The Let's Play Archive


by TooMuchAbstraction

Part 41: Man of Cloth

Update 41: Man of Cloth

The thread has decided: No More Mister Nice Guy. I mean, as far as I'm concerned. Morgoth is laughing his head off.

Friar Tuck here has made a holy vow to slay Morgoth or die trying; one way or another, he's not coming back. We will get one chance at the town; once we enter the dungeon, it's out of bounds for the rest of the game.

Losing the stores is going to be aggravating mostly for consumables like Cure Critical Wounds and Phase Door. However, not having access to our stash is going to be painful. We have to carry everything with us, which means all those potions we want to stockpile for the final fights are going to be in danger of breaking all the time. And of course, inventory space will be tight.

Statwise, Friar Tuck is pretty mediocre. Humans have no relevant stat boosts, no skill bonuses, and no infravision; in exchange they get to level up about 10-20% faster than most other races. At least they aren't nearly so hosed on physical stats as mages are; losing a point each of STR and DEX and actually gaining a point of CON is much better than the -3 STR, -2 CON, and +0 DEX that mages get.

Still, Tuck's poor stats are going to make our early game somewhat tricky, since priests have no special offensive options early on. Let's check out our spell options in the first spellbook.

Hey, Ludwig! Wish I could stay and chat, but the church has kinda kicked me out.

We'll save the spells in the other town spellbooks for later perusal; we can't cast any of them anyway. We grab a copy of the Beginners Handbook, and a copy of Chants and Blessings (the third spellbook), which does in most of our starting cash.

Now, it's time to get a weapon. The Temple just has some Whips and a War Hammer that we can't afford...what does the Weaponsmith have?

These are not good options! I was hoping to find a Mace, which at 2d4 would deal decent damage. Instead, our options are limited to getting a Sling and some Iron Shots (same damage potiential, but the Shots would gradually break), or getting a Whip for a mere 1d3 damage. Let's go with the Sling, and hope we find more ammo in the dungeon. Ithyl-Mak only has 5 Shots, but there are more in the General Store.

And we're out of cash! Here's our gear:

The game gives us a free torch and ration, and we start out just shy of fully-fed, so we should be able to hold out for awhile, but this is still really anemic.

Oh, and we should learn a spell.

You have learned the prayer of Cure Light Wounds.

...wait, what? I wanted to learn Bless! Yeah, priests don't get a choice in what prayers they learn. You pick a spellbook, and then the game assigns you a random spell from the ones you're able to learn. In this case, that meant we would get one of Detect Evil, Cure Light Wounds, Bless, and Remove Fear. At least Cure Light Wounds is useful.

Casting it gets us 4 EXP; we need 8 more to level. At least that shouldn't take long. Let's get this show on the road!

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 50')

Heh. The Small Kobold is worth 5 EXP; the Gray Mold is worth 3. The kobold is a higher priority of course, since it can actually move.

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits the Small kobold (6). The Small kobold dies. You have 14 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0).
Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits the Grey mold (2). The Iron Shot breaks. You have 15 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0). The Grey mold jerks limply.
Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits the Grey mold (6). The Grey mold is destroyed. Welcome to level 2. You can learn 2 more prayers. You have 14 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0).

19 HP, 4 SP!

Unfortunately our ammo is already breaking on us. Still, two more spells! We get Remove Fear, and Bless. And at another 4 EXP per cast, we're soon down to just 10 more EXP needed to level again.

We take off our torch while resting to recover SP -- we only have 5k turns and that can go by really quickly, so best to conserve, at least until we have a bigger buffer.

Also, the Small Kobold dropped a pair of gloves, our first piece of armor. It's only 1 point, but that's more than 0!

Score -- another torch, gloves, and a scroll. Priests don't get early access to Identify the way mages do, nor do they have the strong pseudo-ID that warriors, paladins, and rogues get, so it's going to be a bit tricky to figure out what gear does. For now we'll just have to carry things around and ID them by use, which in the case of armor means taking some lumps.

