Are pets a trick?

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Chris Bowers

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Jan 17, 2022, 5:15:48 PMJan 17
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I've always been under the impression that me playing without pets is a handicap as pets are so powerful.

But what if that's wrong?

What if actually PLAYING with pets is a handicap?

Pets

Downsides:
1. Take up your food making starvation/low food an issue.
2. Twice as many turns to accomplish things (or more).
3. Picks up items you might not want picked up.
4. May attack peacefuls that you don't want attacked.
5. Death of pet (if relied on) leaves you in precarious position.
6. Wild goose chases after pets can lead to precarious situations.
7. Frustration with pets can lead to bad play.
8. Death of pet can lead to negative mental attitude of the player.

Upsides:
1. Curse testing by pet.
2. Stealing from shops.
3. Ability to kill peacefuls with no consequences to alignment/murder.
4. Soaks up damage, effectively increasing your HP.
5. Twice as many attacks on monsters (one attack by you, one attack by pet every turn.)
6. Aids in evasion/running away from dangerous monsters.
7. Polymorph trap/wand/spell can turn them into a powerful ally/monster.
8. Keeps your level low and thus the level of monsters you face low.
9. Super helpful for the Protection racket.

Petless upsides:
1. Because of having more food, ability to altar camp longer and greater probability of attaining a usable artifact weapon earlier, thus drastically increasing survival rate.

2. Because of having more food, the extra food consumption by spell casters is much easier to manage.

3. Because of having more food, waiting on a staircase to heal up is much more viable.

4. Because of having more food, the extra food consumption for digging out vaults (and getting more protection) is much more manageable.

5. Stealing from shops is usually unnecessary because of #4, negating the advantage of stealing from shops. Most items which are useful (safe scrolls, special boots/cloaks/gloves) are inexpensive.

6. The dungeon is dangerous. The longer you are in the dungeon, the more likely hood a YASD or other improbable death is to happen. Ascending in 1/3 the time reduces YASDs and rare deaths by 2/3rds.

7. Reduced time in the dungeon means that blessed spellbooks will not go blank before you finish the game.

8. Pets will not go feral and attack you. You will not accidentally ever kill your pet. Powerful polymorphed pets, (which can be a danger) will not go feral.

9. You don't have to worry about using artifacts like Cleaver and Stormbringer, which are very powerful.

10. Pets will not pick up and lose/use/take items that you don't want them to take.

11. Trips to an altar to curse test are fine because you have additional food. Priests completely negate the advantage of curse testing with a pet.

12. Elbereth doesn't protect your pet from strong monsters, if you have no pet, you only need to worry about protecting yourself. You don't need to worry about "getting away with your pet".

13. You are self reliant and thus suffer no penalty when your pet dies, and are not vulnerable when your pet dies.

So my conclusion is, what if actually HAVING a pet is the challenge game, and not having one is easier?

Another consideration is that some of the weaker classes (tourist, healer, archaeologist) NEEDS a pet for the early levels. I can certainly agree with that. However I don't think any of the other roles need pets, and might be stronger without them.

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 18, 2022, 5:24:14 AMJan 18
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On 17.01.2022 23:15, Chris Bowers wrote:
> I've always been under the impression that me playing without pets is a handicap as pets are so powerful.
>
> But what if that's wrong?
>
> What if actually PLAYING with pets is a handicap?
>
> Pets
>
> Downsides:
> 1. Take up your food making starvation/low food an issue.

Depends on the type of the pet. Depends also on your "pet management".

> 2. Twice as many turns to accomplish things (or more).

Not sure what you mean here. Most time pets operate in parallel.

> 3. Picks up items you might not want picked up.

Add: Erases engravings you want to be kept intact. (NH-343 at least.)

> 4. May attack peacefuls that you don't want attacked.
> 5. Death of pet (if relied on) leaves you in precarious position.

Add: Dislocated (by trapdoors, level-teleporters) pets leave you...

> 6. Wild goose chases after pets can lead to precarious situations.

Not sure what you mean here.

> 7. Frustration with pets can lead to bad play.
> 8. Death of pet can lead to negative mental attitude of the player.

Both are personal (non-game) psychological effects that depend on
the player alone. Another attitude could instead be: "Pets come and
go, who cares.", "Let them support me as long as they are there."
"Thank them for the time ('thanks for all the fish'), if they go."

>
> Upsides:
> 1. Curse testing by pet.

