What is your current favorite Roguelike? [Or all things roguelike]


If you haven’t fired the game in a while, Caves of Qud has been getting quite some eye candies (even some animations!). They implement regularly individual sprites for creatures or orbjects not featuring one yet.
I don’t think Sproggiwood levels of art can be implemented because of the incredibly wider scope and cast of the game, but I find CoQ really good looking, a near perfect mix between ASCII and pixelart. And they leave space for the nice text descriptions.


Yeah, I agree. I was many, many levels under one of the ruins scattered north of Grit Gate today and I kept getting low memory warning messages and a note from the devs that they were working on game optimization and I should save, exit and restart to be safe. The game must hold a huge amount of stuff in memory for each zone plus everything your character and followers have in their inventory, etc. I suspect it really adds up. If they had fancier graphics, the scope of the game wouldn’t be nearly as impressive as it is. Like you, I really enjoy the tiles they created.They do have a great ‘roguelike’ flavor to them. I liked them well enough from the beginning but they really have grown on me even more as I’ve played the game. Now back to Joppa to see if I can find that glowpad merchant that’s supposed to be randomly somewhere in the watervine marsh. Just that one little area is 72 game zones.


So, I recently learned that in Caves of Qud, there is a Dismember (axe) skill with which you can lop off limbs and occasionally even sever the very faces from your enemies. Awesome right? Even better, you can then wear their bloody face as a trophy mask, which gives you an ego attribute boost ranging from +1 to +3 depending on the enemy’s toughness tier.

Now playing as an esper, whose main attribute is ego, this is a ‘do want’ item. But how to get it? As an esper my strength and agility are very low, way too low to meet the skill requirements for dismember. The only way I could think of was to beguile a follower that already had the axe and dismember skills as a follower and then let him do his thing.

A little research in the game XML files lead to only one viable candidate, Jotun, Who Severs Limbs. He’s a very nasty double 2 handed axe wielding troll and the first key guardian in Bethesda Susa. So off I go. There was some nastiness on the first floor getting to his healing pools but I made it down there intact and in fact had no problem at all beguiling him because of his fairly low willpower. So far so good.

But then I realize a problem. He is constantly budding off Troll Foals from his flesh (which are swarmers). While Jotun is my follower now and friendly, he still is budding hostile troll foals every few seconds which must be killed. Of course, I was leaving it to Jotun to take care of them and noticed he was lopping of their arms and legs every now and then. Could it be? Sure enough, I kept checking the bodies of the foals after he killed them and sure enough, there it was, a troll foal face. Even better, it’s a +2 ego item. I slap it on and it’s enough to boost all my esper skills to level 10. Bliss.

This game.


C[quote=“Coldsteel, post:1563, topic:50736”]
This game

I believe noted Youtube star Tom Chick will be streaming Caves of Qud tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Stay tuned!




Think I might try this now it’s 50% off. (demo here)


I totally have that in my cart right now.


Kyzrati’s blog posts are awesome. His episode of Roguelike Radio is great as well, it introduced me to the game and convinced me to buy it. The Discord channel associated with it has a lot of great conversations too.

Between Cogmind and Caves of Qud, I dont know how I’ll ever get back to my quest of beating Brogue…


Okay all you Caves of Qud enjoyers - I took the advice given here up thread (thanks for that, by the way, all of that was really helpful and I have incorporated most of it into my initial attempts here) and decided to spend some time digging into CoQ and getting into it at last. It’s so good. I still can’t beat that first fucking mission. Every time I think I’m getting close I get killed by some powerful enemy (or I fail to realize how low on health I am like an idiot).

I recorded my latest attempt (while also explaining the game, the recording is really for some local friends that wanted to see it in action and were thinking of picking it up) so if anyone wants to help me understand things I’m missing, things I’m maybe doing wrong, or any sort of critism would be helpful.

I really want to get into this and get further.

Thanks in advance!


A well known early trick is to immediately give back some of the loot you get from the Joppa’s chests to the weirdo in the bottom left house. He gives you basically the same quest twice in a row, and allows you a quick leveling prior to departing in the wild.
I found I had much more success with a True Kin than with a mutant as well, because the skills are so useful and the non-mutants get quite a few extra points to spend there, but also because if you add to the skills cooldown those of the mutant’s powers, the micromanaging of the cooldowns gets a bit too intensive and ARPG-ish for my aging mind.
My most successful runs have been True Kin tinkerers with a focus on long range weaponry early on. A lot of the early creatures are swarmers, as far as I can tell, and dispatching them from afar makes everything much easier. Rifles are basically like that fire hands power, excepting you don’t have to wait 10 rounds to use them again - the only downside is of course, stocking up on the ammo, but merchants have those usually.

Disclaimer: tips coming from a year back in time, so it might all be wrong now :O


I’ve found long range specialists to be my most survivable characters as well. I usually dont do any tinkering, I make a mutated human gunslinger with all physical mutations that buff agility or ranged attacking (Night Vision is sort of like an situational, indirect buff for example). Plus those borderlands revolvers gunslinger starts with are just so sweet. I’ve gotten pretty far into the game with that build surviving some questing in tougher midgame dungeons like Golgotha.


