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Old October 31, 2009, 23:34   #1
buzzkill
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What we need: More heavy curses

IMO there just aren't enough really bad things that can happen to your character, and since ID seems to be getting easier and easier I propose adding more heavy curses, ya know, for balance. Here's one that I came up with. Feel free to add your own stupid ideas of heavy and horrible curses for use in any variant (because I just don't see it happening in V).

CHA is essentially a useless stat that most players nerf. This heavy curse would exploit that weakness. Actually, this one isn't so horrible. Some, on occasion, may find it useful (for a time).

A sentient weapon (I believe they were called ego weapons in D&D). It would have an alignment of either good or evil, a few random properties consistent with a weaker randart, positive to-hit/to-dam bonuses, and every once in a while (1d(CHA*10)) would seek to destroy it's polar opposite, despite the wishes of the owner, even attacking the owner itself (that's the curse part).

'Evil' weapons would randomly strike their 'good' owner, or possibly worse, charge into battle vs 'good' enemies, dragging the wielder along for the ride. Conversely, 'good' weapons would attempt to destroy only 'evil'. A saving throw would overpower the weapon, keeping it in check until the next time. The saving throw would be based entirely on the PC's CHA, with a (-1) to save for each (positive) special property the sword possesses. If the save fails, then the weapon is in charge for the turn, and another save is required on the very next turn to break it's control, and so on. Similarly, you would have to overpower the weapon (each and every turn) in order to attack an enemy of it's own alignment.

But it's not all bad. If you and the sword are co-aligned, then nothing may happen if no one is around you. I'd even consider a a 'co-aligned combat bonus' when a 'good PC/good weapon' combo goes after an evil foe or vice-versa. Even if not co-aligned a 'good' PC with an 'evil' sword would have no trouble attacking 'good' enemies. PC's should be considered 'good' unless their class or race is inherently evil.

Thus a Paladin with a 16 CHA, wielding an 'evil' heavily cursed sentient weapon with 3 special properties would have a 65% chance ((16-3)/20) of keeping it under control, and would only have to make such a check once every 100 turns or so (assuming he is only attacking 'good' enemies). Of course, a PC with a CHA of 6 and a cross-aligned sword had better keep his finger crossed, lest he accidentally hack himself to death.

*Remove Curse* and a successful save would allow the item to be dropped. Failing the save would result in a random disenchantment of one of the special properties instead, making it considerably weaker, but also easier to attempt to remove next time. Remove Curse would keep the sword in check for an additional (20d10) turns, and automatically disenchant (by 1) either the to-hit or to-damage bonus.

It's probably a lot of work for something that you'll rarely find, and then probably toss away when you do, but it sounds like it could be fun too.

EDIT: Although these should be rare, they could, in a weakened state, be introduced into the early game, when things are relatively predictable and somewhat boring.
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Old November 1, 2009, 00:33   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzkill View Post
IMO there just aren't enough really bad things that can happen to your character
... why am I not surprised at this? It is deeply impressive to see someone so relentlessly masochistic in a game which largely appeals to masochists

Seriously, though, I think takkaria is planning to go down a somewhat similar path to FA with curses.
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Old November 1, 2009, 05:12   #3
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If you really want an evil curse you can copy this from Z - http://www.zangband.org/spoilers/tycurse.txt

Good old Topi knew how to teach those newbs to ID before wielding and watch where they step.
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Old November 1, 2009, 07:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Peterson View Post
Good old Topi knew how to teach those newbs to ID before wielding and watch where they step.
Ancient and foul, kinda like my ex-wife, but seriously... my aim, though maligned, is to make the game more interesting. There's a wide variety of items that are good, but only a few types of cursed items, and those aren't even necessarily sticky anymore. Minus to hit, minus to damage, minus to AC, it's all very mundane. Let's create a set of creative curses both mild and severe that will keep the player guessing, entertained, and hopefully not too terribly upset (when he's polymorphed into a snaga and slain by a novice paladins).
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Old November 1, 2009, 11:16   #5
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You should really have a look at Nicks FAAngband curses.
They're ... hmmmm ... great, in a sense .... *mumblemumble*

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Old November 1, 2009, 14:03   #6
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Curses that don't show on initial id. Unlike FA's they shouldn't show on specific ego's.

