Vehumet

Vehumet has seen some changes for 0.6, which should make that god compare more favourably with Sif Muna. However, I feel that the restriction to two skills (Conjurations and Summonings) is not very interesting design-wise. Moreover, the Summonings part feels slapped on and should be taken care of by another god. Regardless of this, there are a few proposals for how to modify Vehumet.


Feature request at 551 suggests removing book gifts.

dpeg

This is a completely new proposal; it is a descendant of 2048624 and the comments in there, especially by borsuk. Newer version (2010-09-30 22:07): get rid of clumsy abilities for the various types of ranged attacks. Use clever ideas of others.

Basic idea: Vehumet is a god suitable for all styles of ranged combat, spells, missiles, wands, rods. Vehumet likes destruction and does not care how the player kills, but all boosts will help ranged attacks. There will be still no use for Invocations.

Old reliefs depict this god either wielding a great bow or hurling thunder and
boulders. Accordingly, Vehumet forcefully supports those employing long-range
combat, no matter which type. Vehumet is also tutelary diety of hunters, and
therefore followers are expected to never let wounded prey escape.

Piety rules:

  • Piety gain for all kills, no matter how. This includes melee kills and kills by allies.
  • Piety bonus if for explosions on kills.
  • Piety decays over time.
  • Piety hit if fleeing monsters escape from LOS.
    • Perhaps check for burning/poisoned/etc statuses, and only deduct from piety if those stops before killing (no need to follow dying monsters to keep them in sight, especially when there are others to kill). — MrMisterMonkey 2010-10-05 19:23
      • Yes, but since you can very often not be sure that the poison/fire will be enough to kill the monster, the problem exists even with your modification. I thought that the stricter rule is better: since you can rely on Vehumet being unhappy if that fleeing monster leaves LOS, you will either not use poison/flame with many monsters around or be prepared to adapt.
        On the whole, however, this piety rule is just flavour. We could also drop it. (Or someone may come with an idea for better conduct.) — dpeg 2010-10-05 19:45

Abilities:

  • Explosion on kills (* piety, passive). A killing blow (no matter how) dealing enough damage (for example “crushing” or “dicing” the monster; instant kills from full health should always trigger this) leads to an explosion (3×3). The additional damage depends on piety and monster (maximal) health. Vehumet likes this: extra piety. The player takes damage from the explosion (as do any allies), but Vehumet will save the player's life should he die from this — this comes at a piety cost; Vehumet does not like taking care like this.
    This enables the player to use melee and try to do insufficient damage (for the explosion effect) which is risky in non-trivial situations.
  • Drumfire (* piety). [Other names could be Cannonade or Barrage or Rapid fire.] Allows you to select one wand from your inventory. A selected wand is 'fixed', ie. shown in darkgrey and cannot to be dropped or thrown. It is possible to recharge it. Whenever the player targets something for spell, missiles, wand, rod etc., a fixed wand will shoot as well. The wand is zapped like usual (i.e. damage scales with Evocations skill). If you go below * piety, a fixed wand stops shooting. Fixed wands lose charges over time and disappear at 0 charges. (This makes them a strictly tactical choice, instead of always running around with a fixed wand.)
  • Precision (** piety, passive). If you miss some target with any ranged attack, there is another chance of piety/300.
  • Armour improvement (*** piety, passive). The basic EV penalty of the worn body armour is reduced by the number of piety-*'s minus 2. This should probably be displayed or mentioned in the item's description. It could be too strong.

Gifts:

  • Attack wands. Note that these will be useful for planting traps some day, making Evocations even more useful. The Drumfire ability does not scale with piety, but the wand gifts do!

Notes:

