Let's Die Horribly! Yarrun Rips off Mojave [IMG Heavy]

edited 2014-08-20 19:06:14 in Liveblogs
So, as you all know, Mo is doing a liveblog of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. If you need an explanation about what exactly that is, Mo's already written a succinct explanation for you in his thread. Seriously, at least skim his thread first.

Anyways, like Mo, I'm working off of the current 0.14 build and I haven't won the game yet. Unlike Mo, I have a taste for picking unusual builds that usually get me killed in the first seven floors of the dungeon.

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So, while Mo shows you the beauty of an efficient, properly executed dungeon crawl, I'll be showing you what happens when you trip at the dungeon entrance and stumble your way down the floors.

For the first of our dispensable cannon fodder, I'm going to starting off with one of my favorites: the Octopode

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While I do tend towards unusual builds, I do try to give at least 'some' chance of success. So we'll be going with Assassin, since it has good synergy with the Octopode's natural stealth abilities.

Notice that most of the non-Spellcaster classes are blacked out.. We'll see why in a moment.
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Note that first one. Octopodes are unable to equip the majority of armor due to, you know, not being bipedal in any shape or form. While this makes it a good fit for the Assassin class and most spellcasting classes, who usually don't wear much more than a glorified bathrobe, it means that melee battles end poorly after the first few dungeon levels.

Also note the third one. Because ring magic is linked to how many hand-appendages you have, Octopodes are able to equip six more than the usual two rings. Potentially, this means having a bunch of awesome rings that allow you to reign over the dungeon like a slimy, slimy god. Let's just hope that we survive long enough to get some decent rings.

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Ideally, the assassin is to sneak into melee range while their target is asleep, and then stab them while they're vulnerable. However, all the monsters so far on this level are really good at hearing slithering tentacles, so we've had to fight our way out of some weaker mobs. Luckily, the natural AC+1 bonus and the +2/2 dagger should keep us from getting into too much trouble.

Also, we're currently limiting our skills to stealth and short blades. Once we can consistently stab our enemies in their sleep, we'll start training dodging and throwing.

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And here we see why an assassin needs to train throwing. The blowgun is the most powerful weapon in an assassin's inventory, with one or two poisoned needles killing most things in the first few floors. The curare needles are a mix of poison, confusion and a number of other nasty effects, making it effective against most enemies. Unfortunately, the game starts you out with a limited amount, and all projectiles have a chance to disintegrate on contact with the enemy, so we'll be saving the blowgun for emergencies

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And we get our first stab of the game. Stabbing, officially, is the act of harming a being who's asleep, confused, paralyzed or otherwise unable to notice the octopode with a knife shanking them. Aside from adding a flavorful hit message to the log, stabs can deal high amounts of damage based on your weapon skill and stealth skill. Right now, it's an 87% increase in damage, which will kill most things outright in the early game, but leveling should bring it into the 100% range soon enough.
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Here's a demonstration of one of the Octopode's other natural abilities. The Octopode can use one of its spare tentacles for auxilary attacks. If the tentacle lands a hit, it constricts the enemy, keeping it from running away as long as you don't run away. Normally, the Octopode avoids melee if they can help it, but it is useful to keep fast enemies still while you pound on them. 
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And that's it for D:1! We'll see more next time, assuming that D:2 actually has some useful loot.
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    Upon entering D:2, we meet an adder, one of the earliest dangers to a fragile close-range class. Let's see if we can cut it open without any trouble.

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    Haha, Nope! But for our troubles, we get up to Level 3. We take another level in Dex for better stabby shenanigans.

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    This is the altar of Elyvilon the Healer. One of the three good gods, she allows you unparalleled healing powers in return for destroying evil weapons and healing your enemies. It's kind of an odd path to take, so we'll be bypassing her for now. And possibly ever.

    imageJessica

    One of the weaker uniques in the early dungeon, she's a low-level Wizard with only one attack spell, some buffs and blink (AKA close range teleport). She's usually not too much trouble, but she managed to end two of my recent runs, so I'm totally up for vengeance right now. Let's see if we can stab her in her sleep without any trouble.

    imageLo and behold, there was, in fact, no trouble. We get an unidentified wand for our troubles, and feast on her flesh because, well, when you need to revenge yourself upon a unique, that's how you do it. Also because there's no punishment for cannibalism unless you follow one of the good gods. 
    imageNow we come upon another early unique: the unpronounceable Ijyb. For the most part, he's just a marginally tougher goblin. But he's able to spawn with any number of dangerous wands that should, by all means, be above his threat level, so let's step with caution.
    imageWasn't able to kill him in his sleep, but he's dead. And that's about it for D:2
  • image

    We start off in a room with four doors. We manage to ID an Identity Scroll and use that to ID our wand of teleportation that we looted from Jessica. It only has 4 charges though, so we'll save that for a rainy day.

    imageOh, hello there. Y-you're not supposed to be awake yet. Mind if you look over there while I

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    Stab you to death? Ah, thank you, you're too kind.

    imageBehold, the altar of Nemelex Xobeh, AKA Yugi Moto Ascendant. His* powers work through decks of magical cards that functions similarly to wands, with each card in the deck providing a different effect based around a theme. Since you gain piety with him* by sacrificing rare items, it's a good route for Octopodes, who inevitably end up with rare armor that they can't use. However, we have a certain god that we're looking for, so we'll pass for now

    * the gods are strictly gender neutral. All use of gendered pronouns is based on personal views and should not be taken as fact.

