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relic May 2, 2012 22:39

Suggestion for a new variant
Hi all

Would it be possible or fun to make a variant based on the writings of Jack Vance. It could be called Vangband or Vanceband or something like that. I have thought about it, but I could not do it myself. But if someone else is interested here are some thoughts.

In his Dying Earth series there are a number of spells described that have tantalizing names like

the Spell of the Slow Hour
Lugweiler's Dismal Itch
Inside Out and Over
the Spell of Internal Effervescence
Ctambard's Rein of Long Nerves
Xarfaggio's Physical Malepsy
Call of the Violent Cloud
Excellent Prismatic Spray
Phandaal's Gyrator
Charm of Untiring Nourishment
Panguire's Triumph of Discomfort
Thasdrubal's Laganetic Transfer

to mention some.

Some spells seem at first to be hard to fit or implement in the Angband spell system. For example, the Spell of the Macroid Toe, which causes the toe of the victim to swell to the size of a house. This would immobilize the victim, but not paralyze him.
In an Angband context, this could be a temporary effect during which various teleportation spells would be useless. After the temporary effect, there could be a message, something like "Your/It's toe returns to it's original size." and the player/monster can move once more.

Phandaal's Mantle of Stealth is a spell but has a name that sounds like it is an object. One could possibly choose to implement it either way.

If one would want different spell realms as in Zangband, in the short story Green Magic there are four different spell realms mentioned: white, black, purple, and green magic.

If one wants different cities (with wilderness), here are some suggestions:

Objects: I think that present objects (rings, potions, amulets etc) in Angband can be readily transferred to a Vance setting, perhaps with some name changes.

Some specific objects that are mentioned in the Dying Earth series are:
Thyle dust
Expansible egg
Tube of Blue Concentrate
IOUN stones
Live boots
Rapier of T'sais
Scintillant dagger

But it is the many Vance monsters and villains that I find most intriguing. In the Dying Earth series there are examples like:

rostgobler - hyperborean sloth

and many more. For uniques there are many to choose from:

Mazirian the Magician
Liane the Wayfarer
Thrang, the Ghoul-bear
Koolbaw, the walking Serpent
the demons Phampoun, Yaunt, Jastenave, Aldemar, Suul.
Blikdak, another demon
Iucounu, the Laughing Magician

and of course Chun the Unavoidable, which I believe already is found in OAngband.

If one includes monsters/uniques from other books one could also have:

King Kragen, Greater Kragen, Lesser kragen

Various dragons from the Dragon Masters: Termagant, Fiend, Long-Horned Murderer, Blue Horror, Jugger, Striding Murderer

From Planet of Adventure:
Blue, Green and Old Chasch, Chashman
Dirdir, Dirdirman, Immaculate Dirdirman

and as uniques:
The Five Demon Princes
Hildemar Dasce (Beauty Dasce)
Aila Woudiver
The Tree of Kyril - "Twenty miles high and a trunk five miles in diameter. The Vital Exprescience"
Three-Legged Joe
The Phantom Milkman
Laoome, Third of Narfilhet, the Worldthinker, the Final Sage of the Fifth Universe (long name that)

and last but not least
Bad Ronald
"Having read the book, you feel an intense desire to kill this character"

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with the work of Jack Vance, I can only recommend that you check it out.

Antoine May 3, 2012 04:10

[artfully dissimulating gaze, while idly stroking tame pelgrane]

Do you, yourself, possess any IOUN stones? I am eager to enlarge my collection...


Fendell Orcbane May 3, 2012 07:42

All I have to say is FUCK YES! The other thing that I would have to say is that while I like Vance's works much better that Tolkien's( I hope I don't get kicked out of here for saying that!) I think it would be hard to base a game around any of his works...although his Ideas are great for inspiring stuff.

relic May 3, 2012 09:07


Originally Posted by Antoine (Post 69192)
[artfully dissimulating gaze, while idly stroking tame pelgrane]

Do you, yourself, possess any IOUN stones? I am eager to enlarge my collection...


Alas, I have but a few, but they are well hidden, and protected by a powerful spell that will turn the unwary perpetrator inside out, to his detriment.

Mikko Lehtinen May 3, 2012 09:39

Of course there's the excellent Dying Earth RPG that you could browse for inspiration.

I'm afraid that a Dying Earth roguelike wouldn't feel complete without interaction with NPCs, and maybe some social conflict game mechanics.

NotMorgoth May 3, 2012 12:33

It's not obvious how you would win the game in a Vance-themed version. it's not as thought there is any "ultimate enemy" like Morgoth, or even any world-changing "quests" or occurrences in the books, just a lot of individuals looking out for themselves.

Edit: I guess there could be some kind of quest to find a way to stop the sun dying, but doing stuff like that just doesn't seem in the spirit of Vance's characters.

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