Fletching is the art of creating arrows, bolts, and darts for use in combat.
Some tools are required, others are not.
- A handaxe-based OHE weapon
- A dagger-based OHE weapon or hook-knife based brawling weapon
- A short, composite or long bow for arrows
- A light or heavy crossbow for light or heavy bolts
- A completed dart for darts
- A drill
- A fletching razor
- A scriber
This is a list of the available Materials used in Fletching. Some materials are required, while others are not.
- A source of wood
- Fletching glue
Tools are available at your local fletching shop and weapon shop.
The handaxe is an OHE based weapon used to pare down an item made of wood to create the shafts needed to make your projectile. There are four current possible projectiles created from fletching: Arrow, Light Crossbow Bolt, Heavy Crossbow Bolt, and Dart. Any OHE weapon that INSPECTs as a handaxe base weapon should be compatible for fletching.
The dagger is an OHE based weapon that is used for more fine and precise tasks not possible with a handaxe. Paring the shaft down further, cutting nocks in the end of the arrow, making the projectile the proper length, and whittling a tip are all steps requiring the use of the dagger. Any OHE weapon that INSPECTs as a dagger base weapon should be compatible for fletching.
Bow, Crossbow, or Dart
A Ranged weapon is used in the fletching process in order to measure the proper length of the projectile. Current ranged weapons include: Short, Composite, and Long Bows, Light and Heavy Crossbows. A completed Dart is required to measure the correct length of a dart shaft.
The fletching razor is a tool that cuts fletchings from feathers found from creatures in the wilds of Elanthia. Though fletchings are easily purchased from the local fletching shop, the fletching razor allows the Fletcher to customize their arrows with fletchings not available in your local shop. Make sure that your fletching razor is OPEN so that you can use it. Occasionally, a merchant will sell razors that can imbue your freshly-made fletchings with a flare.
Usage: cut feather
The drill is a tool used to make a hole in the end of the projectile, which allows it to receive an arrowhead. Arrowheads are not required for a fletching projectile to work, but allows the Fletcher to customize an arrow to their liking.
There are other tools around Elanthia to further improve your enjoyment of fletching. Scribers are used to etch different designs into the wood of your projectile. There are even rare scribers that can etch your name.
There are also other various items and tools that have been released throughout Elanthia. Keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you may find.
The first and most important material required is the wood material needed to make the projectile. There are several different kinds of woods available for fletching, from a variety of sources. Your two main sources of wood will either be plain wood or magical wood.
Plain wood is the most frequent and easily attainable material that you can get your hands on. You can get plain wood by purchasing them from town fletching shops or FORAGEing for them in the wilds. Certain creatures also can provide a skin that can be used as a shaft material, mainly bones. You even have the option of purchasing large pole-arm weapons that you can cut down into shafts as well, just visit your local weapon shop to see their selection. (See: List of Woods and Skins Usable for a list of non-purchased base materials.)
Magical woods are woods that have inherent bonuses in them that can be used to increase your Ranged AS. Click on the material in the table below to see applicable information about each one. You can also refer to the Materials Guide on the GemStone IV website if any of the information happens to be missing.
Unfortunately, these woods can only be purchased either by having back-room access at town fletching shops, or by traveling/event merchants.
Below is a table showing you the different woods available at town fletching shops. These woods come in three sizes: stick (S), branch (B), or limb (L), where stick is the smallest and limb is the largest.
|Wood, Offensive Bonus||Landing||Solhaven||Ice Mule||Ta'Vaalor||Sylvarraend||River's Rest||Teras Isle|
Another essential material needed are fletchings. Fletchings are glued to the back of the projectile to ensure a true and steady flight to its target. Without fletchings, the arrow would become very inaccurate and useless. Fletchings can be purchased from the local fletching shop or made from creature feathers by way of a fletching razor.
