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Old September 15, 2021, 05:40   #11
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Is your Sil colleague an actual player on this site?

My Stealth approach is a bit un-orthodox. I use Stealth to create space. I put points on Stealth for Disguise and Vanish, and also Opportunist.
My best try at PosChengband 7.0.0's nightmare-mode on
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Old September 15, 2021, 08:36   #12
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Originally Posted by Joyous_Cow View Post
I'd love to hear about the stealth approach, actually! I am letting this melee bruiser sit for a bit so I can try the throne room with a friend and fellow SIL player that I'm visiting soon. So in the meantime I am working on a stealth singer.
Also open to general advice on how to play stealth characters. I thought I was doing okay with a stealth singer stabber, but I decided that's just spreading the XP too thin to really work.'m trying a Sindar stealth singer. Not going for pacifist but almost functionally plays out like that... How do you make a stealth character work? is an AAR of a pacifist Sil win I had a while ago, you may find some useful info in there.
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Old September 15, 2021, 11:18   #13
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Part of the trick to stealth builds is having good exploration habbits. If you stick to the walls you get a bonus to stealth. You get the same bonus whether you are a stealth build or not. So building in the habbits will make your bruisers stealthier too. You get a bonus when stationary. Wait in a corner for wargs and crebin to pass. Birds don't open doors. Shut them after the crebains pass. If you are patient enough to sit around watching things move you start picking up on movement patterns and build up good instincts.
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Old September 16, 2021, 00:57   #14
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Sorry for the massive amount of text. I decided to be pretty comprehensive here, partially to be helpful but also partially just to organize my thoughts on the topic.

First off, I definitely agree with the other observations about stealth so far. Stealth tactics can help you improve in Sil overall, for one. They can help you survive the early game, and avoid some fights later on. Quirk's AAR about stealth is very useful to look at as well. It is what got me started, and I've linked it to other people asking about stealth in the past. A three-sil pacificist run is very impressive and something that I have not yet achieved myself. Hugo's approach is funny because, at least from what I've seen, he plays as an ax-wielding maniac that is also stealthy. Goes to show you that stealth is useful even on combat characters. There are other useful stealth character files on the ladder as well.

For pacifists, I personally like to go with Noldor of Finarfin for the Perception affinity, and I take 0, 5, 2, 5 for stats. These are pretty extreme, though. More constitution would help to mitigate risks.

As far as abilities, Disguise is important and can be taken early. I like Dodging, since you will almost always be moving around in combat situations, in order to remove yourself from those combat situations. It's not necessary, but I like Song of Delvings as well. It can help you to plan how to move through the level, especially while being chased. Song of Silence is very useful of course. Keen Senses can really save you, especially early on when your light is low. I tend to take 2 Evasion, 6 Stealth, 3 Perception, 3 Song, Dodging, Keen Senses, Disguise, and Song of Delvings on turn 0. To be clear though, I like trying to do low-turncount stealth pacifist runs, so my decisions will not work for other playstyles.

Later on, I like to take Alchemy, since it prevents you from spending precious resources to identify items. I also just am not a huge fan of the ID game in roguelikes in general, so it's nice to bypass it. Listen is also very important for two reasons-- it helps you to stay away from difficult monsters, and also provides some passive XP, as you get XP for seeing (aka hearing) nearby monsters. You really need all the XP you can get in a pacifist run.

I've taken Song of Freedom before (but not often) because you will be too weak to move rubble, and traps like webs can get you killed pretty quickly. I also tend to take Channeling, as it helps to have some additional options by way of horns and staves, as you can't just fight your way out of a bad situation. Lorien is a very strong song, much recommended. Animals, like wolves, birds, and later on, vampires, have an easier time spotting you and can ruin a stealth run. However, they are also easier to put to sleep, and Lorien helps even out the playing field there. I like taking Sprinting, as it will help you to escape or avoid monsters. You can even go into Stealth mode and still move at normal speed. Exchange Places is also very helpful, and usually vital. I tend to hold off on taking it for a while until I need it, or I am late enough in the game that I have XP to spend. Very late in the game, it can be helpful to take an extra point in Grace or Dexterity.

