Warning: You may use this file for your own personal use, but to claim that you wrote it...well just kind of sad that that's your life, and you want recognition so badly that you have to steal FAQs from other people and claim it as your own. Anyhoo.... This FAQ is designed solely for people who want a usefulness breakdown of each character. It has a few spoilers on weapons and such so beware! The choice of race for each character is purely my own opinion, not based on maxing stats or how quick they'll get their personal skills. Also the importance of stats is again my opinion. I have also put a * next to the race, I think is best for each class. Ok, Here goes: UPDATE: In this version I have included general adventuring tips that I wanted to share with everyone. I had to learn these myself (sometimes the hard way). UPDATE 2: Added a little to the Development tips on Lord and Samurai and changed the current party that I'm using. UPDATE 3: Added a little more to the ninja development tips and changed opinion a bit on ninjas. Update 4: Added a whole new section! Plus minor updates throughout the class section. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Section I: Classes Section II: Development Tips Section III: Party Creation Section IV: Vanilla and Chocolate Section V: General Adventuring Tips SECTION I: CLASSES Fighter: Rating: B+ Special Abilities: Berserk, Stamina Regeneration, May knock out opponents Spellbooks: None Skill Bonus: Close Combat Experience Requirement: Light Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options for Race: * Dracon: Extra points at creation: 60 Obvious. Great starting attributes, and lots of extra points to distribute. Low Senses and intelligence however, so you might not want to dual wield with them before investing many points into senses. Also, they have a slight penalty to divine and mental spells. This can be troublesome when enemies are trying to make your fighter turncoat or insane. Mook: Extra points at creation: 40 These are a good option too, they just start off with less speed than a dracon or hobbit. However there's a great sword you can find in the game, that only mooks can use, so think about that. Also they have much better magic resists than a hobbit, and their senses and int are higher, making them even better candidates than hobbits for dual wielders. They'll get powerstrike two levels later than dracon though. Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 40 Less points to distribute at startup, but if you want to dual wield with your fighter, this is another good option. He starts with higher speed than a mook, but a little less senses and int. He has more than a dracon however. He also has the worst resists of all three. Some might think I'm crazy by not naming the lizardman, but his -10 to Mental AND Divine just makes me sick. He also has atrocious starting Int and senses, making close combat rise even slower than a dracon. Dwarf is an ok option, but less starting speed than the Dracon and senses and intelligence are just as bad. Also less points to distribute. Non biased Explanation: The fighter gets the most hit points, and can hit the hardest, just as one would expect. His berserk ability allows him to dish out huge amounts of damage, even if it does mean less accuracy. Cons: The main problem with this dude is his lack of spells. You can't really do anything with him except attack. By mid to late game, he starts getting a little outclassed by his peers who can cast spells and what not. Also, and this is not a horrible con, but fighters generally dominate the killing in battles, esepcially by the end game, preventing hybrids from training their much needed combat skills as well as they can. Biased Explanation: He's great to have up front taking huge amounts of damage, as well as dishing it out. He is equipment based, but that's ok, there's plenty of stuff to go around. The lack of spells can sometimes be frustrating though. Either way though, in my opinion he's the best guy to have up front. (A valk is a close second though) Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Str Vit (Or dex if dual wielding) Dex (Or Sen if dual wielding) Spd (Or Vit if dual wielding) Sen (Or spd if dual wielding) Options of Skills to work on: Sword - Swords are generally the most powerful weapons in the game. Keep in mind the best sword in the game (that's not randomized) can only be used by a mook. Axe - For a change of pace....can't dual wield or use shields with these though. The good axes are two handed. Mace and flail - The best secondary weapon in the game is a mace. If you want to dual wield put points here. Dagger - Again for dual wielders. There are some decent daggers with Kill % on them. However, mace and flail will allow you to use the best secondary weapon in the game. Close combat - More important if you're dual wielding different weapons. Otherwise it's ok to go up by itself. Bow - A good ranged weapon for him because he has so much extra strength, and will do good damage with bows. Shield - for a tank. Gives good armor bonuses. Doesn't work well with axes though. Dual Weapons - Um.....if you're dual wielding? Lord: Rating B- (B+ if you use the build in the tips section) Special Abilities: Health Regeneration. Spellbooks: Divine Skill Bonus: Dual Weapons Experience Requirement: Medium Difficulty to maintain: Medium/hard Choices of Race: * Human: Extra points at creation: 20 Hands down, look no further. In order to utilize all his skills, a good lord needs to have competent figures in every category. Humans have the best stat distribution of all. A dwarf has low senses and intelligence, meaning poor dual wielding and very slow raising of the realms and close combat. A Rawulf has low int, causing realm skills and close combat to rise slowly. Unbiased Explanation: Can wear most armor and use most weapons. He can also equip cursed items that deal damage to their wearer, and not take a single point of damage from them which can be useful. Dual wield bonus allows him to use dual weapons more efficiently than most other characters, especially in the beginning. Cons: It takes a looong time to get him to be a great character. He doesn't have as many hit points as a fighter. Plus the divinity spellbook, doesn't have too many options for ranged attacks, so you either have to use make wounds, or try somehow to give him a ranged weapon. That's difficult because he already has a lot of skills to learn. Biased Explanation: Hes most useful in a party that doesnt have a divinity caster, and pretty useless in a ranged party. To make up for his lack of strength try dual wielding maces. It gives him one less skill to worry about raising (Sword and dagger, sword and mace etc.) and those usually have KO percentages. See the tips section for more details. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Str Dex Sen Vit Spd Pie Options of Skills to work on: Sword - Again, most powerful weapons in the game Dagger - You want to Dual wield with a Lord. There are some interesting daggers. Mace and Flail - Again the best secondary weapon is a mace. However, there are many good maces and flails with status ailments, so it might be good for a lord to dual wield them, and avoid raising two different weapon skills. Close combat - If you're dual wielding maces and flails, let it rise by itself unless you have extra points. Otherwise you might want to put points here, at least until you unlock divinity. Dual Weapons - Put points here....otherwise you might as well take a fighter. There is one build however that ignores this skill. See the tips section. Bow - If you want to shoot bows with him. However, you should probably just focus on divinity due to the amount of skills that need to be pumped. Divinity - To get the priest spells on time. Lords should really focus on combat, but there are builds that allow the lord to shine with both priest spells and weapons. Plus you should be able to put a couple of points here each level. See below in the tips section. Realms - The lord has plenty of other stuff on his plate. Let them rise by themselves. Valkyrie: Rating: A+ Special Abilities: Cheat death.....come again???? Yes, I did say cheat death. Spellbooks: Divinity Skill Bonus: Polearms Experience Requirement: Medium Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options for race: Dwarf: Extra points at creation: 25 They start with great strength and vitality. This allows them, to get powerstrike faster than humans. Their senses and int will be low, so you might put some initial points in Int. Senses are not as important, because the only skill that will affect