Friday, May 30, 2003

Welcome Idiotmax the Barbarian. Found an altar on level three, and basically stood there and sacrificed until Crom gave me Cleaver. Then went down into the mines. Turns out the first character into the mines ended up hitting the bones file I just left. I guess I should have picked a lawful character than could have made better use of Excaliber. In any case, I have Cleaver and Grey Dragon Scale Mail, which is the recipe for a good Barbarian early. I need to go and retrieve the luckstone, but before I do that, I have a magic lamp that I should look into blessing. I also have speed boots at this point, and possibly a bag of holding, so I'm not too sure what I should wish for. Reflection, levititaion and teleport control are all nice things to have, but I think I can just wait for the proper rings/items. Maybe I'll wish for blessed scrolls of genocide and take care of the big baddies early.

Well, some testing has shown that the cursed bag I own is in fact a Bag of Holding (it makes things heavier, and objects randomly disappear - consistent with its cursed status). So I'll need to get some water and bless it before going to the bottom of the mines.

Idiotmax is still going down the dungeon. With a good weapon, armor and a bag of holding, I decided to use the magic lamp to get some scrolls of genocide. For scrolls and potions you can ask for multiples, three being a good multiple (if you ask for more than one, the more you ask for the higher the chance that you will be given only one). So with three scrolls of genocide I got rid of mindflayers, liches and krackens. To low a level to do the quest, so keep on going down

Here's a setback for you...
Ran into a black dragon. It used its disintigration breath, and since I don't have reflection, it wiped out my armor. After killing the black dragon, I noticed I was satiated. Tried eating the corpse, but got the overeating warning. On the other hand, it did leave a set of scales, so I'm one scroll of enchant armor away from black dragon scale mail. I need to find a cloak of magic resistence, or new grey dragon scale mail in order to get magic protection back. There is usually a grey dragon at the castle, so maybe that should be my goal. This is turning out to be an interesting game.

OK, found a scroll of enchant armor. Black Dragon Scale Mail is much better than Black Dragon Scales. Need to pull the same trick with a grey dragon.

Well, there was some stupidity at the castle. I played the passtune and then walked onto the drawbridge. Big mistake. Forgot that wands of striking blow up the drawbridge. So of course I get killed when something whips out said wand. Cost me an amulet of life savings.

Moving back up the dungeon to get back to an altar. Want to bless a scroll of remove curse. Then I'll wish for grey dragon scale mail and frost brand. Why Frostbrand when I have Cleaver? Can't use a shield of reflection with Cleaver, and that shield is highly important.

Wished for Grey Dragon Scale Mail and got it. Wished for Frost Brand, and it disappeared. Well Duh. I already had Cleaver, Snickersee, Fire Brand and Excalibur. The odds of getting a fifth weapon were low. So I'm going with Excalibur, even though Cleaver is a better option for a Barbarian. Having a shield of reflection is just way too important. Went down to the Valley of the Dead to get a few wraith corpses to get to level 14. Now that I'm level 14 I'm in the middle of the quest.

Completed the quest. Heart of Ahriman is kinda a sucky quest toy.

There are times when I'm playing nethack when I just know I'm going to win. This character is the exact opposite. Despite being in a very good position, I just think I'm going to screw this one up.

Progress in Hell has been really slow. Mainly because Barbarians suck at casting Magic Mapping spells, so I've been doing the mazes. That and Excalibur pissed off demon lords, so I've had to fight them rather than bribe them. I was so sick of fighting demon lords that on the Orcus level I picked up a cockatrice corpse (with gloves of course) and went around whacking things into stone. Usually Orcus is a huge pain in the ass, but I stoned him in one turn. Applied the pickaxe to the created statue to get his wand of death. Probably saved quite a few charges on the wand by doing that, so it's a good strategy. Be very careful with cockatrices, it's too easy to end you game like that. Also, keep around a wand of speed monster, the Shades on Orcus level always steal your speed.

So I've completed the major demon levels, and killed Vlad the Impaler, I need to find the vibrating square at the bottom of the dungeon, and then deal with the wizard. This game is painfully slow and sucky.

OK, so I killed the Wizard and went down to the vibrating square. Got out the candles for Vlad's candlestick holder, and damn, six candles. You need seven. When you leave the Gnomish Mines always make sure you have enough candles.

