YAAD to the touch of death

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

I had perhaps the best V going that I've ever had. This had been a
weird game, too - you know how common it is to never see an altar until
Minetown, but this game was just _rotten_ with them. I think I
encountered something like eight, not counting the Minetown one. I was
even leaving one as an altar of Loki, because I was planning on
ascending as a chaotic Valk. I also encountered more polymorph traps
than I'd ever seen before, usually at times when I didn't have a pet,
which meant that usually I found them by walking onto them and busting
my armor. One early one generated an arch-lich - peaceful, thankfully!
I made it to Medusa without a means of crossing the water (or so I
thought!) I dug down, came back up and killed her, and then it struck
me: hey, I have uncursed scrolls of earth. So I built a bridge back to
the up-stairs, and then proceeded down. Two levels lower I realize I'm
at the Castle. I take two steps off the stairs and run into a lich.
"Oh no, she's using the touch of death! DYWYPI?"

*sigh* At least that's just annoying and not completely stupid.
There are ways to avoid ToD, but stuff happens. Oh well. I liked
playing spellcasters better than "Valk smash!", anyway, although I have
to say there was something appealing about having 130HP and
two-weaponing Mojo and a silver saber.

--
Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression
and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me
anymore.
-- William Cowper
15 answers Last reply
More about yaad touch death
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner wrote:
    > Two levels lower I realize I'm
    > at the Castle. I take two steps off the stairs and run into a lich.
    > "Oh no, she's using the touch of death! DYWYPI?"

    Touch of Death is the reason why magic resistance is the most important
    intrinsic. The other intrinsics are optional to some degree, with
    enough planning, but without magic resistance you're vulnerable to
    Touch of Death (both the spell and Death's actual touch), wands of
    death, and spells of Destroy Armor.

    I posted a YANI some time ago about a Ring of Death Resistance, which
    would provide immunity to touches and wands of death, in order to make
    magic resistance (which has a rather small number of non-quest-artifact
    sources) less essential. It still wouldn't provide protection from
    Destroy Armor spells, though. Hmmm.

    - John H.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 21:44:14 +0000 (UTC), Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner
    <jdw@panix.com> wrote:

    > I had perhaps the best V going that I've ever had. This had been a
    >weird game, too - you know how common it is to never see an altar until
    >Minetown, but this game was just _rotten_ with them. I think I
    >encountered something like eight, not counting the Minetown one. I was
    >even leaving one as an altar of Loki, because I was planning on
    >ascending as a chaotic Valk.

    I think you can always instantly convert an altar to chaotic by
    doing doing same-race #offering on it. Just FYI.

    >I also encountered more polymorph traps
    >than I'd ever seen before, usually at times when I didn't have a pet,
    >which meant that usually I found them by walking onto them and busting
    >my armor. One early one generated an arch-lich - peaceful, thankfully!
    >I made it to Medusa without a means of crossing the water (or so I
    >thought!) I dug down, came back up and killed her, and then it struck
    >me: hey, I have uncursed scrolls of earth. So I built a bridge back to
    >the up-stairs, and then proceeded down. Two levels lower I realize I'm
    >at the Castle. I take two steps off the stairs and run into a lich.
    >"Oh no, she's using the touch of death! DYWYPI?"
    >

    Dying to "touch of death" on the Castle level is a stupid
    death.

    - It shouldn't have been a surprise at the Castle.

    - You should have had a way of knowing if you were on the
    Castle level. If you didn't, don't descend from Medusa
    without the means to deal with touch of death.

    - Surely you knew what defends against touch of death?
    And that you didn't have it.


    > *sigh* At least that's just annoying and not completely stupid.
    >There are ways to avoid ToD, but stuff happens.


    There are few character deaths more avoidable than this one
    was. Just don't descend below Medusa.

    If a Lich had been generated above Medusa, that would have been
    a different story. (But you didn't give Nethack the chance. ;-)


    This wasn't even up to stupid. This was suicide. ;^)




    >Oh well. I liked
    >playing spellcasters better than "Valk smash!", anyway, although I have
    >to say there was something appealing about having 130HP and
    >two-weaponing Mojo and a silver saber.


    And half-spell damage AND half physical damage from the Orb of
    Fate.

    Should have made the subject: "Death Wish". :-D


    --
    All the best,

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

    On 15 Sep 2005 15:32:37 -0700, "John H." <JohnWH@gmail.com>
    wrote:

    >Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner wrote:
    >> Two levels lower I realize I'm
    >> at the Castle. I take two steps off the stairs and run into a lich.
    >> "Oh no, she's using the touch of death! DYWYPI?"
    >
    >Touch of Death is the reason why magic resistance is the most important
    >intrinsic. The other intrinsics are optional to some degree, with
    >enough planning, but without magic resistance you're vulnerable to
    >Touch of Death (both the spell and Death's actual touch), wands of
    >death, and spells of Destroy Armor.
    >
    >I posted a YANI some time ago about a Ring of Death Resistance, which
    >would provide immunity to touches and wands of death, in order to make
    >magic resistance (which has a rather small number of non-quest-artifact
    >sources) less essential. It still wouldn't provide protection from
    >Destroy Armor spells, though. Hmmm.
    >

    From the cosmic viewpoint, there is no such thing as Touch of
    Death, just out of body experiences. ;^)


    --
    All the best,

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

    Is there a list of all of the monsters that can do a Touch of Death?
    I'm considering trying to do an ascension without magic resistance and
    that is the thing that really scares me. If it is just monsters with a
    Cast Spell attack or special attack (+ or z in the spoilers), that
    seems to include:
    kobold shaman
    orc shaman
    ki-rin
    Archon
    gnomish wizard
    titan
    lich
    demilich
    masterlich
    arch-lich
    golden naga
    barrow wight
    aligned priest
    high priest
    Wizard of Yendor
    nalfeshnee
    Orcus
    Dispater
    Demogorgon
    Death
    Pestilence
    Famine
    Grand Master
    Arch Priest
    Neferet the Green
    Minion of Huhetotl
    Thoth Amon
    Chromatic Dragon
    Ixoth
    Master Kaen
    Nalzok
    Dark One
    abbot
    acolyte
    guide
    apprentice

    I have never noticed a touch from a kobold/orc shaman or gnomish
    wizard. In fact, I think I only have seen it from liches, titans, the
    Wizard, Death, and maybe the demon prince/lords.

    I would like to know which races to genocide to increase my safety, and
    when to have the potions of hallucination handy.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    David Corbett wrote:
    > hhill@thinksystem.net wrote:
    >
    > > Is there a list of all of the monsters that can do a Touch of Death?
    > > I'm considering trying to do an ascension without magic resistance and
    > > that is the thing that really scares me.
    >
    > > I have never noticed a touch from a kobold/orc shaman or gnomish
    > > wizard. In fact, I think I only have seen it from liches, titans, the
    > > Wizard, Death, and maybe the demon prince/lords.

    I suspect that they *attempt* all sorts of spells. Low
    level magic users generate plenty of messages about mumbling
    under their breath or the air sparkling around them. I
    figure they just attempted and failed some spell.

    > You can find a list of spellcasting monsters here:
    > http://www.geocities.com/dcorbett42/nethack/monspell.htm
    >
    > A monster needs to be at least level 21 to cast Touch of Death, so in
    > normal circumstances most monsters won't be able to cast it.

    Where "normal circumstances" means that gnomish wizard has
    not yet located your hoard of 20 potions of gain level ;^)

    > If you're going without magic resistance, two other concerns are the
    > Destroy Armor spell, which destroys one piece of armor, and Psi Bolt,
    > which does (1+monster_level/2)d6 damage, and is increasingly likely to
    > be used by high-level spellcasters.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Jove <invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote:
    > I think you can always instantly convert an altar to chaotic by
    > doing doing same-race #offering on it. Just FYI.

