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Old October 28, 2009, 08:14   #1
hotbeef
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Unhappy Newbie Player - Need Help

Hi, people. I'm fairly new at Angband and I suck at it. The first time I played as Troll Warrior and played till I was around lvl 25 through save scumming. Even then I was hampered by the light breathing hounds. Later I realized that it's still not the way to play the game, so I decided to play it for real. I played a Half-orc Rogue character, but I couldn't get pass floor 3. I constantly got killed by Maggot's Dogs, Kobolds, and occasionally self-replicating monsters.

I know that there are ways to prevent those deaths, but the lack money and bad luck are inhibiting my chances. I know projectile weapons are effective in the beginning against other monsters and scrolls of phase door can help me escape bad situations but the stores don't stock projectile weapons most of the time and I never have enough money to buy scrolls or any useful equipment in the beginning of the game. I learned how to throw items to 'detect' monsters in the distance, but it only works in the line of sight and it won't work in zig-zagging diagonal corridors. Almost all of the time, I got killed by tough monsters that were just around the corner. I wasn't able to run away. They were too fast.

Any hints or spoilers are appreciated.
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Old October 28, 2009, 08:47   #2
Pete Mack
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Newbies first laws:
1. Run away, and make sure you can run away.
2. Make sure you have max blows with your starting equipment. A starting rogue half-Orc can probably get 3 blows with a main gauche or dagger. That means killing maggots dogs should be easy, even at cl 1.
3. Use ranged damage. If you cNt afford a longbow, buy flasks of oil and use them to soften up dangerous monsters before they reach melée range.

At cl 3, with fighting classes, you shouldn't have to worry about escaping if you have 2& 3 covered.

PS: maggot's dogs make a lot if random moves, but only if they have somewhere to go. Fighting them in a room is much easier than in a hallway.
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Old October 28, 2009, 13:42   #3
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There's plenty of gold... It's lying in unidentified objects all over the place... As the prior said, get the best weapon to serve you and then work on buying non-magical armor after selling all your "stuff" in town. You may miss out on some nice objects, but it's not worth drinking bad potions, etc to see what they are, especially with limited hit points. Also, go buy a shovel and a staff of treasure detection and go "mining", it should provide a good return. I used to mine only what Is aw and recently I have had no need to mine for gold, the objects on the dungeon floor have been good enough. Ranged weapons are good, and I assume as a rogue you get magic missile, which is basically a nice ranged weapon early in the game. I think most people spend too much time buying non-essentials early-game. I know I used to.
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Old October 28, 2009, 14:32   #4
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Flasks of oil are good overpowered weapons for the first couple dungeon levels. 2 flasks will take down Maggot's dogs.
Rods, wands, staves of light are very valuable in the early game. They can allow you to light up corridors and rooms to see what's coming. The rods and wands can also completely destroy snagas.
Avoid unlit rooms, and don't enter rooms that have spiders, wolves or hounds in them. Either find another way to proceed, or lure them into another room where you can pick them off one by one. If you have to enter an unlit room, go close to a wall.
Phase door is a helpful escape in corridors where there's another corridor parallel. You have a good chance of jumping across the gap. Phase is also helpful when you're fighting a melee only monster with ranged weapons, and you can phase away when it gets close.
Don't let yourself get slowed, if you start moving slower be prepared to drop some heavy stuff when monsters come by.
Rogues get detect monsters very early. This is one of the most useful spells in the game. Use it often. It won't detect invisible monsters, but there aren't any dangerous invisible monsters until a bit later.
If you're trying to id items by use. Drink potions when you're damaged but not in danger. If it does nothing, it's probably slow poison, neutralize poison or boldness. Read scrolls when you're standing on a staircase and not in danger. This way if you get a summon monsters, you can escape. If you're trying wands staves and rods, find a centipede and try them out on them. Haste, heal, clone monster won't hurt you on a centipede.
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Old October 28, 2009, 14:48   #5
Hariolor
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As usual, fizzix knows what he's talking about. - I test rods and wands on jellies or mushrooms, just because my first death to a red centipede made me really sad (accidentally hasted him and he tore me in half )

Definitely carry lots of oil for the first trip or two down to the dungeon. With rogues I will sell the shortsword that I start with, and use the gold to buy a light weapon (whip, dagger, main gauche, rapier), one potion of cure light wounds, a few scrolls of phase door, and as much oil as I can afford/carry.

If you still have extra gold at the beginning for some reason, I'd use it to buy one potion of cure serious wounds, as well.

The reason I buy one potion each of CLW and CSW is so that when I am wandering through the dungeon, I will already know what "color" those potions are. Being able to recognize piles of healing potions from the beginning is very, very useful. That way, if you are in trouble, you don't have to guess whether what you're drinking will cure you or not.

