Your Player Character

Each Asheron's Call character is a unique combination of heritage group, appearance, profession, attributes, and skills. If you spend the time to create a carefully constructed character, you will increase both that character's survival potential and your own enjoyment of the game.

The Heritage Groups of Dereth

There are three major heritage groups currently inhabiting the world of Dereth:

The Alwvtews

Aluvians are known to be warlike, but they are also loyal to their own people. Their towns, such as Holtburg and Rithwic, are found in the northeast regions of Osteth, the eastern landmass of Dereth. They follow the Code of Pwyll, which teaches that they must protect the weak, and that true justice is above mere laws. Aluvian characters are automatically trained in Assess Person and Dagger.

The Gharw'ttMw

The Gharu'ndim are desert-dwelling traders who believe that a sharp mind is preferable to a sharp sword, but they are skilled fighters when necessary. Their towns, such as Yaraq and Samsur, are found in the central and western regions of Osteth. Their national hero is the revered poet Yasif ibn Salayyar. Gharu'ndim characters are automatically trained in Appraise Item and Staff.

The Sho

The Sho are a highly disciplined and reserved people who regard fighting, particularly unarmed combat, as an art form. Their towns, such as Shoushi and Yanshi, are found in the southeastern regions of Osteth. Their guiding principles were handed down to them by the prophet Jojii. Sho characters are automatically trained in Unarmed Combat.

Alwvian Names

Aluvian names resemble Old and Middle English names. Most take one of three forms: first name only, first name plus a title like "the Fair" or "the Wild", or a first name and a surname ending with "son" (for men) or "mad" (for women). Example names include:

Gharu'ndim Names

Gharu'ndim names are Middle Eastern in flavor. Most take one of three forms: first name only, first name and a surname, separated by "al-", or a first name and a surname, separated by "ibn" (for men) or "bint" (for women). Example names include:

Sho Names

Sho names resemble both Japanese and Chinese names. Most include a first name and a surname, both of which can be hyphenated. Sho surnames come before the given name. Example names include:

Brethym Cyndal Farson Ostan the Quick Seltor

Trothard Litson Wodrith the Bear

Women Girdulla

Adelia Brathmad Ceranne the Golden Feristal

Megurtha Dermad Lanida the True

Isufris

Akkah al-Munib Hanril ibn Tadwas Jamraj

Qumud al-Riyf Zur ibn Atri

Women

Biyafah

Yahida al-Qa'nif Fathna bint Baljid Nayiza Mara al-Luq Djusala bint Sida

Jhong Mi Hei Shikken Kou-long Shui Lun Zen Ryucho Xao Eng Lun-ji

Women

Zai Nozhen Den Lu-ki Guroku Soben Ka-yen Ha Chun Yao Ai Rashoku

Your Character's Profession

If you choose a profession for your character, his or her attributes and skills are typical for a character in that profession. If you want, you can adjust attributes and skills in the Attributes and Skills screens during character creation. You can also spend experience points to raise attributes and skills during gameplay, and train your character in other skills as you gain character levels.

If skills are adjusted too far from the profession template during character creation, the character's profession will be changed to adventurer. If you click Custom Character rather than a profession, that character will also be known as an adventurer.

For more information on spending experience points and skill points to raise and train skills during gameplay, see "Improving Your Character by Applying Experience Points" in Chapter Five, "Combat and Experience."

Professions

Automatically trained skills will vary depending on the heritage group of your character. Starting equipment may vary depending on heritage and skills.

Archers

Archers are expert with bows. An archer begins the game with a practice bow, arrows, and spear. An archer's attributes are weighted toward Coordination and Quickness. Archers have specialized skills in Bow, Missile Defense, and Fletching. They are trained in Appraise Weapon, Assess Person, Jump, Magic Defense, Run, and Spear.

Blademasters

Blademasters are expert with swords and knives. A blademaster begins the game with a practice sword, practice throwing weapons, and a practice knife. A blademaster's attributes are weighted toward Strength, Coordination, and Quickness. Blademasters have specialized skills in Melee Defense and Sword. They are trained in Appraise Weapon, Dagger, Jump, Magic Defense, Run, and Thrown Weapons.

Enchanters

Enchanters use spells that affect the abilities of creatures and the properties of items. An enchanter begins the game with a magic wand, three Item Enchantment spells, three Creature Enchantment spells, and the magical components to cast them. An enchanter's attributes are weighted toward Focus and Self. Enchanters have specialized skills in Appraise Magic Item, Creature Enchantment, and Item Enchantment. They are trained in Arcane Lore, Jump, Magic Defense, Mana Conversion, and Run.

