Character Class and Race Guide for Wizardry 8
by Robo-Mike

This guide supports patch version 1.24 (final version) of the game.

Latest update:

(03-03-2006)
v1.1   INT does not increase spell points directly... added notes on
       this.
       Fixed all tabs.




======================================================================
Section -1: Disclaimers (DISC)
==============================

Wizardry 8 is (c) Sir-Tech Canada (or what's left of it).

This document is (c) 2006 Robo-Mike. All rights reserved.

You may download and print this file for your personal use but you
may not profit in any way.

Because I am lazy, only gamefaqs.com is allowed to "host" this
guide... for now. No, I don't hate your gaming site, I'm just lazy.

***

This document is best viewed with a monospace font (e.g. Courier New).
Your standard web browser will do, but just in case your browser's
settings are weird, here's a line of 70 numbers followed by a line of
70 hyphens.

1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890
----------------------------------------------------------------------

If they don't have the same length, then something is messed up. Just
change your font settings or something. Trust me, I use columns a
lot.




======================================================================
Section 0: TABLE OF CONTENTS
============================

s#  code   title
-- ------ ---------------------
-1 (DISC) Disclaimers
 0 (    ) Table of Contents
 1 (INTR) Introduction
 2 (STAT) At a Glance: Tables
 3 (RACE) Character Races
         [HUM] Dracon            [HOB] Hobbit
         [DWA] Dwarf             [HUM] Human
         [ELF] Elf               [LIZ] Lizardman
         [FAE] Faerie            [MOK] Mook
         [FEL] Felpurr           [RAW] Rawulf
         [GNO] Gnome
 4 (CLAS) Character Classes
         [FIG] Fighter           [GAD] Gadgeteer
         [LOR] Lord              [BAR] Bard
         [VAL] Valkyrie          [PRI] Priest
         [RAN] Ranger            [ALC] Alchemist
         [SAM] Samurai           [BIS] Bishop
         [NIN] Ninja             [PSI] Psionic
         [MON] Monk              [MAG] Mage
         [ROG] Rogue   
 5 (MISC) Class/Skill Training Strategies
         [L2C] Class Change
         [34B] 3 or 4 Spellbook Bishop
         [SKL] Skills Training Tips
 6 (PART) Sample Parties
 7 (FAQ-) Appendices
         [GLO] Glossary
         [EXP] Expert Skills
         [VIT] About Vitality
         [PIE] About Piety
         [INT] About Intelligence
         [RWP] About Strength and Ranged Weapons
 8 (ABOU) About the Author
 9 (MAIL) Contact Info
10 (ENDC) Links / Special Thanks
11 (HIST) Revision History
   (    ) Final Words

** To go to a specific section, search for the code including
   ( ) or [ ]. For example, search for (FAQ-) to go to the Appendices
   or search for [SAM] to proceed to the subsection on Samurai.




======================================================================
Section 1: Introduction (INTR)
==============================

Greetings, thank you for reading this guide.

Having rediscovered Wizardy 8 recently, (and with it being sold again
at discount rates) I am replaying it again, so I've decided to write
a little guide. Mainly I'm writing this guide for myself while getting
info from various websites, since I wanted a one-stop-shop for the
ins-and-outs of the art of character creation and party planning. I'm
sharing it with everyone via GameFAQs, and I hope it gets people
interested again in this underrated classic (cult classic?) game.

Trust me, I use my own guide... a lot. (:

What's so great about Wizardy 8 is that there is no Best Class or Best
Party combo. There are so many ways to make a successful party that
can beat the game. Granted there are worse-off party combinations (for
those who wish a challenge). And there are character classes (and
builds as well that are worse-off during the start, middle or end of
the game.

With that said, this guide will help you pick your character classes
and race and give you suggestions on how to add points during level-
up. The builds are just my opinion. There is no "best build", just a
couple of suggestions from me, with my favorite marked with a "(!!)"
icon. Again, the CHARACTER BUILDS ARE JUST MY OPINION.

A final warning, though: stats, resistances and racial bonuses are not
everything to a character. You can pick your races based on good looks
as well, whatever drives your car, but unfortunately (or rather,
fortunately?), that's not covered by this guide for the most part.

P.S. Oh, by the way, the guide may contain SPOILERS such as weapon
locations and NPC info, among other things, so use at your own risk.

And one more thing, I think I write game guides like cold, hard news:
I usually get straight to the point and don't have excess details and
interesting descriptions or anecdotes. I guess I'll just warn you now
before you fall asleep from my guide.

With that said, there are far more interesting guides to read out
there in terms of style (see the Supplemental FAQ on gamefaqs for an
example), so just bear with me, okay?




======================================================================
Section 2: At a Glance: Tables (STAT)
=====================================

* The race lists are in alphabetical order rather than in-game order.
  Classes are left in game order (the way it's arranged is very
  intuitive).
 
A. Class Requirements
 
           STR   INT   PIE   VIT   DEX   SPD   SEN 
         +-----------------------------------------+
Fighter  |  55 |     |     |  50 |  50 |     |     |
Lord     |  55 |     |  55 |  55 |  50 |  50 |     |
Valkyrie |  50 |     |  55 |  55 |  50 |  50 |     |
Ranger   |  50 |  50 |     |  50 |  55 |     |  55 |
Samurai  |  50 |  55 |     |  50 |  55 |  55 |     |
Ninja    |  50 |  50 |     |  50 |  55 |  55 |  50 |
Monk     |     |  50 |  50 |     |  50 |  55 |  55 |
Rogue    |     |     |     |     |  55 |  50 |  50 |
Gadgeteer|  45 |  55 |     |     |  60 |     |  55 |
Bard     |  45 |  50 |     |     |     |  55 |  55 |
Priest   |     |     |  60 |  55 |     |     |     |
Alchemist|     |  55 |     |     |  60 |     |     |
Bishop   |     |  55 |  55 |     |  55 |     |  55 |
Psionic  |     |  55 |     |     |     |     |  60 |
Mage     |     |  60 |     |     |  55 |     |     |
         +-----------------------------------------+

B. Racial Starting Stats

           STR   INT   PIE   VIT   DEX   SPD   SEN
         +-----------------------------------------+
Human   =|  45 |  45 |  45 |  45 |  45 |  45 |  45 |=
Dracon   |  55 |  35 |  30 |  60 |  50 |  40 |  30 |
Dwarf    |  45 |  30 |  50 |  60 |  35 |  35 |  35 |
Elf      |  35 |  50 |  50 |  35 |  50 |  45 |  40 |
Faerie   |  25 |  55 |  35 |  30 |  50 |  60 |  45 |
Felpurr  |  40 |  40 |  30 |  35 |  50 |  60 |  40 |
Gnome    |  35 |  50 |  40 |  50 |  50 |  35 |  45 |
Hobbit   |  40 |  40 |  30 |  45 |  55 |  50 |  50 |
Lizardman|  60 |  25 |  25 |  70 |  40 |  50 |  30 |
Mook     |  50 |  50 |  25 |  50 |  35 |  35 |  55 |
Rawulf   |  40 |  30 |  55 |  50 |  40 |  40 |  50 |
         +-----------------------------------------+

C. Racial Starting Stats vs Humans

           STR   INT   PIE   VIT   DEX   SPD   SEN   Pts vs Human
         +-----------------------------------------------+
Human   =|   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |   0 |=
Dracon   | +10 | -10 | -15 | +15 |  +5 |  -5 | -15 | -15 |
Dwarf    | +10 | -15 |  +5 | +15 | -10 | -10 | -10 | -15 |
Elf      | -10 |  +5 |  +5 | -10 |  +5 |   0 |  -5 | -10 |
Faerie   | -20 | +10 | -10 | -15 |  +5 | +15 |   0 | -15 |
Felpurr  |  -5 |  -5 | -15 | -10 |  +5 | +15 |  +5 | -10 |
Gnome    | -10 |  +5 |  -5 |  +5 |  +5 | -10 |   0 | -10 |
Hobbit   |  -5 |  -5 | -15 |   0 | +10 |  +5 |  +5 |  -5 |
Lizardman| +15 | -20 | -20 | +25 |  -5 |  +5 | -15 | -15 |
Mook     |  +5 |  +5 | -20 |  +5 | -10 | -10 | +10 | -15 |
Rawulf   |  -5 | -15 | +10 |  +5 |  -5 |  -5 |  +5 | -10 |
         +-----------------------------------------------+

D. Resistances
* All nonhuman races have resistance bonuses, some races have
  penalties.

          Fire  Water Earth  Air  Ment   Div    Misc notes
         +-----------------------------------+
Human    |     |     |     |     |     |     |
Dracon   |     | +15 |     |  +5 |  -5 |  -5 |
Dwarf    | +?? |     |     |     |     |     | *Bonus Fire Res =
Elf      |     |     |     | +10 | +20 |     |  VIT/5 rounded down
Faerie   |     |     | +15 | +15 | +15 | +15 |
Felpurr  |     | -15 | +10 | +10 | +10 |     |
Gnome    |     |     | +10 |     | +10 |     |
Hobbit   |     |     | +?? |     |     |     | *Bonus Earth Res =
Lizardman| +15 | +10 | +10 |     | -10 | -10 |  VIT/5 rounded down
Mook     |     | +15 |     |     | +15 | +10 |
Rawulf   |     | +10 |  +5 |     |     | +15 |
         +-----------------------------------+

E. Debilitating Spells
* Sorted by magic realm. This might help you select your resistances.
  At the moment, it is uncertain if weapons and monster attacks that
  cause status ailments are resisted through magic resistances.
* Let me know if I missed any spells.

