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Ascending a Male, Orcish Barbarian Help Required (2 Posts)
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October 18, 2012 06:14PM

Ascending a Male, Orcish Barbarian Help Required
ab5ni - October 18, 2012 06:14PM
Guys. I have a few questions I'm hoping some of you can help with,
so here goes nothing :-D.

I remember reading a while back that the easiest Ascension was an
Orcish Barbarian. What I'm wondering about is if I should bother
toting around spell books as a melee-class character? What I usually
do is find a box or chest, place it next to a down-staircase, load
the thing up with items that I might need late game (such as spell books),
and plan on going back for the items when needed. This is the plan, but
I'm getting too impatient, doing stupid crap, and dying.

Anywho, what's the best way to Ascend a Barbarian? I'm not expecting a
tome here, but a few suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Ascending a Male, Orcish Barbarian Help Required
codehappy - November 02, 2012 02:11AM
Don't worry much about spellcasting as an orcish Barb. Early on you won't be able to cast at all, maybe late game you'd be able to cast a little, but at that point you won't much need to. Spellbooks may be good to sell for gold, if there's a general store or rare bookshop nearby. They're heavy though, so I wouldn't lug them around just for that purpose.

To ascend a Barb, you want to improve your AC as quickly as possible. Try on any non-cursed armor you find (use your pet or an altar to determine which armor is safe.) The Mines are a really good place to find better armor: dwarves sometimes have mithril coats and often have hard hats and shoes; you can probably find enchanted hard hats or shoes without much trouble. Hobbits also occassionally have elvish mithril suits.

Barbs already have poison resistance, but you'll also want sleep/cold/fire resistance as well, probably from eating corpses. (Though pick up and try tins as well when you find them, they might contain monster meat that confers resistances as well.)

If you face a mob of monsters, use narrow corridors to take on one monster at a time when possible, and if you can, leave an escape route open to a stairway. Use Elbereth if you get surrounded by monsters or your HP is dropping too far, but remember it doesn't work for elves. Having some other emergency escape, like a wand of digging or teleportation, is very helpful.

Get telepathy early and use it. You want to be able to see dangerous monsters before they see you. It sucks to turn around a corner in the Mines and have a mumak or a dwarf lord with a mattock turn you into adventurer paste in one round.

Leveling up quickly can be dangerous for many roles, but Barbs aren't one of those roles. They gain a lot of HP for each level up, get intrinsic speed rather early (level 7) and can do enough melee damage that the monster difficulty will rarely be a problem. Getting speed -- by reaching level 7, a wand of speed monster, or best of all speed boots, which make you even faster than intrinsic speed -- should be a priority as it will help you kill monsters quicker and evade super-nasty monsters better, and therefore help you survive.

When you get a co-aligned altar, sacrifice for your guaranteed Cleaver gift. It's a pretty good weapon: sufficient for the rest of the game if you like (just keep it blessed, because it's two handed, and if magical monsters curse it you won't be happy).

Don't walk around Burdened. It slows you down, allows more monsters to be generated and allows enemies to get more hits in when they attack. Make stashes periodically. If you have to lug around a lot of stuff for some reason, drop enough by the stairs to get unburdened before you go down to a new level, clear the level of monsters, and then bring the rest of the stuff down.

Barbs are powerful and can get away with meleeing most monsters, but there are still some monsters that hit very hard for when they first appear. Take caution around unicorns, mumaks, leocrottas, rock and ice trolls, and especially air elementals and minotaurs. Also, some monsters, like blue and ochre jellies, have passive attacks that do a lot of damage for when they appear, unless you have the right resistances, so avoid meleeing those too. (Ochre jellies also can engulf.) You'll want to have some kind of range attack to at least weaken these nasties (daggers or shuriken ideally, though wands, arrows, polearms, spears, darts or even rocks can work.) Keep in mind that all of those monsters except minotaurs respect Elbereth -- and by the time you find a minotaur, you should have enough resources that you will have another plan ready.

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