Caves of Qud is a roguelike RPG with both fantasy and futuristic elements to it. I picked it up during this latest Holiday Steam sale, and have jumped in. I'm hoping to post some of my adventures here in the CBlogs as well as some of my impressions of the game so far. This will be the story of my first major foray into the world of Qud (technically second, as my first ended in less than a day after being killed by a giant amoeba).
The first step was to create my character. Since my original hero failed miserably while going for a melee themed build, this time around I chose to go with a ranged combatant. I loaded up on Agility, which boosts my ability to hit, as well as dodge anything once my enemies get up close and personal. I went for a higher Intelligence to give me access to more skill points when I level up as I go.
Next up, is Mutations. This is an awesome system in place for this game that gives you a great number of options to customize your character. Want to make a swordsman with four arms to wield extra weapons and extra legs to get to the enemies faster? You can do it. How about an insect themed character with a carapace and poisonous stinging tail? This game has you covered.
My character's build
I chose to go with an Unstable Genome which would allow for a chance at additional mutations upon leveling up. The other mutations were designed to work with my plan of ranged combat. Heightened Quickness would help me get the drop on enemies and shoot them first. Night Vision was to keep me from having a torch in hand at all times while delving into dungeons and caves. Beguiling would allow me to convince low level enemies to join me and turn on their former allies. My last point went into Thick Fur, which provided me with some extra heat and cold protection.
At this point, you can select a "job" of sorts for your character. This determines your starting skills and equipment. I chose the Gunslinger archetype, which gave me two revolvers and a bonus to using them.
The Town of Joppa
I chose the recommended starting area, which is a small farming village called Joppa. I wandered around a bit, and spoke with the locals. I discovered that water seems to be the currency of this world, and I was able to gain some positive reputation around town by performing a water ritual with the people I met. Mehmet, the town guard leader, informed me that there was a problem with critters eating the town's watervine crops. They are a pale white, eight legged menace, and they are suspected to be found to the north in a cave at Red Rock. As an aspiring hero, I jumped at the chance and told Mehment I was the man for the job.
I checked in with the village elder, who informed me further about the village and the world of Qud. I used my reputation to learn about harvestry so that I could gather useful things from plants in the world. Finally, I stopped by the trader, and picked up some additional slugs for my revolvers by bartering with some of my water supply. Next stop, Red Rock!
Trouble at Red Rock
It was a short and uneventful journey to the area the villagers called Red Rock. This all changed upon my arrival, when I was ambushed by a gang of baboons that were all around the cave's entrance. I used my beguiling ability on a large hulking one, who immediately became my bodyguard. Together, my new friend and I cleared out the remaining baboons at the entrance, and I received some good news.
Cue the Final Fantasy music
My character managed to somehow grow two additional legs, giving me additional speed in getting around, which should help keep me at range from my enemies. I spent my new found skill points on learning Short Blades, just in case I needed to conserve ammunition, or would be unable to maintain distance between myself and those who want me dead. My baboon buddy and I walked into the caves, not sure what to expect.
Into the Dark Below
Shortly after descending to the first level, we were beset by snapjaw scavengers. My twin revolvers took them down left and right while the baboon did his best to keep them at bay. Eventually they felled him with their daggers and axes. I was able to locate the stairs down to the next level down, but had to make a strategic retreat first in order to gain some health back, while taking pot shots at my pursuers along the way. Those extra legs had already earned their worth.
Once rejuvenated, I headed back to the stairs down, which had two remaining scavengers guarding them. I beguiled one of them, and shot the other. Level up again! I chose an acrobatic skill that helps me dodge attacks more easily. We then headed to the third level. Other than a few more snapvine scavengers and two giant centipedes, there wasn't much going on here.
This could be trouble
The beguiled scavenger and I are surrounded as soon as we get off the steps to the fourth level by another scavenger, a snapjaw warrior, and a large cave spider, which is in melee range of us both. I immediately attempted to fire at the spider as it lept at us, but the shot went wild and I blew my companion's head right off instead. I ran right back up the steps, and was chased by the scavenger. I made quick work of him and waited, guns raised. Nothing else came, so I cautiously crept back down again, only to find that the warrior and spider were locked in combat, doing the work for me. The spider was besting the warrior, so I decided to shoot it, and then the warrior. I was hoping to have a corpse left over to take back to town for the quest I was on, but the spider had exploded into chunks from my shot, leaving nothing worth taking along.
There were no further spiders here (is Mehmet really sure that spiders are the cause of the trouble when there don't seem to really be many in this cavern?), but I was attacked by some humanoid cannibals. They were no match for my revolvers, but at this point I found myself down to the last 12 slugs of ammo. I was lucky enough to find some strange artifacts that I could take back to town.
On the way to the fifth floor down, I had found a snapvine warrior that I was able to beguile into helping me out. At this point, I was feeling quite confident. I was at experience level 4, and so far had been pretty successul with my gun skills, and to a lesser extent, my dagger.
The fifth floor had some sort of slippery slime all over the place, making it difficult to maintain footing. A short way in, we encountered a brand new enemy in the form of a glow wight. Not having any idea what the hell that thing is, I had no qualms about using 2 of my precious slugs to blast it into the afterlife.
Don't want to take any extra chances at this point
I fought my way through some seed spitting vines, but had somehow gotten separated from the snapvine warrior that was with me. As I tried to make my way through the slime, I headed down a narrow corridor. I hadn't been fully paying attention to my surroundings, as I felt a vine wrap around my leg and pull me in. I slashed frantically at the carnivorous plant that had gotten a hold of me, but it was no use. It was a rather embarassing end to the tale of my gunslinger. After gunning down countless intelligent enemies, I was eaten by a plant.
Impressions So Far
There definitely seems to be a lot of complexity going on here, with a multitude of options for your character. Much like games such as Dwarf Fortress, your world is built with all sorts of lore going on in the background for you to explore. The dungeon crawling elements have been rather enjoyable so far, and I think I'm going to be putting a lot of hours into this game.
Thanks for reading!