New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King


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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 02:37

New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Scepter of the Lich king,

A scepter that belonged to a great and powerful Lich that became so powerful he became like a god. The gods fearing his rise to power, destroyed him, but on his last breath he transferred his essence to his magical scepter.

Once the scepter is equipped by a player that player losses his god and becomes a worshiper of the Lich King, the player is warned when he tries to equip it, something like "Trog/other god warns you that the scepter is an unholy abomination and shouldn't be touched." On equipping it the player receives a message, "you lose contact with your god" If the player is living, the player receives the message: "You stare in horror at your scepter holding limb as your skin starts melting away, a wave of unbelievable pain rushes through your entire body." Undead: "You feel a great surge of power as you feel the energy of a god flow through you."

If the player tries to pray at a gods alter, the god ignores the players call.

The scepter itself is a +12/+15 (attack bonus and damage bonus) rod with 30 charges that recharges like a +9 rod. On striking an enemy, an additional 1-8 unresistible damage is dealt to the enemy and the rod gains 1 charge. Scroll of recharging recharges 15 charges to the scepter.

The scepter has spell power 34 + piety/10 +normal rod power so max spell power of 140

The scepter has a 3 mana cost smite ability, power dependent on evocations.

The player also gains 1 piety whenever a creature is destroyed while the scepter is equipped.

God abilities:

0: permanent Necromutation.
*: Activated: 1 piety: Destroy a spell book and imbune the scepter with a random spell in the spellbook, gain 1 piety. The scepter can have a maximum of 5 different abilities. (The power of the spell is dependent on the player's evocation skill.)
**: Activated: 2 piety: Choose one activated ability that the scepter has (including smite) and remove it from the scepter.
***: Activated: 4 piety: Destroy a rod and imbune the scepter with one of that rods abilities chosen by the player.
****:Passive: When striking with the scepter an additional 1-16 physical dmg is dealt to all enemies in sight.
*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.
******: Wrath of the Lich King: Activated: 10 piety: Costs all of the remaining charges of the scepter, deal unresistible damage equal to the number of charges to five times the charges to all creatures in sight (30-150 at max charges)

If the player tries to drop the scepter, a message stating that as he starts to drop the rod, the scepter a surge of pain runs through the players entire body and the scepter starts to fade, does the player really want to drop the scepter?

On dropping the scepter, the scepter disappears, the player loses permanently 15-25 hp and loses god.

A Demigod doesn't gain a god and his abilities but doesn't suffer the loss of life if he drops the scepter, the scepter also doesn't disappear.
Last edited by tazoz on Friday, 6th December 2013, 12:50, edited 5 times in total.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:16

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

tazoz: I was skeptical at first, but the proposal is awesome! Do I understand correctly that there's some implied flavour whereby the player at maximal piety *is* the very former lich, back in his old glory?

The random spell transfer seemed iffy at first, as did the power to give it another try. But this mechanic turns spellbooks into a consumable resource, which is a mechanic that I like very much.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:36

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Well this is certainly better than all those "permanent necromutation" proposals that seem to think being unable to drink potions is somehow really powerful.
That said:
- Living characters that wield it get a massive permanent disadvantage, and undead characters get free AC instead? Yeah, you can call that huge unbalance "flavour," but I think a little more consideration of gameplay is warranted.
- Currently, it is vanishingly rare for god wrath to be a consideration in a game that is being played competently and with the intention to win. This would change that for undead species (I don't think I'd ever wield it on others, permanent necromutation is pretty freaking bad even if the god turns out better than most others).
- I hope the abilities are VERY clearly described before you wield the item, since it can ruin a large subset of characters. Most god descriptions give very little information, but you can also try out any god with a very early character (if only occasionally in Jiyva's case). Waiting for a specific unrandart to generate, on the other hand...
- Just give piety for kills, don't require them to use the sceptre. You shouldn't be penalized for casting magic dart at a rat instead of meleeing it.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:38

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

There are many problems with this proposal but these are the main ones:

    This is hopelessly niche. In order of this to be a good idea, the player has to be training/be willing to train staves, find the unrandart, and prefer the new abilities to their current god. Perma-lich form is also a massive drawback, further narrowing down the characters who might theoretically want to use it.

    Getting charges by striking enemies and gaining piety by killing enemies in particular manners is terrible and scummy. For example, the recharging ability would lead to things like wearing negative slaying rings/purposely under training staves so you can hit an enemy while it survives, run away, and then come back when it has regenerated HP to do it again. This is further exacerbated by the fact the player will be in permanent lich form, removing the hunger clock.

