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Moving Pictures May 31, 2018 14:45

Ironman H/O paladin diary
Start with industry standard, point-based half-orc paladin. Forced descent, no recall, know flavours (lost too many ironman entries due to deep descent)
Starting gear: 4 food, 5 torch, 10 ClW, 15 PD, 2 oil, 10 arrows, 12 iron shots; Whip; leather shield; leather sandals; leather gloves, leather cap, cloak.
Action begins before stairs: Mercenary attacks me; kill him, 7gp, turn into 7 more iron shots. They can be thrown for damage, even without a sling, so why not?
Which gets me to thinking – at early levels, why aren’t critical conflicts, like this, or the scruffy cat, worth at least some XP?

1: 1-1. Yer industry-standard kill-small-things-get-stuff level. Robe puts AC to a respectable 16. Jackals take me to CL2. Kill stalking wild cat, floating eye by throwing balls.

2: 2-1 Welcoming committee is Grip. That takes me to L3. Cutpurses take me to CL4, and one drops two PD scrolls. Merci. Yeek dies, coughs up Beginner’s spellbook. Merci.

3: 2-1. Boring/unremarkable. Beat up on a kobold shaman who dropped soft leather armour with a rune. Hope it isn’t a curse, put it on.

4: (forgot to record): My gamble to buy both arrows and iron balls proves fruitful. Pick up both a bow and a sling (neither of great note.) Also nab wand of MM. No memorable nasties – just the usual cutpurse and scout stuff.

5: 2-1. Not going to argue: another beginners, and Word of Wisdom. Knock off Bullroarer, who drops a rapier (+3,+5) and [1,+5] gloves at the cost of a CLW. Blue jelly nearby helps identify armour as +1, resist cold.

6: 2-3. Find a lantern, do the drop-torches thing. Encounter Smeagol, who takes money. Hah. It matters not, creature of evil. A healer dies, and behind him an amulet – infravision. A purple mushroom patch dies, enough to go to CL 11.

7: 3- 2. Wandered around a bit, ran into a bit of trouble with some lemures and a rot jelly. Burned through two CLWs. Was growing of the feeling it was time to move on, when a trap door helped the process.

8: 3-1: Wormtongue proved a bit of a challenge, and requires a pair of CLWs and a CCW to eliminate – and this after depleting a whole whack of charges from a pair of magic missile wands. Key find is a wand of slow monster. Leave at CL12.

9: 2-2: Nothing amazing here, other than a a room of various cutpurses and a gallant. I’m a bit careless here, and blow a few CLWs as a result. However, with hit points now 120, the usefulness of CLW is closing. There are a ton of “detect invisible” scrolls. I leave them, as I’ve got a staff of the same name. Both are near worthless anyhow. (Would that the staff/scroll versions of this last more than one turn!) Have backups in potions of true seeing and a pair of mushrooms of second sight. In truth, if things get ugly, I’m liable to use those instead.

10: 2-2 . No welcoming committee, but I do find a gift – Chants and Blessings. Merci. I am now juggling items. Have amulet of rElec, but also have amulet of +3 infra. I decide to wear the latter, since not many things are going to kill me with rElec at this point, but the +3 infra gives me a strategic advantage of 50ft infra total. I waste a ton of time trying to find the next stairs down.

Moving Pictures May 31, 2018 18:19

11: 3-x Run into a herd of blue yeeks, and immediately think “Boldur” Sure enough, there he is. He takes a bit of work to eliminate, but now CL14. Drops an axe and a cursed cap of intelligence that saps brainpower (wisdom) Bad randart, bad. (+5,+4) longbow on floor, nab, and drop shortbow. Again, just as it seems boring, trapdoor.

