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Old April 24, 2018, 08:06   #1
peterpandam
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Questions from a new player

Hi all,

I discovered (vanilla) angband recently and greatly appreciate the game, especially the relative lack of food clock and the theoretically infinite numbers of items/monsters/levels. It's quite relaxing as I can play at my own pace with my own objectives.

I read the manual some times ago, but still have some unanswered questions:
1. Can I use negative potions on monsters? (eg: sleep, blindess, confusion,...). I tried to throw some of them at monsters but from what I remember they were just harmed, without presenting any side-effects. If no, I suppose they are just there to complicate the ID-minigame?
2. I suppose there's no use of negative scrolls (summon/aggravate monsters,...), so I could squelch them as soon as I discover them?
3. About level feelings: does the item level feeling take in consideration the items carried by (unique) monsters? I'm asking this because I had a "9" LF on dl21, and encountered Mughash, who dropped the Phial of Galadriel (yay!). I magic-mapped and treasure-detected the entire level without finding any good item on the floor, so I suppose it was the Phial... (in the same spirit, does a +8 ring of speed on dl13 could induce a LF of 9?)
4. Weird observation: I located an item on an unexpored area of the dungeon (with a rod of treasure detection) and when I went there to grab the said item, there was nothing on the floor! Was it something carried by a monster who moved? (see previous question).
5. Question about wands/rods/staff/scrolls. From what I gathered, rods are the best (because they recharge), except they can be destroyed by lightning. Staffs are useful because you can use them while blind, but as wands they are destroyed by fire or acid. Scrolls are not readable while blind, so, for the same effect: rod > staff > wand > scroll. Am I right?
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Old April 24, 2018, 08:31   #2
Sphara
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1) No

2) I sometimes read a summon monster scrolls when I don't want to explore the level anymore and I'm standing on a down staircase. But in general, yes you can (and probably should) squelch them

3) Monster drops do not count. The whole level feeling thing is kinda gray area for me but I'm absolutely sure that the Phial does not trigger level 9 feeling on dlvl 21. RoS will trigger 9-feeling at dungeon level 13 for sure

4) A monster has picked it up. Treasure detection does not show monster inventory. The item disappearance has happened to me when using squelch options.

5) Rods have the highest chance of evocation failure while scrolls have none. If you're on a dire emergency and need to rely on these, you can reverse those 'bigger thans' for a valid order of usage.
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Old April 24, 2018, 08:40   #3
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Hello, just a few additions:
2: clone monsters can be useful if you see something which you can easily kill and gives you much xp
4: even worse, some monsters can crush objects by walking over them
5: there are some monsters who drain staff/wand charges with melee attacks and heal themselves by doing that. Best example is Morgoth who you can't avoid if you want to win the game. Against those monsters you may want to drop staffs/wands.
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Old April 24, 2018, 11:18   #4
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About 4: a monster picking it up is not the only explanation. Another is: it was an item that you have squelched.
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Old April 24, 2018, 12:41   #5
Pete Mack
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1. Hmmm. I was pretty sure that thrown potions *could* affect monster state. Did this change?
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Old April 24, 2018, 13:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
1. Hmmm. I was pretty sure that thrown potions *could* affect monster state. Did this change?
I don't think that's ever been in Vanilla. I recall potions of Drain Mana used to be a technique against Morgoth in NPP - is that what you're thinking of?
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Old April 24, 2018, 15:41   #7
Werbaer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
1. Hmmm. I was pretty sure that thrown potions *could* affect monster state. Did this change?
Only Potion of Detonation. It did 25d25 to a monster when thrown (and more than that to the player when quaffed).

I think it was removed at 3.5, when it was encouraged to learn objects by trying them (also potions of Ruination and Death were removed).

Edit to clarify: Damage only. Potions never caused stat effects to monsters in V.
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Old April 24, 2018, 19:09   #8
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2. As someone who plays forced descent (a game mode where you can never play the same depth twice) I do not squelch these scrolls, as sometimes if I am getting desperate I will read ?Summon Monster in the hopes I will kill something that will drop me something useful if I have a long string of levels that don't have any items and none of the monsters drop anything. There are times when a scroll of aggravate monster can be used to lure a dangerous monster away when you need it to move from its current location (such tactics are very dangerous to try, though). For a newbie, yes, squelching these is fine.

