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Old October 26, 2017, 04:38   #1
Pete Mack
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Diving exercise for newbies

The goal is to see how fast you can get to DL 20. Here's a sample starting character:
Half-Orc Warrior, STR/DEX/CON 17/18/10. With this combination you get 4 blows with a dagger or main gauche.
Birth options:
No selling, no starting kit. With this you start with significantly more gold.
Connected stairs for a basic escape option.

Gear:
Enough cheap armor for AC ~20.
Extra torch
10 flasks of oil for projectiles
7 ?PD
6 CLW
1 !Hero
1 ?Recall
With this gear, you could pretty easily kill Bullroarer at CL 1 if you happen to see him before leveling up.


I tried running this character.
Game log
DL 1. Found another 3 phase door and 4 CLW on DL 1. Leveled to CL 3 while looking for stairs. Had to kill more monsters than usual because everything is waking up. (i don't bother killing anything on early levels unless it's unavoidable.)
DL 2 Kill Grip to reach CL 4. Now have 14 CLW and 12 PD.
DL 3: Reach level 5 looking for stairs.
DL 4: Reach CL 8 cleaning up after summoning trap.
DL 5: Dagger(+5,+3) and ? Mapping. Damage now 34/turn and find stairs fast.
DL 6: Downstairs in starting room. Take it immediately
Dl 7: torch of brightness, CL 9
DL 8: Lantern. Dump all torches.
Mobbed by orcs, coming in from two directions, while trying to fight Wormtoungue. Fail to escape and die. Total time elapsed: ~10 minutes.
Failed ecape after ambush is number one cause of early Warrior death.

Post mortem: I'd have done better to chug CLW while boxed in by Wormtongue and orcs, then have only one attacker after Wormtongue teleported. Phase door was wrong choice.
Attempt 2 to follow.
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Old October 26, 2017, 06:21   #2
Pete Mack
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ÕSecond attempt: similar starting gear, but with Main Gauche.
DL 1: Reach CL 2, then ?Deep Descent. Yeah. That's what I'm talking about.
DL 6: Lantern in start room. Nice. See some scouts. Wake one up with thrown !oil. Retreat around corner then kill in melee. CL 4. Rest for HP, second scout appears. CL 5. Other friends: CL 6. Summoning trap: CL 8. Ever burning lantern, then Sling of Accuracy (+15,+4). Well, it's better than flasks of oil.
DL 7: Mauled by Wormtongue. (He manages to heal himself and casts lots of poison balls.) Forced to recall with no more CLW.
DL7: Use ID !Speed.
DL 8: CL 10, Use-ID CSW. ?Deep descent and down we go.
DL 13: Now have 8 CSW, 8 CLW, 8 PD. Also wand of light. 2 quick stairs down
DL 15: CL 11, then forced to flee up stairs by Ogres. Return to
DL 15: 24 damage per turn is too little for this level. Beat my way through Grishnakh and friends and a guardian naga, to CL 15 HP 121. Something teleports me to
DL 16: Kill Lagduf, mostly with iron shots (now doing 15 average damage after ? Damage scroll.) AU 2100 and down to last CLW potion and 3?PD. Time to recall.
DL 16: Labyrinth level, fully mapped, with two objects and level feeling 3/4. One of the objects is a Halberd of venom doing 52/27 damage with 1.3 blows per round. Not great, but much better than 24 per round from an unenchanted main gauche.
DL 17: Mobbed by Ulfast and some Mirkwood spiders. Forced to recall.
DL 18: Forced to recall again by Mirkwood spiders. Lack of cure poison and only 26 damage is a problem. Can now afford a staff of teleportation, along with big stock of CLW. With such low damage output, I'm spending a lot of Healing.
DL 18: CL 18, trap door. This time I can kill Ulfast, mostly with shots.
DL 19: CL 19 after group of dark hounds, easy meat for a half-orc. CL 20.
DL 20: CL 21
DL 21: Amulet with -2 speed. Now I have a desperation case sourcen of free action that I can safely use-ID.
DL 23: Rod of light. Now I can use archery in hallways. CL 22
DL 24: Armor with rFire and rCold. Base 4 elemental resistance!

This concludes the exercise. I don't really want to go deep with a character with only 10 base CON. It'd take a long time to reach decent HP. At this point I have 12000GP and CL 23, base 4 resistances and Free action (from use-ID boots). Biggest weakness is damage output, especially against monsters with poison resistance. Also missing is See Invisible, which will become a problem in another 6-10 levels.
Edit:
Playing time: roughly 1.5 hour. Keeping notes added significant time.

Last edited by Pete Mack; October 26, 2017 at 06:31.
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Old October 26, 2017, 22:37   #3
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This is a great idea just to show new (or overly cautious) players... the truth.

For those who are more video-inclined check out: [href=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFE88dxPZAA]Fizzix's video series[/url] (not sure if this the first one). Beware if you're wearing headphones -- the volume is turned waaaaay up.
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Old October 27, 2017, 01:44   #4
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Half-Orc warrior is one extreme. (Great melee, bad stealth and no detection.) HE/gnome/kobold rogue is another. With this character diving was a bit slower because monsters kept getting in the way. Absolutely everything woke up, and breeders occasionally blocked the path. With a rogue (or mage), nothing gets in the way, and you can be picky about targets. (Moreso with rogue, once detect object kicks in.)
Edit:
I'll have to do another play-by-play at some point, OR you can look up Eddie Grove's classic rgra post on Google: Tales of the Bold. An all-time classic post. (Cliff Stamp's 89K game turn NPP win with a Half-Troll ranger is another.)

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Old October 27, 2017, 09:22   #5
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In MAngband, you just take a half-orc warrior to the closest wilderness square at night with berserk strength/heroism combo and kill a vampire... instant level 21. I'm sure you can do the same in other variants.
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Old October 27, 2017, 17:22   #6
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Sure, if there's a wilderness (or quests.) Killing a red naga in the Brandywine was the standard way to get started in ToME. Instant CL 7. I once got as far as killing Eol, around CL 30, with nothing but quests as a ToME Archer. (I did have to exploit the Wags quest for extra ego ammo.)
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Old October 27, 2017, 17:57   #7
Antoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Playing time: roughly 1.5 hour. Keeping notes added significant time.
It's not possible to get to DL20-odd faster than that?

A.
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Old October 27, 2017, 18:06   #8
Pete Mack
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Sure. I don't think it took nearly 90 minutes of playing time. I wasn't trying too hard because note-taking was distracting and time consuming, and I took a break in the middle. 30 minutes is more likely the time it takes if you're concentrated on the game.
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Old October 27, 2017, 21:12   #9
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Interesting excercise. My first character encoutered a weapon shop with no light weapons (I think the Tulwar was the lightest), so I rolled up another one which did have the starting package. Next time I'll also include the option where the shops take my stuff. (I really don't like the current settings.)

He was down at Dlev 20 in about 5000 turns (30 minutes of time), having an ego whip and Dragon Scale mail, but then died at the mouths of a 3-headed Hydra - the !CSW were not enough.

The good news is that I gaine levels much quicker. The bad news is: he also died a lot quicker.
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Old October 27, 2017, 21:52   #10
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Hydras are nasty -- lots of HP and some fairly strong attacks. They're a good reason to carry a Staff of Teleportation at that depth.

Probably one of the reasons you were able to get to dlvl 20 in 30 minutes was because you didn't have to keep hauling stuff up to the town to sell.
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