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(Let's Play!) Slash'EM Extended, a NetHack fork

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#1
Welcome to Let's Play Slash'EM Extended! My name is Amy, first poster here, and I chose the nickname "bluescreenofdeath" because that's what my PC is giving me for using it too much :D. What I want to do here is show off a fork of the classic roguelike NetHack, which is known to be a very hard game. The Slash'EM Extended fork is itself based on a fork called SLASH'EM (note the different capitalization); SLASH'EM adds a ton of stuff to vanilla NetHack, and Slash'EM Extended adds even more stuff while also trying to correct some game balance issues and fixing bugs.

NetHack has been developed by the mysterious entity known as the "Dev Team", but the last official version came out 2013, which means it's not very likely to be updated again (but who knows for sure?). The latest SLASH'EM version is 0.0.7E7F3, being developed by another Dev Team, but it seems they have stopped development too, and since SLASH'EM always used to be my favorite NetHack variant, I contacted them to get permission for building my own variant based on SLASH'EM. They did, and Slash'EM Extended was born :cool:. Since then, I'm the one-man (or rather, one-woman ;)) Dev Team of Slash'EM Extended, and still actively developing this variant.

I'd also like to express my thanks to fellow RPGNet user KoboldLord, who amazed me with his great Let's Play of Sporkhack, which is another NetHack variant that inspired quite some of the changes in Slash'EM Extended. In fact, I've read the entirety of KoboldLord's Let's Play thread (all 93 pages of it) and thorougly enjoyed it; he even ascended several roles, including one in SLASH'EM (yay!), but the character writeup I liked the most was actually Mouse the Rogue, fighting unbelievable hordes of monsters on his ascension run. Thanks a lot for your Let's Play and insights on playing NetHack, KoboldLord - reading about your adventures has helped to make me a better player, too!

Of course I'm in no way a NetHack expert, since I didn't ever beat the game (yet). The farthest I've ever managed to go was to some random level in the Gehennom, which means I didn't ever reach the Amulet of Yendor; getting it is about the halfway point in the game, and afterwards, the player needs to make their way back up passing all the previously visited dungeon levels as well as beat a series of extra hard levels, eventually reaching the Astral Plane (final level of the game) and playing the lottery trying to find the one altar on that level that allows the player to win the game. So this means I will probably die a lot in this Let's Play (NetHack is a game where death is permanent and erases the player's savegame file), but it should be fun nonetheless.

At first I will retell a few of my past Slash'EM Extended characters' tales. There won't be lots of screenshots (but a few of them will appear in most updates), and I certainly don't have KoboldLord's skill at explaining the game to new players, so this Let's Play thread is meant mainly for players who already have some NetHack experience. People who don't know anything about the game may want to check out KoboldLord's thread though; he describes the adventures of his first characters in a very newbie-friendly way, explaining lots of the game's basics.

By the way, NetHack and its forks are free software. There is a wiki at http://nethackwiki.com that also has download links for NetHack and many variants, so if anyone would like to play, they are free to do so. For reference sake, Slash'EM Extended can be downloaded here. And of course, this thread may be used for any NetHack Let's Play with screenshots; seeing a Slash'EM Extended Let's Play by someone else would amaze me like you can't believe! :cool: I'd also be able to aid players by giving hints (spoiler-free if that's wanted) because the NetHack wiki doesn't list every single detail that Slash'EM Extended changed. There is, however, a big Slash'EM Extended feature/changelog page at NetHackWiki that also has some screenshot examples.
There are also sparkling potions in this game. Inhaling their vapors tastes great and eases many a troubled mind. :D

My first character in this Let's Play is a lawful male doppelganger Flame Mage. It's a battlemage class that's relatively easy to play, being good at melee and even better at spellcasting. Sorry for the lack of screenshots; later characters will be different. Important notice: There will be audience participation in this Let's Play thread! You may suggest any role/race/alignment/gender combo for me, which I will then play after my pre-recorded characters are done (and there aren't many pre-recorded ones, so we'll get to the good stuff real soon). You can scroll down past the tales of my Flame Mage for a list of possible choices for my first "real" character. ;)

------- losgehts, the lawful male doppelganger Flame Mage, log from February 19th, 2014 -------

Well, this run wasn't going great. Low strength made it hard to kill anything with that quarterstaff, low mana regeneration prevented me from spamming flame sphere/force bolt. Found a silver mace and used that for a while, then bumped into something in Minetown while blind. Despite using the "move, don't attack" command, it got angry at me. Tried to run back to the stairs when something was blocking the passage; turned out to be a monkey that had stolen a lizard corpse and an egg. After nuking that annoying monkey I managed to reach the stairs without the annoying enemy (it probably was a watchman) catching up to me.

Tried to get to Sokoban instead. Got hit by some annoying hallucination (can't remember what that was, but maybe I accidentally ate some corpse that causes hallucination) on the Oracle level, killed some hallucinogen-distorted whatevers and ate their corpses. "Ulch - that meat was tainted! You feel deathly sick." Tried to pray to Earth. He didn't help me. Tried to polymorph into something that was sickness resistant (gnome zombie). Still not healed. Polymorph again. Back to doppelganger form, but still sick. Polymorph into "doppelganger". Finally got rid of that sickness, whew! That was way too close for comfort. By the way, I was low on health too, so a system shock would have killed me as well.

Okay, found the stairs down... only to find out the level was a maze. Argh. It might take forever to find the Sokoban stairs there. And I didn't find it quickly. Somewhere in there I made the mistake of praying again, causing Earth to make me relearn my lessons and taking a ton and a half of experience points in the process. Damn it. Got down some more dungeon levels and found a shop with over a dozen of spellbooks, and I had a scroll of earth but didn't remember which one it was thanks to a goddamn mind flayer sucking 3 points of intelligence off of me. Anyway, kicked all the spellbooks away from the entrance, then randomly read a scroll (I think it was ELBIB YLOH or something now).

It actually was the earth scroll! Now that the shopkeeper was buried in a shower of boulders, I grabbed and read all the spellbooks while shooing away some large mimics using Elbereth. Thanks to poison damage I was down to 4 STR (and no unicorn horn; the only unicorn that had appeared was a co-aligned one somewhere in the mines) so I didn't stand a chance even with my +4 silver mace. But I got the slow monster, cure sickness, healing and extra healing spells as well as some others. Now I just needed to dig out using my pick-axe and everything would be fine, right?



Wrong. I didn't expect the damn shopkeeper to be able to jump out of the boulders! BAM, everything that I wasn't wearing was gone, and the shopkeeper dropped down the hole with me, happily blasting me with my own wand of fire now. And while I was resistant to fire thanks to being a Flame Mage, that didn't stop him from vaporizing my oilskin cloak, damn it! I tried to cast a fireball in his face but ended up damaging my plasteel armor, and since I was out of mana now, I made a run for it. A pile of killer coins appeared, thankfully blocking the shopkeeper from closing in on me as I ran through a corridor, and when I found the down stairs, I used it.

