I'm stuck...at character creation

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Kneller, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    Well, I played this and died in the first room. I think it was just bad luck, though. A ton of diggles came out of nowhere after picking up some loot and swarmed me. This has me thinking of going in the opposite direction, though. That is, I probably only -need- ranged for specific situations (wizards, stuff out of reach, etc.) and I need to be able to survive melee more generally.

    I like the utility of the rogue skills, though, and don't want to sacrifice too much there. I'm thinking an Indiana Jones type of character now. Someone who can handle a brawl, but is still pretty utilitarian. This is what I have so far:

    Artful Dodger

    I can still use bows when they are needed. The Tinkering will also give me bolts, and traps for ambushes. For the last, I should probably focusing on making myself more (melee) combat capable. I have a few ideas:

    Assassination: Probably the only skill that will boost offense. Helpful for the higher levels passives, but not very Jones-like.
    Master at Arms: It will make him hardier?
    Big Game Hunter: XP, extra food, and EDR
    Magical Law: seems like it would come in pretty handy and doesn't rely too much on magic power.
    Shield Bearer: Blocking is probably redundant with a dodger, but if they really can't hit me, then it doesn't matter my damage output, right?

    Any suggestions that fits the Indiana Jones theme? Thanks.
  2. sam12six

    sam12six Member

    Making a dodge melee guy is pretty tough. Armor that actually protects you almost always reduces your dodge.

    Specialists in counter almost always pick Swords and Dual Wield. Sometimes they throw in Daggers (for the stance) and/or Piracy (for swashbuckling)

    Block specialists are easiest because the armors that give the most protection also give block bonuses.

    In my experience, a dual wielder using armsmaster is more effective than a defensive guy using shieldbearer.

    As far as an Indiana Jones build, I'd say Archaeology, Tinkering, Perception, Artful Dodge and Burglary are thematic. After that, it's all what you want to justify to yourself. Since there are no pistols or whips in the game, any offense you give him is going to be out-of-theme, so just choose whatever you like.

    In terms of utility vs combat effectiveness, opportunity cost is the name of the game. Generally speaking, Tinkering and Burglary alone provide all the utility you need except a ready source of healing.
  3. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    I think my rationale was that since I was already stacked with rogue skills, dodge(Nimbleness) was going to be the most viable.

    I'm still not clear on how counter works. Specifically, does it negate the incoming attack, or do you take the damage then counter?
  4. sam12six

    sam12six Member

    There's nothing wrong with your logic. It's just that the game is very unkind to Dodge characters because of its mechanics and item characteristics. The problem is that enemy criticals will inevitably hit the character. This means a strong melee monster's already high damage gets doubled (the non-exotic damage part). When this extra hard hit happens, you need heavy armor to survive the blow.

    A block build gets bonuses for wearing most heavy armor. A counter build gets minor reductions for wearing heavy armor (compared to the bonuses from skills). A dodge build gets pretty major reductions for wearing heavy armor, making it usually a choice between having a great dodge or having enough armor for the times dodge lets you down.

    It's a pretty well known thing that Rogues are screwed over in the melee department because of the fact that armor that actually lets you survive big hits also reduces your rogue bonuses.

    Here's a thread about the actual effects of the skills:

  5. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    This makes it sounds like a heavily armored dual-wielding counter build would be the most effective. Am I getting closer to figuring this out? :)

    So, would that mean:

    Dual wield
    Master of Arms

    I'm not sure how I can make this thematic. I can't think of any fictional character that fit this bill. Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, maybe? He wasn't exactly a good guy, though. I mean, I know the theme thing is non-essential, but without a character concept, this game won't be much fun for me.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  6. sam12six

    sam12six Member

    You ever read any David Gemmell books? Bane the Blood King was a dual sword weilding badass (and a good guy). Your build looks good, just be sure you make a point to build/buy/steal good bows. When you get those rune rooms, I'd generate a craft vending machine because with 2 crafting skills and no material generating skills, you could be scrounging for materials if the RNG is stingy.

    Master of Arms starts with an iron breastplate, so you're unlikely to find a better armor lying around. Just with that, you can ignore gnome attacks and most other monsters on DL1 only do a point or 2 of damage. You'll also start with a sword, so you can tank anything but a big pack of monsters or named monsters.

