YAVP: DgBr makes a good hunter (4 runes)


I gave some advice recently that brigand would be an easier background than hunter for a demigod bowmaster. This run served as a quick gut-check on that idea, though the RNG took some weird turns along the way.

TL;DR: It worked.

D1-3 was mostly a normal brigand start: stab sleeping things, poison anything remotely dangerous, and curare anything worse than that. I did melee a bit more than I’d like (I only started with 9 poison needles, which seems lower than I remember), but I was never in any particular danger - not least since an early paralysis wand gave me even more tools for shutting threats down early.

D4 had my first ranged weapon (a sling) and I immediately switched over and focused ranged training. D5 gave me a second ranged weapon in the form of a (sleeping) centaur with a shortbow, so at this point I had effectively become a hunter with curare and a bit of stealth.

D6 brought the first challenge: I hopped in the Ossuary hoping for easy potions, but the layout started me surrounded by a ring of enemies in a wide-open room. After ineffectually attempting to kite zombies (and eating a couple bad hits along the way), I decided surviving was better than loot, and I left the place empty-handed.

I didn’t hit any traps until lair, and even then it was a 1-floor shaft, so I recovered fairly quickly. The rest of lair was pretty uneventful, though I did spend a resist potion to clear a poison-filled teleporter vault and claim the Mad Mage’s Maulers and Brooch of Shielding. (The former made my old shortblade situationally useful, and the later gave me some much needed defenses.)

After returning to the dungeon and carefully avoiding a skeleton warrior pack, I found the orcish mines and my first upgrade from my +0 shortbow (hand-delivered to me by Nessos). At that point, I noticed that RNG was trolling me, as I’d found enough enchant armor scrolls to max out a GDA, but zero enchant weapon scrolls.

Armed with Nessos’s +2 flaming longbow, I easily cleared the rest of orcs and the dungeon, although a short visit to Abyss 3 (courtesy of Louise) gave me a bit of a scare. I then tackled most of the swamp (without rPois) - though by the time I reached the final floor I was running low on curing potions, so I decided to bail.

Going to Spiders to replenish my potions was a terrible idea and nearly cost me the run, but after my last curing saved me from lethal poison, I was able to get out. Instead, I went down into the depths and grabbed Abyss for my first rune - which was surprisingly not the worst idea (though I did have a rather close call involving a room full of exploding hellhogs in depths 2.)

Armed with a rune, I was able to safely pillage Vaults 1-4, raking in XP and items, and then effortlessly finish off both S-branches (still without rPois). In a moment of forgetfulness, I crawled into the slime pits to try to find my third rune - only to realize that I’d just grabbed my fourth, and I needed to hurry up and win (lest I run out of curing again).

Zot was fairly normal Zot, though the lack of rPois with only a few curing potions made green draconians much more threatening than normal. On the final floor I got to play a bit with Dimensional Bullseye, which proved a great way to soften up OoFs while mowing down orb guardians.

The orb run was mostly uneventful: even though I ran into 3 pan lords (4 counting seraph), I had plenty of blink scrolls and a decent supply of haste, so I never felt threatened.

Weird RNG aside, this brigand turned into a fairly normal hunter run: lots of dex, lots of ranged (s)killing, and lots of running away. As such, I stand by my original recommendation: for a demigod, brigand is a safer start than hunter, and you can pivot into a 100% ranged build fairly quickly despite starting without a bow.

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My only issue with brigand is D3 moccasin. Hexslinger is helpless until xl2. DgIE and DgSu look playable but I think DgAr is the best way to find a weapon worth skilling into. Maybe if DgBr had a potion of ramparts, or infinite stones, or better stats.
Good idea to skip spider.
Demigod pre-lair without pillar dancing feels pathetic.

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D3 moccasin is a good point: it’s awful for everybody, but Br (and VM) especially struggle. Ar might be a safer start in general, but I’m quite scared of evasive enemies (quokkas/adders/etc.), so I generally feel safer with a dagger than a club.

While I agree Dg has a weaker start than many other races, I’m not sure I’d call it “pathetic”. For book backgrounds in particular, I find the benefits of Dg start to show as early as lvl 4: boosted int means lower skill targets for the same success/power, freeing up skill points to go elsewhere. Putting those extra points in spellcasting or a utility school can give a blaster-caster Dg access to defensive tools (ie. blink/mephetic/etc.) without losing any of their firepower.

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