Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guide to Being a Beastfighter by Molach

Lovers of unarmed fighting already have come to enjoy the Guide to Being a Monk. Considering monks can master all aspects of battle - magic, melee and archery - some consider their weaponless combat rivals, the magically inept beastfighters, to be elementally inferior. As Molach will show you, that truth my not be as clear-cut as they think.

Guide to being a beastfighter - by Molach

List of contents:

I Introduction

II Information - Documentation and features
a - Manual Entry
b - Understanding the Manual
c - Class Powers
d - The Skillset
e - Other Features

III Immertion - Starting a Beastfighter
a - Starsigns
b - Shopping Skills,
c - Races and equipment
d - Talents
e - Corruptions

IV Innovation - Strategy and Tactics
a - Early game guide
b - Midgame Ideas
c - Defeating special opponents
d - Wishing

V Inscription - Parting thoughts

I Introduction
"The simple is often the best" - Rema 1000 commercial

This guide is for those of us who want to be free. Free from picking and choosing and carrying and switching between different weapons and shields. We long for the simple, because there is great beauty in simplicity. Two empty fists - and a world of pain.

For a Beastfighter there are no shortcuts. You are only as powerful as your experience makes you. With great power comes great pain, but it does not come for free. You forsake the effective use of any melee weapon for a steady and sure increase in killing power. The first step to defeating your enemy, is to know yourself.

II Information - Documentation and features
"The highest technique is to have no technique" - Bruce Lee

a - Manual Entry:
BEASTFIGHTER -- Beastfighters are partly mystic, partly primitive warriors who excel at weaponless combat. They are lightly armored but extremely tough and fearsome opponents due to their weaponless fighting style. They are well accustomed to wilderness settings and very resistant to poisons -- especially to animal poisons. The more experienced a beastfighter becomes, the more deadly he is in melee combat. Beastfighters are especially likely to score critical hits when fighting animals in melee combat.

Beastfighters are trained in the following skills: Athletics, Climbing, Dodge, Healing, Herbalism, Listening, Stealth, Swimming, and Survival.

With increasing experience, beastfighters perfect their natural fighting style and their attunement to the wild beasts. At level 6 they become poison resistant and at level 12 their wild fighting style makes them stun resistant. At level 18 movement costs them but 700 energy points. At level 25 they can summon 2d2 cave bears or silver
wolves for the cost of permanently losing one mana point (which eventually regenerates after a lot of time has passed). At level 32 they become able to exchange positions with hostile monsters. At level 40 they can stun opponents on critical hits and at level 50 they gain +6 to both strength and toughness.

Also mentioned in the manual (under 'literacy' skill entry) is the fact that beastfighters (and barbarians) do not receive literacy automatically if learning > 10.

b - Understanding the Manual
The manual should be taken quite literally and beyond when it suggests weaponless combat. You should not use a weapon or a shield. If you do, you will not receive hit or dam-bonuses from tactics or strength, only weapon skill. No hit bonus means that hitting high-level monsters will be painful. For YOU, that is. So trust the manual and use your fists of fury. They will grow on you. On average, Beastfighters gain +2,17 to-Hit, +0,75 damage and +0,67 to maximum hit dice every level. Illustrating table in the next section.

The manual mentions critical against animals. An informal test I just did (hitting animal and non-animal 65 times with a level 14 character) yielded 25% critical hit against the animal and 5% versus the non-animal. Remember that insects are not animals here in ADOM. Animals are rarely dangerous enough. Still, can't hurt.

c - Class Powers
Level 6 - poison resistance. Poor. This is absolutely necessary to have. But it is very easy get, too. Somewhat useful for people who want to go dangerous places early (Puppy cave or Unremarkable dungeon or Cavern of Chaos) and not die to a pack of spiders or pit vipers.

Level 12 - stun resistance. Very bad. Stunning is extremely rare anyway, but when not stunned by a near-fatal monster blow you can at least drink a potion now, instead of praying or using a water orb. IF stunning gives protection against paralyzation which some people say it does, it is pretty decent.

