Gullmanís Guide for Rogues, 3rd Ed.

by

Lord Gullman Skyehaven

(Gullman@play.net)

Greetings, friends...

Twas a long (but immensely rewarding) path to reach the point where I felt comfortable WRITING a guide instead of jes READING dem... but here I am.... <smiles merrily> Maybe some of my hard-earned knowledge kin be passed on... I kin only hope....

Since I first wrote these words, a full year has passed. The first Edition of this Guide was "published" <ahem> on February 26, 1997... Many, many things have changed since then... In this update, which I have put off for entirely too long, Iíll try to include most of them.

And THOSE words were written in March, 1998Ö Two MORE years have gone by, and here is the 3rd edition of my Guide. Itís still far from complete, but I think it may prove very useful. I started playing Gullman in March of 1996, and hope to be around for years more. I hope this guide helps some of you enjoy Gemstone that much moreÖ <bows deeply>

One last noteÖ although I try to cover every aspect of being a Rogue, this Guide isnít comprehensive enough to suffice for a total newcomer to Gemstone. I highly recommend rolling up a throw-away character, walking around town, and killing a goblin or two to get an feel of how Gemstone works. There are many excellent web-sites out there dedicated to new and experienced players. Play a bit, find those sites, and then re-read this Guide; it will make a lot more sense then.

Creating your Rogue...

Tis the first step and as all first steps are... a very important one... Please take note that I wish to discuss CREATING a character, not jes ROLLING one... Indeed, there is much more to your character than the numbers... Gemstone is a ROLE-playing environment... Take a moment and think.. Who is your character? What are his or her mannerisms? Quirks? Prejudices? There are many wonderful Role-players in Gemstone.... Take a moment and join them.... Act as if you ARE in a fantasy environment, interacting with powerful wizards, grunting warriors, cheerful hobbits... and to be honest ye will also find grunting wizards, cheerful warriors, and... um... <rolls eyes> powerful hobbits... :-)

The Numbers

Ten Attributes affect your character abilities, represented by numbers ranging from 20-100.

These numbers are broken down as follows...

3 numbers from 50-90

3 numbers from 40-60

3 numbers from 20-50

1 number from 20-100

The maximum total of these ten numbers is 700... Take your time when rolling... Your character will be with you for months (even years, possibly). Take the hour or two to get those good stats (statistics). I recommend three 80's from the first set (one high 70 is okay...), a 90 something for the last number and nothing lower than 35 anywhere else... Takes a while, but it WILL happen sooner or later...

 

 

 

Now that you finally have that great set of numbers, it's time to consider placement... But only after understanding exactly how the numbers work (Thanks to Danay for pointing out to me that not everyone knows this right off the bat!). You see, there are two parts to each numberÖ the actual stat number (from 20-100) and itís resulting bonus. Almost every game formula uses the bonus, so that is the number that you need to focus on.

Stat

Bonus

20

-15

30

-10

40

-5

50

0

60

5

70

10

80

15

90

20

100

25

 

For example, the Strength bonus is added directly to your Attack Roll. So if you had a 92 Strength, that would translate to a 21 bonus. Your race also affects the bonus. Humans get a +5 to their Strength bonus (not Strength stat) so a Human with a 92 Strength would have a +26 to his or her attack. More on racial modifiers later.

First, let me try to simply explain the various attributes where you can place the numbers you rolled....

Physical Stats

 
   

Strength

The bonus here is added directly to your AS (Attack Strength) and determines how much weight you kin carry before your RT (Round Time) begins to increase.

Constitution

Determines (along with Race and Strength) your starting HPs (Hit Points), how many HPs you receive with each subsequent training, and how well you resist poison and disease.

Dexterity*

This bonus is the prime determinant of your MB (Maneuvering Bonus, i.e. Attack Strength for Voln-Fu moves). Affects Climbing and Swimming skills, dodging certain spells, dodging webs from spiders, picking pockets, etc. This is also the primary stat for Ranged Weapons.

Reflexes*

The bonus here is added directed to your DS (Defensive Strength). May also affect the dodging mentioned in Dexterity. Reflexes and Dexterity bonuses combined also reduce RT penalties from Armor (more about this later).

Mental Stats

 
   

Wisdom

Wisdom bonus is applied directly to your lockpicking skill. (Don't ask me why this attribute was chosen instead of Dexterity). Also added directly to your CS (Casting Skill) and your TD (Target Defense).

Logic

Determines how much experience you can store before your mind is 'fried' (Message of 'You must rest. You can't take much more of this!')

Intelligence

Determines how fast the experience you have stored is absorbed.

(Message of 'Your mind is clear as a bell.')

Charisma

No one has idea what use this stat has... May affect your trading skill.

 

 

Compound Stats

 
   

Aura

Directly affects the amount of mana you gain each year. Also determines the number of Spirit Points you have. Is used to calculate BOTH Mental and Physical Training Points.

Discipline

Unsure what this attribute affects. May help hiding. However, like Aura, it is used to

calculate BOTH Mental and Physical Training Points.

* These two (Dexterity and Reflexes) are prime stats for a rogue and receive +10 bonuses to their rolls. NOT +10 to the bonus, +10 to the stat itself. So if you put a 60 in Dexterity, it becomes a 70. Never put a 90+ roll in these stats, since that would waste this bonus.

Training Points, Rogue Types, and Roll Placement

Training Points are determined as follows:

PP (Physical Points) = (Aura+Discipline+Constitution+Dexterity+Strength+Reflexes) / 10

MP (Mental Points) = (Aura+Discipline+Wisdom+Intelligence+Logic+Charisma) / 10

Therefore, the maximum training points for both PP and MP is 60. Starting with around 40 points in each is an excellent start. Most rogues, however, will have more PPs than MPs, as we are more physical by nature.

There is no magic formula to placing your rolls. I can give some general guidelines, but the final decisions will be up to you. It all comes back to your character... What kind of rogue do you want to be?

Rogues excel at many things... I believe our strength lies in our diversity. We have the cheapest costs for skills across the board. With enough Training points, Rogues can become adequate at just about everything.

This is route I myself have taken... Jack of All Trades, Master of None is a fine description of Gullman as I have dabbled in nearly every skill available. Other rogues choose to specialize. Specialist rogues seem to fall into three categories, Picker Rogues, Warrior Rogues, and Wizard Rogues...

In general, Strength, Dexterity, Reflexes, Wisdom and Aura are important for rogues.. These are the stats that impact our skills most directly... Charisma, Logic, and Intelligence are the least important rolls, because they have no real bearing on our skills. Remember however, all three of these affect MPs and are very slow to grow. Discipline has no direct effect (maybe hiding) for us, but a high score here helps both sets of points (and conversely a low score hurts both). See how tough these decisions can be? <grin> Every rogue will want as many Training Points as possible, so Aura and Discipline should be given high priority.

Picker Rogues will want a higher Wisdom because this stat affects picking skill directly.

Warrior Rogues (most call these the Pure Physical Rogue) will want to max out Strength and Reflexes, with a higher roll than usual in Constitution. Hiding and Stalking, Ambushing, and Combat Maneuvers (and possibly Brawling, and Multi-Opponent) all are the focus of the Warrior Rogue.

Wizard Rogues will obviously want to max out Aura, and place higher scores than usual in Wisdom, Intelligence, and Logic (Spells cost 80 MPs each, so these training points are definitely valuable)

 

 

Now that I think of it... Specialist Rogue may not be an accurate description.. . A better term would be Rogue with an Area of Concentration. Wizard Rogues are usually still excellent ambushers, while most Warrior Rogues kin easily pick their own boxes. But it is a good idea to choose early. What kind of a Rogue do YOU want to be??

Another VERY important thing about stats.. They DO grow. And Dexterity and Reflexes (being our prime stats) grow the fastest. Sticking a medium roll in one or both of these is not as dumb as it sounds... In the long run (remember they also get that +10), it will pay off... Indeed, many suggest putting your lowest numbers in all your fastest growing stats, and the highest in your slow growing ones. This strategy WILL pay off big in the long run, but does make your early years MUCH harder.

