Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Rogue

I lost a promising rogue. What made him promising? Well, he didn't get an early wish, or find cool bones left from somebody else. On the other hand, he was crusing along, had a bag of holding and speed boots, and had completed both the Mines and Sokoban.

I've complained in the past (in fact, the recent past) that far too many of my victories start with "I found a magic lamp in the mines and I got the best armor in the game." This rogue was cool because when I play rogues I am much more careful, I make full use of hallways and daggers, and as a result don't suffer the stupid deaths I normally suffer. Heck, the only real mistake I made with this guy (up to the last mistake that is) was that I ate a tengu, hoping to get teleport control. I got the jumps instead. I had a mess of rings, hoping that if I did get the jumps one would be teleport control, but it was not to be. Note that the rogue's quest toy grants teleport control, so this would have been eventually rectified.

How did I die? I tried to slug it out with an invisible golden naga. He toasted me. When you aren't playing a fighter, don't play like a fighter. :(

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I'm running a May tournament. My archeologist died right away, but I've got a good Barbarian going. More or less the key to this guy was finding a good bones file. I came up with a blessed magic lamp and Cleaver. So now I have Grey Dragon Scale Mail and a decent weapon. I've got an assload of cursed potions and scrolls, so as soon as I can get some remove curse action going, I'll be set (come to think of it, there is a big scroll store which some come in handy).

There is a big room between me and the Sokoban, but heck, I've got a ring of conflict. This game is going to be a measure of how careful I can be. It's begging to be screwed up, as it is such a good candidate for victory.

OK, I'm now clearing out the Sokoban, but to tell the truth I don't know why - I have a bag of holding and an amulet of reflection already. As soon as I am done I should get enough holy water to get a blessed scroll of remove curse and uncurse all of my crap. Then I should be able to identify all of my goodies and move on.

Right now this is a good start, but if you get cocky before the quest you are in trouble. One strategy question is going to be "should I do castle/Medusa before the quest?" Since the Heart of Ariman gives levitation, it might be worth waiting and not needing a levitation source. Of course, this will eventually lead to the Wizard stealing the Heart while you are over water. Splash!

Went all the way down to the bottom and faced off with a master mindflayer. Ouch. That's my one weakness, low intelligence says that I can be brained way too easy. I went back up and remapped the dungeon. I got to level 14, so on to the quest. One realization is that there are many trolls on the Barbarian quest. A pet to eat corpses would be great, so back to the dungeon for a pet. I got a dog. That lasted for a few levels, and it made the trolls much easier. But then the trolls killed my dog. Damn. In any case, I used a Wand of Death on my quest enemy, so now I have the Heart of Whatshisname and the Bell. Next stop is the castle. I have a levitation device and a ring of conflict, so this ought to be OK. I'm probably near a third of the way to victory. I've got a good feeling about this game.

I cleared the castle and wished for things like speed boots and scrolls of genocide. I also got tired of Cleaver, so I wished for Frost Brand. I spent a very long time in Hell because I could not find the up staircase to Vlad's Tower. I assumed that this couldn't be on a special level, but it was with Orcus, so it took me forever to find it. Killed Vlad, killed the Wizard, killed the High Priest of Moloch. New trick - cursed potion of gain level to get out of Moloch's Sanctum. Climbed out of Hell, much easier when you are chaotic. Fought the Wizard about a million times. Now I stand on the up staircase on level one. Gotta sort out the equipment and figure out what to take to the elemental planes. After last time, I've stockpiled on plenty of scrolls of detect gold to find portals. We'll see what happens... It would be a bigtime choke to not win this game.

I said "screw it" and just went up the stairs without too much sorting. Plane of Earth was trivial, and I certainly liked knowing where the portal was on the Plane of Air (Air Elementals can really pound you). Plane of Fire wasn't too hard, but Plane of Water I floated around forever. Astral Plane was tough due to bad luck. First Altar, well, that was Lawful and I'm Chaotic. Second Altar, well, that was neutral. I died fighting my way out of the second Altar, but I had plenty of spare amulets of life savings. Got to the last Altar and sacrificed the Amulet to Set. End of story.

21 wins in 21 years. It's good to have the ratio at unity after all of these years. I'm a good enough player where if I get a lucky start (very good bones pile or a magic lamp) I can usually win, but too many of my actual victories have depended on such good fortunes. Next character in the tournament - Caveman.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm running a Ranger now. To be quite frank, these play like wussy thieves.

The start of the game was kind of weird. I got a pair of magic lamps early so I had Grey Dragon Scale Mail and speed boots almost from the beginning. It's hard to screw up a game like that. I got a bag of holding from the Sokoban, so I didn't have any weight problems.

On the other hand, I found no altars. I mean that. This game has the theoretical minumum - the one in the mines, the one on the first level of Hell and (if I get there) Moloch's Sanctum and the three in on the Astral Plane. Which mean you have only one altar that you can actually pray at. And of course the one in the mines was for the wrong god.

So I went down the dungeon, using my bow and arrows. Very quickly I discovered that killing from a distance worked better with daggers. So I enchanted up a bunch of daggers and went town. More or less I made it all the way down to Medusa's with just daggers.

I then went back up and converted the altar in the mines. This meant killing the priest. But after a while I got the Vorpal Blade and I used that as my main sword (when not throwing daggers). I went to the castle and cleared it, but had problems with a mindflayer. That made my game more annoying.

I went back up and completed the quest. The Longbow of Diana sucks. Sure, it can create arrows, but hell, my daggers are more effective.

On to Hell. I had magic mapping, which helped out a lot. Dig all of my digging on the way down. Killed Vlad, killed Orcus, had a stupid mishap on my way to the Wizard. Something blinded me and I killed another creature. Game said I was standin on a Giant corpse, so I ate it in order to up my strength. Only it was a Zombie Giant corpse, so I got ill. Then I rubbed my unicorn horn to cure, but it cured my blindness and I died. There went one amulet of life savings.

Killed the Wizard, got the book, went down to the vibrating square. Did the little dance. Killed the High Priest of Moloch and got the Amulet. Spent most of my time in Hell trying to get out but slipping back down. Didn't see too much of the Wizard though. Made it to the Planes. Forgot to have a way of finding the portals. Crap. Burned my last wish on a set of detect gold scrolls, got only 2. Should have wished for a crystal ball because I can recharge those.

Plane of Earth took forever, not sure why. Used my last detect gold scroll in Air, where I was getting my ass kicked by air elementals. Fire is a wuss plane, I just let stuff follow me around the screen until something triggered the portal location. Water was a little scary because I never genocided ;'s and I was worried about being drowned. I eventually found the portal.

That leaves us at the Astral Plane. I picked the center choice (Famine is the easiest Rider). That was the wrong choice. So next choice was left (Death is second easiest) and that was the wrong choice. So finally that left right, and Pestilence. Using +7 daggers you can take out the Riders from a distance. I finally offered the Amulet for a victory.

So some final thoughts - even with some rust I was able to quite well once I started rolling. The real key here was getting an early wish, and then some careful play. Rangers aren't that fun to play, and their artifact sucks. So I don't think I'm going to play a Ranger again any time soon.

Back to Monks and Healers I guess...

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