12: 6-4 Hello, lemures. And wolves. Joy. Immediately launch into run-and-gun battle that chews up three PD scrolls, six or so CLW and a CSW to boot. Once the dust settles, a det evil shows some sign as to why this is a “6”: quasits, an imp, bunch of homonculi, a score of tengu and a pseudodragon in a locker. Nearby. That’s my cue to wander the other direction. My plan is to loot as desired, but at first contact with anything remotely above my capacity to handle, “portal” out and run like a coward, to the nearest stairs down. Which means – find stairs. This seems a wise time to burn through one of five magic mapping scrolls, too. Shortly after finding stairs, I see a cave orc. Then a tengu blinks me into a room of the blighters. Two more PDs bite the dust, along with a bunch of CLWs, but the reward is landing five xp from the next level. I remain conscious I only have 12 SP, and that I want to keep eight on hand for “portal” in case things go bad. And that spell, I fear, has a 25 per cent failure. (gulp). Pondering the idea of a bail here, a det evil pulls up Grishnakt. Hmm. He’s not far from a stair down, either. I figure the risk-reward is ok, so go orc hunting. It proves a bad decision. I burn through too many healing potions in exchange for a boring low-end flail. Not happy. I only have two CCWs left, now.
13: 3-2: Not much notable here. Gain a CLW (that’s like gold, now), and locate a scimitar that is (+6,+4) but has a rune on it. Hey, I have 11 rune scrolls. Burn one. Is slay orc. My +8,+5 dagger does more base damage per round, though, and is only a point off the per-round damage of the scimitar, so I leave it. Logic on IDing stuff on ground: once I know the rune, it’s good for the game, so burning the ID rune now gives me info for later use. I do not want to be packing around rune scrolls at level 50.

14: 3-1: I am now sure @ is hooped. Maze level, but full of orcs and wolves, that in numbers, chew away at hit points. I PD while stunned, and blow eight SP trying to heal, so have to chug potions. Now down to one CLW. Phase, phase again. Mugged at all corners, wolves, orcs, baby multi-hued. Manage to stem the tide, but at great cost of consumables. Down to 21 PD scrolls and zilch for healing. Dark elf dies, drops ROP +7. Woo. AC is now 30. Way pincushiony. I’m thinking I need a ring of acid/flames, or dragon armour, or something helpful. Heck, even a staff of slow monsters.

15: 3-5. Hummn. Follow rod of treasure location around, hoping for curing potions, or ... well, anything. Tackle guardian naga, who drops bastard sword artifact. Has rElec, slay orcs. Burn an id scroll. Rune of light. Right then, something touches me, and my dex drops. Frig. Quaff a true seeing, mangle a moaning spirit, but not before it saps dex again. Wield sword. Plus 4 to dex, pFear. Treasure detection. Slay evil. Not bad. Still unknown runes on sword, so burn another scroll. Rlight. I’ll take that. Find ROP +11, ok, will swap out ring of rCold and rHeat, as armour gives rCold. Realize I’m still lugging amulet of rElec, so dump as sword gives that now. Later on, a det evil reveals Lagduf. I am loathe to engage, but damnit, at this point, I need drops from uniques in the worst way. Oh, look Brodda. I clean him up, (two phases and a CLW). Before I get to Lagduf, wolves and a snaga soften me up. I engage, but lose HP, so portal away. Land next to dark elf, who dies fast, and coughs up a staff of confuse monsters. In nearby room, wand of lightning bolts. Nooooooow we’re talking. I run into an axe that has some new runes, and decide to burn a scroll now for future knowledge. Huh? I still have un-ID’s rune so the bastard sword? OK. Wow. Slay demon too? OK, now axe... what the what? MORE runes on the sword? Hold life. Wowzers. Now the axe ...No. No. Still more runes on the sword? Rchaos too? Ok, now to axe - +1 attack speed. I track down Lagduf, and he goes quickly under new sword. Lagduf’s drops are, natch, weapons that would have been nice a level ago, but are now “meh.” Downward ho, better equipped but still with burning need for healing potions and suffering from diminished PD arsenal.

16: 3-1. Yeah, it’s a 3-1, but it gave five CLWs, then four CSWs right off the bat, so no arguments. Can now cast spell for hunger, so drop copious wad of Satisfy Hunger scrolls. Find staff of mapping, so ditch scrolls of same. Ponder dropping rod of treasure location, as sword does this too, but decide otherwise: sword likely won’t be around in 25 levels, so ..... I do realize a scroll of remove curse I’ve had forever is no longer meaningful (spell ability of equal power) so drop that.