I try to steer away from giving specific advice on placing stats but I will say thisÖ In general (it depends on race), Aura and Wisdom grow the slowest, so I highly recommend putting 2 of your top 4 scores in these two statsÖ Aura gives Mana and Spirit, and Wisdom helps with defense against spells, and pickingÖ Itís a VERY smart move to place these two stats high.

Next, Iíd recommend Discipline get the third high stat of your top fourÖ This is harder case to sell. The only thing Discipline is good for (as far as I know) is helping BOTH mental and physical Training Points. This is pretty important all by itself thoughÖ Your stat bonuses pale in comparison to your skills. For example, your Strength bonus is added directly to your AS, but so is your weapon training. Strength bonus maxes out at +40 (for Giantmen), but your skill in a weapon can increase forever (and by level 20, itís already at 140). More Training Points is well worth a smaller bonus in some other stat.

Still, I have to tell youÖ Strength is pretty important for anyone who swings a weapon (and all Rogues swing weapons). Strength is yet another stat I consider very important for Rogues. I hate to say it should be in the top four. A Giantman or a Dwarf or even a Human could probably put it lower. It does grow fast for Rogues. Itís all about choices, and they can be hard to make.

So, Iíve recommended Aura, Wisdom, and Discipline (not in any particular order) for three of the top four scores. I will not presume to recommend any further past that. That will depend on what kind of Rogue you want to develop.

Races

Choosing a race is an interesting decision... Your choice may depend on the type of rogue you wish to develop (A dark elf's wisdom bonus may be helpful to a Picker Rogue, for example) or you may choose a race for role-playing purposes only (how about that grumpy dwarf who is scared of all things magical) Below are the race bonuses...

 

 

RACE

AURA

CHR

CON

DEX

DIS

INT

LOG

REFL

STR

WIS

Max HP

                       

Dark Elf

+10

-5

-5

+10

-10

+5

 

+5

 

+5

120

Dwarf

-10

-10

+15

 

+10

 

+5

-5

+10

 

140

Elf

+5

+15

 

+5

-20

   

+15

-5

 

130

Giantman

-5

+5

+10

-5

 

-5

 

-5

+15

 

200

Half-elf

 

+5

 

+5

-5

   

+10

   

135

Halfling

-5

-15

+10

+15

-5

+10

+5

+10

-20

 

100

Human

         

+5

+5

 

+5

 

150

Sylvan

+5

+5

 

+5

-5

   

+5

   

130

 

 

 

Another way to choose a race is look at offsetting or complementing stat placements. With an Elf's bonus of +15 in Reflexes, you might put a lower score there knowing that your race will keep your bonus fairly high or maybe you will place a high score there and really max out that stat... Decisions, Decisions... There are no really wrong answers... And speaking of decisions, let's move on to some more....

 

Training your Rogue...

Ah.. there's the rub... What to train in? So many choices... First off a quick breakdown of skills and their costs. The first and second numbers represent Physical Point and Mental Point cost respectively. The number before the x shows how many times you can train in that particular skill. Remember that double training in a skill doubles the cost and triple training quadruples the cost. Of course, certain skills will be important enough to you to justify the cost. Picker Rogues will want to Triple consistently in lock-picking, and all rogues should double in a weapon choice every year. Keep in mind that the benefits from training decrease over the years.

The first ten trainings +5 each (+0 thru +50)

Second ten +4 each (+50 thru +90)

Third ten +3 each (+90 thru +120)

Fourth ten +2 each (+120 thru +140)

All further trainings +1 each (+140 and on...)

 

Two-weapon Combat: (5/3) 2x This skill bonus is added directly to your second weapon AS. This is a tough path to follow but it IS possible to be successful training this way. To keep both weapons AS equal you will have to double-train in both this skill AND either Edged or Blunt Weapons (which determines first weapon AS). This can be very costly and denies you use of a shield. However, your skill in Two-weapon combat DOES confer some defensive bonuses.. More about this later.

Armor: (3/0) 2x This skill has one primary use... Every 20 in this skill reduces RT penalties from wearing armor by one second. Training here does NOT increase your DS. More about armor later.

Shield: (3/0) 2x Training in shield DOES increase your DS when using a shield. More about this skill later also.

Combat Maneuvers: (4/5) 2x Every two trainings in this skill increases your AS by 1 point. Unlike other skills this skill does NOT decrease over time. Every two trainings (regardless of the bonus) increases AS by 1 point. This does not sound like much, but by the time you make Lord or Lady (20th level), you will only be increasing your AS by 2 points each year anyway... Another point is a huge 50% increase. This skill also helps with ambushing, dodging certain spells, webs, and many maneuver attacks. Warrior Rogues should probably double in it, but all other Rogue types will do fine just singling in this skill. Itís rather expensive, especially if you double.

Edged Weapons: (3/1) 2x This skillís bonus is added directly to your AS. Pick either Edged or Blunt weapons, and double-train in it EVERY year. You can never have enough Attack Strength.

Blunt Weapons: (3/1) 2x This skillís bonus is added directly to your AS. Pick either Edged or Blunt weapons, and double-train in it EVERY year. You can never have enough Attack Strength.

 

 

Two-handed Weapons: (8/2) 2x This skill is ridiculously expensive and has one terrible drawback - no shield! Some warriors have managed to survive many years using two-handed weapons, but they also trained in one-handed (so they could pull out that shield when it became necessary). Training in both costs a LOT for us rogues. We hit hard enough with our ambushing skill. No real need to bash with brute strength. Still, itíll make you stand out. Not many Rogues go this route, and it does allow you to attack effectively (with a claidhmore) from the open, and there ARE places where hiding is impossible or very difficult.

Ranged Weapons: (5/1) 2x Currently there are two types of Ranged Weapons- Bows (Short, Long, Composite) and Crossbows (Light, Heavy). Dexterity is the prime stat for this skill. Both hands must be free to use these weapons which makes them rather dangerous indeed. Hiding skill is your only protection. An archer Rogue MUST triple in hiding, if he or she wants to survive the later years. After one gets good enough at hiding it is possible to fire from hiding and REMAIN hidden. This is a very difficult path, but it is certainly possible. Aiming with a ranged weapon depends equally on oneís Ambushing and Perception skill.

Thrown Weapons: (4/1) 2x Daggers, Spears, etc. Will use Strength AND Dexterity as prime stats (the average of the two). Unfortunately, not implemented yet...

Pole-Arm: (11/2) 2x Long-reaching two-handed weapons. This is a difficult, but interesting choice. And a terribly expensive weapon to double in. One interesting thing about these weapons is the ability to sweep your opponents off their feet as your skill increases.

Climbing: (2/1) 2x This skill is necessary to access certain areas in Gemstone. At the very least, whenever you have extra points, build this up to +90 or so (20 trainings - over 30-40 years).

Swimming: (2/0) 2x This skill is necessary to access certain areas in Gemstone. At the very least, whenever you have extra points, build this up to +90 or so (20 trainings - over 30-40 years)

Multi-opponent Combat: (10/3) 2z This skill allows one to attack (mstrike) more than one opponent at a time (2 opponents after 5 ranks, 3 after 10, etc.), or a single opponent multiple times (2 attacks at 41 ranks, 3 attacks at 61, etc.). This skill currently only works from the open, and is rather expensive. It may get better, but as currently implemented, itís not very effective for the cost. Still, there ARE areas in the game where hiding is very difficult, and the ability to hit a critter two or three times would be invaluable.

Disarming Traps: (1/1) 3x This skill is used both for detecting traps (along with Perception) and disarming them. More about this skill later.

Picking Locks: (1/1) 3x This skill is used to pick locks on boxes, trunks, doors, gates, etc. More about this skill later.

Hiding & Stalking: (1/1) 3x This skill allows one to melt into the shadows. Ambushing from hiding is much more effective. It is also possible to stalk other players without their knowledge (a test of your hiding skill against their perception skill). This skill can also be used as a defensive measure. Critters (and players) canít cast a spell at you if they canít see you. Creatures are becoming more and more perceptive. If you intend to attack via Ambushing (and doesnít every Rogue?), I recommend doubling in this skill at least. Hiding is just as important as Ambushing for a Rogue.

