Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Dungeons of Dredmor

Go To
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 Island meets Shiren the Wanderer, with features aimed at novices and veterans alike, topped with a truckload of references.

The game can be bought on Steam, 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, since making Game Mods is easy as pie.

The game has no relation to the older game named Diggles.

Comes with an obligatory Shout-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.
  • Affectionate Parody: It certainly comes off as one for the Roguelike genre, and fantasy, in general.
  • The Alcoholic: Wizards in general, according to several tidbits of info and the amount of empty bottles scattered over the wizardlands. Hey, you can't make booze your source of power and not expect some drawbacks.
  • April Fools' Day: Dungeons of Dredmor II 3D.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The skill "There Must Be a Rational Explanation." You temporarily become more resistant to magic and can't cast spells, because, obviously, magic doesn't exist. (Never mind that you may well be a practicing wizard.)
  • 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. The Promethean Magic skill set lets you summon a friendly Wyrmling. The flavor text considers it to be cute.
  • 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..."
  • 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".
  • Big Bad: Lord Dredmor.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Skål!", the shout that plays when you use the Lutefisk Horadric Cube, means "Cheers" in Norwegian. Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish.
  • 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 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 Level of Hell: Diggle hell. It's a real place, which you will go to if you are naughty or mistype a wizardland code.
  • 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. Particularly the Shield Bearer skill. So you get a higher block chance, big whoop. However, just putting a single skill-point into the tree gets you the Duck And Cover! ability, which has a chance to activate every time you get hit in melee. You suffer a small penalty to your Attack and Dodge ratings, yes, but in exchange, you get even MORE block chance (and in this game, Blocking Stops All Damage), a sizable Armor boost (so any attack that you don't immediately block will do less damage anyway), minor resistances to crushing and piercing attacks, AND your health regenerates at almost twice the normal speed!
    • Burglary 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 (or being out of lockpicks for treasure chests, where smashing them can destroy the item within). 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.
    • The first spell of the Magical Law skill tree, Confiscate Evidence. Hooray! you can take items without having to walk to them! Sounds useless, but many rooms have artifacts in hard-to-reach places such as being surrounded by water or electricity, and this spell allows you to grab them easily.
    • Pyromancy—it just has several variations on direct damage plus a summoning spell, without much visual or effect diversity. One of the few instances where spraying fire everywhere is the boring option.
    • Psychokinetic Shove, under the Psionics skill. While it only does a little damage, the MP cost starts off low and quickly falls off with Savvy down to 1 MP. More importantly it has a reliable Knockback effect that can push traps and obstacles out of your way, shove enemies into poison clouds or sandstorms, or just let an archer or Squishy Wizard play keep-away.
    • Unliving Wall spell creates a regular inanimate wall on a single square which will disappear after a while. But until it disappears, it's nigh-indestructible and blocks both monsters and projectiles from passing through. You can, however, see through it. Which means, you can use magic through it. So all you need to do is summon a couple of walls to block the doorway and then safely blast away until every monster in the room is dead.
    • Fungal Arts gives you a passive ability to grow mushrooms on enemy corpses which is automatic and doesn't cost you anything. Mushrooms are extremely versatile, and different types of them can heal, regenerate mana, buff your stats, turn invisible, or even be used as throwing weapons.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Special enemies look mostly like regular enemies, aside from a glowy aura, but are also much stronger. Each floor tends to have one particularly strong unique monster way above the rest, but none is worse than The Great Pumpkinn, who is invisible and thus hard to avoid, likes to roam a lot, summons nasty toxic clouds and hits you for some of the nastiest damage you can find in the first few levels. Speaking of first few levels, he's usually in level 4, give or take a few, so you can bet he'll eat up at least one of your characters. Even worse, since the unique boss mobs can show up as elites from evil chests or in monster zoos, the Great Pumpkinn can show up as early as the second floor, which almost guarantees a death unless you got lucky and already found/stole high-end equipment.
  • Bucket Helmet: Buckets are low-level headgear. There's also plastic traffic cones.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Due to it's status as Affectionate Parody, this game has some unusual names for your character stats and damage types, though functionally they are fairly similar to the usual RPG fare.
    • Your stats are burliness (strength), sagacity (intelligence), nimbleness (agility), stubborness (defence/resistance), savvy (charisma/luck), and caddishness (critical hit/counter-attack).
