Tuesday, 13 April 2010

...in which I admit I play DnD 4e

There are several main reasons why I've never won Crawl. The first is that I'm much too impatient. The second is that I'm not cautious enough. And the third is that I get complacent playing MdFis (my favourite class). Yet I'm glad about this. Mindlessly hacking things isn't and shouldn't be the way to win at Crawl, thankfully. Its a testament to how state-of-the-art (when it comes to Roguelikes) that Crawl has become, really.

That aside, that you have an added level of depth for "just" melee characters is something I'd like to emulate in Kharne. albeit via a slightly different mechanism. I've played a lot of DnD 4e recently and am impressed with some of the features that have been introduced to pep up playing fighter/melee classes.

So I'm going to make slight changes to the class system in Kharne. The five classes will stay the same (Warrior, Knight, Thief, Cleric, Mage), but as the character advances in level, they will gain powers and innate abilities.

They also gain a different name as they gain in level, for more atmosphere. For example, a level 1 Warrior would be a Grunt whereas a level 5 warrior would be a Soldier.

The full list of proposed names is as follows:

Grunt, Soldier, Warrior, Commander, Warlord

Squire, Defender, Paladin, Champion, Hero

Thug, Rogue, Criminal, Villain, Malefactor

Novice, Acolyte, Cleric, Minister, Prelate

Initiate, Apprentice, Scholar, Sage, Archmage

I've not quite figured out all the powers that each class will have at different levels (suggestions are most welcome), but here's an example of what I had in mind for the Rogue class. The powers gained are cumulative, and would scale for the character's current level. They're also thematic.

Thug: every x turns, make your next attack a critical hit (where x is a reasonable length of time).
Rogue: every x turns increase your stealth dramatically for a short period of time (where x is a reasonable length of time).
Criminal: gain a bonus to critical hit damage.
Villian: gain a bonus to evasion.
Malefactor: give a percentage chance to cheat death once every y turns for a small period of time (where y is a fairly large number)

Now, of course, when you have, in a roguelike, a resource that regenerates over a period of time, you immediately open up the can of worms that is Pillar Dancing. I don't think there have been that many truely satisfactory solutions to Pillar Dancing, but I think that powers that recharge every x turns should only count turns when the character is actually doing something.

Some additional features that come to mind:
  • Powers could be recharged (or drained) by fountains
  • It wouldn't be good to display the exact number of turns left until a power is usable - but a descriptive indicator would work
  • There could be an item brand that decreases/increases the timer of the powers.
  • Powers could be enhanced, suppressed or even turned off by certain zones in the dungeon, or certain monsters
Thoughts? Suggestions for appropriate powers? Criticism?


Brian said...

I say good on ya and roll with it in general to see what you can hash out that has its own unique flavor to it.

md1 said...


Reminds me of LambdaRogue's diploma system, where each profession (soldier, enchanter, thief, archer) can gain ranks, either by training certain skills, or by solving certain quests. Soldiers have a straight rank tree, the other professions have a splitted tree (enchanters may become either monks or battle mages, for example).

Will be interesting to see your implementation.

Nicholas "Numeron" Ross said...

For Warrior perhaps you could use Fighter as the lowest rank, and take out Warrior in the middle since none of the other classes have their own name repeated :)

Todd D. said...

Make it per x true keystrokes, so doing Wait 10000 doesn't help.

Also, have you ever played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri or Master of Orion? In those, depending on settings, players may not get a full choice of every single research item (i.e. power/skill) in the entire game, so every game is somewhat unique.

SMAC also has a mode where when you choose to do research, you don't get to even choose your research target. It's just one of the legal targets in the pool. You'll eventually get everything, but you might not figure out helicopters really early, or you might end up getting all the solar power stuff first, etc.