spellbooks

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David C Blume

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May 22, 1992, 7:17:27 PM5/22/92
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My roommate and I have revamped the Spellbook feature into something we
really like!

- spell points are recoved 4 times slower.
- your max # of spell points only increases every other experience level.
- all other things that affect your spell points do so to a lesser extent.

- spellbooks now require 6 * spellbook_level in spell points to be cast.
- genocide has been upgraded to 8 and extra healing to level 5.
[to avoid abuse. practically only high level W and P can genocide now.]

+ it is somewhat easier to learn a spell.
+ it is easier to cast a spell.
+ spells are learned and kept forever.

Spell points and casting are highly dependant of Wisdom and Intelligence.
This makes Wizards, Priests, and other smarties entirely different
characters, needing entirely different playing strategies.

Now my roomate and I are watching the spell points stat as much as our
hit points stat. We never used to mess with spell points. In the official
version of NetHack, you have to admit, spellpoints just aren't a feature
of the game. You just never run out of them.

For us, a level 15 Valkyrie will have ~30 spell points, and so will only
be able to cast a couple of level 2 spells at 12 points each. (until her
spell points regenerate.)

And a level 15 Wizard will have ~50 spell points, and will be able to learn
much harder spells. I once had a greedy level 20 wizard, and wished for a
spellbook of genocide, and still died, even after successfully casting
genocide two times (with *long* recuperating intervals inbetween.)

If you're interested in more details, let me know. This new feature
really makes a new difference between the smart classes and the brute
classes. No longer does every character have to be a hacker with an
artifact to win! Now you can win by smarts, too!

--David
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| David Blume | "I got killed by monsters." |
| d...@wdl1.wdl.loral.com | -- Why my roommate screamed out of nowhere. |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

Dave Rodriguez

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May 24, 1992, 8:40:49 AM5/24/92
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>d...@wdl1.wdl.loral.com (David C Blume) writes:

>My roommate and I have revamped the Spellbook feature into something we
>really like!
>
>- spell points are recoved 4 times slower.
>- your max # of spell points only increases every other experience level.
>- all other things that affect your spell points do so to a lesser extent.

>- spellbooks now require 6 * spellbook_level in spell points to be cast.
>- genocide has been upgraded to 8 and extra healing to level 5.
> [to avoid abuse. practically only high level W and P can genocide now.]

>+ it is somewhat easier to learn a spell.
>+ it is easier to cast a spell.
>+ spells are learned and kept forever.

>Spell points and casting are highly dependant of Wisdom and Intelligence.
>This makes Wizards, Priests, and other smarties entirely different
>characters, needing entirely different playing strategies.


This sounds quite promising. How about also making the effectiveness of
the spell (and the number of spell points used) proportional to the
experience level of the character? This way a spell of cone of cold cast
by a level 2 wizard might be enough to kill, say, a kobold or goblin.
Where the same spell cast by a level 25 wizard might be enough to kill a
minotaur.

I definitely think the spell casting system needs revision. A spell-casting
character (P or W) should be able to win the game with spells ONLY. However,
this must be done carefully to maintain game balance. For an experienced
player, the wizard is already the best character. As it now stands, a wizard
can win without casting a single spell. What I would like to see is for the
magic using characters to be less able to use hack and slash tactics.

How about the following:

1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
wisdom and intelligence should be limited.

2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.


David Rodriguez

Nelson Lu

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May 24, 1992, 7:49:47 PM5/24/92
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In article <piiro01.706711249@convex> pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:
> How about the following:
>
> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.

A problem would be that wizards and priests, since they need to carry more
stuff with them (probably magic items, such as wands), will need more carrying
capacity than slash-and-hack characters, but won't be able to get the strength
needed to carry them. If this limit is to be carried out, I'd think that to
keep everything balanced, you'd need to have gauntlets of strength appear a lot
more than it already is.


>
> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.

Well, then there should be some compensation for the non-fighting classes,
which *can* fight in D&D, albeit not well. Perhaps some artifact daggers
for wizards?

The Rabbit of Seville hits! -more-
You feel perplexed. -more-
You feel vexed. -more-
You feel next. -more-
The Rabbit cuts your mop. -more-
The Rabbit shaves your crop. -more-

James K. Bence

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May 25, 1992, 4:00:42 PM5/25/92
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>In article <piiro01.706711249@convex> pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:
>> How about the following:
>>
>> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
>> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
>> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
>> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
>> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.
>
>> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
>> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
>> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.

I would simply like to add that I do not like these ideas. A significant
source of appeal of the game TO ME is that all characters can acquire abilities
regardless of class. I would not play a game with the restrictions above.

Programmer/Analyst/Grad Student
Univ. of Calif, Los Angeles
Dept. of Mathematics
jbe...@math.ucla.edu

Stan T2 Wen

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May 26, 1992, 3:20:00 PM5/26/92
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In article <1992May22....@wdl.loral.com> d...@wdl1.wdl.loral.com (David C Blume) writes:
>My roommate and I have revamped the Spellbook feature into something we
>really like!

[Suggestions...]

These suggestions are good in that they move nethack into the kind of balance/
specialization that is available in Moria. In Moria, the choice of a starting
character is extremely important. Using magic often adds a nice complement
to the game and reduces, as someone suggested, the need for an artifact and
the full armor complement to win. I really don't like the fact that spell-
books are heavy, sometimes dangerous to read, and virtually worthless after
two or three spells. However, like David suggests, certain spells MUST be
attenuated (polymorph, genocide, finger of death, cancellation) for there to
be balance in a spell-rich game.

If these are properly implemented, I think there would be a good choice of
strategies for winning, instead of the normal Excalibur GDSM polypile win.

Stan T2 Wen

Dave Rodriguez

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May 28, 1992, 8:53:17 AM5/28/92
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>>pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:

>jbe...@luna.math.ucla.edu (James K. Bence) writes:

>> How about the following:
>>
>> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
>> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
>> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
>> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
>> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.
>
>> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
>> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
>> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.

>I would simply like to add that I do not like these ideas. A significant
>source of appeal of the game TO ME is that all characters can acquire abilities
>regardless of class.

Admittedly, this is a matter of personal preference. IMO, the idea of
having various character classes should imply that different strategies are
required to win. As the game now stands, a wizard can eventually acquire
exactly the same stats as a barbarian. At this point having different
character classes becomes pointless. In any case, there are certain character
specific abilities already - blessed/cursed identification, automatic
searching, warning, etc.

> I would not play a game with the restrictions above.

Suppose an additional character class were added that could win by spell
casting alone and *not* by hack and slash tactics, would you still object?

What I would like to see is the spell system enhanced so that a character
could win by spell casting alone. But if a character can *also* win by hack
and slash tactics then it would seem to me that the game would become far too
easy. I don't see any way to beef up spell casting without unbalancing the
game except by separating magic-using and fighting characters.


David Rodriguez

Dave Rodriguez

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May 28, 1992, 8:56:37 AM5/28/92
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>clau...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Nelson Lu) writes:

>>pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:

>> How about the following:
>>
>> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
>> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
>> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
>> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
>> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.

>A problem would be that wizards and priests, since they need to carry more
>stuff with them (probably magic items, such as wands), will need more carrying
>capacity than slash-and-hack characters, but won't be able to get the strength
>needed to carry them. If this limit is to be carried out, I'd think that to
>keep everything balanced, you'd need to have gauntlets of strength appear a lot
>more than it already is.

Perhaps. But if the spell system is enhanced magic users would only need
spells as the game progressed. Wands would not really be necessary. I normally
don't find carrying capacity to be too severe a limitation even for a weak
early level wizard. It would become problematical if you wanted to carry a
large number of items (for a polypile, say). There are always bags of holding.

>>
>> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
>> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
>> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.

>Well, then there should be some compensation for the non-fighting classes,
>which *can* fight in D&D, albeit not well. Perhaps some artifact daggers
>for wizards?

Possibly, my thinking was that a magic user's god would grant only the
more "useful" spellbooks. Initially, a magic user should receive spellbooks
useful for fighting such as magic missle. The spell system would be enhanced
so that these spells would render a magic user fully as powerful as a fighter
with Stormbringer. A magic user should be able to cast standard "fighting"
spells (cone of cold say, or fireball) relatively effortlessly, in much the
same way as a fighter wields Mjollnir. However, the effectiveness of these
spells should increase with experience level so that tougher monsters can
be handled while still leaving rothes and soldier ants challenging for the
early levels.

