Manual:Game Mechanics/Monsters

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This might belong better in a builder's tutorial

                      1.   Monster Creation

Document Name: monsters.doc Version: 7.30 Author: Michael Seifert ( Questions to: Document intended for: World Creators

Short Description: This document describes how to create monsters, and explains in brief how the various weapon and armour values interact. Before reading this document you should read the object.txt document describing weapon and armour quality. Abilities and their meaning is described in the ability.txt document.

I’ve attempted to remove all old references that are no longer valid (hand, toughness, etc).

                        2.   Introduction

This document will step-by-step go through the most important attributes of a monster and explain their meaning.

2.1 Monster Level (level) When creating a monster it must be between level 0 and 199. The level of the monster decides how many skill points and ability points the monster has. Players start at third level and are expected to be between level [3..100]. The level of the monster is specified using the level field.

    level 0        /* Mosquito */

In general, an area should be designed around a 10 level span to be fairly consistent. For example a goblin camp for newbie players should be of level 0-10 (perhaps only 6). An orc area might be in the range 10-20th level. The reason is, that monsters 10 levels below a player give 0 experience points while monsters 10 levels above a player are beginning to be a difficult kill. If you make an area too diverse players will give up since monsters either seem too easy (no experience) or too hard.

2.2 Natural armour & attack The natural armour is specified using the NATURAL_DEF macro together with natural attack. For example:


You should know that the weight of the monster determines the maximum amount of damage it can give when using a natural attack. The weight is categorized as follows:

 Lbs   Size
0..5   Tiny
6..40  Small

41..160 Medium 161..50 Large

501+   Huge

By default monsters are medium.

2.3 Good, Evil and Neutral alignments (alignment) Alignment is a value between -1000 and +1000, where -1000 is ultimate evil, 0 is neutral and +1000 is ultimate good. Good is per definition any value from +1000..+350, neutral is any value from +349..-349 and evil is any value from -350..-1000. Any value in between can also be used.

    alignment -750 /* Quite evil, maybe a Ghoul  */
    alignment -350 /* Barely evil.               */

2.4 The Race (race) Each monster has a race as specified in values.h. In case you can’t find a race which matches your monster, just use #define RACE_XXX in you own zonefile with a number that isn’t already used. We will then later transfer it to values.h. Example:


or if the race you need isn’t defined, you could type:

    #define RACE_CRABMAN     7681 /* This is a large red crab man
  • /

Later it will be inserted into values.h - and you should then remove your definition (you will get warnings at that time).

2.5 The gender (sex) Each monster has a gender: male, female or none, as specified in values.h SEX_XXX macros. Example:


2.6 Setting Abilities (ability[]) All abilities are in the range [1..200]. Players usually have a maximum of 150, modified by magic... 200 is considered divine. When creating a monster you can not directly specify the size of the abilities, instead you specify a percentage distribution of points. The amount of points are then distributed by the computer according to the specified level. The MSET_ABILITY macro is available for this purpose, and has the format:


The amount of points distributed depends directly upon the level of the monster and the percentage as the table below shows. If for example you create a monsters of level 30, then 20% will cause the monster to get a little above 30 points.

Note that the sum of the ability values must be 100%. This is thus an example of an ability distribution:

    MSET_ABILITY(25,15,10,15,10,5,10,0)  /* Sum is 100% */


Hints If you choose high percentages and high levels, you may “waste” a ability points as it would pop above 200 (all excess points are simply removed). For example a level 199 monster with an ability percentage a bit above 20% will make an ability above the 200 points maximum. Do not spend points on both MAG and DIV, only the appropriate value of the two are used. So magic users should have MAG (fireball, etc.) and clerics should have DIV (cure light wounds, etc.).

2.7 Setting Weapon and Spell skills (spell[], weapon[]) NPC's know about weapons and spells but not at the same detailed level as the player. For NPC’s the spell and weapon group are used. Thus the “axe hammer category” defines all defence and all attack for all kind of axes and hammers - whereas the player would have to train individually in each axe and hammer type. The same is true for spells. Thus if a monster has 25 points in the weapon "sword category" it will fight (and defend) with all sword-like weapons at skill 25. When you define weapon and spell skills (monsters have no skill skills) you also define these as percentages, and the program automatically distributes the points. Use the pre-defined macros:

     MSET_WEAPON(axe_ham,  sword,  club_mace,  polearm,  unarmed,



    axe_ham   Is any hammer or axe weapon.
    sword          Is any sword like weapon, including dagger and

rapier, etc.

     club_mace  Is any club or mace like weapon, flails,  morning

star, etc.

             polearm    Is any flail or pole like weapon:  spear,
             staff, halberd, trident, sickle, scythe.
    unarmed   Is any bite, claw, sting or other natural attack.
    special   Is any very peculiar weapon, currently only whip.
     MSET_SPELL(div, pro, det, sum, cre, min, hea, col, cel, int,



    div  Covers all divine sphere spell.
    pro  Covers all protection sphere spells.
    det  Covers all detection sphere spells.
    sum  Covers all summoning spells.
    cre  Covers all creation spells.
    min  Covers all mind spells.
    hea  Covers all heat spells (fireball, etc.)
    col  Covers all cold spells (frostball, etc.)
     cel   Covers all cell (electricity) spells (jolt,  lightning

bolt, etc.)

    int  Covers all internal (poison) spells (toxicate, etc.)
    ext  Covers all external (acid) spells (acid ball etc.)

