Sunday, October 24, 2004

I've been playing Rogues recently. Being able to get to expert in dagger is cool in the early game, nothing like unleashing 4 thrown daggers to wipe something out across the screen. You have to be a bit careful in combat though, you can still get rocked really easy.

Early Game
Welcome Rou25! Not much special about this guy. Started down the dungeon and found three giant ants near the stairs in the Gnomish Mines. So I put off doing the mines, which probably was a big help. Went down and did the Sokoban, and found the Bag of Holding. That's clutch for a Rogue, since staying unburdened is important.

I found an altar and got Werebane. That's a pretty crappy weapon, but you do want to have a silver saber for Hell, and when you aren't throwing daggers, it's not bad to have an artifact weapon. I'd rather have Stormbringer though.

I cleared out the mines. No magic lamps, nor potionfest on the bottom level.

Started cruising my way down the dungeon. Found the quest, not a high enough level to do it though. In any case you need either a good supply of cursed scrolls of teleport (and teleport control, which I have), or polymorph with control to complete the quest.

I'm got speed boots and a +5 helment, but the rest of my armor sucks. Wand of Wishing will provide a major upgrade at the castle I guess.

Got down to Medusa, still didn't have any way of crossing water. Decided to do the quest. This is a fairly easy quest, with one huge problem. The quest enemy is on the other side of an undiggable wall in a no-teleport level. So there are several approaches. One is to use a ring of polymorph control and some other way of polymorphing to turn into a Xorn and walk through the wall. The other is to dig a hole from the level above and hope you fall into the no-access zone. I went for the second option, as I did not have poly control. I woke up the baddie, and he was able to teleport away. Bastard. So now I have the challenge of getting out of this no-pass wall situation. Two normal solutions - cursed potion of gain level lifts you through the ceiling, or teleport control mixed with a cursed scroll of teleport. I drink the three potions of gain level that I've been saving - and gain three levels. Crap. OK, burn my only cursed scroll of teleport; when you have teleport control it acts as a controlled level teleport even on no-teleport levels. So I go up one level, back down to the staircase where the enemy is, and kill him dead. Master Key of Theivery acts to cut combat damage in half, so I more or less double my hitpoints in one fell swoop.

And I find levitation boots. I dig down, and come up the staircase for Medusa. Kill her dead. Take the back way through the castle, finding a silver dragon. He dies with no scales. Using two wands of turn undead, I kill the dragon five or six more times, but never get scales. I clear out the rest of the castle and get the wand of wishing. I get silver dragon scale mail and a wand of polymorph. I polymorph my useless stuff, but don't get anything too interesting. I teleport back up to the nearest altar and address the weapons situation, sacrificing until I get Stormbringer. I now two-weapon with the Black Blade and a silver saber. I need to get my weight down so that I can rapidfire daggers from a distance and follow up with the double-sword attack. I guess I should wish for gauntlets of strength.

I did wish for those gauntlets of strength...

I've been half-assing Hell. I didn't clear out the first level, and I dug down at Orcus's level. No magic mapping makes Hell suck ass. I haven't found Vlad's tower, which probably means that I missed the upstairs. My plan is to get to the bottom and then to work my way up.

I managed to die - a no-warning choke to death on a black dragon corpse. So now I have no safety net. I should probably find Vlad's tower just so I can get the amulet. I also ran into a Master Mindflayer, so I've probably forgotten a lot of maps. This is going to be a pain in the ass to win (although I should be able to pull it off).

OK, I went to Vlad's, got the candlestick holder, and genocided mind flayers. Went to the bottom of the dungeon, stepped on a polymorph trap, turned into a silver dragon. Dragons have a huge food budget. So that sucked. I did manage to lay a dragon egg though. Found the vibrating square.

Went back up to get the Book of the Dead from the Wizard. Then I do something really stupid. I read a scroll that I don't know (I've forgotten a lot of scrolls... stupid mindflayers). I figure it will be no big deal, since I know destroy armor, punishment and fire. Whoops, it's a scroll of enchant weapon. Bye Bye Stormbringer. Looks like if I want to win I'll need to do it with the sucky Werebane. You think I would have learned my lesson, but a little while later I do it again and lose my Silver Dragon Scale Mail. I use my last wish on more dragon mail. I kill the Wiz and start my race against the clock.

I run down to the vibrating square and candles, bell and book. Only I can't read the Book of the Dead! Crap! Turns out it was cursed. OK, snuff out candles, bless Book, repeat. OK, Moloch's Sanctum awaits. I pound down the High Priest and get the Amulet.

I make it all the way up the dungeon without too much trouble. Having ~550 HP makes life easy. Then I get to the planes and things get harder...

Plane of Earth - Not so bad. Use a scroll of detect gold and get to the portal right away. Plane of Air - No problem. Plane of Fire - Ouch. Ran into a pair of Archons who kept gating in other creatures, and I couldn't find the portal. There was a lot of slogging at this point. I finally found the portal, but not before an Archon had burned another amulet of life savings by using the touch of death. At some point I had lost my cloak of magic resistance, so I was vunerable to instant death. Plane of water - Took a while, but not challenging.

Astral Plane - Holy Fuck! I've never had so many problems here. The one cool thing was that with expert dagger, you could strike down the Riders at a distance. I got trapped on my way to the altar on the right, and went through Three amulets of life savings, only to find that it was for the Lawful god (had to kill Famine six times). Then I went to the center altar, and that was the correct one. I offer to Kos, and ascend to demigoddesshood.

Final Analysis
Well, I just plain got sloppy once I finished the quest. Probably because now that I have a job, I can only play in short bursts, and that's not good. I had way too many close calls here. I didn't deserve to win, and did only because I've played so many times. Rogues are kind of neat. Totally you should ditch the short sword right away and just go the route of the dagger. An invisible rogue would be quite awsome. After a while I played this character like a Samurai, which was probably bad. On the other hand, once you have 500+ HP, most character classes seen the same. Note at Rou25, I was able to win this much easier than with a Knight or a Wizard... I think Healers will be the next challenge.

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