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buzzkill April 16, 2011 14:58


Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 51299)
You know, I'd like to make playing an umber hulk enjoyable. While the earthquakes aren't as annoying to me as they are to you, they still aren't very fun.
I do want them to have severe drawback(s) though because they're so strong, have Rconf, innate confusion attacks, and perfect digging. Also, I replaced their innate aggravation with -4 to stealth. Any ideas of an alternate drawback to give the umber hulk? Should I give them innate aggravation again? Or are their low INT, WIS, CHR, and horrible skills in disarming, devices, stealth, and missile weapons enough?

The big problem I have is that I don't really see why earthquakes are created (from a realism point of view). I get why Grond causes earthquakes, I don't see why a CL1 umber hulk does, especially when using a weapon. If it made more sense, it would be more tolerable.

I don't have a *lot* of faith in these suggestions, just throwing them out there. These aren't laid out in any particular order and aren't meant to be used in conjunction with one another. Just a bunch of stuff, some of it probably contradictory, to pick and choose from.

I'd rather an occasional earthquake, maybe 10% of the time, than the status quo about 50% (or more) of hits resulting in earthquakes.

I'd consider giving the umber hulk the ability to confuse only while fighting bare handed, couple this with frequent earthquakes (75%) and a moderate boost to bare handed fighting ability (don't make them monks, but give them something extra). So, if you're using a weapon, no confusion, but no (or very rare) earthquakes either.

I don't see umber hulks (based on their description) as archers or slingers (maybe a crossbow). But I could see them dual wielding (another melee weapon in the b slot) plus a shield. They have enough arms don't they. Probably very hard to code, but something that might be usable elsewhere once it's done.

It's not the destruction of nearby items or messed up LoS that gets me, It's the darkness and the fact that it screws up your map (plus it's unavoidable, you can't avoid meleeing everything). Remove the darkness aspect, and have magic maps automatically update themselves post earthquake and 90% of the tedium goes out the window. Maybe create a limited range (20' or 30' radius) magic mapping/lighting spell and have it invoked automatically after each eq. (though admittedly, this does break the theme a bit, I'd have to try it to see if the ease/benefits that accompanied it were unsettling or seemed OK).

If Grond is -12 stealth, then make umber hulks -6, that seems reasonable. It's more than can be overcome with one stealthy item.

I'd rather see earthquake upon tunneling than melee, it just makes more sense. Especially when first starting or finishing a tunnel. Ya know the point at which he first bores into a wall or bursts forth from it. Surrounded by granite on 7 sides=no earthquake.

MUST DO (exclusive to umber hulks): Please fix tunneling so that a) it takes only one turn to tunnel and move into the recently cleared space and b) it takes only one key stroke to accomplish such. I think that you would have to implement both together lest you get a situation where one keystroke equals two turns and thus probably, eventual instadeath (In Steam reloading takes multiple turns and monsters will cross the room and attack you while you were doing so because you're not disturbed until they hit you).

Not to do with umber hulks, but since I'm here, consider adding the reload mechanic to crossbows as discussed in some thread some time ago.

Re: power sprites, go ahead and make them a full-on novelty race. Maybe give the player the option to start at DL10 or simply advance the dungeon a few levels by making monsters (native_depth=native_detph-10) or something like that.

Re: power sprites, If you don't want to go 'full novelty' just a +2 to speed be would be thematically correct and would help them pick and choose fights until they get a few more hit points (that and the ability to fly over rubble).

Re: power sprites and size/AC adjustments: I know you implemented monster size and AC adjustments based on relative size, but I don't know how effective it is. DL1 creatures, presumably most of larger size than I, seemed to have no trouble hitting my less than zippy little sprite. Maybe make 'flying' it's own thing rather that just granting feather fall. Give additional AC boost to flying critters vs. non-flying opponents. Flying (with wings) should also boost food consumption.

Re: All novelty races: Give a splash screen just after character creation with the race description from help files. If people want to read it they can, if not they can just hit <enter>, just because these races have a lot of flavor, that might otherwise be missed.

buzzkill April 23, 2011 00:30

Tale Five: The Tale of Arog the Nimble, Half-Orc Tourist.

Tourist number five. Coincidentally, the same number of digits that Arog has on his left hand. He was born of a fairly respected family, as far as respect for half-orcs go. However during his teenage years Arog feel in with a 'good' crowd and was thus disowned. Dejected and despondent, Arog joined with the tourists in a last ditch effort to leave his mark on the world, and in his wildest dreams, defeat Morgoth. This is his (short) story.

Level 1: Arog dropped into a rectangular room littered with multiple mushroom patches. He chose to wisely avoided them and instead grabbed the blue potion from the floor. He then proceeded through the only exit he could see, a long straight corridor that dead ended after a stretch. After a bit of searching he located the secret door. He moved south from there and came to a lit room where he found some iron spikes. He figured that he'd probably be just as likely to jam a door with these as throw them. After thinking a bit more, he decided to go back and kill those mushrooms. Experience, even small amounts of it, would count for a lot at this early stage.

