Dwarf Hall of Fallen Heroes

  • I'd like to put a bounty on the first reported win
  • these dwarfs are necromantic, germanic critters. looking for real dwarves? dwarven_fortress is probably what you're thinking about.

This is documentation to provide an introduction to a new branch idea, complete with a proof-of-concept working mock up suitable to give the general feel for the addition.

see dcss:issue:2359#plan for implimentation discussion

Branch notes

  • thematic branch based on Scandanavian folklore
  • implements new creatures: deep dwarves, witches (witches, huldra, and trollkonor), nisse
  • 5 levels deep
  • will contain any of a number of uniques based on lore
  • there are a couple of unique, not-unbalancing rand arts I built too
  • contains a treasure vault somewhere between depths 2 and 4
    • This sounds like a poor idea, as you're inviting players to turn around and stroll out. — og17 2010-08-24 07:17
  • contains a barracks and a main “hall” (the main event) on depth:5
  • may contain stairs down from depth:5 to a tomb (ORIENT: encompass) – some hero
    • Is this needed? The game already has ossuary portals and full crypt and tomb branches, as well as undead swamp and whatever. — og17 2010-08-24 07:17
      • I think yes. to have tomb(s) in a branch themed on the veneration of fallen heros is a non-necessary good thing. — blue_anna 2010-08-24 15:39
  • new unique: Paracelsus the alchemist. Implied inventor of potions of healing (or actually that his laudanum was a precursor or earlier, weaker form).

The builds before patch 15 were such that you needed to be around lvl 9ish (since the changes upping the health of dwarves, 7-8ish if you only go with the first patch on each patch page) to have decent shot to survive entering this branch – and it is a proof of concept not well tuned. It has now been tuned up to be equavalent in xp to (a 5 level version of) Elf Hall – it's about 2-3 times more xp than before the tune up. Don't blame me if you play all the way to the entrance and forget to turn on Wizmode before entering!

Random Creatures

random creatures found throughout the branch – please see the creatures subpage

As noted below, the mosnter list was once pretty random. It's almost well polished now, tuned to elven halls, but it's not too lte to contribute to the general mosnters list. Please help!

What are you trying to do here? You have a dwarf branch, but you're including D1 trash, elves, and a random assortment of bugs, animals, and undead? And hell hounds. I don't know if you're grabbing “thematic” monsters by name or what, but this isn't going to look themed; it's going to look like a depth-confused dungeon level with dwarves, and the monsters won't serve any play purpose, either. Look at the other branches, get some idea of how things are put together. I'd suggest dwarves, kobold things, and trolls, myself. — og17 2010-08-24 07:17
I am fine with deep dwarf anything. Apart from that, it is okay to have some flavourful “natural” monsters. I don't understand most of the entries of that list. I object to (mountain) dwarves, goblins, elves. Of the undead, I'd prefer the less destroyed ones: ghosts (various kinds) over necrophages, for example. You'd expect a necromantic culture like the deep dwarves to keep their undead gardens clean and tidy. — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:54


The branch is playable as a proof-of-concept. To try it out, you'll need the following: Crawl version > version 0.8.0-a0-727-gf798c2f

get it
  • a copy of my local build dhfh on github


No bugs or initaial design goals remain unexplored!


  • No uniques were harmed in the alpha-testing of this branch (need to write these, add to des)
    • added alchemist unique — blue_anna 2010-09-19 13:45
  • More monsters (various giants towards end maybe?)
    • actually this is a bad idea. most giants are around 3k xp. the biggest creatures otherwise in the branch right now are around 800xp. — blue_anna 2010-09-02 03:55
      • now that value is up around 1500xp, and I introduced a slim chance of a giant in the tomb.
  • No tomb at the end. Needs to be envisioned and written.
    • Tomb map added :) — blue_anna 2010-09-11 03:58
  • The entire thing is not tuned to be equally tough as the Elven Halls. In particular Dwarf:1 is too tough and Dwarf:5 is not tough enough (except probably the vaults that load there) see comparison to elf hall section
  • Map resuse: some of the maps are not necessarily so unfamiliar as they could be (aught to be?).
  • potions of porridge bug - no pots of porridge being generated (discussed seperately below)
  • The hall at the end is broken, the triggers are failing – you'll get the feel for it if you get there though
  • All the code needs to be verified, I can't guarantee that I didn't break something.
  • Coloring - floors (and presumably walls) are not bing colored yellow, as defined in the BRANCH definition. They are being recoloured if one of the special maps loads on taht depth, which has the colour function (my lua is working).
  • Dwarves were not changed, and I just copied their hit dice for the deep dwarves. but they were originally just humans with a different name. We need to up their health.
  • Deep dwarf necromancers need to cast Vampiric draining. right now they arent so bad as they should be
  • Too many wands of healing – right now I give artificers a high chance of getting a wand of healing. It needs to be toned down a lot. (toned down on my copy, not in current patch)
  • there may be other aspects of the maps that are not being generated

comparison to elven halls

these are experience point comparisons. please note that elf hall recently was edited, or else my RND has suddenly changed, resulting in way over >20% increase in xp!

