Exploring vs Combat

I am a fan of simple-to-understand rules. In the next release you will always be either in exploring mode or combat mode.

The Modes

You are in exploring mode whenever you are not aware of any awake monsters around you, that is: you cannot see or hear any awake monsters. Detecting monsters don’t count.

When you are in exploring mode, the following applies:

  • You can rest
  • You can equip and unequip items freely
  • You can be victim of a surprise attack, in particular you can’t avoid spells (since everything would take you by surprise).
  • Spacebar will always autorun (unless you turned it off in the options)

If you on the other hand can see or hear an awake monster, you are in combat mode. In combat mode the following applies:

  • You cannot rest
  • You cannot equip or unequip body armour, helmets, gloves or boots (“big equipment”). However, you can still swap weapons, ammo, launchers, shields and jewellery.
  • Spacebar will always wait a turn
  • You are too preoccupied to avoid any traps (avoid traps is 0%)
  • You cannot use some “complex” dungeon features or make complicated actions (such as mining).
  • You cannot use any service (such as a merchant).

Your current mode will always be seen first in the “status” panel. This replaces the text “normal” that displayed when you had no status effects. The whole status window will change colour when you are in combat mode.

Why Modes?

  1. The modes make the game a bit more dynamic and adds some realism to the game. No longer will you be able able to casually put on your plate mail while a barbarian is standing right next to you and beating you up. Neither will you be able to go chatting up a pretty enchantress while a dog is biting you in the foot, and you certainly don’t have time to carefully look around for hidden traps while hearing the mighty steps of a furious giant you are running away from. This is also a step towards restricting equipment swapping which the game really is in need of (more on that in another post).
  2. You have slightly more reason to kill monsters than before. This makes the game more difficult, which is fine since recent changes have made it easier.
  3. The modes make the rules simpler. You will no longer wonder whether the spacebar will run or wait. You will also directly know when you can rest and not.
  4. This actually allows you to rest among sleeping monsters, which is more logical (in previous releases you can’t). On the other hand, you will not be able to sleep if you can hear a monster (who would dare?).
  5. It forces you to plan ahead a bit. Once in combat it may be difficult to get out of it again. So it is important to make sure you have made your decisions about what armour to wear before heading out in unknown territory.



  1. I really enjoy your efforts to keep the game simple to understand.
    My first reaction to those modes is positive.
    Still, if I can outrun silent monsters that are chasing me and loose sight and hear of them, then I still can rest like in the actual releases of the game, even if they were actively pursuing me.
    I think it’s still a bit odd, like a child who think no-one can see or hear him if he doesn’t see or him anyone around. 🙂
    Yet I have no suggestion to make for this at the moment… :/

    1. Yes, of course it will not be perfectly logical, but I prefer something that is easy to understand than an overly complicated realistic algorithm for when you could rest.

      You can use the justification that if you cannot hear anything, you feel safe enough to rest (and you can’t verify that something is indeed chasing you).

      1. Shower thought!
        Why not add a status like “Cautious” that would wear off only 10 or 20 turns after having seen or hear a monster?
        That would make some FUN run away looking for the safest place to rest, and may add a bit a realism. It would be hard to feel completely safe just after a fight, or even just after having spotted a monster, it’s always adrenaline-inducing right? 🙂

        1. I don’t think it fits in TGGW. First of all, I don’t like to include anything that takes any number of turns, I want all effects to be permanent, from equipment, temporary (wears off when you rest) or contextual (determined exactly from where you stand/what you see at the moment).

          Secondly, I think it would add a lot of tedium: See a monster, go away, wait 20 turns, re-equip, go back, repeat. I want to minimize going await and “waiting out” something (that’s why I have the “temporary” system in the first place).

          I will always favour gameplay over realism. However, I appreciate the idea. Several of your ideas are already going into the game as you know! 🙂

          1. I like this game design. And that’s why I think disease also don’t really fit the game right now as it is clock-turn based (effects becoming worse) yet we can shrug it off just by resting.
            Completely agree with your second point about having to wait!
            Thank you to listen to your fan base. 😉
            That’s why I don’t mind sharing my ideas, bad or good. :p

            1. Yes, poison and disease are a bit problematic, I agree. They work quite well for the player (how long do you dare to explore before you rest, should you use a cure or rest?), but are really over-powered and tedious on monsters (poison/disease – go into another room and wait). It might be time to rethink these.

              1. If you don’t mind me sharing ideas again, for disease, I would imagine something like -1 HP/MP/EP each time you rest.
                Then it would get worst as if you don’t treat it and decide to rest anyway. The same for monsters who can’t use items (so basically all non-humanoids but those who are naturally immune to it).

                For poison, I still have no idea to make it non-turn-based. But I assume that would be something interesting to do with EP maybe. Every time we spend EP we suffer damage, as they are actions that requires more energy than just exploring.

                Just babbling randomly, hope it inspire.

                Just had a good run a few minutes ago, died against a Queen Ant at DLVL9, I’ve underestimate its strength. :p

                1. I like the disease idea a lot. It would be different from everything else. However, then it would have to be a permanent effect instead of temporary (all temps disappears when resting). It could even be harmless if treated before resting. I will think more about it. It would also require that I add a lot of means to cure disease.

                  For poison I am thinking it will effect you every time you act, but at the same time decrease as you take damage. In this sense poison would just be “delayed” damage that can be prevented (like in most other roguelikes). To compensate I would increase the poison damage most monsters do.

                  I also like the idea of taking damage while spending ep. However, it’s quite easy to not spend ep, and monster are currently not using ep either.

                  1. Oh yes, “delayed damage” is much clearer in term of gameplay! Like in DCSS, you know this yellow bar will kill you or not, or in Brogue (“mortally poisonned”).
                    It would be (a bit) less frustrating this way I think. 🙂

  2. Great solution! I especially like the spacebar fix aspect of it, since that always bothered me, but the other logic improvements are nice as well.

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