|lost penguin chick (mascot)||Icemule Trace: wanders||a soft grey penguin feather||penguin fletchings||none|
|cockatrice (6)||Upper Trollfang||a cockatrice feather||cockatrice fletchings||<projectile> fletched with snowy-white cockatrice feathers||none|
|plumed cockatrice (13)||Ta'Vaalor||a cockatrice plume||cockatrice fletchings||<projectile> fletched with snowy-white cockatrice feathers||none|
|snowy cockatrice (6)||Icemule Trace: South Gate||a snowy cockatrice tailfeather||cockatrice fletchings||<projectile> fletched with snowy-white cockatrice feathers||none|
|black-winged daggerbeak (1)||Solhaven: Caravansary||a daggerbeak wing||daggerbeak fletchings||<projectile> fletched with dull black feathers||none|
|blood eagle (7)||River's Rest: Citadel & Town Environs||blood red eagle feather||blood red eagle fletchings||<projectile> fletched with blood red feathers||none|
|storm griffin (73)||Ta'Illistim: Skull Temple||a soft blue griffin feather||blue griffin fletchings||<projectile> fletched with blue griffin feathers||lightning flares|
|dreadnought raptor (43)||Ta'Illistim: Gyldemar Green||a ruff of raptor feathers||raptor fletchings||<projectile> fletched with glossy black raptor feathers||none|
|raven (mascot)||Wehnimer's Landing: Ravenswood neighborhood||raven's feather||jet black fletchings||<projectile> fletched with blue griffin feathers||none|
|colossus vulture (34)||Ta'Illistim: Sylvarraend||black vulture fletchings||<projectile> fletched with black vulture feathers||none|
|winged viper (60?)||Ta'Vaalor: Red Forest||a pure white feather||pure white fletchings||<projectile> fletched with pure white feathers||none|
|blunt-beaked emerald green parrot (mascot)||Four Winds Isle: wanders||an emerald green parrot feather||emerald parrot fletchings||none|
You need a way to attach those fletchings to the projectile, right? Well, a nice, "tasty" bottle of fletching glue is the answer. Fletching glue is available at your local fletching shop.
Tired of that dull, "wood" look? Spice up your arrows with some color! The local fletching shops have a variety of colored vials of paint available all the time for your hearts content. Other rare colors can be found from the treasure system or purchased from special merchants throughout the year.
(Note: Painting the projectile with vials of paint coats the entire shaft. The color should show up in the description of the arrow or the show description if applicable.)
Want to add just a band of color to your arrow, or add a band of color over top of your current arrow color? Well, a paintstick is what you are looking for. Using a paintstick will add a small band of color near the end of the arrow. You can add a maximum of two color bands, of the same or different colors. As with paints, a paintstick can be purchased at the local fletching shops, found from the treasure system, or purchased from special merchants.
(Note: Painting the projectile with a paintstick will NOT paint the entire shaft. This will also affect the GATHER verb, as you will not be able to use the paintstick band color as a means of gathering the arrow. Example: a blue faewood arrow can be gathered by using the syntax: gather blue arrow. A blue-banded faewood arrow can be gathered by using the syntax: gather faewood arrow. Other help with the GATHER verb will be provided in the Fletching Commands Section.)
Arrowheads and Caps
Annoyed with those wimpy-looking tips that you whittle at the end of your arrow or bolt? An arrowhead or cap is just the right thing for you. When using an arrowhead, you will need a drill to make a hole. If using a cap, just screw it on to the end of the shaft. Arrowheads and caps can be purchased from your local fletching shop, with various materials at your disposal. There are also arrowheads and caps that can be obtained from special merchants as well. Arrows can only accept arrowheads, while Darts can only accept caps. Bolts, however, can accept either an arrowhead or cap, which is up to the Fletcher to decide.
Tools? Check. Materials? Check. Ready to get started? Check. Now that you have your tools and materials, it is time to begin your journey in the art of fletching. This portion of the guide is an extensive walk-through to help you create projectiles step-by-step.
Cutting the rough shafts from a source of wood. This step is required for arrows, bolts, and darts.