However, now I was on another maze level with almost no equipment, and there were chillbugs and elven rogues. Thankfully they stole my ring of shock resistance and not the one of regeneration, but the chillbugs were doing more damage than what my healing spell could bring back, so even with the power surge technique I didn't stand a chance. Well, actually I nuked two chillbugs with my fireballs and seriously injured the remaining elf, but my armor was thoroughly burned now. One more hit and it would be vaporized. I tried a dust-Elbereth but the narrow layout of the maze (and probably more monsters lurking behind the visible ones) meant the chillbug continued to wail on me, and as I said already, my healing spell could not save me. The chest with all of my important scrolls and potions was gone too, that shopkeeper bastard had it in his inventory now. When I was down to single-digit HP, all I could do was to whack away at the chillbug in the vain hope of killing it, or rather, hopelessly cast that weak force bolt spell at it that kept missing anyway.

R.I.P. It turned out there had been another chillbug behind that one too, as the "creatures vanquished" screen showed I had killed 2 chillbugs but 4 had been created, and I know they are generated in packs. I could have tried Elbereth but one of the annoying elfs was close by, too, so he would have killed me instead. Argh. Well, that game was borked anyway, maybe I'll have better luck next time.

February 19th, 2014: losgehts, lawful male doppelganger Flame Mage died in the Dungeons of Doom on level 16, killed by a chillbug

-------

Audience input wanted! It's time for the readers of this thread to suggest a role/race/alignment/gender combo for me, which I will be playing in this thread. I'll give a short description of the available choices, and use a tier system to show the ones I'm most comfortable with. High tier means I'm confident to reach deeper dungeon levels with that choice; low tier means I'll probably die quickly.

Slash'EM Extended also removes all restrictions on possible combinations. Everything is possible, including female valkyries and lawful convicts ;). Oh, and while we're at it: please suggest a name for our hero(ine), too! Preferably one that sounds heroic; for example, an elven character may be named after an elven hero from Lord of the Rings, or a Pokemon character may be named Tyranitar. The only restriction is that the character name shouldn't match the quest leader, nemesis or deities of my chosen role, meaning a tourist named Twoflower isn't possible, but a tourist named Rincewind or a wizard named Twoflower is.

Pick a role for my character:
Archeologist - Adept at using tools, but his weapon choices are sub-par. Low tier.
Barbarian - Melee-based role that's good at using heavy, two-handed weapons. Also starts with poison resistance. High tier.
Caveman/Cavewoman - Fights with prehistoric weapons that don't do a lot of damage. Terrible at spellcasting. Low-mid tier.
Convict - Melee role that starts with a very damaging but highly inaccurate weapon. Mid tier.
Death Eater - Spellcaster with powerful but expensive starting spells. Starts with an amulet of life saving (basically an extra life), but is a slow role (low movement speed). Mid tier.
Electric Mage - Battlemage with a specialization in lightning spells. Mid-high tier.
Flame Mage - Battlemage with a specialization in fire spells. Mid-high tier.
Gangster - Ranged combat class that uses automatic firearms and can create extra bullets out of thin air. Mid tier.
Geek - Don't really know much about this role; probably a melee-oriented class. Also a slow role. Low tier.
Healer - Has plenty of ways to heal himself and others, but is terrible at fighting and doesn't start with offensive spells. Low tier.
Ice Mage - Battlemage with a specialization in cold spells. Mid tier.
Jedi - Uses lightsabers that require power, which runs out all the damn time, and without their charged lightsaber, they're helpless. Low tier.
Knight - Starts out as a melee class but can become a powerful spellcaster too. Can ride horses, but has to follow an annoying code of conduct. Mid-high tier.
Monk - Unarmed fighting class that's harder to play than it looks like. Lots of special kung-fu moves but they take a long time to recharge. Gets penalized for eating meat. Low-mid tier.
Necromancer - "Dark" mage that I can't really seem to get the hang of. Low-mid tier.
Nobleman/Noblewoman - Please don't make me play one of these. They don't seem to excel at anything and are very likely to die early. Low tier.
Pirate - Seems to be a melee/ranged fighter that can only use one-handed weapons and doesn't have much else going for him. Low-mid tier.
Pokemon - Unable to use weapons, but good at spellcasting and acquiring new pets. Mid tier.
Rogue - Can backstab fleeing enemies, good at using daggers in melee and for throwing. Has an obnoxiously hard quest to beat, though. Mid tier.
Ranger - Totally not a Lord of the Rings elf :D. Best archer class in the game. Mid-high tier.
Samurai - Melee fighter that has to follow a code of conduct even worse than the knight's. Mid tier.
Tourist - Can become proficient at using just about any weapon, but has a relatively hard early game. Mid tier.
Transvestite - Fast melee fighter that is very good at acquiring powerful pets. Mid-high tier.
Undead Slayer - Supposed to be a melee fighter, but doesn't seem to be good at it. His ranged combat and spellcasting abilities suck even more. Slow role to boot. Low tier.
Valkyrie - Melee class with cold resistance. Terrible at spellcasting though. Low-mid tier.
Wizard - Caster class with access to lots of powerful spells, but bad at weapon combat. Low-mid tier.
Warrior - Melee/ranged combat class that can ride horses. Bad at spellcasting. Mid tier.
Yeoman - Slow role, but if riding a horse they can be quite strong. Low-mid tier.
Chevalier - A cleric, being good both at melee and casting healing spells. Also starts out with a goddamn awesome dragon pet. Mid-high tier.
Courier - Unplayably hard role that is slow, hungers rapidly, and doesn't get any useful abilites. Low tier.
Priest(ess) - Bad at fighting due to the restrictions placed on most edged weapons; relatively good at spellcasting. Low tier.

Pick the race of my character:
Alien - All they ever get is loads of penalties. Low tier.
Argonian - Can swim and doesn't need to breathe. Also good at healing their wounds. Mid tier.
Doppelganger - Has the ability to polymorph, but I never seem to be able to decide what to polymorph into. Can also do a leap to pass obstacles. Mid tier.
Drow - The best unarmed fighter, able to put enemies to sleep. High tier.
Elf - Can get sleep resistance. Elves are peaceful to them. Mid-high tier.
Gastly - Can only eat old corpses, which makes them likely to die of starvation. Great starting resistances though. Low-mid tier.
Gigant - Can throw boulders, but hungers rapidly. Giants are peaceful to them. Mid-high tier.
Hobbit - Don't really know what's good about them, other than the fact they aren't renamed to "hurthling". Low-mid tier.
Human - The "basic" race that's a jack of all trades and master of none. Low-mid tier.
Insectoid - Can summon insects to their aid and don't need to fear Team Ant. Lack of hands makes it difficult, if not impossible, to use weapons though. Mid tier.
Khajiit - Good at fighting unarmed. Mid tier.
Kobolt - Starts with poison resistance and some throwing weapons, but falls asleep every so often, which can also happen in the middle of a fight with a dangerous monster. Low-mid tier.
Lycanthrope - Randomly polymorphs into a wolf and can summon tame wolves, but that's not nearly as useful as it sounds. Fast hit point regeneration. Low tier.
Maia - Starts with uncurable and uncontrollable teleportitis, and since I'm probably the only person on this planet who consideres this a good thing, they are: Mid-high tier.
Mould - Starts with uncurable and uncontrollable polymorphitis. The random number generator is bound to polymorph them into something useless sooner or later. Low-mid tier.
Navi - Good at kicking and using spears. Mid tier.
Ogro - Aggravates monsters, and is good at fighting with clubs, which are a useless type of weapon that no one uses anyway. Low-mid tier.
Orc - Can commit cannibalism without a penalty. Orcs are peaceful to them. Mid tier.
Snakeman - Can wrap enemies, preventing them from getting away. Also have the ability to swim. Snakes are peaceful to them. Mid tier.
Trollor - Has very fast hit point regeneration and a significant chance of auto-reviving on death. High tier.
Ungenomold - Starts with uncurable and uncontrollable polymorphitis, and dies permanently if their hit points run out while polymorphed. Combine this with the random number generator that always chooses the worst possible polymorph forms for maximum torture. Low-mid tier.
Vampire - Can bite and drain the blood out of monsters, but that never seems to give enough nutrition, so they are likely to die of starvation. Fast hit point regeneration. Mid-high tier.
Dwarf - Good at digging and using tools. Gnomes and dwarves are usually peaceful to them. Low-mid tier.
Gnome - Can transform items into better versions of themselves. Gnomes and dwarves are usually peaceful to them. Low-mid tier.

