[Crawl] [long] Thoughts/questions on Necromancy

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

So: having played a few (Human) Necromancers, I find myself with some
questions as to their care and feeding. Specifically, I wasn't ever
sure to what extent Necromancy is supposed to stand on its own as a
spell realm. Anyhow, I figured I could subject y'all to a braindump of
my notes on those spells that I used (or thought about using) and swap
insights. Or at least steal your insights; I'm not sure I have any
worth taking :-)

(there may be some spoilers here, though I haven't done the research as
to exact spell damages or whatnot)

[Book of Necromancy]
Pain - Pretty much has to be an early game staple. Does decently well
in this regard, since nothing much early has magic resistance to speak
of, or is undead (except for player ghosts). I was still using it well
into the middlegame, and was trying to into the late, but the damage
didn't seem to quite stack up near the end of the Vaults (my best necro,
for reference, got to Vaults:7, decided to try the Elven Halls, and
died on Elf:7). Of course, I never found a staff of necromancy, so...

Animate Skeleton - I memorized this once. I regretted the spell level
with that character, and never bothered again. Perhaps I just lack the
patience.

Vampiric Draining - This allows for some combat training, and means it's
not *necessarily* instant death when you suddenly find yourself next to
an ogre. I gather that humans have more HP than many of the races who
might more normally be found playing Necros, though.

Regeneration - I found this to be quite useful, for what I assume are
obvious reasons.

Dispel Undead - I didn't even hesitate before clearing the Crypt from
top to bottom. Even without an enhancer staff, things like curse skulls
and Boris only took two shots (with Necromancy in the 20s, granted).
Boris was hands-down the easiest 7k XP I've gained in a long time; a
shame I only ran into him once. This also wipes the floor with player
ghosts, needless to say.

Animate Dead - By contrast with Animate Skeleton, I did get quite a bit
of mileage out of this, between centaurs, grey snakes, and just lots of
orcs in the Mines (though they seem to like to wander into axe traps).

[Book of Death]
Corpse Rot - I never used this, as it didn't sound like it would
necessarily be all that effective and I feared that I'd want the corpses
for other stuff.

Bone Shards - I assume that this is supposed to be how necros deal with
Imps and other not-living, not-undead monsters early, but I was never
impressed by the damage. It didn't help that I couldn't really be
bothered to carry around skeletons to feed it with, so it didn't see
much use.

Lethal Infusion - I would've tried this if I hadn't already had a
quarterstaff of protection.

Agony - I kept thinking about learning this and then thinking better of
it. I wasn't sure if it's resistable or not (from the sounds of it, it
is), but while I don't know that this isn't the way spells are supposed
to be (as opposed to Brent's view of what conjurations have become),
level 5 seems a little steep. But my experience with other spellcasters
is pretty limited, thus far, so I don't remember what else I could use
those five levels on.

Bolt of Draining - Despite being half conjurations (and my knowing none
at the time of learning), I found this to be very useful. I had been
hoping to learn this for the climactic battle at the end of the Snake
Pit, but it was not to be; instead I gained the requisite spell levels
most of the way through said battle. It's a bit expensive for killing,
e.g., a single Yak, but the damage is more than acceptable. IMO.

[Book of Unlife]
Sublimation of Blood - I found this to be a staple, both for filling
myself up from chunks after a battle, and even for filling SP from HP
in crunchy situations. Regeneration helps to offset the HP loss,
though sometimes the HP loss is surprisingly large...

Twisted Resurrection - I didn't learn this for quite a while, fearing
that I was going to have to work to piece together things that weren't
going to be much more effective than zombies. When I finally did learn
it about midway through the Vaults, I changed my mind. Large
abominations, particularly in groups, wipe the floor with just about
everything in the Vaults, with a little fire support. I didn't do the
acid test of Vaults:8, but I was quite impressed by these guys. At
least with the kinds of enemies you get in the Vaults, you only have to
pile two corpses together to get a large abom (though I did have more
trouble amassing a group in the elven halls). I couldn't tell whether
or not these guys regenerate. If not, it seems poor that they run away
at low HP. The one downside is that as I recall you don't get piety
for things they kill... or am I confusing them with Reapers?

Borgnjor's Revivification - I didn't learn this, because I couldn't
envision a time when I'd actually want to use it. Unless the HP damage
can be cured with !oH or something, this seems like a poor use of spell
slots.

Simulacrum - I don't know how long these guys would last. The spell
intrigues me, and I'll be interested to give it a try at some point,
but I never quite had enough spell levels to do so this game. Anybody
else used this?

[Necronomicon]
Symbol of Torment - I assume that one is supposed to use this with
regeneration active and/or a moderate-sized army of undead meat shields
in order to keep the enemies off of your half-HP self. Somehow that
never struck me as practical.

Control Undead - This seemingly overlaps with the Kikubaaqudgha ability
that I also never used... I preferred to dispel everything that might
have been useful as a pet (it is my understanding that monsters get to
resist, so it's not obvious what I'd try to control, anyhow).

Summon Wraiths - The wraiths don't stick around forever after being
summoned, but otherwise seem pretty cool (no pun intended, even in the
case of Freezing Wraiths). My Summoning was never top-drawer, though
I had practiced a bit prior to learning this.

Death's Door - Didn't quite get enough levels to learn this. I'm not
sure how practical it is.

Necromutation - Nor this. I've heard good things about it, though.

Death Channel - I'm not quite clear on what this does, but it sounded
like it would be worth trying.


At least for human necros, I found that trying to go at least
partially death-knight with them was viable from about level 4 or 5...
mostly the point at which I got Vampiric Draining and some HPs to use
it with. I didn't try any as pure casters, partly because Vampiric
Draining is useless at range, and partly because I didn't find a good
complementary book early enough with any of the ones I tried.

-Andrew ()
36 answers Last reply
More about crawl long thoughts questions necromancy
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <11a20igea2vpn36@corp.supernews.com>,
    Andrew Patrick Schoonmaker <aps@turing.cs.hmc.edu> wrote:
    // So: having played a few (Human) Necromancers, I find myself with some
    // questions as to their care and feeding. Specifically, I wasn't ever
    // sure to what extent Necromancy is supposed to stand on its own as a
    // spell realm.

    Making the spell schools stand alone isn't a design goal. However,
    Necromancy is an esoteric discipline and so tends to have a large
    spread of powers and a lot of single skill spells.

    // [Book of Necromancy]
    // Pain - Pretty much has to be an early game staple. Does decently well
    // in this regard, since nothing much early has magic resistance to speak
    // of, or is undead (except for player ghosts). I was still using it well
    // into the middlegame, and was trying to into the late, but the damage
    // didn't seem to quite stack up near the end of the Vaults (my best necro,
    // for reference, got to Vaults:7, decided to try the Elven Halls, and
    // died on Elf:7). Of course, I never found a staff of necromancy, so...

    It won't help... the low level spells have power caps because otherwise
    the 1/x property would turn 1 MP spells into the uber spells of choice
    (basically, the ratio of cost to effect gets out of hand because a 3 MP
    spell is already 3x the cost... if the spell costs started at a higher
    value this would be reduced quite a bit).

    // [Book of Death]
    // Corpse Rot - I never used this, as it didn't sound like it would
    // necessarily be all that effective and I feared that I'd want the corpses
    // for other stuff.

    One thing it is good for is producing skeletons for Bone Shards so you
    don't really need to carry big stacks around, you can make them where
    you plan to use them. It's also not bad if you're willing to maneuver
    a monster over a corpse first, and then engage them in melee while
    they're standing in the miasma. It's only two spell slots, so it's at
    least cheap.

    // Agony - I kept thinking about learning this and then thinking better of
    // it. I wasn't sure if it's resistable or not (from the sounds of it, it
    // is),

    It's torment on one monster, but it trades the self pain for a MR check.
    That's were the weakness of the spell lies (all MRable effects become
    questionable at some point because the system is hard to balance).

    // Borgnjor's Revivification - I didn't learn this, because I couldn't
    // envision a time when I'd actually want to use it. Unless the HP damage
    // can be cured with !oH or something, this seems like a poor use of spell
    // slots.

    It's one of the best spells around. The handful of max HP you lose are
    a small price to pay for walking around knowing you can heal the PC to
    full at any time. I've hardly ever used it, but it's something I've
    often learned anyways (especially with low HP characters). I've never
    considered it wasted spell slots even in games where I never used it.

    // Death's Door - Didn't quite get enough levels to learn this. I'm not
    // sure how practical it is.

    Another one of the best spells... invulnerabilty is always nice, and
    at the very least it can give you time to teleport and run to a safe
    corner.

    // Necromutation - Nor this. I've heard good things about it, though.

    There are some very nice things that come with being classified as
    undead, and this gives some extra powers beyond that. One of the
    nicest transformations around, if only because it gives you stuff
    without additional armour restrictions.

    // Death Channel - I'm not quite clear on what this does, but it sounded
    // like it would be worth trying.

    It generates spectral pets of monsters that die during its duration.
    It's very good... it gives you good pets without using their corpses.

    Brent Ross
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Jeremey Wilson wrote:
    > "Andrew Patrick Schoonmaker" <aps@turing.cs.hmc.edu> wrote in message
    > news:11a20igea2vpn36@corp.supernews.com...

    >>Regeneration - I found this to be quite useful, for what I assume are
    >>obvious reasons.
    >
    > I prefer Vampiric Draining (it's a pain in the ass having to type that
    > out every time, isn't it? I don't want anyone googling old posts and
    > having "I really like VD" quoted back at me, though). Their uses
    > overlap quite a bit, and it doesn't seem worth wasting spell levels on
    > both. Regen's probably useful longer, but never as good as Vampiric
    > Draining is when it's very, very good.

    Regeneration is a very good spell for death knights and pseudo-death
    knights from the moment it becomes available. It's not nearly as close
    in uses to Vampiric Draining as it seems at first sight. In fact, they
    very much complement each other.

    Regarding Bone Shards, I've also found it useful for death knight type
    characters, who don't necessarily have enough justification or enough XP
    laying around to invest in Conjurations. The trick is to forget about
    the small skeletons and go for just a couple big ones; the lair is a
    bonanza in this respect. And in passing -- Kenkus after level 15 have a
    natural talent for carrying big corpses around. ;-)

    Corpse Rot is another one that's absolutely deadly when used by a death
    knight.

    Erik
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <avGoe.1121$Me6.942@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com>,
    Jeremey Wilson <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    // > Bone Shards - I assume that this is supposed to be how necros deal
    // with
    // > Imps and other not-living, not-undead monsters early, but I was never
    // > impressed by the damage. It didn't help that I couldn't really be
    // > bothered to carry around skeletons to feed it with, so it didn't see
    // > much use.
    //
    // By the time you get a book of Death, it's probably not early anymore.
    // The damage absolutely blows for something that requires ammo.

    The damage isn't that bad, but you have to use big skeletons because
    they tend to dominate the power calculation (which causes the small
    skeletons to suffer because of the wide range of monster weights).