Well, I can't go all the way back up the dungeon with the Wizard ressurecting himself every thousand or so turns, so I use my last wish on a stupid fricking candle. This has got to be the worst-played good game I've ever played.

I did the candles bell book dances, opened the portal, killed the high priest and got the amulet. I'm now on my way back up through Hell.

Made may way up through the dungeon. Without a wand of Death. So the Wizard kept coming in and I had to fight him tooth-and-nail all the way up. He kept stealing the amulet. At least he never took it and teleported to another level.

Climbed the stairs to the elemental planes, only to have my crystal ball explode. Must have been cursed or something. So I have to find the magic portals by wearing the amulet and having it tell me "hot" or "cold" every so often. Of course, this means I can't wear an amulet of life savings.

So the four elemental planes really suck ass when you do this. Worse than Hell without magic mapping.

Idiotmax the Barbarian can now be called Idiotmax the Demigod. It was a really rough game, but the Astral Plane wasn't too bad. Found the correct altar on the second try. This was probably a textbook case of how not to win. I was sloppy the entire way through, and even though I went to my reward with 6 amulets of life savings, the fact I didn't use more comes down to lots of experience at the game.

The round up: 3 valks, 2 barbarians, 2 elves and a samurai.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Lost a good knight. Got to level five pretty quick, and then dipped my long sword for Excaliber. Kept running into bad situations, and running down staircases to avoid them. Yeah, you want to run up staircases, but that's the breaks sometimes. Ended up pretty deep, like level 10 or something, before I had a chance to regroup and then fight my way back up. Had decent hitpoints when I worked my way back to the entrance to the mines. In the shop level I found a blessed magic lamp. Presto! Grey Dragon Scale Mail. So we have a good weapon and good armor. Went to the bottom of the mines and got the luck stone. Went back up to the store level, and checked the status of a bunch of scrolls I had found. I already knew what enchant armor was, but not destroy armor, so I stripped and started reading scrolls. The scroll of create monster gated in a gargolye. That was the end of me.

Did leave a bones file. So sometime in the future the town level is going to greet me with good armor and weapons.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Well, after a bunch of characters that went nowhere, we now have Money the Knight. I normally never play knights, they have a really annoying code of honor - easy to score bad points with your god. Eat when already satiated, spend a knight in the box. Attack a creature that is fleeing, spend a knight in the box (if said creature is trapped between you and something else, read the combat messages very carefully so you can stop pounding on it at the right time).

On the other hand, at level five Knights get to #dip their longswords into fountains and get Excalibur, which is a pretty nice toy in the hands of a knight.

This guy was going OK, got to the mines branch and decided to peek in. First thing is a hostile dwarf, which is a bit unusual for a knight. Pounded him, and said "what the heck, he had good armor, just put it on." Normally you get burned when you do this, but this time around I got a really nice boost in the AC. Slowly worked my way down the mines. Cursed magic lamp in the shop level, stuck it in the inventory. Ran across a ghost, only thing of value in the bones pile was a cursed bag of holding (which not only makes things heavier, but also zaps random items placed inside out of existence). Went all the way to the bottom, got the luck stone. It was the terminal level with the wine cellar, so I got a bunch of potions of booze. Went back to the main branch, dipped them into a fountain to create potions of water, back to the mines to create holy water.

Blessed the bag of holding and the magic lamp. Magic lamp granted a wish, got Grey Dragon Scale Mail. So that's where we stand now. I've never been this far with a knight, so it's hard to make predictions. On the other hand, I have good armor, a kicking weapon, and a bag of holding. Usually all I ask for between now and the castle is means of levitation and reflection, and you often pick those up at Medusa.

Exp = 12, so I may or may not be ready for the quest when the time comes.

Rumor has it that Brian is playing a very good Valkyrie. Might have even made it to Medusa. Will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Money has been moving slowly down the dungeon. Went and paid a visit to the quest, but being level 12 can't undertake it. Now have a ring of teleport control, pondering eating a leprechaun. Ate a black dragon, kept getting messages about food when doing it, maybe eating something that big as a knight puts you in bad standing with your god. Got an amulet of reflection. So levitation is the big thing I need right now. That and a way of genociding liches, I took care of mindflayers at a throne.

