Been making some progress with my veritable horde of (now dead)
valkyries. Currently been working out a strategy that gets me to mine
town and finished sokoban each game if possible (i'm pretty new to
this still). I'm doing ok, but it's very slow going as I am collecting
up every item that drops and hoarding them. This includes standard
weaponry and armor (the armor i can BUC check and then try on, but the
weapons are generally dead weight).
Will all this extra stuff be useful later on, once I get a little more
practiced at using things like polymorph wands and the like? At the
moment the only use I can think of for this random stuff is
polymorphing. Now, I figure it's going to be a while until i have the
luxury of being able to do this (i think i'v had one poly wand ever
since i figured out how to ID wands :p). Is it worth keeping all this
stuff stashed? Are there any other uses for it, or should I just leave
all the crap around the place? obviously if something can be used
against me (wands, potions and the like) or magic stuff, I stash that.
But does it make much difference if i leave scimitars and knives and
the like lying around?
> Will all this extra stuff be useful later on, once I get a
> little more practiced at using things like polymorph wands and
> the like?
The non magical items, probably not.
> At the moment the only use I can think of for this random
> stuff is polymorphing.
The probability of something non-magical turning into something
magical is almost 0. The armor you want, long term, is magical,
so you won't get it by polymorphing non-magical stuff. I've
never found a reason to polymorph a weapon, either.
Most of the other stuff is worth keeping, however.
> Now, I figure it's going to be a while until i have the luxury
> of being able to do this (i think i'v had one poly wand ever
> since i figured out how to ID wands :p). Is it worth keeping
> all this stuff stashed? Are there any other uses for it, or
> should I just leave all the crap around the place?
I test the armor once my pet has stepped on it. Unless it's
highly enchanted, or magic, I'll only keep what I'm wearing.
> obviously if something can be used against me (wands, potions
> and the like) or magic stuff, I stash that. But does it make
> much difference if i leave scimitars and knives and the like
> lying around?
I do. Ditto +0 hard hats, etc.
James Kanze (GABI Software) email:james...@gmail.com
Conseils en informatique orientée objet/
Beratung in objektorientierter Datenverarbeitung
9 place Sémard, 78210 St.-Cyr-l'École, France, +33 (0)1 30 23 00 34
Indeed. Get a decent melee weapon that fits your characters skill
table and that does good damage, once you find a coaligned altar
you'll go for an artifact anyway. You also want to specialize on
one of the ranged weapon types, depending on the class played. If
you're focussed on Valkyries only then you want to go for daggers
and longswords and for the hammer (because of your first artifact,
which is Mjollnir).
> Will all this extra stuff be useful later on, once I get a little more
> practiced at using things like polymorph wands and the like?
No, not really; it's mostly junk. I'd lock away mattocks and the
like because of the huge damage they do in the hands of a critter.
And also lock away poisoned projectiles; they might instant-kill
you if they're used by monsters.
> At the
> moment the only use I can think of for this random stuff is
> polymorphing. Now, I figure it's going to be a while until i have the
> luxury of being able to do this (i think i'v had one poly wand ever
> since i figured out how to ID wands :p). Is it worth keeping all this
> stuff stashed?
> Are there any other uses for it, or should I just leave
> all the crap around the place? obviously if something can be used
> against me (wands, potions and the like) or magic stuff, I stash that.
> But does it make much difference if i leave scimitars and knives and
> the like lying around?
With some exceptions you may even leave the weapons lying around,
usually, but if there's a box or chest nearby put the trash in it
if you like. Occasionally I use niches for weapons and armor that
I might use or that I don't want a monster to use. Engraving the
magic word on that square will also keep most critters away.
the game i'm currently in hasn't got an altar yet (did sokoban first
as i was running out of food) but just about to hit mine town. my pet
got rock trapped on level one, about 5 moves in :P so no IDing yet.
got stuck with a cursed scimitar chasing a nymph around for a while,
but now iv sorted that i think this will be the furthest iv got in one
cheers for the help again folks!
Enchantment is counted differently than magic. A cloak of
displacement is magic; a +1 dwarvish cloak is just enchanted.
> I've never found a reason to polymorph a weapon, either.
If you are a manic dagger-thrower and have amassed enough daggers and
polymorph charges/spells to waste, it's fun to try to get silver
What I like to do is find a chest somewhere, lug it to an altar, burn
Elbereth underneath it and lock it. That way when I wanna rummage
through it I have a convenient altar (for buc iding alchemized potions
and polypiled stuff). Ideally there will also be a fountain on that
level I can dig up for a guaranteed water source.
