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Old December 10, 2013, 21:13   #1
Infinitum
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Cursed item idea

Because I always found the idea of someone deliberatley creating harmful items that superglues themselves to the wearer somewhat derpy (and finding staffs of sanctity in the endgame can be annoying) - what about replacing the no unwielding without sanctity clause with a Will test (the strength of which depends on how cursed the item in question is). If passed, the item is removed and placed in the characters inventory.

Now, actuallt dropping the item to the ground (or throwing it) requires the character to pass a much harder Will test in order to let go of it completely. Carried cursed items periodically forces will tests (harder if worn), which if failed causes hosts of bad shit (tm) to happen (Terror, entrancement, confusion, Stun, forcing the character to wield the item in question, aggroing monsters, drawing monsters to the level, permanently increase the difficulty level of the item, draining Grace etc etc), but otherwise carries positive enchantments to encourage the player to keep them around. Maybe change Staves of sanctity to only temporarily lowers the curse's difficulty level rather than removing it outright.

The idea is to give the player meaningful choices whether to keep the item or not, increasing Will early to get rid of a cursed item (or simply spend lots of turns attempting to succeed dropping it), wearing the item or keeping it as a swap or prioritizing will-improving gear to simply deal with it etc. It's also more in line with Tolkiens theme of the corruptive influence of power rather than the current "screw you for playing the ID-game" that most cursed items boil down to (except for the interesting ones like Haunted Dreams etc).

"You wield the plain gold ring. You have a very bad feeling about this -more-
-more- you feel more protected somehow. You realize you are wearing a Ring of Protection (1d2) (cursed)"

"You attempt to remove the Ring of Protection (+1d2) (cursed) -more-
-more- [success] you reluctantly pocket it instead."

"You attempt to drop the Ring of Protection (+1d2) (cursed) -more-
-more- [failure] yet it is precious to you. Better hold on to it for now."

"Wherever did you keep your Ring of Protection (+1d2) (cursed)?! -more-
-more- You are confused!"

"Your Ring of Protection (+1d2) (cursed) is on your mind again -more-
-more- your gently stroke your dearest Ring of Protection (+1d2)"

"The sight of your dearest Ring of Protection (+1d2) bewitches you! -more-
-more- You have been entranced! The Troll Guard hits you! You die. -more-"

Last edited by Infinitum; December 11, 2013 at 01:46.
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Old December 10, 2013, 21:59   #2
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I like the general idea, but not the mechanic of having to beat a random will roll, because if you can clear out a safe place on the level and lock yourself in you can try arbitrarily long to drop a cursed item no matter how bad your will is, introducing tedium.

OTOH you could have each cursed item have a fixed 'strength vs being dropped' value, either fixed based on the stats of the item, with some variance or with a lot of variance, and then simply check will VS strength - if higher, you can do the action you tried to. This is reminiscent of systems where you only get one chance to spot a trap because it has a fixed 'hiddenness' value your fixed 'perception' must beat (sangband I think?) as well as crawl where you automatically id a weapon if your combat skill beats its fixed number.
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Old December 12, 2013, 04:05   #3
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If it were a random roll the difficulty could increase when you fail, then and decrease when over time to its base, allowing you to try to remove or drop it periodically.

If you have no chance of removing the item, the game should tell you.

Cursed equipment straight up mesmerising you or confusing you sounds like it could lead to some unfair deaths.
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Old December 12, 2013, 12:07   #4
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I think the original idea, MINUS the periodic effect thing, is the best. Locking an inventory slot is enough punishment, I think, and Patashu's argument - if there weren't an ACTUAL game clock that forces you forward, it would be valid, but as it stands it's more like "Am I willing to spend the limited amount of time I have on trying to free one of my inventory slots?"

