Welcome back to Let's Play Angband! This entry is brought to you by the black russian I'm drinking and the strawberry-vanilla vodka that's currently brewing in my cupboard. I'll share some with you in 3-6 months, since all of you are such lovely readers.
First up, Viki drops off Ethereal Openings at home - again, it's not going to be useful for a while - along with Exorcism and Dispelling, oft-referred to now as "the 4th book". Prayer books are going to start getting named from this point whenever they're mentioned, now that one of the bonus ones has been picked up.
Anyway, Viki unloads her stack of useless equipment, and the Extra Attacks weapon nets her a cool 8400 Ron Paul Dollars. That's a lot of bank, pushing her over the 10k mark for the first time and giving her good reason to visit the Black Market again.
There's something that's relatively cheap here that catches her eye - a chance to enchant her armor much times. In retrospect, it would be almost as expensive to just buy five Enchant Armor scrolls and go with that, but right how she's got so much money that it doesn't even matter.
The end result is that her leather gloves go from [1,+1] to [1,+5] and that's not a bad haul in the least. These are going to stay on her until she gets an ego item to cover her hands with.
It's time to head back to level 8 of the dungeon. Viki's making some good progress in this area now, and wanders around through the area with little event for quite a long time. She's been saving up the spell she got from her last level for a while now, and decides to take another gamble with it on a prayer from one of her earlier books.
This time things work out much better for her. Dark rooms in the dungeon are seriously obnoxious, causing Viki lots of trouble with finding the treasure in them and spotting monsters before she gets too close. This is probably her second-most useful support spell, after Detect Doors.
Heading around to explore the southern portion of the dungeon, Viki runs into some snagas. She lines them up in a hallway and unleashes a Wand of Light, which causes all of them to freak out and start melting, to the point where one of them totally vanishes. That last message there is among one of my favorite in the game, just because it sounds so awesome for some reason.
In the middle of the group of wussy monsters who are afraid of light, their leader appears! He's bigger and uglier, and for whatever reason isn't hurt by the little beams of light Viki is shooting from her wand which make those awesome "bew bew" sounds when fired off. This is Lagduf the Snaga, and he's going to be easy to destroy. God bless you and Orb of Draining's ridiculous overpowered nature, Viki!
Viki battles her way through some orcs and phases around a couple of times, and then meets Lagduf head-on in the middle of this staging area. Can she defeat him?
In three turns, he's turned into ash. Thanks, Orb of Draining! You're making all of these fights with unique monsters and large groups - the only really exciting parts of Angband - incredibly easy and boring to talk about. No wonder the readership of this LP dropped in half as soon as Smeagol was defeated. That's right, I'm watching you, number of people who are reading this thread.
Then Viki steps into another trap, which results in monsters appearing around her. In this case she got extremely lucky - she's killed all the unique monsters that show up with large groups around this depth, and actually got monsters that usually show up much earlier in the dungeon. But these are dangerous traps, since if they do summon a unique monster with an entourage, you're usually screwed.
Viki gains a nice little level up, but is going to conserve these prayers she has a chance to learn until she's made a decision about where they should go. She'll be making a decision around level 20, which is just around the corner - I'm pretty sure that she gets some kind of bonus then, because I know that other classes get some kind of bonus at levels 20 and 40, but I can't remember what other than that Rangers get one extra shot with a bow at each.
Touched by something invisible and yucky, Viki decides that it's time to use Detect Invisible for the first time, and spots a spooky ghost! Ghosts aren't dangerous foes, but are extremely obnoxious without a way to see them, and being dead, they can't be spotted with infravision. This one goes down easily and drops a nice pile of treasure, which is the other thing about ghosts - even when you can't see them, you can always tell when you've defeated one because a pile of treasure appears.
An excellent haul in hand, it's time for Viki to head back to town. She's taken some stat loss in the dungeon this time - strength only, her constitution loss was fixed by finding a potion of Restore Constitution in the dungeon - and needs to get it back. Unfortunately no such thing is happening, and so she just decides to offload all of the junk that she's carrying around on her back.
Her unloading in the town complete, it's back into the dungeon for another snoozer of a level. Your intrepid guide also decides this is an excellent place to break to go and have sushi, the best of which was the bluefin tuna. Although the mackerel was also very nice this evening. Sorry you couldn't join me.
But what a snoozer of a level it is; Viki finds a scroll of Recharging early on, which adds charges to a wand or staff, but isn't particularly useful under most circumstances. Buying a stack of recharges that'll work well enough to keep a single wand or staff full up is just as expensive (if not more than) buying a new item altogether. She applies it to her wands of light, because those have been extremely useful lately, and gets a measly three charges out of it.
Coming down the pike to the northern part of the dungeon, Viki encounters Bullroarer the Hobbit, the first unique to have an interesting trait: He's not evil, and won't be taken down by Orb of Draining so easily! Or... will he? The only way to find out is to try and get into a good position to deal with him, which will be difficult since he's a fast character, and so Viki phases out to get away from him. She ends up in the room to the southeast, and when running through the hallway, encounters him and phases again.
She ends up in the room visible to the northeast here, and coming down the hallway runs into the hobbit fellow again. This time she just says screw it and blasts him with Orb of Draining, which is significantly more effective than one might imagine. It does enough damage to get him running away and crying.
He goes down with one more hit, and the reason is discovered quickly - he normally spawns in a much earlier part of the dungeon! Depending on how you look at it, this fight took many turns (including movement) four turns (actions actually taken when Bullroarer was in range) or two turns (how fast he died). Let's split the difference and say four because that keeps Viki's winning streak against unique monsters pretty good.
Having defeated her unique monster for the day and having picked up a number of other treasures from exploring the remainder of the floor, Viki heads back to town again. This time she's lucky enough to get a potion of Restore Strength and takes care of that little problem, meaning that she can now pack five more pounds on before slowing down from an equipment burden.