Level 18 - movement costs 700 energy. Excellent. This is very useful. You can outrun anything except some quicklings and cat lord. Also allows you to use tactical withdrawal in combination with missile attacks. And it negates the need for 7lbs (at least as far as combat is concerned) meaning you can wear heavily smithed metal boots or your Diving messenger crowning gift instead.

Level 25 - can summon 2d2 bears. Very bad. Not terrible? Well if you need some pets to do some dirty deed, you don't need waste a SoFS. Skill IS terrible if you have music skill.

Level 32 - can switch places with hostile opponent. Average. Might be a life-saver if you get in a very tight spot. Can be used to take out summoners. Can let you proceed faster through areas. But I've played several Beastfighters who never used the ability. And yes, they were above level 32.

Level 40 - can stun on critical hits. Average. This is highly dependant on fighting style, and which opponent you are fighting. I had one great Beastfighter die because of this ability. He stunned a greater moloch. It did thus not behave in a predictable manner. I was fighting him by hitting and retreating, but after the stun he would just stagger about. So I moved next to him, and got to feel his wrath. On the other hand, when fighting a balor in a corridor you don't mind that he stands moshing around for a few rounds. I also suspect (but cannot verify yet) that a stunned creature might stagger into and hit a fellow monster and start a NPC-brawl. This is bad for people who like an orderly fight, like me.

Level 50 - +6 St and To. Great power. At this point you probably only need more hitting power and hit points. Both of these stats are probably VERY maxed when you reach level 50 (sickness/starvation can take one pretty far, you know), so this is just what you need. +6 extra hit and damage, +3 PV, and 100 hitpoints? I'll take 'em. Compare this with some of the other classes. Not many better.

d - The Skillset
Athletics - A great skill, available to most fighting classes. Conbined with the Beastfighters' levelup speed boost, you will be fast when this is maxed. You will get less exp when you are fast, so one might consider waiting a while before maxing this.

Dodge - Extra DV for a non-shield-using class. Makes sense.

Healing + Herbalism - Gives you total freedom in which terinyo quest to choose. Also gives you the freedom to go somewhere else instead.

Stealth - Available in the game, makes the backstabbing skill actually work once in a while when it is high enough.

Swimming - Helps getting places faster. You will not be trapped in UD early game.

Survival - Marginal use, can't hurt. Drakelings can sometimes get low on food with excessive spitting, so this can be a way to tank up.

e - Other features:
These are from the group, the forums, the ADOM guidebook or my own experimentation.

Martial arts bonus:
Beastfighters gain +1 speed every other level (2, 4 …)
Beastfighters gain +1 DV every 3 levels (Level 3, 6 …)
Beastfighters gain bonus to hit and to do damage when fighting unarmed. The gain is somewhat irregular, as shown by this table. Notice the sweet spot when you hit level 6. This also happens at levels 12, 18 etc. These also happens to be levels you get talents and class powers. So with divisibility by 6 comes great power.
Level Hit Damage DV Speed
1 +1 1d4+0 +0 100
2 +3 1d4+1 +0 101
3 +6 1d6+1 +1 101
4 +8 1d6+3 +1 102
5 +10 1d6+3 +1 102
6 +12 1d8+4 +2 103
10 +21 1d10+7 +3 105
15 +32 1d12+9 +5 107
20 +42 1d16+15 +6 110
25 +53 1d20+18 +8 112
30 +64 1d24+22 +10 115
35 +75 1d26+25 +11 117
40 +85 1d30+30 +13 120
45 +96 1d34+33 +15 122
50 +106 1d36+37 +16 125

What damage will this mean for a typical game?
At level 5: Aggressive tactic. No other bonuses. You do 6-11 damage.
At level 10: Aggressive tactic. +2 from weapon skill. You deal 12-21 damage.
At level 20: Aggressive, +3 skill, +2 St bonus, +5 eq. You deal 28-43 damage.
At level 35: Ready to finish the game. +30 bonus from tactic/skill/eq. Deal 56-81.

