Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)


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Post Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 04:44

Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Updated windows build: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jc0w0ea00no3c ... 2.rar?dl=0

Stats
  • Human stats (9 to everything) as placeholders for now.
  • +1 to a random stat on level up except on multiples of 3 (also placeholder :p)
  • No recommended backgrounds at the moment. (The ones in the build are copied from Vinestalker.)
Abilities
  • Change Color: Every ~3000 turns, you change color at a cost of experience drain. The experience drain in the build is proportional to the XL the change occured at (XL*10.) You can also accelerate this directly in the ability menu (the experience drain is the same amount), but this doesn't reset the internal timer.
  • Color Resists: You get resistances based on your color. Red = rF+, White = rC+, Brown = rCorr, Green = rPois, Cyan = rElec, Purple = rN+.
  • Chaotic Mutations: Starting from XL7, every 2 levels until XL21 you receive a permanent bad mutation. The first bad mutation you receive will always be one of Deterioration, Teleportitis or Blurry Vision (rank 1.) The other permanent mutations are 4 ranks between Weak/Dopey/Clumsy and 3 ranks between Frail/Low Magic.
  • Enhanced Skills: Each color gives an enhancement to 3 skills: Your corresponding magic school, one other magic school and one melee weapon. The current boost is +6 with +1.5 for every level above level 6 (adjusted with respect to the experience drain.)
    • Red: Fire, Summonings, Short Blades
    • White: Ice, Translocations, Long Blades
    • Brown: Earth, Charms, Axes
    • Green: Poison, Hexes, Maces/Flails
    • Cyan: Air,Transmutations, Polearms
    • Purple: Necromancy, Conjurations, Staves
Aptitudes
  • 0 Fighting and Invocations
  • 1 Unarmed Combat
  • -3 Evocations
  • -2 for all skills under Enhanced Skills (melee weapons and magic schools)
  • -1 for the remaining skills

Old versions:
Spoiler: show
Hey! I started getting my feet wet with the code and made a build (windows) with a new species based off ugly things, inspired by the other proposal. The main idea is increasing flexibility by changing colors and gaining mutations.

Stats
  • Human stats as placeholders for now. I am not good enough at the game yet to tell if it's too strong or too weak!
  • +1 to a random stat on level up.
  • Technically there are no recommended backgrounds, the ones in the build are just copied from Vinestalker.

Abilities
  • Change Color: Every XL, you change colors between Red, White, Brown, Green, Cyan and Purple. You begin with a random color, and if you don't like your current color you can change it at the cost of 1 max MP.
  • Color Resists: You get resistances based on your color. Red = rF+, White = rC+, Brown = rCorr, Green = rPois, Cyan = rElec, Purple = rN+.
  • Natural Mutation: Starting at XL 2, and every future 2 XLs, you mutate (currently using Xom's mutation rules.) At XL 2 the mutations are rolled 3 times, every other XL is once.
  • Damage Mutation: Whenever you take damage, there is a small chance you mutate (same method as Natural Mutation.) The probability of mutating is damage / max(maxHP/2, 20), so you need to take at least half your health in damage to guarantee a mutation.
  • Mutation Enhancements: While you are mutated, your skills are augmented proportionally to the number of total mutations you have (+1 for every mutation.) The skills that are augmented are based on your current color:
    • Red: Spellcasting, Evocations, Staves, Long Blades, Slings, Fire Magic, Conjurations, Air Magic, Summonings
    • White: Invocations, Armour, Fighting, Maces/Flails, Shields, Ice Magic, Conjurations, Earth Magic, Hexes
    • Brown: Slings, Axes, Fighting, Polearms, Unarmed Combat, Conjurations, Translocations, Transmutations, Charms
    • Green: Crossbows, Bows, Dodging, Spellcasting, Throwing, Poison Magic, Transmutations, Ice Magic, Summonings
    • Cyan: Dodging, Stealth, Short Blades, Evocations, Throwing, Air Magic, Charms, Translocations, Hexes
    • Purple: Stealth, Armour, Dodging, Shield, Axes, Earth Magic, Charms, Summonings, Necromancy

Aptitudes
  • -1 to everything for now.

