The Fanatasy Role-Playing Game of Medieval Germany



Playing Darklands



Use the mouse or tap the appropriate letter key to select one of the four options described below.


Quickstart ("q" key)

This immediately begins your adventures in Darklands with four default characters: GRETCHEN, GUNTHER, HANS, and EBHARD. With these adventurers you can begin Darklands without spending the time to create new characters.

"Gretch" and her friends are a typical, balanced group of adventurers. They have no special abilities or possessions that make them a recommended choice, nor do they have any special weaknesses or disadvantages.

Although the party is always the same in the "Quickstart," random elements in Darklands are reset each time. Therefore, secret locations and upcoming events will be different each time you select this option.


Create a New World ("c" key)

This also begins Darklands, but there is no default party of characters. Instead, you can create your own, new characters to form the party of your choice. As in the "Quickstart," each time this option is chosen the Darklands world is reorganized and reset. Characters created for other worlds are not available in this new world. This allows you to have completely different games (each in its own "world") running simultaneously, without one game "poaching" on another.

Many of the options can be used on any available character (listed to the right on the screen). Therefore, first select a character by left-clicking the mouse on a name, or by tapping the cursor ("arrow") keys to move the highlight. Then select an action by left-clicking on the word with the crimson letter, or tapping that crimson letter on the keyboard.

CREATE A CHARACTER: Here you can create a new character, regardless of which characters (if any) are currently in�your party. See "Creating Characters" for more about this.

EXAMINE A CHARACTER: Here you can see information about the highlighted character. See "Character Information," (** "pp22,") for details.

ADD TO THE PARTY: This adds the highlighted character to the party, and marks the name on the list. Note that your party can have one to four characters, no more.

In some battle situations, party leadership defaults to the first character added to the party. Bear this in mind when selecting the first character to join the party. {**, "For more information, see pp31."}

DELETE FROM THE PARTY: This removes the highlighted character from the party. The character is still "alive," available for use in the future.

SELECT CHARACTER IMAGE: Here you select new images and colors for the highlighted character. You can change the entire image, or certain colors within the image. Select "Finished" when you are done.

You can only select images for characters in the party. Therefore, add the character to the party before you try to select an image!

KILL A CHARACTER: This eliminates the highlighted character from the list of possible characters in the game. If the character is in the party, it also eliminates the character from the party.

BEGIN THE ADVENTURE: This ends party selection activities and begins the game. Make sure you are happy with your party before choosing this option. This actually creates the new "world," with random elements reset, secret locations selected, etc. To begin, the party is placed in a city somewhere in Greater Germany, known then as the Holy Roman Empire.

Important: To save the characters you have created, you must "Add to the Party" one or more characters, then save the game.

RETURN TO MAIN MENU: This menu returns you to the initial options.


The Story Continues ("t" key)

This allows you to manage previously saved games.

LOAD SAVED GAME: Use the mouse or cursor keys to select a previously saved game and load it.

DELETE SAVED GAME: Use the mouse or cursor keys to delete any previously saved game. Warning: deletions cannot be "undone." Make sure you have no further use for that saved game before selecting this option.

RETURN TO MAIN MENU: This menu returns you to the initial options.


Heroes of Darklands ("h" key)

This allows you to view the "Hall of Fame," where the exploits of the most famous Darklands heroes are recorded. You can either erase the existing names in the Hall of Fame, or simply leave, returning to the initial options.




Darklands allows you to create your own characters. You can raise each character from infancy. You can "live" 20 to 65 years of "normal" life for that character, acquiring various attributes and skills. At any time during this period you can end character creation and make the character an adventurer, ready to join your party.

Character creation has many sophisticated options. Beginners are urged to use the default "Quickstart" characters in their first game, or at least skip forward and read the "Character Information" section {**"(pp22}"}, which explains the various attribute and skill categories.


Initial Options

The recommended procedure is to select your gender, generate a name randomly, and then adjust it and/or the nickname with manual entries. Then begin childhood.

MAKE HIM/HER A WOMAN/MAN: This toggles the character's gender between male and female. Notice that gender slightly affects some starting attributes.

SELECT A NEW NAME: This option randomly generates a male or female name, as appropriate, from a list of actual personal and family names used in this era. Nicknames are generated automatically. Both appear on the metal information strip at the top.

ENTER A NEW NAME: This option allows you to type a full name for your character. Tap the Return key when done. The nickname is entered separately (see below). The new full name appears across the top.

CREATE A NEW NICKNAME: This option allows you to type a short nickname for your character. Tap the Return key when done. The character should also have a full name. The new nickname appears across the top.

BEGIN CHILDHOOD: This begins the next step of character creation. Be sure your character has both a name and nickname before selecting this option.

RETURN TO GAME OPTIONS: This immediately exits character creation. All entries made on this screen are forgotten.


Family Background

When a character is "born," you select one of six family backgrounds, ranging from the nobility to a rural commoner (i.e., a peasant). Different backgrounds adjust the character's initial attributes and skills in minor ways. More importantly, these backgrounds provide a large amount of childhood experience points (EPs), which are used to increase the initial attributes. Finally, family background affects the initial occupations that are available to the character. Each background has certain advantages and disadvantages. There is no "best" or "worst" choice.

As you move the highlight over various options, the character's attributes, skills, and EPs change, showing the results of each choice.

To choose an option, left-click with the mouse or press the appropriate keyboard letter.


Childhood Experience (EPs)

This represents the first 15 years of a character's life. Depending on the family selected, a character has varying amounts of experience points (EPs). This experience is used to increase attributes. Skills cannot be modified by childhood experience.

TO INCREASE AN ATTRIBUTE with EPs, simply left-click on that attribute. If using the keyboard, use the cursor to highlight the attribute, then tap the "+" key.

TO UNDO AN ATTRIBUTE INCREASE with the mouse, left-click on the bar gauge showing the remaining EPs. Each click "undoes" an increase to that attribute. To undo an increase to some other attribute, first left-click on the attribute, then left-click multiple times on the bar-gauge.

If using a keyboard, simply cursor the highlight to the attribute and tap the "-" key.

Note: after a certain level, attribute increases cost more than one EP per point. Also note that there are absolute limits to human attributes. The normal range for human attributes is 10 to 40, with 25 the average.

DONE CHANGING ATTR: When you are finished with all attribute increases, left-click on the "Done" option or tap "d" on the keyboard. This ends childhood and begins life as an adult. Unlike the modern world, in the Middle Ages most people began adult pursuits in their middle teens.


Selecting an Occupation

Starting at age 15, every five years a character can select a new occupation. There are over three dozen possible occupations, but only a few are available at any one time.

Initially, family background determines the available occupations. Thereafter, prior occupations and/or attributes are the main determining factors. In some cases a character must follow a specific sequential "chain" of occupations to reach a certain pinnacle of success.

HIGHLIGHT: As you move the highlight over various occupations, the skill increases and experience points (EPs) automatically change, showing what is possible in each. Characters get bonus experience during their first two occupations.

POSSIBLE SKILL INCREASES: Beside each skill are two numbers. The first number is the amount a skill automatically increases or decreases in that occupation. The second number is the additional increase possible, should you decide to use experience points (EPs) there.

For example, the number "2:04" beside a skill means that occupation automatically increases the skill by two (2) points. In addition, you can spend EPs to increase the skill up to four (4) more points. If you spent the requisite EPs, the total increase would be six.

SELECTION: When you left-click the mouse or press Return, you select that occupation for the next five years.


Occupation Experience (EPs)

For every five years spent in an occupation, a character improves in certain skills. In addition, the character's experience points (EPs) can be used for a variety of additional skill improvements.

IMPROVING SKILL INCREASES: To improve a skill by one point, either left-click on the name of that skill, or use the cursor keys to move the highlight to the skill and then tap the "+" key.

Skill improvement is limited by the number of EPs you have available. Normally each skill increase (of one) costs one EP. However, when skills reach a high level, two or more EPs may be required. Each improvement automatically adjusts the remaining EPs.

You cannot increase a skill beyond the amount allowed by the skill increase values. When you add to a skill, the right number is reduced to show the amount of increase remaining.

REVERSING INCREASES: To "undo" an increase, either left-click on the EP bar-gauge (as in attributes), or position the highlight with the cursor keys and tap the "-" key.

GO TO NEXT OCCUPATION: Only select this when you have finished spending EPs. You do not accumulate unused EPs. Therefore, "spend" them all on skill increases before selecting this option.

This option returns you to "Selecting an Occupation" where you can choose an occupation for the next five years.

BEGIN ADVENTURING: Again, only select this when you have consumed all your EPs.

This option places the character in the "available adventurers" file, for possible inclusion in the party. It then returns you to the various "Create A New World" options.

KILL THE CHARACTER: This kills the character, erasing all the work spent on him or her. This is a convenient "delete" for experiments that turn our poorly.


Accumulated Knowledge & Equipment

As characters live through various occupations, they may acquire alchemical and/or saintly knowledge. You can left-click on the "Formulae" or "Saints" box to view the character's current knowledge. Left-click again to close the scroll of information. If using a keyboard, tap the f or s key to open a scroll of this information; tap the same key again to close it.

Characters also acquire wealth and equipment throughout their life. Equipment is only visible if you examine the character after creation. Money is included only when the initial members of a party pool their funds at the start of the game. Characters who join the party later do not bring any additional money with them.


Saving Your Characters

When you have finished creating characters you desire (you may create more than four!), you must organize an initial party (of one to four characters), select "Begin the Adventure" from the screen options, and then select "Save Game" from the "Game" options on the menu bar (hold down the right mouse button, or tap F10, to see this menu bar). Doing this saves not only the characters of the party, but also any other characters you created for this "world."



Universal Controls and Menu Bar


Mice In Darklands

Darklands is designed for use with a mouse. It has keyboard equivalents for all operations, for those who lack a mouse or prefer using keys.

When using a mouse with two or more buttons, the standard button is the left button for clicking and dragging. If your mouse also has a right button, hold down that button to show the menu bar; keep it down to select options from the menus. When you release the right button, the selection occurs and the menu bar disappears.


Keyboard Cursors In Darklands

The arrow (cursor) keys are almost always enabled in Darklands. You can use them to move the highlight or target pointer, instead of the mouse.