Beastfighters attributes are, as we see, tipped towards "might" rather than magic:
Attribute adjustment: St Le Wi Dx To Ch Ap Ma Pe Total
+4 -1 -1 +4 +4 -2 -1 -2 +2 + 7
Total +7 attribute points, but in reality I'd say +10, since Ch, Ap, Ma and Pe are of little concern for us.

Beastfighters gain extra satiation from "raw meat".

III Immertion - Starting a Beastfighter
"The ladder of success must be set upon something solid before you can start to climb" - Unknown

a - Starsigns
Some that have greater impact on beastfighter are:
Raven - +10 speed will be combined with bonus from athletics and level-up speed boost. You will be really fast. Faster delivery of rune-covered trident can be very powerful for most characters, but not for a poor beastfighter. It is not totally useless, because it is a thrown weapon. Toss it at enemy demons and undead if you need to.

Book - increased chance to learn spells. I'll personally call this useless, and leave it to the very patient to make use of this. There are reports of successful magical Beastfighters, they might in addition want to get good book learner talents and raise their Le stat.

Cup - 10% less experience to advance, 1 extra skill increase every 2 levels, +2 Le. Faster levelling is very good for Beastfighters, and for the stupid races, extra skill increase is pretty good too, as we have many useful skills we want to max fast. Good sign.

Dragon, Sword, Candle - I lump these fighting starsigns together. For an ideal Beastfighter, I'd definitely want one of these.

Falcon - Grants survival skill, which we already will have. That is not very useful.

b - Shopping Skills
I will discuss some skills you might consider adding, and their usefulness for a Beastfighter-to-be. They should have a great impact on which race you should select, and possibly which skills to wish for later on.

Alertness: Normally good for all races for helping to avoid energy- or deathrays. The extra DV it gives is extra good for Beastfighters since they can not tote polearms or shields like every other guy can. Added to Dodge skill (which you will always get) you get quite a bit of extra DV (+14, to be exact). You can get this skill by choosing a Dark elf or a Drakeling, or getting it from a scroll or potion of education. Not from wishing.

Archery: Beastfighters can finish the game without missiles, but training missile weapons will often be a good idea, to better handle various difficulties which may arise. Also, any Beastfighter who wants to fight AnDoR should definitely make the effort to learn the art of missiles. This skill gives the ability to learn a nice talent and some extra hit/dam when using missiles. And it is available if you choose a Hurthling PC.

Find weakness: Another good skill, I would value this highest of all for Beastfighters. Reason being that they can never get criticals from melee weapons. No slaying weapon will be used. In addition it is hard (as in not totally impossible) to use penetrating weapons. Occasional high-damage hits will therefore be important when fighting high-PV opponents. Both in the middle and end game. This skill might well be worth a wish, depending on whether you get bracers of war or ring of the master cat. It is available from dark elven and orcish characters.

Food preservation: Some love this, and spend wishes for it, some couldn't care less about it. Beastfighters start with a big pile of food, so it is not needed for early-game food needs. But on the other hand, it will help with generating a literate corpse (typically a dark sage) for literacy early on. What does a Human, a Hurthling, a Troll and a Drakeling have in common? This skill.

Gemology: Combined with means of digging (ants, pickaxes) this can get you gems. Fire, light, health, darkness and learning are special effects you can get. Learning crystals can give PCs a good enough boost, enough to gain book-reading abilities with enough harvesting. Darkness is frequently used to completely neutralize various difficult monsters (Blup's mom, Vortices, Snake from Beyond)

Literacy: Only High/Gray elves get it at the start of the game. In my opinion, it is not hard to live without this skill until such time as you can attain it by other means.

Mining: With 100 skill you should never break a blessed pickaxe, you also can dig very fast. Might actually be useful for escapes, dig away while in coward mode to escape. This skill makes smithing (q.v.) and gemology (q.v.) much easier to (ab)use.

