Divination shrines

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imsobadatnicknames
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Divination shrines

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

So... you'll have to bear with me for a moment because this might seem offtopic but I just need to provide a bit of context.
There's this game called Dwarf Fortress (officially "Slaves to Armok: God of Blood, Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress") that some users on these forums have probably heard of and played before, but for those that haven't, it's an obscenely instrincate and complex fantasy world simulator that's been in developement since 2002 by a team of two brothers. It has 3 game modes, Fortress, which plays like an insanely complex settlement builer, Adventurer, which plays like an open-world RPG and in many regards is what you would get if someone took Daggerfall's "fantasy world life simulator" design philosophy to its logical extreme, and Legends, which is essentially a wiki that lets you read up on the procedurally-generated lore of any game world you create, so you can do stuff like read the biography of every historical figure, the descriptionof every war, every event that ever happened at any settlement, etc.

So... the last significant dwarf fortress update intended to flesh out interpersonal relationships both in gameplay and during worldgen, and flesh out the world by adding more types of sites (and re-adding types of sites that had been removed in previous updates). One of the new sites added was the monastery.

Monasteries sometimes have shrines in them which contain a pedestal with dice that can be rolled to "divinate" the will of a particular deity. Most of the time this will only end up giving you some vague but ominous or fateful-sounding flavor text, but there's also a few uncommon but fun effects it can have, like:

-Getting blessed/cursed with a week of good/bad luck
-Getting random animal as a mount/pet
-Having the quality of your equipment upgraded
-Getting a random artifact-quality weapon/piece of armor
-Being turned into a random animal for a week

Trying to divinate a particular deity's will again immediately after (it's unclear what the cooldown is, but it's theorized to be somewhere between 24 hours and 1 week) results in getting ominous warnings about hubris or trying to change fate, and might result in getting cursed with Vampirism or Lycanthropy if you roll the dice too many times in a row.

So... Idk. After a severe Dwarf Fortress binge I just had after months of not playing, I guess I was thinking it'd be really cool to add a similar system to DFU, tbh. Of course, most of those possible effects are impossible to do in Daggerfall, but there's still some fun stuff that could be done with the concept.

While I haven't thought much about implementation details, I think an idea would be to add an NPC that offers divination as a free service in wilderness shrines. Most of the time it'd just give you some vague flavor text with enough wiggle room for you to fill in the blanks about what it means, but would also have a chance of doing stuff like magically manifesting some random loot (a potion, a weapon, armor, etc.), giving you temporary attribute buffs/debuffs, changing your legal reputation, inflicting you with a random illness, etc.

I think this would give wilderness shrines more of a purpose, as there really isn't much reason to visit them in the vanilla game. Plus the idea of doing a pilgrimage to an isolated shrine in the wilderness to get your fortune read by a hermit in hopes of getting some advice or a blessing from the gods has roleplaying potential.

Or maybe it could be added as a service to regular temples, and the chance of getting blessed with a positive effect or cursed with a negative one could be affected by your reputation with the temple's deity, giving further reason to roleplay as a devout follower of a particular god.

Idk, I guess I'm just spitballing ideas here. What do you guys think?
Last edited by imsobadatnicknames on Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

andromacus
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Re: Divination dice

Post by andromacus »

Nice! Sooner or later I would have posted some ideas on how to improvement wilderness shrine, which are in my opinion completely useless at the moment (last time I visited one the heremit told me that the Thieves Guild could be not only a legend...wow, really?)

So here some ideas of services you could find in these places, if anyone is interested.

Training: basic training on some skills, for a fee (useful for those who don't want to join guilds)

Meditate: similar to training (but only for more "mental" skills) but: it is for free, only provide chances to get a skill increase and makes the time advance of some hours

Pilgrimage: if you click on the heremit, one of the options could be "start pilgrimage". Once you do this, when you reach another shrine the option becomes " end pilgrimage ". The far the two shrines are, the bigger is the reward (eg a reputational increase with the temple of the deity of the region)

And some other ideas which would require more work:

Turn some shrines into monasteries: in these buildings you can find shelter, be cured, purchase or brew potions, access to libraries and also get quests (or join the order)

Turn some shrines into castles of templar orders: almost the same as above, they would be other possibile guilds to join

imsobadatnicknames
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

andromacus wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:02 pm Nice! Sooner or later I would have posted some ideas on how to improvement wilderness shrine, which are in my opinion completely useless at the moment
Apparently there IS a point to visiting them: the hermits in those shrines apparently work as a non-guild version of the Thieves Guild/Dark Brotherhood spymasters (so they'll always know something about anything you ask them about, and any rumors they give you will always be true), but I definitely don't think that service warrants having an entire site. Some of your ideas for improving them are really cool.

