FAQ by PKarsanow

Version: 1.02 | Updated: 06/27/03 | Printable Version

                             Progress Quest
                         FAQ v1.02 - 28 May 2003
            by Peter Karsanow - hentaihelper[AT}dellepro{DOT)com

Revision History
v1.02 - 28 May 2003 - Fixed the line lengths. Sorry! Guessed how long Act II 
        runs. Updated stats for top 10 on Knoram. Added something about 
v1.01 - 30 August 2002 - added in the "missing spells" document that was 
        formerly separate, combined versions of this document developed for 
        3 different computers into one, formatted for GameFAQs.
v1.00 - 18 June 2002 - started

The Progress Quest (PQ) software can be obtained from download sites listed 
under "Download" at http://progressquest.com
This FAQ is written for version 6.1, which has been available since sometime 
in March 2002.

During game setup, press the Unroll button to go back to a previous set of 
There is no apparent effect on stats from choosing different races or classes.
If the total of rolls is from 73 to 80, the background for the total is 
yellow. If the total of the rolls is from 54 down to 46, the background for 
the total is light grey. At 81 and above, the total background is red. At 45 
and less, the background is dark grey. The highest total seen so far is 97 
(red). The lowest total seen so far is 33 (dark grey). People posting on the 
PQ forums only claim lowest of 36 and highest of 95, last time that I checked.
Using the Macro Tool from The Progress Quest Companion site 
(http://www.nailhead.org/pq) helped me expand the limits for lowest and 
highest. But it slows down under some versions of Windows as it does more 
rolls, and sometimes doesn't work until you exit both the tool and PQ.

The primary stat value that has a known direct effect on the game is STR. You 
can carry up to 10+STR items in Inventory. This controls how often you return 
to the shop, therefore how often you can successfully buy "better" equipment. 
See below for exhaustive analysis of this.
Some combination of INT and WIS (possibly CHA, but doubtful - probably just 
INT) controls how "wide" the range of spells is chosen from. At higher values 
of INT and WIS, it's possible for characters to learn relatively advanced 
spells like "Aqueous Humor" and "Magnetic Orb" long before the typical 
"Hastiness" or "Sadness" appear, and for a lower-level "smart" character to 
have a lot more spells (although each at lower levels) than a higher-level 
"dumb" one.
Other stats may have some subtle effects yet to be deduced.
When one of the first 6 stat values increases (STR through CHA), the HP Max 
and MP Max do NOT increase based on them; maybe they are recalculated when 
you gain a level.
The increases in the first 6 stat values are apparently proportional to their 
initial value.
HP Max probably depends on the value of CON.
MP Max probably depends on the values of INT and/or WIS.

The Prologue is apparently just time-wasting and/or game setup.
Act I runs for 6 hours.
Act II ?unknown, 10 hours?
Act III runs for 15 hours.
Act IV runs for 20 hours.
Act V runs for 25 hours.
Act VI runs for over 29 hours (probably 30).
Act VII runs for at least 35 hours.
You can expect later Acts to run even longer. It seems Act length is (Act 
number)*5 hours, but 1 has an extra hour.
I don't think anything special happens when an Act ends; it certainly doesn't 
clean out the Quests list, or even interrupt the current quest.

Your character always starts at Level 1 with nothing but a Sharp Stick.
Maximum Encumbrance is 10+STR in cubits; each item in inventory except Gold 
(always at the top of the list) is 1 cubit each.
When a monster is "executed", you gain some experience, some progress on the 
current quest, and either a regular or magical item in inventory. The latest 
item received is highlighted in Inventory; it may be an addition to the Qty 
of an existing item, so it isn't always at the bottom of the list.
Each monster type always generates the same regular item in inventory, so 
these may stack up in large quantities.
Some monsters (many types of dragons, Ghost, Invisible Stalker) generate 
"Magic" items instead (named as <adjective><noun> of <something>), which are 
relatively unique. They can be gained from killing those monsters or 
completing quests. Any "passing <character_race><character_class>" killed 
will also gain you a magic item.
When a character is tough enough, you may see the execution of multiple 
monsters of one type at once. Unfortunately, you get only one item from the 
group, no matter how large it is.

