Kelfour Edition volume I number V
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
___________________________________________________________________________ / \ \ | | How To Design a Better Character P.18 | @/_________________________________________________________________________/ | | | XXXX XXX XX XXXXX | | xXX XX XXX XX XX XX | | XX XXX XX XX X | | XX XXX XXXXXXX XX XX XXXXXXXXX XXX XX XX XXXX | | XX XXX XXX XX XX xXXXXXX XX XX XXX XX XXX XX | | XXXXX XXX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX | | XXXX XXXXXxxx XX XX X XX XX XX XX XX | | XXXXX XXX XX XX XX XX XX XXX x XX | | XXXXXX XXXx XX x XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX | | XX XXX XXXXXxx XXxXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX XX | | XX XX XXXX XX | | xXX XX xX XX The Kronicles | | XXX XXX xXX of Kulthea: Vol.1, No. 5 | | XXX X October 1990 | | XXXXXXXXXXXXX XX XXX XX XXX ~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | XX XX XX XX XXX XXXX XXX | | X XX X XX XXXXXXXX | | XX XXXXXXXXX XX XX XX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX | | XXXXXXXX XX XX XXX XX XXX XX XX XXX XX XX | | XX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XXX XX | | XX XX XXX x XX x XX x XX x XX XX XX XX | | XX XX XX X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX x| | XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX| | XXXXXXXXXXX | |__________________________________________________________________________| /_________________________________________________________________________| | | | Open Letter to Simutronics ............................. 1 | | Local News ............................................. 2 | | Kirc's Korner by Kirc Bloodguard ....................... 3 | | How I Came to Kelfour's Landing by Emeralda L'Eeon ..... 6 | | Mentoring by Gunkwynn Ellessur ......................... 7 | | The Lone Ranger Part III by Caliban Eilorn ............. 8 | | The Lore of Mearand by Rune Arundel .................... 9 | | Strength/Breakage Factors by Airioch Ramthanodox ...... 11 | | Editorial: Bound and Dragged by Usul Lu'Nak ........... 12 | | Being Socially Responsible by Delphinia delAssandro ... 13 | | In Memory of Fallen Friends by Corwyn d'Evan .......... 14 | | Layman's Guide to Shopping by Etienne de Noire ........ 15 | | The Essentials of Learning by Lythe L'Green ........... 18 | | The Nose Knows by Miss Louvella Parsnips .............. 26 | | | |--------------------------------------------------------------------------| | The Kelfour Edition of the Kronicles of Kulthea is devoted to the game | | GemStone III on the GEnie Information Network. Submissions are welcome | | and may be edited for space, accuracy and readability. Contact Usul | | Lu'Nak, Editor-In-Chief, Achoo GoldenRod, Managing Editor, Eron Kulsen | | Reporter, or Phaedra Bleu, Publisher, or send GEnie Email requesting | | information to P.HERRINGTON. Banner by Dagger. | | _______________________________________________________________________|_ \_/________________________________________________________________________/ An Open Letter To Simutronics ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _________ ~|_|~~~|~| |~|___|~|ecent changes made to And, even assuming one survives |~|__/~/ GemStone have, in my the arduous advancement to higher |~| \~\ opinion, made it well- levels, what good does it do us? |~| \~\ nigh unplayable. This, Half of the grey orc spell list is ~~~~ ~~~ in addition to the *still* unimplemented despite lack of progress on previous issues, constant promises from Simutronics, has contributed to making the game and the other half backfires on us considerably less fun for myself as often as not. Lockpicking for us and many of my compatriots. is *still* unimplemented, and we are *still* unable to use the wands and Take, for example, the subject of ruby amulets we carry. While the the special weapons many of the recent fixing of gold rings has been higher level players appear to be of considerable help, allowing some equipped with now. As though the of us to escape quickly when wounded, game weren't difficult enough it just isn't enough. already, addition of these new magical weapons and shields make I would also like to take this it even more cumbersome to gain opportunity to say that the recent experience points. Only the very bias toward Unlife is, in my opinion, toughest of us are able to battle grossly Unfair. Why should they be these upgunned players on anything protected from being hacked at by close to an equal basis. weapons and be immune Furthermore, how is it ________________________ to stun, yet we hard- that the players are // Know Ye: \ working orcs and are allowed access to || Contrary to popular | fighting monsters are these, yet most of us || opinion, perception | still subject to being make do with cudgels || skill is NOT used when | dismembered at every and short swords? || searching dead monsters | turn? I realize that Claws and teeth would \\________________________/ previously the Unlife almost be better! ||/| felt they had a hard ||/| time, but (forgive me, Additionally, these changes have ||/| my wight friends) I really feel introduced major fighters and ||/| that the readjustment went over greater rangers into lower elf- ~~~~~~ board. Everyone wants to be a land, formerly a safe place for wight lord or ghoul king now; no one our young hobgoblins and orcs to any longer enjoys the simple plea- adventure. These high level players sures of cave trolls going out and mingling in lower level areas make player-bashing. In fact, a number of it very dangerous for us to in- fire and cold guardians I know have habit these lower levels. I am simply ceased playing altogether. saddened by the number of deaths that occur there every day. The We monsters, as you know, are what recent reports of players being makes this game great. Our concerns resurrected after death make it are legitimate and must be heeded. even worse; how are we to get any Remember, as we say in the business: experience if the players we kill The troll with the biggest stick is won't stay dead? always right. Signed: A Concerned Orc -1- All The NEWS That's Fit To Print ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Merchandise Speaking in Tongues ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of importance to all residents is Another shift in the essence last the new, specially-made merchandise month returned to the peoples of our available from the armory, locksmith, lands the ability to speak in each and other merchants: Weapons, armor one's native tongue. While we can and and clothing, all of which can be do still communicate in the Common personalized. Details in the Shopping language, there is a great rejoicing Feature in this issue. ______ at being able to speak again as we /__ _ \ each learned in our homeland. A walk ____________)____( around the square sometime should per- |]NNNNNNN___________|______]) mit you to enjoy the delightful lilts _) _ _(_ and accents of these tongues: Monsters Evolving \______/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Elven Highman Halfelf Woodelf Reports of changes in monsters' Highelf Fairelf Dwarven Halfling abilities have been pouring into our Highspeak Guildspeak Lorespeak offices, and you are advised to use extra caution when hunting, although Elanthian Reunion we have not ascertained which indivi- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ dual beasts are stronger than those Former residents of Elanthia are detailed in our last Edition. In encouraged to attend an upcoming particular, keep your eyes open for reunion which will be held in the these monsters: strange lands of California. Check Ghoul King Cockatrice Basilisk the Games Bulletin Board for details. Manticore Cave Worm Titan Crystal Golem Cold Guardian Lich Wedding Bells Fire Guardian Black Stalker Werebear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Frost Giant Steel Golem Karnelin Merriebeth IvyThorn and Caroam Ice Skeleton Wight Lord Thienson were joined in holy matri- mony on the 23rd day of last month. REAL semi-precious GEMS | KE wishes them a long and happy union. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | Jade, Amethyst, Topaz, Tigereye, | Assorted News Agate, Rutilated Quartz, a Blue ____!__~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Corundum -- these and other /\/\/\ The gods have indicated that the long- semi-precious, multi-faceted \/ \/ awaited new Engagement System is gems are being awarded to \ / nearing completion. Watch for it! lucky residents of Kulthea. \/ And most of the illustrations in this Should you discover a REAL issue were heisted from Dagger's GEM, type GEM for details _________________ Art Museum. Thanks, d00d! ;) on how you can _____________// \_________________ get it. // FREE WEEKENDS \ || ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | || Enjoy FAME and FORTUNE in Kulthea! | || Just make three contributions to Kelfour Edition, | || GemStone III's official player-written newsletter, | || to earn a FREE WEEKEND in the game. Get your quill | || out and ask KE staff members (Usul Lu'Nak, Phaedra | || Bleu, Achoo GoldenRod, Eron Kulsen), or send Email | || to P.HERRINGTON for full details. Do it today! Now!| \\__________________________________________________/ || \| || \| ~~ ~~~'~~~~~~~~~~~~`~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~ -2- Kirc's Korner A Pseudo-Neo-Quasi-Treatise: ________ The Art of Staying Alive in the Wilds ~|_|~~|~| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |~|__|~| by Kirc Bloodguard |~|--// |~| |~| arrying is the allocating of a Maximize Your DB ~~~~ percentage of your OB (Offensive ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bonus) to your DB (Defensive Bonus). What do I mean by this? Simply put, In other words, it's using your skill keep your guard up at all times. at attacking to help protect yourself. Obviously I'm not just talking about This is in addition to your DB from keeping your weapon and shield out your natural quickness and whatever (in the correct hands) and being at else, like a shield. PAR 100 all the time. I'm speaking about keeping up as much defense as If you are parrying at 100%, you are possible in a given situation. doing everything you can (short of running away) to avoid getting hit. For example, when travelling around If parrying at 0%, then you are it would be a good idea to have your going all out to hit a monster and weapon/shield out and be parrying are hoping it won't hit you. If you 100%. Better to be safe than sorry are parrying at 50%, you have split goes that old cliche, and there is no your OB equally to attack and point to running about at PAR 0. defense. To clarify: If you are like most adventurers, Bonus your weapon is your main source of Strength 90 +10 offense AND defense. Without it you Weapon skill +30 must use bare hands, and not too many Total OB +40 are skilled at brawling. Therefore it would be better for you to use Quickness 92 +12 your off-hand (left) when you need a Shield +20 free hand. Then your weapon stays out Total DB +32 and can be used to protect you, pro- vided you are parrying. To illustrate: Thus, at: OB DB Bonus 100% Parry + 0 +72 Weapon skill +50 0% Parry +40 +32 Shield +20 50% Parry +20 +52 Parrying at 100% DB Parrying is set by typing PAR XX With Weapon & Shield +70 where XX represents the percentage With Weapon alone +50 of offensive ability you wish to add With Shield alone +20 to your base DB. When you are not fighting it is a good idea to keep As you can see, if you need a free your parry at 100% as you never know hand, you have a higher DB if you what might jump out at you or when. put your shield away (or wear it) than if you put your weapon away. You may wonder why I bother to mention I recommend using your left hand parrying as it is a very basic concept. for the following activities: First, I have noticed beginners who do not know about it. This is partially 1. Getting loot and other objects for their edification. Second, I will 2. Picking locks with 20 second RT be referring to parrying a good bit 3. Waving a wand (Carry weapon in in this article. your right hand.) Continued... -3- In the examples you cannot Max your I suggest you use it when you are DB overall, but you can have Max DB with a group of adventurers. And for the current situation (which is remember, not all monsters are Max DB overall minus the bonus from easily stunned, and those that are the shield which you are no longer don't stay that way forever. using). The off-hand principle works for almost all characters, the Parry/Tag Method exceptions being some lower level ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ types and others who have a better Sometimes known as Min/Max, this Max DB when they retain their method seems to be the most common shield. (An example would be someone one. The sequence is as follows: with brawling skill.) PARRY 100 Let's say for argument sake that you <Wait until monster attacks> have brawling skill equal to your PARRY 0 weapon skill. So you have the same ATTACK MONSTER DB when you put your weapon away. PARRY 100 Now you can do whatever you want with the free hand and still be at Repeat this as necessary until the Max DB. This is true unless you pick monster is dead. The idea behind up a weapon (maybe as loot) that you this is to present your Max DB when are not proficient in. Then you get the monster attacks you and yet to to watch your DB drop drastically, attack with Max OB, too. This so be careful if you are relying on technique works well when there is brawling in this way and wish to just one monster and when that pick out a weapon. monster has a RoundTime greater than yours. I have been able to use this Fighting Styles: Banzai Method method successfully on up to four ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ monsters at a time but the timing Many times have I seen adventurers can be tricky. I suggest practising encounter a monster, drop their with just one monster first until parry to zero and start swinging you get the hang of it. This method away. This method works against some is good to use solo or with a group low level monsters, but even then of adventurers. only sometimes. I do not recommend this technique unless you don't mind Defensive Method giving monsters free shots at you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This technique is for those who First Strike Method really do not like to take chances. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You parry at a percentage at which Similar to the Banzai Method, the the monster cannot hit you or First Strike philosophy is to run has an extremely small chance to hit into a room and get in the first you. Then whatever OB is left over is blow and either stun the monster used to attack the monster. This right away or do enough damage on method is also for the patient since the first shot so that the monster's you slowly chip away at the monster OB drops and it does not hit you as (provided you can even hit it). As hard as it might. (If a monster is the monster's DB rises and its OB hurt badly it will parry more, if it falls, you adjust your OB and DB parries more then it cannot attack accordingly. as well.) While I have never been real fond of this method, I have This style is recommended against seen it work well for some. Until monsters with a roundtime less than the monster gets in the first strike yours, when fighting groups of that is. If you think the odds are monsters, or when you definitely worth it and wish to use this method don't want to be hit because of Continued... -4- poison, disease, life drain, etc. Fighting Turtles Preferred during system slowdowns too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A turtled monster is one that is Disarming Monsters parrying at 100%. This can occur ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ slowly as the monster suffers You hit it and it dropped its weapon increasing amounts of damage, or it or its weapon broke or it didn't have can happen quickly if you manage to one to begin with. An unarmed monster lop off one of its limbs. is easy meat right? Maybe. What are your options if it is I've noticed that not all monsters turtled? You could wait for it to are easier in a fight if they are bleed to death, provided it IS unarmed. For example, Lesser Orcs on bleeding. If it runs to the next the mine road are much easier to hit room, wait for it to sit down and when their cudgel breaks but for rest from its injuries then run in anyone who has fought an unarmed and swing at it while it is off troll you know that a troll claw guard. Be careful though, as another attack can be quite devastating. monster may have wandered into that same room. One other technique that If a monster is easier prey without sometimes works is to drop your a weapon then it may be a good idea parry and just stand there. to ensure that its condition stays that way. That is, if it drops its Sometimes a monster will then slowly weapon grab it and put it in your lower its parry to hit you. I've backpack (remembering to keep Max DB done this often enough. This happens of course). The idea is that if the when a monster is turtled or parry- weapon isn't there the monster can't ing very high. If a monster is not grab it again. This goes for weapons parrying or parrying low, then the lying around from defeated monsters opposite seems to be true. The higher too. Collect them all and then go your parry, the less the monster ditch them somewhere. parries so that it can hit you better. Another reason Min/Max works well. What if the monster has a hideous claw attack and you happen to be Spells can work well to bring down wearing heavy hide? Not a pleasant a turtled monster. This usually situation. You could leave its involves getting the monster into a weapon there and hope it picks it up. prone position so that you can get a You could leave and change into hit in. The old way used to be just armor that is better against natural to put the monster to sleep. Given attacks like a leather breastplate, the sleep spell's limited effective- or you could be friendly and just ness now, you have to swing quickly give the monster a weapon. as the monster gets up pretty fast. Other spells good for this purpose Give it a weapon? Why not? Whatever are Wind and Tremors, although they works, and this has worked for a lot are both higher level spells. of characters. Many a time, I have carried a cudgel or a dagger around Monster Groups to give to a monster. Disarmed ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Troll? "Here, Troll, have a cudgel." What do you do when you encounter a Toss it on the ground and see if it group of monsters? Well, you could likes it. Unarmed Lesser Mummy? just leave. You could rough it out, "Here, Mr. Mummy, have a dagger. See or you can induce some of them to how it shines? Too bad you don't leave. Parry up and let them take a know how to use it." Get a feel for few swings at you. Some will be so which monsters are better with and awed by your fighting ability they without weapons. will run away. This is provided that Continued... -5- _____ _____ How I Came To Kelfour's Landing +|~ ~\ /~ ~|+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |~|\~\/~/|~| |~| \~~/ |~| by Emeralda L'Eeon |~| ~~ |~| _|~| |~|_y people were of the Thus I met L'Eeon, a half-elven ~~~~~ ~~~~~ land, and of the thief who took me in hand. I had the simplest sort. My father I recall been wild; he tamed me to the degree not, for he was swept away by a pes- that my nature allows. He taught me tilence before I had lived two years. somewhat of thievery and fighting, Earliest memories are of my mother of the ways of survival. More he begging our bread by the wayside. How taught of honor and courtesy. He we came to leave our home I know not, said that honor was a small token of for she would never speak of it. She sanity in a world gone mad and sad, oft bemoaned the condition of the and that courtesy was its hallmark. world, where a mother could not feed Also he taught me some history of her child in honor. She died when I Kulthea, yet never any of his own. was on the edge of womanhood, an end hastened by the many times she gave Some horror or tragedy must have me food and kept none for herself. blotted out his past, for he would lay claim to no name beyond L'Eeon. I then survived by