Release 118 Sunday February 25th, 2018
21:53:22 EDT
Choose Your System:

Wow! That was a long time between releases. Grudging credit to Apple for breaking support for 117, forcing me to buy new hardware and do another release. Meanwhile, I fear this will now be 64-bit only Linux release. But hopefully this can now be forgiven.

  • Mimicing the red queen, ran hard to stay in the same place!
  • Many encylcopedia text typos fixed thanks to David Damerell.
  • You now celebrate rather than celebarate at the surface. (Alex Lait)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here.

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 117 Friday December 23rd, 2011
21:35:21 EDT
Choose Your System:

Sunny Saturnalia to one and all!

Hopefully I have the correct Linux version this time! Some good news, I found a 32-bit linux box so it should be a 32-bit linux build as well.

  • True aim is now in the book of blades, so you can learn it without an extra skill book. (Robert Barber)
  • Forgetting a spell while wielding a staff that imbues it will now properly fail. (Paul Strickland)
  • Failing to forget no longer uses a turn.
  • Unenchanted weapons and armor which you have found the enchantment of now report +0. (Mike Ratzlaff)
  • Objects collapsing into meatballs now properly state if the result is multiple meatballs. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Tutorial for signpost for kiwis now mentions the hostile tag on the look description. (Claudio)
  • Signpost added to surace world. (SilverAnalyst)
  • Someone to greet you on the surface world. (Andrew Walker)
  • Unequippable item slots say No Item slot rather than Empty slot. Empty body slots report the appendage name (left hand, radula, etc)
  • + and * by the god reports when praying lets you know how much they like your fashion sense. (hotpoo)
  • Frogs have a bonus to attack vs insects. (Robert Barber)
  • Silver and gold weapons will occasionally dull if used against non-vulnerable targets.
  • Finally added the cute and cuddly triceratops!
  • If you id the enchantment of an item by throwing it, now the stack you threw it from wil also be ided. (Mike Ratzlaff)
  • Sleeping creatures have a visual indication. (Mike Ratzlaff)
  • Swapping worn armour with wielded sword no longer causes you to wear the sword. (Mike Ratzlaff)
  • Rolling boulder works on some monsters.
  • Fix minor spelling errors (Gurkan Sengun)
  • Full AI state was being cleared when nothing was edible rather than just the single edible bit. (Don Collins)
  • Dipping nothing into a potion no longer crashes, provided you figured a way to do that in the first place. (Richard Quirk)
  • Two or more equipped items with extra attacks now properly stack the chance of invoking the attacks, rather than jumping straight to a 99% chance. (Richard Quirk)
  • One new room type.
  • Mountain and Hills in Ibson The Grey's tileset are now in their correct positions.

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here.

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 116 Sunday September 18th, 2011
10:57:35 EDT
Choose Your System:

Nine months since the last release, so much for the weekly release schedule POWDER started with! You will notice that I have at least maintained the same size release, minor fixes and a new spell. I'm particularly happy with finally finding a compromise for god-induced flamestrikes - you get a warning now so they are less just an insta-death out of the blue.

You may thank the Annual Roguelike Release Party (ARRP) for this release - it provided the impetus to get something out. If you like POWDER, but are frustrated at the slow rate of development, I strongly recommend checking the rest of the roguelike scene!

iPhone release isn't out yet for the usual reasons. Every time I go to build for that platform I have a nightmare of provisioning profiles and certificats to wade through before I can actually get to the compiling bit :>

  • MSVC Express Edition 2008 project files and instructions added, created by Andreas Bohm.
  • Tower shields are large. (Claudio)
  • "You cannot hide from I!" is now "You cannot hide from Me!" (B. Perry)
  • Looking at a square will also describe any smoke there.
  • The dig spell now has the side effect of spraying the excavated rock shards, damaging those around you.
  • Create Pit spell is now 10 MP rather than 15.
  • Blizzards fill the air with sleet and snow, not sleet and slow. Though the latter does describe their special effect nicely.
  • New spell: Sandstorm
  • If a god decides to flamestrike you, you now get a few turns warning to prepare yourself.
  • Monsters properly check safety of squares before stepping on them.
  • If trapped inside a wall without Phase or Breathess, you will suffocate. (Strange Child, Julian Agloro)
  • Helmets should be sorted together now. (Aapo)
  • Empty bottles will be filled by down pour now. (Aapo)
  • Entomb has a better message when blocked. (Aapo)
  • Rocks are created when rocks fall on your head. (Aapo)
  • Spells you can't cast have (!) after them in the zap list (Aapo)
  • Saving when out of disk space should no longer corrupt your last save game. (Aapo)
  • Tossing an item hand to hand no longer takes a turn. (Aapo)
  • Spears, knives, and daggers no longer let you equip stacks. (Aapo)
  • You are only prompted to throw one spear of a stack. (Aapo)
  • The animate forest spell now has its own icon.

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here.

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 115 Saturday December 11th, 2010
21:01:59 EDT
Choose Your System:

Just in time for the new, high res, iPhones, POWDER's tiles have caught up to the previous, low res, iPhones. The 12x12 Akoi Meexx tiles have been hand smoothed for a better landscape experience.

My old file server died. Fortunately, I was already in the process of migrating to a new one, so it really couldn't have been better timing. Unfortunately, my attempt to restart the PSP toolchain failed. I'll have to give this another try later, but this release is way too delayed already.

Note the iPhone version, as usual, won't show up right away. First, because even with immediate submission there is a delay for approval. Second, because one reason this release kept being delayed was a real frustrating bug where the keyboard wasn't showing up half the time. I think I fixed it, hence this release, but I want to do some more testing on my commute.

When the iPhone version does hit the light of day, I hope players on that platform will appreciate that you can now email your character dumps. This provides a way to get a record of your win without resorting to pen and pencil.

  • The delete key should work on Macs. (Konstantin Stupnik)
  • Typos in the animate forest description fixed. (Paul Nguyen, Kender)
  • You can no longer petrify or stone to flesh quest items. (Lorenzo Batallones)
  • Items that fall in a hole will not be revealed up on the next level's map. (Kender)
  • Zapping a wand of invisibility at yourself when you are already invisible from a permament source no longer reports "You are invisible." (Kender)
  • No longer falsely get system shock if a creature you possessed, but released when it was polymorphed, is finally slain. (Mental Mouse)
  • The Regenerate spell now works for creatures with No Regeneration, as was intended. (Mental Mouse)
  • Flesh golems can once more regenerate. (They lost this in the no-regen sweep) (Mental Mouse)
  • Giant Spiders have defences better fitting their explevel. (Mental Mouse)
  • The earth hammer is now made from stone as you'd expect. (Kender)
  • The spell Summon Daemon now spells Daemon like the rest of POWDER. (Mental Mouse)
  • Typo fixed in Golden Tridude description. (Mental Mouse)
  • Clarify cave troll description. (Metnal Mouse)
  • s/byte/sting/ for scorpion description. (Mental Mouse)
  • Clarify butcher skill description. (Mental Mouse)
  • Water elementals no longer leave corpse.
  • Eaten intrinsicly poisonous corpses now has a significantly shorter timeout. (Kender)
  • Attacks which deal multiple types of damage in the same hit will have damage reduction applied to each of the types, rather than only to the first type. (Mental Mouse)
  • Vampire bats will no longer chase players which they aren't interested in. (Kender)
  • Option to email character dumps on the iPhone to get them out of the black box.
  • Searching due to intrinsics will put Searching on the status line, and multiple manual searches will report Seached x10.
  • Improved the Akoi Meexx 12x12 tiles, for less ugly pixels when in landscape mode on the iPhone.
  • Makefiles for Linux have $(LDFLAGS) added.
  • The torches in the Lomaka tiles have been fixed to show up in the correct hand. (sulai)
  • The Wish command now includes the ability to take on a monster's form and stats, so you can play as a monster if you wish. (Robert Barber)
  • On level up, the number of Piety points you have in each class is displayed beside the class name so you can better judge which class to pick. (Matthew Wyatt)
  • Directions selected when iPhone is upside down will no longer be inverted. (Alex Lait)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here.

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 114 May 16, 2010
22:01:27 EDT
Choose Your System:

Due to my temporary subversion server being behind my firewall, I had to change the Linux and Mac build machines. I think the Mac build is safe, but if you have issues with the Linux build please let me know. Because if you don't, I'll just retire the offsite machine.

The 10x10 and 12x12 tiles are now enabled on the non-iPhone versions. I'm pretty happy with the 10x10 now, but the 12x12 still need lots of touch up. For those wondering why I did 10x10 first: I've found portrait mode is the way to play.

iPhone users will also be happy that the native keyboard is used. Hardcore POWDER fans will lament that I didn't instead revert to the original GBA keyboard input method. Would be a good excuse for multitouch as you try to chord four virtual buttons plus an direction arrow :>

  • Help menus are no longer off by one. (Patrick Don't have one, Matt_S, Sam Spencer, Alex Marsh, Robert Barber, mattock)
  • Remove potential crash when zapping wand of invisibility off map.
  • Items are no longer revealed by hostiles searching.
  • Status message "Searched" when you search to make it more clear you did something by searching.
  • Correct lighting tests for giant mobs along with looser LOS requirements to see them.
  • No longer crash if a rolling boulder kills the caster and then fills a hole.
  • You can click-drag on display text to scroll it.
  • Chris Lomaka's tiles have been updated with some nice new additional icons.
  • Help menus are platform specific, so GBA users should no longer be taunted with stylus help, etc.
  • The Akoi Meexx 10x10 and 12x12 tilesets are enabled in SDL builds. The 10x10 has had a round of manual smoothing applied to it.
  • Status bar on iPhone now rotates and is hidden in landscape mode.
  • iPhone now uses native keyboard controls.
  • If you start the game in a room with only secret exits, you are explicitly told that there are secret exits to search for. (Eisel Mazard)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [588k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 113 Wed April 14th, 2010
21:44:31 EDT
Choose Your System:

You wouldn't know if from the change log, but I have been hard at work on POWDER for the last few months.

I do have new base 10 and base 12 versions of Akoi's tileset, along with corresponding fonts, but they aren't yet enabled in the default builds.

  • Fireball and Cloudkill always explode at the end of their trajectory.
  • When you gain permanent intrinsics by evolving or lichifying, relevant temporary intrinsics will be cleared, preventing you from having a silver-tolerant lich. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Timestamps on the final character dump and the description of how long you lived will now match. (Deozaan)
  • You can wish for bones and corpses without them instantly dissolving. (Garron)
  • You can no longer fetch items that have teleport fixed. (Eris Discordia)
  • When a creature (un)polys into a gargantuan creature, it will now also push away monsters in addition to crushing walls. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Lich-form creatures that are undead no longer report it being your evil that was useless. (garron Bailey)
  • When you name an item, the menu defaults to naming the type rather than the specific as this is the usual scenario.
  • The floor of the kiwi room is now the proper floor tile.
  • Controled teleport onto the square you are already standing no longer reports that you are blocked, but that you decide to stay put.
  • Mysterious mapping of rooms fixed. Thanks to Kender and Mental Mouse for tracking this down - it has been annoying me for six years or so! (David Damerell, Eilu, Kender, Mental Mouse)
  • should work with --use-home-dir again. (garron)
  • The option menu no longer has Load. Instead it has Quit, which prompts you if you meant this. Loading is now only done from the main menu.
  • No experience for killing your pets.
  • Confirmation prompt if starting New Game with active saved game as one can easily accidentally overwrite it.
  • Some spells when mistargeted no longer waste your mana. Not all, so remain vigilant.
  • Cancelling your choice in the Wish menu no longer costs a turn.
  • Fix potential crash when you are killed by splash damage from a thrown item.

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [587k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 112 Thursday October 29th, 2009
21:31:43 EDT
Choose Your System:

Thanks go to Jonathan Buchanan for porting POWDER to the Wii! Whee!

This version is largely bug fixing. The most important bug to fix was with tile loading that made it difficult to use custom tiles. I hope I have these squashed, and the Ibson Grey tiles should now *actually* be present. In addition, Chris Lomaka has granted us some new tiles! Yay!

Thanks to Snow Leopard deleting the old SDK on upgrade and me being compling blindly on a remote mac hidden in an underground bunker somewhere, this is likely a 10.5+ only release.

  • Your tame creatures now have a heart badge beside them to identify them as such.
  • Switching to a different tile res will no longer cause a crash. (Inu)
  • Building the tile choice list now comes from the internal allbitmaps.h rather than being hardcoded, so Ibson the Grey's tiles will show up as expected. (Inu)
  • Entering a level with active lava/water from a level which has no active lava/water, when the new level is already created and previously visited this game, will no longer stop the updating of said lava and water. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Hopefully backspace will work on OSX. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Jumping in space prohibited if you lack spacewalk. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Jumping when buried prohibited. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Kobold thieves are pluralized properly. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Living frosts are now bloodless. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Digging upwards on special levels has more sensible results. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Remove the console window on Windows.
  • Shattered trees will drop their occupants. (Nathan Bogue)
  • Items that fall down holes will no longer be mapped. (patch by Richard Quirk)
  • PSP Makefile should be happier with newer devkits. (patch by Joe Buck)
  • Left and Right on menus will scroll fast, just like L and R do, but this also applies to the command menu where L and R are the quick bind keys. (patch by Joe Buck)
  • [SDL] Shift-arrow will swap with a critter, Alt-arrow will jump. (patch by Andreas Bohm)
  • ctype.h is included in map2c.cpp now. (Ben Hjelt)
  • New tileset from Chris Lomaka.
  • One new room.
  • Load game shows up first in the menu if it is available to make it harder to accidentally choose new game. (Enrique Garcia Cota)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [445k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 111 Wednesday May 13th, 2009
20:28:38 EDT
Choose Your System:

A long delay can only mean one thing. A long delay. The feature I most look forward to is the highlights for unique monsters and artifacts. Hopefully this increases the coolness associated with encountering them.

  • Further Makefile clean up, using $(RM) and other niceties. (Zasenko Sergey)
  • Applied WinCE compatibility patches. (Ilya Kasnacheev)
  • Ibson the Grey's tileset is now built into the SDL builds of POWDER rather than requiring you to use the From Disk... option. (It is not in the DS, GBA, WINCE versions)
  • Unique monsters have a ! badge to distinguish them before you engate in battle. (Andreas Bohm)
  • When fully charged spells will get a yellow glow so you can tell 99% charge from fully ready.
  • Tameness should no longer expire while you still live. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Tame creatures whose masters die will go wild after five turns and be also confused. You now have a good reason to go after the leaders of rooms first.
  • Kobold Assassins can inflict bleeding wounds, as was always intended. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Radius of the burst when bottles break is dependent on curse/blessed status.
  • Poisoned smoke potions are more useful. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Smashing potions will interact with existing smoke. (CYBER_Aeon)
  • Tridude on the keyboard is now a proper tridude. (Bunnyriffic)
  • Artifacts have an overlay to distinguish them and are always above mundane items in piles (Stefan O'Rear)
  • New POWDER icon thanks to Sam Goldfield!
  • Crash when you load the game on a level with more than 32 active smoke tiles fixed. (Lawrence T. Levine)
  • Iron Golems and Stone Golems have the proper second attack, and hence hit much harder. (Nicholas Young)
  • Spells and skills are listed even if you are amnesic in character dumps. (Meddyan)
  • Vampire bats should ignore bloodless targets. (CYBER_Aeon)
  • Vampire bats gain food when they suck blood. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Creatures will be more careful in what they eat, especially familiars. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Being poisoned by something more powerful will properly clear the weaker poison.

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [387k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 110 Sunday January 18th, 2009
0:24:16 EDT
Choose Your System:

Two useful UI improvements. Spell icons now grey out if you are unable to cast them. Inventory slots are recoloured depending on the known curse status of the items. This should reduce the note taking required to start playing an old character again.

Most other changes are devoted to cleaning things up, to finally support the 4.3 gcc compiler and to fix up the broken source of 109.

You may be interested in reading my book, Menoetius.

  • A 65535 enum added for TILE_NAMES to placate the gcc 4.3 compiler. (Malte Helmert, Joe B, Magnate)
  • >string.h< is the correct header. (Joe B)
  • Clean scripts improved to clean more stuff so I don't release with a broken support directory again. (Joe B)
  • Executable bit removed from CREDITS.TXT and LICENCE.TXT. (Malte Helmert)
  • Animated Trees no longer randomly generated in the dungeon, they are meant to only exist as a result of summons. (Kayvon, Gwazi01)
  • If Baezlb'b's heart grants life save, he will no longer have his life saved, and, more importantly, the heart will no longer be destroyed. (Stefan O'Rear)
  • When you convert a flesh golem into a stone golem it will no longer report both names. (Lim-Dul)
  • "You stop over concerns of your safety." now has an r in concerns. (eilu)
  • Spells you don't know now show up greyscale in the action bar. Similarly, if you can't cast it due to not enough mana, it is greyed out proportionaly to how much mana is needed.
  • Inventory background is coloured according to your knowledge of the item, making it easier to separate out cursed/holy/regular. This also distinguishes between items you have tried on (so you know they are not cursed) vs ones you haven't tried. (Irashtar)
  • You can mark items as favorite. This causes them to get a yellow background in the inventory and always be sorted first. (Pikadude No. 1)
  • Weapons have the e in them when you forget the dual wield skill. (Joe B)
  • Text for animate forest spell and creature tweaked to better align with the normal English speaker's concept of grammar.
  • Did I mention I finished a book, Menoetius? I did? Well, I'll just bury a reference in this wall of text anyways.
  • The script for Linux has been updated to try and make it more ebuild compatible thanks to work by Zasenko Sergey. I may have misread his patch, however, so problems in this version are likely my fault.

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [314k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 109 Tuesday November 25th, 2008
22:03:54 EDT
Choose Your System:

Two new exciting changes in this release. First we have a new spell: Animate Forest, for those who were wondering what the point of the Grow Forest spell was. Second we have the run mode which lets you auto-follow corridors, hopefully cutting your keystrokes substantially.

  • Daemon now has the a in the summon daemon spell description. (FEG)
  • If a daemon decides not to be summoned, an a is put in the daemon's name.
  • PSP character dumps should now say PSP Version rather than Linux version. (Dave Hong)
  • If you were in the habit of quitting without saving, the random number seed would keep being the same between games, resulting in very similar games. For those keeping track, yes, this was caused by my naive attempts to make things *more* random. (Erik Spigel)
  • If you manually climb a ladder while autoprompt is enabled you no longer are immediately prompted to climb back up the ladder when you get to the other side.
  • New Run command, 'r' for SDL users, which will cause you to run in that direction until something interesting happens. You will turn corners if there is only one way to do so. You can interrupt by hitting a key / pressing a button, useful if you find yourself running a closed loop. As the name implies, this is not meant to be some super safe way to explore the map. (PBP)
  • Vi keys now support the Ctrl modifier to turn them into safe walk (David Damerell, Cuboidz)
  • New spell: Animate Forest (Adam Boyd)
  • When level teleporting via Wishing, do not start on same square as a monster.
  • Diminishing returns on piety gains when gods already like you.
  • List of items in character dump should now match order of list in inventory. (Meddyan, Cuboidz)
  • Soul Suck spell no longer grants caster spells or skills that are present only due to items such as staves. (Eilu)
  • Creatures that die underground should no longer have their corpse and items float to the surface. (Meddyan)
  • Properly assign guilt to party responsibly for filling holes with boulders. (Meddyan)
  • Properly credit kills for creatures that die from suffocation from a boulder you place. (Meddyan)
  • The support programs now include cstring.h so should compile with the latest gcc. (Joe B)
  • Fixed the #define guard in stdafx.h (Malte Helmert)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [312k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 108 Friday November 7th, 2008
00:26:57 EDT
Choose Your System:

Thanks to Bill Blake there is a PS3 Linux port of POWDER! His announcement can be found here.

Keeping with POWDER tradition, a long time between releases does not mean there was some huge secret code being worked on that took this long to get ready. It means I was busy with other stuff. That said, there are a good number of fixes in this version. Most important is likely the Safe Walk ability, derived from a patch by Andreas Bohm, which lets non-DS users the ability to avoid accidentally attacking kiwis when they go careening through the hallways. The intent is you can bind it to, say, [L], and then hold that when you want to move safely. If you want [L] to attack, you can change the global option. SDL users may use the ctrl key. Unless they are using vi-keys in which case I'm afraid they are out of luck for now. I can only hope those players believe that Safe Walk is for weaklings.

  • The mouse will work again for the onscreen keyboard in SDL builds. (Ilya, Teun Peelen)
  • Description when wearing necro dress code spells servant right. (David Damerell, Andreas Bohm)
  • Vacuum correctly spelled in death message. (David Damerell)
  • "Click on your self to search" rather than Clicking. (Narius Varigor)
  • Starting as cultist will immediately tell you ><0|V|'s whim. (hotpoo)
  • Loading a save game worshiping ><0|V| will likewise report the whim.
  • Zapping a hostile wand of create monster will have a chance of the creature turning on you. (hotpoo)
  • New boon from gods: hostile creatures surrounding you can be smitten. (Indirectly Ambvai)
  • Earth hammers can be forged into artifact earth hammers with the proper setup. (David Damerell)
  • Level up hitpoints and magic points are now 2d2+1 rather than 1d4+1, giving a tighter distribution and slight boost to the average. (Teun Peelen)
  • Earth hammers have an encyclopedia entry. (David Damerell)
  • When you can move in diagonals you can use the diagonals of the numberpad. (Andreas Bohm)
  • There is now a SafeWalk mode which stops you from attacking when walking about. You can toggle this by pressing Ctrl when using the arrow keys or binding the Safe Walk command to a button in GBA mode. (Andreas Bohm)
  • The delete key works the same as the backspace key, a useful feature on Macs whose keyboards lack a backspace. (Roger Bolton)
  • Wishing for a level teleport no longer uses atoi() so hopefully works on gpsphone. (Roger Bolton)
  • We now promote room flags to map flags when loading. This way loading the game on the final levels will not turn the levels into floor-diggable and hence suddenly create holes to short-circuit the levels. (Ambvai, debugged by Andreas Bohm)
  • A case where you could achieve barbarian dress code despite not wearing armour is fixed. (Malte Helmert)
  • You now gain piety for the barbarian and necro dress codes. (Malte Helmert)
  • You can no longer move diagonally if both orthogonal directions are blocked by walls.
  • Spells cast when you have the can dig intrinsic will no longer disintegrate earth elementals. (SparroHawc)

The artpack for this version can be grabbed here [311k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 107 July 28th, 2008
22:23:45 EDT
Choose Your System:

Congratulations go to Ilyak who has successfully ported POWDER to Windows CE. His changes haven't been brought into the main baseline yet and require some munging of libSDL, but hopefully the baselines can be synchronized soon. The addition of this new port, whose SDK bested my last attempt to install, has led me to step back from my attempted policy of building every platform myself. The GP2X build I attempted never worked, and lacking the hardware, it is very time consuming to try and fingle it into working. Thus, both GP2X and WinCE will not be directly maintained by me. GP2X is already integrated in the source code so it is "relatively" straightforward to build, hopefully something similar can be done for WinCE. I'll try and point to the last-known-build of these versions, but as they'll be maintained by external volunteers, they can't stay in sync.

Adminstrivia out of the way, on to the goodies! Exciting new tools include the first large special weapon - the Earth Hammer. More zaniness has been added to the great tridude den in the sky. Sick and stoning characters will get some onscreen visualization of their plight, and users of stickyflame will enjoy a more accurate depiction of the suffering of their foes.

  • Leather helms will actually use the new leather helm icon. (Bunnyriffic)
  • Doors to special rooms will hopefully now be properly blocked so wandering monsters don't wander through them.
  • Secret doors should no longer be giveaways in dark rooms by being the only lit wall.
  • Special overlay tile when creatures are on fire.
  • New special weapon, the earth hammer. (Ibson the Grey)
  • Creatures may teleport you to escape rather than always themselves.
  • Creatures will use wands of sleep to escape. (Derek S. Ray)
  • Creatures that are tame to someone other than yourself are described as followers rather than tame. (Derek S. Ray)
  • Picked up items always go to the end of your inventory rather than filling holes, hopefully making it easier to find items you just picked up. (Malte Helmert)
  • H'ruth is no longer impressed by you being surrounded by sleeping or paralysed enemies. (Robert Hamaker)
  • The charging of lightning rapiers is now proportional to the damage that would be done.
  • Tlosh will grant exotic armour skill. (R. Dan Henry)
  • Necromancer and Barbarian dress codes (R. Dan Henry)
  • When polyed into a grid bug you can move diagonally with the stylus, mouse, or the new Move command. (Michal Bielinski)
  • Flamestrike's strength now is dependent on your favour with your current god. (Xaintrix)
  • Ghosts are no longer able to bypass the library's locks.
  • You can make secret doors and hidden traps. (CYBER Aeon)
  • You can smash viewports. (Brendan)
  • Name generator has a hotkey so keyboard purists can use it. (Brendan)
  • Forgetting things no longer leaves the menu on screen.
  • When turning to stone or poisoned your apperance changes.
  • The final damage from poison is now applied before the you are cured message, leading to a less confusing apparent order of events. (Andrew Poandl)
  • Ibson the Grey tileset white and red dragons fixed. (Vladimir Stalin)

New artpack in this version, grab it here [311k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from The WinCE and GP2X versions both use SDL but are hosted by parties other than myself.

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 106 July 2nd, 2008
22:07:33 EDT
Choose Your System:

Two versions ago, David Parker ported POWDER to the GP2X. The GP2X is a type of hardware I've always meant to support - they actively encourage homebrew style development. Thus, I am very happy that David's changes have been rolled into the main development branch so we should have a GP2X build now. For those aching for stylus support - the source is there too. I have compiled this version blind, so apologies in advance if there are problems. With your feedback we can get it worked out.

Note: The GP2X version sadly does not work due to some toolchain problems that have to be tracked down. For now you can use the old precompiled 104 version found on David Parker's site or recompile from the source.

