New Players' Guide
Welcome to Elanthia. This guide is written to aid a new character in joining GemStone IV, and will be heavily linked in order to give the most information in as little text as possible, allowing for the new player to chose which topics interest him or her the most.
New Character Creation
Everyone must start here. It is more important than knowing the verbs that exist, because, in order to even log into the GemStone universe and use the verbs, you still must first create a character. Play.net gives a very basic process in creating a character, but gives little insight as to what those choices will mean. Creating a character involves a few basic steps and choices that will affect a character throughout his career.
First, when you log in on www.play.net you will be given two choices -- Choose a character to play and Select client. The first choice will be to Create a new character. The second choice gives 3 choices, though it lists 4. These are StormFront, eScape, Wizard, and Java. Likely the best choice for a new character is StormFront, however, this client does need to be downloaded. In any case, when making a character this choice is irrelevant until the character is created. When a choice is made, hit the orange button labelled, "Create Character."
The first step would be to chose a gender. Both genders are equal mechanically, so the choice of gender is solely a roleplaying choice. Click on the image of the gender you prefer.
- Bards use music combined with elemental and mental magics to enhance themselves, their party, and defeat their enemies. Bards are skilled in Loresinging, a skill which can reveal the properties of magical items to a higher degree of accuracy than any other system.
- Clerics focus only on spiritual magic and are very strong against the undead - though less so if the cleric is aligned to a dark god, often called Lornon Arkati in GemStone.
- Empaths are healers that focuses on mental and spiritual magic. They are the only profession with skills and spells related to healing other characters.
- Paladins are very similar to warriors except with access to spiritual magic and a decreased focus on martial skills. Paladins are the only profession capable of wearing heavy armor and still be able to cast spells effectively.
- Rangers are lovers of the outdoors and have many spiritual magics related to that love. They are quite capable of foraging and they can imbue various elemental and natural resistances to non-metallic armor.
- Rogues are skilled at hiding, ambushing, climbing, disarming traps, and opening those pesky locks, though some rogues neglect their locksmithing and trap disarming skills in favor of increased combat or magical abilities.
- Sorcerers use both elemental and spiritual magic, and use them to perform what some would consider the darker arts: sorcery. Their spells include demon summoning, necromancy, and various effects drawn from the two.
- Warriors are skilled in martial skills, fighting opponents in open combat with a fury unmatched by any other profession, though their access to magic is more limited than any other profession. Warriors can take blows better than any other profession, though, but are closely followed by rogues in the endeavor to take punishment.
- Wizards are masters of elemental magic and are capable of crafting many magical items, including permanent enhancement bonuses to weapons, armor, and shields.
- Monks are experts in unarmed combat, preferring to use their bare hands and feet to combat their foes. They use mental magic aid their fists and allow them to wear light armor or none at all.
A character's race is less important to the character's career than their profession, however, a race will have a dramatic effect on the roleplaying opportunities that character possesses. For example, the dark elves are shunned by their light skin cousins and therefore are denied access to certain locations within the Elven Empire. Also, various statistic bonuses each race possesses make them more suited for certain professions.
A culture choice should be made when the player is more informed of what role each culture plays within Elanthia. If a character selects "none" for culture, the choice can be made at a later date. As a new player to GemStone IV, it is recommended to chose "none" for now.
The appearance of your character is decided here. These choices can, however, be changed in the future via various tents within the cities of Elanthia or by a GameMaster run non-player character that specializes in modifying a character's features. The appearance of your character, however, is highly your choice given the preset options.
The statistics of a character will follow that character for the rest of his/her career, so balancing your stat allocation is very important to get right. Statistics have wide-reaching effects, and the mathematics involved are not entirely trivial. As the stats can be re-assigned up to five times within the first 30 days of creating a character with no penalty, the best thing to do is to make a reasonably informed attempt at assigning your statistics and start playing! However, do not forget to finally investigate the effects of all the statistics and place yours to values you can live with for the rest of your career before the first thirty days are up! Although it is possible to alter your stats after the first thirty days (with a 'fixstat' potion), these are expensive and difficult to acquire. You probably want to consult experienced players for the final decisions.