chance, stealing Once, shortly after we met, I was food, fighting urchins of the villages persistent beyond courtesy and when I could not avoid it, ducking pushed to know his story, for he blows and less palatable punishments. already knew what little there was Always I was alone, moving from one of mine. He said, "Once -long ago- small village to the next. I could have said much, but I have no history that I would claim now." Then Fate touched my life. I stole a His face bore a look of such sorrow trinket of no great value. I had that I quieted my questions, and learned through necessity's school never ventured them again. the way of such thefts, and was not inept. But the owner was swift as a A six-month past, he was attacked by snake, and seized me, laughing. a wolverine. He slew it with ease but was scratched by claws that held -------------------------------------- poison. He sickened and died from a Kirc's Korner Continues... fever. Ere his death, L'Eeon told ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ me to continue to Kelfour's Landing. one did not actually injure you. If He said that there was need - yet I a monster hurt you while you were at confess, I know not of what. He was full parry then it will probably stay at point of death when he spake of to finish you off. (What are you doing it, dieing before he could explain. there anyway if it can hit you?) After some of the monsters run off, then you Thus came I to Kelfour's Landing, can deal with the remainder. Careful following the behest of a man now though; its pals may return. dead, knowing not why I came save that it was his wish. Sure I am of Heading Home one thing. He who was my master and ~~~~~~~~~~~~ friend was a noble man, of deep and Take into consideration that I present true honor. I have taken the single situations and circumstances where the name he bore as my own. I honor my characters and monsters are commiserate mother's memory yet it is dim, far with each other in levels. Remember dimmer than memories of L'Eeon. Some- that no matter how high level you are, day I hope to find his people and even a low level monster can catch you learn his history. Yet if I fail in unawares. Remember, too, that monsters this, I pray someday I may make his are ever-changing. Like you, they can name an honored one through my learn. [end] actions. [end] -6- Mentoring _________ ~~~~~~~~~ |~~|~|~~| by Gunkwynn Ellessur |~| |~| |~| he benefits of mentoring, HINTS: ~~~~~ both long and short term, Several hints for beginning players: are extolled herein, and some hints - Always travel at 100% parry. for first level play are proposed. - Lower your parry immediately AFTER a monster attacks. This avoids that Several aspects of participating ugly vulnerability window. with an experienced player are - HIDE, then SNE(AK) into areas that definite benefits. JOINing a sea- habitually contain nasty monsters, soned player (with <Description On> such as the wolverines on the while recording to a file on your Lower Dragonsfang Grasslands. This microcomputer) is a fast and fairly lowers further their chance of safe way to map sections of the nailing you in passing. world outside of Kelfour's Landing. - If you are fighting two beasts such By observing and participating in as torkaans, you can engage the 2nd battles that are well-managed, some by typing ATT OTHER TOR or SECOND or tactics rub off. This is helpful in whatever number it was when it came the use of PARRY to control a battle. into the room. This goes for most Of course there is the camaraderie items (on ground/person/back) too! aspect. However, the best part is - Personalized items break. I find that the GemStone community gains non-combat items retain their value a better player who is more likely better than a sword or shield, un- to be happy and to help others. less it's in laen, etc. Something like a special backpack works well. What is mentoring? Well, mayhaps - Cudgels often break, so you can you already know. I observed Rune, win a protracted fight with an orc Krystal and Ged (my mentor), while with a cudgel because their offen- we hunted in the wilds. Basically, sive bonus deteriorates. mentoring is the process of: - Taking beginning players to areas On the LIGHTER SIDE, perhaps some appropriate for their talents. mistakes that I have made will help - Leading combat. others. - Instructing people on the smart - Most awkward moment: When I said, - use of parry in action. "Thank you, sir" to fair Wisraith. - Slaying a monster should it get Recommendation: LOOK before apply- out of control. ing gender when speaking. - Advising which monsters to avoid - Second most embarrassing moment was initially and how. explaining to the normal collec- - Allowing one or more of your tion of people in the Temple that protoges to slay a monster. I had been slain by a ... torkaan. - Least intelligent was playing Rus- After about an hour of mentored sian Roulette with a karnelin. exploration and combat, I began to Beware their favorite dance, "The understand Magnetron's article "The 1st level stomp." Better Part of Valor," and was able to combine it with information from This article is the result of an Landreth's "Monster Charts," both expedition led by Ged Sparrowhawk from last month's Kelfour Edition. which I shared with Hollie Yaskin. Coincidentally, I happened to ask The adventures that followed after Taluk about armor. He wrote "Taluk's leaving the comforts of Kelfour's Guide To Armor," File #2078 in the Landing have improved my game and Games Library, which makes most progress immensely. interesting reading as well. -7- The Lone Ranger ______ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ /~/~~\~\ Part III |~| ~~~ by Caliban Eilorn \~\____ __~~~\~\ (Continued from Kelfour Edition V1N3) |~| |~| \~\__/~/ lowly, I come to realize Two of them shake their round heads ~~~~~~ that applying Afranas ponderously and slowly tumble to the Stem, the wondrous plant that healed ground, but the third leaps luridly wounds I suffered from being knocked and delivers a telling blow to the about by kobolds the previous night, mage's torso. has removed from this day any slight possibility of sleep. I recall that Screaming a battle cry common to all Fayden, the poor cursed commoner from tongues, I dash into the fray, my another land, who by day lives the scimitar blazing. I watch the startled haunted life of a wolverine, and by hobgoblin's gruesome grin fade as I night that of a beautiful woman doomed swing in a long arch and strike it in to be misunderstood by most Kultheans, the stomach. Before it can recover, I has left to prey upon those foolish attack again, carving through its enough to invade her territory. armor and hitting its left arm in the process. The beast retalliates with Jumping down from the ledge I had a short sword but I deftly dodge away, climbed during her beastly trans- making a cut at its leg which misses. mutation, I stealthily make my way Realizing that the other two beasts through the cave out into the morning are down by not out, I feint at the light. Fayden is indeed gone, for hobgoblin that is up, and slice down which I am grateful since she told me toward one of those asleep. My blow that, during the day, her wolverine catches its midsection and the morn- existence has not the knowledge of ing air reeks with the stink of her night-time human form. I return innards and blood as I disembowel it. to the cave and quickly make a meal Keeping up my attention, with my from the rations I carry, and am scimitar I parry a blow to my arm taking stock of my inventory when a and swing at the wakeful hobgoblin muffled explosion shakes dust down again. But again I miss as it, too, onto me from the ceiling. Grabbing parries. We exchange blows during the my scimitar, I rush again to the next few minutes, neither wounding cave's mouth to endeavor to see what the other any more than with scratches caused the shaking of the mountain. that swordsmen expect. Taking stock of the third foul beast, I see that the Away to the north, just visible mage has recovered sufficiently to through the mostly bare branches of impale it as it sleeps. I swing one the winter trees, I make out a small last time at the standing hobgoblin's skirmish. Throwing on my armor, I rush stomach, then, at the last instant, I down the hillside to the foot of the change direction and aim at the flat woods proper, slipping occasionally of its short sword. Scimitar and sword in the snow but managing not to fall. meet with a loud clang and a shower Now I am close enough to make out the of sparks, but the scimitar hits a shapes of the battlers; I see a man stress point and the short sword defending himself from three fierce shatters. The hobgoblin is left hold- hobgoblins. As I look on, the man in the hilt. Moving quickly, the beast ceases defensive maneuvers. He stands grins again and drops it, swinging a ramrod stiff and, lifting his hands huge paw at me. I pull my weapon up high, mumbles something I would not fast and luckily connect with its arm, have understood even had he been which immediately flows crimson. As beside me. A blue glow pulses from the hobgoblin screams, it lunges, his fingertips and is soon matched shoving me to the ground where I lose by a glow from the three hobgoblins. my scimitar among the undergrowth. -8- (Continued...) I'm trying to roll away from its is a thankful grin. "Are you all massive down-sweeping paw when, as I right?" I ask. scramble for my dagger in hopes of somehow managing to throw it, an He replies in a surprisingly deep, incredible blast of cold air strikes booming tone. "Yes, warrior. Though the beast in the chest, transforming I fear I shall be marked by the wound, it instantly into a statue of solid I have most of my health." The smile ice in mid-swing. It hangs strangely he returns in infectious. I explain above me, and I find myself staring that I am a ranger by profession, and into a hideous face with a snub nose would be honored if he would return and glassy eyes. with me to the cave, where we might rest ourselves and sort through the The frozen monstrosity continues to now-dead hobgoblins' treasures at our leer over me as I retrieve my beloved leisure. Accepting