Part 15: MinoMax, MiMo - FourSounds good. I'll do like I did last time with a mini-cliffhanger.
Oh, hello again! So the question is, why are lajatang (lajatangs?) so good?
First off, a lajatang is a pole weapon with blades on both ends. Like Darth Maul only for realsies. Except for realsies people using these were most dangerous to their fellow men...or themselves. I like to imagine the minotaur version of the lajatang looks like this:
In Crawl, every weapon has two basic stats (three, but no one pays attention to accuracy): damage and delay. Damage is just that (although heavily modified, it is the base multiplier, and VERY important). Delay goes from 100% for a dagger to 200% for a scythe - this is multiplied by 10 to get a base delay from 10 to 20.
A Lajatang has a damage of 14 (comparable to a scythe or glaive) and a delay of 140% (base delay 14). An executioner's axe, the most minotaury of the axes, does the top end 20 damage with a 200% delay. Every two points of weapon skill drop the base delay by 1, down to a minimum of half their delay (rounding down) or 7, whichever is lower. So while the 14 delay laj can get down to a 7, so can the executioner's axe (given a 26 axe skill).
So it's not the fastest hard-hitting weapon or the hardest-hitting fast weapon. But it does have one advantage over them. The speed brand.
Weapons in Crawl can be "branded" with stuff like fire, pain, code, sharpness. Some are weapon specific - for example, polearms and whips are the only weapons with reaching, the ability to attack a target 2 squares away. I think random artefacts might break this rule, or that might be changed - but either way it's not worth factoring in.
Speed is a brand which halves the delay of a weapon at the expense of doing 90% the damage. It is only available on short blades and staves, where the weapon damage against armor makes this somewhat of a tradeoff. But a jatagang of speed can get down to a 4 delay, and does twice the damage of any other weapon that can get below 7. So - it's not really an awesome weapon unless it's got that brand, BUT IF IT DOES OH MY MY. Sadly, as you will see, you can wait a lonnng time for one.
It's still a decent weapon, just not overpowering. The main reason I am chewing through stuff is a MiMo starts with great fighting skills, and I've focused on them almost entirely. The problem with this is my only route of escape is through the bodies of my enemies. But speaking of that...
I find a spiffy hat. Minotaurs can't wear helmets. Horns. Doesn't make sense, but you tell them that. So you'll see a lot of us in wizard hats. Why we think that looks even less ridiculous, I don't know.
Also, see that spellbook over there?
Ummmm, yes. This and War Chants are the best books for melee/hybrids. This gives me access to blink which poofs you in a random direction so is great for many situations (and better when controlled teleport lets you give a general direction). Repel Missiles is great for missiles, bolts, and breath. Call Imp would be great for cover except Okawaru frowns on your letting allies die. Finally, mephitic cloud, well...Chakan's showing that one off.
Not pictured: I fall down another shaft to Lair 8 and have to find a stair up. The bottom level of many dungeon branches is a marked step up from the preceding ones. Be aware of this as the devs basically take off the kid gloves. You're not going to run into like a giant demon but there will be stuff with damage and capabilities you're not used to dealing with.
Anyway, so this hydra. That's a problem. On one of my first runs I was unaware that a lajatang was not just a big fuckoff staff so I waded in and made me a 14 headed hydra. So how am I going to solve this one?
Oh yeah, forgot to mention. My second gift from Oka, before the hat? A flaming lajataur. Note that the hydra icon changes appropriately when it has fewer than five heads. There is a lot of love in these icons.
Another flavor room. In shallow water (unless you are an octopus or something completely impossible like that) you have a 25% chance of slipping and missing each round. That's not so bad unless it's already a tough fight.
The ghost looking things are disturbances. Monsters that can swim can go up and down in any water (and I think can totally disappear in deep water). At that point they look like those ghosts and are called "a strange disturbance." This can be disconcerting when you are running around and suddenly get a red message on your screen about a strange disturbance. They should call it something less frightening.
Anyway, that's it for the Lair. On the way to the Orcish Mines, I stop by and say "hi" to an old friend:
I'm berserk. Berserk is the best - extra speed, damage, and hits, except you are slowed for a bit when it's over. I might have berserkitis or I might have found an amulet of rage. I'd be surprised I hadn't mentioned that though. Amulets of Rage are awesome because they extend the rage duration on a kill like Trog's berserk. If you found one in the first levels of the dungeon as a melee you'd have a good shot of making Vaults.
Of course, that kind of stuff doesn't happen in LPs, just rare occasions. Now, I want to get to Orcish Mines. There are 4 stores guaranteed there and usually at least a couple others.
There is not much to show of the Orcish Mines. I have an orc-slaying weapon, which is a 75% damage bonus. It's pretty much all over for them. It must have been terrifying. But...on to the shops! And possibly a bazaar or two! An armour shop would be great, magical books are common and would be fantastic, or maybe just a scroll shop with some utility.
Sadly, I get to the bottom only finding a jewelry shop with a couple resist rings I can use. But I'm in the shop vault now! Let's see!