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fizzix June 29, 2010 15:34

Fightless the full-casting mage
While reading buzzkill's report I decided that I wanted to do something similar. So here is the full report of the adventures of fightless mage from birth to death (or victory I guess, I don't know yet how the story ends). I will try to do my best to describe my game play style, pointing out where this game differs from a normal game where applicable.

The plan for the game is to play a full caster, that means no archery or melee. The early levels will be tough and I want something that has an INT bonus but not too much of an EXP bonus, so I go with hobbit mage, taking a hit on HP to only have a 10% EXP penalty from race. My starting stats are:

Str 8
Int 18/40
Dex 18/10
Con 16

In retrospect I probably should've put another point in INT. oh well. Other features of this game are disconnected stairs, randarts, Nexus stat-swap has been altered to a +1/-1 effect, all stores cap is constant at 20k, and the flavor edit file has been altered because I like silly names. Other than that it's identical to 3.1.2 v1970.

I'm expecting a pace that finishes in around 1M turns, although early sources of speed, regen or int bonus could reduce that. I fully expect the first few levels to go painfully slow and involve a lot of resting for SP. I start with only 2 SP and that's going to make it tough to kill things.

But enough rambling let's begin
In town I get 6 ?phase and 3 !CLW, and sell my dagger. Usually I'll buy flasks of oil and use these to kill early monsters I can't handle. But not with this character.


Descend into a lit room where I immediately find 3 more ?phase. I need to get CL2 before descending again because I can't handle Maggot's dogs. Rubble blocks my path, but I have no weapon to dig through it, so I just go another direction. I enter a big lit room with large white snake, my first attempted kill. I hit it with an MM (magic missile) but fail the second MM attempt and must retreat. I rest to regain SP and the second attempt kills it, rest again. 1 MM kills soldier ant. 2 more kills a floating eye. 2 MMs kill small kobold giving me CL2. I know have 4 SP and a whopping 5 GP. I decide that I actually want CL3 before descending. In a game that I have !oil, I will try to descend pretty much straight to the first point where I get into trouble, usually between DL8-12. !oil is enough to take down the first few dangerous monsters that you find, Grip, Fang, and Bullroarer most notably. This game I need to have enough SP that I can kill them, and that means I need 6 SP, so I need CL3.

I kill a white worm mass, a grey mold, and find 3 more ?phase. I've mapped the out entire northwest corner of map. I kill another large white snake. I enter a lit pillared room that has yellow centipede and small kobold. I only have 2 SP so I retreat. I'm at 3 when the kobold wakes and chases me into another lit room. 2 MM kills it, and I've regened back to 2 SP. 1 shot kills the centipede. The pillared room that had the centipede also has an up stairs, good to know if I need to run.

I spy a jackal in a lit room below the pillared room. A pack of jackals would be deadly to me. I only have 1 SP. Jackals won’t chase me into the hallway so I go back to rest. They only can sense low HP not low SP, so they'll wait patiently for me to regen SP and kill them. Entering the room shows 5 jackals. I kill 2 and rest. Kill 1 more (failure, more resting) Repeat until all are dead. I also kill a white centipede in the same room. Need 10 more xp for CL3. A lit room further south has 9 jackals, time to continue my painfully slow xp gain. 5 XP left after killing them, pick up some unknown scrolls in that room. Find 5 immortal potions in a room with white centipede. They’re almost definitely junk, since I already know !CLW, so I squelch them unknown. Got to the bottom right of the map, still haven’t found down stairs. I awaken a rock lizard and white worm mass in a room near the northeast. Kill both, get 9 GP. 2 more unknown scrolls. Lastly I one-shot a clear icky thing.

