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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?

buzzkill April 16, 2011 14:58


Originally Posted by will_asher (Post 51299)
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?

The big problem I have is that I don't really see why earthquakes are created (from a realism point of view). I get why Grond causes earthquakes, I don't see why a CL1 umber hulk does, especially when using a weapon. If it made more sense, it would be more tolerable.

I don't have a *lot* of faith in these suggestions, just throwing them out there. These aren't laid out in any particular order and aren't meant to be used in conjunction with one another. Just a bunch of stuff, some of it probably contradictory, to pick and choose from.

I'd rather an occasional earthquake, maybe 10% of the time, than the status quo about 50% (or more) of hits resulting in earthquakes.

I'd consider giving the umber hulk the ability to confuse only while fighting bare handed, couple this with frequent earthquakes (75%) and a moderate boost to bare handed fighting ability (don't make them monks, but give them something extra). So, if you're using a weapon, no confusion, but no (or very rare) earthquakes either.

I don't see umber hulks (based on their description) as archers or slingers (maybe a crossbow). But I could see them dual wielding (another melee weapon in the b slot) plus a shield. They have enough arms don't they. Probably very hard to code, but something that might be usable elsewhere once it's done.

It's not the destruction of nearby items or messed up LoS that gets me, It's the darkness and the fact that it screws up your map (plus it's unavoidable, you can't avoid meleeing everything). Remove the darkness aspect, and have magic maps automatically update themselves post earthquake and 90% of the tedium goes out the window. Maybe create a limited range (20' or 30' radius) magic mapping/lighting spell and have it invoked automatically after each eq. (though admittedly, this does break the theme a bit, I'd have to try it to see if the ease/benefits that accompanied it were unsettling or seemed OK).

If Grond is -12 stealth, then make umber hulks -6, that seems reasonable. It's more than can be overcome with one stealthy item.

I'd rather see earthquake upon tunneling than melee, it just makes more sense. Especially when first starting or finishing a tunnel. Ya know the point at which he first bores into a wall or bursts forth from it. Surrounded by granite on 7 sides=no earthquake.

MUST DO (exclusive to umber hulks): Please fix tunneling so that a) it takes only one turn to tunnel and move into the recently cleared space and b) it takes only one key stroke to accomplish such. I think that you would have to implement both together lest you get a situation where one keystroke equals two turns and thus probably, eventual instadeath (In Steam reloading takes multiple turns and monsters will cross the room and attack you while you were doing so because you're not disturbed until they hit you).

Not to do with umber hulks, but since I'm here, consider adding the reload mechanic to crossbows as discussed in some thread some time ago.

Re: power sprites, go ahead and make them a full-on novelty race. Maybe give the player the option to start at DL10 or simply advance the dungeon a few levels by making monsters (native_depth=native_detph-10) or something like that.

Re: power sprites, If you don't want to go 'full novelty' just a +2 to speed be would be thematically correct and would help them pick and choose fights until they get a few more hit points (that and the ability to fly over rubble).

Re: power sprites and size/AC adjustments: I know you implemented monster size and AC adjustments based on relative size, but I don't know how effective it is. DL1 creatures, presumably most of larger size than I, seemed to have no trouble hitting my less than zippy little sprite. Maybe make 'flying' it's own thing rather that just granting feather fall. Give additional AC boost to flying critters vs. non-flying opponents. Flying (with wings) should also boost food consumption.

Re: All novelty races: Give a splash screen just after character creation with the race description from help files. If people want to read it they can, if not they can just hit <enter>, just because these races have a lot of flavor, that might otherwise be missed.

buzzkill April 23, 2011 00:30

Tale Five: The Tale of Arog the Nimble, Half-Orc Tourist.

Tourist number five. Coincidentally, the same number of digits that Arog has on his left hand. He was born of a fairly respected family, as far as respect for half-orcs go. However during his teenage years Arog feel in with a 'good' crowd and was thus disowned. Dejected and despondent, Arog joined with the tourists in a last ditch effort to leave his mark on the world, and in his wildest dreams, defeat Morgoth. This is his (short) story.

Level 1: Arog dropped into a rectangular room littered with multiple mushroom patches. He chose to wisely avoided them and instead grabbed the blue potion from the floor. He then proceeded through the only exit he could see, a long straight corridor that dead ended after a stretch. After a bit of searching he located the secret door. He moved south from there and came to a lit room where he found some iron spikes. He figured that he'd probably be just as likely to jam a door with these as throw them. After thinking a bit more, he decided to go back and kill those mushrooms. Experience, even small amounts of it, would count for a lot at this early stage.

Then another lit room caught his attention. He was delighted to find that this room contained the stairs. Though he was sorely tempted to break tradition with his dead companions, for no other reason than to break tradition with his dead companions, he refrained from descending. He explored further, trying to stay near the precious staircase. After a time, he ran across some jackals which he easily dispatched with a combination of thrown spikes and blows to the head. He gained much experience killing the entire pack and moved to level 2 by then killing a small kobold. He was rewarded with a few copper pieces and the most minuscule hit point boost possible.

