A beginner's guide to playing an empath

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Empaths have the natural ability to transfer wounds from others to their own bodies. They then use their recuperative powers drawn from the spiritual realm of magic to heal themselves.

Not merely healers, their studies into anatomy and the workings of the mind have led empaths to develop powerful offensive magics that can unbind flesh and bone from their enemies, or inflict paralyzing fear and indecision. With dedicated training, they are also very much capable of using weapons and armor in battle.

Character Creation


Practitioners of empathic magic can be found among all the peoples of Elanthia.


Statistics grow automatically as a character levels up. Initially low statistics grow quicker, and the rate is also modified by the chosen race. Until reaching level 20, you have the option of changing your initial statistics (up to 5 times) by going to an inn to CHECK IN. After that, statistics can only be adjusted by using up a Fixstats.

When you create your empath, you receive 640 points to distribute between your initial statistics, each of which may range from 20 to 100. You receive an additional +10 to your prime requisites, which are Wisdom and Influence. The stats may be placed as you like, with the restrictions that:

  • Only one stat may be placed above 90 (not counting the prime requisite bonuses).
  • Only four stats may be placed above 70 (not counting the prime requisite bonuses).

There is no one ideal placement of stats, as it depends on how you want to play.

A fairly well-rounded set of statistics, for example, might be:

Wisdom is the most important statistic for empaths. It contributes directly to the effectiveness of all your warding spells and to your starting mana pool. It grows very quickly, so placing it at 70+ (80+ after the prime requisite bonus) should be plenty.

Strength has the slowest growth rate of all statistics for empaths, so setting it high at the start is advisable. It is a major factor in using martial weapons, and is useful as well for carrying equipment without becoming encumbered, dragging your dying friends to safety, and even deflecting attacks with a runestaff.

Dexterity affects your proficiency with ranged weapons and bolt spells, and reduces your roundtime with melee weapons. It grows fairly slowly, so set it high at the start.

Agility significantly helps your physical defense, and also reduces your melee roundtime. It grows fairly slowly, so set it high at the start.

Aura determines your spirit points and how well you can defend against elemental warding spells. Empaths draw their magic from the spiritual sphere and can defend well against spiritual spells, but against elemental attacks they are more vulnerable. Having a high Aura can help alleviate this weakness.

Influence is a prime requisite for empaths (along with Wisdom), reflecting the dual spiritual and mental nature of empathic magic. It contributes to your mana pool, but unlike Wisdom, it does not make any of your spells stronger. Still, you should set it relatively high to get the training point benefits.

Logic affects the rate you absorb experience, and setting it fairly high is very helpful for that reason alone.

Discipline affects your ability to meditate, and is a factor in many society and guild skills. It grows quickly, so starting with a medium-to-high value should be sufficient.

Constitution affects your maximum health points and resilience against physical attacks, giving you a small amount of critical padding. It grows at a medium rate, and you should not see many ill effects from setting it fairly low at the start, as you can always heal yourself when you take damage.

Intuition affects physical defense to a small extent. It is one of the less directly useful stats for empaths, and as it grows at a medium rate, you will have no problems setting it low at the start.

Skills and Training

It is possible to un-train a skill that you already have to free up training points, but this can require time for skill migration. Until reaching level 20, all skills will instantly migrate. After that, the un-training process takes much longer and it is generally advisable to avoid making major changes, except when using up a Fixskills.

After you allocate your statistics, you will have the opportunity to set your initial skills. Skills can be trained at any time thereafter by going to CHECK IN at an inn or through the GOALS screen. Each skill costs a certain number of Physical Training Points (PTP) and Mental Training Points (MTP), which are accrued as you gain experience. Overtraining in a skill by taking more than one rank per level doubles the cost each time. For example, First Aid costs 1 PTP for the first training each level, then 2 PTP for the second, and 4 PTP for the third.

If you have insufficient PTP or MTP for a skill, the trainer will automatically try to convert one to the other at a rate of 2:1.

Every time you level up, the trainer recalculates the total cost of your skills, so you will never permanently lose training points due to overtraining or conversion.

Skill List

There are 49 different skills available for empaths to train in.

Armor Use
When you wear armor, your ability to avoid attacks and perform physical actions is lowered and there is a chance that your spells will fail due to hindrance. Armor Use reduces both action penalty and spell hindrance. Double leather armor is the highest armor type that empaths can wear without spell hindrance, and with 8 ranks of Armor Use training you will be able to wear double leather armor without the minimum possible action penalty. More experienced empaths may choose to wear hard leather armor such as brigandine, or even chain mail, but those armors require more Armor Use skill and there will always be some chance of spell failure while wearing them.
Shield Use
Shield Use increases your defenses while holding a shield in your left hand. Only train in this if your hunting style uses a shield. If you rely on two-handed weapons, polearms, bows, or runestaves, then there is no need to also train in Shield Use.
Edged Weapons / Blunt Weapons / Two-Handed Weapons / Polearm Weapons / Ranged Weapons
Training in martial weapons is expensive for empaths, so you should choose at most one style to specialize in instead of dabbling in several. Whichever you choose, you should train in that skill every level. It is also possible to not take any weapon training and instead use runestaves for defense.
Brawling determines how well you can attack and defend without holding a weapon, or with hand-to-hand weapons such as the cestus or sai. It is also the primary factor in the unarmed combat system, which is an alternative way to resolve combat. The system is considered slower and more complex than regular combat, and empaths are not ideally suited for it.
Some empaths choose to train in both Shield Use and Brawling for purely defensive purposes. With this style, they hold only a shield for defense and exclusively use their magic to attack, leaving an open right hand to take advantage of channeling. There are some advantages to this style, such as immunity to Disarm and Weapon Fire. However, this requires a heavy investment of training points, and most pure spellcasters forgo the use of shields and martial weapons entirely to concentrate on magical training.
Thrown Weapons
Thrown weapons require fairly specialized training and equipment and are not suited for novice empaths.
Physical Fitness
Physical Fitness increases your health and stamina and helps in many aspects of combat. Most empaths train very heavily in the starting levels to maximize their health points, which are needed for empathic healing.

