Forum:Winning impossible with Wiz-Hum-Mal-Neu

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UPDATED 2014-08-27: First successful ascension on Thu Aug 7 22:03:59 EDT 2014. With persistence comes wisdom. Strategy helps too. A timelapse video is here -> . I have the entire capture, and a fairly accurate frame-by-frame image dump. I want to turn it into a walkthrough page on this wiki, linked fron the Wizard page.

Seriously. I've been playing this off and on since 1996, and with focus over the last few months. I'm trying to learn a single character: Wizard. I've read the strategy on this wiki for Wizard, and I'm immediately stopped at step one:

   early game wizards should try on each and every
   non-cursed piece of armor they find in order 
   reduce armor class as quickly as possible

Sure, fine. You need an alter to determine BUC status. In 100 games, I've only TWICE lucked into finding altars in the first 4 levels of the game. Beyond those levels, I die almost instantly because I have no armor.

Secondly, all this searching takes massive amounts of energy, and I die of starvation EVERY TIME. The only times I've managed to survive more than 30 minutes is when I'm lucky enough to be generated with the Ring of slow digestion (which has also happened twice in about 100 games).

Since my success still depends 100% on luck of the items I'm generated with, and the map of levels 1 and 2, it makes me think I'm still missing something fundamental about the game. My "record breaking" run over the last hour is attached here: 2010_12_26_231115.ttyrec

Davek 06:44, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Use your pet to curse-test the armor. Also, you do know you can eat fresh corpses, right? Not all of them are safe to eat (especially before you have poison resistance), but you'll learn which ones are OK (or just look them up here). If you're weak or fainting from hunger, you can also #pray for food from your god. (Just don't do it too frequently.)
Also, if you're dying of starvation, you might want to search the upper levels less thoroughly and just head down to Sokoban; there's usually plenty of food there. Of course, you'll also encounter tougher monsters that way, and wizards can be fragile, so let your pet do the fighting for you, use your spells and any missile weapons you find to help, and use the E-word a lot (preferably before the monsters are next to you). Running away can also be good strategy, at least if you're faster than the monsters you're facing (so don't be burdened; leave your spellbooks on dlvl 1).
Sometimes curses may not even matter; an early mithril-coat (or DSM from bones) may be worth wearing even if it's cursed, especially if you're planning to do Soko before the Mines (where mithril is more plentiful). You can always get it uncursed later, once you find an altar or a scroll of remove curse. --Ilmari Karonen 08:40, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Watching expert players is perhaps the quickest way to learn the right priorities of the various activities. On NAO, you can either use dgamelaunch mail or ask them on Freenode why they did things as they did. If all else fails, you can watch ttyrec recordings. Use Rodney's !lg command to find good ones. --Tjr 12:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Wizards are diffcult roles in the beginning. There are three main reasons this is the case, most of the time: the first is a disregard for engraving the sacred E-word and respecting your deity; the second is that strategies fail to emphasize haste properly; and the third is that, realistically, most wizard strategies appear counter-intuitive to surviving early game squishiness. Ducking into the Gnomish mines for throwing daggers, dancing around monsters so that your pet kitten becomes a housecat or a large cat, and in the process it eating all the corpses do not help with issues of nutrition. The first one, additionally, risks killing you easily if the gnomes or dwarves get lucky more often than you do. Putting on metallic armor for its AC is fine but, if you do, you probably have committed yourself to finding reliable throwing weapons, e.g., the dagger route, or other non-melee attacking methods. Swapping armor and cloaks every time you run into a squad of mordor orcs so you can take advantage of Force bolt while they're at a distance is not a viable option and your Blessed +1 Quarterstaff won't give you an edge in melee.
Minetown is probably going to be out of your reach for some time. Rushing to Sokoban is still the best method of survival you have; don't waste much time exploring, not only because of nutrition but also because of monster spawning. Food, a strength-building puzzle, and a powerful (though not always immediately helpful) item await you. Remember you don't absolutely have to get the item now, especially if you think the Treasure zoo will be too much for your squishiness. I usually get to Sokoban by character level 6 earliest, with my pet a housecat or better, and get to the door of the zoo by level 7-9. I'm not saying those are ideal levels, especially for the zoo. Train your spells as much as you can and, even if you find metallic armor, remember to let your pet do only as much of the work you aren't prepared to do yourself - don't let it fight to the death. --FJH 21:57, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Winning with Wizard

I thank you all for the help. I've tried before to fight down to Sokoban, and I have yet to succeed. I will try harder. Still, just about every time I hit this problem in the first few levels:

  • I accidentally get into a fight because I can only see one square ahead of myself
  • I win, but have only a few hit points left, so I run up a level
  • I wait for my HP to recover, because I don't start with any healing scrolls or magic
  • I then die of hunger while waiting to heal.

