Tips- Choose your opponents wisely, you do not have to fight every opponent.
However, every time you search you risk hitting a trap or being robbed by a monkey. Don't walk around naked. Somebody has to be the first person to eat something, the probability is it will be good.
Sword - Gives a bonus to your attack
Shield - Absorbs damage
Armor - Improves armor class
Amulet - Raises heal power
Ring - Increases chance of hitting