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Old April 14, 2012, 05:50   #1
decoy
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Mr. decoy goes to Nogrod (Sil AAR/strategy talk)

This is the story of Dendor of Nogrod's unfortunate and untimely death at 600' in his quest to claim a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown.

Editorial comments will be in italics, and may end up longer than the story. I'm on a quest to get a Sil winner from each race. As Scatha pointed out once, I've now got all of the Children of Iluvatar covered (Noldor, Edain, and recently Sindar) basically playing the same type of character (sneaker/singer).

I decided that would probably not fly with the Naugrim, so I've been teaching myself how to fight and smithy with the Children of Aule. I recently had two (back-to-back!) very decent games, before that my characters would all die at exactly 350'. I thought I would write one of them up and hopefully get some feedback and suggestions from other players.

The first thing I learned is that armor is very important for this type of character, particularly as a Naugrim (with the Archery penalty). "Counter battery" archery doesn't really work if you're a crap archer--you just become a pincushion. Armored pincushions last longer.


Dendor was bumbling along, killing some wolves and the occasional orc and whatnot. Workaday stuff. Happily, he came across a forge. Knowing more than a little about smithing (being a proud craftsman from Nogrod, after all) he made himself some fancy magical armor, and all was well.

He also came across an enchanted Battle Axe of Orc Slaying, which would serve him quite well for the rest of his brutally shortened life. Indeed, he slew so many orcs with this axe that in short order most of them would run at the mere smell of it. Most of the time this was useful, unless he wanted to kill them in which case it was a bit annoying. Dendor had always preferred it when his meat did not try to get up and walk off his trencher.

Just one flight of stairs below his first forge, Dendor found a second. He was fairly pleased, things were working out well for the craftsman. Dendor actually felt thankful for all of those hours pounding out shovels, pickaxes, and little decorative candlesticks and napkin rings when he was younger. He lovingly worked up a pair of boots, functional in appearance but interwoven with powerful spells of quickness and running. Glancing at his trusty axe, he also thought it wise to make some rings for striking his enemies, and some other protective gear.

At this point, Dendor was feeling pretty good about himself, and could feel that his dream of clasping a Silmaril was within reach...Right as he bumbled around a corner into an orc patrol led by none other than the infamous Gorgol the Butcher himself! The slaying of Gorgol sent his retinue into a panic, and Dendor's axe made short work of the lot.

Well, at this point I was feeling like this was my luckiest start ever on this character, which was probably true. The Battle Axe of Orc Slaying was absolutely invaluable in the early levels, as it does lots of damage to one of the more common and deadly monsters at shallow depths. I've never really played around with armor very much, but that will change now that I've discovered how powerful and useful it is. And I think I got seven forge uses by 150', which was also a tremendous stroke of luck and enabled him to armor up.

By the time he had gotten to about 350' (Dwarves have an excellent sense of depth into the ground or in a cave or fortress, you know), Dendor found another of Morgoth's forges sitting idle, so he made himself a few more things including a nice helm. He thought about making one of the frightening (and signature) battle masks his people wore, but decided against it. This may well have proved to be his undoing, as will later be seen.

As he continued downward toward Morgoth's lair, Dendor thought back on all of the great legends and texts he studied in his days as an apprentice, with their descriptions of objects of legend. He even remembered a song to the Queen of the Stars, called Elbereth by the Elvenfolk that would occasionally serve him well in Angband.

Around the time my inventory starts filling up, I like to have Lore Master, so I don't throw away anything useful. As it turns out, this game was a real beauty--I also lucked into an early Potion of Strength and about six Potions of Quickness.

He found a shaft leading down to about 450', but he got into a bit of a sticky situation with some of the Servants of Morgoth. Feeling a bit out of his depth (quite literally), Dendor headed back up the shaft to 350'. He must have taken a wrong turn, though, because rather than going back to where he had been, Dendor found himself in a completely new area of the fortress. He bandaged his wounds and continued on. Not long thereafter, he stumbled upon another forge!

This time, Dendor made himself a pair of gauntlets and put spells of strength and fighting on them, upgraded his magic rings, and made himself a good mattock for digging. Somehow it felt better to have a good mattock to hand, just in case. Dwarves are like that, you know. Anyway, he felt a little spent after the exertion, but he drank a potion and felt much better.

