starting monk vorpal blade

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Isidore Ducasse

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Jan 22, 2022, 3:15:43 AMJan 22
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Just started with monk, got vorpal blade from sacrifice at orcish mines.
Is it good ? How far can I enhance swords ?
Shall I use it all the time from now on and forget about fighting
without any weapon as I did so far ?

Thanks for your hints !

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 22, 2022, 3:33:57 AMJan 22
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On 22.01.2022 09:15, Isidore Ducasse wrote:
> Just started with monk, got vorpal blade from sacrifice at orcish mines.
> Is it good ?

It's okay. Long swords do good damage. And that artifact beheads
monsters with 10% probability; if you survive that long in melee
with monsters. If I'd have enough food to altar camp for divine
gifts I'd continue sacrificing until I get something better. Mind
that in all granted weapons' classes monks will only be able to
get Basic proficiency.

> How far can I enhance swords ?

Monks are restricted in most weapons, so they are in long swords,
but since you had been gifted that artifact you can get to Basic.

> Shall I use it all the time from now on and forget about fighting
> without any weapon as I did so far ?

I prefer to train monks' martial arts proficiency. While doing that
occasionally switch to the sword to get your long sword proficiency
enhanced to Basic.

If you happen to get Mjollnir I'd certainly prefer that. The other
good artifacts available to monks, like Firebrand or Frostbrand,
should be enchanted to be most effective. The Magicbane might also
be worth to use. Werebane is a good option for its silver bonus
against were-creatures (or later for demons and vampires). So far
for the neutral and unaligned artifacts.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 22, 2022, 3:37:53 AMJan 22
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On 22.01.2022 09:33, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> On 22.01.2022 09:15, Isidore Ducasse wrote:
>> Just started with monk, got vorpal blade from sacrifice at orcish mines.
>> Is it good ?
>
> It's okay. Long swords do good damage. [...]

This page may help you to compare artifacts once you've got more than
one: http://nh.gridbug.de/artifacts.html

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 25, 2022, 11:37:30 PMJan 25
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Janis is correct on calling it "okay".

It does have a +1d5 to hit bonus (against everything) which is an important property, kinda almost more important than damage. Remember, hitting more often deals more damage overall, after all!

It only has +1 damage, which is real low for an artifact weapon. It has behading sometimes, which is obviously "more damage" in that you can rarely get mortal damage that just kills something outright.

Janis is correct, it should be used as a bridge to get a better artifact weapon. Kill easy monsters with it to get it from unskilled to basic. Then keep sacrificing (and killing things with it, to sacrifice for a better weapon.

The other option as janis says is to continue to do martial arts and advance that. This depends on what stage of the game you're at. In the early game bonus to hit is incredibly important, and becomes less important as time goes on, your luck increases, you throw gems at unicorns, you get a luckstone, etc.

Monks can get and advance lots of spells. You might use your pet a lot. I don't know what you do.

SInce I'm a fighter type, I would vorpal and sacrifice to get a better artifact weapon. May require you going to sokoban. Vorpal is enough to kill most anything in sokoban if you are level 6 or below. (If your level gets too high, the monsters get to be higher level).

Killing everything in sight with vorpal is tempting, but you will get tougher and tougher monsters. Use spells, avoid, use pet, dodge, avoid, get to sokoban, get reflection or bag and food, come back sacrifice and try to get something better.

-Chris

Klaus Kassner

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Jan 26, 2022, 1:43:54 AMJan 26
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A major advantage of getting Vorpal Blade is that if you make it to the
Astral Plane none of the adventurer characters there can wield it
against you to behead you instantly. (I usually don't wear an amulet of
life saving there, if I need one for reflection.)

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 26, 2022, 3:03:17 AMJan 26
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On 26.01.2022 07:43, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> A major advantage of getting Vorpal Blade is that if you make it to the
> Astral Plane none of the adventurer characters there can wield it
> against you to behead you instantly.

Yeah, that can be a bad experience for the unaware.

The player characters at Astral are quite tough, they engage you while
all the angels and priests are also on you. That's why I just teleport
them away; makes my life easier in that nasty area (and I need not care
about the chance of the Vorpal Blade being weld in their hand).

Janis

Isidore Ducasse

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Jan 26, 2022, 12:23:49 PMJan 26
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Thank you for the tips !
I've tried and got dragonbane, which is worse I think. Then I stopped sacrifice
because I'm afraid the odds of getting a third artefact become very low
and I'll have to wait for a veeeery long time (don't have create monsters).

I'm XP11 and close to starting the quest, I think I'll continue with vorpal.

Thanks

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 26, 2022, 1:02:51 PMJan 26
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On 26.01.2022 18:23, Isidore Ducasse wrote:
> Thank you for the tips !
> I've tried and got dragonbane, which is worse I think. Then I stopped sacrifice
> because I'm afraid the odds of getting a third artefact become very low
> and I'll have to wait for a veeeery long time (don't have create monsters).

The odds are not too bad. But then, what if you get another lousy one?
;-)

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 26, 2022, 7:52:19 PMJan 26
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You can keep going. You can just keep going. Two is easy. Three is harder. However, it's real hard after four I've found. Three is easy. Four is okay. Getting a fifth artifact is tough. Your thoughts Janis?

This is also heavily influenced by "create monster" spell. If you have THAt any amount of sacrifices can be fine...

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 27, 2022, 2:21:12 AMJan 27
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On 27.01.2022 01:52, Chris Bowers wrote:
> On Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 1:02:51 PM UTC-5, Janis wrote:
>> On 26.01.2022 18:23, Isidore Ducasse wrote:
>>> Thank you for the tips ! I've tried and got dragonbane, which is
>>> worse I think. Then I stopped sacrifice because I'm afraid the
>>> odds of getting a third artefact become very low and I'll have to
>>> wait for a veeeery long time (don't have create monsters).
>> The odds are not too bad. But then, what if you get another lousy
>> one? ;-)
>
> You can keep going. You can just keep going. Two is easy. Three is
> harder. However, it's real hard after four I've found. Three is easy.
> Four is okay. Getting a fifth artifact is tough. Your thoughts
> Janis?

I may be a pathological case and thus not a sensible sample for
comparison. ;-)

Once I've managed the food issue, I sacrifice at an altar until I
get a decent artifact weapon; in case of a disappointing series
of only lousy or inappropriate artifacts I continue even beyond
five (or more) already got artifacts, if I think it's necessary
(or convenient) for my character.

But since altar camping at that stage isn't something to suggest
unconditionally I abstain from suggesting it. Only my and others'
experience that there's obviously too many lousy artifacts should
be mentioned, so that (in an attempt to get a better artifact) a
player is not too disappointed or brings himself in danger when
trying to get a good artifact during altar campings while odds
are bad.

>
> This is also heavily influenced by "create monster" spell. If you
> have THAt any amount of sacrifices can be fine...

You need sufficient food for that (or eat some of the bigger
monsters created). I also keep a couple cursed scrolls of create
monster, or leave one charge in an (identified) wand of create
monster to break it for more outcome; but that requires that you
can handle hordes of tough monsters, or have something to burn
the E-word (in NH-343, or Slash'em, not sure about NH-36x).

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 28, 2022, 10:43:26 AMJan 28
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Right. There were a few games I ascended (very rarely) with a normal weapon all the way enchanted. This was because I didn't have the patience for sacrificing for artifacts beyond four. So this is super super rare that you don't get something decent after four gifts. But it does happen.

Isidore Ducasse

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Jan 29, 2022, 5:51:02 AMJan 29
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*sigh* YASD: first time I see Master Kean, and he hits really hard !
He froze me and I couldn't do anything... Reflection was not enough :-(
I thought somehow that the starting robe was MR, or tbh, I don't
understand that much the specifics of MR vs. reflection, well I should
learn...

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 29, 2022, 4:40:42 PMJan 29
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My condolences. It may soothe you to know that Kaen is one of the most
dangerous quest nemeses. It needs precaution, preparation and a tactic;
if you don't mind to get spoiled have a look into the Wiki, otherwise
think about possibilities how to (preferable completely) _avoid_ melee
with him.

There's more in Nethack than only MR and reflection; the paralysis you
experienced was a clerical spell he casted at you. He has a couple more
very effective spells.

Janis

Pat Rankin

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Jan 29, 2022, 6:26:23 PMJan 29
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On Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 1:40:42 PM UTC-8, Janis wrote:
> There's more in Nethack than only MR and reflection; the paralysis you
> experienced was a clerical spell he casted at you. He has a couple more
> very effective spells.

Both magic resistance and free action protect against the
paralyze spell.

Magic resistance does not protect against a thrown potion
of paralysis though. Free action does.

Chris Bowers

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Jan 30, 2022, 1:58:59 AMJan 30
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Master Kaen is indeed a monster of a beast. He's just so hard.

Only thing harder are the riders, demogorgon, and some of the demons.

You have to really be on your game to fight Master Kaen. I NEVER fight him before I do the castle and wish up the very best stuff.

If I were playing wishless I'd do the entire rest of the game first (including the quest but excluding him and his level) and scum for more items to fight him that way.

You need ac above -20. You need 200hp minimum. You need reflection, magic resistance, and some hefty damage by weapon or spell. He doesn't respect elbereth because he's a human, can't be stoned with a cockatrice. He sometimes starts with a cloak of magic resistance, and has magic resistance himself if he has the quest artifact, which is likely. He heals himself continually and summons insects at will. He's a real bad monkey. He does 16d2+16d2 damage+1d4 for an average of 18 points per turn, plus, he's fast.

Boulder forts, scroll of scare monster, and attack spells and wands of frost/fire/lightning work well on him. If you are a chaotic monk, stormbringer max enchanted is great. Other options are firebrand/frostbrand/mjollnir. For lawfuls excalibur and greyswandir. I wouldn't use martial arts on him unless you are grandmaster and double speeded.
Look to damage increasing items such as rings of increase damage and gauntlets of power. Wand of death also works.

Always have escape means of teleport, cursed potions of gain level (for a hasty exit). Scrolls of teleport while confused will levelport you out.

Wiki says polymorphing him is also an option.

You've faced one of the worst bosses in Nethack and lost. There's no shame in it. Master Kaen kicked my ass first time too.