  • Updated 32x32 icons from Ibson the Grey that have the new weapons.
  • Describe Ricochet. (Malte Helmert)
  • Extra regen for being full occurs even if you have a ring of regeneration worn. (Malte Helmert)
  • Regenerating magic when hungry occurs deterministically. (Malte Helmert)
  • Sleeping creatures are not damaged by light attacks.
  • Creatures who can't eat won't be hungry or full, regardless of pre-poly state. (Tobias Pierce)
  • Port to the GP2X by David Parker, done original for version 104, has now been rolled into the official build process. (David Parker)
  • Fix a type mismatch passing a structure as a pointer (!!) which surprisingly only caused problems on some platforms. (Peter Roozemaal, with patch)
  • Attempted to move all systems to va_copy - I hope I'm not longer using any old enough compilers that complain. Apparently MSVC still lacks va_copy. (Peter Roozemaal)
  • Some liches were locked up in a secret room as a temporary measure until I do a proper fix for AI opening doors. (The Rani)
  • Pushing a boulder against another boulder now has a full stop. (FEG)
  • Remove redundant to in bind soul description. (David R. Shultz)
  • Anachronistic reference to jello replaced by jelly. (R. Dan Henry)
  • Improved message for losing water walk (R. Dan Henry)
  • Pax will now grant Endure Hunger and Teleport. Tlosh will grant Preserve. Klaskove will grant Blunt Weapons. (R. Dan Henry)
  • +10 flaming swords have been overpowered because the +10 counts as a pure damage bonus to both the flame and regular sword attack, effectively giving +20 damage. To mitigate this, enchantment bonus is now only added to the base sword damage, not any bonus artifact or fire damage. Further, the enchantment is rolled against so you get +1d10 damage rather than +10. This doesn't effect +1 weapons, but provides a sliding penalty for the overpowered weapons tossed around by H'ruth.
  • Fixed source code comment that lied about ways to charge lightning rapiers. (Adam Boyd)
  • You can really eat water elementals now. I hope.
  • There is now a mini icon for the rapier. It is the same as the sword in all builds but Ibson the Grey. You may guess who motivated this inclusion. (Ibson the Grey)
  • The Leather Helm now has its own tile icon so you can tell it apart from iron helms on the dungoen floor. (Jan Milewski, Ibson the Grey)
  • Speaking of which, the Ibson the Grey tileset has caught up to all the current tiles and also sports distinct male and female clothing.
  • Casting wizard eye and possess will now be noticed by the gods. (R. Hamaker, Bridget Farace)
  • When you choose a god or forget a spell there is now a confirmation.
  • Your current god is reported when you level up. (Meddyan)
  • An entry on the wiki was ret-conned to be correct.
  • Skills and spells don't show up in the intrinsic list if they'll show up later anyways. (R. Dan Henry)
  • Torches classified as weapons rather than misc, so thus should no longer change their properties when artifacts become or unbecome being torches. (David Damerell)
  • Jumping will noise your feet as expected.
  • After you have filled your highscore list, you will get the option to pick a starting god to avoid having to start-scumm to get equipment suitable for different gods. (Derek S. Ray)
  • Option to pick a random name. (Sam Goldfield)
  • Firing upwards with ice/fire wand no longer affects the square you are on.
  • You can now zap lightning rapiers. (Bunnyriffic)
  • Special rooms now have their doors flagged so creatures will not open them until you do - this should avoid out of depth creatures wandering the dungeon and killing you. (Derek S. Ray, Brendan)
  • Remove forbidden double knowledge from description of bleeding wounds skill (David R. Schultz)

New artpack in this version, grab it here [305k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 105 Saturday May 10th, 2008
9:43:49 EDT
Choose Your System:

My time in Japan prevented me from making a release (I had turned off two of the machines I need to build on), but it didn't prevent me from working on POWDER. There are lots of various changes including new items and skills. There is also a new 32x32 tileset that you can find in the artpack thanks to Ibson the Grey.

  • [All but GBA]: When you load a game, the fact you have loaded it is immediately saved. This means you can no longer power down before you die to avoid save scumming. (Eilu, Zach Firth)
  • Familiars always leave corpses to facillitate their resurrection.
  • Petrified creatures count to your kill total
  • You are only punished for the death of a familiar when the death becomes irrevocable.
  • The party guilty for creating traps, lava, etc, is now tracked so proper responsibility can be assigned. (Andrew Poandl)
  • Dodge Skill's "foes" properly 'ified. (David Damerell)
  • Extra flavour text from Eilu.
  • Ricochet skill for arrows. (Furrot)
  • You can climb trees. (Adam Boyd)
  • When a bitmap has to many colours, it now fails more gracefully. (Ibson the Grey)
  • An embarassing mistake in combat calcs has been fixed. It is now the attacker's skill, not the defender's, used to roll attack bonus. This will mean weapon skills are more necessary and make monsters more threatening since they always default to 2 stars.
  • Jumping out of a pit only moves you one square. (Irashtar)
  • Incorrect there in helm of draining description (Mark Rushakoff)
  • Adjusted some monster sizes to better reflect how I envision them. Hopefully this doesn't affect food nutrition balance too much. (David Damerell)
  • When you die your options are saved even if you don't make the high score table. (Zappa Penguin)
  • Knock no longer closes the door if an item or creature blocks it.
  • Knock cast on doors with creatures on them will knock them back and damage them slightly. (Lim-Dul)
  • Light radius for creatures on fire increased to 2 from 1 to make it a bit less subtle. (R. Dan Henry)
  • [Start] and [Select] can be used to enter and shift respectively on the on-screen keyboard. (Zappa Penguin)
  • You can eat water elementals, but be warned there might still be some life in them. (Eilu)
  • Polying into or polying back into gargantuan forms will crush any walls that would entrap you. (Korgoth)
  • Flaming swords slightly nerfed to 1d3 fire damage to prevent them from being such an obvious weapon choice.
  • New item: lightning rapier. (Terje)
  • New item: ice mace.
  • Imps summoned by demons that you summon will no longer attack you provided the demon stil lives.
  • Monsters should now open doors if they are smart enough. (Derek Ray)
  • New monster: Kobold Thief.
  • You can now wish to learn a skill directly rather than having to acquire the specific book.
  • "wizard's hands" in chilling touch description, "an uber-storm" for a living frost, along with an extra hyphen in that description. Description of Pax clarified to resolve amiguous sentence and disarm skill description has an s returned to it. Finally, another lost s added to the flesh golem description. (R. Dan Henry)
  • "You gain insight into the nature of foo." now has a full stop. (David Damerell)
  • Ibson the Grey has produced a new 32x32 tileset based on the rltiles to give you some high resolution POWDER experience. Since this isn't the 16x16 res, it doesn't come packaged with POWDER but has to be installed manually from the artpack.

New artpack in this version, grab it here [302k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 104 Saturday April 5th, 2008
22:33:19 EDT
Choose Your System:

The long sought after fire arrows are finally present, self-poly into an iron golem has been further nerfed, and many bugs fixed. Most notable of the bug fixes is one to correct the gender assignment of dungeon citizens.

  • A method to fashion arrows from trees. (Adam Boyd)
  • When fire, acid, and venom balls explode it is prefixed by a definite article.
  • Living frosts have a higher hit die (but same hit points) which should make them more effective in combat by increasing their chance of hitting things.
  • Constructs, such as iron golems, no longer regenerate naturally. Note that undead are powered by unlife so still do regenerate.
  • New item: fire arrows. (sf, R. Dan Henry, Beefhaze)
  • Knock is now a ranged spell and can close doors as well as open them. (Brendan)
  • [SDL] If you were near the very top or very left of the map, the on screen keyboard would draw with the letters not lined up with the key wells. (Eilu)
  • Gold beetles are now properly aggressive when hostile.
  • [DS] A VBlank wait is added to the sleep routine so even less power should be consumed when the lid is closed. (Robert)
  • intervene has an r. (Oohara Yuuma)
  • Two new rooms.
  • The golden tridude is as big as they come, not as bit as they come. (Eilu)
  • Those in wizard mode can create any room template.
  • If you are wearing a non-ring that grants missing finger, you are now allowed to still equip a ring provided you have zero rings equipped.
  • After answering the question too many times I've broken down and flagged most items as not being equippable as a stack. So, no more wielding two warhammers in one hand. Thrown weapons can be equipped as a stack to allow you to get more mileage out of enchant weapon scrolls. (Ben Shadwick, Bill, TemporalParadox, many more)
  • Failure to swap with creatures in pits or underwater properly uses the creatures pronoun. (Eilu)
  • When I added the ability to chose your gender, I accidentally had your choice also affected the gender of every creature in the dungeon. This has now been fixed so creatures will now have their correct gender assigned. (Eilu)
  • Character dump tells you if Wizard mode is activated.
  • Character dump tells you how many times you've save scummed.
  • Character dump includes your score on death or victory.
  • Changed the scoring method for ascensions to penalize based on how long it took you to win. The goal is to save the world, not just self-improvement. (R. Dan Henry)
  • Your last gender selection is saved with your last name so the new game gender choice will match the new game name choice.
  • Thrown artifact weapons were always [-2] to hit. Now all artifacts properly inherit their base item's to hit bonus and can have an additional bonus due to being artifacts.
  • Flaming swords no longer have a [+1] bonus to hit. They are cool enough without such a thing.
  • Display of weapon damage will no longer show 2+1 for a 2d1+1 weapon and instead show merely 3.

New artpack in this version, grab it here [187k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 103 Tuesday March 25th, 2008
22:34:01 EDT
Choose Your System:

This release is a bit late coming out due to my participation in the fourth annual seven day roguelike competition. My submission was Fatherhood.

Spent some time improving environmental interactions, adding some relatively useless spells that people more clever than I will find ways to abuse, and performing the usual grammar fixes.

An exciting change which hopefully you won't notice is that the SDL based builds are no longer tied to a fixed 8x8 tile size. This was no small change as I had happily spread hard-coded constants everywhere, confident that the Gameboy Advance hardware wasn't going to change on me. It never did, but POWDER escaped that world and now lives places where 8x8 feels a bit cramped. One intriguing tileset would be to build a 10x10 based set that would then run at a native res of 320x240. See the ArtPack for details. Note I said I hope you don't notice this. No doubt, I have screwed up somewhere and some menu or stylus input won't work properly - I look forward to having my error pointed out.

  • [DS] Pressing keys on on-screen keyboard will move the button-based cursor to the pressed location.
  • Flavour text for empty bottles. (R. Dan Henry)
  • Zombies, skeletons, ghasts, and liches that are made by magic will have their original creature type prefixed to the name: rat zombie, tridude lich, etc. (Adam Boyd)
  • Trolls that resurrect inside lava will remain inside the lava rather than being teleported out. (Oohara Yuuma)
  • Acid Pool can now be cast at range rather than only on adjacent squares.
  • When you suffer system shock due to ending a polymorph or possession by dying a "You feel a little dead inside" is reported to alert you to the damage done. The Possess spell help has been updated to point out the dangers of dying while possessing creatures. (Derek S. Ray)
  • You can now wish for specific spells. Well, provided you can wish at all. If only you knew how to wish.
  • Wands of light will now slightly damage creatures and blind them for a turn or two.
  • Floating eyes that are blind can no longer paralyse you. (Michael Brough)
  • A Grow Forest spell that... grows a forest. I guess you could use it to block line of sight of those that chase you? (Adam Boyd)
  • Being hit by water has more consistent effects.
  • To hit bonus of weapons now shown in [] after weapon damage to make it clear that rapiers have a bonus.
  • A Down Pour spell to sodden excessively cheerful spirits.
  • Extra commas in the monster descriptions (R. Dan Henry)
  • The character dump will now give you your playtime and which platform you are playing on.
  • Option to turn off colouring of hp and mp. (David Damerell)
  • "Your spear glows grey" from Detect Curse spell now has punctuation. (Michael Brough)
  • Forest tiles can catch on fire and turn into forest fires. Be careful, these spread.
  • Support for tilesets with a base tile size other than 8x8 in SDL builds. (Ibson the Grey)
  • Your tileset, name choice, and button mappings are now saved with the highscores, not with your save game. This means the settings from when you last died or saved will be restored when you power back on again. (Matthew Rollins, Tim Allen, Robert, Irashtar, Matt, likely many others)
  • [PSP] Quit removed from PSP menu pending me figuring out how to properly boot back to the host system. (stabwound)

New artpack in this version, grab it here [187k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 102 Monday March 2nd, 2008
20:50:16 EDT
Choose Your System:

Much thanks go to Marvin Sanchez who has ported POWDER to the PSP so you don't need to run the GBA version inside an emulator any more. This initial release is still Alpha - I don't have a PSP to check directly with, so any problems are thanks to my meddling, not Marvin.

A large assortment of polish issues and minor bug fixes. The biggest change will be for GBA users that now have a way to enter their name that doesn't require a few days of research to understand.

  • Fixed the word-wrap code so you will not see commas at the start of new lines. (Elias Erkamo)
  • When you die the inventory cursor is reset to the first item so new games will see it in a reasonable starting location. (Colin Pritchard)
  • When ><0|V| polymorphs your equipped weapon, no longer destroy the weapon if it is polymorph resistant (ie, artifact, unchanging, quest item) (sparrowhawc)
  • Gifted items now appear BY your feet, rather than skipping the preposition. (Michael Brough)
  • Stoned characters no longer report a depth of 255 in the character dump. (Michael Brough)
  • When charging a stack of items, the new charges are split among the items in the stack, meaning there is no longer a significant advantage to charging a stack versus individual items. (Xaintrix)
  • KnownItems in the Option menu will give you a list of everything you have identified this game, similar to \ in Nethack. (conkstah)
  • Can no longer swap places when either part is submerged or in a pit (Irashtar)
  • "Prove your worth in my combat arena!" now has sufficient prepositions. (Michael Brough)
  • "Suits of plate" rather than "Suites of plate". (Zach Firth)
  • A wand of dig will make a pit in undiggable levels. (Zach Firth)
  • A bit of spell rebalancing. Sticky flames increased to 10 MP to better reflect its utility. Sunfire significantly boosted as it is supposed to be more overpowered. Create Pit's cost reduced a bit making it a comparable root attack to force bolt.
  • New spell, Flash, that takes Sticky Flame's spot in the spell pre-req chain. (Irashtar)
  • Character dumps to .TXT files have line wrap set to 72 columns rather than 30 so posts of winning characters will be better formated.
  • The input line now has a cursor showing where you are currently typing.
  • A sad day indeed! The nifty mini-game to enter your name on the GBA has been removed in favour of a mundane and boring on screen keyboard! (Zappa Penguin)
  • Text input area has been doubled in size to make it easier to type your name without precision stylus placement. (David Hong, Zappa Penguin)
  • A cursor has been added to the text input to make it clear when space is hit.
  • Your health and mana is now colour coded if it is not at maximum. Yes, David, I have already added a note that some people may want an option to disable this.
  • Successfully compiled on a 64bit Linux machine, so hopefully all of my evil pointer casts have been dealt with.
  • Throwing a -2 mithril chainmail in the air will no longer heal you.
  • Belweir's library now also has scrolls. (Brog)
  • Adjusted inventory wrapping again. Horizontal movement will only move which column you are in and no longer adjust your row. Vertical movement will stay inside the equipped item list if you start there, otherwise loop over all of your unequiped items. This better matches the logical separation of these two lists. (Irashtar)
  • Finger of Death description adds some text to clarify it is a ray spell and accidents occur due to reflections. (Irashtar)
  • Flails wildly replaced by Completely misses which is a bit less confusing about the origin of the text. (Irashtar)
  • I normally document every small grammar fix that occurs, but then someone gives me a few pages of corrections. Numerous fixes thanks to R. Dan Henry.
  • SDL port to the PSP. (Marvin Sanchez)

New artpack in this version, grab it here [185k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL, the PSP version compiled with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 101 Saturday February 16th, 2008
21:12:05 EDT
Choose Your System:

Worries that I would stop at version 100 may now be safely set aside. Like the five-minute-mile before it, the 100 barrier has now been broken!

My favourite feature of this release? The nerfing of Soul Suckers.

Please note that while I do try and keep on eye on various POWDER discussions that pop up on the internet, I can't read every forum everywhere. So, if you find a bug or something that doesn't seem to be right, please email me directly.

  • Before I go any farther, I have corrected the spelling of recieve in Klaskov's description. (Rapacity)
  • "Adventuring can make onE hungry..." (TemporalParadox)
  • Items will fall down holes and be teleported by teleport traps. (Patch by Richard Quirk)
  • Transparent spelled properly in Options menu (Michael Brough)
  • Identify spell takes effect after inventory is cleared so you won't end up with the new name of the item clipped.
  • Leaving the inventory by pressing the Inventory Icon will no longer consume a turn.
  • The classic font has two pixel corrections (Markus Maier)
  • You now have a choice of five different fonts, four of which have been crafted by Markus Maier. Default is one of his - a shadowed variant of the default font.
  • You are now prompted to enter the dimensional portal when you step on it, avoiding issues where people didn't know they needed to climb into it.
  • Loading a game that was saved with a from-disk tileset when you no longer have a valid from-disk tileset will no longer crash. (Markus Maier)
  • If you are petrified while possessing a creature, you automatically release possession (with system shock) rather than ending the game. (wings)
  • Uninitialized memory caused all creatures to be very noisy after a load, allowing you to sense them with H. (Deozaan)
  • In memory of Nick Sabo's lost character, there is now an Option to Collapse the dungeon. This destroys all non-quest items on the floor of levels other than your own. Debug Info has been augmented to report your total item usage. This can be used to avoid memory problems on the GBA pending an auto-collapse mode. (Nick Sabo)
  • 50% bonus to food value when eating corpses when you have the Butchery skill (Derek Ray)
  • "The spear falls into the water" now has a period at the end.
  • When you pray your current god is reported. (Brendan)
  • When you load a game or gain a level as a Cultist you will receive the behaviour hint. (Beefhaze)
  • Description of Soul Suck spell now uses amnesic rather than amnesiac as it is an adjective, not a noun.
  • A new pointed medium weapon: Rapiers. (Terje Bo)
  • You can now choose your gender at character creation. (Bridget Farace, Irashtar)
  • Amnesia inflicted from soul suckers will end a few turns after the soul sucker is killed.
  • New skill: Disarm.
  • A bad pointer cast has been removed, hopefully will compile on 64 bit platforms now. (elcugo)
  • The free spell slots and skill slots of creatures is no longer there hit and magic dice. Instead it is a much lower number. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of polymorphing into an Iron Golem as you won't have enough skill/spell slots to effectively use the new form.
  • You can no longer use teleport control to teleport into Belweir's Library. (Derek Ray)
  • Created a Wish action which is useful for debugging.
  • Hitting up at the top of the inventory will bring you to the bottom of the previous column, and vice versa. This lets you iterate over your inventory by only hitting a single button. (Tim Allen)
  • [Windows]: Updated my SDL that I distribute to SDL 1.2.13 which hopefully fixes problem people have on Vista. (Zeb)

New artpack in this version, grab it here [184k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Note: While the highscore is kept, save games are never preserved between versions. Please wait until your current character dies before upgrading.

Release 100 Tuesday January 22nd, 2008
21:09:59 EDT
Choose Your System:

Wow! Five years and 100 releases!

For those expecting massive changes on the 100th release, I am sorry to disappoint you. Massive changes implies massive instability, so I have acted cautiously in preparation for this milestone.

  • Remove flash when clicking on inventory items. (Richard Quirk)
  • Properly remove base item from inventory during drag. (Richard Quirk)
  • Creatures have only 30% chance of doing a last-ditch self-poly rather than always doing so. A bit less optimal from their point of view, but more playable from our point.
  • Dequipping items using drag-and-drop leaves the cursor at the source position, not the end position, as the end position isn't where the item ends up anyways.
  • Verb List in the Command Menu now named Command Menu to be more clear. (Grothias)
  • Keybinding for the Command Menu, 'V', added, so you can restore your Command Menu if you drag it off without doing a full reset. (Grothias)
  • ActionBar settings should now be properly reset on every version upgrade, avoiding the embarassing bad settings seen in the 098->099 upgrade. (Richard Quirk)
  • FullScreen option changes to Windowed when you are already in Full Screen. (Kantaphon Tongmee)
  • Identify spell allows you to use the stylus to select an item.
  • Top row of ActionBar is mapped to F1-F15 on SDL platforms. (I don't have a machine with F13-F15, so can't confirm if they work) (David Damerell)
  • Top action bar shows up when in cast or command menu mode even if action bar is disabled. This is because it allows you to assign your F1-F15 keys.
  • Pressing F1-F15 during Command Menu or Zap screens will bind your current command/spell to the relevant slot, so there is no need to invoke your mouse.
  • Soul Suckers will properly target you when you are more than one square away.
  • When you look around with the stylus you will no longer replicate your original overlay icon. (Richard Quirk)
  • [DS] When I made [X] and [Y] remappable, I also accidentally swapped their meaning. Since the swap was done in the last month while the original meaning was around for 10 months, I've decided to swap them back. This means [X] is now Verb List, or [Start] equivalent, and [Y] is Inventory or [Select] alias. The rational is that the relative location of [X] and [Y] line up with [Start] and [Select] If you grew used to the swapped version, remember that you can remap them back by hitting [Select] in the Command Menu. (Matthew Rollins)
  • The Dip and Identify menus require you to chose a Checkbox or X button rather than just picking what you click on first. This allows you to explore your items with the stylus to figure out what you want to act on.
  • Moved the help icon to the top left which, thanks to the keyboard shortcuts, means hitting F1 gives you help.
  • Having a custom tileset will no longer cause you to revert to the classic tileset after ever load. (Matthew Rollins)
  • One new room.
  • Linux .tar.gz extracts into a powderXYZ directory rather than to the current directory, better matching the expectations of people on that platform.
  • Windows, DS, and GBA users now have a .zip format since .tar.gz can be hard to figure out on Windows platforms.

New artpack in this version, grab it here [148k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Release 099 Wednesday January 16th, 2008
22:11:02 EDT
Choose Your System:

Most of my effort has focussed on UI related issues with this release. My vision for the Action Bar is now realized. You can populate it with your own choice of actions or spells.

Akoi Meexx has been working extremely hard at a total-conversion tileset for POWDER which I'm proud to now make the default tileset!

I've moved my primary playing platform to the DS. I'm extremely happy with the current stylus interface. I have not had to use the buttons at all. This is fortunate as in the winter one can use the stylus with gloves, but I've had issues trying to use the buttons.

  • The PPC Mac and Linux versions will no longer have psychedelic colours, but instead look normal. (Ben Hjelt)
  • [Mac] The Mac port now uses a .dmg making installation a snap! Note your .txt and .sav files will be saved to whatever directory you put the POWDER program into.
  • [SDL] The window icon was accidentally half brightness - it is now in its full glory.
  • There is now an action bar along the top of the screen as well. Further, you can reassign action bar entries when in the verb screen. Merely drag and drop to until the bar matches your dream layout!
  • There is now actionbars on the left and right of the screen. It is recommended you don't use the top few of these as they will obscure your text output.
  • Your action bar settings are saved across sessions. If you mess things up, the Options menu has a Defaults entry that will revert them to the defaults.
  • From the Zap menu you can drag and drop spells to the action bar. This lets you cast specific spells with a single click.
  • On reading a spell or skill book, you will be given the full text of the spell or skill you are trying to learn. You will then have to confirm your selection. This requires two extra button pushes, but I hope such learning is rare and this helps people discover the spell text as [Select] is a tad bit obscure.
  • The background for the inventory screen has been changed into a series of boxes rather than the odd C symbol. This is also done on the layer beneath the items.
  • When you possess another creature and equip items, your original body will no longer mirror your new weapon choices.
  • Renaming yourself will change your actual name (the one for the win screen and character dump) rather than just your body's name. (Grothias)
  • Linux port is now statically linked against libstdc++, so those of you who don't have old libraries installed should be able to run it. (Martin Read, John Overmars)
  • The final inventory screen will no longer go to full-examine when you click on an item. Instead, it acts like the normal inventory where it does the short description on click and changes the item bar to reflect whether you can view the item. Similarly, the only way to quit it is to now press the inventory button again. (Or [B], of course) (Honourable mention to Richard Quirk who submitted a patch for this after I had already coded it)
  • Possess now takes Diagnose as a prerequisite.
  • The haunted island and other similar rooms that have monsters have been double checked to ensure they don't allow stairs. (Martin Read)
  • [DS] Richard Quirk finished the earlier fix to support r21 of devkitPro. It turns out my refusal to use short-enums was the source of the incompatibility.
  • Requesting info ('i' or [Select]) on the cancel option of a spell book reading menu will no longer crash. (Ciaran Walsh)
  • You can drag items around your inventory screen to reorder them. You can drag into your equip slots to put them on or drag off equipped slots to remove them. (Richard Quirk)
  • it's to its correction in cockatrice description. (Richard Quirk)
  • Eating items now grants ten times the foodvalue, bringing them more in line with eating corpses. (Brendan, Michal Bielinski)
  • One new map.
  • Brand new tileset - the Akoi Meexx tileset. This is a total conversion which has been made the new default tileset. Never fear, if you want the naked pink guy, you can change to the Classic tileset.

New artpack in this version, grab it here [147k].

The Windows and Mac versions are shipped with the SDL. You may replace this version with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Release 098 Thursday January 10th, 2008
00:01:23 EDT
Choose Your System:

Many minor fixes in this version as I continue the quest for polish. I am also proud that I have my first attempt at a Mac version: OSX only, of course, but I think I made a Universal Binary. Mac users will recoil in horror at it being a tar.gz - I know there exists this magical .dmg that will settle your hearts, so please elucidate!