17: “Omens of death haunt this place.” Joy. Mission now is simple: find a stair down, and take it, unless the “9” proves some way the heck outta depth unique in a vault. DE shows Ufthak, trolls, baby dragon, but nothing matching the 9. Mop up the trolls, dragon, druid. Had to use one charge out of the wand of LB, but meh. Treasure level 3? Yeah, stairs it is. OK. Maybe I will tackle Ufthak first. No, prudent to flee now, I figure – and two steps later, black orcs, with Ufthak in tow. Alright. A speed potion, one charge off a “slow monster” wand and a CSW take care of him, and his followers. I poke about cautiously, liberally using det evil, and eventually conclude that the only reason for the L9 is Boldor, who is off in a corner with a few yeeks and a baby red dragon. Can only presume there’s some non-evil thing ((hydra? Bears? Wolves? Hounds more likely) waiting to kill some moronic adventurer. Not going to risk it. I bail on the level.

18: 3-3: Waiting master yeek donates his soul to his/her god, and a CCW to me. Dumbass that I am, I only just realize I’ve been carting around three “boldness” potions while wielding a weapon that offers pFear. Duh. Nothing of interest here, though I do pick up some arrows and a staff of CLW. I had a mana restoration potion, but dropped it. Heck, only have 17 points, and I’m not relying on spells for much other than det evil and portal at this point.

19: 6-3: Buncha trolls are the welcome. One drops leather scale mail of resistance, which boosts my AC and covers the vacant pFire spot. Thing is, this is all in a big cavern with a bunch of black ogres at the other end. I play with them a bit, then portal away. It’s time to invoke the wail-and-bail, methinks, as a primary strategy. In new section, det evil shows a reasonable array of trolls, ogres, orcs. Or, in other words, relatively low-risk experience points. Let’s go hunt. During this exercise, I go back to that big cavern, mug a few nasties, then retreat into a hallway, before dumping a few charges out of the ol’ wand of lightning bolts. I figure it’s not going to be much use as the nasties get nastier, so use it now... A series of uninteresting conflicts follow, all of which do, in fact, add up to a lot of XP, and minimal loss of consumables other than the intentional depleting of wand of lightning bolts. Now CL 23.

20: 4-3 Welcoming committee is a sabretooth tiger. It dies. Gift nearby is a ring of flames. Finally, a decent ranged magic boom-boom. Nearby find a ring of free action. I’m at that level where frAct is kinda important. Is it worth 11 AC points lost by taking off a ROP? Find a cloak +6, which is just dandy since the last one was dropped gosh-knows-how-many-levels ago, rendered useless by some acid—spewing critter. I also have to make another critical decision on what stays and what does not. Find some iron balls, which I need, as arrows are growing rare. But no space. What to drop? A ring of digging? A ring of escaping? I take a bit of a gamble, and drop the ROP +11, wear the Ring of FrAct, dump the ring of digging, and keep the ring of escaping. Run into Gorbag, who creates problems – after his demise. He drops a flail that has frAct and see Invis, and does reasonable damage. I hate carrying weapons as swaps, esp heavy things. I gamble, leave it behind. I will rely on potions for see invis until spells make the potions redundant.

Pete Mack May 31, 2018 19:38

I don't understand why you're burning so much !CLW. Is your fail rate that high?

Sphara May 31, 2018 19:49

Good writing, man! Kind of inspires me to start a paladin ironman game myself.

"Can only presume there’s some non-evil thing ((hydra? Bears? Wolves? Hounds more likely)"

For that level 9 danger feeling, my guess would be an insect or animal pit.

Moving Pictures June 2, 2018 01:40


Originally Posted by Pete Mack (Post 130240)
I don't understand why you're burning so much !CLW. Is your fail rate that high?

At that point, spell points way low, and fail rate ... not friendly, plus also wanted to keep 8sp on standby for a "Portal."

Moving Pictures June 2, 2018 01:52

21: 3-2. Catacomb level, nothing remarkable other than the first umber hulk encounter. Well, that and a ranger who summoned things, backed up by some dark hounds. Did the wail-and-bail, but did not use any consumables, save for a CSW when confused and blind. Best treasure is a potion of enlightenment. Will keep for suitable use later.

22: 5-4. Not a clue do I have of what it was I was fighting as the welcoming party– suspect some dark elf mage? Fought while blind, confused. Drank a CSW to clear it, blind/confused instantly. Killed something in the dark, and then I felt (how?) a rod of curing. Merci. Crack open a minivault, which proves troublesome. Have to portal away and come back twice, but net a rod of lightning bolts and a decent shield of resist acid.