By the way,
If you can find Fort Ludios, there are so many soldiers that can drop
5 pieces of armor each, that if you do it right it's not that
difficult to get most of that armor in a couple of squares. Then when
you do polypiling later, if you get all that unmagical armor into
three squares, if there are three hundred pieces of crap armor (not
that unreasonable), the chance of getting one piece of magic armor out
of it is (1 - (.994)^300) = 83.6%. Which is pretty good. And of course
you get more than one zap. But be prepared to have to fight an iron
golem if you try that... but at the very least, you'll effectively
definitely get a tshirt / hawaiian shirt :)
Also, if you're an archaeologist or a barbarian, a mattock is actually
a pretty good early weapon for yourself until you get an artifact :)
Finally, crystal plate is not magic. So dont bother lugging it around,
it's heavy and too many of them stacked make glass golems.
Correct. This is why it's important to know which types of
elven armor are magical and which are not. Then go whack
as many elves as you can find and lug the correct ones to
It's my unstanding that a pile of 50 scroll regions of
nonmagical armor has a pretty good chance of creating
some magical armor, while a pile or 50 scroll regions
of magical armor has a pretty good chance of ending
up at least half nonmagical. I'm not sure of the odds
but I do see occasional magical armor in my polypile
results. I have filled in the occasional missing armor
item by doing a polypile of a ridiculously large pile of
armor, I think.
Fortunately, two of the semi-desirable cloak types for
occasional use aren't magical - rare oilskin and common
mummy wrappings are items I like to have in the bag
for just in case. I don't use them a lot in most games
but they both see occasional use in most of my last
My general strategy is to pull all magical armor out of
the pile immediately after I zap, check them against my
current stash of primaries and spares, then put magical
ones back in before the next polypile. The result is a
steadily shrinking pile of items with a rapidly dropping
fraction of magical. It very quickly gives diminishing
> as opposed to say a +0 hat. do +1 and up armor and
> weapons count as magic items for this purpose? So say i poly a +1
> helm, does it have a chance to turn into a magical helm or does it
> have the same (low) chance as another unmagical helm?
No. The enchantment number has no effect on this. The
result is a +1 random armor not a +0 random armor. This
means you'll want all plus items in your pile and ignore
the minus ones. How many zero ones you want in the
pile depends on how many scrolling regions worth of items
you want to try.
As rpresser already posted - When it comes to weapons I
rarely want ones other than silver dagger (or silver spear for
style points). The one's I'd really like are athame and
crysknife that never appear in a polypile. Though I have
amassed giant piles of ya, elven arrows and arrows for a
samurai. Given how common arrow traps are, and arrow
carrying centaurs, I don't usually have a shortage of arrows.
The only time I remember polypiling weapons, I managed to make 14 darts
turn into 14 silver spears. Rather handy they were, especially since I
was playing a monk.
The only times I've polymorphed weapons was when I wanted a particular
one that I was missing _and_ I was already going to do some
polypiling. So I blessed and enchanted up to +7 a big stack of darts
and eventually got a silver saber or a katana or something for my off-
That's actually the balance built into the process; you cannot put too
many items of the same material (leather->leather golem, metal-> iron
golem, etc.) onto the same square and since the range of polymorph is
also limited you'll usually get to convert much less than those "300".
While I understand the desire to get some T-shirt I'd rather spend the
charges for rings etc.
How does polymorphing stacks of weapons work? Certainly each
dart doesn't get polymorphed separately; start with a stack of
50 or 100 darts, and you should be able to get anything you
want. And if you want several at +7 you only need the scrolls
At EACH polymorph there is a chance to create a golem, or to lose THE
ENTIRE STACK to shuddering vibrations. If that doesn't happen, the
ENTIRE STACK will turn into ONE WEAPON. (Possibly it has a chance to
turn into a stack of stackable weapons, but there are so many more
single weapons that the chance is low.) You have to polymorph them in
First it decides if it shudders the stack out of existance
or converts it into a golem. Second it decides what item
class it would get converted to. Third if the new item type
does not stack it sets the number in the stack to one. So
a stack of 50 darts might turn to a single club or it might
turn to a stack of 50 shuriken.
Polypiling weapons to pile up missiles mostly works by
converting the plentiful melee weapons into missiles one
by one, but sometimes you'll end up with a stack of missiles
you don't want into a stack of missiles you do want.
The stunt I do if I am trying for a stack of silver daggers is
the #name each missile (1,2,3,4..) before dropping it. That
way there are as many items as possible to increase the
chance of getting silver daggers at all. Or shuriken or
whatever. Doing polypiling for weapons at all is either
incidental to your other polypiling or it's to get certain rare
but possible items like silver daggers/arrows/spears.
Combat with monsters is sure to give you enough elven
arrows/daggers so polypiling ends up for the rare stuff.
If it were possible to get an athame by polypiling it would
be worth the naming trick. Since it isn't and since silver
arrows and silver daggers aren't *that* much better than
ya or elven daggers I generally just dump all of the weapons
in my hoard into the pile and what weapons I get are gravy
compared to the real goal of the polypile - magical items
like books and rings and possibly magical armor.
