--Nethack Question--Pacifist Advice Requested

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carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 5:35:08 PM8/17/07
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Okay, I just rolled up a well-equipped Wizard (sleep spell, which is
one of my favorites! a potion of gain level, and a ring of polymorph
control) and I'm going to try for pacifist conduct. One thing that I
will try will be to gain levels with self-polymorph. Could someone
please advise on how the level change works when "You feel like a new
elf!"? Is it completely a random number gaining from -3 to 3 levels?
Will maxing out my luck help much? I was hoping that I could wear a
ring of poly and poly control and just keep on typing "elf" to gain
levels.

Thanks,
C

carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 5:41:43 PM8/17/07
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...

carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 5:42:08 PM8/17/07
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carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 5:44:14 PM8/17/07
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...

Scott Rollison Jr.

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Aug 17, 2007, 6:11:09 PM8/17/07
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This isn't a chatroom, you can't expect an immediate reply. Spamming your
own thread with ellipses won't get you a response any faster than normal.

As far as the limits to your new attributes when you polymorph into a new
person, I haven't found any hard numbers, but I can't imagine it's enough to
try as a strategy.

<carlh...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1187387054.9...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> ...
>

carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 6:50:37 PM8/17/07
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On Aug 17, 3:11 pm, "Scott Rollison Jr." <drafter...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This isn't a chatroom, you can't expect an immediate reply. Spamming your
> own thread with ellipses won't get you a response any faster than normal.

First of all, thanks for your reply. Perhaps you haven't been around
lately but I actually thought the elipses were quite clever given that
there have been 31 new posts in the 70 minutes since my post ... err,
wait ... 33 in 73 minutes ...

>
> As far as the limits to your new attributes when you polymorph into a new
> person, I haven't found any hard numbers, but I can't imagine it's enough to
> try as a strategy.

There are a limited number of ways to gain levels as a pacifist so I'm
working with whatever I can get. Thanks anyway, though.

Try not to top post, please.

>
> <carlhnel...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:1187387054.9...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > ...- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


chuckcar

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Aug 17, 2007, 6:53:36 PM8/17/07
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carlh...@gmail.com wrote in
news:1187386508.6...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com:

All I've ever seen poly do when it changes types of @'s is re-roll the
stats. The level stays the same as far as I've seen. You mght check the
source using the nethack wiki, or an answer from a code diver, but
gaining levels without actually getting experience is not going to
happen I don't think. Have you ascended yet? if you've never ascended,
forget about using any difficulty strategies, it will just make a
shorter time before you die.

--
(setq (chuck nil) car(chuck) )

carlh...@gmail.com

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Aug 17, 2007, 7:11:48 PM8/17/07
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On Aug 17, 3:53 pm, chuckcar <chuck...@nil.org> wrote:

> carlhnel...@gmail.com wrote innews:1187386508.6...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com:
>
> > Okay, I just rolled up a well-equipped Wizard (sleep spell, which is
> > one of my favorites! a potion of gain level, and a ring of polymorph
> > control) and I'm going to try for pacifist conduct. One thing that I
> > will try will be to gain levels with self-polymorph. Could someone
> > please advise on how the level change works when "You feel like a new
> > elf!"? Is it completely a random number gaining from -3 to 3 levels?
> > Will maxing out my luck help much? I was hoping that I could wear a
> > ring of poly and poly control and just keep on typing "elf" to gain
> > levels.
>
[snip sig]

> All I've ever seen poly do when it changes types of @'s is re-roll the
> stats. The level stays the same as far as I've seen. You mght check the
> source using the nethack wiki, or an answer from a code diver, but
> gaining levels without actually getting experience is not going to
> happen I don't think. Have you ascended yet? if you've never ascended,
> forget about using any difficulty strategies, it will just make a
> shorter time before you die.
>

:/
Tough crowd.

You are misinformed, a polymorph also can change your exp level.
Dying to being reduced to an XL less than 1 will give you the response
(paraphrased) "Your new form is not strong enough to survive --more--
You die ..." The reason for death is "killed by an unsuccessful
polymorph".

Rostov

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Aug 17, 2007, 10:19:04 PM8/17/07
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On Aug 17, 5:11 pm, carlhnel...@gmail.com wrote:
> You are misinformed, a polymorph also can change your exp level.

