Re: -Crawl- Yet Another Newbie Post
- From: "Erik Piper" <erik@xxxxxx>
- Date: 9 Aug 2005 06:51:38 -0700
> Erik Piper wrote:
> > Ilyak wrote:
> > > I don't like pure fighters (at all, may play one only if he tends to be
> > > very strange fighter), so I'm trying playing few fighter-mages and
> > > mages characters.
> > Tastes sometimes evolve. But play what you enjoy.
> I tried Minotaur Xommite and got that fighters are same in all
> roguelikes - they are tough against everything mediocre, but against
> hard monsters they suffer, and against out-of-depth monsters they die
> or run really fast.
First off two fighter tips:
The art of running away and coming back later is important in Crawl.
Divine help is a powerful aid to everyone, but especially to a fighter.
Both fighters and mages have their strengths. Because there's no real
possibility to stat-scum, fighters stay tougher than mages throughout
However, "fighter" and "mage" are not just things you begin as; they're
things you make, though your chances of shaping a PC into a fighter,
mage, etc. away from something else depend on your race, your skill as
a player, and the will of the RNG.
> > > He is good on stealth, stabbing, short swords, poison magic. He's fair
> > > on spellcasting and throwing darts, and only area he really leaking at
> > > is Conjurations.
> > Darts in b26 are a stopgap for the early game. To read a horror story
> > about an attempt to make them a mainline weapon, look in Google Groups
> > for a post containing the keywords insanity and darts.
> Been there. What should I do later on (with stalker) - train some other
> missile weapon or go for magic+fighting?
Missile weapons are underpowered in b26. Merfolk make decent fighters
and decent mages; pick *one* solution to damage-dealing based on what
the RNG delivers you, develop that solution until you feel solid in it,
and then if you desire, develop the other one.
> > > He is good on first 5 levels due to Sting, that
> > > can easily slay an ogre due to poisoning, and descent melee attack,
> > Your melee attack is what you make it.
> I am able to make it descent when playing merfolk.
> And if I find a glavie, I become really cruel really fast :)
What I meant is that if you fight when you have "available" experience,
you develop fighting, and thus a better melee attack. You were speaking
of stalkers, the "reavers" of poison magic, and what I was saying in
the background is: you can turn a venom mage into an almost-stalker
(minus the book of stalking) by making the right choices. The "almost"
part is not so troublesome for merfolk, as sureblade and the stabbing
enhancer spell are for short blades, and you'll learn well with short
blades, but even better with spears.
However, poison magic is very special -- such a wide transition from
strong to weak. In that sense
a) having weak magic initially is not so great a handicap, because in
the opening, poison lets you do a tremendous lot for very little.
b) having a nice place to start from to develop an alternative to
poison -- concretely here melee -- certainly is nice!
Thus in a way, stalkers make pretty good stalkers. ;-)
> > > later on he can choose between wearing heavy armour, using some halberd
> > > or glaivie (or that dreaded scythe of speed), or, if he gets one or two
> > > Enchantments and Ice books, he can become able fighter-mage with cruel
> > > Sting. What do you think of that combo?
> > The switch to heavy armour seems questionable -- you lose a lot of the
> > benefit from the stealth and the dodging you developed before wearing
> > it, you ramp up your spell failures, and you'll learn Armour skill
> > quite slowly as a Merperson.
> Of course, if I'm able to find that Oz's Armor spell, lighter armor
> will do too.
And if you're not, it will IMO eventually also do too -- the benefit
from getting hit less due to evasion (from Dodging, from fighting in
light armour with available XP) is as good as that from heavy armour
Crawl is a skills-based game. Your dodging skill aptitude is much
higher than your armour skill aptitude. If you were playing dwarves,
I'd be advising the opposite despite myself. :-)
Never be dependent on finding a certain book. That's asking for
> > Merfolks as stalkers (whether they start
> > as stalkers or not, by the way), however, sound fine. You get a nice
> > spell for enhancing short-blade fighting and you'll build up a bit of
> > short blades skill if you really do run it 50/50... no harm really in
> > staying with the short blades (except that spears are really cool, and
> > merfolk with spears all the more so).
> Just spears, or any polearms? If former, why?
Polearms -- "spears" is easier for me to remember. :-) Although there's
a certain truth to saying spears, because weapons have a "strength to
dex" weighting, and you want things towards the dex end, which spears
are in the world of polearms. However, the effect is not too big.
> > With any sort of poison-based character, never forget that poison
> > resistance starts becoming more and more widespread from the midgame
> > on. Poison pushes you up, but it will be dead weight by the end of the
> > game.
> That will not mean anything when I'm dead,
Looks like you know the most important thing in Crawl already.
