This essay is intended to assist those who are embarking upon the path of magic in Dereth. How to learn spells, when to use a particular spell in combat, and so forth are concerns for advanced mages, which are beyond the scope of this writing. Rather, the information here seeks to tell you what you need to know in starting out as a magic user.

Heritage Group

First, you must choose a heritage group. Elves who answer Asheron's Call will incarnate on Dereth as a member of one of three heritage groups:

All elves who have ventured to Dereth thus far have chosen to incarnate as Aluvian. Any heritage group is fine for a magic user.

Gender, Appearance, and Clothing

Next, you must specify your gender, appearance, and clothing. Gender does not affect your attributes or skills. You can specify the finely crafted facial features of an elven visage. In choosing clothing, you might take some sort of hat if only to sell it.

Profession, Attributes, and Skills

The most important parts of starting out as a magic user are selecting your profession, attributes, and skills. The decisions you make here will have crucial effects on your development for as long as you follow the ways of magic.

Profession

In choosing a profession, you must decide what type of magic you want to practice. On Dereth, there are four schools of magic:

You can practice more than one or all of the schools of magic. Those who pursue different magic schools are known by different professional titles. You can choose from three standard professions for magic users, which provide a recommended set of attributes and skills:

Alternatively, instead of choosing a standard profession, you can choose your own custom-made set of attributes and skills:

Attributes

You must define six primary attributes:

Three secondary attributes are based on primary attributes:

Mana, Focus, and Self are very important attributes for a mage. Strength is also important because it determines how much you can carry, including armor, spell components, and treasure. Quickness is vital because it determines how fast you can move in combat and how fast you can flee when you want to avoid combat. Probably, Coordination is the least important for a magic user.

No matter whether you chose a standard profession or a custom profession, you can modify your attributes as you like. For example, you might lower Coordination and increase Quickness.

In modifying attributes, here are some key considerations:

You are alloted 330 points to distribute amongst the six primary attributes, with a maximum of 100 for any one. Some popular distributions for starting attributes values are as follows (according to the Collegium Arcani Forum on the Community Message Boards at Crossroads of Dereth):

Personally, I chose an even more moderate approach, opting for more Endurance (hence more Stamina and Health) and more Quickness (hence more Run) at the expense of other attributes. My balanced approach did make surviving easier at the beginning. But, many mages argue that maximizing Focus and Self at the outset is optimal in the long run. Your preferences will determine a distribution that is right for you.

A compendium of information about starting attributes values (and all other things magery in Dereth) is available at Topheron's Tower.

Skills

You must specify each of the available skills as one of four advancement classes:

You can modify skill advancement classes using the available 50 skill credits. In modifying skills, here are some key considerations:

* This information is from "Asheron's Call Official Strategies & Secrets" by Rusel DeMaria.
Data might have changed since publication. AC Stratics is a good source for current data.

As an example, suppose you wanted to practice all four schools of magic and Melee Defense. You might consider the following options among others. (The number of skill credits required to raise a skill to Trained or Specialized is shown in parentheses.)

Option One Option Two Option Three Option Four
Specialized none Arcane Lore (6) Arcane Lore (6) Arcane Lore (6)
Mana Conversion (12)
Run (4)
Trained War Magic (16)
Life Magic (12)
Creature Enchantment (8)
Item Enchantment (8)
Mana Conversion (6)
War Magic (16)
Life Magic (12)
Melee Defense (10)
Mana Conversion (6)
War Magic (16)
Life Magic (12)
Creature Enchantment (8)
Mana Conversion (6)
Appraise Item (2)
War Magic (16)
Life Magic (12)
To be Trained Arcane Lore (4) at level 5
Melee Defense (10) at level 20
Item Enchantment (8) at level 9
Creature Enchantment (8) at level 26
Item Enchantment (8) at level 9
Melee Defense (10) at level 35
Item Enchantment (8) at level 9
Creature Enchantment (8) at level 26
Melee Defense (10) at level 75
Comments Pro - Start with all four schools of magic. Acquire Melee Defense fairly fast.
Con - No Specialized skills. Arcane Lore Unusable for first four levels.
Pro - Specialized in reading scrolls and using magic items. Start with Melee Defense.
Con - Start with just two schools of magic. Long wait to acquire fourth school.
Pro - Specialized in reading scrolls and using magic items. Start with three schools of magic. Acquire the fourth school quickly.
Con - Very long wait to acquire Melee Defense.
Pro - Specialized in three skills.
Con - Long wait to acquire fourth school of magic. Impossibly long wait to acquire Melee Defense.

You might choose different skills than is shown in the example above. Personally, I chose to make Lockpicking a Trained skill after acquiring all four schools of magic.

Name and Starting Town

Lastly, you must select your name and the town where you will begin adventuring in Dereth. You can choose any starting town, no matter your heritage group. Upon entering Dereth, the first thing you might want to do is visit the training hall. Then, you might talk to the local townspeople to find someone who can give you a quest.


I hope these writings have been helpful. May your path in the ways of magic be enchanting and delightful always.

Elenlanta Ranar ~ Starrbolt Wanderer
Tel'Mithrim ~ The Grey Company
Ohtar tel'Iantdor ~ Warrior of the Old Land
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