OverviewSkillful PD is a mod directly based on Original PD v.1.9.1. It was first released in March 2015 by reddit user Bibloldev and is one of the very few early mods that are still in active development. This mods adds features to Original PD like:
|Skillful Pixel Dungeon|
|#20 Released mod|
- Difficulty settings
- New enemies
- New scrolls & potions
- New weapons
- Skill System
- Storage that holds up to 5 items that persist if resurrected by Ankh
Badges, Challenges, Difficulty settings
The Badges and Challenges of Skillful PD are the same with those in Original PD (follow the links for details). Moreover, to increase replayability value, Skillful PD introduces a difficulty system.
- Easy difficulty is suitable for any player having a hard time playing the game especially in terms of starvation. You start with 2 extra rations as well as 2 healing potions, 200 Gold and 2 Soul Crystals. There is a bonus in the ability of discovering hidden doors and traps. The champion spawn rate is set to 10% only. Enemies have the Weak prefix: they do 25% less damage, take 10% more damage and have 15% less HP.
- Normal difficulty is the closest to Original PD in terms of enemy strength. Champion spawn rate is set to 20%.
- Hell difficulty is where things get hard. Healing potions only heal 50% of max HP and the champion spawn rate is set to 40%. Enemies have the Immortal prefix: they do 25% more damage, take 20% less damage and have 35% more HP. Moreover, the hero starts with 4 less max HP and gains 1 less max HP when levelling up. Hero starts with 4 Skill points.
Campaign mode, Optional boss - withdrawn
For two years, from early 2017 to early 2019, Skillful PD had also an optional boss added to the regular game, the Cold Girl, that the hero could meet after teleporting to her lair by using the scroll of Frost dropped by Tengu. This feature is currently withdrawn.
Moreover, a parallel campaign mode is also in development, with two optional parallel depths as a separate mini-game, that you can choose to play them by pressing the arrow to the right in the hero selection screen. A new hero selection screen will appear with only the Hatsune character available for selection and two missions displayed for her, the "First Wave" and "Betrayal", but with only the first being available for playing. You can read the developer's plans about the whole campaign mode here.
One of the most original features of Skillful Pixel Dungeon is the introduction of champions. Enemies are no longer static spawns but can spawn as one of four types of champions. Champion spawn rate depends on difficulty. They provide 50% more experience than their non-champion counterparts and always drop an item, making them a worthy hunt. On the other hand, especially in early levels a champion can kill the hero within a very few turns, especially in Hell difficulty. The champions' halo is always visible from any part of the depth, but not their specific sprite - enemy type.
Chief champions can be recognized by their whitish halo and the prefix "Chief". They have 100% more HP and 50% more defense when compared to their non-champion variant. They have no special effect when attacking.
Cursed champions can be recognized by their greyish halo and the prefix "Cursed". They have 50% more HP and 15% more defense when compared to their non-champion variant. They weaken the hero if they land a successful hit.
Foul champions can be recognized by their yellowish halo and the prefix "Foul". They have 50% more hitpoints and 20% more defense when compared to their non-champion variant. They poison the hero if they land a successful hit.
Vampiric champions can be recognized by their reddish halo and the prefix "Vampiric". They have 50% more HP and 10% more defense when compared to their non-champion variant. They also regenerate when doing damage.
The classes and subclasses of Skillful PD are the same with those of Original PD, but the Huntress does not need unlocking, they all have Mana in order to use their skills, and they also have more starting items (for their starting stats and available skills see Skills section). Their starting items are:
- Warrior: Short sword, Cloth armor, plain Bow, 15 arrows, a potion of Mana, a food ration, a Soul Crystal with a captured rat. Note: the Warrior's starting short sword is displayed as having the Barbaric attribute, which gives a 20% chance per hit of casting level 1 Smite to the target. This attribute used to be a general weapon enchantment, but is currently withdrawn from Skillful PD and does not spawn when enchanting weapons, so it has become a weapon-specific attribute.
- Mage: Knuckleduster, Cloth armor, wand of Magic Missile, plain Bow, 15 arrows, a potion of Mana, a food ration, a Soul Crystal with a captured rat
- Rogue: Dagger, Cloth armor, ring of Shadows +1, plain Bow, 15 arrows, a potion of Mana, a food ration, a Soul Crystal with a captured rat
- Huntress: Dagger, Cloth armor, plain Bow +1, 30 arrows, Boomerang, a potion of Mana, a food ration, a Soul Crystal with a captured rat
This small section is not about a feature added, but about a feature missing, as in contrast to many other mods, Skillful PD has not included a Potion Bandolier, following Original PD in that. Using the storage chest or even selling unnecessary potions (for example potions of Purification after DM-300) might help you in item management.
