Name dcss:brainstorm:god: ashenzari
Summary On the divinations god Ashenzari.
Added by dpeg for Minced
Added on 2010-09-18 22:29


Ashenzari gives characters very useful passive divination abilities and bonuses for cursed gear, with the flavor that these powers are *actually* provided by sharing in Ashenzari's divine curse. For those unfamiliar with this god, Ashenzari is currently set for implementation in version 0.8 as the long-awaited replacement for the divination spell school.


These aren't crucial, but could be nice — dpeg 2011-03-24 00:45

  • Likewise, the passive mapping should be better at high piety. We want an Ashenzarite to know rather well his surroundings.

In any case we want the mapping be stronger (higher density) as piety goes up. The effect itself could perhaps be more local (several players suggested smaller, but stronger).

  • Ashenzari might give away the ego of (some?) items in antique shops.
I think Ash should identify any item in a shop she would identify on the ground. — st 2011-11-01 09:27


God Description
Ashenzari the Shackled
While it seems inconceivable that the divine could be shackled, Ashenzari is just that:
a god imprisoned outside of space and time with a bird's-eye view of both, nailed to the
sky by a thousand curses. Devoted worshipers gain unparalleled foresight and knowledge,
but be warned: Ashenzari's power and curse are one and the same.
I like that. One idea that fits this theme nicely would be this: Ashenzari relies on followers to detect the world for him. They are his countless eyes, so to speak. Of course, Ashenzari is a god and as such strong enough to provide information about anything/anywhere alone, but followers provide lots of information for free.
Like will to like and so Ashenzari prefers worshippers who are cursed similarly to himself. — dpeg 2010-09-19 03:40

Here is an adapted version, taking into account the changes to scrolls and nomenclature:

While it seems inconceivable that the divine could be shackled, Ashenzari is 
just that: being purposely nailed to the sky for eternity, the unbudging god
is all-knowing, all-seeing. Devoted worshipers are allowed to grasp shreds of
this knowledge and foresight, but be warned: to Ashenzari, power and blessing
and curse are all the same thing.
Opening Quote
Partake of my vision. Partake of my curse.

Altar is a “shattered altar of Ashenzari.”

This crystal altar shattered to pieces when Ashenzari was cursed centuries ago.
But still, there is power here: a dark aura holds the shards in mid-explosion, 
suspended in time and space much like the god they herald.

(I have replaced “imprisoned” by “cursed”. Better to not specify what happened, in my opinion. — dpeg 2010-09-19 04:21)

This gives an explicit chronology to Ashenzari's cursing, and also makes the cursing seem obviously externally imposed. It would be easy to edit out “centuries ago”… Perhaps “This crystal altar is shattered to pieces, just as Ashenzari is cursed.”

Ashenzari is the black sheep of the gods: not actually evil, but not well-liked.

  • Star-crossed (penance), Cursed (0), Initiated (*), Seer (**), Oracle (***), Sybil (****), Illuminatus (*****), Omniscient (******) — Eronarn 2010-09-22 02:42
  • Impostură, sham, impostur (penance), Impressionabil, impressionant (0), Clar-văzător, clairvoyant (*), Ghicitor, soothsayer (**), Medium, psychic (***), Proroc, augur (****), Oracol, oracle (*****), Profet, augur, prophet (******) —blue_anna. The god's name is Romanian, so I found some titles based on that language. The gloss provides the equivalent english:
I would like to propose a that cursed weapons and armor work opposite of it's stats. ie. to a worshiper of Ashenzari a -7 -3 cursed long sword functions as a +7 +3 cursed long sword. Keeping the cursed status to force the player to keep using it, but in this way a curse/enchant foo scrolls would not have to be altered. Of course, doing this would mean that the player would truely be searching for, enhanced by, and covet generated cursed items instead of being able to make there own. I feel this fits the flavor better, as just reading a scroll to 'curse' and item doesn't really seem in the spirit of the god finding strength in his curse. It merely takes an item and forces it to stay on your person. The vision that I come away with from this god is that you want the players to USE the cursed items, instead of just being forced to keep using the same items all the time. — Veliq 2011-01-20 16:06
This encourages scumming corrosion for an initial what is it -4? -5? — MrMisterMonkey 2011-01-20 20:14



Following this god is about two things

  • On the plus side, a lot more information, which is very strong.
  • On the negative side, much less tactical flexibility: all the cursed items make it much harder to adapt.

This god will directly support stabbers (which is a playing style lacking divine support so far). Of course, the god caters for many more audiences than just stabbers: knowledge is important for everyone in the dungeons. (In general, we try to avoid single target gods.)

I'm not so sure this will be a great god for stabbers, actually. Knowledge would certainly help, yes, but in my experience stabbers often have to change frequently between a dagger for stabs and something more powerful when forced into straight combat. Curses work against that. — dtsund 2010-10-23 09:43

Piety rules

Piety gain for Exploration, boosted by Curses

Ashenzari exhorts his followers to garb themselves with curses, rewarding followers
for time spent using cursed armour, jewelry, or weapons. Ashenzari's ultimate desire,
however, is not for the devotion of his followers but for knowledge of all things. 
Pious followers willing to part with a portion of their knowledge will receive a
great portion of Ashenzari's in return."

Piety comes from exploration rather than simply from time spent with curses. Why? Unlike the holy gods, Ashenzari has no reason to turn down undead worshipers. (The good gods will eventually replace piety for waiting with piety for exploration, but for them this will be a minor component of total piety gain. For Ashenzari, is it everything.)

Cursed gear helps piety gain:

  • There are three parts to get a piety gain boost:
    1. bound hands (i.e. weapon)
    2. bound body (i.e. armour)
    3. bound magic (i.e. jewellery)
  • Each part of these is considered bound if more than half of the used slots are cursed.
    Example for bound parts: Cursed weapon. Cursed amulet, no rings. Two cursed rings, uncursed amulet. Etc.
  • You gain faster piety by a factor of
    • One buond part: x2 (twice the piety you'd get otherwise)
    • Two bound parts: x5 x4
    • Three bound parts: x6
      (It would look a little more symmetric with factors 2, 4, 6 but I want to particularly encourage going the second step.)
  • Display these boosts in the ^ screen.

Another general (unrelated to Ashenzari) change we should incorporate: rods and magical staves can be cursed.

Maybe bound hands should extend to cursed gloves and rings in addition to weapons, in order to grant unarmed fighters and staff/rod-wielding casters access to the bound hands benefit. Furthermore, are these benefits reevaluated when the worshiper shifts into a transformation that melds body slots? — Wensleydale 2010-09-23 18:57
I think boundedness should be determined by your cursed items per available slot, rather than cursed items per occupied slot. It's really weird that you can gain piety with only one cursed items (and swap the others if needed). — TGW 2010-10-12 21:34

Piety loss

Lose piety over time.

Lose piety whenever something is taken off.
There are many ways to do that:

  • Constant piety hit (say one piety, or 1/2 piety points).
  • Piety hit relative to current piety (e.g. 1d(1+piety/30) or 1+piety/50).
  • In addition, the piety hit could increase for further taking off.

This point is crucial and cannot be decided at the green table, we have to play it. If we make the piety hit very small (one point of piety or less), then players will continue to swap tactically (perhaps with a bit more care than now). If we make it too expensive, then players will complain that the conduct is too un-fun. But if the piety cost scales with numbers of taking off and/or piety, then this problem could take care of itself.


How can Ashenzari even have wrath without the ability to affect non-cursed items or creatures? Simple: he doesn't.

Ashenzari's “wrath” is actually the result of the player's curse going haywire without Ashenzari's careful supervision. Proposed wrath effects:

  • Randomly appearing curse skulls and curse toes. Keep in mind that an Ash → TSO switch would likely render curse skulls and curse toes impotent, so he needs some other wrath effects too.
    • Please tell me this isn't just because they have “curse” in their names. — MrMisterMonkey 2010-12-30 04:40
    • Creating monsters is strongly against the flavor anyway. — OG17 2010-12-30 11:48
  • Ashenzari permanently gives one of your randarts (not necessarily one you're wearing, either!) the Recurse attribute. This is not a big boost if you go back to Ashenzari, so it's not worth scumming, but it's a significant annoyance to others.
    • Except this is a fairly decent boost and it's scummable. — TGW 2010-12-31 14:36
  • Magic Mapping works worse (smaller radius of operation and/or fewer glyphs detected — in particular, special features like altars, shops, portals could be missing).
    • Could also falsify results, eg detect a shop where there isn't one. — OG17 2010-12-30 11:48
  • Don't announce portal vaults.
  • “Bad Luck”: a more traditional interpretation of “curse” (as in “misfortune”), any time the RNG is invoked the result may be slightly altered to the player's hindrance (reduced chance to dodge, increased chance to miscast, etc.).
    • This is also bad flavor, Ash shouldn't suddenly turn into a hollywood gypsy. But very similar effects could be done by improving monster rolls (and lowering player rolls) with the flavor that Ash is simply feeding the monster what you're about to do. Applicable rolls would be stuff like hit, dodge, and melee damage (for non-stationary monsters) - spell success or power makes no sense. Guess monsters would need minimal intelligence here, maybe insect and above? — OG17 2010-12-30 11:48
  • Causes occasional irresistible confusion.
  • Reduces effective T&D skill, possibly as per the blurry eyes mutation. — Wensleydale 2010-09-29 19:26
    • Could alternatively create “undetectable” traps, ie basically spawn them under your feet when moving. This should be rare, though. — OG17 2010-12-30 11:48
  • Make the player noisy, as Ash shares his knowledge of your whereabouts with your enemies. Sending any monsters as part of Ash's wrath could be flavored as sharing his bird's eye view with your enemies. Maybe he just effectively shouts at your location each time you teleport. — jejorda2 2010-10-12
  • Ashenzari wrath should tell monsters where you are, spawning more (no experience) from stairs if necessary (monsters from other levels coming to search for you). I could go for confusion, but most of the other stuff on this list is an unnecessary breach of flavour or mechanically questionable. — TGW 2010-12-31 14:36

Scrolls and Nomenclature

The mechanics of some scrolls change, so as to make Ashenzari play smoother:

  • Remove Curse: select one any word/wielded/used items to remove the curse (instead of removing all curses as normally)
  • Curse Armour: curses all worn armour items at once. (Curse Armour scrolls are rare and valuable; this way you get more out of them.)
  • Curse Jewellery: new scroll, should also curse all worn jewellery at once.
  • Enchant Armour/Weapon: enchants item as now, without changing cursed status.

For later (once the god can be playtested), we may consider a more radical notational change:

  • cursed item → blessed (or sacred) item
  • Curse Foo → Bless (or Consecrate, Sanctify, Hallow, Devote) Foo
  • Remove/Detect Curse → Remove/Detect Blessing
I think it's fine that the scrolls remain named curse scrolls. If you think about it, Ashenzari's curse really is all bad: he's trapped outside of the universe, condemned to forever watch every act of history play out with no power to stop it; to have knowledge of all things and no power to use it. It's actually really terrible, especially for a deity. It's amusing to think of Ashenzari as having become rather petty and vindictive as a result of his predicament, goading his followers into cursing and crippling themselves out of spite, with his vast knowledge offered as incentive. I think the intended theme for Ash was as a sympathetic, high-minded seer who saw some upside to curses, but to me it's a lot cooler if his curse – and all curses – really are just horrible things, and he wants to inflict his misery on others as some twisted form of catharsis. Considering his current situation, he can't have been a very nice deity to begin with. I agree that the scrolls will have to function differently though, whatever the name. — Mu. 2010-10-03 13:26
Taken from ##crawl-dev. I don't have the energy to type everything three times (irc, wiki, mailing list). — dpeg 2010-10-03 16:55
“The curses mechanics should be interesting, regardless of how things are called. I do not really care that much about the sugar coating, mostly wondering about the resistance _flavour_ (as opposed to gameplay) always gets.
“I guess my approach is “this god regards curses as beneficial, so we should stretch flavour as much as possible within this framework”. Whereas William or Mu_ probably would say “we should stay as close to the standard interface as possible.”
But I still believe that having scrolls of Remove Curse, Curse Foo working a little different but being called the same will cause a regular influx of bug reports, whereas renaming everything will cause the occasional “what the fuck?!” reports but no bug reports.”
An alternative would be to change “Scroll of Curse Foo” to “Scroll of Improved Curse Foo” when worshiping Ashenzari. It lacks the flavor of “Scroll of Bless Foo” and it's fairly clunky, but: 1) it establishes that the scrolls have altered their function (as opposed to leaving the name of the scroll unchanged), 2) “improved” carries the dual meaning of the scroll being favorable in Ashenzari's eyes while also causing more of a curse effect, and 3) leaving the word “curse” in the name establishes a connection to the previous function of the scroll (unlike “Scroll of Bless Foo”). — Wensleydale 2010-10-03 21:44
For what it's worth, it's not that hard to flavor the changed mechanics as being consistent, even with the same names (and I support keeping consistent names for the scrolls): all of the remove curse/curse foo scrolls can work on an arbitrary number of items - the game just defaults to using the most useful option by default, since there's no reason to not want to remove anything less than all curses when not worshipping Ashenzari, and there's no reason to want to curse multiple items when not worshipping Ashenzari. This would sidestep the whole issue of diluting Ashenzari's flavor of not being able to directly affect things in the main world - it's you that chooses to make the scrolls work differently, not Ashenzari's power. — doy 2010-10-04 00:52
Ashenzari is a cursed god, and when worshippers “share” his curse, he shares his gifts. This is strong and direct flavor that shouldn't be watered down. Cursed items and scrolls acting differently under the god are no more confusing than ponderous items providing stats and resists under Chei - it's expected that gods change aspects of the game. Also, ponderous is a very undesirable mod in itself, yet no one's seen any reason to have Chei call it “blessed” or “sacred” or whatever - how are these curses any different? — OG17 2010-10-03 22:32
As you can see above, the terminology is not really important about Ashenzari. I thought that the change might matters easier for players; seems I am the minority and I am willing to test it out (without blessing etc.) I do think there is a certain different between ponderous items and cursed items because the latter are ubiquitous whereas the former are very rare. — dpeg 2010-10-04 00:38
Instead of changing scroll behavior, why not give an ability to Ashenzarites that lets them curse their items? Presumably there's some spell written on the curse scrolls. Ashenzari can read it to you because he can see it. Maybe he can see a scroll of curse staff or curse jewelry that nobody has found yet. They don't have to be in the dungeon for Ashenzari to read them. — jejorda2 2010-10-12

