Post Monday, 18th December 2017, 23:28

YAVP:4-rune MfAK

Coo, I'm fairly knocking these out. This has confused my system, however - I was due a heavy-armour monster-whacker, but does a character that never wears more than leather really qualify?
1960090 damerell the Intangible (level 27, 215/249 HPs)
             Began as a Merfolk Abyssal Knight on Dec 17, 2017.
             Was the Champion of Lugonu.
             Escaped with the Orb
             ... and 4 runes on Dec 18, 2017!
             The game lasted 12:29:37 (97261 turns).

damerell the Intangible (Merfolk Abyssal Knight)   Turns: 97261, Time: 12:29:38

Health: 215/249    AC: 26    Str: 28    XL:     27
Magic:  35/35      EV: 38    Int: 24    God:    Lugonu [******]
Gold:   946        SH:  0    Dex: 27    Spells: 19/38 levels left

rFire    + + .     SeeInvis +   a - +9 bardiche (distort)
rCold    + . .     Gourm    .   (shield currently unavailable)
rNeg     . . .     Faith    +   Z - +4 robe of Augmentation {Str+4 Int+4 Dex+4}
rPois    .         Spirit   .   v - +2 helmet {Int+3}
rElec    .         Reflect  .   t - scarf of Hangman {rF+ Dex+7}
rCorr    .         Harm     .   f - +2 pair of gloves
MR       +++..                  w - +2 pair of boots
Stlth    ++........             z - amulet "Bupsuv" {Faith rF+ rC+ Str+2}
Regen    0.6/turn               A - ring of Miamyucw {MR+ Int+3 SInv}
MPRegen  0.3/turn               B - +4 ring of slaying

@: icy armour, slow
A: change form in water, swift swim, stealthy swim, blurry vision 1, clever 1,
deformed body, wild magic 1
0: Orb of Zot
}: 4/15 runes: decaying, serpentine, silver, abyssal
a: Depart the Abyss, Bend Space, Banish, Corrupt, Enter the Abyss, Renounce

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

You visited 9 branches of the dungeon, and saw 49 of its levels.
You visited the Abyss 6 times.
You visited 1 bazaar.
You also visited: Labyrinth, Trove, Bailey and Wizlab.

You collected 7716 gold pieces.
You spent 6770 gold pieces at shops.

I didn't particularly choose merfolk and abyssal knight to go with each other; I'd had abyssal knight in mind as an option for formicids, but unexpectedly won one of Ru. I was planning another mostly melee game, and merfolk's huge Polearms apt made them attractive in spite of their rotten Armour apt.

I was pretty pleased with myself when the second MfAK - literally the second Mf and the second AK I've ever played - got 2 runes with relative ease, acquiring a bardiche (and getting it up to +9 disto) and getting some really nice item drops. They got a book of Frost early and combining light armour with Ozo's seemed an effective way to bypass the Armour aptitude; and then even in spite of the poor Conj apt it was easy to get Throw Frost and Throw Icicle working.

However, then I threw it all away on Mennas in V:2; I got too complacent when I separated him from the yaktaurs, flayed ghost, etc, and failed to consider that he could probably just kill me without any help. (It didn't help that he clearly was sandbagging his melee ability in our first two encounters and then went all-out in the third and fatal encounter). I'd also haste-mighted in the first two encounters then teleported him away with the distortion weapon, which made me too reluctant to use consumables.

I hit too late on the scheme of using vulnerability to Banish him, getting one shot at 41%. All very well, but if I'd just had the sense to drop a Corrupt on him to begin with, I'd have saved myself a lot of bother.

Then came a frustrating series of 9 more merfolk where I appeared to be getting steadily worse at the game, going from deaths in Orc:2 to deaths in early D. There was a particularly vexing incident where I Corrupted Orc:2, cleared the mass of neutrals without incident, but then got blown up by a random burst of damnation flying out of the melee.

This game, although victorious, was also rather frustrating. For most of the game it was essentially like the 2-rune death only with worse luck with loot; while I was generally less lucky across the board the two standout points were greater difficulty finding and enchanting a bardiche (and not much luck with decent glaives to fill in the gap) and that I only got Ozo's Armour on V:5 (and never got Throw Frost, Throw Icicle, or Bolt of Cold at all). I kept wondering if I should switch to heavy armour and push through my rotten aptitude, but additionally wasn't really getting any decent heavy armour artifacts or the enchant armours I'd want to make a non-artifact very compelling... and with a reach weapon and Bend Space one doesn't have to spend so much time being attacked as many melee characters do.

I seem to have got a whopping lot of XP - max Fighting and Dodging, 26 Polearms, a wide range of spell skills around 13, 17 Invo, 9 Evo - which is odd given I didn't do Crypt and the way banishments and Corruptions eat some of the XP. I was mostly playing to my aptitudes, spent a while in the Abyss, and did clear Zot, which I guess explains it.

Sigmund had a pretty good go at me on D:2 but of course if both parties are using reach weapons you can break off the fight any time with stairs. I'd later go back and Abyss him, and still later end up killing him on one of many trips to the Abyss.

I got Lair on D:8 and went in, but after running a labyrinth on Lair:2 where I found the +2 leather armour of Impressiveness {MR+ Str+4} - a nice item I'd use most of the game until finding the Robe of Augmentation - I was starting to feel short of options for hydras other than hoping Banish worked before they tore me apart, so I went back to the Dungeon for a bit. On D:10 I got my bardiche and corrupted it, and generally felt a bit more able to handle the Lair.

