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Old January 5, 2014, 13:01   #21
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Originally Posted by Tarrant View Post
In one of Debo's LPs he mentioned the idea of remaking centipedes to very baby serpents, basically, since they function similarly- they're both high armor, relatively low health, and low evasion (IIRC), and if it was sufficiently juvenile it could justify the lack of breath weapon.
Yes, we're thinking of doing this, though it might require a bit of a reorganisation of the early monsters. I'm wondering about the ASCII graphics for them as presumably both the hatchlings and the standard serpents would be 's'. My current thinking is for hatchlings to not shimmer (just choose one of the two shimmer colours for it). This is still slightly confusing, but since hatchlings will be in levels 3 to 7 and adults in levels 13 to 17, I can't see it being too problematic. Another option is to make adults also not shimmer and to give them the other colour from hatchlings and to have only the Ancient ones shimmer.
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Old January 5, 2014, 13:30   #22
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Originally Posted by Infinitum View Post
Lining up another kick on this horse becasue, y'know, worms? Anyhow, what about making them undead? Or rather, what remains of Maiar/Raukar/Balrogs/whatever whose physical bodies have been destroyed in ages past, yet whose spirits are yet bound to Arda (and are drawn to morgoth because Evil).

Basically they are weak and spiteful but call others of their kinds to their aid should they notice the player character.
tl;dr - this idea has great promise.

Maiar were really just spirits (for want of a better word) with the power to incarnate themselves at will. Balrogs probably put so much power into their incarnate form that they weakened their spiritual part and bodily destruction was disastrous (kind of like Sauron with the ring).

Elves and Men, on the other hand, had spirits which were detached from their bodies and called to the halls of Mandos when the bodies died. Here's the best stuff on detached spirits:
It is therefore a foolish and perilous thing, besides being a wrong deed forbidden justly by the appointed Rulers of Arda, if the Living seek to commune with the Unbodied, though the houseless may desire it, especially the most unworthy among them. For the Unbodied, wandering in the world, are those who at the least have refused the door of life and remain in regret and self-pity. Some are filled with bitterness, grievance, and envy. Some were enslaved by the Dark Lord and do his work still, though he himself is gone. They will not speak truth or wisdom. To call on them is folly. To attempt to master them and to make them servants of one own’s will is wickedness. Such practices are of Morgoth; and the necromancers are of the host of Sauron his servant.
Some say that the Houseless desire bodies, though they are not willing to seek them lawfully by submission to the judgment of Mandos. The wicked among them will take bodies, if they can, unlawfully. The peril of communing with them is, therefore, not only the peril of being deluded by fantasies or lies: there is peril also of destruction. For one of the hungry Houseless, if it is admitted to the friendship of the Living, may seek to eject the fea [spirit] from its body; and in the contest for mastery the body may be gravely injured, even if it be not wrested from its rightful habitant. Or the Houseless may plead for shelter, and it if is admitted, then it will seek to enslave its host and use both his will and his body for his own purposes. It is said that Sauron did these things, and taught his followers how to achieve them.
For anyone still interested, this is from Morgoth's Ring - Vol 10 of Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle Earth. There's a whole raft more about how spirits and bodies interact, but even I have limits on how far I'm prepared to derail the thread.
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Old January 6, 2014, 00:07   #23
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Wow, that almost reads like an explanation of why Christians should not deal with the occult...
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Old January 7, 2014, 07:39   #24
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IMHO, keep 'hatchling serpents' as 'c'. Because a 'c' is half as long as an 's' is half as long as an 'S'
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Old February 4, 2014, 20:58   #25
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Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Hey, you're pretty good at these monster suggestions. Thanks. Keep them up!
Thanks! Aight, consider this thread hijacked. This is now all indiscriminate bitching about monster interpretations in general.

Not as much a serious suggestion as severe lore OCD on my part, but cold Dragons/Serpents shouldn't canonically get to breathe anything. Removing the cold damage and breath and maybe having them appear earlier than they presently do would also help distinguish them mechanically from the fire dragons. Apparently some of the elder ones were able to breathe mist and steam - maybe that could be implemented as a LOS blocker irrespective of light levels?

(Source, since I'm just too intellectually lazy to find relevant passages today).

Of course, removing the cold damage attribute and breath from them would remove half the cold-affiliated monsters in the game and would require rebalancing/relocating both the cold drakes themselves as well as the potion availability lategame. I wouldn't mind personally - cold damage is not well documented in the background and is mechanically just a reiteration of fire, making it the least interesting damage type imho. Conserving potion stacks is a bitch, too (fire is far easier to work around).

Also speaking of dragons, how come Serpents aren't considered drakes by weapons of Nargothrond? It would probably be too good what with them easily bypassing the max armor they possess and all, but still. Would give weapons of Nargothrond more utility in the early game as well, especialy if centipedes are reimagined as hatchlings (love that suggestion btw, especially the keeping the c glyph part).

Also, Gostir? I don't recall encountering him ingame, but in case he haven't been included he would make a nice addition what with his gimmick and all.

EDIT: Speaking of dragons; I seem to recall Ancalagon's glyph being a lowercase black d ingame (not sure as I've only encountered him once outside the throneroom)? Shouldn't it be uppercase D (and bolded), or is my recollection wrong?

Last edited by Infinitum; February 4, 2014 at 21:09.
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Old February 4, 2014, 21:09   #26
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Couple things

- Cold drakes already don't breathe anything
- the 'cold' serpents are called 'sapphire', not 'cold'. They do breathe.
- The serpents are gemstoney monsters with hard skins (really hard to damage). Dragons are softer skinned and, well, dragon-y.

I'm not sure if serpents are canon or not. They are sort of like cats in that they're a pretty visible group of monsters in Sil, but don't have a "species designation" (you can't bane them, there's nothing that slays them, etc.)
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Old February 4, 2014, 21:34   #27
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Never noticed the Cold Drakes not breathing (edit: sic!). The more you know. They're still color-doded for convenience regarding melee damage and fire weakness though, so there's that. Or are they weak to fire? I've deleted my winning savefiles so can't check the monster memory but I'm almost positive I know what I'm talking about. Probably.
EDIT: Goddamnit. Disregard most everything I just typed then. Awesome.

Pretty sure serpent is used as a synonyme for dragon in Tolkien lore (there are mythological precedents, eg lindworms in norse myths), so I assumed they are meant to represent a designated subspecies in sil as well?

Last edited by Infinitum; February 4, 2014 at 23:38.
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Old February 4, 2014, 22:11   #28
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Cold drakes are not vulnerable to fire. Serpent-bane does exist (but has anyone ever taken it?).
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Old February 4, 2014, 23:55   #29
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Originally Posted by mnoqy View Post
Cold drakes are not vulnerable to fire. Serpent-bane does exist (but has anyone ever taken it?).
Compared to others they are (as they do not resist fire).

There is not even one unique serpent. Has anyone used bane for anything but raukar, dragons or wolves?

Most players can avoid or kill serpents. Most serpent kills are probably by darkness or indirectly (even losing potions is quite bad nowadays) by breath or sitting in the way when player has to escape. But bane does not even help against most of these.

Last edited by taptap; February 5, 2014 at 00:25.
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Old February 10, 2014, 00:04   #30
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Me apparantly being illiterate aside, maybe molds could be replaced with terrain features? Angband is canonically volcanically active, so thermal vents spewing forth various kinds of noxious vapors (darkness, stunning, confusing, blinding, draining, acidic etc) wouldn't look entirely out of place and be thematically similar to the danger zones created by molds (and without being trivialized by ranged attacks).
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