my invitation, the scimitar and stagger to my feet. I mage, whose name I learn is Umbrel, finally look over at the mage, who helps me dispose of the bodies and we is just sliding a gleaming metal wand indiscriminately gather the booty. As into his backpack. we climb the hill to the cave, I smile secretly as I wonder what he will have It takes a moment but at last I find to say about Fayden. Not for the first my voice. "Greetings! I saw you take time this morning, I am hopeful she a knock and thought to help," I say, will return a nightfall. "Although it turned out the other way 'round as well." I flash what I hope (To Be Continued) ===================================//===================================== The Lore of Mearand ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =========== ||~~|~|~~|| by Rune Arundel ~~ |~| ~~ |~| |~| he Tomes hold tales of the Shadow Lands |~| Where Kulthea's finest adventuring bands ~~~~~ Walk bloodstained paths, and there they die Beneath a grey and misty sky. True bards will sing this gloomy song While firelight flickers and the day grows long, The tale of valor of the half-elf Mearand Who once did walk these ravaged lands. He answered a mother's last pleas for aid Seven hill trolls had stolen her tiny babe. With the mother dying, they ran to their hill, This was one night they would each eat their fill. On her death, so he promised to avenge her child But none to assist,went alone to the wild With great strength and agility true to his race He entered the troll lair and stood firm in that place. Continued... -9- Screams of the hill trolls echoed from there Then more of them came, smelling blood in the air. Though surrounded and weary, wading into the horde He ducked and he parried and he swung his great sword. Four trolls had fallen, the ground slick and wet, He was torn and bleeding and they clawed at him yet. He snatched up the babe as he fought the trolls back He was almost outside when he felt a great hack. His sword arm was shattered, hanging by a thread. His blood ran in rivers and he felt a cold dread But he would not stop - he carried that babe out Pushed it under a bush then ran back to the bout. From a two-handed swing, he lost his leg at the knee The hill trolls were screeching, going mad in their glee. He fought the good fight, but death knew his face His life slipped away and he died in that place. When the hill trolls had finished their gory repast They slept in their lair, calm and sated at last. Then the infant was found by an adventuring band But they found not a trace of the half-elf Mearand. They took the babe back and he grew tall and strong With sword, shield and bow, he worked hard and long Knowing his beginnings he took his savior's name Walked through the shadows, and earned himself fame. With his destiny etched in the spilled blood of Mearand So the lad walked alone, bereft of a band There wasn't a moon when he entered the troll lair And terrifying screams soon filled the night air. He slashed with his blade and green troll blood ran. They fought back in terror but were slain by this man. Then, panicked and wild-eyed, some tried to flee But Mearand was merciless, none would go free. Twenty seven trolls lay dead before he was done He staggered out of the lair and greeted the sun. He was torn and bleeding, bone-weary from the fight But he was grand in his glory for he knew he'd been right. He wiped off his blade and shrugged off his pain Then stepped into the mists and none saw him again. He left behind a legacy as he walked out of that place For born to him that night was a babe with his face. His descendants still wander through shadowy lands Glorying in troll deaths as they remember Mearand. Alone they travel beneath a misty grey sky And cry out his name as they fall down and die. =================//================== -10- ____ ____ Strength/Breakage Factors +|~| |~|+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |~| __ |~| |~| /~~\ |~| by Airioch Ramthanodox |~|/~/\~\|~| |~/~/ \~\~|ith the introduction of exotic materials and a fix that was |__/ \__| applied to shields, questions about STrength and Breakage ~~~ ~~~ Factors of weapons and shields (ST/BF) have surfaced. Strength is based on the material a weapon or shield is made from. The Breakage Factor is a number representing how much damage it will take to break or cause that weapon or shield to fail. A roll for breakage is made whenever you miss your target and the result is not a fumble. Possible occurrences fall into three classes of action: 01-50 No chance of breakage. 51-75 Weapon and shield or weapon/weapon with no shield. 76-100 Weapon and weapon When your result falls between 51-100 you make a roll for breakage. This is Open Ended, that is to say, if the first die result is a 100 then you roll the d100 again until you stop getting 100 as the result. You then add these rolls together. This roll is applied to the BF part of your weapon or shield. As an example: A normal rapier has a ST/BF of 30/100. A normal wooden shield has a ST/BF of 45/155. When attacking, you miss and get the following: ._____________. |.-----------.| Weapon clashes with shield! || * * * * || [ST/BF: 30/100 vs. 45/155, D100 = 87] || ___ || || __) (__ || Nothing happened here as the BF of the weapons || )__ * __( || was not exceeded. On the next swing you get this: || | | || || | | || Weapons Clash! \\ ) ( // [ST/BF: 30/100 vs. 75/160, D100 = 120] \\ \_/ // Your Rapier breaks! \\_____// `-----' The rapier broke because the weapon you happened to hit had a greater strength and breakage factor, so it gave up when the two met. In that example, the Breakage Factor was all that came into play. The strength of a weapon comes into play when you go against a weapon like this: Weapons Clash! [ST/BF: 30/100 vs. 18/185, D100 = 190] You break the dagger! Why didn't your rapier break? The Rapier is stronger than the Dagger. Even though you exceeded the breakage factor of your weapon, your rapier is still stronger than the dagger it hit, so the weapon with the lower strength breaks in this case. If you get two weapons that have the same strength but different breakage factors, i.e 30/100 vs 30/120, and the breakage factor of both is exceeded the weapon with the lower BF will break. What happens when weapons of equal value meet and the breakage factor is exceeded? In theory, another roll is made, and if it exceeds some threshold then nothing happens. If the roll does not exceed the threshold then both weapons may break. Of course, this could be divided a different way as well, 01-50 your weapon breaks, 51-100 the other weapon breaks. [end] -11- Editorial =========== Bound and Dragged ||~~|~|~~|| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ |~| ~~ (or Soap & Chains) |~| |~| |~| his is no Bush-League plea And I am angry because we always ~~~~~ for a Kinder and Gentler seem to spend more time discussing anything. This is an Indictment. I our statistics, & not supporting and write it in anger: not anger pointed, encouraging in words and deeds our biting, and sharp, as I might wish, unique and totally self-created alter to lend scalpels to my thought, but personalities within the concept of anger low, smoldering, and brutal. the Shadow World Fantasy genre. Anger of a kind to melt and warp any lens I might set to observe it. Ugly I am a rebel with a clause. And Anger. I offer no pretense of being as my pen is my sword, I'd like this objective. I write in outrage and a angst to serve me well this time! dread sense of helplessness: reaching out this time, not for me and you, Sometime ago, I had a dream. In who are already poisoned and fighting it there was a group of characters to make the best of it, but for some going up against a powerful unseen echo of the special kids we are and force holding one of them captive the magical grownups each of us can and immobilized. Great stuff, eh? become in a world- Oh, Shadow World- But alas, what was the topic of their where rollplaying was not accepted or conversation? "I bought me a +20 considered superior to roleplaying. sword," said one. "Better log, it has +45 on ya now that you lost your DB," Today I am angry: angry because said the other. "Not to worry," said the struggle to choose roleplaying the third, "it's turtled!" ...Sigh... over rollplaying sets us apart from And so it goes, always appearance, much of society and against the laws never substance, right down to being of physics...(It takes Work to bring in the classic room full of Beautiful Order out of the Chaos that is our Furniture that Nobody Ever Sits On, newborn character, and Lord Entropy if they even bothered to ever read is always to the left of us, watching the descriptions! every move we make, waiting for the chance to strike our fingers with And so I'm angry. I'm angry be- apathy and laziness.) I am angry cause it seems society's paradigm is because we were born in the enemy's that we must rollplay in order to camp and escaped it, (insofar as survive, and roleplay with what's any of us do escape it) less than left- A backwards policy that demeans whole. our characters and undermines the FRP GAME WHICH GSIII IS. I get angry I'm angry because we GemStone when talent which could improve FRP players have allowed ourselves to be gaming gets ground into the dirt. conned for so long by the idea that winning and playing for level is the I'm angry because we are all bound Name of the Game while the personal, in chains. Chains of our own making and fantastic side of our characters which drag us down. Yet we do not is neglected and considered preten- attempt to break free. Go figure! tious at best or a waste of time and money at worst. No wonder I'm screaming! Usul Lu'Nak Editor-in-Chief -12- Being Socially Responsible _____ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~|_|~ by Delphinia delAssandro |~| |~| |~| thought I'd tell you some- and immediately start swinging with- _|~|_ thing that's been on my mind out asking if s/he minds. Please, at ~~~~~ lately. This look familiar? least for non-lethal monsters, take the time to ask before jumping in. [Upper Kaldsfang] In many cases, the adventurer may Obvious paths: south, northeast. be at the end of a 10-minute epic > battle, and is about the deal the SomeBum just arrived. final blow, which would fill them > with great satisfaction -- just as Delphinia curtsies. someone else wanders through and > kills it. This has happened to me, SomeBum just went northeast. and it is rather upsetting. Some > people would argue that it is too SomeBum just arrived. dangerous to ask first, Well, if you > are parrying, you should be able to SomeBum just went south. safely ask in most situations. If >You exclaim, "Hello!" there are several monsters there, > you might pause to see which one Notice that I curtsied to SomeBum, the adventurer is fighting. In many yet he never even said hello! Now cases, if you ask, they will invite it's a hostile world out there, but you to join in. Politeness never that's no reason to abandon common killed anyone. courtesy. With this sort of behavior in mind, I thought I'd share some Something else that irritates me is thoughts intended to help you be a when other adventurers wander past more socially responsible adventurer. where I have just killed a monster, and grab loot off the ground. If you First, let's address the situation as me, and it's something I wasn't above. If you see someone hunting in planning on taking, that's one thing. the wilderness, it won't hurt to But I've been subject to the stick- pause for a moment and say Hello, or finger crew more than once where even just bow, curtsey, or wave. If someone walked in, grabbed something you are pursuing a monster, that's and immediately left without saying one thing, but there is no excuse a word. for plain rudeness. In this example, no monsters passed through the room, Along this same line of thought, we so SomeBum was just being anitsocial. must also consider searching and skinning vanquished foe. Generally, Keep in mind that many adventurers the person who killed the monster you encounter may be new to the game, should have the first opportunity to or to the area in which you hunt. skin and/or search it. It is really Take a moment to introduce yourself frustrating to be trying to obtain and share information. You never know orc hides and have someone come when you'll learn something of value. along and immediately search it, Maybe the person you just passed had rendering the hide unobtainable. If that hard-to-find Hill troll hide you have particularly good skinning you really need. Or maybe they were or searching ability, offer your bleeding, and you have an herb which services to the hunter who defeated could save them. the creature. Don't just assume that everyone wants your help. When Another common problem is the ten- in doubt about something like this, dency of people to come upon another ask first! adventurer with a single monster, -13- Continued... My last subject concerns pairings In Memory of Fallen Friends and groups of adventurers. It seems ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ that groups prove more successful by Corwyn d'Evan (and longer lived) than individuals in these trying times, but some people do still prefer to hunt alone. The same force drove us to tempt the I enjoy having company most of the Fates and risk our lives each day. time, but sometimes I want to solo. We laughed at death and danger, Those of you men out there who are But now we've gone away. lonely, and see a lone female headed out into the wilds, please feel free The winds of autumn lashed to offer your company, but don't At the edges of our souls. force yourself upon us. The best The blazing fire of our life force thing to do is to try to find a Has dwindled down to coals. group of friends who hunt at similar times, and form a regular party. Try We wonder what has happened. to find a balanced group, and How did we end up here? include a balance of abilities. We were so very full of life While your three best friends might Before this recent year. be thieves, it might be a good idea to develop a friendship with a mage, We journeyed out as friends, cleric, or healer, since there are We formed a special bond. times when you really need one. We fought through darkened forests Depend on each other, and support To the edge of the trout pond. each other, rather than treating life as a race to power. Help each For many of us that were, other along, and you'll all benefit Twas more than just a game. in the long run. We were alive and we loved. We gave history to our names. In summary, here are my guidelines to being a socially responsible But the seasons do not wait... adventurer: It seems we were left behind. And now we must remain content - Say Hello when you see someone, With the memories in our mind. it doesn't take that long. But before I fade away from view - Try to help fellow adventurers, I'll make a final toast and they'll probably do the same. To those who made it real, And to those I love the most. - Be considerate of others; don't steal kills, treasure, or hides. To the lady of my love, Who brought my heart to life... - Form friendships, you never know To the friends who walked the paths when you might need help yourself. Thru good times and thru strife. - Remember, we're all in this When the cold snows of winter together, and it isn't a race. Lie heavy upon my Isle, Come sit beside the fire Thanks for listening. I hope we can And remember for a while. meet sometime. I'm a pretty friendly girl, and I like to make new ============\\============== friends. Say hello if you see me! _________________________________________________________________ // \ || Tip: The formula for computing the experience you will earn from | || a kill is: 100 + (25 * Monster's Level - Your Current Level). | \\_________________________________________________________________/ -14- _____ _____ Layman's Guide to Shopping +|~ ~\ /~ ~|+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |~|\~\/~/|~| by Etienne de Noire |~| \~~/ |~| |~| ~~ |~| _|~| |~|_erchants in our town have begun selling special items. ~~~~~ ~~~~~ It is important to realize that because these items are made specially, it takes time to create them. Also, many of them are very expensive, so think carefully before making your purchases. To help save you time browsing, I prepared this article explaining how item costs are calculated, and giving costs for most of the new items available. I have not attempted to talk to the foul-tempered blackguard who runs the Lock- smithy, because of a little misunderstanding he has concerning his daughter and myself. Item costs are calculated as follows: Cost = Base Price + (Material Unit Cost * Number of Units needed) (Plus an optional additional cost to have the item dyed to a color which suits you. This service costs 1 silver piece per unit of material required. Note that not all materials may be dyed.) In the tables below, you will see this information presented for all weapons, armors, general items, and clothing that are currently for sale. In some cases, I also include production time for a standard material. Since the merchants would not tell me how long it would take to produce something I could not immediately afford, I couldn't include information for all of the special materials. For example, let's say you wanted to purchase an Obsidian broadsword. The cost would be calculated as: cost = 120 sp (base cost) + ( 10 units * 40 sp/unit for obsidian) ------------------------------------- 520 silver pieces Let's listen in on the smith and see what an actual transaction would sound like: ----------------------- Tyron explains, "Okay, the base cost for the production of the broadsword is 120 silvers. The process will require 10 pounds of obsidian at 40 per, for a total cost of 520 silvers. Tyron muses, "Working in obsidian, this should take about 11 hours." Tyron says, "This material is harder to work with. I could have it done faster by using some of my better apprentices on it. For 80 silvers I can cut the time it will take down to 5 hours." Not having enough on you to afford this you decline the rush service. Item: Broadsword Material: obsidian Cost: 520 sp Do you wish to order this item (Y/N)? _ | /_________________________________ OZZZZZZZZZZ|O>_________________________________> |_\ -15- Note that some materials make weapons and armor of superior quality (i.e. sharper, less prone to breaking) while other materials will make items of poorer quality. Iron is the standard material used in standard arms and armor. In general, if the unit cost of a material is higher than that of iron, then there is likely some advantage to using it (the advantage may be purely ornamental, so let the buyer beware). Following are list of items and their associated units and base costs, and materials and their associated unit costs. Save your silvers, and think fondly of the day when you can afford that Shaalk Broadsword or an Organdy Gown for that special woman in your life. Weapons: Weapon Units Req'd Base Cost Time For Wood ST/BF ========== =========== ========= ============= ======== Cudgel 4 5 sp 30 minutes 10/140 Dagger 2 3 sp 1 hour 18/195 Sword 8 70 sp 2 hours 75/185 Scimitar 8 110 sp 3 hours 60/150 Rapier 8 220 sp 4 hours 30/100 Broadsword 10 120 sp 5 hours 75/160 Greatsword 14 200 sp 7 hours 75/200 Axe 8 60 sp 1 hour 70/160 Mace 9 70 sp 1 hour 65/250 Hammer 9 150 sp 1 hour 60/155 Staff 5 10 sp 30 minutes 20/140 Halbard 8 40 sp 2 hours 25/150 Armor Units Req'd Base Cost ST/BF ========== =========== ========= ========= Shield 10 10 sp 45/155 Helm 5 10 sp 10-55/80-135 Light Armor AT10 80 100 sp 18/90 Partial Armor AT15 80 400 sp 40/95 Full Armor AT20 150 2000 sp 55/160 Materials: Material Unit Cost Available For Bonus Mod. ======== ========= =============== ========== Wood 5 sp Weapons & Armor Windak 5 sp Weapons Only Hide 10 sp Armor Only Leather 15 sp Armor Only Iron 20 sp Weapons & Armor +0 Steel 20 sp Weapons Only +0 Metal 20 sp Weapons Only +0 Bronze 15 sp Weapons & Armor Obsidian 40 sp Weapons Only Alexandrite 200 sp Weapons Only Ruby 1000 sp Weapons Only Mithril 1000 sp Weapons & Armor +5 Eog 2000 sp Weapons & Armor +10 White Eog 2100 sp Weapons Only +10 Holy Ithloss 3000 sp Weapons & Armor +12 Enchanted Laen 3300 sp Weapons & Armor +15 Enchanted Shaalk 6500 sp Weapons Only +20 Enchanted -16- General Items: Item Units Req'd Base