YAAP: Sherri (Wiz-Hum-Fem-Cha) + Stupid Ascension Trick

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:53:08 PM8/4/21
I doubt I'm the first to do this, but I killed all 3 riders -
permanently, I think. Or at the very least, I filled Astral with 489
pet acid blobs. This was while still playing 3.4.3. A cursory search
brought up a couple of references to this being possible, but I
couldn't find anyone actually doing it. I'm not sure if it's still
possible on 3.6.x. Still, I thought it was pretty cool. :)

Some background: It's a well-known strategy on Astral to keep a
buffer of insects around you so nastier things can't surround you. At
some point, I can't remember if I saw it suggested on RGRN or if it
was a happy accident, but I discovered that the acid blobs summoned
from a confused ?oCM are even better. I started bringing a few ?oCM
as an essential part of my ascension kit. And with a couple of dozen.
I could gum up Astral to the point that the riders, priests, and
angels had a hard time maneuvering at all. Even better, with a couple
?oTaming and a magic whistle, I could keep a nice entourage with me
at all times.

Then one time, I decided to ascend as a monster. And not just
polymorphing into something wimpy while standing on the altar; I'd
have to change into my monster form before going past the castle, and
not change back. I settled on an incubus, which I bring up because
that game, I accumulated some 40+ ?oCM by stealing them from monsters
before they could use them. This got me wondering if I could fill
Astral with acid blobs, and if so, what would become of the riders if
there was literally no room for them to revive?

That brings me to this game. I played a wizard, so I could cast charm
monster a lot; human so I could get to 18/** strength, since all
those scrolls would be heavy; and chaotic because I was going to
spend most of the game as a foocubus.

The Mines branch was on level 4. The temple was coaligned. Sokoban
provided the amulet. There was an altar on 13, the quest portal was
on 15, a cross-aligned temple and another altar on 17, and a
coaligned temple on 21 where I set up my stash, though a pet
eventually killed the priest despite my best efforts to avoid that.
Medusa was on 26 (the titan version), followed by 2 maze levels and
the castle.

The RNG was not very helpful with providing equipment this game, but
that was well-deserved. On an earlier attempt, I found a /oW on DL17,
but wasted it a few levels later. (You bite the cockatrice. DYWYPI?)
By the castle, I had speed boots, a =oPC, a ?oCharging, and a +oID,
but not a whole lot else of note. Of course, the castle wand had just
1 charge. I fairly quickly wished up an "oUnchanging, SDSM, a (MM,
and 3 ?oGeno. I genocided c and L right away, and R a bit later. I
eventually genocided ; and both types of mind flayer as well.

The portal to the wizard's tower was on 49, the VS on 50, and then I
did the quest. By now I had a Hawaiian shirt, a robe, and a single
magic lamp. But I only had 40 or so ?oCM. By my math, it would take
38 to fill Astral with acid blobs, but I wanted AT LEAST twice that.

So I decided to polypile scrolls and tools. I already had stashed all
the scrolls I had come across, but I scoured the dungeon for unihorns
and magic whistles. And while I was at it, I gathered elven cloaks
and boots and other magic armor in hopes of making [GoD or a
cornuthaum. But I only had 1 /oPoly, and no polymorph spell. So I did
something I'd never ever done before: I wrote an unknown spellbook.

I polypiled armor. I polypiled tools. I blanked, blessed, and
polypiled useless scrolls. I even polypiled some useless spellbooks,
as I was missing some that, while not necessary, would be nice to
have. I got some useful tools, some useful scrolls, and +Remove
Curse. But still not enough ?oCM.

So I did what any normal insane nethacker would do next: I grabbed
my pick-axe and dug out gehennom, stealing ?oCMs along the way, and
polypiling literally everything there until it either shuddered,
became something useful, or became a golem. Halfway through, I
actually got [GoD out of some garbage armor. (Shortly after that, I
got 2 more in a single pile of garbage armor.) After a stash run
following DL48, I had my 80+ ?oCM. But after all that, I wasn't going
to leave just 2 levels of gehennom that weren't Big Rooms, so I
tunneled them out too, and was rewarded by finding a cornuthaum.

