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YANI: break mysterious force

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Anonymous
February 23, 2005 5:55:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
"break mysterious force". What it would do is to allow you for a very
limited period of time (say 12 to 15 turns if blessed) to resist the
ubiquitous "mysterious force" in all its manifestations.

That is, you would be able to go on the quest without seeing your quest
leader first, because no mysterious force would prevent you from
descending the staircase. Would render some hitherto unwinnable games
winnable again.

It would allow you to avoid being thrown back on the ascent from
Gehennom - but essentially not more than once or twice per potion. (To
avoid abuse, make the potion unobtainable by alchemy or polymorphing. I
would not mind at all, if extinctionists ended up having twenty of them
in their inventory.)

You could teleport on the quest home level or on one of the planes. If
that seems too unbalancing, you might be unable to have complete control
over your arrival point: "You overpower the mysterious force. The
mysterious force kicks back in! You miss the goal of your teleport."
.... and you would arrive within a square of 11 by 11 from where you
wanted to go.

For rogues, such a potion might be desirable in their quest goal level,
but it would be only one means of getting to where they need to go, and
the effect might not persist long enough to teleport back out.

One motivation of this suggestion is that it seems too easy a way out to
render things impossible to players by invoking the "mysterious force"
all the time. It is the only thing in the game that you cannot beat...
(it is comparatively easy to beat your god). So creating this potion
would be an equilibrating measure... For each force there should be a
counterbalance...
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 6:17:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:

> An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
> "break mysterious force". What it would do is to allow you for a very
> limited period of time (say 12 to 15 turns if blessed) to resist the
> ubiquitous "mysterious force" in all its manifestations.

One would be enough, if you also had 15 potions of gain level, to escape
Gehennom in one go.

> That is, you would be able to go on the quest without seeing your
> quest leader first, because no mysterious force would prevent you from
> descending the staircase. Would render some hitherto unwinnable games
> winnable again.

Only if you were still on Quest level 1. If I recall correctly, the
portal also disappears from the main dungeon. Not sure, though.

> One motivation of this suggestion is that it seems too easy a way out
> to render things impossible to players by invoking the "mysterious
> force" all the time.

I think your potion would be too easy a way out. It would also make
teleport possible on the Medusa level, eliminating the need of finding a
means of levitation (or another way of crossing the water), the
difficulty of entering the Castle, ...

> It is the only thing in the game that you cannot beat...

So what? I think there should be things that you cannot beat. I would
also favour abolishing the amulet of life saving, by the way. I think
you shouldn't be able to beat death (smallcaps!) either.

> So creating this potion would be an equilibrating measure...

I think it's just the opposite: unbalancing.

> For each force there should be a counterbalance...

I really disagree most strongly. You shouldn't be able to counter
everything that you don't like. You might just as well abolish the
mysterious force completely; that would be much easier to implement.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 6:56:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>
>>An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
>>"break mysterious force". What it would do is to allow you for a very
>>limited period of time (say 12 to 15 turns if blessed) to resist the
>>ubiquitous "mysterious force" in all its manifestations.
>
>
> One would be enough, if you also had 15 potions of gain level, to escape
> Gehennom in one go.

Good idea... So you have to acquire 15 potions of gain level first.

>>That is, you would be able to go on the quest without seeing your
>>quest leader first, because no mysterious force would prevent you from
>>descending the staircase. Would render some hitherto unwinnable games
>>winnable again.

> Only if you were still on Quest level 1. If I recall correctly, the
> portal also disappears from the main dungeon. Not sure, though.

That's the first time I hear about this. It disappears, if your quest
leader becomes angry at you, but not if you convert prior to entering
the quest.

>>One motivation of this suggestion is that it seems too easy a way out
>>to render things impossible to players by invoking the "mysterious
>>force" all the time.

> I think your potion would be too easy a way out. It would also make
> teleport possible on the Medusa level, eliminating the need of finding a
> means of levitation (or another way of crossing the water), the
> difficulty of entering the Castle, ...

We are talking about different ways out. I think preventing things to
happen by "mysterious forces" without any rationale behind, is an easy
way out of a situation that would require more detailed reasoning and,
maybe, programming.

>>It is the only thing in the game that you cannot beat...

> So what? I think there should be things that you cannot beat. I would
> also favour abolishing the amulet of life saving, by the way. I think
> you shouldn't be able to beat death (smallcaps!) either.

I would not mind abolishing the amulet of life saving either. But I
think such a nonsensical thing like the "mysterious force", without
in-game explanation should be beatable.

>>So creating this potion would be an equilibrating measure...

> I think it's just the opposite: unbalancing.

Hardly. If it helps getting out of Gehennom fast, that's only to the
good. I have never lost a game after getting the amulet and I don't
think measures that make things easier at that stage are inherently bad.
But in any case, here one could also take "balancing" - in your sense
- measures, by having the mysterious force kick in again, if you use the
effect of the potion more than once or twice in the period the potion is
supposed to act. Or make it an amulet that self-destroys after having
done its effect.

>>For each force there should be a counterbalance...

> I really disagree most strongly. You shouldn't be able to counter
> everything that you don't like. You might just as well abolish the
> mysterious force completely; that would be much easier to implement.

I would be in favor of that. For example, one could put the staircase
to the quest in a locked room to be opened only by a key that your quest
leader gives you. This would allow to avoid the silly means of a
"mysterious force" in that case. Although I think that then you should
be able to get at the key by sufficient ingenuity even if you have
converted yourself.

For no-teleport levels one would have to find s.th. different as a
reason (i.e. only the message would change). For the mysterious force
in Gehennom, well, in slashem it is not there, so why not abolish it in
nethack, too. It does not add anything but annoyance to the game.

But as long as it is present, there should be a way to balance it. This
would definitely not be unbalancing...

Anyway, this is a question of philosophy again, and I tend to share the
opinion of Borges here, who favours symmetry by saying that if there is
a spring that confers immortality when you drink from it there must also
be one that removes it when you do so... (In fact, the hero in his
short story puts all his hopes in finding this spring to get rid of
immortality again.)

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 7:36:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

>> So what? I think there should be things that you cannot beat. I would
>> also favour abolishing the amulet of life saving, by the way. I think
>> you shouldn't be able to beat death (smallcaps!) either.

> I would not mind abolishing the amulet of life saving either.

Moreover, it should be obvious that abolishing the amulet of life saving
would make the game *easier* in almost all situations. Because it would
reduce the number of choices that you have. In most cases, if you play
well, you don't *really* need it, so having to choose between putting it
on and puttion on, say, an amulet of reflection, makes the game harder,
not easier. The only situation, where an amulet of life saving will
make the game easier is in early game, if it is the only amulet that you
have found. But that is a pretty rare situation since the time Sokoban
was introduced.

Of course, there would be a few more deaths without this amulet, but the
overall decision-making would become easier and hence the game would
lose some of its depth. So little however that I would not really mind.
(With my personal style of playing, it makes no big difference, since
the only place where I wear an amulet of life saving is the Astral Plane.)
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 8:01:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>> Klaus Kassner wrote:

>> One would be enough, if you also had 15 potions of gain level, to
>> escape Gehennom in one go.

> Good idea... So you have to acquire 15 potions of gain level first.

No problem at all. In my latest parked game, I had only played about
120.000 turns (not much for my way of playing), and already easily
accumulated that amount.

>>> That is, you would be able to go on the quest without seeing your
>>> quest leader first, because no mysterious force would prevent you
>>> from descending the staircase. Would render some hitherto
>>> unwinnable games winnable again.

I don't think the Dev Team has built in that provision without a reason.
The Quest leader allows you to go as a sort of reward, I believe. He has
farther plans with you, but he'll only tell you after you bring him the
amulet, because he has to be sure you're built from the right wood.

>> Only if you were still on Quest level 1. If I recall correctly, the
>> portal also disappears from the main dungeon. Not sure, though.

> That's the first time I hear about this. It disappears, if your quest
> leader becomes angry at you, but not if you convert prior to entering
> the quest.

As I said, I wasn't sure.

> We are talking about different ways out. I think preventing things to
> happen by "mysterious forces" without any rationale behind, is an easy
> way out of a situation that would require more detailed reasoning and,
> maybe, programming.

I can go with you a long way, here. Nevertheless, I think the rationale
shouldn't be sought in "logical" explanations, but in game balance.

What I would like is that the no-teleport levels are only non-teleport
while the Named Nemesis of that level is still alive. That Nemesis would
be responsible for maintaining the mysterious force that prevents you
from teleporting. It would also explain why some creatures can still
teleport to the upstairs to heal.

Not sure what to do with the Castle, though, since there is no creature
there that could qualify for Nemesis (or you'd have to give one of the
liches that status).

> I would not mind abolishing the amulet of life saving either. But I
> think such a nonsensical thing like the "mysterious force", without
> in-game explanation should be beatable.

What would stop a player from just killing his Quest Leader? These
unlogical things sort of keep a player in line (makes him stick to his
alignment), at least temporarily.

> If it helps getting out of Gehennom fast, that's only to the good.

I don't think the Dev Team would agree here (and I don't, either). The
force was (I think) meant for two purposes: (1) keeping players in
Gehennom *longer*, so the Wizard has more chance of showing up while
you're still deep in the Dungeon, and (2) creating somewhat more variety
between the alignments.

I can only think of these two reasons for the mysterious force, and
don't suppose that the Dev Team, by introducing your proposed potion,
will undo those carefully introduced effects.

> But in any case, here one could also take "balancing" - in your sense
> - measures, by having the mysterious force kick in again, if you use
> the effect of the potion more than once or twice in the period the
> potion is supposed to act. Or make it an amulet that self-destroys
> after having done its effect.

I think that's not the way potions work, that would be more something a
scroll. I think potions should work on your metabolism, while scrolls
effect the big bad world outside of you. Granted, not all potions
currently adhere to this philosophy, but that's how I think they should
work.

Same difference should exist between scrolls and wands, if I had it my
way: scrolls for general effects, wands for directional effects. For
examples, I think that enlightenment should be a potion only, light a
scroll only, and secret door detection a scroll only as well.

>> You might just as well abolish the mysterious force completely;

> I would be in favor of that. For example, one could put the staircase
> to the quest in a locked room to be opened only by a key that your
> quest leader gives you. This would allow to avoid the silly means of
> a "mysterious force" in that case. Although I think that then you
> should be able to get at the key by sufficient ingenuity even if you
> have converted yourself.