Add: Food testing. (Mainly for newbies.)

> 2. Stealing from shops.
> 3. Ability to kill peacefuls with no consequences to alignment/murder.
> 4. Soaks up damage, effectively increasing your HP.
> 5. Twice as many attacks on monsters (one attack by you, one attack by pet every turn.)
> 6. Aids in evasion/running away from dangerous monsters.

Including: block monster in corridors from approaching, and dancing
around them in open are to avoid melee contact with monsters.

> 7. Polymorph trap/wand/spell can turn them into a powerful ally/monster.
> 8. Keeps your level low and thus the level of monsters you face low.
> 9. Super helpful for the Protection racket.
>

> Petless upsides: 1. Because of having more food, ability to altar
> camp longer and greater probability of attaining a usable artifact
> weapon earlier, thus drastically increasing survival rate.

Yes, and that's why you should develop some tactics. Like locking the
pet in a niche or in another room.

OTOH, it may kill dangerous (e.g. poisonous) monsters for you and such
corpses won't be eaten by the (initial, domestic) pets.

>
> 2. Because of having more food, the extra food consumption by spell
> casters is much easier to manage.
>
> 3. Because of having more food, waiting on a staircase to heal up is
> much more viable.
>
> 4. Because of having more food, the extra food consumption for
> digging out vaults (and getting more protection) is much more
> manageable.

The last points are all about food. The right approach would be (IMO)
to invest in food management instead. Altar-camping, IME, will always
stress your food reserves. Before I altar-camp I try to find a food
(or general) store (if only in mine town), or plunder Sokoban first.

It's not wrong what you say, probably just not addressed in the best
way, if not having a pet is your answer to solve the issue.

>
> 5. Stealing from shops is usually unnecessary because of #4, negating
> the advantage of stealing from shops. Most items which are useful
> (safe scrolls, special boots/cloaks/gloves) are inexpensive.

For these "inexpensive" items you need some means to BUC-ID them; so
we're again at pets. But I generally disagree here. Finding and using
items to your advance is the key to proceed and survive in Nethack.
Tools, amulets and rings, wands, scrolls and potions, all important,
and the pets not only get these for you, they also BUC-test the items
right away.

>
> 6. The dungeon is dangerous. The longer you are in the dungeon, the
> more likely hood a YASD or other improbable death is to happen.
> Ascending in 1/3 the time reduces YASDs and rare deaths by 2/3rds.

This makes no sense to me. Staying longer, advancing not too fast,
means that you can prepare yourself better. But it depends on the
actual game, the role played, the findings, how you proceed, where
to slow down or camp, when to go forth and back, or whether to only
hurry forward.

>
> 7. Reduced time in the dungeon means that blessed spellbooks will not
> go blank before you finish the game.

A game may require 40000 or 120000 turns, spells last 20000 turns,
you can re-read the books quite often. (The only books I blanked
in the process had been books from bones heap (IIRC) and books in
an extinctionist game that lasted much longer.)

>
> 8. Pets will not go feral and attack you. You will not accidentally
> ever kill your pet. Powerful polymorphed pets, (which can be a
> danger) will not go feral.

Pets often get just peaceful. If it gets hostile either just kill
it (there's no penalty, AFAICT) or throw a fortune cookie at it.
Also throwing e.g. a food ration at a horse or a tin at a dog/cat
will pacify these (without making them tame in this case).

>
> 9. You don't have to worry about using artifacts like Cleaver and
> Stormbringer, which are very powerful.

This is a problem of the artifact and how you manage and handle it.
With these weapons you will also have problems with peacefuls if
you haven't learned to handle them appropriately.

>
> 10. Pets will not pick up and lose/use/take items that you don't want
> them to take.

Add extreme case (been there): My pet picking up my filled BoH
and getting disintegrated along with my bag by a black dragon.

>
> 11. Trips to an altar to curse test are fine because you have
> additional food. Priests completely negate the advantage of curse
> testing with a pet.
>
> 12. Elbereth doesn't protect your pet from strong monsters, if you
> have no pet, you only need to worry about protecting yourself. You
> don't need to worry about "getting away with your pet".

You can flee and come back later to get your pet. Really no issue.

>
> 13. You are self reliant and thus suffer no penalty when your pet
> dies, and are not vulnerable when your pet dies.

This is a weak argument. You have always the responsibility to stay
alive. You have to develop, with or without aid of your pet(s).
The only implicit (valid) thing to consider is that you don't get
the experience for monsters killed by your pet. But it's also a
factor that monsters don't get that difficult if you are of not
that high experience level.

