First thing you will see in the Character Manager is a set of 10 numbers. Their starting values are weighted so that the first three numbers can be as high as 90, the next three up to 60, the next 3 up to 50 and the last number up to a 100. Most wizards starting out new without a supporting family will want to start with 4 numbers that are 80 or greater and 3 numbers that are 55 or better. Put the highest number in Discipline, next highest in DEX, then Reflexes, then Aura. Put the three 55-60s, in Strength , Logic and Wisdom. Put the next best numbers in IN and CH. Put the lowest one in CO. Aura and IN are prime stats for Wizards and will not only get a boost of +10 but also have a faster rate of stat gain. All stats have the potential to reach 100.
Stat gain rate is primarily profession dependent. Aura, Intelligence, Dexterity, and Logic gain at the fastest rate. Strength, Wisdom, Charisma, and Constitution the slowest. Reflexes and Discipline somewhere in-between. The above stat distribution is intended for optimizing the wizard's stats/skills for when they reach maturity at around level 30, given the constraint of the need to be able to hunt effectively at lower levels. DI gains somewhat slowly but is a determinant of both Physical and Mental Training points. So the highest number goes to DI. Higher numbers in DE, RE and ST will allow a young wizard to survive the lower levels. By the time this young wizard reaches level 30, their Aura and DE, the two stats that matters the most to a wizard will be 100. IN gets a lower number because it gains at a much faster rate than Wisdom and the initial starting number will get a +10 boost since it, along with Aura, is a prime stat for wizards.
Wizards derive their mana points from their Aura stat. The best you can do is 3 mana points per level with an Aura of 100. As long as you put a 80 or better in Aura, you will do fine since the starting Aura will be boosted by +10. Dexterity is to wizards what Strength is to warriors. The DE stat bonus plus the racial stat bonus is added to your training in Aim Spells skill and that is the wizards Attack Strength (AS) when you hurl MinorShock or WaterBolts or MajorShock. Reflex stat and racial bonus are added to your Defensive Strength (DS). The Strength bonus is added to melee attack skill. That edged weapon will help you get to lord level when young wizards are handicapped by low mana reserves. (Spirit points are also derived from the Aura Stat)
There are eight races to choose from. The halfling is the most difficult to advance at the lower levels with their -20 racial ST bonus. They also have the potential to be the most powerful bolt casting wizards at the highest levels. Dark Elves are an excellent choice for wizards. Their only real downside is their slow Spirit level recover rate. The sylvan kind is also a good race for wizards. So are the half-elves. All the elf races make fine wizards. Giantman are more suitable for warrior wizards. Common man and dwarfs make poor wizards from a roll-playing perspective but if you have role-playing reasons they do make adequate wizards.
Most skills require a combination of Physical and Mental Training points. Higher stats means more TPs with a possible max of 60 MTPs and 60 PTPs. That's with a 100 in every Stat. The above suggested initial stat distribution will provide about 40 or so TPS of each type. Because some of the lower numbers are in Stats that have the faster rate of gain, the available TPS will grow rapidly. The Physical Training points are derived from your Aura, ST, RE, DI, DE and CO stats. The Mental TPs from the Aura, DI, LO, IN, CH and WI stats. You can also convert PTPs to MTPs at a cost of 2 PTPs for each MTPs gained. The skills wizards train in have a higher MTPs component so they end up trading most of their PTPs for MTPs. (Training points = Sum of the 6 stats divided by 100)
Double train in Spell Aim every level. Train in Shield Use every level. Learn 2 spells every level. Train in Edged Weapons every level till level 20 or so. The Edged Weapon skill will help you advance at the lower levels when a young wizardling has little mana and never enough wands. It is possible to do without weapons training altogether but it will make advancing at lower levels very slow and difficult. Train once per level in Magic Items and Scroll Skill. Train in Physical every level till you have 30 or more hit points. Then train in it now and then till you have at least 100. Climbing, Swimming , and Perception are important secondary skills. No need to train every level in those skill but try and train every other level to every third level in them. If there are TPs left after training in the above skills then start training in Mana Share, First Aid and Trading which are tertiary skills. Mana Share allows you to send and receive mana from others. With 24 ranks (100%), Mana Share allows you to send and receive 100% of the mana as long as the other party also has 100% skill in Mana Share.
Start out by wearing light leather (AsG5). That requires no Armor Skill training. Once you have 4 ranks of Armor Training, then get a set of full leather (AsG6). This is as much armor wizards will want to wear. Wearing heavier armor will cause wizards to suffer a spell failure rate. Wearing greaves or helms or aventails will add a bit more to the spell failure rate. The added protection is not worth even the minimal spell failure added by wearing the extra gear.