    Good point, although since I already had a chaotic altar _and_ there
    was another lawful altar on the same level, there was no need.


    > - You should have had a way of knowing if you were on the
    > Castle level. If you didn't, don't descend from Medusa
    > without the means to deal with touch of death.
    > - Surely you knew what defends against touch of death?
    > And that you didn't have it.

    True, but the question then is "what to do?" After all, I was at
    the Castle and pretty well equipped otherwise; had I made it to the WoW,
    I definitely would have been better kitted out beyond that point. So
    what to do? Bum around in the upper dungeon until something decent
    shows up? It's things like this that make me wonder about the speed of
    various people's ascensions. If you wait long enough, everything you
    need will eventually show up (although you may get old and gray before
    it happens). I've ascended three times, none of them fast ascensions by
    anyone's standards, and yet I've done little of waiting around the
    dungeon for a foo of bar to show up. Lots of people have ascended much
    faster than I, which suggests they've also done little waiting. This
    seems to suggest that (RL) luck plays a large role in many ascensions,
    which would not surprise me...but there's always the counterexample of
    Marvin, who seems to show that luck has little to do with it. I have to
    go see how fast Marvin's ascensions have been now.

    Oh, and this wasn't a stupid death - dying in the Mines to a swarm
    of killer bees when I had a hard gemstone on me that I could have
    engraved the E-word with; THAT was a stupid death. :^) Note to whoever
    gets that bones file from hearse: you'll be facing not only the bees,
    but my ex-pet gray dragon. Have fun!

    --
    Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression
    and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me
    anymore.
    -- William Cowper
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In article <dgekgm$51l$1@reader1.panix.com>, Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner wrote:

    > Oh, and this wasn't a stupid death - dying in the Mines to a swarm
    > of killer bees when I had a hard gemstone on me that I could have
    > engraved the E-word with; THAT was a stupid death. :^)

    You should note that Engraving with a hard gem takes one turn per letter.
    Not much good when in hurry..

    --
    Panu
    "You haven't really been anywhere until you've got back home",
    Twoflower in "The Light Fantastic"
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Jove wrote:
    >
    > Dying to "touch of death" on the Castle level is a stupid
    > death.
    >
    > - It shouldn't have been a surprise at the Castle.
    >
    > - You should have had a way of knowing if you were on the
    > Castle level. If you didn't, don't descend from Medusa
    > without the means to deal with touch of death.

    So you mean the guaranteed titan on one of the two Medusa levels is
    incapable of casting that spell?

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

    Janis Papanagnou <Janis_Papanagnou@hotmail.com> wrote:
    [touch of death]
    >So you mean the guaranteed titan on one of the two Medusa levels is
    >incapable of casting that spell?

    Unless it somehow gains 4 hit dice, yes, it is incapable of casting
    touch of death. Titans have 16 hit dice; monsters need to have 20 hit
    dice in order to cast touch of death.
    --
    Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
    \_\/_/ http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mpread/dungeonbash/
    \ / "tempted white eyes blinded by the night hollow like the towers from the
    \/ inside laura's a machine she's burning insane" fields of the nephilim
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 17:36:27 +0300 (EEST), Panu Lahtinen
    <pnuu@iki.fi> wrote:

    >In article <dgekgm$51l$1@reader1.panix.com>, Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner wrote:
    >
    >> Oh, and this wasn't a stupid death - dying in the Mines to a swarm
    >> of killer bees when I had a hard gemstone on me that I could have
    >> engraved the E-word with; THAT was a stupid death. :^)
    >
    >You should note that Engraving with a hard gem takes one turn per letter.
    >Not much good when in hurry..

    Do a few dust Elbereths, then start using the gem one letter at
    a time. Or be really smart and engrave Elbereth one letter at a
    time, in a relatively "safe" place, in *advance*.

    So that Elbereth would be (sort of ;^) like the pre-engraved
    Elbereths elsewhere in the dungeons.