Statistics have mainly two components: the raw statistics itself (the stat) and the statistical bonus (the bonus). Nominally, the statistical bonus is calculated as bonus=(stat-50)/2; this bonus is then modified (positively or negatively) by the racial bonus modifier giving the final bonus. Racial selection does not directly affect the raw stat itself.
The base-value of a stat itself can range from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 100; there are possible ways within the game to go lower and higher than these numbers (e.g. if you died, the stat may temporarily decrease, or if you have a special magical item called an 'enhacive', it might increase further beyond its normal value even past 100). In any case, considering the stat range of 20 to 100, this means the nominal bonus ranges from -15 to +25. (Plug the values of stat=20 and stat=100 to the above bonus equation.) This base range for the bonus puts the racial bonus modifiers range from -15 to +15 into context. That is to say, if one selected the minimum stat (20 corresponding to a bonus of -15) and the racial modifier for that stat was the worst possible (-15), the final bonus could be as low as -30, a very horrible number. Conversely, if one selected the maximum stat (100 corresponding to a bonus of +25) and the racial modifier for that stat was the best possible (+15), the final bonus could be as high as +40, an extremely good value.
Because a character cannot allocate the stat of 100 to each of the 10 statistics, one then tries to balance their gains with their losses. Let's consider the example of a halfling and the statistics of Constitution ('con') and Strength ('str'). Halflings have a +10 to con and a -15 to str; that is, they have among the best bonus to con and among the worst penalty to str. Even a stat of 100 in str, the halfling can only have a total bonus of +10 to str (25-15=10); on the other hand, placing a mid-line value of 50 for the con stat results also in a final bonus of +10 to con (0+10=10). It is easy to see in this example the enormous effect of how statistics couple with racial selection, since despite showing a 50 point difference in the allocation to two example stats resulted in identical bonuses! The example is not meant to imply that the best decision would be to put higher values in all the stats where their race has a negative bonus and vice versa; however, it does show the concept of applying some balance in the assignments.
The most important factor in allocating the statistics is of course what the individual statistic do. One effect of the str statistics is to finally determine the character's physical Attack Strength with a melee weapon; for a warrior swinging a sword, this is quite important; for a wizard planning to cast spells, it may be irrelevant. Strength also affects encumbrance, which can generally be considered important for all characters.
This section should next list all the statistics and what types of systems they predominately effect.
Choosing skills will determine how your character performs in combat or performing various other tasks such as disarming traps, picking locks, foraging, trading, skinning, and more. The amount of skills a character can chose is determined by their stats, which determines how many training points a character gets. Generally, the more training points, the better, however, generally having a high number of training points at low levels means that your stats will not grow as much as someone who willingly sacrifices the extra training points.
A character's name should be fitting for a medieval setting. It must be unique, and the name database has rarely been purged in the game's more than twenty year history, meaning many of your first attempts at selecting a name may report the name is already taken. Your selected name identifies your character within the game, is shown automatically to other players, and can never be changed without creating a new character. The naming system will also reject names with sequences of vowels or consonants that are too long, since the idea is the name should be pronounceable and not gibberish. Long or short, use your imagination to create something memorable you can identify with!
The following is a reformatted version of the Mentor's Getting Started Guide for Wehnimer's Landing as provided by GameMaster Haliste. Information on starting in Icemule Trace may be read here, while getting started in Ta'Vaalor may be read here.
How Do I Start Out?
As you ponder your future in the frontier town of Wehnimer's Landing, you might wonder what steps you can take to better your situation. The town has outfitted you with basic equipment, but that has left you with a debt that you must pay. Incidentally, you can always check how much SILVER you are carrying in your pockets, and you might remember how much you still owe to the town clerk, whose office is located in the eastern part of Town Square. Enter Moot Hall and head to the west to find the Debt Collector's Office.