  • "You are too big to swap" has two os in the first too. (David Damerell)
  • Many encyclopedia typo fixes. (David Damerell)
  • Wands that fizzle now conjugate "fizzle" according to the wand rather than the zapper.
  • When you learn the charges in a wand, there is no longer an incorrect article prefixing the wand name.
  • [DS] Now using devkitPro r21 rather than the hybridized version. Thanks to Richard Quirk for finding the work around and sending me code.
  • [DS] Thanks to Richard Quirk's patch, POWDER should consume less power when waiting for a key press.
  • [DS], [SDL] Paged text will now show the background all the way to the edges of the window rather than being cut off at the GBA's resolution.
  • When items teleported, their location in the map array wasn't being updated, allowing them to be potentially accessed after being deleted.
  • Cancelling autopickup after already picking one item up when there is a thing to eat no longer causes you to eat said thing. And, incidentally, potentially killing you if said thing was a slug corpse. (Brendan)
  • "The fighter foobar's death" will now auto-capitalize Foobar.
  • [DS] Save locations are now specified with absolute paths so it doesn't matter where the actual POWDER executable is. (Johnboy554)
  • [DS] The output of POWDER on the DS is saved to /data/powder. This is also used for reading - graphics tiles must now be in /data/powder/gfx. This should keep your flash card clean and (apparently) this matches the standard homebrew definition. If you want to keep your old highscores, move the POWDER.SAV into the aforementioned directory. (Phillip Conrad)
  • Backspace key on the virtual keyboard is a double key to accomadate the fact it is too compact. (David Hong)
  • Wearing multiple pieces of artifact armour with attack boni will increase your chance of doing an armour attack. This means it is beneficial to add more attack armour rather than it only being wise to only equip the most powerful.
  • bmp2c and bmp.cpp both now properly handle non-Intel endianness. (Ben Hjelt)
  • Icons are now present on SDL builds and in the windows .exe. I also think that, thanks to Richard Quirk's help, they'll be present in the DS in Moonshell, but I haven't been able to verify.
  • A wand once again crumbles into dust rather than crumble.
  • An interesting graphical upgrade. Monsters and items are now on a separate layer from the terrain. This means they can be drawn transparently on top rather than always being black bordered. This is made optional as the default tiles are not optimized for this look - you can turn it on with the Opacity option of the Options menu.
  • One more room.

The Windows version is shipped with the SDL .dll. You may replace this .dll with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Release 097 Saturday January 6th, 2008
23:43:04 EDT
Choose Your System:

It always seems like the versions with the most code changes have the least end-user changes. Anyways, this version will hopefully see Possess finally be stable regardless of the ways in which you choose to abuse it. I strengthened the stress test considerably and found plenty more one in a million bugs that have been squashed. My last run of ten million moves passed without a problem.

A big change is the starting equipment. It is now uncursed and uninteresting. And worn. You no longer enter the dungeon naked - do not fear, you can remove the equipment immediately to restore the old-school feel.

Windows and Linux users will notice their screen expand slightly. This makes the SDL version match the DS resolution - useful with my planned changes to the Action Bar. Windows users will also see their file size bloat farther as I am now shipping SDL.dll in hopes of providing a smoother install. (Linux users are blessed with SDL usually already being installed)

The Linux Version is now built under Debian Stable so hopefully those who suffered with library problems are now safe to use the binary. Thanks to Joe Drew for providing a build machine!

Oh yeah, the source is also now available. I look forward to receving patches to port to other platforms.

  • Releasing a possessed creature on the otherside of a dimensional portal should no longer cause problems.
  • Releasing possession after your body has died but left a corpse will no longer leave you as some weird ghost. This also prevents you from picking up your own corpse and eating it, which has dire reprecussions.
  • Releasing possession after your body is a statue is likewise fixed (JCM)
  • If you polymorph and drop something on the ground due to lacking space and that item merges with an existing item, it no longer crashes.
  • New tridude rooms have a unique tridude to act as the leader to avoid infighting.
  • Zapping a wand of create trap outside of the map no longer crashes.
  • Rays bouncing off the map boundaries no longer risk crash.
  • You can read equipped scrolls, books, and zap equipped wands and drink equipped potions. No particular advantage is currently conferred by such, other than looking cool, but it seemed odd you had to unequip things to do this. (Bill Walker)
  • Starting inventory has been normalized and you start the game wearing your armour and weapon. Your bonus item may still be better, so you likely still want to look in your inventory at the start. This means no more starting the game with an evil -2 floppy had and dagger, but also no more starting with a +3 holy artifact warhammer. (David Damerell, Richard Quirk, Stu)
  • Dying while possessing a creature and being on a different level from your body will no longer corrupt the mob list of your old level.
  • Zapping a wand of teleport at yourself and dying after the teleport will no longer crash.
  • Zapping a wand of teleport at yourself will no longer teleport items on the square you teleport *to*, and instead teleport them from the square you teleport *from*.
  • Quit & Save will immediately put you at the main menu rather than letting you spy on the local dungeon life. (Clare Boothby)
  • Help and tutorial docs now talk about how to use the stylus/mouse.
  • [SDL], [DS]: Starting image now fills the screen. It has also been made darker as the original image was calibrated against the original GBA.
  • [SDL]: Linux and Windows users will find their screen size a bit larger to bring it in line with the DS screen. There is method to my madness.
  • The title menu now has an Options choice that lets you change the options and read the help without starting a game.

The Windows version is shipped with the SDL .dll. You may replace this .dll with the latest version. POWDER conforms to section 3 of the LGPL: you can download a tarball of the SDL code here or directly from

Release 096 Monday December 31st, 2007
2:40:32 EDT
Mostly a bug fix release as I continue testing. Last run through the stress test ran 2.5 million moves without any problems before I terminated it for this release. Clearly I need to increase the complexity of the stress test.

Happy New Year!

  • Golden tridude is reflective as intended.
  • Soul suckers now have encyclopedia entry. (Richard Quirk)
  • I had forgotten to update the non-classic tilesets with some approximations of the new tiles. This has now been done.
  • Creatures blown into something that kills them will no longer cause a crash.
  • Fire elementals boiling water, falling in the resulting pit, and dying, will no longer crash.
  • New ring: polymorph control; along with the required intrinsic. If you have polycontrol, you can chose the form of any creature you have slain.
  • Creatures with polycontrol will try first to become their most evolved form. If they are already that, they'll stay the same, unless they figure they are close enough to death a polymorph might be worth a shot.
  • Wand users that are almost dead may decide to zap themselves with polymorph in hopes of a better roll.
  • Mini icons are flipped when moved to the off-hand. Most notably, the bow will point away from the character in all cases. The handle for the off hand has also been made symmetrical to the main hand so a symmetrical mini-me will work as expected. This required a two pixel change to the mini-me icon. (Akoi Meexx)
  • Restarting the game would not delete any of the items in creature's inventory, leaking memory. This was very apparent during stress tests causing the DS and GBA to quickly run out of memory and PC based systems to eventually run out of MOB ids.
  • Killing yourself with Acid Splash will no longer crash.
  • Creatures who revert to normal form after teleportitis, auto-searching, being blown by the wind, boiling water they stand on, will no longer crash.
  • Creatures reverting to their normal form from their own fireball will no longer crash.
  • When in look mode, clicking will scroll to that tile and give a brief description. Clicking the current tile will end look mode and give the long form description. (Richard Quirk)
  • Three more maps.

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New artpack in this version, grab it here [88k].

Release 095 Friday December 28th, 2007
14:20:04 EDT
While some maintainers may make a special Christmas Release that has neat features that provide joy and happiness to their players, the 094 Christmas Release had no interesting new features and a serious game crashing bug.

In penance, I have been running the stress test for a day now to hopefully avoid a similar embarassing release.

Now for the good news: ><0|V| has his chosen quest level created. This was no small feat as it also required numerous new tiles to support it. Note the presence of a new artpack with this release.

As a bone to those of us that rarely get as deep as level 20, the weapon damage has been adjusted slightly. This is most noticeable with maces and clubs which will now be comparable to shortswords and longswords. Hopefully edged weapons won't be such a no-brainer any more.

  • Your armour now longers glows $B1, but instead the correct colour.
  • Scrolls of remove curse and enchant weapon are no longer scrolls of crash the game. Not only are they fixed in particular, but the underlying problem has some sanity tests so errors like this in the future should just result in bad grammer.
  • Can now load bitmaps that are taller than necessary as custom tilesets. This ensures that we will have forward compatibility with larger tilesets of the future.
  • Maces and clubs are made slightly more powerful, giving them the same average damage as their corresponding edged weapons: shortswords and longswords.
  • Thrown knives to hit bonus raised slightly so they can be more equivalent to thrown daggers.
  • While spears are meant for throwing, for a two handed weapon to have the same attack as a one handed longsword is embarrassing. They have been slightly powered.
  • "..looks like your funeral" style messages now have ". " after it.
  • Creatures casting force bolt will no longer target themselves.
  • Fix rare case where you could start the game standing on another creature.
  • When you are fetched by another creature, the map will scroll and FOV update immediately.
  • Correctly save RNG state when building monsters inside of rooms, this ensures if populateRoom is invoked early in the map building it doesn't change the RNG seed for the rest of the map. This saves about 300 bytes per level for saved games for many map types.
  • Climbing back up the stairs after winning the game will not trigger the win message again. (Clare Boothby)
  • Changing levels will not display the new level as black if a long message requires your input prior to the full level change.
  • Description text is given for lava, water, acid pools so those who first encounter them can e'x'amine them before jumping in.
  • Unchanging prevents turning into a lich or ghast.
  • Creatures with unchanging will no longer be tamed by Bind Soul.
  • New level honouring ><0|V|. This is an optional level reached via a dimensional portal on level 20.
  • If a creature teleported onto a trap that killed it, the game could crash. This has been fixed.
  • If a creature is killed by zapping its own wand, there is no longer out of bound reads when determining if the wand should be ided.
  • Stress test mode is accessible without needing a custom buld in a similar manner as Wizard mode.

Leech the right version:

New artpack in this version, grab it here [85k].

Release 094 December 24th, 2007
2:03:32 EDT
WARNING: In this release, scrolls of enchant weapon and remove curse will crash the game. So will random uncursing from gods. You are discouraged from playing this version.

The user-visible changes should be small in this release. An overhaul of the messaging system will hopefully avoid the sprintf-corruption on the GBA version. Unfortunately, it likely also includes fresh typos.

  • Dequipping a non-equipped item no longer dequips the corresponding equipped itemslot.
  • Option menu has an option to disable the Action Bar to placate the churlish users out there.
  • If a creature misses themselves, it is no longer "Herself misses Wazerli the imp." (Clare Boothby)
  • A massive refactoring of the message system has occured. In particular, I have abolished all of my stack buffers and the rotating ring of dynamic buffers in favour of dynamic memory allocation. This means I don't have to worry about buffer overruns any more, and hopefully likewise won't have stack overruns on the GBA anymore. No doubt in this process I've created more typos, however. Please report any weird text swiftly.
  • If you change dungeon levels while possessing a creature (like a Wizard's Eye) and release control on the other dungeon level, you will now properly return to your previous dungeon level. (Mark Ehlke)
  • To aggressive refactoring made swords and clubs burn up in fire rather than just state-change. (Richard Quirk)
  • One new room type.

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Release 093 Wednesday December 19th, 2007
3:16:32 EDT
I have always said that any game for the DS should be playable entirely with the stylus. POWDER, coming from a GBA background, failed to take advantage of the stylus so was not really a DS native game.

POWDER now supports the stylus. Playing some Zelda Phantom Hourglass proved to me that there is hope for a stylus only roguelike. I've taken advantage of the slightly larger screen on the DS to insert a row of action buttons at the bottom. I have also updated all the input methods to make sure they support the stylus. I've done quite a bit of playtesting on the DS with the stylus only, so I hope I have shaved off most of the rough corners and there is a clean game experience. Still to do is some documentation on the stylus controls, customizeable action buttons, etc. But I'm very happy with what is here.

Windows and Linux users will find their screen expanded slightly as well. They can now use the mouse left mouse button as a stylus to play keyboard free if they are so inclined.

Note: I have upgraded to Subversion from CVS. Unfortunately, the ancient FC1 Linux machine I use for my Linux builds doesn't have subversion installed. Nor is it able to yum install subversion or build from source. So, I build the Linux build with a modern Linux distro. This means if you are using an ancient distro you may get library link errors. Please let me know if this affects you and I may try and get the modern machine to link against the old runtimes.

  • Further use of just-in-time buffers to keep the stack small when hit with a fireball. Hopefully this avoids the GBA blowing up when killed by a summoned imp's fireball splash damage.
  • [DS] The play screen is now on the bottom. This means the text history scrolls into the top screen that makes a bit more sense.
  • [DS] The splashscreen is now centered on the DS display.
  • Messages are properly reported again when dipping items into certain potions.
  • You again receive a message saying what is revealed as a result of polymorphing an item.
  • Attempting to eat a book no longer grants you the spells - you must succesfully eat the book.
  • [DS] No longer weird a characters in history. (Richard Quirk, Peter Biocini)
  • [DS] Removed debug messages from startup. (Richard Quirk)
  • [DS] I had ctrl_isanyrawpressed backwards on the DS which meant that all the prompts would require your button to be DOWN before continuing rather than UP, thus creating accidental clicks later rather than preventing them.
  • No longer spam about submerged objects getting wet when you load a game.
  • "Al the large bat munch on a bat corpse." will now properly conjugate the munch.
  • [DS] You can now remap the [X] and [Y] keys from the default Verb List and Inventory commands. These commands are likewise now available for general mapping to any key. (Mark Ehlke, Peter Biocini)
  • "atom's of the victim's" now properly "atoms of the victim's" (David Damerell)
  • Generally, dimension, pleasant, and reminiscent spelled properly in the encylopedia entries (Richard Quirk)
  • Dumped the encyclopedia through a spell checker to reduce the low-hanging fruit for bug reporters.
  • [DS], [SDL] On screen keyboard to enter name using stylus/mouse rather than having to use my insane input mechanism.
  • [DS] [X] and [Y] work as [R] and [L] for doing text input to make it easier to chord on the DS.
  • When a ring falls off your finger, there is a period to mark the end of the sentence. It also properly reports cases where it isn't a finger that it falls off. (David Damerell)
  • A successful leap attack could leave a "ghost" of yourself in the old tile which you would attack if you tried to move into.

Leech the right version:

New artpack in this version, grab it here [75k].

Release 092 Tuesday November 27th, 2007
23:03:27 EDT
Another quick release as I try to keep the momentum going to the elusive version 100.
  • When you are prompted to cast a spell you cam hit [SELECT] or [i] or [?] to get help on that spell. (Arthur Littlefield)
  • Eating a book temporarily grants you the spells/skills in the book. (Fancy Carrot)
  • Gold Beetles are now hostile if you are wearing anything they want.
  • If timed unchanging expires the same turn as stoning takes effect, there is no longer the risk that the unchanging will expire first and thus turn you to stone. (Yes, this happened to me.)
  • All creatures will now eat if they are not full, not just special ones like gelatinous cubes.
  • Hungry creatures will pick up food that they can eat.
  • RNG seed saved to hiscore table so starting games on the GBA should become more varied.
  • Torches and flamingswords are extinguished by dropping into water.
  • More consistent behaviour of lava/greekfire/acid/water with item interaction.
  • New spells: Wizard's Eye, Possess.
  • Artifact armour that has a melee attack will now allow you to attack appropriately on occasion. Ie, a head butt, punch, or kick with the helmet, ring, or boots. Improvised Weapons skill will greatly increase the chance of this happening.
  • One more room.

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Release 091 Tuesday November 13th, 2007
23:49:19 EDT
Will wonders never cease? Another weekly update! More work on the familiars to make them powerful companions. Also played with a lot of spell costs/books to make things more useful.

He who cannot be spelled properly has had a significant upgrade, so be wary in the end game.

  • Added a signpost in the tutorial warning of kiwis along with a kiwi to be warned of.
  • Familiars always have 10 HP rather than being a the mercy of a die roll.
  • On level up NPCs will gain a half magic level if they are magic users.
  • Some monsters have an advancement track. When they reach a certain threshold level they will grow into a new monster type.
  • Water walking creatures are now aware that they are not safe from acid so will no longer wander to their doom. (hotpoo)
  • Reworked how god distribute spells. This allows some more variety in non-wizard gods. Quizar will now grant spells on occasion, for example. Likewise, Pax will grant Flamestrike and Tlosh Magic Missile. (hotpoo)
  • Famliars will learn spells as they level up.
  • Track added to familiar tome.
  • New spells: diagnose, summon demon.
  • Summon Imp made cheaper.
  • Boosted power of Baezel'bub.
  • Page up and Page down can be used to quickly navigate lists, as can [R] and [L] on the GBA.
  • You can now Split Stacks in the inventory screen. This peels off one item and places it separate from the stack. Useful if you want to drop one or all but one of something breakable.
  • When you finish getting help on a spell or skill you are returned to the skill selection menu rather than to the inventory menu.
  • '?' can be used to get help on skills in the read menu as well as 'i'.
  • When you finish viewing a help item, you are returned to the help list rather than the main game.

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Release 090 Tuesday November 6th, 2007
11:32:25 EDT
Is this a return to weekly updates? Stranger things have happened. This time I think I have actually fixed Reclaim Soul rather than merely asserting it has been fixed. Long-planned skills of Charge and Leap Attack are finally present. A brand new brainstorm - Summon Familiar - is present. This is an attempt to build a Pax branch that doesn't involve a lucky wand of create monsters on dungeon level 1.
  • Floating eyes will now track your position on a succesful attack, making them much more dangerous as other enemies will be able to find you.
  • When you save/reload your quiver order will stay the same.
  • Reclaim Soul no longer costs piety with Tlosh. Honest.
  • Character dump no longer lists skills as their corresponding spell name.
  • Two new skills: Charge and Leap Attack. These are in H'ruth's book which is now large enough that the traditional melee skills have been removed from it.
  • Last move direction no longer lost when you look at your inventory.
  • Creatures created with artifact wands of create monster will be imbued with the relevant intrinsics.
  • Removed buffer from stack in chainlightning to hopefully reduce stack pressure on GBA. (hotpoo)
  • New spell: Fetch. Broke Blink out of Teleport and reduced mana cost of all the teleport spells.
  • New spells: Summon Familiar and Transfer Knowledge. These are to address the proper Pax playstyle in the early game. Along with this is a new spellbook to house these spells: The Familiar Tome.

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Release 089 Tuesday October 30th, 2007
20:59:41 EDT
It seems I suffered from a bit of memory loss while implementing the Amnesia effect, allowing it to be released in a rather half finished state. In 089 Soul Suckers will have their proper attack working. And also not look like floor tiles.
  • From external testing, reworked tutorial to make it a bit more friendly.
  • Dig no longer has force bolt as prereq, mana cost reduced to 10.
  • Spell book of utility broken into book of force and book of earth.
  • You see a scroll of READ ME now properly has the "a".
  • Character dump has skill and spell list. (R. Dan Henry)
  • x, +, * sources used in chararcter dump to show source of intrinsics/spells.
  • Soul Suckers will no longer try to cast at people they can't sense.
  • Amnesia shows up in your intrinsic list and status line.
  • You can no longer cast spells when suffering from amnesia.
  • New mob, gold beetles.
  • When a creature made of X attacks without a weapon in melee a creature vulnerable to X, extra damage is properly applied.
  • Tamed creatures will not continue to attack newly tamed creatures. (hotpoo)
  • Items of poison resistance can no longer be poisoned by dipping in a poison potion, you now get Nothing Happens.
  • Creatures that random poly will not random poly into themselves. Specifically, this prevents chameleons from being polyed as chameleons. (Clare Boothby)
  • I think the holes to bypass Belweir's test have been plugged...
  • I knew I'd scream when I hit the 256th tile. I was thus surprised when it (the signpost) worked so well. Needless to say the Soul Sucker showing up as a floor tile came as a surprise to me - I still had a bug with greater than 256 tile indices for items and monsters!
  • Surprise now has two rs in three affected messages. (David Damerell)
  • Fix a display issue where plain robes would report 5 AC when no skills were known. This should have been 3 AC, thereby avoiding the apparent reduction to 4 AC when a skill was learned. The actual effect was correct, just the display, and just the display of items with base ac of 1.
  • The plural of Guide to Armour is no longer Guide to Armours but the correct Guides to Armour.
  • Tlosh no longer gets upset at Reclaim Soul being cast. While it can be considered a type of healing (so discouraged), the method of healing is sufficiently grisly that Tlosh approves.
  • The breathe command provides better results when one is strangled/submerged/breathless.
  • One new room.

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New artpack in this version, grab it here [75k].

Release 088 Wednesday September 5th, 2007
22:44:38 EDT
Three big things in this releases in addition to the normal polish.

First, I attacked the tile management with a large hammer. I hope this squashed the many tile bugs and didn't break anything.

Second, I was motivated by the 7DRL "Seven Weeks" which you can find at Not only is it a refreshing new take on the roguelike genre, but it includes a very well done tutorial. Contrast with POWDER where, after how many years, I still have to stand over someones shoulder to yell out the proper actions to play the game? Thus, in the start menu, you will now see a Tutorial option. Even experienced users are encouraged to give it a whirl - you may learn something.

Third, I added a new spell in the necromancy chain along with a new monster. Props go to Vanilla Angband for the inspiration.

  • Accruements is spelled properly (David Damerell)
  • Dove into the tile cache code to try and cleanup various tile errors people have been reporting.
    • Double lock fixed that would keep inventory tiles allocated
    • Minimap releases its tiles after displaying and has had its maximum cache size unbounded.
    • Void and Notile tiles have been special cased to never be freed as if we keep them around damage is mitigated.
    • When a tile lock failed I still updated the map with the tile, meaning that if a later alloc succeeded, that tile would be double freed.
    • The avatar tile was relocked on every new game, resulting in a slow tile leak. This showed up after over 65,000 continuous games so I really hope no one out there encountered it.
  • New intrinsic, Amnesia, stolen from the recent Vanilla Angband implementation. You lose access to all your skills and spells while it is in effect.
  • New spell: Soul Suck.
  • New monster: The soul sucker. No points for guessing what its spell is.
  • New mode: Tutorial. Selecting this from the main screen starts a special tutorial level for training people in basic POWDER gameplay.
  • No longer use profanity in the death message if you spent more than a year playing the game.
  • You can breathe again has the second e in breathe. (Clare Boothby)
  • Blizzard was missing its second round of physical damage
  • Sleeping while tired will lead to a deeper sleep. It also will have a chance to clear the tired flag.
  • Monsters will not walk onto lava or acid if it will damage them. (hotpoo)
  • Monsters will not be generated on squares that harm them
  • New flag to prevent monster generation on squares. Also stops it being a target of holes, a target of tele, etc.
  • Text for dual wield explains that off weapon must be smaller than main weapon (hotpoo)
  • Some groups of monsters now have a leader which they are tame followers of. While following their leader, do not expect them to fight amongst themselves.
  • Monsters will cast Force Wall if they know it.

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Release 087 Tuesday July 10th, 2007
21:21:21 EDT
A very small update this time. My main goal is to clean up the horrible crashes I introduced to the SDL builds with the previous release. Thank you for putting up with it, here is to hoping this release is more stable.
  • [SDL] Hitting wrong key in inventory no longer hangs. (Clare Boothby, Bill Walker, Elias Erkamo)
  • Wand of invisibility now correctly spelled. (Arthur Littlefield)
  • [SDL] [DS] When loading gfx bitmaps that don't use all 256 colours, it is now loaded properly. (R. Alan Monroe)
  • [SDL] The identify spell no longer leaves you trapped only able to hit arrow keys. (James "darkspoon")
  • [SDL] p and ^p will once again provide the previous read message. (David Damerell)
  • Equipping a two handed weapon will no longer spam that you have nothing in rour off hand.
  • When a stack of items catches on fire, the verb catch is properly conjugated.
  • [DS] The DS now enters a sleep mode when the lid is closed. (Mark Ehlke, Arthur Littlefield)
  • Equipping a two handed weapon will no longer remove your buckler if it is in the off hand. (Arthur Littlefield)
  • One new room.

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Release 086 Sunday June 24th, 2007
11:59:59 EDT
Warning: The keyboard handling for SDL started as an ugly hack trying to present to POWDER the button layout of the GBA. I've largely removed that hack in exchange for a system that uses peeking of keys rather than trying to track keyboard states. This should be easier to manage and less error prone. However, be warned that there may be cases where hitting the wrong key causes POWDER to hang. If you encounter such a thing, please let me know! Similarly, you will note the repeat rate for keypresses is now unified. I'd appreciate any comments if this is a better or worse situation.

Exciting: This version introduces the ability to replace POWDER's tile set on platforms other than the GBA by merely adding the correct file to the correct directory. Look for the Art Pack which has directions on how to do this.

