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Attacking Monsters

=== Attacking Monsters ===
 
Attacking is simple in Zangband. If you move into a creature, you
attack it. If you are wielding a weapon (including digging implements
which are considered to be weapons) when you do so, the damage for the
weapon is used when you hit a creature. Otherwise, you will attack with
your bare hands which does minimal damage (unless you are playing a
monk).

Melee can do more damage per turn than any other form of attack, and
the basic equipment (a weapon) is easy to find. On the other hand,
melee only works against adjacent monsters and takes a great deal of
training and equipment to come into its own deeper in the dungeon.
Upgrading to weapons with higher base damages is vital but heavy
weapons are harder to master. You will have to find a compromise,
depending on class, experience level, and available equipment (use the
'C'haracter screen to see how various weapons affect your melee skill).

You may wield both a primary weapon for melee combat, and a bow or
other missile launcher for launching missiles at the same time. Most
classes will benefit from carrying an assortment of attacking magical
devices.

***** 
--- Attacking from a Distance ---

You can attack creatures from a distance by firing a missile from a bow
or other missile launcher, by throwing an object or by using magical
items such as wands, rods and staves. If you have chosen to play a
spell casting class, you may be able to learn some spells which allow
you to attack a creature from a distance. You can use distance attacks
even when your target is next to you.

Whenever you give a command to fire a weapon, cast a spell, or use an
attacking magical device (unless the spell or device has an area
effect), you will be prompted for a direction. You may choose any of
the eight movement directions or press '*' to enter targeting mode. A
detailed explanation of targeting mode can be found in the section on
Command Descriptions (see commdesc.txt#ThrowFire [1]).

You may also wish to make use of the use_old_target option which
automatically selects the last target. This prevents you from having to
target the same monster every time you attack it. An explanation of
this option is found the section on User Interface Options (see
option.txt#UserInterface [2]).

***** 
--- Attacking Monsters in Walls ---

You should note that some creatures, for example ghosts, can pass
through the dungeon walls. When such a creature is in a wall, it can
not be damaged by attacks which are normally stopped by walls (this
includes most types of magical attacks). You can, however, attack a
creature in a wall with your weapon by trying to move into the wall
space which contains the creature. If the creature is invisible and
you do not have the ability to see invisible creatures, you must tunnel
into the wall space containing the creature.

***** 
--- Body and Shield Bashes ---

If a creature is positioned next to you, you may bash it. Weight is the
primary factor in being able to bash something, but strength plays a
role too. If a shield is currently being worn, the bash is a shield
bash and will do more damage. A successful bashing will damage your
opponent and may throw an opponent off balance for a number of rounds,
allowing a player to get in a free hit or more. Unfortunately, the
converse is also true. Having a high dexterity reduces the chance of
you being thrown off balance. This is a risky attack.

Note: You will automatically do shield bashes during melee combat.
These bashes have a chance to stun or confuse your opponent. 


***** 
=== Melee Weapons ===

Carrying a weapon in your backpack does you no good. You must wield a
weapon before it can be used in a fight. A secondary weapon can be kept
by keeping it in the backpack, and switching it with the primary weapon
when needed.

Zangband assumes that your youth in the rough environment near the
dungeons has taught you the relative merits of different weapons, and
displays as part of their description the damage dice which define
their capabilities. The dice used for a given weapon is displayed as
"#d#". The first number indicates how many dice to roll, and the second
indicates how many sides they have. A "2d6" weapon will give damage
from 2 to 12, before considering any other bonuses. The weight of a
weapon is also a consideration.

In addition to their base damage, each weapon has two main magical
characteristics, their bonus to your skill and their bonus to your
deadliness, expressed as "(+#,+#)". A normal weapon would be "(+0,+0)"
but many weapons in Zangband have bonuses to your skill and/or
deadliness. These bonuses may be increased, subject to certain upper
limits, by magical means through a process referred to as 'enchanting'.
Some weapons are cursed, and will have penalties that hurt the player.
Cursed weapons cannot be unwielded until the curse is lifted. Note that
identifying a weapon will inform you of the magical bonuses and
penalties and whether or not it is cursed.

