Wear Oilskin
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Wear Oilskin

Dateline: rgrn
byline: Joel Gluth

Wear oilskin.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, oilskin would be it. The long-term benefits of oilskin cloaks have been proved by wizard-mode experimentation, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of playing vanilla in TTY-mode. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of vanilla until you're jaded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at a virtual console and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous it was to imagine how it really looked. Purple hs are easily as ugly as you imagine.

Don't worry about the endgame. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve Sokoban by applying a pickaxe. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that give you the urge to Run Away! between 12 and 1AM on some idle Tuesday night.

Do one thing every day that scares your pet.

Play horns.

Don't be reckless with other people's property in Minetown. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Especially not $@!$##! rust monsters.


Don't waste your time on jealously reading "After one week of playing..." YAAPen. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive on rgrn. Forget the insults, unless they're from the RGRNCA. In which case, stop being such a lamer.

Keep your old mail scrolls. Stash your old scrolls of light, until you can find a pool of water.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your Castle wishes. The best players I know didn't know at DL22 what they wanted to do with their wishes. Some of the most interesting YAAPen I've read still hadn't used theirs.

Get plenty of royal jelly. Be kind to your legs. You'll miss them when they're injured.

Maybe you'll have a killer pet, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll lay eggs, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll lose your Archon in Gehennom, maybe you'll go to your reward together after 75,000 moves. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half up to the RNG. Everything else's are entirely up to the RNG.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what foocubi think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own, unless you have a ring of polymorph control.

Nurse Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but Orcus Town.

Read the newsgroup, even if you don't follow the posts past "SPOILER SPACE..."

Do not read naked, weaponless ascension posts. They will only make you feel inadequate.

Get to know your God. You never know when they'll Crown you and you won't be able to talk to them any more. Be nice to the ghosts of your predecessors. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to leave you a bag of holding and rustproof Mjollnir in a bones pile.

Understand that pets come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the further you get, the more you need the people who knew you when had neither boulders nor a magic whistle.

Play in a cockatrice nest once, but leave before it makes you hard. Visit Ludios once, but leave before it makes you bored. Level teleport.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Liches will curse. Demons will gate in other demons. You, too, will get really really tired. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were awake, liches were scarce, demons only came out of fountains and newbies respected the rgrn netiquette.

Respect the netiquette.

Don't expect anything else to save your ass. Maybe you have an amulet of life saving. Maybe you'll have a rubber chicken. But you never know when you might fall into a pit and stone yourself.

Don't mess too much with your armour or by the time you're out of scrolls, it will still only be at +4.

Be careful whose spoilers you read, but be patient with those who supply them. Spoilers are a form of nostalgia. Dispensing them is a matter of fishing the source from the tarball, wiping it off, grepping over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the oilskin.

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