Very frustrating. --Davek 00:59, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

"I accidentally get into a fight because I can only see one square ahead of myself" is an occupational hazard of playing humans; many players prefer other races instead for that reason (perhaps a gnome to keep your character combination otherwise the same). You may also want to use Elbereth extensively in order to avoid taking damage, although it has problems of its own. Ais523 01:03, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

You may want to try some movement tactics that use the speed system to avoid taking damage as much as possible...for instance, let monsters move next to you on their own initiative, allowing you to get the first hit. Also, you don't always need to recover all your HP before you keep moving. And as ais523 said, make liberal use of Elbereth. Personally, I actually go to the Gnomish Mines first, and rarely die because of it, but that's just personal preference. Scorchgeek 03:27, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

I should also add that you should kill and eat a floating eye (though not using melee!) as soon as you can--once you have that and a blindfold/towel and start doing telepathy checks regularly, monsters won't be able to sneak up on you anymore. Also, I'd encourage you to join us on IRC: channel #nethack on Freenode. We'll be happy to give you more advice when you need it. (If you play on NAO, someone will probably be happy to watch your game and tell you where you should probably go next too.) Scorchgeek 03:48, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

A relatively safe way to explore corridors without telepathy or infravision is to let your pet walk ahead of you. Specifically, whenever your pet moves ahead, follow it. When it doesn't, wait (perhaps searching while you're at it) until it does. It's a bit slower than just charging ahead, but still faster than running away to heal every time you meet a monster.
Speaking of which, if you're getting knocked down to low HP, that suggests that you're fighting monsters that you shouldn't. Some tactics you should try are:
  • If the monster is slower than you, you can just run away from it. If you're not sure how fast a given monster is, you can always check here. You can then lead the monster to your pet, or into a room where you can see and kill it with ranged attacks. Or you can apply the hit-and-run tactics suggested by Scorchgeek to kill it while running away.
  • If your pet happens to be behind you in a corridor, you can displace it and let it deal with the monster(s). In rooms, you can sometimes run circles around your pet, keeping it between you and the monster. Carrying a pet treat (e.g. tripe ration) in your inventory makes your pet more likely to stay close to you.
  • If you can't run away, the next best solution is Elbereth. Using it early and often can help your survival rate a lot.
  • There are other, less common tricks for keeping monsters away. For example, applying a mirror at some monsters will scare them away. Some instruments can also have that effect. If the monster you meet happens to be domestic, throwing any food at it will at least pacify it, and maybe gain you a new pet.
--Ilmari Karonen 17:29, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

I tend to play the early and middle part of Wizard games as a multi step process:

