What is a good set of skills for a newer player in Dungeons of Dredmor?
The "easier" skills are those that are least situational, those that are constantly useful and don't require leveling up a lot before becoming so.
My "easiest" builds so far have been very combat-centric selections, and will normally consist of (in no particular order):
If you don't fancy the effort of Fungal Arts, swap it out for Perception. It's another passive skill (or less to think about), which lets you see further and adds bonuses to your Dodge and Enemy Dodge Reduction scores so helps in combat.
You could also consider Viking Wizardry if you don't want to consider your mana wasted, the level 1 buff spell is very useful in combat at the start of the game, but the skill tree does become less useful as you level up and get better equipment so it might be something you want to neglect.
It depends on what style of character you want to play. You should pick at least one melee weapon skill or unarmed for any character. For defense you want Master of Arms or Artful Dodger (or both). I tend to favor Master of Arms because Walk It Off provides some healing. Be sure to match the armor you wear to the skill you picked.
For magic using characters Ley Walker is essential for mana regeneration. Alchemy and Blood Magic can also provide mana. Fleshsmithing is a good choice for healing. For offensive magics Promethean is the most direct damage focused and Viking magic is the most physical damage buffing. Magic training is unnecessary, but makes all your magic more powerful.
Physical attack based characters need good defense so you should focus on Master of Arms first and then whatever other defensive and melee skills you want. Assassination can provide bonus damage.
I do not recommend a ranged attack based character for a beginner. The lack of ammo can be a real pain at times. If you really want to use ranged weapons leveling crossbow/throwing first will let you recover more ammo, but it's still not enough. Levels in tinker will allow you to craft crossbow ammo, but you will also want smithing so you can craft the ingots needed to make the ammo. For a ranged character Artful Dodger and Mathemagic both provide early ways to get the hell away from enemies and not have to melee, but getting swarmed and killed is still common.
Crafting in general is more trouble than it's worth. Archeology is a much easier way to get powerful items and can turn your unwanted artifacts into bonus experience. It also helps you avoid and disarm traps.
I would agree with what everyone is saying about a combat centric character, but one thing that I didnt see in the write-ups is the build i am currently doing on rogue permadeath, which I have seen posted in other places.
This build is the shit, even for a newer character, very powerful early game, first few levels are basically a joke with this build, almost regardless of what drops you get.
Here it is (note: i just got the new Expansion pack so I threw the Big Game Hunter skill into this build but it works quite well as it gets you a lot of extra food, and eventually tons of extra experience) :
Staves - as people have previously said, the best weapon in the game is a Staff, and for the most part, all of the high level staves I have seen are freaking amazing.
Dual Wield - great damage / defense buffs, and the ability to use 2 amazing staves at the same time.
Burglary - havent leveled this up past the first level, I basically only got this for the free lock picks, which are crucial
Perception - with the skills I selected you have enough rogue points to basically automatically disarm about 60-70% of the traps in the first few levels, lots of free exp.
Artful Dodger - Great for escaping / defense bonuses
Master of Armor - again defense buffs
Big Game Hunter - this skill is new in the expansion that just came out, and it seems pretty cool you basically get free food from killing animals (like 50% chance) which is cool its almost like vampirism although you can still eat food obviously. Also later on you get experience bonuses from killing animals.
Skill Order : Basically I put one level into burglary so I could have unlimited lock picks, and then i put every level into staves and then every level into dual wielding. In the first level about halfway through I was one shotting every enemy or bringing them down to like 10 percent health. In the second level I was scared because I hit the monster zoo almost immediately when i went up, but I had just gotten the area attack staff skill, and I had soooo much food from dominating the first level, and I rocked the bejeezus out of the monster zoo and killed everything (2 shotting most creatures) Soon after I was one shotting every creature on level 2 except for named monsters I havent gotten to the end game yet with the build (im waiting on them to fix this teleportation loop bug that is going around) but I feel like this is much easier than the build similar to this that uses vampirism.
After several matches, I found a very good fighter character:
For a mage, I like the following skills: Alchemy, Bloodmage, Mathemagic, Promethean Magic, Golemancy, Magic Training and Psionics or Necronomiconomics ;)
I've had a lot of success with a build that is very user friendly and low maintenance, no skills to cast, no crafting to manage, pretty much straight forward as you can get. I think it'd be great for a beginner.
Just get yourself some items with Health Regen, and you're golden, because the new Vamp works off of health regen, and with the combined dodge bonuses on Unarmed and Artful Dodger, you become very hard to hit, add in Battle Geology's nice defensive buffs, and I found this character had some great survivability. I got to floor 11 before killing myself with my own attacks (lol, damn Thaumite books) so I'll assume it's pretty solid. Zerker rage also gives you a nice defensive buff, plus the third skill is very good defense.
lol, yeah yeah, I doubt anyone is reading this but I had to share! :P
i finished on rogue and permadeath. i used promethean magic, blood mage, tinkering(for traps) alchemy, wands, necroeconomics and rogue scientist. i relied heavily on encrusting weapons and armour. if you develop promethean, necro and rogue scientis you finish with 3 or 4 skills of mass destruction and 2 or 3 skills of single monster assassination. tinkering will also give you some nice bolts and cool traps. i used 2 orbs for magic power and encrusted them with 'real holy shield'. tenebrous rift gave me no penalties. in monster zoos i remained with full mana. rogue scientist save me a lot of times because of that suoer punch and the acid projector. i had tried many other builds. died hubdreds of times. this one was ridiculously easy. hope you guys also try this build and have fun