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Old April 16, 2019, 12:28   #1
wizard44
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Complete N00b's Journey Character #5: Duntir, the Dunadan Ranger

Introduction: This is the fifth character in progress in the series called the "Complete N00b's Journey", where I attempt to see how far I get each time despite my n00bish mistakes. This character, whose name is Duntir and is a Dunadan Ranger, has made it back to the town after his first dive after running out of Iron Shots, Flasks of Oil, and curing potions, due to shenanigans involving both of Farmer Maggot’s dogs and a scroll of Deep Descent. Duntir did make it to D:8, though, unlike the previous character that was facing a very similar scenario for the first run. I am now starting a thread for this character to track his further progress. As a reminder for this series, the number before the hyphen signifies the attempt that I am playing, and the number after the hyphen signifies the goal that I have finished. With that, I bring you:

Complete N00b's Journey: Part 5-1

So I descend to D:1, where I find a Dagger (1d4) to slightly improve my melee damage output, which allows me to drop my whip. I then kill 4 giant white mice, 5 jackals, and a giant yellow with my iron shots and get a Robe [2, +0] and a scroll that was Detect Invisible upon read-id. I then find the downstairs and descend to D:2, where I find a spare Wooden Torch and kill a giant green frog to get to level 2. I then kill a cutpurse, a soldier, and a metallic green centipede with iron shots, but receive nothing for my troubles. I also kill a shrieker mushroom patch, a blue yeek, a large white snake, and a giant green frog to get to level 3, and find 8 more Scrolls of Phase Door along the way. I accidentally run into a white jelly and get poisoned, but manage to escape, wait out my poison, and recover my HP. I then find a Cloak [1, +6] in a hallway to improve my AC and kill a fruit bat. A wild cat forces me to use a Scroll of Phase door to evade it and my potion of Cure Light Wounds to heal from the graze. I kill a white harpy and run into Fang, Farmer Maggot's Dog, where I toss a Flask of Oil and use a scroll of Phase door to evade from it, which puts me in a room with an acolyte, a cutpurse, and a soldier. I kill the acolyte with Iron shots before Fang comes back in, where I use some more scrolls of Phase door and flasks of oil to take off almost all of Fang’s health, before finishing it with iron shots. During the process, the cutpurse wakes up and steals 34 of my gold coins, and the soldier also wakes up to give me a hard time. After killing Fang, I dispatch the soldier, who drops 5 Rations of food, and get two types of unknown scrolls in the room, which turn out to be Light and Deep Descent upon read-id on the downstairs. With a "Not again" sigh in my head, I descend to D:3, and immediately drop to D:8, fulfilling my goal, but leaving me with only 151 gold pieces on hand.

In an attempt to find more gold and valuables to gear up for the next part, I decide to cautiously explore the level. I kill a metallic blue centipede to get to level 4, and instantly run into a rattlesnake, who poisons me and forces me to read a scroll of Phase Door and quaff my potion of Cure Serious Wounds. Fortunately, I had found the upstairs, so I could use it to reload the level, where I found a stack of 5 Potions of Cure Light Wounds on a nearby lit room. I then kill a brown yeek in a hallway and find 110 gold pieces from its death drop. After that, I proceed to find 385 gold pieces lying around in another hallway and enter a room containing Wormtongue, Agent of Saruman, and a Metallic Purple Potion. Not willing to risk fighting Wormtongue with my substandard gear, I get the potion and make a mad dash to the lit room, but unfortunately, I must have woken up the entire room, as I get hit by poison and am forced to quaff 2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds to recover. Wormtongue and a cutpurse also manages to reach me and steal 182 coins before I reach the stairs to again reload the level. In this new incarnation of D:8, I kill a group of 12 jackals and get 6 scrolls of Phase Door in a nearby lit room, and quaff-id the Metallic Purple Potion as a Potion of Boldness. A surprise night lizard attack forces me to use a Scroll of Phase Door, which puts me in the middle of an apprentice’s line of sight, giving me a unknown scroll for me to pick up. I then go back and kill the night lizard to get me to level 5 at the expense of an additional Potion of Cure Light Wounds. I then read-id the scroll as a scroll of Blessing and run into Grip, Farmer Maggot's Dog, where I Phase Door away to avoid getting killed and kill an invisible creature. After also running into an acolyte, I read my scroll of Recall and am forced to quaff my last potion of Cure Light wounds to stay afloat and my Scrolls of Phase Door to try to evade Grip and the acolyte. I also run out of Iron Shots along the way, which really put me in a bind. In my mad dash for Recall to kick in, I get a short sword (1d7) and a Zinc Wand that was a Wand of Confuse Monster when tested on a Jackal. Finally, the recall spell kicked in, and I deposited my dagger at my home, bought 5 Scrolls of Phase Door, a Scroll of Word of Recall, a book of Magic for Beginners, 40 Iron Shots, and 2 potions of Cure Serious Wounds from my meager budget and learn the Magic Missile spell, which I use to help kill Farmer Maggot, who drops a quarterstaff (1d9) (+3,+5) upon his death. I then end the part with the first goal accomplished.