There are jobs that will earn you experience and a few silvers, and adventure that will provide you with experience and fame. But before you get started building your fortune and reputation, it's a good idea to learn the town. You'll get your bearings and learn something along the way.
As you explore the town, be wary of going through gates or entering dark passageways, as you never know what you might find. If you manage to explore all the town highlights by following DIRections, you'll have learned enough to advance to your first training.
There are many good maps of the town to help you in your progress. The mentors at Silverwood Manor can direct you to some, as can just about any resident of town. Most people would not mind helping you find one.
The Local Inns
Inns are always a popular spot for adventurers. Perched in the northwest corner of Town Square, the Raging Thrak Inn is both a rowdy gathering place for a rousing song and a mug of ale, and a spot for a snooze or quiet conversation with friends. There are plenty of tables for the many residents and visitors of Wehnimer's Landing. Just south of the entrance is the Front Desk where you can CHECK IN to visit your trainer to advance and review your skills as you gain EXPerience. During your rest, you can reflect upon your life GOALS as a good reminder of your progress.
Outside the North Gate is the Wayside Inn, another popular resting spot. Beware venturing outside the gate, though. You never know what might be lurking on the other side.
On the east side of town, next to Beldrin's Gaming Hall, Frith's Inn provides a slightly more out-of-the-way spot for a rest. It's also available as a training place.
Likely Hunting Spots
The streets of Wehnimer's Landing are well-kept and for the most part, rodent-free, but under your feet, the situation is quite different. Rats teem in the underground sewers and run free in the extensive catacombs under the town. This is a beginner's hunting area and a great way to do your part in helping to keep the streets of Wehnimer's Landing rodent-free.
Just find DIRections to the catacombs, UNSHEATH your sword and have your shield READY to begin a hunt! It might be a good idea to ask for protective spells at the Town Square Center before you head off. While roaming around, keep yourself in a defensive STANCE. When you are ready to ATTACK a beast that no one else is battling, change your posture to advanced or offensive. To gain a little silver while you're there, make sure to SKIN dead rats before you SEARCH them as you'll be able to sell the pelts to the local furrier.
Giant ants are another town underground problem. If you'd like to try your hand, you'll find a hole behind some crates, not too far from the grocery. If you're very brave and have a very good sense of direction, venture into the ant nest. Dakris, the furrier, will pay silvers for their mandibles, so it might be worth some exploration. After you try to skin an ant, don't forget to search it -- you might find a larva. Dakris buys those, too.
Venturing outside the town gates will offer new and interesting sights, but it doesn't come free of danger! The creatures beyond the confines of the town are considerably stronger than those found in the underground. You can always look for a hunting partner, though, and usually residents and visitors alike are happy to join a fellow adventurer.
Selling your Goods
Dakris, the furrier, will buy skins and pelts of just about any type and quality. His shop is situated just south of the North Gate. Just hold a pelt, or a BUNDLE of them, in your hand and SELL them. If you sell him your backpack or satchel, he will extract the pelts from it and then return your container. Just make sure it's opened for him.
As you venture into hunting areas, you will find various items of treasure such as wands, clothing, lockpicks, and sometimes, valuable weapons and armor. Kilron, who runs the pawnshop in town, will buy most things you find that aren't gems or pelts. It's always worth a try. In his back room, he has a few items for sale that other folks have sold to him. Go through the door and look on the tables. You might find a great deal!
When you search your kills, you may find treasure of various sorts. You might find some silver coins, which you can deposit in the bank on the west edge of Town Square. In his shop on South Ring Road, Murdos the gemcutter will buy your gems, though you may want to save some for offerings in the temple. Sometimes, you might find a magical item, sometimes a bit of junk. Kilron will buy some of these items, or you or a friend might have a use for them. It's a good idea to APPRAISE the item before you sell it, to give you an idea of its worth. You might not want to sell something right away if it's rare or valuable.
