General new player guide

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This is a page for the non-guild specific new player help guide.

Introduction

Hello! Thank you for stopping by the Dragonrealms General Newbie Help Guide! This guide will try and help you get started with the game and teach you the ABSOLUTE basics.

What is Dragonrealms?

Dragonrealms is a MUD, which means it's a text-based multiplayer RPG. You connect to the game and the game's world is described to you in text, as if you were reading a book. You complete actions by entering text commands that you wish your character to accomplish. As long as the command is one recognized by the game, and you used it correctly, it will result in the main window of the game (typically called the Story window) listing the results of what happened. The interface and game world are almost entirely text-based, though there are some limited graphical features, such as certain things like health being able to be depicted in bar form.

Dragonrealms takes place in Elanthia, which is a fantasy setting. There is magic, swords, bows and arrows and the like. There are minor elements indicative of slightly more technology than a strictly medieval setting would have (such as some steampunk style things like mechanical constructs and airships) but you won't find cars, guns, lasers or spaceships to be in-genre in any way.

How to Use This Guide

This guide will attempt to explain the basics of the game to you and get you on your way to adventuring! However, as in any tutorial, you will be required to input things yourself from time to time. When this guide references a command that you should type in, it will list it in the following fashion:

COMMAND

In this example, you would be expected to type the word "command" in your text-entry field in the game and then press your ENTER key. For the purposes of this guide, commands will be listed in all caps, but they can be entered however you wish.

Some commands require targets or modifiers. Usually these will be dependent on the context in which the command is used. As an example:

COMMAND <object>

In this example, you would be expected to type the word "command" in your text-entry field in the game, followed by the object you wanted to interact with before pressing ENTER. So if you were in a room with a picture and you wanted to look at it, you would type the following:

LOOK PICTURE

In addition, modifiers may be used. For example, if there were both a blue picture and a red picture in the room and you wanted to look at the red one, you would type:

LOOK RED PICTURE

Or, if there were two pictures but no identifying modifier (or as an alternative to a specific modifier like "red"), you may use numeric modifiers, like:

LOOK SECOND PICTURE

Finally, modifiers may be combined, such as:

LOOK MY SECOND RED PICTURE

which will look at the second red picture you have in your inventory.

Each section will have different information on the basics of the game and how to play, but understanding how to enter commands will be an essential part of following instructions in this (and other) guides.

Note that commands may be abbreviated. For example, WAV BOB will wave at Bob. However, take care that when abbreviating commands, you do not abbreviate too much. For example, simply entering W BOB will attempt to move the character one room to the west and the "BOB" portion will be ignored.

Game Concepts

Character Creator

When a character is first begun, they will be in a limbo world in which they will be able to choose many of their traits.

Names

Your name is actually one of the most important things about your character. It is the thing that everyone will see first, it is how people will talk about you, and it's how people will interact with you.

You initially will only be able to pick your first name, though later on you will have the option of adding a family name.

The rules are fairly straightforward. Your first name must be unique, not contain any real life references (Microwave is not going to work), drug references, profanities, numbers, titles (Lordnose, Kingbrave, etc. won't make it) or references to major literary characters (leave your Drizzt clone at home, or at least give him/her a creative name). If you violate these rules, it may get past the automatic filters, but a GameMaster will probably visit you later and make you change it.

Rule of thumb is that if you'd be ashamed to have it on your birth certificate, consider picking something else.

Now, already you may have seen people with names that violate one or more of these rules. What it comes down to is that DR has been around 15+ years and the rules have not always been stringently enforced, or even terribly well defined. If you see one of these names, understand that they've probably been playing for years and pity has been taken on them so that they wouldn't need to rebuild all their old friends/enemies if their name suddenly changed.

Note: When the character manager prompts you to enter your character's name choice, do not type the parentheses.
The proper syntax is CHOOSE BOB rather than CHOOSE (BOB).

(Where Bob is the name the name you've chosen for your character).

Genders

In DragonRealms, gender means little. While you might occasionally have different reactions from people, there is no real benefit to either gender.

Races

The second major choice you will face is your race. Your race primarily determines how much it will cost you to improve your stats. Each race has several areas in which they are excellent at, and several which they are lacking.

It should be noted that there is no coherent system of racial bonuses beyond the stat training. For example, while a specific shopkeeper might treat all dwarves better or insult elves, the one across the street may have wildly different reactions, or none at all.

While you may pick a race with an eye towards a specific style or guild, it is highly advised that races be picked on the basis of which culture the player enjoys. Some of the most interesting characters can come from mismatched choices (gnome barbarian anyone?).

  • Dwarf: Slow, tough, and disciplined. The hairy rock-kissers of fantasy you know and love, even the women can grow beards.
  • Elf: Fast and charismatic, elves are slightly weaker and frailer than humans. Tall, long-lived, and tending toward naturistic, elves come in a variety of subtypes that can drastically affect their views of the world.
  • Elothean: Incredibly intelligent but weak and frail. A people that value knowledge over almost everything else, and have a strange inability to grow hair on most of their heads, Elotheans push the boundaries of nearly every intellectual pursuit.
  • Gnome: Agile and intelligent, but weak and frail. These are short folks with keen minds and an affinity for mechanical devices and magic.
  • Gor'Tog: Strong, tough, but not terribly bright. They are huge, hairless, green giants that tend towards physical labor.
  • Halfling: Agile, tough, but weak and undisciplined. The short folks with the hairy feet and a love of food, drink, food, sleeping, and food. Don't discount them, or you might find they've run off with your money while you were calling them names.
  • Human: Humans lack any particular strengths, but also any weaknesses. As widely varied as any real life group, humans can be found doing nearly anything almost anywhere.
  • Kaldar: Strong and charismatic, but often disdainful of mental pursuits. Looking much like large, bulky humans, Kaldar are a refugee splinter group from the warlike Gorbesh.
  • Prydaen: Fast and charismatic, but poorly disciplined and prone to lacking common sense. Prydaen appear to be a strange mix between a human and any of the various predatory felines. Call them a cat at your own risk. They came to this land fleeing the near extinction at the hands of a powerful Necromancer.
  • Rakash: Fast but uncordinated, slow mentally but tough. While mostly indistinguishable from any random human, when the black moon Katamba is full, they take on the form of a wolf-human hybrid. Like the Prydaen, they fled a powerful Necromancer and attempt to rebuild their packs in the eastern lands.
  • S'Kra Mur: Strong and fast, but a bit slow upstairs. Humanoids with lizardlike features, the S'Kra Mur have a strange culture that has strange concepts of honor and kinship.

A table giving more detail on attribute aptitudes can be found here.


A character's race affects the character's attributes (number of Time Development Points needed to raise an attribute by one point) and mostly RP-elements (e.g. tail verbs for races with tails).

There are no "racial traits" (e.g. infravision) or "racial abilities" (e.g. faerie fire) as may be found in other games.

Guilds

If you were wondering why you didn't get to choose what class your character is during character creation, it's because DragonRealms treats character class a little differently. Instead of character classes, characters in DragonRealms join guilds. All characters start as Commoners. Then, you can choose to join one of the 11 guilds in Elanthia: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Empath, Moon Mage, Necromancer, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, Trader, and Warrior Mage.

You can type DIR <guild> while in the city for directions to 9 of the guilds. However, the location of two of the guilds, Thieves and Necromancers, are considered puzzles.

Also, due to unique mechanics that apply only to necromancers, it is not recommended that a new player join the Necromancer guild.

A short description for each guild follows, but it should be kept in mind that these are general stereotypes and areas of strength for the guilds. With enough effort and time, any character of any race or guild can become great at anything.

  • Barbarian: The guild of fighters. They excel at weapon learning and utilize the poorly understood power of Inner Fire to accomplish amazing feats, but give up the ability to use magic to do so.
  • Bard: A strange mix of warrior, musician, and historian, Bards wield magic in their songs, but still maintain a strong skill in mundane martial attacks. With their focus on scholarly pursuits, Bards make excellent craftsmen.
  • Cleric: Whether crusading to destroy the foul undead or tending to spirits of the fallen, Clerics represent all the gods of Elanthia, good and evil. For their devotion, the gods reward them with amazing magics.
  • Empath: The Empath guild is one of healing. Through their powerful supernatural connections to others, they are able to draw injuries to themselves and then heal it with their magic. The side effect is that any harm done to living or once living creatures cause feedback that can cripple their abilities. While some Empaths like to ascribe this as a moral issue, the numerous lifeless constructs that have fallen to more warlike empaths seems to discount this.
  • Moon Mage: They are masters of predicting the future from the stars and planets, as well as a wide mix of powerful spells. The Moon Mage guild is made up of numerous sub-sects, and has a history of producing some mages with an unhealthy interest in politics.
  • Necromancer: This guild is intentionally designed as a hard mode for long-time players. Everything is more difficult, and the consequences for making a mistake are more severe. If you are reading this guide, you do not have experience necessary to play them.
  • Paladin: Holy warriors, these masters of defense are held by the gods to a higher standard of honor than others, but are granted powers by the purity of their souls. Though they are primarily warriors of the sword and shield, their cause is bolstered by dabbling in holy magics unshared with clerics.
  • Ranger: The classic woodland warrior, Rangers mix magic, stealth, and weapons to create a potent force. However, their abilities wane when too much time is spent in cities, so it is rare to see a Ranger in town for long.
  • Thief: The pesky fellows who take your money and stab you in the back before you see them. While not as bad as the Necromancer guild, the Thief guild is more difficult, including puzzles just to find their guildhouse. Not recommended for people who need this guide.
  • Trader: Masters of commerce and the power of money, Traders criss-cross the lands with their caravans delivering goods, or set up shops in the major city's plazas to market their wares to adventurers. Between their aptitude for crafting and ability to rent shops, Traders make, by far, the best merchants. Note: Traders have had a history of little development, however they are slated to receive access to their own magic system at some point in the near future.
  • Warrior Mage: Masters of the six elements, Warrior Mages are the classic fireball-throwing mages of fantasy. Luckily for them, no rules restrict them to robes or nightshirts, though they are less adept at wearing armor than the average adventurer. Their typical response is to simply kill everything before it gets near them.

The last, and very rarely chosen option is to remain a Commoner. Commoners will never gain any promotions, or any special abilities, as long as they remain a commoner. Some people choose this path for roleplaying reasons, or because they are preparing for a guild later, since Commoners learn everything moderately well. It is highly advised that a guild be chosen.

Once you reach your chosen guild using the DIR command, proceed to the area with the Guildmaster and type JOIN twice. If at that point, the guildmaster informs you that you do not have the correct stats for the guild, he or she will offer to train you to the minimums.

It should be noted that once you join a guild, you cannot change it, with the exception of anyone joining the Barbarian's Guild. If you feel you chose poorly, the only choice is to find an inn and CHECK IN, to reset your character.

Attributes

Each character has eight attributes. They are: Strength, Reflex, Agility, Charisma, Discipline, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Stamina. You can check your character's attributes, among other information, by using the >INFO command.

Time Development Points, known as TDPs, and a negligible amount of coins are used to increase attributes. The number of TDPs needed to increase each attribute increases as that attribute increases. It is not affected by the number of points in other attributes. It is affected by the character's race.

TDPs are granted each time a character circles, as well as gradually by training skills. At first, the number of TDPs received from circling will provide the majority of the TDPs a character has. However, at higher circles, the number of TDPs received from training skills will outpace the TDPs received from circling. This is especially true if the player elects to train more skills than the minimum required to circle.

Skills

In Dragonrealms, the success of actions (e.g. attacking) is determined by a character's experience with the respective skill. Want to climb that mountain? That requires Athletics. Want to swing that broadsword? Heavy Edged. Every challenge will require a certain number of ranks in the appropriate skill, and in order to train a given skill, you must attempt an appropriate challenge to your current skill ranks. If you're a champion of skinning the rarest beasts in the land, skinning a ships rat won't provide a challenge, and as such, won't teach you further skinning ranks.

All skills in the game are broken into five categories: Armor, Lore, Magic, Survival, and Weapons. Skills that are trained in combat require an appropriate challenge, which means finding a creature that is difficult enough to provide a challenge.

Experience

Unlike some level-based MMORPGs and MUDs, DragonRealms has a skill-based experience system. Rather than getting generic experience points every time you complete a quest or kill a creature, DragonRealms awards characters with field experience in a specific skill any time your character does something that uses that skill. If you want your character to be better at casting a certain type of spell, you need to cast that type of spell. Want to be a better fighter? Pick up a sword and go hit things with it. If being sneaky or crafting is something you might be interested in, there is a skill for that as well. Using any skill will award field experience, which will be converted to ranks over time. Think of field experience like studying for a test, where you need some time afterwards for everything to really sink in.

The way skills gain in ranks in Dragonrealms may also be somewhat confusing at first. Field experience is tracked by looking at your mindstate, which increases from Clear (0/34) to Mind Lock (34/34). Over time, Field Experience will drain, and in doing so, will convert into actual ranks in the skill. Skills are broadly separated into Armor, Weapons, Magic, Survival, and Lore, and each guild has a bonus in learning one group of skills, but learns other skills slower. If you look at the article for each guild, each guild has one primary skill group, two secondary skill groups, and two tertiary skill groups. Skills in a character's primary skill group are easiest to train, secondary skill groups the next, and tertiary take the longest to train.

Typing >EXPERIENCE will display skills with field experience. To see your total experience in all ranks, type >EXPERIENCE ALL. To check your experience in a given skillset, type >EXPERIENCE WEAPON, >EXPERIENCE LORE, >EXPERIENCE MAGIC, >EXPERIENCE ARMOR, or >EXPERIENCE SURVIVAL. Adding ALL will also include skills without any field experience. You may also check an individual skills progress by typing >EXPERIENCE LOCKSMITHING, for example, to check Locksmithing.

Subscribed players receive experience drain when they log in. For 100% experience drain it takes 6 hours offline, or 8 hours offline if a warning has been received in the last 180 days.
Free to play players do not receive experience drain at log in, unless they [get a pass from the SIMUCOIN store].
Some players choose to drain experience while idle online regardless of their account type or offline drain options.

Character Advancement

In Dragonrealms, a character's level is called their 'circle'. If someone says they are 20th circle, they have reached the minimum requirements to advance with the guild leader 19 times, as all characters start at 1st circle. 'Circling' is also used as a verb to describe the act of leveling up. Each guild requires a certain number of ranks in various skills to circle. The skills required are often flexible. For example, the requirements are often X ranks in each of the highest Y skills in a skill group. The exact skill (e.g. small edge or large edge) can be freely chosen by the player, although some skills cannot be used. There are also sometimes requirements for specific skills. To circle, a player must fulfill all the requirements. It is possible for a character's skills to be significantly higher than the minimum required for their circle, either by not meeting the minimum skill requirement to circle in a different skill or by choosing not to circle, as it is done manually. To circle, find your guild leader and ASK <LEADER> ABOUT CIRCLE.

Inventory

For you to carry anything other than coins, they must be carried in your hands, worn on the body, or placed in a container. Naturally, you may carry only two items at a time. In addition, how many items you may wear depends on where the item is worn.

Each item you have, including coins, has a weight. Items that are worn on the body have their weight reduced, while items that are in containers, such as a sturdy backpack, will count towards your encumbrance. Being encumbered has various penalties to your character, perhaps the most important of which is a penalty to evasion. You may increase the amount of weight you can carry without becoming encumbered by increasing strength and/or stamina.

Health

Dragonrealms doesn't employ the "hit point" system, per se, though vitality and spirit are similar. Instead, each body part (head, each eye, neck, chest, abdomen, back, each arm, each hand, each leg, and the nervous system) takes damage, which can be either external or internal, and fresh or scars. Injuries a player receives are almost always fresh, which become scars after they are healed. The scars then, in turn, need to be healed. As you are injured more in an area, the damage becomes more severe. For example, they may start as minor abrasions and end up as a stump if you are not careful. When a critical body part (head, neck, chest, abdomen, or back) is destroyed, the character will die. Players may also die if their vitality reaches zero, or if their spirit health reaches zero. Spirit health is not as commonly used when compared to vitality. When the severity of fresh injuries reach a certain threshold, they begin to bleed. External wounds may be >TENDed, utilizing the First Aid skill to stop the bleeding, but there is no similar option for internal wounds.

Vitality and spirit health will regenerate naturally. Wounds and scars need to be healed by empaths, some NPC Empaths (such as Mirinn), healing herbs, and remedies products.

In addition, there are also poisons, diseases, and parasites that can affect the character's health.

Money

Money comes in the form of coins, with denominations of copper, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, each worth 10 of the previous denomination. In addition, there are three currencies: Kronars, Lirums, and Dokoras. They may be exchanged for each other at a bank for a small fee. Dokoras are worth the most, followed by Lirums, and Kronars the least. Shops in different areas will demand payment in their "home" currency. When discussing price for items between players, it is usually discussed using Kronars.

Coins do have physical properties but are not quite the same as normal items. See currency for details.

Death and Favors

At some point, death comes to everyone in Elanthia. Death isn't permanent, but in DragonRealms it does works differently than in many other MMORPGs and MUDs. Your character can die from a loss of vitality, a loss of spirit health, or having a critical body part sufficiently damaged or removed. Any field experience not yet converted to ranks is lost, and your character will drop anything you were holding in your hands. Once you die, your options for communicating with other players are limited. You will be able to speak to other players that come by, and other players can DRAG you, but you are unable to move on your own.

Your character can come back to life a few different ways. The two most common are for a cleric to resurrect you, or for your character to >DEPART. In order for a cleric to resurrect you, an empath will first need to heal any major wounds that your character might posses. Being resurrected by a cleric is the best way to come back from the dead, but isn't always available. The other way for your character to come back to life is to use the >DEPART command. New characters have a free depart option that last until second circle (level), or it has been used 5 times. These initial 5 departs allow you to return to life at the nearest resurrection location with all your items and coins still in your possession.

For characters who have expended their free departs, or advanced past first circle, the >DEPART command will, by default, cause all of the coins your character was carrying to be lost, and all of your items to go into a grave in the room where you died. Any items you were carrying may also have been dropped at your characters feet, and not in the grave. Items in a grave have some small measure of protection, but it is possible for another player to take items from the grave and not return them. Some protections are in place to keep the would-be thief from logging out with your hard-won items or running to a 'safe' room, but these protections don't last forever. You can claim the items from your grave with the command Dig Grave

To minimize the penalties to the >DEPART command, players should have multiple favors at all times. To the character, a favor represents your character making some sort of sacrifice to the Immortals, the gods of Elanthia. In exchange for that sacrifice, the gods will let your character return from the dead. What this means to us, the players, is that your character will have to complete a puzzle to get a favor orb, fill the orb with field experience, and place the orb on an altar devoted to one of the gods. Orbs are filled using the >RUB or >HUG command, with rub transferring a little field experience, and hug filling the orb completely.

The amount of field experience needed to fill each favor orb increases with increasing circle and increasing number of favors. As a rule of thumb, you should try to have 10 or more favors at any time. You can see the number of favors when you use the >INFO or >EXP command.


Other concept ideas

Creation systems.

Day/night effects (shop closures, etc.)

Justice

Helpful Terminology

In any game, you'll come across terms that are used by long-time players that can sometimes be confusing to new players. Some of the more common terms will be listed here to help you better understand what other players are talking about.

Verb - Typically when players refer to verbs, they are referring to an item that you can use a command on, though for some people verb holds the same meaning as command does. As an example, if someone says they have a 'verbed cloak', this might mean they have a cloak, but when you SHAKE MY CLOAK while the cloak is worn on your character, you might see your character shaking dust out of the hem. Verbs, whether on items or not, give you additional ways to express things that your character is doing.

Gweth - Short for gwethdesuan. Gwethdesuans are items that can be used for communication at a distance via a thought network. If you are wearing one, you can THINK <message> to broadcast a message to anyone else with the same type of gwethdesuan within range. So for example, to send out "Hello world!" on the thought network, you would input THINK HELLO WORLD! into your text-entry field and press your ENTER key.

Making Money - The primary means most players earn money in Dragonrealms is by hunting the various NPC critters that inhabit the lands. Critters will drop coins, small gems, junk gear, and lockboxes. You may also SKIN some creatures for valuable pelts, skins, hides, horns, paws, teeth, etc. Generally speaking, gems can be sold in gemshops, while skins/pelts/etc may be sold at tanneries. Lockboxes must be opened by a locksmith with sufficient LOCKSMITHING, and will often contain gems and coins. Not surprisingly, more difficult creatures tend to have more valuable loot.

Equipment - Starting towns with have places to purchase weapons and armor, and this store bought gear will be sufficient to get you started adventuring. APPRAISE the gear you have to determine what skills it will train, for example, a Scimitar trains the Small Edge skill, while a Broadsword trains the Heavy Edge skill. There are no irreversibly wrong decisions to be made when starting to train your character, though it's a good idea to speak with some people for advice on what skills to focus on, and therefor what gear you should seek out. Sooner or later, you'll want to upgrade to player crafted gear, which is superior to store bought, and can range in price dramatically depending on the materials. Many players will donate player crafted gear to new players, so ask around.

As a very general rule of thumb that is by no means a hard and fast rule, Weapon or Armor Tertiary guilds will be better served using lighter and faster weapons, and less hindering and less protecting armors, though there are frequent exceptions to this rule. For example, for a Moon Mage, a good starting set of weapons would be a Scimitar (Small Edge), a Mace (Small Blunt), a Throwing Club (Light Thrown) and a Shortbow (Bows), while a good set of armor may be all cloth or leather (Light Armor), and rotating Chain Greaves (chain). Comparitively, a Paladin will probably want to train a larger number of armors, focusing on heavier pieces, and use heavier weapons. That said, there are advantages and disadvantages to each weapon and armor type, so do some research and figure out how you want to craft your character.

General Walkthrough after Character Creation

Gear

While the character creation process will provide you with basic armor and a weapon, there a few other things you will need to begin adventuring (mostly) safely. To begin with, spend some time wandering around your starting town, trying to find the grizzled old war Veteran (Crossing) or Sir Robyn (Riverhaven). Visit their pages to see the syntax for exchanging your starting gear with those NPCs for a weapon and armor that fit your play style and character concept. In Dragonrealms you can make just about any armor/weapon combination work. If you are planning on joining a heavy stealth guild (Necromancer, Ranger, Thief) or planning on seriously training stealth for any other character, I would recommend light armor. Paladins, plate armor, and all others chain armor. Feel free to speak to other members of your guild for more detailed advice. When it comes to weapons, a scimitar or broadsword will suit anyone well, through let your character concept be your guide here.

Now that you've wandered around and probably gotten thoroughly lost, it's time to learn a great command for getting around town, the DIRECTION command (abbreviated DIR). This will allow you to easily navigate to where you need to go.

Next order of business; obtain a shield. To accomplish this you can use DIRection ARMOR and follow the cues. Once you make it to the shop, you can SHOP to see which surfaces have items for sale and SHOP [SURFACE] to see what is for sale on each surface. You can also use the WEALTH command to see how much money you have. In Crossing, you can get a metal target shield from Tembeg's Armory.

A shield is your first priority, and then if you have extra money you will want to purchase the remaining pieces of armor for your head, eyes, neck, chest, abdomen, back, and legs. The shop you purchased a shield from will have these items. (Note: if you purchase the "helm," it will likely not cover the eyes. You will need to add a mask, or just purchase a balaclava or cowl instead for full coverage.)

Now that your armor is taken care of, if you are a magic user you should also purchase a piece of cambrinth. Cambrinth is a magical metal that stores mana, and the primary means of training the Arcana skill. DIRection ARTIFICER will either take you to Herilo's Artifacts (Crossing) shop or Zanthron's Artificer Shop (Riverhaven). Once in Herilo's, you can use the SHOP command to see what is available. Any of the 'scrap' type cambrinth pieces in the metal bucket will do. If you started in Riverhaven, Zanthron's has no good options for new players, so consider a trip to Crossing in the not too distant future. Exploration is fun!

Preparation

We'll begin with the shield, and if you were able to obtain a small-sized target shield, we will go over how to wear it on your arm. If you were unable to obtain a target shield and are using an oval shield, skip to the next paragraph because you have to hold an oval shield for it to work. With a target shield, hold your shield in your hand and ADJUST SHIELD. This will switch the shield between two methods of wearing it: over your shoulder, or attached to your forearm. The message you will be looking for is this: You adjust the straps of your shield, tightening them so that it will fit securely upon your left arm. After you have adjusted it properly, WEAR SHIELD.

Now that you have a shield, held or worn, let's cover the STANCE command to make sure you're using the shield. STANCE SHIELD will allow you to use your Shield (100%) and Evasion (80%) skills. This is the safest stance for young adventurers, as your new armor will greatly hinder evasion until you have more ranks in its use. Once you enter combat and have a weapon in your right hand, you can STANCE PARRY to train the Parry skill. However, it is always best and safest to return to STANCE SHIELD as your default. Once you have an arm-worn small shield and are in shield stance, you can be at full defensive power all the time no matter what you are doing. Again, if you have an oval (or any medium sized) shield, you must be holding it in your left hand to use it. Eventually Paladins will be able to arm-wear a large-sized shield in this manner, while Barbarians, Rangers, and Traders will be able to arm-wear medium shields. Speak with other members of your guild to learn the pros and cons of these larger shields, but know that an arm-worn small shield is still the choice of most players and will serve any young adventurer well.

Joining a Guild

Now that you are fully equipped and ready to adventure, it is time to join the guild of your choice! Use the trusty DIRection command to get to the guild of your choosing, and find the Guildleader. Once there, you can type JOIN and listen to what they have to say.