I do agree with you here. Still, it would open the possibility to kill
your quest leader and get the key off his or her dead body. To counter
that you could, for example, have him or her conjure that key out of
thin air instead.

> For no-teleport levels one would have to find s.th. different as a
> reason (i.e. only the message would change). For the mysterious force
> in Gehennom, well, in slashem it is not there, so why not abolish it
> in nethack, too. It does not add anything but annoyance to the game.

Again, I don't agree. I am not bothered at all by the game taking a few
minutes more: my games usually last several weeks anyway.

> if there is a spring that confers immortality when you drink from it
> there must also be one that removes it when you do so...

In a D&D campaign on Terry Pratchett's Disc World I once played in,
there was also a fountain of youth. We all drank from it, and the next
morning, we were all nine to twelve year olds...

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 8:56:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> Good idea... So you have to acquire 15 potions of gain level first.

That is trivial given one titan (an arch lich is an inferior
alternative), 1 uncursed scroll of genocide, several cursed scrolls of
genocide, a set of gloves, and the spellbook of force bolt (or a
generous supply of wands of striking).

> I would be in favor of that. For example, one could put the staircase
> to the quest in a locked room to be opened only by a key that your
> quest leader gives you.

But then you could trivially solve the problem by teleporting to the
stairs. Or pass the door as a xorn. Or something like that.
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 8:56:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Tommi Syrjanen wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:
>
>
>>Good idea... So you have to acquire 15 potions of gain level first.

> That is trivial given one titan (an arch lich is an inferior
> alternative), 1 uncursed scroll of genocide, several cursed scrolls of
> genocide, a set of gloves, and the spellbook of force bolt (or a
> generous supply of wands of striking).

Could you elaborate? (Not that I find dealing with titans particularly
trivial, in general.)

>>I would be in favor of that. For example, one could put the staircase
>>to the quest in a locked room to be opened only by a key that your
>>quest leader gives you.
>
>
> But then you could trivially solve the problem by teleporting to the
> stairs. Or pass the door as a xorn. Or something like that.

No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower. (And teleporting
is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.) So if the same
protection mechanism were applied to the room in question the only way
in would be via the door. Which brings to mind a question to experts in
slashem: can one avoid the aligned quests by simply polymorphing into a
xorn in Vlad's tower to pass the unbreakable doors?
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 8:57:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Tommi Syrjanen wrote:

>> But then you could trivially solve the problem by teleporting to the
>> stairs. Or pass the door as a xorn. Or something like that.

> No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower. (And
> teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.) So if the
> same protection mechanism were applied to the room in question the
> only way in would be via the door.

But you wanted to abolish the mysterious force and other unexplained
things, didn't you?

That should also encompass unexplained non-passable stone, I think.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 8:57:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers schrieb:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>>Tommi Syrjanen wrote:
>
>
>>>But then you could trivially solve the problem by teleporting to the
>>>stairs. Or pass the door as a xorn. Or something like that.
>
>
>>No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower. (And
>>teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.) So if the
>>same protection mechanism were applied to the room in question the
>>only way in would be via the door.
>
>
> But you wanted to abolish the mysterious force and other unexplained
> things, didn't you?
>
> That should also encompass unexplained non-passable stone, I think.

No. I wanted to abolish an all-encompassing "explanation" for the
unexplained. On the contrary, I find the non-passable stone a good
mystery, because it does not come with the explicit adjective
"mysterious". I also would not mind keeping the mysterious force for
only one of its current purposes, i.e. preventing you from teleporting
*or* preventing you from going down a stairs *or* throwing you back a
number of levels. But the *or* here should be an exclusive or.

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 9:44:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>>Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>>
>>>Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>
>>>One would be enough, if you also had 15 potions of gain level, to
>>>escape Gehennom in one go.
>
>
>>Good idea... So you have to acquire 15 potions of gain level first.
>
>
> No problem at all. In my latest parked game, I had only played about
> 120.000 turns (not much for my way of playing), and already easily
> accumulated that amount.

In a "normal" game, it would be a non-negligible delay. As I said, I
would not mind extinctionists (who play on the order of 400000 turns),
to accumulate this kind of thing. If you linger in the dungeon that
long, you might as well collect rewards for your patience.

>>>>That is, you would be able to go on the quest without seeing your
>>>>quest leader first, because no mysterious force would prevent you
>>>>from descending the staircase. Would render some hitherto
>>>>unwinnable games winnable again.

> I don't think the Dev Team has built in that provision without a reason.
> The Quest leader allows you to go as a sort of reward, I believe. He has
> farther plans with you, but he'll only tell you after you bring him the
> amulet, because he has to be sure you're built from the right wood.

That does not quite concur with the way most quest leaders justify
letting you keep the quest artifact.

Furthermore, you can kill your Quest leader afterwards without the same
penalty. You can also convert without the same penalty.

In my opinion, this is not a provision built into the game by the Dev
team, rather an accidental side effect. As far as I am concerned, there
is no need to render it impossible to put the silver bell and the other
unique items from going into a bag of holding to prevent them from
blowing up. If a player is not careful enough to avoid this or to keep
them outside by himself, let him lose the game this way. However,
conversions before the quest can happen to inexperienced players early
in the game without their knowing that the game has become unwinnable.

>>We are talking about different ways out. I think preventing things to
>>happen by "mysterious forces" without any rationale behind, is an easy
>>way out of a situation that would require more detailed reasoning and,
>>maybe, programming.

> I can go with you a long way, here. Nevertheless, I think the rationale
> shouldn't be sought in "logical" explanations, but in game balance.

Right. Logic is somewhat limited anyway in the game :-).
Nevertheless, I don't think game balance would suffer a lot by this
YANI. At least, if you switch from the original potion-based
realization to one based on an amulet that disintegrates after use (and
may have bad alternative effects if cursed).

> What I would like is that the no-teleport levels are only non-teleport
> while the Named Nemesis of that level is still alive. That Nemesis would
> be responsible for maintaining the mysterious force that prevents you
> from teleporting. It would also explain why some creatures can still
> teleport to the upstairs to heal.

> Not sure what to do with the Castle, though, since there is no creature
> there that could qualify for Nemesis (or you'd have to give one of the
> liches that status).

No, since that lich has quite a chance of already being genocided once
you hit the Castle, I would not do that. I would just have different
mechanisms of suppressing teleportation, the one of the Castle
remaining, because it is "mechanical", the one based on the action of
demon lords or princes vanishing with their demise. With appropriate
messages. On the Castle level: "You feel invisible walls rising about
you, thwarting your feeble effort of teleporting." On a lair level:
"You feel an evil mind in command of this place. Nervously, you give up
your effort to teleport." Or make it more forceful, as you like. On
the quest home level: "You feel the good powers have regained enough
strength to master control of this area. You'll need allowance of
<quest leader> to teleport." And once, he/she has given it to you,
either by sending you to the quest or after you have retrieved the quest
artifact, you can of course teleport there. On the rogue quest goal:
"This place is well-secured. You cannot concentrate to control your
teleport." And so on...

On the other hand, the logic between which quest goals are no-teleport
levels and which ones aren't has escaped me so far, with a few
exceptions such as the rogue quest. Also, I agree that on a fire giant
level (like Lord Surtur's) teleportation inhibition is not likely, but
why it should be present on the samurai's quest goal is beyond my
grasp... The samurai were not particularly magic-gifted, were they?

>>I would not mind abolishing the amulet of life saving either. But I
>>think such a nonsensical thing like the "mysterious force", without
>>in-game explanation should be beatable.

> What would stop a player from just killing his Quest Leader? These
> unlogical things sort of keep a player in line (makes him stick to his
> alignment), at least temporarily.

What does stop him now? (After the quest, I mean.) I don't see any
interest in killing him. If you give him something desirable the player
wants, then the question would make sense. If you could not keep the
quest artifact without killing him, for example. That would be a
difficult choice...

>>If it helps getting out of Gehennom fast, that's only to the good.

> I don't think the Dev Team would agree here (and I don't, either). The
> force was (I think) meant for two purposes: (1) keeping players in
> Gehennom *longer*, so the Wizard has more chance of showing up while
> you're still deep in the Dungeon, and (2) creating somewhat more variety
> between the alignments.

The variety aspect is negligible. I hardly note any difference, because
I don't keep track of how often the "mysterious force" entered into
action. To allow the wizard appearing more often, it would be
sufficient to increase his resurrection frequency. Why should he appear
more often while you are still deep in the dungeon? Monster difficulty?
I don't think it depends on the depth anymore at that point, in any
case that could be cured. Your inability to pray in Gehennom? If you
depend on that, once you are outside, you are not equipped for an ascension.

In fact, there is one agreeable trait to the "mysterious force" in
Gehennom. It helps structuring the end game. I usually take some
breath after having gotten out of Gehennom; one more stage accomplished.
And half the way up done. So for that reason, I might not like to see
it disappear - it gives you a sense of additional danger in Gehennom,
keeping your senses sharp, helping you to survive. Indeed, I believe
abolishing it might result in *more* stupid deaths, not fewer. In
slashem, the issue is different, because Gehennom is much shorter, so
the "mysterious force" would have a much smaller effect anyway.
Gehennom is much more dangerous (or appears so) on the way down, and the
way up is only a third of the whole way. Also, I believe you cannot
teleport at all in slashem once you have the amulet.

> I can only think of these two reasons for the mysterious force, and
> don't suppose that the Dev Team, by introducing your proposed potion,
> will undo those carefully introduced effects.

Well, I have given you a third, and possibly more viable one. My
proposed amulet would not undo those effects; with the potion one could
equally avoid them, as I pointed out.

>>But in any case, here one could also take "balancing" - in your sense
>>- measures, by having the mysterious force kick in again, if you use
>>the effect of the potion more than once or twice in the period the
>>potion is supposed to act. Or make it an amulet that self-destroys
>>after having done its effect.

> I think that's not the way potions work, that would be more something a
> scroll. I think potions should work on your metabolism, while scrolls
> effect the big bad world outside of you.

The potion would in fact act on your metabolism, because it would make
you strong enough to overpower the "mysterious force". However, I think
changing the YANI to an amulet would be preferable.

> Same difference should exist between scrolls and wands, if I had it my
> way: scrolls for general effects, wands for directional effects. For
> examples, I think that enlightenment should be a potion only, light a
> scroll only, and secret door detection a scroll only as well.