Then another lit room caught his attention. He was delighted to find that this room contained the stairs. Though he was sorely tempted to break tradition with his dead companions, for no other reason than to break tradition with his dead companions, he refrained from descending. He explored further, trying to stay near the precious staircase. After a time, he ran across some jackals which he easily dispatched with a combination of thrown spikes and blows to the head. He gained much experience killing the entire pack and moved to level 2 by then killing a small kobold. He was rewarded with a few copper pieces and the most minuscule hit point boost possible.

There was more exploration and one might say that, technically, Arog farmed a few white worm masses, though he was truly trying to kill them as fast as he could. He just wasn't very good at it. When they were all finally dead, he picked up the scarlet potion, that lie in the midst of their corpses. He explored some more and ran across the dreaded gecko. It seemed impervious to the pebbles he threw at it and it wasn't long before Arog was engaged in deadly mortal combat. It took him a few whacks, but the mighty gecko fell and Arog was able to retrieve the walking stick which it guarded. He discovered it was dissimilar from from his primary weapon, which he could not discern to be good or bad.

A long while later, he killed two large green frogs and picked up a flask of oil, an unknown scroll, and a cloak. Then another gecko appeared, being uninjured and having slain it's kind before, it's safe to say that he wasn't exactly terrified. But combat went badly for Arog, he missed with his initial attack, then fled, only to find that the gecko was faster then he. Beginning to feel the desperation of his situation he threw his only flask of oil at it, hoping for a one shot kill, but missed. Out of options and heavily injured, he swung as hard as he could and landed a firm blow, which sent the lizard inexplicably fleeing. Arog took advantage of his luck and made a bee-line for the stairs which he reached without incident. Still injured, he rested while he contemplated his next move.

Once he had fully healed, he tried to discern the nature of his unknown scroll, but was unsuccessful, destroying it in the process. Arog eventually came to the conclusion that his inability to survive a gecko attack didn't bode well for his chances on level two, so he decided to stick out level 1 a bit longer, and ventured from the stairs in search of more experience. After further exploration he killed a frog and a snake and gained a potion and a scroll. Later he found a floating eye which he chose not to engage. Later still, Arog found some white worm masses which he fled from.

He had explored as much of the level as he had access to and decided to head back to the stairs when the dreaded gecko reappeared. It was another harrowing fight. Arog, had no place to run, but a highly effective thrown pebble turned the tables and he was narrowly victorious, edging him ever closer to level 3. He made it to the stairs without any further encounters and rested before descending.

Arog arrived on level 2 in a narrow north-south corridor. He refueled his neglected torch and was then able to see a bit further. He spotted a door to the north, and so headed south, away from the central portion of the map. The corridor ended in a pile of rubble which Arog nimbly climbed over. He found himself in a lit room, with an unknown potion lying on the floor. He added it to his collection, noting that he now held four unknown potions in his pack. Through a southern exit he spotted a glimmer of light and headed toward it. He entered a long rectangular room, a mushroom patch at one end and a floating eye at the other. His first instinct was to flee, but the eye was asleep and the shroom would give the experience needed to achieve level 3. Before fleeing, he took out the mushrooms with a thrown iron spike and was rewarded with a few more hit points.

Avoiding the eye meant that Arog would move back to the north. Arog then proceeded east, then north again where he entered a room and picked up a second scarlet potion. He did what he thought was the smart thing, he quaffed one of them, only to become paralyzed. He thought it was better to find out now than in a life or death situation. No sooner had Arog recovered from his paralysis than he was confronted by a novice priest at 20 feet. His flung pebbles didn't do much damage, and the ensuing melee nearly cost him his life, yet again. He was rewarded with a potion of apple juice and the knowledge that the walking stick in his pack was somehow superior than the one he currently wielded. He swapped weapons immediately, now wishing he had done so earlier.

No longer in the mood for random exploration, Arog learned and cast detect door and stairs, and headed for the nearest staircase. He had made some headway when he noticed than a door he had shut behind him had reopened. Why hadn't he spiked it? As he passed through a lit room, he noticed that a less than stealthy novice paladin was following him. He reached the stairs with the paladin not far behind. Having barely survived his battle with the priest, he knew that fighting the paladin would surely result in death. He now noticed that the staircase was in an unfortunate location. Standing upon it would allow the pally line-of-sight on him before Arog would see him. A powerful curse could kill Arog in his weakened state, but he needed to rest as much as possible before descending. No more than a minute had passed before the paladin made himself visible. Arog descended.

He soon found himself on level 3 in a lit room accompanied by a photoplasm and a crow. He headed for the safest exit. The crow awoke before he reached the doorway. He hit it with two thrown iron spikes, doing minimal damage, before it closed on him. He then clubbed it with his new walking stick, doing substantial damage, and sent it fleeing. He then hit it with two more iron spikes and thus killed it. He sustained no harm during the battle, and the plasm was still asleep. He exited to the east, the closest exit.

