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Old June 12, 2018, 04:57   #11
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I also think at least one class (the priest?) should be strongly discouraged from using missile weapons. This should be possible using a malus to the launchers skill only.

A.
Ultimately every class should have a compelling story for how they kill things (or otherwise deal with monsters, if you want to make some kind of pacifist class that can scare/sleep/banish them instead). Right now the priest has Orb of Draining, and then an awful lot of not-great options. Their melee is unimpressive (second-worst after mage, and not by a wide margin), so is their bow skill (IIRC they are the worst with bows), their devices aren't terrible but they don't have Greater Recharging so it's hard to rely on them. Basically they get Orb, and then Healing means they don't have to worry about sucking at other forms of combat because they can just outlast everything instead.

Anyway, that's getting a bit off-topic and we're only 9 posts in. Back on track...

Armor weight does sound like it could be worth playing with. If you made the mana penalty scale much more aggressively for priests than it does for other classes, then you should end up with something roughly similar to how arcane casters view the glove penalty: it's something you simply ignore early on (armor is light / gloves aren't worth using anyway), is bothersome in the midgame (you can't afford the SP penalty / there may be nice gloves that you can't use), and usually becomes irrelevant in the late game (you have so much SP that you don't mind missing out on 50-100 points / all gloves have FA or DEX anyway).

That said, I'm not sure it passes the "makes sense" check for priests. The problem here being that for a lot of people, "priest" maps to "cleric" maps to "plate armor and a mace".

Just brainstorming here, but what if casting prayers provoked a temporary stealth penalty (or just a one-shot "make monsters a bit more awake"), as monsters are drawn to the sound and holy influence? You could even vary the sensitivity of monsters so that natural monsters didn't care, but evil and especially undead were very likely to wake up and come investigate if you cast prayers near them. Just give priests a "Praying" status effect that sticks after casting, lasts for a few turns, and has, say, a -3 stealth penalty attached to it. The practical upshot of this would be that it'd be hard to be properly stealthy as a priest, or at any rate you couldn't both be stealthy and make routine use of your prayers.
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Old June 12, 2018, 06:15   #12
Pete Mack
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Yes, priest mana penalty for armor weight is a good idea. I thought stealth penalty for rogues would be another.
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Old June 12, 2018, 11:05   #13
luneya
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I have no problem with the "priests only use blunt or blessed weapons" thing. Yeah, it's old-school D&D, but for thematic class differentiation, it's better than nothing. Especially since, at present, the penalty for non-compliance is fairly mild compared with the benefits of wielding a good (for your current level) non-blessed artifact blade.

If we wanted to be more thematic about things, we could specify (by race or by some option) which god each priest character serves, and have the requirement be to wield a weapon of the sort that the god favors. But that would be a lot of work, as we'd basically have to rewrite everything having to do with weapons in order to make Angband recognize more fine-grained distinctions than just blunt vs sharp.

As for some of the other suggestions, remember that there already are penalties for a lot of those things. Casters of all sorts take SP penalties for excessive armor weight. Arcane casters take additional penalties for gloves other than FA and Dex. Everybody gets a to-hit penalty for heavy body armor, and perhaps that should be increased for characters with low Str. Everybody also gets a penalty for weapon weight in that heavy weapons get fewer blows, and additional to-hit penalty for being really badly overweight relative to the character's stats.

Taking all these factors into account, it just doesn't make sense to change the priest penalty to any other basis besides sharp weaponry.
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Old June 12, 2018, 11:42   #14
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D&D has punishing penalties if you break your character rules. A cleric wielding a sword would lose xp and the ability to cast spells above level 3, a mage would simply be incapable of using a sword, a paladin committing a sin would permanently lose their spellcasting ability.

I would do as such.

