Beogh focuses on raising an army (or at least a squad of allies), as does Yredremnul. What if we had a god focused on a single ally? We know that many players enjoy having a named ally who they can customize and identify with - mercenaries have a dedicated fanbase. What if we put actual design effort into that?
The god gives you a very basic, weak, simple familiar that runs up and hits things. Pretty straightforward.
Also gives inter-level recall, because that's just a pain not to have.
Revive: active ability, costs significant piety (Finesse?), brings back a 'dead' familiar. Probably rename this; Summon? Rebind? The familiar shouldn't actually die, just be banished back to Hell.
When first reaching 2*, the player should be able to choose an archetype for their familiar. Goals: more variety between plays of the god, more ability to customize the familiar to suit your character's needs, more player feeling of 'ownership' of the familiar (because you customized it!).
Current archetype thoughts:
All names of course placeholders.
Buff: active ability. Applies strong temporary buffs to the ally, e.g. might+brill, in exchange for halving its hp (torment-like). (“Spur On”?) Do you want your ally to go all-out offensive? Do you lust for ally death…?
- The torment idea is iffy to begin with (not so useful for defender) and unthematic for ancestor god - perhaps some more defensive effect, !res (and agi? and might…?). I'm not sure if it's a good idea to ask the player to heal their companion, but if we want to, we could make it be healing+res+purification…
Duration should be quite short, and perhaps scale with invo.
Swap: active ability. Costs a small amount of piety (Heroism?), swaps location of the player & their familiar if the familiar is in LOS. Fun positioning games. Strong effect but not completely reliable, since the familiar has to be positioned usefully, and the player has limited control over that. (Also must be alive.)
At 5* to encourage keeping piety high, and also since it's a stronger ability than Buff and so should require more invo investment to be activateable reliably.
Theme thoughts: transmutes the player into their familiar, and vice versa; the outer surface molts to reveal the new contents. A sort of 'lesser death' (hence the on-death effect triggering on swap!).
When first reaching 6*, the player should be able to choose an effect that triggers when they use Swap, or when their familiar dies. The effect should be stronger on death. E.g.
More dubious ideas:
Dubious because they potentially encourage spamming swap/killing the familiar out of combat.
Effects are centered around the familiar's old location (the player's new location), where applicable.
Probably only some subset should be available for selection in any given game; 3? (Or 4, with the dubious ones included?)
The familiar should grow stronger with XL; it should be useful throughout the game (into extended), though it doesn't need to be equally strong throughout.
Whenever you level, while worshipping this god, you should get a message telling you how your familiar became stronger (more damage, defenses, new spell…).
A few thoughts; rPois ~xl12, rF ~xl16, rC ~xl18, rElec ~xl22. sInv at… some point, probably.
The player gaining access to the Haste spell could completely change the power of the familiar, so make it haste itself and balance around that. Self-haste ~xl20, say.
TODO: figure out a good metric for familiar strength.
No strong opinion on this. Could do something extremely generic, like Q - just 'kills = piety', the end?
The god sends groups of various types of familiars at you, and grants buffs to enemies (similar to the 'buff' ability).
My current thought is that the ally could be themed as a 'demonic familiar' - each archetype could have some kind of demonic name, e.g. Buer, Stolas, etc. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_demons_in_the_Ars_Goetia is a wonderful source for demonic inspiration.)
'Raise a baby pan lord'?
We haven't had a new evil god in a while, so that could be fun - not that it makes much of a difference!
Alternately, this could be a god of weird biology, 'life irrepressible' - maybe drawing from the cigotuvi's wizlab/mutant beast crawl school of 'flesh-sculpting weirdness'. (“unicorn magic faerie beasts from beyond the moon…?”) The main advantage here is that we're stepping on other gods less - Makhleb, Yred, Kiku…
Another thought - the god could grant an undead monstrosity - cigotuvi/twisted resurrection-esque flesh manipulation. Pro is room for more blood explosions; con is we already have two undead gods (only one demon god?). Could make reviving the undead thing take a corpse (turn a corpse into your familiar?), but then it's odd that you can only have one, and also really unnecessarily limited in extended.
Bonus suggestion: ancestor god? (Your ally is your ancestor…?) - Ancestor god is very promising - could have an unnnamed ally until you choose the specialty, at which point you choose from one of three specific 'ancestors' (one per type) - list of names from various ancient cultures (sumer, rome, mesoamerica, …)
Persona - ally is a fragment of your personality made manifest [choose which fragment] - mythology as symbol - SHAMELESS ripoff…
Ideally something in the vein of Yredremnul or Kikubaaqudgha. From Grunt: Hepliaklqanal?
Give familiars Fedhas-like player beam immunity? For all familiars, or just some (e.g. 'Defense'?)
Would be neat to let the player customize their familiar's name - just on creation, maybe?
Could track uniques killed and other distinctive things the familiar's done, and display those in its xv, or somewhere else… “accomplishments”. Would be extremely good if these showed up in the morgue somehow.