Name dcss:brainstorm:item: wands
Summary Ideas for new wands
Further information
Added by doy
Added on 2010-01-15 16:28

Existing Wand Feedback

Wand of Polymorph Other

Do Not Generate It Early

These wands should not be generated on early-game uniques such as Ijyb, Jessica, or Terence. Two minutes into the game, it is easier to just restart, especially if you get hit with something like frail or fast metabolism. I would say that wands of polymorph other should be considered as high-tier wands - they never appear above D:4 or so. At D:2, you simply don't have the investment in the character to make it worth continuing - the option presented the player is continue with a less fun character, or spend two minutes and start a new one. Not a good overall game design choice - why choose the “challenge” of playing a malmutated character when the threshold to restart is so low? As much as I personally dislike these wands that's why they're a decent threat later on - because that threshold is higher. But early on, it doesn't work. -Ion Frigate

I'd rather add some bad transformations and make the wand consistent between player and monsters. — kilobyte 2011-09-22 15:18
I actually was thinking of suggesting that idea, I just figured it would be a nightmare to code. I hope if that's done it has to pass an MR check though, or is at least resistible in some manner. It's something that becomes much more dangerous later on, when monsters have more ranged attacks and hit harder. Maybe the polymorph other spell could function like that too, and some of the current mutating monsters could inflict glow (contamination) instead? -Ion Frigate
Code: not really, design: oh yeah. It is easy to come with forms that would be functionally identical to pigs, but damn hard to produce something new. Pigs are already problematic enough if surrounded (and Kirke has summon range 2…), bats have similar restrictions which are acceptable only because you can always transform out of bat at will. These problems could be avoided by relaxing item-use restrictions to felid level, or making pig melee work by XP so AC characters without unarmed skill won't be screwed.
New targets for polymorph that are different could be: 1. jelly form (slow, 0 EV, big damage resistance, acidic melee); 2. treeman form (rooted!): no movement, good AC; 3. granite statue (not a real form, just existing petrification); 4. wisp form (giant EV, good AC, can't use items, low but non-zero melee, bad control over movement (partial confusion?), random uncontrolled blink every a few turns).
Ie, we'd need to come up with forms no one willingly would choose, yet ones that aren't merely a delayed death. — kilobyte 2011-09-22 19:13
Not sure if this is horribly against design philosophy, but what about making hostile forms pretty weak and mostly unable to use items, but making death in them not be permanent? Like hostile forms all have low HP (about what the monster they're based on has, maybe a little more), but if you “die” in those forms, you revert to your normal one - but with HP cut in half, some small amount of rotted max hp, maybe even confusion or slowing on top of that? That sidesteps the idea of having to make the forms incredibly viable, while still providing players with an incentive to survive - or else ending up in a worse position when the transformation is over, with some semi-permanent damage to fix (but still less permanent than malmutation). -IonFrigate
If players are allowed to zap the wand at themselves, it no longer needs to be restricted to forms that nobody would want. Also, maybe monsters just shouldn't use the wand; monsters don't use wands of enslavement, and nobody objects to that, so it seems reasonable to do the same for polymorph other. — minmay 2011-09-23 20:51
Maybe it'd be best to give the player special temporary mutations instead of full-blown forms. Sort of like a reverse Beastly Appendage. This is much less difficult to design because you don't have to deal with all the implications of turning into a toad/slug/whatever. Some existing mutation effects could also be reused, but much more severely since they only last for one fight. Some ideas:
* Your legs/feet deform severely and your move delay increases by 5.
* Your vision becomes extremely blurry and you cannot read scrolls at all.
* Your hands twitch and shake uncontrollably, giving a large accuracy and spell success malus.
minmay 2012-02-11 03:13

Unintended Disarm of Opponents

Per 5022

The Wand of Polymorph is also apparently a “disarm” wand. Weapon-wielding creatures transformed into other creatures who can wield weapons equally currently drop all their equipment (weapons, armor, etc.) at the time of transformation. Centaurs transformed into Humans should not drop their currently wielded equipment. Kobolds or Goblins transformed into Hobgoblins or Orcs should also not drop their equipment. Dropping equipment only makes sense if transformed into an animal.

