The Let's Play Archive


by TooMuchAbstraction

Part 2: Chasing worms

Update 2: Chasing worms

Last time, Freude the Half-Troll Warrior did his best impression of a rock and fell 300' through the dungeon before landing on one of Farmer Maggot's dogs.

Let's see if we can't fall on any other named monsters. Onwards!

You see 65 gold pieces worth of silver.

Oh really

The 65 gold pieces worth of silver was really a monster! You punch the Creeping silver coins (4). You miss the Creeping silver coins. You punch the Creeping silver coins (4). The Creeping silver coins hits you. The Creeping silver coins touches you. You are poisoned!

...wait, since when did I remove my dagger?

Anyway, this is a mimic. Creeping coins show up in a variety of flavors, all the way from copper to adamantite, and they get correspondingly stronger and faster as they get more valuable. Silver is just the second tier, so this guy's wimpy. His attacks aren't bad, but he's slow (getting half as many turns as we do) so the only reason he should ever get an attack in is if you're feeling chivalrous.

Creeping coins piles have a tell that gives them away, if you're using the no-selling option. Normal piles of gold will have their value inflated if you use that option, but creeping coins don't; a real pile of silver would easily be worth over 100AU. This is almost certainly a bug.

Also in the room, a Wicker Shield [2] (turns out to be [2,+3]) and 3 Icky Green Potions. Our health's kind of low, so let's try out our potions now (unfortunately the poison wore off too quickly to check for potions of Neutralize Poison).

You feel resistant to fire! You have no more Clotted Red Potions of Resist Heat.
You feel much better. You have 8 Pink Potions of Cure Light Wounds.
You have no more Orange Potions {tried}.
You feel resistant to cold! You have no more Tangerine Potions of Resist Cold.
You feel very good. You have 2 Icky Green Potions of Cure Serious Wounds.

Awesome. The fire/cold resistance potions aren't anything much; they don't last long and they usually aren't worth dedicating an inventory slot to. Cure Light Wounds and Cure Serious Wounds are both fantastic though; the former heals 20HP and weakens some status ailments, and the latter heals 40HP and outright removes blindness and confusion. Those HP values don't sound like much, but they're still very handy for healing in fights: just create some space (e.g. with Phase Door) and then slam down a half-dozen potions or so.

Oh, and let's check out that * in the wall.

You tunnel into the magma vein. <29x> You have found something!

You have found 210 gold pieces worth of silver.

Yes, I just knocked down a wall with a dagger (and see what I mean about piles of silver?). Magma veins are the easiest wall type to dig through. Well, rubble's easier, but it doesn't show up much.

A bit more exploring...

This here is a Kobold Archer. They can be a bit annoying when they first show up (200'), but by now he's a speedbump. We do want to be on the lookout for groups of kobolds, though. Not because they're especially dangerous, but because they'll be accompanying someone we want to say hello to. Unfortunately, this guy was acting solo. Fortunately, he was guarding a staircase.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 350')

A Kobold Skeleton! Maybe that archer's returned from the dead to get some revenge. Bad plan. He gets one hit in (for 2HP damage) before we destroy him again. There's lots of skeleton-type enemies, and all of them, up until much, much later in the game, are just "a bucket of HP with basic melee attacks". Freude is a bigger bucket of HP with better melee attacks.

You are getting hungry.

Oop. One downside to regeneration: we get hungry faster than usual (to be precise, 2.5 times faster than usual). Fortunately the standard kit starts us with a ration of food; ideally we'd have more but it'll keep us going.

That tastes good. You are no longer hungry. You have no more Rations of Food.

Exploration of 350' so far. The game has a fairly diverse selection of prefabricated rooms like the one we're in. They help give some structure and visual interest to what would otherwise be just a big pile of rectangular rooms and single-tile corridors.

As we explore, the game periodically tells us "You hear a door burst open!" Most monsters don't really understand doorknobs, but many of them can simply bash doors down instead. Something on the level is awake, angry, and covered in splinters...

Something cackles evilly.

Oh. Oh hello. We're now surrounded by magically-summoned traps. Not that we can see them, but they're there. And I'm betting that's...

Yep, that's Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman! Wormtongue's a dick. In addition to that trap-summoning spell (which would have said "Wormtongue cackles evilly about traps" if I'd been able to see him; spells have different messages depending on if you can see the caster, though why this changes Wormtongue's little snigger I don't know), he can also cast frost bolts and stinking clouds, heal himself, and slow me down. And, annoyingly, he can steal gold with one of his melee attacks.

Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman misses you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman dances around you!
Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman misses you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman makes obscene gestures!

There's also that. One of his attacks is "insult". Completely harmless, except to Freude's massive ego.

We exchange a few rounds of melee, and then

Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman touches you. Your purse feels lighter. 151 coins were stolen! Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman moons you!!! There is a puff of smoke!

