Treasure chests, locks, traps and the warrior way

For Din's Curse, I have expanded the gameplay around chests, and given the player some actual choices. All of this post applies to doors also, but I'm just going to reference chests for simplicity. In most RPGs, especially action RPGs, opening a chest is not a choice. It is something you automatically do every time you find a chest. In Din's Curse, I expect a few chests here and there to be left alone, at least for a little while.

When you get close to a chest, you get a good bit of information about it- whether or not it's locked, your chance to pick the lock, what kind of trap you think it has, what's your chance of being right about the trap, and your chance to disarm it. That sounds like a lot, but it really boils down to is it locked and/or trapped.

First off, what if the chest is locked? Well if you have a skeleton key, you are good to go. Just use the door, you will use up one key, and the door will open (it might set off a trap though). However, skeleton keys are fairly rare and expensive (at least to new characters). Rogues or a hybrid character with the thief specialty has a pick locks skill. Picking a lock takes a bit of time and uses up some of your mana. The chance that you are actually successful depends on your skill level compared to the level of the lock.

What if you don't have a key and aren't a rogue? You simply bash open the chest or if you are a wizard, blast it into little pieces. There is a catch- bashing open chests is really noisy. You are going to alert any nearby monsters and on top of that, you get a surprise penalty for a period of time. Bashing on things can simply be dangerous to your health.

Next: traps. First off, the display only tells you what you think the trap is, not what it really is. It does give you a percent chance that the guess is correct though. This guess is based on your perception stat which is based on intelligence, but does get a bonus from both the pick lock and disarm trap skills. So in general, mage types and rogues will have good perception. Assuming there actually is a trap and you trip it, that's where your disarm skill comes in to play. Once again only a rogue or thief specialty has this skill and it is your skill compared to the trap skill level with a bit of randomness that determines you success chance. There are a lot of really nasty traps so we'll just hope you're successful.

That's how it functions, but how does it play out in the game? Well mage types come up to chests and with their high intelligence and thus high perception notice traps fairly easily. They have no way to deal with them directly though. So when there is a really nasty trap, they either leave them alone or blast the chest from a distance depending on the trap type. A rogue will see the trap, unlock the chest, and disarm the trap. As for the warrior way, keys are for wimps. Something is locked? Smash it to smithereens. Of course this is where playing co-op with friends is nice, just make the rogue open all of the chests.

The choices can get harder though. What if you are deep in the dungeon, your health is low, you have no more supplies, you are playing a hardcore character, the current level is fairly hard, and your perception tells you that the chest in front of you has a pit trap that will drop you to the next dungeon level? What do you do? Do you risk it?

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