Not to be confused with the Chaos Archmage
Archmage is a title the ADOM community has bestowed on any character who, by his or her own power, can repeatedly bookcast the Wish spell, indefinitely. The obstacles to this form of ultimate arcane power are quite extreme, and will be described in this article as elaborately as possible.
The player need not be a Wizard or even a spellcaster to become an archmage, but it helps. A lot.
Finding the spell Edit
The spellbook of wish is the rarest spellbook in the game, but it is not impossible to find. The easiest way to guarantee getting it is by being a Wizard or Necromancer. They will find one of every type of spellbooks in the Library, one of which will be a spellbook of wish. Other classes will find a lot of spellbooks as well, which can randomly turn out to have a spellbook of wish in it, but the drop rate is such that this is still a very long shot. Other classes should resort to scumming methods, such as restocking of random book shops or the Casino, ID stairhopping or gremlin bombs. If your aim is to become an Archmage Wizard, you will take great care in the Library not to let any spellbooks be destroyed. Being invisible and detecting monsters beforehand will help, carefully maneuvering around monsters with breath attacks or vortices is obligatory.
Once the spellbook has been secured...
Reading the spellbook Edit
... The player must manage to learn the spell by reading the book. It is by far the hardest spellbook in the game to read. Again, it is beneficial to be a Wizard, as they are second to none when it comes to reading books. Also, it is required to have a high Learning and maximized Concentration and Literacy (a given for almost any Wizard that has visited the Library).
The wish spellbook takes 3,003 turns to read successfully. In order to avoid being interrupted by the onset of Starvation, the player must do everything possible to minimize food consumption while also being beyond bloated beforehand.
Prospective archmages should eat an uncursed stomafillia herb, or other similar food item to become bloated, then wait until they become satiated again. At that point, they should eat a blessed stomafillia, and start reading the book.
Note that it is also important to lower food consumption by removing all items that grant invisibility, as well as artifacts. You should also avoid being burdened or strained.
If this is not enough, the player could try reading some Scrolls of satiation or drinking a Potion of potential toughness, or finding a rich flavor room (which significantly lowers food consumption). If no rich flavor rooms have been found, the player may have to search the Infinite dungeon for one.
- Teleportitis or the Astral planes corruption will make reading the spellbook close to impossible. If it has been provided by a non-removable source (the intrinsic that can be gained by drinking from pools or eating pixie corpses) and there are no pools left to get rid of it, the player must relocate to a corrupting no-teleport area (the water temple, for instance).
Casting the spell Edit
This is, all in all, the most difficult part of the process to become an archmage. Wish has a very high PP cost - namely, 3000 PP, if at least 100 points of spell knowledge is available. This can be reduced to 1500 by being lawful on Silvernight. Note that it seems that Wish does not get discount for chaotic characters on Darknight.
- A room that says "The atmosphere of this room makes your skin tingle!" can alternatively be used, lowering the cost to 2400 PP. This does not stack with Silvernight bonus.
- The Wizard/Priest class power that lowers spell cost does not affect the Wish spell.
- Reduction from the mana battery corruption (which reduces spell cost by 20%) will not stack beyond 50% either.
The preferred location to perform the casting is the so-called magical island in Terinyo; while standing on the central grass square in the small pond in the middle of the village, PP regeneration is heavily increased, making the time spent between wishes quite a deal lower. Also, the spot is completely safe from intrusion unless the player has managed to anger Guth'Alak, Khelavaster or Munxip. Terinyo is also a non-corrupting area. The player should be free of teleportitis (not hard to satisfy as teleportitis tends to make reading the Wish spellbook impossible as well).
However, for an archmage, casting the spell is not enough; casting will lower spell knowledge, and the book will not provide infinite knowledge. As spellbooks of wish cannot themselves be wished for, the player will be unable to replenish these castings unless they find another spellbook. To attain truly infinite wishes, the player must bookcast the wish; bookcasting does not reduce spell knowledge and will never use up or damage the book. The bad news is that bookcasting triples PP cost. The good news is that the Great Book Caster talent will reduce this penalty to a mere 50% increase. Still, this does result in a 2250 PP cost, assuming the player makes full use of PP reducers. (It is assumed that any character who even dreams about becoming an Archmage will take Great Book Caster.)
