Author Topic: Crawl - tips & strategies  (Read 17911 times)

Adral

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Crawl - tips & strategies
« on: June 19, 2007, 04:58:18 pm »
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:
Heheheh!

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 :P

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 :P. 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! ;)
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Anvilfolk

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 03:18:02 pm »
 Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup version 0.2.7 (crawl-ref) character file.

Anvilfolk the Cleaver                             
                                                   
Race       : Hill Dwarf        Res.Fire  : . . .   See Invis. : . 
Class      : Gladiator         Res.Cold  : . . .   Warding    : . 
Worship    : Elyvilon*         Life Prot.: . . .   Conserve   : . 
Level      :      10           Res.Poison: .       Res.Corr.  : . 
Exp        :    9909           Res.Elec. : .       Saprovore  : . . .
Next Level :   10087                               
Exp Needed :     178           Sust.Abil.: .       Rnd.Telep. : . 
Spls.Left  :       9           Res.Mut.  : .       Ctrl.Telep.: . 
Gold       :     188           Res.Slow  : .       Levitation : . 
                               Clarity   : .       Ctrl.Flight: . 
HP         :  86               
MP         :   4               Weapon : +0,+3 hand axe (chop)
Str        :  21               Armour : +0 orc plate mail
Int        :   0 (4)           Shield : +1 dwarf buckler
Dex        :  15               Helmet : +0 helmet
AC         :  17               Cloak  : +1 elf cloak
Evasion    :   6               Gloves :
Shield     :   4               Boots  :
                               Amulet :
Play time  :   00:49:50        Ring   : +3,+5 ring of slaying
Turns      :      11426        Ring   : ring of sustenance


You are on level 11 of the Dungeon.
You worship Elyvilon.
Elyvilon is pleased with you.
You are not hungry.

  Inventory:
Hand weapons
 a - a +0 dwarven hand axe
 o - a +0,+3 hand axe of chopping (weapon)
 q - a +0 quarterstaff
 w - a +0,+1 orcish dagger
 R - a +0,+1 mace
Missiles
 C - 21 poisoned +0 orcish darts
Armour
 c - a +1 dwarven buckler (worn)
 u - a +1 elven cloak (worn)
 x - a +0 chain mail
 P - a +0 helmet (worn)
 U - a +0 orcish plate mail (worn)
Magical devices
 h - a wand of lightning (8)
 m - a wand of enslavement (2)
 y - a wand of flame (11)
 F - a wand of lightning (3)
 J - a wand of polymorph other (5)
 K - a wand of slowing (2)
 Q - a wand of enslavement (9)
Comestibles
 d - 3 bread rations
 i - 6 meat rations
 j - a lemon
 M - 4 chokos
 N - a pear
Scrolls
 b - a scroll of identify
 k - 3 scrolls of teleportation
 z - 3 scrolls of magic mapping
 E - 3 scrolls of random uselessness
 G - 2 scrolls of fear
 H - 6 scrolls of remove curse
Jewellery
 l - an uncursed ring of poison resistance
 v - a ring of sustenance (left hand)
 I - a +3,+5 ring of slaying (right hand)
 O - an uncursed ring of life protection
Potions
 e - a potion of gain dexterity
 f - 2 potions of slowing
 g - 2 potions of heal wounds
 p - a potion of restore abilities
 r - 7 potions of healing
 s - 3 potions of degeneration
 B - 2 potions of speed


 You have 150 experience left.

   Skills:
 + Level 8 Fighting
 + Level 14 Axes
 + Level 6 Armour
 - Level 3 Shields
 - Level 2 Unarmed Combat


You have 9 spell levels left.
You don't know any spells.

Message History

Ouch!
You feel less confused.
A hostile presence attacks your mind!
You feel dopey.
You have damaged your brain!
You are confused.
You die...

  #..       . .#..
###.###### #.#.#.###.
.........   (.........
# #...#######..........
###....).%%.............
+.#...#######...........
#.#...).#   #...........
#.#...#.#####.#...?......
#.#...#.........@....8...
......#.###.###..........
..#.#.### ..............
#.#.#..  .#.###.........
..#...#.# #.# ..........
.####.# # #.# #........
.#   .    #.# ####.#..
.#        #.#     .#.
.###.     #.#



  Ascending Order
    The ghost of Anvilfolk the Cudgeler, an experienced HDGl (D:10)
    Erolcha (D:9)
    A hill giant (D:10)
    The ghost of Anvilfolk the Twirler, an experienced HuHe (D:7)
    A giant brown frog (D:10)
    The ghost of Anvilfolk the Cleaver, an experienced HDGl (D:5)
    A hippogriff (D:7)
    An ice beast (D:9)
    The ghost of Anvilfolk the Chopper, an average HDGl (D:4)
    Sigmund (D:3)
    A centaur (D:7)
    An ugly thing zombie (D:10)
    A wight (D:10)
    A quasit (D:10)
    A jelly (D:9)
    A worm (D:8)
    A giant frog zombie (D:8)
    An ooze (D:4)
    A giant ant zombie (D:5)
    An orc zombie (D:5)
    2 phantoms
    2 ogres
    2 orc warriors
    2 giant frogs
    2 orc priests
    2 giant iguanas
    2 giant mites
    2 small snakes
    3 scorpions
    3 jackals (D:4)
    4 orc wizards
    4 quokkas
    5 hounds
    6 giant beetles
    6 giant cockroaches
    6 giant newts
    7 yaks
    8 giant ants
    8 giant geckos
    9 imps
    11 rats
    12 killer bees
    12 gnolls
    12 snakes
    12 goblins
    19 hobgoblins
    20 kobolds
    24 giant bats
    25 orcs
  252 creatures vanquished.

