Djinni

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Djinn are beings of smokeless fire. They enter the world spontaneously and without explanation, born with a tireless hunger for knowledge and adventure. Djinn have a unique relationship with magic: rather than learning spells from books, their spells come from within, welling up from their fiery core as they gain experience. They draw from that same fiery core to cast spells - for Djinn, magical power and health are one and the same.

As elemental beings, Djinn are immune to poison and highly resistant to fire, though cold damage is deeply inimical to them. Since they float through the air without need for legs or feet, they cannot wear boots.

Djinn are middlingly competent at most forms of physical combat, but have a particular aptitude for spellcasting. Their aptitudes for all forms of magic are phenomenal, though their unique relationship with magic means that they cannot choose to train magic skills independently.

Innate Abilities

Djinn have a base Strength of 7, Intelligence of 9, and Dexterity of 8 (before Background modifiers).

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • +1 Intelligence or Dexterity every 4th level.
  • 10% less HP than average.
  • +4 willpower per level.
  • Djinn receive random spells at every odd level, starting at XL 3. Spell specifics are listed below.

Spells

XL 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27
Spell levels 1 2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5 6 6-7 6-7 7-8 7-8 8-9 9

Djinn can acquire any player spell, but there are several restrictions:[1]

  • Spells must be new, which excludes the spells your Background starts with and spells you have already received.
  • Spells must be castable, which excludes Sublimation of Blood and spells from sacrificed magic schools.

All eligible spells have the same chance to be gifted at a level up.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Djinn receive the skills, equipment, and spells listed for their background, save for the following restriction:

  • For magic skills, Djinn get a special modifier. Djinn takes the backgrounds highest base skill, as if they had Human aptitudes, then apply it to all spell schools equally. For example, an Ice Elementalist's highest skill is 4 Ice Magic, so a Djinn Ice Elementalist gets 4 Spellcasting, 4 Fire Magic, 4 Ice Magic, etc.
  • Djinn do not get potions of magic.

Difficulty of Play

SimpleIntermediateAdvanced

Djinn, in many ways, are simpler spellcasters. Players don't have to worry about running out of MP, decide which spell schools to train, or even choose which spells to learn! However, magic-using Djinn have to be careful about their HP reserves, especially in dangerous situations where a few extra HP could make the difference between life and death. Also, they must adapt to whatever random spells they get, which may not synergize well with their current abilities or the player's preferred playstyle.

Djinn have +11 aptitudes in magic, but are forced to train all skills equally. At the start of the game, this equates to training a single school at a -2.8 aptitude. But by the time a caster reaches mid-game, their effective aptitude is much higher than this in practice.[2] And, since every school is trained at once, dual- and triple-school spells are very easy to train. Overall, a dedicated mage will not have trouble casting spells.

Other than that, poison immunity is helpful to survive the earlier portions of the game, and Djinn are passable in "pure" melee combat.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 0 Armour 0 Spellcasting 11
Dodging 1
Maces & Flails -2 Shields 0 Conjurations 11
Axes -2 Stealth -1 Hexes 11
Polearms -2 Summonings 11
Staves -1 Invocations 0 Necromancy 11
Unarmed Combat 0 Evocations 0 Translocations 11
Throwing -2 Shapeshifting -2 Alchemy 11
Fire Magic 11
Short Blades -1 Ice Magic 11
Long Blades -1 Air Magic 11
Ranged Weapons -2 Experience 1 Earth Magic 11

Strategy

  • Djinn that want to cast any significant amount of spells will want to invest not only in Spellcasting, but also Fighting, to give themselves plenty of fuel for their spells. A source of increased regeneration is also useful to have.

God Choice

Traditional, spell granting "magic" gods are unavailable for Djinn, but most other religions are reasonable to choose from:

  • Ashenzari is a generally strong god who offers skill boosts. Since Djinn can't worship Vehumet, Ash is the only god that can lower your spell failure rates directly.
  • Makhleb recovers HP on kill, which lets you cast spells more freely; a moderately strong god choice for spellcasting Djinn.
  • Elyvilon can be a good choice for the HP restoration, while The Shining One acts like Makhleb against undead and demonic creatures. Mind that you can still get evil spells when worshipping a good god, which the god will prevent you from casting.

History

  • Prior to 0.31, Djinn had a -3 Spellcasting aptitude, and could not learn any other spell school. However, a level of Spellcasting counted as a level in every spell school (in addition to the bonus from Spellcasting itself).
    • Djinn skill training was slightly slower (roughly -0.16 aptitude), and their starting skills were particularly worse (due to having a "-3" aptitude).
    • Djinn could not benefit from the magical staff melee bonus, the pain brand, or manuals of unlearnable spell schools. However, Ashenzari curses were particularly strong: Djinn were more likely to get useful curses, and "Introspection" curses benefited Fighting and the equivalent of every spell school.
  • The modern incarnation of Djinn, inspired by the Djinn of old and the Oni variant found in some forks of Dungeon Crawl, was added in 0.27.
  • Djinn were considered for inclusion in both 0.13 and 0.14, but were ultimately cut before being included in any stable release. The old version had a more conventional approach to learning magic, but used 2 of their EP (HP and MP combined) for each MP spent. They were also subject to several special cases (complete immunity to all forms of fire including hellfire, spell hunger caused magical contamination, only certain methods of channeling worked).

References

  1. ng-setup.cc:406 (0.30.1)
  2. Djinn split XP between 11 skills at a +11 aptitude. As XP cost = 2^(-apt/4), each skill level costs 2^(-11/4) * 11 = 1.63x the XP of a single skill. This equates to training a single "skill" at -4 * log2(1.63) = -2.84 aptitude. However, this "skill" includes both [every Spell School] and Spellcasting. Once you take that into account, Djinn are better than a -2.84 aptitude suggests. Say you want to cast a Conjurations spell:
    • If you were playing a Kobold (with flat 0 magic aptitudes) and only cared about spell power, you would train to {5 Spellcasting, 15 Conjurations}. This would cost 7275 skill points.
    • A Djinn would reach the same amount of power at {13 Spellcasting, 13 Conjurations}. Each of the 11 skills costs 713 skill points, or 7843 skill points in total. This is only +7.8% more XP than the Kobold, or a -0.43 aptitude. This happens because going from 12 -> 13 in a skill is cheaper than going from 14 -> 15 in a skill.
    • In practice, spell power isn't everything. The Kobold may want to train more Spellcasting, for either MP or spell level purposes. Said Kobold at {10 Spellcasting, 13.5 Conjurations} would reach the same power, but at a cost of 7913 skill points (more than the Djinn!). In other words, because Djinn don't need to spend XP for MP or spell levels, they can invest more into spell power.
    For dual-school spells, Djinn only become better. Using the same analysis for Fireball, a Kobold would be efficient at {8 Spellcasting, 15 Fire, 15 Conj}, costing 15300 skill points. A Djinni equals that at {13.6 Spellcasting, 13.6 Fire, 13.6 Conj}, or 8657 skill points, which is 56.6% the XP. That's an effective aptitude of +3.29 - substantially better than Deep Elves!
    The exact efficiency depends on the level of skill. At low skill levels, Djinn are truly around a -3 aptitude for single-school spells. At XL 27, Djinn can be cheaper than Kobolds, even for single-school spells.
Species
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianTrollDeep ElfArmataurGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganGhoulTenguOniBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMummy