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So, I fell down a trapdoor and then:

(click image to enlarge)

screenshot

...yeah, I've kind of just been staring at my screen and ;-identifying things for a few minutes.

Some notable things I've found:

  • a HUGE swarm of killer bees
  • a peaceful gremlin (the green thing in the center) - I've never seen this before
  • random scrolls, potions, wands, and other items
  • seemingly arbitrary monsters like a jackal and a giant spider

What is this room? It's on Dlvl 11, if that helps, and I'm playing vanilla Nethack. I didn't get any message when I fell into it. I've checked the wiki page for special rooms, and there's a few suspects:

  • Treasure Zoo: there's no treasure, though
  • Beehive: "Roughly 1/3 of the squares will contain royal jelly" and "All residents are asleep when the room is generated." None of these are true.
  • Throne Room: none of these monsters are mentioned as throne room monsters (and no throne)

What is this madness? What do I do? Try to kill stuff or grab items? Make a run for the door? I would not like to die, so it would really be helpful if I knew what this was.

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You mean you use the tiles interface?! Blech. You should use the ASCII version. –  Quincunx Apr 23 at 5:47
1  
@Quincunx Heh, 3 months later and now I can't even imagine going back to that icky tiles interface. ;) –  Doorknob 冰 Jul 14 at 3:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Your instinct to check the list of special rooms was very well-founded, but what you've found is referred to as a "special level," since it's not really just a room.

What you've found appears to be the Big Room, which is generated in 40% of games, and will always appear between Dlvl 10-12 if it's present. Particularly, you seem to have found variant #3:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------  
|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|  
|.........................................................................|  
|.........................................................................|  
|.........................................................................|  
|..............---.......................................---..............|  
|...............|.........................................|...............|  
|.....|M|.|.|M|---|.|.|.|M|..........M........|.|M|.|.|.|---|M|.|.|M|.....|  
|.....|--------   --------|...................|----------   --------|.....|  
|.....|M|.|.|M|---|.|.|.|M|..........M........|.|M|.|.|.|---|M|.|.|M|.....|  
|...............|.........................................|...............|  
|..............---.......................................---..............|  
|.........................................................................|  
|.........................................................................|  
|.........................................................................|  
|.........................................................................|  
|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|.|.|.|.|.|M|  
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

As the wiki page mentions, the Big Room can be very dangerous, because the room is populated with lots of creatures and few walls, meaning that those creatures will often able to see you as soon as you enter the level, and may begin rushing towards you. Conflict and, of course, Elbereth can be very useful here.

If you entered the room through a pit or trapdoor and therefore aren't sure about where the stairs are, you may want to consider digging through the floor to escape if you're feeling uncertain; you can always come back later on better terms.

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Hmm, thanks! I'll be sure to remember that page for next time. As you can see, there's an upstairs stair fairly close to me (in the screenshot). Would (possibly) Sokoban be a safer place than this to rest and come back later, and would going to the stair be a good idea? (I know you're not obligated to answer this; if you don't want to answer follow-up questions that's completely fine) –  Doorknob 冰 Apr 18 at 23:02
    
Heading to the up stair is probably a very good idea. If you discovered the down-stair in the previous level, then it's basically safe territory, but if you fell through the trap door before doing so, you should still be cautious. –  cloudymusic Apr 18 at 23:21

This is not a room, but a special level (all of the rooms you mentioned are much smaller and make up just a part of a level (like a normal dungeon room).

The one you have found is the Big Room. Since there aren't any walls, all the monsters will spot you as soon as you appear, and start rushing towards you. I would stay the number one strategy is to stay near the stairs so that you can easily escape if it gets too much.

Other than that, you'll get a lot of use out of wands (since you'll probably hit multiple monsters), directional spells (same reason), Elbereth and rings of conflict.

Teleporting can also be quite handy if the monsters have all gathered in one spot (around you), even without teleport control.

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