dwarf dwarf dwarf elf elf elf
6422 13825 8227 8689 12368 14500
8653 8442 11116 5743 13826 3199
8201 24246 14114 7601 3765 8785
9111 17921 21103 6776 2368 7770
23866 20195 23509 14458 9554 8332
9339 10272 1998
53458 62183 48027
56253 84629 78069 106064 114336 92611


  • dwarf until last 12615.08
  • dwarf lvls average 14596.73
  • dwarf LAST lvl 22523.3
  • dwarf MIN 6422
  • dwarf MAX 24246
  • dwarf hall total avg. 72983.6
  • elf until last 8296.83333333333
  • elf lvls average 14905.2857142857
  • elf LAST lvl 54556
  • elf MIN 1998
  • elf MAX 62183
  • elven halls total avg. 104337

These numbers will be slightly low, as they exclude Paracelsus and a handful of minivaults.


These are monsters (so far) unique to the branch. Please feel free to comment on the monsters themselves here.


Dwarfs themselves are no longer part of the branch. if you are interested in dwarves (not deep dwarfs), check out dwarven fortress.

Modelled after humans, but with more health. It is a mon_genus() for all the dwarf types, a mon_species(), and a monster→type (actual monster). All dwarfs share the “v” glyph (thats a change) share the ”@” glyph, and generate dwarven items.

I don't mind monster dwarves, but I believe that the Dwarf branch should feature deep dwarves exclusively (as dwarves). Mountain dwarf monsters could be uniques or used for some special vaults. — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
note: I am planning on doing this. the changes to the base dwarf monster type ought to remain in the code. the non-classed deep dwarves will replace the standard monster deep dwarves in the hall. healers may replace the non classed deep dwarves currently. I'm gearin up to focus on the mosnters after debugging the last couple issues in the des file. — blue_anna 2010-09-01 18:24


Isn't the v glyph already used by insubstantial nonliving monsters, like wisps and vortices? If you really want to move them away from @, at least put them on an unused glyph (q, Q, or remaining weird non-alphabetic characters), or move something else to one of those, to make room for dwarves, though I don't see why this is needed. — mrmistermonkey 2010-08-24 22:03
Yes, @ would work. It is true, however, that elves, orcs, nagas, merfolk, draconians, vampires, spriggans, ogres, trolls, kobolds, centaurs all have their unique glyph. So finding one for dwarves would be good. — dpeg 2010-08-24 22:18
There's more races than glyphs, and trying to avoid @ leads to utterly bizarre things like H-glyph kenku. Even so, note that I is wasted on ice beasts, which would easily work as a white Y (or move dire elephants to lightcyan or whatever and use simulacrums' elemental colors for ice beasts). — og17 2010-08-24 23:22

Deep Dwarves

Modelled after dwarfs, but with more health. All deep dwarfs have the no_regen flag set and innate damage reduction stolen from the player code (ouch.cc if I remember it correctly). It is both a mon_species() type and a monster→type (actual monster).

  • They are level 5ish.


the below I consider resolved because, all deep dwarves now have a chance to spawn with healing pots.

Deep Dwarves should have means of healing. Giving them wands is out of the question. Potions are great (in fact, the branch should have a disposition towards such potions), but you'd also expect that there are deep dwarf healers who do the job. (Unique monster ability!) Also, I am not sure if we really need deep dwarf fighters… — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
It might be interesting for deep dwarves, especially any that don't have healing abilities of their own, should they go in, to summon or otherwise call for healers, though that might be overdoing it a little. — mrmistermonkey 2010-08-24 22:38
Player tendancies are 100% irrelevant as far as monster considerations go. If the branch would benefit from DDIEs, than DDIEs it is. — og17 2010-08-24 23:22

Deep Dwarf Scions

They are rich, and basically otherwise normal deep dwarves. slightly beefier.

  • They are lvl 6ish.
  • They are natural band leaders.

