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A new player will find that dying is easy in this game--so easy that there is an abbreviation that describes the most common type death: YASD (yet another stupid death.) Nearly all deaths are avoidable via better tactics and planning, either by avoiding certain situations, or carrying and using the appropriate gear.

Most significantly

  • Always carry an escape
  • Always carry a source of healing, including curing of status effects
  • Always avoid any monster that can kill you in a single player turn.
  • (Almost) always carry a means of doing damage at a distance.

Starting gear

  • Your escape should be a stack of at least 5 scrolls of phase door (?PD), and a scroll of recall (?Recall)
  • Your source of healing should be a stack of at least 5 potions of cure light wounds (!CLW)
  • You may wish to carry a small stack of ammo (shot) or a dozen flasks of oil for damage at a distance. (For most characters, this is enough to kill Bullroarer at CL 1. For a character with poor throwing skill, you might want a scroll of blessing to improve accuracy.)

When you run low on either ?PD or !CLW, and assuming you have at least 400 gold, recall to town. If you don't have 400 gold you are making at least one of the following mistakes: you aren't deep enough for good gold drops, and you need to go down more quickly; or you are taking on too many difficult fights.