If we assume a cost of 2250 PP and keep in mind that players will rarely cross the 1000 PP threshold even when reaching level 50 with a full-blown Wizard, we already see the trouble involved. Luckily, PCs can pay for the PP cost using their HP. The conversion rate is 2 PP for 1 HP, so in a sense HP are twice as effective as PP for casting spells. The player need merely be able to survive the bookcasting of wish, as he is free to regenerate in the remaining time (though regenerating items such as rings of regeneration are highly recommended). To survive 2250 PP, the player could use, for instance, 626 HP and 1000 PP, or 1250 PP and 501 HP. This is still a bit on the high end, but level 50 characters might come close to these figures if they make heavy use of potions of gain attributes and the like.
There is, however, one problem: Successfully casting the wish spell causes a drop in a random stat of 10 points. The stats that can be dropped include, of course, Mana and Toughness, which heavily affect HP and PP (Strength and Willpower as well, for that matter). So in addition to having to have enough HP and PP to successfully bookcast Wish, the player also must be able to keep bookcasting even as his stats are reduced, over time, to 1. So the end result is: The player must, somehow, be able to bookcast wish with Mana, Toughness, Strength and Willpower scores of 1, without dying. If this condition is met, the player is an Archmage, as at this point there is nothing that can keep him from bookcasting wish over and over (regenerating HP and PP inbetween, of course), except old age or starvation - and potions of longevity and stomafillia can be wished for, eliminating these factors.
Being able to keep casting Edit
The challenge is quite significant; the HP and PP scores needed to successfully cast wish are hard enough to achieve through normal powergaming, after which Toughness and Mana will be in the 30-50 range. Normal methods of stat boosting which could boost Mana or Toughness to 99 easily, such as the combination of a ring of weakness and potions of exchange, will not suffice, as these inflated stats will be quickly deflated during the wishing process. There are methods to directly increase max HP and PP scores however:
HP: Drinking blessed healing potions, namely potions of ultra healing, potions of extra healing and potions of healing. These can be generated in large numbers during gremlin bombing. Jharod, the Healer, also is a bottomless source of potions of ultra healing, provided Healing is at 100 and the player has a means of fulfilling his quest requirement of "exerting mercy". There is only one carpenter to save, but the one other action that qualifies as exerting mercy is healing monsters that have not been damaged by the PC, using the Healing skill (as a Healer) or a Cure spell. It is not that difficult to obtain enough castings of the various Cure spells as a Wizard, what is more problematic is designing some contraption that will produce a steady flow of injured monsters. One method is to create a gremlin bomb inside the water cave, constantly healing the gremlins that stay alive during the drowning for long enough. Another is to simply find a monster and repeatedly lure it over a spear or arrow trap. Each successful act of mercy will grant one potion of ultra healing, which will increase max HP by 1-3 points if drunk.
Needless to say, to achieve the figures required, several hundreds of these potions might be necessary.
There is also the magical "of life" suffix for armor, which increases max HP by 20%. Scumming for some armor to find one of these might be worthwhile considering the hassle scumming for potions will put you through.
Items that provide Toughness bonuses are highly useful, as they will increase HP even when natural Toughness is reduced to 1. Try to obtain these beforehand, or use a couple of your first wishes to get them; these include bracers of toughness (try for a +7 set) and knives of endurance. Some artifacts will help as well, though the only guaranteed one is the Chaos Orb of Elemental Earth.
PP: As luck would have it, there is also a method to increase max PP, which is also slightly easier to satisfy. PCs afflicted with the mana battery corruption will drain any wand they touch of its charges. This yields PP; 1 for an uncursed wand, 2 for a blessed one (number of charges is irrelevant). By being a level 32 Wizard, the player can recharge any wand once using only 50 PP (one charge is enough for PP gaining purposes). After a gremlin bombing raid and using Pick Pockets, players will be able to accumulate hundreds of virtually useless wands, that are still worth lots of PP once mana battery is obtained (it might take a while to get this corruption, but once the player is successful in becoming an Archmage he can wish for infinite scrolls of chaos resistance too).
