Hello traveler, first thing you will see in the Character Manager is a set of 10 numbers. Their starting values are weighted so that the first three numbers can be as high as 90, the next three up to 60, the next 3 up to 50 and the last number up to a 100. A good roll, which is the total number of all your stats, would be around a 625, a great roll would be around 650, and a fantastic roll would be 700, because that is a perfect roll! When you finally get 4 numbers above 80, add up the total of all 10 rolls, do not include your bonus points in this. This total should be 625 or over if you want at least a good character, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less than this no matter how long it takes me to roll it. Most characters will want to start with 1 number at least 90 or higher, 3 numbers that are 80 or greater and 3 numbers that are 55 or better. You might be thinking at this point that you are not going to stop until you get a perfect roll. I say, "Good luck!" I have yet to meet someone who has rolled that yet in my four years of being in the lands. I guess their must be some lucky ones out there. Below you will find a description of each Stat.
STRENGTH: This stat controls your attack strength(AS). The stronger you are, the harder you hit an opponent.
AURA: This stat controls how much mana you will receive each level. Mana equals your magical energy. The more mana you have, the longer you can maintain a spell or cast more spells. The maximum amount of mana points you can receive per level is 3. Aura also adds to both your physical and mental training points.
LOGIC: This stat controls how fast you absorb your experience, along with Discipline. The faster you learn, the faster you gain levels. I call this my time saving stat.
DEXTERITY AND REFLEXES: I am putting these both together, because they go hand in hand on making your defensive strength better, or DS as we privately refer to it in the lands. These are Rogue stats, but they serve other classes well too. If you want to be quick and harder to hit, put higher numbers here. Dexterity, also helps you to skin the pelts from the creatures more effectively. Reflexes help you to move out of the way of an attack faster. If you decide to use a weapon other than one handed edged (OHE), like a polearm, a higher relfex will cut down on your round time.
DISCIPLINE: This stat controls development in both the mental and physical realms. A higher number here and you will be able to train in more skills per level. I think it also combines with Logic to help you absorb your experience faster. This is another time saving skill.
CONSTITUTION: This stat ensures more hit points(HP's) per level. Hit points are the number of health points you can lose before being rendered unconscious or dead. Constitution, hastens your recovery from poisen and disease or lessens the damage you receive from the elements. It also, increases your physical training points.
CHARISMA: This stat refers to your natural magnetism. We all want to be well liked and charming. The higher this stat is, the more effective your Loresinging will be. Some say this also helps a Bard with their spell singing too, but I have not noticed too much of a difference myself. There is an added bonus for having a lower Charisma, the less you stand out, the better you are at hiding.
INTELLIGENCE and WISDOM. Wisdom, aids you in disarming locks and scarabs. Intelligence helps you to learn faster. Both these stats, add to your mental training points and are also time saving skills. The higher they are, the more you absorb what you have learned. The more you learn, the faster you train.
Time to train...Woohoo, my favorite part!!! Keep in mind, the more you train in one skill, the more training points you use per level. (Example: A Bard decides to train in Combat Manuevers, the first time it will cost them 8 physical points and 3 mental ones 8/3. They are allowed to train twice per level. If they decide to train for another rank that level, it will cost them 16/6, which would bring the combined total to 24/9). Whatever training points you have left over, if any, will be carried over to your next level. You will not lose them if you do not use them all at once. Below are the skills you can train in.
Armor Use: Provides protection from most attacks, especially in a melee. There are five basic groups of Armor(AG's). Skin,(no armor at all), leather, scale, chain and plate. In these Armor groups, their are subgroups too. (Example: light leather, full leather and double leather, 0x to 10x enchanted.) Heavier armor provides the most protection. The heavier the armor, the more training you need to wear it without penalty. Keep in mind that the heavier armor also inhibits spells cast from and at the wearer.
Shield Use: This skill increases the defensive bonus imparted by a shield, especially if you have a well-made or magical shield. You do not need this skill to benefit from a shield though. All shields offer protection, it is just a matter of the degree of protection.
Combat Manuevering: This skill provides bonuses to your attack and defense strength, even beyond your skill with weapons. It also helps you to avoid some critical hits, gas clouds and other things that would harm you.
Edged Weapons: This skill allows you bonuses when wielding a single or double edged weapon. The weapons included in this category are: Daggers, knives, swords, other similiar edged weapons and axes that are light enough to use with one hand.
Blunt: This skill allows one to crush on impact, rather than slash or puncture. The weapons included in this group are: the Mace, Morning Star, War Hammer and Whips.
Ranged: The weapons included in this group are: Composite bows, Crossbows, Long and Short Bows.
Pole Arms: Training in this skill sharpens your aim and accuracy. Does not cost a lot of training points either. Some classes prefer this over training in Edged Weapons, your choice really. The weapons included in this category are: Halberds, Harpoons, Javelin, Lances, Pole Arm and Spears.
Thrown: This skill allows you to fling or hurl your weapon at a target more effectively. Thrown weapons include: Bolas, Boomerangs, Darts and Shurikens.
Two-Handed: Training in this skill enhances your ability to use those weapons that are so heavy and awkward that it takes two hands to hold them. These weapons inflict a lot of damage when used effectively. The down side to this is that you can not hold a shield while using them. The weapons included in this category are: Battle axes, Clubs, Cudgels, Flails, Picks, Staves, Two-handed Swords, War Hammers and War Mattocks.