Pick the gender of my character:
Male - More susceptible to theft and kick attacks, but less susceptible to claw attacks.
Female - Less susceptible to theft and kick attacks, but more susceptible to claw attacks.

Pick the alignment of my character:
Lawful - Can get powerful divine minions. They get penalized for committing evil acts though.
Neutral - Can arguably get the best artifact items, and receive lesser penalties for committing evil acts.
Chaotic - Can commit crimes without penalties, and they are also less likely to anger their gods. However, if they do anger their gods, appeasing them is much more difficult.

And please pick a name for my character too. ;)

I'm open to anything you suggest, and if there are several suggestions, the ones with the most votes going for them will go first but the other ones aren't going to get discarded; they'll just follow up afterwards. Of course I'm also busy with real life sometimes, which means I can't predict when I will be able to update, but I'll try to keep the thread going. And of course I'll read any NetHack tales of adventures by other players, too! ;)

See you next time!
 

Manzanaro

New member
Banned
#3
Fun! This game seems to have expanded a lot since I used to dabble with it! I'm a huge roguelike fan but I am not especially good at them, so this should be interesting to follow.

My character proposal is: Elektra, a female lawful elf electric mage.
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#4
Ditto - male neutral Ungenomold pokemon
Wow, that's gonna be some unplayable character. :D I'll give it a try though, and see how far I can get.

On a side note, I just noticed some of the links in my original post not working, and I can't edit them unfortunately; the correct link to KoboldLord's Let's Play is http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?466187-(Let-s-Play!)-Sporkhack, and I also erroneously stated the NetHack development to have stopped in 2013 when it really was 2003. Silly me. Anyway, I'm looking forward to try the ungenomoldic Pokemon (outside of test runs I haven't played either the role or the race yet)! :)
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#5
Fun! This game seems to have expanded a lot since I used to dabble with it! I'm a huge roguelike fan but I am not especially good at them, so this should be interesting to follow.

My character proposal is: Elektra, a female lawful elf electric mage.
Taken! This one should be able to get quite far, thanks to the starting wand of lightning and pet shock hound pup (which will evolve into an adult shock hound later in the game). Thanks for the suggestion! :)
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#7
Hmmm. I vote for Exituko, a female chaotic drow samurai.
Thanks! This should be a very playable combo that hopefully won't die early on. Drow are excellent at fighting unarmed, and samurai have the martial arts skill, so they can dish out respectable damage. ;)

And also, this Let's Play will continue now! There will be another pre-recorded character first, and one more after that, but the audience-requested characters will probably start this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to play them. For reference sake, I'll post the current character queue, which is also supposed to be a reminder for myself so I don't forget what characters I'm going to play:

Bluescreenofdeath's Character Queue for Let's Play Slash'EM Extended, April 17th, 2014
  • Andorxor: Ditto - male neutral Ungenomold pokemon
  • Manzanaro: Elektra, a female lawful elf electric mage.
  • Andrensath: Exituko, a female chaotic drow samurai.
Today's character is a neutral female droven Valkyrie.

------- letsdieagain, neutral female droven Valkyrie, log from February 22nd, 2014 -------

Yeah, I know what everyone is probably thinking, "first ascension role of any player"... well, suffice it to say that I didn't ascend ever and probably won't do it soon; my best game yet was one where I made it to the Gehennom and died there. Anyway, I quickly lost my starting pet and went down the Gnomish Mines alone, but a polytrap created a hell hound that was breathing fire, taking off huge chunks of my health. So I zapped my wand of "make monsters flee", ran back to the up stairs and didn't go back for a long while.

Now I wanted to do Sokoban instead. On the way I made the mistake to randomly eat a monster corpse while hallucinating, getting an "Ulch - that meat was tainted, cannibal! You feel deathly sick." message. It probably was an elven zombie or something like that, and I was sure prayer wouldn't work. But there was a potion of extra healing in my inventory, which I used to cure myself. When I had reached Sokoban, I read a scroll of punishment. No, really. Since I always read-identify unknown scrolls, it's quite likely that I end up reading some "bad" scrolls sooner or later, and this one randomly decided to give me an iron ball with a weight of 1600 (10% chance of that happening). It even was a +1 iron ball too, but since the Valkyrie doesn't have the flail skill (and besides, only a Convict can train it by swinging iron balls or chains anyway) I was swinging a silver saber instead.

The ball annoyingly hit me a few times when using stairs. But I made it to the treasure zoo which was filled with dragons and other nasty monsters, which were cleared by throwing lots of daggers. Got a bag of holding and started putting things inside. Now I went back to the level on which I had tamed a large cat, trying to find the down stairs on the Sokoban branch level, and that annoying level took forever to explore! After having explored about half the map, the cat stupidly attacked a jelly in melee and punched out its own lights, so I was alone again.

The down stairs was literally in the last corner of the level that I explored. However, since I had squeezed myself in Sokoban several times without even intending to do so (maybe I should change it into a prompt asking the player: "You can squeeze yourself into a tiny opening. Do it? [yn] (n)") Well, actually I just did that now while writing this YASD story, and it's working, yeah! No more random luck decreases for trying to walk on a boulder just because there happens to be a monster behind it and the character stupidly decides to squeeze! But for this valkyrie I knew that my luck was very bad now, so I decided to go back to the mines for a luckstone. A rust monster ate away the annoying iron ball but also vaporized my helm and boots, which was very annoying. Thankfully I would get a genocide later and use it to wipe out all rust monsters.

Well there was one coaligned unicorn on a lit level, and I had a cloak of invisibility too (which would later be replaced by a cloak of displacement), but all of my gems were junk. Argh. Anyway, the polytrap outta-depth abomination had changed back to a hobbit so I could proceed, taking off all my armor and then deliberately setting off the trap, which caused me to "feel like a new drow" anyway. Made it to Minetown where some interesting stuff happened. First off, I tamed a random horse and allowed it to kill many gnomes and other enemies to make it level up, intending to use it to rob some shops. The horse actually managed to remove some of those obnoxious watchmen so I could grab their stuff and sell it, but thanks to a cursed item the horse just would not step into the shop. There was a watchman corpse lying on top of the stack so I couldn't kick it away either.