By the time I got the Amulet and returned to my stash, I had 102
?oCM. (I also had enough !oHW to bless my entire inventory, and
enough grease to grease my entire inventory.)

Before stepping through the portal on Water, I confused myself and
got out a bunch of ?oCM. I also put on my =oConflict, because I
didn't want a guardian angel going around killing acid blobs before I
could tame them. I stepped through, and read scrolls. When I became
unconfused, I confused myself again and read more, blowing through
about 20 or so.

Since I knew I'd be going to all the temples anyway, I didn't bother
looking at who was where. I was on the right side, so I just went
right. While I brought ~15 ?oTaming, a magic harp, and several
?oCharging, I found that it was preferable to cast Charm Monster
instead, to avoid taming other monsters that would then go on to kill
acid blobs that I hadn't tamed yet. But it turned out I didn't know
Charm Monster.

Crap. Taming a boatload of monsters was kind of an integral part of
my plan, but I never found that spellbook, and forgot to check for
that before leaving the dungeon. I had 3 magic markers on me, but no
spellbooks, blank or otherwise. I'd used my wrested wish on one of
those markers before going after Rodney. No smoky potions (monster
detection; I'd barely found any this game). So I #rubbed my lamp... A
wish! Phew! I was annoyed to have to use my only magic lamp, but that
turned out not to be a big deal since only the area you come in at is
dark, I had a /oLight, and I had actually studied THAT spell. So
mostly I was relieved that I got the 80% wish.

I continued right, charming and wading through acid blobs. Death was
right, and the altar was chaotic. I killed everything on the right
except the high priestess, and summoned more acid blobs, which I

Rinse and repeat down the middle, which was Famine and the lawful
altar. Then left, of course, was neutral. Pestilence was there, and
Death had revived itself way over there as well.

After clearing the left side, I put on a blindfold, and was surprised
to find nothing had regenerated in the middle. Famine had revived
itself on the right, and about 40 or so non-acid-blobs were there: 26
bugs, and 15-20 other assorted monsters. And some xorns were milling
about outside the Astral walls, which was pretty funny to see. I
genocided a, and filled the space with more blobs.

Then I went through the left and middle again to tame any blobs I'd
missed, and made my way through the last monsters on the right. After
killing each, I replaced it with an acid blob. I didn't want another
monster to generate, but more importantly, I didn't want a rider to
revive itself in the open square. And at this point, I still had way
more ?oCM than there were monsters remaining.

The last monster, behind the temple, was a vampire lord. I didn't
kill the high priestess of Anhur - she seemed like a nice person, she
was serving the right god, and she wasn't standing on the altar.

I made 1 more pass through the level, to make sure there were no
monsters, and make sure all the acid blobs were tame. I also wanted
to see if the rider corpses were still there. I forgot where Death
was, but Pesty's corpse had been behind the left temple, and Famine's
was in the right temple's atrium somewhere. I didn't find either;
they must have rotted away!

I went back to my altar, took screenshots (to see all the blobs on
the screen at once, I had to cancel a spellbook that a priest had
dropped and write a second unknown spell, Detect Monsters),
then #offered and ascended.

This was on my phone, so the screenshots are images, and I've been
away from nethack and rgrn for a long time. Is there a standard place
people post pictures to and link to them? Or is that just not done.
I'd love to show off my picture of Astral filled with little green
"b"s (and 15-20 "X"s outside the walls).

David Damerell

Aug 6, 2021, 12:05:18 PM8/6/21
Quoting T-Bone <sty...@gmail.com>:
>I doubt I'm the first to do this, but I killed all 3 riders -
>permanently, I think. Or at the very least, I filled Astral with 489
>pet acid blobs. This was while still playing 3.4.3. A cursory search
>brought up a couple of references to this being possible, but I
>couldn't find anyone actually doing it. I'm not sure if it's still
>possible on 3.6.x. Still, I thought it was pretty cool. :)

Bravo. I think extinctionists have done it before, but it's no mean feat.
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk>
And now, a seemingly inexplicable shot of a passing train.
Today is Friday, July.
Tomorrow will be Saturday, July - a weekend.
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