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A Brief Nethack Character Guide

Date/Time Permalink: 07/07/06 05:44:32 am
Category: Linux Gaming

All screenshots are from glhack


Races: human dwarf gnome
Pros: Can tunnel and identify gems right off. Good with searching and
stealth. Can use some magic.
Cons: Mediocre stats, wimpy equipment.
Playing: Your best bet is to tunnel cautiously, playing it like a
sneaky rogue. Keep your pet close by. Use your touchstone to collect
valuable gems, which you can sell at stores to buy better
equipment. Make magic your friend, particularly amulets and rings.


Races: human orc
Pros: Strength, dexterity, and constitution of an ox! Poison
resistant. Fast and stealthy. Macho equipment. Recognise weapons and armor.
Cons: Eats like an ox. All strength, no brain. Rotten when requiring
anything but brute force.
Playing: Just like a standard warrior character. Solve all your
problems by bashing them to a grease spot. Don't even think of trying
anything tricky like reading a spellbook. Get magic resistance as soon
as you can, because the first magic-using enemy you meet will mow you


Races: human dwarf gnome
Pros: Like a downgraded barbarian. Also has warning (equivalent to
primal instinct?) No penalty for cannibalism. Starts with a sling!
Cons: Really *is* a down-graded barbarian! Worse at almost
Playing: The sling is a real blessing. Any rock is ammunition. Find a
pick-axe as soon as possible and use it to break up boulders for more
rocks. Use the sling a lot, send your pet in to melee, and keep a
close relationship with your deity. Cavepeople seem to get more mileage
out of prayers and offerings.


Races: human gnome
Pros: Starts with a ton of money and lots of healing skills and
equipment. Poison resistant. Good wisdom. Great charisma.
Cons: Wimpiest character in the game. Useless in a fight. Can't even
lift half the equipment in the game, much less use it.
Playing: Like a coward. Hide behind your pet. Don't forget to use your
healing spells on your pet, too! Spend that extra gold in shops
getting the best equipment you can handle. Use your stone-to-flesh
spell to make food from rocks for you and your pet. Learn to use your
stethoscope wisely.


Races: human
Pros: Starts with best equipment. Best charisma in game. Gets to ride
a horse, jump, and turn undead.
Cons: You have to feed that horse, and it won't eat corpses. Jumping
restricted to chess knight moves. Easy to fall out of favor with
deity, due to petty restrictions like attacking peaceful or sleeping
Playing: Like a high-concept warrior. Use your tricks to stay a jump
ahead of enemies. Your charisma will get you some bargains in
shops. The horse is the best pet in the game, being stronger and
faster. Avoid water, unless you want to turn into a walking pile of
rust. Horde vegetables to feed your horse.


Races: human
Pros: Insanely good intrinsics. Bonuses for speed, searching,
stealth, warning, seeing invisible. Resistant to nearly
anything. Decent strength.
Cons: Cannot use weapons or body armor! Vegetarian. Surprisingly poor
dexterity and constitution for someone who's expected to beat up
monsters with their bare hands.
Playing: Since enhancements to equipment are out of the question, your
best bet is to find some good rings and amulets. Keep your pet
close. Get good with magic wherever possible. Live by your
wits. Exercise all of your stats.


Races: human elf
Pros: Can tell blessed/cursed items. Starts with holy water and some
OK equipment. Excellent deity relations. Resist fire! Can turn undead.
Cons: Stats poor-to-fair on everything but wisdom. Not cut out for
melee. Surprisingly poor with magic.
Playing: Stick with what you're best at: bashing with a mace, blessing
items, praying and sacrificing; because you're crummy at everything
else. Try to get some clerical magic skills at least. Use your
blessed/cursed item sense to it's fullest advantage and both enhance
and obtain the best equipment. A pet seems almost superfluous to a
priest, but losing it can tick off your deity for a while (but your
deity will get over it!)


Races: human elf gnome orc
Pros: Best intelligence in the game. Stealthy and seeing
invisible. Good with searching and disarming traps. Excellent range
fighters. Start with cloak of displacement.
Cons: Iffy in melee combat. Not very strong. Lousy
charisma. Constantly running out of ammo.
Playing: Never pass up ammo. Wield the most blessed shooting weapons,
and keep one of each missile weapon so you're not stuck with a bow
when all you have are rocks and so forth. Make magic your best friend
- you're almost as good as a wizard with magic! Wands and scrolls are
great back-ups for rangers. Always carry a light source, and try to
get ESP amulet - it doesn't do much good to be able to attack ten
squares away if you can only see to two!


Races: human orc
Pros: Starts with lock pick and daggers. Decent dexterity. Good
Cons: Poor stats. Really weak characters.
Playing: If you come to Nethack from other games, be aware that the
rogue is a disappointment compared to the standard definition. It
seems half the benefits of a rogue character got taken away and given
to the ranger. Throw daggers, but beware of picking up a cursed
one. Keep both your pet and your deity close. Exercise your stats
whenever you can. Play it really smart, because the odds are stacked
against you. Horde scrolls.


Races: human
Pros: Best constitution in the game. Fair equipment. Quick and
stealthy. Decent strength and dexterity.
Cons: Really vanilla characters. Fair at everything but master of
Playing: Like a cross between a barbarian and a ranger. Be sparing
with ammo. Exercise your strength and dexterity; samurai can be nearly
as strong and dexterous as barbarians. A ring or two can help, as can
the occasional wand.


Races: human
Pros: Loaded with money and food. Start with some good
equipment. Resists poison.
Cons: That "good equipment" doesn't include weapons or armor. Really
more of a joke than a character. Lousy stats. Shopkeepers take you to
the cleaners.
Playing: Resourceful. If it weren't for the poor intelligence and
dexterity, a tourist would almost be set up to be a decent rogue. Pick
locks with the credit card, spend money in shops (your first thing to
do in a shop is take off the Hawaiian shirt and camera and sell them),
hide behind your pet. Watch out for traps, tricks, and magic of all
kinds. Try to get good with a ranged weapon.


Races: human dwarf
Pros: Pretty good warrior. Good strength, dexterity, and
constitution. Cold resistant.
Cons: Like the caveperson, kind of a down-graded barbarian. Poor at
anything but brute strength combat. Start off with almost nothing for
Playing: Like a variation of a barbarian. Keep your strength up; you'll
need it for toting all the junk you find to the store to sell it and
buy some real equipment. Don't even try being good with magic. Be
extra careful of traps. Keep your deity close; in some situations,
that will be all you have going for you.


Races: human elf gnome orc
Pros: Obviously excellent with magic. Starts with best inventory in
the game. Warning and teleport control.
Cons: Every stat besides intelligence is poor, and the intelligence
isn't nearly as good as what you'd expect in a wizard. Seem to starve
easier and have rottener luck than other classes. Terrible at
everything but magic.
Playing: Obviously, your only asset is magic. Horde spellbooks. Have
some good escapes and defenses ready, because you're going to need
them. Early in the game fight with your quarterstaff until you can
enhance your skill at it; this will come in handy when you meet
magic-resistant monsters. Otherwise, let your pet do the
meleeing. Watch out for cursed everything. Beware of rings which make
you hungry. The first turn with every wizard, I view the inventory and
use as much as I can right away. Try to never be without a magic marker.

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