23: 4-5 Lots of orcs/snagas floating about, in numbers that require a bit of finesse. Find a CON potion lying on the floor. (Gulp). Merci. Scroll of Acquirement gives better leather scale mail of resistance (merci) and I snag a second rod of lightning bolts, and an amulet of Wisdom (+2). Doesn’t do much (adds 5 sp to a total of 25), but every little bit helps.

24: 6-5: Welcoming committee is a pack of air hounds. Alert observers will note the lack of rPois at this point, so they are troublesome … despite void in rPois, I manage to dust ‘em off without going into consumables. That’s the goal, now: Gain XP and loot without using consumables if at all possible. Lugdush shows up, dies with no consumables expended, drops nothing of real worth other than a weapon that’s not as good as the artifact. Wander around mopping up uruks, orcs, half-orcs. I find a small vault, but ... granite and no digging ring, because I dropped that. Det evil shows me Nar the Dwarf there, a few other baddies. Inaccessible, right? No worry. I have Earthquake. Fire that up a few times and voila, I’ve cracked open a vault to find pre-damaged inhabitants. Burn through too many consumables for not enough reward. Nar drops diddly. Blast. I am just about to go down stairs, after a tussle with trolls, and see Ibun. Huh? He never came up in any of my det evil sweeps.... I then do exactly what i didn’t want to: burn through consumables on a gamble of a drop, but he has just a suit of armor with no resists. Dang, stupid. Not worth a healing potion and two phase doors.

25: 3-3 Great, Khim is the welcoming committee. Not going to be fooled twice, I portal away. I find Ulfang, knock him off. What the heck? Is this the unique family level? Get the Umber brothers, portal away. OK, not good. Time to find a stair and leave. CL 26 now, but low on consumables. Have to remember I now have enough spell points that I can at least heal thyself, paladin.

26: 5-3: Troll priest is welcoming committee. I wander about, looking for useful consumables. Several times, bail mid-battle facing trolls, bats of gorgoth. Running out of iron balls, too. This is where my dumb play from two levels ago is going to come back to haunt me: low consumables and few missiles means few options other than melee. Feagdor the half-Orc paladin is a goner unless the winds of fate change a bit. No sooner do I finish writing that sentence, than a lone forest troll dies politely and coughs up a ring of accuracy. I’ve not used such things before, but ... hmm. A pair of Enchant Armor scrolls and new boots (with stealth) counteract what Ibun disenchanted. Still wearing a totally useless cap that was acid-bathed on level five or six. That has to go. Chased by a wereworm to Level 27.

27: 6-8: I land practically in bed with a crap-ton of orcs, Ugluk, a mindflayer and a manticore. I look at the layout, and figure it’s a reasonable risk-reward to go in. Alas, det evil does not pick up the vibration hounds, who stun me. It takes three tries to portal away… which justifies, to some degree, the intent of keeping spell points for portal. Now, det evil picks up ghouls. On goes ring of frAct, off goes Ring of Accuracy. Beat up on ghouls, along with a stray vibration hound. Quaff Enlightenment (I have six) to figure out what that “8” might be. Nothing leaps out, but some arrows- yeah, would be nice to get the bow back in action. The Gorgimera guard falls easily enough. Hmm. +5/+13 slay demon, 36 of ‘em. I start sneaking back (I sneak like tank) to Ugluk. Incoming Umbar brothers. I chisel away at one, portal out, rest. Only one comes after me, meaning I can quaff a speed potion, hit him with a slow monster, and feed a steady diet of cold bolts from a wand. Angaiwhatzits drops a flail. I then go after Ungiwhoever, burning a few PD scrolls and charges from the slow monster wand. He drops a randart set of gauntlets that have +4 wisdom and sDig, plus ... i dunno, because there’s still a rune on it yet seen. Strangely enough, around the corner are three rune scrolls. One goes, to reveal ... rPois. Oh, thank you, it’s been too long without rPois. I go hunting for Ugluk, knock off some orcs and wait... and wait. He doesn’t show. I walk around, and realize DE has picked him up, but he’s stuck inside a mini-vault. And I now know how to open those, albeit crudely. This takes a bit, a ton of spelll points on Earthquake (rest to full if it didn’t open the vault). Once a path is made – four tries, if I recall - some more wail-and-bail (a colbran proves troublesome) reveals a wand of TO (timely, off goes Khim into timeout) and a neat scimitar that offers +1 STR, +4 wis, +2 stealth, +6 speed, immunity to lighting, rcold, rfear and [16] AC, and a bunch of slays. It is not weilded. Why? Because lantern go poof, and other sword gives light. Gracious.

