Dwarven Fortress (Eronarn)

Quite some time ago, I had the idea to start a Dwarf Fortress branch and took many notes about it. This was designed as an Elf replacement, and would come in both a MD and DD version. Unfortunately, I took a hiatus from Crawl before I could do anything with these ideas. I'm dumping my notes here in the hopes they'll be useful.

Layout: 7 (of course!) levels deep. Starts off as twisty tunnels through rock. Rapidly becomes more orderly tunnels made of stone, with a lot of heavily trapped maze-like passages, but few dwarves. These passages widen as you go deeper and start to encounter areas of dwarven civilization. The final level is the heart of the dwarven city. The branch should give the impression of a fortress that is actively being defended against your intrusion.

  • Sound: Ideally, the Fortress would have many soundproof walls.
  • Traps: Lots of pressure plates! Think rolling boulders, statues that come to live, doors that seal shut behind you, and so on.
  • Subvaults: DF was designed before subvaults were implemented, but the idea was that the layout would heavily make use of them.
  • Arrow slits: Cyan ”+”. Blocks movement except for spriggans/bats/spiders. If you aren't adjacent to an arrow slit, you have a large accuracy penalty to make an attack that passes through its square.
  • Runed walls: Just a flavor element. Walls are heavily engraved with scenes from Dwarven history, c.f. Dwarf Fortress.

Monsters: Lots of dwarves, not much that isn't dwarves (kind of like Elf in this regard). Very well equipped.

  • Dwarven Royal Guard: branded large dwarven shields, dwarven platemail of ponderousness, dwarven weapon of protection. Provide a “shieldwall” status effect — once per turn, they can try to block an attack on an adjacent ally. Will swap position to move weaker dwarves away from the player.
  • Dwarven Choir: Weak dwarves in robes (possibly neutral) that buff other dwarves in earshot. Their volume depends on the number of them present. The DD version of these could be invisible ancestor spirits singing a haunting tune.
  • Dwarven (Grand) Alchemist: uses Evaporate as well as some earth magic.
  • Dwarven (Artisan/Artificer): often rod of striking or wand of magic missile/fire/frost; more rarely, can have other damage wands.
  • Dwarven (Geomancer / Earth Mage): focused on earth magic; not outright conjuration, but lots of buffs & debuffs.
  • Dwarven (Master) Sniper: Crossbow users! For use with those arrow slits.

Abilities: New stuff for some of the above monsters.

  • Teleport Anchor: Prevents the target from teleporting for a duration; if there's already a pending teleport, cancel it and deal damage. Requires LOS.
  • Gravity Flux: Caster can manipulate gravity. Gets to switch the current gravity to one of: increased gravity (flying/levitating creatures are no longer flying, gear weight increases), decreased gravity (non-flying creatures begin to levitate, gear weight decreases), reversed gravity (most flying creatures become briefly, non-magically confused; non-flying creatures take falling damage now, and again when the effect wears off).
  • Earthen Grasp: The ground attacks you. This is like an attack based on strength that will cancel your flying and cause ponderousness. If you take a step, the ponderousness counter resets, but it can immediately try again (and if you're ponderous, it may get multiple attacks to try!)
Just my note about it — I think its a great idae to seperate out a distinct branch/vault/minivault for dee dwarfs and regular dwarfs, and this idea is much more fitting for what at elast americans think of when they think about fantasy dwarfs. — blue_anna 2010-09-05 21:33
There are great ideas in here. Let me mention what I like in particular: The slits are interesting; see Hive for an obscure mention of a new trap type (narrow tunnel) similar in spirit. Layout converging from narrow tunnels in rock to wider tunnels in stone. This type of convergence within a branch is always cool in my opinion (the Shoals introduced it first). Having a fortress at the end is not necessary (as we're dealing with Deep Dwarves in the branch rather than Mountain Dwarves) but it could be one possible branch end. Dwarven Royal Guard is fine, but the special rule is not really necessary for the monster. (Rather, shield usage might come with such a feat on its own at some time.) The Choir is an interesting idea, might need some thought how to properly DD-ify it. The other dwarven monsters are good to use (and already in the branch, right?) I don't care too much for the proposed abilities. (By the way, the name teleport anchor is already in use for a proposed one-off application of some new miscellaneous item: invoking it at some place would make your next teleport go to (or near) that spot.) — dpeg 2010-09-05 23:08
I loved the shield wall idea, and I think each monster should have something special to them.. so restricting it to Dwarven Royal Guard is a great idea in my opinion. — evktalo 2010-12-09 20:27
hmm, well - it's not the deep dwarf branch that is put forward here, this is regular old dwarfs. like mountain dwarfs in the player race selection. — blue_anna 2010-09-13 14:16
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