Volatile piety god

Brought up by Lasty in the 0.18 Development and Release Plan. With comments by dpeg inspired from an old Okawaru proposal about volatile piety. Right now I just put the ideas side by side, an attempt at a synthesis comes later. — dpeg 2015-12-01 15:24

Lasty section

The design isn't finalized, but I think that there is interesting design space around two things:

  1. a piety meter that fills quickly during fights and drains quickly otherwise, and
  2. rewarding voluntarily leaving slots empty. The two ideas need not be on the same god.
Quick piety

This god would gain piety quickly when dealing damage, and lose piety quickly (1 piety/10 AUT) during time when you are not dealing damage; piety would fill up during fights, allowing for increasingly cool powers each of which drain a fair amount of piety.

Potential themes: courage, competition, passion, water

This god's powers should generally be strong combat effects, ideally relatively unique effects, and should ramp up in power sharply as you pass each piety threshold to reward more dangerous play. Powers should offer not just damage, but also positioning or other effects that are useful in managing crowds. The ability costs should generally be only time and piety.

A few poorly-considered brainstorm ideas for possible powers:

  • AOE damage + stun w/ noise (stolen from archaeo's proposal for a similar god)
  • AOE damage + adds cleaving and reaching statuses.
  • Use Blend In targeter (path through any number of sequential monsters) and deal damage and/or AOE and/or statuses to everything hit.
  • One-on-one fight: irresistably blink close a target monster and attempt to paralyse everything else in LOS. The paralysis automatically ends if 10 AUT pass w/o an enemy inside LOS taking damage or you move in any way, or that monster dies.
  • Jump attack or something similar.
  • Throw — pick an adjacent monster and direction (ala semi-controlled blink) and toss the monster there, dealing heavy damage to it and maybe things nearby.
  • Deal 50% current HP damage to a monster and spawn 5 drowned-soul-type guided missile creatures, each of which picks a random target and does 1/5th of the initial damage dealt on impact – probably need to force the guided missiles to pick different targets.
  • AOE or full-LOS enslave
  • Give a monster a status that causes damage dealt to it to be dealt to all other monsters in LOS, then damage it.
Missing equipment slots

This god would reward the player for voluntarily leaving non-weapon equipment slots open. Involuntary slot restriction (felid) doesn't count. Jewelry slots and off-hand count, to add more choices. Some proposals have been offered that scale strategic benefits with equipment slots (e.g. piety gain), but all of these cause weird behaviors like taking off rings for last-hitting or for exploring or etc. Instead, this god should offer tactical benefits that scale. My preferred option is to have this god give +15% damage received by monsters from all sources for each slot you voluntarily leave empty. If this bonus is too much, it could be lowered, or alternately the base all-slots-filled damage could be lowered – e.g. default 80% normal damage, +15% normal damage per slot left empty.

dpeg section

Volatile piety


Okawaru is commonly seen as a bland and overpowered god. However, the previous remedy proposals at FR 2040505 have been extremely controversial. Thing is, I feel Okawaru currently fills two important niches that the redesigns don't:

  • He's a melee god oriented towards defense and escape. You can't teleport or heal while berserking but you can while using might.
  • He's really easy for beginners to learn.

Unfortunately, he also:

  • has no significant downsides and requires no strategy to use. Mahkleb's summons can kill you, even by accident. Trog deplores spellcasting and berserk has significant weaknesses. Lugonu's “banish” doesn't grant XP. Nemelex's abilities are random and often dangerous. On the other hand, Okawaru's might and haste are almost bad making him a strategic bore for the already straightforward heavy melee fighter.
  • gives game-breakingly good gifts, even for spellcasters. Since conjurers don't need melee weapons, any randart weapon Okie gifts is a huge boon; furthermore switching weapons is the fastest in-game action.

Therefore I propose the following tenets for an Okawaru redesign:

  • Make sure each ability Okawaru gives can be easily explained (i.e. summed up in one sentence).
  • Eliminate might and weapon gifts.
  • Focus Okawaru towards AC and defense, in particular grant Okawaru followers more AC somehow.
  • To compensate of giving more armour gifts, limit each randart Okawaru produces to giving one level more resistance than the base object. Make shield/buckler of resistance and other egos (running/strength) more common. That way, you can certainly get a shield of resistance + rElec + (acc+1 dam+2) but not shield of resist everything. Since you can still get blink, map, rage from items, they're still pretty good, but Okawaru won't give a single game-breaker anymore.
  • Make sure each ability has a minor but strategically significant downside.

