For the first time, I ascended in the Annual Nethack Tournament! Nethack is one of my favorite games ever; I like playing Rogues and Wizards. My only previous attempt at the Tourney, I played a Wizard. My score was astronomical, but I just didn't have time to finish playing.

This year, I played a Valkyrie, because they're supposed to be easy. I made a few stupid mistakes, and I didn't have enough time to play, but at the end of the month I rushed through her ascension. My score was #16 overall at the time.

I also completed the Grue Challenge, which I'm inordinately proud about. Here's some information for myself, for next year:

The Grue Challenge is triggered when you first step into darkness. If you accept, you'll die when you're in darkness for more than 3 turns. Get a magical light, go to the bottom of the Gnomish Mines, get the Frobozz(tm) Company Interdimensional Portal Generator, identity it, and use it. Tah-dah!

The PacMan Challenge (added 2007) is triggered by a magical portal on the Oracle level. Until you beat it, you're unable to eat any fruit of any sort. It's a big PacMan maze, of course, with three ampersands (&; demons, really, not ghosts) named Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde. They're faster than you think. You can only use the Power Pellets after you've identified them.

You only get three lives to finish the PacMan maze. If any of the demons touches you, you lose one life. Additionally, the ghosts in the normal dungeon will take a life if they touch you, whether you've accepted the challenge yet or not. I was already down to one life when I tried the challenge, and then I lost it straightaway, figuring that Pinky had to go straight -- he touched me diagonally.

In short, don't let ghosts touch you at all until you've finished the challenge. Pump up your speed before you enter. Remember to bring an identify scroll (or spell) with you. Wokka.

The KoL Challenge refers to the Kingdom of Loathing. I've got myself an account over there, and I must admit it's pretty cool. If you accept this challenge, you can't engrave "Elbereth" until you take out the Wizard of Yendor analogue in Kingdom of Lothing. I never use Elbereth, so it's no biggie for me, but I'd like to complete the challenge.

I've been scavenging, and I *think* you need to pump your main stat to 45, then enter the Enormous Greater-Than Sign in the Dungeon Full of Dungeons. Keep going until you get the Plus Sign, the effect Teleportitis (from a Q), and reach the Oracle. After a major consultation (1000 meat), you can read the spellbook, whereupon the Enormous Greater-Than Sign turns into The Dungeons of Doom.

After that, I don't know. Continue adventuring, see what happens?

Can't wait till next year!