Although you receive any magical bonuses an unidentified weapon may
possess when you wield it, those bonuses will not be added in to the
displayed values of skill and deadliness on your character sheet. You
must identify the weapon before the displayed values reflect the real
values used.


***** 
=== Missile Launchers ===

Firing a missile while wielding the appropriate launcher is the only
way to get the "full" power out of the missile. You may of course throw
an arrow at a monster without firing it from a bow, but you will find
the effects may not be what you had hoped. Slings will fire pebbles or
shots, bows will fire arrows and crossbows will fire bolts. Missiles of
varying type and quality can be bought in the town and may be found
throughout the dungeon.

Missile launchers, have their characteristics added to those of the
missile used, if the proper weapon/missile combination is used, and the
launcher multiplier is applied to the total damage, making missile
weapons very powerful given the proper missiles. This is especially
true if both the launcher and the missile are enchanted.

Hits and misses are determined by your ability to hit versus your
target's armor class. A hit is a strike that does some damage; a miss
may in fact reach a target, but fails to do any damage. Higher armor
class makes it harder to do damage, and so leads to more misses; it
will also reduce the damage from a strike that actually occurs.

You can find out roughly how much damage your missile weapons will do
by looking at the (+#/+#) value on the ammunition in your inventory.
The two numbers indicate the average damage done per shot, and average
damage done per round.  These numbers take into account whether or not
you have identified your ammunition and launcher.  The two numbers can
differ because different launchers take differing energies to fire.

The varying types of missile launchers each have their own strengths
and weaknesses. Which can be summarized as follows:

                 energy to fire   multiplier   remarks
Sling:                  50             2
Short Bow:             100             2
Long Bow:              100             2       strength  <  16
                       100             3       strength  >= 16
Light Crossbow:        120             4
Heavy Crossbow:        150             5       dexterity >= 16
                       200             5       dexterity <  16

Bows tend to be good at dealing constant streams of damage.  A sling is
good for killing many small monsters - it even does more damage per
round than a short bow if you can carry enough ammunition.  Crossbows
deal enormous amounts of damage in one shot.  However, the reload time
is such that a longbow will deal more damage over time.

Certain classes automatically receive additional shots as they become
more experienced. Rangers receive an additional shot with a bow at
level 20 and at level 40 and an additional shot with a crossbow at
level 30. Rogues receive an extra shot with a sling at level 20 and at
level 40 and an additional shot with a thrown dagger at level 10. 
Warriors receive an additional shot with any missile launcher at level 
40.


***** 
== Ego Weapons and Artifacts ===

In addition to the ordinary weapons your character may find in the
dungeon, some of them may be endowed with additional powers. These
weapons fall into two types: (1) artifacts; and (2) ego weapons. Unlike
artifacts which are unique and may only be found once in each game, it
is not unusual to find several ego weapons of the same type during the
course of a character's adventures.

In general, artifacts and ego weapons may boost one or more of your
primary statistics, may confer certain abilities upon your character,
may grant resistance to certain forms of attack and may be especially
deadly against certain types of creature. Take note that if your weapon
has two attributes that make it deadly to your opponent (for example
you are fighting a demon and your weapon slays both evil and demons
(demons are evil)), only the most effective slay will apply.

Zangband has extended the original Angband's concept of adding random
abilities to the various Ego types considerably. These can be either
guaranteed or have only a varying chance of being granted. (See
'Randabil.spo' for details of the random powers of Ego Weapons).


(Defender)
    A magical weapon that actually helps the wielder defend himself,
    by increasing his/her armor class, and providing resistance
    against damage from fire, cold, acid and lightning attacks. It also
    grants levitation, increases your stealth, let you see invisible
    creatures and protects from paralyzation and some slowing attacks.
    It also helps you regenerate hit-points and mana faster.

(Holy Avenger)
    A Holy Avenger is one of the more powerful of weapons. It will
    increase your wisdom and your armor class and prevent you from
    becoming afraid. This weapon will do extra damage when used against
    evil, demonic and undead creatures, and will also give you the
    ability to see invisible creatures. These weapons are also blessed
    and so can be wielded by priests with no penalty.

