Live and drink, water-sib! [Caves of Qud]

SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentitytrying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
edited January 2021 in Games and Technology

Welcome, wanderer! You have come on your way to the Spindle, yes, that azure needle that reaches down from the heavens to pierce the earth? Or perhaps you are one of the many making a pilgrimage to the Mechanimists at the Six-Day Stilt in the salt dunes. Or perhaps you seek the baetyls. Whichever it is, stay a while; you are a friend here.


What is this place, and why should I care?
Caves of Qud is a science fantasy RPG and roguelike epic steeped in retrofuturism, deep simulation, and swathes of sentient plants. Come inhabit an exotic world and chisel through a layer cake of thousand-year-old civilizations. Play the role of a mutant from the salt-spangled jungles of Qud, or play as a true-kin descendant from one of the few remaining eco-domes: the toxic arboreta of Ekuemekiyye, the ice-sheathed arcology of Ibul, or the crustal mortars of Yawningmoon. Decide: is it a dying earth, or is it on the verge of rebirth?

The setting is very, very good if you are into this particular style. I've been listening to The Way of Kings (the first book of The Stormlight Archives) and it's surprising how similar they feel. Qud is much more quirky with more high-tech and post-apocalypse, but if you like swords and axes being used by four-armed mutants to dismember corroded robots in gleaming chrome hallways buried in salt-covered caverns, then hoo boy is this for you.

I'm not usually big on roguelikes, but this one gets easy to play quite quickly (you will still die a lot). It is surprisingly simple to move about, equip things, use abilities, etc. once you get the basic controls down and there's very little that feels cumbersome to do unless you're trying to drag a 400# corpse to a trader to see how much it will sell for. I've actually mapped everything I need to a controller (using AntiMicro) because I'm weird like that, and it plays perfectly fine.

But mainly it's the setting.

What can I do here?
Assemble your character from over 70 mutations and defects, and 24 castes and kits — outfit yourself with wings, two heads, quills, four arms, flaming hands, or the power to clone yourself; it’s all the character diversity you could want.
Explore procedurally-generated regions with some familiar locations — each world is nearly 1 million maps large.
Dig through everything — don’t like the wall blocking your way? Dig through it with a pickaxe, or eat through it with your corrosive gas mutation, or melt it to lava. Yes, every wall has a melting point.
Hack the limbs off monsters — every monster and NPC is as fully simulated as the player. That means they have levels, skills, equipment, faction allegiances, and body parts. So if you have a mutation that lets you, say, psionically dominate a spider, you can traipse through the world as a spider, laying webs and eating things.
Pursue allegiances with over 60 factions — apes, crabs, robots, and highly entropic beings, just to name a few.
Follow the plot to Barathrum the Old, a sentient cave bear who leads a sect of tinkers intent on restoring technological splendor to Qud.
Learn the lore — there’s a story in every nook, from legendary items with fabled pasts to in-game history books written by plant historians. A novel’s worth of handwritten lore is knit into a procedurally-generated history that’s unique each game.
Die — Caves of Qud is brutally difficult and deaths are permanent. Don’t worry, though — you can always roll a new character.

Share a secret with me, water-sib. [-50 reputation]
The Black Glass

Frivolous Lives

a scroll bound by a strand of kelp

Basic controls:
Escape will bring up an options menu, hit k to check out the keybinds. You can toggle mouse control on in the options.
The game uses the numpad, so any numbers have to be on a numpad (numlock will work).
Space is the main interact button; ctrl-space will prompt you for a direction and be more specific about what you're interacting with.
The numpad/arrows will move you around.
Moving onto the same space as a hostile will melee attack them.
L is used to look at things and can be used from a distance; if you aren't familiar with something, look at it!
F is used to fire your missile weapons (you will be prompted for a target).
R reloads your missile weapons.
T is used to throw your thrown weapon.
` (the key to the left of 1) rests until you are healed.
A opens up your ability menu and lets you select one to use.
< and > move up and down stairs, or move you up to the world map (for faster travel) if you are on the surface.

A more detailed guide can be found here.
Starting off:
The ten things to do when you start.

You are most likely starting in Joppa; you can find the dromad trader off on the bottom right side of town, a farmer straight up who will give you a quest, and a tinkerer on the bottom left side of town who will also give you a quest. The farmer's quest is a good starting point; if you have ranged weapons make sure to buy ammo from the trader but otherwise you can probably squeak through it. Take it slow; try not to get in any fights where you're being attacked by multiple enemies, and toggle sprint on in your abilities any time things get hairy and run away until you can heal up. As soon as you gain a few levels/pieces of equipment you can start being bolder.

Don't worry about hunger or thirst, they're mostly there for flavor (or buffs once you get actual food ingredients). You can always use your make camp ability to cook up food out of nothing as long as there are no hostiles nearby, and unless you are down to single digit drams of water you should have plenty to sip on.

As you level up, you'll gain attribute points, mutation points, and skill points. You can spend the first two of these on your character page to level up stats and mutations, and you can spend skill points on the skill page to unlock passives or new abilities.

I would recommend starting with a high strength, high toughness character; regeneration is great, as are extra limbs/hearts. This frees you up to largely ignore missile weapons while you get used to how the game works.

Tips etc.
Weapons are your main source of water; if you start getting encumbered, drop not-weapons and then drop lower quality heavy weapons.

You can attempt to trade with pretty much any non-hostile creature. Finding someone to trade with is a great way to get rid of weight.

If you are using guns you'll want to complete the tinkerer's quest asap, since it will lead you to a merchant who sells lots of ammo.

Recoilers are teleportation devices; you can activate them as long as there are no hostiles very close by and teleport away.

Look at engraved or painted items.

If you are running from something, try very, very hard to run back through an area you've already been through.

Where can I find more information?
There are TWO wikis, and neither one is reliably complete but they are good resources:

I'm just gonna take a few steps to the left here real quick.

That is all, thank you.
Live and drink!

Surfpossum on


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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    This game is neat and I really need to dig into it more. Alas, I just started playing The Bard's Tale remastered trilogy on my Xbox so

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