The Return of Talking Time

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  #1  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:36 PM
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Default What's so Special About 27? Let's Play Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup and Find Out!


Welcome to Letís Play Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup! Following on from Netbrianís excellent Nethack LP and Stivís equally spectacular Angband one (which is still ongoing), I decided that it was time to explore into another branch of the roguelike family tree--a branch filled withÖ soup?

First, a quick history lesson. Dungeon Crawl is a free, tactical roguelike with a wealth of available character classes and jobs. Itís the youngest of the major roguelikes, with the first version not debuting until 1997. Its development philosophy is an explicit reaction to and attempt to fix what the developers view as the flaws of other games in the genre, such as a reliance on spoilers and rewards for boring playstyles. The original Dungeon Crawl development is moribund at this point, but a few years ago, a new team stepped in and began work on the Stone Soup branch, which is still in active development today (in fact the latest version just came out a few days ago). To learn more, Iíd recommend John Harrisís excellent @Play column on the game, or just download it yourself and try it out.

Iíll be starting the playthrough in earnest next week, but before we can enter the soupy dungeons, we need some adventurers willing to throw away their lives for our bloody entertainment. Thatís where you come in -- take a look at the character creation options below, and come up with some foolhardy heroes.

For each one, Iíll need: Name, Sex (the game doesnít care, but I need to know which pronoun to use), Race, and Job. If you have a portrait image to use for the character, it wouldnít hurt either. If multiple people throw their support behind a particular character idea, Iíll use that one first -- otherwise, Iíll just be going down the list as each one bites the dusty soup. Donít worry too much about mechanics yet; Iíll be explaining things as I go along.


These are the races. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory with a modicum of RPG experience, but there are some unusual ones as well if you want to live dangerously.


These are the jobs. Depending on the job you pick, you may have another decision to make as well:


Wizards have a choice of spellbook.


Death knights can either use necromantic magic or call on the god of undeath for their powers.


Chaos Knights get to pick one of three gods to serve.


As do priests.


Artificers get a choice of wands to blast their enemies with.


And several melee-focused classes get a choice of weapons (with the addition of claws for some races).

So there you have it. I look forward to seeing what sort of strangely-named ďheroesĒ Talking Time will send to glory (not likely) or death (very likely). Tune in next week for the first installment!

Last edited by Thraeg; 05-12-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:45 PM
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I fully endorse the creation of a Mummy hero.

And, like any decent mummy, he should be a thief.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2009, 06:50 PM
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Ghoul stalker. Ghoul anything (everything) really.

So when does the ASCII/tiles fight start?
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:57 PM
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I want to see a demigod artificer. 'Cause it seems like an overpowered race and an underpowered class.
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
So when does the ASCII/tiles fight start?
There will be none this time. Unlike Nethack and Angband, DCSS has tiles that look pretty great, and you actually get some extra functionality compared to the ASCII version (like seeing enemy life bars and using the mouse for inventory management). That's what I play with, and I'm not planning to switch, no matter how non-hardcore that makes me.

Also, don't forget to suggest names for your characters. Otherwise, I'll just use your screenname.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boojum View Post
There will be none this time. Unlike Nethack and Angband, DCSS has tiles that look pretty great, and you actually get some extra functionality compared to the ASCII version (like seeing enemy life bars and using the mouse for inventory management). That's what I play with, and I'm not planning to switch, no matter how non-hardcore that makes me.
Oh good. I was about ready to smack anyone who said you should play this in ASCII. Well, talk kinda sternly at them for a post or two, anyway.

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Also, don't forget to suggest names for your characters. Otherwise, I'll just use your screenname.
...That's cool with me.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2009, 08:45 PM
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I want to see a Sludge Elf Venom Mage somewhere down the line.

EDIT: Better make that a Deep Elf Conjurer, actually.