28:4-5. I enlighten the level, hoping for oil or a lamp. Also find a mystery amulet that turns out to be a randart, +2 Int, +3 Wis, +2 speed, frAct. Instantly up to +8 speed. No real nasties, except for a Colbran who fries the wand of TO before dying. Only after this do I find oil for lamp (Sigh) and swap in scimtar that has iElec. Seems like this was as bit of a re-organization level.

29: 7- 3. The “three” comes right quick. Mission: find stairs and get out of Dodge. Possible reason: bughouse in corner (with scorpions and beetles and the like.) Engage portal, keep looking for stairs, but now less worried. If that’s the reason for the 7, maybe not such a dangerous spot, since I know where it is. I successfully scrounge for a few goodies, with relatively little resistance (save a few int points loaned to a mind flayer) then leave.

30: 4-3. No notable foes. A few dragons, but nothing unmanageable. Moved through and down, quickly.

Moving Pictures June 2, 2018 02:07

You can see me, but I can't see you
31: 5-8. This turns out to be juicy level, quite quickly. A special room has Khim and Ibun. OK, Khim has chased me through at least three out of the last eight levels or something, so it’s time to deal with the guy. I manage to lure Khim away, and burn some PD scrolls to avoid the disenchantment effects. Also burn through some balls and arrows, before victory. Ibun proved a bit harder. The room they were in features a potion of Experience, and a staff of slow monsters. Also pick up a magic lantern that is only +2 light, but offers iCold. Now level 31with some buffs to wisdom (11!) giving 52 spell points. That’s a bit of flexibility - ‘fact, used Orb of Draining on Khim when there wasn’t enough time to recollect shots on the ground. That, and a mind flayer was close on Khim’s heels, and I figured an Orb would do some damage to both.

32: 5-2: Engage in a rollicking cross-dungeon gun-and-run with Lokkak, who dishes out some nasty melee damage a few times, so I stick with the Phase-and-attack-from-afar plan until he croaks and drops the Main Gauche of Rungon. Hefty item, packs +4 Con. But not worth giving up more damage and +6 speed for 39hp. Not interested in beating up trolls and ogres, which is about all that’s left.

33: 5-4 Amazing what some hit points and rPois will do for you. A basilisk is the welcoming committee, and lasts about as long as a politician’s promise. At this point, the “sense surroundings” spell is sufficiently viable, mana-wise, that I decide to dump the staff of mapping I’ve been hauling around since forever. A healing potion – awesome. Also two ‘restore mana’ potions, and some pebbles for the sling. I am still carrying two launchers... and that original randart bastard sword that was so amazing not that long ago. Getting time to think about paring the gear. Now up to five rods of lighting bolts, but their effectiveness is diminishing as opponents grow nastier. They may be the next to go. And I can’t see using the randart sword in the future. I will take it one more level, and then see.
34: 6-5: Despite its danger rating, this level never felt anywhere near nasty. A minivault proved problematic, mind you, because of a few stone giants and a golem, but nothing a little wail-and-bail didn’t solve. Did use the rods of LB some, so will keep. Ditched randart bastard sword. Think it’s time to think about a new launching system. Sling gives 33pt per round, arrows 22. I take a bit of a gamble, drop 30-odd iron balls, pick up a heavy crossbow (0,0) in the hopes i can transition to something with more ooomph on the launcher side.

