Let’s go through Darkest Dungeon together – 6

Last time didn’t go too well. But you know, life has its ups and downs, and thankfully things weren’t a downer this time.

I started out at a loss for what to do. A new boss appeared at the Weald – the Brigand Pounder – who seems to be the big boss of the faction of Normal Guys that love to cause trouble as if we’re not surrounded by worse problems. Unfortunately, it was a low tier mission and there aren’t any low-tier healers to accompany a team on the job. Then I saw that a Necromancer appeared in the Ruins, with a good reward for Couci if it was cleared. Couci herself unfortunately couldn’t tag along to kill it like she did for its predecessor, but I had a good collection of heroes on par with her.

Cairon the Leper led the front as a powerhouse attacker. Besides that, he was also given Purge to clear out the dead bodies of the skeletons the Necromancer would summon. Heuze, our joker Grave Robber, followed behind with some Poison Darts added to her kit to deal blight alongside our Abomination friend Gary. Lastly, Ros the Occultist followed in the back to serve as the healer and to inflict mark to make Heuze’s daggers stronger.

The Ancestor continues his story on his efforts to learn necromancy. He reveals that he invited a bunch of likeminded people to his estate to learn their own secrets for necromancy. In return, he wound up murdering all of them in his sleep. Never take an invitation from this guy.

Everything worked out fine for a bit. Heuze even managed to get rid of her Compulsive quirk after finding a confession booth to lessen her jokerhood. And –

Oh here we go, it’s this bitch idiot again. Honestly? I wish this game had a system where the fella goes on cooldown after a defeat so that they don’t show up again for a while. While I was complaining about this jerk, @babenzo told me that the Collector has a higher chance of showing up if I have a full inventory, which I guess makes sense given the name. Unfortunately, I’m addicted to collecting treasure, so I guess I’ll be chased forever by this thing.

Thankfully, the fact that this team was much stronger, had a more optimal set-up for fighting them and had a healer on board meant that this idiot went down with little trouble this time. They had to take a campfire rest shortly afterward, but they were in pretty good shape otherwise.

And so, the gang finally reunited with the Necromancer. And unfortunately, it turned out that it got a substantial buff: all of the skeletons it summoned now start out in stealth. Unfortunately, without any stealth ignoring attacks (besides the occasion where a stealthed unit was next to a visible one for a group attack), this left Cairon useless for most of the fight. Eventually, Cairon and Heuze got knocked to Death’s Door, so Gary was forced to transform and get to the front to take the heat off of them. Thankfully, with Ros and Cairon’s own self-heal, nobody stayed on death’s door long enough for someone to get the kill.

Eventually, the Necromancer was done in by the copious blight that Heuze and Gary managed to stack on top of it. Everyone went home, battered, extremely stressed, but alive. There was a robbery that shut down the gambling hall, but for some reason that made the bar and brothel less expensive.

Well, whatever, the Stage Coach brought in a new rookie healer in the form of Taillebois the Occultist and… aw jeez, I can’t actually upgrade him yet since new guys start out at level 0, so he can’t go help fight that Brigand Pounder yet. So, I gotta bring him out on a starter mission to get that level up so that I could get him some adequate equipment for the fight. I chose to also get Baujot the Plague Doctor, both to expand the ever diminishing pool of fresh recruits and also because I vibe with using Plague Doctors.

I chose to go on a short mission to the Cove to give those two some experience. Durandal accompanied them so that I could make a little more money and they were led by Gregory, since he’s so low-leveled that he was in no danger of ranking into the next tier.

It mostly went fine and jesus christ Gregory how did you get so stressed so fast –

God damn it, he became Selfish. As a Selfish hero, he keeps demeaning the other characters for doing things he doesn’t like while wasting turns to take actions that he decides on. He also passively has Kleptomania in this state, completely screwing Durandal over out of getting good loot. What fucking experience do you have, Gregory? You are my least used guy. I wish that you died instead of Cely.

Besides Gregory turning into an asshole, the rest of the mission went fine. Honestly, most of the stress everyone got was from Greg over here.

Somehow, both Durandal and Baujot got Known Cheat for their rewards. Given that the casino got closed from a robbery last week, I’d like to think that they were responsible for that.

Back at town, Cairon got Syphilis from the brothel which lowers his already bad accuracy, so he was sent away asap. I briefly considered throwing Greg out for his crimes against me and his cohorts, but I already spent a bunch of money on him, so I decided to give him mercy. Unfortunately he was a Flagellant and the caretaker NPC was taking up that spot, so he got no stress relief that week. Consider that as his punishment.

While the new crew recovered to get themselves prepared for the Brigand Pounder, a crew went out to the Warrens to collect grain stolen by the pig people. Tinel the Hellion and good ol’ Dismas the Highwayman led the front, while Mantel the Occultist and Malleville the Houndmaster followed. Also, jeez, it didn’t hit me that I have so many occultists until that point.

