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Old December 11, 2014, 23:28   #1
Lord Tom
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Sniper - the fewest kills challenge

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=17066

The Sniper bloodline is a series of rogues undertaking a challenge to defeat Morgoth while killing as few total creatures as possible -- with the perfect goal being 2: Sauron and Morgoth. The kill count in the monster information screen is used to double-check, but it's honor system for reporting any unseen kills.

Obviously getting experience is very difficult; there are small amounts of points to be gained from id-by-use and casting new spells, but disarming traps is the major mechanism early on, with the ultimate goal being to gear up, dive, and scum for potions of Experience.

Sniper V is a gnome rogue; my original thinking that a half-troll would be good proved tragically misguided - stealth is incredibly important for this challenge and saving throw is also good to have.

I posted now because Sniper V has achieved the major milestone of gaining the Detect Items spell, enabling vastly improved scumming for stat potions & a source of TO -- good timing, since I'm just getting to stat-gain depth.

Looking around for traps in the early going was very tedious and dangerous with detection limited to scrolls, and the need to buy or find such scrolls. Using a shovel to dig out gold and ring of digging to enable creative routes to traps has been key. Oh, and I managed to buy speed boots from the armoury; only +2, but I can outdistance normal-speed monsters (or quick monsters if I haste).

A fun if dangerous strat has been farming traps from Wormtongue. I was very lucky to find a shield of resistance very early, but his stinking clouds remain dangerous. It's kind of bizarre to be trying to disarm traps while a unique is bashing at you.

One other thing that took me a while to figure out is dealing with quick-but-weak monsters you don't even notice in a normal game (like fruit bats). I can't kill them and they're faster than me, so even a very weak monster can kill @, and panthers/stegocentipedes etc are deadly. Early characters had tried wands of slow/confuse monster; these seemed minimally effective as they only seem to work for a few turns. For a stealthy gnome, though, sleep monster is extremely valuable as it puts the monster out of commission for potentially much longer.

Sadly, somewhat early on Sniper V couldn't hold up from shoveling a white harpy to death in one round coming around a corner, though he hasn't killed any unseen creatures so far (prior incarnations punched out a clear mushroom patch or two). So best case for this attempt is 3 kills.

Last edited by Lord Tom; December 12, 2014 at 02:23.
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Old December 14, 2014, 01:54   #2
Ingwe Ingweron
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Elevates grinding to a whole new level.
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Old December 14, 2014, 11:34   #3
Philip
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I wonder if a mage wouldn't be better for this challenge. You lose detect item, which sucks, but magic is great for sleeping/confusing monsters, and teleportation is a way to get away from pretty much anything. It would probably make the early part even more of a pain though, and the loss of stealth would be bad. The main attraction for me though would be the ability to manipulate monsters during the final fight - free Banish, Mass Banish, Destruct, TO...
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Old December 14, 2014, 16:43   #4
Ingwe Ingweron
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For such a challenge, I'd suggest manipulating the Edit file for mage spells to allow them the detect object spell. That in combination with their late stage banishment and mass banishment capability might get you there --- eventually.
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Old December 14, 2014, 18:22   #5
Philip
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I tried. A whole lot of times, actually. It's just too hard not to fall afoul of the maggot dogs or a bat, or whatever, it seems, even with monster detection. Also, since doors don't give XP, and traps are tough to find until clvl 3 (which I never got legitimately), gaining XP is almost impossible. With effort, scrolls of detect traps get you to level 2. Perhaps with connected stairs it would be easier.
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Old December 14, 2014, 21:34   #6
clouded
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Play an Android in poschengband, your level is based on the total cost of all the items you have equipped. Mindcrafters naturally get spells by leveling up.

My strat:

1) pick Android Mindcrafter
2) scum the entrance of Camelot until you find a bunch of ego items, equip them and level up to CL30
3) begin scumming the dragon caves for more items
4) don't kill town monsters
5) reach CL50
6) get 1,000,000 gold and teleport to DL99 using the trump tower
7) kill Oberon
8) kill the Serpent of Chaos

easy.
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Old December 15, 2014, 01:00   #7
MattB
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Just given it a few goes - went for hobbit rogue due to the combination of stealth/hit dice/CON.
Just been killed by, believe it or not, a cutpurse!
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Old December 15, 2014, 01:26   #8
Lord Tom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
I tried. A whole lot of times, actually. It's just too hard not to fall afoul of the maggot dogs or a bat, or whatever, it seems, even with monster detection. Also, since doors don't give XP, and traps are tough to find until clvl 3 (which I never got legitimately), gaining XP is almost impossible. With effort, scrolls of detect traps get you to level 2. Perhaps with connected stairs it would be easier.
It is MUCH easier with connected stairs!

I did think about mage but shied away due to lower hp and detect items. I think the key equalizing point in this challenge is getting the first potion of experience; until then (I think they're level 65) @ will have severely low cl for the dl. (I'm currently cl13 scumming at dl40). A mage would have to take a lot more risks just going after "items" which could be anything (Glaive of Pain?! Drat!!) rather than homing in on unidentified potions.
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Old December 15, 2014, 11:23   #9
Philip
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Detect objects tells you what the object is? In that case, that alone might be worth it. The higher XP could also be nice. And it takes way too long to get any reasonable spells anyway.

I think the major selling points of the mage early are - dtrapdoorstair at clvl 3, dmonster at clvl 1 and teleport at clvl 7. Those are vital without connected stairs, with you can probably get away with not having them.
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Old December 16, 2014, 06:20   #10
Lord Tom
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Yes, Detect Items is a level 10 spell for rogues, and it shows exactly what each item is (but doesn't id artifacts or anything). So getting to level 10 was a huge milestone, and with this challenge that spell has been huge for tracking down stat potions.

I've got Con max'd and the others all in the mid-18/xx's, have heroic stealth, 3 TO wands, regen, rPois and about 190 hp. I'm waiting for Wormtongue to show himself again and I can hopefully get my cl to the high teens or even 20 just by continually disarming his traps.

I'd still love to find telepathy, and a ring of escaping or two would be amazing for this challenge, but none have surfaced...speed is only +2 and no repeatable source of haste...
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