Larn Screenshot

Monday, September 10, 2007

Breaking the Bank of Larn

I mentioned this in an earlier post. After retrieving the potion from the dungon on one occasion, I decided to sell all of my equipment. (interesting note: the potion of dianthrorritis CAN be sold, but it's nearly worthless GP-wise). I ended up with over 500,000gp. When I went into the bank, I got this popup along the bottom:

Note: Larndom law states that only desposits under 500,000gp can earn interest.

It was a fun discovery.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Level 100: The Creator

Inspired by the poster "Concertinachap" I decided to make a run at level 100. He said that he even executed a script that would VPR (vaporize rock) next to an altar, then SLE (sleep) the Demon Prince that would appear. (as long as you have the lance of death, they will die). I had to do it the old fashioned way. I didn't have Stealth permanenced, so I was forced to cast HLD (hold monsters) VPR, then SLE to hit the Demon Prince. (WEB also works). The following is the log I made of my progress towards level 100. I changed the LARN screencap to reflect what I was like at Level 100.

Apprentice Gorgon (Level 19)
Practiced Gorgon (Level 20)
Master Gorgon (Level 21)
Demi-Gorgon (Level 22)
Evil Master (Level 23)
Great Evil Master (Level 24)
Mighty Evil Master (Levels 25-30)
(Note: after level 27, you have infinite spell regeneration)

(I got a little more detailed and started noting the XP amounts)

Level 40 38099999 apprentice demi-god
Level 49 56099999 minor demi-god
Level 58 74199999 major demi-god
Level 67 92199999 minor deity
Level 76 125099999 major deity

(16 demon prince kills between levels)

Level 85 170099999 Novice Guardian

17 Kills between levels

Level 90 195099999 Apprentice Guardian

33 kills between levels.

Level 94 230299999 Earth Guardian

33 kills

Level 95 240199999 Air Guardian
Level 96 250000000 Fire Guardian
Level 97 260289506 Water Guardian
Level 98 270189506 Time Guardian
Level 99 280089505 Ethereal Guardian

(Forgot the count the kills before level 100)

Level 100 290199999 The Creator

Friday, August 31, 2007

UNIX Larn and Taxes...

One cool thing I discovered playing Larn in a UNIX shell, is that when you beat the game, it sends you an email with your taxes due. Here is the email:
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 16:06:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: the LRS - Larn Revenue Service
Subject: undeclared income

We have heard you survived the caverns of Larn. Let me be the
first to congratulate you on your success. It was quite a feat.
It was also very profitable for you...

The Dungeon Master has informed us that you brought
0 gold pieces back with you from your journey. As the
county of Larn is in dire need of funds, we have spared no time
in preparing your tax bill. You owe 233 gold pieces as
of this notice, and is due within 5 days. Failure to pay will
mean penalties. Once again, congratulations, We look forward
to your future successful expeditions.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Prices for Books/Chests

Here is a partial list of how much gold you can get for books and chests, I'll fill in more of them as I remember to write them down. One note, if you find a book or a chest inside of a room with a door (the kind that usually have monsters that typically come from lower levels) they will be worth more gold than the typical book from that level.


Level 1 Book: 653
Level 2 Book: 1008
Level 3 Book: 1505
Level 10 Book: 25,418

Level 1 Chest: 1745
Level 2 Chest: 2536
Level 9 Chest: 28,961
Level 10 Chest: 40,639


Level V1 Book: 25,418
Level V2 Book: 50,044

Level V1 Chest: 56,988
Level V2 Chest: 79,877
Level V3 Chest: 111,921

Monday, August 20, 2007

Volcano Lottery

After playing Larn for many years, and over much trial and error, I've developed what I call the "Volcano Lottery" strategy. Using this strategy got me quickly from difficult 4 to difficulty 9. (in the UNIX version of the game that I play, beating difficult 8 doesn't automatically increase the difficulty to 9 for some reason, but you can still play that difficulty by manually entering it at the start by typing Larn -9 at the UNIX prompt).

