Chei revision ideas

People generally generally find Chei hard to play. Here's some ideas to improve him.

  • A new ability that blinks all monsters in LOS adjacent to the player. Makes ranged attackers more tolerable.
  • Get rid of “make ponderous” ability, and have player slowness proportional to piety. Not being able to use randart armour is a big drawback. Also puts limited armour-slot species on even footing.

xyblor 2011-03-04 18:17

In 0.10 the two previous ideas have been implemented, but Cheibriados is still terrible. Currently, GOD_CHEIBRIADOS is worse than GOD_NO_GOD. I think these 4 changes would make Cheibriados a competitive god while keeping the flavour:

  1. Remove stat bonuses and movement delay penalty.
  2. As you piety increases, Cheibriados increases the base delay of all your actions by a factor A: 1 < A < 3/2 (3/2 at full piety).
  3. As you piety increases, Cheibriados increases all your outcoming damage (melee, spells, ranged) by a factor B: 1 < B < 3/2 (3/2 at full piety).
  4. As you piety increases, Cheibriados decreases all the incoming damage (melee, spells, ranged) by a factor C: 2/3 < C < 1 (2/3 at full piety).

In my opinion, as long as Chei has stat bonuses it will be very difficult to achieve a balanced solution. The reason I removed the movement delay penalty is just because it is completely redundant after adding the penalty to your base delay. — CommanderC 2012-07-20 12:24

“still terrible”, “worse than no god” – interesting ways to describe one of strongest gods currently. We're speaking about Shatter castable pre-Lair (with good gear, but still), or having awesome INT and STR later on so you can cast that Shatter in plate. Of course, not all characters can use Chei, and for many builds he is indeed bad (like TSO for a stabber…), but gods were never supposed to be universal. — KiloByte 2012-07-20 14:01


Bold-faced means implemented.

dpeg 2010-02-08 15:13:

  • Being slower (by way of more ponderous items) has to help with piety gain. We want the slower Cheibriadite to rack up piety noticeably faster, especially since she will need it. Here is my proposal: There is a chance to get another point of piety depending on how much faster the monster is than you. In this comparison, ponderousness is included, slowing (of yourself) is not; neither is being burdened. On the side of the monster, haste is included if the monster hasted itself. Formula: chance of getting another point of piety is speed difference / 12.
  • Players can scum piety somewhat. There are several ways to avoid that, but I believe that this is less important than the first two topics in this list. The god should be strong and fun first; after that we can choose the most fitting rule. Some ideas what could be done:
    • ais523: Ponderous armour should unponder when removed, and pondering should cause a piety hit.
      This means that swapping armour a bit is fine, but swapping it a lot will cause the player to lose more piety than they gain.
    • dpeg: Removing a ponderous armour item incurs a piety hit. (The amount of which could depend on total piety, e.g. 10%.) Need to prompt before doing this. Changing from one ponderous item to another one is okay — this could be done by Cheibriados keeping your speed while changing clothes (although this will be technically problematic). A simple solution would be that taking off a ponderous item lowers your movement speed for 30 turns (enough to wear something else, even if disturbed).
      • In my Chei game, I never once took off a piece of ponderous. The only exceptions were when I needed some specific resists that Chei didn't offer. Taking a piety hit for this would be bad and if a player is taking off stuff so they can make a quick escape, then Chei should offer an ability as such (with a Piety cost). My suggestion to solve 'scumming' would be: piety decay when not slow. Amount of decay decreases depending on how slow you are (with no decay at maximum ponderous). Players who think wearing ponderous is actually a disadvantage should be excommunicated; but penalizing normal players is not the way to go. Make the decay when not ponderised very fast, but have no decay until the player gets one star (and thus is able to ponderize items). — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:02
  • Wrath is probably too lukewarm, but to me (dpeg), this is even less an issue than piety scumming. We will reduce the wraths of other gods soon anyway, so we can wait with boosting Cheibriados wrath until then, in my opinion.
  • Melding keeps ponderous - this way, you cannot use e.g. spider form to escape anymore (which was bad for flavour), but it also means you keep stat bonuses in forms. This needs feedback if it's ok or too strong.

