What is Incursion?

From the Incursion homepage:

Incursion is a freeware roguelike (meaning a text-map, turn-based computer game featuring character growth, permanent death and an emphasis on strategy and gameplay depth) game based on (but not strictly adherent to) the mechanics of the d20 system made available under the Open Game License by Wizards of the Coast — the same rules system used by the popular tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons.

Incursion has much in common with other, much more mature games in the roguelike genre, including Nethack, Angband, ToME, Crawl, ADOM and Rogue. However, the strongest (and currently least visible, though that will change) influence in its design was the less popular roguelike, Omega.

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What is a roguelike game?

Wikipedia has a great answer to that question.

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Is Incursion legal?


The *d20 Trademark License* forbids the creation of games, but the *Open Game License* does not. So you can make a d20 game; you just can't *market it using the d20 trademark* - hence all of the oblique references. The text of the OGL is included in the game and you can read it for further details.

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The font is too small!

The screen resolution and font size are settings that can be modified by going to the Options Screen, which can be reached from the main menu, or by using the [=] key in-game.

Once in the Options Screen, press the right arrow 3 times to get to the Output Options sub-screen. The resolution and font settings are near the bottom of the list. Arrow down and then press [Spacebar] to cycle through the available options. Press [Enter] to save your changes.

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The colored text is hard to read!

There are some settings which can be modified to change the font colors if the defaults are too difficult to distinguish on your screen. The Options Screen can be reached from the main menu, or by using the [=] key in-game.

To change the Help Screens to be monochrome (mostly light-gray or white on black), go to the Options Screen and press the right arrow once to go to the Input Option sub-screen. The Monochrome Help option is near the bottom. Arrow down to it and press [Spacebar] to toggle between the ON and OFF settings. Press [Enter] to save your changes.

To modify the overall game palette, once in the Options Screen, press the right arrow 3 times to get to the Output Options sub-screen. The Softer palette Colors option is at the bottom of the list. Arrow down and then press [Spacebar] to toggle between the ON and OFF settings. Press [Enter] to save your changes.

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I found a bug!

If you come across a bug in Incursion, please visit the Bug Tracker page. If you do not see it in the list of known bugs, feel free to log the bug so it can be fixed in a future version. If possible, include a zipped save file and the steps required to reproduce the bug.

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What race and class combinations are good?

If you are having trouble keeping your characters alive, it may be good to try one of the easier race/class combinations. Currently, the easiest classes to start the game with are the archery Ranger, the Rogue, and the Priest. One of the best races for a beginning player is the Drow because they have the longest vision range of any other race. The easiest classes in the long run are probably the Priest and Rogue.

For the Ranger and Rogue, make sure you put plenty of skill points into skills like Spot, Search, Hide, and Move Silently. Spot helps you see enemies before they sneak up on you for a surprise attack. Search lets you find traps before you set them off. Hide allows you to get the jump on your enemies. And Move Silently lets you close the last few feet to an enemy without alerting them to your presence.

For the Priest, get lots of defensive spells like Protection from Evil and remember to keep them active (you can add them to your auto-buff list to make this easier).

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What gods are good?

You can read the gods Strategy Guide page for full details, but Asherath and Xavius seem to be popular choices.

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I keep dying to general attrition and tough monsters!

Read the Strategy Guide section General Tips for Survival. In general, here are a few quick tips:
Heavy armor characters are tough in Incursion. If melee fighting is your style, play a lightly-armored Warrior, or a Rogue or Ranger. They are less likely to get hit by traps or get stuck or entangled.

Avoid difficult monsters. These can be ones that have regularly killed you in the past, but also make sure to read the descriptions of monsters that are new to you and see if they have special attacks. Don't forget to run away and avoid tough monsters until you gain a level or two. Use the Potions of Dimension Door that are always present in the starting chamber at the start of the game.

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How can I safely sleep?