Cost Time For Leather ========== =========== ========= ================ Backpack 12 60 sp 3 hours Pouch 2 10 sp 50 minutes Small Sack 4 20 sp 30 minutes Large Sack 6 20 sp 35 minutes Sheath 8 25 sp 2 hours Clothing: Item Units Req'd Base Cost Time For Leather ========== =========== ========= ================ Boots 4 10 sp 1 hour Moccasins 3 5 sp 45 minutes Sandals 2 5 sp 45 minutes Slash 1 4 sp 10 minutes Tunic 8 10 sp 45 minutes Jerkin 10 10 sp 45 minutes Doublet 12 10 sp 1 hour Blouse 9 10 sp 50 minutes Robe 18 50 sp 2 hours Cassock 17 50 sp 2 hours Cloak 9 40 sp 1 hour Cape 9 40 sp 1 hour Frock 12 60 sp 3 hours Gown 25 2000 sp ? hours Materials Material Unit Cost Available For ======== ========= ================ Leather 8 sp Items & Clothing Fur Hide 9 sp Items & Clothing Doeskin 9 sp Clothing Only Velvet 20 sp Items & Clothing Satin 20 sp Items & Clothing *Lace 20 sp Clothing Only Silk 30 sp Items & Clothing Cloth 10 sp Items & Clothing OilCloth 12 sp Items Only *Wool 20 sp Clothing Only Cotton 10 sp Items & Clothing *Organdy 30 sp Clothing Only *Mail Mesh 25 sp Items & Clothing *Brocade 40 sp Items & Clothing Materials marked with * require more skill to work with and take longer to make. Rush service is available at a cost of 2 times the unit cost, which reduces the time needed to produce an item of that material. Available colors: 1. white 8. cyan 15. lavender 2. grey 9. green 16. metalic 3. black 10. yellow 17. golden 4. dark 11. brown 18. silvery 5. red 12. tan 19. chrome 6. blue 13. orange 20. brass 7. azure 14. purple 21. camouflage 22. ocher -17- =========== The Essentials of Learning ||~~|~|~~|| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ |~| ~~ |~| by Lythe L'Green |~| |~| he first five levels of your character's existence will mold your ~~~~~ future in Kelfour's Landing. For that reason, it is important to allocate your development points in the proper skills wisely so as to insure survival and usefulness later on. This article deals mainly with what development should be done at lower levels. After that, its up to you! By following the guidelines here, you should get off to a strong start. Initial Creation: Attributes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before discussing which skills to learn as an adolescent, an explanation of what type of numbers you want in the various attributes is in order. All players should try to have high quickness (abbreviated QU) and strength (ST) attributes to help you survive, especially at low level. Your quickness bonus is applied directly to your defensive bonus, and the strength bonus to your offensive bonus. Non-spell and semi-spell users especially should have high strength since they will rely on weapon skills when in combat. Nothing below 97 is appropriate. Other characters should have a minimum in the high 80s. Spell users should NOT take the automatic 90s given them in both prime requisites. Mages must have at least a 97 in empathy (EM) to get a reason-a able number of spell points. Clerics and Healers need high intuition (IN) for the same. Sorcerers have a more difficult time with this because they need both high intuition and empathy; the average of the two should be no less than 97. Empathy and intuition are also important to bards and rangers, although to a lesser degree since they will be using weapons as well. The intuition bonus is also applied to other skills: perception, picking locks, disarming traps and channeling. Anyone who plans on learning these skills well should have a high score in this attribute. Presence (PR) is not currently useful for anything, so little can be said about it. Constitution (CO) is also an important attribute, although it will hardly make or break your character. It is used to determine your maximum possible concussion points and your number of life levels. Life levels may be drained by certain forces of the Unlife, and if they drop to 0, your character is rendered soul-less and forever dead. Constitution is also a development statistic, meaning that if you have a high score in it, you will get more precious development points to spend on skills. Agility (AG) is an important attribute for mages. Its bonus is directly applied to your offensive bonus for elemental attack spells (shock bolt, water bolt, cold ball, etc.). In the future, agility will be used with missle weapons. It is now used to provide bonuses for skinning, climbing, swimming and riding. Like constitution, it is a development statistic. Eloquence (EQ) controls how much field experience your character can have in his mind at once, and reasoning (RE) controls how quickly field experience is translated into real experience. Ultra-high attributes aren't needed here, although they are useful. Self discipline (SD) isn't currently useful for anything except giving you a bonus against how effective fear spells are against you, making it one of the least useful attributes at this time. It should also be noted that all three of these attributes are the last three development statistics, so having high scores in them will help you gain development points to spend on skills. Continued... -18- Spending Your Development Points ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That aside, you are ready to spend development points. During character creation, you do this thrice: Once for your adolescence, reflecting the type of upbringing you had, and once for your apprenticeship, which reflects the formal training you had in your profession. The last time, you choose the skills that you will receive upon gaining your next level. Every time you make a level, you'll once again choose the skills which you want to obtain upon making the next. It is this process over the first five levels of your character's development that is the core of our discussion. ______________________________________________________________________ / \ \ |@/ Development Point Costs For Skills By Profession / |---------------------------------------------------------------------' |Skill | Figh|Thief| Mage| Cler| Heal| Sorc| Rang| Bard| |--------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----| |ARMOR SKILLS | | | | | | | | | |Soft Leather | 1/* | 1/* | 9 | 1/* | 2/* | 9 | 1/* | 2/* | |Rigid Leather | 1/* | 2/* | 9 | 2/* | 3/* | 9 | 2/* | 2/* | |Chain | 2/* | 3/* | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 3/* | 3/* | |Plate | 2/* | 4/* | 11 | 11 | 11 | 11 | 4/* | 4/* | |--------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----| |WEAPON SKILLS | | | | | | | | | |Single-handed edged | 1/5 | 2/7 | 9 | 6 | 9 | 9 | 3/7 | 3/9 | |One-handed crushing | 2/5 | 3/8 | 20 | 7 | 20 | 20 | 4 | 6 | |Two-handed | 2/7 | 4 | 20 | 9 | 20 | 20 | 6 | 7 | |Bows | 2/7 | 4 | 20 | 9 | 20 | 20 | 6 | 7 | |Thrown | 2/7 | 4 | 20 | 9 | 20 | 20 | 6 | 7 | |Pole Arms | 5 | 6 | 20 | 20 | 20 | 20 | 9 | 15 | |--------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----| |GENERAL SKILLS | | | | | | | | | |Climbing | 3/7 | 2/5 | 6 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 3/9 | 3/9 | |Swimming | 2/6 | 1/3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2/6 | 2/6 | |Riding | 2/6 | 2/6 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2/6 | 2/6 | |Disarm Traps | 3/8 | 1/3 | 7 | 7 | 8 | 7 | 4 | 4 | |Pick Locks | 3/9 | 1/3 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 7 | 4 | 4 | |Stalk & Hide | 2/5 | 1/3 | 5 | 5 | 6 | 6 | 1/5 | 2/7 | |Perception | 2/5 | 1/3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2/7 | 2/7 | |--------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----| |MAGICAL SKILLS | | | | | | | | | |Spell lists | 20 | 10 | 1/* | 1/* | 1/* | 1/* | 4/* | 4/* | |Runes | 7 | 6 | 1/4 | 2/5 | 2/6 | 2/5 | 5 | 5 | |Staves & Wands | 9 | 7 | 1/4 | 2/5 | 3/7 | 2/5 | 6 | 6 | |Channeling | 25 | 20 | 7 | 1/4 | 2/5 | 2/5 | 3 | 13 | |Directed Spells | 20 | 20 | 2/5 | 3 | 3 | 2/5 | 13 | 10 | |--------------------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----| |OTHER SKILLS | | | | | | | | | |Ambush | 3/8 | 1/3 | 9 | 9 | 9 | 9 | 3 | 6 | |Body Development | 1/3 | 3/7 | 8 | 6 | 1/3 | 8 | 2/7 | 3/8 | |Trading | 3/6 | 2/4 | 3/5 | 2/5 | 2/6 | 3/6 | 3/5 | 2/4 | |First Aid | 2/6 | 2/6 | 2/6 | 1/5 | 1/2 | 3/6 | 2/4 | 2/6 | |Brawling | 2/6 | 2/7 | 18 | 7 | 18 | 18 | 5 | 5 | |Pick Pockets | 3/6 | 1/2 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2/5 | 2/4 | | _________________________________________________________________|__ \_/___________________________________________________________________/ Continued... -19- The foregoing chart shows all the skills available and the cost of development. For some professions, a skill may be developed twice. In this case, the cost for developing it a second time is the second number. Spell lists are somewhat different, in that they can be increased as many times as you wish for most professions. This is denoted by a "*" in place of a second number. Look at these numbers closely. You will not be able to develop everything you want, and you'll have to make some hard decisions. ._____________. Armor Skills | | | | ~~~~~~~~~~~~ | | | | During creation of your character and its first |____| |____| five levels, don't be concerned with armor skills. | | No skill is needed for heavy hide armor, which is the |____ ____| best initial protection. If you wear armor you are | | | | more vulnerable to attack, although the criticals are | | | | less severe. Experimentation with armor should be left \ | | / to higher level characters. However, putting a few deve- \ | | / lopment points towards armor once in a while could be \ | | / thought of as an investment for these higher levels. In any `-----' case, worry about armor last. Almost everything else is more important. Weapon skills ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All professions should develop weapon skills. Not only do they allow you to hack on monsters, they allow you to enhance your ability to parry blows from your enemies through a higher defense bonus. The most important advice is to stick with any weapons you choose to learn. It will be far better to specialize in one weapon than to achieve mediocre bonuses in two. Each type of weapon has its advantages. Single-handed edged () weapons include daggers, broadswords, rapiers and the like. They  do moderate damage and all do slash criticals. Depending on the  type of weapon, they also do either crush or puncture criticals. __ Single-handed crushing weapons all do slightly less concussion /_ _\ damage than single-handed edged weapons, but the main difference .)