The 'treasure hunter' talent sucks.
Yep, I said it. It just plain sucks. It wastes two talents right away:
'Alert' Pe +1 will rarely extend your visible radius, and (to my
knowledge) has no other benefit. 'Miser' means a bit more gold, but
gold isn't really hard to come by in ADOM. To compare those two
talents to the benefit you would get from talents like 'quick' and
'very quick' is just laughable.
So how about the 'treasure hunter' talent it's self? Well, it causes
more items to be generated, but aren't there other, more efficient
methods of generating items? Stair hopping in the ID will generate
items very efficiently, especially books, potions and scrolls. Picking
pockets also generates items efficiently. A fluff ball, plus a wand of
trap creation, plus the light spell, can generate hordes of (high
danger level) items, with incredible efficiency.
Of all of the above methods, to quickly generate great items, how
many are really needed? None. Yep, that's what makes me realize that
'treasure hunter' is useless. ID hopping is much better... and I
seldom use that. Pickpocketing is better... and I never use that.
Scorching gremlins is way better... and I never do that either. If all
of these 'item generating' methods are more effective, and I don't
bother with them, then why should I bother with 'treasure hunter'?
If the ID wasn't available from exp. level 1, then yeah, maybe. If the
pickpocketing skill wasn't available at exp. level 1, then OK, I could
see that. If gremlin massacre wasn't available for higher danger level
items, then sure. However, these things are easily available, more
effective, and still seldom used. Which only goes to further expose
'treasure hunter' as mediocre. (I don't mention the casino, as that is
only for the late game.)
The only benefit that I can see to 'treasure hunter', is that it is
passive. It just happens 'on the go' so it takes no effort. This might
be useful for those who dislike using any scumming methods, but how
useful? If you have already started playing with restrictions, you
probably also know how to win without having to rely on powerful
items. Probably, other talents would serve you better, especially in
keeping early game PC's alive.
What does 'treasure hunter' cost? Probably the 'Heir' gift, and some
of those can be really cool. The 'Heir' gift requires 3 starting
talents, and chasing the 'treasure hunter' beast requires 1, so unless
you start with 4 (gnomes suit you?), you miss out.
Even in the best case scenario, you will still have to do without some
of the (possibly) life-saving benefits of other talents. In the early
game, extra speed, PV, DV, and PP's can mean a lot to your survival.
The three talents needed for 'treasure hunter' will cost you these
possible talent lines:
DV - 'Careful' 'Shield Specialist' 'Shield Expert' (Having 4 bonus DV
points is like growing a third hand, and equipping an extra shield in
it. You could also pursue 'Very Careful'.)
Speed - 'Quick' 'Very Quick' 'Greased Lightning' (+2, +3, and +4
respectively. These talents do not just help you to escape danger more
easily. They also enable any PC to safely kill Hotz and gang with
missiles. This means a heap of early game gold, and exp. points.)
PP's - 'Potent Aura' 'Strong Aura' 'Mighty Aura' (+3, +6, and +9
respectively. A grand total of +18 PP's can really help a wizard's
early game survival. It allows them to book cast earlier, and thus
train the Mana stat earlier. Also, if your starting spell is acid
bolt, these can make the difference between being able to cast it once
or twice. Not to mention that these talents open up powerful magic
talents, making them quickly available.
PV - 'Hardy' (3 HP's may not seem like a lot, but how often have you
been taken down to exactly 0 HP's eh?) 'Tough Skin' (Need I even
mention the early-game value of PV points that are not vulnerable to
equipment damage. It does require your To stat to be at least 12
though, so elves may not benefit. 'Iron Skin' (Only if your To stat
is at least 15, so again it's not for elves, and maybe gnomes. Also,
you are now just one step away from being 'immune to pain', one of
the best talents in the game.)
Of course there is the theory of just choosing 'Alert' as your first
talent, then chose talents that actually HELP your PC. The logic being
that you can always get 'treasure hunter' later. The problem with that
(as I see it), is by the time you get finished with choosing the
helpful talents, you are nearing the casino, which renders 'treasure
hunter' completely worthless.
I use polemarms when laying adom.