YASD and Q: Potion/Scroll identification?

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

Another dwarven valkyrie lost to the Big Room. This girl put up an
excellent fight, and I have to say she had the best run I've ever had
of the dungeon.

Firsts:
First successful protection racket run (I swore I wasn't going to do
it, but.. I'm an addict)
First time completing Sokoban (BoH)
First time acquiring a luckstone and blessing it.
First conversion of an altar.
First polypiling experiment.
First Water Prayer.

I really thought I might make it through the big room this time. I
stayed close to the up stairs, killing the strongest monsters around me
and letting the weaker monsters provide me with a little bit of cover.
This, combined with popping upstairs to rest worked extremely well
until a green elf started zapping a wand of sleep. I thought my Elven
cloak offered protection against that, but alas....

Still, I learned a lot of things about the game this time around.

I believe I essentially made three mistakes that contributed to her
death.
- BIGGEST mistake: Mistaking a Wand of Make Invisible for a Wand of
Cancellation, then putting the REAL Wand of Cancellation into the BoH
(BOOM!) effectively destroying all of my scrolls, potions and a few
helpful wands also.
- 2nd biggest mistake: abandoned my large dog shortly before completing
the gnomish mines (It was becoming a hassle to keep track of it, and
when I ran into a bones file with a hell hound, and I did not want
linger calling Fido back. In retrospect, he probably would have helped
in the big room.
- Not identifying scrolls/potions. A moot point perhaps since they blew
up in a ball of magicky doom, but I had at least a dozen of each which
would have likely helped immeasurably had I been able to identify them.
I blessed and read two scrolls of identify hoping they would identify
my entire inventory, but alas no. I used them to identify some rings
and left the scrolls and potions for another occasion.

Which leads to the question:

How does one safely identify those pesky scrolls and potions? I've read
some spoilers on the subject, but I'm still having difficulty.I've
tried using merchants to identify, but apart from identify/light
scrolls and booze/fruit juice, I tend to find the process haphazard. It
seems risky to sit and read scrolls and quaff potions. Should I throw
potions at enemies? That still seems a hazardous prospect.

Advice?


Your humble and obedient Renaissance Man,

Bard
9 answers Last reply
More about yasd potion scroll identification
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Couple spoilers:

    Scrolls: As the man said, go look up the prices, and drop your
    un-id'd scrolls in shops. The price the shopkeeper offers will give
    you a pretty good guess as to what the scroll is and what effect it
    will have. Any scroll that you can buy for <100 gp is safe to read;
    any scroll < 200 that is uncursed is safe to read (you do know about
    pets and cursed items, right)?

    Another trick is simply to count up the number of scrolls in your
    possession. If you have 48 Kernod Wels and 1 Zelgo Mer, the odds are
    good that Kernod wel is a common scroll like teleportation while Zelgo
    mer is something rare like stinking cloud or genocide.

    read the cheapy scrolls first. Save your identifies for the really
    expensive ones.


    Potions: Grab a spare unicorn and #dip it into the suspect potion.
    Most harmful potions will clear into water when the horn is #dipped
    into them -- make a note not to drink that type. Potions of sickness
    will be converted to fruit juice -- if you #dip a unicorn horn into a
    golden potion and it turns milky, you now know that a golden potion is
    sickness and milky is fruit juice.

    A uni horn dipped into a polymorph potion will change into something
    else.

    So basically, you're pretty much cleared to drink anything uncursed
    that has no effect on your unicorn. The one exception may be the potion
    of paralysis, which does NOT clear, so I would advise quaffing the
    potion in a locked and sealed room so if you're paralyzed Mr. Soldier
    Ant doesn't thrash you while helpless.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

    Respectfully,

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

    Bard wrote:
    >
    > How does one safely identify those pesky scrolls and potions? I've read
    > some spoilers on the subject, but I'm still having difficulty.I've
    > tried using merchants to identify, but apart from identify/light
    > scrolls and booze/fruit juice, I tend to find the process haphazard. It
    > seems risky to sit and read scrolls and quaff potions. Should I throw
    > potions at enemies? That still seems a hazardous prospect.

    The worst case of a potion seems to be less bad than the
    worst case of a scroll. As a result I am often willing to
    quaff an occasional unknown potion with a bit of preparation.

    Clear out minetown from threatening monsters. Either lock
    myself in an empty room or at least make sure the guard is
    far away and close the door. Some combinations of your
    alignment and the altar's alignment make monsters hesitant
    to enter and then the shrine room is a good choice. Then
    quaff one unknown potion and see what it is. Especially if
    your pet is in there with you to supply some defense, the
    time it takes monsters to find you, dig through the walls,
    or whatever tends to be long enough to survive paralysis.
    It is important to already have telepathy in case it's
    blindness. Extremely usefull to have a unihorn at hand so
    I tend to do this on the way back up from mines end not
    on the way down to mines end.

    For scrolls my method is more brute force. I price ID
    identify scrolls, note which ones are more or less
    expensive, then use blessed identify scrolls on my
    magical items. The order I like to select runs similar
    to the default display order but not quite the same:
    amulet, ring, scroll, potion, wand, tool. I'll ID all
    of one type before moving on to the next, making sure to
    carry as many unknowns as my backpack allows. I use
    #adjust to alphabetize each class of item by price,
    more expensie earlier in the alphabet. Doing that
    doesn't have much effect on amulets since they all
    cost alike and are rare enough that I generally don't
    have more than one unknown amulet anyways.

    Until I know all of my amulet, ring, scroll, potion, wand,
    tool I don't select other items. Let the occasional
    blessed ID effect of telling every item to inform me
    about weapon, armor, egg/tin, gems until I know all the
    magic I want to know. For that matter I use unicorn
    tossing to know worthless glass so I try not to carry
    worthless glass while reading an ID scroll. There is
    some utility to avoiding ID on worthless glass.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    pendell@hotmail.com wrote:
    >
    > Potions: Grab a spare unicorn and #dip it into the suspect potion.
    > Most harmful potions will clear into water when the horn is #dipped
    > into them -- make a note not to drink that type. Potions of sickness
    > will be converted to fruit juice -- if you #dip a unicorn horn into a
    > golden potion and it turns milky, you now know that a golden potion is
    > sickness and milky is fruit juice.
    >
    > A uni horn dipped into a polymorph potion will change into something
    > else.

    For me the hurdle is getting the first unihorn not the
    second, so I've never really worried about dipping into
    a polymorph potion. Better that than drinking it. The
    worst case is a tool with near-zero utility like a tin
    opener and the need to go kill yet another of the several
    unicorns wandering the mines. Speed, stealth, invisibility
    each making killing unicorns easier.

    > So basically, you're pretty much cleared to drink anything uncursed
    > that has no effect on your unicorn. The one exception may be the potion
    > of paralysis, which does NOT clear, so I would advise quaffing the
    > potion in a locked and sealed room so if you're paralyzed Mr. Soldier
    > Ant doesn't thrash you while helpless.

    Fido loves the taste of solider ants. Yet another reason
    to not abandon your pets until later. With paralysis the
    worst-case post-dip potion, having a pet locked in with
    you is least another safety precaution.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    In article news:<1127395501.235423.327060@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    Bard <bardofawen@gmail.com> says...
    > How does one safely identify those pesky scrolls and potions?
    >
    Monsters will identify emergency ? and ! for you - teleport, healing etc.

    Merchants can help to ID ?oID, ?oEW, ?oL.

    I usually rely on b?oID to ID the rest.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Andrew Kerr wrote:
    > In article news:<1127395501.235423.327060@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    > Bard <bardofawen@gmail.com> says...
    > > How does one safely identify those pesky scrolls and potions?
    > >
    > Monsters will identify emergency ? and ! for you - teleport, healing etc.
    >
    > Merchants can help to ID ?oID, ?oEW, ?oL.

    (possible spoilers below)

    In the same way, can specific merchants or monster help you identify
    specific scrolls of potion?
    For instance, when I find a potion in a food store I generally
    call it 'fruit juice'. Is this a safe assumption?
    I seem to notice also that nymphs often carry potions of object
    detection, is it a sure way to identify these?

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

    Andrew Kerr wrote:
    >
    > Merchants can help to ID ?oID, ?oEW, ?oL.

    I've taken weapons and armor in mine town and sold them
    to a general store shopkeeper. It ID's them by type
    and price differences among the same type does show med
    the enchantments of the cursed ones. Of course once
    sold it takes time for the pet to get them back and
    that doesn't work for the cursed ones. On the other
    hand it isn't all that bad an idea to sell all cursed
    weapons and armor since almost none has a positive
    enchantment. It's possible to drain the shopkeeper of
    money even without using a pet and reselling the same
    item again and again.

    I haven't tried it with other item classes, bit I was
    quite surprised when I sold a cursed runed dagger and
    ended up knowing it was an elven dagger. After that
    I took one new item of each item type to the shop until
    the money ran dry.

    > I usually rely on b?oID to ID the rest.

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

    In article news:<1127477141.412262.139610@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
    chlorine <chlorine@free.fr> says...

    Spoilers...

    > In the same way, can specific merchants or monster help you identify
    > specific scrolls of potion?
    > For instance, when I find a potion in a food store I generally
    > call it 'fruit juice'. Is this a safe assumption?

    It could be booze. It could also be water, but I'd guess you'd notice :)

    Cut and paste from room-343.txt by O'Donnell

    SHOP PROB STOCK
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~:~~~~~:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    general : 44% : 100% random
    used armor dealership : 14 : 90% armour, 10% weapons
    second-hand bookstore : 10 : 90% scrolls, 10% spellbooks
    liquor emporium : 10 : 100% potions
    antique weapons outlet : 5 : 90% weapons, 10% armour
    delicatessen : 5 : 83% food, 5% fruit juice, 5% water,
    : : 4% booze, 3% ice box
    jewelers : 3 : 85% rings, 10% gems, 5% amulets
    quality apparel and accessories: *3 : 90% wands, 5% leather gloves,
    : : 5% elven cloak
    hardware store : 3 : 100% tools
    rare books : *3 : 90% spellbooks, 10% scrolls
    lighting store : 0 : 40% tallow candle, 32% wax candle,
    : : 10% oil lamp, 5% brass lantern,
    : : 3% magic lamp

    So if a quality apparel shop contains gloves, they're leather. Not terribly
    helpful.

    > I seem to notice also that nymphs often carry potions of object
    > detection, is it a sure way to identify these?

    If I get two or three potions of the same type from nymphs, I always assume
    they are object detection. I don't believe I've been wrong yet.

    Monsters' starting inventories:
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~vviitane/spoilers/monequip
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    Quoting Bard <bardofawen@gmail.com>:
    >Another dwarven valkyrie lost to the Big Room. This girl put up an
    >excellent fight, and I have to say she had the best run I've ever had
    >of the dungeon.

    At XL 7 you should be Fast; run around the Big Room rather than trying to
    tackle everything toe-to-toe...

    >How does one safely identify those pesky scrolls and potions? I've read
    >some spoilers on the subject, but I'm still having difficulty.

    Have you read;
    http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~damerell/games/nhid.html

    That tells you nearly everything I know about it...
    --
    David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
    Today is Thursday, September.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Sep 2005 05:05:41 -0700, chlorine wrote:
    > For instance, when I find a potion in a food store I generally call it
    > I seem to notice also that
    > nymphs often carry potions of object detection, is it a sure way to
    > identify these?

    I usually drink the first one I get from a nymph - they tend to be common
    enough that I don't mind "wasting" one. One time, it turned out to be a
    !oPolymorph. Oops.

    I'm a bit more careful now - I call them "obj det?" and when I have a
    couple (3 or 4, 2 if I'm brave (that is, suicidal)), I'll drink one when
    it's relatively "safe".

    --LWM
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