is their close and ranged combat skills. Int affects those, but more importantly, realm skills as well. Since Valks will not be using shields, a dwarf's damage resistance will also come in handy. * Dracon: Extra Points at Creation: 25 Same as Dwarf, with a slight difference. The dracon starts off with more int, but less senses than a dwarf. But since we determined Int is more important, this is actually a benefit. She'll be able to start on other attributes earlier than a dwarf will. The dracon has decent Magic resistances, even though they have a slight penalty to Mental and divine spells. Still, it's better than dwarves. What's good is that since divinity doesn't have many offensive options, the dracon breath of the dracon can REALLY come in handy. And you don't have to put a point into it, allowing more points to be distributed to divinity, and realms. Human: Extra points at creation: 25 A good alternative. They are much more rounded in all their abilites, making a balanced valk. However, they start off with less strength and vitality, so they'll get powerstrike 2 levels later than a dwarf or dracon will. Also no magic resists. But if you want them to not have to waste points in int at startup, then they are a good alternative to Dwarves or dracons. Unbiased Explanation: The Valkyrie is a great fighter, coming close to the fighter himself. She can take lots of damage, and you RARELY need to worry about her dying. Her cheat death is AWESOME. Because she has so few skills she needs to focus on, you can work on both her divinity, and a ranged weapon skill if you so choose, and she'll be proficient at all of them. There are some nice polearms out there too, she'll do good damage with them. Cons: Pretty much limited to polearms seeing as that's what she's best at. (There are nice polearms though). Also Polearms are heavy, so you'll more than likely find her going last in a fight. Also, as you get near the end of the game, the valk ends up falling behind the other hybrids who begin to really shine. And you have to pick a female. Biased explanation: The only reason I wouldn't make a valkyrie, is cause you find a VERY good one early in the game. I could kiss her, if I wasn't worried she'd stick me with a spear. Cheat death is AMAZING. I can't count the amount of times that ability has helped me through a tough battle. The valkyrie has so few weaknesses that are relevant, that it makes me wonder if the game designers didn't spend much time working on them. She was great in Wiz 7, and she's great in Wiz 8. My favorite character. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Str Dex Spd Vit Sen Options of skills to work on: Polearms - Weapon of choice. Otherwise take a fighter or Lord. Close Combat - Not too important for her, but you'll probably have extra points (At least before she unlocks her divine spells) so shove em in there Divinity - Gets her those priest spells. Realm skills - She has so few skills she need to focus on you can throw some extra Points in here. Water and divine most importantly. Bow - With her extra strength she'll do some decent damage with these. I myself prefer to just use her priest spells though..... Ranger: Rating: C+ (B- for Modern Weapons users) Special Abilities: Chance of Critical Kill at range, Able to mix potions and powders together Spellbooks: Alchemy Skill bonus: Ranged Combat Experience Requirement: Medium Difficulty to Maintain: Easy/Medium Options for race: * Human: Extra points at creation: 25 The human will have good stats in all categories, particularly piety. Piety is important for hybrids, for 2 reasons; stamina and spell points. The five extra speed that the hobbit has, and 5 extra starting points to distribute in my mind does not make up for this. They will be terrible casters as compared to a human. Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 30 Since the Ranger will most likely not be casting too often, you might want to take a hobbit just for their extra speed and extra points to distribute. They also have a little better magic resistance than humans (Not much though). Mook: Extra points at Creation: 40 Some will claim the mook to be the best Ranger, and he does gets Eagle eye the fastest. However, his piety and speed start off at an atrocious level meaning poor initiative and spell points. You'll have to put a bunch of points in there or just say spells don't do anything for my ranger. It's only one level earlier.....please.... Unbiased Explanation: He's the only one in the game who can scout...which really isn't that important if you have a character with high senses. On the plus side, he's great in a ranged party, especially with his critical kill ability. Cons: Limited armor selection, and little desire to use melee weapons with him make him useless in a melee party. Also, because bows are ranged, you're very rarely going to use his alchemy skill, a shame because that's one of the best spellbooks. Biased explanation: You're gonna want to focus on Dex, spd, and Sen With him in the beginning so str is out, making him do very weak damage with bows. Scouting is not that important and he doesn't really do too many criticals until much later in the game. Also, if you use modern weapons, ammo is scarce. I'd skip this one unless I was creating a ranged party. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Sen Dex Str (Or spd if using modern weapons) Spd (Or int if using modern weapons) Options of skills to work on: Bow - If you want to use bows with him. He'll start off with a bow so that's usually A pretty good option. Modern Weapons - This is probably the better option for a ranger. It allows him to forgo any need for strength. You don't get a modern weapon for a while though.... Ranged Combat - 3 POINTS A LEVEL!!! This controls the amount of criticals he gets. Scouting - CAN be useful, but you can also keep the search button on. Put some initial points here if you want. It goes up pretty fast by itself. Alchemy - for casters. Gets you them alchemy spells. However, you'll prob use the spells less than your bows.... Realm skills - for most hybrids I say let em rise by themselves, but since you'll be using Spells less with him, I say try to put a point into Earth and water each level. Polearms - Honestly.....these are not the melee guys, I wouldn't even worry about putting points into this. If you do however, polearms are a good choice, cause it allows them to stick to the backrows. Samurai: Rating: B Special Abilities: Critical Kill, Lightning Strike, immune to fear Spellbooks: Wizardry Skill bonus: Sword Experience Requirement: Medium Difficulty: Medium/Hard Options for race: * Human: Extra points at creation: 20 Again, as with the ranger, the decent starting piety allows the Samurai a good amount of spell points for casting spells. Other than that, there's not much else to say, he's the best for a true hybrid Samurai. Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 25 The hobbit starts of with more senses than the human. He'll also have more points to distribute at startup making him a great candidate for Samurai. However, you will have to deal with the fact, that he'll be a much poorer spellcaster than the human will be throughout the game. You don't really want to put initial points into piety. Unbiased Explanation: The Samurai is a good fighter, and he gets critical kills at melee. He CAN use bows, but where he really shines is his Melee plus wizardry combo he has going on. His lightning strike ability is cool ESPECIALLY with a certain sword in his hand. Cons? You want to focus a lot on Dex and spd early on so he won't be doing too much damage. This is offset by a certain weapon you can get early in the game. Still, he's not as good of a fighter as the fighter, and he can't use as much armor as the fighter Valk or Lord. Even so you want him up front. Take a human for a true hybrid, or a hobbit if you want a combat specialist. Biased Explanation: I would go for the true hybrid with the Samurai. Making him a pure fighter is like having a Diet-Fighter in the party. It would be a spot better suited for someone else. He can deal death to many opponents, and can freeze flesh, fireball, etc. Takes a little while, but he's a Very useful member to have around. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Dex Spd Str Sen Int Options of skills to work on: Sword - Pretty obvious. You can also use staff and wand with him, but with that build, you could take a monk. Close combat - Let it rise by itself. Maybe a couple of points before you unlock Wizardry. Critical Strike - Please put points here. Otherwise suck it up and take a fighter Dual Weapons - If you want to use the secondary swords like an enchanted wakizashi. The more swings the better. Wizardry - Get them Wizardry spells! Realm skills - If you have a point or two left over, pump em into fire and water. Bows - Honestly, use the wizardry....good support spells, and multi damage attacks. Also Samurai won't really have good strength for a while, thereby minimizing damage with bows. Ninja: Rating: B- (A- if Faerie) Special Abilities: Auto Penetrate Thrown weapons, Thrown and melee Criticals, Able to mix potions and powders together Spellbooks: Alchemy Skill bonus: Critical Strike Experience Requirement: Heavy Difficulty to maintain: Hard Options for race: * Faerie: Extra points at creation: 5 Faerie ninjas have terrible starting points, but they're the only ones who can use the best weapon in the game. If you want to use it, this is who you take. Keep in mind too that faeries are made very difficult to kill. In combination with the nasty staff you'll be using, you'll have an unstoppable force. Also, they have MUCH better magic resistances than a hobbit. However this build doesn't make use of their auto penetrate ability... Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 30 Normally piety kills the hobbits and hybrids, but not so much in the ninja's case. This is because quite frankly, he'll rarely be using spells. He already has auto penetrate, and good weapons to boot. He's a combat specialist. Unbiased Explanation: Where do I begin? A bonus to criticals is great, and while it takes a while, the ninja will be a great death dealer. His auto-penetrate with thrown weapons is amazing, especially when that's combined with thrown criticals. Also, he has access to a lot of cheap weapons, with kill% and KO percentage on them, so you'll want him to be dual wielding at all times. He can use slings: they won't auto penetrate, but he can get criticals with them. Cons: He'll never do a lot of damage until you pump his str. or use a special weapon. He's a very luck based character, and he has so many skills to max to make him good, that it takes an eternity to get him to that point. His alchemy is wasted considering you really need to focus on the other skills for a long time. This can be offset by taking light and heal wounds early on and just practicing them. Also severely limited weapons and armor choices. Faeries are only good with them for one specific reason...otherwise take a hobbit. Biased Explanation: I write this with tears in my eyes (not really). The main problem for the ninja besides all the skills that need to be pumped, besides the heavy experience requirements...and besides the fact that they are luck based...is the SEVERE lack of thrown weapons. Like seriously...what the hell?? This can be offset by a certain thrown weapon later on, but you must go through an INCREDIBLY difficult fight to get it. (Although to be fair, when I did finally win that fight my ninja was the only one left standing. Then she said, "This is what happens when people like you are put in charge!"). But still, this fight is nearly impossible to win until you're at least level 16, or 17, and the fact remains is that these weapons do little damage. And if you're gonna go the martial arts route, you may as well take a monk...at least he can consistently use his psionics, and has less experience requirements. But the lack of thrown weapons, minimizes the ninja's special abilities. This is really why it's usually better to take a faerie, and exploit the best weapon in the game. Ninja's also take a loooong time to really develop. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Dex Sen (Or spd if faerie) Spd (Or Sen if Faerie) Str Int Options of skills to work on: Staff and Wand - Faeries only. Gets you the best weapon in the game Dagger - Sai have kill % on them. These are a good option for your ninja Mace and Flails - Nunchuka are cool, with 15% KO, and the ninja can use the best Flails in the game. However they can't use diamond eyes, which is absolutely incredible, and if you want maces and flails, you should really go with a priest switched to lord at level 2. See tips section below. Martial Arts - If you don't want to use weapons. But if you're gonna do that take a monk. Less experience requirements, and a bonus to Martial arts to boot. Close/Ranged combat - Yeah.....don't waste points here. Let it rise. Stealth - Put points here, or train him by allowing weak enemies to attack him. Either way get it up there. Throwing and sling - Auto penetrate is great, and thrown criticals are fun. However if you're taking a faerie for the staff and wand, don't put points here. You'll regret it later on.... Dual Weapons - You're really missing out if you're not dual wielding with a ninja. However there are builds that allow you to forgo putting points here....see below in the tips section. Critical strike - The ONLY reason one takes a ninja. If you're not putting points here, may god have mercy on your soul..... Alchemy - I'd love to tell you you're gonna have plenty of points to put here, but most likely you won't. Hard work is what allows this to rise. It's easier with a faerie ninja however, since you likely won't be putting points into throwing, or using throwing too much. Realm skills - DO NOT put points here until you've absolutely finished everything else. Locks and Traps - I will murder you if you waste points here. Let a gadgeteer or bard do it. Or keep inspecting a trapped chest. (Set the game on easy if you do that) Pickpocket - See above Monk: Rating: B+ Special Abilities: Damage Resistance, Immune to Blind, May KO opponents later on, Critical Strike Spellbooks: Psionics Skills Bonus: Martial Arts Experience Requirement: Medium Difficulty to Maintain: Easy/Medium Options for Race: * Felpurr: Extra points at creation: 25 Felpurr have great starting speed. This is great for martial arts monks cause the damage from that rises as martial arts does. Since the felpurrs have less strength, they are not as affected by it. Piety is not a factor here cause monks already have a piety requirement. They also have great resists, which really tips the scales over the other races I chose. Their -15 to water can be countered by an item you get in arnika early in the game. Human: Extra points at creation: 25 Humans have better starting strength and vitality than felpurr do. This means more hit points, and better damage with weapons. If you want a staff and wand monk, he should be your man. He'll have better damage earlier in the game than the felpurr. No resists brings him down a bit though. Dwarf: Extra points at creation: -15 While a dwarf has a horrendous -15 points to start off with, they also have damage resistance. This is VERY useful combined with the monks own resistances. However, they're probably better in a smaller party since they won't be really kickass until the higher levels. Unbiased Explanation: The monk's main weapon is martial arts, a very powerful skill to have. While each hit won't do much damage, he gets a lot of them eventually, and they increase in power as Martial arts goes up. He's effectively dual wielding without needing to put a single point into the dual wield skill. He doesn't need expensive weapons or armor to make him effective, which is also nice. He is a luck based character to a degree, but less so than the Ninja, and he requires less experience to do so. He can also use the best staffs in the game which may or may not be useful to you. Cons: Not as much damage as a Fighter and SEVERELY limited armor choices. These are offset by the stealth skill, and damage resistance. Also, he has lower hit points, which are also offset by these skills. Very poor ranged fighter, must rely on psionics, which aren't always useful in those situations. Biased Explanation: I LOVE martial arts fighters, always have, in any RPG. Critical kills will be good later on, and the monk gets the chance to swing many, many times, thereby increasing the chance of those criticals. While Ninjas can do that too, monks have less of an experience requirement, and less skills to worry about pumping (Martial, Stealth, Psionics and Critical. That's it.) Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Dex (Or Str if using weapons) Spd Str (Or Dex if using weapons) Sen Options of skills to work on: Martial Arts - Weapon of choice. They are bad boys with their fists. Staff and wand - To use the second deadliest staff in the game (and use it well) Close combat - Not too important for him, and plenty of other skills to work on. Let it rise. Stealth - Put points here, or train him by allowing roaches to attack him. Either way get it up there. Critical Strike - Put points here please. Throwing and sling - You can setup your monk to use this. However, he doesn't auto penetrate like a ninja, or have thrown criticals. You're better off using Psionics. Psionics - Points here gets you psionic spells! Realm skills - Don't put points here until combat oriented skills are finished. Mental and fire. Rogue: Rating: B Special Abilities: Backstabbing with Swords and Daggers Spellbooks: None Skill Bonus: Locks and Traps Experience Requirement: Light Difficulty to maintain: Hard Options of races: * Felpurr: Extra points at creation: 55 As stated above, they have great resists. Their penalties to piety and Vitality don't make a huge difference here, because with such high speed and dex they will not be getting hit too often, and they don't cast spells. Plenty of points to distribute at creation ensures good scores in it's important attributes. Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 60 A little better starting vitality than a felpurr, but his lack of resists in my opinion pulls him further down the totem pole. Plus you can always distribute points to bring up a felpurrs vitality. Otherwise, very comparable stats, and 5 extra starting points. Unbiased Explanation: The rogue is good at dealing out lots of damage. He can pick locks well, pickpocket, dual wield, very little experience cost, and be stealthy. This limits the needs for heavy armors. He can also backstab, doing double damage, with NO hit penalty. Cons: There are just too many skills for him to pump. Unlike a fighter, he needs to put points into a skill to get good AC, tough cause you already want to be pumping Swords Daggers, dual weapons, and a ranged weapon. The ranged weapon can be offset By making him a dracon and using breath attack for ranged however. There's another build I've made, that will allow you a ranged weapons. See below in the tips section. They are also really limited to swords and daggers for melee weapons. His locks and traps bonus is really wasted considering you're not going to want to devote points to it. Biased Explanation: If you want a dual wielding combat specialist, this is your guy. He'll deal more damage than a lord. However, it might be easier just to set up a fighter to dual wield. The fighter does not need to put points into a skill to have high AC. The Rogue WILL always backstab at no hit penalty so that's nice. And he can use some very good weapons. Just don't expect him to be everything at once. If you want to take him, take a bard or gadgeteer along too, to do Locks and traps. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Str Dex Spd Sen Options of skills to work on: Sword - Put that in your primary weapon. He'll do more damage with these than with a second dagger. Dagger - For your secondary weapon. Close combat - Will help him. however there are so many skills he needs to work on, that it doesn't make sense to put points here. Bow - He can use bows, and he'll be pumping strength so it's a good option for him. Throwing and sling - You can dual wield knives and darts, and it will allow your Dual weapons skill to rise as well. Another good option for him. Can't use shuriken however.... Dual Weapons - This guy was made for this. However, I've constructed a build that allows you to forgo putting any points in this. See below in the tips section. Stealth - You should put points here. However rogues can use better armor than monks or Ninjas, so they have more time to build it up. Lock and Traps - It' better to have a Gadgie or bard do it, but if you don't have either (What is wrong with you!) this is your man. It will take away points from combat skills though... Pickpocket - I never used this but some people like it. Again, it will take points away from combat skills. If you really want it, I would suggest taking a bard and having him do it, or wait till you get myles or saxx. Shield - If you don't want to dual wield with him. This will take some killing potential away, but the merit to this build is that he also won't have to raise dual weapons as well. Plus swords are the stronger weapon. Bard: Rating: B- Special Abilities: Plays music. When resting everyone regenerates quicker. Spellbooks: None Skill Bonus: Communications Experience Requirement: Light Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options of race: * Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 35 The hobbit has a good amount of points to distribute at starting and a GREAT score in dex. This will be good for the bard, for it helps in many of his key skills. You may want to put some initial points into vitality though, as the hobbit has very poor piety. Unbiased Explanation: The Bard has many instruments that allow him to cast spells at the cost of a little stamina. He can also take over locks and traps duties, and pickpocketing as well, due to his lack of skills he needs to focus on. His ability to help everyone regenerate quicker while sleeping is very useful. Cons? Not very versatile. He is a poor fighter, and is marginally ok ranged fighter. He can use bows, but won't do too much damage due to his poor str. Also, later on his instruments get weaker compared to the gadgets that gadgeteers can make. This makes them even less useful. Having an unlimited haste spell is nice though... Biased Explanation: The bard is boring. He'll be singing every round pretty much. Can be good so that you can work on those lesser used skills, like artifacts, pickpocketing etc...However, I think a gadgie is better for locks and traps and spell "casting". Both have heal all, and the gadgie has stronger mass damage spells. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Dex Vit Int Spd Str Options of skills to work on: Bows - If you want to use bows with your boy. Throwing and sling - A generally inferior option for him, but it'll let you throw some bombs around. Music - Um....put points here?? Locks and Traps - If you got no gadgie, he's your man. Won't start with any points here though... Pickpocket - Unlike the rogue, he has so few skills to work on that you can put points here. However if you have the patch, don't. It's absolutely useless. Communications - If you want. It WILL go up very fast by itself though. Plus I can't remember when this skill EVER helped me. Staff and wand - To use the second deadliest staff in the game. Staff and wand also allows him to stick to the backrows, and participate in melee. Gadgeteer: Rating: A- Special Abilities: Only one who can use Omnigun, Makes Gadgets Spellbooks: None Skill Bonus: Modern Weapon Experience Requirement: Light Difficulty to Maintain: Easy/Medium Options for Race: * Hobbit: Extra points at creation: 30 The hobbit has great stat distribution, and to make a good gadgeteer you need good points in every category (except piety). He starts off with good speed, which takes him a major step above the other races for this class. His low piety means you should put some points into vitality initially though Gnome: Extra points at creation: 25 Decent piety ensures more stamina than either the mook or hobbit. He has the same speed as a mook however, but other stats are comparable. Mental and earth resistance are good too. Mook: Extra points at creation: 30 Good vitality and strength to start off with and great resists puts him near the top for a gadgie. He has TERRIBLE piety, (low stamina) and low speed however, so you'll find yourself putting points into speed initially, and possible a bit into Vitality. But his resists really bring him a step above the others except the hobbit. Unbiased Explanation: On top of being able to create some pretty badass Gadgets, the Gadgeteer can use the locks and traps skill and is pretty good at it. The major bonus is the omnigun, which can inflict all sorts of different ailments on the enemies. He'll never do great damage with it, but he holds his own, and all it takes is the shot that KO's the opponents, criticals, insanitizes him etc. I can't count the amount of times the omnigun made a tough battle a cakewalk. Cons. From level 1-9 you'll be cursing my name screaming why did I ever let him talk me into this horrible character!! In the beginning, he'll have access to VERY few gadgets, and poor ammunition for the omnigun. Those are really the things you want to focus on with him, so he'll be weak for a while. Also he's not the biggest damage dealer, relying more on either gadgets, or the nasty effects of the omnigun. Gadgets also don't come formed, you have to figure out which pieces go where. Biased Explanation: It's worth the wait. Since he has very few skills that need to be worked on, once he gets off the ground he soars. The omnigun is amazing, especially when he firing off nine shots a round. By the end of the game the bard's instruments pale to this guys gadgets. It really all depends on whether you're willing to wait or not. But for me, he's a requirement in any party I make. In my first ascension, my gadgeteer led the group in kills. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Dex Sen Vit Int Str Spd Options of skills to work on: Modern Weapons - Omnigun. Period Engineering - Gadgets. Period. Locks and Traps - In my opinion, since he has so few skills to work on he's the best candidate for this skill. He also starts with points in it unlike the bard. Ranged combat - Max Modern weapons first, then start working on this. Sword - If you want him to get involved in melee he can use some good swords. More than likely however, he will not. Shield - If you don't want to use your omnigun(Sniff!), or if you want a sword and shield plus omnigun gadgeteer. Please do me a favor and take a fighter or ranger if you're gonna do that. Or at least don't tell me... Priest: Rating: D+ (C for a Battle Priest) Special Abilities: Pray for miracle, Turn undead Spellbooks: Divinity Skill Bonus: Divinity Experience Requirement: Light/Medium Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options for race: Rawulf: Extra points at creation: 50 The Rawulf is a natural priest, and gets a lot of points to distibute initially. He also has great resists and decent starting dexterity, speed and senses. This means That he'll be able to fight well, but not nearly as good as a lord or a Valk. You might want to put initial points into intelligence however, cause he's dumb as a brick. Dwarf: Extra points at creation: 50 Better strength, so if you're making a battle priest this is your guy. HOWEVER; Horrendous scores in intelligence, Dex, spd, and sen means you might want to put a bunch of points in those skills. At least Dex and int. Speed and senses can wait, unless you really need your priest to have good initiative. * Human: Only take a human if you're planning to switch to a lord at level 2. See below in the tips section. Unbiased Opinion: For a caster the priest can use some decent weapons and armor. He'll also get the Divine spells faster than any other class, which can be very useful because divinity has some very important spells. He can also use some great staffs and maces as well. Cons? Divinity has nearly 0 offensive options, it's all about defense. Also, it's not so important for a priest to get to spell level 7, all the best spells are in levels 1-5. He'll be sitting around waiting to heal someone, while your other characters are picking up his mess. Turn undead is rarely useful and a bishop has it as well. I never used pray for a miracle. Biased Opinion: You can take a lord or a Valk, and get the important spells soon enough. Soul Shield, Superman, Rest all, Armorplate, Heal all, etc. And ALL of those have gadgets or Instruments you can use to cast them! Seriously, this dude is a waste of space. I would only create him, to change to a lord at level 2. See the tips section below. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Str (Or spd if you're going for a pure caster) Dex (Or Int if you're going for a pure caster) Pie Vit Options of skills to work on: Mace and Flail - The priest can use the best extended Maces and Flails in the game. Staff and wand - Can use the second deadliest staff in the game. Divinity - Why are you taking a priest again? OH, that's right. Realms skills - you'll have points left over. Put points into Water and divine. Shield - Mace and Flail users only. If you want to tank with a priest. Don't need to put TOO many points in here though... Alchemist: Rating: B- Special Abilities: Creates Potions while resting. Can mix potions and powders together to make new ones. Spellbooks: Alchemy Skill Bonus: Alchemy Experience Requirement: Light/Medium Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options for race: * Elf: Extra points at creation: 45 Less starting speed than the faerie, but MUCH better piety, important to get more spell points. Also has a bit better vitality, meaning more hit points which are always important. Still, pump some extra points into speed and bring up his initiative. Faerie: Extra points at creation: 50 Great starting speed allows her to go first in battle. She'll have a lot of points to distribute at startup, but you'll need a lot of them to pour into piety at startup for more spell points. Poor hit points too, you might want to put some extra points into vitality as well. Great Magic resists as well. Unbiased Opinion: Being able to mix potions and powders together is a GREAT skill. You can do this to make money, and it helps build your alchemy skill. He'll also get the best alchemy spells quickest, which is great, because Alchemy spells are VERY powerful. He also starts with some points in throwing, making him an ideal choice to toss some of those bombs around. Cons? Limited armor selection, weak hp. Not a very big deal, cause you're not gonna be putting him on the front lines. Also, and the problem with all casters is that he has less versatility than most other characters. His throwing ability makes him a step above the others, but not a huge one. Biased Opinion: I would rather have a bishop that casts alchemy spells. It leaves open spots that other, more versatile characters can fit in. On the other hand there's something nice to be said about getting uber spells early on. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Int Piety Dex Spd Vit Options of skills to work on: Alchemy - Don't put points here.....see if I care. Realm skills - PLENTY of points left over. Water and Earth Throwing and sling - He starts off with some points here, so he can throw some bombs around if you want him too. Bishop: Rating: A- Special Abilities: Remove Curse, Turn Undead, Can mix powders and Potions together. Skill Bonus: Artifacts Spellbooks: All Experience Requirement: Heavy Difficulty to maintain: Hard Options for race: * Faerie: Extra points at creation: 25 Again, great magic resists brings her far up the totem pole cause bishops will more than likely only be damaged by magic. Great starting speed assures her going pretty quickly in battle as well. Their low piety is not a factor here as bishops have a starting requirement in it. Also, they have great magic regeneration. Poor Vitality does not ensure too many hit points however. Elf: Extra points at creation: 30 Better vitality than a faerie. But the real factor is that elf bishops will be able to wear much better armor than a faerie will. This can be good in case the party gets surrounded. Elves also get powercast a level quicker than a faerie does. Less Magical resists though. Unbiased Opinion: As long as you pick a non-faerie, The bishop can use decent armor and weapons for a caster, not that you'll be attacking with him too much. If you take faerie, he can't use them, but he will have faster magic regeneration. His remove curse ability can be very useful, turn undead is all but useless. Mixing powders and potions together is another great skill for him to have. His versatility with all four spellbooks, will make him an important character to any team. Cons? He's not going to be overly powerful for a while, and you really shouldn't pick too many spells with him, saving all the choices for level six and seven spells. Purchasing a lot of books, can get VERY expensive too. Biased Opinion: You NEED one of these in any party. They are such a staple with their versatility of spells, forgoing the need for any other specialty casters. I'll go into more depth in the tips section. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Int Pie Sen Spd Vit Dex Options of skills to work on: Alchemy, Divinity, wizardry, Psionics - Pick three or four of these, and stick with em. Realm Skills - Let them rise by themselves. It's more important to put points into the schools. Artifacts - If you put points here, I will beat you over the head with a lead pipe. Artifacts will rise fast by itself, and the spell Identify is available very early on. No need to waste points here, even if you really feel the need to use the scrolls you find. Again, it goes up fast enough by itself. Psionic: Rating: C- Special Abilities: 100% immune to mental ailments Spellbooks: Psionic Skill Bonus: Psionic Experience Requirement: Light/Medium Difficulty to maintain: Easy Options for race: Faerie: Extra points at creation: 45 See Alchemist * Rawulf: Extra points at creation: 25 The Rawulf may not have as many points to distribute, but has MUCH better vitality and piety than a faerie so he'll have more hit points and more spell points. He does have lower speed, but it's not as big of a deal, because they have a starting senses requirement, giving them good initiative anyway. Still, you might want to put points in that attribute at startup. They do have comparable resists to a faerie though. It's a trade off. You want a lot more piety and vitality, and don't mind getting Powercast two levels later, go with a Rawulf. For better speed, and powercast two levels earlier, go with a faerie. Unbiased Opinion: He'll get psionic spells quicker than everyone else. The 100% immunity to mental spells is useless. Cons? The main problem here is that he's EXTREMELY weak in regards to hp, and armors. Also, as with all casters, he will not be very versatile by the end of the game. all he can do are psionics. Biased opinion: 100% immunity to mental spells on a weak caster is useless. Oh no he'll punch me when insane, ow! I have never seen a caster cast a spell when insane. You're better off making a bishop and giving him iron will. A monk can be an ok substitute too, but there are some strong level 6 and 7 psionic spells that will be difficult for a hybrid to get to. Attributes to work on, in order of importance: Int Pie Sen Vit Spd Options of skills to work on: Psionics - And here I thought he'd be using axes.... Realm skills - Lots of points should be left over. Mental and fire. Mage: Rating: C+ (B- for Faerie Mage) Special Abilities: +5% Resistance on all realms Spellbooks: Wizardry Skill bonus: Wizardry Experience Requirement: Light/Medium Difficulty to Maintain: Easy Options for race: * Faerie: Extra points at creation: 45 See Alchemist. Also the +5 Resistances on all realms, combined with the Faeries own resistances make him an insane magic resistant, speedy little guy. Elf: Extra points at creation: 45 See Alchemist Unbiased Opinion: The 5% resistance is a great feature to have, especially because he has low hp. Wizardry spells especially at their highest levels can be very powerful, and the mage gets them the quickest. Cons? Weak Hp and armor. Also a lot of enemies become very resistant to a lot of the mage spells later in the game, making him a less important member of the team. Biased Opinion: Again, as with the other specialists, I would say you're better off making a bishop. The bishop can be just as powerful as a mage, and is MUCH more Versatile, so he doesn't drop in usefulness near the end of the game. Int Pie Sen Spd Vit Options of skills to work on: Wizardry - Psssha, what does a mage need with Wizardry anyway.....oh wait.... Realms skills - Please put points into fire and water. SECTION II: DEVELOPMENT TIPS These are some tips for some of the trickier classes out there. Lord: There are a couple of ways to develop an effective lord character, but my favorite way is to have him dual wield maces. First of all, by dual wielding the same weapon, you're getting more swings with it, therefore increasing it quicker. Second, it's one less skill that you need to worry about at level ups; instead of pumping Sword and dagger, or sword and maces, you just pump mace. Also, close combat becomes less important, though you should still not completely ignore it. Third, Maces usually can inflict status ailments on the enemy, and the lord needs all the help he can get. There are also some GREAT maces out there, particularly one that's a secondary weapon. My route is to create a human priest. Build his stats so he'll be ready to switch to Lord at level 2. At creation put five points into Mace, Divinity, and whatever Realms of your choice. Pick 2 spells that you want, personally I'd take heal wounds and stamina. Now he'll start with a mace, and have a GREAT boost to divinity and maces and flails. Eventually, He'll be an effective fighter, and spellcaster, making him a VERY useful character in your party. Another interesting build for the Lord is this. There's an amazing staff that he can use that's cursed. Normally this staff drains the hp of the person equipped with it, but not so the Lord. Create a human Priest, and prep him to switch to Lord at Level 2. Follow the build above, but instead of increasing Maces increase staff and wand. With this build the lord will not make use of his dual weapons skill (The staff is two handed) which leaves a little extra room for increasing realms, making him an excellent caster and fighter. Samurai: I did not come up with this build myself. It was originally a post on Jandrall's site, and can be found at this address: http://www.geocities.com/jandrall/Wizardry8/SpotlightSamurai1 Basically the point is to create a perfect hybrid of samurai, where he can be an effective Caster and fighter at the same time. I used this build with my Samurai, and he's much more powerful than when I only concentrated on his combat skills. This is a great post by AtlusSeven7, and if you want to know the exact build read it. UPDATE: It has come to my attention that this site is no longer up. The key to this build is pumping Dex and Spd at first then Str and Int. In the beginning you would pump sword, Critical Strike, and Dual Weapons. Then when Wizardry is unlocked, 3 points in to wizardry 2 into Fire and water Realmsand 2 into critical strike. Sword will go up fine by itself. Ninja: Ok, he's a little tricky. First of all like I said before if you want a martial arts master, you're really better off with a monk. The key to the ninja are his weapons. And when I say weapons, I really mean staff and wand. If the ninja could use the really deadly swords (Fang) then swords would be great, but he can't. Mace and flail would be awesome if he could use diamond eyes, but even if he could there's no kill % on maces so his criticals aren't being exploited. Ninjas can't even use the best daggers in the game, but the ones he can use are pretty decent. But staffs and wands are great with a faerie or non-faerie ninja. The faerie ninja can use the best staff (and weapon) in the game. The non faerie can use the second best staff in the game, but a monk can use it too however, and he takes less experience points, AND the staff is cursed so your auto penetrate ability goes to waste. So if you're gonna go the staff and wand route, you might as well go faerie. If you really want him, this is what I would suggest: Faeries are a double edged sword. You're trading off the great thrown auto penetrate ability for the best melee weapon in the game. Why can't I use both you make ask? Good question. The melee weapon is cursed, which means you will not be able to switch between them in the middle of battle. Now this makes them easier to manage than hobbits, because they will not be using throwing and sling but auto penetrate is a great ability. Anyway, pump Dex and spd each level with a faerie. Dex controls most of the important skills for a ninja and gets him the reflexion skill. With speed, the ninja will be getting more attacks. More attacks = More chances for a critical. Start off by pumping Staff and wand, critical strike, dual weapons and stealth. Once Alchemy is unlocked, you can quit putting points into staff and wand because with the amount of attacks he'll get as he levels, it will go up fast by itself. Pump alchemy, it will be his ranged weapon. After Dex is at 100, and Spd at 90, work on Sen and Str. Also take another faerie to get a second faerie stick for him so he/she can dual wield right from the start. For the hobbit, at level ups Dex and Sen, then Str and spd. As with the faerie, you want to get dex to 100 asap. As far as skills go pump Melee weapon, throwing, Criticals and stealth. Why no dual weapons? Because since you will be dual wielding ALL the time, dual weapons will go up extremely fast. (You are dual wielding right???) Also, you're probably not going to want to put points in Alchemy for a while, cause it will take points away from the important melee and thrown weapons. Because of auto penetrate, you will be using alchemy less as well. During that time take light and heal wounds and cast them all the time. Alchemy will go up slowly but surely, and once you max critical strike you'll be able to start putting points into it. Also, if you know you're going to use daggers, create him as a rogue, and set up his attributes so that he can switch to ninja at level two. He'll start off with points in daggers, stealth, and dual weapons. At creation pump Stealth, daggers, and dual weapons. Then when you switch him to ninja at level 2 he'll get five free points in Critical strike and throwing and sling. He won't have the ninja garb though, so create a bum non faerie