Part 2: Revenge!The thread has spoken and our original party will rest in pieces, Sue takes a vacation, and instead,
...a new party, led by Thor the red warrior takes their place.
Thor is pretty weak for a fighter, but the Gauntlets of Ogre Power will fix that. 18 CON means he gets the highest HP possible, and 18 DEX means his AC is as low as it can get before equipment. Thor is what every fighter wants to be, the best there is at what he does, and what he does ain't pleasant. And, if Charisma actually turns out to do anything, he has that too.
Thor is accompanied by Questor the green elf, who is also very beefy but otherwise pretty good at everything but not awesome at anything. He backs up the real fighters and mages and does a damn good job of it.
Also along for the ride is Thyra the blue cleric, who is not very pleasant to look at but pretty good at cracking heads and wise like you wouldn't believe.
Last but not least, we have Merlin.
Seriously, does anyone need an introduction? He's goddamn Merlin and he's smarter than you. He's so smart he gets away with wearing the most eye-blistering robe in the realm even though it's illegal in most states.
How eye-blistering? This eye-blistering.
Before heading out, however, we're going to pick up a few things. Here's a cellar I
The cellar holds two healing potions, fittingly enough for a church, and...
...a Staff of Healing behind the hidden door.
It looks just like the staff Merlin is holding, but blue. When used, it restores HP.
Staves in this game appear not to have charges but rather a chance to break when used. If you're careful, they can last you a long time.
One fun thing with elves is that they have a chance of finding secret doors when you pass them. I'm pretty sure thieves can do it too, and probably better, but we don't have one so it doesn't matter.
We're also going to check out some of the graves I missed last time...
...hold on a minute...
...naaah, just my imagination.
This isn't anywhere near as good.
"If you're really lucky, you may not end up here, like the last poor bastards we sent out!"
So, combat, then.
Enemies will pretty much always show up in front of you. You won't get attacked from behind or the sides; just standing still in one place will present you with a never-ending stream of enemies coming from the front.
Breaking WotES: Step one.
Cast sleep on everything.
Sleep won't hit stronger enemies (like oh, say, DRAGONS) but it will almost always work on weaker ones like this.
While asleep, enemies (obviously) cannot dodge or attack.
Early on, your characters have shit for hit points, shit for hit rates and shit for weapons. You will miss. You will miss a lot. And you will take damage because the game hates you.
Sleep fixes that. All of it. It has a decent area of effect and will easily shut down 3-4 enemies if they're standing somewhat close together, and once it does, you can just murder away.
Here's the map, which I didn't show off last time. See that round thing just to the northwest of the castle?
Could this be the camp the villagers were talking about...?
HOLY SHIT FUCK
Hairy beastmen aren't much of a threat even at level 1, but seven of them will hurt.
Fortunately, Sleep makes everything better. Check the fat loot.
We couldn't find anything useful around the camp, so we look around some more... and find some very angry pork. Boars can hit pretty hard against first-level characters, especially since I didn't rest and re-memorize Sleep.
West of the castle, there's a bridge. Some of us don't seem too thrilled, though. Oh, you pussies, what's the worst that coul
no one breathe a goddamn word about this okay
(Questor has a kind of "See the kind of shit I put up with on a daily basis?" look. It's pretty appropriate.)
It doesn't even seem like we wiped out the beastmen properly!
That's not to say the trip was entirely pointless, though. Thyra is halfway to gaining a level and becoming less useless!
All right, back to the bridge and-
JESUS FUCK WHAT
...and somehow we manage to take down a giant.
A first-level party. Killed a hill giant. With no casualties.
And Thyra gains a level.
You bet I do! I've been waiting for this.
Divine casters don't need scrolls. They gain all their spells the moment they're able to use them. These are all the first-level priest spells in the game.
So here, we have, in order:
Cure Light Wounds: It does what it says.
Cause Light Wounds: It does the exact opposite.
Detect Magic: I have never used this and have no idea what it does.
Protection from Evil: I have never used this either.
Remove Fear: Maybe now my party will quit bitching about that goddamn bridge.
Cause Fear: what do you think it does no come on take a guess really
Resist Cold: I don't don't remember ever taking cold damage in this game.
Thyra gets Darkness.
Then she gets lost in the woods.
