Halls of Mist

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Halls of Mist
Angband Variant
Developer Mikko Lehtinen
Based on EyAngband
Theme Fantasy
Released September 13, 2012 (1.2.0)
Updated January 15, 2013 (1.3.2)
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Official site

Everyone has heard stories about the Halls of Mist. In the stories people usually see horrible visions in the blue mist and lose their mind. (They say carrying a bright torch would help.) The exquisitely decorated walls, the deserted shrines of foreign goddesses... It's a scary, haunted place.

Your archenemy, The Thin White Duke, is down there, gathering power. He is an immortal human occultist from the Realm of Skultgard ("skull garden").

You have only recently learned that the vast dungeon complex actually extends far beyond the borders of Thornwild, your world, to all other realms of existence. You believe the Duke is now negotiating pacts with both the demons of Aether and the dragons of Chaos. Unless you stop him, the combined army of darkness will soon smash Thornwild.

       Aether (spirit, myths, dreams)     *----------------------*
       /                                  | The Chain of Realms. |
      /                  (wilderness,     | Normally the travel  |
Skultgard ---- Thornwild  predation,      | between realms is    |
(hierarchy,        /      diversity)      | slow and difficult.  |
 law, human       /                       | Halls of Mist links  |
 supremacy)     Chaos (material, force,   | them all directly!   |
                       pandemonium)       *----------------------*

Halls of Mist is the successor to Mikko Lehtinen's earlier roguelike FayAngband, which was based on Eytan Zweig's EyAngband. The game has had a complete themetic and gameplay overhaul. Practically speaking it's a brand new roguelike.

Halls of Mist aims to be athmospheric, tactical, fast, and deadly. It has been playtested heavily and is already pretty stable, balanced, and fun to play.

It's an Angband variant with many fundamental game rules designed from the ground up, and with dungeons that don't look like Angband's. In the Halls of Mist you will find altars, tables, magical circles, bookshelves, warding runes on walls, trees and vegetation, enchanted fountains... Every dungeon feature is there for a gameplay reason, not just for decoration.

Races are a furry bunch from EyAngband, all classes are either new or rebalanced, and all six stats are important for everybody. Two Warriors with very different scores in stats will play differently, but neither is self-evidently "better". The game tries hard to make the rules transparent to the player. Having high stats raises skill scores; most skill checks are simple, unmodified percentage rolls under your skill.

Probably the most defining feature of the variant is the stair system. Stairs up now take you straight back to the town. Stairs down take you somewhere near your maximum depth (your choice). The minimum depth increases by one each time the player takes the stairs down. So you can still control how fast you dive, as long as your current depth is at least as deep as the minimum depth.

The system manages to combine the Angband's "choose your own difficulty" with the the risk and adrenaline of Ironman play. Halls of Mist rewards skill and risk-taking over boring, repetitive actions. "Farming" or "scumming" the system is impossible. Anyone who gets high scores in Halls of Mist has genuinely earned them.

It's a pretty difficult and unforgiving game. Targeted for people who hate tedium and grinding, and who instead like to spend their playing time considering tactical options slowly and carefully in life-threatening situations.