Attacking is simple in Tangaria. If monster get close to your character – you will attack it automatically (experienced players often disable this behaviour in game’s options if they play ranged or magic classes). Alternatively you could move into a creature, then your character attack particular monster in which you moved. You can attack from a distance by firing a missile or by magical means (such as aiming a wand). Creatures attack in the same way. If they move into you, they attack you. Some creatures can also cast spells from a distance, and others can use various breath weapons (such as fire) on you from a distance.
Creatures in walls can not be attacked by wands or other magic attacks normally stopped by walls, nor can they be shot at with bows and arrows. Tunnelling into the wall (using the
Tunnel command) will allow you to attack any creature in the wall with your main weapon. This applies to creatures which “pass through” walls: if they “bore through” walls, the wall is no longer there, and the creature can be targeted normally.
If you are wielding a weapon, the damage for the weapon is used when you hit a creature. Otherwise you get a single punch which does minimal damage.
wield one weapon for melee combat, and also one missile launcher (bow, crossbow or sling). You may also wear one amulet (around the one and only neck of the character), two rings (on the two “ring” fingers, i.e. the third finger of each hand: a magic ring does not function when worn on any other finger, nor may two be worn on the same finger), one light source, and a full set of armour – body armour, shield, helmet, gloves, boots and a cloak. Digging tools can be used from the tool slot. Any or all of these items may provide powers to the character in terms of bonuses to-hit, to-damage, to-armour class, or to other stats.
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 shooting it, but you will find the effects will not be what you had hoped.
Hits and misses are determined by ability to hit versus armour 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 armour classes make it harder to do damage, and so lead to more misses. Characters with higher armour classes also receive a damage reduction. This is not true for monsters, whose AC only affects the character’s difficulty to hit them.
If you wish to see how much damage your weapon will do, you can
Inspect it. You will find the number of blows and how much damage you would do per round, including information on whether your weapon damages other types of monsters differently.
There are hundreds of different creatures in the dungeons. It may be difficult to keep track of the capabilities of various creatures. Luckily, Tangaria automatically keeps track of your experiences with a particular creature. This feature is called the monster memory. To check it press
/ key and enter monster name (you may enter just partial name). Your monster memory recalls the particular attacks of each creature (whether or not technically a monster) which you have suffered, as well as recalling if you have observed them to multiply or move erratically, or drop treasure, etc. Otherwise you would simply have to take notes, which is an unnecessary bother.
If you have killed enough of a particular creature, or suffered enough attacks, recalling the monster memory may also provide you with information not otherwise available, such as an armour class, hit dice, spell types, frequency of spell casting, or the amount of damage for breaths or spells. These attacks will be colour coded to inform you of whether or not you currently resist a specific attack. Red or orange means you do not resist it, yellow means you partially resist it, and green means you resist it or are immune. If you attack a monster with specific elemental attacks you will learn if the monster resists that element or if they are immune. There are other magical means to learn about monster’s abilities that don’t require you to actually experience the attacks.
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. This is most often used when carrying two weapons, each of which provides a rare power that the character needs at two separate times.
Weapons have two main magical characteristics, their enchanted ability to hit and their enchanted ability to do damage, expressed as ‘(+#,+#)’. A normal weapon would be ‘(+0,+0)’. Many weapons in Tangaria have bonuses to hit and/or to damage.
Tangaria 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. Any damage enchantment is added to the dice roll for that weapon. The dice used for a given weapon is displayed as ‘XdY’. The number ‘X’ indicates how many dice to roll, and number ‘Y’ indicates how many sides they have.
A ‘2d6’ weapon will thus give damage from 2 to 12, plus any damage bonus. The weight of a weapon is also a consideration. Heavy weapons may hit harder, but they are also harder to use. Depending on your strength, dexterity, character class, and weapon weight, you may get attacks more quickly: high dexterity and strength and low weapon weight are the main factors. Warriors may get up to a maximum of 6 attacks per round; mages and
priests are limited to only 4; other classes may get up to 5. Your attacks per round with a weapon are displayed as a decimal, e.g. 2.3 or 3.4 etc. The fractions take the form of unused energy which is carried over to your next turn.
Missile weapons, such as bows, have their characteristics added to those of the missile used, if the proper weapon/missile combination is used, and then the launcher multiplier is applied to the total damage, making missile weapons very powerful given the proper missiles, especially if they are enchanted. Like weapons,
Inspecting ammunition will tell you how much damage you will do with your current missile launcher.
