There are only a few ways to ascend a foodless atheist. You could
ascend quickly enough that food isn't an issue. You could spend enough
of the game polymorphed and not wearing jewelry that food isn't an
issue. Otherwise, you need a reliable source of nutrition. There are
(2) "You feel like a new man!"
The first (known) foodless atheist ascension, by Michael Anthony
Bayazes, used (1). Marvin later used (2), and then so did
Matthew "the extinctionist" Bourland.
As far as I know this is the fourth foodless atheist ascension post,
and the first to rely entirely on potions for nutrition---the "liquid
The secret is to use the PYEC and a horn of plenty to get a steady flow
of potions. Others have tried this, but it'll only work with a tourist.
The math works out so that each blessed recharge of the horn yields an
expected 200 turns or so worth of nutrition from booze, fruit juice,
and (indirectly) sickness; and with the right strategy the expected wait
between successful invocations is about 180 turns. That's pretty
close---indeed it means that your chance of hitting Satiated before
Fainting when you've just turned Hungry is only about 60%. But, you can
up the odds a great deal with polypiling and cancellation of found
potions and the other potions from the horn.
The first order of business is to find a ring of slow digestion.
Without it you're dead in about 1000 turns, and practically your
situation will be hopeless unless you find it before, say, 500 turns.
Of the 259 Ciompi attempts, 14 obtained a ring. They came from shops,
fountain wishes, sink-kicking, a smoky potion once, and even just lying
around on the ground. My strategy was to descend quickly through the
first four levels using the tourist's magic maps to find shops. If I
didn't find it in a shop, I went for fountains, then sinks; and only
then did I start exploring. Incidentally, they are easy to identify
with sinks since they aren't lost.
With Ciompi259 I got it by a fountain wish on T:350. That means I'll
be fainting around T:11350.
The Early Game
The next step is to reach exp level 14, finish the Quest, and find a
blessed horn of plenty before dying. My strategy was to go first to
Sokoban (usually I wanted the strength), then Minetown, a quick dive to
Mine's End (more for the chance of booze than for the luckstone), and
then a desperate attempt to reach exp level 14 quickly enough. (Sinks
make all the difference there.) I didn't explore the other levels much,
often digging holes to descend.
Including Ciompi259, there were 5 who reached the "all but xl 14" stage,
3 who reached the quest, and 2 who got the PYEC... but only Ciompi259
managed to also get the blessed horn of plenty.
Before that, though, I had good luck with a Mines bones file with speed
boots, gauntlets of power, and a sack which would serve for most of the
game. Speed boots make a big difference of course. I was hungry
(meaning 3000 turns to go) in Minetown, so I dove as fast as I could for
Mine's End. No Wine Cellar, but after coming back up I did manage to
buy some time at a big deli on level 4 with 7 potions of fruit juice.
On T:10572 I got hungry while luring a sink-succubus to Sokoban. I knew
I would probably get level 14 in time, but was worried about getting the
blessed horn of plenty... even with two thrones and four shops in the
Quest, it's hard to come by. But earlier I had seen a harp, which gave
me an idea that I just couldn't shake. This led to what I think of
capitalized as the heroic GREAT DIVE TO THE CASTLE.
I was exp level 10, with 80 hit points. AC -3. No resistances.
Two-wielding two daggers (one enchanted quite heavily). But I had speed
boots, an amulet of reflection, a wand of polymorph, a potion of object
detection, a leather drum, and most importantly the harp.
I dug down level after level, playing the drum whenever a creature tried
to interrupt. I arrived at the castle in sight of the upstairs, which
was reassuring... my wizmode tests had led me to believe that I was
toasted if there was a teleporting lich, but the upstairs might save me.
Even more luckily, there was no teleporting lich. The next big danger
was the minotaur; I didn't see it, but would have polymorphed it.
I polymorphed the xorns, and then filled in the moat with a scroll of
earth. I went diagonally next to the drawbridge, put on a mummy
wrapping (so that monsters would come to me, and so that they wouldn't
shoot the drawbridge) and the amulet of reflection. Then I started
playing the harp. I raised and lowered, raised and lowered the
drawbridge, searching in between to detect the invisible monsters I
couldn't see, crushing trolls, giants, liches, stalkers, disenchanters,
nagas, and soldiers, until the entry room was clear. I took off the
mummy wrapping, quaffed a potion of object detection, and ran for the
wand, playing the drum in the throne room to keep the (rather few)
remaining monsters away.
