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Old April 19, 2010, 00:11   #1
fyonn
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Idea's for a revised set of prayer books

After the discussion at the end of the Holy Infusions thread, I thought I'd start a new thread with some of my idea's to revise the priest prayer set. To restate, I think that a number of the prayers available for priests are kinda useless, so I've put down some idea's for changes and you can all bat them around and tell me if you think they're worth while or not.

The PoV I'm coming from is that all the prayers should be of some decent use, and they should be thematically consistent. A prayer that virtually no-one ever uses might as well not be there. Also, I see priests as being middling warriors with a set of useful utility spells that are mostly focussed on self defence, healing and increased understanding of the world around them.

to give my angband credentials.. I've been playing the game on an off since the early 90's. honestly I tend to get characters into the mid-30's and then get careless, but I have beat the game once Thus I'm happy to accept advice from one and all. Also, any figures I use are just suggestions, feel free to comment on whether they should go up or down.

oh, and I must admit, I'm not a programmer (or I haven't been one in a long time), so I guess this is all just idea's but I'm trying to help improve things, and I've tried to think around ideas that shouldn't be too hard to implement (he says never having looked at the source).


Book 1: Beginners Handbook

I'm mostly pretty happy with the beginners handbook. all the spells are useful.

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Detect Evil
b) Cure Light Wounds
c) Bless
d) Remove Fear
e) Call Light
f) Find Traps, Doors & Stairs
h) Slow Poison


Book 2: Words of Wisdom

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Scare Monster

I've virtually never used this prayer. Does it's effectiveness change with clvl? I think that this could be useful if it was effective. uniques should not be immune unless they are of a type that would resist fear (ie undead and Golems). I don't see that lagduf wouldn't be scared by a high level character wielding a mace.

b) Portal
c) Cure Serious Wounds
d) Chant

I very rarely think to cast "Chant" (or "Prayer") as I tend to cast them for specific battles. how about upping the bonuses? Perhaps make it +10 AC and +15 to hit for 24+1d24 turns?

e) Sanctuary

Like "Scare Monster", I think this should be made effective, power rising in effect with clvl and only appropriate uniques should be immune, not all of them. I do use this when corridor fighting to hold back the tide so I can go rest, but too many creatures that I want a break from don't seem to be affected

f) Satisfy Hunger
g) Remove Curse
h) Resist Heat and Cold

I'm not sure this is consistent with priests, mages are the ones all about the elements. I'd consider removing this completely.


Book 3: Chants and Blessings

no problems with this book

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Neutralize Poison
b) Orb of Draining
c) Cure Critical Wounds
d) Sense Invisible
e) Protection from Evil
f) Earthquake
g) Sense Surroundings
h) Cure Mortal Wounds
i) Turn Undead

Book 4: Exorcism and Dispelling

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Prayer

Like with "Chant", I think that as well as the extra time, the bonuses should be upped as well. perhaps +20AC, +20 to Hit

b) Dispel Undead
c) Heal
d) Dispel Evil
e) Glyph of Warding
f) Holy Word

Book 5: Ethereal Openings

no problems with this book

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Blink
b) Teleport Self
c) Teleport Other
d) Teleport Level
e) Word of Recall
f) Alter Reality

Book 6: Godly Insights

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Detect Monsters

Bearing in mind that this is a deeper level dungeon book and characters at this level are likely to have see invis by now, I think that this spell should detect all monsters, visible and invisible, live, and dead etc. just visible monsters makes it only a bit more useful than "Detect Evil"

b) Detection
c) Perception
d) Probing

I almost never use this spell as the creatures I want to use it on are dangerous enough that time in their line of sight I don't want to spend 40 mana on checking their HP. I'd like to be able to combine this with "Detect Evil", "Detect Monsters" or "Detection" and be able to do the probing across the dungeon. Also, does it only reveal HP as that's all I've ever seemed to get from it. does it fill anything else into monster memory? I'd like to see it fill out average HP for that class of monster and give a little more info like what attacks it can do and for what damage.

e) Clairvoyance

Book 7: Purifications and Healing

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Cure Serious Wounds
b) Cure Mortal Wounds

I think these two spells are only worth being here if they are significantly cheaper then the earlier versions. and at the level you find this book, does it matter any more? Don't most people cast "Heal" or "Healing" instead at this point? TBH, I can't remember the last time I found this with a character that could use it

c) Healing
d) Restoration
e) Remembrance

Book 8: Holy Infusions

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Unbarring Ways
b) Recharging
c) Dispel Curse
d) Enchant Weapon
e) Enchant Armour
f) Elemental Brand

Three main problems with this: firstly, it applies to melee weapons only, not missile weapons where it would be useful. Secondly by the time you get the book, branding a weapon with flame or frost is a bit redundant as you're likely to have an artefact or at least high ego weapon which this won't touch and the money from selling "upgraded" weapons is neither here nor there with one's massive bank account at this stage. Thirdly, it's elemental, which doesn't fit with the priest dynamic.

