usually characters who stab things). So combining silence-related abilities with a stabber god does not make much sense to me.

Unfortunately that means that the only way to gain piety with this god (stabbing things) is by playing a character who doesn't want this god.

---

As far as hexes being weak, have you tried casting invisibility? Other hexes are definitely not bad either.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 21:24

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

One thing I know for sure is that it's much easier to admire the final product that devs and contributors have spent hundreds of hours detailing and polishing than it is to try to fire a shot out of the dark and hope to match it.

I like the silence-themed idea. If there's one part of the proposal that I would tenaciously cling to, it's the idea of a god whose conduct punishes the player for being aggressively loud.
I'm uncertain how an overall theme of silence would end up stepping on Trog's toes though -- despite Trog's primary focus being elsewhere, he does have that distinct minor theme of being anti-spellcraft, which would necessarily overlap in some ways with a god whose major theme was being anti-spellcraft. (And we definitely don't want to make Trog angry...)

Invisibility to me seems to suffer from the same sort of problematic dichotomy that poison does in the early-midgame... it's either a near-guaranteed victory or useless. I don't mean to say that the DESIGN of invisibility is problematic (I adore how invisibility handles those obnoxious draconian packs), but that its reliability from a gameplay standpoint is binary.

[minor off-topic...]
What makes me not want to lump Invisibility in with the rest of Hexes in terms of school utility though is that there is a ring of invisibility! Anyone who finds the ring (likely by lategame, still a distinct possibility in the midgame, particularly after those delicious Orc shops) and is willing to drop 10-15 points into Stabbing can get many of the benefits of a stabber-type, particularly the trivializing of draconians and any other late-game nasty who happens to not see invisible. For optimal effectiveness it would require Evo training too, but it's not necessary for just a couple quick stabs, and it's not like Evocations has no other overlapping benefits. The ring provides an unlimited number of charges of a very powerful tool and you don't even need to wear the thing during the magic contamination cooldown period.
[/minor off-topic]

Perhaps any sort of reform would be most constructive if it de-emphasized the stabbing aspect but kept the MR aspect, so as to make underused hexes a real option. I'm open to re-thinking it, and I'm open to junking it if there's nothing salvageable in it.

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Post Thursday, 1st November 2012, 22:08

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Xiphias wrote:I'm uncertain how an overall theme of silence would end up stepping on Trog's toes though -- despite Trog's primary focus being elsewhere, he does have that distinct minor theme of being anti-spellcraft, which would necessarily overlap in some ways with a god whose major theme was being anti-spellcraft. (And we definitely don't want to make Trog angry...)


Trog is anti-spellcasters, but other than antimagic gifts, his powers don't really focus specifically on wizard murders. If the theme were distinct enough, you could probably pull it off.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Friday, 2nd November 2012, 04:31

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Remember: demons don't care about silence. Anti-magic affects them, but not silence.

Mu

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Post Friday, 2nd November 2012, 12:08

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

so Roshuum is a god who dislikes noisy, tumultuous chaos, and his six star ability allows you to invoke all of the noisy, tumultuous chaos in the universe.

a'ight, a'ight.

is this like one of those twists where it turns out the god of honesty is actually just the best liar in the universe, or the god of purity is actually a sadist that gets off on whipping the perversion out of people or whatever.

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Post Friday, 2nd November 2012, 13:01

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

There's a lot of good criticism in this thread, but let me just say that I'm still pretty confident two of these abilities are actually quite strong: preventing monster shouts, and preventing your actions from making noise. Both of these abilities would potentially do a lot to allow you to take on enemies one at a time, which would significantly defuse the threat posed by groups of monsters. Both would be particularly good for stabbers, but also useful for other characters.
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Post Friday, 2nd November 2012, 15:04

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

cerebovssquire wrote:Quietus Strike is also very much like Slimify (one hit and you win) and very much like Ensorcelled Hibernation (checks MR, puts to sleep). I'd much prefer the ability if it was unresistable, but required multiple hits (1d6?) to put a monster to sleep, as it would solve both of these "problems".

Actually, this might be an use for MR breaking. You hit the monster for Something*Invocations MR "Damage", if this makes the MR go to or below 0, it gets put to sleep automatically. Otherwise the "damage" starts to fade after x turns.
Though that'd be absolutely way too powerful on a spriggan with a quickblade, if you could hit and step away, hit and step away, hit and step away, put it to sleep, win.

It'd lose efficiency as the enemies gain ranged attacks though, so hm.
take it easy
  Code:
!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

Did you know that I like ruining crawl every now and then? Go check it out.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 2nd November 2012, 20:59

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Mu wrote:so Roshuum is a god who dislikes noisy, tumultuous chaos, and his six star ability allows you to invoke all of the noisy, tumultuous chaos in the universe.

a'ight, a'ight.

is this like one of those twists where it turns out the god of honesty is actually just the best liar in the universe, or the god of purity is actually a sadist that gets off on whipping the perversion out of people or whatever.


Hehe, a little bit. I was envisioning it more like a zookeeper who holds back all the lions for everyone's benefit, including his own -- but can still release the lions if someone needs to be taught a lesson. Exposing someone to all the forces he suppresses is like saying, "Okay, I've tried to keep you quiet. It's for your own good. Don't like quiet? HAVE IT YOUR WAY."

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 3rd November 2012, 09:06

Re: Roshuum, Lawful Stealthy God

Having a god centered around noise is a cool idea, and there seems to be some design space here. My comments/questions:
- Why can't the god just wear some divine earplugs?
- Roshuum, the Censor: for a "silence" theme less conducive to stealth, the god could lash out at (smite / confuse / suffocate) noisy foes instead of suppressing the noise.
- Consider a passive ability which improves hearing. For example, "you hear a Dragon in the distance" or "you hear something behind the door". This conflicts with other forms of creature detection, so it'd have to be sufficiently differentiated.
- A passive divine ability "quash" could (chance increasing with piety) prevent things which would create a loud noise from happening in the first place. "Roshuum extinguishes the fireball." This includes noisy things demons might do. If torment is stylized as noisy, this could be a powerful defensive ability for the living.
- Roshuum, the Raucous: conversely, you could have a god who appreciates very loud noises and even amplifies them. The hearing sensitivity of followers decreases over time / with piety / by loud noise until they are deaf. God of rock and roll and shatter :)
- What is an interesting in-game effect for being "deafened" by a short-lived blast of sound? I didn't expect they'd be erased. Aside from being unable to hear anything, perhaps proficiency in combat is affected some way? Spellcasting penalty? Confuse / stun?
- Persistent noise past a certain threshold can be extremely annoying and make it impossible to concentrate. A divine ability "cacophony" could be used to cripple or disable everything that can hear it. Intelligent beings which have capacity for sanity could be confused / frenzied / berserked / or flee after X turns under its influence.

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