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buzzkill April 12, 2011 02:05

DAJ Inspired Tales of Semi-Anonymous Ill-Equipped Ironman Tourists.
Tale One: The Tale of Hilmass the Charismatic, High-Elf Tourist.

The first of what will no doubt a long line of short lived slack jawed tourists, Hilmass entered the pits of Angband armed with only his ordinary daily provisions in search of easy fortune. That is to say, he didn't bother to go shopping and has virtually no knowledge of the horrors that await him below.

Hilmass was no fool. He knew his first priority was to find a suitable weapon, as his walking stick's damage probabilities were absurdly low. Before he accomplished even such a seemingly simple task, he encountered a lone white mouse, apparently asleep, whom he approached gingerly. As he drew nearer he spotted a flask of oil just, lying on the ground, very near the napping mouse. He tried his hardest to sneak past it, but the rodent awoke as he neared. He attacked with all his might and fury, which is to say he whacked it heartily with his walking stick. It responded by spawning a twin. The mice fled in opposite directions. He quickly grabbed the oil from the floor and flung it down the darkened corridor to the west. A report of flames and a shrill squeal gained him some satisfaction and his very first kill. He then spent a few minutes chasing after and killing the rest, beating them to death with his stick. Four in total had spawned and all lie dead by the time he finished. Hilmass was still alive, only moderately injured, and quite proud of himself. "This is easy", he thought.

For the time being, he avoided the sleeping town drunk near to where he had entered the dungeon at, and also a white worm mass just to the west. He'd be back for them once his wounds had healed, he thought. As plans so often do, this one went awry. The passage he was following twisted and turned and led him almost directly back to the white worm mass he sought to avoid just minutes earlier. It had awoke and and already spawned by the time of his return. Although they moved slowly, there were multiple worm masses and they all looked alike to the novice elf, and so he had a hard time keeping track of which was which. Even though he killed one of them, one of the masses also managed to poison and thus, in time, nearly kill him. In desperation he read his unknown scroll of blessing that he had found near the stairs upon first descending. His first brush with death, survived, narrowly.

Recovering, but still weak from the poison, he fled the remaining worm masses looking for a place to rest and easier prey to, well, prey upon. His scroll bought blessing wore off quickly and he soon after discovered a longish room containing a large green frog, but was still too weak to risk any type of a fight. Hilmass tried to head south, but what he thought was a corridor was only an alcove. The next southern passage he tried was mostly blocked by yet another white worm mass, asleep, yet still fearsome in his eyes. He crossed the room and tried a door in the north wall, but it was locked. It was then that the frog awoke. Hilmass, hurried now, headed east, then north but again what appeared to be a corridor was but an alcove. Now he was surrounded. The worm masses he had previously fled from were to the east, the frog was to the west, and a sleeping worm mass mostly blocking the only southern exit. He had to take decisive action while some time still remained to do so. He decided to try to beat the frog to the guarded southern passage and then sneak by the worm mass, but he had taken no more than a step, when he realized that the worm mass had awoke and had spilled out into the room.

Having no choice, he headed back to the east, toward the worms that nearly killed him earlier. Luckily, the worms must not have spread because none seemed to be about. He turned south and found himself in a dead end. "Surely there must be a door here", he thought, but searching revealed nothing, and he hadn't the spare time to search frivolously. In desperation he read his one and only scroll of magic mapping. It revealed that he was indeed and truly in a dead end. There was not but more granite on the opposite side of the wall. He retraced he steps further back to the east, back to where he entered the dungeon at, sneaking past the still sleeping drunkard, and then proceeded even further. His magical map showed him an intersection where he knew that there must surely be a secret door, but despite his conviction, it still took him several minutes to find it. Eventually he opened the passage and moved south, now with purpose, as he discovered that the map had also shown the stairs to the next level deeper. He passed through another obvious, yet secretive door, and entered a room where he picked up a broken sword from the ground. Though the sword was likely more dangerous to others than his stick, he knew that wielding a cursed weapon would surely lead to his death. He placed the sword in his pack for later consideration.

In the very same room he spied an unknown scroll lying next to a grey mushroom patch. He feared the mushrooms, not knowing their secrets, but greed got the better of him and he ventured forth and grabbed the scroll. Before he could escape, the mushroom patch released some spores, confusing him. He tried to back away, but he was confused and unable to control his movements. After a panicked, dizzying minute he found himself out of harms way, out out the reach of the stationary mushrooms. He had once again nearly died. This was his second brush with death. "This isn't as easy as I first thought", he whispered to himself.