When Encumbrance is full, you always immediately head to the store.
"Regular" items gained from executing monsters are sold for "Level" gold 
"Magic" items (named as <adjective><noun> of <something>) sell for a random 
amount of Gold, usually large compared to normal items. This appears to be 
some random integer multiplied by Level; it could depend on CHA.
Gold required for a purchase is 20+10*Level+5*Level^2 (a second-order 
arithmetic sequence with coefficients of 35, 25 and 10). This has been 
verified for levels 1 to 10.

A random category of equipment is "upgraded" for a fixed amount of gold, 
repeat if you still have at least that much gold left. When you can't buy, 
it's back out to the Killing Fields.
There are 11 categories of equipment listed, but in practice they are 
considered of 3 types: Weapon, Shield, and 9 various pieces of Armor. There 
is a hierarchy of descriptions for these, using modifiers for +/-, material 
condition, and material of construction.
It's possible to upgrade the same category more than once in a visit to the 
shop, but the upgrade may be the exact same thing - although you still pay 
for it. Sorry!
If you use the equipment attribute values from the PQ Companion site, with 
additional values added in version 6.1, you'll find that the total is always 
(for new equipment) your current level. It could be lower, depending on how 
long it's been since buying the item. So buying additional equipment, unless 
it actually affects the speed of killing monsters or completing quests in PQ, 
is basically a waste of time and a way to detect cheaters.
There's apparently some limiting that keeps really low types of equipment 
from showing up as you get higher levels, e.g. no "+99 <whatever><whatever> 
Lace" armor items. Maybe level or some stat values control this.
The code that generates item adjectives is smart enough not to duplicate 
them, e.g. no "Vorpal Vorpal".
The "Stick" weapon doesn't seem to take adjectives and modifiers like other 
weapons; all I've seen is "Sharp Stick" (default starting weapon), Heavy 
Stick, Serrated Stick and +1 Stick.

A quest to Exterminate will include killing some number of that type of 
When a quest reaches 100%, you get a reward upon killing one MORE monster.
The reward is (randomly) an increase in one of your stats, a new spell, a 
piece of equipment, or a magic item. The reward is highlighted on the screen 
until the Inventory changes.

When you have gained enough Experience that the Experience bar is full, you 
gain a level upon killing one MORE monster.
Upon gaining a level, stats often rise in value, and a new spell is always 
It's possible that experience needed for the next level allows carry-over 
from the last monster, instead of any partial experience towards the next 
level being lost.

Spells are listed in order learned, which is not necessarily the same for 
each character. When a new spell is learned, that can be either an increase 
in the Level of an existing spell, or a completely new spell added to the 
bottom of the list.
Does it matter what spells are known, or how well? Probably only for bragging 
or storytelling purposes.

The list of spells for Progress Quest at The Progress Companion 
(http://nailhead.org/pq) is incomplete.
Instead of 41, there are at least 44 in Progress Quest 6.1 (the latest 
download as of June 7, 2002), up from the "2/3/2002 build".
Here's the list from TPC (in case it goes away again) with my additions:
Acrid Hands
Animate Nightstand
Animate Tunic
Aqueous Humor
Astral Miasma
-> Big Sister <- apparently new
Clever Fellow
Cone of Annoyance
-> Cone of Paste <- apparently new
Curse Family
Curse Name
Eye of the Troglodyte
Good Move
Grognor's Big Day Off
Holy Batpole
Holy Roller
Infinite Confusion
Invisible Hands
Magnetic Orb
Nestor's Bright Idea
-> Nonplus <- apparently new
Rabbit Punch
Revolting Cloud
Roger's Grand Illusion
Slime Finger
Spectral Miasma
Spectral Oyster
Tumor (Benign)
Tumor (Malignant)
Ursine Armor
Vitreous Humor

If the random numbers fall your way, your character should know all of these 
spells by level 38 or so. "Infinite Confusion" seems to be the most difficult 
one to get; it took one of my characters until level 65 to initially learn 

In Multiplayer mode, the Ctrl-B (Brag) and Ctrl-M (Motto) commands are 
available. They don't work in Single Player mode.
Use Motto to enter a short text message about your character. It will be 
displayed on the ranking list alongside ranking, name, race, class, level, 
plot status (Prologue or Act #), best equipment, and best spell.
Use Brag to report your latest character information to the ranking list. 
While your information on the ranking lists will be updated, it seems that 
the ranking itself is calculated periodically (probably every 15 minutes) and 
not correct until then.
Unfortunately, Multiplayer mode requires some interaction over the Internet 
that some firewalls don't like. You may be able to use Progress Quest at work 
only in Single Player mode if you can't connect to the servers.
Using Brag appears to put your character to the lowest rank for characters of 
that level. As other characters slowly send in their Brags, you bubble back 
up to the top of your level's ranking. Changing Level or Act or Motto is 
enough to reset you when you Brag, but only has a visible effect when the 
rankings are updated every 15 minutes or so. Character data is also 
automatically sent in when you get a level or new Act, possibly also when you 
complete a quest.
So if you want your character to have the best possible standing on the 
rankings, DON'T BRAG! Just let the game send in data on its own, and live 
with obsolete information but the best possible ranking on the charts.

