Iashol, God of Sacrifice

The heart of this proposal is that piety would only be given in exchange for significant, meaningful, and permanent sacrifices of either traits or potential. Piety never decreases and is not spent; instead, it contributes to the number and power of passive abilities or active abilities with non-piety costs. These sacrifices are meant to be significant decision points with long-lasting effects.


“Iashol is a god of sacrifice who knows that power and loss are balanced, and that those who seek power lose as much as they gain, and those who lose willingly get great power in exchange. Iashol is a formless entity, having given up its own form piece by piece in exchange for ever-greater power and wisdom. Worshippers of Iashol gain immense personal power in proportion to the extent that they give up. ”


Piety cannot be lost. Piety can be gained only by sacrifices. Two structures for these sacrifices have been proposed:

  1. Sacrifices are available from the (a)bility menu at all times, and players may freely choose between all sacrifice options. To prevent players from making all sacrifices immediately upon joining, the number of sacrifices allowed would be limited by experience level or by invocations skill.
    • Upside: player is fully in control of character's destiny and is certain to be able to make choices that they want to make.
    • Downside: Player can do math and pre-plan which sacrifices to make. Player can make the same sacrifices each game, leading to more repetitive gameplay. Player is forced to understand full range of possible sacrifices all at once immediately upon worshiping the god.
  2. Periodically the god announces that the character is eligible for another sacrifice (“You are now ready to sacrifice again, seeker of power!”) with a frequency controlled most likely by XP gain. At these times, the player would gain prompts through the (a)bility menu allowing them to make one of three sacrifices. Each sacrifice would be set up as “sacrifice this: gain foo”, where foo is either piety or a specific god power. If the player does not choose one of the sacrifices, they are eventually withdrawn and/or replaced by new sacrifices.
    • Upside: Player is forced to adapt to different choices each game. Player can't rush sacrifices to gain power too quickly. Game will only need to explain three sacrifice/reward pairs at a time.
    • Downside: Having three new things to explain each time a sacrifice is offered might be cumbersome and/or might be challenging to implement. Player has less sense of control over what they sacrifice. Unless constructed carefully, the player may never get a chance to give up something they're willing to accept giving up.
It is crucial for players to reach piety breakpoints. Ideally, we can convey this without numbers – at the very least, a much coarser scale than 0…200 should do. — dpeg 2014-04-06 02:51

Either way, the list of sacrifices and their relative piety value includes but isn't limited to:

  • Sacrifice words: lose the ability to read scrolls (30 piety) Edit: this breaks too much stuff. Replacement version: when injured, you are hit with a “cannot read scrolls” status effect for a short time. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:40
  • Sacrifice taste: lose the ability to drink potions (30 piety) Edit: same as above. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:40
  • Sacrifice an eye: attacks made at range get -3 accuracy for every tile of distance. (20 piety)
  • Sacrifice a hand: Lose a ring slot, lose access to two-handed weapons and shields. (80 piety)
  • Sacrifice purity: Gain random mutation from among {shoutitis, degeneration, deformed body, slow healing} or {-2 to a stat} as a permanent, “racial” mutation. (20 piety for former group, 5 for the latter) (can be taken more than once)
    • This is alright, a more dynamic version would be a permanent evil evolution mutation. — dpeg 2014-04-06 02:45
  • Sacrifice essence: Gain random mutation from among -10% mp, -20 MR, -wizardry as a permanent, “racial” mutation. (20 piety) (can be taken more than once)
  • Sacrifice health: Gain random mutation from among -10% hp, -3 EV, -3 AC as a permanent, “racial” mutation. (20 piety) (can be taken more than once)
  • Sacrifice Stealth: Stealth skill is locked and stealth score is set to 0. (25 piety)
  • Sacrifice Artifice: You can no longer train Evocations. You can no longer evoke anything other than polearms. (25 piety)
  • Sacrifice Nimbleness: Dodging skill is locked and set to 0. (10 piety, or 35 if Sacrifice Durability is already selected)
  • Sacrifice Durability: Armour skill is locked and set to 0. (10 piety, or 35 if Sacrifice Nimbleness is already selected)
  • Sacrifice Arcana: Randomly lock one of {Charms or Translocations or Necromancy or Conjurations} and one of {Summoning, Transmutation, Hexes} and one of {Fire, Ice, Earth, Air, Poison}. The player may not cast any spell of the locked schools. (variable piety between 20 and 40, depending on what is chosen) (can be chosen twice).
  • Sacrifice Love: Whenever an event would create a friendly minion, it is created hostile instead. (20 piety) (this is problematic if the god offers decent minion support and/or minion creation via abilities)
  • Sacrifice Sanity: Whenever an event would create a blood spot, lose 10% of current health and gain MR- status. (30 piety)
More ideas: Sacrifice Teleport, Sacrifice Blink, Sacrifice Movement Speed, Sacrifice Hearing, Sacrifice Warmth (permanent ice beast form).
Admittedly random ideas; feel free to delete right away. Some of these are bordering on other Crawl features (Formicid, Cheibriados), but so is “no casting”.