Races with limited slots

Chei's appeal is drastically reduced for classes with limited slots. Ideally, there should be a way for such classes to worship Chei without being incredibly weak. — valrus (via dpeg) 2010-10-18 07:34

My preliminary idea is for Chei to grant artefacts which are usable even in restricted slots and which have no effect other than ponderousness. These could be flavorful: for example, species with restricted boot slots get a ball and chain; gloves-restricted characters get a wristwatch, maybe a broken one. — valrus 2010-10-18 07:34

Is there any reason why Chei doesn't just let you make rings and amulets ponderous? This would let all races except Felids gain full Chei benefits, and I can't think of anything it would break, really. Chei would obviously still only grant stat bonuses up to +15 at max piety. — Ashenai

This sounds good to me. You should only be slowed down by 5 ponderous pieces. One side effect would be that a Chei worshipper could now choose to wear a piece of artefact gear by trading a jewelry slot for it.

I'd also accept the “ball and chain” idea. — evktalo 2010-12-18 12:40

Another related idea for slot-limited races

(Copy-pasted from the forum)

New Thought: Chei will offer to further ponderify armour (Ponderous++) when armour slots are full of only ponderous items, ponderousness is less than max, piety = X, and # turns ponderous = Y. Y should be a very long time, like L:1 - V:8 or so, but higher ponderousness should reduce the turn count. For example, using arbitrary numbers, if I spend 1000 turns with 1 Ponderous item, 1000 turns with 2, and 1000 thousand turns with 3, then I would have 6000 Pondered turns (1000 + 2*1000 +3*1000).

The Pnd++ would need to be a temporary brand that disappears as soon as you remove the armour, so that no one could swap out Pnd++ for Pnd+ and then extra-ponder that item, until 5 Ponderousness and a free slot is reached.

This would necessarily only affect armour-restricted races, since they could have full armour slots without being wholly pondered, but it would keep them from getting +15 stats much sooner than anyone else.

It would also mean turning 'Ponderous' into a gradient (Pnd+, Pnd++, perhaps Pnd+++), which I think would be more fun on artifacts. — dolphin 2011-03-29 05:10

Drop ponderousness

A radical idea: we could completely get rid of ponderousifying items, giving Chei instead two invocations: “Slow down” and “Speed up”. They would be equivalent to wearing or removing a piece of ponderous gear. Neither of them is instanteous.

It would fix problems like slot-restricted races, dealing with artefacts, or theme problems with gloves slowing down your walking. — KiloByte 2011-03-31 12:39

Although I think ponderous armour does have some interesting mechanics, I think I'd agree that something more radical like this might be worth considering as a simple way to fix the worst of Chei's issues with restricted-slot races, and it might allow for removing some of the god's crutches like bonus resistances (and somehow slowing down monster spawns in the abyss which I'm particularly not a fan of). — MarvinPA 2011-03-31 18:49


Bend Time

  • lemuel: The slow-adjacent power works very well. It's the only (?) effect in the game that is targeted that way, and the slowing is strong without being broken (you still have to kill the monsters yourself.) A good example of how a simple, well-designed effect using an unfilled niche in the existing mechanics can work better than something much fancier and more complex.
    • Agreed. Bend Time is great in its current form and doesn't need any adjustment. I would look down on any change made. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:27
    • I dislike bend time because it slows monster action speed while a ponderous player remains at full act speed. In this regard, it doesn't make both actors “slow,” but instead effectively increases the player's act speed, exactly as haste would - a ponderous player currently acts twice as quickly as a base-speed slowed monster. More broadly speaking, this is largely why I dislike Chei, as even if the myriad implementation issues were addressed, the god still spotlights and glorifies Crawl's move/act speed distinction, which I think may be the game's weakest fundamental mechanic. — og17 2010-09-11 00:01
      • High horse rhetorics :) The basic principle of Cbeibriados is very simple (and this is why I believe that the concept is robust enough to survive even if mechanics change): You trade tactical inflexibility (lower speed — currently, movement speed) for (godly) power. This can always balanced one way or the other. Currently, the two main aspects of power are these: (1) Make the enemy as slow as you. (2) Hurt the faster enemies. Both of these are robust; they don't really depend on the underlying mechanics (all the parameters chosen for implementation do, of course). — dpeg 2010-09-11 00:15