Let's see if I understand something about polypiling - It
tends to be done as over preparation and so it's a sign
of lower skill than serial ascenders. Those serial
ascenders who do it don't hoard every item in the game
into their piles. That's time they could have spent
ascending more directly.
> How does polymorphing stacks of weapons work?
The stack polymorphs as a unit, and if it polymorphs
into something that doesn't stack, it polymorphs into
just one of them. The good news is that enchantment
is (always?) preserved. The few times I've bothered
to do this, I put all the items with the same
enchantment level in one stack, so that I knew where
to look first for "the good stuff".
> Certainly each dart doesn't get polymorphed
You can _make_ that happen, by forcing the darts to
unstack, but while they are all in one stack, you're
right; see below.
> start with a stack of 50 or 100 darts, and you
> should be able to get anything you want.
But only if you unstack them before polymorphing
them. Otherwise, each zap turns the whole stack into
the same one kind of thing.
> And if you want several at +7 you only need the
> [enchantment?] scrolls for one.
Well, there's a trick: stacks polymorph all at once,
so what you want to do, quite tediously, is to give
each item in the stack a separate name (dart001,
dart002, ... dart300).
Since differently named stackable items no longer
stack, now instead of one stack of 300 items, you
have 300 "stacks" of one item. [Stack here should
not be confused with that pile of items on the
floor, also called a "stack"; these are stacks as in
how the items fit into your inventory.
You do that by naming and dropping the whole stack,
then picking the stack components up one at a time
to rename each one with a separate name, and
then drop it again, now as a "stack" of one item.
This prevents them being treated as a stack by the
polymorph zap, but gets them instead treated as say
300 separate items whose chance to change into
"other stuff" is rolled one at a time when the stack
is polymorph zapped.
That way you have some pretty good chance to get at
least some of the darts turned into silver daggers,
silver spears, or whatever is your goal.
That explanation is still a muddle, I hope it gets
the idea across.
> Let's see if I understand something about polypiling - It
> tends to be done as over preparation and so it's a sign
> of lower skill than serial ascenders. Those serial
> ascenders who do it don't hoard every item in the game
> into their piles.
Lower skill? I wouldn't agree with that. It's just a way of acquiring
items, albeit much more indirectly, than wishing. It is especially a
handy way of finishing ring collections, especially given how easy it
is to carry around a bunch of extra rings until it's poly-time.
I think adjacent items only stack if they are made of the same material.
So the trick would also constitute taking, say, 100 elven arrows (wood)
and 100 daggers (metal), #nameing them individually, and then dropping
them, alternating between metal and wood...
"Would those who believe in telekinesis please raise my hand?"
- Maarten Pieters, in NRC Handelsblad.
A +3 leather helm is just as likely to turn into a helm of brilliance
than a +0 leather helm is.
But since enchantment does not change, the first would become a +3 helm
of brilliance, while the second would be a less useful +0 helm of
> The only time I remember polypiling weapons, I managed to make 14
> darts turn into 14 silver spears. Rather handy they were, especially
> since I was playing a monk.
And really easy to carry...
Spears are heavy!
When I read the code that is what I concluded. I tried making
piles of items for polypiling by alternating materials - some wood,
some leather, some metal, some mineral. Cycle after cycle. I
don't know if it reduced the number of golems created but I
eventually concluded it was not worth that level of effort.
Golems are essentially a polymorph into a low usefulness item.
Any character who has gathered a substantial pile is unlikely
to be in danger from several golems appearing, so the biggest
problem is rocks/glass turning into a glass golem giving glass
not gems, wooden items turning into wood golems yielding
quarterstaves not ya, and so on. Iron items end up so common
that iron chains just pile up.
>> I think adjacent items only stack if they are made of the same
>> So the trick would also constitute taking, say, 100 elven arrows
>> and 100 daggers (metal), #nameing them individually, and then
>> them, alternating between metal and wood...
> Any character who has gathered a substantial pile is unlikely
> to be in danger from several golems appearing, so the biggest
> problem is rocks/glass turning into a glass golem giving glass
> not gems, wooden items turning into wood golems yielding
> quarterstaves not ya, and so on. Iron items end up so common
> that iron chains just pile up.
Another thing that might work would be to just put everything that you
want to keep in a randomly ordered pile (any order will do), and top it
off by, for example, 30 iron weapons. When you polymorph the lot, the
iron items would become an iron golem, and the items below would remain
It may also be necessary not to put any more iron items in the pile; I'm
not sure whether or not the irno items bolow the 30 on top would also
meld into the iron golem.
In a second pile, you'd put the iron items you wanted to keep, and top
the pile off with some 30 wooden items or so.