Empaths have only a limited selection of maneuvers they can specialize in, and typically only train them for defensive purposes. Each rank learned for a maneuver gives a defensive bonus when creatures try the maneuver against them. Some commonly useful maneuvers are Cunning Defense, Disarm Weapon, and Subdual Strike. Use the CMAN verb to view and learn maneuvers.

Combat Maneuvers
Combat maneuver (CM) training is mainly useful for empaths who wield a melee weapon as their primary means of attack. Each rank in CM increases your attack strength with melee weapons and gives you an additional CMAN point that can be spent on a variety of combat abilities. This is very expensive to train in, and it may not be possible to pick up a rank every level, especially early on.
Multi Opponent Combat
Some empaths may pick up a few ranks of Multi Opponent Combat later on, as it can be useful for area attack spells and offsetting the defense penalty from engaging several opponents at once.
Two Weapon Combat / Ambush / Dodging
These combat skills are too expensive to train in for the minimal benefits that they provide.
Arcane Symbols
Arcane Symbols improves your proficiency with scrolls.
Magic Item Use
Magic Item Use improves your proficiency with wands and other magic items.
Harness Power
Harness Power determines your maximum mana pool and mana regeneration rate. Mana is required for spellcasting, both for combat magic and for healing. Every empath should train at least once per level, and dedicated spellcasters may consider investing even more heavily.
Spell Aiming
Spell Aiming determines how well you can attack with bolt spells. As empaths primarily use warding spells instead of bolt spells, not all empaths choose to train in this skill.
Spiritual Mana Control / Elemental Mana Control / Mental Mana Control
Mana control skills determine how well you can share mana with other adventurers by using the SEND verb. They also affect mana regeneration rate as well as the effectiveness of certain spells. Empaths derive the most benefits from Spiritual Mana Control.
Spell Research
Empaths have access to the Empath Base, Minor Spiritual, and Major Spiritual spell circles. You should train once per level in Empath Base, and divide the rest between Minor Spiritual and Major Spiritual.
Eventually you will be able to learn every spell, but the order in which you research them is important. Most empaths try to learn Bravery (211) by level 11 and Heroism (215) by level 15 to enhance their offensive capabilities.
Empaths who use spells as their primary means of attack will often train more than 2x per level, and often take additional ranks in Empath Base than their current level. This increases their casting strength with empathic attack spells at the cost of delaying learning spells from other circles.
Elemental Lore / Sorcerous Lore
Elemental and sorcerous lores are not useful for empaths.
Spiritual Lore, Blessings / Spiritual Lore, Summoning / Spiritual Lore, Religion
Spiritual lores increase the potency of numerous spells. None of the lores are required training, but they offer an additional level of specialization.
Generally, spells affected by Blessings confer additional protective or physical benefits, while spells affected by Summoning can be used more effectively for direct attacks.
Religion Lore is not useful for empaths.
Mental Lore, Transformation / Mental Lore, Manipulation / Mental Lore, Telepathy / Mental Lore, Divination / Mental Lore, Transference
Mental lores affect many of the spells within the Empath Base spell circle.
Generally, healing spells are improved by Transformation, while attack spells are improved by Manipulation and Telepathy.
Divination and Transference Lore are not useful for empaths.
Perception helps you spot certain types of activity in your surroundings, and has some benefits in combat, especially for archers.
Climbing, Swimming
Climbing and Swimming allow you to navigate the wilds more easily. For example, with just a handful of ranks of Climbing, you will be able to scale the gate to the Graveyard near Wehnimer's Landing.
First Aid
First Aid is mainly useful to empaths for skinning animals. Skins can be sold at the furrier or turned in for bounty tasks.
Survival also contributes to skinning ability, and has other benefits when foraging or traversing difficult terrain.
Disarming Traps / Picking Locks
Disarming and picking treasure boxes is a dangerous but profitable activity that is typically undertaken by rogues. It is not unheard of for empaths to learn these skills, though learning to do so requires a heavy investment of training points and is not advised for beginners.
However, even if you never work with boxes yourself, you should at least be aware of the various traps that could be set on them. Empaths are often called as first responders to the scene of a botched attempt at disarming a trap, and reacting to the situation properly can save many lives.
Stalking and Hiding / Pickpocketing
Empaths can never learn to hide effectively in combat. Picking the pockets of other adventurers may be fun--or dangerous, depending on who you try to steal from--but it is not particularly advisable for beginners.
Trading affects the prices that you get for buying and selling goods. For a novice adventurer, there is very little reason to train in it. Later on, when you start handling valuable furs and gems on a regular basis, you may find it more useful.

Training Style: Balanced Spellcaster

Empaths are capable of hunting exclusively with spells and using a runestaff. Basic training for this style includes 8 ranks of Armor Use to wear double leather armor, various magical skills to improve versatility and runestaff defense, Spell Aiming for access to bolt spells, more than two spells learned per level on average, and some general skills to help navigate the world.

# PTP/MTP Skill Level 0 Level 10 Level 20 Level 30
15/0 Armor Use 1 8 8 8
1x 2/0 Physical Fitness 2 22 24 31
4/0 Climbing 1 11 15 15
3/0 Swimming 1 10 10 10
0/3 Perception 1 11 21 30
2x 1/0 First Aid 2 22 42 62
1x 0/2 Arcane Symbols 1 11 21 31
1x 0/2 Magic Item Use 1 11 21 31
1x 0/4 Harness Power 1 11 21 31
2x 3/1 Spell Aiming 2 22 42 62
1x 0/3 Spiritual Mana Control 1 11 21 31
2.3x 0/8 Spell Research
Major Spiritual 0 10 18 25
Minor Spiritual 1 6 11 17
Empath Base 1 10 20 30
0/6 Spiritual Lore, Summoning 0 0 10 20
0/6 Mental Lore, Transformation 0 0 9 21

Training Style: Pure Warding Caster

Some empaths focus almost exclusively on their offensive warding spells, dismissing the need for utility training until much later on. They will have somewhat lower defensive ability, but as warding casters can remain in a guarded stance while casting, this is often not a serious concern. The primary goal is to train as heavily as possible in Empath Base spell research to improve offensive casting strength.