I start off using some of the same strategies as I mentioned earlier--saving all scrolls and drinking all potions. I sneak around level 1 until I have enough gold to buy chain-mail and a flail. The weapon is entirely optional, but typically the 1745 I get from selling a chest to the trading post is the source of my initial funds. The armor is the most important of the two obviously. Once I have that armor, I complete the first two levels. I sell all gems and all rings/equipment/books. If I'm feeling lucky I might try to pry a throne or two as well. The goal is to get 13,100gp in the bank. This will allow you to purchase a Stealth scroll (3000gp) a Magic Mapping scroll (4000gp) and a Pulverization scroll (6100gp). With this combination you then dump any excess equipment to get your weight down (to keep from falling down the volcano shaft) and read the stealth scroll. Then you climb down into the volcano. As long as you haven't recently read an aggravate monsters scroll you will be able to sneak around the Volcano without monsters getting you. If you think that the monsters may be aggravated, go to the college of larn and take a 10 mobul course, such as Contemporary Dance so it wears off. Also be sure to deposit any excess gold in the bank. It will weight you down and in the bank it earns interest (more on that later).

Once you are inside the Volcano with Stealth active, read your magic mapping scroll. Scan the level for Books and Chests. Books from level one of the volcano are worth 25,418gp in the trading post. Chests are worth 56,988 gp! Just one chest or a couple books can set you up at the beginning of the game! If you get a chest and 2 or 3 books, you can deposit the gold in the bank except for 2000gp, then take all the courses in the college of larn. You will have enough money to buy the Lance of Death at this point because of the accumulated interest.

The pulverization scroll is important to this because since you can't hit or kill the monsters, you have to be able to get a path TO the books or chests in the volcano. This will sometimes include knocking down a wall. If you want, you can try to use the Pulverization to kill a high-level monster such as a Naga (n) or a Purple Worm (P) or any non-green Dragon. That will raise you automatically to 10th level. Once you reach 10th level you can hit Shift-Z to teleport! Then you can teleport around the volcano collecting books and chests. You just have to make sure that you don't hit a monster and lose your stealth, open a door that acts as an aggravate monster scroll, or fall into a bottomless pit on V3. Chests from the third level of the volcano sell for over 100,000gp. It's not very hard to come out of the volcano with a couple chests and two or three books and have enough money for the Lance of Death, Stainless Steel Plate armor, all the rings/scrolls/potions you want. Then you can cruise down to 10th level of the dungeons with very little problems. I always go down to the 10th and kill the demon guarding the Eye of Larn (even if I don't take the Eye) because the journey down there will increase your level and you'll find lots of other buffs on the way (spells, enchant weapon scrolls, enchant armor scrolls, etc). It's also nice not to need money on the way down to the 10th level since you don't then have to lug around all the gems you find.

Volcano Lottery has worked for me almost every time. At the very least there's usually a chest or a couple books you can grab from level one. Even if you can't afford the lance of death right off, you can usually get all the armor you need and a "gem perfection" scroll. Then you can stockpile your gems until you find another gem perfection scroll. Even books from the lower levels of the dungeons are worth a decent amount of money. As long as you have a good offensive spell (fireball or lightning or dehydration) you're not missing much by selling the books if you need to in order to get the lance of death.

There have been times when I've gotten enough money or the stealth/mapping/pulverization combo before even completing the first level of the dungeon and I've ended up with 250,000-300,000 gp from books and chests from the volcano. If you happen to find an annihilation scroll before heading down, you can read it next to a group of Dragons or something and jump your player level up pretty far.

When you do get back down to V3 to defeat the last demon and get the potion of cure dianthorritis, I've found that it's easiest to keep a scroll of hold monster handy to freeze the demon. Then you can try to hit it. Only one hit will kill it, but they're hard to hit. Stealth works as well, you just have to hit it before either of them runs out.

A couple more things to note: Coming out of the volcano, you have to be as unencumbered as possible before trying to get out of there with one or two chests and a couple books. I usually have to dump my armor and all my gold in order to get up the shaft. It's more than worth it, of coruse.

Another fun easter egg I found, was that if you have 500,000gp in the bank of larn you get a popup that by law only deposits less than 500,000gp can earn interest. That cracked me up.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

General Larn Tips/Tricks

The typical strategy in Larn is to battle your way down to the 10th level of the dungeon to get the Eye of Larn, which will (usually) give you enough money to buy the lance of death from the store for 165,000gp. The Eye of Larn is guarded by an invisible demon of varying degrees of toughness (based on what type he is). After using this typical strategy for years, I started playing around with other ways to win the game. Playing around with some of the following tips/tricks resulted in the strategy that works almost every time for me now. I've been able to beat all the difficulties up to 8. I'll detail that strategy in another post, but now I'll start with the tips and tricks.