Don't know if it's just disappointment/confirmation bias/persecution
complex, but I'm not sure I remember many times of gaining a level,
and I definitely remember more than a few losing a level. My
impression is therefore that you're much more likely to to lose levels
than gain, and this tactic is therefore not going to be too productive
for a pacifist. :)

I'd be interested to be corrected by someone out there familiar with
the source, though.


chuckcar

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:13:45 AM8/18/07
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carlh...@gmail.com wrote in
news:1187392308....@q3g2000prf.googlegroups.com:

Do you have a reference for that? It certainly is not something to rely
on due to the possibility of just dying - esp at level 1.

You didn't answer my question though. *Have* you won the game ever?

Contra Duck

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:25:50 AM8/18/07
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On Aug 18, 2:13 pm, chuckcar <chuck...@nil.org> wrote:

polyself.c, in newman()

138: u.ulevel = u.ulevel + rn1(5, -2);

Contra Duck

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:31:24 AM8/18/07
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C,

Self-polymorph is quite a dangerous way to gain levels, you're just as
likely to lose as many levels as you gain. Stick with succubus
dancing, reverse genociding wraiths and alchemy early on. If you find
yourself still short of XL 14 by the time you get to the castle you
can lure the wraiths in the valley of the dead downstairs for about 10
easy levels.

If you're playing a neutral you may also need to worry about your
alignment. Neutral non-healers non-healers don't have many options for
improving alignment. The pacifist gnomish wizard I've got running had
to reverse genocide and sacrifice black unicorns just to get piously
aligned.

chuckcar

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:35:48 AM8/18/07
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Contra Duck <mav...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1187411150.3...@q4g2000prc.googlegroups.com:

> polyself.c, in newman()


>
> 138: u.ulevel = u.ulevel + rn1(5, -2);
>

So if I read that right you can either gain up to 5 levels or loose 2?
Pretty bad way of doing it if you're not 3rd level or better already.

Contra Duck

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:37:44 AM8/18/07
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Oops, sorry, just realised you mentioned you were an elf and therefore
chaotic. The alignment issue shouldn't be too great for you, same race
sacrifices and consorting with *cubi will increase your alignment
quite quickly. Just be careful with the healing spells, healing a pet
is a -1 alignment penalty.

Carl

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Aug 18, 2007, 1:39:40 AM8/18/07
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On Aug 17, 9:13 pm, chuckcar <chuck...@nil.org> wrote:

Sure I do. Follow this link and look at game 199 if you're
interested, or else go to NAO and look up player 'Tenaya'.
http://alt.org/nethack/player-all.php?player=Tenaya

And, under ordinary circumstances you wouldn't need to use the
polymorph trick to gain levels at level 1 since the Oracle will give
you enough experience to get to Level 3.

>
> You didn't answer my question though. *Have* you won the game ever?

Yes, I have, and I've written about it prolifically enough. Either
click on the user profile next to my name or else search for 'YAAP'
and 'Tenaya'

Carl

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Aug 18, 2007, 1:46:58 AM8/18/07
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On Aug 17, 9:31 pm, Contra Duck <mav...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Aug 18, 7:35 am, carlhnel...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > Okay, I just rolled up a well-equipped Wizard (sleep spell, which is
> > one of my favorites! a potion of gain level, and a ring of polymorph
> > control) and I'm going to try for pacifist conduct. One thing that I
> > will try will be to gain levels with self-polymorph. Could someone
> > please advise on how the level change works when "You feel like a new
> > elf!"? Is it completely a random number gaining from -3 to 3 levels?
> > Will maxing out my luck help much? I was hoping that I could wear a
> > ring of poly and poly control and just keep on typing "elf" to gain
> > levels.
>
> > Thanks,
> > C
>
> C,
>
> Self-polymorph is quite a dangerous way to gain levels, you're just as
> likely to lose as many levels as you gain. Stick with succubus
> dancing, reverse genociding wraiths and alchemy early on. If you find
> yourself still short of XL 14 by the time you get to the castle you
> can lure the wraiths in the valley of the dead downstairs for about 10
> easy levels.
>

My understanding from the code that you cited is that one would
expect, on average to _gain_ 1.5 levels since the average of +5 and -2
is +1.5. Am I misunderstanding the way the random numbers are
generated? Thanks for posting the code piece.

I should perhaps mention that I am actually trying for an 11-conduct
ascension so eating wraith corpses is out since it's not vegan, but
otherwise that would be a fine suggestion. Since I'm vegan all that I
really have are Oracle consultations, potions, foocubi and
potentially, self-polymorphs. Hence the question.


Ohle Claussen

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Aug 18, 2007, 6:13:05 AM8/18/07
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> polyself.c, in newman()
>
> 138: u.ulevel = u.ulevel + rn1(5, -2);
>

Oh, you'll have to do better than that. Because, you know, source code is
no proof of anything, since it can be misread. I think the kind of proof
chuckie here accepts is "I think I read it somewhere, don't remember when".
At least, that seems to be good enough when _he_ says it.