When I finally made up my mind and tried to grab that offending item, my horse got taken out by some random gnome or something. Argh. So I couldn't rob the shop at all now. But then, something amazing happened. While I was exploring the level, carting stuff to the cross-aligned altar for curse-testing and then selling useless items to the general store, a random hobbit dropped a blue dragon scale mail on death. Yeah, that's possible in my variant, but the chance of that happening is really low. I quickly took it to the altar to determine it's an uncursed +0 BDSM (I just love that acronym :), so I could ditch that splint mail I had been wearing for ages. My AC was well into negative values now. But it gets even better. It turned out that among the Sokoban rings there were the following ones:



Descending down the mines was relatively uneventful. Finally reached Mines End, and it was that nasty catacombs version with lots of vampires and undead, argh. Got level-drained by a vampire once but then my silver saber seared its flesh so I got my experience level back, then I fought more zombies and mummies than ever before and found a gray stone that passed the kick test. So I picked it up and continued exploring, but a trap door sent me to that incredibly difficult "digging" level where I had recently lost a promising samurai to Ruggo and his attack wand. Well, not this time! Using daggers and my silver saber, I defeated all of them. Ruggo had a total piece of crap wand this time anyway.

Going back to Minetown now, where I used the general store's services to identify my gray stones. They were a whetstone and two luckstones, all of them uncursed. Since I don't know what a whetstone is good for anyway, I put it and one of the luckstones into my bag of holding and went back to that unicorn to throw a whole lot of gems at it. Quite some of them weren't junk, so my luck penalty should be gone now. Went back down the main dungeon, encountering zoos and leprechaun halls, and there was also a cockatrice that dropped a corpse. Now usually you cannot do this, but my variant allows the player to do the following:



Yes, my character actually isn't dead! :D However, I lost my intrinsic speed and had to eat a lizard corpse to prevent death, which thankfully proved to be no problem as I just zapped myself with a wand of speed monster and found another lizard soon. Since the valkyrie really is terrible at spellcasting, every point of intelligence and wisdom counts, so my plan was to eat any cockatrice corpse that I came across, as long as I had lizard corpses and wasn't satiated to begin with. (Don't try to eat a basilisk corpse though, as that takes a lot more turns than it takes for the petrification process to finish, leaving the character with no way to survive!) Then I went back to the mall level where I had seen a shop with six wands that I wanted to rob. Well, one of them turned out to be slow monster, but the remaining ones were all unidentified yet, so I engrave-tested them all in the shop and read a scroll of teleport.

Told you about the valkyrie being terrible at casting, remember? I had four watchmen lined up and magic missile didn't even hit ONE! But it gets worse, as that continued to happen until I was out of mana. Well, screw that useless spell, let's get out my daggers and silver saber again. Killed a bunch of bastards and a bunch of kops, then made it back to the stairs. For a long time nothing interesting happened as I was happily killing stuff with my saber and daggers, and also throwing some gems to a cross-aligned unicorn which subsequently got killed for its horn. Actually the kobold level was a bit annoying thanks to a swarm of mobats taking off lots of health of me, forcing me to burn some healing and teleport wand charges, but I was also identifying the enchantment on some of my weapons by using the weapon practice technique. On a side note, is there any other way (apart from identify scrolls) to determine the enchantment level of a weapon? Anyway, check out what I discovered:



YEAH, baby! These were going to rip those monsters a new one, hahaha! So with my offensive power being even greater now, I continued slaying everything that tried to oppose me. However I ran into a zoo with lots of nasties, and I was wearing gloves of fumbling, causing them to wake up. Since I was able to throw up to three daggers in one turn, I accidentally hit a peaceful fire elemental and an acid blob with a stray shot. Now there weren't 5 blessed +8 daggers anymore, but only 4 blessed +8 daggers and one blessed rusty +8 dagger, argh. Anyway, I backtracked to the kobold level and allowed an elven rogue to take off my cursed gloves of fumbling, also slaying more of those annoying mobats, then went back to the mall level in order to rob even more shops.

That stupid shopkeeper who I stole the wands from proved to be annoying. Even though I was wearing a +7 ring of increase accuracy, my attacks and magic missiles kept missing him. And the bastard was hitting me with a rubber hose, taking a third of my HP total in a single round of combat. He would have killed me if I hadn't zapped him with a teleport charge, but this caused him to end up in the general store with the other (peaceful) shopkeeper blocking the way, and he wouldn't move as long as I was invisible. The hostile shopkeeper tried to fire his shotgun at me from inside but didn't manage to hit me, so I was standing in the entrance trying to pelt him with attacks. It's a shame I didn't have a lucern hammer or other polearm but in hindsight I think it wouldn't have hit him anyway. Even my silver saber (which was +1 and at expert skill level) missed him all the time, so an unskilled polearm would stand no chance to hit him, ever.

Eventually I tried to zap a wand of polymorph. It caused the peaceful shopkeeper (Inuvik) to transform into a hostile Inuvik the kobold warrior, who was firing his shotgun at me now (but kept missing anyway), but the other shopkeeper still was a shopkeeper. So I zapped the other shopkeeper again but somehow it just didn't seem to work, even though he didn't "sparkle" or "resist" or anything, what's up with that??? Since I had no way to take them down, I ran away with them following me, but got back to the shop in time to take everything that wasn't nailed down. Then I finally ran back to the down stairs and continued descending down the dungeon for real this time.

I spelunked my way into the deathtrap known as the chaotic quest, where a single cast of light revealed several vampires and liches lurking in the entrance room, so my instant reaction was to sit on the portal and go back again. On the next level I found the neutral quest and beat it, but when I wanted to leave, an invisible nymph spawned that stole some important items from me, and that bitch also had a nasty passive attack causing me to become deathly sick! Argh! My unicorn horn thankfully fixed it, but I had to burn a potion of see invisible and slay her with a hail of daggers since melee was out of the question. Anyway, by eating giant spiders I had finally scored the big hit in resistance roulette, meaning I was poison resistant now.

Everything seemed to be going well until I reached dungeon level 17. There had been a few graveyards on some of the previous levels but luring the wraiths to other levels hadn't made them drop any corpses, so I was still at experience level 11. Anyway, I entered a room when something invisible showed up, and hitting it paralyzed me, allowing the damn thing to hit me with impunity. Obviously an AC of -12 wasn't enough to stop it from killing me, and I first had to go through all of my inventory and killed monsters before I finally saw the gravestone. It said that I had been killed by a quaton, which is a new monster type "borrowed" from dNetHack. Well, now I know those things are dangerous, and will be more careful in future! But then I saw my attributes:



What the hell??? I seriously don't understand why my luck was that negative. How big is the luck penalty for murder as a neutral character? I mean, come on, I had thrown lots of good gems at unicorns! That's just not fair! But it might explain why I was still missing monsters now and then despite my accuracy bonus. Every point of negative luck acts like a -1 accuracy penalty, am I right? Well, damn it. I'll never get that lucky to randomly find a +7 ring and a bunch of +8 daggers ever again, probably. R.I.P. It turned out there had even been an amulet of life saving in my bag but I had been wearing one of magical breathing all the time...