  • This Vehumet loses Summonings but I think that's an improvement. While the symmetry between the four old evil gods Vehumet (Con/Sum spells), Makhleb (Con/Sum invocations), Kikubaaqughda (Nec spells), Yredelemnul (Nec invocations) is appealing, the Sum part feels artificial. There should be a new god who is good for everyone with allies.
  • This Vehumet is strictly about damage, which is new. It can also be a noisy god, if you get the explosions.
  • The above proposal tries to keep reavers in the audience: the armour improvement should do that.
  • Ranged damage (0 piety, passive). All ranged attacks get an additive damage boost of min(actual_damage*(100+d100)/200, d(piety/10)). (This power might not be necessary in view of Drumfire, but the latter might be used rather rarely. Remains to be seen.)
Vehumet's current increased spell range is an immediately visible and unique feature, it'd be very good to keep it. I'd prefer it to the damage increase above, as that's more of a background effect, though it's true that spell range wouldn't help archers — if the remaining abilities wouldn't be enough to appeal to them, perhaps combine it with another one of the abilities? — OG17 2010-10-01 02:16
Yes, I know. I have tried to find powers that are uniformly interesting, no matter how you kill at range. I can only hope that the three ways of dealing more damage (the passive ability, the additional wand you can fire, the explosion from kills) are attractive enough. Guess the lack of special powers is the price to pay for a broader approach. Note that the Precision ability is helpful to casters, too. And roughly speaking, short-range spells are the more imprecise ones. — dpeg 2010-10-01 02:37
“Note that these will be useful for planting traps some day, making Evocations even more useful. The Drumfire ability does not scale with piety, but the wand gifts do!” ALRIGHT!!! Traps, turrets, and sneaky kills: You just made my day, dpeg, though it'd be nice if you could drop or Tukima's Dance a Drumfired wand. *Walks off whistling happily* — Andy 2012-01-10 20:00

Borsuk

Discussion of various suggestions on the mailing list by borsuk.

Vehumet rewarding kills at range.

  • Pro: has nice simplicity and even rewards non-Conjuration playing styles.
  • Con: encourages player to artificially run away or blink before making the killing blow. A bit like reverse TSO (used to work?).
  • Con: disallows spells like Freeze, Static Field, Flame Tongue

Vehumet rewards all kills via conjuration.

  • Pro: not much room for scumming. It is simple.
  • Con: boring, one-dimensional.

Hybrid of the two (Vehumet accepts all kills except those with melee weapons/unarmed). Has not been proposed before. It may be worth a try.

  • Pro: allows alternate playing styles
  • Pro: still allows Freeze, Flame Tongue
  • Pro: doesn't interfere with melee. Using melee for kills will just give you less piety.
  • Con (by dpeg): Still, players might use melee until the enemy is near dead, then use spells/missiles. That's not hypothetical: conserve MP or ammo.

Vehumet just makes melee weaker (proposed by dpeg)
I just don't like it. TSO making stealth worse via halo is nice, thematic, natural. But to justify this Vehumet approach, you'd have to bend over backwards. Vehumet makng melee weaker directly is a heavy burden. Instead of rewarding certain behaviours and punishing others, vehumet just “mutates” your character.

Vehumet has powers with drawbacks pushing player in certain directions.
This approach could discourage melee in more natural ways. ImagineVehumet granting something like Sublimation of Blood (MP for HP). Whenever used, this power would replenish some HP at the price of MP. This naturally discourages taking damage, and melee combat in particular. Hybrid characters could use it, but would have to be careful. Pure conjurers and potentially archers would suffer little to no penalty.
Alternate versions of the power: Power boost, but sets player on fire (in my opinion very thematic, but risks sticky flame like annoyances, item destruction, and perhaps too dependant on single resistance) Crystal form (form of shapeshifting — temporarily makes player vulnerable to strong blows, particularly melee, but makes spells stronger in some way.

Suggestions how Vehumet can make melee less attractive (by dpeg):

  • Vehumet ability to heal HP with MP
  • Negative slaying (amount could depend on piety)
  • Can only gain piety when dual firing

On the latter: I like the idea of Vehumet providing a way to shoot a wand alongside a damage spell/a wand/a launcher. This is flavourful (to me) and clearly conveys the idea that this is a god of firepower. It does not restrict the method used for ranged damage.

This section is silly. Why would Vehumet need to hate melee? There is absolutely no problem with the model used by Vehumet and Kikubaaqudgha, that it is irrelevant how you kill things but your powers only aid the desired sort of combat. — TGW 2010-06-23 18:18

Also, I would make Vehumet gift wands. These are much more interesting than armour, weapon or book gifts, because they are finite. There is also interesting synergy with the traps-from-wands energy (for this, Vehumet should like if you blow the traps up, but that would fit nicely anyway). Of course, such a Vehumet would need to take care of the various followers who might want rods or spells/books or ammunition/launchers. One way would be that Vehumites may ask for the type of gift.

DrPraetor

Proposed on the mailing list by DrPraetor.

