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Old December 9, 2017, 11:14   #1
Quirk
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Naedim, Sil pacifist

I've been playing a lot of Sil pacifists on Angband.live lately. Sil, rather than Sil-Q, because getting the Angband.live purple on my own variant would feel cheeky.

Naedim made it all the way, having learned from the mistakes of pacifists past.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=21310

From the beginning I was determined not to spend in Melee, Evasion, Archery, Will or Smithing. (I was somewhat open to Will, but I think the only ability plausibly worth the points for a pacifist there is Channeling). There's less XP available as a pacifist and so it has to be carefully used.

I began with 8 Stealth, Disguise, and 3 Perception, Keen Senses. This kept Vanish open from early on in case I needed it. In the event I never did. The goal was to get Listen, then spend almost all the rest of my XP in the song tree.

Pacifists are very fragile starting out and the game can screw you over easily. A recent defeat with another pacifist that particularly rankles came through standing on some stairs about to descend waiting a moment to recover Voice when Othrod and alll his escorts came up, moving me off it and surrounding me. Game over. Getting past the first few levels required some amount of luck.

In general however the particularly bad enemies are birds, wargs and shadows. Birds move fast and are good at spotting you early on, wargs move fast and track you by scent, and shadows are hard to see and cannot be put to sleep. Later on Easterling spies turn up, and their insanely high perception is very hard to evade.

The early game followed the regular pattern of scouting about for the down stairs and bailing back to go up and down if the stairs appeared to be blocked or I was spotted or heard wargs picking up my scent. There was a scare at 500' where I was fleeing Orcobal and friends to the stairs and a bunch of orcs came up, and I was almost completely surrounded. I tried an unidentified staff and it turned out to be Majesty, which put them to flight and let me descend. This was fortunately the narrowest escape of the whole game. At 700' or so I started running into shadows, which got messy on a couple of occasions. Sprinting would potentially have helped but I didn't want to make the XP investment; it would have further delayed having a usable Song of Lorien. I took some grace draining from a bunch of wights I was forced to run through, but luckily had enough lembas to regain it; later running from another shadow I had to go through a group of cats and relied on the staff of Majesty again.

Picked up the Leather Armour of Gorlim at 800', which has terror (afraid/fast when you take more than 10 damage - perfect for a pacifist!) and Exchange Places. Exchange Places didn't come into its own until the escape, but it did a lot of work then. Terror never triggered - I was seldom hit after that.

950' with Song of about 20 and Lorien is much more comfortable than the levels above as oathwraiths are much easier to avoid than shadows. I scoured 900' and 950' for a long time looking for a sharp weapon to cut Sils with but came up blank - it looks from the dump as though I missed the dagger Nargil, but if it was in Gothmog's hall there was small chance of getting it.

I hung round upgrading my gear and getting my Song to the low 30s before tackling the throne room. This was my third attempt with a pacifist and I had a calculated plan: I put everything to sleep with Lorien right away, then stood near the doors and sounded a horn towards Morgoth. On this occasion it was not immediately successful and it took a few tries to both wake and alert him. He then headed toward me purposefully leaving the crown where it had fallen from his head and I sent him back to sleep.

I had retained a lot of XP for purchasing Woven Themes, Song of Aule, Song of Sharpness and Song of Mastery. Sharpness with Silence was essential for Sil-cutting without having sharp weapons (I tried briefly to free one without it but this was ineffective). On cutting the third the whole place woke up, and Mastery gave me space to vacate out of line of sight and restart Lorien and Silence, shutting down Morgoth's songs. It's possible Lorien and Silence would have done the job without Mastery, but I didn't want to get too cute, and Mastery at 37+ Song works very well to freeze the room. In any case this took and soon even Morgoth was asleep again.

I had accumulated over 20 charges of Revelations to make my escape, and had plenty of potions of Voice, not having used any on the throne room itself, so I was able to sing more or less continuously all the way up. Exchange Places with a potent Lorien woke enemies up just to put them back to sleep immediately with no attacking. At the entrance there were many traps, not all of which could be disarmed; I drank a Constitution potion and equipped an appropriate amulet so I could bulldoze through the spiked pits. Carcharoth slept as I whispered past, and I was out.
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