The Adventurer's Guide to Discworld MUD

Equipment

So, what might be considered essential items? You'll remember I suggested not bothering too much with the things in the Pumpkin Town Emporium. This is simply because, useful though they are, the selection in the Emporium is very basic, and you won't be in the game for very long before you'll decide you want to kit yourself out with something nicer.

Until recently, your only option was to wander the streets, randomly exploring shops for affordable chic. And most enjoyable it was too, if a little limited. After all, how is a newbie to know where best to shop?

But now we have the immeasurable delight of Kefka's magnificent Items Database:

http://daftjunk.com/dw/items/

Type the name of a generic item, such as cloak, into the Search box. Then hit return, and have a lovely browse the ever-growing range of interesting things to buy, steal, find, play with or merely oggle - and where to get them.

You may, however, like to direct your initial searches around the following basic items.

Backpack

Adventurer. Just another name for backpacker, really. So, what should one look for this most essential and defining possession?

Sensible persons will have taken the opportunity to purchase a medium satchel in the Emporium. And to begin with, this will be a very sensible investment indeed, since there's a strict limit on how much you can carry in your inventory - exceed it and you'll "fumble" something1.

Sadly, there's also a limit to how much you can get into any container. And after a while, you may find you need rather more essentials than you can successfully cram into a medium satchel. Besides, "satchellers" just sounds silly.

The Lucky Cat Container Information page - http://luckycat.pbwiki.com/ContainerInformation - gives a comprehensive list of containers with details on how much they hold and how heavy they are.

Have a rummage for something you like, then find out where to get it from Kefka's site. Just because they're humble backpacks, doesn't mean they all have to look the same! Or, indeed, offer the same carrying capacity.

Light Source

As previously mentioned, running around in the dark is the fastest way to get killed: there are just too many opportunities to wander off cliffs, into rivers, or into the paths of dangerous people.

Hopefully you kept your torch from Pumpkin Town, and invested in a few more. Sadly, they burn out far too fast, and for some reason, there never seem to be enough in the general stores. And of course, in addition to their tendency to expire at inconvenient moments, you've got one hand always full. This can soon become a nuisance.

One alternative is to use a lantern. I would have imagined that they run out of oil fairly regularly, and that they would be rather bulky and awkward to carry. However, according to Mr Slink, it is possible to use them by simply having them in your inventory, which keeps your hands free - or even giving them to your pet2 to hold, freeing you of their burden while allowing you their benefit.

The other alternative, and by far the most popular light source of choice, is to wear a yellow stone ring. Your hands are free because rings are worn; and for the same reason they are practically weightless, handily decreasing your burden.

However, they do consume small amounts of GP, which torches and lanterns do not. Which means that sometimes, this happens:

The yellow light surrounding you flickers and goes out.
Not only is this rather alarming (it also happens when you die - so seeing it just happen for no apparent reason is scary!), but it means you might find you haven't got enough GP to support your ring and perform certain commands.

But frankly, this is such a small drawback to such an invaluable tool, I mention it only for reference.

My advice to all adventurers is:

  1. type yellow stone ring into Kefka's Item Database,
  2. find out where to get one,
  3. and get one as fast as possible.

NB: In addition to the shops listed, you can often also find them in Player Shops (there's one three rooms East and one North of the Mended Drum).

Yellow stone rings are often cheaper in player shops.

Clothes

While there's no rule against running round the Disc completely nekkid, the comprehensive weather system means you'll soon regret it. It is quite possible to catch colds if not wrapped up warmly, and also, more crucially, entirely possible to die of extreme cold or extreme heat (such as you might find near the Hub, or out in the Klatchian desert, respectively).

However, beyond something suitable for protection from the elements, your basic adventuring outfit is entirely up to you; and there are no shortage of exciting shops in which to buy some very fetching and reasonably priced apparel.

Sothis, for example, currently roams the streets of Genua without any problems in a pair of yellow patent sandals and a frilly white dress... although she does have a chainmail minidress for special occasions...

Armour

Generally, the less armour you wear, the easier it is to move around unimpeded.

On the other hand, the less armour you wear, the easier it is for you to get poked with a pointy object.

Decisions, decisions.

Only you can decide how much armour you need to wear - but for expert advice, one needed look no further than the excellent Ekko's Armourarium: http://dw.shax.com/armour/.