Smithing: You do not need to smith a weapon, so armor pieces and crossbows are what you may improve. If you can stand the tediousness of it, this is what will make you into the walking tank you always dreamt of. The skill is easy to buy in-game, though.

Tactics: Little reason not to get this skill. The sword is worthless for you except as ratling fodder, and you can safely give him any weapon you come across too.

c - Races and equipment:
New skills listed separately, as this is, in my opinion, most important information. Double training in a skill will give you a higher skill when starting the game, rarely of much difference. In addition the improvement-dice will be less (as if you had increased the skill yourself)

Skills added by race: Food Preservation
Double training in Swimming
Starting gear: Light furs, leather boots. (+1 PV). Torches, flint and tinder.
Attributes: Average
Discussion: Jack-of-all-trades, humans have little problems with this class. No outstanding features, but no real weaknesses. Lifespan is a tad short, so keep in mind a missile a day keeps the ghosts away.

Skills added by race: Bridge building, Food Preservation, Gemology, Mining
Double training in Athletics.
Starting gear: Thick furs (+2 PV), heavy club.
Attributes: Awesome St and To, other low, Le terrible.
Discussion: Trolls main features are excellent stats for a fighter, but terrible levelling. For a beastfighter this is not good news. Gemology and mining will give you something to do while waiting for your levels to rise…if you like to wield a pickaxe and become a smith. Starting with bridge building is next to useless - you need a hatchet to use the skill, and a manual of bridge building to improve the skill on levelup. Carpenter quest gives you these medium- and extra-rare items anyway, while druid quest gives a wand of cold you can use instead.

High/Grey Elf
Skill added by race: Literacy
Double training in Dodge, Stealth
Starting gear: Leather cap, light furs, leather boots (+1PV)
Attributes: High Dx and Le, low To.
Discussion: Weak races for melee. Low To makes early game hard. The normal elven selling point, the great skill of dodge, is already covered in the Beastfighter skillset. So why play one? Well, this is the only way to have a beastfighter start out literate. Other races must wait for a semi-rare dark sage corpse or first dwarven quest. However, I fail to see why this should be a big problem. Elves also can receive the crowning gift "artefact bow" which is pretty good, especially for a non-melee-weapon using character. No particular reason to play these guys, but they can with care grow to be as powerful as the next race.

Dark Elf
Skills added by race: Alertness, Find weakness
Double training in Stealth
Starting gear: Spider shell armor, leather boots (-1 DV/+5PV)
Attributes: Good Dx and Ma.
Discussion: Two excellent starting skills added. Dark Elves are normally a weak race to begin with, but your starting armor more than makes up for this. Dark elves get little value when selling stuff in dwarf town, so make it a point to open up the shop in HMV. This should not be hard, you can enter SMC at level 1, and diving UD should not be hard. After that dive you should be well-stocked in items and levels to move on with the game. Dark elves have worst healing in the game, so make it a point to raise healing skill.

Skills added by race: Detect traps, Metallurgy, Mining, Smithing
Starting gear: Light furs, heavy boots (-1DV/+2PV)
Attributes: Good To, decent St, rest average.
Discussion: Very strong race, without the short lifespan worries Orcs and Trolls suffer. Skills are not too hot, though. Dwarves special feature is mithril skin talent. If you take "hardy", "tough skin" and "iron skin" you unlock "mithril skin" talent. This set can always be gotten by level 9 at the latest, and give +3 HPs and +5 PV. That should cover the lack of PV from a shield for a long while.

Skills added by race: Gemology, Mining, Pick Pockets, Ventriloquism
Starting gear: Light furs, gnomish boots (+2DV/+1PV)
Attributes: Mostly average. Decent Dx and not bad To.
Discussion: Surprisingly good. The skills can be used and misused in various ways, while the fast levelling quickly toughen up these little guys.

