Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Ask fellow adventurers how to stay alive in the deep, dark, dangerous dungeon below, or share your own accumulated wisdom.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 258

Joined: Monday, 4th July 2011, 16:26

Post Sunday, 5th February 2012, 04:47

Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

I've been Crawling since last May, but I still have no idea how to properly play a follower of Kiku.

1) What kind of character benefits from following her, aside from carnivores and vampires?

2) What is the gameplan? I can kind of see the perks of a guaranteed Pain brand or Necronomicon, but I am more interested in consistently surviving long enough to get them. (I do ok with front-loaded, powerful gods - Trog, Oka, Makhleb, Vehumet, and Nemelex, but croak early an enormous proportion of the time with others.)

3) Is the Pain/Necronomicon decision basically dependent on whether one is going for fifteen runes?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Sunday, 5th February 2012, 05:09

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Use Kiku if you plan to use Necromancy.
Apparently Pain is only useful early on; it doesn't work for the extended endgame, right?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 5th February 2012, 06:18

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Kiku is tailor-made for melee/caster hybrids, although pure casters can benefit too. Obviously, heavy armor characters should probably reconsider taking Yred, Makhleb, or Fedhas instead, or go Trog. Kiku gifts useful spellbooks starting remarkably early; you can typically get the book of necromancy by the end of the next floor cleared if you don't dawdle, and you'll probably have all her gifts except the last before you even dip your toe into Lair or Orc. She is ridiculously easy to please, accepting almost every kill except undead, so you can use her active abilities to your heart's content without any real worry that she's going to get impatient with you.

Necromancy is a highly versatile magic skill, but individual spells usually have some sort of drawback that you have to work around.

You get Pain and Agony for a basic ranged attack, plus Dispel Undead to cover the most common class of pain-resistant monsters. Pain deals some backlash damage, Agony can't be used to finish something off, and they both suffer against rN+ enemies, but they both deal respectable amounts of ranged damage if you are a melee-type that really doesn't want to get into melee with that jelly, hydra, ettin, etc. They're also a guaranteed-early workaround for elementally-oriented casters who need a way to deal with enemies that resist their main element. Training necromancy for Pain and Agony is cheaper for an early-game hybrid than training conjurations + fire/ice/earth for direct damage, although unlike elemental conjurations necromantic direct damage won't take you all the way to the end of the game by itself.

You get Animate Skeleton, Animate Dead for early disposable minions, plus Twisted Resurrection and Simulacrum later on. You also get Recall for your minions, guaranteed. Skeletons and zombies are permanent but completely disposable. Since you can't take them to the next level anyway, there's no frustration when they get wiped out. You can casually sacrifice a whole pack of yak zombies to finish off a wounded hydra, and be satisfied that it was totally worth it. Swapping places with a zombie is an escape option that works on nearly anything, separating you from the horrible monster that will absolutely slaughter you if you don't get away. Particularly nasty uniques like Erolcha and Nikolai can sometimes be dealt with by walking briskly in the opposite direction and waiting for the 'you feel more experienced' message, and if that message never comes you still have a head start.

You also get a grab bag of utility powers, like Regeneration, Vampiric Draining, Sublimation of Blood, and Corpse Rot, which don't really have equivalents in any other magic skills. These can be tricky and micromanagey to use effectively, but they make you much more efficient if you do.

Kiku's corpse drop ability has a trivial cost, so you can use it with casual abandon whenever you feel like you could use some spare zombies, or some chunks for Sublimation, or some food. You generally won't get great zombies, but any old piece of trash can be thrown to the death yaks to ensure your own escape, and it works the same. It also essentially shuts off the food clock, even for ogres and centaurs, as long as you remember to bother.

Invoke Torment is a tricky ability to use, but it does a whole lot of damage if you can set it up right. You'll usually resist most of the damage. It's usually best to lure your prey into your kill zone, where you've set up a gank squad of hydra or dragon simulacrae to hide behind, plus a couple corpses to power this invocation. Mennas isn't such a royal terror if he follows you into a mob of hydra simulacrae and suddenly gets knocked down to a quarter of his starting health.