Passive Abilities

The Detect Foo abilities should start at 0 radius and have their radius increase with piety (generally up to LOS radius, some abilities may go beyond that). In addition, the detection power (whether you just see that there is something, or an indicator of quality, or the type) could increase with piety. (Whether/how to do this can depend on the ability.) It might also be necessary to make detection imperfect (better results with higher piety).

Detect Curses

Should be available from 0 piety for all items in sight (also for items used by monsters).

Detect Items

Detected items should only display their presence at low piety (i.e. some new glyph which indicated something is here). Would be okay to recycle the old Detect Items spell, with range restricted to LOS radius. At higher piety, the item type (potion, scroll etc.) could be given away. The precise item should never be given away, for interface reasons and also to make the active powers more interesting.

[In a first installment, this one can be skipped: map and monster knowledge is more important.]

Detect Traps

Imperfect chance, growing bonus to traps and doors skill with piety.

Detect Monsters

Passive monster detection should never give away monster types. Just increase radius (up to LOS radius).

Why “never give away monster types?” Showing actual monster/item/etc glyphs in darkgrey or whatever would be simple, powerful, appropriate, and distinct from the antenna mutation. — OG17 2010-11-02 21:51
Highest tier of detected glyphs should pause autoexplore before getting within visible distance. — TGW 2011-01-24 00:57

Detect Terrain

Passive local mapping, a la Deep Dwarves. In contrast to the mutation, the divine ability should also work in labyrinths and the Abyss.

Portal Vault Detection

Usually non-announced portal vaults are indicated for followers of the divinations god (An image of a shimmering portal forms in your mind.) when entering the level with sufficient piety (which could depend on the portal vault's type).

Partial Identify

Since Ashenzari does not like swapping gear, we don't want players to resort to annoying scums (like using allies to wear-test gear) to figure out what their pile of armour is. Therefore:

  • Egos you would figure out when wielding/wearing are given away when picking up. You pick up a short sword of venom. (0 piety)
  • Armour enchantments (which you would also figure out when wearing) are given away if you wear a cursed item in that slot. (* piety)
  • Weapon enchantments are given away if you wield a cursed weapon. (** piety)
  • Self-identifying jewellery is always identified upon pick up. (0 piety)
  • Jewellery is fully identified if you the corresponding slots (one amulet, or both rings) are cursed. (** piety).

You only get one take at this identification. If you meet the criteria later, nothing will happen. (I am not so sure about this rule… which way will lead to less annoyance? — dpeg 2010-09-27 19:10)

Prevent Curses

Prevents external item cursing (mummies, miscast) — these are clearly not blessings. (It would be possible to extend this to full mummy curse protection, but the god is already full and other gods do that).

See Invisible and rConfusion

At *** piety, give See Invisible.

At ***** piety, prevent Confusion (but do not give full Clarity).

Could also protect you from Mislead as cast by Mara, and maybe the player could always be aware of when a monster is a shapeshifter, even if they haven't seen it shift yet.


Scrolls first

Ashenzari hands out three scrolls (Bless Weapon, Bless Armour, Bless Jewellery) right when you turn to him (regardless of whether you had a god already or not; going to Ashenzari for two or more times gives no gifts). This will tell players about the mechanics change right away, and is also a nice way to set up beckoning (which we may extend to some other gods).

Display in console could be like this (I assume that display in tiles is not problematic): Show the scrolls over an altar in a flickering manner, e.g. by printing the scroll glyph (at the altar's place) with the following probabilities for colours (which can be improved upon, I am sure):

20% white
10% grey
10% darkgrey
60% none (i.e. show altar)
Scrolls later?

Ashenzari could perhaps also gift scrolls of Curse Foo from time to time. (Note that this is not at all like Fedhas gifting fruits, which would be a bad idea.)

This could wait until we can test the god. Whether such a feature is really necessary has to be seen in actual gameplay.

Divine Knowledge

This is for later (don't bother for the first installment). We can use this to add as much late-game appeal to Ashenzari as we like.

Ashenzari could gift knowledge in the form of (redone by then) manuals or Sage effects.


Acquirement mechanics need to take Ashenzari into account. The player should be guaranteed/have a chance to receive cursed items. — brendan 2010-09-28 23:11

Cursed Presence

Similar to a proposed wrath effect listed above, but in reverse. The player emanates an accursed aura of misfortune out to a certain radius, reducing the likelihood that enemies will succeed on any tests that invoke the RNG. The significance of this penalty may depend on the creature's proximity to the player. — Wensleydale 2010-09-29 19:35

Active Abilities

Ashenzari will have no offensive powers. It is all about inner self, transcendence and stuff.


Scrying is the only active ability. It has a high piety cost (the god uses no Invocations, with almost all powers being passive). Scrying works for some duration. When active, all walls are transparent for you, but not for the monsters. This means that you can see through the walls (so you see all the monsters and items and you can detect traps over there) but you cannot smite-target over there.

Show scryed monsters and items in their real colours, but all walls and floor in grey. Monsters seen this way should get an additional “scryed” suffix in the monster list.

Note that in later versions, Magic Mapping (including Deep Dwarf and Ashenzari version) won't actually see inside vaults, making a scrying ability even more useful.