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Old December 12, 2013, 18:37   #5
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The periodic effect does simulate the item breaking the will of the wearer nicely though. Also it presents the player with a harder choice whether to keep "good" cursed items or not (say, Calris. Or a cursed +1 Ring of Damage or whatever). Without actual downsides besides unwearability (either the periodic thing or negative properties of the item itself) finding a strong cursed item only becomes a question of whether the player wants easy access to swaps or not.

Of course, the actual nature of the cursed effects could vary. Is it possible to assign different effects to difference magnitudes of failure on a will roll? If so, the relatively deadly effects (if they were implemented) could require a pretty severely failed will test from the player.

Failing that, there are plenty other effects that whilst debilerating wouldn't outright kill the player should it be considered too unfair (albeit the player can always avoid that particular deathtrap by getting rid of the item, but I digress).
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Old December 12, 2013, 19:00   #6
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What about cursed items that make specific kinds of monsters harder? E.g. that make it harder to escape from webs, or penalize your stealth vs. orcs, or reduce your light when shadowy monsters are in LOS, etc. Of course the effect would need to persist even when the item is not worn (since otherwise you'd just swap it out when facing the corresponding threat), but it'd be a persistent, non-periodic penalty that the player could plan around.
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Old December 12, 2013, 20:13   #7
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Nick if you're reading this - this Infinitum guy has pretty good ideas, could they form the core of a new design of cursed items in V?

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Old December 12, 2013, 21:33   #8
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Apart from sticky curse, I would imagine noisy curse, and droppy curse.

But an artefact that entrances you would be absolutely retarded.
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Old December 12, 2013, 22:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narvius View Post
I think the original idea, MINUS the periodic effect thing, is the best. Locking an inventory slot is enough punishment, I think, and Patashu's argument - if there weren't an ACTUAL game clock that forces you forward, it would be valid, but as it stands it's more like "Am I willing to spend the limited amount of time I have on trying to free one of my inventory slots?"
You are correct that it does allow for correct balance - you are weighing 'desire to get rid of the cursed item' alongside 'how likely I am to get rid of the cursed item' vs 'how much I value having game clock ticks'. But as written it would do so in a tedious and not very transparent way.
-The mechanism of getting rid of the cursed item is an opposed roll. If the roll is very easy to make, there is no tradeoff at all - as soon as you're remotely safe, you will be able to take it off very quickly. If it is very hard to make, then there is a tradeoff - but an unusual one, as it has an extremely random distribution - it could come off quickly or take forever at no fault of the user. It's not like healing, recuperating voice or waiting for enemies to move around the map, which are also turn/safety tradeoffs but are intuitive and easy to predict how long they take.
-Having to do the same action over and over until it works is tedious and annoying if there is no immediate danger -> it's just a thing you have to do for maintenance. (Things like pits and webs are fine - they present a danger to the user, especially if there are enemies around.)
-As an artificial, randomized, new 'turn sink' with no fixed rate of how long it takes players will not have a good intuition for how badly they're hurting their character's future by wasting turn clock.

Why I want it to be beating a fixed number with your will + bonuses - it makes it clearly communicated to the user what they need to do to get rid of the item. Do I spend points in will, or in a skill that makes it easier to get rid of cursed items? Do I chug a potion of grace to help or save it and wait? Do I need a staff of sanctity? Etc.

I think the logic behind this is similar to the logic behind violet mold con loss not going away naturally over time - it turns what would be an either uninteresting (Well, of course you'll wear off the con loss, it only takes __ turns!) or hard to weigh due to abstractness (I have to wait 1000 turns? How much is 1000 turns worth anyway?) choice into needing to plan into your character's future - how to deal with con loss now, how to cure sooner?
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Old December 12, 2013, 23:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patashu View Post
-Having to do the same action over and over until it works is tedious and annoying if there is no immediate danger -> it's just a thing you have to do for maintenance. (Things like pits and webs are fine - they present a danger to the user, especially if there are enemies around.)
This is actually a problem for locked doors, too. It sucks to fail 30x to pick the when you are playing a low STR character who can't really kick down a door.
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