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 30, 2022, 5:37:47 AMJan 30
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On 30.01.2022 07:58, Chris Bowers wrote:
> Master Kaen is indeed a monster of a beast. He's just so hard.
>
> Only thing harder are the riders, demogorgon, and some of the
> demons.

In Slashem there's generally a Demogorgon level so I regularly
meet that demon. The good thing is that it respects Elbereth
(don't know about Elbereth in recent Nethack versions), where
Kaen doesn't. That's why I consider Kaen even worse than big D.

>
> Boulder forts, scroll of scare monster, and attack spells and wands
> of frost/fire/lightning work well on him. If you are a chaotic monk,
> stormbringer max enchanted is great. Other options are
> firebrand/frostbrand/mjollnir. For lawfuls excalibur and greyswandir.
> I wouldn't use martial arts on him unless you are grandmaster and
> double speeded. Look to damage increasing items such as rings of
> increase damage and gauntlets of power. Wand of death also works.

Once he's "awaken" he will immediately pick up the quest artifact
and get MR (unless he already had it from a cloak), so he's immune
to death. Even if you succeed in getting in a straight line without
him noticing you, if your wand misses (I think) he will "wake up".

>
> Always have escape means of teleport, cursed potions of gain level
> (for a hasty exit). Scrolls of teleport while confused will levelport
> you out.

I'm not a big fan, to say the least, of escaping him. If you come
back you have to start the process again. Moreover, typically he's
adjacent to you and will accompany you on level-teleport "escapes".
Getting confused usually needs an extra turn; that may be deadly
and better spent in teleporting him away - a couple attempts may
be necessary if he immediately comes back - to escape without him.
The instant(!) level-escape is an option if you enter his lair by
accident through a trapdoor; since you want to cover the stairs
and not let Kaen get to that tactical position.

I think it's better to have a plan that reliably works, and the
intention to kill him on the first date you have with him.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 30, 2022, 5:50:25 AMJan 30
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On Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 5:37:47 AM UTC-5, Janis wrote:
> On 30.01.2022 07:58, Chris Bowers wrote:
> > Master Kaen is indeed a monster of a beast. He's just so hard.
> >
> > Only thing harder are the riders, demogorgon, and some of the
> > demons.
> In Slashem there's generally a Demogorgon level so I regularly
> meet that demon. The good thing is that it respects Elbereth
> (don't know about Elbereth in recent Nethack versions), where
> Kaen doesn't. That's why I consider Kaen even worse than big D.
> >
> > Boulder forts, scroll of scare monster, and attack spells and wands
> > of frost/fire/lightning work well on him. If you are a chaotic monk,
> > stormbringer max enchanted is great. Other options are
> > firebrand/frostbrand/mjollnir. For lawfuls excalibur and greyswandir.
> > I wouldn't use martial arts on him unless you are grandmaster and
> > double speeded. Look to damage increasing items such as rings of
> > increase damage and gauntlets of power. Wand of death also works.
> Once he's "awaken" he will immediately pick up the quest artifact
> and get MR (unless he already had it from a cloak), so he's immune
> to death. Even if you succeed in getting in a straight line without
> him noticing you, if your wand misses (I think) he will "wake up".

True.

> > Always have escape means of teleport, cursed potions of gain level
> > (for a hasty exit). Scrolls of teleport while confused will levelport
> > you out.
> I'm not a big fan, to say the least, of escaping him. If you come
> back you have to start the process again.

I escape quest nemesis all the time. You fight them and you're not sure how tough they will be or how powerful you are. So you try it. If it starts to go real bad, you get out of there. Go do the castle or whatever else. Come back later, stronger.


Moreover, typically he's
> adjacent to you and will accompany you on level-teleport "escapes".
> Getting confused usually needs an extra turn; that may be deadly
> and better spent in teleporting him away - a couple attempts may
> be necessary if he immediately comes back - to escape without him.
> The instant(!) level-escape is an option if you enter his lair by
> accident through a trapdoor; since you want to cover the stairs
> and not let Kaen get to that tactical position.

Yes. Step 1 wand of teleport you away. Step 2. confuse self, step 3, read scroll of teleport to GET YOU OFF THE LEVEL. Or if he follows you upstairs or escapes upstairs.


> I think it's better to have a plan that reliably works, and the
> intention to kill him on the first date you have with him.
>
> Janis

Of course. But we all make mistakes. If you plan for mistakes and have escape routes, often you don't need them. But if you do: they are there.


-Chris

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 30, 2022, 9:47:57 AMJan 30
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On 30.01.2022 11:50, Chris Bowers wrote:
> On Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 5:37:47 AM UTC-5, Janis wrote:
>> I'm not a big fan, to say the least, of escaping him. If you come
>> back you have to start the process again.
>
> I escape quest nemesis all the time. You fight them and you're not
> sure how tough they will be or how powerful you are. So you try it.
> If it starts to go real bad, you get out of there. Go do the castle
> or whatever else. Come back later, stronger.

That's certainly sensible as suggestions for the unexperienced or
unspoiled players.

In case of Kaen I feel the need for a plan in the first place,
since his attacks require more than just a bit more AC or weapon
enchantments or some additional tool. Either I don't have what I
need, then I wait - and don't go in a "first round" with him -,
or I am prepared then I just do all necessary procedures to kill
him.

>
>> Moreover, typically he's
>> adjacent to you and will accompany you on level-teleport "escapes".
>> Getting confused usually needs an extra turn; that may be deadly
>> and better spent in teleporting him away - a couple attempts may be
>> necessary if he immediately comes back - to escape without him. The
>> instant(!) level-escape is an option if you enter his lair by
>> accident through a trapdoor; since you want to cover the stairs and
>> not let Kaen get to that tactical position.
>
> Yes. Step 1 wand of teleport you away.

Usually I teleport the foe away (not me), which works also on
no-teleport levels. In case of Kaen I also want to stay on the
stairs, even if escape is the tactical plan - and then there's
even no confusion or scrolls necessary, just go upstairs while
he's dislocated and non-adjacent any more.

> Step 2. confuse self, step 3,
> read scroll of teleport to GET YOU OFF THE LEVEL. Or if he follows
> you upstairs or escapes upstairs.

>> I think it's better to have a plan that reliably works, and the
>> intention to kill him on the first date you have with him.
>
> Of course. But we all make mistakes. If you plan for mistakes and
> have escape routes, often you don't need them. But if you do: they
> are there.

Sure.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 30, 2022, 3:16:56 PMJan 30
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Now that I play a variety of roles. I often don't spoil myself about the quest nemesis, or I forget who they are and don't look it up. (More fun that way). Just now I fought the quest nemesis in the Arc quest (minion) two weaponing with Excalibur +6, Silver Sabre +2, and a ring of increase damage +4. I was able to sneak up on him and stand next to him and suprise him immediately. He was completley kicked off balance, and instantly teleported to the upstairs (as I did so much damage) leaving the orb behind. I walked back to the upstairs. I approached him, and He went down in three turns. Two weapon, silver damage, the enchantments, and of course the ring of increase damage (which applies to both attacks) was just too much for him.

I remember that when I was doing the ranger quest, I knew the nemesis was scorpius but I couldn't remember what he was. I was kind of scared. He's.... a scorpion. Just a scorpion. His ac is 10. It's pathetic. He can poison you and give you sickness (which you can instantly cure with a unicorn horn). My ac was only -15 and he couldn't even hit me. I even felt sorry for him. His average damage (if he could even hit you) is 7.
SEVEN. The average damage he does is seven damage. If he could hit you. Which he likely can't. Pathetic!

-Chris




Klaus Kassner

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Jan 30, 2022, 3:57:29 PMJan 30
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Am 30.01.2022 um 15:47 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 30.01.2022 11:50, Chris Bowers wrote:
>> On Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 5:37:47 AM UTC-5, Janis wrote:
>>> I'm not a big fan, to say the least, of escaping him. If you come
>>> back you have to start the process again.

I second that. Don't meet him before sufficiently prepared. If you
manage to paralyse him with a potion (preferably wearing a ring of free
action), you don't even need a weapon to beat him, at least in slash'em.
Apply a few of the particular techniques that a sufficiently high-level
monk has available, attacking with a chained blitz action that allows
you to concatenate several martial arts moves. You can kill him with two
hits this way. Monks need artifact weapons only if dealing with several
enemies in short succession or at once. (If the technique is available,
a monk should be able to kill any of the riders with a single hit. The
Wizard of Yendor with two. Unfortunately, it takes time to regenerate
the technique, and it is easy to enter incorrect sequences of chained
blitz. You simply have to know your martial arts well...)

>>
>> Yes. Step 1 wand of teleport you away.
>
> Usually I teleport the foe away (not me), which works also on
> no-teleport levels. In case of Kaen I also want to stay on the
> stairs, even if escape is the tactical plan - and then there's
> even no confusion or scrolls necessary, just go upstairs while
> he's dislocated and non-adjacent any more.

Teleporting away may not be a good strategy when you are already low at
hitpoints and your opponent is fast. My only death to a quest nemesis
ever was to Maugneshaagar, who apparently cursed my blessed bag of
holding, so I lost some speed. (Of course, I should have put the bag
into a sack, but this was my first Necromancer making it to the quest,
and I did not know that he is a curse-caster.) Instead of engraving
Elbereth, which would have saved me, I teleported him away to move up
the stairs. I managed to "teleport him away" twice, but he was next to
me immediately after each teleport, and I was at two hit points after
the second time, so he killed me. I never could get a move in to take
the stairs up. My calculation had been that being fast myself, two
teleports would give me at least one move to go upstairs. Anyway, later
I realized that being a "&", he did respect Elbereth, and I had had a
wand of fire...



Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 30, 2022, 4:15:13 PMJan 30
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On 30.01.2022 21:16, Chris Bowers wrote:
>
> Now that I play a variety of roles. I often don't spoil myself about
> the quest nemesis, or I forget who they are and don't look it up.
> (More fun that way). Just now I fought the quest nemesis in the Arc
> quest (minion) two weaponing with Excalibur +6, Silver Sabre +2, and
> a ring of increase damage +4. I was able to sneak up on him and stand
> next to him and suprise him immediately. He was completley kicked off
> balance, and instantly teleported to the upstairs (as I did so much
> damage) leaving the orb behind. I walked back to the upstairs. I
> approached him, and He went down in three turns. Two weapon, silver
> damage, the enchantments, and of course the ring of increase damage
> (which applies to both attacks) was just too much for him.

