Don’t get Surrounded

This is just a quick post about miscellaneous news in v2.1 which is to be released in early November.


v2.1 will have a new contextual, player only status. Whenever you are adjacent to more than one monster you are flanked. When you are flanked you are attacked from more than one direction and consequently have a harder time to block. For each monster extra you get a -2 penalty to your block attribute. It was a bad idea to get surrounded even before, it will be an even worse idea now.

Being attacked from two sides means a -2 penalty to block.

Being attacked from two sides means a -2 penalty to block.


The Item Display

The item Window is larger and has a better layout.

The item Window is now larger and better looking. I’llt definitely fit everything that needs to be seen now, with the very small drawback that it covers the status-window. In addition, it will show a reason why you cannot use an item if you cannot.


The game always had the flaw that you cannot wait on stairs (pressing space makes you walk them). In v2.1 stairs are instead bumpable like in Brogue. This means that the placement of stairs is a little bit different. Stairs are typically found in walls instead of in the middle of rooms. Over all it doesn’t change gameplay too much, but it changes the look and feel a bit.

On the same note, you will be able to bump-close doors on braziers and statues as well, not only walls. This should make closing doors much easier.

Unconscious Monsters

Swapping places with an unconscious or incapacitated monster will cost 1 Ep. This means that you are discouraged from moving unconscious monsters around in this fashion, but it also makes it more important where you fight. Knocking a monster out in a corridor is a bad idea…

Note that this together with flanking introduces some interesting trade-offs: It is not desirable to fight unarmed in a corridor because you might have to push monsters, but at the same time fighting in an open space increases the risk of being flanked.

However, since many early game monsters are now frail, these mechanics don’t add to the overall difficulty of the game.



  1. > you will be able to bump-close doors on braziers and statues as well
    So braziers still take one solid tile and won’t be considered as ground?

    > Swapping places with an unconscious or incapacitated monster will cost 1 Ep.
    What if we’re starving? Same mechanics as for stuck doors apply?

    1. > So braziers still take one solid tile and won’t be considered as ground?

      In v2.1 yes, they will still be solid. But I’m considering to change it in the future.

      > What if we’re starving? Same mechanics as for stuck doors apply?

      Not exactly the same. If you are starving, have 0 Ep, and only 1 Hp you actually risk dying from exhaustion. However, if you would take any damage from pushing you will be prompted first.

      1. Do we have to swap places with any unconscious/incapacitated monsters or only the big ones that we wouldn’t be able to walk over?

        1. Any, but those who would be small enough to walk over are now frail (i.e., they don’t get unconscious).

  2. Still a great game and I’ve been playing more than I ought to. That early win certainly did not become a streak.

    If you’re up for a few small quality of life changes, here are some things I wish for:

    The Whip – To whip, maybe there is a better way, but I hit X to highlight. Then use arrow keys if required to select target. Then I take my hand from the ZXC area of the keyboard and go to the opposite side and hit 0. (That’s if I don’t accidentally hit space and shoot my mistake) Happily, the X-focus stays on the target, so I can hit 0 several times when whipping up a storm. Except also unhappily, on that sad day when my target stepped into shadow or for other reasons became invalid and the target moved to *ME* and then I whipped myself with my poison-covered whip. That was most inconvenient. Suddenly I wonder – can I cover my whip in a buff potion and whip myself repeatedly to stack the bonus?? Must test.

    I do not know the fix for the whip, but this is the problem. I can only suggest that 0 is too far away and it could go on the number 1 as a minor improvement.

    Monster Info Screen – I feel I have to go into the second layer of info screen too much. I wish it included the following on the first layer:
    Monster speed. Monster max melee damage total, including elemental effects such as fire etc. %age likelihood to hit me in melee, and %age likelihood that I will it in melee.

    Trigger Message Lacks Result – Magic and traps say they happened. If they fail there is a message. But if they don’t fail, you are not told what occurred. Sometimes I have to open my character sheet and examine whether anything happened to me. I have learned that “no news is bad news” but when I was brand new I thought I dodged the trap because no result was stated, and then later didn’t understand why I had temp melee debuff, etc.

    C to open inventory and C to coat. Thank goodness you have the confirmation prompt or I would have coated most of my healing pots by accident!

    Also I will confess a big tedium I do to myself. I must keep returning to the vendors to see what their offers are for upgrading/enchanting something new. I take screen shots. Then later before the final dive I can decide how to spend my gold. This is the equivalent of carrying all my enchant scrolls in brogue as late into the game as I can, before committing to a build. I don’t know how you can discourage me except by showing it in the maps screen.

    1. One note about 0, if you have a numpad, you can easily hit it with your arrow key finger. If you’re on a laptop however… Maybe he could make 0 an optional rebind, perhaps to 1, as you suggested, or maybe to tilde, if that’s there on a laptop.

