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PostPosted: Thursday, 12th May 2011, 23:28
by glyphic
I've been playing crawl amateurishly for some time now. I've -never- had a rune, and I've never (duh) escaped the dungeon with the orb.

My current character is looking good. Lots of destructive spells, a good number of helpful staves (Energy, wizardry, earth) and plenty of books. The problem, however, is I don't know what to train, I don't have any resistances (beside cold, Magic, and life protection). Zot seems so far away.

I need advice on a few things:
  • What to Train
  • Spells I should learn or forget.
  • Which dungeon branches will be easiest for me

Now, I've never actually made it into elven halls, slime, shoals or anything before! This is new, this is scary! I'd be happy if I could even -touch- a rune. I'd go out and buy a cake if I got 3 and Zot.

Any helpful advice would be appreciated!

Books I have:Necromancy, Necronomicon, minor magic, summonings, warchants, Venomous arcane weapons (poison), Manual of long blades.

Mara the Conjurer (Human Fire Elementalist)                                            Turns: 44020, Time: 04:32:38

HP 105/105       AC 15     Str  9      Exp: 16/105668 (955), need: 37332
MP  35/35        EV 19     Int 22      God: Sif Muna [******]
Gold 2606        SH  0     Dex 17      Spells:  9 memorised,  5 levels left

Res.Fire  : . . .   See Invis. : .    S - staff of energy
Res.Cold  : + . .   Warding    : . .  e - +2 robe {rC+}
Life Prot.: . . .   Conserve   : +    (no shield)
Res.Acid. : . . .   Res.Corr.  : .    G - +1 helmet
Res.Poison: .       Clarity    : +    C - +2 cloak {darkness}
Res.Elec. : .       Spirit.Shd : .    w - +3 pair of gloves of Phiovig {Dex+3 Int+1}
Sust.Abil.: . .     Stasis     : .    j - +1 pair of boots
Res.Mut.  : .       Ctrl.Telep.: .    B - amulet of conservation
Res.Rott. : .       Levitation : .    z - ring of sustenance
Saprovore : . . .   Ctrl.Flight: .    v - ring of wizardry

@: somewhat resistant to hostile enchantments, quite stealthy
A: clarity, screaming 1, Str +1, Int -1
a: Channel Energy, Forget Spell, Renounce Religion, Evoke Invisibility

You are on level 14 of the Dungeon.
You worship Sif Muna.
Sif Muna is exalted by your worship.
You are not hungry.

You have visited 4 branches of the dungeon, and seen 27 of its levels.
You have visited 1 Labyrinth.
You have visited 2 portal chambers: sewer, bailey.

You have collected 2586 gold pieces.


Hand weapons
 s - a +2,+0 dagger of venom (quivered)
 e - a +2 robe of cold resistance (worn)
 j - a +1 pair of boots (worn)
 q - a +2 robe
 w - the +3 pair of gloves of Phiovig (worn) {Dex+3 Int+1}
   (You found it on level 9 of the Dungeon)   
   It affects your intelligence (+1).
   It affects your dexterity (+3).
 C - a +2 cloak of darkness (worn)
 G - a +1 helmet (worn)
Magical devices
 n - a wand of flame
 o - a wand of cold (7)
 I - a wand of lightning {zapped: 5}
 M - a wand of cold {zapped: 3}
 N - a wand of polymorph other {zapped: 3}
 c - a bread ration
 f - a royal jelly
 t - a choko
 L - a rotting chunk of centaur flesh
 U - 2 meat rations
 d - 4 scrolls of identify
 g - a scroll of detect curse
 h - a scroll of enchant armour
 m - a scroll of fear
 p - a scroll of recharging
 r - 2 scrolls of blinking
 u - a scroll of amnesia
 y - 3 scrolls of remove curse
 A - 2 scrolls of enchant weapon II
 D - a scroll of magic mapping
 F - a scroll of fog
 b - an uncursed ring of protection from magic
 i - an uncursed ring of life protection
 v - a ring of wizardry (left hand)
 z - a ring of sustenance (right hand)
 B - an amulet of conservation (around neck)
 J - an uncursed ring of see invisible
 T - an uncursed amulet of resist mutation
 a - 3 potions of heal wounds
 l - a sedimented red potion
 E - 3 potions of healing
 k - a book of Necromancy   
   Spells                             Type                      Level
   Pain                               Necromancy                   1
   Animate Skeleton                   Necromancy                   1
   Lethal Infusion                    Charms/Necromancy            2
   Vampiric Draining                  Necromancy                   3
   Regeneration                       Charms/Necromancy            3
   Dispel Undead                      Necromancy                   4
   Animate Dead                       Necromancy                   4
Magical staves
 x - a staff of wizardry
 K - a staff of energy
 S - a staff of energy (weapon)
 H - a sealed bronze flask

 You have 955 experience left.