Case in point -- we slowly punch a Large Brown Snake to death (they move slowly, so there's basically no risk), and let it attack us once, revealing that our current gloves (from the Small Kobold) are unenchanted. We can safely replace them with the ones from the room now, which cannot be worse.

You found a trap! You hit a teleport trap!

Wait, what? There can be traps at 50'? I did not know that. Well, at least unexpected teleportation isn't so dangerous here.

You know more about the Set of Leather Gloves you are wearing. The Giant yellow centipede bites you. The Giant yellow centipede stings you.

Our new gloves have a +4 AC enchantment! Excellent. They may also have special abilities, or they may just be {magical}, but we won't know that until the pseudo-ID kicks in.

One nice thing about traps: you get experience for disarming them.

You have disarmed the strange rune. Welcome to level 3. You can learn 1 more prayer.

A good level-up: we go up to 29 HP and 6 SP. We only have a 1d12 hit die, so that was a good roll. As for SP, if you were paying attention to Bryson's adventures, you probably noticed that SP gains are fixed (or rather, determined purely by level and casting stat, with no randomness). Considering how important our SP pool is (or rather, will be) for killing things, this is good.

You have learned the prayer of Detect Evil.

Oh well. We'd have wanted to learn that one eventually anyway.

Down stairs. Hm. In this case I think we're better-served by clearing the level first; we're desperately short of basic supplies. I mean, we could dive, but we still only have 14 Iron Shots for killing things, and running out would be a death sentence. Better to stay here for now, where in a pinch we can punch things to death.

The Floating eye gazes at you. You are paralysed! The Floating eye gazes at you. The Floating eye gazes at you. You can move again.

In a small mercy, at one point the devs modified how paralysis works, so that monsters cannot paralyze you if you are already paralyzed. As a result, wandering into a Floating Eye like this when your AC is too low to reliably deflect its attacks is not instant death. A good thing too since there's no way we could have detected this guy -- he's not evil, our light source only has a radius of 1, and we have no infravision.

Anyway, we take a step back and blindly fire shots down the corridor until it dies.

In any event, further exploration of the level involves punching out a bunch of lizards, centipedes, mice, and fruit bats, but no extra treasure. Guess we might as well take the stairs. But first, we try to ID-by-use our potions and scrolls.

We're still a bit scuffed-up from a boxing match with a centipede, which will help us identify any healing potions.

You feel resistant to cold! You have no more Purple Speckled Potions of Resist Cold.
You have no more Light Brown Potions.

So much for that idea. What about our scrolls?

You sense the presence of buried treasure! You sense the presence of objects! You have no more Scrolls titled "thenus strum" of Treasure Detection.
You feel righteous! You have 2 Scrolls titled "conons si" of Blessing.
You sense no traps. You have a Scroll titled "torsum co" of Trap Detection.

Not bad. The Blessing scrolls could come in handy, too, if only to save us some SP. 6 points doesn't go very far.

Anyway, no more putting off the inevitable.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 100')

Yikes. Fang, Farmer Maggot's Dog is here! And he's awake, of course. We have a turn and a half before he hits melee range; we read a Scroll of Blessing and open fire with our sling.

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog (2). The Iron Shot breaks. You have 13 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0). Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog snarls with pain.

A small mercy: Fang moves erratically, so instead of closing and biting our face off, he backed away instead.

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog (6). You have 12 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0). Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog yelps in pain.

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog (2). You have 11 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0). Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog snarls with pain. Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog bites you. Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog bites you.

That's 7 damage to us, leaving us at 22 HP while he's still only 30% dead. Not a good trend. Unfortunately, we don't exactly have a lot of options here; we just stand in melee and keep slinging iron shots into him.

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog (8). You have 9 Iron Shots (1d4) (+0,+0). Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog howls in pain. Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog flees in terror!

Yes! We survive!

