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In ages long past, the Dark Lord Dredmor was bound in the depths of the earth by great and mighty heroes.
Centuries later, the magical bonds that hold him in place are slowly loosening and his power grows ever stronger.
The land needs a new hero.
Unfortunately, that hero is you.
Dungeons of Dredmor is a Roguelike made by Gaslamp Games. It's described as something like The Secret of Monkey Island meets Shiren the Wanderer, with features aimed at novices and veterans alike, topped with a truckload of references.
The game can be bought on Steam and Desura for a cheap, cheap price. An expansion pack, Realm of the Diggle Gods, was finally released on December 14, 2011, but not without facing some technical difficulties on the Windows version. Among other things, it offers five new floors, several new skill progressions, and tons of new enemies and items. Another free DLC pack, "You Have To Name The Expansion Pack", came out the 5th of June, 2012. It made a few community mods part of the default game, adding a lot of new rooms, new skills, and new items. The game also has Steam Workshop functionality, so making Game Mods is easy as pie.
Tropes featured in this game include:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: The game is usually beaten around the level 25-30 range. If there is a level cap, no-one has found it yet link.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: The appropriately named "Archaeology" skill set revolves around being one of these. Not surprisingly, all of the skills are Indiana Jones shout-outs, and choosing the skill even starts you with a fedora in your helmet slot.
- Affectionate Parody: It certainly comes off as one for the Roguelike genre.
- AFGNCAAP: Averted. Both options have a very distinctive appearance, complete with Big Ol' Eyebrows.
- April Fools' Day: Dungeons of Dredmor II 3D
- Attack Animal: This is the premise of the Golemancy skill tree, which allows you to summon Mustache Golems, giant robots, animated piles of kitchen cutlery, and immobile stone walls. That's not to say that other skills don't dip their toes into it, of course--Fungal Arts has slime and mushroom familiars for you to summon, Fleshsmithing lets you reanimate enemy corpses as Zombys to fight for you, Veganism and Psionics let you persuade enemies to fight for you, and Big Game Hunters can summon packs of trained hunting diggles.
- Badass: According to the Left for Dred achievement, the player is this when it's earned. Considering that you need to beat the game on the highest difficulty with permadeath on, it's justified.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Both protagonists. Lampshaded; monsters in the dungeon sometimes call you "the eyebrowed one" or taunt you with phrases like "Your eyebrows won't save you now!"
- Big Bad: Lord Dredmor.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Skål!", the shout that plays when you use the Lutefisk Horadric Cube, means "Cheers" in Norwegian. Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish.
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: A lot of the healing food items are different types of cheese.
- Booze-Based Buff: Liquor, in all of its forms, regenerates your mana.
- Bucket Helmet: Buckets are low-level headgear. There's also plastic traffic cones.
- Cartoon Cheese: At first you might think, looking at the wide variety of cheeses available in the dungeons (havarti, brie, blue, gouda, smoked applewood cheddar, parmigiano reggiano...), that this trope is Averted. Nope! Out of all the different kinds of unique cheeses, there is one cheese known simply as "Cheese". It's yellow-orange and wedge-shaped, with holes in it.
- Combinatorial Explosion: A literal case. Try and see what happens if you put a Horadric Lutefisk Cube inside another Horadric Lutefisk Cube! Or inside itself! (Made possible thanks to a hilarious programming oversight)
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: You even get an achievement for creating this paradox!
- Crapsack World: Implied to be going on outside the dungeon; the Elves and Dwarves are dying out, after a war that used up most of the world's natural resources, big corporations push weapons onto the streets, the wildlife is dangerous and perverse, and universities offer degrees on going underground to most likely die.
- Crate Expectations: The dungeons are littered with breakable crates (as well as urns and pots and so forth) that can include items.
- Critical Existence Failure: Although the image of your face next to the Life Meter gets progressively bloodier as you take damage, there are no gameplay ramifications to taking damage until your HP hits zero (at which point, of course, you die).
- Dagwood Sandwich: The Dire Sandwich. It even has a Badass Boast in its tooltip!