Four forges, with something like 13 or 14 uses...Obviously, this was ideal for me. Really, I was kind of out of good stuff to make, though that changed when I later found the Gloves of Celebrimbor and a few herbs of restoration (I was just hoping for another forge...) Plus I was starting to accumulate a pretty good skillset and having an easier time taking on harder monsters.

All was going well for Dendor. He slew an Orc Lord, and a Captain of the Easterlings, and even a Giant, who were clearly high in Morgoth's esteem. His body was hardening and getting more powerful as he went further down into Angband, and he was learning to listen for subtle sound cues in the fortress. He did have a little mishap with a false floor (the Enemy is always deceitful...), but after dusting himself off he forged ahead in his quest.

Then one day, Dendor knew fear. His first or second encounter with a serpent (poisonous serpents weren't so much trouble, but...) ended in a hasty retreat from its flames. He continued ahead, but was later trapped between a serpent of cold and one of fire in a narrow hallway.

Dendor battled valiantly, but eventually succumbed to the licking flames of the fire serpent and the freezing breath of the ice serpent. As he felt his body go numb and his life slip away, his last thought was, "I should've made that mask instead of this stupid helmet." And thus ended Dendor of Nogrod.

And here's the dump! Comments/suggestions solicited. What did I do wrong? What could I have done better? How can I improve my chances of survival? Thanks!

Code:
  [Sil 1.0.2 Character Dump]

 Name   Dendor        Age       71       Str   3 =  2  +1
 Sex    Male          Height   4'5       Dex   3
 Race   Naugrim       Weight   157       Con   4
 House  Nogrod                           Gra   3

 Game Turn   13,581   Melee  (+13,3d7)   Melee       13 = 10  +3  -1  +1
 Exp Pool       671   Bows   (+2,1d10)   Archery      2 =  0  +3  +3  -4
 Total Exp   32,171          (+2,1d10)   Evasion     11 = 10  +3  -2
 Burden       106.8   Armor [+11,8-19]   Stealth      1 =  1  +3  -3
 Max Burden   172.8                      Perception  11 =  8  +3
 Depth         600'   Health     -2:41   Will        10 =  7  +3
 Min Depth     550'   Voice      34:34   Smithing    11 =  6  +3      +2
 Light Radius     2                      Song         6 =  3  +3

 You are one of two children of a Dwarven Warrior. You are the black
 sheep of the family. You have dark brown eyes, straight brown hair, a
 three foot beard, and a dark complexion.





  [Last Messages]

> You hit the Sapphire serpent.
> The Cave troll misses you.
> The Sapphire serpent misses you.
> You hit the Sapphire serpent!
> The Cave troll misses you.
> The Sapphire serpent bites you!
> You are covered with frost!
> You miss the Sapphire serpent.
> You hit the Sapphire serpent!
> The Cave troll hits you.
> Low hitpoint warning!
> *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! ***
> The Sapphire serpent breathes frost.
> The Ruby serpent is badly hurt.
> You die.


  [Screenshot]

    % #  
    %s%  
    #T%  
    %@% %
   ##s#%#
  ##.....
   '.....


  [Equipment]

a) a Battle Axe of Spider Slaying (-3,3d4) 4.0 lb
   It slays spiders.  It does extra damage when wielded with
   both hands.  
b) a Longbow of Quickness (+1,1d10) [-1] 2.4 lb
   It grants you the ability: Rapid Fire.  It can shoot arrows
   15 squares (with your current strength).
c) a Sapphire Ring of Accuracy (+2)
d) a Sapphire Ring of Accuracy (+2)
e) a Silver Amulet of Constitution <+0>
   It increases your constitution by 0.  It sustains your 
   constitution.  
f) a Brass Lantern (with 3834 turns of light)
g) a Mail Corslet of Protection (-1) [-3,2d5]
   It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
h) a Cloak of Protection [+1,1d1]
   It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
i) a Round Shield of Deflection [+2,1d3]
   It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
j) a Helm of Clarity [-1,1d2]
   It provides resistance to confusion, stunning, and 
   hallucination.  
k) a Set of Gauntlets of Power (-1) [+0,1d1] <+1>
   It increases your strength by 1.  
l) a Pair of Leather Boots of Speed [+0,1d1]
   It grants you the ability: Sprinting.  
m) The Arrow 'Dailir' (+11)
   It cannot be harmed by the elements.  It can be shot 15
   squares (with your current strength and bow).
n) 47 Arrows (+3)
   They can be shot 15 squares (with your current strength and bow).