  • At the Inn at the top of the stairs in the Entry Chamber.
  • Places of Sanctuary, which are guaranteed on certain dungeon levels.
  • Some spells and scrolls (like rope trick and alarm) allow safe or safer resting.
  • Allies and animal companions will take watches when you rest. Neutrals can be asked to take watches. See the Spot skill for a description on taking watches and it's effectiveness.
  • The Uncanny Dodge ability allows barbarians and rogues of sufficient level to wake instantly when threatened.
  • The Elven racial ability Reverie works similarly to Uncanny Dodge.
  • Halflings begin play with Hearthstones of Onanda, which are one-use magical items that allow guaranteed safe resting.
  • [u]sing your Listen skill (if it is a class/racial skill) will tell you if there are monsters nearby which will attack you in your sleep.

For a more in-depth discussion of resting, see the Adventuring in Incursion section of the game manual.

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How do I get rid of poison or disease?

  • The hard way is to wait it out. If you look at your conditions in the character info screen [d] [c], you will see how many Fortitude saves you need to make at what difficulty before the disease or poison is gone. You will also see what effect failing the save will have.
  • A successful use of the Healing skill will lessen the number of saves you need to overcome the disease or poison.
  • Drinking from a fountain has a chance to remove poisons or disease. There can also be some very negative effects as well, but it's worth trying if you are desperate or lucky.
  • You can buy service spells like Cure Disease from any clerics you find in the game.
  • Party members will cast the service spells for free.
  • The Alchemy skill lets you manufacture Antitoxins, among other alchemical items, which give you a bonus to the Fortitude saves versus poison.
  • You make a saving throw against a disease every time you rest, with a +4 rest modifier, so resting for a few days rather than adventuring can be a good way to beat a disease.
  • The priest's Protection domain ability works for saving throws against poison or disease.
  • Druids can wildshape into creatures with very high Con scores, improving their Fortitude save.
  • There are guaranteed potions of Cure Disease in the store and there are usually Antitoxins there, too.
  • Some gods will remove disease or poison if you have enough favor with them. Specifics?

For a more in-depth discussion of poison and disease, see the Adventuring in Incursion section of the game manual.

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How do I get rid of a curse?

  • Cast the Remove Curse spell.
  • Read a scroll of Remove Curse.
  • Drink a potion of Remove Curse.
  • If the curse is on an unequipped item, you can drop it on the alter of your main god, and have it blessed by praying.
  • Go to a library and research the curse using the Knowledge (Magic) skill. A library is guaranteed to be found in the dungeon.
  • Drinking from a magical fountain has a chance of removing curses. There can also be some very negative effects as well, but it's worth trying if you are desperate or lucky.
  • If you have a Charisma 13+ or Diplomacy as a class skill you can talk to any priest and buy Remove Curse as a service spell.
  • Ekliazeh, Erich, Essiah, Hesani, Immotian, Khasrach, Kysul, Mara, Sabine, Semirath, Xavias and Zurvash will all remove curses from their followers as a form of divine aid. Many do so with reasonably low favor.

For a more in-depth discussion of curses, see the Adventuring in Incursion section of the game manual.

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How can I identify my stuff?

  • There are lots of Identify scrolls generated in Incursion. Once you get a stack of 4 or 5 of one type of scroll it is probably 99% certain that they are Identify scrolls. Even a character with a low or no Decipher Script ability will succeed about 50% of the time reading an Identify scroll.
  • Gods. You need to use the "seek insight" option to get gods to do this.
    • Xavias identifes gear for you. He'll even do this for people that don't worship him directly, provided that you have enough favor (and it takes signifcantly more for a non-worshipper, but it's still fairly easily attainable) and a suitable alignment and meet his Int + Wis requirement.
    • Aiswin identifies gear, though you need a bit more favor with him.
    • Kysul and the Multitude will also identify any item, but you need a LOT of favor for them to do this.
    • Maeve will identify cloaks, rings, amulets and bows.
    • Ekliazeh and Erich identify weapons, armor and shields.
  • A blessed scroll of Identify has a [Luck Modifier x 3]% chance of identifying all your possessions.
  • You can use the Knowledge (Magic) skill to research the nature of magical items in an "Ancient Library" room.
  • With Diplomacy as a class skill or Cha 13+, you can buy an Identify spell from any 3rd+ level arcane caster, including mages, dragons, nagas, etc.
  • Party members will cast service spells for free.
  • When you buy items off NPCs they will be identified. If the NPC is a party member, you can then Order->Request the money back from the NPC.
  • When you Dip a ring in a potion of acid, you get an Alchemy check to identify it. It gets destroyed, but you will know rings of that type from then on.
  • Warriors, rangers and bards have class features which identify weapons and armor with use.
  • Clerics can choose the Knowledge domain and get /Identify/ as a 2nd-level domain spell.
  • You get skill checks to identify scrolls, potions, and wands the first time that type is used. Alchemy for potions. What for scrolls and wands? Use Magic, Knowledge (Magic)?

TODO: list on SomethingAwful

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Why do I sometimes feel guilty or uneasy?

When you or a member of your party (ally or animal companion) commit an act which violates your stated alignment, you will feel "guilty". This means that your alignment is shifting in a different direction. If you have difficulty understanding the alignment system and are bothered by its restrictions, you can always play a Neutral Evil character and come back to alignment when you are ready to add that level of strategy to the game.

Similarly, if you commit an act which angers your god you will feel "uneasy". This means that your god has been angered by your actions. You can mollify your god by performing actions that he or she likes, including performing sacrifices.

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How does alignment work?

For a detailed discussion of the alignment system in Incursion, see the Alignment and Conduct section of the Incursion help.

Alignment defines your character's world view and attitude towards those around him. When you commit an action that violates your alignment you will get a message saying, "You feel guilty" and your alignment will shift. You can change your alignment by performing actions of a new alignment, or by selecting a new alignment from the character information screen. The latter will make your alignment slowly shift towards the new desired alignment. Changing your alignment may affect your standing with your god and will affect any bonuses you may have received due to your old alignment.

TODO - Distinguish between a Chaotic act and an Unlawful act

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How can I deal with wights?

Wights are nasty enemies that drain your experience. The best way to deal with them is to kill them from a distance. Spells, wands, Holy Water, and ranged weapons are all good strategies. If they get close, run away.

How can I recover drained experience?

Drinking a Potion of Restoration will restore XP that has been drained by necromantic attacks.

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How can I deal with poltergeists?

The best strategies for dealing with poltergeists are:

  • Using area of effect wands, if you have them
  • Magic Missile if you are a mage
  • Manifestation if you are an elf
  • Exploiting a bug that lets you attack poltergeists - go to the combat options menu, select Attack, then try every square around you until you find the one with the poltergeist in it.
  • Buy a Potion of Faerie from the store that will duplicate the Manifestation power
  • If you can see the damn thing, you can cow, quell or surrender to the ghost
  • If you are a Ranger, Rogue or Monk, and you can get out of its line of sight and hide, it will stop attacking you because it can't see you
  • Alicorn Lance works well against poltergeists for druids, but you might not be high enough level
  • Some gods will smite your enemies for you when you pray for aid, and you can check using the Seek Insight prayer option
  • Run away and go down some stairs to get away from it

In general against incorporeal creatures:
Remember that magic spells and weapons have a 50% miss chance against incorporeality - if a magic weapon or spell does not affect an incorporeal creature, try again. Poltergeists are kind of like training wheels for the truly badass incorporeals - the ones that can actually kill you.

It's also worth noting that Incursion creatures are programmed to not leave melee in most circumstances, to avoid suffering attacks of opportunity. So if you can summon something beside the poltergeist and then move away, it will stay with the summons rather than continuing to attack you.

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How can I get across chasms, rivers of lava, or some other barrier?

