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Old March 20, 2012, 23:08   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, US
Posts: 3,012
fizzix is on a distinguished road

I've been thinking about whether illusory monsters would be a useful concept. The basic idea is to create a new monster type, an illusion, that have the following characteristics:

They move exactly the same as normal monsters
They can cast spells and cause mental status effects (confusion, blindness, fear, hallucination)
They cannot cause physical status effects (all spells/attacks deal 0 damage. No stat draining, paralysis, poison, inventory destruction.)
They disappear/dissipate when you successfully attack them
They always appear to have full health, except for self-illusions.
They are always awake, except for static illusions which can never awaken.
They cannot cause any physical damage (all attacks and spells deal 0 damage)
They can be dissipated by stronger monsters that push past them (but weaker monsters are afraid to try.)

Then we could have the following monster spells:

SUMMON_ILLUSIONS: summons monsters as our normal summon_monster spell, perhaps with a small (5%) chance of an illusion being a real monster.
similarly there could be spells like,
SUMMON_IDRAGONS: summons illusory dragons. etc. etc.
CLONE_SELF: Make several illusory copies of the monster casting the spell. These illusions appear to have the same HP as the casting monster at all times. Upon casting, the caster immediately swaps places with one of the illusions.

Also the player spell
DISPEL_ILLUSIONS: Remove all illusions in line of sight.

You could have static illusions that appear on trap squares (when the player tries to attack, they step on the trap.)

There could also be a intermediate step between, full realistic illusion and dissipated. This would be an illusion that exists but that is recognized by @ as faulty. This illusion continues to act as normal but can no longer cause status effects. It would be nice to distinguish a known fake from the real deal to the player. If @ knows the player should be able to see this as well.

I'm guessing area of effect spells should dissipate all illusions, but this seems a little cheap. Maybe there's another approach?

Here are some basic monsters that I think should have the spells.

Illusionist, mage: S_Illusion
Sorcerer, Dark elven sorcerer: S_illusion, clone self
Will of the wisp, harowen, draebor: clone self

Lastly, there is probably a way to also allow @ to create self-illusions, but this doesn't seem useful enough to be worth the tremendous hassle involved.
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