Weapon of Westernesse
    A Weapon of Westernesse is one of the more powerful weapons. It
    slays orcs, trolls and giants while increasing your strength,
    dexterity, and constitution. It also allows you to see invisible
    creatures and protects from paralyzation and some slowing attacks.

(Trump Weapon)
    A Trump Weapon is especially deadly against evil creatures and will
    increase your ability to discover hidden dungeon features. It will
    help you regenerate hit-points and mana faster and at the same time
    will reduce your rate of food consumption. It provides resistance
    to nexus and protects from paralyzation and some slowing attacks.
    In addition it may cause you to teleport randomly and can be
    activated for teleport once every 50+1d50 turns.

(Pattern Weapon)
    A Pattern Weapon has been embedded with a fragment of the Pattern.
    It will increase your strength and constitution and also has a
    chance of increasing your dexterity. It is especially effective
    when used against evil, undead and demonic creatures. It will allow
    you to see invisible creatures and protects from paralyzation and
    some slowing attacks.

(Blessed Blade)
    A blessed blade will increase your wisdom and can be wielded by
    priests with no penalty.

Weapon of Extra Attacks
    These weapons will grant the user additional attacks per round.

Weapon of Sharpness (edged weapon only)
    These are known to occasionally score vorpal hits (see below) and
    will also increase your ability to tunnel through the dungeon
    walls.

Weapon of Earthquakes (hafted weapon only)
    These weapons may cause an earthquake when they strike an opponent
    which potentially may cause other monsters in the area to take
    damage from falling rocks and will destroy a small portion of the
    surrounding dungeon. They also increase your ability to tunnel
    through the dungeon walls.

Weapon of Slaying
    These weapons have a chance of being granted unusually high damage
    dice.

Implement of Digging
    These digging implements increase your ability to tunnel through
    the dungeon walls, and have the acid brand (see below).

--- The Elemental and Other Brands ---

(Chaotic)
    These bizarre, feared weapons have been manufactured in the Courts
    of Chaos, and are very unpredictable in combat often producing
    chaotic effects when they strike your opponent. Effects include
    *destruction*, teleport away and vampiric drain among others. A
    Chaotic weapon grants resistance to chaos attacks and cannot be
    damaged by acid, fire and electricity.

(Vampiric)
    These foul weapons have been created by Death magic. They lust for
    blood, and if such a weapon scores a hit, it greedily sucks life
    from the hapless victim, transferring the life energy to its
    master and healing them in the process.

Weapon of Melting
    A magical weapon of acid that will inflict two times the normal
    damage when used against a creature that is not resistant to acid.
    It also provides resistance against acid attacks.

Weapon of Shocking
    A magical weapon of lightning that will inflict two times the
    normal damage when used against a creature that is not resistant to
    electricity. It also provides resistance against lightning attacks.

Weapon of Freezing
    A magical weapon of ice that will inflict two times the normal
    damage when used against a creature that is not resistant to cold.
    It also provides resistance against cold attacks.

Weapon of Burning
    A magical weapon of fire that will inflict two times the normal
    damage when used against a creature that is not resistant to fire.
    It also provides resistance against fire attacks.

Weapon of Poisoning
    A magical weapon, coated with poison, that will inflict two times
    the normal damage to creatures not resistant to poison. It also
    provides resistance against toxic and poisonous attacks.

--- Weapons of Slay {Monster-Type} ---

Weapon of Slay Animal
    This weapon is especially effective against natural creatures and
    will do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Evil
    This weapon is especially effective against evil creatures and will
    do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Undead
    This weapon is especially effective against undead creatures and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures. It 
    will also provide resistance to life draining attacks.

Weapon of Slay Demon
    This weapon is especially effective against demonic creatures and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Orc
    This weapon is especially effective against orcs and will do
    two times the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Troll
    This weapon is especially effective against trolls and will do
    three two the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Giant
    This weapon is especially effective against giant humanoids and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures.

