Welcome back to Let's Play Angband. This update is brought to you by the current 410 images of update I have sitting in my Let's Play folder. That's right: At the current rate, that's another 20 updates. Neglecting the fact that a bunch of them will probably get trimmed or combined or god knows what. So for a little while here Let's Play Angband might update both more frequently and with more awesome per post. Think of it as my Christmas present... to you. Unless you're my Festivus giftee in which case this is not my Christmas present to you.
We last left off at an actual good stopping point and not a cliffhanger, so let's pick up at the next convenient point.
First, a stop in at the Black Market to pick up some Boots of Speed. They're only (+3) but every little bit counts; with this, roughly every third turn Hieronymus Gaylord will get a free move. This is going to be much more important than Nexus resist until Nexus Hounds show up, and it might even be more beneficial to cart around then. So his shoes get swapped out.
Back to the dungeon! This floor is: Uninteresting.
So is this encounter with Ulfast, which devolves into the classical '@ touches p' sequence of events what leads to death (in this case, of the 'p'). For our troubles, he drops an item so worthless that I didn't make any note of it.
PARTY TIME. EXCELLENT. I would also like to apologize in the last update for confusing Bill and Ted and Wayne and Garth, which I sometimes do for some reason. To make up for that, here is something hilarious involving Bill and Ted. I will never make the mistake again.
First, a shield of Resist Cold is picked up. The bonus on it is garbage, but it resists cold! Can't beat that, since it's one of the basic resistances that Hieronymus Gaylord is missing.
Wait a minute, what's this mysterious gold-looking armor in the middle of the room?
Oh, holy shit.
Alright, so this chunk of armor is really important for a few reasons. First, 43AC total is an incredible bonus and not to be scoffed at. Secondly, sound resistance is super-important once Vibration Hounds and Gold Dragons (monsters which breathe Sound) come out in force, because sound can cause stunning effects which free action doesn't necessarily negate, but I can't find more information on this. And thirdly: Breathe sound. Practically no monster resists sound, and will be stunned by it, including unique monsters (which makes me think it bypasses free action). That's a long recharge time, so breathing sound is kind of a last-resort sort of attack, but my god.
This is better than an artifact. Seriously. The only way I could love it more would be if it gave a speed bonus, and it's the top of the pops of dragon scale mail as far as I'm concerned.
As you may have noticed, H.G.'s item roster is full, so he explores a little more to see if there are any artifacts hanging around on the level and finding none, heads back to town.
Here's a quick list of the duds Hieronymus Gaylord is rocking right now. He's slowly creeping towards filling his list with ego items. I think I've covered all the ego items he's equipped individually, but it's a nice reference point - right now he only resists acid and cold. Adding in fire resist sure would be nice - basic element resists don't block the nasty effects of fire and acid, but make them much less likely to occur.
Heading down a floor and nearly reaching the delightful landmark of 1000', Hieronymus Gaylord finds a suit of Leather Scale Mail of Resist Lightning. Resist Lightning is the most useless of basic resists (nearly no monster uses it, and it only destroys wands) and seriously. Why would he ever replace that scale mail he's rocking?
1000' (level 20) is obtained. This is a big deal, kind of. We're now officially in what's been termed 'hound depth', which lasts somewhere until the early 30s, where the majority of monsters are going to be hound mobs. A lot of players actually skip these levels by using Deep Descent, but we're cooler than that. We're going to tough it out.
This situation might need a little explaining.
Hieronymus Gaylord wanders into a room that just happens to be filled with a mage mob, and a few worms that're hanging around for good measure. While he's busy fighting the mages, the worms are spawning like crazy because that's what worms do, and he's trying to blast them left and right with Orb of Draining, which doesn't quite work (the failure rate for it is still too high). One of the mages confuses him, which is a death sentence with all of those orcs nearby as well, who thankfully haven't woken up yet. But, H.G. has a trick up his sleeve - you can use staves while confused, and he's carrying Sleep Monsters still. Because it was so useful in the past, he tries it out now, and puts a large number of these monsters to sleep - including the worms.
Then this lovely chap shows up!
Things don't go quite as planned, in part because his mana has been severely depleted, and Hieronymus Gaylord gets the hell out of there. The worms are all either dead or still asleep, so this is a safe move; the room isn't going to get infested with little red 'w's.
But a short trip, a few arrows, and some poking/slashing later, Bolg goes down. You might notice that the experience stats are for a 32nd level character, which should tell you a little bit about how much I've played between this update and my latest game session. SPOILERS: Hieronymus Gaylord isn't dead yet. I apologize for removing some of the tension of Let's Play Angband.
You will, however, notice that H.G. reaches level 26. Inching towards the level 30 barrier!