    // > Lethal Infusion - I would've tried this if I hadn't already had a
    // > quarterstaff of protection.
    //
    // By the time you're likely to have it, it's not really worth the spell
    // levels. Draining on a weapon's really strong early, when monsters are
    // short on hit dice. At the point where you've got Sif Muna or
    // Kawkekekkkwerkkkqa exalted, monsters aren't short on hit dice anymore.
    // And you've probably got a weapon with a brand on it anyway.

    It's good if you want to brand a weapon with draining (like a quick
    blade or katana which don't come with brands already). Draining isn't
    so bad for the low melee pure necromancer... I know of one player who
    used this and Summon Wraiths against iron trolls because it was the only
    way he could actually kill them (and they're 16 HD, which is very
    large).

    // > [Book of Unlife]
    // > Sublimation of Blood - I found this to be a staple, both for filling
    // > myself up from chunks after a battle, and even for filling SP from HP
    // > in crunchy situations. Regeneration helps to offset the HP loss,
    // > though sometimes the HP loss is surprisingly large...
    //
    // I think I must be more conservative with my MPs than most people,
    // because I don't run into MP-crunches very often, but hey! if it works
    // for you! It's only two spell levels.

    I'm largely the same... I tend to nickle and dime with mid-level spells
    rather than go for the big ones. Which works quite well, since monsters
    aren't all that large. I've seen people shoot monsters with double
    fire/ice storms... that's simply overkill and a waste of mana and food.

    // > Simulacrum - I don't know how long these guys would last. The spell
    // > intrigues me, and I'll be interested to give it a try at some point,
    // > but I never quite had enough spell levels to do so this game. Anybody
    // > else used this?
    //
    // Worthless. You need Ice, they evaporate, you have to carry ammo
    // around... Having the corpse go to Animate Dead or Twisted Resurrection
    // is a better use.

    It's not that bad... it allows one to create a large army of undead snow
    dragons rather quickly, and the price you pay is that it's temporary.
    It's not like you're really carrying the ammo around either... chopping
    up corpses, eathing some, and carrying leftovers for later is already
    something characters will do. In this case you can convert those snacks
    into a small army if you need one (ie your other friends suddenly run
    thin due to bad luck) or they go bad.

    // > Control Undead - This seemingly overlaps with the Kikubaaqudgha
    // ability
    // > that I also never used... I preferred to dispel everything that might
    // > have been useful as a pet (it is my understanding that monsters get to
    // > resist, so it's not obvious what I'd try to control, anyhow).
    //
    // And anything you'd want to control is magic-immune, anyway.

    That's more of a problem with the MR system... the only ones that are
    literally immune are curse skulls and toes (both immobile), spectral
    things, greater mummies, and mummy priests. Liches just have such high
    MR that you're not going to effect them. The midrange ones you can
    rasonably control aren't so bad (vampires, wraiths, skeletal warriors,
    death oozes, etc).

    The difference between this one and the ability is that this one effects
    everything in LoS and charms them (which makes it okay for causing chaos
    against groups of undead). The ability targets a single undead and is
    permanent.

    // > Death's Door - Didn't quite get enough levels to learn this. I'm not
    // > sure how practical it is.
    //
    // No experience with this. I'm not sure if you need a certain number of
    // HPs to cast it or anything -- if so, it's far less useful.

    Not at all... as an oddity, it can acutally used to heal (although
    arranging such a circumstance is more likely to get the PC dead than
    be of any use).

    // If you can cast it several times in succession, though, it would be great.

    Actually, that would be broken. It's already invulnerability... you
    don't need it to be chainable for it to be great, ignoring all physical
    damage is already pushing broken levels of great.

    // > Necromutation - Nor this. I've heard good things about it, though.
    //
    // Excellent. Best spell in the game. I'd memorize it twice if I could.
    // Torment resistance, nice little stat boost, spell-booster, cold, poison,
    // and draining resistance, AC boost, immunity to mutations, no food usage.
    // Plus an unarmed draining attack. The cost is that you can't drink
    // potions or go berserk. One thing I've noticed is that while I have a
    // level of cold resistance from a mutation, when in Lichform and wearing
    // my dragon armor, I still seem to be at the break-even point on cold
    // resistance, rather than having them stack.

    My testing shows that this isn't the case... you end up with one level.
    Either some detail is missing here or the method you used to determine
    that you're at even was faulty/buggy.

    // I'm pretty sure my level of
    // thick black scales is still in effect, though, and I was definitely
    // forgetting where I was while I had that one. So I'm not sure how your
    // mutations are observed.

    Not particularly well... the system is incomplete as far as being
    perfectly sensible. The only real check is the one for scale AC,
    and in that case liches count because they're assumed to have the
    same physical properties.

    Brent Ross
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Glen Wheeler" <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote:

    > Some of the newer Angband variants have gone quite a way to fixing
    >this problem, making spells like confuse, sleep, slow, etc monster
    >useful still in the late game. For example, in Sangband, if you have a
    >high enough spellcasting skill or magical devices skill (simplification)
    >then the saving throw by the critter is harder to make.
    > For the first time in years I'm using these spells, and it feels great
    >:).

    nethack does have a few usable enchantment spells in the late game -
    quite a few monsters are not sleep resistant for instance, and there's not
    many monsters that can't be tamed. You can even tame some of the
    end-game bosses with some work. Not that this is entirely positive: sleep
    becomes very overpowered for a 1st-level spell.
    This is one area I'd like to see rebalanced in Crawl. As it is I never
    use enchantments much, and they are underpowered compared to the other
    schools, especially once you reach the higher spell levels.
    --
    /Johan
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    news:d812o6$4rh$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    > // > Simulacrum - I don't know how long these guys would last. The
    spell
    > // > intrigues me, and I'll be interested to give it a try at some
    point,
    > // > but I never quite had enough spell levels to do so this game.
    Anybody
    > // > else used this?
    > //
    > // Worthless. You need Ice, they evaporate, you have to carry ammo
    > // around... Having the corpse go to Animate Dead or Twisted
    Resurrection
    > // is a better use.
    >
    > It's not that bad... it allows one to create a large army of undead
    snow
    > dragons rather quickly, and the price you pay is that it's temporary.
    > It's not like you're really carrying the ammo around either...
    chopping
    > up corpses, eathing some, and carrying leftovers for later is already
    > something characters will do. In this case you can convert those
    snacks
    > into a small army if you need one (ie your other friends suddenly run
    > thin due to bad luck) or they go bad.

    I guess the other problem is that it's 7 MP. Pretty easy to blow all
    your MP to get a lot of temporary zombies. But I guess if you have the
    chunks, you can always lethally infuse... I don't think of these
    things, because I don't do them. I'm having trouble imagining how it'd
    beat alternatives, but I've only memorized it once and got disgusted
    immediately, so I'll suspend my judgment.


    > // > Control Undead - This seemingly overlaps with the Kikubaaqudgha
    > // ability
    > // > that I also never used...

    > // And anything you'd want to control is magic-immune, anyway.
    >
    > That's more of a problem with the MR system... the only ones that are
    > literally immune are curse skulls and toes (both immobile), spectral
    > things, greater mummies, and mummy priests. Liches just have such
    high
    > MR that you're not going to effect them. The midrange ones you can
    > rasonably control aren't so bad (vampires, wraiths, skeletal warriors,
    > death oozes, etc).

    Ah, I guess I just assumed Liches were magic immune. Ancient Liches
    don't appear to be, either. Suddenly it seems worth it to find an
    Ancient Lich and waste hours trying to charm it.

    > // > Necromutation - Nor this. I've heard good things about it,
    though.
    > //
    > // Excellent. Best spell in the game. I'd memorize it twice if I
    could.
    > // Torment resistance, nice little stat boost, spell-booster, cold,
    poison,
    > // and draining resistance, AC boost, immunity to mutations, no food
    usage.
    > // Plus an unarmed draining attack. The cost is that you can't drink
    > // potions or go berserk. One thing I've noticed is that while I have
    a
    > // level of cold resistance from a mutation, when in Lichform and
    wearing
    > // my dragon armor, I still seem to be at the break-even point on cold
    > // resistance, rather than having them stack.
    >
    > My testing shows that this isn't the case... you end up with one
    level.
    > Either some detail is missing here or the method you used to determine
    > that you're at even was faulty/buggy.

    Maybe some detail's missing, but I can't think what it was. My method
    was the thoroughly unscientific one of wearing a dragon armor in
    Lichform and getting hit by an Ice Fiend or something and seeing "The
    Ice Fiend hits you! The Ice Fiend Freezes you!" and thinking, "Hey!
    But I resist!" without reading it. And taking a bunch-and-a-half of
    damage. And so on, for many icy foes. I'll fiddle and examine and see
    if I can figure out what the missing detail might be.

    --
    Jeremey
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <Nc_oe.305$Oq7.238@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com>,
    Jeremey Wilson <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    // "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    // news:d812o6$4rh$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...

    [Simulacrum]
    // I guess the other problem is that it's 7 MP. Pretty easy to blow all
    // your MP to get a lot of temporary zombies.

    You can get more than one at a time... up to 8 in fact. If you're good
    enough to cast it and have the boosters you should get at least a few
    each cast.

    // But I guess if you have the chunks, you can always lethally infuse...

    I think you mean sublimate here.

    [Control Undead]
    // > // And anything you'd want to control is magic-immune, anyway.
    // >
    // > That's more of a problem with the MR system... the only ones that are
    // > literally immune are curse skulls and toes (both immobile), spectral
    // > things, greater mummies, and mummy priests. Liches just have such high
    // > MR that you're not going to effect them. The midrange ones you can
    // > rasonably control aren't so bad (vampires, wraiths, skeletal warriors,
    // > death oozes, etc).
    //
    // Ah, I guess I just assumed Liches were magic immune. Ancient Liches
    // don't appear to be, either. Suddenly it seems worth it to find an
    // Ancient Lich and waste hours trying to charm it.

    It won't work... they're not explicitly magic immune, but those 27 HD
    give them enough resistance that you're not going to be able to beat it.
    That's part of the buggishness of the MR system.

    // > My testing shows that this isn't the case... you end up with one level.
    // > Either some detail is missing here or the method you used to determine
    // > that you're at even was faulty/buggy.
    //
    // Maybe some detail's missing, but I can't think what it was. My method
    // was the thoroughly unscientific one of wearing a dragon armor in
    // Lichform and getting hit by an Ice Fiend or something and seeing "The
    // Ice Fiend hits you! The Ice Fiend Freezes you!" and thinking, "Hey!
    // But I resist!" without reading it.

    Faulty method then... those freeze attacks give that message if
    a certain amount of damage gets through and no message for resistance...
    the special melee attacks are kludgish that way, they don't go through
    proper channels but implement stuff their own way. I used something
    that I knew would absolutely give a resist message: I shot myself with
    a cold bolt.