Fire: Blinding Flash (Blind), Hypnotic Lure (Hypnosis),
      Prismic Ray, Prismic Chaos (various)
Water: Slow, Paralysis, Freeze Flesh, Freeze All (Paralysis),
       Acid Bomb
Air: Sonic Boom (Afraid, KO), Sleep, Noxious Fumes, Toxic Cloud
     (Nausea, KO), Silence, Death Cloud, Asphyxiation (Death),
     Pandemonium (various), Concussion (KO)
Earth: Itching Skin (Irritation), Web (Webbed), Armormelt,
       Quicksand (Death)
Mental: Mind Stab (Insanity, KO), Terror (Afraid, KO), Insanity,
     Turncoat, Psionic Blast (Insanity), Cerebral Hemorrhage
     (Insanity), Mind Flay (Fear, Insanity)
Divine: Instant Death, Death Wish (Death), Draining Cloud




======================================================================
Section 3: (RACE) Character Races
=================================

Notes:
1. Your character's race should be chosen not only because they have
   the most bonus points to distribute to attributes.
2. Resistances (or lack thereof) should be taken into consideration.
   ex. A Mook has high water resistance which is great against
       Paralysis and Freeze All spells. Felpurr on the other hand
       are weak against water...
   ex. A Lizardman Fighter has great physical stats but the -10 to
       mental resistance makes them vulnerable to Insanity or
       Turncoat.
3. Dracon, Dwarves and Faeries have special skills you may want to
   consider.

###############
A. Dracon [DRA]
###############
One of the reptilian races in Wizardry 8, the Dracon have good STR,
VIT, and DEX, making them suited for fighting professions. In fact,
their starting stats already qualify them as fighters!

Recommended classes:
1. Fighter
2. Rogue
3. Lord, Valkyrie, Samurai

Other options:
1. A Dracon as a spellcasting class starts with high vit, making him
   tougher than other casters, and can use Dracon Breath when out of
   magic. Psionic class also eliminates the Mental Resist problem.

Pros:
1. Good physical stats, giving the Dracon high HP and weapon damage,
   and more carrying capacity. As a fighter, can reach 100 in STR and
   VIT easily.
2. High resistance to water means they resist paralysis.
3. Dracon Breath is an excellent crowd damage attack, costing only
   stamina. Perfect for helping your spellcasters kill that occasional
   swarm of insects or mob of acidvines. In addition, it gets stronger
   automatically as the Dracon levels up.

Cons:
1. Mental resistance penalty. An insane or turncoat fighter with a big
   axe is one of the worst things your party can experience. A fighter
   who is afraid isn't that much better.
2. Low Int & Senses. This causes Close and Ranged Combat to rise very
   slowly.
3. Use of Dracon Breath does not improve any skills, and reduces the
   opprotunities for skill training in the current battle. Dracon
   Breath also uses up stamina; low stamina results in stat penalties.
TIPS: a. Don't use breath attack unless you feel that your party is
         guaranteed to be overwhelmed by a swarm of insects or other
         lower-level enemies.
      b. Carry stamina potions or have a magic user support the Dracon
         with a Stamina spell.

##############
B. Dwarf [DWA]
##############
Dwarves have 7% damage resistance. That, coupled with high VIT, will
ensure they survive most battles. They also have above average
Strength and Piety.

Recommended classes:
1. Valkyrie, Lord
2. Priest (Battle Priest is very possible...)
3. Fighter, Bard

Other options:
1. A Dwarven Monk may start out with a huge bonus point deficit, but
   training long and hard will pay off with a warrior who will shrug
   off most forms of attack. (Yes, it stacks.)

Pros:
1. High strength and vit, coupled with damage resistance makes them
   good on the front lines as tanks.
2. Decent Piety rating makes them great for the priest class and
   associated hybrid classes. It also ensures a good spell point
   reserve.

Cons:
1. Below-average DEX SPD and SEN means low initiative.
NOTE: This "may" be an advantage, especially if you have faster
      characters with Instant Kill capability, since you only
      want to damage the enemies who are not killed outright by
      the Monks or Ninjas.
2. Fire resistance isn't exactly the best resistance in the game.

############
C. Elf [ELF]
############
Just as you'd expect (if you're familiar with fantasy novels), the
Elf is suited for most casting classes. Unfortunately, they don't have
too many bonus points as Rangers.

Recommended classes:
1. Alchemist, Mage
2. Psionic, Bishop
3. Monk

Other options:
1. Elf stats are actually decent for Bards or (GASP!) Gadgeteers.
   Everyone knows Elves are tree-huggers, so an Elf Gadgeteer may make
   for some interesting roleplay (if you're into that).

Pros:
1. High intellect and piety is good for caster classes. Dexterity
   bonus is also doubly good for the Alchemy skill.
2. Highest resistance to Mental Magic among all races. Air resist also
   helps avoid poison or nausea effects.

Cons:
1. Low vitality = Low HP.
2. Low vitality and strength = Low carrying capacity.

###############
D. Faerie [FAE]
###############
Basically "miniature Elves with wings", they are even better suited
for spellcasting than other races. But such terrible power does come
with a price...

Recommended classes:
1. Alchemist, Bishop 
2. Mage, Psionic (warning: extremely low HP)
3. Monk (see below)

Other options:
1. Faerie Ninja: In any game, you almost have a guaranteed chance to
   get the super weapon only Faerie Ninjas can use: the Cane of Corpus.
2. How about a Faerie Monk? If you're scared to try a Fae Psionic
   because of dismal HP, this is your alternative. Stealth and damage
   resistances sort of makes up for lack of armor (and Monks can't
   wear much anyway). Low HP means you still might not put her on the
   front lines, though, so Boomerang Shuriken and extended range
   weapons (Bo, Hayai Bo, Zatoichi Bo) are the way to go.

Pros:
1. High magic resistances in four areas, including Mental.
2. +2 armor class.
3. Faerie Sticks are by themselves very effective melee weapons.
4. Fast magic regeneration.

Cons:
1. Really low vitality = really low HP.
2. Limited armor and weapon selection.
3. Low carrying capacity... making them poor as classes that need
   a lot of ammunition such as Rangers or Gadgeteers.

################
E. Felpurr [FEL]
################
As one of the races that starts with the highest speed, these cats
are good for most classes with DEX or SPD requirements. Just avoid
those Piety classes.

Recommended classes:
1. Rogue
2. Ninja, Alchemist
3. Samurai

Other options:
1. Because of high speed, Felpurr actually make decent Monks or
   Martial Arts ninjas. By adding 3 points to DEX and SPD every
   level, they can get multiple strikes in their martial arts
   quite early in the game (level 6 or 7).
2. Felpurr can also be Fighters. They can get Snake Speed (the SPD
   Expert Skill) early which lets them deal more damage earlier.
   I personally recommend a Fighter-Samurai dual class.

Pros:
1. Again, high speed.
2. +10 resistance to Earth, Air, and Mental.
3. Piety penalty is not going to hurt most character classes.

Cons:
1. Low piety and vit means really low stamina.
2. In addition, low VIT means low HP.
3. Weakness against water which makes them vulnerable to Freeze All
   and Paralysis spells.

##############
F. Gnome [GNO]
##############
Gnome Males: Think Dwarves, except they look older, thinner and with
longer beards. They are stereotypically good with technology.
Unfortunately, this game gives Gnomes no love.

Recommended classes:
1. Mage
2. Gadgeteer
3. Bard or Ranger

Pros:
1. Has +10 Earth and Mental resists.
2. Decent VIT means higher HP which is important especially for
   Mages.

Cons:
1. Poor stat distribution. Seriously, a huge penalty to Speed
   cripples them as casters (or any other class for that matter),
   while a low Strength makes them poor fighters. Unlike the Mook,
   they also have no extra Senses to make up for the loss of Speed.

###############
G. Hobbit [HOB]
###############
The other jack-of-all-trades race, rivaling the stat total of Humans.
Because of their penalty in Piety, a stat of little importance to most
classes, they are the ideal choice for many professions.