The next goal that I should accomplish is to go to D:18 by manually descending from D:1, as I did not have enough gold for multiple scrolls of Recall.

So for this next dive, I’m going to search for the downstairs, and explore non-dangrous levels until I get the treasure feeling; a 4+ means I fully clear it, while anything lower means I immediately descend. The three things to look for are a rod of treasure location, a source of see invisible, and a source of free action.

Which spell should I learn from the Magic for Beginners spells? I can learn two more and I’m thinking the two additional spells should be Detect Monsters and Cure Light Wounds.

The below link is the current status of Duntir, which will be updated as I post future parts of this character's progress:

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=22460

Any tips to improve this character's survival is appreciated.

Last edited by wizard44; April 16, 2019 at 23:14.
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Old April 16, 2019, 15:26   #2
fph
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Detect monsters should be your top priority. Cast it as often as possible as you explore new areas, if you have the mana for it. CLW is a bit expensive at the beginning, so you won't be using it very often. Detect Stairs is incredibly handy for diving.
All the other spells are useful, but they are not big priorities since they can be replaced by gear: for phase door you'll carry scrolls anyway (mostly because they have 0% fail rate...), and magic missile typically doesn't hit as hard as your other options. Light area... well, it depends on how you play; personally I don't consider it extremely useful (especially at the beginning when it is costly).
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Old April 16, 2019, 15:31   #3
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Also: I don't know if you got it mistakenly from one of our messages, but D:18 has nothing special to it. IMHO the only level thresholds that matter are D:30 (where stat potions start to appear), and of course D:99 and D:100. (and D:75 for speed rings, maybe).
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Old April 16, 2019, 16:53   #4
Pete Mack
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Bottom line: starting as a Rogue is much easier. The ranger didn't become significantly more powerful until DL 40, even before extra shots was nerfed.

Rogue just has huge benefit in detect objects, and the much better melee and extra HP don't hurt either.
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Old April 16, 2019, 17:52   #5
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Extra shots I believe haven't been nerfed in 4.1; that's a 4.2-only thing. Ranger vs. rogue basically breaks down as:

* Rogue has slightly worse spellcasting, but gets Detect Objects. Ranger gets better spells in the lategame (including IIRC Word of Destruction)
* Rogue has better stealth, though not hugely so
* Rogue has better melee
* Ranger has vastly better archery starting at level 20 and then again at level 40, due to getting extra shots. Those extra shots are only granted with bows, however.

Basically, up until level 20 you're a crappy rogue. Starting at level 20 your damage output with bows (not crossbows or slings) is effectively doubled, and then it's increased by 50% again at level 40. So you'll be carried in no small part by your archery output.
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Old April 16, 2019, 20:28   #6
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Low str again, so youll have to rely on your archery and devices for damage for a long time to come.

Once you have some money, the red store sometimes sells wands of magic missile; it might be worthwhile to buy them.

Your melee weapon is not going to put out much damage which is generally a very bad thing, but given that you wont be able to change that in the near future, there is a positive side to it: you can use your wepon as a stat stick.

Look out for ego weapons in the shops with {??} unknown runes. There is a pattern to those ego weapons which you might already be able to recognize; for example, if it gives an int bonus its either *slay* animal or demon.

