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Old August 1, 2011, 23:39   #1
Derakon
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Paralysis and free action

I thought I'd already created this thread, but on searching all I could find was this thread by Buzzkill which has an interesting potential solution to the problem I'm about to outline.

Free Action is vital to survival. You have to have it, preferably by 1100' or so. There's too many monsters who can hit to paralyze for lacking it to be viable, not to mention all the monsters that can cast paralysis spells. So unlike the other old "have this resistance by this depth" beliefs, this one is actually still valid. The relatively recent change to paralysis to make it non-cumulative (so you always get a turn between bouts of being paralyzed) has no effect on gameplay past the Floating Eye stage, in my experience -- monsters can do more than enough damage to the player to kill him/her before paralysis wears off anyway, so who cares if it stacks?

This is a problem. Ideally every monster ability in the game should create a choice: do I optimize my gear to protect me from that ability, or do I do without and suffer the consequences? But there's no choice here -- you have FA on your gear, or you risk instant death. That's only interesting in that it forces you to contort your gear choices to include FA somewhere. I grant that this is a non-negligible impact, but I'd like the actual effects of FA to be more tactically interesting. We can weaken gear across the board in recompense.

There's a secondary problem in that FA is not necessarily available when you first need it. I can't count how many characters I've had reach 1200' or so without having found a source of it naturally. And thanks to no-selling, I'm spending little enough time in the town that I can't rely on getting rings of FA from the Black Market either. So I end up in this forced-grinding situation: I can't feasibly avoid all paralyzing monsters, and letting one hit me (or successfully cast a spell; almost all young characters have lousy saving throws) is instant death, so I have to just hang around at a safe depth until I find a source of FA. Which is boring.

Buzzkill's suggested solution is to halve your energy regeneration rate each time you get hit by paralysis -- thus, your first hit would send you from 10 to 5 (half speed), your second to 2 (one-fifth normal speed), your third to 1 -- at this point, you're moving at 1/10th normal speed, which is comparable to existing paralysis durations. But you have those first two hits to possibly escape. This is still harsh enough that you can't afford to hang around when paralyzers are about, but it might not be instant death so long as you aren't hit by multiple paralysis sources in the same round.

As far as melee paralysis is concerned, I think simply setting you to one-half speed would be entirely enough -- at that level you'd want to avoid "paralyzers" as much as possible as fighting them wouldn't really be feasible. However, you might possibly consider it in limited situations, so there'd be more tactical decisions than there are currently. Is the instadeath really even necessary here? That said, I could see harsher measures for paralyzing spells, since the tactical decisions are different for melee vs. ranged.

Thoughts?
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Old August 2, 2011, 00:10   #2
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Well, for the most straightforward solution, how about adding Potions of Resist Paralysis that function like Heroism/Mushrooms of Clear Mind? Make them available from the alchemist, and as long as you've learned which monsters are paralysers, you can chug them for temporary resistance before you go into melee.
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Old August 2, 2011, 00:28   #3
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Well, for the most straightforward solution, how about adding Potions of Resist Paralysis that function like Heroism/Mushrooms of Clear Mind? Make them available from the alchemist, and as long as you've learned which monsters are paralysers, you can chug them for temporary resistance before you go into melee.
I like! Antoine, you should put these into Quickband! No need to put them in the alchemist, just make them fairly shallow, like 900' or so.
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Old August 2, 2011, 02:24   #4
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Buzzkill's suggested solution is to halve your energy regeneration rate each time you get hit by paralysis...

As far as melee paralysis is concerned, I think simply setting you to one-half speed would be entirely enough...
Thanks for the love Derakon, but you mis-represented my plan, just a little. I didn't feel that halving energy recovery was harsh enough so I suggested half +1 (of half -1 depending on your way of looking at at). In sounds inconsequential, but that +1 makes a big difference. 10 would drop to 4, then 4 would drop to 1.

Simply dropping to half speed, and stopping there is a far cry from paralysis. For normal speed characters, the ones most likely not to have found their initial source of free action, it's exactly the same as being slowed.
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Old August 2, 2011, 03:06   #5
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Free Action is vital to survival. You have to have it, preferably by 1100' or so. Thoughts?
I'm just waiting for e.g. Eddie to pop up and say he routinely does without it at 3000'.

it must be possible if you can detect and escape.

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Old August 2, 2011, 05:01   #6
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Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I'm just waiting for e.g. Eddie to pop up and say he routinely does without it at 3000'.

it must be possible if you can detect and escape.

A.
I've gone without it as deep as 2500' for sure. If you can detect all monsters, and are very stealthy, then you can get by. You have to know the monster list pretty damn well though, and you can't really do it with a warrior, priest, or paladin since you're bound to run into carrion crawlers or similar.

(In my current game, I broke that rule and took out 4 carrion crawlers without FA... I also almost died to a paralysis spell by a master vampire.)
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Old August 2, 2011, 05:25   #7
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Don't forget that there are also traps and (mushrooms?) with paralysis.
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Old August 2, 2011, 06:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
I'm just waiting for e.g. Eddie to pop up and say he routinely does without it at 3000'.

it must be possible if you can detect and escape.

A.
High saving throw and AC helps a lot. I made a experiment recently with ghouls and IIRC AC around 50 and saving throw of 75% was enough to survive (with enough HP) even when completely surrounded by them. There might be more problems now that AC does not have any real value unless it is really really really high (monsters hit you way too easily with ordinary AC values).

Priests do very well in this, thanks to high saving throw. OTOH, you need to be aware of lack of FA, so that you don't melee something like Dracolisk without it, those things kill fast, so even just few turns paralyzed can kill you.

For my experience things like trappers that can surprise you are real killers without FA, others can be avoided.

When you have 100% saving throw FA doesn't matter any more.
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Old August 2, 2011, 16:10   #9
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Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
Thanks for the love Derakon, but you mis-represented my plan, just a little. I didn't feel that halving energy recovery was harsh enough so I suggested half +1 (of half -1 depending on your way of looking at at). In sounds inconsequential, but that +1 makes a big difference. 10 would drop to 4, then 4 would drop to 1.

Simply dropping to half speed, and stopping there is a far cry from paralysis. For normal speed characters, the ones most likely not to have found their initial source of free action, it's exactly the same as being slowed.
Sorry for misrepresenting you, but I prefer the version I read. I'm saying that the current system is too harsh, and thus makes the game less interesting because players would rather do practically anything else than go without. Being slowed is already very bad. But it's not unmanageably so. Thus the decision of whether or not to have FA gear becomes much more interesting.

I guess the question is, do we want paralysis to be instant death? Because that's what we have right now.

Potions of FA would mitigate the problem of being unable to find equipment with FA on it, I'll grant.
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Old August 2, 2011, 16:26   #10
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Sorry for misrepresenting you, but I prefer the version I read. I'm saying that the current system is too harsh, and thus makes the game less interesting because players would rather do practically anything else than go without. Being slowed is already very bad. But it's not unmanageably so. Thus the decision of whether or not to have FA gear becomes much more interesting.

I guess the question is, do we want paralysis to be instant death? Because that's what we have right now.

Potions of FA would mitigate the problem of being unable to find equipment with FA on it, I'll grant.
I'm fine with FA being instant death. I'm more annoyed that a group of time hounds is instant death. That's much less fun.
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