Deep Dwarf Necromancers

The have the spells Pain, Vampiric Draining (its implemented!), Animate dead, and Dispel Undead. The last one probably makes Dwarf Hall a very different place for undead species. They also have a generic necromantic spellbook.

  • They are lvl 7ish.
Yes, necromancers are a must. There could (and should) be several types of them. — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
Here's the spellbook for ddNe right now:

offensive spell: pain, general ench: dispel undead self-enchant: –none– misc_1: animate dead misc_2: vampiric_draining emergency: vampiric draining

ignore the fact that that dispel undead isnt actually an enchant, I think it works there. please provide other sample spellbooks :) — blue_anna 2010-08-24 22:23
Dispel Undead is necromantic, sure, but I think it would greatly unbalance the branch for undead races: it gives living players no extra threat, and greatly threatens undead; current monsters with dispel (Gloorx Vloq and Shadow Fiends are the only ones I can recall) have other spells which living players (torment, bolt of draining, poison arrow, miasma), so dispel makes sense to balance their threat. Bolt of Draining is a nice offensive necromantic spell, and Haunt (fresh) or Summon Undead (not fresh) might be nice for a higher-level dwarf. Agony, if implemented for monsters, seems like another candidate. — mrmistermonkey 2010-08-24 22:38
Did you forget undead are immune to pain/agony/draining/etc halfway through writing this? You can't say that undead-specific spells are out of place while suggesting attacks that only affect the living. Anyway, dispel undead is dangerous because it's irresistable and never misses, true, but if the damage is reasonable, it's appropriate enough in itself - the real problem is that a monster that has dispel undead and living-specific spells would do nothing but spam dispel undead when facing undead players. — og17 2010-08-24 23:43
Current necromancer and deep elf death mages don't have much in the way of hurting undead, either. Necromancers have bolts of fire or cold [which I personally find odd], and death mages just have animated dead and melee. Furthermore, any sufficiently powerful undead-summoning spell would indeed hurt player undead in melee, as would Animate Dead, though monster Animate Dead is a bit of a non-threat. — mrmistermonkey 2010-08-25 00:00


  • Deep dwarf necromancers need to cast Vampiric draining. right now they arent so bad as they should be (on my personal build they cast it, but it doesnt help much :P – they're still weaklings)
    • If you want necromancers to heal in melee, it'd be better to give them vampiric weapons. It'd be simpler mechanically, of course, but it'd also mean that they'd heal more often and deal actual damage as they do so. — og17 2010-08-24 07:51
      • It was brought up in IRC that this would result in a bunch of “good” vampiric weapons, obviously, but just to address that here: this would be one type of dwarf, not every, and it doesn't have to be battleaxes all the way down either - it could range from war axes, and fixed brands are already used with fire/frost giants, that's not an issue. Of course, that doesn't matter as long as you're assured of getting one vampiric battle(/broad)axe, but I don't see how that's a problem in itself, as the things can appear as early as orc, not to mention gods; it's a question of luck, not balance, and less important than how shoals can provide early demon tridents, or to a lesser extent, blademasters quickblades. A vampiric weapon is certainly preferable to having the monsters alternate between melee draining and melee weapon attacks, not to mention giving monsters a spell explicitly because player builds cast it. — og17 2010-08-24 17:08

Deep Dwarf Artificers

They have rods and a chance at wands of healing. The chance of getting a rod are such that about 3 will be found on a level full of them. The chances of a rod being a rod of striking are high (more than one in a 100).

  • They are lvl 7ish.
  • They spawn in bands.


No longer do any deep dwarves spawn with wands of healing, nor any other wand.

They also have a chance to generate with a wand of healing.

  • Too many wands of healing – right now I give artificers a high chance of getting a wand of healing. It needs to be toned down a lot.
    • You can't just hand out one of the most valuable items in the game. It's not a question of “toned down,” either - the odds shouldn't be any different than any other monster. If you want dwarves to heal, give them a spell. — og17 2010-08-24 06:48
    • I sort of agree (I already changed the code on my end to one_chance_in(30) - but (player) deep dwarf artificers start the game with a wand of healing 100% of the time, and non_unique monsters have a 0% chance of starting with a wand:

(mons_is_unique(mon→type) && !mons_class_flag(mon→type, M_NO_WAND) && (one_chance_in(5)) || (mon→type == MONS_MAURICE && one_chance_in(3)))

