Marlin Back
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COLUMBUS
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Hello,
I have been playing this dungeon crawl for years and I love it. The current version is called Stone Soup Dungeon Crawl. It is based on the old school Rogue-like crawls that used ASCII graphics. It still can use the ASCII, but also has graphic tiles which make it much more user friendly. Fiendishly hard, it features "permanent" death if your character dies. It has a slew of characters classes, species and weapons. Later in the game magic use becomes almost essential as you go deeper into the dungeon. The ultimate goal is to retrieve the ORB of ZOT and return to the surface. Along the way you will encounter monsters, orcs, kobolds, snakes, zombies, wizards and a host of other baddies all intent on seeing you die.

It is a turn based game so you have plenty of time to ponder your moves and combat is handled by the pc based on the your stats and the opponents. It can be played online so you can post your scores and watch others play. You will die...a lot, but don't let that deter you. The is an extensive online manual and a tutorial for beginners. This is by far one of my favorite non-board games and can be addictive. I have never won, but I still enjoy playing. Almost endless replayabilty, the creators have spent years upgrading and tweaking it. For all that it is a relatively small download and is freeware so there are no issues with price or copyrights.

If you enjoy dungeon crawls, but don't always have the time, space or people to set up and play a table top version you owe it to yourself to try this out. The files can be found here:

http://crawl-ref.sourceforge.net/

You'll want to make sure you download the "tiles" version if you want more than ASCII graphics. Although some diehard fans prefer the ASCII look.

You can Google "Stone Soup Dungeon Crawl" to find more links and info.


I hope you find this as enjoyable as I do.

Happy crawling,
Marlinus64
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Kevin Bernatz
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Alexandria
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How does it compare to Angband, ZAngband or X-golums? I believe those are all free-ware too, and of similar vein.

-K
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Lukasz Biernat
Poland
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Dungeon Crawl's power lies in its simplicity.
It has simple controls (unlike nethack). It has simple character system (unlike nethack). It has simple and very clear ascii graphics, that relies heavily on colors (unlike nethack). It's very intuitive and fun to play. There are tons of race-class combos and a very interesting religion system. One of the best things - all the tables (like nethack spoilers) and help are built into game, so no need to google and alt-tab all the time.
Some concepts are original too - like the shops located in the dungeon. They wont buy stuff from you, and this simple concept removed all the grinding/farming aspect from the game.
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Marlin Back
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Well, it is indeed very similar, but I think it is much more refined and better supported. It offers tile graphics, extensive documentation and is actively supported by programmers. The newest version was just released and is an obvious improvement, so the developers are listening to the players who are offering input and making requests for content. Everyone has their favorite and opinions of course, I happen to feel this title is the freshest and most playable of all the rogue-likes out there. For those who are unfamiliar with this type of game, once they get past the simple graphics and permadeath aspects of the game they will be impressed with the depth of this game. It is a true dungeon crawl both in theme and in execution.

It is not an RPG, so character development is relegated to upgrading weapons, spells and armor for the most part. As you progress your stats will go up along with your experience points, but grinding is not really possible so going deeper in the dungeon is your only hope for improving your character. Hoarding items is not much use either since you can not sell items at shops. You can only make purchases so only hold on to gold and items they will be of immediate benefit to you. You won't really run into situations where you weapons get lost or broken so it's not necessary to carry an arsenal around with you.

Wear your best armor, grab your most powerful weapon and spells and kick some monster butt is pretty much how it goes. Find the runes you need to open the levels where the ORB of ZOT is hiding, find it, and make it back to the surface. Only then will you be able to claim victory. Also, once you die that is it. Your character is dead and you must start over. Only in game saves are possible, once your character dies all saves are lost.

Winning this game is truly a rare and wonderful treat, so if you do make it out with the orb you can be very proud of yourself because not many players have done it. I don't think you will be disappointed if you give this game a try.
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james napoli
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Cool, i love this kind of stuff. i recently picked up a netbook for commuting and basic computer needs, so these simple programs are great. Thanks for sharing...
 
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Marlin Back
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While you can still run out of food and run the risk of starving, it doesn't seem to be as much of a hassle staying fed as it used to be. There are numerous types of food such as grapes and strawberries which don't sustain you very long to meat and royal jelly which can carry you for quite awhile. There are also a couple of amulets and rings which will let you go longer before needing to eat.

Also, the species you choose to be determines how much food you need. Orcs and trolls need lots of food and mummies need no food at all. I used to get frustrated having to worry about food, as it seemed an archaic game mechanic, but once you get accustomed to the game it is a relatively easy aspect to deal with and you should never die from hunger if you play smart.