 + Level 6 Fighting
 - Level 10 Staves
 + Level 10 Dodging
 + Level 6 Stealth
 - Level 2 Stabbing
 + Level 1 Traps & Doors
 - Level 2 Unarmed Combat
 + Level 13 Spellcasting
 - Level 14 Conjurations
 + Level 3 Translocations
 - Level 12 Fire Magic
 + Level 3 Air Magic
 + Level 2 Earth Magic
 + Level 2 Poison Magic
 + Level 4 Invocations
 + Level 2 Evocations

You have 5 spell levels left.
You know the following spells:

 Your Spells              Type           Power        Success   Level  Hunger
a - Flame Tongue          Fire/Conj      ######       Excellent   1    None
b - Throw Flame           Fire/Conj      #######      Excellent   2    None
c - Sticky Flame          Fire/Conj      #######..    Excellent   4    None
d - Bolt of Fire          Fire/Conj      #######...   Excellent   6    Honeycomb
e - Blink                 Tloc           N/A          Excellent   2    None
f - Fireball              Fire/Conj      #######...   Excellent   6    Honeycomb
g - Mephitic Cloud        Pois/Air/Conj  ######....   Excellent   3    None
h - Bolt of Magma         Fire/Erth/Conj #######...   Excellent   5    Choko
i - Orb of Destruction    Conj           #######...   Great       7    Ration

Dungeon Overview and Level Annotations

Dungeon (14/27)            Temple (1/1) D:7             Orc (4/4) D:9
    Elf (0/5) Orc:4          Lair (8/8) D:9           Swamp (0/5) Lair:3
 Shoals (0/5) Lair:4        Slime (0/6) Lair:8     
  Hive: D:11-16      Vault: D:14-19     

Nemelex Xobeh
Sif Muna
The Shining One

Orc:4: ?(!/

                    Innate Abilities, Weirdness & Mutations

You possess an exceptional clarity of mind.
You are dopey (Int -1).
You occasionally shout uncontrollably.
Your muscles are strong (Str +1).

PS: Orb of destruction is so much fun!

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 00:16
by glyphic
Turned out to be a potion of blood :P I'll see if I can scrounge up a buckler, but I'm not sure about it!

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 00:31
by KoboldLord
Repel Missiles is an excellent defensive spell that you have immediate access to. A little lower down in the main Dungeon, and also in Shoals and Elf, there are going to be some unpleasant enemies that are like centaurs but much worse. Repel Missiles makes them miss quite a bit of the time, effectively maybe doubling your effective hit points against them. Repel Missiles will also help build up your charms skill, which will be useful once you start finding the higher-level charms spells. Regeneration might be a good one to pick up after Repel Missiles, since it shares the charms skill and is pretty useful, but you might also find other books by then.

Feel free to drop any spells you don't use much. Bolt of Magma, for instance. Bolt of Fire is better in pretty much every way, so there's no reason to keep the good one and the cheap knockoff at the same time.

That staff of energy is a rare and valuable find, especially so early on. It is by far the best staff for most casters. Cherish it, at least until your untimely death. It essentially shuts off the hunger clock for your caster. The only reason to wield something else is if you feel like training fighting, because it's terrible for that. You probably won't need the ring of sustenance any more, because general food availability assumes you'll be burning through food like crazy casting your spells, but YOU don't have to use food for that purpose at all! Lucky.

See if you can find a buckler somewhere. Even a crappy +0 one is good enough to start with; it basically gives you a third cardinal defense along with armor class and evasion, and the third one is every bit as good as the other two. You'll take a little hit to your spell success until you get up to 5 in shields skill, but it's worth it. You can just train your magic skills a little extra for now, and eventually the buckler penalty will go away on its own. If no buckers show up when you type Ctrl+F and enter 'buckler' at the prompt, then you might try CAREFULLY dipping into Elf 1 to see if any of the weaker elves there is holding on to one for you. Elf is pretty dangerous, though, so shoot anything that moves and run away if it doesn't die quickly. Figure the basic elf soldiers and elf knights are a little more fragile than orc warriors and knights, but more likely to have dangerous ranged attacks. Elf casters are just deadly, at least at your current level, although they are also fragile if you get the drop on them.

Swamp is going to be fairly dangerous without poison resistance, so you might hold off on that if you can. You could check the orcish leather armor you harvested in Orc for any that have poison resistance brand, since that can appear on leather and you won't suffer too terrible of a hit on spell success, but if you continue to explore down through the Dungeon you'll eventually find something to work with. Clarity is almost as good for Swamp, if you find it.

Shoals you might want to wait for reliable Levitation. The spell is best, but boots or rings work too. Levitation is also nice in Swamp, but much less important.

Once you've got those resources, you can clear the first four levels of those two branches, but bear in mind that they tend to be open levels with enemies superbly adapted to aquatic life. Expect swimming monsters to be way faster than they should be normally.