Yes, no wands of healing. The rods are good. There is b0rsuk's great idea of planting traps from wands (see 2579528). I would imagine deep dwarf artificers to be the soldiers of this branch: they burn and bomb against intruders… — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
How do you people feel about the many other guarranteed items Crawl already has ? Like, weapons of returning have ceased to be anything special, you can get tons of them from a bailey ? Weapons of Chaos are no longer a rarity. In fact, it's foolish to join Xom in hopes of getting one. You can base character creation on high chance of meeting Crazy Iyuf (Evaporate + Quarterstaff of Chaos is surprisingly effective). Psyche has either distortion, formerly rare, or chaos (even rarer). I used to join Lugonu to get distortion, now I don't have, and I'm not exactly happy about that.
If anyone's wondering I'm not pointing this out to support more guarranteed items. Quite the opposite. I wish many of these items were no longer guarranteed. I say not even god gifts should be guarranteed: Lugonu should give either distortion or chaos. TSO should get an alternative brand, perhaps electricity ? — b0rsuk 2010-08-25 07:41
This shouldn't be here, but none of that is guaranteed. You can't count on a vault, portal, or unique to show up in a given game at all, nor can you count on getting a specific item if one does, outside of chaos, which isn't a serious brand to begin with. And Lugonu and TSO's gifts would be pretty useless if they bounced between “an iconic selling point of the god” and “sorry about your weapon.” — og17 2010-08-25 13:17

Deep Dwarf Berserker

implemented in patch 0012

  • They have a full complement of Trog abilities.
  • They are lvl 8-ish.

Deep Dwarf Death Knight

They have a full complement of Yrede abilities. (yikes!)

  • They are lvl 9-ish.
  • They spawn in bands.

Deep Dwarf Unborn

They are like the big brothers of the Necromancers. They are designed to be the most difficult deep dwarfs in the branch.

  • They are lvl 11-ish.

Deep Dwarf Healer

unimplemented in the POC

By dpeg. In a species without innate healing, you'd expect a number of devoted followers of Elyvilon, who heal wounded dwarves. Healers would make for interesting combat: they would stand at the back and heal with smite-targeting (as do Elyvilonite players).

OG17 made a really persuasive argument down at the section Flavor. as a result, I'm not going to write deep dwarf priests/healers. Anyone else is of course welcome to – and coders get a bit of preference over non coders, for obvious reasons. — blue_anna 2010-09-01 23:25

Deep Dwarf Priests

unimplemented in the POC

By dpeg. An extension of the healers. If you accept the idea of a multi-religious deep dwarf society (see Flavour), then we could have deep dwarf priests drawing upon the powers of any god (excluding Beogh, Jiyva, Lugonu). This would make for interesting variety. — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13

This doesn't seem at all necessary. You have “several types” of necromancer that could fill summoning, melee, and conjuring roles, as well as artificiers (which are likely randomized themselves) and healers (ie “priests”) for support, as well as other monsters. What role are other priests supposed to play? It's also hard to see how this would work - if they're generic overcommon priests that call on X when they smite, it'd be better to use the expected “its god” and avoid creating noisy empty flavor and the question of why Vehumet is smiting. If it's more like a “deep dwarf priest of Vehumet” would be a conjurer and so on, that's putting a ton of different threat types on a single monster, and such roles would already be filled by the “interesting variety” of other branch monsters.

I don't get why you want DD to be exceptionally spiritually open in the first place, but I think you're letting that concept get in the way here. This feels very shoehorned. — og17 2010-08-24 23:22
So I'll explain again: players are used to the crucial choice of god on their Deep Dwarves. The popular choices are obviously gods which provide healing in some way (Elyvilon, Makhleb, after these probably Trog, Yredelemnul, TSO, Nemelex). Therefore, they will accept the fact that all these gods are worshiped in a deep dwarf community. My point is to start there and extend that to worship of all reasonable gods. — dpeg 2010-08-25 00:08
The choice of god is vital in defining any character of any race. DD need to heal, so Ely healers are all that's needed for both theme and function; throwing half the game's gods into the branch is asking for a mess. This is giving disproportionate weight to unnecessary flavor. — og17 2010-08-25 00:32
OG17 made a really persuasive argument down at the section Flavor. as a result, I'm not going to write deep dwarf priests/healers. Anyone else is of course welcome to – and coders get a bit of preference over non coders, for obvious reasons. — blue_anna 2010-09-01 23:25


Loosely modelled after (big) Kobolds and Spriggans, attached to the “K” glyph. They have high EV and are well equipped. They have a turn invisible spell at slot 5 – leads to non-immediate, but liberal, use of the spell.

