The Problem with Poison
I have intended to change to poison mechanics for a long time. The current system has a few problems associated with it, both when used against the player and against a monster.
On the Player
When the player is poisoned it means you have to rest, use a consumable or slowly die. The level of poisoning determines how often the poison acts. While poison resistance should help reducing poison, it doesn’t work in a very intuitive way right now.
Without resistance, poison is a critical condition even at level 1, forcing you do act fairly quickly. the actual level of poisoning is usually not that important.
If you poison a monster (even at level 1), you can just walk away and wait for it to die. This is not very fun or challenging, and sometimes really tedious (especially if a monster has high hp or regenerates).
The New Poison Mechanic
The new system is more akin to how it works in other roguelikes/RPGs: as delayed damage that eventually wears out.
For a poisoned character there is a (high) chance that the poison acts every turn-segment. When the poison acts two things will happen:
- The character takes one damage (unless a roll on poison resistance applies).
- The poisoning is reduced by one level (unless a roll on poison weakness applies).
This means that poisoning will eventually wear out. This prevents the problems outlined above both for monsters and the player.
The resistance/weakness mechanic is also much clearer now: If you have resistance, you can sometimes skip taking damage, and if you have weakness you sometimes take damage without reducing the poison level.
Having 100% resistance (or more) means that, while you can be poisoned, you won’t take any damage during its course.
Having 100% weakness (or more) means that you have to rest or use a confumable to expunge the poison (like in the old system), since it won’t reduce by itself.
- Poison acts much faster than before (50% to act every turn-segment)
- Poison acts with the same speed regardless of level.
- Many sources of poison damage are higher from most sources (both from player and monsters). This is to compensate for the fact that poison now is much less deadly.
- Silver leaves now cures 5 levels of poison instead of 2.
- If your poison level is more than current hp, the status window show “fatally poisoned” (because you will die if the poison takes its full course).
The new poison system may not be very innovative, but it solves many of the problems of the current poison mechanics. In particular:
- When poisoned, it is now a choice whether to let it act or if it is better to rest.
- You can no longer kill a monster with a one-hit of low poison
- Poison resistance and weakness is easier to understand and more meaningful.
Edit: Acid also changed
I just wanted to also mention that acid attacks no longer destroy equipment. Instead it lowers the armour attribute temporarily. This both makes acid attacks more useful against monsters and make them less devastating to the player.
These are both wonderful changes!
The old poison mechanic, whilst unique, did not really work at all with the spirit of the rest of the game, being something that worked on a turn time scale, and acid just felt unnecessarily cruel, and significantly worse than the other elemental effects.
I also like the possibility of making a strong creature 100% weak to poison, and then using the old poisoning method. It wouldn’t be as bad as before because it would be much more difficult to pull off.
And has the wand of curing been changed in proportion too? It used to be slightly better than a silver leaf for some reason…
> These are both wonderful changes!
Glad you like them 🙂
> acid just felt unnecessarily cruel
Yes, and at the same time not being as cruel to monsters. Now it is more even 🙂
> wand of curing been changed in proportion too?
It also cures 5 poison now, although these numbers may change as I test.
I like it. Easy to understand and interacts well with weakness and resistance. Good job!