Something similar happened to me not too long ago (in Slashem) with
a Samurai. I had an army of minions and didn't want them to get in
my way of zapping the Samurai nemesis with death (or something else,
maybe sleep, don't recall). But I failed to keep the minions at
distance, and they woke him up even before I got adjacent. The nice
part was that they obviously dealt so much damage that he left the
Tsurugi behind when he instantly teleported to the stairs. I took
it, stashed it away, and when the nemesis came back he died after
a single hit.

>
> [Scorpious]

The good thing with that scorpion is that is respects Elbereth, an
instant defense measure applicable. (Not applicable with Kaen or
other humans.)

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Jan 30, 2022, 4:26:53 PMJan 30
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On 30.01.2022 21:57, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> I second that. Don't meet him before sufficiently prepared. If you
> manage to paralyse him with a potion (preferably wearing a ring of free
> action), you don't even need a weapon to beat him, at least in slash'em.
> Apply a few of the particular techniques that a sufficiently high-level
> monk has available, attacking with a chained blitz action that allows
> you to concatenate several martial arts moves. You can kill him with two
> hits this way. Monks need artifact weapons only if dealing with several
> enemies in short succession or at once. (If the technique is available,
> a monk should be able to kill any of the riders with a single hit. The
> Wizard of Yendor with two. Unfortunately, it takes time to regenerate
> the technique, and it is easy to enter incorrect sequences of chained
> blitz. You simply have to know your martial arts well...)

Frankly, I haven't yet succeeded with the martial arts techniques
_interface_. I tried it once or twice but it didn't work, yet not
as I'd expected. So I abstained from using techniques at all (call
it one hand behind ones back technique for not using techniques :-).
I actually play monks just conventionally (simple martial arts and
artifact weapons in Slashem, and only artifact weapons formerly in
Nethack).

>
> Teleporting away may not be a good strategy when you are already low at
> hitpoints and your opponent is fast.

Absolutely correct. It's more an issue if you accidentally have got
Kaen adjacent (by accidentally losing a turn or opening the boulder
fort in the heat of the fight), so that you can fix that mishap.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Jan 30, 2022, 8:55:55 PMJan 30
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I like teleporting self. In 3.6x teleporting an opponent may not work. But teleporting yourself is 100% guaranteed
.

Isidore Ducasse

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Feb 1, 2022, 1:47:44 AMFeb 1
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So the potion of paralysis looks like a terrible thing, as many monsters
can throw them, even in the early game ?

Does it mean that as soon as I can get a ring of free action, I should
keep it on all the time ?

Glancing at the wiki, I didn't had the feeling that this ring was that
much important...

Chris Bowers

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Feb 1, 2022, 2:16:26 AMFeb 1
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It really depends. The chance of a thrown potion is very rare. But there are other forms of paralysis. Some people do prize the ring and simply keep it on the whole game. It's also great early game as it protects against floating eyes if you don't have reflection.

When I encounter it late game and I have 400 HP and -45 Armor Class and magic resistance and reflection, paralysis isn't such a big issue. But paralysis does happen and some people really like the item.

As well you can WIELD a potion of paralysis, smashing things with it. If you're wearing a ring of free action it won't paralyze you, but will be guaranteed to hit the opponent, and a very good chance to paralyze the opponent. People use this on Orcus so he won't use up charges from his wand of death. Also applicable if you happen to encounter Demogorgon. The riders are immune but most of the other greater demons are not. Another situation to use this

The wizard used to be susceptible to it in early versions of nethack. People would hit the wizard of yendor and leave him on a lower level, which would freeze him there and he couldn't harass you the rest of the game. (That exploit has been taken out of the current game). Still it's a great strategy to use for "double trouble" (when faced with TWO wizards).

-Chris

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 1, 2022, 5:43:57 AMFeb 1
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On 01.02.2022 07:47, Isidore Ducasse wrote:
> So the potion of paralysis looks like a terrible thing, as many monsters
> can throw them, even in the early game ?

Yes. Early or late, monsters can severely spoil your character or simply
just kill you. Early and late game.

>
> Does it mean that as soon as I can get a ring of free action, I should
> keep it on all the time ?

That's what I do. (The difficulty is to get one in the first place.)

>
> Glancing at the wiki, I didn't had the feeling that this ring was that
> much important...

The Wiki is yet for information not for feelings. :-)

Janis

Klaus Kassner

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Feb 1, 2022, 12:20:24 PMFeb 1
to
On a no-teleport level it is 100% guaranteed to fail... (unless you are
in wizard mode, of course). Well, on Kaen's level teleportation is
allowed. But where do you teleport to, if you were already on the
upstairs? He will follow you swiftly, if you teleport inside the level,
so you will not save yourself, if you had already problems to begin
with, and immediately, if you level teleport and he was next to you.

Chris Bowers

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Feb 1, 2022, 8:09:50 PMFeb 1
to

> On a no-teleport level it is 100% guaranteed to fail... (unless you are
> in wizard mode, of course). Well, on Kaen's level teleportation is
> allowed. But where do you teleport to, if you were already on the
> upstairs? He will follow you swiftly, if you teleport inside the level,
> so you will not save yourself, if you had already problems to begin
> with, and immediately, if you level teleport and he was next to you.

Right. So against Master Kaen, you zap teleport on yourself. That's 100% success.

He will follow you swiftly, if you teleport inside the level,
> so you will not save yourself, if you had already problems to begin
> with,

That is not true. It takes time for him to teleport to you. The teleports happen about once every 5 turns.

Teleporting away from him gives you a few turns before he teleports next to you and hits you again. So you zap teleport at yourself. Then you confuse yourself with a forgotten spell (1 turn). Then you level teleport with a scroll of teleport (1 turn to read). And you're safe.

>And immediately, if you level teleport and he was next to you.

I don't know what this means. Are you saying he levelports WITH you?

I've never seen this.

But I have used the above strategy on many teleporting bosses (including to escape demogorgon) and it works great.

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 1, 2022, 10:15:04 PMFeb 1
to
On 02.02.2022 02:09, Chris Bowers wrote:
>
>> On a no-teleport level it is 100% guaranteed to fail... (unless you
>> are in wizard mode, of course). Well, on Kaen's level teleportation
>> is allowed. But where do you teleport to, if you were already on
>> the upstairs? He will follow you swiftly, if you teleport inside
>> the level, so you will not save yourself, if you had already
>> problems to begin with, and immediately, if you level teleport and
>> he was next to you.
>
> Right. So against Master Kaen, you zap teleport on yourself. That's
> 100% success.
>
> He will follow you swiftly, if you teleport inside the level,
>> so you will not save yourself, if you had already problems to begin
>> with,
>
> That is not true. It takes time for him to teleport to you. The
> teleports happen about once every 5 turns.

Really? I recall nemeses that came back immediately and needed a few
consecutive teleport zaps until my character got a single free turn.

"Movement
When a covetous monster wants to attack, they simply appear
adjacent to you, [...]" [ Wiki ]

I read that as if it's directly correlated with the monster's speed.

Janis

Chris Bowers

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Feb 2, 2022, 12:06:02 AMFeb 2
to
Wow. That's never happened to me.

Hey. Maybe You're unlucky or I'm lucky. But I use self-teleport to escape from demons and demogorgon and quest nemesis on the regular.

Klaus Kassner

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Feb 2, 2022, 4:46:53 AMFeb 2
to
I presume the immediate reappearance happens when you teleport *him*
away. When you teleport yourself away, you may have more time (the logic
behind this being that he has to find you again). But if the
approximately 5 turns means between 1 and 5 turns, then the method is
only probabilistically safe, because he can reappear after 1 turn or 2
already. (A code reader should be able to verify this.)

And yes, if he is next to you, he will levelport with you. (But only then.)

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 2, 2022, 9:11:19 AMFeb 2
to
On 02.02.2022 10:46, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> I presume the immediate reappearance happens when you teleport *him*
> away. When you teleport yourself away, you may have more time (the logic
> behind this being that he has to find you again). But if the
> approximately 5 turns means between 1 and 5 turns, then the method is
> only probabilistically safe, because he can reappear after 1 turn or 2
> already. (A code reader should be able to verify this.)

In Slashem, on the guaranteed Demogorgon level, he comes adjacent soon;
typically in one or two turns, but I've had (very) few games where his
attention was a bit delayed, which could have been these mentioned 4-5
turns. It would be interesting what distribution the values have, since
it seems to me that maximum is close to around ~1.3 turns (in my games).
(I haven't inspected the code, though, that's just from experience.)

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 2, 2022, 11:41:51 AMFeb 2
to
On 27.01.2022 08:21, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
>
> But since altar camping at that stage isn't something to suggest
> unconditionally I abstain from suggesting it. Only my and others'
> experience that there's obviously too many lousy artifacts should
> be mentioned, so that (in an attempt to get a better artifact) a
> player is not too disappointed or brings himself in danger when
> trying to get a good artifact during altar campings while odds
> are bad.

I can add a report of my current [Slashem] game, playing a lawful
hobbit Monk. Until Sokoban the only (luckily coaligned) altar was
in mine town. Sacrifices didn't work well, it required quite some
time before I got even my first gift, which is (in Slashem, for
Monks) a pair of Gauntlets of Defense. So I have to continue with
sacrifices. The imminent food issue I could address by a jewelry
store at the Mall in the main branch; I've got five rings of 200$
and by observing the time/turn counter while going from hungry to
weak for each ring I finally found the last ring to be the desired
one. My plan was to dip for Excalibur once I've received a decent
artifact (to not make sacrificing effectively unusable before),
but remember that Monks are restricted in all good weapons. Anyway
I've entered the Rat level to get the Rat King's long sword. Then
back to the mine town altar. At a point I decided to start praying
until I get crowned, so that (with the longsword in my hand) this
weapon class gets unrestricted. The crowning happened quickly. At
some point I finally got my first gift; Ogresmasher - doh! Have to
continue. Long time nothing else had been gifted, instead hordes
of minions had been granted. A lot later, finally another artifact;
Dragonbane - doh! Well, I could at least resort to Excalibur that
I dipped for. Another problem with that monk was that he had no
bag of holding. All fountains [within the effective range] had
been used in hope for a wish and were drained. No smoky potions.
The throne at the Gnome King level provided nothing. Back to the
altar and continue sacrificing. Finally luck was with me and I
got the Wallet of Perseus, which is a high end version of a BoH.
Okay, I think I can live with Basic skilled Excalibur. I may come
back later (meanwhile it's about T:40000 already) to continue for
another sacrifice gift, but there are so many wimpy ones still
existing that I'd certainly regret that. And Grand Master skill
in martial arts is really great. (If only that would suffice for
Vecna - I consider it a mis-design in Slashem that Grand Master
isn't sufficient to place a hit on her.) I'm settled meanwhile,
let's see how it continues.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 3, 2022, 12:18:54 PMFeb 3
to
On 02.02.2022 17:41, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> [ playing a lawful hobbit Monk, lacking good artifact gift,
> unrestricted long sword by crowning, dipped for Excalibur,
> continued sacrificing, got the Wallet of Perseus ]
>
> I'm settled meanwhile, let's see how it continues.