    You'll get to level 5-6 (depending on what features and creatures the level is generated with). Here's what I'd do with level points:

    Level 2: Burglary
    Level 3: Tinkering
    Level 4: Smithing
    Level 5: Master of Arms
    Level 6: Swords
    Level 7: Dual Wield

    Don't bother with increasing Dual Wield any more until everything else it maxed (or the game is over, whichever comes first). If you're wielding 2 swords, the :counter: bonus is doubled (as well as damage bonuses from sword skill), so go with 2 swords unless you find a non-sword weapon that's far better than the swords you have available.

    As you progress, I'd do a simple rotation of Tinkering, Smithing, Swords and Master of Arms until they're maxed. Then I'd max Burglary. After that, if you have any game left and are still alive, you could add Dual Wield points if you want (I don't know if it's still the case, but Dual was once bugged and the top 2 or 3 levels of it actually subtracted stats instead of adding).

    Alternately, you could do the first 7 levels as I listed then rush swords to max. This would give you a lot of offense and counter to rely on before building other skills. I like to spread my points out, but it's generally accepted that maxing a good skill is better than having a couple of points in several skills since levelups slow down after about lvl 10.
  7. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    Ok, I got another theme one. But, we're back to archery. Maybe I gave up too soon on the last character. Anyway, this one is Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead:

    Big Game Hunter
    Fungal Arts

    The main problem I'm seeing is that he's lacking in crowd control. I'm not sure what I can take that would fit the bill for that. I could swap out unarmed for Dual Wield and Daggers (he's been known to use knives). Alchemy (meth lab)? I could take Beserker rage, but I'm guessing the buffs are only for melee. Paranormal Investigator would be a stretch (he's in a zombie filled world after all). Piracy might fit (he used to be a drug trafficker), though I'm not sure how it would help. None of these have crowd control, afaik. What do you think? Thanks.
  8. ElJefe

    ElJefe Member

    big game hunter has diggles for crowd control. burglarly allows for 2 types of escape. I would pick perception on that build to massively increase your supplies. Also, the large dodge bonuses and you will get and perfect traps are very nice.
  9. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Alchemy (Because of his knowledge of bootlegging)? Promethean Magic (only one episode, so not sure if that counts)? I was going to suggest daggers, because everyone uses knives to kill zombies when appropriate, but then I remembered that Daryl usually just stabs them with an arrow (and Michonne, of course, uses her katana)
  10. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about Perception. I think I'm tossed between that and Alchemy (bootlegging, good one!) :)

    Edit: I went with alchemy because it seemed more useful (and seemed more appropriate to the character).

    Oi, I think I have bad luck with ranged types. Once again, I died in my first fight. It was a diggle and "Deth". I knew it was going to end this way the first time I hit Deth and his life bar barely decreaased.

    Edit 2: Take 3 is going much better. I have the fungus slime pet. But, he keeps getting in my way and sometimes trapping me. Is there any way I can get him to move without just resummoning him on another square?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  11. d3ward

    d3ward Member

    Well, since you seem to be going with Rouge-themed characters, you may want to give this skill selection a go-

    - Daggers
    - Assassination
    - Artful Dodger
    - Fungal Arts
    - Perception
    - Burglary
    - Archeology

    This build was, by far, the most fun I've had in Dungeons of Dredmor!

    The overall theme is that you are as sneaky and dodgy as possible. You don't have much in the ways of ranged weaponry, but since each skill tree you have is in the Rouge category, your sneakiness improves dramatically as you progress through the game. Eventually, you get to a point where bad guys only notice you if you attack them yourself, and they forget about you if you start walking away.

    Once they are fighting you, you have ridiculous melee stats - as a rouge, your melee power itself depends upon your weapon, but you'll have something like 95% chance to dodge, 90% chance to counter, 80% chance to block, 80% chance to paralyze an enemy with each attack of your own (thanks to Assassination and Artful Dodger), fungal pets which can distract enemies even further, and multiple teleporting skills/ invisibility to go anywhere you want. You can wear the best armor in the game without much of an impact on your nimbleness at that point.

    On top of that, you get XP for opening doors (which never have to be kicked down - you can always shut them if you don't like what's on the other side), free loot from vending machines and shops (in addition to random drops from perception), the ability to deal with most traps in the game for extra XP and money, enormous stacks of mushrooms (which act as free health, invisibility, armor, vampirism, damage resistance, etc), loads of inventory space since you don't have to mess with a crafting skill, and the awesome benefits of Archeology for leveling up quickly and getting awesome equipment from Krong! Oh yeah, and eye lasers.