In addition to the left, right, up and down arrow keys on most keyboards, Darklands also supports cursor movement from the numeric keypad. The advantage here is that not only do 2, 4, 6 and 8 correspond to down, left, right and up, but 1, 3, 7 and 9 correspond to the various diagonal directions, which is very useful in movement.


Character Access/Information Controls

In Darklands you can examine the "character information" for any character, at any time.

CHARACTER BOXES: The left side of the screen shows five boxes. In the top of each is the character's nickname. Below, on the left, is an illustration of the character as he or she appears in battle, and beneath that a single letter indicating the current combat orders or attack, if any.

The remainder of the box has three bar graphs, with numbers beneath. The left bar and number represents the character's current endurance (End). The center bar is the character's current strength (Str). The right bar is the character's current divine favor (DF). The bar graphs show the current value as a percentage of the maximum; the numbers below show the current absolute value.

If potions or saintly miracles raise a character's current endurance or strength above the normal maximum, a small "+" appears above the appropriate bar graph.

The party leader is denoted by special colored text in the character box.

MOUSE: To see information about a character, left-click anywhere within the character's box. To leave the information and return to play, left-click again in the box.

KEYBOARD: Function keys F1 through F5 select one of the five possible characters in your party. Tap the key once for information. F1 selects the topmost character, F2 the next character down, etc. F5 selects the character at the bottom. To leave character information and return to the game, tap the same function key again.


The Universal Menu Bar

Once you begin Darklands, a hidden "Universal Menu Bar" is always available across the top of the screen. To see this menu bar, either hold down the right mouse button or tap F10.

To "pull down" a menu from the various options on this bar, simply move the mouse (with the right button still down) or move the highlight (with the left/right cursor keys). In either case, the appropriate pull-down menu appears under that title.

To select an item from the pull-down menu, move the mouse to that item (with the right button still down) and release the right button. With a keyboard, move the highlight with the cursor keys to the desired option and tap the Return key.

MENU BAR SHORTCUTS: Some menu options have special key combinations for shortcuts. These are listed after the menu item. A menu bar shortcut is used instead of highlighting the menu option. Standard shortcut abbreviations used on the menu bar include:

alt: Hold down the ALT key while tapping the letter.
spc: Tap the Space bar.
Rtn: Tap the Return key.
Esc: Tap the Escape key.


The "Game" Pull-down Menu

SAVE GAME (alt s): This allows you to save the current game. You can type a short remark about the game. In addition, for general identification purposes the saved game always appends the date and general location. At some points saving is prohibited. In these situations "Save game" is faded and unavailable.

LOAD SAVED GAME (alt l): This allows you to reload a previously saved game. Simply move the highlight to select the desired game and either left-click or press Return.

DIFFICULTY: There are three levels of difficulty, which control many aspects of the game, including the amount of help available. The three levels are shown by a sub-menu, with a checkmark showing which is currently operating.

Basic provides the greatest help, but character improvement and fame rewards are somewhat smaller. This is recommended if Darklands is your first fantasy role-playing game.

Standard provides modest help, with average character improvement and fame rewards. This is recommended if you are familiar with fantasy role-playing games.

Expert provides almost no help, but your character improvement and fame rewards are larger than normal. This is recommended if you want greater challenges, or seek the best characters and highest fame, regardless of risk or cost.

See "Help and Difficulty Levels," below, for a more detailed discussion of these options.

SHOW CHANGES (alt c): This turns on and off messages about temporary skill and attribute changes caused by alchemical potions or prayers to saints. By default this is "on," and all changes appear. However, a few saints can cause so many changes that you wish to turn it off temporarily.

Permanent changes are always shown (such as skill increases caused by experience), regardless of this setting.

MUSIC: This option toggles background music on and off. If you see a checkmark, then the sound effects are currently on.

SOUND FX: This option toggles sound effects on and off. If you see a checkmark, then the sound effects are currently on.

VISUALS: There are three levels of visual presentation, with the current selection shown by a checkmark. This choice affects the way pictures are shown with various menus and messages.

Full visuals are the default selection and strongly recommended. It provides the full flavor of the game, and helps you envision medieval reality.

Quick visuals instantly fade into the background, without requiring a left-click or return. This option is provided as a convenience for impatient "high-speed" players.

None means that the pictures are suppressed. This option is intended for extremely slow computers or hard disks. Suppressing the pictures significantly increases game speed, but also damages the game's appeal and "flavor."

PAUSE (alt p): This instantly pauses the game, stopping any and all action. This is only useful in battle. Tap any key to resume.

QUIT (alt q): This option exits Darklands, and returns you to the operating system. The game is not saved. Be sure to select "Save game" before you quit.


The "Orders" Pull-down Menu

This menu is only used in battle, to give orders to individuals or�the party as a whole. See "Battle" for more information.


The "Attack" Pull-down Menu

This menu is only used in battle, to tell specific characters about which fighting tactic they should use. See "Battle" for more information.


The "Party" Pull-down Menu

PARTY INFO (F6): This shows you general information about the entire party. Tap any key or left-click the mouse to leave. See "Party Information," {** "pp20,"} for additional details.

SET AMBUSH (F7): This option sets or removes an ambush. When an ambush is set, your party will wait in ambush for an enemy. See "Travel and Interaction," {** "pp27,"} for details.

CAMP (F8): This option is available only when traveling through the countryside. It allows your party to make a semi-permanent camp. See "Travel and Interaction," {** "pp27,"} for details.


Help And Difficulty Levels

In Darklands the difficulty level controls the amount of help available. The easier the game, the more help that is available. However, as a reward for selecting the more difficult levels, character improvement occurs somewhat faster, and fame rewards are larger. Of course, with less help, your risks grow larger too.

Frequent changes in help level are ignored in Darklands. Advancement and rewards are based on the easiest level selected over the past few days or weeks (the exact time period varies, depending on how fast your party achieves certain goals). Just a brief "peek" at an easier difficulty level penalizes you for the entire period.

The "help" provided mainly occurs during interaction. When you hold down the Shift key, appropriate help information appears. See "Travel and Interaction, Interaction Menus," {** "pp27,"} for details.



Party Information


Party information is available on the "Party" menu of the menu bar (hold down the right mouse button), or by tapping the F6 key. It displays general information about your party.

Party information is not available during battle.

To leave party information, tap any key or left-click the mouse.

FAME: This displays your party's fame in Greater Germany (the Holy Roman Empire). Fame is an open-ended scale starting at 0. Every important success in Darklands increases your fame. Your goal is to achieve the highest possible fame.

TIME AND DATE: This displays the current hour, day and month. The year is sometimes in the 15th Century (1400-1499). See "Medieval Timekeeping" for information about medieval "hours" and calendar.

LOCATION: This indicates the nearest major city to your party, and is a general aid for finding your location on the map.

LOCAL REPUTATION: This indicates your reputation in the nearest city. Local reputation influences the attitude of people in the city, and to a lessor degree those living in the surrounding countryside.

WEALTH: This indicates the amount of cash carried by your party. The amount shown does not include money stored elsewhere in Germany, nor does it include the value of your Letter of Credit. See "Medieval Money" for information about florins, groschen and pfenniges.

NOTES: If you carry a letter of credit (Ltr Credit), a medieval "bank note," this indicates the value of the letter. Money carried as a Letter of Credit is easily concealed, but normally you can't use it until you reach a banker and exchange it for "real" money.

The "PStone" notation indicates the current quality of the philosopher's stone carried by the party. See "Alchemy" {** "pp41,"} for details.

MAP INFORMATION: The small map of Greater Germany highlights your current location with a white circle. With a mouse, you can move the pointer around the map for information. With the keyboard, tap the Tab key to cycle through all the cities.


Party Leadership

One character is always the leader of the party. The leader acts as spokesperson for the group. Charisma and speaking ability are frequently important to the leader. Other skills or attributes may be important in specific situations. For example, alchemical knowledge might be useful when talking to an alchemist, while religious training and knowledge of Latin could be useful when talking to priests, monks or nuns.

The party leader is indicated by different-colored text in his or her character box. In the character information, "Leader" or "Not Leader" is noted after each character's name (see "Character Information, Character Information Boards," {** "pp22,"} for details).

HOW TO CHANGE LEADERS: To change party leadership quickly, simply hold down the Control (ctrl) key and either left-click on the appropriate character box or tap the appropriate function key (ctrl F1 for the first or top-left character box, ctrl F2 for the second, etc., to ctrl F5 for the bottom character box and character). You cannot transfer leadership to a non-existent character.

You can also change leadership in the character information screen by left-clicking on a character box, then left-clicking on "Not Leader." This changes that character to the leader (see "Character Information," the next section).

In battle you can change leadership by holding down Control (ctrl) and clicking on the animating character on the battlefield. Also note that in battle, whenever the party enters "group" mode leadership automatically switches to the first (top left character box) character.


Medieval Timekeeping

HOURS: The standard "clock" used in the Middle Ages was based on the routine of players in monasteries. There were eight of these "hours," or "offices," during the day. In addition, the system of 24 hours was beginning to become common as craftsmen built large mechanical clocks into various public buildings. For simplicity, Darklands assigns three "modern" hours to each monastic "hour," as follows:

Matins: Midnight
Latins: 3 AM
Prime: 6 AM
Terce: 9 AM
Sexts: Noon
Nones: 3 PM
Vespers: 6 PM
Compline: 9PM

CALENDAR: The old Julian calendar was in effect during this era. This used the same days and months as the modern Gregorian calendar, although due to poor leap year accounting, the Julian was slightly inaccurate. For simplicity, all festivals and holidays always fall on the same day every year, and there are no leap years.

The year is always sometime during the 15th Century (which never ends).


Medieval Money

Money is counted in three denominations: gold florins, silver groschen, and silver pfenniges. Because distribution of wealth and wages were so different, comparisons to modern currency are impossible. In general, florins are very valuable, but are used only in large transactions; groschen are fairly valuable and are in daily use; pfenniges are "small change," important only to the very poor.

Conversion between denominations follows the classic medieval pattern of "a dozen and a gross," namely:

12 pfenniges (pf) = 1 groschen (gr)
20 groschen (gr) = 1 florin (fl)
240 pfenniges (pf) = 1 florin (fl)



Character Information


You can view information on any of your characters at any time in the game. The game is automatically paused while you view the information.