Noone said things need to be that^ fair.
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Old November 1, 2009, 15:57   #7
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Is this another of Buzzkill's "the game needs to be harder" threads?




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Old November 1, 2009, 17:19   #8
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I think there are two separate things here. I have most experience in V so my response will be based off of it.

Curses - bad things that happen to you because of a misstep, these are the "can't take off" weapons in V. These vary from being a significant hindrance until you find a way to get rid of it (Ring of the Dog) to things that will kill your character outright (morgul weapons) We'll split these into two groups. Game-ending bad items, and game-delaying bad items.

Mixed good/bad items - Things that you can choose to wield, but have a drawback. This would be like your 'evil' weapons that have some undesirable effects.

Game-ending items. In order for these to be an addition to the game they must be fairly rare. You want only a small number of games to end because of a morgul weapon. Let's say in an average game you test-wield 100 items, and you want the chances of dying to a morgul weapon to be around 5%. That puts the probability of a weapon being a morgul weapon at 1-0.95^(1/100) = 0.0005. Any more and you make test-wielding not worth the risk.

Game-delaying items. If you put on one of these items you are forced to recall back to town and scum for remove curse. These become a hindrance in a normal game, but their real effect is in ironman games, where they can be death. Test wielding jewelry is an option in regular games but is not so much of an option in ironman games. Personally, i wouldn't mind these items being eliminated.

Overall cursed items are annoyances. Increasing their annoyance makes identifying more necessary. If identify doesn't reveal curses, a wary adventurer needs to just buy all weapons and armor from town. I don't think anyone wants that.

Mixed-benefit items. I think this is where your approach should be. Generally the trick with mixed-benefit weapons is that the drawback should be significantly less than the benefit. This isn't really the case with many of the early rings, except for the situational escaping and teleport. In the late game the only real drawbacks are aggro and drain exp. Aggro is enough for me to chuck any weapon with it unless it's Morgoth-killing quality. That is probably the only time in the game where I'm able to afford aggro. Drain exp is a joke in the endgame.

However there are so many other ways to make mixed-benefit items. For example shields which give you immunity (!) to one element but give vulnerability to another (negates resistance or gives +50% damage if unresisted) Weapons which have very large damage multipliers but sometimes add to your stun counter when wielding.

To sum up my opinions. Keep game-ending heavy curses very rare. Eliminate minor curses. Make lots of weapons, armor and jewelry with mixed-benefits where the benefit outweighs the drawback.
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Old November 1, 2009, 17:59   #9
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http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=293

In this thread I advocate the inclusion into Vanilla of more items that have both positive and negative effects. Although it's pretty old (I think it's from 3.0.8 days), it has a lot of crossover with this thread so I thought it might be fun to peruse again.

To contribute more directly, here are some possible curses, off the top of my head:
-Item slows regeneration
-Item taxes your mana (increases all mana costs by some small amount)
-Item prevents you from having 0% fail rate (can only get 1% at best)
-Item is disenchantable --- cannot be enchanted, and can be disenchanted even if you resist.
-Weapon sometimes polymorphs monsters upon hitting
-Weapon sometimes teleports monsters away upon hitting
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Old November 1, 2009, 19:46   #10
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Random idea: what if curses got transferred to the player (rather than being stuck to the item)? This eliminates the "I'm stuck using a worthless item" angle but also means that curses can keep stacking up until (appropriately) removed.

It seems like it would be easier to make strong curses that aren't game ending this way. It would also be easier to have lots of interesting names/descriptions of the various curses affecting the player which have been either cast directly by an enemy or transmitted via an item.
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