What’s in a Title?
The driving force behind the Dance of Death title and concept was a popular and often resurrected discussion on r.g.r.d.: how to make the warrior class something more interesting than a close-range mage.
In other words, is there a way to differentiate the way a fighter interacts with the world from that of a mage’s?
Traditionally in RLs, combat with a fighter consists of using a main attack and supplementing it with special attacks that use up energy. This pattern is evident, and certainly deliberate, in the Diablo series (games which, at the very least, have been largely inspired by roguelike design). In fact, many RLs take a similar route as Diablo, requiring both mages and fighters to use mana—with a somewhat notable difference being that mages often lack a basic attack and must rely solely on spells.
A solution I concocted for this trope, and one which I since have seen discussed on r.g.r.d. as well, was to have fighters play more of a spatial game, insofar as having their movement pattern implicitly affect their type of attack. Hence the name Dance of Death. I have a loose design idea for this concept noted down, and will soon be at a point in the RL’s development in which I can implement this. For the time being, however, I am concentrating on building a very basic, vanilla RL engine.