Where can I find some basic information regarding the game?

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

Hi all.

Just started playing. The game feels great in its minimal interface.
However, the learning curve for the basics seems immense. Read: I have
rigorously no idea how to get out of a pit trap, for instance.
I've read through ESR's guide but it didn't help quite as much as I'd
have liked.
Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
15 answers Last reply
More about where find basic information game
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    pdpi wrote:

    > Hi all.
    >
    > Just started playing. The game feels great in its minimal interface.
    > However, the learning curve for the basics seems immense. Read: I have
    > rigorously no idea how to get out of a pit trap, for instance.
    > I've read through ESR's guide but it didn't help quite as much as I'd
    > have liked.
    > Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?

    The Absolute Beginner's Guide for NetHack:
    http://www.melankolia.net/nethack/nethack.guide.html

    Huge list of NetHack spoilers:
    http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~eva/nethack/spoilerlist.html

    (In particular, you may want to look at some of the links in the "Spoilers
    about Strategy" section, such as "Getting out of trouble", and "General
    rules for survivability" (which I can't seem to connect to at the moment))

    Re: getting out of a pit -- just be persistent! If you keep trying to move
    you'll get out eventually. There are some other quicker methods if you
    have certain items, but this will always work (and also for bear traps).

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.
    -- James Thurber
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    well, thanks for the information. Some of the spoilers were quite
    enlightening. Looking forward to ascension, but common lore seems to
    point towards me waiting a couple of years... ah well...!
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:

    >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?


    Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
    what you mean by ESR's guide.)

    http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html

    Another thing that you might consider, is to play online at
    nethack.alt.org, while on the irc channel #nethack on irc.freenode.org.

    On that server, people can observe your games and there are often
    lots of newbie-friendly folks that can help you with various specific
    situations.

    I believe the game is complex and robust enough as to not be diminished
    at all by reading the source or spoilers. This belief stems from the
    understanding that the very point of the first rogue game was to provide
    a game that could be played and enjoyed even by the programmer who
    designed it.

    Spoilers you should memorize:
    http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/nh/

    You can probably play the game completely unspoiled, using only in-game
    intelligence and trial-and-error. I have other things I need to do, so
    I couldn't devote my life to that.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Tue, 21 Jun 2005, james wrote:

    > I believe the game is complex and robust enough as to not be diminished
    > at all by reading the source or spoilers. This belief stems from the
    > understanding that the very point of the first rogue game was to provide
    > a game that could be played and enjoyed even by the programmer who
    > designed it.

    I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
    spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).

    But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
    took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
    information I need in them...

    When I try to turn people into nethack-junkies, i generally tell them to
    play unspoiled at first, at least until they manage to reach Mine's
    entrance every other game or reach the oracle once or twice. Just to get a
    taste of the basic commands and the more common newbie YASD (What ? There
    exists potions of hallucination/paralysis/...)

    After that, I think it's a matter of taste. Some of my friend have asked
    me for spoilers pages, other ask me questions when we met (once a month)
    and other don't wan't to be spoiled at all.

    Hypocoristiquement,
    Jym.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
    Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:

    >I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
    >spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).

    Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
    you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
    But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
    have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
    conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
    playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
    necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
    from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
    hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
    easy, I never would have seen.

    >But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
    >took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
    >information I need in them...

    You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
    you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
    you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
    are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In article <1119392523.752496.270030@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
    pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >well, thanks for the information. Some of the spoilers were quite
    >enlightening. Looking forward to ascension, but common lore seems to
    >point towards me waiting a couple of years... ah well...!
    >

    There's no reason to assume that. You need to get to a tactical level
    where you can know if you're playing carefully or not. You will get to
    a point where you really can manage a cause and effect relationship
    between your actions and their consequences in the game. You can get a
    handle on resource management. You can go into situations with
    thousand-turn plans, with good prospects of executing those plans. You
    can still die a lot. But you will get to a point where you can
    attribute the end of your game to your own level of care and risks you
    take. At that point, you'll see that ascension is really up to you (and
    the RNG sees it differently).

    The game has a particular turning point where, if you can get past it,
    you can finish no problem. Whether it takes you 2 months to get there
    or six years, it's hard to say.

