Annotated Playthrough Shifting Passages Purist
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This is a purist run of the Shifting Passages dungeon using a Goblin Assassin. As an added challenge, I will not use the ENDISWAL glyph to clear walls, though I will not refrain from using PISORF to the same effect. This dungeon run demonstrates how the goblin can use scarce resources to overcome very dangerous foes. As a purist run, this means I will take no preparations into the dungeon.
I begin with some poison antics against this level 2 dragonspawn. I also locate the PISORF glyph, which I can use to deal some extra damage and punch some holes in the wall, which should help me out later.
I want to start fighting the level 2 goblin now, but he deals 10 damage and I have 10 hit points.
Fortunately, a nearby shop sells a Pendant of Health, which solves the problem. That level 2 goblin history, and this goblin is about to reach level 2.
With the added hit points of my pendant of health, this level 4 goblin is easy prey to a little poison antics. I also find ENDISWAL, but I resist temptation. The added resistances of ENDISWAL would allow me to survive even more powerful monsters to further the potential reach of my poison antics, in addition to making the dungeon easier to move around as the passages close around me.
After killing the goblin and reaching level 3, I easily dispatch a level 4 dragonspawn, but a monster only one level higher than myself is worth little bonus experience. This level 6 goat, on the other hand, is a bounty.
I don't want to use spellcasting against him, since there's a chance my poison can fail. If it does fail, I will explore one tile so I can make a second attempt. It is very unlikely that poison will fail twice in a row, enabling me to defeat this goat with poison antics.
Poison failed me a grant total of one time, now the goat dies and I gain another level. I now turn my attention to the level 7 dragonspawn.
Fate is cruel. As I explore and perform my poison antics, I make an amazing discovery. Behind these walls are Binlor Ironshield and the Pactmaker, one of the most powerful deity combos in the game (even moreso on this dungeon), but my oath against ENDISWAL prohibits me from utilizing Binlor. I slay the level 7 dragonspawn and turn my attention to the level 8 djinn.
I locate the CYDSTEPP glyph, and make short work of the djinn. I also locate the final altar; it's the Earthmother, a deity who is more trouble than help on a dungeon like this. I will be playing without worshipping any deities... though I may yet be able to use the Pactmaker.
This level 9 goblin is too strong for me. At long last, the extra durability provided by my pendant of health has become too little to make the difference. The temptation to use ENDISWAL and the physical resistance it provides is overwhelming, but I'll resort to using CYDSTEPP instead. This is a very poor way to use poison, but I'm running out of tiles and it's unlikely I will ever kill this goblin prior to reaching level 10 if I don't do it now.
The level is explored, but I have yet to peek into the subdungeon. I'm fully prepped, including death protection, and the second boss is the Ironman. There will be no poison antics here. It's time for the showdown to begin.
There's only so much the scrapes and cuts and occasional PISORF's from my level 7 goblin can achieve. Time to murder some monsters and become a level 8 goblin.
Note that the only monsters above level 7 are the Changeling and Minotaur at the bottom of the dungeon. So long as I avoid these, my Assassin should be able to use swift hands to clear any blocked hallways. At this point, the shifting passages present little threat.
I repeat the process, but the Ironman still stands. I'm about to level up, but I want to get a little bit extra out of this level. Who says you have to worship a deity to make the Pactmaker work for you? I have 10 piety from sparkles, and the Scholar's Pact costs 10 piety per use.
I squeeze in one extra attack from the overheal of the scholar's pact and finish the Ironman. Time to explore the subdungeon (and hope it actually has unexplored tiles)
It turns out to be zombie-money. I could use this to perform some obscene poison antics against Evolvia, but I'll refrain and simply use it for a one-time full-heal from exploration.
I convert some glyphs and spend my gold on a fine sword, a badge of honor, and a schadenfreude potion. Time to fight Evolvia!
Evolvia is at half health and I'm exhausted. Time to do what goblins do best: convert a few glyphs to level up and gain a full heal and mana restore.
Note that I could worship the Earthmother, activate plantation, then use clearance, in order to get up to 10 piety for another overheal from the Pactmaker, but I'll refrain from such a messy combo when it looks like I'm coasting to victory.
I screw up my attack order and am forced to physically attack Evolvia while he's in his 80% resist form, which means I have to activate both my schadenfreude and badge of honor to pull this off. Oh well, I still didn't use healing or mana potions, so I'm still parched.
And it's over; a clean Shifting Passages run.
Hmm, I really don't play this dungeon enough.