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    Nemelex has shown his displeasure by summoning an ogre one dungeon level too early. Considering how wonky my steal has been, trying to backstab it would be an incredible risk, especially since he can half my life with a single swing. Luckily, we have death needles.
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    That should help things out a bit.

    A few more stabs and another level later...
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    Ooh, how did that get there?

    Okay, I'm a sensible creature. I'm out of my league here. So I'm just going to skip this guy and
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    Haha, nope

    Well, looks like I'm taking that trapdoor (aka the red thing) down to the next floor. It's a one-way trip, which will screw us over if we end up in a mob, but it's better than staying here.

    Tune in next time, when we'll maybe learn to show some restraint.
  • We enter D:4 and OH NO

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    Haha, so there's this thing with enemies and running to different floors. If they're adjacent to you, they can follow you up the floor. This can be used to exile enemies that you're not ready to defeat yet, but more often than not it'll screw you over. As it just did to me right now.

    One desperate scroll of teleportation and one surprise-killed hobgoblin later, we find ourselves on the other side of the map

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    And lo and behold, we've found some more poison needles. Time to start training throwing.

    We decide to head back to where the ice beast was and see if we could take another shot at killing him. Long story short, that didn't turn out so well. Good news is, we've found two more wands: one of disintegration and one of magic darts. They're both somewhat low on charges (8 and 7, respectively), so we'll be saving them instead of rushing back to fight the ice beast again.

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    We find the altar of Yre...Yred...the dark god, which you can learn more about in Mo's thread. Long story short, it allows you to raise the dead without having to cast spells. Since minions means a higher chance of being noticed, I'm going to pass. I am going to kill those sleeping fish zombies because, hey, it's not every day I get to use the Octopode's water bonuses.

    With most of D:4 explored, we decide to check D:3 to see if we missed any important loot. And what do we find?

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    Orcs. Awake orcs.
  • And that's the unfortunate end of Glylob the Octopode. What have we learned here? Never run into a fight that you're not prepared for.
  • Didn't have a chance to sneak away from the awake orcs?

    I've never played this, but I looked up its wiki and saw that it has a non-humanoid cat race, so I might have to.
  • You cannot sneak away from awake enemies, who will chase you as long as they can see you. You can run away, but Octopodes aren't particularly fast, and that Orc Priest has a nasty long-range smite attack that would have made running difficult.

    I could have made a run for the trapdoor (and I did try, at the last), but that would mean going back to the Ice Beast, and I would have dragged down that orc with the sword with me. So I made a last stand and got messily killed.

    As for the other thing, I've never seriously tried Felids before, but I'm up for it.
  • edited 2014-08-19 15:30:46
    image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    Felids are... not very good. They actually got a significant buff in 0.15, since they can now use wands, which actually makes them decent, but for 0.14... yeah.

    EDIT: No, wait, I'm dumb, the wand buff was 0.14. Been playing too much 0.16
  • image

    Everybody say hello to Felix the Felid Transmuter!
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    As Haven said, Felids are basically intelligent cats. Due to being non-bipedal, tiny and opposable-thumb-less, Felids cannot equip any armor besides jewelry and can't wield weapons. We're limited to wands, decks of cards, and our handy teeth and claws. We also have this new jump attack that was added in 0.14 (along with the ability to evoke wands, which helps us out greatly), which basically allows us to teleport next to any enemy we can see. It's a bit weird, but I'm not complaining about being able to conditionally blink.

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    Here we see Felix using the beginner Transmutation spell, Beastly Appendage, shortly after killing a bat. It gives us a pair of minotaur horns, allowing us to temporarily headbutt. That, along with our teeth and claws, should get us through the first floor rather easily. And so it does.
  • TreTre
    edited 2014-08-19 16:10:00
    DISRUPT THE SYSTEM ⌘
    > Felix
     

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  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Haven said:

    Didn't have a chance to sneak away from the awake orcs?


    I've never played this, but I looked up its wiki and saw that it has a non-humanoid cat race, so I might have to.
    do it mother fucker

    also read my thread too plz
  • image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    Also, some bad news for you: Neme has been nerfed. Badly. Diet Nemelex, as it were.
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    Welcome to D:2

    As you can see, Felix learned a new spell while you were gone. Sticks to Snakes allows one to transmute arrows and javelins into deadly allies (previously, this would have also included clubs, but that was changed a while back. THANKS OBAMA). We picked up 36 arrows on D:1, so we won't be wanting for ammo.

    Side-Note: This is the one loophole in the "Felids can't wield weapons" restriction. In order to transmute the item, you must wield it. So, Felids can wield arrows and javelins specifically for this one spell.

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    And it looks like our first altar of the game is to Fedhas Madash, the plant god. They allow you to create and control plant-monsters. It's a cool trick, but it takes a while to become useful outside of conditional situations. We move on.

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    Here we see Sticks to Snakes in action, as we sick two Ball Pythons on an unsuspecting Kobold. Ball Pythons aren't actually poisonous, unlike the other two snakes that the spell can create, but they aren't without their uses. Note the "Constriction" symbol over the Kobold's head.

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    This is a grove of trees in the middle of a dungeon. Judging by the shape, I'd say that this is the lair of Crazy Yiuf, a gnome unique. Unlike most uniques, he always spawns behind a small wall of trees with a small path leading behind them. He is sought after and occasionally feared because of his quarterstaff of chaos, which can cause anything up to and including instant death. Right now, I can't count on Felix to reliably defeat him, and we can't use the quarterstaff anyways, so we skip him for now.