  [Inventory]

a) 2 Russet Herbs of Restoration
b) 3 Dark Potions of True Sight
c) 3 Sparkling Blue Potions of Slow Poison
d) 2 Violet Potions of Quickness
e) 2 Brilliant Blue Potions of Strength
f) 2 Black Potions of Dexterity
g) 2 Brown Potions of Grace
h) a Twisted Staff of Freedom (5 charges)
i) a Golden Staff of Light (5 charges)
j) a Gnarled Staff of Slumber (8 charges)
k) a Topaz Ring of Sustenance
   It reduces your need for food.  
l) a Garnet Ring of Strength <+0>
   It increases your strength by 0.  It sustains your strength.  
   
m) an Adamant Ring of Free Action
   It grants you freedom of movement.  
n) 4 Wooden Torches (with 2000 turns of light)
o) a Helm of Defiance [-1,1d2] <+1>
   It improves your will by 1.  It provides resistance to fear.  
   
p) The Set of Leather Gloves of Celebrimbor [+0,1d1] <+4>
   It improves your smithing by 4.  It grants you freedom of
   movement.  It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
q) a Shortsword of Brilliance (+0,1d7) [+1] 1.5 lb
   It lights the dungeon around you.  
r) a Longsword of Rauko Slaying (+0,2d6) [+1] 2.9 lb
   It slays raukar.  
s) 2 Throwing Axes of Final Rest (+0,2d4) 3.0 lb
   They slay undead.  It can be thrown effectively (9 squares).  
   
t) a Battle Axe of Orc Slaying (-3,3d4) 5.2 lb
   It slays orcs.  It does extra damage when wielded with both
   hands.  
u) a Mattock (-5,5d2) <+2> 6.9 lb
   It improves your tunneling by 2.  It requires both hands to
   wield it properly.  


  [Notes]

Dendor of the Naugrim
Entered Angband on 13 Apr 2012

    Turn     Depth    Note

     352     50 ft    (Charge)
     700    100 ft    (Armoursmith)
     700    100 ft    (Enchantment)
   1,403    150 ft    (Keen Senses)
   1,903    150 ft    Lucked out, second forge!
   1,903    150 ft    (Jeweller)
   2,123    150 ft    Slew Gorgol, the Butcher
   3,031    200 ft    (Song of Elbereth)
   3,917    250 ft    (Lore-Keeper)
   5,234    350 ft    Another forge! Wooha.
   6,729    450 ft    (Lore-Master)
   6,769    450 ft    (Dodging)
   8,171    350 ft    Must be a lucky game. Forge.
   8,172    350 ft    (Weaponsmith)
   9,078    400 ft    Found The Set of Leather Gloves of Celebrimbor
   9,707    400 ft    (Finesse)
  10,038    500 ft    False floor...
  10,080    500 ft    Slew Othrond, the Orc Lord
  10,266    500 ft    Slew Ulfang the Black
  10,266    500 ft    Found The Arrow 'Dailir'
  10,585    500 ft    (Listen)
  10,804    500 ft    Slew Gilim, the Giant of Eruman
  11,789    550 ft    (Hardiness)
  11,849    550 ft    Slew Orcobal, Champion of the Orcs
  12,126    550 ft    (Poison Resistance)

  13,581    600 ft    Slain by a Sapphire serpent.
  13,581    600 ft    Died on 13 April 2012.




  ['Score' 012086419]
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:59   #2
Scatha
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This sounds like a fun adventure.

Some scattershot thoughts on things you might have done differently:
- With a battle axe, Power would be rather better than Finesse.
- That's a lot of Perception abilities! Both Listen and Lore-Master are fairly essential for the stealth build, but less so for combat builds (you can actually identify items by use, and you can mostly deal with any enemy whether you know it's coming or not). They do both help you here, but the second one costs 3,500 experience, so perhaps it's better to drop to just one of them.
- Serpents have very high protection, so to kill them you often want either Sharpness from some source, or to maximise your damage output. Here that might have meant charging (and trying to avoid getting stuck in corridors where you can no longer charge) or taking off your shield and switching to the heavier battle axe.
- If you're not using your bow much, the [-1] from a longbow hurts.
- Taking Dodging as your only Evasion ability seems odd. I think the main strength of Dodging is that it's a prerequisite for two great abilities.
- If you think you're getting into trouble, quaffing a Potion of Quickness will often get you out of it, and the earlier you drink it the more it will help (but there's a balance, since you don't want to waste these).