1. Priest
Halve SP on wielding the weapon, halve the xp gained using it (as a debuff lasting a few rounds).

2. Mage
For armor, you cannot cast. For weapons, you simply suck.

3. Paladin
Massive debuff to everything for killing townies.

The more i write the more i realize that this isnt d&d and this whole thing is absurd.
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Old June 12, 2018, 13:05   #15
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One of more interesting flavour mechanics from Halls of Mist is templars paying a tithe though there you have limited dungeon levels.
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Old June 12, 2018, 14:55   #16
Whelk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
One of more interesting flavour mechanics from Halls of Mist is templars paying a tithe though there you have limited dungeon levels.
The more tithes have been paid, the fewer townies spawn. Presumably the tithes are going toward helping the people, and more taken-care-of people means fewer ending up as thugs on the street (veterans, mercenaries, rogues, urchins) or having their ailments go untended and out of control (wretches, idiots). ... and toward finding homes or shelters for critters (mutts, cats).

I'd say let priests do this as well. But I don't know that this falls into this thread's purpose, since it's not really a restriction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luneya
Taking all these factors into account, it just doesn't make sense to change the priest penalty to any other basis besides sharp weaponry.
This still doesn't cover the why of it, though. Why is sharp weapons a good thing to attach priest penalties to, other than "because that's how it's been before"? Is there a convincing thematic/lore reason for it? I realize Angband isn't a story-heavy game by any stretch of the word, but I still think things like this should have some sort of reasoning behind them.
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Old June 12, 2018, 15:45   #17
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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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Old June 12, 2018, 16:05   #18
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Another suggestion, to avoid brutal class distinction (and which I don't claim to be better, just something to think about): make #attacks/round formula depend on the weapon type. For instance,

1. "Blunt" weapons rely mostly on Str,
2. "Pointy" weapons rely mostly on Dex,
3. Whatever else (axes, scythes...) use a balance of Str and Dex.

Then trolls and priests (give the latter a big Dex penalty) will typically want big blunt things. Mages, rogues, hobbits will want pointy things. Oh, and tweak the stats for dwarves so that they fall in love with their axes...
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Old June 12, 2018, 16:40   #19
Pete Mack
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@MP--
I thought paladins in particular should have a benefit of fighting with swords. Paladins are armed with (long) sword and lance in pretty much all fantasy (and in myth--certainly St George always was so armed in tapestries and the like.) This benefit can perhaps apply to anything with SLAY_UNDEAD, which is very much a priestly type brand.
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Old June 12, 2018, 17:32   #20
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voovus View Post
Another suggestion, to avoid brutal class distinction (and which I don't claim to be better, just something to think about): make #attacks/round formula depend on the weapon type. For instance,

1. "Blunt" weapons rely mostly on Str,
2. "Pointy" weapons rely mostly on Dex,
3. Whatever else (axes, scythes...) use a balance of Str and Dex.

Then trolls and priests (give the latter a big Dex penalty) will typically want big blunt things. Mages, rogues, hobbits will want pointy things. Oh, and tweak the stats for dwarves so that they fall in love with their axes...
We tried something along these lines in the old, misleadingly-named "v4" variant, which was a trial ground for a bunch of ideas that the dev team of the time was playing with. Weapons would get a damage multiplier based on your "prowess" (a primarily STR-based skill), which multiplier depended on the weapon and was bigger for mauls, hammers, axes, etc. And the number of blows you got was based on your "finesse" (a primarily DEX-based skill) which multiplier also depended on the weapon and was higher for lightweight weapons like daggers and rapiers.

The basic concept worked OK and could probably have been fleshed out into something that worked well. There were a number of confounding factors that made test results hard to interpret, due to a couple of bad choices I made when implementing (numbers were 10x larger and 10% as meaningful) and the fact that the changed melee system was cohabiting with a radical redesign of ego items.

But there were two concerns that I don't think ever really got adequately addressed. First, right now anyone that wants to melee needs both STR and DEX. Allowing one stat to become a dump stat makes character builds too easy. Second, every weapon that does not benefit from your chosen stat now becomes junk.
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