See also values.h and wmacros.h. The sum of all spell and weapon skills must be 100%. For example, the sum is 100%:

     MSET_WEAPON(10,10,20,5,15,5)  /*  75%  Total,  Club/Mace  is

primary */

     MSET_SPELL(8,0,0,3,0,3,2,3,3,3,3)  /*  25%  Total,  Fire  is

primary */

Remember that the groups define both attack and defence. Thus if you make an Orc which has 0% in the flail group it can only use its dexterity to defend itself. Likewise with spell groups. For this reason the groups are both "resistance" as well as attack groups.

2.8 Spell casting monsters Some monsters are spell casting and spend a lot of points on either Magic or Divine power together with brain. To make a monster cast spells a number of various special routines are available, for example:

    special SFUN_COMBAT_MAGIC “cast acid ball”
    special SFUN_COMBAT_MAGIC_HEAL “cast random teleport”

This would make a monster use the “acid ball” spell when engaged in combat. The monster would attempt to cast “random teleport” when it gets low on hitpoints. The following table shows which spells a monster should use at a given level:

Level Circle 0-14 1st magic


15-34 2nd magic


35-200 3rd magic


For example, a fireusing monster of level 20 would use the 2nd circle of magic (the fireball spell) whereas a level 5 monster would use the burn spell. There are also special routines for breathweapons for use with for example dragons. See monster definitions in composed.h.

2.9 More or less Experience (exp) By default a monster gives the amount of experience it is worth (which depends on the level of the monster). If you create a particular powerful monster or a very weak monster, you may wish to raise or lower the amount of experience given to the player. This can be done by specifying an experience percentage modification. You may want to modify the standard amount (of 0%) when you create non-standard monsters. The default amount is not always the correct amount, for example an aggressive invisible 10th level dragon with breath weapon and spells, should give more exp than a blind, thieves-friendly dragon. The way I suggest you to calculate the monsters experience value should be adding the following amplifiers: Note that if the monster is using wands, scrolls, staffs or magical items this should not increase the exp amount, since the item value should be more than enough reward for the players! See example application later in this document. Amplifiers :

Ability / Skill   Bonus                  Examples

Breath weapon +50 Usually a Dragon or Gorgon Special fighting +20..5 Example : The Evil Iggy remembers who routine 0 he is fighting with. When he gets below

                          50% hits he casts "random teleport".
                          Later (when he has full hp) he summons
                          the player he has been fighting with
                          and THEN tries to kill the player. This
                          routine is highly dangerous for groups.

Low level monster +10..3 A low level NPC has a special routine casts 0 SFUN_COMBAT_MAGIC or high level spells SFUN_COMBAT_MAGIC_HEAL where the spell

                          is a high level spell. Ex. a 1. level
                          wizard casts a "acid ball". This is up
                          to the creator to decide how tough the
                          monsters spell should be.

Monster stings +20 Player can die even after a successful (poison) kill Monster is +15 Players can not attack, and player's invisible group will not be able to help, unless

                          they can see invisible

Monster is hiding +10 A thief Monster can see +5 This is only dangerous if the monster invisible is aggressive, and this amplifier

                          should only be used in such a case.

Monster is team +5..+5 The guards helps the Captain and each working 0 other. Monster is being +5..+3 The king is hard to kill, you have to rescued 0 kill his lifeguards first. Monster is +5 Monster will hit first and increase aggressive chance of a kill Monster is +10 The monster is using the special ambushing function SFUN_RAN_ATTACK Monster have to -5 The monster will always get into a rescue fight, and the chance of being killed

                          is higher than the NPC it'll have to

Monster is -5 A usually stupid cleric etc. friendly to thieves Blind -15 A mole in daylight. If weapon -50 If a NPC is equipped with a weapon category isn't which isn't in a category he has like wielded practised. weapon


Standard monsters in composed.h The file composed.h contains many standard monsters. It is a good idea to study these definitions, as they form the basis of many different monsters. Note that the definitions by no means are perfect, but we are hoping to make a more or less “complete” monster compendium. If you create certain (general) monsters, please design it as a macro so that it can be incorporated in the file. The more monsters created by using these macros the better a place the game will be for the players.

2.11 Examples The following is an example of creating different types of monsters.

2.11.1 A Black Dragon In this example a black dragon is created. You should notice that the number “121” is the value of the SPL_ACIDBALL_3 definition since I can’t currently get it translated inside quotes. The following should at least be specified in your zone file.

    sex SEX_FEMALE
    level 15
    height625                         /* In centimetres. 1 inch

== 2.54cm */

    weight     1250                         /* In pounds, 1 pound

= 0.45359kg */

    exp 50                             /* Bonus for breath weapon
  • /
          alignment      -900                      /*       Evil.
  • /
     MSET_ABILITY(20,12,12,12,12,12,20,0)    /* Most STR and  MAG
  • /
      MSET_WEAPON(10,10,10,5,30,5)        /*  Natural  is   above

average */

      MSET_SPELL(0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,30)       /*   Acid   sphere

(external) */


Calculation of experience:

    Breath weapon       =   50%
    SUM                 =   50%

The same dragon could have been created by using the macro from the file composed.h:



A strong warrior See the composed.h macros - they contain definitions for a great variety of humans!

1. In general when creating a warrior monster, Strength determines amount of damage, Dexterity determines chance to defend. Armour the amount of damage received. Constitution determines hitpoint gain rate. Weapon skills ought to be high, spell skills few, and only as 'resistance' against magic.