Weapon of Slay Dragon
    This weapon is especially effective against dragons and will do
    three two the normal damage against such creatures.

--- Weapons of *Slay* {Monster-Type} ---

Weapon of *Slay* Animal
    This weapon is especially effective against natural creatures and
    will do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures. It
    will also increase your intelligence and allow you to regenerate
    hit-points and mana faster.

Weapon of *Slay* Evil
    This weapon is especially effective against evil creatures and will
    do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures. It will
    increase your wisdom and will also be a blessed blade.

Weapon of *Slay* Undead
    This weapon is especially effective against undead creatures and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures. It 
    will increase your wisdom and will also provide resistance to both
    nether and life-draining attacks. Finally, it will allow you to see
    invisible creatures.

Weapon of *Slay* Demon
    This weapon is especially effective against demonic creatures and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures. It
    will also increase your intelligence.

Weapon of *Slay* Orc
    This weapon is especially effective against orcs and will do two
    times the normal damage against such creatures. It will also
    increase your dexterity.

Weapon of *Slay* Troll
    This weapon is especially effective against trolls and will do
    two times the normal damage against such creatures. It will also
    increase your strength.

Weapon of *Slay* Giant
    This weapon is especially effective against giant humanoids and
    will do two times the normal damage against such creatures. It
    will also increase your strength.

Weapon of *Slay* Dragon
    This weapon is especially effective against dragons and will do
    three times the normal damage against such creatures. It will also
    increase your constitution.

--- Missile Launchers ---

Launcher of Accuracy
    These missile launchers have an unusually high bonus to hit.

Launcher of Velocity
    These missile launchers have an unusually high bonus to dam.

Launcher of Extra Might
    These missile launchers have an unusually high damage multiplier.

Launcher of Extra Shots
    These missile launchers grant additional shots per round.

--- Ammunition ---

Ammunition of Hurt Animal
    This ammunition is especially effective against natural creatures
    and will do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures.

Ammunition of Hurt Evil
    This ammunition is especially effective against evil creatures and
    will do 1.7 times the normal damage against such creatures.

Ammunition of Hurt Dragon
    This ammunition is especially effective against dragons and will do
    two times the normal damage against such creatures.

Ammunition of Shocking
    This ammunition will inflict two times the normal damage when
    used against a creature that is not resistant to electricity.

Ammunition of Flame
    This ammunition will inflict two times the normal damage when
    used against a creature that is not resistant to fire.

Ammunition of Frost
    This ammunition will inflict two times the normal damage when
    used against a creature that is not resistant to cold.

Ammunition of Slaying
    This ammunition will have unusually large damage dice.

Ammunition of Wounding
    This ammunition will have unusually bonuses +to-hit and +to-dam.

--- Other Items ---

Apart from these there are some very rare and well made blades in the
dungeon. These include Blades of Chaos (which grant resistance to
chaos), Maces of Disruption (which are especially effective against
undead creatures) and Diamond Edges and Scythes of Slicing (which may
both score vorpal hits).

Note on Vorpal Weapons: A weapon with the vorpal flag will have a
1-in-6 chance of doing additional damage each time it strikes. If it
passes the roll it has a chance of doing it again. This continues until
a roll is failed. The calculations are nasty but the net effect is an
average 22% increase in damage output.


***** 
=== Magical Aids to Physical Combat ===

There are several magical means of increasing your physical combat
ability. The most common of these are potions of heroism and berserk
strength and various scrolls (blessing, holy prayer, etc.). Typically,
these grant small cumulative bonuses to your combat skill. Some magic
realms contain equivalent spells.


***** 
=== Calculating Damage ===

Unlike standard Angband, however you attack a monster, whether in melee
or by firing or throwing missiles, the weapon or object's base number
of damage dice are cumulatively multiplied by any and all applicable
modifiers. Actual damage is determined by rolling the final number of
dice. The biggest conceptual difference is how Skill and Deadliness
(formerly known as to-hit and to-damage respectively) work:

Combat Skill: (formerly called the plus to hit)
     Your combat skill affects your ability to hit a monster, and also
     determines how often you get critical hits. The more skilled you
     are, the better those critical hits. You know you have scored a
     critical hit when you get any combat message other than "you hit"
     (or punch) "the ".

