Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 11:41

Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I needed to do something to pass the time before Zelda:BotW comes out so I threw together a playable Skeleton, since there seemed to be a lot of interest in the species as a general concept, and I think I've found something that works reasonably well. Find the branch here (I might harass johnstein for a CBRO experimental, since I'm not going to go forward with Archaeologist anymore).

Image

Skeleton

What does it offer in terms of gameplay?

Skeleton is a species built around pushing your luck. It has a powerful active ability you can use at any point through the game, and the price you pay is forgoing the ability to retreat. Skeletons are mindless automatons designed to extinguish life, and this is reflected in the ability to enter a cold, murderous trance. As opposed to berserk, this ability is designed to completely prevent you from running away, so be careful! Since skeletons cannot quaff, using this ability well is essential for survival, but abusing it will easily get you killed. I believe this is a unique pattern in DCSS species, as no other one is forced to bet on their survival in this way by locking themselves into a fight.

Skeleton is a low HP, high mitigation species, which is a combination I like a lot in RPGs and is realized in DCSS mostly by gargoyle. Skeles go for a different flavour of it however, since it's achieved through the use of an active ability.

In terms of aptitudes, the skeleton offers an atypical mix for an undead species. These skeletons were raised by powerful magicians through arcane means rather than necromancy, and they are built with a single premise: destroy sentient life. This puts them in a particular position with respect to mummies, gargoyles and ghouls, in that they are thoroughly inept at necromancy and all the "subtle" schools of magic, instead focusing on Conjurations. Aside from Conjurations, their aptitudes for elemental magic aren't terrible, so they can fill the "skeleton mage" trope. They are also very apt at using shields, weaponry and tools, but their frail bodies don't lend themselves to rude hand to hand combat (high weapon apts, low fighting and unarmed). Finally, their quality as a mindless construct raised by magic makes them completely uninteresting to the DCSS pantheon, reflected in very low invocations.

Stats:
  Code:
10 STR, 7 INT, 7 DEX
-1 xp_mod, -1 hp_mod, 0 mp_mod, 6 mr_mod

Aptitude table
  Code:
Fighting:  -2
Short Blades: 1
Long Blades: 1
Axes: 1
M&F: 1
Polearms: 1
Staves: 1
Slings: 1
Bows: 1
Crossbows: 1
Throwing: -2
Armour: 2
Dodging: 0
Stealth: -2
Shields: 2
Unarmed Combat: -1

Spellcasting: 0
Conjurations: 1
Hexes: -3
Charms: -3
Summonings: -3
Necromancy: -3
Translocations: -3
Transmutations: -3
Fire Magic: -1
Ice Magic: -1
Air Magic: -1
Earth Magic: -1
Poison Magic: -1
Invocations: -2
Evocations: -2

Intrinsics
  • Skeletons don't eat or drink, and have no hunger clock.
  • Skeletons are immune to poison, breathless, immune to negative energy, pain and torment. (Generic undead stuff)
  • Skeletons are very frail (-20% HP).
  • Skeletons resist 20% damage from piercing and slashing weapons (including projectiles, like bolts and tomahawks).
  • Skeletons take 20% extra damage from bludgeoning weapons (including projectiles, like stones and large rocks).
  • Skeletons can enter a murderous trance at will.

EDIT: Slashing, piercing and bludgeoning damage wasn't interesting enough as a mechanic to offset the cognitive load, especially for console players, so it's out.

Skeleton's unique ability: Reap
Image
From level 1, skeletons have access to a unique ability called Reap. This ability can only be activated in presence of living creatures (i.e. anything without the undead or nonliving holiness). When activated, the skeleton mesmerizes itself towards the closest living being, gaining damage shaving and a 20% skill boost until the creature is dead. Once it dies, Reap will immediately target the next closest living creature, and it will continue to target enemies until nothing in LOS remains alive.

