Brute Squad Guide

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Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.



  • Neutral alignment
  • Strong alcohol: shot of rumplemintz, Bloody Mad Martigan

Requirements: You also need specialty degrees available for 4 points of ego (2 carousing, 2 intimidation), 9 points of vitality (3 stamina, 3 recuperation, 3 hardiness), and 9 strength (3 brawling, 3 massive blow, 3 massive exertion). These numbers may be slightly inaccurate.

In order to join the Brute Squad, your Str + Vit must be at least 165 (this includes any temporary bonuses to Str and Vit). In addition, Int must be under 90.

The advantage of the brute squad is that your entire guild experience is based around incredibly straightforward concepts. Here's a list of them for your consideration.

Race suggestions

Ogre - The ogre. Pretty much a synonym for 'brute', isn't it? At a glance the ogre has everything you're going to want out of a brute - huge size, high vitality, and possibly the best strength you can hope for before the lesser races. The downside is that's all the ogre gets. No night vision, no particular natural weaponry or armor, no desirable brute traits. A solid option, but it's worth to keep the disadvantages in mind.

Yeti - More decked out than the ogre. You're still getting high vitality, strength, and size. But you also get some nightvision as well as claws, which enhance your straight-up unarmed damage (it's worth noting that wielding unarmed weapons often means you sacrifice some of the 'unarmed' bonuses brutes get). In addition you get access to cold affinity, but this comes at the cost of a weakness to fire. And frankly, there's a lot more fire around Lost Souls than ice.

Minotaur - Smaller size and lesser vit and strength, in exchange for well-rounded stats, superb (as opposed to excellent) natural weaponry, nightvision, as well as horns which can be used as an additional attack in combat. It's worth noting that well-rounded stats are far from a bane in the Brute Squad, due to the usefulness of many ego, intellect, and other non-brute stat specializations.

Sleklith - Smaller still in size. But the sleklith has some attractive features for a brute - fantastic strength and vitality, yet still well-rounded stats. Heavy natural armor, excellent natural weapons, night vision, regeneration, and (very low) regrowth. All that, plus an extra (unarmed) attack through the tail.

Rachnei - Fairly large, and with very good natural weaponry (which is enhanced by being a brute) and natural armor. Additionally, rachnei have the advantage of being able to spin webs, and have four arms, so losing the use of one or two hands will not remove the ability of a rachnei to dismember opponents. One of the largest disadvantages of this race, however, is the difficulty in finding suitable armour, as a majority of armour types are shaped for humanoids -- paraxos-type armours tend to be favored, but it is not impossible to outfit a rachnei with a piecemeal suit or find a rachnei-shaped suit of black plate armour. Only available to players with at least one hero on their atman.

Zuth - One of the largest possible player races, as well as one of the ones with the highest starting strength and vitality maximums. Zuth also benefit from the ability to be Storm Walkers, and zuth have phlogiston glands, allowing them to breathe fire, and with a bit of tweaking, other esoteric substances. Sadly, there is no known way of breathing grape jam, so dreams of making a fruit brute must go sadly unfulfilled. Only available to players with at least one hero on their atman.

Dracon - The highest base strength and vitality among the winged races that are available at character creation. Since they have wings, they can move from one area to the next quite a bit faster, and flight skill adds considerably to attack/defense ratings when high enough. Dracons also have phlogiston glands, so they have breath weapons.

Nyloc - Not especially strong or high in vitality, but interesting for a brute largely due to their claws doing necromantic damage rather than simple crushing or slashing damage. Also get wings, some good affinities and resistances, very good night vision, ambidexterity, and regrowth. However, nylocs are pretty much allergic to light, and while they do shed a darkness aura, they still require extra precautions before going out in sunlight or avoiding dazzling anywhere but a naturally dark place. Since they're sanguivores, it can be difficult getting and keeping a nyloc suitably drunk.

Aethoss - Another one of the largest player races, with very good strength and vitality. On the plus side, they have excellent natural weapons and armour, a good number of natural resistances, the ever-useful ambidexterity trait, and gain access to the regeneration skill and get good regrowth. However, aethoss are slow without any magical aid, can be difficult to find armour for, and are extremely vulnerable to fire. Only available to players with at least one hero on their atman.

Troll - Massive, strong, and healthy, with great natural weaponry, with excellent regrowth, and with very good access to the regeneration skill. On the downside, trolls get 3 points of night vision, so are very sensitive to bright light, and must take precautions not to suffer dazzling penalties in combat. Only available to players with at least one hero on their atman.

Dismember: This is more or less the center of your world as a brute - being able to rip limbs off enemies and staying in the fight while you do so. Judicious use of the dismember action can allow the Brute to take on opponents who would be near-impossible to a similar-level member of another guild, although there are situations in which the use of dismember may be detrimental to a Brute.