 

 

Perception: (0/1) 3x This skill allows one to find hidden objects and characters, as well as traps on boxes. Perception also serves as some protection against the picking-pockets skill, and there are a few areas that you cannot get into without decent perception. Itís also been rumored to help with finding treasure, and itís very important for archers since helps with Aiming. It is a very cheap skill, so I recommend at least singling in it every year.

Spell Research: (0/80) 1x Training in Spell Research gives you access to a magical spell. Rogues can train in two realms of magic, Minor Elemental Circle and Minor Spiritual Circle. More about this later.

Scroll Research: (0/6) 1x Allows one to read spells found on scrolls and with enough training, to cast them

Magic Item Use: (0/7) 1x This poorly named skill allows one to use only wands, rods, staves, etc. (anything that needs to be waved to be activated). To effectively use the wands commonly found in Gemstone, you must also have some training in Spell Aiming (see below), a very expensive skill. Currently, imbedded spells (cast by friendly Spell-Casters) can be placed into amulets or rings which can be activated by rubbing them (no training required). Although currently there is little reason to train in skill, this will probably change in the future and you will need this skill to activate rubbed items.

Mana-Sharing: (0/25) 1x This skill allows you to transfer mana from yourself to another. Both partiesí skill in mana-sharing affect the amount transferred.

Spell-Aiming: (4/22) 1x This skill is useful only in the use of offensive wands. Bonus is added directly to Spell-Casting AS only. Completely worthless (at the cost) for us rogues.

Ambush: (1/2) 2x This skill is our greatest asset in combat. Basically allows you to aim your swings (right leg, head, neck, etc.) and when used from hiding, increases the critical damage done to the target. Much more about this later.

Physical Training: (3/0) 2x Training in this skill increases your total number of Hit Points. If continued after maximum hit points are reached, this skill will allow you to heal more quickly.

First Aid: (1/3) 2x Allows you to bandage bleeding wounds, reducing or stopping the hit point loss. As your skill increases you will be able to tend more bleeding with less RT (Round Time). This skill also determines how well you can skin creatures, and how much money you will get for the skins (Higher skill produces higher quality skins). Except for skinning, in the long run this skill is not worth the cost. Gullman spent a lot of training points on this skill, and I never use it. I make it a point to always carry large quantities of pothnir grass, aloes stem, and ephlox moss with me (these three heal all bleeders - All you ever need). As soon as you can afford these herbs, your first aid skill for tending wounds becomes largely unused. There are some creatures out there with skins worth 1k-2k each though, so the skill may be worth training in for you.

Trading: (0/3) 2x This skill will decrease the cost of items sold by merchants (both in town and traveling). I know no one who has spent significant training points here, so I am unsure if the benefits outweigh the costs (but I doubt it).

Picking Pockets: (1/0) 2x This skill allows you steal money from other characters and some computer characters (but not the monsters, unfortunately). More about this later.

 

 

Brawling: (3/2) 2x Brawling adds directly to your AS with your bare hands (well, bare right hand, anyway). Since AS changes to DS with stance changes, Brawling skill protects you when you field pick. More about that later. Also Brawling is the skill that affects how well you perform Voln-Fu (a martial art used by followers of Voln) and can be useful for archers (since a ranged weapon is held in the LEFT hand leaving the right hand free for defense).

Disarming Traps / Picking Locks

The command to detect a trap on a box is Ďdisarm my <container>í. Learn right now to always use the word Ďmyí. As in Ďget MY box from MY backpackí, Ďopen MY boxí, Ďlook in MY boxí This piece of advice will save you countless trouble. The chance of successfully finding a trap is determined as follows:

Disarm skill + perception skill + wisdom bonus + trap lore (404) + trap difficulty + d100.

If the resulting number is over 100, the trap is detected.

Example: After a fierce fight with a hobgoblin, you are rewarded with a sturdy oak box. Unknown to you, this particular box has a -30 spring trap. But being a cautious (and therefore long-lived) rogue, you decide to check it for traps. You are a fourth year rogue with a disarming skill of 50, perception of 45, and a wisdom bonus of +7. Sitting alone on the boulder in Hobland, no magical help is available.

50 + 45 + 7 - 30 = 72 Any roll over 28 will allow the trap to be detected.

Chance of detection 71%

Your first check of the box reveals nothing, but being the wise rogue that you are, you resolve to check the box at least three times. The second time you carefully inspect the box, you see it! A deadly trap!

To disarm a found trap requires the same command as detecting it, Ďdisarm my <container>í. The chance of disarming a trap is as follows:

Disarm skill + wisdom bonus + trap lore (404) + trap difficulty + d100.

If the resulting number is over 100, the trap is disarmed.

You attempt to concentrate on the box in your hand, ignoring the clanging of steel and the yelps of pain coming from below...

50 + 7 - 30 = 27 Any roll over 73 will disarm the trap.

Chance of disarming 26%

As you can see, perception helps only in detecting a trap. Disarming is much more difficult.

After four time-consuming attempts, you manage to pop the springs into the box, where they no longer pose any danger to you. You feel a sense of accomplishment, though you are rather thankful no one was watching your previous attempts. Now, on to the lock!

The command to pick a lock is ípick MY <container> with MY lockpickí The chance of successfully unlocking a chest, gate, door, etc. is as follows:

(Picking skill + wisdom bonus + Lock Lore (403)) * lockpick modifier + d100.

If the resulting number is over 100, the lock is picked.

 

 

Just last week, you spent some of your savings on a brand-new mein lockpick (modifier of 1.9). You pull it out of your belt pouch and gingerly begin to pick the lock on your box. You have tripled-trained in lock-picking your entire life and feel confident that with your skill at +70, this lock should pose no problem. And you are probably right... since this particular box has an easy lock of -60

(70 + 7) * 1.9 - 60 = 146 - 60 = 86 Any roll over 14 will pick the lock.

Chance of picking 85%

You settle in then Click! The box opens! You look inside and find..... a dirty yellow skirt and 28 silver coins. <sigh> Ah, well... back to the hunt.

Always check your boxes three or more times. Missing a trap and killing yourself (or worse, others) is a humiliation that you should try with all your might to avoid. Do NOT pick around others until your skills are at least around +70 each. I know itís frustrating to be told this but you assume responsibility when you pick around others. Flagrant abuse of that responsibility WILL come back to haunt you. Feel free to experiment alone. You might be able to open a kobold box at age two and you SHOULD be proud of yourself, but do not let your accomplishment go to your head. Always recognize your limits. You will slowly get a feel for what you can handle and what you canít. I am always impressed by the rogue who hands back a box that he or she knows is above his or her skills.

East Tower, Hearthstone Steps and Foyer, Ice-Mule Well, etc.

Picking in crowds... A hectic yet rewarding experience. Every picker has his own style; and with a little experience, you will find your own. Most of us kneel or sit in known picking locations, not because of any picking bonuses (a widespread myth), but to advertise ourselves as picking rogues. I usually sit down, proclaim ĎOpen picker...í and wait for the first offer. As you learn your limits, it is wise to advertise them as well. You will often hear statements like "Open picker - hobs and belowí. When you receive a box, ask the person where it is from and how many more he or she has. It is usually good practice to pick all the boxes each person has before moving on to another customer.

Moving on, by the way, is the trickiest part. East Tower can almost rival TSC in confusion and chaos. At times, three pickers will be trying to service twenty or so adventurers, who have all fought hard for their treasure and who have all been waiting long to have their boxes opened. There are different ways to choose the next customer. Some just take the next box offered to them, which I personally feel adds to the chaos, but it is the easiest way to move on. People in established picking spots usually have an imprecise idea of whoís next. The most common method is to let the customers keep track of the line, and to also let them keep line-breakers honest. I personally try to keep my own line in my head. Anyone who asks me, out loud or in a whisper, gets placed in my line. I try to acknowledge any requests and then restate my line out loud. ĎIndeed, Kit.. Iíll get ye right after Sem, Gwal, and Kes.í Again, find your own style, these are only three of many possible examples.