Sadly, at the time of writing, the above link does not work. However, the mighty Coyote has archived much of it, minus the interactive search functions, here: http://sites.google.com/site/fritztcoyote/armoureffectivenesstable

He also recommends this rather splendid entry in the Discworld MUD wiki: http://discworld.imaginary-realities.com/wiki/Armour

So, have a leisurely browse of all the armour types, and note things such as weight, as this will add to your burden, and whether an item will warm you up or cool you down. That coat of steel plate armour will no doubt protect you from all but the most determined attack... but if it's so heavy you can't move while wearing it, how good is it really?

Personally, I prefer grflx armour. Light, effective and very difficult (thought not impossible) to damage, this stuff is ideal for any adventurer who merely wishes to protect their soft bits, and a reasonable layer 1 for anyone else.

The only drawback for newbies is the cost: basic pieces tend to be priced around AM$75. Well worth the investment, though, so bear it in mind as something for which to save.

Meanwhile, check out The Lucky Cat Guide to Grflx Armour: http://luckycat.pbwiki.com/GrflxArmour for more information.

Weaponry

It's probably a good idea to have at least one good weapon, and to invest time in developing the skills to use it effectively.

But what sort of weapon do you fancy?

Again, this is entirely a matter of personal preference - at least one Adventurer, the redoubtable Minimal, relies entirely on unarmed combat.

The rest of us, however, might prefer a nice dagger or sword. And again, there is an excellent site offering expert advice - in this case, Coilla's Weapon List: http://sined.servebeer.com/www.geocities.com/dwweapons/.

Coilla's site is rather out of date now, as a sizeable number of new weapons have been introduced in the last year. But for general advice and a large range of weapons of all types, Coilla's site is still a must, now kindly hosted by Zexium since the demise of Geocities.

Healing Tea

Healing tea restores your HP. An essential provision, especially when you have few hit points and low combat skills; although it does tend to be a bit on the pricy side. Healing teas are brewed and sold by player witches in most player shops: how fast the teas work and how much you need to drink in order to be healed depends on the brewing bonus of the person who made them3; and this is reflected in the price.

My advice would be to buy the tea with the highest brewing bonus you can afford; and the best shop to try would be the dedicated player witch shop, The Illuminated Teapot, in Welcome Soap. They have recently started a new line, Brews for the New, which have no brewing bonus stated, but cost less than AM$5. Highly recommended.

However, if your personal fortunes do not allow you to purchase healing tea, even at these marvellous rates, there are other options available.

Learn First Aid

Specifically, learn 25 levels of crafts.medicine.firstaid, and find some kindly person with the bandage command to teach it to you.

Collect Blue Water

NB: Do not mix blue water with healing tea: it cancels the healing properties of both.

Blue water has healing properties, and may be obtained from the following places:

And possibly other locations too.

Other

Oshnugimo tells me that the Gingerbread house in Skund forest is edible and contains healing properties. So do chocolate swords (see Coilla's site - http://sined.servebeer.com/www.geocities.com/dwweapons/ - in Zexium's archive for weaponry details), according to the details on the one he found in Ixtlan's shop. However, chocolate swords tend to be extremely expensive, so we include it only for completeness.

Bobb d'Azraele tells me that the cream pie in Dinky's tavern also contains healing properties; although you need to buy it first, rather than simple nibble bits like the gingerbread house. Bobb also suggests following Gufnork for the Cure Light Wounds ritual, although he admits that this has become much more difficult to perform recently.

Last Words on Equipment

The command coverage will tell you which parts of your body are protected by which items, in terms of getting hit by unfriendly folk.

The command vurdere5 will give you similar information for just your armour, but unlike coverage, you need to learn to vurdere, and only after acquiring the necessary skills6. Obviously, the more levels of skill you gain, the better you'll get at vurdering your armour.

So! Now you know what you're looking for... how are you going to pay for it? Mmmmmm...

NEXT: Money
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  1. Naturally, Sod's Law decrees the item you fumble will be something really important, like your sword or a prized weapon. I lost an elegant stiletto like that once, and didn't notice until the crucial moment in a fight. Most annoying.
  2. Of course, it's unlikely you'll have a pet, since they tend to be extremely expensive. However, you really want one, there is at least one quest in Ankh Morpork which will give you a cuddly little kitty all of your own.
  3. Many thanks to Fole von Bruxa for the information.
  4. Many thanks to Kland for the information.
  5. Vurdere is the Norwegian word for Appraise, according to this site: http://www.dictometer.com/vurdere
  6. Five levels of other.evaluate.armour.