Olympia: Special Artifacts

Bron Campbell Nelson (bron@bronze.mti.sgi.com)
Thu, 1 Sep 94 17:01:22 -0700

Certain "monsters" require special artifacts in order to defeat.
If you attack them, you get a message in your turn report like:

> attack zz9z
> You must have the Hyper-Mega-Thingy [xx0x] to defeat
> the Scum Monsters [zz9z]

and the attack fails (bloodlessly).

There has been some local discussion about this; I thought I'd
post to the whole design list.

The general feeling, which I agree with, is that this is a royal
pain in the butt. You can spend a full turn (or more) gathering
several nobles to attack some large target, only to find out it
was all a waste of time and effort.

One proposal would be to annotate the description of the monster
with the needed artifacts. i.e. you'd get something like:

Seen here:
Scum Monsters [zz9z], number 13
[Must have Hyper-Mega-Thingy [xx0x] to attack]

on your location report. This is a fairly "user friendly" solution.
You don't waste time attacking because you know in advance. The
rational for this info would be "the local populace would know."

My gut feel is that this is somehow too forgiving. A more modest
approach would be to report:

Seen here:
Scum Monsters [zz9z], number 13
[Must have special artifact to attack]

but you wouldn't find out *which* artifact unless you actually
attacked them. This would be ok, but only if the initial attack
was *not* bloodless: you have to step up and take your licks in
order to find out what you want to know. Otherwise, you can just
painlessly (1day) make the (failed, bloodless) attack and find out.

My personal feeling is that most of the special monsters should have
messages of the first form (i.e. the game tells you up front what you
need), but that some should have messages in the second form, and
further, attacking them does *not* tell you what artifact you need.
Instead, new skill(s) would be needed to find out. I'd say both
a Scrying spell, and also a Stealth skill, that could be used to
find out what the needed artifact was.

I think this would make "artifact quests" less frustrating for the
players, but still not too easy.

Bron Campbell Nelson      bron@sgi.com  or possibly  uunet!sgi.com!bron
These statements are my own, not those of Silicon Graphics.

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