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    Or we just jump in with wild abandon, as we are wont to.

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    And, surprisingly, it works out fine. Yiuf is dead, we just earned our first extra life, and we managed to cure the poison before it killed us.

    Oh, right, extra lives. Forgot to mention that. You know how Octopodes can wield eight rings, and that's basically the most unique thing about them? Felid's version of that is their ability to reincarnate after death. Every three levels, you gain a life. When you die, you respawn somewhere else on the level at the cost of a level's worth of XP. It's a good back-up plan for when something inevitably goes wrong, and it allows you to eat your own corpse, which is...interesting.

    imageHi, Jessica

    imageBye, Jessica.

    Unfortunately, she doesn't have any wands for us to loot this time. Just her corpse, which is distinctly tastier this time around. That's carnivores for you.

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    And here we have a miniature Ecumenial Temple.

    Okay, clockwise from the bottom-right. The sparkling star-fist altar is to Zin, one of the three Good Gods. He's a god of Law and Scriptures, and he's most useful against evil or chaotic foes, such as demons or dragons. He's more of a late-game god, so we'll just ignore him for now.

    The bloody altar is to Trog, the berserker, anti-magic god. Pretty typical of his kind of work.

    The blue tower thing is to Sif Muna, the wizard god. They grant abilities like channeling mana from hunger and granting spellbooks. She's more useful for pure mages, so we pass her up.

    The fire altar is Mahkleb's, the hell god. Grants health on kill and allows summoning of demons. 

    We've already met Yred.

    The shadowy eye is Dithmenos, the Shadow God. He allows you to use the darkness as your ally as if you were born in, molded in it, and so forth. He was the one that I originally wanted Glyolb to join.

    ...Hmm. I was going to go with Nemelex, what with Felids having so much stuff to sacrifice to him, but considering how early we've found these, it might be prudent to pick another god.

    Any suggestions?
  • image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    If you really feel that you have to choose a god now, I'd go Mahkleb. Although I'm personally partial to Fedhas on Tm.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Is Dithmenos still kind of useless?
  • image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    Wandering Mushrooms slaughter everything until you can properly get your transmutations online.
  • Very well. Fedhas it is. Since that was the last bit of D:2, onward to D:3

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    Behold, the Happy Smiley Mushroom. We'll be seeing many more of these, I can bet.

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    Natasha is essentially us, except a wizard instead of a transmuter. She's pretty much on our level, except that she has Mephitic Cloud, a noteworthy lvl 3 spell that causes confusion. Confusion is just a step above Paralysis in terms of terribleness.

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    So we send in the snakes. In a surprising show of restraint, we decide to make a toadstool out of her instead of devouring her corpse to show superiority. 
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    And here's Natasha again. Again, like us, she is a felid and thus has extra lives. Two of them, precisely. 
    imageWe jump-attack over the hobgoblin and take Natasha out again. More mushrooms for the mushroom god.
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    Trog punishes us for making sacrifices to Fedhas when he's right next door, so he sends orcs upon us. Lucikly, Fedhas gave us the ability to convert fungi into minions. We hide next door and send snakes until the coast is clear.

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    A runed robe, two curare-needles and a glowing mace. Bother.

    What we do get to use is an amulet of the gourmand. Since we're already a carnivore, it doesn't give us much use initially, but it will allow us to eventually eat contaminated meat chunks. Better than nothing, I guess.

    We pick up the enchanted gear for disposal in the Lair, should we survive long enough to get there. Better to have the extra load than to leave these where a wandering Hobgoblin can pick them up.

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    Oh, yeah, remember this guy?

    A few hits in and he's dealing more damage than us per hit, so we bolt

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    What, now? Could we reschedule for a time when my past mistakes aren't chasing me?
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    We manage to spam enough serpents to whittle her down while we recover. And we get a wand for our troubles. 

    I was planning on eating the final corpse of Natasha, because, well, that's a running gag at this point, but right now, piety's probably more important.

    Time for round two with Mr. Tentacles.
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    Straight. Also, we should note that Fungus Monsters aren't exactly speedsters.

    Getting to Lvl 6 means we get shaggier fur (which means stronger natural armor), stronger feet (which mean more range on the jump-attack) and an intelligence bonus. 

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    Oh, come on.

    A few more snakes later...

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    I guess Trog's still angry.

    The walking mushroom's actually not doing too bad. Check the command log. Those two "you feel a bit more experienced" means that Mr. Redcap's killing orcs offscreen. What a guy.

    Edit: As our reward for getting through that ludicrousity, we learn Spider Form. The first true transmutation spell in the book, it basically turns us into a Spider, which gives us a bit of a speed bonus and poisonous attacks

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    And that's D:3 for you.
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    Welcome to D:4

    We quickly find another 22 arrows, which helps replace the ones we threw at Natasha.

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    We also find 4 javelins. Javelins are the second-most powerful throwing weapon, with only large rocks being better. Today, they will be spare snakes.

    We also get that cool green ring at the top. We use our id-scroll to find...
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    Well then. I've never seen this before, but I do know that Lugonu's the god of the Abyss, one of the extra late-game dungeons for people going for the 15-rune run. Besides that, all we know is that it blocks spellcasting and increases hunger. Since neither thing is something we can afford right now, we'll just keep it in the inventory for a bit. 
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    Ah, Sigmund, the bane of low-level players the world over. Besides having a decent punch with that scythe, he can also cast Invisibility and Confuse. Going against him fool-heartedly will easily get you killed. Thus...
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    Snakes, man. Snakes will screw you up real nice.
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    I should also note that we've finally summoned the last snake on the list: the water moccasin, which is the adder but more so. 
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    Oh, Eustachio. Why do you have to turn your moustache powers to evil.

