(Let's Play!) Slash'EM Extended, a NetHack fork

KoboldLord

Registered User
Validated User
#21
- When I designed some of Slash'EM Extended's features, I was fully aware of the fact that I'm a sadistic programmer (I refuse to call myself "programmeress" because that just sounds weird, even though it is a rank title of the added Geek role, but that one's from another NetHack fork anyway) and some of my changes are probably just plain cruel. But for the sake of it, I'd love to know what specific things struck you as making the game "much worse"; there are also some features that I "stole" from SporkHack (monster generation speeding up after some time, Elbereth nerf etc.) that I seem to remember you talking about in your Let's Play thread as being useful and/or necessary.
Well, I ought to make a major clarification here. I am going entirely by the wiki page you linked to and your Let's Play, so I would not classify my opinion on Extended as authoritative. I do not know what you've done with monster generation or Elbereth other than what you've shown here, although if you have rock trolls spawning from the very beginning of the game I do have to wonder what's going on there.

I do feel secure in my belief that regular Slash'EM is heading off in the wrong development direction. Gonzo can be good, but it is also hard to design because more features need to be tested with every other feature to make sure everything continues working together in a way that is all three of challenging, fair, and fun. Vanilla Nethack is extremely hard at the beginning and utterly trivial after the Castle, and Slash'EM addresses this imbalance by making the beginning even more arbitrarily difficult while simultaneously making the too-easy late game even easier. Monsters with higher stats don't make gameplay more interesting unless they're doing something interesting in the context of the terrain or the other monsters around them. Certainly, Slash'EM does have a lot of good things in it, but as near as I can tell there's no gatekeeper deciding which ideas are good and which need revision. Patches appear to get slapped in regardless of whether they are great, destructive, or outright broken code.

Maybe Extended is better off with a single coder at the head of the project. If so, that's great! I might well have been misled by the fact that you're doing crazy things like use-identifying consumables and running ultra-hard polymorphitis starting combos, and normal play for a more typical combo might be much better than default Slash'EM. But then I take a look at the inclusion of the transvestite role and all that implies, and I don't think I'm going to be playing this fork. I see you've had this discussion before, and I'm probably not going to be the last to say this, but the fact that you did not intend it to be offensive does not change the fact that it breaks new grounds in offensiveness.

Bluescreenofdeath said:
- The price identification nerf works in a very simple way: All items of a type have the same base price, e.g. every potion has a value of 300. Trying to sell/buy them will always yield the same prices, so the player can no longer say "ahh this scroll only costs 20-something, so it has to be identify".
That sounds like a pretty sensible solution. It still isn't going to be a good idea to use-identify consumables, though. If you want to change that, you're going to have to make the dangerous ones a lot less lethal. A character is not likely going to survive being killed, so a player who wants a character to actually win should avoid doing things that are likely to get that character killed. Were scrolls of identify not in the game, most consumables would be better off left unidentified entirely. Stuff that's actually good will usually be used by monsters, too.

Bluescreenofdeath said:
Yes, I'm aware that use-identifying scrolls and potions isn't always a good thing (unless I happen to find the same one again), but I'm also always afraid of getting hit by fire/cold attacks and losing my consumables without any chance to find out what they would have done.
The floor is guaranteed 100% safe if you're off-level. No need to carry them along if they're not safe to use anyway.
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#22
Okay, so I've been working on the next version yesterday but didn't quite finish it; this means it will take some more time but hopefully it's ready to be published soon. Thanks for your character suggestion, Njorhg; the vampire gangster would need a gender and alignment too, and I guess you thought of a chaotic male so that's what I will pick. Of course you're free to change that to lawful/neutral/female if you want, as there will be some time left until I'll start that character.

Current character queue:
  • Andrensath: Exituko, a female chaotic drow samurai.
  • James Weatherby: Nightfrost: Male Chaotic Drow Ice Mage.
  • Njorhg: Al Dracul, Vampire Gangster.

There will be some teaser screenshots from my current development version and some teaser information about the new features below. Of course you're right about many things, KoboldLord, so I'll try to clarify a few things:
I do not know what you've done with monster generation or Elbereth other than what you've shown here, although if you have rock trolls spawning from the very beginning of the game I do have to wonder what's going on there.
Yeah, the monster generation is wacky in the current release and will be fixed a bit in the upcoming version. It's supposed to be possible for the game to spawn outta-depth monsters early, but they were appearing way too often, so this will be toned down a lot. Actually the rock trolls were part of my "group spawn" routine that's currently in a testing stage (sort of), and probably this group spawn system will get tweaked several times in future versions until I get the feeling it works as intended.

Maybe Extended is better off with a single coder at the head of the project. If so, that's great! I might well have been misled by the fact that you're doing crazy things like use-identifying consumables and running ultra-hard polymorphitis starting combos, and normal play for a more typical combo might be much better than default Slash'EM.
Well... maybe, but currently I'm also the only one who can find (and then hopefully fix) bugs and imbalances. And while I'm quite thorough at finding bugs, the fact that I've never done the ascension run outside of wizard mode testing or beaten any quest means there are areas of the game where bugs are likely to exist, and of course I'll not recognize every imbalance in the game either. The polymorphitis starting combo was run because this thread's audience requested it, not because I voluntarily wanted to play such an unplayable character. :D

But then I take a look at the inclusion of the transvestite role and all that implies, and I don't think I'm going to be playing this fork. I see you've had this discussion before, and I'm probably not going to be the last to say this, but the fact that you did not intend it to be offensive does not change the fact that it breaks new grounds in offensiveness.
Yeah, I know about that. Still, the only thing I can say is that there's lots of other roles, so nobody is forced to play the one single role they feel uncomfortable with. And also, there's another freeware roguelike called Elona that also allows the player to start with a leashed little girl as a pet (which can even be manipulated to give birth to children if I understand it right!) and nobody has ever complained about that despite its possible implications...

