Wand of fear

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Name fear
Appearance random
Abundance 2.5%
Base price 200 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The wand of fear is a wand in SLASH'EM[1]. Zapping it at a target causes the target to become scared and flee ("<foo> suddenly panics!")[2]. Monsters with sufficient MR may resist being scared, and undead targets will not be affected.

The wand has a base value of 200, equal to that of the wands of cancellation, create monster, polymorph, and teleportation.

Attempting to engrave with a wand of fear returns the message "The bugs on the <floor> run away!" The wand will not self-identify, though this is the only wand that will have this effect.

Strategy

The wand of fear gives combat pragmatists a new option for scaring away monsters they do not want to fight. Its advantages are that it does not depend on vulnerable environmental factors (like Elbereth or a dropped scroll of scare monster), does not require spellcasting energy (as casting cause fear or turn undead would), and does not awaken sleeping monsters (as a tooled horn or leather drum would). Its disadvantages are that it is limited by its number of charges, only affects monsters that are zapped with it, can be resisted, and has no effect on the undead.

In spite of these disadvantage, a wand of fear can be a useful escape item in certain situations, as when there is a single enemy you want to scare away, one that has a low magic resistance and is not undead.

As with other methods of scaring monsters, players should remember that fleeing monsters can still use ranged attacks, and that attacking a fleeing opponent is a cowardly act for Knights.

References