Once you're past difficulty 0, you'll start the game with no armor and no weapon. There are a couple schools of thought on what to do. Some people sneak around the dungeon trying to get enough gold to buy the cheapest armor (leather) and the cheapest weapon (dagger). That will allow you to not get hit by bats, but you'll still be hurt by Gnomes, jaculi, and our friends the Hobgoblins. Luckily the Hobgoblins are one of several monsters in the game (along with ice monsters, invisible stalkers, and metamorphs) who move once for every two moves of yours. You can try to hit one, move a step, then hit again. I usually will skulk around the dungeon until I get enough money to buy chain mail armor. (850gp). This will give you an armor class of 6, which is enough to be impervious to anything except the Hobgoblins. There are a couple ways to get the money early in the game. Books from level 1 are worth 653 in the Larn Trading Post, Chests are something like 1745, and Gems will be worth anything from 300 to a couple thousand gp. The spells you get on level one from the books are typically things like dex+2 and magic missile (which you already have) so you're not losing much selling the books in order to get okay armor. That armor will pretty much last you down to level 2, and sorta level 3 (where you get Rust monsters and Quasits who can really hurt you).

Once you have armor, you are free to roam the dungeon. I usually save all my scrolls and drink all the potions. There are much cooler things to be gained from scrolls than potions, so instead of reading them, I save them. Once I have enough money, 3400gp, I buy a scroll of identify from the store and read it. Then I sell scrolls that I don't need on the early levels. (spirit protection, undead protection, and any of the "bad" scrolls such as aggravate monsters or haste monsters). By waiting to identify scrolls, you don't waste the very valuable scrolls (such as gem perfection, annihilation, enchant armor, enchant weapon, etc) by reading them at the wrong time. Gem perfection scrolls are a good way to get a lot of money very quickly. You can stockpile your gems and wait until you get one or two Gem Perfection scrolls (there is also one for sale in the store for 10000gp) and each time you read one, it doubles the value of your gems. If you have 40,000gp worth of gems, and read two Gem Perfection scrolls, you'll be very near the price of the Lance of Death without ever getting the Eye of Larn.

Once you have 2500gp, it's also a good idea to pick up a scroll of expanded awareness. This will really speed up the amount of time that it takes to get through a level of the dungeon, and furthermore, you can see things coming and move away from them, like pits or monsters that are out of place. (sometimes, a monster from a "room" will be placed outside the room instead. I have had white dragons on level 2, or nagas on level 7 before).

As you go to lower levels, Chests and Books increase in value. On level two, books are worth 1000gp and chests 2536gp. The trick is, that the spells you have a chance of getting and the gear from chests are potentially much cooler as well. Spells from level 2 books are things such as enlightenment, web, sleep, which can all be very handy. There is also a chance you'll still get the crummy spells from level one, though. I usually sell all books from the first two levels.

A Belt of Striking is another item that it's nice to get. It's fairly expensive from the store, however if you read your enchant weapon scrolls while wielding the belt instead of your weapon, you get two points of weapon-class for the price of one that stack when you re-wield your main weapon. The added bonus is, that if you get a better weapon, those enchant scrolls aren't wasted and the 2 extra points carries on to your next weapon. By the time you get the lance of death, having a high weapon class is key because you still need to hit the monsters to kill them. Especially on higher difficulties, if you have a WC that isn't high enough, the lance of death doesn't guarantee your success.

Rust Monsters (R) , Disenchantresses (q), and gelatinous cubes (g), are the bane of the Larn player. If you hit them with your weapon, it will get dulled and your WC will go down. If you don't have a spell that can hurt them (sonic spear, fireball, lightning, etc) you'll either have to unwield your weapon (by dropping it) and trying to hit without a weapon (the Rust Monster will still be able to dull your armor, however) or you can try to lead them to fall into a pit. (you might fall in too) or finally, if you have the "web" spell, I discovered that you can hit Rust Monsters and Disenchantresses without dulling your weapon! The "sleep" spell does the same thing. You can cast web on Rust Monsters and Disenchantresses, but not gelatinous cubes (they aren't affected). You can, however, put them to sleep. These low level spells are as good as a death spell later in the game when you have the lance of death since they guarantee a "hit" with the lance.

An alternative option with "enchant weapon" scrolls is to wield your armor while you read the scroll. It will add to your AC. It's important to only do this with the Stainless Steel Plate armor that you'll use for the rest of the game once you buy it, otherwise the plusses are wasted. You *could* wield your shield instead or a ring of protection and add the plusses there if you wanted. The problem with the shield is that it can still be dulled by Rust Monsters and the problem with using a Ring of Protection is that it can be stolen by Nymphs and later Nagas.