Well, probably others will disagree with some of those points or find others, but I think that's enough for now. Have fun with Dendor's descendants!
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Old April 14, 2012, 14:40   #3
debo
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If you're forging that many things, try to make items that increase light radius. I've found that one of the best ways to avoid being surrounded is to see farther
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Old April 14, 2012, 18:43   #4
decoy
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Thanks for the replies, guys!

Scatha: Yeah, Listen was probably an error. Ironically, I got it to try and avoid getting stuck in corridors...I'm not sure about Lore Master, though.

Good point on the defensive penalty from the longbow. That was seeing a little more use as a "finisher" with Dailir or a few +3 arrows, but in this case -1 evasion could very well have been the difference between life and death.

To explain the dodging, I got that when I was running from some things at 450', but it also seems to make a good combination with Charge (less chance of being hit on the way in).

Interesting point re: Power, but Finesse is also a prerequisite for some pretty sweet abilities. Tough call.

I'm interested that neither of you mentioned/suggested taking more stealth, so I guess that one is okay.

debo: Yeah, good point--I had considered making +light items all game. The big issue with +light items is that they all drain Grace, so I was trying to get Potions of Grace or Herbs of Restoration before I made them. Maybe I'll try this differently in the future.

Cheers!
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Old April 14, 2012, 18:54   #5
Scatha
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Yes, the light-creating items are easier to produce with elves (who have Lembas available from the start).

I'm not sure that Stealth isn't a good way to go, by the way, but it's definitely possible without any. I'm not sure which is better.
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Old April 14, 2012, 19:31   #6
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I've been experimenting with stealth a lot lately, and the real problem I have with it is that it doesn't help at all with the with most dangerous part of Sil, which is being surrounded. Having enough to keep yourself from waking everyone in the dungeon is helpful: after that, not so much.

The characters I've been building have been stealth+assassination types bc that's what I'm interested in playing right now, but without assassination I probably wouldn't invest much in stealth at all.

YMMV
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Old April 15, 2012, 01:28   #7
Fendell Orcbane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
I've been experimenting with stealth a lot lately, and the real problem I have with it is that it doesn't help at all with the with most dangerous part of Sil, which is being surrounded. Having enough to keep yourself from waking everyone in the dungeon is helpful: after that, not so much.

The characters I've been building have been stealth+assassination types bc that's what I'm interested in playing right now, but without assassination I probably wouldn't invest much in stealth at all.

YMMV
Hmm, I think I mentioned this in your AAR, but stealth WILL keep you from being surrounded...the trick is to not invest in it right at the beginning. Why, do I say to not invest in it in the beginning? Because it sometimes fails...and if it fails you don't have Vanish so you end up getting chased by Orcs or Easternling warriors and getting killed because you don't have enough combat skills to fight them off. First get your combat skills up,then maybe Will and Perception stuff band THEN go crazy with the stealth and get Vanish before investing in any of the combat skills.
To avoid being surrounded try and fight away from stairs and also try to avoid any fight that will take sometime because Orcs tend to walk around the lvl and attack you when you are fighting other monsters.

Of course take my advice with a grain of salt. This is just what works for me.
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Old April 15, 2012, 01:32   #8
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Well, thanks for the advice all. I'm tweaking my strategy and having more success. Instead of dying at 350', I'm getting to 450' or so pretty regularly now. Naugrim are a bit tricky...
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Old April 15, 2012, 05:24   #9
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If you have problems getting surrounded, the 'Crowd Fighting' ability from the Evasion tree helps, sometimes. If you still cannot move out of the way, then stand against the corner of the room, because this reduces the number of surrounding monsters. This works for Orcs, as far as I know. Nevertheless, you always want to AVOID getting surrounded, whenever possible, especially Wargs and higher level Canines, and the Cat warriors.

Speaking of Naugrim characters, I have one currently in the works, at 750ft, and is doing pretty good. Check it out mine here: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=12873. All comments are welcome!

Last edited by HugoTheGreat2011; April 15, 2012 at 05:40.
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Old April 15, 2012, 16:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decoy View Post
To explain the dodging, I got that when I was running from some things at 450', but it also seems to make a good combination with Charge (less chance of being hit on the way in).
Interesting point. I hadn't thought of that aspect of Charge/Dodging. If going this way, then you really want Flanking as that can be very nice with Charge.

I generally choose only one of Power/Finesse and Blocking/Dodging, since the pairs go together badly.
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