First Steps

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Apologies in advance if this starts out too simplistically for you; it's probably worth skimming over anyway, but also contains material designed to aid players who have little or no experience with this kind of game.

The very first thing you should do in Lost Souls is introduce yourself over the Neophyte channel. To do this, type the following:

neophyte hi

Many new players never use this channel; however, it lets other players know that you are actually a real person and not a cabbage or something. There is also an organization within the game called the Wardens, whose sole purpose is to aid new players in gaining experience. They are rewarded for this task, and so it's mutually beneficial; they will in general be happy to give you free stuff and lead you around the game merely for the opportunity to guide you ('guide' being the command they would use to initiate this process).


Contents

Notice

While still solid, some of the information here is rather outdated. It is always best to use the neophyte channel if you need clarification with anything.


Your First Character

-The first thing you will do in the world of lost souls is set up an “atman”. An atman is your account on LS. Each atman can contain up to 15 simultaneous characters. After you set up your atman, you will be given a “starter-character”. This will be a half-elf with its homeland in the main city, Losthaven. It is highly recommended to poke around on this starter character before creating a new non-starter character. This is the point at which this explanation begins.

Creating a new character

When you are ready to make your first custom character, quit out of the starter character to return to the log-in screen, then select: “create a new character". The character creation wizard will walk you through choosing a race, culture and the accompanying homeland, ethics and a whole host of other things. Some things to consider:

Choosing a race

-Each race has it’s own set of starting attributes, innate skills, physical characteristics, traits, and other factors. You can examine these either in the races section of the Wiki, or by entering “I <race abbreviation>. Decide which race you want, and select it.

Choosing a culture

-Each race has a set list of possible cultures they can be a part of. Culture dictates what skills you start with, the location where you start within the world, and your primary language. You can examine each culture by entering “I <culture abbreviation>”

It is highly recommended that new players start in Losthaven, as this is the most popular city and contains the few areas where you can kill creatures as a low level character without needing help. Most non guild-specific skills can be learned one way or another, so you're not limited to the skills you begin with.

Setting your attributes

-Each race has set maximum and minimum values for their attributes. When you are at this stage you will have X amount of attribute points to spread across your attributes. Note that some starting values may be above your races minimum value for that attribute. You may, if you choose, reduce attributes that you are currently over the minimum value of, in order to have more points to allocate.

Setting your skills

-Like setting attributes, you will see a list of your starting skill maximums and minimums, as well as a running total of points you have remaining to spend. If you set any skill higher than 40, your character will start out with the necessary amount of specialization points needed to cover the skill level.

Some of the most useful skills for a new character are orienteering, which lets you determine your location, literacy, which lets you read written text and first aid, which lets you treat damaged limbs. You probably want to have at least 20 points in each, more if you can spare.

Setting handedness

-Some races are ambidextrous, but for those who are not, you must select which hand will be your primary hand.

Setting physical features

-Because this step is not required it is one that many people skip, but during character creation you have the option to set the colors of your physical features.

Choosing a name

You must select a name that is both not reserved for NPCs, and not already taken by another player.

       * Races and cultures have preferred naming patterns, but you may opt to specify your own. 

Starting out

You got yourself a brand spanking new character. This is where the fun begins. Your new character will start out with a handful of skills (use "show skills" to view your skills) and most likely, weapons and armor (use "i" to show your inventory and "eq" to view your equipment). You can use "wear all" to wear your equipment and "wield <weaponname>" to wield your weapon. Typing score shows you general information about your character.

Depending on your race, you will have certain body parts which can be covered by equipment. Use show limbs to display your body parts and the equipment covering them. This becomes very important in combat, as each body part can be targeted and damaged while fighting - see the combat section for more information on the combat system. Quick summary: if the hit points of a limb gets to zero, it will be disabled and will only become usable again when the hit points get back to 100%. If the hit points get to -100%, the limb falls off and will have to be either reattached or regenerated by a cleric.

Because you receive experience for exploring the world, you can get your character started without any fighting at all; just find new places to check out. You start off with your homeland (presumably Losthaven) considered fully explored, so you won't get any experience for wandering its streets, but there are several areas within it that you will get experience for exploring, such as the Hall of Legends, the Losthaven Arena, the Losthaven sewers, and the Shrieking Siren (a ship at the docks). And, of course, you can leave Losthaven and explore as much of the wide world as you like, though watch out for danger!

Lowbie areas and combat

At level one, not surprisingly, you won't be able to kill many things. A 'traditional' way to start is with bashing rats in the Losthaven sewers, though if you hate rat-bashing there are many other options! The experience you receive will be quite low and drops very quickly (each monster of the same type that you kill will give you less experience, so watch out for that). However, skills are improved by doing, so if you want to build up your defensive skills especially, set combat mode to defensive, wallop away at the rats and watch your dodge or shield or parry level increase, depending on the type of defense you were using. Also, using search in some rooms in the sewers may net you something useful.

  • Note: as of 5193, you will begin experiencing XP penalties in the form of XP loss for engaging in non-productive combat for any significant period of time. A better choice of combat mode might be studious or cautious - this allows you to retain a significant defensive bonus while still being counted as participating in combat.

Killing sewer rats will surely get boring quickly. No worries, there is a docked ship at the south end of losthaven which has a rodent infestation problem at the bottom level. The rats and bats in this area will give you enough exp for a couple of levels. Save the snakes and the bipedal inhabitants until you are a bit stronger.

Spiderwood is a new area right outside Losthaven (-23, -23, 0) where players of all levels can find a challenge. The giant spiders are for slightly higher level characters - avoid until you're ready to take them on. All the spiders are aggressive, so don't stick around in the same room as a spider you don't wish to fight. The spiders will spit webbing at you often to impede your movements - with enough webbing, you can say goodbye to any type of movement other than struggling. Unless your race has a fiery aura (ex phaethon), it's a good idea to carry a torch if you plan on going to spiderwood. A lit torch or fiery weapon will burn away webbings immediately.

One of the very first things you want to do is locate and join a guild. Most of the guilds have alignment requirements and several have very specific requirements for race, skills, attributes etc. Check the locations and landmarks page for available directions. Once you join a guild, you should have enough skill to take on giant rats and skavens in the losthaven sewers, most of the inhabitants of the ship in the Losthaven docks and the giant spiders in Spiderwood. From there on, the world is your oyster, as they say. You can move up to Thistlewood, St. Paedric's Monastery, Togrek, to name a few areas.

Playing

Lost Souls is an extremely flexible hack and slash game. We have non hack and slash elements, and we don't always intend to remain a primarily hack and slash game, but that's what we are for now.

As such, the goals the game encourages are gaining experience and developing your skills. The goals we, the developers and experienced players of the game, encourage are exploration and interaction with other players and your environment.

Because we strive to be flexible and interesting, there is something of a learning curve; what you need to know immediately is:

Don't kill anyone in Losthaven.

There are consequences to your actions. In Losthaven, which is where your first character will likely start, most of the guards and shopkeepers will summon help if attacked, and are probably tougher than you anyway. They will also put a persistent bounty on your character for making trouble. The sewers are OK, and no one will complain if you decide to clean up the town by killing pickpockets or thugs. Beggars are also an option, as no one will fight to protect them, even if they call for help.

The common tongue is Anglic.

If you cannot speak Anglic, a Warden can still communicate with you, and you can communicate over general channels. However, you will find it much harder to interact with NPCs and group with other players.

If your chose the Losthavener culture, knowledge of Anglic is automatic. If you happened to choose a culture that doesn't speak anglic, many language trainers can be found in major cities or even wandering around the wilds. Try to find one as soon as possible.

the command "set primary language to anglic" may be useful if you want to automatically try to use anglic when talking.

It is easy to get lost.

The orienteering skill and your compass enable you to navigate the map with the command 'determine location.' Using the skill will give you the numerical depiction of your location and the current continent. The higher the skill, the more accurate the results.

You need to 'keep' things you want

If you logout, you will drop any items that you aren't keeping. They most likely will not still be there when you log back in. You have only a certain number of keep slots, so choose wisely.

'info <target>' will give you useful information

Typing

info <target>

where <target> is the name of what you want to check out, without the <> brackets, will provide you with some extended information on the subject. Often this information is merely the name of its creator and its materials or limbs; however, for unusual items and skill trainers, it provides you with the commands needed to activate them.

Being Hurt and Healing

It's extremely likely you will not fare well in the first combat you get into. Even rats can be a challenge for a neophyte with no combat skills and no weapons; while all new characters start with weapons and the 'starter' half-elf comes with the skill to use his or hers, it's remarkably common for neophytes to spontaneously create a new character and lose or sell their weapons. So, here's how you recover.

You can pay a healer to restore hit points, but it's usually easier just to wait it out. Type 'rest' to enter a resting state that will speed up your recovery process significantly; as of the time of this writing, there is no sleeping in Lost Souls. You cannot rest if you are in a state of taking continuous damage, such as if you are poisoned; resting also slows down your reactions for a little while after leaving the state (so it's advisable to 'stop resting' and execute a few commands like 'look' until you get the message that you feel less groggy before doing anything important, like starting combat).

