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Library: newbie guide


Author: Pirotessa
Date:Jan 29 1997

When I get asked things a lot, I begin to write them down in books, so people
can just read the book rather than ask me.  Also, books are more complete
(when finished), and less prone to forgetting.

According to the christian calendar most people use, this book was written in
January of the year 1997.  It is written slightly after the conversion, which
happened a few months ago.  If there is another conversion, this book may or
may not become outdated.  It is not finished.  When it's done, you'll see a
"FINISHED, <date finished>" at the end.

* Character Creation *
By the time you read this book, you've probably already made a character and
advanced to level 5 or so.  Maybe even to level 20 if you've played for some
Which means you've probably played a little at least.

* Fundementals, Character Classes *
There are three basic types of players here, which you ought to look at
functionally (by what they do).  There are tanks, who are made for taking
damage, "blasters", which are made for doing damage (with spells mostly), and
there are healers, who heal damage to others.  And then there are exceptions,
like merchants or navs, but these aren't sugested for newbie characters.

So your "class" has probably already been chosen for you, it was chosen at
character creation when you chose your background.  If that's not what you
want to be, get a reinc now, while you still don't have too much to lose.

You must try to excel at what is important for your class.  Don't worrey about
other things.  For instance, a tanks job is taking damage.  How much damage
you do, or for a mage how much
HP they have, or that they never do much damage when they hit something.  Just
get good at what your class is good for.  This is why you party.

* The Essentails, from the Beginning *
Picking a background:  Nomads make great fighters.  They have the most HP, but
no SP whatsoever.  Next come civilized.  They have okay HPs and SPs, so
they're an all-around background.  They have a good choice of guilds. 
Regardless, I do not recommend this for newbies.  They don't have the HP for
tanking in real parties.  Then, evil-religious.  Like civilized, they don't
have the HP for tanking.  Because they are mediocre healers, and for other
reasons, see the guilds section, I do not recommend thse for newbies either. 
Then, there is good-religious and mages, which have poor HP and good SP.  Be
these if you want to be a healer or a mage, respectively.

Next comes race.  The most important thing is that your race be suited to what
your class is intended for.  For instance, don't be an Ent tank or a Giant
mage.  Races can change often, so I try mostly to be general here.

Tanks need a race that is generally not too large, since being large means you
take more hits than others in your party.  And taking hits means you'll die
before other tanks do.  A dwarf, for instance, can outlive giants and
minotaurs with ease.  The point is not to be big and powerful, but to be
average or small size and yet still have good HP.  So my personal favorite
here is a dwarf.  Their HP are comparable to the larger races, and they train
skills for cheaper than other races.

Healers and mages shouldn't worry too much about the physical characteristics
of their race.  It is much cooler to have a race like Merfolk, with quicker
advancement (needs less XP, better XP-rate).  Your stats are secondary.  For
newbie mages, however, a race that can cast magic missile (Drow, Thrikhren)
may be preferable, since it is nice to have a good first reliable spell.  

* Complete-ing your Background *
You can easily complete the levelquests for 2 and 4, and maybe some others. 
The best way to get XP early is just by exploring.  Start with Newbie
Mountain, right next to Diggas.  You get XP every time you go to a room that
you haven't been to before.  This means that simply being in a place like the
Crimson Brigade guild and walking around gives you XP.  You can easily get the
xp you need to complete your background by doing this, maybe with a little
partying and killing also.

* Choosing a Guild *
There are currently a few guilds per background to choose from.  You should
join one as soon as possible.  Be sure you join a guild that will teach you
usefull skills/spells.  Some guilds are simply not suited to newbies, others
aren't good at all.  It changes.

One thing to remember is not to pay much attention to what higher-level
players (35+) yell about.  If everyone yells that a guild sucks, and reincs
out, that doesn't necessarily mean you ought to reinc out also.  Remember,
you're level 20 or so, they're 35+.  If its playable, pick something and stick
with it, don't reinc just b'cos your guild is full of whiners.

q help open guilds gives you a "complete" list of guilds.  This info may be
somewhat out of date.

Tank guilds:  To tell the truth, the guild you join doesn't matter too much. 
Most highbies are legionaires I understand, I myself would prefer rangers,
since they get bladed fury later, practically the best attack skill in the
game, later on.  But for a newbie, it really doesn't make a terrible lot of

Magical guilds:  The Brotherhood of Wizardry is the basic "blast" guild for
mages.  Though their spells are learned slowly, their spells are extremely
efficient, and little trouble to cast.  There are also Psionicists and
Abjurers.  Abjurers is being closed and/or redone soon.  Conjurers I don't
know too much about, but it could be the "new" Abjurer guild. I also don't
know too much about Psionicists, but the Brotherhood probably teaches you the
best spells.  Join the brotherhood, and specialize in magical (or acid, if you
have quite a lot of levels and XP).  This way you at least can train magic
missile/acid arrow, and get some use out of your background.

