Poison Magic Brainstorm


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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 13:58

Poison Magic Brainstorm

I'm not standing by any of these atm; but they are thoughts; includes tweaks to existing spells.

  • Weaken - Poison (1) - Only works on melee-range targets. Inflicts a few stacks of poison directly (No direct damage; just poison stacks) and weakens the target's melee power. The amount of poison stacks placed is reduced by rPois; the weakening effect is not (same effect on all non-poison immune targets). This is effectively a -Slaying effect which is decently effective for a long period and never COMPLETELY useless.
  • Sting - Poison/Conjurations (2) - Shifted up one level and now a throw flame/throw frost variant instead of a Magic Dart variant. At max spellpower does 1d9 physical (rPois ignoring) + 1d9 poison damage and places a spellpower dependent amount of poison stacks.
  • Mephritic Cloud - Poison/Air/Conjurations (3) - 2 Changes: (1) Reduce the noise some (There's no need for it to be the same noise as Fireball which actively kills things). And (2) Add an asphyxiation effect. Asphyx deals small direct damage (say d8 that ignores AC) and prevents casting/invoking by any creature without rDrown OR silence immunity (you don't have to be affected by the poison to have trouble breathing due to the poison in the air). [This affects you.]
  • Summon Wasp - Poison/Summonings (4) - You call a hornet or wasp (chances of each scale with spellpower); HD also scale with spellpower. You may sustain at most (2) creatures with this spell.
  • Poisonous Combustion - Poison/Fire/Transmutations (5) - Continuous version of Ignite Poison lasts several turns. Doesn't replace the lower level spell, which is useful in getting online earlier among a few other niches it has over the continuous version. During this spell, all poison immediately becomes fire AND Venom Weapons cauterize hydra heads.
  • Venom Bolt - Poison/Conjurations (5) - Amended to pierce rPois+ better (on targets with only the first plus, such as Hydrae) to help this spell better carry casters through lair at minimum.
  • Poisonous Cloud - Poison Air/Conjurations (6) - Also gains the Asphyx effect, giving it a larger niche over Freezing Cloud, as it would prevent living casters from casting while in it. [This affects you.]
  • Wasp Form - Poison/Transmutations (6) - You turn into a deadly wasp. Tiny Size (huge EV boost), 8 AC, 0.7 Move Speed. Base UC damage is reduced (2 + (2/3) UC instead of 3 + UC), but you place poison on every hit. Amount of poison scales with spellpower. If you hit a target that's already poisoned, you get an extra chance to Slow or Paralyze it. (Poison amount, Slow and Paralyze chance scale with spellpower).

Broader Statement - Venom (Brand) ignores rPois and equally poisons everything that isn't undead. It's a little ridiculous that a 0 skill dagger (venom) can be better at poisoning a lot of targets than a level 5, dual school spell (venom bolt). I know it's melee range only and that's a weakness, but still.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 15:04

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

New Spell

* Caustic Fog - Poison/Necromancy (7) - You release a cloud of disease and miasma, 5 tiles wide, that travels forward 1 Tile/turn for 5 turns. Anyone hit by the rolling fog takes damage and suffers one or more of the following: Poison, Rot, Slow, Confuse, Corrode, Blind, Silence, etc... (Basically, a chance to inflict all the bad status effects)
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 15:18

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

I said in the other thread that poison magic overall is not particularly problematic in that if it's going to exist, it doesn't need major changes.

If you're going to suggest major changes though, you should consider whether poison is a good game mechanic in the first place. On the player side the answer is obviously "no." The idea of effects that don't do all their damage upfront but instead require you to wait the target out for potentially dozens of turns is ridiculous. If you think excessive luring and kiting are a problem in crawl, you cannot defend poison effects in player hands.

Monster poison is also bad for most of the game, but that's another matter. There are lots of things in crawl that are bad for most of the game and are justified in terms of their ability to kill or otherwise mess you up early.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 15:24

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

Note that meph cloud already does a very small amount of damage, also "ranged silence" is really damn powerful, in combination with confusion that would make this way over the top, remember that non venom mages have access to these spells too.