And back down to floor 8, which is once again a dull little place to hang out. Viki runs into her first Bandit, the upgraded version of our friend the novice rogue, which does the exact same things as his younger brother but gets an extra attack and has more HP.
After taking out a bevy of hill orcs, Viki gives us this obligatory level-up moment. Those three prayers will be put to good use soon, I promise - once Viki's got enough money to pick up some useful equipment and she doesn't have to go searching for treasure as often, we can actually shuffle the books she's carrying around a little bit if necessary in order to hold on to all the good stuff she needs.
The rest of this floor finished up, Viki descends to level 9. She's almost a tenth of the way through Angband now, although that's definitely not a tenth of the length of the game. When she hits the low-30s, if she lives that long, Viki is going to spend a lot of time - and I mean a LOT of time - hanging around there to buff up. These floors are where the stat gain potions and mushrooms show up, and Viki's going to need her wisdom maxed out and her other non-charisma stats hanging out in the 18/50+ range.
Meet the first regular enemy who's able to fuck Viki's shit up to the point where it's almost certain that she'll die. The little (d) is our friend the Dragon type, which are among the most dangerous enemies in the game due to their breath attacks - essentially magic attacks which hit a 2-tile radius and cause various effects. This particular (bronze) dragon breathes confusion. That's right - not some wussy typical element, this monster has a ranged attack that confuses you, and will keep doing it as long as you are at range. For priests (and mages) confusion is especially bad since you cannot read when confused, which means no spells or prayers.
Viki, however, is fortunate enough to have a high saving throw and be facing a (relatively) weak opponent. She moves from her original position down this hallway, trying to get around the corner to rest and clear her head - because once she's out of the monster's line of sight, he can't breathe on her anymore. Unfortunately, due to the fact that she keeps running into walls, the monster catches up and with one of her wild, dazed swings she manages to take it down with little fuss.
Viki also encounters some other hatchlings on this floor; a green dragon (poison), a white dragon (ice), a gold dragon (?) and blue dragon (lightning). These monsters are the game's first hints that you're coming up on a point where it's worthwhile to be able to resist at least the four basic elements and maybe posion as well, if you're lucky enough to get it. Confusion resistance, unfortunately, won't show up until much later and is fairly rare. But it's an absolute necessity to survive against full-grown or ancient bronze dragons.
Viki makes a quick trip back to town and then returns to the 9th floor, where she's immediately bitten by a red frog and becomes weak. She's having kind of a bad day with regards to monsters weakening her like that.
Viki also runs into this charming fellow, Brodda the Easterling. I have absolutely no idea who he is or what he's doing in the dungeons of Angband, so let's say that he's a crazy old man who would really enjoy a nice can of beans. What crazy old man wouldn't? Has there ever been a character in a work of fiction who really enjoyed beans and wasn't an old coot?
I thought not.
He's also much tougher than Viki's other foes lately - she gets off a couple rounds of Orb of Draining and then has to teleport away, her opponent comparatively barely scratched. Only half of his health was taken off by four casts of the spell, which makes him significantly more different and, more importantly, breaks her lucky streak of being able to take these monsters down with no problem.
Another three or four rounds of Orb of Draining though, and he goes down for the count. Viki makes some notes in her book, and wonders why a man that picks on women and children wouldn't be considered evil, but some poor transvestite hobbit who wants hugs is. The answer is obviously that the latter one thinks that attending midnight showings of Rocky Horror is an excellent idea, while Viki herself has regularly been beating defenseless women and children down in the town level for weeks now and is still considered good.
By now Viki has also killed enough Snagas that she feels compelled to update her notebook with all kinds of information about them, especially how many HPs they seem to have on average. The answer is "not much", and they should all be able to be taken down with a single cast of Orb now.
Meet one of the foes that Viki's going to have some trouble with when they start showing up regularly. Master (y)eeks - yeeks being, apparently, little humanoid creatures - are the first ordinary monster to have a full set of magical attacks that are likely to do damage, and not only that, will occasionally come with a little mini-minion set of their own if my memory isn't failing me. Mostly it's the magic that's going to be a problem, though.
Her trip through the dungeon finished, Viki decides that it's time for another trip back to town to unload her stuff. She also hit level 20 at some point, but appeared to gain neither special powers from it nor did I get a screenshot.
When she comes into the weapon shop, though, Viki spots this.
Extra Shots, as you might image, are the version of Extra Attacks for bows. In a single turn, Viki can fire two arrows instead of just one and - much more importantly - this bow has bonuses beyond the usual +10 on it. Ego items and artifacts, in fact, are the only objects which will usually have bonuses this high, and to be honest, it's that +13 to-hit that's most interesting and will actually make up quite a bit for Viki's shitty bow skill. This will allow her to conserve mana in scenarios where she can take out a monster with a bow instead, such as when some terrified little creature is running away from her.
Viki checks the Black Market to make sure that there's nothing excellent there that she'd rather pick up, and comes back to snatch this thing up before some dunderheaded warrior or rogue or something does. She is now an unstoppable bow-using machine.
A full day of slaughter since her last rest, Viki heads home to take a nap. She's also finally topped a million turns, and is perhaps one-twentieth of her way through a winning game for a conservative player like myself.
Next time! The first of many theme entries to keep things interesting for me - and for you! - it's the return of the montage. A whole update of nothing but montages. Actually there will be three updates, because I got a little too ambitious, but I'll space them closer together than my usual posting schedule. This means a glimpse into the dull, everyday life of Viki, and another two encounters with unique monsters. Will they also die in four turns or less? SPOILER: Yes.
This update might take me a little longer than usual to put together as a result. You're welcome.