Fort Ludios

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Fort Ludios
Location Level 1 of
Fort Ludios
Bones No
Mappable Yes
Teleportable No
Diggable floor No
Diggable walls No

Fort Ludios is a special level as well as a branch reachable through a magic portal found in a vault, somewhere below dungeon level 10 and above Medusa. Any vault generated on one of these levels has a 1/3 chance of containing the portal to Ludios, if it has not already been generated. Note that vaults are not generated on the Rogue level or in the Big room, and a vault on the quest portal level will never contain a portal to Ludios. In some games, the portal is not generated and it is impossible to reach Fort Ludios. It is accessible in 74.9% of all games.[1][2]

The level is ineligible to leave bones files and is no-teleport.

Map

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You enter through the magic portal at the bottom-left of the map. (Retrigger the magical portal to leave). The zoo (with inhabitants marked "z"), fort, and barracks are lit; the other areas are unlit. All walls and floors are undiggable, but all walls and the solid rock at the outside of the level are phaseable. Teleportation is not permitted.

The barracks and zoo have typical complements of monsters and treasures for those room types, as does the central throne room (with inhabitants marked "t"), which also contains Croesus himself, sitting atop the opulent throne. Additionally, 16 soldiers and one lieutenant are in the courtyard around the fort, four dragons are around the moat, and four giant eels are in the moat.

The four corner rooms of the fort contain precious gems: rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and amethysts. The left half of the fort is filled with gold (600-899 zorkmids per square), but also with land mines and spiked pits (1/3 chance of a trap per square, which are 2/3 landmines, 1/3 spiked pits). Levitation will make you able to locate the traps safely, otherwise it is recommended to search all squares before moving in this area.

Other than the mines and pits, there are no traps on this level.

Strategy

Proceeding into the level will find you battling enormous hordes of enemies, the main contingent of which is soldier-types. Many of these enemies are armed with wands, and there are four dragons on the level. Therefore, it is not a good idea to attempt Fort Ludios without reflection. Magic resistance alone is not enough, nor is it necessary if you have reflection (though it may be useful if your AC is insufficient to deal with wands of striking).

If you have a strong pet, such as a vampire lord, you may choose to whistle it across walls to have it fight soldiers without exposing yourself to them. Since monsters will not use their ranged attacks against your pet, all of their wands will still be charged when you get them. Remember to check on your pet's health periodically. You may still want reflection against the dragons.

There should be dozens of dropped polearms which you can use to kill the giant eels in the moat.

The fort has no drawbridge. To enter, you will need some means of crossing water. If your only means of crossing water is jumping, you can blast through the door from afar with force bolt, the spell dig, or their wand counterparts (wand of striking and wand of digging). If you detect the door with a wand of secret door detection or the detect unseen spell, one of the inhabitants might open it for you. Reading a scroll of earth is also an option - it will create boulders you can use to create a bridge across the moat and/or trap the giant eels.

Using the door to your advantage (DECgraphics are enabled)

See Movement tactics#Doors for a way to beat the crowd.

Croesus hits hard, but is easily dispatched with ranged attacks from across the moat. Alternatively, use a wand of cold to form a bridge across the moat; then when he stands on it use a wand of fire to melt it and drown him. Since there are often tough monsters, such as Olog-hai and dragons, in the throne room with Croesus a ring of conflict will help a lot. A scroll of stinking cloud is also quite useful from afar.

Come with a bag of holding if you plan on leaving with all of the gold: Fort Ludios contains around 50,000 pieces, or about half of a strong character's total carrying capacity.

SLASH'EM

When playing SLASH'EM, be aware that the Soldiers here carry firearms and throw grenades, making them quite a bit more dangerous than their vanilla brethren. On the other hand, Fort Ludios is also the primary place to get guns of your own, as well as ammunition.

The 4 dragons can also include baby dragons.

Another small change is that the building of the barracks is now a graveyard. It has headstones, no undead, and the soldiers are still generated inside at the beginning. The tombs have no loot, but have a corpse or an undead, if you dig them up.

Strategy

What applies for vanilla largely applies here too.

Soldiers now throw frag and gas grenades, doing fire and poison damage respectively. With fire resistance and poison resistance, these are not serious threats to the player. However, they can destroy armor, scrolls, potions, and ammunition.

The annoying part is that they also set off other grenades on the ground or in other soldiers' inventories. When a lot of soldiers are packed together, this can result in a chain reaction massively destroying potential loot. An armed grenade should be quickly picked up and thrown far from the group of soldiers.

Adult dragons are tougher now. Also be warned, of the two new species of dragons, the adult deep dragon can drain life with his melee attack, but his scales confer drain resistance. In general, drain resistance is far more important in SLASH'EM.

References