    We attempt to jump-attack him before he can summon his army of minions. Unfortunately, we miss, and get swamped by his army of minions before we can teleport out. I missed getting a screenshot because of panic, but...
    imageYou get the picture.

    Anyways, we kill a nearby wurm and summon another mushroom as a meat-shield. Time for a little summoner vs. summoner.
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    Hahahahahahahahahaha! And now, I shall chew upon your bones! 

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    We find an altar to Kiku the Necromancy God behind a couple of low-level zombies. Kiku's actual name is much longer, but everybody calls her Kiku. 

    And that's about it for D:4. In conclusion, seriously, what is that ring?
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Some artefacts just generate being bad. You're lucky it wasn't cursed, mostly.
  • I'm a little bit more careful with unknown jewelry this run. One bad ring and, boom, there goes the cat.

    Of course, I now have two spare lives, so I'm not quite as fragile anymore.
  • TreTre
    DISRUPT THE SYSTEM ⌘
    Does encountering the ring require you to equip/hold it?
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Tre you should ple DCSS. It's free you know.

    Also you should read my thread as well.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    also Yarrun check out Vine Stalkers sometime. They're a weird race and they're actually pretty good.
  • TreTre
    edited 2014-08-20 03:46:11
    DISRUPT THE SYSTEM ⌘
    It looks interesting enough, if a bit out of my typical comfort zone with games. I may consider it.

    I don't think I could make left from right with the ASCII interface though. I've been spoiled by modern GUIs :P
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    that's why you use tiles mode and use the click interface, which does not require you to use any more keys than Y and N.
  • image
    Welcome to D:5
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    Looks like someone's been busy.

    The bottom two are a zombie Ogre and a zombie Steam Dragon, respectively. I don't know much about Steam Dragons, but Ogres generally tend to hit like a truck, and zombification doesn't necessarily stop that.

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    Seeing that I don't want to run out of snakes, I decide to chance it and go in with Spider-Form. Managed to kill everything except the Ogre, which Mr. Redcap took care of for me.

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    Grinder's a tiny imp who likes to paralyze people and magically stab them while they're down. A little bit dangerous for us, but we take it on anyways.

    We wear him down with magic darts from afar, managing to resist most of his paralysis, until he was weak enough to go in on foot. Which backfired because he quaffed a heal wounds potion. Since when do monsters even carry potions of heal wounds? We're forced to lead him to Redcap and teleport out, leading to...
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    Man, it's all the fun of being a summoner without being as weak as a paper tiger.

    We run back and find a well-used wand of confusion. Always good to have options
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    Further exploration shows that this floor is basically nothing but swarms of the undead. Which is bad for us, as the undead don't leave corpses to mushroomize. Or eat, for that matter.

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    Yes! Resources!

    Since this map is filled with plants (albeit withered ones), I decide to test out the evolution ability again. Evolution works differently with plants than with fungi. Specifically, evolution causes that withered plant to shoot acid
    It manages to kill one of the orcs before it's destroyed. Redcap takes care of the rest.image
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    You.

    Out of the interest of not dying again, we decide to let Redcap field this one. Unfortunately, the ice beast is actually a match for Redcap, forcing us to kite him away to give Redcap time to heal, and then leading him back for more beatdowns.

    We screw around in the dungeon for a while, finding a new wand, until
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    Nope. Not happening. Yes, that's right, Yarrun is running away from a threat. 

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    Hey, you killed Redcap!
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    We decide to kill the ice beast out of spite. Oddly enough, it looks like the adder got the XP for killing it?

    Anyways, instead of running down to D:6, we decide to explore for a bit.

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    And we are rewarded.

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    It's a potion shop. We grab two curing potions, as we're currently out of any healing items.

    We also do some scroll-testing, as we're currently over-burdened. A fog scroll, an enchant weapon scroll (apparently, you can't enchant your claws, even though I know that Octopodes could enchant their tentacles), a recharge scroll (which we use on our confusion wand). We also reluctantly drop our potentially dangerous loot, with the exception of the curare needles because it's not worth the bother.
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    We also find an altar to Ashenzari, the god of scrying and bondage. In return for binding yourself with cursed items, he'll give you tons of information about the dungeon and significant stat bonuses. He'd be a good god for us, as it only takes three pieces of jewelry for us to be completely cursed, but Fedhas is doing quite nicely for us.
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    And that's it for D:5. 

    Honestly, I'm truly surprised that we're not dead by now.
  • image

    Welcome to D:6

    What we have here is a centaur, pesky enemies known for their immense speed and archery prowess. One of these can run away while shooting arrows perpetually. Luckily, this one decided to fight me up close for some foolish reason, and they are not invulnerable to spider poison. More arrows for the snake god.

    We also find another wand, putting our total at 6.
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    Huh. Surprised to see you so late in the game.
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    We don't even bother transmuting, just clawing him to death with our claws. This nets us yet another
     wand. We should probably start training evocations.
    image
    It seems we have reached an impasse
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    And we've also reached Menkaure, the mummy unique. He's immune to the poison of Spider Form and our snakes, and our overburden means we're not quite as capable at unarmed combat right now.
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    Eh, snakes.
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    And the best part is that his death curse is redirected to the ball python.