Your First Coins

If you decided to start in Crossing, there is a peddler named Mags that you may want to visit. Mags recognizes characters new to crossing, and will give them coins in exchange for bringing her branches. The closest place to find branches is outside the Northeast Gate, so I would suggest heading there. First, though, I would suggest going by Berolt's Dry Goods (DIR general store) and replacing your starting pack with a slightly larger backpack. Note that you can only wear one thing on your back at a time.

New bag in hand (on your back), it's time to head to the Northeast gate, which you can find using DIR Northeast gate. Once you are outside the gate (the area description will start with "Northeast Wilds"), you can start foraging for branches with the FORAGE command by typing FORAGE BRANCH. Put as many branches in your backpack as you can carry, and then it's time to go back to Mags. Mags can be found outside the Reflex training academy, which you can find with DIR REFLEX. Mags is waiting right outside, so either stop when the directions prompt you to GO REFLEX, or go in and then step back out. Mags will accept branches individually, or you can remove your backpack and GIVE BACKPACK TO MAGS. She will take out all the branches and give you between 1 and 2 bronze per branch. New characters can earn around 2 gold kronars in total by giving branches to Mags before she tells you that you need to move on in your adventuring career.

In Riverhaven, there is also a peddler named Maisie that will exchange coins for branches.

Walkthrough of Your Magic Skills

While Magic in Dragonrealms is used to some extent by every guild, Thieves and Barbarians train it in their own way. This section covers the prepare/cast mechanics that magic-using guilds utilize to train magic. Each spell has a 'Minimum Prep' or minimum amount of mana that it can be cast at. Anything above that is at the mage's discretion. The more mana funneled into a spell, the more difficult it is to cast, and that amount is determined by their skill in their primary magic skill (e.g., Lunar Magic for Moon Mages, Elemental Magic for Warrior Mages) and their skill in the type of spell being cast. For a more in-depth explanation of magic in Dragonrealms, you can read the lore behind Magical Theory.

To see your list of spells, see the SPELLS command. Magic using characters have access to Apprentice spells from 1st to 10th circle as an aid to learning magic skills. Upon advancement to 11th circle you lose these spells.

Attunement

Attunement is your ability to detect and harness mana for your use. This is trained by using one of the following commands: PERCEIVE, CONCENTRATE, or POWER. Each time you do this in a room, there is a 60 second timer until you can learn from it again. To train this skill effectively you want to check POWER, then move to a different room, check the POWER, move again, POWER again, and so on. Alternately you can stay in the same room and check the POWER once per minute. To start with the act of casting a spell or charging Cambrinth will provide a little Attunement experience but this will quickly become insignificant. You can also train Attunement by preparing a spell and then HARNESSING so mana to increase its power before you cast it but this runs the risk of causing Nerve Damage, which can impair your ability to cast spells.

Arcana

Arcana is the skill of magical item use, mostly trained through Runestones and Cambrinth. To train, you will be using the cambrinth item you purchased in the walkthrough. If you are fortunate enough to acquire a Runestone, which can often be found in the donation bin of the Crossing cleric guild, you can train by FOCUSing on it. If you find a Runestone that contains an Elemental, Life or Lunar spell you will also learn Sorcery until around 60-80 ranks.

'Primary' Magic

Arcane, Elemental, Holy, Life and Lunar Magic are considered your guild's Primary Magic, or 'Ur Magic' skill, and will train passively while casting any spells from your Guild's spell book.

Augmentation, Utility, Warding

All of these skills are trained in the same way. For the sake of this Newbie Guide, all spells should follow the same pattern: (with exceptions to be discussed later)

  1. PREPARE <spell>
  2. Wait until you see: You feel fully prepared to cast your spell.
  3. Add Mana
    1. via HARNESS <amount>
    2. via Cambrinth
      1. CHARGE <item> <amount>
      2. INVOKE <item>
  4. CAST

The <item> in the invoke example is the scrap/sliver/shaving you will buy from the Artificer (if following the Walkthrough). As you're just starting out, the <amount> will only be 1 or 2 as you won't yet have the skill to put much extra mana in your spells. You can split it up however you like, in increments as small as 1. You can HARNESS 1 and CHARGE 1/INVOKE with cambrinth for a total of 2 extra mana. Eventually you will also be able to cast before the spell is fully prepared, though at low skill levels you risk backfiring and damaging your nerves.

Debilitation

Trained in the same way as above, though it also requires you be casting on an enemy in the proper skill range. Debilitation spells and skills follow a slightly different paradigm than Targeted spells. Skill in Debilitation determines if the spell will connect, and then a stat contest is performed. If the contest is successful, the spell or ability will affect the target. If the contest fails, the spell or ability will be resisted.

Success is not binary; a marginal success will result in a slight effect, while a catastrophic failure will result in a large effect.

Targeted Magic

Targeted Magic spells are cast the same as any others but with one extra step: TARGETing the spell at a critter.

  1. TARGET <spell abbreviation> (this will default to the enemy you are currently facing)
  2. Wait until you see: Your formation of a targeting pattern around a <target> has completed.
  3. Proceed as above with adding mana and CASTing.

As you obtain more complicated spells, especially ones that effect an entire area, pay close attention to the different options of the TARGET command

Barbarian and Thief 'Magic'

Placed here because the skills used are the same. I'm sure Caraamon will have choice words on whether or not Barbarians actually use magic. Both are trained completely differently than traditional magic; see the Barbarian Newbie Guide or Thief Newbie Guide for more detail.

