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Old June 9, 2022, 11:38   #1
sparklecharmer
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My best run so far

I'm back to trying to beat Sil after a few years. Here's my stealth-assassin build. Things were actually going pretty well until I took a gamble with Delthaur, Balrog of Terror and lost. I think I'll put points into Song next round to get Sharpness. Does anyone have suggestions on stat distributions or skills?
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Old June 10, 2022, 11:17   #2
NotMorgoth
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I've only played Sil-Q, so I'm not sure how relevant my experience is for 1.3.

But I have found that an assassin build is significantly harder than a straight-up melee figher.

Song of sharpness would probably help vs monsters that are resistant to criticals as these can be a challenge to an assassin who normally depends on getting crits to do damage - but I've never played a version from before this song was removed so YMMV.
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Old June 10, 2022, 18:24   #3
Quirk
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Song would be a big help, but not for Sharpness. Silence and Lorien are the base gameplan for a stealthy character.

Stealth characters come with some challenges: in particular, if you are reducing investment into Evasion and Melee (well, mostly Evasion), you are not going to be able to take everything on one on one. It is important to be able to avoid or neutralise enemies you cannot fight.

The first step is determining the enemy is there. The Shadow Cloak was a bit risky in that regard as it cut your light radius back to 1. If you had taken Listen it would probably have been acceptable, but without Listen you had limited warning of enemies you needed to flee from.

The next step is determining what you can successfully attack and get away with. Delthaur was obviously a bit much. This is more intuition based and you will get better at this. A game plan to escape if you bite off more than you can chew is a must. While Cruel Blow helps here bear in mind it scales with the number of criticals, which makes lighter weapons better.

When you run into an enemy you cannot combat, stealth characters tend to go down one of two roads: stealth past, or put to sleep with Lorien. Song helps on both sides here, as at some point the investment in Song of Silence gets more stealth points cheaply than investing in Stealth directly.

Stat wise: you are less keen on extended fights, so Con is less important than normal but still matters to some degree. Str can be reduced to 1. Dex and Gra should remain high.

Skill wise: Evasion doesn't need to be boosted to levels fit to handle an extended fight. You should be running away. Enough Evasion to get Sprinting is fine.

Ability wise: Keen Senses, Listen, Song of Silence, Song of Lorien, Finesse, Subtlety, Assassination, Cruel Blow are more or less the backbone of most melee stealth builds. I would tend to rely on building up stealth first then introduce more combat, but I have a lot of pacifist experience.

http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=20228 is one example of a stabber win, but there are many others.
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Old June 10, 2022, 19:10   #4
NotMorgoth
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I've tried to make Song of Lorien work but I've never had much success, even against enemies with very low will; if even one stays awake, it will shout and alert everything else.

Is the key to sing Lorien and Silence together (with Woven Themes) to stop them waking each other up?

And should I just be avoiding fighting anything that can't be put to sleep or that resists criticals?

The closest I've come to a successful assassin was this:
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=25139 which ended up as a mostly melee build which did some fairly effective stabbing (with 2-handed polearms!)
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Old June 11, 2022, 02:06   #5
Quirk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotMorgoth View Post
I've tried to make Song of Lorien work but I've never had much success, even against enemies with very low will; if even one stays awake, it will shout and alert everything else.

Is the key to sing Lorien and Silence together (with Woven Themes) to stop them waking each other up?

And should I just be avoiding fighting anything that can't be put to sleep or that resists criticals?

The closest I've come to a successful assassin was this:
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=25139 which ended up as a mostly melee build which did some fairly effective stabbing (with 2-handed polearms!)
http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=8757 might be useful, I did a writeup on a pacifist win a few years back. Stabbers get more XP than pacifists and invest it back into stabbing, but the concept is similar.

You need good Stealth alongside Lorien so you don't just wake enemies back up again as soon as they get to sleep. Shouting requires an alert enemy, which means a failed stealth check.

I tend to begin with Stealth and Perception and add the song later. Some people play Sindar Doriath and start with Lorien - this can work also though I think I found it was an easier start but a harder midgame. In any case the first half of the descent for me is spent purely with Stealth and Silence. Initially Lorien is not very reliable but it quickly grows to levels that render practically all enemies unconscious at a distance.
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Old June 11, 2022, 15:54   #6
NotMorgoth
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So would you play like a pacifist for the early game and only start trying to stab enemies once you can reliably put them back to sleep?
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Old June 13, 2022, 18:17   #7
Quirk
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Originally Posted by NotMorgoth View Post
So would you play like a pacifist for the early game and only start trying to stab enemies once you can reliably put them back to sleep?
Very early game, if I could get some armour, I would probably kill a few enemies with any reasonable weapon I can find because at that point you can take out the weaker enemies without too much risk. Orc soldiers are a bit more difficult if you have very limited combat skills and I would be more cautious around them particularly in groups. You can push melee a little more at the very start as enemies also have low perception early on so you can get away with delaying the Stealth investment a little.

For the next few levels I'd be looking for unaware fragile enemies such as birds or hummerhorns and avoiding orc packs. I'd invest in and take Song of Silence and Keen Senses quite early, then balance between stealth, perception and melee. Finesse probably argues for a spear type weapon - daggers won't really come into their own until you have Subtlety (note in Sil 1.3 spears are pretty bad - a glaive is perfect though). You should be able to pick off some of the early orcs alone later and still get the lion's share of the possible XP for them.

Lorien generally isn't a very early pickup, so you likely need to survive without it past warg depth (and warg depth is a spike in needing to rely on your stealth skills). Listen is a higher priority. As a stabber you will want to get Finesse at some point but it's worth holding off on this until you have an ego or artifact weapon you feel good about stabbing with.

You don't need to care about putting enemies back to sleep if they don't wake up, so low-health enemies are always fair game against a solid initial attack. Once you have Lorien low-will enemies like trolls can probably be stabbed back to sleep without trouble. Be careful with balrogs and dragons.

Hope this helps.
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