In ages long past, the Dark Lord Dredmor was bound in the depths of the earth by great and mighty heroes.
Centuries later, the magical bonds that hold him in place are slowly loosening and his power grows ever stronger.
The land needs a new hero.
Unfortunately, that hero... is you.
Dungeons of Dredmor is a Roguelike made by Gaslamp Games. It's described as something like The Secret of Monkey IslandmeetsShiren the Wanderer, with features aimed at novices and veterans alike, topped with a truckload of references.The game can be bought on Steam and Desura for a cheap, cheap price, and the OST can be bought here.An expansion pack, Realm of the Diggle Gods, was released on December 14, 2011, offering five new floors, several new skill progressions, and tons of new enemies and items. A free DLC pack, "You Have To Name The Expansion Pack", came out the 5th of June, 2012. It made a few community mods part of the default game, adding a lot of new rooms, new skills, and new items. Another expansion, called Conquest of the Wizardlands, was published on August 1, 2012.The game also has Steam Workshop functionality, so making Game Mods is easy as pie.Comes with an obligatoryShout-Out subpage.
Tropes featured in this game include:
Absurdly High Level Cap: The game is usually beaten around the level 25-30 range. The effective level cap is 50 (and even then, it requires the player to take 7 skill trees with maximum length of 8 tiers each), but even after reaching that cap levels can still be gained, and nobody has been able to gain a hard level limit as of yet◊.
Adventurer Archaeologist: The appropriately named "Archaeology" skill set revolves around being one of these. Not surprisingly, all of the skills are Indiana Jones shout-outs, and choosing the skill even starts you with a fedora in your helmet slot.
Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Metal armor typically reduces the player's natural mana regeneration rate, and the pieces of equipment that promote spellcasting do not block as many icons as warrior-oriented ones.
Arms Dealer: The Bolt Council, a corporation/group implied to have a monopoly on crossbows and crossbow ammunition.
Attack Animal: This is the premise of the Golemancy skill tree, which allows you to summon Mustache Golems, giant robots, animated piles of kitchen cutlery, and immobile stone walls. That's not to say that other skills don't dip their toes into it, of course—Fungal Arts has slime and mushroom familiars for you to summon, Fleshsmithing lets you reanimate enemy corpses as Zombys to fight for you, Killer Veganism, Bankster, and Psionics let you persuade enemies to fight for you, and Big Game Hunters can summon packs of trained hunting diggles.
Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the higher-end weapons, with high damage but nasty debuffs. Usually remarked upon in the descriptions, like in the case of the dire halberd, a pole with a halberd in each end. "Sure, it LOOKS awesome..."
Badass: According to the Left for Dread achievement, the player is this when it's earned. Considering that you need to beat the game on the highest difficulty with permadeath on, it's justified.
Baleful Polymorph: Both Magical Law and Paranormal Investigator can do this to foes, although with different conceits at work (Magical Law: legal penalty. Paranormal Investigator: exposing its true nature).
Big Ol' Eyebrows: Both protagonists. Lampshaded: Monsters in the dungeon sometimes call you "the eyebrowed one" or taunt you with phrases like "Your eyebrows won't save you now!", and among the many descriptions possible for your clones, one points out that "the eyebrows are too small".
Bilingual Bonus: "Skål!", the shout that plays when you use the Lutefisk Horadric Cube, means "Cheers" in Norwegian. Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish.
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: A lot of the healing food items are different types of cheese. You even get a special message when you try to eat cheese as a vampire, rather than trying to eat some other non-sanguine food.
Blood Magic: The Blood Mage skill tree. The most prominent ability is being able to kill enemies to replenish your mana faster. Taking a few levels in the tree allows you to use your own blood to create a "Haematic Phylactery", a sort of Soul Jar that heals you for a massive amount of health...in exchange for a significant reduction in your health/mana-regeneration, health and mana points, and physical strength. Because this is quite obviously Black Magic, each level in Blood Mage causes you to take a little more damage from "Righteous" (light/holy-based) attacks.
Blood Knight: pun aside, any melee vampire character will be found thriving off battle. battles can go on longer, fights will be more appealing, monster schools will simply be receptacles of health to a well made character.
Bonus Boss: Vlad Digula in Wizardlands. Found in...
Booze-Based Buff: Liquor, in all of its forms, regenerates your mana in exchange for (usually) some debuffs like a wicked hangover.
Boring, but Practical: The weapon and armor skill trees don't allow you to suck blood, cast magic from blood, build giant power drills to smash enemies with... but they'll ensure that you survive a little longer.
The same goes for burglary. It may not have much in the way of slaying monsters, but the lockpicks and free items you get from it are very useful. Even only upgrading it to level 2, where you automatically lockpick doors even if you don't have any, grants a small amount of extra EXP and prevents you from getting damage via door kicking. That doesn't seem like much, but given that all the monsters of the dungeons rely on Death By A Thousand Cuts, that HP you save might be a lifesafer.
Bucket Helmet: Buckets are low-level headgear. There's also plastic traffic cones.
Cartoon Cheese: At first you might think, looking at the wide variety of cheeses available in the dungeons (havarti, brie, blue, gouda, smoked applewood cheddar, parmigiano reggiano...), that this trope is averted. Nope! Out of all the different kinds of unique cheeses, there is one cheese known simply as "Cheese". It's yellow-orange and wedge-shaped, with holes in it.
Chainsaw Good: Tinkering and spare clockwork parts let you craft chainsaw-style weaponry. Epitomized by the Clockwork Ravager, which is described as "The ultimate in automated carnage", and certainly lives up to this claim.
Contractual Boss Immunity: Zig Zagged. Lord Dredmor is outright immune to damage-over-time effects and has tremendous resistances to many types of damage. However, he is vulnerable to certain effects you'd expect an endgame boss to be immune to, namely Fear effect from Unholy Warcry, thus ensuring an easy kill.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: One of the Dummied Out skills in the Dual Wielding skill line allowed the player character to get stronger as more monsters surrounded him or her, referring to the trope as the "Inverse Minion Law".
Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Bankster does their dirty work by weaponizing all manner of shady dealings. You're even expected to let the special Bankster debuffs (Cooked Books, Frozen Assets, etc.) pile up; how else are you supposed to use Dump Toxic Assets?
Crapsack World: Implied to be going on outside the dungeon; the Elves and Dwarves are dying out, after a war that used up most of the world's natural resources, big corporations push weapons onto the streets, the wildlife is dangerous and perverse, and universities offer degrees on going underground to most likely die.
Crate Expectations: The dungeons are littered with breakable crates (as well as urns and pots and so forth) that can include items.
Critical Existence Failure: Although the image of your face next to the Life Meter gets progressively bloodier as you take damage, there are no gameplay ramifications to taking damage until your HP hits zero (at which point, of course, you die).
This sandwich is of great stature; it has unmanned better heroes than you. Dare you feed on its glory?
A Date with Rosie Palms: How the wand-recharging skill of the Wand skill tree presents itself (and is treated in-universe, up to and including the disclaimer that it'll make you go blind if you do it too much). Which is actually true in this case.
A glance at the game's database files reveals crafting recipes, items, and even skill trees that did not make it into the final game. For the most part, just removing the lines that comment out the items isn't enough to bring them into the game.
An unintentional example of something being Dummied Out was the opening to the song "Brawl" (the Monster Zoo BGM). Until it was fixed in a patch, an error was preventing the opening from playing, causing the BGM to launch directly into the main "Brawl" music (the part that repeats until the Monster Zoo is cleared out). Another music piece, "Veil", may be suffering from a similar fate, as players have reported never having heard the song.