There is also the "of power" suffix for armor, which increases max PP by 20%. Since the player can only wear one suit of armor, he can only increase either HP or PP; unless the player has twice as much PP as HP or even more, "of life" armor is overall preferable, as HP counts for twice as much as PP in the equation.
Assuming the amount of cursed wands (which give no PP at all) to be the same as the amount of blessed wands, we can count one PP per wand on average. To achieve a 1 Mana max PP of 3000 thus you would need up to 3000 wands (assuming there are base max PP remaining after the Mana adjustment - a level 50 character might still have a good amount of Mana left.) You can increase the yield of your wand masses by approximately 10% by reading a blessed scroll of uncursing, turning all the cursed wands into uncursed ones. This is a hefty amount, but achievable during gremlin bombing, and can of course be combined with HP-increasing methods.
Items that increase Mana are definitely helpful. The most notable ones are the staff of the magi (wishable), the pendant of mana (slight increase, however) or artifacts such as the Staff of the Archmagi (almost obligatory given what you're trying to achieve, come to think of it) or the Trident of the Red Rooster (24 increase, very helpful, but of course not exactly trivial to obtain)
Alternative methods Edit
The player is theoretically able to skip reading the spellbook of wish by scumming for wands of wonder (this happens to synergize with wand collection for PP increase), and get the Wish spell from them. The problematic part is the fact that the player will get very low spell knowledge, which will heavily increase PP cost; 100 spell knowledge is needed to avoid this effect. It is rare enough to get one casting of Wish through a wand of wonder; getting enough to fill the 100 threshold requires great persistence to say the least. Alternatively, this same persistence can be applied to further pump PP and HP to meet the increased PP cost, which is arguably still less tedious. The player must still obtain the spellbook in order to be able to bookcast. This method is also pretty much the only one that will enable even mindcrafters or Beastfighters (virtually unable to successfully read spellbooks, but quite capable of bookcasting from them) to become archmages, feats that have not been unheard of.
Many alternatives to gremlin bombing to get the items needed can be imagined, such as kick-robbing wand shops and, not to forget, the "regular" wish engine, which has far lower requirements, but does not reward the player with "true" infinite wishes, and is a purely alchemical achievement contrary to one of ultimate magical power. One wish is good for three potions of ultra healing. They will mostly be uncursed, but the resulting huge stack of uncursed potions of ultra healing can be converted to blessed potions using the scroll of repair exploit (requiring merely one cursed and one blessed scroll of repair). The yield of, say, 300 blessed potions of ultra healing (requiring a piddly 100 wish engine wishes) is about 600 HP, which is enough to meet more than a third of the total Wish bookcasting cost.
An Amulet of Life Saving will save the wearer if they die from HP casting, but will not grant the wish. The same with the level 50 class power of the necromancer.
A far easier method — seemingly discovered by Porkman — relies on using the Orb of Mana: every time it is invoked, it will grant +3 ma and replenish all PP. as well as permanent +10 max PP. It will also give 5000 cps, but this can be halved by elemental gauntlets, being (crowned) L+, and unicorn star sign. With all of the above, it turns out to give more or less the same amount of CPs that a blessed SOCR will take care of. Thus it is possible to keep wishing for SOCR, gaining 3 on average per wish, and using one to keep corruption down. After not so long you will be able to cast without using HPs at all, and Ma will stay at 99 because of getting +3 every time the orb is used. Once the prospective archmage establishes a good enough lead on SOCR, the candidate can then start wishing for potions of booze, typically gaining three per wish. This, with the mana battery corruption, will result in an additional 6 PP per wish. Alternatively, simply wishing for 'power' will result in +20-30 permanent bonus to PP per wish.
Furthermore: a room with the 'magically charged' atmosphere will give a further discount of 20% which stacks with silvernight (Wiz/Priest mana discounts do not apply to wish casts, but silvernight and this one do).
- Find a book.
- Learn the spell.
- Having enough HP and PP, bookcast the spell forever.
Why would anyone want to go through all this trouble? You could have won the game much earlier! Edit
Bragging rights, obviously. Why even ask?