Meph doesn't really need the boost, tbh, it is already a really excellent level 3 spell (plus the addition of a poison summon helps vm with immune critters immensely already)

Adding "ranged antimagic" aka a chance to fumble your spell action (flavored as choking) with similar chances as the chance of stumbling in shallow water would probably be fine to add to poisonous cloud
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 15:51

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

i don't know about anything else but a poison summon would be good.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 15:51

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

I don't know if poison needs any changes but making new spells is fun.

Corrupted Blood Lvl 2 Poison/Necromancy: Taking damage from enemies while status is active splashes nearby enemies with poison, increasing in power depending on amount of damage taken.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 21:52

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

agree with the venom bolt proposal. Just look at bolt of magma's irresistible damage and how much that does for FE.

Also agree with giving poison a high level summon spell. Summons, who can bash enemies for direct damage are a perfect solution to VM's inability to cope with rImmune enemies.

certain forumgoers seem to have this hardon for the idea that VM is supposed to be useless late game or that making simple fixes to it is supposed to be impossible. I perceive a degree of ego investment in the status quo getting in the way of positive change here. You oldbies all need to believe there's a good reason no one has done anything to fix VM for a long time - either because the schools fine or because fixing it would require greater ingenuity than has been applied to the problem thusfar.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 22:43

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

yesno wrote:i don't know about anything else but a poison summon would be good.

obviously some people disagree, because Summon Scorpions was removed
(but not Summon Ice Beast :? )

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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 22:50

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

Poison magic is long overdue to just be removed. Its supposedly distinguishing features from the other at least five direct damage schools are:
1. applying a damage-over-time status
2. being bad against monsters with rPois
3. being useless to train past about 12 skill
None of these are good. 1 encourages kiting, which is bad gameplay, and would still have plentiful spell sources (sticky flame, clouds) without poison spells. Anything possibly interesting about 2 is already well occupied by fire magic being bad against rF monsters. 3 is just self-evidently stupid as long as skills share a 27 level cap.

The only poison spells that can possibly pretend to be unique in another, potentially good way are mephitic cloud, spider form, and alistair's intoxication, none of which need the poison school attached to them (and alistair's sucks now anyway), just as dragon form doesn't need the fire school attached to it.

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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 05:05

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

bcadren wrote:Poisonous Combustion - Poison/Fire/Transmutations (5) - Continuous version of Ignite Poison lasts several turns. Doesn't replace the lower level spell, which is useful in getting online earlier among a few other niches it has over the continuous version. During this spell, all poison immediately becomes fire

This alone would have a big impact on how poison is played.
It would cut out the damage-over-time aspect that otherwise defines and limits Poison Magic. Pow - damage, that's it. It doesn't solve the issue of redundancy that duvessa limns but that's a tall order and shared by all elements.

There's no need for a one-time version of the spell:
It's annoyed me how Ignite Poison is so low-level that it's almost free if you're using poison magic seriously.
Nergalle doesn't have death's door anymore.
Letting poison "build up" doesn't do anything beneficial. Some monsters may take more damage from poisonous clouds than from clouds of roaring flames, but you can just avoid casting Ignite Poison. Besides, spells with situational disadvantages are fine - there's a lot of them already. It's good if you don't want IP up at all times!

And you can see yourself, in wiz-mode, how this would affect venom-branded weapons. (Make a macro that tabs once and wiz-mode-casts Ignite Poison, and compare it to simple tabbing.)

goodcoolguy wrote:Monster poison is also bad for most of the game, but that's another matter. There are lots of things in crawl that are bad for most of the game and are justified in terms of their ability to kill or otherwise mess you up early.

I'm not doubting you but can you expand on this? I guess it's bad how it makes you wait it out and because curing is so common, but when and how is monster poison good for the game? Why does it need to be DOT to 'mess you up early'?

(P.S. doesn't Poisonout Cloud's direct damage ignore AC unlike Freezing Cloud?)

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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 05:11

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

You mean Freezin Cloud
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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 07:34

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 07:40

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

duvessa wrote:
The only poison spells that can possibly pretend to be unique in another, potentially good way are mephitic cloud, spider form, and alistair's intoxication, none of which need the poison school attached to them (and alistair's sucks now anyway), just as dragon form doesn't need the fire school attached to it.


"Alistair's sucks now anyway" implies that it was at one point worth using, which seems contrived at best (oh, but it was totally usable in elf:$ if you didn't have one of the dozen spells that actually worked without fucking you over also).