I haven't tried these out, but they're relatively new and only available to 
players in the "newer" realms of Oobag or Spoltog. On the PQ site, click on 
"Realms", then "Guilds" under either of those 2 realms that have them.

You can resize the horizontal and vertical extent of the Progress Quest 
window. Below a certain width, you'll only see part of the left column; the 
center column will disappear first. Above a certain width, you'll just make 
the center column wider.
When minimized, the game goes to the system tray/notification area of 
Windows, but continues to run. Either a left- or right-click will bring PQ 
back from the tray. Under some (all?) versions of Windows, you have to close 
PQ manually (get the saved character message) or the computer will appear to 
hang instead of shutting down or resetting.
You can change the widths of column headings in the left and center columns. 
But when a new item is added to inventory, it will resize to default values; 
that happens very often so don't bother.
When resized vertically, the "Executing" progress bar is the last thing to 
go. Next to last are the Encumbrance and Quest progress bars, although these 
will suddenly disappear to show the Equipment and Plot Development columns 
until you reveal the beginnings of the Encumbrance and Quests columns again. 
Means that if you want a severely minimized view of what's going on, you can 
compress the window vertically until you show only 3 progress bars - although 
you'll miss out on seeing Experience.
If you leave the mouse pointer on most of the progress bars, you get 
information about the relevant quantities. The Experience, Plot Development, 
Encumbrance and Quests bars will show a small "tool-tip". The "Executing" bar 
never shows anything.
Annoyingly, the Quests bar tool-tip will still show 100% just after it's 
reset to 0 when you've just killed the monster that more than finishes the 
Progress momentarily stops when you left-click and hold the mouse button down 
on the title bar, because then you can move the window.

- I suspect that nobody has reached the "end" of the game yet, and there may 
not actually be one, because it can keep increasing numbers for equipment 
bonus and spell level. But as of 28 May 2003, maximum known character 
Level was 81 and maximum known Plot Development was Act LXII. These are based 
on the online rankings for Knoram, which is the "oldest" set of characters.
- When a character has high STR, they take longer to "fill up", therefore 
don't go to the store as often. This saves time, because it means a higher 
possibility of large quantities (which sell as fast as 1, but for more gold), 
and more likelihood of having enough gold to actually buy something 
(sometimes more than once) on a trip.
- Analysis: Gold needed per equipment goes up as 10*Level+5*Level^2, but gold 
gained per item goes up as only Level. Therefore, if you want to get 
equipment each time you go to the shop, you either have to hope for lots of 
magic items (average about 12*Level gold each) or lots of increases in STR.
- The only character statistic shown to make a significant difference in 
  speed of leveling the character is STR. As seen by this forum post found at 
  Strength however DOES make a difference, if slight. Take an example of 2 
  characters, one with 990 strength, one with 1990 strength.
  Both characters kill 2000 characters. The character with 990 strength had 
  to sell twice in that period, the character with 1990 just once. Each time 
  the 990 strength character sells then incur 1 trip to town, 90 sells of 
  common items (10 of each item), 100 sells of rare items (1 of each), 
  (assuming that this netted ~600K gold and that it's 30K/item) 20 
  negotiations for better equipment and 1 trip back.
  So for the 2000 kills the 990 strength character incurs
  4 trips (2 to and 2 from town)
  380 sells (90 common, 100 rare, all twice)
  40 negotiations
  Note that the cost for an item of equipment is solely determined by your 
  level. At level X all armour and weapons cost the same.
  For the 1990 strength character, each time he goes to town he incurs 1 trip 
  to town, 90 sells of common items (20 of each item), 200 sells of rare 
  items (1 of each), (assuming that this netted ~1200K gold and that it's 
  30K/item) 40 negotiations for better equipment and 1 trip back.
  So for the 2000 kills the 1990 strength character incurs
  2 trips
  290 sells (90 common, 200 rare)
  40 negotiations
  So the 1990 strength character saves 2 trips and 90 sells in each 2000 
  kills. Practically this has allowed one of my characters who is high in 
  strength to gain about 1 day on a weak character over the course of a 
- However, to make the above example more realistic, note that there are 
about 220 different monsters plus an unknown chance of encountering a passing 
"another" character (which gives you a magic item). And about 10 of the 
monster types will give magic items just like the characters. So after STR 
passes 200 or so, you expect to get at least 1 of each type of monster item 
(which will stack if you get more than 1), and everything else is magic items 
that don't stack.
This alters the numbers as follows:
   weak char.    medium char.    strong char.
STR   290           590             890
Total Enc. possible (for one trip to store):
      300           600             900
If magic items occur 20% of the time (that's probably high), then the number 
collected should be
       60           120             180
and the regular items are stacked up, say in 200 piles. So the number of 
total sells will be
      260           320             380
Let's assume you can buy after selling 200 regular items or 50 magic items. 
That means 
      240 regular   480 regular     720 regular
       60 magic     120 magic       180 magic
      1.2+1.2=2.4   2.4+2.4=4.8     3.6+3.6=7.2
buys of equipment each trip. As far as I know, buying equipment is actually 
just a waste of time, as it doesn't appear to alter progress in experience or 
So, to handle 1800 kills, the three characters will do
        6             3               2   round trip(s)
     1560           960             760   sells at store
       14.4          14.4            14.4 buys of equipment
Assuming that STR doesn't change how quickly a character kills monsters, and 
other stats don't affect speed of trips or sells, this means that high STR 
translates into quicker advancement only because it avoids time-consuming 
trips to the store and selling. Refed is right, but how right I can't tell.

