Wizard's a bitch to play for the first few levels--everything you do starves you to death, and you die if a gnome sneezes on you too hard. By the midgame, however, the tables turn--and they turn and they turn and they turn! You become so ridiculously powerful it almost feels like cheating. The draw for most people is that you can wipe out an entire military barracks in three fireballs or cones of cold, or instakill bosses with finger of death--but that doesn't begin to compare with being able to polymorph anything as much as you want, teleport as often as you want (and you get natural teleport control at some point), identify items as often as you want. Pretty much anything you can do with a wand or scroll, aside from genocide or wishing, you can do at the flick of a wrist. Never mind that it uses up MP and makes you hungry; with the Eye of Aethiopica and a ring of slow digestion, you'll barely notice it at all. By that point in the game it becomes a mad race to get to the Amulet before you forget your spells. And the Amulet burns through mana like whoa (I had over 380, and it was gone after the first Elemental Plane) but by then your gear will be so good that you can still make it to the end in a cinch.
I dicked around the Astral Plane for a while, killing things to boost my score, and after a while Pestilence decided it had enough and got me, and I ascended while deathly ill. Yay!
Without further ado: the endgame inventory!
kchen, the level 24 chaotic elven wizard Amulets f - the blessed Eye of the Aethiopica E - an uncursed amulet of life saving (being worn) Weapons x - the rustproof +3 Magicbane (weapon in hand) Armor d - a blessed +1 pair of leather gloves (being worn) o - a blessed fireproof +4 pair of speed boots (being worn) K - a blessed +5 silver dragon scale mail (being worn) M - a blessed fireproof +3 small shield (being worn) N - a blessed fireproof +6 cornuthaum (being worn) Y - an uncursed fireproof +2 cloak of magic resistance (being worn) Comestibles V - an uncursed lizard corpse Spellbooks p - the uncursed Book of the Dead Rings h - a blessed +2 ring of increase damage k - an uncursed +3 ring of protection (on right hand) m - an uncursed ring of searching z - an uncursed ring of free action (on left hand) B - an uncursed +3 ring of gain strength D - an uncursed ring of levitation S - an uncursed ring of regeneration T - an uncursed ring of slow digestion X - an uncursed ring of conflict Wands i - a wand of slow monster (0:0) u - a wand of cancellation (0:0) J - a wand of teleportation (0:6) Tools b - the uncursed Candelabrum of Invocation (7 candles attached) r - an uncursed blindfold t - an uncursed pair of lenses v - a blessed +0 unicorn horn A - the Bell of Opening (0:2) C - a blessed magic lamp G - an uncursed lock pick R - a blessed bag of holding Z - a magic flute (0:3) Gems O - a blessed luckstone Inside the bag of holding: 2 uncursed scrolls of stinking cloud 6 uncursed K-rations a blessed magic marker (0:44) an uncursed emerald 5 uncursed food rations an uncursed +2 ring of gain constitution 2 uncursed obsidian stones 8 uncursed amethyst stones 3 uncursed turquoise stones 5 uncursed garnet stones a blessed fireproof +0 pair of water walking boots 2 uncursed potions of water 104052 gold pieces a blessed spellbook of finger of death an uncursed amulet of life saving an uncursed amulet of life saving a blessed spellbook of confuse monster an uncursed ring of polymorph control a blessed spellbook of sleep a potion of holy water an uncursed amulet of life saving 5 uncursed opals 2 uncursed dilithium crystals an uncursed spellbook of remove curse 2 uncursed obsidian stones a wand of slow monster (0:5) an uncursed lembas wafer an uncursed spellbook of teleport away a wand of death (0:0) 8 uncursed jet stones a blessed spellbook of cone of cold an uncursed spellbook of magic missile 6 uncursed agate stones an uncursed spellbook of slow monster an uncursed spellbook of jumping 8 uncursed jasper stones 3 uncursed jacinth stones 4 uncursed fluorite stones 10 uncursed topaz stones 3 uncursed chrysoberyl stones 9 uncursed citrine stones 4 uncursed aquamarine stones 15 uncursed amber stones 3 uncursed garnet stones 13 uncursed rubies 11 uncursed turquoise stones 18 uncursed emeralds 15 uncursed black opals 16 uncursed jade stones 11 uncursed amethyst stones 7 uncursed sapphires 13 uncursed diamonds Notable kills: The Wizard of Yendor (5 times) Pestilence (thrice) a kobold 2783 creatures vanquished. Conduct: You genocided 13 types of monsters. You used 9 wishes. You did not wish for any artifacts. HP 92/196 MP 380+ AC -30 (highest -43) Str 18 (+3) Dex 18 Con 16 Int 20 Wis 20 Chr 16
Can't help but wonder which ascended character would win in a fight, my samurai or my wizard. (They are of opposing alignments, so it's only natural they wouldn't be too friendly to one another.) Both are resistant to virtually everything in the game, and have magic resistance and reflection, so wands or fingers of death aren't going to decide this. On one hand, my wizard actually has superior armor class (as odd as that is) and can get more with his protection spell. He can cast confuse monster, slow monster, fireball, drain life, and cone of cold to his advantage--not to mention polymorph and jump. And if he hadn't spent that last charge of his wand of cancellation on the Astral Plane, he could bring all those plus symbols down to zero in a jiffy. On top of that, he's carrying four amulets of life saving, so unless the samurai is really quick on his feet he would have to die four times. On the other hand, the samurai has 20 dexterity, has his gray dragon scale mail enchanted to +6, is wielding a blessed +7 Grayswandir (and a +3 silver saber in his other hand), and the Tsurugi of Muramasa (instakill!) in his bag, and has a 200+ hit point advantage. Four or five hits from him and that wizard goes splorch. It would all come down to whether the wizard could keep him away long enough to kill him--if the samurai doesn't nail him with his +1 yumi first. Expert level in bow is nothing to shake a stick at.
Money's still on the samurai.
Though I was shooting for a high score--polymorphing every worthless gem in sight, carefully measuring my gold, slaughtering my way through the Astral Plane--I somehow didn't beat my previous ascension. And my current score plus my previous score still doesn't beat Mike's. What the hell did you do, Mike, polypile a thousand dilithium crystals or something?