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Djabanete
June 6, 2007, 02:09
Hi all,

This thread is about Combat Jack, the Human Warrior. He lives in Entroband, but his town is Vanilla-flavored, with neither quests nor wilderness. He tends to dive rather fast, but he hopes that by exercising great caution, he will make it down to the 100th level to do battle with the Serpent.

Fat chance.

I'll be recording Jack's valiant but foolish efforts here. Ideally, he'll dive 15 or more levels on the first dive, and at *least* 5 levels on each subsequent dive. Hopefully, one or two people out there will derive some enjoyment from reading this, and perhaps some generous and noble person will offer Jack some advice, because I'm sure he'll need it.

As soon as I get a Jack to survive until dungeon level 20, I'll start right in.

Happy hunting

Djabanete

Djabanete
June 6, 2007, 10:24
Here is the first installation of the very exciting story of Jack.

~~~~~EPISODE 1: Dungeon Levels 0-21~~~~~

As any conscientious warrior should do, Jack started out by selling his Chainmail to the Armory and purchasing a variety of interesting potions and scrolls with the resulting cash. As he stepped into the dungeon, Jack's inventory looked like this:

4 Rations of Food
2 Flasks of Oil

5 Potions of Cure Light Wounds
4 Scrolls of Teleportation
1 Scroll of Word of Recall
4 Scrolls of Identify
6 Wooden Torches

Equipment:
Broad Sword
Ring of Fear Resistance
Wooden Torch

Jack blitzed through the first couple of levels, brutally slaying anything that moved and pocketing any shiny things found in the vicinity of the corpse. This system has been honed to perfection by generations of dungeon crawlers before Jack, and he saw no reason to deviate from it. Arriving contentedly on the sixth level of the dungeon, having gained several experience levels already, Jack noticed the following sign:

"BEWARE, THIS LEVEL IS PROTECTED BY GRISHNAKH THE HILL ORC."

Jack had killed quite a few orcs already, so he was fairly confident as he set out to explore this level. He spotted an underground river passing near the southern confines of the level, and, fancying a swim, he followed it to the mouth of a muddy corridor that led to the southeastern corner. At the end of the corridor he could see the red light of torches, and he could hear the harsh and hideous Black Speech. Orcs! With a mighty battle cry, Jack rushed forward, sword in hand; while at the other end of the corridor, the cowardly Grishnakh ushered his minions forward one by one. The hill orcs were no match for Jack's blade, however, and soon the walls were spattered with orc blood, and the floor carpeted with dismembered corpses. Jack hurled vicious taunts down the corridor, but did not himself go to meet the Orcish captain; he stayed near the water, with a clever plan in mind. When at last Grishnakh emerged from his den, he proved a mighty opponent; but as Jack (armorless and lightly equipped) felt his muscles grow tired, he spun around and dove into the water behind him, and swam to a little island where could rest. Orcs are notoriously poor swimmers, and Grishnakh wore heavy armor, so all that the ugly brute could do was yell obscenities while Jack relaxed on his rock. When he felt ready, Jack returned and slew the wicked Orc. Grishnakh's sword turned out to be a top-of-the-line Bastard Sword, with ancient spells on it to work the undoing of undead spirits; although Jack was not anticipating undead at this stage in his journey, the sword was big and strong, so he left his old one behind in favor of this one.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Deep water in Entroband is passable by characters who are not too burdened, and can be used to great advantage in killing melee enemies stronger than yourself. Orcs and most other humanoid monsters will not pass deep water. Grishnakh reduced Jack to dangerously low hit points several times, but since Jack regained lost life faster, the outcome was inevitable.]

In high spirits, Jack proceeded into the bowels of the Iron Hell, pausing long enough to slaughter a filthy and mischievous individual by the name of Wormtongue. This slimeball had the despicable and dishonorable habit of stealing Jack's gold and then teleporting away, but by dint of great perseverance Jack was able to catch him and introduce him to the new sword. As it turned out, Wormtongue carried on his person an even better sword, one forged long ago in Westernesse. Happily, Jack tried out the new blade on Lagduf's pack of Orcs and found it to be a very good one; and just as icing on the cake, the late Lagduf furnished him with a very nice set of Gauntlets of Agility.

Arriving on Level 12, Jack came across a second sign, quite similar to the first:

"BEWARE, THIS LEVEL IS PROTECTED BY SHAGRAT, THE ORC CAPTAIN!"

Somehow, Jack had a very bad feeling about this level. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, and it had nothing to do with the Orc Captain. Exploring various rooms yielded up a curious black staff, whose magic powers Jack could not for the life of him invoke. Concluding that this was a very mighty magical device, Jack proceeded to hunt down Shagrat. Shagrat and his evil gang were a cake walk with the Westernesse blade, and after ransacking the heap of dead orcs for useful stuff, Jack found that he now possessed quite a few nice items that would fetch a high price back in town.

Unfortunately, Jack was not yet ready to return to the surface, and he was too heavily encumbered to proceed. Items were falling out of his bag left and right. He just couldn't make room for the items he intended to sell and for the items he needed just to survive in the dungeon. The result was that he left the following items behind in a jumbled heap: the black staff, a wand whose nature he also could not fathom, a Broad Sword of Slay Dragon, a Bastard Sword of Slay Nndead, a Trump Lance, and a Wizardstaff. His bag now contained a Rod of Trap Location, a Rod of Door/Stair Location, a Staff of Light, and a Staff of Object Location; all the tools, in short, for a rapid dive.

Brodda the Easterling was easily defeated, and from his dead body Jack plundered a very fine old book entitled Harps of Rivendell. Using his excellent set of Rods and Staves, Jack quickly wended his way down to the 21st level, at which he decided it would be wise to return to the Town and purchase some more supplies. He zapped his Staff of Object Location once to see if there was anything worth snatching before he returned to town, and observed that a second, equally ancient and musty old tome lay quite nearby. It cost Jack little effort to fight his way over and dust off the cover, which read: Note of Acting Master. The sytax of the title was somewhat baffling, but Jack bagged the book and gladly allowed himself to be warped into town by a scroll of Word of Recall.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: The two 2nd-tier dungeon books netted a total of 30K - not bad for the first dive. Notable purchases include a Heavy Crossbow and a Brass Lantern of Immolation (the first dive had been done using only torches unfortunately); also, large amounts of supplies were bought. I engaged in some small-scale town-scumming so I could spend all my money and get what I needed, since I didn't anticipate returning *too* frequently. I could NOT post a chardump on the ladder, because I've already got a character up there with same name, email, and >XP. The preexisting Jack probably died in his mid-20's (I'm too lazy to find out) so I should surpass him soon.]

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: That's it for tonight. Never play after 1am. Feedback is warmly welcomed, positive or negative. Thanks!]

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Upon reviewing this first episode, I am not entirely happy with the flow of the narrative - I hope that's just me =). However, I am not going to do any more revision (I've already done a total rewrite) because I'm anxious to get this up and running. I'll just try to get better next time.]

Djabanete
June 6, 2007, 12:35
I lied. I said I'd quit for tonight but I couldn't. Remarkably, Jack did not die as a consequence.