Life Mages

Life mages specialize in healing and protective magic, and rendering medical aid. A life mage begins the game with two healing kits, a magic wand, three Life Magic spells, and the magical components to cast them. A life mage's attributes are weighted toward Coordination, Focus, and Self. Life mages are specialized in Life Magic. They are trained in Alchemy, Arcane Lore, Assess Person, Healing, Jump, Magic Defense, Mana Conversion, and Run.

Sorcerers

Sorcerers are magic users specializing in combat magic and manipulating magical energy (mana). A sorcerer begins the game with a magic wand, three War Magic spells, and the magical components to cast them. A sorcerer's attributes are weighted toward Focus and Self. Sorcerers have specialized skills in Arcane Lore, Mana Conversion, and War Magic. They are trained in Appraise Magic Item, Jump, Magic Defense, and Run.

Vagabonds

Vagabonds specialize in picking locks, appraisal, and deception. A vagabond begins the game with a practice dagger and practice lockpicks. A vagabond's attributes are weighted toward Coordination, Quickness, and Focus. Vagabonds have specialized skills in Appraise Item, Appraise Magic Item, Deception, and Lockpick. They are trained in Cooking, Dagger, Jump, Magic Defense, Missile Defense, Run, and Thrown Weapons.

Warriors

Warriors specialize in combat with a variety of weapons. A warrior begins the game with a practice sword, a practice crossbow, 30 crossbow quarrels, and a practice axe. A warrior's attributes are weighted toward Strength, Endurance, and Coordination. Warriors are not specialized in any skill, but are trained in Appraise Armor, Appraise Weapon, Assess Creature, Axe, Crossbow, Jump, Magic Defense, Melee Defense, Missile Defense, Run, and Sword.

Custom Character or Adventurer

If you click Custom Character rather than a profession, you will begin with all attributes preset to a value of 10. You can then assign attribute credits and train skills however you wish. Your character will be known as an adventurer.

Your Attributes and Skills

Your character begins the game with certain levels of primary and secondary attributes, which depend on choices you make during character creation. As your character gains experience during gameplay, you earn experience points that you can assign to raise attributes or skills.

How well your character will use his or her skills during gameplay depends in part on the attributes assigned during character creation. For more information on how attributes are related to skills, see "Skills" later in this chapter.

Primary Attributes

Primary attributes are your character's basic qualities: Strength, Endurance, Coordination, Quickness, Focus, and Self.

Strength

Strength represents your character's raw physical force. A character with greater Strength can do more damage during combat, and carry heavier loads.

Strength is particularly valuable for blademasters and warriors, and for custom characters who will be wielding melee weapons, such as axes, maces, and swords.

Endurance

Endurance relates to how much damage your character can take, and how much energy he or she has. Assigning more points to Endurance, either during character creation or during gameplay, will raise your character's Health and Stamina.

Endurance is valuable for all characters, but particularly for blademasters, enchanters, life mages, sorcerers, and warriors.

Coordination

Coordination is your character's ability to perform physical actions successfully and skillfully. Along with Quickness, it is important to the ability to defend yourself against opponents' attacks. The higher your Coordination, the less likely you are to be hit by your opponent. Higher Coordination relates directly to higher accuracy in wielding missile weapons, such as bows and crossbows, to performing trade skills such as Alchemy and Fletching, and to skill in picking locks.

Coordination is particularly valuable for archers, blademasters, life mages, vagabonds, and warriors.

Quickness

Quickness represents the speed with which your character can perform actions such as attacking and evading attack. Along with Coordination, it is important to the ability to defend yourself. The higher your Quickness, the less likely you are to be hit by your opponent.

Quickness is valuable for all characters, but particularly for archers, blademasters, vagabonds, and warriors.

Focus

Focus represents the amount of concentrated mental energy your character can devote to a task. It is important to any activity that requires mental effort, such as appraising items and assessing characters and creatures. It relates directly to the abilities to cast magic spells, use healing kits, perform trade skills, and pick locks.

Focus is particularly valuable for enchanters, life mages, sorcerers, and vagabonds.

Self

Self represents the level of your character's willpower, and the level of magical ability in a spellcaster. As willpower, it determines the starting level of the skills Leadership and Loyalty. The higher the Self attribute in a patron, the more experience points he or she will receive from vassals. The higher the Self in a vassal, the more experience points will be passed up to a patron.

Assigning more points to Self during character creation or gameplay will raise your character's Mana.

Self is particularly valuable for enchanters, life mages, and sorcerers.

Secondary Attributes

In the upper-right area of the Attributes screen are three bars indicating present levels of the secondary attributes, Health,

Health

Health

Stamina, and Mana. Health and Stamina are based on the primary attribute Endurance, and Mana is based on Self. Secondary attributes cannot be raised directly, but changes will occur in them as you raise and lower the values of these primary attributes.

Health represents the amount of damage your character can take without dying. When your character's Health falls to zero during gameplay, death occurs.

