Angband 4.x races changes: heretic or canonic?

Right now @ oook forums there is a big discussion considering upcomming races/classes changes. As I’m working at new races design for ‘Tangaria‘, thought about this matters too, so my 0.02 $

Firstly I wanna note that I’m really enjoying the way how Angband developing. It’s feels like ‘Golden Age‘ of this game; all past changes like ID, traps, curses.. new light systems & etc – it’s definitely move toward the right direction.. But.. Such race changes.. It feels a bit like a developing new Angband variant, than enhancing V; sorry to say this, with all huge respect to beautiful dev team.

I was quite sad when heard that kobolds are go away soon; they feels very ‘native’ to Angband atmosphere even if they are not canonic to Tolkien. But Tolkien himself left a lot of space for other creatures in his World, who knows who lived to the far south east, in some dark caves? Kobolds sounds like a creatures who wouldn’t like to be found and used by other races in their wars, small and stealthy, they mind their own business.

But ok.. If there is a goal is to transform Angband to pure Tolkien-canonic game or at least to move closer to it… As a huge fun of JRRT world I can’t condemn it. But.. I suppose if there is a decision made to take something away from the game (and also game balance itself which were polished for long-long years), right approach is to give something in return:

Add a new races. We have half-orcs and half-trolls. Not really fair and kind types, kind dark guys. In my ‘Tangaria’ variant I’ve just added a new race – Black Numenorean:

A High Men from Numenor, a renegades and.. ally of Dark Lord? Not all of them was ‘corrupted by many gifts and promises of great power’ by the Enemy. Some just wanted to have a free will and refused to accepted handouts of the west.. But nonetheless they had to choose a side, just to survive under the sky..

Which side would choose you?

[Please note that current properties (stats&boni) for Black Numenorean race in Tangaria are yet ‘raw’ and would be polished/rebalanced a lot]

So what if Angband devs would give players some ‘dark’ stuff in return? Take away kobolds and gnomes; but add something like:

Black Numenorean
Goblin/snaga (adding ‘orcs’ race not really fun as we got half-orc; goblins is pretty different ‘breed’ of orcs (smaller onces) and could replace kobolds with some adjustments).
Dark Elves – yes, Tolkien had them 😛
Maia. Why not? Take a look on how TomeNET implemented this race, pretty interesting: ..

And considering removing monsters like Medusa. How you could get rid of it? 😀 She is marvelous! Damm.. I fear that Angband could lose part of it’s oldschool vanilla taste without kobolds, Medusa & stuff D:

But at the end I wanna note that Angband is SUPER customizable game and actually it become real ‘game engine’ which could be configured and changed at will without advancing programmings skills. So if someone still wants to bring back Medusa or Kobolds – it would be very easy to do it manually in config files.. The only problem – you wouldn’t have cononic Angband anymore; when you change something in the game – de facto you produce your own variants..

And it’s could lead Angband cummunity to the same situation as in church – there are loads of churces of almost the same religion; they could be different in tiny details but this tiny details really divide community.. So the problem of such ‘revolutionary’ (removing kobolds&gnomes – races which loved by thousands of players) could crack community 🙁 So my advice – not to remove, but to replace this races.. Rename and adjust them to Tolkien lore. Then it would be not so painful change.

As for ‘Angaband Online’ – kobolds and gnomes would stay there anyway; we are not going to remove them. I like DnD staff if it make sense and fits to the fantasy universe. I as myself a Russian fantasy writer and got my own World which is heavely inspired by Tolkien.. but it’s got loads of other influence. I like this influence. It’s fun to have freedom and inspiration from other worlds. But it’s important to have feeling of sense and do not accept Cyberdemons & other @#$%… So in ‘Tangaria‘ we are planning to merge all new and upcomming V-Angband core features, but not this particular anti-koboldish changes if they would be in a way of just ‘removing’ stuff without a proper replacement.

Also I have a bleeding gush from Angband 3.5 release where CHArisma was removed. My Half-Troll isn’t real anymore without farting in the shops..

So maybe if there are a lot of work on proper Tolkienization is going on, it’s a good time to bring CHArisma stat back and enhance with some new meaning? I mean – Tolkien definitely valued CHArisma (leadership) in his books. You feel it when reading the books almost everywhere – every race is very different in this virtue.. Elves -> Dunedains -> Humans -> Hobbits -> Dwarfs ->… It was easy to reassign this races by CHArisma without looking into any sources. CHArishma could influence not only the prices, but also on resisting certain malious magic, chance of performing certain magic spells, give boni to mana pool for certain classes (paladin?) and even maybe influence somewhat on ‘stealth’ (having high CHArisma makes you less annoying person to disturb monsters) etc

Removing EXP penalties for races… It’s also quite revolutionary… or some would even can say – heretical, variantish thing. I suppose this should be a topic of separate detailed discussion, maybe with a voting? I like that in contrast to another roguelike and RPG games in general, Angband historically had this unique feature which provided high differentce between races and helped to sustain good in-game balance.

It’s righteous to enhance Angband with canonic Tolkien stuff, but at the same time – the most important thing is to preserve canonic Angband stuff itself.

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