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The three altars are randomly assigned to lawful, neutral, and chaotic alignments (one of each), with an appropriately aligned priest in each room. The three riders are randomly assigned to the three round rooms, one to each. Also in each round room are four aligned priests and two Angels of Moloch. Each of the halls surrounding the temple rooms contains two priests and two Angels of each alignment (one each of kind matching the player's alignment will be peaceful). Coaligned priests may be peaceful. Hostile ones will be labeled "renegade", and there is no penalty for killing them as with killing other priests. The level also contains three random D, three random L, three random V and between three and six randomly-determined player-monsters.
Upon arriving at the Astral Plane, you may be sent tame or hostile Angels. If you are generating conflict, your god will send one to four hostile Angels to fight you. If you are not generating conflict, and if your alignment score is at least 9, your god will instead send a tame Angel to assist you. This tame Angel will vanish and be replaced with the hostile ones if you later generate conflict in its presence.
- Try to be satiated when entering the Astral Plane as protection against Famine. It abuses dexterity, but that won't matter when you're going to ascend in a few minutes.
- When you enter the Astral Plane, you may have a fairly minor scuffle at first (if you are generating conflict, or haven't genocided master- and arch-liches), but then you will have a few moments of quiet to plan your final moves. Hopefully you have telepathy at this point. Use it to identify your opponents and take note of where each of the Riders is waiting. The Riders and High Altars are distributed at random, so it is reasonable to start with the easiest target and go from there. Most players regard Pestilence as the most dangerous opponent, and Famine as the least, though your ranking may vary based on play style and equipment. (Pestilence is vulnerable to death rays, while Death is not, for instance.)
- Don't try to kill everything, just keep moving. The biggest danger on the Astral Plane is getting bogged down in the open, surrounded by opponents.
- Opening doors quickly is important in order to keep moving. All doors start locked, and even at maximum strength they may resist multiple times. A wand of digging will always raze a door, allowing you to pass through diagonally, and will not be reflected by monsters in its path. Alternatively, a wand of opening or spell of knock will preserve the door, allowing you to lock it behind you. The Riders can unlock a locked door, but not if another monster blocks their access to it.
- If you have the ability to cast spells, realize that the Amulet will drain more power from you than normal. Dropping the amulet to the ground before attacking Riders with multiple spells preserves power. Spell of Magic Missile is very powerful at high experience levels.
- Wands of teleportation are extremely useful for clearing paths through the monsters on Astral, especially in conjunction with jumping and fast or very fast speed. Many players try to save their teleport wands for this occasion. Be careful not to hit any of the riders or their corpses with the beam, since they will almost certainly revive and teleport next to you.
- If you have a Helm of opposite alignment in inventory and are willing to change teams at the last moment, you have a 2/3 chance of ascending at the first altar you reach, and you are guaranteed of ascending at the second one if the first doesn't work (assuming, if you are Neutral, that you can uncurse and remove the helmet if you need to at the second altar). This effectively means you can pick any one temple/rider, and completely rule out the need to visit it. A Neutral character who can repeatedly wear, uncurse, and remove the helm will do even better, as the helmet randomly makes you lawful or chaotic each time you put it on—just lather, rinse, and repeat until your alignment matches the first altar you reach.
- A creative strategy for dealing with the hordes is to reverse genocide purple worms, tame them, then teleport them.
- Good rings to wear on the Astral Plane are free action and conflict, but don't wear a ring of conflict when entering the plane unless you don't mind your god sending you hostile angels instead of a tame one.
- Jumping is a very powerful technique, since it allows you to cross many empty spaces in a single turn. There are two main ways to retain very fast speed while jumping: either wear speed boots and cast the jumping spell, or wear jumping boots and use a potion of speed or the haste self spell. Using the jumping spell will consume more of your magical power, but at expert skill it also allows you to make longer jumps. If you intend to do this, you should use the Candelabrum of Invocation to illuminate your destination, since ordinary light sources will not reach.
- Most creatures on the Astral Plane (with the notable exception of the Riders) are vulnerable to stoning attacks. If you can save a wish this long, wishing for a "blessed partly eaten chickatrice corpse" will allow you to mow down most opponents (reverse genocide would be another option, once you have a moment to catch your breath).
- High priests are identifiable to you once you enter their temples. If you try to chat with them, the two high priests not of your alignment will not be interested in talking to you, but your co-aligned high priest will go through the usual donations routine. If you do not carry any gold in your main inventory, the high priest will give you "two bits for an ale", presumably just before you offer the amulet and ascend to immortality, which is kind of nice.
- If you are going for the atheist conduct, clearly you don't want to chat to the high priests. Once you are inside the temple and close enough to the high priest, you can identify the priest's deity using the ; command instead of chatting.
- Above all, pay attention! It is easy to get distracted by all the tumult and not notice, say, that Pestilence has made you sick and there is a timer running on your life. You still have as much time between turns as you need, inventory is still a "free" action, and so forth. Don't get so excited that you lose your cool.
Scrolls of earth will have no effect in the Astral plane. The only ways to obtain boulders are either wishing (one by one), or polymorphing statues repeatedly until they turn into boulders. Reverse genocided giants will not carry boulders, but giants created through a create monster effect have the possibility to, if one has patience and no source of polymorph or wishing. Boulders can also be carried, by a character polymorphed into a giant, or tame giants with boulders in their inventory can be brought onto the Astral Plane easily with a magic whistle (perhaps via taming the fire giants on the Plane of Fire). Boulders can then be used to keep monsters from entering the temples, or for Rider farming.
|This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:
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