Forum:General gameplay tips for a newbie?

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So I'm a new player of NetHack. I've been playing as an elven ranger for maybe around two months, and I can never get over the Mines or the Oracle level without getting killed by a unicorn or a dwarf with a wand of magic missile or something similar. Are there any useful gameplay tips I could use?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Run away early and often. Heal up before advancing into unmapped areas. Trust in your pet. Against multiple foes, retreat into a corridor so they have to come at you one at a time. If you get cornered, keep pounding the same monster until it dies, preferably one so located that you can break out. Engrave Elbereth to scatter your enemies and give you a chance to escape; if your fingers are the only available means of engraving, do this before you get desperate, so you can try again if it fails.
In the Gnomish Mines, after going down stairs, remain on the staircase and wait a few turns; if a monster shows up, kill it and wait a few turns more. If your hit points get low, go back up and heal. Repeat until you wait about ten turns and no new monsters appear. Once this initial wave is good and gone, start mapping. Use a light source if you have one.
If you get in over your head in the main dungeon, go up and build your character in the Mines; if things get dicey in the Mines, try advancing in the main dungeon. If there's something there that you just can't cope with, RUN! and don't come back until you're ready to face this tough foe.
Engrave to identify wands. A wand of fire or lightning can indelibly engrave Elbereth, as well as function as a combat wand. A wand of digging can engrave Elbereth, though this will eventually scuff, and can also be zapped downward (press [>]) for a quick escape. A wand of teleportation can remove either you or a powerful foe from a fight. A wand of sleep can immobilize a foe for a few turns, allowing you either to hit it with impunity or to escape.
The scroll of identify is the cheapest one, with a price of around 20 to 30 zorkmids, and is thus easily recognized in a shop. Buy as many as you can afford, and use them to identify the rest of the shop's wares.
Test scrolls and potions early in the game, once you have cleared out a level and can catch a few moments' peace. When testing scrolls, stand on the up-stairs (so you can flee anything summoned by a scroll of create monster), and remove any helmet, shield, gloves, or boots, and put on a throwaway cloak, to guard against the scroll of destroy armor. (If wearing any cursed armor, remove all but the cursed armor; any scroll of destroy armor, enchant armor, or remove curse can then remove the cursed armor.) Stash all potions, spellbooks and scrolls except the scroll under test, to guard against the scroll of fire. Avoid testing any scroll that you know is cursed, and preferably you should determine the BUC by dropping on an altar.
When testing potions, remove any shirt, body armor or cloak, to guard against the potion of polymorph. You preferably should have a unicorn horn to reverse the effects of the potion of sickness.
Never put on rings or amulets unless you know they are not cursed, and when testing rings, avoid standing near anything powerful, to guard against the ring of conflict.
#pray if you get in trouble; in particular, if your hit points are below one-seventh of max. Avoid praying otherwise; there's a stiff penalty for praying too often.
I'm sure someone will have a few more ideas.--Ray Chason 19:54, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

As a newbie myself, I just make some great great progress by using an altar and holy potion. (great great progress = before, I never manage to go upper than level 13, now I am level 17 in a very good shape).

To use the altar, first I find a ring of slow digestion. Then dig around the altar to make a big room and I sacrifie every monster. I collect all the potion I can. The useless one, I dip them in foutain to dilute them. Then I put them on the altar, I pray -> it gives some holy potion. Then every single potion of healing (simple / extra / full), I bless them and I drink them when I was at my maximum. And I do it again and again and again. Now, I am level 17 with 234 hp (for a wizard, that is a lot). In the same way, I bless a lot of scroll, magic lamp (to get a wish) and many other things. Things are much much powerfull when blessed.

Hope it help a little.


Avoid being burdened at all costs. Being burdened slows you to 3/4 speed, which means the monsters hit 4 times for every 3 times you do, and more importantly, if you try and run, they can stay with you and hit you every three spaces you move. Stash heavy stuff that you won't need soon (un-id'd stuff, potions, books). Stick it in a box or chest if you have one handy, otherwise pile it up by the down stairs before going down a level. If your armor is so heavy that it burdens you, get rid of the heaviest piece. That's usually the suit, but might be heavy boots. You're better off with less armor protection but having full speed. Being able to run away is more important than avoiding a few hits. If you need to carry stuff from one place to another (like from a stash to an altar you just found), you can go burdened but be sure to drop the extra weight if you encounter any monster. If you have a sack, carry the extra stuff in it so you can just drop the sack to become unburdened. --Khearn 01:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)