Madrezaan: Death's Lessons
Here I will describe my notable characters' deaths with following debriefing of what could be done to prevent this bitter end. By notable I suppose a character who at least reach the Lair. It may be not a big achievement for someone else, but still a great result for me. To be specific, from my 480+ characters only 21 actually beat it to the Lair. Five of them were found a Rune, and only once I fetched 2 Runes.
All my games are recording online and available to review at crawl.akrasiac.org
Naga Transmuter series
- Spam Beastly Appendage and clear first few levels. Avoid tough uniques like Sigmund and tough range attackers.
- Find a helmet to transform only to tentacles, they are more powerful IMO.
- Learn Spider Form at XL3. Focus on Spellcasting and Poison Magic. Get few levels in the latter.
- Worship Cheibriados as soon as possible.
- Lure monsters out and take them one by one. Don't get involved into the epic battles.
- Use Spider Form to poison enemies quickly and/or escape.
- Search for Blink spell and ring of teleport control. Also, conserve all scrolls of blinking and teleportation. Since you are getting slower and slower, teleportation/blink is the only way to escape.
- Learn Ice Form at ~XL8. Invest few levels in Ice Magic. Use it to freeze tough opponents until you 'll get Blade Hands, and then only for cold vulnerable creatures. Also helpful against jellies to prevent equipment corrosion. Don't fight them in packs either!
- Learn Blade Hands at ~XL9. Focus on Spellcasting. Spam Blade Hands when you 'll get it for free. With Chei support it's possible at XL12-13
- Pick up some defensive spells and some ranged spells. Invest some points in corresponding magic schools. Ranged spells are very necessary later to kill fleeing or constantly blinking monsters.
- Pick up some items with rElec and rFire. They would be very helpful occasionally, until you'll be able to cast Statue Form and Dragon Form.
- Statue Form and Dragon Form are last pieces of core spells. I didn't use them in real fight although. Would be nice to have Controlled Blink as well, but it's high level too, never tried it.
XL14 [Swamp:1] Shot with a poisoned arrow of flame by Nessos (v0.10.1)
Was pretty powerful early-mid-game character, who cleared the Lair to the bottom with ease. Was able to cast for free level 1-5 spells. Blade Hands, Condensation Shield and Stoneskin was almost always on, Stone Arrow was for ranged attacks. Semi-controlled Blink and some teleportation/blinking scrolls for escape. Dagger of Eprof with rElec was always ready to cover from electric eels and others. Lack of fire resistance - yes, that was the tight spot.
Once cleared bottom level of the Lair without any trouble, I decided my naga is ready to conquer the Swamp. The very first level presented me a nasty surprise: 4 uniques at the same place! Nergalle and Urug were easy to defeat. Roxanne was looking too dangerous for me, so I stepped out of her blast area, with decision to return back much later. Nessos did not noticed me, so I just healed and decided to try him. The plan was following: to reach him closely with several semi-controlled blinks, try to do a lot of damage in melee with Blade Hands and teleport away if there would be any trouble. I blinked once. He blinked in my direction too. I blinked again, and he also blinked towards me, so we are still too far from each other. I tried several stone arrows on him with a result of severe damage (purple). He damaged me to 25% of my total HP in return. So, I decided to flee with semi-controlled blink, but he was so fast, as he could be able to follow my every blink and do extra shot each time. Finally, I read a scroll of teleportation, but it was too late. Next turn Nessos shoot me 3 times with poisoned arrow of flame and outraged over my dead body...
- Always read about unfamiliar dangerous-looking monsters before fight! I don't care about spoilers, game is impossible for me to beat even with all massive spoilers of this wiki. But if I'd only read Nessos profile, probably I'd not even try to test him without rFire+++. Sadly, I've read all warnings only after death.
- Disregarding previous item, there was a chance for me to escape. When I decided to flee, correct tactic would be following: read scroll of teleportation then blink several times, not otherwise. Then I would certainly survive.
- Even further. After several blinks I read a scroll of teleportation, and then took a step to wait. This was a blunder! It gave Nessos 3 free shots with his deadly arrows. I'd rather need to blink several times in opposite direction after I read the scroll. He had only 1 shot per move then, so my chances to survive would be 3 times higher.
- Alternatively, it would be wiser to try Chei Slouch ability instead of stone arrows. He was very quick + hasted, so several slouches could get him down. Although is very risky too.
Conclusion: Remember to study dangerous-looking opponents, but if in trouble anyway, take a break and draw step-by-step plan to escape.
XL14 [Lair:7] Annihilated by Daemmerung's ghost (v0.10.1)
Another successful incarnation as NaTr. Survived Abyss at XL12 for 500+ turns, then found portal out. Probably would be able to found Abyssal rune, but I've decided not to risk. Had a good spells set with Ozocubu's Armour as defense and Throw Icicle as ranged. Even found a book with Dragon Form, but didn't memorized it yet. also had a basic set of resistances - either from items or form spells. Lack of Blink spell was a big weakness. It was very hard for him to escape once engaged in tough close combat.
Lair was generally easy, as previous character, he was able to deal with packs of death yaks in open space. So, he dig down to Lair:7 and met a pack of elephants and a player ghost in the same place. They surrounded from all sides, but my character struggled heroically and (thanks for Blade Hands) all elephants was hacked in exchange for half HP. I left hand-to-hand with Daemmerung's ghost, powerful TrIE. Several hits bring him to "severe damaged", and mine HP to 1/4. Two other hits bring him to "almost destroyed" and mine HP to few points. Then next hit luck turned out of me and my bleeding chunks scattered over the dungeon floor...
- If I'd re-play same situation, I'll teleport away immediately after I noticed a powerful player ghost with elephants escort.
- Well, even after I dealt with elephants, begin to fight a powerful enemy with only half HP is not wise. So, if I'd read teleportation scroll at that moment, I'll have a chance to live a bit longer.
- With few HP left, that was a mistake to keep fighting to the end in the hope of lucky hit! Chei's Step From Time ability would help me to avoid trouble even when it was too late to read teleportation scroll.
Conclusion: don't risk to deal powerful enemies along with packs of less powerful, but if you'll not refrain from it, Step From Time is always your friend in hopeless situation.