  • The initial phase: This lasts until the sum of the DL and XP is 6. During this phase I play as semi pascifist, I use Elbereth, running away and most important my cat to try to avoid rising my XP. The only monsters I prefer to kill myself are newts. Most others I leave for my cat to kill. During this phase I try to explore as little as possible of each level, bringing my cat with me down as soon as possible. The purpose of this phase is to populate as many as possible levels with monsters with base level 3 or less, maximizing the possibility of getting poison resistance and telepathy before needing these intrinsics. Allowing my cat to level up is a nice bonus.
  • Phase 2: Exploring the already visited levels fully, lowermost first. During this phase I try to level up as fast as possible. Finding useful shops and altars are nice. Oracle might also be at DL 5, if this is the case I will break the statues searching for spellbooks. If I find an altar I try to keep my pet away from its level an start working it as soon as possible (XP 3 for co-alligned altars, XP 5 for altars needing conversion). Getting Magicbane early is a good thing! I tend to stop working altars as soon as I have Magicbane this to be able to wish for an artifact later if I find a wand of wishing. (The wished for artifact tend to be PYEC) As soon as possible during this phase I try to price test any found daggers, switching to them as main weapon as soon as it is safe. (Generally not when still XP 1) Another important goal during this phase is to find useful armor. I also tend to loot shops if possible. (Credit cloning) A common pitfall is to do Altar work without enough food. (Relying on prayer for food isn't an option during altar work.) From the moment I have Magicbane until I reach Expert in Dagger I tend to play mostly as a Combat Wombat, and might very well wear Mithril; Weight, AC and effects on spellcasting all needs to be considered when picking armor at this stage. (As long as you keep your Cloak of Magic Resistance MC shouldn't be an issue.)
  • Phase 3: Finding and completing Sokoban. Breaking the statues on the Oracle level if not done earlier.
  • Phase 4: Reaching Minetown. Sometimes Minetown and Sokoban is done in the reverse order, depending on the dangers present. (If the Sokoban stairs are on a Big Room level I tend to go for Minetown first :-) )
  • Phase 5: Reaching Mines End. For the luckstone, some other valuable gems and hopefully some useful spellbooks or potions. ("The Mimic of the Mines" is a dissapointment, "The Gnome King's Wine Cellar" is better, but I normally prefer "The Catacombs")
  • Phase 6: Finding the quest portal
  • Phase 7: Completing the quest Locate level. Before going any further on the quest I tend to do some more altar work. Strong artifact weapons, spellbooks and holy water are my goals. The only reason I delay this altar work to this point is to be able to wish safely for PYEC. If I know that there are more than one artifact generated I tend to work altars as soon as possible. Before continuing on the quest I need a secure way of removing cursed objects (In plural) Either holy water, (Blessed) Scrolls of Remove Curse or being skilled in Clerical Spell and knowing Remove Curse. It is also best to sacrifice for artifacts before visiting the Quest Goal level, as the creation of The Eye of the Aethiopica will make it more difficult to get the shiny weapons.
  • Phase 8: Finishing the quest.
  • Phase 9: Finding and looting Fort Ludios. The money goes to the priest(s).
  • Phase 10: When reaching XP 18 an having Water Walking boots I will try to get Teleportisis. The extra level to avoid problems if I loose a level due to bad effects from Foocubi. Water Walking boots is needed to be able to dip potions (Trying to walk into water without them tends to teleport you).

For the rest of the game I play fairly standard: (Standard for a strong wizard that is.) Leveling up using Wraiths and Foocubi is fairly safe with Magicbane, but be careful not to cancel the Foocubi by accident. I also tend to move my main stash to a container under one of the boulders in Sokoban as soon as I have The Eye of the Aethiopica. All players playing wizard have some favorite spellbooks, early and in the middle game mine are Magic Missile, Identify, Remove Curse, Charm Monster and Healing. These are nearly always useful. Some others like Create Monster, and Knock are very useful in certain situations: It is nice to have Create Monster when doing altar work, but most of the time it isn't hard to get Magicbane without it. Knock is nice early but looses most of it's power as soon as you find a Key, Lock-pick or Credit Card. (It is still useful in Minetown due to the guards) Extra Healing is very nice to have, but without the Healing spell to train the spell category it is dangerous to rely on it. Identify and Remove Curse suffers from the same kind of problem but are relatively easy to train in safe situations. My wish preferences are fairly standard (Silver Dragon Scale Mail, Speed Boots, PYEC ...) Ring, Wand and Amulet preferences are situation dependent. --Kha 20:13, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

You can walk into water on non-teleport levels to wet potions / scrolls if you have teleportitis. The quest home or castle work nicely. Also, you likely want to alchemize blessed gain ability and full healing at some point. That can make foocubi safe and efficient quite early on. --Tjr 06:58, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the tip about dipping at non-teleport levels. The safeness I write about is not about the risk of bad outcome, this risk can be reduced or elminated by blessed gain ability (or Magic Trap dancing). The risk I am talking about is more about controlling when and where. With Foocubi you want to have full control of when and where contact is made. Initiating the encounter yourself while standing on Elbereth is the safest way of doing that. Having Magicbane available also eases Wraith Luring. A standard example is when luring from VotD where you will have to lure the wraiths two levels up. My way of doing this is to avoid engraving Elbereth on the upstairs of WotD and the Castle level. I wait for the Wraits at the upstairs WotD bringing wratih(s) with me up a level, being prepared to engrave if I appear in a difficult position on the Castle level (I usually prepare for this by digging a few strategic holes in the mazes at both ends of the Castle.) Then when safe and knowing that I have free route to the moat I put on a ring of Levitation and with the Wraith in tow I go around the castle, removing my ring when entering solid ground on the left hand side. Then I move to the upstairs waiting for the Wraith, moving up with it in tow. At this point i need to ensure that I am standing on Elbereth before killing the Wraith(The wraith might end up on the stairs). The only two ways of doing this without large amounts of preparation is by use of an Athame or scrolls of Scare Monster that can be repeatedly uncursed using the spell of remove curse. Other ways of creating safe fields rely on preparation or expends valuable resources (Charges, scrolls) using gems needs to be done in prepared places, using wands too unless you are prepared to use large amounts of charges. The main danger being cornered or ending up against a wall when appearing from WotD, there are only a few safe ways of preparing for this. Digging out the whole area and engraving all perimeter fields of the area is one such way. The downstairs area of the level above the Castle also needs preparation with Elbereths on the stairs and all neighboring fields.