To do this, left-click on the appropriate character box on the left side of the screen, or tap F1 through F5 (for the appropriate character).

Once you are viewing character information, you can jump from one character to another with appropriate left-clicks or function keys.

LEAVING CHARACTER INFORMATION: To leave character information, you must left-click on the highlighted character box (on the left side of the screen), or tap the function key that matches the currently highlighted box. Doing this returns you to the game.


Character Information Boards

Character information is given on a series of boards, some with scrolls attached. To see more detail on a board (or reveal its scroll), left-click the mouse on it, or use the cursor keys to move the highlight box, and press Return.

NAME BOARD: This shows the full name of the character. "Leader" indicates the character is the leader of the party, "Not Leader" indicates the character is not the leader.

AGE AND GENDER BOARD: This shows the current age of the character in years, and his or her gender: male (M) or female (F).

ATTRIBUTES BOARD: This shows the current and maximum attributes of the character. Normally the board just shows the abbreviations, but selecting this board expands it to show the full names. See below for a detailed explanation of each attribute.

SKILLS BOARDS: These three boards list the various skills of the character. As with attributes, selecting a board expands it to show the full names. See below for a detailed explanation of each skill.

IN-USE BOARD: This board shows the weapons and armor the character is ready to use in battle. It includes both hand-to-hand and missile weapons where appropriate. As above, selecting this board expands it to show full names, rather than abbreviations.

"V:" indicates armor for the character's vitals (head and torso).

"L:" indicates armor for the character's limbs (arms and legs).

This board also shows if any potions or saintly aid are affecting the character and/or equipment.

"Enhc" (Enhanced) indicates that one or more potions are currently improving either the character, the equipment, or both.

"Bless" (Blessed) indicates that aid from one or more saints is currently improving either the character, the equipment, or both.

"None" normally means nothing. However, a character without weapons is assumed to have a small knife.

EQUIPMENT, FORMULAE AND SAINTS SCROLLS: Selecting these boards opens a scroll that lists the equipment currently carried.

Left-clicking on the top or bottom of the scroll moves the highlight up and down to scroll the list. Similarly, the up-down cursor keys move the highlight up or down.

Left-clicking on the board closes the list. When using the keyboard, move the highlight back to the board (using the right-arrow key) and press Return.

For more details about information contained on the various scrolls, see the appropriate section below.

ENCUMBRANCE BOARD: This shows the current weight of items "in use," and their effect on the character's performance:

Light characters carry 50% or less of their capacity.

Normal characters carry 51-100% of their capacity. Normally laden characters suffer a moderate agility loss.

Laden characters carry 101-150% of their capacity. They suffer a large agility loss, and lose endurance faster in combat.

Overloaded characters have over 150% of their capacity. They have virtually no agility, and in combat both lose endurance quickly and have much reduced weapons skill.

Additional items carried, but not in use, do not count toward encumbrance.

ARMAMENT ILLUSTRATION: This picture shows the armor and weapons currently in use. Any outer garments worn on top of the armor are removed, to help clarify the armor worn. This means the picture may not correspond to the character's appearance in battle (where outer garments are shown to help distinguish one character from another).


Changing Leadership

If the character is currently "Not Leader," you can make this character the party leader by left-clicking on "Not Leader." The label changes to "Leader" and the text colors change in the appropriate character boxes to the left.

Also see "Party Information, Party Leadership," {** "pp20,"} for other methods.


About Attributes

All attributes use a 0 to 99 scale. However, adult human norms run from 10 to 40, with the average being 25. All attributes show the current value and the maximum value for that character.

ENDURANCE (End): This represents how quickly a character is exhausted. It is very important in battle, since endurance is reduced faster than any other attribute. When endurance reaches zero (0) the character collapses. Characters regain endurance very quickly (within a few days, or less).

STRENGTH (Str): This represents physical strength. It is important when using weapons in battle. It also represents physical damage and wounds. As wounds heal a character slowly regains lost strength.

AGILITY (Agl): This represents the speed and quickness of the character. It is important for many activities, including climbing and avoiding missiles. Agility is adjusted downward if the character is more than lightly loaded.

PERCEPTION (Per): This represents a character's alertness; his or her ability to sense the current situation. It is an instinct that helps characters anticipate danger or surprise, as well as understand other people on an intuitive level.

INTELLIGENCE (Int): This represents the mental abilities of a character. It is very important to alchemists, and whenever the party is dealing with intellectuals or intellectual situations.

CHARISMA (Chr): This represents the appearance and physical "presence" of the character. It is extremely useful when interacting with people, especially when trying to convince them of something. Therefore charisma is very useful for a party leader.

DIVINE FAVOR (DF): This represents the amount of "credit" the character has when praying for saintly-miracles. It is lost in such prayers, but can be regained. See "About Religion, Divine Favor," for more information.


About Skills

All skills use a 0 to 99 scale. Adult humans use the entire range, from 0 (totally-incompetent) to 99 (nobody better). Most ordinary people achieve 35-60 in important skills, less in secondary skills. Recognized masters or experts achieve 65-90 in their chosen field.

EDGED WEAPONS (wEdg): This represents a character's ability to handle swords, daggers and axes in hand-to-hand (melee) combat.

IMPACT WEAPONS (wImp): This represents a character's ability to handle clubs, hammers, mauls and maces in hand-to-hand (melee) combat.

FLAIL WEAPONS (wFll): This represents a character's ability to handle flailing weapons in hand-to-hand combat. These are weapons whose damage-producing "head" is attached to a handle by a chain or pivots.

POLEARM WEAPONS (wPol): This represents a character's ability to handle spears, pikes, halberds, and staffs in hand-to-hand combat.

THROWN WEAPONS (wThr): This represents a character's ability to throw axes, javelins, darts or knives at the enemy in combat.

BOW WEAPONS (wBow): This represents a character's skill at firing drawn bows in combat, including regular "short" bows, longbows, and Asiatic composite bows.

MISSILE DEVICE WEAPONS (wMsD): This represents a character's skill at firing crossbows and handguns in combat.

ALCHEMY (Alch): This represents a character's knowledge of alchemy, including various experimental methods and techniques. It is general knowledge, independent of knowing specific formulas.

RELIGIOUS TRAINING (Relg): This represents a character's knowledge of the Church, its institutions, organization, and procedures. It also indicates a growing knowledge of various prayers and observances. This is general knowledge, independent of any specific saint.

VIRTUE (Virt): This represents the acceptability of a character's actions, based on the norms of the age and the general structures of the Church.

SPEAK COMMON (SpkC): This represents a character's skill in speaking, including the ability to "fast-talk" someone, as well as the ability to say things diplomatically. For simplicity, characters are assumed to know the local, everyday language (in Darklands this is usually German).

SPEAK LATIN (SpkL): This represents a character's knowledge of Church Latin, the universal European language for both religious and intellectual activity.

READ AND WRITE (R&W): This represents a character's ability to read and write whatever languages he or she speaks. Literacy was a separate and not altogether common skill in this era.

HEALING (Heal): This represents a character's skill at treating and dressing wounds. This is everyday, practical knowledge, not a "magical" healing power. The rate at which characters regain strength while resting depends on the single highest healing skill in the party.

ARTIFICE (Artf): This represents a character's understanding of fine devices, including the ability to assemble, disassemble and manipulate them. Such fine devices include locks, trap mechanisms, etc.

STEALTH (Stlh): This represents a character's ability to move quickly and almost invisibly, taking advantage of every shadow while avoiding actions that make loud noises.

STREETWISE (StrW): This represents a character's familiarity with city life, and the expectations of city citizens. It makes interaction easier and more effective with city residents.

RIDING (Ride): This represents a character's skill at riding a mount, usually a horse. Riding skill and horse quality combined yield a character's ability to catch or escape someone (or something).

WOODWISE (WdWs): This represents a character's familiarity with country life, woodlore, the habits of wildlife, and the ability to "read" the ground for tracks or danger.


About Equipment

Equipment is listed by its name, quality ("q") and how many are carried.

Quality is rated on a 1 to 100 scale, with 0 being worthless. Normal, everyday quality is 25. Quality over 40 to 50 is so outstanding that most people would feel an item had special religious or magical powers. Such quality is extremely rare and valuable. All potions are rated quality 25, 35 or 45, depending on the sophistication of the formula used.

Equipment also has a weight (not shown) that includes a bulk factor. By changing which items are "in use" and observing the encumbrance effect, if any, you can decide which items to use.

USING EQUIPMENT (a key): When the equipment scroll is open, you can take an item and put it on the in-use board, replacing whatever is there. This is how you select (or "ready") different arms and armor.

To do this with a mouse, left-drag the item from the scroll to the in-use board. (That is, move the pointer to the item desired, hold down the left button, drag the mouse with the button still down to the in-use board, then release the button.) The item now appears on the in-use board, replacing whatever item was there.

To do this with the keyboard, move the highlight to the item desired, then tap the "a" key.

UN-ARMING (u key): You can remove weapons or armor from the in-use board. With the mouse, left-drag the item from the board back to the equipment scroll (which must be visible). With the keyboard the procedure is different: just highlight the item on the scroll and tap the "u" key.

A character without any weapons is assumed to have a small knife.

USING POTIONS (p key): You can use some alchemical potions to improve your own equipment or attributes. To do this, highlight the potion in your equipment list, then left-click with the mouse or tap "p" on the keyboard. An appropriate change will occur in your character or equipment, depending on the potion, and "Enhc" (Enhanced) appears on the in-use board. Typically this change lasts for one day.

RELICS: Some relics have special attributes, but you always receive the advantages automatically. The advantages usually apply to the person carrying the relic. Without their special advantages, some relics are still useful as high quality weapons. For more about relics, see "About Religion," {** "pp45"}.

TRANSFERRING EQUIPMENT (1-5 KEYS): An item can be transferred from one character to another. However, temporary additions to your party will not "lend" or otherwise transfer their equipment to one of your characters. Equipment cannot be transferred to a non-existent character: if the character box is empty, you cannot transfer anything to it.

To transfer an item with the mouse, left-drag the item from the scroll to the appropriate character box (on the left side of the screen) and release. The item disappears from the equipment list. If you check character information for that other character, you'll see the item at the bottom of his or her equipment list.

To transfer an item with the keyboard, move the highlight to the item desired, then press the appropriate number key ("1" for the character in the top left box, "2" for the character in the box next from the top, etc. to "5" for the character in the bottom box. Use the number keys across the top of the keyboard, not those on the numeric keypad.

DISCARDING EQUIPMENT (d key): Your character can always abandon any item of equipment. To do this, either left-click on the item or move the highlight to the item, then tap the "d" key.

Items discarded in this fashion can never be recovered. Therefore, be careful before you throw away an item. Instead, you may wish to find a reliable person who can store items for you. City or village innkeepers frequently perform this service.


Alchemical Formulas

Alchemical formula names provide the original inventor and a general title relating to its effect. Each inventor has a slightly different version of the formula.

Left-click the mouse on a formula name (or select with up/down cursor keys and tap Return) to see a detailed description of that formula. Left-click or press Return again to return to the information boards.

FORMULA DESCRIPTION: This is a detailed description of the formula's ingredients and mystic number. Mystic numbers range approximately from 75 to 200; higher numbers indicate more difficult formulas.

Formulas are used to create potions. The formula description includes a summary of that potion's effects.

Characters cannot actually create alchemical potions at this time. They must camp or take up residence somewhere first, then spend one or more days mixing potions. See "About Alchemy," {** "pp41,"} for more information.


Saints and Prayer

When the "Saints" scroll is open, you see all the saints known by that character. As with alchemical formulas, to see a detailed description, left-click the mouse on a saint's name, or select with up/down cursor keys and tap Return.

PRAYING TO SAINTS: The detailed description of a saint includes the miraculous benefits you could expect. Unlike alchemy, you can attempt to pray to a saint at any time.

The "DF Remaining" value shows how much DF you would have, if you pray now. As this indicates, praying to a saint reduces your DF (divine favor), which may limit your ability to pray further. Fortunately, DF can be recovered.

Left-click the mouse or use cursor keys and Return to select which option you prefer:

More divine favor is spent: This increases the amount of DF (divine favor) the character "spends" while praying.

Less divine favor is spent: This decreases the amount of DF the character "spends" while praying.

Pray now...: The character begins praying. The DF is immediately reduced to the appropriate amount. Prayer results occur quickly.

Don't pray right now: This returns you to the information boards.

See "About Saints," {** "pp45,"} for more details about praying to saints. See "The Universal Church, Darklands Saints," for more information about specific saints.





Map Travel

When traveling across the wide expanses of Greater Germany, you see a small representation of your party on an overhead-view map. To move using a mouse, left-click on any spot on the map. The party immediately moves cross-country to that location. If you left-click at the very edge of the map, the party moves toward that point, and keeps moving until you left-click some other location to stop them.

To move using the keyboard, hold down the cursor keys. The keys of the numeric keypad can be used, permitting diagonal movement.

As you move, time passes. When traveling through difficult terrain, time passes quickly, as it takes more time to travel the same distance. Conversely, when traveling by road, or through open country, less time elapses because you're moving faster.

If you are not moving on the map, no time passes (exception: see Ambushes, below). To "waste time" at a particular spot, either walk back and forth or camp (see below).

The map view has two special options unavailable anywhere else: Ambushes and Camping.

AMBUSHES (F7 key): You can halt your party and wait in ambush for an enemy. When using a mouse, hold down the right button and select "Ambush from the "Party" menu. When using the keyboard, tap the "F7" key.

Ambushes are only productive in a specific area where interactions lead you to believe that such a tactic might be useful. As you wait, time will pass. If you achieve nothing after a few days, the chance of achieving anything is probably quite small.

To end an ambush, tap any key or left-click the mouse. This resumes normal activities on the map.

CAMPING (F8 key): Traveling any significant distance takes days of "real life" time. For simplicity, overnight camps, eating, etc., occurs automatically as you travel.

At times you may wish to rest in one place for a longer period, usually to regain strength, pray for more divine favor, etc. To do this select "Camp" from the party menu, or tap the F8 key. When you "camp," you spend one or more days in the same place. See "Staying Here," below, for details about your options.

INTERACTIONS: At various times your journey may be interrupted by random meetings, events, etc. In addition, whenever you reach a notable location, including all cities, villages, etc., interactions automatically occur.


Interaction Menus

Interactions describe various situations, and sometimes provide a variety of options. If "Visuals" (in the "Game" menu of the menu bar) is set to "Full," you must left-click or tap Return to see the options. If "Visuals" is set to "None," you only see descriptions and options, no pictures. The latter is not recommended unless your computer is quite slow.

SELECTIONS: The mouse or up/down cursor keys highlight various options. To select the highlighted option, left-click or tap Return.

Some options have sub-menus. When these appear, you must move horizontally (straight across the screen) until the mouse is within the area before you can select and left-click. Using the keyboard, the right/left cursor keys move the highlight into or out of the sub-menu. The up/down cursors move the highlight within the sub-menu. As before, to select an option tap Return.

HELP: When interaction options exist and "Difficulty" (in the "Games" menu of the menu bar) is set to "Basic" or "Standard," holding down either shift key displays helpful remarks about the immediate results of that option. "Expert" difficulty gives no hints.

Basic displays the exact probability of success. Of course, you must still judge the likely effects of this success or failure.

Standard displays general comments about your chance of success. Again, it only applies to the immediate action, not the overall effect.

Expert displays no hints. You make your own decisions, based purely on your judgment of the situation.

Help messages are positioned on the character who will lead or interact. If the message is positioned across all five characters, the entire party will work together in this task, and success is based on an average of their abilities.

SAINTS AND POTIONS: During interactions, some menu options permit use of potions, while others assume prayer to saints. In order to correctly apply the potion or saint to the situation, you must select the appropriate option here in interaction (not in character information).

You can still go to any character information screen and use potions or pray to saints normally (see "Character Information" for details), but this only provides general aid. To apply saintly aid to a specific situation, you must select it from the interaction sub-menu, not character information.

As with saints, some interactions allow the use of potions for special effects. Again, to get the benefit, you must select the appropriate interaction sub-menu.

INTERACTION RESULTS: A variety of results are possible. In some cases you may return to the map, while at other times you may move on to another interaction. You may also see specific results messages, or become involved in a battle.


Item Exchange Scrolls

This special display appears whenever you attempt to buy or sell goods, or if your party stores items or recovers them from storage. It also appears if your party finds items after a battle, either on a defeated enemy, or inside chests and treasure troves.

First use a left-click or the left-right cursor keys to select which scroll to use. The upper scroll is the list of items found, stored, or for sale. The lower scroll is the list of items currently carried by the character.

Next, move through the scrolling list to find the specific item to buy, sell, or move. Left-click at the top or bottom of the scroll to move the highlight, or use the up-down cursor keys.

Finally, select one of the actions beginning with a crimson letter, either with a left-click, or by tapping that letter on the keyboard.

PURCHASE AN ITEM/GET AN ITEM...: This is only available when the upper scroll is active (i.e., an item in that scroll is highlighted). It causes the character to gain that item, paying any appropriate cost.

SELL AN ITEM/PUT AN ITEM...: This is only available when the lower scroll is active (i.e., an item in that scroll is highlighted). It causes the character to transfer the item to the upper scroll, or give it to the owner of that scroll. The party gains any appropriate selling price.

Characters who temporarily join your party cannot use this option. They insist on keeping their personal possessions! The only way to get rid of items carried by such characters is to discard them (see "Character Information, Character Information Boards {** "pp22"} ).

BARTER FOR ANOTHER PERSON/CACHE ANOTHER PERSON'S ITEMS/DISTRIBUTE LOOT TO ANOTHER PERSON: This allows you to change which character's items are displayed on the lower scroll. You can buy, sell, or transfer items with the character of your choice--except, of course, characters who are just temporary members of your party.

LEAVE: This ends the exchange session.


Staying Here

When your party camps in the countryside or takes up residence at an inn or similar resting place, you see the "Staying Here" options. These options are selected and resolved one day at a time.

To select options with a mouse, left-click on a character name, then left-click on the activity desired for that character. The text changes to describe what the character will do for the day. Continue selecting options and characters until you are satisfied. Some options may be available to some characters, while prohibited to others.

To select options with the keyboard, use the cursor keys to move the highlight and the appropriate letter key to select the activity.

JUST RELAX is a default "do nothing" option that allows you to recover from any exhaustion.

REGAIN STRENGTH is only allowed to wounded characters. It represents a full day of rest. The rate of recovery is related to the character with the best healing skill in the entire party.

PRAY FOR DIVINE FAVOR is allowed to anyone whose DF (divine favor) is below maximum. Prayer helps restore divine favor.

ALCHEMY WORK allows the character to mix new potions. See "About Alchemy," {** "pp00,"} for details.

EARN A LITTLE MONEY allows the character to find a short-term job, to earn a little money. You will see the best job the character can find in the city, with the pay per day. Jobs can be exhausting. Work may cost a character some endurance daily.

GUARD THE CAMP only applies when camping in the countryside. It helps you to conceal and protect your presence, decreasing the chance that some unpleasant person or thing will find you.

TRAIN AND STUDY allows the character to work to improve a certain skill. Selecting this option produces a list of the possible skills the character could attempt to improve.

This option exists only if the party has already found someone willing to train or tutor certain people in certain skills. In other words, first you search for instructors, then you return to the inn and "take up residence" to accomplish the training.

When you see the list of skills available for training, select one by left-clicking with a mouse, or by using the cursor and Return keys.

SPEND A DAY, DOING THE ABOVE: This option activates all the selections made. One day passes, and each character does his or her appointed tasks. You must select this option to actually perform the activities.

LEAVE: Selecting this option means you've decided against spending a whole day on these tasks. You return to the other available options.





Medieval Germany is a dangerous and violent place. Therefore, from time to time, your party must fight. Sometimes you can even start a fight. Such options are frequently available in interactions.

You observe all battles from an overhead view. The ceiling and walls are "cut away" to show your characters and the enemy moving and fighting.

The battle begins "paused," that is, with the action frozen and the party leader highlighted. You can evaluate the situation, then gives orders to your leader, and/or any other characters, as you wish.

When you're ready to watch the action either tap the Space bar key, or select "Resume" in the "Orders" pull-down menu. This starts the battle. You see all moving and fighting in "real time"; that is both sides move and fight simultaneously.

