Restraining / Holding

Name dcss:brainstorm:effect: held and restrained
Summary A brainstorming page for net-like effects, including constriction and spider webs.
Further information Throwing nets
Added by evktalo
Added on 2010-04-02 21:07

There are a lot of ideas around that are similar to the current effects of throwing nets. Constriction and spider webs are the prominent ones, plus I have the idea of making the slugs and snails spit goo. For the sake of brainstorming, I've also included a couple of other effects here. Pondering upon them, I see two effects:

  • Being held in place - your character (or the monster) cannot move
  • Being restrained from attacking - your character cannot interact physically with other squares

Like with throwing nets, even if restrained, you can still act within your own square, for instance use items and cast. If this wasn't so, the effect would be more like paralysis and not (in my opinion) as interesting. Some effects could give a spellcasting malus (increased miscasting) though, and maybe even slow down other actions, but it's better to have few, clear, big effects than many small ones.

Escaping the predicament:

  • If the player is held in place *and* restrained, movement causes struggling/trying to slip out (like with nets).
  • If the player is only held in place (for instance, constricted by a kraken):
    • Movement to empty spot causes struggling/trying to slip out.
    • Moving into an enemy will hit the enemy (this is a way to get the grabber to let go).
    • Ctrl+dir strikes in empty air (in case invisibles might be around).
  • If the player is only restrained, attempts to escape are automatic.
    • Not sure if restraining only is desirable. But against large creatures, an effect (say a net) which normally does both, could randomly do only the other.

Additionally, the effects are further differentiated by how they can be escaped from:

  • If they can be struggled against with Str and/or Dex
  • If they are escapable with translocations

Throwing nets

  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Restrict it from attacking (blowguns being an exception for nets).
  • Can be struggled against with str. This is faster, but damages the net.
  • Can be slipped away from with dex.
  • Can be teleported away from (except some specially branded nets possibly).

See Throwing nets for further ideas.

Grabs (aka Constriction)

Krakens, nagas, anacondas, tentacled monstrosities can constrict you. Bears can hug you. The following may or may not differ per monster type:

  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Can be struggled against with str.
  • Can be slipped away from with dex.
  • Not sure about translocations (possibly depending on monster - some could teleport with you? depending on transloc skill even? There still will be incentive to teleport/blink, if monsters other than the grabber are around. You just can't shake the grabber, you'll have to fight it some other way.)
    • Love this idea. Chance for creature to teleport with you sounds great. What if there was a 'tiny' chance to telefrag the creature? Say only a chunk of the creature teleported with you and the rest of the creature would be blasted. — StudioMK 2010-07-25 00:20
      • That sounds fun, but since teleport/blink is very strong/useful, it would be better to have monsters that are hard to shake away with them. Perhaps a high Translocations skill could influence things, since having one isn't generall useful at the moment (or so I understand). Might be a too small perk to matter, though. — evktalo 2010-07-26 10:58
      • Maybe it could be influenced by the player's xl to the monster's hd. It could have a chance to kill the player/monster based on this, or teleport with the monster, or blast the monster. Gameplay-wise it would be used as a last-ditch measure when you're pretty much about to die anyway. — StudioMK 2010-07-26 14:08
      • Instakilling the player would be bad - someone will lose a character to a careless move. Also on second thoughts, telefragging into monsters, rather than away from them, would be more visually striking. — evktalo 2010-07-26 18:55
      • Isn't “You forget to breathe” from using a crystal ball, the same thing? And the careless non-renewing of flight/levitation has taken a few of my higher level characters. Carelessness should be punished to promote smart play. — StudioMK 2010-07-26 23:27

When struggling with str, it should probably pit the PCs str versus the monsters strength, while assuring that you'll eventually escape. Or maybe killing the monster would be the guaranteed escape method - you can still act while grabbed.

Generally, EV helps avoiding the grab, but AC helps against the constriction damage. Perhaps.

The combat mechanics differ from creatures to creatures. For instance:

I think Unarmed Combat and Short Blades should be the only weapon skills to suffer no penalties. That would be a reason to learn one of the two skills. In case Short Blades isn't obvious - there's no room to swing a long weapon. Ideally, Short Blades would be better of the two, but DCSS's simplistic Unarmed Combat implementation can probably punch through any damage reduction you throw at it. — b0rsuk 2010-09-12 08:27


  • The tentacles have reaching.
  • Successful hit-and-grab pulls the target next to the tentacle. The tentacles try to pull the target next to the kraken's head.
  • Crushing damage is applied each turn to the grabbed target.
This probably doesn't apply as such to the articulated kraken. — evktalo 2010-08-08 17:27


  • Bears have two paw attacks and a bite attack.
  • When both paw attacks land, the target is hugged. (So, EV helps naturally.)
  • While hugged, instead of paw attacks, the target is subject to a crushing attack (this should go through AC to rub in how you want EV against bears).

Tentacled monstrosities

  • Have reaching grab as per krakens.
  • Like with bears, they have tentacle and bite attacks; pulls a target next to the body, tries to bite.
  • Also crushes with constriction.
  • Has hydra targeting, so can constrict several targets at the same time.

Anacondas and nagas

  • They have a separate attack that attempts to coil their bodies around the target; once this lands, the target is constricted and subject to crushing attacks.

More in 2865423 and 2139547.


  • I think mimics should get a form of constricting/mesmerising, because they're next to harmless right now. b0rsuk

Spider web

A new trap type for Spider's Nest. If you get caught, the spiders nearby can “hear” you. Some spiders can spit web.

  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Restrict it from attacking.
  • Can be struggled against with str.
  • Not sure about teleporting.. if goo teleports with you, then (some of) the web probably should too.


Spit by giant slugs, giant snails and elephant slugs. Slugs are slow, and by pinning their prey down to place, they get a chance to catch up with it. Also, this makes slugs more dangerous when other monsters are around.

  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Restrict it from attacking.
  • Can be shaken off with dex.
    • Handwave reasoning: jellylike substance (non-brownian fluid was it?) only gets harder when pressure is applied. So, you need dexterity to do this.
  • You can teleport while goo'd, but the goo teleports with you.

Stuck in sand

Desert trap type. Maybe another Earth/Transmutation spell too. Naturally only affects non-floating, substantial creatures.

  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Can be struggled against with str.
  • Can be teleported away from.

Trapped by ice

A throwaway brainstorm. The idea is as follows:

  • A creature is in a water square (shallow or deep).
  • It is not flying (i.e. it is in the water properly).
  • The square is attacked with a cold-based attack/effect.
  • The creature is encased in ice, movement is impeded.
  • The cold-based attack does not freeze the water into walkable icy bridges! It only affects squares with creatures in it, and really only affects the creature, not the square.
  • Hold the actor in place.
  • Restrict it from attacking (could make a distinction for large creatures: they'd be only held in place if the water was shallow).
  • Can be struggled against with str.
  • Can be teleported away from.
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dcss/brainstorm/effect/held_and_restrained.txt · Last modified: 2011-12-21 21:36 by XuaXua
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