Welcome back to Let's Play Angband. This update is brought to you by my life suddenly turning into Dilbert. I'm not happy about it either, but at least my hair still looks good and I don't have to add a '-bert' suffix to everything. I think that's the next stage of the disease. Unfortunately another part of the disease at this stage is that I make updates that are half again as long so enjoy! In return for enjoying, you may not get another installment this week.
Anyway, where were we? Last time on Let's Play Angband, Viki did some shit. Don't ask me to elaborate on it too much right now, I'm kind of drunk (PS: the "theme" of this update is that I am kind of drunk). I do remember that she'd just gone back to town to unload some junk, so let's start there.
Perhaps the most disheartening thing for a poor priest to see. Viki could really use more of all three of these, and doesn't even have a third of the money for one of them. Fat lot of good the Helmet of Prettifying (+4) is doing her. Viki also goes through a quick inventory shuffle, and finally drops the Ring of Teleportation she's been carrying around all this time - it's not going to do her any good at this point because it activates so slowly and with Viki's fantastic level of wisdom, there's only a 5% failure rate on Portal, not to mention the other teleportation spells she's holding onto now with Ethereal Openings.
Judging from Viki's taste in decor, I'm going to assume from now on that she's wearing tortiseshell glasses and her house has like 12 cats in it. There's no other explanation for this.
In a shocking reversal of fate, Viki spams an area of attack spell into a group of hounds she can't even see, and comes out the victor. She's going to be doing a lot of this for a while; attacking hounds when you know they're there but don't have them on a lit tile or in line-of-sight is something that will save Viki's bacon more than once.
For a rogue, this is one of the most treasured items in the early/mid-game, because it's a ranged elemental magic attack. For a warrior, not really, because they're going to fuck up something like 80% of the time when trying to use a rod.
This essentially gives Viki an extra missile attack for free, and has a relatively fast recharge time of 10-20 turns, meaning that she can use it pretty much at her leisure as long as she's not in a complete pickle (in which case Draining or teleporting out is a better option anyway). Right now she's only really using arrows to pick off errant monsters that're running away and not worth the 7 mana of Draining, so this is going to be taking care of a lot of that for her.
Here's a monster I've wanted to talk about for a while, but couldn't get a shot of until here for some reason. The (G)reen (G)lutton (G)host is a regular ghostly monster that's invisible and spooky, but has the additional power of being able to take anything edible from your inventory and snack on it. For Viki this isn't much of a problem (she's only carrying mushrooms of Cure Confusion and Cure Blindness, which while nice, aren't necessary) but in floors 5-10 when they're more common, players who need to carry rations and don't have See Invisible can get really screwed.
Viki mops up a few hounds and some other assorted nasties, and comes into the middle of this. Hummerhorns are an (I)nsect monster, which means that they have explosive growth and are generally a nuisance; these monsters are never worth any real amount of XP, and mostly serve to clog the dungeon and make life a chore for Viki. The time for farming them has long past and now any player is going to find them nothing more than an obstacle.
Viki, fortunately, has an area of attack spell. Any other player, including a mage (well, a mage without some of the special books), would be completely boned here and unable to explore the rest of the dungeon without a magical item to cast area of effect spells. I think I still like priests.
Unfortunately, there's nothing else interesting on this floor in the least. It must have been a dirty, filthy lie to say that it was nice-looking, so it's straight up and back to town for Viki, and then immediately back into the dungeon! Unfortunately I forgot to get a screencap of this one's level feeling, so let's assume that it's "Boring" because most of these dungeons are.
Meet Nar, the Dwarf! He's the first non-evil unique monster Viki's encountered in quite some time, and normally this would be a bit of a problem for her - but she's packing Draining, arrows, and her new rod of LIGHTNING BOLT along with Ethereal Openings, so this is a perfect time for her to engage in shoot and scoot. For extra style points, once he's weakened down and running away like a little girl, Viki gives a flourish of her rod of LIGHTNING BOLT and zaps him in the ass, which is enough to turn him into dust.
Which I didn't get any images of, but here's the predictable result:
That's an awful lot of backstory there. So much so that it gives Viki a problem to write it all down and her hand cramps, plus she has to go home and feed her cats. She comes back to a good-feeling dungeon, which is a massive improvement over the old one and its boring old dwarf, but what probably caused the feeling is a Ring of Constitution (+2) that Viki pockets only to sell later.
By the way, here's the equipment that Viki's toting around right now. She still needs armor, cloak, and shield ego-items, and only the first two are harder to come by. Then she'll have a complete set - collect them all! If she's really lucky there will be an Armor of Resistance around somewhere, which provides all the four basics at the low cost of whatever the armor's weight and encumbrance (the little (-1) to-hit penalty of Viki's current armor) it has.
For a moment it looks like Viki might repeat Gon's mistakes of the past - you know, the ones that got him killed - but judicious applications of Draining, Cure Poison, and even teleportation spells save her for another day. If only poor Gon had these skills, or was just a little bit smarter about mobs.
Kids, don't fight mobs unless you have to.
Things on this new floor get crazy quickly as Viki runs into the king of the Uruk-Hai, who would probably be a seriously tough bastard if he weren't, you know, evil. And susceptible to Draining. This is going to be a piece of cake!
Well, maybe not. Viki wasn't getting hurt, but she did almost run out of mana and it's not going to be good for her to stay there if she does run out.
Viki engages in some unwise hand-to-hand combat against Azog, and it results in another teleport away from him and a chance to rest up. Thank god that she got a turn exactly when she did, otherwise this game would be over. She's caught so many lucky breaks when she should have died that I'm starting to think this game is just setting me up for some super-spectacular failure later on.
The Gelatinous Cube is a monster that is only remarkable because it holds so much crap; it dumps this (usually worthless) stuff over the dungeon. It's also a tough monster, resisting magic to a fault and also attacking with an acid-brand whenever it gets close enough. Fortunately it's easy to avoid and Viki has no problems dealing with it. It serves as a nice little break from her Azog adventures.
The Blink Dog is a (C)anine creature with the ability to teleport itself and poor Viki around, and like all dogs, it shows up in a pack. This can lead to the sometimes hilarious result of every single monster in the pack performing a teleport on Viki all in the same turn, so she ends up floating around the whole room before the deal is done. But they're not a problem because like all non-hound dogs, they're easy to put down.
Viki finally runs into Azog again, and takes advantage of the speed potions she's toting around to keep pace with him - he's a fast monster, and that means Viki's been at a serious speed disadvantage this whole time. Able to scoot back through the hallways, Viki finally gets Azog positioned just right so that she can wear him down and herd him into a room to drop all of his (undoubtedly fantastic) loot in a wide-open spot.
Hot damn that is a lot of experience. This is another monster Viki finished off with LIGHTNING BOLT and arrows, and.. what's that weird yellow squiggle there? Usually squiggle is reserved for "tools" like lights and doorjams, so what the hell is a unique monster doing dropping one?
It's about fucking time.
The Phial is one of two artifacts in the game that's a light source, and usually shows up on floors 1-4, especially with how long Viki hung around there. In fact, in most games I've played in the past, I scum 1-4 until the Phial shows up because it's so useful; it has a wider light radius than either a lantern or torch, and can be activated to light a room.
Azog is also kind enough to leave these behind.
Unfortunately, he's not kind enough to leave behind something salable enough to buy another strength potion, which would push Viki into the threshold of actually getting to-dam bonuses from strength!
NEXT TIME: Viki is given a great weapon she can't use effectively enough to ever wield, and an almost-as-good weapon she almost certainly never will.