Post Sunday, 26th November 2017, 20:47

YAVP: FoFi of Ru, 3 runes
1517769 damerell the Conqueror (level 27, 214/249 HPs)
             Began as a Formicid Fighter on Nov 15, 2017.
             Was the Champion of Ru.
             Escaped with the Orb
             ... and 3 runes on Nov 26, 2017!

             The game lasted 14:27:51 (99829 turns).

damerell the Conqueror (Formicid Fighter)          Turns: 99829, Time: 14:27:52

Health: 214/249    AC: 31    Str: 46    XL:     27
Magic:  24/24      EV: 31    Int: 10    God:    Ru [******]
Gold:   2468       SH: 36    Dex: 26    Spells: 27/32 levels left

rFire    + + .     SeeInvis +   a - +9 great mace (flame)
rCold    . . .     Gourm    .   H - +4 large shield
rNeg     . . .     Faith    .   i - +4 scale mail of the Old World {rElec rF+ Str+5}
rPois    +         Spirit   .   (helmet unavailable)
rElec    +         Reflect  +   s - +2 cloak {MR+}
rCorr    .         Harm     .   r - +2 pair of gloves {Str+3}
MR       +++..     Clarity  +   U - +2 pair of boots {run}
Stlth    ..........             Z - +6 amulet of reflection
Regen    0.6/turn               A - ring of the Moon {*Contam rPois rF+ Str+3 Dex+2}
MPRegen  0.2/turn               B - ring "Serumuymo" {Dex+9 Slay+4, @P2}

@: mighty, agile, quick
A: permanent stasis, dig shafts and tunnels, four strong arms, antennae 3,
hooves 1, molten scales 1, blurry vision 1, clarity, dopey 1, low mp 1,
inhibited regeneration, inability to read while threatened, no stealth, hated by
all, no hexes magic, no ice magic, no translocations magic, reduced EV 1,
MP-powered wands
0: Orb of Zot
}: 3/15 runes: decaying, serpentine, slimy
a: Dig, Shaft Self, Draw Out Power, Power Leap, Apocalypse, Renounce Religion

You escaped.
You worshipped Ru.
Ru was exalted by your worship.
You were not hungry.

You visited 11 branches of the dungeon, and saw 56 of its levels.
You visited the Abyss 1 time.
You visited 1 bazaar.
You also visited: Sewer and Bailey.

You collected 8714 gold pieces.
You spent 6246 gold pieces at shops.

3 ants to get this one done, which puts me at 20% wins after Project Kitty (although, yes, measuring just after a win gives a misleading impression until one has very many games total). I've wanted to do an ant for a while, but found myself in a bit of a bind because of my desire not to repeat a god I've won with (yeah, I can't do that forever); some of the more obvious options are now off the list.

I tried Uska and Chei, partly in the usual "try the altars that turn up" way but partly with the idea that if you can't run/teleport away you might try becoming hard as nails to mash up everything that comes at you. This was not notably successful, as slightly less mediocre players could anticipate; a Fo^Uska can do little but fight to the death every time, and a Fo^Chei caught in the open away from rock walls is in a pretty dismal state.

This time Ru turned up on D:4. I've only played 5 games with Ru, and haven't really got along with them; I appreciate they'd be too good without this restriction, but I don't like the way the abilities interlock so using one stops you using the others, like how a Troggie has to judge if they'll want Trog's Hand or BiA before going berserk. Power Leap didn't see much use (sure, it's an ersatz cblink on a Fo, but I didn't need it much) but I constantly found myself wondering if I just wanted to topup with Draw Out Power or if the situation demanded Apocalypse.

Also, I appreciate abstractly you get a pretty solid quid pro quo in terms of the passive abilities, but the sacrifices are undeniably painful in a way that other gods' constraints generally aren't. I ended up taking EV -5 (not too bad withthe passive defensive benefits), Sac Love (definitely painful but worth a lot and at least it doesn't annoy you all the time), Sac Ices/Hexes/Translocations (I didn't expect to use spells at all, although I ended up in lighter armour than expected), Sac Words (which I thought would be less painful on a Fo, since I wasn't going to be teleporting/blinking away anyway), Stealth (I wasn't training it anyway), and regeneration with monsters in view. The last one was a real blow but none of the choices were good & I wanted to get it over with.

The game proceeded pretty mundanely until I found the +9 hunting sling of World's End {venom, Int+4} on D:6. This was tremendously effective at this point even untrained and firing stones. Oddly, however, I'd spend a lot of the game not using it, or even training and not using it; I got a huge supply of tomahawks in Orc, Slings crosstrains Throwing, and I thought I'd save ammo "for later" - of course I saved far too much and should have used it more freely. That said, it did carry me very nicely through Lair, and also I used it in Slime and Zot where it was very effective.