Tools and Materials required: a source of wood and a handaxe-based OHE
With a source of wood in your right hand, and a handaxe in your left, enter the command:
- CUT <PROJECTILE> FROM MY <WOOD> WITH MY <HANDAXE>
Example: cut arrows from my branch with my handaxe, cut heavy bolts from my log with my hatchet.
This command will take the source of wood and cut it into several shafts of the specified projectile style. The amount of shafts created is somewhat random. Larger sources of wood will provide you with larger quantities of shafts.
This step is not required before every projectile, as this step provides you with several rough shafts for use. It may be preferred to cut several sources of wood in succession to create large bundles at once for ease of use.
Paring the Shaft
Whittling the rough projectile down to size. This step is required for arrows, bolts, and darts.
Tools and Materials required: a single rough shaft and dagger-based OHE
With a single rough shaft in your right hand and a dagger in your left, enter the command:
- CUT MY SHAFT WITH MY <DAGGER>
This command will take the rough shaft and whittle it down to its general shape for use. Skilled fletchers should see a very straight and smooth shaft, while unskilled fletchers may create wavy and curved shafts. High quality shafts will see an increased AS bonus when completed, while low quality shafts will see a negative AS bonus.
Painting the projectile to your desired color scheme. This step is optional for arrows, bolts, and darts. If you do not wish to paint your shaft with any paint, please skip on to the next step.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft and a vial of paint or paintstick
With a projectile shaft in your right hand, and a vial of paint or paintstick in your left, type the command:
- PAINT MY SHAFT WITH MY <PAINT/PAINTSTICK>
This command will either paint the entire shaft if you are using a vial of paint, or add a band of paint if you are using a paintstick. If you want to paint the entire shaft a particular color, this must be done before any bands are painted on. Once applying the paint or band of paint to the shaft, you will have to wait for the paint to dry before continuing on. A quick LOOK at the shaft will tell you if the paint is dried or not. There is also an in-game message indicating when the paint is dry.
Nocking the Shaft
Nocking the end of the shaft for placement in a bow. This step is required for arrows only. If you are making a Bolt or Dart, please skip on to the next step.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft and a dagger-based OHE
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a dagger in the left, type the command:
- CUT NOCKS IN MY SHAFT WITH MY <DAGGER>
This command cuts a slot at the end of the shaft where the bowstring will be placed when reaching back to fire.
Measuring the Shaft
Measuring the shaft for correct length. This step is required for arrows, bolts, and darts.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft and a bow, crossbow, or dart used for measuring.
With a projectile shaft in your right hand, and a bow, crossbow or dart in your left, type the command:
- MEASURE MY SHAFT WITH MY <BOW, CROSSBOW OR DART>
This command uses your bow, crossbow or dart to measure the correct length of your shaft. For arrows you can use a short, composite or long bow for measurement. The arrow will be able to work with all three bow types. For bolts, you must measure it using either a light crossbow for light bolts, or heavy crossbow for heavy bolts. The light/heavy crossbow must be cocked in order to measure the bolt correctly. Darts can only be measured by using another completed dart to get the correct measurement.
Cutting the Shaft to Length
Cutting the shaft down to the length that was measured. This step is required for arrows, bolts, and darts.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft and a dagger-based OHE.
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a dagger in your left, type the command:
- CUT MY SHAFT WITH MY <DAGGER>
This command will take the dagger and cut your shaft to the length measured in the previous step.
Applying the Fletchings
Attaching fletchings to the end of your projectile. This step is required for arrows, bolts and darts.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft, fletching glue and fletchings.
(Note: You are required to use three fletchings to attach to the end of the arrow. Remove a bundle of three fletchings and then attach them)
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a bottle of fletching glue in your left, type the command:
- PUT MY GLUE ON MY SHAFT
This command will apply a small amount of glue to the end of your arrow, bolt or dart. The glue is used to apply the fletchings and keep them in place on your projectile. Quickly stow your glue away and then remove three fletchings.
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a bundle of fletchings in your left, type the command:
- PUT MY FLETCHING ON MY SHAFT
This command will make you apply the fletchings to the glue that is on the shaft. If you do not attach the fletchings quickly after applying the glue, you run a chance of the glue drying before you can put them on. Once the fletchings are attached to the projectile, you will have to wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next step. A quick LOOK at the shaft will tell you if the glue is dried yet. There will also be in-game messaging to indicate when the glue is dry.
Making the Tip
Finally, yet importantly, you need to sharpen the other side of the arrow so that you may pierce that annoying Troll in plate armor. This step is divided into two sections. The first section is for whittling the end of the shaft to a point, while the other section is for adding an arrowhead or cap to the end of the arrow, bolt, or dart.
Whittle the Tip
Whittling the end of the shaft to a point to complete your project. This step is required for arrows, bolts or darts.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft and a dagger-based OHE
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a dagger in your left, type the command:
- CUT MY SHAFT WITH MY <DAGGER>
This command will make you whittle the end of the shaft to a point, therefore completing your projectile shaft into the specified projectile style: arrow, light/heavy bolt or dart.
The point obtained after this step will tell the quality of the arrow or bolt.
Attach Arrowhead or Cap
Drilling a hole in the end of the projectile shaft to accept an arrowhead or screwing on the cap. If you are using a cap, you do not need to drill a hole in the end of the shaft. Skip ahead past the drill portion of this step and remove your cap to put it on.
Tools and Materials required: a projectile shaft, dril, and an arrowhead.
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and a drill in your left, type the command:
- TURN MY DRILL
This command will place your drill at the end of the shaft, and drill a hole suitable for accepting an arrowhead. Stow your drill away and then remove an arrowhead.
With a projectile shaft in your right hand and an arrowhead/cap in your left, type the command:
- TURN MY ARROWHEAD/CAP
This command will then make you screw your arrowhead in the shaft or screw your cap onto the end of the shaft until it is nice and tight. Once the arrowhead or cap is attached completely, your projectile is now a completed arrow, light/heavy bolt or dart.
Once your projectile is completed, there are a few additional options that you can do to it. If you own a scriber, you can now use it by RUBing it on your projectile for your desired effect, whether it be symbols or your name. There are also several different items throughout the game that interact with completed projectiles, but of course are optional. Now stow away your projectile and start over with a new one. Enjoy the art of fletching!
There are a few commands that any Fletcher should be familiar with. Each of these verbs will be explained below, but you can also find out even more details about each of these verbs in-game. Just type in the command prompt: <verb> help.
The BUNDLE verb is one that any Fletcher or skinner is very familiar with. Instead of having fifty separate arrows sitting in a container, you can use the BUNDLE verb to collect them all together. If there are several of your arrows on the ground, you can also make use of the GATHER verb, which will bundle all the arrows into a bundle that you can then add to an existing bundle of arrows in a container.
The FLIP verb allows the Fletcher to customize the order in which the material, color, and projectile style look. For example, you can have your arrow look like this: a forest green faewood arrow, or a faewood hunter green arrow, etc...
The GATHER verb allows the Fletcher to collect identical arrows from the ground at once and bundle them together in one action. This saves the user from having to pick up each individual arrow separately and stow away.
- I just started fletching, and I cannot seem to make an arrow/bolt/dart to save my life. I always seem to mess up. What am I doing wrong?
- When you begin the art of fletching, you are going to be unskilled. Through practice, you will gain fletching ranks and become more skilled in this craft.
- What are “fletching ranks”?
- Fletching ranks, or Artisan Ranks, are an in-game way of showing your abilities in the art of an Artisan skill. There are a total of 500 total ranks in fletching, with 500 ranks meaning that you are a Master Fletcher.
- How do I find out how many “ranks” in fletching I have?
- You can find out how many ranks you have with the ARTISAN SKILL command.
- How do I know when I have gained a “rank” in fletching?
- There is an in-game message that notifies you when you have earned a rank. You will know it when you see it.
- That was a little easier. Perhaps you are growing more skillful?
- I have been making arrows/bolts/darts, but they do not want to bundle even though they look the same. What gives?