Massive score - tappi @ ircnet/freenode
Being an Archmage Edit
Obviously, ultimate arcane power has nice perks. Here is a list of some of the things that can be done, and can't:
Having access to infinite wishes gives infinite access to potions of longevity. These increase lifespan, and stack indefinitely. Since one potion of longevity will increase lifespan by many years at a time and it takes maybe a minute to wish for one and drink it, sustaining eternal life is not difficult. Even the poison hands corruption will not put a stop to this, as the player can wish for thick gauntlets (and means of corruption removal, for that matter).
Increasing lifespan does not adjust the stages of age, so the player will not gain eternal youth, so he will reach the "very old" stage as usual, and then get older. For the game, it doesn't get older than "very old". In reality, one would imagine this to be a less pleasant form of immortality. Such is the price.
The player can wish for infinite amulets of life saving, providing immunity from most forms of deaths. Deaths that amulets of life saving do not protect against include old age (which is eliminated as mentioned), petrification (preventable by wearing an amulet of petrification resistance) and self-sacrificing (i. e. strangling yourself on an altar). Also, very, very powerful monsters might be able to kill the player twice before he is able to put on another amulet, or use one of the virtually limitless powers at his disposal to remove the threat. Necromancers can attain a form of immortality protecting them from this, however, easily sustained by wearing wished-for knives of endurance and bracers of toughness. It should be kept in mind that being revived by the necromancer's class power halves base HP score (until it reaches a minimum in the double digits based on the players residual toughness), so the hopeful "true" immortal should take care to have enough PP to sustain Archmage status.
The player will be able to create any mundane item ever desired, and several dozens of spares to go. They player can also wish for infinite scrolls of defense, protection, increase melee damage, and increase melee accuracy to boost these items further. The player can wish for "better marks" to eventually achieve Grand Mastery in all weapons, as well as shields. The player can wish for huge stacks of potions for all his stats, to enjoy a temporary state of having 99 points in any stat which will remain as long as the player does not resume bookcasting wish. (The necessity of which can be further reduced by also wishing for several hundreds of potions of exchange to feed a wish engine, which does not hurt the player's attributes.) The player can wish for most monsters to fight, for potions of quickling blood to boost his speed score, gold, other riches, and obtain most any creatures as companion by wishing for "friend".
A few things the player cannot obtain by having unlimited wishes:
- Artifacts: Artifacts cannot be wished for. To eventually obtain all artifacts, the Archmage has to resort to the regular method of killing monsters to eventually get all artifacts as random drops. Being immortal and extremely powerful, the player should be able to keep this up indefinitely, even keeping the uberjackal effect in mind; to avoid being killed by "über"- versions, the player can obtain monsters to fight using wishes, and make an effort to increase kill counts of individual monster species evenly.
- Intrinsics: Many intrinsics can be obtained by wishing for monsters whose corpses grant the intrinsic. Some are only available from pools, however, including resistance to death rays, petrification, sleep, stunning, and confusion. All of these can be duplicated using wishable items or guaranteed artifacts. It is however, notably, impossible to both wear an amulet of petrification resistance and an amulet of free action, both the only wishable item that provide the respective resistance. To sustain immunity from the described effects, the player must either obtain either from a pool or obtain an artifact that provides one of these resistances (for instance the boots of the divine messenger) to preclude the need to switch amulets during a situation. The perfect resistance to get from a pool, and indispensable to maximum protection, is petrification; with petrification intrinsically present, the player can freely wear a blessed amulet of life saving to protect themselves from most other forms of death without having to (sort of) fear out-of-range petrification rays. As of 2.1.0 r65, intrinsic paralysis resistance is now available from gelatinous cube corpses making this obtainable for an archmage. Please note that wishing for "gelatinous cubes", "gelatinous cube corpse" or "gelatinous cube corpses" all result in one gelatinous cube monster being generated.
- Enemies: Some foes cannot be wished for, so the player will either have to fight them in reality or miss out on adding them to their kill lists. Kill lists containing every creature in existence are impossible to get, as some are mutually exclusive; the player cannot kill both a healer and a black druid, for instance.
- Immortality: "Very funny."