Given how many dislike the item degradation feature in Original PD, an option to disable item degradation from the in-game settings has been added. It can be disabled and enabled at any time should you like the challenge.
The potions of Skillful PD are basically the same in type and function and are brewed in the same way with the potions of Original PD, with only the potion of Mana added, that fully restores the hero's mana, like the potion of Healing does with the hero's HP. The potion of Mana cant be brewed in an alchemy pot and can be only bought or found as loot.
In contrast, the scrolls of Skillful PD have received many additions. The familiar scrolls from Original PD are the same in type and function. Keep in mind that like in Original PD and unlike most mods, Psionic Blast does not deal any damage to the hero. Also the scroll of Wipe Out is renamed to "Scroll of ..." but it is obtained in the same way and has the same sprite and function as its equivalent in Original PD. Nevertheless, 4 new scrolls are added (5 with the one that has been withdrawn), all of them being rare and having a different color than white (rare meaning that often some of them don't spawn even once in a whole run).
- Scroll of Bloody Ritual (red): It damages heavily all enemies in sight, fully heals the hero but also reduces the hero's max HP permanently by 20%. Some players might find this drawback more important than its benefits.
- Scroll of Frost (blue, withdrawn): It was dropped by Tengu and used to teleport the hero to the lair of the Cold Girl. It is still displayed in the scroll catalogue.
- Scroll of Refuge (purple): It teleports the hero back to the depth's entrance. It has no negative side effect.
- Scroll of Sacrifice (red): It adds +1 strength permanenty, but also reduces the hero's max HP by -3.
- Scroll of Skill (purple): It adds 1 available skill point. It has no negative side effect.
Apart from the familiar shops appearing on depth 6, 11 etc. there is always one shop also on depth 1 near the depth's entrance. Like the other dungeon shops it sells overpriced food rations, potions, scrols and an Ankh, but it also sells always a pair of Dual Swords, a Necroblade and a Soul Crystal.
The distinguishing and defining feature of this mod is the addition of skills, from which it also takes its name. Each class gets 9 unique skills, 6 passive and 3 active that are divided into 3 branches. Active skills cost Mana to use. Skills can be tier 1, tier 2 or tier 3 and higher tiers get unlocked only when the lower tier of their branch gets filled with skill points. Tier 1 skills cost 1 skill point to level up, tier 2 requires 2 skill points and tier 3 requires 3 skill points. Each skill can be upgraded 3 times before moving onto the next tier. You start with 2 skill points and gain 2 per level. You can also gain one extra skill point by reading a scroll of Skill.
Keep in mind that a little before the hero reaches Yog-Dzewa, he/she will most probably have gathered all or almost all of the 54 skill points necessary to fully level up all skills from all tiers. The difference between gathering all and almost all skill points will basically depend on the RNG of the specific run, and how many scrolls of Skill and potions of Experience the hero will find, as just by levelling up the hero will have to reach level 26 to gather all the necessary skill points (2 + 26 * 2 = 54), and without finding potions of Experience heroes might complete the game in lower levels (but surely above 20). As a consequence, the difference in gameplay between the different distributions of skill points for each class will be evident mostly from early game until mid-game.
Warriors are trained to deliver extreme damage and withstand punishment.
- Endurance: Gives the Warrior +5 maximum HP with each level.
- Regeneration: Increases passive regeneration.
- Toughness: Reduces damage taken from enemy attacks.
- Firm Hand: Increases accuracy with melee weapons.
- Aggression: Increases damage done with melee attacks by 10% with each level.
- Master: Equipped melee weapons act as if upgraded by a Scroll of Upgrade, so they are stronger and have lower strength requirement. Additional upgrades depend on the level of the skill.
[All these skills are active.]
- Smash: When active, melee attacks will deal extra damage. Damage done increases with each level.
- Knockback: When active, you'll deal extra melee damage and your attacks will knock back opponents. Damage done increases with each level.
