Discussion:
[slashem] Disarm technique and One-eyed Sam
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Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-01 13:01:50 UTC
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My gnomish caveman advanced quite well; Sokoban, Mines, Wyrm Caves, and
some lesser special levels. During my second visit to the Black Market an
unfortunate incident got me in troubles; a lightning bug (or something
like that) exploded some of my wands while I was adjacent to One-eyed Sam.
It seems I had polymorph in my inventory, got poly'd, became a gray dragon,
my armor (shield of reflection and speed boots) gone. Got reverted again,
could retrieve my +6 Sceptre of Might and Deluder, now wearing only the
cloak and the dragon scales. Luckily my artifacts (+6 Skullcrusher, the
Wallet of Perseus, Magicbane), my freshly aquired magic lamp and the other
tools, seem all intact. Now I am in the corridor outside his shop and
pondering what to do; I'd like to get his armor which would mean that I
have to kill him - which is extremely difficult as I read. They say that
I should disarm him to not get level drained or beheaded, but I've never
used that technique. I read (my comments and questions interspersed):

You must be wielding a weapon in which you are skilled,
and be able to see your opponent.

Wielding Skullcrusher or Sceptre of Might would be the available options.
Will I have to come adjacent to try to disarm him or just "see him"?

Your opponent must be wielding a non-cursed weapon.
num=rn2(TECHLEVEL+15)*(WEAPSKILL-P_SKILL+1)/10.

I don't understand e.g. what that TECHLEVEL is. What are the typical odds
to be expected here? (My two melee artifact weapons are both at Expert.)

And I hope that the Thiefbane doen't turn out to have been created cursed.

It appears that you have a (num-1)-in-num chance of
knocking the weapon to the floor.
Otherwise, you have a 24-in-25 chance of grabbing the weapon.
Otherwise, you take damage from the weapon.

I certainly want to avoid being beheaded or level drained. Meanwhile I
also have no reflection, so I'm unsure what to do.

One more detail; the effects from the exploding wands created some pits
in the corridor and also in Sam's shop. The door got locked too (probably
by an exploding wand of locking). That means I'm not that mobile to escape
quickly if need be - though I could wear "-x" levitation boots now that my
speed boots are gone.

Will #invoking conflict help here? Or shall I just skip the level? Any
other suggestions?

Janis
Pat Rankin
2018-09-02 01:49:53 UTC
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Post by Janis Papanagnou
[...]
You must be wielding a weapon in which you are skilled,
and be able to see your opponent.
Wielding Skullcrusher or Sceptre of Might would be the available options.
Will I have to come adjacent to try to disarm him or just "see him"?
I didn't use techniques much and don't recall even being aware of
a disarm technique (maybe it was added in a later version than the
one I had, or I decided that it was useless and ignored it, or maybe
I was just clueless...). But the implication of that spoiler is obvious:
you are using you own weapon to knock the target's weapon out of
his/her/its hand(s), so you need to be able to see the target and
also be close enough to attack it with your weapon. Presumably a
pole-arm or lance could do so from a couple of squares away, but
for 'normal' weapons you'd have to be adjacent.

In nethack several roles can become skilled in pole-arms, but none
can be expert. In slash'em, yeoman can become expert and I'd
guess that most of the same other roles as nethack can be skilled.
My second best character (reached Demogorgon's lair, killed him,
saved, never resumed) was a yeoman using the artifact halberd at
expert level and I don't remember 'disarm' being listed as an available
technique for him. I'm sure you don't want to train up in that skill
anyway.

Slash'Em's fishing pole was rejected for inclusion in nethack but some
of its capabilities were added to bullwhip. The latter can disarm if
applied at a monster (in nethack) and doesn't provoke an immediate
counterattack. I'm not sure whether a fishing pole could do that, or
if so, whether some weapon skill is applicable. Even if that can be
done, I wouldn't be surprised if One-eyed Sam is resistant or immune.
Eric Pozharski
2018-09-02 13:27:28 UTC
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with <pme2ju$2ii$***@news-1.m-online.net> Janis Papanagnou wrote:
*SKIP*
Now I am in the corridor outside his shop and pondering what to do;
I'd like to get his armor which would mean that I have to kill him -
which is extremely difficult as I read. They say that I should disarm
him to not get level drained or beheaded, but I've never used that
I know I'm already late. So what happened then?
You must be wielding a weapon in which you are skilled,
and be able to see your opponent.
Wielding Skullcrusher or Sceptre of Might would be the available
options. Will I have to come adjacent to try to disarm him or just
"see him"?
I didn't see it stressed. Disarm technique isn't universal -- you must
be Skilled in this class of weapons. So Skullcrusher (isa club) and
Sceptre (isa mace) are OK (you mention later you're Expert).