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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 09:05

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

prozacelf wrote:"Alistair's sucks now anyway" implies that it was at one point worth using
It was, because it was guaranteed to work and you could just wear clarity
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Post Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 18:14

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:And you can see yourself, in wiz-mode, how this would affect venom-branded weapons. (Make a macro that tabs once and wiz-mode-casts Ignite Poison, and compare it to simple tabbing.)
So has anyone tried this? ~ creates macros, "s" is available for the trigger key, &zignite\{32}poison\{13} casts IP, and you can combine it with \{9} (tab). It makes venom like the best brand, pain is shit by comparison.
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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 20:43

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

This might need a new thread; because it blows the size of my OP out of the water.

Detailed Poison Analysis:

Summary
As it stands, poison is mostly a boring elemental school, with little to truly distinguish it from the other schools. Two notable features are that on conjurations spells, more of the damage checks the resist (very little irresistible) and with the exception of Mephiritic Cloud, the Spell School is very quiet compared to others.

All poison spells; cheapest to most expensive (XP Wise) to cast:
  • Sting - This level one is most directly comparable to Shock and Magic Dart. It seems to have similar accuracy to shock and does similar initial damage (to targets without rPois) to Magic Dart and additional, significantly higher damage over time; however it does very little to the point of useless against rPois targets (most notably Oozes) and completely nothing against rPois+++ targets (most notably zombies and skeletons). Due to the commonality of immune targets, even in the early D and the inaccuracy versus susceptible ones makes it very mediocre as a start spell. It seems to be completely inferior to Magic Dart and Shock MOST the time, with one notable exception, due to the "much higher damage over time", sting is the only level 1 spell with a decent chance of taking out an ogre.
  • Spider Form - Significant stepping stone spell in the Transmuter start. The low AC and rPois- means it's virtually useless past early game, however. With a stash of curing to deal with poison should you receive it and decent base Dex and Dodging skill, may be used to deal with the likes of killer bees (with luring tactics, obviously).
  • Mephritic Cloud - The best poison magic spell, hands down. Also the only noisy one. This spell is as loud as a fireball or Immolation explosion, very useful in disabling groups of enemies. Has a niche over Confuse and Mass Confusion in that it effects creatures with no rPois, but high MR, like Death Yaks, Vault Wardens and Deep Elves and that it's significantly cheaper to get usable than either of those spells (no spellpower check means as soon as the miscast rate is good, the spell is usable, where Confuse would take heavy investment to get good spellpower.
  • Ignite Poison - Perhaps the best designed Poison Magic spell. Very obviously the most deadly for its spell level. Useless by itself, but if combined with reliable sources of poison, turns for example, Poison needles into two turns to kill, instead of waiting for poison to slowly kill the target. Vastly increases the efficacy of other poison magic, venom weapons, poisonous needles, etc.
  • Olgreb's Toxic Radiance - Effects everything in LoS and ignores AC. This spell shares a lot of design space with Ozocubu's Refrigeration. However, it works slower (adds poison over time and without ignite poison, that poison takes awhile to kill the targets) and affects fewer things. That said, unless playing very poorly; simply having this spell virtually guarantees clearing Orc and Spider 1-3, due to virtually all creatures there being susceptible.
  • Alistair's Intoxication - I have fond memories of this spell, but it's been nerfed and I'm unsure it's worth the investment anymore. Similarly to Mephritic Cloud it will confuse a number of creatures that are very difficult to hex, but the dual restrictions of "no poison resistance" and "human or better intelligence" makes this list... Elves, Vault Guards, Sphinxes, (non-Green) draconians, (non-Putrid) Demonspawn, merfolk, fauns, yaktaurs...a very usable list, but somewhat situational, as that represents about half the high tier threats from those areas (save Elf, most my memories of this spell are abusing it to clear elf early).
  • Venom Bolt - One of (3) Bolt spells that are level 5 (instead of 6) and the most powerful of the level 5's, also the quietest bolt altogether. It's significantly more powerful than B.Draining and similar power to Lightning Bolt; without the noise cost that Lightning Bolt has. However it works on fewer targets than either of the other two level 5 bolts.
  • Poison Arrow - Versus a susceptible target, this is basically Iron Shot, with slightly higher damage, a longer range and much, much, less noise. Versus a resistant target; it can still one-shot frail things with good enough spellpower (most notably Hellions and Tormentors in extended); but is fairly pitiful, doing less than half it's base damage. Versus a poison immune target...it's just a waste of mana, really. 30% of the damage is irresistible, but that's not enough to be notable, at that point even IMB is better.
  • Poisonous Cloud - Back when clouds didn't dissipate upon leaving LoS, this had a significant niche over Freezing Cloud, as it could do more damage outside of LoS and while retreating (say as a Spriggan) with clouds immediately discipating upon leaving LoS, it's strictly worse than Freezing Cloud; EXCEPT, when combined with Ignite Poison (both for making flaming clouds and for applying all the poison damage built up by standing in poisonous clouds at once).