At level 30, the training plan below would have a +15 Casting Strength bonus over the more balanced plan, making spells like Bone Shatter much more powerful, with the potential to widen the gap even more as training progresses.

# PTP/MTP Skill Level 0 Level 10 Level 20 Level 30
15/0 Armor Use 1 8 8 8
2x 2/0 Physical Fitness 2 22 42 62
4/0 Climbing 1 11 15 15
3/0 Swimming 1 10 10 10
0/3 Perception 1 11 21 30
2x 1/0 First Aid 2 22 42 62
1x 0/2 Arcane Symbols 1 11 21 31
1x 0/2 Magic Item Use 1 11 21 31
1x 0/4 Harness Power 1 11 21 31
1x 0/3 Spiritual Mana Control 1 11 21 31
2.7x 0/8 Spell Research
Major Spiritual 0 10 19 19
Minor Spiritual 1 6 7 14
Empath Base 1 11 29 51

Training Style: Two-Handed Weapons

Empaths have the most physical ability of the pure spellcasting professions, so following an atypical physical-focused training path is very viable. This style uses two-handed melee weapons and is trained to wear hard leather breastplate armor. Skills include continued heavy training in Combat Maneuvers and Physical Fitness.

# PTP/MTP Skill Level 0 Level 10 Level 20 Level 30
15/0 Armor Use 1 8 15 15
1x 13/3 Two-Handed Weapons 1 11 21 31
12/8 Combat Maneuvers 0 4 13 27
2x 2/0 Physical Fitness 2 22 42 62
4/0 Climbing 1 11 15 15
3/0 Swimming 1 10 10 10
0/3 Perception 1 11 21 30
2x 1/0 First Aid 2 22 42 62
1x 0/2 Arcane Symbols 1 11 21 31
1x 0/2 Magic Item Use 1 11 21 31
1x 0/4 Harness Power 1 11 21 31
1x 0/3 Spiritual Mana Control 1 11 21 31
2x 0/8 Spell Research
Major Spiritual 0 9 19 19
Minor Spiritual 1 3 3 13
Empath Base 1 10 20 30

Health and Anatomy

Before you start playing a healer, it is important to have a thorough understanding of how health, wounds, and ailments are represented in the GemStone IV setting.

Health Points

Each player character has a pool of health points (HP), which is an abstraction of how much blood is being circulated to critical regions of the body. If HP ever drops to 0 or below, the body can no longer sustain life, and the character dies instantly.

Disease and Poison

A character can become diseased or poisoned, for instance from being bitten by a rabid squirrel or eating harmful mushrooms. Diseases and poisons are represented by gradual HP loss, and the effect typically diminishes over time. For example, a disease may inflict 10 damage on the first round, 9 damage on the second, 8 damage on the third, and so on until it has fully run its course. A character can suffer simultaneously from multiple diseases and poisons.

Diseases and poisons can be neutralized by the spells Undisease (113) and Unpoison (114). Every separate disease and poison requires an additional cast, so if someone has two active diseases, Undisease must be cast twice to remove both of them.

Wounds and Scars

Independently of their HP, each character also has fourteen separate body locations. These locations fall into four categories:

  • Limbs: left arm, right arm, left hand, right hand, left leg, right leg.
  • System: nerves.
  • Head: head, neck.
  • Organs: left eye, right eye, chest, abdomen, back.

Each of these locations may have wounds or scarring. A wound is a fresh injury, such as those suffered in combat. A scar is an old injury, usually the result of treating a wound with herbs. Wounds and scars each have three ranks of severity. Minor wounds and scars (rank 1 severity) do not greatly impair effectiveness in combat, but major ones (ranks 2 and 3) will. For example, someone with a rank 3 wound or scar to their right hand cannot hold or attack with a sword in that hand, nor be able to cast most spells.

Repeated injuries to the same location will exacerbate existing wounds. If someone has a minor wound on their head, and is struck again with an attack to the head that would have caused a minor wound, the head wound will become a major wound and start bleeding, causing the character to lose HP over time. In general, two rank 1 wounds to the same location become a rank 2 wound, and two rank 2 wounds become a rank 3 wound. Taking a rank 1 wound on top of a rank 2 wound does not cause it to become rank 3, but will likely increase the rate of bleeding.

Visual Symptoms

You can see the extent of someone else's injuries by using the LOOK or APPRAISE verbs, and check your own health with the HEALTH verb. The specific messaging for the various wounds and scars depending on their location are:

Location(s) Severity Wound Scar
Arm, Hand, Leg 1 minor cuts and bruises old battle scars
2 fractured and bleeding mangled
3 completely severed missing
Nerves 1 strange case of muscle twitching developed slurred speech
2 case of sporadic convulsions constant muscle spasms
3 case of uncontrollable convulsions very difficult time with muscle control
Head 1 minor bruises scar across face
2 minor lacerations and a possible mild concussion several facial scars
3 severe head trauma and bleeding from the ears old mutilation wounds
Neck 1 minor bruises scar across neck
2 moderate bleeding old neck wounds
3 snapped bones and serious bleeding terrible scars from some serious neck injury
Eye 1 bruised black-and-blue
2 swollen severe bruises and swelling
3 blinded missing
Chest, Abdomen, Back 1 minor cuts and bruises old battle scar
2 deep lacerations several painful-looking scars
3 deep gashes and serious bleeding terrible, permanent mutilation

Herbal Remedies

When adventurers take wounds in the field and there is no empath on hand to assist them, they may choose to heal those wounds by ingesting herbal remedies. Healing a wound with an herb will reduce the severity of the wound by one level, and leave a scar of the same level as the prior wound. If the wound has fully healed and there is only a scar remaining, then it is possible to use specific scar-healing herbs to reduce the scarring level. Herbs for scars will not work if there is still a wound on that location.