  • I've hit my 256th tile. ARGH!!!
  • Added Belweir's library to level 21.
  • Minotaur moved up to level 15, caverns now start a level earlier.
  • The creature memory of your intrinsics is now saved.
  • Creature kill list now sorted by creature difficulty - highest expvalue creatures will show first.
  • If you fizzle a wand zap, the wand is now marked as cursed.
  • Throwing cursed weapons or potions has a chance of fumbling and throwing them on the ground. In this case their cursed state will be noted.
  • New skill, ambidextrous.
  • The floppy hat and plain robes are gaudy, not guady. (David Damerell)
  • Wielding a platemail in the off hand no longer grants you a powerful shield.
  • You can now patch the Windows, Linux, and DS versions by adding a subdirectory called "gfx" with the appropriate .bmp files. You can find template .bmp files inside the latest artpack. The new graphics options show up as "From Disk" in the Tile menu.
  • Due to a mixup in the DS community, I've taken a hit to my humility stat to add my name to the title screen. Hopefully this clears up the confusion there.
  • Your armour value now reflects your skill in your armour, so as you gain skills your armour value will go up. You will see much higher values now, but the underlying code hasn't changed.
  • Funny messages inform you if you try to walk out of the map. (David Damerell)
  • Lava tiles are always lit now.
  • Quizar's level is now dark.
  • Chainmail is a flexible, not an flexible.
  • Paper items that fall in lava burn now.
  • Divination now spelled correctly. (David Damerell)
  • Corpses, statues, and bones are now "a brown slug corpse". This is shorter than "a corpse of a brown slug" and also avoids embarassing phrases like "stop playing with corpses of a brown slug". (David Damerell)
  • Sapphire, not saphire. Conscious, not concious. Rat tails, not tales. (David Damerell)
  • [L] and [R] work as page up and page down in text viewers.
  • If your secondary weapon is two handed, it will no longer attack during dual wield.
  • You are explicitly allowed to put two handed weapons in your off hand if your primary hand is single-handed. They will not dual-wield but this may be useful in the case of staves.
  • Equipping a two handed weapon will dequip your shield to free up the space.
  • [SDL] 100% CPU usage on some menus is fixed. (R. Alan Monroe)
  • [SDL] Previously, it was possible to get into a bad state where POWDER will be idle but would stop accepting key presses. This would often happen on info screens. This has been fixed, but I may have introduced new problems :< (R. Alan Monroe)
  • [Linux] The executable bit should be set on the powder executable in Linux. (David Damerell)

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Release 085 May 17th, 2007
22:23:51 EDT
Buried in the following slew of SDL updates is a minor comment about the AI. The AI changes, of course, took the most time. Creatures now pay some attention to the effect their attacks have on you. If you resist, there is a good chance they will figure this out and stop using the attack that you can resist.
  • Summoned creatures are set to attack you, even if friendly normally.
  • When reading books, skills you know from reading are +, those from items are x, and those you have acquired in both fashions are *.
  • Change daemons on Quizar's level to Earth Elementals and give them some destructible walls to play with.
  • [SDL] If the minimap requires more tiles than is in the cache, no longer corrupt the overlay panel after display.
  • [SDL] Bump the tile cache sizes, reducing chance of NO TILE appearing in SDL versions. (While this could theoritically be infinite, in practice I'm still supporting the flip flags which limits it to 1024 tiles)
  • [SDL] Swept for direction references for more consistent numpad support. Numpad should work for looking, firing, scrolling page views, etc. 5 will select, 0 cancel (Erik Piper)
  • [SDL] Clear keyboard buffer after selecting tile so your last keypress doesn't trigger a command. (5 to select would trigger 5 to wait, causing looking at a square to cost a turn!)
  • Instead of "You step out of the liquid." when one clears the Submerged flag, use "You reach the surface." since this may be triggered when escaping underground entombment.
  • When trapped underground, you suffocate rather than drown. Same damage, different flavour text.
  • Status line for being trapped underground is now "Buried" rather than "Submerged".
  • If you have the unchanging intrinsic, gods will not bother to intervene with stoning as it is not a risk.
  • New AI capability - mobs can note when you resist certain attacks and adjust their actions accordingly.
  • [SDL] You can now resize the window. POWDER will select the largest possible integer multiple and draw at that scale. This involved a rewrite of the SDL render path - I think it is now more efficient, but if you see a performance degradation from the previous version, please let me know.
  • [SDL] Under Options, you can now choose Full Screen to play in full screen mode. It will take your currently sized window and find the next larger native screen res.
  • One new room.

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Release 084 Tuesday May 1st, 2007
22:19:32 EDT
A relatively minor release addressing a few bug fixes and polishing features. However, the new level in honour of Quizar is a big change. My play tests suggest that Quizar's level is rather challenging if you want to acquire all the goods that can be found.
  • Failing to cast a spell due to lacking mp/hp/xp will inform you the number that is required by that spell.
  • [DS] The bottom screen should no longer be allwhite with the M3 miniSD adapter. (Andrew Poandl)
  • "You stun you!" and "You knock you unconcious!" will now properly replace the second you with the target of the attack. (Andrew Poandl)
  • Casting acid pool on a square that has a bottle will fill the bottle after it falls in the acid.
  • When liquid from an adjoining square fills a pit, any bottles in said pit should properly fill.
  • [GBA/DS] When selecting Options... from the [Start] menu, only button [A] will select. Specifically, [B] will cancel like it does for all the other selections.
  • Level 22 is now Quizar's special level.
  • [Linux] Due to an error in my clobber rule, I hadn't rebuilt the icons or tiles for Linux since December 2005. This meant all the new icons were showing up all white. (Syrra)

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Release 083 Sunday April 8th, 2007
13:21:17 EDT
This is primarily a maintaince release. 082 on the GBA had the embarassing behaviour of, after sufficient play, starting to drop all the verbs and nouns from auto-generated sentences.

I guess I should be happy, however, that the actual play hasn't been adversely affected by adding a real random number generator. 083 has been delayed as I waited to finish my 082 game - I even managed to transform into a Lich thanks to an early Staff of Death!

  • As I feared, I started getting strange crashes in the GBA version. I have thus changed the Mersenne Twister to be dynamically allocated that will hopefully fix this.
  • Use bit fields for bools in auto-generated structures. Sort structures to reduce padding. This will result in an unnoticeable reduction in data size :>
  • Blessed cure potions will grant temporary poison resistance when drunk.
  • Increased proc chance for Impale and Bleeding Wounds.
  • New skill: Knockback. This provides the three star skill for warhammers.
  • When starving you will occasionally lose turns as you desparately forage for sustenance.
  • When you ID a wand by zapping it or seeing it zapped, extra text is generated explicitly stating what the wand type has been ided as.
  • Prompt when walking over things includes option to eat edible items like corpses to reduce the need for the option menu.
  • The infamous "Lich Behind A Door" that has killed so many low level characters now guards a spellbook so you at least have a temptation to open the door.
  • One new room. (If you haven't noticed, I'm aiming to have at least one new room template with every release)

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Release 082 March 5th, 2007
23:08:21 EDT
  • Remove the MOBREF spam and checks as I believe those issues were solved with the stress testing.
  • The new Dark Ritual spell actually shows up in spell books, so you can learn it without a lucky divine intervention.
  • Save scum notice has two spaces after the period.
  • Running a new game when the saved game has been flagged as a save scum will not prevent you from getting high scores, instead it will be recognized that the new game isn't save scummed.
  • Scrolls of fire will always hit.
  • [DS] Upgraded to devkitPro 1.4.2. The good news is that this provides DLDI support so all file systems should be supported. The bad news is that it seems to white screen on some Supercard Rumble systems. I don't think it is a POWDER problem, so hopefully there is an update at some point that fixes this.
  • You have to see the destination square to jump.
  • Pax will not object to you initiating combat, fighting friendly, or attacking paralysed or sleeping undead. In the destruction of the undead, mercy isn't a relevant concept. (hotpoo)
  • Switched random number generator to the most excellent Mersenne Twister. I'm crossing my fingers hoping the 2.5k of extra static memory allocation doesn't cause any problems.
  • No longer falsely pluralize uniques in the mesage: "Be more careful playing with Ylember the rats"
  • Force bolt always hits.
  • New spell, Force Wall, which is a force bolt on steroids. (Arthur J O'Dwyer)

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Release 081 Monday February 26th, 2007
21:38:21 EDT
I am very happy with this release for two reasons.

First, this release has full DS support. The annoying issues of the borders of the screen have been fixed. Save game support should be present. I have mapped X & Y buttons to Start and Select as those buttons are a bit out of the way in the DS. As an added bonus, there are character dump files generated and the second screen is used as a message history! Admittedly, this is not as good as I'd expect a roguelike designed ground up for the DS to be. However, as a port, I feel it is now possible that DS owners may prefer it over running the GBA version.

Second, this release should fix the late game crash bugs! Yes, bugs, because I found quite a few of them. I ran extensive stress tests by creating a late game character, randomly creating a map, and running it for a hundred moves with the standard mob AI controlling the avatar. I then simulated a few hundred THOUSAND games this way. As you'll see from the bug descriptions, some of the found errors were very esoteric.

Third, I also managed to sneak in some features (which, no doubt, have introduced new bugs :>) I am very happy with the addition of the Dark Ritual spell that I feel fits well with the goal of the Necromancer: spells that are situation dependent and require controlling your environment to gain full effect.

  • [DS] Save game support works if your card supports libfat (which should be most cards). The save game is stored as POWDER.SAV so should work across platforms. Doing a character dump on the DS will also save a NAME.TXT file of the dump, just like it does in the SDL build.
  • [DS] Screen is now centered around DS actual screen, giving you a half tile extra visibility in X and a full tile in Y.
  • Fireballs will always hit those in their range of influence when they explode. The spell version has been nerfed in damage while the red dragon variant has been boosted.
  • Casting reclaim soul on oneself no longer can get the unusual message "Yourself is not in control of you." Instead, one is referred to the laws of thermodynamics.
  • New spell: Dark Ritual.
  • A new room.
  • Zapping wands of Create Monster has a chance of creating a tame monster.
  • Living Frosts have a better death message.
  • Maximum AC bonus for artifacts is +99 to avoid possibility of infinite loop.
  • Maximum enchantment for generated items is +/- 50 to avoid possibility of infinite loop.
  • Add a stress test mode to try and track down rare occurences.
  • Semantic error meant that creatures would wake up and you would wake up whenever any noise occurred, not just 10% per noise level. Sleep is made even more powerful.
  • Fix crash & possible infinite loop in the code to find if one mob is a tamed creature of another. I'm hoping this was the late game crash...
  • Fix crash if a creature died due to teleport during its heartbeat or died due to automatically searching during its heartbeat.
  • Fix crash due to buffer overrun with the message: "You parry the very scary creature's poisoned silver dagger with your holy +2 flaming sword Whizshock." I had to increase the global temp buffers as well. One would think I would have learned by now not to use fixed buffers?
  • Fix crash when someone zaps a wand of ice, killing themself in the process, but then hitting someone else.
  • Fix corruption of mobref tables if you died of poison, but your life was saved by an amulet, but you suffered from a temporary intrinsic that is cleared by death (strangle, aflame, etc), but you had another intrinsic that timed out that very turn and occurred immediately after the cleared intrinsic. How is that for a rare edge case?
  • Fix a crash where you die due to worn silver damage, but your life was saved, but your life was saved by the very item that caused you silver damage.
  • Fix a bug where if you had life saving by carrying an item, life saving would not be granted as I'd fail to find the item to delete.
  • Fix a bug where if you died due to falling into the pit created by a greekfire potion, one would still be affected by the actual greek fire itself.

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Release 080 Tuesday Jan 30th, 2007
22:19:23 EDT
Those of you obsessively tracking the about.html page will not be surprised about the new platform supported with 080...
  • Nintendo DS Port! Woohoo! Still very rough around the edges - does not take advantage of any DS features. Well, other than the additional RAM and CPU speed. It also can't save games yet. I also have to compile with -O1 rather than -O2 as there appears to be a compiler bug. *sigh*
  • Looking at creatures will give you an indication of how much noise they made in the previous turn. Looking at yourself will likewise inform you of your own loudness. (PBP)
  • Looking at creatures will tell you if they are hostile or friendly. If they are neither, they are neutral and will only attack if you attack first. (PBP)
  • I had another high level character die due to the high-level crash bug. I am convinced the MOBREFs are still getting messed up. I have instrumented this version with debug code that double checks the MOBREF lists at moments that I think are key. If you get a MOBREF corrupt message, please let me know the message and where/how you got it.

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Release 079 January 16th, 2007
21:30:21 EDT
Cleaned up a few issues that have been troubling me with the last release. I did an attempt to track down the late game bug and found one potential problem, but I can't see it being the actual cause. We can always hope, however.
  • Learning Living Frost no longer gives you Blizzard for free.
  • Found one bug with my MOBREFs from going over the code with a comb. Sadly, this bug doesn't account for the late game crashes.
  • Eating liches now gives teleport control and vulnerable to silver. I had balanced their mana boost with vulnerable silver assumed, but as hotpoo revealed, I hadn't actually set the flag in the data file.
  • Raise Undead is now a pre-req for Reclaim Soul. Reclaim Soul isn't any use without a way to generate tame zombies and it was embarassing when Tlosh would grant me it first.
  • Undead creatures no longer gain any benefit from the Life Saved intrinsic. After all, they have no life to save.
  • No longer prompt if you should examine your equipment on death. First, this used the hidden [A]/[B] yes/no prompt which is not at all clear. Second, cancelling is the same key you'd press anyways to cancel the equipment when it comes up, so might as well let people cancel it after the equipment is on screen.
  • Attempting to equip two handed object in left hand with something already in right hand no longer says "You need hands.." but rather "You need two hands..." (hotpoo)
  • Encyclopedia description of Ice Demons now spells Expanses properly.
  • I'd say that the cleric dress code changes, except a bug prevented the old dress code from ever being fulfilled anyways :> Thanks to hotpoo for getting me to look at this code and R. Dan Henry for giving some ideas of what would look good in a cleric.
  • Add mini icons for amulets, books, scrolls, and wands. There's not much reason to wield these (unless I guess they are artifact), but it does look nicer to have a visual effect when you do. (Ben Shadwick)
  • Telepathy now grants the ability to always sense your pets with ESP.
  • You no longer can command pets you can't sense.
  • Instead of a hodgepodge of contradictory methods for preventing being asleep and sleep resist, or paralysed and paralysis resist, or aflame and fire resist, centralized into one place.
  • Removed the per-turn spam of "You are paralysed" as it is in the status bar anyways. Other creatures still spam this status.
  • Blizzard now does more damage, but to half the radius. The good news is that you can actually get out of range before setting it off :>
  • Cursed wands have a chance of fizzling.
  • You can now transform yourself into a lich.
  • Help on the status line added to README.TXT and the in game help. (Will Shattuck)
  • When asleep I was using your own noise level to see if you should wake up. One would thus swiftly wake oneself up. Now it properly tests against other mobs noise. This means sleep is more deadly and that the 'R'est command should now work as expected.
  • A new room!

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Release 078 December 13th, 2006
23:46:31 EDT
Woohoo! A fast release cycle for a change! Usual incremental improvements, a large portion concentrated on expanding the encyclopedia. I think I should aim to have the encyclopedia complete to my level of standards by 100. This is a daunting task as I still have all the magic items to document...
  • I barely got 077 out the door when I discovered this showstopping bug. If you learn the Bind Soul spell, the flavour text lacks a period at the end of the sentence! Unforgiveable!
  • The description of the cockatrice now contains a (rather obvious, IMHO) hint to the most standard way to defeat them. I really don't know how people are supposed to figure this out other than by reading Nethack spoilers...
  • If your god sanctifies your water, you now have it ided as holy water afterwards.
  • ><0|V| has a new punishment.
  • Whew! The encyclopedia now has descriptions for all of the monsters.
  • New spell: Blizzard.
  • Yet another new room. This marks my 50th floor plan!

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Release 077 December 11th, 2006
22:25:32 EDT
Interesting notes... I actually found a use for smoke potions if you find yourself without acid resistance.
  • Looking at items that are on unmapped squares but which you know about because you threw them there will now work.
  • Necromancers should now get piety for when their minions kill creatures. This should make it possible to stay in Tlosh's good books by being the cowardly necromancer that I envisioned.
  • New Skill: True Aim, allows you to always hit with knives.
  • New Skill: Riposte, allows you to counter attack with short swords.
  • The butchery skill also prevents you from being poisoned from poison that you inflicted on the foe before its death.
  • The item is now properly specified in the scroll of omnipotence flavour text. This means that it is the item that will now be named by the gods rather than the reader. (Yes, for those counting, I found my second ever scroll of omnipotence! Thanks to the fix to not consuming the scroll if you already have an artifact equipped, I got to choose my reward. I went with enchanting my stack of holy +3 arrows and used them, boosted with 2d5+1 physical, in my +3 bow, to devastating effect. Still died to a Lich lighting bolt, however.)
  • Second attempt at 072 fix of Force Bolt knocking creatures into boulders. I had fixed knocking of the caster into the boulder. Now both should be fixed. Honest.
  • When you learn a spell or skill from a book, there is a chance you will id the number of remaining charges.
  • Digging will now destroy boulders. (Ben Shadwick)
  • Quaffing artifact water will grant you the instrinsics.
  • Undead quaffing holy water will be burned.
  • Creatures will no longer try ranged attacks against the avatar when they can sense the avatar but don't have a field of view.
  • Ever do a cvs annotate in hopes of finding what you were drinking when you wrote some code? The smell gradient code was wrong in two fundamental ways preventing it from ever doing anything. This is why followers were *still* slow to follow you despite my earlier changes. The less expensive pathfinding implemented in 070 (over a year ago) now actually is used.

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Release 076 December 1st, 2006
22:00:00 EDT
Oops! The previous release didn't let people who saved their game to record high scores. That wasn't intended. This version fixes that problem, but Necromancers may choose not to upgrade when they see the nerfs in store for them.

In other news, my last successful wizard discovered that corrosive explosion is very powerful now that you can drop as many things as you want in a single turn. You may want to acquire a source of acid resistance before trying this, however.

  • Looking at squares that you cannot see will trigger You recall rather than You see or You Feel messages.
  • I am an idiot. Instead of just disabling highscores for cheaters, I also disabled it for honest save/load cycles. In my defence, how was I supposed to know a savecount of 2 meant 1 copy had been saved? Contrary to my defence is the fact that I was the one that invented that system...
  • When you do save scum, you still get the rest of the high scores rather than just seeing your own score. It also explains that you have been denied a high score for this reason.
  • [SDL] Using space to select menu entries that trigger a pager (such as Examine on an item) no longer instantly closes the pager.
  • Tlosh nerf: +5 Physical, +10 mental rather than 10/10
  • Tlosh nerf: Discouraged from Melee combat, only get kill credit for non-melee kills.
  • New skill: Clean Kill. This increases the chances that creatures you kill in melee combat will leave a corpse.
  • A new room.

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Release 075 November 22nd, 2006
22:12:21 EDT
With all the spells that Necromancers keep getting, you would think that I was more fond of the class than I actually am.

In any case, I remain frustrated that I still get late game crashes which I have not yet tracked down. I'm planning on rewriting my mob load/save routines in the hopes that it fixes it. Truly the wrong way to approach the problem, but the current state of affairs isn't acceptable.

  • Eating lich or kobold mage corpses raises your max mp.
  • Added a secret cheat mode enabled by naming your character a certain word with great signifance in the history of the genre.
  • Fix mis-conjugation of "The winged boots Froody".
  • New skill: Butchery.
  • Healing & magic regeneration now occurs at a steady rate rather than as a random process.
  • Regeneration has been nerfed to half its pervious rate. To compensate, the regeneration spell has 3 times the duration.
  • You can no longer suffer from different levels of poison simultaneously. Lower levels of poison will be ignored if you are under the effect of a higher level. However, receiving two doses of the same level will promote your poison to the next higher level.
  • Chance of waking up creatures due to your noise is no longer flat 10% if they hear you, but instead increases depending on how loud you are.
  • Made the nigh-useless spell Knock only 5 mp as it is somewhat useful when one Ghastifies oneself and is too lazy to bind the Open button.
  • Three new maps.
  • Save scummed players are no longer added to high scores. Nor are players that use the cheat code.
  • New spell: Reclaim Soul, allows Necromancers to burn their followers as fuel.

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Release 074 November 1st, 2006
21:31:32 EDT
This release is a simple bugfix release. Makes you wonder why it took so long for me to get it out, doesn't it? Well, I'm not much of one for excuses, I just let my tardiness stand for itself.
  • Spaces are properly added after level up messages.
  • Choice of gods is no longer off by one.
  • Attempt to improve the selection delay to allow you to cancel pickup menus without letting go of arrow keys.
  • Aborting button binding with select or start no longer prints out Bound, it prints out Aborted.
  • [SDL] Allow page up/page down for text screens.
  • Drinking mana potions with less than full health will print proper text rather than using "iu" as the name of the potion.
  • Jumping without the ability will produce "You cannot jump very far.", stealing Nethack's superior message. It will also no longer consume a turn.

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Release 073 July 22nd, 2006
23:38:53 EDT
BUG ALERT: Apparently I am an illiterate hack who can't program his way out of an infinite loop. On level up, an off by one error means you won't get the god you thougt you chose. Further, I am unhappy with the way the wait-for-button-release freezes menus. I thus recommend waiting for 074.

Many UI changes to this release, few actual gameplay changes. The most significant is reworking how the [Start] menu works in the GBA. [A] will now select a command rather than binding a command. To bind [A] or [B], use [Select].

  • Raise undead on a living creature no longer crashes. (Alexander)
  • Quiver no longer costs a turn. (Alexander)
  • You can drop multiple items in one turn. (Alexander)
  • Aborting reading brings you back to inventory screen. (ibid)
  • Sorting backpack doesn't take a turn or leave inventory. (ibid)
  • [SDL] 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 can be used to move, allowing number pad movement to be done with numlock turned on. Notably, this allows the use of '5' for rest. (Eric Piper)
  • Much harder to accidentally select Adventurer in level up. (ibid)
  • Added a Sleep command: 'R' in SDL, which puts you to sleep for 50 turns. You will wake up with load noises or being attacked, just like magical sleep. (ibid)
  • [GBA]The [Start] menu has been reworked. [A] will now perform the selected action and [B] cancel, the same as all the other menus. [Select] will now prompt for a binding allowing [A] and [B] to be bound. One can still quickly bind by using [L] or [R] on the [Start] menu. (ibid)
  • The door is blocked by an is no longer followed by garbage text.
  • [SDL] The cryptic "MM >," has been replaced by the more meaningful "Zinc"
  • [GBA] Autoprompt is now on by default. I have been using it since it came out, so will harden my ears to those who want it off. They can do what I did for the last year - toggle it with each new version. I have also changed the default mappings to Zap & Fire to fit with the autoprompt world.

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Release 072 May 23rd, 2006
23:34:21 EDT
I think this version marks the introduction of my 255th tile. This means there is a very good chance that with my next tile I get to rewrite my tile management system. Again.
  • "You know your foo better." now has two spaces after the period as required.
  • When you enter or leave pits you no longer get random line noise.
  • Force bolt can no longer knock creatures into the same tile as boulders.
  • Disintegrate spell finally implemented.
  • 10% of creatures are now left handed. The mini-icon now properly places in the hand that it says they are in. (I had drawn them all in the wrong hand) (Carsten Brockmann)
  • The final lair is now the final level of the dungeon - you can no longer climb or dig deeper.
  • Klaskov's quest has been temporarily made part of the main dungeon.
  • H'ruth's quest has been also made part of the main dungeon.
  • You can now dig pits in grass.
  • New type of walls: reinforced walls. These can't be dug through.
  • Reduced total depth to 25 levels and removed the river room. The river room's generator is a bit suspicious and I'm trying to narrow down the cause of the late game crashes.
  • One new room.

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Release 071 April 8th, 2006
00:48:32 EDT
Another long time period between releases. I think I have a good reason for this long delay, but I shan't bore you with pointless justifications.
  • "You set you alight." is now "You set yourself alight." when casting sticky flames on yourself.
  • Sweep to use formatAndReport. Some new typos may be introduced :<
  • Scrolls of make artifact are not consumed if you have no item in your right hand or if you already have an artifact weapon there. Guess who found my first scroll of make artifact EVER five turns after finding an artifact warhammer?
  • Ghosts now count as undead.
  • New skills: Endure Hunger, Moving Target.
  • Hitting [SELECT] when viewing a spell or skill entry will give you the description of that spell or skill. In the SDL builds, the 'i' key will do likewise.
  • Up stairs are a brighter green than downstairs on minimap (as they lead to the surface) Hopefully it is distinguishable on the hardware... (Ben Shadwick)
  • Options::CharDump will show you a summary of your character at any time. This will also be done on death. If you are on an SDL build, a file named charname.txt will be written with this content. (Darshan Shaligram)
  • Ranger dress code relaxed to account for new bow rules.
  • Upgraded the loading of prebuilt maps and created some exciting new maps that are not yet enabled.
  • ? goes straight to help in SDL version. (Carsten Brockmann)

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Release 070 Mon December 5th, 2005
1:01:35 EDT
At long last, a new POWDER release!

This version is most notable for a new tileset. Old school roguelike purists will be glad to see that there is now an Ascii version of POWDER.

  • New tileset created by Kelly Bailey - The Ascii Tileset! POWDER is no longer a graphical only roguelike.
  • When gaining a level from a god that doesn't grant you a skill level, you don't get the message "You gain nothing."
  • In SDL mode, when you start a keyboard repeat by pressing down, and then hit up before release the down key, the up will repeat as expected rather than only being pressed once. (copx)
  • Freshly created creatures will not act on their first turn. This means that a creature created by a wand of create monster will not be able to attack you before you have a chance to react.
  • Monsters will do better path finding when tracking you and you are out of direct line of sight.
  • Pets will do a less expensive path finding which hopefully will speed things up when you have multiple pets.
  • New intrinsic: Position Revealed.
  • New spell: Track.
  • Imps are now categorized as daemons so you can't do drain life on them.
  • You can have a missile launcher in either hand and still get the launcher bonus.
  • Bows are one handed and default to left hand so you can now wield a one handed weapon and shoot without going into inventory management heck.
  • Creatures will no longer try to throw arrows when you are out of range. They now ignore arrows pending becoming smart enough to equip bows.
  • When gargantuan mobs are registered to the map, they are properly added to all four squares of the quick map. This prevents the ability to move into the same square as a garantuan creature the first turn after reloading.
  • DebugInfo option on Options Menu. Merely reports some internal stats about the MOBREF tables. This is part of my attempt to try and track down causes for the late game crash.
  • Direct wind spell removed from utility and added to Cold and Shock books as they both have succsesor spells.
  • Your intrinsic listing now shows "cast detect curse" rather than just "detect curse".
  • The encyclopedia description of spells/skills now shows up after the statistics for them.
  • [SDL]: Hitting 'J' for jump won't immediately answer 'j' for the direction to jump in. You should be able to jump under SDL.
  • The River Room no longer has a special room. Because multiple drunken caverns could be populated, and they would not be repopulated when doing a save/load, this room could throw off the save/load compression scheme.
  • Having done many tweaks to my map generation over the versions, stress tested the map generators with full paranoid assertions and under the debugger. Found some safe out of bound reads, but found out of bounds writes in the Qix drawing code.
  • Removed more large stack arrays to reduce risk of killing the stack on the GBA.
  • One new room type.

