If you like tactical wargames or just awesome clickyfests like Diablo, then Angband might be the one to start with. I haven't played this "Stone Soup" thing but I hear it probably has a gentler learning curve. The latest version of Angband also happens to have one, and is significantly less nasty.

But we're all about the nastiness here at Let's Play Angband. So.

Welcome back to Let's Play Angband! This update is brought to you by Drag Me To Hell, which has both convinced me that Sam Raimi is wasting his time making more fucking Spider-Man movies and that there is no need for an Evil Dead 4. This update is also brought to you by me making an extra large super-sized update [ED: May not be as super-sized as advertised] because I want to get rid of this damn backlog. Also, it might be a while before I can complete the next one because it will involve actual work besides me drinking two or three beers and then trying to remember what I did in the game two weeks ago.

Let's start off with something delightful. Viki finds another one of the deep-dungeon spellbooks, and this is the one that she probably needs most besides Ethereal Openings. Let's check out what's in it!

Viki collects them all, including Probing, which I forget what that does. Probably nothing important. What we're really interested in is Detection and Perception; Detection will replace her Rod of Detection and Perception will replace every identify item she could ever carry. That is awesome. It's an expensive spell and fails frequently right now, but it's not like she's going to be using it in the heat of battle, you know?

By the way, Clairvoyance? That spell lights and maps the entire level. It costs a lot and will have a ridiculous fail rate, but Viki only needs to cast it once per floor. There's something to look forward to again.

This is the most useless ego item ever, I swear. The shop won't even buy it, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that if you equipped it then you'd discover that it's cursed. That is, quite honestly, one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen Angband generate.

I don't believe that the 2.9.x line did this. Somebody messed with ego item generation, and I like it. Kind of.

And here's another kind of ego item. The kind you don't want.

Weapons of Morgul are one of the worst things that a player can find and unwittingly equip. As you can see, it does a lot of nasty stuff, and is heavily cursed to boot. This means that Viki's regular Remove Curse spell won't do a damn thing to it - she needs a scroll of *Remove Curse*, and those are hard to come by. The interesting thing is that sometimes a player will actually willingly use a weapon of Morgul for part of the dungeon, because of the poison brand and resistance to life draining - these weapons exist for a reason other than to just punish you for being a doofus and wielding it without checking first.

Not only has Viki almost hit level 30 (about damn time) but that cap of Telepathy is really paying off. Forewarned is forearmed, and Viki has a premonition of her first encounter with Air Hounds. These are the poison-branded hounds, which means that they're (shockingly) some of the least dangerous around. All they can do is poison Viki, and she can take care of that with her prayer of Cure Poison, natch. They also happen to give excellent experience.

Viki is happy to use the mold here as a buffer from the hounds. She can cast Draining straight on top of them due to her magical telepathic abilities, and there's not very much they can do about it. That is so rad.

Viki also hits level 30 around here! Just a reminder - level 30 is where Draining goes from a radius-2 spell to a radius-3 spell, which will make Viki able to take out a small room of evil monsters in one blow.

Weapons of Morgul aren't the only cursed ego items, either. These, however, probably only have a light curse on them. It's too bad that the RNG wasn't just a little kinder, because these could have been Gauntlets of Dexterity.

Viki, by the way, has now broken three million turns. She's also pressed downwards to floor 21.

Okay, this is not a good situation to be in. Viki has enough mana left to teleport somewhere and

Okay, it's going to take some kind of fucking miracle to get out of this one. Viki makes a mad dash for the hallway in the north, because she can at least hopefully get around a bend and keep the hounds from breathing on her. These, by the way, are Earth Hounds - they breathe shards, which can break potions and give Viki nasty cuts.

Like so.

Okay, I bet you thought Viki was going to die, didn't you? Well, so did I for a while, but then remembered that she's toting around potions of Healing and those suckers will patch her right up. With her current position, she can easily snake around that corner and fend off the hounds until she regenerates enough SP to phase out of there again.

Water Hounds are the worst. They're the acid-branded hound, which means they can melt and blow up and burn whatever they want, and also do damage to Viki's armor. She'll want to keep her distance and use corners to her best possible advantage to take care of these guys.

Viki also foolishly engages a group of fire hounds in the middle of a long hallway and pays for it. She's carrying more than just one of these and it's not that important anyway, but still!

Floor 22 brings another salable ego item that Viki herself would never need or use.

It also serves as an excellent reminder that she should be checking for traps at every single opportunity. Come on Viki, you're holding both a rod and a prayer which can take care of this for you! Don't be so lazy!

Well, having fallen down, Viki might as well pick herself back up and go into town.

An embarrassment of riches! Viki should have enough for the potions of Dexterity and Constitution once she sells a few things from her house, like her stereo and all her Rush albums. You'll notice how much cheaper the potion of Charisma is, because it's worthless.

Viki's never wearing her beauty cap any more so she pawns that, and somewhat reluctantly parts with that highly-enchanted cap of infravision she found as well. The Rod of Detection is next to go because honestly it's taking up an inventory slot and Viki has a spell for that now.

Those alone push her to enough cash to be able to get both potions, and she experiences a delightful stat upgrade! Upgrade potions also have the bonus of getting rid of sapped stats, so her DEX goes back up to maximum.

Now that's one hell of a good find. It bumps Viki's mana up 8 more points.

And something Viki can't see summons two groups of hounds, which immediately blind her and keep her from seeing what it actually is. It really is a bad idea to rely too heavily on telepathy, because there are bad things that it won't detect.

Like this thing, which is what summoned the hounds. The fact that it summons isn't listed in the monster recall because Viki didn't actually see it do that, but I can guarantee you that since nothing else was in the room, this fellow(?) is our culprit.

Oh yeah, this is nice. Viki won't really need shard resistance for a while, but this will help keep her from getting nasty cuts from those earth hounds, and also comes with a really good enchantment bonus. She'll be keeping this on until a Cloak of Speed or an artifact shows up.

Telepathy also gives Viki a chance to see the next unique monster she's going to be blasting the hell out of.

Who is a total pushover. No wonder Saurman or that one wizard dude with a name I can't remember or whoever gets their shit all fucked up by a bunch of midgets with hairy feet - he put some real doofuses in charge of something that sounds important.

Another unique monster already? Viki prepares for another non-epic fight to the death, by which I mean that she prepares to spend a couple of minutes on the far side of a room yawning while some dude melts.

Okay, this is going to be a little more difficult than she thought. First of all, Khim is the first non-evil unique Viki's encountered in quite some time, and secondly, that status message up there means that he has healing magic. Which means that he's going to be healing a lot, and she needs some means of dealing enormous amounts of damage to him in one blow. Like, for example, from her Wand of Acid Balls, which she isn't carrying at this exact moment.

In her haste to escape from the villain, she picks up another Rod of Lightning Bolts and that means she can shoot twice as many LIGHTNING BOLTs right now. That's always a good thing - if she were carrying around five of these then she wouldn't need arrows hardly ever.

But that means it's time to go back to town! And here's everything you'd want to know about Viki's life right now:

NEXT TIME: Get ready for a surprise! By which I mean you might be waiting for quite a while for the next update. But hopefully not too long!

PS: While you're waiting, why not watch this charming Let's Play? Please note that watching it may actually make you feel painfully uncomfortable.

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