A question at this point: is it a design goal to have the god be used with several piety levels in mind? (E.g. I could plan to only go for *** piety, say.) — dpeg 2014-04-06 02:41


  • *: Aura of awe (passive): Any time a monster would act within LOS, it has a (piety/10)% chance to cower in awe instead.
  • *: Replacement (if needed because Gozag) Aura of Control (passive): Whenever a monster in LOS would attack the player, they have a (piety/20)% chance to instead target a friend or themselves with the attack. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:38
  • **: Roiling aura (passive): Monsters that damage you have a piety-dependent chance to be struck by status effects including: mute, paralyzed, blind, corona. Edited. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:38
  • ***: Recharge (active, exhaust, costs moderate drain (~.75 skill level?)): Heals 5d(piety/25) hp and 5d(piety/50) mp. Edited. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:38
  • ****: Power leap (active, costs 6 mp and exhaustion): instantly move to a targeted tile within 4 tiles and deal moderate piety-based damage to all monsters surrounding the destination. Edited. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:38
  • *****: Aura cataclysm (active, exhaust, costs significant drain (1.0-1.5 skill level?)): Apply significant damage to all monsters in LOS, along with potential status effects or friendly summons “haunt”ing victims. Edited. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:38
Awe is good. Roiling is crude but alright. Recharge: I don't like this mechanic; the fact that you have to superficially restrict to once per level is only one part of the problem — the other is that by shutting down the other god powers Recharge has little offensive potential.
Inspiring is okay although it might be possible to strengthen ally play much more with this god.
Power: not good. First, it is opaque. Second, it is not a uniform boost (attacks with low variance don't benefit at all). I think the desired effect could be achieved in other ways, too. For example: with a chance depending on piety, apply another attack of the same type.
Cataclysm: the effect itself is good; I find the cap to be inelegant. Maybe this is the price to pay for constant piety. — dpeg 2014-04-06 02:54
For the inelegant caps: how about giving them an XP-based recharge, like elemental evokers? This strikes me as smoother all around. The XP required could be a portion of the total XP you've ever gained, to avoid making the abilities have absurdly long recharge times early on. —IonFrigate 2014-04-10 00:54
Removed the inelegant caps, replaced with draining as a payment. I have two other less-elegant ideas that I think aren't workable: 1) allow adherents to train Invo, and pay Invo skill points to use these abilities; 2) god grants “power points” you use to activate these abilities; power points are gained on sacrifice along with piety. — Lasty 2014-05-22 21:31
Replace miscasts w/ specific lists of effects. Inspired by commentary from MarvinPA. — Lasty 2014-04-08 22:01

Other possible powers: enemies in LOS that take actions other than moving take damage.

Removed ability: Aura of power: When rolling damage caused by the player, roll twice and take the higher of the two rolls. When rolling damage dealt to the player, roll twice and take the lower of the two rolls.

Possible replacements:

  • Increase health regen by (piety / 2000) every AUT and mana regen by (piety / 4000) every AUT,
  • Every time an enemy takes damage, 50% chance to regen 2 hp and 1 mp.
  • Your melee (and ranged?) attacks gain fireball AOE centered on target and ignoring friendlies.
  • Your melee (and ranged?) attacks gain AOE along the line of your attack.
  • Each time you deal damage to a monster, have a chance of applying certain status effects.
  • Damage you would receive greater than 10% of your maxhealth is reduced to 10% of your maxhealth.
  • 50% chance to resist any, like dragonskin cloak.
  • When walking into a new tile, you (melee | passively damage) all adjacent enemies.

Note that most of the powers are piety-dependent, particularly ones obtained at low stars, meaning that even players who only want the more basic abilities have reason to pump piety.

An alternate version of this proposal involves creating a larger list of powers and offering them up individually in exchange for specific sacrifices.

Taking on and abandonment

This god can be abandoned freely and assigns no penance. However, the sacrifices are not undone: the character has sacrificed those things in exchange for power, and even though s/he has rejected that power, the sacrifice still happened. True sacrifice can't be undone, and it's true sacrifice that leads to power.

One reason for this (aside from theme) is so that the player doesn't (for example) sacrifice their ability to cast Charms and then switch gods once they find a Book of Wizardry, or sacrifice a hand and then abandon the god once they find a +9/+9 claymore of electrocution and two rings of slaying.

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dcss/brainstorm/god/propose/sacrifice_god.txt · Last modified: 2014-05-22 21:44 by Lasty
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