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Release 069 Saturday August 20th, 2005
19:35:25 EDT
Necromancers will be happy with the new spell, Rolling Boulder. At least those that know their Art will be. The rest can use the spell with a more obvious purpose - Preserve.
  • You can now be recognized for dressing like a cleric.
  • When throwing items you have a chance of figuring out their enchantment.
  • Glowing potions have a light radius of 1.
  • Some more descriptions to the encyclopedia
  • Drinking mana potions or heal potions when fully healed or charged up will increase your maximum stats.
  • Drinking mana potions cures magic drain.
  • "You strain but 2 boulders does not budge" now properly says "do".
  • Finally integrated the improved Minotaur from Lauri Vallo.
  • The Baezl'bub from Zak's Adam Bolt tileset has now replaced the classic Baezl'bub.
  • New spells: Living Frost, Rolling Boulder, and Preserve.
  • Air elementals disperse smoke they move over.
  • Fire elementals boil water they move over and living frost freezes likewise.
  • Air elementals and living frost are affected by air currents.
  • Hitting creatures with an overlay tile should no longer move the overlay tile temporarily.
  • New room: Lava with fire elementals!

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Release 068 Monday July 25th, 2005
23:49:23 EDT
More incremental fixes to this version. Presumeably the eternal cycle of polishing will have to end at some point. Just noticed another grammar mistake that slipped through this release, however...
  • Creatures with Waterwalk will now willingly cross water in all cases. Most importantly, pets with water walk will pathfind over water to follow you.
  • Force bolt and dig spells/wands will now work over water and other liquid tiles.
  • Sufficiently wise monsters now can select rings & amulets based on their coolness rather than just wielding the first thing that they come across.
  • Creatures will no longer try to wield weapons where it violates the two handed weapon rules.
  • Creatures missing a finger will no longer try to wield rings on their missing finger.
  • If you don't have water walk, you can't start a jump from liquid as you lack the traction.
  • Quit menu disabled on GBA as it just crashes.
  • Starting characters get a spell book and a skill book so they always have a choice of going magic or skill...
  • Searching when blind will reveal the presense of items on adjacent squares.
  • New skill: Impale. Lets you impale multiple monsters with a single thrust of your spear.
  • The ... print out while saving and loading has been restored as I'm confident that wasn't what was causing my problems.
  • Corrosive Explosion, Sunfire, and Flamestrike will now always hit. Be warned this means the god-invoked flamestrike won't flail wildly anymore!
  • The Sort command is a bit more aggressive with looking for matching stacks. Having stacks which result in mergeable items being separated will no longer prevent them from being stacked.
  • Merging of non-fully ided items is now more lax. Non-wands and books allow merging even if charge knowledge doesn't match. Poison knowledge is ignored if neither item is poisoned. Enchantment knowledge is ignored if neither item is armour nor weapon.
  • Reading a scroll of healing reports "Your wounds are healed." rather than "You wounds are healed."
  • Items will keep their submerged status when saving & reloading. You'll have to find another way to retrieve the Heart that you buried.
  • Random number generation has been optimized for the GBA by removing modulus operations where possible. Rolling percentages, a common task, is done by randomly getting a number from 0..1023 and using a lookup table.
  • SDL: Fixed the keyrepeat so it should again work.
  • New room: another variant of the turtloid pond.

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Release 067 Sunday June 27th, 2005
8:11:04 EDT
Been a long time between releases. However, that was due to a vacation on my part rather than extensive coding. Changes are thus limitted.

Of special interest is the fix to the loading of saved games on the GBA hardware. I'm looking forward to this.

  • I found the new Qix levels (levels 6+) were crashing on load on the GBA hardware. I was allocating some large arrays on the stack. Apparently this is a BadThing. If it makes you feel better, I suffered with these games not loading too. Unfortunately, I thought it was just my GBA ROM going flaky because the Windows code ran with no issues.
  • Added a Quit option to the main menu. This should trigger a reset in the hardware, allowing people to return to their boot manager without having to power cycle. Hopefully this makes Pogoshell easier to use (Victor Rehorst) Doesn't seem to work on my hardware yet.
  • Trying to wield a 2 handed weapon with a buckler in the left hand should now succeed.
  • Named turtloid in the turtloid pond stands on corridor, not floor.
  • You no longer show up on your kill list if you die in another form.
  • Failing to equip something due to the 2 handed rules no longer costs a turn.
  • Confused creatures will not attack themselves.

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Release 066 Friday April 15th, 2005
10:21:10 EDT
Wow! A weekly update! Bet none of you expected that!

Mostly obvious cleanup work from 065. Two new spells, though. The combat revamp is continuing with two new blunt special attacks.

  • Some flash linkers were looking for keyword strings to see if a ROM needed SRAM saving or not. Since POWDER rolls its own SRAM code, it lacks these strings, and was being falsely listed as not having any save information. I have added a token "SRAM_V113" to the ROM which seems to trick the so-called header viewers into listing POWDER as having a SRAM saving method.
  • Stuff put on your feet will show up on your feet rather than your left hand.
  • Adjust left hand home down a pixel so dual wielding places weapons at same height.
  • Composite right hand graphic *after* body graphic, so it shows up in front of armour.
  • If your secondary weapon is the same size as your primary, you only get 2/3rds of a chance as intended. In 065 it was accidentally set to 1/3 chance
  • You can learn how to knock creatures unconcious with small blunt weapons.
  • You can learn how to stun (ie, confuse) creatures with medium blunt weapons.
  • If a weapon would be misused, you don't get your skill bonus for it other than the general Improvised skill. Ie, if you have Blunt and Stun, neither count for throwing maces.
  • Fix rare crashing bug when loading/saving the game and the the message buffer fills before the current level is loaded.
  • In an attempt to avoid problems on the GBA hardware, removed the cool '...' effect while saving and loading.
  • Scrolls of enchant armour will only enchant what is in your left hand if it is a shield.
  • At long last there is the Breathe command. This isn't to remind yourself to breathe, but rather to take advantage of breath attacks when so polymorphed.
  • New divinition spell: Detect Curse. Also rearranged diviniation prereqs. Magic Map now only requires Light, and Identify only Detect Curse. Knock is now useless :>
  • Bad things that survive poly now are cleared on your base form when you poly. This means when you return to your base form they'll be gone if you fixed them in your new form. For example, if you are on fire and poly, you will still be on fire. But if you put the fire out and go back to your normal form, the fire will be cleared.
  • Refactored the Manual of Weapons and Manual of Attacks into three books, Book of Blades, Book of Bashing, and Book of Sharp Points.
  • [SDL] More work on keyboard handler. More cursor input now goes through keyboard buffer rather than instant checks. This means cursor keys now count as "any keys". Hitting the vi-keys on a more prompt will also not immediately move you.
  • If you hit something with a stack of items which shatter, only one item in the stack will be destroyed.
  • New spell: Corrosive Explosion.

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Release 065 Friday April 8th, 2005
9:18:48 EDT
As expected, the lighting changes caused a few minor quirks.

This release addresses those. It also goes starts a major combat revamp. Hopefully playing a warrior has more interesting choices now. I have more special skills to add in addition to Parry and Bleeding Wounds, but I need to maintain some form of release schedule :>

  • The river split island no longer has floor itles under initial creatures, but the proper corridor tiles.
  • Dipping clubs now produces full message.
  • You can now cast acidic mist, raise dead, and blink on the immediately adjacent squares even if you lack a lightsource.
  • You can now see creatures diagonally in the darkness rather than just in the orthogonal directions. This restores the 063 behaviour.
  • Baezl'bub's official difficulty level has been increased. This doesn't make him any more difficult to kill, but increases the exp reward and means he won't look like a windshield kill.
  • New status: Bleeding. Bleeding can only occur if you have blood. It will staunch after some time, or be stopped by any healing action.
  • You can now put anything in your left hand. Note that only shields will give you AC bonuses.
  • Items that have a larger size than you are considered two handed. You default to Medium size, so this means Spears and Warhammers are now two handed. You can't use your left hand while using a two handed weapon. The obvious exception is bucklers.
  • "You did not make the high score list." has "list" properly added.
  • Rays that hit the map boundary will bounce or be absorbed as if it were a wall. Previously they'd just silently end.
  • Being noisy is no longer reported on the character sheet. This means squeaky shoes can't be ided by looking at yourself.
  • When listing visible equipped items the long name will be used. This means you will see the name of artifacts when equipped.
  • You can look at yourself even if invisible. You always get the verbose description of yourself.
  • When looking at yourself, you get a list of all your known spells and skills. (Tim Jordan)
  • Remove unwieldly "this creature" from look commands.
  • If you had over 100 god points, but then nullified exactly all of your piety against another god, you could then be punished rather than rewarded by your god! God points are now properly clamped to be less than piety after transgressions so this shouldn't occur.
  • Another way to create potions of acid.
  • You can now dual wield weapons with the Dual Wield skill. Your chance to strike with the off hand weapon depends on your total skill stars with the two weapons. 0 stars gives 10% chance, 6 stars 50%.
  • Bleeding Wound skill allows you to inflict bleeding wounds with small pointed weapons.
  • You can now parry with medium edged weapons.
  • The overlay tiles now take into account the offset from their normal positon to their equipped position. Thus, equipping a sword in your left hand shows up in your left hand, and putting plate mail in your right hand doesn't make it look like you are wearing plate mail.
  • Grid bugs no longer dance. Sorry! Their dancing shoes have been revoked.

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Release 064 Friday March 4th, 2005
10:27:19 EDT
A rather big change to the underlying light code that likely won't be noticed. To allow you to see around you in dark corridors, I gave the player a 1 radius light all the time. This, however, meant that creatures could always see you in dark rooms as you were always lit.

You no longer carry this one radius lamp. However, you can still see in the gloom of the dungeon for one radius (so long as you are not blinded), so things look like they did before.

  • Life saving now protects against turning to stone.
  • Life saving now protects against turning into a mound of flesh.
  • New spell: Create Pit. Thanks to Lauri Vallo, Earth Elementals come pre-equipped with this spell.
  • Creatures now have a bit more memory when following you. They remember where they last saw you! This makes invisibility a bit less powerful. This also means if you fall in a pit, creatures won't suddenly forget where you were.
  • Creatures no longer are guaranteed to see you when you are 1 square away. This makes invisibility a bit more powerful.
  • If you lose a temporary intrinsic Invisibility, Deafness, or Blindness, whilst still under the influence of a permament source from an item, you do not get a message suggesting you are now free of the affliction.
  • You no longer carry a 1 radius lamp by default. The effect is still the same - you can see creatures & map for 1 radius. The difference is that creatures won't see you as you won't be a bright light! This gives a tactical reason to casting darkness.
  • All creatures can now see adjacent creatures in the dark unless blinded.
  • Description of giant rat has "weights" typo fixed.
  • Roguelike levels can only have up to depth-1 dark rooms. This means level 1 can't have dark rooms, and they will be less frequent elsewhere.
  • ><0|V| is now more functional. Pleasing ><0|V| is no longer a mere matter of chance.
  • Quizar now gains piety for finding secrets (traps, doors, etc).
  • Gods no longer cure your poison if you have resist poison, as that would be a waste of their energy. (Igor D. WonderLlama)
  • Shortened the names of a few skills (Small Weapon Use is now Small Weapons, for example) which means only a few skills and spells don't fit on the screen. (Stu)
  • Special case message involving flaming sword creation had four spaces after the period instead of two.
  • When discussing a creature's rampages, use his, her, or it, rather than always it.
  • Searching in the dark is less likely to succeed.
  • Another new room.

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Release 063 Thursday February 10th, 2005
7:16:40 EDT
More clean up of the highscore functions. I also finally addressed the long standing problem that it was too easy to save scum in POWDER. It is just as easy now, but the Load Game screen changes to Save Scum to let you know that you are doing it.

Thanks to Janne Joensuu and Lauri Vallo who reported most of the exploits and bugs that have been fixed this version.

  • Creatures with water walk will now be willing to walk on water.
  • Turning a creature to stone no longer increments the kill count for that creature. (Because they can still be restored, they are more in a state of animation) Destroying such a statue will count as the kill.
  • Intro screen now has Load Game if there is a valid game saved.
  • When you die, you are now given the intro screen to choose your next step. This includes the option of Save Scumming. (Lauri Vallo for reminding me to allow renaming character after death)
  • Very simple save scum prevention is in place. First, when you save the game, you instantly quit. Second, there is a flag which tracks for save games how many times you have loaded them. Loading more than once constitutes save scumming. You will be told the number of times you have save scummed, and the load game menu will change to "Save Scum". If a game crash or power failure forces you to scum, you may feel free to ignore the Save Scum warnings and play honestly. Otherwise, you may feel a small twinge of shame :> Please let me know if this hinders your playing of POWDER unduly, and if so, how.
  • If you have a stack of over 20 items and autoprompt turned on, bad things will no longer happend when you walk over the stack. (A crash in SDL, an infinite loop on GBA)
  • [SDL] Casting Force Bolt when you can be knocked back but the target can't will no longer crash. (Janne Joensuu)
  • "Looks like a windwhield kill" rather than "an windshield". (Lauri Vallo)
  • Spellbooks are now called books now that they contain skills in addition to spells. (Lauri Vallo)
  • [SDL] The 'X' key will now do minimap as well as 'm'. Note that minimap is now sticky on SDL builds - it stays up until you hit a key, rather than requiring you to hold the key down. The 'g' key now does pickup as well as ','. These move POWDER's key definitions a bit closer to crawl and makes it easier to play with the right hand on the arrow keys. (Lauri Vallo)
  • Grid bugs have been nerfed. They now hit for less damage (but more often) (Lauri Vallo)
  • [SDL] Now properly use the unicode parsing of SDL than trying to build the keys myself. This means Finnish keyboards should now climb with > rather than ;. (Lauri Vallo)
  • When you Fire, equipped items will not be considered quiverred. Thus, you can't fire off equipped items. (Lauri Vallo)
  • [SDL] You cannot throw items that are equipped using the 't' shortcut.
  • You can no longer dip into an equipped item. This prevents the ability to dequip anything by targetting it with a dip command. (Janne Joensuu)
  • [SDL] The keyboard buffer is cleared more reliably in SDL versions. Ideally, I'd move all the interface to the keyboard buffer rather than the current hybrid, but this is closest to the right thing. This will remove the tendency to get extra requests from Swapping places or Praying to gods. (Janne Joensuu & Lauri Vallo)
  • You can now 'e'at off the ground. (Lauri Vallo)
  • One more room.

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Release 062 Saturday January 22nd, 2005
21:34:12 EDT
Mostly minor fixes. I spent a few hours playing the Windows version in the debugger to ensure I hadn't added too many crashes in that version.

You won't be surprised most of the changes are with the recent score system.

Your old highscores should still work in the new version. Note that on the GBA, this requires you keep your old save game (I didn't figure out how to do this with my burner, so can't confirm)

  • [SDL] Dying from poison will no longer risk crashing.
  • [SDL] Zapping an artifact wand with no intrinsics, quaffing an artifact potion with no intrinsics, and reading an artifact scroll with no intrinsics will no longer crash.
  • [SDL] Changed input to use more of a keyboard buffer, so hopefully it is a bit more responsive.
  • The glowing potion was mislabelled as a blue potion.
  • Trees are no longer decorated.
  • I was a bit parsiminous about score. Score is now divided by 10 rather than 100, so will be 10 times bigger. However, you no longer get points for the first dungeon level or first experience level, so the minimum score is now 0.
  • Winners always rank higher than losers.
  • High score list is centered on your most recent score. What position you came in is printed out.
  • No longer crashes if you dip a named studded leather gorget into acid. I really need to make a generic buffer class.
  • Back buffer is increased to the last 20 screens (1,800 bytes wasted on it now...)
  • New bindable command: History. This brings up a screen showing your message history in one window. (Casey Robinson)
  • Identifying items is now liked by Belweir and Quizar. This means you are likely to start with a good standing with these gods.
  • Forgetting spells or skills while polymorphed will now also cause you to forget them in your base form.
  • Intro screen now gives a choice to view high scores.
  • When you rename something, the entire screen is no longer blanked, so your status line stays visible.
  • I had rather consistently mispelled quivered as quiverred.
  • "You look less adventurous" rather than adventerous.
  • "You look less belligerant" rather than belligrant.

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New artpack in this version, grab it here [15k].

Release 061 Saturday January 15th, 2005
9:54:00 EDT
Woohoo! I finally have a highscore list! I even have some small hopes that this will be persistant between builds of POWDER. Ie, you'll be able to use the same score list in 062.

The other big change is that the Scary Black Screen has been removed.

  • If you use teleport control to abort teleporting from a tele trap, or to teleport to the same spot, you no longer immediately re-teleport.
  • Speed of learning weapon enchantment is now dependent on weapon skill level.
  • Wresting last charge is now 3 times more likely, down to a mere one in seven chance.
  • You have a 1 in 10 chance each wand zap to id the number of charges on the wand.
  • Map no longer goes black when creating dungeon levels, avoids scariness when critter falls down a hole, and should speed up loading and saving.
  • Both loading and saving print a series of ., x, or _, one for each 1k block saved or loaded, so you get a continuous feedback. (No more mysterious "None"s...)
  • Thrown items should now stop at map boundaries rather than wrapping around to the opposite side of the map.
  • Spells and skills you already know have a + before them in your spellbook list.
  • Flying creatures can fly out of pits trivially.
  • Creatures that fly will now fly up and down staircases. (No more scared bats climbing ladders...)
  • Mana potions added.
  • "Adventurers may start off..", not "Adventurers may start of..."
  • obscenely, not obsenely.
  • People dressed as rangers will no longer break arrows.
  • Dipping with a full inventory will no longer cause empty bottles to be leaked - you'll instead drop them on the ground.
  • Dying while polymorphed reduces the maximum hitpoints of your base type.
  • Add high score file. Hopefully this will be persistent between versions of POWDER, but no guarantees.

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Release 060 Wednesday December 22nd, 2004
10:42:01 EDT
Bunch of random tweaks to adjust the playstyle. Combat changes slowed down fights, so a lot of time dependent stuff is affected.

  • Ice wands and fire wands are now significantly more damaging.
  • Acid Splash is a bit more powerful.
  • Sunfire does much more damage.
  • Now that fights last longer due to missing more often, reduced hp regen.
  • MP recovery is now reduced to 1 per 2 turns.
  • Nerfed shields. They now have a variable parrychance depending on your skill level. AC's have been restored to the pre-AC change levels as they have an average coverage of 50% so were already balanced.
  • Kite shields are now wooden to give wooden proficiencies a better setup.
  • In a fit of insanity, I gave wizards a free cloth armour proficiency in 059. This is removed.
  • Properly conjugate the "Foo evades your spear" style strings.
  • Dragons HP is less variable.
  • Added Kobold Assassin.
  • Leather skill no longer gives an extra +1 for cloth items.
  • In celebration of pagan yuletide tradition, the trees of the surface world are decorated for Christmas!
  • Hitting [B] while doing a look command abandons the look without doing the long description.
  • You can look at yourself to get a long description.
  • Estimated strength now properly conjugates "look".
  • Creatures will no longer wield bows, rocks, or arrows, as they don't yet know how to use them effectively.
  • Magic spells keep going if they miss the monster.
  • Maze levels can have different sized base rooms rather than always being 1x1 corridors.
  • Qix levels no longer fill the entire level, but 50% of it. This makes them more similar to the drunken cavern levels. I didn't like them being so big as it just meant for more walking per level.
  • Two new room types.

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Release 059 Tuesday December 14th, 2004
4:37:23 EDT
The combat system has been overhauled. Hopefully it is better. In all likeliehood, you won't notice any difference :<

A big difference is that the AC has been readjusted. In the past, AC of all slots would be pooled into one huge AC pool. Now the Ultima Online system is used, where upon AC for each item only applies to that armour slot. The defensive value you see is the estimated weighted average value of your AC. Bigger is still better.

The other big difference is that both you and monsters will be missing more, especially in the beginning game. I'm suspecting this may make the game a lot easier.

  • When you examine an item, you are taking back to the item menu rather than returning to the main screen.
  • Long description of items now occurs at the bottom of examine.
  • Magic items that are identified can now have magical descriptions. Of course, I have not written many, so don't expect much yet :>
  • You can now target yourself with Heal when you are invisible and cannot see invisible. (Now that was an oversight!)
  • When creatures you can't see die, you no longer get the name of the creature but get the "Something fades into the void!" style message. This also means creatures killed that are visible only with warning don't reveal their identity on death.
  • Casting Acidic Mist will actually report the flavour text.
  • Remove double-spam of "You cast chain lightning" when casting chain lightning.
  • Casting resurrect on a living creature would give: "The ice snake are not in need of aid" rather than "The ice snake is not in need of aid".
  • Natural Armour and Armour skills are gone. In their place is material specific armour skills.
  • Reworked combat mechanics.
  • Artifacts that attack with light blasts will blind their targets.
  • Added the scroll of omnipotence. Less pretentiously, it is a scroll of make artifact. Any item in your weapon hand will turn into an artifact when you read the scroll.
  • Ghastifying someone will now also fully heal them. Necromancers will appreciate the lack of need to learn healing magics. And the use of Ghastify as a rare Life Saving spell.
  • Two new room types.

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Release 058 Sunday November 21st, 2004
6:13:11 EDT
At this rate, I should change my release schedule from Weakly to Monthly. My fear would be that if I did that, I might not even meet that mark :>

The nifty new spell, Bind Soul, was eminently abuseable so has been toned down slightly this version. The big change with this version should be in pet control. The new Command command allows you to finally get your pets to attack first.

  • A method of filling empty bottles with poison has been added.
  • Creatures that die with poison still in their veins are poisonous to eat. (In other words, Poison Bolt is nerfed!)
  • Fixed a bug where ghasts created by Ghastify and any non-golems created by Bind Soul would always swap places with you. (Casey Robinson)
  • Hitting [Select] on start menu will do a single usage of that command. Good for one time commands like climb, this avoids the need to remap a button just for the one time event. (Casey Robinson)
  • Direct wind is now 5 mp, matching Light in cost.
  • Mind Acid is now actually in the spellbook of Acid, so you can actually learn it outside of random god-gifts.
  • If you die with Direct Wind in effect, the next game no longer starts with the previous game's wind status.
  • Wands of nothing now have charges, making them harder to pseudo id. It also makes artifact wands of nothing actually useful.
  • Fixed a bug with hasCommonMaster. Imps should no longer be slaughtered by the demon that summoned them when their fireballs inevitably go astray.
  • Naming a creature is now the 'n' key rather than 'C'.
  • Add a new command: Command. This lets you give commands to your pets. This is 'C'.
  • Tweaked Staff of Destruction.
  • Nerfed Bind Soul. When the transformed creature reverts to its original state, it will lose its tamed status.
  • You are told you don't have enough MP for a spell *after* you select the direction/target. This avoids YASD when you try to cast a spell north and end up walking north, often to your death.
  • Heal spells can now be targetted at anyone you can see, rathering than requiring that you be adjacent to the target.
  • You can't cast heal spells on creatures you can't see.
  • Miscasting flamestrike no longer grants piety.

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Release 057 Sunday October 31st, 2004
5:22:22 EDT
As expected, this release is late.

Very minor changes this release. Mostly just polish. There is a nifty new spell for Necromancers to abuse.

  • You now take silver damage for wearing or wielding silver items when vulnerable to silver.
  • Monsters vulnerable to silver don't equip silver items.
  • Force bolt will always knock someone back if one of the parties can move. (This means you can brace against a wall to knockback big creatures)
  • New spell: Bind Soul
  • Being killed instantly by quaffing a potion of fire no longer produces a death message with an extra period.
  • You can now fill empty bottles. You can do so by dropping them into the liquid you want them to fill from.
  • Dipping poisoned items into potions of cure neutralize the poison.
  • Polymorphing and returning to your original state will no longer escape you from pets or extract you from liquids.
  • If a slug falls into a pit and dies, its corpse will not then also fall into the pit. The same occurs for dropping things when already in a pit.
  • When named creatures are polymorphed or lose their polymorph, they retain their name.
  • Miscellaneous polyfixes with intrinsics: Magic Drain, Confused, Tired, Asleep, Aflame, and Unique all survive polymorphing. Paralysis and Strangled clears on poly.
  • If you acquire the missing finger intrinsic through a non-item (ie, zapped by an artifact wand of missing finger.) you will lose your extra ring on the next heartbeat.
  • Monster descriptions occur at the end of the look command output, allowing one to inspect what monsters are wearing without having to scroll.
  • More monster descriptions. Still not done yet.
  • One more room, another crypt variation.

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Release 056 Tue October 5th, 2004
0:44:32 EDT
Wow! A release that actually meets the Weakly Schedule! Do not fear, I doubt I'll keep it up :>

I no longer have to go against everything I believe in. Not Telling sent me a nice request to disable autoprompt by default, and so it is disabled!

  • Due to popular demand, autoprompt now begins disabled on all platforms. It seems I am not the only one who hates prompts.
  • Fixed a crash when a fresh corpse dissolves in acid pools.
  • When polymorphed you no longer are referred to using the third person. (This was caused by the gender additions of 054)
  • Magic Missile has been beefed up. It now goes farther and will hit more critters as your magic level increases.
  • Force bolt cast on a critter will now knock one of you back a square.
  • More creature encylopedia entries. Still not all of them.
  • Petrifying trolls is no longer a good way to get rid of them.
  • The auto prompt option would consume as many as three times the movement actions as it should. I believe this caused the strange unresponsiveness of the move command. It will also remove the up to quintiple move that enemies may get on you when you use auto prompt.
  • Pets will no longer displace you when wandering about.
  • Raise Zombie and Animate Skeletons have been rolled into a single spell, Raise Undead.
  • New spell: Ghastify. Necromancers can use this to create ghasts.
  • Polymorphing yourself with a wand will id the wand.
  • The spell Finger of Death now has the intrinsic "cast finger of death" rather than "generic intrinsic". This has been broken since 053.

