Demonology overhaul

Name dcss:brainstorm:magic:summoning: demonology
Summary The Demonology book is lackluster, and Summon Greater Demon problematic.
Further information summoning
Added by evktalo
Added on 2010-09-14 16:18

Contains: Abjuration, Recall, Call Imp, Summon Demon, Demonic Horde, Summon Greater Demon

Demonology is impressively lame as the “end-tier” summoning book, as three of the six spells are low-level and appear in earlier summoning books. Of the rest, summon demon packs questionable punch and summon greater demon lasts all of 10-20 turns before turning hostile - demonic horde is the only really appealing feature, and it's basically a butterfly upgrade. Compare this to summonings, which contains quite a few very solid general-purpose spells, including the best summons in the game. Or compare this to annihilations and the necronomicon, both of which contain unique high-level spells - only Haunt is duplicated elsewhere, and it's very strong regardless.

Demonology needs to drop its useless first half, with the difference made up through new spells and/or with other summoning books' spells shuffled so that demonology features something worthwhile (eg SHT). Lose the “demon” theme if necessary, as right now it's certainly holding things back. — og17 2010-04-13 22:00

Sounds about right, will reply more with more high-end summoner experience. — evktalo 2010-04-14 09:38

My big issue with demonology is its flagship spell, summon greater demon. Instead of having the demons turn hostile after 20 turns, how about making them go hostile if they leave your LOS? That way, you can't summon a bunch of 1s and teleport away. — Minced 2010-07-22

I love this idea. The radius could also be smaller than LOS (but of course visually represented). — evktalo 2010-07-24 01:37
I support this idea for all demonic summons. In classic demonology, the conjurer must first prepare an area to bind the demon. This involves the drawing of various glyphs on the ground and possibly the presence of particular objects. A circle is drawn around the conjurer and a triangle is drawn where the conjuration is to appear. The conjurer must remain within the circle, otherwise the demon would be able to harm him. Whilst in the circle, the conjurer has various means of compelling the demon to do his wishes but any wrong move or misread evocation could lead to death.
For Crawl we could borrow this idea, but instead of LOS I suggest a circle of tiles around the summoner is created. The demon will be neutral and unable to enter the circle. If the summoner leaves the circle, the demon will become hostile (but the summoner can re-enter at any time). Another spell could be created called 'Create magic circle', given instead of abjuration. It would be necessary for all demonic summons but the summoner can only have one at a time (and is unable to create one that overlaps with an existing circle). Higher skill would give the circle a greater duration and the demon would disappear when the circle disappeared.
Another aspect of classical demonology is that the demon beseeched usually offers various familiars. For the lower level demonology spells, they could instead summon a 1/2/3 who in-turn summons stuff for you (but does not attack himself). Higher power will keep the 1/2/3 there for longer, thus giving you more creatures. The 1/2/3 is frozen in place (eg. within the magic triangle/circle suggested above). — studiomk 2010-07-24 21:30
The problem with Summon Greater Demon is that people always scoff at it and call it useless because your summons will go hostile. Actually this spell is pretty broken. The hostility is not really a threat if you use the spell correctly - even if you don't it only takes two abjures, not really anything.

It's a shame, as this spell is a single powerful ally rather than a storm of summons, which I find much more fun to use and the direction I would like to see summoning generally take.

The other problem is that nerfing it will been seen as “making a terrible spell worse” by the unenlightened. — st 2010-09-14 09:41
It really is bad, though. It can summon hostile demons, meaning that you just took a turn to blow seven mp and put a fiend in your face. When friendly, they still go hostile very quickly and unpredictably, meaning that you need to spend turns (and mp) on abjuration while being open to some of the strongest attacks in the game. On the other hand, when they're still friendly after a fight, you need to get rid of the things or risk them wandering over hostile during the next, as their total duration is far longer than their friendly duration. And if your idea of “correct” use is getting out of LOS, that hardly seems in line with the direction summoning seems to be going in. — og17 2010-09-14 12:50
Yes, that's my idea of correct use, and why I say the spell is broken. — st 2010-09-14 14:32

Book of Forbidden Rites

Here's a quick proposal to replace Demonology (after og17's suggestion above). Name isn't particularly good, suggestions welcome.

Contains: Summon Demon, Demonic Horde, Summon Greater Demon, Malign Gateway, Summon Horrible Things, Haunt

Book of Summonings loses Haunt and SHT. This leaves it with Abjuration, Recall, Summon Ugly Thing and Shadow Creatures - a fairly thin volume. Perhaps Summon Demon could be shifted from Rites to Summonings.

Sure, the balance etc of spells themselves isn't perfect, and new spells could be devised, but I think this would be a worthwhile, quick change in itself. Particularly, SHT belongs in the high-level book, and restricting Haunt to two high-level books is good as well.

evktalo 2010-10-08 12:37

For the name, I'll suggest Book of Horrors. The book's description flavor text will need rewriting if it doesn't remain the Book of Demonology, but that's also not an onerous task. — dtsund 2010-10-08 20:05
Spell list changes are in, the name isn't changed yet. “Horrors” is otherwise ok to me except that it doesn't quite have the “forbidden” vibe of Demonology to me. OTOH, perhaps a Book of Horrors does indeed contain horrors for the unwary opener. Would “Book of Untold Horrors” be too over the top? — evktalo 2010-11-09 15:40
OTT is good! — nubinia 2010-11-09 19:43
I like putting summon demon in Summonings, it's the same tier of spell as ugly things and has no reason to be in the last book. “Untold” horrors is silly, I think, rather have plain Horrors, something in the vein of “Book of Convoking,” or something working with “Book of the Other/Visitor/Alien.” Or take a cue from Necronomicon and go with Grand Grimoire or whatever. — og17 2010-11-09 20:45
Yeah summon demon should be in summonings, demonic horde could be too. Summonings is not good right now, 4 spells and only 2 are “great.” Those 2 are abjuration and shadow creatures by the way. Ugly things was overnerfed, it's not worth level 6 anymore when there's level 5 summon demon and shadow creatures that do the job as well and cost less food. — st 2010-12-15 22:06
Oh and summon elemental should be too; Veh doesn't gift it currently and he should. His conjurer pupils might actually be able to make some use of it unlike summoners. — st 2011-01-01 03:40
Here's a first stab at the new book's flavor text. Feel free to criticize, edit, and/or ignore (I think it borders on being too long): “A deathly silence seems to surround you as you open this book; even the very air appears to recoil from the monstrosities pictured here. The pages, covered in abominable runes, describe how the mighty among summoners can bend to their will the terrible things from betwixt the planes. Many have been the unwary souls, however, who have toyed with this tome and been driven mad by eldritch horrors from beyond imagining.” — dtsund 2010-11-09 21:31
How about “The Book from Beyond” or “The Book of the Hells”? — Minced
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graveyard/demonology.txt · Last modified: 2011-03-28 17:17 by evktalo
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