    No, wait, the best part is that I've just realized that Felids can only wield arrows, not javelins. So we drop the four that we found and grab the wand.

    Time for some trial and error testing.

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    Learning is painful, children.
    Further testing done while running away from the super-beetle shows that the other two wands are teleportation (useful) and digging (also useful)
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    I cannot even handle all the loot we're getting right now. Literally.

    While we hide from the beetle (and a couple of other monsters we ran into) behind a wall of snakes, let's check out that book.
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    All very powerful spells. Unfortunately, we don't have the levels to learn most of them, and we don't have the aptitudes for the ones we can learn. We do have +2 and +4 to Charms and Hexes, respectively, and we're leveling up Evocation very quickly with only a +2 bonus, so we might be able to use Haste and Invisibility at some point.
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    Now that we're at 41+ piety, we can call sunshine. Ignoring the fact that bringing sunshine to a dungeon is pretty impressive, it'll allow us to eliminate any water we come upon, or make an enemy easier to target in a pinch. On the off-chance that we get to a watery branch of the dungeon, this'll show those fish-men who's the boss.
    imageOur first jelly creature. Jellies eat almost anything they come upon, and have natural corrosive abilities, and fighting them will reduce the bonuses on your weapon and armor. Luckily, we don't have any of those, so we just walk up and pound the thing into submission.
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    Duvessa and Dowan are brother and sister. One hits like a truck, and the other casts magic like something that's not a truck. And if you kill one of them, the other becomes stronger.

    Snakes? Snakes.
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    Now that he's been consumed by grief, Dowan is hasted and has access to a couple more spells. Hopefully, none of them should be able to kill a horde of snakes.
    imageWell, frig.
    imageAnd Spider Form comes through yet again.
    imageWe get ambushed by a couple of gnolls. Luckily, we are nearby a corpse, and we have piety to spare.
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    And oh joys of joys, we find the Ecumenical Temple. Besides holding a number of altars, it's the one place in the dungeon where evil cannot tread. Which means we can stash our overflow items in here for now.
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    Huh. There's not usually so much grass. I like it.
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    And now, to finish introductions.

    The golden cross at the top is the altar of the Shining One, the last of the good gods. The melee-loving version of Zin, he allows you to smite demons and summon angels to your side. The cost is that you can't use underhanded tactics, like poison or stabbing.

    The snail altar at the top-right is Cheribriados, the Time God. In return for slowing your movement speed and killing anything faster than you, you get immense stat bonuses and a couple of nifty bonuses. When we run Naga, the slowest race in the game, I'll see if we can pick him up.

    The other cross altar on the top-left is Okawaru, the War God. He's basically what you pick when you're a fighter and you don't want to do anything fancy. Moving on.

    The weird face at the bottom-right is Xom, the mad god. Just as likely to blow you up as he is to smite your enemies. Surviving his religion is more about luck than piety, as his opinion of you is largely based on things you can't control. Naturally,he has his own Zealot class, Chaos Knight, so I'll probably be doing a run with him at some point.
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    We also go back up to D:5 and grab all the stuff we had to drop earlier. No more nightmares about  a kobold running around with Yiuf's staff.

    So, that's D:6. If all continues to go well, we should hit the Lair in a few more floors, and then the fun begins. Or the dying. The dying may also begin.
  • image
    Welcome to D:7. To our left, you can see our next meal.
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    We find a new ring. Emerald. It's not cursed, so we try it on. Unless we find another ID scroll, this is the only way that we can find out what it does.
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    Luckily, that only applies to jewelry, so we can find out what this does immediately.
    image
    Excellent. We can't use the greyed-out spells because they enchant weapons and our claws don't count. However, we can get some use out of the other ones. 

    We shouldn't need Repel Missiles for the moment, unless we run into another Centaur, but protection from projectiles is nothing to shirk at. Shroud of Golubria's a nifty cheap spell that will block some attacks that get through our dodge score. Kind of hit-or-miss, but any protection counts when you're this fragile. The real gem is Regeneration, which boosts HP Regen. Right now it'll fail two out of three times, but it's partially in the Charm school, so we should be able to cast it fairly regularly by the time we clear the floor.
    image
    Dang. And I just got that new level.

    We're now down to one extra life. 
    image
    Oh, speak of the centaur.

    Since we didn't actually learn Repel Missiles, we'll have to resort to other means
    image
    I am so happy with this moment right now. We take his frost arrows and move on.


    imageHere, we find our corpse, along with the troll zombie. We decide to sacrifice it to Fedhas and
    image
    Oh. OH.

    Hehehehe, I forgot that turning corpses into mushrooms is only the primary effect of Fedhas's prayer. The secondary effect strips zombies down to skeletons. That would have been useful a few floors ago.

    It takes us a bit, and Felix the newly minted Mushroom sacrifices itself, but we bring down the troll skeleton.
    image
    That's a human skeleton and a dwarf skeleton. I did not make these. This is an ill-omen.
    image
    Okay, not very ill. We go Spider and rip the Ogre's throat out, and glory in the spoils: six strips of beef jerky!
    image
    Joseph is...frankly, this is my first time actually meeting him, and his description's basically "dude's a merc". 

    imageHe hits like a truck, but he's vulnerable to poison. Beautiful, wonderful poison.

    image
    That glowing tablet in the midst of lava is the altar of Vehumet, Sif Muna's belligerent sibling. While Sif Muna boosts all spell-casting ability, Vehumet specifically boosts spells that kill people. 