The Deadshot skill (which gave a handful of bonuses to crit chance and enemy dodge reduction, but nothing else) was removed from the game in a patch. However, it's still in the code, and can still be accessed by old save files that used it. The Steam achievement for maxing out the skill tree is still around too, but it's been rendered unobtainable—although there are workarounds.*
If you open the "last.txt" file in your Dungeons of Dredmor folder, you can manually edit the skills that show up when you select "Last skills" in the character creation menu. Change one of the numbers to 12 for Deadshot.
Edible Ammunition: Inverted with the Defensive Curds. It's made of cheese, but you don't attack with it; it's a suit of armor. Made of cheese. No, it's not very effective, but, as the tooltip says, you smell delicious! You can do the same with meat (called Gaga's Glaze) and lutefisk, too.
Elemental Powers: Many of the usuals like fire ("conflagratory"), ice ("hyperborean"), electricity ("voltaic"), and poison ("toxic") are here. And then there's some lesser known ones, like "necromantic" (seems to be the game's "darkness/shadow" element), "putrefying" (An entire element just for zombies and other undead), and "righteous" (light/holy damage). And then there's some seriously weird damage types, like "asphyxiative" (damage type caused by strangling and/or choking something) and "existential" damage, which, according to the helpful tooltip, may or may not actually exist! (It does.)
Empty Levels: Once you've maxed out your skills, you gain no stat gains from leveling up (making skill trees with more skill tiers preferable if you like Level Grinding). But more experience means more points, so gaining some empty levels is preferable if you aim to get a high score.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Countless examples of collectables. One Axe is called "Die Kohlaxt". The description remarks it's faint smell of cabbage. Kohl is german for cabbage...
Excalibur in the Stone: The Sword in the Stone. Stone included, of course, since you're not the one intended to pull it out.
Exponential Potential: Take a few different schools of magic, and before long you can have more spells and skills than will fit on your hot-keys.
Extreme Omnivore: The "Drinker of the Dead" skill from the Vampirism tree lets you eat corpses, whatever they were before death notwithstanding. Also, the "Sample the Local Cuisine" Tourist skill lets you eat items.
Full-Contact Magic: Warlockery is all about this. It even describes itself as "Warlocks are wizards that really wish they were warriors. Or rogues. Or cheesemongers. Anything but wizards, really." The skills in this tree power your melee attacks with magic, let you use your own mana as "armor", or super-charge your body to become "a fearsome engine of battle."
Full Moon Silhouette: The Werediggle Curse skill tree is represented with an icon of a werediggle silhouette standing on a hill in front of a full moon.
Game Breaker: The final spell in the Golemancy path, Digging Ray; "Busts through walls and is basically game-breaking," as described in-universe.
Game Mod: With the release of Realm of the Diggle Gods, Gaslamp added mod compatibility. Fans got busy very quickly, and there are now a wide variety of fan-made skill trees, item packs, and more. Support for the Steam Workshop was later added in the You Have To Name The Expansion Pack patch, making it even easier to find and install mods.
Great Offscreen War: There are many references to the wars between the elves and the dwarves that have happened up on the surface, and the dungeons are full of relics from the conflict.
"Congratulations! You have died." followed by a gravestone for your character complete with what killed you and a short comment on your performance.
There are several achievements that require you to die to certain enemies, including Dredmor himself (which is very likely to happen the first time you face him).
Healing Potion: There's the standard Potion of Healing (restores 20 health), the Potion of Replenishment (restores 26 health and 30 mana), and the Potion of Lively Regeneration (restores 3 HP per turn for 12 turns).
Herd Hitting Attack: There are plenty of options; when you come up against a Monster Zoo, you'll want as many of these as you can get.
He Who Fights Monsters: The Demonology tree starts out with spells that are about slaying demons. But by the end of it, you will be a demon. It's worth noting that the first three skills increase your righteous resistance. It's when you start playing Amateur Solomon by summoning demons to fight on your behalf that the righteous resistance disappears all of a sudden...then plummets. The descriptor for "No, You Are the Demons" even says "The abyss has not only gazed back, it's taken up residence on your couch".