All told, I killed only three apes (before the drawbridge) and two
soldiers (on the way to the wand) by melee in the castle. Everything
else was crushed in the drawbridge.
And then I was there. I locked the door, got the wand and 2 blessed
scrolls of charging; I sadly find that it was (0:1), then I wish for the
Orb of Fate, and invoke it. I was surprised that it wasn't a controlled
levelport, because of course it had been in my wizmode tests.
But---lucky again---I got clear up to level 10.
I went back to the succubus, got level 14 after a rather long time, and
then turned Weak, meaning only 1000 turns. Perhaps overhastily, I
wished for a wand of cancellation; 3 fruit juice and 6 water got me just
out of hungry. Then I dove for the quest.
During the dive, I stop to kill a unicorn on level 12. It's carrying
gems, so I know its a bones file. This was the biggest break of the
game; it was a YASD'd post-quest Arc, with Frost Brand, holy water, a
stethoscope, a magic lamp, and a wand of death. Rather later I found
that he died on his stash level, and I got Sunsword to boot---this was
my main weapon except during the ascension run.
At T:13268 I walk into the quest. I max my luck with a conveniently
trapped gray unicorn. The locate level throne gives me a genocide; I
choose giant spiders (the Tourist quest monster), fearing poison. A
shop yields a potion of see invisible which I bless for the intrinsic.
Another shop yields a polished silver shield. At T:14094 I turn Weak,
just as I walk into the den of Master of Thieves. I equip the shield
and give him the wand of death point-blank. Then I pick up the PYEC,
wish for a blessed horn of plenty, empty it, and blessed-recharge it for
the first time on T:14121.
The Middle Game
At this point my strategy shifted in a big way. Before I had been
moving very fast. It's an exhilirating way to play, and I recommend it
for those who play carefully. Now, though, I moved into my usual
NetHack style of exploring every room, sorting through all the objects,
etc. So though I finished the quest in about 14000 turns, it wasn't
until 49000 that I reached the Valley, and 72000 that I started the
Meanwhile, I had worked out the optimal invocation strategy, using the
following wait times after each successful invocation:
I don't think I ever got more than halfway down that list though. Also
I wasn't quite so careful, often invoking a dozen or two turns after the
I spent quite a while hovering around weak. Once I even fainted,
scarily while fighting a troll. I used cancellation a lot on all the
potions I found for extra nutrition. At one point, quaffing a fountain
took me from Weak to Hungry! Finally, by T:24500, I was out of hungry
for the rest of the game.
With nutrition out of the way, the two conducts foodless and atheist
became separate concerns. The main problems of atheism are not being
able to pray in dire need, lack of artifacts, lack of holy water, lack
of b/u/c-identification, and a higher AC. I managed to avoid dire need,
artifacts were taken care of by the bones file, holy water by the horn
of plenty, b/u/c-identification by the super-plentiful holy water, and
AC never seemed that bad a problem---I got in the -20's easily, and got
down to -40 for a while.
Foodless is mainly about lack of intrinsics. Poison resistance is
vital, of course, and the very first thing I did after getting the PYEC
was to wish for green dragon scale mail, which I wore the rest of the
game. (I later realized Tourists get it at xl 20, but I didn't bother.)
I think the other resistances can be missed just fine, as long as you
have reflection. I used cold-resistance (via Frost Brand) only for
killing blue jellies (I bribed Asmodeus), and I used shock-resistance
(via ring) only when I was inside an energy vortex. I never had sleep
resistance. Fire resistance is mainly important for the fire traps in
Gehennom. I lost 20 max hp before I realized I could use the Orb of
Fate as a crystal ball, often recharged, to find all the fire traps
Later, I found Fire Brand, as the guaranteed long sword at the bottom of
Incidentally, the horn of plenty yields the occasional potion of acid,
which I kept around against cockatrices. Never had to use them though.
The other interesting thing about using the horn of plenty so much is
that it gives *lots* of eggs. After you see an egg hatched once, that
type of egg is identified for you. Normal eggs sadly can't be
distinguished except by stacking, so I carried one with me always.
I couldn't complete the relevant Stupid Ascension Trick without
polyself, but I took a few with me to make a nice omelette with. I
seemed to get more cockatrice eggs than any other kind, and used them to
good effect against the one Archon I saw (in Vlad's Tower) and Rodney.
