Welcome back! Last time, Gon met an untimely end at the hands/claws/feet/legs/etc. of a group of dangerous spiders. There's only one response to this: Roll up a new character and take revenge on some arachnids. Well, maybe not too much revenge, we don't want that unfortunate accident to be repeated. Yes, it's time for:
The Adventures of Viki the Human Priest!
Our new friend Viki (PS: Do not ever, EVER do a google image search for Viki) is just what it says: A human priest. Humans are boring - they have no intrinsic abilities. Priests are less boring, and play somewhere between a mage and a rogue in terms of how they handle. It's not worth showing off Viki's inherent resistances, because she has none. Humans are traditionally very hard to play in the early game because of this, and their lack of infravision.
Let's see what priests start with.
All told, it's not bad. They get a mace, one of the less powerful hafted (blunt) weapons, a potion of healing which cures any kind of cut and restores all HP, and the priest's first spellbook. Let's take a look at that!
That's an awful lot of spells to choose from, isn't it? Since I know what each of these do, Viki is going to learn Bless first. You'll see why when the spell description comes up - you normal people who play regular-person RPGs can think of it as a buff spell that's going to last long enough to take out a single enemy, or a small group.
What the hell is this bullshit.
Okay, I sort of lied! Viki actually doesn't get to choose what spells (or since she's a priest, they're technically called 'prayers') she learns. Being a priest and straight up asking the man upstairs for assistance rather than going through the usual magical incantations means that instead of getting to choose herself what she learns, God points one of his massive fingers down from the heavens to a passage in her book and says "YOU'RE GOING TO LEARN THIS ONE."
This can really screw you. Once Viki reaches level 3, for example, there's no guarantee she won't waste her next two chances to learn a prayer on the remaining l1 spells - and there are a lot of frankly bad spells for a Priest. If it weren't for Detect Doors/Stairs, the first priest book becomes completely obsolete around player level 7 with a little bit of luck with regards to what God whispers.
Actually, Cure is the second-most useful spell for an early-level priest and is a significantly better haul than, say, Detect Evil. It's cheap and better than potions of Cure Light Wounds, which removes both of the problems that magic-using classes have with this spell.
Viki picks up the requisite armor, and a bow and some arrows. Her skill with a bow is absolutely awful, but it's going to be necessary until she hits a much later level and gains a few ranged attacks. It's time to go down into the dungeon.
Welcome to one of the worst possible situations to be in in the dungon. Viki decides to (wo)man it up, though, and runs around the walls of the room until she finds a doorway. It would most likely be centered in one of the walls anyway, right?
Now that's luck. This is another time when knowing something about dungeon generation can help - most frequently doors appear in the "middle" of walls in square rooms, although there can be exceptions.
Viki goes through the usual slaughter and gets a level-up fairly quickly. One of the advantages of playing humans is that they're the "base" class with regards to experience - every other race requires a certian percentage of experience above what it takes to raise a human a level (for kobolds, it's 30% more). Classes have this condition too, where warrior is the base class.
Anyway she also learns Bless, which is ridiculously useful at this point in the game. 13-24 turns is even enough to take out Grip or Fang at this point. Viki's also finding a lot of treasure on this level, meaning that she probably should have bought a shovel to bring with.
Here's a boring levelup. The only thing notable is that at level 3, Viki got a chance to learn two spells instead of the regular one - this is a quirk of her wisdom stat being a fractional. In theory, the "highest" stat is 18 in any category, but it can be raised by percentiles. If I understand my D&D history correctly, 18/20 counts as something like "you are among the 20th percentile of the wisest mothers on the planet." This is ridiculous, of course, because stats can be augmented over 18/100, and I'm pretty sure there's not an Adventureville chapter of Mensa. Acutally, doesn't being wise mean that you don't bother with Mensa? Anyway, Viki fights some white (w)orms and gets poisoned (p.s.: White creatures usually poison, but Gon never had to worry about this so I forgot to mention it) and soon runs into a teleport trap and gets sent all the way back across the level.
But that's not going to stop her from getting her revenge, and a level-up in the process. Is there even anything worthwhile left in that prayer book she's holding?
Not really! Detect Doors/Stairs is the last useful one, but she has only a 1/4 chance of learning it and the rest of those are poo. But starting at level 5, she can begin learning some spells which actually don't suck and will probably continue to save her bacon for the rest of the game. She decides to go back to town and check it out. It probably helps that she's holding a lot of junk to get rid of.
There's absolutely nothing worthwhile to say about what Viki picked up in the dungeon, by the way. It's all the usual floor 1 garbage. Viki does pick up the second prayer book for priests, though, and takes a look inside.
Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. All of these (except maybe Sanctuary) are solid gold. We'll discuss further when Viki gets to learn them! There's no rule that says you have to spend a prayer to learn something right when you get it - later on in life Viki is actually going to pass up the chance to learn a lot of the awesome things in this book for a guaranteed shot at something even more awesome in the next book.
Anyway, she decides to make a shot at that Detect Doors/Stairs against any kind of better judgement.
Nice work, God. This spell will become obsolete with almost 100% certainty when Viki goes for the best spell in Book 3, by the way. At least she's got enough HP to actually use it before dying now from most of the means which poison you early in the dungeon.
While in town, she also decides to pick up a shovel before heading back into the dangerous depths of Angband. Absolutely nothing is happenin' on the first floor, so Viki decides that it might be a good time to head down to the next one. While exploring the floor, she spies some obviously-visible treasure, and...
Viki is accosted by an unseemly character. Having just taken hold of her shovel, she realizes that it would be extremely stupid to fight, and instead reads a phase scroll she picked up earlier to teleport herself a short distance away. Once safe, she readies her mace and also bundles one of her unlit torches with the one she's currently holding, giving her enough light to see if that asshole is going to try and creep up on her again.
Guess she still wasn't able to see it coming. But at least he pulled a vanishing act and won't be trying to hit on Viki again. Hopefully.
Well, maybe not. But at least Viki gets the chance to Bless herself and bust his skull in, which is a novel way of dealing with creepy adventurer guys who try and hit on her. In fact, it's a new enough experience to net her a level and a chance to learn Chant.
Some other uncouth barbarian thinks that he has a chance with the only woman that he's seen that wasn't covered with boils in something like 30 years. Viki blesses up and prepares to deal with him in the same way that she handled the rogue earlier.
Well, fuck. Without any more phase scrolls or other teleportation ability - why couldn't she have learned a teleportation spell like Portal instead? - she just has to keep slamming her mace into the face of the warrior in front of her. [color=white](Jokes rejected for being too awful even for me: Viki stars in her own remake of Last House on the Left, "Viki sandwich")[/color]
With predictable results. This is what happens when you get caught in a pincer without any good way out, and I can't say that I'm really to blame for this one. Viki, we hardly knew ye. You should have had a longer, more productive life. Wait.. what's this?
What the hell? Isn't she dead?
Next time: What the hell? And no, I didn't savescum or cheat death.