Part 32: Matchstick, MuWz - SixUpdate 6: Mennas To Society (Shameless thievery of the title of the 0.8 thread)
When we left off, Matchstick obtained his second rune. Things are looking pretty good for him. I've got a good spell list to play with at the moment, I'm training up for a couple vital spells for endgame, and my resistances aren't absolute shit. Today, we tackle the Vaults.
Possibly one of the best Vaults entrances I've ever gotten. Half the time I'm in the middle of nowhere. At least I'm in a corner and can use it to stair dance if I really have to. Vaults tends to be a square map filled with many rectangular rooms and decent sized hallways. Vaults 1 goes alright.
I find this shop fairly early on. Recognizing those gloves, I snap them up instantly. I may also come back for those boots, to see if they're running.
I can live with this. Should I have to go melee with the +0,+12 sword, at least now I can hit a target.
Another shop on Vaults 1 gives me this. Another unrandart.
Nothing but silk for these bandages! This will be useful to me in learning spells, at any rate.
Oh hey, first a volcano, now an ice cave? Crawl, you're too kind!
Ice caves are exactly what they appear to be. Filled with ice monsters, ice clouds, deep water, and ice. So much ice. This is a problem for characters who use potions and/or have no ice resistance.
I get a twisty pathway that occasionally spawns ice clouds. Being that I'm not on any set timer, I walk through them to a safe area, and then rest up. Eventually I get down here. I could just float over the water, but I don't think of this and just walk around the small pool.
Ice devils aren't much of a threat at this point. They get burned by fire. They're a slower, weaker sun devil.
Ice fiends, on the other hand, COULD be threatening to a character, and would be for me, except for two things:
1. They're weak to fire.
2. Their spell list is Bolt of cold, shown here to deal 1(!) point of damage to me, and torment, to which I'm completely immune. They DO have a fierce melee attack, causing AC ignoring cold damage, but again. Cold resistance, and I really shouldn't be letting them near melee range to begin with.
My reward is a fire resist robe. In an ice cave. I expected ice resist gear, as is the norm, but I'll very happily take this.
Three points of damage walking through a long path of ice clouds to get out. Ho hum.
Elsewhere on Vaults 2, I find the entrance to the Crypt. A slog of an area for the most part, the last floor of Crypt can have some end vaults that would stop the heart of most men. Given Matchstick has no heart at this point, he'll go running through it and the Tombs contained within the Crypt.
Kobold Demonologist is the priority here. Not for any real reason, half the time he uses cantrip instead of summon imp or summon demon. Cantrip gives the flavour text spells other monsters like orc wizards also cause. It's a completely useless spell, used to take the bite off certain monsters that would otherwise be a huge challenge in early game. Why the demonologist has it... oh right, because enemy kobolds suck.
Scroll shop has a wonderful toy for me. Remember I'm torment immune. I'll be using the torment scroll on Vault 8.
Sif Gift! Hopefully it's awesome!
Well then. Awesome.
Level 24 also comes here. This is a wonderful place to get exp, overall. Strong enemies, a large quantity of enemies for the most part... The issue comes for most characters on Vault 8, though. I'll cover that when I get there.
4 teleport wands. I love this game sometimes.
Kirke! Kirke is joined by a bunch of hogs that she transformed humans into. Use magic resistance with her, as she can do the same to you. I'm extraordinarily resistance to magic effects, thanks in part to the shield of resistance.
As a result, Kirke falls rather easily.
Her spell list: porkalator(no lie, this is what her pig transformation is called. Also affects demons), slow, ugly thing, corona, invisibility.
5! 5 teleportation wands! I love this game.
Boggarts are genuine threats here. With shadow creatures, they can spawn anything that could naturally appear on the floor you're on. In Vaults, that's roughly... almost everything in the game. Including more boggarts. I've been caught in boggarts summoning boggarts to summon boggarts to summon enemies that summon demons. Not that fun. Fireball is the best bet against them, as they're dodgy little bastards too.
Hall of blades. filled with dancing weapons, much like the wizlab I've already been in. I may go in there for fun.
Agnes, another dodgy character, also fast due to being a spriggan, with haste and half the time with a lajatang of speed.
Again, fireball cares not for EV rating. I finish her with an IMB though.
Preparation for Vault 8. Hasted, teleport already warming up. Let's go.