    It seems a little to easy for somebody to accidentally wield it and ruin their game. (This was the same argument used against the "Vow of silence" randart idea).
The flavor is indeed awesome, but I don't think this is going to work out. At minimum I'd make the following changes:

    Give the artifact an ability that lets it become whatever type of weapon the player is already using. The weapon is literally bound to a near divine power, why wouldn't it be able to shapeshift?

    Make it significantly more common than normal unrandarts. This should be more like a Jivya/Beogh/Lugonu altar than an unrandart. Maybe tying the Lich King to the backstory of the Dungeon and Zot would be good.

    Somehow make it more powerful. Removing Perma-lich form would probably be a good first step. It could easily have been a normal human/naga/octopode/etc. who bound their soul to the weapon.

    Just make the player gain charges and piety by killing things.

    Force the player to abandon their god with the ability menu before they can wield it, to make an accident less likely.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:39

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

tazoz wrote:the player is warned when he tries to equip it, something like "Trog/other god warns you that the scepter is an unholy abomination and shouldn't be touched."

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:40

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

reaver wrote:For example, the recharging ability would lead to things like wearing negative slaying rings/purposely under training staves so you can hit an enemy while it survives, run away, and then come back when it has regenerated HP to do it again.

tazoz wrote:The scepter itself is a +12/+15 (attack bonus and damage bonus)rod with 30 charges that recharges like a +9 rod.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:44

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

This looks pretty cool. You'd get normal wrath for abandoning your old god, right? And other than 15-25maxhp, there's no ongoing wrath for dropping the scepter?

Is the reason liches can't drink potions that it would make them too powerful? Ghouls and vampires don't have a particular difficulty with it.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:45

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

duvessa wrote:
reaver wrote:For example, the recharging ability would lead to things like wearing negative slaying rings/purposely under training staves so you can hit an enemy while it survives, run away, and then come back when it has regenerated HP to do it again.

tazoz wrote:The scepter itself is a +12/+15 (attack bonus and damage bonus)rod with 30 charges that recharges like a +9 rod.
tazoz wrote:On striking an enemy, an additional 1-8 unresistible damage is dealt to the enemy and the rod gains 1 charge. Scroll of recharging recharges 15 charges to the scepter.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:50

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

That's probably too much recharging anyhow; maybe it should just gain 1 charge when you kill dudes with it?
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:51

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

reaver wrote:
duvessa wrote:
reaver wrote:For example, the recharging ability would lead to things like wearing negative slaying rings/purposely under training staves so you can hit an enemy while it survives, run away, and then come back when it has regenerated HP to do it again.

tazoz wrote:The scepter itself is a +12/+15 (attack bonus and damage bonus)rod with 30 charges that recharges like a +9 rod.
tazoz wrote:On striking an enemy, an additional 1-8 unresistible damage is dealt to the enemy and the rod gains 1 charge. Scroll of recharging recharges 15 charges to the scepter.
A +9 rod recharges quickly enough that by the time you make it back to your parked worm, it will have already recharged. Unless you are saying that someone would do this while they're fighting something dangerous, in which case they'd be insane, because they could just be hitting the dangerous thing instead, and even if they're not adjacent to it I'm pretty sure there are much better ways to spend the turns.

edit: or wait, did you just think tazoz meant the rod gains 1 maximum charge? yeah, that would obviously be stupid, but I don't think tazoz meant that!

njvack wrote:That's probably too much recharging anyhow; maybe it should just gain 1 charge when you kill dudes with it?
why
it already has piety which does exactly the same thing
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 03:54

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

duvessa wrote:A +9 rod recharges quickly enough that by the time you make it back to your parked worm, it will have already recharged. Unless you are saying that someone would do this while they're fighting something dangerous, in which case they'd be insane, because they could just be hitting the dangerous thing instead, and even if they're not adjacent to it I'm pretty sure there are much better ways to spend the turns.
I haven't ever extensively used rods so I was unaware +9 rods recharge that quickly.

njvack wrote:Is the reason liches can't drink potions that it would make them too powerful? Ghouls and vampires don't have a particular difficulty with it.
I'm pretty sure it's just differentiation. Ogres wouldn't be too powerful if they had better spell skills but it's more interesting that they don't.

Also, vampires experience halved potion effects at low blood levels.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 04:43

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Frostmourne hungers.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 05:09

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

tazoz wrote: On striking an enemy, an additional 1-8 unresistible damage is dealt to the enemy and the rod gains 1 charge.

i'd like to think he means "the rod loses 1 charge" instead of gaining one.

****:Passive: When striking with the scepter an additional 1-20 physical dmg is dealt to all enemies in sight.
*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.