    That's about it for D:7. Wearing the ring for the entire run has given us enough time to figure out what it does: poison resistance. Considering that my best run in DCSS was ended by poison in the Lair, this is an excellent find. 

    We also find a wand, which an ID scroll informs us is a wand of fireballs. It only has two charges, so we run back to the stash and use a recharging scroll on it to give it five.
  • Oh, and we picked up Blade Hands from the original wizardbook as well. 

    Unless we want to use up all our arrows and piety, we're still going to have to melee our way through a good bit of the dungeon until we can find a proper multi-purpose killing spell. Blade Hands will give us an edge against poison-resistant monsters that Spider Form is weak to. 

    Our other kill-spell options right now are Agony, a Percent Damage spell from the Necromancy school, Force Lance, a Conjuration spell that causes knockback. The first is useful, but we don't have the skill to use it yet; I'm not sure about the second being useful. We do have Ice Form, which is in our skill set and usable, but enemies that are poison-resistant also tend to be cold-resistant. Best to have something that can cut through an Ice Beast in a pinch.
  • image

    Welcome to D:8

    The sleeping guy at the bottom is a wight, a higher-level undead. 
    image
    Blade Hands takes care of him quickly enough. We get drained a bit, but that should wear off by the time we finish here.
    imageFrig.

    Maurice is new to me. Seems to be a legendary thief of types.

    In an odd show of caution, we flee upstairs and decide to try another staircase.
    image 
    There, much better.
    imageRound Two, ya git
    imageDidn't even need to spam snakes. We pick up another wand of disintegration. Regeneration's now has only a 17% fail rate.

    We delve a bit more into the dungeon, only to find more and more wights. Since Fedhas's prayer only works on zombies and they're immune to poison, we cast Regeneration and wade in with our teeth and claws.
    image
    Ohhh. Cyclopses are bad. They throw large rocks, the most powerful thrown weapon in the game. We zap him with the new disintegration stick until he goes away.
    image
    Should have learned Repel Missiles. 

    Side-note: Equius is a walking Homestuck reference that I played a bit before starting this this thread. Besides a ring of flight, I don't think I found any good loot with him, so he shouldn't be much of a problem. Probably. Still, his appearance is...unwanted right now.
    imageWe manage to force him to use up his arrows on our snakes and go in close for the kill.

    Went back to the High Scores to see what Equius is packing. Apparently, he has a +2 mace of draining and a ring of protection. We take caution again and avoid him, picking up another wand of teleportation.
    image
    ...

    Screw it, I'm done running from fights today.
    image
    Scratch that, we're totally okay with running.
    imageUnfortunately, Spider Form doesn't let you evoke wands, and I'm fresh out of teleport spells. 

    image
    And there goes our last spare life. Out of spite, we summon another Redcap from a nearby bat and get to work avenging.
    imageThe centaur goes down.
    imageThe sky beast who found himself on the wrong side of a mushroom dies
    image.Yet another wight dies, but not before draining us again.
    imageCentaur #3 dies and we get back up to lvl 9. Hopefully, we'll live until lvl 10, which is when we'll get our next life.

    imageEquius's Ghost stubbornly refuses to die. We run away like scared mewlings, but we eventually come back because, frig, if we don't kill him then he'll just stick around and kill the next adventurer we shove down here.
    image
    After a pitched battle that uses up our wand of fireballs and a bunch of snakes, we manage to finally kill the eedjit.

    We also get to use a deck that we picked up a while back (you can see it in the picture with the cyclops). As I mentioned before, there are magic decks of cards that have wand-like powers. Most of them are gifted by Nemelex, but you occasionally find one on the ground. This specific deck was the deck of changes, which wasn't very useful. We drew two cards: the Sage, which redirects all incoming XP to a random skill (which is why I now have 3 levels in Hexes without knowing any Hex spells; may be good for learning Invisibility later, but not much use right now) and Vitrification, which, well...
    image
    Yeah. Pretty, isn't it?

    We grab all the leftover arrows from our centaur friends and head downstairs. That's D:8.

    ...We never did find that wyvern though.
  • imageWelcome to D:9, which is farther down than I've been in a while. 

    Unfortunately, we still have the Sage effect on us, which means killing this frog will mean more useless Hex magic.
    image
    We find a shop, but it's a Weapon Emporium. You'd think there'd be a good ring shop around here.
    imageHello, new friend.

    Deep elves are one of the best races for magic, at the cost of not being able to regenerate HP. This one has a full book's worth of spells on him. We just don't know which book.

    Turns out it was the book of setting things on fire. Unfortunately, we don't actually get to loot the book.
    imageWe take a quick peek into the shop to see what we're missing.

    Not even a couple of arrows we can buy. And we have so. much. money.
    imageWe find two more wands and a necrophage. These guys are incredibly dangerous at close range, so it looks like it's testing time.
     
    imageThis necrophage apparently specializes in tomahawks, the throwing weapon right below javelins. Luckily, he couldn't hit the side of a barn.
    image
    Yesss

    We don't bother testing the other wand and go in for the kill
    imageHeh, surprise, surprise.

    The Orcish Mines are the other early-game sub-dungeon. Unlike the Lair that I've been alluding to, the Orcish Mines have no rune at the bottom of them. They do have shops and loot though.