A crazy game... - Me having an artifact problem? - Seems not.

Long ago I had an ascendable character buried in a bones file
on dlvl:17.

In Slashem there's four quest branches between dlvl:15 and 19,
so only in a game where dlvl:17 doesn't contain a quest branch
it is possible to load that bones file (IIUC).

My hobbit Monk got these bones. So he got GDSM (which are of
not much use for the AC - monks get just one more point from
these - but a source for MR), the Whisperfeed (speed boots),
Holy Spear of light (good for Monks, spears are unrestricted),
Disrupter (+30 damage to undead, +5 to hit), +5 Snickersnee,
then in the Lawful quest he found Stormbringer (10% chance)
but it gives a terrible deadly blast. Found also Deathsword,
and maybe more artifacts that I forgot. Obviously the time
for altar camping passed with that many existing artifacts
(including all those from the four quests). And, of course,
a lot other useful things he got from the bones; two magic
lamps, a magic candle, a magic whistle (so I can dispose my
blessed but fragile eucalyptus leafs), a spare bag of holding
(to ease robbery of Sam's Market), the usual heaps of scrolls,
potions, and wands, a healthstone, and whatnot else. Kaen is
dead; a boulder fort, +5 GoP, a small heap of (restricted)
+0 darts, each dart dealing 9-10 points of damage, and a few
zaps from a wand of sleep to make targeting easier.

Will this Monk become part of the next bones file deeper down?
Bets are open.

Next stages are the Wyrm Caves, Sam's Market, and the Tomb.
(And I hope the Adventurer's Guild will not be generated.)

Janis

Klaus Kassner

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Feb 4, 2022, 11:21:10 AMFeb 4
to
Well, on the Demogorgon level, all my teleports away from him are one
level up... So he does not follow, if he is not adjacent, which I have
made sure before.

Chris Bowers

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Feb 6, 2022, 11:52:35 PMFeb 6
to
Covetous Monsters do not reappear after one turn when you teleport yourself away with wand of teleport. I've never, never seen that. Slash 'em might be different.

My strategy works, and works well. You teleport yourself away, you confuse yourself (one turn of a forgotten spell) and read a scroll of teleport to get out of there. Even if you have to go into your bag of holding to get said scroll that's three. Once you (or they) teleport away, it's a minimum 5 turns. Not 1-5 turns.

It is not going to teleport back to you in 1 or 2 turns. This will work everytime.

-Chris

Janis Papanagnou

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Feb 7, 2022, 1:38:07 PMFeb 7
to
On 07.02.2022 05:52, Chris Bowers wrote:
> Covetous Monsters do not reappear after one turn when you teleport
> yourself away with wand of teleport. I've never, never seen that.

Any evidence for that?

> Slash 'em might be different.

I'd expect that Slashem behaves like NH-343. (Not sure about NH-36x;
while teleport tactics of monsters, as far as I've heard, changed
with respect to the choice of stairs, I haven't heard anything about
any change in covetous monsters following the character.)

In Slashem, as in Nethack, the demon lairs are non-teleport levels.
So there you cannot teleport yourself away. And you have to use a
different setup.

In my regular hobbit monk game that I currently play, and where I
had reached Demogorgon's lair yesterday, I could thus only try the
teleport-monster-away tactics. Demogorgon came instantly once he saw
me and he also quickly returnd.

Is there any founded reason why you think that it makes a difference
whether you teleport yourself away or teleport a covetous monster
away? (The monster certainly "knows" where you are, in both cases.)

In Nethack (NH-343) I've just tried in Explore mode, but that didn't
work well; wishing for a figurine wasn't possible, and wishing for a
statue and stone-to-fleshing that statue will create a "Demogorgon"
(that quickly follows you if you teleport away; in my test it was on
2nd turn), but that monster was just a shape-changer that quickly
turned to another beast, so I could only test/try the escape once.
(My assumption would be that properties of a shape-shifted creature
would match the new shaped species, but that may also be wrong.)

So tests (while imperfect), own experience, and wording of the Wiki
seem to all support our point.

What non-subjective evidence can you provide to support your opinion?

Janis
Message has been deleted

Chris Bowers

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Mar 5, 2022, 12:58:51 AMMar 5
to
I mean, it's not really SUBJECTIVE evidence. I mean, I've done it so, so many times. Unless you think I'm an unreliable witness or something. Teleport self away from quest nemesis or demon, confuse self with spell, read scroll of teleport. I've also used this to escape demogorgon too in 3.6.1.

Even if the demon were to reappear instantly the first turn, I assume you have more zaps from your teleportation wand, so you just do it again. I've never had the nemesis or demon follow me on the first turn, or 2nd turn either.

In 3.6.0 monsters can resist wand of teleport, so there it would be MORE effective to zap yourself, especially if the nemesis is behind other monsters. Monster can resist=not guaranteed. Teleport wand on self always succeeds (if you can teleport on the level).

In addition, the nemesis can often summon monsters, so it often is effective to teleport yourself away instead, because by teleporting yourself away you're away from BOTH the quest nemesis and attendant monsters.

Teleporting yourself on a teleport level works 100% of the time, so I would assume that you are talking about the number of turns it takes for the nemesis to follow you could be 1 turn? I've never seen that, but I GUESS it could happen.

When talking about a teleporting-to-the-upstairs monster, you are aware of course what happens. You hit it several times, and it teleports to the upstairs to heal up for 3-8 turns or so, and teleports back to you. When you teleport yourself away, I always assumed the same mechanic was in effect, the monster takes 3-8 turns to teleport to you, just as it does when it teleports to the upstairs from combat.

I guess I could film it on my computer or something.

-Chris

Klaus Kassner

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Mar 5, 2022, 8:28:19 AMMar 5
to
Am 05.03.2022 um 06:46 schrieb Chris Bowers:
> On Monday, February 7, 2022 at 1:38:07 PM UTC-5, Janis wrote:
>> On 07.02.2022 05:52, Chris Bowers wrote:
>>> Covetous Monsters do not reappear after one turn when you teleport
>>> yourself away with wand of teleport. I've never, never seen that.
>> Any evidence for that?

>> Is there any founded reason why you think that it makes a difference
>> whether you teleport yourself away or teleport a covetous monster
>> away? (The monster certainly "knows" where you are, in both cases.)
>>
>> In Nethack (NH-343) I've just tried in Explore mode, but that didn't
>> work well; wishing for a figurine wasn't possible, and wishing for a
>> statue and stone-to-fleshing that statue will create a "Demogorgon"
>> (that quickly follows you if you teleport away; in my test it was on
>> 2nd turn), but that monster was just a shape-changer that quickly
>> turned to another beast, so I could only test/try the escape once.
>> (My assumption would be that properties of a shape-shifted creature
>> would match the new shaped species, but that may also be wrong.)
>>
>> So tests (while imperfect), own experience, and wording of the Wiki
>> seem to all support our point.
>>
>> What non-subjective evidence can you provide to support your opinion?
>>
>> Janis
>
> I mean, it's not really SUBJECTIVE evidence. I mean, I've done it so, so many times. Unless you think I'm an unreliable witness or something. Teleport self away from quest nemesis or demon, confuse self with spell, read scroll of teleport. I've also used this to escape demogorgon too in 3.6.1.
>
> Even if the demon were to reappear instantly the first turn, I assume you have more zaps from your teleportation wand, so you just do it again. I've never had the nemesis or demon follow me on the first turn, or 2nd turn either.
>
> In 3.6.0 monsters can resist wand of teleport, so there it would be MORE effective to zap yourself, especially if the nemesis is behind other monsters. Monster can resist=not guaranteed. Teleport wand on self always succeeds.
>
> In addition, the nemesis can often summon monsters, so it often is effective to teleport yourself away instead, because by teleporting yourself away you're away from BOTH the quest nemesis and attendant monsters.
>
> Teleporting yourself on a non teleport level works 100% of the time, so I would assume that you are talking about the number of turns it takes for the nemesis to follow you could be 1 turn? I've never seen that, but I GUESS it could happen.
>
> When talking about a teleporting-to-the-upstairs monster, you are aware of course what happens. You hit it several times, and it teleports to the upstairs to heal up for 3-8 turns or so, and teleports back to you. When you teleport yourself away, I always assumed the same mechanic was in effect, the monster takes 3-8 turns to teleport to you, just as it does when it teleports to the upstairs.
>
> I guess I could film it on my computer or something.
>
> -Chris
>
Would it be easy for a code-reader to find out by inspection of the sources?

Obviously, this tactics will not work on no-teleport levels, so it does
not normally help against Demogorgon in Slash'em. But that's a
no-brainer. If you meet Demogorgon on his own level, you are usually
well prepared. Meeting Demogorgon in NH is another issue and there
self-teleporting away may be a good approach.

The main question in this context is how likely it is that a covetous
monster really takes several turns to get back to you once you teleport
away. If you teleport *them* away, they seem to be back within one turn
(meaning you may have two moves, if the timing is right).

I personally think that an in-game rationale for them coming back to you
faster when *they* are teleported away than when you teleport *yourself*
might be that in the first case they definitely know your position
whereas in the second they "have to look for you". Never mind the
logical flaws inherent in the fact that if you level-teleport and they
are next to you, they can (and will) follow you immediately, while
losing you completely, if there is a space between them and yourself. On
the other hand, when you teleport on the level, they do not seem to be
able to follow you immediately (according to your observations), if next
to you, but it does not make any difference if they are a square away or
two, when you teleport away.

