A flame mage is a role specific to the game SLASH'EM. This role is a weaker spellcaster than wizard, but a better fighter. Your starting spells, items, and pet are associated with fire, and you have special bonuses relating to fire magic. You even start with fire resistance. Unfortunately, you do not get hungerless casting, and are not able to reach the same skill levels in spellcasting as the wizard. The first sacrifice gift for flame mages is Firewall, a lawful athame that has +4 to-hit and does +4 damage to non-fire resistant monsters.
- a blessed +1 quarterstaff
- an uncursed +0 studded leather armor
- 2 uncursed food rations
- a scroll
- a potion
- a ring
- a wand of fire
- three spellbooks; flame sphere, fireball and either light or detect monsters
Like a wizard, a flame mage has a quarterstaff and some food. However, a wizard starts with more random magic items, while a flame mage always has a spellbook of flame sphere and a spellbook of fireball.
- XL 1: Fire resistance
- XL 7: Polymorph into baby red dragon form
- XL 13: Cold resistance
- XL 14: Polymorph into adult red dragon form
To use your polymorph ability, you must use the extended command #youpoly.
|Flame mage skills|
|10||Sigil of tempest|
|20||Sigil of discharge|
- Lawful: Earth
- Neutral: Fire
- Chaotic: Ash
The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:
- XL 1-2: Spark
- XL 3-5: Igniter
- XL 6-9: Broiler
- XL 10-13: Combuster
- XL 14-17: Torcher
- XL 18-21: Scorcher
- XL 22-25: Incinerator
- XL 26-29: Disintegrator
- XL 30: Flame-Master
Flame mages are strong spell casters as well as respectable fighters. They can reach expert level in matter spells and skilled in saber, long sword and two-weapon fighting (letting them effectively fight with most of the best artifacts in the game). Bear in mind that hobbits cannot twoweapon, no matter how skilled they become with the individual weapons. Note that the Flame Mage also has access to the much improved Crysknife in SLASH'EM, a suitable choice lacking any artifact weapons.
Early game: use fire, beware fire
Early in the game, fireball is a difficult spell; you might start with a 75% failure rate. Flame sphere is easy to cast, but difficult to use effectively. Flame sphere actually summons a tame e. Like a pet, this sphere will wander around and sometimes attack an enemy, but like a sphere, it will explode on attack. Frustratingly, a flame sphere might wait several turns before attacking. You might also have a leftover sphere, which will follow you around and might attack a peaceful monster, even a shopkeeper. Unlike with a pet, the gods will blame you if your spell being harms a peaceful monster. In addition, peaceful creatures attacked by one of your flame spheres will become hostile to you. However, you will get full experience for monsters killed by your flame spheres.
Therefore the wand of fire is the best source of fire in the beginning of the game. Use it against a monster that must die quickly. A bolt from a wand can bounce from a wall and hit you, but remember, as a flame mage, you are immune to fire. (Your armor, scrolls, spellbooks, and potions might still be ruined, though). The wand of fire is also excellent for engraving "Elbereth." It may be preferable to use the wand for only this purpose unless you are being attacked by something that does not respect Elbereth, like a lycanthrope.
Keep that hell hound pup around, and get it stronger! Let the puppy kill anything weak or otherwise undeserving of your attention. About five levels or so of kills will see him turn into a fully-grown hell hound, capable of clearing out nearly anything in the dungeons you may come across in the early game, including the Minetown priest.
Midgame: balance spellcasting advancement with melee prowess
Once the flame mage has gotten past the early game and has managed to acquire some decent armor, strong artifacts, and reached at least skilled in matters spells, it's on to SLASH'EM's dangerous midgame. Due to natural fire resistance, a flame mage will have an easier time surviving the wands and grenades of Grund's Stronghold and the fire vampires in the Chaotic Quest, but the midgame should be played carefully. Keep Firewall handy to engrave Elbereth to get out of scrapes, and consider making straight for the black market after obtaining the luckstone from Mine's End. Getting reflection and magic resistance are priorities, as is dragon scale mail, and if you have found a ring of polymorph control and a way to polymorph, you should be able to get all three of these from One-Eyed Sam. If you don't have a way to kill Sam (or don't want to), a foray into the Wyrm Caves can be very profitable, especially if you already have reflection. Since the quest artifact, the Candle of the Eternal Flame, does not provide magic resistance, there is little to be gained from embarking early on the quest. The Water Mage is not an overly difficult foe, but since he doesn't respect Elbereth and can cast finger of death, prepare accordingly.