    • Some of the damage types have standard names (piercing, slashing, etc.). Others are weirder: conflagratory (fire), hyperborean (ice), voltaic (electric), righteous (light/holy), necromantic (dark/evil), or putrefying (undead).
  • Caltrops: Many of the traps that are scattered around the grounds in the dungeon are caltrops, and they inflict damage when the player walks over them. Those that do higher damage tend to be made of magical elements, such as Aetheral energy or Dragonsbreath.
  • Cartoon Cheese: The game has a wide variety of different cheeses... but played straight with the type simply called "Cheese".
  • Cast from Money: A few Bankster abilities work this way. Insurance Fraud allows you to gain back money when attacking a target; Hire Contractor temporarily converts a monster to your side; and Fiscal Hedge causes some damage to affect your money instead of your HP.
  • 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.
  • Chummy Commies: The Communist skillpath is narrated in a silly 1980s-style stereotypical Russian accent. The abilities, buffs, and debuffs, meanwhile, are a melange of Kremlin corruption and genuine idealism. And its capstone is The Bomb.
  • Class and Level System: When you start the game, you get to choose seven skillsets. When you level up, you get to choose to upgrade a specific skill.
  • Clock Punk: The Clockwork Knight and Rogue Scientist skill trees run on this. Having a high tinkering skill also lets you craft clockwork weaponry, including chain-swords and chain-axes.
  • Colony Drop: The Paranormal Investigator's last skill lets you drop a meteor on enemy heads.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: A literal case. Try and see what happens if you put a Horadric Lutefisk Cube inside another Horadric Lutefisk Cube! Or inside itself! (Made possible thanks to a hilarious programming oversight) You even get an achievement for creating this paradox!
  • 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?
  • 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).
  • Dagwood Sandwich: The Dire Sandwich. It even has a Badass Boast in its tooltip!
    This sandwich is of great stature; it has unmanned better heroes than you. Dare you feed on its glory?
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The gimmick miniboss "Tesla's Horror" has the schtick of alternating between making you more vulnerable to voltaic damage and zapping you with lightning. There's many other effects like this, including those from weapon skills.
  • Damage Over Time: Seen on many effects, including but not limited to Slimeburst Traps, Acid Burns, Curse of the Golden Ratio, Recursive Curse, and the special ability of the Golden Crossbow. There's also an even wider variety of Area of Effect spells that persist over several turns and deal constant damage to anything in range—these ones tend to be very effective for dispatching large groups of enemies.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Necroeconomics skill path is all about this. You gain mighty spells, but every skill is balanced out by a debuff, representing the Eldritch Abomination fuelling the ability getting paid.
    • The Demonslayer skill tree outright has a faustian pact as a high-level ability (Demonic Contract), allowing you to summon a horde of demons to your side, but "Beware, this deal gets worse all the time."
  • Death Ray: The capstone skill in the Rogue Scientist tree.
  • Deflector Shield: The warlock skillset allows you to use your MP as one. Higher levels cause it to reflect damage. The Bankster skillset has a similar ability, but it affects your wallet instead of your Mana Meter.
  • Dirty Commies: The Communist skillset zig-zags between this and Chummy Commies.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Literally—it is possible to find a Bolt of Mass Destruction or other high-tier item on level one (though it is unlikely).
  • Distaff Counterpart: An update made just before Realm of the Diggle Gods went live added the possibility of playing as a red-haired heroine (With the obligatory Big Ol' Eyebrows, of course). Neither gender has an advantage over the other.
  • 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.
  • Egg-Laying Male: Male protagonists that are werediggles can still lay eggs.
  • 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! note 
  • 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.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Due to how the Bolt Council supresses the development of guns, the pinnacle of ranged weaponry in the game is a crossbow with an automatic cocking mechanism and a magnetic accelerator coil. Arrows also get nastier the higher your Smithing skill gets, automatically adding barbs, and later, scythes to the arrows you make.
  • Evolving Attack: The entire offensive capability of the Egyptian Magic skilltree is focused in one of these: "Call the Sandstorm". Without any glyphs on, it's absolutely pathetic, but as you start to pile them up it gets stronger and stronger, to the point it can annihilate roomfuls of monsters when at full power.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The game unlocks new title screens when you download an Expansion Pack. Each expansion has its own title screen, and you can toggle between them.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Countless examples of collectibles. One Axe is called "Die Kohlaxt". The description remarks its 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.