About the use-identify process, well, sure there are some bad consumables but there are also some great ones, including new scrolls/potions of "increase player character's max HP or mana by a fairly large amount" that can actually be very useful. And due to the wacky monster generation routine (but that's going to be changed as detailed above) I can't always be sure to come back to earlier levels if I leave scrolls on the ground there; the fact that I still often die early means I probably won't accumulate a sizable amount of scrolls/potions to recognize the identify scroll based on the amount. Generally speaking, items are quite a bit more rare in the currently released version compared to vanilla, so maybe I should change that to make sure the player at least gets some identify scrolls. And containers, argh, the game almost never seems to spawn them lately, meaning I can't just put all of my scrolls/potions safely into a bag or box! So there's lots of stuff that I might be changing...

But anyway, time for some teaser screenshots.



Unfortunately one of the lower-case o monsters in that big room had been displaced by a random nymph in the first screenshot. The second one shows off the new glib vortex that has a sliming engulf attack, and the last one is a hint about one of the new monster classes that will be added. There will be a total of five all-new monster types, complete with new glyphs to represent them, but I'm not going to exactly tell what they are :D. What I can tell right now, though, is that it will be possible for the player character to be eaten by a grue. There's also going to be a new monster type that not only ignores Elbereth but has a new type of attack which erases Elbereth engravings from underneath the player, even if they are burned into the floor. These attacks can be melee, gaze-based or passive.

Of course there's also a lot of other new monsters, and one of the problems associated with that is that I seem to always create very dangerous/difficult new monsters, meaning the game will rarely spawn ones that are less dangerous. So I'll probably have to add some less dangerous ones, too. If I were really sadistic I could even make a sea monster with an instant drowning attack; actually, it's very easy to do so: just add a wrap attack to a lichen and allow it to swim. If the wrap attack comes after the sticky attack, the lichen can (in one round of combat) stick to the player and then, since it's already holding the player, instantly drown them with no chance for the player to live. This "water lichen" monster actually exists now, too, but I've reversed the order of their attacks so they can only do the sticky attack after the wrap attack, meaning the player will have enough time to kill the lichen before getting drowned.

There will also be a new monster species populating water levels, and we're all going to love it: the tentacruel, which can (obviously) drown the player but also has a poison breath attack. I'll have to remember to make them resistant to reflected rays, though. And there are no annoying zubat swarms in the game yet, so they'll probably get added too. They will at least get a confusion attack, but maybe also a poison attack to make them more annoying (in Slash'EM Extended, poison can still drain stats even if the player is resistant). :D Oh, and by the way, the tension rooms are working in my current development version already. They will be random rooms filled to the brim with monsters of one randomly selected type, and they can be generated as early as dungeon level 2. If the random monster type happens to be a T, the room may very probably be populated with outta-depth rock trolls. This of course means that they have to be rare enough or players will be screwed by those rooms over and over. But maybe I can do all of these changes and adjustments when I get home today, and upload a working version soon.

Until next time, see you all! ;)

PS: The currently uploaded version has a loophole (which has been closed in the development version) that allows the player character to polymorph into a Ho-oh, which was never intended to be possible. If anyone who is currently playing SlasH'EM Extended can do controlled polymorphs, they may want to polymorph into the big fiery bird of doom to fly around and quickly kill anything that moves! :D
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#23
:D Finally! It's done! Slash'EM Extended version v26 has been uploaded! :D

That sure took quite some time, but it's done now. It can still be downloaded here, and for all those who would rather like to compile the game from source or make their own changes prior to compiling, here's the source code. Character savefiles from previous versions aren't compatible though. Now, everyone may enjoy the new Slash'EM Extended and have hundreds of hours of pure fun (and YASD/DYWYPI ;)), probably even more! :cool: And of course I'll continue playing the audience-requested characters soon. By the way, I'm still open for new character suggestions which I'll play as soon as the current queue is depleted.

Now, it's time for me to show off some of the new version's features:



Seeing this glyph translates to "Be very afraid." These monsters are fully capable of taking out even high-level characters very quickly, do not respect Elbereth, and are likely to spawn later in the game. Even more dangerous is the "9" glyph (yes, the number nine), which will only appear rarely (mostly in Gehennom or during the ascension run), and while a character with warning will still only see them as a 5 if they're not actually seen, their danger level actually corresponds to a 9. Be prepared for a hasty retreat if the game ever generates a monster represented by a 9. :D



Grues have been added (as promised); they don't get any benefit from being in dark rooms, but their glyph makes them hard to recognize. They also have a 50% chance to displace a player who tries to melee them. This specific one is a multicolor grue, which have a random breath attack as well as randomized melee/passive attacks. Players without magic resistance should hope they don't hit the low (about 2%) chance of the multicolor grue actually having the touch of death attack! :D



This is one of the anti-Elbereth monsters that can erase engravings from underneath the player. They also ignore Elbereth, so a player trying to camp on a burned Elbereth will either have to move off the square or lose the engraving. Any engravings that aren't on the same square as the player are safe, though.



In this screenshot, the player is polymorphed into a red slime, which is an oviparous monster. Yes, it can lay eggs to produce tame red slimes.



And this is sort of a "turret" (though it's capable of moving around); a sentient wall that can use weapons or simply slam into the player in melee. Have fun fighting them! :)

By the way, it would be interesting to hear other players' thoughts on the variant. Are there any Slash'EM Extended players around here? If so, I'd love talking about the variant's gameplay with you and maybe even read about your characters' adventures! See you soon! ;)
 

Svlad

Registered User
Validated User
#24
Yeah, I know about that. Still, the only thing I can say is that there's lots of other roles, so nobody is forced to play the one single role they feel uncomfortable with. And also, there's another freeware roguelike called Elona that also allows the player to start with a leashed little girl as a pet (which can even be manipulated to give birth to children if I understand it right!) and nobody has ever complained about that despite its possible implications...
I am someone who plays Elona and I find a lot of Elona's content objectionable. At least one such person does in fact exist, and you're talking to him. I also find your transvestite class objectionable. Since elaborate reasoning has apparently not been very effective in changing your mind, I'm just going to politely ask. Please, please consider removing the transvestite class. It is not making the world a better place, and it is degrading to find content like this in games I otherwise enjoy.

While I'm advocating for changes in game design..

