''Caves of Qud'' is a post-apocalyptic {{roguelike}} game heavily influenced by ''[[VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery ADOM]]'' and the [[TabletopGames tabletop]] TabletopGame/GammaWorld RPG. Set on a future Earth many centuries after an undefined [[AfterTheEnd apocalypse]], the game takes place in the titular region of Qud, a jungle-like area bordered by a desert of salt and large mountain ranges, and boasting a large number of ancient ruins. This realm is actually a [[DeathWorld terrible place to live]], but still attracts many adventurers due to the abundence of LostTechnology within its borders, particularly within its vast [[BeneathTheEarth cavern systems]]. However, things may be taking a turn for the (even) worse, as signs of an ancient evil begin to emerge from the dark and forgotten [[TitleDrop Caves of Qud]]...

The game is still in active development, and can be downloaded [[http://forums.freeholdentertainment.com/content.php here]].
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!!Examples:
* AfterTheEnd: Just how ''long'' after the end is never specified. The elder of Joppa ([[ClashOfTheTitans no, not that Joppa]]) sets the cataclysm at [[ExtyYearsFromNow a thousand years ago]], but does he [[AndManGrewProud really know for sure]]?
* AdvancedAncientAcropolis: If you're a True Man, you get to pick one of these as your point of origin.
* AnyoneCanDie: Most of the named townspeople are much tougher than a starter character... but still mortal.
* AtomicSuperpowers
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: The game literally has a "Wish" command (for debugging purposes). Naturally, this trope ensues.
* BearsAreBadNews:
** Bears can show up as early as Red Rock, and can be lethal for players who only have a level or two under their belt.
** The trope keeps going when you meet the Urshiib (sentient mutant bears), who run the second town most players visit. Not only are they located ''at the bottom of yet another dungeon'', but they insist that you complete a FetchQuest in a very dangerous location before they'll allow you full access to their enclave.
* BlackoutBasement: Potentially ''any'' dungeon, if you let your light source go out.
* BlessedWithSuck: Most of the mutations have no drawbacks, but a few do, and they can cause you a lot of grief if you're not paying attention. Woe unto the player who too casually uses disintegration (which paralyzes you for a few rounds as part of its "cooldown"), or uses the clone-creating temporal fugue [[TooDumbToLive while also having an area-effect attack]], or picks the Nomad class (whose biggest perk is a free recycling suit) after taking a mutation that disables body armor...
* BonusBoss: The lairs of legendary beasts can pop up randomly on the world map, and taking them on is optional.
* BoringButPractical: All those copper/silver/gold nuggets you see in merchant inventories? Those aren't just VendorTrash, they're a much lighter way of carrying your wealth than what they're worth in [[PracticalCurrency water]]. Also qualifying is the basic tinkering recipe for making ''lead slugs'' for your guns.
* BreakableWeapons: Most of your weapons are vulnerable to rusting and/or breakage.
* CharacterLevel
* CoolKey: One category of artifact are the colored key cards that can unlock doors of the same color. Unfortunately for looters, keycards of ''any'' color tend to be rare and expensive as artifacts go. The Psychometry bypasses the need for these Keycards, as you simply use your biological item scan to help the door "Remember" its passcode.
* CrapsackWorld: Even a thousand years after the apocalypse, most of Qud is still a ruined, barbarism-ridden, monster-infested, and sometimes radioactive DeathWorld with only the most isolated pockets of "civilization". Better yet, you have but to finish the first quest before you receive a big warning that it's about to [[FromBadToWorse get even worse]]...
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Perhaps not yet to the level of {{Nethack}}, but the game already features such things as being able to douse yourself with your own canteen if you're on fire, or use an enemy's acid spamming to breach a wall.
* DialogueTree: One feature that helps COQ stand out among roguelikes.
* DisasterScavengers: The player character, by default. The elder of Joppa ''used'' to be like this, but now sees himself as too old to risk his life plundering Qud's chrome caverns. (He encourages you to go right ahead, though!)
* DiscOneNuke: For players lucky enough to be offered the recipe for a grenade launcher or similarly blasty weapon when they take Tinkering 1 (easily achievable in the first few levels of the game - provided your character is smart enough for tinkering to begin with).
* DifficultySpike: Like many roguelikes before it, COQ isn't at all shy about suddenly introducing some new monster or hazard that can totally annihilate you right when you thought you were safe, or sending you to a new location that will bury you even though you plowed right through the last area without breaking a sweat. The Golgotha sequence particularly stands out here.
