Brogue is a hard game. Part of that comes from the array of potions available (some negative) and mostly from cursed equipment.
In the early depths (first couple of floors), you should do the following:
- When quaff-identifying potions, remember possible consequences. The ideal place for quaff-identifying potions and read-identifying scrolls is:
- On a cleared level, because of gas potions, aggravate monsters and scroll of teleportation.
- On a fireproof terrain. Potion of incineration will fry you for sure in thick foliage, but on bare stone the fire quickly goes out.
- But never in the water: gas potions will make you vulnerable to eels.
- In a room with a door, because of creeping death.
- In a tactically advantageous place, because of scroll of summon monsters.
- Where allied magicians can’t see you, because of scroll of negation.
- Somewhere near the downwards stairway, because of potion of descent.
- These requirements are rather contradictory, so consider what’s possible and what isn’t.
- Get decent equipment and protect it: Scroll of remove curse will render all your equipment removable, potion of detect magic will pinpoint dangerous items in your pack so you can discard them. When you got some equipment that is safe and matches your strength, use a scroll of protect weapon and scroll of protect armor on them. Do not drop protected gear until you've protected a better item.
- Call bad scrolls: You’ve finally found a potion of detect magic. Harmful scrolls have no use, so you’d better discard them. But first call them as “BAD”, just in case you stumble upon them again.
- When in doubt, choose armor/weapon as if they were non-magic: When you find a treasure room and are forced to choose among weapons and armor, consider what you’d take if they were all +0. Clearing two or three floors then hauling a bunch of unidentified potions is often a waste of food. Remember vampire bats and ogres, you’ll never defeat them with just leather armor and your dagger.
- When you really have no choice, equip everything: Your starting equipment is quite weak. Even if you equip a cursed item, chances are you will find a scroll of remove curse or a scroll of enchantment (both of which can be used to lift the curse and discard the item). Be aware that cursed equipment is nonetheless often better than your starting equipment. A -1 axe is much better than a +0 dagger, for instance. You can also use scrolls of protect weapon or protect armor to uncurse your current weapon or armor, respectively.
- Don’t waste scrolls of enchantment on low-level things: Prefer to enchant items that you will use until the end of the game. Enchanting your starting +0 dagger only to switch to a broadsword later wastes a scroll. Good candidates are upper tier weapons, plate mail, weapons with runic abilities, offensive staffs and combat charms.
- Have at least one unused scroll of enchantment: In dire situation you can uncurse a thing, recharge a charm, or give one more charge to a staff. And when you find a runic weapon, it really matters whether it is +1 or +2.
- Use X to explore: this will automatically explore until you find something interesting, like an enemy. It saves a lot of time.
- No floor is impossible to pass: Sometimes you find huge lakes or lava pools. You can always, always walk around these; if it appears otherwise, you need to find a hidden door -- use s to search where you suspect a door might be.
- Have a rest behind the door you expect enemies to arrive from. You are likely to dispatch them unaware in one hit.
- Know when to run: At times you will encounter a monster that is simply not within your power to defeat. When this happens knowing the best ways to escape can save your life.
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