Scrying as it is implemented in 0.8 trunk is broken, and needs to be fixed. It is effectively possible (as MarvinPA shows) to play from behind a wall, hitting a monster using smite spells without them even able to see you, let alone react. Areas such as elf:7 are trivialised by this. If scrying made you able to see them but not attack, it would be more balanced. — casmith789 2010-10-14 13:09

Sacrifice Scrolls of Remove Curse

Technically a prayer effect rather than an ability. Praying over any stash that contains scrolls of remove curse will randomly change each scroll of remove curse into a scroll of curse armour, scroll of curse weapon, or scroll of curse jewellery. This would prevent Ash from having to gift scrolls of curse foo, which is slightly more in line with her flavor given that she is corrupting existing scrolls rather than creating scrolls from scratch. The only objection so far is that scrolls of remove curse are very common (there is some pressure to make them less so). However, given the fact that the proposed changes to scrolls for Ash worshipers (above) would reduce the effect of scrolls of remove curse, this would turn scrolls of remove curse into a much more valuable resource for her followers, and creates a very interesting decision for players. — Wensleydale 2010-10-04 01:36

Bonuses for Cursed Gear

These are not set in stone. Note that with the proposal so far, using cursed gear is already encouraged (piety gain, identification). So this bit may come last in implementation. Something else (perhaps even more subtle) might be used instead.

HP/MP regen

Adding to HP and MP regeneration rate for wearing cursed items. For Health, increase regeneration depending on (number of worn cursed items)/(number of worn items). For regeneration, do the same with jewellery.

XP gain

Since Ashenzari is partially a god of knowledge, perhaps wearing cursed items allows you to become more observant, correlating with increased XP gain on kills (say 5% more XP per cursed item). With a full set of cursed equipment, that gives 40% extra XP gain, which is quite significant. However, XP gain increase is quite weak in extended late game when XP gain is so fast, and the concept of increased XP gain feels somewhat artificial to me. — Minced

Broader Cursed Items

I think looking at 'just' the cursed status is a mistake. A totally awesome ring that is 'cursed' isn't that big of a drawback. A randart that is cursed, and actually has meaningful penalties, could be treated as 'more' cursed in some way, or be given better bonuses than other cursed items in some other way. — Eronarn 2010-09-22 03:23

Curse Points

A while back I suggested a Kiku proposal where the player exchanged maxHP for 'Pact' points that could be spent to buy effects. You would only get one offer at a time and had to either accept it on the spot or reject it in favor of the next offer (with no guarantee an offer would come up again). Some of these offers were for permanent mutation-like enhancements, while others were a permanent cost for a 'temporary' (but good) boost, like getting a guaranteed Necro spellbook. I think that something like this mechanic would fit a curse god's flavor very well. You can progressively choose to take on more of Ashenzari's curse, gaining more benefits (unsure what these would be at the moment, but I like the idea). But unlike piety, the degree of your curse never goes away. Wearing more cursed items could then provide a 'sympathy' effect based on how cursed you are. — Eronarn 2010-09-22 03:23

Very Bad Luck

The more cursed items the player wears, the more cursed the player becomes, and the more likely the curse is to affect the world around them. Players with a large amount of cursed gear exude an aura of bad luck, in which enemies might fumble attacks, trip over, miss, and other minor incidents. — Mu. 2010-09-22 17:30

This is interesting, because it is an outward ability, but still passive. The one thing that seems a bit off is that it uses “curse” in the meaning of bad luck, whereas for Ashenzari it seems to be a more ambivalent thing (it has good and bad sides). — dpeg 2010-09-22 17:54

Other Suggested Abilities


Upon joining Ash or at one star of piety, when first reaching a new floor Ash tells you about one of two things: an item you want or a dungeon feature. It's weighted so that there is a 2/3 chance of a dungeon feature and 1/3 chance of an item. However, it's weighted so towards the one that hasn't been told to you for a while (too many dungeon features gets it to a max of 50:50 for both, too many items will result in 90:10 chance).

When telling you about a dungeon feature, Ash will either mention a vault, a branch, or a unique that is at least one floor below you (and up to ten floors away). He will give a vague description of what it leads to, but none the less, leave it defined enough for the player to know what it is. Ex: “There is a man not much farther down that wields a scythe and magic. He is far stronger than you, take caution.” or “There is a stairway that leads to the realm of elves on the second layer of gold rich mines.” If anything, the number of floors may need to be given a (more) definite amount so that the player knows just how far away the stuff is. Upon mentioning this, a flag is made and the game must generate the feature upon reaching the predefined floor.

On the other hand, the item has more choices allowed for the player. Upon entering a new floor and getting told about an item, Ash picks from a randomly generated list made at the beginning of the game. This list will contain several of the valuable items that will generated in the dungeon and what floor they will appear on. They won't be all of the valuable items as some can still be generated in a completely random fashion but it will not include pre-generated items like runes or certain items that the hell lords hold. Ash will then take five random items on the list that are below the player's floor and take a random feature from each and asks which the player is looking for. “My servant, are you seeking clarity of the mind, a weapon of fire, a bow of great accuracy, fortitude against poison, or a heavy but protective piece of armor?” (An item with clarity, a fire brand weapon, a bow with high accuracy, poison resistance, and heavy armor respectively.) Upon picking one, Ash will vaguely give what floor it is on but a definite telling of which branch to go to (“What you seek is on an upper floor of the Lair”) and then flag that item on the list and not mention it anymore. This should then be recorded on the dungeon overview screen or on the god screen. There should probably be a hard limit on the amount of items Ash will tell the player about (maybe ten or fifteen?) through out the entire game. However, Ash should never tell of an item that appears in Pandemonium or the Abyss (cause that's just cruel).

So why bother with this stuff? Well, it makes Ash unique in the fact that he can foretell stuff but not-directly. It also gives the player the option to skip floors and make a run for it in exchange for far better rewards or avoid dangers. Better yet, it gives priority to a certain branch if Ash mentions an item in that branch. Especially with uniques, this gives the player the choice to go ahead and engage that enemy since what Ash may have mentioned would be useful to the player (“This women wields a flaming blade and magic but currently far greater in power than you” great choice for those dealing with hydras, unless the player decides that the enemy might be too much of a risk to take on right now). It's basically long term divination. Perhaps, if anything, a certain part of a floor must be explored before Ash will activate “Prophecy” to avoid scumming and running down stairs as soon as you see them just for the quick tell but it should be pretty well balanced regardless since it is long term. However, I can definitely say, it's far more interesting than many of the “detect” abilities, especially those that wouldn't be so useful (Detect Vault just mentions there's a vault when you enter the floor, Prophecy tells the player that there's a vault a certain amount of floors away and allows the player to prioritize). However, some abilities like detect creature should remain since they serve a more practical purpose that isn't redundant to typical floor exploration. –Usht_54 and Milgwyn_

TGW's Feedback

I think Ashenzari is a flavourful god whose flavour has lost focus after months of iterated drastic changes. The description below attempts to restore coherence to Ashenzari's flavour.

While it seems inconceivable that the divine could be shackled, Ashenzari is
just that: being nailed to the sky, the god has grown bitter and resentful
toward the world over an eternity of watching as an outsider. All-seeing and
all-knowing but powerless to affect anything, Ashenzari relies on worshipers as
a connection to the physical plane. Ashenzari gives knowledge to followers who
are willing to bind themselves with curses and suffer the god's misery.