I like the fact that price-identification has been removed. I've tried Nethack a bit and found that it's mostly a test of my ability to read spoilers and be extremely detail-oriented. with price identification being an excellent example of the problem. A perusal of the wiki page suggests that you're going in the direction I'd hope for, namely making tedious player behaviors a waste of time and effort. In pursuit of this, have you given any thought to just nuking Sokoban outright? What about either nuking pet theft from stores or making it an intentional mechanic which is easy to execute but limited in some sane way? Have you considered reducing the number of gratuitous action types so that "extended" commands are no longer necessary?

I like the gonzo wackiness, I may be persuaded to pick your branch up soon and see if it makes me any happier than default Nethack.

I feel I should pay a proposed character tax for posting this, so enjoy playing a reference to some obscure books:
Tomokato, Lawful Male Khajiit Samurai.
 

Cult Classic

A cautionary tale
Validated User
#25
Finally got to play a few games- *love* all the general whackiness! Running across metroids, mico-space fleets, etc. sure got a smile from me.

Yeah... The game is a bit too hard now to "really" play though for reasons you already seem aware of. The player just has no chance. A lot of the new races & classes are pretty cool in theory, but too many of them don't provide enough benefits to offset the new challenges. Maybe that was intentional? As long as you're going with a 'kitchen sink' approach here, you might throw in some intentionally overpowered starting options to function as sort of a beginner mode. Asgardian race? Cyborg class? Not sure. (If you really want to crank things to 11, you could always make a "Superhero" class or something, with randomly generated abilities and flaws. That would probably be a nightmare to program though.)

Question: Is it still possible to drive a monster type into extinction by killing enough of them? That was always one of my favorite features of the old Nethack variants, but I'm not sure if it carried over into Slashem.

In any case, I'll be interested in seeing how this project progresses, though I may wait around until a more stable version appears before getting too invested.
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#26
Another little update has been implemented, fixing some more annoying bugs; it used to be possible to get several bells of opening (whoops) and the player could incorrectly try to stop levitating at any time; even though that didn't work, it wasn't ever supposed to be possible to even attempt. These things have been fixed, and some of the new races and monsters were behaving incorrectly, this has also been fixed. Downloading the new version is recommended (the link is still the same); current characters/savegame files (all those from v26 onward) should be compatible, but players are advised to make a backup just in case.

Thanks for your character suggestion and interest in the variant, Svlad. Actually I'm surprised that people exist who openly admit they think Elona has questionable content; I've never heard anyone ever complain about those things yet, so I just assumed people think it's all fine (and as a matter of fact, I don't object to any of Elona's content). About removing roles that I spent lots of hours coding and assuring they work as intended, sorry but that's not happening. Really, I don't know what's so hard about just ignoring the one role one feels uncomfortable with; if I were to play a game that sounds interesting and has lots of content (and a freeware one, too!), and it has 25 roles out of which I can't stand a single one for whatever reason, that certainly wouldn't prevent me from playing the game. As a matter of fact, if there were for example a "misogynist" role (not that I'd ever create that), or an "abusive parent" one, they would strike me as being offensive and I'd probably not play them because I'm sensitive to those themes, but I'd just play some other role instead.

A perusal of the wiki page suggests that you're going in the direction I'd hope for, namely making tedious player behaviors a waste of time and effort. In pursuit of this, have you given any thought to just nuking Sokoban outright? What about either nuking pet theft from stores or making it an intentional mechanic which is easy to execute but limited in some sane way? Have you considered reducing the number of gratuitous action types so that "extended" commands are no longer necessary?
Some tedious activities are supposed to be toned down; pudding farming and altar farming, for example. Puddings are extremely deadly monsters now, with both active and passive illness attacks, lower chances to split, and the ability to steal intrinsics (like gremlins), including intrinsic sickness resistance and other hard-or-impossible-to-get-back intrinsics. Altars can randomly break if used too often, and if there's an aligned priest tending the altar, sancutary/protection are no longer available. Building and managing stashes is less necessary thanks to the increased carryweight limit. However, removing the ability to shoplift is rather hard to code, and Sokoban is actually supposed to stay, although I will admit I've made changes to make it much less repetitive. For example, sometimes the Sokoban levels have water/ice/clouds/iron bars/lava/<insert random terrain type here> instead of walls, allowing the player to shortcut an entire level if they have the right items. Completely removing actions the player can perform is out of the scope of this project, though. Part of what makes NetHack so much fun to me is the great number of things one can do, and removing stuff like #ride or #technique would greatly reduce the fun factor for me.

Finally got to play a few games- *love* all the general whackiness! Running across metroids, mico-space fleets, etc. sure got a smile from me.

Yeah... The game is a bit too hard now to "really" play though for reasons you already seem aware of. The player just has no chance. A lot of the new races & classes are pretty cool in theory, but too many of them don't provide enough benefits to offset the new challenges. Maybe that was intentional? As long as you're going with a 'kitchen sink' approach here, you might throw in some intentionally overpowered starting options to function as sort of a beginner mode. Asgardian race? Cyborg class? Not sure. (If you really want to crank things to 11, you could always make a "Superhero" class or something, with randomly generated abilities and flaws. That would probably be a nightmare to program though.)
Maybe you'll want to download the updated version that makes the game a little bit less hard. ;) Actually there are some starting options that may very well be overpowered; for example, the "trollor" race has a significant chance of auto-reviving on death, and also starts with regeneration and some very useful intrinsics. What are the character combinations you tried to play? Maybe I can also add some of them to my character queue, to see how far I can take them. New races/classes are a possibility, though I don't really know (at the moment) what their unique benefits might be; I was also thinking about a randomly generated class but the save/restore function would, as you put it, make it a pain in the rear to code.

Or well, maybe I can create some player variables that are randomly rolled upon starting the game, which then get translated into intrinsics/techniques, but that might just as well cause players to startscum until they get what they want... or maybe find some way to randomly select some intrinsic and/or technique to gain from leveling up? Maybe the "asgard" race could, for example, roll a d4 on leveling up and if it's a 4, they randomly get an intrinsic out of a pool of available ones, and a "cyborg" class randomly gets a technique if they roll a 4? That might be interesting, but there's also the possibility to get level drained, so there needs to be some variable that checks whether a player reached an experience level they didn't have before...

Question: Is it still possible to drive a monster type into extinction by killing enough of them? That was always one of my favorite features of the old Nethack variants, but I'm not sure if it carried over into Slashem.
Yes, it's possible to extinct a monster if 120 of them are created. Due to the much higher amount of monster species though, it's unlikely for that to happen anytime soon in a game. Nazgul and Erinyes can still be extinct by creating 9 or 3 of them, respectively. There's also scrolls of mass murder (similar to genocide), undo genocide (to make a monster type appear again, but that probably doesn't work on extinct monster types, just genocided ones) and of course the standard genocide scrolls. ;)

And now, it's time for this Let's Play to continue.

-------

The next character that's going to be killed off has been suggested by Andrensath: Exituko, a female chaotic drow samurai. Actually the drow is a very strong race with an unarmed sleep-inducing attack, which allowed me to PUNCH OUT DEMOGORGON WITH BARE HANDS of all things (it was the only time I ever fought Demogorgon outside of wizmode testing) once. In fact the sleeping attack was so overpowered, poor Demogorgon did never even so much as land a single blow. That means the drow's special attack is nerfed, of course; now there's only about a 50% max chance to successfully put an enemy to sleep. Still, this character will hopefully survive at least a few dungeon levels.

Samurai don't get any special starting items in Slash'EM Extended, just a katana, dark elven short sword, yumi and 32 ya, and rustproof splint mail, all of them +0. No spells, but at least the kiii and appraisal techniques. Moving out now. Level 1 was unremarkable, apart from my starting pet dog being too stOOpid to fricking find the way to the stairs! Well screw him too, I'm going on alone! A newt on dlvl 2 dropped a small shield, and wear-testing it shows it's +0 and thankfully not cursed. Found some random +1 arrows that may be useful if I start using the bow. Also a blindfold, but acquiring telepathy is a lot more difficult in Slash'EM Extended; eating a floating eye only has a very low chance of conferring telepathy.

A sewer rat dropped a black potion, so let's show off our quaff-testing abilities! :D Hmm, blessed monster detection, and currently there are a floor grue, a red blob, a novice light wall and a peaceful mini gremlin on this level. Hopefully the game won't spawn outta-depth rock trolls again (the wacky spawn routines have been fixed). Killing the red blob finally nets me a level up. Descending down to dlvl 3 now, and there's a kitten. Also a chest, but what the hell is going on here?



OMG! 5282 weight units worth of stuff??? What the hell is in there? Well, let's remove the annoying kitten from existence first. And... the heavy item in the chest is another container, an ice box to be exact, which I probably won't be able to lift out of the chest. There's also some boots, an egg, apples and a spellbook in there. Shooting an arrow at the kitten kills it, and I've leveled up again. Reading the spellbook turns out to be "chemistry", a level 1 divination spell that currently has 42% fail chance and doesn't really do anything unless the player somehow gets their hands on a chemistry set, which is a very rare tool imported from NHTNG.

Somehow I actually manage to lift the ice box out of the chest and then quickly drop it again as another jackal is closing in on me. As expected, there's a crapload of corpses in there. Let's take out the floating eye corpse and eat it. Unfortunately it doesn't give me telepathy though, so I eat a shrieker corpse next which also does nothing. By taking out and eating even more corpses, I get the box's weight down to 1250, which means that I can finally pick it up without being burdened, and start using it as my regular container to store all of my loot. This of course means lugging it around all the time. An ice box is actually very good for keeping corpses fresh and getting them to an altar, so I'll probably keep it even if the game spawns a bag of holding later.

Using read-identify on a random scroll :)D) turned out to be undo genocide, another NHTNG import that's currently of no use to me because nothing has been genocided yet. On a side note, ungenomold characters cannot ungenocide their own race; they're supposed to always be genocided, and the dev team thinks of everything, hahaha! Also found a bottle, which is yet another NHTNG item. Weird, they're actually all very rare.



Hmm. This artifact should be chaotic, but I'll check the spoiler to be sure... yep, it *should* be safe to pick it up. The spoiler page also says it does +10 damage and has a 25% chance of doing even more than that, so if it doesn't blast me to death, my samurai will suddenly be very powerful indeed! And it actually didn't blast me, so I should be able to quickly kill any low-level monsters now. Found an aluminium wand, and engrave-testing shows it's enlightenment: currently I'm fervently aligned, standing on an active Elbereth engraving, have 1725 points of nutrition remaining and can safely pray, and I'm also fast. Things are looking good! :) (Of course this means that RNG has a nasty surprise for me up his sleeve.)

The doomblade just plain rocks, it's capable of one-hitting the annoying nymph that spawns upon entering the mall level! :D I also ate the corpse but didn't get the coveted teleportitis. A bugbear required two hits though, and also dropped a tanko and a nunchaku, and I've found a ninja-to too; sadly I don't understand Japanese, so I don't know what these items are. Killing muggers and finding items now, a random spellbook turned out to be confuse monster; 62% fail though. Also a force bolt spellbook that's at 42% fail. There are a whole lot of blue scrolls in a shop and more of them on the ground; I'm quite sure they have to be identify.

Or maybe they aren't. Just tried to read-identify a blue scroll labeled GHOTI, but it was scare monster. :( I had hoped for it to be identify, preferably blessed, because now I also have green scrolls labeled IAZNAB and CLONE MONSTER which will have to be read-identified now, too. The IAZNAB scroll doesn't seem to do anything, and the CLONE MONSTER one was enchant armor, increasing the AC of my pair of boots. Total AC is -7 now. Killing some hill orcs now; I hope they don't have poisoned arrows, because I'm not resistant yet.



Argh! This will very probably be something really bad... oh wait, it's sleep, and I'm resistant thanks to leveling up enough times. Luring the orcs out of the shop allowed me to kill them without giving them a chance to waste more charges. Next level has a tengu which I eat, but of course I don't get anything. Got hit by something throwing a potion of paralysis at me, but thankfully it didn't attack during that time, and it also quaffed a potion without a way for me to see what it does; maybe it was invisibility? Yep, there's something I can't see. Took two hits to put it down; it was a dwarven wizard who also had a random scroll labeled MEAD NI NAJAP. However, I've quaff-identified a potion of levitation and can't stop it at will, so I'll just camp out on the scroll and wait for levitation to wear off.

The scroll was blessed teleport, so I'm lucky the dwarf didn't get a chance to use it. Read-identifying more scrolls give me "hands glow red" as well as a heavy iron ball that I can't pick up without being burdened (argh).



Thankfully the paralysis didn't last longer, so I can try to kill this snow ant now. Killing it caused me to level up to character level 8, but a bannik spawns and takes off more than half of my max HP before Doomblade finally kills it. Went down the stairs losing only a few hit points to the iron ball, and killed a gelatinous cube whose corpse didn't grant any intrinsics of course. Also tamed a housecat with a fortune cookie, and called it Manzanaro. Together we took down a baby red dragon, and several other monsters are killed. Then it's down to dlvl 8.

Eating a squealer takes down my strength to 17, causing me to be burdened. Taking out a barking spider corpse from my ice box and eating it makes it worse, and none of those corpses seem to give me poison resistance yet. But there's a black unicorn! Let's go, Manzanaro, we're going to take that blasted thing out together! Hmm, wait a moment, why the hell is there a HOSTILE black unicorn if I'm chaotic? Better not kill it myself, cause I'll nuke my luck and alignment record if I do.



Oh no, is that a soldier ant that's going to kill me? An Elbereth drove it off, and Manzanaro hit it a few times and I also pumped some arrows into it. Managed to take out the orc-captain, but then the dwarf king killed Manzanaro.



Argh! I'm lucky they didn't kill me while I was paralyzed, and I'm totally using a sleep charge on them now. Tried a wand of "no effect on engraving" on Manzanaro, but it re-created a broken door at the end of the hallway instead, so it's a nearly useless wand of locking and not undead turning. :( But wait! There's an ice box in my inventory, so I just put Manzanaro inside, and if I ever find a wand of undead turning, I might resurrect him! Had to eat a lamb corpse from the box to become unburdened again, and while eating I "sense a faint wave of psychic energy". Great, just what I needed.

Found the brain eater, and thankfully Doomblade killed it in one hit. No corpse though, which means no free intelligence boost for me. Killed some hill orcs and reached experience level 9, also found another scroll of enchant armor on one of the corpses which gets put in the box. The level had a second upstairs, which I used, so I'm in Sokoban now. Random wand #1 does nothing when used to engrave but also doesn't revive Manzanaro; probably a wand of opening.



Why are these hallucinogen-distorted whatevers trying to rip me a new one? I've never done anything to upset them in the first place!

Well, I tried to get away and/or line them up for a zap of my sleep wand, but it didn't work out. R.I.P. Exituko, chaotic female droven Samurai died in Sokoban on level 7, killed by a hallucinogen-distorted crow. I had a random -6 pair of cursed kicking boots in my inventory, and also a +2 elven leather helmet, an uncursed ring of levitation, an uncursed(!) one of -3 gain dexterity (weird that this one wasn't generated cursed), as well as other assorted items; the wand on this Sokoban level had actually been a wand of nothing. Argh. And I didn't get the chance to allow the randomly generated rock mole to eat my heavy iron ball. The combination of hallucination from an invisible exploding light + huge swarm of crows (9 of them had been created, and I only managed to kill one) proved too much for my samurai.

Sayonara, shiawasena hakkingu! :)

PS, character queue time (new entries are always welcome):
  • James Weatherby: Nightfrost: Male Chaotic Drow Ice Mage
  • Njorhg: Al Dracul, Vampire Gangster.
  • Svlad: Tomokato, Lawful Male Khajiit Samurai.
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#27
YANU (yet another new update), all players please download and use the updated version: there was a nasty bug associated with cockatrices and new moons, where the game would just close with no message if the player heard the cockatrice's hissing. This has been fixed; the reason was an error in the "lizard corpse in inventory" check routine that the compiler didn't catch. Now, players can be turned to stone as intended again. ;)

And also, let's try our next character.

We're going to see Nightfrost: Male Chaotic Drow Ice Mage, the character suggested by James Weatherby. In this thread I've already played the other two elemental battlemages, the Flame and Electric Mage, and the Ice mage is at a disadvantage since he doesn't start out with a wand that can burn permanent Elbereths. It's also a new moon tonight, so I need to be extra careful around cockatrices. Techniques are reinforce memory and appraisal, starting spells are freeze sphere, cone of cold and confuse monster. There's also a scroll of identify, a potion of blindness and a ring of sustain ability in my starting inventory.

There's a clumsy amulet (actual description, and I didn't create that one; can't remember what other NetHack variant I stole that from) that my starting pet dog doesn't seem to step on. Probably our inevitable DYWYPI screen will later show me it was strangulation, but of course I'm not wear-testing it now :D. Found a random wand of striking, and...



I swear by the name of Smoke (fire and ice mages get quite sucky names for their gods, unfortunately) that I'm not using cheats here. A random jackal actually dropped a BDSM on death!!! Of course this once again means that YASD is just waiting around the corner with big, pointy teeth, but unless the mail randomly happens to be cursed -9 or something, this is a great early-game find. There's also a ring that StarWolf doesn't seem to step on, so I'll just pick it up but don't wear it.

Okay, so the BDSM is cursed -1, but it still provides 8 points of AC and I don't have a reason to take it off any time soon. Probably I'll blunder into a random polymorph trap and break out of it soon, though. Descend down to dlvl 2, finding a scroll labeled YOU DONT STAND A CHANCE, but this time I won't be read-identifying that one because the game probably spawns lots of destroy armor scrolls now, hoping for me to read them and destroy my BDSM! Also encountered an altar that may get converted later, and confirmed the ring and amulet to be cursed. There are also 2 uncursed identify scrolls already; hopefully a container will appear soon so I can protect them from fire damage.



