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.

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