Otherwise (not the case here), if disarm tech (should I say '#te
disarm'?) is attempted with a weapon of Unskilled or Basic class then it
fails prematurely with a message "you're not capable of doing this" (was
puzzling me for some time) and doesn't count as attack (I don't attack
peacefuls (somehow I believe that I should care about alignment) so I
don't say from experience).
Your opponent must be wielding a non-cursed weapon.
num=rn2(TECHLEVEL+15)*(WEAPSKILL-P_SKILL+1)/10.
I don't understand e.g. what that TECHLEVEL is. What are the typical
odds to be expected here? (My two melee artifact weapons are both at
Expert.)
Second column in #te table is 'Level' -- I believe this is the
TECHLEVEL. My understanding is it's not affected by anything but your
experience level (it just increments each time).
And I hope that the Thiefbane doen't turn out to have been created cursed.
It appears that you have a (num-1)-in-num chance of
knocking the weapon to the floor.
Otherwise, you have a 24-in-25 chance of grabbing the weapon.
Otherwise, you take damage from the weapon.
Wait a second here, that makes me thinking. To apply #te disarm a
weapon (that you attempt to get rid of) must be wielded! Otherwise,
"You can't disarm an unarmed foe!" (also doesn't count, unverified).
Also, from reading, a weapon being cursed doesn't matter. And, if not
wielded, then stealing, I guess.

*CUT*
--
Torvalds' goal for Linux is very simple: World Domination
Stallman's goal for GNU is even simpler: Freedom
Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-02 22:31:48 UTC
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Post by Eric Pozharski
I know I'm already late. So what happened then?
Not too late; I've skipped that level for the moment, done the Spiders,
reached the Sunless Sea.
Post by Eric Pozharski
Post by Janis Papanagnou
Your opponent must be wielding a non-cursed weapon.
num=rn2(TECHLEVEL+15)*(WEAPSKILL-P_SKILL+1)/10.
I don't understand e.g. what that TECHLEVEL is. What are the typical
odds to be expected here? (My two melee artifact weapons are both at
Expert.)
Second column in #te table is 'Level' -- I believe this is the
TECHLEVEL. My understanding is it's not affected by anything but your
experience level (it just increments each time).
Yes, I advanced a level and it now got 2. So (IIRTCC) the calculation
would be

rn2(2+15) => 0..16
WEAPSKILL-P_SKILL+1 => 2
=> num = (0..32)/10 = 0..3 => 75% chance for successful disarming

Hmm..

Janis
Pat Rankin
2018-09-03 02:59:21 UTC
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Post by Janis Papanagnou
=> num = (0..32)/10 = 0..3 => 75% chance for successful disarming
If it was (0..39), that reduced range of 0..3 would have equal probability.
As it is, 3 is less likely than 0, 1, or 2 and that affects the overall odds.

