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Old June 5, 2015, 05:20   #1
Derakon
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Racial ability brainstorming

Nick mentioned wanting more special abilities for races to help make them distinct. So let's brainstorm some! Feel free to suggest your own or argue with my suggestions.

Humans: humans are adaptable and quick-learning. Level requirements for all other abilities are reduced by one (so e.g. they get ranger extra shots at levels 19/39, warrior innate fear resist at level 29, spells can be learned 1 level earlier, etc.).

Elf: masters of woodcraft, elves automatically identify bows and arrows, and gain a 5% accuracy bonus with missile weapons of all types.

Gnome: skilled in the use of magic devices, gnomes have a chance of being able to use devices without reducing the number of charges left, or using a rod while leaving it still fully-charged.

Dwarf: skilled in mining and extracting material wealth, dwarfs get more money from every money drop and from mining.

Half-Orc: these brutal half-breeds are adept at all manner of weapons, gaining extra blows with heavy weapons more easily (but with the same blows cap as normal).

Half-Troll: nearly indestructible, half-trolls gain 50% more AC from all non-body-armor slots.

Dunedan: this long-lived race of Men is learned in lore, and automatically identifies every artifact they find.

High-Elf: Sauron well recognizes the threat posed by skilled warriors from the race of immortals. Once a High-Elf reaches at least level 45, Sauron has a small chance of spawning on any dungeon level.

Hobbit: as long as a hobbit wears no footwear, their stealth is increased dramatically (+6, say).

Half-Elf: man, I dunno, give them ESP for orcs or something.
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Old June 5, 2015, 06:58   #2
Whelk
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I'm hoping we can break the mold of Humans and the "we get something slightly faster/earlier" perks which don't do much to help them stand out. I posted this "Easily Inspired" trait idea once before:

- Effects like Heroism, Bless and perhaps Berserk Strength give slightly higher bonuses and last a tad longer. (This is the boring one.)
- Call Light/Starlight has a chance to remove fear.
- Chance to apply the Heroism effect when affected by the following: Remove Fear, Bless, Protection from Evil, Holy Word, Remembrance, Berserk Strength.
- +1 Speed when under the Heroism effect.

The chance for bonus Heroism, Remove Fear, and the +1 Speed boon under Heroism means you actually get to see something happen that's unique to Humans, instead of just knowing (and easily forgetting) that you gain something slightly faster/earlier than everyone else.
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Old June 5, 2015, 11:34   #3
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This would be a great opportunity to make half-elf worth picking. I propose to give this race some strong bonus. Maybe CL/10 passive speed or passive pconf.
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Old June 5, 2015, 13:05   #4
Mondkalb
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When reaching a certain char-level Half-Elves could get to choose between their human or their elf sides, giving them a respective bonus.
Were they to choose at a low char-level the bonus had to be small, while a decision on higher char-level would make for a better bonus. (E. G. permanent bless (at low level) or permanent heroism (at higer level) for humans against see invisible (at low level) of ESP (at high level) for elves.)
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Old June 5, 2015, 13:58   #5
AnonymousHero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondkalb View Post
When reaching a certain char-level Half-Elves could get to choose between their human or their elf sides, giving them a respective bonus.
Were they to choose at a low char-level the bonus had to be small, while a decision on higher char-level would make for a better bonus. (E. G. permanent bless (at low level) or permanent heroism (at higer level) for humans against see invisible (at low level) of ESP (at high level) for elves.)
Perma-ESP might be too powerful, but I certainly like the idea (and practice[1]) of having choices throughout your character's development. If they're well done, they do provide a lot of variety for replayability. However, in practice I tend to find (gameplay-wise) that I'm almost always drawn to the most powerful abilities and ignore the other ones. (I think all compulsive powergamers/min-max'ers would agree.)

[1] See e.g. OAngband specialties, for example.
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Old June 5, 2015, 14:00   #6
Nomad
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I still think Half-Orcs and Half-Trolls should be able to recognise weapons of Slay Orc/Slay Troll respectively (and possibly be unable to/get some penalty for using them).

Okay, some general brainstorming of ability ideas. (Not all necessarily suitable for current races, but maybe we could brainstorm some interesting new races out of it, or some might work as class-specific abilities.)

Useful inherent resists/protections that nobody currently has (I think):

* cold/fire/acid/elec resistance
* nexus resistance
* disenchantment resistance
* confusion protection
* stunning protection

Not so useful, but still might add a bit of flavour/distinctiveness:

* other inherent resists (sounds/shards/nether/chaos)
* inherent feather falling
* inherent slow digestion

And there are more possibilities with ID powers like Gnome wand/staff ID or Hobbit mushroom ID:

* Identify rings/amulets on pickup
* Identify ammo on pickup
* Identify thematic subsets of items (e.g. healing potions, detection scrolls/staffs, certain egos)
* Identify specific bonuses on items (e.g. instant knowledge of To Dam or AC bonus)

Timing-based abilities:

* Rods/activations recharge faster
* Buffs last longer
* Status effects time out slower

Quirky stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else:

* Ability to read books/scrolls in the dark
* Chance to Stun/Confuse monsters in melee
* Carried staffs and Wands gain charges over time
* Immune to being teleported by monsters/traps/jewellery

You could have more passive detection abilities like Dwarf treasure-sense that work over a small radius: detect nearby doors and/or stairs, fuzzy item detection, short-range fuzzy ESP.

Or you could have activation-based abilities (songs?) that either have a recharge rate, or, I don't know, maybe reduce your hunger level to Fainting when they're used? (That would have a bonus knock-on effect of making food a bigger deal.) Things like Slow/Sleep/Confuse Monster, Phase Door, Curing, etc.
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Old June 5, 2015, 17:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Nick mentioned wanting more special abilities for races to help make them distinct.
Credit where credit is due - it was Nomad. But by all means brainstorm away
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Old June 5, 2015, 17:25   #8
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Credit where credit is due - it was Nomad. But by all means brainstorm away
Whoops! Sorry, Nomad!

Short-range ESP, "vague" ESP, and species-specific ESP (ESP for orcs only, etc.) sound like interesting abilities.
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Old June 5, 2015, 17:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Short-range ESP, "vague" ESP, and species-specific ESP (ESP for orcs only, etc.) sound like interesting abilities.
I feel like Sting ought to give you the power of orc-specific ESP.
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Old June 5, 2015, 19:02   #10
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A few of random ideas:

Humans: Increased armour drops (an abstraction of armour size)
Half Trolls: Intimidation - enemies more likely to flee (unsure exactly how the current mechanism actually works)
Half Orcs: Dirty fighting - increased criticals (does vanilla even have criticals? I can't remember)
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