Recommended classes:
1. Gadgeteer, Rogue
2. Ranger, Samurai, Ninja, Alchemist
3. Mage, Bard

Other options:
1. Surely you don't think midgets make good fighters? With the
   Hobbits' stats you can easily reach multiple Expert Skills... you
   will just get Iron Skin and Power Strike later than a Dracon or
   Lizard fighter will, but that's a small price to pay when you can
   eventually get Reflexion and Snake Speed faster than they do.
   (if you plan to level up that far)

Pros:
1. Hobbits have the best stat distribution of any race in the game.
   Piety penalty does not hurt a lot of classes.
2. High DEX, and above average speed and senses ensures a decent
   initiative score from the start.

Cons:
1. They only have Earth resistance which isn't exactly the best
   type of resistance (but this still gives them an edge over Humans).
2. Low Piety results in a low spell point count especially for
   hybrids.

##############
H. Human [HUM]
##############
Being average in all stats, humans can be good at any job, however,
they are better as hybrid fighters and other classes that have a
lot of requirements...

Recommended classes:
1. Lord, Valkyrie, Ranger, Samurai, Monk
2. Bishop, Ninja
3. Bard, Rogue

Other options:
1. Even as pure classes, humans can make use of their average stats
   well. Want a spell caster with decent VIT? A fighter with decent
   INT and SEN for faster training of combat skills? Maybe.

Pros:
1. Their skills train reasonably fast, since they have average
   starting stats in all catergories.

Cons:
1. No resistance bonuses available.
2. Being average, they do not particuarly excel in any field or
   profession as well.

##################
I. Lizardman [LIZ]
##################
As generic goons, soldiers and bodyguards in many a fantasy novel,
Lizardmen and women fill that role nicely in this game.

Recommended classes:
1. Fighter
2. Lord, Valkyrie
3. Rogue

Other options:
1. How about a Bard or Gadgeteer? The Lizards' high stamina
   ensures that they can fuel their use of instruments and gadgets,
   and you can even use them to guard weaker party members when
   they're not playing! Ah, the practical applications of a
   character with a lot of Vitality. 

Pros:
1. Exceptional Strength and Vitality totals make them the masters
   of physical damage, whether dealing it or taking it. Yeah, them
   Lizards are meaty macho.
2. High resistances to Fire, Water and Earth.

Cons:
1. High mental resistance penalty can be a pain when you face
   casters and Nightmares. An insane Lizardman can cut up his own
   party in record time.
2. Close and Ranged Combat rise very slowly due to low Intellect &
   Senses.
3. Slower magic regeneration which makes him less ideal for classes
   that cast spells.

#############
L. Mook [MOK]
#############
The gentle giants actually have a lot of killing potential.

Recommended classes:
1. Ranger
2. Psionic
3. Bard, Gadgeteer, Fighter

Pros:
1. +15 Resistance to Water AND Mental Magic! With +10 to Divine
   Resistance.
2. Decent VIT and STR totals make them fine warriors... if not,
   they help carry the gear of the party.

Cons:
1. Low Dexterity and Speed which can hurt Initiative. (Although
   pumping Senses helps increase Initiative quite a bit.)
2. Low Piety can result in low spell point totals.

###############
M. Rawulf [RAW]
###############
What do you know, wolves actually make great Priests..?

Recommended classes:
1. Priest
2. Lord, Valkyrie
3. Bishop

Other options:
1. Because Divinity isn't the best offensive spellcasting school, a
   Priest probably won't be casting every round. Because Priests can
   wear decent armor and weapons as well as a shield, they can (with
   help from additional strength and dexterity) go to the front lines
   and lay some righteous smackdown with a Stun Mace. Think of this
   if you need another guard to block weaker party members but you
   don't have another fighter around.

Pros:
1. Decent resistance totals, including a +10 vs. Water.
2. High vit and piety rating ensures a lot of available stamina.
3. High piety also grants a huge spell point pool.

Cons:
1. Piety isn't the most useful attribute out there in terms of
   skill training.
2. Below average Strength, DEX and Speed means they will struggle as
   warriors initially without putting bonus points there and before
   they learn powerful buffs like Superman.




======================================================================
Section 4: (CLAS) Character Classes
===================================

Note: Your Int should not go above 95 because a fountain in Trynton
      grants a permanent bonus of +5 Int to all party members.
    * I didn't include most Expert Skills in the important skills list
      since their appearance varies according to build. Put points
      into Expert Skills as you see fit. See the Appendix for info.
    * Also, I did not include Magic Realms since they'd take up a lot
      of space, so here's a general tip on what realms you should
      prioritize. Note that Set/Return Portal is in the Air realm,
      although the system will automatically grant you 50 spell
      points in Air once you learn the spell.
         Psionic - Mental, Fire, Divine
         Alchemy - Water, Earth, Air
         Divinity - Divine, Water, Air
         Mage - Fire, Water, Divine
         (for Samurai who are just there to support, pump Water,
          Divine, and Air)
    * For the STR-DEX/SPD-SEN warrior builds, you can opt for
      STR-SPD/DEX-SEN instead. I advocate STR-DEX though since STR
      only increases accuracy of melee strikes and not ranged.
      STR-SPD is for pure melee.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
A. Fighter [FIG]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Berserk attack option (2x damage)
Stamina Regeneration
Highest HP count of all the classes
Can use heavy weapons and armor, and most weapons/armor in the game
Clost Combat skill bonus

* Disadvantages:
No magic or utility skills
Best choice for early game-mid game but can be left behind by other
   classes in terms of kills and effectiveness.

* Important attributes:
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      Power Strike skill
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative
VIT - Gains more HP, stamina, and carrying capacity
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
SEN - Somewhat better initiative

* Sample builds:
Tank: Put 3 points into STR and VIT, then DEX and SPD.
      You don't really need to put points in DEX since STR will
      suffice for accuracy. Will swing slowly at first then speed up
      once DEX and SPD are being increased.
Killer: Put 3 points in STR and SPD, then DEX and SEN.
 (!!)   Sacrificing HP and Iron Body to deal as much damage as
        possible in as many attacks as possible per turn. Since
        increasing VIT does not retroactively increase your HP vs.
        previous levels, it's not worth adding later in the game.
Balanced: Put 2 points in STR VIT DEX, then SPD and SEN.
          Gets expert skills slower, with average HP and damage
          compared to the above two.
Speedy: Put 3 points in DEX and SPD, followed by STR and SEN.
        I hope you have a good light weapon and Stamina potions or
        support, this fighter will tire quickly but level up his
        weapon skills faster due to more swings.

* Important skills:
Sword/Axe/Polearm/Mace and Flail - Pick only one weapon class and
   stick with it. An exception is dual wielding fighters. Axes are
   generally outclassed by Swords, while Polearm is there for range
   and Mace and Flail for the chance to K.O. Weapon skills will
   rise quickly by themselves, though.
Dual Weapons/Dagger/Mace and Flail - For dual wielders who want to
   drop their shield.
Close Combat - Impacts your chance to hit but not as much as the
   weapon skills. Not very important to raise, you might as well put
   the points on a ranged weapon such as Bow.
Shield - For tanks, 'nuff said.
Bow/Modern Weapon - For fighters acting as tanks for ranged parties.
   Ranged Combat is not that important as Bow or Modern Weapon skills
   when determining chance to hit.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@
B. Lord [LOR]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@
*Features:
Health Regeneration (depending on level, can equip HP drain cursed
   items without penalty)
Can use heavy weapons and armor, and most weapons/armor in the game
Dual Weapons skill bonus

*Disadvantages:
Dual Weapons isn't the best skill for the skill bonus.
Lower HP compared to fighter.
Initially lower damage output compared to Fighter or other hybrids.
Takes a long time to train before seeing the power

* Important attributes:
Divinity isn't the best offensive spellbook so we'll just leave
    Piety at the starting level. It should be sufficient to
    eventually cast buffs and enchantments. Besides, Lords already
    pale in killng power compared to other melee classes. They need
    all the help they can get.
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      Power Strike skill
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
VIT - Gains more HP, stamina, and carrying capacity. Not as
      important as Fighter since Lord has health regeneration.

* Sample builds:
Killer: Put 3 points in STR and SPD, then DEX and SEN.
 (!!)   More swings for more damage = better.
Speedy: Put 3 points in DEX and SPD, followed by STR and SEN.
        The Lord will tire quickly but level up his weapon skills
        faster due to more swings. Stamina support is even more
        important here than with the Fighter.

