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Live Blog Silver spear is silver: let's play POWDER!
darnpenguin2011-05-11 10:41:04

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Floor 0-0: A tentative beginning.

I'm a god, got the power; master of your destiny.

-Metalium, Illuminated.

I have no faith distracting me. I know why your prayers will never be answered. God hates us all!

-Slayer, Disciple.


Let's get one thing straight right away. I suck at roguelikes. I suck at all roguelikes. Those who remember my short-lived Z Angband liveblog from ages long past can attest to this. POWDER may be a great deal simpler, perhaps even a tad more forgiving than most, but I nonetheless have consistently failed to conquer it. Do not expect to find glory here, only disappointment and death.

That being said, it is my sincere hope that those of you who choose to participate in this will find it both entertaining and informative, and that I can generate a little bit of new interest in this wonderful dungeon crawler.

The Gods Must Be Crazy: What is POWDER?

POWDER is a free roguelike game for a number of platforms, originally built from the ground up for the Game Boy Advance. As such, it features simplified controls and can be played entirely with the mouse if one is so inclined, as evidenced in Lim-Dul's (unfortunately never completed) Youtube LP. Diagonal movement is the rare privilege of one bizarre monster type and a very specific character build.

POWDER does not adhere to the rigid race-class structure seen in most roguelikes. Instead, the adventurer is at the mercy of a pantheon of constantly quarreling gods. A god appeased will grant certain, potentially life-saving boons and allow access to levels in their favored class. An angered god will deny you growth in their particular career path and will occasionally curse and damage your equipment, Baleful Polymorph you into a wimpy monster, or even surround you with powerful opponents! It is nearly impossible to keep all the gods happy at once, so one must carefully monitor one's conduct in order to effectively multi-class.

He Is The Chosen One: Step one - Character creation

That's where you folks come in. In order to get the ball rolling, I need to choose a starting god. All first-level characters have identical stats, so this will primarily determine our starting equipment. At each level, we'll be asked to once again choose from one of the gods who are happy with us to determine what new stats, skills and spells we will receive. Since I intend to divide this LP by dungeon floor rather than character level, I'll list each starting god and the level progression I intend to take should you choose them.


Existence precedes essence. -Sartre

The clothes make the man when you start out with no particular religious affiliation. In this build, we'll start with randomly selected starting equipment and level into the class to which we happen to be best suited.


The easiest god to keep happy. Kill the enemy by any means necessary. While lacking the raw physical power of a barbarian, the disciples of Klaskov start with heavier armor and can even use some magic without angering their god. If we start as a fighter, we will likely either multiclass into barbarian for more hit points and skill slots, or mix it with some wizard levels to create a battlemage.


Give me alchemy, give me sorcery, give me wizardry, thermatology, electricity. Master all of these. Magic if you please. Bring him to his knees. Megadeth, Five Magics.

Wizards, predictably enough, gain massive amounts of mana and spell slots as they level, but gain no hit points or skill slots past first level. If we take this route, I'll likely mix it with levels of necromancer when possible for the hit points and physical prowess bestowed. I will also attempt to achieve lichdom if at all possible, being a personal goal of mine anyway.


There's a spirit deep within you that must remain concealed, for the heart of a warrior can never be revealed. -Peggy Abernathy, Back to the Shadows.

Lightly armored, silent warriors who strike from the shadows and use tricky magic to hinder their opponents and teleport out of harm's way. If we choose this one, I will either stick closely to a single-class rogue or multi into wizard occasionally for some magical muscle.


It IS you, Frilik, you have been restored to the living! Whoever did that is a great holy man, a greater holy man even than I. -Tom Hanks, Mazes And Monsters

Possibly the hardest god to appease, frowning upon wanton slaughter of harmless XP fodder and the eating of corpses when not hungry, both of which are common (and smart) practices. If we start as this powerful-but-limited class, we will likely have to multi out of it the first time we level. However, should I happen to qualify for it at any time while playing another class, I will eagerly take it for the stat bonuses and powerful healing magic.


After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things. Terrible! Yes. But great. -Ollivander, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone (film).

(Yes, I know there was a better quote from Hagrid in that movie, but I couldn't find the exact wording on IMDB)

Another difficult class to start with. Tlosh rather paradoxically grants physical prowess and hit points while disapproving of direct physical confrontation somewhat more that Belweir. To add insult to injury, decent low-level combat spells are also difficult to come by. A necromancer build is going to depend heavily on at least a few wizard levels to get our spell list and mana up to snuff before building a powerful army through Raise Undead and Summon Imp/Demon. Once again, becoming a lich will be our ultimate goal.


To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. -Conan The Barbarian

No magic tricks, no sneaky bull, just raw destructive power. I've made it farther into the game following H'ruth than any other deity. Of course, with light starting armor and no magic to back me up, I've also died far faster at times.


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all of its contents. -H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu.

No Just No. It's too much of a headache trying to keep up with the whims of a chaos god. If you honestly want to witness the madness of playing as a cultist, you're more than welcome to download the game and play it yourself.

So, there you have it. I leave my fate in your gentle hands, dear readers. Feel free to vote in the comments section. I'll check back tomorrow to see what, if anything, you have chosen.


May 11th 2011 at 11:14:59 AM
Oh yes, by the way. We'll also need a name and sex for our character. If none are provided, I'll just create a male character named Haven Fumgo.
May 11th 2011 at 12:13:49 PM
...It'd be nice if you could at least mention what being a cultist means, gameplay-wise, so we know why it's not worth it.

As for class? My vote is for Necromancer.

A female Necromancer. Named Vilessa.
May 11th 2011 at 12:42:10 PM
Xom will randomly decide to mimic the preferences of any of the other gods, and will change which god he mimics whenever it suits him. The stat boosts, skills and spells he bestows are totally random, regardless of who he's currently emulating, so you might get tons of hit points and mana one level, only to get nothing the next.
May 11th 2011 at 5:20:58 PM
...That's pointlessly random. And not in an amusing way.
May 11th 2011 at 5:52:11 PM
Alrighty, I'll see if I can get a few more viewers on board, and try to get this baby rolling in the morning.
May 12th 2011 at 11:06:27 AM
I vote a Barbarian with an upper class name, just for the laughs.

Sir-Captain Elric von Habbenheimer the IV the Barbarian.
May 12th 2011 at 2:29:56 PM
I suggest a flamboyant Male Rogue named Gonzo.

Or Evi's name. But still flamboyant.
May 18th 2011 at 8:20:56 AM
Xom does have a couple of advantages — the average dice and HP/MP gain over time is competitive with the "restricted" classes, and he can deliver most of the other gods' boons — notably blessing your water, which otherwise only Pax can do. Still sucks when he goes Hruth in the middle of a firefight, though.

Also, POWDER has a Fan Wiki!(Diclosure: I'm an admin and current janitor there.)