Talk:The Master Key of Thievery

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Removing traps

Are the traps of a door/container removed, if the Key is just [a]pplied for unlocking instead of #invocating it? --ZeroOne 02:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • The base item the artifact uses is a skeleton key, so [a]pplying will work exactly the same way as a key, but with 10)% chance of success. -- Kalon 03:29, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

MKoT as a lawful wish

Had some comments reverted in this article, and I'm not at all sure why. I specifically said that for lawful non-Valkyries, and only those with an early wand of wishing, the MKoT is a good potential wish candidate. I'm actually going to posit something stronger here: If you are a lawful non-Valkyrie, there aren't yet any artifacts, and you have an early wand of wishing, I find it hard to justify not making the MKoT your second artiwish. It's just too powerful.

Half physical damage is absolutely stellar. Only considering the average damage of a monster's physical attacks, half physical damage is going to be roughly the equivalent of a 10 to 15 point improvement in AC. That's like wearing a second dragon scale mail. And no amount of AC can do what the MKoT does: actually reduce the maximum damage of a physical attack. (Better AC makes the maximum damage case much less likely, but it can still occur.) You can't get half physical damage any other way as a lawful non-Valk; the half-damage artifacts, particularly the half physical damage artifacts, are possibly the best items in the game.

On top of that, MKoT gives warning and teleport control; I've spent wishes on rings of teleport control before and you likely have also.

It's not my first choice for lawful artifact wishes (the Sceptre of Might is for the MR and hungerless conflict). And yes, you need the helm to even pick it up, but the MKoT is one of the only artifacts in the game conceiveably worth two wishes. With an early wand of wishing that's quite doable -- you're going to spend three wishes on the MR artifact, probably SDSM, probably some scrolls of charging. If you have the helm already, definitely the MKoT is your best next wish; if you have more than two wishes left in the wand (2/3rds of the time), MKoT+HoOA still leaves you with wishes for speed boots, magic markers, etc.; if you have only two wishes left I think MKoT plus intrinsic speed/riding is still better than no MKoT and extrinsic "very fast". The other artifact worth wishing for as a lawful (Grayswandir) you can always just sac for, and the Sceptre of Might is a good weapon on its own. For lawful cavepeople, I save the artiwish on the SoM and can get both Grayswandir and the MKoT if I like.

Later in the game loss of protection in conversion may make the MKoT a worse choice for lawful characters, but early on I think it's the second best artifact wish.

Codehappy 23:40, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

I misread your initial post, and thought you recommended it for lawful Valkyries (which of course nonsensical, since they have scads of HP and get HPD from their Orb). Even for non-Valks, though, it's a dubious decision.
As you noted, it takes two wishes for a lawful character to use the Key properly. For those same two wishes, you could get a ring of teleport control and your choice of GDSM or SDSM. The ring obviates the need for TC from the Key (until you have two other rings you'd rather wear, but that's not an issue for many early-game characters). Half physical damage is nice, but it only applies to certain attacks (granted, the most common ones). DSM makes physical attacks more likely to miss altogether, roughly duplicating the effect of HPD. It also lets you discard your existing suit, freeing up some weight, and grants magic resistance or reflection (the Key grants neither). The DSM/=oTC combo is also safe to wish for immediately (most roles need XL 4 or more before they have 41 HP), never fails (what if artifacts were generated somewhere you didn't see them, or you passed a bones level and didn't notice), and doesn't risk fatfingering and accidentally applying the Key when you're low on HP.
It's not as terrible a strategy as I said, but it has severe qualifications that need to be mentioned. --Darth l33t 00:23, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
You're correct in that it's only viable in certain fairly rare scenarios (you really should have a wand of wishing, you really need one or no artifacts generated to do it reliably at all, if you already have a bunch of purchased AC protection it's a pain to do, etc.) I can say that DSM plus half physical damage (you don't need to settle for one or the other, after all) is game-breaking, but you can just as correctly say that an early wand of wishing, even if the wishes are spent sub-optimally, is pretty game-breaking all by itself.
It's interesting to do Monte Carlo simulations of some mob of hard-hitting monsters (say, minotaurs, Elvenkings, etc.) versus a player with some AC/HP and versus a player with the same AC/HP and half physical damage. The player with half physical damage lasts considerably longer than twice as long, partly because he is quite a lot more likely to be able to pray for healing -- the poor sap without half physical damage might get killed without ever being below the 1/7th HP cutoff when it comes his turn to move. Better AC improves both players' chances, but the value of an incremental point of AC gets much lower the further down you go, while the halved-damage player always gets a significant advantage in terms of average damage incurred. More hit points improves both player's surviveability, but the player with half physical damage effectively regenerates HP at twice the rate of the other player, and an additional hit point is worth about twice as much for the player with halved physical damage, which are both significant advantages. That might not realistically reflect a properly played in-game situation (if you are mobbed by strong monsters, you'll usually want to escape rather than fight anyway, and if you tend to get into situations where you lose half your hit points you might just as well get into situations where you lose all of them) but it tends to establish for me that the Orb of Fate and MKoT may be the most brokenly powerful artifacts in the game (except for the Eye of the Aethiopica in the hands of a capable Wizard, of course).
The half damage artifacts are very valuable, maybe even under-rated, and are worth obtaining even as a lawful character, although perhaps getting them might not be feasible frequently enough as a lawful to warrant in-depth discussion in this article. Maybe the article on half physical damage should be fleshed out? -- Codehappy 01:22, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
Basically I agree with the high value of half physical damage. Perhaps you could put a line about your simulations into the article? As for the alternative wishes, I often will write a scroll of genocide and kill the dragons (it can be done safely, even for pacifists, provided you know how to use Elbereth). That ups the key further in my list. -Tjr 11:32, September 12, 2009 (UTC)