>
> So my conclusion is, what if actually HAVING a pet is the challenge
> game, and not having one is easier?

I certainly wouldn't formulate it that way. Rather say, it's a
challenge in NH to make a sensible decision whether the role
you're actually playing should acquire pets or not, and that
it's yet more a challenge to do a proficient pet management,
including primarily to keep the pets alive, but also the other
aspects mentioned above (like handling them at altars, etc.).

>
> Another consideration is that some of the weaker classes (tourist,
> healer, archaeologist) NEEDS a pet for the early levels. I can
> certainly agree with that. However I don't think any of the other
> roles need pets, and might be stronger without them.

No need to be dogmatic or formulate it in a black/white schema.
Pets fight for you so you are always "stronger" with them. And
I ascended also those healers where the pet dies from a falling
rock trap on dungeon level 1. The point is that beyond fighting
they serve a couple purposes, and they do that for every role.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 18, 2022, 5:53:00 AMJan 18
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> > 5. Stealing from shops is usually unnecessary because of #4, negating
> > the advantage of stealing from shops. Most items which are useful
> > (safe scrolls, special boots/cloaks/gloves) are inexpensive.
> For these "inexpensive" items you need some means to BUC-ID them; so
> we're again at pets. But I generally disagree here. Finding and using
> items to your advance is the key to proceed and survive in Nethack.
> Tools, amulets and rings, wands, scrolls and potions, all important,
> and the pets not only get these for you, they also BUC-test the items
> right away.

Tools are so cheap that there's no reason to even steal them. The most expensive one is a bag of holding for 100 gold? Amulets sure but amulets in shops are rare. Wands you can test for a nominal charge by the shopkeeper (engrave in dust, Engrave with wand, pay usage fee of 50 gold). Scrolls you shouldn't buy anything over 100. Anything under 100 gold is safe to read, the others will have to wait till later (till you have more gold anyway, or are doing a bulk identify). Potions? Not super important. You can drink them unidentified I guess but they can have bad effects. Rings, yes. Ring shops are really rare and you won't know what any of the rings do, except what you try on. I do this with a stack of holy water and try on all the rings in the shop. The most game changing items are armor, which are never that expensive for magical boots, helms, and cloaks. An altar is minetown is guaranteed for curse testing items. So yes a pet is helpful here but you may be overestimating its helpfulness. If it's stealing stuff you don't want to drink or read yet anyway, then it's no biggie.

Personally, I don't find stealing via teleport to be a big fat deal at all. Keystone Kops are not usually very threatening to anyone who has an artifact weapon. Angry shopkeepers can be avoided kind of easily.


> > 6. The dungeon is dangerous. The longer you are in the dungeon, the
> > more likely hood a YASD or other improbable death is to happen.
> > Ascending in 1/3 the time reduces YASDs and rare deaths by 2/3rds.
> This makes no sense to me. Staying longer, advancing not too fast,
> means that you can prepare yourself better. But it depends on the
> actual game, the role played, the findings, how you proceed, where
> to slow down or camp, when to go forth and back, or whether to only
> hurry forward.

Two categories for this: Rare Deaths, and Player Errors. There are rare deaths, like that time a troll picked up a cockatrice corpse and hit me with it. That was rare, and the longer the game the more chance that something rare and dangerous can happen. The more turns? The more monsters you face, the more chests you can open which can be trapped, the more times you risk accidentally putting a wand of cancellation in your bag of holding, the more chance there could be a cockatrice in a pit you fall in and so forth. Those are rare deaths.

Another issue is player error. Let's say you're taking off GOP to cast reconnaissance spells. Or you're taking down shield of reflection to do the same. There is always going to be player error and forgetting to put those back on. The more times you do it, the greater the chance that there's a player error, and the greater the chance of death. Less turns, less player error. Less YASDS.



Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 18, 2022, 11:40:37 AMJan 18
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On 18.01.2022 14:58, Jukka Lahtinen wrote:
> Chris Bowers <magicby...@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>> Pets
>> Downsides:
>> 1. Take up your food making starvation/low food an issue.
>
> Also, they often eat intrinsic-giving monsters that you'd want for
> yourself.
> First you play many levels without any floating eye leaving a corpse,
> then you ONCE forget to wait for your pet to step away before throwing
> the next dagger that kills it, THEN your pet steps in and munches the
> corpse you've really been looking for.