Reducing variety...

But that is an interesting way of making things more "logical".

>>>You might just as well abolish the mysterious force completely;

>>I would be in favor of that. For example, one could put the staircase
>>to the quest in a locked room to be opened only by a key that your
>>quest leader gives you. This would allow to avoid the silly means of
>>a "mysterious force" in that case. Although I think that then you
>>should be able to get at the key by sufficient ingenuity even if you
>>have converted yourself.

> I do agree with you here. Still, it would open the possibility to kill
> your quest leader and get the key off his or her dead body. To counter
> that you could, for example, have him or her conjure that key out of
> thin air instead.

Or he might simply not wear it on his body. In many quests, if not all,
there is a chest next to the quest leader. That chest could contain the
key and would be opened only by him. The PC would be unable to open it
with a key, pick, etc. and if he tries to force it open, it would
explode like a bag of holding. Moreover, once you kill your quest
leader, all the quest friendlies become hostile, and if you kill them
you suffer the usual penalties for killing formerly peaceful humans.

>>For no-teleport levels one would have to find s.th. different as a
>>reason (i.e. only the message would change). For the mysterious force
>>in Gehennom, well, in slashem it is not there, so why not abolish it
>>in nethack, too. It does not add anything but annoyance to the game.

> Again, I don't agree. I am not bothered at all by the game taking a few
> minutes more: my games usually last several weeks anyway.

I did not say, it adds time. I said it adds annoyance. (My statement
"it does not add anything but annoyance" was certainly exaggerated.)
You have a different perception of Gehennom than most posters, and I am
probably closer to you in this than many of them, because I also don't
consider Gehennom *that* boring. The maze levels are more boring than a
regular dungeon level, but I still tend to explore them fully to find
more useful things. My games are not as long as yours but usually
between 90000 and 110000 turns to ascension. Nevertheless, I have the
feeling that most players tend to find Gehennom more a tedium than fun.
It is mostly the way down that is problematic, but I don't think many
of them would find some shortcuts on the way up a disadvantage either.

>>if there is a spring that confers immortality when you drink from it
>>there must also be one that removes it when you do so...

> In a D&D campaign on Terry Pratchett's Disc World I once played in,
> there was also a fountain of youth. We all drank from it, and the next
> morning, we were all nine to twelve year olds...

The Borges spring is not one of youth. It makes you immortal in the
sense that you cannot die and you cannot hurt yourself. Your current
state is conserved. One of the immortals falls into a pit and does not
get out there for sixty years, suffering heat from the burning sun,
hunger not having to eat, and so on. But he cannot die and has to
suffer until he is finally saved on the first day of rain in several
tens of years. The hero, originally a Roman legionary, realizes that he
has finally accomplished his quest for the spring of mortality, in the
eighteenth century, when he hurts himself touching the thorns of a rose.
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 10:02:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> Tommi Syrjanen wrote:

>> That is trivial given one titan (an arch lich is an inferior
>> alternative), 1 uncursed scroll of genocide, several cursed scrolls of
>> genocide, a set of gloves, and the spellbook of force bolt (or a
>> generous supply of wands of striking).
>
> Could you elaborate? (Not that I find dealing with titans
> particularly trivial, in general.)

1. Genocide black dragons with the uncursed scroll.

2. Optionally establish a situation where the titan is close to the
upstairs of the level, can see them, but can't actually reach
them. If this is very inconvenient, just skip this phase, it is not
really necessary but it makes embarassing accidents less likely.

3. Burn "Elbereth" on the upstairs.

4. Go up, reverse genocide cockatrices (or chickatrices, if you run
out of cockatrices).

5. Kill enough cockatrices to get a corpse, pick it (remember the
gloves), and head downstairs.

6. Stand on the Elbereth and stone all non-resistant monsters that the
Titan keeps generating. When the corpse rots away, go back to step
4. or 5.

7. When you think you have enough statues, teleport the Titan away
(mind the statues), kill remaining monsters, break the statues, and
gather loot. About six or seven rotted corpses should be more than
enough, but YYMV.

The Titan teleporting is done to conserve it for further use in case
there aren't enough gain level potions embedded in statues. The
optimal spot to do this is in some nodig level since otherwise you
will eventually fall through a hole that someone made with a wand of
digging. An amulet of life saving is a nice insurance to have. Also,
try to keep all generated cockatrices alive since otherwise some
captain will pick a corpse up and stone you without you ever noticing
it. Occasionally a monster will zap a wand of striking at you and
destroy the statues. Then your best bet is to immediately step into
that square and pick up all perishable stuff like potions and scrolls.

This procedure is safe if you are careful. Though, I've lost six or
seven characters doing it because I don't have the patience to be
careful enough.

> No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower. (And
> teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.)

It isn't if you make away the "mysterious force".
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 10:02:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Tommi Syrjanen wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:


> 1. Genocide black dragons with the uncursed scroll.
....
[snip]

> The Titan teleporting is done to conserve it for further use in case
> there aren't enough gain level potions embedded in statues. The
> optimal spot to do this is in some nodig level since otherwise you
> will eventually fall through a hole that someone made with a wand of
> digging. An amulet of life saving is a nice insurance to have. Also,
> try to keep all generated cockatrices alive since otherwise some
> captain will pick a corpse up and stone you without you ever noticing
> it. Occasionally a monster will zap a wand of striking at you and
> destroy the statues. Then your best bet is to immediately step into
> that square and pick up all perishable stuff like potions and scrolls.

> This procedure is safe if you are careful. Though, I've lost six or
> seven characters doing it because I don't have the patience to be
> careful enough.

Thanks for the explanation...

>>No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower. (And
>>teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.)

> It isn't if you make away the "mysterious force".

The impassability of the walls of the wizard tower has nothing to do
with the "mysterious force". And you could forbid teleportation another
way. I am not against no-teleport levels. I am not even against the
"mysterious force", if inhibiting teleportation is the *only* thing it
does. Although I would prefer to forbid teleportation differently.

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 11:23:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

"Boudewijn Waijers" <kroisos@REMOVETHISWORD.home.nl> writes:
> What I would like is that the no-teleport levels are only non-teleport
> while the Named Nemesis of that level is still alive. That Nemesis would
> be responsible for maintaining the mysterious force that prevents you
> from teleporting. It would also explain why some creatures can still
> teleport to the upstairs to heal.

What happens if you revive the Nemesis? (Or he returns of his own accord,
in the case of the Wizard?)

> Not sure what to do with the Castle, though, since there is no creature
> there that could qualify for Nemesis (or you'd have to give one of the
> liches that status).

The same applies to Sokoban, the lower levels of the Wizard's Tower
(though you can probably count the Wizard as the Nemesis for all
three), the lower levels of Vlad's Tower (ditto Vlad), and the Planes.

> Same difference should exist between scrolls and wands, if I had it my
> way: scrolls for general effects, wands for directional effects. For
> examples, I think that enlightenment should be a potion only, light a
> scroll only, and secret door detection a scroll only as well.

And wishing should be...?

--
: Dylan O'Donnell http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/ :
: "You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue: / You condense it with :
: locusts and tape: / Still keeping one principal object in view -- / :
: To preserve its symmetrical shape." [ Lewis Carroll, "THotS" ] :
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 11:47:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack,misc.misc (More info?)

Richard Bos wrote:

[Gehenom Mysterious Force]

> has no solid gameplay reasons, and is irritating
> more than anything else.

Well, except that "being irritating" is itself a
solid gameplay reason. Ask the matador, or the bull,
about that red cape. Engendering fury in those you
wish to defeat is a gameplay tactic old as time and
as current as NBA "trash talk". The mysterious force
is a tool of the RNG, and removing it would just
dilute the interest of the game.

HTH

xanthian.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 12:00:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On that special day, Klaus Kassner, (Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-
magdeburg.de) said...

> But in any case, here one could also take "balancing" - in your sense
> - measures, by having the mysterious force kick in again, if you use the
> effect of the potion more than once or twice in the period the potion is
> supposed to act.

How about it automatically summoning Rodney, if you already have the
amulet? This would make it risky enough, IMHO.


Gabriele Neukam

Gabriele.Spamfighter.Neukam@t-online.de


--
Ah, Information. A property, too valuable these days, to give it away,
just so, at no cost.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 1:08:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:

> Boudewijn Waijers schrieb:
> > Klaus Kassner wrote:
> >
> >>No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower.

There is no door into the wizard's tower. It's completely surrounded by
impassable rock. And (for obvious reasons) there's no such thing as
impassable doors.

> >>teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.) So if the
> >>same protection mechanism were applied to the room in question the
> >>only way in would be via the door.

But that would still leave this door vulnerable to striking, force bolt,
pickaxes, knock, et cetera. Sure, you could make a separate kind of
door, that can not be smashed or unlocked by any means except the
approved one - but that would be just as ad-hoc as the mysterious force.

> > But you wanted to abolish the mysterious force and other unexplained
> > things, didn't you?
> >
> > That should also encompass unexplained non-passable stone, I think.
>
> No. I wanted to abolish an all-encompassing "explanation" for the
> unexplained. On the contrary, I find the non-passable stone a good
> mystery, because it does not come with the explicit adjective
> "mysterious".

So run s/mysterious/obvious/g over /games/nethack/source/*.c, and
recompile. No, really. If the explicit adjective is the only thing that
irks you about the force, change it. Or remove it.

OTOH, if you could come up with a good way to circumvent _only_ the
Gehennom mysterious force, and no others, I'd be all for it. That one,
unlike the forces in the quest, Medusa, &c., has no solid gameplay
reasons, and is irritating more than anything else.

Richard
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:21:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

>> What I would like is that the no-teleport levels are only
>> non-teleport while the Named Nemesis of that level is still alive.
>> That Nemesis would be responsible for maintaining the mysterious
>> force that prevents you from teleporting. It would also explain why
>> some creatures can still teleport to the upstairs to heal.

> I would just have different
> mechanisms of suppressing teleportation, the one of the Castle
> remaining, because it is "mechanical", the one based on the action of
> demon lords or princes vanishing with their demise. With appropriate
> messages. On the Castle level: "You feel invisible walls rising
> about you, thwarting your feeble effort of teleporting." On a lair
> level: "You feel an evil mind in command of this place. Nervously,
> you give up your effort to teleport."