ADVANTAGES - Obviously, ripping off the right limbs can make many creatures utterly incapable of attacking you. But that's not all: A removed limb could also lead to armor and equipment being torn away with it. Ever rip off the wing of a flying target in mid air? How about ripping the limb off someone wearing full body armor? Or yanking off the ring-hand of a Green Lantern or Ringwraith? And while specifically targeting a limb is rarely a completely reliable option, the fact that this move does not 'miss' makes it all the more dangerous. Finally, a target that is bleeding can be dismembered to perform a killing blow, and restore some of the brute's reserves in the process. The Brute Squad motto could well be: Easy to predict, hard to stop.

In addition to preventing attacks against the brute, dismember also typically makes a target less able to defend itself -- even the loss of one foot gives most opponents significant footing penalties to combat ratings, the removal of an arm will remove any shield attached to that arm, and most creatures can't run very far or very fast without legs.

CONCERNS - Dismembering costs endurance to perform - and the stronger the target's limbs, the more endurance it costs to dismember. Against hardier targets, this means you can expect to run out of endurance (Against some ogres, I cannot completely dismember them even with 2000+ endurance and well over 200+ str) quickly. Think about beer will restore a nice chunk of endurance along with your health, but the delay can be a problem. Also, the lower your endurance, the lower your combat speed - so a brute is in the position of both wanting to spend endurance to dismember, and keep endurance to optimize their round-to-round fighting. Finally, dismember requires at least two working hands in order to use. This means that losing a hand can be downright fatal to a brute.

Dismember also has a very high action cost, so a brute that uses dismember will often find herself without any other actions in that round (and possibly for subsequent rounds), meaning that he may not be able to attack or (perhaps more importantly) defend.

Remember that many creatures can still be a threat to you, even with every limb removed - breath weapons, spells, and so on can do some incredible damage all on their own. Additionally, a creature with all its limbs may be using the majority of its activity points performing attacks for which a brute has ample defense (since attack preference on many 'special attacks' tends to be fairly low); a creature with no other limbs may use a high-damage special attack for which a brute has little defense to the exclusion of all else, simply because the creature has no choice. Of course, it also pays to note how a special attack is executed -- if a creature has to wave its hand to fire a jet of entropy at you, chances are removing its hands will remove its ability to perform the special attack. And really, once the limbs are removed, a brute's combat options are limited. All you can do is hope the damage will stack up from round to round, or hope the headbutts and elbow smashes will stun and harm enough to seal the deal.

Another BIG concern is that brutes often throw dismembered limbs at opponents, and that this behavior cannot apparently be turned off. For a brute fighting alone, this is little more than an annoyance -- it potentially adds more of an action cost to a maneuver that already costs a ton, and is a relatively ineffective attack when compared with a brute's Fists of Fury. In a group, however, thrown limbs can and do often hit members of one's own group, which can cause members of the brute's group to attack the brute. Obviously, proceed with caution if you find yourself in a group and dismembering opponents.

Pump Up: Your only buff skill. And what a skill! This will boost your strength and vitality (and therefore your hit points and endurance). Pump Up also increases various skills of the Brute -- particularly massive blow, massive exertion, hardiness, stamina, recuperation, and quickness, making a pumped-up brute capable of hitting faster and much harder, and fighting longer. Its effects are enhanced by alcohol - and whenever you're attacking, you should be as drunk as possible anyway. As straightforward as it is, this ability has no real concerns to consider other than general needs to raise skills and stay plastered. You can also 'pump down' to remove the buff.

Headbutt: Once upon a time, a skill even more effective than the mighty dismember, changes have made this ability decidedly 'okay'. It can hit multiple body parts in a single strike, and the attack itself can hit hard.

Think about beer: The guild help files don't make this clear enough, so it's worth stating here: This command will provide a very nice body-wide heal, add a slight amount of inebriation, and restore a large chunk of endurance to the brute - but only if its use results in the brute saying "Mmm... beer." There's a delay between use, and its successful use seems linked to spirit in a way that is unclear. I've been reduced to 1 spirit through vlekthid attacks, and think about beer will still work. But I've also had 10 out of 140 spirit available, and then it does not - so it seems to be proportional more than anything. A staple ability right alongside dismember. Note that thinking about beer will not restore limbs.

Unarmed: Brutes gain particular advantages to unarmed combat, and frankly I (as a yeti) have gotten to level 35 with minimal hassle using my bare hands/claws. (I've also been running around naked most of that time, though as everyone will tell you, a parageos works wonders for brute success.) But there's one particular point to keep in mind: With some racial exceptions, you will only do out and out physical damage using your bare hands. While it goes without saying that certain creatures are weak to particular damage, ghosts in particular will not only take no damage from basic physical attacks - they also cannot have their limbs removed. I strongly advise looking around for weapons that do alternate damage types for use when fighting such targets.

When evaluating weapons, make good use of the commands:

show attacks show attack rating with [weapon] show damage rating with [weapon]

Note that you can do this with your hands/claws as well. What stands out is: Moving from bare hands to even unarmed weapons often means the removal of your brawling skill bonus. This can be a large chunk of your attacking rating, resulting in fewer hits.

