Black market (UnNetHack)

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In UnNetHack, the black market is a special level with one or many shops which offer a wide variety of goods at extremely high prices. Specifically, magical items cost 25 times what they would in a normal shop, and non-magical items cost 15 times normal.[1] Additionally, in the newer versions of UnNetHack, Conflict has no effect within the Black Market, and scrolls of earth might not be as helpful as you would expect - 50% of the time, they will do nothing.

Monsters

One-eyed Sam

One-eyed Sam is in charge of the black market and is very difficult to kill, even for ascension-ready characters. She wields the deadly sword Thiefbane and is equipped with most of an ascension kit (well-enchanted magic dragon scale mail, a shield of reflection, and speed boots, as well as an amulet of life saving).[2]

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"How can One-Eyed Sam be wearing a shield of reflection and wield a two handed sword? Unnethack has Thiefbane as a two-handed sword instead of a longsword."

Angering One-eyed Sam

If you anger Sam, her assistants, or any black marketers all of them will turn hostile. An unfortunate bug exists that treats any named (or even previously named) monster as one of her assistants, so be very careful in using the #call command in the black market.

Once Sam is angered a group of soldiers will be summoned. In addition iron bars will drop from the ceiling around the magic portal, blocking it, unless you are already on the magic portal in which case nothing happens. Once Sam is dead (pacifying Sam does not count) the bars are raised. If you are unable or unwilling to kill Sam you can slip past the bars with the help of acid, phasing, or some polymorph forms.

Black marketeers

Black marketeers are weaker versions of One-eyed Sam. In the second version of the black market each of the nine shops has a black marketeer in place of a shopkeeper. Each black marketeer wields an enchanted long sword and has a 50% chance of wearing each of the following: magic dragon scale mail, a shield of reflection, speed boots, and an amulet of life saving.[3]

Assistants

One-eyed Sam has nine assistants that are generated with the level. They are initially asleep and peaceful, but they will awaken and become hostile if you anger Sam for any reason. Sam will also become angry if you attack one of her assistants.

The assistants are:

Maps

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"mention that not entire shop is filled (at least in first version) (stock_blkmar function), calculate expected number of items, maybe also expected number of artifacts?"

There are two different black market layouts. Both have undiggable and unphasable walls, and teleport is not allowed.

In both layouts, the marked monsters are One-eyed Sam's assistants.

First version

The first version is laid out exactly the same as SLASH'EM's black market. Everything besides the narrow passage on the left is one large shop, with One-eyed Sam as the shopkeeper. The entire level is lit.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 |<|.......................................................................|
 |.|&......................................................................|
 |.|T......................................................................|
 |.|&......................................................................|
 |.|.......................................................................|
 |.|.......................................................................|
 |.|...............................shop....................................|
 |.|c......................................................................|
 |.|n......................................................................|
 |.|.......................................................................|
 |.|:......................................................................|
 |.|T......................................................................|
 |.|c......................................................................|
 |.+.......................................................................|
 |.|.......................................................................|
 |.|H......................................................................|
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second version

In the second version, One-eyed Sam is not a shopkeeper, she is merely a peaceful monster on the level. The black market is made up of nine shops: a general store, and one each of scroll, potion, wand, ring, armor, tool, weapon, and book shops. If you anger any of the black marketeers or One-eyed Sam, all nine black marketeers will also become hostile and leave their shops to attack you.

The magic portal is placed randomly in the round room on the left. The round room and the shops are lit, and the rest of the level is unlit. There are three muggers placed in the unlit passages

                            -------------------------------------------------
          -----------       |.......|...............|.........|.............|
       ----n........----    |.......|...............|.........|.............|
     ---T..............---  |.shop..|...............|.shop....|.....shop....|
    --H..................-- |.......|..-----------..|......----+--..........|
   --.....................--|.......|..|.........|..|......|.....|..........|
  --:......................-|.......|..|.........|..|......+..{..-----------|
  |.........................--+------..|..shop...|..--------......|.........|
  |....................................+.........|................+.........|
  |&...........@.......................|.........|.............{..|..shop...|
  |....................................|---------|...--------.....|.........|
  |.........................---------..+.........|..--......--....|.........|
  --c......................-|.......|..|.........|..+........|..------------|
   --.....................--|.......+..|..shop...|..|..shop..|..+...........|
    --T..................-- |.shop..|..|.........|..|........|..|...........|
     ---&..............-----|.......|..-----.....|..--......--..|...shop....|
       ----c........----|...|.......|......|.....|...--------...|...........|
          -S---------###S...|.......|......|.....|..............|...........|
           ###########  -----------------------------------------------------

Stealing

Getting items from the black market without paying for them is a difficult task but is not impossible. Here are a few options:

Powerful Pet

Since pets cannot accompany you through the portal to the Black Market, many give up on the idea. However the hardware shop often has figurines, and some of those may be very worth purchasing (even with the huge mark-up). This pet can safely steal for you (see apport). If it is powerful enough, it may even be able to defeat the shopkeepers and One-Eyed Sam, too. Standing next to your pet and pumping it with healing spells will not anger anyone.

Credit cloning

One option to at get anything you want from the black market is to use credit cloning. If you wander around the black market long enough, eventually some sort of baby dragon will be generated. If you drop your gold in a shop, it will pick it up and follow you outside, where you can kill it and take back your gold. With a wand or spell of undead turning, this process can be repeated many times, as baby dragons will always leave a corpse to revive. It is possible to build up hundreds of thousands of zorkmids in credit, more than enough to buy even a wand of wishing or a magic lamp.

Indirect theft

Pets cannot follow you through the portal to the black market, nor can they follow you out. It is still possible to acquire pets in the black market by feeding a domestic animal, waiting for an egg to hatch, or applying a (blessed) figurine, but taming monsters through magic /scrolls will not work here. Once you have a pet, you can clear out the shop in the normal way, but this is a rather tedious procedure, given the size of the market.

Fighting One-eyed Sam

One-eyed Sam is a formidable opponent; the main danger is her Thiefbane which drains your life and has a 10% chance of decapitating you with each hit, killing you instantly. It is unlikely you would win against Sam in melee. Most of the strategies for dealing with Sam in SLASH'EM's black market do not work in UnNetHack. Sam resists poison, has teleport resistance similar to the riders, flies, and can break boulders. And as soon as you anger Sam iron bars will drop from the ceiling around the magic portal, blocking it. In short, an unprepared character has almost no chance against her.

  • You can try to kill her from a distance before she can close in. If you have a powerful ranged attack (for example, expert bow with highly enchanted arrows) and start attacking her from maximum range you may, with luck, kill her before she gets into melee range. Keep in mind her amulet of life saving; you need to be able to kill her twice.
  • You can use a powerful pet. An Archon, brought in via blessed figurine, leveled enough to attack Sam, and given a powerful weapon, can reliably beat Sam in melee combat since pets are immune to her insta-kill. This can be a painful option since you won't be able to take your shiny pet Archon with you. You may clear the shops of assistants (or other black marketeers in second variation), then rake in all the loot as compensation.
  • You can create a blue jelly or similar sessile monster fort to keep Sam out of melee range. You will still have to deal with wands and have a way to deal damage without losing your fort.
  • Successfully wishing for the artifact Thiefbane will prevent Sam from wielding it. Without her artifact weapon she can be defeated by most late game characters.
  • It is even possible to disarm Sam by snatching Thiefbane with a bullwhip. There is a guaranteed bullwhip in Ruins of Moria. Keep in mind that Sam "wields" the Thiefbane only after she is angered, so applying bullwhip right away will only provoke her and therefore is a Bad Idea.
  • The iron bars that normally keep you trapped in the black market can also keep you safe. The easiest way to do this is to stand right next to the portal, anger Sam, then move onto the portal after the bars drop. You will have to both deal with wands and the cadre of soldiers--one of which will be on the portal--and you should remember that the bars will be raised once Sam is dead, potentially exposing you to other nasties in the market. Wands can be dealt by reflection, and soldiers and assistants can be dispatched by either attack spells or skilled polearms. Also, always beware of potion of acid that might be thrown at you.
  • Contrary to what it might seem, Sam herself cannot resist level drain as Thiefbane does not convey any resistance against draining, so continuously casting drain life might be an option when you successfully brace behind the bars. Other monsters might obstruct the spell, and even if it hits there is still the 50% MR roll you have to consider; things will be tedious even if you are a potent spellcaster.
  • Grind indefinitely and make yourself more than capable of ascending. Killing Sam this way, though, will be mostly unrewarding if not tedious.

If all else fails, either try to appease her with gold (first level variant only; Sam is not a shopkeeper in the second) or run. Polymorphing into an Air Elemental will allow you to both outrun Sam and slip through the iron bars. You can also reliably destroy iron bars with a wielded potion of acid. And if you're desperate a 1/13 chance of teleporting her out of the way might be the only gamble worth taking.

References

  1. src/shk.c in UnNetHack revision 1504, line 2145
  2. src/makemon.c in UnNetHack revision 1504, line 594
  3. src/shknam.c in UnNetHack revision 1504, line 566

See also