Finally, I pick a lock for CL3 and 6 SP. Unfortunately there are 2 fruit bats waiting for me on the other side of the door. I kill them with 3 MMs but I’m out of SP and there’s a rock lizard in front of me. Phasing once lands me in the room next to another lizard, but there are also stairs in this room. I flee down the stairs with 0 SP and 5 HP. Level 1 took me 23296 turns. Resting is slow!

ewert June 29, 2010 17:09

18/50 int would have definitely been better, more mana and spells/lvl ( = faster lvl gain = more mana). :)

Also why up dex at all, as a real mage? 17 con gives +1, 18 +1.5 and is the max but would leave str at 3, heh... I'd maybe go even as far as just blow all in INT and STR (for carrying capacity). :P

And I bet writing this all down takes longer than resting. =P But yeah, first hotkey for mage-mages is R=R\r...

Tiburon Silverflame June 29, 2010 17:16

Resting is seriously slow. :)

But, yes, in this approach mana means everything, which also says that regen is incredibly valuable.

Another aspect of the 18/50 is, it should lower your fail rates a bit, or if not, get you closer to the next step where fail rates do drop.

fizzix June 29, 2010 17:55

The original plan was to die a couple times early and then adjust the starting stats to maximize things better. I really made a half-assed attempt at picking stats because I still was trying to figure out whether it was worth it to start off buying MB2 or not. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) this guy lived longer than I expected, so I just look at the poor stats as an extra challenge to overcome.

writing stuff down takes a while, and stuff accumulates fast. I have tons of notes, and I'll have to cut stuff out once the fun of early survival panic goes away. If I was starting over, Int and Con would be priorities, with probably the same amount in STR as I have now. Carrying capacity isn't as big a deal when you have no weapon, armor or ammo to lug around.

Tiburon Silverflame June 29, 2010 22:29

Where you'll get killed on load, in the none too distant future, is probably the spellbooks.

No armor kinda surprises me that just for now, or forever?

fizzix June 30, 2010 01:31


Originally Posted by Tiburon Silverflame (Post 36399)
Where you'll get killed on load, in the none too distant future, is probably the spellbooks.

No armor kinda surprises me that just for now, or forever?

I was kind of assuming that by the time spell-book load was a problem I would have found at least one =escaping and hopefully two. No armor was a typo, I meant no launcher. Obviously though, armor for AC is useless because there's no reason to let anything get close.

fizzix June 30, 2010 01:48

Injured and out of SP I'm happy to land in an empty room with nothing but gold. Unfortunately, it's not long until a green centipede interrupts my rest. I only have 1 SP. I cast one MM but that doesn't scare it away. I try ?Phase, but it’s faster than me. My phase lands me near a corridor and luckily for me it's too dumb to figure out how to get to me in the hallway, phew. I regen another SP and promptly cast another MM and it dies. Rest to full (6!) SP.

South of the room I started in, I run into OoD (out of depth) creeping copper coins. I ?phase away. I have to use all SP to kill it and I get 13 XP from it. Again, I rest to full. Time to learn detect monsters. Detecting shows a cave lizard (OoD) and grip to the north. I will try to kill grip for CL4. I head towards him and he meets me in the room I started in. I've traveled a whole 100 feet on this level. I have to use 2 ?phase but Grip runs away when I'm at 2 SP. I rest in the lit room and wait for him to return, and he does before I regen any SP. I fail the first MM but get him with the last one. CL4 and 8 SP. The cave lizard to the north is worth 8 XP so I go to find it. I run into a room with an awake novice ranger and novice mage. I don't have enough SP to afford constant detection, because I need to save it for offense. This is dangerous, so I flee. A kobold comes at me, but one MM sends it fleeing. The ranger comes next, I kill it but am down to only 2 SP and there are (at least) 2 novice mages. I know there's not a pack because then they'd be listed in red on monster menu to tell me they're OoD. They confuse me, so I quaff my !CLW and run into a passageway. 1 MM sends one fleeing into the other allow me to run more. When it get's it's courage back another MM kills it. My last SP luckily sends other mage fleeing, and I close a door and try to rest. It comes back at full health, I’m only at 2 SP. However, 1 MM kills it. I rest to full. 1 Novice mage dropped a Skeptical potion. Killing another kobold gives me CL5, 10 SP. I learn detect stairs.

