New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer


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ACG

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 05:27

New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

This is a god idea that I have been tossing around for some time. I first posted it in a slightly different form on the Consolidated Gods page, but it received no comments there, so I finally decided to make a thread about it here in the hopes of getting some feedback. I have made some changes from the original proposal.

The description of this god is as follows:

Balor the Dreamer is a slumbering deity who desires only to sleep in peace. Those that choose to enter into his dreams would be advised to tread lightly, as Balor does not enjoy being disturbed. Followers that can avoid waking the dreamer will have the privilege of watching as the lines between dreams and reality are blurred, and Balor's dream becomes indistinguishable from the "real" world. As they slip deeper into the dream, followers of Balor gain Line of Sight reduction while retaining information about their surroundings, and additionally enjoy random ephemeral dream characters and items that fade in and out of reality. At higher levels of piety, they can even begin to take control of the dream themselves.

Racial Restrictions
Demigods may not follow Balor (or any other god).

Appreciates
- Not being disturbed (small constant piety gain tied to experience gain)
- You or your allies killing loud monsters has a chance to grant piety.

Deprecates
- Small piety loss whenever a loud noise is made by something other than you, proportional to loudness of noise.
- Large piety loss when you make a loud noise (even inadvertently)

Given Abilities

Piety ()

(Passive): Balor's dreams occasionally result in friendly summons, or in the creation of temporary dream equipment.
A friendly [monster name] wanders into your dream environment
You notice a [item name]. Was that here before?

(Active): You can pray to invoke silence. Thematically, Balor casts silence on you to shut you up so he can get back to sleep. You pay piety because Balor is irritated at you for disturbing him. He will also cast silence on you when you first convert to him, though this first silencing will not cost piety. (Cost: Moderate amount of Piety)
Balor mumbles, 'Shut up mortal, and leave me alone!'

Piety (*)

(Passive): LOS is reduced by 1 rank.
Your surroundings become darker as your dream focus narrows.

Piety (**)

(Passive): LOS is reduced by 1 additional rank.
Your surroundings become darker as your dream focus narrows.

Piety (***)

(Passive): LOS is reduced by 1 additional rank.
Your surroundings become darker as your dream focus narrows.

(Passive): You can detect terrain and monsters up to 2 spaces beyond your line of sight.
Your awareness of the dream expands.

Piety (****)

(Passive): You gain clarity, flight, and teleport control.
You feel lucid.

Piety (*****)

No new abilities.

Piety (******)

(Active): Reality Check - You can slip into a dream-within-a-dream for a short amount of time. (Cost: Large amount of Piety)
You feel as though you can slip deeper into the dream.

Detailed explanation of abilities:

LOS reduction with detection of terrain
The first three ranks of Balor's piety result in LOS reduction, which is tremendously helpful for stealth oriented characters (see "Reason for Proposal" below). At the third rank, Balor gives characters the unique ability to "see" two spaces beyond their (reduced) line of sight; it is basically like normal sight, except that it only goes one way. Obviously, followers of Balor still cannot target things beyond their line of sight, but they know that they're there. This ability is the main benefit of worshiping Balor, as it makes it easier for players to avoid undesired encounters. It also lets stealth characters plan their assassinations more effectively.

Dream Monsters and equipment
Balor will randomly gift friendly creatures and/or equipment to his worshipers. However, all such gifts are temporary (the idea is that they are part of a dream). Friendly creatures will always be of the silent variety (i.e. monsters that don't make noise), and are not considered to be summoned, even though they will time out after a while. Gifted weapons will always be short blades (suitable for stabbing) or blowguns/needles, and will usually have useful brands. Gifted armor will always be light and will not hinder attacks or spellcasting. Dream armor may be put on over normal armor (since otherwise it could leave the player very vulnerable when it vanishes), in which case the two armors do not stack, but the normal armor is instantly re-equipped when the dream armor vanishes. All dream items will have the "dream" ego to indicate that they will vanish after a while (and, in the case of dream armor, that they can be placed over regular armor).

Clarity, Flight, and Teleport Control
Clarity and Teleport Control need no explanation. Flight is permanent, meaning that once the player gains level 4 piety, he will be flying until his piety drops below 4 (i.e. it is not invokable, it is intrinsic.)

Reality Check
This is the most complicated ability that Balor has, and possibly the most controversial. I am interested especially in feedback on this. Basically, for a large amount of piety, the player can create a checkpoint to which he may return at any point during a limited period of time. Thematically, the player slips into a dream within a dream, from which he can awaken if things get too dangerous. Mechanically, it works like this:
1. Player invokes reality check, expending a large amount of piety. The game records its state, as though it were making a save file.
2. For the next X many turns, player has the Metadream status (or some other appropriate label for the condition).
3. While player has the Metadream status, if he dies or chooses to activate his "awaken" ability, he returns to the "save file" that was created when he invoked reality check. The piety he spent to do this is not refunded (so if he decides to reality check again, he will have even less piety, and thus cannot simply reality check forever). (You wake up! It was just a dream!)
4. Otherwise, once X many turns have passed, the player loses the Metadream status, and the "save file" created for reality check is deleted.

Basically, reality check gives a player a second chance, but only if he forsees that he may need one in advance.

In-Game Ability Descriptions

Balor will silence you if you disturb him. (Invoke silence)
Reality is limited to a small area around you. (LOS reduction)
You are aware of the broader scope of the dream. (terrain/monster detection)
You are lucid. (clarity, flight, teleport control)
You can briefly slip deeper into the dream. (reality check)

Abandonment and Penance

Balor doesn't really care if his followers abandon him, since he would rather not be disturbed. However, he still remains aware of them, and since they are no longer his followers, he is less inclined to be forgiving of disturbances. Thus, he will only punish you shortly after he is due to give punishment and you make a noise. Hence, if you continue to be silent after abandoning him, his "wrath" will eventually dissipate on its own.

Punishments:
- Casting radius 1 silence on you (“Shut up, mortal! I'm trying to sleep!”)
- Smiting you (Balor lashes out at you for disturbing him!)

Reason for Proposal

Balor fills one very important gap in the pantheon of gods: he is a good god for a stealth - oriented character. I have seen other proposals for stealth gods, but I feel as though they lack flavor. Balor has thematic reasons for the bonuses he provides, and aids stealthy characters while not explicitly boosting their stealth. However, Balor should appeal to more than just stealthy, stabby, assassin types - his LOS reduction is useful for all characters, especially the more frail ones, and he provides useful intrinsics at higher piety. His random dream gifts can be helpful to any character, and his Reality Check gives players a powerful weapon (with a high piety cost and necessity of preparation as safeguards against scumming), as well as the only instance of time travel to the past (of a sort) in the game, which is a unique game mechanic.

Justification for why proposal fits with stated game design philosophy:

"Challenging and random gameplay, with skill making a real difference"
- Balor's powerful LOS reduction and enemy detection abilities are balanced by the difficulty of maintaining them. Many enemies will shout when they notice you, which will quickly drain your piety if you are not careful. Thus, playing with Balor as your god is challenging and requires skilled play to be successful, satisfying the requirement of challenging, skilled gameplay. Balor's dream gifts add some randomness, while encouraging players to make full use of them before they disappear.

"Meaningful Decisions"
- Balor provides the player with more of a meaningful decision with respect to whether or not to engage an enemy that is detected just outside of LOS, or whether to avoid it. Whether or not to use Reality Check is another important meaningful decision, as trivial uses of it will quickly sap the player's piety.

"Avoidance of Grinding/Scumming"
- Balor's abilities cannot be scummed. Since piety gain is tied to experience, players cannot simply stay in one place and wait for their piety to increase. They must go out and risk making noise to try to get their piety up. Though reality check may bring thoughts of savescumming to experienced roguelike players, its high piety cost and limited duration prevent abuse.

"Gameplay supporting painless interface and newbie support; Clarity"
- Balor's abilities do not require spoilers to understand, as they are mechanically fairly simple and intuitive (with the possible exception of Reality Check). Most of his abilities are passive, so newbies do not have to actively use them to enjoy their benefits. Reality check is a little complicated, but should be explainable, and is also a very helpful ability for newbies, who may not be sure how to beat a powerful monster, and can use Reality Check as a sort of "sandbox" mode to test out an idea.

"Internal Consistency"
- Balor's abilities and punishments are internally consistent. Just because he is a god for stealthy characters doesn't mean he penalizes stealth for those that desert or anger him - rather, in keeping with his theme, he simply punishes disturbances, just in harsher ways. His abilities all fit with the theme of dreaming - in a dream, a person's focus narrows sharply so that they are only aware of a few things at a time, hence the substantial LOS reduction. Lucid dreamers gain great abilities in their dreams, the most common of which are flight and teleportation (clarity is given because they are lucid). And if you die in a dream, you just wake up, which is what happens with Reality Check.

"Replayability"
- Balor adds to the replayability of the game by offering another sort of play style.

"Proper use of Out of Depth Monsters"
- Okay, not really sure this principle is applicable to a god proposal...so let's just ignore it.

Thematic Explanation of God
The basic idea behind Balor is that he has been dreaming for eternity, and that the "real" world experienced by the characters of Dungeon Crawl is somehow a part of his dream. This does not put him in any way "above" the other gods, as gods exist outside of reality; he is just another member of the pantheon. He is, for the most part, unaware of the goings on in the world, unless you make yourself known to him by praying at his altar. By doing this, you enter into his awareness, which is good because many of his dream effects begin to occur around you, but is also bad because it is now possible for you to draw his attention (and possibly his wrath). Balor wants a peaceful, quiet dream, and so you have to remain as silent as possible; obviously, this is a god for characters willing to invest in stealth. However, even if you do wake up some noisy monsters, you can quickly atone for it by slaughtering them before they can make too much of a racket; Balor appreciates those who prevent others from disturbing him. Balor does not mind very small amounts of noise, such as the (whispered) reading of a scroll; it is the larger, more disruptive noises that he objects to. And any attempt to communicate with him (i.e. praying) will be met with silence - quite literally.


I would love to hear the suggestions of the community on this god, and am open to constructive criticism, and to making any needed modifications to this god. Regrettably, I have no experience coding features for Crawl.

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Laraso, Lokkij
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 06:20

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I think the lack of a stealth god is sort of intentional. It's been said that the best gods are "perpendicular" to your character's normal development.

Since you already brought up the design goals:
ACG wrote:"Meaningful Decisions"
- Balor provides the player with more of a meaningful decision with respect to whether or not to engage an enemy that is detected just outside of LOS, or whether to avoid it. Whether or not to use Reality Check is another important meaningful decision, as trivial uses of it will quickly sap the player's piety.

ACG wrote:"Replayability"
- Balor adds to the replayability of the game by offering another sort of play style.
Yes, but what if this god trivializes the other possible choices for enchanter gods? Currently, SpEn has the best relationship to gods in the game - basically all the gods are viable and none are an obvious "correct" choice. Stealth characters would be significantly less replayable if Balor became a dominant strategy, and I think any god this narrow would be either dominant or useless.

There's lots of other small problems (Not enough abilities, Teleport Control is OP, most abilities are things which have been stated to be hard to implement.), but I think tailoring toward stealth characters is the main error. Note that most of the gods with a really narrow focus - like Vehumet or Trog, were grandfathered in.