Holier Than Thou: The Killer Vegan skillpath refers to its powers as coming from, in part, "moral superiority". The penultimate skill is actually called "Aura of Self-Righteousness". Eating anything that breaks the Vegan code debuffs you massively (chops HP, mana, and skill in half) for a 100+ turns.
Horny Vikings: Lampshaded with the "Historically Inaccurate Viking Helmet", which can be crafted from two plastic ingots and a Rough Iron Hjalmir (much closer in appearance to the helmets vikings actually wore.)
Hyperactive Metabolism: Lightly. Food restores health, and booze mana - but you don't instantly digest it. Rather, one point of HP/MP is restored per turn. The "Digest" button automatically wastes turns until you finish digesting it (or get attacked).
Hyperactive Sprite: All monsters continually walk in place or move their appendages, even when standing still.
Jetpack: You get one in the Clockwork Knight skill tree. There are also jetpack Diggles in the later levels, with powers from the same tree. The jetpack is leaking.
Just Add Water: Whether you're smelting, grinding, mixing, beating, tinkering, turning or even distilling, crafting doesn't even take a turn. Even better, most of the crafting sets explicitly mention their portability in their descriptions, such as the disposable ingot press and the porta-still.
Lost Forever: As of the update that (among other things) changed the crafting system, the toolsets can no longer be used as extra storage space; anyone unfortunate enough to have been using said trick lost the loot within. Also, with the removal of the Deadshot skill, the achievement The Humanoid Typhoon is similarly unattainable (at least without hacking).
Magic Wand: You can create them with the Wandlore skill, or just find them around the dungeon. Each type of magic wand has a number of charges to cast a certain spell; for example, a Coral Wand has a healing spell, a Bony Wand reanimates a targeted corpse as a friendly Zomby, and a Rock Wand shoots a giant boulder at an enemy.
Magikarp Power: Vampirism seems like a joke at first. Sure you regen health by doing damage, but you cannot eat food, and you lose your natural health regen. That said, taking the second level in vampirism gives you the ability to eat corpses, giving you a potentially limitless food supply (and reducing the potential clutter in your inventory).
On the same note, any melee focused character who takes up vampirism. early on their inability to heal between battles without potions makes it difficult to stay alive if you aren't careful. By the end, the high strength will make them a One-Man Army in combat, repairing damage done with blows and allowing them to endure fights much longer.
Mana Meter: Played straight, of course. Used for casting spells and stuff.
Mind Rape: The Psionics skill is described as this, even earning the achievement "Get Out Of My Head" for mastering it. In practice, this is achieved through a basic hypnosis spell and a spell to make monsters fight for you for a time.
Money for Nothing: Depending on your build and how lucky you've been with random finds, you'll eventually have more money than you know what to do with somewhere around floor 10 or so.
Money Spider: Most monsters drop zorkmids, for whatever reason.
The Monolith: One of several shrines involved in sidequests.
Mundane Utility: Several skills have these, including using knockback skills to shove furniture around, but one that's common to most players is using an ingot press to cook omelettes and make grilled cheese sandwiches.
Nay Theist: A few of the Paranormal Investigator skills have this cast. No matter how many spells, wands, etc. go off around them, they're still looking for a strictly scientific (well, scientific and materialistic) explanation behind things.
Never Heard That One Before: The treant have heard every possible version of "an apple a day"-jokes, according to their description. They don't think it's very funny.
Suddenly The Dungeon Collapses: This achievement is our way of saying "thank you for participating in our voluntary quality assurance program."
Obvious Rule Patch: With the making of a wiki came crafting recipe spoilers. Obviously, this didn't mix well with the ability to craft things without having to know the recipe in-game, so now you have to search bookcases for secret recipes before you can craft them.
Odd Job Gods: Inconsequentia, Goddess of Pointless Sidequests. Oh, and the Lutefisk God (who is the God of Lutefisk).
Oddly Named Sequel: Invoked in the second expansion pack, You Have To Name The Expansion Pack. You can literally name the expansion pack anything. Yes, even "Dungeons of Dredmor 2: Electric Boogaloo".