Another idea I had about implementing a Dwarf Fortress-style divination servcie this morning: Maybe instead of using existing sites like shrines or temples, a new special shrine could be added to each region (through worldData), dedicated to the region's patron deity, and you have to go there to practice divination.
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Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

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Hazelnut
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by Hazelnut »

imsobadatnicknames wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:41 pm
andromacus wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:02 pm Nice! Sooner or later I would have posted some ideas on how to improvement wilderness shrine, which are in my opinion completely useless at the moment
Apparently there IS a point to visiting them: the hermits in those shrines apparently work as a non-guild version of the Thieves Guild/Dark Brotherhood spymasters (so they'll always know something about anything you ask them about, and any rumors they give you will always be true), but I definitely don't think that service warrants having an entire site. Some of your ideas for improving them are really cool.
They do? Not sure that's been replicated in DFU so can you give evidence for this being a thing in classic?
See my mod code for examples of how to change various aspects of DFU: https://github.com/ajrb/dfunity-mods

imsobadatnicknames
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

Hazelnut wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:17 pm
imsobadatnicknames wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:41 pm
andromacus wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:02 pm Nice! Sooner or later I would have posted some ideas on how to improvement wilderness shrine, which are in my opinion completely useless at the moment
Apparently there IS a point to visiting them: the hermits in those shrines apparently work as a non-guild version of the Thieves Guild/Dark Brotherhood spymasters (so they'll always know something about anything you ask them about, and any rumors they give you will always be true), but I definitely don't think that service warrants having an entire site. Some of your ideas for improving them are really cool.
They do? Not sure that's been replicated in DFU so can you give evidence for this being a thing in classic?
Tbqh I'm not sure, that's why I said "apparently". My only source on it was something I read on a reddit post I found this morning when I was curious if there was any point to these shrines, so it'd definitely need further confirmation. The author of the post claimed to have asked him about a bunch of quest and faction topics and said the hermit had things to say about all of them. Perhaps I'll boot up classic later and see if it's true.
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Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

imsobadatnicknames
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

I ended up deciding to turn this idea into a reality

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4211
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Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

andromacus
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by andromacus »

That looks great, definitely gives some meaning to those wilderness shrines! :)

Just another couple of ideas, if you want to take them into account:

Rather than giving an amulet to the player, could you maybe add this function to the existing "holy symbol" item? This would give to that item an higher meaning and could make the divination harder to access (after all it should not be so common to talk with the gods :) )

Do you plan to make the chance of getting a positive answer dependant on the relationship/rank you have with that deity faction?

And what about having as effect a revelation of a purpose in life (eg becoming a knight, joining a temple, becoming the head of the Mages Guild etc?). A sort of secondary goal in case a player wants to pick a random one to enanche the RP

imsobadatnicknames
Posts: 250
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by imsobadatnicknames »

andromacus wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:54 pm That looks great, definitely gives some meaning to those wilderness shrines! :)

Just another couple of ideas, if you want to take them into account:

Rather than giving an amulet to the player, could you maybe add this function to the existing "holy symbol" item? This would give to that item an higher meaning and could make the divination harder to access (after all it should not be so common to talk with the gods :) )

Do you plan to make the chance of getting a positive answer dependant on the relationship/rank you have with that deity faction?

And what about having as effect a revelation of a purpose in life (eg becoming a knight, joining a temple, becoming the head of the Mages Guild etc?). A sort of secondary goal in case a player wants to pick a random one to enanche the RP
The idea to make it harder to acces divination is nice . Maybe in a future update I could implement it so that you have to first do a quest to obtain the specific amulet/holy icon/talisman that lets you talk to the gods.

At first I considered making the likeliness of good/bad effects dependent on the reputation you have with each god, however I considered it a little too complciated. Right now the odds of each particular effect are random, and the flavor text just picks a random god (and seems to heavily favor the patron god of whatever region you're at currently). Making it dependent on your reputation with each god would require me to rework and restructure a lot of stuff, but it's definitely on my list of stuff to do eventually. It would probably have to pick a random god and then check your reputation with them to influence the chance of the outcome. It would definitely give players a reason to do quests even for temples they don't belong to. However, It should probably only influence the odds in a moderate way, so that you can't just guarantee a positive outcome by maxing out your reputation with every god, as I think the risk of a bad outcome is what makes this mod interesting.

The thing about getting the gods to give you a revelation of a purpose in life (which you could then embrace or reject) presents some interesting roleplaying opportunities. The only difficult part would be making it so that it only happens once in your entire playthrough, but I guess I'll figure something out.

Right now I'm taking ideas for more messages/effects. I'm also adding in the possibility for the other pilgrims you encoutner at shrines to give you quests sometimes.
Released mods: https://www.nexusmods.com/users/5141135 ... files&BH=0
Daggerfall isn't the only ridiculously intrincate fantasy world simulator with the initials DF that I make mods for: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=177071.0

andromacus
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by andromacus »

About the quests that the pilgrims can give you, here some simple ideas

Escort them to their next destination (another wilderness shrine or a temple in a random city)

Escort them to their next destination, but they are bringing a precious artifact (High chance to be attacked by bandits or by a rival temple)

A pilgrim is seiously ill, bring him to a doctor in a random city

Help them in retrieving the relics of a saint, who is buried in a random dungeon

Some of their brothers/sisters have been attacked and kidnapped while they were on their way, rescue them from a random dungeon

l3lessed
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Re: Divination shrines

Post by l3lessed »

I was going to tie my dawnbreaker shield to a shrine quest, like the one in Skyrim. One use for them is to give unique items.
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