* Important skills:
Sword/Polearm/Mace and Flail - Pick a type of Weapon you want. Of
   course if you go Polearm or weapon+shield you will forgo your
   Dual Weapon skill bonus and you might as well pick a Fighter or
   Valkyrie.
Dual Weapons/Dagger/Mace and Flail - For offhand wielding. Note that
   Diamond Eyes, the best offhand weapon, is a mace.
Close Combat - Impacts your chance to hit but not as much as the
   weapon skills. However if your INT and SEN is low you may want to
   add some points. You can ignore this for the most part though.
Bow/Modern Weapon - For Lords in ranged parties.  Ranged Combat is
   not that important as Bow or Modern Weapon skills when
   determining chance to hit.
Shield - For tanks. But you might as well pick a Fighter.
Divinity - I guess putting 3 points per level is good for helping
   the Lord gain necessary spells in time.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
C. Valkyrie [VAL]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
*Features:
Cheat Death - Anytime the Valkyrie is subjected to instant death
   effects or HP goes below 1, there is a good chance she will
   just be unconscious with a sizable amount of HP. This happens
   so often it's very useful.
Can use heavy weapons and armor, and most weapons/armor in the game
Polearm skill bonus

*Disadvantages:
Lower HP compared to fighter.
Large and unpredictable range of damage for Polearms.
Polearms are usually slow and heavy.

* Important attributes:
Divinity isn't the best offensive spellbook so you can leave
   Piety at the starting level and it should be sufficient to
   eventually cast buffs and enchantments. However, Valkyries have
   better damage than Lords, so they can develop their mystical
   powers...
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      Power Strike skill
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
PIE - Helps Divinity and realm skills rise faster, more spell points
VIT - Gains more HP, stamina, and carrying capacity. Not as
      important as Fighter since Polearms are Extended range weapons.
INT - Helps Divinity and magic realm skills rise faster

* Sample builds:
Tank: Put 3 points into STR and VIT, then DEX and SPD.
      You don't really need to put points in DEX since STR will
      suffice for accuracy. It's a good idea to have a Valk on the
      front lines since she will often cheat death. But we won't
      leave everything to luck. A high HP count helps.
Killer: Put 3 points in STR and DEX, then SPD and SEN.
        Enhance the good damage of spears with more power, and
        later, attacks per turn.
Caster: Put 3 points in PIE and SPD, followed by INT and DEX.
        A caster Valk is a Priest with better weapons and armor.
        But you might as well go with a Priestess, unless you want a
        gun-toting battle Priestess... :)
        Swap INT and PIE if you prefer to get Power Cast, though.
True Hybrid: Put 3 points in STR and PIE, followed by SPD and DEX.
   (!!)      Eventually your Valkyrie's support and healing spells,
             along with her combat skills will make her an
             indispensable party member.

* Important skills:
Polearm - The Valkyrie is all about spears. Max this one and don't
          even think about shields, or other melee weapons.
Close Combat - Impacts your chance to hit but not as much as the
   Polearm skills. However if your INT and SEN are low you may want to
   add points every level.
Bow/Modern Weapon - For Valkyries in ranged parties. She will tend to
   use ranged weapons less though because of her spear's extended
   reach, though. BTW Ranged Combat is not that important as Bow or
   Modern Weapon skills when determining chance to hit.
Divinity - Once this is available, put 3 points into this, foregoing
   Close Combat or Mythology.
Mythology - This will rise by itself, but it helps to put some
   points into it to start or in the first levels.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
D. Ranger [RAN]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Ranged criticals (based on Ranged Combat skill)
Searches automatically even while running (based on Scouting skill)
Ranged Combat skill bonus
No penalties from Silence when casting Alchemy spells

* Disadvantages:
Instant kill is based on chance
Less armor than other melee classes, generally poor tank
Wastes a lot of ammo, needs a lot of carrying capacity
   (the hassle of returning to town can be reduced by multiple portal
    spells though)

* Important attributes:
Dexterity helps out the Alchemy skill so you don't need as much INT;
   starting INT is usually enough unless you plan on mastering your
   magic realms...
SEN - Gets somewhat better accuracy and initiative and unlocks Eagle
      Eye expert skill
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative,
      Also helps Alchemy rise faster
STR - Deals more damage for bows/slings/darts but only 1/2 as
      effective for ranged weapons. This can be ignored if Modern
      Weapons are used, use VIT for carrying capacity instead.
INT - Helps Alchemy and magic realm skills rise faster
VIT - Along with STR, helps increase carrying capacity.

* Sample builds:
Archer 1: Put 3 points in DEX and SEN, followed by STR and
          SPD or INT.
Archer 2: Put 2 points in STR, DEX and SEN, followed by SPD and
  (!!)    INT. (Or do what I do: 1 STR 2 DEX 3 SEN)
Hybrid 1: Put 3 points in SEN and INT, followed by SPD and DEX.
Hybrid 2: Put 2 points in DEX SEN and INT, followed by 3 in SPD and
          STR.
NOTE: Replace STR with VIT if using Modern Weapons.

* Important skills:
Bow - If you pick Bow, go all the way, otherwise there are other
   choices... however, you might as well select an Alchemist if you
   go sling.
Modern Weapons - You will have to suck it up through the monastery
   with a bow. If you don't have the money for a Musket or
   Blunderbuss, just grab a free Zip Gun from Rattus around the
   Arnika-Trynton Road.
Ranged Combat - It will rise on its own due to your high Senses. But
   since it controls Ranged Criticals, you should probably put points
   every level.
Alchemy - If you don't have a dedicated Alchemist (or Bishop), you
   will have to rely on your Ranger. 3 points per level if so.
Mythology - This will rise by itself, but it helps to put some
   points into it to start or in the first levels.
Scouting - Basically acts as a Detect Secrets spell that is active
   all the time; hardly the most useful thing in Dominus.
   Fortunately, it goes up quickly. Just put 20-30 points in it to
   start, if you want, to help spot hidden stuff painlessly.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
E. Samurai [SAM]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Chance of instant kill (based on Critical Strike skill)
Chance of lightning strike (4 strikes or more during a turn)
Immune to fear
Sword skill bonus
Has unique items available (most imporantly, offhand swords)

* Disadvantages:
Lower HP compared to fighter
Less armor and weapon choices than Fighters
Lightning strike and instant kill based on chance

* Important attributes:
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      Power Strike skill
INT - Helps Wizardry and magic realm skills rise faster
VIT - Gains more HP, stamina, and carrying capacity
SEN - Somewhat better initiative

* Sample builds:
Tank: Put 3 points into STR and VIT, then DEX and SPD.
      You don't really need to put points in DEX since STR will
      suffice for accuracy. Will swing slowly at first then speed up
      once DEX and SPD are being increased. But with this build, you
      might as well go with a Fighter.
Caster: Put 3 points in INT and SPD, followed by PIE and DEX.
        A caster Samurai starts on magic later than a Mage but has
        more armor.
Hybrid: Put 3 points in STR and INT, then DEX and SPD. Develop the
        Samurai to their full potential by training both their mind
        and body.
Speedy: Put 3 points in DEX and SPD, followed by STR and INT.
 (!!)   With more swings comes quick combat skill increase as well
        as more chances of seeing the words INSTANT KILL on your
        screen. Grab a low-weight sword (and eventually, Bushido
        Blade and Muramasa) and watch the kills pile up.

* Important skills:
Sword - Max this. You can leave the other melee weapons to other
        characters.
Critical Strike - Fighters deal more damage than Samurai, so Samurai
                  better polish up on their instant kill techniques.
                  3 points per level up.
Dual Weapons - If your Samurai goes with the initial weapon loadout,
               you can put points in this. However, maxing Sword
               skill first is better.
Shield - You can always ditch off-hand weapons for more defense.
         You may choose to start as a Fighter then class change to
         Samurai on Level 2 to get a higher Shield skill.
Wizardry - Important to learning spells on time. 3 points per level.
Bow - Put points here if with a ranged party. Alternatively, to give
      the Samurai ranged options you can pump Fire or Water magic
      instead.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
F. Ninja [NIN]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Chance of instant kill (based on Critical Strike skill)
Instant kill also applies to thrown weapons
Thrown weapons always penetrate armor as long as they hit
Critical Strike skill bonus
Has unique items available
No penalties from Silence when casting Alchemy spells

* Disadvantages:
Instant kill is based on chance
Usually is the worst party member for a long time:
   Takes an eternity to train properly before shining
Largest experience requirement (same as Bishop)
Severely limited armor choices (buy from Crock in the swamp area if
   dualclassing)
Thrown weapons aren't the most common ammo-based items in the game

* Important attributes:
SEN - Somewhat better initiative, helps throwing weapons and combat
      skills
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative, also
      Alchemy's controlling attribute
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      More important only with Melee Ninja
INT - Helps Alchemy and magic realm skills rise faster, not as
      important for Alchemy skill because DEX is OK for Alchemy;
      INT also helps combat and some misc. skills rise faster

* Sample builds:
Throwing: Put 3 points in DEX and SEN, followed by INT and SPD/STR.
          Mainly for Throwing ninjas. DEX will help your weapons
          skills and Alchemy, while SEN will pump your Critical
          Strike and combat skills. INT later will help train magic
          realms to help cast higher-level Alchemy spells when they
          count in the late game.
Patience: Put 3 points in INT and SEN, and then DEX, SPD and/or STR.
          Also for Throwing ninjas, you will need to wait for a long
          time before seeing the power. Spend a lot of time training
          magic and combat skills in the early levels. Eventually,
          the Ninja will destroy everyone in their path.
Melee: Put 3 points in STR and DEX, followed by INT and SEN.
       If you plan on using a Sai (or two) or Nunchaku (or two) or
       the Zatoichi Bo.
Patient Melee: Put 2 points in STR INT DEX followed by SEN and SPD.