Throughout the dungeon, you will see "Jewel Encrusted Thrones" Youc an try to pry the gems off of them. There is a chance you can get one to 8 gems from a throne, depending on how much open space is around it. The most I've gotten, however, is six. If you have a vaporize rock spell (or fireball/lightning) you can try to knock the walls down from around throne before you pry the gems. Of course, there's also a chance that the gnome king (k) will appear. These guys are VERY TOUGH to kill. On higher difficulties you can't even take them out with a pulverization scroll. One trick you can try, is if you have a hold monster scroll or a stealth scroll going, you can pry and then if the gnome king appears you can get away. They will be killed by a finger of death spell, a hit from the lance of death, or three to four lightning/fireballs. either way, if you choose to play throne lottery, beware.

PERMANENCE: If you can read a book and get the spell "Permanence" you've basically won the game. Whenever I get this spell, it's usually from a book in the volcano. What this spell does is to make every buff spell (the ones you see on the right panel of the larn screen) permanent. If I get this spell, I usually run back up to the Home level and go shopping. I get a heroism potion, a giant strength potion, scrolls of undead protection and spirit protection (especially important for nagas) fire resistance (for dragons) stealth and expanded awareness--then I cast all my buff spells, dex+2, str+2, haste, invisibility, invulnerability, cancellation, walk through walls, and then finally PER (permanence). All those things will be on for the rest of the game. With Stealth permanenced, the monsters will be frozen and only wake up when you hit them. If you have the lance of death, that means they're dead. Even if they wake up, you'll still have haste, invisibility, charm monster, and all those other things running, and they won't stand a chance. Permanence is guaranteed victory if you play it right.

More to follow!

Welcome To Larn

This blog is all about the game of Larn, designed originally by Noah Morgan in 1986. I'd like to note that there is probably a whole lot of stuff I simply don't know. This is all based on my own experience, so don't take it as gospel.

I first played the game of Larn off of a 5.25 floppy disc on computer that had a 5 inch green monitor and was packing an 8088 4mhz processor. One fun thing about that version of the game, was that if you were lost and didn't know what level you were on, as soon as you saved your game, it would tick off the levels as it saved. I think the reason I preferred Larn to its contemporaries Rogue, Dunzhin, etc, was that it was "turn based" in the sense that the monsters wouldn't move until you moved. That way you could carefully plan moves and just make it to that staircase before the white dragon on level five got you. Situations became logic games. Larn was also a whole lot more sleek, simple, and elegant.

I also liked how there were things in the game that weren't mentioned in the instructions anywhere. I remember the first time I discovered that you could (on lower difficulties) blow up statues with a fireball, lightning bolt, cone of cold, or vaporize rock spell and there would be a book inside. I figured that out one game where I shot a fireball at a monster and it kept going until it hit the statue; the message said that my fireball damaged the statue. Then I tried standing right next to the statue and voila, the fireball blew it away and I had another book. The same thing happened with walls. I figured out I could knock down walls with a fireball, lightning bolt, or cone of cold. At higher difficulties it became a lot harder to knock down walls with these spells, and after difficulty two you can't blow up a statue at all.

I'd like to also point out, that there are a couple versions of Larn that I've encountered. The original Larn can still be found in the standard UNIX package that some ISP's still use. I happen to have an ISP with a UNIX shell and I still play this version of Larn. There was a version that was ported to DOS (the version I played originally) that had a couple easter eggs in it. One, you could withdraw a negative amount of money, and it would add that amount of money to your bank account. (I could have this backwards, it might've been possible to deposit a negative amount and have it give you more money in your inventory). Also, there was a keycode you could type in, which was based on the "Combining Gas Law" pv=nrt that went into a mode where the Home level had one of every object in the game. (every scroll, potion, weapon, armor, etc). You could gear up and buff (and even duplicate certain items from the store) and play the game starting with all the best stuff. These two things do not exist in the UNIX version of the game that I play. The other version I've seen is Ularn, which adds player classes, levels, magic items, a drug dealer's store, and more. You can google this and play it for yourself. It was fun up to a point, but ultimately, it was a little too complicated for its own good.

I'll be adding new posts soon, talking about strategies and other fun things I found by playing the game. I find myself playing Larn a lot, and it's retained its fun long after I got sick of playing Civ IV or Neverwinter Nights. I read that Noah Morgan passed away. I would've liked to have met him and told him what a great thing he made.