What is a good set of skills for a newer player in Dungeons of Dredmor?

  • One skill I would not recommend for beginners is Vampirism. While life steal is nice, you cannot heal by eating food any more.
    – CruelCow
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:30
  • I jumped on the skill and have actually found myself getting less further than before. Good point, I will reconsider the skill.
    – Robb
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:37

8 Answers 8


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):

  • Swords, Axes or Maces. I personally favour Swords, but Maces have a very useful knock-back bonus at level 2. Overall they all have pretty much the same effects at each level.

  • Artful Dodger or Master of Arms depending on if you intend to go with roguish dodging or heavy armour - either can work (so can both), but be wary that high armour absorption won't help against elemental attacks later on, but a high block score (which you get from armour and shields) can.
    Artful Dodger also provides the very handy Knightly Leap skill (level 3) that lets you perform short-range teleportation, so if in doubt pick that and concentrate on your dodge skill.

  • Burglary, because infinite lock picks are a must (level 2), and the easier avoidance of traps is handy.
    The invisibility trick at level 4 is also really helpful if you get in trouble.

  • Berserker Rage provides randomish buffs than appear when you fight to make you stronger for a short period of time (and can stack for some really hefty bonuses). The 3rd level provides a number of permanent defensive buffs.

  • Assassination provides more bonuses in combat, these mostly do a little bit extra damage, but most usefully either put enemies to sleep or stun them.

  • Smithing; there's nothing quite like having really good equipment from an early stage.
    This skill does require leveling up to be really useful, but is seriously worth the effort.

  • Fungal Arts will provide a near-infinite stream of buffs and heals from mushrooms, but does require a lot of micro-management (so can be a little dull, to be honest).
    This is really strong if you keep generating mushrooms, which you can do at level 1 so the skill can be ignored when leveling up, allowing you to concentrate on your combat skills.

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.

  • Wonderful answer. It is exactly the write up I was looking for!
    – Robb
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:15
  • No problem @Robb. And thanks for asking this question - I was looking for something to write about Dredmor on the blog and I think this provides a great start.
    – DMA57361
    Aug 2, 2011 at 8:46
  • 5
    And I've now done a larger blog post version of this for those that are interested - blog.gaming.stackexchange.com/2011/08/03/…
    – DMA57361
    Aug 3, 2011 at 11:39

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.

  • 1
    Smithing is unnecessary to craft ingots. You can use an ingot smasher with 0 skill. Aug 5, 2011 at 0:29
  • 1
    You get more ingots with an higher smithing level though.
    – Alayric
    Feb 25, 2014 at 20:17

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:

  1. Maces: I think maces is the best weapon skill because (as Dungeons of Dredmor tells us) it has the second best weapon in game (btw the best weapon is a stave).
  2. Smithing: (max this first) Very important for a warrior, because you need good equipment! (tip: do not smith or smelt before you've maxed your smithing skill, because you'll get out less!)
  3. Master of Arms: Gives you a lot of defence (you also can try Artful Dodger, but I think Master of Arms is better).
  4. Shield Bearer: Another defence boost (you also can use dual wielding, but I like shield bearer more).
  5. Assassination: Must have for a warrior, because of stunning the enemy (Max this right after maxing smithing)!
  6. Berserker Rage: This skill gives you nice bonuses in battle.
  7. Dead Shot: Because of giving you (together with assassination) a nice chance for critical strikes. (NB - skill removed as of version 1.0.8)

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.

  1. Unarmed
  2. Burglary
  3. Vampirism
  4. Assassination
  5. Artful Dodger
  6. Battle Geology
  7. Berserker Rage

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


One loadout i really like using is...


2.Dual weilding




6.Master of arms

7.Berserker rage

The combination of Swords, Assassination and Berserker rage give you a rediculus damage output early on, it becomes even better when you have two good swords. Werediggle gives you an extra boost whenever you get in tough situations while having a cost of nothing.


i never played GR seriously, but i did it in Dwarven permadeath with this builds, preaty solid:

  1. xbow
  2. Big Game Hunter
  3. Burglary
  4. Perception
  5. Master of ARmor
  6. Artful Dodger (my first try was with Archaeologist, but switched because a carrot teleported to a jail and simply lost the game because i had no escape).
  7. Turist -> hound dingles + meeting interesting people are good in early lvls. A lot of extra xp from BGH with no much grinding you can be in character lvl 8 starting the floor 2. first lvl you go fo BGH, second lvl burglary, next full BGH, then Turist, maybe 1 lvl on Master of Armor or 2 Artful Dodger (for the jump). up to floor 8 is easy, dont use ammo, just fight in close combat. Then is tricky, but with care you can reach the last lvl and kill Dreadmore using xbow and special ammo. Tip: killing the dingles hound give you meat and 8, 16 or 32 XP.

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