To pause the battle again for new orders, simply select any of your characters (with a mouse-click on the character, or by tapping the appropriate number key), or tap the Space bar. The action stops and you can give new orders.

Remember, battles begin in "pause," waiting for your orders.

You must tap the Space bar or select "Resume" from the "Orders" pull-down menu to start action.


Basic Battle Controls

Battles have two states: "orders pause" and "real-time action." During the orders pause, action is frozen, allowing you to examine the situation and select orders for your characters. During real-time action, you watch the characters act out your orders, fight the enemy, etc.

ORDERS PAUSE: You can create an "orders pause" at any time during the battle.

The Space bar is an orders pause "toggle". If the battle is paused, tap the Space bar to resume real-time action. If the battle is in real-time, tap the Space bar for orders pause.

Selecting any character also causes an orders pause. You select a character by left-clicking on his or her animating figure on the battlefield. You can also select a character by tapping the number key for that character of the party (1 through 5). The character in the top left character box is number 1, the next down is number 2, etc. Use the number keys across the top of the keyboard, not those on the numeric keypad.

BATTLEFIELD VIEW: Normally the battlefield view tries to follow the party leader. However, you can scroll the entire battlefield view using the mouse or keyboard.

If using a mouse, move the cursor near the edge of the battlefield. The pointer will turn into an arrow. Now tap the Shift key. Each tap scrolls the battlefield a small amount. If you hold down the Shift key, the battlefield scrolls a large amount.

If using the keyboard, just hold down the Shift and tap the appropriate cursor key.

To return the view to "follow the leader, "you must select a party leader (by tapping ctrl F1, ctrl F2, etc., or holding down the Control key and clicking in the appropriate character box).

Warning: Whenever the mouse is active, be very careful with the use of the Shift key. You can unintentionally scroll the battlefield by holding the Shift down to long.

GIVING ORDERS: Orders normally have three steps:(1) select the character; (2) give the order, and usually; (3) select the target or destination.

Select the Character: To select a character with the mouse, left-click on the character on the battlefield; if using the keyboard, press appropriate number key (1 through 5). Whenever you use the Space bar to pause, or at the start of the battle, the party leader is selected automatically. You can switch to another character by simply clicking or hitting the appropriate key for that character.

If the character is currently not in view, the battlefield automatically centers the view on the character when you tap the appropriate number key.

Give an Order: To give an order with the mouse, hold down the right button to reveal the menu bar. Continue holding the button down to choose an appropriate selection from the "Orders" or "Attack" sub-menus.

If using the keyboard, you can either press the appropriate letter key for the order, or use the menu bar. To use the menu bar with keyboard, first tap F10 to show the menu bar, then use the cursor keys to navigate the highlight, finally tap Return to conclude your selection.

If the order does not require a target or destination, giving the order is all you need to do. Select another character or restart the real-time action.

Give Target or Destination: Most orders require a target toward which characters move, attack, use missiles, throw potions, etc. If a target is required, the screen pointer changes shape. When using a mouse, the pointer doesn't change shape until you hold down the left mouse button. If using the keyboard, use the directional keys (including the numeric keypad, which allows diagonal movement with 1, 3, 7, and 9) to position the pointer.

You can maneuver the target pointer around the screen to discover the "legal" targets available. Certain orders are not allowed in certain locations; an error symbol indicates this. To finish your selection with a mouse, just release the left button. To finish your selection with the keyboard, tap the Return key (to finish for that character). To finish orders for the entire party, tap the Space bar instead.

In some cases the target pointer only appears on certain parts of the battlefield. This is another way of indicating that only those areas or enemies can be targeted.

Notes: The "Orders" pull-down menu has various general options. Only those currently allowed appear in black. The "Attack" pull-down menu has specific combat instructions for individual characters.

The current order for a character appears as a letter in the lower left corner of the character box. This letter is the same as the keyboard key for that order.

CHANGING CHARACTERS: When you finish giving orders to�one character, you can immediately select another.

Warning: If you don't finish giving orders to a character and select another character, the first character (who only got partial orders) will be quite confused. The character may do nothing, or something entirely unexpected. The most frequent error is to forget to specify a destination for movement, or a target for an attack. Therefore, make sure orders to one character are finished before you start another.

CANCEL ORDERS-IN-PROGRESS: To cancel orders in progress, just tap the Escape (Esc) key. This erases any orders partly given. However, once orders are completed, the only way to erase them is to give the character new orders.

RESUME REAL-TIME ACTION: To end the orders pause and resume real-time action, either select "Resume" from the "Group" pull-down menu bar, or tap the Space bar.


Basic Battle Information

PROXIMITY MESSAGES: When a character moves close to a stairway, ladder, door, trap (if the character spots it), exit, etc., a message noting this appears in the character box in the character box on the left side of the screen.

These messages have a lower priority than the battle results. Therefore, if the double bar graphs showing combat results are present, no messages will appear. Of course, a character could still use stairways, exits, etc. Check the "Orders" pull-down menu to see which items are in black (i.e., are currently allowed).

DAMAGE VALUES: As you watch the "real-time" combat action, whenever a character is hurt by a blow, missile, alchemical effect, etc., a small number (the Damage value) appears above him or her. This is the amount of endurance lost by the character. Strength losses may occur, but strength losses are never larger than endurance losses.

White numbers indicate endurance loss to one of your characters.

Red numbers indicate endurance loss to one of your opponents in the battle.

BAR GRAPHS: When one of your characters engages an enemy, either in hand-to-hand combat or with missile fire, the bar graphs for endurance, strength and divine favor in the character boxes double. In each category the left bar shows the current level for your character while the right bar shows the current level for the enemy. The bar graphs only show percentage remaining; just because the enemy level is below yours doesn't necessarily mean the enemy is weaker.


Default Orders and Indepentent Action

At the start of a battle, no characters have orders, but the battle is in "orders pause" with the party leader already selected. You can ignore the opportunity to give orders by tapping the Space bar or selecting "Resume" from the "Orders" pull-down menu.

If a character lacks orders, he or she simply stands in place, bravely ignoring any missiles. If an enemy comes close enough to fight hand-to-hand, the character will fight back.

INDEPENDENT ACTION: Once a character is in hand-to-hand combat, the character continues fighting until the enemy is downed. Then the character will seek out additional enemies to attack, the nearest first. Of course, you can always give the character other orders.


Exploring: "Orders" Pull-down Menu

The "Orders" menu contains options for moving about, opening doors, moving up and down stairways (or ladders), examining chests, picking locks, looting the fallen, etc. Orders only appear in solid black when they are allowed. Therefore, if there are no stairways to climb or doors to open, those options always remain gray and unavailable.

To fight the enemies, use the "Attack" menu. The "Orders" menu is for moving about and performing non-combat tasks.

RESUME (Space Bar): This ends the orders process and resumes real-time action.

[NICKNAME] FINISHED (Return key): This ends the orders for the named character, but the battle remains paused. If the orders were incomplete, the character reverts to his or her previous orders.

You should now give more orders or select "Resume".

ENEMY INFO (e key): This is a toggle. Selecting this once replaces the character boxes with information about the enemies face. Selecting this option again restores the character boxes.

WALK TOWARDS (w key): This key moves an individual character (or entire party if moving as a group). You must specify a destination.

Normally just an individual character moves. However, if "Travel Single File" are selected, the party moves as a whole. See "Group Travel," for details.

While moving, the character or group might encounter enemies. If they get within hand-to-hand combat range, the character or group always stops and fights.

Also see "Exploration and Real-time".

FLEE TOWARDS (f key): This is the same as walking, except the character group does not stop to fight enemies. Instead, they keep moving toward their destination. This means enemies can strike while the character or group reaches their destination. This means enemies can strike while the character or group does not strike back. Once the character or group reaches their destination, they stop "ignoring" enemies and fight with those who come within reach.

HALT (h key): The selected character stops and stands in place. He or she defends against the first enemy that attacks hand-to-hand but otherwise does nothing.

TRAVEL AS GROUP (g key): See "Group Travel," for details.

TRAVEL SINGLE FILE (q key): See "Group Travel," for details.

USE DOOR (u key): The selected character (if moving individually) or the leader (if a group) opens the nearest door. This option only appears if a door is very close to the appropriate character.

When moving as a group, the door used is always that closest to the leading character.

If the door is locked then "Pick Lock" and/or "Dissolve lock" may appear. If the door has a trap, then "Disarm Trap" may appear. It's always wise to view this pull-down menu before trying to open a door.

Sometimes doors lead to hidden areas previously invisible to your view. In this case, using the door may cause the character to disappear through the door, as if he or she were using a stairway. See "portals."

USE STAIRS (u key): The selected character (if moving individually) or the leader (if a group) uses the nearest stairway (or ladder). This option only appears if the appropriate character is at a stairway. When moving as a group, the stairway used is the one closest to the leading character (character number one(1)).

Stairways (and ladders) are always portals to different areas. See "portals" {** ", below, for details"}.

OPEN CHEST (o key): The selected character (if moving individually) or the leader (if as a group) opens a chest to see what's inside. This option only appears if the appropriate character is beside a chest.

If there are any items of value or interest, the Item Exchange Scrolls appear (see "Universal Controls and Menu Bar" for more information). When you select "Leave" from the Item Exchange Scrolls, you return to your battlefield view.

Although virtually all chests are locked, most of them can be broken open. Only extremely solid, sturdy chests require you to pick the lock before opening the chest. In this cases, "Pick Lock" appears on the "Orders" menu. If a chest is protected by a trap, "Disarm Trap" appears on the "Orders" menu.

PICK LOCK (p key): The selected character (if moving individually) or the leader (if a group) attempts to pick the nearest chest or door. This option only appears when a locked door or chest is close to the character.

Lockpick attempts depend upon the character's tools and artifice skill. A character can attempt this without special tools, but the chances of success are usually quite small. If a lock is protected by a trap, "Disarm Trap" appears on the "Orders"menu.

DISSOLVE LOCK WITH EATER-WATER (d key): The selected character (if moving individually) or the leader (if a group) uses an Eater-Water potion to dissolve a lock. This is equivalent to picking it. Naturally, the option is only available if the appropriate character is at the lock and has at least one Eater-Water potion.

Eater-Water potion can not be used on traps.

DISARM TRAP (d key): The selected character (if moving individually) or leader (if as a group) attempts to disarm a trap on a chest. This option only appears when a trapped chest is close to the character. Disarming depends primarily upon a character's artifice skill, and secondarily upon his or her intelligence and perception. In all cases it is affected by the difficulty of the trap.

Sometimes characters may stumble over traps in the floor or wall. Perceptive characters with artifice skill are most likely to notice these. If you spot such a trap before triggering it, adjust your movement to avoid it or suffer the consequences. These traps can not be disarmed.

SURRENDER (s key): When you select this option, your entire party surrenders to the enemy. Your characters will lay down their arms and cease resisting the enemy attack.

Beware: In some cases, the enemy will show no mercy. Most humans will take prisoners, but wild animals may kill and/or eat one or all of the party.

LOOT BODIES (l key): Whenever you defeat a group of enemies, you automatically have a chance to loot their bodies. However, in large battles you may wish to leave some loot behind, then return later and get more. To do this move the character or group next to the "body" symbol, then select this option (or tap the "l" key). The item exchange scrolls appear (see "Travel and Interaction, Item Exchange Scrolls," {** "pp28,"} for details).

EXIT BATTLEFIELD (x key): If the selected character is on the edge of the battlefield, this option is available. Selecting this option causes the character to leave the battle area. In effect, the character "runs away" from the enemy.

If all functional characters have run away, leaving only the exhausted behind (i.e., characters who collapsed because their endurance reached zero), the battle automatically ends. Those left behind may suffer a variety of fates, depending upon the enemy. Looting, imprisonment and and/or death are common.

CANCEL LAST ORDER (Escape or Esc key): This cancels whatever order you are giving to an individual or the entire group. The character or group reverts to their initial orders.

ORDERS WITHOUT TARGETS: From the above group, the only orders that require targets are "Walk towards" and "Flee towards." All others automatically apply to the nearest target available unless the character or group leader is very close to the target.



When a character uses stairways, ladders or certain special doorways, he or she temporarily disappears from the battlefield. The character is now waiting at the other end of the stairway, ladder, or doorway for the rest of the party. When all surviving members of the party use that same doorway, stairway, or ladder, the entire view changes to the new scene, at the other end of the stairway or door.

RECALL FROM A PORTAL: After a character "uses" a door or stairway, he or she can be recalled. Tap the appropriate number key (1 through 5) to see the character, then tap the "u" key (or select "Use stairs" from the pull-down menu) to return. This is the only order available for that character. The Character will appear in the door or on the stairway. You cannot use the mouse to recall characters--because the characters are beyond your view!

MULTIPLE PORTALS: Different doors and stairways may lead to different places. If part of the party uses one, and part another, the view will never shift to a new scene. Instead, you will still see the old battlefield, with nobody on it! In this case, recall some of the characters and move them to join the others, until everyone has passed into the same door or stairway.


Group Mode

Group mode exists as a convenience for long journeys. It allows you to move the entire party as a group, rather than one by one. Group mode is prohibited if any character is fighting hand-to-hand. In fact, group mode is a disadvantage whenever combat threatens. You should give individual orders when fighting.

Whenever you select a group mode (either "Travel as group" or "Travel Single File") the number one character (the character whose box is in the upper left) automatically becomes group leader.

TRAVEL AS GROUP (g key): This means the party moves in a fan-formation that allows everyone to face front. It is an adequate fighting formation, but cannot fit down narrow corridors.

To begin, "Travel as group," use the mouse or keyboard to select it from the "Orders" pull-down menu, or tap the "g" key. If you look at the pull-down menu again, you'll see a checkmark beside "Travel as group."

Next, you must select a target for the group. The characters in the party will attempt to assemble into a group here. If the party is too widely scattered, some or all may be unable to assemble. In that case, give "Walk toward" orders to individuals to move them closer together, and try again.

TRAVEL SINGLE FILE (q key): This means the party moves in single file, with character number one in the lead, then number two, etc., until the last brings up the rear. Although usually poor fighting, this is the only way a group can move through narrow passages.

To begin "Travel Single File," use the mouse or keyboard to select that from the "Orders" pull-down menu, or tap the "q" key. If you look at the pull-down menu again, you'll see a check-mark beside "Travel Single File".

Unlike "Travel as group," you need not specify a target point when entering this mode. The characters in the party automatically assemble behind the number one character (character whose box is in the upper left on the screen). Of course, you still must use destinations when moving {** "(see below)"}.

As in "Travel as group," if the party is too widely scattered, some or all may be able to assemble. In that case, give, "Walk towards" orders to individuals to move them closer together, then try again.

MOVING A GROUP: When the party is in group mode, it is always waiting for movement orders. Simply left-click the mouse to specify the destination for "Walk toward" movement. If using the keyboard, you must tap "w" or select the "Walk toward" from the "Orders" pull-down menu, move the cursor to the destination, then tap Return.

Also see "Exploration and Real-time," {** "below"}.

SPECIAL ORDERS: In addition to moving, if the group approaches certain points, other exploration orders are possible. The options available depend on how close the current Party Leader is to the object. Other members of the group cannot open doors, disarm traps, etc.. To have them do such, you must either change party leadership or give them an individual order (which ends group mode).

If you use a stairway, ladder or special doorway in group mode, the entire party moves through the portal.

Important: Unlike individual orders, you do not select a specific character for group orders. Instead, you just give on thing: either a destination (for movement), or a specific action (for other exploration orders, like opening doors, etc.).

EXITING GROUP MODE: To leave group mode, you must deliberately "turn off" group mode by selecting the check-marked item on the "orders" pull-down menu (either "Travel as group" or "Travel Single File"). This toggles "off" the group mode. Tapping the appropriate group movement key (g or q) also toggles off the group mode.


Fighting: The "Attacks" Pull-down Menu

All attack orders are given to individual characters. All attacks must have a target, selected by either a mouse left-click or the cursor and Return keys. If you specify none, then the orders are discarded and the character reverts to his or her previous order.

THROW POTION (t key): The selected character throws a potion at any allowed target. Characters cannot throw over friendly or enemy characters. A less skillful thrower must avoid friends by a wide margin, while a more skillful thrower can throw right past friends with a very narrow margin.

This option includes a sub-menu of all potions that a character can throw. To select the target point, left-click the mouse, or use the cursor keys (including the numeric keypad) and tap Return.

If the target is a location, the thrower ignores the movement of friends or enemies and simply throws at the spot. If the target is a person, the thrower maintains his or her aim at that person, trying to throw at where they are moving toward, rather than their current position.

Notice that throwing skill determines how much friends or enemies block a throw. Assuming the target can be hit, the potion hits the target, regardless of skill level. Please bear in mind that throwing a potion takes time (potions require the alchemist to do some special mixing, lighting, etc., just before they are thrown).

ATTACK (a key): The selected character attacks a specific target in hand-to-hand combat. To choose the target, left-click the mouse, or move the pointer with cursor keys and tap Return. The target must be a specific enemy. If the enemy is not adjacent, the attacker will move toward that enemy, seeking to engage them.

Standard "attack" orders tell the character to balance his or her fighting methods, alternating between strikes and parries. The character simply tries to hit the target, without aiming at any special spots.

Characters cannot attack enemies out of sight or otherwise invisible.

VULNERABLE (v key): This is a special tactic for hand-to-hand combat. Orders are given exactly like the normal attack; i.e., an enemy target must be specified by mouse left-click, or by moving the pointer with the cursor keys and tapping Return.

"Vulnerable" orders tell the character to seek out weak spots in the target's armor. Therefore, the character's strikes are slower, the chance of hitting is unaffected, and the chance of penetrating is higher. The character's defensive abilities are equivalent to the standard attack above.

BERSERK (b key): This is a special tactic for hand-to-hand combat. Orders are given exactly like normal attack.

"Berserk" orders tell a character to make an all-out attack on the enemy, as quickly as possible, without regard to his or her safety (like Viking "Berserkers" of the Dark Ages). The character strikes more swiftly, with an increased chance of hitting, but is much more vulnerable to being hit. Of course, the character's armor will still deflect or reduce the damage of non-penetrating blows.

PARRY (p key): This is a special tactic for hand-to-hand combat. Orders are given exactly like the normal attack; i.e., an enemy must be specified by mouse left-click, or by moving the pointer with the cursor keys and tapping Return. This specifies which enemy the character primarily faces, and against whom any counter-attacks are directed.

"Parry" orders tell a character to concentrate on defense. This reduces the chance of enemy hand-to-hand strikes hitting the character. However, it also means the character's strikes occur more slowly, and have less chance of hitting. Should the character hit, penetration and damage abilities remain normal.

USE MISSILE (m key): The selected character fires his or her missile weapon against a target selected by either a mouse left-click, or by moving the pointer with cursor keys and tapping Return. This includes thrown weapons, bows, crossbows, and/or handguns.

The character fires missiles as fast as possible at that target, as long as circumstances permit.

As in throwing potions, missiles cannot be fired directly through friends or enemies to a target beyond. Also like potions, the firer's skill determines how close he or she may aim past an obstruction to hit a target farther away.

A character firing missiles who is attacked hand-to-hand automatically stops firing and switches to hand-to-hand weapon listed on the in-use board (see "Character Information" {** "; pp22,"}). The character then adopts "Attack" orders against the enemy.

ENLIGHTENED SELF-INTEREST: During hand-to-hand�combat, your characters sometimes make their own decisions about which attack orders to use. You may see either "Attack" or "Vulnerable" orders change to either "Attack," "Vulnerable," or "Parry" depending on the situation. You can override these orders by giving your own, of course. "Parry" or "Berserker" orders are never overridden by enlightened self-interest. A character retains these orders until given new ones.


Special Situations

MANY-ON-ONE: In hand-to-hand fighting, sometimes multiple enemies are fighting one character, or vice versa. In such cases, the "one" attempts to defend against all, while still striking his or her selected target. However, the one's chance of hitting declines, while each of the "many" has an improved chance. The amount of change depends on how many simultaneously face the one.

Therefore, "many-on-one" situations are extremely favorable to the "many." Achieving such situations against the enemy, and avoiding them against yourself, is an important tactic. In general, no more than three or four characters can find space to surround and simultaneously attack one character.

TRAPS: In certain areas your party may encounter deadly traps. Perceptive characters may see them before triggering them, allowing you to avoid them or disarm them. Unperceptive characters are more likely to blunder into them. If this happens quickly change your orders to prevent any more characters from blundering into the trap.