*Note on Weapon Training: I feel it is much better to concentrate on one style of weapon training throughout your lifetime. Better to be a Master at one weapon, than a Jackal of many.
Spell Research: This skill allows you to learn Spells from your own spell circle(s). A Bard is a Semi-Circlist which means you can train from the Bardic or the Minor Elemental Circles.
Physical Training: This skill determines how many hit points or health points (HP's) you can withstand to lose before dying. Every time you train in this, you gain bonuses or increases in the amount of base hit points you have. You can increase your hit point total by an amount determined by your race and class.
Climbing: This skill makes it helpful in ascending and descending cliffs, slopes and other rugged terrain. It reduces the likelihood of falling when crossing certain obstacles, scaling slopes or walls. I would reccomend alternate training in this with Swimming once every other level, until you have reached a skill level of at least 60. I have a skill level of 70 in it myself.
Swimming: This skill is useful in preventing drowning when transversing on bodies of water. I would reccomend alternate training with Climbing in this once every other level, until you have reached a skill level of 50. I do not think you need more than that.
Disarm Traps: This skill determines your chances of success when attempting to neutralize a trap. A higher stat in Wisdom, helps here.
Pick Locks: This skill helps in opening locks. It is primarily a Rogue's skill, but other professions enjoy training in it too.
Stalk and Hide: This skill allows you to follow and hide on your target without being seen. Your success is determined by your own skill and the perception of you quarry. This skill is often combined with the Ambush skill.
Perception: Would recommend this one highly. This skill affects how much information your character can obtain from a room, object, creature, or another adventurer.
Ambush: This skill allows you to make a more precise hit on your opponent, with the element of surprise. To use this skill effectively, you must hide on your target first, then pick a specific area of the target's body to ambush.
First Aid: This skill allows you to skin certain creatures more effectively. The skins can then be sold for coin. More importantly, it allows you to tend your wounds, or the wounds of others, if an Empath is not nearby.
Mana Share: This skill allows you to transfer your magical energy to another person and visa versa. It is a very good skill to have, especially when you are older and need to ask others for their spells. It also helps when you are older and are doing Mass Spells of your own and need the mana to continue. People love it when you have a good mana share. That is the upside, the downside is that it gets expensive for some professions to train in this every single time. To be really efficient in mana sharing, you will need at least a skill level of 100.
Spell Aim: Aimed spells are the magical equivalent of weapons. They create and focus natural force, hurling it at one or more targets. This is primarily a Wizard's skill.
Two Weapons: This skill allows you to attack with two weapons, one in each hand. The skill with the off-hand weapon, being the lesser of your skills. I do not recommend training in this, unless it really suites your fancy. I have never trained in it once, as I have found one weapon and a shield to be good enough.
Brawling: This skill helps in hand to hand combat, it also helps with Voln fu, that is of course if you even join Voln (more on Voln later). This skill is useful if you need to defend yourself without a weapon. Warriors and Rogues get to train at least twice per level in this skill.
Trading: This skill gives you an advantage in dealing with the Merchants. It is kind of nice to have at least a skill level of 50 in it, but not necessary at all.
Scrolls: This skill allows you to decipher spells on scrolls, parchment, paper and other similiar materials and invoke them.
Magic Item Use: This skill allows you to wave a wand more effectively at your target. The more skill you have in this, the better use you will make of your wand's magic.
Ranks: Your rank in skills, equals the number of times you have trained in it. Each rank increases your skill bonus. The amount of bonus is higher at a lower rank level then it is at the higher ones. For example, here are the amount of ranks and the skill gained by each rank. 10 ranks =(50%), 20 ranks = (90%), 30 ranks = (120%), 40 ranks = (140%), 50 ranks =(150%), 60 ranks = (160%) etc, etc, etc.
(For armor, shields and weapons)
To hold, wield or wear:
*Note* - These bonuses are applied to your AS (attack strength) and to your DS (defensive strength).
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: They have added a wide variety of Musical Instruments to aid us with our role playing skills. These Instruments are available to all professions, but only Bards can Master them. Bards, will learn more quickly than other professions and older Bards will learn the fastest. The Instruments are a learned skill starting at the Beginner level, advancing to Apprentice, then ending at the level of Master. At the Apprentice level, you will be able to fine tune your Instrument also. You may learn as many classes of Instruments as you like, but your skill in one class will only carry on to the same class of instrument, not other classes. The verb commands to use your instruments are:
THE CLASSES OF INSTRUMENTS ARE:
Neck Stringed: Cittern, Lute, Mandolin, Theorbo.
Percussion(Two Sub Classes): Tabor, Tamorine, Typani.
Woodwinds: Fife, Flute, Piccolo
Harps: Dulcimer, Harp, Lyre, Psaltery, Zither.
Horns: Coronett, Crumhorn, Lysard.
If you want to see some guides on Spells, and other Gemstone related things go here.
*Please note that this is just a Basic Unoffical Training Guide, with most of the information aquired from the Gemstone Files Library, with a few of my opinions inserted here and there. I suggest that you visit the Gemstone Library yourself, for a more in depth view on Bards and other related material concerning role playing in Gemstone.