Cthangband 6.2 Released!

The title says it all, really. There’s a new version of Cthangband. It’s version 6.2. And you can download it here.

If you don’t know what Cthangband is, check the Cthangband page on this site.

If you do know what Cthangband is, check out the change log below to see what’s new:

  • Replaced old plasma-based terrain generation with a Perlin Noise based one for a more realistic island.
  • Flavoured items now have their true appearance even when unidentified.
  • New town layouts to give towns more personality.
  • Added an “Other” gender for those who want it (or those playing sexless golems).
  • A metric ton more internal code refactoring.
  • New animation system for spells and similar effects.
  • Lighting and line-of-sight is now visible on more than just basic walls and floors.
  • “Organic” cavern levels added (using the same Perlin Noise algorithm as the new terrain).
  • New in-game “Cthangpedia” documentation added.
  • High Score Table is now versioned, so you’re only comparing scores with characters who have had the same game experience as you.
  • When choosing to re-use a character, the character gains a generation after their name (which is displayed on the high score table, save game preview, and gravestone). For example, “Bob”, “Bob II”, “Bob III”, “Bob IV”…
  • Recovery rate is now properly shown as a multiplier on the character sheet, rather than a misleading “Regen” bonus, since it does not actually affect health regeneration; only poison/stun/bleeding recovery rate.
  • Fixed occasional crash where the game would try to delete a non-existent monster.
  • Chests are now included in the Journal’s “Worthless Items” section.
  • Fixed bug where examining a disarmed but still locked chest would cause a crash.
  • Fixed Journal’s monster list so it doesn’t skip monsters when browsing backwards.
  • Reverted to classic speed system.
  • Fixed bug where fixed-quest uniques could sometimes appear outside their designated level.
  • Journal’s pet list now identifies what your pets are even if you’ve not seen them.
  • Fixed bug where unusual key combinations (e.g. Alt+Numpad2) could sometimes cause a crash.
  • Removed the (albeit very remote) possibility of getting an offensive name for a random artifact or an offensively shaped vault.
  • Doubled the size of the colour palette.
  • Changed the colour and/or character of over two hundred monster types to reduce ambiguity (fewer monsters now look identical); particularly Lovecraftian creatures, which have been mostly moved to the new characters of ‘A’ (for ‘Abomination’) for the races and ‘X’ (for ‘Extradimensional Entity’) for the unique Great Old Ones and Outer Gods.
  • Glyph of Warding changed to Elder Sign
  • Explosive Rune changed to Yellow Sign
  • Recoloured a large number of items and dungeon features to take advantage of the new colours and enhanced lighting.
  • Tunneling through trees no longer gives a confusing message about walls.
  • Corrected cost/level of Chaos Bolt spell for Cultists.
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Dark Dungeons – 10th Anniversary Edition!

It occurred to me the other day that next year Dark Dungeons will be a decade old!

I thought it might be nice to produce a new edition for that – partly to commemorate it, and also because I noticed that people are still downloading the game on DriveThruRPG after all this time (last month alone I got over 100 downloads from there) yet the printed version is not available from there – only from Lulu – since it wasn’t designed using the proper specifications for DriveThruRPG’s third-party POD supplier.

So, in order to kill two birds with one stone I thought I’d take the old Microsoft Publisher files and move the content to InDesign and into a template that will be compatible for POD on DriveThruRPG.

That way I get a 10th anniversary edition and it’s much easier for people looking for a printed copy to find one.

But the big question is – what text should go in it.

Currently, I have three versions of the game in my files:

  1. Dark Dungeons – This is the original game, albeit the second printing (which replaced the to-hit table of the first edition with a much simpler d20 + attack bonus + AC >= 20 formula.
  2. Darker Dungeons – This was my version that included house rules rather than sticking to the original game it was based on. Chiefly, it had:
    • All mechanics were unified under the d20 + bonus + modifiers >= 20 mechanic
    • I added Weapon Mastery abilities to shields, rather than them giving a flat bonus to AC
    • I took a lot of the randomness out of character generation, using a standard array for ability scores instead of rolling for them and using average values for hit points instead of rolling for them
    • I added the Mountebank class (a half spell user)
    • I mostly swapped the Magic-User and Elf classes, so that the Elf is now the one who is weak and can’t wear armour whereas the Magic-User is the one who can both fight and wear armour but needs more xp to level up
    • I split out the Druid from the Cleric completely, and gave them a Command Animal ability to replace Turn Undead
    • I reflavoured the Mystic class to a Beastman race, swapping the martial artist theme for a race that got more bestial as they got more experience
    • I added specialisation for Magic-Users and Clerics so that they could specialise in a particular type of magic
  3. Darker Dungeons Revised – I never finished this one. It took the Darker Dungeons rules and added a few changes to them (there would have been more changes, but the project never got very far):
    • Reflavoured the Mystic again, this time to a Warlock
    • I added a Warlord option for a high level fighter as an alternative to becoming a Chevalier
    • I added a new racial class – the Clockwork – based on Eberron’s Warforged

As I say, the big question is which of those – if any – should be used as the basis for a 10th anniversary edition.

My first thoughts are that I’d want to include at least some of the Darker Dungeons material. The original Dark Dungeons was designed to be a close clone of the original game because the original game wasn’t available other than second hand for extortionate prices. That’s changed now – you can buy the original game in digital and POD versions – so there’s no reason for the 10th edition to slavishly stick to it. If people want to play a strict original-game–compliant game they can simply buy the original.

So I think the issue is how much of the additional Darker Dungeons (and Darker Dungeons Revised) material should be in there?

I’m definitely intending to use the unified mechanics and the druid. I’m less certain about the other changes.

(By the way, if anyone has any suggestions, I’ve created a discussion thread over at The Piazza.)