Things for the future
  • Colors won't be randomized if there is a particular color that fits the chosen class, e.g. FE start as a Red Ugly Thing.
  • Different mutation rules. Something along the lines of swapping mutations instead of gaining a new one when taking damage (maybe a rare chance of getting one) and restricting what mutations the player can actually receive. Body mutations don't make much sense when you're becoming a writhing mass of... something!
  • Changing the cost of Change Color. max HP or losing EXP are probably better options than max MP but the basic idea is that the cost should be high enough that you might want to re-roll once or twice if your color has really bad synergy with your playstyle but it's unreasonable to re-roll until you get exactly what you want.
  • Better spread of skills for Mutation Enhancement. I tried picking skills for different playstyles; a stealth color, a melee color, a conjurations color, etc.
  • Gaining extra benefits/penalties arise if you have lots of mutations (you become a Very Ugly Thing), e.g.:
    • As you gain more and more mutations, you lose armors slots (boots/armor/gloves/helmets)... and gain tentacle related abilities?
    • Resistances become more extreme, e.g. Red gets rF++ and rC-
Last edited by CanOfWorms on Wednesday, 5th November 2014, 04:13, edited 5 times in total.

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Post Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 06:58

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Some thoughts based on your description, without having played them:

+1 to random stat on level up is way too much. That's twice as much as Demigods, whose entire point is to have amazing stats (at the cost of aptitude, leveling rate, and a god).

You should keep changing color with experience after hitting level 27. The idea of just hitting 27, spending max MP until I'm exactly the color I want, and then being that color for the rest of the game is a bit lame.

I'm hesitant about the skill bonuses based on color. On top of being very powerful, skill boosts to specific sets of skills are extremely hard to adapt your playstyle to. Unless the skill boosts are completely ridiculous, you'll never start using long blades just because you turned red on level up, for example. You'll just either get more powerful if you use them already, or the bonus will be useless if you don't. If the skill boosts are large enough that it's worth temporarily switching to long blades while you're red even if you've trained another weapon, then the skill boosts are way to high and this race is brokenly overpowered (actually, I suspect they might be already). Overall, the skill boosts feel like they'll be less something you adapt to and more just massive power spikes at certain levels, or when you're willing to spend max MP to switch colors.

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Post Friday, 24th October 2014, 02:02

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Whoops, the stats level up on every level for testing purposes only, haha! They'll be more reasonable once the other aspects are refined. For the color changing, I agree that they should keep changing colors after XL 27, although this build probably doesn't do that yet.

For the skill boosts, casters can benefit from modest boosts since at 7-10 skill they can get good spells running. For example, my Conjurer of Vehumet that I'm currently running has a main focus of Battlesphere, but while I'm Red I can reliably cast Delayed Fireball/Ignite Poison with no investment while in other colors I have high failure rates (Or maybe that's overpowered?) For melee characters I have to admit I'm not actually sure how the skill affects them other than min delay, so maybe a different approach is necessary.

For the power curve, I'd implement it so hitting +15 skill would require some serious investment from the player. First they'd need to have a lot of mutations, and have some additional penalties that come from carrying that many mutations (loss of armor slots?)
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Post Friday, 24th October 2014, 03:43

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

I'm very happy you wrote a patch rather than just a proposal. It's great to have somebody work on the technical side of things rather than simply trying to write up a design and asking others to complete it. I probably would not be giving feedback if there hadn't been a technical implementation. However, the actual design of this species has some problems:

CanOfWorms wrote:[*] Change Color: Every XL, you change colors between Red, White, Brown, Green, Cyan and Purple. You begin with a random color, and if you don't like your current color you can change it at the cost of 1 max MP.
Tying various states to XL does not work. This encourages the player to A) Avoid killing monsters when they are a colour they like and B) Stash monsters to turbo thought XLs where they are colours they do not like. (The recent-ish XP recharge mechanics might also be guilty of encouraging the latter but that would be a reason to XP recharge rather than add more problems)