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 5, 2022, 8:18:20 PMMar 5
to
On 05.03.2022 06:46, Chris Bowers wrote:
>
> I mean, it's not really SUBJECTIVE evidence. I mean, I've done it so,
> so many times. Unless you think I'm an unreliable witness or
> something.

I had not the least made any personal assumption when I wrote that
post, and there was certainly no offense intended.

> Teleport self away from quest nemesis or demon, confuse
> self with spell, read scroll of teleport. I've also used this to
> escape demogorgon too in 3.6.1.

As far as I recall, in Nethack, there's no Demogorgon level, and
Demogorgon could only appear in case that two specific demons (was
it Orcus and Yeenoghu or Asmodeus?) would summon him. Encounters
are thus rare. In addition, since these levels are non-teleport
levels self-teleports are not possible, or only if you lure the
demon to another level. So chances to meet him in the first place
in places where we could test behavior are rare, even if (like both
of us) we have spent hundreds of games in Gehennom. (My Demogorgon
contacts in Nethack have certainly been less than five, from memory
I'd say maybe three encounters all in all... - quick search in my
NAO NH endgame logs shows exactly three encounters, so memory still
serves fine :-) In any case the sample size is certainly small.

Thinking about that fact - and assuming you don't liberally strive
towards meeting him - I have to correct my sentence above WRT your
question of being a reliable witness; I have my doubts here, since
I also know how human memory (generally) may fail.

>
> Even if the demon were to reappear instantly the first turn, I assume
> you have more zaps from your teleportation wand, so you just do it
> again. I've never had the nemesis or demon follow me on the first
> turn, or 2nd turn either.

Yes, you said that before.

Indeed you usually have more charges in your wand, and the reason
why I warned about the monster's return is exactly because covetous
monsters happened to return in my games typically immediately (not
Juiblex, who is slow but other more dangerous demons and quest
nemeses) after having zapped them more than once or twice so that I
feared I wouldn't get a free turn until the wand is empty.

>
> In 3.6.0 monsters can resist wand of teleport, so there it would be
> MORE effective to zap yourself, especially if the nemesis is behind
> other monsters. Monster can resist=not guaranteed. Teleport wand on
> self always succeeds.

As said, I cannot speak for NH-36x.

As explained above self-teleport may be no alternative if we are
speaking about the demon lairs that are non-teleport levels.

>
> In addition, the nemesis can often summon monsters,

Yes, the spell-casters (about half of the quest nemeses) can do that.

> so it often is
> effective to teleport yourself away instead, because by teleporting
> yourself away you're away from BOTH the quest nemesis and attendant
> monsters.

You have to consider that if you succeed to teleport the nemesis away
you can instantly leave the level using the stairs. If you teleport
yourself away you typically need additional turns to escape, or need
teleport control to return to the stairs (which, if you think about
it, is typically impossible in the case of summoned monsters, that you
describe as additional factor to consider).

>
> Teleporting yourself on a non teleport level works 100% of the time,

That was certainly not true for NH-343, where the success rate was 0%
exactly.

In case that this changed in NH-36x (that I doubt) the term no-teleport
level would certainly make no sense any more.

> so I would assume that you are talking about the number of turns it
> takes for the nemesis to follow you could be 1 turn? I've never seen
> that, but I GUESS it could happen.

Yes, that's what I was reporting. I remember to have needed more than
one zap in several cases before he stayed away so that I could escape.

>
> When talking about a teleporting-to-the-upstairs monster, you are
> aware of course what happens. You hit it several times, and it
> teleports to the upstairs to heal up for 3-8 turns or so, and
> teleports back to you. When you teleport yourself away, I always
> assumed the same mechanic was in effect, the monster takes 3-8 turns
> to teleport to you, just as it does when it teleports to the
> upstairs.

I would assume that this happens exactly in the case where you managed
to _severely_ wound him - in both teleport-scenarios. But that means
you did so, and then aborted the attack? If I am equipped and buff
enough to fight the nemesis so far then I usually have no reason to
flee. I usually have problems with the nemesis if I get to his level
unintended or if he wakes up too soon and he surprises me.

> I guess I could film it on my computer or something.

Attentive observations would probably suffice, if backed up by more
than one other player. Yet better, of course, a source code reference.
Since observations from players represent too small sample sets here,
but also depending on the speed of the actual monster to be considered.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 5, 2022, 8:30:52 PMMar 5
to
On 05.03.2022 14:28, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>
> Would it be easy for a code-reader to find out by inspection of the
> sources?

That would also be my preference.

>
> Obviously, this tactics will not work on no-teleport levels, so it does
> not normally help against Demogorgon in Slash'em. But that's a
> no-brainer. If you meet Demogorgon on his own level, you are usually
> well prepared. Meeting Demogorgon in NH is another issue and there
> self-teleporting away may be a good approach.

But mind how Demogorgon appears; by being summoned by only a few major
demons. That happens in my experience either on the also non-teleport
levels of these demons, or in a two-step indirect way by lesser demons'
summoning major demons, who then summon them. That can happen on levels
with fountain, for example, as I seem to recall from own experience.
(But if you summoned Yeenoghu, there's no need to wait for Demogorgon,
since you can test it also with Yeenoghu then - that is, if you survive
long enough that early to complete the test. :-)

>
> The main question in this context is how likely it is that a covetous
> monster really takes several turns to get back to you once you teleport
> away. If you teleport *them* away, they seem to be back within one turn
> (meaning you may have two moves, if the timing is right).
>
> I personally think that an in-game rationale for them coming back to you
> faster when *they* are teleported away than when you teleport *yourself*
> might be that in the first case they definitely know your position
> whereas in the second they "have to look for you".

The test that I made does not seem to support that assumed behavior.
Or can you confirm that from own observation?

> [...]

Janis


Klaus Kassner

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Mar 6, 2022, 12:30:13 PMMar 6
to
No, because I rarely use either strategy on covetous monsters. Teleport
away does not give you much breathing time and it never occured to me
that this might be different for self-teleportation.

With teleport control, self-teleportation is preferable to escape melee
situations with many foes -- but it does not work on non-teleport
levels. Teleport away seemed to work always in pre-3.6.x versions, so it
is good to get rid of the occasional disenchanter or mind flayer (if you
have not genocided them) while in a melee with many monsters. You do not
want to switch to an inferior weapon where you don't care about
enchantment while surrounded by sevefral monsters. And of course, you
want to be able to give a mind flayer your full attention, retreating to
keep at least a square between you while blasting him with your wand of
death or lightning or spell of magic missile (or throwing Mjollnir at
him in a particular case).

Klaus Kassner

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Mar 6, 2022, 12:34:37 PMMar 6
to
Am 06.03.2022 um 02:18 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 05.03.2022 06:46, Chris Bowers wrote:
>>
>> I mean, it's not really SUBJECTIVE evidence. I mean, I've done it so,
>> so many times. Unless you think I'm an unreliable witness or
>> something.
>
> I had not the least made any personal assumption when I wrote that
> post, and there was certainly no offense intended.
>
>> Teleport self away from quest nemesis or demon, confuse
>> self with spell, read scroll of teleport. I've also used this to
>> escape demogorgon too in 3.6.1.
>
> As far as I recall, in Nethack, there's no Demogorgon level, and
> Demogorgon could only appear in case that two specific demons (was
> it Orcus and Yeenoghu or Asmodeus?) would summon him.

I seem to remember that I once encountered Demogorgon while fighting the
Wizard of Yendor and I assumed that he had summoned him (Demo was
peaceful, but not for long). Is that also possible or must the wizard
have summoned, say, Orcus, and Orcus then Demogorgon? (In any case, I
had to fight the wizard and two major demons, including Demogorgon,
then, but I survived.)

Janis Papanagnou

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Mar 6, 2022, 1:22:51 PMMar 6
to
On 06.03.2022 18:30, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> With teleport control, self-teleportation is preferable to escape melee
> situations with many foes -- but it does not work on non-teleport
> levels.

Thanks for the [NH-36x] confirmation. For NH-343 I knew it already.
So we can now ignore the recently fostered myth, I suppose.

> Teleport away seemed to work always in pre-3.6.x versions, [...]

What?! - For NH-343, the decades long running version before NH-36x,
that had never worked using scrolls or wands at self.

To what level do you want to teleport? 24 # Medusa non-teleport
What do you want to read? [ijklm or ?*]
As you read the scroll, it disappears. # scroll of teleport
A mysterious force prevents you from teleporting! # <<<<< ineffective
The Woodland-elf throws a runed dagger!
You are almost hit by a runed dagger.
What do you want to zap? [cn or ?*]
You may wish for an object.
For what do you wish? blessed wand of teleportation
q - a zinc wand.
What do you want to zap? [cnq or ?*] # wand of teleportation
In what direction? # at elf - got teleported away
What do you want to zap? [cnq or ?*] # wand of teleportation
In what direction? # at self - no effect, but...
A mysterious force prevents you from teleporting! # <<<<< ineffective
You hear a distant squeak.

...and a scream of mine.

Can we now, please, stop spreading that misinformation.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 6, 2022, 1:27:46 PMMar 6
to
On 06.03.2022 18:34, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> I seem to remember that I once encountered Demogorgon while fighting the
> Wizard of Yendor and I assumed that he had summoned him (Demo was
> peaceful, but not for long). Is that also possible or must the wizard
> have summoned, say, Orcus, and Orcus then Demogorgon?

I don't know. (But also wouldn't be too surprised.) Was that in NH-36x ?

> (In any case, I
> had to fight the wizard and two major demons, including Demogorgon,
> then, but I survived.)

Congrats! :-)

In NH-343 at least one could keep the demons away with Elbereth until
the Wizard gets its wand of death zap. But I suppose NH-36x is harder
concerning Elbereth?

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 5:33:41 AMMar 7
to
Where is the misinformation? What I was saying is that "teleport away"
always worked, not "self-teleport". "Teleport away" always refers to
"not self"... (the "away" is "away from the person causing the teleport").

You are not saying anything different, but why then am I spreading
misinformation?

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 5:34:31 AMMar 7
to
Am 06.03.2022 um 19:27 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 06.03.2022 18:34, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>
>> I seem to remember that I once encountered Demogorgon while fighting the
>> Wizard of Yendor and I assumed that he had summoned him (Demo was
>> peaceful, but not for long). Is that also possible or must the wizard
>> have summoned, say, Orcus, and Orcus then Demogorgon?
>
> I don't know. (But also wouldn't be too surprised.) Was that in NH-36x ?