35: 8- 3 Huh. So six danger wasn’t tough enough, apparently, and Angband always has more. Up to eight it is. Oh, and that room right-freaking-next-door? Big, way open space stacked with giants, trolls, ogres, that of thing. Obligingly clear the entire lot – a good 40 – by luring them in bunches into hallways, softening ‘em up with lightning bolts then skewering a line of six or seven, then going back in, softening up the next round with acid ball (rod) ring of fire ring of ice, then retreating into the hall to reprise the lightning bolts. Much XP gained, no consumbles lost. A timely det evil picks up a ghost, fire up a see invisible spell, kill it before it can do any draining. Det evil really paying dividends: picks up some beholders and evil eyes in what looks like locker. Det evil not long after picks up three dreads, in a corner. Not interested in playing with either of those. However, dreads and ghosts really brings into focus the urgent need for a full-time det invis, at least, or ESP, ideally.

36: 7-3 :Merrily chewing through some low-level kobolds, I gain a bit of insight into the seven – inertia hounds. Try to take out two, get hit hard, have to portal out.... det evil. Banshee right there. Four dreads. Back to the need for invis, or ESP. Oh, also landed right on top of a room with night mare. Not my favourite critter. There is no way to get out of this area save by digging out or portaling. I choose the latter. Bit of finagling, find a corner that I can work from that has a stair down. Bail. After months of steadily playing this addictive game, I’m starting to gain a sense of when to simply move on.

37: 5-1. Ugh. Find queen ant in a room that came up empty in DE. Again, the need for ESP is proving rather urgent. Portal out, find orcs and Shagrat. Figure worth a poke. Knock Shagrat down, nothing of interest. Play a little run and gun with Queen ant, but in the midst of this, smack a dark elf that drops a reasonable pike with see invis on it. Pick that up as a swap. I continue the run and gun with Queenie, and I engage with the idea I will continue the battle but play it cautious, and abandon conflict if I start edging into consumable terrain. Why? Heck, it’s about time one of these uniques gave me something .... and after variations of the chase-me-into-the-hall and use of rods of LB to rid myself of her summed fire ants (who, interestingly, seem smarter than giants in the “chase guy down straight hall and get fried” department), I knock her off, and ... voila, law dragon scale mail. Puts AC to 145, and I don’t care about dropping the leather mail of resistance, as I have the four biggies covered off (and two as immunities, as you may recall.) Oh, and somewhere in that maelstrom of death, CL 32 came along. I never noticed when.

38: 5-1. Welcoming committee is a bunch of cave orcs, and Bolg. Bolg is first to feel the output of the new armour. Wander about, but not much here so move on.

39: 5-3: skulk about using DE liberally. Keeps me on top of a vampire, which is killed at range easily. Ditto for a lich. Mature gold dragon is an interesting tussle, and she helps ID a rune on the dragon armor as rSound, which I kind of suspected. She drops two Enchant-to-Hit, which I use on the longbow I’ve been carrying around since forever. (level 11). In fact, I realize I’ve use it as a dump for a lot of enchant scrolls: it’s now +9,+5. Still, not much for this kind of level.

40: 5-5: I get a bit careless with the walk-20-steps-use-DE ritual, and it results in a “something touches you and you feel your life slipping away.” Damn. Swap in the pike, see invis on it reveals a ghost. One hit, one kill, it drops Exorcisms. I have no room, but wait: have restore life levels potion packed around for three levels. Use it to clear inventory spot. I don’t find Exorcisms that useful as a book, but what the heck. Room of red dragons proves interesting: I lose chunk of HP and one of four chants and blessings to breath but gain an amulet of +5 wisdom, which is kind of useless, as I have a bunch of boosts already, including an amulet that gives +3 wis, +2 speed and is the only frAct I have. Find heavy crossbow, figure it’s time to drop longbow. Kill young dragon, it drops potion of Wisdom. Det evil pulls up Intangast nearby, not a critter I feel like dealing with. Start to clear out a locker of nagas/snakes. Wakes up Intangast, and that’s my cue to depart. Even with resist fire/cold over top of a static rFire, a tussle with that critter is not going to go well. I can’t push out 2000 hp of damage in a hurry, not yet. Thus begins an interesting game of tag, wherein I try to find stairs down, and Intangast attempts to create an evening meal of half-orc flambe. This rather deadly game is marked by a moment where the aforementioned fire drake cashes in on a bit of incautious play: from 305 to 53 in one instant. Yike! Plan B is to “portal” about in frantic search for stairs down, never letting a resist fire/cold spell lapse: that’s the proof against a spell-failure mishap leaving me at the mercy of two successive breaths. This proves remarkably beneficial, as I find a path to stairs down that includes two Wisdom potions and a *healing. I ponder my inventory, decide to drop 10 CSWs for the *healing and move on. (I have 23 CCW at this moment, so I figure it’s worth the trade: as Intangast proves, I am moving into the realm of big damage-dealers.)