It was a minute or two before his head cleared and he proceeded, still weak, toward the stairs. He was surprised to find a staircase much closer than he expected. As it turns out, he had ventured into uncharted territory, and stumbled upon an unmapped staircase. He was however, not ready to descend yet. "I must grow stronger", he proclaimed aloud. He proceeded west, toward the already mapped staircase and was soon in it's presence. Through his torch light, he clearly saw that the stairs were closely guarded by a floating eye. Hilmass may not have been the brightest high-elf, but he had heard tales of fearsome eye-monsters and knew enough to get away, and fast. As he turned to run he stumbled over some debris and fell to the floor right next to the menacing eye. It gazed upon him and he was paralyzed. He felt his life drain away as it stared deep into his soul. Hilmass would never be seen or heard from again.

The Eulogy... The epic descent of Hilmass the High-Elf lasted for less than one hour. Hilmass was very much doomed. The broken sword he had found was indeed cursed. The scroll he nearly died for was of summon monster. The decision that cost him his life was nothing more than an errant key stroke by I, his creator. Thus ends the tale of Hilmass the Charismatic.

Praise, criticism and comments are welcome.

will_asher April 12, 2011 03:40

This really points out the odd mechanics of mapping and secret doors. Mapping should really detect doors in the mapped area.
And I hope your future tourists don't forget their camera flash spell. It can be quite useful in early battles (though it doesn't disable a floating eye's paralysis like it does in Nethack).

buzzkill April 12, 2011 04:16

Oh, I been running bare naked tourists for a while now, since you suggested it (well, you didn't suggest no shopping... but). Although I try to keep them alive, I can't seen to crack DL3. It's always the damn dogs, if I make it that far. Camera flash typically has about a 50% fail at CL1, and not a particularly devastating spell even if it does work, as you will soon read.

Here's a thought? Allow beef jerky thrown in the vicinity of canines, to serve as a distraction for a few turns, rendering the dogs temporarily confused/slowed or made non-hostile toward the PC.

buzzkill April 13, 2011 03:54

Tale Two: The Tale of Nibildonna the Intillegent, Hobglib Tourist.

The second of a string of no doubt short lived tourists, Nibildonna enterd the pits of Angband armed with only her IQ and good looks. That is to say, she resisted the urge to go shopping and has virtually no knowledge of anything that will aid in her survival.

Nibildonna descended to the eastern end of a well lit rectangular room. She immediately noticed a sling lying upon the earthen floor as well as a white mouse, surely sleeping, just beyond it. Grabbing the sling was easy and beating the mouse to death, suprisingly, not much harder. She took a moment to admire the majestic statue of Thorin, King Under the Mountain, before she secured the sling in her pack and exited to the south.

After about tem minutes of uneventful exploring she located a staircase leading deeper. North of the stairs she discovered a oval room, filled with piles of rubble, an ancient ruined vault. She had heard tales of such places but never actually seen one before now. She killed two jackals without much fuss during the course of her excavation of the area.

She once agin wandered through the, seemingly devoid of life, dungeon. She picked up a chartruce potion and eventually conqured a lone fruit bat. She was far from the stairs now and once again had to retrace her steps in search of new areas to explore. Descent would have to wait until she was, at the very least, slightly stronger. It was about this time that she ran into Wolf, one of Farmer Maggot's notirously vicious dogs.

Being far from the only stair case she knew of and doubting her ability to kill the hairy beast, Nibildonna read her scroll of magic mapping in search of a closer escape. It turns out that there was a closer stair case, but the route was far more treacherous, directly past her snarling emeny. She quickly decided upon retreat and a fight to the death if it couldn't be avoided. As a last ditch effort to avoid combat, she threw her unknown chartuce potion at Wolf. Although the potion hit firmly and shattered, it's effects were negligible if any. It was now time to run.

No sooner had she exited the room than the beast had closed considerably and was but 20 feet away. Then a bat, a fruit bat of all things, inserted itself into the fray, inexplicably blocking Wolf's access to her. For a brief moment she thought that the fruit bat might be her salvation. Thinking quickly she cast her only known spell, camera flash, stuning the bat who was still inserted between herself and Wolf. The bat wasn't much deterred by her flashy magic tricks and continued to repatately bite her as she fled. Nibildonna tolerated the bat until she literally couldn't take it any longer. Heavily woulded, she turned on the still stunned bat, striking it repeatedly and relentlessly, but it was too late. Another bite and she fell to the earth, most likely then feasted upon the unruly Wolf. Though she survived longer, she was no more sucessful then her charasmatic predecesor.

The Eulogy... The delving of Nibildonna the Hobglib lasted for less than two hours. Nibildonna was a victim of fate. The sling she had found was ordionary, but useless without ammunition. Perhaps had she run when she first heard doors bursting open she would still be alive, but surely it just more jackals, or so she thought. All is now all irrevelant since survival deeper in the dungeon is generally predicated on ones ability to survive the shallower level, which Nibildonna could not. Thus ends the tale of Nibildonna the Intellegent.

Camcolit April 13, 2011 14:34

She could'a bin someone, she could'a bin a mage, instead of dead, which is what she is.

buzzkill April 15, 2011 02:05

Tale Three: The Tale of Gariath the Mighty, Power-Sprite Tourist.

Third of his type, the touristy type, Gariath was undeterred by the tales of misfortune of his predecessors. He was certain that despite his diminutive size, his sheer strength would carry the day. He wanted not an advantage to aid his survival, so restricted himself in exactly the way as the others who had died before him had. Silly sprite.

Less than a minute into his underground adventure the score was Gariath 1, large green frog 0. A fresh notch in his walking stick, just an oversized tooth pick really, to indicate as much. Just a few minutes later the score had risen to Gariath 2, large green frogs 0. Soon after Gariath scored again, this time a garter snake. Score, Gariath 3, Angband 0. 17 minutes in, Gariath finds a stair case. Another dead snake raises the score to Gariath 4, Angband 0.

Having completed exploration of the northern portion of the map, Gariath headed south where he encountered a room with some copper pieces, thank you, and the familiar white worm mass, asleep. He couldn't risk a dose of poison due to his tiny size, so he moved on without approaching the worms. Further south he encountered a fruit bat who died quickly, but was a bit more of a menace than he would have liked. He wondered briefly why fruit bats seemed just a bit too powerful. Not long afterward he was briefly pestered by yet another fruit bat, taking it down as it fled with his 'flashy' magic. He tried to recollect, but had somehow forgotten 'the score', suffice to say that he felt that he still held a commanding lead.

It was an hour into his trek now, and he had yet to find a single trinket. He saw, and decided to, once again, avoid a white worm mass. He wandered for a bit, retracing his steps before eventually killing another frog. Shortly after that, he managed to kill a newt. He rounded a corner and eyed a gecko. Shouldn't be any harder, he thought.

Gariath was only slightly injured, and slightly mana deprived. He figured that if he were to first pick up the copper pieces and then engage the gecko all would be well. The gecko awoke prematurely. It was what Gariath surmised to be 'not a big problem'. He casually pushed open the door just to his north, to maximize his position, and took a step back into the passageway. His mana had not yet regenerated, so he simply waited for the gecko to approach. When it came near he landed the first blow nearly killing it, but it didn't flee. Instead it struck back, nearly killing the poor sprite. Gariath took an instinctive step backward, but then decided that fleeing an equally fast foe wasn't to his advantage. He was the superior warrior and another blow would surely kill the gecko. He swung away, but missed. The gecko's teeth sunk deep into Gariath's tender flesh, rending it from bone and spilling profuse amounts of the sprite's luminecent blood. Gariath was no more. In the end, he was nothing more than a snack for a lizard.

The Eulogy... While it true the Gariath the Power Sprite was superior in many ways to those who died before him, his tiny body proved to be too fragile for Angband. He's the only tourist thus far not to find a single treasure. Had he only managed to kill that lone gecko, he would have nearly reached level two, which would have placed him not only upon a pedestal, but also upon a distinguished path.

will_asher April 15, 2011 06:10

I'll likely remove the power sprite race sometime in the next couple releases. Partly because it doesn't make sense for them not to have an innate speed boost (among other things), but that would probably be overpowered.
Or else I could give them a speed boost and a could other appropriate features, making them a real novelty race.

EDIT: BTW, I've changed the umber hulk race so that they can be any class instead of being restricted to their own class. An umber hulk tourist doesn't make any sense, but he'd probably have a much better chance of survival.

buzzkill April 15, 2011 12:58


Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 51249)
EDIT: BTW, I've changed the umber hulk race so that they can be any class instead of being restricted to their own class.

You must have hacked my PC, or be reading my mind. An umber hulk can ALREADY be a tourist (which I thought was a little odd too). Living Ghouls are prohibited from the tourist class, the only race prohibited AFAIK.

buzzkill April 16, 2011 04:24

Tale Four: The Tale of Windureb the Unwise, Umber Hulk Tourist.

