When you type SCORE, you are told of your character name and highest level attainment. Avalon has a complex system of experience levels, one of the main factors determining your character's maximum health and mana and hundreds of ability-function strengths and weaknesses. What follows in SCORE, however, is your actual level, your level in real terms represented as a percentage of the experience required for the next one. This gives you a better idea of where you stand should you have suffered a mishap in your adventuring. Your level is only a rough indication of your experience and physical might combined, and it will take progressively longer to move to the next. When you are slain, you will doubtless lose some of the experiences you have gained, and if you drop down experience level, your health and mana potentials will fall.
Alongside your experience and your score sheet you will discover that typing STATUS reveals a great deal of information that you will find pertinent to your day-to-day life. It details those civilisations that consider you an enemy, your levels of hunger and tiredness, level of breathing and bleeding. Status will also inform you of how well clothed you are - something you need not worry about while you are young. It also reminds you how many lessons you may learn in any of your skills before becoming saturated, and the status of your character due to excessive death.
DEFENCES gives an indication of your natural defences. As your character develops you will come to learn of new things that will protect you in your continuing adventures. Armour is the most straightforward means of protection and it is not difficult to find providing you have gathered together sufficient gold. Certain guilds may find wearing armour prohibitive since it interferes with their enchantments, though the Sorcerers and Necromancers guild can summon demonic armour to protect them from injury and the Mages can weave light to protect themselves from harm.
The ways to better yourself in any given skill are numerous, but the most common is simply to receive a lesson from another Avalonian character. LEARN <skill name> FROM <character> requests a lesson in your chosen discipline from someone, who will often be a resident member of your guild. Simple practice of a skill through its use will increase your prowess, albeit more slowly. Not only is player-to-player teaching beneficial to the student, but, to a lesser extent, the instructor profits as well. The only CCC of roughly analagous teaching ability is the designated guild tutor. Guild tutors can be prevailed upon to come forth from the inner guild chambers when a guild member KNOCKs on the entrance door. Some guilds are security conscious and keep apprentices away from the guildhouse interiors; thus being able to knock on the front door and summon out the guild tutor is crucial for advancing many a youngster's skills.
Teaching is one of the most important methods of progressing in a skill, while at the same time allowing the higher level teacher to also gain in competency. To teach somebody, they must first know the skill which you are going to teach them (it would be impossible, for example, to improve somebody's Swordplay if they did not even know how to hold a sword!), And you must be above them in level. To teach somebody, type TEACH <skill> to <player>, assuming you know the skill and the player is visible to you. Hopefully, the prospective pupil will see your offer and type OK after which the lesson will proceed as normal. Though learning a lesson from a CCC or a player will gain the learner the same amount as a result, learning from players is encouraged as the teacher also gains in skill through the lesson.
Alignment is a gauge used by Avalon to determine whether your character leans toward altruistic or selfish actions. Available when you type STATUS, it measures your propensity towards the good forces in Avalon or the darker, more sinister cause ofevil. Your character's alignment alters slightly with each and every action that you perform. You are more likely, therefore, to lean towards the dark sides through the act of slaughtering an innocent child or through aiding in the pillaging of a peaceful township. Equally you are upholding all that is Good should you defend that village or heal that beleaguered child. Alignment is one of the factors that govern many aspects of your character's interaction with Avalonian beings - it therefore rests at the crux of the question of role-play, and you should give considerable thought to where between the poles of Good and Evil your character should lie.
Equilibrium is required by all magical and spiritual enchantment. It is, if you like, the establishing of a oneness with the divine energies of the land. You must establish this symbiosis in order to bring about any enchantments. The amount of time you need to spend establishing equilibrium is dependent on the power and permanence of the enchantment you wish to bring about. Timing equilibrium is one of the most integral arts of the game.
There are many factors determining how long it takes to regain equilibrium, most significant being the mentally strenuous ability being used in the first place i.e. the "base" equilibrium regain time. Below is a list of some of the better known and most obviously influential factors impacting the length of time it takes to regain equilibrium - either naturally or by dint of CHANT EQUILIBRIUM. You can check your own state of mind and surroundings by typing EQUILIBRIUM: the command causes you to indulge a single 'round' of equilibrium regain and notice any influences like those listed below.
If you ever find you lose equilibrium and want to regain it, type CHANT EQUILIBRIUM. This voiceless but useful chant attempts to regain your equilibrium and - though there is a chance of failure with each iteration - it will serve to restore your equilibrium ready for further use. Under normal circumstances the chant - which is noiseless - succeeds four times out of five. Luck affects the chance of success and such environment-impact enchanments as the silence ritual makes the CHANT EQUILIBRIUM regain time longer.
Balance is a gauge used by Avalon to determine your physical 'state of balance', or rather, how capable you are at any given time of executing a physical maneuver. Actions such as swinging a sword, firing a bow, stealing an item, will all leave you momentarily in an unbalanced state, recovering from the maneuver. While in an unbalanced state you will not be able to execute another action which requires you to be balanced. More complex actions take a longer balance time and the inately physical professions can learn to speed their balance when more highly skilled.
You may, if you feel you have fully mastered the concept of balance and understood its importance to your everyday Avalon life, wish to pursue ways of speeding it up: making yourself 'faster' in combat and complex action. Have a peruse of HELP BLOODLESS-BALANCE for example, to learn about an arcana directly relating to balance; or look through HELP GLOBESTAVES and specifically experiment with the effects of the FERTILITY power. These are but two of the myriad ways to impact your balance and that of those around you.