Reap offers a powerful effect that counteracts the skeleton's natural low HP, especially when combined with high AC armour and shields, which they are adept at using. However, it must be utilized with care, since reap will inevitably chain from one monster to the next, so a Reap used against a quokka may lead to your death if there is an ogre around the corner. Breaking mesmerisation through many of the usual means (like noise) is useless, so the only accessible way to run from this curse is to somehow cut LOS, for example via teleport or fog.
Last edited by Steel Neuron on Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 08:11, edited 4 times in total.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 12:03

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I'd remove the resistance/weakness against slash/blunt damage.
While flavourwise is a standard thing for skeleton, I think game play wise only add an extra cognitive load and annoyance layer, as a lot of enemies can equip both of kind of weapons
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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 12:17

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Nice work!

I like the idea of reap, but I think it will not be too difficult to ensure you only fight one monster at a time due to kiting and luring. An ability like real needs a powerful downside and some mechanic to mitigate kiting/luring.

Also, slaying attention to the damage type of incoming attacks seems a little irritating. Would it encourage people to play any differently?

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 12:32

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

chequers wrote:Nice work!

I like the idea of reap, but I think it will not be too difficult to ensure you only fight one monster at a time due to kiting and luring. An ability like real needs a powerful downside and some mechanic to mitigate kiting/luring.


Well, the ability isn't really meant to change how you play in any fundamental way. Taking enemies on one by one is as optimal as it usually is. The interesting part would be choosing when not to use it, because even against a single target things can go really wrong, if something else shows up, or if your rolls aren't as good as expected. Just a little dilemma for every fight.

chequers wrote:Also, slaying attention to the damage type of incoming attacks seems a little irritating. Would it encourage people to play any differently?


Yeah, well, I thought it would be fun for the player to pay some attention to what weapons enemies are carrying, but if it isn't too well received, it can be taken out.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 13:06

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

chequers wrote:Nice work!
I like the idea of reap, but I think it will not be too difficult to ensure you only fight one monster at a time due to kiting and luring. An ability like real needs a powerful downside and some mechanic to mitigate kiting/luring.

Perhaps reap could have a chance of activating on any turn when a valid target is in LOF? (Not LOS, since we presumably don't want it passively activating through grates and glass.)

This would serve as both a potent downside and as an anti-kiting/luring measure. Building a species around an effect similar to the obsidian axe seems like it could be interesting, anyway.


edit: Thinking about how this would play out, it would probably serve to encourage players to lure at every opportunity to reduce their chance of being pulled into a noisy mesmerise spiral. Passive mesmerise chance probably isn't the way to go.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 13:26

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Implojin wrote:
chequers wrote:Nice work!
I like the idea of reap, but I think it will not be too difficult to ensure you only fight one monster at a time due to kiting and luring. An ability like real needs a powerful downside and some mechanic to mitigate kiting/luring.

Perhaps reap could have a chance of activating on any turn when a valid target is in LOF? (Not LOS, since we presumably don't want it passively activating through grates and glass.)

This would serve as both a potent downside and as an anti-kiting/luring measure. Building a species around an effect similar to the obsidian axe seems like it could be interesting, anyway.


edit: Thinking about how this would play out, it would probably serve to encourage players to lure at every opportunity to reduce their chance of being pulled into a noisy mesmerise spiral. Passive mesmerise chance probably isn't the way to go.


Yeah, I explicitly wanted to avoid that. After playing a couple skeleton games, I think it works well as a free to use active. Skeleton is weak by default, so Reap does not need a huge drawback.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 16:09

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I thought of a charms spells a few weeks ago that trades mesmerization for a strong defensive benefit, probably involving monsters losing their turns or being forced to move towards you similar to Sil's song of mastery, but with the drawback of mesmerization. It's intesresting to see that proposed for a species, though. To be honest, it seems like the species would be really hard to balance, since either the special ability would kill you, or it would be so powerful as to not matter.