Skills added by race: Archery, Cooking, Food preservation, Gardening.
Double training in Stealth.
Starting gear: Light furs, cursed ring, torches, flint and tinder, cooking set. (+1PV)
Attributes: Low St, good Dx.
Discussion: Another great choice. Good skillset. They start out on the weak side, and need to take care until they can take care of themselves. This they can do after they find their first pile of rocks, find a few more points of PV or gain level 6+. They can become masters of missiles, combined with proper selection of talents.

Skills added by race: Backstabbing, Find Weakness, Metallurgy, Mining
Starting gear: Light furs, heavy boots (-1DV/+2PV)
Attributes: High St and To, average Dx and Le, others lower.
Discussion: One great skill, and great fighting attributes combine to make orcs mighty beastfighters. Lifespan worries means that they should be proficient in missile attacks - to take care of lurking ghosts from a distance

Skills added by race: Alertness, Food preservation, Music.
Double training in Swimming
Starting gear: Light furs (+1PV)
Attributes: Good St and To.
Discussion: Skills are quite good. The main point of drakelings is their acid spit. For a pure combat character, the ability to do "magical" damage is quite nice. Beastfighters start out with so much food that you should be able to spit whenever you want in the early game. The continual metabolism damage in ToEF is generally seen as just a minor annoyance, speed boost makes the tower much easier, helpful when you have to rely on bare non-slaying fists for damage. Music can help you avoid killing cats, which will help you get a ring, which will help with critical hits.

d - Talents
We all have our favourites here, and we probably realize that magical are mostly bad, and fighting talents are good. Some worthy of special Beastfighting-related mention are:

Brawler - +2 to hit when using unarmed combat. This talent is very good in the early game, and something to consider for weaker races and players who want to get in danger early (Puppy cave or UD dive). It becomes less useful later on, but is never made useless.

Missile talents - Beastfighters need missiles if they want slaying or penetrating properties against certain opponents. Missile talents are never a waste, but one could probably wait a while before starting to pick them. Note that only hurthlings or those who can obtain the "archery" skill otherwise can get the "eagle-eyed" +3/+3 and "lightning shot" (-10% energy cost) talents. This make them natural choice for those who want to rely more on distance attacking beastfighters

Treasure Hunter - I'd value this slightly less than other characters, because we do not need to look for a weapon. Other classes can probably look for items the whole game, hoping to find awesome double-ego weapons. Other items are of course useful for beastfighters.

Shield talents - Utterly useless. Using a shield kills beastfighter bonus. You get to keep +hit and dam from weapon skill only.

Weapon talents - Don't even think about it.

Mighty strike talents - Too bad our fists do not weigh over 100s.

Defensive talents (careful, defensive fighter, dodger) - Good. Extra DV, and since we have dodge we can also get the dodger talent. Again, this compensates for the lack-of-shield impact on DV

Protective talents (hardy, tough skin, iron skin, steel skin) - I personally almost always get these. But they have no special relevance to beastfighters

Speed talents - Matter of debate. On the one hand, you don't need them since you will grow faster by levelup and athletics skill, and they make your experience gain lower. On the other hand, they combine to make you fast enough to outrun anything anytime anyhow. Personally I'd avoid these, apart from "quick" which opens up "defensive fighter" and "quick shot" talents

Long stride - A favourite for many players, I'd value this slightly less for beastfighers. They get a class power that makes this almost useless, and they are naturally fast.

Long-lived - Something to consider for the quickly dead races, as this is a very melee oriented class

e Corruptions
Normally trying to stay corruption-free, are we? Consider this little gem:
"You have grown thorns" (3d3 barehanded damage, - 2 Dx and -3 Ap).
For many advanced users, - Dx means another chance to improve it via herb training, and therefore a higher stat if you get rid of the corruption again. This particular corruption is therefore arguably not really harmful, and the extra damage will apply to every melee attack you ever make. Reading SoCR often removes two corruptions, beastfighters might want to make sure they keep this one.
I would also recommend keeping this:
"Your close attunement to corrupted astral space allows teleportation".
Cost-free random teleports to save time and teleport wand charges, so you can save wands for real emergencies. Eating a blink dog comes highly recommended for all characters anyway. Stupid Beastfighters do not want to rely on books.

