Storyteller Class Guide

This information has been transfered from a guide on Scheherazade's site to get the ball rolling. It is not complete as it is an older guide, but I will be trying to add and remove any items that need it. Please feel free to help!

Why choose to be a storyteller? I wouldn't advise becoming one for the dinars or if you want to age quickly or even if you ever wanted to excel in any one skill. I also wouldn't recommend becoming a storyteller simply so you can write "fame stories" or play with puppets. The best thing about being a storyteller, in my opinion, is the roleplaying aspect of the game. While warriors are out fighting, rogues are picking boxes, priests are meditating in temples, and alchemists are blowing things up, we get to sit and chat, tell stories, sing songs and just generally have fun.

Now as I see it there are two kinds of storytellers….There are the Jack of All Trades Storytellers and then there are the Hardcore Storytellers. The Jack of All Trades folk dabble here and there whenever the mood suits them, usually letting their god or goddess provide them with knowledge of arts and lore. The Hardcore Storytellers spend all their time with their noses in a book, study with Katrina and Gastacius every moment they possibly can and basically ignore all the other skills, letting them come to them naturally. While it makes for a weak fighter and not very good at much anything else, it makes them great at what they were born to do, storytelling.

The Mangler
When you first begin the game you start out in the character generator, what people so lovingly refer to as the mangler. The first big question to answer is whether you want to be male or female, after that comes the hard part….choosing a name. Be sure and pick a good one, something you would think would be acceptable for the time period. People with names like Ratkiller and Rambo or Xenafan will more than likely not make it more than a few steps before the mighty ethereal hand of Zeus whips them up and away to the heavens to let them go back and have a talk with Prometheus.

After you've chosen your sex and age you must tell Prometheus what race you would like to be. There are three to choose from: Human, Centaur, and Giant. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages, a few I will list for you now.
Human - Humans have no special skills but they also have no penalties. They are the most agile of the three races and are treated fairly well by city folks.
Centaur - Centaurs are good with weapons and other physical skills but having four legs makes them very bad at acrobatics. Centaurs are not viewed very favorably by the inhabitants of Greece and may find problems dealing with merchants and trainers.
Giant - Giants learn physical skills very easily and are by far the strongest race. But they are also very clumsy and they'll find that merchants and other city folk might not be very nice to them, in fact they can be downright nasty.

Now that you've chosen a race you must choose your skill tree. You can choose from a whole list of skills, each with different advantages. By using the unique system AoH has of mixing and matching skills you can build your very own hybrid class. Check out the Skills Page for more information.

After you have done this you want to choose a deity to worship. The god you pick will decide how you are trained when it comes time to level. Take a look at my god list to see what behavior each likes and dislikes from their followers. The gods/goddesses you may choose from are: Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, Poseidon, Demeter, Persephone, Iris, Pan, Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hephaestus, andHebe. Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hephaestus, Iris, and Persephone are all fun storyteller gods, but the choice is really up to you.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way you get to figure out what you look like, different lengths of hair will allow for different styles, while men and centaurs also get to pick a few other things, like amount of facial hair in the case of men or the color of their coat in the case of centaurs. Experiment with different combinations until you have the look you want.

Be sure to view yourself before you head out of the character manager. For those of you used to systems with "die rolls" to decide skills there are only three and they are decided without your help, you can see these when you view yourself. When you are finally ready you are asked how much help you'd like, it's good if you have never before played Hercules and Xena to ask for tons of help, even if you have played other MUDS or Simutronics games.

Getting Started
After your character is all set up and you've gotten your tons of help you'll find yourself in a garden. When you go out you'll find yourself in…what's this?…another garden! This area is commonly referred to as the Mentor Garden. Mentors are players that volunteer their time to help out other players and help them adapt to their new home, or old home in some cases. Often a Mentor will be waiting in the Garden when you come out to greet you, if they aren't there is a table with some pamphlets on it. These pamphlets contain all sorts of useful general information on Greece so it would be advisable to grab one and give it a read. If you still have questions you just have to have answered there is a bell in the garden you can pull to summon a mentor to help you, but give them a few minutes…they have to drop what they're doing and walk there so it may not be an instantaneous thing.

You'll find that between the pamphlet and the HELP files your questions can almost all be answered on your own, HELP LIST will list all the subjects you can ask for help on. Also at anytime you may type START HELPING ME and voices will start up in your head and give you some general ADVICE (advice being another useful verb to get started with).

Now, you'll want to equip yourself with a weapon and maybe some clothes or something, it's up to you what you want. There are a few options for you when it comes to this. Firstly you can get directions to the nearest shop with the DIR command and purchase the items with your borrowed money (borrowed meaning you have to pay it back, keep that in mind). Or you could ask people nicely, nicely being the keyword here, if they might have any extra things they don't need that you can use. And thirdly you could go to Tyche's Shrine where people donate things they don't need for people who do (get directions to the SE Quadrant, once there get Directions to Tyche's Shrine and ask the priestess about charity).