This way, Trog is far more compelling for characters that require an offensive boost, while Okawaru is useful for ogres and other characters with weak defenses. And since AC (in particular heavy armour) is scheduled to be nerfed soon, giving extra AC wouldn't be overpowered. In addition, I propose the following redesign (which I imagine will be more controversial than the above proposal):

Theme: god of the ramparts, patron of armoursmiths and masons.


  • Stonemail (* piety). Already implemented for Xom, better stoneskin. Duration and AC increase with inv skill. Low piety cost. Downside: hinders spellcasting due to EV penalty, so not a no-brainer. Not as good as Beogh's extra ac.
  • Sphere of force (** piety). 3×3 area that partially blocks LOS and slows enemy movement inside it; gives 1/5 fumble attack chance like shallow water. Duration increases with inv. Medium piety cost. Downside: you get slowed, fumbled if you walk through it, significant piety cost, unresistable but weak area denial.
  • Sticky armour (***** piety). Enemies that hit you in melee get stuck in glowing tar, adding duration 3 to any of their following actions. Nasty against hydras, executioners. Med-high piety cost like haste. Downside: enemies have to hit you for ability to work, so weaker than haste except it stacks with haste.
  • Armour gifts. As above, only armour gifts, at most 1 extra resist/randart.

Roles that like this design:

  • Trolls and ogres (extra AC helps, minor missile protection really helps, they don't need might anyway.)
  • Light-armour crusaders, though Okawaru is not that helpful in early game anymore since stonemail hinders spellcasting, EV and meph cloud is better than Sphere of Force in early game (enemies are confused and almost never attack you!)
  • Transmuters like stonemail + statue form, dont' need might in conjunction with blade hands.

Roles that don't:

  • Short blade melee combos can't really deal damage without might, and don't get quick blade/speed brand gifts.
  • Early game fighters have horrible trouble killing tough foes w/o offensive boosts, makes TSO more competitive with Okie.
  • Primary casters. AC alone is not enough to make a primary caster viable in melee.

Wrath: punishers suffer sticky armour/sphere of force. Nasty! No, you're not going Okawaru for armour then Trog for a pointy stick.

Gifts as loans

The idea is old, but has got some fresh input from a recent IRC discussion. I am making it as lean as possible. — dpeg 2014-03-19 01:08

My gripes with current Okawaru gifts:

  • too many, too weak in general
  • very few choices involved

The basic proposal:

  • gifts occur more rarely, start earlier than now, and are better (no more mundane animal skins)
  • gifts are temporary, with a duration of about 1000-3000 turns
  • when getting piety, there is a chance (which can depend on toughness of killed monster) that the duration of one gifted worn/wielded item is increased
  • not using gifts (on the floor or in inventory) counts down the timer very quickly
  • keep track of the number of extensions each item got; if that number reaches a threshold (say 10), then the item becomes permanent and is marked as such
  • if the timer of some item reaches zero, then the item “dulls”: it becomes a mundane item (if artefact before), the ego may disappear (not sure yet) and the enchantments decrease — however, you keep the very item, so you don't suddenly stand around naked in a fight


  • each temporary gift has to be clearly visible as such; we also want some indication on the timer
  • one option: a - +7 claymore {freezing, temporary gift [===…]}
  • another one: indicate duration in item description
  • I don't know if/how we should indicate how close an item is to becoming permanent

Analysis: With this, Okawaru gifts will hopefully no longer be decisions between grab 'n collect, or dismiss outright. Rather, you can choose to use an item temporarily only (suppose you just got a decent armour item with your only rPois: you might stop what you are doing, and venture into Snake right away). You can also go for some making some gift item permanent: here, it is questionable if you can/should go for all armour pieces Okawaru gives (and you most probably can only go for one weapon) — due to the rule that at each extension attempt one of the currently worn/wielded items is picked.

This could come with an active ability:

  • Extend duration of gifts (substantial piety cost)

Possibly for later (ignore on first implementation!): There might be potential for even more decision making if Okawaru would be also able to improve worn items. One basic approach:

  • When getting piety and the character is not wielding/wearing temporary gifts, then one of worn/wielded items may be improved.
  • Pick one item, biased by item enchantment (worse is preferred).
  • This can also affect artefacts!

The idea is that you can slowly turn one of those -6 helmet {rC++ rF++ rElec} into a much better item. It would take a while and you wouldn't get a +4 helmet at all. And doing so would mean forfeiting gift use.

Logged in as: Anonymous (VIEWER)
dcss/brainstorm/god/propose/volatile_piety.txt · Last modified: 2015-12-01 15:25 by dpeg
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki