The Let's Play Archive


by TooMuchAbstraction

Part 46: Getting Drunk

Update 46: Getting Drunk

Here we are at 1700'! Stat-gain "proper" has started (that is, we've found potions that boost a stat without draining another one), but of course we've only found potions of Intelligence and Dexterity, the two stats we care least about. Oh well, that will change eventually.

I'm starting to think that maybe we're carrying too much random crap with us. From left to right: 3, 2, 3, and 2 copies of each of the town spellbooks; 2 Mushrooms of Vigor, a Potion of *Healing*, 2 Staves of Teleportation, 4 Staves of Identify, a Ring of Free Action, Armor of Resistance, and a Crown of Might. Most of that stuff could go in our home...if we had one.

Ooh, ooh, an item dump room! Is this the potion one? Please be the potion one!

It's the potion one! And it has loot for us! That is a nice haul. We're now sitting pretty at 18/132 WIS, with 160 SP and a minimum spell failure rate of 2%.

Since we've barely started exploring the level, I go ahead and use the Potion of Enlightenment. There's another Potion of Healing on the level, as well as some equipment and a wand and amulet that we haven't seen yet. There's also what looks like a pit or nest that we'll want to check out.

In this moated room, we take out a pack of adventurers and a young dragon, and get that wand -- a Wand of Acid Bolts. Our Magic Device skill isn't as good as Bryson's was, but it's still respectable; we get a 30% damage boost when using these wands, for an average damage per bolt of 58. Could be worth holding onto for now.

A pack of Earth Hounds is protecting the second Potion of Healing, so we have to be careful -- their shards breath would blow it up. More importantly, we've ID'd the pit, and it's full of Dark Elves, with a Dark Elven Sorcerer in the middle. A tricky business: Dark Elven Sorcerers move very quickly (3x normal speed!) and can cast a lot of nasty spells. Their Cause Critical Wounds spell can deal up to 150 damage (we only have 176 HP), and of course there's nothing stopping them from casting it several times in a row.

Blast. I'd love to kill the rest of those guys, but we really can't cope with the Sorcerer, and there's not remotely any kind of guarantee we could teleport him away before he casts a bunch of spells at us. No, instead, we head the other way.

Not, mind you, that this is much of an improvement. Stupid Bats of Gorgoroth. You aren't even evil! And their darkness breath causes blindness too. Dragonbreath and our Ring of Acid can both be used while blinded, even if we can't cast, though. Once those are used up, we back out of sight of the main pack:

Bats of Gorgoroth have the pack mentality, so they shouldn't chase us; the few that do get smacked in the face with our Mace.

The unknown amulet that Enlightenment revealed for us is in the left chamber of this room, and...oh my. seriously tempting. Wow. Wearing it drops us 29 SP (because we lose +2 WIS from our current amulet), but we'll need poison resistance soon enough, and +2 speed is not nothing!

If nothing else, this is an obvious piece of swap gear, and we can stop carrying around Potions of Resist Poison.

Finally, in the southwest corner of the map is an old friend:

Lokkak the Ogre Chieftan! His unusually-fast, 1500-HP ass has been a thorn in our side before, but we should have just about enough mana to kill him with Orb and our attack items. The main problem is separating him from his escort, since he can't push past them.

One trick we can pull is to cast Call Light here. Every time you light a room, there's some small chance to wake up monsters in the room (a significantly higher chance if they're in the splash of light centered on your character).

Alternately, if we had gear that caused aggravation, we could just equip that for one turn and then we'd know that everything was awake. But we don't.

Progress: most of the Cave Ogres are awake. We pull them out and annihilate them.

And now Lokkak can reach us!

Gotcha. We'll just flee awake from the checkerboard room, since the firing lines are too short for it to make a good battlefield.

This should do.

You breathe fire. Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan grunts with pain. The Ogre dies.
You feel resistant to acid! Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan grunts with pain.
You feel yourself moving faster! You have 5 Vermilion Potions of Speed.

An Ogre Shaman has caught up with us. We take the time out to nuke it with Orb, since it could theoretically summon more monsters, and nobody wants that. That done, it's time to start Orbing Lokkak down.

Lokkak was a major threat for Freude, since he has three blows per turn at 6d6 damage per blow. He'll never lay a finger on Tuck.

Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan is hit hard. <x7>

We let him walk a few more spaces into the room before starting bombardment again, since he's down to 20% of his HP and will start fleeing soon.

Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan is hit hard. Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan flees in terror!
Lokkak, the Ogre Chieftan dies.

Piece of cake. We net 1600 EXP; Lokkak drops a {magical} Whip and this Chain Mail:

The extra STR could be handy, as could Free Action on the body armor slot. Does that make this armor worth carrying? Proooobably not. We have several good body armor options already.

Especially since, back in the checkerboard room, there's Hard Leather Armour of Resistance, which can replace the heavier Partial Plate Armour of Resistance we found previously.

That does it for this level, unless we feel like suicidally attacking a conclave of Dark Elves, so...

