The Let's Play Archive

Dungeon Crawl

by Chakan

Part 2: Testy, TrBe - Two

We return to this scene, wherein a bat has decided poor Testy is unfit to retrieve the Orb of Zot and plans on making mincemeat of him.

As we can see, the bat gets a couple of turns to each of our own and has a penchant for flying in, getting an attack on us, then flying back. It's sub-optimal to fight this type of enemy in an open area, but it's the way things are.

Testy will have none of this fast flying crap and dispatches the bat in short order. We claim our apple, ring, and newly-found potion as reward. Testy puts on the ring and...

Cursed! What's more, we don't know what it is, it could be positive, but it's likely a bad thing. In DCSS, cursed items are merely ones you can't take off, there are ways to remove curses, namely scrolls of “remove curse,” so we'll try a couple of them to see if they fit our needs.

The first one I try is of the stack of two scrolls we have, it's a scroll of identify. Now we know we're wearing a cursed ring of hunger, but we're still wearing it, a very scary proposition for a Troll. We try a few more scrolls (enchant weapon I first, then remove curse.) From now on, every scroll of identify, remove curse, and enchant weapon I we find will be auto-identified. Testy takes off the ring, but we hold on to it because I'm a pack-rat.

After some more exploration, we come across this fella. Hounds used to be more difficult, so every time I see one on a level 2-4 char. I freak for a second, but they should be easy enough for Testy. Note: I'm not using auto-explore because we aren't very powerful and this is the first level a lot of nasty things can spawn. If I was playing a normal melee character I would just auto-explore, but for casters and this character I care about surviving past D:2 so I almost always manually explore D:2.

I hit “5” on my num-pad, waiting one turn because this way I get the first hit on the hound and if he drew the attention of anyone else, they'll have to wait in line one at a time, so I can escape easier if need-be.

two rounds of combat later, it's nearly dead. The important thing to note is that I caused bleeding (“The hound begins to bleed from its wounds”) which is a small damage-over-time addition to particularly nasty claws once you have some skill in them.

The next round, the hound is dead, we gain a character level, and two of our skills (fighting and dodging) go up to 3. Because this level is a multiple of 3, we get to choose a stat increase (Str, Int, or Dex,) we choose strength for now. Likewise, because we're a Troll, we get a bonus to strength every third level, bringing our strength to an astonishing 26. On to the skill screen (shortcut “m”.)

Our unaltered skill list, we can see the skill, what level it's at, what percentage of our experience goes into training that skill and our aptitudes at each skill (higher is better.) As you might notice, our skill levels are pretty low, that's ok, we're just getting started. .10 added a cool feature that you should always take advantage of when possible in regards to skill training, the ability to toggle between off, on, and focused for skills. All of the above skills are “on,” compare to the below list.

Most of the skills have been turned off (denoted by the minus sign next to the skill name) but Unarmed Combat and Dodging are on (hence the +) and Fighting is being focused, shown by the coloration and asterisk. It should be noted that I'm taking a bit of a strange choice for skilling, typical wisdom is that Unarmed should be focused, if anything, because it increases damage and reduces attack delay (we'll get to that) but by focusing Fighting I'm ensuring we'll have more hitpoints and still be able to deal “sick beats” via beserk if necessary. Skills are vital and are the biggest separator between good and bad players. Returning to the game...

When going towards this ring, I found a couple of vandals. The right thing to do here is break line of sight with them and force them towards you, lest you're surrounded on all sides by many enemies. We dispatch them and cautiously grab the ring. It doesn't want to be ID'd so I burn a scroll of ID on it, it turns out to be a ring of protection from magic, a very good find. The scroll decides to be nice and gives me the maximum number of ID's (3) so I identify two of our potions as paralyze and restore abilities. This could be life saving, as you can sometimes get 4-5 poison or paralyze potions and quaff-id them when you're in a bad spot hoping for curing or healing, the good potions, spelling your doom.

I avoided this area at first because it looked like a vault (developer-added areas, often look man-made) and those often have more difficult enemies, but this just looks like a structure vault, a neat pattern with nothing of particular interest. (we also found a ring of protection from cold, does what it says on the tin.)

We finish off some hobgoblins and that's what our D:2 looks like, eerily quiet. I will confess to using auto-explore for the last bit after getting a better feel for what the character can deal with.

Ah, this is a very common level layout now that I particularly enjoy. The whole level is a grid of rooms, most all with doors between them, allowing for easy containment and escape from nastier threats.

We reach level 4 by killing a worm, enemies that're much tougher than they look (seriously, don't melee one as a caster!)

Another piece of Jewelery? We'll have the most stylin' TrBe yet (still wearing animal skin.) Oh wait, it turns out to be an amulet of inaccuracy. Making things harder to hit isn't cool. Of note: this amulet didn't auto-id and wasn't cursed, beware hapless travellers!

After butchering a snake and hobgoblin duo (new sitcom pitch) we consume their flesh and become very full. The hunger system is pretty intuitive at its core, starving is the worst, you're about to die of starvation. Engorged is “the best,” you can't eat anything more, you're full up. But most characters only see very hungry, hungry, nothing, and full. It's pretty easy to live off of chunks till you find yourself in the mid-game and the way I think of it is that a human can survive a little less than a floor on one raw chunk of flesh. There are some races that get hungry faster (like Trolls) some that get hungry slower, some carnivorous, some herbivores, others ignore it, the hunger system is one of the most common differences between races and understanding it is pretty nice, though you'd not be in too much trouble if you just though “I'm hungry, time to eat a chunk.”

A spellbook, Trog hates spellcasters, and by extension, their books, we use “a” to use an ability, bring up our list of abilities with “?” and select “burn spellbook” to ignite that sucker.

Trog is delighted, meaning our standing with him has increased. We'll keep burning spellbooks for trog as we see them. Later, we encounter a kobold and kill it, but it leaves a poisonous corpse , which we can't eat, so we sacrifice it for piety.

Orc Packs are the #1 killer of players, I bet. This group is accompanied by the most vile “Orc priest,” with the abiltiy to heal themselves and hit you for decent damage as long as they can see you, priests are jerks, and we'll be dealing with them in proper fashion, by going beserk.

We one-shot all of them, not just the regulars, but the priest (and children) too, reaching level 5 in the process! Just look at those buff stats, 81 HP, 31 strength and an unseen bonus to attack speed that lets us maim with ease. Still, there are consequences, we can't drink potions or read scrolls and after it wears off we're slowed and unable to beserk for quite some time (that's what exhaustion is).

we take that time to butcher corpses and get ready to move on, NEVER move on if you're slowed, and it's an awful idea to move on if exhausted. Later, we encounter a pack of gnolls, but despite their electrocution whip, they give us little trouble.

Next: To D:4 and beyond! I'll also be elaborating on a few things. Oh, and it's another grid level