Scroll of Random Uselessness Ideas

Name dcss:brainstorm:item: scroll of random uselessness
Summary A proposal for a more “random” and useless scroll of random uselessness
Added by loginerror
Added on 2011-02-01 21:35

I've always liked the thematic idea of the scroll of random uselessness. I imagined it as sort of a whoopee cushion for mischievous wizards. The kind of thing constructed to annoy a potential user. Unfortunately as a game-play item it boils down to a essentially a “Scroll of flavor text or butterflies”. The butterflies are interesting when they happen, and can actually prove somewhat useful in certain situations.

I think that by expanding on this idea and adding more “useless” functions the scroll has the potential to generate interesting scenarios by adding a small amount of randomness to the game. I am not proposing that it be changed to a scroll of xom, but rather adding more offbeat effects like butterflies.

I have a few specific ideas, feel free to add your own:

  • “The scroll explodes in a shower of paper” : Identify scroll of paper and create several on random tiles in LOS, possibly make a noise as well
  • “The scroll flows out of your hands” : create a single square of shallow water on the current player tile
  • “The scroll mutters something before vanishing” : display a random line of npc dialog from a random dialog file.
  • “The scroll dissolves and reforms as …” 1d3 of the following (darts,stones,arrows,raisins)
  • “Your surroundings suddenly seem mostly the same” : Instant uncontrolled blink of 1 square in any direction.
  • “The scroll emits a strange light” : Change the display tile of several random floor/wall segments in LOS
  • “Mushrooms grow up through the floor” : Spawn 1d3 neutral mushrooms in LOS
  • “A plant bursts from the ground” : Spawn a single plant next to you
  • “A very confused and angry creature appears” : Create a single summoned enraged confused rat
  • “Your <random item> leaps from your pack” : Drop a single random non-equipped item on the ground
  • “The scroll vanishes in a burst of magical energy” : add a single point of magic contamination to the user
  • “The scroll leaps from your hands as you try to read it” : Simulate a throwing of the scroll in a random direction
  • “You feel repulsive for a moment” : all monsters in LOS move away from you by one square
  • “The scroll expends into a cloud of steam/rain” : Spawn 1 cloud in an adjacent square
  • “The door(s) move(s) on their/its own” : All unlocked doors in LOS toggle between open and closed. If no such doors are in sight, reroll.
  • “You feel like someone is refusing to help you” : No effect
  • “You detect the presence/absence of curses on this level” : Tells you if there is at least one cursed item anywhere on the entire level, including in your inventory. Does not mark cursed items.
  • “___ appears at your feet, then immediately disappears” : Pretends to be a scroll of acquirement but give no item
  • “You suddenly forget what that scroll said” : Unidentifies the scroll of random uselessness (iffy)

I tried to keep them limited to things the game already does, some of them being a intentionally useless version of some other scrolls, such as teleport/blink. I might try to make a patch for this if there is interest.

I like the idea of adding more effects, but be careful to avoid things that would be annoying or abusable; I'd stay away from effects like magic contamination (which would have players waiting for it to go away, even one point is significant), dropping items from the player's inventory, or summoning monsters. — minmay 2011-02-02 00:45
All of these except magic contamination, turning into “minor” but expendable items, item dropping and repulsion sound both funny and fun, and all-around entertaining. Some are even potentially “absolutely-nothing-better-to-do-with-my-turn” level useful like the small chance of butterfly or chance of reforming (when doing it to train spellcasting) now; I'd see a Fedhas worshipper crossing his fingers and trying every one. — brickman 2011-02-02 07:26
Something called “random uselessness” shouldn't have all these gameplay effects, butterflies are more than enough. It's asking people to find ways to abuse it. — og17 2011-02-02 08:03
None of these effects are half as useful as butterflies, and we let it do that. So what if it is marginally advantageous to burn through the entire stack on the off chance that something minorly good happens? It already is, if anything this'd dilute the one effect that's most potentially “useful” with a lot of effects that really are trivial. A dozen scrolls of uselessness is currently and will still be less of a find than a single scroll of remove curse or enchant weapon 1. — brickman 2011-02-02 14:13
  • “Your scroll feels useless”
  • Unsummons a butterfly (when one is in LOS ,else reroll)
  • Your haircolor changes to (random color)
  • “The scroll shows you a picture of (your god)”
  • “The scroll is the diary of (Unique)”
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dcss/brainstorm/item/magical/scroll_of_random_uselessness.txt · Last modified: 2011-12-22 20:08 by XuaXua
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