Skills and Training
Like all fantasy role-playing games, you play a character wandering through a hostile world. And, like all such games, your character has a set of statistics that describe how well he or she interacts with the world. These numbers define how tough you are, how strong your magic is, etc.
You will have two sorts of characters: Your Shaper and your creations. Your Shaper is your main character. If it dies, the game is over.
Creations are monsters you make to fight for you. They obey you totally (usually). You can make some of them, have them fight for a while, absorb them, and then make different creations as desired.
During the game, to see or improve your statistics, press the Roster/Train button at the top left. Then select the character or creation to see and train. You can also right-click a character in the roster to train it.
Training a Shaper
Each of your characters has a level. This number, usually from 1 to 20, determines how strong your character is.
To increase your Shaper’s level, kill enemies and complete quests. This earns experience. When you have enough experience, your level goes up. If you complete a more difficult task, you get bonus experience. If a foe or quest is too far below you, you won’t get experience. Your creations gain levels in a different way, described in Chapter 5.
When you gain a level and your Shaper is selected, the button at the top left turns to “Train.” Press it (or type ‘?’, or right-click the Shaper) to see the Character Info Window and start training.
Changing Your Name
To change your character’s name, select its portrait on the training window.
The Training Window
In your Shaper’s training window, you will see a list of your character’s most important attributes:
Level – An important overall number that defines how strong you are and how many adventures you have successfully concluded. You start at Level 1.
Experience – How much experience you have earned. When you accumulate enough experience, your level goes up. You get most of your experience from killing enemies and completing quests.
The amount of experience you gain for completing a quest or beating a foe depends on how tough it is in relation to you. If it is a lot tougher, you gain more experience. If it is weaker than you, you gain less. Mouse over the experience bar to see how much more experience you need to reach the next level.
Skill Points – When you gain a level, you earn ten skill points. Skill points are like currency; you have to spend them to raise your skills. To do this, press the plus button to the right of a skill’s name.
Health – A number that determines how far you are from death. When you take damage, this number goes down. When you are healed, it goes up. If it reaches 0, you die. To increase this number, gain levels or train your Endurance.
During a battle, there are a number of ways to restore lost health. For example, some abilities can heal you, or you can use a Healing Pod.
Essence – Essence is the raw material Shapers use to create life. It is stored within you and comes out when you cast a powerful spell or make a creation.
The amount of essence you have is determined by your Level and Essence Mastery skill.
When you make a creation, you spend some essence, and your maximum amount of essence goes down by the cost of the creature. If you have 100 essence and make a creation that costs 40, you can have at most 60 essence until the creation dies.
Essence is also used to cast spells. Thus, if you make a lot of creations, you will be able to use fewer spells. To restore essence and health, return to a friendly town. There are also pools that restore your essence and health when you stand near them.
Spell Energy – Casting a spell weakens you, and it takes time to regain your strength. Each spell reduces your spell energy. If you don’t have enough spell energy, you can’t cast spells. Spell energy comes back to you with time. Spell energy increases with your level and your Intellect.
Your Skills – The rest of the statistics window displays all of your character’s base statistics. If you have enough skill points, increase a statistic by pressing the ‘+’ button to its right. As you buy more of a skill, the cost increases.
These abilities are divided into five base categories. The first group is your main statistics, which are more expensive and strongly affect how your character functions. The next three categories are Combat, Magic, and Shaping. Your character class will make one of these categories cheaper and one more expensive. The General skills give you ways to travel through the game without combat. It is possible to beat Geneforge without ever attacking an enemy, if you are cunning and invest heavily in these skills.
To see what a skill does, hold the mouse cursor over it.