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Old June 12, 2018, 18:38   #21
bunnies
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Apologies in advance for being a negative nancy, but I dislike some suggestions in this thread. IMO they come from a thematic POV, rather than a design POV.

Class penalties, and class buffs, should be used in line with how classes are designed to be played, and they should play a role in encouraging the player to adopt this playstyle. To this effect, we should start with the class design first and foremost, before jumping into thematic class restrictions. I'll give some existing good and bad examples (IMO).

Mage
Mages are designed to be squishy casters, with all the control and utility in the world and an array of damage spells, but piss poor at melee and range.
To this end, they are only given max 4.0 blows per round and poor fight/bow skill.
In addition, we also want them to have relatively low AC during the early mid game (in line with the bad-at-melee design). Thus, they're given a massive STR penalty. This discourages heavy armour and carrying too much utlity, which overencumbers our PC. Also, heavy armour reduces max SP. This strongly encourages the player to adopt a shoot and scoot playstyle (at least in the early game).

However, I'm not a fan of the glove penalty for mages, which feels more like a thematic penalty than a design penalty. To the player, it means skipping gloves and losing the AC bonus from them in the early game, which is really insignificant. What might make more sense though (from a design standpoint), is to give all gloves a small to-hit and to-damage bonus, in return for reducing max SP. This tells the spellcaster that gloves are meant for fighting, although later caster type (currently FA/Dex) gloves are introduced.

Priest
Priests are currently designed to be average fighters with massive buffs against evil and undead. They have the best sustain in the game (heals/restoration), and good detection (enlightment). Since they're kitted specifically against evil/undead, we want them to actively hunt them out. We want them to jump into undead pits and 'Dispel Undead'. We want them to 'ProtEvil', 'Prayer', 'Glyph', and go toe to toe against evil monsters, healing and restoring themselves as required. (At least, this is what I got from their kit. I'm still not sure whether they're supposed to be OOD spellcasters or weak fighters with buffs against evil)

In order to encourage this gameplay style, we have the Blessed flag. Blessed weapons almost all have WIS bonuses / SLAY_EVIL / SLAY_UNDEAD. In addition Priests receive no penalty from Blessed weapons. My only gripe is that this isn't always consistent, and it might be better to merge Blessed with SlayEvil/Undead i.e. priests receive no penalty OR receive a bonus for using weapons with SlayEvil/Undead.

However, I don't like the blunt weapon restriction, which feel like a tacky thematic add-on. It's consistent from a D&D POV, but I have no idea how to reconcile it from a gameplay design POV. Whats the difference from a gameplay perspective if a Priest is forced to use a 2d4 Mace instead of a 2d5 Broadsword besides slightly different damage dice?

TLDR
Start with a description of how the class is meant to be played, then design restriction or buffs based off that.

[edit] I realise some similar points have been made in previous posts, sorry just skimmed through without fully reading through

Last edited by bunnies; June 12, 2018 at 18:49.
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Old June 12, 2018, 18:54   #22
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No worries, thanks for the well-thought-out post that does a good job of reminding us all that we should be concerned with how the classes play over how well they hew to some supposed theme. Not that theme is irrelevant, but good gameplay is (usually) more important.
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Old June 12, 2018, 19:46   #23
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The big gameplay effect of the blunt restriction is that priests can only use a subset (25%? 30%?) of the weapons in the game. For every other class the blunt/sword/polearm distinction is purely cosmetic.
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Old June 12, 2018, 20:07   #24
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Originally Posted by EpicMan View Post
The big gameplay effect of the blunt restriction is that priests can only use a subset (25%? 30%?) of the weapons in the game. For every other class the blunt/sword/polearm distinction is purely cosmetic.
Yes, I fully acknowledge that thats the effect, but what's the cause? How does it tie back to the design of priests being 'evil slayers'? It feels like a by-product of it's D&D influences when it was first conceived in the 90's. Given that it's nearly thirty years later, and a big class rework is coming up, should we relook it's design?

[edit] I'm not saying priest/bladed weapons restriction should be redesigned or removed entirely, given how long this design has been around and ingrained in players. Just that moving forward, we should give a little more thought into making these decisions

Last edited by bunnies; June 12, 2018 at 20:14.
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Old June 12, 2018, 20:32   #25
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I would be very much worried if in the future we had a mage that has half the spells it used to have, is capped at 250dps using daggers only, capped at 120 AC using robe only, and still getting SP penalties.

Thing is, in Angband, all classes are similar.
Every class can heal, every class can phase. Every class can TS and TO. Every class uses ranged, ESP, banish, destroy, every class can map, identify, detect. Everyone uses stealth and everyone can melee.

Some classes do some things better, cheaper, sooner. But there is no class specific thing that another can't replicate. You won't leasurely be MBanishing undead pits as a rogue, but you can still burn a scroll if you really need to.

The game depends on it. If you stray too far, you will wind up with several different games, instead of one game with different approaches.
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Old June 12, 2018, 20:43   #26
EpicMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnies View Post
Yes, I fully acknowledge that thats the effect, but what's the cause? How does it tie back to the design of priests being 'evil slayers'? It feels like a by-product of it's D&D influences when it was first conceived in the 90's. Given that it's nearly thirty years later, and a big class rework is coming up, should we relook it's design?

[edit] I'm not saying priest/bladed weapons restriction should be redesigned or removed entirely, given how long this design has been around and ingrained in players. Just that moving forward, we should give a little more thought into making these decisions
The cause is nothing more than Moria copying D&D, and maybe a desire to weaken priest melee? I think in Moria it also applied to Paladins as well.

It would probably be more consistent to just weaken priest melee ability (to mage level?) and remove the restriction.
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Old June 12, 2018, 22:40   #27
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Originally Posted by EpicMan View Post
The cause is nothing more than Moria copying D&D, and maybe a desire to weaken priest melee? I think in Moria it also applied to Paladins as well.
I'm pretty sure Moria didn't have edged weapon penalties for priests - it was one of the surprises for me when I took up Angband a few years ago. I find it doesn't make much difference, though this rule feels to me more like "clutter" than "atmosphere".
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Old June 12, 2018, 23:07   #28
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Looking at some old Moria sites (https://beej.us/moria/ etc) since I don't have the game at the moment I see this line in the Priest description: "Priests have good saving throws, and make decent fighters, preferring blunt weapons over edged ones."

But I can't find any mention of an actual penalty for using any weapons, nor for mages wearing gloves, or even heavy armor penalties to SP (the to-hit penalties are there). Are all of these Angband additions?
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Old June 13, 2018, 05:13   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicMan View Post
But I can't find any mention of an actual penalty for using any weapons, nor for mages wearing gloves, or even heavy armor penalties to SP (the to-hit penalties are there). Are all of these Angband additions?
I've played a lot of Moria and the glove casting penalty and heavy armor SP penalty are Angband additions. I don't believe priest has a edged weapon penalty in Moria but I only played priest once.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:20   #30
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Originally Posted by SethaWetha View Post
I've played a lot of Moria and the glove casting penalty and heavy armor SP penalty are Angband additions. I don't believe priest has a edged weapon penalty in Moria but I only played priest once.
Tried Moria online and wielding a stiletto as a priest didn't make any game play effect.

Last edited by Sphara; June 13, 2018 at 09:38.
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