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Old July 13, 2020, 23:57   #3
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,023
fizzix is on a distinguished road
Lesser Charms:

Detect life: Absolutely necessary staple. Class would be unplayable without it

Fox form: Nice early game utility/escape spell. I didn't make as much use of it as I didn't really understand the +1 moves mechanic at start.

Remove Hunger: Utility, saves an inventory slot. Really shines later on when paired with the regen spell

Stinking Cloud: The first damage spell the druid gets. Damaging things early on is a bit difficult for druids and there's some room here for improvement

Confuse Monster: This is the prime way a druid survives between cl 5-20, after which is falls off to near uselessness as most of the monsters resist

Slow Monster: Very useful spell all the way through the game. Speed is super important in angband and a speed debuff is one of the strongest debuffs you can give a monster

Gifts of Nature

Cure Poison: Only has niche uses

Resist Poison: Double resist is always useful, and this guy makes poison based monsters a piece of cake

Turn Stone to Mud: One of the best utility spells in the game.

Sense Surroundings: Mapping is one of those very nice things to have that isn't absolutely necessary. I'm rarely willing to devote a slot to it, but when I get it for free, I spam cast it.

Lightning Strike: I didn't make too much use of this. The stun feels like it wore off way to quickly and the damage was not worth the mana cost

Earth Rising: This spell I did make a lot of use of. Beam spells can be very efficiently cast and this guy is no exception. Nice alternative to just giving the druid "lightning bolt" For a while this was my prime method of damaging monsters along with rods and artifact activations.

Creature Dominion:

Trance: Never made use of this spell

Mass Sleep: Never even cast this spell. It could actually work, but my experience with staves was never positive here. Needs second opinion.

Become Pukel-man: This spell comes too late for a character to make use of. You can't reliably cast it until the fairly late game at which point the -5 speed is a killer. If I had to offer an alternative, I would remove the speed penalty from this guy (and maybe the damage reduction) and keep the acid immunity. It would then be a niche spell to deal with acid monsters. I would then add a transform spell to book 2 maybe that does what this guy does, gives you damage reduction, extra melee damage, a speed debuff. The goal of this guy would be to give the druid a way to handle groups of lowish level meleers like orcs and trolls.

Eagle's Flight: A very nicely designed spell. Useful for tactical repositioning, especially in conjunction with the regen spell. In the correct terrain, it can essentially be used as controlled blink which is very powerful.

Bear Form: I didn't realize until I got bear form that you keep your weapon stats when transforming. I was afraid this spell would be useless because by this point I had found some powerful endgame weapons. However, this is not the case, and bear form is actually a really cool spell.

Nature Craft:

Tremor: I've never found earthquake spells to be useful. They're not reliable enough that you can get a wall where you need it. And the fact that they only sometimes remove a monster (if that's the case) make them too finicky. You can't use them to spot remove a dangerous monster or to modify terrain except in advance. Perhaps I can make use of it in the final battles in lieu of destruction.

Haste Self: Super powerful spell. An insta cast before every battle once you get it, even at 50% fail rate.

Revitalize: Endgame spell to counter drains from black breath

Rapid Regeneration: I love, LOVE, the design of this spell. This is an amazing alternative to just another heal spell. It gives the druid a unique tactical combat strategy which often involves casting eagle flight, moving safely away, detransforming and regenning health. A+++ Would recommend considering giving the druid a weaker version in the town books.

Herbal Curing: Niche use to combat black breath. If black breath wasn't a thing, this spell would be pointless.

Wild Forces:

At the point of the game where I got this book, using spells for damage wasn't really useful compared to bear form and melee. With one exception which I'll get to.

Meteor Swarm: If I had this spell at CL30 and it was castable then it probably would have found use. But I didn't, and by the time I got it, it was underpowered. The fact that the meteors destroy items means that you can't use it in situations where you care about loot which greatly diminishes its utility.

Rift: This is the most useful spell in this book. The ability to reposition a monster is powerful

Ice Storm: I think this spell could be more useful if the stun lasted longer. As it is, it seems to go away after just one turn for every monster I cast it on.

Volcanic Eruption: I haven't figured out how to use this spell usefully

River of Lightning: This spell winds up being a utility spell to mop up weak level monsters. It's such a late spell that I haven't really found much use at all for it.

Extra notes on the transform spells. I really love the addition of transmutations to Angband. They're a new quality of spell that requires some tactical thought. You get a buff, often a substantial one, at the expense of not being able to use your items or cast other spells unless you transform out and waste another turn retransforming back. I think some additional descriptions in the transform spells would help, like letting you know that you keep all the equipment and weapon bonuses. I really think a low level melee focused transform (like what pukel-man is supposed to be?) could really benefit the druid class, as it would make you look forward to those late game transforms. The 5th book is underwhelming, the druid just doesn't feel like it makes it through damaging with spells. But it's possible that's just because I found it too late and my weapons are too good.

Other spells I might consider giving the druid is some kind of passwall or teleport through wall spell. I think this would dovetail nicely with the tactical repositioning gameplay that I found is necessary with a druid. However, it might be too powerful that it obsoletes eagle form.

In my ideal world, angband would have a "charm animal" spell but that would take a lot of work.

The last spell I could recommend is a "summon tree" spell which basically makes a tree at a specific spot for some number of turns. The tree doesn't attack, but has a finite amount of hitpoints, and monsters will try to kill it like they would a door.

Overall, the game is a lot of fun, Druid is a lot of fun. Good work Nick and company!
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