Yet another complete rework of the mechanics will be available in the next release (I’m on a roll!). In general, what I am trying to do with these changes are to diversify the gameplay of TGGW by incorporating the gameplay of classic RPG classes (warrior, thief, mage, monk, ranger etc.). In previous posts I have changed mechanics to be able to play monk-like characters and dual-wield rangers. The following mechanics reflects the game style of a thief/rogue.
In the current release, a trap will always trigger when you or a monster step on it (or when using a door/container which is trapped). In the next release you will make trap check to see if the trap actually triggers. The trap check is a derived attribute that uses a combination of your ‘light’ and your ‘noise’ attribute. The ‘noise’ attribute represent your noise level as well as your weight, grace and general bulkiness (a character with high noise typically wear heavy armour and weapons and have a harder time avoiding traps, while a character with low noise represents someone who moves carefully and deliberately). So the higher the noise, the higher risk of triggering a trap. Your ‘light’ attribute also generally reflects how well you see and helps to react in time before a trap triggers (a character with a high light attribute carries torches or other vision-aiding gear, enabling them to see a trap just before it triggers). Your trap check then is 50 + 10*(light – noise)% with percentages tapered off when under 10% or over 90% (it is resolved in the same way as a melee attack, you could see it as an attack ‘light’ vs. ‘noise’ instead of ‘melee’ vs. ‘block’). When you start the game, your trap check will be at 50 + 10*(3-7) = 10%. If you want to improve on that you will have to find better light or be less noisy, or both. I am very satisfied with this solution since it makes the light and noise attributes more important, and it makes a lot of sense logically: it will be more difficult to avoid traps in dark rooms or when you are burdened with heavy armour.
There are a few more adjustments to this rule: you get a penalty if you are confused and a bonus if you detect traps (this means that detecting traps now also helps you avoid them). Monsters that steps on traps will have to do the same checks.
If the trap check fails, the trap triggers and affects the victim just like before.
If the trap check succeeds, the trap won’t trigger, but it is exposed. An exposed trap becomes an item that you can pick up and then you can place the trap for your enemies instead. You set a trap by standing where you want the trap placed and then using it from the inventory.
Setting a trap comes with two caveats. First, you cannot set a trap if you are seen by a sufficiently intelligent monster (in game terms: a monster of the category ‘Humanoid’). Second, there is a small risk that the trap goes off. Originally I planned to make another (easier) trap check for trap placement, but then I realised that you would simply remove your noisy armour before placing a trap and thereby encouraging very tedious behaviour. Instead the risk for the trap going off is now a constant percentage (to be determined).
When you set a trap it becomes active. An active trap that you have set is harmless to you, but it cannot be picked up. Monsters cannot see your traps and if they step on one, they will have to do a trap check (just like you) or the trap will trigger on them. If the monster succeeds the check, the trap will become inactive again, and you can pick it up. All your traps will become inactive when you rest.
The trap check for monsters have interesting consequences: Small, light monsters like worms have very low noise and are very unlikely to trigger traps, while large, armoured monsters with poor vision, like trolls, will almost always trigger them. Note that both have their benefits: while it’s obviously good that large monsters trigger traps, it’s actually also good if a low-noise monster steps on a trap without triggering it since this exposes the trap and you can collect it.
Other Trap Changes
Since the implementation of traps is completely changed, there are some small other differences to traps, which may or may not be noticeable:
- Traps can no longer be blocked (swinging logs could be blocked before)
- Traps no longer scale up in damage when you go deeper, all damage from traps is fixed.
- Traps now have a rarity like all other items, all traps had an equal chance of appearing before.
When introducing new mechanics, there’s always a risk of breaking the game balance. The new mechanics implies that a character with a noise attribute of 0 don’t have to worry much about traps. However, a character with 0 noise (although unusual) is already very powerful 1. In addition, traps used to be the worst threat to stealthy characters, which is no longer the case.
To balance this, inanimate monsters no longer sleep. All undead and most mindless monsters are inanimate. This is justified both in terms of balance and in terms of logic. I think this is a good trade-off since many of the most dangerous end-game monsters are inanimate. This means that a zero-noise character would still be very powerful, but would have to find a way around inanimate monsters. In general trap-setting will be a very important element for a stealthy character (especially towards the end), and for them traps becomes resources instead of obstacles.
I will have to play some more before I can really tell if this is balanced or not, and more adjustments may be needed. But this is the current plan.
1. I am aware of at least two wins of 0-noise characters: the first one was Zennaris, and the second one was Kyzrati. I recommend checking out Kyzrati’s excellent account of winning with a stealth based character on reddit. ↩