No. 3.4.x



Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 11:14:58 AMMar 7
to
On 07.03.2022 11:33, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> Where is the misinformation? What I was saying is that "teleport away"
> always worked, not "self-teleport". "Teleport away" always refers to
> "not self"... (the "away" is "away from the person causing the teleport").
>
> You are not saying anything different, but why then am I spreading
> misinformation?

Given that "teleport away" doesn't seem to say anything about what is
teleported away, and given that the existing spell called "teleport
away" is refering to self-teleports I misunderstood your intention.

After the many repetitions of the other poster's misinformation saying:
"Teleporting yourself on a non teleport level works 100% of the time,"
I assumed you joined that "alternative facts".

Thanks for clarifying and sorry that my post sounded harsh!

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 11:50:30 AMMar 7
to
Am 07.03.2022 um 17:14 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 07.03.2022 11:33, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>
>> Where is the misinformation? What I was saying is that "teleport away"
>> always worked, not "self-teleport". "Teleport away" always refers to
>> "not self"... (the "away" is "away from the person causing the teleport").
>>
>> You are not saying anything different, but why then am I spreading
>> misinformation?
>
> Given that "teleport away" doesn't seem to say anything about what is
> teleported away, and given that the existing spell called "teleport
> away" is refering to self-teleports I misunderstood your intention.

No. The spell is a beam-type spell. So it works similar to a wand of
teleportation, i.e., it teleports objects/monsters away at which it is
pointed, and it can be used for self-teleportation when pointed at oneself.

One could of course argue that the "away" refers to the point from which
the spell or wand was activated (but the term is not used for invoking a
scroll of teleportation). Then *any* teleportation that works is a
teleportation "away". In my personal language book, however, the "away"
refers to the location of the spell caster, so if you cast it at
yourself or zap a wand of teleportation at yourself, then it is not a
teleport "away", because what is teleported (you and all your inventory)
is still at your own position. In the sense of physical relativity, it
then is the environment that is teleported away...

So obviously I made the mistake of assuming that my meaning was clear
from the context in which I used the notions of "teleport away" and of
"self-teleport". (Or in assuming that everyone uses these notions the
same way as myself.)

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 12:00:42 PMMar 7
to
Am 07.03.2022 um 17:14 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
By the way, in the Wiki on the spellbook of teleport away, I found the
following statement: "however, note that although covetous monsters can
be affected by the spell, there is typically no point in doing so as the
monster will simply teleport back next to you as part of its next turn."

This seems to clarify that after being teleported away, a covetous
monster will be back *at* the next turn (so you can escape upstairs only
if you have one more move in the current turn).

If Chris's observation is right that after he teleports away from a
covetous monster, it *never* is back to next to him before he could make
two moves, then there is really a difference between the two cases in
terms of turns it takes the covetous monster to "find" him again. Even
if he has speed, the two moves will take at least one turn, so his
strategy would not work, if the covetous monster does not take more than
one turn to come back.

Isidore Ducasse

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 3:04:46 PMMar 7
to
I'm sorry to interrupt, especially as, tbh, I don't understand most of
what is said here, because I'm far too newbie about NH, but there's one
thing I find surprising (probably because my guess about how NH works is
plain wrong):

> terms of turns it takes the covetous monster to "find" him again. Even
> if he has speed, the two moves will take at least one turn, so his

I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per turn"
are not any more deterministic ?
I mean, the "speed" value is used as a prob threshold:
for instance, the program samples a random number between 0 and 100, and
if this number is smaller than the "speed value", then you get a move.
Well, it's likely more complex than that, because the number of
possible moves per turn also depend on the speed, although I didn't get
exactly how, but there's always a part of "randomness"; so we can never
be sure to get enough moves, can we ? We may only reason "on the
average", or "in the worst case" ?

Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 7, 2022, 10:19:19 PMMar 7
to
On 07.03.2022 18:00, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
> By the way, in the Wiki on the spellbook of teleport away, I found the
> following statement: "however, note that although covetous monsters can
> be affected by the spell, there is typically no point in doing so as the
> monster will simply teleport back next to you as part of its next turn."
>
> This seems to clarify that after being teleported away, a covetous
> monster will be back *at* the next turn (so you can escape upstairs only
> if you have one more move in the current turn).

I think there is a difference between "of _its_ next turn" and
"at _the_ next turn"; the former sounds as if the monster's speed
is a factor while the latter seems to imply an absolute time scale
(or relative to the player's speed).

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 8, 2022, 2:37:06 AMMar 8
to
Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
> I'm sorry to interrupt, especially as, tbh, I don't understand most of
> what is said here, because I'm far too newbie about NH, but there's one
> thing I find surprising (probably because my guess about how NH works is
> plain wrong):
>
>> terms of turns it takes the covetous monster to "find" him again. Even
>> if he has speed, the two moves will take at least one turn, so his
>
> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per turn"
> are not any more deterministic ?
They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were burdened or
worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.

In principle, if I recall this correctly, if you have speed and are not
encumbered, then you get five moves per three turns, on average. And the
point system works such that if you did get only one move in two
consecutive turns each, you were certain to get two moves in the
following turn (which would still be only four moves in three turns, but
obviously that is precisely to make sure that the deviation from the
average five cannot become too large). So if you follow the turn counter
and find you have had only one move per turn for the last two turns, you
know to have two moves in the next turn. That is how I lost my
Necromancer in the quest to the nemesis Maugneshagaar (my only loss of a
character to a quest nemesis ever, but that was slash'em): I wanted to
teleport him away on a turn where I was sure to have two moves and go
upstairs (I was on the stairs), in order to heal. But I had not noticed
that he had cursed my bag of holding (so it became uncursed), hence I
was burdened and did not get the second move, which means he teleported
back to me immediately after I had telported him away and hit me while I
had only 2 HP left... DYWYPI?

> I mean, the "speed" value is used as a prob threshold:
> for instance, the program samples a random number between 0 and 100, and
> if this number is smaller than the "speed value", then you get a move.

I think it worked a bit differently, based on the accumulation of
movement points, but I could not explain how precisely. Maybe Janis
knows this.

In any case, you are right that the speed formula has changed in NH 3.6.1.

> Well, it's likely more complex than that, because the number of
> possible moves per turn also depend on the speed, although I didn't get
> exactly how, but there's always a part of "randomness"; so we can never
> be sure to get enough moves, can we ?

Well, in NH 3.4.3 and slash'em, you were sure to get two moves in
certain turns (if you were very fast), but you had to observe the turn
counter and that is prone to errors. In NH 3.6.1, a monster with speed
24 *always* gets two moves in one turn, but being very fast did not give
you speed 24 (rather 20) in earlier versions, and I suppose it will not
give you 24 in NH 3.6.1. So you are right that you can never be sure to
get two moves in a turn. But the probability to get two moves in a turn
is higher than 50% in each turn if you are very fast. (Not that this
would help in the situation considered. Teleporting away a covetous
monster is useful only if you are certain to have two moves in the turn
you are doing it and can protect yourself in the second move (e.g. by
moving up a staircase or by reading a scroll of earth)).

In slash'em, a hobbit can have speed 24 and higher while using the
blinking technique. If the speed formula of NH 3.6.1 were introduced in
slash'em, a hobbit might still use blinking to have a certain saving
throw. For example, if he turns round the corner on Demogorgon's level
and becomes visible to him, he might use his second move to teleport a
level up even before Demogorgon could use his first sickness attack. But
of course that is not a big deal as long as Demogorgon respects scrolls
of scare monster, so the hobbit does not have a decisive advantage here.

Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 8, 2022, 10:33:28 AMMar 8
to
On 08.03.2022 08:37, Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
>>
>> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per
>> turn" are not any more deterministic ?
>
> They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were burdened or
> worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.

As far as I see they are deterministic in NH-343. The point is that
the various speeds have to be mapped onto a discretized scale, with
the effect that, depending on the speed of the participants, you
will occasionally get a "free turn" (sort of) if you are faster, or
suffer from an additional attack if the foe is faster. But there is
no (non-deterministic) random factor involved. Any burden will slow
you down, affecting your speed but not the principle how your actual
speed will be mapped onto the time scale.

> [...]
>
>> I mean, the "speed" value is used as a prob threshold:
>> for instance, the program samples a random number between 0 and 100, and
>> if this number is smaller than the "speed value", then you get a move.
>
> I think it worked a bit differently, based on the accumulation of
> movement points, but I could not explain how precisely. Maybe Janis
> knows this.

Above I wrote what I can tell for NH-343, I cannot say anything about
NH-36x where there's a change in the speed system implemented, as far
as I've heared, that reduces the predictability of free turns.

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 8, 2022, 11:42:04 AMMar 8
to
Am 08.03.2022 um 16:33 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 08.03.2022 08:37, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>> Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
>>>
>>> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per
>>> turn" are not any more deterministic ?
>>
>> They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were burdened or
>> worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.
>
> As far as I see they are deterministic in NH-343. The point is that
> the various speeds have to be mapped onto a discretized scale, with
> the effect that, depending on the speed of the participants, you
> will occasionally get a "free turn" (sort of) if you are faster, or
> suffer from an additional attack if the foe is faster.

Yes, I think they are deterministic in a technical sense. (But that is
true for pseudorandom numbers, too.)

I thought that when you are burdened, you lose moves randomly, but I may
be wrong in that, technically speaking.

In practice, moves per turn are *not* deterministic in the *standard
sense* of randomness: you do not have sufficiently detailed knowledge of
the deterministic mechanism and this creates (apparent) randomness.
(This is by far the most frequent way randomness appears outside of
quantum mechanics, which is the only physical theory with "true"
randomness.)

This may not be true if you are unburdened, because then it would be
easy, in principle (but not in practice), to follow the addition of
motion points and to know when you get moves. On the other hand, since I
do not know by which algorithm moves get lost when you are burdened or
stressed, moves are lost randomly (for me) in that case.

Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 8, 2022, 12:24:49 PMMar 8
to
On 08.03.2022 17:41, Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Am 08.03.2022 um 16:33 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>> On 08.03.2022 08:37, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>> Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
>>>>
>>>> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per
>>>> turn" are not any more deterministic ?
>>>
>>> They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were burdened or
>>> worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.
>>
>> As far as I see they are deterministic in NH-343. The point is that
>> the various speeds have to be mapped onto a discretized scale, with
>> the effect that, depending on the speed of the participants, you
>> will occasionally get a "free turn" (sort of) if you are faster, or
>> suffer from an additional attack if the foe is faster.
>
> Yes, I think they are deterministic in a technical sense. (But that is
> true for pseudorandom numbers, too.)

But pseudo-random numbers are nothing but a hypothesis here. I was
speaking about determinism without making any assumptions on the
random number generator. Whether the RNG used by NH is a PRNG or a
"real" RNG, there's just no RNG involved in this case.

>
> I thought that when you are burdened, you lose moves randomly, but I may
> be wrong in that, technically speaking.

You can count your moves; for example: step, step, step, free turn,
step, step, step, free turn, etc. - completely deterministic.

Being burdened will in NH-343 reduce the speed by a constant factor
that depends on the strictly quantified grade of your burden.

>
> In practice, moves per turn are *not* deterministic in the *standard
> sense* of randomness: you do not have sufficiently detailed knowledge of
> the deterministic mechanism and this creates (apparent) randomness.

There is no randomness here. (And that's all what has to be said.)

> (This is by far the most frequent way randomness appears outside of
> quantum mechanics, which is the only physical theory with "true"
> randomness.)

(Irrelevant here.)

>
> This may not be true if you are unburdened, because then it would be
> easy, in principle (but not in practice), to follow the addition of
> motion points and to know when you get moves. On the other hand, since I
> do not know by which algorithm moves get lost when you are burdened or
> stressed, moves are lost randomly (for me) in that case.

In combat situations where I have to be cautious I generally count
my moves to anticipate when I will not need to move away but where
I may place a hit without the danger of a counter-attack. I can do
that in any case (independent of my burden status), because it is
deterministic.

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 9, 2022, 5:47:02 AMMar 9
to
Am 08.03.2022 um 18:24 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
> On 08.03.2022 17:41, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>> Am 08.03.2022 um 16:33 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>>> On 08.03.2022 08:37, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>>> Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
>>>>>
>>>>> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per
>>>>> turn" are not any more deterministic ?
>>>>
>>>> They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were burdened or
>>>> worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.
>>>
>>> As far as I see they are deterministic in NH-343. The point is that
>>> the various speeds have to be mapped onto a discretized scale, with
>>> the effect that, depending on the speed of the participants, you
>>> will occasionally get a "free turn" (sort of) if you are faster, or
>>> suffer from an additional attack if the foe is faster.
>>
>> Yes, I think they are deterministic in a technical sense. (But that is
>> true for pseudorandom numbers, too.)
>
> But pseudo-random numbers are nothing but a hypothesis here. I was
> speaking about determinism without making any assumptions on the
> random number generator. Whether the RNG used by NH is a PRNG or a
> "real" RNG, there's just no RNG involved in this case.
But there is randomness without random number generators. You have
randomness whenever your knowledge is insufficient to determine the
outcome uniquely. You can then assign probabilities to the different
possible outcomes.
>
>>
>> I thought that when you are burdened, you lose moves randomly, but I may
>> be wrong in that, technically speaking.
>
> You can count your moves; for example: step, step, step, free turn,
> step, step, step, free turn, etc. - completely deterministic..
Yes. This is what I was not sure about.
>
> Being burdened will in NH-343 reduce the speed by a constant factor
> that depends on the strictly quantified grade of your burden.
O.k. So it is deterministic within the program, but random in practice,
as the player cannot really do the calculations in his head. But he can
know probabilities.
>
>>
>> In practice, moves per turn are *not* deterministic in the *standard
>> sense* of randomness: you do not have sufficiently detailed knowledge of
>> the deterministic mechanism and this creates (apparent) randomness.
>
> There is no randomness here. (And that's all what has to be said.)
There is. Have you ever thought about the meaning of randomness?

>
>> (This is by far the most frequent way randomness appears outside of
>> quantum mechanics, which is the only physical theory with "true"
>> randomness.)
>
> (Irrelevant here.)
No. Because there is no randomness in the sense that you seem to assign
to it outside of quantum mechanics.

But there is randomness in the standard sense: sufficiently chaotic
dynamics, and lack of knowledge to determine a unique outcome.
>
>>
>> This may not be true if you are unburdened, because then it would be
>> easy, in principle (but not in practice), to follow the addition of
>> motion points and to know when you get moves. On the other hand, since I
>> do not know by which algorithm moves get lost when you are burdened or
>> stressed, moves are lost randomly (for me) in that case.
>
> In combat situations where I have to be cautious I generally count
> my moves to anticipate when I will not need to move away but where
> I may place a hit without the danger of a counter-attack. I can do
> that in any case (independent of my burden status), because it is
> deterministic.
Only if you are good enough at the necessary calculations and know the
algorithm well enough.

Anyway, I am a theoretical physicist, and I know a bit about randomness,
because statistical physics required me to learn about it. The only true
randomness in a nethack game would be the input of the player, *if* his
decisions are somehow dependent on quantum mechanics. If quantum
mechanics does not play a role in the decisions of a -- after all
macroscopic -- player, then there is no randomness in a game of nethack,
since the non-quantum mechanical laws of nature are all deterministic.
The responses of the game are deterministic by it simply being an
algorithm that always gives the same results on the same input (which of
course means that the game must start with the same initialization of
its RNG, which probably includes that the game must be given the same
clock time when starting) and the input if the player is deterministic
unless somehow quantum effects influence him. A classical player may
have the impression of free will but cannot have free will. A quantum
player may have free will but cannot control it...

Obviously, the decision of whether something is random or not depends on
the precise notion of randomness. What I was saying and where we seem to
disagree is that in all but one cases (i.e. quantum mechanics)
randomness is an expression of lack of knowledge while the true dynamics
is always deterministic. So if you accept only "true" randomness as
random, then saying there is no randomness here is an empty statement,
because there is *never* randomness (as we excluded quantum mechanics).
But if you take the point of view of physics that randomness in practice
comes from lack of knowledge, then of course there is randomness -- for
the player -- in the way the number of moves per turn is determined,
even in NH3.4x. No RNG is involved, but the algorithm is complex enough
for the player not to be able to do the calculations (unless he is
unburdened, then the calculations may be simple enough), so he must rely
on probability statements. In the case of NH3.6x, an RNG is involved
which increases the complexity and makes it more random in the sense
that now even with step counting and a calculator at hand, the player
cannot determine the number of moves uniquely that he will get on his
next turn. But of course, with the right numerical equipment and
knowledge of the internal initialization procedures of NH, you could
determine this number uniquely (essentially you could write a program
that, given the right input, predicts exactly what the game will do next).

To state it succinctly, randomness is in the eye of the beholder. Except
in quantum mechanics.

Janis Papanagnou

unread,
Mar 10, 2022, 1:23:04 AMMar 10
to
On 09.03.2022 11:46, Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Am 08.03.2022 um 18:24 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>> On 08.03.2022 17:41, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>> Am 08.03.2022 um 16:33 schrieb Janis Papanagnou:
>>>> On 08.03.2022 08:37, Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>>>> Am 07.03.2022 um 21:04 schrieb Isidore Ducasse:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I had the feeling after reading the wiki that in NH36 the "moves per
>>>>>> turn" are not any more deterministic ?
>>>>>
>>>>> They were not fully deterministic even before (when you were
>>>>> burdened or
>>>>> worse). In any case, all my experience refers to pre-NH3.6 games.
>>>>
>>>> As far as I see they are deterministic in NH-343. The point is that
>>>> the various speeds have to be mapped onto a discretized scale, with
>>>> the effect that, depending on the speed of the participants, you
>>>> will occasionally get a "free turn" (sort of) if you are faster, or
>>>> suffer from an additional attack if the foe is faster.
>>>
>>> Yes, I think they are deterministic in a technical sense. (But that is
>>> true for pseudorandom numbers, too.)
>>
>> But pseudo-random numbers are nothing but a hypothesis here. I was
>> speaking about determinism without making any assumptions on the
>> random number generator. Whether the RNG used by NH is a PRNG or a
>> "real" RNG, there's just no RNG involved in this case.

> But there is randomness without random number generators. [...]

In Nethack? (Mind, only that is what we were talking about here!)

> You have
> randomness whenever your knowledge is insufficient to determine the
> outcome uniquely.

For Nethack, you can obtain that knowledge, though.

> You can then assign probabilities to the different
> possible outcomes.

Which is an unnecessary step if you just take the knowledge that is
available.

>>
>>>
>>> I thought that when you are burdened, you lose moves randomly, but I may
>>> be wrong in that, technically speaking.
>>
>> You can count your moves; for example: step, step, step, free turn,
>> step, step, step, free turn, etc. - completely deterministic..
> Yes. This is what I was not sure about.
>>
>> Being burdened will in NH-343 reduce the speed by a constant factor
>> that depends on the strictly quantified grade of your burden.

> O.k. So it is deterministic within the program, but random in practice,
> as the player cannot really do the calculations in his head. But he can
> know probabilities.

Why are you assuming that? If you know the underlying algorithms you
can simply determine it. And if you don't know the algorithm (by Wiki,
source code, or whatever) you can do the experiment on the fly; "step,
step, step, one-quare-space-gained" - remember? It suffices that you
know that there's no RNG involved and the experiment will provide you
the actual deltas. That's also what I do; I'm not doing calculations,
I am testing the delta once and apply it subsequently, and I do that
_in practice_.

>>
>>>
>>> In practice, moves per turn are *not* deterministic in the *standard
>>> sense* of randomness: you do not have sufficiently detailed knowledge of
>>> the deterministic mechanism and this creates (apparent) randomness.
>>
>> There is no randomness here. (And that's all what has to be said.)
> There is. Have you ever thought about the meaning of randomness?

As a computer scientist and big fan of physics; of course I did.
Why do you doubt that? (Because I pointed out that the algorithm
in this context is not RNG-controlled but deterministic?)

>
>>
>>> (This is by far the most frequent way randomness appears outside of
>>> quantum mechanics, which is the only physical theory with "true"
>>> randomness.)
>>
>> (Irrelevant here.)
> No. Because there is no randomness in the sense that you seem to assign
> to it outside of quantum mechanics.
>
> But there is randomness in the standard sense: sufficiently chaotic
> dynamics, and lack of knowledge to determine a unique outcome.