Field Picking

Ah, the adrenaline rush of putting away your weapon and shield in the middle of Potterís Field, examining that scratched silver trunk carefully, hoping that no blood-thirsty zombie wanders in.... ;-)

Field-picking is a dangerous past-time, and one that you should undertake with care. Know what your DS is when bare-handed (remember that Brawling skill, and your strength bonus, are all part of your DS when in stance defensive) and compare that to the local critters AS. Use common sense here. Tis always best to have a few guards around, and make sure they understand the importance of their duty! (Nothing like having all your guards chase after a fleeing titan while youíre rooted to the spot with a 40 second RT!)

 

 

Always disarm and pick with the box on the ground. This leaves both your hands free while disarming, and when picking ALWAYS remember to swap the lockpick from your right hand to your left. You need the right hand free to ward off those titan mattocks (Though Iíve never been fast enough to block those pesky lightning bolts they throw... <grin>) Which brings up another point. Tis probably not a bad idea to avoid picking around critters with certain special attacks. Like titans with their lightning bolts, grey orcs with their clouds, and the golems, titans, and giants with their annoying stomping.... Rather difficult to defend yourself when lying flat on your back still stuck in RT.

Training:

If you plan to be an adequate picker, I highly recommend doubling in both lockpicking and disarming

for life... Many will recommend that you double in perception also, but it IS possible to just double

in it for the first 10-14 years, then cut back to singling... This regimen will allow you to pick nearly

every box off critters your own level. And it only costs 6/7 a year (6/9 for the first decade)

However... remember trap difficulty HAS increased recently. For quite a few years, -160 was the highest trap in the lands.. Now -460 traps exist. Added to the higher difficulty is the advent of the incinerator trap, which kills instantly, and quite painfully. The goal for the adequate picker is to SEE every trap, not necessarily to disarm every one. There WILL be boxes you wonít be able to open..

As for picking, boxes go as high as Ė1300 in the Rift. For those of you who aspire to only be adequate to good pickers, options are abundant. Double-training with plans to learn Lock-Lore will be the most efficient use of your training points, and will allow you to pick most, if not all, of the boxes off your own kills. However, if you aspire to do a lot of picking for others, triple-training every other year would probably be a good idea. For those who want to pick as quickly as possible, I recommend the following. Triple train your first 6-8 years, then cut back to double as you begin to save up for spells. That good start will keep you picking above your level for a good long time, especially after learning Lock Lore.

Now if you can find the TPs, Tripling in locks can make you a God... <whistle> Well, almost.. <grin>

A tripler with a decent Wisdom bonus (+15 or higher), and Lock Lore will be able to pick -525 boxes

at 20th level. At age 35-40, a tripler will be able to get pretty much EVERY box found on the mainland. But such skill takes a LOT of sacrifices... Youíll need to double or triple in disarm too, and the TP cost can be pretty expensive over the years.. Remember, the lock skills contribute nothing to Redux (more about that later), so you have to decide if the costs are worth the benefits.

Picks and Spells:

Others have done the research (Thanks Porcell!), and here are the accepted modifiers for lockpicks found in the Landing.

Crude: 1.1
Common: 1.2
Good: 1.25
Quality (Back room, any material): 1.3
Professional (Either normal professional or Back room, any material): 1.5
Mithril: 1.9
Precision (Back room, any material): 1.9

Mein 1.9
Alum: 2.5

 

Meins are available for 2k at the locksmith. No reason to ever use anything less. Alum lockpicks are located in the backroom at the locksmith. List price is 27k, though if you offer 8k-10k first you can usually get the price down to 20k or so. Backroom access is obtained by buying a LOT of items from the shop. I recommend buying crude lockpicks and offering to pay 5 silvers over the list price each time. Lockpicks CAN be repaired by Edwina (she works up the stairs over the Locksmith), but they become more susceptible to breaking every time you repair them.

Lock Lore (403) gives the following bonuses

(Picking Skill/10) + (Age/2) + (Dexterity/2 + Wisdom/2)/2 if self-cast

Half if non self-cast

Trap Lore (404) gives the following bonuses

(Disarming Skill/10) + (Age/2) + (Reflexes/2 + Discipline/2)/2 if self-cast

Half if non self-cast

Using an imbedded item does NOT confer the same benefits as a self-cast spell. Yet another decision to be made by the Rogue. The benefits from Lock and Trap Lore are substantial, but 320 MPs (80 MPs per spell) is not cheap. It is interesting to note that the spellís effects ARE multiplied by the lockpick modifier. I obtained Lock Lore in my 18th year, unaware of this fact. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that instead of a bonus of +28 to my picking skill, I could now pick +70(!) above my current level. These spells are very powerful.

Armor & Shield

Armor:

There are many different types of Armor in Gemstone.

Armor

AsG

Elemental Hindrance

Spiritual

Hindrance

RT

Adder

Action

Penalty

No Armor

1

0

0

0 sec

0

Robes

2

0

0

0 sec

0

           

Light Leather

5

0

0

0 sec

0

Full Leather

6

0

0

1 sec

0

Reinforced Leather

7

2%

0

2 sec

-5%

Double Leather

8

3%

0

2 sec

-8%

           

Leather Breastplate

9

5%

4%

2 sec

-5%

Cuirbouilli Leather

10

6%

5%

4 sec

-7%

Studded Leather

11

6%

6%

6 sec

-10%

Brigadine Armor

12

8%

7%

6 sec

-13%

           

Chain Mail

13

9%

8%

7 sec

-12%

Double Chain

14

11%

10%

8 sec

-14%

Augmented Chain

15

11%

11%

8 sec

-16%

Chain Hauberk

16

13%

12%

9 sec

-18%

           

Metal Breastplate

17

15%

14%

10 sec

-20%

Augmented Metal

18

17%

16%

11 sec

-25%

Half Plate

19

17%

17%

12 sec

-30%

Full Plate

20

20%

19%

13 sec

-35%

 

Note each Armor group comes in sets of four. These denote how much of your body is protected. For example, Light Leather protects only your torso, while Full Leather protects your torso and your legs. Reinforced Leather protects your torso, legs, and arms, while Double Leather offers complete protection (torso, legs, arms and head). What this means is if you are wearing reinforced leather and you get hit in the head, the attack will be determined like youíre not wearing any armor at all!

Each set builds on the other. For example, wearing Chain Mail means your torso is protected like Chain armor, while the rest of your body is protected like Brigandine. Itís difficult to find good partial armors. Most merchants and player enchanters prefer the full body coverage armors (double, brigandine, hauberk, and plate), but I have seen more and more partial armors at the merchants so hopefully this trend is changing.

Spell hindrance is the chance your spell will fail and is based on your armor training. The formula is as follows.

(base spell hindrance - ( ROUND(armor skill bonus / 20) ) * base spell hindrance = actual spell hindrance

For example, say you have 168 skill in armor and youíre wearing hauberk trying to cast an elemental spell (base 13% hindrance). (13 Ė ROUND (8.4)) * 13% = (13-8)*13% = 5*13% = 65%

So, you have a 65% chance of failure. Pretty hefty. Of course, most of our spells are cast back in town, where spell failure is not a matter of life and death. If youíre casting Lock Lore and it fails <shrug> you cast it again. Or take your armor off. Spells are cheap, in terms of mana, for most Rogues. EXCEPT for Wizard type RoguesÖ those that use E-wave or other spells in combat. These limits then become very important.

The RT (Round Time) Adder is the most serious effect of wearing armor. The base RT for combat is 5 seconds. Wearing brigandine armor (RT Adder of 6 seconds) without any training will give you a 11 second RT (11 seconds between swings). A lot of protection, but youíre slower than dirt. Anything youíre fighting will swing at you twice for each of your swings. Every +20 in Armor training reduces RT by one second. Also every +15 bonus in Dexterity and Reflexes COMBINED reduces RT by one second. You cannot train away the base Action Penalty (which affects climbing, swimming, standing, etc.), but wearing armor youíre not fully trained for increases the Action Penalty.

A note about these numbers. They ARE rounded up. You actually train away a second of RT penalty when your Armor skill exceeds 11, and then every 20 after that (the next one at 31, then 51, etc). So to avoid all RT penalties in brig, for example, you only need to achieve a 111 skill, not the full 120 skill (6 seconds x 20). However, something to keep in mind is that you are much more vulnerable to Maneuver attacks when wearing armor you are not fully trained for, so youíll need to get that full 120 skill anyway.

The combined Dexterity and Reflexes bonus works the same way. You actually knock off a second of RT when the combined bonus is +8, and then every +15 after that (+23, +38, etc).

Armors have become much more effective in the last year. Brig Armor is now a LOT better than Double in terms of protection, and of course Hauberk and Plate are better even still. Ye really ARE a tank now in Plate Mail. Course, the cost to train for the heavier armors is expensive.

 

 

A big question is whether or not to double in the Armor skill. I highly recommend getting up to at least brig armor. If you double in armor, youíll be able to wear brig without any penalty at level 13. If you single, it wonít be until level 26. Singling is usually the smartest use of your Training Points, but it depends on your priorities. Levels 20-26 can be tough wearing Cuirbouilli Leather (if you can find any), or wearing brig and swinging slow. Warrior Rogues should definitely double in this skill. Armor will be their best defense, and they need to get to hauberk as soon as possible.

Something to consider is your combined Dexterity and Reflex bonus. If itís high enough, it can allow you to wear the heavier armors before being fully trained.

Deciding on what armor to wear usually comes down to one choice. Speed vs. Protection. Itís a difficult decision. Speed, most of the time, keeps you from getting hit at all. But you WILL get hit. It happens sooner or later on every hunt, and it sure is nice to have the protection when it happens.

Shield:

Your shield training will increase your DS gained from your shield. At the very least, single train in this skill every year. The training does you the most good in stance defensive, but also helps your DS in offensive also. (You can never have too much DS) The formula seems a little complex, but itís not as difficult as it looks.

DS from shield = Shield bonus + [(shield skill) / 100 * (shield bonus* stance)]

Shield bonus is 20 (base DS a normal shield has) + enchantment (i.e. an ora (+10) shield has a +30 bonus)

Stance modifiers Defensive = 1.0

Guarded = 0.85

Neutral = 0.70

Forward = 0.55

Advanced = 0.40

Offensive = 0.25

 

For example: a vultite shield has a +40 bonus. If you have no shield training at level 10, you will receive a +40 bonus to your DS in both stance offensive and stance defensive. With single training each year (not counting year zero) your skill will be at +50.

In offensive, DS from shield = +40 + 0.5 * (40*0.25) = +45

In defensive, DS from shield = +40 + 0.5 * (40*1.0) = +60

When your skill reaches 100, youíll have +50 in offensive, and +80 (!) in defensive. It does make a difference. Still, the diminishing returns you receive from training makes doubling in this skill a tough choice. A doubler at 40 has a skill of 180, while a singler has a skill of 140. Not much difference there. The 4-8 extra DS one gets in stance offensive costs 240 PPs, rather expensive. Thatís enough TPs for 5 ranks in Mana-Share, a Spell (+5 DS for that first one), or fully trained in Scrolls or Magic Item Use.

Right now, as the skill is currently implemented, I think doubling in shields is a major waste of Training Points. Singling is a good idea, but for the cost, doubling gains you very little benefit. However, I DO expect this skill to become more useful in the future (may be years though). Again, the choice is yours.

 

 

Ambushing:

Combat in Gemstone uses a ranking system for amount of damage done and the level of the crit inflicted.

Crit Rank Damage Crit Rank Damage

0 1-5 5 26-30

1 6-10 6 31-35

2 11-15 7 36-40

3 16-20 8 41-45

4 21-25 9 46-50

Now these numbers are for Armor Group 5-8 (the leathers). Better armors give more protection from critical hits. Armor Group 9-12 progress in increments of 7 hps of damage (so where a hit of 42 pts in Double Leather would give you a 8 rank critical, in Brig Armor, you would only take a 6 Rank Crit).

Armor Group 13-16 increments by 9, and Armor Group 17-20 by 11 (so that 42 pts of damage would only produce a Rank 3 crit in Full Plate - Nice, eh?)

Of course weíve all done 101 points of damage to a rat at some point. The Crit Ranks add additional damage along with causing the bruises, the bleeding and/or lost limbs, and as you move up the scale, the instant death due to the loss of your head. <grin> Skill in ambushing is used to target an area of the body and also to increase the crit rank caused by your swing. It is possible to ambush from both hiding and out in the open. However, when not hidden your ambushing skill only affects your aim and doesnít add crits.

The command is ambush <Critter> <body part> such as ambush orc right leg, ambush troll head, ambush titan right eye, etc. When done in the open, the chance of hitting the target area is as follows:

(1/4 * CM skill) + (1/4 * ambush skill) + d100

If the roll is over 100, the target area is struck with the normal swing.

When done from hiding, the chance of hitting the target area is,

1/2 * Ambush skill + d100

If the roll is over 100, the target area is struck and the other half of your ambush skill affects the level of the crit rank. Iím not exactly sure how this works. It has been suggested (but never proven) that every +10 of ambushing bonus applied to the crit raises the rank by one. So if I have an ambush skill of 140 and I hit the target area (about 70% chance) I will raise the crit level by 7 ( and on a scale of 9, Iím pretty sure to take a leg or head clean off). One can also ambush from hiding without indicating a target area, in which case the target area is determined randomly and the entire ambush skill is applied to raise the crit rank

It should also be noted that some body parts are harder to hit than others (eyes for example), and there is a modifier that reflects this. Also no matter how high your ambush skill, you will always miss completely 5% of the time, and the target area some of the time. Some have asked if ambush is a maxable skill. At a skill of 150, you will have maxed out your chances of hitting an aimed spot, but the mechanics of increasing crit damage are not as well understood. In any case, I intend to train well past 150...

 

 

Tactics

These depend on the creature you plan to hunt of course. Some creatures are uncrittable (as I have found out to my sorrow - durn spectral monks), some are crit-resistant (cave and war trolls), and some jest fall apart with the slightest tap (salutes zombies). There are also critters that kin sniff you out of hiding with no difficulty (titans, frost giants, golems) and those that never have any idea that a deadly rogue is hidden within the shadows nearby (again.. salutes zombies). It is also important to consider who you are hunting with. If alone, anything goes. With a group, tis best to aim for the legs. This will help everyone else hit the critter (as it falls to the ground squirming) and make you a lot of friends. A leg-ambushing, box-picking rogue is a welcome addition to any party. One who kills every critter instantly with a head shot before anyone else kin even swing, is not invited along nearly as much.

The easiest scenario involves fighting a critter who has trouble hitting or spotting you at all (usually only the case when you are all spelled up from friends or massies). In this case, no strategy is involved at all. Just hide and start swinging. If you are good enough, go for the head or the neck (Iím not sure where this point is reached, probably around ambush skill of 80. Experiment a little). Otherwise swing for those legs (pick one and keep hacking at it) until the critter falls over. Then crack your knuckles, howl like a madman, and take out that head with your next shot.

Fighting a critter that cannot see you, crits well, but could wallop the bejeezus out of you if caught in the open (those infamous zombies with that 200+ AS <shudder>) calls for a slightly different strategy. Timing is crucial. You walk into a room with a zombie (in full defensive - never walk around in zombies in anything less), you hide, and go stance offensive. Then you wait. The zombie will search around for you, and as soon as that happens, you ambush zombie left leg or if feeling confident, ambush zombie head. With a good head shot, the fight may be over, Otherwise as soon as you are out of RT, go defensive and hide again. You should go defensive first, because it IS possible (no matter how good you are) that you will fumble your hiding attempt, and be stuck out in the open in RT again, stance offensive, with a very angry zombie (Even when lying on the ground, zombies swing with a 150 AS). Of course, things can also get complicated when another zombie walks in. By the time you get to zombies, though, you should have a good idea of your capabilities (Try this strategy first with hill trolls). With enough spell protection, and by fighting in stance advanced, you can enjoy the sight of a 10 or so zombies lying around you in a wide circle, all legless. <cackle>

Cave Trolls are representative of the critters that have problems spotting you, but are rather crit resistant. The same strategy outlined above should be followed here. Wait till they sniff for you, but then go for the legs.. Head shots are too unreliable against these critters. Get that leg to buckle, better yet, chop it clear off! It will take a few shots to get the leg off for good. If you are alone, after you get the leg to start bleeding, stay hidden for a second or two. The troll will sit down and begin to tend his leg, At this point, swing at it again, and the poor troll will be flat on his back for good. Then head shot to your heartís delight...