I also love the idea of a fragile species that gets strong mitigation, or other strengths to make up for it, though. VS, Gr, Te, DE and Sp fill this role now, but only DE lacks any sort of significant defensive advantage. I'd like to see a species with low HP that is pushed towards melee combat, but doesn't have any kind of traditional form of mitigation, like AC, EV or movement speed.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 19:12

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I'll also chime in against the slash/blunt resistances/weakness. A few reasons why:

  1. It's a distinction that's otherwise ignored by the game, besides hydras. While it's generally pretty intuitive to know whether something is slashing or blunt, I agree with nago that the cognitive load it adds isn't worth it.
  2. While I play tiles, I've gotten the impression from other discussions here that telling what weapons enemies have can be kind of a pain in console, in which case having to check what weapon every single enemy you encounter is wielding could be awful for console players.
  3. Existing summoned skeletons don't have a similar weakness. While player species/enemy parity isn't always essential in DCSS, with this being such a flavor- and convention-driven mechanic I think it could be very misleading for player skeletons to have this resistance but summoned skeletons or random enemy skeletons to not have it.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 19:14

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Quazifuji wrote:I'll also chime in against the slash/blunt resistances/weakness. A few reasons why:

  1. It's a distinction that's otherwise ignored by the game, besides hydras. While it's generally pretty intuitive to know whether something is slashing or blunt, I agree with nago that the cognitive load it adds isn't worth it.
  2. While I play tiles, I've gotten the impression from other discussions here that telling what weapons enemies have can be kind of a pain in console, in which case having to check what weapon every single enemy you encounter is wielding could be awful for console players.
  3. Existing summoned skeletons don't have a similar weakness. While player species/enemy parity isn't always essential in DCSS, with this being such a flavor- and convention-driven mechanic I think it could be very misleading for player skeletons to have this resistance but summoned skeletons or random enemy skeletons to not have it.


Three fantastic points. I'm taking out that intrinsic as we speak.

I'm tempted to add a mechanic only for cheese/flavour and have Scythes deal a bunch of extra damage while reaping, because why not.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2017, 19:28

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

It's surprising to see that the spooky skeleton species has a -3 necromancy aptitude.

Anyway, the overall aptitude spread seems pretty flat, with the highest being +1, which doesn't really make for an exciting race(see:Barachians) even if they have a nice gimmick.

Maybe have like Armour +3, shields +2, it wouldn't really be huge buff seeing as skeletons already have enough drawbacks that having a few high aptitude areas wouldn't hurt and make it more differentiated.
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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 08:53

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Vajrapani wrote:It's surprising to see that the spooky skeleton species has a -3 necromancy aptitude.

Anyway, the overall aptitude spread seems pretty flat, with the highest being +1, which doesn't really make for an exciting race(see:Barachians) even if they have a nice gimmick.

Maybe have like Armour +3, shields +2, it wouldn't really be huge buff seeing as skeletons already have enough drawbacks that having a few high aptitude areas wouldn't hurt and make it more differentiated.


Good point. I've been thinking about unflattening the apts myself (since my early tests show that Skele is indeed a bit of a challenge race, it's very easy to die with it). I'm not sure what exactly to raise for a flavourful skeleton.

I think very high Shields is interesting because almost every RPG I can think of that has skeletons has them wearing shields; armour is a bit less common. Shields +3 armour +1 sounds like a good start.

Weapon wise, I might get swords and axes to +2. Are these the most thematic weapons for a skeleton?

On a side note: How would you all feel about the resistances if Skele only had +20% resistance against Pierce and Slash, and no weakness to bludgeon? Would it have the same issue?
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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 09:18

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Steel Neuron wrote:On a side note: How would you all feel about the resistances if Skele only had +20% resistance against Pierce and Slash, and no weakness to bludgeon? Would it have the same issue?

Unfortunately yes, because console players would have to check if the monsters had bladed weapons to not miss out on the 20% resistance.

One nice solution is to give a warning when a creature with a bladed weapon comes into LOS. I dunno how hard it is to implement that, though.

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 13:17

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

From a few different threads, I think people have come to badly misunderstand what makes "flat apts" desirable on a species -- it seems like most people are understanding it as "+0 apts across the board are best" (very incorrect) or "all aptitudes being identical is best" (closer, but still incorrect). The argument is actually that aptitudes for similar things should be quite similar or equal -- for example, if a species has +2 to one melee weapon, they might as well have +2 to all melee weapons, because there's no good reason to force players into playing with only one class of melee weapons. The idea stands in contrast to the premise that adding slight differences in aptitudes for similar things increases interest -- e.g. +0 Air/Earth/Ice/Fire is less interesting than +1 Air, -1 Earth, +0 Ice/Fire. I won't offer the argument in favor of that viewpoint, because I don't believe a good argument for it exists.