This sandwich is of great stature; it has unmanned better heroes than you. Dare you feed on its glory?
- A Date with Rosie Palms: How the wand-recharging skill of the Wand skill tree presents itself (and is treated in-universe, up to and including the disclaimer that it'll make you go blind if you do it too much). Which is actually true in this case.
- Damage Over Time: Seen on many effects, including but not limited to Slimeburst Traps, Acid Burns, Curse of the Golden Ratio, Recursive Curse, and the special ability of the Golden Crossbow. There's also an even wider variety of Area of Effect spells that persist over several turns and deal constant damage to anything in range—these ones tend to be very effective for dispatching large groups of enemies.
- Death Ray: The capstone skill in the Rogue Scientist tree.
- Distaff Counterpart: An update made just before Realm of the Diggle Gods went live added the possibility of playing as a red-haired heroine (With the obligatory Big Ol' Eyebrows, of course). Neither gender has an advantage over the other.
- Dummied Out:
- A glance at the game's database files reveals crafting recipes, items, and even skill trees that did not make it into the final game. For the most part, just removing the lines that comment out the items isn't enough to bring them into the game.
- An unintentional example of something being Dummied Out was the opening to the song "Brawl" (the Monster Zoo BGM). Until it was fixed in a patch, an error was preventing the opening from playing, causing the BGM to launch directly into the main "Brawl" music (the part that repeats until the Monster Zoo is cleared out). Another music piece, "Veil", may be suffering from a similar fate, as players have reported never having heard the song.
- The Deadshot skill (which gave a handful of bonuses to crit chance and enemy dodge reduction, but nothing else) was removed from the game in a patch. However, it's still in the code, and can still be accessed by old save files that used it. The Steam achievement for maxing out the skill tree is still around too, but it's been rendered unobtainable--although there are workarounds.
- Elemental Powers: Many of the usuals like fire ("conflagratory"), ice ("hyperborean"), electricity ("voltaic"), and poison ("toxic") are here. And then there's some lesser known ones, like "necromantic" (seems to be the game's "darkness/shadow" element), "putrefying" (An entire element just for zombies and other undead), and "righteous" (light/holy damage). And then there's some seriously weird damage types, like "asphyxiative" (damage type caused by strangling and/or choking something) and "existential" damage, which, according to the helpful tooltip, may or may not actually exist! (It does.)
- Empty Levels: Once you've maxed out your skills, you gain no stat gains from leveling up (making skill trees with more skill tiers preferable if you like Level Grinding). But more experience means more points, so gaining some empty levels is preferable if you aim to get a high score.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: The "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture", which summons Thaumite Swarms on enemies you attack. The only words in the book are "OH NO NOT THE BEES" written over and over.
- Exponential Potential: Take a few different schools of magic, and before long you can have more spells and skills than will fit on your hot-keys.
- Extremity Extremist: Unarmed attacks are performed solely with the hero's feet.
- Eye Beams: Yours for the low, low price of maxing out the Perception skill tree. No, we don't know how that works, either.
- Fan Nickname: Transmuting anything into lutefisk is known as 'Skolling', from the sound that the Horadic Lutefisk Cube makes.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Each skill tree is classified as a Warrior, Rogue, or Wizard skill.
- Final Death: An option if you so choose.
- Full-Moon Silhouette: The Werediggle Curse skill tree is represented with an icon of a werediggle silhouette standing on a hill in front of a full moon.
- Game Breaker: The final spell in the Golemancy path, Digging Ray; "Busts through walls and is basically game-breaking," as described in-universe.
- Game Mod: With the release of Realm of the Diggle Gods, Gaslamp added mod compatibility. Fans got busy very quickly, and there are now a wide variety of fan-made skill trees, item packs, and more. The official forum for game mods is here. Some of the more notable ones include:
- Clockwork Knights: A skillset mod that gives several nifty abilities, bonuses to all crafting stats, as well as several new items. Notable for being the first mod to be officially endorsed by Gaslamp. It is one of the few mods that became an official part of Dungeons of Dredmor, in the second expansion pack.