    Brent Ross
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Andrew Patrick Schoonmaker" <aps@turing.cs.hmc.edu> wrote in message
    news:11a9urlfajasg6d@corp.supernews.com...
    > In article <avGoe.1121$Me6.942@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com>,
    > Jeremey Wilson <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> >> Bolt of Draining - Despite being half conjurations ...
    > [snip]
    > >In my experience, you need either your Necromancy to be very high, or
    > >some levels of Conjurations to be able to cast it. Since you'll be
    > >training Conjurations with it anyway, Bolt of Cold or Bolt of Fire
    would
    > >be better choices. You can use those forever, but late-game monsters
    > >tend to be draining-resistant.
    >
    > I think my Necromancy was about 20 by the time I had the spell levels
    to
    > spare to learn this.

    Well, dang. I'm in the middle of Pandemonium and my Necromancy just hit
    20.

    > >> [Book of Unlife]
    > >> Sublimation of Blood - I found this to be a staple, both for
    filling
    > >> myself up from chunks after a battle, and even for filling SP from
    HP
    > >> in crunchy situations. Regeneration helps to offset the HP loss,
    > >> though sometimes the HP loss is surprisingly large...
    > >
    > >I think I must be more conservative with my MPs than most people,
    > >because I don't run into MP-crunches very often, but hey! if it works
    > >for you! It's only two spell levels.
    >
    > Hmm. I can't see "several casts of Agony" not almost flooring my MP
    > when killing hydras by your method that I conveniently snipped out
    > above :-/

    1) I had no alternative

    2) Hydras are a pretty special case. There's no other monster that
    presents the same set of problems that a Hydra does.

    --
    Jeremey
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <11a9urlfajasg6d@corp.supernews.com>,
    Andrew Patrick Schoonmaker <aps@turing.cs.hmc.edu> wrote:
    // In article <avGoe.1121$Me6.942@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com>,
    // Jeremey Wilson <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    // >> summoned, but otherwise seem pretty cool (no pun intended, even in the
    // >> case of Freezing Wraiths). My Summoning was never top-drawer, though
    // >> I had practiced a bit prior to learning this.
    // >
    // >I prefer TR.
    //
    // It seemed like freezing wraiths were doing better damage, but that's
    // based on a small sample of data indeed (which should not be used to draw
    // conclusions about combat in Crawl, or so I gather).

    That'd probably be against monsters that aren't cold resistant... the
    freezing melee attack is a very scary thing (see Azure Jellies). As
    a quick estimate on it, I'd say that freezing wraithes have an average
    about 5 points higher with considerably less varience... a large
    abomination won't be nearly as reliable, but will have a much better
    chance of a really big wallops (with causual observation you're more
    likely to notice the equally probably whiffs, both because the effect is
    much more apparent and the way memory filters).

    // >> Death's Door - Didn't quite get enough levels to learn this. I'm not
    // >> sure how practical it is.
    //
    // Brent points out that it's very useful as an escape spell, which for
    // some reason I hadn't considered. Seen in that light, I can see where it
    // could be very useful to buy time to escape from whatever fix one is in.

    My best roguelike advice: Abort early and often.

    Death's Door is a bit like Berserk in that you want to be alone when it
    goes down... however, it doesn't turn the PC into killing machine
    compelled to attack, and so going through the opponents is not the only
    option nor probably the best one in tight spots. Using it as part of
    an aggressive hit and run defensive strategy is very strong.

    Brent Ross
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Brent Ross wrote:

    [about Necromancy, that's what he wrote about]

    I was following the Crawl-dev discussion group avidly until all the
    activity died out again, so I caught your mention that you're strongly
    interested in getting a testable alpha out again. How is that process going?

    Since I, to be quite frank, still haven't done much more than get my
    feet wet on the Archery Patch, I'm mostly interested on how much sense
    it would make to wait for the first alphas of the new version, so that
    I'll be working on the version that people will, in any case, tend to be
    playing in the near future... or not, in the case that you think it's
    still a ways away.

    One minor note -- during our discussions the last time you were
    frequenting rgrm I kind of left you hanging; apologies for that. My
    replies were starting to reach book length and not getting any smaller,
    and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, so I ran away. I was just about
    to begin long diatribes involving GNS theory when I did. :-)

    Erik
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <d84di1$34o$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    // Brent Ross wrote:
    //
    // [about Necromancy, that's what he wrote about]
    //
    // I was following the Crawl-dev discussion group avidly until all the
    // activity died out again, so I caught your mention that you're strongly
    // interested in getting a testable alpha out again. How is that process going?

    Still going through some critical bugs. Fixed some of the problems with
    the beam code yesterday (although there are still some zero and double
    hits to fix). Hopefully can finish up some of the critical stuff that
    needs doing with mutations today.

    // Since I, to be quite frank, still haven't done much more than get my
    // feet wet on the Archery Patch, I'm mostly interested on how much sense
    // it would make to wait for the first alphas of the new version, so that
    // I'll be working on the version that people will, in any case, tend to be
    // playing in the near future... or not, in the case that you think it's
    // still a ways away.

    Well archery is already a bit better now.

    // One minor note -- during our discussions the last time you were
    // frequenting rgrm I kind of left you hanging; apologies for that. My
    // replies were starting to reach book length and not getting any smaller,
    // and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, so I ran away. I was just about
    // to begin long diatribes involving GNS theory when I did. :-)

    About the Ghoul class stuff?

    Arguing that your Ghoul should be allowed to start as a spellcaster
    reeks of munchkin. In fact, it's Munchkin rule #2: Put all the
    dangerous and extremely unlikely stuff in the character history, that
    way it's unquestionable and the character is "special" (ie a WoD 3rd
    generation Mokole Abomination is our classic joke character for this)...
    I've seen far too many munchkin characters like this where the most
    interesting stuff that ever happened to the character in years of
    playing happened before the campaign began. The Ghoul PCs are already
    extremely special and far from the common ghoul as is... just compare
    them to the ghouls you meet in the dungeon (see also, Trolls).

    Besides, that doesn't really matter... Ghoul is really more of a job
    and not a race.

    Brent Ross
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Brent Ross wrote:
    > In article <d84di1$34o$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    > // Brent Ross wrote:
    > //
    > // [about Necromancy, that's what he wrote about]
    > //
    > // I was following the Crawl-dev discussion group avidly until all the
    > // activity died out again, so I caught your mention that you're strongly
    > // interested in getting a testable alpha out again. How is that process going?
    >
    > Still going through some critical bugs. Fixed some of the problems with
    > the beam code yesterday (although there are still some zero and double
    > hits to fix). Hopefully can finish up some of the critical stuff that
    > needs doing with mutations today.
    >
    > // Since I, to be quite frank, still haven't done much more than get my
    > // feet wet on the Archery Patch, I'm mostly interested on how much sense
    > // it would make to wait for the first alphas of the new version, so that
    > // I'll be working on the version that people will, in any case, tend to be
    > // playing in the near future... or not, in the case that you think it's
    > // still a ways away.
    >
    > Well archery is already a bit better now.

    That'll be for the playing community to judge. ;-)

    But I recall your saying you've made it easier to work with launcher
    handedness in the code. It seemed fairly easy already ('cept for
    hand-and-a-halfedness) when I was fiddling with it earlier; what's been
    improved there?

    The bit with the no-longer-infinite ammo from traps will be nice; not
    everyone who's noticed them has been tempted to abuse them (I haven't,
    even though I've been running true-hunters recently), but some have.

    Anyway, like I say, I'm mostly inteerested in whether it makes more
    sense to fiddle with the existing version or wait a bit and only start
    fiddling after I've seen what's been changed. In other words, whether or
    not something to take a look at will arrive in the next few months.

    > // One minor note -- during our discussions the last time you were
    > // frequenting rgrm I kind of left you hanging; apologies for that. My
    > // replies were starting to reach book length and not getting any smaller,
    > // and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, so I ran away. I was just about
    > // to begin long diatribes involving GNS theory when I did. :-)
    >
    > About the Ghoul class stuff?

    At the end of the discussion we were discussing a variety of topics and
    the discussion of ghouls was one of the smaller parts of it all, and one
    of those that stuck the leasat in my mind, but as you wish. One topic at
    a time is better anyway.

    > Arguing that your Ghoul should be allowed to start as a spellcaster
    > reeks of munchkin.

    "My" ghoul will never be any ghoul at all as long as they can only be
    fighters. I only really want to do one fighter ascension ever, and I'm
    not sure I want to sacrifice that slot, of a sort, to Ghouls. This is
    one of few areas where I'm slightly narrativist. Munchkinism is a subset
    of gamism, so I can only wryly smile when you speak of munchkinism
    surrounding my narrativist desire. (After all, classes are only starting
    templates, so from the gamist standpoint, most classes, including
    spellcaster classes can be duplicated with time and luck if race
    permits, though the amount of time and luck varies from class to class.)

    My main focus was never on spellcasters, but rather on "not just the
    Fighter" class, so it's a tiny bit strawmanish of you any way, but since
    I never said "but not spellcasters," I'll grant you the "wanting
    spellcaster ghouls" bit if you wish. But frankly, just having other
    fighting classes would be enough to keep me satisfied.

    The grandest irony of all is the ease with which you can go on a dozen
    or so dungeon levels into the game and start turning even a troll into a
    fighter-mage, let alone a ghoul.

    > In fact, it's Munchkin rule #2: Put all the
    > dangerous and extremely unlikely stuff in the character history, that
    > way it's unquestionable and the character is "special" (ie a WoD 3rd
    > generation Mokole Abomination is our classic joke character for this)...
    > I've seen far too many munchkin characters like this where the most
    > interesting stuff that ever happened to the character in years of
    > playing happened before the campaign began.

    I don't know WoD or even what it stands for, but I suppose the behavior
    you're describing is similar to filling a GURPS character with harmless
    negative traits in order to cheaply acquire a lot of positive ones.

    It's not very relevant to what I'm talking about when I say "I'd play
    ghouls if I could use some other class than fighter."

    If I wanted to be playing a true role-playing game, I wouldn't be
    playing Crawl in the first place. And I probably wouldn't even be
    playing a computer game at all. If I wanted to pretend I was playing a
    roleplaying game on a computer, I wouldn't be playing a roguelike, or if
    I did decide to play a roguelike anyway, it would be ADOM.

    And if I really wanted to play a munchkin in a C"RP"G, I wouldn't be
    playing Crawl either; Angband is --> that way. So is ADOM. But on the
    contrary, I'm a gamist who wants a good, fair, diverse challenge, not
    minding a nice little backstory and a little realism, but not too
    insistent on either.

    And if I wanted to play a munchkin in Crawl, I would use Nemelex,
    Mummies, or, more palatably, b26's overpowered rods, or just play a
    highly focused combo, like, say, a Ghoul *Fighter*!!! Munchkinism is
    about beelining for power; immediate specialization is crystallized
    power. Granted hybridization is also power over time, but in the
    beginning of the game, hyperspecialized templates like fighter templates
    are vastly better for survival IM (many many hours of) E (with both
    specialized templates and hybridized ones). So yet again I can only
    wryly smile and shake my head when you call "munchkin."

    Instead, I want to play a gamist game with a series of nice, light
    narrativist backdrops drawn in broad strokes that I can fill in if I
    want, or not bother if I don't want. Restrictions that improve game
    balance, removing no-brainer decisions, I appreciate. Restrictions
    needed to keep up the nice light background story, I appreciate.
    Fighters only for ghouls, that I do not appreciate.

