Not just a proposal - they're already mostly coded, even the part where they wear eight rings!

Patch here: http://eronarn.info/octopus.patch

(It works in tiles and console. However, you may not see Octopodes on the race screen because they push it to a 4th column. You can play with a wider screen, or hit random race until you hit Octopode, though… or wizmode change race into one.)

Octopodes aren't at all hindered on land, though they're not as water-focused as merfolk. (Currently they have no water abilities; I could be convinced to add some.) They're meant to be an interesting race by giving you a lot less of one kind of equipment slot in exchange for a lot more of another. This has the potential to be overpowered, but I think it is cool enough an idea to at least give it a try.

I am not totally set on the name, apts, etc. but this is their current status:

  • Formal Name: Octopode, pl. Octopodes
  • Informal Name: Octopus
  • Abbreviation: Oc
  • Description: A species of amphibious cephalopods. They can wear eight rings, but almost no armour fits them.
  • Slots: hat, plus amulet (around mantle), plus eight rings (on tentacles)
  • Mutations: Regen 1 plus Tentacles 3 (like Pseudopods)
  • XP mod: 12, like naga or merfolk.
  • Stealth: 18, like cats or nagas.
  • MR: Wait, where do you even set this…?


  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_FIGHTING,       -1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_SHORT_BLADES,   -1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_LONG_BLADES,    -1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_AXES,            0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_MACES_FLAILS,    0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_POLEARMS,        1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_STAVES,          1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_SLINGS,         -3),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_BOWS,           -3),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_CROSSBOWS,      -3),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_THROWING,       -3),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_ARMOUR,         -4),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_DODGING,        -1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_STEALTH,         2),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_STABBING,        0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_SHIELDS,        -3),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_TRAPS_DOORS,     2),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_SPELLCASTING,    0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_CONJURATIONS,   -4),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_ENCHANTMENTS,    0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_SUMMONINGS,      0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_NECROMANCY,      0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_FIRE_MAGIC,     -2),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_ICE_MAGIC,       1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_AIR_MAGIC,      -2),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_EARTH_MAGIC,    -1),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_POISON_MAGIC,    2),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_INVOCATIONS,     0),
  APT(SP_OCTOPUS,             SK_EVOCATIONS,      2),



  case SP_HUMAN:              sb =  6; ib =  6; db =  6;      break;  // 18
  case SP_OCTOPUS:            sb =  5; ib =  8; db =  5;      break;  // 18

On level gain:

              if (you.experience_level % 2)
              if (!(you.experience_level % 5))
                  modify_stat(STAT_RANDOM, 1, false, "level gain");

> With no armor of any kind, even robes, but the ability to equip pretty much every randart ring he finds at the same time, isn't this guy just even more dependant on which randarts are generated than everybody else? If they don't find multiple rings of protection or artifact rings with AC bonuses, they'll have even less AC than spriggans without the size-based EV. They're not underpowered or overpowered, just luck dependant. I should also point out that extra ring slots would be useless in the early game, since you won't have that many rings. Here's an interesting potential solution to both: Alter the octopoid's starting equipment to replace body armor with a ring of protection of the same value, shields with a ring of evasion (or are shields not barred), and then possibly give them all another ring randomly chosen from {rF, rC, rN}. The idea being that no matter what their luck is, by the time they reach the temple the octopoid will have more than two rings to equip and will already be feeling their special ability. This works even better, however, if you also work a change in there that allows scrolls of either charging or enchant armor to affect rings of protection and evasion with the same odds as body armor (this would work for others too, of course, but I don't think it has many balance implications for them because enchant armor is rare and I don't know if nonrandart rings of those types are all that popular). That way, even if the octopoid does not find any more defensive rings or randarts he can enchant his starting ring of protection to shore up his AC a little bit–though it'll still be lower than everyone else's without outside help. — Brickman 2010-11-11 05:12

