Nicked the quiet/noisy idea for Racial Properties as per thndrshk2k's suggestion on the bottom. — evktalo 2010-03-18 18:37

Weapon prefix

Name dcss:brainstorm:item: weapon prefix
Summary This is a proposal to introduce weapon prefixes.
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Added by qui
Added on 2010-02-11 18:07

Weapon Prefix Proposal

The general idea is ADoM-inspired. In order to make weapons more diverse and interesting, prefixes could be introduced. Therefore each weapon could have a prefix, a brand, both, or neither. As brands are currently responsible for special attack effects, I would suggest leaving brands for that purpose only, while prefixes would have a more subtle effect.

Some general ideas:

  • a small bonus/malus to one of the weapon's stats
  • tradeoff - a larger bonus to one stat offset by a malus elsewhere
  • a small modification of one of the player's attributes
  • a small modification of the attacked monster's attributes
  • other - whatever else people can come up with, even if it's something highly situational or just flavour only

Example prefixes:

  • crystal - +3 dmg, 10% chance of losing (+acc +dmg) plusses on succesful attack
  • heavy - +1 dmg, +30% weight
  • light - -1 dmg, -30% weight
  • loud - attacks more likely to wake up other monsters
  • quiet - attacks less likely to wake up other monsters
  • bloody - more blood splashes in combat, Trog likes
  • accurate - +2 acc
  • crude - -4 acc, +2 dmg
  • rusty - -2 dmg, chance to cause sickness on hit
  • swift - -20% speed
  • blocking - +3SH
  • blinding - hit monster has a 30% chance to have acc reduced by 50% for next turn

…and the list can (and should) go on.

Gameplay effects

The gameplay effect would be a larger variety of weapons, making it more worth it to pick up and try many. Also, it would make decision which one to use a bit more complex:

  • A lower-tier weapon with a nice prefix/brand combo might be more desirable than a higher-tier weapon. Especially one having a not really desirable prefix.
  • Even when wielding the best possible weapon type, it might be still worthwhile to check out another one.

Other things to consider

Additional customization

Probability of generation could be defined for each particular prefix. Some prefixes could apply only to certain weapons/weapon types. Probability of each prefix generating for each weapon type could be defined if desired, but that's too impractical probably.

Racial weapons

The case of orcish/elven/dwarven weapons would need to be addressed. These could do as prefixes, maybe if effects increased a bit, because now their effect is negligible (except maybe for Beoghites). Also, they could be separate from prefixes, but I feel it would make weapon names needlessly long for no good reason. Maybe they could simply become a bit more common prefixes.


Prefixes could be identified on sight like racial weapons, or identified on wield and possible only on “runed” weapons like brands. I'd slightly favour the second approach, but IMHO both are fine.


Prefixes should be available on randarts, obviously. Maybe there could be a chance for several on one randart, just to increase their randomness?


“Prefix” isn't a good name, but I cannot come up with a better one at the moment. Should they get into game, they should be named. Just like “brands” are better than “suffixes”.


I'm not a fan of adding another such “layer” of properties to weapons. Too subtle to my tastes. I'm already not a fan of the racial properties, where they matter too little (especially orcish). Randarts can already have multiple properties.

I like “quiet” and “loud”. I'm thinking that elven could be quiet (already so for armour) and orcish could be loud. — evktalo 2010-03-04 16:19
I'm with Eino of this one. It's already difficult enough to differentiate weapons by _type_, so I really don't see the point of adding more prefixes by any name. Sorry, qui - I see you've put a lot of work into this, but really, what point do they serve that racial properties, egos and randart properties don't? — jpeg 2010-03-04 18:31
They serve the purpose of differentiating the weapons a bit. I personally find the variety of weapons (or rather lack thereof) the weakest point of Crawl. Racial properties? As far as I can see, they are just cosmetic. No noticeable gameplay effect really. Improving them might be an idea too, although there's only 3 of them at the moment, so not that much variety added. Egos are fine, but egos themselves are not enough. Seeing a scimitar of flaming for the hundredth time isn't too exciting or anything. And randarts, of course, they can be interesting, but usable weapon randarts are somewhat rare.
To sum it up, I really think that weapons need help. They are BORING. Just compare them with the variety of magic available. And look at the axes, for example, most popular type (I think) - there are 5 types of axes. Five. And a few egos (about 10 I think?), some of which differ from each other only in certain situations (vorp/flame/freeze). A few more swords, but there is talk about axing some. I don't know if my idea is the best way to go about it, but there certainly is much room for improvement. — qui 2010-03-12 00:29
Adding a yet another redundant mechanism flies against the KISS principle. Existing mechanisms are underused, we should remove pointless redundancy rather than pile it up. — kilobyte 2010-03-12 01:43
As long as there is some prefix to help stealth based characters, it got my vote. — noxn 2010-03-04 16:57
Hmm. I vote yea on this one. I think (and I know most people agree) elvish/dwarvish/orcish has little effect on my weapon selection beyond me avoiding orcish weapons, but I think prefixes would make non-artifact weapons much more interesting. By the way, the list of things you have is too varied for a good name, (what ties together a crystal weapon and one that's loud?) but that's no reason to exclude them. — incomp
Personally I think the idea has merit, however addimg more complexity to the item selection we have already would just make it counterproductive. However, these prefixes could be be intrinsic to the racial prefix on items. Dwarven items tend to be heavy and loud, elvish items tend to light and quiet, orcish items tend to be more violent. Each racial set has some features overlapping depending on the item.
I am unsure how the current item generation works, but adding only a few of the more influential prefix ideas to the item name while keeping the lesser ones hidden would make it so the items seem more random/appropriate based on the racial designator. It doesn't even have to be a written prefix if it doesn't add/subtract anything but damage or accuracy *just have the generator check for and pick attribute(s) for the wepaon based on racial tag, then apply those along with the random attributes it already picked.* (Although this could potentially end up with a runed item being too powerful?) — thndrshk2k 2010-03-11 02:26
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graveyard/weapon_prefix.txt · Last modified: 2010-03-18 18:38 by evktalo
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