Equipment god

Inspired by pubby's smith god Ignis. My proposal started there, but is quite a departure, so I put it somewhere else. It completely does away with the links to fire and metal, and drops the gold costs for powers. Instead, this god is about characters' armour and weapons only. That's a quite restricted opening, and why I want no further restrictions inside. This one was discussed here. — dpeg 2014-03-04 10:33

This proposal has benefited a lot from the discussion on the forum. I don't attribute everyone, but it's very welcome! — dpeg 2014-03-07 15:06

This god wants followers to prove the superiority of finely crafted gear.  They
are expected to enchant their pieces wisely and early, and in return gain divine
improvements for their equipment.  Very devoted worshipers are welcome to treat
altars as anvils, where they can turn mundane items into masterpieces, worthy of
songs and legends.


  • Piety gain for killing (as this is in particular a god of weapons).
  • Bonus piety for self-improved gear.

Two chances for bonus piety (say each of the same amount as base killing piety), one for armour and one for weapon: 3*(current armour enchantment) / (current piety) and (current weapon enchantment) / (current piety) where the enumerator is the sum of all Enchant Foo spent on worn/wielded items, and the denominator is piety between 0 and 200.

In other words, the value of a single enchantment goes down as your piety goes up. But of course you'll likely spend more and more enchantments as you proceed. (A more radical system would link the amount of bonus piety to current enchantment, but I wanted to start with something conservative.)

Messages for piety gain:

[god] appreciates your kill.
[god] highly appreciates the kill with your fine weapon.      [bonus piety from weapon only]
[god] highly appreciates the kill, wearing such good armour.  [bonus piety from armour only]
[god] greatly appreciates your kill and your superior gear.   [bonus piety from both

Interface: players need to be able to check how many enchantsment they poured into which item. I see two ways how this can be done. Either using a line in the item description, and/or as an additional inscription, e.g. a +4 robe of fire resistance {rF+ <4>}.

Scum abuse: don't want players to switch weapons all the time, so as to deliver the killing blow with their highest-enchanted weapon. This can be done in various ways:

  1. denying bonus piety for some number of kills after changing a worn/wielded item
  2. only rolling for weapon bonus piety if enough damage came from that weapon
Do we want to differentiate killing with melee vs killing with spell? — DracheReborn 2014-05-26 00:41
Good question! Probably much better to ignore killing method completely. — dpeg 2014-06-12 02:55
As shown by the “scum abuse” comment, judging piety gain gain by kill method is causes all sorts of problems. It would make far more sense to just give piety for killing things by any method, and then also give large, one-time, piety boosts for enchanting gear. (As is currently done in the branch!) — Reaver 2014-06-24 01:40


  • enchant scrolls: identified, never fail (immediately when beginning worship)
  • monster weapon drop (* piety, active): make monsters drop their weapons, with chance based on piety vs HD
  • enchantment cap increase (* piety, passive): enchantment caps for weapons and armour are increased by one for every *
  • weapon type upgrade (** piety, active): enhances the wielded weapon/launcher in a fixed way; effect depends on the weapon type
  • armour upgrade (*** piety, passive): effect depends on (coarse) type of worn body armour
  • weapon brand upgrade (**** piety, passive): enhances/gives brand of the wielded, mundane weapon in some way
  • forging (****** piety, altar): turns a mundane weapon/armour item into an artefact; every altar can be used once

Invocations should be used for the power and/or duration of the branding abilities, but not for anything else. (In particular not for artefact forging.)

Monster weapon drop

This power is supposed to help already early on. pubby pointed out that its more interesting as an active power: “Weapons are only dangerous on monsters in very specific cases (like an orc warlord with a crossbow or a kobold with a distortion weapon), and an active ability works good for handling such specific cases. With a passive one, you'll be spammed with messages from weak monsters dropping their weapons, and then there's a chance that the one monster you do want to drop their weapon won't.”

The goblin's hand twitches. The goblin drops a glowing spear.

Enchantment caps

One of the proposed powers is the passive increase of enchantment caps. While it will occasionally be nice to enchant a robe of resistance beyond +2 (potentially up to +8 with the proposal as it is worded above), the showstopper is the scarcity of Enchant Armour scrolls. Almost never will you be able to enchant everything you would want to enchant.

What happens when piety falls: suppose you have a +6 robe of resistance (the final enchantment must have been applied at **** piety or higher). If now piety falls to **, then the robe's enchantment should immediately reduce to +2. (The item description should mention the potential enchantment, if given enough piety.) This means that if you dedicate enough enchantments into some particular items, then this comes with an implicit resolution to keep piety at that level (otherwise the scroll might have been better spent elsewhere). Since you pay for the tactical abilities and for forging with piety, this could be a source of decisions.

This also leads to a natural penance/wrath effect: all excess enchantments are gone (for good in the case of abandonment).

Enchant scrolls

Scrolls of enchanting are very important for this god. My goal is to make their use not entirely obvious, and dependent on your actual situation. On the one hand, scrolls of Enchant Foo are never lost, so you can apply them safely to highly enchanted gear (minding the cap, of course). That would suggest to hold out for good items, worthy of late or at least mid game.

On the other hand, you can and probably should use early enchanting scrolls to boost your piety gain. When to do so, and when to stop doing it, are hopefully interesting decisions. There is also the point that you may want to put as many enchantments into item you want forge into artefacts as possible, but

Note that the rule of non-inhibited Enchant Foo effects means you can aim for a somewhat higher AC than otherwise, and you will be able to tend to several weapons. That said, the god provides no direct numerical item boosts (apart from the final forging) — this is intentional.

Enchant scrolls are rare, and I absolutely don't want to tinker with their generation. If we think that there are too few such scrolls randomly generated, then we can each scroll work like 2 (or 3, or 1.5) scrolls of the same type (still asking for only one target item).

Weapon type upgrade

  • short blades: confusion
  • long blades: humility (chance to cause 1d(monster HD) damage)
  • axes: 5×5 area cleaving
  • staves: blood bond (attacking a monster alerts and attacks all monsters of that genus in LOS)
  • whips: domination (attack has a chance to temporarily subvert the monster)
  • mace & flails: shafting
  • polearms: pincer (attacking like ..@To.. makes the second monster attack the pincered one to the death)
  • bows: penetration
  • crossbows: explosion
  • blowguns: no shouts (the monster will not shout)

The list of weapon types is short enough for such a power (this includes explaining the list within the game).

My takeaway from the IRC discussion was that we want 2 things from this power: 1) early boost for player, since a lot of effects of this god won't come online until much later (artefactize, exceed enchantment cap). And 2) avoiding long lists of stuff for players to have to know.

My initial idea (also suggested by Eronarn) is a fairly complicated system by which the player can choose various upgrades for his weapon, but that will probably fail point 2. After thinking it over, I think I'd propose a simpler system, with a mini-forge ability at ** piety, while still keeping the final forge ability at max piety. The mini-forge should offer a strong effect, maybe even stronger than final forge, to help the player early (I view final forge as more of a fill-in-the-blank ability, giving a bunch of artifact properties, and so on).

So at mini-forge time, the player gets a random selection of say 3 powers, selected from a fairly large list (I think we can easily get ~10 effects, effects such as confusion, domination/enslave seem good to me, lots more ideas in the brands section below) that may or may not be biased towards weapon type/brand that the player is currently holding.

My idea here is that the player's weapon at this point is bound to be fairly crappy, so getting a mini-forge upgrade should look very attractive. Hopefully the effect is strong enough that the player would consider using final forge on that falchion of confusion, instead of the demon blade of awesomeness that was found much later. — drachereborn
I also thought a bit about it, and I propose an even simpler system: If you enchant a weapon/armour piece without an ego, then that items get a temporary, randomly chosen ego. Only use standard egos here. For this mechanic, an actual duration is probably best — players will want to hurry to get the most out of their brand, if they can make immediate use of it. This is even more impetus to use Enchants on early game items, which is very good, in my opinion. We can tie the duration of the brand to piety, if we want. — dpeg 2014-05-26 02:57
Hmm, the reason I'd like a unique effect vs standard ego is that a player who already has a branded weapon (which isn't that uncommon) might not have enough incentive to join this god. The other points though (have a duration, maybe piety dependent) I like. Also note that armour ego doesn't do much early on… well, unless we're gifting running :p . For standard body armour egos, maybe rPois is best early, but even then isn't terribly attractive. — DracheReborn 2014-05-26 11:11
Items already having a brand is a good point. I see two (easy!) ways out: (1) allow the temporary brand to supplement the original one, so that for some time you have two brands; (2) provide unique effect. Problem of (1) is power (could be too strong), problem of (2) is information.
An advantage of restricting to unbranded items could be choices (especially if we allow some way for players to fix the temporary branding).
On lack of interesting armour egos: this is true, perhaps the temporary effect could always be rC rF rPois? I.e. you know that you'll be elementally protected for a while after you've applied an ?EA: — dpeg 2014-05-26 12:05
New iteration of old ideas that I thought up on a 6 hour bus ride. Equipgod improving EW scrolls is a fine idea, but instead of no-fail, I think giving bonus enchants is much better. This should give better early power even in games with scarce scrolls. So each time an EW scroll is read, the player gets 1d3 extra chances of divine enchantment. The divine enchantment part is tracked separately from normal enchantment. This plays well with the increased enchant cap idea - normal enchant caps at +9, the divine enchants give up to an additional +6 or whatever. It's like Ash skill boost for weapon enchants.