--Kha 12:05, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

I tend to branchport the wraiths from the Valley of the Dead into Sokoban, usually 3-5 at a time. As a wizard, you get the Eye of the Aethiopica for free. Level teleport using cursed scrolls also works well, especially with telecontrol.
If you're talking about a random graveyard on a regular level, perhaps the easiest solution is to dig a path to the stairs, then engrave an alley of Elbereth with 1 gold on top to make sure the wraith won't take a wrong turn. Six dust-Elbereth are enough to guarantee at least one will remain active when you move off the square. (If you insist on engraving into the floor, some 50% of all rings will work.) --Tjr 13:52, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
For a random graveyard, couldn't you just let the wraiths surround you and zap a wand of digging down? I've down that before; just kill everything else, stand in the middle, and kick something to wake them up. Their attacks are mostly trivial with MC3 so it shouldn't hurt to give them a few turns of free attacks so that you can get all/most of them at once, and then just zap down and kill the followers. Of course, warping into Sokoban would also work for a wizard instead of zapping the wand - conserve resources and it wouldn't create an annoying hole. -- Qazmlpok 14:02, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting discussion: A spoiler could be created based on it :-) In the end it is all about balancing the gains against the resources used and risks taken. The main risk is the danger of Level Drain or something nasty appearing during the process. (When a Titan suddenly appearing in front of you casting summon nasties while you are hovering over water you better have some kind of working escape item.) The gains are obvious. The resources are wand charges, scrolls, potions as well as time (both game time and player time). The main problem with branch porting is game time, or to be more specific game time before being able to return. Player time isn't an issue ( n77s then try again ) The risks are low (With MC3: 1/150 per turn per wraith if I understand the spoilers correctly). Even when hit the lost level will normally be regained when killing the wraith afterwards, Two level drains in a row, without gaining any experience between, is needed to get a permanent level loss.