But that would be exactly like the mysterious force now, only with a
different message...

> On the quest home level: "You feel the good powers have
> regained enough strength to master control of this area.
> You'll need allowance of <quest leader> to teleport."

You can't speak of "regained" when you haven't talked to your leader
yet. You have no idea yet of what is going on. You haven't even talked
to your quest leader yet.

> On the other hand, the logic between which quest goals are no-teleport
> levels and which ones aren't has escaped me so far, with a few
> exceptions such as the rogue quest. Also, I agree that on a fire
> giant level (like Lord Surtur's) teleportation inhibition is not
> likely, but why it should be present on the samurai's quest goal is
> beyond my grasp... The samurai were not particularly magic-gifted,
> were they?

It's probably because the Dev Team want you to follow the path they have
set for you, instead of immediately teleporting next to the nemesis.

Also, it prohibits you from cutting off the teleportation of your
nemesis to the stairs.

>> What would stop a player from just killing his Quest Leader? These
>> unlogical things sort of keep a player in line (makes him stick to
>> his alignment), at least temporarily.

> What does stop him now? (After the quest, I mean.)

Nothing, that's why I said "temporarily".

> I don't see any
> interest in killing him. If you give him something desirable the
> player wants, then the question would make sense. If you could not
> keep the quest artifact without killing him, for example. That would
> be a difficult choice...

Most people don't roleplay, and would have no problems with this. Of
course, there are ways around this. For example, if you killed your
quest leader, he could (while dying) put an ancient curse on your quest
artifact, making it non-invokable. That would be a permanent penalty for
killing him.

> The variety aspect is negligible. I hardly note any difference,
> because I don't keep track of how often the "mysterious force"
> entered into action.

If you don't keep track, you cannot say it is negligible.

> To allow the wizard appearing more often, it
> would be sufficient to increase his resurrection frequency.

So why should he appear less often or more often for chaotics? I can
explain why the force occurs more often, but the wizard's behaviour
shouldn't care about alignment. By having the force occur less or more,
it's easier to explain, which is what you wanted, didn't you?

> In slashem, the issue is different, because Gehennom is much shorter,
> so the "mysterious force" would have a much smaller effect anyway.

I am currently playing my first Slash'em game, so I really cannot
comment on that.

> The potion would in fact act on your metabolism, because it would make
> you strong enough to overpower the "mysterious force". However, I
> think changing the YANI to an amulet would be preferable.

I can live with that, indeed.

>> Same difference should exist between scrolls and wands, if I had it
>> my way: scrolls for general effects, wands for directional effects.

> Reducing variety...

Possibly, but not necessarily. You could introduce other potions,
scrolls and wands. Players would be forced to look for a certain item,
instead of being able to rely on finding at least *one* item that works.

>>> For no-teleport levels one would have to find s.th. different as a
>>> reason (i.e. only the message would change). For the mysterious
>>> force in Gehennom, well, in slashem it is not there, so why not
>>> abolish it in nethack, too. It does not add anything but annoyance
>>> to the game.

In NetHack it exists, so why not reintroduce it in Slash'em, too? I
don't think it's annoying at all. It does make the game more difficult.
Let's agree to disagree here.

By the way, where did you pick up that horrible abbrevarion "s.th."?
I've *never* seen it used by a native English speaker. I find it much
harder to type than something, as well.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:28:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Dylan O'Donnell wrote:
> "Boudewijn Waijers" <kroisos@REMOVETHISWORD.home.nl> writes:

>> What I would like is that the no-teleport levels are only
>> non-teleport while the Named Nemesis of that level is still alive.
>> That Nemesis would be responsible for maintaining the mysterious
>> force that prevents you from teleporting. It would also explain why
>> some creatures can still teleport to the upstairs to heal.

> What happens if you revive the Nemesis? (Or he returns of his own
> accord, in the case of the Wizard?)

Whichever level he is on, becomes non-teleport.

> The same applies to Sokoban, the lower levels of the Wizard's Tower
> (though you can probably count the Wizard as the Nemesis for all
> three), the lower levels of Vlad's Tower (ditto Vlad), and the Planes.

On Sokoban, I would keep the mysterious force (note that I never asked
for it to be removed, I was just giving other possibilities for certain
levels).

In Vlad's tower, I would allow teleportation. The benefits of just doing
the levels completely are big enough that no one would skip them by
teleportation anyway.

In the lower levels of the Tower, I would allow teleportation within the
Tower floors, and outside as well. I would just disallow teleportation
into or out of the Tower. On the top level, the same applies as on every
other level with a named nemesis: no-teleport for the entire level.

Alternatively, make the Wizard's Tower like Vlad's tower (ie separate
levels, not the middle of existing levels), keeping the entrance as it
is now.

> And wishing should be...?

An invokable ring with three charges, as tradition has it. Don't give
the lamp unlimited charges, of course, disregarding tradition.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:09:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack,misc.misc (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:

> My main objection would be that it would make the
> game much longer, and I feel, it *is* already too
> long.

And yet I find the game to be much too _short_
(perhaps because I don't remember seeing Dlvl:12 in
a year or more).

> Actually, I would like to play *more* games of
> nethack, not fewer, and increasing the game length
> would make that impossible.

Just change your playing style so you die a lot more
often, and you'll play *more* games of NetHack than
you can even imagine, sometimes dozens in a single
sitting.

Making the game longer via my parallel suggestion
of coming up via a different path than going down,
would mostly cater to those who prefer to _savor_ a
game of NetHack, not to those in some huffing hurry
to win.

HTH

xanthian.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 11:27:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Richard Bos wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>
>
>>Boudewijn Waijers schrieb:
>>
>>>Klaus Kassner wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>No. You can't do that to get into the wizard's tower.

>>>>teleporting is forbidden on all quest home levels anyway.) So if the
>>>>same protection mechanism were applied to the room in question the
>>>>only way in would be via the door.
>
>
> But that would still leave this door vulnerable to striking, force bolt,
> pickaxes, knock, et cetera. Sure, you could make a separate kind of
> door, that can not be smashed or unlocked by any means except the
> approved one - but that would be just as ad-hoc as the mysterious force.

I don't think it would be as ad hoc. Such doors exist already in
slashem. And after all, in the real world there are also doors that are
less vulnerable to brute force than others. It would be nothing more
than extending the high-security concept of the rogue quest goal to
other places of the game. (Of course, one could also make all the doors
in the rogue quest goal unbreakable; i.e. they could be opened only via
lock pick (not by key, of course!), or not at all, leaving only the xorn
alternative.)

>>No. I wanted to abolish an all-encompassing "explanation" for the
>>unexplained. On the contrary, I find the non-passable stone a good
>>mystery, because it does not come with the explicit adjective
>>"mysterious".

> So run s/mysterious/obvious/g over /games/nethack/source/*.c, and
> recompile. No, really. If the explicit adjective is the only thing that
> irks you about the force, change it. Or remove it.

It should be clear that I am not objecting the adjective only, but to
the reason for that adjective. What bothers me is that the mysterious
force is invoked whenever it is convenient, without any in-game
rationale why it is the same mysterious force that does *different*
things. I would not mind, if the only occasion for the mysterious force
were to prevent teleporting. Still, I would find it neat to have a
one-time (or few-times) way to "beat" it. Just because doing so would
be felt as a tremendous accomplishment by some players (including myself).

> OTOH, if you could come up with a good way to circumvent _only_ the
> Gehennom mysterious force, and no others, I'd be all for it. That one,
> unlike the forces in the quest, Medusa, &c., has no solid gameplay
> reasons, and is irritating more than anything else.

I believe, many people think like you, but there are also some that find
this back-throw effect justifiable.
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 11:39:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Kent Paul Dolan wrote:
> Richard Bos wrote:
>
> [Gehenom Mysterious Force]
>
>
>>has no solid gameplay reasons, and is irritating
>>more than anything else.
>
>
> Well, except that "being irritating" is itself a
> solid gameplay reason. Ask the matador, or the bull,
> about that red cape. Engendering fury in those you
> wish to defeat is a gameplay tactic old as time and
> as current as NBA "trash talk". The mysterious force
> is a tool of the RNG, and removing it would just
> dilute the interest of the game.

I don't think that the RNG has any interest in irritating you. He could
not care less :-).

On a more serious note - to invoke the wish to *defeat* here seems to
exaggerate the importance of this mysterious force. Whoever has been
defeated by this force after getting the amulet? Of course, you can
argue that the mere fact that they had to fight longer to get out of
Gehennom has certainly killed some players. Still, it is clear that
anybody who has gotten far enough to get the amulet, can at least get
back to the surface of the dungeon; the only essential remaining
challenge is the Astral Plane (in the past, it used to be the Plane of
Air). So all that the mysterious force does is to strain the patience
of a player who has already proven that he has the patience to beat
Gehennom. Moreover, it does not add substantially to the entertaining
aspects of the game (but read my post to Boudewijn, where I make a case
in favor of that force).

Now you had a suggestion yourself that would pose a much bigger
challenge and would allow to bury the Gehennom mysterious force - make
the way up completely different from the way down. That would mean, you
have done only half of the game when you get the amulet and ascension is
not at all guaranteed by that point. Such a radical solution has a
certain appeal. My main objection would be that it would make the game
much longer, and I feel, it *is* already too long. Actually, I would
like to play *more* games of nethack, not fewer, and increasing the game
length would make that impossible.

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 12:06:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>>Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

>>I would just have different
>>mechanisms of suppressing teleportation, the one of the Castle
>>remaining, because it is "mechanical", the one based on the action of
>>demon lords or princes vanishing with their demise. With appropriate
>>messages. On the Castle level: "You feel invisible walls rising
>>about you, thwarting your feeble effort of teleporting." On a lair
>>level: "You feel an evil mind in command of this place. Nervously,
>>you give up your effort to teleport."
>
>
> But that would be exactly like the mysterious force now, only with a
> different message...

As I said, I am not against no-teleport levels per se. I am not even
against the mysterious force on no-teleport levels. My different
messages were an attempt to justify different mechanisms of suppressing
teleportation, one of which ceases to exist after killing a nemesis or a
demon lord/prince, while the others persist.

>>On the quest home level: "You feel the good powers have
>>regained enough strength to master control of this area.
>>You'll need allowance of <quest leader> to teleport."