    Your "they died and know nothing" thing from last round is YOUR thing,
    one that only people who have read your Usenet comments about it know
    (it's not in the docs, for example), and frankly, it's just ONE way of
    looking at the issue and one I don't like having forced upon me from
    outside just in order to play a ghoul.

    > The Ghoul PCs are already
    > extremely special and far from the common ghoul as is... just compare
    > them to the ghouls you meet in the dungeon (see also, Trolls).

    PC Dwarves are special (there are no NPC dwarves at all), Orcs are
    special (they can do countless things NPC orcs can't), Elves are special
    (see Orcs)... I don't see how the difference between PC and NPC *ghouls*
    is suddenly a supporting argument in favor of artificially restricting
    their class choices.

    > Besides, that doesn't really matter... Ghoul is really more of a job
    > and not a race.

    Crawl classes
    - set of starting XP investments into skills, based on race and
    sometimes choices screen
    - set of starting equipment, sometimes further based on player multiple
    choice
    - sometimes starting god, sometimes further based on player multiple choice

    Crawl races
    - set of special traits
    - set of aptitudes
    - HP, MP, leveling tables
    - set of class restrictions and of impacts on class choices/skills/eq

    Looks to me like the Ghoul race has -- and utterly unsurprisingly so --
    all the properties of a race and none of a class (job)...

    Erik
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 13:43:28 +0200, Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz>
    wrote:

    >At the end of the discussion we were discussing a variety of topics and
    >the discussion of ghouls was one of the smaller parts of it all, and one
    >of those that stuck the leasat in my mind, but as you wish. One topic at
    >a time is better anyway.

    A single class option for Ghouls isn't a bad thing, although I think
    Monk would be more appropriate than Fighter. Unarmed, unarmored seems
    the Ghoulish way to go.

    >And if I wanted to play a munchkin in Crawl, I would use Nemelex,
    >Mummies, or, more palatably, b26's overpowered rods

    Well, if you're using Nemelex as a munchkin, you might as well be
    using rods, too, and vice versa, as they're both Evocations based.

    Say, Nemelex isn't off-limits for Mummies, is he?...

    >Crawl classes
    >- set of starting XP investments into skills, based on race and
    >sometimes choices screen
    >- set of starting equipment, sometimes further based on player multiple
    >choice
    >- sometimes starting god, sometimes further based on player multiple choice
    >
    >Crawl races
    >- set of special traits
    >- set of aptitudes
    >- HP, MP, leveling tables
    >- set of class restrictions and of impacts on class choices/skills/eq
    >
    >Looks to me like the Ghoul race has -- and utterly unsurprisingly so --
    >all the properties of a race and none of a class (job)...

    Actually it does have different starting equipment from the standard
    Fighter, so it does have at least *some* "classishness" to it.

    --
    R. Dan Henry
    danhenry@inreach.com
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <d89a13$122$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    // Brent Ross wrote:
    // >
    // > Well archery is already a bit better now.
    //
    // That'll be for the playing community to judge. ;-)

    Well, not really... I ment that objectively. They are mathematically
    stronger than they used to be.

    // > // One minor note -- during our discussions the last time you were
    // > // frequenting rgrm I kind of left you hanging; apologies for that. My
    // > // replies were starting to reach book length and not getting any smaller,
    // > // and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, so I ran away. I was just about
    // > // to begin long diatribes involving GNS theory when I did. :-)
    // >
    // > About the Ghoul class stuff?
    //
    // At the end of the discussion we were discussing a variety of topics and
    // the discussion of ghouls was one of the smaller parts of it all, and one
    // of those that stuck the leasat in my mind, but as you wish. One topic at
    // a time is better anyway.
    //
    // > Arguing that your Ghoul should be allowed to start as a spellcaster
    // > reeks of munchkin.
    //
    // "My" ghoul will never be any ghoul at all as long as they can only be
    // fighters.

    Ah, but it's not that they are Fighters... it's just that the game has
    to treat them as something (they don't even get the standard Fighter
    template, they get a special one). What they are are Ghouls, period.

    // Munchkinism is a subset
    // of gamism, so I can only wryly smile when you speak of munchkinism
    // surrounding my narrativist desire.

    But you're not really being a narrativist if you're throwing all the
    specialness and story in the backstory. That's the munchkin trick to
    get things by the GM that wouldn't be allowed or would be unlikely to
    succeed during play. As a narrativist, you should...

    // (After all, classes are only starting
    // templates, so from the gamist standpoint, most classes, including
    // spellcaster classes can be duplicated with time and luck if race
    // permits, though the amount of time and luck varies from class to class.)

    .... be wanting to do exactly this. Which is to say, actually play and
    create the story of how your ghoul became something other than
    a mindless grunt. After all, that's the real story.

    // My main focus was never on spellcasters, but rather on "not just the
    // Fighter" class, so it's a tiny bit strawmanish of you any way, but since
    // I never said "but not spellcasters,". I'll grant you the "wanting
    // spellcaster ghouls" bit if you wish. But frankly, just having other
    // fighting classes would be enough to keep me satisfied.

    You included an example of one... it doesn't matter what the classes are
    (my arguement doesn't pertain really to spellcasters specifically other
    than mentioning them... gladiators, hunters, knights of all flavours,
    priests, rogues... they're all not the sort of things ghouls generally
    are... what ghouls are are ghouls, its the race and the job). First
    level ghouls haven't been out of the ground for long (else they'd be
    decomposing lumps or higher level characters from the things they killed
    to survive)... they're like the unspecial NPC ones except you get to
    mold them.

    // The grandest irony of all is the ease with which you can go on a dozen
    // or so dungeon levels into the game and start turning even a troll into a
    // fighter-mage, let alone a ghoul.

    That's not irony... that's the design intent of Crawl. This is what you
    are supposed to be able to do if you want to. Jobs are meaningless...
    they give you some starting skills and equipment, but you can ignore all
    that. The fact that a race/class combo doesn't exist is a statement of
    how available and common it is in the game world... the fact that
    creative explanations can be made or a class can be easily duplicated by
    the PC (eg Paladin) is not a reason for including it in the list. In
    all honesty, jobs shouldn't exist at all... you should get a character
    of a certain race tabula rasa... but without an overworld to support
    that we fudge it with jobs to cover that early part.

    // > In fact, it's Munchkin rule #2: Put all the
    // > dangerous and extremely unlikely stuff in the character history, that
    // > way it's unquestionable and the character is "special" (ie a WoD 3rd
    // > generation Mokole Abomination is our classic joke character for this)...
    // > I've seen far too many munchkin characters like this where the most
    // > interesting stuff that ever happened to the character in years of
    // > playing happened before the campaign began.
    //
    // I don't know WoD or even what it stands for,

    World of Darkness. Most of which has been done over in GURPS I believe.

    // but I suppose the behavior
    // you're describing is similar to filling a GURPS character with harmless
    // negative traits in order to cheaply acquire a lot of positive ones.

    Nope, completely wrong (you're talking twinking and that's a very
    different munchkin area). What this is about is stacking your character
    by writing a creative background story to allow for insanely unlikely
    (or impossible) things. No need for bad traits and tradeoffs here...
    simply tell the GM some elaborate story to explain why you've got all
    the incredibly good stuff and since it's history it's already set in
    stone regardless of how improbable it actually is. This is the
    munchkinish way to create a "special" character... it gives an unlikely
    starting character (who is often ironically far too likely and commonly
    created by other munchkins), who we then get to watch the comparibly
    uneventful part of their life that comes afterwards. The non-munchkin
    approach simply gives a small hook (that makes their character unique
    and interesting, but not uncommonly so and likely in a way that's quite
    possibly meaningless to the game mechanics) and then works with the GM
    to make the character special as an integral part of the story.

    // > The Ghoul PCs are already
    // > extremely special and far from the common ghoul as is... just compare
    // > them to the ghouls you meet in the dungeon (see also, Trolls).
    //
    // PC Dwarves are special (there are no NPC dwarves at all),

    That's no evidence at all... lack of dwarves in the caves is only
    evidence that they don't live there (they live over in the hills and
    mountains, the crawl dungeon is more of a place you'd expect to find the
    drow or druegar). So I can just as easily declare that NPC dwarves are
    every bit as special as the PC ones... quite probably more so.

    // Orcs are
    // special (they can do countless things NPC orcs can't), Elves are special
    // (see Orcs)...

    The point is that we see them being fighters, knights, priests, and
    mages of various sorts... and the PC versions also have similar options
    (although hill orcs aren't necessarily the same as these cave orcs, and
    we only have deep elves for an example in the dungeon). Actually, it's
    the NPC orcs and elves that are special because they get to worship
    a god the PC ones cannot.

    // I don't see how the difference between PC and NPC *ghouls* is suddenly
    // a supporting argument in favor of artificially restricting their class
    // choices.

    The class choices are based on the world def. In the Crawl dungeon we
    see ghouls not even capable of even using equipment (PC ghouls have the
    decency to dress, and remember how to drink potions and read... things
    which NPC ghouls are completely incapable of doing (which is what I was
    largely refering to... PC ghouls are already special in that they aren't
    totally mindless, we don't enforce anything like NPC ghoul rules on
    them))... they just run around killing and eating people. That's one
    class: ghoul.

    Oh, and I'm not going to let you get away with the "artificially
    restricting" overwhelming exception fallacy. There's nothing artifical
    about it... artificial would be allowing for atypical or impossible
    options. Class restrictions strive to be non-artifical to the game
    world.

    // > Besides, that doesn't really matter... Ghoul is really more of a job
    // > and not a race.
    //
    // Crawl classes
    // - set of starting XP investments into skills, based on race and
    // sometimes choices screen
    // - set of starting equipment, sometimes further based on player multiple
    // choice
    // - sometimes starting god, sometimes further based on player multiple choice
    //
    // Crawl races
    // - set of special traits
    // - set of aptitudes
    // - HP, MP, leveling tables
    // - set of class restrictions and of impacts on class choices/skills/eq
    //
    // Looks to me like the Ghoul race has -- and utterly unsurprisingly so --
    // all the properties of a race and none of a class (job)...

    Not at all. You're thinking too specifically. Generically, classes are
    templates that are applied to races to cover back history. Things like
    undead status should also be templates on races (in fact, the game
    already allows for nagaliches, so there's already in game precedence)...
    it's easier to just call it a class because that's what Crawl already
    has (rather than creating addition layers). The catch is with a Ghoul
    template you need to do a few things for classes that haven't been done
    before: for example, set a couple permanet mutations and the undead flag
    in order to represent the changed physiology (while leaving some of the
    original traits in tact).

    Brent Ross
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    R. Dan Henry wrote:
    > On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 13:43:28 +0200, Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz>
    > wrote:

    > A single class option for Ghouls isn't a bad thing, although I think
    > Monk would be more appropriate than Fighter. Unarmed, unarmored seems
    > the Ghoulish way to go.

