Forum:Let's talk start scumming

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So save-scumming is evil: I'd never say otherwise. The whole point of Nethack is one character=one try. Trying to manipulate the game so that you have more than one chance with a given character is the very definition of poor sportsmanship. I have never save-scummed in my life, as far as I can remember.

But start-scumming: to me this is a grey area. I know a lot of players, possibly even a majority, lump it with save-scumming as abusive of the game. I see why to some extent: it makes sense to want players to play the character they "rolled."

That being said, Nethack is an absurdly difficult game, with a very precise game balance: Nethack is not only unfair, it's unfair to a very specific degree. Nethack doesn't commonly throw the player anything that an expert couldn't handle. That is to say, it's tough, but it's not cruel (no matter what we might say after having YASD).

So why is it so bad to want to start with a decent inventory, if you're playing a wizard? If all the odds are against the player, shouldn't there be that one concession?

I agree that a player who sits for hours trying to roll the perfect wizard is probably a very poor sport. I'd even say that scumming specifically for a powerful starting spell is probably cheating as well. But is discarding two or three wizard rolls before finding a good one that unethical?

I want to hear your opinions. I'm not going to get upset if you disagree (and you probably do, I think.) So post what you think of start-scumming below: Ms. J. Marie Stanton, Professional Valkyrie (talk) 14:06, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

I've not done that in a loooong time. It's true that you might get some cool starting equipment out of it, but it's also true that you might find a magic marker or a wand of death on the floor, or a really neat shop a few levels down. So I kind of don't see the point and prefer to let the RNG do its thing. Making the best of the cards you're dealt is part of the fun. :) --TNT (talk) 22:39, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I've start-scummed occasional characters, particularly for minetown magic lamps. I play dnh mostly, and my current run is a clockwork bard that relentlessly fountain quaffed for a figurine of a tulani eladrin. I don't generally reroll spells or equipment, though I occasionally reroll to get a droven priest that doesn't have the light spell. --EasterlyIrk (talk) 16:30, 11 October 2017 (UTC)