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.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mindcrafter Guide by Lich

Mindcrafters are an incredibly cool class. And for this reason, I am proud to announce that fellow ADOM forum member Lich has put together a guide for it. Without further ado, here it is!

Mindcrafters is one of my favorite classes. They are very good melee fighters who are also able to use their power points to its full potential. Playing a mindcrafter presents a challenge that is (much) greater than a wizard or archer, but not as masochistic an endeavor an adventuring merchant or farmer. The most important thing to remember when playing a mindcrafter is to take things slow; your time will come, but only if you can stay alive.

This guide is completely based on my experience playing mindcrafters, so I may have gotten a few details wrong. In addition, the tactics mentioned have all worked for me. If you have a better way to do things, then good for you. I have also made some effort to make this guide not too spoily, so anyone concerned about that should be able to read on without any worries.

The first thing one should notice about mindcrafters is that they advance in weapon skills normally, like a fighter rather than a wizard. This gives a hint as to how they should be played. Second, mindcrafters cannot learn spells. It is a feature of the class. Therefore, if you ever find a spellbook, throw it around, carry it, burn it, just don't read it, as failed attempts can bring very bad consequences. The manual is correct in saying that mindcraft is very different from magic. Unfortunately, mindcraft is not as universally applicable as magic because many monsters are immune to it and the very useful powers do not come until high levels. This means that mindcrafters cannot depend on mindcraft the way wizards depend on spells. Their powers have a much more specialized use.

Confusion Blast (1) - A linear blast which disturbs the minds of your opponents and confuses them.

It is a very good idea to confuse your enemies if you plan to attack them in melee. This power works on everything that can be affected by mindcraft. In my experience, the only monster I would want to confuse but can't is the chaos archmage.

Confusion Wave (3) - Similar to Confusion Blast, but affects all beings within a certain range.

Not as useful as confusion blast because a mindcrafter would not want to be surrounded by monsters, but if you find yourself in such a situation in a cavernous level or the Big Room, this power would serve as a convenience.

Mind Blast (6) - A mental attack trying to destroy the brain cells of the victims. Damage: [{(W + L) / 6} + 1]d5.

A level 6 mindcrafter who has just gotten this power would do around 5d5 or 6d5 damage per blast for 18 power points. The damage is very poor and inefficient, so try to line up several enemies when using this power. Take advantage of the fact that mind blasts go through walls and doors when dealing with troublesome monsters. Against bosses, this power is simply too weak; don't bother using it.

Mental Shield (9) - A mental defense, which affects both defensive and protection values of the character. DV: + [(L + W) / 5], PV: + [(L +W) / 8]. Continuous power.

Useful for dealing with slightly out-of-depth monsters; costs too much PP to keep on all the time, and probably won't make a difference against really tough enemies. However, if you feel that it would make a difference, turn this power on

Mind Wave (12) - A mental attack similar to Mind Blast, with the difference that it affects all beings within a certain range.

Again, a mindcrafter should not get himself into a situation where this power would be useful, stick with mind blast.

Telekinetic Blast (15) - A projected force which might shatter doors and is able to damage beings physically. Damage: [(W / 5) + L]d3

About 20d3 damage for a mindcrafter who has just gotten this power. This is even more expensive and inefficient than mind blast. In addition, the damage dealt is affected by the target's PV. This power can be treated as a melee attack that never misses.

Eyes of the Mind (18) - A hypersense which allows the character to sense creatures and beings within a certain range.

This is essentially unlimited scrolls of monster detection. Use it on every new dungeon level as soon as you arrive, and nothing will catch you by surprise (except for undead and constructs, but they're usually not fatally dangerous). This power saves lives considering that the vast majority of deaths in ADOM occur because the PC got caught by surprise.

Greater Mental Blast (25) - A more advanced form of Mind Blast. Damage: [{(W + L) / 8} + 1]d9.

Mind blast with the numbers (including PP cost) scaled up by a factor of about 2. Still not powerful enough to deal with anything significant. Line up your enemies when using.

Greater Telekinetic Blast (30) - A powerful force ball causing a lot of physical damage to beings. It might even be powerful enough to shatter stone. Damage: [(W / 5) + L]d6

This power is actually not a force ball in the sense of ice and lightning balls, but a targeted attack on any single square within the PC's line of sight. This is the mindcrafter's best power; no other ability in the game can deal this much damage without costing extra energy points to use. The PP cost may be a bit too much when the PC first get it, but becomes better very quickly after a few more levels. Good for sniping off very annoying monsters (e.g. summoners) or dueling ones that are very powerful. You can also mine with the power if you have PP to spare.

