Post Thursday, 7th January 2021, 19:02

YAVP: 6-rune FoWr of Ashenzari (0.23ish) ... 125417.txt

In September, I had a 2-streak; CeTm then MfAr. I'm playing random combos now, and the RNG gave me MiBe. "Well, this should be OK for a 3-streak", I thought, before dying of overconfidence on Orc:2. Sigh. Next the RNG gave me DgTm, and I thought, "OK, but Beastly Appendage should be a permabuff." Unfortunately, development has kind of slowed to a crawl (aha) during the plague, so I actually _played_ that DgTm in January, and only until it died on D:10. A HETm was next to go down (and always seemed a bit doomed), and then the RNG gave me FoWr.

FoWr. Hooray! Ideally positioned to make no use at all of the starting blink scroll and early access to the Blink spell. Still, I had to give it a go, having Shroud of Golubria early doesn't hurt, and - as you know, since this is a YAVP - it panned out. However, my main piece of advice is "arrange to find a +11 randart trident of piercing on D:4" and it's not clear how universally applicable this is.

I found Makhleb and Xom on D:2, but I'd recently won a game with Makhleb. I also found a book with Regeneration, which was a nice fit with having trained Charms for Shroud of Golubria; and on D:4 I found the aforementioned +11 trident, polishing off Pikel and Eustachio. There was also an Ash altar on D:4 and, since Ash was the first viable god I hadn't won recently, I took it. This would pan out nicely later when Ash's skill boost helped me cast spells in crystal plate.

I mashed my way down the Dungeon to Lair; I seem to have got into some trouble with a wolf pack here, but also picked up a shield. After Lair, I went to Orc; there was a bailey on Orc:1 which ended with 3 scrolls of enchant armour (not unusual in bailey_polearm_5) and a crystal plate mail. I took the hint, slightly wondering if I should check out the O:2 shops first.

On O:2 I identified acquirement; the other choices were lackluster, so I took a manual of Spellcasting, wondering if I'd be able to make any spells work (I was strong/intelligent enough this wasn't obviously absurd), or just if I might find guardian spirit. There was a 2,500 gold runed gold dragon scales in a shop; I did spend all game wondering if I should have taken the gold from that acquirement and saved up for and enchanted those. With Ash I had no jewellery swaps and to make spells work I really wanted to wear my +4 strength and +6 intelligence rings, so for almost all the game I was wearing a scarf of resistance where I could otherwise have had a cloak.

(I found mid-Zot I had, even having bought all the consumables, enough money for it; it was +2. This would have been better than the CPA, but how could I have known?)

I bought another scroll of acquirement for 832 gold, but it had nothing good; I took 650 gold as a consolation prize. However, this did leave me richer than I would be if it had offered me something I wanted, so I decided to buy a randart battleaxe in an antique weapons shop on the off-chance it was better than the trident. It was - {elec, +Inv rF+ Dex+3} - and I'd use it almost all game. As is traditional, I'd not Evoke Invisibility as often as I should.

On D:14 I'd get enough gold to chance buying a second pair of boots from an antique store - running, hooray! I got Abyssed by a wizard because my MR was lousy; it was lousy all game, only getting to MR+++ on Zot:2. I escaped quickly, however. On D:15 I found a trove that wanted 13 heal wounds; not a chance. (I did have a peak of about 15, but I was very glad later I hadn't taken the bait.)

I still had no rPois; I really didn't fancy Swamp without rPois or any hydra weapon, you can get very badly poisoned if a swamp dragon lays down a cloud you can't easily walk out of; so I went to Snake. Snake:1 had an amulet of guardian spirit, neatly justifying my decision to take the manual of Spellcasting, and I found my spells were coming back online; by the end of Snake I could decide to learn Vampiric Draining and BVC. (However, I didn't use spells much thanks to my solid melee; a game where you have Iron Shot at 4% failure and good spellpower but cast it 5 times is not a typical game.)

Snake hadn't been a problem, but I still didn't fancy Swamp. I wasn't that worried about being Abyssed with Ash-vision to help me out, so I went to Elf instead. After that I really had nowhere to go but Swamp, so off I went; I'd learn LRD and Passage of Golubria, but barely used either. (PoG perhaps I should have, but LRD didn't really do much that BVC didn't do more conveniently). Hydras, it turned out, could just be BVCed in place and picked apart with boomerangs; a hydra's melee is not scary in crystal plate.

I went to Vaults next. I'd been training Necromancy for a while with the aim of using Death Channel. As it turned out I only used it in very tough fights until Zot, then all through Z:1-4 (where any fight can turn nasty in a hurry); but the extra spellpower on BVC won't have hurt. Things seemed to be going well enough I decided to carry straight on to V:5. Do not try to clear the V:5 welcoming committee with immolation _and_ Death Channel; the explosions turn the spectral things hostile. I should have seen that coming, especially because I think it is a mistake I've made before.

V:5 did reward me taking the risk, acquiring a manual of Earth Magic (which I cashed; I expected to use it for Iron Shot, but in practice it mostly seems to have gone to make BVC better) and a +6 large shield with {rPois rF+ Str+4 Dex+3}, which was really just what I wanted. I learned Yara's; I'd found it very useful on SpWr, but it never saw much use here. However, at max Ash piety with everything cursed, it costs almost nothing to invest the skill to get a mid-level spell online.

Depths was pretty routine; I found a ring with {Wiz MR+ Dex+3} but while I was hurting for MR I didn't want to give up melee damage from strength or spellpower from intelligence. After Depths, I had 3 runes, but I try to go for at least one extended rune; I did Pan last win and Fo can shortcut the Hells by shafting itself, so it was off to the Vestibule. Geryon went down with ease to the usual combination of BVC and battleaxe; Murray turned up (second time ever) but I read a fog to get him to close the range rather than summon, and flattened him.

I didn't feel quite ready for the Hells, on reflection, so I thought I'd try Crypt; I had no rN but otherwise was in very good shape. It wasn't too bad except I got badly drained killing off mummies on the Tomb entrance, so it's not clear it actually helped me in the short term.

To Dis! I phantom-mirrored Dispater and killed him without too much difficulty. To Gehenna! Overconfidence had set in; while I phantom mirrored Asmodeus, I was stupidly saving my precious consumables I had loads of, and ended up having to quaff a bunch of heal wounds because I didn't use my other consumables. From a peak of 15, I was down to 5 (including two in shops); it was clearly time to stop messing about in the Hells and go and win.

... well, go and buy all the consumables, get the Abyssal rune, then win. As luck would have it, I landed right next to a rune vault on A:3, with nothing guarding the rune but some angels and a juggernaut.

To Zot! I found a +1 cloak of magic resistance on Z:2 and decided I'd prefer an extra pip of MR to the scarf of resistance. Clearing Zot 1-4 was not a serious problem apart from one nasty curse toe encounter; I learned Dispel Undead to give me another option for them. Z:5 was also not a problem; one of the lungs had a permanent teleport trap making it ideal for attack by formicids. I used Death Channel on draconian packs and Klowns, just meleed Orb Guardians, and a mix of spectral things and box beasts on the OOFs I saw. (High-Evo box beasts absolutely steamroller most Zot creatures).

The orbrun was not too problematic; a Tzitzimitzl turned up in the orb vault, but I could just run away behind a cloud of spectral things. I escaped two panlords, but had to fight one.
Ascension reports with too many words since 2016.