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Old December 20, 2015, 10:58   #1
Wanderlust
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Defensive equipment vs. spellcasting and stealth

D&D tradition has it that spellcasters can't wear armor. They need freedom of movement.

In Angband, I know heavier armors usually have a (-X) in their description. I think that's a reduction in the to-hit chance.

And of course there's the huge issue of weight.

Is there any other penalty associated with heavy armor? Can mages and other spellcasters wear whatever armor they want and still cast unimpeded (as long as they have enough strength to bear their load)?

In a similar vein, I noticed spellcasters get a message "your covered hands feel unsuitable for spellcasting" when they wear gloves. Does that mean the glove slot must go unused for those characters all game? Or can certain items be used in place of gloves?

How about stealth? Do armor, gloves, boots, shields, or other items cause stealth penalties for rogues or other stealth-base characters?

In general I'm curious about how the tradeoffs associated with armor, shields, and other defensive equipment is built into Angband ... or to look at it the other way, the tradeoffs associated with spellcasting and stealth.
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Old December 20, 2015, 11:06   #2
Carnivean
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Stealth is so much better than armour that the difference is hard to even quantify. Mages are designed to control their combats with spells and positioning. Stealth means less monsters awake, means less monsters to control. It also means that you can grab items without combats, if you get high enough.

Mages can wear a certain amount of total weight before their mana is decreased. Not sure about the failure rates, but I have a feeling they get worse too.

Gloves need to be alchemist gloves or having free action or they have a fairly severe impact.

Stealth is not impacted by the weight or type of armour, unless it has a modifier to stealth on it.
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Old December 20, 2015, 16:13   #3
Derakon
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Gloves that give a DEX boost also do not interfere with spellcasting. And priests get a penalty if they wield a sharp, non-blessed weapon. Otherwise, your stats are generally a straightforward addition of all of your modifiers, so there's no hidden "wear too much armor and your stealth goes down" kind of thing in the game or anything like that. Wear the best armor you can as long as the weight isn't an issue.
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Old December 21, 2015, 08:14   #4
Avenger
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Stealth better then armor? That's a new concept for me - my approach to a dungeon floor is "kill all of the things, then avail myself of their loot".

But yes, as far as casting goes, mages are penalized for any handgear that doesn't have free action or a dexterity bonus. If memory serves, older versions of Angband, and its predecessors, also penalized priests for most headgear, but that appears to be gone now - apparently the blunt or blessed weapon restriction was deemed sufficient.
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Old December 21, 2015, 08:54   #5
Wanderlust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
Stealth better then armor? That's a new concept for me - my approach to a dungeon floor is "kill all of the things, then avail myself of their loot".
Yes, this is a new concept for me too. I love the fact that in Angband running away is often the only survival strategy. That's one of the ways Angband forces me to think in a different way ...
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Old December 22, 2015, 16:31   #6
Rowan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
Stealth better then armor? That's a new concept for me - my approach to a dungeon floor is "kill all of the things, then avail myself of their loot".
Yep! That's the approach of most games (and gamers!). Angband is pretty unique- or at least rogues are.

I'm still tempted to blast everything I see. If you're careful enough, you can do it- but stealth is still more valuable than armor when you include it in your strategy.
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Old January 12, 2016, 09:27   #7
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
Stealth better then armor? That's a new concept for me - my approach to a dungeon floor is "kill all of the things, then avail myself of their loot".

But yes, as far as casting goes, mages are penalized for any handgear that doesn't have free action or a dexterity bonus. If memory serves, older versions of Angband, and its predecessors, also penalized priests for most headgear, but that appears to be gone now - apparently the blunt or blessed weapon restriction was deemed sufficient.
Mostly because armor is not very valuable, not because stealth is very valuable. Stealth is (up to some quite high point) more valuable than armor, though you do want some armor to reduce damage from melee.

I don't recall headgear restriction in any vanilla angbands, might have been some variant.

There is now one handgear type which mages can use even without DEX or FA bonus.
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