--
Ohle Claussen | GPG-Key-ID E7149169
----------===========----------
BOFH Excuse #387:
Your computer's union contract is set to expire at midnight.

Kent Paul Dolan

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Aug 18, 2007, 8:52:37 AM8/18/07
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Ohle Claussen <ohle.claus...@ds.mpg.de> wrote:

>> polyself.c, in newman()

>> 138: u.ulevel = u.ulevel + rn1(5, -2);

> Oh, you'll have to do better than that. Because,
> you know, source code is no proof of anything,
> since it can be misread.

And indeed, here, it _is_ being misread. The
implementation details matter rather profoundly:

hack.h:

#define rn1(x,y) (rn2(x)+(y))

Now rn2(5) has equally distributed possible return
values of 0, 1, 2, 3, & 4. The "-2" second
parameter shifts that list to equally distributed
possible return values -2, -1, 0, 1, & 2, and so an
expected average return value of "0".

Thus, depending as the OP proposes on multiple self
polymorphs for level increase is depending on a
drunkard's walk to happen to get lucky, and so not
a workable strategy.

HTH

xanthian.

Ohle Claussen

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Aug 18, 2007, 9:16:48 AM8/18/07
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Note that the specific point being discussed at that point in the thread
was wether selfpoly could result in levelchange at all. Of course, this
being a 1D unbiased random walk, it won't be of much use as a long term
strategy. The OP asked wether it can be made into a biased random walk by
things like in-game luck, which apparently it indeed can't, thanks for
clarifying that.

--
Ohle Claussen | GPG-Key-ID E7149169
----------===========----------

BOFH Excuse #72:
Satan did it

George Gibb

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Aug 18, 2007, 12:17:56 PM8/18/07
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> can lure the wraiths in the valley of the dead downstairs for about 10
> easy levels.

Man, now I feel like an idiot if have been dragging them UPSTAIRS, then
all the way across the castle, then UPSTAIRS AGAIN.

Ya learn somthing new every day.

George

Carl

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Aug 18, 2007, 2:00:58 PM8/18/07
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On Aug 18, 9:17 am, George Gibb <gtg...@netscape.net> wrote:
> > can lure the wraiths in the valley of the dead downstairs for about 10
> > easy levels.
>
> Man, now I feel like an idiot if have been dragging them UPSTAIRS, then
> all the way across the castle, then UPSTAIRS AGAIN.
>

The challenge to luring the wraiths downstairs from the Valley of the
Dead is that the path to the stairs has a lot of curves and so takes a
fair bit of effort. I can't remember if wraiths will float over pits
or not, but in any case, a cursed scroll of teleportation is a far
faster method for wraith luring especially if you can get well
surrounded.

Carl

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Aug 20, 2007, 12:44:41 PM8/20/07
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Sorry to necro this thread but it's sort of connected to my original
question.
Thanks for the level gaining help.

For the last few weeks I've been rolling up elven wizards and trying
to do some speed ascensions; but when I get a really nice starting
inventory I am trying for an eleven conduct ascension. I had been
thinking that I would either break "pacifist" or "foodless" depending
on my starting inventory, but now I'm thinking (based on something cdi
wrote) that perhaps instead I should break wishless.

If I break wishless then I can wish for a potion of holy water if I
never find one, or I could even wish for a blessed figurine of an
archon (which I've never done before) to help me through the planes.
Anyhow, I'd appreciate some opinions on which would make for the
"easiest" ascension given my starting inventory of:
leather drum
charm monster (this inclines me towards pacifist)
ring of slow digestion (this inclines me towards foodless)
ring of stealth
wand of magic missile
potion of enlightenment (could help me identify ring of poly control)

Thanks!
C

David Damerell

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Aug 20, 2007, 1:57:30 PM8/20/07
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Quoting Carl <carlh...@gmail.com>:
>Sorry to necro this thread but it's sort of connected to my original
>question.

You didn't, it's part of the same thread as your original question. Get a
real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with subject lines - and
don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.
--
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Aponoia, August.

Carl

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Aug 20, 2007, 2:20:26 PM8/20/07
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On Aug 20, 10:57 am, David Damerell <damer...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
wrote:

> Quoting Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com>:
>
> >Sorry to necro this thread but it's sort of connected to my original
> >question.
>
> You didn't, it's part of the same thread as your original question.

The thread was _days_ old and the question had been answered. Is that
not 'necro-ing'?

> real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with subject lines - and

why?

