Vampires as starting race – “I vant to suck your blood!”
One of the nice things of Slash’Em are the additional races and roles.
Playing as an Ice Mage or a Doppelganger is cool, at least in the early and middle part of the game, as long as they are different from the other roles and races and haven’t yet developed into the standard end-game fighter (NetHack has a problem that almost all roles end up as indistinguishable characters with the same ascension kit and abilities).
So although Slash’Em has some cool additions, just adding them to UnNetHack wouldn’t be a good idea. It would increase the problem of the “all end-game characters look the same” problem.
But there is one race that is both cool for playing and different enough in its current state that it really brings a different game play (at least I hope so) to vanilla roles and races: the vampiric race.
So I decided to rip it out of Slash’Em and integrate vampiric races into UnNetHack.
Vampires are always chaotic and can be barbarians, rogues or wizards.
They have an extra bite attack that can drain life.
They start with some attractive attributes:
OTOH they have some drawbacks.
They can’t eat normal food. They only feed on blood either from their extra attack, from draining the blood of fresh corpses or from potions of blood resp. vampire blood. For the time being I didn’t include the “draw blood” technique from Slash’Em to create potions of vampire blood.
The nutrition gained by draining the blood from fresh corpses is only a fraction of the nutrition of the whole corpse and the chances of gaining a resistance by draining a corpse is likewise reduced.
Currently players seem to prefer playing vampiric wizards, although they have problems getting enough food and keep dieing of starvation, afterwards complaining in the #unnethack IRC channel that vampiric wizards are hard. 🙂
IMO, vampiric barbarians are easier to play. They are strong melee fighters from the beginning and start with poison resistance.
The public server on un.nethack.nu already features Vampires as starting race.