Lawful Quest

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The Lawful Quest is one of the alignment-based quests in SLASH'EM. The Lawful Quest sees you fighting Nightmare for the Key of Law and the Nighthorn. It is divided into four main sections, from left to right: Nightmare's forest, a cloud bank, the Chambers of Deception, and a maze. You enter in one of the Chambers of Deception, and must make your way through all the sections to get to Nightmare.

Map

 
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The Chambers of Deception

There are seven chambers in this section as well as an area of corridors. Each chamber has a different challenge, and a few of them contain potentially valuable items (such as a coaligned altar and dragon corpses). You enter in the chamber at the spot marked 'x' on the map, which is always the sleep chamber. The other chambers are randomly assigned.

The Chamber of Sloth

On the square with the portal (marked 'x') is an engraving reading "Beware of Dreams come true!" The room also contains an imp (marked 'i'). Each of the four spaces marked with '^' symbols has a 60% chance of containing a sleeping gas trap. Since you will always have to cross the sleeping gas traps in order to enter or leave the other chambers, it is recommended that you have some way to deal with them. Sleep resistance is the preferred method, but playing a vampire or polymorphing into a breathless creature, digging pits on the traps and filling them with boulders or levitating over them, or even having high enough armor class and hit points should suffice. Or you could kick in the doors so you can move onto them diagonally, avoiding the traps.

The Chamber of Greed

This room contains up to three piles of killer coins, one to three large piles of killer coins, up to three huge piles of killer coins, and up to three worthless pieces of white glass. New players may not have encountered killer coins before; be warned that they can dish out significant amounts of damage, although a sufficiently armed and armored player should be able to defeat them easily. Elbereth will work in a pinch.

The Chamber of Gluttony

This room contains between one and five killer food rations, a killer tripe ration (80% chance), up to three bad eggs, a giant flea egg, 40% chance of a giant louse egg, 20% chance of a cursed mushroom, 50% chance of a tin of asphynx meat, and a 50% chance of a tin of green slime meat. Like the killer coins, the killer food rations and killer tripe rations can quickly cut down an unprepared dungeoneer. The giant flea and giant louse, if hostile, can make good sacrifice fodder as they will randomly multiply.

The Chamber of Junk

This chamber is filled with between two and nine random @ (usually including werecreatures). Between two and five of them begin hostile and awake, up to three are peaceful, and one may possibly begin asleep.

Take note that a hostile gypsy can be generated here. Gypsies are quite dangerous even if you are high level, as they can cast summon nasties, touch of death, and curse items. They also steal intrinsics like gremlins.

The room may contain any of the following items of "treasure" (with a 40% probability of each, unless otherwise noted):

The Chamber of Dragon Meat

This chamber contains a cursed tinning kit (with 0 charges), one dragon corpse of every type except deep and silver, and six to eight maggots. There is a 50% chance of a carrion crawler as well. If you can reach this chamber with a tinning kit (or a way to charge the existing tinning kit) before the corpses rot away, it offers a great opportunity to get any missing intrinsics. Without a tinning kit, you will only be able to eat one corpse before becoming satiated, but being breathless or casting spells may allow you to become unsatiated and possibly eat several.

The Snake Pit

This chamber contains a spiked pit, two to four random S, and one or two random s. There may also be a king cobra and up to two pit vipers, with a 90% probability of each.

The False Temple

This chamber contains a coaligned altar and aligned priest. However, the room is NOT considered to be a temple, and hence you can't make any donations. Chatting to the peaceful aligned priest makes him hostile, and killing the priest is still considered murder for lawful and neutral heroes.

The Boulder Path

There is a boulder at the '`' mark and rolling-boulder traps at each of the '^' marks in the corridor. Each of the two spaces marked 'G' in the corridor has a 60% chance of a hostile ghost. The one-tile room at the end of the corridor contains a cursed runesword and an uncursed wand of striking with two charges. As with any runesword, there is a small (5%) chance that it will be generated as Stormbringer; runeswords are not randomly generated, so this is the only way to find Stormbringer "randomly" outside bones.

The Maze

After exiting the Chambers of Deception, you must pass through the maze to the right. The maze is randomly generated and the walls are made of solid rock, which has the same appearance as a darkened area, so you will not "remember" the shape of the maze automatically unless you permanently light up the corridors (using the light spell, a wand of light, scrolls of light, or the Holy Spear of Light). Each of the spaces marked 'w' in the maze has a 60% chance of having a rot worm generated on it, and each of the two spaces in the upper left and lower right has a 50% chance of a shade.

The swamp in the center contains a statue trap of an arch-lich (!) and a cursed -9 set of gray dragon scales in the same space. The arch-lich is created with wands of fireball, create horde, speed monster and make invisible (the latter three all have one charge each), a cockatrice corpse, and a cursed -1 pair of leather gloves. The swamp also contains between four and six electric eels at the spaces marked with ';'. The exit from the maze to the cloud bank is at the lower left.

You will want to have a unicorn horn or sickness resistance in order to deal with the rot worms. Most characters would do best to avoid the electric eels and arch-lich in the middle of the maze, unless you desperately need the dragon scales for armor and have a means of cancellation (to remove the -9 penalty). Remember that electric eels not only have a drowning attack that can kill you instantly (in addition to the usual defenses, in SLASH'EM this can be prevented with free action), they can also break apart rings and wands if they hit you.