- Rampage: When active, on top of dealing damage to the enemies you hit, you will also deal damage to all mobs around you. Damage done to nearby enemies increases with each level.
Warriors in Normal Difficulty start with 11 Strength, 20 Mana and 20 Health (Keep in mind that difficulty affects your starting health)
Mages have spent decades mastering their inner power and their ability to cast spells.
- Spirituality: Increases total Mana by 5 every level.
- Meditation: Increases passive Mana regeneration.
- Spirit Armor: When activated, 10% of all damage done is taken from Mana instead of health.
- Wizard: Increases the rate your wands recharge.
- Sorcerer: Increases damage done by wands.
- Summoner: Increases the amount of minions spawned by the Mage's active skills by 1 per level.
[All these skills are active.]
- Summon Rat: Summons a rat minion that goes after enemies.
- Spark: Hurls a ball of concetrated energy. Damage increases with each level. Might be influenced by the equipped weapon.
- Summon Skeleton: Summons a skeleton to go after your enemies.
Levelling up your summoning skills will give your allies more health and they'll deal more damage. All summoned allies lose health in every turn.
Mages in Normal Difficulty start with 40 Mana, 10 Strength and 20 Health. (Keep in mind that difficulty affects your starting health)
Rogues are sneaky and agile bandits that are experts in ninja arts. They prefer attacking unsuspecting victims and using underhanded tactics.
- Bandit: Increases the amount of gold you pick up by 10% every level. From the first level this makes you also immune to the Mimic's gold steal ability.
- Stealth: Reduces the chance of an enemy detecting you. This gets more effective as you level it up.
- Lock Smith: After getting this skill, you have a 33% chance to disable a trap you walk on. Level 3 of this will make you immune to traps.
- Venom: Gives you a chance to poison an enemy on hit. Chance of poisoning increases with each level.
- Scorpion: Increases the damage poison does to your enemies. Damage increases also with each level.
- Silent Death: Every level of this skill gives you a 10% chance to instantly kill a sleeping enemy (but not a surprised one).
[All these skills are active.]
- Double Strike: Double attack with the equipped melee weapon.
- Ninja Bomb: Puts targets to sleep, does not work on bosses. Good synergy with Silent Death.
- Shadow Clone: Summons a shadow clone that fights for you. The amount of clones summoned increases with each level. While their strength also increases with each level, it mostly depends on your weapon. Shadow Clones cannot be attacked, but they disappear after hitting enemies a certain amount of times.
Rogues in Normal Difficulty start with 30 Mana, 10 Strength and 20 Health. (Keep in mind that difficulty affects your starting health)
- Fletching: Creates arrows with time.
- Awareness: 25% chance per level to dodge a ranged attack.
- Hunting: Creates food with time.
- Accuracy: Increases accuracy with a ranged weapon.
- Knee Spot: Aims for weak spots crippling targets.
- Iron Tip: Arrows continue their path through their targets.
[All these skills are active.]
- Aimed Shot: Stronger ranged attack that never misses.
- Double Shot: Two arrows shot at the same time.
- Bombvoyage: Attaches a bomb to a standard arrow. Bomb arrows also stun enemies, in addition to dealing extra damage.
Huntresses in Normal Difficulty start with 35 Mana, 10 Strength and 15 Health. (Keep in mind that difficulty affects your starting health)
Even if you are resurrected by an Ankh, you tend to find yourself stripped form everything you had, including any scrolls or extra weapons you had saved for later. Skillful PD introduces the concept of Storage.
A chest spawns in each depth near the entrance and the chest stores up to 5 items that are not lost if you are resurrected by an Ankh. This also means that you get 5 extra storage spaces for those items you don't want to drop!To use it, stand on the same tile as Storage chest and click on it. There is a minor bug related with storage in Skillful PD, as in some boss depths the chest might not be working for taking items out of it, so better have all the items you consider necessary in the inventory before you engage with the boss fight.
User Interface - Added Features
Skillful PD's User Interface in-game is rather unique in comparison to all other mods. At the bottom left, next to the clock there is no "Examine" button, but a "Skills" button, that takes the player to the skill points distribution window (for the different windows depending on the class see images above). To the right there is the "Examine" button retextured and also two new buttons, that lead to two new features added to Skillful PD.