Just a few other notes: I practiced riding for a while, using dragons
hatched from horn-of-plenty eggs. It's nice to miss all the trapdoors
and pits. Chameleon corpses later got the dragons. Before I got to
Basic, I shattered quite a few potions and eggs when I dropped my bag.
Later, I was riding a hasted warhorse---those things are *fast*. A
galloping hasted warhorse can outrun an air elemental. (Back in 3.3, a
bug I used to gripe about prevented this from being so useful; I'm glad
to see that fixed.) Warhorses die pretty fast in Gehennom though.
I spent much time trying to get a bag of holding. Despite all my
polypiling efforts, it isn't until T:63323 that I find one, lying on the
ground somewhere in Gehennom. I also find two magic lamps, which have a
better light radius than Sunsword. I should mention I went through
Gehennom the slowest way, without magic mapping or object detection.
I got a little genocide-happy. Vlad's throne got rid of shocking
spheres for me; once you have reflection, only those, electric eels, and
trapped chests can zap the all-important ring.
I was entertained to enter the Wizard's room at 12:55 am.
"Run away! Run away!"
Just before the ascension run, I alchemized, and polypiled extra potions
and scrolls. This gave me lots of genocide, and tons of fruit juice.
On T:71593 I hit Satiated, and remained so for the rest of the game.
The Ascension Run
It hardly deserves a new section, since it was entirely unremarkable.
On Astral, I toyed with the idea that an atheist should be willing to
use a helm of opposite alignment, but decided it was still weak. The
correct altar was the third one, which was (of course!) guarded by
You offer the Amulet of Yendor to The Lady...--More--
An invisible choir sings, and you are bathed in radiance...--More--
The voice of The Lady thunders: "Congratulations, mortal!"--More--
"In return for thy service, I grant thee the gift of Immortality!"--More--
You ascend to the status of Demigod...--More--
------ |.......| -----
....| |..._...| |...
---------..-- |.......| --..---------@
|.......|...-- | |.......| | --..a|..A'...|
|.....%.|..%.--- |. ----|---- .| ---5..a|..@....| A
|..._..%-.....- % |.............| %aaaaaA-...@...|
|.......|....--- % ---....%....--- ---..aa|..A....|
|.......|...-- -- -----%----- % -- --.aa|@......|@
---------..-- ----|-- % -|---- --..---------
...| ------- ----- ? |... @
----- ) | % | -----
-----% -- % --$ -----
-- $ --
Ciompi259 the Traveler St:25 Dx:18 Co:18 In:18 Wi:18 Ch:14 Neutral
Astral Plane $:0 HP:329(346) Pw:137(137) AC:-33 Xp:17/709493 T:74974 Satiated
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n) y
l - an uncursed amulet of reflection (being worn)
a - the rustproof +6 Frost Brand
g - the rustproof +7 Fire Brand (weapon in hand)
n - a +6 silver saber (wielded in other hand)
c - a blessed +5 Hawaiian shirt (being worn)
i - a blessed +4 green dragon scale mail (being worn)
m - a blessed rustproof +5 pair of gauntlets of power (being worn)
B - an uncursed fireproof +4 cloak of magic resistance (being worn)
E - a blessed +5 shield of reflection
F - a blessed fireproof +7 elven leather helm (being worn)
O - a blessed fireproof +5 pair of speed boots (being worn)
z - a blessed egg named normal
U - a blessed cockatrice egg named 10
r - a blessed ring of slow digestion (on right hand)
I - an uncursed ring of levitation
Y - an uncursed ring of free action (on left hand)
h - a wand of polymorph (0:7)
q - a wand of fire (0:6)
t - a wand of teleportation (0:7)
H - a wand of polymorph named 0chg (4:0)
K - a wand of death (0:6)
b - a blessed bag of holding named HOLDING
k - an uncursed skeleton key
s - an uncursed thoroughly rusty stethoscope
u - a blessed +0 unicorn horn
v - the blessed Orb of Fate (3:1)
P - an uncursed towel
V - the blessed Platinum Yendorian Express Card
W - a blessed horn of plenty (7:0) (* the counter stops at 7 *)
X - a cursed sack named CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL
L - 2 cursed amethyst stones
Contents of the bag of holding named HOLDING:
an uncursed sack named ENDGAME
2 cursed potions of gain level
2 uncursed scrolls of identify
a wand of death (0:6)
the blessed rustproof +6 Sunsword
an uncursed magic whistle
an uncursed ring of teleport control
a +0 pick-axe
a wand of fire (0:7)