Your other formula was num-1 out of num chance which is a bit odd
for something which might be 0. But it seems like it would become:
-1 out of 0, fail; 0 out of 1, fail; 1 out of 2, 50:50 chance for success;
2 out of 3, 66.7% chance of success, 33.3% chance for failure. That
works out to around 29% for success (1/2*1/4 + 2/3*1/4) if the original
range had been (0..39), dropping down to 21% (1/2*10/33 + 2/3*3/33)
for the range (0..32).
Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-03 07:01:00 UTC
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Post by Pat Rankin
Post by Janis Papanagnou
=> num = (0..32)/10 = 0..3 => 75% chance for successful disarming
If it was (0..39), that reduced range of 0..3 would have equal probability.
As it is, 3 is less likely than 0, 1, or 2 and that affects the overall odds.
Ah, yes, thanks.
Post by Pat Rankin
Your other formula was num-1 out of num chance which is a bit odd
for something which might be 0.
That formula was a quote from a slashem spoiler file. After having had a
quick peek into the source code I'm not sure it is true, though.
Post by Pat Rankin
-1 out of 0, fail; 0 out of 1, fail; 1 out of 2, 50:50 chance for success;
2 out of 3, 66.7% chance of success, 33.3% chance for failure. That
works out to around 29% for success (1/2*1/4 + 2/3*1/4) if the original
range had been (0..39), dropping down to 21% (1/2*10/33 + 2/3*3/33)
for the range (0..32).
Janis
Eric Pozharski
2018-09-04 06:36:44 UTC
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with <pmim7c$dim$***@news-1.m-online.net> Janis Papanagnou wrote:

*SKIP*
Post by Janis Papanagnou
That formula was a quote from a slashem spoiler file. After having had
a quick peek into the source code I'm not sure it is true, though.
Be careful with those spoilers. They might be for different version or
something.

*CUT*
--
Torvalds' goal for Linux is very simple: World Domination
Stallman's goal for GNU is even simpler: Freedom
wumpus
2018-09-04 19:06:44 UTC
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Howdy,
Post by Janis Papanagnou
My gnomish caveman advanced quite well; Sokoban, Mines, Wyrm Caves, and
some lesser special levels. During my second visit to the Black Market an
unfortunate incident got me in troubles; a lightning bug (or something
like that) exploded some of my wands while I was adjacent to One-eyed Sam.
It seems I had polymorph in my inventory, got poly'd, became a gray dragon,
my armor (shield of reflection and speed boots) gone. Got reverted again,
could retrieve my +6 Sceptre of Might and Deluder, now wearing only the
cloak and the dragon scales. Luckily my artifacts (+6 Skullcrusher, the
Wallet of Perseus, Magicbane), my freshly aquired magic lamp and the other
tools, seem all intact. Now I am in the corridor outside his shop and
pondering what to do; I'd like to get his armor which would mean that I
have to kill him - which is extremely difficult as I read. They say that
I should disarm him to not get level drained or beheaded, but I've never
used that technique.
I'm not sure I fully understand your situation. Were you inside the shop
when you blew up, meaning that some of your gear is now property of Sam?
Did your explosion affect Sam, such that he's now angry at you? It sounds
like you are safely away from Sam and contemplating killing him for his
gear?

I've killed Sam several times (and been beheaded a couple times?), but I've
never tried disarm (which is a technique you earn automatically when you
get to Skilled with a weapon capable of disarming). I would definitely
recommend against trying that method. I've succeeded mostly in two ways:

1) Wall Sam in with boulders and then kill him with ranged weapons (my
favorite being a highly enchanted submachine gun with +6 bullets), or

2) Polymorph into a giant shoggoth and eat him.

Anything else strikes me as decidedly dicey.

Alex
Janis Papanagnou
2018-09-04 20:04:56 UTC
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Post by wumpus
I'm not sure I fully understand your situation. Were you inside the shop
when you blew up, meaning that some of your gear is now property of Sam?
Nope. I still had most of my items, I lost wands and rings due to the
wand of lightning explosion, retrieved my weapons and armor, those that
haven't been polymorphed into some junk armor.
Post by wumpus
Did your explosion affect Sam, such that he's now angry at you? It sounds
like you are safely away from Sam and contemplating killing him for his
gear?
Yes, he's angry due to my exploding wands. First I had been embedded in
the locked door (broken wand of locking, I assume), still adjacent. But
I could leave the door and was safe with most of my gear intact. I lost
only a couple precious items (boots of speed, rings, wands). So, yes, I
contemplated killing him to get that valuable items he carries. While
pondering about my options my disarm proficiency came to my mind. I am
not familiar with Slash'EM, and I've never used techniques before. But
I've read about the disarm technique, was able to do that, therefore my
question
Post by wumpus
(...)
2) Polymorph into a giant shoggoth and eat him.
Sounds funny. :-)

Janis

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