  • The Balance skill lets you tightrope-walk across. This is, IMO, by far the coolest option, but probably not the one most people want to use, because it is risky *and* requires an unusual skill. But hey, style points! You need a crossbow and some rope. TODO: Exact steps.
  • You can drink a potion of levitation, cast a Levitate, Fly, or Air Walk spell or wear Boots of Levitation. Or be a drow and use your innate spell-like Levitation. Body Equilibrium should work for water, too.
  • Druids can wildshape into something with wings.
  • Barbarians *might* be able to just pull a macho man and walk across, sucking up the damage, with a high Con and a mid-to- high level. Look at the terrain with the [L] command and see how much damage it does. Anyone can do this with the help of healing potions, obviously. Remember that damage is inflicted each movement AND each turn, however.
  • You can climb safely down a chasm using Climb, then walk to the other side, then climb back up using Climb and a climbing rig. The problem with this is that chasms echo across multiple levels in some cases, and you may not want to deal with the monsters descending 3 levels will put you beside. This is good for rooms that have chasm squares in them by their room design, however.
  • A Wand of Ice will help a lot here, cooling magma into obsidian and freezing turbulent water into ice. The spell Cone of Cold does likewise, but is probably outside the means of most characters.
  • The really obvious case: you can avoid turbulent water or rivers of magma by ascending or descending a level, walking across the map above or below the stream and then going back using a different set of stairs. Of course, there isn't always good stairs available to do this.
  • You can try to lure a creature that terraforms by movement into flying across (a mote of frost will work like a wand of ice). But this varies between really awkward and outright impossible. It's easier if you have the spell Summon Vortex, of course. You just have to try 3-4 times to get the right one, then order it where you want it.
  • Very high Swim gets you across turbulent water. Many aquatic creatures have a +8 racial bonus to swim, which you get if you polymorph or wild shape into them.
  • You can cast Dimension Door or Teleport.
  • You can ride a flying mount. Paladins can summon one directly at higher levels, and rangers can tame a gryphon, pegasus, hippogriff or similar with animal empathy.
  • It may be possible to jump some streams with a very high Jump, but most will be too wide. This can be combined with the "macho man" option, obviously.
  • Characters with really insane Climb scores (20+) can crawl across the ceiling to avoid lava or water.
  • An Earth priest could cast Wall of Stone across lava or water, than use Earth Meld to walk through it as a pathway but 9th level clerics have better ways across.

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"Belatedly, you drop dead." Huh?

If you are under the effect of a spell or ability which grants you additional temporary Hit Points (like Bear's Endurance, Aid, or Berserk) and that effect ends you will lose those extra HP. If losing the extra HP puts you at zero or less, you will get this message and you will die. Yes, it sucks. Be careful when using performance enhancing spells. :)

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How do feat and prestige class requirements work?

TODO: total skill rating unmodded by magic. Kit and synergy bonuses also do not count.

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What does all this stuff on the screen mean?

  1. This is the message area where the game will tell you what is going on. If you attack someone or cast a spell, this area will tell you what the result was. It will also tell you what the other people and creatures around you are doing. To view past messages you can press [v].
  2. This is the map. As you explore, more and more of the map will be revealed. If you do not know what a character on the screen means, you can use the [/] key to display a legend.
  3. This upper section of the right frame displays information about your character. It is broken up into a few sections.
    1. Your character's name, class(es) and level(s), and how much XP you have and how much you need to get before you can gain another level.
    2. The current time and day.
    3. Some player states: Readiness (Exploring, Fighting, etc), Hunger, Method of Travel, Health (Healthy, Poisoned, etc), and Fatigue (Vigorous or Fatigued).
    4. Player attributes. If they are modified by a particular effect they will be displayed in a different color. As an example, this kobold's fatigue has reduced his Str, Dex, and Cha. A magical enhancement would show up in a different color. If your atttributes are not what you expect, you can look at the character information screen by pressing [d] and it will explain each of the attribute scores.
    5. Combat section. This displays the Mode of Attack, your To Hit bonus, Damage, Speed of attack, Encumbrance, Defense rating, Armor Coverage, Armor defense against attack types (Slashing, Piercing, and Blunt attacks), and Movement rate.
  4. This area is like a mini-legend. It displays the things in your view on the map (as many as will fit in the area). Hostile creatures show up in red or orange (depending on the palette selected), neutrals show in yellow, and allies show in green.
  5. This informational area has three sections:
    1. The rolls that are being made for attacks, saves, skill checks, etc.
    2. The current dungeon (which is always "The Goblin Caves" in this game) and room.
    3. Your character's current and total hit points (HP), mana (MP), and fatigue (FP), and your character's wealth.
  6. This displays the current depth in the dungeon. Each dungeon level is 10m, so if you are on dungeon level 5, it will display 050m. Below that is displayed any special status that is affecting your character. Negative statuses are shown in red. This can list what spells you have cast on yourself, whether your Auto-buff spells have all been cast, if you are Nauseated, Berserk, Shrunk, Enlarged, etc.
  7. These bars of #'s are video game life meter style gauges for your current mana and current hit points as proportional to their totals. When you cast spells that drain mana for as long as they remain active, that lost mana is shown as brown on the mana meter. When you cast spells costing mana that can be regenerated, that lost mana is shown in green. Injuries are always shown in the life meter in red.