The top right button, which displays the faces of the four heroes, gives the option to the player to hire four types of mercenaries: Archer (huntress equivalent), Brute (warrior equivalent), Thief (rogue equivalent) and Archer Maiden (buffed Archer, unlocked only for donators). Mercenaries have the same level with the hero and level up their stats following his/her level. They can also equip items and carry healing potions, which they consume when they are about to die. Their stats are:
- Archer: HP = 15 + Level * 2, Strength = 11 + Level * 0.25, Speed Fast, Skill Knee Shot, Attacks from a distance, Cost 90 gold + 20 per level
- Archer Maiden: HP = 17 + Level * 2, Strength = 12 + Level * 0.25, Speed Fast, Skills Knee Shot and Keen Eye, Attacks from a distance and uses both skills, Cost 90 gold + 25 per level
- Brute: HP = 20 + Level * 3, Strength = 13 + Level * 0.33, Speed Slow, Skill Endurance, Can equip any item in carry slot, Cost 100 gold + 25 per level
- Thief: HP = 15 + Level * 2, Strength = 13 + Level * 0.25, Speed Very Fast, Skill Poison, Poisons enemies, Cost 70 gold + 15 per level
The bottom right button, which displays the Rat King, gives to the player three different options:
- To increase the spawn rate of Champions from the default rate of the chosen difficulty (10% for Easy, 20% for Normal etc.). Decreasing the spawn rate is not available. There is also the option displayed to disable specific types of champion enemies but currenty this option is unavailable.
- To increase the enemies' stats (HP, Attack, Defense) from the default percentage of the chosen difficutly and again decreasing them is unavailable. The player can also choose if the dungeon will keep the day and night cycle, or if it will have only day or only night.
- To pay the Rat King 80 gold for a random food item (mystery meat, frozen carpaccio, food ration etc.)
- As expected, with all these new duties the Rat King does not always sleep in the Goo''s depth and might not have a hidden room in it anymore. When he has one, the items in his chests are never cursed, but they might have negative levels / be of very low quality.
The wands of Skillful PD are the same with those of Original PD.
Some new weapons have been also added, both melee and missile, to the familiar ones from Original PD. These are:
Dual Swords - tier 1
They deal more damage (average 8 in level 0) in comparison to the other weapons of their tier but they are 40% less accurate. One pair is always sold in the depth 1 shop.
Necroblade - tier 1
The necroblade consumes the souls of the enemies it kills and gets charged by its kills (1 charge per kill). The energy adds damage to the necroblade and can also be used to heal the hero when it reaches 25 charges, summon a Skeleton when it reaches 55 charges, but also when it reaches 100/100 charges it can be consumed to upgrade the necroblade by +1. It deals 7 average damage at level 0 but is also 30% less accurate. One is always sold in the depth 1 shop. There is also a small chance that these enemies and NPC will drop one: the Skeleton has a 3 % chance to drop one when you destroy it, the Sad Ghost has a 10% chance of giving you one when you complete its quest and the Animated Statue has the greatest chance of dropping one, a 20% chance, with a 99 % chance of it coming with an enchantment.
Missile: Bows and Arrows, Soul Crystal
All heroes have an additional quickslot for a bow and spawn with one already equipped and 15 plain arrows on depth 1 (the Huntress with a +1 bow and 30 arrows). There are also two rare enchanted variants of the bow, the Flame Bow and the Frost Bow. The Scorpion poisoning skill of the rogue is also applied to bow shots. All three types of bows have a strength requirement of 10.
There are also various types of arrows added, with the "plain" arrow being a very common loot in the dungeon and the other two variants being rare (all need bows equipped to get shot):
- Bomb arrow: deals Bomb-like damage and also Stuns for 1 turn
- Cupid arrow: Charms and does not damage
- "Plain" arrow: its damage depends on the equipped bow
There is also a special type of thrown weapon added, the Soul Crystal. This is expendable like the arrows, darts etc. while its function is not to damage but to corrupt an enemy and get its soul stored inside the crystal. When the hero needs the corrupted enemy, he/she can throw the crystal again and release the ally. Soul crystals have a high chance to fail when thrown at enemies in full health and always fail when thrown at strong enemies (chapter bosses and champions).
The weapon enchantments of Skillful PD are the same with those of Original PD with the Temepered enchantent occuring even when degradation is turned off, but it has no alternative effect in this case, and the weapon functions as if it is unenchanted. The same applies to the armor glyphs and to the Auto-Repair glyph.