They are various ways of dealing with the trap without having to fight the arch-lich:

  • Zap the statue with a wand of teleportation, and then find the loot with a blessed potion of object detection. This can be done from outside the swamp, and is probably the easiest and safest method.
  • Pull the arch-lich statue towards you with a fishing pole.
  • Genocide arch-liches (or L if you have a blessed scroll).
  • Throw a statue of a weaker monster onto the square before stepping on it.
  • Have a super-strong pet such as an Archon, Planetar, or Solar fight the arch-lich.
  • Lure a monster to pick up the dragon scale mail. It will not set off the trap. A cursed figurine (for example an orc) and Elbereth can be handy here. Most pets can't do this, as they will try to pick up the arch-lich statue before anything else in the stack, and few monsters smaller than giants will be able to lift it. Pets will also be reluctant to step over the cursed dragon scales and will not pick them up until the scales have been uncursed.

Bad ideas:

  • Even at expert, the grappling hook has a chance of pulling you to the statue, instead of pulling the statue.
  • A wand of polymorph will not trigger the trap, but it will polymorph the dragon scales, possibly destroying them in the process.
  • Using a wand of striking or the spell of force bolt will trigger the trap instead of crumbling the statue.

The Cloud Bank

After exiting the maze, you will pass below the chambers and emerge in a cloud bank with a river of lava and an island in the middle. You will need some method of crossing lava (levitation, flying, wand of cold, fireproof water walking boots, etc.) to get through this section. This section will contain two elementals of each type and one or two stalkers, as well as up to four other random E; their locations are all marked. There is also a gremlin named Clown at the position marked 'g'. The locked chamber in the middle of the cloud bank houses the "Spice Girls": up to three mind flayers named Ginger, Victoria, and Emma at the positions marked 'h' (only Ginger is guaranteed, the other two have a 80% chances of existing), as well as up to two master mind flayers named Mel B. and Mel C. at the positions marked 'M' (each has a 60% chance of being generated). The center mind flayer is generated on top of a fountain and a chest possibly containing an amulet of flying (70% chance), a wand of cold (with 16 charges), and possibly a wand of digging(80% chance). (If (master) mind flayers are genocided, they will be replaced by random monsters with the mind flayers' names.) The exit from the cloud bank to Nightmare's forest is at the lower left.

For a moderately tough player, it may be worth going after the Spice Girls' treasure. Remember that in SLASH'EM free action will protect you from brain sucking attacks and mind flayers are not fast.

Nightmare's Forest

Nightmare, the main monster of the quest, is located on the throne in the forest on the far left, along with four to eight pixies, two to four quicklings, a unicorn of each color (the only place where you will meet a hostile unicorn of your own color), a wood nymph, and a brownie. Killing Nightmare will generate the Key of Law and the artifact unicorn horn Nighthorn (unless you petrify or disintegrate Nightmare, then only the Key of Law will be dropped). The Lawful Quest also contains eight to sixteen black lights, four to eight shadows, eight to twelve sleep gas traps, two to four anti-magic traps, and the engravings "You can feel eyes on your back." and "I can see you..."; all at random positions.

The 'n's will be generated sleeping, and the player is advised not to disturb them as they may steal important items and become hard to kill. You will probably want to have telepathy or some way of seeing invisible creatures to get through this section. It is also best to avoid killing your co-aligned unicorn to avoid the alignment penalty. Throwing an un-ID'd gem at it will always pacify it.

Nightmare does a surprising amount of damage, but respects Elbereth and can otherwise be dealt with as any fast monster.

Remember that Nighthorn and the Key of Law will both blast non-lawfuls, and Nighthorn will be generated cursed, so it is advised not to wield it until you have uncursed it.

Spooky messages

Of note is the fact that the Lawful Quest is the only level in the game to have the 'spooky' flag, and hence the following messages are printed randomly while you're on the level:

You hear screaming in the distance!
You hear a faint whisper: "Please leave your measurements for your custom-made coffin."
You hear a door creak ominously.
You hear hard breathing just a few steps behind you!
You hear dragging footsteps coming closer!
You hear anguished moaning and groaning coming out of the walls!
You hear mad giggling directly behind you!
You smell rotting corpses.
You smell chloroform!
You feel ice cold fingers stroking your neck.
You feel a ghostly touch caressing your face.
You feel somebody dancing on your grave.
You feel something breathing down your neck.
You feel as if the walls were closing in on you.
You just stepped on something squishy.

These messages only appear when you're hallucinating:

You hear a strong voice pronouncing: "There can only be one!"
You hear a voice booming all around you: "Warning: self-destruction sequence activated!"
You smell your mother-in-law's cooking!
You smell horse dung.
You hear someone shouting: "Who ordered the burger?"
You can faintly hear the Twilight Zone theme.
You hear an outraged customer complaining: "I'll be back!"
You hear someone praising your valor!
You hear someone singing: "Jingle bells, jingle bells..."

Variants

SLASHTHEM

In SLASHTHEM, be prepared with scare monster scrolls for the mind flayer room, because you can't engrave on the floor of the cloud bank any more.

With all of the new monsters that have been added, corpses that grant intrinsics like telepathy and the various resistances are harder to find, so the guaranteed mind flayers and dragon corpses in this area are even more valuable than in SLASH'EM. Sleep and disintegration resistance are also more important to have, because of new monsters that use these attacks. More care will be needed to keep all of the corpses you need. It may be a good idea to look for a charged tinning kit, a source of charging for the guaranteed spent tinning kit, or even an icebox, before you embark on this quest. Avoid trying to eat the corpses whole, because of the risk of choking, and the chance that the others will rot away before you can get to them.

If you are desperate about the cursed dragon scale mails, here it's a bit easier to obtain them.

SLASH'EM Extended

In SLASH'EM Extended, there are several variants of the Lawful Quest, and the three variants added have completely different layouts, some of which are arguably much harder to beat.

A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"Show those new layouts as ttymaps, probably on their own page so as to not clog up the article"

See also

Reference

From source nightmar.des file