I don't think letting octopodes start with rings is a good idea at all, and neither is being able to charge rings. Anyhow, octopodes have Tentacles 3 and Regen 1, so their early game is really not that bad. — Eronarn 2010-11-11 16:15
I've played several octopodes and won one. Regarding balance, while they have the potential to be very weak if they find little jewellery and very strong if they find a lot, they aren't anywhere near as crappy as an ogre or anywhere near as awesome as a deep dwarf. The potential to stack up eight randart rings of AC+6 rF+ rC+ Int+5 Dam+4 is only relevant in the post-post-endgame when you have more demonic runes than 72 str can carry and have cleared a three-digit number of ziggurats.
In general I like the species, but I'm not sure about the lack of body armour, as the choice between heavy/medium/light armour is an important and interesting one that octopodes shut off entirely. On the other hand, 0 AC in the early game is a unique and relevant drawback. As an aside, awful aptitudes for ranged attacks probably aren't necessary. — minmay 2011-05-28 22:48
I have a somewhat crazy idea for octopode armour: take away the hats, but allow them to wear magical body armour only. This means only troll leather and dragon armours. This means they can't just get the “free” resistances from a robe; if they want any useful properties other than AC, they need to deal with a significant evasion penalty - hardly trivial with a -4 armour aptitude, but still something they would often do considering how poor steam dragon armour is compared to a bigger dragon armour or a robe of resistance. It leaves them with the same total number of slots, so it shouldn't be that much of a buff even in the extended game, and it gives them the light/heavy armour choice that I like so much.
Flavour-wise, this can be rationalized by saying that dragon armours, what with being magical, change their size/shape to fit the wearer. — minmay 2011-11-03 00:20
Octopodes have potential to be extremely boring. One of my most successful games was where by character level 12 I had one ring of hunger, and two amulets from acquirements (rage, mediocre clarity randart). Octopodes only start being distinctive once you find your 3rd beneficial ring, and even that's questionable. In early game you don't need jewelry unless it's slaying. Poison resistance is nice and gives more food, teleportation might save you, resist magic is good. But you can just swap what you need. I would say they would only get interesting in places with multiple elemental attacks (Orcish mines, elven halls, Snake Pit - okay not elemental, but poison, MR, AC, slaying whatever you find). Until then, you just swap what you need.
Octopodes' equipment gathering is all about depth, not breadth. 4 rings, 2 amulets could be more interesting, with exception of Slime Pits where rCorr + rMut would be a no-brainer. — b0rsuk 2011-06-14 17:29
You're right about depth vs breadth, this also causes insane variance of equipment finds. The idea of 4 rings 2 amulets is no good for thematic reasons, though.
Also, octopodes are the opposite of felids: while felids are a very low slot race (3 instead of 9), octopodes get 12. These slots are just all piled up on a single type, causing gathering to be really slow. This leads to bizarre effects: there are twice as many 15-rune wins as 3 (instead of less than 1/3). It's a bit tricky to compare the value of ring slots to armour slots, but if we put aside AC values and realize that wearing _some_ armour on all slots and enchanting them if possible is a no-brainer, we end up with octopodes having -5 AC compared to regular light armour users (heavy stands for a different game). With AC removed, ring choices are somewhat better than most pieces of armour – given enough time, an octopode ends up more powerful than other races. It just takes painfully long. — KiloByte 2011-06-19 02:25
Two amulets would fit a two-headed species (which is in the no-no list, IIRC). Eight rings makes sense here and it should stay that way. I've only played one game (ongoing), and my experience is opposite to yours, the early game was the most fun: surviving until mid-lair with 1 AC is rather memorable. And I'm at AC 3 now only because i found a cap and enchanted it. My first ring was of teleportation (cursed), but a few floors later I found teleport control, and I've had a lot of fun with it, all while wearing sustenance, sustain abilities and MP+9. You can't do this with any other race, and that's enough to set them apart. The RNG lottery can grant you a very boring early game, but that's always a danger. — absolutego 2011-06-15 08:43
Why is two-headed species on a “won't be done” list ? Saying this without explaination is equivalent to “La la la I can't hear you !”. If religions had interesting conducts, restrictions then double religion would be fun to play as well. It certainly can be in Powder. 8 rings makes sense but isn't fun. Ring spawning has been balanced for races which can wear two, and rings typically don't spawn in large quantities until midgame. — b0rsuk 2011-06-15 19:37
Here is the list, for reference: Refused and Rejected Concepts Listjejorda2 2011-06-27 16:21
Since octopodes have 8 arms/tentacles should they be able to use a 2handed weapon with a shield? Give them the same type of penalties as using a 1&1/2 hand weapon+shield and a movement speed penalty since more tentacles holding things means less to move. A EV penalty might also be appropriate for the same reason. — Lanthan 2012-02-02 20:05
The argument against this would be that while octopodes have 8 arms, they still only have 1 brain. In my opinion, they should be able to wield 2-handed weapons with a shield, but only with penalties that are removed if their strength and skill combination is high enough, sort of like armor penalties. — XuaXua 2012-02-02 21:14


Okay, this race is significantly too fragile early on; this is to some extent a game-balance-issue, but it's mostly a *fun* issue. You get plastered 50% of the time or more and there isn't squat you can do about it. Later in the game, once you have all kinds of powerful and interesting rings to wear, the fact that you have very little margin for error is good, it's a feature for a challenging race. But, early on, you just have to spend hours starting over and over again, hoping out of 100% luck not to be killed by a cockroach at 2nd level, to get into the mid game. This is a problem.
Suggestion1: Since Octopodes are clearly small (–hp, –str), make them *small*. This gives you an evasion bonus, and would make you enough harder to hit early on that you'd
Suggestion2: If Octopodes *aren't* small, than they should be just as hardy as humans, and should lose the HP penalty. I prefer 1 above, however.
Suggestion3: Octopodes could have natural PR, to go with their poison-theme. With the PR nerf (not to mention the fact that Octopodes get 8 ring slots), this isn't as extreme as it sounds, and their naturally low AC would mean that Octopodes would still get poisoned. At present, again because of the low AC, Octopodes are the most poison *vulnerable* of races, because they take damage from naga spit and the like every time. — DrPraetor 2011-12-12 09:35
1. I've never had an unavoidable death with an octopode. 2. tartakower has a 50% winrate with the species. 3. There are octopode streaks.
You might be able to argue that the species is too hard for novice players, but their early game involves no more luck than any other species'. — minmay 2011-12-12 17:03
1. You've *never* had an unavoidable death as an Octopode? I've had unavoidable deaths as a TrBe, I call bollocks.
2. Fact remains that octopodes get killed by “giant cockroach” more often than *mummies*. Something is clearly wrong.
3. Did they have the +3 unarmed combat damage you seem-to-think-they-had when tarkatower was winning 50%?
DrPraetor 2011-12-12 18:12
L1 octopodes have 2 lousy hit points fewer than baseline humans, the same as high elves. I've never had any trouble keeping high elf casters alive. They are also unlikely to be more than 2-4AC worse than a full-slot human or high elf robe-caster until around the midgame where those slots start to get filled up, even assuming you don't find any +AC rings. The AC issue is somewhat more noticeable later when you're dealing with centaur or yaktaur packs, but against the vast majority of opponents it will ultimately never be more than a couple extra hit points of damage per turn as long as you retreat to a corridor religiously, standard practice with nearly every build.
In exchange for this minor defensive disadvantage, you get solid casting aptitudes and virtually no opportunity cost for caster ring bonuses like wizardry, fire, and ice. Very early on when hobgoblins and cockroaches are a threat, the auxiliary tentacle attack more than compensates for the loss of 2hp when you're cornered and out of mp. — KoboldLord 2011-12-13 00:28
HE also have a higher dex and a positive dodge aptitude, which Op do not; in terms of xl at death this is balanced out by the HE higher XP aptitude, but of course XL at death is not a good indicator since the Op will be higher level at the same point in the game.
Anyway, the stats just don't back this up.
!lg * cv=0.10-a xl<4 s=crace ktype!=leaving ktype!=quitting
2658x Octopode, 1106x Deep Elf, 1015x High Elf
!lg * cv=0.10-a xl>3 s=crace ktype!=leaving ktype!=quitting
2817x Octopode, 1511x Deep Elf, 1060x High Elf
!lg * cv=0.10-a s=crace ktype=winning
15x Octopode, 18x Deep Elf, 13x High Elf
So yeah, HE appear-at-first to have a similar 50% splat-rate; but that's actually just because their XP aptitude is 150 instead of 120 and they're a level lower when they die at the same point in the game. Then, on top of this, the rings and suchnot of Op are obviously not such a tremendous power because their *win rate* is much lower no matter how and where you slice it.
Let's instead try:
!lg * cv=0.10-a s=crace killer=giant cockroach
56x Octopode, 31x Deep Elf, 19x High Elf
Giant cockroaches kill a lot of DEs, and a similar number of Op.
!lg * cv=0.10-a s=crace killer=jackal
181x Octopode, 75x Deep Elf, 49x High Elf
Jackal packs are always lethal, but because they bark, so Op stealth is useless?
!lg * cv=0.10-a s=crace killer=gnoll
291x Octopode, 97x Deep Elf, 115x High Elf
Gnolls kill a lot of high elves, I wouldn't have expected that.
Anyway, you see a similar pattern with all these low-level monsters; some races survive well (DE vs. Gnoll, HE vs. Jackal), but Octopodes do as poorly as almost everyone against *every single low-level monster*. This gives them an early-game splat rate of 50% or so instead of 30% or so, but that's a *huge* difference! And then in the midgame they don't survive very well either.
DrPraetor 2011-12-13 05:41
Alternately, those stats mean that the beginners are flocking to the just-released novelty race that is nevertheless easy to play. Beginners tend to splat. If you compare the winning rates for 'challenge' races, you'll find that they often have remarkably good win ratios because few beginners bother trying. — KoboldLord 2011-12-13 07:44

Recommand Background Proposal

Octopode is great for a stealth berserker stabber(kill fast because of stab), giving following reasons:

good unarmed combat bonus - grab bat with ease, and very likely survive in early game, it make great stealth berserker only in berserking status it can consturct more than 3 enemy and those constructed enemy are vulnerable to stab (stealth bonus); berserker are more deadly from close range

not too worry about attack with corrosion

So, I propose the to change its skills as berserker start

*Fight 3 *Unarmed 3 *Dodge 3

If you want a stealth stabber, that's already implemented: choose an OpAs, and go worship Trog. — KiloByte 2012-04-02 11:15
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dcss/brainstorm/species/octopus.txt · Last modified: 2012-04-02 11:16 by KiloByte
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