Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Your Dwarf Fortress Stories (4)

I'm still working on the DF interface post. What I'm trying to put together in my brain doesn't seem to fit in my brain, a clear indictment of the size of the device.

First, from Amy Wilson:
My husband and I decided to try out Dwarf Fortress after all the hype about it. We have just gotten into the second year with our fortress, and the most entertaining thing has been one of our dwarfs, Dumed.

We initially pronounced this with the accent on the 2nd syllable, Du-MED. But after watching him in action for a season or two, we changed it to Doomed.

He was our building designer guy originally, and at first, we didn't need him for much. So when we needed someone to crank out a few mechanisms for us, we drafted him as our Mechanic. Then we finally got our Still up and running, and he wasn't doing much, so we made him our interim Brewer until some immigrants arrived. Then it was time to start building our trade road and a bridge over the outside and underground rivers. Suddenly, we needed him for everything.

Dumed was in high demand and had all kinds of tasks backed up, but was still operating at his previous "I'm on summer vacation and don't need to do anything" level of ambition. He was On Break. Then he had to get some water. And man, was that walking through the hallways tough work. Better sit down for a bite to eat before ya get light-headed. Everyone else was working at a breakneck pace to ready the fortress for winter. But not him. We were Doomed.

After 2 trips to the well (don't have any ale since he can't work up the energy to spend a few minutes in the Still), a lunch break, 2 other breaks where he sat around in his room admiring his Fine Door, and a nice long nap, he finally decided to get to work on that underground bridge. He grabbed a rock from the stockpile and headed towards the bridge, playing leapfrog with all the kittens in the hallways along the way. Almost there, he gets winded. Whew! That has to have been at least 2 rooms and a small stretch of hallway that he's navigated so far. Don't wanna overdo it. Gotta take another break. So he drops the rock IN THE DOORWAY leading to the underground river, PROPPING THE DOOR OPEN. Immediately, we get across the bottom of the screen, "UNDERGROUND RIVER STARTS TO OVERFLOW". No kidding. Luckily, when the floodwaters swept down on our poor Doomed fortress, they pushed the rock a few squares forward and out of the doorway, allowing the door to close and stop the raging waters.

Eventually the waters receded, and now we have a sapling growing in our hallway.

Next, from Chris Watkins:
After weeks of doing mostly Fortress mode I rolled up a few short lived adventurers. Finally I have one that hasn’t died an embarrassing death. What’s more is he has his own tale that’s worthy of greek myth. The character is an axeman, 75% of points in axe and 25% in shield. I was pretty much wandering the countryside alone and I stumbled on a cave. As I venture in, my confidence is high since I’m doing pretty well against the rat men and ant men and mud men inside so I go deeper and deeper. I’m starting to get the hang of some of the ‘wrestling’ moves too and have gotten myself up to Novice in it.

At the 3rd level I turn a corner and a Minotaur greets me. He has little more to say than ‘prepare to die’ so, as they say, it’s on. We clash and my axe bites deep into his shoulder, and gets stuck. He smacks me hard enough to break my grip on the handle, and at this time I was unaware how to regain possession, so its to be a hand to hand fight since I sure as hell am not going to run from this big goon; he’s got my only axe! I lunge for his hand, he smacks me good with it and knocks me down. Near the hooves of an angry, bleeding Minotaur is not my idea of a good position, so I grab his knee. This time he can’t shake me free. I advance my grip to a joint-lock. He’s battering my back trying to get me loose. With a joint lock I try to break the knee. I sprain it hard on the first try. He’s still attacking, fortunately his blows are glancing away. On the 3rd attempt, the Minotaur’s knee breaks and the beast goes tumbling down!

Sensing the chance for victory my U shaped avatar leaps on the prone beast’s back and goes for a grip on his throat. My first attempt is good so my next turn advances the grip to a chokehold. The Minotaur must be thrashing about but the chokehold stays secure and I start strangling the beast. 5 turns of strangling and he passes out. Several more turns and he dies! It takes a moment for reality to kick in. My character killed a Minotaur with his bare hands. Finally I have an Adventure Mode story worth telling that isn’t about a grisly death at the hands of chipmunks.

Maybe making a dedicated wrestling character is worth the mental image of Nacho Libre I’ll have while playing.

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