ninja and then discard him in the beginning of the game and take the character you really want. In my opinion this is the best build for beginners who wanna try a ninja. This ninja will start off with 2 daggers. Nunchuka are great, and the ninja can use great flails but he'll start with no points in maces or dual weapons, which means he'll get off to much slower footing than a ninja using the dagger build. Also, you have to get lucky and get a flail early on for him, or wait till arnika to get lucky and have antone sell two nunchaka to you....Plus once you get either ninjato or sai, you're really exploiting his critical kill ability. Both of those have 5% kill on them. Rogue: If you take this guy, stick with his combat abilities and let a bard or gadgeteer do the lockpicking. He really does excel at melee combat. Here's a couple of things that might help. At creation max out on str. and dex, and split the remaining between speed and senses. Then, all you need to do is put points into Sword, Dagger, Throwing, and stealth. By pumping Str and Dex every level up, not only will you get reflexion very quickly, but Dual weapons will SKYROCKET. You'll have such high dex and senses it will seem like it's going up every level. To make it even easier, put a dagger or dart in each hand so he dual wields at Range too. However, keep in mind rogues can't use shuriken. You might wanna use bows with them, and suck it up, cause the best thrown weapon in the game, (cause it never gets used up) is a shuriken. Bishop: This one requires a lot of patience but in the end will be VERY worth it. In the beginning, forget about initiative and work on Int and Pie. Int will get power cast, and Piety for Iron will and more spell points. Most of the time the Bishop will not be taking physical damage, but will be taking magic damage. Also, I would take these spells as spell picks. Level 1 Heal wounds and Mind Stab. Why mind stab? Cause it will start building the mental realm, which will be important if you make your bishop any kind of psionicist. Then pick missile shield and Web, and DONE. You'll get light and Stamina in two books early on, thereby putting one spell in each realm. I usually take 3 books, letting my lord or Valk work on divinity, but if you want a 4th here's what I would do. I would put 3 into one book and 2 each into the others. Then next level 3 into another book and 2 in the others. And so on. One final tip, don't put points ANYWHERE else. Realms skills will go up very well by themselves. Just keep casting spells from each of the different realms. And forget artifacts, or any weapon. If you must use weapons, let them rise by themselves. SECTION III: PARTY CREATION There's a few things you should always keep in mind: 1. Have fun. This is a more complicated subject than some people realize. There are definitely certain parties that will make the game much more difficult and some that will make it easier. It all depends on your playing style. Pick the characters you're gonna be happy with. You'll be with them for a while.... 2. A fighter or a Valk up front can help you avoid a LOT of trouble. Fighters have the best hit points and Valks cheat death. They're both very good for taking hits. 3. Locks and Traps is very useful. Make sure you have a dedicated guy to this skill. Preferably a bard or a gadgie. It will help you open all the chests, and some of the important locks are HARD. 4. You need at least one bishop or specialty caster. It'll help you out a lot, ESPECIALLY in the early game. You can use potions, but potions aren't refillable. Some one needs to be casting heal wounds. 5. Although it's not necessary, giving each of your characters a ranged weapon can help you avoid some trouble. Especially during mid to late game when you're fighting Rapax and plants. The ranged weapon can be spells too. 6. Make sure your hybrids (With the exception of the ninja) have at least a 45 in intelligence and piety. Intelligence allows their realm skills to increase quicker, which is very helpful with hybrids, and piety gives them more spell points. 7. Characters that are good in the early game, are not necessarily good in the late game, and vice versa. A perfect example is a bard. A bard starts off strong and gets some good instruments early on. But by late game, you won't be using too many of them except Haste, rest all and heal all. By the time you get the real good ones, most enemies are resistant to them. A Gadgeteer on the other hand, will be a little weak in the early game, but a powerhouse by the middle and end when you can make the higher level gadgets, and use the best ammo in your omnigun. The gadgets he creates are very versatile, allowing you to damage all sorts of enemies. Choose a balance between these characters. It will make the whole game a lot easier. And believe me, the very early game, and the very late game can be VERY difficult. Especially if you're playing on expert. Good Early Game Characters: Fighter Valk Bard Rogue Priest Alchemist Psionic Mage Good late game characters: Fighter (Lots of hit points and great damage dealing make up for lack of spells) Valk (While her damage does taper off, she still hits hard, and can cast great support spells) Lord Samurai Ranger Ninja Monk Rogue (Great damage dealing, and great AC make up for lack of spells) Bishop Gadgeteer If you want to use alot of different items in the game, and have every mode of attack... Dracon Fighter - Axe, Bow Human Priest/Lord level 2- Mace and Flail Felpurr Monk - Martial arts Hobbit Rogue - Sword, Dagger, Throwing Mook Gadgeteer - Gadgets, Modern weapons Faerie bishop Vi - Polearms, Modern Weapons Saxx - Staff and Wand, Music If you're a beginner: Dracon Fighter Human Valkyrie Felpurr Monk Hobbit Bard Elf Alchemist Faerie Mage Vi - A good option. She's easy to maintain, and stays with you most of the game. RFS-1 - same as Vi. If you want a party that'll be amazing by the end of the game.....(Tough early game though) Human Samurai - Sword (Fang/Muramasa/Enchanted Wakizashi) Human Priest/Lord level 2 - Dual Wield Maces (Mauler/Diamond eyes) Felpurr Monk - Staff and wand (Staff of Doom) Faerie Ninja - Staff and Wand (Cane of Corpus/Rod of sprites) Hobbit Gadgeteer - Omnigun, gadgets Elf Bishop Vi - Polearms RFS-1 - Martial Arts My New party: Dracon Fighter (Sword/Shield/Bows) Dwarf Valkyrie (Polearms/Divinity) Human Monk (Staff and Wand/Psionics) Hobbit Gadgeteer (Omnigun/Locks and Traps/Gadgets) Dwarf Priest (Staff and wand/Divinity) Elf bishop (Wizardry/Psionics/Alchemy) SECTION IV: VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE The vanilla game is pretty simple, but certain mods come with twists that only experience will allow you to overcome. 1. The Priest In the vanilla game this guy is just really unnecessary. The vanilla game, even on expert doesn't push you so far to the brink early on that you can't survive without a pure healer. I can't speak for most mods, but if you've modded the game to Dodd's mod, you'll understand how vital having a priest is. Forget heal wounds, or stamina, having the cures magic screen and armorplate are all extremely vital. This mod, esepcially on expert is brutal, that having a pure caster priest is essential. You can even set him up to do some decent damage with Staffs and wands which will also allow him to stick to the backrows. A bishop won't even cover it, because unless you're spending hours training and sleeping, divinity won't go up fast enough to help out, and with a bishop you don't wanna pick too many spells. 2. Psionics and alchemists, Bards and Gadgeteers Psionics I've allready discussed how useless they are, but I did toot the horn of the alchemist. Now I'm gonna crush it too. Even in the vanilla game a bishop will satisfy your alchemists and psionics if you so choose to have them. But ever notice the spells a gadgie gets? Or a bard? This game does not do well with offensive magic, preferring to rely on physical attackers instead. Psionics have one unique supporting spell, and that's haste, and a bard (or saxx) gets that very spell. Insanity, another cool unique spell can also be cast by.....come on....you can guess it!.....the bard! The alchemist has some nasty damaging spells, but guess who can cast a good amount of those?? the gadgeteer! If you have a Samurai in your party, you can pretty much elminate the need for a bishop, and take just a priest instead! The alchemist has the curing spells, but no major support spells like the magic screens, etc. The only reason to take an alchemist character (Alchie, Ninja, etc.) is to mix potions. If that's not your thing, then forget it! 3. Tank man! Starring, The fighter as tank man, Valkyrie, Ninja and monk! Having a high hit point, high ac dude right up front in the modded more difficult game, will help you avoid some pain. And I don't mean a samurai....the fighter will be indispensible to have up front with a shield and Iron Skin. Take a dracon or lizzie too, so they have the highest hit points possible. On the flanks you can put a couple of valkyries or a monk with extended Staff and wands. Valks can cheat death AND wear heavy armors, they're very much an asset in these roles. Monks and Ninjas can get VERY high AC between Stealth and Reflexion. Monk is better, but if you like ninja, a ninja with a staff of doom can be a powerhouse... 