Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I'd say Golemancy is one of the most powerful skills in Dungeons of Dredmor.

Okay, you start out with a crappy first spell. Animate Blade Being is a mine that does a small amount of slashing damage if an enemy steps on it. It's awkward to use and not really worth the trouble. But you're not taking Golemancy for the damage spells. No, Golemancy is the ultimate defensive skill.

Level 2: Animate Mustache. Summons a mustache golem to fight alongside you. Here is a tip for you golemancers out there: for your first level-up, get the mustache golem. Mustache golems dominate the early game. Summon one golem and it can singlehandedly clear out the entire first and second floors (Zoo and all), hold its own on the third, and still be a valuable distraction for the fourth. Just like that. It's like a free pass.

Level 3: Unliving Wall. One word: overpowered. Unliving Wall allows you to create a wall at any location. Point, click, and shoom: instant blockade covering that square (and knocking back any enemy standing there). Being able to block off enemies from reaching you at will for only 3 mana is insanely strong. How are you going to die when you can wall yourself off from all the enemies and effectively become invincible? You can drop walls to create a choke point so enemies have to come at you one at a time (or force them to step on your traps). You can wall off a Monster Zoo completely and drop thaumites on them to sweep the whole room without taking any damage. You can just put four walls on each side of yourself and stand there in your mini-fortress while you digest some food to heal up. Basically, it's near-game-breakingly insane.

Then you get Invive Thaumite Swarm. What this does is it targets an enemy, and that enemy gets swarmed by thaumites, dealing damage over time. Then, several turns later, the thaumites leave their target and drop to the ground, where they'll go on to attack anything else that steps on them. A single swarm can spread to multiple enemies and potentially infect the whole room. It's reasonably potent, although it costs a lot of mana and there are a fair amount of enemies that resist the damage. The nice thing is you can do it even if there's a wall in the way, so you can drop four walls around an enemy, infect them with some thaumites, and let the bugs do the rest while they're trapped in your cage. And of course, for Monster Zoos, you can hide behind a wall and drop thaumites on the other side, which, on lower floors, is quite effective. Spells like Miasmic Putrefaction (from Fleshsmithing) or Tactical Pyre (from Promethean Magic) do this a little better, but thaumites have the advantage of being built-into the same skill tree as Unliving Wall, for your convenience.

The Mortal Machine is next. It summons a robo dude to fight for you. This guy is like a stronger version of the mustache golem. If you keep upgrading your Golemancy level, you can rely on your familiars to cover almost all of your combat for a pretty solid portion of the dungeon. The Mortal Machine can singlehandedly escort you safely as far as floor 7 or so, making a large portion of the game a cakewalk. As you get deeper, it'll become outclassed and you'll need to start pulling your weight, but until then you're essentially in easy mode.

Lastly, the final skill is Digging Ray. I really don't like this spell. What it does is it's a big beam that you point in a direction to destroy all the walls in its path. So you can cut a path, or whatever. Thing is, it costs approximately a zillion mana to use. I've never felt like I needed it. I guess the idea is you bust an escape route through the wall, block it off with an Unliving Wall to cover your retreat, and then skedaddle from whatever scary boss monster is troubling you.

Oh, and I guess I should mention that all golemancers start with a Golemancer's Cap, which gives +1 block, +1 stubbornness (equivalent to half a point of block and half a point of magic resistance), and +1 aethereal resistance. This is fairly weak, but it's free and it's better than nothing.

Overall, Golemancy is pretty busted. You get to have beefy golems do all your fighting for you, and you can drop walls wherever you like. It can work well in almost any build--just pump a level into Animate Mustache early on to sweep the early floors, pump another level into Unliving Wall to sweep everything else, and even if you never touch the skill again it'll be worth it. If you do want to max it out, I recommend doing so fairly quickly, since you'll want to get to that Mortal Machine ASAP to get the best mileage out of it.

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