Problem. We can't pick up all our stash; we'll have to leave some stuff behind. Out goes our Wand of Acid Bolts, and our Scrolls of Teleportation. Teleportation is an important escape, but we already have staves, which can be used when blind and confused, unlike the scrolls. And the wand was just taking up space, really. But next time we find a new item we want to bring with us, we'll have to make more painful sacrifices.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1750')

Whichever bastard developer decided to have edible mushrooms the same color as Shrieker Mushroom Patches...

(They're Mushrooms of Clear Mind, which restore 10SP and give temporary confusion resistance; not worth the inventory slot)

We explore a bit, finding a Potion of Dexterity and a Holy Avenger Pike:

Pretty, but at this stage I don't think swapping +1 WIS for the Defender whip's regeneration and full base resists is worthwhile. We'd have to bring in some Resistance armor, which would mean losing our dragonfire activation.

Then we stumble into a Graveyard.

None of these guys have seriously dangerous spell attacks, so fighting them isn't suicidal. 2000' from now we'll be fleeing in terror from every Graveyard we see, but right now they're nearly free experience, so long as we stay out of melee with the Wights.

Most importantly, we have Dispel Undead! And it's at a 2% failure rate, unlike its older brother Dispel Evil (still at 34%...).

You have removed the rubble. You have found something! Something makes scary noises. You are terrified!

Scratch that, fear raised our failure rate to 15%. Oh well, here goes nothing!

It jerks. It jerks. It rattles. You hear a scream of agony! It staggers. You hear several screams of agony! It cries out feebly. It staggers. It cries out feebly. It cries out in pain. Something mumbles. You avoid the effects!
It moans. It hesitates. It staggers. You hear a scream of agony! You hear a scream of agony! You hear a scream of agony! You hear a scream of agony! It writhes in agony. It screams in agony. Something makes scary noises. You are more scared! The Bat of Gorgoroth wakes up.

I think the "You hear a scream of agony" messages are only compressed when several monsters of the same type are destroyed? Maybe? That would explain why the message gets duplicated over and over again.

We manage to get two more Dispel Undead castings off before one of the Bats breathes darkness at us, blinding us and precluding further spellcasting. Cue dragonfire, and our Ring of Acid. Then we drink a Cure Critical Wounds (to clear blindness) and switch over to Orb for the rest of the Graveyard, just blind-firing it down the corridor until we stop hitting things. We have to chug a Potion of Restore Mana partway through, but fortunately we've picked up several recently, so we have plenty to spare.

Victory! Among the piles of worthless money are a pair of Potions of Strength and a Potion of Contemplation; at the cost of a point of CON, we're back up to 146 SP! Our internal WIS stat is now 18/77, and I'm thinking we should probably stop bothering with the stat-swap potions. At the very least, we need to start rectifying our HP score, since the monsters with big attack spells are starting to come out now.

Finally, one of the bats was somehow carrying this thing around:

That is one nice flail. Protection from confusion, resistance to disenchantment, and free action are all helpful abilities, though we do have free action pretty well-covered already. Is it worth carrying with us? Well, I think it can replace our old Mace of Extra Attacks. We probably won't be doing too much melee for awhile now anyway. And besides, our STR is so colossal now that we get 2.7 blows/round with our Whip!

We blow through the rest of the level without slowing down, and you know what that means.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1800')

Wow, busy entrance. Draebor the Imp to our southwest, what looks like some kind of pit or nest further south, and we should keep an eye on that Spectre to the north; their melee attacks can drain WIS! Though, come to think, our Cap of Wisdom grants the relevant sustain, so who cares?

Draebor is able to cast Teleport You Off The Level, so we won't be dropping our stash just yet. Between the STR gains we've made lately and the +speed from our Amulet of Thievery, we can stay at positive speed even while lugging all our earthly possessions around.

We can take out the southern group of Imps with a single Orb; they only have 27 HP, so a direct hit by Orb quadruple-kills them.

Soon enough Draebor wakes up and comes after us.

Draebor, the Imp is hit hard. Draebor, the Imp misses you. Draebor, the Imp hits you. Draebor, the Imp misses you. Draebor, the Imp defiles you!

Ahh, the "insult" attack. Haven't seen that one in awhile. Good news! Draebor dies in 5 orbs without ever casting a spell (and his melee is nothing to write home about). That messy business done, we can set up our stash.

Yeah, this stash is getting out of hand. Yeesh! As for Draebor's drop, holy hell, check out this sword!

We could do some major damage to evil and undead with this thing. Y'know, once we got our stats up a bit. Good dice, a great to-dam bonus, and it's even blessed! It's a shame priests top out at only 4 blows/round in melee. It's also a shame that we're way, way away from getting the stats to achieve that, especially with a 14-pound bastard sword.

Ehhh...realistically, we won't use it. It sure is pretty though.

Oh, and that pit? Full of reptiles.