February 22nd, 2014: letsdieagain, neutral female droven Valkyrie, died in the Dungeons of Doom on level 17, killed by an invisible quaton, while helpless

The next update will start with the tales of my final pre-recorded character. After that, we will see a neutral male ungenomoldic Pokemon! Yay! :D
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#8
Okay, so now there will be my last pre-recorded character. As soon as that one is done, we'll get to the good stuff! :) Sorry for the lack of screenshots; the next update will have them, so please bear with my wall of text.

------- randomizer, lawful male maian Healer, log from April 14th, 2014 -------

After a long time of modding (current version v24 is out now, fixing lots of stuff, but this run was done with v21 which still had some bugs - see below), I finally started another game. Random character obviously, and that's what I got. The Healer was never my favorite character class, as it seems I usually get killed quickly if I'm playing as one. This one also happened to be of the Maian race, which has been added in v21; they start with uncurable teleportitis and cannot acquire teleport control.

So I quickly got separated from my starting pet and certainly didn't have the patience to wait for it to catch up to me, only to be teleported away again just as the pet is finally making its way to the downstairs again. Worse even, I killed some random kestrel and ate its corpse, forgetting that they count as human, and for a maia this counts as cannibalism. Thanks to the lack of a usable pet, I had to wear-test items and quickly ended up with a cursed -1 ring mail and some cursed ring that I first thought was hunger, since I was consuming nutrition at a very fast rate. The ring actually turned out to be aggravate monster later; my other ring was one of regeneration though, so that was what caused me to go hungry all the time.

Then I entered the gnomish mines and encountered lots of gnome lords; it seems I had leveled up a bit too much, and my +2 scalpel took forever to kill anything. A squad of arc bugs quickly found me, and I had no good way to kill them so I fled down deeper into the mines, battling lots of dangerous monsters when suddenly a deep gnome thief appeared. Honestly, I think that was an outta depth spawn as I can't imagine my level being so high as to allow them to spawn normally. The blasted thing stole my wand of sleep, and I don't remember if healers start with sleep resistance, but luckily it missed on its first zap and I managed to drive it off with a dust-Elbereth.

With no way to take down the thief and get my wand back, I ran to the next downstairs and used it. The fact that most of these levels were unlit didn't make things easier for me. But I managed to get to Minetown, which was a very weird grotto town variant with lots of iron bars everywhere, and the local gnomes and dwarves were happy to use the shops' contents against me. They were throwing daggers and darts as well as firing arrows and crossbow bolts at me all the time but eventually I reached the altar, which was crossaligned (of course!). Well, at least I bought a bag of holding at the tool shop which the altar confirmed as uncursed, and put lots of stuff into it (no single other container had spawned yet, and actually, the only other container that ever spawned in this game was yet ANOTHER bag of holding which I didn't pick up of course, because that's an accident just waiting to happen).

Now I descended even further down into the mines, hoping for good equipment. Instead I got brutally swarmed by gnomes, dwarves, elf zombies and kittens. In fact, one of the level had the worst kitten infestation I have ever seen, and I also broke my stethoscope while trying to see how much damage I was doing to the kitten. Even though they only have about 18 HP, it was taking forever to kill them. Worse, there were lots of item-stealing monsters around as well, including some damn nymphs of course, and eventually I had to use a zap of my cursed wand of teleportation on myself to get me out of a sticky situation; unfortunately the maia's intrinsic teleportitis doesn't allow a Ctrl-T teleport.

With all those nasty monsters down there, and my attacks all dealing just 1 or 2 hit points worth of damage at this point, there was no way for me to get to the luckstone alive. Case in point was when I descended yet another set of stairs and "feeling a faint wave of psychic energy" after taking a few steps. No thank you, I'm heading back up to the main dungeon right now! Of course I still had to traverse the kitten-infested level, and after that, the one with all the elf zombies and arc bugs, but somehow I made it out alive and decided to go for Sokoban instead.

The mall level was really annoying. For some reason this one had a kitten infestation too, and an adult blue naga was breathing lightning (thankfully this isn't Angband, or I would have gotten an "It breathes (more) You die... DYWYPI?" message with no way of defending myself) at me, causing me to fight all the damn kittens while blinded. I'm very lucky that no random watchmen wandered into my way and the naga eventually lost track of me with the swarms of kittens running after me, so after a mad dash to the downstairs (actually I'm surprised the nymph in that room didn't wake up, as I was still wearing the cursed ring of aggravate monster) I made my escape.

I don't remember much about the next few levels, but what I do recall is that the stairs to Sokoban were in the Oracle room (this is possible in Slash'EM Extended). After some fighting with elf zombies and other monsters I entered them, but the first level was one that I hadn't seen before, and of course I screwed it up. Had to squeeze myself onto a boulder and blast some others with stone to flesh (at least the huge chunks of meat helpfully eased my food problems, since I was absolutely sure I couldn't pray), but on the upside the random wand was one of lightning! Yay! :)

After I had finished this level, I moved on to the next one, which had a severe bug, but I didn't notice at first. It was also a level that I hadn't seen before, and of course I had to use stone to flesh again. I also stupidly moved a boulder onto a hole that was obscured by a wand, rendering it lost forever, and knowing my luck it probably was a wand of wishing that I can't get now, AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH... There was an enemy trooper as well, which had escaped from the previous level thanks to my horribly bad damage output, and while pelting it with daggers/knives/darts with a boulder in between that thankfully prevented him from shooting back, many of my projectiles fell down the holes. But I pressed on and reached the third level of Sokoban.

This level was relatively tame, and I didn't have to use too much stone to flesh on the boulders. Still, I just knew my luck and alignment record were rock bottom now and I couldn't even hope to be able to pray. Now I reached the final Sokoban level and thankfully didn't make any mistakes for once, securing the way to the treasure zoo, but first I wanted to go back and retrieve all my missiles to tackle the hordes of monsters inside. And that's when I noticed the second Sokoban level had a nasty bug that prevented the down staircase from appearing (this bug has been fixed now).

So what could I do? There was no way to magically cause the stairway to appear, but I had a scroll of teleportation and when fighting the treasure zoo, eating some random corpse just so happened to give me confusion. I decided to take my chances and read the scroll... only to find out that Sokoban doesn't allow levelporting. Argh. Well, unless I somehow got my hands on a branchporting artifact and somehow made it work (and as a lawful character all of them would probably evade my grasp, and considering I was in Sokoban so I didn't have access to an altar in order to convert myself to neutral alignment, and even then, still needing a wish to cause a branchporting quest artifact to appear), I wasn't going to get out of Sokoban any more. So I could just as well clear out the zoo.