3. First, a ring of speed <+8> is about 500 times better than the Phial of Galadriel (though how does one not get excited from receiving gifts of Galadriel? ) That said, the game undervalues the power aspect of speed items (I found the best non-artifact boots in the entire game on DL36 and it was a 6 treasure feeling (should have been 9). These points bring up a common point people like to make and that is "just ignore level feelings" because they can be misleading and unreliable. While this is true, they often are still useful, and I am always interested in the LF though I have learned to not get too excited as I often find something useful on a 3 LF and not on a 9 LF.

Objects carried by monsters who were on the level at the start of the level are generated when the level starts and do not affect level feeling. Objects carried by monsters that appear on the level after the level starts are generated when the monster appears on the level. The Phial of Galadriel was thus not the reason for the 9 feeling. If the Phial had been found on the floor it would have generated a 5 feeling. All standard artifacts generate at least a 5 feeling. Heavy armors and heavy weapons often generate very high LF when found at lower depths, as do deep books. A ring of speed <+8> at DL13 would generate a 9 feeling for sure. Apparently very large piles of money found on the floor do not have any bearing on LF.

4. It could have been picked up by a monster after you had detected it. Or, more likely, it was a scroll of aggravate monster or summon monster, or a potion of blindness or confusion.

5. Wands and rods both get destroyed by lightning, but lightning's frequency at which it destroys your metal objects in your pack is *much* less than the frequency at which acid and fire destroy staves, with the caveat that you often have more fire/acid destroyable items in your inventory than metal objects, so that disperses the likelihood that your staves will get destroyed in favor of scrolls and arrows. You can apply this same reasoning to reduce the likelihood that your most valuable potions don't get destroyed: I like to carry around 30 potions of Cure Light Wounds so that my !CCW and !healing don't get destroyed as much.

The more I play Angband the more difficulty I have of putting those objects in order of "better than", though scrolls for their non-failure rate (when you are not confused or blinded) are very good. But those 4 objects each have their pros and cons; certainly, though, by the end game I will say that scrolls and rods end up being superior to staves and wands (mostly because I get tired of avoiding monsters that drain charges, since, as a Half Troll Warrior with a beastly Undead slaying weapon, I love to crush Liches). I play with Randarts which generate lots of Undead slaying weapons.

One more thing: in the early game, staves of confuse/slow monster are much better than wands since they affect all monsters that are within line of sight of @ (far beyond what your light illuminates and what your infravision can see). Whereas a wand only affects one monster.

Maybe there should be Staves of Wonder: Could be fun: for each monster targeted by the stave, would generate a different effect. Or maybe Staves of Wonder would affect all monsters with the same effect and Staves of *Wonder* would affect each monster with a unique affect.
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Last edited by Grotug; April 24, 2018 at 19:17.
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Old April 24, 2018, 21:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotug View Post
5. Wands and rods both get destroyed by lightning, but lightning's frequency at which it destroys your metal objects in your pack is *much* less than the frequency at which acid and fire destroy staves, with the caveat that you often have more fire/acid destroyable items in your inventory than metal objects, so that disperses the likelihood that your staves will get destroyed in favor of scrolls and arrows. You can apply this same reasoning to reduce the likelihood that your most valuable potions don't get destroyed: I like to carry around 30 potions of Cure Light Wounds so that my !CCW and !healing don't get destroyed as much.
This is faulty logic, unfortunately. The chance of an item getting destroyed is independent of all other items in your pack, so carrying "decoy" items does not protect your more valuable gear. Destruction chance is also invariant of elemental type; the only thing that matters is how much damage you take. I believe the thresholds are a 1% chance per vulnerable item to be destroyed if you get hit for <30 HP (after resists, acid armor damage, etc.), 2% per item for 30-60 HP, and 3% above that.
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Old April 24, 2018, 21:37   #10
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So why do acid attacks destroy multiple objects but lightning not? Is it because arrows and scrolls are weak objects? So carrying 30 potions of CLW doesn’t help at all against losing healing potions?
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