I do like the theme though. I tried to put together a dream god proposal myself, but I found most of the possible abilities overlapped with Ashenzari or Xom.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 07:34

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

First of all, silence kills stealth. Also, Ashenzari exists for stabbers. Also I like the final ability, but it looks way to wimilar to a felid life - you are given a second try when you accumulate enough xp. Permanent flight is actually not always desirable - meet a blizzard demon or a titan and get screwed :) The wrath is also non-existent - why should you start making noise if you avoided it before?

The loudless piety gaing seems as an ok idea for a random god though.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 07:58

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

not sure why you're creating another version of ash....

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 08:00

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

First of all:I love the flavour! It's pretty original, and really adds something to your proposal.

The problems I see:
- Teleport control might be too strong
- As onton mentioned, flight is not always beneficial. Maybe there should be an option to 'wake up from your lucid dream' momentarily to lose flight + clarity (+ cTele if it stays in)?
- Will the vision beyond LOS work like Ashenzari's power? Or will your LOS just be expanded without expanding monster LOS (which might be too strong)?
- Besides stabbers, there's not much reason for other types of characters to worship this god. For casters, it'd be a dreadful god (spell noise, LOS reduction, silence wrath), and for melee fighters, reality check would be the only reason to join him, although with some modifications I think we could make it a good god for melee fighters as well.
- Minor detail: might make the nightstalker mutation redundant

Besides that though: good proposal! I think it definitely has potential, although new gods very rarely actually get implemented.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 09:10

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Nice god proposal, very thematic and flavorful, though I'm not sure about the mechanics.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 11:07

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I quite like this idea.
One of the main problems I have with gods that support a specific build (Okowaru, Sif Muna) is they are boring and have little to no flavor.
This god has interesting flavor and fills a currently empty niche.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 12:27

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

khalil wrote:One of the main problems I have with gods that support a specific build (Okowaru, Sif Muna)


Man, khalil, I always wonder if I'm even playing the same game as you. Okawaru supports the following specific build: anyone who will ever engage in melee combat, wants free skill levels, or wants gifts. Sif Muna supports the following specific build: anyone who wants to cast several different spells.

If you're going to pick "specific build" gods, at least pick Trog, or Vehumet or Beogh.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 13:19

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

To chime in, I have to agree quite a bit with crate. The only real difference is that the character is that the field of vision is reduced to the characters normal line of vision as a result of the field of vision itself being reduced. I'd also add that playing with the LoS has huge implications since this will make the god very powerful for Melee characters or when dealing with tormentors or what not.

Reality Check is indeed controversial - from what I read it sort of allows you to avoid permadeath (though I assume you can still die if you aren't careful in it). Regardless of having to foresee using it - if you know something may be difficult then you can have this 'get out of jail free' card on hand.

Flavor is nice and all but the mechanics don't seem to hold much promise.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 14:59

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

crate wrote:not sure why you're creating another version of ash....

Davion Fuxa wrote:To chime in, I have to agree quite a bit with crate. The only real difference is that the character is that the field of vision is reduced to the characters normal line of vision as a result of the field of vision itself being reduced.

I disagree. Ashenzari is all about the skill boost, detect terrain/monsters, and XP transfer, with added sInv, clarity and item identification and requires you to curse your equipment.
Balor is all about the silence, LOS reduction (with terrain/monster detection) and reality check, with added flight, clarity and dream gifts. He requires you and surrounding monsters to be silent. Piety seems like a fluctuating resource for him.
The only similarities are terrain/monster detection and clarity. And really, nobody plays Ash just for the detection + clarity (right?).

And now... reality check discussion!
I think it's too complicated and arguably too strong in its current form.
The changes I'd make:
- Firstly, make it give Exhaustion (or something more appropriate flavour-wise) after it ends to prevent spamming it.
- Maybe we could make it something like: make a checkpoint, call to Balor to end the metadream and revert everything to how it was on the checkpoint. If you die, you die. We could also make the invocation to end the dream take multiple turns to make it more balanced.
- Maybe we could make it so you get some kind of debuff because you're so 'dreamy'. Something like slow, or glow, or possibly inflict 'Misled'.

Also: dream gifts! They haven't been mentioned by anyone, and I think they have a few problems but also some potential.
Problems:
- Tedious to equip the dream gift and re-equip whatever you were wearing after the dream gift has expired
- Not actually that useful: you can't rely on them (they appear randomly and expire, and having your crystal plate mail expire in the middle of a fight is.. not good).

Possible solutions:
- Instead of gifts, make the item temporarily replace whatever you're wearing. This remove the tedium and it wouldn't be as bad if something expires in the middle of a fight.
- Make the dream armour a bit like Shroud of Golubria, but with AC/resistance/weapon brands. You would have 'dream armour' cover your regular armour, softening the blows. Same with weapons, but instead of adding AC add a brand (probably replacing the existing one). We could also make a special dream brand.
Last edited by Lokkij on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 15:49, edited 1 time in total.

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ACG, Laraso

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 15:39

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Lasty wrote:
khalil wrote:One of the main problems I have with gods that support a specific build (Okowaru, Sif Muna)


Man, khalil, I always wonder if I'm even playing the same game as you. Okawaru supports the following specific build: anyone who will ever engage in melee combat, wants free skill levels, or wants gifts. Sif Muna supports the following specific build: anyone who wants to cast several different spells.

If you're going to pick "specific build" gods, at least pick Trog, or Vehumet or Beogh.

When I say supports a specific build, I mean that they were designed to support one of the basic roguelike 'classes' (Fighting Man and Magic User respectively) and had the fluff made up after the mechanics, compared to Ash or Jyvia, who were designed to make interesting gods and had the mechanics based around that. (While I do realize Ash is more useful for stabbers and races with low aptitudes, he was designed to make use of curse mechanics instead of to give stabbers and low aptitude races a nice god. Still not sure what Jyvia's good for.)
Sorry if it wasn't clear.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 15:56

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Davion Fuxa wrote:Reality Check is indeed controversial - from what I read it sort of allows you to avoid permadeath (though I assume you can still die if you aren't careful in it). Regardless of having to foresee using it - if you know something may be difficult then you can have this 'get out of jail free' card on hand.


As I read it, Reality Check would basically give you a "do-over" on... well... anything. It seems like it'd be nice before teleroulette or reading acquirement or... well, anything that might have a random component -- because it'd let you try it again for piety.

I can't imagine a cost that would make it non-broken. Severe MaxHP might be a good start, because it's way more powerful than Lucy's self-banishment.

I'm with others in the "great flavor, meh mechanics" boat.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 15:58

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Lokkij wrote:The only similarities are terrain/monster detection and clarity. And really, nobody plays Ash just for the detection + clarity (right?).

um I believe every single **En who picks ash is doing so for the detection (if not then they're picking the wrong god; En doesn't need xp. In fact En has so much xp to spare that they can skip very many monsters and still have an xp-demanding god like Nemelex be one of the best choices)
and somehow Ash is commonly cited as an extremely good god for En

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 16:07

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Maybe we could make it only affect certain things, like movement or HP. That'd make it a lot more balanced, although I agree should be a lot higher. Maybe it could be a 'final ability', like TSO/Kiku/Lugonu? Have it heavily damage and/or disable you when you wake from the metadream? Have it drain you HP/MP while in the metadream and require you to invoke (which would take >1 turns) to 'wake up' (and it wouldn't activate on death)? Or just a maxHP cost as njvack suggests, although I'm not a fan of that, and I'm sure we can come up with something more interesting (and more fitting flavour-wise). Also, the maxHP cost from self-banishment is now gone, so it wouldn't have to be that severe.
Last edited by Lokkij on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 16:11

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I'll pipe in to say that I also, absolutely loved the flavour, especially of "Shut up, mortal, I'm trying to sleep!" Somehow that seems very appropriate for a Crawl god.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 16:45

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Seems easy enough to scum the wrath though, with 1 target silence and smiting unless it just times out in general. If it just times out in general, go to temple or vestibule and wait. If not, go to temple or vestibule; shout/firestorm/shatter/whatever; get wrath and penance counter to tick down; wait until you're full up again and repeat.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 17:01

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Okay, here are some responses and some possible amendments to address issues that others have brought up:

Responses

"Balor is too focused towards stealth characters, and is not useful for others."

Balor is certainly useful for stealth characters, but I think he is also useful for melee characters in general as well. LOS reduction helps all melee-oriented characters by reducing the distance from which ranged enemies can shoot them, and Balor's invokable silence is great against spellcasters. His other abilities are useful for any character. I do agree that he is definitely not a god for those wanting to focus on range or conjurations, but I feel that his utility is broad enough to not be considered a niche god.

"Balor trivializes the choice of god for Enchanters"

Well, I agree that Balor is an excellent and probably default choice for an enchanter player, but I think there is still room for other gods. With the possible exception of Balor's monster detection overlapping a little with Ashenzari's (see amendment 4), Balor's abilities do not really overlap with another god. He is great for stealth, but players that want a bit more flexibility in playstyle may still reasonably choose other gods for their enchanters, to cover other weaknesses.

"Teleport Control is OP"

Maybe. If the consensus is that this is the case, this could be changed or removed. Another possibility is invokable teleport (something that no god currently offers), without the teleport control.

"Silence kills stealth"

Oh, I know. The invokable silence is not intended to aid stealth characters, but it does serve to broaden Balor's appeal beyond stealth-oriented characters. Players that want to avoid disturbing monsters should probably stay clear of this option - don't disturb Balor (by praying) and he won't disturb the monsters (by silencing you). Of course, even for stealth characters this is still useful in a (magical) emergency.

"Reality check is too much like a felid's ability to resurrect"

Maybe. Of course, reality check actually reverses events, rather than merely resurrecting the character, but the game dynamics are similar. See amendment 1 for a possible solution that makes reality check more distinct.

"Balor's wrath is trivial, since it only triggers when you make sounds"

Three responses: First, if you remain quiet after abandoning Balor, then you are basically adhering to his conducts without any of his benefits, so I would say that his wrath is having a non-trivial effect on your gameplay. Second, gods don't necessarily have to have severe wrath effects - Balor's avoidable wrath fits in nicely with his theme of not wanting to be disturbed; why should he care if an irritating follower leaves him? Third, see amendment 2 for a proposal for how to make Balor's wrath more harmful.

"Balor's wrath is easy to scum"
See amendment 2.

"Permanent flight is bad"
Sure. See amendment 3.

"Clarify how expanded LOS works"
The expanded LOS effectively increases your LOS toward its original value (remember, LOS is first reduced, so there is still a net loss of LOS) while not increasing monster LOS.

"Expanded LOS without reciprocal monster gains is OP."
Perhaps. If you feel this is the case, check out amendments 4 and 5.

"This makes the nightstalker mutation redundant"
Yes, it does. I don't think this is really an issue, though - there are plenty of god abilities that make mutations and items redundant.

"Reality check is OP"
Let's figure out a way to fix it. See amendments proposed by Lokkij and myself. I am not in favor of any permanent reduction to HP or MP as a balancing cost, however.

Lokkij's proposed amendments to reality check

"Give reality check exhaustion after it ends to avoid spamming it"
Sure! This is a great idea.