Is it just me or do these abilities seem too poweful?
i mean, at ***** you'd deal average 15 damage to each monster in your LOS each time you attack?

Otherwise i like the idea quite much :P

imho it should turn even the undead characters to liches (is there any reason, considering flavour, for this not to be possible?)

I haven't played much with necromutation etc but permanent necromutation seems kinda harsh without any way to restore your abilities? (only way would be to wait a milliong turns or just abandon the sceptre once and for all, which seems kinda stupid as well, making the weapon unusable in hell/pans?
so i'm asking if the sceptre should have an ability along the lines of
"Once in Lich form, you can cast the spell on potions of HW, curing, restore abilities and experience to transmute them into unholy energy and get their effect. In 9 turns (no tactical use, mainly to cure rot and stat loss)" (borrowed from viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3916)

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 06:38

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

There are some interesting suggestions here and I will try to find some time to write a reply that gives a comprehensive analysis of the feedback and make some minor changes to the original proposal. Most of the criticism does ignore large parts of the proposal, I did consider many of the problems that have been mentioned here and tried to balance the artefact in a way that will make it playable and fun to use.

Thank you everyone for your feedback and suggestions. :)

Just a few quick points: Necromutation isn't as weak as it is made out to be, past the early game Mummies can be very strong as they ignore hunger cost and have negative energy, poison, cold and torment resistance. This gives character the ability to wear armor and jewellery without having to worry about resistances. As a result end game Mummies have excellent stats all around, with high AC and evasion. This also allows them to wear Jewellery that protect them from the more problematic status effects, such as paralysis, confusion and stat drain.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 06:52

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Also "Undead player characters gain... a draining unarmed attack" seems sort of silly if you only get it while wielding the scepter, and is pretty un-needed as well.

I do like that it's sort of a rod of absorbing stuff (Sorta like a vampiric stick)

Seems like it would be pretty powerful and possibly difficult to balance (Although giving up god abilities in exchange for this admittedly powerful weapon seems like it might work out)

I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

And I don't think additional damage on striking should happen to everything in your LOS (Maybe in an area around the creature struck like everyone's favorite boomstick, or maybe it could fire bolts of draining or something)

Also I think damage flavor should be negative energy rater than unresistable
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 06:57

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Siegurt wrote:I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

tazoz wrote:*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:05

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

tazoz wrote:*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.

well, you walk away and press "s" when you're out of reach which counts as "not moving" so he still has a point.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:10

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Klown wrote:Frostmourne hungers.

Yep, make it a sword and name it Frostmourne. It'll be 20% cooler this way.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:21

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

KittenInMyCerealz wrote:
duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

tazoz wrote:*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.

well, you walk away and press "s" when you're out of reach which counts as "not moving" so he still has a point.


Except the fact that you usually aren't faster than the enemies that are chasing you and why would you press s instead of using spells or rod abilities such as smite... Also, 1-8 damage is not a lot of damage, making the tactic mildly ineffective. Anyway, it would actually give a fairly unique playing style, which is never bad. Killing enemies by just pressing s can be fun and makes you feel extremely powerful even if you are not really that powerful. :D

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:34

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Siegurt wrote:Also "Undead player characters gain... a draining unarmed attack" seems sort of silly if you only get it while wielding the scepter, and is pretty un-needed as well.

I do like that it's sort of a rod of absorbing stuff (Sorta like a vampiric stick)

Seems like it would be pretty powerful and possibly difficult to balance (Although giving up god abilities in exchange for this admittedly powerful weapon seems like it might work out)

I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

And I don't think additional damage on striking should happen to everything in your LOS (Maybe in an area around the creature struck like everyone's favorite boomstick, or maybe it could fire bolts of draining or something)

Also I think damage flavor should be negative energy rater than unresistable



You still have the draining attack when you unequip the scepter, nothing is forcing you to leave it equipped. However, as was suggested, the ideal solution would be to have the full effect of Necromutation on undead as well.

The line of sight damage is there to give the character a feeling of power befitting the Lich King(which won't happen if it's negative energy as pretty much everything in the late game is immune), but I'm considering reducing the damage to 1-12.