    Also, if you have the Realm of the Diggle Gods expansion, this is one of the few character builds that can really thrive with the Diggle God of Death blessing. The Death God gives you enormous protection from some nasty damage types and infuses your melee attacks with deadly, icy, poisonous clouds that cover a wide area for some serious damage. This comes with a downside that would cripple other characters - it lowers your health regeneration and mana regeneration to basically zero - but since you have nearly unlimited food in the form of mushrooms and you don't use magic at all, you actually won't care!

    The only downside is that this skillset is really difficult to start out with, since it doesn't offer much in the way of offense or defense early on - it totally relies on building up your stats to become God-like in the later game. I would recommend investing in It Belongs in a Museum from Archeology early on to expedite the leveling up process, and then max out Fungal Arts straight away. The fungal beast is strong enough to carry you through the first few floors of the dungeon while you level up yourself!

    If you have the time, give this skillset a try! I think you'll have fun with it!
  12. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    I guess it's obvious I like rogue-ish characters above all others. :)

    I'll definitely give this a shot once Daryl Dixon dies. Actually, this build kind of reminds me of Garrett from the Thief series. But, I have some questions.

    It looks like you're not dual wielding here. Are you using a shield for a block bonus? Also, doesn't a high dodge nerf your counter? And what do you do for magic resistance? Would it be worth putting your first level into Fungal Arts for the pet, since this build is so weak to start? Any other advice to keep this build alive long enough to shine? And, how do you handle zoos/crowds with this build?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  13. d3ward

    d3ward Member

    Basically, any non-weapon you can find for you extra hand is a plus. You can use shields or tomes, whichever seems to be a more powerful option at the time. I would highly recommend using the Universal Principles tome when you can manage to find one - it gives great resistances, some meaty damage that most enemies can't ignore, but most importantly, a substantial chance to paralyze enemies with each melee hit.

    You're right, it does. However, it's really good to have a high dodge rate and high counter rate regardless, as they both greatly reduce the odds of you taking damage, which is the important thing. Artful Dodger will also occasionally deal damage on a successful dodge, so you end up damaging enemies and avoiding damage most of the time anyway.

    Basically, be sneaky. Towards the end of the game, most enemies don't notice you until you attack them, so you don't have to worry about ranged attacks. Until you are that sneaky, Burglary and Artful Dodger are great for teleporting or going invisible to close the gap between you and them. You can also use your fungal pets as distractions, or use lockup + eye lasers on a caster so they burn to death on a pyre while you teleport away. :)

    Grunge Ear mushrooms will also buff you with plaid power, which is a pretty useful buff against some of the most common magic damage types.

    Yes, that's certainly a good option.

    It may be worth investing some levels into Artful Dodger for the awesome Knightly Leap ability early on. This ability alone will save your life on numerous occasions, and it is generally a handy tool for crossing gaps and reaching inaccessible areas/items.

    If you take Knightly Leap (or any other teleporting skill in the game) it is also possible to steal any item you want from Brax without getting busted. If you spot a really nice piece of armor or weapon from a shop that you want to steal, you can pick it up and place it in your inventory (I would take everything else from the shop just to turn a profit). Brax will block the door, but you can leap past his head to get out of the shop. As long as you don't take a step outside of his shop, he will not notice that you have stolen anything. This means you can Knightly Leap, wait seven turns, Knightly Leap, wait seven turns, and so on until you reach a staircase leading down. Brax cannot send his minions after you once you leave his level, so you can essentially shoplift any item in the game once you can teleport!

    Take care not to return to a level you have stolen from, though, or Brax will still be hunting you there.

    Also, I would highly recommend using the Dagger of Deadly Imagination if you can find it. Though the weapon doesn't tell you exactly what it does (and neither does the wiki last time I checked), the dagger deals staggering amounts of existensial damage which scales with your Rougish stats, making it pretty much the only weapon in the game that gets stronger as you do! Additionally, pretty much nothing resists existensial damage.

    Finally, definitely invest in Daggers for the Wall of Blades stance. This stance alone gives you a whopping 25% counter rate, which will nullify 1 in 4 attacks against you! It also gives 25% block chance, so any attack that does get through might deal less damage.

    The first zoo can be killed exclusively by the fungal beast, so I would definitely recommend maxing out Fungal Arts ASAP. After that, there are a number of ways, but the most direct way is to find a spot where only one monster can attack you at a time and killing them all one-by-one. You can teleport away and vanish if things get out of control.