* DoNotRunWithAGun: Good advice if you've invested in the rifle skills, as passing a turn lets you "aim" and gain a to-hit bonus. More advanced skills along the rifle branch allow you to execute special attacks with your rifle if you're aiming.
* DualWielding and GunsAkimbo: Actual skills in the game.
* DumpStat: Character creation uses a point system, and - like many such systems - there'll probably end up being at least one attribute that doesn't play a massive role in your particular character build.
* EasyExp: Looting the homes in Joppa. Did you find any artifacts? You can turn them into Argyle for his first couple of [[FetchQuest quests]] and make level 2 before you've even left the village.
* ElementalCrafting: Melee weapons and armor can be made of bronze, iron, steel, carbide, ''folded'' carbide, crysteel, metametal...
* {{EMP}}: Some of the weapons and mutations are based around EMP attacks.
* EnemyScan: You actually get some of this functionality for free, as you can see a monster's equipment and how relatively tough they are by simply (l)ooking at them. Having the right gear equipped will let you learn even more about them.
* EverythingBreaks: You can destroy the walls, furniture, trees, and most everything else in Qud if you have a weapon that can penetrate their toughness. In fact, one of the best uses of the burrowing claws mutation is ''not'' combat, but simply to dig around locked doors that you don't have a keycard for.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Some of Qud's plant life is just as obnoxious as any of its animals. The qudzu eats your equipment, the young ivory pop out of nowhere to slap you with massive bleeding, the jilted lover plants hold you in place (while eating you, of course), the seed-hurling plants have a better range than your line of sight... and all of those things can be found in the starter regions of Qud.
* FantasticFightingStyle: The sword branch of the skill tree offers several "stances" (with accompanying bonuses) for players to choose from.
* FantasticLightSource: The glowsphere and particularly the floating glowsphere. The latter is especially prized not only because it's expensive, but provides light without taking up one of your hands.
* FetchQuest: Argyle of Joppa is fond of handing these out. Becoming his apprentice involves finding him two separate artifacts, and then 200 feet worth of copper wire.
* FlashOfPain: A useful part of the interface is the way your (or a monster's) symbol will briefly change after an attack, letting you know whether the attack hit, failed to penetrate armor, or just missed completely.
* FiveRaces: Averted. The only playable races are True Men and Mutated Humans. (Although plans exist to implement Mutated Animals and [[PlantPerson Sentient Plants]].)
* ForceField: One of the more powerful mutations, and practically a must if you've sunk all your points into being a mutation-heavy esper.
* FollowTheMoney: Not ''money'', exactly, but those 200 feet of copper wire that Argyle wants are just laying on the ground of the Rust Wells, and if you're particularly unlucky, you might end up collecting some of it 1 foot at a time.
* FunWithAcronyms: The game's abbreviation of "COQ" (aka "cock").
* GardenOfEvil
* GenderNeutralWriting: Like most roguelikes, no references of any kind are ever made to your character's gender.
* GiantSpider: One category of monster, complete with webs for you to get stuck in.
* GradualRegeneration: The most common healing tonics work by this principle.
* GreenThumb: The Burgeoning mutation, which lets you use the horrific plantlife of Qud against your enemies.
* GrimyWater: Purified water may be your currency, but most of the water you'll find in Qud isn't so nice...
* HealingFactor: The regeneration mutation, which even allows you to [[OnlyAFleshWound regrow lost limbs]].
* HiddenSupplies: The caves, lairs, and ruins of Qud can be surprisingly rich in chests and even whole rooms filled with useful loot.
* HitPoints
* HollywoodAcid: Played straight with acid grenades, corrosive gas, and other acid-based hazards. The corrosive gas is available as a player mutation and the grenades are craftable, if you get tired of being on the ''receiving'' end.
* IcePerson: The cryokinesis mutation.
* ImprovisedWeapon: The game will let you attack with any object that you can put in either hand.
* IntrepidMerchant: It's possible to encounter random traders while wandering the world map.
* InUniverseGameClock: The game keeps track of (in-game) time. Luckily for players who don't want to be inconvenienced because they stumbled back into town at 2 AM, none of the merchants or quest dispensers ever seem to sleep or close their business.
* ItemCrafting: An entire branch of the skill tree is dedicated to disassembling the junk and artifacts you find, and reassembling the bits into useful gear.