Balance wise the very hard beginning (Dealing with god wrath and lack of potions/god with a fairly weak weapon that you are unskilled with.) balances the extremely powerful late game effect of the scepter.
Last edited by tazoz on Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:40

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

I think this can be a good idea, I like it as it is even though normally permanmut suggestions tend to be awful, there are however a number of things I would change:
-I think it should be made a qs base item since quarterstaves are miles better than rods as weapons and you're paying a very very big price to wield this thing.
-You're getting the biggest disadvantage of casting nmut by wielding this, it should at least give its real benefits (50 MR, 6 AC and rC+).
-I am unsure about having the spell learned being random, it can lead to a lot of annoyance and running around for not a whole lot of purpose it seems to me.

aaand what the fuck, I just reread the zero piety ability again and you give living races fucking necromutation but undead get a free pass?
No man, that's godawful. Make the lich king demand a living vessel or reform you into a lich or something, jesus so this is what minmay was talking about.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 07:55

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

dck wrote:I think this can be a good idea, I like it as it is even though normally permanmut suggestions tend to be awful, there are however a number of things I would change:
-I think it should be made a qs base item since quarterstaves are miles better than rods as weapons and you're paying a very very big price to wield this thing.
-You're getting the biggest disadvantage of casting nmut by wielding this, it should at least give its real benefits (50 MR, 6 AC and rC+).
-I am unsure about having the spell learned being random, it can lead to a lot of annoyance and running around for not a whole lot of purpose it seems to me.

aaand what the fuck, I just reread the zero piety ability again and you give living races fucking necromutation but undead get a free pass?
No man, that's godawful. Make the lich king demand a living vessel or reform you into a lich or something, jesus so this is what minmay was talking about.


I agree, all races should have a Necromutation effect, I posted it in the post above yours. When I wrote it I wasn't sure that it would be acceptable to the developers but on further thought it isn't really a problem. (It does give the full effects of Necromutation.)

The bonus to melee damage is fairly huge which balances the not so amazing base weapon type.

About the spells, if it turns out to be annoying we can change it later on, the random spells gives the player some interesting choices to make and a much larger rush when he gets the spell he wanted. (Does the player give up a good spell for the chance for an even better spell and risk getting a less useful spell.) On the other hand he can always overwrite the bad spell with a rod effect.

Edit: I made a few changes, all races Necromutation, reduced damage of area of effect on attack to 1-16 and simplified dropping scepter description, changed spell power to give a higher initial spell power and changed the piety gain to killing enemy while scepter is equipped.
Last edited by tazoz on Friday, 6th December 2013, 08:27, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 08:12

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

KittenInMyCerealz wrote:
duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I don't like "passive damage to things in LOS while moving" (I mean, anything that's not faster than you, you can kill by simply walking away)

tazoz wrote:*****: Passive: Each turn that the player does anything but moving, all creatures in sight suffer 1-8 unresistible dmg.

well, you walk away and press "s" when you're out of reach which counts as "not moving" so he still has a point.

Nah, I just misread the initial post. I still don't like it, but I don't like it less than I would if it it was how I misread it.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 08:27

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

The weapon demands for a very dramatic sacrifice to be used, I think that it can use a buff to basic usability (making it a base item type that isn't awful) at very least.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 08:57

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

I think instead of making up some new better mace type item it can be a quarterstaff that has the benefits of already existing and being just about as good as I find the weapon needs to be.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 10:55

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

reaver wrote:Removing Perma-lich form would probably be a good first step. It could easily have been a normal human/naga/octopode/etc. who bound their soul to the weapon.

Isn't "someone who has moved their should into a phylactery" pretty much the definition of a lich?

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 13:40

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

On the subject of rod recharging, keep in mind also that (from Henzell):

learndb wrote:Evocations skill and rod enchantment increases its recharge rate. A +0 rod with no skill gets 1 mana per 25 typical turns. Taking that same rod to +4 will double the recharge rate, 8 triple. Having 7 evocations skill will double the recharge rate. Having 14 evocations will triple the recharge rate.


A +9 rod w/ 27 Evocations recharges very, very fast.

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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 14:26

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

First, I love the idea. Game-changing unrands FTW!

Personally I think the 1* ability in the original proposal is the most interesting part. My own concept of it is that the Lich King stored some of his most powerful/useful spells in the Sceptre (say, 5 randomly selected/thematic spells, including 1 guaranteed L9 spell - hey I bet the Lich King was a firestormer in his former life). The player gets access to these spells while basically requiring only investment in Evo and piety, which I think is pretty strong and probably necessary to balance against the downsides of Necromut. Another balancing knob is the recharge rate, which I don't think should be super high. Giving the Sceptre tremendous powers but only limited charges makes it more interesting, I think. Rod charges are going to be very important on this item.

The rod of striking aspect should be kept, since the thing is stuck on your hand and you'll need something for melee presumably. Recharge on kills (on top of regular recharge) is ok, I think, but probably not recharge on every hit.