    Ways to maximize efficiency: eat greedy blungecaps for vampirism. Fungal Arts will give you a lot of these mushrooms, and vampirism is one of the best effects in the game. It heals you substantially each time you hit an animal, and a little bit less for demons and "other" type enemies. You will also have other mushrooms for armor, health, etc that can be spammed at your leisure. You might want to use eye lasers on a square directly in front of you so that enemies will have to burn themselves to fight you.

    You can constantly keep enemies around you confused by using Remember Your Charlemagne from Archeology, or the numerous puffballs in your inventory. Confused enemies will randomly walk away from you, which can be abused for free attacks.

    Finally, it is a good idea to hang onto any Bolts of Squid you happen to run across. I don't know if I'm lucky or what, but I almost always manage to find two-to-three of these bolts on the first or second floor. These bolts deal devastating damage, and they cause enemies to explode onto squares surrounding themselves - the more tightly a room is packed with monsters, the more efficient a Bolt of Squid is at killing them!

    Always check vending machines for bolts and thrown weapons. You will get something for free each time you find a machine, and sometimes you will get lucky and find the upper-tier, room-clearing weapons for free!
  14. sam12six

    sam12six Member


    Since this thread got my mind on the subject, I've run about a dozen archers and I believe I've come up with the perfect archer build. I've killed Dredmor twice in the last few days with this build. The long term goal is to have a devastating ranged attack, effectively unlimited ammo and immunity to magic:

    - Archery (Duh)
    - Smith (Since you'll be fighting hand-to-hand almost exclusively the first 2-3 DLs, being able to forge beefy armor is helpful (plus it grants :burliness: so you hit harder). Eventually, you want to get it to LVL 5 to forge 2 mirror shields.
    - Tinkering to make your crossbows and make short work of traps.
    - Rogue Scientist (Never put a point here. It's purely for the alchemical ooze drops.)
    - Alchemist to turn that ooze into plastic and encrust your beefy armor with elemental resists.
    - Perception because 3 crafting skills.
    - Big Game Hunter. This is your dump skill where you put points when everything else is done. (You could go Unarmed instead, but it's overkill and would make the character take a couple more dungeon levels to really get going because you're not concentrating level-up points as much. You could also use Burglary here, and put one point in it for Lucky Pick then forget about it).


    It's almost impossible not to be able to make the first few level-ups with this guy. The only way he gets killed on level one is either impatience or a game crash. You start with a crossbow and wooden bolts, poison bolts and fire bolts. For any normal monster beside sickly diggles or potatoes you can get 1-on-1, lead them to a place where you have a 3X3 space. Get them in the middle of that space and shoot them with a poison bolt. Afterward, run around the poison cloud, leading them into it and out of it until they die. The 2 named monsters sometimes take 2 of these (and a regular might if it's really uncooperative). Kill sickly diggles with wooden bolts.

    For potatoes, 2 shots from the sonic wand you begin with usually kills them.

    If you open a door and are faced with a dozen enemies bunched together and ready to eat your face, throw one of the poison flasks you begin with and run away. Enjoy hearing all their death cries.

    Occasionally, you'll get a tough named monster (the Baron shows up on DL1 sometimes and there are sometimes evil chests). For these, shoot once with fire bolt. If they catch fire, run away until the fire goes out. Repeat. Alternately, you can use an acid flask the same way as the poison bolts - find some space, hit with flask, run them through the acid puddle.

    I move via mouse click until I'm level 3 because traps can hurt you badly or kill you if you're impatient.

    The first 2 level-ups, put the points in Perception. This gives trap sight/affinity and improves your odds of finding steel (and other stuff).

    Save up steel until you have 3 ingots. Forge Steel Breastplate. Congratulations, you are virtually immune to physical damage until DL3.

    The next 2, put points in Smithing (you're now level 5).

    Lvl 6 - Alchemy (so you can use the medicoat encrust)
    Lvl 7 - Perception
    Lvl 8 - Smithing

    Next, Perception until eye lasers (this is your tough monster killer for a while).

    Buy some bolas from vending machines and freeze them first, then laser. This'll keep them in the fire a few extra rounds (before you get eye lasers, you can do the same thing with fire traps - just let them activate the trap then throw a bola).

    After Perception is filled and Smithing is high enough to forge mirror shields, I fill Crossbow to the end then Tinkering.

    Don't make the mirror shields until you're ready to transition to exclusive ranged combat. A weapon + a Filigreed Silver Shield is more effective because the filigreed shield gives better protection in melee.

