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Duskrats: A Primer

In Eclipse Perilous, the majority of the enemies that are swarming the ship are versions of the people and critters who have been corrupted by the shadows pouring forth from the eclipse. They appear as ghostly forms made out of a purplish mist, which appears to darken and condense deeper within the creature itself. Think of it like seeing a person with thermal imaging, except instead of registering heat, it is registering darkness.

Anyway, let's get a bit more into a few of the systems and mechanics I would like to implement for all Dusk creatures, and for the Duskrat in particular.

General Dusk Creature Traits
Predatory. All Dusk creatures are predatory towards non-Dusk creatures. They can automatically detect the presence of non-Dusk creatures with a certain radius. Once detected, they will pursue and destroy these creatures to the best of their abilities.

Pack Tactics. Except for perhaps the first two or three floors, Dusk creatures will typically travel in pairs. Occasionally, they will hunt in small groups numbering 3 to 6 individuals. In essence, their tactics will revolve around you engaging with one, while the other sneaks up on you to backstab and flank. In larger numbers, they will rotate in and out as they tire or get damaged.

Shadow Body. The Eclipse Vortex that the RMS Galahad is encircling is actually a dimensional rift where a shadowy essence is seeping through. The Dusk creatures are corrupted versions of the people and creatures on board the RMS Galahad who have been touched by this essence. Having a Shadow Body makes the Dusk Creature difficult to damage while it is in shadow. On the flip side, if the Dusk Creature is bathed in light, its resistances to damage will reduce. How much of their resistances are overcome is dependent on the intensity of the light source.

Corrupting Touch. Dusk creatures have the ability to "infect" the player with any of their attacks. This has the direct effect of raising player Corruption. It becomes harder and harder to rest and heal the more corrupt the player becomes. To top it off, if the player receives too much corruption, they will die and the game will end.

Duskrat Traits
Stealth. As normal rats are already inclined towards staying out of sight, being corrupted into Dusk makes this creature frighteningly difficult to spot. They are effectively invisible in shadow, but are revealed automatically when within the radius of any light source.

Backstab. Duskrats prefer to attack their prey from the back. They will often attempt to strike at the lower spine in order to paralyze their targets. Although this is temporary, this gives the opportunity for the other Duskrats to tear the player apart.

Cowardice. If only one Duskrat remains of the Pair or Pack, it will attempt to flee. The more damage it has sustained, the further it can run. In addition, the more time the Duskrat spends under the effect of a light source, the more it will be compelled to disengage temporarily. It will likely re-engage once it has a clear shot of the player's back.

Simple Guile. Duskrats will set up an ambush to entice the player into attacking what appears to be a lone Duskrat guarding a point of interest. Once the player engages with the Duskrat, the rest of its pack will leap from the shadows to surround and shred the player to pieces.

Shadowleap. As long as it is on a shadowed tile, Duskrats can leap into another shadow within a certain radius. Players will sustain corruption damage if the Duskrat leaps into the player's shadow/blindspot.


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