"If you die in reality check, you are dead"
I have no objections to this modification, save that it goes a bit against the way death in dreams works. But if it is needed for balance, it sounds like a reasonable change.

"Make reality check take a few turns to come out of"
This reduces the power of reality check quite a bit, so if this were implemented I would probably slightly reduce the piety cost.

"Dreamy debuff while in reality check"
This makes reality check a little less useful as a way to test out a combat plan, so I am uncertain about it. More discussion?

Lokkij's proposed amendments to dream gifts
First off, I agree that dream gifts are a bit fiddly in their current state. Let's see if we can fix that.

"Dream gifts temporarily replace current item wielded or worn"
This could be problematic if the dream gift is not as good as whatever you have at the moment - if your sword is suddenly replaced by an inferior sword in the middle of the battle, it could be bad, especially if the sword had vital egos that you need to survive.

Dream gifts cover regular gifts
I like this idea, and I think it is probably the best way to go for dream gifts. For a more complete explanation of the proposed change, see amendment 6.

Amendments

I would love to hear some opinions on which (if any) of these would improve this proposal for Balor.

1. Change reality check so that players are forced to return to the checkpoint, rather than merely having the option to do so. This would make Reality Check more of a way to experiment with different strategies and less of a way to have a temporary extra life. Basically, when the Metadream status expires, you immediately return to the checkpoint, whether you want to or not. Reality check would still be useful for seeing if a particular strategy is effective against an enemy, scouting some dangerous terrain to figure out if it is safe to traverse, or ID'ing items without consuming them. This amendment would also reduce the piety cost of Reality Check.

2. Balor's wrath triggers not only when you make a noise, but also when monsters nearby make noises. Additionally/alternatively, wrath could involve "nightmares" consisting of hostile dream monsters being randomly summoned, and/or equipment debuffs (if implementing amendment 6).

3. Make flight toggle-able rather than permanent. As an ability, the player could toggle flight on or off.

4. No expanded LOS, but LOS reduction continues for an additional 2 ranks for piety levels **** and *****, giving a final LOS reduction of 5. To prevent exploration from becoming excruciating, player would still have expanded LOS for terrain and items alone (but not monsters). This would also remove the overlap between Ashenzari's ability to detect monsters beyond LOS and Balor's similar ability.

5. Rather than extended LOS detecting the exact type of monster, it merely suggests how dangerous the monster is.

6. Rather than having dream equipment being an actual item, it is simply a temporary bonus to an existing piece of equipment. For example, your sword might temporarily gain a +RC brand, or your helmet might temporarily gain a +2 boost to its enchantment level. So it is not so much that you are gaining dream equipment as that your existing equipment is "dream morphing."

For this message the author ACG has received thanks: 2
Lokkij, red_kangaroo

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 17:24

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Agreed wrath is too weak.

Also I would make the 'dream within a dream' power when activated *always* wake you up (Return you to the point you started dreaming) at some point, so none of whatever you might choose to do during the dream state would count, whether you're successful at what you were trying to achieve or not. I would say the duration of the dream should be randomized and piety based (And end-able early)

It'd allow you to explore, try different strategies, and finally settle on one that you wanted to use and then in the *not* dream state take whatever action you deem appropriate.

This would still be a VERY powerful divination tool but not give you the whole "reward with no risk" thing. Would also be fantastic for players new to some late-game branches to try to figure out how to proceed, or what to expect in an area which would be high risk without foreknowledge.

I also am not certain we need a second divination-based god, and I think some of the powers would need some tweaking to be a little 'broader' in their impact. It's also pretty darn difficult for anyone who is *not* a stabber to avoid making noise, both large melee weapons and high level spells are VERY noisy, so as-is this would be a god anyone other than a stabber would have a LOT of trouble gaining piety with.

Although this does make me want to explore the possibility of going the other way and think about a 'noisy' god, he'd love the singing sword :)
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 17:51

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

First I want to say I'm really happy that you're trying to use criticism to improve your idea. That's nowhere near as common as it should be.

ACG wrote:Well, I agree that Balor is an excellent and probably default choice for an enchanter player, but I think there is still room for other gods.
I don't really think that any "default choice" is a good idea. SpEn right now don't have a "default choice." Pure spellcasting or melee characters don't have a "default choice."
ACG wrote:"Teleport Control is OP"

Maybe. If the consensus is that this is the case, this could be changed or removed. Another possibility is invokable teleport (something that no god currently offers), without the teleport control.
Did you know all forms of permanent teleport control have been removed from Trunk? The mutation is gone, the ring now evokes for the spell's effect, etc. There's already been a big round of nerfs.

3. Make flight toggle-able rather than permanent. As an ability, the player could toggle flight on or off.
I think this is fiddly. Just make it "Walk on Lava or Water" like the Beogh ability.

On reality check, the more I think about it, the more problems arise. On the interface- if you go and look at a dangerous vault, how is that displayed when you get back? What if a monster picks up a weapon off-screen before coming and bashing you with it- IDing it brand? How would the game display this?

Dream equipment would be hard to program and communicate.

I still think there aren't quite enough abilities. I think of Makhleb as the absolute minimum a god should have - more recent gods are much more complex. Balor is around a similar level of complexity, and his abilities don't really inspire as much thought - dream summons and equipment are mostly just random bonuses and lucidness is passive effects of a few pieces of jewelry.
On IRC my nick is reaverb. I play online under the name reaver, though.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 18:15

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Siegurt wrote:It's also pretty darn difficult for anyone who is *not* a stabber to avoid making noise, both large melee weapons and high level spells are VERY noisy, so as-is this would be a god anyone other than a stabber would have a LOT of trouble gaining piety with.

Hm.. maybe he reduce/nullify noise on weapons? I forgot melee weapons also make noise, so it seems to me this is almost a requirement for this god.

ACG wrote: Additionally/alternatively, wrath could involve "nightmares" consisting of hostile dream monsters being randomly summoned

We could make those dream monsters work a bit like the new flayed ghosts: they inflict temporary damage, which goes away as soon as the dream ends. This could also be a good debuff for reality check, although I'm not sure I like it for that purpose.

Siegurt wrote:Also I would make the 'dream within a dream' power when activated *always* wake you up (Return you to the point you started dreaming) at some point, so none of whatever you might choose to do during the dream state would count, whether you're successful at what you were trying to achieve or not. I would say the duration of the dream should be randomized and piety based (And end-able early).
It'd allow you to explore, try different strategies, and finally settle on one that you wanted to use and then in the *not* dream state take whatever action you deem appropriate.

This would definitely make it less powerful. However, I don't think using this ability will actually be fun to use. It would only really be useful for scouting (which is still pretty strong), and as you said, nothing what you would do in the metadream would actually "count". Sure, it'd be helpful to newer players, and to advanced players to scout a branch end (for example), but it removes all tension (you're not going to die and nothing actually counts). It could also be used to ID items without needing to use ?ID or use it, which just adds the tedium of having to remember what was what.

Reaver wrote:On reality check, the more I think about it, the more problems arise. On the interface- if you go and look at a dangerous vault, how is that displayed when you get back? What if a monster picks up a weapon off-screen before coming and bashing you with it- IDing it brand? How would the game display this?

I agree there's still a ton of problems with reality check, but I think the problems you mention could be solved relatively easily. However, because there's still a ton of problems: why not take a completely different direction? We can always think of new cool things to replace reality check (or any other problematic ability) as 'really strong ability'. I'm also pretty sceptical about the devs accepting reality check in any form :(

How about this: It makes all damage you receive work like the new flayed ghosts. It disappears when you kill the damage-dealing monster/the dream ends/you end the dream/some other cool condition occurs. This is still very powerful, and I think it's probably a lot easier to balance.
I know it's completely different, and I'm pretty sure we can somehow 'fix' reality check, but I think it's important to keep an open mind to any new ideas. I know mine isn't that creative and might not work out, but let's hear your ideas! :)

Oh, and to make dream summons more useful/reliable: either make them appear at high tension or let the player summon them. Otherwise it'd just be some random bonus you sometimes had, which is not that fun or useful. To not make them too strong we could also make them use the flay mechanic. (I know, I'm using that mechanic a lot, but I just think it's very fitting for this god. It's also just a cool mechanic)

On a side note: ACG, I really like how you're so expansive, and you try to expand upon criticism to improve your proposal. It really helps your case ;)
Last edited by Lokkij on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.

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ACG

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 18:36

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

these are not organized at all:

Reality check has 2 problems: 1 it's basically felid lives (and look at how they have to pay for that) and 2 it seems to only exist to let you do bad things. If you want it to be "detect monsters" then why not just make it be detect monsters. If you want it to be magic mapping then it should just be magic mapping. I can't think of any other legit uses for it that don't sound like "scum acquirement" and that one is obviously bad.

Your amendment 2 doesn't do anything unless how wrath works is changed, since the "correct" reaction to abandoning this god is to go sit somewhere safe with sustenance on and then mash 5 until you're no longer under wrath, since you will get no wrath effects at all. Making wrath effects more serious just makes this more desirable, not less.

Personally I don't have a problem with forced permaflight but I also feel like monster airstrike shouldn't really be airstrike.

I'm not sure non-reciprocal-los is actually possible in crawl because of how it's coded but this is just a guess since I don't actually read the code.

Detecting terrain but not monsters is kind of awful to deal with, that would annoy me far more than just reduced LOS (you assume that explored spaces were safe at one point during crawl play, but that's not actually true at all with this god if you do that).

Friendly creatures will always be of the silent variety (i.e. monsters that don't make noise), and are not considered to be summoned

What does this mean? If you want non-abjurable that's a different thing entirely from not summoned.

This god is actually completely unusable for non-stabbers depending on how much noise he dislikes--attacking with any (non-dagger?) weapon makes some noise, and the more damage you do the more noise you make. Exec axe melee, troll unarmed melee, blade hands melee, etc. are all very loud, definitely comparable to shouting (which presumably this god dislikes). And most conjuration-like spells make at least some noise, with many being very loud. And you will invariably get a ton of monster noise in any given game unless you stab things (probably this piety loss should go away entirely unless you think that catering only to stabbing is a good idea, since it's not really controllable by the player in other ways).

anyway to me this god is pretty much ash + nightstalker + 1 definitely bad ability + silence and I'm not sure why a god that just mashes together things that already exist in the game should be added
oh right and you get demonic guardian also
so basically this god is ds of ash

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 18:56

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I really like the theme of this. Ages ago I had an (awful) proposal to rework Sif as a silence god, based on her librarian theme (obviously you have to be quiet in a library) but this had a ton of problems. However as a new god this is really intriguing.

