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High Elf Gladiator Analysis (and Why I Hate Damage Traps)


It’s hard for me to really evaluate HEGl because I didn’t get this one very far. As I mentioned in a note at the end of my last post I ended up losing shortly after my narrative cut off when I walked into a bolt trap at low HP, instantly killing me. However, I got far enough to get a feel for the combo, so I’ll go ahead and give a preliminary analysis.

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May 30: High Elf Gladiator

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.13-a0-1284-g77c6466


Gladiators are the light armour melee class, which makes them well-suited for a High Elf intent on melee. High Elves have a positive dodging aptitude and negative armour aptitude, and while both are fairly modest they’re enough to give decisive favor to EV over AC as the best choice for a defensive focus. High Elves also have a +2 aptitude for long blades, quite high, so I choose a falchion as my starting weapon. Long blades are one of the strongest weapon groups in the game, and falchions are hands-down the most damaging weapon you can start with, so this will play in my favor. I’ll eventually be dipping into bows as well as my ranged option, since I have a decent aptitude there as well and need something to make up for what is sure to be lackluster defense capabilities, but for the very early game these should be enough to carry me. Overall, this is a fairly strong combo, (listed as viable, and for good reason), and though I’m not sure I can ascend it I expect to make it quite far with good play and careful planning. I’ll be putting all of my stat points into dexterity, to raise my EV, and aiming to worship Okawaru.

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May 29: Octopode Wanderer


This is a fairly dismal combo. Wanderers are the “random class” – all of their starting skills most of their starting equipment (rations aside) are entirely randomized. With excessive startscumming this can actually result in a character with a better start than most standard backgrounds, but in most cases you’ll end up with an unpowered, redundant or just plain bad skill spread. Combined with an octopode, the outright squishiest class in the game starting out, this probably spells an early death. I don’t expect to survive to Lair, let alone ascend.

As expected, I come out with a downright awful skill spread. 3 levels of fighting, 2 of of short blades, and 1 each of bows, dodging, stealth, traps and invocations. Fighting, dodging, stealth and traps are all essential skills in the long run, but nothing that’s going to help me much in the early game. Short blades are useless to me unless I plan to build a stabber, (which I don’t), I didn’t even start with a bow, and I’m not even sure if I’ll have a god that uses the invocations skill. The one bright spot with this start is that I started with two important consumables – a potion of heal wounds and a scroll of teleportation. These are arguably (along with potions of curing) the most useful consumables in the early game, as heal wounds will save me when low on HP and teleportation can allow me to escape from unwinnable situations, so starting with both identified and a supply of 1 each is a great benefit.

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