A common scene that everyone has certainly experienced once or more.
Notwithstanding it's an issue of inattentiveness, no more, no less.
If you cannot coordinate with a nearby pet you can always lock it
away temporarily.

>
>> 4. May attack peacefuls that you don't want attacked.
>
> And wakes up nymphs and leprechauns that you'd like to leave asleep
> until you are prepared to take care of them. Not so big a deal with a
> single leprechaun, but more nuisance in a leprechaun hall..

Without stealth or other means of hiding these monsters seem to wake
up at times if you are close. Therefore I want them dead; the nymphs
also for the chance of a potion of object detection, the leprechauns
for the money that is initially scarce. If you don't have a sack/bag
you can drop your money on an adjacent level before killing the 'l'.
In a leprechaun hall I also prefer to handle them myself, locking
my pet(s) in some nearby room. OTOH, a powerful pet will speed up
the clearing process significantly, and the fact that more than one
leprechaun is awake is not really an issue. So with a warhorse or
(in Slashem) a couple minions I just go in, kill the critters, and
get the gold. I think it's better if you decide the time when to
take out the monster than that the monster appears later when you
forgot about it and you don't expect it.

In Slashem minions (or powerful pets, like in NH) also attack and
kill Gypsies (which are a potential source of wishes once you have
MR), and priests that you need to donate money (and that at least
*seem* to be a lot rarer than in Nethack).

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 18, 2022, 12:19:33 PMJan 18
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On 18.01.2022 11:52, Chris Bowers wrote:
>
> Tools are so cheap that there's no reason to even steal them.

Early game when we take most advantage of the items gold is usually
scarce (in my games at least). YMMV.

> The most expensive one is a bag of holding for 100 gold?

If you want just one or two tools that's fine; it's not that clear,
though, since if I find a general store there's also other things I
want. Wands of 175 base price (plus surcharge) I don't want to leave
back (also 100/light, or the rare 500 of course). Scrolls of a base
price of 20, 60, 80, and 300, I also want to have. Potions of price
300, clear potions of 100. Rings of price 200 and 300. All types of
amulets. There's yet more interesting tools than the BoH (which can
be weight-identified before paying); a tinning kit, a stethoscope,
a magical or ordinary music instrument, a magic whistle, lamps and
keys. Most items, at least the ones I want and enumerated, increase
my chance to survive.

> Amulets sure but
> amulets in shops are rare. Wands you can test for a nominal charge by
> the shopkeeper (engrave in dust, Engrave with wand, pay usage fee of
> 50 gold).

I don't pay for engrave-ID'ing.

> Scrolls you shouldn't buy anything over 100.

I do want scrolls of price 300.

> Anything under 100 gold is safe to read,

Unless cursed. I don't want to waste scrolls, but for sure I want them
if available in the shops. And if I get them for free, the better.

> the others will have to wait till later
> (till you have more gold anyway, or are doing a bulk identify).

I am a big fan of bulk ID'ing. Nonetheless it's useful to know early
about a supporting item that you can instantly use to your advance.

> Potions? Not super important. You can drink them unidentified I guess
> but they can have bad effects.

With a unihorn in your possession you can do that with appropriate
procedures.

> Rings, yes. Ring shops are really rare
> and you won't know what any of the rings do, except what you try on.

I ignore most of the rings; mainly the ones of price 150. There's a
few interesting in the 100 zk. class, but of most interest are the
expensive ones, the 200 and 300 types.

> I do this with a stack of holy water and try on all the rings in the
> shop. The most game changing items are armor, which are never that
> expensive for magical boots, helms, and cloaks.

Early on mithril is usually not affordable for my characters. Often
I have to leave back a helm of 50/75, and the gauntlets and boots
of that price category I certainly want pet-tested before I try to
put them on.

> An altar is minetown
> is guaranteed for curse testing items. So yes a pet is helpful here
> but you may be overestimating its helpfulness.

Certainly not. :-)

> If it's stealing stuff
> you don't want to drink or read yet anyway, then it's no biggie.

The point is to arrange the stuff in the shop in a way so that the
pet will quickly just take and deliver you the stuff of interest.

>
> Personally, I don't find stealing via teleport to be a big fat deal
> at all. Keystone Kops are not usually very threatening to anyone who
> has an artifact weapon. Angry shopkeepers can be avoided kind of
> easily.

Not worth the hassle, especially if you have a pet.

In Slashem there's Sam's Black Market, a bigroom full of items of
ass sorts and *extremely* expensive. Pets won't follow you through
the portal. Nonetheless I have methods to rob the shop using pets,
because it's worth to let them steal that expensive stuff for you.

>
>
>>> 6. The dungeon is dangerous. The longer you are in the dungeon,
>>> the more likely hood a YASD or other improbable death is to
>>> happen. Ascending in 1/3 the time reduces YASDs and rare deaths
>>> by 2/3rds.
>> This makes no sense to me. Staying longer, advancing not too fast,
>> means that you can prepare yourself better. But it depends on the
>> actual game, the role played, the findings, how you proceed, where
>> to slow down or camp, when to go forth and back, or whether to
>> only hurry forward.
>
> Two categories for this: Rare Deaths, and Player Errors. There are
> rare deaths, like that time a troll picked up a cockatrice corpse and
> hit me with it. That was rare, and the longer the game the more
> chance that something rare and dangerous can happen. The more turns?
> The more monsters you face, the more chests you can open which can be
> trapped, the more times you risk accidentally putting a wand of
> cancellation in your bag of holding, the more chance there could be a
> cockatrice in a pit you fall in and so forth. Those are rare deaths.

Okay, I see what you mean. Despite having comments on every point
I'll abstain because it doesn't fit at all with my views. I suppose
it depends a lot on the way how the operator at the keyboard plays.

Janis

Klaus Kassner

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Jan 23, 2022, 4:18:49 PMJan 23
to
Am 18.01.2022 um 18:19 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 18.01.2022 11:52, Chris Bowers wrote:
>>
>> Tools are so cheap that there's no reason to even steal them.
>
> Early game when we take most advantage of the items gold is usually
> scarce (in my games at least). YMMV.

Yes. Also you may just have spent most of your gold for protection (in
mine town). Then there is one item in a shop you want and can't pay for.
I always try to let my pet steal it.


> Early on mithril is usually not affordable for my characters. Often
> I have to leave back a helm of 50/75, and the gauntlets and boots
> of that price category I certainly want pet-tested before I try to
> put them on.

Any armor that I get from a corpse, I want to get pet-tested unless I am
a priest.


> The point is to arrange the stuff in the shop in a way so that the
> pet will quickly just take and deliver you the stuff of interest.

Yes.

>
>>
>> Personally, I don't find stealing via teleport to be a big fat deal
>> at all. Keystone Kops are not usually very threatening to anyone who
>> has an artifact weapon. Angry shopkeepers can be avoided kind of
>> easily.
>
> Not worth the hassle, especially if you have a pet.

Also you may want to come back to the level and do not want to
accidentally kill the shopkeeper, if you are lawful or neutral.
So you must keep in mind to have enough gold to pay him off next time
you meet him.


> In Slashem there's Sam's Black Market, a bigroom full of items of
> ass sorts and *extremely* expensive. Pets won't follow you through
> the portal. Nonetheless I have methods to rob the shop using pets,
> because it's worth to let them steal that expensive stuff for you.

Yes. For a non-chaotic, killing him/her is not an option. I wait until I
can tame a pet (that is, a dog or cat is created at which I throw a
tripe ration) or get in there with a figurine. Then I drop some
diamonds/rubies/emeralds/sapphires to get credit and let my pet pick
them up while standing in the doorway with a magic whistle. I whistle
until they land out of the shop and wait until they drop the gems for
me. Rinse and repeat. This can get you quite some overpriced items.

The approach of having your pet kill him is difficult. Even a solar will
not always be able to hit Sam after being created from a figurine. So
essentially all of the solar's hits will miss and some of Sam's won't,
until the solar is gone. A giant shoggoth could instakill him but again
will not attack him due to the level difference.


Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 23, 2022, 6:07:16 PMJan 23
to
On 23.01.2022 22:18, Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Am 18.01.2022 um 18:19 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>> In Slashem there's Sam's Black Market, a bigroom full of items of
>> ass sorts and *extremely* expensive. Pets won't follow you through
>> the portal. Nonetheless I have methods to rob the shop using pets,
>> because it's worth to let them steal that expensive stuff for you.
>
> Yes. For a non-chaotic, killing him/her is not an option. I wait until I
> can tame a pet (that is, a dog or cat is created at which I throw a
> tripe ration)

Or a horse. Generally I try to get a spare blessed bag of holding (or
a sack if a BoH isn't available) to fill it as much as possible to
speed things up. But above a weight of 50 the smaller types of cats
and dogs won't lift the container, so I try to get a big domestic pet.
A sack/bag is also helpful to get the interesting cursed items as well;
once you have got the many items you can uncurse all objects at once.

