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I'm playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. I'm on level 10 of the main dungeon.

When I kill an orc, it may drop, say, shiny plate mail and a glowing battleaxe. If I leave those items on the floor, an enemy—say, an orc warrior—could later pick them up and use them.

Should I trouble myself to move these enchanted items to a cleared level? If not, why not?

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You should always plan a stash, like in the provided answer. However, you should only take the items with you if you actually plan on using them (i.e. if you are a spriggan enchanter, leave the shiny plate mail behind). Don't worry about other monsters on the level picking them up - hopefully you won't be back to this level until you've picked up the orb. –  Jason Berkan Nov 16 '12 at 21:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Most of the times it is not worth the hassle to stash away all enchanted weapons. But there are a few things to consider:

Brands

Store away the dangerous brands. Or, toss them into deep water or lava.

Be careful around distortion weapons, and weapons that exploit a natural weakness you have. Such as anti magic weapons as a mage, or orc-slaying as an orc, or even holy wrath weapons when you are undead, or change into undead.

It also depends on the weapons. A dagger of orc slaying is no big threat in a monsters hand as the dagger has low damage. (I don't know if the monsters base damage is also multiplied).

Branded Ranged weapons

It is usually wise to stash or dump ranged branded weaponry. A monster picking up a bow of flame can be a hassle, especially when there are more monsters around.

If you are not immune, always get rid of curare needles.

High end Armor

The only armor I usually stash or get rid of is plate armor or better. A random monster that finds and uses plate armor can be hard to beat using some builds. I usually either dump it in water, or drop it in the previous dungeon level.

A orc warlord in crystal plate mail can really ruin your day.

Good base weapons

Certain good base weapons you don't want to be used against you should also be stashed or dumped. Executioners axes, demon weaponry etc. Basically all the high damage weapons. Just don't waste a lot of time stashing all that gear.

Blue Items

You should not stash away all blue items. Magical plusses are not that influential in the combat system.

  • An orc with a +1 dagger hits for max 5 (base orc damage) +4 (dagger) +1 (magical plus) = 10 damage.
  • And with a normal dagger it hits for max 9 damage. (If I understand the combat system correctly).

So the weapon only being magical is no reason to stash it.

Artefacts

This highly depends on the artefact. But in most cases you want to stash or dump them. Just it cannot be used against you.

Stash Locations

The best stash locations are the places where normal monsters don't usually spawn to pick up your dropped weapons. Places like the lair (level 1 can very very rarely spawn monsters that pick up items. But I still pick that one usually, level 2 is way to far to walk :D ), the temple, or the vestibule into hell. All these places either do not spawn monsters at all, or only spawn monsters that do not use items.

If you just want to get rid of items while you are clearing a new level. Just go up a staircase and dump them on the previous one. Saves a lot of time.

Alternative to stashing magical stuff

Method 1 Just go through the levels faster. Don't spend that much time picking up gear, and stashing them. Just run past it. The less time you spend the less monsters spawn, and the less chance there is of a monster abusing old equipment. Added bonus, the game takes less time, and you get a higher score when you win.

Certain levels it simply is not useful to stash away weapons. The most dangerous time in a new map is always the first time you enter. As the level is then still filled with monsters. Later there are few new spawns that really are a upgraded by picking up random gear. (If a orc priest is dangerous to you, a random better weapon does not make him that much more dangerous).

Method 2 Pick a god that likes sacrifices. The best is Nemelex Xobeh, become the dungeons vacuum cleaner. Sacrifice all that dangerous excess gear.

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Making stashes is a good idea, but most levels spawn wandering monsters so you can't just put them on any level and guarantee safety. I used to always use 2nd floor of the Lair, as only beasts spawn in there so you know your goodies will be safe.

edit: Upon rereading your question, it sounds like you're more concerned with the items being used against you than you are about saving stuff for yourself for later use. Along those lines, the only things I generally care about enough to move off to a different level are weapons with distortion or draining brands.

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Note that as of 0.15, this is much less of a problem than in previous versions due to the following change:

  • Monsters will no longer pick up items that the player has seen. Allies won't pick up items at all.

and choosing Nemelex Xobeh is no longer of any help (IIRC it isn't simply piety; you can no longer sacrifice items to Nemelex):

  • Nemelex only gives piety for exploration rather than item sacrifices or deck usage.
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