Some comments and ideas on specific things:

1. The dream-within-a-dream is a fantastic concept but I do worry about it on a lot of levels. However I'm not keen on Siegurt's proposal either since this makes it a no-op for most players and for a high-level ability there should certainly be significant consequences in the game. Implementation-wise I think the only way to achieve it is by writing an actual save to a different filename then restoring that if and when required. You should prevent leaving the current level; the problem is that the second time around, new floors generated will be completely different, so I think it's better to avoid this problem (perhaps end the dream state on leaving the level). However, yeah, this might just be far too controversial ;) ...Maybe it could be a one-time-only thing upon maxing piety? I'm not sure. Rather than exhaustion, perhaps a long custom time-out, and can only be used once on any given floor, perhaps only once per branch. Why would you be exhausted after sleeping anyway? ;)

2. Not convinced about the LOS reduction -- there are already a few ways to get this effect (spell, item, Ds mutation), it's extremely powerful, but some players also find it really annoying (from Ds feedback). LOS reduction whilst still being able to "see" is even better, and 5 is quite an extreme reduction. I'd prefer to see something unique for the theme - e.g. continually generating "dream clouds" around the edges of LOS ("the walls between reality and the dream world are breaking down"). This would have a LOS effect but not so extreme and things would roil and shift in interesting ways. Not sure if this is the best idea, it's just what came to me as I wrote this. Perhaps you can detect terrain and monsters within the smoke, this conflicts a bit less with Ashenzari (but still somewhat, and it's heavily abusable with certain spells).

3. Punishments - silence seems like a good wrath, although radius 1 might actually help the player more than you realise, for reasons I'll detail in the next point. Another idea is actually making really loud noises - at first glance this doesn't seem to fit with the theme of the god however a) the speech would be "Let's see how YOU like it!" and b) this strongly counters the stealth tactics which worked well whilst following the god. Also, be aware there is a plan to make all god wraths use an XP clock to avoid waiting it out, and to balance wrath effects appropriately so that earlier abandonment is more of an option.

4. On stealth - you mention this god should support stealthy characters, I'm not sure if you're aware that silence is actually a really un-stealthy effect (monsters tend to notice something is up when they can no longer hear themselves breathing). It's mainly useful for shutting down spellcasters at range. Perhaps this god could have a unique form of silence that silences you but doesn't create an aura, so you can actually use it to sneak up on things more stealthily.

5. I definitely think there's a bit much overlap with Ashenzari - both the passive detection/mapping, and clarity. I don't really like clarity here because dreams are usually very confusing places.

6. Flight is very nice I feel. Teleport control is very strong though and if kept should be an invokable ability with a piety cost (like the redesigned cTele ring, but perhaps this version could be good for more than teleport). Maybe a passwall-like ability could be good.

7. Normally, silence will prevent you performing invocations. Perhaps Balor can make an exception for this at higher piety ("You can shape the dream with your thoughts").

8. I'm reminded of the story of some aboriginal(?) tribes that believe that the dream world is the real world, that this world is the dream. Perhaps this could be worked into the flavour, that to Balor the world is a dream and the dream world is the true reality that we should seek to spend as much time in as much as possible.

9. Dream monsters / items, love these.

10. A more thorough idea for a "dream-within-a-dream" ability: "Slipping into the dream world" or "joining Balor in the Dream". Normal monsters become vague smokey apparitions that you can freely walk through, you cannot interact with normal items, there are dream monsters and clouds everywhere; perhaps perma-passwall comes into play, and dream items become much more powerful. Intended mainly as a thematic escape ability that's not entirely guaranteed survival, unless anyone can think of other ways it could be useful.

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ACG, WalkerBoh

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 21:27

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Reducing LOS to 3 (with normal terrain/items detection) is very overpowered. Most of the danger to stabber builds comes from either waking up monsters on approach, or ranged attacks. Any melee build is likewise primarily threatened by ranged attacks/spells, and now they're practically off the table. With polearms you'd only have one radius of tiles that your polearm can't reach. LOS reduction to 6 or possibly even 5 could make sense, but getting any lower than that becomes really strange.

And while it's overpowered in 98% of cases, I feel like there's going to be that 2% of times where you'll walk into a battle and not be able to tell there's so much around you that it'll end up feeling like a cheap death. You'd need telepathy imho, which is then again stepping on ashenzari's abilities.

Also, autoexplore would now declare a level fully explored that may still have monsters you never passed, as you only had to get within 8 tiles of the wall to see it, but miss 4 rows of monsters. You could alternatively require autoexplore to put all tiles within your true LOS (which detects monsters as well) but then you're taking twice as long to move anywhere. The same thing applies to people not using autoexplore, except they just have to keep track manually of what tiles they have "fully" seen and which were just terrain detected.

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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 22:54

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Okay, more responses:

reaver wrote:
ACG wrote:"Teleport Control is OP"

Maybe. If the consensus is that this is the case, this could be changed or removed. Another possibility is invokable teleport (something that no god currently offers), without the teleport control.
Did you know all forms of permanent teleport control have been removed from Trunk? The mutation is gone, the ring now evokes for the spell's effect, etc. There's already been a big round of nerfs.


I did not realize that. If it is extremely OP, then it could be changed; otherwise, it could simply be a unique benefit that can only be obtained by worshiping Balor.

"Non-stabbers make a lot of noise"

Good point. I guess Balor will need to provide his followers with some way to reduce the noise from their own equipment. For one possibility that also improves upon dream equipment, see amendment 7.

"We don't need another divination god."
I would not agree that Balor's focus is divination, but I can certainly see how reality check is useful for gaining information, and his LOS extension similarly gives information without risk.

"Toggle-able flight is fiddly"
I think the circumstances in which you would want to turn off flight are rare enough that it would not be an issue. One of my favorite things about being a vampire is flying around in bat form, and transforming back does not bother me very much (although that might just be a personal preference thing), though it happens much more frequently than this would.

"Recording information learned from Reality Check is annoying"
The game can probably handle a good chunk of this, by keeping track of ID'd items, mapping explored terrain, and generally remembering information that you have learned while in the metadream. There might be some weird side cases like the monster-picking-up-weapon-offscreen-then-bashing-you-with-it scenario that reaver mentions, but I don't think those are common enough to be an issue. The trickiest part is recording the positions of monsters, but I think that could be done.

"Balor does not have enough abilities."
Okay. I am fine with adding some more abilities, or changing existing passive abilities into more active forms.

Lokkij wrote:I agree there's still a ton of problems with reality check, but I think the problems you mention could be solved relatively easily. However, because there's still a ton of problems: why not take a completely different direction? We can always think of new cool things to replace reality check (or any other problematic ability) as 'really strong ability'. I'm also pretty sceptical about the devs accepting reality check in any form.

How about this: It makes all damage you receive work like the new flayed ghosts. It disappears when you kill the damage-dealing monster/the dream ends/you end the dream/some other cool condition occurs. This is still very powerful, and I think it's probably a lot easier to balance.
I know it's completely different, and I'm pretty sure we can somehow 'fix' reality check, but I think it's important to keep an open mind to any new ideas. I know mine isn't that creative and might not work out, but let's hear your ideas!


I really like this proposed change. If Reality Check as a reset button has to be scrapped, I think this would make a nice thematic replacement, perhaps in an even stronger form (see Amendment 8)

"Dream monsters are too random to be useful"

Lokkij wrote:Oh, and to make dream summons more useful/reliable: either make them appear at high tension or let the player summon them. Otherwise it'd just be some random bonus you sometimes had, which is not that fun or useful. To not make them too strong we could also make them use the flay mechanic. (I know, I'm using that mechanic a lot, but I just think it's very fitting for this god. It's also just a cool mechanic)


I think the above quote is a good fix for the above complaint. See amendment 9.

"Detecting terrain but not monsters can be misleading"
See amendment 11, which significantly changes the LOS mechanics, but should eliminate most of the objections that I have seen so far.

"Why not just make the dream monsters non-abjurable summons?"
Good idea, that introduces fewer new mechanics. See amendment 9.

mumra wrote:Some comments and ideas on specific things:

1. The dream-within-a-dream is a fantastic concept but I do worry about it on a lot of levels. However I'm not keen on Siegurt's proposal either since this makes it a no-op for most players and for a high-level ability there should certainly be significant consequences in the game. Implementation-wise I think the only way to achieve it is by writing an actual save to a different filename then restoring that if and when required. You should prevent leaving the current level; the problem is that the second time around, new floors generated will be completely different, so I think it's better to avoid this problem (perhaps end the dream state on leaving the level). However, yeah, this might just be far too controversial ;) ...Maybe it could be a one-time-only thing upon maxing piety? I'm not sure. Rather than exhaustion, perhaps a long custom time-out, and can only be used once on any given floor, perhaps only once per branch. Why would you be exhausted after sleeping anyway? ;)

Yeah, there seem to be more and more issues like this emerging. As much as I like the current formulation of reality check, it may be necessary to change it. See amendment 8.

2. Not convinced about the LOS reduction -- there are already a few ways to get this effect (spell, item, Ds mutation), it's extremely powerful, but some players also find it really annoying (from Ds feedback). LOS reduction whilst still being able to "see" is even better, and 5 is quite an extreme reduction. I'd prefer to see something unique for the theme - e.g. continually generating "dream clouds" around the edges of LOS ("the walls between reality and the dream world are breaking down"). This would have a LOS effect but not so extreme and things would roil and shift in interesting ways. Not sure if this is the best idea, it's just what came to me as I wrote this. Perhaps you can detect terrain and monsters within the smoke, this conflicts a bit less with Ashenzari (but still somewhat, and it's heavily abusable with certain spells).

Tell me what you think of my revised LOS reduction proposal, seen in amendment 11.

3. Punishments - silence seems like a good wrath, although radius 1 might actually help the player more than you realise, for reasons I'll detail in the next point. Another idea is actually making really loud noises - at first glance this doesn't seem to fit with the theme of the god however a) the speech would be "Let's see how YOU like it!" and b) this strongly counters the stealth tactics which worked well whilst following the god. Also, be aware there is a plan to make all god wraths use an XP clock to avoid waiting it out, and to balance wrath effects appropriately so that earlier abandonment is more of an option.

Good point, I hadn't thought about the stealth benefits of radius 1 silence. Not sure how significant it is, but thematically I think Balor doesn't really care enough to silence just the player, so maybe it should just be regular silencing. See amendment 10.

4. On stealth - you mention this god should support stealthy characters, I'm not sure if you're aware that silence is actually a really un-stealthy effect (monsters tend to notice something is up when they can no longer hear themselves breathing). It's mainly useful for shutting down spellcasters at range. Perhaps this god could have a unique form of silence that silences you but doesn't create an aura, so you can actually use it to sneak up on things more stealthily.

Oh, I know that silence is not stealthy. Stealthy characters should avoid praying to Balor except when they really need to. The idea of the unique form of silence is interesting (and looks a lot like the current wrath effect). I'm not sure whether it would help enough to warrant an ability though - does movement actually make that much noise?

5. I definitely think there's a bit much overlap with Ashenzari - both the passive detection/mapping, and clarity. I don't really like clarity here because dreams are usually very confusing places.

The idea with clarity is that the player has become lucid, and is self-aware enough to not be confused. Some of the amendments below should remove any lingering overlap with Ashenzari.

6. Flight is very nice I feel. Teleport control is very strong though and if kept should be an invokable ability with a piety cost (like the redesigned cTele ring, but perhaps this version could be good for more than teleport). Maybe a passwall-like ability could be good.

Passwall is a cool idea, and definitely fits with the lucid dream theme. Still not sure about teleport control, but many people have suggested that it should be invokable, so maybe that is the way to go.

7. Normally, silence will prevent you performing invocations. Perhaps Balor can make an exception for this at higher piety ("You can shape the dream with your thoughts").

Or maybe Balor's invocations are just unaffected by silence - you aren't actually asking Balor to do anything, you are just changing how deep into his dream you are. Good point about shaping dreams with thoughts.

