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Old January 19, 2011, 20:46   #1
Starhawk
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Using bad items offensively?

I was thinking about another roguelike I've played, ADOM. In that game, negative-effect potions can be used offensively.

For instance, if you throw a Potion of Poison at a monster, you have a chance to poison it. A Potion of Slowness might slow it. (For that matter, Scrolls of Darkness were useful in ADOM because many monsters couldn't see you in the dark...)

That'd be something I'd enjoy seeing in Angband. Right now the negative-status potions are something you discover once each in the early game, then immediately squelch. It would be interesting to have a potential use for items like that.
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Old January 19, 2011, 21:05   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starhawk View Post
I was thinking about another roguelike I've played, ADOM. In that game, negative-effect potions can be used offensively.

For instance, if you throw a Potion of Poison at a monster, you have a chance to poison it. A Potion of Slowness might slow it. (For that matter, Scrolls of Darkness were useful in ADOM because many monsters couldn't see you in the dark...)

That'd be something I'd enjoy seeing in Angband. Right now the negative-status potions are something you discover once each in the early game, then immediately squelch. It would be interesting to have a potential use for items like that.
I used to like this idea, but I anymore. I think it has something to do with the idea that potions only have effects when swallowed. It seems to me that the biggest damage would come from being glassed over the head with a potion, not getting a few specks of poison in your eye.
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Old January 19, 2011, 22:33   #3
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It can depend on context, and how you view certain things...but I agree it's more consistent to treat potions as things one drinks, and that affect the imbiber for good or bad. In that context, then 'splash damage' is, at best, trivial; at worst, not even logical.

One could define a separate object type for this application...instead of a potion, call it a grenade. Could have multiple flavors...eggshell grenades which are quite light but VERY fragile (and which, if broken, perhaps trigger on *you*)...these could be found on level 1-5. Even if they're more or less useless by, say, DL 10, letting them be found in town, or at worst on DL 1, would give players a fun option.

Later on, one has the notion of clay grenades...weight and damage susceptibility equivalent to potions, with better damage effects.

An obvious criticism is, well, aren't these heavier forms of wands? Each grenade's a single charge, so carrying 20 clay fire grenades is gonna weigh like carrying 20 potions. These won't have failure rates. Also: how much do people use the wands like fire bolts or acid bolts? I've always found they're not terribly effective by the time they start showing.
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Old January 19, 2011, 22:47   #4
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In a world of dragons, demons and undead, boots of speed and blades of chaos, I don't see why on earth a potion can't act as a magical grenade. I would support takk's original position, and I think it would make the game more interesting (there being so few things that are interesting to throw at the moment). Especially if rogues get to set traps for monsters one day ...
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Old January 20, 2011, 01:13   #5
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I thought darkness being useful was a far more compelling idea, but that would require the negation of monster ESP.
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Old January 20, 2011, 01:27   #6
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There were such items. How about bringing back Potions of Detonation, just to see @ blow up after quaffing an unidentified potion.
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Old January 20, 2011, 14:40   #7
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See Unangband for implementation of throwing/slinging negative potions and also for applying coatings of negative potions/mushrooms to weapons/ammo.
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Old January 20, 2011, 15:26   #8
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Slightly off-topic, but another interesting way to use the low-level bad potions would be to have some way to "purify" them that reversed their effect. (Sort of like a Remove Curse for potions). For example:

Blindness -> True Seeing
Poison -> Neutralize Poison (or maybe Resist Poison)
Slowness -> Speed

Nothing game-breaking, but it would extend the life of the useless potions a bit.
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Old January 20, 2011, 17:18   #9
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I have this in NPP, but the overall conclusion of the players is that it simply isn't worth the inventory slot to carry around negative-effect potions.
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Old January 20, 2011, 17:33   #10
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They might be more worth using if they showed up in large stacks so you were more likely to be able to build up a useful supply in a single slot. Then they'd end up being to wands what scrolls are to staves -- a bulkier, but more damage-resistant way to carry certain direct-attack effects.

Having them show up in stacks would also help the user identify them as being bad potions that you don't want to drink. Of course, the user never really wants to drink these potions ever if they know what they are, so we could as easily make them their own item type. Call them "vials" maybe?
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