I've been playing NetHack on and off since early 2006. All games have been played locally since I often play during particularly boring conference calls at work.
I've never ascended.
I try to play with a different character name every game. If my character doesn't have a name I like, I can't be bothered to care about the character during the somewhat boring first few levels. I maintain a text file with names that I've collected, so that I have a good name to use when my next character dies. My favorite character name was Nat Heck. He died a quick death early in my hacking career. :-(
I originally started playing with the intentional of avoiding all spoilers.
Then I amended my philosophy to reading spoilers only for those things that I'd already encountered. Of course, I naturally ended up reading about other stuff too. For example, I had heard about the fake amulet and the vibrating square, yet I've never seen either. I also thought that my character at least ought to know what skills were learnable and what the maximum skill levels were.
And by reading more, and reading John Harris' @Play columns, I came to slowly accept that being "spoiled" was nearly required in a game like NetHack. Although I did spend some time and zorkmids trying to see many (all?) of the Oracle's major consultations.
Now when I play, I immediately open up this wiki as a guidebook for what intrinsics each corpse might provide.
Current Character: Etrusca
Neutral Human Valkyrie, XL 15
I feel like I'm finally starting to play patiently and intelligently. (Having a generous RNG helps, too!)
Early in my game (Dlvl4?), I dipped some cursed potions to dilute them in a fountain and summoned a hostile water demon -- which then proceeded to summon more water demons. Instead of attacking and dying, I used Elbereth liberally until I could escape the room to the relative safety of a hallway while my pets (horse and dog) received all the wet aggro. Once my pets were killed off, I was cornered in a hallway between summoned water demons just 3 squares from a shopkeeper's door. Standing still on a dusty Elbereth, I started trying on each of 4 uncursed, but unidentified rings. I knew this would be the end of Etrusca unless I found the Ring of Conflict. The 4th ring caused "The water demon hits the water demon" messages to spam across the screen. After a few rounds of minding my own business amid the fracas, I was able to get into the shop and take off the ring. When 2 more demons approached the doorway of the store, I was able to stand 1 square away from the shopkeeper and put the =oConflict back on to let him dispatch the final demons.
I felt triumphant at the outcome of that battle and my ability to succeed in what previously had seemed an insurmountable situation.
The RNG has been very good to me:
- found wand of wishing in sokoban (2 ?oCharging (oops, didn't see first 1 appear in inventory when I engrave ID'd the wand), default +2GDSM, holy water, with 1-2 wishes left?)
- found 2 luckstones and 4 touchstones (1 blessed) in gnomish mines
- found a magic whistle
- got BoH from sokoban, and another cursed one from a bones file
- found 2 cloaks of magic resistances (1 from a bones file on Dlvl12 that suggested what type of cloak it was)
- found 1 blessed scroll of identify that identified all of my inventory items
- found amulet of reflection in jewelry store
The RNG has been stingy with altars though:
- Between Dlvl1 and 15, only altar is in Minetown, and it's cross-aligned. So I had to wish for holy water.
- I found excalibur in a bones file, but I'm the wrong alignment and my god is angry at me (prayed too soon) so I've left it in my closet for now.
- Since I don't yet have a co-aligned altar, I haven't begun to sacrifice.
- I found (and sacked) Fort Ludios for the first time.
- I found the Rogue Level for the first time -- and my quest portal is there, too!
- I dropped my back-up blessed BoH at the bottom quest level to reduce encumbrance, and my vampire lord just picked it up and dropped it into the lava... All my food, back-up armor, pick-ax, and other stuff I can't remember are now toast.
Dog = dead
Dog = dead
Horse = dead
Dog ==> Lich ==> Trapper :-(
Cat ==> QueenBee = died at Fort Ludios
Cat ==> Centaur ==> QueenBee = died at Fort Ludios
Dog ==> PitFiend (and saw him fall in a pit in Ludios. lol)
Horse ==> Gold Golem ==> Vampire Lord
Cat ==> Vampire (now a Vampire Lord w/ AC: -19!)
Plans for Etrusca
- Complete quest level
- never been this far...