    Play live on nethack.alt.org, and use the IRC channel. That's the
    fastrack.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
    I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
    gnomes and dwarves all over. Regarding the "what? there're bad items
    around?" newbie mistake, I'm afraid I overcorrect. Being a reasonably
    long-time roleplayer (Been playing PnP for something like 10 years),
    the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
    that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed. The natural
    cautiousness was exacerbated by the first couple of items I tried
    wearing HERE being cursed. ARGH!

    I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not, and for the
    life expectancy of food before it rots. I'm also still trying to get a
    grasp of "time".

    Unless Eric S Raymond wrote any other guidebook for the game, I think
    it's pretty clear I meant *THE* Guidebook ;-)
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
    <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
    > In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    > pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
    > >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
    > Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
    > what you mean by ESR's guide.)
    > http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html

    The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
    latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
    Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).

    http://nethack.org/v343/Guidebook.html

    /Kristoffer

    --
    This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
    Gurl fnl gung gur Unaq bs Ryorergu pna ubyq hc lbhe cenlref.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In news:<Rg7ue.5169$Lr4.2095@fed1read03>, james
    <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
    > In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
    > Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:
    > >I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
    > >spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).
    > Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
    > you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
    > But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
    > have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
    > conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
    > playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
    > necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
    > from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
    > hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
    > easy, I never would have seen.

    I played unspoiled for a long time, many years ago.

    By
    * reading the guidebook
    * using the in-game help
    and, especially important(!) and often forgotten
    * getting information from the Oracle
    you can gain A Lot Of Important Knowledge.

    This is in addition to the obvious (playing the game and experimenting).

    Recommended reading on unspoiled gaming is the tale of Ellora:
    http://roguelikes.sauceforge.net/pub/nethack/stories/

    > >But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
    > >took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
    > >information I need in them...
    > You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
    > you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
    > you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
    > are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.

    I'd tell a newbie friend to
    0. Understand that in this game you will die a lot and this is an
    important part of your learning process. This is not the type of game
    where you start one character, attach to it and keep playing with it
    forever. This is the type of game where you get attached to *the game*.
    1. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
    2. Read the guidebook
    3. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
    4. Read the Absolute Beginner's Guide for NetHack
    <http://www.melankolia.net/nethack/nethack.guide.html>
    5. Play the game, ask me if confused/enraged/hopeless
    6. Read Ellora's tale to get some inspiration
    7. Try playing at a public server and hanging out in the chat channel,
    start using RGRN, find the spoiler pages
    8. Keep playing the game
    9. By this stage it is probably I who need to learn from my friend :)
    10. Take part in the devnull tournament, and win some trophies
    11. Try Slash'EM when needing a change of style and new surprises
    12. Dive into the source and write some nifty patches for people to
    enjoy
    13. Achieve illumination and post silly Nethack stuff to RGRN, not
    minding the hit your 'real life' has taken, you've finally found your
    true calling

    Uhm. Ehm.

    /Kristoffer

    --
    This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
    Gurl fnl gung gur vqrn bs vaivfvoyr Anmthyf unf n pregnva evat gb vg.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, james wrote:

    > In article <Pine.LNX.4.51.0506220330210.23021@hagen.loria.fr>,
    > Jym <moyen@loria.fr> wrote:
    >
    > >I completely agree, since it took me several months to ascend fully
    > >spoiled (and even since, I did not ascend a second time).
    >
    > Now, there *IS* another side of this coin. There's a LOT of info that
    > you can gain from in-game intelligence, that spoiled players ignore.
    > But you have to be pretty sharp and persistent to get all of it. There
    > have been threads on the newsgroup recently that basically reached the
    > conclusion that there isn't much in the game that you cannot learn from
    > playing. Every example of something where spoilers are presumed to be
    > necessary, has a counterexample where you could get that information
    > from playing the game. A few things that some people consider very
    > hard, I figured out myself. And some things that other people find
    > easy, I never would have seen.

    Yes.

    > >But I would certainly not recommend a newbie to read spoilers, it also
    > >took me several months to fully understand spoilers and find the
    > >information I need in them...
    >
    > You can either read about the game, and it will seem overwhelming, or
    > you can play the game. It's good to know where to look for info when
    > you need it. I think it's reasonable for a player to know how items
    > are shuffled, and to know spell and potion effects.