Told ya that was going to happen. Thankfully I turn into a female blue dragon though (I wasn't sure if this polymorph was guaranteed), so I'm totally laying some eggs now, hoping to get a few pet blue dragons. The polymorph didn't last all that long, but now I have a pet baby blue dragon named Andrensath, and also found yet another scroll of identify as well as a swirly potion that quaff-tested as object detection. And... the other egg that I had laid also hatched tame, so, welcome to the team, KoboldLord the baby blue dragon! :) Let's hope all those pets aren't going to steal the corpses I need to eat.

Okay, so KoboldLord and Andrensath help me out by killing some annoying monkeys, and I even get to eat one corpse.



Damn, this is a monkey/ape group spawn, right? There's no other way the game could have spawned so many Y-class monsters on one single level. Too bad my pets are having trouble finding their way to me, so now I'll cast tons of freeze spheres hoping to prevent the monkeys from killing me. Finally all the monkeys and the mummy are killed, so I'm altar-testing my stuff; good thing I didn't put on the mummy wrapping since it was spawned cursed. There's a stack of 14 blessed +1 darts though, which may prove to be very useful, and yet another uncursed scroll of identify to add to my collection.

My pets are having trouble getting to me, so I'm only taking Andrensath down the stairs to dlvl3. There's a rock piercer and yet another altar. Finally reached basic in unarmed combat. There's also a leash, which I am going to drag to the altar and apply to Andrensath if it's not cursed, allowing him to - Hey, Andrensath? What are you doing?



Great, he's a giant turtle now, which is a very slow-moving monster type that's basically of no use. Let's see if we can turn him into something stronger instead. He became a huge eel... and now somehow he doesn't seem to change again, even if I lead him over the trap by using the blessed leash?! What's up with that? But we need to remove the trap, because otherwise RNG would spawn a newt in that room, have him polymorph into an arch-lich, teleport next to me and use touch of death. So I deliberately trigger it to become a blue dragon, but this time I'm still male, which means no more eggs.

Found a scroll labeled DUCTUM ADIS and quaff-identified a potion that turned out to be gain energy. Now I'm down in the Gnomish Mines, with eel-Andrensath who unfortunately doesn't deal a whole lot of damage, and all the damn mummies are cold immune.



Waaaaah! Too many mean badguys! Tried to get away, but the elf-lord hit me a couple of times and I died. :( Nightfrost, chaotic male droven Ice Mage died in the Gnomish Mines on level 4, killed by an elf-lord. There had been a teleportation scroll in my inventory that could have saved me, and also a cursed ring of teleportation... Next time I'm going to quaff/read/wear-identify again, that's for sure! :p Sorry that this run has been so disappointing; somehow it seems my playing skill has decreased a lot lately, but at least we're going to see a Gangster next, which is a new role that I didn't ever play outside of wizard mode. Stay tuned!

PS, character queue yet again (only two characters left, so I'll either need some new suggestions soon or just roll some random character):
  • Njorhg: Al Dracul, Vampire Gangster.
  • Svlad: Tomokato, Lawful Male Khajiit Samurai.
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#28
Okay, so this thread's gonna get resurrected now for the first but probably not last time; today's character is Al Dracul, Vampire Gangster, suggested by Njorhg. Also male and chaotic, since that's what I expect such a race/class combo to be; of course Slash'EM Extended allows every possible combo that I could think of, including lawful gangsters :D, but if this variant still had restrictions, both Vampires and Gangsters would have to be chaotic. So, chaotic male vampiric Gangster it is. By the way, character suggestions would be very welcome because there's only one more character left on the queue - everyone can make new suggestions, and if someone wants to suggest more than one character at once, that's also fine with me. I'm going to play everything that gets suggested. ;)



Here we go! Gangsters start with a submachine gun and bullets, and they can create new bullets with their create ammo technique. In fact, I instantly use that technique to add two bullets, but the problem is that every such bullet gets its own BUC status and enchantments, so they won't always stack. By the way, the Gangster's pet is a pile of killer coins that is literally of no use at all. Level 1 was uneventful, and I gained a level up before descending down the stairs. The lack of a way to pet-test items currently prevents me from just trying on all the armor and weapons that I'm finding.



The chance of this happening is very low, but the jackal actually dropped an item for the class-that-may-not-be-named on death :). Unfortunately I'm not playing that class, so these babies are next to useless to me unless they randomly happen to be +8 or something. There was a floor grue as well, which dropped a tripe ration. Descending down to dlvl 3 now, and I wish an altar would show up to allow some curse-testing, or a random dog/cat to throw tripe at... Found a wand that engrave-tested as slow monster. Also used create ammo again, getting a stack of 4 bullets.



Uh... what the hell is a cyan r? (Yes, I added some new monsters lately but forgot what they are exactly.) Hmm, it says "metal mole", so this is probably something that can eat metal items. Apparently it also likes to tunnel and create rocks, but otherwise it's unremarkable. Had a close call in one of the rooms to the right with an enemy trooper shooting bullets at me and a squad of gnomes. But... somehow there doesn't seem to be a goddamn stairs on this level!



Yeah yeah, Mr. Shopkeeper, so you think I would fall for such an obvious mimic. Where the heck is the frickin' downstairs???

Ah! Got it! Turns out it was directly underneath the statue of a green mold. And there's also an altar on dlvl 4! :D Unfortunately it vanishes after the first 10 or so items land on it, so I only know the BUC status of some of my weapons. Oh wait, at least some of my armors have been BUC-identified too, so let's try them on. Sadly everything is +0 apart from a +1 banded mail.



Hmm. That's quite a lot of scrolls. I'd really like to read-identify some of them, fearing fire attacks that may cause them all to burn...

Damn! How the heck does one shoot a specific amount of bullets? I'm trying to tell my guy to shoot 2 bullets at a dragon/nymph/whatever but he wastes 3 of them even though 2 are more than enough to kill those low-level monsters! Argh, apparently it's not even possible at all, it works for crossbows or daggers in wizard mode but not for submachine gun... Found and tamed a housecat, and named it Cult Classic. Now to BUC-test all of those items...