~~~~~EPISODE 2: Dungeon Levels 21-30~~~~~

Upon recalling back into the dungeon, Jack's equipment and inventory were as follows:

[Character Equipment]

a) a Small Sword of Westernesse (1d6) (+8,+6) (+2)
b) a Large Leather Shield [6,+0]
c) a Heavy Crossbow (x4) (+7,+7)
d) a Ring of Accuracy (+8)
e) a Ring of Fear Resistance
f) (nothing)
g) a Brass Lantern of Immolation (with 7496 turns of light)
h) Cord Armour of Resist Fire [6,+4]
i) a Cloak [1,+5]
j) a Metal Cap [3,+4]
k) a Set of Gauntlets of Agility [2,+6] (+2)
l) a Pair of Hard Leather Boots [3,+0] {25% off}


[Character Inventory]

a) 7 Pieces of Elvish Waybread
b) 10 Flasks of oil
c) 10 Potions of Heroism
d) 21 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds
e) 13 Potions of Cure Critical Wounds
f) 21 Scrolls of Phase Door
g) 19 Scrolls of Teleportation {25% off}
h) 6 Scrolls of Word of Recall {25% off}
i) 40 Scrolls of Identify
j) 10 Scrolls of Magic Mapping {25% off}
k) 3 Rods of Trap Location
l) a Rod of Door/Stair Location
m) a Rod of Light
n) a Wand of Trap/Door Destruction (7 charges)
o) a Wand of Stone to Mud (6 charges)
p) a Staff of Light (8 charges)
q) a Staff of Object Location (5 charges)
r) 50 Bolts (1d5) (+0,+0) (42/44) {@1 =g}

The dive continued rapidly. Jack made short work of Gorbag and his escorts, but found nothing of value in the spoils. Rods of Trap Location and Door/Stair Location, supplemented by scrolls of Magic Mapping and staves of Light and Object Detection, allowed Jack to instantly scan levels for valuable items, worthy opponents, and staircases. Meng Huo fell easily in single combat, but a Hippogriff turned out to be a remarkably dangerous foe. On level 24 came the now-familiar signpost:

BEWARE, THIS LEVEL IS PROTECTED BY THE ULTIMATE DUNGEON CLEANER!

