Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Goodbye Eilom the Ranger...

I said in an earlier post that I wanted to start my own Ranger, well I did and he was doing great.

I didn't get too deep, but I wasn't trying to. I was playing the way the fellow from the story was, and I was collecting all (and I do mean all) the items from the nearby levels and putting them in my storage box on the mine town level in the Mars temple. On a side note; collecting everything is a good way to keep the monsters from attacking me with crystal plate mail or really nasty weapons. And when you can test if the items are cursed or not, and try them on safely, I found quite a few good items that brought my armor class waaaaay down! I think I'll be doing this from now on. I'm going to have to put my Valk through this process to see how low I can get her AC...

I'd just sacrificed a whole bunch of monsters to my god when he rewarded me with Stormbane. Stormbane is an awesome weapon, but it's intelligent, so it can be unwieldy. I was practicing with it to get my skill level up, and had returned to the temple. I walked toward my box, and the Priestess got in the way. Normally when you choose to attack a peaceful being you are asked if you are sure you want to attack. Since I was wielding Stormbane at the time, Stormbane attacked her before I had the chance to stop it. I was a pretty low level, and priests of temples are rather strong (not to mention that if I kill the priest of a temple the temple becomes haunted). I tried to be nice, and prayed to my god (who was still supportive of me), but the priestess was just too powerful for me and...

Goodbye Eilom the Ranger...

Damn. I was doing so well!

Oh well. No use crying over spilt Ranger blood! Time to learn from my mistakes and get back to the game! I started a Valk named Velma afterwards, and have been finding some good items. Somewhere along the way, I found a cursed ring and a wand. I zapped the wand at a corridor to see if it was a projectile launching or area effect wand and nothing happened. I figured it was a speed monster wand (as those are common early in the dungeon) and zapped it at my pet housecat. *POOF* Red Dragon. OMG I polymorphed my pet cat into a Red Dragon! Kick ass! Totally lucky! I looked at that cursed ring and thought it would be awesome if it was polymorph control, but that's just wishful thinking.

Nethack has traps for you to keep you from just trying on unidentified rings, amulets, or reading unidentified scrolls. You pick up an unidentified scroll, feel adventurous and read it. Whoops, your +4 shield crumbles to dust. Bugger. Or you toss on an unidentified amulet. "What harm could it do?" you think, "I'll probably find out what it does later, or by interacting with the dungeon." Whoops. It was a cursed amulet of choking. It chokes you for 4 turns and kills you, and since it's cursed, you can't take it off. Way to go. You put on an unidentified ring, "There are no killer rings, the worst it does is knocks my roll down a few points in some category. Eventually I'll get it off." Whoops. It was a cursed ring of levitation. You float to the ceiling. You have a weaker attack since you have no footing, and you fly backwards when you launch a projectile. Not too bad right? Oh wait. You can't pick up anything off the ground since you're on the ceiling, nor can you go down a level since the stairs down are on the ground. And you can't try to dip the cursed ring in a fountain to remove the curse because the fountain is (say it with me) on the ground. Better start reading some of those unidentified scrolls and hope one is a scroll of remove curse (and not destroy armor or punishment), otherwise you need to go up levels and hope to run into a nymph who will steal your stuff, and hope she steals your cursed ring. You can help her do this by removing and dropping all your inventory so that the ring is the only thing she can steal. Of course, once you drop all your inventory, it'll be on the ground... As you can tell, there are quite a few obscure ways to die in Nethack. So if you're character's kicking ass, or just barely getting by, that cursed amulet of choking will do you in. And if the amulet doesn't; the randomly generated monster wielding a wand of death is just waiting around the corner.

Nethack is the only game I know of that actively tries to kill you in any way possible. There's no coddling here; it's just straight, 100% doom. Whether you're three turns into your game or 30000, the Random Nethack God WILL throw you a curve ball (or eight) to try to kill you.

Crap, where was I. Oh yeah, wishful thinking. I didn't want to try on the ring for the aforementioned reasons, but there was a sink a few levels up. Sinks eat rings (just like in real life) and by dropping your ring into a sink, the sink will display the ability the ring endows thereby identifying it (if you can recognize the message). This, however, requires that you lose the ring down the drain. I tossed the ring into the drain, and cursed as it displayed "For a moment the sink looks like an erupting geyser." Which is the message you get when you drop a ring of polymorph control into the sink. Bugger. Go fig.

So my Valk missed the chance to have poly control and a wand of polymorph, but she still had a pet Red Dragon named Zippo! I forget where she is right now, but he's doing A-OK. I'm looking forward to playing her some more, but not looking forward to her assured demise at the hands of the Nethack God.

UPDATE: I had a great run, but Nethack got me...

2 comments:

r_mate_e said...

While i am not personally into those kind of games, it reads like you having a good time at it..

Better luck with your next man.

ExistingThing said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm definitely getting better (and it only took a few years!)

It's a bit of geekyness that I really can't resist. The challenge in incredible, and that's why I just can't let it go.