Good-religious guilds:  Priests of Tarmellon - I don't have too much nice to
say about this guild, so I'll keep my mouth shut.  It is your basic healer
guild.  You have problems, like healing very evil people, and a guild that
moves to different places depending on the season.  Try to find someone else
in the guild and ask them. Maybe they'll be nice enough to tell you.  I also
do not recommend the Druid guild, or the Monk guild to anyone.  Especially not

evil-religous:  Not a recommended background for anyone less than 20th level. 
I do not like Lords of Chaos.  They are like poor tanks in parties, they die
too much.  If you must join this guild (there is some cool flavour stuff),
join evil-priests too.  That way you at least use your SP for blast spells,
and you have to train attack anyway.  Evil-priests is a great guild, but I do
not recommend it for newbies, b'cos you must train your attack to 60%+ to be
effective.  Which is expensive.  And the spells hog
SP.  The thing I like about this guild is that the harm spells do more damage,
and you get them much earlier in the guild then say the Brotherhood of
Wizardry.  There are rumors of an evil-monk (ninja?) guild, and a necromancer
guild to be coming soon.

Civilized:  Newbies shouldn't join merchants.  Merchants are a specialty
guild.  And the fellowship, or mercenaries, are like poor versions of blast
and fighter type guilds.  Thieves are rumored to exist, but if they do its a
well-kept secret.  And bards will come eventually.
any-background guilds:  These are specialty guilds mostly for highbies, don't
worrey about these.

* Playing, partying *
Now that you've joined a guild, remember to stick with that guild, its better
here to concentrate on just one thing and get good at it.  So now, you're
probably ready to start actually killing things.

It is very important to party.  The ideal party is one person from each class,
a tank, mage, and healer.  Try to keep the ratio close to 1:1:1.  
 Each tank should get their own healer for combat, and all the healers do in
combat is continually cast healing at their designated tank. 

* While fighting *
Parties automatically have a designated leader.  A good leader doesn't let, or
does the best to stop his party members from dying.  Not only do they lose xp
and such, but it also really slows things down when someone dies.  So it is
always better to flee from a monster (almost always possible for newbies) and
heal up rather than to try to fight it when one of your tanks is seriously
injured.  In general, a tank that gets below 200-300 hp ought to report, and
this is a signal to the leader to get out of there.  Of course, monsters regen
quickly, and some monsters will even follow you, so its important to get the
injured person back up to noncritical as soon as possible, and then to
re-attack the enemy. 

* Areas *
There are a great deal of areas in the game.  Not all areas are created
equally.  Some are much better for adventuring than others.  Areas to avoid
1) Areas very close to town.  These areas are mostly over-crowded, and the
xptune means you get little xp for killing things.  For instance, Digga's area
or newbie mountain,  or Tonze's newbie mines are areas to avoid.  

2) Areas that you can normally solo in.  Avoid fighting monsters in a party
that you can normally kill easily in solo combat.  The whole idea of partying
is so that you can kill stuff you can't normally kill.

3) Areas with a lot of the same monsters.  Again, newbie mountain is a good
example.  The xptune will take away most to all of your xp, or begin to after
a short while if it doesn't start out that way.  Look for an area with many
different types of single monsters, rather than many almost-identical
monsters.   Mithil stonedown, while not a good area b'cos its too close to
town, is a good example of an area with many different single monsters, rather
than a bunch of the same.

4) Areas with aggressive monsters (ones that attack you instantly).  You
should always take the time to use consider at an unknown monster.  Anything
that's above "... is a fair opponent" -- treat with caution.  But remember
your in a party, and you can take things on you normally couldn't.  

5) Areas with spellcasting monsters, or undead.  While an occasional one is
okay, you should avoid fighting hordes of spellcasting monsters, especially
those with area-attack spells.  These type of monsters can often take out a
mage or healer with one or two spells.  Unlike melee attacks, spells can be
targeted at anyone in your party, rather than just your tanks.  Undead are
nasty because they cast curse spells that decrease con, drain xp, etc., and
this can really slow a party down.

* Reincing *
You should try to avoid reincing often.  I think the "reinc tax" is largely
determined by how long ago your last reinc was.  If your last reinc was months
ago, you can get very low, like 2%.  If your last reinc was yesterday, we'll
people whine about getting upwards of 30%, so you can probably get about 20%,
which is quite bad.  

Again, don't reinc b'cos something in your guild just got downgraded, and a
lot of people at levels way above you are whining and reincing out.  When
there's a change in game dynamics that favors a certain guild, don't reinc to
change to that guild.  Often times, that guild is unplayable for newbies, or
turns out to be mostly useless, as merchants did when people were going
hog-wild reincing into it b'cos they thought plastic surgery was the best
thing since "Gorby Acid".  If you reinced recently, don't reinc b'cos too much
of your xp is spent on outdated spells like cure light wounds (for healer). 
You probably won't save too much, considering most guilds have minimum's and