This is partly a follow-up to the some of the discussion in the comments page of the previous entry. Still, if you’ve read that (or haven’t, and can’t be bothered), this post is about items in U.R.R, and the many, many ways in which they interact. Alas, since a list turned out to be a much better way to talk about items there is no flowchart this time, but our normal flowchart programming is sure to resume soon enough.
First, it’s worth noting not all items have all the same properties. Potions do not have a “material” property because all potion bottles are made of glass. Scrolls, likewise, because all are made from paper (and highly flammable paper at that – take note!). Similarly, weapons have more properties than armour, which in turn has more properties than alchemical substances, and so on and so forth. Because weapons a) have the most properties, b) are a vital part of what you & your allies go into battle with, and c) are almost fully programmed, this entry is going to focus on weapon properties. However, a lot carry over to other item types too.
Volume – all items have a volume. This determines how many can fit into a single square of the map; how many you can fit into containers; and, on a basic level, simply how large it is, and therefore how likely it is to hit someone if thrown, for instance. No longer are roguelike boxes of endless depth; you can only fit so many bodies in a container before you just can’t close the damned lid.
Weight – all items have a weight. This influences how far you can throw them, how clear a trajectory they take (momentum!), how much you and other creatures can hold at any one time, how likely ice is to crack if you put it down on it, etc. Some items are simply too heavy – no matter how strong you become, you can never carry a full Titan corpse. A Titan, head, however, is a rather more manageable weight (and volume, for that matter).
Melting Point – applies to almost all items, but non-metallic items have this functioning as a “burning point” rather than a melting point. This ties in to the previous entry, therefore – if you charge into battle with any fire-breathing creature wielding your wooden club high above your health and covered in wooden armour, you will shortly find your club destroyed, and everything you’re wearing on fire. Which will, of course, burn you until you take it off. On the other hand, a full set of tempered steel will stand up rather better. I am considering putting in a freezing equivalent whereby items become brittle, can shatter, etc – thoughts in the comments on this if you have any!
Material – this determines how it behaves in certain environments. Metal rusts in water; wood rots in water; etc. Closely tied to melting point.
Damage – metallic swords, for example, can be intact, notched, damaged or badly damaged. The damage an item takes from use reduces how effective it is combat, and its value. As with most games, you can repair these things yourself given enough skill – and a campfire, appropriate smithing tools, time undisturbed by foes, raw materials, etc – or simply pay some random civilian to do it for you. That’s what they’re there for!
Decay – closely tied to material. Rusting, rotting, etc. Once again, reduces effectiveness, but not as severely as damage. Can also slightly change the effect of a weapon – an intact longsword is better at slashing, while a badly rusted one is much less powerful, but might cause nastier wounds. This is never a worthwhile trade-off, but keeps weapons semi-useful even when twisted, blackened wrecks.
Enchantment, blessing, quality, alignment – determine, respectively, damage added on to every attack (e.g. +3); a variety of effects (the undead hate blessed weapons; cursed weapons can be tricky to get rid of; etc); the multiplier to the price it fetches at market; and what alignment of foe it is particularly effective against, if any.
This page is subject to change before the alpha release, but if you ask the game to show you the detail of a weapon, a larger window will appear and show you:
This also, of course, shows another feature I haven’t even mentioned until now – weapons have a history, which keeps track of particularly noteworthy creatures you killed, and how you killed them. Perhaps, if you kill enough uniques with one weapon, the rest of the world will come to regard that blade as an artifact…
Anyway – weapon histories being a whole series of posts in themselves – the white text denotes the best possible outcome in that category. In this case, an unrusted sword. Light grey denotes the second best – the “particularly sharp” modifier is below the sharpest that bladed weapons can be. Runic information will be displayed in the appropriate colour, while the histories are displayed in descending order of fame (and, therefore, strength of creature slain) and likewise descending colour.
So there’s a pretty comprehensive summary of weapon properties, at least. All items can, of course, be thrown in to fires or carried with you across lakes if you want to find out what happens. More will be said on this in time – particularly on modelling fire, and cellular automata – but until next time: don’t fight dragons with wooden armour.
Coming Friday: Detail of the morale system, or: how to terrify an Orc into insanity (Part 1).
Coming Monday: Detail of the morale system, or: how to terrify an Orc into insanity (Part 2).