Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Episode 10: Deity Systems

Welcome to this week's episode of Roguelike Radio. Episode 10 focuses on deity systems in roguelikes, with particular attention on Nethack, ADOM, DCSS and Powder. Talking this week are Darren Grey and Jeff Lait.

The mp3 of the podcast can be downloaded here, played in the embedded player below, or you can follow us on iTunes.

Some of the topics covered:
- Active praying vs passive piety effects
- Scumming the gods
- Interacting deities
- The player's relationship with the RNG
- TrueGod, a 7DRL focusing on the RNG as a god

Next week we'll be talking about The Binding of Isaac, a top-down shooter with some roguelike influences.


  1. Omega was another early but less influential contributor to the use of gods in Roguelikes. Specially, since Omega uses a class-less system, the gods via alters are a means to acquire divine powers (i.e. spells) through sacrifice.

    Other uses of alignment in Nethack include your class quest, if you've changed alignment you're screwed, and the final level where changing alignment at the last minute can change a bad guess coupled with bad luck into an ascension.

    The oddest behavior of the gods in POWDER tends to be the treatment of piety sinks like gelatinous cubes. You attack, get paralyzed, get mauled, get healed by your god, then attack again and repeat until monster is dead or all your piety is gone. I keep thinking, "show me a little love H'ruth and give me a temp buff of freedom once I get paralyzed instead of healing every ten turns, hell you've got no problem burning my piety when I get poisoned at near full hp with a full stomach"

  2. I hate to be critical, because I love that this podcast even exists, and am quite pleased with the level of analysis most of the time - but the lack of diversity in the show's knowledge base (mainly, the very ADOM-heavy points of reference) are beginning to become obvious. I'd say the most glaring lack is knowledge of DCSS, notably for DCSS's long, active, and diverse development (as well as being a "major") and said development's responses to questions of mechanics, pacing, play experience, and innovation, but certainly I could say the same for ToME and indeed the entire Angband family (a topic itself so broad I'd hope you devote an episode or two to). More knowledge and discussion of strong "non-major" RLs - though I suspect that's coming - would be quite welcome as well. (I suppose in an ideal world, the members of RLR would consist of an expert apiece in ADOM, Angband(s), DCSS, and ToME, all with experience in Nethack and each with pet non-major favorites like GearHead, Legerdemain, Triangle Wizard, etc.) Complaints aside, Jeff Lait has been a wonderful semi-regular addition to the crew, and the podcast as a whole has clearly gotten stronger and stronger. Thanks for this podcast, and I hope I have not come across as too haterish.

  3. You've got fair points, WD, but it's hard for everyone to have a lot of experience in everything. Most people only have one roguelike they really know well. I know ADOM and ToME4 in depth, John knows Nethack and DCSS, Andrew is an Angband veteran, and Ido knows ToME2 and Nethack best. Unfortunately we can't have everyone on every ep, so some expertise is always lacking. Notably when John's away we're pretty dumb on the subject of Crawl!

    If it's any consolation, we'll be sure to cover all of your pet non-major favourites in future :) And don't worry, criticisms are very welcome.

  4. Lies! I don't know nethack at all (but I do know tome2 & crawl) ;)

  5. ^ to some extent, anyway- I am hardly an expert player.

  6. A lot better with just 2 people. No fighting over the listeners ears and no sorrys for interrupting each other.

    Apologies for the bluntness of my other comment. Seems you have fixed your problem. :)

  7. Most episodes are heavily edited to remove such talking over each other :)