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Release 055 Tue September 28th, 2004
10:36:09 EDT
I have now gone against everything I believe in. I have added prompts to POWDER. When you step over items or staircases, you get prompted if you want to pick up or climb. This will allow you to remap the climb and pickup keys and keep them remapped. Note that [B] cancels thet menu. If this works out, I'll be likely setting the default [A] and [B] to something like zap and fire.

If this turns out to be a real bad idea, please: a) let me know, and b) turn it off using the Options menu.

  • The reflection intrinsic is now listed as "reflective", which sounds better when put in a sentence.
  • The reflection intrinsic is no longer visible on change. This also means you can no longer tell if a mob has reflection by looking at it.
  • Mithril chainmail is now made of mithril, not aether.
  • My first buffer overrun! Kind of surprised it took so long to occur, considering how haphazard I've been with "char buf[100];". If you dipped an artifact long sword into greek fire, you'd likely lose the long sword. Be glad that is all you lose, as random stack corruption occurs. I've fixed this by splitting up the relevant message into smaller bits, but I really should buckle down and make a solid sprintf capable static buffer class.
  • If you polymorph whilst invisible and lacking see invisible intrinsic, you get "You transform into something." rather than knowing your new form :>
  • Dipping multiple objects into poison potions results in "a thick slime coats them." rather than "a thick slime coats it."
  • Scrolls of darkness are no more. Instead, cursed scrolls of light create darkness. One less useless scroll :>
  • You can now become confused. While confused, occasionally your direction commands will be misinterpretted. Note that monsters may also become confused.
  • New spell: Mind Acid.
  • Trolls will now resurrect even if they are in your backpack or have another creature on top of them.
  • Soulless statues will now convert to meatballs rather than crashing when you try to unpetrify them.
  • Worn intrinsics are properly reset when a creature resurrects. Ie, if a troll was wielding an artifact sword granting invisibility, died, had the sword looted, and then resurrected, the troll will no longer be invisible.
  • Failing to pick up an item because you are out of inventory no longer costs a turn.
  • Items that have been marked as quiverred will be picked when you walk over them. This involves no prompting and does not cost any turns.
  • Fixed a small memory leak when you were given a menu to pick something up.
  • Added the concept of AutoPrompt. When enabled, whenever you enter a tile which you could climb a ladder or pick something up in, you get a prompt for what you want to do. Choosing actions *will* cost turns. After you cancel (through cancel on the menu or [B]) you will return to normal play. There is an Option menu item to turn the AutoPrompt on or off. It is value is saved with your character. SDL builds default to no autoprompt, GBA default to autoprompt enabled.
  • Trying to read spellbooks while blind no longer costs a turn.
  • Trying to eat while full no longer costs a turn.
  • Trying to eat an equipped item no longer costs a turn.
  • Cursed and blessed wands have different effect lengths.
  • Artifact wands now imbue their intrinsics on whoever they are zapped on.

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Release 054 Sat September 11th, 2004
9:59:42 EDT
Long delay for this release! Don't worry, it wasn't because I was working on huge features that took a long time to stabilize. It's because I had very little time to work on POWDER in August.

Lots of minor polish in this version. Creatures finally have gender, for example. The big major change is the new magic spells centered around that most fickle of things: Acid. Some investigation will show there are two extra acid spells I have stencilled in but not yet implemented.

  • SDL: Text blocks will be less likely to close right away. Most obvious of these is the intro block, which usually disappeared instantly on the SDL version.
  • When you look at a creature, you now get an additional screen of detailed text. This will show what the creature is wearing. This will also show visually obvious intrinsics (ie: Blind, Invisible, etc) You also get encyclopedia entries, but the creature encyclopedia is not quite complete yet.
  • Blue Dragons are loud, as per their new description.
  • The "It looks like ..." message for con reports now uses the pronoun rather than It.
  • Creatures that are on fire will attempt to put out the fire.
  • Turn costs for manipulating inventory are now more sensible. Failure modes now properly avoid costing a turn (ie, cancelling a spellbook read)
  • Naming an item no longer costs a turn.
  • Kobolds now have the evade trap skill (the sneaky bastards!)
  • You can no longer polymorph items that are artifacts or have the unchanging intrinsic.
  • Creatures will attempt to stop the stoning process if they can.
  • New room: The Kobold Barracks.
  • Creatures now have a well defined gender: A given kobold will be male or female or neuter.
  • Monsters don't zap slow wands at you if you are slowed, or sleep wands if you are asleep.
  • Digging down when in a pit should now properly create a hole.
  • Zapping down on ice now breaks it to reveal water.
  • All forms of acid damage now clear stoning.
  • If you are slowed, "Slow" appears on the status line.
  • Gelatinous Cubes now are blind.
  • If you sense a creature within sight by sound alone, you get the Hearing overlay tile rather than having it seem that the creature is visible. This also applies to other sense.
  • Unsensed creatures are referred to as "something" rather than "it". Hopefully this doesn't make the text too long.
  • When a creature ided only by warning is hit or hits you, you no longer get their real name. You only get the threat level.
  • If a creature zaps a wand of invisibility at itself, we determine if we can see the creature *before* the invisiblity takes effect. Otherwise, if you didn't have see invisible, it was concluded you couldn't id the wand. Now you should properly id the wand in this case.
  • We redraw the screen whenever a message scrolls to the end of the line requiring a response. This allows you to see status line updates in middle of a series of attacks without causing slow downs from redundant displays. You'll also get to see how many negative hit points you get to.
  • Spark is now 50% stronger.
  • If the square under you is flooded, you may drop into it.
  • If the square under items is flooded, the items now sink.
  • New type of liquid: Acid. Try not to step in it.
  • New spells: Acid Splash, Acid Pool, Acidic Mist.
  • Only gain piety for successful blink.

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Release 053 Thu August 5th, 2004
7:08:32 EDT
Quite a few minor bug fixes in this version as I continue to polish the current system. I have made one large change in creature behaviour, which should change the play of the game considerably. I hope for the better.
  • Add the depth of Baazl'bub to the intro screen. Many people were starting to wonder just how deep he is!
  • Warning no longer gives free see invisibility.
  • Performing a Look command while invisible and having warning no longer leaves the invisible avatar overlay.
  • No longer get "You see yourself" when invisible and lacking see invisibility.
  • If your god prevents a transgression attack by another god, it will cost you piety points equivalent to the other god's previous piety.
  • Adventurers no longer suffer the wrath, or blessings, of gods, as their agnostic nature shields them. (Ben Shadwick indirectly reminded me this was always supposed to be the case)
  • When your god, or your lack of god, shields you from a transgression, you get alerted.
  • Creatures now can suffer heartburn from eating acidic corpses.
  • If you have resist acid, but also have vulnerable to acid, you are no longer immune to acid when eating corpses,
  • Items with acid vulnerability always dissolve in acid, items with both acid resist and vulnerability act as normal.
  • Items with acid vulnerability can be eaten by anyone (I just know I'll regret this some day :>)
  • Stone to flesh on a cave troll no longer destros the troll's items. Guess who cast this spell on a named cave troll carrying a juicy artifact?
  • Digging a secret door now reveals the door.
  • Evade Traps skill is actually nerfed now. You will always trigger traps that you find the hard way.
  • You can now teleport items. This is especially useful with boulders. (Magne Groenhuis)
  • New monster: the ghost.
  • There is now physical resistance, and vulnerability.
  • If you have both fire resistance and vulnerability, you still burn from lava.
  • If you have both fire resistance and vulnerability, you still take damage from being aflame.
  • Dungeon is less violent. This means that enemies are less likely to attack each other, so more are left for you to deal with. This has far reaching implications that I look forward to finding out.

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Release 052 Wed July 21st, 2004
7:42:59 EDT
As you may have expected, after the introduction of noise in 051, we now see further clean up of the noise code. No doubt we will then see silence on the noise issue for a long time :>

I did a reordering of the dungeon with this release. Thanks in part to the new Qix rooms, things have been moved around a bit. Most importantly, the Cretan Minotaur is now on level 16 rather than level 26. This puts him in a nice half way point. Note, however, this likely means you are outmatched :>

  • Dipping an item into itself no longer causes memory corruption. (Ben Shadwick)
  • When you see a mob polymorph, you get "The grid bug transforms into a brown slug" rather than "The grid bug transforms into it".
  • "Your Magic Will Not Avail You!" punishment now properly has two spaces after it.
  • Noise from footwear only occurs when walking.
  • Noise from shields occurs when ever you are attacked.
  • Noise from weapons occurs whenever they attack something.
  • Weapons and shields now all have noise levels attached to them. Boots are now slightly more noisy.
  • Creatures who don't eat no longer lose satiation.
  • Creatures who don't breathe aren't affected by smoke effects. This includes acid smoke for now, as I'm claiming the damage is mostly from inhalation. Creatures strangled are likewise immune. (Wow! Positive use for amulet of strangulation! It does average of 5.5, whilst acid smoke does averge of 7.5.)
  • You can no longer suffer from smoke inhalation whilst drowning. As drowning does an average of 6 and strangulation 5.5, this is another use for amulet of strangulation.
  • The extra "a" from "The a foo catches on fire!" has been removed.
  • Stairs can no longer be created in the "vault" room.
  • New type of level: Qix. Large open rooms with doors.
  • Reworking of order that levels occur in.
  • When you level, number of free slots is output (Ben Shadwick)
  • Artifacts only give Fast, not Quick. Quick is supposed to only ever be available as a temporary intrinsic.
  • When you read a book you will be reminded how many slots you have available.
  • When you forget something you will be reminded your new number of free slots.
  • Looking at the square where you are lists yourself.

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Release 051 Tue July 13th, 2004
10:37:40 EDT
Important bug fixes in this version. The most severe are all in the SDL version, which continues to have null pointer issues. I specifically played the Windows version for two hours in the debugger and picked up no few problems :< What I get for having 95% of my testing done on a machine which happily dereferences null. It's like developing under Irix all over again!

Lots of non-bug fixes. The biggest change is sound. You will occasionally "see" out of sight creatures, but with a H in the top right corner.

I've looked into multi-lingual issues, and started a slow reorg to make POWDER multi-lingual. Because I am not willing to sacrifice the diversity of the English text, this is non-trivial. We'll see if anything is done by release 100 :>

  • SDL: Fixed crashing bug on Windows and Linux when any smoke effect was created. Ouch! (Thanks to James Parker)
  • SDL: Fix crash when a god punishes you with "Suffer my Wrath!"
  • SDL: Fix a crash when a new unique is created which has an intrinsic that you'd see be changed.
  • Remove the pronoun collapsing code as it was just silly. Half the problem is that sentences that weren't sent to the message buffer would still collapse the pronoun.
  • Corpses and statues no longer stack. This prevents an SDL crash when you kill a monster on top of another of the same type.
  • Exclamation marks only are given for hit messages that do lots of damage.
  • Started to sweep out sprintfs() in favour of proper sentence builders. Realized how many built in strings I had acquired. *sigh*
  • The POWDER help message is now displayed with each new character to provide an intro as to what you are supposed to be doing.
  • When a block of text is displayed (Examinging stuff, reading help, etc) the background is replaced with a fixed image. It was too hard to read the text with the background visible.
  • The river room will no longer have the river eat through the walls of special rooms.
  • The river room will no longer gain bonus mobs from failed attempts. (ie: a zoo of mobs could be left stranded, even though their original home was discarded)
  • The EvadeTraps skill has been nerfed. You now only evade traps you already know about, not ones you just discovered. (Or, interestingly enough, those someone *else* triggers on your square!)
  • The first square you stand on is now described.
  • The total number of mobs killed is now summarized on death.
  • "Learn Humility! " now has proper trailing spaces.
  • Reading from a spellbook will always identify it, even if the reading fails. (Previously, trying to read and failing would not identify, but cancelling your selection *would*!)
  • Cancelling reading from a spellbook no longer consumes a charge.
  • If you polymorph into a new form which is invisible and lacks see invisible, you will no longer get "You turn into it." Instead, you will be allowed to know your new form.
  • If you drink a potion with no spare room for the empty bottle, you discard it on the ground rather than having it evaporate.
  • If you receive the Knowledge is Power boon and already have maxed out your spells, you get your MP restored & XP bumped.
  • Wizards now gain +0/+15. This lets them gain magic faster than Belweir grants them free spells. It also means there is a reason other than heal magic to pick a wizard over a necro.
  • One new boon and one new punishment from the deities.
  • When you climb a ladder, you now get the square you end up on described.
  • Smashing boulders will create rocks.
  • Smashing statues will now work. This will drop the inventory of any mob that was imprisoned in the statue. This also gives you the exp for killing the monster (You have never got experience for merely stoning a critter).
  • Two new maps.
  • Remove double "Weight: " value on the item examination screen.
  • If you receive a weapon disenchant from a god whilst wielding no weapon, you get "Your hands move slower" rather than faster.
  • Initial pass at noise. Different armour generates different noise levels. Quizar gets upset at loud armour. You can hear monsters who are out of sight (a H shadow tile overlays them) Note monsters can hear you.
  • Sleeping creatures have a chance to wake if a noisy avatar is nearby.
  • Deafened and noisy intrinsics.
  • Warning instrinsic.
  • New pair of boots (the clogs) and a new helmet (the gold crown)
  • The helm of blinders is no more! It was too evil, I think, preventing people from experimenting. There is still a bad helm, but you can feel free to try them on now. (Note I made sure to bury this announcement in a really huge change log)
  • Fixed a case where uninitalized memory might result in you having the intrinsic "None". This would cause you to be able to cast the elusive "No Spell". Believe it or not, this all works fine ("You gesture in vain!"), but it does waste a spell slot.
  • A new use for bottled water, thanks to Ben Shadwick.

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Release 050 Friday Jul 2nd, 2004
8:31:57 EDT
Intentionally kept new features low this release. As this is the mystical 050, and is thus half way to the even more mystical 100, I wanted to make sure it is as stable as possible.

No doubt at the last second I introduced some crippling bug :>

  • GBA: Remove annoying delay after fire command.
  • Dig, Entomb, and Poison Item now properly adjust piety when cast.
  • Remove false "That is not a spell" messages when Belweir grants you a spell.
  • Damage messages now properly use the reflexive. Ie, you hit yourself. (Somewhat fixes R. Alan Monroe's report of "You crush you!" for falling into pits)
  • Equip what? is cleared after you pick a slot.
  • Start of pronoun squashing. Last creature referenced will be replaced with a pronoun. "You hit the rat. It dies!" Of course, this is wrong, as it doesn't work with "You hit the rat. You hit the rat."
  • When creatures wake up, only one "The grid bug wakes up." message is generated.
  • I have backed off on the class kits. This was going to much towards: "Pick your class". It also made the beginning game very hard when you had a non-weapon class. Now you start with a weapon, an armour, a spellbook, and a random item. A special case is that you will start with both bow and arrows rather than just one of those.
  • Worshipers of ><0|V| will gain both hp & mp in addition to max hp & mp.
  • Your natural form will level up when your polymorphed form levels up.
  • Picking up an item will no longer stack that item with something you have equipped, only with items in your backpack. This prevents one from wearing 2 rings by picking up a ring while wearing the same ring.
  • Creatures can no longer jump on top of other creatures. (Discovered this when a named gelatinous cube jumped to where it last saw me, which happened to be where I still was :> Seeing a cube suddenly leap when you were planning on pelting it with missiles is very unnerving.)
  • Reading a scroll of fire that kills yourself, and then kills someone else, will no longer allow you to gain a level after dying. (On SDL versions it would just crash)

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Release 049 Monday Jun 21st, 2004
10:28:05 EDT
There are one or two changes in this version :>

Contrary to earlier claims, I did spend a bit of time cleaning up the SDL ports. If I'm going to go through the pain of compiling them, I might as well make them more presentable.

This release sees not only the addition of more in game help and lots of spells and skills, but also the skill tree system I've been thinking about for a bit. The new spell book system should make it more fun to play a mage, but the new skill slot system may undo that goodness. Only playtesting will see.

As an added bonus, I've also added a new Big Boss. You can find him at the bottom of the Mazes, which are now 4 levels shorter.

  • Linux SDL Port. I couldn't get gfx2gba to work under Linux. *sigh*. Executable built under Red Hat Yarrow, tested under Knoppix and Seargent Debian.
  • Throwing objects now animates properly under SDL.
  • Closing the SDL window now properly kills the process rather than leaving a POWDER process lying around.
  • Windows SDL port now uses it's own crappy RNG, as the default rand() has RAND_MAX = 32767, which is a bit smaller a range than I had expected.
  • Extra prompts for the Equip and Dip actions to help SDL users that use keyboard short cuts.
  • Space acts the same as Enter, selecting menu items, bringing up menus, etc, in the SDL version. This allows one to avoid stretching the pinky to the Enter key all the time if you are using some lame keyboard.
  • New weapon skills. Without them, you don't get your physical level attack bonuses. For maximal bonuses, you want both the size skill and the attack skill that corresponds to your weapon. Ie, size large & attack blunt for a Warhammer.
  • A stack of spellbooks will no longer give infinite charges.
  • Entirely new approach to spellbooks and skills. Spellbooks now can grant both skills and spells. You also get them permamently from these sources. The catch is that you only have a certain number of spell and skill slots available.
  • There is now a Forget command to forget spells and skills. This is permament, so don't forget stuff lightly. You can always relearn if you have a spellbook or skillbook handy.
  • The Knowledge is Power! boon is more likely to grant a spell.
  • New Quiver command lets you select items that you want to Fire later, using the Fire command. Should make ranged attacks less painful.
  • Arrows, bows, and rocks can now be enchanted and generated in an enchanted state.
  • Examining an item tells you the material, weight, size, and attack skill required to wield it.
  • New spells: Magic Map, Chilling Touch, Poison Item, Dig, Entomb, Force Bolt, Flame Strike, Spark
  • Daemons are now immune to death magic (Finger of Death)
  • New mob: Cretan Minotaur. Nother giant guy. There is now a reason for those d*mned maze levels.
  • When polymorphed, threat level is based off your base level, not your polyd level. Accidentally polying into a high level critter won't cause the spawning of OOD monsters.
  • Mobs now cast Chilling Touch, Spark, Force Bolt, Poison Item.
  • Climbing into a teleporter triggers teleportation.
  • Items now stack on the ground.
  • Sorting your inventory will also collapse any stacks possible.
  • Fewer maze levels! Yay! Final maze level now has the Cretan Minotaur guarding a juicy artifact.
  • Fixed Baez'lbub bug where he could step on top of you instead of attacking.
  • Fixed lots of 2x2 AI bugs. Infinite more left.
  • Giant frogs no longer jump across the straight line path.
  • New help entries for spells & skills. These provide some in game explanation.
  • New help entries on Gods so you can see their properties other than when you go up a level.
  • Pax now grants +10/+10, as it is very hard to follow the Principle of Pax, and you should get more of a reward.
  • Pax no longer requires you to starve yourself. You are allowed to eat the fallen when hungry.

Leech the file here [272k].

Leech the Windows SDL version here [541k]. You may need to download SDL.

Leech the Linux SDL version here [259k]. You may need to download SDL.

New artpack in this version, grab it here [14k].

Release 048 Saturday June 5th, 2004
10:36:08 EDT
Not much new features this release. Thanks to work by Andrea Menga, we have a nice new tileset. This is the Nethackish tileset, and has been designed to take advantage of a dark cyan background like the normal Nethack tiles do. Comments on the effectiveness of this set would be appreciated.

On a technical level, I have managed to port POWDER to Windows. This is a bit better than playing in the emulator as it can use the full keyboard for keybindings. You don't have to juggle the macro keys to get anything done.

  • Port of POWDER to Windows using SDL. I was tired of trying to debug stuff in the VBA emulator. Surprisingly simple to do.
  • Thanks to Andrea Menga, POWDER now has Nethack-style tiles. These are mostly the Classic tiles, but with a dark cyan background. Andrea has taken the chance to rebuild some (notably bats, firebeetles, and Ba'ezlebub) to take advantage of the new background. You can set this tile mode under the Options::Tiles::Nethackish menu.
  • Turtloids, Large Turtloids, Hill Orcs, and Orcs can now eat flesh.
  • Turtloids are now turtloids rather than turtleoids.
  • New help menu under the Options menu. You can get at this with ? or O in the Windows version.

Leech the file here [258k].

Leech the Windows SDL version here [527k]. You may need to download SDL.

Release 047 Sunday May 24th, 2004
7:22:56 EDT
Another delay between releases, and another small release. Hopefully I'll now be back on my weakly schedule.
  • Fully generalized the death message (ie: "You collapse in a heap") system. No apparent changes to the end user until I use this to add more messages.
  • All item types are stackable, rather than only those few that were given the ISSTACKABLE flag.
  • You can now equip a stack of items in your right hand. This allows you to enchant a stack of weapons.
  • Loosened dress code for rangers. Wielding a bow qualifies now, as does plain leather armour.
  • Reading artifact scrolls and drinking artifact potions will grant the intrinsics that they grant-on-wield. This should make these less embarrassing to find.
  • Blessed arrows are much less likely to break, cursed arrows much more likely.
  • More verbs for describing eating corpses. "Consume" was getting on my nerves.
  • Rogues have some new skills. Ironically, they are likely now less cool as you no longer get the guaranteed dodge skill :>
  • Zapping a stack of wands will not drain charges from the entire stack, but instead peel off one wand and drain that one.

Leech the file here [240k].

Release 046 Fri April 30th, 2004
23:47:10 EDT
Very small changes this version. It's been a while since my last update, however, and it looks like it will be a while till my next one.
  • Starting equipment is changed. You will get one of 7 starting kits corresponding to each deity. This makes it easier to follow Pax, as you can start with a spell book of Heal.
  • Paralysation from Ghast claws no longer stacks. This should reduce the chance of perpetual paralyzation.
  • Smashing skeletons will no longer describe them collapsing in a pool of blood. Nor will smashing Luxes, or other similar non-blood based critters.
  • You no longer gain a fixed +5 points per half level, but rather 1d4+1.

Leech the file here [240k].

Release 045 Sun Apr 11th, 2004
23:37:06 EDT
You will be little surprised at a fair bit of artifact related clean up this release.
  • You can no longer rename an artifact.
  • Arrows are now stackable. (They were generated in stacks, but would stubbornly refuse to restack).
  • Naming items the same as an artifact will no longer allow them to stack together.
  • Fixed the merging of stacks greater than 1 - was only merging if the full name was the same, which meant only equal sized stacks could merge.
  • No longer can create artifacts by polymorphing.
  • Bottles generated by consuming potions can no longer be artifacts.
  • Corpses can no longer be artifacts.
  • Statues made by petrification can no longer be artifacts.
  • Mounds of flesh can no longer be artifacts.
  • When doing a look while invisible and not able to see invisible, the invisible avatar overlay will be properly restored.
  • Creatures can be named. Use the Name command.
  • Cave trolls are now made of stone, as intended.
  • Summon Imp no longer takes a direction.
  • Daemons can cast Summon Imp and ice daemons frost bolt.
  • Imps no longer generate smoke when they arrive. It wasn't so cute when they'd choke on it and die immediately :>
  • Unique monsters now appear rarely. They are about twice as powerful as their non-unique brethern.
  • New troll map which has guarnteed unique cave troll and guaranteed artifact.
  • When you examine your inventory on death or winning, you can hit [A] to get details on the items. Thus you can find out what cool properties those artifacts you had unided when you die!
  • Trolls no longer fight each other.
  • Added more entries to the encylopedia.
  • New monsters: Orc, Hill Orc, Turtloid, and Large Turtloid.

Leech the file here [238k].

New artpack in this version, grab it here [14k].

Release 044 Mon April 6th, 2004
0:28:54 EDT
Woohoo! Artifact items in this release!

Any type of item may be artifact, so you may very well get a potion of blindness which has an extra shock attack :>

  • Added bows and arrows. Arrows fly better if launched from a bow.
  • catch gets conjugated to catches rather than catchs.
  • You now get feed back when a third party gains certain intrinsics (such as on fire, etc) that are visible. There may be double messages induced by this.
  • No longer "evade the troll's a club", it now is "evade the troll's club".
  • You can no longer dodge attacks while asleep or paralysed.
  • Dipping an item in a potion no longer destroys the item if the potion occurs later in the inventory than the item.
  • Fixed an infinite loop when determining if two monsters share a common master. This would cause crashes when summoning imps. I was on dungeon level 28 where I summoned an imp on a whim. And it crashed. I pay a high price for my lack of QA.
  • Can no longer polymorph the Black Heart.
  • Can no longer dip the Black Heart into acid and dissolve it.
  • Polymorphing a stack of items only polys the first item in the stack (instead of merging the stack into a single new item)
  • Items can be generated with initial stack sizes other than 1. Specifically, arrows in lots of 2d4.
  • You can name specific items in addition to itemtypes. This may seem like a pointless addition, but there are reasons for it.
  • Artifacts! One in a hundred items is a juicy randart. These provide any number of game unbalancing treats, including such nifty stuff as Life Saving.
  • Examine option on items. If the item is identified, you get a full listing of intrinsics, damage, etc. If the item is an artifact, it must be specifically identified. (Just cause you know spears doesn't mean you'll know The Spear Foobar! (Yes, there is The Spear Foobar :>))

Leech the file here [234k].

New artpack in this version, grab it here [13k].

Release 043 Mon March 22nd, 2004
0:32:58 EDT
I believe I have fixed that level crash from 042.
  • Acid Clouds now appear properly symmetrical. I don't know why I didn't finish drawing them.
  • When you can sense mobs outside your FOV, the shadow tile will have a letter to tell you HOW you managed to sense the mob. (Currently, this is always E for ESP, but will change.)
  • When the level below you has a boulder, you will no longer be unable to fall into that level. Similarly, cave levels with boulders will no longer trigger infinite loops in level generation.
  • Obviously, I haven't been playing with Adam Bolt's tile set, as I managed to corrupt it when I tried to add the new wands to it from the last artpack.
  • Steam is now a seperate smoke type from Smoke. Thus, boiling water now produced steam rather than smoke.
  • Potions of water can now have more interesting consequences when they hit things.
  • Two new creatures, kobold fighter and cave troll.
  • New Traps: Teleportation, smoke, and poison smoke.
  • Invisibility is less powerful: Creatures will charge where the last attack came from.
  • Your pets are less likely to turn on each other.