A wand of cancellation would be nifty, seeing as I haven't killed off the liches. Also, sooner or later I'm going to have to give up my +5 iron boots (and their AC adjustment of 7) in favor of speed boots. Remember the old British Navy saying - "Speed is Armor".

Well, that was an interesting way to die...

Got down to Medusa, dug a hole, put on a blindfold, went back up and killed Medusa. No shield of reflection or levitation boots. Oh well, take down the castle. But I don't have a musical instrument to play the passtune, or a way of levitating. Looking closer at my inventory, I do have a wand of polymorph. When you wear dragon mail you always transform into a dragon. Cool, I'll just zap myself, turn into a dragon, and storm the back door of the castle as a dragon. It's less heroic than it sounds. Dragons only have an AC of -1, and while flying over the moat was awesome, there was a small army at the back door. So I battled them until my hitpoints were zero, at which point I reverted to human form. I put on my armor and continued to battle. But I was having a hard time killing stuff, and was eventually overwhelmed. Looking at my inventory when I died, I realized that I wasn't weilding Excalibur. Duh. Dragons fight bare-handed. When I transformed back I fought barehanded. You aren't going to conquer the castle bare-handed.

So farewell to Money the Knight. A promising character wasted, a hard lesson learned. I still like the "become a dragon take down the castle" idea, but it isn't as great as I thought it would be (and since dragons also attack by biting, cockatrices would have been a big problem). This was the first knight I've ever had that saw either the quest or the castle, not that he completed either...

And since he died at the castle, no bones file.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

The computer picked me a Valkyrie. Since I think these are too easy, I choose the following limitation - No use of money. I can't buy anything in a shop, buy protection from a Priest, nor can I buy off Demon Lords should I get to Hell.

So much for that Valkyrie. Death by floating eye. Second death tonight that should really be blamed on my own stupidity. I didn't like my challenge either. I think the next time I play a Valkyrie I'll play one that doesn't sacrifice or pray. That will be a challenge (no easy Mjollnir!).

Found a ring shop on the second level. With a pet to help with cursed/uncursed, I picked out an amulet of ESP, a ring of invisibility and a ring of levitation. So the levitation problem has already been solved. I'll need a good supply of food, then I can wear the invisibility ring full-time (or just wear it while eating a Stalker).

Ran into a Dwarf with a broad pick. D'oh!

Welcome Martin the Wizard

One of the scrolls I started with was enchant weapon. I also had a ring of teleport control, so I ate a leprechaun. So far nothing exciting, playing kinda slowly.

The wizard died when he ran into a blue jelly while blind. A really dumb move, even with telepathy you should just sit out blindness. I should know better.

Turned on Lord of the Rings and am now starting a Healer.

Friday, May 23, 2003

OK, we now start with Chicken the Priest.

Found an armor store on second level. Since priests can "see" blessed/cursed, it made shopping really easy. I walked out with speed boots, levitation boots and gauntlets of strength. The boots take care of two items on the wish list. Went down into the mines, on the level past minetown there was a mind flayer. I've got a can of grease, so I can slick up my helment, but right now I think I'll wait until I'm stronger before completing the mines. So back to the main branch for a while.

There went Chicken the Priest...

I managed to find the Sun Sword on the ground. Getting an artifact weapon for free is kind of amazing. On the other hand, while it messed up the undead, Sun Sword just wasn't that great for a Priest, being a sword and all. Should have stuck with the mace.

Ran into a master lich, probably something less tough that got polymorphed, given the level it was at. And that was the end. Mind Flayer down one branch, Master Lich down the other, you are kind of screwed.

Looking back on the game I won, I'd like to drop a few notes about a tool I think is way underrated, the wand of cancellation. You always want to have at least one of these (but do not put it in your bag of holding). Run into something like a mind flayer or rust monster, zap it to take away the special attacks. Need water? Zap a potion. Cool items cursed? For stuff like rings you can just zap it. Do not zap yourself. A great emergency wand.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Welcome Colin the Elf! Crap, another non-armored Elf...

