Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dungeon Master: Chasing Gremlins

Last session, I had finished by getting some more food, and then returning to the area with all the skeletons and beholders. I'm not sure how many enemies are in there, but they do respawn, making any trips back potentially annoying. This turns out to be not much of a problem since there's no path out of there except where I came from. I guess that third key was needed after all.

So the left path. The first thing I see here is another key slot. Fortunately, there's another door past that, an open one leading to a pressure plate. Hmm, I wonder what this does. Oh, no, the way back is locked...wait a minute, how do I get back? Well, there are two doors out of here, but one is locked via key, and the other has a teleporter in front of it. The teleport shifting in and out. This is actually seemingly impossible to get past, which is just great.
I should explain the issue. Dungeon Master has great responses to the first button press, works lovely, smoothly. The second button press, is delayed, can't be canceled and generally wouldn't be accepted if the game wasn't that good otherwise. I think it might be functioning on a turn system like a proper Dungeons and Dragons video game. This creates a weird artificial difficulty in that I'm not sure if its possible to get through this. Which turns this into an unwinnable situation.
I suspect I need another key, as I have two key slots I don't have one for. It takes a while for me to figure out. My natural starting point are the areas in the safe section of the map. Checking walls, seeing if I get another key by inserting another gold coin in that one slot. Turns out that putting the item in the the fourth riddle opens up a niche, with another key. Only that doesn't work on the door forward, just on a door with a single item in it. An item I have no use for. Turns out my first plan of bruteforcing my way through the teleporter is the right way, though it could be that the session I was on was making my life hell.
After solving this puzzle, the way back is opened by a pressure plate, making the situation less sticky. The area I found has a lot of paths, some quite closed off to me, others opening seemingly endlessly. There's a puzzle involving a pressure plate that activates a teleporter on its own spot. No idea how to solve that one yet. There's a teleporter, guarded by skeletons, that I'm holding off on exploring until the rest of the area is clear. The other stairs down is found in this section, its opened by a hidden switch. And it, itself opens on the pit trap maze, that very, very awful one. There's a particularly cruel option that's actually locked off, containing a quartet of bees.

That's actually about it for this level. There's nothing much to talk about after this, just hordes of skeletons and beholders. A lot of them are respawning too, I died a few times in this section thanks to some popping up behind or to the sides of me. A good chunk of these areas are off to the side though. Most of them don't seem to be worth the effort, except for experience fodder, but one has the Vorpal Blade...which doesn't seem to be doing any more damage than a regular rapier. So, down to level 6, if I'm not mistaken. The Tomb of the Firestaff, which is the item I've been looking for all this time, which I forgot to mention since I didn't read the backstory. That seems rather quick, and there are stairs down too.

Well, there's a reason for that, it needs more keys than I have. Even a hidden note mentioning hinting at that. Feels weird having to leave a level before finishing it, but I guess the rest of the keys are down somewhere. Gonna be a lot longer than planned if I have to go back up.
Downstairs it takes a few seconds for me to be glad I got that Vorpal Blade. It might not do any more damage, but it has a disrupt function that takes out non-material beings. Without that an already messy area would turn into a nightmare. The second you walk off the stairs there's a pressure plate that opens a pit in front of the stairs, which I didn't realize at first and fell. And in addition to the ghosts there are skeletons. This whole area is just a mess. Since I have to stop mapping half the time to fight another monster. Its big too, You can't see one wall from another wall. Also there are things that steal items. Thankfully, it just stole a shield, but I hate these things.

And it just keeps going. Its only a bad thing from a mapping perspective, but this is by far the biggest open area I've seen here. And it will be, because its seemingly the entire level. There's a big section that's just open space, only a key, which is fun if you don't find it. Oh, and in addition to all the monsters in this wide open space, that constantly respawn, there are also things that shoot fireballs randomly. Woe be to the person mapping this out who makes a mistake. I double back to make sure there aren't anymore missing things in the walls. Lead to a few puzzles that are more annoying than fun, but I got a sweet sword out of it. If I missed anything here, well, that's going to be a fun trip. Meanwhile, I have to go back up, again, because guess what? I'm running out of food and water. I like this game, but this is becoming more of a liability than a boon.
Before I end let me talk about some of the aspects I've been neglecting.
The RPG aspect of the game is a bit simplistic. You have attributes, like strength, dexterity and wisdom, and some of these govern health and mana. Then you have skills, which you increase by using them, there are four, fighter, ninja, (ranged weapons, and using ranged weapons in melee curiously) wizard and priest. These in turn increase attributes. Ending this session I decided to increase Gothmog's fighter, since he's been over draining his stamina constantly, and increase Sonja's magic skills somehow. I haven't managed to increase that, as without any magic she has 2 mana, although the Vorpal Sword increases that to 6. She can only cast one spell with 2 mana, and that still requires a rest between runes. Either way she hasn't managed to actually succeed in a spell yet.
Speaking of runes, I've settled into a pattern of mostly just using fire magic and healing potions. You use mana as you cast runes, so you can store them in case of an emergency. Or if you want to unleash 4 fireballs in rapid succession. Priest and wizard spells are seperated by the element rune, but I could be wrong.
The party system is interesting, if slightly useless for its purpose. You can move characters into any position, back left, front right and so forth. This actually has some reasoning to it, as characters can attack enemies depending on where they are. Though preference is given to front-facing enemies, and spells are always forward.

This Session: 2 hours

Total Time: 7 hours 40 minutes

1 comment:

  1. One of the most memorable dungeon levels of any real time blobber.