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Old January 8, 2012, 06:52   #1
Antoine
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A minimal band

Hi

In a previous thread (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=5165) I set out a manifesto for an Angband variant with sparse, minimalistic content and an improved UI.

That thread turned into a UI discussion and I've now decided to step out of the UI workplan (which is being handled by much more capable people) and try to implement only the gameplay aspects of my manifesto. These were:

- Less Stuff (fewer races, classes, monsters, uniques, items, egos, artifacts, etc etc)
- Difficult game, with key consumables (including means of detection, escape and healing) being limited, some resistance holes being very hard to plug given the limited equipment selection, some monsters being very hard to defeat in-depth, and the risk of instadeath always awaiting the incautious player.
- Game to take about as long to complete as modern Vanilla, with the end bosses being Sauron and Morgoth (at DL 49/50 respectively)

I will follow up with a series of (long) posts setting out my first cut at the design (done over the Xmas holidays). Any feedback welcome (but I suggest you may like to read the entire series of posts before commenting, as some design decisions may then make more sense).

If my posts are felt to be too long/annoying I will be happy to set up a dev blog somewhere else. Just let me know.

A.
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Last edited by Antoine; January 8, 2012 at 07:05.
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Old January 8, 2012, 07:22   #2
Antoine
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Post #1 - Monsters

My plan is to work from a current version of NPP (if the NPP devs are happy with that), with various changes. One of the first things I've done is to prune the NPP monster list heavily. The result is below.

The list is much shorter than in NPP or V but still too long to comply with my manifesto (I'd like to get down to a total of 100 critters; currently I have 38 uniques and 86 other monsters).

You'll notice some kinds of monsters are missing entirely (for instance: mimics, early stat-draining ghosts, early melee confusers). You'll also notice the top-end monsters are less tough than in NPP. The reasons should become clear after a few more posts.

Uniques

Code:
1  Grip
2  Smeagol
3  Bullroarer
4  Lagduf
5  Wormtongue
6  Golfimbul
7  Ulfast (or replacement from Quick)
8  Ufthak
9  Nar
10 Shagrat
11 Ugluk (or replacement from Quick)
12 Azog
13 Angamaite (or replacement from Quick)
14 Uldor
15 Mim
16 Lokkak (rebranded?)
17 Maglor
18 Uvatha (rebranded?)
20 Maedhros
22 Adunaphel (rebranded?)
24 Scatha
26 Eol
28 Smaug
30 Hoarmurath (rebranded? powered-down, too)
32 Mouth of Sauron
34 Balrog of Moria (considerably boosted)
36 Thuringwethil
38 Glaurung
40 Saruman
42 Atlas (rebrand as a Storm Giant chieftain? Apart from Lokkak, he is the only unTolkienesque unique now)
43 Maeglin
44 Witch-King
45 Carcharoth
46 Ancalagon
47 Gothmog
48 Ungoliant
49 Sauron (can be weaker than in current NPP)
50 Morgoth (ditto)
Non-uniques
Code:
1  Floating eye
   Jackal
   Large snake  	[was: large yellow snake]
   Giant ant 		[was: giant black ant]
   Kobold
2  Thief  		[was: scruffy-looking hobbit]
   Poltergeist
   Kobold shaman
   Kobold archer
   Black naga
3  Goblin 		[was: snaga]
   Rattlesnake
   Green naga
4  Scorpion  		[was: wood spider] 
   Orc  		[was: hill orc] 
   Red naga
5  White dragon  	[a bit tougher than current 'baby']
   Dark elf	 	[was: dark elven mage]
   Giant fly		[was: giant fruit fly]
6  Priest  		[with heal-others spell from Quick]
   Black orc
   Crebain
7  Black dragon 
   Illusionist
   Ochre jelly
8  Giant spider		[was: mirkwood spider]
   Homunculus
   Uruk
9  Green dragon
   Umber hulk
   Frozen spirit  	[from Quick]
10 Ranger
   Quythulg spawn  	[was: quythulg]
   Chimaera  		[with beefed-up breath]
11 Blue dragon  	[like current "young"]
   Iron golem
   Wight  		[was: forest wight. Add a Dex-draining attack]
12 Ogre 		[was: cave ogre]
   Rogue 		[was: master rogue]
   Ghoul
13 Bronze dragon
   Mage
   Vampire
14 Mind flayer
   Frost giant
   Colbran
15 Red dragon  		[between current "young" and "mature"]
   Fire giant
   Ghost
16 Mercury golem  	[from Quick]
   Earth elemental
   Air elemental
17 Gold dragon  	[like current "mature"]
   Troll  		[was: cave troll]
   Chaos adept  	[from Quick]
18 Stone golem  	[was: colossus]
   Giant roc  		[dial up speed a bit?]
19 Chromatic dragon  	[somewhere carefully selected between "mature" and "ancient". Characters are unlikely to have RPois at this point]
   Vrock
20 Dread  		[the group version]
   Sorcerer  		[ease off on the speed a bit]
21 White wyrm  		[like current "ancient"]
   Hezrou
22 Berserker
   Lich  		[was: master lich]
23 Marilith
   Quythulg  		[can summon demons/dragons/undead]
24 Black wyrm
25 Antediluvian  	[was: elder vampire. Weaken a bit - was DL 54]
26 Cyclops  		[boosted considerably]
27 Green wyrm
28 Druj  		[hybrid of current hand, eye and skull]
29 Balrog  		[was: lesser balrog]
30 Blue wyrm
31 Dracolich
32 Osyluth
33 Bronze wyrm  	[like current great wyrm]
34 Storm giant  	[somewhere carefully selected between current lesser titan and greater titan]
35 Gelugon
36 Red wyrm
37 Nightwalker  	[reduce speed a bit]
38 Master quythulg  	[can summon hi-dragon, hi-demon and hi-undead, but has lower summons as well]
39 Gold wyrm
40 Pit fiend  		[remove hi-dragon summons and maybe chaos breath]
41 Black reaver  	[ease off on high-end attack spells]
42 Chromatic wyrm
More to follow.
A.
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Old January 8, 2012, 08:59   #3
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I have the same minimalist concept as a part of my variant. It seems very nice. Angband definitely have too much stuff currently. Btw another concept change I have, is seriously shifting power from the equipment towards temporary buffs from potions.
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Old January 8, 2012, 11:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine View Post
Code:
42 Atlas (rebrand as a Storm Giant chieftain? Apart from Lokkak, he is the only unTolkienesque unique now)
In Tolkien's early mythology, there were two giants called Nan and Gilim, apparently representing summer and winter (you will find them in Sil).
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Old January 8, 2012, 12:09   #5
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I think a band without Hounds is not a real Angband.