Interestingly, OP's idea seems close to producing a nice new Evocations-based "god". I mean sure it has a necromantic flavor, but a major part of the proposal involves rod mechanics.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 16:25

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

It could also be a rare god altar, which functions alike to a "sword in stone" kind of thing. Picking it up would then bring up the same kind of prompt as joining a god, with a description and a comment from your god.
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Post Friday, 6th December 2013, 19:24

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

jejorda2 wrote:
reaver wrote:Removing Perma-lich form would probably be a good first step. It could easily have been a normal human/naga/octopode/etc. who bound their soul to the weapon.

Isn't "someone who has moved their should into a phylactery" pretty much the definition of a lich?

I was thinking it could be flavored like this. (Note: That site has addictive properties similar to TV Tropes.)

Bloax wrote:It could also be a rare god altar, which functions alike to a "sword in stone" kind of thing. Picking it up would then bring up the same kind of prompt as joining a god, with a description and a comment from your god.
This would probably be the best implementation.
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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 00:17

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Reading it again, I still really like the concept!
tazoz, the flavour is so good that something could come out of this :) Now it "just" needs enough thought during design and then "only" an implementation, and you're there.

Some more useful comments:

1. While being a lich, the character's title (top lines of the HUD) should be changed. And not just "tazoz the Lich" but depending on piety, with "tazoz the Lich King" at ****** piety.

2. It's probably a good idea to not distinguish between carrying and wielding the scepter. You mention an effect that applies only when it is equipped. Perhaps better to have characters wield this all the time. (E.g. when picking it up, you get a message about this item's power, and the 'a'bility to start worshipping the Lich King. Remains to be seen whether some (negative) passive effects should occur wile carrying but not wielding the scepter -- not important for now.) Effects of permawielding: better flavour, including spectators; charges always on screen (see below). No swapping (which would be mostly for spell staves, I'd think -- but here I could be far off the mark).

3. Regarding the spell mechanic: it could be seen as annoying, but I don't really think so: since this is a very offside god, it's quite alright to have a more outlandish mechanic like this one. Given Ctrl-F, the actual execution will be quick. Flavourwise, this could easily be justified (of course, having the scepter be filled with five good spells could also be justified): the Lich King used the Scepter as a tool of mighty power, but with his (un)death, only the hollow shell remained. The next incarnation has to fill the scepter with magic again. (No matter how the gameplay turns out, it is *not* necessary to print these justifications anywhere. Stuff like this can be left to players' minds.)

4. The passive power dealing damage when not moving: the flavour is flawless (this lich just radiates death). There is not so much potential for abuse: hiding behind a pointless monster and pressing space will not work too well: the pointless monster dies first and it's not clear you gained much. There's a precedent with the Singing Sword, I think that going for continuous small damage (as opposed to rare burst of screaming damage) is quite alright.

5. If the fill-the-scepter mechanic is kept (as I said, I like it), then it might good to have let the number of slots equal piety stars. (If piety goes below ***, say, then you just temporarily lose access to slots 3-6.) In order to make filling the slot less of a gamble, and also to have an idea of power growth, I suggest something like this: slot number n can only carry a spell of level n+3. (Otherwise, players will load the scepter with level 9 spells immediately, which does not feel right.) As compensation, when loading the scepter with a book, a spell of maximal level (given the slot number) is randomly chosen. If we tell players the cap in the ability description (ability menu: "S - destroy a book and transfer a spell of maximal level 5 into the Scepter (a spell of maximal level is chosen, randomly is several are available)"), then they can reduce the gambling quite a bit.

6. You don't say anything about piety loss. Given that one appeal of lich form is the absence of the food clock, I am not sure whether ordinary piety decay over time is the best idea. Some others that came to mind: Piety hit whenever you move out of LOS of any monster (flavour should be obvious -- this is hard to get to work on an ordinary god, but might be possible here). Or: Thirst for Death -- instead of piety trickling down, it can go down in surges (the Scepter annouces "feed me death" or something, and if the player does not kill something soon enough, piety goes down; obviously, this is retroactive, so if you kill something, the random timer is set anew; there is potential for abuse but the scepter actually works against that).

7. I cannot really comment on what would be a good weapon type for this (or if it should be of variable weapon type, as proposed by reaver) but one bit occurred to me: perhaps it's better to have damage relate to skills, and recharge rate to piety? That way could easily be more transparent: you *see* on-screen how quickly your rod recharges but damage depending on piety is harder to assess during play.

8. There's a number of ways how to generate the god/item: simply on the floor, dedicated vaults, a wizlab portal vault, an one-off altar, and/or in the hands of a monster (the last one is cynical: you are killing some lich on the way to lich-king-hood himself, in order to keep going as that very lich, but I like twisted plots).

