Suggestions for fun, non-promethean mage builds?

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by kryft, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. kryft

    kryft Member


    I've been greatly enjoying Dredmor for a few days now; all exaltations unto Krong! I've played Going Rogue from the get-go, and so far I've only played mages.

    Lately my build has been the following:

    Promethean, Staves, Astrology, Alchemy, Mathemagic, Psionics, Blood Magic.

    I should probably replace Staves with Unarmed and use double orbs, or not take any weapon skill at all. What exactly is the penalty for wielding a weapon without the corresponding skill? I find it's very helpful to use melee occasionally to finish off monsters, but that's assuming I can actually hit them. Radiant Aura helps a lot, however, so perhaps it's feasible not to waste a skill tree on melee.

    I've deliberately avoided using Fungal Arts and Archeology because they seem too powerful. I realize that Promethean is still probably overpowered as well, but at least it's fun. :) Nevertheless, it would be fun to try a mage build without Promethean magic for a change. Any suggestions? Actually, feel free to suggest any fun build, mage or otherwise, that doesn't use Promethean. I guess I've avoided melee builds because it seems like the gameplay would be more monotonous, but perhaps I'm wrong.

    Ley Lines seems useless on Going Rogue, especially compared to Blood Magic. Does anyone bother with Magic Training? More Magic Power is nice, but it just seems like there is always a better choice, because any wizard skill tree will give you Magic Power indirectly by boosting your Sagacity, and Magic Training only has three skill slots.

    That reminds me: what sort of experience level can I expect to reach by the end game? If you don't get far enough to actually max your skill trees anyway, having only three skill slots in one tree doesn't really matter for gaining stats.
  2. Tacroy

    Tacroy Member

    Actually, if you just remove Blood Magic from your build it changes quite a bit. Promethian spells are really mana hungry, and without Blood Magic you won't be able to spam fireballs anywhere near as easily. You'll be chugging down mana potions like crazy.

    Staves is really not worth taking, since equipping/unequipping items is a free action and the staves that are good for magicking aren't good for whacking. Since you still get all the bonuses of an item regardless of whether or not you know how to use it, you might as well take a weapon skill tree that focuses on killing things and then swap between your real weapon and your staff depending on what you're doing.

    If you just want to have fun, I would definitely recommend taking Unarmed and then dual wielding orbs - the second level Unarmed skill gives you a six round cooldown knockback attack, which is really fun to play with (though Psionics gets a similar spell). You could try dropping Staves and Blood Magic and taking Unarmed and Vampirism, which should change things up significantly.
  3. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    I'm OCD and go over every inch of a floor and disarm every single trap even if it takes a stupidly long time. For that reason, I usually finish a game around level 25 but I have intentionally prolonged the game and had a level 30 before the latest patch. Unless I take multiple magic or weapon skills I usually end up with all of them.

    Golemancy is pretty fun. There is an initial period of being overpowered, but past the 3rd Floor you will probably find the game challenging but not overwhelmingly so. Aka, just right for having lots of fun!

    Sooo... Golemancy, Magic Training, Blood Magic, Wand Lore, Burglary, and Alchemy!
    1st Level of Wand Lore will help you through the beginning of Going Rogue. Then you can not touch it again until the end of the game. Lots of Sagacity. Lots of Tricks. One Skill Tree, so you have to use your spells intelligently.
  4. kryft

    kryft Member

    Thanks for the replies. I hadn't considered that equipping is a free action (maybe that should be changed). Good point about dropping blood magic being an implicit Promethean nerf.

    Incendax, you don't find the other magic trees worth investing in? Is Magic Training actually worth it, or is it a suboptimal pick for extra challenge? :)

    Whenever I play a CRPG, I do a lot of borderline-OCD character optimization, but rather than optimizing raw power, I optimize fun, which for me is a combination of power, varied and fun gameplay and challenge. Ideally I have a character that is optimally powerful given some set of restrictions, but the game is still difficult enough to keep me on my toes and reward creative gameplay.
  5. Hmm-Hmm.

    Hmm-Hmm. Member

    Magic training is decent enough for the combination of sagacity, mana and magic power. Especially sagacity.
  6. Wallach

    Wallach Member

    I did pretty much the same thing you did as far as starting out on Going Roge w/ permadeath, and pretty much only played Wizards except for my first (and quite ill-fated) character who was a viking wanna-be.

