Randomized Spells Proposal

Name dcss:brainstorm:magic: randspells
Summary Spells with random characteristics, different every game
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Added by DrPraetor
Added on 2011-03-24 03:49


The idea is that in each game, some number (say six to ten) random spells would be generated. These random spells would appear in random monster spellbooks, would get random names, and would have somewhat random levels. They would appear mainly in randart books, although I further propose that several of the mid to late game books should always contain randspells of certain schools:

  • Tempests should contain two Conj/X randspells, of levels 3-4 and 5-6.
  • Annihilations should contain one Conj/X randspell of level 6-7, and another of level 8-9.
  • Demonology should contain one Summ/X randspell of level 6-7, and another of level 8-9.
  • The Necronomicon should contain one Necr/X randspell of level 6-7, and another of level 8-9.

Existing Spell Variants

Some randspells may be simple variants on an existing spell of the same school(s), with the level decreased by 1, and a cool name.

Summ/X Randspells

Summ/X Randspells enable you to summon unusual combinations of monsters. For each Summ/X randspell, a monster of appropriate level is chosen based on the (actual level of the spell) + modifiers. “X” determines the list of monster(s) from which selections are drawn. Some selections correspond to an entire genus of monsters.

Each Summ/X randspell may have a number of special rules which adjust the level of the monster summoned:

  • Smite Targeting: 5% of spells let you pick the square in which the (first) monster appears. -1 monster level.
  • Small Group: 5%, you get 1-4 monsters, more likely more with more power. -1 monster level.
  • Large Group: 3%, you get 3-9 monsters, ditto. -2 monster levels.
  • Horde: 3%, you get enough monsters to fill LOS, regardless of power. -3 monster levels.
  • Scattered: 10% of spells, the summoned monster shows up at a random space in LOS, instead of next to you. This is usually worse, but can be exploited, so it's not enough to get you a better monster.
  • X% hostile: 25% of spells, each summoned monster has a ((30-X)/60)^2 chance of being hostile, where X is your rating in the non-summoning magic school. +1 monster level.
  • Appear Confused: 10% of spells, summoned monsters appear confused. Confusion severity decreases with X (rating in your non-summoning magic school.)

These spells are Evil (Good gods hate them) or Chaotic (Zin hates them) if the monster summoned has those tags.

Names for these spells always include the name of the monster generated, as well as a randart spellbook author: e.g. “Sif Muna's Terrific Elephant”, “Rock Worms of Roxeanne” and so forth.

Tmut/X Randspells

Draw monsters from the same lists as Summ/X randspells, but you TURN INTO the corresponding monster, instead. The base level for these is 1 level lower (as Spider Form is 1 below Summon Scorpions and Ice Form is 1 below Summon Ice Beast.) The standard rubric gives you all of the vulnerabilities of the monster, the type-dependent resistances, and half the other resistances. Melds slots depending on the genus (letter-of-the-alphabet), and gives you an UC attack depending on the base damage for the baddy, and either Str or Dex depending on how big it is. Bigger monsters give a Str bonus, smaller monsters give a bonus to Dex and EV, monsters with inherent magical abilities give a bonus to Int. MR bonus if the monster has a high MR for it's level, and so forth.

Names follow the same convention, “Sif Muna's Cyclops Form”, “Roxeanne's Quokka Assumption”, etc.

Conj/X Randspells

These are the most straight-forward, as they simply do damage to things.

They inflict a random damage type, depending on the school combination:

  • Ench - inflicts non-type damage, but MR negates. Also hits all targets with a randomly generated Ench effect.
  • Tmut - inflicts acid damage.
  • Necr - inflicts negative energy damage.
  • Tloc - inflicts typeless, but always does distortion effects to things it hits. -1 damage level.
  • Fire - inflicts fire damage.
  • Ice - inflicts cold damage.
  • Air - inflicts lightning damage.
  • Erth - inflicts non-type damage, but reduced by AC.
  • Poi - inflicts poisoning levels.

