So you want to ascend...
Anyway, you probably know what one skill you're taking the first time. But what will you take later on when you have more options? What else is out there to grab for each class? What skills will you probably not bother with taking because there's equivalents to them in the other classes?
These were the questions I was wondering about. So I decided to start going through the classes and classifying what all the skills were to see what was unique or rare among the classes, what was common, etc.
(A cautionary note: this is based off of skills as of March 1, 2005, and does not include anything added in by Jick after this date. Jick has said that he'd like to add a new Seal Clubber skill after ascension is put in, so folks might want to wait on becoming an SC until after the new skill has been added.)
Skill Classifications By Ability:
I went through all of the currently listed class skills and grouped them by similarity.
* Stats-improving skills:
Anything that increases a stat or stats specifically.
* Fighting skills:
I defined these (as opposed to combat) as skills that are mentioned as doing specific points of damage.
* Increased combat skills:
I defined these as skills that increase ability to fight, but don't necessarily mention doing specific points of damage. Increased speed, shields against damage, increases in damage, etc. all go here. (One could probably argue fairly well as to what could go into Fighting instead of this section, but eh, what the hell, they're going next to each other anyway.)
* Healing skills:
I think you can figure this one out.
* Increased looting skills:
Increases the number of items dropped by monsters.
* Increased meat-acquiring skills:
Increases the amount of meat dropped by monsters.
* Familiar-related skills:
Anything related to familiars.
* Specific weapons skills:
Any skills that require the player to use a specific type of weapon in order to benefit from them.
* Single class only skills:
Skills only used by one class, probably your #1
choice in picking what skill to bring with you when ascending.
I then went through and grouped the skills from each class.
* Disco Bandit
* Accordion Thief
* Turtle Tamer
* Seal ClubberStat-Improving Skills:
* DB: Disco Aerobics: By disco dancing at your campsite, you can put youself in a Disco State of Mind. Your Moxie will increase for a period of time.
* AT: Moxie of the Mariachi: By diligently practicing playing the accordion at your campsite, you can channel the Moxie of the Mariachi -- your Moxie and Maximum HP will increase for a period of time.
* Hoojiwat's Hymn of Healthiness: This song makes you (or another player) feel healthy, increasing maximum HP.
* The Moxious Madrigal Hearing: this song will fill you (or somebody else) with great Moxie.
* The Magical Mojomuscular Melody: This song will attune you (or somebody else) with your (or somebody else's) spirituality (hippy) and increase your (or somebody else's) maximum MP.
* The Power Ballad of the Arrowsmith: This song will fill you (or somebody else) with passionate intensity, and great Strengthliness.
* P: Manicotti Meditation: By meditating on your Manicotti Mandala, you can achieve oneness with the pasta which makes up the underlying structure of reality. Your Magicalness will increase for a period of time.
* S: Sauce Contemplation: By reflecting on the nature of the Cosmic Sauce, you can become more closely attuned to its mysteriousness. Your Enchantedness and Maximum HP will increase for a period of time.
* TT: Patience of the Tortoise: By reflecting on the nature of the Tortoise, you can gain temporary enlightenment. Your Strengthliness and maximum HP will increase for a period of time (5 adventures).
* Reptilian Fortitude: By imbuing you with the physical strength of 1000 snakes and lizards, this skill temporarily (5 adventures) boosts your maximum HP by 30.
* Wisdom Of The Elder Tortoises: You have achieved a level of awareness that almost matches that of the Elder Tortoises in the Days of Old. Your maximum MP is dramatically increased.
* SC: Seal Clubbing Frenzy: By clubbing a stuffed seal at your campsite, you can work yourself into a frenzy. Your Strongness will increase for a period of time. Fighting Skills:
* DB: Disco Eye-Poke: In the course of your disco dancing, you can poke your opponent in the eye (or eye analogue), doing a small amount of damage and throwing your opponent off guard.
* Disco Dance of Doom: You can bust a disco move all up out the joint, damaging your opponent all the while. This skill will inflict 6-8 points of damage.
* Disco Dance II: Electric Boogaloo: This advanced form of the Disco Dance of Doom is sure to leave your enemies both smacked around and confused.
* Disco Face Stab: This is a vastly improved version of the Disco Eye Poke. Instead of poking your opponent in the eye, you stab him (or her, or it) in the face. This is sure to cause him (or her, or it) some problems.
* P: Minor Ray of Something: This shoots a ray of something at your opponent, which will do 5-8 points of damage.
* Entangling Noodles: This spell allows you to conjure a wad of sticky noodles, which slow down your opponent and make its attacks less effective.
* eXtreme Ray of Something: This spell fires a powerful ray of something at your opponent, dealing 10-16 points of damage.
* Cone of Whatever: This spell allows you to call forth a powerful Cone of something, which will rain down on your enemies and hurt them very badly. Er, comparatively badly.
* Weapon of the Pastalord: This spell will summon forth one of the myriad randomly-generated weapons of the Pastalord, the sworn protector of the order of Pastamancers in the Days of Old. That weapon will then beat your opponent about the head or head-analogue.
* S: Stream of Sauce: This spell creates a stream of sauce, which will do 3-4 points of damage to an opponent. The damage of this spell increases slightly with your level.
* Saucestorm: This spell creates a violent cloud of sauce, which engulfs an opponent and does 6-8 damage. The damage done by this spell increases slightly with your level.
* Wave of Sauce: This spell will conjure an immense wave of sauce, which will wash over your enemies and cleanse them from the face of the Cosmos.
* Saucegeyser: This spell will call forth a tremendous geyser of Sauce from the ground at your enemy's feet. Few foes can withstand the savage combination of beating and drowning that this spell delivers.
* TT: Headbutt: This skill allows you to deliver a vicious headbutt to your opponent. The damage done by the headbutt is increased if you're wearing any kind of turtle as a helmet.
* Spectral Snapper: This skill summons a spirit Snapping Turtle to bite your opponent. It does 7-10 hit points of damage, and never misses.
* SC: Thrust-Smack: This is a thrusting smack with your weapon. It will do double the usual amount of damage to your opponent, and will never miss.
* Lunge-Smack: This is a lunging smack with your weapon, which, if it connects, will do triple damage to your opponent.
* Lunging Thrust-Smack: This is a combination of a lunging smack and a thrusting smack. It never misses, and does triple your weapon damage.
* Claws of the Otter: You become infused with the fighting spirit of the Otter, adding 3 damage to all of your melee attacks.
* Claws of the Walrus: You become one with the spirit of the War Walrus, adding 4 damage to each of your melee attacks.Increased Combat Skills:
* DB: Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation: This skill makes you less likely to be taken by surprise in combat, and increases your chances of successfully running away from a monster.
* AT: Cletus's Canticle of Celerity: Upon hearing this song, you (or somebody else) will begin to move very quickly, and with improved combat reaction times.
* Brawnee's Anthem of Absorption: Upon hearing this song, you (or somebody else) will gain a strange absorbency. Monsters will do less damage to you (or somebody else) in combat.
* The Psalm of Pointiness: And lo, unto the audience shall be conjured an aura of pointiness, and verily shalt those who attack the audience be poked as though with legion pointy objects.
* Jackasses' Symphony of Destruction: This horrible song will make whoever hears it very angry. And anger, in this case, will correspond with increased melee damage.
* Stevedave's Shanty of Superiority: This song will impart upon its listener a sense of righteous indigation. This indignation will manifest as a generalized combat superiority over monsters.
* S: Elemental Saucesphere: This spell conjures a shell of sauce around you (or another player,) which will protect you (or another player) from all elemental attacks.
* Jalapeño Saucesphere: This spell will conjure a shell of spicy sauce around you (or another player.) Any monster who attacks the enchanted player must pass through the shield, and take damage.
* Intrinsic Spiciness: This skill makes you spicier, in general, than others. Your Sauce spells will do more damage to opponents.
* Jabañero Saucesphere: This spell will summon a thick shell of extremely spicy sauce around you (or another player.) Any monster attacking a player with this shell will take damage.
* TT: Skin of the Terrapin: This is a passive skill which increases your defense against enemy attacks.
* Ghostly Shell: This skill conjures the shell of a ghostly tortoise, which envelops you (or another player) in a protective shield, greatly reducing damage taken in combat. Lasts 5 adventures.
* Tenacity Of The Snapper: This skill makes you (or another player) relentless in combat, like the fierce Snapping Turtles of the Days of Old. It will increase the damage done by each strike. Lasts 5 adventures.
* Astral Shell: This is a vastly improved version of the Ghostly Shell skill. It increases the amount of damage absorbed by your (or another player's) hat and pants in combat. Lasts 5 adventures.
* SC: Hide of the Otter: Your skin becomes as thick as the skin of an otter, affording minor protection against enemy attacks.
* Hide of the Walrus: Your skin becomes as thick as the hide of a walrus, affording additional protection against enemy attacks.Healing Skills:
* DB: Disco Nap: This skill allows you to take a quick Disco Nap, and heal some of your wounds.
* Disco Power Nap: This is an improved version of the Disco Nap.
* P: Lasagna Bandages: This spell summons some enchanted lasagna noodles, which can be used as bandages, healing some of your HP.
* Cannelloni Cocoon: This spell summons forth a huge Cannelloni, which envelops you and heals all of your wounds.
* SC: Tongue Of The Otter: This skill gives you the ability to lick your wounds, healing 20-30 Hit Points.
* Tongue of the Walrus: This skill is an improved version of Tongue of the Otter, which heals 30-40 Hit Points for the same MP.Increased Looting Skills: (Moxie-class only)
* DB: Mad Looting Skillz: This skill will increase the rate at which the monsters you slay drop items.
* AT: Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric: Upon hearing this song, the listener will be imbued with superior looting skills - monsters will drop items more frequently in combat.Increased Meat Acquiring Skills: (Moxie-class only)
* DB: Nimble Fingers: Your mad looting skills will cause the amount of meat dropped by monsters to increase.
* AT: Polka of Plenty: This song will fill you (or somebody else) with greed, and make more Meat drop from monsters in combat.Familiar-Related Skills:
* P: Leash of Linguini: This spell allows you to call forth an enchanted leash made out of noodles, which is placed around the neck of your familiar. This effectively raises your familiar's level by 5, but the noodles will deteriorate after 10 turns have passed.
* TT: Empathy Of The Newt: This skill makes you temporarily (10 adventures) gain an uncanny empathy towards your familiar. You can use this skill on anybody, but Turtle Tamers are innately better at it. Specific Weapons Skills:
* DB: Crossbow Fever: You are extremely skilled with the crossbow -- your Moxie is used instead of your Strongness to calculate your chance of hitting an opponent.
* P: Spirit of Rigatoni: This skill greatly improves your ability to handle staff-type weapons. Your Magicalness will be used instead of your Strongness to determine whether or not you hit your opponent in combat.
* S: Expert Panhandling: This skill increases your combat skill when you have a saucepan-type weapon equipped.One Class Only Skills:
* DB: Advanced Cocktailcrafting: This skill focuses your disco groove into the ability to make special high-quality cocktails.
* AT: The Ode to Booze: This is the best song ever. Whoever hears this song will gain a remarkable ability to drink, and will gain more adventures from alcoholic beverages.
* P: Pastamastery: This skill allows you to summon forth noodles from thin air, and to cook delicious food by combining them with sauces. Useable 3 times per day.
* S: Advanced Saucecrafting: This skill allows you to use Scrumptious Reagents, in combination with various food items, to cook up a wide variety of sauces and salves.
* TT: Armorcraftiness: This skill allows you to make advanced helmets and pants. Advanced pants. Note: To make advanced helmets, you need a matching mineralized meat stack, which only Seal Clubbers can make. Advanced pants are penguin, hippo, and yak.
* SC: Super-Advanced Meatsmithing: You are a master of the Tenderizing Hammer. The echo of generations of Seal Clubbers reverberates in your muscles as you beat the meat into shape.
I thought about doing more analysis from here, but I figure y'all would have more fun debating which classes and skills were better on your own, so I'll leave it at this.