Part 18: Adolph Hissler, NaCj - One
Adolph Hissler enters the Dungeon in search of the fabled Orb of Zot, placed there many centuries ago by the crazed wizard. He has naught but one spell memorized, magic dart. A spell of great power...eventually, magic dart is the most basic spell, it's one MP to do some damage and it never misses. We'll take a gander in a second, but lets open Adolph's musty tome...
We can see the spells that Adolph can memorize, their types (what schools of magic they belong to) and their level. A spells level tells you how much magic it costs to cast (1 per level) how many spell levels it takes to cast, and generally how difficult it is to cast. More powerful mages will be able to cast spells easier and with greater potency. Spell levels are total levels of spells a character can memorize, for instance, if I had 6 spell levels I could memorize a level 3 spell and three level 1 spells, or any other combination that totals to 6. Spell levels are gained from XL's and levels of spellcasting. The highest level spell here, freezing cloud, is very potent and I've actually won with a character who only used that and one other spell for damage into the later game.
This is what our magic dart looks like right now, a 4% chance to fail totally, 3/5 pips of power and every three casts on average will make us about a strawberry hungrier. By the end of this update, it'll be at 1% failure, 5/5 pips and hungerless. There is a mechanic, forgetting, which allows characters to lose spell, but regain the spell levels invested into it, so magic dart would give us one level. We will never forget magic dart.
We find some cool boots, but Adolph has a dumb snake tail, so he can't wear them. Nagas can't wear boots, but they get Naga barding in exchange, an overall better item that's much more difficult to get.
Our innate mutations, for the record. Our eyesight is supernaturally acute, so we have innate SInv, and seeing as how we can spit poison, we have rPois right off the bat. In exchange, we're slow, so slow that we can't run away from anything for a long time. Naga's are amazing, but you really have to be paying attention to get the full effect out of them.
We hit level 3 and get +1 AC from our skin/scales, helps to make up for our crummy defenses right now.
We find a few books, one with only animate skeleton right next to an altar of Ashenzeri, the other is too difficult for us to read, so we shelve them both for now.
We hit level 6 and are starting to come into our own. We've memorized throw frost, a second level spell that throws a bit of frost at a target. We can't reliably cast it and it's a bit weaker than magic dart right now, but we can use it on jellies and other ice-weak enemies. Also pictured: another AC bonus from natural mutations.
Vehumet looks kindly upon destructive acts and summoning malign creatures from beyond the veil. We'll be happy to oblige the conjuring of devastating magic. She'll give us access to the most powerful conjuration (and spellcasting) spells via grimoires.
Returning to the dungeon, we kill a phantom to get to 7, our magic dart will almost never fail us. It takes a lot of work to remove that last 1% failure chance. Also on that level, Crazy Yiuf, we kill him after memorizing mephitic cloud so he can utter something that makes sense. I failed to capture a shot of it though, sorry folks.
When quaff-Identifying potions, I get a mutation one, giving me +1 dex, +1 int and berserkitis. At level one, berserkitis makes you go berserk 5% of the time when in melee, we just need to watch ourselves. To rub it in, we get a potion of gain strength after that.
Dowan, of the famous elf twins Dowan and Duvessa, is a spellcasting elf who wants to see us dead. With some effort, we confuse him and Duvessa, killing her.
The bittersweet task of Adolph is to retrieve the Orb, regardless of the cost to himself and the denizens. There will be little fanfare if he succeeds, but none if he fails, and Adolph wonders how he will be changed by his quest. (Script being written currently.)
Dowan finds hidden reserves of strength and weaves around the room, but the elf twins meet their end at the hands of Adolph the Ruinous.
Fuck gnoll sergeants, they're annoying and won't die so easily, so we give him the shaft, we'll deal with him later.
A sewer, these tend to be easy sources of a decent chunk of XP, but you do have to watch yourself. We don't get the chance to enter before it rusts away though, because...
Wight packs. We lure them out one-by-one and kill them with little risk to ourselves. By now we've memorized conjure flame because monsters will almost never cross it (except hydras and a few others) so we can keep a distance and pelt them with magic darts. We also pick up a book of Death, notable because it's a medium level necromancy book with sublimation of blood, agony, and dispel undead. All three are good spells, but we won't worry about that right now.
read-id'ing scrolls reveals that we have a pair of acquirement scrolls, we acquire armour and get this lovely little piece, we opt not to wear it. Later, we hit XL9 on d:6, granting +1 int and +AC from mutations.
This is dangerous because of how little else of the level I've explored. I use conjure flame and a little trick called cast mephitic cloud on yourself to get out. Mephitic cloud is the best early game spell already, and Nagas can cast it on themselves with no ill effect because they have rPois. Specifically, mephitic cloud is a level 3 conjuration/air/poison spell (so it's rather difficult to cast for some time) that shoots a beam to an area, it explodes on impact with anything or when it reaches there, confusing and potentially poisoning anything in the area. We get out, but it also lets the kobolds all out, so we have to watch for that.
This orcish mines entrance was surrounded almost entirely by deep water, when you're confused, sometimes you don't move where you want to, and orcs can't swim in deep water, so they drown. Nothing else to say. I eventually decide that the book granted to us is the Grand Grimoire, a tome of the most powerful summons possible, many of which are not easily stirred or returned to slumber. Vehumet would eventually give this to us, but it's cool to have. Something made me sure it wasn't the third hard book, the Necronomicon, but I'm not sure what. The one we want, the Book of Annihilations, is a long way off, but we don't need it any time soon.
Having recently memorized Bolt of Cold, I find an old friend and show him our new trick. Bolt of cold is almost overkill right now, and it will be once we get a bit more powerful. The big secret about fire and ice spells is that fire spells tend to be better, but there are less things that resist the ice spells and they're more utility based. Still, both branches are amazing and I hope to be able to cast both storms by the end of this.
We enter a bailey. Note that because of our piety, we're getting some MP back on kills, this combined with Vehumets bonus to conjuration magics (-1 mp cost to conjuration spells level 5 or higher and +1 range to Cj spells) means we're a force to be reckoned with. Also pictured: Bolt of cold at 5% failure, amazing for right now, we completely skipped throw icicle, the normal jump up from throw frost.
A bunch of chumps who don't expect us get confused and killed, baileys are usually very easy for casters and people who know when to back away from a fight.
Orc Warlords, the guy in the red, are brutally nasty and could probably kill us in between two of our turns, we slink away, but not before causing a ruckus to alert him that his troupe has been slaughtered. On the same level was the Lair, it had a pack of yaks and they were a bit much for us till we got them lined up for bolt of cold.
Welcome to the Lair of Beasts! Suggestions for the Acquirement scroll and what spells/schools we should work towards are always welcome. Also, due to a humorous twist, we've come to posses two copies of that black book, the Necronomicon. The fabled book of "really being evil" is the highest level necromancy book and allows access to some of the most powerful spells in the game bar none. But... two copies isn't really better, so I guess we can use them as matching bookends or something. If I were playing normally, I would be certain that this character was setup for the "extended endgame," but I won't be showing that off this run, maybe I'll do some bonus content that's an "alternate reality" from a save or somesuch, to show off what could have been.