I want to beat the hard dungeons I'm missing before tackling the vicious ones. That would be
- shifting passages
- magma mines
- halls of steel
- slime pit
Are there any stable strategies that don't heavily rely on tri-sword, dragon shield and excessive scumming?
A short summary of good class / race combos and general hints would be appreciated, i still have to do all the quests there. I had much less trouble to do the other hard dungeons except for the labyrinth. I'm still missing the fighter and the priest there for the quest, but i guess i just have to give that another go with more luck.
One trick for the Labyrinth is to take the knockback mace preparation from the Blacksmith. It'll let you clear out some walls so that you're less likely to get trapped. This helps on Shifting Passages as well.
Magma Mines is a pain, but since you need to do physical and magic damage, a Halfing Thief with Tri-sword would be an excellent choice.
Halls of Steel is really, really easy with a Sorcerer. His mana shield means that you take off two levels of death protection each time you melee The Indomitable. If you can get knockback, you can raise that up to 3. Alternatively, if you have Fireheart a Bloodmage can burn him down as soon as you're doing 31 or more damage per fireball - thanks to Blood Magic.
Slime Pits is horrible and my least favorite dungeon by far. I'd rather play Naga City again. But as for beating it, the usual power combinations should work without scumming - Halfling Thief, Dwarf Rogue, Gnome Warlord, Paladin w/ Dragon Shield.
As for not using Tri-sword, there is at least one strategy for each dungeon that doesn't use it. But it really is the best item in the game, so most of the "easiest' strategies will involve it.