Some of the egos, for example *slay* evil, can give free action, see invisibility or rarely even telepathy. Holy avenger always has a wis bonus and see invisibility; westernesse, recogizable by multiple stat numbers which apply to str, dex and con, always gives both FA and see invis.
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Old April 16, 2019, 20:31   #7
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You also very much want to change to a bow as soon as possible. Sling ammo is much more heavy then arrows & when you can't melee you'll want to carry a lot of ammo.
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Old April 17, 2019, 03:20   #8
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Much thanks for the input folks. I chose D:18 due to information that I watched in walkthroughs, as D:18 seems to be the level where warrior characters can get to on their second dive before they have to Recall. Unfortunately, Duntir didn’t make it to D:18 and was forced to recall to D:11 after running out of scrolls of Phase Door.

Complete N00b’s Journey: Part 5-2

Learned the Detect Monsters and Detect Stairs spells, bought 3 more potions of Cure Light Wounds, and dived back down to D:1, where I killed a small kobold and a giant white mouse before finding the stairs, since the Detect Stairs Spell failed. When I descended to D:2, I successfully casted Detect Stairs, and made my way to them while killing a salamander and two cave spiders to get to level 6, where I took the time to learn the Cure Light Wounds spell. I kill another cave spider and quaff-id a Potion of Neutarlize Poison, and then kill a white jelly using Magic Missile and iron shots before I get to the stairs. After descending to D:3, I successfully cast the Detect Stairs spell, quaff-id a Potion of Speed, and kill a grey icky thing and get a Potion of Boldness and quaff-id a potion of Sleep. I then kill a cutpurse and an apprentice using the Magic Missile spell, and get a Scroll of Phase Door and 4 Scrolls of Light. I then proceed to kill a shrieker mushroom patch and take the stairs down to D:4. After successfully casting Detect Stairs, I kill a giant green frog and find 20 Bolts (+9, +7) and some more Rations of Food, making me wish that I had a crossbow. I quaff-id a 4 Potions of Slime Mold Juice before being alerted to the fact that the level had a treasure rating of 5, prompting a full explore of the level. I again run into Grip, Farmer Maggot’s Dog and proceed to waste it with magic missiles. I then kill a soldier and quaff-id a Potion of True Seeing. After that, I kill a cave lizard, two acolytes and a scruffy-looking hobbit and pick up a Potion of Speed and 2 scrolls of Phase Door. I then kill a soldier, a raven, a giant white ant and get a Staff of Detect Invisible before getting shot by arrows by a healer, forcing me to quaff 2 potions of Cure Light Wounds and retreat before I could kill it with magic missiles. I then kill a gallant to get to level 7 and learn the Light Area spell. Once I did that, I then kill another healer, a white harpy, a giant white rat, a yellow mushroom patch and pick up a Ring of See Invisible. I kill a blue yeek, a giant white centipede and get a Wooden Torch of Brightness. After killing a giant white rat, a healer, a clear icky thing, a yellow mushroom patch, a metallic green centipede I find a Nickel Wand, clear the level, and proceed to D:5. Once there I run into a green naga and find that the wand was a Wand of Heal Monster when I use it on it. I then zap the wand of confuse monster on the green naga and kill it in melee, but not before its acid spit damages my robe. After failing to cast Detect Stairs 3 times, I kill a skeleton kobold and a small kobold and find a Conjurings and Tricks spellbook and 2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds. I also quaff-id a potion of Berserk Strength and kill an apprentice to get a spare Magic for Beginners book. After killing 4 giant white lice and a large grey snake, I find a Magnesium Wand and the stairs to D:6. Once there, I successfully cast Detect Stairs and find 5 Scrolls of Satisfy Hunger, one of which I read-id, on my way to D:7. D:7 was a murderous level that contained a room full of out-of depth monsters upon casting of Detect Monsters. Avoiding the room, I run into a creeping gold coins, and find that my Magnesium Wand is a wand of Hold Monster. I kill the creeping gold coins to get to level 8 and end up using my potion of Cure Light Wounds to hold of against a group of manes. I kill a silver mouse and kill 4 manes before I can get back to safety, while also getting a dagger with unknown properties. I then kill another manes and a green naga to get 3 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds and reach level 8 before I find the stairs to D:8. I end up using up my wand of Hold Monster to survive the battles. Once at D:8, I cast Detect stairs and make a break for the downstairs while killing a kobold archer and a giant white ant and get robbed of 126 coins by a bandit. After finding the downstairs, I head to D:9, where I find a Rod of Treasure Location and 3 scrolls that turned out to be Scrolls of Summon Monster when read-id’d and force me to reload the level by stairdancing to avoid getting killed by the summons. The reloaded level had the omens of death feeling, prompting me to quickly find the downstairs and escape. I do just that after killing a giant red frog.

