HE LAYER ANUAL
IX. DOING BUSINESS IN DRAGON'S GATE
The world of Dragon's Gate is an exciting, unique place to explore and adventure, but, as in real life, you must take some risks to advance. To the uninitiated, Dragon's Gate can seem rather unforgiving. It takes time to acquire the skills necessary for survival, let alone consistent advancement. Try not to become frustrated if you fail in your initial attempts. Many of your fellow adventurers have experienced what you are going through, and will often be very helpful.
We offer the following tips in hopes that they will help lessen the time required to gain the survival instinct that all Dragon's Gate inhabitants must develop.
First of all, when you are 'born' into Dragon's Gate, you are given the option of going to a 'Training Ground' to begin your new life. Thieves are sent to a separate place to practice their particular and unique types of skills without causing hardship to other players. You are encouraged to make use of this option, as the Training Ground is a much easier place to 'learn the ropes' of Dragon's Gate.
Commonsense Tip 1 ... Read the manual
First....Whatever your class, you may find it useful to venture into the libraries of the Archives and seek out the Dragon Fire Chronicles, a player-written newsletter of Dragon's Gate. Besides informing you of past and current events and quests in the game, these newsletters frequently have articles and information that will prove useful to the beginning player. Also, there are many maps available in both the Dragon's Gate Archives. Downloading these before you begin adventuring will save you untold frustration. There are also hint files available in the archives.
Second, learn all you can about your character. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and be aware of how members of your race interact with members of other races. If you are a Usil Elf and walk up and hug a San Elf, you might get hit for your trouble, and that is only one of the minor feuds in Dragon's Gate. Be aware of what actions match your race and class so you can interact with other adventurers with a minimum of friction, and enhance your role-playing experience.
Next, learn the COMMANDS that will be most beneficial to your character during game play. For example, don't bother to learn the specifics of the PSIONIC command if your chosen race isn't a Psycian or a Psion; this would prove fruitless and serve only to confuse matters when you forget you can't use psionics to attack that raging creature coming at you. Learn commands that take advantage of your strengths and avoid commands for actions which play to your weak areas, or to skills you cannot gain.
As you gain experience in the world, sometimes through many lives, your command knowledge will also increase. It will inevitably become second nature to turn towards those commands that are most useful for you in a given situation. Skillful play can be acquired through practice and a certain amount of concentration over a period of time. It is almost certain that you are going to run into difficulties a few times during game play, so try to take it in stride. If you persevere, the rewards will inevitably outweigh the failures.
Become Familiar With Your Surroundings! As soon as you have achieved basic command fluency it is a good idea to learn a bit about your surroundings. Start out by experimenting with the different LOOK command modes (full, brief, superbrief). Then experiment with the various informational commands listed in the Getting Around Dragon's Gate section of this manual. The more you learn to assimilate to your environment, the better off you will be in the long run. Walk around and enjoy the view, and begin to acquire a sense of where you are and what is around you. You may even wish to make a sketch map, but keep in mind that not every description you encounter will necessarily represent the same physical space as the previous description. The size of an area described as "a small broom closet" will obviously be smaller than one described as "a field of grain." Be aware of this while making your sketch map if things don't seem to fit properly.
Commonsense Tip 2 ... NPCs
The Merchants, Townsfolk and Some Monsters Can Be Quite Sociable. While most of the townsfolk and merchants you run across won't be much in the way of conversation, the time may come when you will need to find that special 'someone' for a vital clue, or for access to a certain important location. Don't be surprised if that street urchin starts bragging about something he saw, or offers to lead you somewhere 'special'. There is usually more than meets the eye. And just because someone offers to take you somewhere, don't necessarily expect that they will bring you back. Additionally, taking the right equipment with you can mean the difference between life and death, success and failure.
Or... They Can Be Quite Unsociable. Be forewarned that some individuals in Dragon's Gate don't have much of a mind for talk and may be rather rude, to the point of pressing you into a fight! Fights are quite common in the Spur. Be prepared to use your command knowledge to fight to win or to get you out of danger, lest you find yourself testing the processes of death. There are those in the world who have little regard for the concerns of others. Outright theft and murder for goods and/or glory has become their secret to success. Dying is, more often than not, merely a temporary inconvenience to them, for there is little to lose in fighting for survival when you are at the bottom of the barrel of life. Fights to the finish, although painful, can often lead to temporary gain for them. Be very cautious when dealing with these individual
Commonsense Tip 3 ... Monsters
Monsters can be rather devious in their fighting tactics also. If you get into a fight and something happens that you didn't quite expect, you may wish to get out as fast as possible to assess the situation. An unexpected tactic from your adversary will often lead to your downfall. Be aware of the tactic the next time you encounter the same creature or one much like him. Being prepared for the trick may help you more easily defeat him. If attacked by an unknown adversary and you are at a disadvantage, don't stick around to let him finish what he started. It is better to pick a fight with a known adversary on your terms.
If you decide to start a fight, LOOK AT your intended target first. This can give you some idea as to how tough he might be. At first it is generally a good idea to use a mixture of combat commands when fighting. Later you will discover what tactics or combinations work best for you. As you increase in experience, continue to experiment. You will find that the tactics that didn't work so well earlier in your career will better serve you now that you have gained combat experience. This is especially true for spell casters.
[NOTE: Many who are interested in combat tactics hone their skills in the weekly Gladiator Games. The calendar in the Dragon's Gate Community area will tell you when they're held.]
Commonsense Tip 4 ... Hunting
Some Practical Considerations. There will come a time in your career when you will have gathered all that you can possibly carry. At this point, you can either store some of your loot, or you can sell it. If you haven't found them already, you should start looking for places to sell what you have acquired in exchange for silver and gold. Even silver and gold will become heavy if enough is carried. Although you probably will not have to worry about having that much cash early in the game, it will certainly happen at some point in your career. Store your money in one of the banks, or most likely a clever thief will relieve you of it.
HUNT WITH A GROUP! We recommend, and you may find it more profitable (and sometimes essential), to form an adventuring party. Just find a like-minded group of adventurers, agree on some ground rules and a destination, and you're on your way. Adventuring parties can be a great way to meet new friends! There are many benefits to adventuring with others, not the least of which is that you have someone to talk to. Grouping together to form a band can help to strengthen your overall survival chances, as someone else may be strong where you have a weakness. Remember that joining up with someone of a race or class that is hostile to your race or class could end up being bad for your health, either directly or indirectly.
Speaking of health, if at all possible, include a healer in your party. Finding that you are bleeding and at death's door when the nearest healer is miles away can be a very discouraging feeling. Prayers and the laying of hands can be helpful to those that are in pain. Followers of the various religions are often granted favors by the gods they serve, which can prove most useful in times of great need. [NOTE: The customary etiquette is to split the spoils of your hunt evenly among all members. The easiest way to do this is to sell all your treasure, give all the money to one person, and use the handy SPLIT ALL command. All who are to receive a share must be in a group, i.e., following.]
Commonsense Tip 5 ... Healing and Health
There are three measures of health in DGate:
Hit Points: Represent general health of the subject.
Fatigue Points: Represents the amount of energy, and/or how tired the subject is.
Wounds: State where, how, and in what degree the subject is wounded. It also represents how much blood loss occurs.
It might help to give you what body locations are being used for most humanoid races.
These are: Head, Torso, Right and Left Arms, Right and Left Legs.
You DID take a Healer out with you, didn't you? If you didn't, you will learn fast to do so next time. It is dangerous out there!