By the way, I totally love the implied self-worship that's inherent in this story :)

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 01:56

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

dpeg wrote:You don't say anything about piety loss.
Surely the piety costs of the abilities are enough? Most existing gods don't have any meaningful sources of piety loss other than abilities and decay: Ash, Beogh, Jiyva, Kiku, Lugonu, Makhleb, Nemelex, Okawaru (in recent versions), Sif, Veh, Yred.

dpeg wrote:Given that one appeal of lich form is the absence of the food clock, I am not sure whether ordinary piety decay over time is the best idea.
What? Casting necromutation does not cause your piety decay to stop when you cast it under any other god. I fail to see how your conclusion follows from your premise.

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 02:05

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

duvessa: Sure, non-decaying piety is an option -- it's just so rare that I thought the OP forget to say something about it. Also, piety decay doesn't have to be extra meaningful, it's just a kind of clock (that generally works much better than the food clock, in my opinion). Furthermore, piety loss is a good source of conducts (I like god conducts).

What I mean by the second-quoted sentence: with this god, you'd get the advantages and drawbacks of necromutation. One of the advantages is no hunger. This is not over the top important but it is relevant. If we want a Lich King player to have the full mummy experience, then we could try to find a piety decay different from just loss with time. (Could also do nothing, as you indicate.)

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 03:14

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

dpeg wrote:What I mean by the second-quoted sentence: with this god, you'd get the advantages and drawbacks of necromutation. One of the advantages is no hunger. This is not over the top important but it is relevant. If we want a Lich King player to have the full mummy experience, then we could try to find a piety decay different from just loss with time. (Could also do nothing, as you indicate.)
But "no piety decay" is not one of Necromutation's advantages. Mummies still have piety decay; the "full mummy experience" includes piety decay. Well, unless you consider the "full mummy experience" to be playing a mummy of Chei, which I really hope you don't.
It's true that hunger and piety decay are both intended to act as clocks to some extent, but I don't think that's a good reason for something that affects food to also have an effect on piety, let alone a good reason for it to have the same effect! rF and rC are both resistances, does that mean that casting ice form should give you rF+++?
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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 07:19

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

duvessa wrote:But "no piety decay" is not one of Necromutation's advantages.


I think there was the assumption that, when you lose all your piety, you stop being a lich. Mummies don't stop being mummies when they lose all their piety.

Could have piety decay to zero but no lower.

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 08:31

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Well the OP apparently intended that piety gain would be pretty fast (in a questionable attempt to make the sacrifice needed to use this more tempting I would assume) and then be balanced by ability cost. Sure I can see how you could shoehorn some complex piety decay in there but I don't think it's necessary; you pay with piety when managing the scepter's spells and you pay with piety when using the 6* ability, seems to me extra costs on that wouldn't do all that much except to annoy during autotravels and the like if they're somehow active (like the feed me death thing).

Tad OT but I would expect Dg to have rad messages about your will overpowering the lich king's and using the scepter as a normal weapon.
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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 13:14

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

I would prefer it to be the only god demigods could have, but I guess that would be too cool.
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  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.

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 17:43

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Um:
  Code:
elliptic the God of Death (L27 DgJr), worshipper of Nemelex Xobeh, escaped with the Orb and 5 runes on 2013-04-12 15:29:31, with 3073859 points after 86898 turns and 8:05:21.

  Code:
test the Chopper (L1 DgBe), worshipper of Trog, mangled by an orc (a +0,+0 orcish club) on D:1 on 2008-05-27 04:58:58, with 63 points after 386 turns and 0:07:26.

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Post Saturday, 7th December 2013, 20:05

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 12:05

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

What if the necromutation changes are spread over the piety levels?

Instead of starting off as a lich right away, you become more lichlike as the staff (or whatever) corrupts you.

0: +3 strength, draining attacks, cold resistance.
**: +6 AC, necro spell enhancer, undead status.
****: +50 MR, lichform full immunities, no food clock.

Or any other order and spread, the idea being that only at a certain point is the lichform perfected. I think that makes a bit more sense than INSTANT LICH JUST ADD WATER.

For the radiating death ability, what about it affecting monsters in uninterrupted LoS? If a magic dart or other single-target beam could hit the monster, it takes the death radiation damage, otherwise it doesn't - some other monster is soaking it up. But maybe this defeats the point of such an ability.

I'm also for Demigods being able to "worship" this. The Lich King would be TOTALLY in favor of possessing a demigod body.
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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 15:16

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Psiweapon wrote: I think that makes a bit more sense than INSTANT LICH JUST ADD WATER.

