Tactical Monsters

I think that there should be monsters that don't directly do anything bad to the player, or summon monsters which do, but nonetheless have tactical effects. Some ideas:

1) Shrieker mushroom: makes a loud noise if it notices you. Another advantage of being a Fedhas worshiper.

2) Actor rearranger: a monster which moves other monsters (and the player) around.

2a) Something like a giant spore, whose explosion is translocational energy which swaps around everything in its area of effect, or causes everything it hits to blink.

2b) A monster which randomly wanders around, and irresistibly swaps places with actors when it moves onto their square.

3) Visibility affecting monsters:

3a) Something like a giant spore, but leaves behind a cloud of smoke.

3b) A neutral monster which wanders around, leaving behind clouds of smoke.

In fact, the Smoke Vortex idea from below could be used for this.

4) Enchanter Statue. Does no direct harm, casts buffs on monsters in sight. When awakened, shouts LOUDLY, attracting monsters it can buff. Also shouts when attacked, but shouts in general should have cooldown of 10+ turns. Either impossible to destroy by most means (except disintegration, LRD), or very tough and usually placed behind lava/deep water by vault designers. Optionally, it could also cast Slow on player, but I think Confusion is too annoying. — b0rsuk 2009-12-12 11:17

I like all the ideas. On 3), esp. 3b), I'd like to paste the idea of Smoke Vortex (and Summon Smoke Vortex) from SF FR 2838478:

Combined ideas from FRs 1748704 (Darshan and me) and 1776809 (zelgadis).

Summon Smoke Vortex is a level one Summoning. The smoke vortex wanders around, leaving smoke in the squares it leaves. The idea of the spell is the ability to get a smoke screen up with a cheap, but unreliable spell. It takes time for the spell to be effective: the smoke vortex should be fast enough (or produce more smoke than just in the square it leaves) to make a good smoke screen probable in 2-3 turns, depending on the casters positioning. More vortices can be summoned for more effective cover, though this obviously takes more turns in itself. The spell should work well with means of having a bit of foresight (divinations gods, the proposed amulet of hearing).

Summon Smoke Vortex should replace Summon Small Mammals in the book of cantrips. FR 1748704 proposed a Smokescreen (or Call Mist) spell instead, but I've come to think that a scroll of fog -like effect in a L1 spell might be too good, and it's also a bit straightforward. The proposal was made when scrolls of fog were new in trunk. I think fog is a very useful –> powerful scroll in some situations, having it on tap seems a bit much (OTOH, I haven't really ever ran out of them). The point was made in that FR that Cantrips would need another Summon spell - combining these proposals seems to kill two birds in one stone. (Another note is that spammals might not seem so out of place in Cantrips since it's been capped in output.)

evktalo 2009-11-23 10:17

I like the idea of a smoke vortex, but it should take up space in the way a cloud does rather than in the way a creature does. In other words it would be like a cloud of magical smoke that moves around randomly and trials mundane smoke clouds behind it. — eronarn 2009-11-26 09:42
In other words, not a monster. Sounds good to me! I kind of like the idea of it being a monster (you and other monsters could hit it, you might need to watch out for that) but what you describe sounds more useful as a spell (which I'm a bit worried about), plus more unique. — evktalo 2009-11-26 22:22
It could actually be a very interesting niche for all vortex monsters - currently, spatial and fire. Moving through enemies would fit their random motion much better than the current “attack things they walk into” model, and we already have fire and translocational energy clouds for them to leave as trails. Something similar could also be applied to butterflies, turning them into “a flock of {scroll-of-randomness-colored} butterflies”. (The current ones could stay, but become giant butterflies.) — eronarn 2009-11-27 04:08

A new monster, or a revision to spatial vortexes, that turns them into “translocational monopoles”. They either pull in or repel translocation effects at a rate that falls off with the square of the distance (You know, just like in real life. Flavor text should be based on that law, of course.) This goes through walls. It would cause translocational energy clouds to drift, too. I like the idea of giving this to vortexes - “The spatial vortex stops for a moment, then spins in the other direction! The distortional field's polarity is reversed!” — eronarn 2009-11-27 07:05

The inverse-square law is for 3-dimensional systems. A two-dimensional system would have a plain inverse law. As I have always assumed that vortexes stretch most or all of the way to the (presumably-not-too-high) ceiling, this is effectively a 2-dimensional system. Also, inverse-square fallout is too strong for good balancing. Unless you make it really big, it either gets a noticeable cutoff at the edge where the effects stop, or a ridiculously-steep falloff effect, making the adjacent squares overpowered and the ones next to it almost insignificant. This also applies to inverse falloff, although not as strongly. It might be better to go with linear falloff and ignore physics. — infiniplex 2012-07-31 13:59

I like them all. Particularly, the actor rearranger can come with a few different flavor, for example, Swapper, Rotater and Shuffler. — ahyangyi 2010-02-24 08:07

I think it might be interesting to have a support monster (possibly invisible?) with an aura of vitrification. This might make digging an important option if one comes up along with a smiter on the other side of a wall and the player doesn't have any sort of strong smiting to counter it and can't run away (imagine it happens while the player is in the middle of a long corridor). These would probably shine the most in the endgame (maybe out of place in hell, but I think they would be fun in Pandemonium and Zot) where there are terrifying smitey things (specifically those with torment and hellfire burst), but it's common enough to have digging of some sort so it should end up as more of a surprising requirement of change in plans rather than either death sentence or harmless annoyance. — mrmistermonkey 2010-09-28 01:16

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dcss/brainstorm/monster/creatures/non-dangerous_tactical.txt · Last modified: 2012-07-31 21:59 by infiniplex
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