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Old January 13, 2014, 18:54   #1
gglibertine
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Question Stupid Angband Questions

I've been losing at Angband for 20 years on and off, with no real expectation of actually winning. As I was playing earlier, and then again while I was responding to a post elsewhere on the forum, it occurred to me that there are some fairly basic things I just don't know about gameplay that I probably should.

I will mention that I'm a chick, because I know how much guys love explaining things to chicks and I am not above taking full advantage of that.

1. I know you get XP from killing things, successfully casting a spell for the first time, disarming a trap -- I assume there are other things though I can't think what offhand -- but mostly you get XP from killing things. So if I'm playing a character who needs to avoid combat until they're studly enough to handle it, how do I gain XP? Or am I just out of luck on that one?

2. I know it's good to start out with a light weapon that gives you multiple blows -- but at what point in the game do the heavy weapons become preferable, or do they ever, really? Is it a matter of stats, or player level, or dungeon level, or what? My best guess is that once you've maxed out your stats you can get more blows with heavier weapons, but are you really ever going to get multiple blows with, say, a lance?

3. There are quite a few wands/staves that I've just never found very useful, but that sell for pretty good money in town. Confuse Monster, Slow Monster, Sleep Monster, &c. -- in my experience, anything I actually want to use those on is immune to it anyway. I have used a Staff of Slow Monsters to good effect in rooms full of rapidly multiplying lice, but other than that, are there any monsters these are genuinely useful against?

4. I had this crackheaded idea that a Hobbit Paladin would be really cool, if I could get her strength up quickly enough. What say you?
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Old January 13, 2014, 19:53   #2
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gglibertine View Post
I will mention that I'm a chick, because I know how much guys love explaining things to chicks and I am not above taking full advantage of that.
I'd like to think I'd give the same response regardless of your gender, but I'll never know now, will I?

Quote:
1. I know you get XP from killing things, successfully casting a spell for the first time, disarming a trap -- I assume there are other things though I can't think what offhand -- but mostly you get XP from killing things. So if I'm playing a character who needs to avoid combat until they're studly enough to handle it, how do I gain XP? Or am I just out of luck on that one?
If you have no way to kill things, then you're pretty much stuck. However, all classes ought to be able to kill things at the start. Mages have Magic Missile and everyone else is at least marginally competent in melee. You can also buy flasks of oil for throwing at monsters.

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2. I know it's good to start out with a light weapon that gives you multiple blows -- but at what point in the game do the heavy weapons become preferable, or do they ever, really? Is it a matter of stats, or player level, or dungeon level, or what? My best guess is that once you've maxed out your stats you can get more blows with heavier weapons, but are you really ever going to get multiple blows with, say, a lance?
It's a matter of stats and of the weapons getting better. An early Mace of Slay Troll is not as good as a magical Dagger, because the mace is too heavy for your stats to give additional blows, and the slay isn't very useful either, while the dagger can likely get you extra blows dealing significantly more damage in the average case. A lategame Mace of Disruption of Slay Evil will be quite competitive vs. say a Katana of Extra Attacks; even though you might get 4 extra blows/round with the Katana, the Mace of Disruption just hits so much harder that it makes back the difference easily.

Maces of Disruption are about as heavy as lances are. I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, but they're both pretty ridiculous.

Quote:
3. There are quite a few wands/staves that I've just never found very useful, but that sell for pretty good money in town. Confuse Monster, Slow Monster, Sleep Monster, &c. -- in my experience, anything I actually want to use those on is immune to it anyway. I have used a Staff of Slow Monsters to good effect in rooms full of rapidly multiplying lice, but other than that, are there any monsters these are genuinely useful against?
These are pretty limited, yeah. A Wand of Slow Monster can be quite useful against early uniques; it may take a lot of tries to get it to stick, but once you've slowed them down they're basically defenseless. The other ones are generally not worth the inventory slot to carry though. Staves of Slow/Confuse Monster also wake up everything in LOS when you use them, which can be really counterproductive.

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4. I had this crackheaded idea that a Hobbit Paladin would be really cool, if I could get her strength up quickly enough. What say you?
Sure, hobbits are a pretty good race. I've played hobbit warriors just fine and their combat stats are only a little better than paladins' are.
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Old January 13, 2014, 20:00   #3
Mondkalb
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1. Part of the learning curve of Angband is to know what monsters you can kill and what are better to be avoided. If you are playing a flimsy character it is a good idea to rely on stealth and to avoid most monsters until you have better equipment. Some of the early not moving monsters grant good experience; try to kill them from afar with ranged attacks to get some levels.
Stronger characters can kill pretty much everything on early levels.
Later in the game the use of probing rods and staffs can tell you how dangerous monsters might be and how many experience points you would get for killing them.
Use phase door scrolls to attack moving monsters and get away.
Also, it is vital to have means of escape like teleport level.

2. The modern angband versions tell you how many damage you will do with any weapon. Heavier weapons have better chances for critical hits. If your to hit ability is not too good more hits might be better than fewer just to increase chance of hitting.

