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“Roguelike (or rogue-like) is a subgenre of role-playing computer games traditionally characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, grid-based movement, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.” (Wikipedia December 2022)

Roguelike gameplay is especially fun when you’re controlling a party of creatures.

In a party, know the members:

Each party member can have unique abilities and strengths. Take the time to understand each character’s skills, stats, and role in the party. Build a balanced party that can handle various situations, such as combat, special sight, and healing.

Manage your inventory:

By default, KRL allows minions to load up on any consumables they desire, making it difficult to control item distribution. You can ban creatures by type (all goblin warriors, for example) from carrying consumables; this takes micromanagement, but it’s still valuable to manage your inventory strategically.

Consider forming a party led by a sturdy unit who you will control, and therefore will distribute the supplies wisely. Limit party members from squandering healing items and buffs for personal gain on weaker enemies. To ensure your party is always prepared for the worst-case scenario, you can equip your leader with extra supplies like healing potions and scrolls. Provide your party with adequate weapons and armor. Folks with two-handed weapons and/or bows need better body armor than folks with shields, for example. Remember to loot defeated enemies to improve your inventory (in particular, to restock healing potions!) as the invasion progresses.

Retreat to safe areas:

Retreating is an essential strategy that is often overlooked in the heat of battle. If your party is struggling with a particular enemy, it’s time to try a different approach. Remember, a tactical retreat can save your party from unnecessary losses: don’t hesitate to retreat all the way back to your base and regroup if necessary.

When retreating, it’s important to take cover from enemy archers, spellcasters, and other ranged attackers to avoid taking unnecessary damage. If you find yourself in a fight that’s too big to handle, don’t be afraid to retreat to a more advantageous spot, like a chokepoint or bottleneck, or leave the area entirely. This will give your party time to heal and recharge their spells, allowing you to mount a stronger attack later.

Remember that you can’t leave the map as long as the enemy can see you. Attacking at night can reduce the enemy’s sight range, so consider dropping or unequipping torches to avoid being detected. Also, use trees and bushes to break sightlines. If all else fails, consider using one or more lesser creatures to decoy the enemy and give the rest of your team time to escape.

When playing an adventurer without a dungeon base, you’ll want to remember the nearest Ally map square, where you’ll have friendly troops around and a bed to borrow and heal up on. (Enemies won’t generally follow you from one map square to another, but they may hang around near the entry/exit point on their own map square.)

As a Keeper, you’ll have a dungeon base, which the enemy may counter-attack after repelling your invasion…but you’ll have the advantage of friendly architecture, trooops, traps, etc. Use these advantages you’ve made and turn the situation around!

Take advantage of terrain:

Use the terrain to your advantage in combat. Position your characters behind cover, and draw enemies at chokepoints to funnel enemies into a more manageable group. Force melee units to advance by hitting them at a distance. Be mindful of environmental hazards, such as deep water, lava and burning trees. Try to use your surroundings to your advantage, and realize that enemies may bridge or dig if they feel they need to.

Learn from your mistakes:

It’s important to learn from mistakes, both yours and the enemy’s. Death may seem inevitable in roguelike games, especially when you’re starting out. However, you’ll notice things that work and things that didn’t work, both by you and by your opponents. Each time you play, take note of what went wrong, what went right, and how you can make more things go right for you and wrong for your opposition. Over time, you’ll become more skilled and better equipped to handle the challenges that lie ahead.


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