    I realize most people aren't as bothered by the tight restriction as I
    am. Still, I honestly can't see the harm in it, can see additional,
    featureitis-free variety for Crawl in it, and certainly don't see what's
    munchkiny about torturing your poor hapless ghoul into trying to play a
    wizard or whatever.

    The ghoul winner I most remember was unarmed, but armoured -- a Darshan
    creation. There has been at least one spellcasting ghoul winner.

    >>And if I wanted to play a munchkin in Crawl, I would use Nemelex,
    >>Mummies, or, more palatably, b26's overpowered rods
    >
    > Well, if you're using Nemelex as a munchkin, you might as well be
    > using rods, too, and vice versa, as they're both Evocations based.

    The first is definitely true. The second... Rods are far less
    overpowered than Nemelex and thus less shame-inducing, so I've ended up
    using them for 1.9 out of my 2.9 winners, but Nemelex for none. Even
    from the sheer munchkiny perspective, a good old fashioned
    berserker/evoker is pretty close up there munchkinwise to a Nemelexite
    -- not a drop of stat points wasted on that silly Intelligence stat, and
    very, very focused skills.

    (My first ascension was a bevoker, so this does mean that I can't really
    say with a straight face I've never munchkinized.)

    Sif also works a *little* bit nicely with rods -- she gives you piety
    for their use. It takes some real caution not to overlap your XP
    investments when using both rods and spellcasting, and Sif isn't all
    that great, but certainly she's a choice to consider for a rodslinger.

    > Say, Nemelex isn't off-limits for Mummies, is he?...

    Nope.

    >>Crawl classes
    >>- set of starting XP investments into skills, based on race and
    >>sometimes choices screen
    >>- set of starting equipment, sometimes further based on player multiple
    >>choice
    >>- sometimes starting god, sometimes further based on player multiple choice
    >>
    >>Crawl races
    >>- set of special traits
    >>- set of aptitudes
    >>- HP, MP, leveling tables
    >>- set of class restrictions and of impacts on class choices/skills/eq
    >>
    >>Looks to me like the Ghoul race has -- and utterly unsurprisingly so --
    >>all the properties of a race and none of a class (job)...
    >
    >
    > Actually it does have different starting equipment from the standard
    > Fighter, so it does have at least *some* "classishness" to it.

    That's what I meant by "impacts on class choices/skills/eq" -- but
    ghouls are hardly unique in that anyway; see ogres (ogre fighters get no
    choice screen, just a mace stuck immediately in their hands), etc..

    Erik
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Jeremey writes:
    > in article d8bicn$3es$1@domitilla.aioe.org, Erik Piper at erikNOSPAM@sky.cz
    > wrote on 6/10/05 4:18 AM:
    >
    > >
    > > I realize most people aren't as bothered by the tight restriction as I
    > > am. Still, I honestly can't see the harm in it, can see additional,
    > > featureitis-free variety for Crawl in it, and certainly don't see what's
    > > munchkiny about torturing your poor hapless ghoul into trying to play a
    > > wizard or whatever.
    >
    > I don't understand, really, why all classes aren't open to all races, or for
    > that matter why you don't just get however many XP at the beginning of the
    > game to distribute among your skills as you see fit. Or, I understand it on
    > a practical level, since 80% of Crawl characters die on DL1, so getting a
    > new game going would be even more tedious than it is already, but the
    > principle seems sound.

    I do not want all the classes open to all the races. I enjoy figuring
    out what I want my next character to be. When choosing my race, the
    available classes factor in to my choice. Some of the more powerful
    races get fewer choices. And I like that; it makes the puzzle more
    interesting and differentiates the races more.

    It's no good telling me to just limit myself. The thing I like is
    trying to find really good choices when it is difficult. I can't just
    make up my own puzzle; I'd already know why I cut out certain choices.

    Also, I think class matters more than most people give it credit. It
    has a significant impact on your stats, which for many characters is a
    big deal throughout the game. It also has a big impact on the
    difficulty of the early game, which is one of the harder parts.
    Especially if you are trying to train skills you don't already have
    throughout it. And if you don't start training the skills you want in
    the early game, you're going to have significant dilution, and maybe a
    lot of danger trying to use a level 2 skill against a monster balanced
    for level 15 skills.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Brent Ross wrote:
    > In article <d89a13$122$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    > // Brent Ross wrote:
    > // >
    > // > Well archery is already a bit better now.
    > //
    > // That'll be for the playing community to judge. ;-)
    >
    > Well, not really... I ment that objectively. They are mathematically
    > stronger than they used to be.

    OK, I get you now.

    [E: sorry for the abrupt end when we were discussing months back]

    > // > About the Ghoul class stuff?

    [...]

    > // > Arguing that your Ghoul should be allowed to start as a spellcaster
    > // > reeks of munchkin.
    > //
    > // "My" ghoul will never be any ghoul at all as long as they can only be
    > // fighters.
    >
    > Ah, but it's not that they are Fighters... it's just that the game has
    > to treat them as something (they don't even get the standard Fighter
    > template, they get a special one). What they are are Ghouls, period.

    There are other classes that don't get the standard template for a
    certain class, too, so that's not unique.

    I do like this argument vastly better than a statement that wanting a
    Ghoul other than a fighter "reeks of munchkinism," but I still don't see
    the harm in Ghoul gladiators, etc.

    I guess a strong part of it is that, emotionally, despite Crawl's
    certain sort of classlessness, ascending yet another Ghoul fighter would
    be yet another Ghoul fighter for me. I do realize not everyone is
    bothered by that; there will always be plenty of people for that matter
    perfectly happened to ascend yet another minotaur berserker despite
    minotaurs having a wider choice.

    (See? By not continuing to say my opinions "reek of munchkinism," you've
    given me emotional space to explain them better! ;-) )

    Sorry to return to an argument of yours from the months-old stuff but --
    after all, they were *something* before they died, and it's just as
    possible to dictate that a little of it remained as it is to dictate
    that none of it did. Gameplay first, I say -- and variety helps
    gameplay, so why not choose the narrative that helps gameplay?

    > // Munchkinism is a subset
    > // of gamism, so I can only wryly smile when you speak of munchkinism
    > // surrounding my narrativist desire.
    >
    > But you're not really being a narrativist

    I'm not really saying I'm really being a narrativist; I'm saying that,
    like any other player, I'm not entirely gamist, narrativist, OR
    simulationist, and this is one respect in which I'm narrativist.

    > if you're throwing all the
    > specialness and story in the backstory.

    The majority of the ghoul specialness would still be in the ghoulness
    anyway, but it would be YAGF for me, no matter which way it went on to turn.

    I don't appreciate the accusation (without support as far as I can see;
    if it's there, please guide me to it) of "throwing" narrative around
    when my narrativist side crops up for once; I'd like to politely ask you
    to refrain from such things in the future.

    > That's the munchkin trick to get things by the GM

    As an aside -- please confirm for me that you understand and respect
    that Munchkin is only a subclass of Gamist, and is no more dominant of
    it than Loonie Gamism is.

    > that wouldn't be allowed

    What's allowed in Crawl is defined algorithmically; players can exploit
    holes/poor decisions in the algorithms, but they can't beg the
    algorithms to change.

    But if you mean "maintainer as GM," then I can but refer back to the
    fact that there are numerous more efficient ways to be a munchkin than
    playing a non-fighter Ghoul, and in fact, as a starting template, a
    fighter is AFAICT very nearly precisely what you want as a ghoul, short
    of a monk -- which makes the whole accusation all the more perplexing to me.

    > or would be unlikely to
    > succeed during play. As a narrativist, you should...
    >
    > // (After all, classes are only starting
    > // templates, so from the gamist standpoint, most classes, including
    > // spellcaster classes can be duplicated with time and luck if race
    > // permits, though the amount of time and luck varies from class to class.)
    >
    > ... be wanting to do exactly this.

    > Which is to say, actually play and
    > create the story of how your ghoul became something other than
    > a mindless grunt. After all, that's the real story.

    There will always be IMO players who look at the class system,
    understand the classlessness, and still emotionally feel the classes
    anyway. At the very least, there will be one -- me. :-)

    Incidentally, this cuts some very anti-munchkiny ways -- for example, if
    you want to play a long-term true hunter in b26, the Hunter class is IME
    among the lower 75% of classes for doing it, if not the lower 50%. But
    my hunters have mostly been hunters, except when frustration has
    overcome me, and my win (barring a mishap tonight) will be a Hunter hunter.

    During the game I am mostly a gamist, except for a strategic plan with a
    little narrative. _Gamist_, not munchkin. My interest is not in creating
    a story through my play, and I do *NOT* appreciate being seen as smaller
    just because I'm not a fellow narrativist-at-core. All it means is that
    I'm not one.

    > // My main focus was never on spellcasters, but rather on "not just the
    > // Fighter" class, so it's a tiny bit strawmanish of you any way, but since
    > // I never said "but not spellcasters,". I'll grant you the "wanting
    > // spellcaster ghouls" bit if you wish. But frankly, just having other
    > // fighting classes would be enough to keep me satisfied.
    >
    > You included an example of one... it doesn't matter what the classes are
    > (my arguement doesn't pertain really to spellcasters specifically other
    > than mentioning them... gladiators, hunters, knights of all flavours,
    > priests, rogues... they're all not the sort of things ghouls generally
    > are... what ghouls are are ghouls, its the race and the job).

    You've decided for that, certainly, but that's a fiat, not a necessity.

    > level ghouls haven't been out of the ground for long (else they'd be
    > decomposing lumps or higher level characters from the things they killed
    > to survive)... they're like the unspecial NPC ones except you get to
    > mold them.

    See my counterarguments already given (since you gave this argument
    during the bit a few months back) in the last reply, as well as the ones
    back in the day. I won't clutter this up by repeating them.

    > // The grandest irony of all is the ease with which you can go on a dozen
    > // or so dungeon levels into the game and start turning even a troll into a
    > // fighter-mage, let alone a ghoul.
    >
    > That's not irony... that's the design intent of Crawl. This is what you
    > are supposed to be able to do if you want to. Jobs are meaningless...

    Right, so don't get so tied up in restricting them.

    > they give you some starting skills and equipment, but you can ignore all
    > that.

    Hmm... perhaps in the course of achieving two YAVPs and hopefully a
    third tonight, I've figured that out?

    (Ooof, there goes my sarcasm quota for this post.)

    > The fact that a race/class combo doesn't exist is a statement of
    > how available and common it is in the game world...

    Change crawl.txt for the next release to state that explicity, then,
    please, at the very least.

    But really I'd rather not see so much fiat.

    > the fact that creative explanations can be made for a class

    Please refrain from potshots.


    Every class inclusion includes a decision and thus an explanation in the
    head of the designer who includes it. There are plenty of existing Crawl
    classes that can be called "creatively explained" with enough ill will...

    ....but why bother with ill will? We could also NOT have ill will, and
    rather keep just enough sense in the classes not to break the narrative
    and the simulation.

    > can be easily duplicated by
    > the PC (eg Paladin) is not a reason for including it in the list. In
    > all honesty, jobs shouldn't exist at all... you should get a character
    > of a certain race tabula rasa... but without an overworld to support
    > that we fudge it with jobs to cover that early part.