Of course, a weapon of distortion is a mixed blessing - for every monster you oneshot with banishment, there's another one you have to fight six times. However, a bardiche - especially a +9 bardiche with high skills and high Str - just does such absurd damage that the chance of outright killing something before one of these effects kick in is pretty good. Later on I took some stealth and got one or two very pleasing one-shots on sleeping uniques.

The rest of Lair was fine; I corrupted Lair:6 when things got a bit hairy with spriggans and heffalumps. I then went to Orc; the descent to Orc:2 was quite unpleasant (I think I got the room of bastards that's all ogres, close enough to the stairs for the noise to alert them). I generally magic map and dig across Orc:1 if there's a large welcoming committee on Orc:2, but I didn't have digging here. The Orc shops had little of use, which was rather disappointing.

I cleared the rest of the Dungeon, which was fine - I got a +4 randart spear of piercing here for tickling hydras to death, a handy find since I thought my next stop was Swamp. On Swamp:1 Nikola got me to 2/142 HP, one of two really near misses this game; I gave up on Swamp and went to Snake, where by good fortune Snake:1 had a shop with a ring with {+Fly rElec Int+4}.

Back to Swamp; banished Nikola. Swamp:4 got extremely hairy; I planned to corrupt the room of bastards, but never really got a sense of where it was. I was burning through piety like anything banishing hydras; was reduced to escaping to the Abyss, but met Aizul (who I'd banished on Swamp:3) while still badly injured. I killed Aizul, but had to leave the Abyss while only healed up to 104 HP; I still had a horde on Swamp:4 to deal with, re-Abyssed myself at 2 HP, got a nasty set of transients from a wretched star, killed it, and came out again at 120 HP. At this point I was able to get everything under control and collected the rune.

In contrast Snake was really not a problem. I went to Vaults afterwards, finding a bazaar with 3 food shops and 2 useless armour shops - sigh, but I had been saving up for the amulet "Bupsuv" {Faith rF+ rC+ Str+2}, I was nearly there, and I would have had a real dilemma if there was something desirable in the bazaar. Since there wasn't I got the amulet which was a tremendous boon. A particularly huge monster pack forced me to escape to the Abyss again, but I got away with it and cleared the rest of Vaults without trouble.

I thought Elf would be viable; Depths is full of all kinds of bad stuff whereas the major concentration of pain in Elf is nicely concentrated in Elf:3 for convenient Corruption. Elf was quite manageable, but didn't really effect much improvement in my gear, although I found a helmet of intelligence which I'd use later; I had also been very short of identifies, and only here finished identifying srcrolls, discovering I had two acquirements - neither of which gave me anything good, either.

Depths wasn't a problem. I hit Zonguldrok's Shrine and banished him - since he is technically not a named monster, he doesn't show up on the list of uniques on Abyss:1. Poor Zonguldrok. I found a book shop on Depths:4 which also didn't have Ozo's Armour; I said something rather rude at this juncture. On Depths:5 I got into a bit of a tangle with a floating eye (and giants, yaktaurs, etc) and abyssed myself only to run into Sojobo who I'd banished on Depths:2 because I didn't want to fight her; the scenario was better now so I polished her off (along with Sigmund and Fannar).

I pressed down to Abyss:3 with the idea of looking for the rune, but found myself with nearly full HP but with a lot of bad stuff in view. Rather than risk coming out into the previous tangle with low HP, I backed out immediately to tackle the Depths:4 monsters on high HP.

On Depths:5 I found a trove wanting the abyssal rune and decided to have a better try for it. Of course it's much easier to try for it starting from an Abyss entrance - the piety cost of aborting a try is almost nothing but also if you leave the Abyss it'll be back to a clear area. I got the rune by running around some nasty looking lurking horrors; I also caught up with Nikola, leaving only Saint Roka as a surviving banished unique. Of course, after all that the trove had nothing useful.

I now had 3 runes but carried out my initial plan of going to Vaults:5 and corrupting it. This worked fine... and I finally got Ozo's Armour, weeping tears of relief.

To the Zotmobile! At first draconian packs proved pretty tough - I had to Corrupt one on Z:2 - but then I remembered they have rotten MR. I'd already picked up Tukima's and Enscorcelled Hibernation; even with the skill levels I had going in I had about 55% chance to overcome draconians' MR - but as a bonus, the buckets of XP from Zot (with Dodging and Fighting mastered) were rapidly improving them.

A Zot trap on Zot:2 gave me "you do not regenerate when monsters are visible". I really agonised over mutrouletting this out, with few potions of mutation, but decided after a few fights it was going to hurt too much (casting Regeneration in spare turns after eg blinking everything away was very useful to me); I got blurry vision in return, which also wasn't great.

Fortunately, however, Zot:5 did not contain 13 orbs of fire, like my last win. It did contain 10 ancient liches, at least some of which I fought several times thanks to distortion (but also the bardiche did kill some of them in one or two shots), but that wasn't so bad. I Corrupted a side lobe of the orb vault when I did spot an OOF; that shortened the run a bit. From there on I spotted one more OOF just outside the orb chamber; I read summoning and then blitzed it. Everything else was Orb Guardians, which are pretty trivial.

I saw 3 panlords on the orbrun; two couldn't get close, and one I had to holy word to buy time to dig over to another set of stairs. Other than that the orbrun was totally uneventful - I got Deformed off a neqoxec on D:4, costing me a princely 1 AC.