Leech the file here [229k].

New artpack in this version, grab it here [13k].

Release 042 Sun Mar 14th, 2004
23:19:00 EDT
WARNING: There is a game crashing bug with this version. Rarely, when descending ladders, the game will freeze being unable to place a ladder on the next level. (This is also the source of the "you find the hole is blocked" messages) This is pretty rare though, so you'll probably run into a bug I don't know about before you run into it :> 041 is free of this problem (as will 043).

Lots of tweaks in this release. Hunger may be a bit more annoying now, or maybe not. A fair bit of infrastructure changes - finally have stackability, which was designed in since day #1!

  • Baezl'bub's domain looks a bit different now. You likely want fire resistance before venturing here. Good news is those pesky yellow dragons likely won't live long.
  • Natural armour no longer stacks on worn armour. The portion matching worn armour only counts for 1/3rd. This primarily affects creatures that wear armour.
  • Entire new to-hit calculations. This is designed to reduce the effectiveness of insanely high values. It also allows the addition of useful armour use skills.
  • Regeneration & Invisibility from worn items now increases food consumption.
  • Any HP or MP regeneration will consume food.
  • Creatures will no longer be generated on top of boulders. Thus, you will no longer find packrat creatures carrying boulders around.
  • Armour skills & dodge skills to improve your performance in battle. Armour skills increase the chance of you getting good AC rolls.
  • Initial armour and weapon enchantments can (rarely) exceed +/-2.
  • Empty bottles are now always non cursed and non blessed.
  • Stackable items will now stack together. This means stuff like potions, knives, and scrolls will take less inventory area.
  • Knife is now properly pluralized as knives.
  • Breathless intrinsic for not requiring to breathe. A great intrinsic if you like the look of amulets of strangulation.
  • When you leave the inventory screen, the status line showing your hungry/aflame/etc state will be properly redrawn.
  • Out of breath truly changed to tired.
  • When viewing your gods requirements, the top set of arrows will point upwards rather than downwards when you are below the top line. (this sounds minor, but this fix actually coincided with completely changing how that all worked. For the better, I hope)
  • You no longer get a message when you step on a square with an open door. This was often mistaken by me to be an important message, and I'd keep doing a scroll back just to get a "You see an open door."
  • A few more rooms.
  • Belweir tries more than one spell type before giving up on teaching you a spell. This means you are less likely to have him refuse to give you a spell when one of your spell schools is full.
  • Klaskov and Quizar and H'ruth now can grant skills that can boost your armour proficiency.

Leech the file here [227k].

Release 041 Sun February 29th, 2004
23:09:32 EDT
The rebalancing of the gods in 040 seems to have gone relatively well. This version leaves them pretty much as is, and starts to clean up other aspects of POWDER. Necromancers will be elated at getting yet another spell in the Death school!
  • +1 mace will now capitalize into +1 Mace.
  • Failure to digest specifies the item rather than a generic "that".
  • Imps now leave a puff of smoke rather than a puf of smoke.
  • Breathing smoke now chokes you and has a chance of blinding you.
  • Red Dragons now breath fireballs, and don't reflect.
  • White dragon's ice breath no longer reflects.
  • Added Yellow dragons that breathe acid balls. You will likely want acid resistance.
  • Acidic creatures (such as slugs, yellow dragons, etc) gain stone resist now.
  • New death spell: Cloud Kill.

Leech the file here [223k].

New artpack in this version, grab it here [13k].

Release 040 Wed February 25th, 2004
22:19:10 EDT
As suggested in the last version, the gods were pretty crazy! Hopefully they will be a bit less crazy this time, but I hold no guarantees. My guess is that this is another easy release. (Well, provided you are entirely spoiled like me :>)
  • Boons from gods won't always be an enchantment on your sword. Other boons existed before, but a bug caused all the gods to go for enchantments (I had a barbarian ascend with a +43 flamings sword due to this :>)
  • Unstoning is now a possible boon.
  • Added an intro screen.
  • Added poison bolt spell for necromancers.
  • Fixed bug where spells costing less than 10 points granted no piety. Now all spells will grant at least one piety to those interested (ie: Sticky Flames, Regenerate)
  • Acidic corpses will stop the petrification process.
  • Teleport control is now part of Teleport, and the Blink spell has been added as another joined spell.
  • Summon Imp added as a death spell.
  • Transgressing is now not just a quick way to reset piety, but may have worse consequences.
  • Gods give preference to boons that will rescue you.

Leech the file here [220k].

Release 039 Sun February 15th, 2004
23:35:55 EDT
A rather significant change this version. I have added the first pass at both gods and classes. The two are intimately linked in POWDER.

One goal of POWDER is to require no up front character creation process, as that occurs before you know what you want to do. You thus select at the start of every level what your next level will be. The catch is that each level has a patron deity. You can only learn a level if you are well enough liked by the patron deity of that level.

Note that the gods of POWDER are not inherently jealous. You can receive benefits from more than one god at a time! However, their requirements may conflict...

The god code desperately needs balancing. You will probably enjoy a +20 weapon from Klaskov until Pax flamestrike you from no where and kills you instantly. Praying now merely tells the current god states for debugging purposes.

  • The Options and Tiles sub menus now properly remember your defaults when you go back to them.
  • Staff of curing has been rolled into the Staff of Healing and now a Staff of Death has been added.
  • Utility Staff now grants the ever-so-useful Direct Wind spell.
  • Moved a lot of code into separate .cpp files.
  • When you learn your weapon through use, it is reported in a more easily detectable fashion.
  • Instead of gaining Mental or Physical each level, you now can choose your class each level. You will see each class that you qualify for. You can always qualify for the "Adventurer" class. Each class other than Adventurer has a patron deity. Note that you are watched by _all_ deities.
  • You are now poisoned by eating poisoned things.
  • Removal of curses is more random now.
  • Cursing items now will curse inventory items if all equipped are cursed, and will not curse empty slots.
  • After cursing or uncursing, the curse status of the item is revealed.
  • Equipping a cursed item whose status was unknown will instantly alert you to it being cursed.

Leech the file here [188k].

Release 038 Tue February 3rd, 2004
0:25:26 EDT
More room improvements in this version. Most notably, every level (other than big room, of course) gets a special room.

Also, thanks to Zak's hard work, the Adam Bolt tileset has been mostly integrated to POWDER. It is an option off the Options menu. The Classic tileset should still be patchable by using the splice program.

  • Added SQUAREFLAG to the map definition so control over lighting can be fully specified in the custom maps.
  • Added INTRINSIC to map defintions so the intrinsics of created mobs can be specified in custom maps. This allows the creation of zoos where the monsters are initially asleep.
  • Added global variables to rooms to allow customization of their behaviour. Rooms can now have min/max levels, rarities, and flags to determine if stairs can be built inside them.
  • No longer use Ravenous Bug Bladder Beast of Traal logic for invisibility. Rather than a -4 attack penalty if your target can't see you, it is a -4 penalty if you can't see your target.
  • Rooms can now be generated dark.
  • Cavern and Maze levels now also get special rooms.
  • Added zoos. Fortunately for you, there is no noise now, so it should be free kills of the sleeping critters.
  • Using the [B] button on the extended pickup menu will abort the pickup request.
  • Thank's to Zak's recompilation, Adam Bolt's Angband tiles have been repurposed for POWDER. The Options menu lets you switch tilesets. Your current tileset is saved in the saved game file.

Leech the file here [179k].

Release 037 Sun Jan 18th, 2004
22:20:14 EDT
One cool improvement in this version is some user generated content! Zak has created three cool new rooms for your amusement. I've also started working on a system to let you patch in replacement graphics so anyone who wants to try and improve POWDERs base graphics can see the result quickly. No guarantees on when that'll be done - I ran into a few palette complexities I didn't expect.
  • Room entrances that are made of floor are no longer turned into water.
  • Prebuilt rooms can now specify mobs according to desired strength & create items based on type. Rat cave no longer guarantees iron torc & ruby ring, the specify ring and amulet are now random.
  • New rooms from Zak!
  • Kobold mages and kobolds no longer fight each other.
  • The macro mappings are saved in the save game. When you reload, you will get the same mappings for [L], [R], [A] and [B]. (Suggestion from Zak)
  • It's now "tome of petrification" rather than "tome of petfrification"
  • Map refreshes only occur just before the avatars move phase. This will help address the chopiness the speed system added in 036.
  • Eating bats now grants QUICK rather than FAST, as QUICK is what should be used for temporary speed.
  • Monsters will now use slow wands aggressively.
  • Sleep and sleep resistance added.
  • Sleep wands added.
  • Smoke & fluid only moves when there is some or the map has changed, hopefully improving speed.

Leech the file here [153k].

Release 036 Sun Jan 11th, 2004
23:28:52 EDT
The more observant may have noticed a profusion of plate mail in the last version. While I am careful to do a full build prior to a new release, I didn't realise the make clobber script wasn't deleting my room definitions. Thus, the room definitions had old ITEM_ values, and the one for ITEM_BOULDER happened to now match ITEM_PLATEMAIL, resulting in the ensuing hilarity. This particular problem has been dealt with.

  • Fix make process to using out of date ITEM_ defines.
  • At the suggestion of Zak, both the [L] and [R] buttons are mappable. The MiniMap action is available to restore their previous functionality, or to apply to other buttons.
  • Added a speed system. This is an integer based system, sort of a cross between the Moria mod system and the Nethack few levels system. I'm no fan of continuous speed scales. Thus, there are only three speed settings: Fast, Quick, and Slow. Each is independent from the others, and contributes about 33% speed. They add in the expected fashion - Slow + Quick = normal speed (but with a different move order!) All dynamic effects (regeneration, poison, monster spawn, etc) occur at constant speed regardless of your speed.
  • Speed Boots now work, and no longer have the (NYI) tacked after them.
  • Added wands of speed & slow monster.
  • Pluralization of Lich and Lizardman now correct.
  • Added speed intrinsics to various mobs. Bats are faster, slugs slower.
  • Greek fire now melts ice.
  • Torches can now be extinguished.
  • Burning water squares generates steam (well, smoke)
  • Burning water squares empties them of water and makes pits.
  • Lava and water fill adjacent pits.
  • Lava and water react when they meet.
  • Spell books have more charges.

Leech the file here [152k].

Release 035 Tue Jan 6th, 2004
0:12:41 EDT
Ouch! Cockatrice's were HARD in the last version! Mind you, I still managed to kill myself by being deadly poisoned by a Green Dragon which I had intentionally unpetrified.

The little bit about white potions not being drinkable is a left over from my not having cleaned up the potion code. It still was using ITEM_* tests rather than first classifying as MAGICTYPE_POTION. I've fixed the code so this particular embarassement shouldn't happen again.

  • Eating a cockatrice corpse will stone you.
  • You can now drink white potions.
  • Drinking acid clears stoning.
  • After dying, you get a list of all creatures that have died during your adventure.
  • Nouns ending in s, sh, o, x, or z, will no longer lose thier prefix/suffix clauses after pluralization.
  • Pluralization of mouse, child, and ox are now correct.
  • Potions of Enlightenment are added.
  • Stoning resistance added, so Cockatrices no longer have the unchanging intrinsic.
  • Stone to flesh stops stoning and provides temporary stoning resistance.
  • Petrify is a no-op with message when target resists stoning.
  • Trees now block LOS.
  • Added smoke, which blocks LOS.
  • Added smoke potions.
  • Luxes no longer leave corpses (they weren't supposed to, it was a test to make sure the corpse material worked that accidentally got left in)
  • There is now wind in the dungeons to move smoke. The Direct Wind spell allows you to control the wind direction (who knows, some day it may be useful)

Leech the file here [150k].

Release 034 Sun December 28th, 2003
20:17:57 EDT
Boulders, whose pushability was introduced in 033, have now been more robustly implemented. To go with the boulder theme, there are two new spells: Petrify and Stone to Flesh. They can be found under the Utility class.
  • Cannot push a boulder if doing so would run it into another boulder.
  • Boulders are always on the top of stacks, corpses on the bottom.
  • You cannot jump onto a boulder.
  • You cannot create a monster on a boulder.
  • Boulders are no longer generated as random monster loot.
  • Boulders act properly when the encounter pits, holes, and water or lava.
  • When describing items you are standing on, the last period will not be wrapped to a new line if it lies at the 31st character space.
  • Items can now be polymorphed.
  • A large stack of items is identified as "many items" rather than pages of text.
  • Intrinsics that are cleared on death are now once again listed on the death screen. They had been cleared a bit too early.
  • You are not notified of intrinsics cleared by death if it was a final death.
  • A new scrollable selection menu is present, which means long menus will no longer run off the edge of the screen.
  • Picking up when there is more than one item brings up a menu of the items there so you can pick which one you want to get.
  • If you are invisible and cannot see invisible, a stand in overlay is presented to tell where one is.
  • Mobs now have material types, which is used for determining if you can digest their corpses. Most, needless to say, are classified as flesh.
  • Wearing an amulet of unchanging while polymorphed no longer grants immortality.
  • New mob: The cockatrice. Try not to become a statue.
  • Some spells are clustered so they are always learned together. This includes Light/Dark and the new Petrify/Stone to Flesh.

Leech the file here [147k].

Release 033 Thu December 25th, 2003
18:27:22 EDT
  • Found a crashing bug when I tried to dip a poisoned evil ring of the missing finger named miss in acid. I may have fixed it.
  • When you die, various bad intrinsics such as poison, are cleared. This means you won't instantly die from them again when you res due to an amulet of life saving.
  • Corpses can now grant intrinsics. These are always temporary intrinsics, however. They also grant food value based on their size.
  • Pets which accidentally attack you won't then target themselves.
  • Pets remain tame after being polymorphed.
  • Out of sight explosions will not be drawn to the screen. The delay will also be skipped.
  • New potion: Greek Fire.
  • New room maps.
  • Boulders now block your movement. You can push them. This is still in prelimnary stages, so be careful with them!

Leech the file here [142k].

Release 032 Sun December 14th, 2003
21:39:19 EDT
Several fixes to this version. Most important new feature is the taming code. This makes the three useless spells now useful!

I also finally added hunger. It is different than most roguelikes though, tempered by my feelings of how it should behave. It will still be tweaked a lot in the future.

  • Empty bottles will now break on impact.
  • Blinding creatures with potions will announce that the creature is blinded, not that the potion is blinded.
  • You can no longer be paralysed by floating eyes when you are blind.
  • Identification of potions that break should be better.
  • If you see a monster read a scroll, you will be able to identify it.
  • Monsters no longer jump out of your back pocket - they are only generated out of sight. I may take this out if it makes things too easy, as one could lock oneself in a room for trouble free healing.
  • New intrinsic - tame, which allows mobs to be flagged as subservient to other mobs. This means the zombies & skeletons you raise are a tiny bit more useful. Mind you, they are no longer free exp, but you do get exp for people they kill.
  • In a bout of complete stupidity, my MAX(a, b) define actually returned the minimum of a & b. It has done so since at least 003. I have no idea how I didn't notice it before now.
  • Wands of polymorph are no longer mispelt polymoprh.
  • There are no longer items lying on the ground in the world level (level 0, after escaping the dungeon)
  • Killing yourself by throwing a weapon in the air will no longer teleport the weapon to a random place on the level.
  • Tamed mobs will follow their master through stairs if adjacent.
  • Angry mobs will follow their enemy through stairs if adjacent.
  • Sticky flames lasts an extra 3 turns, hopefully making it a bit more useful.
  • Air elementals fly, water elementals swim & waterwalk.
  • Various creatures that should, such as Kobold Mages, can now eat meat.
  • We now have hunger! Don't worry about starving to death, however. Currently, starving merely cancels out your natural regeneration effects.
  • When you unpolymorph, your appearance is reset to reflect changses in armour that occurred while polymorphed.
  • When you equip items, the unequipped item is moved to the inventory square your new item left. This makes it easier to swap items.
  • Equipping bottles changes your appearance.
  • In celebration of Nethack 3.4.3, I've nerfed the amulet of unchanging. Now it merely prevents poly and unpoly.
  • When you are polymorphed, you have a chance of reverting to your original state.
  • If you anger a mob in its polymorphed state, it no longer forgets about that when it reverts to its original peaceful form.
  • Re-polymorphing something no longer unpolymorphs it, but moves it to something entirely new.

Leech the file here [140k].

Release 031 Sun December 7th, 2003
0:00:01 EDT
Ouch! Previous release didn't allow loading to work. Needless to say, there won't be an ascension by me - I don't have the time to play 1:43 in one sitting...
  • Saving & Loading was broken. It works again.
  • Experience gained while polymorphed will apply to your base shape, as will increased levels.
  • Added more monsters. There exist challenges after Green Dragons now.
  • Being strangled will show up on the status line.
  • Seeing mobs drink potions will trigger identification.
  • Removed double-cast text for fireballs.
  • Potions that are thrown or wielded break when they hit things.
  • Mobs will be smarter about which potions they throw.

Leech the file here [138k].

Release 030 Thu December 4th, 2003
00:36:20 EDT
Maintaining my weakly schedule, here is 030. Amulets of unchanging are still horribly unbalancing (and deadly - poor test newbie got a cursed amulet of unchanging and then ran into a Lux! Ouch!)
  • Moved to HAM 2.8! For some reason, I've had entirely random version numbers for HAMlib. First I clamed 1.72, then 0.71, when in fact both times it was actually 2.71. This time it really is 2.8, honest.
  • Polymorph wands & rings. Both you and monsters can polymorph. Be warned you both follow the same rules!
  • Baezl'bub is slightly less abuseable, thanks to finally being able to experiment by polying into him. However, his movement code is definitelly still broken.
  • Creatures now have their own itemslot names. Rings will go on the claws of grid bugs, rather than the fingers. Headlesses will no longer put on helmets.
  • When you discover a trap by springing it, you no longer instantly trigger the trap a second time.
  • New MOB: The chameleon.

Leech the file here [136k].

Release 029 Sun Nov 23rd, 2003
23:35:36 EDT
This pass is an attempt to make the game a tad less munchkinish. It had got a bit easy to ascend, IMHO. Experimentation also showed 50 levels fit (barely) in the save game, so I'm trying for a 30 level adventure. Baezl'bub is now much deeper.
  • Previously, identifying bones or corpses would stop any more corpses or bones from telling you what the base creature was.
  • Revealing traps by searching sets them off, letting you reveal traps to the dismay of monsters on them!
  • Suddenly having the ground under you turn to water or lava will result in an insta-submerge.
  • Removed newbie bonus on experience gain. Low levels now take longer to gain.
  • Ray attacks that don't bounce off walls won't bounce off mirror shields. This means frost bolt ignores reflect items. (Previously, it would fizzle out for no good reason)
  • Items now show up on the ground.
  • Creatures now only have a 10% chance of carrying something. The goal is to reward exploration over killing.
  • Saving and reloading would cause all monsters in special rooms to be recreated (doubling the number of dragons, reflection shields, etc). This is now fixed. (I suspect this went unnoticed as the pre-creation would create the wrong dungeon, so wouldn't be able to place the mobs)
  • Creatures no longer haunt the corpse of their foes until they decay away. This also means you no longer will see dragons "Check their breath". I thought it cool the target-yourself message with breath weapons worked, however.
  • Trolls no longer have life saving...
  • ...but Trolls now self-resurrect from corpses.
  • Boneless creates (Ie, gelatinous cubes) don't leave bones.
  • Reworked entire dungeon layout. More roguelike levels now. Effective depth is now 30 rather than 15.

Leech the file here [136k].

Release 028 Mon Nov 17th, 2003
0:23:54 EDT
Entertaining set of messages this build:
@ moves beside brown slug
A brown slug zaps a wand of digging at ceiling.
Rocks fall from the ceiling onto a brown slug's head.
A brown slug bonks a brown slug.
A brown slug crumples into a heap!
Needless to say, my escape code wasn't foolproof.

This version sees rather substantial changes. To think I was worried it would be a minor release! The good news is I have some rather essential architectural improvements which allow the marshalling of Mob pointers. This basically means polymorphing and pets are now possible. This is currently demonstrated with corpses & resurrect.

  • When creatures flee with wands of digging, they will target the floor, not the ceiling.
  • When a wand targets the floor or ceiling, "zaps at the [ceiling|floor]" is reported rather than "zaps at [ceiling|floor]"
  • Only creatures with the zapwands AI will zap wands to escape danger.
  • Attempt to increase the tile cache size by using the production hamlib which avoids what I hope is an invalid assert. If we start getting black tiles rather than No Tiles, we'll know it didn't work.
  • Invisible creatures will no longer zap themselves with wands of invisiblity as a battle prep.
  • No longer have double space in death message when you are slain by a creature of the same level as you.
  • The death message for being killed by a creature will correctly use "an" and "a".
  • The spell "Chain Lightning" is now spelled correctly on the spell list.
  • You can now target yourself with aggressive spells (such as magic missile, frost bolt, etc)
  • Spam for map squares melting/freezing will be based off the square, not the person doing the melting/freezing. This means you will get the message if you see the square melt/freeze, not if you see the mob that is doing it.
  • When you fail to load a game because the current game is too advanced, you no longer have the quick-key set to L.
  • When you save & reload, mobs remember their ai target. This means they will still attack you if they hated you. The same occurs on changing levels - changing levels no longer clears mob hate lists.
  • When I fixed the book-learning erasing your intrinsic knowledge of spells, I broke the load/save. Since release 024, saving & loading will turn all your temporary intrinsics into permament ones. This is now fixed.
  • Saving & reloading & changing levels now preserves the "inflictor" bits on intrinsics. This means credit for kills with poison will work past these events.
  • Floating Eyes now fly rather than walk.
  • Your attack bonus when attacking with spells is based on your magic die, not your hit die. Wizards should be more playable in the end game.
  • YAMT: Staves. Rare and powerful staves grant a large array of spells when wielded.
  • The Sunfire spell no longer destroys up or down ladders. You can no longer strand yourself in the dungeon by a mis-application.
  • Kobold Mages have more variable magic points.
  • Baazl'bub now has a magic repetoire. Now that he heals himself, he may not be beatable. Have fun trying!
  • Mobs no longer can throw equipped items. It's only fair as you can't do this.
  • Mobs no longer throw rings.
  • Mob spell choice is now more random - they are not guaranteed to always cast, or always cast from most powerful.
  • Added new creature: Skeletons!
  • The "a" vs "an" determination is now a tad bit more clever. No longer confused by words such as "utility" or "honorable". Still likely confused by many other words, though :>
  • New mobs: Skeletons, zombies, ghasts, liches, vampire bats, and imps.
  • New amulet: Amulet of Unchanging.
  • Slain foes can now leave corpses, which in time decay to bones, and then disappear.
  • Ouch! Major error in my seed saving/restoring code meant I had lost almost all the map compression I thought was going on. Save files should be much smaller now. This has been broken since Release 009, the very release after I made the saves so small. *sigh* It is good news, as I was getting worried at my large save sizes for my ascension characters. This is a good thing, as the corpses can only bloat my item count.
  • Creatures now spam when they cast spells, so you see the spell cast as well as the effect.
  • Creatures now spam when they climb stairs.
  • New spells! Resurrect, raise skeletons, and raise zombies, are all pretty useless. However, they do work. Finger of Death is pretty cool. I look forward to using it on Baazl'bub before it is nerfed.

Why is the file size smaller? There are even more graphics than before! Woe is me!

Leech the file here [135k].

Release 027 Tue Nov 4th, 2003
0:08:44 EDT
As my warnings on the last release hinted, there were a couple serious problems. I hadn't fixed the level problem after all. And, I had managed to just screw up creature generation farther. The new approach will hopefully result in a much easier game.

That all being said, I almost ascended the last version - I had got back to level 6 with Baezl'bub's heart in hand, when a moment of inattention with an ice demon cost me my life.

  • Bad news: The bug I had found with the map linking wasn't the cause of the lost maps. Good news: I found the actual problem and have fixed it. The problem was actually with the save/load code, which is why it only showed up in serious play.
  • I had actually reversed the comparison of threatlevel and explevel in my mob spawn probability, thus VASTLY increasing the chance of high level mobs. I have thrown out that mechanism and gone to one close to what someone described Crawl's as. There is now a 1 in 5000 chance of any mob being generated. Otherwise, you can get at most 2 levels higher than the threat level, and everything below the threat level has equal chance. This should make things a lot easier. The only big caveat is that the explevels of mobs are rather randomly generated, so just cause something is in your threat range doesn't mean you can kill it :>

Leech the file here [137k].

Release 026 Mon November 3rd, 2003
00:46:23 EDT
This is the release where I take advantage of all my hard work long ago. All player actions have been abstracted as actionCast, actionZap, etc. This has kept the UI entirely separated from the actual implementation. Thus, when I finally have got around to doing some more AI, it is quite trivial to chain together the proper actions I want.
  • Reworked the spawn probablity tables. Should be a tad less likely to start off facing a White Dragon. (WARNING: Pre-release testing suggests I may have just screwed things up farther. You have been warned)
  • There exists a bug where on the way back up the dungeon, you will lose a large section of it. I fixed something serious that may be the cause of it. Or may not be. In the mean time pretend it is Angband.
  • The look command now reports on tiles as you move over them, rather than just your final tile. This is modelled after the x command in Crawl.
  • Creatures that use items (trolls, kobolds, lizardmen) will now also use wield weapons as well as wear armour. They also now, depending on their intelligence, upgrade their weapons and armour.
  • The hashed shadow is now used for stuff that is not in LOS in addition to stuff that is dark. This lets one tell what is within one's field of view. It also means that Luxes aren't given away by lighting out of sight squares.
  • You can name item types. So if you figure out a ring is likely shock resistance, feel free to call it "shock".
  • Trying to remove evil boots will report that they are evil, not that it is evil.
  • The third person conjugation of "try" is now "tries" rather than "tr#es". For those counting, this is the second attempt to fix this.
  • Creatures that can use items can now also throw them.
  • Creatures can now zap wands.
  • Creatures can now read scrolls.
  • Creatures can now drink potions.
  • Creatures can now cast spells.
  • New Headless creature. Currently they can wear helms. That'll have to be fixed.
  • New Kobold Mage. Needless to say, this dude has spells.

