Part 26: Bonus Update 14.5: AspBonus Update 14.5: Asp
It's a pretty close vote this time, but by my count Golem Dungeon has won the day! Before we go there, let's see where we've been.
Asp is arguably the least eventful town in Xeen: besides the transformer quest and the guild, there's just not a lot going on there. You could clear out this town quite early if you wanted to: after finishing the Dwarf Mines and the Witch Tower, you should be strong enough to deal with the monsters here.
We've picked up some cool new spells from the Asp guild, so let's take a look at them!
Asp Cleric Spells
Create Food: 20 SP + 5 Gems. Creates one unit of food for each living party member.
Kind of a pricey spell, considering it only gives you enough food to rest once. If you want to rest right now, and can't or would rather not run back to town, then it can be useful. It's better to make sure you have adequate food on hand so that you never need to cast it, though.
Raise Dead: 50 SP + 10 Gems. Removes the Dead condition from a character.
There's a serious problem with this spell: it permanently lowers the Endurance of the target by 1 point. As such, you're better off Lloyd's Beaconing back to a temple for revival instead, although using this spell once or twice on a character who has high Endurance to start with won't make an appreciable difference.
Resurrect: 125 SP + 20 Gems. Removes the Eradicated condition from a character.
Eradication is like death, only worse (and more expensive to cure). This has the same Endurance-draining side effect as Raise Dead, so it should likewise be saved for when you really, really don't want to just return to a temple.
Stone to Flesh: 35 SP + 5 Gems. Removes the Stoned condition from a character.
Some monsters can turn characters to stone. This spell doesn't have any drawbacks like Raise Dead or Resurrect, so feel free to go nuts with it.
Town Portal: 30 SP + 5 Gems. Teleports the party to the town of your choice.
While this spell doesn't do anything that Lloyd's Beacon couldn't do for a lower cost, it does free up your sorcerous casters' Lloyd's Beacon slots to point somewhere other than town. Especially useful for shuttling between a town and a dungeon if you have only one character with Sorcerer spells.
Asp Sorcerer Spells
Dancing Sword: 3 SP/level + 10 Gems. The Dancing Sword spell creates hundreds of razor sharp blades that strip the flesh from your foes. Dancing Sword inflicts 6 to 14 points of Physical damage per level of the caster.
Dancing Sword, magic blade that can't be ignored / Dancing Sword, with this weapon you won't get bored, oh yeaaah... ahem. This is an excellent damaging spell against groups of enemies that don't resist physical attacks. The SP cost per casting may be high (until he gains more Intellect, it'll take exactly 100% of Flench's maximum SP!), but with twice the average damage of Fire Ball or Lightning Bolt, it's actually very cost-efficient.
Dragon Sleep: 10 SP + 4 Gems. Puts a dragon to sleep, much the way a sleep spell puts humans to sleep.
I've talked about this a bit already. It sometimes works, but the chances aren't great until you're already at a high enough level to just walk all over the dragon anyway, and the target will wake up if it takes any damage.
Etherealize: 30 SP + 10 Gems. Moves the party one square forward, regardless of barriers. This spell may succeed in areas where the teleport spell fails.
A more expensive, more limited version of Teleport (which we still don't have), Etherealize is a very situational spell. In fact, it's so situational that I can't think of a place where it's particularly useful. I guess if you want to get past a locked door or grate that your thief can't get open and your leaders can't bash down, in an area where Teleport is forbidden... but how often does that happen?
Golem Stopper: 20 SP + 10 Gems. Golem Stopper deprives a golem of the magic that animates it, inflicting 100 points of damage.
Golems tend to have high resistance to most damage types, including physical attacks, so a spell that bypasses resistance and inflicts a solid amount of fixed damage is exactly what's needed against them.
Incinerate: 35 SP + 10 Gems. Shoots a stream of fire at one monster, inflicting 250 points of Fire damage.
I've said some negative things about lower-level fixed-damage spells, but Incinerate stays good right up to the end of Clouds and for a considerable part of Darkside. 250 points is a massive amount of damage right now, far more than we can inflict by any other means. Against any monster without significant resistance to fire, this is an excellent option for a Sorcerer.
Mega Volts: 40 SP + 10 Gems. Mega Volts is an improved version of Lightning Bolt, inflicting 150 points of Electrical damage on a group of monsters.
Falagar gave us this spell for completing his quest. It'll eventually be outclassed by Dancing Sword, but right now it's great for wiping out groups of monsters that don't resist electricity. Flench will have to gain a couple of levels or some Intellect before he can even cast it without an SP boost, though. That's the down side of being a Half-Orc.
Super Shelter: 15 SP + 5 Gems. Hides the party from the monsters in unsafe places, permitting them to rest without incident.
We got this spell from Thickbark for destroying the Ice Troll lair. It allows the party to rest safely in almost any terrain, and even when monsters are nearby. That means it's effectively a full-party HP and SP heal whenever the party has food and isn't actively engaged in combat. Pretty spiffy!
See you all next update!