From an analysis perspective, only Mephritic Cloud, Ignite Poison, Olgreb's Toxic Radiance and Alistair's Intoxication truly do anything unique and even then, Ignite Poison + Olgreb's Toxic Radiance as a combo, can be described as "Ozocubu's Refrigeration, which works on fewer targets, but doesn't hit yourself; costs 1 more MP and 2 more turns to use, but takes much less experience to get online. Cool combo for early game, obviously outclassed later.

Additionally the only poison spells worth using past lair branches are Alistair's (it's situational, but confusing Vault Wardens can be worthwhile, etc.) and P.Arrow, which is mostly notable for the range difference from Iron Shot.

Redesign Direction:
I'm not about to say that poison is a bad school; currently its niche seems to be "only works well on a very limited subset of monsters, but blows every spellschool out of the water versus that group". (Again OTR is very comparable to Ozocubu's Refrigeration, which is -much- more expensive to get online).

What I'd like to see it shift to is this; (some of this is even a nerf in some ways): Poison as a damage type does more damage than similarly leveled conjurations of other elements and it -completely- ignores AC (where electricity only partially ignores it). But the majority of the damage is dealt over time. The "over time" portion of the damage maxes out at 10 HP/turn, but can be well over enough to one shot (keep damaging after the creature uses self-healing).

Poison expands into more debilitation effects, which are more unique than the damage type. The argument can be made that debilitation is hexes thing and more schools don't need to do it, but...every elemental school has a bolt; more debilitation is significantly more unique than more bolts. Additionally poison's debilitating effects could (1) be different effects [instead of just confusion, twice] and (2) check rPois and HD instead of MR; making it more effective against different targets. Of course there would be some overlap, but then there's the overlap of every single elemental school.

Poison will keep the "better in early game" niche, because a max of 10 HP/Second will directly kill things in fewer turns early in the game and OTR keeps it's niche against heavily armoured creatures in that way. However; higher level and higher spellpower Poison spells should pierce the single rPois+ better (Not rPois+++, like undeads and Gargoyles, obviously; but single + like Hydras and most demons); this would give it a bit of complimentary approach to Necromancy as a damage type; as it encompasses draining (which effects living) and control/dispel undead which effects undead; with no way to hurt demons. Poison would because no way to hurt Undeads/Non-Living but decent against living and demons.

Acid as an addition to poison has been shot down multiple times, so I'll only bring it up only briefly. Acid cannot be an addition to poison, because as it stands Acid is just raw damage (same as just conjurations) with a -AC debuff added. It's exceedingly simple and cannot be added to poison, simpley because it's completely different damage type without any of the restrictions. (Acid would need to be completely reworked to fit in the poison damage school and that doesn't need to happen).

Poison needs (1) variety and (2) a unique niche to justify its existence. I vote that (2) be a focus on extremely high damage/MP, but the damage is slow and over time; partnered with the ability to completely debilitate and incapacitate monsters to allow the damage over time to happen without heavy kiting. And again, as a spellschool low spells only work on living; high spells on living and demons; No spell in the school has any effect on non-living and undead.
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Post Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 21:17

Re: Poison Magic Brainstorm

I'm actually in the middle of making a similarly sized post over in the GDD "Remove Venom Mage" thread.
I'll say it again in that post too, but I've got e-cookies for any mod that merges the 3 different VM/PM threads into a single cohesive entity... ;)

*Edit*
My overarching argument for changing how PM works is to shift its focus more towards hexes and on secondary effects as opposed to damage. Although I do think it would a good idea to remove the poison stack cap, or make the cap move depending on your Poison Magic skill. (example: Skill 5 = 10 poison stacks, Skill 10 = 15 poison stacks, etc)
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