Notes
| Turn  |Location | Note
--------------------------------------------------------------
|     0 | D:1     | Anvilfolk, the Hill Dwarf Gladiator, began the quest for the Orb.
|     0 | D:1     | Reached XP level 1. HP: 15/15 MP: 0/0
|   148 | D:1     | Reached XP level 2. HP: 21/23 MP: 0/0
|   331 | D:1     | Reached XP level 3. HP: 17/29 MP: 1/1
|   451 | D:1     | HP: 1/29 [gnoll/club (10)]
|  1017 | D:1     | Reached XP level 4. HP: 36/38 MP: 1/1
|  2198 | D:3     | Noticed Sigmund
|  2219 | D:3     | Defeated Sigmund
|  2219 | D:3     | Reached XP level 5. HP: 33/44 MP: 2/2
|  3209 | D:4     | Reached XP level 6. HP: 47/48 MP: 2/2
|  3364 | D:4     | Defeated Anvilfolk's ghost
|  3767 | D:5     | Entered Level 5 of the Dungeon
|  4231 | D:5     | Defeated Anvilfolk's ghost
|  4231 | D:5     | Reached XP level 7. HP: 44/59 MP: 3/3
|  4847 | Temple  | Entered the Ecumenical Temple
|  4921 | Temple  | Became a worshipper of Elyvilon the Healer
|  5104 | D:6     | Reached XP level 8. HP: 65/67 MP: 3/3
|  6458 | D:7     | Defeated Anvilfolk's ghost
|  6458 | D:7     | Reached XP level 9. HP: 39/74 MP: 4/4
|  7664 | D:8     | Noticed an orc priest
|  7672 | D:8     | Was forgiven by Elyvilon
|  7676 | D:8     | Defeated an orc priest
|  9064 | D:9     | Noticed Erolcha
|  9091 | D:9     | Defeated Erolcha
|  9091 | D:9     | Reached XP level 10. HP: 69/84 MP: 4/4
|  9476 | D:10    | Entered Level 10 of the Dungeon
|  9505 | D:10    | Defeated Anvilfolk's ghost
| 10387 | Temple  | Acquired Elyvilon's first power



Meh, morgue file. Removed some redundant monster stuff. So basically what I think happened here is that the stupid statue attacked me and reduced my intelligence to 0, killing me. Aren't I annoyed? My best score so far, stupid statue beast. If anyone can spot anything I've done wrong here, please do!

Also, your tips sure were helpful! Buying from the stores in order to identify is really smart :)

I was starting to get encumbered. I chose the Healer god, Elvyllion (or whatever his name is). I also chose gladiator over fighter. He gets unarmed combat but not ranged. Don't know why I pick him, really. Probably because I never use darts - though your suggestion is quite interesting. I picked the Hill Dwarf because his Axe skill goes up slightly faster than the Mountain Dwarf, and I wasn't planning on using a lot of magic. Should've picked a fighting god anyway. Also, I levelled everything I had on Dexterity. Is that a bad choice, should I go for Strength instead? Doesn't it increase my to-hit chances (Dex)?

I also blocked learning on shields, because I was planning to change to a two-handed axe if I ever found one, which never happened. Stupid statue. This really pisses me off. *grin* Ah well, all in the life of a @. Plus, I have to study!



Also, I got really interested in playing Assassins. I really like the way you can creep up on some monsters.  Any powerful ones that wake up before I can get to them usually turn me to pulp though. I played as a Grey Elf. I'll have to review race tables on that again. I also don't see how the assassin can take out large groups of gnolls or orcs later on. One wakes up, shouts, and that's that. It *IS* a totally different playstyle though. Very nice. Any tips on those would be great!

P.S.: Hmm, could you possibly polymorph the statue? Just thought about that, what with that Polymorph Other wand.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 03:21:19 pm by Anvilfolk »
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Adral

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 03:47:54 pm »
Hmm... well, I really recommend stopping Axes once they are high enough and let some points sink into Armour and Fighting before turning it on again. Try to have the most important skills at a high level, as sometimes more bonus from armour or more HP from fighting (I think) can really help.

About those impossible monsters, my advice is to run the hell away. There are plenty of monsters in Crawl that are very difficult to kill for certain character combinations.

About Gods, I think Okawaru and Mahkeb are both good choices for a meleer. Maybe Trog too. Okawaru and Trog grant a lot of nice items, and their invocations really help, and Mahkeb gives you some ranged attacks and some summoning, IIRC. Just be sure to keep your gods happy and you'll be fine ;). The "Good" Gods maybe are more powerful later on, when you have the full range of invocations and lots of piety to spend.