Level 2 was good to Colin. Found plate mail and speed boots. Plate mail is heavy, and will eventually be replaced by mithril (or better), but speed boots will last you through the game. Also looted a small shop, so now I have lots of food. 40 hp and AC0 is good for a guy going down to level 3...

Found another shop to loot, in this case a scroll shop. Now I have to sit down and sort scrolls. The most expensive one was uncursed, and it was what I wanted, genocide. So there are no more mind flayers in my game. A magic marker and a potion of bless will mean no more liches of any kind... Magic markers are best used for genocide and enchant armor.

I don't like reading unidentified scrolls... Too much chance for punishment, fire or destroy armor. But the cheaper scrolls in the store are always grouped into ID/light, and Remove Curse/Enchant Weapon. So I now have a +3 short sword (whatever that's worth).

Level 4 found the way to the mines, and dwarf mithril, which is lighter than plate (but costs only 1 point in AC). Going to feed the bird and watch some TV now though... Will play more tonight.

Well, this game just went wowie on me. So I go down to the mines, and run into a ghost. I lure the ghost away from his pile in order to beat him with his own tools. Holy Shit! Found Grey Dragon Scale Mail in the pile! Even if cursed, that's what you want. So, I now have kickin' armor. I go down a level or two to the altar, and it belongs to my god. I quickly get Orcist (which isn't great - the only good one Elves get is Stormbringer). I then find a magic marker. It's cursed, so I go upstairs to make some holy water (to get blessed scrolls of genocide). In the main dungeon I run into a tengu. Cool! I'm chaotic, so I can kill it with no penalty! Eat Mr. Tengu and get teleport control.

So I'm now on my way back to the mines with a pair of water potions. I need to get them blessed so I can make scrolls of genocide (goodbye liches!). I should find a nymph or leprechaun now that I have teleport control. I usually want 3 things before Medusa - speed boots, grey dragon mail, and a bag of holding. I already have the first two.

I'm destined to die a horrible death, aren't I?

OK, on the way to the luckstone I found an amulet of reflection. Got the luckstone. OK, now I have reflection and teleport control. Look out!!

Found an altar. Will just stand here and sacrifice until I get Stormbringer. My god gave me Grimtooth. Thanks.

Well, my god gave me Sting and Ogresmasher. I think that since I found good armor, I'll use wishes on a good weapon. The quest portal is in a "big room" a few levels down, since I'm level 14 I should do the quest.

Did the quest. This was really easy. Lots of narrow corridors, and with Orcist you could just mow down orcs. OK, now I have the Bell of Opening, and the quest toy, which seems to give me ESP. Down to Medusa/Castle I guess. Probably about a third of the way to victory here. Still need a good weapon.

OK, so last night I wished for Stormbringer. Had a magic lamp. Probably should have wished for a blessed bag of holding (having severe weight problems), but I wanted a real sword.

Between the quest toy (which gives regeneration) and Stormbringer (which gives a certain percentage of damage to the other guy back to you in the form of restored hitpoints), I spend most of the time at max HP. Mid-game Elves are very tough. I haven't even seen the castle and I already think I should win this game.

Stormed the castle for lunch.

But there were a few interesting developments along the way. One of the bad things about Stormbringer is that it likes to kill stuff. So much to the point that the game doesn't check to see if you really want to attack peaceful creatures. I was chatting with my priest and ended up killing him by mistake. When you do this your god rains down all kinds of shit on you. Good thing I had an amulet of reflection. I thought that my god would be displeased, but this is not the case. On the plus side, the priest was carrying a spellbook of magic mapping, so that's one fewer thing I need to wish for. I also picked up a ring of levitation along the way.

Skipped Medusa, I should go up and kill her before I forget she still lurks (and can instant-stone me if I'm not careful). I used my new favorite trick, (N potions of healing + 1 potion speed) + 1 blessed water = N*5 hitpoints. So the 93hp elf turned into a 123hp elf. The healing combo of the Palantir and Stormbringer was tested in the castle when a titan, jabberwock and black dragon decided to all pound me at once. HP would jump around in between 80 and 30, but I was healing at such a quick rate I wasn't too worried. Kind of like having much more hit points than you actually have.