Regeneration (35) - A defensive power which allows the Mindcrafter to heal his wounds. Continuous power.

Essentially converts PP into HP, but by that time the PC could probably equip an amulet and/or crown and/or bracer and/or artifact of regeneration to recover for free. However, if not, use this to regenerate, and then switch to a less PP-dependent style of fighting so you can keep your HP full.

Teleport Self (40) - A power allowing the travel to remote places within the blink of an eye.

Teleport is always useful; this power comes a bit late, but be glad that it's there.

Teleport Other (45) - Similar to teleport self, but can be used on other beings.

Imagine that you are a level 45 wizard, how often do you cast teleport on monsters? This gives an idea of how useful this power is.

Greater Mental Wave (50) - Similar to Greater Mental Blast, but affects all creatures within a certain range.

The damage is not outstanding, but not bad either. However, the radius is huge. If you can confidently stand in a big crowd of monsters, this power can be very useful. Also looks good on the list as sort of a token of achievement for reaching level 50.

Many monsters are immune to mindcraft. Insects (all insects, not just i's), grues, jellies, undead, constructs, vortexes, elementals, and rabid dogs are not affected by mind blasts or confusion blasts. Ghosts, in addition, are immune to telekinesis. Monsters that can pass through stone (e.g. stone snakes) are also unaffected by that power (probably a bug). Spellcasting enemies (e.g. black wizards) and magical eyes are very good at resisting "mental incursions" which is like the mindcraft equivalent of shrugging off bolts. Dark elves (lower case u's) have semi-immunity because they resist mental blasts very often. It is preferred that the PC has some other means of dealing with them. There are exceptions to the above when it comes to mindcraft immunity, but it's always better to assume that a monster is immune, and find out empirically that it isn't than the other way around.

Since mindcrafters are capable in so many areas, they really have no preference in terms of starsigns. All of them confer useful bonuses that will make life easier in certain areas:

Willpower starsigns


It's generally hard to change alignment, +5 to initial willpower.

The power of mindcraft is directly dependent on willpower, and +5 is certainly a good boost. However, it usually only translates into 1 extra damage die. On the other hand, mindcrafters need willpower for more than just mindcraft. If the PC is initially chaotic though, forget about learning Healing from Jharod.


+3 to initial Perception, +3 to initial Willpower, food is more nutritious for you (by +10%).

The willpower bonus is not as large as tree, but the perception bonus can increase the PC's line of sight. Also, considering that a PC has to keep constantly satiated, 10% more nutritious food does add up over the course of the game.


Very good at surviving in the wilderness, +2 to initial Willpower, +1 to initial Charisma, one free talent.

Still smaller willpower bonus, but with a very nice free talent on the side. This starsign also grants the PC with the Survival skill.

Learning/spellcasting starsigns


Requires 10% less experience points to advance in level, receives one free skill advance every two levels, learns spells more effectively (20% better than others), +2 to initial Learning.

PC's need on the order of 100 million experience points to get to level 50; and 10% of that would be millions of xp. +2 learning can result in even more skill increases on top of the skill increases this starsign already gives.


Lawful tendencies (it's harder to change), spells for neutral casters are 10% cheaper in power points, +2 to initial Charisma, starts out with lawful tendencies but gets +2 to Mana and 10% more power points if neutral initially.

More power points for neutral PCs is nice for mindcrafters. Lawful tendencies help initially chaotic PCs to change their alignment towards N to get Healing. Lawful PCs do not benefit much from this starsign.


Lawful tendencies (it's harder to change), one free skill increase per level, increased chance to learn spells.

Since mindcrafters don't usually start out with good Le, the extra skill increase is very significant. The lawful tendency helps chaotic PCs more than lawful ones. The increased chance to learn spells means nothing because mindcrafters cannot learn spells.


Fire magic is 20% cheaper in power points, +1 to initial Charisma, +3 to initial Mana, +20% to power points (always).

+20% to power points will be very helpful especially with the mindcrafter class power at level 18 and 40. The spellcasting bonuses are irrelevant.

Combat starsigns


10% increased effects from Tactics settings, -3 to initial Willpower, +2 to initial Strength, +1 to initial Toughness, costs to increase weapon skills are reduced by 10%, combat magic is 10% cheaper in power points.

The extra St and To help immensely with early game survival, and I think it's worth the -3 to Wi. 10% increased effects from tactics settings work well with the Tactics skill.


