Following this idea, which I find quite nice:
Speaking of which, more experienced players should start a topic referring to their game-of-choice, and give us newbies tips&tricks. I'm the kind of guy that plays a lot. Of the first few levels. I never really get anywhere. That's true for nethack, ADOM, and Crawl so far. I might just be missing on a few things, I dunno.
I decided to start a Crawl thread, since I know some tips which have helped me survive. That way also we don't pester the other threads which should have nothing to do with this.
I'll start with what I know:
In view of all the votes that have been put here, I've decided to give Stone Soup a try. I obviously still suck at it, I've only played around a dozen games. Trying a magic-user, I've found I die really, really often because first-level spells really don't do much damage at all. The only way I got a little further was by using a Mountain Dwarf Earth Elementalist to get initial spells, and then just bash at the enemies. However, whenever I put some heavier armour, all the spells fizzle (kinda like nethack).
* Start with fighters, as they usually have an easier time at the start. Since class does not restrict what you can do, you can always learn spellcasting later to have some spells ready. Good races to "evolve" into spellcaster are Mountain Dwarf (to start learning Earth magic), and I think High Elves and such. Look at the .txt's that come with the game, in one of them there is a experience needed/skill for any race (in that table, the lower the number the better)
* Use dodging instead of heavy armour to cast spells. I cannot remember now which armours are for Dodging and which for Armour, but I think it was Dodging for any armours with EV = 2 or higher.
* If you *really* have to play a spellcaster, I think Deep Elf Conjurer is one of the most powerful. Just remember to train fighting when you encounter easy monsters to have more HP.
I have personally have success with Mountain Dwarf Fighters. If you get armour high enough, it doesn't hinder spellcasting as much, and at the start they are pretty good. Just remember to choose Axe or Mace for the weapon choice, as Swords depend on Dex and Axes and Maces on Str, which the Dwarves get pretty high at their advancement tree (again, look for some tables on the advancement path for the races). If you want to focus on spellcasting later, you'll have to sink up some of the advancement points you get on Int.
Anyway, apart from that, those evil Ogres usually get me. And I've never gotten past the Orc Warrior.
Darts are your friends early on. Dwarves have a good skill rate for darts, so you might want to spend some early experience on rising it up (at least, until you can upgrade to either crossbows or Earth Magic). Also, the most successful strategy against Ogres is throw them a poison needle and run away. If they survive the first, shoot them one more and repeat. They'll be down on some turns. Failing that, just run the hell away
About Orcs, they are not that hard if you actually manage to avoid them until you are stonger, and always remember to pick them one by one. Avoid Warriors and Priests, specially if your level is low. Also, poisoned needles or darts can really help here too.
Another tip is that healing potions are the most common in the dungeon, so if you have a pile of 6 or 7 un-id'd potions, chances are they are of healing, so remember to use them when things start to get bad. Dead men need no potions
. I think the most common scroll is identify or blink, I am really not sure.
Speaking of which, save identify scrolls for thing you really cannot identify for yourself (artifacts, strange rings or amulets, etc). Do not spend it on potions or scrolls.
A good tip to identify bad potions and scrolls is to buy one at the shops. They cost very little and in that way you'll recognize all of them. You can also buy a scroll or potions you *really* want to be able to identify later, but the better the item, the higher the price.
And that's all I know, as I am a newbie too. I hope it helps you!