Now after your equipped you're ready to run out and hunt something since hunting is really the best way to gain experience. It's best for you to start out on something easy like rats, maybe even skeletons if you're brave. To find rats get directions to Central Athens, then directions to the Hall of the Gods….from the Hall of the Gods go south once, east twice, north twice, and through the crack….there you are, you're in rats. Watch out for those rat fiends, they'll eat you for lunch and save a bit for dinner too. Skeletons you can find 3 steps west of the Peiraic (West) Gate of Athens in the Cemetery.

To attack your foe you have a few more options. You can ADVANCE on or ATTACK your target. Advancing will get you in melee range and let you control the swings and jabs and such. Once you are locked onto a target you may use SWING and JAB or any other attack moves without the target's name, this will ensure that you continue attacking the same target even if a new one shows up. Attacking the target will put you in an automatic attack mode that will swing for you every 10 seconds or so, letting you do a move of your own in between. There are many different attack maneuvers, start out with the swing and jab until you are comfortable with the system then experiment with them yourself. Always watch your health and if you need to run, RETREAT from battle and get out of there. After the creature is dead you may try to SKIN or DISSECT them, not all animals can be skinned or dissected so experiment and find out which ones are. And always SEARCH your kills in case they are carrying anything special on them.

But how do I make dinars (money)? you are asking. Well there are a few options for you in this too. The safest, and possibly best when you are young, way to make dinars is to run jobs in town. You can find a taskmaster by getting directions to the employment office. Once there ask the taskmaster for work and then take the work order to the person he tells you, that person will then tell you what to do. you'll find that all the jobs are run in the Northwest Quadrant so don't bother looking for the people you are delivering things to in another one. The other way to make dinars is hunting. When you hunt you can collect skins, armor, and weapons and sell them to people in town…skins and pelts to the furrier, weapons and armor to the pawn. Some creatures also carry treasure for you to collect.

So you've gone out and rid the town of rats, now you've gained enough experience to train. When it's time to train you'll want to find an offering that your god or goddess likes, try asking for help on your deity, you may find out something there. If you find your god has expensive tastes, laurels are a good generic gift since all the gods like them. Now you'll want to go to the temple of your deity with your offering along with a donation of dinars. Offer your laurels or whatever it is you got for them, then donate your dinars…you can donate dinars 1 at a time until you feel good about your donation, that way you won't waste any. After you've done these things simply pray and you're done. Now if you check your skills (SKILL ALL) you'll find that several of them have risen, and if you check your experience you'll find that you have 30 training points. You can use these training points in any way you want to train with the trainers around town.

Skill trainers are located in the Training Palaestra in Athens Northwest Quadrant. Simple ask for DIRections to the TRAINers.

A Few Words on Roleplaying
Before you can understand how to roleplay, you must understand what the word roleplaying means. The term roleplaying when taken in reverse can be loosely translated as the "playing of a role", in other words you are being someone that you are not. When you log onto that Simutronics server and hit the Play button, you are no longer Carol or Bob the 35 year old engineer from Topeka, Kansas, you are now in the shoes of another…you are in the shoes of Scheherazade the 30 year old human storyteller from Athens, Greece….you are Typhon the Centaur priest from Piraeus…you are Utgard the giant warrior hailing from Thebes…you are no longer that engineer from Kansas, you are now a hero of Greece. From the moment you enter Greece until the moment you leave, it is your chance to walk in the shoes of your greatest heroes. Why water down that big of an adventure by including your own mundane life in it? Roleplaying is a chance to get away from everything, not a time to bring it all with you!

Now the biggest problem people seem to have with roleplaying is the abbreviations and numbers that they always use. Now I'm not saying that I'm perfect, I've been known to comment on that "-85 lock" or that "roll of 100 that did 56 damage to that zombie" but we should definitely try to avoid using these numbers and jargon when we're playing. Now I know what you're saying, "But the game uses those numbers all of the time, they must want us to use them too!" The game simply uses these numbers so as to not confuse you, the player, and to let you know what's going on….I am sure we'd all complain if we went out to fight a zombie and it read:

You swing your sword at a zombie.
It makes contact and does minimal damage, you didn't really swing all that great.
You'll have to wait a second before you can swing again.

When you make that 100 roll and only do 2 damage instead of saying "I rolled 100 on that zombie and it only did 2 damage!" say "I hit that zombie as hard as I could and barely scratched it!" When you're picking that lock and it's a -150 and it tells you it was a moderately difficult lock, then say "It was a moderately difficult lock" don't start babbling off numbers, if you really want to tell someone a number whisper it to them.