    --
    All the best,

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

    On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 14:23:18 +0000 (UTC), Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner
    <jdw@panix.com> wrote:

    >Jove <invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote:
    >> I think you can always instantly convert an altar to chaotic by
    >> doing doing same-race #offering on it. Just FYI.
    >
    > Good point, although since I already had a chaotic altar _and_ there
    >was another lawful altar on the same level, there was no need.
    >
    >
    >> - You should have had a way of knowing if you were on the
    >> Castle level. If you didn't, don't descend from Medusa
    >> without the means to deal with touch of death.
    >> - Surely you knew what defends against touch of death?
    >> And that you didn't have it.
    >
    > True, but the question then is "what to do?" After all, I was at
    >the Castle and pretty well equipped otherwise; had I made it to the WoW,
    >I definitely would have been better kitted out beyond that point. So
    >what to do? Bum around in the upper dungeon until something decent
    >shows up? It's things like this that make me wonder about the speed of
    >various people's ascensions. If you wait long enough, everything you
    >need will eventually show up (although you may get old and gray before
    >it happens). I've ascended three times, none of them fast ascensions by
    >anyone's standards, and yet I've done little of waiting around the
    >dungeon for a foo of bar to show up. Lots of people have ascended much
    >faster than I, which suggests they've also done little waiting. This
    >seems to suggest that (RL) luck plays a large role in many ascensions,
    >which would not surprise me...but there's always the counterexample of
    >Marvin, who seems to show that luck has little to do with it. I have to
    >go see how fast Marvin's ascensions have been now.


    That's a very interesting (and valid, imho) point. My "good"
    games don't seem to have anything really different about them to
    cause them to work out well, they just do.

    Other games I have played my absolute careful best, and felt I
    was slowly getting ground down anyway, getting farther and
    farther behind the game. And eventually, my character did die,
    despite the best I felt that I could do.

    And the point about patience is well-made as well. Most of
    NetHack's "difficulty" isn't really in the game itself. The
    difficulty lies in that what most players instinctly want to
    do will get them killed. They must do what they don't
    automatically enjoy to survive.

    I've said before that NetHack *is* easy, if you play it right.
    May I should also add that NetHack is *boring* if you play it
    right. :-D


    From that point of view, the character death isn't nearly so
    bad. I'm glad you explained that point.

    My wizards can (and do ;^) always altar-camp with the Eye to
    supply mana and spell of Create Monster to create sacrifices.

    From that flows all the items any character could want.
    Especially if +oPoly can be cast, even at a fairly high failure
    rate. That could well be a reason I wasn't consciously aware of
    for playing wizards.

    I've got an Arch languishing on NAO due to lack of a silver
    saber. Unlike my other non-wizard class characters, everything
    hasn't just fallen into place for my Archaeologist.

    Like you, I feel it's too boring to just hang around the
    dungeons hoping for a death drop. The Arch *has* an altar
    and the spell of Create Monster, but without the Eye of
    Aethiopica for Pw supply, it's too little return for the
    effort on my part.

    I haven't yet decided to just move on, cautiously, and see
    what comes up. I associate that with character death. The
    nice thing about playing wizards is that once you get ahead
    of the game equipment/stat wise, it's easy to get farther
    ahead, which advancements make even faster advancement possible.

    A mid to late game wizard is a snowballing unstoppable killing
    machine.

    Whereas, as you so brilliantly point out, other classes must
    rely much more on finding items that let them advance. And if
    those items don't show up....


    >
    > Oh, and this wasn't a stupid death - dying in the Mines to a swarm
    >of killer bees when I had a hard gemstone on me that I could have
    >engraved the E-word with; THAT was a stupid death. :^) Note to whoever
    >gets that bones file from hearse: you'll be facing not only the bees,
    >but my ex-pet gray dragon. Have fun!

