Cold is one of the most common elemental forces you will encounter as you explore the Dungeon. Both players and monsters can take advantage of cold through spells or specially branded weapons, though some monsters also possess innate cold abilities.
Cold damage can only be reduced by a character's cold resistance (rC+) intrinsic. This is a relatively easy resistance type to acquire, and gaining even a single rank in it cuts damage received by half. With the maximum 3 ranks, you can almost ignore cold damage entirely.
Aside from injury, however, cold damage also has other effects: every time you take cold damage, each potion in your inventory is subjected to a small chance of shattering. This can be very costly in areas where cold damage is common, but you can minimize this risk with the conservation intrinsic (reduces the chance of each potion shattering by 90%) or by storing most of your potions in your stash.
Although this does not affect player characters, cold-blooded monsters may become slow for several turns when they take cold damage from one of these sources: weapons of freezing, Freeze and Ozocubu's Refrigeration; reducing their attack speed and making them easy to outrun.
It is relatively easy for characters to gain access to sources of cold damage. Almost any character type can benefit from common freezing-branded weapons, which deal additional cold damage on top of their normal physical damage. Ranged weapon-users can instead use frost missiles; these do 100% of their normal damage as cold damage.
Zapping a wand of frost or wand of cold allows almost any character to inflict cold damage at range, softening up threats from a distance or killing them outright. Some rods and other evocable items also have cold damage options available, usually with greater damage potential but at a greater cost.
The Ice Magic school is also available to ice elementalists or any character with Spellcasting capabilities and an appropriate book. This school is less devoted to direct offense then Fire Magic, offering a variety of utility and defense spells as well.
The cold resistance intrinsic significantly reduces the cold damage you take when attacked, as shown on the chart below:
|Resistance Level||Damage Taken (Player)||Damage Taken (Monster)|
You can acquire cold resistance from a number of sources:
- Cold Resistance mutation: rC+/rank
- The third rank of the Shaggy Fur mutation: rC+
- The third rank of the Icy Blue Scales mutation: rC+
- Ice dragon hide and ice dragon armour: rC++
- Gold dragon hide and gold dragon armour: rC+
- Armour of cold resistance: rC+
- Staff of cold: rC+
- Ring of protection from cold or ring of ice: rC+
- Tiamat's dragonskin cloak (50% chance per attack of rC+)
- Randarts: rC+ or rC++
- Potion of resistance
- Being a ghoul, mummy, or thirsty vampire character: rC+
- Being a near bloodless or bloodless vampire: rC++
- Necromutation: rC+
- Ice Form: rC+++
Cold vulnerability causes you to take 150% normal damage from cold attacks, but is thankfully less common. You can acquire it by: