Nethack (is kicking my ass)

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semicolon
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Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby semicolon » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:40 pm UTC

I just downloaded Nethack last night again, on a whim. I've given it a try more than once before and never got into it. Now that I'm trying it again, I can see myself getting into it. Except for the dying. The dying is keeping me from getting anywhere interesting.

Any advice for a new NetHack player? Also: is it possible to get the stats of a piece of armor or a weapon? Often I'll have like two or three different kinds of armor and I won't know which one I should use.

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Vaniver
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Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:44 pm UTC

Beginner's Guide.
Complete Guide with lots of spoilers.
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Postby ihope127 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:00 pm UTC

Use the spoilers online! Everyone does.* :-) There's also the #nethack channel on freenode.

But in case somebody who's reading this thread doesn't want spoilers:

Wearing armor will tell you its enchantment in your inventory screen, and you can see its damage by its description even if you've never worn it. Looking at your AC in the lower status line will also tell you how well your armor protects you: the lower, the better.

However, cursed armor cannot be removed unless you uncurse it somehow, and unless you're a Priest you can't see its blessed/uncursed/cursed status, so you'll want to find that out somehow.

One way is with a scroll of identify (which affects more items depending on its BUC status), but this may not be the best use of the scroll.

Also, dropping a blessed item on an altar will result in an amber flash, dropping a cursed item on an altar will result in a black flash, and dropping an uncursed item on an altar will result in no flash. This will also add the BUC status to its description in your inventory screen.

Finally, if a pet moves onto an item by itself (not by displacing, and probably not by leashes or teleporting either), it will give "<pet> moves only reluctantly." if the item is cursed. However, it's difficult to get a pet to step on a cursed item by itself, so if it doesn't, you'll have to either assume it's cursed or try some other means of identification. After finding out whether it's cursed or not, the #name command will be useful.

If you do put on cursed armor, you can dip your armor into a potion of holy (that is, blessed) water (don't ask me how). This will not rust it. Holy water can be created by putting water on an altar to your god and then praying, though prayer can result in nasty stuff in some circumstances. Sacrificing on an altar to your god makes your god happier in most circumstances. You can also dip your cursed armor into a fountain, which could rust it as well as other nasty things. You could also pray to your god--see above. And there's also the scroll of remove curse, though I'm not sure exactly how it works--a cursed scroll of remove curse probably doesn't work as well as a noncursed one.

I think all the above except for enchantment being displayed and AC also apply to weapons.


Wait, I know all that? Scary.

*At least, spoilers seem to be the norm, and they make the game much easier.

Edit: oh, and telnet to nethack.alt.org gives you a game without needing to download/install anything, and it lets everybody see what you're doing >:-) There's also explore mode, which lets you continue the game if you die, but this doesn't exist on nethack.alt.org.
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Vaniver
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Postby Vaniver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:13 pm UTC

If you do put on cursed armor, you can dip your armor into a potion of holy (that is, blessed) water (don't ask me how).
You type #dip.
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Postby Rodan » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:23 pm UTC

advice:
don't attack a giant eye (blue e) directly, and once you kill it, eat it's corpse.

don't carry around corpses. Eat them on the spot, even if you aren't hungry.

About to die? Pray!

I've never ascended (farthest I've gotten is to the bottom of the gnomish mines and back :( ), but I know a lot from: http://nethack.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

I should really play that again. I haven't in a long time.

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Postby Kawa » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:29 am UTC

On the pets suggested above:
I'd suggest dropping items one at a time down a long corridor and then getting your pet to move towards you. Hopefully you'll get the proper message whenever it steps on something it doesn't like.


That being said, I'm an ADOM player by default, which means no pets unless you're a bard.
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Postby Rodan » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:16 am UTC

The best way to detect curses is to drop the item on an altar. Altars are just so handy.

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Postby evilbeanfiend » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:50 am UTC

yes learning how to use altars is probably the first step. u can also identify rings by dropping them into sinks
in ur beanz makin u eveel

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Postby Rodan » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:08 pm UTC

but then you generally lose the ring...