To restore Health, have your character sit or lie down, use a healing kit, or drink a health draught or healing potion. Health will restore itself gradually even if you are walking or running, but resting speeds the process. There are also magic spells that can restore Health.

Stamina

Stamina represents the amount of energy your character can expend without becoming exhausted. When a character's Stamina falls to zero, the character will be unable to run quickly, jump, or use power attacks in combat. Your ability to evade attacks will also be reduced. Sitting or lying increases the rate at which you regain Stamina.

Even with a Stamina level of zero, the character will still be able to walk, attack at minimum power, and perform minor game actions such as picking up items and chatting.

Attacking and evading attacks both use Stamina, as does running when your character is burdened. The best ways to restore Stamina are to rest your character, eat food, drink, or use a Stamina potion. If your character is losing Stamina because he or she is carrying too much, lightening the load will reduce the rate at which the character burns Stamina.

Mana

Mana represents the amount of magical energy available to your character for casting spells. When a character's Mana falls to zero, he or she will no longer be able to cast spells. Your character will regain spent Mana over time. Mana potions and draughts are also available to restore spent Mana.

Raising Attributes During Character Creation

If you click Custom Character on the Professions screen, you'll be raising all your character's attributes from scratch in the Attributes screen. If you choose a profession for your character, you can still adjust attributes in this screen.

To adjust the level of an attribute during character creation

• In the Attributes screen, drag the slider for the attribute you want to adjust.

You will see the numbers change to reflect the change in that attribute.

In the upper-left area of the screen is a reservoir of total Attribute Credits remaining to be assigned. The level of the reservoir and the number of unassigned Attribute Credits will rise and fall as you adjust the attribute levels. If you have unused credits when you click Next, you will be prompted to spend them, or continue and lose the credits.

During Gameplay

While you're playing the game, you can see your character's present attribute levels, and assign available experience points to raise attributes.

To assign experience points to raise attributes

1 Click the Skills and Attributes button on the Player panel, and then click the Attributes tab.

2 Click the attribute that you want to raise.

If you have enough unassigned experience points to raise the attribute, you will see an upward-pointing green triangle at the bottom right of the panel.

3 Click the triangle to raise the attribute.

If you do not have enough points to raise the attribute you click, you will see "Need to earn [N] more XP" in the space below the panel.

Skills

The skills your character begins the game with are determined by several factors:

  • The profession you choose in the Profession screen
  • Adjustments you make to starting attributes in the Attributes screen
  • Adjustments you make directly to starting skills in the Skills screen

During character creation, you can see in the Skills screen the formula for how starting attributes affect starting skill levels by clicking a skill and looking in the area below the list. The information shows how each skill is used in the game, and how attributes are used to determine skill levels. For example, when

Training Credits

Training credits are available only during character creation. You can spend training credits to raise character skills from untrained to trained, or from trained to specialized. Available credits are deducted from your total when a skill is raised in status, and added to your total when a skill is lowered.

Experience Points

Your character earns experience points by engaging in combat and other skills (Alchemy, Cooking, and Fletching). You can spend these points to raise attributes and skills during gameplay.

Trade Skills

Experience points can also be earned by using trade skills to create useful items. Your character performs these skills by using the appropriate materials to create the finished item. There are presently three trade skills:

Alchemy uses gemstones and other materials to make spell components, potions, and alchemical oils for use in Cooking and Fletching. Life mages are automatically created with Alchemy as a trained skill.

Example: to make powdered azurite, double-click your mortar and pestle in inventory, and then click an azurite gem in inventory.

Cooking uses ingredients to produce food items. Alchemical oils created by characters with Alchemy as a trained skill can also be added to foods to alter the items' effects. Vagabonds are automatically created with Cooking as a trained skill.

Example: to make dough, double-click a bag of flour in inventory, and then click a flask of water in inventory.

Fletching uses shafts and arrowheads to make arrows and crossbow quarrels. Alchemical oils also can be added to the arrowheads to make them do specific kinds of damage, such as fire, cold, acid, or electrical. Archers are automatically created with Fletching as a specialized skill.

Example: to make an arrow, double-click your arrowheads in inventory, and then click the arrow shafts in inventory.

you click the skill Alchemy, you will see that this skill lets you prepare gemstone components, potions, and oils, and that your skill level is based upon the formula: Alchemy=(Coordination+Focus)/3.

When you create a custom character your skill levels will be set to the minimum for your character's heritage group, and you will receive training credits that you can use to raise any skills you want.

Skills are divided into four advancement classes:

Specialized Skills are those that a character has developed to a high level of proficiency. Using a specialized skill or applying experience points during gameplay will raise a character's ability in that skill more quickly than using a trained skill. You can raise a skill to specialized only during character creation.