(. is that they all do crush criticals and either impact or puncture | \| criticals. Two-handed weapons do large amounts of concussion | \| damage and all do different varieties of criticals. Two-handed | \| swords do crush and slash criticals, flails do crush and puncture, | \| and war mattocks do crush and impact, to name a few. The biggest | \| disadvantage of two-handed weapons is that you can't use a shield | \| at the same time. Bows and thrown weapons are not currently imple- | \| mented. Pole arms are heavy duty, powerful weapons. Learning pole | \| arms also increases your skill at the non-lethal jousting game just | \| just outside town. If mounted combat is ever implemented in the | \| game, the lance (considered a pole arm) should be the most deadly | \| weapon available. Also, pole arms will give you a distance advan- | \| tage over your enemies once the engagement system is finished. | \| Finally, the lethality of the different types of physical attack | \| criticals should be ranked to aid in your decisions. Punctures are | \| generally the least deadly, crush criticals next, slash criticals | \| more deadly than those, and impact criticals the most deadly by \/ far. Continued... -20- Fighters naturally have the best options when it comes to choosing weapon skills. They can learn to use all weapons at a low cost to develop- ment points, and may learn all of them except pole arms twice per level. Because of this, fighters may want to learn two types of weapons -- just be sure to learn as many ranks as you can! Note that fighters are the only profession that may learn two-handed weapons twice per level. This is an opportunity that should not be ignored, since these weapons are amongst the most deadly. Thieves can learn either single-handed edged or crushing weapons twice per level at reasonably low cost. Thieves should pick one of these to specialize in, and stick with it. If there are lots of development points left over (there probably won't be), then learning a second one as well can be considered. Mages, healers and sorcerers should learn as many single-handed edged skills as they can every level. Other weapon skills are too expensive. Rangers and bards can and should learn two single-handed edged weapon skill every level. Rangers and bards can learn other weapons at reasonable cost, and may wish to do so. However, by the time they are higher level the bonus for single-handed edged weapons will overshadow any skill they have in other weapons. Clerics may learn any weapon skill once per level at a reasonable cost to development points (with the exception of pole arms, for 20). The choice of which weapon to learn is a decision the prospective cleric needs to make. Single-handed edged or crushing is probably the best choices. See the explanation on fighters above to aid in your choice. General Skills ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Climbing skill will help your character climb up steep places, gates, etc. It is a good idea two learn at least a couple of these skills some time after you make 3rd level. Fighters and thieves can learn this skill twice per level at reasonable cost, so they may wish to start earlier and learn more of it. There are certain places in the game that are more easily navigable if you have this several ranks in this skill as failing to climb something correctly can damage your character. Swimming isn't currently useful. It is inexpensive, and some people may wish to learn it a few times just in case something that requires it is thrown in. Under Role Master rules, just one swimming skill is supposed to be enough to keep your head above water and swim around while more than that is supposed to help in abnormal conditions (swimming against rapids, swimming fast, swimming while carrying equipment, and so forth). The riding skill is only semi-useful in GemStone at this time. It is used to determine your success when playing the non-lethal jousting game. If mounted combat is ever implemented, riding skill will be important for determining your offensive bonus mounted. Under Role Master rules, one riding skill level is needed to allow you to ride a horse at normal speed without falling off constantly. Continued... -21- Picking locks is an important skill for thieves. They should learn it twice per level every level as the cost is fairly low. Fighters may also learn to pick locks twice per level, although at substantially higher cost. Other professions may learn to pick locks as well, although at a higher cost and only once per level. Rangers and bards may consider it as extra knowledge, although they won't be able to match the fighters and thieves. Although traps exist in the game, disarm traps skill is not implemented at this time. Thieves should probably learn at least one rank of it per level anyhow, since the price is so low. Stalk & Hide skill is important if you want to hide in the presence of those with high perception skills or use the ambush skill (see below). Perception is a good skill for all professions. It allows you to spot things such as secret entrances, and protects you from pickpockets. Thieves can learn it at a low cost, and should learn it twice per level. Fighters, rangers and bards may wish to do the same. Mages, clerics, healers and sorcerers can only learn it once per level, but probably should do so anyway. o . .o Magic Skills O _ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ |-| For pure and hybrid spell users, the spell lists are the | | core of their training: Always research spells. Semi-spell | | users should also be trying to take advantage of the spells / o \ they can learn, although less ambitiously since this research /_o___\ costs more and will deprive other important skills. Fighters |`-----'| and thieves shouldn't worry about any magic skills, because the | | cost is much too high for them to learn anything effectively. \_____/ You aren't guaranteed to learn a spell in your spell list unless you learn 20 ranks in spell lists. Otherwise, the number of ranks is treated as a bonus of (5 X (Spell List research points)) which is applied to a random roll on a hundred sided die. If the roll with bonus exceeds 100, you learn a spell. If it doesn't, these spell points carry over to your next attempt. By the time certain spell users see what they need to learn to be a playable character, they'll notice that learning 20 ranks in spell lists every time simply isn't possible. Risk taking is part of the game. When the multi-spell gain system is implemented (rules under which you can learn more than one spell per level if you are lucky), the times you miss out on learning a spell will be offset by the times you learn more than one. This brings us to the big question: Which spell list should be learned? During initial development, mages should learn at least the first spell from Closed Essence, Sleep I. This spell will enable the mage to cause monsters of level 1-4 to fall asleep, making them far more vulnerable to attack. If possible, the first spell in the Mage list, Shock Bolt, should also be learned. Shock Bolt is a useful offensive spell which simply knowing will also provide a +20 bonus when using wands which cast this spell. The next spell a mage should learn is Magic Edge, the second spell on the Mage list. This will allow you to put a temporary enchantment upon weapons, granting them a +15 bonus, and is useful for parrying enemy attacks as well. Beyond this, the mage should decide on which list to pursue further based on what s/he wants to eventually cast. Open Essence should not be considered at this time as it isn't implemented. Continued... -22- Here are some examples of what spells a mage might know as they advance to 5th level. We'll assume they were unlucky on their spell gain roll only once. "Specialization" is begun after the recommendations above. ________________________________________________________________ // \ || Mage preferred Closed Essence preferred Mix+Match | || ================ ======================== =========== | || 1: Sleep I Sleep I Sleep I | || Shock Bolt Shock Bolt Shock Bolt | || 2: Magic Edge Magic Edge Magic Edge | || 3: <missed> <missed> <missed> | || 4: Water Bolt Spell Store Spell Store | || 5: Stun Cloud Blur Water Bolt | \\________________________________________________________________/ Healers have an easier decision about their spells. They should really only be concerned with the healer base spell list if they want to be useful as healers. The first ten spells of this list are the most important. After that, most spells are involved with personal scar removal, so then you might want to switch to Open Channeling or Closed Channeling. Of course, you won't need to worry about this in the lower levels. Clerics should probably learn the Cleric base list over anything else. If the opportunity arises to get a second spell while still rolling up a character, the first spell of Closed Channeling (Calm) is recommended. The Cleric base list will aid the advancing cleric in their eternal battle with the undead, giving them increasing abilities to hold and turn the Unlife, bless weapons, etc. Higher level spells in the Cleric list (far beyond the first five levels dealt with here) will allow you to ressurrect fallen companions, perhaps one of the most powerful abilities in GemStone. At this time, sorcerers have a difficult time choosing spells as this isn't yet a fully implemented profession. As a result, the only implemented spell list they have access to is Open Channeling. However, it is probably better to work on the Sorcerer list. The first three spells in the Sorcerer list are implemented already, and the rest should be finished within a few months. Semi-spell users also have a more complicated choice. Rangers have access to two spell lists, Open Channeling and the Ranger base list. Since no spells on the Ranger list work correctly