IV - Innovation
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat" - Sun Tzu

a Early game Guide
Your beastfighter actually starts out pretty weak - a mere 1d4 damage, no possibility of going true berserker. This sets the trend for the game - you will only be so powerful as your level makes you. A few kills later you reach level 3-4 and can hold your own, and then the first benchmark, level 6. Poison resistance without having to search for spiders, 5-12 damage, speed boost. Your unarmed combat skill will have raised a bit, too, and from here on everything just keeps getting better.

You can handle any potential starting dungeon, as long as you remember not to dive too fast. You can probably save the little girl's dog, just by bypassing or levelling up before you take the ants. The Small Cave - Unremarkable dungeon - High mountain village route is pretty easy too, as you will gain levels when you need to (2-3 in SMC, then gradually down the UD). This way you can also head into the CoC, and dive down to dwarftown and first quest, if you should desire.

Carpenter or druid quest? You have both healing and herbalism. Carpenter gives bridge building skill, hatchet, rust removing oil and a healer than can be a source of ultra healing potions with some careful planning. Druid gives an Ankh (which I suspect is pretty good to wear, at least if you get lucky/fated from an altar), a corpse which can be traded in for a Cure corruption potion, and a wand and book of frost bolt. For me the druid quest looks most appealing to the regular player.

ID can be used as a training area to increase your level, or a source of solid metal gear to help make you ready for the end.

Keep remembering, any weapon you find is only useful for cash when you sell it. I just had a dark elven beastfighter dive the UD to HMV, and he finds a surge of power with (of course) skullcrusher. +3 St, and slays humanoids. I tried it on a room of kobolds, and it just did not work. Terrible to-hit, no damage bonus. Barehanded attacks dropped them much faster. So keep weapons you know will sell much. Regular swords/axes are good, as are items with lowered weight. Missile weapons are of course good to gather and use.

Equipment to look out for early on are of course armor pieces. Most starting armor is low on PV, so you might switch to some solid armor, even if it might be cursed. You should keep an eye open for "brass knuckles", as they add to punch damage. The very best piece you could hope for are the artefact "bracers of war", especially for characters without "find weakness" skill. But they are sought after by all characters.

I made 3 quick beastfighter to illustrate some starting strategies.
Early game Test char A:
(random) Troll Beastfighter. Month of Raven. Talents: Brawler and Hardy. +14 hit and 1d4+8 dam. Decide to save the puppy. Ants almost kill me, have to pray. Level 3 when I enter last level. 1 day 1 hour has passed. Save the dog, find a ghost, get aged and leave, Quest completed (for maybe my third time ever…). Analysis: I do not like trolls. Slow levelling in the start is not good. They might get better around level 6 or so, but take too long to get there. Apart from ants and ghosts he had no problems in the normally dangerous puppy cave.

Early game Test char B:
(random) Dwarf Beastfighter. Month of Wolf. Talents: Long stride and Quick. Went to SMC, stayed till level 3, then dove into the UD. Got killed when ambushed by ants at char level 5. Analysis: I picked speed talents, I should and could easily have run away. Did not watch my HPs. Very solid race, good fighting stats and gets levels quickly enough. Good candidate for speed-playing early on.

Early game Test char C:
(random) Grey elf Beastfighter. Month of Unicorn. Talents: Hardy. Talk to druid, and visit his dungeon. Stopped on DD:3 by a fire beetle while level 2. Use the standard beastfighter way, go back and gain some levels before slaying it. At level 4 it drops easily. Enter DD:7 at char level 6, but die to acid slug's breath. Analysis: Too weak for me. Low on HPs, and not enough damage dealt. Also pathetic armor. Ability to read will not keep you alive early on. Not enough To to get "iron skin" talent meant he was bound to die in my speed-playing style. This character needs to be played more carefully at the start than I did.

b Midgame Ideas:
This section is for characters who have completed the early game, gained some power but still feel unready for that great hurdle - the Tower of Eternal Flames. You are deep in the middle game when you have completed 4 or 5 dwarven quests, cleared dwarven graveyard, pyramid and obtained the RotHK. These tasks are done on a regular basis as part of most games, and will strengthen your character in many ways. But after them your goal is to grab that fire orb so you can begin finishing the game. Here are some optional areas, and my personal comments about them.

