Author Topic: interesting items, spells and combat techniques  (Read 12288 times)

miki151

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interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« on: May 23, 2013, 05:36:02 PM »
Hello, greetings from a novice RL developer :)

I've been thinking about new interesting items and spells that would break the routine in roguelikes. I'm mostly concerned with combat, adding some tricks and twists, ways to kill stronger monsters, deception, etc. Something other than the usual scroll of teleport :). Here's what I've come up with (not much yet).

- potion of panic; throw it at monsters to cause them to run away or do stupid things, drink to have movement bonus away from enemies
- potion of rage; monsters cause higher damage or charge at enemies, but are easier to hit , in extreme cases would attack friends
- spell of possession; control the mind of a creature for a limited time
- far sight spell; see what's going on in a different part of the map
- double trouble; just like Rodney in Nethack, you clone yourself for a few number of turns
- throwing heads of enemies at their kin to cause panic or rage
- putting wooden things on fire
- pushing enemies into water or lava (I haven't figured out how this one would work yet)

Post any ideas you thought would be cool in a RL. Be warned though that I might use them in my game :)

Michal
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Krice

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 12:06:47 PM »
Post any ideas you thought would be cool in a RL. Be warned though that I might use them in my game :)

First get to the point where you have a playable game. Then you'll possibly begin to understand why it's difficult to put all funny ideas in the gameplay. Tip: it doesn't happen just like that.

miki151

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 01:04:31 PM »
Quote
You pass beneath a huge tree. You hide behind the tree. You attack the goblin by surprise. You thrust your knife. The goblin is stabbed in the back. The goblin is killed!

Already implemented and extremely fun :)
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Krice

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 04:58:16 PM »
Good luck then.

Vanguard

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 06:14:06 PM »
Oh boy do I like threads like this.  You asked for it!

Double Action - An active skill that gives the player two moves in a single turn at a heavy stamina/mana/whatever (hereafter referred to as stamina) cost.  Probably shouldn't allow this to be used multiple times in a single turn.

Dash - The player gets two/three/however many turns to use all at once in exchange for stamina.  The player may only move during these turns, they may not attack or use items or special abilities.  If I remember correctly, ToME 4 has abilities like this.

Throw - An attack skill that inflicts damage and and throws the targeted enemy a number of squares in a selected direction based on the player's strength.  Maybe allow the player to throw enemies into other enemies?  Or inflict extra damage if the thrown enemy strikes a wall?  Maybe even allow them to break through the wall if the player's strength is high enough?  Some mechanic will need to be in place to ensure that the player can't spam this to avoid all damage in hand to hand combat, such as making most hand to hand fighters harder to throw.

Here's an idea: you've got these equipable magic items, we'll just say rings because every RPG has rings.  And these rings can cast a spell like traditional wands do, but instead of recharging from scrolls or waiting or whatever, they recharge when exposed to sunlight.  The idea is that you can customize your character with two (or however many) extra abilities from your rings.  There's no compulsion to farm until your inventory is full of them, since you can only use two anyway, and there's no reason to rest for hours after every fight because they only recharge outside of the dungeon.  The rings would need to lose all of their charges whenever you put them on or take them off to ensure that stockpiling a million of them isn't productive.

Magic Mirror (from The Water Nixie) - When thrown, this item converts a large area of terrain into perfectly smooth, slippery glass.  Moving on this glass takes twice as long.  Attacking and defending while standing on glass is also more difficult.  You could include a bunch of other items that create other terrain types like magma, or water, or regular floor tiles, or whatever.  I think that could open up a lot of possibilities.

What about an extremely powerful item that can resolve almost any encounter, but comes with a permanent consequence?  Like, you use it, and for the next 50 turns all of your stats are multiplied by 5, but when it wears off, all of your stats are permanently reduced by 10%.  Or maybe it's like Sauron's ring and it gradually corrupts your mind.  Or it's a quest item with a limited number of uses, and you can't access certain content or get specific endings or whatever if you use it up.  I think there's a lot that could be done with that concept.

If you want to try some uncommon mechanics, I'd like to see more RPGs use perks instead of attribute scores.  Like, instead of raising strength so you punch harder and can carry more stuff, you take the punchmaster perk for +1 to punch damage and and weightlifter perk for +20 to inventory capacity.  Or maybe you only want the knockout punches, so you take that.  Now you've got a second perk available that you can invest in magic or punchmaster 2 or whatever.  That kind of things allows for much more character diversity than a traditional attribute system.

Another mechanic I think a lot of RPGs could improve on is conditions.  Most RPGs give you a % chance to inflict poison or instant death, and it's almost never balanced, and it's frustrating a lot of the time and I just don't think it's a good system.  I dunno if you've ever played Dark Souls, but it takes a really clever approach to conditions.  Basically, a 50% poison rate doesn't mean every attack has a 50/50 chance of inflicting poison, it means that, for an enemy with 0% poison resistance, you will inflict poison on the second attack.  No dependence on luck, no frustration, and conditions become more useful in general.  You can even balance instant death abilities this way - just make stronger enemies and bosses resistant, so it takes a higher number of casts to pull it off.