* Important skills:
Critical Strike - This is why are you playing a Ninja, remember?
                  Max this.
Throwing and Sling - You might as well take advantage of a Ninja's
                     innate strengths.
Mace and Flail/Staff and Wand/Dagger/Martial Arts
                   - Pick a melee weapon and stick with it.
Alchemy - A character who's strong in the late game gets paired up
          with the magic school that's strong in the late game.
          Don't pass up this one.
Dual Weapons - Ever thought of Double Shuriken? Double Sais? Double
               Nunchaku? Cane of Corpus + Fairy Wand? Thought so. Put
               points here if needed.
Stealth - Every bit of armor helps. Although you can skip points in
          this if you are willing to spend time dodging monsters for
          Stealth training.
Locks and Traps/Pickpocket - I guess, if there are no other party
          members to do these skills, you can setup your Ninja to
          train in them, but it will come at the cost of their
          valuable training in fighting or spellcasting skills.


@@@@@@@@@@@@@
G. Monk [MON]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Chance of instant kill (based on Critical Strike skill)
No penalties from blindness
Martial Arts skill bonus
Has unique items available

* Disadvantages:
Instant kill is based on chance
Can only use minimal weight armor, limited armor choices
    (Requires heavy training in Stealth)

* Important attributes:
DEX - Gets better chance to hit and slightly better initiative, also
      Alchemy's controlling attribute
SPD - Better initiative and more attacks
STR - Deals more damage and slightly better chance to hit,
      Less important with Martial Arts, more important with weapons
SEN - Somewhat better initiative, helps throwing weapons, combat
      skills, and Psionics
INT - Helps Psioncs and magic realm skills rise faster, not as
      important for Psionics skill because SEN helps it

* Sample builds:
Speedy: Put 3 points in DEX and SPD, followed by STR and SEN or INT.
 (!!)   Mainly for Martial Arts masters, since punch and kick damage
        rise with skill, diminishing the importance of STR in early
        game.
Melee: Put 3 points in STR and SPD, followed by DEX and SEN/INT.
       If you plan on using the Zatoichi Bo or Nunchaku (or two), or
       you don't even think about hitting with ranged weapons.
Weapons: Put 2 points in DEX STR and SPD, followed by SEN and INT.
         Don't trust STR to improve your chances of hitting?
Tank 1: Put 3 points in VIT DEX, followed by SPD and SEN or INT.
        A tank that forgoes STR due to Martial Arts.
Tank 2: Put 2 points in STR VIT DEX, followed by SPD and SEN or INT.
        A tank that wants to use weapons.
Caster: Put 3 points in INT and SEN, followed by DEX and SPD.
        Basically a Psionic with better HP.

* Important skills:
Stealth - Monks have minimal armor. You must max this ASAP. It will
          go up automatically, but you can go back to the monastery
          to dodge roaches for training.
Critical Strike - Instant kills are always great. Max this.
Martial Arts/Staff and Wand/Mace and Flail
      - Pick a melee weapon and stick with it, although Martial Arts
        is a good pick since Monks have the skill bonus
Dual Weapons - Ok, this is not needed by Martial Arts. Only dual
               Nunchaku wielders really need this.
Psionics - Not too important in my opinion, but why deny your Monk of
           spellcasting ability? I'd still put points here every
           level.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
H. Rogue [ROG]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Locks and Traps skill bonus
Backstab ability
 - Double damage with any thrusting weapon
 - I think you do normal damage if you don't penetrate armor
 - Thrusting weapons include: Polearm (pointless), Sword, Dagger
 - You won't backstab and berserk (with Bloodlust) at the same time

* Disadvantages:
Less HP than fighters (fortunately Rogues have Stealth)
No magic ability

* Important attributes:
STR - Daggers aren't the strongest weapons in the world, even with
      double damage.
DEX - Improve your chances of landing a hit and go a bit faster,
      also boosts Locks and Traps skill
SEN - Go a bit faster and train your combat and dual weapons...
SPD - You can never have too much speed...
VIT - Rogues don't have much HP...
(No you don't need INT, trust me.)

* Sample builds:
Common 1 - Add 3 points in STR and DEX, followed by SPD and SEN.
           For max accuracy and damage. Two knives or sword and knife
           are the way to go.
Common 2 - Add 3 points in STR and SPD, then DEX or SEN or VIT.
           Striking hard and fast. Less accuracy than the above build
           but you have more attacks.
Tank 1 - Add 3 points in STR and VIT, followed by DEX and SPD.
         Rogue equips a shield, and becomes a fighter with Stealth.
         How about max Shield and Stealth for a stellar AC?
Tank 2 - Add 3 in DEX and VIT, followed by STR and SPD
         We're sacrificing chopping power for the chance to get
         Reflextion and further up the armor total.
Speedy - Add 3 points in DEX and SPD, followed by SEN and STR.
         Besides striking fast, this rogue can get the same huge
         armor bonus as Tank 2 via high Speed, Stealth, Shield and
         Reflexion. Only not as much HP or damage to begin with.

* Important skills:
Stealth - Since Rogues are not Fighters, they need all the armor they
          can get.
Sword, Dagger, Sword&Dagger - Make your weapons selection. Swords are
          better than daggers (who wants to use a Thieves' Dagger
          for 70% of the game?) though, and you can still stab with
          them.
Shield - Yes, Rogues can use shields! They will have to make do with
         one less weapon though. With shields, swords are the weapon
         of choice due to more damage. That, and daggers suck as
         primary weapons.
Dual Weapons - 2 daggers? Sword and dagger? Put points here.
Locks and Traps - What the Rogue is for. Put points here, unless you'd
                  rather have a super stealth combat specialist and
                  leave the lockpicking to the Gadgeteer.
Pickpocket - A useful skill, but it isn't for everyone. But the Rogue
             has many skills needing attention (*cough*Stealth*cough*)
             so if you really want this skill I'd say bump it to 20
             and raise it through practice only, until the later
             levels where you have points to spare.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@
I. Bard [BAR]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Communications skill bonus
Doubles life and magic regeneration rate during camping
Music skill: enables use of musical instruments

* Disadvantages:
Can run out of stamina quickly in battles
Males cannot equip many early-game stamina regenerating items
More powerful gadgets outclass most later instruments

* Important attributes:
VIT - Increases HP and stamina which is the fuel for Bard "spells",
      also increases carrying capacity.
STR - Increases same stamina as VIT but more carrying capacity,
      Great if your Bard will be doing close-range fighting
DEX - Better than STR if your Bard will be using bows.
SPD - Helps musical spells launch faster.
SEN - Increases initiative somewhat, also for bow Bards.

* Sample builds:
Tank - 3 in STR and VIT, then DEX and SPD.
       STR and VIT will not only ensure a huge Stamina supply, it
       will allow the Bard to stand in the front row and chop up
       enemies.
Ranged 1 - 3 in VIT and DEX, then SEN and STR or SPD.
         - This will ensure a healthy HP count while letting the
           Bard train in their Music and Bow skills.
Ranged 2 - 3 in DEX and SEN, then STR and SPD.
         - Less music, but you will get Eagle Eye earlier.

* Important skills:
Music - The food of love. Max this out.
Sword/Bow/whatever - Choose weapons you want the Bard to equip.
Locks and Traps - If there is no one else to do the dirty work...
Pickpocket - A useful skill, but it isn't for everyone. Either you
             put points in this skill every level or you don't put
             a single point into it, ever.
Communication - Reduces prices for the most part. Important but not
                worth putting points into. It will rise by itself.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
J. Gadgeteer [GAD]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Modern Weapons skill bonus
Engineering skill: enables use of gadgets
Starts with Omnigun which improves every few levels

* Disadvantages:
Can run out of stamina quickly in battles
Males cannot equip many early-game stamina regenerating items
Low damage omnigun ammo and few gadgets available in early game

* Important attributes:
SEN - Increases initiative somewhat, and unlocks Eagle Eye.
DEX - Increases accuracy.
VIT - Increases HP and stamina. More stamina is good for more gadget
      use.
SPD - Allows more firing opportunities a round and helps gadgets
      spells launch faster than with SEN.