Last edited by PapillonReel; 08-28-2009 at 06:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boojum View Post
Also, don't forget to suggest names for your characters. Otherwise, I'll just use your screenname.
I see nothing wrong with this. And since I've no clue what any of these mean beyond the very basics, I'm curious to see what a Spriggan Warper could do.

Or how long it could last, after taking a quick glance at the wiki.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:43 PM
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I want a merfolk earth elementalist named Mudeye
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:05 PM
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I also support the notion of Mummy heroes.

However we definitely need a Sludge Elf to brave these soupy dungeons. I don't know what a Stalker does, but I do know Stalker the G.I. Joe character so lets go with that: Sludge Elf Stalker.

EDIT: Since we just saw a Stalker, let's see something else. Whatever Sludge Elves are good at. Do that. Sludge Elf _____!

Last edited by benjibot; 09-10-2009 at 07:04 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2009, 01:25 PM
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Wow! Good thing we decided to come back. Auxiliary armor slots (cloak, boots, gloves, hat) are pretty uncommon to begin with, and ones with special magical properties are exceedingly rare. This one can be activated to turn Octoprime invisible, which as you can probably imagine is incredibly useful for a thief looking to sneak up on enemies.



The only problem is that the success rate is based on the Evocations skill, which is pretty low at the moment. But that skill also governs the usage of cards, so we'll be training it up pretty quickly, and the cloak should become a very helpful tool after a while.



To help deal with an imp (irritating creatures that don't do much damage, but have great resistances and health regeneration, and love to teleport away), Octoprime draws another card from the deck of summonings. The Dance summons an animated weapon (shown by the little glowy red symbol in the upper-left of that dagger's tile).

Notice how the dagger, unlike the ugly thing, doesn't have a heart symbol in the upper-right? Yeah. Well, I didn't, and just headed in to attack the imp.

At low levels (not sure if it's based on the quality of the deck or the character's skills), summons have a small chance of being hostile when they appear. After all, the luck of the draw can't always be in your favor.

Anyway, I apparently got flustered and missed a couple of screenshots, but what happens is that Octoprime is beating up the imp and suddenly notices that his health is going down much faster than it should, because the knife is fighting for the wrong side. A scroll of blink should have gotten him safely to the stairs, but an orc wizard chooses just that moment to wander around the corner and block the path, and the only escape avenue left is to run down the hallway and hope for the summon to expire...



...but flying daggers move a lot faster than do mummies, and it soon catches up and continues its relentless carving. As a last-ditch effort, Octoprime turns to his trusty wand of disintegration, which has gotten him out of so many tight spots before, and is quite effective against inanimate objects...



...but the dagger stubbornly resists the magic, and...



(moment of silence)

.

.

.

.

.

Well, all things must come to an end, and we knew that Octoprime's luck had to run out eventually. I'll admit, though, that I don't think I've ever seen such a concentration of useless or negative effects on any of my previous Nemelex worshippers. Usually the cards are a powerful, though unreliable, ally, and I've never before had a character meet its end as a direct result of them. Still, he did well enough to land at #15 on the high-score list for this computer, so he can't be too disappointed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
It's a roguelike, so hopefully my inevitable defeat will be something memorable! Like, my pet Cat went feral for some reason, or something.
I think you pretty much jinxed yourself there, buddy. Crawl doesn't have NetHack-like pets, but you have the distinction of being my only character to get killed by their own summoned creature.

Rest in peace, Octoprime.







And so here ends the brief but eventful existence of Octoprime the octopus mummy bee-girl Yu-Gi-Oh-player Gambit vacuum cleaner. Here also ends episode 4 of Let's Play Dungeon Crawl. (And here begins the chorus of "I told you so"s from everyone who voted for Xom and Yredelemnul.)

Next time:

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  #12  
Old 08-18-2009, 02:15 PM
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Oh boy, I wonder how I can jinx my namesake's unlife in the dungeon?
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2009, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boojum
[Insert Yu-Gi-Oh reference here. I've never seen the show, so just use your imagination and pretend that I made one. And that it was really clever and hilarious... IN AMERICA.]
Fixed, Only one I know

- Eddie
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:21 PM
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OctoPrime died because he didn't listen to the Heart of the Cards.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2009, 06:50 PM
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Should have gone with Xom. He certainly probably wouldn't have given you the deck to instill false hope. He just would have dicked with you outright.

