Is there a roguelike

… that is structured similarly to Diablo 2? I mean mechanically and/or story-wise. In other words,

  • in what roguelike(s) is there a straightforward skill/class system where you put points in skills that comprise your main attacks?

  • in what roguelike(s) are the items randomly generated with frequent magical properties that are easily “identified”?

  • in what roguelike(s) is there a whole bunch of loot for a number of passive slots (as opposed to a ton of random consumables of unknown, but perhaps guessable function)?

  • in what roguelike(s) do you progress through a relatively linear story from act to act?

or…is there some compendium of roguelikes with brief descriptions of the differences that I’ve missed?

It seems to me like these mechanics would be a really good fit in a roguelike, but I never seem to run across any that use them. Am I crazy or oblivious, or is the genre just not actually all that broad?

Yea there’s plenty but we call them aRPGs instead


A Chronological list of games that are, to greater and lesser degrees, like Rogue.

Like Brian McKnight said, action rpg’s are what you describe. Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends, the arpg field is amazingly broad. They are referred to as Diablo-clones, but Diablo is rogue-like.

  1. I can’t think of any off hand.

  2. Rogue likes generally don’t use a prefix/suffix system for item properties outside of simplistic stuff. E.g. “Frost Brand” or “Dagger of the westernesse”. I’ve seen muds do it (Project Bob has an awesome system that does this. With item material to boot). There’s certainly potential for something like that. Ease of identification is relative. If you play Zangband “fully” (overworld, lots of towns), ID’ing becomes trivial early into the game.

  3. I don’t follow. What does “passive slots” mean?

  4. ADOM has more story elements than most RLs. I wouldn’t call it linear. There are certain goals that cannot be accomplished until you take care of other goals first.

If you can track down a copy of “D2Loader” from a trusted source it’ll run the actual Diablo II in a very well-behaved window.

Never heard of a textmode clone though, sorry.

I don’t know any off the top of my head but you can browse around RogueBasin. Are those Nintendo / Mystery Dungeon games like that?

Whether those mechanics are a good fit is one of the small holy wars in the roguelike community. When you take away item identification, procedural levels, permanent death, etc. you can be left with a really tedious game without danger or change. That is unless you add exciting things like graphics, sound, and Internet play. Those are more of the reasons why Diablo works rather than its core Roguelike mechanics.

I saw in the @ Play column that some Roguelike geeks tried to come up with some definitions (argh) for what makes those games the way they are. I’m not enough of an expert to explain the reasons why it is like that, and there must be some counter-examples out there but I don’t know of them.

One last thing: Kornel Kisielewicz created DiabloRL, which is a short Roguelike patterened after the original Diablo demo. Play that a few times and you might get a better idea of what you’re asking.

Zangband (my fave) has a few of those features. It has resistances and such, and you can easily ID which item is giving you which features/bonuses/etc. It’s randomly generated, and basically linear, since it’s just going down the dungeon. However, there’s no real story to speak of, and no consistent theme (mixes Tolkien with Zlazney, for example). As I said, though, it’s my favorite rogue-like of all time, so I think it’s solid. Play the TK version for better graphics.

“We” who? When I hear action-RPG, I think System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Bloodlines, etc.

Diablo is an action-Roguelike.

Action-RPG applies to Diablo. I’ve never heard the term “action-roguelike” before.

Sure, if they are real-time. I’m looking for one that is turn-based.

No, they aren’t, but I’ll poke around RogueBasin and look for DiabloRL too, thanks.

Sure, Diablo has plenty of positives outside the mechanics I’ve listed, but if no one has made a roguelike with them (and notice that I would still want procedural levels and permadeath) then how can anyone know if they don’t work? Not that lack of evidence has ever been a reason not to argue about something on the internet.

I actually still use the computer I used to play D2 on (and the disk is still in the drive), so no problem firing it back up, I’m just looking for something different. Plus I figured if anyone had made a roguelike like this, there would be tons of room for adding content like classes and item properties and so on.

Forgive me if I’m mistaken but aren’t most RL realtime aswel? I’ve only ever played DCSS so I could be wrong here. Also Diablo is definately realtime.

The problem with most turnbased games is they tend to revolve around a party rather then a single person. And the whole point of a RL is that your a single person, but check RougeBasin I guess

EDIT: I’m an idiot I was thinking along the lines of something comepletely different when I read turn-based, then thought for 2 minutes and realized RL are all turnbased icluding DCSS, sorry about that. leaves quietly

I can’t imagine why you would want a linear story in a RL. The rest are good ideas for a RL. I don’t think you’ll find one like that, at least not one that is polished enough to be worth spending much time on.

Din’s Curse is coming soon. Its more of an aRPG, but has more in common with RL’s than most Diablo-likes. Random dungeons, random quests, random towns, Diablo-style loot, straightforward skill/class system, and a lot of environment interaction. It seems like more of a roguelike inspired Diablo-like.


Peeler and Soldak make fun games. Oooh, that should be their slogan. “We make fun games”. Emailing Steven…now.

Oooh. I’m all over this. I hope Diablo 3 goes in this direction as well.

If you pre-order you can opt into the beta which should be starting any day. This one is going to have multiplayer coop as well. I’m getting pretty excited to do some coop dungeoning with my wife.

It looks like its a game that has an 8 month development cycle, so its not like it will be a major AAA blockbuster, but it looks like Steven will be reusing a lot of the graphics and codebase (including multiplayer) from Kivi’s Underworld and I’d imagine a lot of the random quest code from DoP.

Could you point me in the right direction for a pre-order. If it’s $20 or so I’ll be ordering asap.

Its not up yet, but Steven has been saying it will be before the end of the month. That leaves a scant few days.

So I checked out DiabloRL and though it’s completely unfinished, it convinces me that the mechanics I’m looking for would work in a roguelike. Linear story isn’t really what I meant to say, though - the act-to-act progression is what I was looking for, though, a change of scenery after a certain amount of accomplishment, not a single plot that progresses to a scripted end.

Of course, now I have a strong desire to play the original Diablo again. Curses. I hope Din’s Curse comes out soon.

[QUOTE=McKnight;2066523]Forgive me if I’m mistaken but aren’t most RL realtime aswel? I’ve only ever played DCSS so I could be wrong here.

“Rogue likes” are traditionally turn based. And almost all of them are turn based, to this day.

[quote]The problem with most turnbased games is they tend to revolve around a party rather then a single person. And the whole point of a RL is that your a single person, but check RougeBasin I guess

That’s not a meaningful statement. Yes, most turn based games revolve around a party, when discussing RPGs anyway (but not TBS games, of course).

None the less, most RLs are TB games. They tend to involve increasingly complex tactical situations (this varies from one to the next, of course). Stuff you couldn’t do in real time when you factor in both the major decisions and number of foes you are dealing with. Turn-based gameplay fits like a glove.