I think I will gather enough GP for MB2 and walk back to town. This is rare for me, I usually dive much deeper, and almost never take the stairs back up. Detect monsters reveals a sleeping salamander. Don’t want to get stuff burned so I head a different way. I'm a bit injured, so I ID-by-use the skeptical potion (heroism). I manage to pick up 2 more of a unknown scroll I picked up earlier on dlevel 1. I cast dstairs, but only see a down one. I really want MB2 before diving, so I wait. I pick up a dagger and squelch all but splendid weapons. I'll unsquelch these later when I want to recall to have stuff to sell, but for now, non-splendid weapons are useless. I manage to find the upstairs and test out ?light and ?blessing while standing on them. Before going up I search one nearby lit room and find two more unid'd scrolls (but I forget to read them) Lastly, I wield a found cloak to no obvious effect. I go back to the stairs and up.

CL5, DL1
I rise in the middle of a huge room with 10 jackals, next to a rock lizard. Also a floating eye and brown snake. I try to escape before the jackals wake up and manage to get into the hallway. Jackals aren’t worth killing anymore, so I continue onwards. I decide to learn stinking cloud and kill a pack of jackals with it when they block my path. I find 2 new Cantankerous potions (one dropped by a small kobold) and a Perspicacious potion and another scroll of ?phase. Importantly, I find 57 pieces of silver on the ground, which gives me more than enough for MB2. Finally find stairs back to town after mapping out half the level mowing down the weaklings in my path. I pick up a Quantized potion on the way to the stairs.

CL5 town.
I sell the scrolls of blessing, these are worthless to me. I also ID-by-sell two more scrolls which turn out to be trap detection and detect invisible. Then I sell the other 2 trap detections. A scruffy dog bites me, and that allows me to test out some potions. The cantankerous potion is !speed (i have another) I also test Resist heat and one with no effect (probably boldness or slow poison). This is the first time that I'm hit since I tried on the cloak and it looks like it is average. I buy MB2 and another MB1. I also buy a !CSW (partly to learn flavor), 2 more !CLW and 2 more ?phase (I have 10) and go back down.

58k turns, usually I'm sitting at dlevel 20 at this point. I'm an order of magnitude off.

NotMorgoth June 30, 2010 11:06

Are you allowed to wield weapons for their resistances etc, just not attack with them? It would be a shame to find a Defender or something and not use it.

ewert June 30, 2010 11:31

Considering you played ranger with +might instead of +shots and thus feel serious imbalance is unfun enough to change the game to suit you, I'd suggest NOT using RoE. They are imbalanced with mages, because the spell failure penalty is not minimum fail but just +fail%, and thus your magic missile stays near zero fail% even with two rings on ... It's definitely cheap in my book now, and I thus don't use the RoE anymore until they are fixed proper. Two RoE with mages makes everything cakewalk, and even +INT rings have troubles replacing the rings until you get speed from other sources or haste spell.

Tiburon Silverflame June 30, 2010 17:39

I wouldn't say that armor's useless for AC; I agree that you don't want anything to get close, but there may be times when you don't have that much choice. :)

I also had the same thought as NotMorgoth...a defender whip would be nice just for the defensive aspects, and it's not that unlikely to find one. Later on, Gondricam would be particularly sweet, given its massive AC boost. It can't hurt. Then, of course, there's the good speed boosters...note that you're sacrificing, potentially, +20 speed (Ringil and Cubragol).

ewert: given that everything has to be killed by spell, I think any increase in spell failure will be very significant. MM's nice, but the damage goes up rather slowly. And given the low-ish Int to start, he's lower on mana, so using lightning bolts is non-trivial.

fizz: yeah, starting mages take forever. :) And you're forced to rest a bit more often with the low mana. The turn count's not altogether surprising.

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