I forget where I got my great mace, but I did enchant and brand it all the way up from +0 to +9 flaming. Naturally, vexingly, after getting it to +3 I found two more +3 great maces. Even before branding it, which happened very later, this was very effective with my huge strength (and slaying); it's very satisfying to one-shot all kinds of common nuisances.

I seem to have nearly died on Orc:1, orc sorc with a bolt of fire. Snake:2 also got a bit hairy with Vashnia, who usually makes a nuisance of herself. I had to shaft myself on Swamp:2, which had a phenomenal supply of thorn hunters, but was able to come back up and murder them. I got an odd Swamp ending vault (hangedman_swamp_dais?) with stuff like green deaths and tentacled monstrosities, which gave me a bit of a problem.

I went to Vaults after that but found I really was not doing well, especially with my low MR (I had no MR+ items) and the ubiquitous stone walls; when I even more nearly died to a wizard, I thought I'd give it up for now and try Elf. Elf was really quite routine by comparison; when I got to the Elf:3 room of bastards I simply dug around the edge and then could easily kite elves into my killhole in ones and twos. Elf:3 also had some decent stuff, including the ring "Serumuymo" {Dex+9 Slay+4}, boots of running, and the +4 scale mail of the Old World {rElec rF+ Str+5}.

I kind of agonised over the armour when Elf:3 also served up a +9 plate of ponderousness - sure, with the boots of running I wouldn't be slow, but I would be surrendering the advantage of being fast in one of the few ways Fo can - and also later when I found gold dragon scales. In both cases I was giving up a lot of AC for modest amounts of EV and SH, but liked the STR+5 on the scale mail (and the rF, without which I'd have to keep swapping my slaying in and out). It also meant I could cast spells later... well, spell, as it turned out - and train some Dodging when it was cheaper than Armour.

After this Vaults was much easier, and Depths wasn't really too bad either. I got the ring of the Moon {*Contam rPois rF+ Str+3 Dex+2} stuck to me but decided I was actually pretty happy with that. I realised I could use some spells with a modest skill investment, but it turned out with my sacrifices there were very few low-level spells available; I took Swiftness (which I never used but it was nice to know it was there) and Regeneration (which I used a lot as a way to turn mana into HP during any lull in a fight with nothing visible). My lightning rod was also coming in handy to kill boggarts, so I took a few levels of Evocations; I had no penetrating javelins or other ways to kill nuisances hiding behind other monsters short of Apocalypse.

I cleared out Crypt; I usually do. I was prepared for the usual struggle with mummies on C:3 but what I got was a horde of flying skulls and jianshi, who were no challenge at all.

Now of course I had the usual vexing 3rd rune question. Doubtless I could clear the welcoming committee on V:5 with Apocalypse, but then would still be stuck in the centre with everything coming to meet me; a vault warden could cut off my line of retreat, and what then? Take an escape hatch to land somewhere but the centre? Less attractive on a formicid where one can't reroll the dice by teleporting if one lands somewhere bad.

Slime? Suppose the fight with The Royal Jelly went sour; then I'd have to back up halfway across Slime:5 with a bunch of jellies crawling all over me. Abyss? Once again the problem of being cut off from retreat presented itself.

I thought first I'd try Abyss, on the basis that the easier Abyss:1 would let me get a feel for whether this character could handle it. This was a no-score draw; I collected some consumables and gold, got to Abyss:3 without difficulty, but then got into a nasty fight and fled out an exit.

Slime seemed like the least bad option in that retreat would just be difficult not potentially impossible. It wasn't too bad - I killed Dissolution, which I never have before - except that every poxy shining eye I saw managed to malmutate me. I rolled them out once on Slime:4 getting clarity (hooray!) but also frail (eh, well, I had plenty of HP), then again on the way out, keeping clarity (hooray!). It turned out TRJ had wandered out of the centre (vexingly, I burned a might and an agility before finding this out; I should have let ant-vision confirm that it was there) but I managed to find it and kite it back into tight confines. It retreated when moderately wounded; I popped Apocalypse to clear out all the chaff and have another go at it, but this killed TRJ itself. There wasn't much useful loot, but that did get me my third rune.

I cleared Zot. I think I've generally changed my mind on this - sure, it can be troublesome, but it's really nice to have minimal scope for interference on the orbrun. Zot:5 really wasn't too bad; the lobe I picked didn't give the usual impression of an endless tide of monsters, but even more conveniently it had a permanent teleport trap in the choke point and of course a Fo can exploit this like anything. (Of course, one doesn't want to overdo it - a kill is better than teleporting a beastie somewhere that might be on your way out.) I killed 6 OOFs, getting blurry vision off one - I decided I didn't care about that since I couldn't use scrolls in a crisis anyway.

The orbrun was fine apart from meeting a panlord on D:1. It wasn't practical to retreat even after holy wording it, but in spite of its huge AC I decided to quaff might and just try to flatten it. This proved suspiciously easy, and I was home free.