I had thought about making a minimal Angband, whenever I feel like programming again. But I don't think this will happen anytime soon.
But I would have not made it harder. I am not really good at games.
For Classes I would say Fighter , Mage and Figher/Mage are enough.
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Old January 8, 2012, 14:16   #6
Malak Darkhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
I think a band without Hounds is not a real Angband.

I had thought about making a minimal Angband, whenever I feel like programming again. But I don't think this will happen anytime soon.
But I would have not made it harder. I am not really good at games.
For Classes I would say Fighter , Mage and Figher/Mage are enough.
The only way I can accept hounds is that they are non-breathers, or breath rarely, this is what I did in my variant.

Some people like different classes than those 3 though, I myself like priests and rogues. Since Antoine is carrying this over from NPP why not have Fighter, Mage, Druid, Priest, Rogue , Ranger ?
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Old January 8, 2012, 20:04   #7
Antoine
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Thanks Nick I figured you or someone would pop up with giant unique ideas.

Since we are discussing classes:

Post #2 - Classes and Races

I think five races are plenty:

Human
Dwarf (RBlind)
Gnome (FA)
Elf (SI)
Hobbit (HL)

More attention needs to be paid to classes. Coming from a Basic D&D background I always come back to the foursome:

Warrior
  • Much as in NPP
  • But no RFear
Rogue
  • No NPP-style combat boosts
  • Smaller spell selection
  • Gains +1 stealth each level (as per NPP Brigand)
Priest
  • Pointy penalty with bows and crossbows
  • OOD does less damage (half?)
  • No door/stair detection
  • Cut down to 6 books with 6 spells per book (max)
Mage
  • No object detection
  • No temporary elemental resists
  • No healing spells
  • Cut down to 6 books with 6 spells per book (max)

Again the rationale for some of these design decisions will become clearer later.

A.
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Old January 8, 2012, 20:14   #8
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A few thoughts on the uniques:

What's wrong with Bill, Tom, or Bert as a replacement for Lokkak?

Also, what about Lotho or Ted instead of Bullroarer? (it always kind of bothered me that "good" characters like Farmer Maggot were inserted as monsters to fight)

Any particular reason you removed Shelob?
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Old January 8, 2012, 20:25   #9
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bio_hazard View Post
A few thoughts on the uniques:

What's wrong with Bill, Tom, or Bert as a replacement for Lokkak?

Also, what about Lotho or Ted instead of Bullroarer? (it always kind of bothered me that "good" characters like Farmer Maggot were inserted as monsters to fight)

Any particular reason you removed Shelob?
1. Not a bad idea. Problem is that Lokkak's escorts are ogres - would you be comfortable with Bert hanging round with a bunch of ogres? My monster list doesn't have any trolls around that depth.

2. Good idea, will do.

3. There are no high-level spiders left to escort her.

A.
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Old January 8, 2012, 20:56   #10
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Ahhh- forget what I said about Lokkak.

Maybe change Shelob a bit- either make her low enough level that the giant spiders would be an appropriate summons, or else scrap the summons and give her other powers (passwall?)
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