Instead how about a prayer (or prayers) to "brand" missiles to be of "Slay Evil" or "Slay Undead" instead? Of course, another word instead of "brand", but I can't think of anything atm

Book 9: Wrath of God

I feel that a book called "Wrath of God" should have a bit more to it.

Prayer
-----------------------
a) Dispel Undead
b) Dispel Evil

These are cheaper than the earlier versions but by the time you've got the book, does it matter?

c) Banish Evil
d) Word of Destruction

Isn't this just a slightly bigger earthquake? seems slightly pointless

e) Annihilation

I don't feel it does sufficient damage and it should at least do at least double

----------------------------------------

I have have some idea's for new spells which could be scattered amongst the books


Mass Scare

Like scare, but for every creature in sight. might be useful when dealign with a room full of attackers but you want to focus on one in particular


Paralyse

A prayer to paralyse one's opponent so that they can't move or attack. whether they can cast spells or breathe is an open question. This should be more powerful with clvl so that a level 50 character should be able to use it against some pretty nasty creatures. WoG maybe?


Resist Nether

a prayer for this high resist, makes more sense to me than heat and cold. could fit into P&H?


Litany against fear

a Prayer to cure fear and then give temporary "Resist Fear". a castable potion of heroism basically. Go at the end of words of wisdom?


Unbendable Purpose

Temporary resist confusion. Exorcism and Dispelling?


Aggravate

Castable aggravate basically, to call creatures towards you


Unbearable Lightness of Being

A prayer which creates a field around the player (diameter 2 or 3) in which evil creatures should have to pass a roll not to be scared, and if not scared, should take damage while in the field. Unlike the others, I appreciate that this might involve a bit more programming that the others, but might also be a good candidate for WoG?




One question, why are priests uncomfortable using swords but happy with arrows? should we make use of pointy missiles cause a penalty. unless the arrows/bolts are blessed perhaps? and maybe with blessed missiles and possibly a prayer to bless missiles? of course, a sling would be fine.

Anyway, there you go. thanks for reading this novella on idea's I had for improving the prayer books. let me know what you all think.

David
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Old April 19, 2010, 01:31   #2
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Originally Posted by fyonn View Post
d) Word of Destruction

Isn't this just a slightly bigger earthquake? seems slightly pointless
You just called the most powerful spell in the game "slightly pointless".
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Old April 19, 2010, 01:32   #3
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Branding missile weapons with slay evil or undead would be massively overpowered with the current missile weapon set. The only reason Cubragol isn't completely broken as it stands is that most monsters worth shooting resist fire, but most of the monsters you'd be fighting late in the game are evil and/or undead. Basically you'd be making the priest twice as effective with missile weapons as soon as they get the spell.

Word of Destruction is not just a more powerful earthquake. It also banishes all monsters in the radius and removes all non-artifact items. It's very useful, as it's basically the only foolproof escape spell.

For your suggested new spells:

Mass Fear, Paralyze: I've never really bothered with status effect spells, personally. They have the problem of either being reliable, and therefore overpowered, or else being unreliable, and therefore not worth spending mana and turns on.

Litany against Fear: I'd just call this Heroism, and toss in the HP/to-hit bonus that it gives as well. No need to have multiple names for the same effect. Likewise, "Unbendable Purpose" should just be called "Resist Confusion".

Unbearable yadda yadda: this sounds a bit frou-frou to me. A radius effect that frightens evil monsters or deals damage to them? Again, I don't consider status effect spells to be good ideas, and a spell that acts as free damage over time once cast seems a bit too much of a no-brainer to me: "Once I reach level 40, every turn a monster spends standing next to me they'll take 30 damage? Well, the damage is puny, but it's free, so I may as well just keep this going all the time." Remember, the vast majority of deep monsters are evil. Though actually, if this did cause fear, I'd probably find it to be useless. Much of the point of priests is that they can stand in melee thanks to their infinite healing; if they have to chase their monsters down all the time to actually hit them in melee, though, then they're much less effective.
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Old April 19, 2010, 11:06   #4
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I fully agree that the bless/chant/prayer spells should actually go up in power with clvl as opposed to just longer spell duration. As your character becomes stronger, the effect of prayer becomes less proportionately. [+10] when your AC is 200 isn't all that useful. Maybe d(clvl/2) to hit and d(clvl) to AC would make it a worthy spell, and would align it with the damage of the dispel spells in the Ex&D book
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Old April 19, 2010, 17:43   #5
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Originally Posted by StJude View Post
I fully agree that the bless/chant/prayer spells should actually go up in power with clvl as opposed to just longer spell duration. As your character becomes stronger, the effect of prayer becomes less proportionately. [+10] when your AC is 200 isn't all that useful. Maybe d(clvl/2) to hit and d(clvl) to AC would make it a worthy spell, and would align it with the damage of the dispel spells in the Ex&D book
Because high-level priests are currently so weak and really need to have better native melee....
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Old April 19, 2010, 18:16   #6
Derakon
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That's what I was thinking -- boosting existing priest spells, or replacing useless spells with useful spells, will make the priest stronger, and he's already one of the better classes. So as you look to improve his spellbooks, what are you planning to do to weaken him? Bring his melee down to the mage level? Make him useless at missile weapons? Reduce his hit die? Remove Orb of Draining?

