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Old March 18, 2010, 23:59   #1
Arrkhal
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Newbie observations and questions

Just got a copy of vanilla Angband about a month ago. Best I've managed so far is dying on level 48 while being attacked by 3 uniques (Akhorahil, Scatha, and Ren all at once) with all my teleports and potions used up, while waiting for a recall.

Probably the first thing I noticed on starting up the game was an absolutely glaring omission in the documentation. The meaning of all the crazy numbers next to items! I managed to figure them out for myself through trial and error, but geeze. My initial reaction to seeing something like "an expensive black market item you can't afford (4d6) (+3, +8) [4, +8] +1" was "geeze, this crazy game must use a variant of the Palladium ruleset." It took me about 5 or 10 characters worth of play to figure out what that mess means, and I can't find a thing in any of the docs or guides. Just a paragraph or two about enchantment numbers would have cut the learning curve down to nothing for me (other than learning what monsters are deadly and what aren't. "Oh, look, 'impact hounds.' I'm sure they can't be much tougher than light hounds.").

Anyway, some dumb noob questions. Artifacts are indestructible; is that the same thing as un-disenchantable?

Does this game use a D20 system, or a percentile system? I still have no idea, since enemy difficulty ramps up so insanely, and since good items have such crazy high enchantments.

Is there any rule of thumb for "safe" depth for a given character level?
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Old March 19, 2010, 01:17   #2
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If you've made it to level 48 after a month of play, you're ahead of the curve, or you've got a LOT of free time on your hands.

There's in game help, press the ?, or just browse the text files in angband/lib/help.

Artifacts are indestructible. I believe that they can be disenchanted.

It pretty much based on 'old school' AD&D. Lots of things happen in 5% increments though I suspect all the 'rolls' are actually percentile.

Safe depth depends on your play style. I usually work with something like CL=DL/2, But that's just the way it works out, I don't really pay much attention to it. If the last level didn't (nearly) kill you, then it's probably OK to go deeper.
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Old March 19, 2010, 02:12   #3
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This is extremely outdated but it may help:

http://www.thangorodrim.net/TANG/index.html

If you're new to the game, resistances are key to survival. Don't dive until you have the appropriate resistances (especially poison or free action, you'll learn that the hard way otherwise). Elemental resists on items stack with spell or potion resists but don't stack with multiple items of the same resist (ie. ring of cold resist does not stack with shield of cold resist but will stack with a resist cold spell or potion). Note that skilled veterans of the game are paranoid divers who will take calculated risks for greater rewards, regardless of resists .

Build a monster memory from your butchered characters but don't hesitate to use the spoilers page on this site. Paranoia is good, use a lot of detection spells when available (don't disregard detect evil: it's cheap and invisible/undead monsters are generally evil).

Finally, death is the law of the land but don't be discouraged. Tactics vs. randomness are what make this game special. Even a max level character with all resists and plenty of consumables can be killed in 2 rounds by a powerful unique, great wyrm etc. Or if you turn the wrong corner/ open the wrong door/ teleport into the wrong room, you can be instakilled on the spot by a room of baddies (see what I said about detection? And oh yeah, teleport is handy most, but not all of the time). That said the game can and has been won by many, it's just tactics and patience (sometimes years worth of patience) and a bit of luck. It's about stretching out those 2 rounds into many more rounds (if you ever face Morgoth, you'll see what i mean).

Good luck, and watch out for those hounds!
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Old March 19, 2010, 02:57   #4
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Artifacts are immune to acid damage, and they have imperfect resistance to disenchantment attacks. Learn which enemies have melee disenchantment attacks and don't melee them. Bows and crossbows are insanely powerful in the current version because branded ammo (e.g. Slay Evil, Holy Might, of Acid) multiplies the damage dealt by at least 2 -- and of course, you don't have to be in melee range to use them.

TANG does have a guide to all the numbers on equipment, and surprisingly enough it's still accurate after all these years. In fact, I think most of its information is accurate; the only significant difference I can think of offhand is that Cure [Light, Serious, Critical] Wounds potions are now decently useful for restoring hitpoints, which they weren't when the guide was written.

Oh, and welcome!
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Old March 19, 2010, 03:46   #5
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In addition to any guides, the most definitive reference is Hugo's excellent work http://www.juti.nl/hugo/Angband/Spoiler/spoiler.htm. David Grabiner wrote up a description of how to play called the arch mage's tale. I can't get groups.google to find it, but there is a link to http://remarque.org/~grabiner/archmage.zip. I haven't looked at that.

I have a very different view on how to play, and I wrote up a couple of games. You can check out my Tales of the Bold. The older one was warriors, the more recent one was a rogue.http://groups.google.com/group/rec.g...rch+this+group
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Old March 19, 2010, 10:13   #6
the Invisible Stalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrkhal View Post
Is there any rule of thumb for "safe" depth for a given character level?
The rule of thumb is don't waste time on safe depths. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. Almost no level is truly safe. There are really low probability events which will kill a godlike character at shallow depths. If you stay at that depth long enough then those low probability events become high probability events. So the only truly safe depths are really shallow, and almost nothing useful is to be found there.

The key is a combination of daring and cowardice. Daring in deciding which levels to visit and cowardice in everything else. It took me a long time to figure that out.

One final remark. Word of Recall is much too slow to count as an escape. It's what you use
- when you run out of pack space, or
- when you run low on consumables which you can replenish in stores (including your home).
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Old March 19, 2010, 11:49   #7
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To figure out what all the numbers mean, be sure to examine your items using "I", or doing the same in stores, using "x".

Also, check all your stats and modifiers, using "C" (then "h").

Not sure if anyone else mentioned these things. I still e(x)amine my items regularly to see what all the bonuses are.

Also, use plenty of ranged missile weapons/spells, along with phase door scrolls or spells to outlast some uniques. Also, put a huge emphasis on speed. If you get 2x as many turns in as you used to (with +10) speed, effectively, you are doing about 2x the damage you used to.......
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Old March 19, 2010, 12:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Invisible Stalker View Post
One final remark. Word of Recall is much too slow to count as an escape. It's what you use
- when you run out of pack space, or
- when you run low on consumables which you can replenish in stores (including your home).
And when you run out of safe excapes - had to learn that.
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Old March 19, 2010, 13:10   #9
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Originally Posted by SaThaRiel View Post
And when you run out of safe excapes - had to learn that.
Or, better, before you run out of safe escapes.
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Old March 19, 2010, 16:16   #10
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I have been in the situation many times (too many times) where I had to read a ?Recall and just stall and try to stay alive for enough turns to get pulled out.

But yes, you should never in theory get to that point because you should leave before ?Recall is your only escape. But in practice, sometimes it happens.
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