Herb farming: This is for many players a boring but necessary part of the "buffing-up" process. Lately I have started to leave big room in CoC open to monster spawning, and collect herbs while fighting monsters. This slows down farming somewhat, but keeps that precious experience trickling in. Trick is to head towards some stairs if you spot summoners approaching, and kill them and their spawn by going up-down the staircase. Breeders also need to be watched.

Smithing: Boring but very effective. When your armor can withstand the ACW, you will be dealing enough damage to take him out. Nothing else is really needed.

Precrowning: There are to my best knowledge 23 artifacts available as precrown gifts. 7 of these are worn - Robes, Leather armor, Crown, Bracers of war, Preserver, Ring of immunity and Ironfist. 3 are missile related - Whirlwind, Thunderstroke, Farslayer. There is a useless book and a useless shield, along with 11 melee weapons. 2 of these weapons are decent when thrown and 1 is the artifact digger. If we count 10 useful and 13 useless gifts, you have a 43 % percent chance of getting a useful gift. 2 precrowns give a combined 68 % chance of at least one useful object. Decide for yourself if the possible frustration is worth it.

Crowning: When in doubt, get crowned. You will receive either Bracers of war, Nature's companion, Cloak of Oman, Boots of the divine messenger or Preserver. Possibly long bow if you are an elf. These are all solid gifts. Cloak 'grants' teleportitis, boots might be worth less if you have a pair of high-metal ones smithed up. But any of these should increase your power. An immunity and permanent blessing to increase hit and dam a bit is just icing on the crowning cake.

The Infinite dungeon: Staying at ID: 8-9 to avoid corruption sadly is a bit too easy for a regular midgame character. Drop down to ID: 18-19 if you can survive some corruption (I bet you can). Walk around, looking for a fight and some pieces of armor you may be missing.

The Darkforge: Slay the steel golems while breaking in. If you have trouble, do something else meanwhile. You should ID the armor stash, and just ignore the weapons unless you need cash. If you do, sell them unidentified. This saves some agony over finding that one-in-a-million wicked eternuim two-handed sword of devastation you will never be able to use.

The Water Temple: When you pass Khelevaster, there is little reason not to map and clear out the CoC down to the wall of flames. After that the Water temple holds your first orb, arguably the most useful one. Holding it will help against confusion and add a few HPs, and using it will fully heal.

The Bug-infested Temple: With missile skill and some backup wands (fireball is good) you can probably walk around the top level. Attacking bugs in melee means you either are strong enough to finish the game already, or so weak that you just died. Eating corpses of the bugs will raise speed and dexterity pretty high, and wreck your willpower. Willpower is needed in the ToEF to stop getting confused by the wyrm, so you need to invest some time in raising Willpower back up a little.

The Rift: This is actually a decent place to gain experience. You need to be experience level 18, so this will probably be your last place to visit before ToEF. You need little more than your fists, and they will not break even if you do fall down. Some monsters in the library can be too tough, so remember that you can almost always run away. Do not worry about leaving books behind - odds are you will not use them.

The Minotaur Maze: This dangerous place will give you frustration, some fighting experience, a couple of PoCCs, a potion of strength and some cash. In addition you can enter only when level 22 or more - hopefully you should be PAST the ToEF and heading down CoC by then. If you are skilled in missiles and have means to avoid confusion, killing the minotaur mages should go smoothly enough. If not your stats and will to live might get drained away. For the masochistic or the ones who want to do a "clear all areas" kind of game.

