Thursday, 7 June 2007

Credit where credit is due

As a developer of an Angband variant, I love the wider Angband community, because I get almost all of the ideas I get from discussion about features and misfeatures from Angband or other variants.

For instance, Nick in this post makes a suggestion about bookless mages (Don't read further down the thread or you'll spoil it). Its not a new idea: I've already thought about implementing psychics, which in quick email note to myself read:

Do not have books; but give up 1 item slot for every 10 powers learnt:abilities Id; Ego; Superego; Telekinesis; Pyrokinesis; Cyrokinesis;Object Reading; Ectoplasm; etc.

and then there's the idea I have allowing Shamans to tattoo runes on themselves: taking up valuable equipment slots in return for extra cool powers (Combinations of runes in Unangband give access to spells exponentially based on the number of runes carried).

But when I was reading it, something just clicked. Have a look at this article in the section titled Shadow stalker.

I've suggested an idea in the original thread that is a compromise between forcing players to be able to read books in lit areas, and allowing Shadowstalker type characters to cast spells in the dark. Its an elegant solution, and I can already see the code required to do this in Unangband in my head.

That's one of the other advantages of having your own variant. You get to implement all your cool suggestions. Hopefully this idea won't fall on deaf ears elsewhere...


Mikolaj said...

Wile I like the idea of a class of bookless mages, I think your current sketch of Psychics is quite Steambandish rather than Tolkienesque or generally suitable for any kind of Sword&Magic or Fairy-Tale mood. I guess we would soon be getting close to either Tarot cards or Jedi swords in the game, or both. :D

Tolkien's Middle Earth is quite rich is ancient and medieval magic (though the "good" magic is usually something original and subtle rather then one of these --- something inspired or brought from Aman rather than devised by corrupted people themselves). I've recently discovered with a surprise that there are even vampires in Tolkien (Sauron in vampire form in Silmarilion). And I thought earlier they are out of place in Angband...

Perhaps we could take the names and the mood of the spells from Tolkien (Vala and Elven powers or else the Medieval stuff)? If not, I'd still go for Jedi Swords rather than Tarot cards, that is I'd try to describe the spells in contemporary New Age Star Trek techno-babble rather than using the XIX pseudo-mystic esoteric steam-science taxonomies.

Andrew Doull said...

Sorcerers are about as 'psychic' as I think I'll let classes get... its not as if there is enough magical variety in Unangband already.

Mikolaj said...

Oh, ok, Sorcerers look good, looking at the first 2 books. I guess I gook your XIX century description for an in-game description, which is actually more Star Trek (Probability Travel, even Infravision, not to mentions Teleport) than XIX century (or First--Third Age).

Anyway, worse things can happen, like mentioning abstract game mechanics in spell names, as in Teleport Level (fortunately already renamed in Un:).