Friday, January 4, 2008

I just finished POWDER

Well that was fast.


And thus, the inappropriately-named FUCK completed his quest to escape the dungeon by killing some demon at the 25th level and retrieve its heart. It's kinda unfair: what'd this demon ever do to him?

Come to think of it, killing that demon was one of the easier fights in my play-through of POWDER. I fought it over the water in my water-walking shoes; I actually had more trouble and took more damage finding the heart submerged while I nearly drowned in my armour.

Some lessons learned:

Get food, eat food

For variety's sake, I'd chosen Endure Hunger over Clean Kill (leave a corpse with virtually every kill). All the games before that I chose the latter. Now I know why.

The following should not be eaten:
  • slugs of any kind
  • invisible stalkers
  • chameleons (unless randomly polymorphing is your idea of fun)
  • dragons and elementals (they just give you elemental weaknesses)
Eating bats can quicken you. Eating mages will boost your mana. That's all I can remember. Just become a corpse vacuum. 99% of the time, you'll get away with it.

Reflection is fun!

In programming and in POWDER. I was lucky enough to get a shield of reflection early on, and it basically makes you impervious to any ray-based magic or dragon's breath attacks. They're more common than you'd think.


Helms of warning > helms of telepathy.

Warning is the reason why I appear as a question mark in the screenshot: I can sense myself. Warning allows you "see" all enemies, but only by their relative threat level. Compare this against the power of telepathy, which only detects a subset of enemies ("intelligent" ones) and doesn't show how dangerous they are at all.

Beware cockatrices

The single most annoying enemy in the game. It petrifies, and it attacks on sight. I used wands of sleep to get around them, as well as divine intervention (which can sometimes restore you.)

Cave trolls

They revive. You can tell because attempting to eat their corpses always fails. I supposedly killed 25, with other kill counts running only up to about 10 or so, but it looks like it counts re-kills too.


Each level-up gives you the chance to worship a deity. Choose one and stick to one, because they'll do handy things like heal you, purge poison, revive petrification, and give you free things. None of that tribute bullcrap in other roguelikes.

Zap unknown wands at monsters

Most wands have a negative effect that will harm you if you zap yourself, except the wands of light, digging, speed and invisibility, and perhaps teleportation. Most are just medieval pistols.

Read all scrolls

Unlike wands, virtually all scrolls have some sort of positive effect. Pick up a lot of exotic items, and read a scroll of identify, and suddenly you can see how awesome your inventory really is, while avoiding cursed-item landmines.

There's only one bad one, and that's the scroll of fire. Try not to do too much random scroll reading at low HP.

Anyway, here I am on the surface... I think I'll duck back down into the dungeon for something to eat. I swear that place is like a DIY buffet.


Kamatsu said...

Have you tried Iter Vehemens ad Necem (or IVAN)? That's better than POWDER imo, and I've never been able to finish it ;)

tunginobi said...

I have, and it depends on what you mean by "better."

Its appeal doesn't lie in the fact that it's a roguelike, we've got oodles of those. POWDER is designed to be a portable roguelike, which has the side-effect of being:

1. easy to pick up, and
2. easy to learn

If I was after a traditional roguelike that's "better" than POWDER, I'd play ADOM or NetHack, except in this case it was never what I was after. POWDER is remarkable for its "pick-up-and-play" element.

It's a simple that's fun to play, which I believe should be the core essence of all games.

Karma said...

Ahg. I'm so fighting with this game since I found it a few weeks ago. I've noticed that barbarian is easiest since you need health - especially when you get that ├╝ber annoying "drink the poison you brewed" curse -_-

I love this game. I do wish there were some more forgiveness in it though. Like, some retardedly rare "extra lives" or something, or being able to start out with a tad bit more health. It's silly when the first battle kills you ^^

But still, maybe it's the almost stupid unforgivingness of the game that makes it so damn addictive.

I've reached level 11 myself. I have also, after reading your blog here, kept an eye out for "warning" items, and have eaten a bit more sensible so to speak. Such an awesome game. It would be even more awesome with a bit of sound and perhaps a more easily readable text, you know.

I will finish it. I WILL!

tunginobi said...

Been a while since I played the game, but yeah, it's real easy to get into. Perfect for avenging your previous character. :)