A True Newbie’s Guide to the Realm
By Solaron of Draktha
Priest and Acolyte of the Triat
Table of Contents:
Code of Conduct ............................................................................ Code
The Basics (Connecting, Clients, etc) ......................................... Section 1
Character Creation ...................................................................... Section 1.1
Getting Around in the Realm ...................................................... Section 1.2
Basic Commands ........................................................................ Section 1.3
Items and Equipment ................................................................... Section 1.4
Mobiles (Mobs) and Levelling ................................................... Section 1.5
What are my stats? (SCORE) ........................................................ Section 1.6
Player Killing ............................................................................... Section 2
Common PK Tactics .................................................................... Section 2.1
The "Anti-PK" kit ........................................................................ Section 2.2
Debt, Justification and You ......................................................... Section 2.3
Multi-Classing ............................................................................... Section 3
Benefits/Penalties .......................................................................... Section 3.1
Finding Jack and Jill ...................................................................... Section 3.2
Exp Smarter Not Harder ................................................................ Section 3.3
Misc. Items .................................................................................... Section 4
Vortex ............................................................................................ Section 4.1
Algenara Quest Information .......................................................... Section 4.2
What is the DAM Cap? What is Olddam? ..................................... Section 4.3
The Code of Conduct:
Section 1: The Basics
If you are reading this, then it would seem you’ve found The Final Challenge mud. If you’re new to MUDs in general, this guide may be slightly confusing for a little while. Bear with it, make a few new characters, and all will fall into place. The first thing you’ll need is a MUD Client. There are literally hundreds of these programs floating around on the Web. One of the most popular, if not THE most popular by far, is Zugg’s Mud Client (zMUD). You can download it from http://www.zuggsoft.com. Other popular clients include TinTin, WinTin, and good ol’ Telnet. MUD itself stands for Multi-User Dimension/Dungeon/Dialogue. TFC is all of these. This guide has been created to aid newbies like yourself in navigating the obstacles surrounding reaching higher levels on TFC, and avoiding the player-killers while doing so. If you have ANY questions, comments or ideas, please email Solaron of Fate at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get to the basics then. The Final Challenge website also has a newbie site set up for some more in-depth basics. That site is: http://mud.finalchallenge.net/tfc/help/index.shtml
Section 1.1: Character Creation
The Final Challenge has an extended race and class selection from the standard, stock DIKU MUDs. It does not have the 30 or 40 races/classes some MUD’s have, which is good. The races and classes on this MUD have been carefully balanced and weighed to ensure playability and competitiveness. Unlike many muds, on which there is "the one combination to be" (Shadow Assassin or Kenku Warrior, etc.), you will see combinations of every possible race and class on TFC. Perhaps it is this diversity that has led to this guide.
During the character creation process, ensure that you read the help files on the specific races and classes. (I.E. ‘help gnome’). As you can see, certain races are better suited to certain classes then others. An Ogre USUALLY makes a better warrior than an Aarakocra. (Note the usually.)
Also, if you want to multi-class, you should ensure that the race you’re choosing can dual to the specific class. Refer to the chart on the entry screen for specific examples. (I.E. Ogres can only be warrior or shaman. No cleric/warriors.) The help file for this specific topic is ‘HELP CLASSTABLE’.
Read the policies through carefully. They contain a LOT of important information, most of which won’t be reproduced here in any detail.
A lot of thought will go into a character. While backgrounds aren’t required, having an idea of one often helps in the development. Does he/she have a tragic past? A favorite saying? Do they laugh easily? All of these will aid in your journey to glory.
Section 1.2: Getting Around in the Realm
So, you’ve made your character. The first room has an information room description. This is the ONLY time you will be in this room; ensure that you read it well. After you’re done, the only way to go is west. This will place you at the beginning of Camp Tolanreal. (Yes, that’s "Learnalot" spelled backwards). In this room, a woman named Algenara needs help with a Quest. (Detailed Quest Information is later in this guide; refer to the Table of Contents for more information). To the west is the Adventurer’s Guild. To the north lies the rest of the Camp. That is what you are interested in. Much of the information in this guide is also in the camp, where you can learn hands on. As in most MUDs, to move, simply type the direction you wish to go. (North South East West Up Down). Above each room description, there is a bar showing the exits. (This bar is able to be turned on/off with the ‘CONFIG’ command. Please see the next section for more information on this and other important commands.