Positive modifiers from Tactics settings are increased by 10%, costs to increase melee weapon skills are reduced by 20%, +1 to the initial Learning score.

The tactics bonus is better than Dragon because only positive ones are increased. Since mindcrafters rely on melee weapons quite a bit, this starsign can save the PC thousands of weapons skill marks.

Miscellaneous starsigns


Heals faster, the gods are more forgiving when asked for favors, one free talent.

Mindcrafters born under this starsign will not need the Healing skill; therefore they can choose either of the Terinyo quests. This can make life a lot easier later on. A free talent is also nice.


Harder to corrupt by Chaos effects, hard to change to a different alignment once lawful, +2 to initial Appearance.

Corruption resistance will give mindcrafters more time to build up their strength, and they may very well need it.


Harder to trick by deceptions, messengers will reach you faster, you are faster (+10 to speed), companions are more powerful, +2 to initial Perception.

+10 speed allows the PC to outrun pretty much all monsters early on, and as a mindcrafter, the need to run away from monsters will arise. +2 Pe is nice to have but is not likely to make any difference.

With regards to race, a mindcrafter's capabilities make any race workable, but there are preferences. The best race to pick in my experience is drakeling. It is possible to complete the game with acid spit alone. For mindcrafters, this fact is very often not a luxury but a necessity. Other than that, drakelings come with the Alertness and Food Preservation skills, which come in very useful. In addition, this race is quite tough. The only problem for them is overheating in the Tower of Eternal Flames; however, once the PC finds the means of hp recovery to overcome the problem, having near 300 speed is actually a very nice bonus.

All other races I find them equally preferable (more or less). They all come with certain strengths and weaknesses.

Orc, Dwarf

These two races are very well built and have very good early game survivability. Their good St will also make them effective melee fighters, orcs especially with the Find Weakness skill. Both races get the Mining skill and mindcrafters always have gemology. Therefore, orcs and dwarves can make very good use of gems. Dwarves, in addition, get Smithing, which can be very nice. On the downside, these two races have poor Dx, so training missile weapon skills is much more difficult. Low Ma and Wi of orcs will often mean a level 1 mindcrafter of that race does not have enough total PP to cast confusion blast. Dwarves don't suffer PP problems (as much), but this area is hardly their strength.

Hurthling, Gnome

Not as tough as orcs and dwarves, and not as dexterous as elves. What they have going for them is their nice skill sets and starting missile weapon skills. Hurthlings is the choice I would go with because they have Archery, Food Preservation, and Gardening. Gnomes start with crossbow training while hurthlings get proficiency with thrown rocks. Hurthlings win out here as well because rocks are much easier to come by than quarrels, not to mention the crossbow (however, crossbows have much greater potential in the long run). Their PP is not good, but not bad either; they should be well endowed enough to use some mindcraft once in a while.

High elf, Gray elf

These two races have good Dx, Le, and Ma. High Ma simply won't make a big enough difference until fairly late in the game. High Le is also quite useless because what will they be learning? Definitely not spells, and their only noteworthy skill is Dodge. Low St and To will make early game very awkward at best, and utterly unplayable at worst. The danger of getting killed instantly will be with these two races longer than any other. When playing a high elven or gray elven mindcrafter, you will have to be an archer a lot of the time.

Dark elf

Same, or rather more, problems with St and To than high and gray elves. I tend to keep re-rolling dark elven mindcrafters until I get one whose starting St will not incur melee weapon damage penalties (at least 9). They are also different from their elven cousins in many ways. They have good Wi rather than Le, and the Find Weakness skill, which is deadly combined with missile weapons due to their high Dx. The Alertness skill will also be very useful in the mid to late game. A mindcrafter of this race can be very powerful once he has gotten off the ground. The one thing he will want during mid game is hp, hp, and more hp. Once that's dealt with, everything else will fall into place.


A surprisingly good race for mindcrafters. Trolls have horrible Wi and Ma, but mindcrafters don't really need that early game or even mid game. They need to survive so they can develop their mindcraft powers, and trolls are perfect for that purpose. Trolls get Mining and Gemology, which is good for exploiting gems that will take care of their low Le. On the downside, increased food consumption is a universal drawback with trolls, but trollish mindcrafters get hit especially hard by their slow leveling, which much of their mindcraft powers depend on.