Next in difficulty are those creatures that may crit fairly easily, but sniff you out with apparent ease (maybe you should shower before leaving town...). Crystal golems are a good example of this type. When fighting one alone, timing again becomes critical (no pun intended). Stay in the open (in defensive), wait for the swing, hide, switch to offensive or advanced, and ambush that leg. Trying to ambush with two or more of these critters in the room can be very difficult. One always seems to sniff you out just as you get ready to ambush his buddy.

Finally come the uncrittable creatures (monks, pookas, troll kings, etc.). Even though you cannot take

any limbs off with one shot, you CAN still knock them down if you ambush the BACK. Not sure why

this works, but it does... plus ambushing DOES still raise the amount of damage ye do, so itís still a

good idea to ambush these uncrittable creatures.

 

 

Training:

Many recommend double-training consistently in this skill your entire life, and to a certain extent I agree. Expertise in this skill allows you to hunt above your level, and in later years, tis the one skill that allows us to hunt at all. Double-training every single year is probably not absolutely necessary, but double whenever you can. At the very least, double every other year. I should also note that changes DO occur in Gemstone, and although training 1.5x in Ambush is currently viable, it may not be in the future... Since this is one of our most important skills, Iíd suggest being as close to 2x as possible.

Remember also that hiding without being detected is necessary to ambush. I recommend doubling in this skill every year if you can. With increased proficiency in this skill, your RT from hiding will drop to a consistent 3 seconds. This is necessary for effective timed attacks. Someday I hope to hide from frost giants and titans, but even with my skill at 180 or so, they still can sniff me out. <sigh>

 

Picking Pockets

Ah, the skill that has given all rogues a bad name. But rest assured, the scorn (and as I have heard, outright attacks) do disappear as you age. The players who abuse the system do NOT last. Thieves are not well-liked for obvious reasons. When empaths refuse to heal you, and clerics decline to rezz you, and when no one wants to hunt with you... well, it makes for a hard lonely life.

You can play a klepto in Gemstone, but it makes for very difficult role-playing. The command to pick someoneís pocket is steal <name>. If you want to be a professional thief without being ostracized, you assume certain responsibilities. I highly recommend keeping your hand out of clerics and empaths pockets. Pick only once from each character then move on to a new mark. If you get caught, do not run away or worse yet, log off. Role-play the situation, tell them your mother needs an operation, apologize profusely, return the money (and more). Tis probably good to have a story already planned. Good luck to ye and keep your hands away from MY pocket <wink>

There are other reasons to train in pick-pocketing. There are times when being able to pick makes for some real fun! I once played an interesting little game with Phyro, a sorc friend of mine. I attempted to empty his pocket of all itís silvers before his could stun me with one of those nasty sorc spells. I kept slipping into the shadows to foil his attempts <cackle> till he finally e-waved me out of hiding <grumble... I need that spell> Also, picking is always a fine way to take your revenge on a rude young Ďun (or old Ďun - Being titled is no guarantee of real nobility)

 

 

DF Redux (Damage Factor Reduction)

Redux can be best described as natural crit-padding. By training in physical and weapon skills, any character can become tough enough to shrug off attacks from creatures that would normally kill them.

The formula is as follows:

Redux = (1.6 * primary skills) + (0.5 * weapon skills) - Spell penalty

Weapon skills: Edged, Blunt, Two-handed, Pole arms, Brawling

Primary skills: Combat Maneuvers, Multi-Opp, Two-weapon, Ambush, Physical Training, Armor, Shield, Swimming, Climbing

Spell Penalty = n(n+1) for EVERY spell list where n is the highest

spell you know in each circle...

(i.e. ye know 401-406, 101... Penalty = 6*(6+1) + 1*(1+1) = 44)

Add up your ranks, multiply it out and divide by 350. If the result is over 1.000 you have Redux. Take the inverse of that number to see how much damage is reduced (hence, the name Redux, i.e. reduction). For example, if your total number equals 700Ö take 700/350 = 2 and then the inverse is 1/2 . So you would only take half of the normal damage. With a 1400, youíre only taking one fourth of the normal damage. As you can see, the number never reaches zero, but does keep getting smaller.

Knowing spells DOES reduce your Redux, and the penalty increases geometrically. Four spells (say 401-404) only gives a penalty of 20 pointsÖ something ye kin make up in two years at most. Now being able to cast 20 spells (say 401-420) will cost you 420 points MORE... 770 points total before Redux kicks in! Note that training in two different circles reduces the penalty dramatically. Knowing 401-410 and 101-110 gives a penalty of only 220... Almost half the penalty...

For those who doubt the power of Redux, here is an example of its effects. The person in question is a 36th level Warrior with 104 weapon ranks, 302 primary ranks, and no spells.

A roa'ter charges at you!

AS: +253 vs DS: +135 with AvD: +35 + d100 roll: +66 = +219

... and hits for 9 points of damage!

Chest hit causes you to spin around like a halfling after a fresh tart.

Unfortunately she is wearing medium padded brig in this example, so itís hard to tell how much is Redux and how much is the padding (I saved this example because I wear the same padded Brig, and I could see exactly how Redux would help me. But I will tell you. mine NEVER protected me this well. A +219 hit from a Roaíter would have definitely stunned me and left me bleeding).

Redux was meant to allow Warriors and Rogues to hunt without spells, and I feel it meets this goal admirably. In the past, many elder Rogues had to kill with that first ambush strike, or else lose their own lives. Now we have an excellent chance of surviving the counterblow. A gift from the Gods, indeed!

 

 

Two Weapon Combat

Along with Redux and Armor, Two-weapon combat was changed recently. Now your skill CAN be used to help defensively. The formula is similar to the Shield Formula and is as follows:

2 weapon skill / 100 * (weapon plus + defender bonus + natural weapon bonus +1 ) * stance

Stance modifiers Defensive = 1.0

Guarded = 0.85

Neutral = 0.70

Forward = 0.55

Advanced = 0.40

Offensive = 0.25

The only weapon (so far) that has a natural weapon bonus is a main gauche (+15 only to defense), similar to how a shield has a natural +20. Defender weapons are special magical weapons and very rare. This change makes two-weapon fighting a viable choice for the Warrior Rogue. Tis expensive to train in, and a second weapon offers no protection against ranged weapons or magical bolt attacks, but one can also train in a shield and just pull it out if the situation calls for it.

Rogue Guild

Ah, the Rogue GuildÖ took a while for it to open, but itís finally here. Four skills are currently implemented, with two more on the way. Iím only going to give you the bare basics of Guild mechanics. Iíd rather leave exploration of the various skills and the different Guild Houses to you to discover in-game.

The four skills currently implanted are Sweep, Subdue, Stun Maneuvers, and Cheapshots. Sweep allows one to sweep an opponent off its feet. This skill can be VERY effective while hunting. Many Rogues swear by it, and most train in it. Subdue lets one stun an opponent for a brief amount of time. This skill currently doesnít seem to be as effective as Sweep, although a Subdue roll of over 200 can produce some nasty results for the victim.

Stun Maneuvers and Cheapshots are slightly different. They incorporate several skills into one, and as you finish ranks, you gain new abilities within the skill. For example, during the first ten ranks of Stun Maneuvers, you are able to get your shield out even when stunned (which can save your life). During the next ten ranks, you also gain the skill to get your weapon out when stunned. I donít want the spoil the surprise for you, but by the time you Master the skill, the abilities become very powerful. Cheapshots work the same way, with different cheapshots to incapacitate your opponents. You start out with a footstomp and progress from there (think Three Stooges).