    ...we're probably not powerful enough to survive a full delve, but I'll take a peek inside just to check.
    imageWell, this isn't too bad. Last time I managed to get to the Orcish Mines, it was just one single room just...just full of Orcs. Frightening, really.

    We clear out the room and head back up to D:9. Even if we are a decent match for the dungeon, we should probably grab the wand of digging from the stash.
    imageWe manage to find another store, butimageNothing we can use. Book of Unlife would be useful with our Necromancy Level, except that Fedhas would excommuniate us the minute we start playing god with the corpses of our enemies.
    imageThe rest of the dungeon goes quickly. One more deep elf, wielding the flame book again, and a couple of kobolds and bats. We do find another deck of Changes, along with an amulet of rage, which allows us to play berserker without being a worshipper of Trog. We already burn through food as it is, but it's definitely handy to have in a pinch. And it weighs less than these potions of rage.

    That's D:9. I'll put up a vote as to whether I go down to D:10 or test the Mines.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Keep going down to the Dungeon and be on the lookout for the Lair entrance. Orc Mines this early are suicide.

    Also, you're confusing Deep Elves and Deep Dwarves, Deep Dwarves are the ones who can't regenerate HP, but they make better fighters than wizards.
  • image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    Also, the Lair itself doesn't contain a rune, although it does contain 3 branches with runes in (Swamp/Shoals, Spider/Snake, and Slime Pits). Floor 8 does contain *FUN*, though.
  • image
    Welcome to D:10, my first time in a double-digit floor. We see our heroes shortly after killing a small horde of orcs, probably on vacation. Y'know. From the mines.

    No new enemies approach us as we clear the floor, though Sage finally wears off (we immediately return to learning Evocations and Charms)
    image
    Hah! Speak of it, and it shall appear. Lookit all those happy plants.

    We decide to clear out the floor before continuing. Mostly boring stuff until
    imageThat...thing is a vampire mosquito.
    image
    These...things are vampire mosquitoes. They terrify me, so we sacrifice Redcap to flee to the relative safety of the Lair.
    imageAnd a komodo dragon. The relative safety of a komodo dragon

    We remember that we have snakes, so we spam them until the komodo goes down. Well, since the alternative is going back to face the....horrors, let's see what the Lair has for us.
    imageSmiley mushroom welcomes us.
    imageSmiley mushroom lieeeed.

    We use the opportunity to try out the berserker amulet. We slay the basilisk before it can pull any of its petrification hoodoo on us, along with the hounds that come to help it.

    Fedhas has gifted us the ability to spawn deadly spores from the corpses we make. It's not particularly useful to us, as we're melee fighter and will, therefore, be within spore range of the corpses we make, but it's a good tool to have. 

    We also earned Growth, which can instantly summon plants for us to forcibly evolve. But it costs fruit, which we don't have in excess, so never mind that.

    image
    There are sheep. Mutton's on the menu tonight.
    imageMutton puts up more of a fight than I expected

    We also run into a spiny frog while running from dinner. These guys make adder poison look like vanilla flavoring.

    We cast Regen and go into melee. Things go well until, practically out of nowhere, he cuts my HP down to 4. Luckily, we survive long enough for regen to bump us back to full health, and we gain a level and a life for our trouble.
    image
    Fedhas is practically going to marry us by the time we finish the Lair.

    We make two more Redcaps and grab a ring of sustenance. We also make a small stash because we're running out of room and I...I'd rather not go back up to the Temple.
    image
    A hippogriff and a water moccasin. Shouldn't be much of a problem. 

    We go forth, finding another disintegration wand and a weird ring when
    image
    Oh, shafts. So pesky, so appropriately named.

    We're now trapped on Lair:2 until we can find a staircase to run up in. And we're being threatened by one of Aliroz's cousins.
    imageLuckily, there's a staircase nearby and the croc doesn't wake up.
    image
    Never mind. No luck.

    The hydra is notable for being a particularly sucky monster to fight because of its regenerating heads. Attempting to fight them with a bladed weapon is all sorts of suicide, unless you can brand it with flame. Luckily, our paws aren't sharp enough to decapitate it. Or to defeat it in battle. We teleport out and retrieve our mushroom friends.
    image
    This backfires quickly and painfully. We lose some significant piety for getting a total party kill.

    As a last resort, we rely on the wands of paralysis and disintegration to blast the hydra into red mush.
    image
    Frightening how no other attack leaves that much blood behind.

    We successfully go through most of the floor and return to our stash to drop off some items when
    image
    Why

    The troll manages to kill my last mushroom, but I barely manage to out-melee the beast, only to nearly die to a water moccasin. And then a scorpion. And then a giant slug, which actually manages to kill me (fun fact: dying while transmuted doesn't mean you return to your true form; spider corpse of Felix would not have been delicious at all). And only then do I actually get the opportunity to put my loot down.

    That's Lair:1. There's no way we're making it to Lair:8
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Lair 7.

    Lair 8 you generally want to save for later because it can contain FUN. Or even !!FUN!! if you're unlucky.
  • imageWelcome to Lair:2. I honestly have my doubts that we'll survive this floor, so let's just get it over with.

    We manage to find a bunch of grapes, which means we can actually use the Growth ability in a pinch. Or we'll just make some attack plants.
    image
    Ah, right where we left you.

    It goes down quickly enough.
    image
    We run into a pack of yaks, the little brothers of the infamous death yaks, killer of PCs. As you can see, they pack quite a punch.
    image
    On a whim, I decide to try out a new scroll that I discovered: the scroll of immolation. When read, it inflicts the Inner Flame status on all creatures within sight. When any of those creatures die, boom goes the dynamite. But it fizzles out before we can successfully disintegrate one of the yaks, along with one of our wands.