Walkthrough of your first Combat

Defenses

The first thing to consider before combat is how you're defending yourself. There are three ways to do this:

  • Evasion is simply getting out of the way. This is the most basic defense because it can be done in any circumstances.
  • Parry is blocking attacks with your weapon. This requires having a weapon in your right hand and is effective with larger weapons.
  • Shield is blocking with your shield. This requires a shield either in your left hand or on your arm (use ADJUST to change where the shield is worn).

The STANCE command controls how you defend yourself. You have 180 points to spend between the three defenses and most people use a 100/80 defense stance, with 100 points in one defense and 80 in another. The most common is 100 evasion, 80 in either shield or parry, depending on which you want to learn at the moment.

Finding a Target

There are two common starting creatures, ship rats and sleezy louts. Ship rats are in Barana's Shipyard, and can be found via DIR SHIP. Sleezy louts are outside the Eastern Gate and can be found via DIR EAST.

Once you get to the hunting area, it may take a bit of time before a target shows up, so it may be a good idea to slowly wander around, looking for already spawned targets. Keep in mind, that according to common hunting etiquette, creatures that are in an occupied room are owned by the person in there, so you will need to search for an empty room.

Attacking

Once you've found a target, you'll want to ADVANCE on them, to get close enough to attack. There are three ranges: missile range where only bows and thrown weapons can reach, pole range where only very long weapons such as polearms can reach, and melee range where any weapon can reach.

Once you've gotten to melee range on your target, you'll want to begin with a basic series of attacks. Each weapon has a basic type of attack that's neither great nor terrible and is good for basic combat. In addition, they also have a power attack that is good to use when you're at an advantage, such as when you have stunned your opponent.

Type Basic Move Power Move
Slicing SLICE CHOP
Blunt SWING BASH
Piercing THRUST LUNGE

It is important to keep an eye on your fatigue in combat, as attacking too quickly can drain it to the point where you fall over.

So You've Killed Your Target

Once you've killed your target, there's two possible things you can do. The first is to SKIN it, which may produce a valuable skin you can sell later. Second, you should LOOT it, which will search it for any treasure. You'll want to stow both of these away.

Useful Tips

The command Dir Help will bring up a list of commands relating to moving around town. Typing in Dir and a location will give you screen by screen instructions on how to get to that location in town. You can also enter in Dir (location name) 15 and the system will give you a sequential list of the next 15 directions to move in to reach that location. Most Front-Ends will also make those directions a series of clickable links for ease of use.

You will start the game with an item called a Divine Charm. This item has several handy uses for a new player including the ability to heal you, teleport you back to your guild, and help you carry heavier loads. As you gain skills and circles this item's value will diminish, so use it whilst you can! Use the command Turn Divine Charm to select an ability and Invoke Divine Charm to use the current selection.

Visit the tanner early on and Ask (tanner name) for rope. He will provide you with an item called a bundling rope free of charge. This handy piece of equipment will allow you to easily manage the skins you acquire whilst hunting. After defeating a creature you can Arrange (dead critter name) to prepare a skin for better quality. This may be done up to five times in succession to acquire the highest chance for improved quality. After arranging the skin, then type Skin (dead critter name) whilst holding a bladed item and you will acquire a skin from it. Next, hold the skin in one hand and the bundling rope in the other, and type Bundle (name of skin) and it will turn them into a lumpy bundle. Finally, type Wear Bundle to sling it over your shoulder. Once this has been done, every time you skin a creature you will automatically add it to the bundle, saving an immense amount of time and typing. Typing Appraise Bundle when not in combat will provide a healthy boost to your appraisal skill, and selling the bundle (after using the Remove Bundle command) will allow you to get the money for it in one fell swoop; the tanner will even return the rope to you for reuse. Further commands for your bundles can be found at Item:Lumpy bundle and details on skinning are found at Skinning skill

Similar to the bundling rope, a lockpick ring is a wearable item that can store up to 25 lockpicks of a single type. Once lockpicks are added to the lockpick ring and the ring is worn, you will automatically use those lockpicks whenever using the pick command without needing to hold them in hand. Specific details on the item can be found at the Lockpick rings page.

The Store and Stow commands allow you to more easily organize your items. Read up on the specifics here: Store command or type Store Help in-game.

First Aid is an invaluable skill, and you can't really learn it without getting hurt. It is a perfectly acceptable practice to ask any empath to "leave a bleeder" behind when healing you, so that you can continue to train the skill without serious danger to yourself. Be forewarned that eventually wounds will worsen and your skill likely won't be able to keep up with them, especially if you have internal bleeding. If you notice your health is dipping lower than it is regenerating even when tended, it is time to get to a healer quickly. In the crossing many healers tend to be found just outside the Empath's Guild and will heal you for free if you simply ask politely for healing. Just don't lie down there, because it's a busy street and NPCs can and will literally trample you to death. Learn more about the First Aid skill here.