Since fireball is the flame mage's special spell, once you reach skilled in matter spells, you should make liberal use of it. Note however that the flame mage doesn't have a good way of recharging energy. Therefore if you get a wish early enough in the game that you can reliably get an artifact out of it, you may consider wishing for an alignment-appropriate quest artifact that gives you more energy: the Mitre of Holiness if you are lawful, the Eye of the Aethiopica if you are neutral, and the Great Dagger of Glaurgnaa if you are chaotic. Flame sphere continues to be useful in the midgame because at skilled it produces two spheres per casting instead of one.
You should also get some strong weapons and invest skill slots in getting them to skilled, as well as two weapon combat if your race allows for it. A lawful flame mage should be able to get Excalibur from a long sword in a weapon shop, the Rat King, or a barrow wight or watch captain along the way (getting crowned is a last resort if all else fails). A neutral flame mage may consider getting crowned for Vorpal Blade, and a chaotic may do the same for Stormbringer. Other good candidates, if you find them or manage to get them as sacrifice gifts or as wishes, include Sword of Justice, Grayswandir, Bat from Hell, Doomblade, Fire Brand, Frost Brand, and Serpent's Tongue. In a pinch, Firewall is pretty effective at melee as well. Good non-artifact weapons include the crysknife, silver saber, or silver long sword.
The Flame Mage quest item is the the Candle of Eternal Flame. Guarding it is the Water Mage, who is located at the bottom of three levels of mostly water and lava squares populated by water elementals and rust monsters. Completing the Quest, indeed, just talking to the High Flame Mage, is impossible without some method of crossing lava and water, be it a form of levitation, flying, or a wand of ice. The Quest is a relatively easy one, but should not be attempted before gaining magic resistance as the Water Mage will use finger of death.
Late game: Get your kit and get ready to ascend
The late game for the flame mage is more similar to a knight than a wizard, unless you manage to wish for the Eye of the Aethiopica or find it in a bones file. You will be spending most of your time meleeing foes to conserve energy, and will use your magic on truly tough opponents. It's also worth keeping an assault rifle obtained from a Yendorian army member and investing in a stack of enchanted bullets. These can be obtained in abundance in Fort Ludios, by stealing from One-Eyed Sam, or in the Castle. These will help greatly with the Demon Princes and tough foes on the Astral Plane. Once you have your kit ready, collect the invocation items and head to the Wizard's Tower to start the final run.
A good ascension kit for a Flame Mage is:
- One of the following: +5 speed boots for the extra attacks, +7 elven boots for the AC, +5 jumping boots for the extra movement, or +5 fireproof water walking boots to survive create pool spells
- +7 cloak of magic resistance (enchant an elven cloak to +7 and then upgrade it)
- +5 gauntlets of dexterity
- +5 silver dragon scale mail if no other reflection, or deep dragon scale mail if no other drain resistance
- +5 helm of brilliance
- an amulet of life saving or flying if you already have reflection and drain resistance covered, otherwise an amulet of reflection or drain resistance depending on your need
- If unable to two-weapon, either a +5 small shield or a +5 shield of reflection (the latter will severely inhibit spellcasting)
- If able to two-weapon:
- Lawful: +7 Excalibur as primary for the drain resistance, another powerful artifact, crysknife, or silver weapon as secondary
- Neutral: Either two powerful artifact weapons (Magicbane, Mjollnir, Fire Brand, Frost Brand, or Vorpal Blade,), or one powerful artifact weapon and a crysknife or silver weapon
- Chaotic: Either two powerful artifact weapons (Bat from Hell, Doomblade, Serpent's Tongue, Fire Brand, or Frost Brand), or one powerful artifact weapon and a crysknife or silver weapon; consider wielding Stormbringer as primary for the drain resistance if you don't travel with pets or minions
- All the other items (rings, wands, tools, etc.) in a standard ascension kit