  • Extremity Extremist: Unarmed attacks are performed solely with the hero's feet.
  • Eye Beams: Yours for the low, low price of maxing out the Perception skill tree. No, we don't know how that works, either.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Justified and deconstructed: The Bolt Council makes sure that nobody infringes on their monopoly.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Each skill tree is classified as a Warrior, Rogue, or Wizard skill.
  • Final Death Mode: An option if you so choose.
  • Flavor Text: TONS of it. Every item, skill, monster, and even some static objects in the environment have this in some form, most of it hilarious.
  • 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.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tinkerers and Rogue Scientists.
  • Game-Breaker: The final spell in the Golemancy path, Digging Ray; "Busts through walls and is basically game-breaking," as described in-universe.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Murderous Rutabagas and their sprite-swapped counterparts used to charge at you several times in succession and give you so many stacks of the Food Poisoning debuff your maximum HP would go low enough for you to die in one hit, which they'd gladly deliver. Fortunately, this was just a bug, which was later fixed.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Vlad Digula. Thankfully he's trapped in Diggle Hell for his crimes.
  • 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.
  • Grey Goo: Thaumites are a Magitek version.
  • The Grim Reaper: There's a type of Mook based on this.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • "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".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A rather common cause of death. Have fun finding out you walked into your own trap, unequipped a health-buffing item at low hp - or the game considering that you were dumb enough to miss the blisteringly obvious gargoyle trap to consider your death a suicide.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: An entire set of enemies based on this.
  • 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.)
  • Hurricane of Puns: Quite a few puns are scattered around the game, and among the achievements too. Because we all know that Two Krongs Don't Make A Right.
  • 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.
  • Idle Animation: If the game is left alone for a while, the Player Character will pull out what looks like a portable game console and start playing.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: Shoplift and Die.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Many of the high tier weapons, including quadruple vibrating razor swords, an axe with six heads and a branching dagger that stabs recursively.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: As a Roguelike, the player can find perfectly edible steaks, fruit, and cheese lying around on the dungeon floor.
  • Inherently Funny Words:
    • "Lutefisk For The Lutefisk God"
    • "You reek of fear and lutefisk"
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Some named enemies and minibosses, Lord Dredmor himself, and Vlad Digula. The latter two also have formidable magic prowess as well, so don’t get any ideas, now.
  • Invisible Monsters: Some enemies, such as the Diggle Commandos, are invisible, and can only be seen (as a red outline) if you have a high enough trap detection level.
  • 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.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The best sword class weapon you can craft is a katana. Lampshaded by its description, which says: "All the best stuff is made in Japan".
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    "The Poor Man's Enchantment-weld some nails to it!"
    • The "Encogging" encrustment lampshades the trend of slapping some gears on something and calling it "Steampunk". It's not really, it's just got some cogwheels glued on.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Plastic Platemail is surprisingly effective armor, especially if you're attempting to keep a high dodge rate.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Leveling up fully restores both your Life Meter and your Mana Meter.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic:
    • "This Translation is All Wrong!" from the Archaeology skill tree allows you to re-roll the random stat buffs on an enchanted item, with diminishing returns if you use it too much.
    • Don't like the mushrooms you've grown? With level 3 in Fungal Arts, you can use "Mushroom Transmutation" to transform a stack of unneeded mushrooms into another random type of mushroom.
    • Alchemists can Transmute gems, if they have the wrong ones for their recipes.
  • Magic Mushroom: The foundation of the Fungal Arts skill. All mushrooms have magical abilities that grant various powerups. Well, except for the Mud Wen, which just poisons you instead.
  • Magic Staff: Staff-class weapons often give bonuses to magic, and the skill tree for Staff Mastery grants magic boosts on top of the typical bashing-monsters-on-the-head boosts.
  • 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).
    • Emomancy is a minor version—the first spell in the tree is Not Completely Useless, but the rest can be quite potent.
    • Generally, any skill tree which has a less than useful starting skill but some good ones later can be this. Especially on the hardest difficulty, you need some potent skills right away if you want to survive long enough to level up, making these skills much more noticeable.
  • Mana Meter: Played straight, of course. Used for casting spells and stuff.