I see you went with Flaming Hands. That’s not a bad mutation by any means, it does have some advantages, it’s just not nearly as good as Freezing Hands. Not only does Freezing Hands do damage, it freezes your enemies solid so they can’t fight back. So freeze them and walk up and start whacking on them. After you get some levels you can keep most enemies perma-frozen with the short 10 turn cooldown it has. Plus, it shoots in a ray, so you can line enemies up and freeze 2 or 3 at a time. I can’t emphasize enough how useful this all is.

Second, never, NEVER head directly to Red Rock for the first quest without getting 4 or 5 levels first. It may seem like that’s what you are supposed to do but it isn’t. You need to wander around the areas outside of Joppa first leveling up. This is why you aren’t surviving past Red Rock. Avoiding doing this quest too soon is very important to your survival. Seek out the snapjaws in the zones around Joppa and kill them, they are easy and drop a lot of good starting equipment. At the very least, walk the zones to Red Rock rather than using the overland map.

Always check the 3 chests in town that you can loot without anyone seeing you (close the doors). If you’re lucky you’ll get a bow and 2 artifacts and maybe some other decent starting gear and food. Make sure you equip and use a bow or gun ASAP (always buy all the ammo at the vendor, it’s cheap). If you get an artifact, take it to the Tinker in the building on your bottom left and turn it in to complete his first quest. That’s a quick 75 XP. If you got 2 of them in the chests, then turn in the second one as well and complete his second quest. That will bring you to level 2 without leaving town at all.

Talk to the Zealot in town and get his quest to visit the Six Day Stilt. Then kill him and take his book. Don’t worry, everyone in town hates him and the book sells for a decent amount. Plus, he’s worth a few XP.

On the upper right of town, use “look” to examine the statue there. This will give you a quest to visit a nearby historical site, which often has many goodies you will want and sometime a relic. Plus you get XP when you arrive there for finding it.

Later on, make sure you get the Tinker Examine skill which will help you identify artifacts. Most of the good equipment in the game you’ll want are artifacts until identified so think of this as a permanent scroll of identify. At the beginning though concentrate of skills that have a big impact on your survival. You start with Long Blades skills so maybe Swipe and Mighty Swipe would be useful.

If you have a buckler, it gets equipped on your arm, not your hand so you can still dual wield with a buckler equipped. A normal shield has a higher defense rating but occupies a hand slot so you can only use one weapon. Something to consider.


Also, I forgot to mention Sprint. Use it. It will keep you alive. If your health starts getting low or there’s too many mobs to deal with, sprint away and live to fight another day. Also you can use it for kiting with your ranged weapon. Just be careful not to put yourself right back in the same situation you had to run away from in the first place.

Always keep a lot of bandages on you. Once you get to Red Rock, those caves have a lot of invisible Young Ivories (the spike plant things) and they cause bleeding. You’ll need some bandages to stop the bleeding or you can easily bleed out and die in there.


Maybe it’s about time they put in a new first quest, where you have to wander around the areas outside of Joppa leveling up!


It is in roguelites that quests aren’t supposed to misguide you into a quick death!


Ha! Well no sense in departing from tradition then! :)

I wonder if when they put the story mode in, the game will deviate from this approach anyway.


My understanding was that we were already playing it, and they were just revealing parts and parts of it (the central quests sequence having been the same beetween games for a while now), until they add end-game contents. Do they have something different in mind?


No you’re probably right, I’m operating from a faulty memory it seems.


@Coldsteel thanks for the tips! I rolled up a True Kin this last time and went with high agility build and a pistol/short blades and man, I’m doing super good so far. I wrapped up the first and second “main” quests (I think they are main quests) and now I’m level 9 or 10 and wandering the wastes doing some of the other quests I got from Joppa. It’s outstanding!

Question for the group - I started with a great pistol but the trader in Joppa was only selling 16 bullets. Boo. Where can I get more, fairly reliably? I have been out of ammo for the last hour of the game! Though my dual shortblades and juke/pointed circle skills have really taken me far (short blades seem very powerful).

Also, where/when do I start finding better equipment, like some of the stuff I have in the past seen traders sell?

And after I return 200’ of copper in Joppa, is there a “suggested” area/quest I tackle next?



True Kin are the hard mode in this game. You get a lot better starting equipment to compensate for no mutations and it will get you off to a great start. Later on though, it will become more difficult for you. You’ll have to rely on equipment and skills exclusively. If you survive long enough you can get some cybernetic implants, though.

You will always get 1000+ bullets to buy at Grit Gate which is the next quest you get from the Tinker after bringing him his wire. He also has a range of stuff you can buy. Merchants restock ammo periodically so check back in Joppa if you’ve been away questing for a while.

There are also 2 merchants at the little village that starts with a 'K" northeast of Joppa. It’s the little hut icon on the overland map near the big river tributaries. There’s a quest there and a book you’ll need to buy from the town mayor before you go to Golgotha. I wouldn’t try that quest until you’re around level 15 though.

There are also a metric crapload of merchants at the Six Day Stilt if you have enough food to make the long trip there. You will also find merchants you can buy stuff from randomly in the wild (in ruins or in surface zones). Finally, when you kill mobs with guns, they usually drop the guns (with ammo loaded in it) and a few ammo.

One thing you can do before Grit Gate is finish the historical site quest you get in Joppa. You may find some good equipment and ammo in there and hopefully a relic artifact as well. I found one in there in my last game (boots that gave me +2 strength and the Light Manipulation ability).