Have we encountered capital 'O' before? I think that Viki died before any of them showed up, but these monsters are a little out of depth - big O stands for (O)gre, which along with (T)rolls are going to be our mobs from roughly 28-late-30s.
In fact, the ogres are so rough right now that they whittle down Hieronymus Gaylord to a fraction of his full health, and deplete his mana something severe. Fortunately, he has enough to teleport the hell out of there and
However, orcs are pushovers now for the mighty H.G. and his orc-slaying weapon, so he just plows straight through them and is barely even touched. His increasingly ridiculous AC helps.
This, however, sounds promising. Hieronymus Gaylord carts it around for practically forever, before I realize something that makes me an idiot: This is only going to be useful for healing cut damage and confusion (but that's no slouch). Hieronymus Gaylord is immune to blindness, has a prayer to remove poison, and is immune to stunning because he has both free action and resist sound.
Awesome! Free ranged attack! It's worth noting at this point that this is about a billion times weaker than arrows, but it's still something. We'll learn much later how I determined arrow damage (SPOILERS: It works like determining weapon damage).
Back in town, Hieronymus Gaylord takes a browse of the final purchasable prayer book, and discovers that it's not going to be worth buying and then taking up a valuable inventory slot. Prayer and Heal might one day become useful, so it's a nice thing to have on tap, but honestly? Right now he's still better served by gathering up lots of tasty treasure.
Back to 1000', the level is boring as hell again.
However, these are found. I think they're a neat little item, because it guarantees a temporary stat loss instead of a permanent one, which can happen if you're rocking not enough SP to cast. Not to mention the failure rate that increases by approximately one billion percent. H.G. will never have any use for them, because he can fight his way out of an ugly situation, and I'm smart enough to always reserve SP for at least two attempts of Portal.
Wait a minute! This is a lame place to end an update, let's keep going so that I can get through some more boring stuff so that we can get to some really exciting stuff in upcoming updates.
Next unique monster up for death: Nar.
However, he's just a little too far away to begin attacking by conventional means right now. This is a new feature, and I really like it, because now I'm not going to waste any arrows trying to shoot something I can't kill.
He goes down like a chump. Hieronymus Gaylord's battles with unique monsters are even more boring than Viki's, because instead of a draining spam he just shoots some arrows and then smacks them with his cute little dagger. I mean, they take longer, but still.
Again, a unique monster leaves some complete bullshit behind. In this case, a dagger with bad enchantments. So bad that I'm not even going to waste posting an image.
Puttering around the floor, this is picked up after a brief encounter with some hounds. It is completely useless to the mighty Hieronymus Gaylord, but will fetch a high price back in town!
Gripped by avarice, Hieronymus Gaylord digs this incredibly long tunnel just to get to this measly amount of money. Later on he will discover that there's a room just slightly to the north, which would have shortened this tunnel by something like 4000%.
In an encounter with some Air Hounds, Hieronymus Gaylord starts entering the 'trouble zone' of being at about half HP, and breathes some sound all over everything for the first time. The results are predictable: Extreme death and stunning. I love sound.
This might be a good point to talk a little about when to consider your character "in danger" with regards to Current HP/Max HP. The rule that I've followed since I was a teeny little kid playing Final Fantasy is 1/4 health, but in Angband, it should always be more like 1/2 to 2/3rds. The reason for this is twofold: Monsters that can really mess you up could suddenly appear out of nowhere and get in enough attacks to rock your HP down to near-nothing before you can phase out, and monsters that you're fighting can mess you up to the point where you might not get a chance to phase (leading to the infamous "It breathes -more-" message). You'll notice that I've broken this rule many times in all of my games, some of which led to death.
Air hounds can be particularly dangerous because right now H.G. doesn't have poison resist, which means that he's going to take lots of damage from hound breath in addition to the steady HP drain of poison. It probably took somewhere between 5 and 8 turns for his HP to get cut to this point, which means that I should assume he has another 3 at best, unless the hounds start dying like mad. Sound is a good way to handle this, because in addition to the death, it's going to stun them and give a chance to move in and do some melee, or heal up, or both.
But with the hounds defeated, it's down to 1050', and another boring-seeming level.
Uh-oh. Dark green means unique, but big block of sleeping monsters means I'm not worried. The unique turns out to be Gorbag, the Orc Captain. I would much prefer that he were Gor Gor.
The reason why big blocks aren't a problem should be obvious by now. PROTIP: Draining.
Once again, defeat is a dish best served by Hieronymus Gaylord.
Look at all that treasure on this floor! We're going to have to get it all... next update!
NEXT TIME: The update that I've been itching to make since before Thanksgiving. What could possibly happen? Could it be something... good?