- Some arrows/bolts may have inherent differences not seen by the player. This common occurrence will happen throughout your fletching career. Though it is annoying, you can look forward to this not happening when you begin to make master quality arrows/bolts, when each arrow/bolt will be the same in every way. Darts however cannot be bundled.
- I have heard that arrows/bolts/darts made by a master Fletcher have a bonus of some sort, what kind of bonus is there?
- Every arrow/bolt/dart made from fletching will have a bonus, whether it is a negative or positive one. Poorly made arrows/bolts/darts can have a -5 bonus to your AS, while a master-fletched arrow/bolt/dart will carry a +5 bonus to AS. Other arrows/bolts/darts will have a bonus somewhere in between. This bonus is stacked on top of any bonus provided by materials used to make the arrow.
- You mentioned that materials can also add an AS bonus, what materials do what and how exactly does it work?
- A bonus to your AS can be determined by the enchant bonus of the wood you use, or the enchant bonus of the metal you use for the arrowhead or cap. To find out what materials give what bonuses, please refer to the materials guide from the main web site to see your options. Please note that if an enchanted wood is combined with an enchanted arrowhead or cap, that these enchant bonuses do not stack. The fletching system will use the greater enchant of the two materials and use that as the normal bonus. When using a faewood arrow (+20 bonus) with an imflass arrowhead (+12 bonus), only the +20 bonus of the faewood will be used. If this arrow is made by a master, it will have an added bonus of +5 since the master bonus "stacks" with the enchant bonus, making the arrow +25.
- What about the enchant bonus of the bow/crossbow? Does that stack with the bonus of the arrow?
- Yes, the enchant bonus of the bow/crossbow will stack with the arrow. The combined bonus, however, will never exceed +50, and is capped at twice your character's level.
- I have talked with a few fletchers, and some have told me not to bother with expensive materials. They say to use plain wood and have your arrows “e-bladed”. What does “e-bladed” mean?
- “E-Bladed” is referring to the Minor Elemental spell Elemental Blade (411). Specifics of this spell are in the spells section of the Gemstone web site. The spell will be prepared and cast at your bundle of arrows/bolts. Depending on the casters skill and ATTUNEment, your bundle will receive a set of “charges”. These “charges” add a +20 bonus to the AS of the arrow and adds a chance of an elemental flare to go off. The flare is determined either by the ATTUNEment of the caster or by random chance. A glance at the bundle will show you a color of light, with the color corresponding to a particular type of flare.
- You can have a bundle of arrows/bolts with a maximum of 100 qty, and a bundle of arrows/bolts can hold a maximum of 999 charges of 411. When you remove an arrow/bolt from the bundle, two charges will go with it. When you fire the arrow/bolt and successfully use up a charge, there will be one charge remaining in the arrow/bolt. The reason for this, is so that when you pick the arrow/bolt back up, you will be able to return it to the bundle. If both charges are used, the arrow/bolt will not be able to return to the bundle because it is no longer the same in every way as the arrows in the bundle.
- Blessing arrows for use against undead work in the same manor as E-blading, but does not add an AS bonus to the arrow/bolt.
- I fired my arrow/bolt and something strange happened. The game said it “was lost in the local environs”. What does that mean?
- Several things can cause this to happen, but when that message appears, your arrow/bolt is hidden somewhere in the room. Doing a quick SEARCH should help you find your lost ammunition.
- Ok, what do I do now? I fired my arrow/bolt and I got the message "streaks off into the distance". I searched for it but could not find it. What is the deal?
- In this situation, your arrow/bolt is lost forever. This mechanic is in place to simulate how a projectile can sometimes go somewhere that you cannot find for whatever reason. Do not bother searching, you will not find it.
- Ok, now I am confused. After attacking a creature, my arrows are on the ground but I cannot pick them up. I can tap them, poke at them, even drag them to another room, but cannot pick them up. I get the message “out of reach”. What is going on now?