The concept of Equipgod improving EW/EA scrolls also gave me this idea - have Equipgod improve brand weapon scrolls too! Since brand weapon now gives a random brand each time, it seems neat to me if Equipgod will grant upgraded brands instead of the usual brands. It seems to me this would address the long spoilery list issue (or rather, it piggybacks on brand weapon's inherent spoilery nature). It addresses the question of why some brands get upgrades and some don't (basically, the brands the scroll grants get upgrades). It also changes the brand weapon scroll from occasionally useful item to a very good item for this god's worshippers (not sure this is a good thing, since it's fairly rare!). Mostly, I think it really strengthens the theme of the forging god by having him improve the game's existing forging items. — DracheReborn 2014-06-11 16:39
Quite a number of bars we're collecting here :) I'll clean up at some time, promise! On the god:
Yes, I think we will have to improve Enchant scrolls for the god in some form. As I wrote about, the specific amount of amplification is unclear (1d3 would mean 1.5 but it's just a number to tweak). The disadvantage of divine enchantment is that we have to display them — ideally right on the weapon; we would get stuff like +3+4,+2+3 waraxe. Can we live with that?
The idea on brand scrolls is very neat! Gameplay and flavour, as you say. The scarcity is a problem. At the very least, we can make it identified under the god. — dpeg 2014-06-12 02:59

Armour upgrade

** piety A passive power that provides a strictly positive effect, depending on what kind of body around you wear:

  1. light body armour: morbid weapon (an enemy weapon hitting you has a chance to become free (spectral weapon) and attacks its owner; once the owner is dead, the weapon drops to the ground)
  2. medium body armour: reflection
  3. heavy body armour: cursed aim (any melee attack of a monster on you has a chance to fully hit another adjacent monster instead)

The power of this effect (including the chance to trigger) could depend on Invocations.

Rationale for the distribution of effects: heavy armour users are the one who will get reliably into melee contact, so they get a bonus if they face more than one monster. Light body armour users generally include casters and stabbers, both of which can use temporary ally support from when they happen to have melee contact (either for flight, or for distraction stabbing chance.

Weapon brand upgrade

The list of weapon brands is too long to allow for a mapping brand → upgraded brand.


This is a strategic ability, so should be available very rarely. This is why it can be safely linked to altars. (There is a gambling element here: the more altars to the god you find, the more forging opportunities you will get.) Since this god is so much about equipment, I want a more elaborate forging mechanic than the plain branding of other gods (Lugonu, Kikubaaqudgha, the Shining One), or the simple “turn item into artefact” of wizard mode. I also want the interface to be very simple, while the power should provide choices, ideally some or all of:

  1. What item to use?
  2. When to do it?
  3. Further choices once the power has been invoked.

Here is one way to flesh this out: standing at a not-yet-used and tidy altar, you invoke the ability. Then

  1. you are prompted for an item, which must be weapon or armour piece, mundane (no artefact, but an ego is allowed) — perhaps is not allowed to have negative enchantment?
  2. this item drops to the altar, and you get a list of five randarts made from that item
  3. all but the first artefacts are generated with requirements
  4. the item is fixed at the altar until the player makes a choice

To be sure: the player can leave the item at the altar, for example so as to meet a requirement.