But that isn't the case here with the movement-scales. - Why do you
think it is?

For our given case, Nethack, we have algorithmic implementations for
some functions that are highly triggered by a RNG, and others that are
not, but are deterministic, like the one we are talking about here.

Whether other functions - off-topic here! - are truly random or not I
cannot tell. It could be that the various random functions in Nethack
rely on a PRNG algorithm, or it could rely on an RNG provided by the
operating system. In the latter case that could be retrieved from a
device that either relies on an OS-library algorithm that actually is
again a PRNG, or it can rely on some quantum effects of HW-circuits.

Here, for example, is a quote from my OS'es description, obtained by
the command 'man urandom':

random, urandom - kernel random number source devices
...
The random number generator gathers environmental noise from
device drivers and other sources into an entropy pool. The
generator also keeps an estimate of the number of bits of noise
in the entropy pool. From this entropy pool random numbers are
created.



> [...]

(Most of the expanded elaborations are (IMO) not contributing to the
concrete topic we had here, and they are known to me. So I skip most
of it. Continuing here...)

>
> Obviously, the decision of whether something is random or not depends on
> the precise notion of randomness. What I was saying and where we seem to
> disagree is that in all but one cases (i.e. quantum mechanics)
> randomness is an expression of lack of knowledge while the true dynamics
> is always deterministic.

Erm, no. That's not where we disagree. It appears to me that we disagree
that we could not tell what the RNG in an actual Nethack implementation
actually is. And we disagree in that it has any relevance in the given
case, where there's no dispute necessary what randomness actually is,
because there isn't any (neither a PRNG, nor an "unknown mechnics" RNG,
nor a RNG based on quantum mechanics effects), in the given case.

> So if you accept only "true" randomness as
> random, then saying there is no randomness here is an empty statement,
> because there is *never* randomness (as we excluded quantum mechanics).

I didn't exclude it. (Actually I assumed that the "noise" (that is above
mentioned in the man-page) would be a quantum effect. - I admit I may be
wrong with that assumption, since I haven't examined or read about what
physical effects generates the noise in the HW-circuits of that device.
I seem to recall to have heard, though, that this noise stems from a
quantum effect. If you know differently I'm curious to hear from you.)

But as said; whatever you consider random, the only relevant factor is
the determinism, so disputes about true randomness or about grades of
randomness is irrelevant. We have none here. (Not even the "randomness
by lack of knowledge", because an individual _personal decision_ to not
inform oneself can (IMO) not be a normative factor for the _term_.)

> But if you take the point of view of physics that randomness in practice
> comes from lack of knowledge, then of course there is randomness -- for
> the player -- in the way the number of moves per turn is determined,
> even in NH3.4x.

So for someone who has inspected the source code or informed himself
from the Wiki it's non-random and for others, uninformed folks, it's
random? - If that's what you are saying then this definition makes no
sense to me; it's certainly of no use here.

We spoke about the profane topic whether we can determine the free turns
or not - yes, we can! -, and whether the algorithm is deterministic or
not - yes, it is!

> No RNG is involved, but the algorithm is complex enough
> for the player not to be able to do the calculations

A calculation is unnecessary (as initially explained).

> (unless he is unburdened, then the calculations may be simple enough),

Yet still unnecessary.

> so he must rely on probability statements.

Nope, that is not necessary.

> In the case of NH3.6x, an RNG is involved
> which increases the complexity and makes it more random in the sense
> that now even with step counting and a calculator at hand, the player
> cannot determine the number of moves uniquely that he will get on his
> next turn.

Correct.

> But of course, with the right numerical equipment and
> knowledge of the internal initialization procedures of NH, you could
> determine this number uniquely (essentially you could write a program
> that, given the right input, predicts exactly what the game will do next).

You can work with probabilities. But whether you can deterministically
predict the result would still depend on whether the implemented RNG
function relies on a device that gets its entropy from quantum effects
and emits truly random numbers or not.

>
> To state it succinctly, randomness is in the eye of the beholder. Except
> in quantum mechanics.

Fine. Here, with this statement, we have finally reached agreement. :-)

Janis

Klaus Kassner

unread,
Mar 11, 2022, 7:22:34 AMMar 11
to
I already agreed that this works for unburdened, but I still do not´know
that it is that simple for burdened. At one point, you seemed to say
that it depends on the degree of burden (by which I thought an internal
number depending on the actual overweight, not just on the three degrees
burdened, stressed, strained). Since I do not know the algorithm, I
cannot do the calculations, which makes it random for me, if the simple
pattern that you suggest does not work. I suppose, you will not get an
additional move after a fixed integer number of steps, but that number
will be rational, which means its determination by observation may take
a lot of time (if the denominator is not small). In practice, you simply
may not have the time to determine this when needed. In all these cases,
your lack of knowledge makes it random.

>>>
>>>>
>>>> In practice, moves per turn are *not* deterministic in the *standard
>>>> sense* of randomness: you do not have sufficiently detailed knowledge of
>>>> the deterministic mechanism and this creates (apparent) randomness.
>>>
>>> There is no randomness here. (And that's all what has to be said.)
>> There is. Have you ever thought about the meaning of randomness?
>
> As a computer scientist and big fan of physics; of course I did.
> Why do you doubt that? (Because I pointed out that the algorithm
> in this context is not RNG-controlled but deterministic?)
Yes. Because even if it is not RNG-controlled, it may be random,
depending on your knowledge.

>>>
>>>> (This is by far the most frequent way randomness appears outside of
>>>> quantum mechanics, which is the only physical theory with "true"
>>>> randomness.)
>>>
>>> (Irrelevant here.)
>> No. Because there is no randomness in the sense that you seem to assign
>> to it outside of quantum mechanics.
>>
>> But there is randomness in the standard sense: sufficiently chaotic
>> dynamics, and lack of knowledge to determine a unique outcome.
>
> But that isn't the case here with the movement-scales. - Why do you
> think it is?
Because I do not know of a simple algorithm for the case of burdened,
stressed, etc. In the case of unburdened I agree that it is not random,
once I take the care of observing the sequence of two and one moves --
because that sequence is repetitive enough for a human brain to make the
prediction. If the sequence has a period of, say, 20 steps, I may
already need paper and pencil to ascertain the periodicity. And then the
knowledge becomes essentially useless, so I won't care for it -- which
makes the sequence random again. (The only difference with a PRNG is
that its periodicity is not 20 but 10^30 or higher.)

> For our given case, Nethack, we have algorithmic implementations for
> some functions that are highly triggered by a RNG, and others that are
> not, but are deterministic, like the one we are talking about here.
Well, if you *define* deterministic to be not triggered by the RNG, then
you are of course right. But I define deterministic as being determined,
given the knowledge of the player. Your notion of deterministic would be
"truly deterministic" or "absolutely deterministic" in my book.

> Whether other functions - off-topic here! - are truly random or not I
> cannot tell. It could be that the various random functions in Nethack
> rely on a PRNG algorithm, or it could rely on an RNG provided by the
> operating system. In the latter case that could be retrieved from a
> device that either relies on an OS-library algorithm that actually is
> again a PRNG, or it can rely on some quantum effects of HW-circuits.
>
> Here, for example, is a quote from my OS'es description, obtained by
> the command 'man urandom':
>
> random, urandom - kernel random number source devices
> ...
> The random number generator gathers environmental noise from
> device drivers and other sources into an entropy pool. The
> generator also keeps an estimate of the number of bits of noise
> in the entropy pool. From this entropy pool random numbers are
> created.
A PRNG would be deterministic, of course, having a finite period.

Any RNG that does not use the random effects of quantum mechanics in
some way would be deterministic, not necessarily by having a periodicity
that could be determined, but by its random numbers being predictable by
an appropriate computer program that gets all the input data of the RNG.
(More simply, take a second RNG of the same kind, make sure it receives
the precisely same input and starts with the same internal state, then
it will give you the same sequence of random numbers. If you run the
second RNG in a way that gives you the random nubers a minute earlier
than those of the first, then you can predict the latter with certainty
a minute ahead of time. So they are clearly deterministic.)

>>
>> Obviously, the decision of whether something is random or not depends on
>> the precise notion of randomness. What I was saying and where we seem to
>> disagree is that in all but one cases (i.e. quantum mechanics)
>> randomness is an expression of lack of knowledge while the true dynamics
>> is always deterministic.
>
> Erm, no. That's not where we disagree. It appears to me that we disagree
> that we could not tell what the RNG in an actual Nethack implementation
> actually is.
No. I never claimed an RNG was involved in the move calculation of a
player in NH3.4x. Still, whether I have two moves or one move in a given
term is random for me, as long as my knowledge is insufficient for its
determination. But I can indicate probabilities. (If I am very fast, the
probability of getting two moves in a given turn is 2/3 and that of
getting a single move 1/3.)

> And we disagree in that it has any relevance in the given
> case, where there's no dispute necessary what randomness actually is,
> because there isn't any (neither a PRNG, nor an "unknown mechnics" RNG,
> nor a RNG based on quantum mechanics effects), in the given case.
Yes, there we disagree, because you can have randomness without an RNG.
The algorithm acts as an RNG, if your knowledge is sufficiently restricted.

>> So if you accept only "true" randomness as
>> random, then saying there is no randomness here is an empty statement,
>> because there is *never* randomness (as we excluded quantum mechanics).
>
> I didn't exclude it.
Yes, in saying that it is irrelevant here. If it is irrelevant, it can
be excluded from the discussion. Otherwise, the proviso has to be made
that there may be true randomness, independent of knowledge.

> (Actually I assumed that the "noise" (that is above
> mentioned in the man-page) would be a quantum effect. - I admit I may be
> wrong with that assumption, since I haven't examined or read about what
> physical effects generates the noise in the HW-circuits of that device.
> I seem to recall to have heard, though, that this noise stems from a
> quantum effect. If you know differently I'm curious to hear from you.)
I am less knowledgeable here than you. I simply assumed that NH uses a
PRNG and additional random effects occured by it using the date and time
in several occasions. Using true random effects may lead to
uncontrollable probability distributions. When I am programming noise
myself, I often use a PRNG, in order to make the program output
reproducible in the testing phase.
> But as said; whatever you consider random, the only relevant factor is
> the determinism, so disputes about true randomness or about grades of
>