Eronarn's Feedback

  • Praying to convert RC scrolls feels wrong. What about prayer to Ash allowing you to inscribe a scroll of paper with a curse instead? This way, Ash is not doing anything to manipulate reality, but just telling you which words of power to write down.
  • The autoidentification was surprisingly annoying. For example, randart properties were identified, but not their enchantments; or cursed status and brand were detected on sight, but enchantment only on pickup. If Ash is going to auto-ID items, just let him fully ID them as soon as you see them - and I'm not sure this should even be restricted to items in cursed slots, if it's going to stay in at all.
  • Ash should lose the XP bonus. It is the definition of “generically good”, is always on, costs no piety, and requires no thought. It doesn't even feel like an “oracular” power, anyways.
  • Ash's passive detection abilities lose a lot of usefulness because they don't stop autotravel, but if they stopped autotravel, they would be an interface nightmare. I suggest that we use two kinds of “disturbance” glyphs if passive detection is retained: red (as current) and magenta (interesting items or monsters, stops autotravel). This would also differentiate it better from the antenna mutation or Nemelex decks.
  • But I am not necessarily sold on the passive detection, either. It is very helpful a fraction of the time, but the rest of the time, it doesn't convey useful information for most characters and is just bright colors on your screen. It may feel nice to know that there is a monster behind the next door, but in practice you will still open the door and kill the monster the same way you would if you didn't know.
  • The >50% boundedness mechanic encourages some pretty weird behavior. For example, if you find a +2 helmet but only have one scroll of curse armor, you'll want to curse that and then take off your starting robe. If you're wearing an uncursed cap and find a buckler, but don't have curse scrolls, you'll want to take the hat off so you can put the buckler on.
  • If the current method of cursing and uncursing stays, I think the wielded-weapon curse should go. Sacrificing a level of boundness is not mechanically that big of a deal with Ashenzari's current implementation, but it strongly feels like you are 'missing out' unless you stick with a cursed cutting weapon or play a mummy. I appreciate that the idea is to restrict options, but in practice it isn't much of a tactical choice, and rather a decision you make when you choose your role (i.e., no launcher ranged weapons or unarmed weapons). Cursed cloaks prevent you from taking off body armor and cursed gloves prevent you from taking off rings. This removes a lot of the decision-making in what to curse.
  • Despite the above, much of the time, it is easy to attain full boundedness with a very minimal tactical sacrifice:
    • Not being able to swap weapons hurts some characters very much, as above, but others almost not at all.
    • Body armor is rarely swapped tactically because it takes quite some time, so cursing it is mostly a no-brainer.
    • Aux body slots are also rarely swapped tactically. As above, it takes some time, but also you are unlikely to even have something to swap to since there are few aux egos and they are either not a big deal or something you would want to wear all the time.
    • Amulets are tactically swapped, but Ashenzari provides one of the most swapped-to amulets (clarity). Stasis is still attractive, but for many characters, it will not be much of a restriction to only swap amulets at the strategic level.
    • Rings are tactically swapped more often, and show promise. However, early game, you don't have anything to swap to anyways. Late game, it's not likely that you will need to swap both ring slots tactically: you will probably have at least one randart ring that is strong enough to make swapping undesirable.
  • My overall impression of Ashenzari: this is a very flawed implementation of a very flavorful god. I have nothing against passive gods, but Ashenzari feels almost totally non-interactive. The fact that I was an Ashenzarite did not do much of anything to affect my choices, playstyle, or strategy. Things might be different for a Passwall stabber, or a DS with Nightstalker, but I feel that for the majority of characters the Ashenzari play experience will be “better atheism”. That's not something I think we should encourage. — Eronarn 2010-10-19 16:56

Ashenzari Revamp (Eronarn)

  • Drop weapon cursed status for the above reasons. Instead, Ashenzari cares whether you are “physically” (body) or “spiritually” (jewelery) bound (can be both). Neither should affect piety gain, but only your ability to make use of Ashenzari.
  • To count as bound, require all used slots to be cursed, and at least one used slot. This is because right now, the sacrifice isn't noticeable enough.
    • However, gloves & rings should be looked at. Being unable to swap rings while wearing cursed gloves is non-ideal.
  • In particular, if you de-curse even one piece of gear to swap anything, you immediately will lose relevant bonuses.
  • Add scroll of curse jewelery to the normal scroll table.
  • Change the Ash prayer to use scrolls of paper. This fits better with flavor - he is telling you what to write, not magically altering a scroll for you.
  • Drop the XP boost and the reskilling effect. They're both terrible, boring mechanics.
  • Ash instead gains the ability to provide divine instruction:
    • While this ability is active, Ashenzari boosts a skill of yours by a number of skill levels equal to your stars of piety.
    • This affects all relevant calculations. Your skill can go over 27 this way (new Ashenzari-only titles!).
    • Since you have higher skill, more XP is taken - meaning that you are gaining XP into that skill at a higher rate, making it a “Sage” style effect (but one requiring actual use of the skill).
      • The flavor reason for this: Ashenzari is not able to just plop magical knowledge into your head. He tells you what to do, but it is you that must learn.
    • You can activate this ability only while bound. Being spiritually bound lets you use it for one magical skill (including Evo), and being physically bound lets you use it for one non-magical skill.
    • You can choose these skills from a menu like the 'm' one, and can swap at no cost. However, having the ability active drains piety.

> If anyone cares, this is way better than reskilling. — TGW 2010-10-22 22:18

I agree. — Minced
Okay, some comments. First of all, apart from the “it doesn't fit the flavour of Ashenzari”, I don't think it is clear how reskilling will actually play out. A heated ##crawl-dev debate the other day brought up all kinds of fear, including players trading all of their superfluous xp into Fighting and/or Spellcasting (another one was that players can spent a few levels from a very high skill to achieve something like 11 in an empty skill). I don't think that will happen (you don't really train skills you don't need; accidental over-training is probably not enough to warrant major gains on other skills; xp stays a finite resource, and you actually lose some in the swapping process). It may easily turn out that reskilling will lead to some form of degenerate behaviour, but the screaming warnings I've heard in advance are not so much about that type; they're more about “this is radical and we don't want it”. (And I thought it'd be needless to say, but the last days show how necessary it is: if it's not good enough, we will step back and modify.)
Now to Eronarn's proposal. Apart from the propaganda (why is reskilling “terrible and boring”?), his proposal introduces additional xp (since you get up to +6 in a skill without having to have earned the xp). This is minor; my more serious problems with the proposal are that it encourages (a) swapping of the boosted skill, i.e. from fight to fight, so as to optimise your spell output, for example, which makes it (b) very tactical rather than a strategical option. — dpeg 2010-10-23 21:28
Whether it's tactical or strategic depends on what it costs and when the cost is paid. If the boost can be kept passively on, but changing the skill costs piety, it's going to be used more strategically. And you're not gaining actual experience; using the boost on a higher skill doesn't really give you anything more than a lower skill.
I'm going to ignore the trolling, as I've explained my reasons above. — TGW 2010-10-23 21:59
  • We used to have 'sigil' mutations, that were not truly mutations, but just permanent aspects of your character. Ashenzari can provide something similar at high piety: a boost of some kind, based on a specific skill, that can never be removed.
    • Example (I think it would be cute if they were randomly generated): “You know the dark secrets of Necromancy”, “You know the terrifying truth of Enchantments”, “You have unlocked the mysteries of Dodging”.
    • This could be a one-time gift based on your highest current skill, awarded like Kiku's Necronomicon gift.
    • Or it could be something that can happen randomly, or able to occur multiple times.
    • The point is that it is knowledge that cannot be taken away from you, even if you lose favor with Ashenzari.
  • Ash should lose some of his tactical abilities - he doesn't need passive detection of all kinds, and SInv, and Clarity.
  • However, he should gain some strategic abilities, since right now he has almost none. For example: Ashenzari should pre-generate levels and provide glimpses of them accompanied by flavorful messages. This would make him much more interesting at the strategic level - do you dive for that bazaar 3 DVLs down, or wait until you are stronger? He could reveal in this manner:
    • Interesting uniques or ghosts
    • Portal vaults, whether announced or not
    • Branch entrances
    • Interesting randarts and unrands
This system sounds similar to Oka's heroism (maybe I misunderstand?). The method of delivery is different, but I think Ashenzari steps on his toes a bit much with this. Likewise, giving it to an unspecified brand of magic steps on the toes of Sif Muna, who is supposed to be the god of magical knowledge? I think the passive Divinations should really have fallen to Sif - Crawl already has a knowledge-themed god. The curse mechanic of Ashenzari is interesting, but I feel his dominion over all skills is too expansive. Other gods do not let you pick and choose abilities and powers like he does - you get what they decide to give you. They are GODS, after all. You don't get to choose Makhleb summons, or gifts, or mutations. Sure, sometimes they're skewed to be more helpful, but this level of tactical decision is not present in other gods. He feels less like a god and more like a blank cheque for forging ubercharacters. Gods SHOULD be invasive and intrusive. Again, that whole “God” thing, they've got a bit of an ego. I realize that many may like the choices he grants, but I do not believe choices should come from this particular aspect of a character. — Pedjt 2011-04-03 07:56

Non TGW and Eronarn Feedback

Observation: Ashenzari is about as perfect a god as you can design for pan scumming/zig raiding. At that point you will likely have the best gear; fine to curse permanently. Piety gain is extremely quick in the abyss so you can transfer XP constantly while there (as you will be frequently, between pan trips.) Instant Zig portal detection upon entering pan levels. Free IDing for everything you find in there. And the bonus XP added to Zig XP is ridiculous.

Recount of my Ash game: Converted from Sif Muna after getting 15 runes. Gained piety in the Abyss while reskilling all my invo into evo to use a crystal ball of energy and transfered some misc stuff to fighting. Did Pan for a bit, and then cleared a zig with haunt. Reskilled stuff I trained with manuals into earth and then shattered through another zig. Then finished.

I do like Ashenzari, this is my type of god - boring some would say, non-intrusive I would say. But the detection powers aren't really that useful. Detect monsters is no better than antennae and detect items is just worthless. Detecting portals is nice. Passive identification is weird, apparently it only works on stuff that would ID if you put it on anyway so it's mostly a convenience. I was expecting it to ID everything, such as books on the floor, decks you find lying around etc. The only time I used scrying was by accident, it is probably more useful in the game proper, not while wandering pan. — st 2010-10-26 01:56

All of this is true, the non-intrusiveness bit is desired (Cheibriados and Fedhas are not at all like this). There will be changes, of course: there's no reason that Abyss and Pan count as much as ordinary levels in terms of piety (I could imagine a decay, instead of a constant). Bonus xp may (or may not) disappear. Identification should be better: either via suppressing boring monsters (and items), or by better feedback. Another idea was a more-than-LOS detection ability, but that'd need to be active and costly, obviously. (This is not necessarily a contradiction with the Div spells, since those only costed MP and spell slots, whereas we now can use piety.) The hardest issue seems to be a fitting theme for such an active power. One thing that I came up with is “put yourself in someone's mind”, so you'd see (scrying like perhaps) what some monster sees — but how to choose that monster?
Identification is not set in stone either. A basic version (like now) is necessary so that players can make intelligent choices about when to switch gear (when they're not swimming in scrolls yet).
Thanks for feedback. — dpeg 2010-10-26 21:38
The Abyss is already special: instead of measuring the level's density (which makes no sense there), the denominator is constant. In fact, it's damn low for a mostly open place – I thought this makes sense as Abyss is dangerous, but your feedback suggests this should be changed. Thus, I increased that constant by a factor of two, (ie, cut piety gains by half) – and further adjustments are just a matter of changing that number again. — KiloByte 2010-10-26 21:59
Perhaps the denominator could be based on the player's character level? — dtsund 2010-10-26 22:42
That makes no sense. D:27 is worth as much as D:1, no matter what your level. Waiting 1000 turns gives you as much Zin/TSO/Ely piety as well. And for high piety levels, gains are already scaled down. — KiloByte 2010-10-26 22:59

Ash is very very fun if you can find or pray for enough curse armour and jewelery scrolls. I've played a dozen or so Ash games, mostly with Kobold and Spriggan Enchanters, Stalkers and Crusaders. My hearty thanks to those working on Ash. He's really a blast to play – if you're lucky to get enough scrolls of curse armour. My observations:

  1. Ash works great if you can get your armour and jewelery cursed. In 12 or so games I've only had enough scrolls of curse armour once. I play until I die, usually between exp levels 12 and 21, so I can't comment on late game. It's been hard to curse all my armour. It's not fun at all to have several curse weapon scrolls but no curse armour scrolls. It's an interesting constraint but just too darn tight for me to really enjoy. This would not be an issue for late game conversions to Ash.
  2. Managing cursed gloves, weapons and cloaks is a little tricky. For example, it's not fun to refrain from cursing gloves for fear of being stuck with a weak ring for a long time. And messing up an cursing your cloak without realizing that you're stuck with the armour you're wearing isn't fun. I think it would be a turn-off to less-experienced players. Plus, it really increases the number of curse armour scrolls needed. A player with a cursed cloak needs two curse armour scrolls and one remove curse scroll just to upgrade to a better armour – it seems excessive.
  3. Due to butchering restrictions Ash is stronger with bladed weapons. (Butchering restrictions are not fun here.)
  4. Holy weapons can't be cursed. Should Ash allow holy weapons become cursed?
  5. Scry is not very useful for Enchanters or Crusaders, at least in the midgame. Scry is not much helpful for stealthy players, who can just as easily autoexplore.