There was more exploration and one might say that, technically, Arog farmed a few white worm masses, though he was truly trying to kill them as fast as he could. He just wasn't very good at it. When they were all finally dead, he picked up the scarlet potion, that lie in the midst of their corpses. He explored some more and ran across the dreaded gecko. It seemed impervious to the pebbles he threw at it and it wasn't long before Arog was engaged in deadly mortal combat. It took him a few whacks, but the mighty gecko fell and Arog was able to retrieve the walking stick which it guarded. He discovered it was dissimilar from from his primary weapon, which he could not discern to be good or bad.

A long while later, he killed two large green frogs and picked up a flask of oil, an unknown scroll, and a cloak. Then another gecko appeared, being uninjured and having slain it's kind before, it's safe to say that he wasn't exactly terrified. But combat went badly for Arog, he missed with his initial attack, then fled, only to find that the gecko was faster then he. Beginning to feel the desperation of his situation he threw his only flask of oil at it, hoping for a one shot kill, but missed. Out of options and heavily injured, he swung as hard as he could and landed a firm blow, which sent the lizard inexplicably fleeing. Arog took advantage of his luck and made a bee-line for the stairs which he reached without incident. Still injured, he rested while he contemplated his next move.

Once he had fully healed, he tried to discern the nature of his unknown scroll, but was unsuccessful, destroying it in the process. Arog eventually came to the conclusion that his inability to survive a gecko attack didn't bode well for his chances on level two, so he decided to stick out level 1 a bit longer, and ventured from the stairs in search of more experience. After further exploration he killed a frog and a snake and gained a potion and a scroll. Later he found a floating eye which he chose not to engage. Later still, Arog found some white worm masses which he fled from.

He had explored as much of the level as he had access to and decided to head back to the stairs when the dreaded gecko reappeared. It was another harrowing fight. Arog, had no place to run, but a highly effective thrown pebble turned the tables and he was narrowly victorious, edging him ever closer to level 3. He made it to the stairs without any further encounters and rested before descending.

Arog arrived on level 2 in a narrow north-south corridor. He refueled his neglected torch and was then able to see a bit further. He spotted a door to the north, and so headed south, away from the central portion of the map. The corridor ended in a pile of rubble which Arog nimbly climbed over. He found himself in a lit room, with an unknown potion lying on the floor. He added it to his collection, noting that he now held four unknown potions in his pack. Through a southern exit he spotted a glimmer of light and headed toward it. He entered a long rectangular room, a mushroom patch at one end and a floating eye at the other. His first instinct was to flee, but the eye was asleep and the shroom would give the experience needed to achieve level 3. Before fleeing, he took out the mushrooms with a thrown iron spike and was rewarded with a few more hit points.

Avoiding the eye meant that Arog would move back to the north. Arog then proceeded east, then north again where he entered a room and picked up a second scarlet potion. He did what he thought was the smart thing, he quaffed one of them, only to become paralyzed. He thought it was better to find out now than in a life or death situation. No sooner had Arog recovered from his paralysis than he was confronted by a novice priest at 20 feet. His flung pebbles didn't do much damage, and the ensuing melee nearly cost him his life, yet again. He was rewarded with a potion of apple juice and the knowledge that the walking stick in his pack was somehow superior than the one he currently wielded. He swapped weapons immediately, now wishing he had done so earlier.

No longer in the mood for random exploration, Arog learned and cast detect door and stairs, and headed for the nearest staircase. He had made some headway when he noticed than a door he had shut behind him had reopened. Why hadn't he spiked it? As he passed through a lit room, he noticed that a less than stealthy novice paladin was following him. He reached the stairs with the paladin not far behind. Having barely survived his battle with the priest, he knew that fighting the paladin would surely result in death. He now noticed that the staircase was in an unfortunate location. Standing upon it would allow the pally line-of-sight on him before Arog would see him. A powerful curse could kill Arog in his weakened state, but he needed to rest as much as possible before descending. No more than a minute had passed before the paladin made himself visible. Arog descended.

He soon found himself on level 3 in a lit room accompanied by a photoplasm and a crow. He headed for the safest exit. The crow awoke before he reached the doorway. He hit it with two thrown iron spikes, doing minimal damage, before it closed on him. He then clubbed it with his new walking stick, doing substantial damage, and sent it fleeing. He then hit it with two more iron spikes and thus killed it. He sustained no harm during the battle, and the plasm was still asleep. He exited to the east, the closest exit.

He hadn't traveled far when he found a bow, just lying on the ground in the corridor. He put the bow in his pack and continued on, it was useless without arrows. After a few turns he stumbled upon a staircase and rested. After a long trek he found himself peering into a lair of cave spiders, luckily for him, sleeping. He retreated as quietly and quickly as he could. He wasn't followed but as a precautionary step, he closed and jammed the first door that lie between him and them.

