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Old November 29, 2013, 15:02   #1
reatter
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Build: Starting with a Song ability?

Hello there,

I have not yet explored the possibilty of starting with a Song as first ability, is it viable or just like a challenge mode?

I mean:
  • Song of Elbereth is useless against Mindless creatures or Wolves, so it wont help on the early stages, except when I want to scare Orcs away.
  • Song of Slaying requires you to hit in the first place, which is impossible/hard without Melee skill, plus you may lack damage and lots of enemies to be effective.
  • Song of Silence requires you to go Stealth, I presume. Not useful IF you have to fight early.
  • Song of Freedom is nice, but again does not help with most unavoidable fights early (Light Radius 1 is a bitch).
  • Song of the Trees - I think this is the first viable option, because Light is hard to get early. You miss much XP for Melee/Evasion though, because you have already to dump 2100+500(?)XP for Song 6 and the song itself, if I am correct.

I don't think that putting more than 2600 XP into one skill tree at the start is a good idea.

So: Have you played a character and suceeded with a rather high Song skill and a Song early? And if: How did you play it? (I know, I am spoiling myself.)
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Old November 29, 2013, 15:33   #2
Scatha
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I think this may split into cases where you consider taking a Song as your first support ability, and cases where you make it the focus of your build.

For support songs:
- Elbereth can be useful early, but as stated the character needs some other way to deal with wolves;
- Slaying may be a quick (& cheap) boost on a stealthless melee fighter;
- Trees adds some versatility to several builds, and does help combat against light-averse foes, but may be too pricey to take right at the start;
- Silence is quite plausible to support stealth play.

Then there are a couple of options for trying to centre the build around a song early:
- Lorien (possible at the start with Sindar of Doriath, or after diving down to 100' with any other house) is game-changing. It's not necessarily easy to get deeper and build up a more versatile ability set, but it's definitely possible, and quite fun.
- Mastery is inaccessibly expensive; however you can forge a Crown of Command at the first forge, and use it thereafter.

Both of these routes have been used to beat the game, I think.
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Old November 29, 2013, 16:14   #3
taptap
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House of Doriath -> Song of Lorien -> Profit. 3 points in stealth, 8 points in song, and Lorien either instantly or after the first few experience points (200). I wouldn't try this with any other house however, you may still go for early Lorien but you will need higher stealth. It is a singer build, but you can diversify later after you built up your stealth capability via song of mastery and archery (or as assassin which I never did). Don't expect to be able to kill Morgoth though (which isn't required to win the game), you miss so much early experience that however strong you are against the rest, it most likely won't be enough. E.g. http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=14790 with a stupid unnecessary death in the throne room or less combative but still killing a few uniques in late game http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=14774.

I almost never use Song of Silence, if I want to play stealthy I invest in perception and don't bash doors.

I have experimented with no-stealth Elbereth singers (Beor with song and evasion only), which didn't work out due to the amount of unintelligent enemies. Elbereth as such works fine. It is not an escape after fighting and losing, however, but an alternative to fighting. Combines well with archery.

Song of Freedom is cool, helps against a ton of different things, but more important later in the game. It is the only way to get free action actively when you don't find the equipment.
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Old November 29, 2013, 16:57   #4
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elliptic also had that neat only-last-4-skills build that forges a crown of command at the first forge and uses early mastery to lock things down.
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Old November 30, 2013, 07:36   #5
wobbly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reatter View Post
  • Song of Elbereth is useless against Mindless creatures or Wolves, so it wont help on the early stages, except when I want to scare Orcs away.
It does mean you only have to deal with the mindless creatures & with a high grace it tends to mean that for the first 500' your fairly safe if you have a way of dealing with sword spiders. I use it a lot on Feanor singer/smiths. With 5 grace(+crown of grace) everything up until the Easterlings runs pretty quickly with only 1 or 2 pts investment. Just clad yourself in armour & carry a big sword for sword spiders/white wolves (wargs are conveniently intelligent).
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Old November 30, 2013, 07:44   #6
locus
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I've tried it with Song of Slaying, my observation was that -12 stealth is a lot and you get swarmed by orcs and wolves real fast.
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Old November 30, 2013, 17:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locus View Post
I've tried it with Song of Slaying, my observation was that -12 stealth is a lot and you get swarmed by orcs and wolves real fast.
Yes, this has been my experience too. I tried it yesterday with a 2246 Finarfin and it ended at ~250' getting swarmed at the start of level. It's pretty fun though so it is a shame, I like how it also increases archery and throwing. I'll probably try again and be more conservative (not use it at the start of levels I guess).

If you don't intend to take much perception, song of freedom is certainly worth getting early and pays for itself throughout the game purely through chests. ...If you are playing mpasil, vanilla has Elbereth has a requirement apparently, so maybe not there.
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Old December 2, 2013, 01:19   #8
taptap
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Don't know why scatha doesn't link it himself, but this is the crowned postergirl for the Mastery build: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=14647

And of course the first of the singers: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=12364.

This is elliptics weird song only attempt (Elbereth + Mastery): http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=15235

Last edited by taptap; December 2, 2013 at 09:20.
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Old December 3, 2013, 16:04   #9
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Here's one starting with Elbereth:

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=15246

He died ignominiously to a shadow bat at 450' but you can see he made it that far without much melee & no stealth. Stupid thing is those healing herbs & potions were identified & I could easily have survived if I was playing a bit more careful. Waste of a very lucky start really.
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