> and I'll be very soon really.
> > > Another characters I'm considering are kenku conjurers, ogre mage
> > > enchanters, centauri hunters, maybe a spriggin warper. How about them?
> > Kenku conjurers do all right, I think (I won with one so I'm biased
> > though).
> How hard is their absence of boots/helms? It should cause them to have
> smaller AC at the end of game?
Naturally so, but if you go the heavy-armour route with them, then a
difference of 4 AC (1 for a +2 cap/hat instead of a +2 helm, 3 for no
boots) is not really so important. More important is the missed
opportunity for need boot randarts and boots of running. The former are
not too rare by the endgame, but the latter are rare. It's livable.
> > Centaur hunters do all right, although don't expect your bow to really
> > be your main source of damage throughout the game.
> And what will be? Hand to hand weapon?
Most likely yes. Other than the lukewarm skill aptitudes, you're one
tough mofo as a centaur. (It's tough to stay fed in the opening though
-- they have an increased metabolism.)
Despite their even more yaaaaaawn aptitudes for magic, they're neat as
mages or part-mages, because there they can make their ability to open
up range really shine.
> > Spriggan warpers do
> > fine with their starting rod until the armours get thick, then they
> > have to find another source of damage (often going against the grain of
> > their skill aptitudes) unless or until they move to a bigger rod (which
> > means finding their first scroll of acquirement, usually sometime in
> > the Lair).
> Oh well, I'm not going to get there in one piece.
You will one day, don't worry.
> > > And now, some questions:
> > > 1) Manual says Enchanter gets Confusing Touch, but he gets Corona
> > > instead. That Corona is not sufficent to keep him alive, to be honest.
> > > Why did he was given Corona instead of Touch? I beleive Touch is much
> > > safer...
> > Not everything in Crawl is updated as well as it should be. :-)
> After some thoughts, Crusaders should be fine with Corona, but
> Enchanters should get Touch.
It depends on whether or not the point is to make all classes balanced
against each other. From a narrativist standpoint, it's all about
creating believable whatchamacallits, whoo whoo whoo! But I can't say
much about this; I'm a gamist. For me, it's about creating "difficulty
levels" without using difficulty levels; in other words, races and
classes should *not* be balanced, but rather should have a wide range
of difficulty levels, ideally not just overall, but also within the
various main "paths" (fighter, mage, etc.).
> BTW: Deep elves have easier advances on Air magic, that's strange since
> they're underground.
Their blood remembers their heritage. Whoo whoo!
> BTW2: I've tried Deep Elf Wizard and fell in love with it.
> He starts with extremely useful book with blink and Repel Missiles/Oz's
Watch out - there are three randomly selected wizard starting books.
> That is so better than, say, conjurations book...
....and two conjurations books. :-)
> And he will build up Conjurations really well really soon anyway.
They're both good. Not taking random book finds into account, wizards
are easier to get to D:5; conjurers are easier to get to D:10 if you've
gotten D:5. Blink and higher MP will save you better than mephitic
cloud/conjure flame and higher damage, but fire bolt/ice bolt will save
you better than the top spells in the wizard books. All IMO as usual.
> I have that character currently. He cleared out 8 or 9 levels of
> Dungeons (almost, on last I met some Unique human and Wisp (yellow y)
> and choosen to retreat.
Probably a wise move. Wasps have paralyzing poison. In the worst case,
the first turn standing next to them will be your last turn of action
> He's on Spellcasting 9, Int 25, Staff of Wizardry, Conjurations 10, Ice
> 6, Enchantments 5, Translocations - 3 (or should I train it further?) -
> with Throw Frost as main offence, Confusion, Repel, Oz's Armour.
Train translocations enough that the chance of failing to blink is
small enough you can bet your life on Blink.
Forget about offensive enchantments -- resistances are too high.
Defensive ones are nice though (and buffing ones if you fight, but you
probably aren't fighting).
Train another method of damage besides ice. Eventually, ice resistance
will become very common (but much slower than happens with poison).
> His only problem is that he has just 35 hps (that's on level 9!).
> Should i volens nolens get some fighting skill to him, or 1-2 in
> fighting would not mean anything?
Lower levels of skills are cheaper than higher ones. So despite your
bad aptitudes, a few levels of Fighting will be more bang for the buck
than many possible investments in spell skills.
> I once reloaded himself from backup. I tried Evoking firstly-found ball
> of fixation, became Slow, iguana came and ate me still despite full HP
> and AC 10. What was that?
That's what crystal balls of fixation do. It's why you only evoke-test
crystal balls in a safe place. :-)
> I have another thingy, Box of Beasts, what's that?