In my experience, humans need a bit of luck. Their stats are evenly distributed, so they suffer no disadvantages in any area, or they suffer disadvantages in every area. They can whack a monster in melee and shoot them with arrows equally well. In terms of mindcraft (PP), humans are also decent. Food Preservation is the sole noteworthy skill of the human skill set. I find humans to be very item-dependent in the early game, so it is a good idea to keep spares rather than becoming drastically weaker if a key piece of equipment is destroyed.

Now our mindcrafter stands at the entrance of the Drakalor Chain. My first priorities would be equipment and the Healing skill. Mindcrafters start with very poor equipment. Regardless of race, they start with a quarterstaff, a [+0 +1] robe, a pair of sandals (usually [+0 +0]), a couple of scrolls, and a couple of wands. You would be lucky if the worn items are of slightly higher quality that gives an extra point of DV or PV.

For those races with high Dx, they should find some missile weapons ASAP. Rocks serve as a good quick fix before a more permanent replacement is found. If none turn up, let goblin rockthrowers throw them at you. At this stage, I would aim for leather armor, medium or wooden shield (small is not worth it), metal cap, metal girdle, and a pair of gauntlets. You would be able to scrape together at least 6 PV from these, which is decent protection in the early game. While in Terinyo, a mindcrafter simply has to open up VD so he can get Healing, as you definitely do not want to spend 30 minutes recovering from a battle with a goblin. I suggest gathering the equipment mentioned above on or around VD4. Just wander around a bit and kill monsters. If anything bad happens, you can still retreat to the healer. If the situation is really dire, berserking may be a good option since the PC will probably get hit anyways, so might as well increase the chances of killing the monster before it kills you.

Choosing a melee weapon

Mindcrafters need melee weapons to deal damage, because it is very inefficient to use mindcraft against everything, not to mention impossible. Practicing with one weapon category from the beginning is a very good thing to do because it will allow the PC to accumulate some very nice weapon skill bonuses when the serious fighting starts in the mid to late game. Spears are my melee weapon of choice, because they are one-handed and give good DV bonuses. If you want to switch to something that packs more punch later on, halberds remain an option. Flails are also good for their above average base damage and a guaranteed artifact mace later on. Swords are viable in that many good artifact ones exist, and swords of sharpness are also very nice. The Sword of Nonnak, while having good bonuses, simply doesn't cut it for fighting. In the two handed weapon category there is the eternium two-handed sword, whose damage output put many artifacts to shame. However, before the PC finds one of those, there aren't any good two handed weapons to practice with. Practicing with other weapon categories is somewhat of a gamble, because no outstanding weapons of those categories are guaranteed to appear.

Choosing missile weapons

Mindcrafters receive positive modifiers to their missile attacks essentially from three sources: weapon skills, Dx bonus, and the bonuses on the weapon itself. From this fact, it is obvious that means of ranged attack not requiring a weapon (thrown rocks, thrown daggers, scurgari, etc) are not worth using, because the bonus from weapons is always limited to 0. Therefore, never throw a rock if you find a sling, or just ditch rocks altogether as soon as you find a bow or crossbow. The most important thing with missile weapons is remembering to practice. Don't empty tension rooms in melee, step back and shoot arrows at the monsters. Hurthlings have a very nice advantage here: they have the Archery skill, which also allows them to choose the Eagle Eye talent. This means that they can get an extra (+11 +8) with the skill maxed out and the appropriate talents. One note about hand crossbows: I have always found them to be a joke. Tiny quarrels are very difficult to find, and they break more than any other missile weapon, so never use them.

Mindcrafters usually don't start out with good Le, so they don't have a lot of skill increases to work with during the early levels. Concentration is obviously a skill that should be improved. In the case where the PC gets 3 increases, I would put the remaining two into First Aid and Herbalism, even though it may not raise the skill values by a lot. First Aid, make no mistake about it, save lives. You certainly don't want to wait until you get poisoned by several pit vipers to realize that a skill value of 20 is not quite enough. Herbalism will allow the PC to identify herbs upon picking (chance improves with skill value) and pick more herbs from a single bush. Herbs will play a very important for mindcrafters, especially drakeling ones.

As the PC levels up relatively quickly in the beginning, they get a good number of talents. I am not very fond of climbing talent trees, because it's just not worth the effort to get some completely useless talents in order to get another one that is slightly less useless. For mindcrafters, I would go with the archery (especially with hurthlings) and speed talents, because these have tangible, immediate effects, and they don't become obsolete in the long run. Mindcrafters will need missile weapons, but the class doesn't come with any features to help in that area. The various bonuses scraped together from sources such as talents may very well push a mindcrafter's missile damage output from marginal to significant. With regards to speed, +9 from the talents is a lot. In the later game, some monsters have very nasty attacks, and the last thing you want to do when fighting them is to give them free turns by not being fast enough.

