Friday, February 7, 2014

Facestomping Fun

Tonight I found myself with the two things I haven't been able to obtain:
  • uninterrupted time
  • a group of people willing to trust me to lead a run
So with this and the available characters the group members had I decided to run a couple of mobs I hadn't killed in a long time from the Barren Wastes. The last time I think I killed anything there was in this post. The first challenge with killing the mobs here is that every single mob has some puzzle that needs to be solved before it can be killed. There are clues as to what is required to be successful, however I was very rusty as to how to solve these.

The first mob I wanted to kill was the horned beast. The problem with this mob is that he is a pacifist mob meaning that you can not attack it. Of course there is a way around this via a puzzle broken up into several smaller puzzles with clues hidden around the area. For the horned beast the two clues as to how to make it killable are on a hidden piece of parchment:
>exam writing
nearly got bitten in half
new strategy, I prefer to stay whole
    blasted thing makes it difficult to stay whole

  in a cavern, I'll cave it in
       crush it with a falling ceiling
broke my foot, ceiling fell on it
    new strategy again
And the second is a bit of hidden ascii art that can only be seen if  in the following room:
A Temple Corridor
Thick cracks snake their way through crumbling stone walls, pits and etches
scattered throughout the entirety of the stone slabs.  Along the bottom of
one wall are faded symbols parallel to the floor, a thick layer of dust
obscuring the intricacies of each symbol.
Exits: north south
To get rid of the dust you need a hidden brush somewhere else in the area. Brushing the dust then shows the following:

What this all means is you need to be able to trap the horned beast in a particular room by getting a character that is strong enough to push boulders on to from the room above. To do this you need more than one character to complete and have a few more little puzzles to solve. The first step starts here:
A Desert Valley
Massive walls of hard stone shoot up into the sky, seemingly out of place in a landscape as barren and desolate as this.  The walls are far apart, creating a broad valley, though natural bridges and jutting stones are scattered about the valley walls, making it difficult to fly.  The desert's hot orange sand covers the valley floor, while the rock walls are covered in dust.  Boulders of various shapes and sizes are scattered throughout the valley, though the only ones that remain intact are the ones situated furthest from the center of the valley floor.  The massive prints that can be found throughout the desert can
be found pressed into the valley floor as well, though spaced more closely together.
Exits: east northwest
Suddenly, your capability to hover disappears...
Examining the boulder here shows:
>exam boulders
Boulders of various shapes and sizes are scattered about the valley floor.  The only boulders that seem to be the most intact are the ones furthest from the center of the valley pass.  The boulders are made of a rough type of rock, drab in color, though one boulder seems to have fared better than the rest.
The obvious thing to do is to push the boulder but there is a little catch here. If you use a character that has less than 25 strength you see the following:
>push boulder
The boulder proves too heavy as you attempt to move it.
On a 25 strength character though:
>push boulder
The boulder grinds along the valley floor, revealing a slight opening.
 Once inside this cave your 25 strength character isn't going to be much use. To climb up to the top you will need a character with 25 dexterity. There are a few times where you will need to guess around to find the exact right commands to get there. If all goes well you can get it up to this room:
A Desert Mountaintop
A slight breeze wafts its way around the desert mountaintop, carrying bits of sand in the gust.  Small stones, large boulders and oddly shaped rocks lie scattered about the sandy plateau.  A steep ledge leads down into the desert valley, and while the topography of the mountain slope seems to make for an easy trek down to the valley floor, a trek back up the slope seems impossible.  A hole in the rocky wall leads back to a gap in the mountain cavity.
Exits: down
 There are boulders that can be pushed off the cliff to trap the beast but your 25 dexterity character isn't strong enough to do this and a 25 strength character can't climb up inside the cave. The trick here is that hidden within the area are two parts of a rope that can be connected together and then dropped down by your 25 dexterity character so that the stronger one can climb up. The first part of the rope is hidden in this room:
A Desert Trail
The orange dunes of sand, though massive in width, are comparatively shorter in height, as if something is keeping the sand from accumulating to the point of growth.  The  blistering temperature creates a blur effect on vision, though massive prints can be seen  pressed into the dunes.
Exits: northwest southwest

> dig
You begin digging...
Your dig uncovered a short rough leather rope!

> g rope
You get a short rough leather rope.

> exam rough
You take a closer look at a short rough leather rope in inventory...
This length of rope is too short to be of any use, though is
made of a rather tough leather.

> c id rough
Object 'a short rough leather rope' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 3 piece, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This piece has a gold value of 0.

The other piece of rope is a bit trickier to find but can be found within the cave in this room:
Pitted Walls
The walls of the narrow ascending cavern continue to be covered with pitts and scratches, while stones protrude into the open space, increasing the difficulty of maneuverability.  An awkwardly shaped stone stands out from the rest of the protruding stones, as it is pointing upward at the tip, almost like a hook.  Nothing but the darkness of the mountain cavity can be seen below.
Exits: east down
With great finesse, you maneuver between narrow footholds in the wall.

>exam stone
This stone in particular is oddly shaped and stands out amongst the rest.  The base protruding from the wall is thick, though it narrows towards the tip and turns upward, resembling a hook.  Upon closer inspection, a rope seems to be tightly tied around the tip  of stone.

>untie rope
You carefully untie a length of rope from a protruding stone.

>exam rope
You take a closer look at a long coil of rope in inventory...
The coil is a drab shade of light brown, though contains darker patches of dirt throughout its length.  Though long, the fabric of the rope seems weak, and would most likely need to be reinforced before use.

> c id coil
Object 'a long coil of rope' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 2 piece, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This piece has a gold value of 0.
Once you have the two pieces you can connect them to make:
 > connect rope 2.rope
You cobble the pieces together...
 ...suddenly they snap into place, creating a reinforced long leather rope!

>exam rope
You take a closer look at a reinforced long leather rope in inventory...
A long rope, reinforced with lengths of leather of various sizes
looks sturdy enough to be an efficient climbing aid.

> c id rope
Object 'a reinforced long leather rope' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 17 rope, weight 3.
Locations it can be worn:  hold
Special properties:  none
This rope has a gold value of 0.
Affects dexterity by 1.
Affects climb by 35.
After  using this rope to climb up the cliff you can start dropping boulders on the horned beast. Once trapped by this you can start killing him. The fight isn't too difficult with a paladin tank and 3 thieves hitting though he does lag a bit, throw in the odd room attacks and hit random people. Once the fight is done you'll get this:
DYING>circle beast
Your circle wounds A massive horned beast!
A massive horned beast is DEAD!!
The beast thrashes about in its final moments, crashing into the stones that block the valley exits, crumbling them to dust.
As the beast crashes to the ground, a piece snaps from its right horn.
The ground quakes as a ferocious scream resounds throughout the area.
A massive horned beast hits the ground ... DEAD.
A massive horned beast has no gold.
The corpse of A massive horned beast holds:
     the tip of a massive broken horn
Like the other mobs in the area once you kill them you need to take the part of the beast and attach it to the correct statue in the temple part of the area to open a door to a room with a chest that contains some type of material to make equipment with.
>attach horn statue
You climb to the statue's head and carefully rest the missing piece atop the right horn. As you climb back down, the right horn lowers and a small panel opens in the wall behind the statue.
The tip of the right horn slides from its place and shatters onto the ground.

A Small Recess Behind an Alcove
The smooth, bare walls from the temple alcove slightly crumble as they narrow to create this small recess.  The floor is covered with dust, sand and small pebbles which have also slightly blackened.  A thin line of seemingly simple symbols is etched into the wall under a small shelf not far above the ground.
Exits: northeast
A small metal chest sits on a shelf at the back of this small recess.

>l in ches
A small metal chest appears to be nearly empty.
A small metal chest contains:
     a small steel spike

 >g spike chest
You get a small steel spike from a small metal chest.
We managed to do two kills of the horned beast quite easily though I did manage to die both times. I need to practice at using a paladin to tank and hitting with a thief at the same time. After killing the beast twice we went and hit the serpent. We had a hard time here because I did something stupid - I tried using the strategy to kill the head described on Rodpedia with barbarians instead of my usual method. After failing with barbarians we switched to using thieves. Just have them ungrouped, wimpy set to max, walk in to the room, kill serpent, circle serpent and then flee, flee, flee. After this heal up and repeat until:
Your pierce tears The diamond-shaped head of a giant serpent!
The diamond-shaped head of a giant serpent is DEAD!!
As the head of the serpent crashes to the stone floor, one of its fangs cracks and splits from its root.
The ground quakes as a piercing screech resounds throughout the area.
The diamond-shaped head of a giant serpent screams furiously as he falls to the ground in a heap!
The diamond-shaped head of a giant serpent has no gold.
The corpse of The diamond-shaped head of a giant serpent holds:
     a hefty fang
Again I took the part that popped, attached it to the statue and got the material as follows:
 >attach fang statue
As you attach the massive fang to the broken root, the statue begins to twist and twirl aroundthe alcove, revealing a small passageway.
The fang falls from the statue's mouth and shatters onto the ground.

A Small Recess Behind an Alcove
The narrow stone walls which lead from the temple alcove widen and meet
in a smooth curve as they reach the back of this small recess, while
the stone ceiling slightly raises.  Though pitted, the stone bricks
of the walls contain etchings of simple, yet incomprehensible symbols
that have surprisingly withstood the erosion of time.
Exits: southeast
A small granite chest sits on a shelf at the back of this small recess.

>g all chest
You get a small hide of brown scales from a small granite chest.
And then finally with the two spikes and small hide of scales I found the wanderer and gave him the materials:

>You give a small hide of brown scales to The wanderer.

>You give a small steel spike to The wanderer.
The wanderer inspects the spike, poking the tip to test its sharpness. The wanderer says 'Have an idea, but I'd need another one.'

>give spike wand
You give a small steel spike to The wanderer.
The wanderer inspects the spikes, poking the tips to test their sharpness, then bends the scaley hide back and forth, testing its pliability.
The wanderer thinks, 'Hmmmm.'
The wanderer says 'Wonder if this'll work.'

The wanderer takes a few unidentifiable tools from a small pouch and begins to work on the spikes and hide.

The wanderer slips the finished products on and off a few times, testing their durability and practicality.
The wanderer thinks, 'Hmmmm.'
The wanderer says 'Better than mine.  Well, meaner, at least.  Good thing the equipment doesn't make the man.'
The wanderer gives you facestompers.
 All of that effort for this:
 Object 'facestompers' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 armor, weight 5.
Locations it can be worn:  feet
Special properties:  none
Classes allowed:  Warrior Barbarian
This armor has a gold value of 25000.
Armor class is 14 of 15.
Affects hp by 50.
Affects damage roll by 4.
Affects constitution by 1.
Affects intelligence by -1.
Affects wisdom by -1.

>exam facestompers
You take a closer look at facestompers in inventory...
A tough but sturdy hide of scales makes up the majority of these boots, folded and flattened upon itself various times before being shaped into something wearable.  A small, sharp metal spike lies fastened to the bottom of each boot, hinting that these boots were constructed for a specific purpose.
As you look more closely, you notice that it is in very good condition.
It appears to be within or below your level range.

I enjoyed myself. These two mobs in the Barren Wastes involve a lot of exploring and problem solving before you can actually fight them. The achievement felt from successfully completing the challenge is great.