- In this situation, you are falling victim to another game mechanic. Not being able to pick up the arrow/bolt because it is out of reach is to simulate distance between you and the arrow. If you fired an arrow/bolt 20 feet away from you, it does not make much sense for you to be able to pick it up immediately. Conversely, it does not make much sense to be able to interact with it in other ways, like dragging it, but not be able to pick it up. This mechanic is somewhat buggy, but there really is no easy way to fix it. Just something you will have to deal with for now. It is possible to retrieve your arrow by using GO ARROW, this may need to be repeated several times to get close enough to pick it up.
- I made my arrow/bolt with all this nifty stuff, but when I finished the arrow all of it was gone, where did it go?
- When making an arrow/bolt, you can only take up 98 total characters of space before the arrow changes from a long description to a show description. Be sure to remember that even spaces count as characters as well. Try LOOKing at your arrow, and all your work should be there.
- Some fletchers I've met have arrows that occasionally produce a lightning flare. How do they do that?
- Lightning flares can be produced by making the arrows using blue griffin fletchings. A blue griffin fletching can be obtained by killing a storm griffin — if you're actually skilled enough to kill a storm griffin — or can be purchased from some player shops. Since this will add flares, you cannot bless arrows fletched with blue griffin fletchings.
- Some fletchers I've met have arrows that occasionally produce a non-lightning flare! How do they do that?
- Cutting feathers with specially-enchanted fletching razors can create fletchings imbued with flares. These razors are occasionally sold at special merchant events, and generally have a limited lifespan.
- Do you have the list of the qualities?
- Why, yes! I do, heh. Not necessarily in this order since it's a guess so far.. barely serviceable, crude, rough, average, decent, very serviceable, relatively sharp, extremely sharp and perfect.
Experience is gained from fletching, making it appealing even to characters not using ranged or thrown weapons. Because the materials are inexpensively sold by town merchants, there are no restrictions on where fletching must be performed, and there is zero risk of injury, fletching is one of the easiest and safest ways to gain experience in Elanthia. One can gain experience in two different ways, depending on whether or not one is working towards mastering fletching or has already mastered the skill.
- Not mastered: Each and every time a character gains a rank in fletching, s/he also gains experience of an amount equal to the rank just earned. For example, when one earns the 1st rank of fletching, one also receive 1 point of experience. When one earns the 458th rank of fletching, one earns 458 experience points. Thus, mastering fletching from start to finish provides up to 125,250 experience points if a character absorbs it all (ie: not fletching when already fried). The sum is easy to calculate, by observing that of the 500 ranks, 250 pairs of numbers exist which each sum to 501 (1+500, 2+499, 3+498 ... 250+251). A maximum of one rank can be learned per each arrow/bolt, so anyone fletching specifically for experience or to master more quickly can discard the item and begin a new one as soon as a rank is obtained. The irony of this is that one can master fletching without ever once completing a finished product! Furthermore, not all the required steps provide an opportunity to gain a new rank, so some people work on only the first two steps, which have less material requirements and total roundtime involved.
- Mastered: Once one has 500 ranks of fletching, one is a Master Fletcher and cannot gain more ranks, thus further experience cannot be gained by the above method. Instead, any projectile completed by a master fletcher will yield 5 experience points. There is, however, a cap on the amount of experience which can be gained during a particular time period by completing arrows as a master.
- Note: This is only true if Fletching is a character's only artisan skill. Reference Artisan Skill Experience to see the complete details.
As a result, fletching is a common hobby among those sitting around quieter towns not wishing to hunt for whatever reason, such as empaths, clerics and locksmiths. This may be as much because of boredom, but certainly the experience is a nice perk.
The fame obtained is equal to the experience gained.
Finished Product Examples
This arrow has been crafted from dark green faewood. A single colored band of black encircles the back end of the arrow. At the very back end, glossy black raptor fletchings stand out and ensure a steady flight towards its target. At the business end of the arrow, a steel triangle-bladed arrowhead glints in the ambient light. You also notice a small enchanter's glyph.
There appears to be something written on it.
In the Common language, it reads:
Scribed into the shaft is the personal mark of XXXXXX.
Official Simutronics Guide - This is somewhat out of date because it does not include the most recent changes to fletching.