  • Mascot Mook: Diggles are doofy-looking drill-nosed bird things that fit this role quite nicely. In addition to the regular versions, they range from Enraged Diggles to Vlad Digula.
  • 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. It's usually still not quite enough to buy overpriced endgame artefacts in the shop though. The Bankster skill tree changes this situation - it can make you absurdly rich, but it enables you to spend the money on in-combat boons as well (like giving a monster money so he'll fight for you, or literally using your money as armor; you take less damage, but also lose a little money).
  • Money Spider: Most monsters drop zorkmids, for whatever reason.
  • The Monolith: One of several shrines involved in sidequests.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Monster zoos.
  • Mundane Utility: Including but not limited to using psychic powers to rearrange furniture, using an ingot press to make omelettes, and using a portable pocket dimension as a storage closet.
  • My Little Phony: Strangely enough, the blacksmithing kit. "'My Little Anvil' Junior Smithing Kit. Smithing is magic!"
  • 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.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: The main character can be something like a Dual Wielding, vampiric, promethean, sword-wielding, blood-magic-using alchemist. With the expansion, you can even be a vegan vampire were-diggle emo demonic hunter!
  • Numerical Hard: The variables that change between difficulty levels are monster spawn rate, item drop rate, health regeneration, mana regeneration, and item cost.
  • invokedObvious Beta: Joked about:
    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).
    • You can fight paladins of the Lutefisk God—they deal holy damage.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: 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".
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Some of the background music tracks use this. "The Forsaken", starts with a lone organ but later adds a harp and strings, and in "Death Walks Among You", the organ only comes up 2 minutes in, near the end.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: One of the various graves in floor two is occupied by an adventurer who failed one of these. In her defense, apparently dwarves don't know how riddles work too well, and they invariably all end in "crushing and spikes".
  • Orcus on His Throne: Lord Dredmor in his dungeon. Apparently, he is biding his time and gathering his power or something.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Here, they're vicious little bastards who make horribly deadly things from bling and plastic. They're also bitter at being dethroned as the dominant race during, and by, the Age of Man. It's unknown which one came first though. Other than that, they're pretty much like the Dwarf Fortress dwarves with higher tech levels.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: There's an entire skill tree based on being a vampire. The image of one of the skills? The player sparkling in sunlight.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Werediggles!
  • Palette Swap: Used to create Underground Monkeys.
  • Permanently Missable Content: 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).
  • 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*.
  • 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.note 
  • Pink Product Ploy: The "Razor Sword For Her." The (completely accurate) description:
    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.
  • Planet Heck: The Diggle Hell area that the Wizardlands portal sends you to if you type in a wrong code.
  • 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 acidsnote  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.)
  • Power at a Price: Necronomiconomics is full of powerful spells... that you pay for in various ways, usually your own life force.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Dwarves, apparently. The "Dwarven Handshake" is a hammer technique, and a boulder to the face triggered by a pressure plate is a traditional greeting.
    Several descriptions: "Dwarves. The bastards."
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender
  • 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 Transportation: 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.
  • Recursive Attack: Mathemagic's final spell, the Recursive Curse, deals heavy damage on top of applying a smaller curse that does even more damage! A melee example is the Moravician Bushdagger: due to its blade branching into smaller and smaller blades like a fractal pattern, it has a 50% chance to perform an extra attack called the Recursive Stab. The Recursive Stab itself has a 50% chance to do another Recursive Stab, which has a 50% chance to do another one, and so on and so forth. If you're lucky enough, you could probably do hundreds of hit points' worth of damage in a single turn!
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Lampshaded with the achievement "Suddenly the Dungeon Collapses", given the first time your game crashes.
    This achievement is our way of saying "thank you for participating in our voluntary quality assurance program."
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: A sharp eye will spot the Monofilament sword is actually named the Monofiliment sword. Reading the .txt files, one can find it was spotted a little too late:
    "should be spelled "Monofilament" but fixing it would explode savegames so I'm leaving this :("
  • Red Baron: Like Diablo, you will sometimes encounter special named monsters with stat buffs. Unlike Diablo, both the monsters and their names are randomly generated; this may give them a name such as Negnusak, the Father of Endings, or it may saddle them with a deeply unimposing name and title, such as Togjafiz the Birth of Radishes.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Smashing statues of Lord Dredmor gives you bonus XP. A Mortal Kombat-style voice over even shouts "HEROIC VANDALISM".
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: The "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture", which summons Thaumite Swarms on enemies you attack. The only words in the book are "OH NO NOT THE BEES" written over and over.
  • 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.
  • Schizo Tech: Bolts of Mass Destruction exist. Yes, you can use a crossbow to fire a (magically created) nuke. Even better, fire that Bolt of Mass Destruction from your Clockwork Rail Launcher!
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • One room contains a lever and a note saying "Mass pitting mechanism above." Go ahead, pull the lever.
    • Another room has a lever and a note: "Pull lever to engage Dark Forces. Heh, heh, heh. Heh. HEH."
    • 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.
    • The wizardland portal going red and static-y when you misspell a code should be enough of a deterrent for going in. Enter it anyway, and, well...
  • Science Hero: The Rogue Scientist, whose skill-path includes a sonic stunner, an acid spraying squirtgun, a tear-gas grenade, and a massive laser cannon.
  • 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.
    • Wizardland portals require secret codes to access. If you want to get in, keep an eye out for mysterious graffiti on the dungeon walls.
  • Serious Business: The tooltip for Aethereal damage.
    We have nothing funny to say about this. We take astrology very seriously, and so should you.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: Are there ever.
  • Shows Damage: As the Player Character takes more damage, the face next to your HP will look more injured (there are three different levels shown).
  • Side Quest: Inconsequentia, The Goddess of Pointless Sidequests, will give you one whenever you find her statue.
  • 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 those special effects or bonus damage applied to their spells.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Spikes encrustment. Called "the Poor Man's enchantment"
  • 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.
  • Superboss: Vlad Digula in Wizardlands. For everyone who needs that dose of sadistic difficulty and simply found Dredmor himself lacking, here comes this little red-eyed menace who can literally nuke you every other turnnote . And that is actually the better alternative to getting drillnose'd by him. Oh, and if you really pissed off the Random Number God, he can spawn more than once in a single visit.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Your character sinks immediately if he or she transforms back from a Batty over water/lava.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: No, You Are The Demons, from the Demonologist skill.
  • Suspend Save: When Permadeath is on.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Dwarven Army Sword, a sword, axe and mace all in one.
  • Steampunk: "You Have To Name The Expansion Pack" added Mad Scientist and Clockwork Knight skill-paths. Realm of the Diggle Gods added Encrustments, which allow you to add steam engines, chainsaw cutting edges, and randomly-placed cogwheels to your equipment.
  • Tactical Door Use: Doors separate every room from every other room. And with the exception of the locked ones you chose to kick down rather than unlock, all of them can be closed again with ease. Erecting an indestructible barrier between you and your enemies will very often save your life, especially if you encounter a dreaded Monster Zoo. (However, beware that there do exist enemies who hold the mystical power of opening closed doors...)
  • 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 Is Gonna Suck:
    • The player's reaction upon finding his/her first Monster Zoo!
      "Suddenly, you come upon a large horde of monsters who have not eaten yet today!"
    • This monster description:
      "Dear lord, the Diggle has a jetpack. And it's LEAKING."
  • This Loser Is You: The game absolutely delights in your death.
  • 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.
  • Three-Quarters View
  • Thunderbolt Iron: The Serpentine armor's description mentions this trope. (The armor itself isn't actually made of it, but it's the thought that counts.)
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • 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.
    • Bolts of Squid are just as rare as Bolts of Mass Destruction and still devastating. Just one shot can easily devastate a large portion of a monster Zoo. Try to stay a little back from the ensuing tentacular chaos though...
    • 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...
  • Too Many Belts: An actual armor-encrusting option in Wizardlands.
  • 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.
  • "Untitled" Title: To the second expansion pack. After all, You Have To Name The Expansion Pack! The title can be edited, and you get an achievement for doing so.
    Look, I'm a game developer!: Name the expansion pack.
  • Visible Invisibility: Invisible characters are seen as an outline.
  • We Buy Anything: Up to and including items that are only used for specific sidequests, until it was fixed in a patch.
  • Whatevermancy: The game doesn't use the standard Latin prefix for the Golemancy and Emomancy skill lines.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Averted. Level Grinding is just boring, because monsters take a long time to respawn.
  • You No Take Candle: Communist skill tree is usink this for protectink of Revolution!
    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.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: See Obvious Rule Patch above.

Please don't go... the diggles need you!