On randart-making:

  • if the original weapon has a brand (no matter which brand), it is retained
  • if the original has no brand, then each artefact gets an ego (chosen individually); if the god has some prejudice against certain egos in the Weapon abilities, then those egos should probably not come up here either
  • the first artefact on the list is always of a simple type: random increase of enchantment(s) and one random resistance
  • the other four artefacts are full-blown artefacts with at most one bad property

Examples for requirements (a more elaborate system, there would be three tiers of artefacts and requirements):

  • a ring of fire resistance and a ring of cold resistance
  • Geryon's horn
  • 3792 gold
  • the hide of an ice dragon
  • two potions of cure mutation
  • amulets of four different types, discounting inaccuracy
  • all amulets of resist mutation known so far

In terms of theme, the forging process needs additional magical/mythical ingredients. For the player, this adds a quest-like flavour to forging. Note the crucial difference to troves and scrolls of acquirement: here you get to see the rewards alongside with the costs! The player can make a fully informed decision.

The player is not forced to make a choice immediately. The item will be attached to the altar (cannot be picked up) until a choice has been made and the conditions have been met. (So by taking the first artefact on the list, the player is guaranteed to be able to pick up the item right away and proceed to use it immediately.)

Here are some examples of what might happen if you select an unbranded +5 demon trident for forging:

a) the +8 demon trident "Hulyip" {freeze; rF+}

b) the +12 demon trident of the Seven Heavens {flame; rElec Str+2}
   This needs 5 potions of heal wounds.
c) the +10,+13 demon trident of the Lost Cause {pain; rC++ rF+ Curse AC+6}
   This needs the staff of Dispater.
d) the +7,+8 demon trident "Ootsarkem" {vamp; rN+ rMut Noisy EV+5 AC+3}
   This needs a wand of hasting (7).
e) the +14,+9 demon trident of the Bees {elec; rC+ MR+ Stealth +Tele}
   This needs 12 scrolls of teleportation.

This list contains properties which do not exist on normal randarts. This is intentional: I want to use standard properties (so they don't have to be explained, and players know the inscriptions by heart), but in non-standard combinations. It would make sense to also allow brands which the god offers via the active abilities — this should come later, if at all.

The conditions are not meant to be crippling. Rather, the idea is that you get a choice out of four top tier acquirements (and one reliable but not-so-strong acquirement), and sometimes the conditions may inform your decisions (because you don't want to spend the consumables, or the task is too dangerous).

The artefacts created should be standard because the player has no chance to test non-standard properties (this is different with the branding powers!), and there is enough to make different and interesting artefacts already.

Note that the player is encouraged to apply as many scrolls of Enchant Foo prior to forging as possible, because the forging process will only add enchantments and the item is fixed afterwards. In this sense, later use of the power is better. On the other hand, the earlier you obtain the artefact, the more use you will get out of it. (The reward for investing enchantments could be artificially boosted, but bes to leave it at that for the moment.)

Forging on non-persistent levels

Altars can occur on levels the player is guaranteed to never visit again (Abyss, Pan, portal vaults). I want to enable forging on these, but the conditions have then to be local, of course:

  • requirements derived from inventory, including gold
  • paying with permanent HP or MP loss (this is flavourful but crude mechanic; as a crutch on fleeting levels it is certainly alright, perhaps even as a rare condition for forging on standard levels)

Players should not be encouraged to travel with empty inventories (so as to forge great randarts at cheaper conditions). The proper logic is to assess what they have (conditions should come in tiers, and derive randart quality from that.


  • Enchantment caps back to normal (they should be kept internally nonetheless, in case the character takes up the god again later on).
  • All forged artefacts gain a negative property.
  • Animating wielded weapon.
  • Applying weapon brands to enemies.

Different concept: enchantment focus

This is an interesting idea I still need to think about: with enchantment caps increased by piety, the actual enchantment level of an item could determine the power of abilities (e.g. the duration/power of active and passive weapon/armour upgrades). The appeal is that weaker base types could become attractive through high enchantments.

One instance of this: reduced mulching rate depending on the enchantment of the launcher used to shoot them.

Different concept: double armour

From a forum god proposal of bcadren:

Under Armour (passive) — You gain the ability to line your heavy armour with light armour. (Light armours: Robe, Leather, Ring Mail [Non-Dragon armours of Encumbrance of 7 or less. Dragon Armours are explained as being 'too bulky' to fit under another armour.]) (Heavy armours: Everything else, including Lightweight Dragon armours). Encumbrance ratings stack.

Obsolete discussion about brands

Moved to bottom as a historical note; might still be of interest. — dpeg 2014-05-25 01:23


As I see it, the best and most direct tactical ability is access to useful, otherwise unavailable brands. Standard brands are not so interesting in this regard, because that would be just a divine version of the branding spells, and not very good in the long run. Below are some kinds of brands listed that I have in mind.

