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A Beginner's Guide to Dungeons of Dredmor

Updated on October 19, 2012

So you've found this game.

You heard it was hard, frustrating, and filled with fun. It was pretty cheap too, so why not? So you picked it up failed. Hard. You were just walking around the dungeon floor and suddenly died a horrible, bloody death. So you tried again. And again. And again. But you couldn't do it! My goal is to help you newcomers get better at this game.

A Simple Beginner's Build

To Get Used to the Game

This is a build that isn't the greatest thing in the world, but can carry you long enough to understand the game mechanics and the overall mindsets and strategies needed to play the game. It revolves around not needing to think about much; you sell most of the more complicated items and focus on the core. It uses melee, as it is much more simple than magic.


1. Axes - Good, strong weaponry. You get an Area of Effect skill later on, which is very useful.

2. Maces - These are also good and strong, but are mainly only present in the build to broaden what weapons you are able to use. It simplifies things.

3. Dual Wielding - You only have to worry about raw power rather than balancing shields and whatnot.

4. Berserker Rage - Adds more power, and helps get you out of tight situations.

5. Burglary - Its Vending Machine stealing ability is great for some easy items, but it's main purpose is for Lockpicks.

6. Assassination - Pretty much the same reason as Berserker Rage.

7. Archaeology - Makes early-game traps trivial. With traps being easy to disarm, this skill will help you get used to disarming traps and figuring out how they work.

Originally, the set used a skill called Deadshot, a great beginning skill, but that skill was removed in a later update. If you are playing an old version of the game and still have Deadshot (or know how to manipulate the "Previous Class" file to get it, but that's a little more complicated), go ahead and replace Burglary.

The premise behind this build is simple. Sell everything that isn't a healing or a useful equipment item. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the basics instead of getting confused by Mushrooms, Mana, Crafting, or other random things. Focus on getting Maces and Axes, and just plow through everything. This is an offensive build, and you should make the most of it.

Your first level up should go to Burglary, and once that's done, you never have to touch it again. You gain the ability to create Lockpicks, and a large supply of them simplifies the game by a huge amount. This will help you get used to regularly managing skills.

The next three level ups should go to Axesmanship, so you can get Norwegian Axenado. This AoE skill is great for mobs and makes managing large groups much easier. A pure-offensive build like this loves AoE.

Next is up to you. Anything will do, really, since you should be far enough along to understand the basic mechanics. Dual Wielding, Axes, and Maces, and Berserker Rage are all great candidates to level up from here on out, but don't be afraid to try out the others too. Burglary is great, but its skills require tons of micromanagement and may or may not be for you at your current skill level.

The Core Gameplay

NOTE: This entire page assumes you have played through the tutorial. It covers a lot of information, and you shouldn't skip it.

First off, let's decide how to choose your settings. You have three difficulty levels: Elvishly Easy, Dwarvish Moderation, and Going Rogue. For your early playthroughs, you should obviously stay away from Going Rogue. Whether or not you choose Easy or Medium should be based on your previous experience in gaming. Do you consider yourself a good gamer? Are you good at RPGs? Do you have good strategy? Judge for yourself which difficulty you want.

Next is choosing between Regular and No Time to Grind. No Time to Grind makes floors much smaller, and you get twice as much experience. It's overall harder (since you get less money and slightly less experience as a whole) but it's better if you're impatient.

Now, let's cover important gameplay things that the tutorial didn't cover. The biggest thing is the presence of shops. Throughout the course of this game, you'll collect Zorkmids, the game's currency. You can spend these at shops (magenta rooms on the mini-map) to buy various randomized items. This is the only thing you need money for.

Next, always cover the entire floor before moving on. I can't stress this enough. If you leave floors too early, you will end up dying. This should be common sense to most roguelike players, but it's still very, very important.

Another thing is Quests. Occasionally, you'll find the Statue of Inconsequentia, which is a pale-yellow statue of a woman. Pray to her, and she will give you a Quest, ranging from delivering an item to another statue, defeating an enemy, or whatever else. You should pretty much always take these, as when completed, they can give you really good equipment. Even if the equipment ends up not being useful to you, you can usually sell them for good sums of cash.

Use WASD/Arrows, not Point and Click! Point and click has its positives, like walking around visible traps, but if you're paying attention, it just gets in the way! Maybe you meant to walk two spaces, walked three, took an extra hit, and died. Point and click in turn based dungeon crawlers is just inconvenient.

That's All for Now!

Thanks for reading! This guide is still very incomplete, but I'm running low on time right now! More later!

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