    I find that Crawl's classes add a lot to it, really. Just because they
    can be overcome (and that's part of the fun sometimes), doesn't mean
    they're meaningless and could go without reducing the greatness of the game.

    > // > In fact, it's Munchkin rule #2: Put all the
    > // > dangerous and extremely unlikely stuff in the character history, that
    > // > way it's unquestionable and the character is "special" (ie a WoD 3rd
    > // > generation Mokole Abomination is our classic joke character for this)...
    > // > I've seen far too many munchkin characters like this where the most
    > // > interesting stuff that ever happened to the character in years of
    > // > playing happened before the campaign began.
    > //
    > // I don't know WoD or even what it stands for,
    >
    > World of Darkness. Most of which has been done over in GURPS I believe.

    OK. I stopped playing GURPS when I moved over here, since it's too small
    and obscure a national market to carry GURPS stuff, and in the first
    years I hardly had the language skills to do roleplaying anyway.

    > // but I suppose the behavior
    > // you're describing is similar to filling a GURPS character with harmless
    > // negative traits in order to cheaply acquire a lot of positive ones.
    >
    > Nope, completely wrong

    It would have been easier to get it right if you'd been more specific.

    > (you're talking twinking

    Interesting. The nature of the 'net is such that I had to go quite a few
    hits down to find a definition other than the MMORPG one (which I didn't
    know either -- never had an interest in MMORPGs).

    > and that's a very different munchkin area).

    > What this is about is stacking your character
    > by writing a creative background story to allow for insanely unlikely
    > (or impossible) things. No need for bad traits and tradeoffs here...
    > simply tell the GM some elaborate story to explain why you've got all
    > the incredibly good stuff and since it's history it's already set in
    > stone regardless of how improbable it actually is.

    You're talking about distorted, messed-up narratives, but there's not
    much narrative in Crawl to distort. Its crystallized gamist-ness is in
    fact part of its attraction for me.

    And again, if I wanted "incredibly good stuff," I might take a ghoul...

    ....*fighter*.

    > This is the munchkinish way to create a "special" character...

    In order not to become enraged and say things I'll regret, I'll assume
    neither this nor the snipped part relates to a desire to see non-ghoul
    fighters added to Crawl.

    [...]

    > // > The Ghoul PCs are already
    > // > extremely special and far from the common ghoul as is... just compare
    > // > them to the ghouls you meet in the dungeon (see also, Trolls).
    > //
    > // PC Dwarves are special (there are no NPC dwarves at all),
    >
    > That's no evidence at all... lack of dwarves in the caves is only
    > evidence that they don't live there (they live over in the hills and
    > mountains, the crawl dungeon is more of a place you'd expect to find the
    > drow or druegar). So I can just as easily declare that NPC dwarves are
    > every bit as special as the PC ones... quite probably more so.

    There are PC dwarves that can appear between "crawl.exe" and "ctrl-x,"
    while there aren't NPC dwarves that can do so. What exists in the tiny
    amount of backstory in crawl.txt and in crawl.exe kind of pales against
    that.

    > // Orcs are special (they can do countless things NPC orcs can't),
    > // Elves are special (see Orcs)...
    >
    > The point is that we see them being fighters, knights, priests, and
    > mages of various sorts... and the PC versions also have similar options

    When I see controlled-blinking, drinking non-healing potions, silencing,
    ToDing, berserking NPC orcs and elves, then we'll talk. :-)

    What I'm really saying here is that there's nothing so special about the
    specialness of Ghouls relative to NPC ghouls, other than the greater
    degree you describe below, which I don't see as fundamental.

    > (although hill orcs aren't necessarily the same as these cave orcs, and
    > we only have deep elves for an example in the dungeon). Actually, it's
    > the NPC orcs and elves that are special because they get to worship
    > a god the PC ones cannot.
    >
    > // I don't see how the difference between PC and NPC *ghouls* is suddenly
    > // a supporting argument in favor of artificially restricting their class
    > // choices.
    >
    > The class choices are based on the world def.

    The world definition is given little other space in the game. Which I
    like, really, as pushing it more would be out of line with the gamist
    nature of Crawl that attracts me to it. I don't like seeing the world
    def being used so frequently to promote subtractions rather than
    additions, though.

    [more detail.... hey, I gotta snip SOMEWHERE...]

    > them))... they just run around killing and eating people.

    And hounds and cockroaches and brain worms and necrophages and... :-)

    > That's one class: ghoul.

    All the other races run around killing and eating people too, you know.
    You mean "having one set of skills and equipment?" Depends on the
    backstory. I've already presented multiple times a strong set of
    arguments for multiple feasible -- not "creative" or "munchkiny," unless
    at some point you provide convincing arguments for these accusations --
    backstories, so the choice is out there to make. Gameplay first, I say.
    If the player really wants to torture themselves with a ghoul reaver or
    whatever, why on earth not?

    > Oh, and I'm not going to let you get away with the "artificially
    > restricting" overwhelming exception fallacy.

    If we agree it is or isn't a fallacy, we can talk on the same ground here...

    > There's nothing artifical
    > about it... artificial would be allowing for atypical or impossible
    > options.

    Impossible, sure, fine -- even in a gamist game, rocketships among the
    orcs would spoil the simulation enough to spoil the fun, and deep elf
    berserkers would spoil the narrative enough to spoil the fun, to give
    some silly examples. But a story for ghouls that makes a different
    assumption than their carrying nothing over than life. No, that's just
    making a different assumption than you did. It's not a fallacy to say
    that the restriction is artificial... an artificial forcing of your
    narrative onto things.

    > Class restrictions strive to be non-artifical to the game world.

    And there's another thing... Crawl isn't so very much *about* its game
    world (and if it were, I might not play it).

    > // > Besides, that doesn't really matter... Ghoul is really more of a job
    > // > and not a race.
    > //
    > // Crawl classes
    > // - set of starting XP investments into skills, based on race and
    > // sometimes choices screen
    > // - set of starting equipment, sometimes further based on player multiple
    > // choice
    > // - sometimes starting god, sometimes further based on player multiple choice
    > //
    > // Crawl races
    > // - set of special traits
    > // - set of aptitudes
    > // - HP, MP, leveling tables
    > // - set of class restrictions and of impacts on class choices/skills/eq
    > //
    > // Looks to me like the Ghoul race has -- and utterly unsurprisingly so --
    > // all the properties of a race and none of a class (job)...
    >
    > Not at all. You're thinking too specifically.

    "Look! The sky! It's blue!"

    "Not at all..."

    :-(

    > Generically, classes are
    > templates that are applied to races to cover back history.

    I choose them to play colorful, varied, different games of Crawl,
    myself, actually. Ones that are less varied because Ghouls can only be
    fighters. :-) Back history is nice and all, but where pushing it too far
    gets in the way of fun, I say drop it.

    But since Ghoul is NOT being applied to races, but is rather on the race
    screen, has all the classical behaviors of a race, and more, it's still
    a race to me... one that has been restricted to one class.

    > Things like
    > undead status should also be templates on races (in fact, the game
    > already allows for nagaliches, so there's already in game precedence)...

    Actually, ghoul as subclass wouldn't bother me so much, as it would add
    more variety to them. At least I could be a foo, bar, or quux GF instead
    of just another GF... I'd probably try them out in that case.

    I'm a little, and essentially pleasantly, surprised to see you seemingly
    considering a new feature, as I've read posts from you speaking against
    featuritis (and on the whole I agree with them).

    > it's easier to just call it a class because that's what Crawl already
    > has (rather than creating addition layers). The catch is with a Ghoul
    > template you need to do a few things for classes that haven't been done
    > before: for example, set a couple permanet mutations and the undead flag
    > in order to represent the changed physiology (while leaving some of the
    > original traits in tact).

    Please DON'T do that. Let classes remain classes.

    Erik
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    in article d8bicn$3es$1@domitilla.aioe.org, Erik Piper at erikNOSPAM@sky.cz
    wrote on 6/10/05 4:18 AM:

    >
    > I realize most people aren't as bothered by the tight restriction as I
    > am. Still, I honestly can't see the harm in it, can see additional,
    > featureitis-free variety for Crawl in it, and certainly don't see what's
    > munchkiny about torturing your poor hapless ghoul into trying to play a
    > wizard or whatever.

    I don't really want to get involved in another flamewar with Brent, but I
    can't help myself, apparently, so...

    Crawl is not a roleplaying game. It's an, I don't know, tactical combat
    game, or something, with a medieval-fantasy theme. Some of the dungeon
    branches have flavor, demons taunt you, and the gods have some personality.
    That's it. Otherwise there's a bunch of monsters and you have to figure out
    the best tactics to make them die. That's it. Like Erik, this pleases me.
    Arguing for or against something's inclusion in Crawl because it's
    "munchkiny" and ruins the roleplaying experience is silly, because there is
    so little roleplaying experience.

    I don't understand, really, why all classes aren't open to all races, or for
    that matter why you don't just get however many XP at the beginning of the
    game to distribute among your skills as you see fit. Or, I understand it on
    a practical level, since 80% of Crawl characters die on DL1, so getting a
    new game going would be even more tedious than it is already, but the
    principle seems sound.

    For god's sakes, though, I don't want any _more_ roleplaying, though.

    --
    Jeremey
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    news:d8au86$vif$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    > In article <d89a13$122$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    > // Brent Ross wrote:
    > // > [snip ghoul debate]

    Hey guys, I hate to say it Erik but I think I agree with Brent here.
    What I don't agree on is the fact that the ``class'' of a ghoul (which
    is a misnomer anyway) is called Fighter. That's plain wrong: they
    aren't fighters, they are just ghouls. It's even reflected in the code.

    I think that the proper fix here is to change the class name available
    to ghouls into ``Ghoul'' or just to remove the choice entirely.

    --
    Glen
    L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
    W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Glen Wheeler" <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote in news:42a901c0$1
    @dnews.tpgi.com.au:

    >
    > "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    > news:d8au86$vif$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    >> In article <d89a13$122$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    >> Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    >> // Brent Ross wrote:
    >> // > [snip ghoul debate]
    >
    > Hey guys, I hate to say it Erik but I think I agree with Brent here.
    > What I don't agree on is the fact that the ``class'' of a ghoul (which
    > is a misnomer anyway) is called Fighter. That's plain wrong: they
    > aren't fighters, they are just ghouls. It's even reflected in the code.
    >
    > I think that the proper fix here is to change the class name available
    > to ghouls into ``Ghoul'' or just to remove the choice entirely.
    >

    Or, to make the coding job extra exciting, make "Ghoul" a class, so you can
    have human ghouls, and naga ghouls, and minotaur ghouls... O:)
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Chipacabra wrote:
    > "Glen Wheeler" <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote in news:42a901c0$1

    >> I think that the proper fix here is to change the class name available
    >>to ghouls into ``Ghoul'' or just to remove the choice entirely.
    >>
    >
    > Or, to make the coding job extra exciting, make "Ghoul" a class, so you can
    > have human ghouls, and naga ghouls, and minotaur ghouls... O:)

    That, as has ben said above, would go against Crawl's idea of classes,
    but you _can_ make it a ToME-like race modifier, so we'll end up with
    Naga mummies, demonspawn orcs, troll ghouls and demigod ogres (but
    hopefully not with merfolk mummies and demigod minotaurs (which would be
    1/4 bulls)).

