Name dcss:brainstorm:branch: shoals
Summary Brainstorm ideas for the Shoals.
Further information
Added by greensnark
Added on 2009-12-25 21:20

A brief list of ideas to improve the Shoals branch, in no particular order.



Kraken have insufficient damage output, and are pretty hard to hit, which makes them practically furniture. Some ideas to make them more interesting:

  1. Better damage from tentacles and the body
  2. Better speed in water
  3. The ability for tentacles to reach out onto land (within a certain distance from the water) (this is in)
  4. Kraken should sense prey (i.e. the player, if in/over water) across the map. (This reflects the well known intelligence of actual squids.)


Harpies have a novel attack, but are not otherwise dangerous. Add this to the fact that they're fast and hard to hit, and they end up being pretty close to insubstantial wisps. Harpies might be more interesting with better attack damage and less hp/EV.

I think I've found a trick which prevents harpies from doing anything to your food. Drop food and stand over it. Kill harpies, pick up food. — b0rsuk 2010-01-02 20:53
Good point. This could be turned into something more risky. A few ideas: harpies only attack when the tide sets in (so that by dropping food you risk losing it). Or they can steal food from the ground, including adjacent occupied spots (occupied by the player, a monster or a plant, say). — dpeg 2010-03-21 02:27


Merfolk are pretty awesome, but they could really use some “specialists” - merfolk reavers, crusaders, ice elementalists, and summoners all strike me as viable options. — eronarn 2009-12-25 21:26

Extended merfolk NPCs ideas (from discussion on ##crawl-dev):

Merfolk gladiators

Stronger versions of the existing plain merfolk. Plain old merfolk will no longer be generated (they will just be base monsters for corpses). Gladiators specialise in trident and javelin (perhaps nets instead of javelins). Ero suggests shields as well.

=== Merfolk grapplers == =

Souped up MfMo NPCs that can grab the player and drag them into water to finish them off. They could either aim for drowning or (more sportsmanlike) just aim for the double-damage bonus the player be splashing around when fighting in water.

Merfolk transmuters

Possible spells: blade hands, transforms including ice form and spider form, the latter useful for retreat as well as attack.

Merfolk reavers

Good weapon, bolt of cold, condensation shield?


Snapping Turtle seems to have made it into the game without a wiki entry. So I'm creating one.

It's completely backwards that the turtles run away. Have you ever seen a threatened turtle ? It hides in its shell. It's proverbial. To turtle even means an excessively defensive playing style in a real-time strategy game.

So I propose a change: instead of running away, turtles hide in shell, gaining massive bonus to AC. Optionally, they can start to run away if there are no adjacent enemies (this may promote ranged combat too much. Unfortunately, there's no simple way of telling turtle if player is capable of inflicting ranged damage and if it's safe to run away in player's view).

This would feel a lot different from all the other cowardly monsters. You could have players deliberately create a wall of scared turtles to defend themselves, for example. Cloud spells would still work. Very strong characters would be able to push adjacent scared turtles. Very strong Large characters should be able to pick up a scared turtle and throw it at an enemy. If turtle regains courage in player's hands, it reappears at an adjacent square. — b0rsuk 2010-03-20 17:27

Yes! I believe that it'd be also good (and in the same spirit), if a killed turtle could leave its shell (chances as with hides). These could be turned into a shield, presumably. — dpeg 2010-03-21 02:27
Another material for shields could be giant ant carapace. I think the challenge in both cases is to make them interesting but not necessarily strictly better than alternatives. b0rsuk
This is especially important for turtles, doubly so if there's both normal and alligator turtle shields, as they rarely appear outside of shoals and the branch already contains exponentially more javelins than the rest of the game (also, demon tridents are likely) - swamp has dragon armor and I suppose snake has bardings, sure, but a player missing out on an “exclusive” shield due to branch selection would be more likely to feel sore about it than a player missing out on the current offerings. Of course, turtle shields would still need to be good enough to burn an enchantment scroll on - it might be easier to make both turtles more common outside of shoals than it would be to find the perfect balance of desirability for the shells. — og17 2010-03-21 10:47


Submerged sharks should be presented as white ^ glyphs, to represent their legendary dorsal fin. Also, sharks should sense blood (in water) across the map. — dpeg 2010-03-21 02:33

“Blood in the water” would be more interesting if sharks were largely uninterested in healthy characters (outside of self-defense), but became aggressive in a radius from the player that increased in size in proportion to the player's percentage of lost life. Perhaps they could even berserk at high percentages? I imagine that last would be dangerous, though they're pretty dull as things stand. (Note: what to do with blood-seeking monsters when the player is a mummy or dry vampire? Does anyone care?) — og17 2010-03-21 10:50
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dcss/brainstorm/dungeon/branch/shoals.txt · Last modified: 2012-10-02 04:39 by infiniplex
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