Jack didn't have much time to think about the implications of this, for his attention was immediately drawn by a vicious Pink Horror which sought to claw and rend him. He dealt with the demon, but was shocked to see that upon its death, the fiend split into two lesser demons: Blue Horrors. Worse still, a second Pink Horror and a Vampiric Mist came into view. Backing into a corridor, Jack sliced and diced the enemies with his short sword; but things took a turn for the worse when it became clear that the pink devils' nails injected a mind-altering chemical that left Jack in a vacant and befuddled state. Outnumbered and outflanked, and trying to fight back against the overpowering drug in his bloodstream, Jack dimly realized that to stay in this position meant certain death. As a Dark Elven Warlock appeared on the scene, Jack drank a potion of Cure Critical Wounds to clear his brain, then read a scroll of Teleportation.

His head spinning, Jack began to down potions of Cure Serious Wounds as fast as he could, for he felt that he was still not far from danger. Sure enough, an ominous rumbling informed him that Death on Treads had arrived: The Ultimate Dungeon Cleaner. Jack was in no shape to fight this menace, so he read another scroll of Teleportation. He landed in an empty room, where he was left alone long enough to recuperate his hit points.

When he had healed, Jack came out of his hidey-hole, ready to tussle. The battle with the Dungeon Cleaner was difficult and prolonged; the UDC was the most deadly adversary Jack had ever come across. The overall strategy that he opted for was "shoot 'n' scoot", which consisted of: zapping a rod of light down a corridor, waiting for the UDC to enter the corridor, firing bolts at it from a heavy crossbow, then reading a scroll of phase door and repeating. A slight complication arose in the form of a brood of strength-draining Killer Bees, and in the end the supply of crossbow bolts ran out, forcing Jack to engage the metal titan in a climactic toe-to-toe struggle; but in the end the stout human warrior prevailed, and claimed a couple of worthless weapons and armor pieces as trophies.

Jack went straight down to level 30 after that, but he found nothing at all useful and was forced to resurface empty-handed in order to purchase supplies.

'Till next time...