3. Depends. I ususally don't use most of the staffs because they are heavy and block an inventory slot. They can be useful though. I use them when I find them in situations where they might help. Some uniques can be slowed which makes it easier to kill them.

4. Any class and race combo can win the game. A weak paladin might be a bit of a challenge. Hobbits have good stealth though and also good saving throws.
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Old January 13, 2014, 20:37   #4
gglibertine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I'd like to think I'd give the same response regardless of your gender, but I'll never know now, will I?
I hope the awful torment of not knowing doesn't drive you insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
If you have no way to kill things, then you're pretty much stuck. However, all classes ought to be able to kill things at the start. Mages have Magic Missile and everyone else is at least marginally competent in melee. You can also buy flasks of oil for throwing at monsters.
Yeah, you just have to apply more "strategery" to survive early on with a weak character. I was just idly hoping there was some secret way to build up XP without having to hurl endless missiles/flasks of oil/unID'd potions at every jelly I see.

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
A lategame Mace of Disruption of Slay Evil will be quite competitive vs. say a Katana of Extra Attacks; even though you might get 4 extra blows/round with the Katana, the Mace of Disruption just hits so much harder that it makes back the difference easily.
Ah, that clears things up a bit. I've tended to think only in terms of total cumulative damage with multiple hits, but I get it now -- if you can hit hard enough in a single blow, you may not need the others. I'll have to start looking harder at some of those heavier weapons.

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Maces of Disruption are about as heavy as lances are. I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, but they're both pretty ridiculous.
I think they're 20 lbs., and it does make perfect sense that you'd have to be pretty strong to wield such a thing. I have a hard enough time pouring cat food from a 20-lb. bag, let alone wave it menacingly at intruders. (One weapon I've always felt is too heavy in the game is the Quarterstaff. I've handled quite a few over the years (I used to hang out with medieval recreationists and martial artists), and I've never held one that felt that heavy at all.)

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
These are pretty limited, yeah. A Wand of Slow Monster can be quite useful against early uniques; it may take a lot of tries to get it to stick, but once you've slowed them down they're basically defenseless. The other ones are generally not worth the inventory slot to carry though. Staves of Slow/Confuse Monster also wake up everything in LOS when you use them, which can be really counterproductive.
Ha, so I was right. I kept thinking there must be something I was missing because they sell for so much... although, if you think about it, prices for items do not necessarily reflect their utility in all cases.

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Sure, hobbits are a pretty good race. I've played hobbit warriors just fine and their combat stats are only a little better than paladins' are.
Hmmmm... perhaps I'll try that next. I will admit, albeit shamefacedly, that I'm just too vain to play a dwarf or troll. Half-orcs are as far as I go. Orthodontia will fix that underbite, and I hear red worm mass hair removal is the very latest thing in all the top salons!

Last edited by gglibertine; January 13, 2014 at 20:43.
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Old January 13, 2014, 20:50   #5
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I will admit, albeit shamefacedly, that I'm just too vain to play a dwarf or troll. Half-orcs are as far as I go.
Oh dear. Half-Trolls are fantastic fun to play. It's so liberating being able to just smash your face through every enemy you see in the first 1000' or so. You really should give one a shot sometime.
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Old January 14, 2014, 09:01   #6
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gglibertine View Post
1. I know you get XP from killing things, successfully casting a spell for the first time, disarming a trap -- I assume there are other things though I can't think what offhand -- but mostly you get XP from killing things. So if I'm playing a character who needs to avoid combat until they're studly enough to handle it, how do I gain XP? Or am I just out of luck on that one?
I'll answer just this because others covered the other questions quite well.

Get a bow. A longbow or xBow. Use it. Sling if there are nothing better in shops.

Being able to kill from distance is very important on early survival, and stays important thorough entire game. Each turn monster uses to advance toward you is turn you didn't get any damage.
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Old January 20, 2014, 09:23   #7
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Just wanna second that half trolls are really fun. They are my goto race anytime I start getting frustrated playing elves or hobbits. Mind you, I've never won the game but I always get a lot further with half trolls. They just mop up the floor with everything they come across.
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Old January 21, 2014, 05:39   #8
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Oh dear. Half-Trolls are fantastic fun to play. It's so liberating being able to just smash your face through every enemy you see in the first 1000' or so. You really should give one a shot sometime.
I like half trolls the best, so much I have won with half troll on every class... mage was bit of challenge in early and in mid game.
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:19   #9
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I like half trolls the best, so much I have won with half troll on every class... mage was bit of challenge in early and in mid game.
Shows the importance of HP I guess. I think H-Troll warrior is only combo that can get double-manastormed by Morgoth and walk away.
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Old January 22, 2014, 10:37   #10
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Shows the importance of HP I guess. I think H-Troll warrior is only combo that can get double-manastormed by Morgoth and walk away.
Imo it shows rather the importance of strength.....half-trolls come with sustain as well.
More accurately, it shows the importance of speed. In the all important early game, str = speed.
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