Some of the common Elanthian herbs are:

Location(s) Minor Major
blood loss (HP) acantha leaf yabathilium fruit
limb wounds ambrominas leaf ephlox moss
limb scars cactacae spine calamia fruit
nerve wounds wolifrew lichen bolmara potion
nerve scars torban leaf woth flower
head/neck wounds rose-marrow potion aloeas stem
head/neck scars haphip root brostheras potion
eye/torso wounds basal moss pothinir grass
eye/torso scars talneo potion wingstem potion
missing eye (scar) bur-clover potion
missing limb (scar) sovyn clove

In general, one should use the EAT verb for herbs in their harvested form, such as leaf or moss, and use the DRINK verb for potions.

Without empaths, it is very expensive and time-consuming to fully heal a wound. For example, if someone suffered a rank 3 chest wound, they would first take two bites of pothinir grass, reducing the wound to minor and leaving a rank 3 scar; then they would take a bite of basal moss, healing the wound; then, drink two sips of wingstem potion to reduce the scar to minor; finally, drink one sip of talneo potion to heal the minor scar. Each of these steps could potentially take substantial time to finish.

Further information: Herb

Bleeding and First Aid

Major wounds usually cause the victim to bleed, losing HP over time. The exact rate depends on severity and location, and can worsen if the same location is struck again. For example, a broken arm will usually bleed less than a gushing neck wound, but taking yet more blows on the arm can cause it to bleed quite severely.

The TEND verb can be used to slow or stop the rate of bleeding with field bandages without healing the wound. The effectiveness of the bandages depends on the tender's First Aid skill. Not all wounds can be fully bandaged, and it may take up to several minutes to bandage very severe wounds. It is possible for a skilled tender to bandage someone else, but the patient needs to be lying down.

As an empath, you will generally not need to bandage wounds yourself as you have access to empathic magic. First Aid is still a very useful skill to train in, as it affects how quickly you can ingest herbs and how well you can skin animals in the wild.

Empathic Healing

Empaths heal others by transferring injuries onto themselves then using spells to restore their own health.


Empathic Linking is currently only required for F2P characters.

The command TOUCH {character} LINK can optionally be used to establish an empathic linking between healer and patient.

It takes approximately 15 seconds for the link to form, and the patient cannot be healed while it is still forming. Once the link is active, only the healer who initiated the link will be able to heal the patient. After the healing is finished, either the healer or the patient can manually UNLINK to break the link. Empathic linkings can last for up to 3 minutes.

Establishing a link is not a necessary step (except for F2P subscriptions) before healing, but it can be used to prevent confusion about which healer is responsible for whom.

As you touch Warrior, you concentrate on establishing an empathic link.
You meditate over Warrior.
You must wait for the empathic link to form before you can transfer any of Warrior's wounds.
You sense a successful empathic link has been forged between you and Warrior.
You meditate over Warrior.
You take all of Warrior's blood loss.
You sense your empathic link with Warrior fade away.

Transferring Wounds

Empaths can use the TRANSFER verb to take another character's injuries onto themselves.

Using the TRANSFER verb without a location will restore some amount of HP, depending on the empath's level. The maximum HP that can be restored per transfer is 75. It is entirely possible for you to die from transferring HP if you don't have enough HP yourself, and the game will not give you any warning, so be very careful!

Example usage:

  • TRANSFER {character} HEAD
  • TRANSFER {character} LEFT ARM
  • TRANSFER {character}

Transferring only works on HP and wounds, not on scars. However, if a character has a wound and scar on the same location, then transferring the wound will also fully heal the scar.

Transferring a wound on top of an already wounded location will exacerbate the empath's wound. For instance, transferring two minor (rank 1) neck wounds consecutively will give the empath a rank 2 neck wound. An empath who already has a rank 3 wound in a location cannot continue to transfer wounds onto that location until healing it down by at least one rank. If you try to transfer with such a wound, you will see the message that you strain over the location but are unable to transfer.

A novice empath does not have the ability to transfer every wound right away, but gradually learns over the first ten levels. By level ten, an empath will be able to transfer wounds of any location and severity.

Whenever you transfer wounds from someone else, you receive a small amount of experience. There are a few exceptions to prevent abuse: you do not receive experience by transferring back and forth from other empaths, nor by restoring blood loss to someone who is actively bleeding, nor by healing self-inflicted injuries.

Healing Spells

As you gain experience and train in the Empath Base circle, you will learn spells that allow you to heal your own wounds and scars, whether they were taken in the course of your own hunting or through healing others. Each spell costs some mana to cast, depending on the severity of the wound or scar. The healing spells are:

# Spell Name Mnemonic Mana (Severity)
1101 Heal HEAL 1
1102 Limb Repair LIMREP 2 (minor), 7 (major)
1103 System Repair SYSREP 3 (minor), 8 (major)
1104 Head Repair HEDREP 4 (minor), 9 (major)
1105 Organ Repair ORGREP 5 (minor), 10 (major)
1111 Limb Scar Repair LIMSCAR 11 (minor), 15 (major)
1112 System Scar Repair SYSSCAR 12 (minor), 16 (major)
1113 Head Scar Repair HEDSCAR 13 (minor), 17 (major)
1114 Organ Scar Repair ORGSCAR 14 (minor), 18 (major)

These spells should be cast on yourself. The various Repair spells do not work at all when cast on others, and casting Heal (1101) on someone other than yourself turns it into Harm, dealing damage to them.

By healing a wound on yourself, you leave a scar just as you would if you had used an herb. Once the wound is fully healed you can then use the scar repair spells to heal the remaining scars.

Keep in mind that if the healing spell costs more mana than you currently have, then you will injure your nervous system by casting it, just like any caster who over-expends their mana.

Casting a healing spell incurs some amount of hard roundtime, preventing you from moving or taking most actions. The exact duration depends on the severity of the wound or scar being healed, and decreases as you gain experience. You can further shorten healing roundtime by training in Mental Lore: Transformation.

To PREPARE and CAST (or INCANT) a spell, you can use its number, mnemonic, or full name. The following sequences of commands are all equivalent:

  • PREPARE 1102, CAST
  • INCANT 1102

However, to have greater control over the location to heal and to avoid mistakes, it is highly recommended that you use the targeted healing functionality of the CURE verb.