- Interior Dredmorating: Greatly diversifies the types of rooms you'll find, as well as adding new items, additional name choices for named monsters, and new monster taunts. A noticeable part of it became an official addition to the game, as part of the second expansion pack.
- Monster Menagerie: The obligatory "new monsters" mod.
- Great Offscreen War: There are many references to the wars between the elves and the dwarves that have happened up on the surface, and the dungeons are full of relics from the conflict.
- The Grim Reaper: There's a type of Mook based on this.
- Have a Nice Death:
- "Congratulations! You have died." followed by a gravestone for your character complete with what killed you and a short comment on your performance.
- There are several achievements that require you to die to certain enemies, including Dredmor himself (which is very likely to happen the first time you face him).
- Healing Potion: There's the standard Potion of Healing (restores 20 health), the Potion of Replenishment (restores 26 health and 30 mana), and the Potion of Lively Regeneration (restores 3 HP per turn for 12 turns).
- Herd-Hitting Attack: There are plenty of options; when you come up against a Monster Zoo, you'll want as many of these as you can get.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The Demonology tree starts out with spells that are about slaying demons. But by the end of it, you will be a demon. It's worth noting that the first three skills increase your righteous resistance. It's when you start playing Amateur Solomon by summoning demons to fight on your behalf that the righteous resistance disappears of a sudden...then plummets. The descriptor for "No, You Are the Demons" even says "The abyss has not only gazed back, it's taken up residence on your couch".
- Holier Than Thou: The Killer Vegan skillpath refers to its powers as coming from, in part, "moral superiority". The penultimate skill is actually called "Aura of Self-Righteousness".
- Hollywood Voodoo: An entire set of enemies based on this.
- Horny Vikings: Lampshaded with the "Historically Inaccurate Viking Helmet", which can be crafted from two plastic ingots and a Rough Iron Hjalmir (much closer in appearance to the helmets vikings actually wore.)
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Lightly. Food restores health, and booze mana - but you don't instantly digest it. Rather, one point of HP/MP is restored per turn.
- Hyperactive Sprite: All monsters continually walk in place or move their appendages, even when standing still.
- I Fought the Law and The Law Won: Shoplift and Die.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Quite a few scattered around the game, and among the achievements too. Because we all know that Two Krongs Don't Make A Right.
- Inherently Funny Words:
- "Lutefisk For The Lutefisk God"
- "You reek of fear and lutefisk"
- Invisible Monsters: Some enemies, such as the Diggle Commandos, are invisible, and can only be seen (as a red outline) if you have a high enough trap detection level.
- Jet Pack: You get one in the Clockwork Knight skill tree.
- Just Add Water: Whether you're smelting, grinding, mixing, beating, tinkering, turning or even distilling, crafting doesn't even take a turn. Even better, most of the crafting sets explicitly mention their portability in their descriptions, such as the disposable ingot press and the porta-still.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The best sword class weapon you can craft is a katana. Lampshaded by its description, which says: "All the best stuff is made in Japan".
- Lethal Joke Item: Plastic Platemail is surprisingly effective armor, especially if you're attempting to keep a high dodge rate.
- Level Up Fill Up: Leveling up fully restores both your Life Meter and your Mana Meter.
- A Loser Is You: The game absolutely delights in your death.
- Lost Forever: As of the update that (among other things) changed the crafting system, the toolsets can no longer be used as extra storage space; anyone unfortunate enough to have been using said trick lost the loot within. Also, with the removal of the Deadshot skill, the achievement The Humanoid Typhoon is similarly unattainable.
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic:
- "This Translation is All Wrong!" from the Archaeology skill tree allows you to re-roll the random stat buffs on an enchanted item, with diminishing returns if you use it too much.
- Don't like the mushrooms you've grown? With level 3 in Fungal Arts, you can use "Mushroom Transmutation" to transform a stack of unneeded mushrooms into another random type of mushroom.
- Alchemists can Transmute gems, if they have the wrong ones for their recipes.