I’m not going to add a specific map of Camp Tolanreal – that’s your job to learn and explore. There are a few handy items and nifty gadgets hidden in amongst the lessons, so look carefully! However, next to the Camp, the first Area that you will see as a newbie, and quite possibly one of the most important to know your way around, is the Adventurer’s Guild. Created by Adventurers of all sorts many hundreds of years ago, it stands as a testament of the wonders that can be built by mortals. The Guild is ‘safe’, which means that there is a piece of code designating that each room in the Guild is protected from combat. No monsters enter unless charmed, no player vs. player combat takes place. Players can still take damage from special circumstances, such as ghosts and disease, but that is a different topic.
As you can see, the Guild has a Donation Room with a Pit, a Ceremonial Room for formal functions, a Recall Room (explained in more detail later), a Kitchen with a fountain, and a Room of Records with plaques detailing the great accomplishments of the Realm, all on the first level. Beneath the first level, a small level exists. This lower level has a Banker/Quarter Master, Greta the Advertiser, and Wendell the Map-Seller.
Special functions of Greta, Mish the Banker/Quarter Master and others will be discussed later in this document. For now, let’s discuss Wendell. Wendell has maps to every racial-city in the Realm. It’s a great idea when learning your hometown, to refer to the map often. (look map)
There are also maps of the Realm on the TFC Website. That link is here.
Wandering the Realm can be fun and rewarding, but also dangerous. Often times, specific directions will be given or needed. It’s a great idea to keep a map of some sort in your head. For example, someone may say ‘Go e2se’. This means, walk east once, walk south twice, and walk east once more. If your starting point were the Room of Records in the Guild, this would take you to the Recall room. You can keep the same type of map as you move around, or make a more detailed one. The choice is yours. Some programs also offer automap features, such as zMUD, but they don’t work correctly, if at all, and are more of a hassle than they’re worth.
The final bit we’ll discuss in this section is room flags. We’ve already talked about one, the ‘safe’ flag. This means that combat can not take place in that room, including stealing. There are many other flags that can be placed on a room. These include:
Dark: The room is darkened and a light must be worn to see in it.
No-Fly: Just as the name implies, a person can not fly in this room. They must first land to enter it.
Misty: This room is full of mist, fog, steam or smoke. Items in your inventory, on the ground, monsters and other people can not always be seen, no matter what spells you have affecting your sight!
Section 1.3: Basic Commands
A more detailed list of basic commands can be found with a ‘help commands’. The more important ones are:
CON (consider): This tells you the ‘toughness’ of your opponent. It goes,
from weakest to toughest, ‘You can kill XXX naked and weaponless’ all the way to ‘Death will thank you for gift.’ The ideal candidates should con ‘Perfect Match’ or ‘Lucky Punk’
L (look): This command shows you everything visible to you in the room.
(Yes, this means that some MOBs, Objects and Players will not be
detectable without spells like Detect Invisibility or True Seeing.)
EXAM: Exam looks inside of an item, or gives you a closer inspection of it.
Use it when looking at an item to see if it has been marked with the
COMP (compare): This command compares two items worn in the same slot for
armor class or weapon average ONLY. Magical affects are NOT
taken into consideration.
GET/TAKE: Pick an item up from the ground
DROP: Drop an item from you inventory onto the ground.
INV (inventory): Shows you the items you carry.
EQ (equipment): This command shows you the equipment you are wearing.
SAC (sacrifice): This command will sacrifice an item on the ground or in your
inventory to the God you worship. In return, you receive a gold
coin. It is a good idea to sac all corpses you create, after looting
them, of course.
K (kill): This command engages the target in combat.
C (cast): This command casts a spell at target.
EAT: This command makes your character eat the item targetted.
DRINK: This command makes your character drink the item targetted.
QUAFF: This command makes your character ‘quaff’ or drink the potion
HELP: Brings up the help file on the word. (help newbie)
RANGE: This command will give you a range of levels to be wary of – for
example, it will display, ‘You should be wary of those level 13 and
under.’. This means that any character that is level 13 should be
able to initiate an attack against you under normal circumstances.
SAVE: Saves your character (after level 2). Save, and save often! Oh, and
don’t forget to save. Often.
WHO: This will show you a list of all players and Immortals visible to you
through spells and regular sight.
WHOZ: This shows all players in your immediate zone. (A zone is a single "area" on the mud.)
CONFIG: Toggles different options. Syntax is "CONFIG + <option>" or
"CONFIG - <option>".
PROMPT: Changes the items on your prompt bar. (Your prompt is the small
bar across your screen that displays your hit points, your mana
and your moves initially.
As a note, it is a good idea to add the following options to your prompt: Gold and Expnext. Gold shows you the amount of gold carried on your character, while expnext shows you the amount of exp you need to reach next level. Add these options by typing the word "PROMPT" and then the option. (I.E. "PROMPT GOLD" and/or "PROMPT EXPNEXT").
As I said, this list is NOT complete. You should refer to the list online whenever possible. This is merely to show you the basic commands, and to ensure you know what you’re doing in the time it takes you to learn how to check the helps. I wasn’t even that good when I first started.
Section 1.4: Items and Levelling
Equipment in the Final Challenge is unique from that of other Realms. Magic is inherent in the world, with the smiths of olden times able to freely create and distribute items, from items of token magic to ward off evil to artifacts of powerful magic to slay dragons. Monsters, NPCs and PCs of the Realm find these items occasionally. Perhaps a city-dweller found them in his family’s attic, from centuries before, or during an excavation, or perhaps it has been newly created. All that matters is that, in game terms, the placement of magical items is random. Putting two adjectives together with a noun basically creates random items. For example: the shiny gray amulet, the simple golden ring. These items are both random. The magic they contain is random. They could be found on a level 1 monster, or a level 30 Magic User. The only way to find out what these items do is by having a mage cast the "Identify" or "Improved Identify" spell on them. The affects can be good or bad. Here is an example of a mages "mark" ability, which places an items affect on the "exam" description of the item:
>A mithril breastplate is here.
>You see the following faint symbols: [AEm|AC 10 dmg(3) ]
This means that the mithril breastplate is Anti-Evil (AE), Magic (m), has an Armor Class of 10 (AC 10) and affects your damage roll by 3 (dmg3).
The second type of item is non-random. These are items that appear in the same place every time. City guard Signet Rings that "pop" (POP means to "repopulate" or "reset") on the same guards every time. The two types of non-randoms are limited and non-limited. A non-limited is items that are very common, like the cityguard signet rings. Other things, like rare artifacts, can only exist at one time in the Realm. Thus, no more than 2 or 3 people in the entire Realm can have red-dragon gauntlets.
Items are designated by magic. If you can detect magic, you will see flags in front of magic items. It will look like this. (Token magic) a pair of sleeves. The magic scale is:
Section 1.5: Mobiles and Levelling
A mobile, or more affectionately known as a ‘mob’, is basically just what the name implies. A "mobile" piece of code. It takes the form of any monster you can imagine, and can move, act, speak, and kill like the creature. Any creature that is NOT a player-character is a MOB. Currently, the fastest way to gain experience on TFC is by killing mobiles for experience, just as in Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. Depending on how tough they are (See the Con command), mobiles give differing amounts of experience. The current xp cap is 200xp per mob.
Your first level, you will want to stay in the Arena. Kill the things wandering in the main coliseum area (gladiators, trainees, bum, boars, etc). Once you level and feel more comfortable, go to the outer areas into the stands and kill spectators and avid fans. Once you feel you have mastered the skills needed and can handle the challenge, grab a friend and travel beneath the surface of the Arena, into Llehiebwen, a land of minor demons and nightmares. (Yes, that’s newbiehell spelled backwards).
The Final Challenge currently has a time restriction – you cannot reach level 4 until you have played for two hours. For most newbies, it will take longer then 2 hours to reach this level anyway.
When you level, you get hit points, mana, moves, pracs, and if you’re lucky, a train.
What is a practice? Each class has a set group of skills they can learn as they level. This set can be seen with "HELP SKILL <classname>". For example, clerics get the spell sanctuary at level 13. Thus, at level 13, a Cleric could go practice sanctuary.
Training is different. Training actually increases one of your main stats. (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution). Trains are rare, and are based on luck partially.
One important fact: training before level 12 is not a good idea. I’ve heard level 10, I’ve heard level 15, and I’ve heard 5 hours. Just wait until level 12. Until then, your stats change. Just as a real-world child matures and grows, so do new characters on the Final Challenge. This naturally leads us into the next topic of discussion.
Section 1.6: What Are My Stats?
Yours stats can be viewed with the "score" command. If an attribute is no longer trainable, it will be MAX. If it is, it will be TRN. There are not always ways to know the actual physical representation of a stat (I.E. – 13, 15, etc), but there are a few.
To find your con: Get hit. Lose at least 25 hp, ensure that you’re full (not thirsty or hungry) and sleep. Take the number of hit points that you regenerate within the next tick, and minus five (5) from that number. That is your con score. (Therefore, 25hp’s is a 20con, the max natural for even the toughest races. Many races cannot reach this number.) Make sure that you remove your pummel stick and all other magical items that may affect your regeneration. If possible, have a friend nearby in case you hit yourself a bit too hard!
Strength: Aids in carrying capacity (weight), adds to your damage roll.
Intelligence: Defines how much mana you CAN get every level. Defines how much mana you regenerate every tick. (A tick is approximately 30 seconds, or 1 hour game-time). Intelligence also defines how well you can practice something and how many practices it takes you to get there.
Wisdom: Defines how many pracs you get each turn. Aids Clerics and Shamans in spell damage. Also aids in determining, slightly, the amount of your experience to next level. Wisdom should also be worn when practicing, as it too helps.
Constitution: Defines the amount of HP that you CAN get every level. Defines how much HP you regenerate every tick.
Dex: Aids your Armor-Class. Defines how many items you can carry. Aids in dodging, steal, and other skills.
As mentioned above, different races are good at different things. Viewing a help file on a race will tell you how they rank with each attribute. (HELP <racename>)
Section 2: Player Killing
Player killing is an integral part of TFC. Player loyalty is divided into "followings" on TFC. Followings are led by Immortals. The Immortals themselves each once was Mortal and worshipped an Immortal in turn. The followings are divided into alignments, just as in many role-playing games. The alignments are:
Lawful Good - Lawful Neutral - Lawful Evil
Neutral Good - Neutral Neutral - Neutral Evil
Chaotic Good - Chaotic Neutral - Chaotic Evil
Each alignment has their own aura, when viewed through the ‘True Seeing’ spell, or one of the various ‘detect alignment’ spells. Each alignment has rules that bind them, and ways to influence how they act. The first thing to remember is that this is a game! People will act evil, noble, chaotic, wild, and just outright stupid sometimes. Sometimes they’re role-playing, sometimes they’re not. Whatever the matter, it is a game. Treat it as such.
Not all followings encourage PK, but no following is immune to it. Even the following of the Chosen of Fate on TFC, the most passive following on the game, is often attacked. Thus, it is important that new blood in the Realm learn to effectively defend themselves, and, ideally, run from the PK.
There are book loads of information on Pking. It is not worth the time and effort involved, nor is it feasible to include all of the information in this guide. This is meant as a reference and basic guide. The rest you must learn from "hands-on" and asking questions.
Section 2.1: Common PK Tactics
The first topic we will discuss is common PK tactics. Solutions will be given in a later section. The largest factor to avoiding PK is fleeing. Thus, pkers seek to stop you from doing so. One of the most common, and simplest, is to summon the target to a room with either a closed door or a locked door, and engage them in combat. The chances of recalling in combat are less than usual, so the chance of death increases, especially when fleeing isn’t an option. It also often happens that the target flees into a safe room, such as when combat occurs right outside the Guild Hall or in the Temple Area. To neutralize this, a mage or shaman often will cast fly on the intended victim first, so that the victim cannot flee indoors. Pkers often cast "blindness" or will "blynd" their victims. This removes your sight, and heavily hampers your ability to flee well. They can then chase you at their leisure. Pkers also often will give you "red" items and/or "recall" items that aren’t quaffable. Thus, you try to "quaff recall" or "quaff red" and it won’t work. You may even find yourself summoned to large mobs by an invisible person. These are all common PK tactics. There are many more, which eventually you will probably be introduced to.
Section 2.2: The "Anti-Pk" Kit
I have some basic tactics and strategies to avoid PK, along with what I call an "anti-pk" kit. Everyone should attempt to create one of these. First thing you need, more than you will ever know, is a good client. Please try one of the ones I listed previously. Create Triggers. Triggers will SAVE YOUR LIFE. When summoned, a Cleric has lag. If you have a trigger set, you can automatically quaff a recall. Something else that is nice is a teleport potion. Some people can make teleport potions, although many of the old places have been shut down. They also pop randomly. Teleport potions do NOT fail in battle. You basically take a gamble and agree to be teleported randomly ANYWHERE in return for being taken out of battle. It’s a good choice. Always keep at least 5 teleports on you at all times. Always keep at least 5 recall potions on you at all time. Glowing potions cure blindness. You can see them when blind. Always keep at least 3 of them on you at all time, even if you can cure blindness. One of the most important things to remember:
If attacked, flee.
That’s it. Simple. A pker who attacks usually has the advantage. Flee and live to fight another day. I suggest taking a bag, or even better a wwp baldric, and putting in a few recalls, a few teles and a glowing. Keep a glowing in your inventory at all times, along with the tele’s and recalls. That’s all you need in the beginning. As you level, you may decide you want passdoor vials, or heal potions. Those are your decisions.
In finality, as you level more and cleverer Pkers will attack you. If you believe a pker may be on, go to the Magistrate on Mount Knowledge. Attempt to bounty that person. If he/she is on, the Magistrate can see him. (This includes through all invis, darkness, etc.)
Section 2.3: Debt, Justification and You
(From TFC Help File)
Justified And Unjustified Attacks
Attacks and kills are classified in two ways: Justified and unjustified. If you have not attacked or killed someone, and that someone attacks (or kills) you, it is an unjustified attack (or kill). Unjustified actions earn the attacker (killer) debt. If you attack someone who has unjustifiably attacked you during your current session, your attack is justified, and you earn no debt. You may justifiably attack anyone who has killed you in the past, and you will earn no debt. If you kill someone that you are justified to attack, you are no longer justified at that point. This is a complicated way of saying if you haven't hurt
anyone and they attack you, you can attack and even kill them in response without earning debt. But attacks on you are only remembered until you log out. If someone kills you, that is remembered until you manage to kill them. If you kill someone that you were justified in killing, the score is considered even, and you can no longer attack (or kill) that person for free. (end of help)
What is debt? Debt is incurred, as it says, by attack someone unjustly. Debt is also incurred at different levels depending on the PK classification of the victim. Attacking a pacifist earns you more debt than attacking a vigilante. As your debt increases, the amount it costs to "bounty" you decreases. Thus, if you kill too often, you will have Bounty Hunters after you. They are rather large, nasty mobs that give no experience and are pretty tricky. There’s a way to get around this, of course, with "bribe", but that gets rather expensive. A good bounty amount to be at is above 1million gold. It is best to bribe in increments of 2000 gold.
If you unjustifiably attack someone in a group, any of the victim's
group members that are in the same room and visible are also justified
Section 3: Multi-Classing
On TFC, characters are given the opportunity to ascend through the ranks as a single classed character, a dual-classed, or a triple-classed character. These are just as the names imply – characters with one, two, or three classes.
The entry screen has a chart depicting, which races can dual-class to which classes. Regardless of that, there are a few basic rules:
Characters cannot have two magic classes.
Characters cannot have to warrior classes.