That's the problem with thieves. They don't have the common decency to stick around so we can recover our lost goods. He just took about 10% of our purse, which isn't exactly fantastic. And we don't have the equipment to make killing him not be an exercise in frustration. It may just be best to come back later.

In the meantime, we're still surrounded by traps (revealed after searching for a few turns):

On our left, a dart trap -- could be slow, or drain STR, DEX, or CON. On our right, a gas trap -- could be paralysis, poison, or confusion. Freude's disarming is

yeah, that. Failure to disarm a trap can cause it to trigger, which raises some questions when you're trying to disarm, say, a pit. How do you fall into a pit while filling it in? It's probably not worth bothering with the dart trap, so let's clean up that gas trap instead.

You set off the gas trap! You are surrounded by a gas of scintillating colors! You are confused!
Something cackles evilly.

Oh SOD OFF, Wormtongue! We're busy!

You are no longer confused. You have 12 Pink Potions of Cure Light Wounds.

CLW won't necessarily cure your status ailments, but it reduces the counter a decent portion; enough for this situation. I'd rather reserve our CSW potions (which are a guaranteed cure) for more dire circumstances.

Round Two gets Wormtongue down to about 60% HP before he steals another 150AU. If we can keep this up then we'll win eventually, except that we don't really have a good way to kill him once he starts running away. At the very least we need to get out of this corridor.

You failed to disarm the gas trap. You failed to disarm the gas trap. You have disarmed the gas trap.

And now we start seeing the problem with Freude's hideous stealth score -- we can't get a moment's peace here to clear the traps out. Some Manes have come to visit. They're low-level demonic scum; another basic melee enemy. But they're durable (average 36HP) and show up in groups. Fortunately there's just two of them here and we can finally get out of that corridor.

Red jelly. Normally we'd leave him alone; he's not in the way and it's generally a bad idea to get close to him. However, we are the Best Race.

The Red jelly touches you. You feel very weak for a moment, but the feeling passes.

Easy 20 EXP. Oh yeah, those Manes got us up to level 9, so now we have 109HP.

Still no sign of Wormtongue, but we do encounter this guy:

Hullo, Smeagol. Please go away.

Smeagol is sort of Wormtongue's not-very-bright younger brother. He's very fast (3 turns to our 1), but he spends most of his turns wandering in random directions and only rarely manages to try to attack. When he does attack, he can steal gold, just like Wormtongue, so he's kind of a pain to kill. Especially since he has a whopping 400HP!

He's also invisible, but our infravision picks him out.

We manage to get him down to 30% HP before he finally succeeds in a stealing attempt; he's not as accurate as Wormtongue is, but he has plenty of opportunities to try while we whittle down his HP. Bye-bye, another 120AU.

Our introduction to dragon...flies. Dragonflies are like dragons, except they have no HP to speak of. This black dragonfly breathes acid; there's also green (poison), red (fire), blue (lightning), and white (cold).

The Giant black dragon fly breathes acid. Your Soft Leather Armor is damaged!

Ah, we found Wormtongue again. We're not going to have any money left by the time the stairs show up, are we? He's healed back to 80% HP; monster regeneration is pretty fast.

You feel righteous! You have no more Scrolls titled "abruma constus" of Blessing. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman tries to cast a spell, but fails.

I figure maybe the +5 AC from the Blessing will help us avoid getting stolen from. Meanwhile, Wormtongue screws up an incantation. This just makes the monsters occasionally waste their turns. Spells have failure rates for the player, too, but who cares? We can't even read!

You miss Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman. You hit Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman (4). You hit Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman (6). Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman hits you. Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman touches you. You quickly protect your money pouch! There is a puff of smoke!

That works too! You get a saving throw against being stolen from; having a high DEX helps protect your goods. At 18/150 DEX you become theftproof. Incidentally, stats go all the way up to 18/220. Practically speaking, though, every /10 is just another +1 to the stat (e.g. 18/10 is basically just 19, and 18/220 is basically just 40).

Oh, look who it is. And he picked up some of the arrows that I flung at Wormtongue. Oftentimes when you finally kill Smeagol his inventory is full of random dungeon detritus.

Fortunately, Smeagol doesn't manage to land another steal attack on us. A bit more stabbing and playing darts with our arrows (we really need to get a bow) and

You hit Smeagol (6). You hit Smeagol (5). You have slain Smeagol.

Our gold! Our arrows! And a scimitar! We only get 1.1 blows/round with the scimitar, but it pseudos as {excellent} so it might be worth using anyway. Probably just has a basic slay like Slay Giant on it. We are not going to run into any giants anytime soon.

You know more about the Scimitar you are using. You hit the Giant red frog (12).

Like armor, weapon stats can be ID'd by using them in a fight. This scimitar is (+2,+5). The game has a neat little comparison tool that you can use to decide which weapon is best. Here's our scimitar:

And here's the dagger we've been using since the start of the game, minus those bits where we were punching things instead:

It's not much of a difference, but it is a difference, and the dagger is also better against groups, since if we kill a monster partway through our attack, we don't use up a full turn.