Burning an Elbereth in a strategic place and taming a large cat proved to be more than sufficient for clearing out the zoo, save for a nearly unkillable slime that I just ignored because it didn't block me from reaching anything important anyway. The prize was an amulet of reflection which I immediately started wearing. Still, there was the problem of being unable to escape, so the only thing I could do was to keep fighting randomly spawning monsters and eating the corpses left by some elf zombies (they keep showing up for some reason?!) hoping for sleep resistance. Of course I got some yummy food poisoning instead. :D

Well, somewhere in there I even managed to tame a statue gargoyle and allowed it to score some kills but then it got taken out by some random monster. I thought statue gargoyles are resistant to attacks that aren't done by a +1 or higher enchanted weapon? Since it didn't leave a corpse, I couldn't try out my wand of "no obvious effect" hoping for undead turning either. So I made my way back, passing a peaceful Grey-elf and finally ending up in that bugged level without a downstairs. Game over, right?

Thank God that Slash'EM is open source. What I did was temporarily modifying the scroll of earth code (since I still had those scrolls from the first level), allowing them to create a set of stairs instead of boulders. That did the trick, and I made sure to revert that change so earth scrolls are working as intended again now. :) Really, I can't express the gratitude for the decision to make NetHack (and its forks) open source. If I had been playing ADOM, my character would be dead now, and what's even worse, ADOM doesn't allow you to recover a game after a crash either, which is a very bad thing in a game where death is permanent. Anyway, now my earth scrolls were gone but I finally retrieved all the daggers/knives/darts/spears and also got some bullets from that trooper's corpse (not that healers have any firearms skill anyway).

Making my way further down the main dungeon, I tried to tame some large dogs/cats to help me out but their artificial stupidity just didn't make them do what I wanted. Actually I backtracked to the mall level and managed to recover some items that had been stolen by pesky nymphs, even taking out that annoying blue naga and taming another large cat hoping for it to steal some shop items for me, but the cat was acting stupid, wandering around aimlessly in an empty room. Didn't the stupid thing note all the tripe rations in my inventory, which are supposed to cause it to follow me more closely? Anyway, lacking a magic whistle, I just descended down the dungeon again.

Meanwhile, my healer had reached experience level 10, skilled levels in dart/short sword/spear/knife and expert in dagger, and I was actually able to kill monsters. My main weapon was a blessed dagger of unknown enchantment but it was good enough to hit lemures and other "needs +X weapon to hit" monsters, and I had plenty of spears and darts for throwing. Also a stack of poisoned daggers, but using them reduces my alignment record even more, so I'm not throwing them unless there is a monster that requires me to hit it with the extra poison damage. Actually, I didn't even need to use them when a random leocrotta showed up, which amazed me because I still remember this character needing over a dozen swings (half of which would miss, too) for a little dog/kitten!

Then I encountered a fungus farm on dlvl 11 or somewhere around that, and stupidly attacked a green mold in melee. Great, now my good blessed dagger was a rusty blessed dagger, reducing my melee damage output by one point (argh!). I also encountered a bugged brown mold that kept spamming the game with error messages but then I finally found the offending code and fixed it. Since I was getting very tired now, I decided to call it a night, so this healer will live to fight another day. I also found a random +4 or +5 (can't remember) hooded cloak and a red-eyed shield with good enchantment for some very nice AC boost (yay!). Current AC is a solid -20 or there-abouts. Still no way of getting rid of the aggravate monster ring though, and no attack spells or other forms of offensive magic. No luck at resistance roulette either. I'm also a bit worried about my lack of emergency items; all the healing potions and teleportation scrolls have been used up already and the game doesn't seem to give my any replacement ones. Well, at least I found speed monster and make invisible wands; the latter had been identified for me by a random legion devil grunt using it on itself. So I'm fast and invisible now, and poison resistant of course. See you next time! ;)
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#9
------- randomizer, lawful male maian Healer, log from April 15th, 2014 -------



Converting some altars created several demons, but they got taken out. I made my way to the town level where the shopkeepers offered enchant weapon, enchant armor and fooproofing armor services! :) So I spent all of my cash there, improving my ring mail to a cursed +1 ring mail and also enchanting a stack of orcish spears to +1. Then I made my way back down the dungeon and encountered a very dangerous level with minotaurs. Since I had lost several promising characters to those things in the past, I knew now that I may not underestimate them; they can deal up to 88 (or something like that) damage in a single round of combat, and with only 127 max HP, they would make short work of me. They also soak up lots of damage themselves. And then this level became even more dangerous:



Thankfully, a dwarf zapped a wand of digging, and I gladly jumped down the hole without the minotaurs and mind flayers catching up to me. Obviously I decided not to return to that level any time soon. Running around on the level below I randomly find an artifact weapon:



It's a shame the healer doesn't have any useful weapon skills. All I could do was to put Mojo in my bag, so at least there would be no intelligent monster grabbing it. Making my way downstairs, I encountered some weird messages:



Oh, so there's some shambling horrors walking around on that level. They seem to have a gaze attack that does nothing, too, so I quickly peeked at the source and saw that attack 35 is AD_SSEX, the succubus seduction attack, and obviously there is no gaze-based version of that ;). However, the shambling horrors were digging through the walls and using nasty butt/trample/lash attack combos in melee doing lots of damage to me, and they were also spamming the game with "mdig_tunnel: wall is undiggable" error messages, so I got out of there. Level 13 had another set of down stairs so I used those.



Uhh... what the heck is a hostile coaligned unicorn doing here? Seems it was spawned in the zoo on the far right, but of course I didn't want to risk a luck/alignment penalty (sacrificing at the converted altars back at the beginning of this update had confirmed that I was actually able to pray safely). So I tossed some random piece of worthless glass at it. The zoo had lots of beasts including several spined/horned devils, which took a while to clear out, and I was rewarded with quite some cash despite the rock mole that had been eating some of it. I also got hit by another shambling horror type enemy that caused my shield to crumble away. :(

Poof, 9 points of AC gone. Arrrrrrrgh. Then it dawned on me that this had been a disintegration melee attack, and I certainly didn't want to risk losing my highly enchanted hooded cloak, so I ran off since my healer was obviously not disintegration resistant. But the game spawned tons of monsters, including large amounts of metroids which weren't too threatening. Then suddenly a purple V appeared. I only got a look at it once, seeing that it was a vampire dazzler, and then got hit by its gaze attack that causes hallucination. Of course it tried to drain me as well.

The vampire dazzler is a new supervampire added to Slash'EM Extended, and at this point in the game, it was so far outta depth that it wasn't even funny. They are level 28 or something (I had even found a new stethoscope but never thought about using it here, argh!) and require +X weapons to hit them, but I still tried to fight it. Got level-drained and whacked hard, eventually having to pray because all of my healing options were restoring less HP than I was losing per turn, and thanks to the hallucination I didn't know which one of my wands was teleportation.



Thankfully, Athena decides to grant me a divine minion! Since I was still hallucinating I couldn't recognize it for what it was though:



Well, it would be great if it actually was a tame Master Kaen (who would royally kick that annoying vampire's butt, that's for sure!), but in reality it probably was some sort of angel, so I hoped for it to help me fight the vampire.