* Sample builds:
Ranged - DEX and SEN, 3 every level. Followed by VIT and SPD.
         The goal is to get Eagle Eye ASAP.
Balanced - DEX SEN and VIT, 2 every level, followed by PIE and SPD.
         More HP and stamina but less accuracy for a long time.
         Training will be difficult due to less DEX, but you'll be
         average in terms of gadget use while sharpening your
         marksman skills.
Mad Scientist - STR and VIT, 3 every level, followed by SPD and SEN.
         If you want to totally ignore your Omnigun and use gadgets
         all the way, here's the build. Training skills can be
         difficult due to lack of DEX and low initiative but at least
         you have all the stamina in the world to launch multiple
         gadgets every fight. By the way, you will be be able to tank
         as well so grab a shield.

* Important skills:
Engineering - Put points into it every level.
Modern Weapon - For Omnigun and Musket users... max this.
Locks and Traps - A gadgeteer starts with some points here, making
                  him a candidate for the party's lockpicker.
Ranged Combat - Low-priority, but you still need this, so add points
                into it, if necessary.
Shield - For the gadget user in you, any amount of defense is worth
         it.
Sword - For the scientists who hate guns and let gadgets do the dirty
        work, self-defense may be necessary in extreme cases.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
K. Priest [PRI]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Divinity skill bonus
Turn Undead ability once per battle
Pray for Miracle ability once per battle
Unusually high HP and good armor choices for a spellcaster

* Disadvantages:
Divinity has minimal offensive options

* Important attributes:
SPD - Speed is far more important on a healer than any other caster
PIE - More spell points, faster Divinity training
INT - Faster magic realm training, Power Cast is always useful
SEN - More initiative bonus, but less than Speed
VIT - Every bit of HP helps, even for casters
STR - For priests who are going into battle

* Sample builds:
Standard Caster - INT SPD 3 each, PIE SEN later.
    Why INT first? To get Power Cast of course! Don't worry, we'll
    add PIE later for the spell point loadout bonus. And Divinity will
    go up on its own, considering the Priest's high starting Piety.
Battle Priest - STR PIE 3 each, SPD DEX later.
    Decent damage, decent chance to hit and magical training... just
    don't expect it to be as good as a Fighter or even a Valkyrie.
Tank - VIT 2 PIE 2 STR 2, DEX SPD later.
    When stunning and tanking are more important than dealing damage.

* Important skills:
Divinity - Learn spells on time, always put 3 points here. And
    prioritize some of your magic realms as needed; don't waste points
    on other skills unless necessary.
Mace and Flail - Good weapon choice for Battle Priests. Staff and
    Wand are slightly worse since the one-handed versions of them are
    weaker, and the two-handed versions don't let you use a shield.
Shield - 10 points to start with is good to increase defense.
Communication - The laidback Priest can do the haggling and public
    relations for your party if there aren't any alternatives (low INT
    low SEN Bard doesn't count). Just let it rise by itself or help it
    out if necessary.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
L. Alchemist [ALC]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Alchemy skill bonus
Can mix potions into more powerful potions
Random free potions while camping (higher Alchemy = better potions)
No penalties from Silence when casting Alchemy spells

* Disadvantages:
Pales in early game compared to Mage
    (however Alchemy has some healing spells)

* Important attributes:
INT - Faster magic realm training, Power Cast is very useful
      especially against late-game baddies, somewhat faster Alchemy
      training
SPD - Speed lets you strike and heal first
SEN - More initiative bonus, but less than Speed
PIE - More spell points than INT
DEX - It helps Alchemy rise the fastest, also aids the Throwing and
      Sling skills -- however, the starting level should be okay.

* Sample builds:
Standard Caster - INT SPD 3 each, PIE SEN later.
Mini-Ranger -  INT DEX 3 each, SPD SEN later.

* Important skills:
Alchemy - Of course. Add points to this along with a magical realm of
          your choice.
Throwing and Sling - If you want your Alchemist to toss some of those
          powders or bombs you gather during the adventure. Put about
          20-30 points to start, it helps minimize clumsiness.
Artifacts, Mythology - If no one else is up to the job, add some
          points to either and leave the game to add the rest.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
M. Bishop [BIS]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Turn Undead ability once per battle
Free Remove Curse ability outside of battle
No penalties from Silence when casting Alchemy spells?
Artifacts skill bonus
Decent armor loadout for a spellcaster

* Disadvantages:
Among the slowest to gain levels
Necessity to save spell picks to reach full potential
Expensive to purchase a lot of magic books
    (solved for the most part by mixing potions for profit)
Many magic schools to increase makes it difficult and disadvantageous
    for the Bishop to learn other skills
Generally takes forever to train before seeing the power

* Important attributes:
INT - Faster magic school and magic realm training, Power Cast is
      very useful
SPD - Speed is always great on a caster
PIE - More spell points, faster magic training
SEN - More initiative bonus, but less Speed, faster Psionic training
VIT - Every bit of HP helps, even for casters

* Sample builds:
Standard Caster - Pump INT and SPD at the rate of 3 a level, then add
    3 to PIE and SEN later.

* Important skills:
Wizardry, Alchemy, Divinity, Psionics - Select 2-4 schools and go
    with them. Realm skills can be ignored in general since they rise
    fast. Other skills must be ignored because a Bishop has to
    concentrate on multiple schools of magic. See training tips for
    help on how to level up a 3-4 school Bishop.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
N. Psionic [PSI]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
Immune to mental status ailments
Psionic skill bonus

* Disadvantages:
Very low HP
Next to no party strengthening spells
Very limited armor choices

* Important attributes:
INT - Train Psionics faster, Power Cast? Yeah.
SEN - Initiative bonus, but less than Speed, faster Psionics training
SPD - Speed is always great on a caster
PIE - Gains more spell points
VIT - Every bit of starting VIT helps HP totals, especially for
      Psionics

* Sample builds:
Standard Psionic - Pump INT and SEN at the rate of 3 a level, then add
    3 to PIE and SPD later
Standard Caster - INT SPD 3 each, PIE SEN later. You can opt for this
    since Snake Speed is obviously better than Eagle Eye for a
    Psionic

* Important skills:
Psionics - Add this please.
Communications, Artifacts, Mythology - If you follow the INT SEN
    build, these skills will rise faster for a Psionic than anyone
    else. In fact, you can leave these skills alone... and train
    effortlessly... or maybe give them a little push?

@@@@@@@@@@@@@
O. Mage [MAG]
@@@@@@@@@@@@@
* Features:
+5% Fire, Water, Earth, Air resistances
Wizardry skills bonus

* Disadvantages:
Very low HP
Limited armor choices

* Important attributes:
INT - Faster Wizardry and realm training, Power Cast is very useful
SPD - Speed is always great on a caster
PIE - More spell points
SEN - More initiative bonus, but less than Speed
VIT - Every bit of HP helps, even for casters

* Sample builds:
Standard Caster - Pump INT and SPD at the rate of 3 a level, then add
    3 to PIE and SEN later.
With Vitality - INT 3 VIT 2 SPD 1, PIE and SEN later.
    A weak mage can be slain by random Crush or Cerebral Hemmorhage
    spells. Make them a little tougher.

* Important skills:
Wizardry - Add 3 points here. Add realm skill points as needed.
Throwing and Sling - Maybe you feel the need to throw a few stones or
    darts when the Mage runs out of batteries. But I'd rather raise my
    spell points bumping realm skills. So bite the bullet (stones) and
    just defend when out of magic to avoid being tempted to swing a
    staff or toss a rock. In short: don't put points in T&S.




======================================================================
Section 5: (MISC) Class/Skill Training Strategies
=================================================

---------------------
A. Class Change [L2C]
---------------------
Level 1 characters gain the greatest bonus from starting skills.
However there are some "wasted points" that your character might not
need. This problem is solved by picking a starting class with the
skills you need then changing into the class you really want. This
is the rationale for the Level 2 Class Change.

However, your character functions one level less effective in the new
class, potentially delaying the spell advancement of hybrids or
hampering instrument or gadget use.

To perform the class change, create a new character of the "starting
class", but when putting points make sure that you are meeting the
requirements of the class you are changing into.

Here are some suggested early-game class changes:

1. Fighter to Samurai
If you want to make a "Sword and Shield" Samurai. This eliminates
the wasted points in Dual Weapons, and lets you start with 10 or
more Shield skill. You also get 5 free points in Critical Strike
upon switching to Samurai.

2. Fighter to Rogue
Similar to the above. You get 5 free points in Stealth, Lockpick,
and Dagger.

3. Lord/Samurai to Fighter
For dual-wield Fighters. Samurai to Fighter will have excess Critical
Strike points and unusable Katana and Wakizashi though.

4. Valkyrie to Fighter
To start the game with Polearms.

5. Priest to Lord
If a dual-wielding mace Lord is desired. The 1 level in Priest is not
wasted since it counts once Lord levels reach Level 5. Also to get 2
spell picks and starting points in Divinity.

6. Alchemist to Ranger
If you're actually going to make a Sling Ranger, a most unorthodox
character. Also to start with more points in Alchemy and 2 spell
picks.