Your Iron Shot (1d4) (+0,+0) hits Fang, Farmer Maggot's dog (8). Fang, Farmer Maggot's Dog dies. Welcome to level 4. You can learn 1 more prayer.

Only 1 more HP this time, though, neatly making up for our above-average gain last time.

Also in the room are a Yellow Mushroom Patch (releases spores to cause fear, so we can't punch it to death), a Kobold, some useless copper pieces, and three more Rations of Food. The food is quite welcome; between it and the extra torch we found we should be good to go for quite some time now. Now if only we could find more ammo. Especially since punching things to death has effectively stopped being useful -- we get 2 damage per punch, while that Kobold can deal 1d8; on average it will win a damage race against us.

As for the spell, we learn Call Light. That won't be needed for awhile yet since all the early rooms are lit up, but again, we'll want it eventually. Oddly, casting it only gets us 3 EXP, less than the level-1 spells did.

The Shrieker mushroom patch makes a high-pitched shriek. The Giant white mouse starts moving faster.

...yeah, let's just leave you two alone. Mice can't open doors, so if we just close the door we came in by, they won't take over the level with their double-speed breeding.

And then I get into a spectacularly ill-advised punching match with a White Jelly.

You punch the White jelly (2). The White jelly touches you. You are more poisoned!

Iterate that a few times, and our poison counter gets entirely too high.

We spend all of our SP on casting Cure Light Wounds three times (plus a Bless to start the fight), and we're down to 8 HP out of 30 by the time all the accumulated poison finally wears off. Mental note: don't try to punch jellies to death.

A bit later,

You punch the Metallic green centipede (2). You have slain the Metallic green centipede. Welcome to level 5. You can learn 2 more prayers.

We're slowly clawing our way up to what, for lack of a better term, we'll call competence. Though we gained only 1 HP again (up to 31 total), and we're now at 10 SP.

Level 5 unlocks spells in the second prayer book, which we don't have. It's okay, most of them suck anyway. Instead, we learn Find Traps, Doors & Stairs, and Slow Poison. 18 EXP to cast them both, and we found a nearby trap for another easy 5 EXP from disarming it. That leaves us just 12 EXP away from leveling again.

Hey, y'all made me play a human, I'm going to milk it for all it's worth. We need those levels!

Hey, a weapon!

You have a Dagger (1d4).

An edged weapon. Oh well. Wielding an edged weapon has the following effects that I can see: -2 to-hit, -2 to-damage, +10% to spell failure rates. Our average damage when punching is 2; our average damage with the dagger is 1.5, unless it's enchanted.

You know more about the Dagger you are using. You hit Grip, Farmer Maggot's Dog (1). Grip, Farmer Maggot's Dog bites you.

It's not enchanted. We're better off punching things than we are using that dagger. Blast.

Fighting Grip goes more smoothly than fighting Fang did, largely because we have enough SP to be able to bust out Cure Light Wounds a couple of times. We stick to using our Sling instead of trying to melee him, though we do finish him off by throwing our Dagger at him

Grip, Farmer Maggot's dog dies. Welcome to level 6. You can learn 1 more prayer.

It's currently impossible for us to learn more spells; we have everything from the first book, and the minimum for the third book is level 9. That's fine though.

We're almost killed by this Crow. Crows move fast and have 2 1d3 bites per turn, which means an average of 8 damage from it for every attack we make. They don't have much health, but when you're a priest, you have trouble hitting things, so a series of unlucky turns mean trouble. Fortunately Cure Light Wounds can still outpace the damage the Crow deals, if only just. We really need more armor. Incidentally, those gloves we found are just standard [1,+4] gloves, no special abilities.

A few fights later, we find some Sandals on the ground. Another +1 to AC! I have no idea how much of a difference that makes in our chance to be hit. Incidentally, Bless improves our to-hit chance against White Harpies from 75% to 82%.

The rest of the level is unexplored and will have to remain that way, as it's guarded by either the White Jelly of Doom, or the Meth-Fuelled Mouse Orgy. Still no more ammo nor a weapon we can use...