Uhh... Dear Mr. or Ms. Angel, why aren't you attacking the hallucinogen-distorted vampire dazzler?! I could really need some help here! The blasted vampire is draining all of my character levels!

Okay, so the angel somehow doesn't want to attack the vampire. Nothing I could do other than escaping the level, making sure the angel was next to me. After using my unicorn horn, I saw that the divine minion was no angel at all, but merely a white unicorn that's not really very useful. They are only level 2 or 3 IIRC, so they certainly wouldn't attack a level 28 vampire, and even if they would, the vampire wouldn't be taking much damage. The vampire dazzler also had a healing spell that it was using on itself whenever my dagger had wounded him, so it was completely impossible to kill. I'm just very glad it didn't manage to follow me up the stairs, so I made my way down the other staircase again.

Now I had to brave the assorted shambling horrors and umber hulks though, and for some reason I got hit by hallucination again and foolishly decided to wait for it to time out rather than using my horn (there is always a chance for the horn to break, which would be very bad if my next horn-fixable trouble turned out to be sickness). Well, long story short, I didn't make it.



The second artifact had been Whisperfeet (seen in a shop), but I never encountered the third one. No idea what it could have been. Never got off that aggravate monster ring either. R.I.P. randomizer the maian Healer, killed by a hallucinogen-distorted nethack horror. There wasn't much I could have done about that; the damn thing was dishing out so much damage per round, my useless healing spell could not keep up. It's very annoying that healing spells don't scale with character level, maybe that will get fixed in a future version...

April 14th, 2014: randomizer, lawful male maian Healer died in the Dungeons of Doom on level 14, killed by a hallucinogen-distorted nethack horror

-------

Now that this is over, the first audience-requested character will set foot in the Dungeons of Doom shortly! :D I'm really looking forward to play, and tomorrow there will probably be the first part of my ungenomoldic Pokemon's adventures. Thanks to Andorxor for suggesting this character, it'll be lots of fun!

See you next time! :)
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#10
So now this Let's Play can begin in earnest, with the character suggested by Andorxor: Ditto, the neutral male ungenomoldic Pokemon! This is gonna be great. Of course it's also gonna be short because I'll certainly die very soon, but I'll try to get as far as I can. You may cue some Pokemon battle music if you want, which will really set the mood for this character; my favorite track would be this one.


This is the first thing we see after starting the game. We're the yellow @ sign, but that will change soon. The highlighted brown q is a rothe, which is a monster of the "quadruped" class; they obviously walk on four legs, and they're some sort of animal with a bite attack. Highlighted means it's a pet; every player character starts with a pet, which will help the player by attacking and killing monsters. The weird blue symbol is a fountain, $ is a pile of gold, and the gray o is a goblin, which is probably hostile. Can we possibly defeat this dangerous monster? :)

On the bottom of the screen we have our character's stats. "CROC" is our title (which depends on the player character's level), and we have a lot of Strength and Constitution but low dexterity, intelligence, wisdom and charisma. HP is the amount of hit points; if this reaches zero, it's game over, but there are lots of other ways to die, too. Pw is mana, required for casting spells and performing certain other actions. Our AC (armor class) is 10, which is bad because a lower AC is better and 10 is the highest possible value, meaning we'll always get hit by monsters that attack us; wearing armor will lower our AC, eventually allowing us to reach negative values. Xp 1/0 means we're at experience level 1 and have 0 points of experience; if we kill enough monsters, we'll level up and gain extra HP, mana, to-hit and sometimes intrinsics or techniques. Wt is our current and maximum inventory weight; it is possible to exceed the maximum value, but doing so will slow you down. T:1 is the turn counter, indicating how many actions we have taken already. In Slash'EM Extended, a game that lasts for many turns will spawn new monsters more often, so it's not always a good idea to waste too much time.


And here we have our first polymorph. Ungenomolds have uncurable polymorphitis, meaning they will transform into random monsters every now and then, with no way to control what they become. The line "Wiped out all ungenomolds" means that if we ever change back to ungenomoldic form, we'll die instantly, even if we're wearing an amulet of life saving. So I'll have to be careful and prevent monsters from killing my polymorphed form. Chances are that if I survive for long enough, we'll see more polymorph forms. This one is a covetous Mordor orc (green o), a humanoid form that can use armor and weapons, and they can also steal items from enemies. Later we might polymorph into something too big for wearing armor though, and if that happens, all worn body armor (suit, cloak and shirt) will break apart and become unsusable.

Well, let's take a look at our inventory.

The Pokemon role starts with some random food, and unfortunately we didn't get a single food or even tripe ration. Instead there's some fruits and other vegetarian food that won't fill our stomach for long. Speaking of that, it is possible to die of starvation in this game, but that's probably not going to happen for some time. There is also a wand of death in my starting inventory; ungenomolds start with that, but since it's cursed, zapping it has a considerable chance of causing an explosion. An exploding wand will cause us to be subjected to whatever effect the wand normally has; since this is a wand of death, guess what can happen. There are also grid bugs and other electric monsters that can cause the wand to explode. Yay! :D

Now, there's one more thing I always check upon starting a new character: Techniques.

This menu can be opened with the #technique extended command. Techniques are abilites that can be used from time to time; after using them, they will have a cooldown time during which they cannot be used again. Pokemon will learn a lot of techniques from leveling up, and ungenomolds start with many techniques, so we'll eventually have a whole lot of techniques. Poke Ball is the Pokemon's signature technique; while this isn't exactly how the Pokemon series of games works, it allows us to throw balls at hostile monsters for a chance to "catch" them. The ball can fail, but if it works, the target monster becomes a tame pet that will help us fight enemies. World fall will instantly kill all non-unique, non-boss monsters on the current level whose monster level is lower than the technique's level, but it has a really long cooldown time and can also kill friendly and tame monsters. Appraisal allows us to determine the enchantment value of an item; the cooldown of this technique is much longer if the item in question is not a weapon. We also have some more techniques that I might describe as I use them.

Pokemon will also gain lots of intrinsics from leveling up; intrinsics are passive abilities of the player character that are always active (unlike techniques, which have to be manually activated in order to have an effect). The Pokemon starts with the disintegration resistance intrinsic, which prevents disintegration attacks from harming us; this is very useful because disintegration rays from black dragons are otherwise capable of instantly killing a character! We also have two more starting intrinsics thanks to being of the ungenomold race: searching and warning, which allow us to find traps and secret doors more quickly, as well as get warning symbols if dangerous monsters are approaching.

Okay, so it's time to move out. XITO, our pet rothe, quickly bites the goblin and kills it, then eats the corpse before we have a chance to reach it. Ah well, we're going to find some extra food for ourselves eventually. It's actually a good idea to let the rothe kill many monsters because it can evolve if it gets enough kills. Of course this isn't true to the Pokemon games' evolution lines, but the rothe will actually evolve into a rhyhorn after gaining enough levels, which is a very powerful monster with a devastating melee attack. The rhyhorn can then evolve further into the even better rhydon and rhyperior forms. Maybe I can keep the rothe alive for long enough so we can see it evolve. ;)

The goblin dropped a short sword and a helm; unfortunately, wearing the helm identified it as a cursed -1 skull cap, which doesn't give any AC. Wielding the sword doesn't cause it to weld to our hand, so we know it's noncursed, but the Pokemon role doesn't learn any weapon skills ever (unless our God, Dr. Oujide, grants us an artifact weapon) so we'll never be proficient at using it. Still, a short sword is probably better than our bare-handed attack, and the Mordor orc form should still be able to steal items from enemies.