4. Ranger? Well, if you're used to the vanilla game, a ranger will DEF allow you to spot things you might normally miss with their scouting ability. Plus, their instant kill will be cool in the late game. Their alchemy skill can help you substitute as a potion mixer, but quite frankly so many better classes can handle ALL these things. In short, unless you can't figure out a better class to put there, there's no point. 5. The Rogue Hmmm....well, until you get his AC WAY up there, he's kind of a liability. Unlike the fighter, or Valk, he can't use strong armors or have high hit points, and unlike the monk or ninja, he's pretty inefficient with extended weapons. Unfortunately, this Vanilla game powerhouse got punked in these modded, more difficult and higher early pressure games. 6. Lords and Samurai These two can be interesting if you can look past how they were designed, and focus on what they're able to do. You don't want either up front with a fighter, YET the game tells us that's where they're meant to be! I say NEIGH!....um....nay....sorry.... Anyway, try letting them use staff and wands....WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?!!! That's right I said it. Lords can use one of the deadliest staffs in the game, and Samurais can use ALL the staffs in the game. To even amplify that, Create a priest, then switch to a lord at level two. Or for a Samurai create a mage (Hobbit is good) or a monk (human) and switch to samurai at level 2. For actual numbers: Priest-->Lord Staff and Wand 14, divinity 14 Mage---->Samurai wizardry 14 Monk---->Samurai Critical Strike 12 Staff and Wand 14 Put these guys in the center, away from the flanks and let them whack away with extended weapons. A Samurai changed from a mage will also be able to replace having a mage in the party! Changed from a monk he can do the same, but it'll take quite a bit longer. 7. Mage and bishop Mages have important spells like enchanted blade and missile shield. I may be incorrect so please correct me if I'm wrong, but these spells can only be replaced by scrolls. Not very efficient. Bishops are a great way to replace them, Cause not only are these spells not so urgently needed, but you can cast spells from the other spellbooks as well. Just because bards and gadgies get some of the critical spells, doesn't mean it's not fun to have all the spells! 8. Parties: The party I'm running right now is this: Dracon fighter Dwarf Valkyrie Human Monk Hobbit Gadgeteer Dwarf Priest Elf Bishop It's very simple and vanilla, but sometimes that's what you need in order to survive. My fighter focuses on Str and Vit to get as many hit points as possible. My valk is on str and dex for killing potential, while my monk Dex and sen to focus on accuracy, critical strike and stealth. They're both on the flanks with extended weapons, while the fighter bravely tanks from the front. I started and restarted many times, and while right now I'm satisfied I may restart yet again lol. You'll do the same. But with these guidelines, I hope your experience will be slightly easier. SECTION V: GENERAL ADVENTURING TIPS 1. What's the key to winning a wizardry battle? LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! Some battles in this game can seem almost impossible if you're not sure how to use your environment. For example: A pack of 8 juggernauts; creatures with high AC High hit points and decent damage encounter you. If they surround your party, you might as well load from your last save cause they're gonna trounce you. (I'm assuming you're not level 14 or above) However, if you can find a niche in the mountains to run to you'll be able to fight these monstrosities one or two at a time. As you can imagine, this makes the fight very long, but also, even for a low level party, winnable. 2. If a sorcerer can see you, he can cast things at you. A quick rule with these things....kill them fast. Don't bother running up to them, slam em with your ranged weapons. This is why I recommend all characters to have ranged weaponry. (Well it also makes dealing with plants easier too). What if you can't? Hide around a corner where they can't get you. They WILL follow you, and then you slam em with your ranged/melee attacks. 3. ALWAYS Utilize your positioning grid. A lot of people don't know this but you can change your characters position in the middle of a ROUND of battle. It won't take effect till the next round, but at least you don't have to waste another round to do it. It's good for protecting hurt characters, taking them out of action until they're healed. It's also good for getting characters in melee range of the monsters. 4. There are certain areas you shouldn't go to until you are at least a certain level. Unless you're looking for a big challenge, (or are suicidal) you should follow these loose guidelines: Lower Monastery: Level 1 Obviously. Wouldn't take on Gregor till at least 4 or 5 though. Upper Monastery: Level 5 Arnika Road: LEVEL 5!!!! Until you make it to Arnika, DO NOT raise your characters levels before this road. It can make the trip nearly unbearable. Arnika: Level 6 or 7 Northern Wilderness: Level 8. But see note Below. Arnika-Trynton Road: Level 8 Trynton: Level 10 Swamp: Level 11 Marten's Bluff: Level 13 Mines: Level 13 Southeast Wilderness: Level 12 or 13. But see note below. Wilderness Clearing/Rapax Away Camp: Level 13 and Level 17 respectively. Mountain Wilderness: Level 13 Mt. Gigas Caves: Level 16 Bayjin: Level 16 Bayjin Shallows: Level 17 Sea Caves: Level 17 Rapax: Level 17 Ascension Peak: Level 19 (You can go here earlier, but until you get certain items there's really no point) Also there's a boss here that's EXTREMELY difficult. 5. A point on the Northern Wilderness and Souteast Wilderness. a. The northern Wilderness is easy enough, BUT, watch out for a cave with a hogar guarding it. That is a battering hogar, and will trounce a low level party. Wait till at Least Level 10 or 11 before attempting to kill it. You'll be rewarded with some nice loot. b. In the southeast wilderness, you might come across a temple. If you do, DO NOT ENTER! Until you're at LEAST level 16, and preferably higher, I wouldn't go in there to fight. You're battling 6 cultists, A sorceress queen and two Death knights (or whatever they're called). HOWEVER, if you have a gadgeteer, you should try to sneak in there unseen and grab the metal belt and the Lazarus stone, two items that when combined with electrodes make gadgets that cast Superman and Heal All Respectively. Your reward for winning this fight is AWESOME.....especially if you have a Non Faerie Ninja or Samurai in your party. 6. Once you get them, ALWAYS have Missile Shield, Armorplate, Enchanted Blade etc. cast and at full power. They make a huge difference. Hogars are very difficult....until you have armorplate. Siges are annoying as hell....until you have magic screen, or element/soul shield. And so on. you never know what's gonna pop up around the corner and surprise you. You don't want your casters wasting a turn casting these buffs when they don't have to. Also X-Ray is VERY useful for knowing where your enemies are at all times. 7. Certain enemies can seem unbearable....until you figure out the key to stop their attacks. This is why spells like Insanity, Web, Freeze flesh and psionic lure can help A LOT during the early to mid game. A group of Tanto wasps can be a real pain in the ass to a low level party. But cast insanity and those wasps will be a bigger pain to themselves. Every battle is beatable, just a matter of figuring out the enemies weakness. Or getting in the right position. 8. If you hide around the corner from a group of enemies, you can click on the sword icon, and then run into melee range with them. This allows you to start the fight, and not have to waste a round running up to them. 9. Enjoy the greatest RPG of all time! Hope you enjoyed this! Any further questions, email me at DannyAIC@aol.com.