First a few words about my current plans. I plan to release yet another small bugfix release v2.1.2 (hopefully during December) which fixes some more issues that were missed in v.2.1.1. After that it will probably take a while before v2.2 is out, as I’m planing quite huge changes for that release.
When you start a character you can only deal non-lethal damage. This is to provide an interesting challenge to when and where to rest since most monsters will come back at full health after knocking them out. My intention has always been that these monsters shouldn’t easily be killed.
However, whenever you find something that deals “real” damage; a weapon with reach, a wand or some ammunition, you can go back to finish off unconscious monsters. Finishing them off once you find a source of real damage is optimal and doesn’t involve much tactical decisions or danger. I have explicitly disallowed to do this with a melee weapon since it does not deplete any resources.
However, this is counter-intuitive to many players. To make it worse, the you can still finish monster off with a reaching weapon (something that is allowed because reach weapons are rare). Using rocks or wands is allowed as it uses up resources, but it is still pretty much a no-brainer since rocks are plentiful.
I have been aware of these problem for some time but haven’t found a good solution until now…
In v2.2 you will be able to attack unconscious monsters with any weapon, including your normal melee weapon (by using the same interface as with reach weapons: target and press 0). However…
Attacking a helpless monster is considered cruel (almost only living monsters can be unconscious now*) and will cause the temporary status aggravating. Every time you attack an unconscious monster, your aggravating level will increase by 2. Being aggravating means:
- Whenever you reach a new depth while being aggravating, more monsters than normal will be generated on that level.
- When you rest while aggravating, more monsters will be generated in the dungeon.
The number of monsters generated is a random number between 0 and your aggravating level.
This means that finishing off unconscious monsters might not be the optimal strategy. However, it is now always an option and in some cases it might be a valid choice. With this mechanic I hope to accomplish two things: 1) to make the rules intuitive and 2) to make it an interesting decision whether to finish off unconscious monsters or not.
Final note: I’m not sure “aggravation” is the best term for this status. Feel free to suggest a better name for this status.
* The rod of knockout can still incapacitate inanimate monsters.