I am not sure this is needed. Look at other branches: Elf uses only a large pool of elves; Swamp uses snakes (natural monsters) and nagas (with serpents being a kind of cross between them); Shoals admittedly has a whole bunch of unique monsters (which draws complaints occasionally). If you want a deep dwarf monster with this ability (go invisible): sure, why not? — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
I kind of like these, actually. Elf gets a little tiresome what with everything being an actual elf, and it'd be a welcome excuse to put some kobold demonologists in the branch, as they're very underused. The branch should have some sort of melee meatshield creatures anyway, and you don't seem to want to use DDs or trolls in that role. — og17 2010-08-24 23:22


Magical wives of trolls. they spawn with a husband.


In Scandinavian folklore, the Huldra (in Norwegian culture, derived from a root meaning “covered” or “secret”), or the skogsrå or skogsfru/skovfrue (meaning “Lady (read, counterpart of a Lord) of the forest”) or Tallemaja (pine tree Mary) in Swedish culture, is a seductive forest creature. Her name suggests that she is originally the same being as the völva Huld and the German Holda.[1] A male hulder is called a huldu, or in Norway a huldrekall.

They are very much like Sirens or mermaids, and have a mesmerize attack just like those. They also have fitting, illusion-like spells.


There are three different brands of witches that can be present in the branch. They are very much like the Wizard creatures already in the game.

It'd be cool to see these spawn in the Swamp too! — coolio 2010-09-27 19:59


These items aren't by any means guaranteed to drop. (you'd have to see the des file – low combinatorial chances).

  • there are a couple of unique, not-unbalancing rand arts I built too
    • Why would this branch come with its own uniques and fixedarts? That's very rare and mostly limited to pan/hell lords; this branch should have current uniques spawn according to depth, like anywhere else in the game (eg Elf), and have artifacts generated normally as well. It's one thing to specially weight Wayne or the like, but it seems pretty out of place for a Crawl branch to have dedicated stuff like this, and doubly so a replacement branch. And sure, shoals has Ilsuiw, but that's a single rune-branch boss, not an elf-equivalent that has its own gang. — og17 2010-08-24 07:17
I agree with og17. Having a few Dwarf randarts is cool (as it allows to define some lore), but branch-specific items are not so good, in my opinion. I would suggest to try to make the loot of the competing branches different. If Elf and Dwarf compete (as I suggest), then we could do:
Elf: consumables skewed towards scrolls; increased chances for potions of magic; non-consumables towards books, jewellery and lighter armours (with Elf:7 still providing lots of acquirement stuff — this is what the elves have collected over time). Main ammunition type found are arrows.
Dwarf: consumables towards potions (especially healing and heal wounds) and miscellaneous items; non-consumables towards armours (all kinds), shields. Ammunition are bolts?
dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13

Some special items suggested by blue_anna's page:

  • Ring of Charms Don't ask why, I just really want this ring added as a signature. It's a fairly inconspicuous randart that gives the player a chance to enslave creatures when tehy first come into vision, if they are a member of their own race. Its a passive enslavement effect, and (presumably) therefore wears off over a period of time.
    • There's no reason to tie this to a branch - it should be a normally-generated fixedart, if anything. It also seems like a poor idea, as it'd either be useless or result in nagas waltzing through Snake, merfolk Shoals, draconians Zot, etc. — og17 2010-08-24 07:24
      • The idea is cute, but we need to be careful with the execution. One idea is to have a small chance that a high-level unique may carry one. Another one is that you may find the ring rarely near the rune (so it's too late to solve the whole branch for you). — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
        • The rune? Isn't this planned to replace the runeless Elven Halls? — mrmistermonkey 2010-08-24 22:38
  • Casket of Three Fates This one-use artefact creates 3 simulacrums, each with a one third chance of being friendly to the user. Its a lookalike for the box of beasts (unidentified), and it is a good randart to put in a tomb. (see dhfh_treasure_sunken_tomb map)
    • I don't think the game needs more gimmick evocables, especially near-carbon copies of existing ones. — og17 2010-08-24 07:24
      • There are a couple reasons I wrote it (and the one above) – admittedly one of them was to familiarize myself with the code. :) – in the casket's defense, there was no other meaningful option to justify a box of beasts having an unidentified state. — blue_anna 2010-08-24 15:44
      • I agree completely, but I'd think that's a reason to have such evocables identified to begin with, not to duplicate already-problematic items. — og17 2010-08-24 17:08
        • See Miscellaneous Magical Items for what I think would be a much more interesting system of miscellaneous items (in general, not just about caskets). — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:13
  • Potions of Porridge and Nisse Nisse are guards who disappear (turn invisible), specifically supposed to help farmers. I thought a good idea to add flavour is to place potions of porridge on a select few nisse, and as well scatter them throughout the map like gold in orc mines (but more rare). I repurposed that code in fact – but I'm not finding potions of porridge.
    • I'd just give them a chance to have it, like vampires sometimes have blood. Giving it as treasure'd likely be overkill. — og17 2010-08-24 17:31
      • monster spawning with porrdige resolved in patch 0008, dugeon porridge resolved in patch 0009
  • One wand of healing Empyt, at the last level, and nowhere guaranteed. This would be awesome loot. — dpeg 2010-08-24 22:18
    • I'm not emptying it. :P –edit: added in patch 0009 — blue_anna 2010-09-02 00:18


