Vlad's Tower

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Vlad's Tower
Location Level 9–13 of
Gehennom
Bones middle level only
Mappable Yes
Teleportable No
Diggable floor No
Diggable walls No

Vlad's Tower is a dungeon branch that appears in NetHack. It is accessed through an up stair in Gehennom, and is the home of Vlad the Impaler - because it is not part of Gehennom, prayer is permitted in the Tower. Vlad's Tower consists of three levels connected by ladders, and all of the floors no-teleport and undiggable.

Generation

The entrance appears as a a second up stair, located on any floor between the 9th and 13th levels of Gehennom; counting the Valley of the Dead as 1, this places it roughly between dungeon levels 34 and 42 (inclusive). Only the middle level is eligible to leave bones files.

Monster generation is biased toward chaotic monsters in this branch.

Description

Each level contains many secret doors, traps, and several guaranteed items, and Vlad the Impaler is located at the top level. You can directly level teleport from the tower to each of its three levels, to the Gehennom levels above it, and to the Dungeons of Doom, but not to levels below the tower. However, quaffing a cursed potion of gain level on the uppermost floor will only result in an "uneasy feeling".

Bottom level

    --- --- ---    
    |x| |x| |x|    
  ---S---S---S---  
  |xS.........Sx|  
----|.........|----
|.>.|.........+...|
|.--|.........|--.|
|.|xS<........Sx|.|
|.---S---S---S---.|
|...|x|.|x|.|x|...|
---.---.---.---.---
  |.............|  
  ---------------  

There is a random dragon immediately inside the main door of the courtyard, and eight other random monsters are placed on the level. Four of the ten niches marked 'x' will contain the following:

These niches may also contain random traps.

Middle level

  --- --- ---  
  |x| |x| |x|  
---S---S---S---
|xS.........Sx|
--|.------+----
  |......|.<|  
--------.|-----
|xS>.....+..Sx|
---S---S---S---
  |x| |x| |x|  
  --- --- ---  

The ten niches marked 'x' each contain the following, with one monster or item per niche:

Top level

  --- --- ---  
  |V| |V| |V|  
---S---S---S---
|.......+.+...|
---+----|.|----
  |...\(|.+>|  
---+----|.|----
|.......+.+...|
---S---S---S---
  |V| |V| |V|  
  --- --- ---  

Vlad the Impaler occupies the throne in the center of the top floor, carrying the Candelabrum of Invocation; a chest sits behind the throne. Each of the six marked niches contains a random vampire and a chest; if vampires are extinct or genocided, they will be replaced with random monsters. Two of the six chests in the closets are guaranteed to contain stacks of 4–8 candles: one chest contains wax candles and the other contains tallow candles.[1][2]

History

Vlad's Tower first appears in NetHack 3.1.0.

As early as NetHack 3.0.0, a different form of special levels for Vlad the Impaler appeared embedded in Hell: Each of the three levels appeared embedded in a maze, much as the modern Wizard's Tower is, except that the lower level was directly accessible from the maze. The Candelabrum of Invocation did not yet exist, and the Wizard of Yendor still carried the Amulet of Yendor, meaning that Vlad was strictly optional until Gehennom replaced Hell in 3.1.0.

The guaranteed candles of the top level are added in NetHack 3.6.0 to ensure that a player will have more than enough candles to perform the invocation without resorting to wishing or polypiling.

Variants

SLASH'EM

  --- --- ---  
  |V| |V| |V|  
---S---S---S---
|.......+.+...|
---+-+--|.|----
  |....V|.+>|  
---+-+--|.|----
|.......+.+...|
---S---S---S---
  |V| |V| |V|  
  --- --- ---  

In SLASH'EM, Vlad's tower is even more complicated: his room is now locked behind six indestructible doors that must be opened using at least two of the three alignment keys. These doors are marked orange on the map above - there are some methods available to circumvent them.

Vlad, the throne and the chest occupy the same square now. There are no guaranteed candles in the chests here.

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, there is a magic portal from the Valley of the Dead that leads directly into the courtyard of Vlad's Tower; the down stair leading out into Gehennom is still present.

The chests on the top floor are now large boxes that double as coffins, with each containing a vampire monster that will awaken upon the box being opened.

dNetHack

Main article: Windowless Tower

In dNetHack, Vlad's Tower is redesigned: it is now known as the Windowless Tower, and is located above the Gnomish Mines, which extend upward for another level. The base floor to the tower itself is set in a desolate field, with a moat and drawbridge surrounding the actual tower entrance.

While a low-level character can attempt to get the Candelabrum early and use the candles provided in and around Minetown, actually facing Vlad and his cronies may prove a bad idea for the unprepared. Even so, players capable of defeating the formidable Cerberus can access the tower, including a hidden section in the third floor (corresponding to the middle level in NetHack) that contains an extremely useful stash of holy water, especially for atheists or Anachrononauts. Cerberus can be repelled with the Circle of Acheron ward, and fire resistance provides a defense against its breath attack.

xNetHack

In xNetHack, Vlad's Tower is heavily redesigned.

SpliceHack

In SpliceHack, the bottom floor of Vlad's Tower has been replaced with a castle surrounded by a large courtyard.

EvilHack

In EvilHack, Vlad's Tower is heavily redesigned.

References