Phlebotinum Breakdown: Encrusting recipes carry an instability percentage, which is the cumulative chance that, on adding a new encrusting, the item will get unstable, and every hit you take while using the object in question will have a chance of something bad happening, eventually reaching the point where every new layer will add a new horrible effect. Usually it's just you and everything nearby getting blown up, or you getting poisoned, but sometimes it's a little worse. Oddly enough, the recipes are usually fairly mundane, so you can blow yourself to kingdom come if you put a little too much lutefisk on your pants* That's what you get for pissing off the lutefisk god.
Phlebotinum Overload: The Warlockery skill Arcane Capacitor lets you charge your weapon strike, with more damage the more you wait. Wait too much and you might just nuke yourself*
This isn't an exaggeration. One of the possible results of a capacitor overload is giving you 2 turns to repair it before it goes off like a bolt of mass destruction
Perfectly identical to the Razor Sword except it's pink and costs twice as much.
Plague Doctor: One of the helmets you can find is a Plague Doctor's Mask. It provides minimal normal defense and a small penalty to your sight radius, but also gives substantial resistance to toxic, putrefying, and asphyxiation damage.
Poison Mushroom: Most of the mushrooms in the game are beneficial, but watch out for toxic Mud Wen mushrooms, which have no beneficial effects—they just apply a debuff. And if you're experimenting with unknown potions, there are several acids*
Aqua Vitae, Aqua Fortis, Aqua Regia, Acidum Salis, and Oil of Vitriol
that, despite being labeled "potion", are only usable as alchemy ingredients and will give you an acid burn if you try to drink them. (There's also a potion called "Verdant Poison", but hopefully that one is obvious.)
Purple Prose: A few items have some very overblown descriptions, but one item in particular really takes it to a new level. "Born of the gooey union of pre-born broodspawn from the stygian depths and befouled milk, this [item] slouches churlishly, just daring you to taste it. The item? A cheese omelette!
Random Teleportation: Using the first spell learned in Mathemagic, quaffing a Spatial Instability Infusion, or imbibing The Root of T'Char causes the player character to randomly randomly teleport. As the player can time when to use this effect, the teleport can be useful, if unreliable method of escape.
Schizophrenic Difficulty: Certain monsters on each floor will be much stronger than others, especially once your individual build (in particular, resistances) is factored in. It's taken Up to Eleven in the Mysterious Portal levels, where you very well might see Arch-Diggles and regular old Blobbies fighting side by side.
One room contains a lever and a note saying "Mass pitting mechanism above." Go ahead, pull the lever.
Some rooms in the Wizardlands contain a lever. What happens when you pull it? It spawns two Evil Clones whose basic attacks deal about 45 damage.
In Wizardlands, one hidden encrusting recipe is called "The Worst Idea Ever". What is it? Using copper wire to attach hand grenades to your melee weapon. Effect? Gives the weapon the "Grenadier" brand, giving it a high chance of creating an AoE attack on impact. Remember that this is only for melee weapons? The instability score of 20 really should be even more deterrence.
Secret Level: Occasionally, one can find a mysterious portal square, marked a light blue. If you step on it, you will be transported to a small, mysterious floor, where monsters of all strengths can be found.
The Monofilament Sword in the Conquest of the Wizardlands expansion is among the strongest weapons, capable of dealing 50 slashing damage per hit.
The Moravician Bushdagger, perhaps the best dagger in the game, has its blade branch and the subsequent branches branching again, down to the smallest thaumaturgon (atom) scale. As a result, it doesn't really look like a dagger, but it stabs millions of wounds in one thrust.
Shining Goodness: Most notably the Killer Vegan skill line's Aura of Self-Righteousness, where the player character uses his or her own moral superiority to add Righteous damage and blind enemies.
Shoplift and Die: Brax the demonic shopkeeper not only is a heavy hitter, but will summon seemingly infinite piles of demons to help him if you ever dare to steal.
