SETr, getting annihilated


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 20:47

SETr, getting annihilated

I haven't had internet for a long while, and one of the games I had on my computer was DCSS 0.7.1. Played the hell out of it, mostly DSBe's, and started playing casters a lot in .10 . I got 129000 points as a HOPr, and then became interested in playing a SETr. However, after over a dozen games, I can't even get past D:3. No matter what I do, how many snakes I create, how powerful my character becomes up until this point (Once got there with Ring of Protections +3 and +5, smited to death). I don't know what I'm doing wrong. An orc party always smites me to death, or I get killed by hideously unlucky circumstances, such as turning a corner to be hit by 2 worms for 10-13 damage each. Any advice for a lowly transmutation newb? Skills set to manual, leveling Unarmed, Spellcasting and Trans at all times, switching between fighting and dodge as the 4th skill. Never gotten to the Temple on one of these yet, so gods isn't a huge issue, though I was thinking of going for Chei.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:19

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

+1 on getting Spider Form online -- not only are you fast and venomous, you get a nice EV boost. Beastly Appendage-up for every early fight. Unarmed Combat is also essential in getting your damage up enough to survive.

Orc priests are going to be hard on D:3 -- running from them is a good plan. Snakes are more useful for slowing enemies down at first, or maybe mobbing an early ogre or something. Once you have more tmut power, you get better snakes.

God-wise, Chei is probably not the best choice. Tm is a good background for Chei, but Chei probably isn't the best god for anyone. Kiku is a better choice -- you have good necro aptitudes, and you get Pain for a simple "soften 'em up" spell and Agony for a "please hydra don't kill me" spell. You get these spells early.
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Snake Sneak

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

Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:26

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

Spend the first 3-6 levels of the dungeon throwing darts or clubs at everything that isn't ranged as they approach you instead of running towards them, too. Stick to peeking around corners into new places as often as possible; if you aggro a ranged guy you can more easily pull him back by breaking his line of sight -- move backwards around another corner as appropriate, since world wide IQ has been increasing ranged monsters have become smarter now and won't come hugging the corner to get you unless you force them to by double cornering.

Always useful tip: try to pull enemies towards you so you are less likely to fight multiple bogies. No dishonor is taking a few steps back into a safer position once an enemy has you in their sights.
Last edited by Night2o1 on Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:29, edited 1 time in total.

Dungeon Dilettante

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Joined: Friday, 2nd March 2012, 20:43

Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:27

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

njvack wrote:+1 on getting Spider Form online -- not only are you fast and venomous, you get a nice EV boost. Beastly Appendage-up for every early fight. Unarmed Combat is also essential in getting your damage up enough to survive.

Orc priests are going to be hard on D:3 -- running from them is a good plan. Snakes are more useful for slowing enemies down at first, or maybe mobbing an early ogre or something. Once you have more tmut power, you get better snakes.

God-wise, Chei is probably not the best choice. Tm is a good background for Chei, but Chei probably isn't the best god for anyone. Kiku is a better choice -- you have good necro aptitudes, and you get Pain for a simple "soften 'em up" spell and Agony for a "please hydra don't kill me" spell. You get these spells early.


I found an altar of Kiku once on a SETr, but died to a corner ogre. This game hates me a whole lot more than ADOM and IVAN.

Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:30

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

Did you die in one turn vs the ogre or did you try to stand and fight "since you were stuck in melee range anyway"? Ogres often lose a turn after they swing. You can take a step backwards and open up some room, then run to a staircase and escape. If you turned and died in one turn all I can say is, "lolraped :D"

I haven't played a SETr specifically but it might be easier to pick like makhleb, where most of your benefit from him is passive (until his powerful demons later on), and you can stick to focusing on your basic combat principles instead of the added complication of when to cast your additional magic spells vs when not to.

