Die With Honour – Wintercon 2012

DWO is D&D stripped of all that bullshit “role playing”, “plot” and “story”. Just mindless hack and slash for a solid two-and-a-half days.

Where’s my map? … here we are! Started at the door to the dog room. Did the carrion crawlers, the lizards of doom, then over to the skeleton on a throne, then we decided we wanted to go to level 2, so back out through the dog room (same day, the lizards were still gone) – carrion crawlers again. Then … not sure, then I think ankhegs, then the spiders (nasty) and ants. One of us wanted to do the beholder, and I totally Antimagic Rayed that motherfucker.

Then back to the ant room and north to the rest room. Where I think we rested. Then his divine mercifulness started teleporting us across rooms. I should explain.

Jerimiah the Second is, of course, a worshipper of Enryk. I say “of course” because what sane person would not be? The divine one found it a little wearing to hand-hold we weak ones through the boring rooms. We skipped the maze, walked though the village (one of us was well known there), fought some suits of armour (the Robe Jerimiah fought turned out to be a Robe of the Good Archmagii. Also there was a superman suit.), made a deal with some vampires (which his fearsome righteousness then blatted out of principle), didn’t drink from the well, and skipped another couple of rooms.

At this point, Enryk left us for a time.

We did the wall room. To do the Prismatic Wall, I used Limited Wish to duplicate the effects of a couple of other spells (no XP cost on Limited Wish to do this – unlike Wish), but most of the spells we could do no probs. Particularly since I had dropped a Mass Energy Resistance (fire) on everyone.

The Trolls we dealt with with the help of a Summon Elemental Monolith (fire) and some damage from the tanks. I screwed up the spell – the monolith must be concentrated on. We ignored the mimic. One of the shambling mounds was epic level (for the archer), and reflected Jerimiah II’s Antimagic Ray back at him. He ran like a girl.

We reached the workshop, where Enryk was waiting for us.

My character was given back his original name (Xavier – rhymes with ‘Sorcerer’ spoken with a vaguely french accent), and a fucking +8 cloak of charisma. Also a title: “Hand of the Emperor”, to celebrate having his hand cut off (in the mimic room, by a pissed-off barbarian just helping out).

And on to the final room, which I will not describe, saving only to say that we beat it and earned our key to descent to level 2 of the mountain. Xavier’s part in the victory was unspectacular but crucial – keeping something at bay while everyone else dealt with the other things.


The real trick to DWO is to not try anything tricky. Combats are over in three rounds. Don’t hesitate to pull out the nuke straight away.

I found that Mass Fly was useful over and over. Mind Blank was crucial in one combat, and I decided to drop it on both of the tanks before entering the final room. A Sudden Widened, Sudden Maximized Fireball is a very fine roach bomb, although not much use on anything serious. Greater Invisibility is pretty much becoming a matter of course for Xavier – his AC is lousy and will never be that good in comparison to what we are up against. Displacement is the best defensive buff going, because at high levels the monsters always hit AC (because the base attacks are so high compared to the variable d20 – it’s AC 20 vs +45 to hit, or something more ridiculous). Disintegrate continues to work as a swiss army knife and bringer-downer of force effects.

Didn’t use Tactical Teleport at all, Mass Fly serving its purpose. But the real star is Limited Wish in its function of being able to duplicate another spell.

Also finding that there really isn’t time to use low-level spells at all. Scorching Ray does 12d6, which is nice. Didn’t use See Invisibility at all, but it earns its place.

These are the spells I had at lvl 19. I made lvl 20, so taking Time Stop and swapping something out. Oh – and an ability point!

I also have Rope Trick, Haste, and Spectral Hand in a Ring of Theurgy, but I think I might have been using that wrongly. Also have a Runestaff (Abjuration). I want many more. I want the set. They are awesome beyond words for a sorcerer.

Detect PoisonnoIf it’s liquid and its free in DWO, then its poison.
LightokNot needed, but it’s embarrasing not to be able to do this
Mage HandokCan be unexpectedly handy
MendingokPotentially useful?
Prestidigokfor role playing: “Oh divine one, please permit me to clean this for you!”
Read MagicyesTo read the arches. A basic utility a mage must have.
Touch of Fatigueno
1 (5)
Exp Retreat (swift)yesto run to someone and buff them, to get out of trouble
Lesser Orb of Acidokwhen nothing else seems appropriate. =
Feather FallyesA must-have for a mage. A party saver.
Ray of EnfeebnoJust not enough.
True Strikeyes, butTakes a whole round to set up and use. This with Quicken – a must-have.
2 (5)
GlitterdustokSee Invisible for everyone else. But most invisible things in DWO are etheral, and the glitterdust falls through them.
Resist Energyokok, but mass resist makes it irrelevant.
Scorching RayokLike acid blob, a basic, cheap damage-dealer.
See InvisyesThis or True Sight.
Touch of IdiocynoGotta touch ’em. Screw that!
3 (4)
Dispel MagicyesAt low levels, yes. Need Greater as soon as you can get it.
DisplacementYes!The best defensive buff in the game. Invis is better, but you *want* the monsters targetting your tank.
FireballOkAnother basic damage dealer.
Greater Mage ArmourOkNeeded for mid levels. Also, can be used to buff monks, summoned creatures. But at high levels, items are better.
4 (4)
Assay ResistanceYES!Don’t argue. You need this spell.
Dimension DoorYes.Gets people out of trouble.
Greater InvisYES!Keeps a mage alive.
Mass Resist EnergyYES!Invaluable party buff. Not needed when you are with Enryk, but you aren’t always.
5 (4)
FeeblemindYesSal rules that it incapacitates pretty much anything.
Wall of ForceYESA variety of uses. Earns its living doing battlefeild control.
Arcane FusionMehNot the way I play.
Mass FlyYes.Many rooms are simply not a threat with this.
6 (3)
Tactical TeleportYes.Changes “Oh shit” to “Cool, I got this”
DisintegrateYES.Rogue-in-a-can. Fixes forcecages, forcewalls, and Bigby’s Hand spells – nothing else will, and they can fuck up your party a treat if the mage isn’t there to bring them down.
Greater Dispel MagicYES.A bread-and-butter spell.
7 (3)
Limited WishYES!God yeah. Emulates any Wiz spell of 6th level or lower. Any cleric spell of 5th or lower. Stone to Flesh. Remove Paralysis/Disease/Curse. Junglerazor. Locate Object. Plane Shift. Freedom of Movement. The ultimate swiss army knife.
Antimagic RayYesMay take a couple of goes, but changes a Beholder into a ball of buoyant fart gas.
Final Rebukeok.Havent used it. Save or die, Will. Good for big & bumb, but we have fighters for that.
8 (3)
Mind BlankYES.Buff the tanks Before they go into the vampire room.
Avasculate (7th)Yes.Biggest damage of the game.
Horrid WiltingMeh.Disappointing. Maximised was good, but I woluld like to have seen rows of the dead.
9 (2)
Sphere of Ultimate DestructionnoDissapointing. Disintegrate in a ball. Disintegrate is pointless a s a combat spell – it permits a fort save. And the ball just doesn’t move fast enough.
Summon Elemental MonolithYes.But you have to concentrate on it. Still, it’s a worthwhile way to spend your standard actions.

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