> You can't speak of "regained" when you haven't talked to your leader
> yet. You have no idea yet of what is going on. You haven't even talked
> to your quest leader yet.

You need not talk to your quest leader to get a general idea. It is
given to you when you enter the quest home level. You notice that
something is very wrong. The moment you notice that you still cannot
teleport, you realize that at least the disaster was not so bad as to
invalidate that security mechanism. (After all, you are supposed to
have been at your quest home before.)

>>On the other hand, the logic between which quest goals are no-teleport
>>levels and which ones aren't has escaped me so far, with a few
>>exceptions such as the rogue quest. Also, I agree that on a fire
>>giant level (like Lord Surtur's) teleportation inhibition is not
>>likely, but why it should be present on the samurai's quest goal is
>>beyond my grasp... The samurai were not particularly magic-gifted,
>>were they?

> It's probably because the Dev Team want you to follow the path they have
> set for you, instead of immediately teleporting next to the nemesis.

> Also, it prohibits you from cutting off the teleportation of your
> nemesis to the stairs.

But then it should be forbidden on all quests. But on most quests, you
*can* teleport on the goal level.

>>What does stop him now? (After the quest, I mean.)
>
>
> Nothing, that's why I said "temporarily".

That's not true. I never kill my quest leader, not because I role play,
but because nothing is to be gained from it.

>>I don't see any
>>interest in killing him. If you give him something desirable the
>>player wants, then the question would make sense. If you could not
>>keep the quest artifact without killing him, for example. That would
>>be a difficult choice...

> Most people don't roleplay, and would have no problems with this. Of
> course, there are ways around this. For example, if you killed your
> quest leader, he could (while dying) put an ancient curse on your quest
> artifact, making it non-invokable. That would be a permanent penalty for
> killing him.

But the point of invoking such a scenario is precisely that the only way
for you to *get* your quest artifact would *be* to kill him. So it
would make sense only, if you *could* get the artifact this way. As
things are now, you do get your quest artifact without killing him, so
there is no incentive of doing so.

>>The variety aspect is negligible. I hardly note any difference,
>>because I don't keep track of how often the "mysterious force"
>>entered into action.
>
>
> If you don't keep track, you cannot say it is negligible.

Of course I can. For if it were not negligible, I most certainly would
keep track :-).

>>To allow the wizard appearing more often, it
>>would be sufficient to increase his resurrection frequency.
>
>
> So why should he appear less often or more often for chaotics? I can
> explain why the force occurs more often, but the wizard's behaviour
> shouldn't care about alignment. By having the force occur less or more,
> it's easier to explain, which is what you wanted, didn't you?

Why should the wizard not care about alignment? He is chaotic himself,
so he will be more reluctant to turn up against chaotics than agains others.

>>The potion would in fact act on your metabolism, because it would make
>>you strong enough to overpower the "mysterious force". However, I
>>think changing the YANI to an amulet would be preferable.
>
>
> I can live with that, indeed.

Well, there are other disadvantages that let me favor the potion
solution again. The amulet could kick in when you don't want it. Say
you want to use it to go down to the quest after having converted
yourself, and the mysterious force will try to prevent you from
teleporting at that moment. You burn the amulet and have gained
nothing. A potion lasting for 10 turns with a finite probability of
working (50% or so), might be better. Or else the amulet should be
invoked only, if you wish to telport explicitly.

>>>Same difference should exist between scrolls and wands, if I had it
>>>my way: scrolls for general effects, wands for directional effects.

>>Reducing variety...

> Possibly, but not necessarily. You could introduce other potions,
> scrolls and wands. Players would be forced to look for a certain item,
> instead of being able to rely on finding at least *one* item that works.

Well, one aspect of the game I like is that you can achieve the same
goal with different means, i.e. that you are precisely not forced to
look for one singular item. For that puts you at the mercy of the RNG,
and I like to think of nethack as a game that after a certain point is
winnable by clever playing, not by luck.

And I would it consider outright silly, if you were forced to do
everything the way the game designers want you to do it. Figuring out
better ways than the game designers had in mind is part of the fun.

>>>>For no-teleport levels one would have to find s.th. different as a
>>>>reason (i.e. only the message would change). For the mysterious
>>>>force in Gehennom, well, in slashem it is not there, so why not
>>>>abolish it in nethack, too. It does not add anything but annoyance
>>>>to the game.
>
>
> In NetHack it exists, so why not reintroduce it in Slash'em, too? I
> don't think it's annoying at all. It does make the game more difficult.
> Let's agree to disagree here.

O.k. :-). But I think there is a good reason not to reintroduce it in
slashem. Due to the low depth of Gehennom there, it would simply not
make much sense, unless you increased its frequency by a factor of two
or three. In most cases, you would just get out of Gehennom without it
ever having kicked in. Secondly, slashem has successfully managed to
make Gehennom a much more interesting place than it is in nethack (also
by introducing maze levels with iron bars instead of diggable walls,
which is very irritating initially :-) ). Why spoil this again by your
having to visit the same place with the same uninteresting monsters
again and again?

> By the way, where did you pick up that horrible abbrevarion "s.th."?
> I've *never* seen it used by a native English speaker. I find it much
> harder to type than something, as well.

Don't know. Presumably I've seen it like that in a dictionary :-). But
for me it is much faster to type. I use all ten fingers...
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 12:32:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Kent Paul Dolan wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>
>>My main objection would be that it would make the
>>game much longer, and I feel, it *is* already too
>>long.
>
>
> And yet I find the game to be much too _short_
> (perhaps because I don't remember seeing Dlvl:12 in
> a year or more).
>
>
>>Actually, I would like to play *more* games of
>>nethack, not fewer, and increasing the game length
>>would make that impossible.
>
>
> Just change your playing style so you die a lot more
> often, and you'll play *more* games of NetHack than
> you can even imagine, sometimes dozens in a single
> sitting.

I don't feel that is a very satisfactory solution :-) ...

> Making the game longer via my parallel suggestion
> of coming up via a different path than going down,
> would mostly cater to those who prefer to _savor_ a
> game of NetHack, not to those in some huffing hurry
> to win.

I am not hurrying. As I said elsewhere, I need between 90000 and 110000
turns to ascension, normally. People like Wes Irby need about half
those numbers.

It is simply that I don't have enormous amounts of time and I'd still
like to experience different characters but not by wasting them to YASD.
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:45:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
> "break mysterious force".

I'm kind of opposed against a potion with such limited
usages. What about a potion of anti-magic? Sets your
spell points to 0, lets you drop all wielded/worn
magic/enchanted gear, and for a duration time of
$noidea you

- are immune to all (?) magical effects, including
potions other than fruit juice and booze, scrolls,
wands, special 'magical' attacks (maybe just you,
but not your armor) like magical fire/cold/disintegration,
and maybe the mysterious forces (but I don't know about
this, since it would interfere a little with the
'role-playing' aspect of the quests),

- can't wield, wear or use a magic item ("<item> evades
your grasp"),

- don't get spell points regeneration.

This way, the obvious abuse with c!oGL would be avoided,
and also the /oT trick for speedy ascension would be
outruled. However, one would need to have a closer look
at game balance; a monk could get significant advantage
e.g. against liches and other spellcaster with little or
no raw physical damage capabilities.

At any rate, it's more a slash'em kind of idea, I believe.

Best,
Jakob
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:49:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:

> I don't think that the RNG has any interest in irritating you. He
> could not care less :-).

You underestimate its AI, surely. :-)

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:55:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:

> I don't think it would be as ad hoc. Such doors exist already in
> slashem.

Well, if they have existed there for a long time now, I guess it's
pretty clear that we won't see them in NetHack, since the Dev Team would
have introduced them as well. They look closely to Slash'em, and take
what they like.

> (Of course, one could also make all the
> doors in the rogue quest goal unbreakable; i.e. they could be opened
> only via lock pick (not by key, of course!), or not at all, leaving
> only the xorn alternative.)

Why not by key? After all, a NetHack key is a *skeleton* key, which
implies that it fits all locks.

> It should be clear that I am not objecting the adjective only, but to
> the reason for that adjective. What bothers me is that the mysterious
> force is invoked whenever it is convenient, without any in-game
> rationale why it is the same mysterious force that does *different*
> things.

Who says it's the same mysterious force every time? The game mentions
that there is *a* mysterious force holding you back. It never says that
those aren't different ones every time.

> I would not mind, if the only occasion for the mysterious
> force were to prevent teleporting. Still, I would find it neat to
> have a one-time (or few-times) way to "beat" it. Just because doing
> so would be felt as a tremendous accomplishment by some players
> (including myself).

Using a shortcut to avoid a problem, not to overcome it, would feel like
defeat to me instead, quite the opposite of an accomplishment. You
didn't accomplish anything: you just avoided the problem.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:57:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Jakob Creutzig wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

>>An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
>>"break mysterious force".

> I'm kind of opposed against a potion with such limited
> usages. What about a potion of anti-magic? Sets your
> spell points to 0, lets you drop all wielded/worn
> magic/enchanted gear, and for a duration time of
> $noidea you

> - are immune to all (?) magical effects, including
> potions other than fruit juice and booze, scrolls,
> wands, special 'magical' attacks (maybe just you,
> but not your armor) like magical fire/cold/disintegration,
> and maybe the mysterious forces (but I don't know about
> this, since it would interfere a little with the
> 'role-playing' aspect of the quests),

> - can't wield, wear or use a magic item ("<item> evades
> your grasp"),

> - don't get spell points regeneration.

> This way, the obvious abuse with c!oGL would be avoided,
> and also the /oT trick for speedy ascension would be
> outruled. However, one would need to have a closer look
> at game balance; a monk could get significant advantage
> e.g. against liches and other spellcaster with little or
> no raw physical damage capabilities.

I have the feeling, this potion would be of *more* limited use than my
suggestion. IMO, *all* scrolls are magic items, except for the blank
one and the scroll of mail. Teleportation is by magic. So you could
not teleport anyway, eliminating one of the possible uses of my
suggestion (teleportation on a non-teleport level).

In any case, if such a potion existed, I would probably not use it...

When the disadvantages outweigh the advantages by so much, the presence
or absence of an item that you can use by free will, does not affect the
game at all. Nobody will use it except by error (unless s.b. finds an
ingenious new kind of use; I suspect that could only be in early game,
as long as none of your armor is enchanted).

> At any rate, it's more a slash'em kind of idea, I believe.

Maybe :-). The idea derives from the potion of invulnerability, which
also works only for a very limited period of time.

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:12:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

>> It's probably because the Dev Team want you to follow the path they
>> have set for you, instead of immediately teleporting next to the
>> nemesis.

>> Also, it prohibits you from cutting off the teleportation of your
>> nemesis to the stairs.

> But then it should be forbidden on all quests. But on most quests,
> you *can* teleport on the goal level.

No. First, on some levels, the preset path is important. On others, you
just have a big empty space, where it doesn't matter at all whether you
first walk east, then south-east, or the other way around.

Secondly, I don't recall whether *all* quest nemeses can teleport to the
stairs. If they can't, there's no reason to facilitate them by making
the level no-teleport for you.

Thirdly, the Dev Team may use the no-teleport property of a level to
increase its difficulty. Not every quest has to be of the same
difficulty level.

> I never kill my quest leader, not because I role
> play, but because nothing is to be gained from it.

Deliberately, probably, so you won't have a reason to.

> Why should the wizard not care about alignment? He is chaotic
> himself, so he will be more reluctant to turn up against chaotics
> than agains others.

I don't think so. If that were the case, he should sometimes be peaceful
towards chaotics, which he isn't. He's just mad at anyone disturbing him
and taking away his precious.

> Well, there are other disadvantages that let me favor the potion
> solution again. The amulet could kick in when you don't want it. Say
> you want to use it to go down to the quest after having converted
> yourself, and the mysterious force will try to prevent you from
> teleporting at that moment. You burn the amulet and have gained
> nothing. A potion lasting for 10 turns with a finite probability of
> working (50% or so), might be better. Or else the amulet should be
> invoked only, if you wish to telport explicitly.

To me, that's another argument in favour of the amulet vs the potion.

Whatever it takes to make the game less predictable, without outright
killing you, is a Good Thing to me.

I'm not even sure which probability is bigger: the mysterious force
trying to prevent you from teleporting in that one turn between putting
it on and going on the quest, or the chance that the potion will fail
about ten times in a row.

> Well, one aspect of the game I like is that you can achieve the same
> goal with different means, i.e. that you are precisely not forced to
> look for one singular item. For that puts you at the mercy of the
> RNG, and I like to think of nethack as a game that after a certain
> point is winnable by clever playing, not by luck.

I do like that with permanent items, like armour, rings and amulets. It
makes that you have to make careful choices, since you can use only so
many of them.

For non-permanent items, it's just a name. There's hardly any difference
between the potion and the wand of enlightenment: we could do with only
one of these. It's not as if there are long term consequences from
choosing either.

> And I would it consider outright silly, if you were forced to do
> everything the way the game designers want you to do it. Figuring out
> better ways than the game designers had in mind is part of the fun.

As said, if the effects are the same, and the item is one use only, it
doesn't matter which choice you make.

>> Let's agree to disagree here.

> O.k. :-). But I think [...]

Hey! You said o.k.!

> Don't know. Presumably I've seen it like that in a dictionary :-).
> But for me it is much faster to type.

I find typing "something" much easier that your "s.th.".

> I use all ten fingers...

So do I. I think that typing course I took when I was 16 was the most
valuable course I ever took, moreso than my "real" education. The amount
of time it must have saved me over the years should be enormous.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:12:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:

>>(Of course, one could also make all the
>>doors in the rogue quest goal unbreakable; i.e. they could be opened
>>only via lock pick (not by key, of course!), or not at all, leaving
>>only the xorn alternative.)

> Why not by key? After all, a NetHack key is a *skeleton* key, which
> implies that it fits all locks.

Because using a key would not be stylish for a rogue. He should *break
in*, not use the tool that's devised for the lock. It would give things
a nice twist, make the lock pick more valuable. Add in that the rogue
might have to be skilled in lock picking, not being successful, if he
used a key all the time before, and you have an additional nice twist.

>>It should be clear that I am not objecting the adjective only, but to
>>the reason for that adjective. What bothers me is that the mysterious
>>force is invoked whenever it is convenient, without any in-game
>>rationale why it is the same mysterious force that does *different*
>>things.

> Who says it's the same mysterious force every time? The game mentions
> that there is *a* mysterious force holding you back. It never says that
> those aren't different ones every time.

I have answered that in a different post. In short, an "observant"
character should observe a difference, leading to a different message.

>>I would not mind, if the only occasion for the mysterious
>>force were to prevent teleporting. Still, I would find it neat to
>>have a one-time (or few-times) way to "beat" it. Just because doing
>>so would be felt as a tremendous accomplishment by some players
>>(including myself).

> Using a shortcut to avoid a problem, not to overcome it, would feel like
> defeat to me instead, quite the opposite of an accomplishment. You
> didn't accomplish anything: you just avoided the problem.

No. I *solved* it in an *elegant* way. This is the difference between
tedious calculation in a mathematical proof and insight.

The problem is, after all, not to do levels of Gehennom twice but to get
out of Gehennom. If I can do that without the mysterious force throwing
me back, I have indeed accomplished s.th. In fact, there was a post by
Wes Irby recently, where he believed having managed exactly that by
having Demogorgon carry the amulet. If this worked (maybe with a less
dangerous carrier), I would call it ingenious and an accomplishment.
Notwithstanding the fact that the loophole would probably be closed in
the next release. But doing things by effort that I can do by a clever
trick is to me the opposite of problem solving, almost. It is "eroding"
or "burning away" the problem, but not handling it elegantly. I am not
against work, where it is necessary, but I am all in favor of elegance,
where it is possible.

If I can do the quest after having converted, I have indeed solved a
difficult problem, one that is unsolvable right now. It might even lead
to new conducts and challenges - ascending all classes after converting
before the quest.
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:32:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> I am not even against the "mysterious force", if inhibiting
> teleportation is the *only* thing it does. Although I would prefer
> to forbid teleportation differently.

How can you know that it is the *same* mysterious force every time?
There might be a large number of mysterious forces around and the
character can't distinguish between them as they are mysterious.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:32:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Tommi Syrjanen wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:
>
>
>>I am not even against the "mysterious force", if inhibiting
>>teleportation is the *only* thing it does. Although I would prefer
>>to forbid teleportation differently.
>
> How can you know that it is the *same* mysterious force every time?
> There might be a large number of mysterious forces around and the
> character can't distinguish between them as they are mysterious.
>

That's what is bothering me. If there are many, they should be
distinguishable somehow, and be it only by variations in the message.
You don't have to know this as a character, it should be sufficient to
be "observant". Not to be able to distinguish, just because they are
mysterious, is a somewhat lame excuse. Especially since on exploring
more of the dungeon, this force should become known better all the time,
as it appears more often than once (moreover, the character develops
himself, becomes wiser and more intelligent).
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:34:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

"Kent Paul Dolan" <xanthian@well.com> wrote in
news:1109220429.898003.6880@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:


> [Gehenom Mysterious Force]
>
>> has no solid gameplay reasons, and is irritating
>> more than anything else.
The mysterious force
> is a tool of the RNG, and removing it would just
> dilute the interest of the game.

Perhaps for you! Honestly, it would improve my ascensions quite a
bit...except I never do ascend anymore, I just put those characters in my
'Could Ascend' folder, because it's too boring.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:36:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>> Klaus Kassner wrote:

>> Why not by key? After all, a NetHack key is a *skeleton* key, which
>> implies that it fits all locks.

> Because using a key would not be stylish for a rogue. He should
> *break in*, not use the tool that's devised for the lock. It would
> give things a nice twist, make the lock pick more valuable.

The tool that's devised for the lock is an ordinary key. Using a
skeleton key instead of an ordinary key counts as breaking in for me.

> Add in that the rogue might have to be skilled in lock picking, not
> being successful, if he used a key all the time before, and you have
> an additional nice twist.

There is no lock picking skill, and I wouldn't like it if it were
introduced, or you'd have to introduce *many more* skills, for all kinds
of things. That in turn would mean that you'd have to gain more skill
points per level to distribute. That in turn would mean that you'd have
to split those points between what the skills are used for now and the
new (less important) skills, or everyone would just not improve the new
skills, but only, say, spellcasting more than they do now.

> I have answered that in a different post. In short, an "observant"
> character should observe a difference, leading to a different message.

I *really* still don't see your problem. Just changing the messages a
little would solve it (no weird new potion or amulet would be necessary
at all), so to me, it's purely cosmetic. No game content at all.

>> Using a shortcut to avoid a problem, not to overcome it, would feel
>> like defeat to me instead, quite the opposite of an accomplishment.
>> You didn't accomplish anything: you just avoided the problem.

> No. I *solved* it in an *elegant* way. This is the difference
> between tedious calculation in a mathematical proof and insight.

I might agree that you solved it, byt I still don't think it would be an
elegant way. I don't like items that are single-purpose, seemingly
designed for a single goal, I guess.

> doing things by effort that I can do by a clever trick is to me the
> opposite of problem solving, almost. It is "eroding" or "burning
> away" the problem, but not handling it elegantly. I am not against
> work, where it is necessary, but I am all in favor of elegance, where
> it is possible.

We partly agree here. I agree that doing things by clever trick is much
nicer than doing them by tedious effort.

What we do not agree on is that I don't consider this trick to be
"clever" or "elegant". It's just as clever as introducing and reading a
"scroll of Demogorgon elimination" and then saying: "Well, haven't I
been elegant? I got rid of Demogorgon without having to do it the
tedious way!".

> If I can do the quest after having converted, I have indeed solved a
> difficult problem, one that is unsolvable right now.

As said before, I don't mind unsolvable problems. In fact, I think there
should be more actions that make the game unwinnable. Harsh for newbies,
perhaps, but they as well should live (or die, or suicide, or give up,
....) and learn.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:38:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>>Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>

>>>Also, it prohibits you from cutting off the teleportation of your
>>>nemesis to the stairs.

>>But then it should be forbidden on all quests. But on most quests,
>>you *can* teleport on the goal level.

> No. First, on some levels, the preset path is important. On others, you
> just have a big empty space, where it doesn't matter at all whether you
> first walk east, then south-east, or the other way around.

> Secondly, I don't recall whether *all* quest nemeses can teleport to the
> stairs. If they can't, there's no reason to facilitate them by making
> the level no-teleport for you.

I believe, they all can...