Forage is a commonly used command that can produce results when used on its own, but the chances of finding a particular item are immensely improved by putting that item name after the forage command. For example Forage Stick will produce a stick for you nearly every time you search where simply foraging might produce one every 1 in 20 tries. Read more about foraging here: Foraging. Similar to foraging is the Collect command, which produces items that are left in rooms rather than collected in inventory. The collect command is one of the best ways for an early player to train their Outdoorsmanship skill and Perception skill; collect rock when outdoors or collect wood splinter when indoors to raise those skills into at least the 80s. Be careful when using those commands to not pluralize them with "rocks" or "splinters" because then they will not work! More items to collect for higher skill ranks can be found as well. Just don't forget to Kick pile after collecting an item; it is the polite thing to do.

Athletics can be learned easily by heading to Arthe Dale, the first town outside of The Crossing, a short and safe distance out of the northeast gate. The Arthe Dale Swimming Hole is an outstanding place to learn your Athletics skill. Just Dive Hole outside the swimming hole and then head West, South, East, North over and over to raise the skill. As your athletics skill increases, the roundtime will decrease between each room.

If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you may end up in the stocks. Plead is a command that can sometimes get you out of the stocks more quickly. In this instance your items should be returned to you by the guard after you are freed. If you receive a fine, you will need to pay it off before you can get your items back. Use the Dir Help command to guide you to the debtor's office in town. Head to the Guard House after paying off the debt and use the command "Get (your name) Sack" to obtain your items.

How to Search Elanthipedia

Basic and Advanced Search

Elanthipedia has a lot of useful content, but finding what you want is not always intuitive. Here are some tricks.

Basic Search: to perform a basic search, click the link, or scroll to the upper-right corner of the screen, and type your search term in the box. Click "Search."

Advanced Search: Sometimes, the basic search gives you too many results, and you want to narrow your search. You can reach the advanced search option by clicking the link by performing a basic search and then clicking the "Advanced" link.

Under Search in namespaces, you can choose which types of pages to include in your search. The most useful options are:
  • (Main) any wiki page that is not in a special category (most articles and shops)
  • Category: any wiki page whose title begins with Category:. This includes the main guild, race, and spell pages, for example, which link to more detailed information.
  • Armor: armor item pages (with looks, stats, shop locations, etc.)
  • Shield: shield item pages (with looks, stats, shop locations, etc.)
  • Weapon: weapon item pages (with looks, stats, shop locations, etc.)
  • Item: all other item pages (with looks, stats, shop locations, etc.)
  • Post: archived posts from the official Play.net forum
  • Title: titles (the kind your character wears around his name)
  • Checking the "List redirects" option will include pages that just redirect you to another page.

Special Queries

In addition to the normal search options, Elanthipedia has some special query pages that let you search for particular content. To use them, simply select the options you want and click "run query" at the bottom.

When using the four item query pages, "rare" means items that aren't normally available, such as quest prizes, festival merchandise, etc.

BestiaryQuery: Here you can search for huntable creatures by location, difficulty, types of loot dropped, etc.

PostQuery: Search for archived posts from the official Play.net forum (separate topics with a comma)

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Help! I'm confused and this guide isn't helping!

A: That's not a question! Regardless, you can use the ADVICE or HELP commands, or speak to a Mentor (use DIR MENTOR to find one) for help. If none of those work, see if you can get another player to help, such as one of your guildmates. If all else fails, posting your problems on the forums can result in a wealth of helpful information.

Q: Where is everyone?

A: DragonRealms is a huge game, with tens of thousands of areas. This results in people being spread over a large area fairly thinly. Generally most areas will have a gathering spot, where people talk and teach. Because these spots are known to change, it would be impractical for this guide to try to list them, though this article attempts to.

Q: I see people around but none of them will respond to me. What's going on?

A: Many people will run automated scripts to train skills that require repetive actions. The truth is that while it is against the rules to run them while not paying attention or away from the keyboard, it still happens to some degree. Some people skirt the edge by having the game window open but another window on top.
However, do not assume that since someone will not talk to you that they are not there. Some people either for roleplay or other reasons will just simply ignore you.
Regardless, do not let it discourage you, there are plenty of people out there to interact with once you know how to find them. Eventually you will be able to afford gwethdesuans, magical devices that give you access to regional in character chat channels.

Q: Someone just killed me, and I didn't do anything. What do I do?

A: There's two answers to this question. Either you got involved in something that gave someone "consent" on you, or you have met one of the infrequent but irritating people who enjoy killing for little or no reason.
In the first case, there is not much you can do. There is a large set of rules for when someone can and cannot attack you. If you got in someone's face, yelled at them, insulted them, slapped then, or made a hostile move toward them, they are within their rights to kill you. NEWS 5 24 and 5 25 goes into some detail about what's consent or not. Keep in mind, that certain actions you take can give everyone consent on you for a while, primarily stealing from another player. See the Profile section for more detail.
In the second case, you will have to decide whether it's worth your time and effort to contact a GM (via the ASSIST command) and file a complaint. Some people refuse to assist even if someone broke the rules, and others have no issues. It is largely a personal choice, however it is a good idea to find somewhere private to do it if you do choose to complain.

Q: I'm stuck, or something broke, and no one is around to help!

A: If you suspect you've encountered a bug, or that something is broken, your best bet is to use the ASSIST command to ask for help from staff. Keep in mind, there is not always a staff member around, and even when there is there may be a wait.
If something breaks drastically, like you end up in a room with no description, or your spell is creating gold coins out of nothing, use the REPORT command. This is the 911 call for GM help, so use it sparingly. Generally if you're wondering if you should use it, ASSIST is the better route.