Welcome back to Let's Play Angband. This update is brought to you by me having just immediately posted the last update and not having anything clever to put here yet. Actually this update is brought to you by the fact that I am currently on vicodin because of the bike accident I had earlier in the week.
Last time, Viki had delved down into the dungeon with her fancy new artifact to go and light some dudes on fire, except for the dudes who were already on fire or have all kinds of callouses which render them resistant to fire.
Snagas? At this level? That can only mean one of two things - either there's a unique orc monster nearby who's still slumming it with monsters from a tenth of the dungeon ago, or there's an orc pit.
Pits are special rooms which are just loaded with one particular type of monster, usually containing a unique and many out-of-depth creatures. They're awesome places to farm for experience and don't contain any special treasure, but usually contain monsters which do drop a lot of awesome loot - and they're (almost?) always contained within one of those special rooms where a corridor circles an inner chamber.
Yeah, this looks like a pit. The Uruk isn't a seriously out of depth monster - he comes from level 16 - but that's a good indicator that we're looking at a pit, in addition to the structure of the room that these orcs are flowing out of. If Viki had bothered to learn Detect Evil, she could cast it right now and you'd see a big block of the map filled with a rainbow of 'o's.
That rainbow of orcs eventually overwhelms Viki and she teleports away.
Viki encounters a bronze dragon around a corner. This leads to an interesting little exploit in Angband's line of sight algorithm - the dragon is around the corner and can see, but won't breathe at, Viki - however, Viki has no problem exploiting the situation. From this vantage point she might be able to target the dragon directly with a Draining spell, but since it's an area of effect spell, it works just as well to cast it on the tile immediately to the left of where the dragon is - it'll still get hit, and in this case, Viki gets the added bonus of either damaging it enough to kill it or get it to run in fear.
This strategy of taking advantage of corners will figure heavily in Viki's fights against hounds. You're going to be hearing a lot about hounds for something like the next 50000 updates, so get ready for it!
Meanwhile, she heads back to where all the orcs are having their bar-b-q and slices through a few of them to get some items floating around.
This is my favorite item in the game. We'll be coming back to it later.
Yeah, it's a pit! Orc pits are the most boring because as far as I know, most orcs are low-level monsters and easy to kill. Troll pits and - god help us - dragon pits are the worst. I think there are dragon pits anyway, I can't remember; maybe dragons only show up in vaults. For those of you who have played Shiren, a vault is like one of those floors that's nothing but super-powerful monsters and a bunch of treasure - except in Angband, a vault is a single (possibly very large) room absolutely crammed with dangerous monsters and usually at least one artifact. Usually two or three.
Viki mops up the last of the orcs with draining and careful application of her flaming mace. Finally, peace and quiet in the dungeon, which means it's time for some recreational drug usage.
Eating the mushroom, Viki is assaulted with strange images from beyond space and time. She tries to look at some of them, but all she can do is wonder why her appendix is crawling out of her nose. Then her mace starts talking to her about life insurance; something is going terribly wrong. Why couldn't she have just stayed home today? Her mom is a giant frog. That is kind of awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Viki can hear the colors of the dungeon, which is kind of a bringdown, because it's all brown and gray. Maybe if there were some monsters she could talk to them and their backwards faces.
Viki sits there in the dungeon, contemplating why her hands are growing a beard, and then everything stops all of a sudden. Viki has learned a valuable lesson: Kids, don't do drugs.
Viki's awesome trip over, she decides that the best thing to do to get rid of those horrifying images is to go and smack monsters until all their bones break and blood flies all over her face. At least that's an ordinary day, unlike having your ear fall off in your hand and start talking to you.
Oh, and look! There's not only a pit on this level, there's a unique monster as well. This is Viki's lucky day - she's going to totally plow through these monsters. Watch. Well, don't watch, exactly - just keep scrolling down. It will help with the suspense if you scroll down slower. In fact, I'll even put a post break here to make it easier on you.
Spoiler: Viki wins.
Sorry about spoiling that for you! I bet you thought she was totally going to die. I also apologize for having to grab the unique death screen again, after Viki had gained four fabulous levels! Consider it a preview of things to come.
Viki inches closer to the all-important level 30. If you remember, that's when Orb of Draining gains an extra tile of radius, which means it will be even better for hot crushing action. Viki's probably going to scum around in the <20 floor area until she hits it, because hounds will come out in full force just a little bit after that and I'm playing this one extremely cautiously.
