Assassin Goddess

“Let the shadows guide your foes into eternity”


Mother of night and patron of murder, the Dark Goddess is viewed as an enigma even to her own followers. Though there exist no graven images of her, believers whisper tales of her appearing as a shadowy fog, within which stalk the assassins of legend. While the Dark Goddess remains indifferent to one's method of killing, she demands her servants kill with deft precision. Those who blunder risk her lethal gaze being coldly turned upon them.


The Dark Goddess' piety system is purposely straightforward and focused on a quick and evasive killing ability.


Majority chance of piety gain for killing a living, undead, holy, or demonic being that fails to damage the player character prior to its death

Flavor text - “The Dark Goddess appreciates your skillful slaying”

Greatly appreciates

Guaranteed piety gain for killing a living, undead, holy, or demonic being with a single attack. Being must also fail to damage the player character prior to its death

Flavor text - “The Dark Goddess greatly appreciates your efficient kill”


Small but substantial chance to lose piety at the conclusion of any round where the player character was struck at least once in melee, regardless of damage

Flavor text - “The Dark Goddess is displeased by your sloppiness”

Strongly dislikes

The Dark Goddess strongly dislikes the spilling of your own blood, an unmistakable sign that you have botched the kill. Each time your own blood is spilt the player risks being put under a brief penance with a counter set according to how many tiles were spattered. This occurs in addition to any piety loss from the abovementioned. Performing further skillful/flawless kills is the only way to earn back her favor.

Flavor text - “You must prove to me again your merits, mortal”

Penance every time a centaur spawns? Really? Leaving aside the tepid benefits the god provides when not under penance, how is the player ever going to see those benefits if every ranged monster in the game can force multiple points of penance without any action possible by the player? — KoboldLord 2012-08-22 00:58
A very good point and one that I did struggle with. Ideally, the % would be balanced so that while not negligible it wasn't overactive either. Alternatively, a different % could be used to separate received ranged attacks from melee ones, making the odds much less for the former to incur piety loss. One could even drop the concept of ranged altogether and just have melee attacks count, but honestly I prefer the more challenging option. Speaking of, I appreciate the notion of tepidity over too powerful, so thank you. I'm sure we could both think of a number of additional 'buffs' if needed. — LordKristopf 2012-08-22 06:12


  • Greatest chance for a temporary stat reduction of dexterity
  • Lesser chance for a mutation that deleteriously affects movement speed or stealth
  • Least chance to summon 2d3 shadows, silent specters, insubstantial wisps, and/or shadow wraiths

Upon abandonment, the Dark Goddess also fills the entire level fills with long-enduring fog, making encounters for the ostensibly non-melee based character very dangerous.

Racial restrictions

All races are permitted to worship save for demigods. Some races will find the Goddess prohibitively difficult however, due to their inherently low evade.

Powers overview

  • - -None-
  • • Dampen sounds
  • •• Guided return [minimally sized fog cloud generation]
  • ••• -None-
  • •••• Quiet spell & create trap
  • ••••• -None- [Fog clouds reach maximum size]
  • •••••• -None- [Branding of boots or cloak once per game]

Powers in-depth

Piety level: “Unproven”
  • No new abilities
Piety level *: “Footpad”
  • Dampen sounds (passive) - mitigates nearby noises made by dungeon features such as creaky doors and alarm traps, and an X% chance of it also affecting shouting monsters. [Flavor text - “The orc mouths a near-silent shout”] While this chance starts out rather small, the effect continues to grow with piety and eventually encompass a greater chance of affecting monsters. Spell casting is still permitted with this ability because sounds are greatly dampened but not silenced completely. It should be noted that this effect comes with a cost of dampening noises normally heard by the player as well. Distant sounds such as jellies squelching of Zot traps being triggered present as “you can almost hear a muffled sound in the distance” or the like.
Piety level **: “Assassin”
  • Guided return (passive) - X% chance of ammo fired or weapons thrown immediately returning to the player inventory in a manner similar to the “returning” ego. The percentage chance of a piece of ammo returning is based on a combination of skill level with the ranged attack and piety level. This effect fails if the piece of ammo is destroyed by the act of firing.
  • Shadowy fog (passive) - Beginning at two stars of piety, each dungeon level begins to accumulate scattered patches of dark colored fog clouds that either do not more or dissipate or are quite slow to do so. The player has no control over this fog - it can form somewhere highly auspicious or equally useless, if not possibly detrimental. The one assurance could be that, with the goddess’s protection, it will never form on monsters (though they may walk into it upon their own volition). At this minimal level the fog patches only consist of one or two tiles but with increased piety grow to be substantially larger.
Piety level ***: “[Species name] of the shroud”
  • No new abilities
Piety level ****: “Favored assassin”
Level 4 is crowded with abilities and Create trap doesn't fits good with the theme,because of that i propose the following changes:
Quiet spell should be replaced with lowered spell noise in dark fog on level 3 and create trap with fog cloak which moves the dark fog with you while it is active
Andorxor 2012-08-22 13:46
Perhaps you’re right and that thematically abilities that support a more active ‘assassinating’ play style would be better. Ultimately I just thought that traps would facilitate the evasive kills needed for piety and be in a rather stealthy vein. Insofar as dark fog is concerned, it’s presented as nerfed as I could reckon. I would support trading/removing abilities to in turn buff the dark fog but my great fear is creating a player character that is so stealthy, even if only momentarily and tactically so, that gameplay is trivialized. — LordKristopf 2012-08-22 20:45
  • Quiet spell - Lowers the spell noise of spells cast within a short duration of invoking the ability. It comes with a moderate piety cost to dissuade overuse.
  • Create trap - Creates a concealed dungeon trap placed at the player's discretion. The type of trap depends on the character's skill level in “Traps & doors”. This ability comes with a decently high piety cost to prevent the spamming of such traps. Creating a trap also requires a number of turns to complete, making the function one unpractical for use during combat.

