YAAP – paul-Bar-Orc-Fem-Cha

NetHack is a hard game. So hard, in fact, that it’s common for the people who hang out in the rec.games.roguelike.nethack newsgroup to make a celebratory post after ascending (i.e., winning). Here’s the YAAP (“Yet Another Ascension Post”) I recently posted in honor of my latest victory.

Paul the female orcish barbarian had a poor lot in life.  All the other
orcs made fun of her masculine name, scam artists took advantage of her
Intelligence of 7 to swindle her out of her money, and she couldn't even
get a date thanks to her Charisma of 6. Seeing no opportunities for
advancement on the surface, she decided to go down into the Dungeons and
recover some fancy piece of jewelry everybody was always talking about.
Maybe then at least some of the boys would start to notice her.

The early stages of her journey went fairly well. Dragonbane was found
lying on the floor one level above Minetown, and the co-aligned altar
below yielded Cleaver after some sacrificing. The luckstone was
obtained without much difficulty, and Sokoban yielded a bag of holding.
A +4 pair of padded gloves greatly helped her AC, and these gloves
served her well into Gehennom.

Paul did have to learn to rely on her own, however. She had tried using
a polymorph trap in the mines to turn her pet cat Ta-kun into a more
ferocious beast, but he only turned into weaker and weaker monsters
until winding up as a fog cloud. Further polymorph attempts didn't seem
to have any effect, so Ta-kun was left to fend for himself. A stray dog
was tamed and named Santa's Little Helper in the lower levels of the
mines, but he was soon killed a few levels up by a winter wolf. Being
capable of taking care of herself by this point, Paul didn't bother
trying to adopt any other creatures in the dungeons.

Unfortunately, as it had on the surface world, fate didn't provide very
much to help Paul on her quest. Sacrificing at an altar on level 13
(which became the primary stash) provided the ever-so-useful Trollsbane,
and only later did it provide Stormbringer. With four artifacts already
existing, Paul didn't bother spending more time trying to get more of
them by sacrifice, and took to using Stormbringer as her primary weapon.
Even worse, Paul had found no sources of either magic resistance or
reflection up until Medusa's level, the first scroll of enchant armor
appeared in the Valley of the Dead, and the only generated magic marker
turned up much much later in Rodney's tower. And annoyingly, the first
tengu eaten provided teleportitis, and only fifteen levels or so later
did the second provide teleport control.

Paul's luck started to turn around at Medusa. Using some boots of
levitation and a blindfold, Paul killed Medusa, but not before a wand of
lightning Medusa had destroyed many of Paul's wands and rings. This was
the first time Paul came close to death in the non-early game, as wand
after wand blew up. But Paul survived, killed Medusa, and found a
shield of reflection in the statue of Perseus. Still having no magic
resistance, Paul blessed genocided L to put off the danger of
destroy-armor attacks. A throne room above the castle provided a wand
of wishing, which was used for some much-needed gray dragon scale mail.
Paul had great fun playing the passtune at the Castle to kill all sorts
of monsters there, including a titan. A naked AC of 1 was easily
obtained by taking revenge on all the shopkeepers (save one) who tried
to overcharge her.

However, carelessness and inattention nearly killed Paul when starting
the Quest. A cockatrice turned up on the Home level, and Paul acquired
its corpse to use as a weapon later. One floor down, Paul decided to
wield said corpse to use it as a weapon. Sadly, the "w" key is very
close to the "e" key on the keyboard, and Paul sank her teeth into the
corpse before realizing the typo. Fortunately the amulet of life saving
she wore stood between her and YASD, and in the future she was far more
careful about using (partially eaten) cockatrice corpses.

Thoth Amon fell easily and Gehennom proved fairly uneventful. Finding
an amulet of reflection allowed her to lose the shield and twoweapon
Stormbringer with a silver sabre, which worked rather well; most
creatures down there are either silver-hating or susceptible to
level-drain. Juiblex was vacationing in the Mines, and Asmodeus
summoned Yeenoghu, who fell to a non-partially-eaten cockatrice corpse.
A trap door allowed Paul to sneak up on Orcus from behind with another
cockatrice corpse, scoring a nearly-fully-charged wand of death. Little
much else of note occurred, until the vibrating square was finally found
on level 51.

Uneasy about the paucity of scrolls of enchant armor found along her
journey, Paul resorted to wishing for some scrolls of charging and a
magic marker to write a bunch of them, bringing up her armor to the
+4/+5 range. Alchemy raised her HP nicely. She tried polypiling some
items (having lost that conduct to dipping worthless glass into what
turned out to be a potion of polymorph), though that only yielded a
bunch of scrolls of identify and genocide. She tried reverse genociding
nurses in Sokoban for another HP boost, but it didn't seem to do

Paul's last plunge into Gehennom fared well. Rodney double-troubled
right away but fell quickly, and Paul wasn't stupid enough to fall for
his fake Amulet of Yendor (her Intelligence was now 9, after all). The
Sanctum proved fairly easy, no doubt partly because Paul took a pot shot
at the high priestess of Moloch with a wand of death from outside.
People who use Stormbringer aren't put off by a little thing like
murder, after all. Aside from having to pass through level 45 and
Asmodeus's level several times, Paul wasn't forced back down too often.
Rodney reappeared several times along the way, but each time fell to a
few hits with the Strombringer + silver saber combo. Paul showed off
her new jewelry to the Quest leader, who informed her that Set had his
eye on that trinket, and he'd give her a better reward than just getting
a date for the big Orcish Dance this weekend.

The Plane of Earth was uneventful. The Plane of Air was more dangerous,
and not just because of the elementals. Rodney reappeared,
double-troubled, got killed once, double-troubled again, and stole the
Amulet. But Paul managed to kill Rodney enough times and recovered the
Amulet, and vortices provided a nice having for restoring hit points.
The Plane of Fire was easy. The Plane of Water didn't take too long,
although a dozen or so water elementals crowded around Paul once she saw
the portal, obscuring it from view for a few dozen turns under a sea of

At last, Paul reached the Astral Plane. Set granted her a guardian
angel, who didn't do much. Pestilence quickly came to the door leading
into the hall, but a wand of death took care of him. Seeing her hit
points drop more quickly than she'd like, she put on a ring of
regeneration as she fought a bunch of priests at the door. Famine was
to the left, Death was to the right, and Pestilence was behind her, so
Paul pushed forward into the center altar. Fortunately, this was indeed
the correct altar, and the rest is history.

You offer the Amulet of Yendor to Set...--More--

h A

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