Targeted Healing

CURE allows you to specify the location you want to heal. For example, CURE LEFT ARM will reduce the wound or scar level on your left arm by one at the cost of some mana, as if you had prepared and cast the appropriate Limb Repair (1102) or Limb Scar Repair (1111) spell. In addition, using CURE by itself acts as a more potent version of casting Heal (1101), by restoring all of your blood loss at a cost of 1 mana per 10 HP.

Example usage:

  • CURE

Healing with the StormFront Client

If you use the StormFront client to connect to GemStone IV, you can create a convenient visual representation of a character's wounds by using the APPRAISE verb. As an empath, appraising someone else will tell you whether they are wounded and open up a window with a picture of a body and a (1), (2), or (3) symbol over the various wounded locations, corresponding to the level of the wound. Clicking on a wound symbol will transfer the wound, just as if you had typed in a TRANSFER command.

Visual healing windows will only appear if you have FLAG DIALOGS ON.

StormFront also has an Injuries window that shows your own health condition with a similar visual design. Your own wounds are shown with a number in red, and any scars you may have are shown with a number in yellow. Clicking on a wound or scar symbol in the window will prepare and cast the appropriate healing spell.

Common Healing Practices

Generally, when your fellow adventurers are looking for a healer, they will go to the main gathering spot in town, such as:

They might actively ask for healing, or simply be in visible distress and constantly eating acantha leaf to counteract their bleeding. And often the bodies of the dead will be dragged in and will need their injuries mended before a cleric can resurrect them. If you want to help them, there are a few general guidelines you should follow:

Communicate with fellow healers

Try to learn who the other healers in the area are. This will let you know if you must personally see to every patient or if others can assist, and they can also be very helpful in reducing the amount of time you need to heal scars. You can SPEAK EMPATH to switch to speech that can only be heard by other empaths in the room.


LOOK or APPRAISE will tell you what wounds someone is currently suffering from. Often that is enough for you to fully heal them. However, it will not tell you if someone is diseased or poisoned, how quickly they are bleeding out, or their exact amount of HP.

If you need additional information, you may consider using the DIAGNOSE verb. Diagnosing someone will tell you if there are any diseases or poisons, and if they still have any blood loss even without wounds. You can also use DIAGNOSE {target} FULL to get a comprehensive read on someone's health, including the exact severity of every wound and ailment. A full diagnosis incurs a small amount of roundtime.

Acknowledge patients

When you have determined that someone needs your help and they are willing to accept it, you should acknowledge in some way that you are about to heal them. Traditionally this is done with a simple NOD, though you can do something else that feels appropriate for your character. This step is not always necessary but some people might consider it rude not to.

Keep yourself alive

As you start healing someone, you should make sure that your own body is able to take the injuries that you are about to transfer. If your own health is very low, transferring someone else's blood loss can potentially kill you. Likewise, if you are still very low level and can only heal minor wounds in a location, then you may want to heal your existing wound before transferring another that would have made it more severe.

Aid the fallen

Before an adventurer can be raised from the dead, it is important to heal them so their body can sustain life. Since resurrection spells can restore some HP, you will not have to heal all of the blood loss from a dead body, but you should always transfer any bleeding wounds.

You should also make sure that the body is properly preserved to prevent it from decaying. Clerics can use the Preservation (305) spell to keep bodies preserved, but in their absence white flasks are a temporary substitute. POUR a white flask into the body to preserve it.

If no clerics or paladins can be found, you may need to drag the body to the local town cleric.

Hunting and Combat

To survive in the wild, whether to protect and rescue fellow adventurers or to hunt the dangerous creatures of Elanthia, empaths should also learn to be proficient in battle by acquiring the proper equipment, training, and general combat knowledge.


Every newly created character is equipped with a set of starting gear appropriate to their race and initial set of skills, including a set of armor and a basic weapon. For levels 0-9, the starting gear should serve well enough, though you can visit the local shops if you prefer different items.

When you reach level 10, you will be able to use equipment with up to +20 (also known as 4x) enchantment bonus. Enchanted gear can give a substantial boost to your combat capabilities, and it is advisable that you acquire some as soon as you have set aside enough silvers to do so. A piece of 4x equipment with no other special properties usually costs about 35,000 to 50,000 silvers. Generally, you would be looking for weapons and shields made from vultite or rolaren (for metals), and faewood, orase, or ruic (for woods). Enchanted leather armor is not as easy to identify, but you can ask around on the ESP network or check the player run shops.

Most hunting areas are balanced for wearing full 4x gear, and many adventurers have used them all the way to level 100. More highly enchanted gear, and those with special properties such as flares, weighting, or padding, are rarer and more costly, but they can give you additional advantages if you should ever find them.

Early Hunting

Each of the starter towns—Wehnimer's Landing, Icemule Trace, and Ta'Vaalor—has hunting areas appropriate for a novice adventurer. Follow the maps out to the hunting grounds and look around for hostile creatures.

When you spot an unfamiliar creature, it helps to APPRAISE it to get a general idea about its capabilities.

The giant rat is small in size and about one foot high in its current state.
The rat would be a pretty even match for you.

Make sure you are in STANCE DEFENSIVE, and wait for the creature to make an attack:

You are now in a defensive stance.
A giant rat tries to bite you!
AS: +34 vs DS: +87 with AvD: +34 + d100 roll: +3 = -16
A clean miss.

This is what is known as an attack roll. The factors involved in an attack roll are:

If these add up to over 100, then the attack hits. But as you can see, that rat has no chance of landing a hit no matter how high the d100 roll might be. The chances are very different in STANCE OFFENSIVE:

You are now in an offensive stance.
A giant rat tries to bite you!
AS: +34 vs DS: +32 with AvD: +34 + d100 roll: +38 = +74
A clean miss.

Now the rat can land a hit as long as it can roll above a 64. In general, it is a good idea to not let creatures attack you while you are in an offensive stance. You will want to wait for the creature to attack, then quickly switch into offensive stance and make your own attack, then return to defensive stance before the creature can retaliate. This is known as "stance-dancing".

Damage is calculated based on the final margin above 100, a comparison between weapon and armor, and the location of the hit. In the example here, the result of the combat factors is +143, so the margin is 43. A war hammer has a damage factor of 0.410 against unarmored foes such as rats, so the attack deals at least 43 * 0.410 = 18 points (rounded up).