By the way, now that we're over the bridge, the music has changed. Give it a listen:
(I don't see any elves around, so we'll just pretend Questor got fed up with the generic overworld theme and is playing his own personal theme or something.)
Hmm, something looks suspicious...
It's our very first hidden dungeon!
Our very first minotaur! And a perfect opportunity to explain how dungeon combat is going to work.
Basically, this is every dungeon fight ever. (It's short. Watch it.)
Actually, "every fight" isn't quite true; sometimes you have places where you can't lead enemies around, like this two-square room.
It ends pretty well, though! And both Thor and Thyra get level-ups! Check those HP. Thor is a beefwall.
A nearby room holds some loot and another cow, a slightly tougher one, but with out newly improved party, we grind it into hamburger and take his stuff. Questor gets the +1 chain; his HP is lagging behind.
The next room holds an even tougher cow, the minotaur chief, but he looks the same as all the rest, so no picture. He guards a +2 chainmail, which Thor nabs; Thyra inherits his old +1 suit.
Chief at 2, LT at 1.
We also get another +1 sword from the chief's room, and Thor uses that instead of the axe to get some variety. As far as I can tell, they deal the same amount of damage.
The final room holds another two regular minotaurs, and one of them drops a +1 axe when it dies.
If you have a cleric, you can auto-heal while resting. Otherwise, you heal one HP per 8 hours. The only negative to this is that it takes a little longer to watch the time scroll by; it has no effect on gameplay.
With a third level under her belt, Thyra now has two first-level spell slots.
We return to town to sell off some of the loot, and it's very profitable indeed. 1400 gold for the +1 axe? I'll take it!
The stores have gained a few more items since last time. I'm actually not sure if this is based on levels or the fact that we crossed the bridge; you tend to gain both ground and levels at the same time, so it doesn't really matter much.
Now that everybody who can use mail is loaded with enchanted ones, the armoury finally starts selling non-magical one! And shields, which is pretty nice. Thor starts with one, but I buy some for Questor and Thyra as well.
You know what it's time for?
Breaking WotES: Step two.
Cast Darkness on everything.
See, Light or Darkness spells blind the target. They're not helpless, so they still have their normal AC, but they can't hit you.
They will just sit there while you pound them into oblivion.
What's that you say, dragons are resistant to magic? Not this ones, baby! Light and Darkness are broken as fuck.
The problem is that only the person who lands the killing blow gets experience.
This is why Merlin, who can't hit a dragon to save his life, decides to fry them with lightning instead. That works, too.
(The wand of lightning is also pretty broken.)
Questor and Merlin both level up and can now toss twice as many sleep spells around! Pity we're almost past the part where that would be useful, no?
Merlin can now cast second-level spells!
Now if he could only find some...
Dragons aren't the only critters in the swamps, though. These are "big beastmen", and they fall swiftly to a third-level party.
Especially when we nail them with Sleep first.
(I did say almost.)
The magic store has a couple of new scrolls, but we don't need either of them. Check those prices: buying sleep would be a huge investment for a low-level party (...at least one that can't grind for cash against dragons ). Questor will want Magic Missile eventually, but eh.
Oh, you thought you had seen the last of these? Nope, giant enemy crabs are everywhere.
Also crocodiles. They're pretty pathetic.
X number of dragons later, Thyra learns second-level magic.
In order, we have
Bless: A buff. This boosts hit and damage rolls for affected characters.
Blight: A debuff. Like Bless, except the other way around.
Resist Fire: Unlike Resist Cold, this actually has uses! Only not many, because... things. You'll see.
Silence 15' Radius: That's about 4.5 meters for those of us who use a system that makes sense. Silence prevents spellcasting. I will probably never use this. Why silence them when you can silence them?
Merlin passes the magic stick to Questor and sits back to watch the carnage.
And what carnage it is! Murder for fun and profit. Wouldn't have it any other way!
At the end of the day, Thor has gained three levels and a +2 chainmail, making him an even bigger tank than before.
See what I meant about elves needing a lot of experience points? Questor's level will fall behind the others again, but this early on he's actually very, very good - he has the same spellcasting as Merlin, the ability to wear the same armour as Thor, and enough HP to get up close and personal when his magic runs out.
Not sure I'll ever cast Bless, but two charges of Darkness between rests = two dead dragons between rests.
Merlin is the weakest person in the party at this point. But just you wait.
Just you wait.