The only downside of Vehumet is that you don't have another religion. The main weakness of Vehumet's religion is that few of the benefits are defensive and Vehumet does not help you when you're having trouble killing things (which is when you really *need* help). This Vehumet does have some superficial resemblance to Xom (periodically does random things,) but I think that the gameplay experience (Xom mostly does things to you, Vehumet entirely does things to your enemies) will be completely different. Also, Vehumet and Xom can legitimately be similar, given they have the same alignment.

Vehumet has a number of “trackers”, which rise when you inflict damage or kill things and fall to 1D(current value) each time unit they are not raised. You get piety from Vehumet by increasing these trackers while not praying, and furthermore, Vehumet will *intercede* for you when these trackers are raised and stay high. If you pray, your piety steadily decays, and you better kill something or you get Penance. However, while praying, your chances of all kinds of intercession are better and the intercessions are bigger.

For example, you have a kills tracker — every time click, it raises by n * sqrt(n), where n is the number of things you killed that turn, and decays to 1dN (where N is the current value) each turn without kills. Vehumet interceeds each turn you raise this tracker. The basic intercession is for Vehumet to give you MP back (like Vehumet already does,) but if you get the tracker quite high, Vehumet will do more drastic things, like killing frightened enemies for you. So, if you hurl two fireballs and kill eight things, Vehumet may finish off the survivors for you (but it is random.)

You also get a passive bonuses for some of the trackers, which are, yes, strictly numerical. Sue me.

Vehumet has the following trackers:

  • Direct kills: rises whenever you kill something but it is not “a collateral kill”. Basic intercession is to give you MP back, but if you rack up kills in rapid succession Vehumet may also hurl destructive magic or berserk demons at your enemies, or kill

frightened enemies outright. Each turn gain (direct kills)*sqrt(direct kills), so if you manage to kill 3 things in one turn you get 5 tracker.

  • Subtle kill: rises when enemies are killed while unable-to-defend themselves, are killed by poison, or by collateral kills of any kind. Note: a kill *can* be both direct and subtle. Subtle kill intercessions are especially useful to Summoners (drive all allies berserk is the most common), and subtle-kill provides a passive bonus to your attempts to beat MR, so it's useful for enchanters. Each turn gain 1D*10*(subtle kills)*(subtle kills). So if you manage to get multiple subtle kills in a turn, you get a lot of tracker, but it still decays at 50%/turn on average so it doesn't last long.
  • Poison/Fire/Ice/Lightning/Negative Energy damage - rise when you inflict the corresponding damage type, by 1D(damage)/10. Provides a passive % chance to double all damage of the same type, but only if you also keep Direct Kills high. The passive bonus will be integrated into the resistance code and no - immune enemies do not suffer any damage. Racking up a lot of this makes you intercessions bigger/better but biases them towards the same energy type (and biases the color of demons Vehumet sends), which may actually be bad depending on circumstances. Note, if you hurl a lot of firebolts, 8% of them will do double damage (which you will notice!) with a message, rather than every fire bolt doing +8% damage (which might actually be better but you'd never notice it). Obviously, boosting your piety raises both the likelihood and strength of various intercessions. All of the intercessions will include messages, and you'll also get messages as the trackers rise above various values, and whenever the passive bonuses for the trackers are applied.

This Vehumet does not give gifts per say, but some intercessions involve scrolls (torment, fear, vulnerability or immolation) and wands (magic dart, flame, frost or random effects.) Perhaps Vehumet should give branded ammo as well?

Vehumet Schedule:

  • Vehumet calls on you to destroy! (0 piety). This turns on the various trackers so you can gain piety.
  • Vehumet joins you in destruction! (* piety). This starts the various intercessions.
  • You hurl destruction with both hands. (** piety). See the proposal for off-hand wands.
  • Vehumet extends your terrible grasp! (*** piety). This is +1 range on all spells and missile weapons.
  • Vehumet sends your ill favour against your enemies! (**** piety). This redirects some miscast effects to hostile, aware enemies in LOS.
  • While praying, Vehumet consumes those you slay! (***** piety). In addition to everything else, anytime a dead enemy would leave a corpse, it explodes in hellfire instead (corpseless enemies explode in bursts of holy power, because Vehumet destroys all, even demons).

MrMisterMonkey

It's probably a bit late for this, but here's MrMisterMonkey's Vehumet proposal, combining bits from the above proposals, particularly DrPraetor's, plus some of his own.
It probably needs a lot of balancing, and maybe even some features removed and replaced, but I'm rather pleased with my vision of how it would play, if balanced. — MrMisterMonkey 2010-05-14 23:15

Basic idea

Vehumet is a god of mass destruction at the cost of self destruction, proving especially useful to casters, but still beneficial to all forms of ranged combat.