The mission was actually fairly uneventful, because the random placement of the food sacks placed all of them nearby. While Tinel got stressed out, she was easily brought back after a quick camping trip. Dismas gained Warrior of Light from the excursion, so he needed to get that stuck on him for the sake of my playstyle.

They returned home and – oh, I guess I can’t do the Brigand Pounder yet because Taillebois fucked off to follow a holy vision. Durandal also lost a bunch of money, but in all honesty, she’s doing it for a good cause and she earns for more than that on average trips with her, so that’s fine.

Before I went out, I saw that the game was offering a mission that would result in the Caregivers Convention event. If you don’t remember, that was the one that gave me free health care, so I decided to put off reinforcing quirks in favor of gathering medicine in the Weald first.

(I forgot to heal Gregory and didn’t realize until I already left. Oh well.)

Ros switched out for the Occultist role, which is good because he gave better scouting in the Weald, which could finish things faster. I kept Malleville in the party – and I also remembered a request I got, so I renamed him Fritz – while also bringing Peis to further compliment Ros’ marking. I also chose to bring Cairon around because why not.

Unfortunately, I got a lot of horror inflicting enemies and the stress inflicting ones focused down on Cairon hard. He became Paranoid, spouting doomer stuff in a poetic style. We eventually settled down to camp, where I was met with a unique quality of Paranoid where he refused to eat and gained stress. Doesn’t seem good!

I found the last medicine bag immediately afterward, and despite having a low haul of treasure, I decided to cut my losses and leave. I didn’t want to risk Cairon sending everyone else down a doomer spiral, plus, after learning that thing with the Collector, I didn’t want to go walking around with my bloated inventory while a guy became the Joker.

After going home, I immediately set to making Dismas a Warrior of Light, and I decided to put Fritz in too since he had Phengophobia, which makes him more stressed when the torch is bright (bad for me). Does the dog have to go to the Treatment Ward too? I dunno. Also I finally remembered to cure Greg of his stress. Whatever.

Most importantly, Taillebois returned from his religious quest, so it was finally time to fight that Brigand Pounder. He and his friend Baujot stood in the back. In front, Beans the Flagellant would lead the crusade alongside Fou the Jester. I also gave Baujot Incision Cut with the rest of her kit, making this an overall bleed heavy team; since it really isn’t a team for mark either, I also gave Taillebois Daemon’s Pull to pull any jerks causing trouble on the backline.

As they headed over, the Ancestor gave some exposition. My man became so hated that the town wanted him guillotined, I guess, which is the correct thing to do to him. While not explaining the presence of the brigands, the implication I’m getting is that he hired the brigands to act as his armed guard. So yes, on top of everything, this guy would hire Blackwater mercenaries.

Beans caught the Black Plague from graverobbing without a shovel for no reason, though Baujot thankfully got rid of it on the campfire rest for him. Taillebois found a neat little trinket for himself in a tree. …The whole trip was weirdly uneventful, with most of the fights being against those dang spiders.

But after like, a few real life hours of being forced to put it off, the gang finally reached it: the Brigand 8 Pounder. It’s a surprisingly mundane threat compared to everything else, but the brigands have proven time and time again that you don’t need eldritch powers to fuck people up. So, first things first: it is a cannon. Because of that, it completely resists all the bleed and blight I usually rely on and unfortunately, not only does my team entirely rely on that, but they lack the heavy firepower to burst this thing down.

Secondly, this fight introduces a new enemy type, a match man. Unlike Wilbur (who I looked up after that blog post, confirming that I absolutely shouldn’t fuck with Wilbur), I can guess that the cannon needs the fuse man for it to actually attack me, so that guy’s dead to rights. To balance this out, the cannon resummons new brigands to back it up every turn, which makes me think that we’re in some bandit camp surrounded by an army of jerks.

Now, while DOT is useless for the cannon, it is pretty useful for taking out the fuse man, who has low enough health and resistances that one attack on him pretty much promises his death. The fight ended up being easy yet tedious, spent entirely on chipping away at the cannon’s health. I attempted to style on the cannon by getting Fou to Finale it, but it unfortunately didn’t do enough damage.

After defeating the cannon, all the remaining brigands died of heart attacks. I mean yeah, I guess I’d also be shocked if a bunch of guys tore apart an unstoppable weapon in front of your very eyes.

With that, Fou and Beans graduated into the next rank of quests. Thus, the only novices still around were Taillebois, Baujot, Durandal and…. Greg.

But well, defeating the Brigand Pounder was my personal arc for this week, so I decided to end this session of Darkest Dungeon here. After the disaster of last week, I’ve settled back into a groove. I still don’t like the Man-At-Arms, to be honest. Maybe I’m just playing him wrong, but I dunno. If you have any hot tips on using him or just hot tips in general, yell at me, I guess.

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