The “default” spell will be a (potentially much higher damage, depending on level) variant of Puff of Flame. Each modifier below changes the “base damage calculation” for the spell, on the following scale:

  • 2 is approx puff of flame.
  • 4 is approx mystic blast.
  • 6 is approx iron shot.
  • 8 is approx crystal spear.

The base damage rating is the actual level of the spell.

Finally, conjurations have a long list of modifiers:

  • No range. +1 damage rating, but hits things melded into walls and does other cute tricks of freeze.
  • Short range. +1 damage rating.
  • Smite targeting. -1 damage rating
  • AoE 9, like a fireball. -2 damage rating. If also Short Range, doesn't hit you (or only sometimes hits you, depending on X?)
  • AoE 21+, like an ice storm. -3 damage rating. If also Short Range, doesn't hit you (or only sometimes hits you, depending on X?)
  • Bolt, like a bolt of cold or the like. -1 damage rating.
  • Leaves clouds. -1 damage rating. Clouds are of a somewhat random type, but can include the abusable smoke from previous versions of sticky flame, for example.
  • Leaves vortexes *and* clouds. -1 damage rating.
  • Cloud *instead*. +1 damage rating, but damage rating → duration. Cannot drop this on a monster at base, but can if you get Bolt, Smite, Short Range, etc.
  • Partially non-elemental. -1 damage rating.
  • *Mostly* non-elemental. -1 damage rating.
  • Autofire. Shoots a whole bunch of times, at the target square and randomly into adjacent squares. -2 damage rating.

The higher the level of the spell, the more modifiers it is likely to have. Multiple modifiers do not entirely stack - use the largest modifier, and halve the others (rounding in your favor.) Thus, a spell which is both a bolt (streaking to the target, through other things) but also explodes like a fireball, is -2.5 = -2 damage rating.

Ench Randspells

These will be much tougher.

You could poach possible effects from randart attributes. They'd be most interesting if you made the generator focus on mixes of good and bad properties: a big pile of resistances and ponderous is a cooler spell than a smaller pile of resistances. And in a similar vein, transmutation buffs could do packages of temporary mutations. — SquashMonster 2011-07-29 08:47

Necr Randspells


This is a really cool idea but has a lot of potential to be seriously unbalanced and potentially game wrecking. You'd need to be very careful about removing certain creatures from the summon and transmute lists. Spores are the immediate one I can see being really amazing to summon in a big group and really terrible to be turned into. I'd specify a well thought out list of creatures. The idea from SquashMonster for enchantment/transmutation spells is also good but not all enchantments/mutations are made equal so you'd need to take that into account when determining level. As for Necromancy spells… not sure what to suggest. You could use summons from the undead creature categories and transmutations into undead creatures but that doesn't seem very interesting. You also left out Hexes and Poison spells. For Hexes I guess you could follow the same idea as enchantment and group together a set of mostly bad but some good attributes. For Poison, probably best just to cook up a poison conjuration of some sort. — rosetintedglasses 2011-08-02 07:51
Doesn't the randart enchantment code already know how good things are? Either way, you're right that we'd need a new list of how good they are: mutagenic is far worse on a randart than in a spell, for example. For Necromancy:
1. undead summons - like summoning, but for undead: long durations and requiring corpses should be common modifiers
2. undead forms - like transmutation/enchantment, but with a different pool of mutations/effects. Might scale or increase duration when things die, or cause rot in nearby corpses and increase scale/duration.
3. undead blasts - like conjuration choices, but vampiric, pain, and disrupt undead brands. Can require corpse in square as a common modifier
A few more notes: random conjuration spells would be really fun for Mahkleb's Destruction. Random spells would flesh out randart spellbooks extraordinarily. Xom would LOVE to gift spellbooks with randspells or use randomly use them on you and your foes. A “wild magic” god focused on randspells is easy to find enough material for: gift randbooks of purely randspells, piety for using the damned things, and mutate memorized randspells like some sort of magical Jivya. — SquashMonster 2011-08-02 20:41
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dcss/brainstorm/magic/randspells.txt · Last modified: 2011-12-21 23:11 by XuaXua
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