    The build I used when I beat my first run was:

    Staves, Vampirism, Fleshsmithing, Necronomiconomics, Mage Training, Blood Mage, Ley Walker

    I really dig the combination of Fleshsmithing and Necronomiconomics, and Vampirism was partly a theme thing and partly to help me get through the first couple levels (where I think a heavily slanted Wizard build is most likely to die). If I was going to change things up, I'd probably drop Staves for Wand Lore (just seems more fun, and it's more useful to dual-wield orbs anyway later on), and Ley Walker I'd switch out for something until it gets buffed. Maybe something with trap vision or trap affinity as that is probably your biggest threat once the ball is rolling (both from actual traps and stealthed monsters, which checks against your trap vision).
  7. Rikkard

    Rikkard Member

    Astrology works as a main skill. The 2nd ability is a rune that you place on the ground like the one in Promethean, but instead of doing massive fire AoE it stuns the one target it hits. The 3rd ability is a castable blinding ring for some (albeit risky) aoe goodness. Then some buffs and finally the last ability is a Zoo clearing move but costs tons of mana.
  8. Patchumz

    Patchumz Member

    Go hardcore Mathemagics, it's actually quite a viable magic build. You just won't have any AoE, but neither does melee characters, so you're not at a disadvantage.
  9. kryft

    kryft Member

    Can you elaborate on how Fleshsmithing and Necronomiconomics synergize, Wallach?

    Hmm, Mathemagic does seem to have good single target spells, but I would like some AoE as well. It seems like a combination of the magic schools suggested here could work.

    No one has mentioned Viking magic, by the way. What are Arctic vortex and the lightning bolt like?
  10. DragonRider

    DragonRider Member

    Arctic Vortex is a standard ranged DoT with no special attributes. I think the base damage (or, rather, the damage at typical base spellpower) is something around 4-5 damage per turn for 5 turns, so it's a bit stronger than most. I've never gotten high enough to take the last two skills, so I can't comment on the lightning bolt.
  11. NefariousKoel

    NefariousKoel Member

    Lightning Bolt (Thor's Fulminaric Bolt) in Viking magic is a light AoE. It'll do somewhat decent damage to the main target and a small amount to those in adjacent tiles. Unlike fireball, it doesn't leave lingering fire dots lying around so it's not near as powerful. :(

    Arctic vortex is a decent enough single target DoT that pretty much always killed my target when I was using it on dungeon level 3 or so. Kinda mana pricey for single target, however, but I'd imagine once you get higher up, and the extra Sagacity that comes with it, you should be able to toss them around more than I could at the time.
  12. Derp123

    Derp123 Member

    It seems like Mathemagic is severely underestimated and unpopular. Here's some stuff you should know.

    1. Teleport makes you unkillable unless you run into traps or monsters on purpose. Seriously there's absolutely no reason you should die ever.

    2. Curse of the golden ratio will kill every monster in one cast up to floor 7 (where it won't kill the Monstrous Masks). When you can't kill monsters in one cast anymore then the Recursive Curse should be close to spammable. Oh and enjoy your infinite money, because there's no way you're spending it all without buying out entire shops for fun or something.

    3. One Recursive Curse will kill anything including Arch Diggles. This is on Rogue.

    4. Buff that gives you a massive magic power boost should you need it. Except you never really need it when you're killing stuff in one hit.

    So what you do is place curses on everything in sight, hit spacebar or move away for 3-4 turns and everything is dead. I find this easier than promethean magic.
  13. NefariousKoel

    NefariousKoel Member

    I've yet to try going all the way up Mathemagic. Well, I started one but he got good 'n dead on about d-level 3.

    I like the teleport and the single-target that makes monster shooit gold out their rears but it's pretty mana costly early in the game. As is the magic buff.

    So I'll have to be extra stingy with it in the early stages. :D
  14. Patchumz

    Patchumz Member

    Yeah, Golden Ratio Curse is pretty god mode for money, and Recursive Curse will kill anything and everything pretty quickly. Mathemagics is just ridiculously good.
  15. Incendax

    Incendax Member

    @Kyrft I definitely find other magic trees worth investing in, but rarely more than two magic trees at once. I just find playing with a single magic tree to make things more interesting since you have to think outside of the box, and learn to use your abilities in new and fascinating ways.

    Mathemagic is very potent and one of the stronger trees you will find. If you want to challenge yourself you won't find much of a challenge with this skill. If you want a very serious challenge, you can try using Necronomiconomics as your only offense. I suggested Golemancy as a nice medium range challenge (starting about the 3rd Floor).
  16. Sunhawk

    Sunhawk Member

    Somehow, though, it's not as interesting as the other schools. Unfortunately, several of them seem more or less not what one looks for in a damaging sense until a higher level - psionics, necroeconomics and fleshsmithing, for example.
  17. Tacroy

    Tacroy Member

    Honestly, Psionics seems to be geared towards primarily melee characters who want to be able to do <i>something</i> with their MP. It has low casting costs, a self-heal, battlefield control abilities (sleep, shove and charm though you probably won't take charm for a while) and a couple of nice ranged damage abilities. It's kind of like what Viking Wizardry should have been, I think.

    Basically, if you take Psionics it's because you've got another way of dealing damage, and you want the extra utility Psionics provides.
  18. kryft

    kryft Member

    Looks like there's still a lot of balancing and tweaking to be done with most Magic schools (and probably many other skill trees as well), but I have faith in our devs. :) Personally I wouldn't mind paying more for the game in the future (maybe in the form of a DLC or something) if they continue polishing it as they have so far. I paid so little that I feel embarrassed!