Actually, I could get behind that latter.
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Old April 19, 2010, 18:45   #7
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
That's what I was thinking -- boosting existing priest spells, or replacing useless spells with useful spells, will make the priest stronger, and he's already one of the better classes. So as you look to improve his spellbooks, what are you planning to do to weaken him? Bring his melee down to the mage level? Make him useless at missile weapons? Reduce his hit die? Remove Orb of Draining?

Actually, I could get behind that latter.
I think the penalties for wielding pointy weapons/bows/xbows should be much more substantial. Make the priest take a hit to the mana (like a mage and gloves). Also drop his max hits to 4, like a mage. Change "brand weapon" to "bless weapon".
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Old April 19, 2010, 19:06   #8
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
You just called the most powerful spell in the game "slightly pointless".
well, my winner was with a mage, not a priest. having rechecked the descriptions, I can see the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
Word of Destruction is not just a more powerful earthquake. It also banishes all monsters in the radius and removes all non-artifact items. It's very useful, as it's basically the only foolproof escape spell.
banish's, ie teleports away or destroys? and I guess uniques would not get destroyed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
Mass Fear, Paralyze: I've never really bothered with status effect spells, personally. They have the problem of either being reliable, and therefore overpowered, or else being unreliable, and therefore not worth spending mana and turns on.
well, I guess it depends on what level of creature it's reliable against? I would hope it would be reliable against relatively weak creatures, soso on fairly equivalent ones and iffy on more powerful ones. how to gauge that is a fine line is the question I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
Litany against Fear: I'd just call this Heroism, and toss in the HP/to-hit bonus that it gives as well. No need to have multiple names for the same effect. Likewise, "Unbendable Purpose" should just be called "Resist Confusion".
re the names, I was thinking along the lines of "chant", "sanctuary", "prayer" and "word of destruction" as more descriptive rather than utilitarian names. but it matters not.

I did wonder about adding these effects to chant and prayer though. ie chant being bless with heroism, prayer being chant with res conf as well but I wondered if that was too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
Unbearable yadda yadda: this sounds a bit frou-frou to me.
okay, I was just kinda brainstorming. It feels like WoG could do with something a bit more than is currently in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
That's what I was thinking -- boosting existing priest spells, or replacing useless spells with useful spells, will make the priest stronger, and he's already one of the better classes. So as you look to improve his spellbooks, what are you planning to do to weaken him? Bring his melee down to the mage level? Make him useless at missile weapons? Reduce his hit die? Remove Orb of Draining?
well, I did suggest making priests uncomfortable with with pointy missiles. then perhaps introduce blessed missiles? slings of course would not be a problem.

as for pulling OoD... now sure if it's required. it's a great mid to low level damage spell, but past a certain level, missile attacks can way out-damage it. it's useful to have it as "free" ammo though.

that said, as a priest I do over use OoD a lot. I'm not sure I'd want to get rid of it completely, but perhaps back it up with something else as well.

dave
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Old April 19, 2010, 19:43   #9
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Word of Destruction banishes monsters, like with the Banish and Mass Banish spells, except that it works on uniques and doesn't cost any hitpoints (though it will blind you if you don't resist blindness). In other words, the monsters are gone, removed from the level. This is why you always teleport Morgoth away before using a Destruction effect; otherwise you have to start the fight over from scratch.

Thinking about it, I like the idea of removing Orb of Draining more and more. It's not a very priestly spell, is it? There's only two aimed damage spells in the entire priest lexicon: Orb of Draining and Annihilation. OoD is really very powerful, especially against evil, and completely changes the priest's gameplay as soon as it's obtained. Removing it would be a significant nerf, and yet would make the priest play more like (I think) a priest should play: by buffing himself and getting into melee, with healing spells to back him up. You can balance the removal with the improved spells being discussed here.
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Old April 19, 2010, 19:43   #10
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d) Probing

I almost never use this spell as the creatures I want to use it on are dangerous enough that time in their line of sight I don't want to spend 40 mana on checking their HP. I'd like to be able to combine this with "Detect Evil", "Detect Monsters" or "Detection" and be able to do the probing across the dungeon. Also, does it only reveal HP as that's all I've ever seemed to get from it. does it fill anything else into monster memory? I'd like to see it fill out average HP for that class of monster and give a little more info like what attacks it can do and for what damage.
It almost completely fills in the monster memory, including average HP (ie "life rating"), resists and susceptibilities. Personally, I really like the spell and usually my characters carry around a rod of probing. It is excellent for deciding which ammo to use on ringwraiths, for example. Once you develop a decent monster memory, it becomes unnecessary for sure. (And many people on this forum advocate reading the monster memory from the files. Since there are several mechanisms in-game to discover this knowledge, I consider using moster spoilers as cheating.)

I would like probing to take on bigger role in the gameplay, and the most obvious way to do that is with randomly generated uniques/monsters. I just don't see that happening.
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