Deadliness: (formerly called the plus to damage)
     Deadliness acts as a percentage bonus to damage (you may inspect
     your current bonus on the character screen). It is not unusual
     for high-level characters to have bonuses in excess of 200%, and
     therefore triple the number of dice they roll on every blow with
     the Deadliness multiplier alone.


***** 
--- Melee ---

The formula for calculating the damage done by a weapon whose base
damage dice are XdY is as follows:

    Z = X * (bonus from any applicable slays/brands) * (the critical
        multiplier (if any)) * (bonus from your deadliness percentage)

    Then roll a Y-sided dice Z times adding each result to give the
    total damage.

    Example 1
    ---------
    You hit a Troll with a dagger (1d4)

    there is one damage die                      :  1x damage
    it's a weapon of Slay Troll                  :  2x damage
    you get a critical hit for 2x damage         :  2x damage
    you have a total bonus to Deadliness of 200% :  2x damage

    Thus,

    Z = 1 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 8

    Rolling a four-sided dice 8 times yields an average damage of 20
    per blow.


***** 
--- Bare Handed Combat ---

The calculation for bare handed combat is identical to that of melee
combat. With the exception of the monk class, it is assumed that your
hands will do a base damage of 1d1. Thus you will get two 1d1 attacks
per round. Monk bare handed combat is addressed separately below.


***** 
--- Missile Launchers ---

The formula for calculating the damage done by a missile launcher
firing ammunition whose base damage dice are XdY is as follows:

    Z = X * (missile launcher damage multiplier) * (bonus from any
        applicable slays/brands) * (the critical multiplier (if any))
        * (bonus from your deadliness percentage)

    Then roll a Y-sided dice Z times adding each result to give the
    total damage.

    Example 1
    ---------
    You use a long bow to hit a Dragon with an arrow (3d4)

    there are three damage dice                  :  3x damage
    its a long bow, and you have high strength   :  3x damage
    it's an arrow of Hurt Dragon                 :  2x damage
    you don't get a critical hit                 :  1x damage
    you have a total bonus to Deadliness of 200% :  2x damage

    Thus,

    Z = 3 * 3 * 2 * 1 * 2 = 36

    Rolling a four-sided dice 36 times yields an average damage of 90
    per blow.


***** 
--- Throwing ---

Throwing and firing are broadly similar, with five main differences:
firstly, only throwing weapons have a damage multiplier, which
increases as you gain experience levels (it ranges from 4 to 12).
Secondly, no thrown object other than the special throwing weapons
may take advantage of bonuses to Skill or Deadliness granted by your
equipment. Thirdly, only throwing weapons can get critical hits when
thrown. Fourthly, thrown objects may break, but throwing weapons only
do so rarely. Finally, you may never throw more than one object per
round. Note that throwing weapons are very rare...

The formula for calculating the damage done by a thrown object whose
base damage dice are XdY is as follows:

    Z = X * (throwing damage multiplier (if any)) * (bonus from any
        applicable slays/brands) * (the critical multiplier (if any))
        * (bonus from your deadliness percentage)

    Then roll a Y-sided dice Z times adding each result to give the
    total damage.

    Example 1
    ---------
    You throw a spear (1d6) to hit an Orc and at your level throwing
    weapons receive a 6x multiplier.

    there is one damage die                      :  1x damage
    its a throwing weapon                        :  6x damage
    no applicable slay or brand                  :  1x damage
    you get a critical hit for 3x damage         :  3x damage
    you have a total bonus to Deadliness of 200% :  2x damage

    Thus,

    Z = 1 * 6 * 1 * 3 * 2 = 36

    Rolling a six sided dice 36 times yields an average damage of 126
    per blow.