It is not nearly as annoying in Stone Soup to keep your character fed as it is in a game like The Sims.
 
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Phil
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I love that game. My favorite is the ax-wielding mountain dwarf warrior who worships the god of rampage and sacrifices about everything he kills to him.

There is also the possibility to play the old Dungeon Crawl via telnet on a server (google it) so you can compare your scores to those of others and be sure no one cheats (which is easy).
 
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Bruno
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I only got into crawl a few weeks ago, it's very nice indeed. The interface in particular is very nice compared to the rest of the roguelike scene. Far less screens to check or keys to press for most of what you do. And the auto-explore is incredibly comfortable when your levels are more angband's size than nethack's.

So far, i only played a game with each of the 3 tutorial race/class combos. My centaur hunter was going very well until i stupidly stayed for too long in contact with a big spiny frog. The ranged play seemed to work nicely, but i wonder whether there's enough arrows in the game to go all the way, i was starting to run short of ammo.
 
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Jason Quintal
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HA! This is a blast!

Just started a sledge [sludge?] elf assassin. Tee hee hee. I want to try the necromancer next and see what kinda fun spells they have.

Lots of commands, but definitely reminds me of the ol' days of playing Telengard on the commodore 128!

Thanks for the info OP!



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Phil
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A simple rogue like that is also worth mentioning is Doom Rogue Like. Yes, Doom. The good old shooter with top down view and ascii graphics: http://doom.chaosforge.org/
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Jeremiah
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second vote for DoomRL (http://doom.chaosforge.org/), make sure you have sound enabled

Other short roguelikes that I like a lot are:

Gruesome (you play a grue, ie "It's pitch black, you are likely to be eaten by a grue."):
http://www.gruesomegames.com/

Berserk (shorter than, but similar to DoomRL):
http://berserk.chaosforge.org/

There are a ton of really great roguelikes out there... check out http://roguebasin.com.
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Jason Quintal
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The "Jellies" in stone soup are absolutely BRUTAL. They just corrode all your good gear. cry

 
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Twinge
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This seems like a pretty good pick for an entry-level Rogue-like. Admittedly, I do miss a few things from ADOM, though. And this 52-item inventory limit is *madness*
 
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If you start thinking Stone Soup is entry-level, give vanilla Crawl a try

It'll kick your ass, or your money back!
 
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Twinge
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Heh, I'm good. I meant entry-level as a compliment. As I eluded to above, I've played ADOM quite a bit, and it is certainly *extremely* hard. Even with all the spoily info in the world, pulling off an ADOM win is something that could easily take months or years.

Stone Soup I might play a bit mostly unspoiled and see how well I can do. I wouldn't really recommend that anybody with ADOM, since it's an order of magnitude more complex =)


Really, this is only the 2nd rouge-like I've played, after ADOM. Some things are better (smarter monsters are neat, auto-explore is handy), others are worse (a little less to 'do' as far as clever item/monster/environment interactions go, evil 52-item cap). ADOM will probably always be my favorite by simple merit of it having such ridiculous attention paid to tiny, rarely seen occurrences; almost nothing makes me auto-love a game more (A hardened expert can easily stumble across something odd they've never seen before.) DCSS is also pretty nice and is definitely more accessible, though.
 
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Twinge
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Xommmmmmmm!!!

Leaf the Covert (level 12, -1/75 HPs)
Began as a Spriggan Chaos Knight
Was a Plaything of Xom.

