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The Duskblade And You

Last week we discussed the idea of Dusk creatures, which are corrupted versions of creatures that appear to be condensed shadow. Last week the focus on the Duskrat, a simple scavenger with a few abilities that have the potential to hurt the player badly. This week we'll chat about the Duskblade, a much more lethal enemy the player will encounter.

Here's my initial concept of the creature:

Just like the Duskrat, the Duskblade will have all the Dusk traits: Predatory, Pack Tactics, Shadowy Body, and Corrupting Touch. (You can read about them in the Duskrat Primer article.) In addition to the basic traits, the Duskblade will also have humanoid traits as well as their own unique traits.

Humanoid Traits
Cautious. Although they are aggressive, they are not berserk. Humanoids will first study their opponent before striking.

Weakness to Psionics. Most humanoids are comparatively defenseless against properly trained Psions. Some creatures, such as Duskblades, have lessened weaknesses due to their minds being completely intangible.

Duskblade Traits
Armed and Armored. Although they are made of shadow, the darkest parts of Dusk bodies are actually condensed to the point where they feel as hard as stone. Duskblades are condensed even more so: their bodies and blades feel as though they are as tough as steel. They hit harder and are more resilient to physical damage.

Fearsome. The Duskblade emits a low fear aura around itself. Players who do not resist the fear will attempt to automatically flee. Typically the player will end up fleeing into the Duskblade's hunting partner.

Misc Design Notes
I intend the Duskblade to be, at first, the boss for the first few floors. It's honestly the first real test if the player will run, hide, or fight when faced with a creature as strong as this. I imagine this boss is only tough to overcome if encountered head-on, and it's best to simply circumvent it to move on to the next level. That said however, if players are able to kill it, there should be some form of a reward.

Because XP is awarded for finding things rather than killing things, that means the reward from this miniboss should be simple, strong loot. For example, whatever it drops could be a melee weapon or a breastplate. I'm also considering having every boss drop a lore fragment as well. This is basically a story element which translates to character XP.

Later on, the Duskblade becomes more and more a regular enemy that the player will encounter. By this time, the player will have acquired more tools and can more easily dispatch (or run from) this creature. As the player progresses even further, the Duskblade will eventually pair with another Dusk creature. Potential partners can include a Duskwolf, another Duskblade, or the dreaded Strangler.


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