Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Orthanc: What Level Am I On Again?

I haven't had a lot of time to play Orthanc this week, as I've been furiously prepping my novel for NaNoWriMo.  And, you know, playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.  I can't write all the time, you know.  I did manage to squeeze in a few hours of old-school gaming, though I wouldn't say that my progress was all that positive.

The most important discovery I made about Orthanc is that the dungeon is not purely linear.  Stairs going down from level 1 don't necessarily lead to level 2.  So, whereas I thought the level that I'd been exploring was level 2, it was actually level 3.  I discovered this when I found a new set of stairs leading down from level 1, and ran into a mapping discrepancy.  Alas, about the time I did discover it I ran into a Werewolf, and was promptly eviscerated; my Magic Missile spell wasn't enough to stop it.

So now when I use a new set of stairs, I also cast a Depth spell to figure out what level I'm on.  Orthanc has a good selection of non-combat spells, albeit ones culled pretty heavily from D&D.  The aforementioned Depth tells you what dungeon level you're on.  There are a couple of Cure spells of different levels, a Levitation spell to avoid pits and chutes, and a Light spell to reveal secret doors.  There's a Find Traps spell, though I've yet to encounter any traps just yet.  There are a whole bunch of spells I haven't tried yet, though some of them seem self-explanatory: Speed, Protection, ESP, Passwall, Pass Ceiling, Pass Floor, Invisibility.  I'll do some experimentation and get back to you.

I had a lucky break with my next character, as I found two stashes of gems that quickly got me up to 4th level.  Treasure provides XP when you haul it out of the dungeon.  There isn't a lot of variety: just coins of varying values (copper, silver, gold, platinum), and gems.  Gems can be worth a lot, and are the best ticket to gaining levels.  Carrying treasure adds to your weight, though I haven't figured out what effect this has.  Perhaps an increase in monster encounters?

Anyway, my current character's luck hasn't exactly held true.  While exploring level 2 I fell through  a chute and ended up on level 4.  Then, while frantically looking for some stairs I fell down a pit to level 6.  Currently I'm trapped on level 6 with not much spell power or hit points.  It's going to take miracle for me to escape, but I'm about to take a crack at it.  Wish me luck!

Postscript: I got murdered by a Dwarf without ever finding my way out of level 6.  If there's an upside to this scenario, it's that I got a good amount of levels 6 and 4 mapped out.  Huzzah for mapping!

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