Wizards have three spell circles to learn from: Wizard's Base, Major Elemental, and Minor Elemental. What spells to learn and in which order is as much a matter of style as it is substance. The wizards primary attack spells, the Spell Aim bolt spells from Minor Shock to Major Shock are in the Wizard's Base list. Do learn at least one spell each level from the base list till you learn Call Familiar, the 20th spell. The Minor Circle has the better protective and offensive spells, crowned with the Elemental Targeting and Elemental Barrier spells which currently provides +1 times level of caster to their AS and DS/TD respectively. At level 50, that means +50 to AS, all types of DS and TD for a duration of 30 seconds per level of caster! The Minor also has the Word of Disarm and Word of Opening and Essence Wave. The Major Elemental List has the better utility spells such as Magic Disk and Charge Item. The Sleep spells and Strength spells are very nice too. So are TelekineticDisarm and RapidFire. SleepTrue then a MeteorStorm is the most deadly combination in GemStone III. Nothing can survive that. At first you will only be able to learn 2 spells per level but there is flexibility on which spells to learn and in what order. But if you plan to forego weapons training to free up even more TPs for that third spell every few levels, then you will need the protective spells in the Minor Elemental list.
Now that you have rolled up the wizard of your heart's desire you will want to use the ADVICE command and visit all those places. Along the way you not only learn more about GemStone III you will also earn enough experience to train for level 1. Then start running errands for the clerk in the office at Moot Hall. Try to discover the various locations that the clerk sends you without ESPing or yelling for directions. Yelling and ESPing for such directions is considered rude and is very annoying to others and part of this errand thing is for you to learn how to get around on your own and becoming self reliant. Do not push the Call GM button to ask where the runner is or for other directions. That's not what the GMs are here for. Do push it if you need help with a system bug or problems caused by bugs or system slowdowns and crashes. And to report abuse of game mechanics and other inappropriate behavior. Remember we have players of all ages here, from preteens to graybeards so use language that is “G” rated while out in public at all times.
About now you should be well on your way to level 2. Make sure you go to the temple and see the goddess behind the tapestry. Look for the black arch. Listen carefully to the hooded figure behind the tapestry. Deeds are a must before you get to level 2. Everyone gets 5 free resurrections till they reach level 2. Then each resurrection costs deeds. If you do not have deeds, then you do not return from the dead. So gets lots of deeds before level 2. Never ever have less than 3 deeds. The best way to pay for deeds is using cheap gems and stones. If you must, you can use silvers. For the very first deed at level one, a few hundred silvers should do it. Each additional deed will cost more. You can with a bit of trial and error discover the formula for how much more those additional deeds cost. The level of the player is also a component of that cost. This formula seems to work till you reach level 6 and/or have more than 6 deeds. Then the deeds cost more than this formula calls for.
Young wizardlings will find hunting rats the easiest. At least till level 3 or 4. Then they may want to try out the lesser orcs on mine road, the hobgoblins or the Grave Yard. The skeletons, phantoms, ghouls and goblins outside of the crypt are good experience and so are the level 6 mummies inside the crypt. There are a number of areas that you will want to check out. Preferably with someone who's already been there. Find Zepath's maps in the Information libraries and keep them handy.
The combat mechanics is at the same time simple and complex, rather an elegant system actually. Start with getting a good grasp of the Stance system. There are 5 levels of Stance, from Stance Defensive to Stance Offensive. Stance DEF means you are using 100% of your offensive weapon skill to parry melee attacks. You can lower your parry by increments of 20% all the way to parry 0 by going to Stance Offensive. This is the berserk mode. You are now using all of your offensive skill to hit your target. The most common combat style for young wizards is to use a Magic Edged sword in right hand and a shield in left hand. Stay at Stance DEF while looking for a monster. See monster, Prep Minor Shock and while spell is preparing, go to Stance OFF, swing sword at monster, cast Minor Shock at monster then swing sword at monster again. Once monster is dead, go to Stance Def. Before looking for another monster. Hint: Type Stance What to have the 5 Stances listed for you. In the more dangerous areas where the monsters AS is such that they can hit you at Stance DEF, then you will have to either set stance to a higher level or use the combat tactic called "Stance Dancing". This is where you know the monsters round time is greater than yours so that you can wait at tance DEF till the monster attacks, go to Stance OFF and attack the monster and return to Stance DEF before the monster can attack again.
There are several types of attacks. The three main ones described here are: Melee attacks with hand held weapons and claws and fangs etc.; Aim Spell attacks used by wizards; and CS attacks used by sorcerers and clerics and others.
Dart gets his sword from his large sack and removes his shield from his back. Dart now has a sword in his *right* hand and a shield in his *left* hand.
ATTACK (name of target) Dart swings a sword at a giant rat: AS: +40 vs. DS: -10 with AvD: +35 + d100 roll: 49 = +134 ……..and hits for 11 points of damage! Slashing blow to rat chest knocks foe back a few paces!
