Getting started with Source Of Madnesscan be confusing and frustrating. From mastering the various Rings used in combat to manoeuvering the sprawling terrain of the Loam Lands, there's a lot in this fantasy roguelite to get the hang of in a short space of time.
As you move between each biome, you will unlock new Cultists to play as - starting with the Generalist. These powerful sorcerers will give you your first taste of what's to come, so use this handy tips guide to familiarise yourself with their myriad strengths and weaknesses before jumping in.
How To Unlock The Generalist's Skills
The Generalist Cultist type is precisely what it says on the tin: a solid all-rounder for your first few stints around the Loam Lands, complete with basic gear and protective items to get you off to a strong start.
Since they are your starting class, you don't have to do anything to unlock them. However, after one or two runs, you'll want to visit the skill tree with the Blood you've collected from slain monsters and spend it on a few Generalist-specific enhancements.
Using Blood, you can unlock more Rings and abilities for your Generalist to use during combat, such as the Force Push Ring. This Ring is more of a tool than a weapon, eliminating the need to break doors down whilst looting the houses dotted throughout the map and saving you plenty of time in the process.
Which Generalist Abilities To Unlock First
- Cloud Of Corrupt Magic, which makes the weakening cloud emitted by the Generalist's Dash linger for longer.
- Flying Hood, which grants 15 more health points and encircles you in a protective bubble whilst mid-air after a jump.
- Arcane Missile, a Trinket which can be applied to any Ring and deals an extra 14-17 Arcane Damage with each attack it is applied to; unlock the Force Push Ring first to get this.
Generalist Stats, Abilities, And Equipment
Source Of Madness uses RNG to randomise the stats of each character and biome, meaning that no two areas or characters will be completely alike. Whilst this adds to the replayability of the game, there are some qualities of the Generalist which can be found in every character's stats no matter what.
The Generalist's special Dash movement emits a Cloud Of Corrupt Magic - a shimmering, multicoloured puff of smoke that weakens monsters as you move past them, making them take ten percent more damage per hit. This is incredibly useful for taking down larger enemies relatively quickly, as this damage buff is stackable!
All Generalists start equipped with a Hood, most commonly the Basic Hood. These Hoods usually provide a modest health point buff of 20 to 40 points, as well as some sort of Damage Protection to shield you against one of the six types of Damage in the game.
All Generalists come equipped with a Slash (I) Ring for close-combat Physical Damage, handy for breaking down doors, rocks, and smashing through other barriers in your path. This item comes paired with a randomly-selected Ring of an entirely different Damage class; common offerings include the Great Fireball Ring, which deals four to six points of Fire Damage, and the Basic Copper Band which inflicts hefty Arcane Damage.
Each class of Cultist you unlock is pertinent to a specific type of Damage, but any Cultist can use any Ring no matter what class they are.
Generalist Warnings: Evolve Or Die
One of the most exasperating aspects of any roguelite? The laborious task of managing your health bar. With no way to heal yourself until you save up Blood, it will be a grueling struggle to make it through even the first biome alone - especially with the rudimentary gear equipped to the average Generalist.
As soon as possible, purchase the Life Flask and Remote Vial in the pre-run skill tree using Blood and Evenstar gathered during previous attempts. You can buy upgrades for these items, eventually allowing you to use a Life Flask up to three times per level. Upgrading your Remote Vial will allow you to top up an empty Flask in between biomes, meaning you can take more risks and both heal and replenish your Flask between levels.
Another way to gain more health out in the Loam Lands is to equip a Blood Band. This Bloodmancer-oriented Ring is vampiric in nature, costing one health point per attack whilst rewarding you with two health points in return for successfully landing a blow to an enemy. If your health is running low, hit your enemies with a few blasts from this Arcana item to replenish precious health points.
Arcane Damage is a ranged attack, so make sure that your aim is decent or else you will sap your health really fast if you fail to actually strike a monster!
About halfway through the first biome, you will stumble across a shop. Here you can sell unwanted items and purchase new ones instead. Don't be tempted to hoard Rings and Hoods which you aren't actively using - instead, sell them for something you might actually need! You lose all your items when you die anyway, so it doesn't make sense to hoard your coin and save up "just in case". Experiment with Rings and Hoods to find a combination that suits your play-style best.
Finally, the best thing you can do as a burgeoning Generalist? Stay on top of your enemies.
Monsters will sometimes come tumbling down from structures or mountains overhead, trapping you beneath them and whaling on you relentlessly. If you get dog-piled, keep Dashing and jumping until you are right on top of the monster before you pelt it with attacks. You will be able to see your character model more clearly, and the Cloud Of Corruption will weaken your foe considerably.