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Postby Vaniver » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:28 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the 'tricks' to identify items. There are a few things I do instead-

1) Play a priest. You never have to worry about B/U/C.
2) Play a wizard and get (or write) a spellbook of identify. You'll find out what everything is.
3) This is cheating. Save, copy the savegame elsewhere, and then get yourself killed. Take a screenshot of what all your items are. Move back the copied game, and use #name to declare what everything is.
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Postby FACM » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:30 pm UTC

I prefer Linley's Dungeon Crawl. There's a huge combination of classes and races to try. The only thing I don't really like about it is how often a herd of yaks will kill you on level 2. They seem to spawn a little too often, nevermind how a yak herd can graze in a cave.

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Postby semicolon » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:54 am UTC

Alright so, I just choked to death on a food ration.

Is this game really worth all the effort? Restarting over and over is fun and all, but I hear all of these great stories about how amazing Nethack is and how it's the best game ever, but I can't fucking get far enough to see anything. Is it worth grinding through all the bullshit deaths and having to start over constantly? Or is Nethack just not for me?

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Postby Vaniver » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:51 am UTC

semicolon wrote:Alright so, I just choked to death on a food ration.

Is this game really worth all the effort? Restarting over and over is fun and all, but I hear all of these great stories about how amazing Nethack is and how it's the best game ever, but I can't fucking get far enough to see anything. Is it worth grinding through all the bullshit deaths and having to start over constantly? Or is Nethack just not for me?
The fun is dying. In fun and creative ways.

Or, at least, that seems to be the case. If you actually want to beat a game, pick something else. If you want an RPG with a plot (hah!) or significant tactics, go elsewhere. Nethack is a survival challenge, and the fun is as much in figuring out how to survive (by failing) as it is in winning.

It's for crazies.
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Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:05 am UTC

FACM wrote:I prefer Linley's Dungeon Crawl. There's a huge combination of classes and races to try. The only thing I don't really like about it is how often a herd of yaks will kill you on level 2. They seem to spawn a little too often, nevermind how a yak herd can graze in a cave.
I tried to beat that game for 2 years. :( I haven't played it for a year now.

That fast, invisible thing (was it called a shadow?) killed a lot of my promising characters. I've never gotten out of the damn Abyss.

Troll berzerker is really easy at the beginning. You don't have to worry about food (you have a fast metabolism, but you can eat anything) or health (lots of hp, and you regenerate so fast it's silly), but at about level 10 it begins to show that melee attack is insufficient.

I've also been semi-successful with deep elf fire elementalist and minotaur gladiator. Hill dwarves start out with a crossbow, which is useful. Theoretically, a mummy necromancer could go to that sanctuary place around dungeon level 6, spawn characters to kill to gain exp, heal, and repeat until he reaches exp level 26. That would be really tedious though.

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Postby semicolon » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:12 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:The fun is dying. In fun and creative ways.

Or, at least, that seems to be the case. If you actually want to beat a game, pick something else. If you want an RPG with a plot (hah!) or significant tactics, go elsewhere. Nethack is a survival challenge, and the fun is as much in figuring out how to survive (by failing) as it is in winning.

It's for crazies.

Yeah, I sort of understand that. I'm not expecting to ascend for like 10,000 games. I'm just not getting far enough for even my deaths to be interesting yet.

I'm gonna keep trying, though. Something will click eventually.

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Postby Lanjolo » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:39 pm UTC

FACM wrote:I prefer Linley's Dungeon Crawl. There's a huge combination of classes and races to try. The only thing I don't really like about it is how often a herd of yaks will kill you on level 2. They seem to spawn a little too often, nevermind how a yak herd can graze in a cave.


Crawl is a lot less about finding tricks that work than nethack. With enough spoilers and some experience nethack isn't that hard, you just need to know how to use your resources. I've ascended all classes in nethack and done some conducts too, but never even retieved a rune in Crawl. (My best character, a minotaur berserker, got fired by a storm dragon after some unlucky teleports)

Some general hints to nethack:
Use pet to test all armor and try it on. Most body armor is too heavy for usage but gnomish mines have plenty of dwarvish mithril to around.
Use ranged attacks a lot, especially while standing on dust-scribbled Elbereth.
All classes, with the possbile exception of wizard, should mostly ignore magic in the beginning. Your mana regeneration is insufficient for relying on magic and you can take of metal armor for non-combat spells.
Keep your pet around and tame some more. Horses are much better than cats and dogs, as they are much faster, have a higher max level and leave the meaty corpses for you. They will eat food rations when starving.
Different items have different costs. You can deduce the identity of some items by dropping them in a shop.