Finally, some rare weapons have special abilities. These are called ego weapons, and are feared by great and meek. An ego weapon must be wielded to receive the benefit of its abilities. It should be noted that some of these items are considerably more powerful than others, and generally the most powerful items are the rarest. Some items will have an obvious effect, like an increase in infravision, or extra strength. These effects will be
noticed as soon as you wield the item. Other effects, like most resistances, will need to be learned. You can learn them by either suffering an appropriate attack, or by using magical means of identification.
Some of the more common ego weapons are described at the end of this article.
Your Armor Class
Your armour class (or AC) is a number that describes the amount and the quality of armour being worn. Armour class will generally run from about 0 to 200, though exceptionally good armour can improve even on the latter figure.
The higher your armour class, the more protective it is. A negative armour class would actually help get you hit. Armour protects you in three manners. First, it makes you harder to be hit for damage. A hit for no damage counts as a miss, and is described as a miss. Second, good armour will absorb some of the damage that your character would have taken from normal attacks. Third, acid damage is reduced by wearing body armour (but the armour may be damaged instead). It is obvious that a high armour class is vital for surviving the deeper levels of the dungeons.
Armour class values are always displayed between a set of square brackets, as ‘[#]’ or ‘[#,+#]’. The first value is the base armour class of the armour. The second number is the magical bonus of the item, which is only displayed if known, and will always have a sign preceding the value. These plusses can be determined by wielding the armour in combat and being hit. Note that a few rings, amulets, and weapons also have the ‘[+#]’ notation, indicating that they provide an armour bonus. Many pieces of heavy body armour will also have a ‘(-#)’ (in normal brackets) before the ‘[#,+#]’, which indicates that the weight of the armour decreases your chances of hitting monsters. This can range from nonexistent for very light armour to ‘(-8)’ for the heaviest armour!
Monster status effects
You will find some spells and items which can affect monsters in ways which do not involve directly dealing them damage. These are ‘status effects’. They are listed with their effects below. These status effects will either work on a monster type or they won’t; some monsters resist particular effects but not all do.
- paralyses a monster until you hit them;
- increased chance of player getting a critical hit;
- normal duration 3-8 turns.
- reduces the monster’s melee accuracy and damage by 25%;
- 1 in 10 chance that the monster will miss the turn;
- increased chance of player getting a critical hit;
- normal duration 5-10 turns.
- monster spells fail 50% more often;
- monster 20% more likely to miss target with spells/ranged attacks;
- monster aimed spells sometimes go in random direction;
- 30% chance of erratic movement;
- increased chance of critical hit;
- normal duration 5-10 turns.
- -2 speed;
- normal duration 10 or more turns.
Puts monsters to sleep, but they can wake up again quite easily.
- makes monsters run away;
- monster spells fail 20% more often;
- normal duration 10 or more turns.
Haste Monster (bad effect)
+10 speed (at the beginning of the game it means that monsters will do all actions at double speed – attack, move, cast spells twice faster.
- monsters cannot cast spells;
- monsters move erratically;
- increased chance of critical hit;
- normal duration 5-10 turns.
Poison / bleeding:
- prevents regeneration;
- 1 hp loss per turn;
- normal duration 5-10 turns.
Non-melee attacks and resistances
The player may at some time gain access to non-melee attacks, and many monsters also have them. Perhaps the most famous of this type of attack is dragon breath, but monsters may also cast spells at the player, and vice versa. This damage generally is not affected by armour class, and does not need a hit roll to hit the player or monster being aimed at.
Some attacks are purely magical: attack spells which blind, confuse, slow, scare or paralyze the target. These attacks are resisted by monsters of higher level (native to deeper dungeon depths) and characters with a high saving throw – saving throws being dependent on class, level and wisdom. There are also available resistances to fear, blindness, confusion and stunning, and the power of “free action” prevents magical paralysis and most slowing attacks (the player may still be paralyzed by being “knocked out” in melee or by a stunning attack, but this is very rare and can be prevented with protection from stunning). There are monsters that can cause status effects such as blindness, paralysis or confusion through their melee attack. Since this is a physical effect and not a mental one,
the player will not get a saving throw. However, having resistance to that effect will prevent the negative status in all cases. It should also be noticed that most unique monsters automatically pass their saving throws, and some monsters are naturally resistant to confusion, fear and sleep. Some monsters may have spells that ’cause wounds’ that can be deadly if successful but do no damage if the saving throw is passed.