After repeated sacrificing the god could grant the more powerful spellbooks
(genocide, finger of death, etc.) and these spellbooks would *not* be obtainable
under normal game play (except by wishing). In this way game balance could be
maintained. Special spells such as genocide would not be so easily cast
(perhaps as per the restrictions that David Blume implimented).

Magic-users could always wish for artifacts, but what I would like to see
is that they not be able to use them in a really effective way and such a wish
would not be well spent. Similarly, fighters could wish for spellbooks with the same limitations.


David Rodriguez

Jerzy Michal Pawlak

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May 29, 1992, 6:27:00 AM5/29/92
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In article <piiro01.707057597@convex>, pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes...
->
->>>pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:
->
->>jbe...@luna.math.ucla.edu (James K. Bence) writes:
->
->>> How about the following:
->>>
->>> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
->>> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
->>> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
->>> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
->>> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.
->>
->>> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
->>> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
->>> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.
->
->>I would simply like to add that I do not like these ideas. A significant
->>source of appeal of the game TO ME is that all characters can acquire abilities
->>regardless of class.
->
-> Admittedly, this is a matter of personal preference. IMO, the idea of
->having various character classes should imply that different strategies are
->required to win. As the game now stands, a wizard can eventually acquire
->exactly the same stats as a barbarian. At this point having different
->character classes becomes pointless. In any case, there are certain character
->specific abilities already - blessed/cursed identification, automatic
->searching, warning, etc.

It is not at all that simple. I'm against forbidding the magic-using characters
from becoming good fighters/acquiring good weapons (anyhow, they always can
use a wish to get that desired Stormy...). The idea of forbidding certain
character classes using certain weapons comes from D&D - but remember that
nethack needs a different game balancing (D&D mage always travels in a party
with 2-3 sturdy fighters...). What I would give them is slower advance in
fighting abilities (right now you add character level to the to-hit roll -
maybe for mages and priests level/2 should be added?) and negative bonuses when
using heavy 'complicated' weapons (swords, halberds etc). Maybe even certain
probability of fumbling when using these weapons too early? This will reflect
the fact, that these classes are simply not trained for using such weapons
(on the other hand - why can't they train themselves)? Of course first
the spell system has to be reworked to be more useful, and access to spells
has to be simirarly limited (limited, not blocked!) for the fighting
character classes.

BTW. as far as I can remember D&D (how many years back it was?) the rules
stated that characters with intelligence below some limit (8?) could not
read and write at all... No spellbooks, no scrolls, not even Elbereth!
Unless you can raise you intelligence and find a book of elementary
teaching (or maybe a new monster class - a teacher?) :-)
Michal

I hate writing .signatures

Ira Carmel@Waycoolone

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May 30, 1992, 4:22:18 PM5/30/92
to
In article <1992May25.2...@math.ucla.edu>, jbe...@luna.math.ucla.edu (James K. Bence) writes:
>>In article <piiro01.706711249@convex> pii...@convex.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Dave Rodriguez) writes:
>>> How about the following:
>>>
>>> 1. Magic using characters should *never* be able to aquire the same
>>> fighting stats (strength, dexterity, constitution) as a fighting
>>> character (B, S, V, K, C). Maximum of each of these should be in
>>> the range of 10 for a magic user. In the same way, a fighter's
>>> wisdom and intelligence should be limited.
>>
>>> 2. Magic using characters should receive *spellbooks only* from their
>>> god *not* weapons. Loopholes like Orcrist and Sting should be closed
>>> and only a knight should be able to receive Excalibur from a fountain.
>
> I would simply like to add that I do not like these ideas. A significant
> source of appeal of the game TO ME is that all characters can acquire abilities
> regardless of class. I would not play a game with the restrictions above.

I agree completely. All characters should be able to get the same abilities. I
know this sounds stupid but the idea that wizards etc etc are weak is just
plain stupid. There is nothing that connects intelligence to body type at all.
I think wizards should acctually have to be really stong constitutionally
otherwise they couldn't handle the magic going through their body. Also
fighters are not always stupid. In fact a fighter that is smart is a whole
bunch better then a stupid one.

-ira

/{It is ok that you are all figments of my overtaxed imagination. }?
/{E-mail for questions about it all to IR...@yang.earlham.edu }?

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