* KillerRobot: Another class of enemy.
* KingMook: The monster races can spawn uniques and "legendary" variants of their type, both with names and a nice pink color to give you fair warning.
* KleptomaniacHero: You can get away with looting the houses in towns if no one can see you. This is particularly useful in Joppa at the beginning of the game, since the chests can contain guns, tonics, and other useful artifacts for getting your run started.
* KrakenAndLeviathan
* LevelGrinding: The game makes an effort to avert this (by progressively lowering the XP gain for killing monsters below your level), but grinding in level-appropriate areas is still possible and useful.
* LightEmUp: The light manipulation mutation.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Made particularly dramatic by the fact that Ego raises the level of all your mental mutations, but provides no benefit until you're high enough level yourself to use them at that power; additionally, you can spend your chargen points to start with nothing but randomly get a more powerful random mutation later on as you advance in level. This means that a beginning Esper might start with only one usable mutation and nearly all their stat points locked up in a stat that does absolutely nothing at level 1; by level 20 they'll have 12 or so mental mutations at level 10 (as opposed to, say, two level 10 mutations for a physical mutant) and be able to teleport anywhere, clone themselves 7 times, and set the entire area on fire with their mind. And many mutations themselves scale quadratically, like Mass Mind, which refreshes all your other mutations; it starts with a cooldown of 1000 turns and eventually lowers to a cooldown of ''5''...
* LockedDoor: A common feature of Qud's ruins. Luckily, the ''walls'' around these doors aren't always as [[RagnarokProofing Ragnarock-proofed]] - sometimes the map generation leaves gaps leading to the other side, or you can breach them with powerful weapons, acid attacks, and burrowing claws.
* MalevolentArchitecture: Fricking Golgotha. [[spoiler: Doing your quest there involves jumping down a one-way pit from the surface level, where you land on a conveyor belt that will be quickly overrun by an [[DeathTrap acid cloud or some other heavily-damaging hazard]]. The conveyor proceeds for several levels like this, eventually dumping you into a big scrap level that holds the object of your quest - and a horde of monsters eager to finish the job that the Conveyor Belt Of Death started. Afterwords, depending on how you handled the bossfight at the end, you could contract a disease which can make the game Unwinnable for certain builds, particularly characters with regeneration, who can no longer safely eat food, or drink water.]]
* TheMaze: The "underground" levels may not officially be a maze, but they apparently reach all over Qud and you can wind up in them if you go ''too deep'' in many dungeons.
* MonstersEverywhere
* MooksAteMyEquipment: The qudzu plants, which can rust your equipment with a hit. Luckily, they can't move. ''Less'' luckily, they can spawn on walls - including the walls surrounding one-tile corridors.
* MoreDakka: Available to those who are lucky enough to scavenge a chaingun.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: The four arms mutation, just the thing for players who want to be [[MultiWielding human (or rather mutant) cuisinarts]].
* MultiMeleeMaster: In theory, you could gain enough skill points and attributes to max out all the melee weapons. In practice, though, most players stick to [[WeaponOfChoice one type of weapon]].
* {{Mutants}}: Of the second variety.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: The leader of one of the civilized villages is an [[AlwaysChaoticEvil albino ape]] who proved too thoughtful to settle for his race's traditionally berserk lifestyle.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Those mutant skunks, worker ants, and other monsters that belch clouds of acid at you? You can lure them to that wall or door you can't get past, and let them melt it for you...
* NighInvulnerability: [[PurposefullyOverpowered Chrome Pyramid]] which can be found in [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Deathlands]]. [[MacrossMissileMassacre It will kill you]].
* NintendoHard: The game ''starts'' as this, [[HarderThanHard but once you get past the first few quests...]]
* OffWithHisHead: Subverted. Contrary to the easy way this trope usually goes, you need one of the more advanced axe skills to pull off a decapitation.
* OrganDrops: What you can get if you invest in the butchery skill tree.
* QuestGiver: The civilized towns have at least one (and sometimes multiple) inhabitants who serve this function.
* {{Permadeath}}: Luckily optional for those who don't like it.
* PhlebotinumOverdose: The artifact tonics are a good source of temporary powers and resistances... unless you try to use too many of them at once.
* PinataEnemy: The spark ticks, which continue to be worth their full XP even after you've far surpassed their level (unlike most monsters).