Suggestions for helping players get enough curse armour scrolls (not all of which could be implemented):

  1. Re-weight the formula used when praying over remove curse scrolls so that more curse armour scrolls are generated. It is even odds at the moment, or am I just having terrible luck? Might it be better to weight by the number of slots that the species has?
  2. Combine curse armour, jewelery and weapon scrolls into one scroll called “curses”. For Ash worshipers this would ease the tight constraint on armour scroll. It's not fun to have a surplus of curse weapon scrolls when you just want to curse your boots. (I think it would be more fun to have a meaner curse scrolls for non-Ash players – like if it cursed 1d3 items and maybe even rotted some potions. As is, curse scrolls are only really effect users of non-bladed weapons, for whom they are an annoyance that can end in “Q” or quick death.)
  3. Let Ash curse scrolls of detect curse (and maybe paper?). (I think useless scrolls – like paper – are not fun. Scrolls of Detect Curse are useless for Ash worshipers. It would be more fun to convert them into a resource.)

Other Ash suggestions:

  1. Scry might be better as low-piety (2*, say) ability. Passive monster detection is more powerful than scry (because it's always on).
  2. Ash would be more fun if holy weapons could be profitably cursed. Not sure if this is consistent with the vision of what curses under Ash really are.
  3. “Ash helps you learn” is a bit vague. It's not clear if skills are easier to learn, if ash helps you learn more about the dungeon via passive detect, of if you gain more experience. “Ash helps you learn more from slaying monsters” would be more clear. In any case it's not a big issue.
  4. This is a bigger question but restrictions on butchering and on what can be put on or taken off when gloves/weapons/cloaks are cursed isn't very fun under Ash. A dose of reality is nice but it's not consistently implemented. (If can't don armour when I have a cursed cloak, hten I shouldn't be able to put on armour when I'm wielding a cursed bardiche.) — smock 2010-11-26 21:31

I don't care for the 3 different scrolls of “curse foo,” praying to try and get a specific curse scroll type is annoying, and the scrolls are all very similar in behavior (curse one of your items). I propose consolidating the scrolls into a “scroll of curse item” which randomly curses one of your equipped items, and ash worshipers would be allowed to select the item they want cursed. — caotto 2011-01-30 22:39

I don't think that the three scroll types are a particular problem… not that they're particularly elegant either. The prayer mechanic is indeed a bit cumbersome, but the idea was (and still is) that scrolls of remove curse are a particularly coveted resource for Ashenzari followers.
Other ideas are conceivable. For example, make Detect Curse curse random stuff for Ash players (so no prayer needed). But that loosens the grip on ?RC, of course.
Still another one: Remove Curse always uncurses only one item (Ashenzari follower or not). This might be best: it makes ?RC more relevant for both types. — dpeg 2011-02-04 00:26
RE: butchering - you could make it part of the theme. Lots of real-life folkloric cursing traditions use knives/daggers/needles as part of the cursing ritual. It could be made very preferable to wield a short blade (enhanced piety, etc.)
Alternatively, you could provide an alternate source of nutrition related to Ash piety. “As you become more deeply entwined with the fate of the bound god, you partake of his immortal and immaterial being, drawing sustenance therefrom.” - could provide effects similar to sustenance, as the need for food is lessened. — jeffqyzt 2011-03-24 13:51

To me, Ashenzari feels like two different gods: a divination god and a skill god. Reskilling and the skill boost don't have a thing to do with monster detection and mapping. There are two completely different sets of abilities that happen to be in the same god. The item identification does fit with the curse mechanic, though. — minmay 2011-06-17 17:08

Okay, but is this a problem? They are combined by curses: more cursage improves the divinations as well as the skill boost. The original plan was a god that figures as a substitute for the divination school we removed. So the passive detection powers are more or less granted (and I don't think that scrying is problematic). Now, information is power, but the god should probably have something else beyond passive detection. Several ideas are conceivable but some of us found playing with skills fitting (I still do). I play new Ashenzari quite often and I really like how the god plays: mostly passive (as was planned for), with the occasional decisions of: whether to switch gear, or to reskill. If you come up with ways how to connect the two sets of powers, we're all eager to hear them. If not, I don't think we'll drop anything from the god as is. — dpeg 2011-06-17 21:50

MrMisterMonkey's reskilling section

Two disclaimers, first:

  • I haven't actually played a reskilly game, on principle, but I've seen it happen, so many of my examples might actually be quite impractical.
  • I dislike reskilling, so sorry if that comes off at all; I don't intend for this all to have negative connotation, though, so interpret my examples however you see fit.

Hopefully I'm still credible. — MrMisterMonkey 2010-12-25 12:24


I like to divide reskilling usage into two primary, and more minor third and fourth (overlap, but extreme enough to warrant their own sections) categories:

Elimination of useless skills

Though the destination doesn't matter so much as it's useful, the idea here is as in the header, such as getting rid of necromancy for a conversion to The Shining One, shoveling Short Blades into Long Blades, or providing use to nonsense skills from sage cards and manuals (nonsense manuals are useful in ziggurats and other high-exp areas, such as to stay clear of the exp pool cap); I personally consider this sort of thing a no-brainer, provided Ashenzari worship. Choice of destination skill can be interesting, but usually it's terribly easy, and there are skills that are always good (e.g. even for a pure spellcaster, Fighting raises max hp).

Interesting sacrifice

Trading between useful skills, such as feeding some unarmed combat to spellcasting on a troll, is much more appealing, to me, but I'm afraid it would prove much less common, especially with victory dancing as a cheaper (but more painful) alternative in most cases.

Complete change in character build

Like from stabber to conjurer, or undead-hearding necromancer to paladin; this is interesting when both the source and destination have appeal, but I imagine, and especially so with reskilling's cost, that players will more commonly switch when their builds become useless (e.g. how do you stab with all that hellfire in Gehenna, or use styles only effective against or in the presence of living creatures?), or more generally, go from an easy early/mid game to a more powerful late/extended game.

Adapting to unexpected change

This seems to be the most popular example for intended usage, so I won't talk about it much, but I find it usually ends up being a nice reason for interesting sacrifice, and a nice break from the tiresome premeditated nature of other usage.

Reskilling vs. Victory Dancing

On reskilling as an interface around victory dancing (at the cost of some skill progress), note that with reskilling the player gets to choose when to lose skill, whereas with victory dancing, they have to live with lost potential skill when it might matter more (and it can matter a lot, e.g. in the case of playstyle switches).

New Ability Proposal: Clairvoyance

I am not a fan of Ash's exp/skill powers - they are powerful and passive, which doesn't interest me. A suggestion for an alternative top level power is Clairvoyance. I lost a high level character today to an ettin. Cornered in a dead end, my options basically were to read a scroll of teleport and then chug healing, cast an uncontrolled blink and hope I didn't appear adjacet to the enemy, or cast ensorcelled hibernation. I chose to try to put him to sleep for a stab, he resisted, and I died.