Like they said above, you should really only train unarmed combat until the beginning until you get to at least skill 5 (such that you're doing significantly more damage and you are swinging at 9 units of time instead of 10; with unarmed your swing time decreases by 1 unit every 5 skill until its at the 5 units minimum. Most creatures swing at 10 units, I believe, so its important to have that advantage). I recommend then turning on + focusing stealth until its at level 3 or 4. Never turn off Unarmed, but you can add in some other skills after that. Stealth increases survivability more than any other skill because you are much more likely to be able to choose your fights.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:50

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

The standard transmuter god is Okawaru - heroism is extremely spammable and gives huge benefits to unarmed (and less huge but always relevant benefits to all defensive skills in general), and also lets you train magic skills earlier (since you can rely on heroism to get your combat skills high enough for all tough fights).
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 23:56

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

I'd go with any deity that offers minions + ranged support over Okawaru on a transmuter, personally. Now that they've lost Evaporation, they don't really have much in the way of tricks when they're in over their head, and while Okawaru buffs are strong they don't necessarily help if punching is the wrong sort of tactics to be using in a particular fight. I tend to favor Kiku, Makhleb, Yred, or Fedhas because there's nothing quite like being able to shove some hapless minion into the jaws of that hydra while you run for the stairs.

With respect to skills, unarmed combat is the most important one for the early game. Even though forms give an unarmed combat bonus, you're still better off applying that bonus to a fast and strong attack than a weak and slow one. Fighting can trail by quite a bit, at least until you've got the levels to leverage the hp bonus. You'll want to get transmutations high enough to reliably use Spider Form as soon as you can manage, but Ice Form can wait until Lair most of the time. Spellcasting isn't so important because you're only casting one spell per fight most of the time, and you can just eat a chunk afterwards. Dodging and stealth are also for later, when you have enough xp coming in from high-quality monsters that you're not spending entire level's worth of xp just getting a single extra point of EV.

Orc priests are a very specific thorn in your side in the early game, and ultimately you're just going to have to learn to deal with them. They're hard to deal with for almost any background. Always try to stay near cover so you can back around a corner and break line of sight before you get Smited to death, and try to pick off the normal orcs first. You may end up approaching the same orc pack multiple times, running away the moment one sees you, trying to get them to separate so you can pick them off individually.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 02:19

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

Oka is extremely good for any Tm. If you get in over your head I'd like to know how you managed that before you learned spider form (spider form is that good).
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Eringya's Employee

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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 10:42

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

kylewalsh123 wrote:This game hates me a whole lot more than IVAN.

Now this just can't be true, at least for me. Of course I don't have an idea of how it is supposed to be played. :P
MuCK;
  Code:
612 | D:1      | Xom revived you
614 | D:1      | Xom revived you
614 | D:1      | Slain by a gnoll

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 19:43

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

I tried this combo once, and I got farthest just turning off all my skills but Transmutation until Blade Hands was reliable. With Sludge Elves and their +3 aptitude, it doesn't take that long. Oka's Heroism + Blade Hands is probably one of the most insanely lethal combos available in the early game. Ogres and orc priests and uniques and so on aren't that threatening when you can one- or two-shot any of them (and anything between you and them). By the time that isn't enough anymore, your other skills will have a chance to catch up (not to mention possibly finding some spellbooks with more forms and some nice Earth spells to keep going with).

Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 14:41

Re: SETr, getting annihilated

While I love me some Tm, and SETm in particular, there's no denying that it's a tricky combo to get started. There is a lot of balancing and micromanaging of skills needed to get to a viable character. Between UC to get damage up + Tm to get forms up plus maybe some ice/poison so that you don't need 15 Tm just to cast ice form + spc to keep hunger in check + dodging to end up not dead, the points get spread pretty thin.

Anyhow, what I've done is turn everything off except unarmed until 5, then turn off unarmed and turn on Tm (and maybe poison for 1/2 levels) until spider is castable. Then turn back on unarmed until 10 and after that Tm until 10 and go after ice if needed for a few levels to get ice form online. Around this time due to the Tm levels Blade hands should be reasonably castable too, but if needed turn back on Tm/Spc to get it to around 5% failure. Then turn on dodging, fighting and unarmed and play it by ear based on the other spells you've found.

You'll want to be in spider form a lot in the beginning because of the EV boost since you won't really train dodging until well into the lair, but be careful around poisonous enemies or you'll splat. Ice form should be castable in the Lair without too much trouble and it does well in Lair, even at high hunger costs since there's plenty of corpses there, few enemies with fire attack and lots of reptiles as well.

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