The final gift should usually be the pain brand. The Necronomicon sounds awesome, but the spells in it all cost an enormous amount of xp to get online, and when you're in early Lair you need something that helps now, not something that could hypothetically help in late Vaults (Haunt) or never (Necromutation). Pain brand does a LOT of damage when used by a necromancy hybrid, and by the time the post-endgame rolls around you'll find a eudemon blade or elemental staff or something to upgrade to anyway. A pain weapon will immediately boost the damage of your skald or warper by a large margin, and free up your xp investments to go to other pursuits. Besides, you may end up with three or four copies of the Necronomicon littering the floor by the time you hit up Zot anyway.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 5th February 2012, 21:56

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Animate Skeleton instantly gives you chunks. This has some special uses. For instance, Ashenzari worshippers could use it to butcher despite wielding a cursed blunt weapon. For Kikubaaqudgha worshippers, it's faster Simulacrum and Sublimation of Blood casting. Also, combining Death Channel, Animate Skeleton and Simulacrum for triple undead is maybe not optimal, but definitely fun! :)

Kikubaaqudgha's rTorm is very helpful in Tomb. Normal Kikubaaqudgha worshippers can do it quite easily at XL 20-23, in my experience. This gives you tons of exp, good loot and a rune!

It should also be noted that Agony has a power enhancement; it'll get through higher amounts of MR than conventional MR-checking spells. You can use it somewhat effectively even on MR 150 enemies.

Remember that you shouldn't wait for a high-end weapon to pain brand. A sabre, trident or scimitar of pain are very good weapons; no need to wait for a quickblade, demon blade or demon trident. The brand is powerful enough to make the difference in base damage less significant, and important enough to make you want it the moment you hit 6*.
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Swamp Slogger

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Joined: Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 18:24

Post Sunday, 5th February 2012, 22:50

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Make sure you have some sort of melee skills to make use of the amazing pain brand, you don't have to use your perma-brand early either if you just use excruciating wounds to apply it as a fight begins (beware it's not that quiet though.).

Simulacrum is great if you're not too beefy yourself, it can kill most uniques if you get some sort of giants/dragons chunks.

And abuse Agony on everyone remotely threatening, it's range is too good to pass up :D

Snake Sneak

Posts: 129

Joined: Saturday, 27th August 2011, 22:00

Post Tuesday, 7th February 2012, 20:41

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

I did some testing in trunk, butchered probably 20 dragons and normal trolls that Kiku delivered as fresh corpses and got zero hides.

Just keep it in mind, you can't do a sweet melee-focused kiku character with a plan to earn yourself a free golden dragon or any other type of hide :(

Slime Squisher

Posts: 390

Joined: Friday, 24th December 2010, 07:29

Post Wednesday, 8th February 2012, 17:58

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

Does the corpse generation follow the same formula as Shadow Creatures?
Xom grants you an implement of some kind.
_Something appears at your feet!
4790 gold pieces {god gift}.

You blink. You feel slightly more hungry. Prince Ribbit hits you. You die...
"Hey, that's my toy!"
Xom revives you!

Snake Sneak

Posts: 129

Joined: Saturday, 27th August 2011, 22:00

Post Friday, 10th February 2012, 16:05

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

dunno, but the corpse you get are definitely affected by the level of dungeon you're on + your necromancy skill

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 258

Joined: Monday, 4th July 2011, 16:26

Post Sunday, 12th February 2012, 09:16

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

So my DrIE swapped to a M&F focus after finding an envenomed whip on D1 and a 6/6 slaying ring on D2. D4 just coughed up a mace of pain. Is this a clear Kiku pick?

Tartarus Sorceror

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Joined: Monday, 21st February 2011, 15:57

Location: South Carolina

Post Sunday, 12th February 2012, 14:15

Re: Seeking guidance in the ways of Kiku

You've already got pain, so you can use another god. It can be hard to get resistances with no body slot, so maybe go with Okawaru. Or Vehumet so you know you'll get the upper end ice spells. Or Sif, so you'll eventually get the ice spells and the necromancy spells.

Of just go kiku if you need the necro spells now.

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