    If you have a little patience, this build is pretty unstoppable. I like to roll with the 2 best tomes I can find for extra offense and only switch in the shields when dealing with magic users.
  15. Kneller

    Kneller Member

    Wow, you've been busy. I'll give that build a shot next, but right now, I'm running with a variation on d3ward's pure Rogue suggestion:

    Rogue Scientist (instead of Artful Dodger)
    Fungal Arts

    which I'm calling my Garrett build. So, I have no dedicated crafting skills, but I'll have Tinker and Alchemy of 2 by the time I get Rogue Scientist up to the second to last level which will let me make bolts and some basics. I'm letting the pet do most of my dirty work while I level. My main problem here is that I have a TON of loot and nothing to do with it. Most of it is crafting supplies that I will probably never be able to use. I don't think I'll need the money so I'm not bothering to sell it. But, I would kill for a Horadric Lutefisk Cube. Right now I have all the extra scattered semi-organized around the first floor. The only thing I'm holding on to are mushrooms, food, traps (which have been useful) and some potions and my inventory is already pretty full.
  16. ElJefe

    ElJefe Member

    I have noticed that Mirrored shields are fairly common. I can see that smithing is a dump state for you. It makes also for a really easy +3 fire resist which is probaby the most dangerous i have encountered until like level 10+ where there are poison clouds.

    HOWEVER: why not take Unarmed instead? It would give +4 Pierce, +crits, +4 ethereal damage and also some crushing damage. Seems like it would make you shoot a bit less, and the crits from bow and the unarmed make for crit% to be rather nice.

    I love the rest of the build. I just noticed that mirrored shields can be found. Or is this not common and i just got lucky? I am maximiizing bow damage and making alchemy potions. I have seen how strong on level 13 even the alchemy found potions are and was SUPER impressed. I love BGH as a skill, it really gives unending food, experience, anti-dodge, pierce and the hounds.

    One issue i see with your build is no direct healing spell of any kind. Another thing is if you make healing from Iron, you lost massive quantities of bolts. I know you know that, but still hard to figure out for me. I am sorta new at the game compared to most. I love your build though. I am just trying to make it work by finding the shields vs using smithing to build them. This is more of a question than a critique. you clearly know the game better.

    Oh, also, what about pushing onward with Rogue Scientist in levels?

    Also, more important than healing is that you have no Exit spell. No communism, burglar, knightly leap, or tourist. Tourist would be nice if an extra spot for this build but it is a mage skill, and I dont think it has much aside from light utility here.
  17. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Direct healing is often nice but not truly necessary, particularly with the build he's suggesting. Remember that he's taking fungal arts and burglary. Burglary has a unique aspect of allowing slow heals (like from food and fairy wodger) to be almost as good as fast ones (assuming you have at least ninja Vanish). Combined with the fact that he can have unlimited inky hoglanterns as well, healing is really not a huge issue. Ninja Vanish is one of those skills that for some reason that I cannot divine, that people seem to undervalue. For me, it's pretty much my main go-to skill late in the game (throw in Move in Mysterious Ways, and you are just about set for that last battle). Most of the time, that you would decide to use a healing potion or spell with any other build, you wouldn't need to with this one.

    In any case, with perception, unless you overuse your bolts running low on them will not be a problem. I suggest saving them primarily vs. bosses, anything that can cause corruption, anything late-game in zoos that is overly resistant to your Rogue Scientist attacks, and Dredmor, himself. Do that, and bolts should not be an issue. He should have enough iron for both applications. And iron bolts, of course are not even the best ranged attack he'll have. I would actually drop Archaeology in favor of... almost anything else, but particularly something like Alchemy (which has a good synergy with both FA and RS.
  18. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    BTW, my hatred for Archaeology comes from the fact that every time I've taken it, I've ended up beating myself up because I didn't take something instead that either increased my survivability or damage, or added a utility skill that was indispensable late game. Archaeology has never done anything but disappointed me (not because it's worthless, just that it's worth LESS than so many other skills regardless of what kind of build you are aiming for. (Plus RS without any corresponding synergistic crafting skills is kind of silly -- such a great skill with such great potential... wasted).
  19. ElJefe

    ElJefe Member

    Thank you for your reply but expand please my section. You will see who i was replying to :/ Your information I am using regardless though thank you.
    Haldurson likes this.
  20. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    yeah I may have been confused... Too many builds mentioned in this thread lol.
    ElJefe likes this.