Part 53: Totes, HOPr - OneHill Orc Priest: The Part 1 Story
Before we really begin, lets talk about Hill Orcs, Priests, and Beogh for a moment. See, Priests are invocation specialists usually. All other races worship Zin by default if they are a priest, and Zin is a fairly difficult to please god who has questionable early game benefits. As such, for a long while a Regular Priest is simply a shittier warrior with arbitrary restrictions due to Zin.
This isn't true for Orcs. Orcs by default have the god of Beogh, the wrathful, spiteful, and evil orcish god. This is good because Boegh owns bones.
Priests start with 2 levels in Fighting, 3 levels in their starting weapon's skill, 1 level in Dodging, and 5 levels in Invocations, adjusted for species aptitudes.
For us, our weapon is forced into Axe, and we get the results seen above. We start with 6 points in invocations. And thanks to Beogh's his low skill costs, that is enough for the rest of the game. We turn off everything but fighting, since I have a PLAN in mind.
Granted, the PLAN had anticipated on this mace not being a cursed piece of shit, but live and let die. We switch from Axes to Maces instantly, as maces are far better for what I have in mind for later -- being a hilariously tanky piece of meat.
See, Beogh is special in that he augments all orcish armor you wear to have increased armor, to about 30% extra at max piety. This means that orcish gear, with 27 armor and max piety, is worth 257% of its base AC value. That is a lot of AC.
However, right now we're just a shittier fighter. All shitty fighter rules apply; don't overextend, take things on one by one, don't be afraid to rest.
Unfortunately, this conflicts with a secondary goal of Orc Priest: Get as much piety as possible as fast as possible. Orc Priest needs rank 3 piety to really come into their own, and resting after every fight makes that hard to do.
At rank 3 piety, we get the ability to convert Orcs we find into permanant allies. This is the biggest perk of Orc Priest, and you will rely on your orcish horde to do all the work for you right up until the worst of the worst areas pop up.
Unfortunately, Beogh doesn't appreciate many things. He enjoys bloodshed, you wearing orcish gear, and you praying over orc corpses. That's it. This would not even be that bad if it wasn't for Beogh's fickle nature, losing a point of piety every 320 turns. Compare that number to Sif Muna's 2000 turns for a piety loss or The Shining One's 700 turns. I think the only god with a worse timer is Okawaru, but at least for him you can just sacrifice corpses you don't need.
Not too long after besting the goblin and some random kobolds do we find some decent armor. The armor itself doesn't matter, but the fact that it is armor lets us get started on Armor training, which we turn on. Right now, and for a long time, we will simply be training Fighting, Maces, and Armor.
While beating down some foliage for daring to grow, we find out that our mace is -2 to accuracy. Strong.
Under the bush is a Jade Ring, and Ring's are always good to have.
After beating up this sad newt, we get our second pip of piety, allowing us to smite foes. As per the wiki: "You can smite any monster in view for around 6 + 1d(5 + Invocation Skill) HP. Neither magic resistance nor AC apply. (3 MP, 80 Food, 3 Piety)"
Smiting is a great ability to have, don't get me wrong. It is just something you need to use so incredibly sparingly due to the high piety cost. We can't use it now or for a long while, since right after get achieve *** we will be in a desperate sprint for *****, which I'll get into when we have.
For right now, all smite is is a desperation move against uniques.
Our second dungeon floor is a graveyard-themed level. Nothing much else to say about it.
We do pick up some loot though, and while read-IDing scrolls hoping for a remove curse, we find identify. Sustain abilities isn't bad. Hunger...we can do without.
Being armored, we can handle early game threats fairly decently now. We're still forced to rest occasionally, but roaming Hobgoblins aren't a threat anymore. We also get a cloak for a solid 1 ac.
We manage to pick up a decent book on DL3. Minor Magic is very handy for us, as it contains blink. Now, we won't cast blink for a long time. A long, long time. But we have the spell. It is there. And it will save us a lot of headaches down the line trying to find it.
We also switch out our cursed Mace for an Orcish Hammer down the line when we find a remove curse scroll. Orcish hammers are good early game, having a bonus 1 Accuracy and dealing 0-(1+Piety/33)+1 extra damage per swing. This applies to any orcish weapon, mind you.
We also find a vital part of our skill set, a small elven buckler. The buckler itself is underwhelming, but it lets us skill shield in addition to blocking hits occasionally, so it is a great find for us.
Sadly, we don't reach *** before orc packs show up, so I'm forced to put down some of my beloved brethren. It isn't an easy fight, though. I'm forced to quaff two curing potions to stay alive and kill them. I manage to pick up an Orcish Flail off of an Orc prior to this engagement and switch to it, it offering one less accuracy but 2 more damage then the hammer.
Besting them turned out to be a boon though, as the orc was carrying enchanted orcish ring mail. Considering orcish anything would have been an improvement armor-wise, the enchantment is just icing on the cake.
A few rooms later we encounter another set of orcs, this time having a priest. Unfortunately for them, the priest was at the front lines and died fairly quickly. It should be mentioned that Beogh gives extra piety when you kill orcish priests.
Better late then never. Killing a gnoll pack allows us to gain orcish followers. Now all we need to do is find some orcs!
Aha. Our first convert.
Now the game has truely begun.
God damnit! He didn't even last a round!
Let's talk orcs for a second.
1 HD. 4-10 hp. Willing to charge the nearest enemy as if they were a tank only to be torn in half like paper. Your basic orcs are fragile and weak, quite capable of dying to a quokka. They need to be well geared to survive, and have a decent enough weapon to do damage. If you want to keep your orcs for any amount of time, you're going to babysit them and feed them kills. Once you get your first warrior type orcs, it is vital that you stop getting the killing blow and allowing them to, as long as it is safe. They will do nothing but die until they become Orc Warriors.
We find, convert, ans subsequently lose another orc before finding this weapon shop that makes me regret my decision to go into maces.
Even though we're slightly worse fighters, it doesn't mean that we're not super defensive and offensively strong. We can handle our own now. We just don't want to. We want to handle it with others around.
Occasionally, if you have no followers, Beogh will grant you some permanent followers after a kill. Its a very good backup plan for when the dungeon just doesn't give you enough orcs, or gives you particularly suicidal ones.
Let's talk Orc Wizards.
They're easily the bane of low level adventurers, with a spell list that includes Invisibility, Blink, Haste, throw fire and throw Cold, as well as magic dart. They are quite capable at dealing damage and quite capable of staying out of range...theoretically. However, in practice they seem to prefer blinking at random and hitting enemies with their weapons instead of magic. This makes it a bit of a pain to feed them exp. However, having 3 HD and 9-21 HP makes them much more survivable then their brethren, so it isn't much of an issue. Right now they're a much needed damage addition and a survivable ally, until the stronger creatures come into play that can threaten their tendency to go into melee.
Next Time: Action! Adventure! Evolution!