I give the above story to provide illustrations for how clairvoyance could work. I envision it as a god ability that basically tells you the outcome of an action. So, if you use clairvoyance, it'll ask you to select an action: attacking, reading a scroll, casting a spell, etc. If it's a translocation like teleport or blink, Ash will show you where you would land. If it's an enchantment, Ash would tell you if it gets resisted. If it's an attack, Ash would tell you whether it would connect. I see this ability costing no game time to use, but costing a great deal of piety and with a cool down.

So in the above example, I could have known that the enchantment would have been resisted, or alternatively I could have seen where the blink would have landed me (but not both). — Happylisk 2010-12-25 13:34

This might be tough with other actions like “putting on an amulet” or “unwielding a dagger of distortion”. Needs careful planning and limitations. It would also act as an ID tool when chugging unIDed potions etc. Very interesting idea. Perhaps it could carry the Deep Dwarf -1MP penalty, as it is very powerful in certain circumstances. — Hoody 2011-01-21 21:41

Changes for 0.8 release

The following changes have been made to Ashenzari:

  • Piety gain reduced:
    • 1 bound: x2
    • 2 bounds: x3
    • 3 bounds: x4
  • Removed XP gain.
  • If you don't wear any uncursed item, Ash will boost all your known skills up to piety_rank (number of stars).
  • Passive boost to skills corresponding to a bounded part
    • Skill boost isn't ready for release.
  • Reskilling: cost changed from 10 to 25. No more reskilling into fighting. You can't use knowledge to become tougher, you need to fight.
  • Scrying: instantaneous and no failure.
  • Detect brands of monsters' equipment (weapons and armours) and wands. Passive ability with a chance of (bondage_level / 3).
  • Allow butchering with cursed blunt weapon.
  • Allow switching rings with cursed gloves and switch body armour with cursed cloak.
  • On-sight item identification (no need to pick up).
  • Autoexplore stops when there's a detected monster nearby, before it enters LOS.
  • Better passive mapping. Density and range scale with piety (was only range).
  • Can choose which piece of armour/jewellery to curse with scrolls.

Plan for 0.9

  • Treat bounded hands separately. It creates a fourth tier of bondage (x5 to piety).
    • Or maybe shift the piety gain downside to x1.5, x2, x3, x4.
  • Skill boost: for each bounded part, one or several skills are boosted.
  • For armour and jewellery, differentiate between partial and full boundage (majority or all slot cursed). Only affects skill boost, not piety.
  • 3 levels of skill boost (see chart):
    • low: piety_rank - skill/4
    • medium: piety_rank * 1.25 - skill/4
    • high: piety_rank *1.5 - skill/4
  • Piety rank is capped at boundage + 2. This is to encourage players to also bind the parts for which they don't care about the skill boost. Or maybe only the skill bonus should be capped an not the piety?

Bound hand:

  • medium bonus.
  • If wielding a weapon, boost the corresponding weapon skill.
  • If wielding a staff of power, conjuration, enchantment, energy or wizardry boost spellcasting (doesn't count for MP and spell slots).
  • If wielding any other staff low boost to evocations and staves.
  • If wielding a rod, (high?) boost to evocations.

Bound off-hand:

  • If wielding a 2-handed weapon, bonus to weapon skill is high.
  • If wearing a shield, low bonus to shield skill.

Bound armour:

  • If wearing a light armour (EVP < 2), boost stealth and dodging.
    • Partial: low bonus
    • Full: medium bonus
  • If wearing medium armour (EVP = 2 or 3), boost dodging and armour.
    • Partial: low bonus
    • Full: medium bonus
  • If wearing heavy armour (EVP > 3), boost armour.
    • Partial: medium bonus
    • Full: high bonus

Bound jewellery:

  • Boost all spell school skills and also evocation (so melee have some use out of it).
    • Partial: low bonus
    • Full: medium bonus

Evocation can be boosted by an enhancer staff and jewellery. Should the bonuses adds up? low+low = medium seems good, but low+medium=high seems quite strong. On the other hand, you need to bind a staff and full jewellery to get the high bonus, so I think this is ok. — galehar 2011-04-15 17:10



From my test, piety gain is still way too fast. I suggest we lower piety gain to x1.5 / x2 / x2.5 / x3. And reduce scrying cost to 3.

Yes, this is a step in the right direction. I believe we can afford to make a number of little steps, until it feels good. — dpeg 2011-05-16 19:12
I like the pace of the piety gain in the early game, but at high level it's very slow. Maybe reduce the cost of reskilling to 15 or 20. — galehar 2011-05-28 01:13

Since the new system encourage cursing even more, I suggest we allow the player to choose which scrolls to make when praying over ?RC. When you pray, you get a menu with the title “Convert your n scrolls of remove curse into?” and the 3 curse foo scrolls. You choose one and all the ?RC scrolls are converted into it. — galehar 2011-05-13 11:34

I know where you are coming from, and seeing players curse their RC scrolls one by one is painful. However, I don't like the query too much: it takes out a gamble component; it reduces variance from floor finds (the change devalues naturally generated scrolls of curse foo); I find it mildly disturbing that you bargain with your god about the precise composition of the gift. (Granted, the menu is much better than no change, given the current situation.) We could:
1) Roll the outcomes all in advance. [I am not sure if that'd be more than a psychological effect.]
2) There could also be some piety reduction for seen scrolls of remove curse.
3) Reduce variance from the current cursing-roll, e.g. by turning a stack of n scrolls of RC into n/3 of each Curse Foo type.
dpeg 2011-05-16 19:12
If we want to keep the randomness and just fix the interface, there's a way to do it. You're prompted to choose a scroll and it will convert your stack one by one until the one you want is generated. Might be a bit weird and confusing at first, but it would become very convenient once you get used to it. — galehar 2011-05-17 01:26
What if praying on a stack of a remove curse scroll and a jewel/weapon/armour would automatically gift you with a scroll of curse jewellery/weapon/armour? — Astarotte 2011-05-22 10:38
dpeg's arguments convinced me, I don't think we should allow the player to choose. Your idea has a nice flavour to it, but even if we decide to let the player to choose, I think we should use a more convenient menu. — galehar 2011-05-23 23:48

Why not weight which scroll you receive based on your bind status? — igomadness 2011-05-23 19:13

Players would abuse it by always converting scrolls when they are upgrading jewellery (or something else, but mostly jewellery I guess). — galehar 2011-05-23 23:48
Skill boost

Going straight to level 6, 8 or 9 when gaining a skill is too nice. How about capping the piety rank with skill level too? It gives a smoother progression of low level skills. I've updated the spreadsheet with this. — galehar 2011-05-28 01:13

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