Cruising around the floor until it's completely explored and no corner is unturned, Viki heads back to town.
And is immediately pickpocketed by a horrible brat. If her dexterity hadn't been drained, he never would've gotten away with that! Children should neither be seen nor heard, unless the sound is from them being turned into sort of a reddish goo. Maybe all of this violence is having an adverse effect on Viki?
Meanwhile the Black Market has a Scroll of Acquirement for a cool 336000, and this is a scroll which creates a "good" item - "good" being kind of an understatement, because it usually generates an ego item or an artifact, when read at a sufficient depth. Needless to say it would kind of be pointless to buy this right now, in part because Viki won't have that much money practically forever.
She also discovers that it's possible to enchant artifacts, bringing up the to-hit of Firestar to +7 - a nice little bonus for a heavy weapon like that. Later on she'll come back and bring it up to the (+10,+10) that most weapons need to be at.
Back into the dungeon, Viki gets another good level feeling. Could this be another artifact? Will she finally get something that I've been pining for since the early floors of the dungeon, a magical light source? God, I hope so.
Finding a scroll of trap creation, Viki decides that it would be a good idea to read it. Now, this might SOUND dumb; but because it creates traps in all 8 squares around a character, you know exactly where they are - and can disarm them, which gives decent (but not necessarily great) experience. However, Viki's lacking in the Detect Traps spell (oops!) and so just teleports out of the death circle she's hanging around in. She could stand there and search for a while, but that's for chumps!
Later on there are monsters which have 'create traps' as an ability, and they're really annoying. One of them is a unique monster who will absolutely trash Viki if she runs into him right now, but that will hopefully be a little ways away.
At some point, Viki fights a perfectly ordinary monster who drops a Tulwar, which is a shitty weapon. Viki though, knowing that she got her artifact by IDing a dropped weapon, decides to have a go at it.
Now, I'm not going to complain about this. Too much. Holy Avengers are probably the single best ego item for a priest to pick up - first, they're blessed by god, so a priest can actually use them. Second, they're branded with all kinds of "slay" attributes, which deal damage multipliers to specific monsters (and which, I believe, stack). And third, and most importantly.. that (+4) there? That's a wisdom bonus. Here's what happens when Viki puts on the weapon:
Those are more prayers than she has access to right now. You'll also notice the huge jump in mana; 14 points is enough for another two casts of draining.
And there are even more bonuses. MORE, MORE, MORE.
Now you can see why there's a problem with Viki getting this weapon when she has her Firestar. This weapon is amazingly fucking good in every single way except for one: It deals shit damage, and will always deal shit damage. The 'slay evil' brand is only a 2x multiplier, although the others are 3x; and 2x damage with the tulwar is, honestly, not going to be that great. On the other hand, an extra 14 points of mana, +4 wisdom, see invisible, and a sustain (which keeps a stat from being drained) - maybe it's strength. Maybe Viki will never be afraid of darts again. Maybe the fact that she can cast draining twice more makes up for the lack of ability to shoot a huge fireball and crush everything under her heels.
Actually it turns out that at this level, Draining only does (36+3d6) damage still, which is less than the fireball on a good day (in fact, on any day). But against evil monsters, it's better, and Viki does encounter a lot of evil monsters. Plus when the hounds show up, she's going to need to take them out from a distance, and some of them will resist fire, so that extra cast or two will be a lifesaver.
There's actually going to be some debate about this, so Viki keeps using Firestar for now. But that could very easily change.
Viki heads back to town to get some rest. It's been a long day and she has a lot to think about.
NEXT TIME: Dangerous yeeks! Boring levels that I'm going to skip most of!
POLL(?) TIME: It's getting to that point where I'd like to know what you, the viewer, want to see. And I don't mean in the game - I mean in the format of "super special updates" like the massive MONTAGE. So far I have plans to (eventually) do a video LP segment which will be the most goddamn boring thing anyone has ever watched but promise to make as entertaining as possible, and may write an entry entirely in haiku. I want to keep this interesting for all of us, as there becomes progressively less to say aside from "Today Viki picked up a +5 Sandwich of Eating."
I want more horrible, gimmicky ideas. You are going to give them to me, and I'll pick the best ones to show up here later on; there's still a lot of material in my backlog - another two or three updates' worth - to go through.