  • Slouch could afford to cost more piety. I've seen this suggested elsewhere too. With a fully ponderified naga, taking out Swamp rune chamber, Vault:8 welcome party and all the orbs of fire and electric golems I met in Zot was pretty cheap. The latter only dipped me briefly below the piety point where Step Out of Time becomes available. I used it relatively more in Zot, as those enemies were encountered one by one. In the Swamp and Vault cases, you get a lot of mileage from a few activations. I suggest doubling the piety cost. In general, I enjoy Chei a lot, it's different and fun to play! — evktalo 2010-03-16 22:34
    • Piety cost was raised from 5 to 8 in rd97be7234315. — evktalo 2010-04-02 18:45
      • Piety is cost is too high now, in my opinion. I suggest piety cost gets changed to a cost *per* monster. More monsters there are, the more piety it costs. If you're using it to take out executioners (and you will want to, because otherwise you will die after taking one step), then the current price is too expensive. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:22
        • This might be good. If done, I think the old 5 is good for single (or few) enemies, with 8 as the highest cost, for many enemies. — evktalo 2010-09-11 11:49
          • Whatever cost there is now (in trunk), it hurts. I used slouch three times on a single enemy and my piety went down from 6 to 5 stars. As a naga player, I would expect to be able to use it a couple of times on each level. — hayenne 2011-11-29 15:14
        • I agree with a per-target. I feel that Slouch is very overpowered. I am playing a Naga in a trunk build (0.10-a0-3088-g97cd5d7). The piety hit should be based on the number of targets affected. Alternately, the piety gain from a target should be reduced if the target was killed by slouch. — XuaXua 2012-01-09 17:35
  • Slouch needs a visual effect. For something so expensive to not come with a fancy visual effect, is disappoint. I suggest a visual similar to Yred's vampiric draining ability, but in a cool Chei coloured cyan. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:27
    • +1 — dpeg 2010-09-21 12:11

Step From Time

  • There was a complaint that Step From Time is too weak. rob pointed out that Step From Time is always great if inside a summoning storm; apart from that, it is a lot more useful if you're somewhat stealthy. We may leave it at that, but brainstorming how to improve the final power is okay.
    • dpeg Allow the player to choose when to step back into time.
  • New Step From Time. Why have I given this the same name as step from time? Because I'd want it to replace step from time, of course. I suggest a replacement for step from time which acts as a pure escape option (which Chei worshippers lack without translocations/transmutations). Step from time in its current form is too expensive for something that doesn't always work (and can thus get you killed). I suggest an ability you activate that freezes time around you, but you get to move around. Doing anything other than moving is disallowed. Piety will decay the longer you have the ability activated, so using it for long periods of time is not advisable, as piety will decay exponentially with the number of turns you take. Does this mean people will toggle it off and on repeatedly? No, because the decay stays at the current rate until the same number of turns is normal play is spent. So, if you spend 50 turns out of time, you will need to spend 50 turns to get the decay back to its normal rate. A much better and more fitting effect, in my opinion. Something that can be used frequently for approach/defence, and also in emergencies. A multi-function ability that Chei worshippers will actually use in the normal flow of the game. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:27
    • Sounds interesting. If Chei players think this could be good, I'll provide numbers to get this going. — dpeg 2010-09-21 12:11
      • What happens if you're surrounded and can't move? — absolutego 2011-01-31 17:36
        • And they don't have any means of blinking? That's what's known as a “bad situation” and if you get yourself into it that means you've screwed up. Nobody else is getting out of that one either, so there's no reason the ability needs to address it specifically. — Brickman 2011-02-01 02:17

valrus' patch


  • I'm working on implementing this and have some questions/requests for advice: — valrus 2010-10-16 12:39
    • Should the activity take piety to activate, or just drain piety while running?
      • How about a fixed cost, and an invocation dependent duration? It is more consistent with all the other god abilities. The problem with draining piety is that the piety counter is not precise. So you have no idea how long it is going to last or at what rate your piety is decreasing. — galehar 2010-10-17 21:20
    • Should the player get unceremoniously kicked back into time if piety decreases past the cutoff point? I'm leaning toward yes, because if not, when should they? It doesn't seem right for the player to be able to run around out of time until they're in penance territory.
    • As I have it now, the player does not hunger or recover HP or MP while out of time. Conceptually speaking, whether or not she should depends on whether she is considered to be in a separate time stream (in which case time would still be passing for her, perhaps orthogonally to “normal” time, and she would hunger and recover) or completely removed from the flow of time (in which case none of this would happen). My main reason for choosing the latter at the moment is that it is easier to implement, but based on the above explanations I think it is also conceptually simpler and more intuitive. It also prevents players from throwing on regeneration and stepping out of time, which makes sense because they're not allowed to heal via any other means.
      • I prefer not recovering HP/MP, even better if it's easier to implement. — galehar 2010-10-17 21:20
    • Autopickup will have to be turned off. Should I just turn it off the same way as when a monster goes invisible (allowing the player to turn it back on) or use a back door and disallow it entirely?