Without mentioning anything else, it's worth pointing out that Crawl has an Instant-Lich-Just-Add-Water spell, and it's how every player becomes a Lich.

I'm not sure about that flavor. Is necromutation the spell that actual liches use to do their thing? Are we assuming that every lich in the game is just constantly casting that spell, or do players only have access to a kind of imitation lich? If the later is true, the LichStick should maybe make that clear, that true lichdom requires a bit more arcane might. Or this is the kind of thing that really doesn't matter, in which case I'll just accept that Liches are like horrible snowflakes, each one totally unique.

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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 15:33

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

Maybe every alich is lugging around 20 !HW but they refuse to turn lichform off because "my hungerless OOD".

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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 18:21

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

archaeo wrote: Is necromutation the spell that actual liches use to do their thing?


Crawl lore implies liches and ancient liches used a permenant method and cannot die (see Boris), necromutation is the bargain bin version.

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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 18:52

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

1010011010 wrote:Crawl lore implies liches and ancient liches used a permenant method and cannot die (see Boris), necromutation is the bargain bin version.


Perhaps it should apply to player with the scepter too: after dying player has max HP halved and is generated in a safe place like Fe does. Next death leads to max HP halved again, 3 deaths max.

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Post Sunday, 8th December 2013, 18:55

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

dpeg wrote:Reading it again, I still really like the concept!
tazoz, the flavour is so good that something could come out of this :) Now it "just" needs enough thought during design and then "only" an implementation, and you're there.

Some more useful comments:

1. While being a lich, the character's title (top lines of the HUD) should be changed. And not just "tazoz the Lich" but depending on piety, with "tazoz the Lich King" at ****** piety.

2. It's probably a good idea to not distinguish between carrying and wielding the scepter. You mention an effect that applies only when it is equipped. Perhaps better to have characters wield this all the time. (E.g. when picking it up, you get a message about this item's power, and the 'a'bility to start worshipping the Lich King. Remains to be seen whether some (negative) passive effects should occur wile carrying but not wielding the scepter -- not important for now.) Effects of permawielding: better flavour, including spectators; charges always on screen (see below). No swapping (which would be mostly for spell staves, I'd think -- but here I could be far off the mark).

3. Regarding the spell mechanic: it could be seen as annoying, but I don't really think so: since this is a very offside god, it's quite alright to have a more outlandish mechanic like this one. Given Ctrl-F, the actual execution will be quick. Flavourwise, this could easily be justified (of course, having the scepter be filled with five good spells could also be justified): the Lich King used the Scepter as a tool of mighty power, but with his (un)death, only the hollow shell remained. The next incarnation has to fill the scepter with magic again. (No matter how the gameplay turns out, it is *not* necessary to print these justifications anywhere. Stuff like this can be left to players' minds.)

4. The passive power dealing damage when not moving: the flavour is flawless (this lich just radiates death). There is not so much potential for abuse: hiding behind a pointless monster and pressing space will not work too well: the pointless monster dies first and it's not clear you gained much. There's a precedent with the Singing Sword, I think that going for continuous small damage (as opposed to rare burst of screaming damage) is quite alright.

5. If the fill-the-scepter mechanic is kept (as I said, I like it), then it might good to have let the number of slots equal piety stars. (If piety goes below ***, say, then you just temporarily lose access to slots 3-6.) In order to make filling the slot less of a gamble, and also to have an idea of power growth, I suggest something like this: slot number n can only carry a spell of level n+3. (Otherwise, players will load the scepter with level 9 spells immediately, which does not feel right.) As compensation, when loading the scepter with a book, a spell of maximal level (given the slot number) is randomly chosen. If we tell players the cap in the ability description (ability menu: "S - destroy a book and transfer a spell of maximal level 5 into the Scepter (a spell of maximal level is chosen, randomly is several are available)"), then they can reduce the gambling quite a bit.

6. You don't say anything about piety loss. Given that one appeal of lich form is the absence of the food clock, I am not sure whether ordinary piety decay over time is the best idea. Some others that came to mind: Piety hit whenever you move out of LOS of any monster (flavour should be obvious -- this is hard to get to work on an ordinary god, but might be possible here). Or: Thirst for Death -- instead of piety trickling down, it can go down in surges (the Scepter annouces "feed me death" or something, and if the player does not kill something soon enough, piety goes down; obviously, this is retroactive, so if you kill something, the random timer is set anew; there is potential for abuse but the scepter actually works against that).

