The Ice Mage is a role specific to SLASH'EM. It is similar to the Flame Mage, except with a focus on ice magic instead of fire magic. Ice Mages start with a winter wolf cub as a pet. They can be a doppelganger, drow, elf, gnome, hobbit, human, orc or vampire. According to the guidebook:
Ice Mages command the forces of cold. An experienced Mage can summon great blizzards yet remain unaffected by the turmoil of the elements.
- a blessed +1 quarterstaff
- an uncursed +0 studded leather armor
- 2-3 uncursed food rations
- a scroll
- a potion
- a ring
- a wand of cold
- three spellbooks: freezing sphere, cone of cold, one other enchantment (slow monster or confuse monster)
An Ice Mage has some food and - like a Wizard - a quarterstaff. However, a Wizard starts with more random magic items, while an Ice Mage always has a spellbook of freezing sphere and a spellbook of cone of cold.
- XL 1 : Cold resistance
- XL 7 : Polymorph into baby white dragon form
- XL 13: Fire resistance
- XL 14: Polymorph into adult white dragon form
|Ice Mage skills|
- XL 1 : Reinforce memory technique
- XL 5 : Draw energy technique
- XL 10: Sigil of tempest technique
- XL 12: Power surge technique
- XL 20: Sigil of discharge technique
- Lawful: Air
- Neutral: Frost
- Chaotic: Smoke
The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:
- XL 1-2: Cooler
- XL 3-5: Condenser
- XL 6-9: Chiller
- XL 10-13: Froster
- XL 14-17: Permafroster
- XL 18-21: Icer
- XL 22-25: Freezer
- XL 26-29: Sublimer
- XL 30: Ice-Master
Choosing a race
Since Ice Mages, like all primary magic-users, start with weak armor and have a difficult time finding suitable upgrades, high dexterity and constitution to keep AC low and HP high are a must. For this reason, hobbits make excellent lawful or neutral Ice Mages — though their max intelligence of 16 will hold them back later on. Remember to use the hobbit's blink technique when you see a problem coming up.
The Early Game: The Sphere
Compared with Wizards and Necromancers, Ice and Flame Mages are at a special disadvantage in the early game because they cannot directly attack with magic. Whereas other magic-users starting with Attack spells can directly and in one turn damage monsters around them, Ice Mages have to rely on their starting Freeze Sphere spell (in the Matter category) to indirectly damage foes. Freeze Spheres will not necessarily explode immediately when they approach a monster, and may wander around in circles before finding their target.
On the other hand, Freeze Spheres will not expire and will never become hostile if left alone on a level (though they may turn neutral). The only risk in accumulating a small army of spheres to overwhelm any difficult enemies that leap out at you by surprise is that they are just as likely to explode and aggravate friendly or neutral monsters (though not other tame creatures). Freeze and Flame Spheres are a special category of pet that transfer experience and responsibility for kills to the summoner, meaning that a shopkeeper that will remain indifferent to you while your Deva pummels him or her will whip out the shotgun as soon as they get touched by a sphere. Ice Mages should leave early mimics in shops to their wolf cub. Spheres are liable to drift across the shop to the owner just as often as they find their mark. On the other hand, chaotic Ice Mages with mana to spare can let their spheres wander around the corner into an open shop door to slowly blast a shopkeeper to pieces (keep escape items handy if you're trying this). And spheres are perfect for crossing the gap between you and a cross-aligned unicorn.
In the early game, Ice Mages should focus first on bringing their Matter spells to skilled level by casting as many Freeze Sphere spells as possible, starting with the very first turn. Calling up a Freeze Sphere to destroy a goblin is never a waste. The reason for this is that the "Cone of Cold" spell will become much easier to cast as soon as the first skill enhancement is made, allowing the Ice Mage to finally use a direct attack spell. In the meantime, Ice Mages should scrounge around for new armor and improvements to their quarterstaff. Ice Mages should also spend some time strengthening their winter wolf cub, which will turn into a full-grown winter wolf with an appetite for aligned priests when it reaches enough kills. Letting the cub protect you not only against tough, very early monsters like large mimics and rothes, but having them gobble up grid bugs and lichens is a great way to tick up its MaxHP.
Ice Mage vs. Flame Mage
Ice Mages are also at a special disadvantage compared to Flame Mages in the early game as difficult undead such as human zombies and mummies are immune to cold-based magic. However, Ice Mages gain an advantage later on when fighting fire-resistant demons. Remember, too, that fire-based magic will destroy both potions and scrolls carried by enemies, and ice magic only risks destroying potions. Ice Mage enchantment magic is less useful than Flame Mage divination magic, which eventually helps cast Identify. Also, Fireball is a more powerful — though less focused — spell than Cone of Cold, which travels in a straight line and can freeze water. Finally, and most importantly in the early game, the Ice Mage's wand of cold is much, much less useful for engraving "Elbereth" than the Flame Mage's wand of fire. Not only is it not permanent, it is much more liable to fail even on the first engraving. In fact, using the wand in such a fashion is a complete waste of a wand charge; the same job can simply be done with your fingers.
Since Ice mages can be of any alignment they have a lot of choices of weapons.
- Lawful characters might want to get Excalibur since they can get the long sword skill to skilled. The brands are unaligned, so they can be used if they are found first.
- Neutral characters willing to spend a wish on The Staff of Aesculapius might want to keep the quarterstaff to train with, otherwise the character might want to sacrifice for Fire Brand (More recommended since you should already have Deep Freeze).
- Chaotic characters have to rely in their Deep Freeze for damage, however having a crysknife or a unicorn horn is necessary for Cold Resistant enemies. The brands can still be used, but Serpent's Tongue can also be gotten by sacrifice and it is like a brand but with poison. If the character has a spare wish they may ask for the Great Dagger of Glaurgnaa. The brave and desperate may try killing One-eyed Sam for Thiefbane.