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"You die. You are no longer bleeding.": I heard good things about radically-altered Angband variant Steamband, so I gave it a try. I really like the classic Jules Verne science fiction aesthetic, and Steamband mixes that well with Lost World stuff and imperialist pulp stuff. It's got a hilarious parody of the typical Angband race-selection menu, eg.:

[T]he British expand throughout the world sharing their superior way of life to [sic] those not fortunate enough to be born under the rule of Queen Victoria. They are the standard by which the rest of the world is judged.

Said menu also lets you play as a rakshasa.

The game mechanics are well-thought-out and intended to make it less of a slog than other Angband variants. Once you get firearms, the game really gives you the feeling of blasting Compsognathi in the face like Dick Cheney only wishes he could. So, overall, recommended.

Here's a big problem: in my inventory I've got a Device [spellbook], a Mechanism [scroll], a Generator (rod?), and a Tool (wand). In vanilla it's bad enough that there are rods, wands, and staffs, but they all do kind of the same thing. Giving half the objects in the game similar names is just crazy, especially when they're still activated with different keys. At least "mechanism" makes more sense as an alternate name for "scroll" than "floppy disk".

Here's another big problem: I still don't like Angband variants. I spent fifteen years getting good at Nethack and by my learning curve so far I can tell it's gonna take another five to get good at *band. However I am going to keep Steamband around on my disk drive because 1) the author has put thought into making less tedious the endless cycle of death and rebirth that is the Angband variant, and 2) I finally got one of these SOBs to compile, I'm not throwing that away easily.

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