The fourth to venture forth, Windureb was an unlikely traveling companion. An umber Hulk tourist, you ask? Yes indeed. He scorned those who had died before him as he waited patiently in line for his turn in the dungeon. He thought it would be great fun to go subterranean once again. He was anxious to prove himself superior to his companions, but the RNG was not smiling on Windureb. It would surely be a dark day for this beast.

As if reading my mind, poor Windureb is greeted by the RNG with with a dire feeling of very challenging monsters wandering about. He decided to err on the side of caution and after a cursory investigation of a small portion of the level read one of his scrolls of magic mapping. He was hoping to locate a staircase, but none were revealed.

He wandered further, into uncharted territory, and was just about to read another scroll of mapping when he located the stairs. He found it odd that despite his wandering this was his first discovery. In the same room he also picked up a scroll and some copper pieces. He read the scroll aloud and found it to be quite useless. Soon after Windureb engaged in his first bit of melee, and I was reminded how much that I personally despise the earthquakes that it causes.

Windureb now found himself in a dead end. In an effort to avoid a lot of back tracking, he read a scroll of mapping in order to locate a shorter route through the stone, and did so. After a bit of tunneling he was on the other side. It was about this time that he began to wonder why he was hanging out on level one, and decided to head back to the stairs. He is an Umber Hulk after all. He is superior. He managed to kill a newt and also found a pair of gloves before descending. Nearly two hours had passed.

Level two, bah, who needs it. The stairs were available so why not take them. On to level three. Win dropped in near to a novice rogue. The rogue was awake and battle would ensue in just a moment so Windureb donned his, properties yet unknown, leather gloves, and ate a strip of jerky while he waited for the crafty thief to notice him and approach. It didn't take long. After striking and confusing the rogue, the rogue managed to strike back, stealing 87 coins and disappearing into a cloud of smoke.

Then Wolf appeared. Windureb was not frightened in the least, but perhaps he should have been. Though Wolf was easily confused, his rapid movements meant that he remained a threat. The battle ended with Windureb victorious, but alive by, literally, the barest margin. The conquering of Wolf elevated the Umber Hulk straight past level two, to level three. It also demonstrated his fragility. Achieving level three allowed Windy to learn to detect doors and stairs which should greatly aid in his survival.

Since he was so grievously injured and needed some alone time to regenerate, Win decided to re-explore the area he currently occupied. Of course he was already familiar with how the area used to look, but multiple earthquakes have a way of changing things. He casually wandered into a dead end and when he turned to leave, a rogue stood blocking his path. The same rogue that he had fought earlier had returned. This wasn't entirely unexpected, although undesirable. The Big-W had hoped that the earthquakes he created had sealed him off from the nearby dungeon, this turned out, sadly, not to be the case.

This was bad. Not enough time had passed since his dance with Wolf. Win was still very near death. The way he saw it, retreat was useless as there was no place to go. Well, that's pretty much all he saw of it. He had no choice but to fight, not that fighting was such a poor option. The rogue was already half dead. By comparison, the rogue was in considerably better shape, but Win would strike first and killing the rogue in a single blow wasn't out of the question, hell, it probably wasn't even that unlikely.

He swung hard and hit, but the numbers just weren't there. It was a glancing blow that not only failed to kill the rouge but also elicited a deadly response.

The Eulogy... Windureb was hated by all he encountered. Man and beast alike despised him. Even I had no love for... it, though after he defeated Wolf, I must confess that I, at least for the time being, wanted to see him succeed. That spurt of enthusiasm probably had more to do with the rapid fire deaths of his predecessors than any of Dub's accomplishments. His leather gloves were ordinary, but his success extraordinary, at least in the context of the bare naked tourist. He achieved level three, bypassing level two entirely, something that will likely not be repeated by any of his successors. To state it simply, his over-confidence led to his death... his over-confidence and my indifference.

will_asher April 16, 2011 06:27

You know, I'd like to make playing an umber hulk enjoyable. While the earthquakes aren't as annoying to me as they are to you, they still aren't very fun.
I do want them to have severe drawback(s) though because they're so strong, have Rconf, innate confusion attacks, and perfect digging. Also, I replaced their innate aggravation with -4 to stealth. Any ideas of an alternate drawback to give the umber hulk? Should I give them innate aggravation again? Or are their low INT, WIS, CHR, and horrible skills in disarming, devices, stealth, and missile weapons enough?

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