If you happen across an item that you want to save and make sure you don't accidentally sell to any of the town's merchants, you can MARK it, and the shop owners will remind you that this is an item you previously didn't want to sell.
Smarter foes may lock up their treasure, and you'll need to seek out a locksmith to jimmy open your find. Usually, some are working in the North Tower, at the eastern side of the North Gate. Be forewarned, however, that pickpockets may lurk within the tower; best to leave your silvers in the bank and close up your backpack before you go in. If you are unable to find a locksmith at the Tower, you can try the local locksmith, located in the northern section of town, just west of Helga's Tavern. For a fee, Larton will unlock your boxes and disarm any traps. He's not cheap, though!
When you've earned enough silver coins, you can deposit them in the bank on the west edge of Town Square. Enter the bank, head through the arch, and DEPOSIT your coins. When you need to, you can always WITHDRAW some of your savings, or you can CHECK your balance.
The center of the Town Square seems to be the busiest spot in town and generally where you're likely to find help when you need it. Magic casters frequently rest in this part of the square and most will be happy to share their expertise with you. A friendly word can go a long way and their magic could help secure a safer hunt. This is also the gathering spot for quite a few local empaths and clerics, in case you're injured on a hunt or have a friend that needs life. It's a safe bet that you'll get help here.
Just outside of town, through the North Gate, stands Hearthstone Manor. Its venerable porch is another popular gathering spot, although not as well-visited as Town Square. Here, expect to find folks interested in hearing a story, teaching a lesson, or just gabbing with friends.
The Manor itself is only open to adventurers who have achieved a title of Lord or Lady, so don't get discouraged if the doorman does not let you in. However, all are welcome on the establishment's front porch, and there's plenty of food and drink to sustain even the hungriest traveler.
The town of Wehnimer's Landing is a community, and as such, you'll do better if you observe a few rules of behavior.
Don't yell or say the same thing over and over again. Don't perform the same action over and over again, either. This may gain you some attention, but it won't be friendly attention. If you need help, ask once or twice. If no one hears you, find another area and ask someone else. When all else fails, remember that you can always go to Silverwood Manor and ring the bell. Someone will hear your call and if available, come to your rescue!
When hunting, don't swing or cast at a creature if someone is already engaged in battle. If you are both hunting alone, you can ask the person to join you, and you can hunt together. You will both learn, you'll share in the skins and other treasure, and you may find a new friend this way!
When engaging in conversation, it's best to speak about things specific to Elanthia. Do not speak about last night's baseball game or about your upcoming job interview. If you must speak to someone in an OOC (out of character) manner you should WHISPER to the person so that your conversation isn't disruptive to others who may be listening. In addition, you can let the other person know that you are speaking out-of-character by WHISPERing OOC to them.
For more hints on successful behavior, visit the Warrior Raging Thrak in the Raging Thrak Inn. He's got a prepared speech about it. If you listen to the whole thing and then answer his questions correctly, he'll reward you.
How do I get a job?
When you've learned your way around town and feel comfortable exploring, visit the Town Clerk in the Debt Collector's Office in Moot Hall. He's a bit cranky, but if you are persistent, he will give you small errands to do. Mostly, he needs help with delivering messages to the Great Houses in town. The Wehnimer's Runners do a good job of distributing messages, but they are overworked, and the clerk is always grateful for a bit of extra help. When you give the message to the right person, he or she will pay you for your time and effort or else send you back to Moot Hall with a reply. The Town Clerk will be the one to pay you, in that case. In either case, you'll end up with some change in your pocket and some learning in your head.
If you are feeling very adventurous, I hear that Iron Jack, the Blacksmith, could use hands to help him make iron. But that is a dangerous undertaking and not one to jump into without careful consideration. If you're feeling adventurous, ask around. There may be a skilled blacksmith who would be willing to take you under their wing and teach you all about metals.