The two skills slated for implementation in the future (near future we hope) are Rogue Gambits and Lock Mastery. Both of these will work like Stun Maneuvers and Cheapshots, with several abilities built into each skill. We will have to wait and see what these will be.

You have to be 15th level to join the Guild, and it takes 63 ranks to Master a skill. To become a GuildMaster you need 125 total ranks, you must be a Master of at least one skill, and you need to find four current GuildMasters in order to be promoted. You can only learn 5 ranks in any one skill before you need to learn a rank in some other skill (so to Master Sweep, youíd need to have 13 ranks in other skills).

 

 

Unfortunately, you can only learn so many ranks dependant on your level. The current formula is (level-4)*4 so when you enter the Guild at level 15, you can only learn 44 ranks, going up 4 ranks each time you train. Itís impossible to Master a skill until level 23 (since you need 76 ranks Ė 63 ranks + 13 ranks in other skills), and you canít become a GuildMaster until level 36 (32*4 is 128 possible ranks).

Spells

Rogues can learn spells from two lists, the Minor Elemental Circle and the Minor Spiritual Circle. We are not natural spell-casters (80 MPs per spell is NOT cheap), but with much study, we CAN become capable little wizards. Spell Research is the biggest decision a rogue can make. Like all other skills, there are many paths you can take. Some rogues forsake magic utterly, and to be honest, not having to save training points for spells allows non-magical rogues to be VERY good at everything else. And with the advent of Redux, this choice has become MUCH more viable. One kin be quite successful even as a pure physical Rogue... a welcome change from a couple of years ago, when the majority of Rogues felt they NEEDED Spells to survive.

Many rogues learn the first four spells of the Minor Elemental Circle. The last two (Lock Lore - 403,Trap Lore - 404) are VERY useful for us. Serious pickers must have 403 at least (or constantly have friends imbed amulets and rings) to stay competitive. Quite a few rogues stop at this point, content with these four spells, and begin to max out their other skills. More of us though, continue on, albeit slowly. The second goal of magic-using rogues (403 is the first) is Elemental Wave (410). This spell knocks down and stuns all opponents in the room not joined to your group. A very handy spell for ambushers, eh? Ten spells equals 800 MPs, however. <shiver> Even saving 20 MPs a year (from the very beginning!), you will be 40 before you gain that tenth spell. Many of us would be happy to have it by our 50th year.

And then there are a few Rogues out there who relish the magical arts, who think nothing of saving

27 MPs - 40 MPs a year (a spell every two to three years). With our low costs, it is quite possible for a rogue to be a strong fighter, fair to decent picker, AND be using E-wave by his or her 30th year. Tis a tough road though. Either you will have to forsake one area completely (Quite a few Rogues chose to give up manual picking for spells in recent years. After all, 407 used to work just as well), or you will always pale slightly in comparison to your peers (Of course, if you can E-wave 6 opponents at a time, who needs that extra ambushing skill?)

Training:

Researching any spells at all requires sacrifices. MAJOR sacrifices. You have to be willing to give something up to gain spells, so plan ahead. I try to say this with a straight face, as Gullman has changed his overall training goals more than just a few times over the years, but it does help to know what you want in the long run. I recommend ignoring spells for the first 6-10 years. Establish a good base in your core skills before you start trying to find TPs for spells. Then I would try to gain spells slowly. One every four or five years is fairly easily accomplished. Speed that up or down, of course, as suits your ultimate goal.

 

Spell Lists

Minor Elemental

401 - Guard I (+5 DS)

402 - Presence (allows you to detect hidden and invisible people - but NOT make them visible)

403 - Lock Lore

404 - Trap Lore

405 - Elemental Detection (tells you what spells are in effect on a person or a object)

406 - Guard II (+10 DS)

407 - Unlock (Word of Opening)

408 - Disarm (Word of Disarming)

409 - Elemental Blast (attack spell)

410 - Elemental Wave (E-Wave)

411 - Elemental Blade (E-Blade)

412 - Weapon Deflection (Target has -25 to AS)

413 - Elemental Saturation (Target has -25 TD)

414 - Guard III (+25 DS)

415 - Elemental Strike (more powerful attack spell)

416 - Piercing Gaze (allows caster to look into, behind,under all containers)

417 - Elemental Dispel (dispel spells)

418 - Mana Focus (make a temporary node)

419 - Mass Guards (+25 DS for whole group)

420 - Magic Item Creation (Imbed items)

425 - True Strike (+ level to AS - may be changed)

430 - True Guard (+ level to DS - may be changed)

Minor Spiritual

101 - Spirit Protection (+10 to Spell Defense (TD))

102 - Spirit Barrier (+50 to DS, but -50 to AS)*

103 - Spirit Defense (+10 to DS)

104 - Disease Resist

105 - Poison Resist

106 - Spirit Fog (+30 DS to everyone in room, including critters)

107 - Spirit Protection II (+25 to TD)

108 - Stun Relief

109 - Dispel Invisibility

110 - Unbalance (Like E-wave, but only one critter at a time)

111 - Fire Spirit (sends up flare, or can be cast at <critter>)

112 - Water Walking

113 - Undisease

114 - Unpoison

115 - Spirit Burst (Stuns critters)

116 - Locate Person

117 - Spirit Strike (+75 to AS for one strike - like blue crystals)

118 - Web

119 - Herb Production

120 - Lesser Shroud (+25 to DS - like the small statues AND +25 TD - unlike the statues)

125 - Call Lightning (Calls up a storm that hits the critters)

130 - Spirit Guide (Teleports everyone back to the Landing)

150 - Wall of Force (+100 to DS)

*Brawling Volners are wise to learn the first two spells in the Spiritual Circle. Airwall (102) conveys a +50 DS bonus while only penalizing Brawlers -10 MB.

 

 

Mana-Sharing

This is a skill I discovered late, but for us rogues with sizable mana (High Aura stat), mana-sharing is a great compromise to have in place of spells. To share mana you use the command send <amount> <name> Multiplying each personís sharing skill gives the percentage transferred from the amount sent. If my skill is 40 and I send 50 mana to a person with a 90 skill, 18 mana will be transferred.

(0.90)*(0.40)*50= (0.36)*50 = 18 mana.

After obtaining my first four spells, I began to play around with sharing. Itís not a cheap skill (0/25), but after so many years of saving for spells, it seemed very inexpensive by comparison. Not many rogues seem to train in this skill. Many spell-users were very surprised when I first began to share my mana. And the results! I like to ambush share (the rogue in me). I used to hunt quite a bit in vereris. As I would pass the various clerics and sorcerers who hunted there I would send off a bit of needed, and much appreciated, mana. The next pass around, they would almost invariably hit me with a DS spell of some sort. My mana-sharing is fairly decent now and I have lots of unneeded mana. I constantly hit emapths in town, wizards in the wilds, and clerics after a rezz. Tis a great way to meet people and make friends. And who better to have as friends than empaths, clerics, and wizards? <grin>

People in Gemstone are pretty willing to cast spells on others anyway, but if you can supply the mana, you can usually get any spell you want. I could have had two more spells by now with the training points Iíve spent on sharing, but what would I have? I could cast 406 (+10 DS) on myself, but with sharing I can get 406, 503 (another +10) and 103(another +10) anytime I want. And wait till ye kin share well enough to send for a wizard shield (+50 DS) <cackle - Now thereís a nice spell!> And saving for sharing instead of spells allows you to more fully train in your other skills. In case you havenít guessed, I highly recommend training in mana-sharing at some point. I didnít start until my 19th year myself, but it has proven to be well worth it. Another reason to put a high score at the start in your Aura.

 

 

Wrapping it up

A few final comments on training. There is NO wrong way to train a Rogue. All the recent changes and additions to Gemstone have been WONDERFUL. There are so MANY choices to be made. Spells?? Lockpicking?? Redux?? Mana-share?? You canít have it all. You have to DECIDE!! I love it. With the new traps, Redux, the Rogue Guild, etc., itís a great time to be a Rogue.