CanOfWorms wrote:[*] Damage Mutation: Whenever you take damage, there is a small chance you mutate (same method as Natural Mutation.) The probability of mutating is damage / max(maxHP/2, 20), so you need to take at least half your health in damage to guarantee a mutation.
This mechanic lets the player exchange a tactical resource (health) for a strategic one (mutations). There is no possible way for this interaction to not be degenerate - in a game as complex as Crawl there will exist a way to take damage without being in actual danger, just off the top of my head torment seems like an excellent way to reroll mutations over and over.

CanOfWorms wrote:[*] Colors won't be randomized if there is a particular color that fits the chosen class, e.g. FE start as a Red Ugly Thing.
Classes are not meant to be straitjackets. It's completely possible to get a DrIE which becomes a red draconian, and it is a good thing this can help make games different from each other. There's been talk in the past of removing stat adjustment from classes because stats are too strategic.

Other than those major issues, this proposal is a bit too complex, involving a lot of special interactions (the specific lists connecting colours to skills, for instance) and most of the "Things for the Future" make it even more complex. Right now this proposal is more complicated than any species currently in the game, except arguably Vampires (known to be too complex, recent changes to the species have made them simpler) or Ds (which carefully structures its complexity away into mutation facets, so a player only needs to know a subset of that complexity on any particular run). Species should have the absolute minimum number of mechanics to make their "conduct" work.
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Post Friday, 24th October 2014, 04:12

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

A quick clarification on a poorly worded statement: When I say color isn't randomized depending on your starting class, I meant the color you begin with isn't randomized, the in-game color changes would still occur. Aside from that, thanks for the thorough feedback! I'll mull over it and hopefully have some improvements.

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Post Wednesday, 5th November 2014, 01:33

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Alright, here's an update which should simplify the concept (details in the first post.) There are two defining concepts: A permanent bad mutation line (like a reverse-demonspawn) and the color/skill matching system. Each color only boosts three skills and there's a consistent pattern between them ("element" school/"non-element" school/melee weapon) so it should be easier for players to absorb.

For the color changing mechanic, I switched to a timer based system (every X turns a color change occurs) with penalties which become more severe as the player progresses (and the player can instantly make this happen as an ability.) It still has the XP stashing issue reaverb described since it's tied to it, but the shorter timer, the immediate skill drain and the increasing cost might make that less feasible.

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Post Wednesday, 5th November 2014, 23:58

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Between permenant bad mutations and bad overall aptitudes (not to mention you're effectively at below average hp and mutation due to picking up frail/low energy), it seems like a pretty weak race. Which might be fine, if that's what you're going for, but imho they could use some more upside, or limit the amount of negative mutations they get.

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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 01:55

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

The main reason for using them is getting the color-related skill boost, which lets you use things you would normally have to invest XP for or boost your strengths in the early game, e.g. you can pick up LRD in the midgame as an option to use whenever you turn brown. Then again I haven't gotten a UgCj through Lair yet so maybe it does need a boost :p

One idea I'm looking at implementing is making them immune to external mutations (and maybe polymorph?), instead those would just change their colors; I think it would be fitting for them!
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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 02:57

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Ohh, An update!

Hmm, this looks better than before, but I feel the colour mechanic is still a little unfocused? I'm not 100% sure what the intended gameplay is here - toggling between spells + choice of when to alter you colour seems reasonable, also possibly keeping track of several melee weapons? I'd like a clear "The colour mechanic will cause the player to make interesting and difficult decisions X, Y, & Z."

CanOfWorms wrote:[*] Change Color: Every ~3000 turns, you change color at a cost of experience drain. The experience drain in the build is proportional to the XL the change occured at (XL*10.) You can also accelerate this directly in the ability menu (the experience drain is the same amount), but this doesn't reset the internal timer.
I'd probably reset the internal timer on using the ability. The player can reset the timer by spamming "5" anyway, with possibly some god piety as the only cost.

Also I'm kind of concerned cure-by-XP could become degenerate if a species is based around it, I think that's fixable though. (Storing XP gained when you don't have drain toward "removing drain" would fix that instantly, for example)

Oh, and "proportional to XL when change occurred" is terrible because if you're on the edge of leveling up 2900 turns after the last colour change, it's best to press 5 before seeking your next fight.

CanOfWorms wrote:[*] Chaotic Mutations: Starting from XL7, every 2 levels until XL21 you receive a permanent bad mutation. The first bad mutation you receive will always be one of Deterioration, Teleportitis or Blurry Vision (rank 1.) The other permanent mutations are 4 ranks between Weak/Dopey/Clumsy and 3 ranks between Frail/Low Magic.
I don't think bad mutations work well here, bad mutations aren't designed to be gained on level-up and I'm not sure what your goal with Chaotic Mutations is? I feel like any good this mechanic could do could be better achieved by a different system.


Finally, can you make a patch with your Ug species? It would allow me to, for example, compile them on my Mac and look at your code for anything which would need to be fixed/could be done in an easier way.

Bare bones way to make a patch:
Spoiler: show
Got to the place you would use 'git pull' on terminal
Type the following commands into your terminal:

1) git commit -am "Ugly thing species"
2) git format-patch origin/master --stdout > ugly_thing_species.patch

Then a text file called "ugly_thing_species.patch" will appear in your /source folder. Upload it to a dropbox or copy it to a pastebin and post a link here.

(Obviously if you know some git you know what about this is weird/odd etc. but then you don't need this guide :D)
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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 06:06

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

reaver wrote:Hmm, this looks better than before, but I feel the colour mechanic is still a little unfocused? I'm not 100% sure what the intended gameplay is here - toggling between spells + choice of when to alter you colour seems reasonable, also possibly keeping track of several melee weapons? I'd like a clear "The colour mechanic will cause the player to make interesting and difficult decisions X, Y, & Z."

The colour mechanic asks the player: "Do you want to learn spell X?", where spell X is something that doesn't fit their build. An Ugly Thing Conjurer that hasn't invested in Summoning might be tempted to learn Dragon's Call so that they have an powerful option available when they're red, or a pure melee character might consider learning spells to complement their build. The manual color change also lets players get an immediate boost to a specific school but pay a fee to keep it online for a period of time. The melee weapon boosts are there just to give melee users something else, otherwise melee classes get no benefits until later on; Having only magic boosts feels pigeonholey.

Also I'm kind of concerned cure-by-XP could become degenerate if a species is based around it, I think that's fixable though. (Storing XP gained when you don't have drain toward "removing drain" would fix that instantly, for example)

Oh, and "proportional to XL when change occurred" is terrible because if you're on the edge of leveling up 2900 turns after the last colour change, it's best to press 5 before seeking your next fight.

Yeah, the current cost curve isn't perfect. I'd tweak it so the cost scales up the more often the ability is used; say the costs for a color change grows each time a color change occurs (naturally or forcibly.) The goal is for the players to be less punished for changing colors early on, where the benefits of each color is less relevant, but making it unrealistic to constantly pick the "right" color for an entire playthrough. Using HP rot/permanent loss also seems like a less scummable alternative (I think Elyvilon is the only way to cure large amounts of rot?) but it's potentially more punishing to players not trying to game the color changing. I'm experimenting with that at the moment!

I don't think bad mutations work well here, bad mutations aren't designed to be gained on level-up and I'm not sure what your goal with Chaotic Mutations is? I feel like any good this mechanic could do could be better achieved by a different system.

The idea was to force the player to deal with bad mutations that under other circumstances they'd cure; so the first permanent mutation they get is something that players will want to cure in other circumstances. Otherwise it's there for flavour and not absolutely necessary.