Yeesh. The harpies were unexpected, the vault guardians completely anticipated. Vault 8 always starts like this. Generally I teleport away, like I am now. Easier to take them from the sides than be flanked constantly.
But first, torment. Convulsions for all! Except me, of course.
Ah, torment is satisfying. Instantly halves all living target's health.
Then I teleport away from that fight, to an ice dragon. Seems like this area should be alright to start from, I suppose.
NO! NO IT IS NOT ALRIGHT TO START FROM BAIL OUT OH GOD WHAT THE FUCK MENNAS. Teleport wands! GO!
God DAMN that hurt. I ended up having to burn two teleports there, since the first blinked me roughly to where that mass of red is on the map, and the vault guardians came to play. One had holy wrath, dealing some serious damage to my undead body. My turn to convulse.
Mennas is a serious hazard to deal with. In the Arena mode, he's known to be able to take out all of the Pan lords in 1v1 fights. Part of the reason is the fact he has the capability of producing a field of silence indefinitely. "But Seraphroy!", you cry, "why would he be a hazard to a melee character then?" Simple. He's faster than you, even when you're hasted. He hits hard. He has 28 goddamn EV. 15 AC and almost always has a large shield of some form. With that shield, at least 75% of the time he has a eudemon blade.
Then, when you actually DO kill him, The Shining One hates you, and smites you for your insolence. Fuck Mennas.
Generally, my game plan for vault 8 is hope I teleport into one of these side hallways, and clear them out before going after each quadrant.
Mennas makes this difficult, of course.
Another teleport later, and we're back in this quadrant. Deep Elf Death Mage.
Spells: b.draining (3d19), vampiric draining, twisted resurrection
Immune, immune, no corpses nearby. He dies like a chump.
Shadow dragons are the draining variety of dragon. Interestingly, it has rN+++, but it does not count as undead, so it would be weak to torment, though only taking 35% damage.
These guys are the bane of a living character, since they like to breathe their drain breath a lot, which destroys the player's accumulated exp. There also tends to be a bunch of them down here. Given I'm immune to that breath, my experience is fine.
Iron shot also works well on them, much like a lot of enemies we've run into.
NO. FUCK YOU MENNAS.
One teleport later (I got the bright idea before taking on that shadow dragon to ID my teleport wands to make sure I had ample time to flee like the coward I am), I end up here. I like that staff. Why do I like that staff?
Why, it's the Staff of Olgreb! This baby is in reality a poison staff, which means it gives rPois and enhances poison spells, as well as grants an evocable toxic radiance as well as a 1+ evocations in 10 chance of venom bolt. What else is so good about it? It has the strength of a quarterstaff in combat, poisons melee foes like a weapon of venom, and both +hit and +damage are your poison magic/3. It's a really good item to find if you have poison magic and evocations.
I won't be using it.
And to finish off my wand finding luck this update, a wand of heal wounds. Awesome.
In my nonexistent luck for everything else, I finish the third quadrant without finding the rune, so I know I definitely have to risk finding Mennas again to get it in the upper right corner.
Level 26 gives a second enhancer to death magic, so now even without wearing the Archmage robe I get a "strong surge of power" on dispel undead. Not bad.
Strange, I almost never see crystal golems down here. Or much of anywhere beyond specific vaults and occasionally the Hells. Iron shot takes it out, as it resists fire.
Just as strange, what the hell is a Hell Knight doing here without Margery to lead him? Also resists fire, also dies to Iron shot. I have no regrets learning that spell and investing precious exp into that school of magic. The rune is also there, I quickly snap it up and book it back to the stairs.
Safety from Mennas, finally. I retreat to the Lair, to eventually drop useless crap and think about my next plan of action.
Character sheet thus far. I'm pleased with those resists, though rMut and rCorr will come in handy if I can find them.
Known spells. Everything at 1% while wearing the robe of augmentation and holding the staff of wizardry.
More importantly, learnable spells. Same setup as above, Fire Storm at 75% fail rate. HOWEVER, since this is NOT the book of annihilations, I can spam learn it until it succeeds. Thanks Sif! Controlled Blink is also on my list to be learned, at 17%. Dig would also neuter Slime Pits, and remove my need of rCorr.
And aptitudes after clearing the Vault, minus Mennas. Shields needs to reach around 15, so I can remove the pain of holding the shield of resistance in full.
I have no goddamn idea what I'm going to do next.