NetHack Fourk is a NetHack variant based on the NetHack 4 codebase but with a more experimental approach to game-play changes (but still conservative compared to heavily modified variants like Slash'em and dnethack).
In addition to the NetHack 4 interface and AI enhancements, Fourk has made a number of gameplay changes. These fall into two major categories (note: this list is not up to date; see the spoilers and changelogs, linked below, for more current information):
- Death drops are more common in the early game but are less common when killing many of the same kind of monster (e.g., pudding farming).
- Engraving is more reliable if done infrequently, less reliable if frequently abused.
- Alignment record is a significant strategic concern. Notably, you no longer get alignment points for killing most monsters. You get warning messages when losing alignment, and there are some new ways to regain lost alignment.
- The formula for an attack's chance of hitting relies on skill and also takes skill cap into account, so restricted weapons are hard to hit with.
- Unicorn horns degrade when used to fix attribute loss.
- Falling rock traps do not generate on early dungeon levels.
- Arrows and darts do more damage.
- The Wizard of Yendor can change your alignment (if you are not pious).
- Early poison attacks are less likely to kill you outright.
- Rings are easier to identify in the early game. (Wands of enlightenment are often generated early in the game, and dropping rings into a sink only buries them under the sink, rather than destroying them. They can be recovered by digging.)
- Minetown is more likely to have a general store.
- Luck penalties in Sokoban do not apply if you are carrying a non-cursed luckstone or have entered the Sokoban zoo. The penalty can also be dodged via hallucination.
- Wands of wishing are not rechargeable; but there are guaranteed single-use wishes in Vlad's Tower, the Wizard's Tower, and Orcus Town.
- The Backstab bonus depends on weapon skill.
- Spears are more common in the early game.
- The odds of thrown or fired projectiles breaking decreases as your skill increases. Compared to vanilla, characters who start with projectiles are more likely to prosper by using rather than hoarding them.
- Engravings do not degrade as easily, especially from non-fighting actions (such as walking).
- Nymphs have been differentiated, and the (now) lower-level ones have been nerfed.
- Some very weak monsters, and moderately weak monsters that generally only occur late in the game, have been buffed.
Differentiation / Variety
- The floating eyes' passive attack does damage directly, rather than paralyzing.
- More monsters have unique attacks (e.g., pit fiends, ice devils, hezrou).
- Some monsters have been moved to different letter classes (e.g., leprechauns are lowercase i) or have changed colors (e.g., acid blobs are yellow).
- Valkyries fly and get better starting armor but start with a spear or war hammer instead of the long sword; and some of their weapon skill caps are reduced.
- Barbarians have improved melee weapon skill caps (including the ability to reach Master level in the axe skill, which allows them to hit up to five adjacent enemies per attack), and the Heart of Ahriman has a remove curse effect when invoked.
- Several roles get thematic or strategically important items from their quests (lances, ya, shuriken, important spellbooks, etc.)
- The Caveman quest text is rewritten in 18.104.22.168, and the Ranger quest has Khor's redesigned version of the home level.
- Monkeys are better at stealing something and getting away.
- The Oracle can sell you enlightenment, and Oracle prices are reduced.
- Sokoban has more variety of levels.
- Mazes can have wider corridors and/or wider walls.
- Gehennom is no longer made almost entirely of mazes.
- You no longer get exactly the same special levels in Gehennom every game.
- The Wizard of Yendor can get interesting items in his inventory.
- Starting in 22.214.171.124, role has an impact on where your attributes max out (but race is also still relevant).
- Your race is now taken into account when determining skill caps for certain race-associated items (e.g., pick-axe for dwarves).
- 126.96.36.199 adds a new playable race, Sylph, a race of fairy creatures who can be Rangers, Priests, or Healers. Sylphs regenerate hitpoints and power faster than other races when they can draw energy from their environment, otherwise slower or not at all.
- The sling has been buffed, especially for Cavemen.
- Rogues can now get the backstab bonus if the enemy is impaired in various ways (not only for fleeing).