Several ideas I had, regarding both new monsters and some improvements to monsters and monster classes.
Monster classes in NetHack have three issues I particularly don't like:
- overcrowding, as seen especially in the @ class;
- unintereting single monster classes, where the letter could be used for far more interesting purposes (l, Q and z); and
- hard to read symbols for certain classes (:, ; and ', not counting ghosts, as they are this way by design).
There are definitely ways to improve the monster distribution in classes with this in mind. I'd suggest the following:
- All elves are moved from the @ class to the Q class, plus Q class renamed to Quendi. This will make short work of the huge @ class.
- Leprechauns should be moved to the n class. They already are very similar to the nymphs' thieving gimmick, so it makes sense to include them in a single class instead of separating them for no reason.
- Lizards (: class) should be l class. This has the benefit of not leaving an empty monster class and giving lizards an appropriate letter, rather than a strange punctuation. Some players will be surprised by the change, but that cannot be helped in a game this old.
- Gremlins are another monster that would be easy to incorporate into the n class. They are special and unique, but for reasons unknown share their monster class with gargoyles. As an aggravating tricksters, they seem to fit into n class quite well.
- As I implied above, ' class also bugs me for being nigh unintelligible. With the moving of gremlins into the n class, gargoyles and golems could be combined under the g class, as both are statue-like enemies (gargoyles are mostly portrayed either as animated statues, or living beings that use statue form as a disguise, which seems to be NetHack's case, as they leave corpses).
- Alternately, gremlins retain their g class as a single special monster and gargoyles are moved to the ' class. This has the benefit of both pairing similar monsters in a single class and not confusing old players.
- Zruty can be removed for all I care. I actually really like the change SLASH'EM made to the z class with the addition of zouthern animals. That way no more one monster classes remain.
Last change is something I don't thing is necessary, but would supplement the changes above. Firstly, NetHack seems to try and fill all letters with various monsters (see z and Q), yet the I class (capital "i") remains empty. While it serves as an unseen monster symbol, it would be nice to have an actual monster for this letter. Therefore:
- Illithid class would be very nice, with unique monsters under their own letter. Mind flayers are very distinct and yet they share a monster class with completely unrelated dwarves and hobbits. However, this removes the possibility of Mine flayers, who we all
- Alternately, based on Kahran042's thoughts in discussion, invisible stalkers may use the capital I symbol once again. They don't seem to fit into the elementals class anyway.
Nymphs are completely interchangeable as of now. Not cool, especially as they have a potential to be very different from each other.
- formerly wood nymph
- can walk through trees
- killing her leaves behind a tree (and the player's items beneath it)
- formerly water nymph
- can swim and has a passive rust attack
- can be generated with a scroll of flood and will use is as a defensive item
- formerly mountain nymph
- can phase through rock
- can be generated with a boulder, so be careful about killing her over a pit
- has base 0 AC, but only speed 10
- cursed spirit of a suicide, based on Slavic folklore
- can swim
- claw steal item, claw drown, passive illness
- new "plain" nymph
- disguises self as a different monster
- can be generated with a cursed ring of hunger, ring of sustain ability, ring of aggravate monster, ring of polymorph, negatively charged rings, amulet of change, amulet of restful sleep, amulet of strangulation or cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor, but will not wear them
- has special steal jewelry attack
- this selects random jewelry slot of the player; if a jewelry piece is equipped here, the nymph steals it, but if not, the nymph will equip its (cursed and bad) ring or amulet here, as incubi do with rings of adornment
Everyone loves nigh-immortal reviving trolls that are a pain to get rid of, right?
- petrifying a cave troll changes it into a rock troll, vice versa with Stone to Flesh
- no more rubber chicken instakills against trolls
- throwing a cave troll corpse into a body of water makes it revive as a water troll, throwing it into lava creates a lava troll
- water trolls taking cold damage may change into ice trolls, ice trols can melt back through fire damage and water trolls can be further fire-blasted into mist trolls
- rock trolls taking fire damage can become lava trolls, lava trolls being frozen or falling into water will become rock trolls
- eating any troll corpse has a low chance to spawn a shadow troll
- eating any troll corpse may grant temporary instrinsic regeneration
- weapon 3d8, claw 3d8, bite 2d8 drain life
- drain resistant, may grant it intrisically
- often appears in groups
- as water trolls, but fire-based attacks
- touch 1d6 paralyse, touch 1d6 drain life
I also rather like wood trolls. :)
Or rather a selection of monsters I'm not sure to which class to add, but that belong together.
Bears and boars
Somewhat similar to the half-dragons of dNetHack, draconians are humanoid draconic warriors capable of using either weapons and armor or their breath weapons to destroy foes. They may be included either in humanoid, or lizard monster class. All draconians have several traits in common:
- their base stats are similar:
- each color has a special breath weapon and is resistant to this type of damage,
- their corpses may also grant the corresponding temporary resistance,
- appears in groups.
- breathe paralytic gas
- cannot fly, but has base -5 AC
- breathe wind
- breathe disintegration
- breathe lightning
- breathe thunder (sonic damage, deafening the victim)
- breathe smoke (obscuring but harmless clouds)
- breathe darkness (dark damage, plus darkens the area and turns off light sources)
- breathe draining
- breathe radioactivity (may cause radioactive poisoning and mutations)
- gives out light in radius 2
- breathe solar beams (light damage and blinds)
- gives out light in radius 2
- breathe stinking clouds
- breathe shards (very high physical damage)
- cannot fly, but has base -4 AC
- breathe sleeping gas
- breathe napalm (causes fire damage over time by Aflame intrinsic)
- breathe confusing gas
- breathe hallucinogenic gas
- breathe antimagic (drains power in addition to damage)
- instead of the claw attack, they have arcane spellcasting
- breathe fire
- breathe cold
- breathe acid