Statement of Purpose

I’m lessens, an avid player of Crawl. If you’re here and somehow don’t know what Crawl is or why someone would play it, read this. I’ve been playing the game consistently for about a year now, and I’ve started to become fairly skilled, at least within limits. In the May 2013 tournament, I managed to place in the top 20 of all players, (more out of sheer effort and play time than actual skill), and somewhat more impressively pulled off a 4-win streak, losing the 5th in a rushed 11th-hour attempt at a challenging combo. I don’t think I’ll ever be the equal of superplayers like elliptic, theglow or jeanjacques, but I’m intent on improving and broadening my skill, and that’s more or less the purpose of this project. I’m sick of losing winnable games and frustrated at the limits of my playstyle, which tends to focus on “blaster-caster” archetypes while neglecting the other aspects of the game. So here I’ll be trying something different, and taking a serious look at how the game works and how I play it.

The Rules

For the next several months, or perhaps longer, I’ll be playing totally random combos and recording the course of those games here. When I’m done, I hope to have ascended some fairly unique and challenging combos and created some engaging write-ups of the games I’ve both won and lost. I hope it can also serve as a resource for myself and others, but I see that as more of an experiment than an expectation.

I’ll play whatever the RNG gives me, whether it’s a HOFi or a MuCK, with a few exceptions. First, I won’t be repeating combos, and I may end up skipping combos that I decide are too similar to ones I’ve already played. For example, if I’ve just ascended a TrMo, I doubt I’ll follow it up with a GhFi. Secondly, I won’t be playing combos I’ve ascended before I started this project or ones that I think are too similar, which essentially means no DE/HE/DD/Te “blaster-casters”. I just got done streaking those 4 times in a row and I don’t need or even really want to do it again. If I do play one, I’ll be doing it in an idiosyncratic playstyle, like a HEFE hybrid with equal parts melee and conjurations, or a DEWz that trains hexes and basically plays as an enchanter with a little conjurations or summoning support. Some of the more difficult species, like octopodes or felids, I’ll probably still play if they come up. However, I won’t be playing any demigods, because I hate them, and I reserve the right to stop playing any particular species or class if I decide they’re too annoying for some reason. I may also come back to combos that I thought were interesting but I didn’t manage to take very far.


This is essentially a diary. I’ll be recording all my games in detail, including a pre-game assessment of the combo and my plans on how to play it, a (roughly) level-by-level account of the course of the game, and a post-game analysis. Since this is a public blog and not private notes, I’ll do my best to make it an entertaining narrative that’s accessible to both new and experienced players, but in a sense it’s still essentially my notes and I can’t promise that it will be interesting or useful to anyone else.

I’ll be starting out with a fairly in-depth description of the game and trying to record every major decision I make and most important events that occur, but I’ll also be trying to keep the length down so I don’t spend more time writing summaries than I do playing, not to mention working on other projects. I’m not planning to include any screenshots at this point, (I play in console so they wouldn’t be that aesthetically pleasing anyway), but I may change that at some point if I decide it would add something, perhaps in a move-by-move analysis of a difficult situation, (I’d switch to WebTiles in that case for the sake of anyone reading).

I’ll be updating as I play so posts will probably be intermittent, but I play frequently so I expect updates will be fairly regular. I’ll do my best to include every game I play, but if I die on D:1 I probably won’t bother. Longer games will be split between different posts on a completely arbitrary basis.