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Angband is a roguelike* game loosely based on the characters and monsters of J.R.R. Tolkien's works. The goal is to get to level 100 and kill Sauron and Morgoth. 100 levels doesn't take as long as it might sound ..unless you make it take longer in which case you'll probably die before level 40, but you'll probably die before then anyway -I usually do. (For those who know Tolkien only by The Lord of the Rings, Morgoth is the main bad guy of the Silmarillion which is a history of Middle Earth. Most of it takes place long before the Lord of the Rings.)
I've been playing Angband for over three years now. At some point, maybe about a year ago, I noticed an /lib/edit directory in the Angband directory where I could add, delete and change monsters, objects, classes and races as easy as modifying text files without doing any code. That's the kind of thing I have always liked to do with games. (There's an older and completely unrelated game called Duke Nukem which had a level editor, and I used to spend a lot of time making levels there. Before that there was an even older game called BoulderDash which had a level editor which I had fun with. Even when I game a liked didn't have any such editor, I would often design my own modifications to the game even though I couldn't actually make them playable -I did that with Nethack a good bit.) Anyway, I eventually came out with my own semi-variant of Angband called DaJAngband. I call it a semi-variant because hardly any code is changed, just a lot of modifications to the text files. Can't call it a real variant because there are several real variants of Angband out there where people actaully added features, dungeons, and differences in interface and gameplay which I don't know how to do. I don't know much C code, but I was able to look at the source code and figure out how to make a few tweaks mainly just to make the game fit my monster list better. The Angband code is so well organized and commented that it's not very hard to figure out how to do a lot of stuff. Later, I ended up making a lot more changes and now consider it a full variant.
changes between v1.0.03 and v1.0.02:
.txt file changes:
A bunch of mostly-very-minor monster tweaks.
Monster descriptions are finally finished- there is now at least some description for every monster in the game.
There is a small (though significant in the very beginning) exp penatly for killing most of the town monsters who don't actually do anything to you.
Added Maia race (mostly the same as OAngband's) for the players of very low skill level (like me). Their (quite useful) special racial ability is resist disenchantment.
There is now alternate character classes for most of the original classes: (excluding priest and mage) Barbarian-warrior class with even higher strength and hit die than warrior, slightly worse skills, and very hard to get more than one attack. Holy Rogue- Rogue with prayers instead of spells and penalty for sharp weapons, can get multiple attacks as easy as the warrior. Stealth Ranger was already there (described in the DaJAngband Readme.txt). Paladin Marshal- My view of a paladin (largely influenced by The Deed of Paksenarrion book), not a whole lot different from original. The original versions of the classes are still available of course. Note: the new races and classes have not been very well tested, but I tried to keep them roughly balanced. I think I've only played with the Barbarian class once, and it probably needs more testing than the others just to see if the concept works.
The ability to sell to shops is now a birth option (defaults to off). The same option also affects the amount of gold found. If you can sell to shops, you find the normal vanilla amount of gold, if you chose not to be able to sell to shops, then gold drops are significantly increased (as in Eddie's patch -actually the old and only released version of Eddie's patch (so far) has a multiplier of 4 and I changed it to 3 cause I seemed like I was finding quite a lot of gold).
added spear of light and starlight as a priest-type spell (also in spell.txt), I always thought spear of light fit better as a priest-type spell. Currently only the Paladin Marshall can use them though.
added a couple new types of monster nests which I won't give away.
fixed town messiness caused by me trying to figure out how to add a new shop and failing.
changes between first release and v1.0.02:
.txt file tweaks:
knights now can get the call light and detect traps prayers but not until clvl 18 and 22 (respectively), detect evil now costs 4 mana for them instead of 5. I did this to make the 1st spellbook a little more worth carrying around for the knight.
singing happy drunks and squint-eyed rogues no longer drop anything (unless the rogue stole something from you, of course). battle-scarred veterans and village witches now drop only items. There is a new and very rare town monster that drops only gold, but unlike the drunk, the new town monster can attack for damage. (Actually, I think I made the drunk do 1d1 damage, but the new one does more than that).
couple other very minor monster tweaks.
One new weapon appears in the weapon store, and the three new blunt weapons now appear in the temple. Randarts can now be made from new armor and weapons. (I think this change is undone in v1.0.03.)
Torches that you start with never have less then 2000 turns of light (I didn't like starting with torches with only 1500 turns of light).
major changes that come with Eddie Grove's patch:
(These are only the more major changes copied from his announcement, see the patch-changes.txt file for a list of everything his patch does)
* Change !selfKnowledge to *IDENTIFY all items wielded
* Point-based character generation equivalent to best available from autoroller (and always use point-based)
* New command to restock a store for the cost of all items for sale
* Show charges on aware wands and staves without identify
* Give free identify on non-jewelry that pseudos as average
* Show raw numbers rather than ratings on 'C' page
* Pseudo of artifact identifies it
* Stolen gold is carried by thief
** Disallow selling items to stores (probably the biggest change -but don't worry, there is no lack of gold because he also increased gold drops in the dungeon)
* Allow squelching of unaware flavors
* Notice obvious effects when wielding unidentified objects
* New pseudo level "Splendid" meaning obvious bonuses when wielded (replaces special pseudo and partially replaces excellent)
* Allow pseudo on jewelry
Summary of changes: (in original DaJAngband release)
-Redid monster.txt file, adding lots of monsters, taking away several I didn't like, changing some, and renaming a couple.
-Removed unique monsters which I didn't think fit in the game and added others including some Tolkien uniques suggested in an old rgra post by Shawn McHorse.
-Made changes with objects, egos, and artifacts to implement my idea that see invisible shouldn't be available till a bit later. Permanent see invisible is now very rare before L40 unless you want to weild a cursed morgul weapon, and temporary see invisible is a little more common. Also, less monsters are invisible (but you'll need those temporary SI sources for stuff like the greater poltergeist).
-Added some new classes and races.
For a more detailed list of changes see the DaJAngband Readme.txt in the download package.
(*Roguelike means it is based on the old game rogue or an offshoot of rogue. Roguelikes are generally the type of game where you go down in the dungeon, find treasure and equipment and kill monsters. They also often have plain ASCII graphics because the game is fun enough that it doesn't need fancy stuff to look at.)
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