Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches


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Halls Hopper

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Post Saturday, 17th July 2021, 17:21

Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Playing a Spriggan Enchanter, and not sure how to proceed.

http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/grinrain/grinrain.txt

Have Snake and Shoals to do, no poison resist, no deflection, no real range weapons. What should I do next to maximize the chance of getting through the branches successfully?

It is fun running around stabbing things, just not sure that will continue to work.

Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 18th July 2021, 03:13

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

I just had a quick look at your character, by no means a comprehensive analysis but I spotted a few things I suggest you consider:

* Wear the steam dragon armour instead of the robes, enchant it up if you can (train it minimally for a little extra AC)
* Use the hand crossbow Oka gifted you (try and train it up to like 6 or 9) as a supplement to the dagger/stabbing.
* Train ozocubu's armour and frozen ramparts (invest a little into ice magic)

At this point, it's mostly a crap shoot between shoals and snakes. If it were me though, I'd probably do snakes since water levels really hamper your stealth. I would run around using a combination of stabbing and hand-crossbow sniping sleeping targets before you close range (in some circumstances). Frozen ramparts works quite well with the xbow sniping tactics. Your evasion is high so you can dodge ranged shots back at you mostly mitigating the lack of poison resist, and they run slowly in snakes mostly so you should be able to do a bunch of hit 'n run. If you do get poisoned, well just take your time running away and resting back up. With your stealth they'll forget you somewhat, so keep whittling the levels down making them gradually safer. The one super big gotcha are those monsters that can summon snakes around you on all sides. Either kill them very fast with extra evocations (burn them if needed) or make sure you don't tackle them while they still have allies in their LOS (note: not your LOS, their LOS). Those will be tough, but use your stealth and maximum caution to get rid of those.

If/when you get to shoals, use simple wands of flame to tactically create steam and block LOS as a means to try to get away and reset fights. Hug walls and be extra cautious about pulling too many at once.

Hope that helps some. Good luck. Btw, more specific questions may get you more specific answers.

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Sunday, 18th July 2021, 08:28

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

In spite of what Svendre said (which is all very reasonable) I would avoid Snakes as long as possible with a squishy character like this, not only because of the guardian serpents, but because all the other monsters that constrict you there. Once they do that, your speed counts for nothing. Go there much later - you only need one rune to get into vaults.
Maɟaŋ

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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 18th July 2021, 20:06

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Well, I died in the Snake pit, level 3 or 4. Was done in by the Guardian, but my fault. Tried to cut/run my way to the stairs. Forgot about my scolls of blinking .. ..

Was going to try and skill up on the sling given the faster skill up rate. Will do the better crossbow next time.
Was gifted a +4 quickblade. At 10 skill level, 17 str/dex and low 20s for stealth. Would you use that blade or the +9 dagger?

Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:48

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

The decision between a dagger and quickblade is this: if you need maximum stabbing damage, I believe the dagger will do more damage (last I checked). The quickblade will do more damage in a non-stabbing fight. In particular, for quickblades, you get the most mileage out of them with certain brands like draining, poison, electricity.. since the brands get applied rapidly. Outside of the quick application of brands, on paper they still seem pretty good, but in practice armour slows them down quite a bit. It is for this reason that I tend to gravitate more to a dagger/rapier for pure shortblades builds, not that I won't use a good quickblade if I find it, or even in combination with the other two.

I rarely build pure stabbers unless I'm feeling like incomplete runs. They splat really easily. If I want a stealth run, I'm much more likely to build a hybrid melee/stabber and use a dagger/doublesword or demonblade combination where you go for a stab but if it doesn't work out, you hack away with the sword. My preferred armour then is shadow dragon armour, and breaking with my usual gods, Dith would be my choice, and is usually pleasantly, surprisingly strong.

Forgetting blink scrolls on the run is painful. Also, don't forget fog scrolls. One neat trick that I use is to escape is to read fog, to create a situation where the probability of blinking away from the enemies is high or guaranteed (because you won't blink into squares outside your LOS), then use a normal blink spell and take at least +1 or more squares in distance in the direction you wanted to go. It's handy if you don't have blink scrolls or just want to save them a bit. When you worship Dith, you get lots more fog, and the tactic really becomes notable.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 19th July 2021, 18:43

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

svendre wrote:The decision between a dagger and quickblade is this: if you need maximum stabbing damage, I believe the dagger will do more damage (last I checked).

For the sake of technical pedantry, the damage portion that daggers get more of than quickblades maxes out, it's possible to get the same bonus stabbing damage out of a quickblade, but it takes twice as much skill (specifically it's 12 average short blades and stealth to max out that bonus with daggers, and 24 with non-daggers) so in the case where your average(shortblades,stealth) is around 24 or so (which you should literally never arrive at, because it's a total waste of exp) quick blades do a bit more stabbing damage than daggers.

Note - please don't train your short blades and stealth to 24 to avoid swapping to a dagger for more stabbing damage, it's dumb, just stab with a dagger.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 19th July 2021, 19:29

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Dagger/quickblade/rapier ok, makes sense. Will use dagger most of the time.
Is there any practical difference between a 6 damage/10 delay weapon and a 5 damage/10 delay weapon that has been enchanted to 6 damage?

Also, what does spellcasting do now? How high a skill level is worth while?
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 14:07

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

grinrain wrote:Also, what does spellcasting do now? How high a skill level is worth while?