    (Note to self: Don't Hearse anytime soon. ;^)

    For embarrassing deaths, check out the fairly recent thread on
    that. At the end of my post I asked people to top it for
    stupidity. Please. :-D


    --
    All the best,

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

    Martin Read wrote:
    > Janis Papanagnou <Janis_Papanagnou@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > [touch of death]
    >
    >>So you mean the guaranteed titan on one of the two Medusa levels is
    >>incapable of casting that spell?
    >
    > Unless it somehow gains 4 hit dice, yes, it is incapable of casting
    > touch of death. Titans have 16 hit dice; monsters need to have 20 hit
    > dice in order to cast touch of death.

    Aha. That's especially good to know because my current character fled
    back upstairs after the titan destroyed one piece of my armor; I was
    anxious that he might kill me instantly with that spell.

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

    hhill@thinksystem.net wrote:
    > Is there a list of all of the monsters that can do a Touch of Death?
    > I'm considering trying to do an ascension without magic resistance and
    > that is the thing that really scares me.
    >
    > I have never noticed a touch from a kobold/orc shaman or gnomish
    > wizard. In fact, I think I only have seen it from liches, titans, the
    > Wizard, Death, and maybe the demon prince/lords.

    You can find a list of spellcasting monsters here:
    http://www.geocities.com/dcorbett42/nethack/monspell.htm

    A monster needs to be at least level 21 to cast Touch of Death, so in
    normal circumstances most monsters won't be able to cast it.

    If you're going without magic resistance, two other concerns are the
    Destroy Armor spell, which destroys one piece of armor, and Psi Bolt,
    which does (1+monster_level/2)d6 damage, and is increasingly likely to
    be used by high-level spellcasters.
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Doug Freyburger wrote:
    > David Corbett wrote:
    >
    >>hhill@thinksystem.net wrote:
    >>
    >>>Is there a list of all of the monsters that can do a Touch of Death?
    >>>I'm considering trying to do an ascension without magic resistance and
    >>>that is the thing that really scares me.
    >>
    >>>I have never noticed a touch from a kobold/orc shaman or gnomish
    >>>wizard. In fact, I think I only have seen it from liches, titans, the
    >>>Wizard, Death, and maybe the demon prince/lords.
    >
    > I suspect that they *attempt* all sorts of spells. Low
    > level magic users generate plenty of messages about mumbling
    > under their breath or the air sparkling around them. I
    > figure they just attempted and failed some spell.

    Low level casters have to wait longer between successful spells, to
    recharge their power. And they fumble their spells more often, because
    they're not as good at magic. What they're trying to do in the meantime,
    I can't say...

    >>You can find a list of spellcasting monsters here:
    >>http://www.geocities.com/dcorbett42/nethack/monspell.htm
    >>
    >>A monster needs to be at least level 21 to cast Touch of Death, so in
    >>normal circumstances most monsters won't be able to cast it.
    >
    > Where "normal circumstances" means that gnomish wizard has
    > not yet located your hoard of 20 potions of gain level ;^)

    Precisely.

    >>If you're going without magic resistance, two other concerns are the
    >>Destroy Armor spell, which destroys one piece of armor, and Psi Bolt,
    >>which does (1+monster_level/2)d6 damage, and is increasingly likely to
    >>be used by high-level spellcasters.

    Oh, and another thing: magic missile attacks from Angels or Yeenoghu.
    They deal the same amount of damage as Psi Bolt, and reflection doesn't
    stop them.
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Martin Read <mpread@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
    > Janis Papanagnou <Janis_Papanagnou@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > [touch of death]
    > >So you mean the guaranteed titan on one of the two Medusa levels is
    > >incapable of casting that spell?
    >
    > Unless it somehow gains 4 hit dice, yes, it is incapable of casting
    > touch of death. Titans have 16 hit dice; monsters need to have 20 hit
    > dice in order to cast touch of death.

    It isn't at all impossible for it to have gained 4 hit dice as a
    result of the level adjustment, if Medusa's level is deep and you're
    high XL. 16 is just the base level for titans.

    --
    : Dylan O'Donnell http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/ :
    : "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice." :
    : -- Ciszek's Adaptation of Clarke's Third Law :
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