Additional damage comes from the critical calculation. The unarmored rat has a critical divisor of 5, so the maximum potential critical rank of the attack is 18 / 5 = 3 (rounded down). A (hidden) random roll is made to determine the actual critical rank, which could be anywhere between half to full of the potential maximum. In this case the result is the full rank 3 critical.

The war hammer has a 2/3 chance of inflicting crush criticals and a 1/3 chance of puncture, so another hidden random roll is made to determine which type it is. In this case it is determined to be a crush critical, and looking up the crush critical table, a rank 3 crush to the back deals 15 critical damage and a minor wound.

The total damage inflicted is therefore 18 + 15 = 33 points and a minor back wound.

To make your own attack, use the ATTACK verb:

You swing a war hammer at a giant rat!
AS: +35 vs DS: +14 with AvD: +25 + d100 roll: +97 = +143
   ... and hit for 33 points of damage!
   Respectable shot to the back.
Roundtime: 5 sec.

Whenever you make a melee attack, you will incur some amount of roundtime. This is a period in which you cannot move, switch stances, or make most other actions. Most physical weapons have a roundtime of 5 seconds, but heavier weapons such as most two-handed weapons and polearms can take longer to swing. Having high Dexterity and Agility statistics can offset the heavy weapon penalties. Generally for melee combatants, swinging a weapon in 5 or 6 seconds is acceptable, since that will let you stance dance effectively against most creatures. Against quick foes like lynxes that can attack faster than your swings, you will need to be very careful.

If you prefer not to use physical weapons, then remember that empaths have more than swords and hammers in their arsenal—they can wield spiritual and mental magic against their enemies.

The first attack spell that every empath learns is Arcane Blast, and it requires no mana to cast. Unlike melee, there is no need to switch to offensive stance. Simply use the INCANT verb to cast the spell:

You gesture sharply and recite the esoteric command for Arcane Blast...
Your spell is ready.
You gesture at a giant rat.
CS: +32 - TD: +3 + CvA: +25 + d100: +87 == +141
Warding failed!
A torrent of arcane energy blasts the giant rat for 10 points of damage!
   ... 5 points of damage!
   Blow grazes left arm lightly.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.
Roundtime: 5 sec.
(Forcing stance down to guarded)

This is known as a warding roll, and it looks slightly different from an attack roll. The factors involved are:

  • Casting Strength (CS), determined by level and spell research
  • Target Defense (TD), determined by level and defensive magics
  • Cast vs. Armor (CvA), a measure of how well the type of armor protects against magic
  • d100, a random die roll from 1 to 100

Like attack rolls, these must add up to over 100 for the spell to hit.

Casting the spell also forced stance from Defensive down to Guarded. This is normal, as all spells force the caster out of a completely defensive stance, but it will not lower stance to any more than Guarded.

Casting spells incurs some amount of cast roundtime. Unlike standard roundtime, you can still move or change stances during this period, and are only prohibited from using additional attacks or spells. Arcane Blast requires both standard roundtime and cast roundtime, but most spells you learn later on will only require cast roundtime.

Bolt Spells are only effective if you are in offensive stance, but you can freely change stance during Cast Roundtime. You can create a macro/alias in your front end settings to quickly change in and out of offensive stance, for example:


or a script:

put INCANT 111

Arcane Blast itself has two modes. When cast normally, it uses a warding roll as above. By using the EVOKE syntax, it makes an attack roll, with attack strength determined by stance and the Spell Aiming skill:

You are now in an offensive stance.
You gesture sharply and recite the esoteric command for Arcane Blast...
Your spell is ready.
You gesture at a giant rat.
You hurl a torrent of arcane energy at a giant rat!
AS: +35 vs DS: +12 with AvD: +35 + d100 roll: +89 = +147
   ... and hit for 8 points of damage!
   Stubs left hand finger.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.
Roundtime: 5 sec.

Spells that make attack rolls are known as bolt spells. In the early levels, there is not much advantage in using the bolt version of Arcane Blast, as it is much safer to stay in defensive or guarded stance.

Intermediate Hunting

Stance-dancing with a heavy two-handed weapon or plinking away with Arcane Blast are effective for low-level hunting grounds. When you have outgrown those areas, take a look at the list of creatures by level and choose some targets appropriate for your level range. Higher level creatures tend to have tricks that they can use to make your hunting more exciting.

Turtled Creatures

Many creatures, once they have taken some damage, will adopt a defensive stance. There is often no indication of this happening except that the creature's DS will suddenly be much higher. Unlike player characters, they can do this immediately after their attack (when a player character would still be in roundtime). As an empath, even one with martial training, this is a good time to switch to warding attacks which ignore stance. Those with heavy investment in Combat Maneuvers may also consider using Feint.

Ranged Enemies

While low-level creatures tend to only use melee combat, you will eventually come across enemies that use bows or magical bolts. Depending on your equipment, these enemies can be far more dangerous because your ranged DS may be much lower than in melee. Generally speaking, two-handed weapon users have the lowest ranged DS, followed by runestaff users with medium defenses, and shield users have the highest. If you are not trained for shields, you might consider avoiding areas with enemy archers.

Standard Maneuvers

Standard maneuvers, or often "creature maneuvers" (though they can also be initiated by player characters), are special abilities that bypass the attack roll system. Common standard maneuvers used by creatures include Elemental Wave, Call Wind, and Earthen Fury. Failing a standard maneuver roll will usually put you in lengthy roundtime with stuns or knockdowns that leave you vulnerable to followup attacks. Empaths have good passive defense against them from training twice a level or more in Physical Fitness, but you should not rely on the roll going in your favor. If you know an enemy can use a dangerous maneuver, either use a disabling spell first or assume that you will fail the roll and be adequately defensive so that you won't die if someone swings at you while you're flat on the ground. To disable an enemy, if it can be stunned then Bone Shatter is a good choice, otherwise Empathy, Unbalance, Bind, or Web Bolt are possibilities depending on which you are ideally trained for. Defensive spells from other players can also help, especially Mobility from rangers.