You gain lessons on a regular basis merely by living and breathing and experiencing life in Avalon. This continues automatically unless you happen to be hidden away in some protected, safe-zone or under special conditions judged to be "not experiencing life".
Typing LESSONS will show lessons available for immediate plus any procured or gifted lesson potential and whether your current location is a safe-zone or special "no lesson gain" region.
If you procure lessons (see HELP PROCURE) or if you have any lesson-potential gifts (e.g. the new Avalonian bonus or the happy-birthday present) you may use this potential in two ways: to increase the speed of your natural lesson gain or to transfer potential/procured lessons into instant "learn now" lessons:
LESSONS DOUBLE/TRIPLE/QUADRUPLE and
This is what you type if you want to receive procured or gifted lesson-potential in a more gradual, perhaps better spread out way. You can increase your lesson gain speed by up to four times as quick for as long as you have procured lesson-potential to use, the potential slowly going down as the lessons get turned into instant LEARNing type. Lesson gain reverts to normal once you have used up all the potential.
Use this method to simply turn any lessons you have procured, any potential lessons, any gifted lessons, into lessons you can LEARN immediately. There is no rule saying you have to receive procurements or gifts 'over time' so many use this immediately after a PROCURE to get their lessons instantly.
All characters are referred to by a single name which identifies them. However, you may wish to assume a title to embellish your basic character name. Avalon allows you to assume two types of titles - those that are seen before your character name (such as Lord, Sir, Count) and those that are seen after it (such as dragon-slayer, or the Arch-Mage). Prefixes and suffixes, as they are known in Avalon, can be given to you by your city leaders, your guildmaster or by any of the deities. To give you a few examples: Helkarakse of the frozen wastes, Lord Maedhros of the Grove, and Eshkadeth, last of the Valheru.
Whilst in Avalon you can add a description of your own devising to your character with DESCRIBE ME. Aim to keep descriptions concise and evocative. Bear in mind the roleplaying environment you inhabit and keep the content appropriate. Lewd or asinine usage can have unpleasant consequences.
The normal prompt is simply a dash. If you'd like your prompt to display more information, type FULLPROMPT ON. Your prompt will then display some information on your current state.
Aside from the general skills all novices are born with, most guilds have two or three primary skills. These skills can be developed to the highest level without penalty since they are directly associated with their profession. Many guilds boast secondary skills which can only be learnt to lower levels. You will know when you have reached the limit of your progression in any skill by the fact that it is preceeded by "--->" in your SKILLS list. Specialist non-guild skills cannot be gained exception through extra ordinary circumstances such as divine intervention. See HELP ULTIMATE for information about the distinction between Ultimate (the highest skill rank) and crowned Ultimate (the highest possible point of progression in a skill).
There are many professions whose highest abilities are accessibly only by those who have made the difficult choice of specialisation. Specialising involves selecting an aspect of the professional skillset to focus on above the others. Specialisation is optional since hyper-development of one facet of the profession tends to be at the expense of the others.
Most of the significant events in your character's Avalon life are recorded and these can be viewed by anyone when you type HISTORY followed by the character's name, e.g. HISTORY ZENICHIRO to review Zenichiro's life history. You may also type HELP followed by a player's name to gain a shorter, character summary plus list of the most important events in his/her life. Where HISTORY records everything, HELP provides a personalised character summary (which you can write) and notes those events an individual has expressly declared to be personally resonant. To place the latest entry in your own HISTORY file into your HELP file, type HISTORICAL. This command will ensure whatever was most recently appended to your character history is deemed important enough to become part of your helpfile.
You can name loyal creatures, friends, weapons, and pieces of armour, so that they may be recognised when lost. To do this, simply type NAME followed by the item/creature, followed by the name you wish to bestow. For example NAME LONGSWORD ORCSLAYER or NAME WARHORSE BIGFOOT. Remember you must be holding your weapon or object to be named, or you must have your steed in the location with you, for the naming to be carried out successfully.
You are also to bestow a name on a garden, providing it is yours or otherwise not claimed by somebody else. You do this also via the NAME command but in this case you are not limited to a single word and it is case sensitive, e.g. NAME <garden> <title one word or more> - and this name or title will be seen by anybody examining or looking in a location wherein your garden can be found.
Death is by no means the last of your adventures, though it is greatly harmful to your character's well-being. At the time of your passing away, your spirit instantly returns to Avalon in the transient form of a ghost. A ghost is naturally not constrained by the physical aspects of the world. As a ghost you can walk effortlessly through closed doors and suchlike but you cannot handle objects of the real world - you will not be of physical form. Only those who can manipulate their physical being, such as the mystic seers, will be able to have any effect on the land while in the ghostly form. You remain in this supernatural state at a cost: all the while your mental reserves (your Mana) are sapped in the strain to keep up your ghostly form. Once all your Mana is exhausted, the very experience of your character is slowly drained and this decaying continues until you are brought back to life (whether you remain in the game as a ghost or not).
Perhaps most importantly of all, each of your deaths, unless they be to a follower of Genesis, will cause your patron (if you have one) a modicum of pain. The extent of the pain (and loss of divine essence) will depend on your experience and skill. The mightier you are, the harder your patron will feel your death. If you are unfortunate and no-one is nearby to retrieve your dead body and bathe it in the Pool of Life you must summon the Ship of the Dead to take your ghost from the land and re-unite it with your body. To do this type SUMMON SHIP. You may be voyaging with it often during your youth.