AS is Attack Strength and is the sum of Dart's Racial strength and Stat strength bonus plus skill in Edged Weapons and any magical effects. For this illustration lets say Dart is a level 2 half-elf with an 80 ST stat with 3 ranks of Edged Weapons Skill and using a sword that he cast Magic Edge on. Half-elves have a +5 racial Strength bonus. With a ST of 80 he would get another +5 to his Strength, for a total of +10 Strength bonus. Add +15 for the 3 ranks in Edged Weapons to reach an AS of +25. Then add the +15 for the Magic Edge on the sword for an AS of +40.
Each monster has been assigned a Defensive Strength (DS) appropriate to their level. Rats even have a -10 DS to give newcomers something to practice their hunting powers on. The AvD number is a function of the type of weapon used and the armor of the target. If you are the target, the lower the number the better. If you are attacking, the higher the AvD the better. You can see the AvD change by trying a rapier and a sword on the same kind of monster. So the difference in AS and DS is added to the AvD then the d100 roll is added in and if the results is 101 or greater then it's a hit!. 100 or less its a miss. In the above the results is 134 so its a hit!. +40 +10 +35 +49= +134. Why +10? Because while normally you would subtract the DS from the AS but the rats have a -10 DS so here 2 negatives makes a plus! The more you exceed that 100 to hit threshold the more damage you will do. (The d100 roll simulates the roll of a 100 sided dice.)
Spell Aim AS is the sum of a wizard's Spell Aim skill, their racial and stat dexterity bonus and any magical bonus:
Prep 901 You concentrate on a Minor Shock spell…. [Spell preparation time 10 seconds] Cast (name of Target) You gesture at a giant rat. You hurl a small surge of electricity at a giant rat! AS: +50 vs DS -10 with AvD: +45 + d100 roll: +50 = +155 …….. and hits for 17 points of damage! Heavy spark to the left leg. The giant rat cringes in surprise. The giant rat falls back into a heap and dies.Let's say Dart here is a level 2 half-elf wizard with a 90 in Dexterity with 6 ranks of Spell Aim Skill. That's +30 for 6 ranks of Spell Aim, +5 for the half-elf racial dexterity bonus and +15 for the 90 DEX stat bonus for a total Spell Aim as of 50. And again, after the AS and DS and the AvD and the d100 roll is summed up, the end results must be over 100. It was +155 above and the rat is dead. Keep in mind that bolt attacks that use Spell Aim cannot be parried like melee attacks. Only way to defend against bolt attacks is with shield and Shield Use skill, and magical DS enchanted into your armor, cloak etc. and magical protective spells. The racial and stat reflex bonus is also added to your Aim Spell DS.
Check mana level by typing “mana.” Wizards must know at all times how much mana they have. There is a Mana Pulse every 2 minutes. If you are out in the field you regain 10% of your max mana points. If at a node 20% every 2 minutes. So by level 20, most wizards will have a max mana of 60, ( 20 X 3 ), and will regain 6 mana points out in the field and 12 points if at a node every 2 minutes. So do what I do: get a good stop watch and know when the next mana pulse is due..;)
The CS spells are the most dangerous in GemStone III other than the Major Elemental Meteor Storm spell. Casting Strength is a function of the casters level and the number of spells ranks they have learned. It looks like this:
CS= ( 3 X level ) + ( 1 X rank in spell list ) + ( .5 X all other spell ranks ) +Aura
Rank in spell lists is the number of the spell ranks known in the same list that the CS spell you are casting is in. Aura racial and Stat bonus for Wizards and others of the Elemental Realm. Wisdom is used by Clerics and Healers and Rangers instead of Aura. The target of the CS attack defends with their Target Defense (TD) which is the sum of 3 times the target's level plus any magical protection plus their Aura or Wisdom bonus depending on the nature of the CS spell.
Wands can be almost as dear to wizards as their familiars. Especially during the lower levels. The most common are the iron and silver wands that have 10-15 charges of minor shock when fresh. Gold wands have the spell Minor Fire and metal has ColdBall spells embedded in them. These wands usually hold 10-15 charges when fresh but a lord level wizard can use the Charge Item spell to charge them up to 40 charges. But doing a charge item session is not just a simple matter of knowing the spell. You have to have a diamond or a emerald to go to 40 charges and a grot potion to prepare the gem. Then if the gem had magical potential you now have after a 8-12K of silver investment, a Charge Item orb that can last anywhere from 1 second to 15 minutes depending on the quality of the gems magical potential. Finally, the mana that goes into the items being charged has to come from the wizard. 40 charges in a gold wand takes 240 mana points. To put 40 charges in a ruby amulet takes 2000 mana points. MinorFire is a level 6 spell and the Wall of Force in the ruby amulet is a level 50 spell. Charging up to 25 charges is possible with lesser gems such as rubies and sapphires that have magical potential. To save on grot potion, it’s a good idea to have a bard sing to the gems to make sure the gems are suitable for the Charge Item spell.
