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Old June 12, 2018, 16:45   #17
Moving Pictures
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 191
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Iron is the answer

Why not approach this from another angle?

Priest magic comes from the gods, not from warping the fabric of the universe, and myth has long held that iron interferes with magic - it's quite pervasive, in fact. All you need to implement this concept into Angband is have any standard iron/steel item interfere with the mana, *and* increase spell failure - possibly to a very significant degree. Using the idea that reconnecting with the Beyond takes time, one could place a delay on when failure and mana point penalties cease to curb the "I will unwield the Sword of Smite Enemies to regain low spell failure" tactic, at least somewhat. Thus, anything that is iron/steel will carry built-in penalties. Basically, the priest magic is diminished if there's a heavy presence of iron/steel, because the iron/steel interferes with the delivery of power from Beyond.

Working from that premise, it's easy to argue why swords (typically iron/metal) would be problematic. And the code tweaks for that would be just a few changes to text. The steel-affects-power-from-God angle would further give a logical explanation as to why priests would use blunt weapons, since most of those are wooden-handled things. There would need to be some changes, however, for consistency. Some "pointy" weapons would now be viable and not penalized. Example being spears - which are mostly wood - and likewise, axes. Launchers would still be viable, but those worried about game play could easily make the priest just plain-ass useless with launchers, fwiw.

But wait, there's more.

It also means - guess what? No iron/metal shields, no iron armor. No metal helms of telepathy (at least, not without severe penalties to mana points and spell failure.) So now priests are going to hunt for wicker shields, maces, leather caps and the like. Gauntlets are OK, caestus (caesti?) are not. Since, generally, the better AC comes from iron/metal items, priests will tend - at least in the early and middle game - to have less AC, thus more likely to be whacked. That somewhat counters for the fact they can heal whenever they blasted well want to.The exceptions in the heavy armor category would be the dragon armors and the mithril items as well. Now, mithril shields become a prize item for priests, no?

Now, let's give the coders a headache.
To improve on this idea, iron/steel items could carry a certain "mana penalty," which would be cumulative for the priest. Thus, the more iron/steel a priest carries, the worse their mana and spell failure will be. However, "blessed" items would stand to counter any such penalties, so a blessed mace (you have them) might have sufficient connect-with-God power as to counter that iron helm, or whatever. This would now mean that "blessed" would logically expand to armor: a "blessed" helm has been magicked such that it doesn't interfere as much (or at all) with the Power from Beyond.

This idea can also expend to Paladins, too. They would still be better fighters, natch, but have problems channeling the Great Beyond if armoured like tanks. I think Paladin spell points are just too .. well, there's too many of 'em, to be honest.
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