Classes, Races And Alignments In Slash'EM


This spoiler on classes, races and alignments in Slash'EM was written by Eva Myers, with helpful contributions from Dylan O'Donnell, K. Bailey, Jukka Kuusisto, Stephen Churchill, Robert R. Schneck, David Cochran and Kevin Wayne. If you have any comments, additions or corrections, please feel free to email me. Information on why the permissible class/race/alignment combinations are what they are would be particularly welcome.

Table of Class/Race/Alignment Combinations

This table shows the permissible combinations of class, race and alignment (L means Lawful, N means Neutral and C means Chaotic). Valkyries are always female and Yeomen are always male, but all other classes can be of either gender.

  Dop Dro Dwa Elf Gno Hob Hum Lyc Orc Vam
Arc N   L LN N LN LN      
Bar NC C   N     NC C C C
Cav N   L   N   LN      
Fla NC C   LN N LN LNC   C  
Hea N     N N N N      
Ice NC C   LN N LN LNC   C C
Kni             L      
Mon NC         LN LNC      
Nec C C         C   C C
Pri NC C   LN   LN LNC      
Ran NC C   N N N NC C C  
Rog C           C C C C
Sam             L      
Tou N         N N      
Und NC C   LN N LN LNC C C  
Val N   L       LN      
Wiz NC C   N N N NC   C C
Yeo       L   L L      

Why are these the only permissible combinations? To begin with, each class and race has an allowed range of alignments, and only combinations with compatible alignments are allowed (e.g., there are no dwarven barbarians because dwarves are lawful and barbarians are not).

Now I'll discuss the allowed alignment ranges, but first a note on the meanings of ``lawful'' and ``chaotic''. In AD&D, lawful characters believe in the value of order and social structure, chaotic characters are strong individualists who distrust authority and dislike being ordered around, and it is possible to be chaotic good or lawful evil. In Nethack and Slash'EM, there are only three alignments (lawful, neutral and chaotic) and to some extent lawful is equated with good and chaotic with evil.

Lycanthropes, orcs, vampires and drow (dark elves) are always chaotic because they are actively evil. (Light) elves are always good and therefore cannot be chaotic. Hobbits are non-chaotic because they don't like adventure and change. Doppelgangers cannot be lawful because taking the form of another person would usually be done with intent to deceive.

Apparently, dwarves are lawful and gnomes neutral because that's the way their societies are. [References to books showing dwarven and gnomish societies would be useful here.]

Knights, Samurai and Yeomen can only be lawful because they follow a strong code of honour and/or fill a clear role in a social hierarchy.

Rogues and Necromancers are evil and therefore chaotic.

Monks and Priests can be of any alignment because they can be followers of any deity, Flame and Ice Mages because their magic can be used for either good or evil, and Undead Slayers because they can either be part of an organised army or a lone warrior against the undead hordes.

Barbarians and Rangers are lone wanderer types, and therefore are neutral or chaotic but not lawful. Wizards are also non-lawful, because they are more dedicated to study of the magic arts than to law or ethics, and because magic was historically regarded as the "black arts" and messing with powers that ought not to be messed with, and therefore lawfuls would stay away from it.

Archaeologists are non-chaotic because research is a collaborative activity, Cavemen are non-chaotic because of their opposition to Tiamat (the Chromatic Dragon, their quest nemesis, who personifies the water of Chaos), and Valkyries are non-chaotic because they are doing the will of Odin in choosing fallen warriors for Valhalla and no chaotic character would ever serve the will of anyone else.

Healers can only be neutral because they take an oath to heal everyone whether good or evil. Tourists can only be neutral because they've left their society to go travel around, so they're not lawful, but they're not actively evil either, and unlike Barbarians and Rangers, they'll probably go back home someday, so they're not really chaotic.

Some class/race combinations are banned for reasons other than alignment:

Maximum Stats For The Different Races

  Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
Dop 18/** 20 20 20 20 15
Dro 18 18 16 20 20 18
Dwa 18/** 20 20 16 16 16
Elf 18 18 16 20 20 18
Gno 18/50 18 18 19 18 18
Hob 18 18 20 16 18 20
Hum 18/** 18 18 18 18 18
Lyc 19 20 19 15 15 15
Orc 18/50 18 18 16 16 16
Vam 19 20 20 18 18 20

Difficulty Comparison Of Slash'EM Races

See J. Ali Harlow's spoiler on class- and race-dependent abilities for lists of the intrinsics and techniques associated with each race. The notes below are a rough guide to the relative difficulty of the races in Slash'EM 7E6F3. However, your mileage may vary, and character class is more important than race in determining how easy a character is.

Advantages: Excellent stats, self-polymorph
Disadvantages: No infravision
Difficulty: Low

Advantages: Putting monsters to sleep with their bare-handed attack, sleep resistance
Disadvantages: Low strength and constitution
Difficulty: Moderate

Advantages: Good physical stats, rage eruption technique
Disadvantages: Mines inhabitants will be peaceful
Difficulty: Moderate

Advantages: See invisible, sleep resistance
Disadvantages: Low strength and constitution
Difficulty: High

Advantages: Tinker technique, vanish technique
Disadvantages: Mines inhabitants will be peaceful
Difficulty: Low

Advantages: Speed, stealth, high constitution
Disadvantages: Low strength
Difficulty: Low

Advantages: Good stats, can be any role and alignment
Disadvantages: No infravision
Difficulty: Moderate

Advantages: Regeneration (not hungerless), excellent physical stats
Disadvantages: Randomly polymorphs into a wolf
Difficulty: Very high

Advantages: Poison resistance, extra food
Disadvantages: Orcish weapons and armour
Difficulty: Low

Advantages: Excellent stats, regeneration (not hungerless), level-drain resistance
Disadvantages: Cannot eat anything except fresh blood
Difficulty: Very high