As far as moving through the game-- definitely sticking to walls and corners is the way to go. I feel that you have to be careful with the stealth mode, since moving slowly can get you caught if monsters bump into you. It's still very helpful in many situations to be clear. If I want to assassinate something that is moving randomly, like a spider, I will often just hang around nearby and wait for it to step adjacent to me. Standing still gets you a nice (but implicit) stealth bonus.

Over time you learn about monsters and how to avoid them; things like which monsters appear alone or in groups at different depths, and how their movement works. As Wobbly said, slam doors on the beaks of Crebains. They move erratically, so if you are being pecked you may want to wait for them to create a tile of distance and then slam the door, instead of running down the corridor with the bird in hot pursuit. Be wary of Orc Scouts, Easterling Scouts, and Darting Horrors. One funny thing about monster movement is that they always cut corners. This means that, for example, if you are in a corridor that has a bend and you find that a Mewlip is coming towards you, you might want to hide in the corner. Mewlips are fast so you often can't escape the way you came, but if you hide in the corner they will usually just walk right past you. This also works in situations where you find that groups of monsters have entered the corridor both in front and behind you, which can be a death sentence for a pacifist. Monsters rarely go into the corners of rooms as well, so you can hide there and feel safe and clever. But then, sometimes, they do go into corners, and catch you feeling all safe and clever.

You lose one point of stealth for every 10 pounds of armor. This doesn't mean that you always have to stay under 10 pounds, but it's something to consider when making your armor decisions. Daggers and Curved Blades can have the Murder ego, which gets you Assassinate for assassin characters and just a nice stealth bonus for pacifists. Cuivienen is also an excellent ego for pacifists, so be sure to check every dagger. If you have no better options as a pacifist, you might as well wield something like a long sword for the +1 evasion bonus. Be sure to inscribe your weapon so that you don't accidentally hit something (or even kill it, god forbid!). The { key enters inscribe mode, and !a will have the game ask you before you attack.

Assassins are a lot of fun, but I have not won with one yet. You are right that they have a lot to juggle. It's probably very clear, but Assassinate, Finesse, and Subtlety can get you some huge crits. There is an interesting property of stealth where some bonuses are explicit and some are implicit. Implicit bonuses would be like the number of walls that you are adjacent to, which reduce the likelihood that you will be seen, but don't affect your Stealth stat. Explicit bonuses are things like wearing lighter armor and being in stealth mode, which do contribute to your stealth stat. Since the Assassinate ability uses your stealth stat, you actually gain +5 to your attack on unaware monsters just by switching to stealth mode, which is a free action. Just something to keep in mind. Song of Slaying in the latest beta can also help an assassin in fights that last longer than one blow. I've been experimenting with the new Formidable as well, since it seems advantageous to me to get a powerful killing first strike and have the other nearby monsters run away. I also like hanging out near hallway entrances and waiting for a group of monsters to pass, only to snag the last straggler without (hopefully) the others noticing. It feels very assassin-y.

Stairs are very strong in Sil, so feel free to use them. The stairs might collapse of course, but I find that it's best to push this mechanic instead of being afraid of it. Song of Delvings helps here to find a new staircase. Chasms are also a viable escape. I don't know the damage calculation, but I try to have at least 20HP before jumping in a chasm.

Finally, the throne room. If you have your stealth in at least the mid-20s (ideally more), you can go in stealth mode and usually just walk around without any issues. There are some secret doors and guaranteed loot and chests that it helps to learn about. You can put Morgoth to sleep with either Song of Lorien or a Staff of Slumber. Channeling helps if you are using a staff, as does Song of Staying. Staying was nerfed in the latest beta, but it's still helpful. It may not be ideal, but I also tend to put two points into Melee, take Finesse, and try to pry a sil with the lightest Great Spear I've found during the game, unless I find a better option. It's not a huge investment and it reduces the number of turns you have to spend standing next to our main man Morgs. I would also recommend putting some of the other monsters to sleep around the main throne room before taking the sil. They can wander around and might crowd the stairs.

