new character is ROLLED
It's time for you guys to meet Old Lovable Decrepit Bingo-Admiring Restless Kreature (who sits on the west bank and who, when he sneezed, blew open a beaver dam and flooded Saruman's prize cucumbers, pissing him off and causing him to turn to the Dark Side). Oldbark for short. He doesn't much go for these hasty short human names, but it's a requirement when you're adventuring and don't have time for tea with each unique one fights to the death!
He's good at fighting, by the way. Just look at those stats. Slow, though. About as slow as a turtle, strapped to a semi truck, going in reverse. Plus, he's a bard, which doesn't make him any faster. He's liable to spend the whole time singing in his reedy ent voice before getting some bashing done. Do they make harps with optional bayonet attachments?
Oldbark starts in Bree. Here is Bree.
Lots of people around for him to try Barding at. Unfortunately for him, he'd put out too many windows. Ents can be loud. Seeing as how this is his first time in this here town, he's got to go gets acquainteds. Look. There's a nice yellow > stairway below him, leading to a tavern. If he can just fit his head in...
In other news, Jerome Corsi has written a new book, Ent Possible. In it, he details how unlikely it is for a criminal to be high enough and strong enough to knock an Ent out, and conveniently forgets about the existence of ladders and how Oldbark had already nearly knocked himself out trying to fit his giant Ent self in a human-sized doorway.
Oldbark wakes up down here, with all of his gear stolen. The door is locked, of course. But Oldbark is a fucking Ent. He does the logical thing and... sits down to pick it.
In a nearby room is his stuff. He doesn't have much... just a short sword, a robe, a potion of healing, and some light and food. And the crappiest harp ever. It's so bad it can only play one little useless song. Sure, it provides light, but he can use a lantern for that. He'll need a better instrument (or a different type of instrument) to play anything useful. Anyways, Oldbark sagely decides to wear all this stuff.
The thief has a high-tech operation going on down here. Explosives? What's next? This whole thing's a bit excessive for one man. I'm not quite sure what he was planning to do with a kidnapped ent either.
Oh. It wasn't one-man. Four of these novice rogues are coming at him. Anyways, Oldbark retreats to out of line of sight (but makes a mistake: he's still in _their_ line of sight! oldbark needs a combat tutorial) and swings his sword like the mad ent he is, and fells a couple of these here novice rogues.
and promptly takes his sword off, because now that he has points in barehand combat he can be a monk and all too, and who ever heard of an ent with a sword anyways
That is his skill screen. He gains 6 points per level, so he puts 6 of those points in barehand. Now he can switch his melee style over to it (yes, it requires setting an option in the 'm' menu, just taking your sword off is a terrible idea). You guys are getting an ent, a bard, and a monk in one! And maybe a symbiant too, hmm.
Back to real-world shenanigans now. Oldbark has no idea what that was. Skill points? Are those little badges he can collect? Moving further in, past the smoking heap that was formerly a door, alerts the ringleader of the whole operation, the Bandit. After a long and harrowing chase (made long and harrowing by his penchant to steal your money and teleport away), he breathes his last, and Oldbark is now level 4.
long. and. harrowing.
The rest fall (including a novice rogue who had been eluding him for some time), crushed by the whirlwind of wood, the splinter of sawdust, the causer of carnage. The magic hiding the stairs is wiped away, and he leaves. Checking in at the mayor's office to report the death of some bandits, Oldbark is thanked profusely, and given their hideout as his house! Now he can store stuff he wants to keep but never use, like that splinter of wood he got from his last girlfriend, before all the wo-ent-folk ran away.
anyways, time to go sell the loot
I was selling shit so I could buy a scroll of identify for the guaranteed good item, a Dagger the bandit always picks up and subsequently drops. Fucking hell, this had better be worth it.
Oldbark is the luckiest character I've ever played. I've seen spectral daggers before, but never anything this awesome. And, uh, Monk or not, he's going to fucking wear this baby for now. Fear not, however -- he's still a Monk, and he won't be wearing it for long. "What does it do?" you ask? I can't quite remember what the Westernesse egotype does, but it's one of the best in the game. You'll see it in its full glory when this gets sold for massive cash and loot.
Oldbark decides to go use it and kill shit. He's powerlevelling, for reasons that will soon become clear. He's still on the overworld, just one square south of Bree. This game, if you haven't read previous discussion, has an overworld and multiple dungeons and stuff. So here Oldbark is, drinking in the polluted town washout with his roots, slaying Nagas and Crebains. With no equipment on except a basic [2,+0] robe. He's not in any danger, though.
If the going gets bad, he can just hit < and pop up to the world map, then pop back down and the enemies will have respawned. Now it's just a matter of knowing what enemies he can take. The green nagas are his best bet for now (and red nagas, but those can sap strength permanently and he doesn't have money to cure it). He could also fight Crebain, but they're annoying, staying just out of his visual range until he's either injured (in which case they swarm) or he traps them in the corner of the map. Later on, he fights lizardmen and even hydras!
fuck yeah, this is what I'm talking about. Tulkas is the god Barky picked, back when he had to pick, and he picked him because he wanted to beat stuff up better. Now Tulkas has a request:
This is why we went powerlevelling. Well, no it's not, but I like to think that. If you're worshipping a god, you have an about 1/4th chance of getting one of these each level-up, if you don't have one in the queue already. I prefer to get the first one out of the way asap, and then Oldbark can just stroll through the first dungeon like a walk in the park. You need to be at a certain level - about 12 - to survive the overworld trip there, however.