Several settings in the Options Window allow you to customize what information is displayed in the right-hand status bar. You can suppress common information that rarely changes or replace the list of objects in view with other kinds of quick reference data.

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Why is the game telling me I need a full night's rest?

There are certain skill actions that take a long time (an hour or more) to complete. These include creating alchemical items, scribing scrolls, brewing potions, crafting items, dismantling traps, and healing. After performing (12 + Con mod) hours worth of work, you will need to rest before you can perform any of those actions again.

This is especially important to remember with healing. You do not want to get stuck with a negative effect like disease, poison, stat drain, or bleeding without being able to use the healing skill on it.

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What are fountains for?

The Dungeon Hazards section of the game manual gives an overview of what fountains can do.

How do I dip an item into a Fountain?

1. Stand on the dungeon square with the fountain.
2. Press [y] for the Use menu.
3. Select "Dip" from the Use menu.
4. Select the item to dip from your inventory.
5. Press [n] for "next target" until "A fountain" is displayed in the message area.
6. Press [enter] to select the fountain.
7. Hope for a good result!

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What is a Forge for?

In order to create or repair metallic objects, you must be standing on a tile with a Forge and use the Craft skill.

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What good is money?

At first, money may seem to be of limited value in the game. Most items in the store at the entrance to the dungeon are very expensive and money is very heavy. But there are a few things that you can use money for that make it worth carrying some of it around (at least the gold and platinum).

Money is used when using the following skills or abilities to create (or repair?) items: Alchemy, Craft, Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion, Create Poison.

Money can be used to purchase items from neutral denizens of the dungeon. If you have the Diplomacy skill, you can purchase items or service spells (like healing, or to remove curses, poison, or disease).

Gold can also be donated to Hesani if you happen to be a Hesani worshiper.

Why is stuff in the store so expensive?

TODO: explain the game's economic model and game design choices.

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How do I setup Auto-buff spells?

It is very common for spell casters to have a list of self-buffing spells that they cast at the beginning of each day. Common spells are things like Shield, Protection from Evil, Mage Armor, etc. In Incursion, you can use the Auto-buff macro (F5) to cast all these spells for you, which saves you some time and hassle.

Here are the steps to set it up.

  1. Open the spell manager by pressing [m].
  2. Using the arrow keys, highlight the spells you would like to add to your Auto-buff list and press [F5]. This should change the color of the spell name.
  3. At the beginning of each day (after you have rested and your spells have expired), press [F5] and the game will automatically cast all those spells for you.

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Common Abbreviations

Bonuses to abilities, to-hit, etc

AS Bonus damage from the Aimed Shot feat.
FE Bonus to-hit and damage from the Favored Enemy ability.
PA Bonus damage from the Power Attack feat.
PBS Bonus to-hit and damage from the Point Blank Shot feat.
TaH Tough as Hell. A Barbarian's ability to reduce damage from attacks.

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What is the future of Incursion?

Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King is a promo game for the upcoming roguelike epic Incursion: Return of the Forsaken. It is planned that RotF will feature an overland map with towns and multiple dungeons to explore.

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I keep dying to zombies and blobs/oozes, how do i kill them safely?

Most of them move slow so back away and use ranged weapons.

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When I make a monster flee it asks me if I am sure I want to attack, and if I do it says I feel guilty?

't'alk to the monster when it is fleeing and choose offer terms. If it can't talk, then you can't kill it without hurting your alignment.

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