Improved ADOM Guidebook

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Banshee G

Level: 1, DV: 40, PV: 2, Hits: 200, Attacks: 2, Damage: 2d8+6, Speed: 100.
The Banshee is found on a level ranging from D: 22-24. The level can be immediately recognized by a message referring to sorrow and death, and a great amount of corpses located all over the dungeon floor. The Banshee is an undead spirit in ghost form. She pines for her lost husband. Her wail is instantly fatal to most who come into her proximity. She is always found in a room in the center of the level.

PCs can protect themselves in several ways. Deafness is one. Deafness can be achieved by Using beeswax. This plugs the PC's ears, making her deaf until it is removed with the clean Ears command. Another way is by drinking a potion of deafness. Potions of deafness wear off, but the effects of an uncursed potion of deafness will last long enough to kill the Banshee. Beware of blessed potions of deafness. They cure deafness rather than causing it. Using either method, the Banshee can then be attacked safely.

An amulet of protection from undead mitigates the damage a PC takes from the Banshee. It changes from an instant death to 20d15 damage per round.

It has been observed from experiments in the Animated Forest (see below for more on this) that the death zone surrounding the Banshee is four dungeon squares (three diagonally). If a PC keeps her distance, it is possible to kill the Banshee from afar. In fact, it is not necessary to kill the Banshee at all. If the PC zaps a wand of digging to create a diagonal corridor to her room, then lures her out while keeping her distance, it will eventually be possible to teleport to the down staircase in the center of the level. Just don't forget she's still on the level on the way back. ;-)

Alternatively, a male character can wield (in a weapon slot, not a ring slot) a wedding ring. In this case he will still hear the Banshee's wail, but it does not damage him. The Banshee is still hostile, however. The Banshee's wail is displayed to a male PC wielding a wedding ring as follows by the game:

"The banshee regards you in astonishment. "My beloooovvveed huuuusbaaaaaaaaaaannnd!""

Beware of trying to lead the Banshee around while wielding a wedding ring. While her wail can be exploited (see below), this is a dangerous practice. The wedding ring only works while the Banshee can see the PC, so leaving her line of sight for even a single turn can be fatal.

The Banshee routinely shrugs off bolt spells, but can eventually be killed using them. She is not difficult to kill in melee.

Players have exploited the properties of the Banshee by having her follow a deaf PC around. Her wail kills many monsters. For example, the trees in the Animated Forest are vulnerable to the Banshee's wail. Not anymore. As might be imagined, dozens of trees dying every few turns leads to some very nice treasure. The downside is that the Banshee will become very experienced very quickly, thus making her much more difficult to dispatch should the need arise. Luring her to Dwarftown causes immediate alarm; the whole city will be hostile. Monsters immune to her wail are undead, constructs, most uniques, and shopkeepers. And plants. Banshees can be wished for.

Updated March 10th, 2013