  • It contributes to spell success, but less than other relevant magical skills
  • It contributes to spell power, but less than other magical skills
  • It increases your MP, more than anything else
  • Training spellcasting up to level 0 eliminates all spell hunger (in previous versions you had to train it up significantly higher) :D
How much do you need? People disagree about that. Even without the spell hunger contribution I value spellcasting very high, and I try to keep it near my other magical skills - basically, I have it on throughout the game, and for some characters with a weak aptitude I even have it focused. The most immediate effect is that you have more MP to work with, which is very important for elemental casters, and less so for characters that use magic only for buffs and support. That would probably also be true for enchanters, who rarely run out of MP. But it would be a mistake to discount the contribution toward spell power. Yes, it is less than that of the other schools, but it will eventually have a significant effect on how strong your spells are. This, again, may be more important for elementalists, who will never max out their spells, than for enchanters, where many of the important utility spells max out without adding much spellcasting into the mix.

Others disagree with me and say it is fine to have spellcasting at about half of your other magical skills. Your choice.
Maɟaŋ

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 19:06

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

That does help. So some but not tons.

A Spriggan starts with STR 4 and does armor at -3. Is it worth trying to get to the point of using shadowdragon armor or anything other than steam?

Zot Zealot

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Post Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 08:46

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Strangely enough, Majang left out the only effect of spellcasting that I usually train for.

Spellcasting gives you spell slots: one slot per 0.5 levels (2 slots per skill level). You can only memoize spells if you have enough slots, each spell takes as much slot as many levels you have. You also get 1 spell slot for every character level, but that's usually not enough for a caster.

I personally usually train spellcasting so that I have enough slots for every spell I want to memoize , and then stop. This level is usually high enough that it's not useful to train spellcasting higher for the other benefits.

1. Spell success and power contribution of spellcasting is 1/4 compared to a spell school. So if you have a single school spell, say Ice, then spellcasting is worth training for spell success/power if training Ice costs 4x as much as spellcasting. WIth 2 school spells it's only 2x as much but you can choose to train the cheaper spells school instead of spellcasting, (and with three school spells it's 4/3 x). So sometimes spellcasting worth training for high level spells when my spell schools are already high, better so for multischool school spell.

Note that I very rarely learn multiple spells from multiple schools (on not gnoll, not ashenzari characters), so training spellcasting to help mutlple spells rarely worth it for me. Spellcasting usually stays at a much lower level than my spell schools.

2. Except the very very early game I usually do not have mana problems and when I do a few plus mana do not help. Therefore I never train spellcasting for mana. In the early game on most characters I want spell success and spell power as fast as possible, which means focusing on the spell schools. Note that better success rate and better power helps with your mana: you need to cast less!

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 21:01

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Right, I forgot about the slots. Thanks for bringing it up, and also for summarizing the position of those who see things different from me.
Maɟaŋ

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Post Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 21:10

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

grinrain wrote:A Spriggan starts with STR 4 and does armor at -3. Is it worth trying to get to the point of using shadowdragon armor or anything other than steam?


I wouldn't. Although you need to bring STR up somewhat anyway to be prepared against stat zero, shadowdragon armor is all in all too cumbersome for a spriggan. It provides better stealth for beefier characters who otherwise don't have a chance to be stealthy. For a spriggan, the stealth bonus would be marginal, and the encumbrance prohibitive.

Tasonir of course would object that shadowdragon armor is perfectly fine for a spriggan, as long as it runs with Cheibriados. Needless to say, he is usually right, but that is very much a matter of taste, and of how many games you are prepared to lose before you can stabilize such a character.
Maɟaŋ

Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 23rd July 2021, 06:00

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

Majang wrote:
grinrain wrote:A Spriggan starts with STR 4 and does armor at -3. Is it worth trying to get to the point of using shadowdragon armor or anything other than steam?


I wouldn't. Although you need to bring STR up somewhat anyway to be prepared against stat zero, shadowdragon armor is all in all too cumbersome for a spriggan. It provides better stealth for beefier characters who otherwise don't have a chance to be stealthy. For a spriggan, the stealth bonus would be marginal, and the encumbrance prohibitive.

Tasonir of course would object that shadowdragon armor is perfectly fine for a spriggan, as long as it runs with Cheibriados. Needless to say, he is usually right, but that is very much a matter of taste, and of how many games you are prepared to lose before you can stabilize such a character.


I'd also take the side of trying to wear it, but to be more clear, I wouldn't wear it with STR 4. What I would do instead would be to try and pump STR as I level up, try to plan for it, but don't fully commit. The make or break using it would be decided by the gear found, such as how many good items with +STR on them do I find that are generally superior to the counter-items giving something else. The other big factor is if you, for instance find an armour manual. Generally speaking, I would try to balance out STR/DEX on a hybrid stabber/slasher, but always adapt to what the game throws at you.

Zot Zealot

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Post Friday, 23rd July 2021, 09:34

Re: Spriggan Enchanter and Rune branches

grinrain wrote:A Spriggan starts with STR 4 and does armor at -3. Is it worth trying to get to the point of using shadowdragon armor or anything other than steam?


I personally would never wear armour with encumbrance on a spriggan. The best armours for spriggan are robe of archmagi, steam dragon scales and robe of resistance.

Spriggan, being tiny, gets extra penalty for doding in heavy armour. Add the heavily biased aptitudes, and you can see that spriggan is really not suited to wear heavy armour.

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