Incidentally, the scimitar is better at digging because heavier weapons make better diggers. It's still preposterous that we can dig through cooled magma with a dagger, but ehh.

Round Four, fight! I just found a Light Green Potion; hoping that it's a very specific potion, I chug it...

You feel bold. You feel like a hero! You have no more Light Green Potions of Heroism.

Drat. Not what I was aiming for. Heroism's not bad -- temporary immunity to fear, minor HP restoration, and a temporary to-hit bonus -- but it's not going to turn this fight around. Meanwhile, Wormtongue just healed himself back up to full HP.

Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman tries to make you move slowly. Your Set of Leather Gloves glows. You resist the effect!

Ha! Those gloves were Free Action! Awesome. I didn't realize they protected against magical slowing, though.

Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman creates a cloud of poison. You are poisoned!

And there goes his Stinking Cloud spell. We've seen everything except the ice bolt, now, and I'm in no hurry to see that.

He closes to melee range after redundantly casting Heal Self a few more times, tries to steal, fails, and teleports away. Good riddance. Time to continue on exploring the level. There's got to be a staircase around here somewhere.

You hit something (6). You hit something (5). You have killed it.

Whoops. My bad! Sorry dude! That was probably a Poltergeist, the first ghost-type enemy. They can frighten you with their melee attacks, but they move more or less at random, so they aren't very threatening. However, if you can't see them (since, like all ghosts, they're invisible), then they can be a pain to kill, precisely because they move randomly (and can pass through walls).

You see a Titanium Wand. You have a Titanium Wand.

Ahh, some artillery! Let's try it out against this poor hapless Giant Red Frog.

A line of shimmering blue light appears. You have 15 charges remaining.

A Wand of Light. Totally harmless, unless the monster is unusually sensitive to light. Frogs aren't, but we'll get some use out of this later.

In the old days, while you could ID the type of a wand by trying it out, you still had to use Identify to find out how many charges it had. Wands of the same type would stack (combining their charges), but only if you knew how many charges each had. Nowadays if you know the type of a wand then you automatically know how many charges it has. More simplification of the "Identification game" in the interests of letting you get on with playing the "actual game".

I clean out the room, and head for the exit...

Something touches you.

Ehh, probably just another Poltergeist...except it's not causing fear. We ought to be able to see Clear Icky Things (also invisible monsters with a touch attack)...ahh, probably a Green Glutton Ghost. It'd eat our food, but we don't have any. And yes, it's exactly what you're thinking of.

At last, a staircase! I should finish exploring this room first, though. And that means dealing with these Snagas.

A line of shimmering blue light appears. You have 14 charges remaining. 2 Snagas cringe from the light! The Snaga shrivels away in the light! 2 Snagas flee in terror! Welcome to level 10.

Haha, orc raisins. Most orcs and trolls take damage from elemental light, and the wand does 6d8 damage against susceptible monsters. It'll clear up groups of orcs right quick.

(113 max HP!)

There's nothing left in this room, unfortunately. Neat layout, though. Also

You are getting hungry.

Shut up, stomach! I just fed you, like, eight hours ago! Seriously though we are out of food, so we should return to town. But first, we may as well use a staircase and get a bit deeper into the dungeon.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (400')

Now, about getting back to town. In our inventory, we happen to have a couple scrolls of Word of Recall (we started with one, and then found another one at 300').

The air about you becomes charged... You have a Scroll titled "co abitat" of Word of Recall.

These handy things take you from the dungeon to the town, and from the town to your max dungeon depth (or, since I have the "forced descent" option turned on, your max dungeon depth + 1). They don't take effect immediately, but a few turns of waiting around later...

You feel yourself yanked upwards!

When I was a kid, I didn't understand the concept of delayed effects, so I had no idea what Word of Recall did, and I figured that the whole "yanked upwards" thing was some kind of trap that I wasn't managing to detect. I spent an awful lot of time walking through the dungeon the slow way, and then when I started running low on supplies, hoping like hell that I'd stumble into one of those weird town-teleport traps.

Let's end this update with a look at Freude.

There's no point in carrying that mace around; it's also worse than our dagger, and it's not like it'll sell for anything. Everything else could be potentially useful. The pebbles and shots are ammo for slings; more durable than arrows, but slings are generally less powerful than bows.

We've been really quite lucky with armor. Those gloves are going to stay put for a long time.

This screen gives us a breakdown of what our equipment is doing for us. From here, we can see that
We can also see icons for each item we have equipped: | for the dagger, ~ for the torch, ( for our soft body armor and cloak, ) for our shield, and ] for our gloves and boots.

This screen is a great way to get an at-a-glance view of our abilities. It's going to be vital later in the game: after you've shuffled your equipment around, it pays to double-check that you still have vital abilities like Free Action covered.

And we're done! See you next time, when we check out the shops and buy some stuff that we really should have had before ever entering the dungeon!