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Thread: Suggestions for players of un-Gifted characters

  1. #1

    Default Suggestions for players of un-Gifted characters

    These are not anything like strict guidelines for playing un-Gifted characters. They are, as the title says, merely suggestions and advice from my (limited) experience playing such a character.

    This is incomplete, and may be added to or amended later.


    All player-characters are presumed to be Gifted and that is supported by the mechanics. To play an un-Gifted, one must work around the mechanics to some extent.

    What does it mean to be Gifted, and by extension, what does it mean to not be Gifted? In short, the Gift is the magical condition of being unable to permanently die. Not everyone in Istaria is Gifted, and the Gift has not always existed - it was evoked by the Ritual of Everlasting Life twenty years before the game's release. The Ritual of Everlasting Life, a massive spell created and cast by eight great scholars, "brought forth a subtle, yet all-encompassing element of the Realm of Energy on to the Prime itself. This element reacted to the strong infestation of the Realm of Blight upon the world by permeating the world's essence with a mix of energy and life magic. This in turn triggered a potential for change; not everyone has been affected by the Ritual. The single biggest change was the gift of virtual immortality to those affected." Gifted individuals also do not age, or at least age at a much slower rate, and they do not need to eat.

    The main implication of not being Gifted is therefore permanent death.


    why play a non-Gifted character?

    As dubious as it sounds, there can be benefits to it.
    • A more challenging and adrenaline-inducing mode of gameplay.
    • You never have to worry about getting a long death penalty. One death and it's all moot.
    • Stimulation for highly skilled players, and a learning experience for less skilled players who wish to improve via force of necessity.
    • A handy and very good excuse if you want to retire the character.
    • A roleplaying experiment.
    • More intense roleplaying.
    • Whatever other roleplaying-related reasons you might have.


    things your character probably can't do, and how they can't

    Of course, according to the game mechanics, they can. But the mechanics are designed for the Gifted.

    • Bind and recall to shrines. Personally, I include the effect of not being able to see the column of light emitted by shrines.
    • Complete the Test of Soul in the Trials of the Gifted. In this test, the Assessor of Soul measures the energies released as the subject recalls. Though technically you might be able to run back to New Trismus fast enough to beat the timer, logically the Assessor and her associate should not accept this and thus you would not pass the test.
    • Survive falls from great heights. Winged races are an exception, theoretically able to slow their descent, and perhaps magic users with relevant abilities and fast reflexes can achieve a similar effect.
    • Go a long time without eating. You don't have to actually buy food and consume it unless you want to - you can just establish that your character killed a nearby deer and ate it, scrounged up edible plants, stole a snack out of an open house, or something.
    • If you want to be extremely strict, you can limit the character's waking periods to the length of in-game daylight.


    things your character probably can do

    • Die. In combat, of old age, by falling off a mountain, drowning, dehydration, starvation, sickness, stillbirth, suicide, get the picture. If your un-Gifted character does die, you can either delete it or just refrain from logging into it. Exceptions can be made under circumstances you deem appropriate, such as when your character had nothing to do with the death. For example, once I stupidly alt-tabbed in the middle of a golem spawn and when I returned to the Istaria window, my character was dead. I didn't count that one.
    • Become blighted after death.
    • Use portals. According to the timeline and the Draak attunement quest provided by Brysmendrik, portals existed and were utilised over 112 years (how far over, I can't determine) prior to the onset of the Gifted.
    • Trials of the Gifted: Knowledge and Swiftness. Wit, if your character is good at riddles. Endurance if they're strong.


    handling chat channels and tells

    My explanation of chat channels states that only the Gifted can access them. But, firstly, that explanation is not official and no one is obligated to adhere to it. Secondly, I'm probably going to amend it to say that, since the Ritual of Everlasting Life's effects are partially Energy and partially Life, the effects are not always complete and may lean strongly or entirely to one or the other. This would mean that a character can lack the aspect of the Gift that grants immortality, but still be able to use channels to some extent.

    Maybe your character can't use them at all. Maybe they have full use. Maybe they can access, but not speak or act within. Maybe they can't kick others out or promote others' power over the channel. Maybe some channels and not others, randomly or dependent on specific factors. Maybe only when they're in miscellaneous contact with Energy, i.e. by casting Energy spells or having a buff to Energy-something on them.



    Think about what it means to face the constant possibility of dying while others (the Gifted) don't have to. What effects does this have on a personality?

    Though we all have permadeath in RL, one might not be accustomed to it in the context of an MMORPG. At least you can use as reference our vast history of preoccupation with matters of mortality.

    As for the second part of the situation I described in the first sentence of this section, you can use the way NPCs regard the Gifted as a template, or take it in a darker direction: perhaps your character is jealous and resentful of them. On the other hand, maybe they just don't care - what doesn't affect them doesn't bother them.

    Does your character blame anyone/anything for their state?

    Does their situation drive them toward or away from religion?

    How strong is their sense of self-preservation?

    How far are they willing to go for others? Perhaps they would sacrifice themselves for fellow non-Gifted for whom the consequences are familiarly dire, but not for Gifted?

    When Gifted complain about dying, how does your character react? Anger, reproach and admonition, sadness, indifference?


    survival tips

    • Don't take on anything that's too strong for you, unless your character is stupid enough to do so.
    • If a fight doesn't seem to be going well, back out and run before it's too late. With a foolhardy character, or one whose moral code does not allow them to retreat, handling is up to you (but then, it always is).
    • As you make an escape, try not to run into anything that can wipe out your remaining health with its first hit. If you don't already have a heal-over-time active, cast one, provided you can do so without stopping or you have a sufficient lead on your pursuer to be able to pause. Preferably use something with the Cleanse technique if there's a damage-over-time on you.
    • On Lesser Aradoth, be ever watchful for the Lieutenants and the Huntress. Since the Lieutenants patrol the roads, avoid roads entirely if your character can find relatively safe alternative routes.
    • Group up, unless your character is a loner. Be very nice to healers (you should be anyway). Avoid grouping with people who don't understand that/why you're playing with self-imposed permadeath; if you die under their watch, they might think you're just being melodramatic and annoying when you refuse to recall, or they might feel guilty on an OOC level.
    Last edited by Amarie Ancalimon; May 19th, 2008 at 12:10 PM.
    "Ohoh...someone is actually trying to sell something, I see an attunement coming. LOL" - Teto Frum

  2. #2

    Default Re: Suggestions for players of un-Gifted characters

    To clarify, the edit by Amarie was to fix a typo at my request. For 99.9% of posts, I wouldn't make such a request, but I feel compelled to keep mistakes out of guides like this. I missed correcting it myself before the self-edit time limit was up due to RL.
    "Ohoh...someone is actually trying to sell something, I see an attunement coming. LOL" - Teto Frum

  3. #3

    Default Re: Suggestions for players of un-Gifted characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Xoshara View Post
    things your character probably can't do, and how they can't
    • Bind and recall to shrines. <snip>
    If you adhere to this point, try not to fall into holes or crevices, because you can't recall out of them.

    You can, however, have someone RP a rescue and then OOCly recall to effect the escape. Then you can either run back to the place and finish the RP, or finish it via tell as if you were still there. Or, if your rescuer is a dragon, they can meet you there and it can be said that they flew you there.
    "Ohoh...someone is actually trying to sell something, I see an attunement coming. LOL" - Teto Frum

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