Discussion on ##crawl-dev found informal support for the idea of some sort of dwarf map, and lots of people have helped me debug the proof of concept enough to get it up here. A wish expressed online is that if it is a branch it should replace Elf half the time. I've followed that development path, but left it spawning in the main dungeon for now, for easy access and because I didnt figure out how to add optional branches.

I don't know if “Dwarf Hall of Fallen Heros” is the “official” name, but it's more than a little unfitting; the game uses simple titles, not grandiose ones. “Dwarven Halls” or similar would be more fitting. — og17 2010-08-24 07:35
Name is up for grabs. I chose that name only because the whole thing was envisioned as a scandanavian-themed branch. Scandanavian folklore and ancient culture is a prime example of ancestor worship (the Germanic Europe part of the wikipedia article), thus the decision to design a branch where they venerate “fallen heros”. Also, below it occurs to me that it isn't necessarily clear that dwarfs and magic in general in scandanavian folklore dealt mostly with necromancy and death – this is where ideas like a deep dwarf being good at necromancy could be well founded in tradition. — blue_anna 2010-08-24 15:33
Honestly, I think that's a fundamental problem in itself - branches have themes like “is a freezing hell,” “is an elf hall,” or at most, “is Graeco-Roman shoals,” not “is a hall of Scandinavian creatures that venerate fallen heroes.” Vaults and monsters can still be strongly themed, sure, but it'd seem that a branch with overly-specific goals results in an overly-busy branch - the dwarves should be (and appear to be) interesting in themselves, and the necromantic aspect comes across by simply having necromancers. It's one thing to design something around what sounds cool, but another to add things only because they sound cool. Same with the tomb below, as well as the monsters and items. — og17 2010-08-24 17:08
Clarification: The long_desc name of the branch is currently Dwarf Hall of Fallen Heros. Come up with an alternative if you like. When you (x,<move_cursor>,v) view the stairs, the long description says that. The Place description on the charcter's screen shows “Dwarf Hall”. the (G)oto shortcut is set to “W” for “Dwarf Hall”. The branch shortcut I use in the des file, for Place and Depth tags, is just “Dwarf”. — blue_anna 2010-08-24 20:21
“Dwarven Halls” would fit “Elven Halls”, but we could also find something that links to the deathly aspect of deep dwarves. If you can allude to Ragnarok in a single word… :) — dpeg 2010-08-24 21:54

dpeg 2010-08-24 18:10: I have some general comments about this project.