Some melee attacks by monsters may drain a stat, as can some traps: this is prevented by having that stat sustained. Drained stats are temporary and can be restored on gaining a new character level or consuming rare items found in the dungeon.
Some monsters may cast spells that teleport the player character. There is no saving throw, except to those that would actually teleport him up or down one dungeon level. Having resistance to nexus will also prevent being level-teleported, but will not help against normal teleportation spell attacks. The player may teleport monsters in the same way, with a spell, wand or rod. No monsters, even Morgoth himself, can resist this teleportation.
Other attacks are usually element-based, including the aforementioned example of dragon breath. Many monsters can breathe various attacks or cast bolt or ball spells, and the player may also have access to bolt and ball spells (or breathe like a dragon, in some rare circumstances). The player, and the monsters, may be resistant to these forms of attack: resistance is handled in different ways for the player and the monster, and for different
Bolt spells will hit the first monster (or the player) in the line of fire: ball spells may centre on a target which may be hiding behind other targets. Ball spells and breath weapons affect an area: other monsters caught in the blast take reduced damage depending on their distance from the centre of the blast. Breath weapons are proportional to a fraction of the monster’s current hit points and drop off in power with distance from the monster, with a maximum cap on the damage (which is higher for the most common of such attacks, owing to the fact that the resistances are also easier to find). Bolt and ball spell damage are calculated differently – often (but not always) relative to character or monster level.
In the case of fire, cold, lightning, acid and poison, if the monster has resistance to a player attack of this kind it will take almost no damage. If the player has one or more permanent sources of resistance, they will take 1/3 of the damage he would normally take: if the player has a temporary source of resistance (whether from potion, spell or item activation), this will also reduce the damage to 1/3 of its normal level, allowing the
character to take only 1/9 damage if they have both permanent and temporary resistance. Having more than one source of permanent resistance confers no extra bonus, and using more than one source of temporary resistance increases only the duration of the resistance: in both cases, either the resistance is present or it is not. But one permanent resistance and one temporary resistance are both effective simultaneously.
Elemental attacks also have a chance to damage wielded equipment or destroy items in the character’s inventory. Fire attacks destroy scrolls, staves, magic books and arrows. Acid attacks destroy scrolls, staves, arrows, bolts and can damage armour. Electricity attacks can destroy wands, rods, rings and amulets. Cold attacks can destroy potions. Items in your inventory get a saving throw, and they are unharmed if they pass it. Having resistance to the element will make an item less likely to be destroyed. Items on the floor that get caught in an elemental ball or breath are automatically destroyed without a saving throw. Weapons, armour and chests can also be destroyed if they are lying on the floor, but cannot be harmed if they are in your pack.
The character may also gain immunity to fire, cold, lightning and acid if he is fortunate to find any of the few items that provide these immunities: immunity means that no damage is taken, and the character’s equipment is also totally protected. Immunities are EXTREMELY rare.
Another attack that the player will come into contact with all too often is the soul-chilling nature of the undead, which can drain the character’s life experience. Some monsters have a life-draining melee attack, others may cast ball or bolt spells or, in extreme cases, breathe the very force of the netherworld (shortened by the game to “nether”.) There are two powers which are of assistance in this case: that of “hold life” will prevent 90% of all experience drains, and in the other 10% of cases, the amount of experience lost will be reduced by 90%. That of “resistance to nether forces” will provide resistance to nether bolts, balls and breaths, reducing the damage and preventing any experience drains from these attacks, but has no effect on melee “hits to drain experience”. Monsters caught in the blast from a nether ball or breath will take damage proportional to distance from the centre of the attack, except for undead who are totally immune. The player may find wands or rods of Drain Life, which similarly are ineffective on those undead creatures which have no life to drain: however, the real player equivalent attack spell is the priest/paladin spell of “Orb of Draining”, a ball spell which does damage to all monsters, double damage to evil monsters, and is resisted by none.