Finding Groups

Grouping with other players is an excellent way for empaths to gain experience, especially as you can patch up their combat injuries to keep the hunt going. Many tasks from the Adventurer's Guild allow you to add partners, especially "hunt bandits" which is much safer in a group. If you notice others frequenting the same hunting grounds, see if they are willing to join a group as you will both complete your tasks much faster instead of competing for a limited number of creatures.

Even without a group, you can often find help in the form of "mass" spells in town. Spellcasters may ask the crowd to JOIN them when they cast Mass Elemental Defense (419), Mass Blur (911), or Mass Colors (611)--"guards", "blurs", and "colors" in colloquial terms. These defensive spells can persist for up to four hours after the group is disbanded.

Spell Guide

Arcane Circle
Type Spell Notes
Attack Arcane Blast (1700) A basic free attack effective at low levels.
Empath Base Circle
Type Spell Notes
Attack Heal/Harm (1101) The offensive version, Harm, can be improved by Mental Lore, Manipulation, but it is not any better than Arcane Blast early on, and there are much better attack options later.
Attack Bone Shatter (1106) For many empaths, Bone Shatter will be the main attack spell for most of their careers. To make even better use of it, you can channel the spell with an open hand. INCANT SET CHANNEL 1106 to set the spell to channel by default whenever you INCANT it. Mental Lore, Manipulation adds a small chance of instantly killing a target when the spell lands, but does not improve the spell in any other way, and since the chance remains fairly small—about 9% even with 100 lore ranks, and that is assuming you succeed in the warding roll by a significant margin—it is generally better to prioritize those training points into other skills that have more significant benefits.

Also, keep in mind that not every type of creature has bones. Those without them, such as non-corporeal undead or elementals, are immune to this spell.

Utility Adrenal Surge (1107) By default, a simple utility spell that forces the target to stand upright. Useful, for example, if you have been knocked down by some creature and need to quickly get back on your feet. You can also use this on fellow adventurers who complain about "popped muscles". With Spiritual Lore, Blessings, it can also restore stamina. Not everyone uses stamina, but for melee-focused empaths who employ combat maneuvers, or masters of the Guardians of Sunfist society who use stamina to power their sigils, having the ability to easily refill stamina is indispensable.
Attack Empathy (1108) A warding attack spell that deals no direct damage, but can cause the target to run away or become frozen in fear. The best results of this spell are only achieved with end rolls above 150, so it is not especially useful in the lower levels.
Defense Empathic Focus (1109) Gives bonuses to your defense against physical and magical attacks, as well as your own melee attacks. Keep this spell active.
Attack Empathic Assault (1110) This is the first bolt spell available to empaths, and requires full (2x) training in Spell Aiming to be effective. It is usually not as effective as other direct damage spell options, but can be very good if the enemy is already knocked down or if it is especially weak against ranged attacks. Later on, it may be the only option against certain types of creatures such as elementals which are immune to other empath spells. For those cases it is recommended to train some Telepathy lore (at least 20 ranks) for additional damage cycles per cast.
Attack Wither (1115) This channellable spell requires very dedicated spellcaster training to be effective. To make the best use of Wither, you must have a high enough Casting Strength to not just pass the warding check, but pass it by a large margin consistently. Spiritual Lore, Summoning adds additional critical damage, but you need a lot of it: 150 skill ranks to guarantee the extra critical. Mental Lore, Manipulation also adds an instant death chance, though as with Bone Shatter it is not a significant factor in practice.

An end roll of 110 on Wither will usually deal less damage than the same roll on Bone Shatter, and for more than twice the mana cost. But an end roll of 160 on Wither, with four critical damage cycles, will almost certainly disintegrate multiple parts of the target's body, often killing them immediately.

Utility Cry for Help (1116) A seldom-used utility spell that gives a distant target a brief glimpse at your location.
Attack Empathic Link (1117) Gives a chance of duplicating damage on affected targets. This spell is more effective if the caster is trained in Mental Lore, Telepathy and Mental Mana Control. Because of its high mana cost and the chance that damage is not always duplicated, the spell is mainly for higher level characters who can afford to cast it.
Utility Herb Production (1118) A utility spell that spontaneously creates healing herbs when outdoors. With Spiritual Lore, Summoning, you can specify the type of herb. For serious wounds and scars, it costs less mana to make an herb and eat it than to heal it directly.
Defense Strength of Will (1119) Gives bonuses to defense. Keep this spell active.
Attack Sympathy (1120) A warding attack that turns enemies in a room against each other for a brief time. This is only room-wide disabling spell that empaths have, and is sometimes the best option even though it is fairly costly in mana. Casting Sympathy can give you time to assess the situation and not be overwhelmed, and you can pick out specific dangers to use longer-lasting disabling abilities on, or try to kill them outright.
Defense Troll's Blood (1125) Heals minor wounds on its own, adds some HP regeneration, and gives a chance to break out of stuns. Spiritual Mana Control quickens the pulses of this spell. Keep this spell active.
Defense Intensity (1130) Gives substantial bonuses to both defense and attack. Keep this spell active.
Utility Regeneration (1150) Can be used only once every day, fully healing you every 6 seconds for a total of 30 seconds. You can activate it even while stunned or immobilized by using the REGENERATE verb.
Minor Spiritual Circle
Type Spell Notes
Defense Spirit Warding I (101) Protects against hostile spells. Keep this spell active.
Defense Spirit Barrier (102) Gives additional defense at the cost of physical offense. Keep this spell active unless you use non-magical attacks.
Defense Spirit Defense (103) General defensive bonus. Keep this spell active.
Defense Spirit Warding II (107) Protects against hostile spells. Keep this spell active.
Attack Unbalance (110) A warding attack spell that knocks the target prone and makes them briefly unable to act. The disabling effect is deceptively potent: many higher-level creatures can quickly shake out of stuns, bindings, and webs, but nothing can overcome roundtime.
Attack Fire Spirit (111) This is a "ball" spell, a variant of bolt spells in that it can deal splash damage to other targets in the same room. Compared to Empathic Assault, this is usually less effective against light armor but better against heavy armor. The splash damage can be useful in crowds, having a good chance of stunning multiple targets.
Attack Web (118) Can be cast in several different modes. The most common is a warding attack that disables the target by entangling it in sticky webs. With Spiritual Lore, Summoning, it can also be cast from offensive stances as a bolt spell that unbalances the target, with a chance of also causing the entangling web effect. It takes substantially more training in Summoning lore—140 ranks for same-level targets, even more on those above your level—to guarantee the web effect when a bolt hits.
Utility Spirit Dispel (119) Dispelling a creature can strip away its defensive spells, but more importantly, it will lose any spell that it has prepared for casting. Many magical creatures have a signature "preparing to cast" action that you should watch for.
Defense Lesser Shroud (120) General defensive bonus. Keep this spell active.
Attack Call Lightning (125) Most creatures will simply run out of the room while the cloud is still charging up, so this spell is only useful in situations where you can prevent them from leaving. Remember that unlike most "cloud" spells from other circles, this is a single-target attack so you should never cast it on yourself.
Major Spiritual Circle
Type Spell Notes
Attack Calm (201) Temporarily calms a creature so that it will not attack you unless you attack first. Useful when dealing with several creatures in the same room.
Defense Spirit Shield (202) General defensive bonus. Keep this spell active.
Defense Purify Air (207) Helps greatly in areas where the air is poisonous, and can also protect against certain traps.
Utility Untrammel (209) Removes webs from a target. With 10 ranks in Spiritual Lore, Blessings, you can cast it on yourself preemptively to improve your defense against web attacks.
Offense Bravery (211) General offensive bonus. Keep this spell active.
Utility Minor Sanctuary (213) The sanctuary effect prohibits all attacks in the room. Can be used to give yourself a temporary breather when you are in trouble, or to help someone else in the field if they are stunned, knocked down, or otherwise look in bad shape.