Though maybe if OctoPrime had had more money, he could have done away with the rules. Because he was so rich he wouldn't have needed to follow the rules, see. It is a Seto Kaiba reference. Why do I know that name.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:32 PM
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I didn't realize that we already had a Stalker in the queue when I picked it. In the interest of diversity let me change my vote to a more melee centric class. I still want Sludge Elf, because the name tickles me, but I'll switch my class vote to something like Gladiator or Berserker. Really whatever you want.

This is enjoyable, I am enjoying this!

I downloaded Crawl, but it looks like to get the tiles on OS X I'm going to need to compile it myself. Which wouldn't be a problem except I'd also need to download 4 or 5 other Unix-type applications.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2009, 09:05 PM
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Thanks for the kind words and feedback -- I'm glad you're enjoying this, because I'm finding writing it to be even more fun than playing, sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
What's the wand with the skull that suddenly showed up in the screenshot with the glitched firebolt graphic? I notice we have a knife with the same skull on it in that shot too.
That's a wand of draining, which shoots a bolt of negative energy that can pass through creatures and hit multiple targets. It's a powerful attack that both deals damage and drains away levels to weaken the targets, but it has a couple of drawbacks: first, since the targets lose levels, they are worth less experience; and second, the time Lucas is most in need of a powerful wand is against targets that are immune to poison, most of which (undead and demons) are also immune or heavily resistant to negative energy.

The dagger has a chance to cause the same sort of effect on a hit, but we haven't been using it because its plusses are lower than the +2/+2 on Lucas's starting dagger, and because it's incompatible with the Poison Weapon spell, and poisoning is generally more useful.

Now that the LP has been going for a little while, I was trying to scale back a bit on calling out every single skill increase and magic item found (you find a LOT in a typical game), and only mention the more significant ones. But I can be a bit more thorough in documenting them if you guys are interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjibot View Post
I didn't realize that we already had a Stalker in the queue when I picked it. In the interest of diversity let me change my vote to a more melee centric class. I still want Sludge Elf, because the name tickles me, but I'll switch my class vote to something like Gladiator or Berserker. Really whatever you want.
Sounds good. Sludge elves aren't very good at heavy armor and have lowish hp, so they're not ideal for pure melee classes like berserker, but they're great for hybrids and are good at unarmed combat, so maybe a monk, necromantic death knight, or transmuter (since that's sludge elves' specialty and they turn into spiders, ice beasts, or other forms to fight unarmed in melee).

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquid View Post
To be honest, I'm more interested in a Demonspawn Chaos Knight in Xom's service. Live your life by the roll of the dice!
Works for me. Feel free to change around your votes however you want. That combo is going to be Mutation Central, which might be a nice change after a pair of undead characters (since undead can't mutate). My second victory was with a demonspawn chaos knight (though of Makhleb), and I got a lot of usage out of a demonic gift that let me shoot bolts of negative energy for cheap.

CJ Awesome requested a venom mage or transmuter a couple of spots after you, so we might get to see a venom mage anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapillonReel View Post
Ahh. Still, I'd like a change anyway, since Deep Elf Conjurer seems like more of a stand-up combination (and is recommended, even!).
Will do. Deep elf conjurer is one of the most hyper-specialized characters you can get, packing ridiculous destructive power, but getting blown away by a light breeze.

Last edited by Thraeg; 08-25-2009 at 09:46 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjibot View Post
I downloaded Crawl, but it looks like to get the tiles on OS X I'm going to need to compile it myself. Which wouldn't be a problem except I'd also need to download 4 or 5 other Unix-type applications.
Or you can download Fink Commander and the development tools.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:00 PM
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I haven't tried this out, but:

http://magical-girl.com/crawl/
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:15 PM
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That looks to be a really old, pre-Stone Soup version of the game.

