Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike I’ve had for a very long time and even played obsessionally. Since it’s difficult to write about roguelikes in session report style, I have for you here a report on just a single character. Meet Hungry, the Adventurer.
Hungry, the Adventurer
Hungry has mastered the skill of Unarmed Art and no monster can survive his roundhouse kicks. He is also trained in the skills of Artful Dodging, is a Master of Arms and quite a proficient Burglar. His Perception could certainly use some improvement, but he is above average in that area as well. Oh, and he is also a former Assassin turned Vampire.
General skill choice idea
I have very little experience with Dungeons of Dredmor, so for my first character since forever, I wanted to avoid the very complex crafting system and be as little dependent on gear as possible. I went for the combination of Unarmed Art so I don’t need weapons and added Master of Arms and Skillful Dodger on top of that for survivability. Burglary and Perception were decided on for the exact same reason, and Assassination was additionally picked for bonus damage. Finally, I went with Vampirism for the heck of hit, primarily because I wanted to try it out, and because I wanted to name the character Hungry.
There’s far too many stats in Dungeons of Dredmor that I couldn’t even list, let alone understand, so I didn’t have any plane in the gear department. I simply replaced my gear with better pieces as I went along. I have the Hat of Bergstrom, which I picked up off the floor of level 2 when I accidentally went downstairs before even starting to explore level one. I kept upgrading this hat on the Anvil of Krong, so it’s gotten stronger over time, but again, it’s nothing special.
I also have the Cloak of Sagan, which I bought at a shop and spent most of my money to get. I tried improving it on an anvil as well, but it ended up getting a negative bonus, so it’s a bit worse than it was when I bought it. It’s still far better than the armor I originally had. Outside of that, I can’t really mention any special item. I pick up stuff, sell it and buy upgrades and shops when I find them. As I said, I completely skipped on crafting with this character.
Before I wrote all of this, I’ve reached level 6 of the dungeon and I’m level 14 myself. I can honestly say it all felt a bit too easy up to now. I can easily keep my health topped up with Vampirism and the level 2 ability Drinker of the Dead, which allows me to drain even more life from corpses. I use knock-back abilities Unarmed Combat gives me to keep myself from getting surrounded and that’s about it. I got down to near death once because I wasn’t careful with a fireball wand, but outside of that, there was barely any danger.
I even cleared two Monster Zoos. That being said, this is a roguelike, so I’m sure some sort of horrible death is just around the corner. I wonder what it will be.
The STEAM overlay doesn’t work by default in Dungeons of Dredmor, but experimental support has been added recently. You just have to enable it by adding –opengl as a launch option. I like the humor, but I dislike the attribute complexity. It takes a while to get used to it and learn what everything does, and I’m still very far away from actually accomplishing that. The same goes for crafting, which is why I opted out of it on this character.
Puting a Horadric Lutefisk Cube inside a Horadric Lutefisk Cube is a very bad idea, but it was at least worth an achievement.
Cause a paradox.
Having Unarmed Art maxed out while also having a lot of damage bonus items equipped adds a lot of damage variety.
Taste the Rainbow
Damage an enemy with seven (or more) damage types simultaneously.
Knightly Leap. Ha! I get it! It’s a skill in the Artful Dodger tree which allows you to jump like a knight piece in the game of chess. It took me a while to figure it out, but it put a smile on my face when I did.
I maxed out Unarmed Art and Assassination. so I’m not sure where to go next. Vampirism honestly doesn’t feel as attractive with the higher-level abilities. All I really care about is the life drain and I already have that. I’m close to maxing out Artful Dodging, so maybe I’ll stick to that for a while. Look at me, I’m making plans like it matters. I’ll die any time now anyway. In any case, what I wrote above is where I’m at right now. Since I caught up with the game here, from this point on, I will add updates as I go along.
This floor was already in progress as I loaded the game, so I can’t really remember anything that happened. There have only been a few rooms explored, though, so probably nothing happened at all. Very soon, we find one of those special rooms with a pond and either a blue or a red platform in front of it. I still haven’t figured out what it does exactly. The red ones summon monsters and the blue ones don’t, but I have no idea if there’s anything more to it.
There’s an Anvil of Krong and we throw our Little Red Cookbook on it. It works!
In the very next room, there’s a statue to the Lutefisk god. We give it all our lutefisk, and it rewards us – with a shield.
We find a Statue of Inconsequentia and gain a quest. There’s usually several of these per floor. Each gives you (and spawns) a random target to kill, for which you get a random higher quality item as a reward.
In the very next room, we find a Monster Zoo. I don’t think a description is necessary for this one – the screenshot should suffice. Clearing it also gives a random item, as if the experience wouldn’t have been enough.
There’s another Inconsequentia behind the Monster Zoo room. We spend a long time clearing to room, but some monsters seem to be missing because we don’t get the clearance award. The second quest, however, is visible on the map, so we go and get it. It’s a random item on the ground. Picking it up spawns a special monster we must defeat.
We defeat the monster, solve the quest, gain the reward and also gain a level.
We invest our final point into Artful Dodging. We gain the Supremely Sly Side-Stepper ability and thus max out this skill track, even gaining an achievement along the way – Slippery Like a Fox. We also realize the other quest actually is visible on the map, though it looked like a strangely colored shop. We go and solve it, get a small amount of experience and a useless weapon. We find our first shop on this level. There’s usually more than one, but we are happy with just one, to be able to empty our bags when we need to.
In a strange happenstance, there’s another shop, equal in size, right next to this one, as well as a smaller one to the north. That’s three shops right next to each other, so it must be a department store of some sort. This is my first time to get so deep, so this might actually be guaranteed or something, but it sure surprised me.
We buy an amulet, only marginally stronger than our previous one, possibly, and move on. We explore the rest of the level, finding another Inconsequentia as well as a Lutefisk god statue, but we never do manage to clear that Monster Zoo before moving on to level 7. We do, however, gain another level and invest a point into the Perception tree.
As soon as we enter, we are ambushed by some Squiddies, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.
We spent some time exploring, found the usual special rooms and even properly cleared a Monster Zoo. There were no missing monsters this time, luckily. Unluckily, the reward was of no use to us. Oh well, it’s still our bloody reward.
We also gained a level or two and invested it into Perception. We will be maxing out this skill next. We are level 17 now.
The rest of the level was uneventful, though we did find a very interesting looking quest item at one point.
We also gained another level, investing another point into Perception. There were two shops with nothing to buy in them, but selling loot did increase our gold amount to about 150 000, more than doubling it.
Once the level was explored, we got to the nearest set of stairs and descended to level 8.
We nearly died right at the entrance. There was an unavoidable brimstone trap and a pair of Diggles who got lucky with a few hits. A health potion got us back from the brink and we were left at half health after the battle.
It’s only at level 8 that we noticed there are natural ore deposits sometimes hidden in the walls of the dungeon. The one we encountered contained some native gold.
The rest of this level was as uneventful as the last. There was another Monster Zoo we were unable to clear due to monsters missing and we gained another level or two, maxing out the Perception skill. Soon, we explored the entire level and descended to the next one.
Level 9 was confusing. After exploring almost a quarter of it, there wasn’t a single monster to be found. We did find a shop, an anvil as well as plenty of items, traps and chests, but no monsters.
Soon enough, it was clear that it was all just coincidence and level 9 was just a regular level. We cleared it as fast as we could, including a Monster Zoo, and moved on to level 10.
Level 10 was where Hungry, the Adventurer, met his maker. As soon as we entered the floor, it became clear it was orders of magnitude more difficult for a melee combatant than any of the previous floors. We just barely survived the first room, using several potions to stay alive.
After a while, we entered a room with three Arch Diggles. One of them got a lucky sequence of counter attacks and that was it. Hungry was dead in fewer turns than it was possible to react.
Thus ends the story of Hungry. He was a brave and hungry one, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to defeat the evil forces of Dredmor.
This was by far my most successful game of Dungeons of Dredmor. This was primarily the reason I lost so suddenly. I was overconfident and careless, letting the Arch Diggles surround me and hit me too many times in a row. I actually had another potion in my inventory that I didn’t even try to use – that’s how overconfident I was.
All this being said, it took me about ten hours to play through this single game. The pacing in Dungeons of Dredmor is way too slow for me, so I’ll be playing in the condensed mode of the game in the future.
For now, it goes on the shelf. It’s a replayable game, not something you insist on playing until it’s over. I think I’ll go with another STEAM game next, maybe a different genre.