Finally, can you make a patch with your Ug species? It would allow me to, for example, compile them on my Mac and look at your code for anything which would need to be fixed/could be done in an easier way.

I think this should do it, hopefully I didn't mess up :? It's based off the 0.15 version rather than the latest version as I was working off 0.15.2 if that info is relevant. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hb5jdl4i5d775 ... patch?dl=0

The patch is also more recent that the build, it has HP rot instead of exp drain as the color changing penalty and some aptitude changes.
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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 12:46

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

CanOfWorms wrote:I think this should do it, hopefully I didn't mess up :? It's based off the 0.15 version rather than the latest version as I was working off 0.15.2 if that info is relevant. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hb5jdl4i5d775 ... patch?dl=0

The patch is also more recent that the build, it has HP rot instead of exp drain as the color changing penalty and some aptitude changes.

Oh, working off of 0.15 is relevant. (The old command asssumed you were working off master). Run this command:

git format-patch --stdout origin/stone_soup-0.15 > ugly_thing_speices_2.patch

instead and uploading ugly_thing_species_2.patch would be helpful :D.
Last edited by reaver on Friday, 7th November 2014, 13:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 13:00

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

CanOfWorms wrote:
reaver wrote:Hmm, this looks better than before, but I feel the colour mechanic is still a little unfocused? I'm not 100% sure what the intended gameplay is here - toggling between spells + choice of when to alter you colour seems reasonable, also possibly keeping track of several melee weapons? I'd like a clear "The colour mechanic will cause the player to make interesting and difficult decisions X, Y, & Z."

The colour mechanic asks the player: "Do you want to learn spell X?", where spell X is something that doesn't fit their build. An Ugly Thing Conjurer that hasn't invested in Summoning might be tempted to learn Dragon's Call so that they have an powerful option available when they're red, or a pure melee character might consider learning spells to complement their build. The manual color change also lets players get an immediate boost to a specific school but pay a fee to keep it online for a period of time. The melee weapon boosts are there just to give melee users something else, otherwise melee classes get no benefits until later on; Having only magic boosts feels pigeonholey.
I think any mechanic powerful enough to make Ugs learn spells from several different schools would be at least a little pigeonholey, but that's not really a dealbreaker (See: Sp, DE, Trog, etc.). I would get good gameplay first, and then focus on how to make more character types possible with the species.

(Also there aren't "pure melee" chars in Crawl. Melee chars using spells to complement their build is the normal state of affairs)
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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 20:09

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

CanOfWorms wrote:The colour mechanic asks the player: "Do you want to learn spell X?", where spell X is something that doesn't fit their build.

I guess I'm unclear on how this would work. If I currently have +2 fire, and have been learning fire spells, and then you change my fire to -1 and ice to +2, my current 15 fire skill retroactively becomes 12. I still have 0 ice, and while I could pick up ice levels faster for now, there isn't any real reason to try to get it to 15 only to have my aptitudes change on me again. I'm going to just try to push my 12 fire back up to 15 fire, despite -1 aptitude (which isn't that hard).

It might be worth switching to ice if my +2 ice was now going to be *permanent*, like a draconian might switch. But I know my +2 ice isn't going to stick around, so I won't really put much effort into shifting a build towards it.

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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 21:04

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

reaver wrote:(Also there aren't "pure melee" chars in Crawl. Melee chars using spells to complement their build is the normal state of affairs)


Also those that are sometimes called "pure melee" (e.g., berserkers) would be much more accurately described as "non-magic users" since you are probably going to do stuff like reading scrolls, drinking potions, using the myriad evocable items in the game, using god and/or species or mutated abilities, using blowguns or other forms of ranged combat, etc. There are lots of things to play around with in Crawl besides melee and spells.