Some goals of MrMisterMonkey's

  • Keep Vehumet invocations-free
  • Provide spellcasters with a gateway to using powerful spells early (current vehu wizardry and cost reduction already accomplish this in part), particularly against multiple and difficult foes
  • Broaden audience
  • Help during combat, rather than afterward

Piety rules

  • Vehumet has a damage/kills tracker which rises when you deal damage to enemies; more for more damage (capped at the point —or slightly above, if Vehumet is the sort for overkill— at which it kills; you don't get any more piety from crystal-spearing a rat than you do from oneshotting it with a magic dart) to more and tougher (HD compared to piety, not your XL) enemies; and decays inversely proportionally to tracker gained over the past few turns. Poison, cloud, and sticky flame users hopefully won't be hurt too much by their spells' effectiveness being over time, since things like that can keep tracker high, and be quite beneficial when raking in damage tracker from multiple sources.
  • Upon killing, tracker is checked, and Vehumet adds piety of value/with chance proportional to tracker, and HD of monster killed versus current piety. That is, you get more piety for higher tracker, but don't get as much for measly monsters, with respect to your piety.
  • Piety loss for tracker loss, practically meaning piety loss for letting enemies get away or running away yourself; intercessions and prayer should help reduce need for escape. When you actually make kills (and tracker runs out because you finished up), this serves to curb the high piety gain a bit.

Intercession

Each turn, depending on piety and tracker, possibly perform an intercession with power proportional to piety and tracker; ideas I have at the moment are

  • MP gain: Little or infrequent; the defining source of MP gain should be prayer (see below)
  • Satiation: Compare with proposal for Vehumet reducing spell hunger in General god mechanics by b0rsuk
  • Miscast effects on foes: making harmless miscast effects frequent throughout combat would be nice flavor, and harmful miscasts would be beneficial.
  • Any applicable hurtful spells on foes: Conjurations, necromancy, summonings, and even some earth/transmutation tend to be good for hurting. I say applicable because casting poisonous cloud on a group of undead is rather silly.

Also, it's probably fine if an intercession harms the player a bit, considering the theme of self-destruction.

Prayer

This is a child of the part in the b0rsuk proposal regarding making melee less attractive by having powers with drawbacks (incidentally, this is also where the self-destructive theme is most prominent): casting during prayer boots chances of or guarantees spell success, greatly reduces or eliminates MP cost, and perhaps also boosts power, but incurs an appropriate miscast. This alone may be too beneficial for low-skill and harsh to high-skill followers when using high-level spells, though, so if that is the case, allow spell skill to affect miscast severity.
The flavor of Vehumet enhancing your abilities by blasting you with magical energy can be extended to other forms of combat, if desired; here are some ideas I had:

  • Wands and rods have a chance not to use charges: similar to in dpeg's proposal
  • Effectively add enchantments to missiles: additionally reduces mulching rates and perhaps brands unbranded missiles

Additionally or alternatively, the prayer effects in DrPraetor's proposal of reducing/eliminating tracker gain and boosting effects of tracker would probably fit well here.