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Postby jabberwock33 » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:09 pm UTC

Im playing Cthangband right now. You can survive longer, but you still reach a nasty spot where all your characters start to die.

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Postby Rodan » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:29 pm UTC

Nethack isn't about winning or losing, it's about the crazy shit that happens while you play.
For example, there was one instance where I decided to drink from a fountain (bad idea), and on the first try a genie popped out! I got silver dragon scale male, and continued down the mines.
A little later, I steeped on a polymorph trap and turned into a fucking DRAGON! It was awesome, I could just eat anything that got in my way.

Another time My dog turned into a balrog, which was really handy. He'd just kill shopkeepers. Incidentally, the first creature it killed was a hobbit...

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Postby Banana Sam » Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:18 am UTC

I find monks tend to be my most succesful characters. not that I'm especially succesful anyway.
I don't play nethack to win, it's all about the experience. right now my overall goal is to maybe survive past the gnomish mines.
as signatures go, I could probably do alot better than this.

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I <3 Nethack

Postby QuantumTroll » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:51 am UTC

I've been getting better lately. Now I can regularly get to experience level 10, and even get into the Quest. My favorite classes are wizard, valkyrie, monk, and barbarian, but I suck at wizards.

My best character ever was a neutral (why didn't i go Lawful??) valkyrie in crystal plate. She made it all the way down to Medusa's level, but got overwhelmed by the huge number of baddies there. Also, I didn't realize that that level is no-teleport. Shitty way to die.

The main thing that seems to be getting my characters is eroding/rusting/rotting equipment. Generally, I try to genocide mindflayers (amnesia sucks) and rustmonsters, which has been helping, but it's no fun walking around with a very burnt, thoroughly rotted cloak of magic resistance. Or rotted +3 gloves. Or thoroughly rusted +2 two-handed swords. You get the idea...

Right now, my monk Jet Li just stumbled across a grave from a 2-year old wizard on the way down to Mines End. Luckstone, blessed spellbook of force bolt, and lots of pots! Also more cursed rings than I know what to do with. I figure I'll toss them down a drain and ID the lot of them. Just need to find a co-aligned altar and more water potions so I can start uncursing some of the wands and other gear...

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Postby chaosspawn » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:12 pm UTC

I've managed to get quite far in nethack, but usually end up dying due to some careless mistake, like hitting a floating eye...

if you read scrolls while confused ...interesting things happen

If you read a enchant armor scroll while confused, instead of giving it a +1 bonus it will make it rust/fire proof, same for enchant weapon. Also it removes all the corrosion that's already happened. Also dipping metal weapons in oil helps fix them

Also often overlooked feature is the alchemy ability, simply #dip a potion into another potion and you may end up with an entirely new one, or an explosion... that too.

And a good tip, try to engrave with unidentified wands, the effect will usually help you identify them, but it won't auto ID for you
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Postby roundedge » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:20 am UTC

My friends and I had a $100 competition to see who could ascend first. I was the first to ascend (at one point I had to fight yeenoghu, orcus, and the demogorgon all at once), however my friend Sam has ascended twice now. The easiest character to ascend with is the lawful valkyrie. When you're level 6 or higher, you can dip your long sword in a fountain for a decent chance of getting excalibur, plus you start out with a +3 shield, which keeps you out of early game trouble for the most part, and you're familiar with most armour, so keep collecting armour, use your pet or an alter to find out it's BCU status, and then try it on if it's safe to see if it's got bonuses. The two best things you can find early in a game are general stores and altars (co-alligned is best). The general stores are good because you can sell anything in a general store, they usually have tripe rations, which you can buy, throw at your pet (which will then eat it) and with it's newfound loyalty, will begin picking things up out of the shop, and dropping them at your feet (don't forget to stand just outside of the shop, so the pet steals it for you). Plus general stores are good for identifying things by cost, especially scrolls (identify, enchant armour, enchant weapon, remove curse). Check the spoilers for price identifications.

