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Author Topic: Properties of Materials from Procedural (Titans & FBs) and Static Megabeasts  (Read 205 times)


  • Bay Watcher
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Forgotten Beasts are generated as being composed of a random material. There could be more detail, but there are a lot of neat materials in interesting configurations an FB can be made from, and the properties have a real effect on how hard they are to kill and what kind of threat they represent to the your dwarves or an adventuring party. Similarly, armor and weapons in Dwarf Fortress have material properties based on the item they're made of, and these affect how they behave in combat.
Unfortunately, material properties do not currently determine what materials result from a slain megabeast or carry over to the resulting materials. Static megabeasts also provide only mundane materials.
It would be very neat for it to be possible to create mood and non-mood artifact items out of the remains of megabeasts. For example, I fought a Hill Titan described as having small brass scales. I would have liked for the Titan to leave behind a leather or a hide that would tan into leather with some of the material properties of brass. Similarly, I'd love to be roaming the world in adventure mode and see a heirloom suit of armor made from the scaled hide of a dragon someone's great-grandfather slew and for it to be more than a suit of leather armor with a grand history. Fantasy stories often have dragons as having hides and/or scales of incredible toughness.

My suggestion is really two suggestions, one less ambitious and one substantially moreso. They are not exclusive; one could be done in one update and the other done at a time when the systems involved are already being reworked.

The first suggest is to leave static and dynamic megabeasts as they are but change the materials resulting from titans and FBs to have properties based on the material the megabeast is made of. Some static megabeasts like dragons, rocs, and colossi should also get special materials that they leave behind when butchered. A titan or FB with scales would leave behind leather or skin that tans into leather with properties based on the material the megabeast is made of. Those with shells should leave behind a material that counts as bone for the purposes of crafting, but with the material properties of whatever they were made of. A dragon might leave behind leather that behaves like bronze or steel, and a colossus might leave behind bronze that makes items that recover from wear. A roc might just have leather that's tougher than usual. The bones of giants and dragons could be be substantially stronger than normal bone.

The second suggestion is to rework the materials of megabeasts completely. Determine the form first. Determine how many materials it's made of. A blob probably just has one material. A humanoid might be one solid material, like a colossus, or might have separate materials for bones, organs, and skin. If it has scales, the scales and skin might be one leather material like snakeskin, or it might have scales large enough to be considered a material separate from the skin. A beast could have osteoderms in addition to other external structures, and those are another potential material. A beast with an exoskeleton probably won't have a skin or scales, but a beast with a bony shell like a turtle would.
Once the number of material slots are determined, then materials can be assigned to them. The materials should make sense for the slot, but they don't have to be exact copies of mundane materials. One beast might have large scales that are identical to mundane bronze in every respect, and your dwarves can melt them down and turn them into bars. Another might have bones that have the mechanical properties of iron, but they can't be melted. Instead, a bonecrafter needs to work them into armor as though they were bone. The reverse could also happen; bones that get melted into bars, and large scales that have to be worked by a dwarf like bone. A beast with stone scales might provide skin that tans into leather with many of the mechanical properties of stone. Maybe the materials could be procedural as well as the beasts; determine which properties should carry over into the resulting materials, and which shouldn't, and a bit of randomness for certain parts to determine how they have to be processed, whether they need to be melted down or chiseled into shape by a craftsdwarf or forged directly into an object by a smith.
Some parts of beasts aren't going to result in useful materials; that's fine. Some beasts won't have anything that can be turned into useful armor or weapons, but I personally feel that ideally most beasts should leave behind some usable materials, even if it's only really usable for furniture.

It would also be neat if the different materials a beast was made of were thematically connected; maybe they could be selected from the spheres a beast is associated with.

I would expect most things made from the remains of a forgotten beast would be artifacts. It would be neat to be able to see where all the major pieces of a beast ended up. I'm not sure how raw materials like bronze bars melted down from the scales of a beast would be dealt with and items subsequently made from them. I'm not sure how wear would be handled, either; should FB artifacts be wear-immune like mood artifacts, or wear-resistant, or normal?