The following is an example outline of what type of trap can be created corresponding to the requisite level of Traps & doors skill needed to do so:

Traps & doors level 2 - Darts or needle traps
Traps & doors level 4 - Arrow trap or spear trap
Traps & doors level 6 - Axe trap or bolt trap
Traps & doors level 8 - Blade trap or net trap
Traps & doors level 10+ – Special pressure plate traps
Piety level *****: “Vision’s enigma”
  • No new abilities
  • Clouds of shadowy fog reach their maximum size at this piety level, with some cloud banks sized similarly to those created by a scroll of fog.
Piety level ******: “Surgeon of lethality”
  • No new abilities
  • One per game, upon reaching the full six star level of piety, the player character may pray at an appropriate altar and choose to have his or her cloak or boots branded. A cloak stands a 50% chance of receiving the ‘darkness’ ego or the ‘stealth’ ego. Boots stand a 50% chance of receiving the ‘stealth’ ego or the ‘running’ ego.
So the gifts go: Cloak: 50% chance of crap, 50% chance of meh. Boots: 50% chance of meh, 50% chance of awesome. This isn't a good balance - the stealth ego is rarely needed, darkness is generally considered completely useless, and running is nearly game-breaking. Perhaps instead she could gift an artefact cloak/boots with random but always positive “stealthy/escape-y” properties - maybe guaranteed Stealth++, and some of {+Inv, Dex + X, EV + X (not allowed on normal randarts, but having an exception would be fitting for a god), +Blink (appropriate to not wanting to get hurt), +Tele (similar to +Blink, and again with the theme of not-found-on-randarts properties), +Lev (good for escapes), +Map (also good for escapes, and another non-randart property)}. Just a thought. -IonFrigate
Perhaps it was over-simplified. As long as the final item branding is thematic, quasi-random, and at least potentially generates something meaningful I’d say it was a good accomplishment. As suggested above, the Dark Goddess is intended to be a somewhat petulant, fickle being. Unlike TSO, who through trustworthy virtue guarantees a certain item branding, I was hoping the Dark Goddess would have the potential with this blessing to help a great deal or only a little, as she (and the random number generator) saw fit. Ideally, it would great if the item branding could also be based on merit, as prior abilities are, but ostensibly by the time one reaches six-stars all things are fairly equal, so I figured it would come back to pure whim. — LordKristopf 2012-08-22 20:46


The Dark Goddess deity was conceived with two main design goals in mind:

  1. Fill the role of an “assassin” type deity along with sufficient versatility to make her worship practical for many classes beyond those who primarily rely on stealth/backstabbing skills, such as hunters and ranged spell casters, and;
  2. Avoid or at least limit ‘buffing’ the already considerable abilities of stealthy characters, but rather present increased and varied ways to utilize those abilities already developed/trained by the player character.

Although the Dark Goddess provides significant advantages to a worshipper over an atheistic character, these come at a price. Disadvantages include warnings missed by the player due to passive sound dampening, two fairly powerful abilities that primarily benefit classes other than assassins, fog clouds that inhibit player line-of-sight as easily as they do monsters, a trap creation skill that only becomes and remains relevant only if the player character adequately develops a trap & doors skill, and an item blessing function that produces only semi-predictable results.

Ultimately, the Dark Goddess is a risky prproposition to all those who don't have a clear means to kill without being damaged in the process, whether this involves melee/stabbing with a high evade or ranged attacks. It’s quite likely that at a time when a player is suffering grave damage and needing her help the most that the Dark Goddess will cruelly turn a blind-eye, robbing the player of abilities that might be needed most at that moment. This and the above help to justify the many abilities and features she bestows upon those with proven merit.

Another point: The Dark Goddess shouldn't give piety for kills from conjurations. It's so easy to just nuke monsters from orbit, but that's not at all in keeping with the “stealthy” theme. She shouldn't outright forbid them, but damage from conjurations should be counted against the chance of gaining piety from a kill. -IonFrigate
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dcss/brainstorm/god/propose/assassin_goddess.txt · Last modified: 2013-09-03 23:46 by LordKristopf
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