7. I cannot really comment on what would be a good weapon type for this (or if it should be of variable weapon type, as proposed by reaver) but one bit occurred to me: perhaps it's better to have damage relate to skills, and recharge rate to piety? That way could easily be more transparent: you *see* on-screen how quickly your rod recharges but damage depending on piety is harder to assess during play.

8. There's a number of ways how to generate the god/item: simply on the floor, dedicated vaults, a wizlab portal vault, an one-off altar, and/or in the hands of a monster (the last one is cynical: you are killing some lich on the way to lich-king-hood himself, in order to keep going as that very lich, but I like twisted plots).

By the way, I totally love the implied self-worship that's inherent in this story :)


1. I agree a title change would be appropriate.

2.The advantages of being able to swap is that it allows for a larger amount of play styles, for example stabbing and melee fighting using the rod as backup. However, as you said flavor wise it might make sense that you can't stash it away, we could write: "You feel a strong compulsion to keep the scepter in your hand". When stashing it we could give slow piety decay and randomly equipping the rod during battle as a free action with the words "You feel a strong compulsion to equip the scepter, you hear a voice in your head "Mortal, give me the power of these puny creatures and I will make you a god" the player can't stash it until all monsters are destroyed but this might be a bit annoying.

4. I agree.

5.How about removing the randomness:

*: Level 6 spell and below
**: Level 7 and below
***: Rod slot
****: Level 8 and below
*****: Level 9 and below
With ****** being no gained slot to avoid the annoyance of losing your 9th level spell whenever you use too many times the final wrath ability.

The smite ability can't be removed.

6. How about giving the Scepter passive piety loss at ****** around 1 every 10 turns thus the moment you kill something after going under 6 stars you get to 6 stars and have 10 turns to kill something else. To support this we can give a noticeable increase of damage to the player at 6 stars.

7. What we could do is give damage related to the number of charges in the Scepter, so the more charged it is, the more damage it deals. Instead of upgrading the weapon type just give it a 1-n damage bonus with n being the number of charges in the scepter. This could be a ****** ability. Thus with maximum piety and charges the weapon would hit extremely hard with rod damage +2-45 +1-16 + 1-16

Maybe at ****** you can gain the aforementioned large boost melee damage, aura damage increased to 1-16, a boost to rod spell power and a strong damage ability in the form of the wrath that comes with a cost. A nice addition would also be to surround the character with some sort of halo at maximum piety, this would give the player a better feel for the loss of power moving from ****** to ***** and symbolize nicely the idea of becoming the Lich King at maximum piety.

8. I was thinking along the lines of generating it as a normal artefact however, also giving it to Boris during his third resurrection, the first two take place in the main dungeon and branches, the third only in pandemonium with him getting a significant boost in power, this time showing the player his true power as the newly resurrected Lich King. We can give him Summon Dragons and greater demons, smite, haste, mass abjuration and his older spells. He also has a nasty melee attack and a passive aura of damage. On death he drops the Scepter instead of the usual robe. (This only happens if the Scepter hasn't been found yet by the player) This would give it a much higher chance of spawning but also make it a late game artefact meaning that the player will have taken a god and suffer the wrath when equipping the scepter which is important thematically, it would also make Boris much more desirable and interesting to kill.

Bloax wrote:I would prefer it to be the only god demigods could have, but I guess that would be too cool.


One idea would be to put Demigods in a unique situation upon equipping the Scepter, he does gain the god however the gods, fearing the unholy union of demigod and scepter unleash their wrath on the character. Every x turns (not sure how often) a random god unleashes his wrath on the player character, this would give a unique and epic feel to the Demigod. :)
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Post Monday, 9th December 2013, 01:23

Re: New God/Artefact - Scepter of the Lich King

archaeo wrote:
Psiweapon wrote: I think that makes a bit more sense than INSTANT LICH JUST ADD WATER.

Without mentioning anything else, it's worth pointing out that Crawl has an Instant-Lich-Just-Add-Water spell, and it's how every player becomes a Lich.


Exactly! We already have INSTANT LICH JUST ADD WATER - why not make it different this time? While we're at it, the lich advantages could be slightly different, and overwrite other undead characteristics as well.

I'm not sure about that flavor. Is necromutation the spell that actual liches use to do their thing? Are we assuming that every lich in the game is just constantly casting that spell, or do players only have access to a kind of imitation lich? If the later is true, the LichStick should maybe make that clear, that true lichdom requires a bit more arcane might. Or this is the kind of thing that really doesn't matter, in which case I'll just accept that Liches are like horrible snowflakes, each one totally unique.


I was also under the impression that Necromutation was a get-a-quick-fix-rite-nao route to lichdom, probably with much looking down their noses :ugeek: from true Liches. Whippersnappers!
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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