Fist Load Weapons for Unarmed Combat

I’ve never seen this suggested before on this or other forums, but I’m wondering why we don’t have any fist load weapons in the game. Something like brass knuckles, Cestus, or Push Knives. I would think they would be quite rare, like Barding or Hand Crossbows.

UC is powerful when built around, but typically the augmentation to it is through mutations or transformations. I think having Fist load weapons would let you have a more non magical route to UC, and give races without mutations a reason to occasionally build towards them.

I know there would be balance considerations, I don’t think this should just be a straight buff to UC. Perhaps these weapons could use up the glove and weapon slot (and thus be unusable when gloves cannot be worn). They should also have attack delay penalties, and possibly casting penalties (harder to cast spells when your fingers are occupied).

Long story short, Fist Load weapons could make UC a choice for a lot more characters and give some interesting new build options.

What do y’all think?

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I don’t love this idea. UC is one of my favorite things to roll when I’m just wanting to coast, you know? With weapon centric games I’m looking for my end game weapon for the until the end of lair or so and it is kind of stressful. But when I go UC I know that I already have my end game weapon, I just need to dump a crap load of XP into it.

I guess that is the trade off, you can get a devastating weapon up and running with really not all that much xp for min delay for most builds. But finding that weapon is the issue. Whereas with UC you know you have a devastating weapon, you just need to train endlessly with it.

This and similar ideas have been suggested before, multiple times over the years. No surprise really, since the game’ve been around for a long-long time.

The main problem with your idea is this: if these items are rare, then they are not really build-enabling, since you might not find one in your game before it’s won. On the other hand, if these items are common, then UC turns into just another weapon skill and loses its special place as a powerful, but XP-hungry, non-item dependent melee option. Also if all these items do is add damage, then they are not really that interesting mechanically or needed for UC as it is, since UC has a metric ton of damage already.

As for forms, with the next stable release they will be transferred from magic spells into items (talismans) and scale with the new skill (Shapeshifting), and so made more readily availiable to melee-beefcake types. There’s also a bunch of new forms that interact with UC in interesting ways.

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That makes a lot of sense from a design perspective. I haven’t played trunc, so maybe I should read up on the shapeshifting. Does it scale with int? My main goal with his idea was to give any character a reason to switch to UC, regardless of int. It could be a mistake on my part, but the only times I ever train UC is a decision from the beginning rather than a dynamic dungeon decision.

In my ideal version of this idea, there might be one that is straight damage increase (perhaps at the cost of attack delay), but other items could give different effect. Push daggers could let you stab like short blades, maybe a bladed cestus cleaves like axes, maybe a fan would give you repel missiles after a successful attack.

I probably haven’t thought through the idea in fullness yet but I think there is a lot of design space here and and a lot levers to pull in to deal with balance.

Your level of Shapeshifting skill scales the power of forms (talismans). It’s a bit different from other crawl systems, but it makes sense and tooltips are pretty clear. UC damage is still scaled with Str whether in form or not.

If you want your proposal of any sort to be implemented, then, unless you can write the code yourself, it really helps if you work out as much details as possible beforehand. I’m saying this not to discourage you or anything, but to put things into perspective. Implementing a feature is a lot of work (coding, debugging, testing etc.), so if you want someone else to do it, you need to make sure that your design is as solid and easy to understand as you can manage, cause designing stuff is also a lot of work (working out precise numbers, potential conflicts, edge cases, flavour etc.). If all you have is a vague idea of how it could work, it’s unlikely people will just design and implement it, they are more likely to dedicate their time to their own ideas.

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Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping my idea would spark something in someone who knows more about the games current balance and game design as a whole, but it makes sense that most people probably have their own stuff they are more excited by. I’ll do a bit more thinking and playing around with existing UC and talismans and see if I can come determine if there really is a design space that can be filled here.

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Good luck! :3