Part 39: All Over the Place
Update 38: All Over the Place
Well, it's time for the party to explore another castle dungeon.
But first, some more terrible orc jokes!
"But how did it do that? Everyone knows ventriloquist dummies can't walk on their own!"
"The few thousand gold Lord Hoardall keeps in his castle can't possibly be all the treasure he's got. There must be all kinds of great loot down in his dungeons!"
"Good thing we left our elves at home for this one. Lord Hoardall's got a problem with them -- he thinks those pointy ears make them look shifty."
"Hey, I just noticed we don't have any Clerics either. Isn't that gonna be a problem?"
"Oh, Hoardall doesn't like Clerics or Robbers. Says they're the two kinds of people most likely to try and take his money away."
"Ow! Is this how a pincushion feels?"
Of course, leaving all the undesirable classes and races behind won't stop all the traps in the dungeon.
At least these dart traps just cause damage, not poison -- they still set off a random encounter, though. The monsters we're running into would be nasty at lower experience levels, but we can kill them quickly enough that they're not a threat.
"One dungeon at a time, my good man. I'm sure we'll find the time to poke around under Pinehurst one of these days."
"Why not? I can always do with some more strength, and since when has a clear head been an asset to an adventurer?"
Giving up 5 Personality for 3 Might is a pretty good deal: only Clerics and Paladins need Personality, so I can trade everyone else down to, say, 50 Personality and get them up to 130 Might.
"Who needs clerics, anyway? We've got paladins!"
"Well, I hope you paladins know some good healing spells, because we're going to need them!"
Ouch. 12 monsters is more than we can kill in one round, and all of these are fairly dangerous: Acidic Blobs spray acid on the whole party, and Melting Men cause paralysis. The party goes after the Melting Men first and takes a few hits from the blobs, but it's nothing they can't survive. Onward, to claim our reward!
This is equippable for +15 Personality, but only for Clerics. We'll bring it back home with us, of course.
Behind this door, there are some more monsters and a Sapphire Pin, a Robber-only item that raises Luck.
"Sure, let's keep going! That first floor was a breeze: how much worse can it get?"
There are three doors in a row near the entrance to the second floor: "Good", "Neutral" and "Evil". The Neutral one is the only one with anything interesting behind it, so here we go.
"Are you serious? Why would we want to swim in a pool of stagnant water that's collected in the middle of a dungeon?"
"Come on in. The water's perfectly average."
"I feel... different. My urges to lay waste to all life on Cron seem to have faded away."
"This must be the legendary Pool of Balance! How's it feel to not be evil any more?"
"It feels okay, I suppose."
The important thing to remember when someone gets an alignment change is not to unequip any alignment-restricted gear they're wearing, unless you don't plan to re-equip it. Restricted gear that they're already wearing will work normally. It's possible to use alignment-changing areas to mix and match differently-aligned equipment on all characters; in fact, this is about the only productive use for them.
"Hey, did anyone else hear that? Wait, where are we?"
Ah, and here we see this dungeon level's gimmick: random teleports. Stepping in the wrong spaces will fling you halfway across the map, and getting back to the entrance requires either a lucky teleport or following a long series of secret passages without being teleported. All teleportation spells are blocked in this dungeon, of course. The monsters down here are much stronger than on the previous floor and they actually put the party in some danger at times, so it's in your interests not to hang around too long, but the amount of time you spend here isn't really under your control.
"Swap my luck for what? I think I'll pass."
"Eh, I'll try it out."
"I feel unlucky in more ways than one."
This stat exchanger lets you trade in 5 points of Luck for 3 points of Personality. It's worth bringing Clerics to this dungeon just for the stat exchanger, even if they can't collect their special equipment.
"The way this dungeon's been going so far, this is probably another trap..."
"... but hey, it's not like I need gems for anything anyway."
This is actually kind of a lousy deal. You can trade gold for experience in Castle Hillstone's dungeon at a rate of 3 XP per GP, and gold is much easier to come by than gems. Plus, Slayer's dungeon doesn't have to be navigated entirely by banging your head against the walls to find secret passages while hoping not to get bounced around the dungeon too much.
"Bring plenty of gold to Castle Pinehurst, you say? I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in the area. For now, though, we already have one perfectly good fantastically annoying dungeon right here."
The cleric and robber items on this floor are behind secret passages, so keep a sharp eye out for those signs on the walls. Clerics get a Pearl Choker and Robbers get an Amethyst Box, which raise Personality and Luck respectively. Yes, this does mean they're identical to the Cleric and Robber-only items on the previous floor except for their names.
We can also get this dungeon's max HP bonus for not bringing elves along. +3 HP to the whole party isn't too impressive right now, but every little bit helps.
"Hey, we actually found our way back to the exit! Awesome!"
"It certainly is. Now please let's add this dungeon to our growing list of places never to return to."
There's the map of the second floor, for what it's worth. (Not much at all, since it doesn't show any of the secret passages or the teleports.) The greyed-out areas can only be reached by a random teleport, and will immediately teleport you away to some other random square; they don't contain anything important.
"But before we go, one last -- oh, it's not an orc joke this time. Unless the vampire is an orc vampire, I guess."
True story: I was a dentist to a vampire in a school play once. I was the first character to die.
"And now that we're back in town, we can reverse the effects of the Pool of Balance. Why go on a personal journey of soul-searching when you can pay the town cleric a few hundred gold to do it for you?"
"May I return to being evil once more? Neutrality bores me."
"Nah, I think it'd be better if you stayed neutral for now. See, the thing is, we don't really want you out there destroying Cron."
"Us Paladins coulda traded in some Luck for Personality, but we've got enough spell points already, and I like being lucky!"
"How come it's so much easier to find +29 weapons than +29 armour? I'm sick of getting hit by stuff."
"Maybe you should be happy with what you've got. I'm still stuck with this storebought +12 weapon. We hirelings are neglected as usual."
"You're one to talk! At least you got a couple of lines in this update!"
"How long am I going to have to lug this bow around before we can make it useful? Well, at least I'm ridiculously strong now."
"This staff would be much more useful to me if I weren't so far away from the front lines. Nobody else with a Good alignment wants a two-handed weapon, though."
Well, that's it for another update. For their next adventure, should the party explore Druid's Point Cavern, Dragon's Dominion, another castle dungeon, or the outdoors? Vote now!