- Magic Mushroom: The foundation of the Fungal Arts skill. All mushrooms have magical abilities that grant various powerups. Well, except for the Mud Wen, which just poisons you instead.
- Magic Staff: Staff-class weapons often give bonuses to magic, and the skill tree for Staff Mastery grants magic boosts on top of the typical bashing-monsters-on-the-head boosts.
- Magic Wand: You can create them with the Wandlore skill, or just find them around the dungeon. Each type of magic wand has a number of charges to cast a certain spell; for example, a Coral Wand has a healing spell, a Bony Wand reanimates a targeted corpse as a friendly Zomby, and a Rock Wand shoots a giant boulder at an enemy.
- Magikarp Power: Vampirism seems like a joke at first. Sure you regen health by doing damage, but you can not eat food, and you lose your natural health regen. That said, taking the second level in vampirism gives you the ability to eat corpses, giving you a potentially limitless food supply (and reducing the potential clutter in your inventory).
- Mana Meter: Played straight, of course. Used for casting spells and stuff.
- Mascot Mook: Diggles are doofy-looking drill-nosed bird things that fit this role quite nicely. In addition to the regular versions, they range from Angry Diggles to Arch-Diggles
- Mind Rape: The Psionics skill is described as this, even earning the achievement "Get Out Of My Head" for mastering it. In practice, this is achieved through a basic hypnosis spell and a spell to make monsters fight for you for a time.
- Money Spider: Most monsters drop zorkmids, for whatever reason.
- The Monolith: One of several shrines involved in sidequests.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: The main character can be something like a Dual-Wielding, vampiric, promethean, sword-wielding, blood-magic-using alchemist. With the expansion, you can even be a vegan vampire were-diggle emo demonic hunter!
- No Name Given: To the second expansion pack. After all, You Have To Name The Expansion Pack! The title can be edited, and you get an achievement for doing so.
Look, I'm a game developer!: Name the expansion pack.
- Obvious Beta: Joked about.
Suddenly The Dungeon Collapses: This achievement is our way of saying "thank you for participating in our voluntary quality assurance program."
- Obvious Rule Patch: With the making of a wiki came crafting recipe spoilers. Obviously, this didn't mix well with the ability to craft things without having to know the recipe in-game, so now you have to search bookcases for secret recipes before you can craft them.
- Odd Job Gods: Inconsequentia, Goddess of Pointless Sidequests. Oh, and the Lutefisk God (who is the God of Lutefisk).
- Oh Crap / This Is Gonna Suck: The player's reaction upon finding his/her first Monster Zoo!
"Suddenly, you come upon a large horde of monsters who have not eaten yet today!"
- Orcus on His Throne: Lord Dredmor in his dungeon. Apparently, he is biding his time and gathering his power or something.
- Our Vampires Are Different / Your Vampires Suck: There's an entire skill tree based on being a vampire. The image of one of the skills? The player sparkling in sunlight.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Werediggles!
- Palette Swap: Used to create Underground Monkeys.
- Point Buy System / Class and Level System: When you start the game, you have a number of points to buy skill sets with. When you level up, you get to choose to upgrade a specific skill.
- Poison Mushroom: Most of the mushrooms in the game are beneficial, but watch out for toxic Mud Wen mushrooms, which have no beneficial effects--they just apply a debuff. And if you're experimenting with unknown potions, there are several acids that, despite being labeled "potion", are only usable as alchemy ingredients and will give you an acid burn if you try to drink them. (There's also a potion called "Verdant Poison", but hopefully that one is obvious.)
- Power At a Price: Necronomiconomics is full of powerful spells... that you pay for in various ways, usually your own life force.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender
- Purple Prose: A few items have some very overblown descriptions, but one item in particular really takes it to a new level. "Born of the gooey union of pre-born broodspawn from the stygian depths and befouled milk, this [item] slouches churlishly, just daring you to taste it. The item? A cheese omelette!
- Red Headed Heroine: The female player character.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Lampshaded with the achievement "Suddenly the Dungeon Collapses", given the first time your game crashes.