The ascension is going to be tough. You have to pay attention to the message log and be very careful. Listen and Song of Delvings, or alternatively, Staff of Foes and Staff of Revelations, will help out a lot here. I find that, when things do go bad, it's usually best to quaff Quickness before any other action. If you have extra, I'd quaff Quickness when I get to the surface, as I've seen monsters come up those stairs many times. Quaff another right before leaving the gates, as Carcharoth will likely spot you (and the game is over anyway).

I'm probably forgetting things, but I've rambled long enough. The last thing to remember is that these are just thoughts and observations, not prescriptions. I'm not the best Sil player out there, just an enthusiast of stealth. Mess around, have fun, and see what works for you.
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Old September 21, 2021, 13:10   #15
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Originally Posted by MicroChasm View Post
Sorry for the massive ...
Thanks a lot for this feedback, i'm looking into explore more this kind of gameplay as i've told you on Angband live, it really fit in the lore of the world & the theme of the game!
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Old Yesterday, 13:00   #16
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Oh man, I'm.not familiar with this interface and didn't notice the whole second page of replies! Thanks for the discussion, y'all!

@MicroChasm, that writeup is really great, especially the throne room/ascent tips. I actually have a stealth singer (mostly singer) bopping around at 950 right now building up XP/gear.

Speaking of which, my stealth is at 19 and my song is at 31. What should I do with this 8000 XP I have sitting around? My min depth is still only 600... I'll post a character dump.

@Hugo: no, my Sil friend is an IRL friend who also plays a little, but is not active on this forum.

@Quirk: Hello and THANK YOU FOR THIS GAME. I used your pacifist win to benchmark how I built this one and so far so good! (Not actually pacifist but in retrospect I could have made it so. I did a few easy opportunity kills early on.) I'll start poking around the beta next and see if I have any useful feedback.
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Old Yesterday, 17:41   #17
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Originally Posted by Joyous_Cow View Post
Speaking of which, my stealth is at 19 and my song is at 31. What should I do with this 8000 XP I have sitting around? My min depth is still only 600... I'll post a character dump.
Assuming you're now on track for the throne-room, you will need:
- A sil-cutter. Sharp or large, it needs to cut through the crown's 10d4 of armour.
- At least one source of free action, two would be better. This is more important than your protection ring. If you're in a position to get hit you're in a world of pain anyway.
- Grace potions.
- A bit more Song. 33 takes you to 36 with a potion which I think should be reasonably safe, but if you can afford to go higher, do so. Lorien is your plan A here.

You need to plan an efficient escape. Staves of Revelations boosted by Channelling would work but you'll need a bunch more of them; Song of Delvings also does the trick. Sprinting and Vanish also have a lot of value but probably come second to knowing where you're going.

However don't spend all your XP on the escape plan yet, save it in case you need to grab Song of Mastery. Mastery can save you in situations where everything keeps waking up. It's better to exit the throne room with a Sil and a poorly prepared escape plan than to die because you couldn't quite get every relevant enemy to sleep and one kept waking the others.

Originally Posted by Joyous_Cow View Post
@Quirk: Hello and THANK YOU FOR THIS GAME. I used your pacifist win to benchmark how I built this one and so far so good! (Not actually pacifist but in retrospect I could have made it so. I did a few easy opportunity kills early on.) I'll start poking around the beta next and see if I have any useful feedback.
You're welcome!
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Old Yesterday, 19:27   #18
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Slamming into doors is loud and wraiths are hard to scare off.

Really appreciate the input! I'm going to make a singer work with everything I'm learning from y'all and my repeated silly deaths.
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