To cancel the sanctuary, STOP 213.

Offense Bind (214) Reliably stops an enemy for at least several rounds if you can land it. Because of the high mana cost and the lower Casting Strength of the circle (Major Spiritual is seldom heavily trained), most empaths will not frequently use this while solo hunting.
Offense Heroism (215) General offensive bonus. Keep this spell active.
Utility Spirit Servant (218) Summons a spirit creature that follows you around and can perform a few basic actions like fetching items from the ground, or retrieving your weapon if you are ever disarmed.
Defense Spell Shield (219) Protects against hostile spells. Keep this spell active.
Offense Spirit Slayer (240) A high-level offensive spell that can duplicate any attack spell you cast with an increased AS or CS. This spell is very potent when hunting a creature that would otherwise be too difficult for you to hit, or that you need to defeat very quickly.


Wands and rods are commonly available from the treasure system, alchemy shops, and player crafting. Each wand contains a specific spell with a limited number of charges.

To attempt to activate a wand, hold the wand in either hand and use the command "WAVE MY {wand} AT {target}". It is usually (but not always) safe to simply "WAVE MY {wand}" as the game will try to pick a hostile target for you.

When you wave a wand, there is a skill check to determine success. Properly using a wand requires training in Magic Item Use (MIU). The exact success formula can be found in the MIU article. Because empaths cannot learn spells from elemental spell circles, elemental bolt wands such as iron/silver wands (Minor Shock (901)), aquamarine wands (Minor Water (903)), and golden wands (Minor Fire (906)) are more difficult to activate. Generally speaking, 20 MIU ranks means you are minimally competent at wands to be able to use them while hunting, and 40 MIU ranks means you can activate almost any wand without failure.

If you try to activate a wand but do not see any skill check roll, that likely means the wand is out of charges. You can either sell uncharged wands at a pawnshop or find an experienced wizard to recharge them.

If you want to use elemental wands early on, you should train 2x in MIU up to about 40 ranks (140 bonus), enough to offset almost all of the spell level penalties. Keep in mind that most wands contain bolt spells which are only useful if you also train 2x in Spell Aiming.

Slender ivory wands and faceted amethyst wands contain spells from the Empath circle, and are much easier to activate, but they are only available through crafting by player alchemists. Slender ivory wands are one of the few wand types that do not require Spell Aiming since they contain Bone Shatter.

Additional Abilities


The MEDITATE verb allows empaths to recover mana at an accelerated rate while on a node or sanctuary. The exact bonus depends on Discipline and Wisdom. Most gathering spots in town are natural nodes, so this is a very useful ability when you are resting.


The spells Transference (225) and Spirit Guide (130) allow empaths to instantly teleport between locations in the same realm. Combined with Locate Person (116), they are commonly used for rescuing adventurers in need.

Guild Skills

At level 15, you will receive an invitation to the Empath Guild. Joining is entirely optional. If you join, you will have access to the alchemy system and can learn to make a variety of potions and trinkets.


Societies are groups dedicated to a common purpose and grant special powers to their members. Each character may only join one society at a time, receiving more abilities as they advance within it. While membership in any society is optional, joining confers very noticeable mechanical benefits and almost all adventurers choose one to master.

F2P characters require a monthly Society Advancement Pass to progress and use granted powers.

The three societies active in Elanthia are:

Order of Voln - A monastic order that specializes in fighting against the undead. Voln abilities are powered by favor which is accumulated by fighting undead creatures. Even against living enemies, the society offers useful abilities such as putting enemies to sleep or fading into an ethereal state while incapacitated. Voln generally supplements empaths' skills and allows them to handle more situations, especially as many empath base abilities do not affect the undead.

Guardians of Sunfist - A historically dwarven society formed to combat the Grimswarm, a loose confederation of orcs, trolls, and giants that raid across the Elanthian frontier. For empaths, the Sunfist ability to convert stamina into mana offers excellent mana regeneration without any downside. Because of the way Grimswarm enemies scale with level, if you wish to be part of Sunfist it is highly recommended that you join as early as possible (level 3) and work exclusively on society progression for the lower levels. Past level 20, the Grimswarm become far more dangerous and some tasks may become nearly impossible to finish alone.

Council of Light - A secret society with unstated aims. Their signature ability is converting spirit to mana, which is highly effective for pure warding casters who retain their full offensive capability even while drained of spirit.

See Also