About Characters

Character Attributes

Each player interacts in the Crossfire world through the persona of a character. In turn, the interaction between the character and the game world is mediated by the ``attributes'' of the character. After all, the player is not going to play him/herself! In Crossfire we chose to parameterize the acceptable limits of player behavior via the values of the character attributes which, in turn, help to determine the success of any action taken by the player. There are no limits per se on what you can attempt to do with your character; rather, the attributes of a character indicate the certain ``natural'' talents and inclinations. Two concepts which are relevant to Crossfire character attributes are ``stats'' and ``class''.

2.1.1. Character Stats

Character statistics (or ``stats'' for short) can be divided into two types: primary and secondary. What's the difference between them? Secondary stats are calculated from a number of things including the primary stats. But the reverse isn't true, secondary stats never have any influence on the primary stats. In playing the game, the player may find that either of these kinds of stats may be changed for better or worse. In general, the primary stats change much less often than the secondary stats. Equipment, magic, and death are just three examples of the many things which can alter the values of the character stats. The current values of both the primary and secondary stats may be viewed in the stat window. Four important secondary stats - food, grace, hitpoints and mana also appear again in the stat-bar window.

Primary stats

The seven primary stats are:

Primary stats have a ``natural'' range between 0 and ~20. The actual upper limit on each primary stat is set by the chosen character class (see character classes.) You can raise your primary stats by drinking potions up to your class natural limit.

There are plenty of items which give you bonuses to your stats even beyond your class limit - swords, armour and rings to name the most important. You can also read scrolls or cast spells (incantations or prayers) to temporarily raise your stats. The ultimate maximum value is 30, and the player class doesn't matter here. Some quantitative effects of the primary stats are summarized in the table below. The top row in the column header specifies a particular bonus (i.e. HpB, MgB, AcB, DmB, etc.) while the second row in the header indicates the stat which is used to calculate the value of that column. Where no stat appears, one of several stats may be used to calculate that value. See later parts of the text (particularly section statistics calculation) for further details.

StatHpBMgB¹AcBDmB Thac0Max CarrySpeed %learn²Buy/Sell
Selected primary stat bonuses/penalties.

¹ Either POW or WIS can be used to calculate MgB (magic bonus).
² Percentage for learning either skills (INT), incantations (INT) or prayers (WIS).

Secondary stats

The secondary stats are :

Character Classes

Much like the older ``paper and pencil'' role-playing games Crossfire has adopted the idea of character ``class''. Each class is meant to be a template of a particular ``style'' of play; therefore each choice of class modifies both the starting values and sets the natural upper limit on the primary stats. Important note: character class is chosen at the time a character is created and can't be changed later on.

Type StrDexConIntWisPowChaSpecial
Table 2.2 Crossfire character classes

The table shows the various available character classes with the natural stat limits for each. Under the ``special'' column several bits of information are included. ``Ac'' indicates the base armour class for the character; ``damage'' indicates the base Dam value. Some character classes have special attack abilities and certain vulnerabilities, protections from, and immunities to various attacktypes. Read section combat for more information about what effect these can have.

Generally, the titles of the character classes speak for themselves. But you can get a better idea of the potential of a class by checking out a few things. Take a look at the starting equipment (table starting equipment) and, if you are using Crossfire compiled with the skills system, checkout the starting skills for those classes your interested in (table starting skills).

TypeStarting Equipment
Table 2.3 Starting equipment by character class.

Character ClassAdditional Skills¹
Table 2.4 Starting skills.

¹ All character classes start with the skills melee weapons, find traps, use magic item, literacy, and disarm traps.

Finally, here are some notes concerning a couple of the more ``exotic'' classes:

Attacks: fire, physical
Protections: immune: fire, poison; vulnerable: ghosthit, drain, cold
Special: fly, no armour, no weapons. Ac 0
Fireborns are fire spirits. They're closely in tune with magic and learn all types of magic easily. Being fire spirits, they are immune to fire and poison, and vulnerable to cold. They are vulnerable to ghosthit and drain because being mostly non-physical, anything which strikes directly at the spirit hits them harder.

Attacks: physical
Protections: none
Special: no weapons.
Monks are members of various martial arts orders. They have devoted themselves to a life of contemplation and revelation though physical fighting! Their life-long secret vows keep them from using all hand-held melee weapons, but in return they are allowed to learn secret techniques of meditation.

Attacks: physical
Protections: immune: fire; vulnerable: paralyze, poison, cold
Special: no armour, Ac 5
Quetzalcoatls are an odd mixture of magic and combat abilities. They are born knowing the spell of burning hands (heh, its their ``dragon breath''). But because of their low natural intelligence/wisdom, they have a very hard time learning new spells. All the same, they may become potent wizards/priests as they have the highest power bonus, and they will typically have a large amount of mana and a fair amount of grace. Quetzalcoatls can be very devastating fighters at low level. A combination of their low natural Ac and high base damage tend to make mincemeat out of low-level monsters. However, at mid-level, they really begin to have problems because they cannot use armour.

Attacks: cold, physical
Protections: immune: drain, ghosthit; protected: physical, cold; vulnerable: fire
Special: Ac 6
The Wraith is a creature of the undead. These characters represent revenging spirits come back to life to work their unholy will on the living. Their undead nature makes them immune to life-damaging forces and their etherealness protects them from physical harm. Like all undead, they succumb to fire readily.

Generating a character

When you start up Crossfire , you will be asked for a character name followed by a password. If you are playing for the first time, type any name you like; this will be your character name for the rest of the life of that character. Next, type in any password. Remember!: you will need to type the same password again to play that character again! One more note: its not a good idea to use ``real'' passwords to your computer accounts! Doing so may make your system vulnerable to unscrupulous Crossfire server administrators.

Your next step will be to generate random (primary) stats for your character. You aren't limited to the number of times you can roll your stats - so have fun. Notice that the stats are always arranged that the STR stat has the highest value, the CHA stat has the lowest. You may re-arrange the order of these values when you decide that you have rolled some decent stats. Two points: you can never roll a character with better stats than an average of straight 15's, and you can't roll higher than 18 in a stat.

When you roll your character, the stats displayed are the stats you will get as a human (which are unmodified). When satisfied, you can step through a number of classes, each with special bonuses in stats.

Table 2.2 shows how your basic stats will be changed by choosing a different class. The difference between the natural stat limit and 20 indicates the bonus/penalty assigned to rolled primary stats. For example, a barbarian has a maximum strength which is 4 higher than 20-that means he will begin with an additional 4 points added to his strength roll. On the other hand, a barbarian can never get above 14 in intelligence. This means that your rolled character will have 6 less in intelligence if you choose that class. It also means that you can't be a barbarian if you roll less than 7 in intelligence; the poor barbarian would have had a stat below 1.

Selecting a character

While each class has its particular strengths and weaknesses, in summary its just a fact that some classes are easier to play than others.

For beginning players, the ``simple fighter'' characters are the easiest to play successfully. The Dwarf, Human, and Warrior are among good earlier choices. As you gain experience with using Crossfire you may wish to branch out into other ``fighter'' characters such as the Thief or Elf, or try your hand at playing ``spellcaster'' characters like the Wizard, Mage, Cleric or Priest. The ``exotic'' classes (e.g. Fireborn, Monk, Quetzalcoatl, and Wraith) are the hardest classes to master.

One more note: If you are using the default game (compiled with the skills system), you will probably find any character class that has a low natural INT (for example, the Barbarian class) will have a fairly difficult time at higher levels. Skills, and most importantly, spells, will be more difficult learn. Plan to spend a lot of loot on grimores, prayer books and skill scrolls.

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