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 13:27

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Lasty wrote:From a few different threads, I think people have come to badly misunderstand what makes "flat apts" desirable on a species -- it seems like most people are understanding it as "+0 apts across the board are best" (very incorrect) or "all aptitudes being identical is best" (closer, but still incorrect). The argument is actually that aptitudes for similar things should be quite similar or equal -- for example, if a species has +2 to one melee weapon, they might as well have +2 to all melee weapons, because there's no good reason to force players into playing with only one class of melee weapons. The idea stands in contrast to the premise that adding slight differences in aptitudes for similar things increases interest -- e.g. +0 Air/Earth/Ice/Fire is less interesting than +1 Air, -1 Earth, +0 Ice/Fire. I won't offer the argument in favor of that viewpoint, because I don't believe a good argument for it exists.


Interesting :)

How do you think that applies to this species? Any thoughts on the aptitude chart? I'm thinking of upping short blades and staves to +1 to make all melee and ranged weapons equal (with UC, throwing and slings being the only ones that fall behind).

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 14:16

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

FWIW I think it's Ok for aptititudes to push you *away* from a single weapon class, I don't even think it's terrible to be pigeonholed into a single weapon class, (e.x. merfolk or old ogre) but you have to recognize that power level comes from the *best* weapon class and from the *best combination* of spell schools, not from the overall aptititude chart.

The effects of having a single weapon school that's much better aptitude than the rest is to slightly slow down the rate at which you're likely to find a weapon worth using in the early/mid game, it has little to no effect on the later game weapon pickups at all (Since once you have 15-18 in a weapon skill you're unlikely to switch categories, regardless of aptitude)

The effect of having only a few, or all but one, weapon type being 'the best' or 'close to the best' are even smaller on a races power level.

Note that "short blades" are functionally a different thing than the other weapon categories, having a high short blades isn't exactly the same as having a high say, axes or polearms. Unarmed also follows a different curve than most of the other weapon categories, it has mostly the same use, but not the same power curve.
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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 14:45

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Steel Neuron wrote:Reap will immediately target the next closest living creature, and it will continue to target enemies until nothing in LOS remains alive.

This sounds like it has a nasty interaction with plants, given how they tend to be distributed. Should probably exclude them too.

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 15:00

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Hurkyl wrote:
Steel Neuron wrote:Reap will immediately target the next closest living creature, and it will continue to target enemies until nothing in LOS remains alive.

This sounds like it has a nasty interaction with plants, given how they tend to be distributed. Should probably exclude them too.


Yeah, those are (or should be) excluded for sure. Funny mental image though.

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 19:08

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

In this species, I don't see the value of the following apt choices:

Most melee +1, staves +0, short blades +0: what's interesting about being very slightly less good at two seemingly-random weapon types?
Slings -2, bows +1, crossbows +1: why shouldn't skeletons want to use slings?
Stealth -2: I get this thematically, but is there a gameplay reason that skeletons should have a hard time avoiding being spotted? Is it part of the glass cannon goal, or a way to increase the threat level of being mesmerized, or something else?
Most non-elemental magic -3, Hexes -2: why are they very slightly better at hexes than other "subtle" magic?
Evocations +1: this doesn't feel particularly thematic, but I could see an argument that this similar enough to making conjurations +1 that it makes sense. I would have expected this to be a negative number for theme and in keeping with their low flexibility of different effects in magic, probably -3 like Summoning.

Overall, I think you've found an interesting mechanical idea for this species: a low-hp, high-defense species that has a built-in berserk-like effect. I think you've made smart choices in making this ability always available but always risky; I'm not certain you've differentiated it enough from berserk. I think you'll have to ensure that these play out meaningfully differently than GrBe, but overall I think it's worth testing out.

A little quibble about the theme: you claim that they're mindless constructs, but they have Int, they can cast spells, and they can worship gods. That all seems contradictory to me. I would suggest that you come up with a way to explain why they do have minds than try to explain that they secretly don't.

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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 21:47

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Lasty wrote:In this species, I don't see the value of the following apt choices:


Thanks for taking an in depth look :). With the context of what you said before, I agree with you.

Lasty wrote:Most melee +1, staves +0, short blades +0: what's interesting about being very slightly less good at two seemingly-random weapon types?


Yep, there's no value to it. I was just going with some vague flavour ideas, but I'll normalize all weapons to +1.

Lasty wrote:Slings -2, bows +1, crossbows +1: why shouldn't skeletons want to use slings?


I could picture lots of skeletons in other games using bows and crossbows, but not slings, but then again how many fantasy races do you see using slings? Agreed, slings will get +1.

Lasty wrote:Stealth -2: I get this thematically, but is there a gameplay reason that skeletons should have a hard time avoiding being spotted? Is it part of the glass cannon goal, or a way to increase the threat level of being mesmerized, or something else?


As you said, it works thematically, but I also think it has gameplay value. A high stealth apt would help counteract the drawback of Reap, so it's good that it isn't easily accessible. It also helps differentiate Skeleton from other undead species, since they are all good at stealth (relative to their other apts anyway).

Lasty wrote:Most non-elemental magic -3, Hexes -2: why are they very slightly better at hexes than other "subtle" magic?


Again, vague flavour consideration. It has no value, so I will take Hexes down to -3.

Lasty wrote:Evocations +1: this doesn't feel particularly thematic, but I could see an argument that this similar enough to making conjurations +1 that it makes sense. I would have expected this to be a negative number for theme and in keeping with their low flexibility of different effects in magic, probably -3 like Summoning.


I just imagined that being magical beings themselves they would be ok at evocations, but you have a good point in that it bypasses their ineptitude with "Subtle" magic. I will take it down to -1.

Lasty wrote:Overall, I think you've found an interesting mechanical idea for this species: a low-hp, high-defense species that has a built-in berserk-like effect. I think you've made smart choices in making this ability always available but always risky; I'm not certain you've differentiated it enough from berserk. I think you'll have to ensure that these play out meaningfully differently than GrBe, but overall I think it's worth testing out.


I'm glad to hear you don't think it's DOA. As for Reap, I feel it plays different to berserk in practice. Used correctly it has virtually no cost, but its effect is more subdued than berserk, especially in the context of a weak species. It gains flexibility in some areas (by applying to spells and ranged) and loses in others (by not being useful for escape). Still, I will play some GrBe and see how they compare.

Lasty wrote:A little quibble about the theme: you claim that they're mindless constructs, but they have Int, they can cast spells, and they can worship gods. That all seems contradictory to me. I would suggest that you come up with a way to explain why they do have minds than try to explain that they secretly don't.


That's a good point. A direction I could take it would be to say that they're not mindless; they can be intelligent but their mind is very specialized, as it only cares about destruction. Skeletons don't necessarily lack intellect, but creativity and subtlety, which makes them bad at the more elevated schools of magic and communicating with the gods. Being inherently magical beings though, they have good Spellcasting.
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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 22:09

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Steel Neuron wrote:That's a good point. A direction I could take it would be to say that they're not mindless; they can be intelligent but their mind is very specialized, as it only cares about destruction. Skeletons don't necessarily lack intellect, but creativity and subtlety, which makes them bad at the more elevated schools of magic and communicating with the gods. Being inherently magical beings though, they have good Spellcasting.

How attached are you to the name Skeleton? There are a lot of skeletons in the game and this species would be quite different from them. How about Ghast? Lovecraftian ghasts have hooved legs so that would explain the lack of stealth :)
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Post Monday, 27th February 2017, 23:28

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Lasty wrote:In this species, I don't see the value of the following apt choices:

Most melee +1, staves +0, short blades +0: what's interesting about being very slightly less good at two seemingly-random weapon types?

But the -1 unarmed combat is fine? If anything they should be excellent at unarmed since they're hitting enemies with solid bone - none of that flesh to soften the blows, and they don't have to worry about any bruising. One of the reasons punching people hurts so much is you typically hit them with your knuckles, aka, the boniest part of your hand.

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 00:35

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Theme-wise I could see it going either way: what you said, or their bones are too brittle, like SteelNeuron said. In terms of gameplay, UC is different enough from weapon combat that having it be a different number is often justifiable.