> don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.

why?

David Damerell

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Aug 20, 2007, 3:56:26 PM8/20/07
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Quoting Carl <carlh...@gmail.com>:
>On Aug 20, 10:57 am, David Damerell <damer...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
>>Quoting Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com>:
>>>Sorry to necro this thread but it's sort of connected to my original
>>>question.
>>You didn't, it's part of the same thread as your original question.
>The thread was _days_ old and the question had been answered. Is that
>not 'necro-ing'?

The parent article was 17th August with the answers from the 18th August.
What's two days?

>>real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with subject lines - and
>why?

Reduces the tendency to make stupid mistakes.

>>don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.
>why?

Don't fill the group up with junk articles.

rayyw...@gmail.com

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Aug 21, 2007, 2:36:19 AM8/21/07
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> If I break wishless then I can wish for a potion of holy water if I
> never find one, or I could even wish for a blessed figurine of an
> archon (which I've never done before) to help me through the planes.

1) you can get a whole bunch of potions of water, name each separately
so they don't stack, drop all of your other stuff, then read a blessed
scroll of remove curse while confused - you will then get a random
(un'id'd batch of water that is holy, unholy, and regular water).
You'd have to burn at least three potions (one of each unID'd class)
by dip-testing to see which is which, but then you wouldn't be
breaking wishless.

2) rgrn is having enough trouble with trolls, let's not turn on each
other now.

Ohle Claussen

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Aug 21, 2007, 4:07:16 AM8/21/07
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On 2007-08-21, rayyw...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>> If I break wishless then I can wish for a potion of holy water if I
>> never find one, or I could even wish for a blessed figurine of an
>> archon (which I've never done before) to help me through the planes.
>
> 1) you can get a whole bunch of potions of water, name each separately
> so they don't stack, drop all of your other stuff, then read a blessed
> scroll of remove curse while confused - you will then get a random
> (un'id'd batch of water that is holy, unholy, and regular water).
> You'd have to burn at least three potions (one of each unID'd class)
> by dip-testing to see which is which, but then you wouldn't be
> breaking wishless.

... but illiterate instead.

--
Ohle Claussen | GPG-Key-ID E7149169
----------===========----------

"I don't think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our
views on prescription drugs." --dubya

Philip Potter

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Aug 21, 2007, 6:01:49 AM8/21/07
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rayyw...@gmail.com wrote:
> 1) you can get a whole bunch of potions of water, name each separately
> so they don't stack, drop all of your other stuff, then read a blessed
> scroll of remove curse while confused - you will then get a random
> (un'id'd batch of water that is holy, unholy, and regular water).
> You'd have to burn at least three potions (one of each unID'd class)
> by dip-testing to see which is which, but then you wouldn't be
> breaking wishless.

You shouldn't be burning more than one unless you're unlucky. Uncursed
doesn't get used up, and once you've found uncursed and holy then unholy
is the third pile (or vice versa). The only problem is when you id holy
and unholy before uncursed - but you can id uncursed in a shop.

Phil

--
Philip Potter pgp <at> doc.ic.ac.uk

Carl

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Aug 21, 2007, 12:45:00 PM8/21/07
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On Aug 21, 3:01 am, Philip Potter <p...@see.sig.invalid> wrote:
Another way to identify the uncursed potion is by diluting a potion,
then #name'ing it, then dropping and repicking up the unknown potions;
the uncursed ones will stack with the named potion that one knows is
uncursed. Unholy is easiest tested with a pet.

But, as Ohle mentioned, this trick breaks illiterate. As far as I
know, the only way for an illiterate wishless atheist to acquire holy
water is to find it. Hence the extra challenge for a high-conduct
game.

rayyw...@gmail.com

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Aug 21, 2007, 1:48:29 PM8/21/07
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bah never mind you'd be exchanging wishless for illiterate.

Kent Paul Dolan

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Aug 21, 2007, 6:25:04 PM8/21/07
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Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com> wrote:
> David Damerell <damer...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>> Quoting Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com>:

>>> Sorry to necro this thread but it's sort of
>>> connected to my original question.

>> You didn't, it's part of the same thread as your
>> original question.

> The thread was _days_ old and the question had
> been answered. Is that not 'necro-ing'?

If by that you meant "rape the dead", then perhaps.

>> real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with
>> subject lines - and

> why?

Confusing threads with subject lines is a well known
bug of Google Groups. However, that bug has been
partially fixed, it now doesn't split threads where
the subject changes, but it still sometimes merges
separate threads with identical subject lines.

In the current case, the thread and the thread with
the changed subject are displayed as one thread in
Google Groups, so David is out of his mind, again.