Another proposed fitting ability is Rollback: you rewind the time to an earlier point. It has been dismissed as impossible to implement, however, that's no longer the case with the new saves. New saves are a kind of a filesystem, and we can have things like btrfs goodness. — KiloByte 2011-12-21 00:23


By lemuel: The biggest single problem with this god is the punishments. Not using haste is basically a voluntary conduct currently – the penalties for doing so are trivial. And abandoning Ch is painless, whereas with most other gods it's terrifying. So:

  • Haste and Swiftness should cause penance, not just piety loss.
    • kilobyte: Uhm, this works from the very moment Chei conducts were added.
  • While under penance, Ch should have a high chance (~25% per turn) of slowing you. So if you haste yourself, you will probably get only a few turns out of it.
  • Ch's punishments should be much harsher. Suggest (a) Reducing your nutrition state to Starving. (b) Slowing you for *very* long periods, e.g. 1000 turns. © Turning all your worn armor ponderous. (d) Paralyzing you for longish periods (works best once tension is factored in.) (e) The flip side of the step out of time power. Something like this: Keep track of the total HD killed by the player in, say, the last 100 turns. When it rises above a threshold, say 2-4 times character level, there is a chance that Ch revives all the monsters you've killed in those 100 turns at full health, around you. (Regardless of whether they left corpses, of course; they would be considered summons for xp purposes, etc.) Cheibriados resets the clock!
    • kilobyte: Chei's penance is harsh already if you do anything semi-risky. It can be trivially avoided with sustenance and enough food, but that's the case for most gods who won't abyss you.
    • brendan: I'm a bit ambivalent about his punishments. At the end of the day the player has a warchest full of crummy armor. What about adding a random chance over a long period of time to turn your worn armour ponderous (rather than in one push)? It would force the player to leave his good gear at home while under penance.
      (On c-r-d:) Cheibriados really needs more wrath. While he's wrathing there should be a chance to pondy carried and worn equipment. This should not be a one time effect, but an ongoing punishment. Worn gear should be pondied and cursed at a higher rate.
    • dpeg 2009-12-14 17:18: I like the bit about long-term ponderifying armours. Another idea would be that all (non-randart?) armour is pondy, no matter what. Or if that is too harsh, Cheibriados could decide that all headgear is ponderous, then switching to all bodygear etc.
    • As said above, having no wearable armour at the end of Chei worship is bad enough; so making more armour ponderous is even worse. I like the above idea of “Chei resets the clock!”, though. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:50


  • Need to look at messages. Some suggestions:
    • …appreciates the change of pace.…appreciates punishment of the hurried. (many players like the current message)
    • …slows down your {biology}.…slows down and strengthens your metabolism.
      • This was changed, but as kilobyte pointed out, the new message doesn't work for undead. — rob 2010-02-05 10:06
      • The change is good, we simply need a special case for ghouls. — dpeg 2010-02-05 11:24
  • If you encounter a timed portal vault under Cheibriados (announced or not), duration is increased by piety % (i.e. tripled at full piety).
    …gives you more time for this task. message for announced portal vaults. (Idea by Shayne.)
    • I love this idea! — dpeg 2010-02-05 11:24
    • Second to this. Very hard to get into vaults when you're so slow. — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:27
  • lemuel: I've never liked snail-covered altar. Too literal. How about
    • A static altar.
    • A granite altar.
    • An ancient altar. (In that case, change K to just a bone altar.)
      • I agree. He has no connection with snails; he has a connection with time. Does he care if you kill a snail? No. Why is he associated with them. A sundial could work. Or, A ticking altar with the addition of it being announced :) “You hear the slow ticking of a clock.” — studiomk 2010-09-10 21:27

Is this god about taking things at leisure, or only being able to move slowly ? Shouldn't Chei be offended by entering most portal vaults, which are all about hurry ? You could make an exception for Ziggurats, Troves etc. — b0rsuk 2010-09-11 08:23

Causing a piety hit for entering a timed portal vault would sacrifice gameplay for flavour. Timed portal vaults are already one of the few things that break the monotony of mid game. Penalizing certain characters for going into timed portal vaults (which might be very dangerous for chei characters anyway) probably isn't a proper way to add flavour. Sealer 2010-12-11 15:43

Given that Chei likes you to take your time, perhaps he should especially appreciate the use of attacks and spells for which you have to wait: sticky flame, poison, constriction, etc.? Or occasionally reducing the duration/efficacy of such effects as a punishment. — Raumkraut 2012-03-21 03:12

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