  1. The idea of a dwarven branch is good. One of the ideas behind introducing Deep Dwarves was to add the corresponding monsters later, ultimately with a dedicated branch. Following the idea of the Shoals (which is a new branch, but does not enlarge the dungeon), Dwarf should replace some existing branch (with a chance) — natural candidates are Orc or Elf. (Of these, Elf may be the better choice, because DD is a lot about necromancy, which may be too harsh early on.)
  2. Following that, I would like to keep the distinction between (Mountain) Dwarves and Deep Dwarves (as monsters). In other words, the Dwarf branch should be populated by deep dwarf monsters. Take the Orcish Mines as a reference: the orcs living down there are Cave Orcs, whereas the player orcs (who come from above) are Hill Orcs. (This is reflected a little bit in the Beogh backstory.)
  3. When we designed the Deep Dwarf species, the idea was to relate to the original Norse mythos (and the proposal got a lot of criticism for that, as it strays far from the fantasy Dwarf trope); the bits about Necromancy and death. Deep Dwarves are also good at evoking, so I absolutely support the idea that the Dwarf branch is about necromantic spells and monsters using evokable items. I am not so happy about throwing in all dwarf-related ideas in there (treasure chambers, gold etc.)
  4. When coming up with a new branch, you will generally want to think about these topics:
    • monsters (should be interesting and diverse — okay for the Dwarf branch)
    • reward (depends on what it replaces: if Elf, then items, but ideally skewed distributions)
    • layout (it took a lot of work to get the Shoals out, but they have unique layout)
I'm not against this branch in principle, but against some the specifics (implementation). The way it's defined now it's too static and specific for Crawl. It sounds like a branch from A.D.O.M., which is known as one of most defined but also most static and repetitive roguelikes. It is also a story-based roguelike. Static design is nice once or twice, but as you play it over and over it wears off. Compared to A.D.O.M., Crawl doesn't have a story but rather a theme. Being purposedly more generic has advantages - it allows the player to fill in the blanks with his imagination, and allows to the developers more freedom (Unless you are unscrupulous like Blizzard, use retconning without shame, and can invent a story justification of a ridiculous game mechanic on a spot).
Wow, I went out of my way to specifically make the POC thematic and specifically not story-lined. did you actually read the des file, or play through the proof-of-concept once, or are you just descerning this opinion from the discussion? — blue_anna 2010-08-25 17:08

By dpeg. I want to suggest that the deep dwarves are (a) very spiritual and (b) very liberal regarding religion. In other words, you would find many altars in their branch, to all sorts of gods (even conflicting ones). Chances could be skewed: Elyvilon would have higher chances, for example. This idea is not a contradiction to player Deep Dwarves, who generally use only a few gods: those DDs are adventurers, whereas the deep dwarves you encounter in the branch stay at home. So they lead safer lives and are free to explore all directions of religion (within their society: every given deep dwarf only “follows” a single god, of course). I feel this would add some flavour to the species and the branch. It would also provide us with a lot of vaults, and with interesting monster types (priests).

This would be better saved for some other race, wouldn't it? Scandinavian lore - or Norse, rather - is very much on the mark for deep dwarves, as it's wonderfully fitting for a race that doesn't heal to have a bleak death-focused outlook. Making them exceptionally spiritually open makes things overbusy and doesn't mesh with the desired necromantic focus. Basically, deep dwarves are more than interesting enough without wedging this and its priests in. Keep it around for halflings, maybe. — og17 2010-08-24 23:28

More on flavour

by magne. I like the idea of the branch, but I think it would have a stronger theme if focused more on deep dwarves. The creature list above seems more like a random mix of unrelated folklore elements. I also think deep dwarves following temple gods is thematically problematic, and having them instead follow their own (unnamed) god instead is an opportunity to give their priests unique abilities that fit the theme of the branch.

One of the most significant traits of the mythological dwarves is their extraordinary abilities as craftsmen, and this is something that could be used for the branch theme. For example the dwarves may be constructing golems or other constructs which could make up a significant part of the random monsters generated, and deep dwarf monsters could have names like deep dwarf metalworker, deep dwarf forge master or deep dwarf golem crafter and given suitable abilities. This trait is something that normal fantasy dwarves have partly inherited though, so including it may not be helping to distinguish deep dwarves from mountain dwarves.

Some more specific ideas: Monster generation consisting of deep dwarves, spectral deep dwarves, and their constructs.

