Evil Patch Idea

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An Evil Patch Idea, often abbreviated to EPI, is a YANI for NetHack that is considered to be a terrible idea either by its creator or the community, because if it were implemented, it would greatly increase the amount of frustration or annoyance in the game while having no particular redeeming qualities: a way for the game designers to be evil to the players. Usually, Evil Patch Ideas do not make the game literally unwinnable, but they might make it practically unwinnable. They are usually conceived on the spur of the moment and shared for amusement. Others may suggest modifications to make the ideas even more evil.

Originally, they were intended to serve only as a graveyard of bad ideas that were fun to discuss, but the developer of Slash'EM Extended does actively review EPIs and consider them for inclusion in Slash'EM Extended.

The Evil Variant is a hypothetical variant that combines all of the Evil Patch Ideas into one single variant of NetHack. Slash'EM Extended is also sometimes called the Evil Variant (out of all existing variants), although it refrains from implementing some of the more egregiously evil patch ideas (however, a special playing mode where those are in effect is planned to be added in a future version). At some point, a real Evil Variant was under development, intended as a sort of parody of ridiculous artificial difficulty; however, it was never published and is no longer being developed.

A browsable repository of Evil Patch Ideas from IRC is maintained by Jonadab and is located here.

Some examples of Evil Patch Ideas include:

  • Engraving with a wand of wishing uses a charge, but neither identifies the wand nor gives you a wish - you merely get "Nothing happens".
  • Every game, a random property or resistance is selected, and the player can never gain that property, intrinsically or extrinsically.
  • All the upstairs in Gehennom move every rnd(100) turns, and you periodically get amnesia while in Gehennom, so you forget your current level map.
  • The mysterious force can trigger on any level, not just in Gehennom, and it can happen regardless of whether the hero has the Amulet or is on the ascension run.
  • All thrown or fired objects always break when they hit, and all objects break when dropped on the ground even if not levitating.
  • Shapechanger monsters examine your resistances and equipment and deliberately turn into something you are vulnerable to.