The main download page lists OSX versions that look to be complete and ready to use as far as I can tell (though I don't have a Mac to check with.) Is that where you're going? You're downloading stone_soup-0.5.1-tiles-osx.zip, not stone_soup-0.5.1-src.zip, right?

http://sourceforge.net/projects/crawl-ref/files/

Last edited by Thraeg; 08-28-2009 at 05:10 PM.
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  #21  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boojum View Post
The main download page lists OSX versions that look to be complete and ready to use as far as I can tell (though I don't have a Mac to check with.) Is that where you're going? You're downloading, stone_soup-0.5.1-tiles-osx.zip, not stone_soup-0.5.1-src.zip, right?
Yeah, that tiles zip file isn't a precompiled binary but a bunch of components (like a few 1024 px wide png files with all the tiles) that have to be put together. It's not hard, and Stiv's right on the money about the Fink Commander. I'll get around to it. Maybe. I mean, the ASCII ain't half bad either.
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2010, 11:57 PM
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Bah, My HEWz was doing really well in the Lair, just meleeing most of the enemies there for Fighting skill when I blundered into a Zot trap. Oh look, a Shadow Fiend. I wonder if he'll be my friend.

Quote:
27894 EToaster the Conjurer (level 12, -11/73 HPs)
Began as a High Elf Wizard on Jan 26, 2010.
Was the Champion of Sif Muna.
Killed from afar by a Shadow Fiend (60 damage)
... with a bolt of cold
... on Level 6 of the Lair of Beasts.
The game lasted 02:31:17 (31387 turns).
I guess my 4 levels of Traps and Doors wasn't enough.
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  #23  
Old 02-25-2010, 11:00 AM
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Thanks to the Angband LP and this one, I've picked up Crawl again. Not too long ago I got WAY further than I'd ever been (Deep Dwarf Chaos Knight of Makhleb, got him all the way to Dungeon:20!) Currently, I'm working on a Troll Berserker of Trog, but I have a question about Trog: Does evoking spells from items (e.g. Ring of Invisibility) cause him to get angry at you? I found a +3 Robe of Terror (+Inv +Lev rC+) and I really want to make the most of it.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2010, 02:14 PM
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No, all Trog gets mad about is actual spells out of spellbooks.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:00 PM
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Man I miss a couple days of Kalir's online play and Bloodgeyser meets his demise :-(. (That was what the "no" was for today on CAO btw)
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:35 PM
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I'm shocked you're still auto training skills! The whole skill training process went a lot faster for me after Mogri pointed out you could manually set what you want your experience to go into.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:31 PM
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Yeah, that's probably a mistake. Auto's better than ever, but manual is better still.
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Yeah, that's probably a mistake. Auto's better than ever, but manual is better still.
Agreed. IIRC, Kalir touched on this earlier and said that he didn't like micro-managing his skills, but I find myself micro-managing my skills much less with manual than I used to before the option existed.

Also, as far as Aang's death goes, I'd have cast Mephitic Cloud on the centaur. A confused centaur would have been easy pickings. I'm really surprised to see that you're down on that spell; it's one of my favourites, and I still think that it's brokenly powerful in the early game.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Agreed. IIRC, Kalir touched on this earlier and said that he didn't like micro-managing his skills, but I find myself micro-managing my skills much less with manual than I used to before the option existed.

Also, as far as Aang's death goes, I'd have cast Mephitic Cloud on the centaur. A confused centaur would have been easy pickings. I'm really surprised to see that you're down on that spell; it's one of my favourites, and I still think that it's brokenly powerful in the early game.
Yeah, I had been avoiding learning it recently due to Kalir's opinion of it, but it still confuses most things! It's still a great Sigmund/Ogre/Orc Warlord neutralizer.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:34 AM
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I'd love to see ignite poison as well!
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