In general, a PC with higher Strength will do more damage with a given weapon. There seems to be one important exception to this: whips. As implemented in ADOM, the damage done with whips, especially dual-wielded whips, seems to be more dependent on Dexterity than Strength. The manual touches on this subject, stating that a PC must have high speed to use two whips effectively. Dexterity seems to be at least as important.
Critical hits yield double skill marks. If the PC finds a weapon that delivers critical hits, it will train about twice as fast. Throwing shield yields shield skill marks. No skill marks are gained if fighting using Very Defensice or Coward tactic setting. No shield marks are gained on Berserk.
Mindcrafters - Willpower is critical for Mindcrafters. The Sword of Nonnak is a guaranteed artifact sword available to most PCs at experience level 15 or less. It grants +5 to Willpower. This makes Swords an attractive weapon class for Mindcrafters to specialize in, at least during the early game.
Monks - Monks also receive penalties for using weapons, albeit not as severe as Beastfighters, and so should specialize in Unarmed Combat. Monks also excel at kicking and receive a class power that enables them to deliver a circular kick.
Grand Mastery is difficult to achieve. It will not happen simply from using a single weapon type throughout a normal game. Becoming doomed in the wilderness for the frequent wilderness encounters is one way of generating an infinite number of enemies to be killed with no corruption. The Crown of Science (doubly useful because of its +9 bonus to Le) or a ring of doom can be used for this.
There is one class + starsign combination that can reasonably expect to achieve Grand Mastery during a normal game. Note the following two manual entries:
From the Weapon Skills section:
Farmers are so skilled in the use of polearms that they need 20% less marks to increase in their use.
From the Horoscope section:
Sword Positive modifiers from Tactics settings are increased by 10%, costs to increase melee weapon skills are reduced by 20%, +1 to the initial Learning score.
This double 20% reduction in cost to increase weapon skills means that Farmers born in the month of the Sword who use polearms exclusively, and do not hurry, can expect to achieve Grand Mastery with polearms. This will happen approximately by the time the PC reaches the Mana Temple, depending on the ending the PC is going for, etc.
Stunned gives -4, Blind -4, Bloated -2, Satiated -1, Drunk -1, Blessed +2, Spear without shield +2, Invisible +4, Dwarven Shield and Dwarven Rune Axe paired +10 (axe must be in left hand), Needle and Sting +50. Furthermore there is bonus based on Strength: +(St-12)/2, +(St-9)/2, only positive bonus is applied. Melee Weapon Master talent gives +3, Basher, Powerful Striker, Mighty Strike give +1, +2, +3 if weapon weight>=100s, Brawler +2 if unarmed. Monks and Beastfighters get additional bonuses if unarmed (see 0.1.4.5 for details).
An enraged monster has twice as many attacks as it normally would, and has 3 less DV.
Torch +1d4 and additional +2d4 vs fire vulnerable, thorns corruption +3d3, Assassin or Thief lvl 12+ and backstab *2, of the sun suffix vs undead *2, ashen vs undead =0, hateful weapon and Berserk tactic +2d6, Barbarian's mighty blow *2, tremendous blow *3, deadly and chilling silence room *10, vibrate with life room /10, blessed weapon vs undead and demons *1.5, cursed /2, rusty weapon /2, broken weapon /2, meleeing with a missile weapon /2, lawful weapon vs chaotics +1d8, chaotic weapon vs lawfuls +1d8, critical blow *1d4+1, slaying *1d4+2, mild weapon /5, penetration weapon +monster PV.
Blind -4, Stunned -4, Confused -4, Drunk -3, Satiated or Bloated -1, Burdened or worse -1, Blessed +2, Invisible +2, Archer +lvl+6, Paladin, Thief, Barbarian, Fighter +lvl/2, Assassin, Bard, Ranger +lvl/3, other classes +Lvl/4, Merchant throwing gold +Lvl-1, Good Shot, Keen Shot, Eagle Eye talents +1, +2, +3, +Max((Dx-12)/2,0), +Max((Dx-9)/2,0), stuck in webs /2, shifting breeze room /3, +Concentration/50, +Archery skill bonus (read manual).
Merchants throwing gold get Level/2 + 3 more damage.
Due to a bug, ring of the master cat (+16%) and bracers of war (+8%) increase critical chance only if used as melee weapons.