The coarse mantelet is +1. Everything else is +0, and only one of my three random rings seems to be noncursed. Found the stairs down to dlvl 5.



Uhh... that's bad. The message means there's an ADOM tension room somewhere on the level, filled with monsters of one specific (but random) class, and if that class happens to be L or A or something, this game could be over very soon. Let's head back up the stairs and go to the Gnomish Mines instead.



Argh! Damn you, green mold! :(

There was a lizard on dlvl 5 of the Gnomish Mines, but Cult Classic ate its corpse. :( Well, it's not a new moon, so the loss isn't too tragic, but still...



Blaaaaaahhhhhh! This level sucks, OK? At least nymphs are usually too stupid to use weapons. I'll just use this crappy blessed crude dagger instead, and hopefully build up my dagger skill. Killed a bunch of gnomes and found out the dagger is +1, but now there are tortoises and grues attacking me, and I don't know where Cult Classic wandered off to.

Hmm. The slithy tortoise transformed into a gnome, so this means there's probably a polymorph trap somewhere... but for whatever weird reason, the game doesn't seem to create bad abominations; the mountain nymph was actually a wimp, and I'm quite sure the chicken is something else, too. Or not, it seems; the chicken didn't transform into something else upon "death". But still, there probably is a polytrap somewhere on this level, and if I don't find it in time, the game will make a random monster polymorph into an arch-lich.

Read-identifying a scroll that I had two copies of, it confirms my suspicion of it being an identify scroll which is used on another scroll: teleportation. This will come in handy if I get into a bad situation.



Oh, so there it is. Now let's disarm it by setting it off in a controlled manner, hopefully without Cult Classic walking over it again because I'd not want to have him transform into something useless. Or... maybe that's not even necessary? For whatever reason, there is no polytrap now, so I write an Elbereth and start putting on my armor again. Took out quite some gnomes and drained them while Cult Classic (the Olog-Hai) was busy eating some other corpses.



Oh my. These things can be extremely dangerous if one is unlucky. Their attacks are completely random, and they can range from almost useless to super-mega-insta-deadly, including touch of death and other nasty things. Let's hope I can take it down with ranged attacks quickly. Okay, it's dead now, but I'm down 6 bullets. Ah well, I can make more with my ammo-creation technique.



Weird, these things actually have an armor rating of 0 (or at least my AC didn't change when I put them on), so how can they deflect something?! For some reason these wolves are also very annoying, and the game spawned some giant ants too which slipped past Cult Classic's guard to swarm me. Then I passed out from draining the rabbit, allowing the ants to take me down to 23 HP, so I'm running away to heal up now. Cult Classic helped me to clear the area of hostiles.

While fighting a monoton, I got stat-ups: strength, dexterity and constitution! Yay! :) Then I fat-fingered and ran into a little dog, but Cult Classic swung his club at it a few times, killing it. Now there's still the annoying monoton, and I'm out of darts, so let's throw some daggers instead. Finally went down the stairs to dlvl 6.

Thankfully, Cult Classic rips those gnomes and hobbits a new one with his club, preventing them from killing me when I pass out while draining a corpse yet again.



Hmm. Maybe Cult Classic would allow me to ride him? ;) However, I don't know if this saddle is cursed. Okay, Cult Classic is walking over it without complaining, so it should be good to use. And... saddling and riding Cult Classic worked on my first try! Yeah! :) Now the problem is that my riding skill is unskilled, so it's gonna take quite some time to make it useful. I also can't eat (read: drain) corpses off the ground now. But at least I can still drain monsters by attacking them in melee, which I do on a dog before feeding it to Cult Classic by riding him over its corpse.



Damn it! This is not an archon, by the way, but it's the same annoying gaze attack that will blind AND stun the player character. Finally the blindness wore off, and there's an embalmer, which is a player character monster that may actually be very dangerous. He doesn't seem to want to pick a fight though (even though he's clearly hostile), so I'll just walk off.

Oh wait, forget I said anything. Now the embalmer is chasing me down a narrow passage, and a nymph is blocking my way forward. Let's waste some bullets to clear a path! Yeah! :D



Damn you Al Dracul, this nymph is not beautiful at all! Now frickin' stop admiring her already and continue fighting!

...

At least the visored helmet wasn't an important part of my equipment, and I'll just put on a skull cap instead. The damn nymph just got lucky that two out of three bullets missed her, allowing her to steal something from me. Then I made some new ammo again, and noticed a bunch of drow zombies appearing from the right. Where the hell is the stairs down?



WOW! This thing's mine, you hear me? MINE!

Finally Cult Classic dropped it again, so it's time to write an Elbereth, remove my plate mail and put on this new shiny piece of armor. And it's even +2! Yeah! I can't wait to see what RNG will do to make me lose now. Cause you know, if you get a streak of luck in this game, you can be sure that you won't be able to enjoy it for long. But at least I can run around with -6 AC and whatever resistance the GDSM gives (poison resistance, I think?).

See you next time!
 

Bluescreenofdeath

Dev Team
Validated User
#30
Thanks, Manzanaro, for your suggestion... uhh, Pirate, that's some hard-to-play role... it's actually from dNetHack, another NetHack variant, and I didn't ever play one of them outside of testing so I don't know if they're any good. And Alien race??? Okay, that character's going to die very quickly. :)

But Al Dracul, the vampiric Gangster, is still alive. Let's see how much longer he can defy death!

-------

Okay, we're back in level 7 of the Gnomish Mines, which is also Minetown. Weird, the entry room is unlit, I didn't know that was even possible. While looking for a secret door/passage, a dwarf thief comes along and steals a sandwich - how did he even get in? Seems they have tunneling tools; a second dwarf thief appeared right after the first one but Cult Classic wiped him out. Found and killed yet another dwarf thief (that's three of them already!), getting a broad pick and some other stuff.

A mordor orc and yet another gray h appeared, this time it was a hobbit thief that got taken out quickly. Now there are also lots of gnomish wizards, one more dwarf thief (probably the one holding my sandwich) and more mordor orcs. While trying to kill the dwarf thief, the irritating bastard wastes a potion of extra healing (argh), but at least they're identified now. Using lots of ranged weapons I finally remove that pesky thief from existence.