D:10 puts me right in the middle of a panther, who forces me to Phase Door away and quaff a Potion of Cure Serious Wounds before I can kill it and get to level 9, where I learn the lightning bolt spell. I kill a brown mold with iron shots, and kill a massive cloud of yellow worm masses at the expense of five dexterity points (ouch). I then kill a baby white dragon and find the down stairs to D:11. At D:11, I find and kill a giant brown bat, a kobold archer, a kobold shaman, a giant white rat, and a hairy mold before discovering that the level had a treasure rating of 5, prompting another full explore of the level. I pick up a wand of Stone to Mud and several more Scrolls of Satisfy Hunger along the way before killing a large white snake and a giant grey rat before finding a scroll that was one of Magic mapping upon reading. I kill a black dragon fly to get to level 10 and restore my dexterity. I then have 204 coins stolen by a bandit and eat-id a Mushroom of Emergency. After waiting out the hallucination, I then get clawed by a red dragon and have 177 more coins stolen by another bandit before I phase door away to recover and quaff a potion of Cure Serious Wounds. I then kill the red dragon and get a bone amulet, a scroll that I read-id as Remove Curse, and 2 scrolls of teleportation, one of which I read-id. I kill a grey mushroom patch and run into the two bandits again, who steal 350 more of my coins. I then go kill a giant spider and kill one of the bandits to get back some of my gold and an extra scroll of Phase Door. After killing a green mold, a rock lizard, a poltergeist, a red worm mass, and an orc shaman, I find another stack of standard arrows, which drives home my need to get a bow. I run into a dark elven warrior, and am forced to Phase Door and quaff 2 potions of Cure Serious Wounds to deal with it. I also run into Orfax, son of Boldor and am forced to read my other scroll of teleportation to evade from Orfax, which puts me in a pack of wolves and forces me to read my last scroll of Phase door. Left with no options, I read my Scroll of Word of Recall and make my escape. I then drop my staff of Detect Invisible and stack of arrows, ditch my Iron Shots and sling, and then buy a Light Crossbow (as there STILL wasn’t a bow of any kind for sale), 3 Scrolls of Word of Recall, 20 scrolls of Phase Door, 1 Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, 2 Potions of Cure Serious Wounds, 22 standard bolts, and 3 potions of Cure Light Wounds. I then give my Bone Amulet to the magic shop to have it identified as an Amulet of Resist Lightning, and find out that my dagger is not givable, suggesting that it could be cursed rather than have beneficial properties. Dropping off the dagger, I then end the part.

The next goal is to get to D:29, but I don’t think Duntir can get there.

Which stat should be the highest priority to increase, should I find potions that increase stats at the expense of another?

Which spells are worth learning as I level up for a ranger?

Duntir’s status has been updated, and any input to help this character is welcome.
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Old April 17, 2019, 05:41   #9
Derakon
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STR, no question. You need more carrying capacity. You're pretty much not going to get extra melee blows until you've started stat gain in earnest, not unless you find some items with nice stat boosts on them. So I'd pretty much ignore everything except STR. You can stockpile the INT/DEX stat-swap potions for later, since they're your next two priorities, but at the moment I don't think it's worth the risk of taking a STR drain to get them up.
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Old April 17, 2019, 06:15   #10
Estie
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The only stat swap potion I would want to drink with that character at this time is brawn.

As for spells, dont expect to be able to cast anything outside book 1 with any reliability. Dont bother carrying anything but book1 until you get access to identify rune in book 3 which is worth casting even at 50% fail rate. In that book there is also satisfy hunger which saves you from forgetting to eat in town and stone to mud which doesnt lose much usefulness from having to rest for mana a lot.

Book 2 I dont normally carry before the lategame if at all; while the spells would be extremely useful, the fact that they cant be cast reliably and are too mana intensive means I rather use devices for the purpose of curing poison, teleporting self or lighting up hallways.

You can wield that dagger and use it in town for a while, to identify some of the curses. Read a ?phase too hoping to id the nasty no-teleportation curse.

Last edited by Estie; April 17, 2019 at 06:19. Reason: minor correction
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