> Thirdly, the Dev Team may use the no-teleport property of a level to
> increase its difficulty. Not every quest has to be of the same
> difficulty level.

That sounds pretty arbitrary to me. Of course, they don't have to have
the same difficulty level. I like the way the rogue quest is thought
out. Still, which ones do you decide to make less difficult by allowing
teleportation on them?

>>Why should the wizard not care about alignment? He is chaotic
>>himself, so he will be more reluctant to turn up against chaotics
>>than agains others.

> I don't think so. If that were the case, he should sometimes be peaceful
> towards chaotics, which he isn't. He's just mad at anyone disturbing him
> and taking away his precious.

That would not have to prevent him from being peaceful at first such as
some demon lords. He could become hostile afterwards. But since you
have to take away s.th. from him, it would not matter, so why not create
him hostile to begin with? With peaceful demon lords, there is, after
all, an alternative possibility for the outcome of the meeting...
(which I like, by the way).

>>Well, there are other disadvantages that let me favor the potion
>>solution again. The amulet could kick in when you don't want it. Say
>>you want to use it to go down to the quest after having converted
>>yourself, and the mysterious force will try to prevent you from
>>teleporting at that moment. You burn the amulet and have gained
>>nothing. A potion lasting for 10 turns with a finite probability of
>>working (50% or so), might be better. Or else the amulet should be
>>invoked only, if you wish to telport explicitly.

> To me, that's another argument in favour of the amulet vs the potion.

I suspected that when writing this...

> Whatever it takes to make the game less predictable, without outright
> killing you, is a Good Thing to me.

Not to me :-). I want *some* predictability. I don't enjoy complete chaos.

> I'm not even sure which probability is bigger: the mysterious force
> trying to prevent you from teleporting in that one turn between putting
> it on and going on the quest, or the chance that the potion will fail
> about ten times in a row.

The latter would be 1/1024. I do not know how often teleportitis gets
active and whether the probability in one turn is lower or higher than
that. I would guess higher, though, because you can easily cross the
level in 1000 turns and you'll get the message about the mysterious
force several times typically.

>>Well, one aspect of the game I like is that you can achieve the same
>>goal with different means, i.e. that you are precisely not forced to
>>look for one singular item. For that puts you at the mercy of the
>>RNG, and I like to think of nethack as a game that after a certain
>>point is winnable by clever playing, not by luck.

> I do like that with permanent items, like armour, rings and amulets. It
> makes that you have to make careful choices, since you can use only so
> many of them.

> For non-permanent items, it's just a name. There's hardly any difference
> between the potion and the wand of enlightenment: we could do with only
> one of these. It's not as if there are long term consequences from
> choosing either.

It is a question of probabilities. Enlightenment is a bad example
because you don't need it at all. But I would not like to be restricted
to one way to achieve s.th. I consider necessary or very desirable.
Getting things cursed, for example. If the only way to get unholy water
besides finding some by accident, were to pray at a non-coaligned altar,
that would spoil things for me.

This is why I like some slashem additions. The toilet, for example.
Another way of getting water (not cursed water), with advantages over
others but also a funny message.

>>And I would it consider outright silly, if you were forced to do
>>everything the way the game designers want you to do it. Figuring out
>>better ways than the game designers had in mind is part of the fun.

> As said, if the effects are the same, and the item is one use only, it
> doesn't matter which choice you make.

I am not taking about choices but about strategies or tactical ruses and
also about exploiting oversights of the DevTeam.

> I find typing "something" much easier that your "s.th.".

I don't. It has four more letters and none of its letters repeats,
which gives additional speed to "s.th."
--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:58:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>>Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>>
>>>Klaus Kassner wrote:
>
>
>>>Why not by key? After all, a NetHack key is a *skeleton* key, which
>>>implies that it fits all locks.
>
>
>>Because using a key would not be stylish for a rogue. He should
>>*break in*, not use the tool that's devised for the lock. It would
>>give things a nice twist, make the lock pick more valuable.
>
>
> The tool that's devised for the lock is an ordinary key. Using a
> skeleton key instead of an ordinary key counts as breaking in for me.

Well, but a rogue should not need that...

>>Add in that the rogue might have to be skilled in lock picking, not
>>being successful, if he used a key all the time before, and you have
>>an additional nice twist.

> There is no lock picking skill, and I wouldn't like it if it were
> introduced, or you'd have to introduce *many more* skills, for all kinds
> of things. That in turn would mean that you'd have to gain more skill
> points per level to distribute. That in turn would mean that you'd have
> to split those points between what the skills are used for now and the
> new (less important) skills, or everyone would just not improve the new
> skills, but only, say, spellcasting more than they do now.

I was not talking about putting lock picking into the set of "slot"
skills. It could work similar to exercising a stat. You would need
maximum dexterity and have exercised dexterity a certain number of times
in addition, possibly by using a lock pick only.

>>I have answered that in a different post. In short, an "observant"
>>character should observe a difference, leading to a different message.

> I *really* still don't see your problem. Just changing the messages a
> little would solve it (no weird new potion or amulet would be necessary
> at all), so to me, it's purely cosmetic. No game content at all.

The messages make a substantial part of the game content... Otherwise,
the category YAFM would not even exist. Note, moreover that this was
only my way of giving an alternative solution to the "problem" of the
"mysterious force". IMO, it could also be solved by my potion
suggestion. (Or not at all... Leave it as an usolvable problem... It
was just a YANI, and if it is not found so "N", well I am in no position
to insist its being implemented.)

> I might agree that you solved it, byt I still don't think it would be an
> elegant way. I don't like items that are single-purpose, seemingly
> designed for a single goal, I guess.

The potion would have at least three purposes that I can think of
off-hand. IMO, others could be found. It would also fit in the
framework of the game, and it would not really be unbalancing. You
might save a few levels of Gehennom by it but hardly get out completely,
since there are about 25 of them.

> What we do not agree on is that I don't consider this trick to be
> "clever" or "elegant". It's just as clever as introducing and reading a
> "scroll of Demogorgon elimination" and then saying: "Well, haven't I
> been elegant? I got rid of Demogorgon without having to do it the
> tedious way!".

That's only based on your one-use prejudice :-). Anyway, on my first
encounter with Demogorgon, I killed him with a wand of death. I found
that clever, even though the intellectual effort was close to zero here.
Then that possibility was removed, and most people resort to cockatrice
corpses since, which is also clever, although not necessarily
particularly elegant.

>>If I can do the quest after having converted, I have indeed solved a
>>difficult problem, one that is unsolvable right now.

> As said before, I don't mind unsolvable problems. In fact, I think there
> should be more actions that make the game unwinnable. Harsh for newbies,
> perhaps, but they as well should live (or die, or suicide, or give up,
> ...) and learn.

As I said before, I don't mind them either. But the game designers
still found it necessary to make certain unique items almost
indestructible. (I would have no problem with allowing the Bell of
Opening to be destroyed by a bag accident.) Now there are things that
you can anticipate and avoid and there are others, for which this is
difficult. Converting yourself has huge consequences that you can
anticipate only with a certain level of knowledge. I would not
necessarily want to introduce a device *only* against this kind of
accident. But it is precisely because of the multiple use of the
suggested potion or amulet that I thought it to be a YANI. It would
make the game richer, and that's s.th. I'd find positive.

--
Klaus Kassner
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 5:01:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>On a more serious note - to invoke the wish to *defeat* here seems to
>exaggerate the importance of this mysterious force. Whoever has been
>defeated by this force after getting the amulet?

The mysterious force defeated my Lawful valkyrie once. I #quit in
disgust after crossing Orcus for something like the third time, because
I was on the edge of running out of curse-removal supplies and was also
turning into an incandescent ball of stress.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
My roguelike games page (including my BSD-licenced roguelike) can be found at:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mpread/roguelikes.ht...
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 5:04:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Jakob Creutzig wrote:
> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:
>
>
>>An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
>>"break mysterious force".
>
>
> I'm kind of opposed against a potion with such limited
> usages. What about a potion of anti-magic? Sets your
> spell points to 0, lets you drop all wielded/worn
> magic/enchanted gear, and for a duration time of
> $noidea you
>
> - are immune to all (?) magical effects,
> - can't wield, wear or use a magic item
> - don't get spell points regeneration.

And when thrown at you your spellpoints and armour (at least one random
piece of armour) enchantments would be set to 0, while monsters that
inhale the fumes would be cancelled and unable to cast (foo points at
you and curses even more than usual).

Lars
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 5:07:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

begin quoting Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de>:
>On a more serious note - to invoke the wish to *defeat* here seems to
>exaggerate the importance of this mysterious force. Whoever has been
>defeated by this force after getting the amulet? Of course, you can
>argue that the mere fact that they had to fight longer to get out of
>Gehennom has certainly killed some players.

Especially since there is a pretty effective clock on the game once the
wizard is dead.

The trouble with losing the mysterious force, frustrating as it can be, is
that (to retain the same balance) the player would have to be made to
waste turns on the way up in some other fashion.
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
Today is Gouday, February.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 5:09:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

begin quoting Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de>:
>Richard Bos wrote:
>>But that would still leave this door vulnerable to striking, force bolt,
>>pickaxes, knock, et cetera. Sure, you could make a separate kind of
>>door, that can not be smashed or unlocked by any means except the
>>approved one - but that would be just as ad-hoc as the mysterious force.
>I don't think it would be as ad hoc. Such doors exist already in
>slashem.

They do, but I for one am no less ambivalent about that than about other
barriers that can only be circumvented by prescribed mechanisms. At least
the Rogue Quest and the Gehennom force can be got around by most
reasonable game techniques.
--
David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
Today is Gouday, February.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 6:05:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> Jakob Creutzig wrote:
> > Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:
>
> >>An interesting addition to the game might be a - very rare - potion of
> >> "break mysterious force".
>
> > I'm kind of opposed against a potion with such limited usages. What
> > about a potion of anti-magic?
[..]
> I have the feeling, this potion would be of *more* limited use than my
> suggestion. IMO, *all* scrolls are magic items, except for the blank
> one and the scroll of mail. Teleportation is by magic. So you could
> not teleport anyway, eliminating one of the possible uses of my
> suggestion (teleportation on a non-teleport level).