Pete Mack June 2, 2018 07:37

Lovely AAR, and good strategy. Ibun and bro are indeed lousy targets. Their drop rarely outweighs their damage to equipment and consumables. Mim is a better target IF You have good archery. DROP_GREAT is worth a little risk.
You'll be able to handle Itangast soon enough: a good bow, and some branded arrows or bolts. Those mid-level D's are righteous targets.

Moving Pictures June 2, 2018 14:38

Ask enough questions, Angband will give you the answer, a casket, or both.
41 5-8: This level begins with what at first seemed like a reasonably swift mugging of Castomir, made a bit ugly by the appearance of a Maia. Chew through a Healing and CCW to make it work. Drop a dozen Mumak, bump to CL33. I never did figure out what the “8” feeling was: best I could guess was an artifact scale mail that has a decent con boost and +1 speed, pBlind and sustain. Thing is, I figured it was not worth dropping dragon armour (and losing 21AC and 230hp output in sound/shards for the extra 30hp. Was just about to leave when I realized one section of the floor was unexplored. Went over, killed black dragon, found potion of Con.

42: 4-3: Unremarkable, save for landing a ring that detects invisible. It goes on finger pronto. Save scroll of banishment for future use.

43: 5-3: Kind of boring. A Night Mare, bunch of dreads. I foolishly landed in a mess with an Emperor wight, lost XP, and then landed in trouble with a pack of dreads before bailing.
44: 7-2: I spent way too much time playing hide-go-seek with a beholder and black dragon, never quite able to make a clear dash for stairs down. Result? Bad draining, not from the beholder but a black wraith that I landed next to.

45: 6-5: It’s about time to find a few key mid-game necessities, like ESP. DE pulls up a death drake, and, thus forewarned, can skulk about a bit before pulling the portal-out routine. Keenly conscious of the fact that I can’t keep hitting the stairs every time the going gets tough, I work through a routine of chiselling away at the nasties, portalling out, resting as needed, and going back in. This nets a few good kills, and an artifact cloak with a few buffs, two dex potions, and a lot of tense moments- like being taken to 6hp by a nether-casting vampire left over from a dead necromancer’s summoning. Starting to think rNether might be a need in the next while.

46: 6-5. Remove Bjorn, and a bunch of bears, mumak and fire giants to go to CL 34. At this point, the acute lack of CON (zero magic buffs at all) is becoming acutely obvious. 14 isn’t cutting it. Much of the reason I’m bouncing around like a rubber ball is that 300hp vanishes quickly at this level. On a whim, enlighten – find a potion of con in a corner…. Fight there, run into Lorgan, bail. Teleport … right next to the room with con potion. Decide the dozen Hellhounds guarding it are too many and too tough, so use a scroll of banishment picked up ages ago to dispense of them. Quaff CON potion. Then rest, go back, dust off Lorgan in a nasty battle. He drops Dwarven bar chain mail, bail. Instant step forward. Don bar mail, buff con. Mail has frAct, so I can dump amulet that gives same, and wear other amulet saved … two dozen levels? Up goes DEX by a bucketload, and with it, damage output. Later – after teleporting away from a vampire lord left over from Lorgan, land into room with various critters in it. Clear that, find potion of toughness. CON natural is 15 – yeah, worth it. Drains dex, but not too worried. That will even out in time, and buffs really give solid dex (18/107) so worth bringing CON to natural 16 or buffed 18/20. HP now at 362 – 60 or so more than when I landed here.
Now, about that big special room with a buncha stuff in it… I take a bit of a gamble that a bow outside the open special room (should have taken screenshot) is something funky. It is. I bash through a dark elf and young white dragon to find a solid longbow: x5, (+7,+22) with +3 con and +1 light. I have kept arrows, and now use them to push out way more damage than shots gave. Only baddie in the room of note is Eol, who is TO’d. Heavy melee, including one dicey situation where HP falls low, invoking Portal. Chew through the mess, though. Nothing amazing shows up, other than a Toughness, which I drink. Poking about the remains, I find a set of gloves that boost dex, apparently dropped by Smeagol. Huh, I was pushing arrows out one after the other, and never noticed I’d killed the critter. But then, open two chests. One spits out a a cap that gives see +4 int, +6 Wis, frAct, see invis and iAcid, and the other a leather shield [8,+39] that gives iFire along with +1 Wis and +1 Infra. Also shoots 64-point lightning ball. End result? Immunities across all the four major elements. I make a calculated decision, now, and reclaim the Law Dragon scale mail. I lose a bit of AC and a few hit points, but get 220 hp ranged attack that isn’t often resisted, and rSound. I’m at that point where I feel a lot of heavy hitters require ranged attacks, and that stack of lightning bolt rods… their time is limited.

