Background and race combinations for beginners

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Version 0.29: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
This article contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised.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 Please keep in mind that most accompanying strategy guides are severely outdated.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

  • Troll Gladiator: Strong melee + ranged character; able to hurl a fearsome large rock from a distance (gaining more later), and using deadly claws up close. Okawaru gives you more ammo to throw and a strong buff to unarmed combat. Trolls are very strong on early levels, and can easily pick Fighter/Berserker just the same.


  • Gnoll (Any Class): Gnolls are the ultimate hybrids, able to use just about anything in the dungeon, albeit without a great proficency. Fighter and Gladiator are good melee starts, while Conjurer or Ice Elementalist are good casting starts. But you can really try anything - even Wanderer, to embrace something new each time. Notably, Gnolls start with high skill levels due to their nominally high aptitude.


  • 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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