Another series that handles conditions well is Etrian Odyssey.  Conditions in those games are generally really effective, but enemies build up a resistance to them as you use them more.  So, say you cast a paralysis spell on a boss enemy and make him miss his turn.  Obviously this would be difficult to balance in a traditional RPG system.  But in EO, they make it so the first cast of paralysis always hits, and you get a few free turns.  You're rewarded for including a dude in your team who can paralyze.  After the boss recovers, if you want to paralyze them again, you've got a 50% chance to succeed.  So it still might be useful, but it's not a sure thing anymore.  If you manage to inflict paralysis again, the third attempt will have a 1 in 4 chance to succeed, and so on.  It ensures that conditions are useful while preventing them from trivializing dangerous encounters.

Of the two, I think the Dark Souls system is better, but they both have their merits, and you could probably even combine them if you wanted to.

DDRogue and its kind-of-sequel PrincessRL are also great games to look at if you want unique ideas for equipment and abilities.

miki151

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 09:10:16 PM »
Great, I especially like "dash" and "throw", as they may solve the panic and rage mechanics I'm thinking about. For panic, you get 2-3 free movements as long as they lead away from any enemy. For rage, you get 1 free movement towards an enemy (you charge at them), extra damage and if they don't resist, they are thrown back or sideways, possibly falling into the abyss or lava (my absolute favorite :))
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guest509

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 04:14:53 AM »
Crack an RPG book open. Like DnD or any of the open source DnD clones, like Osric.

Look at the special abilities of creatures, all the magic items and special effects. There are tons and tons.

I want a time warp potion, a potion of 'fix mistake'. You drink and go back 5 turns. That takes tons of resources to keep saving turns though, even if you only do it while there are time warp potions in play. As a compromise this potion has 2 charges. Drink once and save the game, drink again and go back to that save. Note that if you die you cannot drink the second time, so it's not necessarily a 2nd life potion.

I also like the basics, you know, charm, resist, heal, etc...I also like being able to mix potions together. I also like the idea of all potions having 2 charges. That way when you drink one you can maybe ID it without wasting it totally. You can also down the whole thing for double effect.

I also like having scrolls and potions be more differentiated. Like scrolls can be read more than a few times, but you are subject to blindness, silence and illiteracy. Potions can be drank but pretty much anyone, but only have 2 charges. Wands are powerful ranged weapons that can occasionally backfire or fizzle out.

I love me some design talk. You need playtesters?

guest509

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 04:19:08 AM »
As for combat techniques here are some ideas.
  -PUSH: If you have a shield and the baddy is smaller or weaker you can sorta shove them back.
  -Whirlwind: 360 death tornado. Fairly standard.

Check out all the cool moves the Warrior and Rogue can do in World of Warcraft. Some are pretty sweet. The warrior can do certain shouts that can scare the enemy, the Rogue can load up big shots in certain situations (say, like, if they are diagonal to a creature or some sort of spacial requirement).

Vanguard

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 02:26:43 AM »
If you're really serious about interesting abilities and content, you ought to check out old myths and fairy tales.

Fighters should be just as superhuman as wizards are.  Cuchulainn could leap over a castle's wall and morph into a horrifying monstrosity.  While King Arthur wore Excalibur's scabbard, he couldn't be killed by blood loss.  Hercules could cure the terminally ill by literally fighting Death.

That stuff is way cooler than an intimidating shout or whatever.

miki151

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 05:31:13 AM »
Fighting death is a really cool idea  ;D

Btw, I'm after mechanics that make combat more interesting and less predictable besides being cool. Another one I'm planning to implement (which I heard on the RL radio I think) is the ability to hit multiple adjacent opponents at the same time if you're wielding a heavy weapon. And a special message or reward for cutting off 3 goblin heads in one turn.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 05:44:46 AM by miki151 »
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JollyRoger

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 07:46:08 AM »
I think, that the really interesting situations can occur with help of OOP.
Even, It can brink bugs.
I mean, when different actions of items should be open for every item in the game, limited to flags, stats or so on.
Yes, as I said before, it can be bugged, but also can bring amusing game experience, like fighting wielding bread, casting from armor or drinking stones.  8)
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miki151

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 10:15:32 AM »
I'd rather plan features ahead instead of creating them randomly by lousy programming. I'd love to be able to hit a sword with a goblin though :)

I've implemented a rolling boulder trap today. The boulders roll in real time unlike Nethack, so you have a chance to run away or even push a boulder to make it roll. If all goes well then tonight I'll be able to watch a bunch of goblins being chased by a rolling boulder down the corridor  ;D

Ps. I just realized how many interesting things the boulders can do: destroy doors, fountains (which in turn start flooding), trees, roll downstairs, crash into each other and trigger other traps. You can of course push them around to block passage.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 10:46:56 AM by miki151 »
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JollyRoger

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 12:05:53 PM »
Hey!  ;D
I wasn't speaking about bad coding style, but some sort of self making gameplay, maybe.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 01:25:02 PM by JollyRoger »
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 01:12:51 PM »
Planning ahead is essential to succeeding in any creative endeavor, precisely because one can't foresee everything (for which we should be grateful – as it's what makes procedural gameplay possible at all).

As always,
Minotauros
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miki151

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Re: interesting items, spells and combat techniques
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 07:39:27 AM »
Here's an idea that's maybe more about storytelling and realism. When generating a level, place all tiles as hidden within normal "solid" tiles, so initially the level looks all solid, except just one room or corridor. Now place some dwarves which have an AI that takes them to the hidden tiles and uncover them, so it looks like they're building the level in front of the player. Best if it has some kind of "dwarf town" look to it.

As a bonus, put some goblins in a hidden room somewhere, and when they are uncovered, watch them pour out and fight the dwarves :D
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 07:41:19 AM by miki151 »
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