Until then, you might as well mosey your way down the main Dungeon until you find Hive and Vaults. Hive should be easy for you even without poison resistance, since you have Mephitic Cloud to confuse them and Fireball to kill them. Either ignores the bees' high evasion. Hive probably won't be too rewarding to finish, because your staff of energy means you have no food worries for the rest of the game even without it, but why turn down the free xp and modest loot? Vaults is about as difficult as the main Dungeon at the same depth, but tends to have more open space.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 00:53
by glyphic
Thank you both for the advice!

I found a cheapo buckler, and made it a +2. Should work, after I box with a kobold.

Bolt of magma, I used for fire-resistant things. I'm okay with losing it. Also, I think it's crazy, but I actually got -two- staves of energy.

Admittedly, I'm a bit lazy to check all of orc for poison resistance, but I have the clarity mutation and a book of dreams now. I'm thinking I'll test the waters of swamps and shoals, trying to avoid too many forest fires. Hive sounds bunches safe (so I'm gonna chicken out and find those).

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 01:21
by KoboldLord
If you have clarity, that should be good enough. Just watch out for swamp dragons, they're not simply bigger swamp drakes. Stay out of the last level of Shoals, and keep in mind that you can get some pretty nasty uniques in those branches if your luck is bad.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 03:09
by glyphic
I've found some more minor books (Ice magic?), and I feel I'm shaping up nicely. I could do with more mana, as it seems like I never have enough. I've found a nice ring of rP, so I'm good. I have to say, blowing up alligators and hydras is rather relaxing!

Took down a few swamp dragons. Probably should have tried to slay instead of blow up.

What's so bad about swamp 5?

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 05:33
by hxy
Depends on the ending you get... I recall one of them has a bone dragon... but I suppose as long as you're well prepared you'll be fine

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 11:00
by KoboldLord
Swamp 5 won't have any treasure, and it might have some late-game monsters guarding the Rune. There'll also be a cluster of top-end Swamp monsters, probably a combination of hydrae and swamp dragons but possibly undead versions, which will come all in a rush. It's definitely the easiest Rune-bearing branch end, but there's no incentive to take it before it's trivial.

Your character can probably take it without terrible trouble by stair-hopping whenever you run low on mp.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:43
by galehar
minmay wrote:Get a buckler and train Shields skill to at least 5 (to eliminate the spellcasting penalty).

Actually, eliminating the spellcasting penalty for normal size race wearing a buckler requires only 1 level in shield skill. The spellcasting penalty formula is 25*ASEVP - 20. So even if you do need 5 skill levels to eliminate the evasion penalty, 1 is enough for the spellcasting penalty. See this chart.

Edit: fixed link.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 13th May 2011, 17:57
by evilmike
galehar wrote:See this chart.

You have this set so its private.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Saturday, 14th May 2011, 06:26
by galehar
evilmike wrote:
galehar wrote:See this chart.

You have this set so its private.

Sorry, I wanted to post this link.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Saturday, 14th May 2011, 15:11
by asdu
galehar wrote:link.

Really? That's pretty weird. In my most recent game I was playing a DEWz who found a large shield in the late game, when his shield skill was 17 iirc. According to that table, that would mean 20% penalty to spell success. But when I tried it on, the only spell that got degraded was controlled blink which went from great to good (possibly a few mid-level spells went from perfect to excellent but I didn't care anyway), while other high level spells like tornado and ice storm stayed at excellent.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Saturday, 14th May 2011, 18:09
by asdu
minmay wrote:The table doesn't indicate percentage penalties (otherwise why would there be all those numbers over 100?).

Why wouldn't there be? Assuming the spellcasting success formula caps at 100% after the shield penalties are applied and not before, numbers over 100 make perfect sense.
If those aren't percentages, though, then what are they?

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Friday, 20th May 2011, 22:40
by asdu
asdu wrote:
minmay wrote:The table doesn't indicate percentage penalties (otherwise why would there be all those numbers over 100?).

Why wouldn't there be? Assuming the spellcasting success formula caps at 100% after the shield penalties are applied and not before, numbers over 100 make perfect sense.
If those aren't percentages, though, then what are they?

Pardon me the bump, but now I NEED to know :P What are the numbers in that table?
I ask because I'm playing a SEEE who, in the late game, got a pearl dragon armour from a trove. With an armour skill of 5 it screws my casting success rates for a bunch of high level spells badly enough that I'm forced to use a staff of wizardry. Now, if those are percentages, I may as well go ahead and get used to the staff (or go back to my robe of resistance), as I've already tried to Abyss-scum to grind armour skill, and even going from 4 to 5 took an impossibly long time.

Re: CIP- HuFe

PostPosted: Saturday, 21st May 2011, 07:00
by galehar
Those numbers aren't percentages. The armour/shield penalty is added to the base chance (which is the chance of failure). To successfully cast, you roll 1d100 3 times and average the result. If you roll higher than the fail chance, you miscast. The wiki has a pretty good explanation of the details of the spellcasting calculations.