Anyways, Oldbark finishes slaying Jurassic fauna and starts to prepare for the god quest. He sells the dagger.
This is how much damage he's doing with it - 3d4+75. What you don't know is that, back at level 5, he was doing 3d4+72. This thing ain't scaling and barehand is, so it's time for it to go.
And he gets 25k out of the deal. Niiiiice. That's the sell cap for this store right now. Except... even with his royal endowment, nobody wants to sell to him! Shop's out of wands of noxious cloud, scrolls of magic mapping... it's a no-win situation. So he goes to the next town.
And the shops over here in Gondolin have nothing either. Ol'Bark is grieved. Grieved. He'd sit out here composing million-line mourning poems in Entish, but Tulkas is staring down at him with the eye. He has to at least look busy for his employer. Another reason: if the god temple is his first dungeon, all of the miscellaneous potions and wands and shit lying around will be too much for him to carry back to sell-id. Best to get lots of that out of the way now.
Long story short, he does some basic dungeoneering. Armed with [s]Gil Toss[/s] his fists, Ol'Bark heads to the west of Bree. There lies the game's first dungeon, the Barrow Downs. He pokes in.
Did I mention? One of ToME's special options is to set the number of quests you want to receive, anywhere from 0-98. You get them on the floors of the main dungeons. They give you nice rewards, even if they make the late game a bitch (hey adventurer! please slay 12 Master Quylthulgs!), and they make the early game go by a LOT faster, so I always max them out.
For this type of quest, the princess is always locked up in a room with the monsters. We just found it. Time to go kill them!
I choose gauntlets. I want free action, and this has the best chance of giving it to me. Lacking any means of identify (should've bought some scrolls...), I wear them immediately. There's no worry - the princess' items are guaranteed excellent quality. Anyways, the stairs spawn when the princess is freed. Next!
I pick the body armor and wear it immediately. The flail would most likely net me much more money when I sell it, but right now Barky is effectually naked. and lol, boomerangs
superb, huh? I usually don't pay attention to level feelings (for various reasons, most of which are differences between angband and tome), but after reading this LP I'll try being more thorough.
I think I know what generated the level feeling. I jumped through the void jumpgate (the purple +, a teleporter between two locations on the map) and out pops smeagol. Thank god for intrinsic see invisible, go ents
this shot is not entirely accurate (you can tell a bit of time passed after I hit the trap, from how part of the path ahead is explored), but i still really really like it. getting hit by an explosive trap and losing next to no health? yes please
What am I doing? Exploring. We all know how much of a bitch Smeagol is with his teleports, so after he punked me the first time I made it my priority to uncover as much of the map nearby as possible. That way, finding him after he beats it is much easier.
It turns out that wasn't much of a problem, since he never lands another steal. Being a level 12 whirlwind of wood and grinding force is really fun. As for his drop... well, I pick it up and wear it immediately. It's a ring. A very special ring.
This... thing is exhibit A in totally ridiculous deaths a newcomer will never, ever, EVER be able to avoid by skill until it's happened once. These things have a melee attack - gazing to paralyze. It has a great hit rate, and most likely, if it hits you once, you will be chain-paralyzed until you run out of food and starve to death. In other news, buying a lantern with radius 2 light instead of radius 1 is one of the most important lessons you can ever learn.
Back to the task at hand. Ol'bark once again uses finesse instead of brute force on the door. By now he's probably grown a separate limb branch thingy, devoted entirely to lock-picking. These orcs are going down.
And go down they do. The fight is uneventful, but in all of his travels, Bark has never seen a Sabre with 4d8 damage dice before. He picks it up and decides to ID it later. Also, his reward is a Cleaver.
This seems to have been about long enough. The shops have certainly restocked by now. He reads a scroll of recall and up he goes.
he IDs some stuff and buys some stuff and this is what he has. Smeagol's guaranteed to drop that there plain Ring of Invisibility. The rest of the good equipment was either a princess quest reward or that sabre. The cleaver and sabre sell for around 4k each, and Ol'bark pockets the change. He keeps the rest of the equipment on, especially the fire resist leather. Barky is once again showing off his luck, because ents are unique in that they take double damage from fire. He desperately needed it.
Also, he picked up something different. A Human Skull. IDing it shows nothing except flavor text and a text box about how there are some items that can be activated for cool effects. Instead of doing that, he wises up and spends 1.3k of his hard-earned gold to *ID* this thing.
welp. If he'd just tried it out, he'd be dead, and this update would have been even longer in the coming. No need to thank me.
As you can also see from the above shots, Barky's been going on a buying spree. He's got lots of new potions and scrolls and stuff. He's about to take a trip, a trip to a God Temple. That's next update, and next weekend. You ready for it?
Maybe he'll find a better harp. A harp that will actually let him play useful songs, unlike the harp he started the game with, that can only play a lame 'light the floor around you' song. One can hope.