Evoke it to get some animals, mostly friendly. Eventually, it runs out.
Use it to solve crises (in place of e.g. potions) sooner rather than
later; later on those animals will just be a joke.
> I reloaded himself because 1) Not like dying from something I could not
> prevent even in theory, 2) This cheating will not matter when he's
> permadead, and it will not be long.
:-D It's always annoying when Murphy's Law applies and your savescummed
character gets very far ahead and you have the choice between
continuing in bad faith or losing even more progress. After a few times
of that in ADOM, I dropped savescumming for good. I don't like
moralizing on it, though.
> What does Wand of Disintigration do? Or I should just try?
Resistable. Undodgeable. Does damage roughly on par with flame/frost,
maybe a bit better. Unresistably :-) digs rock walls, one square at a
> > > 2) As far as I understand, Warpers are truely underrated for now?
> > > Translocations have one damaging spell, at level one, and it is NOT
> > > given to a character at startup. He WILL die, if he will not find a
> > > book of real spells as early as possible, since mage is no fighter.
> > You are as much a fighter as you make yourself. Start fighting, gain
> > fighting skills, poof you're a fighter (well, a fighter-mage). And
> Why not start as fighter in a first place then?
Because you're tired of playing fighters?
> > since spellbooks don't really start arriving until level 3 or 4, you
> > WILL have to fight with a warper. You might try supplementing your
> > fighting at early on using a missile weapon, though -- shoot shoot
> > shoot blink shoot shoot shoot blink.
> Yes, I tried this with Wizard. Works lovely. Wizard is soo much better
> than conjurer 'cause he gets this spell on D:1. But that's will be
> reverse for lesser fey race like Kenku or Merfolk :)
Once you learn the tricks surrounding Mephitic Cloud and Conjure Flame,
they do give *some* competition to Blink from D:2 on. :-)
> I've found a ring of Telepport Control, but it controls Blink really
It's called "Semi-controlled blink". It's a (wise) design decision to
keep blink+ring from being too powerful. You can set *the direction*
(though if I undersand correctly, you'll get a random blink if the
randomly chosen square in that direction would stick you inside a
wall), but you can't set the *landing square*.
> It asks me for direction on a cross, I push one corridor's direction
> and find myself blinked along other corridor.
Yup, that fits my understanding -- the percentage of wall squares in
either direction along the corridor is high, so the chance of a fully
random blink is high.
> Without control results seemed better than with,
> so I took it out (and put +3 evasion one)
Put it back in and learn to use it wisely. But be careful; even
semi-random blink creates Magic Contamination. Too much contamination
and not enough time to let it cool down = one very funny-looking (and
handicapped) elf. Rising contamination creates a percentage chance per
turn of a mutation, usually a bad one.
> > > 4) What does Portal spell do (could not get it even from spoilers)?
> > Takes you from a level in the main dungeon of your choice to another
> > place in the main dungeon of your choice.
> I.e. I can travel from D:any to D:any?
> > > 5) What does Noise spell do, i.e. how to make it do something good for
> > > me?
> > Sometimes it's safer to make them come to you than for you to come to
> > them. Detect curse can tell you where they are.
> > Also, noise affects solid rock differently than open space. ;-)
> Well, for luring out Centaurs?
That's a good example -- you're a fighter-mage with no ranged options
but you have Detect Curse and Projected Noise, you see a centaur in a
big open area (since otherwise you could safely lure him to melee range
without Projected Noise), you set up a corner for ducking, you lure him
> Centaurs are real magebane! They tend to kill half of my merfolk, and
> killed few wizards even with Repel Missiles on. Sadly you die whatever
> you try - teleporting, blinking, running, charging all that leads to
Even for (early) mages, centaurs are a little safer when they're
clubbing you with their bow than when they're firing it.
More generally -- be creative and evil (I'll leave the details to you).
They deserve it.
> What are Spiny Frogs? I saw a lot of frightened posts so I want to know
> before I face one.
Faster than the player, hard-hitting, good evasion, poisoners. Like all
animals, they can be put on the run with enough damage, which makes
them much simple to finish off.
> > Transmuters are also very interesting. The best transmuter is a
> > transmuter, because there's no way to create one without spellbook luck
> > otherwise. :-)
> I seem to have it. I've got Changes book for current Wizard, I've found
> 2 or 3 books with Selective Amnesia with all chars, and I seem to get a
> lot of good books along the way.
That's great! Bad luck days will come too, though.
> BTW: Sif Muna likes when I cast spells while praying, or she does not
> care, when?
Only that you cast spells, period. Praying is only important for
getting books IIRC.
> Thanx for reply!
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