This achievement is our way of saying "thank you for participating in our voluntary quality assurance program."
- Rewarding Vandalism: Smashing statues of Lord Dredmor gives you bonus XP. A Mortal Kombat style voice over even shouts "HEROIC VANDALISM".
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: Certain monsters on each floor will be much stronger than others, especially once your individual build (in particular, resistances) is factored in. It's taken Up to Eleven in the Mysterious Portal levels, where you'll see Deep Fish Paladins right alongside ordinary Diggles.
- Schizo-Tech: Bolts of Mass Destruction exist. Yes, you can use a crossbow to fire a (magically created) nuke. Even better, fire that Bolt of Mass Destruction from your Clockwork Rail Launcher!
- Secret Level: Occasionally, one can find a mysterious portal square, marked a light blue. If you step on it, you will be transported to a small, mysterious floor, where monsters of all strengths can be found.
- Serious Business: The tooltip for Aethereal damage.
We have nothing funny to say about this. We take astrology very seriously, and so should you.
- Schmuck Bait: One room contains a lever and a note saying "Mass pitting mechanism above." Go ahead, pull the lever.
- Shoplift and Die: Brax the demonic shopkeeper not only is a heavy hitter, but will summon piles of demons to help him if you ever dare to steal.
- Shout-Out: Are there ever.
- Sidequest: Inconsequentia, The Goddess of Pointless Sidequests, will give you one whenever you find her statue.
- Spell Blade: Various buffs can enchant your weapons to deal all sorts of extra damage.
- Spell Book: There are several, usually giving you a matching pair of resistances and bonus damage as well as adding a special effect to your attacks (for example, a Burning Tome sets enemies on fire). Not actually that useful for wizards, who don't get that bonus damage applied to their spells.
- Status Buff: Oh, all sorts. There are buffs that wear off after a number of turns, buffs that require mana upkeep to keep going, buffs that wear off after a set number of attacks, buffs that wear off after taking a set number of hits, and even permanent buffs, which you can get by praying at a diggle god statue and won't wear off until you pray at a different diggle god statue.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: No, You Are The Demons, from the Demonologist skill.
- Taking You with Me: It is possible to fight Dredmor and die at the same turn when he does, right before him (by using special effects like burn, or having a skill or piece of equipment that works when you are hit or when you die). The results are pretty... funky, since the game doesn't know what to do with it, but it ultimately counts as a victory, and awards achievements for both defeating Dredmor and dying against it.
- Too Awesome to Use: Bolts of Mass Destruction are probably the most powerful weapon in the game, and are quite rare (if you find three by the time you reach dungeon level 10, you're very lucky; they are also hard to craft due to fiery wands being quite rare themselves). You can very easily "Not worth using it yet" yourself to death when you have one in your inventory. Most players save them for the Monster Zoos or Lord Dredmor.
- Underground Monkey: Used with a few creatures, but most notably the diggles: there are regular Diggles, Sickly Diggles, Enraged Diggles, Diggle Commandos, Hungry Diggles, Arch Diggles, Thirsty Diggles, and Muscle Diggles, all with different stats and abilities (and all Palette Swaps of one another, with the exception of the overly-muscular Muscle Diggle).
- Unmoving Plaid: Brax
- Vendor Trash: If you do not have the relevant craft (Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Wand Lore, or Tinkering) or skill set (e.g., booze, etc. when you don't have a mana-using ability, or food when you're a Vampire, or meat/eggs/cheese/Dire Sandwiches when you're a Killer Vegan), many items are effectively Vendor Trash and can/should be sold without worry (or used in a Horadric Lutefisk Cube).
- Visible Invisibility: Invisible characters are seen as an outline.
- Weapon of Choice
- We Buy Anything: Up to and including items that are only used for specific sidequests, until it was fixed in a patch.
- Whatevermancy: Doesn't use the standard Latin prefix for the Golemancy and Emomancy skill trees.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: Averted. Level Grinding is just boring, because monsters take a long time to respawn.
- You Shouldn't Know This Already: See Obvious Rule Patch above.