Drama Goddess

Name dcss:brainstorm:god: Riefe the director
Summary No branchhopping, random branch order, pulling it off
Added by Infinitum
Added on 20/03/2011


Riefe is the god of literature, theatre, stories and myth. She considers the world as a tale in the making, an epic in many acts which she takes great pains to direct towards an inscrutable goal yonder the horizon. Her followers lives not only to partake on the grand stage that is history, but also to amuse and appease her with ever new works of art and literature mimicing her own task, from the shortest sonnet to the greatest opera. She is the patron of writers, of artists, of entertainers and of all adventurers willing to be an actor in her quest to hone the story of the world into perfection.

Rieze is pleased with her followers striving to fulfill their own part in her grand narrative, overcoming their antagonists, and inspiring others to do the same. Those who manage to follow her script no matter what path it takes them she rewards greatly - the protection needed to persevere, the gift of tongues used subvert her enemies and, should the situation warrant it, the power to defy fate itself!


Basically the goddess of not-branchhopping-ever, Riefe provides resistances and advantages suitable for the branch the player is currently in in addition to slight premonitions (framing devices), the ability to enact the script to confuse and convert monsters and an ability that gains power in high tension situations (ie for dramatic effect). However, the player has to accept her directing his quest, deciding on the order of branches taken, restricting access to cleared branches and forcing the player to remain within a certain branch until 100% finished. Thematically, the player is encouraged to get in way over his head early and is in return given the bare necessities, power and escape options to actually pull it off.


Piety Gain:

  • Killing Uniques
  • Whenever a floor is entered for the first time in the current script branch
  • finishing branches in accordance with the script

Piety Loss:

  • Entering or leaving branches without being prompted to do so (penance)
  • allowing a timed portal included in the script to time out
  • naturally over time

The Script:

This is essentially the order in which Riefe expects the player to complete various branches. The PC can move about the main dungeon at will. However, once he happens about the next branch on Riefes list (or any portal vault) he is bound to enter it however and is not to leave until Riese has deemed it finished (either by fully exploring the bottom floor or retrieving the rune if present). Once finished, the spirit chorus announces the next branch the player must travel to. Players may not enter “finished” branches once they've left them (except to travel to a subbranch within them) as Riefe demands they press on.

A player knowing the location of the next branch in the script may not ascend or descend floors in the main dungeon in a way that would move away from the branch entrance (unless he needs to swap levels to reach it). Likewise, the spirit choir will announce the entrance of any branch entrance on a dungeon floor as the player enters that floor.

The order is somewhat randomized to keep players on edge, but something like: Orc, Lair, 2x lair subbranches, Elf, Vault, Crypt, Slime, Abyss, Vestibule, Tomb, Pan (no leaving levels unless explored or rune picked up, no returning to the dungeon until all 5 runes are collected), Hellx4. Portal vaults must be entered and finished as encountered (with the spirit choir announcing their presence).

The main dungeon, the Eucumenical Temple, Ziggurats, Treasure Troves, Bazaars and Zot all exists outside of the script and may be entered, left and reentered without consequence.

If abyssed out of order the player may leave at will (but not pick up the rune should they come across it!).

A player that has (fully) completed branches prior to converting simply has those branches crossed in the script.

Powers overview:

  • - Spirit Choir
  • - Encore
  • ♦ Fortune of the bold
  • ♦♦
  • ♦♦♦ Enact
  • ♦♦♦♦
  • ♦♦♦♦♦ Ex machina
  • ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Powers in-depth:

  • Spirit Choir: The spirit choir (inspired by the greek chorus) frames and comments the players adventure, announces the presence of unique artifacts, runes and monsters on levels and hints at the proximity of portals and branch entrances.
  • Encore: 10+(Piety/10)% of ignoting an attack that would otherwise kill the player. Drains 20+d20 piety in the process. Won't activate if player is under penance. If possible, the death message should still play to illustrate the player character clinging to life because goddammit the audience loves him and.. the.. show.. must.. go.. ON!
  • Fortune of the bold: This essentially adds two pips of resistance or other beneficial abilities relevant to the branch the PC is currently in (to partially make up for the fact that the player is forced to enter them in a set order) if the branch or portal vault is included in the script. God-defining ability.
  • Enact (1 mana, 0-1 piety): Attempts to confuse (”~ is flabbergasted by your performance!”), paralyze (”~ is mesmerized by your performance!”) or enslave (”~ is enthralled by your performance!”) all awake, intelligent enemies in LOS. Success rate and duration is decided by Invocations and monster HD, starts off at low power but gains strength with multiple consecutive castings. Unique enemies are unaffected (designated villains as they are), as are unintelligent or mindless foes (Jellies, most beasts, Zombies etc). Low mana and piety cost, but multiple consecutive castings are often required to accumulate enough power to overcome monster HD.
  • Ex Machina (10 mana, 8 piety): A bigass damage dealing ability and panic button rolled into one. Immediatly blasts the player and everyone around him with one several random effects (generally) beneficial to the player. The power is dependent not only on invocations but also tension and the current HP of the PC (the worse off the player is the better the result is likely to be, at low tension/high hp nothing may happen at all). Some effects are proposed at at the end of this post. High mana and piety cost.


  • - Amateur
  • ♦ Extra
  • ♦♦ Supporting Role
  • ♦♦♦ Thespian
  • ♦♦♦♦ Rising Star/Starlet
  • ♦♦♦♦♦ Lead Actor/Actress
  • ♦♦♦♦♦♦ Protagonist


  • “An empty stage of Riefe”.
  • Instead of the usual kneel-before-the-altar message you get “You enter the stage” when attempting to join the religion.

Death messages:

  • - “You hear the boos and yeers of the crowd.”
  • ♦ “There is only uncomfortable silence.”
  • ♦♦ “There is a polite applause.”
  • ♦♦♦ “You are surrounded by applause!”
  • ♦♦♦♦ “You get a standing ovation!”
  • ♦♦♦♦♦ “The surroundings shake as the crowd roars out their approval!”
  • ♦♦♦♦♦♦ “Big bright shining stars surround your vision as the crowd goes wild!”

Some proposed bonuses granted by dungeon branch:

  • Main Dungeon - None
  • Temple - None
  • Sewer - rPois, Water Walking
  • Ossuary - chance to avert death curses, enact affects Zombies
  • Orcish Mines - Bonus to EV/AC
  • Elven Halls - Reflection, MR
  • Bailey - Bonus to EV/AC
  • Ice Cave - rC+, Conservation
  • Volcano - rF+, Conservation
  • Labyrinth - Slow Metabolism, Magic Mapping 3
  • Lair - rPois, Enact affects creatures
  • Snake - rPois, chance to avoid constriction
  • Slime - rAcid, Conservation
  • Shoals - Water Walking, Reflection
  • Swamp - rPois, Water Walking
  • WizVaults - level dependant
  • Vaults - rN+, rElec
  • Crypt - Warding, Enact affects Zombies
  • Tomb - Torment resistance, chance to avert death curses
  • Abyss - Flight, permanent Swiftness
  • Pan - Depends on current level (vanilla according to highest natural level of fiend spawned/rMut if Neqotec, Cerebov rF+ and Conservation, Vloox Voq rPois and Torment resistance, Lob Lobom rElec and MR, Mnoleg rMUT and Clarity)
  • Vestibule of Hell - Warding, chance to avoid constriction
  • Gehenna - rF+, conservation
  • Coccygus - rC+. conservation
  • Dis - Bonus EV/AC
  • Tartarus rN+, resist rot
  • Ziggurat - None
  • Zot - None
  • Orb run - None
Zot and the Orb run being excluded seems really contrary to the theatric theme to me. Isn't the finale the part that matters the most? — KiloByte 2012-03-21 22:16
True that. It's a straightforward way to allow players to collect any number of runes prior to getting the orb though. — Infinitum 2012-03-23 00:03
I'd give the player the choice - once they have three runes they can head for Zot any time they like and Reife will rewrite the script for you in that one instance. — mumra 2012-03-23 10:44

Some proposed Ex Machina effects:

Higher tension and lower HP gives better odds for high level effects basically.

Guaranteed save:

  • Destroying a wide circular area around the player (kill all non-unique monsters, destroys every non-artifact item on the floor, teleport away all uniques and rearrange all wall and floor tiles in a random pattern).
  • Banish the player to the backstage (empty area containing no enemies and some meager loot. A portal leads back to the floor the player left).
  • Random teleport to safe location; spawn a friendly “mysterious stranger” summoned human adjacent to the player which immediatly times out. (Sardonic “our hero!” style prompt from the choir).

Decidedly improved upon situation:

  • Greater heal, haste and heroism cast on the PC.
  • Attempt to teleport away, frighten, banish, petrify, confuse, sleep, paralyse or smite all monsters in LOS (one effect at a time, this should probably be the most common result).
  • Summoning several friendly ghosts adjacent to the player. (“the choir rushes to your assistance!”)
  • Polymorph all monsters in LOS into Sheep.
  • Cave in! Random squares in area around the player turned to rock. Monsters and Items caught beneath crushed mercillessly. Uniques will instead be heavily damaged and moved to an adjacent square.