Access Violation at address <whatever> in module "pq.exe". Read (or write) of 
address <something>.
-or- "Invalid pointer operation."
This was seen at seemingly random intervals while running PQ under Windows XP 
Pro. Program usually appears to keep running OK, but sometimes can crash or 
corrupt the saved game AND the backup. Eventually all 6 characters that I 
brought over from Windows ME "died" this way; the one I kept as a 
"single-player" one under Windows 2000 got up to level 67 and Act XXV before 
I got tired of the PQ process' hit to my distributed.net keyrate.

One of the monster adjectives is showing up on some computers as "f-tal", 
where the "-" is a small black filled-in rectangle instead of a letter or 
typical symbol. This is probably the "o and e run together" character.

Several occurrences of a blank line appearing above "Gold" in Inventory. If 
you scroll down so Gold leaves the view, then back up, things are OK again. 
Something similar in Quests, where a blank line may appear above the top 
entry in the list, until you scroll down then back up again.
The "blank line at the top of the list" has been seen now on the Plot 
Development list as well, but much rarer. In my case, it occurred for 
single-player and online characters during Act X.

All of the above have been reported to Grumdrig already (well, not ALL of the 
addresses with access violations), but I don't know if or when they will be 
fixed. There's some other things that could be fixed concealed in the rest of 
this document as well.

If Grumdrig or somebody with input into the Progress Quest development 
actually reads this, here are some suggested additions:
new Weapon adjective "Tempered" +2?
new weapon adjective "Damascened" +2?
new weapon adjective "Elven" +3?
new weapon adjective "Flaming" +4?
new defense adjective "See-Through" -2?
new defense adjective "Silvered" +1?
new armor material "Denim" 3?
new armor material "Cast Iron" 9?
new armor material "PVC" 11?
new armor material "Adamantium" 27?
new armor material "Neutronium" 35?

Please fix the annoying horizontal slider bar that sometimes appears under 
the Plot Development progress bar, and no amount of horizontal resizing will 
fix. "Act <whatever number>" doesn't seem long enough text to be causing it.

Please allow PQ to receive Windows shutdown/reset messages and automatically 
save the character and close itself.

Ah-Ha! Ha! ha ha ha... cough cough cough... heh.
Try crossing your eyes. Or wearing those red/blue glasses from your kid's 
fast-food meal.
OK, for those who don't understand, it's a joke perpetuated by the inmates of 
the PQ Forum.

P.S. If you like Progress Quest, you may also enjoy Statbuilder at
However, it requires a lot more interaction, but allows cheating.

Pete Karsanow
This document Copyright 2002,2003 Peter Karsanow.