    Example 2
    ---------
    You throw a flail (2d6) to hit an Orc and at your level throwing
    weapons receive a 2x multiplier.

    there are two damage dice                        :  2x damage
    its not a throwing weapon                        :  1x damage
    no applicable slay or brand                      :  1x damage
    no critical hit (its not a throwing weapon)      :  1x damage
    no Deadliness bonus  (its not a throwing weapon) :  1x damage

    Thus,

    Z = 2 * 1 * 1 * 1 * 1 = 2

    Rolling a six-sided dice 2 times yields an average damage of 7.


***** 
=== Monk Attacks ===

The Monk character is designed to be a barehanded fighter rather than
using a weapon like the other Zangband classes. As a Monk's level
increases the number of attacks they get per round increases and new,
increasingly powerful attacks become available. Higher level attacks
have a chance to stun the Monk's opponent.

While the type of attack that a Monk uses for each blow is chosen at
random from the list of available attacks, at higher levels there is a
bias towards the attacks which do greater damage. This is because at
these levels, the game will roll several times for each blow with the
highest attack type chosen.


***** 
--- Monks Attack Types ---

Attack Name   Min.lvl   Damage   Stun    Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Punch            1       1d4       -
Kick             2       1d5       -
Strike           3       1d6       -
Knee             5       2d3       *     Likely to stun male opponents
Elbow            7       1d7       -
Butt             9       2d4       -
Ankle Kick      11       2d5       -     May slow down the opponent
Uppercut        13       3d5       6
Double-kick     16       6d3       8
Cat's Claw      20       4d6       -
Jump Kick       25       4d7      10
Eagle's Claw    29       5d6       -
Circle Kick     33       5d8      10
Iron Fist       37       6d8      10
Flying Kick     41       7d8      12
Dragon Fist     45       7d10     16
Crushing Blow   48       7d12     18


***** 
=== Basic Tactics ===


Pillardancing
-------------
Requires that you be at least twice as fast as the monster you are
fighting. Find a single block of wall, freestanding, and lure your
enemy to it. When both you and your enemy are standing next to the
pillar, hit him, and then move so that you are opposite the pillar from
him. He will use his turn to move so that he's standing next to you.
Hit him again, and then move again. Repeat until he's dead.

Note: Some monsters move erratically, and cannot be relied upon to move
in the method expected. Also, some monsters (mostly Ghosts) can move
through walls, and a small number of monsters can chew through walls.


Shoot'n Scoot
-------------
Requires a large room, Phase Door, and some type of missile weapon.
Stand at one end of the room, your enemy at the other. Fire your
missile weapon at him until he gets close, and then Phase Door. Fire
again, until he gets close, and repeat. By the time you run out of
ammunition, he should be dead or weak enough for you to finish him HTH
(Hand to Hand).


Hack'n Back
-----------
Requires that you be at least twice as fast as your opponent. Stand
next to your enemy, hit him, and back up. He should use his turn to
move towards you instead of using a missile weapon or a spell. Hit him
again, back up again, repeat. This is a little more dangerous than
Pillardancing, because the monster gets a chance to breathe or cast a
spell, but it's easier to set up.


Wail'n Bail
-----------
Requires Teleport items. Fight the monster until you're almost dead,
teleport out, find him, and resume fighting. This is dangerous, because
you could teleport right next to some nasty that will kill you. Also,
it is not generally useful for killing unique monsters, as they
regenerate damage very quickly, and by the time you find them again,
they will have healed what you did to them.


The Anti-Summoning Corridor
---------------------------
Requires a little time to set up. This can be done just about anywhere.
Dig a twisting corridor into the rock, and station yourself at one end
of it. When your opponent arrives, he won't be able to summon any
monsters next to you. This is a very important technique for fighting
many higher-end monsters which very quickly bring in a horde of other
monsters.


--
Original   : (??) and Leon Marrick
Updated    : (??)
Updated    : Zangband DevTeam
Last update: May 25, 2001

***** Begin Hyperlinks
***** [1] commdesc.txt#ThrowFire
***** [2] option.txt#UserInterface

Latest News
  • August 1st, 2004
    Zangband 2.7.4c has been released! See the changes list for details.
  • December 7th, 2003
    Zangband 2.7.4b has been released! See the changes list for details.
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