After obtaining Healing, I would go to the ID to further train up the PC. This is desirable (or even necessary) because mindcrafter is not exactly a class that soars off the ground after a few levels. The Puppy Cave is probably still off limits at this time. The ID provides a safe environment to practice melee weapon, missile weapon, and shield skills. If the PC wanders the ID for a while, a lot of useful magical items can be generated. The Treasure Hunter talent will be helpful here. Will a mindcrafter need these items later on? Absolutely. Since it is impossible for mindcrafters to learn spells, scrolls and wands are the only means of using magic for them.

Many people find stair-hopping in the ID to be a questionable tactic and give it the not-so-flattering name of "scumming". I don't find it so, mainly because if a PC doesn't take the time to equip himself early on, he will have to rely more on luck later to overcome the various challenges he will face. If that luck doesn't come, it could lead to some very awkward situations.

Once the PC has some experience under his belt, he can start exploring a bit to finish off the Terinyo quests and visit other places of interest in the northeast section of the map. At this point in time, herbs become a priority, especially the stat-increasing ones. When you discover any level to contain herbs, explore it quickly and get any useful herbs into stable formations, or in the case of that being impossible, pick as many herbs as possible before the bush disappears. Equip invisibility items (ring, cloak) or drink a potion to avoid monster harassment when that is an issue.

At some point in time, the PC will have to deal with boss monsters. Mindcrafters have quite a bit of difficulty doing that during the earlier levels. It does get easier at higher levels, but never let your guard down. There are many ways to kill powerful monsters, but it is usually a good idea to throw everything you have at the enemy. If that doesn't work, run away and come back later.

There are some tactics that are beneficial regardless of the situation. For example, confusing the enemy before engaging them is always a good idea, and a mindcrafter is better than any other class in doing that. Paralyzing, blinding, and stunning are other means of disabling your opponent. Darkness may be helpful depending on whether or not the monster in question sees in the dark. Keep in mind that some monsters are VERY resistant to certain forms of attacks, and disabling bosses in general takes a good number of tries.

The most reliable way I know of to kill bosses is the drakeling acid spit. I don't think any monster that the PC needs to kill to finish the game has acid resistance. This means of offense is also as guaranteed as they come: simply press "j" when choosing your race. As good as it is, I would not recommend purposefully corrupting a non-drakeling PC to gain the acid spit. On the downside, the acid attack is reduced by PV, so if your opponent has very high PV, it won't work.

The best way to deal with bosses is, of course, missile weapons. If the PC manages to find the right slaying ammo, then the battle is as good as won. However, if you don't, as it is most often the case, use normal ammunition. Unless the monster has ridiculous DV or PV, it will work, provided that the PC's Dx and missile weapons skills are at a reasonable level. Even so, killing a boss this way will take quite a number of hits, so be sure to have enough ammunition and the means of hp recovery to survive a possibly very drawn-out battle.

Melee is obviously another way of fighting bosses if the PC has enough weapon skills and a decent weapon. However, with the really tough enemies, a way to cut through the opponent's PV becomes necessary. This can be done with weapons of penetration, items that enhances the PC's chance to get critical hits, or just brute force. For critical hits, the Cat Lord can certainly help out here. For that reason, don't kill any cats. With confusion blast and eyes of the mind, a mindcrafter really has no excuse.

When fighting anything that may pose a threat, the benefits of confusion blast cannot be overemphasized. In many cases grasping at the minds of bosses will corrupt the PC, but it's well worth it. However, monsters that can teleport will start doing so haphazardly when confused, and monsters that can pass through stone will take quite a while to dig out again if it wanders into the wrong places. This is not to say don't confuse these kinds of monsters, but be prepared for complications.

Tough enemies can also be taken down with wands, but it would require a lot of wands/charges to rely purely on them. What I usually do is use wands as a finisher. Fireballs are particularly good since they cannot be shrugged off. Get a monster to critically wounded, then a couple of blasts from wands should finish it off. This will help avert situations where a monster panics to the opposite side of the dungeon level (usually into a swarm of their minions too) and fully regenerates before appearing again.

Whenever you face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle with a mindcrafter, remember that it is natural for this class to encounter many challenges that are too tough for the PC's level. If at all possible, simply bypass it. The most important thing to remember is to never be discouraged, and have faith in your PC, as the mind has the power to triumph over anything.