Got blinded by a yellow light, but decided to wait out the effects. Now there's a dark grue closing in on me, but I just want to make it to the temple and do some BUC testing. It's neutral, of course. But it doesn't even matter; the altar vanished after the third item dropped on it. :( This means the temple is unusable now; even if I use a scroll of consecration (very rare, they can create a new altar from thin air) the temple will still be desecrated. Argh.



Yeah! Kill all of those filthy watchman scum, Cult Classic! :D



Uhh... these things might be able to make my valuable vampire blood potion boil and explode. Let's retreat for now.

Huh? For some reason, the pyrolisk that suddenly spawned can't hurt me! This means my unidentified, worn ring should be fire resistance. Draining the pyrolisk also caused me to become satiated, which amazes me a bit since vampires usually have trouble getting nutrition, yet this one didn't ever go hungry yet. However, I was having trouble getting Cult Classic to follow me into a passage, and while trying to coax him into position, he turned back into a housecat. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. He's a saddled housecat, by the way, so I decide to mount him and then descend down to dlvl 8.



Wow, weird level. There are lots of garter snakes attacking me, but they all get killed very quickly. Then lots of higher-level gnomes and also a giant spider appeared, forcing me to dismount Cult Classic, write some dust-Elbereths and heal up for a bit.



Oh no, this is not good. Whatever is shooting those rocks, it's going to kill me in a few turns if I don't kill it first. Hmm, seems it's lots of dwarves and hobbit lords, but they're also fooled by my invisibility and kill some of their colleagues with thrown weapons, and Cult Classic takes out the hobbit lord. The remaining monsters in the area are cleared up, and a gray stone drops that passes the kick test.



Argh! Can someone please tell me how the hell I'm going to get the gray stone dislodged from the iron bars now?



Damn it! You signed your own death warrant, you wretched deep gnome!

Killed him, and also reached XL9 and enhanced daggers to skilled. Killed some more monsters and got satiated from draining them again, and a gnome lord dropped a -4 yellowish brown gem. A dart trap proved to me that I'm poison resistant, and then I hit a magic trap that summoned monsters. Thanks to my melee skills (blessed +1 crude dagger at skilled level, and vampire's draining bite), lashing out blindly actually worked, but draining the summoned yeti didn't grant cold resistance of course. Took out a kobold chieftain and finally went down the stairs to dlvl 9.

There's a whole lot of gnome lords, mummies, yetis and other badguys spawning here. Can't even drain them all because they're mercilessly beating down on me. Finally managed to scare away the bastard yeti with an Elbereth and take out some gnomes, now it's time to heal up again.



Oh no! Vampires always polymorph into a completely useless vampire bat that can't do anything at all!

But wait, no they don't. At least they don't if they wear a GDSM; they turn into a green dragon with 143 HP and a very powerful breath weapon instead. :D Didn't even lose any equipment, and the best part is they can eat normally, unlike vampires! Quick, let's take out all the tins from our box and eat them in the hopes of getting some resistances!

Hmm. Green dragons have no hands. If I try to open my box, I might get hit by a nasty effect instead of opening it. But it's still worth a try, right? Got paralyzed twice, but then it worked, so let's eat the unidentified tins now.



Damn you, yeti! We don't need your kind around here! On a side note, this screenshot also shows the new "lash" attack that dragons (and a few other monster types) can use in Slash'EM Extended. Unfortunately it seems I'm oversatiated and can only eat about 1200 of his 1600 weight units, and now I can't eat the tins either, arrrrgh. :( It would be nice to have some spells that I can cast to reduce my nutrition, or a toilet to sit on... but I really don't want to die a stupid choking death, so I'll just move on. Probably I revert back to vampiric form prior to being able to eat the tins anyway.



Eek! A green slime! These things are very dangerous to characters who don't have a way of setting themselves on fire, and as a matter of fact, this character doesn't have a wand of fire or similar item. I need to be very careful around this monster.

Blaaaaaahhhhhhh, chucked tons of daggers at it but the darn thing just refused to die! Now I don't feel very well, and only have 100 turns to cure the sliming condition. Let's kill the frickin' thing and hope prayer works, because there's not much else I can do.



Whew! Now don't fat-finger and accidentally eat the slime. :)

Of course, while trying again to eat the tin, I polymorph back into a vampire and thus stop opening it. There's also a giant flea, and I'm having a hard time getting down all the blood while attacking it in melee, so this means I'm still oversatiated. Great. Anyway, put on all of my armor again and wielded my main weapon.

Argh, a hell hound pup just burned my gloves and boots, causing me to lose a point of AC! It has to die for its insolence! And this "oversatiated" status is getting very annoying, too, so I'll tame this random large cat that just appeared, which will hopefully kill some monsters for me so I don't have to use so many melee attacks.

Actually, I start riding James Weatherby the large cat, and feel "clumsy" as well as "tough", losing dexterity but gaining constitution.



Filthy thief, give that back to me!

Using lots of thrown daggers now, I manage to kill the annoying monsters. Then it's time to start riding again, but suddenly a freezing sphere walks up to me, killing James Weatherby with an explosion. :( How much longer is it going to take getting my riding skill up to basic, anyway?

Down to dlvl 10 now, killing more gnomes and still being oversatiated, and another new pet is acquired. Say hello to Njorhg the warhorse. :D Took out more gnomes and finally felt more confident in my fighting skills, yay! Finally, I'm able to pick up stuff from the ground while riding. Not a lot of interesting stuff happened for quite some time, but I found a scroll of identify on dlvl 11 and used it to identify the "remove curse" scroll.



Yeah! This should make clearing out the remainder of the mines much easier, and hopefully also reduce the number of melee attacks needed to kill a monster, so I won't drain them nearly as often.

By the way, Al Dracul is the first character in this thread to survive more than one update, so I'll have to give my thanks to Njorhg (whom I'm currently riding :D) for suggesting this very powerful character. Thanks, and see you real soon! ;)
 
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