  • Enemies killed during prayer explode: discourages melee in a nice way, fitting, loud and gruesome. Damage could be proportional to monster's max health. — b0rsuk 2010-09-30 11:06
    • This is a great idea! But why restrict it to prayers? You will want the effect very often. So I propose to turn this around, and make the explosion both the norm and a conduct. Cases where you don't want the explosion could be handled in two ways: (a) prayer prevents, or better, because prayer would be such an automatic affair, (b) no explosion in melee range, but Vehumet expresses being unhappy about this. — dpeg 2010-09-30 12:29
      • No no no ! Explosions in melee range is half the point ! Reckless, triggerhappy warlock. Some characters might even find ways to deal with that, like regeneration, AC, I was about to say Makhleb. A god with a drawback. I would like each god to have at least 1 drawback, so atheists aren't completely screwed. An atheist character could say “well, at least I can still do X”. Prayer preventing explosions is ok as long as each prevented explosion costs piety. — b0rsuk 2010-09-30 16:25
        • I absolutely agree with drawbacks. (Side note: some commentators question the wisdom of saddling the Div god with the curses conduct. But there should be some conduct, as you say, and I haven't heard of a better one. No conduct is out of the question, it leads to boring gods like Okawaru, etc.) Note that with your original proposal, the conduct was optional (the player had to pray), so it was more of an advantage (unless the player messes up). I agree that unconditional explosions would be best. Of course, it's not so hot to die to this, so some more ideas: Vehumet saves your life from explosions (piety hit, naturally). And the power of the explosion is proportional to piety (so early on, when you're weak, it's less bad). Attention: being this radical makes Vehumet a non-option for hybrids (and thus diminishes appeal for rangers).
          I think I have a much better understanding of Vehumet now. My original proposal is quite rotten, having special benefits for the various ranged attacks is a bad idea. I will come up with a clean slate. Regarding piety, I believe that Vehumet should reward all kills. Small piety hits for letting things escape is good, too. Nothing more needed. — dpeg 2010-09-30 17:02
          • This is an old idea, but enemies should only explode if they take enough redundant damage to've been diced/crushed/etc (and the god could even be reworked so that this becomes a piety mechanic). This keeps melee fairly safe, but more importantly, discourages killing almost-dead monsters with weak attacks. Doing so is currently the ideal way to play any character, but it's unthematic, as Vehumet shouldn't be about careful resource management, but about wrecking the heck out of things through overkill. Absolutely shouldn't be tied to prayer (or an ability). And yeah, this would leave summons out in the cold, but that's a very weak aspect of the god and would best be abandoned. — OG17 2010-09-30 17:41
            • Oh, I was about to post this idea. So, in case it's not clear, I also like this implementation. It's more thematic, flexible, gives player some control over it. The control may be the drawback of this proposal - perhaps unconditional explosions are better ? They force player to deal with it. — b0rsuk 2010-09-30 20:49
Agreed. With all parts, actually. (And I always believed that Summons should move from Vehumet to a god good for all kinds of allies.) — dpeg 2010-09-30 18:46

Abilities

The names are probably not that great, and this might not be a good order, so they probably need changing:

  • Vehumet calls upon you for destruction! (0 piety): Start the tracker for piety gain; piety is too low at this point for any intercessions.
  • Vehumet aids you in battle! (* piety, passive): Start intercessions; usually at this point you'll just get MP regain and harmless miscast effects on foes.
  • Vehumet grants you instruments of destruction. (** piety, passive): Wand, launcher, missile, gifts; probably not spellbook gifts, but possibly spell gifts; power scales with piety.
  • Vehumet augments your destruction during prayer. (*** piety, prayer): Enables prayer effect
  • Vehumet hurls destruction alongside you! (**** piety): Depending on tracker, Vehumet will occasionally produce wand effects alongside your normal combat; offer (“fix” in dpeg's proposal) wands to get temporary guaranteed additional firepower; frequency and power of random effects dependent on piety and tracker

There's no ****** ability, but hopefully high piety is still highly desirable for the gift and intercession power.

Andy

Vehumet and relation to ammo (any ONE of the following):

A. Vehumet gifts ammo, type determined by some means (player specified/whatever launcher was last used/etc.)

B. Vehumet protects ammo from mulching.

C. For piety cost, Vehumet will add a +1 blessing (up to the maximum) to the player's ammo. There is no limit to how many times this may be performed, *aside* from the player gaining the piety necessary for this act. Okawaru may be better, but I've always been annoyed by the scarcity of ammo gifting, or of getting gifts I don't really want/need. I believe Vehumet blessing ammo would be more in line with a god of magic and ranged attacks, since the player would already have the ammo they desire (and so wouldn't be gifted undesirably ammo), and enchanting would simultaneously lessen the probability of mulching.

Vehumet and ranged items (launchers, rods, evocable staves, etc.): Worshipers of Vehumet are able to place magical items like automated sentry turrets (think Tukima's Dance, but for launchers/rods/staves). Launchers will require ammo from the player's inventory, but can rapidly attack. Rods and other mana-using devices can attack, but must recharge for several turns after depleting their reservoir. Evocable items, like Dispater's Staff, could either fire rarely or fire a fixed number of shots before falling to the ground. This ability could be IMMENSELY useful, somewhat like Fedhas' Okhlob plants, but somewhat weaker and much more varied (since you don't always get plants!) This ability would also definitely set Vehumet apart from other magicky gods, like Sif Muna and/or Mahkleb.

Also, this could be the six-star ability absent from the above “Abilities” paragraph.

Andy 2011-06-28 21:16

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