Located on the eastern side of North Ring Road (in the white building) is the Adventurer's Guild. Taskmaster Rheteger has a variety of jobs available to adventurers of all skill. His office is to the southeast after entering the building, and if you're interested in doing some work, you can ASK him about bounties. He might ask you to help locate a lost heirloom, or he may have you assist the dealer Murdos with restocking some gems. Fortunately, Rheteger is wise and will only ask you to venture into places that he feels you will be able to handle.
Wehnimer's Landing may be a frontier town, but we do have our laws. The Constable is not a very friendly man, but he does his job. He patrols the streets and part of the wilds, looking for miscreants and throwing them in jail. You can get on his bad side by stealing, kicking, and punching the town denizens and by being disruptive. Once he arrests you, your fate is pretty much sealed. You will get a trial, but the judge here always sides with the Constable. So, if you commit a crime, you will end up with a fine or worse for it. Some are pretty steep, too. Committing crimes is not an effective way to get your adventuring career off to a good start!
Other Sights Around Town
As you walk around town delivering messages or taking in the sights, you will come across several imposing buildings with doorkeepers. Known as the Great Houses of Elanthia, these establishments are home to groups of adventurers with common interests. Each House has its own style and reputation (good or bad!); when you're more experienced, you may apply to join one that suits you.
Argent Aspis, the oldest House, is the easternmost building within the town walls. You'll find the uniformed doorkeeper of Arcane Masters on North Ring Road, along the riverbank. Also on that road is Helden Hall, home to noble warriors. Brigatta, Phoenix, Rone Academy, Sovyn, and Sylvanfair, are all within a few blocks of Silverwood Manor and the Temple. Paupers has a prime location on the Town Square, and on West Ring Road, you'll find Twilight Hall and Silvergate, which is also a public inn. For those who enjoy braving the wilds, you may find the rangers of Willow Hall just before the bridge to the graveyard, while the Dhe'nar of the Obsidian Tower make their home on Sentoph, in Upper Trollfang.
Our fine town hall fills the east side of Town Square. Moot Hall, as it is called, houses several public officials and has public meeting rooms. If you have a debt, you can pay the town clerks on the ground floor. Upstairs is the Registrar, who will take notes on special items you may have; registered items are more easily replaced if you somehow lose them. It's not necessary to speak directly with the Registrar, however. Simply REGISTERing your item, as long as it is in your hand, will send a note directly back to the Hall.
Moot Hall also contains the public lockers, which provide a secure place to store valuables. Carrying everything gets heavy after a while and can slow you down, especially if you have a penchant for swinging weapons.
The Temple is a particularly fine example of late fiftieth-century architecture. Devout citizens often rest or meditate in the main nave. The priestess of Lorminstra has her private chambers here where she accepts offerings to the goddess, who in turn may grant you the deeds you will need should you die. The lovely side chapel is often used for weddings. It is worth exploring this sprawling building; some say that shades of the dead haunt its deep cellars.
All over town, you will find interesting buildings and shops. Gert Fessel's Bakery, Helga's Tavern, Dari's Clothiers... all offer exceptional wares. Take time to explore them all, and uncover the many secret places scattered throughout Wehnimer's Landing!
Death and Dying in Elanthia
It's always an unpleasant shock to find yourself dead. Here in Wehnimer's Landing, we have a large population of clerics and empaths who have the capability to put you back in good shape again. With luck, a friend or some kind stranger will find you and drag your dead body to those who can heal you and then restore your life.
Death is a part of life in Wehnimer's Landing, as well as in the rest of Elanthia. In order to minimize the sting of death, you should look into getting some deeds from the Goddess Lorminstra. Any adventurer you find will know how to point you in the right direction to obtain them. Or, you can explore temple in town and research the mysteries for yourself.
- Play.net's Quickstart Guide