Until you get classed, most of your advancement will be in terms of player skill, that is, learning how to use the combat system and your own potential. You cannot increase your primary stats at this stage, but there are still ways to make your character stronger.
Your skills and styles will improve as you use them. Some of them will also increase your character's statistics, such as maximum health (you will notice your hit points going up until your Athletics skill reaches its maximum), and weapon skills and styles will unlock new techniques at higher skill levels. As an avatar, you can increase all your skills and styles to 100. After classing, the maximum skill level becomes equal to your divine age.
|Note:||For an overview of your skills and styles, together with their level, type 'score more'. Any maxed skills will be coloured cyan.|
There are five Core skills, which represent the most basic abilities of your character. Combat represents your general fighting ability. It goes up whenever you fight, and is added to all of your weapon skills when calculating their bonuses. Athletics represents your physical fitness. It is applied to your health as a percentage and also increases your movement speed. Riding represents your skill at riding mounts. While mounted this skill works like a weapon skill for your feet, and like Athletics for movement speed. Meditate works in the same way as Combat, but is applied to magic colours. It also counts as a percentage modifier to your mana. Lore is not yet implemented and cannot be increased.
Your Weapon skills and Magic colours improve whenever you fight with the appropriate weapon type or cast spells of a particular magic colour. The 'Improvised' weapon category encompasses any items that are not primarly meant as weapons - bottles, torches, pieces of armour, severed limbs or small creatures.
Styles are divided into three categories: basic, advanced and super. Each advanced style has two prerequisite basic styles, which depend on the bonuses it grants (see 'help styles'). Each super style has three prerequisite advanced styles. To start training a style, you will first have to master all the styles it requires - it will tell you which if you try to switch to that style:
First you must master the Bear, Monkey and Eagle fighting styles.
The 'skill' command lets you check quickly on the progress you are making with training, displaying your skill level with whatever weapons you are wielding in your right and left hand, as well as your proficiency in the style you are currently using. There is also a 'style' command, which will show you the bonuses you get from your current style.
As you reach certain milestones in your skill and style training, you will be able to add more talents. Talents are special abilities or traits your character possesses (think perks or feats, if you are familiar with those concepts). You will start with three talents when you first enter the game, and as an avatar you can get as many as eight. Having five talents is one of the requirements for classing.
You can earn a talent slot by mastering Combat, Athletics and three weapons (or Meditate and three magic colours) and another one when you master your first super fighting style. You also earn a free Weapon Mastery talent by mastering five weapon skills, a second one by mastering eight weapon skills, and a third Weapon Mastery talent by mastering all ten weapon skills.
To view the talents you have, type 'talents' - this will also tell you whether you can 'add' another talent (or more than one). Typing 'talent list' will show you all talents you fulfill the requirements for, while 'talent all' will display a list of all available talents. To see the description of a talent and its requirements, use 'talent <talent name>' or 'help <talent name>'.
|Note:||Any stat increases you gain after classing do not count towards the talent requirements. The requirements only take into account your base, i.e. pre-class stats.|
If you want to switch your talents around, you can do so using Customised creation in the gym, or more easily by going to your home plane and dropping the talent ('talent drop <talent name>').