      And as for c to inventory, c to coat, I have many a time accidentally coated unidentified potions!

      1. Indeed. I also use the numpad for 0-9 which is really convenient, but not for everyone.

        Yes, I think I will add confirmation for all coating.

    2. I am happy you still enjoy the game 🙂 And thank you very much for your input, it is very valuable to me!

      Regarding your wishes:

      > The Whip

      The possibility to whip yourself is a horrible bug that I’ve fixed for the next version (yes, it is very exploitable). I’ve never seen the 0 as a problem because I, like Roneitis, use the numpad for wands and whips. But then again, that solution may not suit everyone. Currently 1-9 is reserved for wands. I might make it possible to remap keys, then it should suit anyone.

      > Monster Info Screen

      It looked kind of how you wished previously. The problem is that all that information does not fit. Especially not damage numbers since monsters may have many attacks. I think going to the next screen unfortunately is going to be necessary. To hit % in the first layer is a good idea though, but it is a little bit tight with space right now.

      > Trigger Message Lacks Result

      Yes I know. Strangely enough you’re the first one who’ve been commenting on it. It is not only for traps: most temporary effects actually don’t get reported when you get them. This is a weakness in my current implementation and it’s unfortunately not trivial to fix. However, this is something that I’ve had on my todo-list for a long time.

      > C to open inventory and C to coat.

      Yes. It is also a bit unfortunate. I am very reluctant to add more keys though. My band-aid solution would probably be to always ask for confirmation before coating (currently you don’t, see Roneitis comment).

      > Running to Vendors

      Yes, I agree. It would be very nice to have a feature that shows all options you have available in the Map menu. Taking screenshots really shouldn’t be necessary. However, this would be quite a lot of work, so don’t expect it for the very next release(s).

      Thanks again!

      1. Had another victory, my second.

        I am experimenting with a strategy change, which I call the early all-in. By all-in I mean using all of your pots and scrolls and stacking buffs deep. Once you do this you cannot rest or you’ll never reach that power level again. In this victory I did not rest after depth 6, and I explored probably less than 50% of the overall dungeon. The map screen was crazy, I did not suck anywhere near all of the resources out of the dungeon to win, and many ice blocks and veins were left.

        It was a really weird build. I had speed 2 which was extremely painful. But even though I wore no armor I had armor of 95%! That was thanks to amulet of inertia, ring of peace, wand of armor, and I believe a boost made the last bit. Inertia brought me from 5 to 3 speed, which was bad enough, but then not long after I got a debuff of -1 speed from cold damage. So for example I fought a hornet who moved 7 times for every time I moved, but he was unlikely to hit me. A very asymmetric battle.

        I coated my iron longspear in potion of slowness, which mitigated my speed disadvantage against beefy enemies. So when I fought a warrior for example, I would suffer some hits and rely on armor, but as I hit him he would slow down. Eventually he would hit speed 1 and be slower than me, at which point I would kite him around in a circle and use my spear’s reach to finish him safely.

        A mask granting infravision allowed me to be very careful about not fighting elemental enemies, and a scroll of trap detection was another key piece for such a long all-in… to get nausea would have been very dangerous. Confusion and Nausea are straight-up game-enders sometimes. On the final floor I had to choose: go left and wake a wind elemental. Go right and step over a trap. I chose the trap and was lucky: it misfired, and I found the [REDACTED] not far past it.

        So all-in on 6… Is this earlier than you typically go all-in?

        I used to plan to do it around level 11 or so, as the “end game.” But I kept dying in the mid-game, every time I would hit some fight I couldn’t handle. Step down twisty stairs next to a can’t-win fight.

        So one run I decided, screw it, it’s only depth 8 but I’m going all-in. I had full health and I read all my buffs and was ready to rock. Except I forgot I was not “in light” because of the nearby light source, but because I had previously triggered a glow trap. So I went into the depths stacked for battle but glowing in the dark, and that did not go well at all.

        But that taste of going into the mid-game wielding my power openly instead of carrying it in my backpack… was compelling.

        I think this win was just another case of lucky gear, so the early all-in might not actually have been good. But I will continue to experiment with pulling the power phase earlier into the game at the expense of being able to rest.

        1. Congratulations on the second win! 😀

          That’s a very interesting build indeed! Really nice to hear that it is possible to win on speed 2! Very interesting strategy also. I usually go all-in around 8-12 depending on how well the character goes. I never tried as early as level 6 (although I usually explore significantly less after level 6), but it was very interesting that it worked! But it is true that the less you explore, the less dangers you encounter.

          I will experiment with going all in earlier as well 🙂 Thank you for detailed comments!

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