Exploration and Real-time

If none of your party is involved in hand-to-hand combat, you may take advantage of certain special controls while the battle is in real-time. These controls are intended solely to make exploration easier in larger areas. They are not recommended whenever combat threatens. Remember, to use these controls you must switch from orders pause to real-time.

PARTY LEADER REAL-TIME CONTROL: If group mode is not active, then during non-combat real-time you can maneuver the party leader (only) around the battlefield by left-clicking destinations with the mouse. If using the keyboard, simply hold an appropriate cursor key to direct the leader's movement. In both cases, the leader is using "Walk toward" orders.

The leader can also perform various exploration orders (depending on what's near the leader) using either the pull-down menu or appropriate keyboard key.

GROUP REAL-TIME CONTROL: When group mode is active, you can maneuver the entire group on the battlefield.

When group mode is "Travel Single File," group movement works just like that of the party leader above. That is, left-click destinations with the mouse, or hold down the cursor keys to control movement directly. The movement you control is the party leader. The remainder of the party follows behind.

When the group mode is "Travel as group," you can still left-click destinations with the mouse. With the keyboard you must tap the "w" key, use the cursor keys to indicate the destination point, then tap Return.

In both "Travel Single File" and "Travel as group," the current party leader can perform various exploration orders using either the pull-down menu or the appropriate keyboard key.


Battle Results

COLLAPSE: A character collapses whenever his or her endurance reaches zero (0). Once unconscious, the character will not reawaken for the duration of the fight. Unconscious characters are not dead.

DEATH: A character dies whenever his or her strength reaches zero (0). Once dead, a character can never be resurrected. No amount of potions or saintly aid can reverse death. Therefore, you are advised to provide such aid to a character before they die!

VICTORY: You are victorious when all enemies are "downed" by collapse and/or death. In simple fights this ends the battle. In more complex situations, it may only eliminate the immediate problem. In either case, you normally get a chance to examine the bodies, taking anything that appears useful. See "Travel and Interaction, Item Exchange Scrolls" {** ", pp28,"} for details.

ESCAPE OR RETREAT: Your party escapes, retreats, or bypasses the enemy whenever all survivors exit the battlefield. The fate of any characters who collapsed on the battlefield depends on the situation. They might crawl away unobserved and rejoin you. Other times they are captured. Sometimes they are put to death or eaten!

SURRENDER: This option also ends the battle. Again, results vary, depending on the motivations of your opponent(s). With luck, at least some survive.

DEFEAT: This option occurs when the entire party collapses and/or dies on the battlefield. Collapsed characters are entirely at the mercy of the enemy. Results vary, depending on the opponent.

DEATH OF ALL: If the entire party dies, then the game ends. If the party's fame is sufficient, it is recorded in the Hall of Fame. {* see note about "Hall of Fame"} Now it's time to create some new characters and try again!



About Alchemy


Alchemical skill allows a character to create potions. However, the character must also know alchemical formulas, have the ingredients specified in those formulas, and have sufficient time to actually mix the potions.

Knowledge of alchemical formulas is one of the most precious things in this era. Formula knowledge cannot be traded among characters. However, ingredients, the "Philosopher's Stone" catalyst, and the resulting potions are items easily exchanged. Therefore, whenever a character makes potions, the ingredients carried throughout the party are available for use. In addition, the resulting potions can be transferred from maker to any other character in the party.

Alchemists of varying competence can be found throughout Germany. It is possible to buy potions from them, rather than making them yourself. However, this can be costly, assuming you find alchemists with appropriate skills.

Some alchemists potions can be used to improve a characters attributes and/or equipment. Alchemical potions can be used as weapons in battle to discomfort, demoralize or actually injure enemies.



Go to character information to see a summary of any formula a character knows(see "Character Information, Alchemical Formulas" {** "pp26,"} for details).

NAMES: Each formula has a general descriptive name, plus the name of the original inventor. There are multiple inventors possible for each general name, which means there are various formulas for the same potion! Actually, the potions are not exactly the same--they too vary somewhat, as indicated by their quality value.

MYSTICAL NUMBER: Each formula has a "mystical number." The higher the number the more difficult the formula, and therefore, more alchemical skill is required for success. However, higher mystical numbers also mean either a higher quality potion or a more powerful effect.

EXAMPLE: Galen's Eyeburn and Nicole Flammel's Eyeburn both produce blinding effects, but the ingredients are subtly different. Galen's formula has a lower mystical number, but results in potions of lower quality.

Of course, both Eyeburn formulas have a far lower mystical number than any formula for Breath of Death, because those potions are far more powerful than Eyeburn.


The Philosopher's Stone

The "Philosopher's Stone" is actually a fine mineral powder that is a universal catalyst. It is shared equally among the party, and is only valuable to alchemists. It cannot be bought or sold on the open market. The party's Philosopher Stone has a quality level, starting at zero (0); this value can increase during play. Many alchemists use a "stone" of levels 5 to 15; level 20 or more is quite exceptional. See "Notes" on the Party Information Screen (tapF6) for the current quality of "stone" carried by your party.

A higher quality "stone" increases the chance of success when making potions. An alchemist always uses a little "stone" in every process. However, because it is a catalyst, the "stone" is not consumed. Instead the alchemist recovers it for reuse. Therefore, the only issue that concerns you is the current quality of your "stone."


Making Potions

Creating potions takes time. The party must take up residence for at least one entire day to permit the making of potions. Typically this is done by either camping in the wilderness or taking up residence at a city inn.

When you take up residence, you see the "Staying Here" options (see "Travel & Interaction, Staying Here" {** ", pp29,"}). If a character selects "Alchemy work," you begin planning which potion to create.

SELECTING FORMULAS: Your first option is which formula to use. First left-click on one of the abbreviated formula names on the scroll (to scroll the list, left-click on top or bottom of the scroll). If using the keyboard, move the highlight with a cursor and tap Return.

Now left-click on one of the options that begins with a crimson letter:

Use this formula: This makes the selection and begins potion creation.

Do something else: This aborts any alchemical work and returns you to the "Staying Here" options.

POTION CREATION: When you "use this formula," the scroll closes to show a detailed explanation of the formula selected.

Across the top of this view is an equation that depicts the character's chance of success with this formula. The chance of success is calculated as 100 plus the quality of the Philosopher's Stone (ps), plus the alchemist's intelligence (int), plus his or her alchemical skill (alch), minus the mystical number of the formula. Making more than one batch at a time may reduce the chance of success.

Below this summary, to the right, is a list of various ingredients that are used to make the potion. In parenthesis is the number of ingredients that will remain among the party after you mix the potion. Since everyone in the party shares ingredients, the totals reflect those in the entire party, rather than just the ingredients carried by the alchemist.

More batches: Left-clicking here or tapping the "m" key allows you to make more than one potion simultaneously. Although an alchemist can only mix one formula per day, the amount he or she mixes can be small or large, depending upon the amount of ingredients you wish to consume. Larger batches may reduce your chances of success.

Fewer batches: Left-clicking here or tapping the "f" key allows you to make fewer batches.

Different Formula: Left-clicking here or tapping the "d" key returns you to "Selecting Formulas," above. There you can select a different formula instead, or you can forget about formulas entirely and return to "Staying Here" to choose another option.

Satisfied with this: Left-clicking here or tapping the "s" key saves your alchemical plans for the day and returns you to "Staying Here," where you can select options for other characters.

FINAL CREATION AND RISK: When you return to "Staying Here," your potion creation plans are summarized for the character. The potions are actually made until you select "Spend a day, doing the above." At that point, success or failure is judged.

Potion creation includes an element of risk. If the risk is low, then failures usually have modest affects; the ingredients are wasted, but nothing worse happens. If the risk is moderate or high, then failures can result in larger disasters. Characters and/or their equipment may be damaged, the camp or the inn may become uninhabitable, etc.

If the creation is successful, the creator now has those potions among his or her equipment. They can be transferred to the other members of the party, as desired.


Using Potions

Potions can be used either as part of character information, during interactions, or during battle. Potions can be used either from character information, during interactions, or thrown in battle. Typically, different potions are used in different places.

POTION USE DURING CHARACTER INFORMATION: Only potions that improve a person or improve a piece of equipment can be used here. Typically, these potions add to a character's attributes, or to equipment quality, for one day (24 hours).

If you are using a mouse, left-drag the potion from the equipment scroll onto the in-use board (like a weapon or armor). This applies the potion to the character, or to the appropriate piece of equipment on the armaments board. Naturally, make sure the desired piece of weapon or armor is on the armaments board before using the potion!

If you are using the keyboard, use the cursor to highlight the potion, then tap "p". This applies the potion to the character, or an item on the armaments board, as appropriate.

You cannot directly use a potion on another character. Instead, you must first transfer the potion to that character, then select character information for that character, then transfer the potion from the character's equipment to the in-use board.

POTION USE DURING INTERACTION: When interacting, certain options may "pop up" a sub-menu of various characters and their alchemical potions. The sub-menu shows the potions possessed by the character. Simply select (by left-clicking or cursoring the highlight and hitting return) the specific potion of the specific character.

At lower difficulty levels, the sub-menu may include faded potion names. These are potions that could be used, if only you had them! At the lowest difficulty level, some potion names may appear in red. These represent potions that could be used, and for which you know the formula. You can't use them because you haven't mixed up any (this is a hint to find the ingredients and start mixing!).

POTION USE DURING BATTLE: When fighting, you can give characters orders to throw certain potions. See "Battle, Fighting: the Attack Pull-down Menu," {** "pp37,"} for details.

While in battle you can also go to character information and use a potion on the character or equipment from that view. While this has no effect on the enemy, it may aid your character. {** "See pp25 for details"}

VIEWING CHANGES: When the "Show changes" option is on (see "Universal Controls and Menu Bar, The 'Game' Pull-down Menu," {** "pp18,"}), any attribute and skill changes caused by potions appear in character boxes. However, if this option is turned off, the changes simply happen. You must look at the appropriate character information to see the current state of the character.



About Religion


Many miraculous aids are possible through religion, especially by praying for intervention of a saint. Praying to saints is possible at any time in character information. However, additional benefits are possible if a characters takes advantage of a prayer opportunity during interactions.