Joinable Associations:

LDD: Joinable, and popular. Clears the route for a brute to wear the ever-desired parageos without needing a chaos amulet, and nowadays provides access to the chaos affinity skill needed to "keep" the item while logged out.

Hank's Garbage Thondur: Joinable. At the very least, it provides rapid (if unpredictable) mobility between areas that have a trashcan. Not only is this somewhat convenient, but it can be a lifesaver if you need to get out of a town quickly - and best of all the command works off endurance. The rewards granted for gathering up garbage may well be desirable too.

Sanctuary Gods: All three are joinable by brutes. Of the three, Vashanka seems like the most obvious choice - a specialty point in courage and Brute-friendly joining requirements, in exchange for an amulet that minorly enhances agility, vitality, and strength. Jinx and Doppel are options, but require more consideration on the part of the brute.

Questors of Tyr: They consider brutes to be amoral, drunken thugs. Apparently the great deity of Justice prefers the forces of chaos with their limbs left on.

Brotherhood of Wine and Song: Drink-smuggling party animals with a tavern specialty? Sounds like a perfect match, right? Unfortunately, Danilo prefers his brothers pretty. Very pretty. While the benefits once inside seem good, most brutes will probably have difficulty passing the appearance test.

Weapons of Vengeance: A pain in the ass to get to and join, though very likely to be worth it based on the customization options and specialty accesses. At the very least, certainly brute joinable.

Cult of Agni: At the moment, this seems to do nothing more than provide specialty access to fire affinity. Could be worth it, since there's no lack of fire-using types around.

Crafty Linguists: Assuming a reduction in price comes with the membership, this may be a good association to join just for the nigh-universal language training access alone. I don't recall their getting anything other than this, but I could be incorrect.

Followers of Apollo: Too many specialization points required to gain access to a guild that, at best, is going to compete with Eris/Hank for item sacrifices, grant a strength against light-related damage at the expense of far-more-common dark-related damage (I believe necromantic damage falls under this heading), and the use of a dazzle skill with spirit points that just about every brute will be sorely lacking. Best for the most well-rounded brutes only. (Porphyria's note: Apollonians do have the option of gaining some affinity for light-based damage, but the weakness they get from this is to radiation and plasma damage, which is much less common than necromantic.)

Ollin Tonatiuh: Let's hear it for the sun god, he's a real fun god! Wait, wrong guy. No information had at the moment. (Porphyria's note: You get access to photonic and fire affinities, as well as unholy taint.)

Maidens of the Spear: There are female brutes? Where? Even if this association is joinable, the weapon restrictions (which happen to include most of the Brute 'best option' picks aside from unarmed) and the weapon focus make this one a bad choice at a glance. All that plus you lose access to a parageos, and instead have to make do with lighter armor in general. Finally, there's something clearly Freudian going on here. (Porphyria's note: Spearmaidens limits access to massive blow to 2, so it is unlikely that a Brute could join.)

Stalkers of the Gate: Likely Brute joinable. Vastly more certain mobility than Hank's Garbage Dwarves offers, likely easier to get into than the Brotherhood of Wine and Song, all for the cost of (unknown) specialization, neutral alignment, and a touchy good/evil artifact handling system. May require more SP than brutes typically have to make it worthwhile.

Servants of the Crystal Blades: A puzzle. On the downside, the normally unarmed-heavy brute would be forced to wield a weapon in combat at least some of the time. Worse, unless things have changed, these things simply do not rest - if you're online and in this association, you're either killing or being killed. On the other hand, the sheer amount of straight-up combat assistance these weapons offer are not to be refused lightly. The Weapons of Vengeance are probably more desirable overall, but 'A Brute with a crystal greataxe' is the sort of thought that makes me happy Lost Souls is PVP-light. At the moment.

Storm Walkers: For a zuth brute, may be worth joining -- gives access to lightning affinity, which allows the zuth to breathe lightning rather than the more typical fire (or chaos lightning, if the brute is also a member of the LDD). This association also gives a useful haste on occasion, and gives an axe weapon that does lightning damage when properly charged, which could be quite useful as a secondary weapon.

The Attuned: Another counterintuitive association for a brute, and probably not especially worth it unless you need the specialty access (for meditation if your brute is autodidacting combat meditation, for example). Order affinity might be of use if the brute wishes to use arms or armour that require order favour. One particularly interesting benefit is that The Attuned gives a brute an additional metric for determining exactly how drunk she is; since attunement drops as drunkenness rises, you get a useful numeric value for how drunk you are. Once Hanoma gets all muddled in your vision, it's time to pump yourself up and start going on a killing spree.

Note to experienced brutes: This guide, with the association notes in particular, is vastly incomplete. If you can verify these associations are joinable or have input about their compatibility with the brutes, please add to this guide.

End of spoiler information.
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