There are two things at work when using the wands with bolt attacks. You first have to fire it off. Then once you fire it off you have to be able to aim it well enough to hit the target.
Wave Wand AT (target) You wave the iron wand at the giant rat. [d100 = 37 + skill bonus 15 + mod 30 - spell level 1 = 96] The spell does not fire, but you do learn it will cast Minor Shock. >wave wand at rat You wave the iron wand at the giant rat. [d100 = 42 + skill bonus 15 + mod 30 - spell level 1 = 101] You hurl a small surge of electricity at a giant rat! AS: +50 vs DS: -10 with AvD: +45 + d100 roll +40 = +145 ………and hits for 19 points of damage! Painful shock to rats tail. Rat jumps in surprise.
The first line you see above after Dart waves the wand at the rat is the calculation to see if Dart fires off the wand. The d100 roll is added to Darts +15 skill in Magic Item Use plus Dart gets a +30 modification to the roll since he already knows the MinorShock spell. Then the level of the spell is subtracted and then Dart's Aura bonus is added (not shown) to arrive at the final number. The first time the result was only 96 and it did not fire. The next time the result was 101 and it fired! Like the threshold of successful attacks, it takes a 101 or greater to fire it off. Unlike attacks, it makes no difference if the number is 101 or 201. Both results fired off the wand equally well. (If the spell in the wand was from Spirit Circle that modification would be -30 not +30. If Dart did not know Minor Shock, the mod would be +10 since the spell is in the Elemental Circle.)
After the wand fires, then the AS and DS comes into play. And it is exactly the same calculation as when Dart prepared a MinorShock and then cast it at the rat. So to be able to use bolt type wands you need both Magic Item skill and Spell Aim skill. You will also note that when Dart failed to fire off the wand on the first try he was able to wave it again immediately and without incurring a round time. Dart at level 2 with an aura bonus of only 15 and only 3 ranks of Magic Item Use skill, already has a 58% chance to fire off that wand. So stop double training in Magic Item use! Same with Scroll reading skill. Scroll reading is similar to firing off wands. First you have to have the skill to read the scroll. If you can decipher the spell number on the scroll then with just the scroll in your hands INVOKE (spell#) and Cast (target). A charge is not expended if you fail to fire off a wand nor if you fail to invoke a spell from a scroll.
GemStone III uses a 10 level experience curve. If the player character (PC) is the same level as the monster, then it is worth 100 experience points. For every level the monster is higher than the PC, add 10 points. For every level the monster is lower than the PC, subtract 10. Once the PC is 10 levels above the monster then that PC cannot earn experience from it. The PCs do not get credited with the experience right after a kill. That experience is first stored in the PCs head as field experience. As the field experience reservoir fills up, the state of mind will move from “Clear as a Bell” to all the way to “Must Rest.” A percentage of the stored field experience is absorbed once a minute and that is when the character is actually credited with the experience. The fuller the head, i.e. closer to “Must Rest” state, the larger the chunk that is absorbed each minute. Getting to that “Must Rest” state is a good thing. You can keep on hunting without any ill effects but you will not be able to jam any more experience into your head until you absorb enough to get back to at least “Numbed.” The size of the PC’s field experience reservoir is primarily determined by the Logic stat and the rate of absorption is also influenced by the Intelligence stat.
Up to eight PCs can earn experience from a single kill. If all did their share of the damage of the kill then all eight would earn as much experience as if they had killed the monster by themselves. So if eight level 2 characters attacked a level 4 lesser orc and each did 10 points or so of damage then everyone would get 120 points of experience. That's assuming the orc has a total of about 80 hit points. Note the term "10 points or so." Its not necessary to be exact. As long as everyone does *about* their share of the damage then all will get full credit for the kill. Even if one of the above characters did only 5 points of damage, they would still earn about 60 points of experience points. So if there are six adventurers in a small area, all six would do better by forming a hunting party and working together to share the loot, fun, and the experience! Nothing more silly than seeing a bunch of PCs running around frantically, each rushing to kill the monsters before someone else does. Competition for monsters tends to cause ill will and all would be better off banding together in one or more parties. The hardest thing to share is fame which is given solely to the character that does the killing blow. But even fame tends to even out over the course of a hunt. GemStone III is a Multi-Player Online Fantasy world that features Multi-Players vs. Monsters, *NOT* Players vs. Players.
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If you have problems, comments, questions, or complaints you can send mail to Nora Melton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last modified 8 May 1996.