    Lars, who always wanted to play a demonspawn orc.
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Brent Ross wrote:
    > In article <d8bp17$c24$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:

    > // And there's another thing... Crawl isn't so very much *about* its game
    > // world (and if it were, I might not play it).
    >
    > The game world is unobtrusive... but it's important because it's the
    > soul of the game.

    I don't know if this is what you're saying, but I've had a hint of an
    idea for some time that your comment just helped me crystalize.

    I sit down to play a game to win. My object isn't to explore the
    world, or tell a story, it is to win. I take the actions that seem
    best, sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail. But always I learn.
    And sooner or later, there are patterns to what I am doing. If the
    game is a good one, I'm treating the game like a world with interesting
    rules and stories because I must to suceed. And I have more fun,
    because the world is alive. And all this, despite the fact that I'm
    playing to win. No, not despite, more so because I am playing to win.
    A character in the game world wants to win, not to explore the game
    world. I feel in character because I am in the game world without
    seeking it, and my character's goals happen to be perfectly in tune
    with my own.

    I write a game to be a good one. It should be fun, and balanced, and
    have a non-trivial strategy. But I can't think of everything. I can't
    just set out to think of the best possible abstract rule set in a
    vacuum. My mind doesn't work that way. Instead, I get an idea for a
    world, or a scenario. I can't describe everything about that world,
    and indeed I don't even know everything about that world. But I start
    to put ideas in the game. Some come directly from the world. In my
    world, everyone wants the gizmo of uberness, so the game is going to be
    about a character's quest for the gizmo. Some are things I want to put
    in the game, but are too big to figure out without useing the game
    world as a lense. I want magic in my game, because everyone likes
    magic. But there are about six million magic systems out there. Well
    how would magic work in my world? And so the rules to the game take
    form. I didn't set out to tell a story. I just wanted to put a bunch
    of rules out there to make a fun game. But the game is going to be in
    a world. And as players play it, they're going to get a glimpse of
    that world.

    On the surface, Crawl seems like a very gamist oriented game, even for
    a roguelike. But as I've played it, I really find I feel the world
    more than I do in most. Crawl is a world in which you really work hard
    at learning to do what you want to do. Crawl is a world that has many
    regions that are very diverse. Not because the laws of nature change,
    although sometimes they do. But more because the creatures and things
    withing them fit together and work very differently. Crawl is a world
    in which most people will never wield supreme power. But if you work
    hard, and get just a little bit of an edge on the other guy, it will
    pay off. Crawl is a world with interesting inhabitants. Sigmund may
    just be a fairly simple monster with a few attacks in one sense, but in
    another, you can feel that he is a terribly feared scourge known
    throughout the lands. Yet it is never stated. Crawl is these things
    to me more than Nethack, or Angband, or even ADOM, which sets out to
    tell a story.

    > The featuritis I'm largely against is that that hacks features in
    > without fully understanding the system. And in crawl code that's too
    > easy to do (done it myself a few times). Also the mindless feature
    > creation approach of "filling in all the holes" doesn't get much respect
    > from me... holes are good and are as essential as non-holes. A house
    > without holes has no windows, doors, or even rooms. A well placed
    > hole can add more than a thousand non-holes.

    Many people ask who created the universe. I ask who destroyed all the
    things that aren't in the universe.
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <BECF3A7E.B7CC%noaddressgiven@yahoo.com>,
    Jeremey <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    // in article d8bicn$3es$1@domitilla.aioe.org, Erik Piper at erikNOSPAM@sky.cz
    // wrote on 6/10/05 4:18 AM:
    // > I realize most people aren't as bothered by the tight restriction as I
    // > am. Still, I honestly can't see the harm in it, can see additional,
    // > featureitis-free variety for Crawl in it, and certainly don't see what's
    // > munchkiny about torturing your poor hapless ghoul into trying to play a
    // > wizard or whatever.
    //
    // I don't really want to get involved in another flamewar with Brent, but I
    // can't help myself, apparently, so...
    //
    // Crawl is not a roleplaying game.

    Correct... it's much more of a rollplaying game. But you can roleplay
    with it if you really want to.

    // Arguing for or against something's inclusion in Crawl because it's
    // "munchkiny" and ruins the roleplaying experience is silly, because there is
    // so little roleplaying experience.

    Actually that's the case here with ghouls. The reason there's only one
    class isn't because of munchkinism. It's because of the game design
    intent of classes to representative of the game world. In the game
    world, most ghouls are pretty much interchangable and so the ghouls you
    get to start with are the same (ie one class of them). That's the
    reason for arguing against inclusion.

    The munchkin stuff is a separate thing that got brought up because the
    way Eric argued for inclusion set off the primary, secondard, and
    tertiary munchkin detectors by using the backstory technique combined
    with passive aggressiveness against the GM. Its a different thing.

    // I don't understand, really, why all classes aren't open to all races,

    Because the design is to give some concept of an overworld that these
    characters come from. Up until you take control of your character and
    enter the dungeon, they go through common, unspecial, ordinary life
    leading to where they are now. So although magic using Ghouls are
    manufacturable in game and anything is explanable for a backstory that
    is completely irrelevant. I can create all kinds of stories to
    "explain" any starting character I want (ie mummified Troll who used to
    be a Archmage) but that doesn't mean that everything possible should be
    accommodated (ie Mummified Troll Wizards). The limitations on the
    starting position are far more interesting that the degeneration that
    happens by removing them (it gives character to the races in that some
    areas are more accessible than others... spellcasting troll characters
    are greatly devalued when Troll Wizards are allowed to start).

    // or for
    // that matter why you don't just get however many XP at the beginning of the
    // game to distribute among your skills as you see fit.

    Because that type of system just gets you the same characters being
    created. Seen it done in other games, and the result tends to be ugly,
    degenerate, and boring.

    Let's say we were to clock things back a bit and give you only a race
    option (and allow you to roam the overworld a bit to develop that level
    one character). What would you find? Well, lets say you're a Ghoul
    that wants to get into magic or a fancy guild. You walk up to the door,
    and if you're lucky they just scream and slam it in your undead
    decomposing face (if your unlucky they give you the wrong end of pointy
    stick... up close an internal-personal-like). So being unable to
    apprentice oneself, or likewise buy the equipment from the store (or get
    a job to make and money), you're pretty much forced into trying to mug
    someone for the equipment and learn things yourself. Well guess what?
    Selecting "Ghoul" in the current crawl already pretty much simulates
    that -- it's now just down to going forth, killing someone, eating them,
    and taking their stuff! And that's the point.

    // For god's sakes, though, I don't want any _more_ roleplaying, though.

    Like it or not, roleplaying is also a part. Some things will exist and
    be the way they are for the sake of accomidating styles that aren't
    bluntly direct towards the immediate goal of the game, but subtle
    towards a play style that may be very suboptimal but interesting.
    A game without little ambience details tends towards being dry, boring,
    and blech.

    Brent Roiss
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    On Fri, 10 Jun 2005 17:49:39 +0000 (UTC), bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
    (Brent Ross) wrote:

    >Actually that's the case here with ghouls. The reason there's only one
    >class isn't because of munchkinism. It's because of the game design
    >intent of classes to representative of the game world. In the game
    >world, most ghouls are pretty much interchangable and so the ghouls you
    >get to start with are the same (ie one class of them). That's the
    >reason for arguing against inclusion.

    And as the maintainer, that's that. If it's a feature of the way the
    game world is, well, you're the final arbiter of that. However, I
    still think giving him a sword and calling him a Fighter makes less
    sense than starting him with nothing and calling him a Monk. Any
    possession presume a degree of non-generic backstory, except maybe a
    burial robe.

    I could also argue for Ghouls to be Wanderers, remembering a random
    smattering of their life skills and picking up some random junk on
    their way to the dungeon, but I don't think that would be popular.

    --
    R. Dan Henry
    danhenry@inreach.com
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <0goja19dblnncmt15u6tejjsurg5lsquon@4ax.com>,
    R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote:
    [ghouls]
    // And as the maintainer, that's that. If it's a feature of the way the
    // game world is, well, you're the final arbiter of that. However, I
    // still think giving him a sword and calling him a Fighter makes less
    // sense than starting him with nothing and calling him a Monk.

    The problem is in calling him a Monk. Ghouls don't take to monastic
    life any better than Trolls. As for the sword, I got rid of that...
    but it's gone and made them twinkier (like I feared it would) so
    something will eventually need to be done.

    Brent Ross
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    news:d8cv8f$u08$2@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    > In article <0goja19dblnncmt15u6tejjsurg5lsquon@4ax.com>,
    > R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote:
    > [ghouls]
    > // And as the maintainer, that's that. If it's a feature of the way
    > the
    > // game world is, well, you're the final arbiter of that. However, I
    > // still think giving him a sword and calling him a Fighter makes less
    > // sense than starting him with nothing and calling him a Monk.
    >
    > The problem is in calling him a Monk. Ghouls don't take to monastic
    > life any better than Trolls. As for the sword, I got rid of that...
    > but it's gone and made them twinkier (like I feared it would) so
    > something will eventually need to be done.
    >

    TwinkIER? Wasn't the same possiblity available before by simply
    dropping the sword?
    I like the idea of them only being able to choose Wanderer BTW.

    --
    Glen
    L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
    W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Glen Wheeler wrote:

    [the continuing story of ghouls]

    > I like the idea of them only being able to choose Wanderer BTW.

    :-O

    That's BRILLIANT!

    Part of what upsets me about ghouls-as-fighters-only is that of all the
    one-sole-classes to restrict them to, you couldn't pick a more *boring*
    one. Wanderer is one of the most interesting ones, on the other hand,
    and fits the "just wandered in" theme for ghouls.

    Erik
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    news:d8cunj$u08$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    > In article <d8bp17$c24$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:
    > // Brent Ross wrote:
    [snip ghoul discussion and various tangential points]

    Yes, you know my opinion on this.

    > // [more detail.... hey, I gotta snip SOMEWHERE...]
    >
    > Yeah, I'm snipping too... I'd like to fix some more bugs today.
    >

    But I wanted to reply to this. Do you keep a changelog? If so, can
    it be made somewhat public? I am very curious to see what you have
    changed/fixed thus far.

    --
    Glen
    L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
    W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Brent Ross wrote:
    > In article <BECF3A7E.B7CC%noaddressgiven@yahoo.com>,
    > Jeremey <noaddressgiven@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > // in article d8bicn$3es$1@domitilla.aioe.org, Erik Piper at erikNOSPAM@sky.cz
    > // wrote on 6/10/05 4:18 AM:

    > The munchkin stuff is a separate thing that got brought up because the
    > way Eric argued for inclusion set off the primary, secondard, and
    > tertiary munchkin detectors by using the backstory technique combined
    > with passive aggressiveness against the GM. Its a different thing.