* PlayingWithFire: The pyrokinesis and (to a lesser extent) kindle mutations.
* PowerIncontinence: Some of the selectable bad mutations include teleportitis and randomly releasing EMP bursts.
* PracticalCurrency: Or is that ''Im''practical Currency? The game's basic currency is ''pure water''. This actually adds another layer to the challenge, as water is not only heavy, but you'll also need enough canteens to hold it all.
* PsychicPowers: Mutations! Clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, psychometry, domination, sunder mind...
* RagnarokProofing: As with TabletopGame/GammaWorld itself, it's highly unlikely that all these guns, robots, and artifacts could have possibly survived ''this'' long after the apocalypse, but [[RuleOfFun that's not the point]].
* RandomEncounter: The world map throws this trope at you on steroids. You won't encounter random monsters when traveling overland - no, you'll ''get lost'', forcing you to explore one monster-infested zone after another until you finally regain your bearings and are allowed to return to the world map. To be fair, world map random encounters can also be ''good'' things, like [[IntrepidMerchant wandering merchants]], [[BonusDungeon ruins with loot]], or [[BonusBoss legendary monster]] lairs.
* RandomNumberGod: As usual for most roguelikes.
* RegeneratingHealth: Again as usual for most roguelikes. Having the regeneration mutation makes it even better, of course.
* {{Roguelike}}
* ScavengerWorld: Most technology still can be manufactured with the right knowledge, but most people are seemingly unable to make anything beyond melee weapons and makeshift firearms, with anything more advanced gained through scavenging alone.
* SchmuckBait: The big pink region way over on the eastern side of the world map... the one labeled "Deathlands" and described as "ancient radioactive ruins".
* ShockAndAwe: The electrical discharge mutation, with a free ChainLightning effect.
* ShortCutsMakeLongDelays: A secret tunnel leads from Joppa to Red Rock, providing an alternative to braving the world map... but the monsters in this tunnel are ''at least'' as dangerous as the ones around Joppa, and you can get lost in the vast underground map if you take a wrong turn.
* ShoutOut: The description for the hologram bracelet is a shout out to ''[[Film/TotalRecall1990 Total Recall]]''. You can also build a [[TimeCube timecube]], which is ridiculously expensive, and doesn't do anything other than give a line from the actual article.
* {{Sidequest}}: Many of the quests and locations are completely optional, but [[NoPointsForNeutrality finishing them is a good idea]] if you can manage it.
* SkillTree
* SpikeShooter: One of the uses of the quills mutation. It fires in every direction at once, too, making it great for when you're surrounded by mooks.
* SpreadShot: A feature of the shotgun family of weapons.
* StatusBuff: A few of the mutations specialize in this, and then there's all those injectable tonics...
* SuicidalOverconfidence: With a few exceptions, most monsters won't hesitate to attack you on sight, even if you can plow through their ranks with ease. Also the cause of [[TheManyDeathsOfYou many a player death]].
* TheTurretMaster: The ''player'' can be this, if they invest enough in the Tinkering skill branch to learn how to make turrets.
* TheUnpronounceable: The uniques and legendary enemies tend to have names out of this trope's playbook.
* VampiricDraining: The life leech mutation.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: When merchants don't have enough water to complete a proposed trade, you're free to accept what they have anyway.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: As usual for roguelikes, you'll probably lose a lot of characters learning how to play the game. Luckily, the potential frustration of this is somewhat lessened by all the variety in character creation...
* TheWanderingYou: If you manage to get lost on the Qud's world map (and you will), you'll certainly feel like you're getting brutalized by this trope.
* WarpWhistle: The town recoiler family of devices.
* WastelandElder: The elder of Joppa, and he does the [[MrExposition Mr. Exposition]] bit, too.
* WeaponOfChoice
** AnAxeToGrind
** CarryABigStick
** GunsVsSwords
** HeroesPreferSwords
** LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe
** NukeEm
** SwordAndGun
* WeBuyAnything: Conveniently, any merchant will buy anything you're carrying.
* WingedHumanoid: The wings mutation, which can make it a lot easier to deal with hazards (like monsters and getting lost) when you're outdoors.
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: Caves of Qud is even harsher than most roguelikes with this trope, as your character needs to eat ''and'' drink to survive. And your water doubles as your currency. [[spoiler: At one point in the early game questline, you contract a disease which makes both have a chance of killing you.]]
* YetAnotherStupidDeath
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