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I'm prepping my lawful human valk for the midgame, just unloaded a bunch of extra items to my stash in Sokoban, completed Mine's End, and ID'ed a bunch of scrolls, potions, etc, without any negative effects that I noticed.

Now, however, I've started going deeper into the dungeon, and I can't seem to find any hidden doors any more, and I know that some should be there (for instance, I found a 'Vlad was Here' tile and there has to be a door). I have Excalibur, a luckstone, and can't for the life of me figure out why my searching is now rendered useless...is there anything that could cause this?

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Have you been blinded? –  Amadeus9 Sep 18 '13 at 18:19
    
Nope! I can still see.... –  espais Sep 19 '13 at 17:08

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Searching is not affected by much; it's based on your luck, whether or not you are wearing lenses, and whether you are wielding Excalibur and nothing else. In particular, being blind does not prevent you from searching, although it does mean you need to feel all the surrounding spaces to search (which is bad if there's a cockatrice in one of them) - although being blind does mean that you get no benefit from wearing lenses.

A few things that come to mind that could explain your difficulties:

  • Not all closets have doors. "Vlad was here" means there's a closet there, but there's no guarantee that a door generated along with it.
  • The bonus from Excalibur requires you to be wielding it. Just carrying it has no effect.
  • The bonus from Excalibur is based on its enchantment. A +0 Excalibur gives you no benefit (apart from automatically searching every turn when wielded). A -3 Excalibur makes you worse at searching.
  • Just because you have a luckstone doesn't mean you're lucky! A cursed luckstone makes you unlucky. An uncursed one prevents good and bad luck from eventually resetting, so if you have bad luck and an uncursed luckstone, you'll have bad luck forever (or at least until some other event raises your luck).

So, things to check:

  • Check your luck with enlightenment. If you have bad luck, that will make you much worse at searching.
  • Identify your luckstone and Excalibur. If Excalibur has a negative enchantment, stop wielding it. If the luckstone is cursed, put it in a bag until you can get it uncursed or, if you have bad luck, blessed.
  • If you have a stethoscope, use that to check walls that you think contain secret doors - it will find them with complete reliability. If you can't find one with a stethoscope, there isn't one there.
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Hmm, I'll have to check the stethescope thing. My Excalibur is +4 at the moment and my luckstone is uncursed. I'm not quite sure what could have caused my luck to go down...I'm pretty sure I've been playing lawfully. –  espais Sep 19 '13 at 17:09
    
Turns out my luck is terrible! Now, to reinstate my luck! –  espais Sep 19 '13 at 17:48
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Kicking a secret door also has a chance based on strength, dexterity and constitution (the average of the three / 30) of revealing it - that can be helpful if your luck is down and you don't have a stethoscope. –  Brilliand Apr 23 at 18:41

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