Opening the door of our starting room reveals a wimp, which we're seeing with infravision. I take one step and...

... encounter a squad of bloodthirsty monsters who want to eat me! Eek! The F is a lichen, which cannot do any damage but has a sticky attack that can prevent me from fleeing, and the brown d's are jackals that can bite and kill me. My tactic? Attack the jackals and kill them! Unfortunately I keep missing, and I'm down to 7 HP. Uhh... let's retreat and let XITO take them on. Or, like a Pokemon trainer would say, GO! XITO! :D

Okay, we're having a problem right now... the lichen sticks to me, and I can't get away from the jackal that keeps attacking me. I'm down to 4 HP. The jackal is quite capable of dealing 4 points of damage to me in a single round of combat, so it's time to use our emergency world fall technique.

This removes the lichen and jackals from existence, as well as some other monsters that seemed to have been on the level, but our pet rothe and the wimp (green h) aren't killed because their level is too high. We won't be able to use world fall again for quite some time now, so we'd better be careful and not get into such a dire situation again. (Yes, I was actually afraid I might die here, even though we've just started our adventure - this goes to show that in Slash'EM Extended, dangerous situations can come up everywhere, even right at the start of a game!) So... let's camp out on the upstairs for a while to heal up.

Unfortunately, our intrinsic searching reveals a secret door to the right of the starting upstairs, and a hobbit quickly opens it, screaming for our blood. The wimp that I had seen in the corridor to the left got some backup, too; now, a second wimp appeared from that direction, and I'm afraid they will kill me. Oh my, will this game actually be over sooner than I expected? The hobbit is moving faster than me, and I probably can't kill it in melee! But thankfully, XITO bites and kills it, keeping me alive with 4 HP left. Now the wimps are closing in on us, but that hobbit had a sling which I might want to use. So I wait for XITO to finish eating the hobbit corpse, then pick up the sling and 3 rocks. Wield the sling... and of course it welds itself to my hand, meaning it is cursed and cannot be unwielded unless I randomly polymorph into a form without hands! :(

And now another hobbit is approaching from the right. XITO is on the way there, though, so I yell "XITO, TACKLE!" at him and hope he kills the hobbit while I'm dealing with the wimps. Unfortunately my sling rocks keep missing, and XITO refuses to go after the hobbit. Uhh... let's try to write Elbereth on the ground, hoping to keep the wimps and hobbits off of me.

XITO takes out the first wimp and eats its corpse. Then I find another secret door while recovering my rocks, and I just KNOW there will be more badguys waiting behind. I engrave another Elbereth. This scares the hobbit away from me, which is good because XITO got stabbed by its dagger once and failed to kill it. I'm afraid that XITO might get himself killed here. And now the hobbit is throwing daggers at me, argh! But finally XITO kills it with an attack combo. Let's see what the hobbit dropped. Hmm, leather armor... let's just try it on. It's +0, and probably not cursed. AC is 8 now, which still isn't good at all, but better than 10 of course.

Hmm... XITO had killed a wimp, but now there are still two of them on the way to me, coming from the left. I'll just bravely camp on this Elbereth square and hope XITO takes them all out. Need to refresh the Elbereth but XITO kills one of the wimps in a single round of battle, then eats its corpse. It didn't drop anything, and now my infravision tells me there's a kobold approaching from the right. Uhh, this is not going to end well. I haven't killed a single monster myself yet, and if I don't level up, my to-hit ratio will be so bad that I won't ever be able to kill anything! The kobold also throws daggers and darts at me but then gets killed by XITO. Now I have a stack of 20 darts, and there's a rabbit approaching from the right.

Throwing a dart proves to be useless since it misses, of course. XITO also misses the rabbit several times but then kills it, and now my warning meter tells me there's some dangerous monsters to the south.

Oh my... what could that be? It's probably something that can kill me in one hit even if I'm at full health, and knowing my luck it is probably something that can open the door into my room, too! And now there are even two red 1's already, and XITO has run off! Help?!

Okay, this game has obviously GOT to be borked... what the hell is a red 2 doing on dungeon level 1, for Dr. Oujide's sake??? Come on, I'm experience level 1 and this is dungeon level 1, is the monster-spawning routine actually taking my polymorph form's base level to determine random monster spawns or what? There is also a newt next to me, which will very probably kill me if I don't move away. It's also faster than me. After futilely trying to hit the newt with darts, I run off and allow XITO to kill it, so I survive with 6 HP left. And... the red 2 is a rock troll, which has absolutely no business being on dungeon level 1. Either this is a polymorph trap abomination, or the random spawn routine is seriously getting confused by my polymorped character. I'll probably not survive much longer now.

Got back to the starting room, allowing XITO to kill another wimp. This time I reach the corpse first and eat it; miraculously no monsters wander into the room during that time. So I'm exploring the corridor to the left and see another red 2, which confirms my suspicion of the game spawning extremely high-level monsters because I'm polymorped into a high-level monster. Actually this still cannot be since mordor orcs are level 3 and the rock troll that I saw is level 9, but hopefully we'll solve this mystery soon. Actually, I did some wizard mode testing because I was really curious, and couldn't seem to reproduce it?! Well, as soon as this character dies, I'll test some more outside of this Let's Play and see how it goes.

There are hobbits and grid bugs in the room to the left. XITO has wandered off, and I can't get away from the hobbits because they can move faster than me. My only chance is to zap the wand of death and hope it doesn't kill me. Got lucky once, killing two hobbits and a grid bug, and I've leveled up! Yay! Now my max HP is 24, max mana is 20, I learned the "pummel" technique and can continue trying to defeat the next hobbits and rock trolls that are closing in on me! Zap wand of death! Rock troll dead, DING, character level 3! Took out the hobbit with the same zap, DING, character level 4! You learn how to perform air dash! :D

Max HP has gone up to 29 (a bit disappointing, I was hoping for more), max mana is 37. Now there is a sewer rat approaching, which I can hopefully take out with darts. Or actually... no, seems I can't. Run away! XITO, stop being in the way and swap positions with me at once! Uhh, that was close. That blasted rat took me down to 5 HP (this is not a joke, I wish it was).

Great, now there are also fog clouds, which can engulf and blind me. On the up side, I could probably kill them from the inside since the player character usually doesn't miss while engulfed, but being blind would prevent me from locating XITO, and he's an essential part of my strategy... There's also a rock troll corpse that I should try to get rid of at once, because if I don't, it will revive and haunt me again; XITO didn't eat it even though he's clearly carnivore and had moved on the square it's on! While I'm trying to eat it, XITO kills the sewer rat and one of the fog clouds; for some reason, fog clouds are suddenly appearing everywhere on the level...

Come on, I'm so close to finishing this rock troll corpse! Please, dear RNG, don't make it come back to life!
 
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