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Old May 6, 2020, 15:18   #1
DavidMedley
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Musing: Fear Chain Reaction

The behavior of a monster feared into another monster is pretty disappointing. I was thinking of a battlefield where if one part of an army flees it can cause a chain reaction. What if one monster trying to flee into another monster was a coin-flip: 50% chance the fleeing monster is emboldened (current behavior), and 50% chance the monster he's fleeing into is panicked? Or if there's 1 monster fleeing into 5 it's 1/6, etc.

Just throwing this thought out there not yet fully formed. I know Sil uses these chain reactions on monster LoS, but that doesn't seem right for Vanilla.
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Old May 6, 2020, 17:43   #2
Monkey Face
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I think it should depend on the monster. That behavior makes sense for things like warriors, mages, and priests, but for random orcs I would think that one orc being chicken would cause the others to call him stupid and go charging into the fight themselves.
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Old May 6, 2020, 18:53   #3
archolewa
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I think a fear chain reaction makes sense against orcs. There are plenty of places in Tolkien's work where orcs are imbued with a great fear and it changes the tide of battle (most iconic being the Battle of Helm's Deep).

But I also agree that it should depend on the monsters, with different monsters having different susceptibilities. For hounds it makes sense to be fairly susceptible (since they're just animals), while it should be harder to chain fear Balrogs. Similarly, baby dragons should be susceptible to fear reactions, but not mature dragons.

In fact, I think it could be fun to make some creatures become *more* emboldened in some situations. Like a mature dragon should become more emboldened as its young flee from the murderous monster who suddenly showed up in their midst.
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Old May 6, 2020, 19:02   #4
DavidMedley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archolewa View Post
a mature dragon should become more emboldened as its young flee
I don't love the added complexity of most of your suggestion, but this bit is quite nice!
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Old July 1, 2020, 07:04   #5
DavidMedley
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Here's a suggestion that I got from someone on Angband.live: if a monster runs into a dead-end or another monster, any remaining fear it has is converted into a hold. If you leave it alone, it will cower in fear until it's normal fear duration would end. If you do any damage to it, it decides it has no choice but to fight. The main benefit of this plan, in my mind, is that it ends the easy courage recovery while requiring very little programming and user adjustment because we're using an existing and well understood effect.
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