Prayer reduces a character's "divine favor" (DF). However, this is easily regained. In Darklands, think of divine favor as a type of "credit," which is "spent" on prayer, and can then be regained through various deeds. The speed at which it is regained varies with the religious training of the character.

Virtue is also important. Unlike DF, it is not spent. Instead, a character's virtue determines which saints and relics can be used, because each saint and relic demands a different level of virtue.


Knowledge of Saints

A character must "know" about a saint before he or she can pray for miracles. This knowledge is a mystical understanding, and cannot be transferred from one character to another. The saints currently known by a character are available in character information (see "Character Information, Saints" {** "pp26,"}).

Characters can "learn" about new saints by seeking those who know about them. Monasteries, universities, and cathedrals are the best sources, but you may find additional opportunities. There are over 130 different saints that can be discovered, although it is unlikely that anyone will learn them all.


Praying to Saints

A character can pray for saintly aid either in character information, or as an interaction option. Interaction success results in normal benefits, plus the special effects that occur in the interaction. Prayer from character information only provides the normal benefits; you can never pray from character information and get interaction benefits. Prayer is {** "also"} possible during battle. Simply go to character information and pray from there, then return to the battle and observe the results.

PRAYER AT CHARACTER INFORMATION: When you select a saint in character information (see "Character Information, Saints {** ",' pp26"}), the view changes to an image of the saint; a brief description, and other information.

The "Success" value here represents the percentage chance of success. If the character lacks sufficient virtue for this saint, the chance of success is 0%. If the character has sufficient virtue, the chance of success is 1% or more. If a character's virtue is higher than the minimum, success chances improve commensurate with the advantage in virtue.

The "DF Remaining" value shows the amount of divine favor (DF) the character will have after the prayer. This is almost equal to the current value, since most prayers consume at least a certain minimum amount of DF.

More divine favor is spent: Selecting this option (with a left-click or by tapping the "m" key) increases the amount of DF spent during the prayer.

Less divine favor is spent: Selecting this option (with a left-click or by tapping the "l" key) decreases the amount of DF spent during prayer. This decreases the chance of success, but increases the amount of DF Remaining. The chance of success cannot drop below the initial value, nor can the DF Remaining be increased beyond the initial value.

Pray now for...: Selecting this option (with a left-click or by tapping the "p" key) causes the character to make the prayer. If the prayer must be directed at a single character, a sub-menu appears, listing possible recipients. If the prayer benefits the entire party, you just see "Pray now."

Don't pray right now: Selecting this option (with a left-click or by tapping the "d" key) means the character does not pray. You return to the previous view, in this case character information.

PRAYER AT INTERACTION: Some interaction options include the possibility of prayer. A sub-menu appears, showing the saints applicable in this situation. Saints known by a character appear in dark print, while those currently unknown appear in pale print. If all applicable saints are unknown, a simple list purely in pale print appears. At higher levels of difficulty (i.e., with less "help" selected, see "Universal Controls and Menu Bar, The 'Game' Pull-down Menu" {** "pp18"}), the pale print "unknown" saints may not be available.

If you select the sub-menu option, you see the same view of the saint, with the same options as before. If you select "Pray now for..." and are successful, in addition to the normal effects you will receive a special effect appropriate to the interaction. This special effect almost always affects the entire party, even if the normal effect is restricted to just one character.

VIEWING CHANGES: When the "Show changes" option is on (see "Universal Controls and Menu Bar, The 'Game' Pull-down Menu" {** "pp18"}), any attribute and skill changes caused by a saint appear in the character boxes. However, if this option is turned off, the changes simply happen. You must look at the appropriate character information to see the current state of the character.

Some saints cause many changes; eventually you may wish to temporarily turn off "Show changes" before praying to a saint, then turn them on again afterward.


Divine Favor

Divine Favor (DF) is a kind of holy "credit," which a character uses when asking a saint for aid. DF ranges from a minimum zero (0) to a maximum of 99. A prayer to a saint reduces a character's DF. The new, lower amount is noted when you view information about a saint.

Certain despicable actions may also cause a character to lose a certain amount of divine favor. Be wary of acting too "evil"-it may influence your ability to call saintly aid. In some cases, the maximum allowable DF may also be reduced to something less than 99.

When calling upon a saint, a character must use at least a certain minimum amount of DF. A character may also be limited in the maximum amount of DF that can be used.

REGAINING DF: Divine Favor is regained daily at a very slow rate. You may improve this by spending days in prayer (see "Travel and Interaction, Staying Here" {** "pp29"}), by going to confession, and/or going to mass. Donations to churches and cathedrals may also improve your divine favor.

The speed at which a character regains divine favor depends on his or her religious training. Characters with better training regain favor faster, those with less (or none) regain it more slowly.

SAINT DAY: If a character asks for saintly aid on the day of that saint, the DF cost is much less.



There are dozens of different religious relics. Many of these are useful items in their own right, such as St. Adrian's Sword, St. Bathildis' Staff, etc. In addition, relics may provide certain miraculous benefits.

SAINTLY AID BENEFITS: Possession of a relic may reduce DF cost of praying to the saint. However, most relics require the bearer to have sufficient virtue to gain this advantage. The virtue requirement is frequently high, so only the most virtuous will benefit when invoking a saint. Relics related to Christ or Mary are beneficial when invoking any saint.

AUTOMATIC ATTRIBUTE & SKILL BENEFITS: In special cases, a sufficiently virtuous character carrying a relic may see a temporary improvement in attributes and/or skills. Examine character information to see these effects. These effects are automatic for whomever carries a relic.





The ultimate goal in Darklands is fame. Events, adventures and quests come and go. Someday everyone must die, even your adventurers. What matters is how they are remembered by future generations. Will your party be known as immortal heroes, like Roland, Beowulf, or Siegfried, or will they be forgotten?

In Darklands fame is awarded numerically. The higher this number, the greater your fame. You can review your current fame by looking at Party Information (on the pull-down "Party" menu, or just tap the "F6" key). In addition, fame is useful during the play of Darklands. For example, interacting with certain people may be easier if your party is famous.

FAME AWARDS: Naturally, the greater your accomplishments, the more fame your party accumulates. Dealing with large problems, such as robber-knights, dragons, revolts, and witches produces more fame than collecting a lost relic or escorting a merchant.

The size of an award also depends on the level of help selected (see "Universal Controls and Menu Bar, Help and Difficulty Levels" {** ", pp19"}). The less help you use, the greater your reward in fame.

The death of a character does not affect your fame. The party can continue, possibly recruiting another person. However, if the entire party is killed, then their current fame is the final value. Party fame is not affected if you dismiss individuals from the party and replace them with others. For simplicity, fame is attached to the party as a whole, not specific people.

FAME LEVELS: As your numerical score increases, your general level of fame may also increase. The levels, from lowest to highest, are: Unknown, Barely Known, Slight Reputation, Modest Reputation, Good Reputation, Slight Heroes, Modest Heroes, Great Heroes, Famous Heroes, Storied Heroes, and finally Legendary Heroes.


Character Development

Characters in Darklands will improve, but improvement has its limits. All attributes and skills have an upper limit of 99. However, attributes almost never rise about the original values, except temporarily due to potions or saints. Skills, on the other hand, will improve steadily. Skill improvement occurs in situations where that character's skill is seriously tested (i.e., there is an element of risk). Successful use of a skill gives a greater chance of improvement, and somewhat larger improvements as well. However, as skills get higher, the chance of improvement grows smaller. For example, advancing 20 to 21 is fairly easy, while advancing from 95 to 96 is extremely difficult.

Similarly, you can accumulate riches by various means. Wealth is useful, but is not a goal of the game. No great fame is attached to wealth. For example, the Fugger banking house was wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of many kings, yet they are almost forgotten today.

Your party's reputation around Germany also changes constantly. The worst reputation level possible is -99, where the city guards may try to kill you on sight and many doors are closed to you. A reputation of 0 means you are unknown, just a faceless traveler. A reputation of 99 means you are the local heroes of the day, favored by the government and citizenry. Many things previously difficult may now be easy.

Your reputation in a city influences your reception not only in that city, but in the nearby countryside as well. Furthermore, if a single nobleman controls multiple cities, your reputation in one city may affect your reputation in the other cities of that principality. Your reputation in an Imperial Free City is always unique to that city and the local countryside.

The sages of the era suggest that you content yourself with the challenges and adventures of Darklands, accept what improvement comes your way, and then await new challenges elsewhere in Europe (in forthcoming sequels).


Adventures, Aging & Retirement

ADVENTURES: There are many possible adventures in Darklands. Some are unrelated; it is possible to have different problems occurring simultaneously. Many of these problems are so common that they occur again and again, although in different places and somewhat different guises.

You should be aware that witchcraft in Germany is a pervasive evil, whose roots go very deep. Dealing with this problem will be complex, but the potential rewards in fame are larger than anything else. It is also a problem that once solved, is not likely to quickly reappear.

On the other hand, do not assume that every situation you stumble across is related to witchcraft. There are many other problems in Germany. Your judgment must be your guide.

AGING: It is possible to continue adventuring almost indefinitely. There are always new problems, new areas of unrest, where one can earn fame and hone skills. Your adventures could last years, if you have the stamina. After five years of adventuring, characters who are thirty or older suffer modest aging penalties to some attributes. The older the character, the greater the penalties. The exact time and place is unpredictable. If aging reduces any attribute to zero, the character has suffered a fatal illness and dies.

RETIREMENT: Your party may retire at any time, simply by returning to the inn at the city. Retirement ends the game and graphically shows your current level of fame. However, it also creates a "saved-game" file. This means you can "come out of retirement" simply by selecting that saved-game file.

Even if you have finished with Darklands, do not erase the saved-game file. Forthcoming sequels may use this file.

DEATH: Sooner or later, your adventures may lead to the death of one or more characters. Dead characters can never be resurrected. Saintly aid or alchemical potions only have temporary effects. Therefore, they cannot reverse death. If your party has fewer than four characters, you can recruit new characters at the inn (Gasthaus) of any city.


Hall of Fame

This records the fame of your current party, and allows you to compare it with other heroes and parties. As your party gains fame, they take their proper place in the memories of mankind. If you find your position discouraging, the appropriate left-click or keypress can clear the Hall of Fame of all prior entries.



Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 by MicroProse Software, Inc. All rights reserved.