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 150')

Against this Black Naga, Bless takes out hit chance from 35% to 55%. That's kind of important. What's also important is that she has so much health that we break a lot of Iron Shots against her -- by the time the fight is over, we only have 8 left. She was worth 10 EXP...probably not worth the resources expended in fighting her.

You punch the Green worm mass (2). The Green worm mass crawls on you. You are covered in acid! Your Set of Leather Gloves is damaged!
You punch the Green worm mass (2). The Green worm mass crawls on you. You are covered in acid! Your Pair of Leather Sandals is damaged!

The Crow bites you. The Crow bites you. The Crow bites you. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** The Crow misses you.

You punch the Blubbering icky thing (2). The Blubbering icky thing crawls on you. You are poisoned! The Blubbering icky thing crawls on you. One of your 3 Rations of Food was eaten!

At least against that last guy we can guard against food theft by dropping our rations and standing on them. But we are in dire need of an improved offense.

We find a darkened room, and instead of casting Call Light from the outset, which would be the smart thing to do, we stumble around in it for a bit. After finding a couple of worm masses, though...

You are surrounded by a white light. The Yellow worm mass cringes from the light! The Green worm mass cringes from the light!

Yellow Worm Masses drain DEX when they hit you. Not a huge deal for us given how fast levelups (and thus stat restores) are coming, except that we really can't afford to get any more inaccurate in melee. Green Worm Masses of course will annihilate our armor.

The Green worm mass crawls on you. You are covered in acid! Your Scroll titled "conons si" of Blessing was destroyed!

And our scrolls, and our spellbooks. Acid sucks. Fortunately we make it to the exit of the room without losing any more items; unfortunately there's no door to hold the worms in. We'll just have to hope that their slow, erratic movement keeps them from taking over the level.

Oh, thank all the gods.

You have 24 Rounded Pebbles (1d2).

Only half as good as Iron Shots, but still a damned sight better than punching things! Unfortunately they aren't magical, as we find out while plinking another Black Naga to death.

Your Rounded Pebble (1d2) (+0,+0) hits the Black naga (2). The Black naga dies. Welcome to level 7. You can learn 2 more prayers. The Rounded Pebble breaks. You have 4 Rounded Pebbles (1d2) (+0,+0).

On the plus side, she dropped another pile of pebbles! We now have 37 of the things, so we're not in danger of running out of ammo anytime soon. Also, 44 HP, 13 SP. I forgot to note our HP at level 6, but I think it was 37 or 39; basically we got an average HP gain for both levels.

This should be lucrative. The Small Kobolds are no trouble, and I'm pretty sure we can take the Kobold Shaman too; the traps ought to provide good experience.

Of course, nothing says there can't be undetectable non-evil monsters in there too. This Brown Yeek is native to 400' (remember we're at 150'!) and, well, he's a yeek, but he's still annoyingly durable.

Something messes with your mind. You are confused!

Erk. Either that Kobold Shaman, or there's an Apprentice around. Time to try out one of those 9 Crimson Potions we've stacked up; I hope they're Cure Light Wounds!

You are confused. You feel much better. You are no longer confused. You have 8 Crimson Potions of Cure Light Wounds.

Ha! Curing potions show up in stacks, which means that if you find large quantities of an unknown potion type, odds are decent it's a curing potion.

And, yes, it was the Kobold Shaman:

Killing him is unusually frustrating, because as it turns out we're in one of those moated checkerboard rooms:

I don't think I've ever seen one this shallow before. But as a result, anytime he gets frightened, he can take a single step and get out of LOS. But we do finally manage to do him in. We then net 15 EXP from disarming traps before

You set off the trap door! You fall through a trap door! *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! ***

Oh, nice start. Another Kobold Shaman, backed by full-sized Kobolds this time. At least Mughash isn't here! That would be a real kick in the pants. Fortunately he's native to 350', so he's not likely to show up...not unless we get another special room

Fortunately we punch out the Shaman before his buddies wake up. Unfortunately,

Your light has gone out!