More important to the current discussion, though, is
that David Damerell habitually uses any excuse to
attack Google Groups use by attacking its users.

>> don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.

_What_ "stupid ellipsis thing"? If he's harping on
the user ID being munged by Google Groups, that's a
bit out of control of the user there. Moreover, I
went back and did a text search on your posting, and
it doesn't _contain_ an ellipsis.

> why?

Because David Damerell is a well known habitual
bully in this newsgroup, and he told you so.

xanthian.


Kent Paul Dolan

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Aug 21, 2007, 6:30:06 PM8/21/07
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Philip Potter <p...@see.sig.invalid>

> You shouldn't be burning more than one unless
> you're unlucky. Uncursed doesn't get used up, and
> once you've found uncursed and holy then unholy is
> the third pile (or vice versa). The only problem
> is when you id holy and unholy before uncursed -
> but you can id uncursed in a shop.

You can ID all three flavors of water in a shop. If
it's cheap, it's uncursed. If it's expensive and
your pet steps on it willingly, it's holy. If it's
expensive and your pet avoids it or steps on it
reluctantly, it's cursed.

xanthian.

anan...@gmail.com

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Aug 22, 2007, 1:31:29 AM8/22/07
to

The priest starts with holy water, so we can change it to
the only way for a non-priest wishless illiterate atheist to


acquire holy water is to find it.

regards,
-anandsr

Carl

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Aug 22, 2007, 2:18:58 AM8/22/07
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Well, you're correct, but if we want to be really thorough then we
should include wizards' starting random potions, too.
So, the only way for a non-priest, non-wizard wishless illiterate

Philip Potter

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Aug 22, 2007, 7:31:45 AM8/22/07
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Kent Paul Dolan wrote:

> Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The thread was _days_ old and the question had
>> been answered. Is that not 'necro-ing'?
>
> If by that you meant "rape the dead", then perhaps.

"necro" here is short for "necromancy", or *raising* the dead.

Philip Potter

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Aug 22, 2007, 7:33:24 AM8/22/07
to
Kent Paul Dolan wrote:
> You can ID all three flavors of water in a shop. If
> it's cheap, it's uncursed. If it's expensive and
> your pet steps on it willingly, it's holy. If it's
> expensive and your pet avoids it or steps on it
> reluctantly, it's cursed.

Of course! How could I forget?

Doug Freyburger

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Aug 22, 2007, 2:23:46 PM8/22/07
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Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com> wrote:
> David Damerell <damer...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>
> The thread was _days_ old and the question had been answered. Is that
> not 'necro-ing'?

No. The time scale of UseNet has been days. The thread was
not yet all that old, so it was still current. Fun enough term, but
the thread would need to be much older for it to apply.

> > real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with subject lines - and
>
> why?

A bug in google groups that was fixed like two years ago. Some
poke fun at it still.

> > don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.
>
> why?

On the one hand - Because then your thread will only have one post
and so it will harder to tell from noise. So fewer people will read
it.
Can't have folks actualyl read your posts, ya-know.

On the other hand - It's far better to put some actual text in a post
than an ellipsis.

Carl

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Aug 22, 2007, 2:40:24 PM8/22/07
to
On Aug 22, 11:23 am, Doug Freyburger <dfrey...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Carl <carlhnel...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > David Damerell <damer...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > The thread was _days_ old and the question had been answered. Is that
> > not 'necro-ing'?
>
> No. The time scale of UseNet has been days. The thread was
> not yet all that old, so it was still current. Fun enough term, but
> the thread would need to be much older for it to apply.

But in light of the current flooding of RGRN and there being several
hundred (thousand?) new posts since the last post on the thread at the
time I asked my follow-up question, it certainly seemed an appropriate
ironic use of the term. Obviously my attempt at irony and appearing
l33t didn't pass over so well ...


>
> > > real newsreader that doesn't confuse threads with subject lines - and
>
> > why?
>
> A bug in google groups that was fixed like two years ago. Some
> poke fun at it still.
>
> > > don't do that stupid ellipsis thing again.
>
> > why?
>
> On the one hand - Because then your thread will only have one post
> and so it will harder to tell from noise. So fewer people will read
> it.
> Can't have folks actualyl read your posts, ya-know.
>
> On the other hand - It's far better to put some actual text in a post
> than an ellipsis.

Since I personally can not tell a single post from noise (due to the
flooding), I figured that adding the ellipsis would work for others as
unsophisticated as myself. But okay, next time I'll add some text to
explain the existence of the junk post, if that makes others less
annoyed.

--
C

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