How brands are chosen

In a particular game, the weapon brands I/II and the armour brands are fixed. (No randomness when applying the powers.) There are several ways how the brands could be chosen for a game.

  1. Fixed once and for all. (I.e. the same brand for each power, in all games.)
  2. Randomly (i.e. rolled at game start rolled; there is a choice: known before taking on the god; or only disclosed when reaching the relevant piety level)
  3. Chosen by the player when reaching the piety threshold of the power.
  4. Chosen by the player among a randomly chosen subset (this is to avoid very long lists).
  5. Deterministic upgrades of current ego and/or weapon type (Leafsnail).

Fixed brands. The is the most conservative approach, as all other god powers work like this. (The one exception are perhaps Makhleb's destructional powers.) This could certainly be done, but I feel that a lot of potentially interesting (and innovative!) design would be lost. To me, only the fallback option.

Randomly chosen brands. This would require some adaptation of players but I think it's not the strongest approach.

Player selected brands. This god has some form of interaction with the player anyway, in the artefact forging ability — we can as well strengthen this link. Randonly chosed and player-selected god powers would be a novelty for Crawl, but I think there is potential in that direction. This is the approach I have championed until Leafsnail proposed the upgrades. I still think player selection would work decently enough.

Upgrades The original proposal is that the god power takes a weapon's existing brand and replaces it with (or perhaps adds to it) a fixed brand. For example, a melee weapon with the fire brand would get the sticky flame brand. What I like a lot about this approach is that it leaves the brand choice in player's hands, which is good (decisions!) and really befits the theme, as I see: this is a god who wants followers to work with their gear, so picking (and subsequently enchanting) weapons for their brands, or branding yourself should be supported! There is a question is the information can be conventiently displayed to players (they must be able to see all brands and their upgrades at a glance). I think the list of brands is short enough for this.
Here are some potential upgrade patterns:

no brand -> riposte for melee, penetration for ranged              [spudwalt]
vorpal   -> blood bond?
flaming  -> immolation, or perhaps sticky flame
freezing -> glaciation (ice plus some sort of slowing effect)
elec     -> static electricity
venom    -> curare
draining -> reaping
vorpal:  short blade   -> riposte                                  [dpeg]
         long blade    -> disarm
         mace & flails -> shafting
flaming: melee         -> sticky flame 
         launcher      -> immolation

DracheReborn suggests to leave some brands intact (no upgrade). This should apply to the brands which are given by gods (and these are incidentally) also all on the strong side: pain, distortion, antimagic, holy wrath.

Weapon brands (passive)

This list compiles weapon brand proposals that are strictly good, i.e. the player will never regret having this brand. Only such brands can be used for passive powers, although they obviously work for active powers just fine. (There can be edge cases where you might not even want shared or increased damage but these are too minor to matter here.)

  • reaping (killed monsters arise as allied zombies)
  • domination (a successful hit may temporarily enslave the monster)
  • blood bond (a successful hit with the weapon applies to all monsters of the same genus in sight)
  • disarm (a successful hit may make the monster drop its weapon; melee weapons only)
  • sticky flame (a successful hit may put sticky flame on the monster; melee weapons only)
  • riposte (Minotaur-style retribution attack when avoiding hits; melee weapons only)
  • humility (does 1d(monster HD) damage, i.e. better against bigger monsters, to put them in their place.
Weapon brands (active)

These brands have effects that you many not want to get, therefore they're only fit for active powers.

  • shafting (a successful hit may shaft the monster; melee weapons only)
  • confusing touch (again, like the spell; melee weapons only)
  • spirit weapon (a successful hit may spawn a minor, spectral version of the weapon; melee weapons only)
  • immolating (a successful hit may put inner flame on the monster; ranged weapons only)
  • penetrating (ranged weapons only)
  • exploding (ranged weapons only)
  • force (knockback chance on successful hits; ranged weapons only)
  • petrification (successful hit petrifies) — too strong to be active
  • obliteration (successful hit does additional damage as if the monster had been blasted with a wand of disintegration)
Armour brands

An unused one

  • transference (incoming damage from a monster is shared between you and all other adjacent monsters — from Brogue)
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dcss/brainstorm/god/propose/equipment.txt · Last modified: 2014-06-24 01:46 by Reaver
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