Whatever ye do, donít skimp on any skill because currently you can get away with it. For YEARS, traps maxed out at -160. I STOPPED training in Disarm and Perception for nearly 20 years after both skills were around 140. I took advantage of game mechanics to free up TPs elsewhere and got burned badly when traps jumped to Ė260 (and now theyíre at Ė460). So badly in fact that I rerolled (The Appendix has details if youíre interested). As I mentioned before, currently one kin get by with only doubling in Ambush every other year. That may not be true six months from now. So be careful.

My rule of thumb is I kin skip 10 trains out of every 50. I want to be fully 2x in Ambush, but I also want mana-share so for 10 years I plan to only single in Ambush for ten years. So at 50, Iíll have a 190 skill instead of 200. I feel I can afford that. Itís all up to YOU. Should I give up 10 years of Combat Maneuvers?? Iíll lose +5 AS, which isnít much but I hate to lose any ASÖ ever.. But 40 PPs / 50 MPs is a LOT of Training Points. I could do a lot with those. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. <grin> Tis part of what makes it all so fun. What kind of Rogue will YOU be??

Good hunting to ye, friends. And always feel free to e-scroll me if ye have any questions or give me a good poke if ye see me in the Lands..

<smile merrily>

Gullman Skyehaven

Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

October 23rd, 2000.

 

 

 

APPENDIX

Or

Gullman gets slam-dunked into the Fountain of Youth

So here I am.. my first week away from home.... Caught a ride in my father's ship... One last time he argued with me...But I was determined to make my own way.. so down the gangplank I went, into the busy streets of Weinheimer's Landing...

Needing money, I found a job at the clerk's office delivering messages.. Honest though boring work... Within a day or two, I realized that the Fur Trade in this frontier town is brisk, to say the least.. I found my way into the catacombs and there began my (hopefully) short career as Rat Hunter, extraordinaire... Thank the Gods my father cannae see me now..

Now the disturbing part... Even from the start, I had a strange sense of deja-vu... Never had I set foot in this town, yet certain buildings and streets seem VERY familiar.. It was when I was resting in the temple and decided to re-enter the catacombs thru the secret crack behind the altar that I realized SOMETHING was wrong... Without thinking or even searching... I KNEW the crack was dere...

<shiver>

Moreover.. I went to the bank this afternoon for the FIRST time to open an account. (All my silver was slowing me down in combat and hindering my abilities to hide... Pickpockets didnae frighten me.. I know how to deal with them...) But I when I arrived there, the clerk said I ALREADY had an account..

<gulp>

When I checked the balance.. I nearly fainted.... over a MILLION silver coins!!! A fortune! Course I kept my mouth shut... I may not be a professional teef, but I'm no fool neither... At first I thought the account was a mistake, but the clerk showed me the signature for the last withdrawal... It was mine!

What powerful magics flow through this town?? At night I have terrible nightmares... Memories of events that NEVER happened to me fill my mind... I see many faces, many friends that I've NEVER met... My dreams always end with a vision of Dark Elves chanting, den darkness and terrible pain...

<wipes the sweat from his brow>

Are there any elder sages or seers that kin help? Maybe a powerful healer who kin banish these false memories.. or <gulp> if true.. restore dem?? Could I have lived anudder life??

<bows deeply>

I have not had a chance to read all these boards here in Moot Hall... maybe the answer is already before me.. So many notes.. Years and Years of written thoughts.. Ah.. the wisdom that must lie within!!

I leave this plea with hope that someone kin help..

Gullman Skyehaven

 

 

Well... I am terribly confused... to say the least.. <sigh> Seems I HAVE lived 'ere before... as I finally got around to checking all the old posts 'ere in Moot Hall...

Imagine my surprise when I found posts written by ME!! I have met person after person who seemed surprised to see me so young. With each face, anudder memory is wrenched back into its proper place...

<shake head>

Sheerah triggered the largest memory when she traveled to Moot Hall (from River's Rest, no less!) to bring me a copy of the last post I made as the older Gullman... THAT piece of paper triggered a most painful memory... My father is dead.. I must have failed to save him... But I cannae remember anything else..

Powerful magic indeed to rip my years and most of my memories from me... The memories return, but the years? <sigh> I fear my skills must be relearned....

I wish to thank all my friends for their patience... I'm still certain that there is something out there that will trigger my memory of that last night.... <flail> Again, I ask for ye patience and help, friends... Please

say Hello if ye see me, and perhaps anudder piece of the puzzle that is my mind will be found...

<bows deeply>

Good hunting, friends...

Gullman

 

**********************

My memory returned indeed, friends... A few days after making these posts, an exhausted elven lass ventured into the Landing, looking for a Giantman with Long Braided White Hair... Some helpful townsfolk helped her search and finally she found me sitting on Hearthstone Steps. Taking me aside, she told an amazing story...

It seems she was captured a year ago by a band of Dark Elves. Not the semi-civilized Dark Elves we have

roaming around 'ere, but the real thing... outcasts living deep underground. Two months ago, I appeared at the locked cell she shared with the other prisoners, searching for my father. He had been kidnapped by these Elves, in hopes they could draw me into a snare of their choosing. For as it turns out, I had been there before!! This is the last post I made in Moot Hall before losing my memory.

 

 

Friends... Word has come to me that my father is in dire need... He has been taken it seems, by the group (tribe?) of Dark Elves that I once had the misfortune to encounter... Their abode is NOT a place I would willingly go to again...

Last time I was there I barely escaped with my life, though I did bring forth a prize... and I believe they must have been searching for me all these years... And now they have found a way to coerce me back....

Tis quite possible I may never return, or if I do, I may not be whole in either heart or mind... for now they know me... and will be expecting my arrival... A Rogue's best defense is not to be noticed at all...

And that card was played on my last visit.... <shiver>

Farewell!

Gullman Skyehaven

 

As she related her tale, how I picked the lock on the cell door, how the guards gave pursuit (a large collection of sick and weary slaves is NOT a very quiet group.), how hopeless the fighting was, trapped in the dark damp corridors, my mind began to heal. I could hear the cries of pain and the shouts of defiance. I started to remember the Elves that I swept from our path, falling, pierced by my longsword. But there were too many... Too, too many...

The elven lass paused in her story, contemplating me intently. "Thinking of this, perhaps?" she asked, studying me... From her cloak she pulled an ancient elven longsword. As she handed it to me, the blue sapphire flames imbedded in its hilt exploded with a light so brilliant that I fell back, blinded...

And then.... I remembered....

I remembered the first time I met these Dark Elves, adventuring with my father and his crewmates, around the time I became a Lord. An old map they had found showed a fabled island of immense wealth... Unfortunately, the fable proved to be false, for the island was a stronghold of Faendryl... I was lucky to escape with my life. I DID manage, however, to make off with the longsword, after a furious duel with a Faendryl Elder ended with his death.

I remember THIS trip, fighting that last hopeless battle, watching my father wounded terribly. I watched a few slaves escape, dragging my old sailor father with dem, cursing to the last. I guarded their escape the best I could, turning at the last moment to follow them.

But alas, I also remember chanting from the Elven Sorcerors and my longsword dropping from my nerveless fingers, falling behind me within reach of the band of escaping prisoners . Against the Elven spells, I found myself totally helpless, and the magiks they cast that night tore at my very sanity.

Not content with my death, they decided to try and erase my entire existence. Calling upon powerful magics, they moved me outside the law of Time and proceeded to rip my years and my memories from me...

 

 

However they had not the energy to destroy me completely and I found myself back in the Landing.. my last memory being leaving the ship that brought me 'ere.. although that happened 39 years ago!!

My father died that night, but before he passed on, he entrusted the sweet elven lass who sat before me with my familyís possessions. Along with the longsword, she returned to me an old sailorís trunk. Locked! And I fear I lack the skill to open it. My abilities must be re-learned and I think I will be made a Lord again before I can open this trunk, and see what my family has left to me, the sole surviving member..

Until that day, safe travels, friends...

And someday, I WILL return to that cursed island.....

 

Gullman Skyehaven

 

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