Two things you should probably have by around gnome town (likely a little after) is holy water and a unicorn horn. A unicorn horn is a life saver, since it can cure a whole variety of ailments just by applying it, and holy water is the ultimate power up. You can get holy water by putting some water on a co-aligned alter, and praying while standing on the alter. Some tips with holy water are: never use up your last holy water. Save up a bunch of water potions, stack them, and then you can dip them all at the same time into the holy water, and they all become holy. If you've got a scroll of identify, enchant armour, enchant weapon, bless those things with holy water. A blessed scroll of identify has a decent chance of identifying everything in your inventory, and 100% chance of identifying more than one thing. A blessed scroll of enchant armour is worth at least two, and since the amount of holy water you can get after you've got it is almost infinite, it's worth using. If something gets cursed on you, dipping it in holy water will uncurse it. To get more potions of water, I usually collect the potions I pick up from killing nymphs (those potions are always object detection, which I never use) and dip them in fountains (be sure you're strong enough to fight water demons though).

My last piece of advice is, if you see killer bees, shit your pants and run. Those mothersuckers have killed off so many of my early characters.

Oh, and at first, you might hate rothes with a passion, but later on, they become meals on wheels.

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Postby Stkdvnd » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:59 pm UTC

I've ascended seven times (Samurai, Valkyrie, Barbarian, Knight, Rogue, Priest, and Tourist, in that order), and managed to pull off a few of the easier conducts (my tourist was genoless, wishless, and polyselfless, and would have been polypileless if I didn't dip stuff into potions to identify them). On the other hand, I've also got a few hundred dead characters, at the very least. I've been playing for about two and a half years, somewhat on-and off. Despite being fully spoiled from the very start, my first ascension only came after six months, and involved multiple lucky breaks.

For the early game, the best advice I can give is to hang back and let your pet do most of the killing. Keeping your own level low means that the monsters won't be as powerful, and as your pet grows it should be able to deal with everything for a while. Additionally, it's a lot easier to but protection from the priest in Gnometown if you're level 2 or 3. Still, try to gain a level or two, as the additional HP can be quite useful. I'd have to agree that a general store is a very useful way to identify items, although for getting useful stuff I prefer armor shops.

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Postby Pobega » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:34 am UTC

NetHack's been kicking my ass for quite a while now. I've been playing roughly two months and the furthest I've gotten was to Gnometown, back up and then to dLvl 11. I always play a Lawful Valk (Because I'm a lowly noob) but I still find the game fun.

When I get used to strategizing I'm planning on familiarizing myself with the Monk conducts; But from what I've read being a vegetarian is harder than it sounds in NetHack.

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Postby Rodan » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:02 am UTC

I really gotta get my ass kicked again...

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Postby ABFA00 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:36 pm UTC

I loooove Nethack.
I re-discovered it last fall, and got my friend hooked. She said she hated me. The game has kicked my ass whenever I played. I got kind of far when I found some thing that let you choose whether or not to actually die but I still pretty much sucked.


I'm going to go download it again.
Sorry Calculus. You'll have to wait.

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Banana Sam » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:32 am UTC

Okay one time I had this samuri so you know, Lawful good and all that stuff. so he's super thirsty or something, anyway he takes a drink from a sink. turns out its radio active, hae becomes a were rat this is where things start to go badly, as soon as he turns he looses all his armour and has to drop most of his stuff, he tries to deal with it for a while, but it within a couple dungeon levels he winds up desperate and starving in a potion shop desperately quaffing every potion he can get his hands on, eventually he stumbles across a potion of hallucination and winds up dying in a fight with the shopkeeper. not the best samuri ever.

in a case of heros dealing with misfortune rather better I had a Barbarian get a cursed ring of teleport, which isn't too bad but super annoying after a while, it doesn't take long before he decides using some sort of barbarian cunning to grab everything in the next store he finds and then just wander around the store until his cursed ring kicks in again. he took down three Keystone Kops before they got 'im.
as signatures go, I could probably do alot better than this.

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby DrStalker » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:08 am UTC

Once upon a time my Valkyrie walked 10 feet from the starting point and picked up Mjollnir. It was just lying there, waiting to be picked up. Was pretty cool.

The most progress I've ever made is to the bottom of the mines and back then down to the big room. (ignoring the times I played with god mode and went through the whole thing, rezzing myself whenever I died.)