7. Gadgeteer to Ranger
(Note, the mighty Omnigun can only be used by Gadgeteers.)
This sort-of solves the lack of Modern Weapon practice for the
beginning musketeer at the Monastery. Stay at Level 1 and practice
with the Omnigun, do not switch to a Ranger until you finally get a
rifle (Zip Gun is free to get).

--------------------------------
B. 3 or 4 Spellbook Bishop [34B]
--------------------------------
Training a bishop takes a lot of self-control. First of all you can't
afford to use any of your spell picks for any cheap spells. You need
them all to get level 6 and 7 for multiple spell schools.

Second, let's face it, while the Mage can happily pump her Wizardry
and her 2 favorite realms (say, Fire and Water) for early-on
high-level Fireball and Freeze Flesh action, and learn Power Cast much
earlier, the Bishop isn't going to kill everyone and everything early
on. He will just have to make do with a large variety of spells that
he can't cast at full power for a long time.

That's all right, because looking into the crystal ball we see the
Bishop's bright future: mastery of a huge variety of powerful spells,
with a very large pool of spell points in every realm.

Here's how to ensure that such power will be in your grasp:
1. Save spell picks for level 6 and 7 spells. You need 10+ for two
   spellbooks, 18+ for three, and 25+ picks to acquire all the best
   spells for four spellbooks. You must buy and find spellbooks for
   any and all low-level spells you need. This may cost a lot, but
   mixing potions is a good way to make money for the Bishop (if s/he
   studies Alchemy).
2. Unless you're limiting yourself to 2 schools (which will be weak)
   you shouldn't bother putting points on magic realm skills. Putting
   points on magic school skills ensures that the Bishop will learn
   spells on time.
3. So how about going for a fourth school? Some tricks here:
   a. Even out the four magic schools by putting points in schools
      with the lowest skill levels. This can cause you to get spells
      slower, however. Another way is to allocate 3 points to one
      school then 2 points in three others.
   b. Put points in the three other schools during levelup, and then
      (preferably during battle) cast spells that belong exclusively
      to the last school. A good choice for this "fourth school" is
      Wizardry, which has a lot of effective offensive spells and
      buffing spells that are not shared by other schools
      (e.g. Fireball, Enchanted Blade).

The Bishop requires more effort to train than other casters, but ends
up being the most powerful and versatile of the bunch in the end.

-----------------------------
C. Skills Training Tips [SKL]
-----------------------------
Locks and Traps -
  * Keep inspecting a trapped chest. For this purpose, you should
    save a weak trapped chest (e.g. the chests in He'Li's inn) for
    later because you may accidentally set off the trap and "waste it"
    if your skill level is too low.
  * An alternative is to go to the secure vault in Arnika (through the
    tunnels) and pick the 8-tumbler lock, although I find that this
    takes longer than the previous method.

Stealth, Shield, Reflextion, Iron Skin, Snake Speed?, Iron Will? -
  * Don't kill some of the set weak monster encounters (e.g. the
    three seekers in Arnika Road, the three roaches in the Lower
    Monastery prison area). Equip your shield and possibly some life
    regen gear, set everyone to defend, put the game on
    continuous combat, and wait or go to sleep (in real life).
    (Class change everyone into Rogues if desired.)

Magic -
  * Repeatedly casting buffs seems to work well. I think that once you
    gain a skill point, it will be harder to gain another skill point
    for a while, so just drop the act and switch to another spell for
    now. This includes useful spells in specific situations such as
    Charm/Mindread, Identify Item, Remove Curse, Divine Trap,
    Knock Knock.

Pickpocket -
  * Save the game before pickpocketing an NPC. Memorize how many times
    you succeeded before you fail. Reload the game on failure then
    pick the NPC's pockets as many times as your character could
    before failure. (patch 1.24)

Artifacts, Alchemy -
  * Mix potions one by one instead of in groups of 5. Also identify
    the new mixtures one by one as well.

Mythology -
  * Walking around the T'Rang base or the Umpani base to identify the
    groups of soldiers is a safe way to raise it. If you become a
    Templar, the Rapax Castle or Rapax Rift also works.

Communication -
  * Going around and talking to newly-met NPC's raises it
    automatically.
  * Pickpocket NPC's of little importance that will turn Neutral once
    they catch you stealing. Then Threaten, Friendly, Offer 1 gold.
    You get to do this once every 24 game hours per NPC, though.
    (Tip: Do this with Panrack, Balbrak, Bildblu, Saxx and Sparkle
    at the Umpani Base. That is, if you're not into recruiting Saxx
    or Sparkle.)

Music -
  * Grab the Viola de Amore from He'Li's inn and repeatedly play it
    with every NPC you meet.
  * Use the Dulcimer of Mending after every battle.

Engineering -
  * Repeated use of the X-Ray Scanner or Forcefield Generator until
    your skill increases seems to work. Just go into battle after
    "practicing" before practicing again if ever your skill goes up.

Weapon Skills -
  * Find a weak monster with decent HP, equip weak weapons (preferably
    those that do multiple attacks). Cast Body of Stone on it and
    whack away. Heal the monster or protect it with a Guardian Angel
    if necessary. Do not paralyze it as it will take more damage.
  * When training ranged weapons, always use the cheapest, weakest
    ammo available and try not to attack with your melee warriors (or
    have your melee warriors equip bows and lock them to avoid weapon
    switching).


======================================================================
Section 5: (PART) Sample Parties
================================

*** Basics ***
Must have at least one tank
Must have at least one Physical damage character (can be tank too)
Must have at least one Magic damage character
Must have at least one character with Locks and Traps
Support/healing character makes life easier but not a necessity
Portal character/s make life a LOT easier, but again not required

Also you can take into account if you wish to hire extra members later
on. There are only three good choices that will go with you to most
areas and until final areas of the game: RPS-81 (Monk), Saxx (Bard),
Vi Domina (Valkyrie). Rodan (Lord) and Drazic (Ninja) will go to all
areas as well, but you need them together in the same party.

Note:
1. Apparently you CAN do without a character who will pick locks.
   First you need one or more strong party members to force open the
   early-game locks (it's easier then). Then later in the game, you
   need 2-3 people casting Knock Knock (buy the Knock Picks wand if
   necessary), and 1 person with the Poseur's Cap to raise the one
   or two remaining tumblers.
2. You can do without too many Physical damage characters later in the
   game, they can be replaced for the most part by summoning
   elementals against monsters who are resistant to magic.
3. Support members can be replaced by potions, powders and wands.

X. My current party:
M Dracon Samurai, F Felpurr Monk, F Mook Bard
F Hobbit Gadgeteer, M Mook Psionic, F Faerie Bishop
+ Android Monk (RFS-81)

A. Beginner's Party:
Fighter, Valkyrie, Rogue/Bard, Ranger, Priest, Mage/Alchemist
* Fighter and Valk make good tanks and can wear most armor in the game.
* Rogue handles Locks and Traps skills and you can experiment with
  Pickpocket. Alternatively, pick Bard for your first run in with
  musical instruments (but less Locks and Traps skill to start with).
* Ranger's Scouting helps find hidden items for your first
  run-through of new areas.
* Priest is the quintessential healer.
* Mage/Alchemist as an offensive caster.  

B. Making the most out of the game in one play:
Fighter/Lord/Valk, Monk/Ninja, Bard, Gadgeteer, Ranger, Bishop
* You can use most armors and items you find in the game.

C. Melee Party:
Fighter, Samurai, Monk, Lord/Valkyrie, Priest/Bishop, Ninja
* This party can use most melee weapons found in the game.
* Priest/Bishop is there to support the party with heals and buffs.
* Ninja to use the Ninja-only weapons and pick locks.

D. Ranged Party:
Fighter/Samurai/Valkyrie, Ranger, Gadgeteer, Ninja, Bard, Bishop
* This party can use most ranged weapons found in the game.
* Fighter/Sam/Valk can act as tank but will train in Bow or
  Modern Weapons.
* Gadgeteer can make Tripleshot Crossbow.
* Bishop is there to support the party with heals and buffs. Can be
  Priest; if so, Samurai must be chosen as tank (Wizardry spellbook
  has some useful buffs).
* You can forgo the Ninja for another Ranger.

E. Hardcore:
Any party without Fighter, Bard, Gadgeteer and classes with Alchemy
Any of: Lord, Valkyrie, Samurai, Monk, Rogue, Priest, Psionic, Mage
* Fighter makes early game too easy.
* Bards and Gadgeteers make life easier with their gadgets.
* No Alchemy means you will not be tempted to mix for profit.

F. The Odyssey:
Only Lord, Valkyrie, Ranger, Samurai, Ninja, Monk, Bishop are allowed.
The goal is to level up as slowly as possible (while training skills
of course).


