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Old January 19, 2008, 23:08   #1
Therem Harth
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[ToME] Notes on a thaumaturgist build

As some of you know, my Dunadan Thaumaturgist recently bought the farm. I rather expected this to happen at some point, since I'm not really at home with Thaumaturgists, but the experience was not useless. For posterity (and anyone who wants to try a similar build), I'll post what I learned here. First, the character build.

* I was trying for a Thaumaturgist without school spells, and Mindcraft on the side for utility spells. With 98 quests, I would in theory be able to take Mindcraft to 50 with only two boosts from FF - and only one if I decided not to maximize Magic-device. Skills to be maximized: Thaumaturgy, Mindcraft, and Magic, and if possible Magic-Device.

This may sound good (or perhaps kind of munchkin), but I quickly learned otherwise.

* In theory, I'd get what I needed before I needed it. In practice, "1 in 4 quests are FF" means that it's quite possible for FF not to show up at all in Mirkwood, and he offers too much stuff for any one skill to show up regularly. Not having Mindcraft by midgame made things a bit of a nuisance.
* Magic-device is not a substitute for spell schools. Staves and scrolls are heavy, and rods are extraordinarily rare at low to medium levels (unless you use Ironman rooms). If you're a warrior, this is not a problem. If you are a mage with 11 Str, it is a problem, and worshipping Tulkas won't offset it at those levels.
* Thaumaturgy is powerful, but without ball spells, patience and mana are quickly wasted; LoS spells are effective but they are too mana-hungry to sub for balls. All the more reason to whine at ToME devs about the bugged Xd1 ball spells as loudly as possible.

Also, relating to traps:

* I'd found earlier that Lost Souls can fall back on unskilled/low-skill trap disarming if using Cowardly tactics. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to work with mages, even if they've got decent Dex; it appears that characters who are unable to learn the skill cannot use it, or something along those lines. I wound up simply going around most traps.

And a note on Ironman rooms, or rather lack thereof: dungeons without vaults, random quests, or otherwise interesting levels can be incredibly irritating. There's nothing to ruin one's day like a mostly empty maze with occasional groups of Dark Hounds roving about. To this end, I'd advise those who need to enable random quests to also turn on the "only small levels" option - if for no other reason, to make said quests less of a pain.

Finally... Nether resist is good, but it's not enough to take on midlevel undead spellcasters - the damage done by those monsters' nether attacks is much higher than their statistics would lead you to believe. Don't bother with the Wight Grave quest (or similar stuff) until you have around 300 HP.
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