New Players Guide

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This page is about the Full/Beta Version of the game, if you are looking for the Alpha/Free Version, see Alpha:New Players Guide

Gameplay Basics

Object of the Game

  1. Your object is to kill the level 10 "boss monster" in the dungeon. If there are multiple such monsters, you must defeat all of them.

Gaining Levels

  1. You start at level 1, and will increase in level as you gain experience, which you get for killing monsters in the dungeon.
  2. Each time you gain a new level, your attack damage and hit points increase.


  1. A combat exchange happens whenever the hero bumps into a monster.
  2. The higher level combatant strikes first. If the hero and monster are same level, then the monster goes first.
  3. The first attacker deals damage to the opponent equal to its attack power.
  4. The second attacker, if still alive, then deals damage to the opponent equal to its attack power.

Mana and Spells

  1. Mana is used for casting spells. You start with no spells, and must find the spell glyphs in the dungeon. (Certain, later, classes start the game with a specific glyph in their inventory.)
  2. In order to learn a spell after you've found it, you must double-click it in the "on ground" slot, and it will appear in your inventory.
  3. Casting a spell on a monster does NOT trigger a combat exchange.
  4. Glyphs that aren't very useful to you should be converted by dragging them into the teal-and-red conversion icon. This will give you 100 conversion points, and possibly a benefit depending upon your race. Humans get more attack power, for example.

Healing and Restoring Mana

  1. As you explore the dungeon, you will restore depleted hit points and mana. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. The unexplored dungeon is a scarce resource that heals you and restores your mana pool. Use it wisely.
  2. For every square of the dungeon you uncover, you recover 1 mana point, and health equal to your level.
  3. When you are poisoned, you will not gain health from exploring squares. Poison can be cured by drinking a health potion, casting a healing spell, or by gaining a level.
  4. When you suffer from mana burn, you will not gain mana from exploring squares. Mana burn can be cured by drinking a mana potion, or by gaining a level.

Potions and Powerups

  1. 3 each of the following items: Health Powerup, Mana Powerup, Attack Powerup, Health Potion and Mana Potion. A Thief will cause 4 of each to be created.
  2. Basic Potions restore 40% of your Max Health/Mana, rounded down, except for Priest (Health Potion 100% effective) and Blood Mage (Mana Potion 100% effective at the expense of 6 Health per Level).
  3. Every Health Powerup gives you 1 Max Health per Level. This scales as you level up, so don't hesitate when you see one -- pick it up! Dwarf's Conversion works in the same way.
  4. Every Attack Powerup gives you 10% Damage bonus, which can be viewed by hovering your mouse cursor on your character's attack icon, left to your current damage. This, naturally, scales as you level up. Human's Conversion works in the same way.
  5. Every Mana Powerup gives you 1 Max Mana. Elf's conversion works the same way.

Monster Health Regeneration

  1. As you explore the dungeon, wounded monsters regenerate health. They heal 1 health point per level per square uncovered.
  2. No other actions — including fighting other monsters and moving around parts of the map that you've already explored — will cause monsters to regenerate.

Gold and Items

  1. You gain gold by finding it in piles in the dungeon.
  2. All gold your adventurer survives with is put into the kingdoms vault.
  3. Your adventurer can only keep 100 gold at a time.
  4. If the Bazaar is unlocked, shops will spawn in the dungeon.
  5. New items can be unlocked by completing quests

Conversion points

  1. If you find a glyph you're not going to use, drag it to the conversion box for 100 conversion points.
  2. If you find or buy an item you're not going to use, drag it to the conversion box for its specified amount of conversion points.
  3. If you fill up your conversion bar with extra points left over, they will carry over.
  4. Your necessary amount of conversion points and bonus is determined by your race


  1. With all of the gold you will be racking up in your vault, you upgrade your kingdom.
  2. There a 3 main things you can gain from upgrading a building.
  3. You can gain a new class, and a monster.
  4. You can gain a new race.
  5. You can gain new preparations
  6. See buildings for more details

Preparations and The Adventuring Locker

  1. You can choose to "finance" your adventurer by bringing preparations.
  2. Preparations are a large variety of things that help your adventurer. Anything from scouting altars, to staring with a fireball glyph, to bringing a cool special potion into the fight.
  3. One special type of preparation is the adventuring locker.
  4. What it does is you can bring items back from a dungeon, you can drag them into a locker
  5. If you pay the fee to bring them, 2x items cost, your adventurer will start with that item.
  6. Locker spaces are limited, so you may have to boot something out to put something in.


  1. Every adventurer has 6 inventory slots.
  2. Each slot can either hold one large item or 5 small items.
  3. Items like potions, charms and pendants are small space.
  4. Most items, including glyphs, are large space items


  1. Gods in Desktop Dungeons are like most gods in other rogue-likes. They each have there own bonuses and penalties.
  2. Different actions can either gain or lose piety.
  3. Piety is used to purchase boons, which give the player good effects.
  4. If piety hits 0 or below, you invoke the god's punishment.
  5. In extreme situations, you may want to desecrate another gods altar.
  6. Desecration grants 25 piety and pardon from the next punishment, but invokes the other god's punishment
  7. Gods are unlocked by completing their subdungeon(s).
  8. Once you unlock a god, they are put into the randomizer for which gods will spawn.
  9. 3 altars spawn per dungeon.

Basic Hints

  1. Always fight the highest level monster you can defeat. This requires doing some quick math to determine how the combat will play out before you engage and realize you're in over your head.
  2. Exploring the dungeon is the main way you will regain health and mana, but it is a limited resource.
  3. Potions are very useful to immediately gain health and mana, but you usually need many or all of them for the fight with the boss.
  4. Keep in mind that wounded monsters gradually heal as you explore the dungeon. You can't just smack a monster, run and heal, and repeat. However, the regeneration will sometimes benefit you more than him...
  5. Use your level ups for all they are worth, they cure bad status and return you to full HP / MP, so don't be afraid of being poisoned / manaburned by a monster you'll level up after killing
  6. The first-strike spell is useful for finishing a monster off. It gets no retaliation shot if you kill it.
  7. The fireball spell is useful for softening monsters up before combat
  8. Do not kill your adventurer unless you cannot escape, because they will keep their gold and sell off their loot.