10 blessed diluted potions of full healing
10 blessed potions of fruit juice
4 blessed scrolls of identify
an uncursed scroll of charging
a blessed cockatrice egg named 12 (* Once I found out wielding a *)
a blessed cockatrice egg named 13 (* big stack of cockatrice eggs *)
a blessed cockatrice egg named 14 (* wastes them, I decided to *)
a blessed cockatrice egg named 15 (* make it easy to keep them *)
a blessed cockatrice egg named 16 (* apart *)
an uncursed cockatrice egg named 2
an uncursed cockatrice egg named 1
a blessed cockatrice egg named 3
a blessed cockatrice egg named 4
a blessed cockatrice egg named 5
a blessed cockatrice egg named 6
a blessed cockatrice egg named 7
a blessed cockatrice egg named 8
an uncursed scroll of scare monster
an uncursed scroll of taming
a cursed scroll of earth
a blessed scroll of taming
a cursed rusty wand of teleportation (0:3)
a wand of teleportation (0:4)
a wand of teleportation (0:6)
a rustproof wand of teleportation (2:6)
a wand of teleportation (2:3)
a wand of teleportation (0:6)
a wand of death (0:5)
a wand of teleportation (0:2)
a blessed wand of death (0:6)
an uncursed leather drum
a cursed ring of free action
an uncursed ring of slow digestion
an uncursed +0 helm of opposite alignment
an uncursed ring of shock resistance
an uncursed ring of levitation
a potion of holy water named holy
a wand of undead turning (0:3)
2 uncursed scrolls of scare monster
an uncursed scroll of earth
Contents of the sack named ENDGAME:
a blessed blue dragon egg
an uncursed egg
a blessed red dragon egg
8 potions of holy water named holy
an uncursed potion of confusion
5 uncursed scrolls of gold detection
a blessed crocodile egg
a blessed killer bee egg
a blessed soldier ant egg
a blessed centipede egg
a blessed gargoyle egg
a blessed snake egg
a blessed long worm egg
a blessed black naga egg
a blessed giant ant egg
a blessed white dragon egg
a blessed python egg
a blessed fire ant egg
a blessed scorpion egg
a blessed egg named normal
Contents of the sack named CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL:
a wand of cancellation named CANCEL!!! (0:4)
2 blessed potions of full healing
3 uncursed scrolls of genocide
2 potions of holy water named holy
2 blessed scrolls of remove curse named ble
an uncursed ring of slow digestion
Do you want to see your attributes? [ynq] (n) y
You were piously aligned.
You were fire resistant.
You were poison resistant.
You were magic-protected.
You saw invisible.
You were telepathic.
You were warned.
You had automatic searching.
You were invisible to others.
You had slower digestion.
You were very fast.
You had reflection.
You had free action.
You were wielding two weapons at once.
You were extremely lucky.
You had extra luck.
Good luck did not time out for you.
Do you want an account of creatures vanquished? [ynq] (n) y
The Wizard of Yendor (4 times) (* Cockatrice eggs and /oDeath *)
Death (twice) (* He only drained 5 max hp *)
an arch-lich (* I don't remember him *)
a high priest
The Master of Thieves
Vlad the Impaler
3 master mind flayers
a water demon
53 giant spiders
62 killer bees
83 cave spiders
14 sewer rats
7 grid bugs
22 kobold zombies
3218 creatures vanquished.
Do you want a list of species genocided? [ynq] (n) y
master mind flayers
small mimics (* genocided before Orcus-town *)
kobold mummies (* a typo, or thinko, trying for mimics *)
37 species genocided.
Do you want to see your conduct? [ynq] (n) y
You went without food.
You were an atheist.
You genocided 37 types of monsters.
You never changed form.
You used 7 wishes.
(* blessed ring of slow digestion
2 blessed scrolls of charging
blessed Orb of Fate
blessed horn of plenty
blessed wand of cancellation
blessed +2 green dragon scale mail
blessed magic marker *)
Aloha Ciompi259 the Demigod...
You went to your reward with 4329502 points,
Frost Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
Sunsword (worth 1500 zorkmids and 3750 points)
Fire Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
The Orb of Fate (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
The Platinum Yendorian Express Card (worth 7000 zorkmids and 17500 points)
2 amethyst stones (worth 1200 zorkmids),
1 amulet of reflection (worth 150 zorkmids),
and 0 pieces of gold, after 74974 moves.
You were level 17 with a maximum of 346 hit points when you ascended.
You made the top ten list! (* Only 3.4 represented here *)
No Points Name Hp [max]
1 4329502 Ciompi259-Tou-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood. 329 
2 4320386 Detlef25-Arc-Hum-Fem-Neu ascended to
demigoddess-hood. 556 
3 4268882 Euan2-Sam-Hum-Mal-Law ascended to demigod-hood. 395 
4 317784 Detlef23-Arc-Hum-Fem-Law died in The Dungeons of Doom
on level 12 [max 18]. Killed by an owlbear, while
helpless. - 
5 315232 Detlef13-Arc-Gno-Mal-Neu died in The Dungeons of Doom
on level 21. Drowned in a pool of water. 98 
6 102570 Ciompi117-Tou-Hum-Fem-Neu died in The Quest on level
18 [max 15]. Killed by a captain, while helpless. - 
7 84178 Ciompi161-Tou-Hum-Mal-Neu died in The Quest on level
16 [max 13]. Killed by the Master of Thieves. - 
8 58962 Ciompi221-Tou-Hum-Fem-Neu died in The Dungeons of
Doom on level 28. Killed by a minotaur. - 
9 52758 Detlef-Arc-Hum-Fem-Law died in The Dungeons of Doom
on level 9 [max 11]. Killed by a Grey-elf. - 
10 37866 Ciompi168-Tou-Hum-Fem-Neu died in The Dungeons of
Doom on level 12. Killed by a death ray. 118 
> I had good luck with a Mines bones file with speed
> boots, gauntlets of power, and a sack which would
> serve for most of the game.
If you need a bones file, why not make one?
Many years ago I played Nethck on a remote system.
The owner of the system, a very kind lady, also liked
to play Nethack. Sometimes I made a present for her:
I used a strong player, collected some useful items,
put everything in a chest, engraved a letter in the
ground "Hi Tina, here are some goodies for you" or
something like this, and then I let a monster kill me.
> Aloha Ciompi259 the Demigod...
> You went to your reward with 4329502 points,
> Frost Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
> Sunsword (worth 1500 zorkmids and 3750 points)
> Fire Brand (worth 3000 zorkmids and 7500 points)
> The Orb of Fate (worth 3500 zorkmids and 8750 points)
> The Platinum Yendorian Express Card (worth 7000 zorkmids and 17500 points)
> 2 amethyst stones (worth 1200 zorkmids),
> 1 amulet of reflection (worth 150 zorkmids),
> and 0 pieces of gold, after 74974 moves.
> You were level 17 with a maximum of 346 hit points when you ascended.
> You made the top ten list! (* Only 3.4 represented here *)
> No Points Name Hp [max]
> 1 4329502 Ciompi259-Tou-Hum-Mal-Neu ascended to demigod-hood. 329 
Foodless atheist. Congrats! (tips hat :)
There are some drinks in the ice box at the demigod bar, methinks.
by Chaos Master® - MSN: wizard_o...@hotmail.com
"A Elbereth Gilthoniel, silivren penna miriel o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-diriel o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon nef aear, si nef aearon!" - The Lord of the Rings
Linux User #327480 / GNU-Win32 / Cygwin
I find that it tends to work this way: when trying for an ascension, the
failures make the later ones easier because of the bones. The the
ascension is the one which manages to get the best of the bones files
all in one game.
Certainly this game was heavily influenced by two bones files; without
them, I would almost certainly have needed an early wand of wishing to
do as well.
> "Robert R Schneck" <sch...@math.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>> I had good luck with a Mines bones file with speed
>> boots, gauntlets of power, and a sack which would
>> serve for most of the game.
> If you need a bones file, why not make one?
because for many of us, that's cheating and ultra-lame?
> Many years ago I played Nethck on a remote system.
> The owner of the system, a very kind lady, also liked
> to play Nethack. Sometimes I made a present for her:
> I used a strong player, collected some useful items,
> put everything in a chest, engraved a letter in the
> ground "Hi Tina, here are some goodies for you" or
> something like this, and then I let a monster kill me.
This is widely understood to be CHEATING!
I admit I've done this, and the game lost all fun (I even #quit from boredom in
those cheated games).
By now, he might want a few of the free pretzels!
Because that's incredibly cheap?
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?