Name dcss:brainstorm:branch: forest
Summary A warped forest with shifting geometry
Added by kilobyte
Added on 2010-05-14 16:20

Branch or portal vault?

There are reasons against it being a portal vault, but all are technical so with enough coding they're not blockers for you portal lovers.

  • portal vaults can't currently have multiple levels (Zigs cheat, poorly)
  • map generators don't work well with those
  • you can't use vaults except for subvaults which have fixed placement and size
  • distortion/banishment returns you to the main dungeon without a way back

dpeg agrees that the Forest should be a branch. The main point about portal vaults was to use them when you want to test a new layout, rather than going for a branch right away. The Shoals could have profited from this, and the Spider's Nest shows how this can be done.


There would be a custom map generator that produces clearings connected by non-straight corridors (paths).

There are several ideas how a Forest branch should look like and, equally important, where it should reside.

Tentatively the branch would consist of two parts:

  • Forest:1…n-1: The Enchanted Forest. It keeps shifting around, somewhere between Abyss and Lab. The map outside of LOS keeps getting generated over and over, but unlike Abyss, monsters and items are shifted instead of being spawned anew so you can't scum it. Ok, we can spawn new monsters, but in a limited amount. (Someone suggested to use n=1, i.e. only two Forest levels.)
    • I've been experimenting with generating procedural layouts using Worley and Simplex noise and it's very easy to create something that would look and behave like this. — mumra 2013-03-05 16:45
  • Forest:n: The spriggan town. Uses the vault placement code to include a large amount of custom vaults in a level created by the forest generator. The only fixed vault, the Enchantress' palace, isn't big.

Other possible levels:

  • Dark forest: forced heavy nightstalker for everyone.
  • Dead forest: all trees look either withered or possibly burned out, an undead monster set.
    • Possibly including Rich Burlew's “charred horror” idea, ie, a burned-out reanimated ent.
  • Crystal forest: (from Weyland's “Aria”): redecoration again. Or, possibly, stone (happens in RL).
    • I love all these. Funnily enough, I made a simple Worley forest layout (for now just for normal depths) and included a “petrified forest” variation which I intended for Tar. It uses statues instead of trees and I was just going to change their tile and description. Was also going to make a Crypt variant with the dead tree tileset. The dark forest idea would be doubly interesting with everything out of LOS moving around.

In other words, levels would look highly different from each other.

The branch may have a non-linear order, ie, one downstair from Forest:1 might lead to Forest:2, another to Forest:3, another to Forest:2 again.

Ideas for placement:

  • kilobyte: deep dungeon (D:25), harder than Elf:7 but easier than V:8
    • I agree with this, as I said on the Spriggan page; there's many places to go in the early game, but few choices once V8 is on the horizon. — og17 2010-05-19 03:47
  • deep lair (like Shoals)
  • I suggested to use Forest for making the dungeon graph un-tree-like: Forest could start somewhere in the dungeon, meet the Lair, and go on. I like this because (not) finding Lair is the most important event in the early game.
    • kilobyte: perhaps a shortcut between deep Lair and deep Vaults?

dpeg is not sure what branches to replace Forest with (a la Shoals).

squashmonster: Placement ideas with suggested replacement branches:

  • Replace Lair, leads to the same end branches as Lair. This variant means monsters in it can't have much equipment.
  • Another Lair branch choice. Simple but boring.
  • Replace Elf, but instead of being behind Orc it's behind Hive
  • Overly ambitious version: Make it an especially wicked and twisted forest with a changing layout, then make it a possible Abyss replacement complete with rune. Banishment goes here instead if this branch was chosen, and Lugonu is just as at home here.

o_O: Put it in late dungeon, remove levels from Vaults and/or Lair to make room

  • Vaults is light on actual content and really just 7 more levels of D
    • You haven't played Vaults lately, right?
  • Lair is very nearly a bonus level that appears at the same time as many other branch choices: Orc, D, Snake/Swamp.
    • It appears at around the same time as Orc. I wouldn't list D because that's true of *any* branch. And Snake/Swamp/Spider/Shoals simply aren't options more most players at the stage they're tackling Lair/Orc. I'm not saying it couldn't stand to lose a level or two but this seems like a strange justification… – mumra


  • wolves, bears. Too weak for this depth, but we can add dire wolves and cave bears, perhaps.
  • drop bears would put us too far into due's land :p
    • If dropbears aren't implemented with forest, I will quit crawl. :[ — tgw 2010-05-14 21:21
    • Yeah! Come on, Crawl is an Australian game. — evktalo 2010-07-26 19:43
  • phoenix (strong resurrecting fire creature) as end level boss — hayenne 2010-09-09 13:25
    • the Enchantress and her guard are supposed to be the branch-end fight… but phoenixes in random vaults would be fitting. — kilobyte 2010-09-09 13:37
      • summon phoenix as Enchantress' spell? — hayenne 2010-09-09 14:14
        • it's currently a holy monster, so that would be inappropriate – but I don't get why — kilobyte 2010-09-09 14:26
  • pixies (with a permanent small-range silence?) — hayenne 2010-09-09 13:25
  • treants/ents (moving hard-hitting trees) as separate creatures or spriggan druid's summons — hayenne 2010-09-09 13:32
  • Tigers if you can't use bears: both strong and fast. Would be fitting if they could sneak up on players, though I suppose there are too many candidates for stealthy monsters and that'd be annoying if monsters could jump on you out of nowhere. — doublep 2010-09-11 00:38
    • You could even have leopards and tigers as a new monster family, with tigers being more badass. — doublep 2010-09-11 19:15
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dcss/brainstorm/dungeon/branch/propose/forest.txt · Last modified: 2013-03-09 15:26 by mumra
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