8. I'm reminded of the story of some aboriginal(?) tribes that believe that the dream world is the real world, that this world is the dream. Perhaps this could be worked into the flavour, that to Balor the world is a dream and the dream world is the true reality that we should seek to spend as much time in as much as possible.

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm going for here. The idea is that the world is somehow a part of Balor's dream, which (purposefully) leaves open the question of what reality actually is.

9. Dream monsters / items, love these.

10. A more thorough idea for a "dream-within-a-dream" ability: "Slipping into the dream world" or "joining Balor in the Dream". Normal monsters become vague smokey apparitions that you can freely walk through, you cannot interact with normal items, there are dream monsters and clouds everywhere; perhaps perma-passwall comes into play, and dream items become much more powerful. Intended mainly as a thematic escape ability that's not entirely guaranteed survival, unless anyone can think of other ways it could be useful.

That could be interesting. Not sure if I would want it as a replacement for reality check, but if it is not too powerful it could be an interesting additional power, since others have recommended adding a few more abilities.



tasonir wrote:Reducing LOS to 3 (with normal terrain/items detection) is very overpowered. Most of the danger to stabber builds comes from either waking up monsters on approach, or ranged attacks. Any melee build is likewise primarily threatened by ranged attacks/spells, and now they're practically off the table. With polearms you'd only have one radius of tiles that your polearm can't reach. LOS reduction to 6 or possibly even 5 could make sense, but getting any lower than that becomes really strange.

Okay, what if it is only reduced to a minimum of 4, using the new LOS reduction mechanics mentioned in amendment 11?

And while it's overpowered in 98% of cases, I feel like there's going to be that 2% of times where you'll walk into a battle and not be able to tell there's so much around you that it'll end up feeling like a cheap death. You'd need telepathy imho, which is then again stepping on ashenzari's abilities.

Amendment 11 should address this by giving players more control over their LOS reduction.

Also, autoexplore would now declare a level fully explored that may still have monsters you never passed, as you only had to get within 8 tiles of the wall to see it, but miss 4 rows of monsters. You could alternatively require autoexplore to put all tiles within your true LOS (which detects monsters as well) but then you're taking twice as long to move anywhere. The same thing applies to people not using autoexplore, except they just have to keep track manually of what tiles they have "fully" seen and which were just terrain detected.

Amendment 11 should also address this issue.


Amendments
Once again, these are just possible adjustments. Let me know what you think.

7. Instead of receiving random dream equipment, followers of Balor can, as an ability, give their weapon and/or armor dream qualities temporarily. These qualities consists of the "dream" ego, and an additional random temporary ego, brand, or improvement to its enchantment level.
- Weapons with the dream ego do not make any noise, and receive a small penalty to damage and a small boost to accuracy.
- Weapons that already have a brand do not have the brand replaced by the dream brand, but rather the dream brand is in addition to the regular one. For instance, a sword of flaming could be given a temporary pain brand, and would then have both. A weapon that has two copies of the same brand is considered to have only one.
- Armor with the dream ego has its encumbrance rating reduced by half.

8. Alternate version of reality check: When player uses Reality check, his state is recorded (including current HP, MP, status conditions, etc.), along with the state of every monster. When player loses the Metadream status, his state and the state of every monster still living is restored.

For instance, suppose Bob has full health and MP and uses Reality Check before attacking three titans, each with full health and MP. Bob manages to kill the first two titans and critically wound the third, but he himself is reduced to a very small amount of HP, and is also somehow poisoned. Then Metadream wears off. The two titans that were killed remain dead (they were just dreams), but the third is restored to full health. Bob is also restored to full health and MP, and is not poisoned any more.
I think reality check should also cancel any summons that occurred during the metadream. Additionally, reality check should give the player dream weapons/armor in all of his slots.

It could also be fun if monsters were restored to their original positions when the metadream wears off, but more discussion may be necessary on that point.

This reformulated version of reality check preserves the idea that things that occur during the metadream are not real, while hopefully making reality check a bit less controversial. It no longer steps on Ashenzari's toes, since it cannot be used for any sort of divination.

9. Reformulate dream summons so that instead of being summoned randomly, they appear at high tension. They are considered to be non-abjurable summons, and have "flaying type" attacks.

10. Scratch the making noise requirement for wrath. Balor's wrath consists of silence (not of 1 tile radius, but rather in its normal form) and of "nightmares" which are hostile dream monsters and dream equipment with unfavorable egos (see amendment 7), and triggers like normal wrath.

11. Change the way LOS reduction works. Instead of a passive effect, the player can toggle "dream focus." When dream focus is on, the player's LOS slowly shrinks down to a minimum LOS determined by piety. The player does not gain insight into happenings beyond his LOS, so this no longer has any aspect of divination, but can opt to toggle dream focus off for the purposes of exploration.

The second part of this proposed change, which addresses the concern that players have little control over piety gain due to losses from noisy monsters, is that Balor's aversion to noise caused by others is scrapped; he still wants you to be quiet, but doesn't care if the monsters are noisy (though he still gives piety for killing noisy monsters). However, noise from others causes the dream focus to recede, so if the player is in a noisy situation, his LOS will approach its original scope, returning to its minimum "dream focus" radius only after the noise has died down. This preserves the theme of trying to avoid others making noise while making it easier and less arbitrary for players to gain piety.




Sometime soon I will try to post a revised version of Balor with some of the changes implemented, so that it is easier to evaluate how they affect the proposal. Please continue to give feedback, as I value your comments.

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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 01:02

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

As much as I like the flavor of this god, I must say that reality check must be changed, playing large portions, or even small dangerous portions of a game of crawl is annoying and frustrating. Recently I had a DjBe clear the elven halls 3 then crash twice, I died on the third attempt. Also imagine the situation where you die on an orb run and are reverted back to vaults 5, you can argue "at least your not dead", but it's still very tedious and not fun to replay the game again. Whoops, I wrote this before reading your revised RC, which seems it could be over powered, essentially an extra life for piety, which builds up with experience (sound like a race you know?). Also, how far does things reverting back go to, does it revert experience or skill levels? If I clear 5 dungeon levels, wake up back to what i was but no more monsters to level from (and something that could kill me when i was leveled waiting 5 floors down). The newest RC could work if it has a timeout and experience, consumables ect. where replaced, this makes it a bit like banish but here you pay a load of piety, buff up with potions kill a bunch of things then get reverted back with the message "it was all just a dream"

Perhaps something more like astral projection where your then free to move in a spirit form in a blue tinted screen, flying, can't use items, can't pick up items, can't interact with monsters which all are asleep and not what they should be because your under misled status, also have the ability to walk through doors. This will also have a timeout timer based on your invocation skill and all terrain found this way is not forgotten but in blue (like magic mapping). this gives some more exploratory ability that this god seems to like while keeping to the theme, used best at dangerous doors, stairs and trapdoors.

This is a rather different ability compared to the reality check one, but I would like to stress that the checkpoint concept without short timeout will lead to replaying large chunks of the game which will be exactly the same layout, the best part of rougelikes is the RNGed maps and permadeath, this ability laughs at both.

other points:
Permanent flight is bad at times but it could be a downside to having this god.
The god should get angry at leaving with the message "you disturbed me for nothing!"

Probably made loads of mistakes in this post/train of thought, It's late and I'm half asleep.

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Lokkij

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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 07:35

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

1010011010 wrote:If I clear 5 dungeon levels, wake up back to what i was but no more monsters to level from (and something that could kill me when i was leveled waiting 5 floors down). The newest RC could work if it has a timeout and experience, consumables ect. where replaced, this makes it a bit like banish but here you pay a load of piety, buff up with potions kill a bunch of things then get reverted back with the message "it was all just a dream"

Heh, accidentally thanked you, I was trying to click 'quote' ;)
I think it's more like a temporary combat buff, and it'll only last ~50 turns (maybe longer or shorter, just making up the numbers here).

ACG wrote:8. Alternate version of reality check: When player uses Reality check, his state is recorded (including current HP, MP, status conditions, etc.), along with the state of every monster. When player loses the Metadream status, his state and the state of every monster still living is restored.

Hmm.. I think this makes reality check even more powerful. The first version was like "go into a challenging fight, die, wake up, challenging fight is still there". The new version is more like "go into a challenging fight, die, wake up, challenging fight is now easier".
We could maybe irresistibly confuse and/or paralyze the player when he makes a checkpoint and/or wakes up from the dream. You would have to plan carefully before going into a challenging fight, or you would get killed when making the checkpoint/waking up. Not sure if it's enough of a nerf to reality check though.

ACG wrote:However, noise from others causes the dream focus to recede, so if the player is in a noisy situation, his LOS will approach its original scope, returning to its minimum "dream focus" radius only after the noise has died down.

This is a cool adjustment, however, as a stealthy character, you'd want to prevent monsters from shouting anyway, which is pretty easy for a stealthy character. With the reduced LOS it's even easier, so the only thing the new version does is make dangerous (read: noisy) situations escalate even more quickly without making it less powerful (which is needed).
Maybe we could invert it: when you're in a noisy situation, LOS decreases (you pull back into the dream because you're afraid). Not sure how useful this would really be though.
I think mumra's idea for the LOS reduction is the way to go: not too powerful, really thematic, and still pretty strong.

ACG wrote:7. Instead of receiving random dream equipment, followers of Balor can, as an ability, give their weapon and/or armor dream qualities temporarily. These qualities consists of the "dream" ego, and an additional random temporary ego, brand, or improvement to its enchantment level.

I think 2+ brands/ego on the same piece of equipment is on the dev's things-we-won't-do-list. (correct me if I'm wrong though!)
We could, however, make a dream brand/ego which would be given as 'final gift' (like TSO/Kiku/Lugonu). I'm not sure what it would do though, as it would still have to be useful for non-Balor worshippers.

Also, I'm not sure about using the flay mechanic for you own summons: you'd think a monster would be almost dead, but then your summon would die and it would have full health again.
Last edited by Lokkij on Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 10:08

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

dream brand weapon could be like the phantasmal warriors blade minus the vulnerability (i.e. ignoring some (half?) armour and shield) it would certainly make an interesting 6* brand gift. (Also I smell a new unrandart.)
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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 19:58

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

ACG wrote:"Recording information learned from Reality Check is annoying"
The game can probably handle a good chunk of this, by keeping track of ID'd items, mapping explored terrain, and generally remembering information that you have learned while in the metadream. There might be some weird side cases like the monster-picking-up-weapon-offscreen-then-bashing-you-with-it scenario that reaver mentions, but I don't think those are common enough to be an issue. The trickiest part is recording the positions of monsters, but I think that could be done.

I don't think you understand the magnitude of the problem. What if you dig out a passage when during Reality Check, removing some wall from the record, and then you try to autotravel and it routes you through that now nonexistent passage? What if you go into a room while it's on, and pick up a lone item. - would autoexplore leave the item behind after the snapback?
ACG wrote:"Balor does not have enough abilities."
Okay. I am fine with adding some more abilities, or changing existing passive abilities into more active forms.
I mean he doesn't do enough stuff, including both passive and active abilities. Adding more passives would be a way to address this. Seriously, look at Ashenari, Jiyva, Cheibraidos, and Fedhas Madash spoilers - they're packed with interesting things. Even Trog meddles with how Berserk works a bit.