Leech the file here [137k].

Release 025 Sat October 25th, 2003
11:55:05 EDT
One quarter of the way there!
  • Added concept of being well dressed. Certain clothing combinations will grant implicit bonuses as they are considered complimentary.
  • Unused exits of prebuilt rooms are not always plugged with walls, they are now plugged with a neigbouring tile to make it less obvious that they are artificial.
  • Empty squares in premade maps will no longer be lit.
  • Premade rooms can now have guaranteed creatures & items.
  • When you miss something with a thrown weapon, it keeps going.
  • Reflex attacks (such as floating eye-paralysis) does not get triggered with non-melee attacks (throwing stuff, wands, spells, etc)
  • Added the gelatinous cube. Don't leave your +7 silver spear lying around for them to eat!
  • The look of the empty inventory slot is no longer bright blue, but a more pleasing gunmetal grey. Hopefully this results in less pain at seeing POWDER screenshots.
  • Minor Heal is changed to Regenerate. It grants one the regeneration ability, but also the magic drain intrinsic which prevents normal magic recovery.
  • In quest for perfect conjugation, pluralized items will now properly glow, dissolve, shudder, and heal.
  • The look command reports extra information. It gives a rough idea of the general health of the monster. It also does a /con - it roughly indicates how hard it would be to fight the monster. Keep in mind that the explevel of the mobs were largely chosen at random, so may not actually reflect the difficulty.

Leech the file here [134k].

Release 024 Mon October 13th, 2003
22:36:06 EDT
Good news: I did manage to lick the late game slowness in my last release.

Bad news: I never managed to ascend in the last release. I did manage to pickup Baezl'bub's black heart, but never managed to bring it anywhere. Hopefully the new Slow Poison will nerf Green Dragons enough that an ascension will be trivial.

New news: Misc bugfixes in this release again. Along with some more serious stuff. First pass at pre-defined rooms, each plain roguelike level gets one special room from a predefined list. The rooms are defined in plain text .map files with the appropriate legend part of the file. The other big change is my first step towards more advanced AI. Thanks to the avatar-neutral mob representation, it was pretty easy to allow certain types to wear & wield whatever they may find. Before you ask, no, their icon doesn't change. There is no way I'm making overlay icons for all the different mobs :>

  • No longer will you be warned about the dangers of playing with "a you". A better message is now generated.
  • After losing a game that was doing VERY well due accidentally hitting Load, I've added the precaution that you can't load games after 100 game turns. I can't really think of any reason why you'd want to load a game and waste your character - at least finish him off first!
  • Cancelling a throw or a zap after getting the direction menu will no longer consume an action.
  • Reading a book of FOO when you have FOO granted by a level gain won't cause you to lose knowledge of FOO when the book's time expires.
  • Slow poison in its old form (halving all poison durations) was deemed useless. It now grants temporary poison resistance, so even when one has Cure Poison it would be very useful.
  • Have random rooms that can show up on roguelike levels. Each level gets one special room that is defined by a hard coded map file.
  • When Baezl'bub dies, he won't leave un-enterable squares everywhere but where he drops his heart. (You could work around this by changing levels)
  • Added concept of loot to mobs, that lets the source file specify guaranteed loot for specific creatures. This is how Baezl'bub now gets his black heart rather than having it hard coded.
  • You can no longer close doors while monsters stand on them.
  • You can no longer close doors when there are items in the way.
  • Put space after "Being dead, you do nothing."
  • Trolls, kobolds, and lizardmen will all now pick up and wear/wield items. They are pretty stupid about it.

Leech the file here [132k].

Release 023 Sat October 4th, 2003
16:46:39 EDT
Yay! I'm pretty sure I got the late-game slow down this time. I had suspicions it was my hasIntrinsic(), but I didn't test with both large numbers of mobs & large number of items in the avatar's inventory. Things should run zippity all the way to Baaz'lbub now.

This is a bit more important now that merely getting to him and killing him is not sufficient :> He's also poison resist, so green dragons should be less likely to knock him off for you.

  • Wands of create monster identify on successful use. I lost a promissing character who had ided them with a white dragon when he reused one and created a green dragon.
  • "Fur-lined boots falls into a pit" now properly reads "Fur-lined boots fall into a pit".
  • Wands of invisibility only make you invisible for a certain length of time (100-250 turns), not forever.
  • Poisoned weapons now poison the target, not the user of the weapon.
  • Added mazes
  • Added lakes to caverns, and ability to have lit caverns.
  • Reworked the level map choice. It is now a fixed sequence (no more 50% chance of caverns). You have guaranteed roguelikes for first 3 levels - experience shows the controlled nature of roguelike levels should result in fewer early deaths.
  • Frogs can now swim.
  • If you can water walk, you are guaranteed to be able to get to the surface when submerged in liquid.
  • Trying to jump without jump boots still takes a turn.
  • Keep a worn intrinsic block for mobs that have equipped items that grant intrinsics. This means checking intrinsics is no longer proportional to the number of items carried.
  • The old orc icon has been determined to look more like a troll, so troll it now is. It also gets regeneration & life saving as a result, so don't expect them to windshield quite so easily as before.
  • Lava should show up dark red on the minimap rather than dark green.
  • Now it is not sufficient to just kill Baezl'bub, you have to take his black heart back up to the surface world.
  • Tweaked exp to make early levels be gained much faster.
  • You can no longer read spellbooks which you don't have enough maximum mana or maximum hp to cast. No more wasting Sunfire on your newb.
  • The last choice made on the inventory menu (ie: throw, equip, read, etc) is remembered and the next item will default to that, if it has that option. This makes repeated throwing and repeated dropping a bit easier.

Leech the file here [130k].

Release 022 Sun September 28th, 2003
22:25:29 EDT
YAMT (Yet another magic type): Boots. I suspect the fur-lined boots will be the most popular for cold resist.

I've also worked a fair bit on efficiency issues. I had noted that the late game, when levels started to get full, started to slow down. I'm still ascending at 100 moves per minute, so clearly not TOO slow :> To forestall anything tragic, I've cleaned up some of the most inefficient routines. Unfortunately, I suspect I may have introduced bugs in the process.

I've also addressed a game balance problem I've found - mid level monsters are too rare, so dragons show up too early, IMO. We'll see if the new monsters address this concern, or if you end up wishing the dragons were back.

  • Wands of Create Monster and Create Trap.
  • Torches now show up in the left hand in the minitile.
  • More types of boots. Now there are also magic boots!
  • You can walk on water.
  • You can jump.
  • Huge rearchitecture of MOB & ITEM lists in the MAP, which will no doubt add new bugs. I'm hoping it will address the late game slowness.
  • Added more mid level monsters: kobolds, orcs, lizardmen, and frogs. Beware frogs, as they can jump :>

Leech the file here [126k].

Release 021 Sun September 21st, 2003
21:12:03 EDT
This version sees all the pits, water, and lava, introduced in the previous version properly integrated. No more falling into pits because you saw a mace there - you won't see the mace unless you climb into the pit!

Also, thanks to skimming RGRD, I've dropped in the spell Sunfire. This ridiculously overpowered spell is controlled by a long time out - it leaves you breathless. You also might want to investigate fire resistance or make sure you have a wand of ice before casting it.

  • Wandering monsters now have a 25% chance of just staying where they are. This is because the always move was too predictable, and made it very difficult to line up diagonals.
  • Grid bugs now wander in diagonals. They will also more robustly attack and move on diagonals in corridors.
  • MOBs will now attack entities on squares they can't necessarily move on to.
  • Bats now fly. :>
  • When in a pit, you can only see one square away. Likewise, you can only see mobs in pits if they are one square away.
  • Fixed bug where if creatures were generated on pits, fell into them, and died, the game could crash.
  • You can now go swimming in the water. Be warned you are not a strong swimmer, and drowning is not pleasant.
  • Climbing while submerged will try to bring you to the surface.
  • You need to get to the surface before you can move to dry land.
  • Chain Lightning now costs 50 mp rather than 1.
  • Wands of digging zapped upwards can be useful if you manage to get buried alive.
  • After dying, your starting equipment will show up on the map.
  • Items can be either below or above grade. You thus won't see stuff in pits unless you climb into them, same for water. Items can thus also be buried.
  • The third person conjugation of "try" is now "tries" rather "trRANDOMJUNKes".
  • "The wizard FOO's death..." rather than "The wizard FOO death..."
  • Victory message when it takes more than an hour is more positive if you at least beat Baezl'bub.
  • Shortened and varied the newbie death message, as one sees it so often.
  • New spell: Identify. This useful spell costs 100 XP to use, however, so don't go throwing out those scrolls just yet. Good news is it is low level utility spell.
  • New spell: Sunfire. Grabbed from Hansjorg Malthaner on RGRD, this spell provides a useful way to test the new lava code.
  • Diving under water will put out any flames on you.
  • Walking on lava will damage you, and may set you aflame.
  • Added torches. They are always burning currently.
  • You now have a chance of figuring out the bonus on your weapon after using it for a while.

Leech the file here [124k].

Release 020 Sun September 14th, 2003
22:24:59 EDT
Some important bugfixes in this release. Some are minor issues that have annoyed me for a while. Others are fresh and new problems.
  • Cancelling spell selection will not longer set your default spell to index -1, which would lead to possible crashes when you next cast a spell.
  • No longer grant experience for suiciding. I noticed this when I gained a level by suiciding :>
  • Unexplored area on the minimap now shows up a different colour than rock walls. This should make it easier to figure out what one has explored on cave levels. Also changed pits to cyan and ladders to green. I will likely have to play with this a bit farther - I think it is now too subtle on the GBA hardware (and I have a builtin light!)
  • When spellbooks auto-id from reading, they no longer also id their charges.
  • When amulets of life saving are used within visual range, they get ided.
  • "The neophyte FOO's reputation is sullied by an ignoble death.i" now properly doesn't have the trailing i.
  • When you see creatures fall into holes you will get the appropriate message.
  • Hidden pits, spiked pits, and holes can now be found.
  • You take damage from falling into pits & spiked pits.
  • The current state line reports if you are currently on fire.
  • "Breathless" has been changed to "Tired".
  • There are now water squares (generated on the special River level on depth 13) which can be frozen & the ice then melted. You will thus need digging, teleportation, or freezing, to get to Baezl'bub.
  • Tweaked dragon breath rates - they should breathe noticably less.

Leech the file here [120k].

Release 019 Fri September 12th, 2003
22:53:36 EDT
Fast update this time. I had forgotten to actually compile in the graphics for the new monsters, so one got attacked by a bunch of merciless black squares :> This is one of the reasons that it takes me so long to build a release - quality assurance - and to think I still fail so mightily.
  • Dragons other than Green and Blue and the Ice Daemon now have proper graphics. I hope.
  • White Dragon breath will now "freeze" you rather than "burn" you.

Leech the file here [120k].

Release 018 Thu September 11th, 2003
23:40:23 EDT
A few miscellenous balance changes. A few bug fixes. And a massive toning down of the power of the fireball spell. Apologies to those who got used to it :>

You should be VERY careful of the Green Dragons in this version.

  • Spellbooks now have 1d3 charges.
  • Reading a scroll of remove curse while nothing is cursed will now say: "You feel as if someone were helping you." rather than "You feel as if someone were helping your." (Thanks to R. Alan Monroe for catching this!)
  • Rebalanced the dragons - added more types, changed green to poison from fire, changed damage & health.
  • Added ice daemons.
  • Properly award experience & credit for deaths caused by poison and setting people aflame. Specifically, the last one to set an intrinsic gains responsibility for damage caused by that intrinsic. This is currently not saved. This likely makes sticky flames the best spell. It also, however, means that sticky flames will properly aggravate monsters.
  • The chain reaction fireball has been removed, as it was considered silly :> Perhaps as a higher spell someday.
  • Scrolls of fire now do an area attack so are somewhat useful. At least to those with fire resistance or HP to burn (quite literally :>)
  • The last spell cast is recalled, so when you go to recast the menu defaults appropriately.

Leech the file here [118k].

Release 017 Sun September 7th, 2003
21:05:23 EDT
We've got to 100% spell implementation. At this point I'll just have to add more unimplemented spells. As a warning, the current attack spells are likely unbalanced. The good news is that it is likely in your favour.
  • Climbing thin air no longer consumes a turn (I lost two promissing characters this way!)
  • Found a class of Baezl'bub errors - instead of finding a random location which was double size, I found one which allowed mobs. One double size Baezl'bub error down, infinite to go.
  • Added wands of digging
  • The status bar now shows the total number of moves. The total playtime is now also tracked & reported at the end of a game. I'll finally know how long it takes to ascend.
  • Fixed bug where suicides could lead to crashes.
  • All spells now implemented. Feel free to learn the attack school.
  • Added Chain Lightning spell.
  • Renamed Burning Hands to Sticky Flames.
  • You now start with 10 magic points, so discovering a tome on your first level isn't so embarrassing.
  • You now always start on the up staircase rather than some random location on the first level.
  • Added cavernous levels. Half the levels are now cavernous, which will likely prove to have been a bad idea :>

Leech the file here [118k].

Release 016 Wed September 3rd, 2003
0:06:42 EDT
This is a very minor patch to correct the most deadly of the mistakes in the last release.
  • Green snakes actually attack now.
  • Poison should actually expire now.

Leech the file here [114k].

Release 015 Mon August 25th, 2003
10:49:06 EDT
I think my last changes made the beginning game a tad difficult. At least, I wasted a lot of newbies before I managed to ascend. This version promises to have a different difficult level. I don't know if it will be harder or easier :>

One thing that is easier is you are now guaranteed a piece of armour and a weapon.

  • Added more monsters: Cave Spider, Giant Spider, Green Snake.
  • Added more amulets: Poison Resistance
  • Poison resistance now does something.
  • Poison has final damage
  • Paralysis shows up on the status bar
  • Potions only id if they do something.
  • Dipping stuff into poison potions now works.
  • Added item types. This allows the code to seperate classes of items internally.
  • Changed probability of item generation. No longer are all items equally likely, instead classes of items, and specific items, can have different probabilities. Mirrored shields are now rarer, as are amulets, etc.
  • Mobs also have a rarity, so they can be biassed according to how rare the mob should be. This means Baez'lbub will no longer spawn outside of his special dungeon.
  • Initial random seed is a tad more random.
  • Starting equipment of a weapon, an armour, and a completely random item. Hopefully this will make new characters last longer.
  • Added spellbooks.

Leech the file here [114k].

Release 014 Mon August 18th, 2003
11:32:11 EDT
I actually implemented the pseudo-code I posted on, and thus we now have many of the creatures in POWDER acting more aggressively.
  • Knock spell is implemented.
  • Light and Dark spells have flavour text.
  • Removed redundant teleport message from teleport spells.
  • Removed flicker on the item name "Holy wand of teleport (9)" when viewed on the victory screen.
  • You will now always get a new spell on mental level if any in that path are unlearned.
  • Gridbugs can move & attack on diagonals.
  • Monsters do not always prefer the x direction when chasing.
  • Many monsters are more aggressive.
  • Floating Eyes will paralyse whenever their reflex attack succeeds.
  • Wandering monsters don't bump into walls. This means they will move faster.

Leech the file here [111k].

Release 013 Tue August 12th, 2003
11:03:29 EDT
Magic is *slowly* becoming more useful. At least now cure poison and slow poison are implemented :>
  • Your current state is now listed above the status line. This will inform you of statuses such as being blind, breathless, or dead.
  • Strength of heal potions and duration of blindness potions now varies according to their cursed state.
  • Added poison.
  • You no longer can go above your max hit points with heal potions or heal scrolls.
  • Cure and Slow Poison now work.
  • Added paralysis & freedom (though no way to get latter)
  • Added floating eyes & scorpions.

Leech the file here [110k].

Release 012 Sun August 10th, 2003
11:37:34 EDT
As predicted, there was a delay to this release. I got the performance fixes I wanted. I've also finally got the win screens, though be warned they are not well tested as I haven't go that deep yet :>

I've also done the first pass at magic. Most spells don't do anything, but I am convinced the architecture is now there. All that is left is the hard part - filling in the details.

  • Added FOV data to the tile map to cache lines of sites for the avatar, allowing for faster LOS lookups.
  • No longer hear monsters that have a direct LOS, but are beyond the current view (the big room is now quieter)
  • Rays are only drawn if they are in the FOV of the avatar.
  • Ray effects, such as bouncing, are only reported if they are in the FOV of the avatar.
  • Rays only trigger a delay when they are in the FOV of the avatar.
  • Intrinsics, both permament and timed, are now restored properly when you save & restore.
  • Add winning message when Baezl'bub bites it.
  • List intrinsics on death or winning.
  • Allow the user to see the ided inventory on winning or death.
  • Add Zap at the top level as a command, along with many spells. Most report Not Yet Implemented, however.

Leech the file here [109k].

Release 011 Mon July 21th, 2003
11:35:54 EDT
Oops! Turns out that if you reloaded a game, the dragons would lose thier immunity to their own weapon. This isn't that bad. The bad part is that if they kill themselves with their breath attack, the game crashes.

My binary size actually went down this release for the first time! I must add more content...

  • Rewrote the tile management to use one unified tile architecture. This means the tiles left now shows the number of 8x8 tiles, not 16x16, free. It also means the game starts with 71 16x16 tiles free! I'm going have to look into why I can't get more. I should have a minimum of 32k of tile memory, which should be 512 8x8 tiles, giving 128 16x16s.
  • Dragons killing themselves with breath weapons no longer crashes.
  • Now have a NO TILE graphic to show up rather than blank tiles when we run out of tiles.
  • Now we redraw after you move and before the NPCs move, allowing their rays to obviously hit you.

Leech the file here [104k].

Release 010 Sun July 20th, 2003
0:13:59 EDT
Some UI alterations in this release. Didn't get the Options menu I was thinking of (turn off key repeat, swap A & B for VBA users), but did manage to tweak the keyrepeat down for non-arrow keys. Spent some time on graphics - unfortunatley that means I'm hitting my tile limit faster. If you start getting black tiles you have the fancy weapons to thank for it.

In other news, dragons have breath weapons! Yay! The bad news is that the ray drawing shows that my current update cycle doesn't show the avatar moving until after the dragon's move is complete. *sigh*

  • "Your boots glows silver" now will read "Your boots glow silver".
  • "a holy bottle of water" and "an evil bottle of water" now read "a bottle of holy water" and "a bottle of unholy water", as it is the water that is holy or unholy, not the bottle.
  • A bug with my txt->C converter made all wands except teleport and nothing have 3 charges rather than 3d5 charges. They now have 3d5 charges until I find better values.
  • Flaming Swords now have both the slash and burn damage tied to the same attack roll rather than having two attack rolls. Death slugs continue to have two attack rolls for stab/slime as they are separate attacks.
  • Flaming Swords now have a light radius of 2.
  • You can no longer move on diagonals even when being extremely precise. It was never particularly intended, and just led to frustration.
  • Key repeat on A, B, L, and R has been toned down to the same rate as Select and Start. This should reduce some problems with people's tap speeds.
  • Tile graphics for all the weapons.
  • Dragons can breathe fire and lightning depending on their type. (Blue dragons are now lightning rather than cold)

Leech the file here [105k].

Release 009 Sun July 13th, 2003
23:14:44 EDT
This release has ironed out lots of little annoyances. Mind you, the new code for Baezl'bub has definitely added quite a few known bugs :>
  • Added a bunch more monsters.
  • Baelz'bub is now much, much, bigger!
  • New miniicons for all the shields.
  • I figured out how to scam the state out of the RNG. Thus we are back to the standard RNG. No more blaming the RNG for your bad games!
  • The next message can be triggered by hitting any button, not just the R button.
  • The message restore functionality is a bit more powerful. Now L gets the previous message, up to 6 messages ago, and R gets the next message. If at the end of the queue, either one will trigger the minimap. This means that the minimap is effectivel on R now.
  • There is a new action, Use (u). This one will instantly bring up the inventory menu so long as the action key is held. Releasing the action key will then trigger the context sensitive menu for the selected item (or quit back if no item). This can streamline wand workflow, for example.
  • Played with the context sensitive menu orders to get the most common used actions first. Thus, potions quaff, scrolls read, and wands zap. Hope you have learned to tap lightly :>
  • Reworked the order of items in your equipment slots. Neck now occurs after Head (good for uncursing those amulets of strangulation), and Body between the hands & rings.
  • When you start an equip action, it will autoselect the best itemslot.
  • When you swap positions with a friendly, you don't get a description which suggests you enter the square while the friendly is still there.
  • Description text is given after teleporting.
  • Moving onto unknown squares while blind won't trigger "You know nothing of this spot." spam.
  • Stepping onto the loot dropped by a Lux when blind will describe the loot now.
  • You can see yourself when blind. (But not when invisible)
  • You start with 15 hp. Might live a bit longer now.
  • Damaging monsters with wands will aggravate them now.
  • I now have a solid earth type for void squares, so it is clear the difference between mapped and unmapped squares. I think this will go some way to fixing the confusion that was being caused.

Leech the file here [102k].

Release 008 Mon June 30th, 2003
23:29:34 EDT
I've been playing around with the save code this version. Lots of fun. I finally got to demonstrate the efficacy of saving the map seed rather than the entire map.
  • Optimized save load code a bit. Start value saving was 1630 bytes before. Converted to byte saving & added oracles to mob & item saving, it dropped to 921 bytes. Then I added oracles for map saving, and it plumetted to 479. Noting the zerotable overhead was 384 bytes for 3 blocks, I then tackled the zerotable header. This was addressed by simply compressing the zerotable with the compression algorithm itself. This would be avoided if the zerotable was under 20 bytes, so would usually save the 128 byte zerotable as another zerotable of 16 bytes. For this, the default start size was 180 bytes. This puts my estimated number of levels in 32k at 110.
  • After loading, your appearance is rebuilt.

Leech the file here [101k].

Release 007 Sun June 29th, 2003
22:57:59 EDT
Another week, another release. This week saw my computer overheating, and me spending more time sailing than coding on POWDER. I managed to do a few adminstrivia stuff. And add save/loading.
  • Finally upgraded to HAM 0.71, which allows me to link in the splash screen free version of the library. Apologies to those who found it the best part of my game.
  • Found a ROM fixer, so hopefully my ROM will show the proper name instead of "Unknown". Props go to Dark Fader / BlackThunder.
  • Add Save and Load to start menu, which do what they suggest. Compression is still not optimal, you will likely run out of save space (64k, I cap writing at 63000 bytes) after about 30 levels. Note saving doesn't reset your current game. This is TEMPORARY. At some future point, it will be Save & Quit. And Load will be Load & Delete.
  • Looking will no longer give a Zap prompt immediately afterwards.

Leech the file here [99k].

Release 006 Mon June 23rd, 2003
23:19:37 EDT
Lots of fun stuff this release! After much work, I got bouncing-ray code in place, so thus could add a whole slew of wands. You will also find something to place around your neck. Just be careful it is not the last thing you place around your neck!

  • Shuddering & dissolving weapons through enchantments produces the correct text.
  • Strangulation and Life saving supported.
  • Added Amulets.
  • Doing actions off the inventory menu will run your own heartbeat code as well as everyone elses. Previously, it would skip your own heartbeat.
  • Added wands.
  • Added a license. Kept it on the strict side, as I'd like anyone who wants a freer license to contact me.

Leech the file here [92k].

Release 005 Tue June 17th, 2003
21:55:57 EDT
Well, it seems I was foolish to brag about no known unknown bugs. I barely started to play it when I discovered a few issues, one of which was rather serious...

  • Snakes and Dragons now properly wander. I hadn't fully implemented the new AI type I had added for them.
  • "Your a warhammer glows silver" now reads "Your warhammer glows silver".
  • "You drop a evil silver dagger" now reads "You drop an evil silver dagger"
  • Items for which the enchantment is known, but curse state not, will properly give the enchantment value in the inventory menu.
  • Weapons will auto-id enchantmnet level when enchanted.

Leech the file here [86k].

Release 004 Mon June 16th, 2003
22:56:50 EDT
Minor changes since the last release...

  • Invisible Stalkers can See Invisible.
  • Scrolls of Enchant Weapon and Enchant Armour
  • Armour and weapons now have, and use, enchantment.

Leech the file here [86k].

Release 003 Fri June 13th, 2003
22:58:50 EDT
Numerous changes since the last drop:

  • Items of acid resistance no longer dissolve in acid.
  • Can no longer read while blind.
  • Starting equipment is ided.
  • Fixed tile leak on changing levels.
  • New Look command allows telepath to be much more useful.
  • Giant Rat added.

Leech the file here [85k].

Release 002 Mon June 2nd, 2003
0:38:06 EDT
The last release was a bit deadly. The blindness potions never wore off, and didn't behave well dipping. This release better implements blindness. It also adds lots of mini tiles so you should be better dressed.

Leech the file here [84k].

Release 001 Sat May 31st, 2003
20:31:41 EDT
This is the first release of the POWDER rom. It still has the HAMlib intro screen as I'm too lazy to upgrade to the 1.72 I bought :> Besides, many have commented the intro screen is the best thing about it.

The release numbers will increment until we get to 100, at which point POWDER will be complete. Yeah right :>

This version is playable, but has my first iteration of tile management (I hit the VRAM maximum :<) so YMMV. There is no limit to the stuff I need to still do, but I have to draw the line somewhere for an initial release.

In the meantime, be REALLY careful drinking potions.

Leech the file here [82k].

Copyright © 2003-2009 Jeff Lait
All product names are the trademarks of their respective owners. All material is reserved by Ytinasin, and any copying should be performed after appropriate permissions is received. Beware of squirrels travelling after midnight.