This is a compendium of handy tips for those in the first hours of Roguebook. Read this to save time and optimise your experience!
Guide to Beginners
Don’t be frustrated!
Roguebook, as the name implies, is a roguelike game. You are supposed to fail, and fail often, as you develop strategies and learn the game.
As you play, you will access additional powerful cards, Treasures, and Gems. You will also buy Embellishments to customise your experience. Every successive run becomes easier.
Some people get lucky and win on game two. But I think this is highly unlikely. It took me, an experienced gamer, about 12 hours. That makes it one of the easier games of its class. But I had no spoilers or hints whatsoever.
So, don’t be frustrated. Have faith. Drink tea. Read this guide. You will get there in the end.
You can play any combination of Heroes. When you start a new run, you have one Hero as a leader. When you move to a second Hero on the map, it joins your party. It isn’t obvious until you try it, but when you move to a third Hero, you can replace either of those you have currently. In this way, you can build your ideal party, no matter who you start with.
In the starting area, you can click on Naddim to spend scrolls on Embellishments.
Before you have completed the game for the first time, clicking on the Gate merely starts a run. But after your first win, clicking the Gate brings up a menu of possible Epilogue options. Each of these changes a game rule and rewards additional scrolls. Make note of the possible options for your next game, so you can arrive at the gate with the best Heroes for the task.
Note: This is actually a bit of an annoyance. It would be nice to choose a goal and then choose Heroes.
During the game, you can change leaders at any time by clicking on the Hero icon in the toolbar. Then click on the star beside the Hero you wish to lead. This Hero will start in front for each Battle. This is an important part of optimising your fights.
It’s best to play a few games with the same two Heroes. Winning builds up your pool of cards for the Heroes you are playing. This means you unlock additional strategies and cool cards. By focusing on two Heroes, you can learn their play styles against the enemies you face. Changing to different Heroes means you have more to learn… though of course you will want to try others before too long!
When you start a map, first go to Naddim and see what he has in store. Note how much Gold you need to buy any key items in his shop. You may wish to buy an especially good card right away, but do note these cost a lot more than drafting them on the map. It’s usually a better idea to save up for Treasures and any good Gems. But the strategy does very much depend on what you are presented with.
Narratives are some of the most interesting encounters on the map. But be sure to always keep some Gold on hand, because a few of these adventures have a fee. You will waste the opportunity if you are unable to pay.
On map 2, Fugoro will show up early to steal one of your Treasures. It’s worth rescuing this, even if it isn’t a great item, since you will get a second Treasure free.
Hearts stay in your inventory between maps. Paint might too, but I’ve never seen a reason to hoard these.
You draft new cards to improve your deck at Vaults of Wisdom. When you first start playing Roguebook, you will need to visit these Vaults as soon as possible in a run. The basic deck needs about 4 decent cards before it becomes competitive.
But once you have some Embellishments to help you out of the starting gate, it’s best to avoid the Vaults until the map is completely painted. Instead, save Gold to buy the best gear from Naddim first. Treasures and the rarer Gems can be better than any card. Once you have done this, then you can fill in the remainder of your deck with drafted cards.
When you are drafting from a Vaults of Wisdom, remember that you don’t have to choose a card. Quite often, none of them suit your play style, or the deck you are trying to craft. Save your cold hard cash for a better selection. That’s another reason to do all your drafting at the end of the map. You then know how many choices you have, and how picky you can be in your selections.
Note how many cards are in your deck. For some builds you might prefer to keep the deck slim. But this is a trade-off, since the more cards, the more times your Hero levels. And some of the bonuses you get are fantastic!
If you are one card away from getting another Hero level, it likely makes sense to grab that card now. Then level up the Hero and see what you get!
Alchemists are part of deck building. For a fee you can trade in a useless card and draft a new one. This new card also comes with your choice of three Gems. Sometimes you won’t want any of the three choices, but that’s a risk you take.
There is a Treasure that makes Alchemists free. If you get this early, your entire strategy changes! You can now deliberately draft a poor card, in a situation where normally you’d pass. Because you can freely trade that card in for another choice of three… with bonus Gems (Of course this assumes that your deck doesn’t already have a card you prefer to swap out.).
Painting The Map
Note that unrevealed hexes appear in two shades. The darker colour indicates that the hex is blocked. Avoid painting these hexes, as you won’t be able to visit that terrain.
Your standard brush reveals two spaces around you. A helpful mouse tip tells you how many useful hexes this totals, so that you can optimise brush placement.
When placing the brush, don’t get confused between your Heroes, since they can appear to be on different hexes. The leader paints.
There are two enhanced pigments that change how your brush works:
- Explosive Pigment changes the brush radius from 2 to 3.
- Stardust Pigment allows you to centre the brush wherever you like, with the standard range of 2. This is the rarest and most amazing painting style!
There are four inks you will find. Here are the possibilities:
- Ink: reveal 3 spaces in a row.
- Noble Ink: reveal 4 spaces in a row.
- Royal Ink: reveal 5 spaces in a row.
- Precision Ink: reveal only one space. But you get 3 in a batch, so they are actually quite useful.
Obviously you will want to paint towards the Sky Towers, since these reveal large swathes of the map. But also paint towards Battles, for more paint opportunities. Those are your two main priorities.
As secondary priorities, paint towards Runes, since they too reveal more of the map. Finally, paint towards Gems, Alchemists, or anything else you particularly need.
Whenever you can enter a (standard) Battle, do so. This gives you more paint options. The only exception would be very early in the game, if you have a poorly tuned deck and need more resources first.
However, save Elite battles until the end of the map… unless you are desperate for more paint. It’s best to be well-equipped for the Elites.
Watch your paint capacity. You can hold only three paint items and that includes Hearts. If you have no inventory space when you get a paint item, you will need to trash one. Don’t let this happen!
The moral: Don’t pick up a Heart until you plan on using it. That gives you more inventory slots for paint. But obviously pick up all the spare Hearts before entering the Boss chamber.
Hearts and Precision Ink stack in your inventory, so you can carry as many of each as you like, in a single slot. In the last game I had 22 Hearts! But the other items don’t stack.
As you play, you are rewarded scrolls. Between runs you can use these to buy Embellishments that make each successive run easier. Choose what you get wisely. Buying one level in an Embellishment is cheap, but the cost scales dramatically.
It’s worth getting the Embellishment “Final Boss” ASAP. Because then you know what foe you will eventually face. You can tune your deck to suit. This makes a huge difference!
Get the Embellishment “Faeria Wells” early. You will then find these Wells randomly on the map. The first Well you discover gives you one extra Faeria on turn one, and the second Well gives you one extra Faeria on turn two. But when you find three Wells, you get extra Faeria on every turn! This is super useful!
The Embellishment “Mineral Identification” lets you choose from one extra Gem, each time you are offered Gems. Many Gems are only average, so it’s useful to have more chances at a good one.
There is so much more to discover with Embellishments, but these tips will help you in the early stages.
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