The Tower of Eternal Flames: If not quite able to take out the Wyrm, you can start clearing out the tower. Decent experience is gained from fighting in here. If you do not wish to waste fireproof blankets until you do this for "real", you can leave all flammables behind. Eat a blessed stomofillia, and take along the water orb for healing. I have, by the way, had a few characters enter the Tower "just to look" and come out with a cooked dead wyrm in their backpack and a shiny orb in their tool slot.

c Defeating certain opponents
If you are high enough level for whatever you are fighting, you can and will kill it. If you are a bit on the low side, remember that there is nothing proper slaying missiles can't take out. Since you are using the same weapon skill the entire game (unarmed fighting, right?) you will also attack fast, so you should never be overwhelmed by fast counterattacks. You should also be so fast that you can outrun anything, except probably the cat lord.

Still, some opponents are worth mention:
The Ancient Chaos Wyrm: One of the biggest differences between beastfighters and other classes is that if they find the artefact "wyrmlance" they have a totally reliable way to kill that Wyrm. Beastfighters, of course, simply have something to feed to the ratling or sell. To kill the Wyrm at an earliest possible time, here are some ideas. You can use missiles. Take along blessed dragon slaying ammo dipped in poison. Keep it in fireproofed backpack until you have a clear shot on the wyrm. If you have alertness, you might want to do this at a distance, if you have heavy armor, mr Smith, you should stand next to him. Potions of confusion/blindness/poison can be thrown, wands of paralyzation can be zapped, all to gain additional advantages. If you have no dragon slayers, a good set of offensive wands can do the trick. Acid and Frost works fine, if the Wyrm is not too lucky with shrugging them. And lastly, remember that while beastfighters normally can run away, the ACW will often send rays of death upon your back while you run. Prepare for this, by digging a maze into the temple, or by having healing potions. Run away, come back later on and take him down in good, honest melee.

Yulgash, master summoner: You can switch positions with monsters at level 32, and switch your way right next to him. Then show him the fury of the fist.

The Cat Lord: If you have killed your fair share of cats, he can be the single worst monster in the game. This is due to his high speed, on a level without teleport. You can lure him off-level, and then get away from him. But we want to kill him for a nice bit of experience. My advice is to use that blessed wand of fireballs Thundrarr gave you. Head-to-head in melee might work, but cost a pile of healing potions. Just use the wand, it is not too much use after this anyway.

Greater moloch: Too easy, right? Just hit and back up ad nauseam. But when you reach that cursed level 40, you will sometimes critically hit and stun them. This is very annoying, as they will stagger about irratically. Remember to keep your distance and wait it out - they are still every bit as deadly. One attack can still kill the most powerful beastfighter. Trust me on this. I know.

ElDeR cHaOs GoD: I have only faced him with one beastfighter, and that ended up badly. You can NOT use the TotRR or Sceptre of Chaos for dealing damage. Take the weapon off after entry, and either smack him with fists or shoot him with missiles. Standing near to him will drain stats, and this will be somewhat worse for you without a overpowered Trident to whack him with. When he is close to dying, you need to equip the trident/sceptre and shoot him, so keep some humanoid slayers ready for this. Remember to be fast - for this fight your puny beastmaster-bonus will not cut it - get extra speed by wishing or boost potions.

d Wishing
Early game you might wish for an AoLS. This opens up possibility of Ultra, and will give you a pile of SoCRs. You can also wish for a red dragon scale mail, which should see you safe to the mid/late game instead. Late game you can wish for your favourite skills, find weakness and archery are very useful to improve fighting abilities (archery if you also get the unique talent).

V Inscription - Parting thoughts
"What do you wish for?" - ADOM

Thanks. For the input and corrections to the guide, provided by Darren Gray, Maelstrom, gut, Silfir, vogonpoet.
To the player characters Brag the Troll (Winner), ? the hurthling (Chaos Plane loser), ? the Gnome (Greater Moloch respecter), Haoemvee the Dark Elf (Skullcrusher) and A, B, C the Guina pigs for playtesting.

To the combined ADOM groups and forums for various information.

And of course, to the host of these increasingly long guides, Silfir.

And lastly, to you for reading this.