III. GETTING STARTED
- Gaining System
Gaining is automatic on Archipelago. With each advance in level, there
is a possibility of learning new skills, and spells. In addition, every
small gain of experience points immediately translates into improved
health and vigour, i.e., you get more hit and movement points.
Skills, spells, and weapons proficiencies can be improved upon through
training received at a guild, and through hard self-practice. When
practicing in a guild, use the
'TRAIN' commands to improve.
Learn is used to learn skills, Study is used to study spells, and Train
is used to train weapons.
There are many skills available from guildmasters scattered all over
the land. The types of skills currently available can be divided into
Warrior, Horseman, Thief, Ranger, Inquisitor, and Arcane.
- Warrior -- The most flexible and
generally useful skills are available from the warrior guildmaster --
Fisticuff, Kick, Bash, Rescue, Behead, Dual
Wield, Calvary Skills.
- Horseman -- Learning a few
horsemanship skills now will save the wear and polish on one's boots --
- Thief -- No crafty person can
do without a few tricks up one's sleeves -- Sneak,
Hide, Steal, Backstab, Pick Lock, Climb.
- Ranger -- The skills learned from
an experienced ranger are useful in times of need --
Track, Taming the Wild Beast, Campfire.
- Inquisitor -- The secrets
gleaned from the inquisitor are extremely valuable. They are used to
extract information from people -- Question.
- Cleric -- Useful knowledge
can be learned from a man of wisdom -- Turn
- Arcane -- A solid base of arcane
knowledge is desirable learning if one wants to become a successful
magus. The necessary prerequisites can be learned from a mage
guildmaster -- Magic Theory, the five
Techniques (Creo, Intellego, Muto, Perdo,
Rego), and the ten Forms (Animal,
Aquam, Auram, Corpus, Herbam, Ignem, Imagonem, Mentem, Terram,
- Ars Magica Spell System
Magic on Archipelago is unique, it is based on the Ars Magica
game system published by Atlas Games.
There are fifteen magical arts divided into five Techniques and ten
Forms that, along with Magical Theory, form the arcane body of
knowledge we refer to as magic.
Spells are composed of formulas combining a Technique and a Form.
These combinations are merely classificatory, and not used to invoke
the spell itself, e.g., the "Discern Image of Truth and
Falsehood" spell is Intellego Imagonem magic.
Spells are invoked as follows:
-nogesture -novoice -vis
The -nogesture, and -novoice are optional. Its use in spell
casting will increase the 'cost' of the spell, where cost is an increased
chance of botching and lessened spell effectiveness. The -vis
option attempts to incorporate all Vis items currently held or worn on
- The Cost of Invoking Spells
It cost nothing to invoke a spell if you are successful. However, if
you botch, one or several things may happen, the most common is lost
movement. 1) you lose movement. 2) You may gain new insight into spell
casting, i.e., your abilities improve. 3) you may have harmful
things happen to you like having a spell backfire, or being blinded
temporarily. 4) you may faint, or fall down, and other stuff.
- Becoming a Successful Magus
There are two conditions to successful spell casting: 1) Studying:
Your INT and WIS stats, your proficiencies in Magic Theory, Techniques,
and Forms determine what spells, and spell levels you can study at. The
higher your stats and proficiencies, the more spells, and higher levels
you can study at. Certain races can learn certain magic Techniques and
Forms better than others. 2) Casting: The more proficiency you have
in a spell, the less chance you will have of botching it, and the faster
it will be invoked. Your FOC stat affects your concentration during
- Using Vis
Vis is the raw essense of magic. It is found in a wide variety of
objects and artifacts, and are specific as to the type of magic
(Technique, and/or Form) they contain. Each pawn of Vis contributes
directly to a spell by greatly boosting its effect. The success of Vis
boosted spells depends on one's proficiency in the Vim magic Form, and
the familarity of the spell being invoked.
- Spontaneous Magic
Generally, ANY spell can be invoked, either spells learned from a guild,
or spells you have heard about. A high rate of failure will occur if the
level of an 'unknown' spell you are trying to spontaneously invoke is too
high for your abilities to handle, (you're in way over your head.)
- Spell Listings, Where Can I Get One?
There is no set list (help file) of spell names available since it
would cause anticipation among those learning spells for the first time.
However, if you type 'help grimoire' while in the game, it would tell
you which arts and levels have spells available, so that your training
sessions will not be wasted.
- Survival Tips
There are several tips to make your stay on Archipelago a fun one.
First and foremost is to read the room description. Sometimes there
are clues found in the room that may save your life, as well as to make
your stay on Archipelago more enjoyable. Second, is to explore your
surroundings and to try out new things. Grouping is another tip for
survival. When in need, peruse the help files, and if you are still
puzzled, ask for help.
There is also a beginner's guide to
Archipelago that may be of use to some.
© Copyright 1995-1996 by
All rights reserved.
Last revised December 6, 1996.