--Kha 14:58, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

If you get drained two levels, then kill a wimp and drink one blessed full healing.
Wait on Elbereth, that way you cannot be level drained at all.
That's what I usually do but it is difficult to bring with me more than one wraith when level porting if I do so, the wraiths tend to run away.--Kha 15:42, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
You cannot level-port wraith while waiting on Elbereth. Usually, it's enough to rely on magic cancellation and perhaps also blessed full healing. -Tjr 17:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Why would you want to levitate over water? Just level teleport or branchport the Valley wraith. Or if you want to walk: wraith can fly. I believe they will fly over the trapdoors, too. -Tjr 15:04, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Level teleporting costs scrolls. Branchports costs game time, on average 360 turns for each roundtrip(two invocations)--Kha 15:42, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
You dig down, so it's only one #invoke per trip. --17:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Fine if you have the spellbook, if you don't the problem is that using the wand will waste charges better used later, and non magical digging from Sokoban to the Castle tend to be to slow see Digging unless you have been using scrolls of enchant weapon on your pick-axe or mattock the expected number of turns picking down to create a hole is around 18 or worse, then the number of levels to dig is in the interval 15 - 23 (from Sokoban to the Castle) Unfortunately I don't know how many levels down each hole sends you on average. If someone knows this distribution could they please update the Digging page as this is useful information --Kha 19:29, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
You need to wait out the #invoke timeout anyway, why not do that with a pick-axe in the hand. I will sometimes even arrive before the timeout if I could jump through holes from previous trips. OTOH IMHO, the digging spell uses up way too much power to be useful. --Tjr 21:08, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
If you are going to "tow" a Wraith over the Castle level it is usually faster to go around the castle than into it, there tends to be more monsters within the castle and there are more places where the Wraith can take the wrong turn. Then there are the dangers of the drawbridge, there are no 100% safe ways of crossing it. To cross safely you will have to break it and cross the moat using either levitation or boulders. Freezing the moat is possible but not 100% safe. The drawbridge is unsafe due to the risk if some monster appearing with a wand of striking. Freezing is unsafe if a monster appears with a fire attack.--Kha 15:22, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Destroy the drawbridge yourself and that won't be an issue. You can then find a boulder and push it over the moat to create a permanent, non-frozen land route as well. There's usually a boulder conveniently located near the start, and if not you can just read a scroll of earth. I personally never bother opening the drawbridge; I destroy it immediately, take out the inhabitants, and then push a boulder over.
I don't think towing the wraiths all the way from the valley to the level above the castle is worth it, really. If you must have them, I'd use the level/branch port. Or tame them and use a magic whistle to make moving them trivial. Or for the quickest option, get an inediate or herbivorous pet to kill the wraith on the valley - there's only a 1/3 corpse drop penalty instead of 1/9 if you aren't the killer. -- Qazmlpok 15:42, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
From pacifist experience, taming has the disadvantage they will start attacking foes they cannot take on, and it makes it hard to manoever your combat pets.--Tjr 17:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
My personal conclusion on the VotD debate: It is probably best in the long run to use branchports to Sokoban to lure Wraiths out of WotD. Repeated towing is an alternative, but the dangers of meeting a spontanously created monsters creating problems there shouldn't be underestimated. A problem with the use of EotA for wraith luring is that it won't work as an escape item at the same time.--Kha 16:13, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
You always have at least three different types of sure-fire escape item in the open, right? Hint: The Eye does not count as escape item because there is no way to know if the invoke timeout has elapsed. -Tjr 17:11, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
The problem with VotD is that it is non digable and non teleport removing two of the more common escape mechanisms. Teleporting away monsters still works. Level teleporting out still works, jumping might work in areas already lit by magical means. Speed is seldom an issue; I don't think I have ever been in VotD without speed boots. Invisibility might work but if you get into serious problems in VotD the problems is likely to be related to some monster with see invisible. Wand of Polymorph and Cancelation either via wand or spells might also count as escape mechanisms as will Ring of Conflict, Amulet of Lifesaving, Scroll of Taming, Scroll of Genocide etc. what you count as sure-fire escape item is open for interpretation. And as high level spelcaster sometimes the most powerful escape item is magical power - Being able to cast Cancelation, Polymorph, Charm Monster or some other spell making an escape possible. But there are certain items that nearly always are in my inventory. Lizards are among them. Other than that what's needed also strongly depends on what has already been genocided. Lizards aren't needed if stoning isn't an issue. Fire as escape mechanism isn't needed if sliming is impossible etc. A blindfold is nearly always there too as some fairly dangerous monsters have gaze attacks, but I will always prefer to tame an Archeon instead of fighting it. It i a formidable pet. A friend of mine had his first ascension bringing five of them + one silver dragon into the Astral plane as pets, the dragon was his steed. Magic Whistles and Charm Monster is a very powerful combination, and with this kind of pets the Magic Whistle might be the ultimate escape item as nearly all foes will be ripped to pieces by the pets within a turn or two. --Kha 18:49, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