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Post Friday, 7th November 2014, 23:04

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

reaver - Here's the patch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxvi47qugniyo ... patch?dl=0

tasonir wrote:I guess I'm unclear on how this would work. If I currently have +2 fire, and have been learning fire spells, and then you change my fire to -1 and ice to +2, my current 15 fire skill retroactively becomes 12. I still have 0 ice, and while I could pick up ice levels faster for now, there isn't any real reason to try to get it to 15 only to have my aptitudes change on me again. I'm going to just try to push my 12 fire back up to 15 fire, despite -1 aptitude (which isn't that hard).

It might be worth switching to ice if my +2 ice was now going to be *permanent*, like a draconian might switch. But I know my +2 ice isn't going to stick around, so I won't really put much effort into shifting a build towards it.

Unlike Draconians, it's not the aptitudes that change but the investment. The color boosts are a direct investment in skills, e.g. a Purple UgCj starts with 9 in Conjurations compared to 3 and 6 Necromancy; if they become red their skills are now 3 Conjurations and 6 Fire/Summonings (although the 3 is an actual EXP investment and adjusted to their aptitudes.) The goal isn't to tempt players to switch builds, but to pick up spells outside their specialization knowing they'll occasionally be available without having to invest the XP.

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Post Monday, 10th November 2014, 21:37

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

So wait, if I'm reading this right, they get a skill boost of 6+(level-6)*1.5? As in, at level 10, they have +12, or 8 times training speed? At level 20, you're up to +27, or nearly 2^7 times speed?

Please tell me that's a typo. That's insane.

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Post Tuesday, 11th November 2014, 08:11

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

milski wrote:So wait, if I'm reading this right, they get a skill boost of 6+(level-6)*1.5? As in, at level 10, they have +12, or 8 times training speed? At level 20, you're up to +27, or nearly 2^7 times speed?

Please tell me that's a typo. That's insane.


Skill boost, not aptitude boost. I don't know if you have the numbers right or not (after all, if you do, +27 to a skill is just as ridiculous), but I can at least point that out.

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Post Thursday, 13th November 2014, 02:39

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Yeah, it's a straight skill boost and I realize it's ambiguously stated, but it doesn't go past 27; if you already have 27 in a particular skill the boost does nothing. I haven't checked exactly how much skill is needed to get level 9 spells online relative to different builds and how much spellpower you get out of it, but keep in mind that the boost is only temporary and there is some cost (XP drain or possibly something else) to keeping the same skill boosted for an extended period of time.

There's also a cost in spell levels to having to memorize multiple high-level spells and only being able to use a small subset at any given time (although Sif Muna's free amnesia could be abused...)
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Post Thursday, 20th November 2014, 06:34

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

I like the Ug a lot, thx !
I have some ideas about it, but I'll be happy to play the patch first to see how this actually works in-game and than describe them.

Thanks! i'LL respond after having some game experience
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Post Thursday, 20th November 2014, 07:38

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Ok, I'll describe it as I understand:

I see the mid/endgame Ug like a char with 2-3-4(?) level spells of 4 different schools so you can switch between them depending on the color. It would be hard to master one spell school because of their cycle, but you can really be a not-bad-all-elemental-master. Maybe it is a good idea to focus on melee a bit to be sure that you will not die just because you find a poison book at XL3 when you was Red Ug. Medium AC & EV, medium Int

Very interesting and unusual look on spells, books and schools
At the same time Ug is unhappy a lot and have to deal with all these BAD mutations. Such a cursed one, cool, I had an idea like that once (Infected Human)

Ideas about the Ug itself:
*I think it is good to add an elemental attack when unarmed, depending on your color, it can make Ug a bit more survivable during the game
*"mutagenic radiation" - when hit it is a chance for monster of being polymorphed (higher chance), drained (low chance) [passive from XL1]
*starting mutations: Deformed, Gelatinous Body I
*maybe its even suitable to forbid them to wear any body armor ex. robes
*+200% MP & HP is a joke, I hope?)
*make them to have innate rMut and rRot, i think it is too much with all these bad mutations. So let them mutate in a bad way but make more resistant for outer mutation sources
*LOL, it seems to be cool to make other Ug monsters stay neutral to you, untill you attack them (not so important, btw)
*maybe it is a good idea to remove one color from the cycle on XL7 and one on XL14. Something like an opposite draconian, ha. And no one knows what colors will be removed, but I think the rest 4 left is enough. It can give a player to specialise more on less number of schools by the midgame and go into lategame a bit more stable (6 colors are too chaotic and unreliable, I guess)
*why -3 ENV skill?