yet, Open Channeling is the better choice. As for bards, an even worse situation is presented: Neither the Bard base list nor Open Essence are completed. However, some of the lower level spells of both lists do work. It should be noted that the Open Essence list will be implemented long before the Bard list, however. Wands are powerful items that will help a lot for those who can use them. Mages can learn to use them the easiest, and should do so! They should learn two skill levels in wands per level. They should also learn two skill levels of directed spells per level, because this will control the offensive bonus with elemental attack spells (and the wands which cast them). Sorcerers, clerics and healers can learn to use them almost as well, but to do so they must commit early to developing directed spells skills and staff/wand skills which will only benefit them at higher levels. Remember that this is an investment! Mages won't be able to use wands effectively for the first couple of levels, and it takes somewhat longer for other spell users. However, once wands are usable, they can become a potent weapon. Continued... -23- Runes aren't implemented at this time. When they are, they'll probably be useful. For now, it is probably worth spending the small amount of development points for developing one rank of runes per level (only one development point for mages, two for other spell users). Channeling is a good skill for clerics, healers, sorcerers and rangers to learn since the cost is inexpensive. This skill will allow these professions to transfer power points between each other. There are a lot of rangers walking around with power points that don't need to be used very much, so learning channeling can help "spread the power around." The cost of learning channeling for mages is too high to really be worthwhile to them. Other Skills ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Body Development should be developed as many times as possible every level. It's that simple. Concussion points will be very important to you. They are especially important to healers, who are limited by the amount of damage they can heal by the amount of concussion points they have. Non- healers may want to cut down on body development skills to save their development points once they have a minimum of 100, but this won't happen during the low levels in most cases. Ambush is a useful skill to have if you can afford it. Note that you'll need a good amount of stalk & hide to use it effectively. When you have it, you can leap out of hiding to attack a monster; the ambush skill level is applied directly to any critical hit rolls, possible doing far more deadly attacks. Thieves can learn this skill twice per level for a total of only four development points, making it worthwhile for them. Trading will help you bargain with the town merchants a little better. It is a good idea to obtain at least a couple of skill ranks in it, so as to bargain without penalty. First aid as a skill in itself isn't implemented yet. However, half of the first aid skill is applied to you chance of skinning monsters correctly. If this interests you, you should learn several skills of first aid. Healers can learn it twice per level for a mere three development points. Brawling is a good skill for fighters or thieves to learn, since they can do so at low cost. If you ever are caught by a monster without a weapon, it'll increase your defense bonus while parried, and will allow you to attack with your bare hands more effectively. Rangers, bards and even clerics can learn this skill once per level at reasonable cost, if they are really interested in it. The cost is far too high for mages, sorcerers, or healers to consider. Picking pockets will allow you to steal from NPCs such as the merchant and trader, and even player characters. The latter is frowned upon by all respectable citizens, and pickpockets are generally dealt with brutally. Continued... -24- Most Important Skills on a Professional Basis ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fighters should learn two ranks in at least one weapon and two ranks of body development. They should also try to work on certain secondary skills such as picking locks, perception, etc. Thieves should learn two ranks in either single-handed edged or crushing weapons, two ranks of body development, two ranks of picking locks and two ranks of perception every level. Plenty should be left for developing other skill areas as well. Mages must learn a rank in single-handed edged weapons and body develop- ment every level. Spell lists should be invested in with what you can afford. Directed spells and wands should also be learned at a rate of two ranks per level. Clerics must learn a rank in a weapon and body development every level. The cleric list is the best choice for spell development. Directed spells and wands might be developed as an investment for higher levels. Healers should learn a rank in single-handed edged weapons and two ranks in body development every level. The healer spell list is the obvious choice for a healer. Directed spells and wands might be developed as an investment for higher levels. Sorcerers must learn a rank in single-handed edged weapons and body development every level. Spell lists should be invested in with what you can afford. At least one rank in both directed spells and wands should also be learned every time. A leading sorcerer informs us that to play this profession you have to "be stubborn or have a lot of patience." Since this class is crippled due to all the unimplemented features it requires to be useful, it is not recommended at this time except for diehards! Rangers should learn two ranks of single-handed edged weapons and body development every level. A few points should be put towards spell lists occassionally. Perception, channeling, climbing, picking locks and stalk & hide are all good choices for secondary skills to develop. Development for Bards is somewhat similar to Rangers, except for the slight variance in the cost of learning certain skills and the available spell lists. Of special importance is the concept "no less than 97" during creation of your character. 97 should really be considered a minimum! If a higher score is possible, then you should use it. Remember that you can reroll your character as many times as necessary to obtain the scores you need. ___________________________________________ // \ || Kudos to Krang Krashen, | || Airioch Ramthanodox and Erebor Bordeaux | || For their input to this article. | \\___________________________________________/ -25- ______ /~/~~\~\. The Nose Knows |~| ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \~\____ by Miss Louvella Parsnips __~~~~\~\ |~| |~| \~\__/~/ trange comings and goings ladies, occasionally making importune ~~~~~~ this month in Kulthea. Strange advances! Ignoring slaps, kicks and indeed. And yours truly, Miss Louvella numerous verbal rebukes, he seems to Parsnips, has faithfully kept eyes open have attached himself to another and ears to the wall. It seems the town newcomer. This second being a raven- is buzzing with the exploits of one tressed cleric who has captivated the common man thief who chose to misap- hearts of many sturdy adventurers. We propriate a stunning mithril dagger, have to wonder if this fair maid has after which, adding insult to injury, practiced an enchantment on our he helped himself to the pocket silver gallant peacocks as she has been seen of several unsuspecting adventurers. with as many as five at once. All in the temple, no less. Another tale we sniffed is that of Finally, in what we can only call a the departure of one of our best- foolish move, our young thief proceeded known adventurers. For 17 glorious to threaten the lives of more seasoned terms, this slim thief picked locks adventurers while stealing THEIR and performed thiefly duties, earning silver. Tsk tsk. It grieves us to herself fame, riches, and the admir- report that he was later found stunned ation of.. well, of some residents. and bleeding in a deserted alley. His She no longer stalks the Shadow Lands attacker goes unknown and unpunished, but her namesake carries the family but we have a sneaking suspicion the name. We wonder at the relationship deed was accomplished by a certain between the two. They could be mother hot-tempered, red-headed female ranger and daughter but, if so, who pray who, incidently, was reported to have tell, is the father? been seen rolling around behind the eog door in Cheldar's Bathouse with Speaking of thieves, two of Kulthea's a tall, muscular fellow whose name finest were spied smooching during a eludes us at the moment. You may be trip to Gorcland. Might there be a assured, however, that nothing eludes winter wedding in the wind? us for long and we will pass on his identity, eager reader, as soon as it The ranger Erebor Bordeaux has come becomes available. to the rescue of many of Kelfour's adventurers. Notwithstanding that he We recently enjoyed the titillating saved many of their souls from the experience of watching an outbreak divine tortures of Eissa's touch, of thinly disguised cattiness between it is rumored that prayers are being a certain elderly dwarven healer sent to favor all citizens with a and her nemesis, a sleek, elven lady banquet in his honor. mage. It seems this delightful duo has been seen back-stabbing each other for Such delicious goings on in Kulthea. some time now over the attentions of And, gentle reader, if you happen a certain fair elf ranger. We can hope upon the unlikely story of which we for the excitement of all-out battle. are unaware, you will rush directly Should that happen, you'll hear about to us and spill the proverbial beans. it here, and in the meantime, wagers (Yum! We'll gladly share them at on the outcome may be placed at any the banquet!) And the next time you any gaming hall in town. discover yourself in a compromising situation, take a good look around. Newcomers are plentiful in our outpost. Two in particular have our attention: Louvella sees all, hears all... and A blonde, half-elf fighter has been tells all! Tra-la for now! swaggering about accosting unescorted -26- [end] KEV1N5