======================================================================
Section 6: (FAQ-) Appendices
============================

-----------------
A. Glossary [GLO]
-----------------

AC - Armor class. Higher totals reflect the ability of a character
    to avoid blow added to the ability of their armor to deflect
    attacks that actually hit.
attribute - Physical and mental statistics of a Wizardry 8 character.
    These stats max out at 100.
buff - An effect (usually magical) that boosts the statistics of a
    character or a group of such.
build - A stragegy for attribute, skill and/or spell allocation; or a
    general plan for leveling up a character with a goal in mind.
class change - Changing professions during level-up.
Cane of Corpus - CoC for short: the most powerful weapon in all of
    Wizardry 8, it is a one-handed staff can only be equipped by
    Faerie Ninjas.
casters - Mage, Psionic, Alchemist, Priest; also Bishop if this term
    is not used to refer to experience divisions.
challenge - Usually refers to a handicapped or restricted party
    combination designed to test a player's skills. Also refers to
    restrictions willingly implemented on her/himself by a player to
    add an element of challenge to a game.
damage resistance - In Wizardry 8, it specifically refers to the
    special ability of a Dwarf or Monk to take reduced physical damage
    (by a percentage).
debuff, curse - Any effect (usually magical) that gives a penalty to
    the statistics of a character. 'Status ailments' are the most
    common debuffs.
elements, elemental - Refers to one or more of the magic realms of
    Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
elites - Refers to the Bishop and Ninja, classes who can learn many
    skills and abilities and thus penalized with having a huge
    experience requirement to level up.
experience tracks, experience divisions - Classes are said to belong
    to the same experience track if they share the same experience
    table. There are four tracks in this game, referred to as:
    specialists, casters, hybrids, elite.
expert skills - A skill unlocked by having 100 points in a certain
    attribute (excluding points added by items or magical buffs).
fighters (small 'f') - Refers to any character or hybrid clearly
    designated to be a short-ranged melee character, such as Fighters,
    Lords, Valkyries, Samurai, Monks, Rogues. It can also refer to
    Bards, Ninja and Priests who are on the front lines.
furry - Refers to anthropomorphic animal characters, usually mammals,
    but may also include animals who don't actually have fur on
    them (e.g. bird characters, Lizardmen). The term also refers to
    people who are fans of such characters.
hybrids - Character classes that have fighting skills and magic
    abilities. This excludes the Ninja if the term is used to explain
    experience divisions.
level up, levelling - The act of gaining enough experience to advance
    to the next experience level, and the act of allocating point
    bonuses to a character as a result of this advancement.
mix, mixing - The ability of an Alchemist character to merge two
    potions.
Muramasa - The most powerful sword for the Samurai class.
NPC - Non-Player Character, generally any character who is not created
    or controlled by the player.
party - Generally refers to a group of characters who participate in
    the adventure.
PC - Player Character, generally any character whose actions are
    controlled by the player (you).
realm, magic realm - Refers to one of Fire, Water, Air, Earth,
    Mental or Divine.
recruit, hire - To invite an RPC to join your party.
resistance - A point total that determines a character's ability to
    take reduced damage from certain types of attack. Usually refers
    to magic resistance. Also see 'damage resistance'.
RPC - Recruitable Player Character, a Wizardry 8 term referring to
    NPC's who can be recruited into the party.
skills - Weapon, magic and other miscellaneous skills of a Wizardry 8
    character. These stats max out at 100. Classes have a 25% bonus
    to particular skills.
specialists - Non-caster classes designated to fill specific roles
    and thus are on the fastest experience track.
spellbook, magic school - Refers to one of Divinity, Psionics,
    Alchemy or Wizardry.
status ailment - A usually curable state or states that reduce a
    character's statistics--hampering their ability to fight properly
    or reducing the player's control over a character.
tank - A character with a high defense and/or hit point count
    designated to absorb damage and protect weaker party members.
tumbler - One of the teeth inside a lock. Combinations of tumblers are
    designed to fit a particular key (if available). Locks in Wizardry
    8 are picked open by clicking tumblers until they all are on the
    'up' position.
Zatoichi Bo - The most powerful staff available to a Monk or a
    (non-Faerie) Ninja.

----------------------
B. Expert Skills [EXP]
----------------------
Expert skills are gained when your character reaches 100 (excluding
item bonuses) in certain stats.

Power Strike (100 STR)
- Grants extra chances to hit and penetrate with a melee weapon.

Power Cast (100 INT)
- Lets your spells penetrate enemy resistances.

Iron Will (100 PIE)
- Reduces magic damage and protects against status ailments.

Iron Body (100 VIT)
- Reduces physical damage.

Reflextion (100 DEX)
- Grants extra AC.

Snake Speed (100 SPD)
- Grants extra initiative.

Eagle Eye (100 SEN)
- Grants extra chances to hit and penetrate with a ranged weapon.

-----------------------
C. About Vitality [VIT]
-----------------------
Here are some things you may want to know about VIT:
1. Raising Vitality DOES raise your HP retroactively. (It also adds
   the life that you should've gained in the previous levels.) But
   it is not certain if you have more max HP for raising VIT earlier
   than later.
2. There are almost no skills that require Vitality as a controlling
   attribute.
3. As a result, I prefer to add STR DEX or SPD first, whatever will
   kill the enemy faster, then VIT later IF any more life is needed
   for the final areas. Adding VIT last allows for faster training in
   relevant skills. But I usually end up not adding VIT since by that
   time my characters don't take too much damage anymore.

--------------------
D. About Piety [PIE]
--------------------
Here are some things you may want to know about the PIE:
1. Raising Piety nets you more spell points than INT. It also raises
   retroactively based on existing spells and caster levels gained.
2. The only skills with Piety as a controlling attribute are Divinity
   and then the magical realms of Fire, Air, Mental, etc.
3. Thus the only situation where raising PIE would make sense is for
   the Priestly classes, and it does come at the cost of training in
   (the less important skills of) Artifacts, Mythology, and
   Communication.
4. In general, if you want more spell points, it's better to raise
   Piety than Intelligence.

---------------------------
F. About Intelligence [INT]
---------------------------
1. Intelligence apparently does not actually increase your spell
   point total. However, it does influence magic realm skills and
   all magic schools, so I guess that could (indirectly) help increase
   spell point count.
2. INT is also the controlling attribute for many skills.
3. Still, most builds emphasize INT first because we want to get
   Power Cast as soon as possible, unless that character studies
   Divinity (or even Wizardry) and is only there for support.

------------------------------------------
F. About Strength and Ranged Weapons [RWP]
------------------------------------------
1. Strength is only 1/2 as effective for damage increases on Bows,
   Slings and Thrown Weapons.
2. Strength does not affect damage of Modern Weapons.




======================================================================
Section 7: About the Author (ABOU)
==================================

Location:
    Project 8, Quezon City, Philippines

About me:
    I prefer the online alias Robo-Mike. Robo comes from Robo-Ky, a
    character in the fighting game Guilty Gear XX.

    Thank you for reading this guide. Do you notice that all my guides
    look the same? Yeah, I'm lazy to make a new layout for each one,
    but the layout is good, right? If it isn't broken, why change it?

    As of February 2006, I am still the greatest Juniper Lee fanboy
    ever. And I make references to it.

Links:
    pencil-sketch-badger.deviantart.com




======================================================================
Section 8: Contact Info (MAIL)
===============================

e-mail: hidden for now

Post at the Wiz 8 board at GameFAQs or the vnboards, if you have any
questions. Someone might answer. If you see problems with this thing,
just post at GameFAQs boards and I'll respond. I'm not accepting
contributions for this guide (unless I know you personally) since
everything has been said about this game and party formations are a
matter of personal taste and opinion.

Do not ask me questions on the plot, or how to get the Muramasa or
whatever super weapons as those are not covered by this guide and that
info is most likely in one of the other guides or among the links
provided at the bottom of the page.




======================================================================
Section 9: Contributors/Special Thanks/Links (ENDC)
===================================================

Special Thanks to:

Several WIZ8 sites for great information and the inspiration to write
this guide...

    "Samurai Jack for Wizardry 8 page"
    http://www.geocities.com/grieversnr/

    Flamestryke's Wizardry 8
    http://www.flamestryke.com/wizardry8/flamestrykes_w8.html

    Wolfie's Wizardry 8 Info Site
    http://www.foerster.cc/wolfie

    IGN's Spoiler Boards
    http://vnboards.ign.com/board.asp?brd=21210

    Wizardry Database, most specifically the stat info
    http://www.spydah.com/wiz8/articles/statinfo.asp

    Jandrall's collection of forum posts, has similar info to above
    http://www.geocities.com/jandrall/

Also some guides...

    http://userweb.tsr.ru/~gray_/WIZ8.TXT

    All Wiz 8 guides on GameFAQs

GameFAQs
    For FAQ hosting, a great interface and a big collection of cool
    guides.

"Chan", crosshair25
    He helped me find a copy of this game. Did I mention he also plays
    this awesome classic game?




======================================================================
Section 10: Revision History (HIST)
===================================

(02-28-2006)
v1.0   First Release




======================================================================
Final Words
===========

"You must be a riot at parties."