It's not another naga pit, despite appearances; all nagas are evil, and there's clearly non-evil monsters in there that we can't detect. Probably hydras, knowing our luck. Still, could be a good learning experience. By which I mean, lots of EXP points in there. Oh, and on that note, at some point we hit level 30 -- 186 HP, 151 SP, and we learn Teleport Level from Ethereal Openings.

Yep, hydras. Blast. We can see this particular hydra because I cast Call Light a bit down the corridor and then backed up -- Call Light permanently lights up the tiles it "hits" even if they aren't in a room. It's no Spear of Light like the mages get, but it still helps.

You think that 151 SP is a lot, and then you kill a few hydras and suddenly you're running low. At least these nagas are all chumps now; we can melee them to death with impunity. Our dragonfire and Ring of Acid are bad ideas though -- they'd destroy the loot. Can't have that.

You know you're running low on enemies in a Reptile Nest when the Black Mamba makes its way out to you. After what we've been through, bog-standard snakes are not a concern.

And bog-standard snakes are all that's left. Victory! And the spoils:
Not a bad haul. Next step: our map reveals some permanent rock to the northwest. Vault ahoy!

...oh. A Crown vault. And, uh...

We can't cope with that kind of threat, not in a Crown vault where everything can come after us as soon as it wakes up. I'm pretty sure the first four monsters there could each one-shot us, and they're all fast too (and the Nether Wraith can move through walls).

We'll just go the other way, thanks. In fact, we're grabbing our stash, too, just in case things go south in a hurry.

In fact in fact, we're getting off this level. That Nether Wraith has me feeling twitchy.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1850')

Much safer.

That Maia to our west is a pain to kill, as are all maiar and ainu in the game. They're all annoyingly durable and non-evil, and can often summon reinforcements (though the Maia only has basic status-effect spells and heal/haste-self). It takes 12 Orbs to kill him, and that number's only going to go up when we find the higher-tier A monsters.

We chug our Potion of Enlightenment, since it's just taking up inventory space. There's a Potion of Constitution and a couple of unknown ring types; nothing else calls out to us.

(We didn't drink the potion last level because I didn't want to be tempted to try to take on that vault; there's no way that could have gone well)

We find another randart weapon, just lying on the ground:

Pretty, but worthless to us since it's not blessed.

Incidentally, our stock of Identify is starting to run a little low; we're down to 4 Staves of Identify and 15 Scrolls. I've been trying to use up one Staff of Identify on each level, so it can be thrown away and thereby bring our burden down a bit. However, we haven't found replacement staves in awhile now.

Erk. The group of 4 Gs to our east are a pack of Dreads! Fast wallwalkers that can cast Nether Bolt and hit to drain STR. Our Ring of Strength protects us against that last attack, but they're still a force to be reckoneod with, especially as they have the HP to survive being Orbed.

Also, there's a Demonologist with his minions in that room to our south. He's much less dangerous; 3 Orbs do him in. Then we sit in this room and wait a thousand turns or so in the hopes that the Dreads will wake up and come after us where we can Orb them in safety. Remember we can't hit monsters that are standing in walls! But no dice; they slumber peacefully. Of course, as soon as we do get close,

Phase Door to the rescue! It punts us to the western room; another Phase takes us south, which is just about perfect.

The Dread is hit hard.
The Dread is hit hard. The Dread flees in terror! The Dread casts a bolt of nether. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** You feel your life force draining away!

And like that, almost precisely half our health is gone. Nether Bolt can do 107 damage from a Dread, per our monster memory. Dreads can move fast, which means theoretically they could cast twice in a row (despite their nominal cast chance of 1 in 10), so we chug a Potion of Speed to deal with the remainder. And a Cure Critical Wounds potion to take us out of the danger zone.

It takes 3 Orbs apiece to kill Dreads.

2 Dreads are hit hard.
2 Dreads are hit hard. The Dread flees in terror! The Dread casts a bolt of nether. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** You feel your life force draining away!

C'mon, you have other spells! Stupid nether bolts...

At least they drop a Potion of Dexterity, and some replacement Cure Critical Wounds potions. We can cast healing spells, of course, but at a 2% failure rate they are not to be relied on just yet, not in combat anyway.

Time to paint the walls with Forest Troll.

11 Forest trolls shudder.
You failed to concentrate hard enough!
11 Forest trolls shudder. 4 Forest trolls flee in terror!
You failed to concentrate hard enough!
11 Forest trolls dissolve!

Dispel Evil does the same damage to every target it hits. The reason why some of the trolls fled while the others didn't is that monster HP is somewhat randomized (except for uniques). I want to say it's a Gaussian bell curve but I honestly don't know.

Remember how much trouble Bryson had with Multihued Dragons because they resist everything? They don't resist Orb of Draining

We finally get that Potion of Constitution, bumping us up from 187 HP to...189. The important thing is that we're making progress, dangit.

The unknown ring types were Dexterity and Intelligence; both useless to us. Oh well, now we know them, we can ignore them.

And that does it for this level and this update. Next time: a fight with a summoner gets really out of control.