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 for people who want ideas on party creation and a usefulness breakdown of each character. The choice of race for each class is purely my own opinion. Also, the first two parts of this guide does not take into account transferring your characters to other games! It's only meant to recommend for this one. Ok, here goes: PART I: RACES There are 6 Races in Gateway to the Savage Frontier. I will go through each one with a fine toothed comb, and we will decide if we have a deal or no deal. Human: Rating: A Recommended Classes: Any except Fighter. (See note in fighter below) Humans do not get a cap on the levels they can attain in Gateway to the savage Frontier, and they can choose any class. This is wonderful, since many races have caps on the classes they choose. The Adventurer's journal has a table for it so I'm not going to get into detail here on it. They also get the highest strength modifier that fighter types can attain! This means a human paladin or ranger can start with a great THAC0 score. The only problem with the human is that he cannot multi class. There's something called human dual classing but quite frankly I found that to be quite useless and would only bother with single classes in these games. Elf: Rating: D Recommended Classes: Magic-user/Thief, Cleric/Magic User, Well Elves get an extra point to dexterity. This is good to get their armor class down an extra point more than most other characters. If I remember correctly as well they have a slight resistance to magic spells. They can also choose any class except paladin which means they can multi class very well. But, and this is a BIG but, if they die......you're screwed. Elves cannot be brought back from the dead. If you don't save extremely frequently, this can be very frustrating. In my opinion their abilities do not justify the risk you take making an elf character. Dwarf: Rating: B- Recommended Classes: Fighter, Fighter/Thief Dwarves are stocky little dudes. Next to humans, they get the highest strength modifier available to fighter types. Also, they are resistant to poison and when attacking large enemies like hill giants they get bonuses to hit. They get an extra point to constitution as well. What's so bad about them? Well First off they get a -2 to charisma (and since I'm still not sure what that does, doesn't make a difference) but more importantly a -1 to dexterity. This means a slighter higher AC (higher = worse). Also, they can only choose 2 classes, Fighter or thief. I'll let you figure out which one to choose.... Gnome: Rating: C Recommended Classes: Fighter, Thief, Fighter/Thief Gnome are almost exactly like dwarves. They have better dexterity than Dwarves, but less constitution than they do. Pretty much all other important stats between the two are the same. The gnome has a slightly less strength modifier than a dwarf, but not enough to make a huge difference to THAC0. If you want a fighter type with less hit points but a slightly better AC, (at least compared to dwarves) then take a gnome. I personally like the dwarf better. Halfling: Rating: F (Is there a rating lower than F?) Recommended Classes: None I'll get straight to the point. -1 to Strength for males, (meaning no strength modifiers for fighter types) -4 for females (Are you serious???). They get one bonus point to constitution. Yipee. Add in the fact that they can only be Thieves or Fighters, and you have an absolutely useless race. Half-Elf: Rating: A Recommended Classes: Magic-User/Thief, Cleric/Magic-User, Cleric/Ranger, Cleric/Fighter, Fighter/Magic-User And here we come to my favorite race. I'll start with the cons this time. Which is that females gets a -1 to strength. Ok now let's go with the pros. DIVERSITY. A half Elf can be any class except paladin, which means they are the best choice for multi-classing. They get a better strength modifier for fighter types than elves, (though not as good as dwarves or Humans). Still, it's not enough to make a big difference to THAC0. And more importantly, UNLIKE their elf counterparts, they CAN be raised from the dead. Why would anyone take an elf over a half elf??? Not sure..... PART II: Classes In this game, every class is important to success. I'm not gonna rate the class, but I will let you know which classes can be mixed with which etc. Paladin Races Allowed: Human Can Mulitclass with: N/A Paladins are excellent fighters. They also have protection from evil '10 constantly, which means any evil characters attacking them are less effective. This is just great. They can't travel with any evil characters though, and they must be Lawful/Good aligned. That's a small price to pay for their abilities. Take one. Ranger Races Allowed: Human, Elf, Half-Elf Can Multiclass with: Cleric Ranger too are excellent fighters. They get a bonus when attacking large enemies like hill giants and such. They must be of good alignment however, and they can only multiclass with clerics. Their experience requirements are a little higher though, so you may not want to multi class with them anyway. Fighter: Races Allowed: All Can Multiclass with: Cleric, Magic-User, Thief The fighter is your standard fighter. He has no special abilities like the Ranger or Paladin. So why bother then? First of all, he has less expereince requirements than either of those classes. Second, in this game he's able to attain higher levels than the paladin. And third, if you take a dwarf fighter, the extra constitution gives him higher hit points, but also allows him to get bonuses to THAC0 when fighting larger enemies, thereby making him a mini (mini???? GET IT??? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA) ranger with less experience requirements and similar abilities. Thief: Races Allowed: All Can multiclass with: Fighter, Magic-User I honestly have no idea if taking a thief makes any kind of difference in this game but everyone seems to say so so I guess they do. Thieves can use any weapon and they can backstab, which means if they attack from the opposite direction of the last attack, they can do heavy damage. This is interesting in combination with a fighter. By himself however, the thief is not impressive. He can only wear leather armor, and no shields. Multi class him with a magic user or a fighter. Cleric: Races allowed: Human, Elf, Half-Elf Can Multiclass with: Ranger, Fighter, Magic-User Definitely need one or two of these guys. Cure light wounds gets more impressive as they get higher in levels, and they are decent fighters to boot. They are able to use all armors except plate and they can use shields too. They can only use crushing weapons though (Maces, staff sling), and they don't get as many hp as fighter types. They can use all the cleric spells, my favorite being Hold Person. (SO INCREDIBLY USEFUL) Prayer too. Also, if they are aligned to good, they can turn undead. Magic-User: Races allowed: Human, Elf, Half-Elf Can Multiclass with: Fighter, Thief, Cleric If you don't take two of these, take at least one. Without a magic user in your party, you may as well just put down the game, or at least be ready for some VERY frustrating battles. These will be your guys for area of effect spells. Stinking Cloud, Sleep, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, all spells that any adventurer will find extremely useful. For me personally however, I tend to multiclass these guys for a couple of reasons. First of they can use no armor or shields. Not as big of a deal as my next point, considering you wanna keep em away from the fray anyway. Second point is that when they run out of spells, they are utterly useless. You'll just continue to press end when it comes to their turn in battle. If you multi-class with a thief, you can shoot arrows from the back with none the wiser. If you multiclass with a cleric, you get the better armor and weapons of the cleric, plus the ability to use all spells. Also, since clerics max their armor out at banded mail, they'll have better movement than a multi-class with a fighter. A fighter I don't recommend because you're gonna want them on the front line, which means if they get hit they lose any spell they were casting. Kind of defeats the purpose. PART III: Party Creration I'm gonna give you some sample parties with an explanation of why I think they're good, or bad. Party 1: Recommended Party by Adventurer's Journal 1 Human Paladin 1 Half-Elf Ranger 1 Dwarf Fighter/Thief 2 Human Clerics 1 Elf Magic User This is a pretty good party for beginners. It packs in all the necessary classes and they will go up in level reasonably fast. This is pretty much as balanced and vanilla as you're going to get. The elf magic user in my opinion is quite unneccesary as is the half elf Ranger. Due to racial constrictions, if you're ever gonna take a single class, the human is the best race to take (with the exception of the fighter.) Everyone here should be human except obviously the Fighter/Thief. Otherwise, it's not a bad party. I myself like to pack in a little more heat. Party 2: My recommended Party 1 1 Human Paladin 1 Human Ranger 1 Dwarf fighter 1 Human Cleric 1 Half-Elf Cleric/Magic-User 1 Half Elf Magic User/Thief You have your three Fighter types, two Clerics, two mages, and your staple thief. The mages will advance slowly due to multiclassing but you don't really NEED the level 3 Mage spells until much later in the game when you have enough experience for them. Your dwarf fighter will have lots of HP, and you'll find your human cleric can jump in as a fourth mini fighter. You can keep the two magic users in the back firing off staff slings and bows when not casting spells. Party 3: My recommended Party 2 1 Human Paladin 1 Human Ranger 1 Dwarf Fighter/Thief 1 Human cleric 1 Half-Elf Cleric/Magic-User 1 Human Magic-User I actually like the first party better for a couple of reasons. Fighter/Thieves tend to have much less hit points than pure fighters, meaning keeping them on the front line where they belong can be a liability. You'll find them being rendered unconcious (or worse, killed) more often than you're gonna like. Also, while your single class magic user may level quicker then if he were multiclassed, he's gonna be quite useless when he's not casting spells. Darts don't do much damage. But if you want a pure magic user, this is a good option for a party. Party 4: Long term party 1 (Transferring to Treasures of the savage frontier) 1 Human Paladin 1 Human Ranger 1 Dwarf Fighter/Thief 2 Human Clerics 1 Human Magic-User This is a spin-off of the first party. In fact it's the same party except almost everyone is a human, due to the racial constrictions. It's pretty vanilla, but you'll want your guys to achieve as high of a level as they can. A spinoff of this party is this one: Party 5: Long term party 2 (Transferring to Treasures of the savage frontier) 1 Human Paladin 1 Human Ranger 2 Human Clerics 1 Elf Magic-User/Thief 1 Human Magic-User I know, I know, I said never take an elf. Well in this case, I would. Elves have a higher racial limitation for magic-users than Half-Elves do. I actually like this party better than the previous one. The extra magic User will make fights a lot easier. The two clerics can be enough of a tank that you can do without a third fighter type. Hope you enjoyed this! Any further questions, email me at DannyAIC@aol.com.