    Yes. But I don't think one should know all spell effects before lauching
    one first game...

    That's why I really think that newbies should play a few games to get a
    grab on the game before strating to read spoilers. Once they know enough
    basic information (eg the main effect of half the potions and scrolls, by
    the name), they can start reading spoilers if they want.

    Hypocoristiquement,
    Jym.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Kristoffer Björkman wrote:

    >
    > In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
    > <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
    > > In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    > > pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
    > > >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
    > > Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game? (I imagine that's
    > > what you mean by ESR's guide.)
    > > http://www.nethack.org/v341/Guidebook.html
    >
    > The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
    > latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
    > Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).

    Just to illustrate a well-known contradiction principle:

    I never read the guidebook, and I ascended once.

    I played a lot, chat with friend, search spoilers and read them again and
    again (but not the guidebook, even if spoilers say I should) and ascend
    once (with the usual stroke of luck, in my case, 2 bone files and Rodney
    not being to harsh (among other not stealing my quest artefact and only
    source of MR)).

    I think that now I could ascend all the warrior classes and probably all
    the classes with enough care. I died once on Fire, reached Gehennom/Medusa
    several time and even managed a protection racket once (all that in
    slash'em).

    So the guidebook is most certainly a good source of not-to-spoily
    unformation, but can technically be forgotten...

    Hypocoristiquement,
    Jym.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In news:<Pine.LNX.4.51.0506221439400.28200@hagen.loria.fr>, Jym
    <moyen@loria.fr> says...
    > On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Kristoffer Björkman wrote:
    > > In news:<q_Xte.2722$Lr4.1619@fed1read03>, james
    > > <fishbowl@conservatory.com> says...
    > > > In article <1119373279.017278.318360@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
    > > > pdpi <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> wrote:
    > > > >Could anyone here point me towards some newbie friendly information?
    > > > Have you read The Guidebook that comes with the game?
    > > The Guidebook is defenitely a must to read, but you should get the
    > > latest version, or you will be missing the sections on "Shops and
    > > Shopping" and auto-pickup settings (and perhaps even more stuff?).
    > Just to illustrate a well-known contradiction principle:
    > I never read the guidebook, and I ascended once.
    > I played a lot, chat with friend, search spoilers and read them again and
    > again (but not the guidebook, even if spoilers say I should) and ascend
    > once (with the usual stroke of luck, in my case, 2 bone files and Rodney
    > not being to harsh (among other not stealing my quest artefact and only
    > source of MR)).
    > I think that now I could ascend all the warrior classes and probably all
    > the classes with enough care. I died once on Fire, reached Gehennom/Medusa
    > several time and even managed a protection racket once (all that in
    > slash'em).
    > So the guidebook is most certainly a good source of not-to-spoily
    > unformation, but can technically be forgotten...

    I mostly agree with you, it is perfectly possible and not at all
    uncommon to ascend without reading the guidebook, but that was not
    relevant to my point.

    It was not my intention to say that 'reading the guidebook is a must to
    ascend', rather that 'reading the guidebook is must because by reading
    it between your games and consulting it as a reference while playing you
    will find a lot of answers to your questions presented in a good and
    newbie-friendly way, without spoiling and without requiring prior
    knowledge about Nethack's inner workings'. My comment was directed
    towards a 'newbie', trying to provide him with a good clue about how to
    get deeper into the Nethack world. The discussion was not IMHO at the
    'what should I read to really win this game' level of advancement.

    A lot of people seem to think of reading the guidebook like an oh-
    please-do-I-really-have-to-do-that chore, instead of a useful and fun
    diversion between games to improve one's skill. I can't see the reason
    for thie former attitude, even though I definitely don't think that it's
    necessary to read the guidebook before you even start the game.

    If people actually at least used the guidebook for reference we would
    also have much less questions with obvious answers in RGRN, especially
    the most uninteresting ones about configuration settings (which are
    actually often from relatively experienced 'hackers who just can't be
    bothered to check the guidebook).

    The guidebook is also a good atmosphere-builder which gives you some
    basics of Nethack-lore to get your imagination started when faced by the
    ASCII-world.

