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.


  1. Thanks so much for updating this blog! The mindcrafter guide was the one I was looking forward the most. I thought there is going to be more emphasis on quick levelling classes and birth signs. Seems like they are reaching those useful powers sooner. On the other hand I never managed to keep one alive past the mid game. Keep them new posts coming!

  2. This is great! I'm glad to have found this, really helpful since I love mindcrafters but can't keep 'em alive >_<

  3. Thanks a lot for the help! Using this guide, a drakeling mindcrafter was one of my first characters that I was able to get considerably far and (almost) win.

  4. mincrafters can learn spells. just not from books. With high enough learning, you can push the spells you get from potions/wands of wonder to about 29 c.v.. very useful to be able to confuse your enemies and heal whilst they stagger. and TK blast is better than you make it sound, because it can break down doors, letting you easily sidestep the traps.

  5. mind/confusion wave is also pretty good, because you can take out entire rooms with them, rather than just single lines.

  6. Actually it is possible to learn easy spells(Light for example).Bless the book, pray to RNG and probably you will manage to get some castings to bookcast later.

  7. very helpful! thanx a lot!

    can make manual for monks? =)

  8. Great guide! Might I suggest the raven starsign, for quick access to the undead-slaying rune-covered trident. pretty nice, considering mindcrafters aren't that great against undead.