Also, remember to use those wands on monsters, specially when you need some extra punch.

About Dex increasing to-hit, I think that is only for Dex-based weapons, like ranged and Swords. For Axes and Maces and such, it's Str for to-hit and damage, so use that extra Str from Hill Dwarves to kick some butt ;). I really don't know if it is a good idea to sink into Dex, as heavy armour restricts your maximum EV bonus, I think. You'll have to wait for someone who knows more about Crawl than me to answer this :P
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Anvilfolk

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 04:00:34 pm »
Well, it was my first encounter with a statue - and it apparently sucks down your stats. I didn't even notice... I have to remember to keep an eye out for the low stats, because apparently if ANY stat reaches 0, you're dead.

I wasn't having any problems at all, I was taking on everyone and coming out laughing. I also gave fair use to wands of lightning. And I realized that by the time I finally got Elvyllion to like me, gaining a couple of hit points from the first ability didn't really matter. I also don't think Hill Dwarves are any good at the "healing skill" (Invocation? Nah, that's summoning, isn't it?). I'll bet on a war god next time. And definitely stay away from statues! Oh, and get it all on Strength! Wohooooo! Mayhem! Bring it on!

Well, only in the next study break. Thanks for the tips!
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mpa

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 06:45:28 pm »
Any advice for pure spellcaster ?

I usually choose Grey Elven Wizard since I just have to play a pure spellcaster. The farthest I got was level 4 in level 3 dungeon or something. I hate how its almost impossible to outrun a monster  >:(

Adral

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 10:06:22 pm »
Any advice for pure spellcaster ?

I usually choose Grey Elven Wizard since I just have to play a pure spellcaster. The farthest I got was level 4 in level 3 dungeon or something. I hate how its almost impossible to outrun a monster  >:(

Please keep in mind I do not play spellcasters often, as I think they are harder than other kinds early on.

Some stuff I said on older posts apply for casters too (like buy-id'ing), but some tips to survive early on are:
* Deep Elf Conjurers are the most powerful spellcasters. You might want to check them out.
* Use Dodging instead of Armour, to avoid casting failures.
* Try to use Dex-based weapons, as it is fairly probable you'll end up having more Dex than Str. I think short blades and staves are a good option (although I do not know for sure).
* I think Vehumet is a nice god for spellcasters, as he grants books and helps with mana regeneration (IIRC).
* *Always* take some time to rest ('5') and recover all of your spell points/health prior to *any* combat.
* Also, if you have some spare experience because you managed to kill a powerful monster, you can do the called 'victory dance', which consists on spamming a spell the school(s) of which you want to train.
* Remember to buff yourself, if possible, prior to combat.
* The less enemies you alert, the better. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to let some points into Stealth.
* Maybe it's a good option to have a ranged weapon, for those hard times. Poisoned needles are great, as well as darts, early on in the game. Otherwise, stick to bows.

Well, that's all. I hope it serves you, although, as I said, spellcasters are not my specialty at all ;)
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Cold Fingers

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2007, 12:11:42 am »
Hi to everyone, my first post  :)
I started playing Crawl few days ago and I have to ask you one dumb question:
How do I increase window resolution of the game and font? Its all to small atm.
In Dwarf Fortress you can change res and font size in the config file, not so in Crawl.
Thanks in advance, and yes i know it's a stupid question  ;)

beam

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 02:45:56 pm »
Dumb question, but I can't find any info in the manual. In the skill screen (m), it says I have unallocated experience. Can I manually allocate it, or does it do it automatically?

Adral

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 02:54:17 pm »
Dumb question, but I can't find any info in the manual. In the skill screen (m), it says I have unallocated experience. Can I manually allocate it, or does it do it automatically?

Experience is allocated by the actions you do. Using maces trains Maces & Flails, casting trains both the casting school and Spellcasting, etc. If you put a - to the skill instead of a +, by pressing the skill letter, you spend experience more slowly on that skill. That is crucial if you don't want to train something much.
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makkE

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Re: Crawl - tips & strategies
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 06:10:51 pm »
Actually, when you turn a skill "on" (+) it will mean that the unallocated experience will go into it the next time you use it.
Skills that are off will still gain experience, but only by direct usage, and to a smaller extend, it will not use the "pool".

***mild spoiler warning***

If you have allocated a lot of experience, you can direct it onto certain skills, for example cast around at walls, or let yourself get hit by a rat (for shield). It´s called victory dancing and is regarded as scumming by some. 

On a personal note, I find it is ok, crawl is hard enough as it is. It only works on some actions, for most skills you still must actively pursue fighting or other dangers to channel your experience.

Edit:

I have a question on my own behalf though. I have a dwarf fighter, str 22 int 15 dex 10 (ring of +5 int) ... he recently learned spellcasting and evocations.

I can´t seem to memorize any spell though :( I have books... do I need to get higher in spellcasting ? Even with level 1 spells I get "very hard to learn" - do I need specific earth or fire books?

^^ edit: I know now, thick armour and spellcasting won´t work. The char died by now, blasted by an elven wizard. Still my best so far :)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 02:59:27 am by makkE »