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Nick March 22, 2020 03:56


Originally Posted by Chud (Post 143790)
Does this expire and need to be re-cast periodically, or does it effectively last indefinitely as long as the BG stays in combat?

It counts down every turn, and will eventually run out unless you kill something else.

Grotug March 22, 2020 10:05

I like philip's ideas as they are quite intuitive and logical and encourage the type of play that I already try to employ with HT/Warriors. I would also thump the drum for BG to get really abysmal device skill as I'm not sure aggravation is a big enough penalty for all the buffs of rage/bloodlust. Device skill should take a -50 hit or something like that, or device skill should be inversely proportional to how much rage/bloodlust BG is experiencing.

Maybe a middle ground for the rDisenchanment issue could be that BG's need to experience disenchantment of their gear for them to gain the ability to automatically identify items that have rDisenchantment (but they also need to have reached CL40). In other words, they need to reach CL40 and have had some gear disenchanted at some point in their game.

DavidMedley March 22, 2020 11:07


Originally Posted by Philip (Post 143766)
Rage would increase when the Blackguard kills a monster

Considered this initially. The problem I had with it is I don't want the same reward (SP in my version) for killing a mouse or blubbering idiot as for killing something tougher and level appropriate. I give a percentage of max SP for 1) every round of melee attacks made by the player, and 2) for the percentage of max HP lost to each enemy attack.

Bloodlust does increase for each kill, but that's an effect that is far less flexible than SP.


a large boost to movement speed (to make Blackguards able to navigate battlefields easily while fighting, and also create tactical depth by allowing the Blackguard to run away to the nearest corner
Well, I'm trying to make the BG not use these kinds of tricks. I have a very early "charge" spell that helps them get closer but can't help them escape. And we're keeping Throw Monster which can achieve distance in a more thematically satisfying way. If you're getting beat up, you can still use things like PD, but I'm trying to not aid kiting and LoS cheese for this class.

Philip March 22, 2020 11:21

Ultimately, the precise triggers for building up whatever meter the BG is going to use are going to depend on the desired player behavior. My thing, which rewards getting hit at range, getting hit a lot, and killing many monsters, would encourage the player to hang around messy battlefields with plenty of mooks to recharge on (which is also kind of what my reward scheme encourages, particularly the increased movement speed). Yours rewards a pitched battle against a worthy opponent, which has the advantage that every other class is also optimized for that kind of situation (arguably, Dispel Evil rewards Priests for hanging out in particular messy battlefields, but even that drops off, and certainly doesn't apply to the big two battles), because the spiky monster damage output discourages having multiple monsters in line of sight.

DavidMedley March 22, 2020 11:28

I'm definitely reading and re-reading all the feedback in this post for inspiration. I hope no one takes my responses as dismissive.

DavidMedley March 22, 2020 19:39


Originally Posted by Grotug (Post 143793)
BG to get really abysmal device skill

It seems to me that BGs, as a semi-caster, should get semi-caster levels of device skill, which is where it's set in 4.2.0. Berserk Strength reduces device skill by 10% in 4.2.0. Blood Lust doesn't, but that's a good possibility.

Sphara March 22, 2020 20:09

I really appreciate the passion developing a different fighting style here!
Breath/rare manastorm mechanic however, make it very hard. Killhole and hockeystick still remain great tactic.

I was thinking about an ability where you regenerate more and more quickly the more monsters are in sight. During that ability, you'd get nasty bleeding if less than two are visible. That would discourage using both killholes and hockeystick. But it would still mean that having two big breathers in sight, would probably still be hazardous.

Just throwing an idea in. Keep the brainstorming going!

archolewa March 23, 2020 05:35

I'm a little bit leery about giving massive penalties to Device skill (some penalties are probably fine). My biggest issue with the Berserker in Frogcomposband is that you can do only two things: stab, and drink potions. This means that berserkers pretty quickly hit a ceiling, and you in fact have to be *even more* careful than with other classes, because once you start a fight you have to finish it.

Fundamentally, Angband is all about picking your battles, with escapes available when you (inevitably) make a mistake, or you just get a little unlucky and things go sideways. Having a class that plays a little against type is fine, but go too far and either you have a *massively* powerful class who can take three ancient dragons and a pack of balrogs at once, or a *massively* difficult class who has to fight every fight they get into, winnable or not, and has difficulty avoiding them in the first place.

So either they need a halfway decent device skill, or they need a *Destruction* spell or something. A high movement speed is all well and good, but that doesn't really seem to me like a very useful escape. The player doesn't really have an easy way of assessing whether they can safely get around the corner before the Tarrasque breaths on them.

DavidMedley March 23, 2020 17:24


Originally Posted by archolewa (Post 143810)
I'm a little bit leery about giving massive penalties to Device skill (some penalties are probably fine).

I agree. We're already punishing BGs for resting and shooting. I think that's enough for now.

DavidMedley March 25, 2020 18:33

Making Progress
Here's what I've programmed and tested so far:
  • SP degeneration
  • SP refilling from melee attacks and losing HP to enemy attacks
  • Expanded (but hacked) Spell List

The playstyle (after many adjustments) is pretty much what I was hoping for.
  • Some nice positives right away to counter the negatives
  • Lots of incentive to get into melee.
  • If you have leftover MP and reasonable HP there's plenty of incentive to keep on trucking. But with very low HP or no MP it's prudent to rest.
  • HP recovery that works better the more damaged you are (nothing that will make paladins jealous).
  • When you have to escape combat you have more incentive to get right back in that monster's face (after quaffing some healing pots, of course!).
  • The above 3 items keep the pace at a much higher level than standard Angband play, which is different and fun.
  • Instead of being bored by low level monsters, they look like small SP boosts to the player (bullying for fun and profit)
  • 2 very fun fear effects, largely because you have a move & attack spell to chase enemies down!
  • Kept most if not all of the best stuff from 4.2.0 and nightlies: berserk, CotD, poison, taunt, throw, thirst.

My new working title/description for the essential blackguard quality, from player_property.txt:
name:Combat Regeneration
desc:Battle fuels your spirit, but complacency dims it

I have one big hack in the spell list that I need to fix. Otherwise I can provide a playable version which is pretty darn close to what I want in terms of gameplay, but farther away in terms of programming effort, and not too much thought given yet to balance vs other classes. I think the way to do this is on my own angband fork, but I'll defer to Nick on how to proceed. I have a small team of testers already: my sons, ages 12 and 9. They're scheduled to dig in this weekend.

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