User talk:Tomsod/YANIs and patches/Infidel

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Now that the Infidel role is becoming more widely adopted, should this be moved to a regular article instead of a subpage? --Aximili (talk) 10:30, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

It probably should! I'll need to incorporate EvilHack-specific info into the article for it to be useful, though. Tomsod (talk) 12:30, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
To save yourself some work, perhaps keep your infidel article true to the work you've done with your patch, and then mention which variants have incorporated it, and then point a link to that variant's page with whatever changes they've made to the role to fit their variant. Right now it's just EvilHack, but I'm confident it'll be added to SpliceHack as well, and I imagine the infidel role will be changed in different ways for it also. K2 (talk) 12:56, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

Legacy text

Had an idea about the legacy text for Infidels (the bit at the beginning with Marduk and all); K2 said to run it by you, so here I am.

The current text describes that Moloch stole the Amulet, hid it in Gehennom for a long time, but then some hero managed to come in and steal it then their ascension run back out, but just as they were getting out of the dungeon, the Cult of Moloch ambushed and killed them. Then they sent you off to return the Amulet to Moloch. But this raises a lot of flavor questions. Where exactly did the ambush happen? It seems to have been outside the dungeon, but the ascending hero never actually comes out of the dungeon, instead going directly to the Planes. How were the cultists able to overpower the hero, who has at this point fought through crowds of demons and Moloch priests alike, with a full ascension kit? Maybe they were super-elite, powerful cultists who can take on anything and win? But if they were, why do they send YOU, a puny level 1 Apostate, down into the dungeon to return the Amulet with no backup at all? Moloch really, really wants the Amulet; it seems like he should throw all his resources at this to get it back. So it doesn't really make sense that the cultists who intercepted the ascension-ready hero aren't helping out at all.

Also, the setup in general (moloch steals the amulet! then someone steals it from moloch! then moloch steals it back!) evokes a giant cosmic capture-the-flag game, which doesn't seem tonally right.

Why not simplify things a bit by flavoring this as the very first time Moloch is getting his hands on the Amulet? The theft from Marduk didn't happen ages ago - it's currently in progress. The player is the lucky one escorting it to Gehennom for him. This solves the flavor problems I described above (there's no longer a need for any super-powerful Moloch agents in the story, and Moloch's power base isn't as strong, which could help explain why he's not generally as helpful as other gods) and also opens up some interesting opportunities for making the dungeon or Gehennom generate as "newer", if desired. (I can think of other interesting ways to take this, as well - the infidel receives the invocation items in the Sanctum after dropping off the Amulet and has to do a "reverse invocation" in order to seal the Sanctum behind them, then distributes the invocation items around, for instance.) --Phol ende wodan (talk) 00:54, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Honestly, I haven't thought about it that much. NetHack always had more of an excuse plot, so it's not the super important part to me. I basically imagined that, on the meta-level, the legacy hero was played by one of those folks who die before Castle 99% of the time and then ascend in DMC by pure luck. (Thus the bit in the legacy text about the many unsuccessful attempts.) Furthermore, I always assumed that after exiting the dungeon, the hero travels to wherever the entrance to the Planes is, and this is just not shown in the game, being out of its scope. (Upon reflection, this is probably wrong, seeing as timed effects don't wear off in the interim.) So, it's plausible that the hero was ambushed in her sleep during this implied journey. You don't need to be elite to cut a sleeping person's throat!
Good point as to giving all of the Cult's resources into the attempt. Indeed, Infidels are in different situation than a regular, expendable hero, as the Amulet is most certainly not. If it didn't hurt the gameplay, I would make them start at level 12 and with a pet dragon, but obviously that's not an option! The most I could do is to give the player a bunch of good starting items, representing the best the Cult had had (Moloch doesn't have a lot of influence on the surface, so they aren't that great), and then balance it with the role-specific obstacles (like champions).
I agree that the situation with the Amulet is very CTF-like, but isn't this fitting? It's the classic McGuffin plot, like The Lord of the Rings. Of course any involved side would like to steal the McGuffin and then carry it to their base! In EvilHack in particular, it's even implemented in the gameplay (anyone can steal and sacrifice the Amulet). I can see traces of this even in the vanilla NH plot, so I don't think I'm adding anything untoward here.
This all aside, your idea is reasonable and could work, if anyone desires to change the status quo. I'm mostly done with the patch, but if K2 wants to tweak it so, it's fine by me. The only incongruence I see is that by the end of an Infidel run, Moloch rules over the heaven, which doesn't match the beginning of a vanilla game, so the Infidel plot fails to be the prequel to the vanilla plot, if that's what you intend it to be. Unless in the vanilla continuity the infidel hero dies during the ascension run (which would be an amusing mirror of my original approach). Tomsod (talk) 13:29, 8 September 2020 (UTC)