I really like the new LOS proposal. Relating it to sound is brilliant.
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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 21:30

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I love the idea of playing a blind (partially blind) character!
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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 22:19

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

reality check is like a race i never posted. you can use this or not, i don`t care!

Logregs are ritualistic coastal warriors who sacrificed their very being to possess great powers. Having forgotten everything they were before, Logregs exist in two planes, closely linked in time, though in one plane time simply is not what it is in the dungeon. Logregs can reverse the course of time, causing permanent damage to the spirit when physical injuries are erased from reality, a taxing but sometimes necessary method to escape death. A Logreg knows to use discression on this power they`ve given so much up for, as spirit remains lost forever.

Logregs have an extra resource like lava orcs, but completely unlike temperature it starts full can only go down ala deep dwarf. Spirit is used by the Logregs in conjunction with their unique ability which reverses the last two turns and all damage/status effects inflicted during that time. Damage healed does one fourth damage to spirit, rounded down. Damage to spirit can never exceed one third of total MaxSP. Rotting does not affect spirit levels - spirit remains tied to MaxHP. Items that grant health (ring of vitality) do not increase spirit in any way.

Here is an example of spirit in action: The player makes a mistake, or gets a very unlucky autoexplore, or just takes critical damage in general. These are the player bars one turn before the damage - the player has already used some spirit in this case:

Health: 74/74 ========================
Magic: 33/33 ========================
Spirit: 60/74 ========================

The player takes 50 damage:

Health: 24/74 ========================
Magic: 33/33 ========================
Spirit: 60/74 ========================

Reversing the turn regenerates all damage taken that turn, doing 25% damage to spirit rounded down. The player loses 12 spirit.

Health: 74/74 ========================
Magic: 33/33 ========================
Spirit: 48/74 =========================

Players do not gain spirit on levelups per say, instead spirit goes up with MaxSP and Current SP only when the player gains a permanent health gain, meaning when the player next gains 3HP, his bars will look like:

Health: 77/77 ========================
Magic: 33/33 ========================
Spirit: 51/77 =========================

It would be a much better idea if translated into a god though. i wrote this after viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5438&p=73300&hilit=+turns#p73300
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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 23:40

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

reaver wrote:
ACG wrote:"Recording information learned from Reality Check is annoying"
The game can probably handle a good chunk of this, by keeping track of ID'd items, mapping explored terrain, and generally remembering information that you have learned while in the metadream. There might be some weird side cases like the monster-picking-up-weapon-offscreen-then-bashing-you-with-it scenario that reaver mentions, but I don't think those are common enough to be an issue. The trickiest part is recording the positions of monsters, but I think that could be done.

I don't think you understand the magnitude of the problem. What if you dig out a passage when during Reality Check, removing some wall from the record, and then you try to autotravel and it routes you through that now nonexistent passage? What if you go into a room while it's on, and pick up a lone item. - would autoexplore leave the item behind after the snapback?
ACG wrote:"Balor does not have enough abilities."
Okay. I am fine with adding some more abilities, or changing existing passive abilities into more active forms.
I mean he doesn't do enough stuff, including both passive and active abilities. Adding more passives would be a way to address this. Seriously, look at Ashenari, Jiyva, Cheibraidos, and Fedhas Madash spoilers - they're packed with interesting things. Even Trog meddles with how Berserk works a bit.


I don't quite agree with this; packing in too much stuff at this stage isn't necessarily productive. What I'd look for at this point is a well-developed core theme (which we have) and literally only 1 "defining" mechanic with a good design. Having more features is nice of course but minor powers can always come later (and in fact might end up different anyway, depending on how the defining mechanic(s) develop). The core mechanic should be interesting enough to carry the concept on its own, and be able to quickly and clearly communicate what the god is about overall (Ashenzari: restrict yourself by cursed gear in order to gain skill and divinations; Cheibriados: accept slow speed in return for superhuman stats and cool space-bending abilites; and so on, I could write a short statement like this about every existing god). What I feel we're lacking here is a well-defined core mechanic that is central to the god's playstyle. Instead we have a collection of powers that loosely fit a theme but don't particularly synergise in any sense of game mechanics.

We do already have the conduct: you have to be very quiet. However unlike e.g. Ash/Chei, being quiet is simply a tactic that is either good anyway in a normal game, especially for the kind of stealth character that this god seems aimed it; so it doesn't really mix things up in the way that some gods do. Yeah there are plenty of existing gods that basically just reward good play (i.e. killing things / learning skills), but this doesn't mean new ones should be designed like that. So I think that silence on its own isn't enough to classify as a defining mechanic.

The "dream world" idea I suggested is something that could be developed into a central mechanic, as are the dream items/monsters (I would love to see more detail and thoughts on exactly what these are going to do) (although we already have many gods that gift items and allies so how are these going to be sufficiently differnt?); perhaps the LOS thing is approaching this but it's nothing really new, even if its mechanics are tweaked a bit here. As has been pointed out reality check had a bunch of problems and even the reworked version is still enormously powerful, even if it can be balanced it definitely shouldn't be something you could use often enough to be a "central mechanic". Twelwe's version is perhaps a bit more interesting but still I don't know if any of these are interesting ideas: they are all things that you use because you're playing badly, rather than things you can use to play better.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 03:59

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Perhaps the more piety you get with him, the more reality and the dream start to meld?
Clouds start popping up randomly, friendly monsters could spawn at moments of high tension, and horrible things would happen to particularly noisy monsters.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 05:24

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Balor's wrath consists of silence (not of 1 tile radius, but rather in its normal form) and of "nightmares" which are hostile dream monsters and dream equipment with unfavorable egos (see amendment 7), and triggers like normal wrath.


For wrath effects I think that "nightmares" extends quite easily to more interesting effects than just hostile summons and negative egos. Other (probably rubbish) possibilities might be:

-Nudity: "Why is everyone staring at me?", Temporary unique transmutation effect. Melds all your equipment (including weapons) into your original for.
-Teeth falling out: Flavour/negligible effect (prevents any bite attacks/breath weapons/recite?)
-Falling: "You fall.... and fall... and fall", Extra long shaft effect.
(cant' think of any more right now...)

Maybe combine 2-3 randomly selected effects for a "nightmare".

Btw. I love the flavour for this. Also wholeheartedly support the suggestions for stepping into a dream-space (clouds, smoke for creatures etc.), which sounds really interesting.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 05:36

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

mumra wrote:I don't quite agree with this; packing in too much stuff at this stage isn't necessarily productive. What I'd look for at this point is a well-developed core theme (which we have) and literally only 1 "defining" mechanic with a good design. Having more features is nice of course but minor powers can always come later (and in fact might end up different anyway, depending on how the defining mechanic(s) develop). The core mechanic should be interesting enough to carry the concept on its own, and be able to quickly and clearly communicate what the god is about overall (Ashenzari: restrict yourself by cursed gear in order to gain skill and divinations; Cheibriados: accept slow speed in return for superhuman stats and cool space-bending abilites; and so on, I could write a short statement like this about every existing god). What I feel we're lacking here is a well-defined core mechanic that is central to the god's playstyle. Instead we have a collection of powers that loosely fit a theme but don't particularly synergise in any sense of game mechanics.

We do already have the conduct: you have to be very quiet. However unlike e.g. Ash/Chei, being quiet is simply a tactic that is either good anyway in a normal game, especially for the kind of stealth character that this god seems aimed it; so it doesn't really mix things up in the way that some gods do. Yeah there are plenty of existing gods that basically just reward good play (i.e. killing things / learning skills), but this doesn't mean new ones should be designed like that. So I think that silence on its own isn't enough to classify as a defining mechanic.
I wasn't looking at this the right way before reading your post. Your approach makes much more sense.

As for the "central theme," I think the dream world/noise-LOS connection could work. I think they would produce interesting choices.
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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 14:08

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

twelwe wrote:*Snip Logregs*

... reminds me of Achron.
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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 17:44

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

mumra wrote:I would love to see more detail and thoughts on exactly what [dream equipment/summons] are going to do

Alright, I'm gonna do some brainstorming:
- Make the weapon do extra irresistible 'flay' damage. Problem: it would have to have a new condition under which the flay-damage goes away, because getting out of LOS is very rare for monsters (only a few flee), and killing the source (player) would make it irrelevant anyway.
- Make the weapon do slightly less damage, somewhat more accurate and have a chance confuse monsters (this would cover your weapon in soft purple clouds, which is what I imagine if we're going to do the extra dream layer)
- For armour, it's really hard to think of something that isn't really dull (extra AC or GDR, for example). Maybe we could make it deflect attacks and fall apart quickly (kinda like shroud)? Confuse monsters when they hit you?
- Dream summons.. I feel using the flay mechanic wouldn't be good here. Maybe confusing-inducing attacks? Or they could 'possess' other monsters through their dreams?

Also, I think we should drop the idea of making this a god tailored to stealth characters. This doesn't mean he may not be good for stealth characters; why not? But I don't think making him a stealth god would make for a solid god: right now, there's only one ability that's especially useful for stealth characters, and VERY strong for them (especially if it's going to reduce LOS by 4 tiles), but the rest of the abilities aren't especially useful for stealth characters (silence is even negative for them). Dream summons/equipment aren't that useful because you don't want to get in a full fight anyway, reality check or its replacement would be just as useful to them as to any other character, just like flight/cTele/clarity. I think we could make a better god if we just made it for melee characters, and base the abilities off the flavour.
This would also help making the god's defining mechanics, as stealth is probably too narrow to really make multiple cool abilities.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 18:02

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Sarfus wrote: and negative egos. Other (probably rubbish) possibilities might be...

(cant' think of any more right now...)



-Difficulty punching and running are both nightmare effects. having movement and attack speed reduced could be interesting if combined with the other effects.

-regenerate the level to be a more difficult one "you suddenly wake up". do it several times in a row to represent waking up into another dream

-have a specially made, dream themed portal vault to suck the player into "you slip into a deep sleep, and begin to dream"

-fall asleep for a couple turns, then wake up and start screaming "you have a night terror!"

I love the flavor of this god too, just to chip in.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 18:10

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Lokkij wrote:
ACG wrote:8. Alternate version of reality check: When player uses Reality check, his state is recorded (including current HP, MP, status conditions, etc.), along with the state of every monster. When player loses the Metadream status, his state and the state of every monster still living is restored.

Hmm.. I think this makes reality check even more powerful. The first version was like "go into a challenging fight, die, wake up, challenging fight is still there". The new version is more like "go into a challenging fight, die, wake up, challenging fight is now easier".
We could maybe irresistibly confuse and/or paralyze the player when he makes a checkpoint and/or wakes up from the dream. You would have to plan carefully before going into a challenging fight, or you would get killed when making the checkpoint/waking up. Not sure if it's enough of a nerf to reality check though.

In the altered version, dying would mean death - you only revert to your former status if Metadream expires, not if you die. Having a penalty after waking up makes sense - you could be confused for a few turns (because you "just woke up")

ACG wrote:However, noise from others causes the dream focus to recede, so if the player is in a noisy situation, his LOS will approach its original scope, returning to its minimum "dream focus" radius only after the noise has died down.

