YAVP: Stoat Soup 0.23ish DgAr, 5 runes (Tomb 5th)


I did not find DgAr to be the easiest combo ever - 11 to get one home - mainly because Evo cares nothing for demigod stats and of course you have no particularly good aptitude for anything. There were several ignominous early-game splats, and this game was very nearly one - 1 HP off a goblin, 2 HP off Natasha, 5 HP off Grinder.

Furthermore, this win did rely to some degree on the favourite bad-player technique of arranging to find an extremely good item early - in this case a +11 scimitar with {slice, +Blink MP+9 Int+5}… not, alas, lying on the floor of D:7 but in the hands of a gnoll which caused me another nervous moment. (Also, up until that moment I’d been training Polearms with a reasonable vampiric trident and a very nice randart demon trident waiting in a shop.) Besides that and buying a randart +1 plate with {MR+ Dex+5}, I was in pretty good shape when I hit the Lair on D:9.

Hydras could have been a problem (although the vampiric trident did a respectable job) but fortunately ghosts turned up to help with the first two. I found a +2 robe here with {rC+ rN+ Dex+4} which I’d swap to later when I found another source of MR and wanted some spells. Lair:6 was one of the endings with an endless tide of monsters, but I survived.

On D:11 I found a jewellery shop with several excellent choices; there and then I bought a ring with {MR+++ Str+2 Int+3 Dex+6 *Curse} - very nice - and on O:2 a scarf with {RMsl, -Tele Regen+ Slay+5}. I was very tempted by the latter; I used it for a bit because I was pretty short of teleports and blinks and could let them build up while I used other consumables in need, and I used it in Z:5 and on the orbrun because of the constraints on teleporting and blinking then. After Orc I was in that robe and starting on spells with Irradiate - as in bcrawl, Irradiate in Stoat Soup inflicts Sap Magic, which discourages spam but also makes it a good spell for someone who doesn’t know any other spells.

Spider first - very nasty in places, and a couple of ghost moths caused me such trouble I started getting Sticky Flame online. Spider had been so bad I went to Elf (after all, no MR issues), clearing it to E:2 and then able to tackle Spider:4. I then bought a ring with {rElec rN++ Int+2 Dex+6 Stlth-} from the excellent shop, a randart robe (no good), and said “hang on, me, you found a randart fustibalus in the ice cave on Spider:3, maybe you should actually identify it”. +3 {freeze, rPois Str+2 SInv} - tolerable ranged damage, and a convenient source of SInv for enemies who didn’t want to stand next to me and be set on fire.

Shoals next - normally I find it horrible if I can’t fly, but respectable Evo and a big stack of wands of flame probably helped out by boiling merfolk alive, and I only had one nasty moment. It also helped that Ilsuiw didn’t show up! Cleared Elf:3 finding a +0 helmet with {rN+ Regen+ rCorr Dex+4} (handy for Slime) and getting enough gold for another excellent shop ring. (This would have been a great game to be an octopode). I learned Summon Mana Viper here - not a spell I normally go for but I’d found a manual of Summonings and I was hoping for Dragon’s Call to show up. I tried it out on liches with some success.

Vaults to V:4 next - hitting a Desolation of Salt, which (as normal) I didn’t die in but also really didn’t have a happy fun time; not much loot, but an amulet with {Spirit rF+ rC+} solved the basic resistances problem. Depths didn’t give many problems and the Enchantress dropped the +1 faerie dragon scales {rC- Int+6 Dex+3 Wiz} which I’d eventually give in to the lure of - it’s probably all that let me squeeze out Dragon’s Call with demigod apts, at the cost of a bit of ring-swapping for resistances later.

V:5 posed no problem - made a huge noise on the stairs, then hatched down somewhere else. At this point my gear was giving me rN+++; off to the Crypt (one tiresome curse skull encounter) and enough gold for a book of the Dragon. Cleared Slime for XP (and the rare game where I found the mask of the Dragon and couldn’t sensibly use it) and enough gold for the crown of Eternal Torment (a re-added item, +3 hat with {rTorment HP-- rN+++ SInv *Curse}, makes you immune to torment at the cost of reducing your max HP as if you had just been tormented once with rN+++) which seemed like it would be worth a try in Tomb. (I’m not sure it was worth it; I was using Statue Form a bunch of the time in Tomb…)

Tomb was pretty awful, above and beyond the usual. I lacked a way to target greater mummies directly beyond the (fortunately quite rapid with respectable Evo) cycling on my lamp of fire, lightning rod, and stone of tremor. I hadn’t found Aura of Abjuration, and fond as I am of Dragon’s Call, it doesn’t perform so well in a space packed with monsters half of whom can abjure themselves. I chewed through most of my heal wounds, hastes, charges for assorted wands, a few box beasts… but I didn’t die.

After that I’d had enough and it was off to Zot. Zot 1-4 not too bad, and while Zot:5 had 10 orbs of fire with 3 onscreen at one point, it also had a permanent teleport trap leading into one of the lungs (which is where that scarf with -Tele paid off, and why I only killed 8 of those OOFs), and orbs of fire don’t deal very well with being covered in dragons. I was popping out box beasts to supplement them - at 20.8 Evo, box beasts are good, but I missed the max-Evo box beasts that can 1v1 OOFs easily.

The orbrun was almost completely uneventful, for a change. Next stop, SEFi.

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