In order for Arog to continue his exploration, he would have to cross paths with the photoplasm again. It was awake this time. As he approached, it drained all his mana and even inflicted a serious wound when he stupidly got too close. He made it past the plasm and soon discovered another staircase, but apparently this dungeon level was very smallish. He used his last scroll of magic mapping to find the secret doorway that led to the rest of the level. The passage was guarded by a naga hatchling. Arog was unsure of how he would match up against this minor beast, so he retreated a step and threw a spike, then five more. Arog surmised that it's harder to hit things that he can't see, and the naga was just outside of the light cast by his torch. He threw an additional few pebbles before he finally hit it. He then headed for the stairs. Unknown to Arog, the napping naga was holding back a novice archer, who somehow surpassed it, and who took shots at poor Arog as he fled across the open, well lit, room. He made it to the stairs bloodied, but in one piece, then rested for as long as he could before descending.

Arog arrived on level 4, and was greeted by a silver mouse as well as a magic wand. It turned out to be a wand of light that did nothing more than wake the mouse. It was about this time that he noticed the, previously unnoticed, alley cat in the corner. The cat died quickly and the mouse didn't seem to be pursuing Arog (maybe it didn't wake after all), and he soon found a staircase and rested. further exploration yielded a second staircase without incident. From his perch on the stairs, he spotted an unknown smokey potion in a room just to the west. As he picked it up he noticed two more things. A scruffy looking hobbit looking back at him, and a vest of soft studded leather armour on the floor just beyond.

Arog let fly with his pebbles, throwing one after another until the hobbit lie dead. This kill gained Arog class level 4 and a good bump in the hit point department. He gathered his spent pebbles as well as the armour from the floor, and continued on. In the next room, just to the south, he found a pair of leather gloves. A bit later on, he killed a yellow worm mass as well as an orange frog before he encountered the cave orc. "What the heck is a cave orc doing on level 4", he thought, before taking a swing at it, and receiving one in return. It was then an evenly matched foot race to the nearest staircase. There was no time to rest before descending.

Level 5 seemed tame at first. Arog was greeted by the statue of an ogre chieftain and, after a bit of exploration, a kestrel which fled, then fled a second time before it finally died. Shortly thereafter, as he passed through a maze of doorways, another scruffy hobbit appeared, fled, and died. Arog was beginning to get nervous. He had not yet located or even detected a staircase. It was at about this time that he failed to notice, and therefore tripped a trap. A dart punctured his leg and he felt himself slow. Luckily for Arog, there were no enemies about. He was in a corridor blocked by rubble at one end and, as the wand of light revealed, a closed door at the other. Luckier still, the experience gained for disarming the trap was all he needed to achieve level 5. Arog learned two new spells, identify, which he could not cast because he lacked the mana, and illumination, which would no doubt come in handy if he could ever spare the mana. Most of his mana at this point in time was dedicated to casting detect doors and stairs.

Seconds later, Arog located the stairs. They were just on the opposite side of the door he was leaning upon as he studied his spell book. To the north of the stairs was a small room housing a disenchanter eye. Arog stayed away from the eye, at least for now. He moved south staying close to the stairs. It was then that a raven appeared at 20'. Arog had a bad feeling about this encounter. He took a step backward, toward the stairs, just in case. The raven closed on him. Arog did not enjoy fighting birds. He had learned through experience that they were often fast moving with multiple attacks and for that reason were generally some of the toughest opponents he faced. He was near the stairs, maybe 50' away, but he doubted his ability to out run the avian. He swung and hit it, doing some damage, but not as much as he would have liked. The raven in return, bit Arog and pecked at his eyes blinding him. Arog swung again, but missed, and the crow inflicted more wounds. Arog retreated and the raven landed a vicious series of bites, pecks and claws that left Arog on death's doorstep.

Arog reached into his pack. Still blinded, he fumbled with the potion bottles. He choose one at random, since he knew not what any of them did. He drank the potion of poison. The RNG, as if wishing to add insult to injury, didn't allow the poison to kill him immediately. It bit him. He died.

The Eulogy... Arog was a hero. Not a very successful hero, certainly not a superhero, but a hero none the less. His accomplishments dwarfed those of his predecessors, and likely those of his successors, who were saddened to hear of his premature demise. The potions he didn't choose in his last moments were of resist heat, cure light wounds, and alertness. None would have saved him, yet all would have been better choices. The bits and pieces of armour he had found were, unbeknown to him, all ordinary. Had he been wearing some of those pieces, his armour class would have been nearly double, and he might have fared better against the raven. By far the best item in his possession was his fairly ordinary looking walking stick (+3,+4). Arog was a victim of chance. Luck got him this far, but as is almost always the case in Angband, his luck eventually ran out.

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