Kerkerkruip's blood ape: grinding to make it big

I have never done anything boring in Kerkerkruip, ever, until now.

I got pretty well boosted up, with a Level 3 AND a level 2 power. I went to steal some artifacts from Malygris and then reaped the blood ape. I wanted him to get big. But he couldn’t hit me! I made the stupid mistake of sniffing the Essence of Caution so he couldn’t even hit me while running away!

This is the first time anything in Kerkerkruip felt like grinding. In the past, I’ve treated the Blood Ape’s power like a throwaway - I just fight the ape to improve my stats and don’t try to let it get big. The only time I ever made real use of the Ape’s power was when I resurrected it in the Arena of the Fallen (I didn’t even know there was a gargantuan size!).

How do you think the Blood Ape could be improved?

Oh, and speaking of changing size… is there a command for unreadying a weapon? You can drop it, but then you have to pick it up again. Plus, there’s a runtime error. I think it happens when you drop a weapon during combat.

I’ll chime in on the blood ape later, but the answer to this question is: in Kerkerkruip 8, no. In Kerkerkruip 9, yes! I recently noticed to my astonishment that there was no “unwield” / “unready” command in ATTACK, so I added it.

ATTACK assumes that you never want to be hit. But why should it assume that? There are situations – like a fight with the blood ape – where being hit might be your goal. So it might be a good idea to just add a new reaction to ATTACK: “expose” (or something like that). This would make the attack against you hit automatically.

That would solve the problem with the blood ape, right?

Yeah, that sounds good.

This turned out to be a really fun game, though. I used Drakul’s lifeblood and grew into a large vampire bat, flying and reaping back and forth between Malygris and the Fanatics of Aite. I kind of blew it at the end, though. Even with a spirit power around 17, my prayers kept giving Malygris concentration, and I couldn’t use the periapt of prophecy as a bat.

Also, I don’t have enough understanding of health effects when absorbing souls. I had three souls before killing the defender of Aite, which put me at 50 health. After I finished him off, I only had about 30 health.

At the risk of totally derailing this thread, I think the hiding ability is too weak. In about 100 games, I’ve had maybe one or two where any ensemble of creatures went 1 turn without discovering me. Even as a bat, Malygris discovered me immediately. What’s the rationale? Scrolls of skill and protection are super-powerful without any drawback, so why can’t hiding be as good?

One thing that might help is to show some of the rolls involved when you are discovered (like, how much do flickering lights help you? Do mirrors or columns or phantasms help you? No idea.)

If we were to make hiding a more powerful skill with a drawback, we could give creatures an initiative bonus after they discover you. Or maybe they already have that?

What happens is that every soul comes with a power, and certain other bonuses: generally attack, defence, and health. Lose the soul, and you’ll lose the bonus.

These bonuses scale roughly linearly with the level of the power. A level 1 soul gives you about 5 health, a level 2 soul about 10 health, and so on. In your case, you gained a level 4 soul (about 0 health), but lost a level 1, a level 2 and a level 3 soul (about 30 health), for a total negative effect. In fact, since the boosted ape’s soul gives a bit more health than a normal level 1 soul, an even bigger negative effect than usual.

I’m happy to tell you that I do not only completely agree with you, but I have already completely redesigned and recoded the hiding system for Kerkerkruip 9. The rolls are very different, much easier to make, and will indeed be shown for greater transparency! It makes hiding a much more fun and useful system.

What actions were you taking in the fight? Wait?

I think it would be good to have a Hide verb which would give you a small chance of becoming hidden in certain rooms, such as those with shadows or obstacles. It wouldn’t let you move to other rooms of course.

I tried wait, but when that didn’t work I tried running out of the room and back in again. That has the bonus of resetting the tension and decreasing the damage, but unfortunately the essence of caution made it too hard for the ape to hit me when I did that.

Speaking of running out of the room, I noticed that the aswang sometimes runs (or flies) out of the room in the middle of a fight, but you don’t get an opportunity to attack it like others do when you retreat. Is that intentional or just an oversight?