> or get in there with a figurine. Then I drop some
> diamonds/rubies/emeralds/sapphires to get credit and let my pet pick
> them up while standing in the doorway with a magic whistle. I whistle
> until they land out of the shop and wait until they drop the gems for
> me. Rinse and repeat. This can get you quite some overpriced items.

If I cannot find an appropriate pet at the Black Market I try to find
one outside that branch, kill it, take its corpse through the portal,
revive it with undead turning, tame it, and start the robbery.

It's also possible, I seem to recall, to tame an appropriate random
monster there. (But don't try to tame the peaceful inhabitants; must
be quite fatal, if I recall the Wiki correctly.)

>
> The approach of having your pet kill him is difficult. Even a solar will
> not always be able to hit Sam after being created from a figurine. So
> essentially all of the solar's hits will miss and some of Sam's won't,
> until the solar is gone. A giant shoggoth could instakill him but again
> will not attack him due to the level difference.

It never occurred to me to kill Sam or let him get killed by a pet.
He's described as so dangerous that I take the much simpler robbery
approach.

Janis

Klaus Kassner

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Jan 24, 2022, 4:22:59 AMJan 24
to
Am 24.01.2022 um 00:07 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 23.01.2022 22:18, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>> Am 18.01.2022 um 18:19 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>>> In Slashem there's Sam's Black Market, a bigroom full of items of
>>> ass sorts and *extremely* expensive. Pets won't follow you through
>>> the portal. Nonetheless I have methods to rob the shop using pets,
>>> because it's worth to let them steal that expensive stuff for you.
>>
>> Yes. For a non-chaotic, killing him/her is not an option. I wait until I
>> can tame a pet (that is, a dog or cat is created at which I throw a
>> tripe ration)
>
> Or a horse.
Yes.

Generally I try to get a spare blessed bag of holding (or
> a sack if a BoH isn't available) to fill it as much as possible to
> speed things up.
That is also a possibility, of course. Maybe even more efficient.

> But above a weight of 50 the smaller types of cats
> and dogs won't lift the container, so I try to get a big domestic pet.

That's why I use gems. They are not heavy. I think I have had up to four
dogs and cats at Sam's. At least two out of which were created randomly.

> A sack/bag is also helpful to get the interesting cursed items as well;
> once you have got the many items you can uncurse all objects at once.
>
>> or get in there with a figurine. Then I drop some
>> diamonds/rubies/emeralds/sapphires to get credit and let my pet pick
>> them up while standing in the doorway with a magic whistle. I whistle
>> until they land out of the shop and wait until they drop the gems for
>> me. Rinse and repeat. This can get you quite some overpriced items.
>
> If I cannot find an appropriate pet at the Black Market I try to find
> one outside that branch, kill it, take its corpse through the portal,
> revive it with undead turning, tame it, and start the robbery.

Good method.
>
> It's also possible, I seem to recall, to tame an appropriate random
> monster there. (But don't try to tame the peaceful inhabitants; must
> be quite fatal, if I recall the Wiki correctly.)
>
>>
>> The approach of having your pet kill him is difficult. Even a solar will
>> not always be able to hit Sam after being created from a figurine. So
>> essentially all of the solar's hits will miss and some of Sam's won't,
>> until the solar is gone. A giant shoggoth could instakill him but again
>> will not attack him due to the level difference.
>
> It never occurred to me to kill Sam or let him get killed by a pet.
> He's described as so dangerous that I take the much simpler robbery
> approach.

Well, if you are interested in using ThiefBane or if you have not been
able to get magic resistance yet, lacking a way to genocide arch liches,
then it may be useful. But of course, most of my killings of Sam have
been done in wizard mode. Just in order to try out how it can be done.
Polymorphing yourself into a giant shoggoth works, but you need
telepathy to see him and since he must be killed twice (he wears an
amulet of life saving, which you can identify killing him if you haven't
seen it before -- but not with the shoggoth approach), that is not
advisable for a non-chaotic character.

The safest approach is to surround yourself with boulders in the
entrance and shoot him with a firearm (preferably an assault gun) with
appropriately enchanted bullets.
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