Trained Skills are those for which a character has training, but not to the extent of specialization. Using a trained skill or applying experience points during gameplay will raise a character's ability in that skill, but not as quickly as using a specialized skill.

Untrained Skills are those in which your character has not been trained. Your character may attempt to use these skills, but using them will not raise the skill level. You cannot spend experience points to raise the value of an untrained skill. You can raise an untrained skill to trained by assigning skill credits.

Unusable Skills are those a character cannot use at all until he or she raises them to trained. You can raise an unusable skill directly to trained by assigning skill credits to it.

Raising Skills During Character Creation

If you are creating a custom character, you will have training credits available to spend on raising skills when you enter the Skills screen. If you have chosen a profession for your character, you will not have any credits available.

To make training credits available, lower the level of trained or specialized skills.

To lower the level of a skill

• Click a downward-pointing triangle to lower the skill.

The number on the triangle will now be available to use in raising other skills.

Some skills are automatically trained in members of certain professions or heritage groups. These skills cannot be lowered.

To raise the level of a skill

• Click an upward-pointing green triangle to raise a skill.

If you have fewer credits than the value on the triangle, the skill cannot be raised.

Make sure you use all your training credits. If you have unused training credits when you click Next, you will be prompted to spend them, or lose them if you choose to continue.

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As your character's level increases during gameplay, he or she will earn skill credits. These can be used to raise untrained and unusable skills to trained skills during gameplay.

Trained and specialized skills increase as your character uses them. In addition, you may assign available experience points at any time to improve skills that are trained or specialized.

While you're playing the game, you can see your character's present skill levels, and you can assign available experience points to raise skills.

Skills

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To assign experience points to raise skills

1 Click the Skills and Attributes button at the bottom of the Player panel, and then click the Skills tab.

2 Click the trained or specialized skill that you want to raise.

If there are enough unassigned experience points or skill credits to raise the skill, you will see an upward-pointing green triangle at the bottom right of the panel.

3 Click the triangle to raise the skill.

If you do not have enough experience points or skill credits to raise the skill you click, you will see "Need to earn [N] more XP (or skill credits)" in the space below the panel.

Character Levels

Character levels are a measure of the game experience your character gains. Your character begins the game at Level 1 and gains levels based on the number of experience points earned. At the top of the Skills tab you will see the number of experience points required to attain the next level.

Skill Credits

As your character gains character levels during gameplay, he or she is awarded skill credits. These can be used to raise untrained or unusable skills to trained.

Chapter Three

Nine Dereth Towns -

A Guide for Newcomers

Chapter Three

The A'mun Desert is a hostile place, reminiscent of the trackless Naqut on Ispar. The dunes stretch beneath the sweltering sun for mile upon mile, with little water or hope of shelter. Even within such harsh lands, however, there are rare islands of succor: oases where fresh water miraculously bubbles forth, creating motes of greenery amid the wastes. Such a place is Al-Arqas (literally, "The Haven"), which sprang into being only recently, when Gharu'ndim desert-walkers discovered a hitherto unknown spring in the A'mun's southern expanses. Though less than half a year old, the town is already flourishing, as it provides a convenient halfway-point for travelers moving between Yaraq and southern towns like Uziz and Khayyaban.

Guide to Shops

Name

1 Armaments of Truth

2 Sidzika's Supplies

3 Empty Tent

4 Tavern at Al-Arqas

5 House of Treasure

6 House of Peace

Shopkeeper Smith Dah bint Nas

Bowyer Muta al-Mai Sidzika the Grocer Bashkiya the Scribe Tailor Najsun Archmage Jiz ibn Ijfai

Itir ibn Ativ the Barkeep Qufar ibn Ijtalwa Hinnabqiq the Jeweler Healer Sunwi

Wares

Weapons, Armor, Shields, Helmets

Bows, Arrows, Fletching Supplies Food, Cooking Supplies Parchment, Books Clothes, Hats, Footwear Magic and Alchemical Supplies

Drinks, Food, Rumors Miscellaneous Gear Gems, Jewelry Healing Supplies and Services

You may see other vendors and items in addition to the ones shown here.

Points of Interest

  • The Djubar Amitri, a pool of fresh, surprisingly cool water, forms the heart of the oasis where Al-Arqas has arisen. Though it is small, the spring that feeds it keeps it filled, even during the dry season. Less than a year ago, the pool began to emit clouds of cold mist. The reason for this is unknown, though doomsayers claim it heralds a coming disaster.
  • In the dunes east of the oasis, a portal leads to an old compound once used by the Empyrean to train their young in the arts of war. The portal was buried beneath the sands until shortly after the Gharu'ndim first arrived in Dereth, when a storm uncovered it. For a time, bandits dwelt within, but they were driven out when the desert folk settled Al-Arqas. Now, Drudges prowl its empty vaults.
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