Situationally meh:

  • Surrounding the player with deep water or lava, drowning everything without flying. The water gradually disappears afterwards.
  • Creating a Shaft directly below the player whilst simultaneously disspelling any levitation or flying in effect.
  • Surround the player with shafts.
  • Surounding the player with random clouds.

Not enough Tension:

  • Riefe ignores your plea.

Wrath/Penance ideas:

  • Immediatly shaft the player. (“Let me guide your path, fool!”)
  • Confuse the player (“You forget what it was you were supposed to be doing!”)
  • Paralyze the player (“You tense up in fright, suddenly feeling the eyes of the world upon you!”)
  • Silence the Player (“You feel the sudden urge to scream, but not a sound issues forth!”)
  • Negative resists (remove some random resist pips/MR/AC/EV for a few turns).
  • Banish the player to the backstage, this time strewn with hostile ghosts and spirits (ie your former choir. Not so much dangerous as thoroughly heckling if the player is at a high enough level. this punishment only occurs once and only if the player has denounced Riefe). Portal out generated once you've killed every single last one of them.


  • Simplified Enact (Enthralled enemies are now Enslaved instead of Pacified, removed piety gain), added pending costs to Enact/Ex Machina. — Infinitum 2012-03-23 20:17


I'll just reiterate some points from the Tavern thread that I don't think have been addressed or responded to.

  • Enact - this is identical to Recite, both mechanically and thematically. I don't think you can have an “Acting” ability without this problem. If Recite didn't already exist, this might be an interesting idea to explore. But at it stands, Enact is just a less powerful version without the decision of which book to recite from. I suggested this could be just another Ex Machina effect instead - either a troupe of actors appears to mesmerise enemies with their acting, or perhaps the god channels her acting through you to achieve the same effect.
  • Encore - this is pretty much pointless. You shouldn't be relying on a god ability to survive death, instead you should have god abilities available that help you avoid death. Which you already have. Encore strikes me as “flavour for the sake of flavour”.
  • My suggestion for both those abilities is just to cut them out of the proposal. They don't add anything to it, and mechanically they seem somewhat inconsistent with the theme.
  • Piety - as mentioned, pacification already conflicts with Ely, and piety gain/loss based around it is lifted straight out of the book of Ely. I thought the connection with artifacts that you had in the original version was much more interesting and could be expanded on. I suggested an ability where you get additional bonuses for wearing / using artifact gear; the idea being this might occasionally make the player consider wearing sub-optimal artifact gear over normal equipment, if it's available. It's not an entirely serious suggestion - big balancing problems - but an example of how you could tie the theme into abilities in a more interesting way than Enact or Encore.
  • Ex Machina - I don't think there should be “guaranteed saves”. The best should be “extremely good chance of survival, if you play it well”.
  • Equipment management - this is a big deal; more so for casters, but to some extent with all classes. If I can't leave a branch until I've cleared the whole thing, how am I supposed to go back to the dungeon and find my spell books when I've just gained spell slots, or go and load up on scrolls / potions. This encourages a whole strategic process of planning each branch to take exactly the things you're going to need. The “Backstage” ability that was suggested … well, the game-breaking-ness of that makes the Tomb spell look sub-optimal, I'm not sure if it will ever get accepted, no matter how many special rules you introduced to prevent abuse. My Prompt ability solved the same issue without such concerns. (To reiterate: Riefe helps you remember the words of your script. So once you've picked up and identified a scroll or book, you are able to use it without physically holding it. When you use a scroll in this way the physical copy is still destroyed. You can only learn spells from books this way, you still have to hold the book to destroy it if you want to forget a spell. The ability is available at 2** but the piety cost is non-trivial to encourage the player to still carry emergency scrolls with them, so it doesn't just break item destruction and inventory/weight management altogether.) Your main issue with this seemed to be that it conflicted with Sif … which I don't see. Sif is a librarian, she likes keeping books around to look things up in. Whereas acting is about memorising the words so you don't need the book! To be doubly clear on the theme: “Prompt” is very common theatrical terminology for someone prompting you your lines.

In short: at first I was really interested in the idea of this god; the “Following the Script” / Spirit Choir / Ex Machina ideas are really interesting, and the contextual resistances are the necessary “carrot”. But the other abilities I find a bit “meh” to begin with, and I think they have some huge issues. — mumra 2012-03-22 22:05

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dcss/brainstorm/god/propose/god_of_drama.txt · Last modified: 2012-03-23 20:41 by Infinitum
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