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 08:14

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Lasty wrote:Theme-wise I could see it going either way: what you said, or their bones are too brittle, like SteelNeuron said. In terms of gameplay, UC is different enough from weapon combat that having it be a different number is often justifiable.


I think I'll keep low UC and throwing, because I want to convey the idea that they are not natural fighters, they are just good at using gear (weapons, armour and shields in particular). Amour gets a lot easier to wear when you don't have flesh for it to pinch and aren't all sweaty from it ;).

Updated the apt chart after your feedback Lasty. I've done everything we discussed, then placed some more emphasis on armour and shields.

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Post Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 15:24

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

1. Make Reap give clarity as well. It's both thematic and useful which is a nice combination
2. Have it raise the slain foe as a weak generic skeleton (maybe "pile of bones" and "large pile of bones" to make it match the typical crawl meaning of Reaping and give you some recourse against giant swarms of monsters.
3. I'd maybe give them -1 LOS as well? It's mitigating, but also risky if more enemies enter LOS.
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Post Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 16:47

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

As currently implemented, I think Reap might become strictly a buff in the later game, when the smaller HP pool is less of an issue and the player has access to plenty of consumables and good armour.

I wonder if adding a hp-on-kills effect and making Reap be the only way skeletons can regen HP might be interesting. All the other undead have special cases around HP regen, so it fits the theme. Let it work against everything, or everything but undead, perhaps (flavor: you're in a trance that drains the animating force of the monster).

It raises the popcorn farm issue, but no more so than vampires, or DD^Makhleb.

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Friday, 3rd March 2017, 04:10

Post Friday, 3rd March 2017, 04:11

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Please god someone tell a non-coder how I can play this right now. Long time player first time poster - this species sounds like SO MUCH FUN.

I need to try it tonight. I will exchange sexual favors for plain English of how I can enable skele's as a race.

Mines Malingerer

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Joined: Thursday, 6th October 2016, 15:14

Post Friday, 3rd March 2017, 11:49

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

He has a link: https://github.com/PabloMansanet/crawl/tree/skeleton

Download that somewhere on your computer, read and follow instructions here: https://github.com/PabloMansanet/crawl/ ... NSTALL.txt

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shping

Halls Hopper

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Joined: Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 21:44

Post Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 07:50

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Because this species doesn't have a home yet, with SteelNeuron's permission skeletons have been adopted into Yiuf's Home! (adopted for how long? dunno! the newgame menu only has room for so many species on it :mrgreen:)

You can now play online at https://crawl.project357.org/ by selecting "Yiufcrawl",
or download a compiled binary executable at https://github.com/yrmvgh/crawl/releases

Image
Yiufcrawl, a dcss fork with extra species
Pu, LO, HE, SE, "MD", Im, ST, BK, viewtopic.php?f=17&t=23209

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Steel Neuron

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 08:08

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

shping wrote:Because this species doesn't have a home yet, with SteelNeuron's permission skeletons have been adopted into Yiuf's Home! (adopted for how long? dunno! the newgame menu only has room for so many species on it :mrgreen:)

You can now play online at https://crawl.project357.org/ by selecting "Yiufcrawl",
or download a compiled binary executable at https://github.com/yrmvgh/crawl/releases

Image


That's awesome!! Thank you shping :) I'm going to be playing it ASAP

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 11:15

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Thought: Reap could be passive instead of active, and trigger as soon as you harm a living being.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Joined: Sunday, 18th December 2011, 13:31

Post Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 22:20

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Please don't, that would be extremely annoying, as it would force you to kite every enemy, including popcorn to safe area
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Steel Neuron

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 9th March 2017, 08:07

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

nago wrote:Please don't, that would be extremely annoying, as it would force you to kite every enemy, including popcorn to safe area


Yeah, good point. It was just a thought experiment :)

Halls Hopper

Posts: 60

Joined: Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 21:44

Post Thursday, 9th March 2017, 08:51

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I like the flavor on these skeletons, but I think they might need a mechanics overhaul.

