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Old September 25, 2020, 13:20   #1
Dean Anderson
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Feedback wanted on new feature

I'm thinking of adding gods to Cthangband, and here's my idea of how I'd do it.

Since priests in Cthangband get two realms of magic (either Life or Death, plus either Chaos, Corporeal, Folk, Nature, or Tarot) my thought was that there would be five gods in the game (with names taken from the names of Great Ones in Lovecraft's Dreamlands, of course), corresponding to the five realms.
  • Nath-Horthath - god of war, gives Chaos magic
  • Lobon - god of youth and healing, gives Corporeal magic
  • Zo-Kalar - god of birth and death, gives Folk magic
  • Oukranos - god of the rivers, gives Nature magic
  • Tamash - god of magic and illusion, gives Tarot magic

The player will have a Favour score for each god, and this will go up and down as the game progresses. Each god will have a certain type of creature that it hates, and killing those will gain you favour with that god; and a type of creature that it likes, and killing those will lose you favour with that god. Additionally there will be altars dotted around and you can sacrifice items at these to gain favour with one of the gods based on the value of the item you sacrifice. I'm thinking that it should be balanced so keeping all the gods happy without sacrificing is going to be pretty hard, since you are going to be killing things they like as well as things they hate.

For most characters, the gods are all pretty equal in that you start with a baseline of zero favour with all of them and they all increase and decrease at similar rates. However, if you're a cleric then you choose your god/realm at the same time so you will have a special tie to one of them. Not only will you start with favour from your patron god, any favour gains and losses for that god will be multiplied - so pleasing them and refraining from annoying them is more important.

I've not decided yet whether there should be separate altars for the different gods or whether altars should be generic and you can sacrifice to any god at one. I've also not yet decided whether they should be found in towns or in wilderness shrines or in the dungeon or some combination of the above. I'm thinking that maybe I could make the temple work as a global altar so you could sacrifice to any god there, but then have altars to individual gods elsewhere.

The big thing I need to think about is what use favour is. Should it give you a passive bonus or should you spend it? And what sort of bonus/ability/whatever should it provide?

Also, should there be penalties if your favour with a god gets too low? Should they smite or inconvenience you in some way? I'm tempted to say no, since that way you can simply ignore the whole system if you're not interested in it, but it might be interesting if they do punish you for too many misdeeds.

Thoughts, anyone?
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