47: 7-6: The gains made from the level before make this an easy level. Knock off a master vampire with ease, and even an ancient multi-hued dragon seems …. less challenging. (pick up a pretty decent crossbow, drop old sling). Something keeps ‘porting me, presumably a quilythhwhatiz. Crack open a vault, defeat a storm wrym with little more than a CCW to end blindness. TO Quaker and a lesser balrog. Gain mithril arrows and a ring of +2 con. Don the con ring. HP go to 400. Just as I ponder the merits of taking on Quaker, it/he/she comes after me, so I figure what the heck. I know it drops nothing, but it’s one less unique and a bit of a test of the new toe-to-toe setup. Quaker drops after only one cautionary CCW. I decide to go balrog hunting, but find instead a death drake. It wasn’t there before? A bit more of a challenge, this, requiring a portal and heal before a re—engage, but at least it drops some magical crossbow bolts. Then I stumble on a gold dragon DE hadn’t picked up before. Only then to I have the Ahah moment …. A draconic quiltythingie. I’m a bit slow today. Back to balrog hunting, I find it … and it breathes when I come into sight, killing the draconic qulithgiveitaspellablename in the process. Sweet! Dumb that I am this morning, I forget the balrog can level drain. He sucks all but one charge out of my wand of TO before dying.

48: 5-3: What a difference the stuff from 46 makes. Now ancient red dragons are mere inconveniences, even if tag-teaming with a pair of gold dragons. Yaaaawn. From hunted to hunter – actively seeking out ancient reds and other nasties is a joyous relief from the skulk-and-run routines of just a few levels ago. Shadow drake falls in a heartbeat, drops potion of STR. Onward ho!

49: 7-4: Poking about, I soon gain the impression the place is … quiet. Too quiet. No critters to speak of, other than a cytoplasm and an orc captain with a few wargs for much of the first few hundred turns. Pair of blue dragons die, Int potion from one, dex from the other. What’s the seven? Where’s the nasties? I think it might be Waldern (not picked up by DE), who loses a lot of HP before a better answer emerges over his shoulder: a bronze golem, also not picked up by DE. Portal away before it gets ugly… well, no. I portal away after it got ugly, because it got ugly in a far-too-rapid hurry. Those things are nasty. I re-asses. Seven is not from the master vampire, who dies in several arrow blows and drops a potion of INT; Nor could seven be due to the two demons who guard the CON potion and the +4 con ring. I poke about, liberal use of DE. Something makes me blind, then bites me after three failed uses of the rod of curing. Fourth try is the charm and ooooooh. Ask enough questions, Angband will give you the answer, a casket, or both. Pardon me, my good drolem, but I have an urgent appointment somewhere – anywhere – else, ideally a place next to a set of down stairs.

50: 5-3: Potion of Aug in room with mages makes my day. Medusa proves a relatively easy challenge, although I played a bit riskily and let hit points drop a wee bit too low. Thank giggidy for the CON ring. Ancient Red Dragons are meh, now. Have to be cautious about being over-confident.

Pete Mack June 2, 2018 17:04

That Balrog got you good. Ouch. Your lovely new bow should help with charge drainers.
What do you have in the way of dungeon books at this point?

And no ESP or full detection. Are you carrying light rods? I find those more useful than lightning rods.

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