Reaping mostly just remixes existing things, borrowing damage shaving from DD and combat skill boost from Oka.
I'd rather see it steer intentionally away from existing territory:
* Instead of a skill boost (oka) or an additive damage boost (might/berserk), how about a multiplicative damage boost? One level of Conj boost, and 15% additional weapon damage? aka almost vorpal, but stacks with vorpal
* Instead of damage shaving (dd) or natural racial ac (allthespecies) how about just reducing incoming damage by some percentage. That way Skeletons get very little benefit against the swarms of small things that DD and high-AC characters can ignore, but suffer slightly less alarming HP drops when clubbed by ogres.

Then we get to the problem where Reap is a pre-combat buff in a world where devs are generally trying to replace or remove pre-combat buffs. Imagine a skeleton of okawaru trying to hide precisely X+1 tiles around a corner and then shouting, then activating X buffs from spells, god, evokables, and species... not pretty. Granted the skeleton only adds 1 ability to that list but...

... the ability doesn't have a super high cost right now. If you want to fight, reap has big benefits. Therefore, you want to reap. You're half-naked without it! If you want to flee, don't activate reap. If you don't know whether to fight or flee, well for sure don't activate reap and charge in there, either get more info or lure the ones you can see, then reap.

Activating it from the ability menu
every
dang
time
gets a little tedious, so the automatic reaping doesn't sound all too crazy. Perhaps it could be an automatic reap, and then after one kill you have the option to be "satisfied" with that kill and break free, or keep reaping.

But by the same token, perhaps the "automatic" trigger could prompt you in the message area, like ?acq and Ru do. Instead of being a pre-combat buff, like berserk, it would be a reaction. If you're at full HP, and you take damage, you get a single Y/N prompt. "Something hits you! Does this make you super angry?" Yes = reap, No = you seethe, but keep your cool so you can do other stuff.
Yiufcrawl, a dcss fork with extra species
Pu, LO, HE, SE, "MD", Im, ST, BK, viewtopic.php?f=17&t=23209

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Thursday, 9th March 2017, 09:37

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

Another thought: How about we invert the dynamics completely.

Skeletons get mesmerised towards living targets on sight. However, they have an active ability that let them break mesmerisation at a cost (preferably instant HP loss as it would discourage using it once the fight goes wrong, or perhaps drain).

Obviously this would turn skeletons into a hell of a challenge species.

Dungeon Dilettante

Posts: 2

Joined: Friday, 10th March 2017, 15:59

Post Friday, 10th March 2017, 16:39

Re: Playable skeleton species! (Branch inside)

I wanted to pop in to thank you for working on this after getting a skelly of Oka (https://crawl.project357.org/morgue/buttes/buttes.txt) to five runes.

What I really like about this class is that it eliminates so many of the things I find off-putting about this game (without making me pay the mummy aptitude fee):

* no food
* no concern for poison or torment
* little concern for mutators
* easier inventory management as a considerable up side to not having access to potions

I haven't actually used reaping too much. It's probably my fault because I picked Oka and heroism usually gets the job done without as much risk. Because DCSS has relatively "spiky" combat, it can be hard to appreciate the value of damage shaving or increased skills, but then you have this extremely visible downside of not being able to easily disengage. I only used it when I was stairdancing some critters or I had very limited LOS, which I admit isn't in keeping with the spirit proposed for gameplay with this species.

To compound this I found boots of running, which makes giving up moving away from a confrontation a tough sell.

I notice though that I can get my skills well above 27 with reaping and heroism. Again it's hard to tell just by playing whether this is good -- it might always be checked as min(skill, 27) for all I know. It's intriguing, though.

I wonder if reaping could give a more immediately-visible but roughly comparable benefit like +slaying for each victim or heals on kill? Still steps on various other aspects of the game, but it might make the cost/benefit more clear.

I'm tempted to recommend some nerfs to the aptitudes but I had unbelievable luck with artifacts this game and picked an easy path for god and skilling, so my subjective experience is maybe not broadly applicable.

* That said, maybe -3 fighting to lean into the glass cannon thing a little more
* I'd like to see +2 bows, for flavor and because I think shields are really good for this species so it would present an interesting fork in the skilling path
* Even-ish necromancy? Just seems right. I found an eveningstar of pain, thought "h*ck yeah!", then checked my aptitudes and frowned
* According to my highly scientific research google image searching "skeleton warrior", long blades and maces should have better aptitudes than the other weapon classes

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