He hadn't traveled far when he found a bow, just lying on the ground in the corridor. He put the bow in his pack and continued on, it was useless without arrows. After a few turns he stumbled upon a staircase and rested. After a long trek he found himself peering into a lair of cave spiders, luckily for him, sleeping. He retreated as quietly and quickly as he could. He wasn't followed but as a precautionary step, he closed and jammed the first door that lie between him and them.

In order for Arog to continue his exploration, he would have to cross paths with the photoplasm again. It was awake this time. As he approached, it drained all his mana and even inflicted a serious wound when he stupidly got too close. He made it past the plasm and soon discovered another staircase, but apparently this dungeon level was very smallish. He used his last scroll of magic mapping to find the secret doorway that led to the rest of the level. The passage was guarded by a naga hatchling. Arog was unsure of how he would match up against this minor beast, so he retreated a step and threw a spike, then five more. Arog surmised that it's harder to hit things that he can't see, and the naga was just outside of the light cast by his torch. He threw an additional few pebbles before he finally hit it. He then headed for the stairs. Unknown to Arog, the napping naga was holding back a novice archer, who somehow surpassed it, and who took shots at poor Arog as he fled across the open, well lit, room. He made it to the stairs bloodied, but in one piece, then rested for as long as he could before descending.

Arog arrived on level 4, and was greeted by a silver mouse as well as a magic wand. It turned out to be a wand of light that did nothing more than wake the mouse. It was about this time that he noticed the, previously unnoticed, alley cat in the corner. The cat died quickly and the mouse didn't seem to be pursuing Arog (maybe it didn't wake after all), and he soon found a staircase and rested. further exploration yielded a second staircase without incident. From his perch on the stairs, he spotted an unknown smokey potion in a room just to the west. As he picked it up he noticed two more things. A scruffy looking hobbit looking back at him, and a vest of soft studded leather armour on the floor just beyond.

Arog let fly with his pebbles, throwing one after another until the hobbit lie dead. This kill gained Arog class level 4 and a good bump in the hit point department. He gathered his spent pebbles as well as the armour from the floor, and continued on. In the next room, just to the south, he found a pair of leather gloves. A bit later on, he killed a yellow worm mass as well as an orange frog before he encountered the cave orc. "What the heck is a cave orc doing on level 4", he thought, before taking a swing at it, and receiving one in return. It was then an evenly matched foot race to the nearest staircase. There was no time to rest before descending.

Level 5 seemed tame at first. Arog was greeted by the statue of an ogre chieftain and, after a bit of exploration, a kestrel which fled, then fled a second time before it finally died. Shortly thereafter, as he passed through a maze of doorways, another scruffy hobbit appeared, fled, and died. Arog was beginning to get nervous. He had not yet located or even detected a staircase. It was at about this time that he failed to notice, and therefore tripped a trap. A dart punctured his leg and he felt himself slow. Luckily for Arog, there were no enemies about. He was in a corridor blocked by rubble at one end and, as the wand of light revealed, a closed door at the other. Luckier still, the experience gained for disarming the trap was all he needed to achieve level 5. Arog learned two new spells, identify, which he could not cast because he lacked the mana, and illumination, which would no doubt come in handy if he could ever spare the mana. Most of his mana at this point in time was dedicated to casting detect doors and stairs.

Seconds later, Arog located the stairs. They were just on the opposite side of the door he was leaning upon as he studied his spell book. To the north of the stairs was a small room housing a disenchanter eye. Arog stayed away from the eye, at least for now. He moved south staying close to the stairs. It was then that a raven appeared at 20'. Arog had a bad feeling about this encounter. He took a step backward, toward the stairs, just in case. The raven closed on him. Arog did not enjoy fighting birds. He had learned through experience that they were often fast moving with multiple attacks and for that reason were generally some of the toughest opponents he faced. He was near the stairs, maybe 50' away, but he doubted his ability to out run the avian. He swung and hit it, doing some damage, but not as much as he would have liked. The raven in return, bit Arog and pecked at his eyes blinding him. Arog swung again, but missed, and the crow inflicted more wounds. Arog retreated and the raven landed a vicious series of bites, pecks and claws that left Arog on death's doorstep.

Arog reached into his pack. Still blinded, he fumbled with the potion bottles. He choose one at random, since he knew not what any of them did. He drank the potion of poison. The RNG, as if wishing to add insult to injury, didn't allow the poison to kill him immediately. It bit him. He died.

The Eulogy... Arog was a hero. Not a very successful hero, certainly not a superhero, but a hero none the less. His accomplishments dwarfed those of his predecessors, and likely those of his successors, who were saddened to hear of his premature demise. The potions he didn't choose in his last moments were of resist heat, cure light wounds, and alertness. None would have saved him, yet all would have been better choices. The bits and pieces of armour he had found were, unbeknown to him, all ordinary. Had he been wearing some of those pieces, his armour class would have been nearly double, and he might have fared better against the raven. By far the best item in his possession was his fairly ordinary looking walking stick (+3,+4). Arog was a victim of chance. Luck got him this far, but as is almost always the case in Angband, his luck eventually ran out.

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