    And then we get trapped between them and a giant slug and teleport out, only to receive a Sentinel's mark. The sentinel's mark is, well, the exact opposite of invisibility. Everybody knows where you are and wants to kill you. Luckily, we teleported to a set of stairs, so we run up them to wait out the mark where the creatures aren't so deadly.
    imageThis time, we go in with Spider Form and Berserker's Rage. That manages to kill them fast enough. We decide that we've earned enough piety to make another Redcap.
    image
    A griffon, which is a hippogriff with less horse. Logically, it should be easier with less horse, since horse plus human equals centaur, which is dangerous.
    image
    And clown logic works out.

    We make it through the rest of the dungeon without incident. That's Lair:2. Join us for Lair:3 as we continue to flaunt my expectations for survival.
  • image

    Welcome to Lair 3. 

    That thing on the bottom-right is a disc of storms, an evocable item. When evoked, it releases random electric effects across your line of sight. The only downside is that our line of sight includes, well, the square that we're standing in, and we don't have the health or the resistances to use that willy nilly.

    We skip that item (and a couple of others; we're close to being burdened again), when we come across something...fun.
    image
    A lindwurm is a dragon without the wings, essentially. 

    Unfortunately, we are low on health and, unlike most things in the dungeon, it is faster than us.
    image
    And so, Felix became my second character to make it to the Lair. 

    Suggestions for his replacement?
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Vine Stalker Transmuter of Nemelex Xobeh.
  • I'll keep that in mind, but I'd rather not do another transmutation run this quickly. Besides, I already promised the fans back home that I'd do a...

    imageNaga Run!

    So, yes, we're now playing Kin the Naga Wizard. 
    imageIn exchange for poor armor and the slowest move speed in the game, we get poison spit, see invisibile and natural poison resistance. Now, let's go find Cheri.

    As a wizard, we start off with Magic Dart. Poison Spit is much stronger and has a smaller fail rate, so I'll be using that for the first few levels. 

    Well, I would be if I didn't get her killed by floor 2.
  • image

    Okay, remember a few hours ago when I tried Naga and died quickly? This time, I'm doing Naga Warper, which is different.

    Warpers are, like Transmuters, a warrior-mage class, with the emphasis being on Blink effects. This class is generally considered to be one of the weaker classes, due to their lack of offensive magic. But it gives us more durability and attack power while still allowing us to learn Blink at will, which is practically mandatory for survival as a Naga or a Cheri worshipper. 

    Instead of Magic Dart, we start of with Apportation, a utility spell that allows us to grab items from afar. Unfortunately, in 0.14, it can't grab items over lava, which limits its usefulness to us. 

    Unfortunately, once again, we manage to lose rather quickly. Lousy oozes with their lousy poison resistance.

    ...does anybody have any advice for Nagas? I'm kind of out of my league here.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    more like nah-gas.

    But seriously you're really freaking slow, so you can't expect to ever run away from anything unless you've got scrolls of teleportation (even Blink won't help you all that much), so you have to seriously consider every single fight you get into and decide right from the get go if you should avoid it or engage.

    Naga have a really hard time early on.
  • Okay, I got something going with Anaconda the Naga Enchanter. Enchanter's what the name implies: you put hexes on creatures, then go in for the kill. Our first spell, Corona, decreases a creature's evasion, which helps with our poison spit. Our second spell, Enscrolled Hibernation, temporarily puts a creature to sleep. Good for getting out of combat or a quick stab (Nagas have high natural stealth). 

    We also get particularly lucky when we find this on the second floor
    imageThis means we can now slow others in an emergency much earlier than we reasonably should. 

    Unfortunately, we die, like, a minute after this. I think I'll take a few more shots and see if I can get to D:4. If I can't, then I'll move on to Vine Stalker, I guess.
  • Not a hybrid rabbit-skink spirit
    On the bright side, +15 strength will mean that armor penalties won't hurt you nearly as much, so you should be able to wear heavier armors as a spellcaster.
  • image Wee yea erra chs hymmnos mea.
    I would strongly recommend against worshiping Chei as a Naga, especially a caster one. You're turning a major weakness into a crippling flaw, there.
  • But constant piety gain!

    Ah, well, I suppose it's moot now. Nagas are shelved until I can figure out how to do it with anything resembling survivability. I expect my minions to die, but they need to be able to at least get to D:3, or it just gets repetitive.

    SoimageEverybody say hi to Cerdic the Vine Stalker
    image
    In return for a lack of healing potions and MP damage with ever wound, we get MP drain with every unarmed attack and natural Regeneration.

    We take a few blind shots for testing purposes. Cerdic I, II and IV all die on the first level due to a lack of armor and low dodge/stealth stats. Cerdic III manages to make it to D:4 due to a +2 ring mail we picked up, but that cut down the success rate and we couldn't level up fast enough. 
  • Cerdics V-VIII (one of whom was a Monk for a change of pace) also die quickly. We manage to get some luck with Cerdic IX, finding a short sword of protection on D:1, but we run into Grinder on D:3 without arrows on us for Sticks into Snakes. 

    Vine Stalkers, with all their abilities, might just be too fragile to pull this off.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Vine Stalker Monk of Trog is one of the easier combinations, I've heard. Perhaps give that a shot.
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