Sock It To Them: The first skill in the Assassin skill tree has a chance for you to stun an enemy with each hit. It's explained in-universe as you hitting the enemy over the head with a sock filled with rocks. It also says the stunning effect comes from the disgusting foot odor of the sock, not the rocks in it.
Spell Blade: Various buffs can enchant your weapons to deal all sorts of extra damage.
Spell Book: There are several, usually giving you a matching pair of resistances and bonus damage as well as adding a special effect to your attacks (for example, a Burning Tome sets enemies on fire). Not actually that useful for wizards, who don't get that bonus damage applied to their spells.
Status Buff: Oh, all sorts. There are buffs that wear off after a number of turns, buffs that require mana upkeep to keep going, buffs that wear off after a set number of attacks, buffs that wear off after taking a set number of hits, and even permanent buffs, which you can get by praying at a diggle god statue and won't wear off until you pray at a different diggle god statue.
Super Drowning Skills: Your character sinks immediately if he or she transforms back from a Batty over water/lava.
Taking You with Me: It is possible to fight Dredmor and die at the same turn when he does, right before him (by using special effects like burn, or having a skill or piece of equipment that works when you are hit or when you die). The results are pretty... funky, since the game doesn't know what to do with it, but it ultimately counts as a victory, and awards achievements for both defeating Dredmor and dying against it.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Some builds end up like this. If you have a Clockwork-Knight with two augmented arms, the dual wielding skill and a Clockwork Ravager in both hands, you deal about 80 damage without bonus. With bonus it can go up to 120 or more even without criticals. And to top it all off, a skill in the Clockwork-Knight skilltree gives the augmented arms a chance to make you attack twice. Add to that that the Ravagers also have a chance of hitting 2 or 3 times and you sometimes have your hero whacking on a poor helpless monster 7 or 8 times, dealing 7 or 8 times the damage it may have barely survived on the first hit.
This Was His True Form: If the player character loses his or her health when morphed into a Diggle or Batty, he or she will transform back for the death animation.
Bolts of Mass Destruction are probably the most powerful weapon in the game, and are quite rare (if you find three by the time you reach dungeon level 10, you're very lucky; they are also hard to craft due to fiery wands being quite rare themselves). You can very easily "Not worth using it yet" yourself to death when you have one in your inventory. Most players save them for the Monster Zoos or Lord Dredmor.
Taken up a notch in Conquest of the Wizardlands, with The Bomb, which is even rarer, even harder to craft, and has a wider area of effect, plus fallout as interest! Which would be great if you could use it without being caught in its area of effect...
The Triple: The Living Statue is "animated by Dwarven magics, pure hatred, and a nine-volt battery".
Underground Monkey: Used with a few creatures, but most notably the diggles: there are regular Diggles, Sickly Diggles, Enraged Diggles, Diggle Commandos, Hungry Diggles, Arch Diggles, Thirsty Diggles, and Muscle Diggles, all with different stats and abilities (and all Palette Swaps of one another, with the exception of the overly-muscular Muscle Diggle).
Unmoving Plaid: Brax wears a full body suit of unmoving checkerboard. "Plaid energy" is also a protective buff from a magic mushroom, which wards off a variety of elemental damage.
Vendor Trash: If you do not have the relevant craft (Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Wand Lore, or Tinkering) or skill set (e.g., booze, etc. when you don't have a mana-using ability, or food when you're a Vampire, or meat/eggs/cheese/Dire Sandwiches when you're a Killer Vegan), many items are effectively Vendor Trash and can/should be sold without worry (or used in a Horadric Lutefisk Cube).
Guerilla Attack: Popular front to be sneak attackink imperialists, then is disappearing before caught.
You Nuke 'Em: Have either some (really rare) ingredients and a lot of wandcrafting skill, a good bit of luck with drops, or maxed out communism and you can have a nuke for you to throw at monsters. Standing way back is recommended.