There's 5k turns down the drain. We're back to a single torch left. I hope it lasts; exploring in the dark really sucks, not least because we can't cast spells.

You have a Molybdenum Wand.

Oh boy! I hope it's Magic Missile!

A line of shimmering blue light appears. You have 14 charges remaining.

Oh, a Wand of Light. Also good! We also find another Dagger, and a pair of Sandals that pseudos as {magical}. We try out the Dagger against a Fruit Bat; it's (+4,+3). Alright! A weapon better than punching! It hurts our spell failure rates substantially, but we really, really need to be able to kill things, so it's worth the tradeoff.

Yikes. Giant Cave Spiders only have 7HP on average, but that's still going to be at least two Pebbles or two hits from our dagger.

Fortunately the spiders aren't very alert, so we can wake them up from a distance and deal with them one by one. We take a few bites, but not enough to put us in any real danger.

While resting up,

You are getting hungry.
That tastes good. You are no longer hungry. You have 3 Rations of Food.
That tastes good. You are full! You have 2 Rations of Food.

We don't have Satisfy Hunger yet, so food is potentially a concern. Food that is in our stomachs can't be eaten by monsters, so we eat up to full when we get hungry, which I'm fairly certain doesn't waste any food (eating when you're already full just uses up the food to no effect).

In the next room, we find a new Sling. Since our old one is just (+0,+0), there's no risk in trying this one out. A Cutpurse volunteers:

Your Sling glows. Your Rounded Pebble (1d2) (+0,+0) hits the Cutpurse (14). The Rounded Pebble breaks. You have 34 Rounded Pebbles (1d2) (+0,+0). The Cutpurse screams in pain.

It's a (+4,+5) Sling! Excellent, now we can actually kill things reasonably quickly! Things are looking long as we find another Torch and some more Rations anyway...

We ding level 8 off of an Acolyte that was following those Cutpurses around. Hey Acolyte, maybe you should have invested in a sling and bullets like us instead of learning Cause Light Wounds We get to 54 HP and 15 SP; more importantly, we're nearly to level 9, where we can start learning more spells!

With our new sling, we clear the rest of the level easily, sadly finding no more light or food sources. Maybe on the next level.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 250')

No lights here, but that wand could be good. We kill the Salamander and Blubbering Icky Thing and test the wand on the Metallic Green Centipede.

You have 17 charges remaining. The Metallic green centipede looks confused.

Oh, okay then: Confuse Monster. Might potentially be useful for avoiding melee, since we don't have a big stack of Phase Door scrolls. We'll see.

You sense the presence of evil creatures!

Oh dear. We cannot cope with a Naga Pit. Oh, sure, our new sling would kill a lot of them, but eventually we'd run out of pebbles.

On the other hand, there's an awful lot of experience worth of naga up there. Not to mention all the items they might drop. Hmm...tempting!

Well, it's a moot point for now since I can't find the path northwards, but it's worth keeping in mind that they're there.

We explore more of the level, and take out a pack of Gallants and Scouts. A Cutpurse steals most of our money, but what do we care? Finally,

You have disarmed the gas trap. Welcome to level 9. You can learn 5 more prayers.

65 HP, 17 SP, and we've unlocked the first set of spells in our other book!

Let's just go over all of them.

A lot of good spells here, though the standout winner is Orb of Draining. We've built up 5 unlearned spells, which means we're guaranteed to learn it, since there's only 3 learnable spells in the book at this point. Unfortunately, the failure rate is 50% even without our dagger equipped, so we can't use it against the Naga Pit.

This makes a good stopping point. Tuck's still in a precarious situation, but he's gotten past the first major obstacle: he can actually kill things now.

Next time: we probably take a stab at that Naga Pit. And hope like hell we find more light soon.