Other attack forms are rarer, but may include: disenchantment (both in melee or by a monster breath), chaos (breath or melee, which if unresisted will cause the player to hallucinate and be confused, and may drain life experience), nexus (which may teleport the player to the monster, away from the monster, up or down a level, or swap over two of the player’s “internal” stats), light and darkness (which will blind a character unless they have protection from blindness or resistance to light or dark), sound (which will stun a character without sound resistance or protection from stunning), crystal shards (which will cut a non-resistant character), inertia (which will slow a character regardless of free action), gravity (which will blink a character, also stunning and slowing), force (which
will stun the character), plasma (which will stun), time (which may drain experience regardless of hold life, or drain stats regardless of sustains), water bolts and balls (which may confuse and stun, and do considerable damage from high-level monsters), ice bolts (which may cut and stun, and damage potions), and mana bolts and balls (the latter
usually known as Mana Storms.) Magic missiles are included in the “mana” category, whether cast by the monster or the player.
In addition items on the ground are especially vulnerable to elemental effects. Potions on the ground will always be destroyed by cold, shards, sound and force. Scrolls, staves, books, and non-metal gear will always get destroyed by fire or plasma. Scrolls, staves, and all non-mithril gear will be destroyed by acid. Rings, amulets, wands and rods will be destroyed by lightning and plasma. And finally nearly everything will be destroyed by a mana storm if left on the ground.
Some attacks may stun or cut the player. These can either be spells or breath attacks (sound, water balls) or from melee. A stunned character receives a penalty to hit and is much more likely to fail a spell or activation. If a character gets very stunned, they may be knocked out and at the mercy of the enemies. A cut character will slowly lose life until healed either by potions, spells or natural regeneration. Both stunning and cut status are displayed at the bottom of the screen. There are resistances available to chaos, disenchantment, confusion, nexus, sound, shards, light and darkness: all of these will reduce the damage and prevent side-effects other than physical damage. With these resistances, as with nether resistance, damage is a random fraction between 1/2 and 2/3.
It should be noted that not all of these are actually vital to completing the game: indeed, of the above list, only fire, cold, acid, lightning, poison and confusion resists are regarded as truly vital, with blindness, chaos and nether the next most desirable. Some attack forms are not resistible, but thankfully these are rare: resist shards will prevent all other magical attacks which cut (namely ice bolts), and confusion resistance will prevent confusion by a water bolt or ball, but there is no resistance to the physical damage caused by these following attacks: inertia, force, gravity, plasma, time, ice, water, mana. There is no resistance to any of the side-effects of a time attack, or indeed to anything but the stunning
effects of a gravity attack.
Monster’s status bar
In bottom left corner you could see HP bar of a monster. Some of it’s values (not everything implemented yet):
[*********] Monster is invulnerable
[*********] Monster is paralyzed or sleeping
[*********] Monster is confused
[*********] Monster is stunned
[*********] Monster is afraid
[*————] Monster is below 10% health
[**———-] Monster is below 25% health
[*****——] Monster is below 60% health
[*********] Monster is below 100% health
[*********] Monster is at full health
[————-] Monster’s status and location are unknown
A note on speed
Monsters which do not move at normal speed generally move “slowly” (-10 to speed), “fairly quickly” (+5), “quickly” (+10), “very quickly” (+20) or “incredibly quickly” (+30). (It will surprise nobody that Morgoth is one of the few monsters in the last category.) This is further adjusted by the fact that any non-unique monster may have a random adjustment from (-2) to (+2) to its own speed.
Generally, (+10) is exactly double normal speed, and (-10) exactly half. (+20) is about three times normal speed, but after that there is less noticeable improvement as speed goes higher – for instance, (+30) is not quite four times normal speed, and higher values than this are largely irrelevant. The player may find items which can be worn or wielded that provide speed bonuses: these may include boots of speed, rings of speed and a few very rare artifacts. Boots will provide a random 1d10 to speed: rings of speed may be bigger than that – generally the best that the player will get is two just over (+10), but individual rings of up to (+23) speed have been known.
Separate from the question of permanent speed (as determined by the player’s speed items and the monster’s natural speed) is that of temporary speed. The player may cast a spell of haste-self, or use a potion, staff or rod of speed or use an artifact activation to speed him temporarily: or a monster may cast a haste-self spell, or be affected by another monster “shrieking for help” or the player reading a Scroll of Aggravate Monster. In all cases, (+10) speed is added temporarily to the affected monster or player. Using two or more sources of temporary speed is cumulative only in duration – one cannot get from normal speed to (+20) using a potion and a spell of speed. Spells of temporary slowing (including monsters breathing inertia or gravity) are handled the same way, with exactly (-10) being subtracted from the player or monster’s speed temporarily, for the duration of the spell or breath’s effect.