Last piece of advice - once you find a couple good pieces of armor/weapons, it can become really tempting to go down deeper than you should be. The "average" monster doesn't become all that powerful until you're pretty deep (DL 20+). However, there are quite a few uniques that show up between level 5 and level 20 that can really make you feel stupid for fighting them (unique orcs, boldor, orfax, mim, etc). Here's three things I look for to know I am ready to make a dive deeper than the first 15-20 levels:

Reliable method of teleporting/escaping danger (not just phase door)
Freedom of action and resist confusion
A heavy crossbow or longbow (doesn't have to be magical)
A weapon that lets me do at least 20-30 damage per turn against almost all enemies. This can be from multiple blows, or an "ego" heavier weapon (slay evil is a good one to find).
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Old October 28, 2009, 14:55   #6
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Screw the stats and starting blows. Your problem is much more fundamental. It's hard to die on level 3 without either being entirely reckless, or having virtually no knowledge of the game (maggot's dogs excluded). I'm guessing yours is a combination of the two.

Never hold down a movement key. Take it one step at a time. use the '.' (period) to run down corridors.

Buy phase door and CLW (or heroism) before you leave town, and get a word of recall, if you can afford it. Collect loot in the dungeon to sell once you get back to town. Yes, it's frowned upon (by some) as a lifestyle, but it's important to get your character up and running.

When you're down to your last phase door, then it's time to recall, regardless of your current situation.

You can throw stuff 'v' at monsters for modest damage. Since you probably won't have a missile weapon, throw everything that you don't need at your enemies. Iron spikes, shots, and {cursed} potions work well.

Run away from anything that you can't kill for sure. Most early monsters are fairly unobservant of you, and will remain asleep while you walk away. If they are chasing you head for the stairs. No stairs? Come up with a plan, or recall. Recall is kind of expensive, so having a plan would be better.

Once you find the stairs, stay close to them. They are an easy escape (without wasting valuable consumables) from whatever is chasing you. Rest up before you leave a level or whenever it's 'safe' to do so. Also, standing on the stairs is a great place to 'test' un-id'd scrolls.

Stick to the edges of the map, it's safer than being in the middle.

Buy some detect objects/treasure once you have a few excess GP. They will pay for themselves.

In the options '=', turning auto-scum off makes the game easier.

Scumming with a half-troll warrior probably formed a lot of bad habits. Try to start over, and good luck.
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Old October 28, 2009, 15:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hariolor View Post
Here's three things I look for to know I am ready to make a dive deeper than the first 15-20 levels: ...

... Freedom of action and resist confusion
Seriously, resist confusion at DL20? Free Action and See Invisible, sure, but I usually don't pick up anything with resist confusion till much much deeper, if at all.
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Old October 28, 2009, 17:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hariolor View Post
As usual, fizzix knows what he's talking about. - I test rods and wands on jellies or mushrooms, just because my first death to a red centipede made me really sad (accidentally hasted him and he tore me in half )
I do? That's crazy talk there.

Jellies and mushrooms won't be able to tell you sleep monster, slow monster or confuse monster. I think most or all of them are immune to those. That's usually why I choose centipedes. I think you have to be pretty unlucky to die to a hasted centipede even at clevel 1. If deaths are an issue though, the safest is always id'ing by selling, or with scrolls. You can always run around dlevel 1 for copper, mined copper, and cheap items for the gold. It's boring but it's safe.

Buzzkill's advice is good, especially with running and not holding down buttons. That's a difficult habit, even near the end of the game where you are bashing through pits of weak enemies.

I don't think anyone mentioned potions of speed. These guys show up at dlevel 1 and are probably the most valuable item you will find there. They can be used as an escape, or as a method of beating monsters that you wouldn't otherwise be able to handle.

Although, I'm actually a fan of save-scumming as a learning tool for new players, but I'm in the minority there. Once you get a save-scumming win, it's time to stop and play for real.

(side note: I've been working on a new player's guide updated for 3.1.x It's been an off and on project. Hopefully I'll have a draft of it soon.)
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Old October 28, 2009, 18:18   #9
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This thread made me start a new character today to prove how easy it can be to get simple armor, start with 3 blows (STR 18/40, DEX 18/10) with a rogue or paladin.

It was going great, level 5 in the first 10 minutes. THEN... I did something I said i would never do. Drink a potion when I was damaged, but in danger (since I didn't rest at all during my march to slaughter as much as I could). Of course, I picked a potion of sleep and a spider got me in a hallway.

However, if you don't do something stupid like I did, I find it pretty hard to die in the early stages unless you are totally reckless (as I was). The key is to get as many blows as possible (in my opinion)... Even a dagger 1d4 x 3 is better than a broad sword 2d5. You are ready to kill off a monster and need 1 hit with anything, and you're waiting to finally get 1 chance with your broad sword, but each turn you get 3 chances with your dagger......
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Old October 29, 2009, 04:48   #10
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I'm with deghler on this: consistent deaths befor dl 5 are a sign that you aren maximizing damage. For all classes except priest, starting weapon is usually suboptimal. For Mage, use a trident or nothing; for melée classes, use main gauche or rapier, depending on dex. (A dagger or even a club is better than a sword.)

For newbies, Set your initial (not base) CON to 14 or 18. AThese give 2x and 3x base regeneration, respectively. (CON for HP is not an issue until dl40.)

Invest your stat points in STR, DEX, and whatever is left over in spell stat. Newbie fighter types should generally start with 3 or 4 blows.
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