    I hope my intentions come through clearer with this posting. May I
    recommend you reading the guidebook, because you're missing out if
    you've never opened it? :)

    (And the main reason I posted the text responded to was only to provide
    the correct URL to the current version of the guidebook, something that
    sort of got snipped out of the quoting. I then also made a comment
    underlining the earlier poster's recommendation about reading the
    guidebook.)

    /Kristoffer

    --
    This cookie has a scrap of paper inside. It reads:
    Qebc lbhe inavgl naq trg evq bs lbhe wrjryf! Cvpxcbpxrgf nobhg!
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, pdpi wrote:

    > Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
    > I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
    > gnomes and dwarves all over. Regarding the "what? there're bad items
    > around?" newbie mistake, I'm afraid I overcorrect. Being a reasonably
    > long-time roleplayer (Been playing PnP for something like 10 years),
    > the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
    > that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed. The natural
    > cautiousness was exacerbated by the first couple of items I tried
    > wearing HERE being cursed. ARGH!

    Well, in that case, I would say that you may want to take a look on
    spoilers. Of course, at this point it is purely a matter of taste. It is
    possible to go very far and understand a lot of thing without reading
    spoilers, but it will take the long way to learn all that. OTOH, reading
    spoilers can be considered by yourself as cheating.

    Notice that spoiled or not, you will still have a hard time to ascend.

    Spoilers contains stuff like the exact effect of each potion and scroll,
    depending on its cursedness state or how to know when you'll be hungry,
    what kind of corpses are eatable,...
    But also a lot of information that is much less easy to guess, or even to
    guess that such combination can yield to interesting effects. Just a (not
    too spoily) example for that: what are the effect of eating differents
    rings ?

    > I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not, and for the
    > life expectancy of food before it rots. I'm also still trying to get a
    > grasp of "time".

    Set the showtime option (or something similar) to see the clock displayed
    on your status bar. Understanding how time works is one of the important
    concept innethack. Well, not really a vital one but one that will make
    your life easier.
    Concerning roting time, I will not answer since I do not know if you want
    to be spoiled [on that particular item] or not. This answer can easily be
    found in spoilers concerning food (or ask again here) if you want.

    Try google nethack spoilers to find all that you need.

    Hypocoristiquement,
    Jym.
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    "pdpi" <pdpinheiro@gmail.com> writes:

    > Thanks all for the replies. The community seems quite responsive here.
    > I can reach the mines often enough, if that's the dark place with
    > gnomes and dwarves all over.

    Well, the mines are a quite dangerous place, and until you
    know exactly what you're doing, I would not advise strolling
    around in them. Keep in the main branch first.

    > the cursed item reality is quite present. And I'm overly cautious with
    > that. Read: I never EVER use anything I haven't IDed.

    That's good, but it's better to find means to assure non--cursedness
    without wasting ID. There are two main ways. Since I don't know
    how spoiled you want to be, two short hints and a detailed explanation
    in rot13: blesses and curses have something to do with religion;
    hence religious things might help. Also, animals sometimes have
    a natural feeling for curses, trying to avoid them if possible.
    Lbhe crg jvyy bayl eneryl fgrc ba n phefrq vgrz; vs vg qbrf, lbh
    trg gur zrffntr gung vg 'zbirf bayl eryphgnagyl'. Nygnef nyybj
    vafgnag o/h/p qrgrezvangvba, whfg qebc gur vgrz ba gur nygne juvyr
    abg orvat oyvaq.

    There are also means to partially id some classes of items without
    wasting ?oIDs.

    > I'm still getting a feel for what's edible and what's not,

    Your pet usually is a good judge. If you want to get spoiled
    about this (and about almost anything in nethack), an excellent
    collection of spoilers, along with some beginner's helps and
    FAQs, is available at

    http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~eva/nethack/spoilerlist.html

    Best,
    Jakob
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    by now, I've figured out the altar b/u/c check, and edible corpses are
    starting to make sense. I actually managed to get to the 4th mines
    level, with no problem, but got stuck there (couldn't find stair deeper
    into the mines), got cornered by a nymph (odd thing, she didn't
    teleport away like the previous ones had), stripped clean of most of my
    equipment (except the nice blessed +2 GDSM), and killed by a werewolf.
    Totaled at 10k points. Argh, such an annoying death. But it was my best
    score to date.
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