Section 3.1: Benefits and Penalties
As with every other decision, multi-classing has benefits and penalties. Here are a few of the major ones to consider. First, will this change the type of armor you can wear? For example, a warrior who duals to mage will lose the ability to wear metal armor, and will have the penalty of having less mana then other mages of his level. However, he will be able to keep his swing and cast spells. You must weigh these in your own mind and decide.
For more information on which classes can wear what, read the help files. I have separated the basic classes here:
Magic Using Classes: Shaman Mage Cleric
Warrior Classes: Warrior Ranger
Other: Thief Ordained Mortal
Section 3.2: Finding Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill handle changing the characters between classes, and adding new ones. Jill handles all things magic, leaving Jack to handle the rest, save Ordained. An Ordained Class can only come from your God. The fee for Jack or Jill’s services is 25000 gold. The command to change classes is "class <classname>".
Jack is found wandering in a dense forest near Mount Knowledge. The basic vortex direction is uee. Jill is found near the Guru, on the Glacier of Glas’Horn. More info to that can be found on the vortex list.
Section 3.3: EXP Smarter, Not Harder
Remember, TFC is not just hack’n’slash. There are puzzles, traps and quests to solve! But, for those times when you want to get a steady chunk of experience dropped, nothing beats experiencing. When you do, do so smarter, not harder. Ensure that you have everything needed (Your anti-pk kit, containers for randoms), check the who list to ensure that no killers in your range are on. (If you’re not sure, type range). Finally, never underestimate spells. An improved invis, shield, armor, bless, cloak, strength and sanct will allow you to wade through monsters that would prove a daunting challenge otherwise! Why settle for 3k xp an hour when you can get 9k with a little extra initial effort? Make friends, get spells, be happy.
Section 4: Miscellaneous Items
Any items that don’t fit in the above sections will go here. Once again, I must stress, any ideas, comments, changes, additions, PLEASE email me at email@example.com or post a note to Solaron online.
Section 4.1: Vortex
The Vortex, created long ago by the Master of the Vortex, now nearly an Immortal in his own right, bypasses the Prime Material Plane to allow you to walk incredible distances in short periods of time. You must be level 11 and have at least half of your movement before the Vortex Master will grant you access. Here are some of the more used exits:
**South Continent** **North Continent**
Aran U D E 2N Ancient Cobblestone Road - U 2E
Cillidellia U 3D 2E Aaracity U E 2N
EmDeeVille U 2D N W Dwarvenhold 5U 2E
Gla-Shorn's Realm U D N W Half-Elf Camp 4U S
Kuroth U 2D 2E Haon-Dor U N W
Lineoath Valley U 2D S Hovelton U S
Nydia U D S LlothLorien 3U N W
Skull Top (need fly) U 2D E 2N Malenest U 4D N W
Warloov's U 4D 2E MG 4U E 2N (Close to Demon Realm)
. Og 2U E N
Skor'lanis 4U 2E
Thistlerock 3U 2E
Trading Post SQ 5U N W
Section 4.2: Algenara Quest
Algenara offers all new characters a quest in the beginning. To accept it, merely say "help delivery". She will give you directions. They will be to give an item to a certain shopkeeper, who will give you experience and direct you further onward, etc. Eventually, the final shopkeeper sends you back to Algenara with a wand. In return for the wand, she gives you a pummel stick. It’s a GREAT weapon for newbies. It adds +2 to all stats, it acts as a "health" (increase hp regeneration), it adds 10hp, adds True Seeing, and it’s not a bad average. Pummel sticks have a shelf life of about 10 hours, after which they are useless.
Section 4.3: What is the Damage Cap? What is OldDam?
Due to some very powerful players getting a rare one-hit kill or two, the Creators decided that there should be a limit to the power a mere mortal can accrue. The damage cap is put in place to protect innocent people from PKs. There is NO damage cap if a person attacks you unjustly – you will hit them for the amount of damage your equipment rates. A single class warrior has the highest damage cap, while any other single class has the lowest.
Olddam vs. Newdam:
For an actual representation of damage worn to damage done, use olddam. It uses the amount of damage you wear to give you the damage adjectives. Newdam uses level, hp’s, etc. (Thus, you’ll see ANNIHILATE vs. a beggar but scratches to a dragon. Not very helpful.)