9849 | D:8 | Lost mutation: You are partially covered in yellow scales (AC +2). [So I actually got lucky with good effects quaff-IDing a potion of mutation, then Xom takes them away!!]
10675 | D:9 | XOM: polymorph hippogriff -> guardian naga [What. I've only lived long enough to see these things with one other character, and he was double the level.]
12314 | Lair:1 | XOM: give mutations
12314 | Lair:1 | Lost mutation: Your mind is acute (Int +1).
12314 | Lair:1 | Gained mutation: Your body is slowly deteriorating.
12314 | Lair:1 | Gained mutation: Your body is deteriorating. [Oh, lovely, just lovely.]
14227 | Lair:2 | XOM: stat loss: -1 Str (3/7) [Better not try on un-IDed rings, ack.]
18095 | Lair:1 | XOM: draining
18948 | D:10 | XOM: draining
18948 | D:10 | Dropped to XP level 9. HP: 55/55 MP: 15/15
22217 | D:12 | XOM: torment (30/66 hp)
22354 | D:12 | XOM: summons 14 hostile demons [Holy hell! Teleport activated in 1 turn, I got lucky.]
27885 | Lair:2 | XOM: torment (32/68 hp)
28513 | Lair:5 | XOM: torment (35/68 hp)
28926 | Lair:5 | XOM: torment (35/68 hp)
30327 | Lair:6 | XOM: torment (38/73 hp)
30638 | Lair:6 | XOM: torment (33/73 hp)
32352 | Lair:7 | XOM: torment (14/73 hp) [Every. Time. I try to heal. Cut it out!]
36370 | Lair:5 | Cast into the Abyss (the severe capriciousness of Xom) [Oh COME ON.]
36864 | Lair:7 | XOM: draining (x3) [I had literally just checked and was like 'okay, 4000exp until I level.' Then it was 13000.]
36944 | Lair:7 | XOM: torment (24/75 hp)
37024 | Lair:7 | XOM: summons 11 hostile demons [I'm at 40hp, and now completely surrounded. Uh, Teleport? Please?]
37027 | Lair:7 | Slain by a beast [Thanks Xom, thanks. Like the Death Yaks I was running from weren't enough.]

And the much, much shorter list of good stuff:
6241 | D:6 | XOM: sends permanent friendly ynoxinul [Kind of a wash since it was mainly only good for helping me survive the Guardian Naga he created ]
15898 | Lair:3 | Got a sparkling book {god gift} [Distilation + Evaportation, was very handy to have.]
20783 | D:11 | XOM: god gift: 516 gold pieces {god gift} [Maybe if all the shops didn't have only garbage this would've been nice...]
 
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Phil
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You should have picked another god or prayed more often.

If a shop has crap (potions/scrolls): BUY IT!

Because buying a bad scroll or potion also gives you the ability to tell them apart from the good ones. It is a cheap identify.
 
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Don Eskridge
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Funny to see this recommendation here, because I actually ran into Stone Soup on my own just a few weeks ago. I've been playing it a ton. I love that it's just pure, raw gameplay. Centaur Hunter is my fav character so far. Kills well up close and at a distance, starts with decent HP and strength. He doesn't get much magic and his metabolism is fast, but I'm okay with that.

I also love the no-grind, constantly forced to go deeper gameplay. My first rogue-like was Castle of the Winds, which I loved, and hadn't played one since. This game has been great nostalgia AND gameplay.

I wouldn't personally call it similar to board games, but who cares. I'm glad you put out the recommendation.

Only problem with Centaurs? Getting to Level 6, dying, then having your own damn ghosts kill you when you make it back!!

Don
 
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Brian Sturk
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Devonelle wrote:

HA! This is a blast!

Just started a sledge [sludge?] elf assassin. Tee hee hee. I want to try the necromancer next and see what kinda fun spells they have.

Lots of commands, but definitely reminds me of the ol' days of playing Telengard on the commodore 128!

Thanks for the info OP!



Ah, another fan. One of my favorite 8 bit dungeon crawlers. Brutal...
 
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chris reichl

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Harlekin wrote:
A simple rogue like that is also worth mentioning is Doom Rogue Like. Yes, Doom. The good old shooter with top down view and ascii graphics: http://doom.chaosforge.org/


By all means have the sound enabled. This one is just great too.

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Mark Thompson
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Enjoying Stone Soup a lot. Thanks for the heads up.
 
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Twinge
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Pro tip: Hell is NOT a very nice place, in case you might've thought otherwise...
 
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rekz karz
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Gamers,

I'm hooked on Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, for sure. Found a great batch file which, although the backup part doesn't work, it does restart the game a lot, so when I play,
I hit CTRL-X (save & exit),
I backup the latest files to a folder,
then restart (or w/batch file auto-reload) ...

I was VERY frustrated that I couldn't get past lvl 4 without cheating.
This kind of 'cheat', ie a savegame, I don't consider a MAJOR cheat, b/c I still haven't won and playing it w/a save helps me get MUCH further along.

I only play the Windows Tile version, however. Gotta love those tiles!
 
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Twinge
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It IS a major cheat, don't fool yourself However, it is a good way to learn the game, especially if you've never played other rogue-likes before. In ADOM for example, I definitely suggest save-scumming a bit early-on to learn the basics and reduce frustration.

Once you have a clue what you're doing, though, take the training wheels off =) DCSS is really pretty fair as far as the genre goes - I mean, one good player had a *17 game* win streak - this does seem to be a game that rewards skillful play and doesn't usually screw you too horribly with luck (that is to say, there is usually a way to get out of it).
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