In fact, I would even go so far as to say creatures transformed into other creatures should have their equipment MELD with their bodies, not unlike when the player transforms, and when they are killed, they should revert back to original form and drop equipment, much like (for example) Prince Ribbit. This may change certain things like Kirke's hog/men. See Player vs. Monster Asymmetries/Inconsistencies. — XuaXua 2011-12-23 18:42

Doesn't need to work like the spell

Polymorph Other, the spell, is very unpopular because of the general tendency to produce more dangerous beings (They are used in few specific corner cases, like electric eels or invisible stalkers). This is done to prevent player from casting the spell over and over. However, the wand is inherently limited in the number of charges, aside from MR check. There's no reason to worry that players will just morph all problematic monsters they encounter. Moral of the story: the bias for a more dangerous monster can safely be removed. The wand would become another tool instead of a gimmick and something that I tend to throw into lava and deep water. — b0rsuk 2012-10-31 22:01

New Wand Proposals

Wand of Pushing

  • Zapping this wand at a monster pushes them back along the extended path of the beam, at a distance determined by the wand's power and the monster's body weight
  • Pushing a monster into another monster results in both monsters being pushed, although from that point on, both monsters' weights are taken into account for determining distance
  • Pushing a monster into a wall does some damage, based on the amount of remaining distance they had left to travel
  • Rarity and number of charges similar to fire/cold/etc
  • Pushing through shallow water should require more effort (use up more of the remaining distance), and should stop altogether when the monster enters deep water (allowing a player to 'scramble free' if a monster uses it on them)
  • No effect on insubstantial monsters or dungeon features, although could potentially make it affect items
  • This might be better as a misc item? (one-shot ability: apply this to all monsters in los.) Someone can move it if they feel strongly about it.
“Shiren the Wanderer” has these as one of its most common types of wands (well, staves in that game). They're a really fun as a bare-minimum escape item, plus they have lots of potential alternate uses. I definitely think Stone Soup should have these. — squashmonster 2010-04-06 00:45

Wand of Pulling

  • Zapping this wand at a monster pulls them back towards the user, at a distance determined by the wand's power and the monster's body weight
  • Should work the same way as the wand of pushing, however such a wand gets implemented
  • Generally more powerful than a pushing wand: should be easier to get yourself into trouble than out
  • Can be more rare than a wand of pushing, but should show up at around the same time to be a potential identifying hazard (use-identifying one on a strong monster can get you into trouble)
  • Useful against retreating monsters, or for pulling monsters out of groups.
How about combining the two ideas into a single wand and call it a “Wand of Oscillation” or something like that? Each zap has a 50% chance of pulling in or pushing out a monster, making it random enough for players to use at its own risk. Perhaps pulling in the monster makes both the player and the monster collide thus doing some damage to both (possibly killing an “almost dead” monster)? — vitara 2010-04-07 05:10
Wand of apportation? —jeffqyzt

Wand of Switching

  • Must hit a monster to take effect
  • You take monster's spot, monster takes your spot
  • Telleport effect; no save?
  • Relatively common wand (not quite so much as cold, etc) with good number of charges
  • Acts as a low-end escape item (requires thought to use)
It's fun to have but personally, I'd probably won't use it even if I found one, considering the limited inventory slots and the weight of the wand. Potential uses are limited to corridors and it won't make much difference if I don't have speed advantage (e.g. haste). Blink/Teleport scrolls are quite common and generally reliable as a means of escape already - I'd carry those around instead even if they were more perishable than wands. — vitara 2010-04-07 05:00
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dcss/brainstorm/item/magical/wands.txt · Last modified: 2012-10-31 22:11 by b0rsuk
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