This is in response to the original question - most of this advice seems way too high level. Why are you dying of starvation? Are you using prayer when you are weak or fainting to avoid starvation? In the early game, in particular, prayer can be my primary source of nutrition. As far as getting into fights goes, remember that running away can be a very good strategy. Engrave Elbereth in the dust with your fingers, wait 'till your attacker flees and then you can retreat in the other direction to a lit room. Wait until your adversary comes into the room and then unload force bolt on him. I don't subscribe to the put on any armor you can because I've found force bolt to be a very handy tool in the early game for a wizard. But even if you can't cast force bolt reliably because you're wearing chain mail, retreat to get support from your pet. Engraving Elbereth might not even be necessary. If you are unburdened (which you should be), there aren't many monsters in the early game that are fast. You can just walk back the way you came. 20:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
For a wizard, the best strategy is often to run fast and come later better prepared. With finger engraved Elbereth, remember to use every escape tool you can find. Apply mirrors (found with nymphs, but the are hard to kill for wizards since you can not use force bolt that breaks carried mirror and bring a luck penalty). Use tooled horn that scares monsters. Expensive cameras blinds monsters and make them retreat. Especially good for roles like wizard that can kill the blinded monster from distance without risk. Magic markers engrave semi permanent Elbereth for only four charges, meaning you can use it a dozen of times. In early game, survival is much more important than scroll writing. Wizards sometime start with a magic marker, that is great. Contrary to previous advices, an idea could be to go quickly to minetown, there is an almost guaranted tool shop here. If with a bit a luck there is one of the mentioned tools inside, your game will become much easier. There is a food shop where you will be able to buy some foods rations that will solve the hunger problem. Sell your spellbooks in general store to buy more food if you did not drop them on level 1 - in middle game you will have far enough money to rebuy them when necessary. The drawback of this strategy is that you will fight harder monsters on the first mines levels. Do not explore the level but go for the stairs.
Agree on most of it but I am not sure about selling spellbooks. The most important thing when playing wizard on an early stage is patience (unless you are trying to do a speed ascension) keep a careful eye on your stats: Hitpoints, power and nutrition status are all important. Retreat to a safer location if hit points or power falls significantly below the maximum value, after the initial stages try to do something to gather food before the situation is acute, remove rings and amulets if short on food might be wise. At a very early stage prayer for food is OK. Personally I tend to go for Sokoban first most of the time, food is seldom a problem after Sokoban, it is relatively safe, there are generally quite a lot of valuable items there, and after the trip you will on average gain a spellbook (from the statues on the Oracle level) Two Scrolls of Earth (Useful later, during the Quest, Big Room, Castle or Fort Ludios) Four Wands, Four Rings and either AoR or BoH + lots of food, experience and some gold). A few advices about Sokoban not generally found in spoilers are: When starting on the first level try to get the scrolls of Earth as fast as possible a randomly generated gnome reading one or both of them tends to be bad news. An empty Sokoban level is a fairly safe place to be, retreating down when in trouble is normally wise. The Zoo is generally fairly simple unless you should meet the famous Gnome with WoD, use your pet if you still have one, fight in the corridors until most of the monsters are dead, and use what you have available, try not to rely too much on spells at this stage, as power tends to become a problem if you do. Sometimes I might descend fairly slowly, due to special problems, shops or altars. If this happens I often dip down into the top level of the mines waiting close to the stairs for some monsters to arrive, being food themselves and often carrying useful things like pick-axes, daggers and armor. Sometimes going for Sokoban is just too dangerous, like up stairs on the Big Room level or other well known dangers; meeting several ghosts on a non graveyard level should be considered a warning. If this is the case I go for Minetown re-evaluating the situation after that. Generally 3 options then; Mines End is one, try for Sokoban the second, further explore the main dungeon, is a third. (Digging out vaults, looting shops for stash and cash, working altars etc.) --Kha 17:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Selling the books shouldn't be a problem, regardless of how patient you are. The spell is good for 20,000 turns - if you're descending slow enough that you don't have several thousand gold by that time (which would be enough to buy back every spellbook you sold, including randomly generated ones), I imagine you'd have much more trouble with food. Additionally spellbooks are heavy and flammable, so you don't want to carry them around anyways. Plus you don't even need to buy all of them; if you happen to start with a useless spellbook you can just leave it in the shop. -- Qazmlpok 18:22, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree that carrying them around unprotected is unwise. There are usually two problems with selling the initial spellbooks. Quite often I pass 20000 turns before finishing mines and Sokoban, some games might be fairly slow early on, some reasons:
  • Dead pet before minetown (makes it much harder to get all the money from the shopkeepers), lack of speed and lack of BoH with no spellbook of identify is one of them.
  • A group of gigants with no tinning kit available
  • Using a long time to get maximum out of a Succubus
  • Using a long time at an altar to get Magicbane
Sometimes when this happens one might be quite broke when rereading is due. Something like this scenario is far to common: I have just donated to the priest as a leveling up isn't far away, After this I continue carrying a new cache of valuable armor for sale, discovering that the shopkeeper in minetown is broke. Then I wil have to carry the junk out of the mines to be able to sell it. No bag at all, no force bolt and beeing fleeced by a lepperchaun wandering around close to the shop. In this situation I prefer to be able to reread my spells without having to worry about re-buying the spellbooks. Lack of bags might be a real pain, some weeks ago I played a game where the first bag found was a bag of holding under a ghost in a spiked pit on the quest locate level.--Kha 21:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Food is seldom a problem as the mines tend to generate more than enough monsters to be stay alive on a diet of corpses. Sometimes the opposite is the problem (gigants, trolls, dragons). If I end up in this kind of slow game I will nearly always be low in the mines when passing 20000. At this stage the spellbooks will usually be tucked away in a chest, a closet or under a spare boulder on the lowest level of Sokoban. I tend to burn Elbereth on the boulder location in Sokoban if I haven't found other good stash locations earlier. After the Quest this will probably be the location of my main stash anyway due to EotA.--Kha 21:22, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
My current game is a good example on when to go for Minetown first. A short description: I am playing Wiz-Hum-Mal-Neu Starting with Force Bolt and Confuse Monster, two excelent rings (regeneration, and slow digestion) a not so good wand (make invisible) a blindfold, potions and scrolls fairly standard but not scroll of identify. Inteligence 18, but fairly weak (St 10). I started diving down finding a couple of boots, at level 3 my cat didn't avoid them so I put them on: Speed Boots (GOOD) a couple of turns later my cat fell into a trap and died. I continued down, found an armour store at level 4 and nothing of interest exept a spellbook on level 5. (No altars at the five upper levels and only one store) After leveling up a little, fully exploring the top five levels I visited the Armor store, finding a Leather Helmet and a Leather Armor, both of them at base price, so they could be cursed. After this I continued down to level 6; Oracle, finding one more spellbook laying around + 3 in statues. I now have access to five unread spellbooks (two of them for the same spell) + some possibly cursed armor, hunger is not a problem but BUC testing is. At this point I still lack Poison resistance and Telepathy. I am totally dependent on Speed, Quarterstaff, Force Bolt and Elbereth, I could Zap myself with Make Invisible if the situation becomes desperate, but I normally try to avoid doing it. At this point I set up a temporary stash close to the mine stairs, taking a calculated risk by finger signing a pile, I avoided dropping stuff that I knew would give me serious trouble if in hands of a were creature or elves. Visiting the mines I found the first level fairly easy as it was lit, the second level was worse as it was dark and with a White Unicorn, I had to be careful. At this level I found a floating eye, getting me telepathy. After finding the downstairs I dived down finding minetown, I put on the blindfold, identifying the temple as cross aligned and the layout as Town Square with all of the shops manned. I went up only to find a group of orcs close to the up stairs on the top mine level, I had to use Force Bolt and Elbereth + Speed to reach the up stairs, leaving the mines to recover lost hit-points then returning finishing of the orcs. At this points I got quite a lot of junk armor and orcish weapons + a large pile of orcish helmets. Just carrying the helmets + the leather armour found in the shop slowed me down. I then returned to the armour shop with junk armor/weapons + the helmets, all daggers grouped with the ones I already had labeled as non positive. I sold the junk armour and price tested the helmets, finding one +2 orcish helmet, selling the rest. Time to visit mine-town again. Wearing the helmet and the speed boots, carrying the leather armour and some money plus stuff I didn't dare to drop in the stash (The wand, some potions and some scrolls) The armour was safe, I did find a spell book in the general store + one in a chest in the tool shop. No bags and no magic lamps. But a credit card and a whistle in the tool shop. One of the spell books was a level 2 spell-book the other either level 3 or 4. Being level 8 myself at this stage I did buy both discovering that the expensive one was level 4 after BUC testing them. Then I returned to my main stash somewhat better protected, bringing down the five unidentified spell-books, all of them was safe. (The spells currently known is my two starting spells + create monster, extra healing, slow monster, detect food and haste self. Then I returned to the main dungeon carrying my stash up to level 2 where I knew about a locked chest, the chest didn't contain anything of great interest but will do as my main stash for a while. After the mines I have fully investigated the Oracle level + the level below, finding a small throne room there. On this level I managed to kill and eat a yeti giving me cold resistance and later a white unicorn giving me a unicorn horn + poison resistance. Now at turn 6660 as a level 9 Wizard it is time to go for Sokoban or possibly explore the dungeon a level or two more (In search of an altar to use for sacrifice). I am also considering working the throne now as I have a unicorn horn (Doing it now, potentially gaining a Silver Dragon Scale Mail or waiting until I have teleport control) --Kha 17:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)