    My name is Erik. Easy mistake to make, I know, but when I read my name
    misspelled, it's hard to think about whatever is the question at hand,
    rather than my misspelled. It's kind of hard to explain to someone whose
    name isn't misspelled much -- I suppose Brent isn't -- but... it's sort
    of like a momentary seasickness. Thus I really appreciate it when it's
    gotten right. Thanks!

    Erik
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:35:23 +0200, Erik Piper <erikNO@skySP.czAM>
    wrote:

    >It's kind of hard to explain to someone whose
    >name isn't misspelled much -- I suppose Brent isn't -- but... it's sort
    >of like a momentary seasickness.

    I'm sure Brett has some idea what you're talking about.

    --
    R. Dan Henry
    danhenry@inreach.com
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <42aa5a91$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au>,
    Glen Wheeler <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote:
    // "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    // news:d8cv8f$u08$2@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    // > In article <0goja19dblnncmt15u6tejjsurg5lsquon@4ax.com>,
    // > R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote:
    // > [ghouls]
    // > // And as the maintainer, that's that. If it's a feature of the way
    // > the
    // > // game world is, well, you're the final arbiter of that. However, I
    // > // still think giving him a sword and calling him a Fighter makes less
    // > // sense than starting him with nothing and calling him a Monk.
    // >
    // > The problem is in calling him a Monk. Ghouls don't take to monastic
    // > life any better than Trolls. As for the sword, I got rid of that...
    // > but it's gone and made them twinkier (like I feared it would) so
    // > something will eventually need to be done.
    // >
    //
    // TwinkIER? Wasn't the same possiblity available before by simply
    // dropping the sword?

    Except that now they're being treated with the Troll special case for
    unarmed Fighters instead of the old Mummy "undead" one. The end result
    is that they get a different skill set which includes unarmed combat.

    Brent Ross
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:41:46 +0000 (UTC), bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
    (Brent Ross) wrote:

    >In article <42aa5a91$1@dnews.tpgi.com.au>,
    >Glen Wheeler <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote:
    >// "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    >// news:d8cv8f$u08$2@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    >// > In article <0goja19dblnncmt15u6tejjsurg5lsquon@4ax.com>,
    >// > R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote:
    >// > [ghouls]
    >// > // And as the maintainer, that's that. If it's a feature of the way
    >// > the
    >// > // game world is, well, you're the final arbiter of that. However, I
    >// > // still think giving him a sword and calling him a Fighter makes less
    >// > // sense than starting him with nothing and calling him a Monk.
    >// >
    >// > The problem is in calling him a Monk. Ghouls don't take to monastic
    >// > life any better than Trolls. As for the sword, I got rid of that...
    >// > but it's gone and made them twinkier (like I feared it would) so
    >// > something will eventually need to be done.
    >// >
    >//
    >// TwinkIER? Wasn't the same possiblity available before by simply
    >// dropping the sword?
    >
    >Except that now they're being treated with the Troll special case for
    >unarmed Fighters instead of the old Mummy "undead" one. The end result
    >is that they get a different skill set which includes unarmed combat.

    So, make them a little weaker in the late game. Very hard to start,
    easy to finish is the character difficulty curve that is broken. Easy
    all the way is good for novices/poor players. Hard all the way is good
    for the experts, Easy to start and hard to finish makes a good
    learning character. Hard to start, but easy to finish just creates
    something that makes the end game too easy for people good enough to
    get there with that character type.

    --
    R. Dan Henry
    danhenry@inreach.com
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <42aa5de4@dnews.tpgi.com.au>, Glen Wheeler <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote:
    // "Brent Ross" <bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
    // news:d8cunj$u08$1@rumours.uwaterloo.ca...
    // > // [more detail.... hey, I gotta snip SOMEWHERE...]
    // >
    // > Yeah, I'm snipping too... I'd like to fix some more bugs today.
    // >
    //
    // But I wanted to reply to this. Do you keep a changelog? If so, can
    // it be made somewhat public? I am very curious to see what you have
    // changed/fixed thus far.

    I use CVS for revision control (because it was already installed when
    I started), and since it's really just a hack for RCS to handle
    directories it doesn't do a particularly good job of tracking project
    changes... only file changes. And in my case, often with a large amount
    of noisy commentary on small changes that isn't very relevant. Digging
    a sensible changelog out of it has always been a non-trivial task.

    Brent Ross
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    In article <bnmma1hbeec8lj3pnokt3r7dpk53n1fkdq@4ax.com>,
    R. Dan Henry <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote:
    // On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:35:23 +0200, Erik Piper <erikNO@skySP.czAM>
    // wrote:
    //
    // >It's kind of hard to explain to someone whose
    // >name isn't misspelled much -- I suppose Brent isn't -- but... it's sort
    // >of like a momentary seasickness.
    //
    // I'm sure Brett has some idea what you're talking about.

    Actually, that's the one that has never happened (well, until now).
    Brant, Grant, and most commonly Ross are the ones I typically get. Ross
    has caused the most problems because there always seems to be a real
    Ross around when it happens (I've known a few). In fact, I often just
    let people just keep calling me the wrong thing rather than bother to
    correct them... I respond to just about anything thrown in my general
    direction. Never causes me seasickness, I've even been called late
    for supper.

    Anyways, I apologize for misspelling Erik.

    Brent Ross
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    "R. Dan Henry" <danhenry@inreach.com> wrote in message
    news:bnmma1hbeec8lj3pnokt3r7dpk53n1fkdq@4ax.com...
    > On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:35:23 +0200, Erik Piper <erikNO@skySP.czAM>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>It's kind of hard to explain to someone whose
    >>name isn't misspelled much -- I suppose Brent isn't -- but... it's
    >>sort
    >>of like a momentary seasickness.
    >
    > I'm sure Brett has some idea what you're talking about.
    >

    So does Glenn.

    --
    Glen
    L:Pyt E+++ T-- R+ P+++ D+ G+ F:*band !RL RLA-
    W:AF Q+++ AI++ GFX++ SFX-- RN++++ PO--- !Hp Re-- S+
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    Once upon a time, Brent Ross wrote thus:
    > In article <d8bp17$c24$1@domitilla.aioe.org>,
    > Erik Piper <erikNOSPAM@sky.cz> wrote:

    >// I choose them to play colorful, varied, different games of Crawl,
    >// myself, actually. Ones that are less varied because Ghouls can only be
    >// fighters. :-)

    > Yes, you're very upset about the fact that Ghouls can only be Fighters.
    > So upset that you seem to be blind to the fact that your Ghouls can't be
    > Kobolds either. Apparently so far that you're arguing against something

    Anyone can add ghoul reavers to the game, and they'd probably look rather like
    the ones you played with. Anyone who wished to add ghoul kobolds to the game
    would have to decide what sort of powers to give such a creature, considering
    the powers of each of its constituent parts. The chance of any two independent
    attempts looking similar would probably be pretty slim.

    Complaining that something fairly simple hasn't been done but not that
    something more complicated hasn't doesn't seem all that irrational to me.
    Complaining that ghoul gladiators are unavailable, where this is only a
    problem because of a desire not to play too many different races of fighter,
    OTOH...

    I'm perfectly happy to play a ghoul fighter as a fighter, a monk, a priest of
    Makhleb or someone, or even a wizard or evoker if I manage to find something
    to use the skills with before I give up on that idea. Some of these choices
    may not be entirely optimal, but so long as I know I can rip open a corpse
    while holding a cursed great mace I'll know I'm benefiting from my
    ghoulishness.

    --
    kwaheri, Kieron (reverse username to reply)
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.misc (More info?)

    On Fri, 10 Jun 2005, Lars Kecke wrote:

    > Chipacabra wrote:
    > > "Glen Wheeler" <gew75@uow.edu.au> wrote in news:42a901c0$1
    >
    > >> I think that the proper fix here is to change the class name available
    > >>to ghouls into ``Ghoul'' or just to remove the choice entirely.
    > >>
    > >
    > > Or, to make the coding job extra exciting, make "Ghoul" a class, so you can
    > > have human ghouls, and naga ghouls, and minotaur ghouls... O:)
    >
    > That, as has ben said above, would go against Crawl's idea of classes,
    > but you _can_ make it a ToME-like race modifier, so we'll end up with
    > Naga mummies, demonspawn orcs, troll ghouls and demigod ogres (but
    > hopefully not with merfolk mummies and demigod minotaurs (which would be
    > 1/4 bulls)).
    >

    Keeping in mind that Brent (and this is true for the other members of the
    dev team, presumably, when they get their turns with the code) has stated he is
    motivated by the rationale of the "gameworld", we should set some limits
    on this.

    The obvious "second-tier" races do seem to be: Mummies, Ghouls, Demonspawn
    and Demigods.

    I'll assume for now that racial modifiers for skill and experience gain
    are multiplicative (or additive), and that the starting attribute
    modifiers are additive. (That is, a Demonspawn Deep Elf takes much longer
    to learn stuff than either a "vanilla" Demonspawn, or a Deep Elf. This
    balances the benefits of a hybrid race...)

    Now, lets consider the possibility of these combinations actually
    existing:

    Demigod "X": I see no reason why "X" can't be any of the remaining races.
    Certainly, the gods of Crawl seem to be happy to interact with all
    species, so there's no reason why they'd not get intimate with them.

    Demonspawn "X": As with Demigods, I see no reason why this can't be an
    option for all species.

    "X" Mummy: To me, the existance of Mummies implies that the race in
    question has quite detailed funerary rites. As well as the vanilla humans,
    this is probably true of some of the Elves and Dwarves. I can't really see
    Spriggan embalming their dead, for some reason, and neither can I see
    Trolls, Minotaurs or Ogres doing so. Kenku might, I suppose (and flying
    mummies are sufficiently odd that it might be interesting), but I'm not sure
    that merfolk would. Nagas might naturally mummify, with their scaly skins.
    So, that's Humans, foo Elves, foo Dwarves and foo Naga as potential
    Mummies, I think.

    "X" Ghoul: Crawling out of an open grave is something I can only see
    Sludge Elves doing, out of all the Elvish subspecies. Merfolk might, in a
    "Creature from the Black Lagoon" kind of way. Again, I'm finding it hard
    to imagine Spriggan Ghouls, or Minotaur ones. Naga, I'm torn over - I'd
    rather they could only be Mummies - and Kenku similarly. The others, I
    can't decide at all. Troll Ghouls would be amusing - they'd be utterly
    unstoppable in combat, but the combination of Troll hunger, and Ghoul
    rotting would make them extremely hard to manage in the long term.

    Then you have to consider the effect of Ghoulishness/Mummification on the
    natural development of their species. This is expecially problematic for
    Naga, who develop their colour + related abilities as they age. Arguably,
    mummification should prevent this process (apart from anything else,
    Mummies rot rather than mutating, I think)... but potential Naga Mummies
    need some compensation for the removal of their special
    attacks/resistances. Perhaps they should develop the mummy "closeness to
    death" faster?

    I dunno - am I taking this all too seriously? ;)

    Sam
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