This is a cool adjustment, however, as a stealthy character, you'd want to prevent monsters from shouting anyway, which is pretty easy for a stealthy character. With the reduced LOS it's even easier, so the only thing the new version does is make dangerous (read: noisy) situations escalate even more quickly without making it less powerful (which is needed).
Maybe we could invert it: when you're in a noisy situation, LOS decreases (you pull back into the dream because you're afraid). Not sure how useful this would really be though.
I think mumra's idea for the LOS reduction is the way to go: not too powerful, really thematic, and still pretty strong.

Dream clouds could work. Not sure how different it would be though - it still involves reciprocal LOS reduction, and is possibly even more powerful because the player is able to target into the dream clouds.

ACG wrote:7. Instead of receiving random dream equipment, followers of Balor can, as an ability, give their weapon and/or armor dream qualities temporarily. These qualities consists of the "dream" ego, and an additional random temporary ego, brand, or improvement to its enchantment level.

I think 2+ brands/ego on the same piece of equipment is on the dev's things-we-won't-do-list. (correct me if I'm wrong though!)
We could, however, make a dream brand/ego which would be given as 'final gift' (like TSO/Kiku/Lugonu). I'm not sure what it would do though, as it would still have to be useful for non-Balor worshippers.

Okay, no double brands. I'm sure there is a better way to implement the dream ego (and if it is powerful enough, having it as a final gift could be cool.)

Also, I'm not sure about using the flay mechanic for you own summons: you'd think a monster would be almost dead, but then your summon would die and it would have full health again.

Good point - there is no need for this mechanic.


Grandiloquent Gentleman wrote:dream brand weapon could be like the phantasmal warriors blade minus the vulnerability (i.e. ignoring some (half?) armour and shield) it would certainly make an interesting 6* brand gift. (Also I smell a new unrandart.)

I like the idea, but I think it needs something else as well.


Regarding the Logreg mechanics brought up by twelwe: I like them, but I think the consensus seems to be that reversing time is problematic. For time-reversal to make sense, it would have to be more than ~2 turns, and as many have pointed out, there are logistics problems to recording information learned in the future.

mumra wrote:
reaver wrote:
ACG wrote:"Recording information learned from Reality Check is annoying"
The game can probably handle a good chunk of this, by keeping track of ID'd items, mapping explored terrain, and generally remembering information that you have learned while in the metadream. There might be some weird side cases like the monster-picking-up-weapon-offscreen-then-bashing-you-with-it scenario that reaver mentions, but I don't think those are common enough to be an issue. The trickiest part is recording the positions of monsters, but I think that could be done.

I don't think you understand the magnitude of the problem. What if you dig out a passage when during Reality Check, removing some wall from the record, and then you try to autotravel and it routes you through that now nonexistent passage? What if you go into a room while it's on, and pick up a lone item. - would autoexplore leave the item behind after the snapback?
ACG wrote:"Balor does not have enough abilities."
Okay. I am fine with adding some more abilities, or changing existing passive abilities into more active forms.
I mean he doesn't do enough stuff, including both passive and active abilities. Adding more passives would be a way to address this. Seriously, look at Ashenari, Jiyva, Cheibraidos, and Fedhas Madash spoilers - they're packed with interesting things. Even Trog meddles with how Berserk works a bit.


I don't quite agree with this; packing in too much stuff at this stage isn't necessarily productive. What I'd look for at this point is a well-developed core theme (which we have) and literally only 1 "defining" mechanic with a good design. Having more features is nice of course but minor powers can always come later (and in fact might end up different anyway, depending on how the defining mechanic(s) develop). The core mechanic should be interesting enough to carry the concept on its own, and be able to quickly and clearly communicate what the god is about overall (Ashenzari: restrict yourself by cursed gear in order to gain skill and divinations; Cheibriados: accept slow speed in return for superhuman stats and cool space-bending abilites; and so on, I could write a short statement like this about every existing god). What I feel we're lacking here is a well-defined core mechanic that is central to the god's playstyle. Instead we have a collection of powers that loosely fit a theme but don't particularly synergise in any sense of game mechanics.

We do already have the conduct: you have to be very quiet. However unlike e.g. Ash/Chei, being quiet is simply a tactic that is either good anyway in a normal game, especially for the kind of stealth character that this god seems aimed it; so it doesn't really mix things up in the way that some gods do. Yeah there are plenty of existing gods that basically just reward good play (i.e. killing things / learning skills), but this doesn't mean new ones should be designed like that. So I think that silence on its own isn't enough to classify as a defining mechanic.

I see your point. Being quiet is not much of a sacrifice. Clearly something else is required. One idea is to tie Balor's powers to the player's immersion in the dream world - Balor is already a bit unusual because he doesn't really care about his followers, so thematically you are not actually gaining piety; rather you are entering deeper and deeper into his dream (call the resource "immersion"). If we use this interpretation, then conducts would be tied to immersion in the dream. This opens up several possibilities for additional conducts more restrictive than being quiet:

1. It is difficult to read words in dreams. Therefore reading scrolls or memorizing spells could result in an immersion loss.
2. Pain can wake you from a dream. Though it might be a bit severe, damage could cause immersion loss. Of course, avoiding damage is not really much of a conduct.
3. If we stick to a piety system, Balor could also give piety for the player going around voluntarily silenced, which is a pretty strict conduct. To avoid it being too much of a penalty, the silence could be an aura.


The "dream world" idea I suggested is something that could be developed into a central mechanic, as are the dream items/monsters (I would love to see more detail and thoughts on exactly what these are going to do) (although we already have many gods that gift items and allies so how are these going to be sufficiently differnt?); perhaps the LOS thing is approaching this but it's nothing really new, even if its mechanics are tweaked a bit here. As has been pointed out reality check had a bunch of problems and even the reworked version is still enormously powerful, even if it can be balanced it definitely shouldn't be something you could use often enough to be a "central mechanic". Twelwe's version is perhaps a bit more interesting but still I don't know if any of these are interesting ideas: they are all things that you use because you're playing badly, rather than things you can use to play better.

I like the idea of a dream world as Balor's central mechanic. Here's a thought - what if the dream world is like an alternate version of the dungeon, with different dream monsters, different dream equipment, and so forth? Shifting into the dream world could allow the player to avoid certain challenges in favor of dream challenges, which might be easier (or harder). Also, knowledge learned in the dream realm could be applied to the real world. For this to be sufficiently interesting, the dream world would have to operate on very different laws. Some possibilities:

- Dream monsters literally vanish when the leave your LOS, and do not exist while not in LOS. They can randomly spawn in your LOS, though
- MP recharges faster in the dream world.
- Projectiles are slowed down so that they travel like orbs of destruction.
- Special dream spells which are like weird altered, mixed-up versions of normal spells (example: an ice version of sticky flame that slowly freezes a monster, or a sort of reverse-LRD that smite-targets a single square to suck in matter from surrounding squares to produce an implosion. Basically, dream parodies of existing spells (or, perhaps, existing spells simply work differently in the dream world).
...and so forth.

Monsters and items in the dream world could be represented as "dream clouds" when you are in the real world, and monsters and items in the real world could be represented as "dream clouds" when you are in the dream world (blurring the line between what is dream and what is real). This would allow players to assess the situation in the other world. Perhaps in the dream world Balor is a more active god.

Then Balor's abilities could relate to bringing the dream world and the real world together. Entering the dream world be somewhat risky (or else costly), but bringing the dream world into the real world could give the player a valuable tool for solving challenges. Obviously, we would need to determine exactly how the dream world works, but I think it could be a lot of fun.



khalil wrote:Perhaps the more piety you get with him, the more reality and the dream start to meld?
Clouds start popping up randomly, friendly monsters could spawn at moments of high tension, and horrible things would happen to particularly noisy monsters.

Another good idea for how to incorporate a dream world. I think the player needs to have some control over how the dream world manifests to avoid Balor feeling too much like Xom.


Sarfus wrote:
Balor's wrath consists of silence (not of 1 tile radius, but rather in its normal form) and of "nightmares" which are hostile dream monsters and dream equipment with unfavorable egos (see amendment 7), and triggers like normal wrath.


For wrath effects I think that "nightmares" extends quite easily to more interesting effects than just hostile summons and negative egos. Other (probably rubbish) possibilities might be:

-Nudity: "Why is everyone staring at me?", Temporary unique transmutation effect. Melds all your equipment (including weapons) into your original for.
-Teeth falling out: Flavour/negligible effect (prevents any bite attacks/breath weapons/recite?)
-Falling: "You fall.... and fall... and fall", Extra long shaft effect.
(cant' think of any more right now...)

I absolutely love the nightmare effects you describe. The nudity and falling effects are thematically perfect.

Maybe combine 2-3 randomly selected effects for a "nightmare".

Btw. I love the flavour for this. Also wholeheartedly support the suggestions for stepping into a dream-space (clouds, smoke for creatures etc.), which sounds really interesting.


Lokkij wrote:
mumra wrote:I would love to see more detail and thoughts on exactly what [dream equipment/summons] are going to do

Alright, I'm gonna do some brainstorming:
- Make the weapon do extra irresistible 'flay' damage. Problem: it would have to have a new condition under which the flay-damage goes away, because getting out of LOS is very rare for monsters (only a few flee), and killing the source (player) would make it irrelevant anyway.

The damage could just go away after a set number of turns.

- Make the weapon do slightly less damage, somewhat more accurate and have a chance confuse monsters (this would cover your weapon in soft purple clouds, which is what I imagine if we're going to do the extra dream layer)

Good idea-I don't think there are currently any weapons that confuse monsters (aside from confusing touch and UC), so this would be a new mechanic.

- For armour, it's really hard to think of something that isn't really dull (extra AC or GDR, for example). Maybe we could make it deflect attacks and fall apart quickly (kinda like shroud)? Confuse monsters when they hit you?
- Dream summons.. I feel using the flay mechanic wouldn't be good here. Maybe confusing-inducing attacks? Or they could 'possess' other monsters through their dreams?

If the dream world becomes a place with different rules, then dream equipment and summons would naturally have some interesting abilities. Not sure how I feel about dream monsters possessing enemies.

Also, I think we should drop the idea of making this a god tailored to stealth characters. This doesn't mean he may not be good for stealth characters; why not? But I don't think making him a stealth god would make for a solid god: right now, there's only one ability that's especially useful for stealth characters, and VERY strong for them (especially if it's going to reduce LOS by 4 tiles), but the rest of the abilities aren't especially useful for stealth characters (silence is even negative for them). Dream summons/equipment aren't that useful because you don't want to get in a full fight anyway, reality check or its replacement would be just as useful to them as to any other character, just like flight/cTele/clarity. I think we could make a better god if we just made it for melee characters, and base the abilities off the flavour.
This would also help making the god's defining mechanics, as stealth is probably too narrow to really make multiple cool abilities.

Fair enough. I am not really particularly set on Balor being a stealth god; that was more of a starting point/justification. His theme might be justification enough, though.



KennySheep wrote:
Sarfus wrote: and negative egos. Other (probably rubbish) possibilities might be...

(cant' think of any more right now...)



-Difficulty punching and running are both nightmare effects. having movement and attack speed reduced could be interesting if combined with the other effects.

