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Old April 5, 2019, 10:17   #1
Sphara
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Quick necromancer question

Playing very weak necromancer on angband.live. I managed to kill Wormtongue early and he dropped an artifact helmet. It had whopping +5 STR, few resists and it isn't even fully id'd yet. It ALSO HAS +1 LIGHT. This blinded me in a way that I cannot see the walls or items but I could sense monsters. Is there a way out of this (I'm really not familiar with necromancer games)? Or do I have to accept that the helmet is nearly useless (and quit outta rage)?
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Old April 5, 2019, 11:16   #2
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I think the best you can do is carry a lantern and accept the failure penalty. Thank you for emphasising that this needs fixing
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Old April 5, 2019, 16:11   #3
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Thanks, Nick!

Didn't understand that I'd need +2 Light to be able to see items and walls behind necromancers dark aura. Dummy me. I'll try finding a lantern and see if I can get the hang of this necromancer stuff even with lights on. The start was already extremely hard because I missed putting points into INT. Default INT was 15
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Old April 5, 2019, 18:05   #4
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Thanks, Nick!

Didn't understand that I'd need +2 Light to be able to see items and walls behind necromancers dark aura.
It's still not ideal though, because you'll be casting spells at a penalty for being in the light...
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Old April 5, 2019, 18:15   #5
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It's still not ideal though, because you'll be casting spells at a penalty for being in the light...
I thought it didn't matter much at all. At first I did.

Nether bolt's success rate stayed the same. It was 9% with the lantern and the same without. That Shadow Step teleporting spell however, dropped from 33% to 50% and this probably contributed to the death of the character. Ranger and druadan mage summoned Shambling mound, umber hulk and an air hound among other things. Two failed shadow step casts ended the game when hasted umber hulk reached characters skin.
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Old May 22, 2019, 14:18   #6
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I can't find another thread about necromancer issues, so I'll just jump on here. I'm curious about the rationale behind certain Necromancer spells causing damage to the character, like Noxious Fumes and Shadow Shift.

The business of having to avoid light is a severe enough handicap, given that there are several common artifacts that create light and thus make life more difficult. Why can Necromancers not have a phase door that doesn't injure them? Noxious Fumes isn't that bad if you're playing a Kobold (which, as it happens, turns out to be a pretty good race for Necromancers if you reallocate points wisely, though I still think as a creature that traditionally lives underground they should get a boost to digging), but still -- it seems like Necromancers get a lot more penalties than any other class, and the spells in the Books of Shadows are nice, but not so amazing that they properly balance out the negatives.

Meanwhile, by the time you start finding e.g. a Staff of Darkness, you've already got the Create Darkness spell. There are no objects or artifacts that create darkness vs. light. If Necromancers have dominion over nether, then maybe they should be resistant to XP drain? Or maybe they should be able to regain some XP as well as HP when they use Tap Unlife or Vampire Strike?

I'm quite enjoying the Necromancer, as it's interesting thematically (and for an anecdotal reason[1]), but I really feel like it's not very well balanced, especially in the early game. (I haven't been able to get one below DL20 yet so I can't say how good they are in the late game.) I'm starting to get the hang of using Darkness to my advantage, but it doesn't really compensate for having to eschew objects that create light.

I mean, maybe I'm completely off base here and failing to recognise the value of the existing spells. What does everybody else think?

[1] My brother used to be in a band with a guy who insisted clubs turn off his spotlight, because he "likes to sing in the dark". For some reason I've always found that hilarious.
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Old May 22, 2019, 17:25   #7
Ingwe Ingweron
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I can't find another thread about necromancer issues, so I'll just jump on here. I'm curious about the rationale behind certain Necromancer spells causing damage to the character, like Noxious Fumes and Shadow Shift.
This is not without precedent. Mages suffer damage from Banishment and Mass Banishment, so one must ensure enough of a current hit point pool before casting them, and a way to get those hit points back up before another deadly encounter.
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Old May 22, 2019, 17:36   #8
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But those aren't attack spells, unlike noxious fumes. It makes better sense for shadow shift.
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Old May 22, 2019, 21:59   #9
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I can't find another thread about necromancer issues, so I'll just jump on here. I'm curious about the rationale behind certain Necromancer spells causing damage to the character, like Noxious Fumes and Shadow Shift.
The idea is that necromancy is a deeply unnatural thing to do, and so comes at a cost to the user. In return, necromancers get serious direct power over monsters at high levels.
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Old May 22, 2019, 22:17   #10
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Standard mages already do the "suffer in the low levels in exchange for power in the late game" thing. But I feel like they're less prone to the whole "uh, how do I do anything with this class?" questions that necromancers seem to be getting. The learning curve on this class is very steep and most players do not seem to be getting to the point where necromancers come into their own.

Maybe amp up the power and cost of early game spells, so you can kill things just fine so long as you don't overestimate your HP/SP supplies? You could also introduce the whole darkness affiliation later (say at clvl30), so that young necromancers can still use torches and lanterns.
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