Djabanete
June 6, 2007, 20:40
Welcome to the third installment of the thrilling tale of Jack.

~~~~~EPISODE 3: Dungeon Levels 30-39~~~~~

Jack began his third dive with the following kit:

[Character Equipment]

a) a Small Sword of Westernesse (1d6) (+8,+7) (+2)
b) a Large Leather Shield [6,+0]
c) a Heavy Crossbow (x4) (+7,+7)
d) a Ring of Confusion Resistance
e) a Ring of Fear Resistance
f) (nothing)
g) a Brass Lantern of Immolation (with 4768 turns of light)
h) Cord Armour of Resist Fire [6,+4]
i) a Cloak [1,+5]
j) a Metal Cap [3,+4]
k) a Set of Gauntlets of Agility [2,+6] (+2)
l) a Pair of Metal Shod Boots [6,+0] {25% off}


[Character Inventory]

a) 6 Pieces of Elvish Waybread
b) 10 Flasks of oil
c) 9 Potions of Heroism
d) 24 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds
e) 19 Potions of Cure Critical Wounds
f) 20 Scrolls of Phase Door
g) 16 Scrolls of Teleportation {50% off}
h) 6 Scrolls of Word of Recall {25% off}
i) 50 Scrolls of Identify
j) a Scroll of Magic Mapping {25% off}
k) 3 Rods of Trap Location
l) a Rod of Door/Stair Location
m) a Rod of Light
n) a Wand of Trap/Door Destruction (7 charges)
o) a Wand of Stone to Mud (6 charges)
p) a Staff of Light (2 charges)
q) a Staff of Object Location (4 charges)
r) 75 Bolts (1d5) (+0,+0) (42/46) {@1 =g}

Although this third dive was by far the most harrowing, it can be summed up in three words: it was fast. Jack dashed down every staircase he could find, still using his faithful Rods of Trap/Door/Stair Location. On level 36, he was accosted by a suspicious-looking character who seemed hell-bent on making Jack fall into a trap. He wore lush rubes of dark blue and an ornate dark blue mask, a very menacing outfit: but he declined to fight honorably, instead blinking repeatedly and using magic spells to set traps. Jack fired crossbow bolts at him, and felt that this fight would have gone very well for him had an Archpriest not appeared. The dark cleric summoned a horde of zombies and ghouls, who surrounded Jack; the brave warrior fought his way into a corridor, and, killing off the zombies one by one, was soon face-to-face with the 'Priest. The Archpriest, muttering ancient words of power in some foul language, invoked a spell that racked Jack's body with agonizing pain. Grievously hurt, Jack teleported away, rested, and departed the level as soon as possible.

On level 38, he saw the sign,

BEWARE, THIS LEVEL IS PROTECTED BY MALEKITH THE ACCURSED!

Jack is not one to be easily frightened, but he prudently decided to avoid Malekith's level on his way down. He went back up the staircase whence he came, and found another down shaft.

On Level 39, Jack had a brush with death; he got into a fight with a pack of Energy Hounds, which soon escalated into a very violent tussle with Halfling Slingers, and hounds of the Energy and Vibration varieties. The Vibration Hounds turned out to be dangerous opponents, stunning Jack and causing his ears to bleed with powerful sonic blasts, and although he killed many of his foes, he was forced to teleport.

He landed at the mouth of a corridor in a small room. He hoped there weren't too many monsters nearby, because he was badly wounded and needed rest; but alas, he heard the sound of a door being smashed to pieces, followed by heavy footsteps! On the one hand, rushing towards him from one corner of the room, was a pack of ghouls; on the other, stalking towards him, was a warband of Bloodletters of Khorne. Fearing the greater demons, Jack teleported a second time, landing back in the room with the Vibration Hound. This was no place to stay! Feeling stunned from cacophony of noise, Jack teleported a third time, landing right next to a Bloodletter, who slashed him with its Blade of Chaos! At dangerously low life, Jack teleported a fourth time, landing back in the room with the Hounds.

Jack thought he was going to die. "Aren't there any other rooms on this goddam level?" he said to himself. His only chance was to read a scroll of Word of Recall and try to stay alive until it kicked in; and right after the Word of Recall, he read his fifth scroll of teleportation, landing in a room with Ghouls. He began to chug down potions of Cure Critical Wounds, and was feeling that he might just survive this episode, when a Bloodletter burst into the room! Trying to buy time, Jack backed into a corner, hacking the Ghouls' arms off as they tried to grab him; and when the Bloodletter got too close, he teleported yet again...

Into a room with two sleeping Ancient Dragons. Green and Blue.

"$#(^%#&^@#*@$!$@!", said Jack to himself silently, and teleported for the seventh time. He saw that he was surrounded by Servants of Glaaki, but, deciding that a room full of zombies was preferable to anywhere else on the level, he made the best of it, hacking his way into a corner of the room. He would have surely have died in that room if he hadn't Recalled a few minutes, for the Servants tore his flesh and flung spells from afar, and he had no more potions of cure wounds... but as it was, when he was on death's door, he felt a yank under his armpits and found himself in the Town. Jack lay sprawled on the ground, and awoke under the squinting gaze a petty town thief, whom he decapitated.

pav
June 6, 2007, 23:17
What? You dived 2000 feet in 20 hours? Respect...

Bandobras
June 6, 2007, 23:40
Nice reading. Hehe, I bet the black staff, and the wand were really great, perhaps even artifacts? :P At least this is what I would remember all the way to DL 100. :)

Djabanete
June 7, 2007, 01:05
Thanks guys, for the responses.

And now the concluding (*sniff*) episode...

~~~~~EPISODE 4: Dungeon Levels 39-42~~~~~

Well, as you may have surmised, Jack died on level 42. It was an avoidable death, but it was not a horribly stupid death. Here is what happened:

Jack ran into Angamaite of Umbar, and began wailing on him. Angamaite was a worthy opponent, and soon had reduced Jack to low (under 100) hit points. Jack read a scroll of Phase Door; since Angamaite was almost dead, Jack began to shoot bolts down the corridor where he knew the Umbarite was lurking.

Disaster struck in the form of a light slate colored "u". An Arch-Vile! Jack hacked at it with his sword, intending to kill it before it could cast a fire ball; but as it turned out, the Arch-Vile was really a Death Quasit, which killed Jack instantly. The proper thing to do would have been to teleport, but I just assumed it was an Arch-Vile.

Darn!

R.I.P. Jack, level 27 Human Warrior
Killed by a Death Quasit disguised as an Arch-Vile on Dungeon Level 42.

Djabanete
June 7, 2007, 01:09
Oh yeah, by the way Bandobras: There are no artifact wands or staves in Entroband, or I would have been much more reluctant to leave them behind.

Since the Ashen Staff generated a "very bad" feeling all by itself (when I picked it up the level reverted to "you feel nervous"), and because I couldn't activate it after several tries, I concluded that it was probably something like The Magi or Healing and that I'd never be able to use it. It would sell, but I (perhaps mistakenly) decided to carry around only items that would strictly help me survive.