I got the wand of wishing in the castle and just wished for a bag of holding. That solved many problems. I think at this point I'll go back upstairs and kill Medusa, and collect goodies I've left by the wayside for the past 10 levels in order to conserve weight. Then I'll loot the Valley of the Dead and take all of those goodies and zap them with the three wands of polymorph I've got. That should yield some good toys. Although to be truthful, the only ring I want right now is conflict.

OK, took out Medusa and got both the shield of reflection and boots of levitation. The first is important in that it lets you have reflection and an amulet of life saving. Looted the Valley of Death, and polymorphed the goodies. Got enough scrolls of enchant armor to get the AC down to -31, with enough healing potions to get to 182 HP. Need to get some candles before I get to the bottom of Hell. Ring of conflict would be nice too. On to Hell!

OK, working my way down Hell. Having a spellbook of Magic Mapping is the only way to do this, I can't believe I used to win the game without them.

Bribed passage from Asmodeus and Baalzebub, was eaten by Juibilex, zapped my way out, and killed him. Orcus is the major demon lord left (I believe strongly in bribing demon lords, the goal is to get the amulet and win, not to defeat as many demon lords as possible).

Found Vlad's tower. Killed Vlad, got the candlestick holder and the amulet of life saving. Now I just have to make it to the bottom, find the vibrating square, and deal with the Wizard. And I guess I should dig passages between up and down staircases throughout the dungeon, in which case I'm going to the top again and have a chance to grab the candles I neglected to buy in the mine shopping mall.

Last night I went to the top of the dungeon, bought some candles, and then dug quick-run passages between staircases all the way to the bottom (don't navigate the twisty passages of Hell when you are on the Wizard's clock - once you kill the Wizard he comes back once every X turns to make your life really unhappy; before you kill the Wizard do everything you can to minimize your time after you kill him).

Now I have to assault the Wizard's Tower. There's a throneroom in there, where I'll do the last set of equipment sorting, throwing away rings and scrolls and potions that don't get polymorphed into something more useful (save a few charges on the wand of polymorph for all the stuff you find in Hell, of course, if you use magic mapping, you'll find far fewer things in Hell).

Killed the Wizard, got the book, went down a few levels to the vibrating square, and then did the candle-bell-book dance. That opened the portal to Moloch's Sanctum. Ring of conflict helped here. Got the Amulet.

Ran all the way up the dungeon. Right before I went to the Elemental Planes I dropped most of my stuff. Still kept too many wands. One of these days I'll do the Elemental Planes without being burdened.

The Palantir is a magic orb, so that really helped finding the magic portals. Plane of Earth it was really close, so I burned through one wand of digging, and then dropped the rest. Plane of Air was pretty easy. The portal in the Plane of Fire was on the other side of the map, so that was kind of a pain in the ass. Plane of Water was OK, but not nasty.

Astral Plane... Went right when I should have gone left. The right hand altar was the wrong one, so I went left. Worked. Sacrificed the Amulet, ascended to Godhood.

Six amulets of life saving, this one was in the bag. Looking back, getting speed boots and grey dragon mail made this easy. The Palantir and Stormbringer made health not a concern. I walked into the high altar with all 270 of my hitpoints. Teleport control and reflection early were also a big help. It meant there were no wands or breath weapons that could touch me, and I could get out of big scrapes.

OK, that's two Elves now, to go with a trio of Valkyries, a Barbarian and a Samurai. I swear, one of these days I'll win with one of the weaker classes.

I'll post screen shots later on...

OK, I haven't played an Elf in a long time. I've won the game with an Elf, but that was a few years ago. So here we go with Danny the Elf.

Well, crap, he's in the population of Elves who are born without good armor...

Entering the mines with AC9 and 36hp. This is probably a big mistake... On the other hand, it can make me tough fast...

Goodbye Danny the Elf. He was doing fine, having a bow in lit mines is great. But he stopped to eat a brown pudding and that lowered his HP, and then a fast dwarf lord whomped on him. Big problem was that he never got his AC better than 9. Should have gone upstairs and tested some stuff with the pet. OK, time for another Elf.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Hi Brian and Stefan!

Here's where I'll be keeping you guys updated on my hack games. Hopefully you can pick up a thing or two.

I'm going to be playing random characters. Since I've won three times with Valkyries, I'll play them without wishes.

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