Part 48: Chakan, DDAr - OneThe tale of...Chakan, DDAr.
Charlatan! Pah! So I started this character because I was wholly unfamiliar with Deep Dwarves, I know their gimmick and it seems tedious to me, so I've never bothered with them. That's why I'm just named Chakan and not something good, though that is what I name my MuFi/Gl's.
We start with four wands, flame, enslavement, random effects and heal wounds. The first three are because of our class, artificer. The last, with only five charges, is because of our race, deep dwarf. Artificers are pretty cool starting packages, they get a few levels of evocations and a couple of wands, the idea is I want to play a wanderer, but I don't really want to play a wanderer. Evocations is an oft-overlooked skill that gives you more bang for each charge in a wand, and a few other things use it, like the crystal ball and a particular god, Nem.
Deep dwarves are strange though, they have passive mapping (shown by the blue tiles) that gets better at later levels. They have damage shaving, which is just a reduction of the damage they take by a (rolled) amount. At level 1 the shaving is 1d2 I think, so all damage is reduced by at least one and a maximum of two, later this evolves into 1d10, though the average is skewed below 5. They'd be a really cool race if that was all they had going for them, but then they wouldn't need a heal wounds wand. Deep dwarves don't naturally heal over time, ever. There are a few ways to get back hitpoints, but most of them are non-renewable, like wands of healing. To make surviving as a DD possible in the early game, you can sacrifice 1 permanent MP to recharge a wand like the scroll does.
So we hit two, no problems yet, the DR makes d:1 enemies really easy and I don't expect any trouble at all till we go down the stairs.
I've already run out of charges on our main source of damage by d:3. Fortunately, I've started putting a few points into spellcasting as it will give us more MP in a pinch and sets us up for casting later, as wands are not a sustainable source of damage.
Curses! Vampiric weapons are amazing, literally the best find we can possibly have, except that they bring us to hungry from full every time we wield them and tridents can't cut up corpses. We'd quickly exhaust our food stores by using this despite the fact that it's exactly what a DD wants.
Pictured: me chickening out. I was going to go Nem for this run, but my inexperience with DD's mean I want to play it safe. Makleb is a very good choice for DD's because he gives HP for kills sometimes and his powers are not very much investment. Namely, you train invocations to use his four powers, which is only one skill that levels pretty quickly. HP for kills is what we really want, eventually we'll be nasty casters someday and being able to restore out HP in the middle of fights is pretty nice.
A very nice leather armour was lying around some shop, so I don it. For the next few levels there's a number of uniques, almost none of them give me any trouble, but Edmund does have a flail of draining.
A bailey, but it's the kind with a bunch of kobolds with axes of returning, normally I'd just wait it out, but Chakan can't heal, so I've got no hope of coming out ahead.
We do hit level 9, giving us passive mapping 2.
Grum is way over our heads, so we run away, if I can't take a war dog in melee without worrying about my health, I sure as hell can't take grum. I'm worried, we're way behind the XP curve and I've had to run a few times, sabre and wand can only get me so far and I really need a spellbook. Thankfully, my Makhleb powers are coming online so I can use those without too much fear.
Makhleb gives four powers, the last of which is rather difficult to remove the fail rate. Basically, he gives minor bolt, minor summon, major bolt, major summon in that order. Minor bolt, as I call it, is a lesser bolt of an element that you can invoke. You don't know what bolt type it will be (fire, acid, cold, etc.) but it can do some pretty good damage. Major bolt is the same but harder to cast and costs more MP/food. Minor summon does just that, summons a weaker demon, they're generally not very good and I don't really bother. Major summon summons the top dogs of the demon world, executioners, balrugs and the like come to greet the servant of Makhleb. However, both of the summon powers can result in a hostile summon, unbound and rather angry at being pulled from their hellish soap operas. With minor summons, the hostile chance is pretty easy to negate, but even at 27 invocations, the hostile chance for greater servant is 4%. Bottom line: Makhleb is a great alternative to Oka for melee dudes, but don't summon major till you've got at least 15 invocations.
Sabres are not very good, but danage shaving and 17 AC helps to mitigate that.
Psyche shows up, this corridor is a tribute to Makhleb.
Evocations is a very good skill, with the full 27 in it, wands are about twice as effective. I say this because Erolcha goes down in two zaps of my disintigration wand.
Yaks are too hard, so I enslave them to fight one-another.
Without thinking, I purchase the fireball wand. You'll note that there's also a wand of fire which, like bolt of fire, goes through enemies making it the better choice. This will bite me in the ass later.
To my immediate west is Harold, a flail wielding jerk. He's basically a stronger Edmund, so we kill him. To my less-immediate west is the lair entrance, guarded by a number of electric eels, I won't be able to go in there for some time, which is brutally painful because I desperately need XP.
Well, y'know, I eventually kill Harold. Don't polymorph uniques, it doesn't lead to good results.
Running away from a troll...
Wow, this sucks. The orcs that're out of LOS, they're moving towards me, I burn a few choice comestables and tele out, killing a few before it kicks in.
Joseph can probably do 30 damage to me in one or two shots with his sling if it's good, I fireball him dead. I've found no books yet, none! I'm using permanent MP almost every fight now because I can't do any damage and I'm always at ½ HP in spite of using multiple heal wounds charges every fight. Things are getting brutally tough and...why haven't I ID'd those potions yet? That's not cool, past me.
Damn! Makhlebs HP-for-kills thing is activated more if you have more piety, which would make the amulet good, except that eventually I have to take it off. I can't take it off right now because the HP is about the only thing I've got going. I just have to pray I can get past the mid-game slump (without lair) and find an easy source of piety for after I take it off.
Awesome! Slime creature pack, orc pack, ugly thing pack, all together on d:12. I fight for a few rounds then flee.
This is where the tele lands me, basically out of wand charges, a crummy weapon, no books. I'm down to 3 MP. I have no clue how to proceed from here, this is me playing a race I've never played as a class I've never played using mechanics I don't normally have to deal with. Frankly, I'm surprised I've made it this far. Were that me, Chakan the Presidigitator, I'd just walk back up out of the dungeon and maybe try again some other day. I'll admit that much of this is sloppy play but it's mostly me having no clue what I'm doing. It's exciting, I thought I'd be much better at this character than I am.
Next time: I dunno! Hope I don't die in the first five minutes.