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The RNG Giveth, and the RNG Taketh Away: KYM Roguelike General

Last posted Dec 18, 2013 at 07:11PM EST. Added Dec 06, 2013 at 11:56PM EST
5 posts from 3 users

You see here a blessed scroll of identify.
j - a blessed scroll of identify
What do you want to read? [hij?*]
This is an identify scroll. What do you want to identify?

Roguelikes are a genre of video game. It is a very old genre, the earliest example originally coded for old UNIX dinosaurs. It’s not easy to define what a roguelike is, but all roguelikes typically have a number of features:

  • The roguelike genre is a subgenre of the RPG genre.
  • Movement is turn-based, on a grid.
  • Enemies are actually fought on the map rather than on a separate battle screen, not unlike a turn-based strategy game.
  • Roguelikes have a randomly-generated level layout.
  • Roguelikes feature a very high penalty for dying, ranging from being kicked all the way out of the dungeon you’re in and losing all your items, to permanent death for that character.
  • Computer roguelikes often feature ASCII-style graphics. For example, an “@” symbol might represent the player character, a lowercase “g” might represent a goblin, a lowercase “i” might represent a minor demon, an ampersand (“&”) might represent a major demon, etc.

The result is a complex, cerebral, difficult, niche, geeky, but thoroughly entertaining genre of game.

While more closely associated with Western RPGs than Japanese RPGs, the genre is oddly significantly less niche in Japan.

Influential roguelikes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Rogue: The first roguelike, and the one for which all others are named. This game introduced standbys such as randomly-generated levels, grid-based movement and combat, finite resources and permanent death.
  • NetHack: The spiritual successor to Rogue, so named because it was developed over Usenet. Ludicrously complex, with a high focus on the careful use of your limited resources. Once a level of the dungeon has been randomly generated, it remains static and can be revisited as many times as you want in that save file, with the items staying mostly in the same place unless disturbed by monsters.
  • Angband: A roguelike loosely based off the Tolkien mythos. This game featured non-static dungeon levels, which will be different each time you return to them. Resources are much less limited than in NetHack.
  • Dwarf Fortress: A hybrid of a roguelike and a simulation/strategy game. Makes NetHack look like Pong. For example, in lieu of an HP system, the game keeps track of individual body parts, down to fingers, toes, teeth, layers of tissue of specific types, and even internal organs. No, really.

While the roguelike genre is for the most part fading into the background nowadays, its has a profound influence over modern, mainstream titles such as Diablo and Minecraft. I would highly recommend checking out some of the above titles. Many of them are even free-to-play, with none of the questionable quality that phrase implies!

Just be prepared to die a lot.

So, are there any fellow roguelovers on KYM? Come on, don’t be shy. What’s your favorite roguelike? I love me some NetHack.

h-holy shit is that a minotaur

um, ’scuse me

What do you want to write with? [- abcd or ?*] -
You write in the dust with your fingers.--More--
What do you want to write in the dust here? Elbereth
Something is written here in the dust. You read: "Elberetn"
You see no objects here.
What do you want to write with? [- abcd or ?*] - @ @Do you want to add to the current engraving? [ynq] (y) y
You add to the write in the dust with your fingers.--More--
What do you want to add to the writing in the dust here? Elbereth
The minotaur hits! You die...
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n) q

Dec 06, 2013 at 11:56PM EST

From what hear, FTL has more in common with [i]Dwarf Fortress[/i] than conventional roguelikes.

So, I just had Yet Another Annoying Death in NetHack.

Killed by a wimpy, wimpy little kobold with a wand of fire. We call an occurrence like that a “gnome with a wand of death” in NetHack jargon.

I have never literally met the proverbial gnome with a wand of death, but someday I will.

Dec 18, 2013 at 07:11PM EST

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