Worst game: before going anywhere I tried to mount my horse three times and kept falling off, breaking my neck on the third try.
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby chaosspawn » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

good start: drinking from a fountain in the starting room and getting a wish (+2 Blessed silver dragon scale mail)

bad start: starting as a wizard, putting on my starting ring of conflict, and dying as my kitty proceeded to kill me...
Of course I was playing this around a group of people so the quote came up:
Bablyon 5 wrote:Londo: "This is like being nibbled to death by... What are those earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet... go quack?"
Vir: "Cats"
Londo: "Cats! Like being nibbled to death by cats"
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Rodan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:15 am UTC

This thread and my brother beating it the second time make me want to play it again...
*goes off to play nethack*.
Who knows? Maybe I'll come back with stories...

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Skyness » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:08 am UTC

Hell, the old Hack game (preNetHack, I guess) was awfully fun. No goblin mines. Commands were like 1 character long. Spent many long hours playing that one. On a DOS machine. Yep (said while leaning back in my rocker and doing something oldish, like spitting chewing tobacco...ew!). Those were the days....

No. Really. And before this, was Advent on my university's Vax.
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Phate » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:59 pm UTC

Hey I'm new to the forum and this is my first post! Woot

So anyways I used to play nethack and liked it and all but there was another one that I like as well called Iter Vehemens ad Necem or IVAN for short. Same kinda idea except its graphical. Check it out here http://ivan.sourceforge.net/screenshots.html

If anyone else played it let me know. I never got far cause I just started playing it . It's kinda funny and there is about 60000 ways you can die because each body part has its own health. So if you have bad head armour and you get critical hit in the head with an axe you lose your head and are dead. And if you lose your arm you can only wield one handed and such. It's fun and difficult. Ok thats my 2 cents.

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby AbNo » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:11 pm UTC

I LOVE IVaN!

My personal favorite is turning my legs into ruby, and my arms into spider silk.

I just wish the game was finished..... :(
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Narsil
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Narsil » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:06 pm UTC

I love NetHack. Easily one of the best games ever made.

I just wish it was on more systems than the PC. I don't know, there'd be something damn cool about playing it on a portable system.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

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Rodan
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Rodan » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:07 pm UTC

Phate wrote:Hey I'm new to the forum and this is my first post! Woot

Um... it's nice you joined the forum and all, but the first post is generally supposed to be in the introductions thread, and it's in good etiquette to not post links in your first post either.

Anyway, Nethack is both awesome and (legally) free! A winning combination!
(I returned with lots of stories about me being a wizard, searching for an altar, finding one and instantly dying)

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby AbNo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:14 pm UTC

I seem to recall having a version of Nethack on my old Palm Pilot.

Or maybe it was Rogue. I forget. :oops:
Darwin was right, but nanny-staters keep trying to undermine him

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Pobega » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:50 pm UTC

I wish I could find a way to put NetHack on my phone (LG EnV 9900). It has a full Qwerty keyboard, it'd be my best friend on vacations :lol:

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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Kudos » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:58 pm UTC

Once upon a time I started in a room with no doors. I never found any doors. I starved to death in that room after being saved by prayer twice. Maybe there were no doors but I highly doubt that. Poor Robert the Gnome.

One of the best things I've ever had happen was discovering a scroll of genocide in the gnomish mines. Bet you can't guess what monster I genocided...

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Rodan
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Rodan » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:03 am UTC

Kudos wrote:Once upon a time I started in a room with no doors. I never found any doors. I starved to death in that room after being saved by prayer twice. Maybe there were no doors but I highly doubt that. Poor Robert the Gnome.

One of the best things I've ever had happen was discovering a scroll of genocide in the gnomish mines. Bet you can't guess what monster I genocided...

Interesting. Did you try kicking all the walls?

What class were you? At least if you're a good fighter class (say, Barbarian) I find the Gnomish Mines to be insanely useful in xp gain.

Speaking off classes, what's everyone's favourite class? I play a wizard a lot now a days, but My top scores are all barbarians.
*wanders off to play nethack*

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Victorkm
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Re: Nethack (is kicking my ass)

Postby Victorkm » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:25 pm UTC

I always did the best with a valkyrie who prayed and got Mjolnir.


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