Correct. That was part of the intention, btw. I am against
a Potion Of Zero-Pain Gehennom Racing or a Potion Of Screwing
Up Set Plots. [I think that there are good reasons for the
no-port areas; e.g. Rodney should only be found after a long
wading through his minions.] However, it could be used in some
special situations outside the 'force' topic. For instance, it
could be useful to take on One-Eyed Sam mano a mano, since it
would nullify his insta-kill threat. (Well, assume that in the
next release, he can teleport at will, then you might get a
problem with him, which could partially be solved by the potion
of anti-magic.) Or think of the riders.. Could lead to some
interesting new special tactics, maybe.

Another idea would be that the potion could additionally remove
intrinsics, thus changing the game slightly as it makes quaffing
un-ided potions potentially more harmful, but also introducing a
new, admittedly painful, way of getting rid of undesirable intrinsics
(lycantrophy, sometimes teleportitis and/or invisibility, monster
aggravation).

Best,
Jakob
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 6:18:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>> Klaus Kassner wrote:

>>> Because using a key would not be stylish for a rogue. He should
>>> *break in*, not use the tool that's devised for the lock. It would
>>> give things a nice twist, make the lock pick more valuable.

>> The tool that's devised for the lock is an ordinary key. Using a
>> skeleton key instead of an ordinary key counts as breaking in for me.

> Well, but a rogue should not need that...

To quote yourself, in another part of this thread:

"[...], one aspect of the game I like is that you can achieve the same
goal with different means, i.e. that you are precisely not forced to
look for one singular item. For that puts you at the mercy of the RNG,
and I like to think of nethack as a game that after a certain point is
winnable by clever playing, not by luck."

I just looove to use someone's own words agains him! :-)

Of course, that is not exactly the case here. Since every rogue starts
out with a tinning kit, it wouldn't make any difference at all if keys
wouldn't work...

> I was not talking about putting lock picking into the set of "slot"
> skills. It could work similar to exercising a stat. You would need
> maximum dexterity and have exercised dexterity a certain number of
> times in addition, possibly by using a lock pick only.

Have you tried Moria yet? It has lockpicking, searching, magic device,
and lots more skills like that which go up when your level goes up (not
sure whether you have to use some of them to exercise...).

>> I *really* still don't see your problem. Just changing the messages a
>> little would solve it (no weird new potion or amulet would be
>> necessary at all), so to me, it's purely cosmetic. No game content
>> at all.

> The messages make a substantial part of the game content...

No, they're part of the game flavour, not the content. I agree that
different message would be nice, but they in no way influence the game
content (or my enjoyment of the game, for that sake).

> Otherwise, the category YAFM would not even exist. Note, moreover
> that this was only my way of giving an alternative solution to the
> "problem" of the "mysterious force". IMO, it could also be solved by
> my potion suggestion.

Well, I have already stated I like this solution to your problem better
than the potion or amulet, and if I had to choose between the latter
two, I'd go for the amulet.

> The potion would have at least three purposes that I can think of
> off-hand. IMO, others could be found.

They not only can, they will. The NetHack community is very inventive.

> It would also fit in the
> framework of the game, and it would not really be unbalancing. You
> might save a few levels of Gehennom by it but hardly get out
> completely, since there are about 25 of them.

Agreed.

> As I said before, I don't mind them either. But the game designers
> still found it necessary to make certain unique items almost
> indestructible. (I would have no problem with allowing the Bell of
> Opening to be destroyed by a bag accident.)

Me neither, but that might have been clear already. I think the game
could be a bit harsher in the endgame. Players that get so far as to
have found all three invocation artifacts shouldn't be taken by the hand
like little children. If they blow up one or more of them, the game
should be over: they should know better than doing something stupid like
that.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 6:40:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner wrote:

> On a more serious note - to invoke the wish to *defeat* here seems to
> exaggerate the importance of this mysterious force. Whoever has been
> defeated by this force after getting the amulet?

Only half an hour ago, Martin Read posted an account of a character that
he "quit in disgust" after being thrown back a couple of times too many,
and he ran out of means of uncursing:

"The mysterious force defeated my Lawful valkyrie once. I #quit in
disgust after crossing Orcus for something like the third time, because
I was on the edge of running out of curse-removal supplies and was also
turning into an incandescent ball of stress."

I'd say he was defeated by the mysterious force.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 10:21:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On that special day, Klaus Kassner, (Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-
magdeburg.de) said...

> When the disadvantages outweigh the advantages by so much, the presence
> or absence of an item that you can use by free will, does not affect the
> game at all. Nobody will use it except by error

So a gnome in the mines is a nobody. This would make it very hard for
wizards to defeat them.

"Crash! The potion breaks on your head. More..."

"You feel dizzy for a moment. More..."

"Your +2 cloak drops to the ground. You cannot hold your +2 daggers any
more! You cannot hold your +1 daggers any more! More..."

"Your ring of slow digestion slips from your finger and hits the ground.
More..."

"Your ring of teleport control slips from your finger and hits the
ground. More..."

"Your boots of speed leave your feet! You feel yourself slowing down.
More..."

"Clatter! Your backpack empties its contents on the ground. You see
here:

- a wand of magic missile
- a forked wand
- a spellbook of light
- a blessed spellbook of magic missile
- a chequered spellbook
- a magic lamp
- a bag of holding"

pickup.

"Somehow you cannot grasp it. It slides away, as soon as you come
near."

Try to cast magic missile.

"Your head aches. The spell fizzles into nothingness. You feel as if you
are about to puke."

Wield quarterstaff.

- you are now holding a +0 quarterstaff

(gnome closes in, battle ensues)

Does anybody want that? It is *worse* than a wand of cancellation.


Gabriele Neukam

Gabriele.Spamfighter.Neukam@t-online.de


--
Ah, Information. A property, too valuable these days, to give it away,
just so, at no cost.
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 3:11:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

David Damerell wrote:

> begin quoting Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de>:
>>On a more serious note - to invoke the wish to *defeat* here seems to
>>exaggerate the importance of this mysterious force. Whoever has been
>>defeated by this force after getting the amulet? Of course, you can
>>argue that the mere fact that they had to fight longer to get out of
>>Gehennom has certainly killed some players.
>
> Especially since there is a pretty effective clock on the game once the
> wizard is dead.
>
> The trouble with losing the mysterious force, frustrating as it can be, is
> that (to retain the same balance) the player would have to be made to
> waste turns on the way up in some other fashion.
>
How about generating a whole new dungeon on the way up, complete with a
different kind of hell, new demons, and a second chance at Demogorgon? It
could be accessed as a second upstairs on the bottom level, if you like.

That would certainly slow the player down enough; it might even be
neccessary to tone down Rodney a bit. It would also allow a spasm of
devteam creativity surpassing anything since the pre-3.0 days. ^_^
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 5:28:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack,misc.misc (More info?)

Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

> I'd say he was defeated by the mysterious force.

And I'd say that shows the rightness of the
current implementation, as opposed to what
Klaus seems to be seeking, a game you cannot
lose after some point due to mere "bad luck".

I can't imagine why a game that is so easy to
lose by bad luck early on, yet keeps we "never
ascended"s coming back for more, would even be
interesting to play if there came a point at
which all risk of YAAD were gone, and the game
were "a lock" anywhere prior to sacrificing
the AoY.

I'm sure if it were changed to be so, I'd be
among those filing and forgetting games at the
point where all effects of bad luck had been
negated.

Heck, I do that anyway, just when the game gets
to looking even a _little_ easier.

Like fishermen with their prey, NetHackers seem
to delight most in telling tales of "the game
that got away".

FWIW

xanthian.
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 8:08:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On 2/24/05 6:38 AM, Klaus Kassner wrote:
> Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
>
>>I find typing "something" much easier that your "s.th.".
>
> I don't. It has four more letters and none of its letters repeats,
> which gives additional speed to "s.th."

Well, regardless of how easy you find it to type, it's certainly less
easy to read. It's a non-standard abbreviation (as in, I've never seen
it outside this group--I suspect I've never seen it out side your
posts), and always gives me an irritating mental pause whenever I run
across it.

--
Kevin Wayne

"I came to Casablanca for the waters."
"Waters? What waters? We're in the desert?"
"I was misinformed."
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 12:03:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> writes:

> When the disadvantages outweigh the advantages by so much, the
> presence or absence of an item that you can use by free will, does not
> affect the game at all.

Such as the existence of potions of hallucination, paralyze,
sickness or confusion do not affect the game? ;-)

Best,
Jakob
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 12:36:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Martin Read wrote:

> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>> As I read it, Martin threw the game away out of frustration, not because
>> it was already unwinnable. He #quit, he did not die. I don't think you
>> can call that a loss to bad luck.
>
> I #quit because I was down to single-digit quantities of holy water and
> still fairly deep in Gehennom. Partly it was a lack of imagination and
> forward planning on my part, of course; I should have taken account of
> my Lawful alignment and prepared more holy water etc before going after
> Rodney

You probably already know this, but blessed ?oRC can work wonders in these
situations; just let your less important stuff become cursed, and uncurse
it all in one batch.

--
Benjamin Lewis

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of
oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate
commerce. -- J. Edgar Hoover
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 12:42:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Martin Read wrote:

> Klaus Kassner <Klaus.Kassner@physik.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>> Boudewijn Waijers schrieb:
>>> I'd say he was defeated by the mysterious force.
>>
>> True. I'm amazed. In particular, since he could simply have pulled
>> through. You don't need to uncurse all the time, only in crucial cases.
>> The two blessed scrolls of remove curse and two potions of holy water go
>> a long way.
>
> I was getting mysterious-forced a *lot*, and I wasn't using the backpack-
> full-of-gems trick to deflect curses from my important items because I
> regard it as excessively weaselly. That really does grind down the
> curse-removal even if you're only uncursing the important things (and
> there are some things that I very strongly prefer to keep not merely
> uncursed, but blessed).

What are you considering the "important things"? For the purposes of
getting out of Gehennom, I'd put here only BoH, luckstone, and any rings or
boots that need to be swapped.

--
Benjamin Lewis

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of
oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate
commerce. -- J. Edgar Hoover
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 2:08:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

Kevin Wayne wrote:

> It's a non-standard abbreviation (as in, I've never seen it outside
this
> group--I suspect I've never seen it out side your posts), and always
gives
> me an irritating mental pause whenever I run across it.

Exactly why I commented on it in the first place. The only non-standard
abbrevations that one should use in a newsgroup should be standard
abbrebations *in* that newsgroup (like "YASD").

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
!