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's Island. Any vault generated on one of these levels has a 13 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. As soon as you enter the floor, all monsters on the floor will wake up - this will continue to happen every time you enter the floor until Croesus is dead.

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. There is a secret passage between the zoo in the southwest and the room in the northwest, which contains a single stone giant.

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 traps. Each square has a 13 chance of containing a trap; of those that do, 23 are land mines and 13 are spiked pits. Levitation will allow you to locate the traps with relative safety; otherwise, it is recommended to search all squares before moving in this area. There are no other traps anywhere on the level.

Strategy

Proceeding into the level will find you battling the enormous hordes of enemies described above; many of the Yendorian Army fighters 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 a wand 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 (though remember to check on your pet's health periodically). You may still want reflection against the dragons; the wands and dropped polearms can also work 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 (i.e. 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. Using a boulder from a scroll of earth is also an option; you may be lucky enough to get one from a giant, such as the guaranteed one in the passage.

Using the door to your advantage (DECgraphics are enabled)

Combat

See Movement tactics § Doors for general crowd-control tactics.

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.

History

The secret passage and the stone giant dwelling in the room on its other end were added in NetHack 3.6.1.

Variants

UnNetHack

UnNetHack 5.1.0 "drastically increased generation probability of Fort Ludios portal".

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 four dragons generated can also include baby dragons, as well as any of the newly added species, such as the life-draining deep 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 generate a corpse or an undead monster if you dig them up.

Strategy

What applies for vanilla largely applies in SLASH'EM too; in addition, frag and gas grenades deal fire and poison damage respectively, making fire resistance and poison resistance ideal as well. More pressingly, they can destroy armor, scrolls, potions, and ammunition - they can also set off other grenades on the ground or in other soldiers' inventories, causing a chain reaction that can destroy both the enemy soldiers and potential loot. Those looking to maximize their gains from Ludios should quickly pick up and throw armed grenades far from the group of soldiers.

As adult dragons in SLASH'EM are generally tougher now and the spawned dragons may potentially include adult deep dragons, drain resistance is also of importance.

SLASH'EM Extended

Like other magic portals in SLASH'EM Extended, the Fort Ludios portal may not allow the player to immediately leave upon entering.

References