Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Copyright (c) 2000 - 2005 by Tarn Adams
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The Future: Physical Aspects of Creatures

Eating and Digestion:  This needs to be added. Tracts too. For a mammal, the stages represented in the tract might include mastication, swallowing, digestion, absorption, and excretion. Creatures might vomit if nauseated and might also vomit blood when injured.

Nutrition:  This ties into eating and digestion - what can creatures eat, how much do they need, etc. Creatures should become malnourished if they don't eat enough and eventually starve. Creatures that overeat might become obese. Water is important. Exercise needs to be tallied somehow (maybe as a function of the improvement points assessed to the physical attributes). For a mammal, nutrition might include fats, starches, oils, vitamins, fibers, sugars, and proteins. For more exotic beasts, the picture is much different.

Tiredness and Sleep:  Need to add sleep cycles and the effects of tiredness. Actual sleep will require time abstraction first. Creatures like dragons might sleep for decades. Creature knowledge skills might be used to tell when the dragon is stirring...

Breath Holding:  This is important for swimming and other things.

Proportion Alterations, Alteration Transformations:  This is just a reference to some things that the creature generator needs to have. Proportion Alterations take the standard, say, human proportions and changes them (arms longer, etc.). Alteration transformations help to define nonstandard forms. For example, if an cephalopod motif is handed a "humanoid" form, the game might apply an alteration transformation to turn the arms and legs into tentacles.

Non-Corporeal Creatures:  These are like illusions, but real. It doesn't really matter which one I code first, I suppose. The different classes include mists with no shape, those with bodies/body descriptions, creatures that are corporeal but have some illusory body parts, creatures attached to an event (like a river or fire). Wrestling with liquid creatures might be interesting (don't swallow! -- or maybe that's an effective defense?).

Poisons, Toxins, Disease:  The creatures will appreciate this added element. Some diseases that are going in: Rotting, blood, pneumonia, GI tract, wasting, fast-acting terminal virulent nastiness, nerve, sleeping sickness. Each disease will have a degree of contagiousness, inheritability, etc. Inbreeding royals might get genetic ailments like hemophilia. It should be possible for the player and others to poison water supplies. Players that constantly wade through muck and filth might get skin rashes and coughs.

Polymorphing:  This is nasty. What happens to wounds, inventory, combat preferences - especially if you're changing to a body that is very similar to your own.You'd like your grasps, etc. to be maintained... Perhaps a water mage can turn into liquid form, swim around, and turn back. The mage might be able to return to human form without being disoriented, but another creature might have a great deal of difficulty adapting to the new form and readapting to the old one.

Age/Growth/Development:  This is pretty hard. The creature structures are already complicated, and now tadpoles will be changing to frogs. I might actually do polymorphing first. Flowering plants are also fairly difficult here. Some things: life cycles, changes, conditions triggering changes, timing, gestation, reproduction, etc. I might also have to deal with things like interbreeding (half-elves and all that - do the gods force them to choose one race or another at maturity?). There are also tricky little things to put in, like tanning and sunburns.

Drinking:  This should follow the same mechanisms as eating roughly.

Infections, Septicemia:  This is just an unpleasant byproduct of being wounded. There will be some festering going on... and lots of pus.

Decomposition:  It happens, and it's not pretty. Rotting generally makes thing less recognizable over time.

Hemorrhaging:  Relations should lead to things like brain hemorrhaging (the encasement of the brain by the skull does not allow blood to escape, so it can put pressure on the brain - this kind of things will be applied in general to any encasement relation).

Appearance:  Superfluous stuff to flesh out creatures in addition to what has been done - voice, overall appearance, habits. Wounds, personality, spells/magical effects, and overall health can contribute to appearance. Many of the above would work for humans but not more exotic creatures. These will be given analogous traits suitable to their motif and form. Some creatures should have expressions (happiness, anger, creatures of the swamp watching player with mistrust, etc.). Grief-stricken creatures might cry, howl, tear their hair out, etc.

Senses:  How will sensory input work? What benefits can be derived from it? For the player, how will it be displayed? There are lots of weird sensory systems aside from the traditional ones that need to be dealt with (the player could have any of them). These include electro-reception, echolocation, temperature sensing, sense of timing/internal clocks, and magical detection of various kinds. The player should be able to garner the benefits of hearing sounds in the passageway up ahead. A player might also pick up new skills through active/discreet observation (useful herbs, languages, etc.). Night vision is also quite important, especially to people with missile weapons. Some animals can sense fear! Some stenches might be overwhelming (as in the sewers, the stench of death surrounding some places, etc.)...

Twists and Sprains:  Ligaments, tendons, and joints should also exist and be subject to damage.

Some Muscle Strength Issues:  Grasp strength and movement speed aren't done yet. Grasps also need to be penalized if the item is large or unwieldy, or if the grasping parts are unusual.

Aperture Grasps:  Mouths should be able to grasp things.

Actions and Mobility:  Many actions should be restricted by inventory and injuries. Broken ribs will then matter more...

First Aid:  Wounds should heal faster when they are cared for. This might include applying pressure, bandaging, tying off limbs, cauterization, splints, peg legs, and crutches.

Blood:  Not just red stuff, but green viscous acidic pus. All liquids have nutritional/poison value, so the player might find certain vintages to his or her liking (Armok, being the God of Blood, might be pleased with the player here...)

Glands:  Creatures might get adrenalin in the face of danger, etc. A creature that is shot in the throat might just become filled with blood lust. Sweat glands.

Hereditary Traits:  It would be fairly trivial to introduce "genes" that are passed down and influence traits. In this way, there can be different blood lines and so on -- the hereditary traits might include supernatural powers.

The Night Soil Dilemma:  To add or not to add? In a "realistic" game, creatures would produce "night soil", which would be treated like any other substance with respect to nutrition, disease, magical properties, etc.

Annoyances:  Headaches, nosebleeds, obesity, stomach aches, diarrhea, spasms, baldness, hiccupping and other innocuous "diseases", seasickness, trouble breathing when tired (not enough to kill you though)...

Artificial Limbs:  Hooks, peg legs, etc. Once crutches are implemented the difficult part will already be added.

Monster Idea -- Shadow Demon:  Size of a cat, semi-shapeless, weapon immunity, no physical attack, possesses objects/animals/corpses, light susceptible when not possessing.

Certain Body Parts are Susceptible to Certain Attacks:  In particular, those parts that are on stalks, and those parts such as inflated sacs used for floatation. The player could chop off the bag and use it to float around for a while.

Walking backwards:  You can press the down arrow now, but the game needs to incorporate a notion of facing into walking.

Jumping and Stances:  The effectiveness of a jump should depend in part on the stance that the creature is holding.

Actions while Falling:  Creatures should be able to perform actions while falling, especially if the fall is long.

Symbiotic Organisms:  There should be parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism. The partners can be living, undead, etc.

Balancing Acts:  Dexterity/balance should be required for unusual (high) stances.

Skin Properties:  There's no real provision in the creature structures for mucous coated skin yet. This idea can be generalized to other coatings.

Sense Properties (some from forum, others from notes):  spectrum vision, infravision, nightvision, color blind, nictating membrane, microscopic/telescopic vision polarized eyes, independent focus, night blindness, day blindness, penetrating, field of vision, depth perception, sonar vision, range of sounds (ultra/subsonic), direction sense, radar/magnetic/radiation/esp

Some methods of getting food:  stalk, trap, chase, scavenge, herd, gather, parasite, graze