  • Deep dwarves coming in bands, consisting of
    • Heavily armoured deep dwarf warriors.
      • I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised when you play it. all the deep dwarf (plain vanillas), scions, berserkers, and death knights are well armoured. — blue_anna 2010-09-06 15:46
    • Necromancers.
      • good idea! I'll implement this today. — blue_anna 2010-09-06 15:46
    • Forge masters: fire spells and might, and wields a branded weapon.
    • Earth shapers: petrify, earth conjurations and summon earth elementals. Has bonus AC from stoneskin.
    • Deep dwarf priest with unique ability: nearby deep dwarves slain immediately come back as spectral creatures as with the death channel spell, keeping their abilities, also affect the priest. Nearby warriors sometimes go berserk seeking to claim glory for the afterlife.
  • Spectral dwarves being more common on the deeper levels.
    • Spectral versions of living dwarves: lacks the guaranteed damage reduction they had in life but have the resistances of undeath.
    • Deep dwarf ancestors: Powerful ghost of an ancient deep dwarf, casts a haunt-like spell summoning spectral deep dwarves as well as other spells, has aura that strengthen ghosts.
I really like these ideas but will hold off on implementing most of them until others have a chance to comment. – specifically there was concern that there were already too many non dwarfs. My only concern is that a few of your ideas really don't belong here, but rather are perfect for dwarven fortress.. they are thematically the more common interpretation of stocky, hearty, craftsmen style european dwarves, and not the speaks-to-undead and acts as guardian style scandanavian dwarves that is the theme of this branch. — blue_anna 2010-09-06 15:46
one more comment – there is some consistent interest in deep dwarf priests, of various forms. At the same time some of the code-contributors I've talked to thought it was bad feng-shui to include yet-another-branch with priest-balanced-racial-bands like the orcs and elves. They were pleasantly surprised that I had managed to provide enough alternate forms of damage control to make deep dwaves viable without it. My personal preference is with this view, admittedly perhaps a minority view. If someone codes a deep dwarf priest I won't fight its inclusion, but otherwise – let's just say I really don't want to code it. — blue_anna 2010-09-06 15:54
I propose renaming some of the proposed Deep Dwarves. 'Necromancer', 'Death Knight' and 'Healer' are awfully generic and do not really compliment the scandinavian theme all that much. 'Priest' might just do, and 'Berserker', while a cliché does admittedly fit in perfectly.

Suggested new names (some shamelessly stolen from Dominions)

* Death Knight → Jarl / Huskarl / Hirddwarf / Fanatic

Note that these terms have meanings - a “jarl” is a chieftan, a “hirddwarf” is a hired dwarf, a “huskarl” is the retinue of a house or hall (e.g. a servant or possibly bodyguard.) Not sure these all mesh with “Death Knight”-hood. Maybe something like “Dödenriddar” or “Doomriddar” for Death Knight.

* Necromancer → Häxa or Hexe (witch) / Warlock

* Priest / Healer → If there's a need for buff-type mons for DD's, they could possibly be refurbished into Skalds (poets) that affect friends and foes alike with spellsongs..? — coolio 2010-09-27 20:05

New Proposal for DD monsters (2012-03-15)

Okay, here is my proposal for dwarves. It does not involve adding any new spells/abilities. — st 2012-03-15 14:02

Changes to existing dwarves
  1. Remove potion/gold drops from DDs.
  2. Standard DD stats to orc warrior level.
  3. Remove scions.
  4. Remove animate dead from all DDs that have it.
  5. Rename unborn deep dwarves. This is some holdover from the original proposal and it pretty bad in my opinion. Use “thanatomancer” instead.
  6. Increase necromancer, artificer to orc warrior and death knight, berserker and unborn stats to orc knight level.
New deep dwarf monsters

The existing monsters in parenthesis means give it the same stats/equip.

  1. Deep dwarf guard (vault guard)
  2. Deep dwarf sharpshooter (yaktaur) and deep dwarf sniper (yaktaur captain)
  3. Deep dwarf healer - heal other, minor self healing, greater self healing (orc warrior)
  4. Deep dwarf geomancer - stone arrow, petrify, bolt of magma / stone arrow, petrify, iron shot
  5. Deep dwarf knight - haste self, haste other (orc warrior)
  6. Deep dwarf paladin - smite, minor self healing, greater self healing (orc knight)

Put these guys in vaults. It is in far greater need of new monsters than elf is in need of a replacement.

A problem with putting these in any branch is that they don't regenerate. This makes them extremely vulnerable to being taken down by attrition. If you have to cancel a fight with a regenerating monster (for example by teleporting), you most likely will have to start over, or at least you lose some progress. This is good: the challenge did not get any easier by losing. I think non-regenerating monsters should be used very sparingly in actual branches for this reason. They fit much better into small portal vaults, where escaping means losing the reward. — Galefury 2012-03-15 15:10
Dwarf has been reduced to a single level, so it's not that different from a portal vault. Also, most of opposition in Crypt are zombies who are more unhealable than deep dwarves. So, being a single level quite well fits “used very sparingly” in my book. — KiloByte 2012-03-15 15:16

Set bands to go along with allowing all mixed in together:

  • (leaders)
  • (Guard) sharpshooter/healer
  • (Knight) paladin/healer
  • (Sniper) sharpshooter
  • (Death knight) necromancer
  • (Thanatomancer/Unborn) necromancer
  • (Healer) guard/paladin
  1. st 2012-03-15 14:51
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dcss/brainstorm/dungeon/branch/propose/dwarf/dwarf_hall_of_fallen_heroes.txt · Last modified: 2012-03-15 15:18 by KiloByte
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