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CF: Successful experiments - commit to CVS?

    The following is a list of experimental changes I've successfully
implemented on my own server, which are ready to be committed to the CVS
tree if they pass consensus.  I've mentioned these before, but some of them
stirred up a good deal of discussion, and I'm not sure if any majority
decision was reached.  I'll just list all the proposed changes again all
together, for clarity.

1) attacktype: psionic

    This one isn't quite ready.  I still have to go through the monsters and
set some of them vulnerable, protected, or immune to this, althourh many
already have vuln/prot/immune to the various side-effects.  Also need some
monsters that naturally use this.  There are a couple working spells, and
one artifact weapon, though.

    Psionic Blast - cone-type spell
    Psionic Bolt - bolt-type spell
    Psionic Strike - similar to Finger of Death (not implemented yet)
    Mind Blade - very light, very fast katana, attacktype: psionics

    Psionic attacks do half of their damage directly then apply confusion,
slow, fear, and paralyze effects, each of which can be seperately
vulnerable, protected, or immune.  They cut the damage in half, rather than
simply doing less damage in the first place, so that in mixed attack
vectors, the actual full damage can come from the physical part of the
    When updating creatures, I intend to make all non-intelligent creatures
immune to psionics.  Slimes and such don't have a mind to attack.  Highly
intelligent creatures, like elves, wizards, and demons are protected from
psionics, as are elementals, who do have minds, but are so alien that mental
attacks are only half as effective.  Anything undead is automatically

2) raw mana spells

    There was some debate over whether these should be included.  Spells
that attack with raw magic are extremely and indiscriminately destructive,
so on those occasions that you need to take out fire-immune and frost-immune
creatures simultaneously, or you don't know which you'll be facing, these
general-purpose spells are a significant advantage.  The disadvantages are
that they cost approximately twice as many spell points to do the same
amount of damage, are higher level (more difficult) spells, and will almost
certainly destroy any and all treasure in the area of effect.
    If we're going to start changing maps to reduce the frequency of finding
fire-immune and frost-immune creatures together, which is probably the
better solution, then these spells are probably not necessary, but I don't
see any reason /not/ to include them, either.  They might be made
particularly rare, or maybe even book-less, but the sudden release of raw
magical destruction should be possible.  These spells aren't as powerful as
Destruction, since they won't go through walls and they will damage inert
objects, but they're basically a ham-fisted version of the same idea.

    Mana Blast - cone-shaped area of effect
    Mana Bolt - bolt-shaped area of effect
    S/M/L/ Mana Ball - fireball type area of effect.

3) grenade spells

    Somewhere between Small Fireball and Create Bomb lies Grenade, a spell
that simply creates a special kind of bomb, one that detonates on impact,
and projects it in a specified direction, regardless of the caster's
strength and throwing skill.  Being physical attacks, these will affect
almost anything, but individual grenades aren't terribly powerful, and
they're guaranteed to send some shrapnel back the way they came.
    The priest version of this spell, "holy handgrenade," does physical
damage plus GodPower (whatever the god's attacktype is) and Holy Word
(quintuple damage for the god's enemies).  This one spell gives any priest
who can use Path: Detonation a means of gaining lots of priest experience,
since very few creatures are immune to it.  I'm not sure whether that's a
good thing.  Maybe more gods should deny or repel Detonation anyway?  I
really like this spell for Mostrai, though.  Fear dwarves bearing the Holy
Handgrenade of Mostrai!
    Another way to balance this extension of priestly attacks to general
damage would be to make it a particularly slow spell to cast, as the priest
must count three before throwing the grenade.  Ye must not count four, nor
two, but that thou goest right on to three.  Five is right out....

4) holy word of elemental or demihuman god vs. undead

    Currently, undead are unaffected by holy words from cults who do not
consider them a special enemy.  Holy Word does 5x damage to anything listed
in the god's "slaying" list, and completely ignores everyone else.  I added
undead as a special case, so that if undead are not listed as enemies, they
take normal damage (not quintuple, like enemy races) unless they're listed
as friends, in which case they still take zero damage.  This gives gods like
Lythander and Mostrai /some/ control over the undead, but leaves them
significantly less dangerous to undead than Gaea and Valriel.

5) animated weapons

    Two new spells allow weapons to be used as golems.  Dancing Sword
creates a temporary magical sword that flies around and hacks things up for
you.  You gain magic experience for the things that are being chopped up
physically, because you're not swinging the sword yourself, but using some
magical telekinetic force to do it for you.
    Animate Weapon is a generalization of Staff to Snake, which allows any
weapon, whatever weapon the caster has equipped, to become a golem. 
Animated weapons are agile, sturdy, and tough, in addition to receiving
significant bonusses from the magical attributes of the weapon.  Magical
weapons are much faster, stronger, and tougher.  A bonus to Str translates
into an additional +5 damage.  A bonus to Dex gives the weapon +3 wc. 
Constitution and regeneration bonusses give the weapon golem many more hit
points, making it last a lot longer.  The only problem with this is that the
mage must be wielding the weapon when he casts the spell.  Not many mages
can animate a Bone Crusher, and if they could, it would be remarkably slow.  
    When the golem is killed or the spell ends, the weapon drops to the
ground right where it is.  Be careful attacking fire creatures with wooden
weapons.  The object saving throw list is used to determine the weapon's
armour rating and vulnerability to or protection from various attacktypes. 
Weapons that are made, even partially, of wood, make golems that are
vulnerable to fire, so fire creatures can kill them twice as quickly,
leaving the actual weapon there in the line of fire, making repeated saving
throws to keep from igniting.

6) overgeneration

    I removed the 1 point/tick maximum on sp/hp regeneration, but I'm
thinking of either reinstating that maximum and raising the basic
regeneration rate for spell points, or setting a new maximum of two points
per tick.  Powerful mages with enough +Pow and +Magic items, and unlimited
spell point regeneration speed, can be seriously unbalanced.

7) damage descriptions

    Just out of curiosity I changed the descriptive text for attacks to pick
an adjective based on the percent of damage done rather than the straight
number of points of damage.  I'm not sure yet whether I like this any

current	  experiment	description
-1	< 0		you hit it
0	0		you missed it
	0.001%-0.009%	you tickle it
	0.01%-0.1%	you amuse it
	0.1%-0.5%	you barely scratch it
	0.5%-1.0%	you barely graze
1-2	1.0%-5.0%	you grazed it
3-5	5.0%-10.0%	you hit it
	10.0%-15.0%	you hurt it
6-8	15.0%-22.5%	you hit it hard
9-11	22.5%-30.0%	you hit it very hard
12-15	30.0%-40.0%	you hit it extremely hard
16-19	40.0%-50.0%	you crush it very hard
20-24	50.0%-62.5%	you smash it with a bonecrunching sound
25-34	62.5%-87.5%	you grind it to dust
35+	87.5%-100%	you shred it to pieces
	100%-200%	you destroy it
	200%-300%	you slay it
	300%+		you obliterate it

8) pouches in shops

    I got sick of emptying my pouches every time I wanted to buy something,
and dumping all the coins back in every time I sold something, so I hacked
shop.c to use any and all open money containers.  Coins will be taken from
open pouches, but not closed pouches or any other kinds of containers. 
Coins are also inserted into open pouches when receiving payment for sold
items, until each pouch fills up.  Overflow just gets left in the player's
inventory, as it does now.

            -Dave Noelle,       
            -the Villa Straylight,
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