-regenerate the level to be a more difficult one "you suddenly wake up". do it several times in a row to represent waking up into another dream

-have a specially made, dream themed portal vault to suck the player into "you slip into a deep sleep, and begin to dream"

-fall asleep for a couple turns, then wake up and start screaming "you have a night terror!"

I love these nightmare effects.

I love the flavor of this god too, just to chip in.


Still working on an amended proposal; there are a lot of things to consider now.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 18:28

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

ACG wrote:The damage could just go away after a set number of turns

Hm... I'm not sure how I feel about that. It would be useful, especially since it would be irresistible, but when the flayed damage is going away, it might feel like the monster just got regeneration when you thought it was almost dead. Maybe it would go away when the monster's not damaged for a few turns? This might be too strong though, as you would focus on killing one monster anyway, and irresistible damage is just really strong (I think).
BTW, I forgot to mention: the flayed damage would have to go away over a few turns, otherwise it might feel unnatural.

ACG

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 20:38

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Okay, here is a revised proposal so that it is easier to discuss Balor. I have not implemented all of the changes that we have been discussing, obviously. The awaken/dream world stuff is pretty new, so I am interested to hear your opinion on it.

Proposal for Balor, The Dreamer: Version 2

Racial Restrictions
Demigods cannot worship Balor.

Appreciates
-Not being disturbed. Constant piety gain tied to experience gain.
-You or your allies killing noisy monsters. Piety gain is proportional to noise.

Deprecates
-You making loud noises. Balor will not penalize you for loud noises that you do not make.
-Praying to him. Balor will also cast silence on you if you do this.

Granted Abilities

Piety ()

Prayer (Active): You can pray to invoke silence. Thematically, Balor casts silence on you to shut you up so he can get back to sleep. You pay piety because Balor is irritated at you for disturbing him. He will also cast silence on you when you first convert to him, though this first silencing will not cost piety.
(Cost: Moderate amount of Piety)
Balor mumbles, 'Shut up mortal, and leave me alone!'

Piety (*)

Dream Focus (Active): You can activate or deactivate dream focus. When dream focus is toggled on, your LOS will begin to shrink, and will continue to shrink slowly until it reaches its minimum radius. The amount by which your LOS shrinks under dream focus is equal to your piety level, but your LOS will never be less than 3. When you hear loud noises or take damage, your LOS will grow (before beginning to slowly shrink again), and if you read a scroll or memorize a spell, dream focus will deactivate. When dream focus deactivates, your LOS returns to its original radius immediately.
Cost: MP
Your surroundings become darker as your dream focus narrows.

Piety (**)

Awareness (Passive): You become aware of monsters and items in the other world. All monsters and items in the other world appear as "dream clouds".

Awaken (Active): You enter the other world. Monsters and items in your world become dream clouds, and dream clouds from the other world become the monsters and items that they represent. You also become confused for a few turns, and lose any source of clarity that you have. See below for more details on how the second world differs from the first.
Cost: MP, instant

Piety (***)

Lucid Dreaming (Passive): You gain clarity.

Dreamflight (Active): You can toggle flight on or off.
Cost: None

Dreamshift (Active): You can invoke teleportation
Cost: MP

Piety (****)

[no new abilities]

Piety (*****)

Reality Check (Active): You gain the metadream status. When the metadream status wears off, you and all monsters are restored to their state prior to use of reality check, including HP, MP, and any status conditions. Also, when the metadream status wears off, you lose clarity and are confused for a few turns. You retain any experience gained during the metadream. Things that were destroyed or killed during the metadream (such as monsters or ammo) are not restored.
Cost: MP, Piety

Piety (******)

Manifest Dream (Passive): You can use items and spells from one world in the other.

Abandonment and Penance
When you abandon Balor, you are cast into a nightmare. The immediate thematic effect is a surreal palette change, perhaps alternating between several colors. Additionally, various "nightmare" effects may occur from time to time while you are under penance:
- Boogeymen: Hostile dream monsters may be summoned to attack you (i.e. monsters from the dream world).
- Nudity: Your armor may suddenly meld (or perhaps just unequip)
- Falling: You fall through a shaft.
- Inability to escape: During a battle, your movement rate may be slowed.
- Paralysis: You suffer paralysis.
- Teleport: You randomly teleport without warning, as though wearing a ring of teleportation.
(Help us think of more!)
Additionally, Balor may occasionally silence you while under penance.

Explanation of the Dream World

This is intended to be Balor's central mechanic. Basically, there is the real world, and there is the dream world. The "real world" (standard dungeon) world is Balor's dream, and the "dream world" is his reality. By piety level 2, players are able to enter the dream world. The dream world is similar to the regular dungeon (and has the exact same layout), except that:
- Items and spells from one world cannot be used in the other (until you reach max piety).
- Monsters in the dream world cease to exist when you move out of sight and can spawn at the edges of your LOS.
- There are no staircases in the dream world (or if there are, you can't move up or down them).
- The dream world has a set of unique dream spells and unrandart dream artifacts that cannot be found in the real world. Items are much less commonly occurring in the dream world, and it is generally much emptier. (we will need to brainstorm dream spells and artifacts).
- You do not require nutrition in the dream world, but also cannot gain nutrition from food or potions.
- Your MP slowly decreases rather than regenerating while in the dream world. If you run out, you immediately re-enter the real world.

Any equipment used in one world that originates in the other has the dream ego when used in the other world, in addition to whatever other properties it has. Dream weapons inflict damage that ignores AC, but is quickly regenerated ("dream damage"). Dream armor provides no AC. Instead, when you take damage, a portion of the damage (proportional to the AC value the armor would have supplied in the other world) is "dream damage," and quickly regenerates.

Also, hearing loud noises, reading scrolls, and memorizing spells in the dream world will cause both HP and MP loss.



I am interested to hear what everybody thinks of this revised version, and whether the changes address the concerns that you have previously brought up.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 21:17

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I find the dream world to be very interesting. Taking items from one world to the other at high piety is a very nice mechanic that is basically god gifts, and I like how the dream can be used for multiple things (sneaking, escape, scouting).

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 21:32

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Rather than trying to come up with lots of different versions of spells, I'd concentrate on coming up with a fairly small number of spells / god abilities that only work in the dream world but have interesting mechanics that work together, fit the theme, and are useful in that world for a particular reason. So going into the dream world you are dealing with very different and specific mechanics to the real world.

It also might be a good idea to generally state what the intended use/purposes are for having the dreamworld; i.e. why do players want to go there, why would they not want to just go there as much as possible if there are good advantages to it.

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Post Thursday, 27th June 2013, 22:58

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

They would want to go there because it gives a chance to escape/scout/ambush.
They would not want to got there all the time because it drains magic (so fighters have limited time in there and casters get gimped).

Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 28th June 2013, 09:15

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

I like it!
However, I think he actually has too much stuff going on now; the dream world is such a special and game-impacting ability, the stuff like silence and reality check might be a bit too much. I think we can definitely drop reality check, as it's really really freakin' hard to balance anyway, and when we think it's fine, the devs will probably want to nerf it even more. I would suggest moving awareness to the *****. slot, because I think it's probably a lot stronger than it might seem, and it gives you a higher-piety 'ability' (even if it's passive).
I'm also not sure if I like the 'normal' equipment having a different function in the dream world, that might be too confusing/annoying.
I just love the rest of the reworked god. We have a really cool, strong core mechanic upon which we can easily expand, and the flavour is fantastic.

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Post Friday, 28th June 2013, 09:24

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

A point about the current dreamworld proposal: it seems extremely good for stabbing things (perhaps too good, it does depend on the piety cost I guess). Maybe it should take 2 or 3 turns to fully complete the transition (and during which there is a point where monsters in both worlds can be aware of you); or perhaps it can cause an effect which has a chance of drawing attention to you as it happens.

ACG

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Post Friday, 28th June 2013, 13:52

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Lokkij wrote:I like it!
However, I think he actually has too much stuff going on now; the dream world is such a special and game-impacting ability, the stuff like silence and reality check might be a bit too much. I think we can definitely drop reality check, as it's really really freakin' hard to balance anyway, and when we think it's fine, the devs will probably want to nerf it even more. I would suggest moving awareness to the *****. slot, because I think it's probably a lot stronger than it might seem, and it gives you a higher-piety 'ability' (even if it's passive).
I'm also not sure if I like the 'normal' equipment having a different function in the dream world, that might be too confusing/annoying.
I just love the rest of the reworked god. We have a really cool, strong core mechanic upon which we can easily expand, and the flavour is fantastic.

Sure; Reality check isn't really necessary anymore, and I'm not that enthusiastic about the changed version. With respect to normal equipment gaining the dream ego in the dream world, the reason I included that is to support the theme of being uncertain which world is actually the dream - in each world, the other world appears to be a dream, with its denizens appearing as dream clouds and its equipment having dream qualities. And awareness is quite useful, as you say, since it makes jumping into the other world considerably safer. If we bump the piety level, perhaps we could consider making awareness more specific, so that you have a better idea of what is waiting for you? (currently, you know that there is something, and you know its location, but you have no idea what it is)


mumra wrote:A point about the current dreamworld proposal: it seems extremely good for stabbing things (perhaps too good, it does depend on the piety cost I guess). Maybe it should take 2 or 3 turns to fully complete the transition (and during which there is a point where monsters in both worlds can be aware of you); or perhaps it can cause an effect which has a chance of drawing attention to you as it happens.

Even with the irresistible confusion? But it can certainly be modified to give a greater delay, if it is too powerful as it stands.

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Post Friday, 28th June 2013, 15:37

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

Dream world sounds like a lot of fun, one question?
Is the dream world suppose to be an escape button (like step from time or sanctuary?).

mumra wrote:A point about the current dreamworld proposal: it seems extremely good for stabbing things (perhaps too good, it does depend on the piety cost I guess). Maybe it should take 2 or 3 turns to fully complete the transition (and during which there is a point where monsters in both worlds can be aware of you); or perhaps it can cause an effect which has a chance of drawing attention to you as it happens.

Even with the irresistible confusion? But it can certainly be modified to give a greater delay, if it is too powerful as it stands.

How about it takes multiple turns to activate, during this time you are susceptible to attacks from both worlds, being hurt or interrupted via sound in any world will drag you (back) into that one, if the world is not the original world you become confused. as far as flavor goes, you are concentrating to get to the dream world, if concentration is broke you conceive that disruption as the world your in which would confuse you if you don't have time to adjust.

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Post Friday, 28th June 2013, 18:36

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

ACG wrote:Even with the irresistible confusion? But it can certainly be modified to give a greater delay, if it is too powerful as it stands.


Oh right, I thought it was just on entering the dreamworld. Actually it's more important on leaving.

Another point about the dreamworld that I'm not sure if it's been mentioned: killing dream monsters perhaps shouldn't give XP, otherwise this could have a serious effect on the amount of XP available in the game.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 22:42

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

mumra wrote:Another point about the dreamworld that I'm not sure if it's been mentioned: killing dream monsters perhaps shouldn't give XP, otherwise this could have a serious effect on the amount of XP available in the game.

There's an infinite amount of XP available in the game, thanks to abyss and pan.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:22

Re: New God Idea: Balor, the Dreamer

khalil wrote:There's an infinite amount of XP available in the game, thanks to abyss and pan.


By the time you can take advantage of that, you've already won.

The dreamworld you get earlier, when XP is in less abundant supply.
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