Author Topic: Cursed items on item-based RLs?  (Read 3715 times)

SomeGuy

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Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« on: January 08, 2013, 11:28:16 AM »
I came to a situation where I need some opinions about cursed items.

I was modifying some things in WitchavenRL when I considered the idea of allowing Magic Shards (if you did not player WitchavenRL, they are used to enhance weapons) to be cursed or having negative random effects.

For example, actually the SOL (Shard of Life) changes the base weapons damage and damage modifier by random(-1, 2). This means that the weapon can get more damage or reduce it or just remain unchanged.

Since advancing in WitchavenRL  is heavily based on items found by the player, I'm not sure how negative effects applied by shards are balanced.

In addition, shards have a 20% chance to appear on map and 10% to be found from corpses, which is relatively small chance in either case.
So I concluded that making the shards to decrease weapons damage is not much balanced since they are quite precious and valuable items.

So... what's your opinion?
Should those kind of items be possibly cursed or apply negative effects?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 11:34:08 AM by SomeGuy »

naughty

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Re: Corsed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 11:45:48 AM »
Having purely numeric negative effects just means players will use identification items to make sure they don't get burned or just not upgrade if they can get away with it. It does depend on how rare the cursed items are and how negative the effect is though.

I would propose that's it's more interesting to have a trade-off than a purely negative effect, e.g. the most powerful upgrade shards also stick the weapon to your hand like a traditional RL curse. There's a lot of bad effects that might be worth the cost of a more powerful weapon and would make an interesting choice.

This also reminds me of an idea about using 'haunted' instead of 'cursed'. The idea being that a haunted item requires appeasement before you can unequip it, e.g. wrathful ghost demands the souls of 2d8 enemies, thirsty ghost wants you to drink potions or just plain steals the next 2d3 potions you pick up and so on.

requerent

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Re: Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 09:33:52 AM »
It totally depends on the game.


The greater hindrance of cursed weapons in most RLs is the inability to unequip something bad.

A better way to contextualize it is to say, 'the inability to equip something bad in a given situation.' I've always felt that cursed items should be powerful, but come with a usage catch that make their usage risky. If the disincentive to have cursed gear is high, then the point comes across, whether or not the weapon actually has a malus or not.

kraflab

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Re: Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 10:27:46 AM »
I think definitive negative effects are lame and can ruin the fun of finding a rare upgrade item.  I agree with the others that you should tie positive and negative effects together.  For instance, maybe the boost to a weapon is doubled, but the weapon grows in size and slows the player down a bit.  Another idea would be to make it a temporary decrease: perhaps a sword loses 1 attack and a message says "the sword demands a sacrifice!" and you have to kill something to get it boosted to where it should have been.  There are a lot of fun things you could do here.

SomeGuy

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Re: Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 11:47:59 AM »
I think definitive negative effects are lame and can ruin the fun of finding a rare upgrade item.  I agree with the others that you should tie positive and negative effects together.  For instance, maybe the boost to a weapon is doubled, but the weapon grows in size and slows the player down a bit.  Another idea would be to make it a temporary decrease: perhaps a sword loses 1 attack and a message says "the sword demands a sacrifice!" and you have to kill something to get it boosted to where it should have been.  There are a lot of fun things you could do here.

This sounds great. I think I will stick to the "kill 50 kobolds to restore the lost damage" idea.

Darren Grey

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Re: Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 01:04:42 AM »
If you're worried about balancing how often the shards get found then consider using a card-based system or gap-based system rather than a straight 10%.

Card method:
There is a deck of ten drop cards, one of which is the item card, and each time a monster dies a card is drawn randomly.  If a blank is drawn, no item.  If an item is drawn, a shard drops.  To stop predictability the deck is refreshed after an item is drawn, and a new card is always added if the deck gets down to 1 with no item found.  This ensures a player is unlikely to go very long without getting any upgrade, and also doesn't get them too often.

Gap method:
Every time an item drops roll a 1d10 - that's the number of further kills required for the next shard.  You can add more special cases to the 10 roll to again ensure it isn't too predictable.

Since these systems are hidden from the players it looks like plain random, but it ensures more balanced play.

Regarding the negative statuses, I'd say they can add flavour, especially if it's interesting like in kraflab's suggestion.  Best way to find out is to test  :)

SomeGuy

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Re: Cursed items on item-based RLs?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 10:49:53 AM »
If you're worried about balancing how often the shards get found then consider using a card-based system or gap-based system rather than a straight 10%.

Card method:
There is a deck of ten drop cards, one of which is the item card, and each time a monster dies a card is drawn randomly.  If a blank is drawn, no item.  If an item is drawn, a shard drops.  To stop predictability the deck is refreshed after an item is drawn, and a new card is always added if the deck gets down to 1 with no item found.  This ensures a player is unlikely to go very long without getting any upgrade, and also doesn't get them too often.

Gap method:
Every time an item drops roll a 1d10 - that's the number of further kills required for the next shard.  You can add more special cases to the 10 roll to again ensure it isn't too predictable.

Since these systems are hidden from the players it looks like plain random, but it ensures more balanced play.

Regarding the negative statuses, I'd say they can add flavour, especially if it's interesting like in kraflab's suggestion.  Best way to find out is to test  :)

I would say the card method is better since the number of "empty" drops is random, while the player can know that after 10 kills he will get a shard if we use the gap method.