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The Yeoman is a role specific to the game SLASH'EM. Yeomen are based primarily around the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London; in the game, they are primary melee combatants with particular skill in riding and polearm use. Yeomen must be generated male and lawful, and may be human, elf or hobbit. According to the guidebook:
Yeomen are sturdy fighters. They are famed for their ability to stand doing nothing for hours. It is said that this is because they are none too bright. Yeomen can both take a lot of damage and inflict it on others.
Starting Inventory Edit
- a +2 short sword
- a +1 partisan
- +1 leather armor
- +0 high boots
- +0 leather gloves
- 10-20 apples
- 10-20 carrots
- 3 uncursed potions of water
- a fishing pole
A Yeoman's starting pet is always a pony with a saddle.
Yeomen can identify all non-magical weapons and armor from the beginning. Yeomen begin the game with the calm steed technique, which increases the level of tameness of the creature they are riding. This is a particularly useful skill for players who wish to ride exotic beasts like the ki-rin.
However, Yeomen also start the game intrinsically slow, making 4 moves for every 5 units of time.
- At experience level 7 Yeomen gain intrinsic speed.
- At experience level 15 Yeomen gain the intrinsic ability to swim.
Yeomen vs. Knights Edit
There are quite a few similarities between Yeomen and Knights. Both can become expert riders, and start with a saddled pony. Both start with apples and carrots to keep their ponies fed and to train apport. Yeomen cannot intrinsically jump, but can easily gain that ability with boots, without being restricted to a knights move. Yeomen get the calm steed technique, but miss out on the healing hands and turn undead. Yeomen can become expert at polearms, but only skilled at lance, where it is the opposite for Knights. Another similarity is their quest artifact, the Crown of Saint Edward is a Lawful Helm of telepathy, it confers magic resistance and half spell damage when carried. The Knight's Magic Mirror of Merlin also confers magic resistance and telepathy, and doubles some spell damage.
Yeomen are the only class that can gain expert at polearms. Like lances, you can use a polearm in melee normally without bashing while mounted. Unlike lances, you cannot joust an enemy with a polearm. However, polearms have a few distinct advantages over lances. They will not break like lances can on an unlucky joust. They are much more common. They are lighter, ranging from ranseurs and spetums weighing 50 to halberds and lucern hammers at 150. Lances weigh 180. The better polearms do more damage, and though your starting partisan is the weakest in the category, its average damage is equal to the knight's starting lance.
- Lances do 1d6 vs small and 1d8 vs large or 3.5 to 4.5 on average.
- Halberds do 1d10 vs small and 2d6 vs large or 5.5 to 7 on average.
There are no artifact lances, but the Yeoman's second sacrifice gift is the fantastic lawful halberd Reaper, which has +5 to hit and +20 to damage when pounding and in melee while riding. Pounding a large monster with Reaper while mounted gives an average base damage of 27, with a follow-up melee for another 27. That is an average damage of 54 points before most monsters can hit once, and before enchantment and skill bonuses. The same scenario with a lance would pound at 4.5, and joust (20-80% of the time) for 16 for a total of 20.5 points. If you have jump boots, and a light source you can do massive damage just pounding with Reaper, without the risk of breakage, or the chance of not jousting, and the +5 to hit means you will rarely miss.
Although you start with a pretty well enchanted +2 short sword, and can gain expert in the skill, if you can find a longsword, you should consider switching. Yeomen can become skilled at longsword have relatively easy access to Excalibur. The first sacrifice gift for Yeomen is the very good Sword of Justice, a longsword with +5 to hit and +12 to damage against neutral and chaotic monsters. Since Yeomen can become skilled at two weapon, and in Slash'em you can #twoweapon with two artifacts, Excalibur and Sword of Justice are a very effective combination.
If you are skilled at #twoweapon and skilled at longsword, and are wielding both the +7 Excalibur and +7 Sword of Justice, you will do more damage per hit than with an Expert +7 Reaper. You will also get drain resistance and searching, but there are disadvantages to carrying Excalibur, particularly in Gehennom, and Sword of Justice is less effective in the Astral Plane. There are fewer keystrokes involved in just slashing away at monsters than applying a polearm, jumping and applying again, so lazy Yeomen will prefer this strategy.
Note that hobbit Yeomen cannot #twoweapon at all, so advancing longsword is less attractive.
Bows and FirearmsEdit
Yeomen are one of the few classes to reach expert in bow. This allows Yeomen (especially Elven ones who stand to benefit from racial bonuses) to become potent ranged fighters by the mid to late game- especially if siver arrows are found or wished for. An Elven Yeomen with an Expert in Bow and a +5 Elven bow will fire d5 silver arrows or d6 elven arrows per turn (ignoring the 1/3 chance of extra shots from using elven equipment), this can easily match Reaper's damage output, and from greater range. By the midgame, blessed +2 or higher arrows will very rarely disapear if the player has sufficiently high luck.
Bows have a distinct advantage over Reaper and other Polearms when dealing with opponents like Vampire Mages and Ghoul Queens- these monsters are noncovetous spell casters capable of summoning nasties. Unlike the ubiquitous Purple 'L' they don't teleport to or away from you, and have a nasty tendency to flee from the player while spamming summon nasties as though it were going out of style. A few volleys of arrows can silence these threats from accross a room or hallway, without worrying about the 2 square range of a polearm or the curse items spell in melee combat.
For similar reasons firearms are a strong secondary ranged option for Yeomen. Yeomen can reach skilled in firearms, and a submachine gun or assault rifle can cause a lot of damage to monsters that don't require an enchantment to hit- noteably the riders. However bullets aren't usually worth enchanting, since they are highly damaging already and are lost after firing, and most of the truely dangerous monsters in Slash'EM require an enchanted wepaon to damage- further limiting the use of firearms. That said, a machine gun and bullets are useful to have stored in your Bag of Holding as a situational powerful ranged weapon.
The early game Edit
The early game can be difficult with your intrinsic slowness, but you do get speed at level 7, and you start with a tame saddled pony
- On the first couple of experience levels, stay close to your pony. Try to get it levelled up to a warhorse or at least a horse quickly.
- Try to keep your steed between you and hostile monsters, apply your +1 partisan to gain polearm skill.
- Do not mount your steed until it has levelled up, and you have levelled up enough to survive the slip from a failed #ride attempt.
- Try to find a better polearm. Spetums are a favorite because they are light and do a good deal of damage. Bardiches and halberds are upgrades in damage, but are heavier. Any other unenchanted polearm would be a downgrade from your +1 partisan, or at best a wash.
- Try to find a skeleton key, lockpick or credit card, so you don't have to dismount to open locked doors. (an axe or pickaxe will do in a pinch as well)
- Sacrifice early and often, starting at level 3. Both of your sacrifice gifts are powerful weapons.
- Find a longsword and dip for Excalibur starting at level 5. Beware the water demons and water moccasins.
The late game Edit
In the late game, a good scenario to aspire to is:
- Expert at riding, riding a ki-rin with a blessed saddle (worth a wish to get a blessed figurine of a ki-rin)
- Expert at polearms, weilding the blessed rustproof +7 Reaper
- Wearing blessed +5 rustproof guantlets of power (you won't be casting many spells anyway)
- Wearing blessed +5 fireproof boots of jumping (speed boots don't enhance speed while riding, but jumping does work)
- A lit blessed magic lamp or magic candle. Although the candle is preferable (lighter and no chance of giving a wish), having a permanent source of light is more important than one wish while using Reaper, and required for jumping and pounding in dark places. There will always be a magic lamp you can swim for in the Sunless Sea.
- the rest of a standard Ascension kit
See also: Yeoman quest