Background and race combinations for beginners

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
This article contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised. Take advice as you see fit, and read at your own risk!

Crawl allows you to play using widely different play styles, depending on your character and god choice. The wide variety of choices offered might intimidate or even overwhelm new players. These are a selection of strong combos from the main character archetypes in the game. Please keep in mind that most accompanying strategy guides are severely outdated.

Melee Brute


  • Gnoll (Any Class): Gnolls are the ultimate hybrids, able to use just about anything in the dungeon, albeit without a great proficiency in any one thing. Reaver is a very fitting pick, though you can also start with melee (Fighter, Gladiator) or magic Conjurer, Ice Elementalist. But you can really try anything - even Wanderer, to embrace something new each time. Remember that a start is a start - e.g. a Gnoll Fighter can still cast all sorts of spells.


  • Djinni Fire Elementalist: Removes much magical complexity; instead of several magic schools, you only need to train one skill, and you don't need to choose spells at all. Scorch carries its weight all the way to the Lair, at which point new random spells will be naturally granted. Worships Ashenzari for additional bonuses. A good choice for a first attempt as a caster.


These are just few examples, there are lots of other combinations that are reasonably easy to play. Feel free to experiment.

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