Welcome back to Let's Play Angband. Today's update is brought to you by me being sick today. That means I get to stay home and write Let's Play Angband. This also means that I will not be drinking while I write this update. You are welcome. Let's see how this grand experiment turns out by jumping straight into the deep end!

Being an 'excellent' item, Hieronymus Gaylord decides that it's safe to wield-ID this weapon, and discovers very shortly that it has a pathetic bonus on it, and is able to rule out several classes of ego item which is definitely not, among them Slay Animal and Slay Evil (or any elemental brand). This means that it is completely useless for anything except being sold, which means that once again I forgot to screencap an item that I promised I would tell you all (where I am from: Y'ALL) about. He's already got a pretty bad-ass weapon anyway.

Things are sold, dungeon is returned to, etc. It turns out to be another lucky floor, and that can only mean one thing: adventure!

In this case, adventure takes the form of a unique monster that will probably not be very difficult.

Alright, maybe that was an underestimate. Hieronymus Gaylord has a little difficulty taking the fellow down, mostly due to running into an open area where other orcs can circle around into the room and crowd him. That's always dangerous, and instead of teleporting away (like would be smart) he instead casts a blessing spell and takes advantage of the to-hit bonus to smack down the big bad with that mighty hammer of death.

For his efforts, he's rewarded with a moderate haul.

Level 24! Right on, brother. That is a good level, almost halfway up the player level chain. Just a few more until Orb of Draining goes from 'occasional support' to 'room-clearing death ball', which will make it much more useful for clearing out hounds and the occasional large group of explosive growth monsters.

I've got to say that I kind of like some of these new rings. Not for what they do, but rather for how they exist solely to fuck players who think it's okay to just slip on a ring without thinking about it. In fact I'd say that rings (and maybe amulets) are the only things it is never, ever safe to wield-ID in 3.1.1.

Here's what generated that lucky feeling. And here is what my reaction was upon finding them: :D. Nexus resistance is one of the hardest resistances to get in the game, and it can be death of you on later dungeon floors, because if I remember right, nexus has the unpleasant ability to teleport you around the dungeon and even between floors. Resistance doesn't prevent this, of course, but does decrease the chances of it happening.

Monsters slayed, items obtained, back to town, sell awesome things, another lucky feeling. What will it be this time?

Once again, the item in question is found within mere feet of where Hieronymus Gaylord zaps himself into the dungeon.

Get equipped with: Main Gauche! There's only one kind of ego item that raises both strength and dexterity (and constitution, but that's after the -more- prompt). That's right, it must be:

YES. This gets equipped permanently, because the STR, DEX, and CON bonuses are way more important to a character that survives primarily based on 'hit things' than WIS.

But it doesn't stay equipped for long. Because this gets found not much later. You might notice that in this case, the weapon's ego ability is known right off the bat, before attacking with it. I can only assume this is because extra attacks only come with one type of ego item, and as soon as you equip it, just checking the character sheet would tell you exactly what it is.

Suddenly there is an embarrassment of riches. A weapon of *Slay Evil*, a weapon of Westernesse, and now Extra Attacks? This run is like a gold mine, except the runs that have actual gold mines in them (note: gold mines not a feature of Angband, although 3.1.1 seems to love generating levels where there are extremely high concentrations of buried treasure around a central point) (maybe gold mines would be a cool feature though).

Alright. So, back to town.

This is where I have a serious debate about the best way to min/max this. *Slay Evil* is unquestionably the worst weapon of this lot, which is really saying something; it gets pawned off. It seems like, on the surface, Extra Attacks is the best weapon to keep. Even without knowing the bonus, it does 4 hits with an average of 10hp/hit - that's pretty good. But Westernesse is better for a couple of reasons: It gives free action and the ability to see invisible things. Plus, once its to-damage bonus gets brought up (+4 is pretty pathetic for an ego item) it'll be doing just as much damage as the war hammer to ordinary enemies; against non-hound mob monsters that are going to show up between now and roughly 1250' (floor 25) it'll deal significantly more damage.

Extra Attacks gets sold, and traded up for a Potion of Constitution. Hieronymus Gaylord feels hardier, and is now much less likely to die of cholera.

Hieronymus Gaylord rounds a corner and runs into this nice chap, who obviously just wants to make friends.

Unfortunately, he rolls with the Jets, and Hieronymus Gaylord is a staunch supporter of the Sharks. He even took dancing lessons from them. The only appropriate response is to cast Draining on the entire group of monsters and, as IGN dot com would say, "melt [their] face off with maximum awesome." That is a real quote from IGN. I did not make that shit up.

The battle is fever pitched, despite the fact that Hieronymus Gaylord's moves are way sweeter. It takes an arrow to the face to put the entire face-off to an end. For his troubles, Hieronymus Gaylord seems to be rewarded with nothing, because if there was any loot with picking up, I would have screencapped it.

Scrolls of Deep Descent are, at this point, just about the only way I can bring myself to continue down into the dungeon without picking up loads more shit. So it gets read, taking him down to 800', even though good ol' H.G. has a full inventory. The level feeling is ambiguous, which means it's time for: exploration!

Exploration, as always, leads to trouble. Giant Fruit Flies (I) are monsters which have super explosive growth, which means they propagate like mad, even though they're easy to kill. How exactly they got around to both sides of Hieronymus Gaylord I can't quite remember, but they need to be contained before the entire level is befouled.

This doesn't look good. At that T-junction both the south and west doors are going to have to be closed - there's no way a fruit fly is going to be able to bash through a doorway, so they don't need to be jammed. Which is great news, because Hieronymus Gaylord is too cool to carry iron spikes.

Doors are closed, and the only way out is rushed into, and found to be loaded down with the ugly things. Hieronymus Gaylord tries casting Draining, but that's only going to take out a tiny fraction of all of the insects in the room, and they're going to grow faster than he can manage them. It's time to take drastic action. It's time to try a new strategy.

The solution? Obvious: Use that Staff of Sleep Monsters he's been carrying around forever, which never gets used because honestly, who needs to sleep monsters ever? It's not as if they're dangerous or something. Most of the flies fall asleep, but it doesn't work on them all. But it works on enough of them to contain the growth for a while.

This is also the first time in the game where playing a dwarf becomes disadvantageous. Because they have a miserable stealth rating, and (I)nsect monsters are always very alert, moving even a couple of tiles or engaging in combat is going to wake up one (or more) of the flies and they're going to immediately start breeding again. If this was a game where I was playing, say, a kobold rogue, not only would my character be dead by now but his reanimated corpse would be able to handle this situation no problem.

So there's only one good solution: To do what he always did when he was a small dwarf and totally didn't have a beard yet and all the other dwarves made fun of him, which is lock himself inside of a small room and cry.

Fortunately, crying restores mana, and this means that Hieronymus Gaylord can whisk himself away to another, less insect filled part of the dungeon! Everyone is a winner, except the insects that died.

Let's end this update on a happy note: Hieronymus Gaylord gains a level, and gets to learn his first prayer in practically a billion years!

NEXT TIME: Much like for Bill and Ted, it is party time. It is EXCELLENT.

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