Maybe you find some of them good, thanks for reading!
I'll continue testing Ug and I really enjoy playing it, even in a test form

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Post Saturday, 22nd November 2014, 01:59

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Those are some neat suggestions, but I think a few of them are more on the flavour side (like branded UC based on color.) The reduced color pool sounds interesting, but having more reliability also makes it easier to stay in a single color. For the rMut/rRot suggestion, I was thinking that any source of mutation would just force a color change, the only mutations they'd receive would be the permanent ones. (Those could also be more interesting as well but I might have to make some new ones specifically for them.) The -3 Evocations is just because there aren't any species that are bad at evocations :p (Trolls have the worst at -2.)

I think the 200% HP/MP thing is just something I commented out from previous playtesting, it shouldn't have any effect.

I still need to play around with the current build, but after playing the regular game more I have some ideas bouncing around in my head to refine the concept:
  • Make Ug good at casting, but bad at learning spells: -3/-4? Spellcasting, -30% MP innate, 10 Str/6 Int/9 Dex, possibly +1 for spell schools?
  • To make spell selection more important, give them an anti-Amnesia effect; any spell learned cannot be forgotten.
  • To make their skill bonus more useful for backgrounds that don't start with a magic book, as they progress through the game, have them pick up a spell for each of the six "elements", vaguely random. These spells would be permanently remembered and cost no spell slots (if they already knew the spell, it would free up slots.) So for example they could get in different playthroughs:
    • Swiftness, Passwall, Agony, Inner Flame, Alistair's Intoxication, Summon Ice Beast
    • Airstrike, Statue Form, Dispel Undead, Sticky Flame, Poison Arrow, Metabolic Englaciation
    This one is pretty extreme for a species, though!
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Post Saturday, 22nd November 2014, 04:50

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

Since I didn't mention this here I'll just repeat something I said in IRC: I think the ideas behind this species would work better as an unrandart rather than a species.

This is mostly based on the fact that giving a species several spell school skills for free is going to make all characters with that species same-y, that the concept doesn't seem quite deep enough to support an entire species. An extremely rare item would cause the mechanics to take up an amount of players' time more proportional to how long players' will enjoy exploring them.

I'm not going to go through the new tweaks, but note that almost any time you start trying to solve design problems by increasing complexity (such as with the random spell memorization and no amnesia), you're almost always on the wrong path. If you continuously add complexity to a design, rather than making lateral moves or simplifications, eventually that design is going to collapse under its own weight. This is what killed, for example, Dj.
On IRC my nick is reaverb. I play online under the name reaver, though.

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Joined: Friday, 25th November 2011, 07:36

Post Monday, 24th November 2014, 23:13

Re: Species Proposal: Ugly Thing (with prototype build)

CanOfWorms wrote:
  • Make Ug good at casting, but bad at learning spells: -3/-4? Spellcasting, -30% MP innate, 10 Str/6 Int/9 Dex, possibly +1 for spell schools?
  • To make spell selection more important, give them an anti-Amnesia effect; any spell learned cannot be forgotten.

These two are the complete opposite of what I was thinking as I read through the thread before getting to this post. You're encouraging people to pick up spells from different elements, ie, learn bolt of fire, bolt of cold, venom bolt, and lightning! Then you can target (almost) any elemental weakness a monster might have! This is a good thing. What's the downside? Well, aside from finding the spells, that's going to take a ton of spell levels and crowd out space for spells you'd probably want as support. So I was thinking they either need a high spellcasting aptitude (modest proposal) or something more unique (increased spell level cap). Not letting them ever forget spells will mean they will be very hesitant to branch out into new spell schools.

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