Elynae's Troll Conjurer guide
Troll Conjurers are a strong and reliable combination. This might not be obvious to the player, who might be reluctant to try one because of Trolls' bad magic aptitudes. The following guide shall give a brief overview on how to play a TrCj.
Early Game (Pre-Temple)
Before we start: Always select Intelligence every three levels.
First of all, you need a way to deal damage. You have Magic Dart, and in theory could train Conjurations to increase its power, but that would be hard and inefficient due to our low magic aptitudes and Intelligence. Instead, make use of your troll claws, which give a sizable accuracy and damage bonus to unarmed attacks, and train exclusively Unarmed Combat. 5 skill levels are good to start with.
Basic combat tactics will be firing Magic Darts at monsters as they approach you, and then clawing them when they enter melee range. Take care to get the first hit in close combat: Once your MP are depleted, use the . key to wait for monsters to draw next to you. Fight in corridors when possible. Use corners against ranged monsters to force them into melee range, since they can't look around corners. If your HP are low, don't forget that Trolls have good health regeneration, and can recover very quickly. So retreat and walk around with the monster following, not allowing it to hit you again until you have acceptable HP. This doesn't work if the monster is faster than you, which you can check at http://crawl.develz.org/wordpress/bots - you are speed 10.
Memorise Mephitic Cloud when you reach level 3. Once you have Unarmed Combat 5, you should train for Mephitic Cloud by training Conjurations and Air Magic. Stop training these when its failure rate is approximately 20%. This spell, which confuses whom it hits and deals tiny amounts of damage, has three important uses.
- Cast it to attack a monster in melee. A confused monster can't retaliate well, and you will only take damage when it accidentally bumps into you.
- Cast it to approach a ranged monster. A centaur, orc wizard, orc priest, or similar monster is dangerous when you approach it, and if no corners are available, you should cast Mephitic Cloud at it from as far away as possible so you can close in safely.
- Cast it to run away. Without coordinated movement, no confused monster can follow you when you try to escape it.
Note that monsters resistant to poison are unaffected by this spell. Refer to the link above to check if they have rPois.
Now you should go back to training Unarmed Combat.
I recommend the following gods for TrCj: Makhleb, Cheibriados, Vehumet, and Okawaru. This doesn't mean that other gods aren't also good, and I wouldn't discourage you from any other god with the exceptions of Zin, Xom, and The Shining One (yes, Trog is good also, but not if you want to cast spells). But the four listed above are the ones I will give some advice for.
- Makhleb - Heals-on-kills are this god's major perk, and he provides some useful abilities, mainly summoning demons. A very strong god for every character. With this god, you eventually want 10 Invocations.
- Cheibriados - While this god is bad for many characters, because he doesn't allow you to Haste, he is a good choice for TrCj. Cheibriados compensates one of their big weaknesses by giving up to 15 Intelligence, rising with piety, and Trolls are strong enough to survive the hard early stages of worshipping him, where he slows you down without giving substantial power. With this god, you eventually want 12-15 Invocations.
- Vehumet - This god compensates your casting weakness in a different way: at 2* piety he increases casting success chances. He grants multiple other bonuses for Conjurations spells, including increased range, lower MP cost and MP-on-kills, and at high piety gifts Conjurations books. This god has "only" passive benefits and therefore doesn't use the Invocations skill at all.
- Okawaru - The god of war, he does the opposite of Vehumet by enhancing your melee combat. Armour gifts are welcome to a Troll, since they always fit, unlike most armours you will find on the floor. Heroism is a large boost to your unarmed damage, since it depends on skill, and Finesse doubles your melee damage. These three things combined are enough to make him one of the strongest choices for TrCj. Eventually, you want 5-8 Invocations with this god.
- In the case of Cheibriados: Once your Unarmed Combat hits 10, train some Invocations until Slouch has a 20% failure chance, then train Unarmed Combat to 15, then train Ice Magic and Conjurations until you can cast Bolt of Cold at 10% failure, then Spellcasting and Air Magic until you can cast Freezing Cloud at 10% failure.
- In the case of Vehumet: Once your Unarmed Combat hits 15, train Ice Magic and Conjurations until you can cast Bolt of Cold at 10% failure, then Spellcasting and Air Magic until you can cast Freezing Cloud at 10% failure.
- In the case of Okawaru: Train Unarmed Combat to 15.
- In the case of Makhleb: Once your Unarmed Combat hits 15, train Invocations to 5, then train Shields to 9 if you have found a normal-sized shield, then train Invocations to 10.
After the above steps are completed (with different gods at different points in the game, obviously), train Shields to 9 if you have found a normal-sized shield, and then train Fighting to 10. If you have found a good large shield, meaning good artefact or useful brand, you can train for that instead (15 skill levels required).
- In the case of Okawaru: Now train Invocations until Finesse has a failure chance of 10-20%.
Your tactics in combat should be as following:
- In the case of Cheibriados: You're slow! Plan movement accordingly, and you cannot run away on foot from most monsters without Mephitic Cloud. Play accordingly, don't move much unless it's to duck behind a corner, and use Slouch if you are surrounded by many monsters or want to kill a single fast monster. Teleport tip: If you need to teleport quickly, move. The monsters only get to act after your long turn, and if it's enough to trigger the teleport, you're safe! Later, use Bolt of Cold and Freezing Cloud to kill monsters at range. They're especially good in corridors, but still very strong in the open. Make monsters you are fighting in melee stand in Freezing Clouds. Step From Time can save you in a pinch. Temporal Distortion will make monsters blink closer to you, which is useful for ranged attackers.
- In the case of Makhleb: Claws+Mephitic Cloud. Use lesser servants ('ab' summons one) to fight monsters you can't deal with alone. Don't summon servants if you can't teleport away, because they may be hostile. Don't summon greater servants at low Invocations skill.
- In the case of Vehumet: Claws+Mephitic Cloud, later use Bolt of Cold and Freezing Cloud, which works well all the time and especially well in corridors. Make monsters you are fighting in melee stand in Freezing Clouds.
- In the case of Okawaru: Claws+Mephitic Cloud. Use Heroism a lot. I can't stress that one enough. Finesse should be used sparingly, but is very strong.
- Skills that should be high at all times: Fighting, Unarmed Combat, especially the latter.
- Skills that are useful: Charms if you have Haste (not for Cheibriados), low levels (~6) of Traps&Doors. The level 6 conjurations make sense only with Cheibriados and Vehumet.
- Armour you should wear: mottled dragon armour, fire/ice/pearl dragon armour depending on the resistances you have and what you find - train no Armour for mottled and 10-15 Armour for the other three. Dodging is useful only with Cheibriados. Large shields are ok (require 15 skill) if you find a good one, but not required.
- Spellcasting only needs to be high enough for you to memorise all the spells you want.
- Finally, useful spells in no particular order(* means not with Chei, ^ only Chei and Vehumet): Swiftness*, Haste*, Control Teleport, Blink, Regeneration, Ozocubu's Armour if mottled dragon armour is worn, Apportation, Shroud of Golubria, Flight, Repel Missiles, Throw Icicle^, Orb of Destruction^, Lightning Bolt^, Freezing Cloud^, Bolt of Cold^, Mephitic Cloud.