Getting a limb cut off is a bit trickier to handle. A few races have the ability to naturally regenerate their limbs, but it's usually a *very* slow process. Certain other players have the ability to restore lost limbs; asking via the neophyte or OOC channels will usually get you some assistance with a line like

ooc Hey, I'm a new player and I lost one of my limbs.  Is there anyone around who can restore it?

You can also travel to the Mortician in Sanctuary to restore a limb. Again, try asking over neophyte or ooc for directions and assistance with this process.

Money

How To Make Money

Progressing : Guilds and Affiliations

Guilds provide access to trainers and (usually) an array of beneficial powers to interact with the world and turn your targets into smoking, dismembered heaps.

The best guilds are usually whichever ones are most up-to-date. As of this writing, this includes the Aligned, the Erisian Liberation Front, the Ringwielders, the Ordo Zephyrius Mutatoris, and the Rangers. Of these, the Rangers are probably the most newbie-friendly. The other guilds (both those on this list and the others in the help file) are hardly unplayable, but may require a bit more help from others to get the hang of.

You can also join associations, which are smaller and more focused organizations, and some races or events give you access to faculties (innate powers). Your starting half-elf has access to the Elven racial faculty, which gives them a few magickal abilities to play with.

Skills and Specializations

The amount you can train any skill is limited by the degree of specialization you have in that skill. Use

show specialties

to show what specialties you currently have, and

show specialty access

to show what specialties you could access. This will likely give you a largely incomprehensible list a couple pages long; the most effective specialties to start with are dodge, your weapon skill, combat reflexes, steadiness and resilience. Some other important skills include stamina, recuperation, precision strike, and pain tolerance.

To increase your specialty level in a skill, you can type

set specialty degree in <skill> to <degree>

where <skill> is the name of the skill with no brackets, and <degree> is a number like 2 or 3. You may get the message that you cannot specialize in a skill because you are completely unfamiliar with it, or that you have no specialty access for that skill. The first case can be remedied by training in that skill, and the second will require joining an association, which we discussed above.

You may also get the message you do not have enough specialty points; your specialty points are determined by your attributes. You receive one specialty point for each ten full points of an attribute. Your specialty points are specific to the attribute you received them from; so if you want to raise the specialty level in stamina, a Constitution skill, you will need Constitution specialty points to do so.

To train your skills seek one of the many trainers scattered around each city. For example, Raelan Jax, who lives in the Arena of Losthaven (which you can reach by traveling to the Losthaven Square, then moving four to the west, four to the north, and west until you see her) will train you in combat skills. Miss Amelia, who lives in her Schoolhouse (which you can reach by traveling to the Losthaven Square, then moving two to the east, two to the north, and again to the east) will teach you scholarly skills like linguistics, which will raise your fluency in all languages slightly.

Before training skills check the specialty degree in that skill. The higher the degree in the skill the higher it will be trained when you seek training. For example lets say you have the dagger skill set to specialty degree 1. When you ask Raelan Jax to train you in the dagger skill you will likely gain between 6 and 8 points of dagger skill. However, if you had your specialty degree in dagger set to 10 you would likely gain nearly 100 points off of the first training. A trick of training your skills well is to set your specialty degree to the highest possible before training the skill for the first time then lowering the degree to a more modest amount before continuing. This method will produce higher skill ratings than setting your degree's to 1 and 2 and trying to train up from the bottom. This really only works for the first time you train a skill and will have severe diminishing returns if you keep trying it.

Making New Characters

Play around with this system to get the hang of it. You will quite possibly delete your first few characters as you learn the game and its systems; some basic advice is to think about what specialties you will want, and plan your attributes accordingly. Knowing a little bit about what guild you might like to join is helpful here, but your first few characters will probably benefit from high Constitution and reasonable Dexterity, Intelligence and Perception.

What's The Best Character?

Many new players ask this question. It's easy to say that the best character is the one you have the most fun playing, but that's not the answer they're looking for. A slightly more on-target answer is that the best character is whichever one the best player makes -- there is no substitute for knowing the ins and outs of the game and having a sound grasp of planning. But if you just can't accept waiting, a strong starting character would probably be a dracon ranger with a drake familiar, at least sixty points in intelligence and perception, and maximum starting constitution. Despite the section heading, this is not going to be the strongest possible character you could have, but it gives you a tough, flying character who can breathe fire and has a powerful familiar to help them in combat.

Further Reading

You might also want to check out Newbie Ramblings. This is a guide by newbies for newbies; while some of the information is redundant, it's provided from the perspective of a new player and provides some additional useful information and non-intuitive commands that are skipped by this generalized document.

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