This goes the same for Roundtime (RT), this is very easy to roleplay and people seem to catch on to it quite fast when you use it. If someone gives you a hug or asks you for something and you are an alchemists in RT don't say, hold on I'm in RT, tell them "Hold on, I can hug you when I'm finished mixing this stuff." Or if you're a rogue picking a box, "Wait a second while I work my lockpick out of this stupid chest." You guys are lucky you can even talk! When we storyteller are writing stories we can do nothing but smile and maybe chuckle. A good way for storytellers to let people know they are busy writing is to "smile a message" . Now I don't mean to use it like…"Scheherazade smiles and says, "I'm busy writing." that would be considered system abuse and could get you a warning from Simutronics. The way to handle it is more like this…"Scheherazade smiles at you then looks back at her paper and continues to write, you realize she must be deep in thought and decide to wait for her to finish." And even when you're in battle instead of saying "I have 8 RT with my glaive." say "It takes me almost 8 seconds to swing this blasted glaive."

Now, one thing that really irks me, no offense to the people who do it because a lot of you do, is using abbreviations for everything. I realize we aren't all speed typists but I'd rather you took your time and spoke to me coherently rather than talk to me in abbreviations. An example of this would be "Where r u 2 going?" Gods that's the worst kind out there, and then there's "Anyone want to buy a scim or a xbow?" I will usually ignore you if you speak to me like that, or raise my eyebrow in your direction and ask you to clarify. Now nicknames are different…like calling legionaries legions or boa constrictors boas…but calling boa constrictors "cons" is pushing it. Then there is AFK and LOL, you know…you can really laugh folks ;) no need to LOL when you're in the lands…and AFK, why don't you just say you need to "daydream a moment", even saying that you're going to be "out of mind" is better than AFK. And using AFK (or any other out of character message) in Subtext is not right. SUBTEXT IS NOT an excuse to go OOC outloud. If you really think hard on it you can turn most anything that is out of character to something that would be acceptable in character, and people will respect you for the effort.

Okay, now to speak about Levels. Your level is basically a guide to tell you how far you've advanced in relation to other characters. But to find out how far you have advanced in relation to others, you have to find out their levels. There are many better ways to ask them this without actually coming out and saying "What level are you?" Usually when people gain a level they go to pray to their god or goddess, so perhaps you could ask them how many times they've visited their deity. But….could they not have made other visits to their god or goddess? I know that I don't just go talk to Iris when it's time to level, that'd be a bit rude. Well then, when people make a level they have to go train with the trainers, you could ask them perhaps how many times they've gone through their training regime. And asking people their age doesn't really cut it, even though it is slightly better than asking them their level. "How old are you?" doesn't mean "What level are you?" it means…"How old are you?" I consider Scheherazade at level 6 to be in her mid to upper 30's, her adopted grandmother is only level 1 and is well past 100 years of age.

Now to speak a bit on speech so to speak, hehe. We live in Athens, the people in Athens were very cultured and well spoken, so some of these accents we use in other lands might not make much sense here, unless of course there's a legitimate Roleplaying reason. I know that not everyone in Ancient Greece was cultured and well-spoken (No I wasn't there), but I somehow doubt they were all educated. So if you'd like to play that rather uneducated person then so be it, but we storytellers spend a lot of time studying, so it'd be strange to have an uneducated accent. But the accents themselves don't really matter, if you choose one, be consistent with it! That's the most important thing.

Now when you go out to choose that race, try to do a little research on it so you'll know how to better roleplay your character. Find out what Centaurs liked and disliked, get a little background on those Giants…if you're too lazy to do research become a Human ;). And while you may want to roleplay a human hating Centaur, or a smash em up Giant…once again, be consistent. There's nothing worse than that evil, human hating centaur that turns sweet as honey when it's time for that refill of spirit trainer from a human priest or that fame story from a human storyteller. And while most people think Giants are stupid and Centaurs are drunks, these are prejudgments….not all Giants are stupid, not all Centaurs are drunken bums, there are probably more Humans that are both stupid AND drunk than Centaurs and Giants combined. So don't think all Giants you meet are going to be slow witted, you may find yourself beaten in an intellectual duel, then who's the stupid one ;). This message has been brought to you by your local Order of Giant Awareness.

"Fame" Stories
Let's discuss how fame works a bit before we get into the actual writing of the songs. When you go out and be heroic, as is the goal of most of us, you gain experience as well as Fame. The amount of Fame you earn is equal to that of your experience although we have no number for it or way to check it even. Now, after you earn that Fame you need to have a song or story performed for you to actually "activate it". Until the song or story is done your fame lies dormant, even decaying as it sits there. We should try and have a Fame song or story performed for us every quarter of our level. So if you have 20,000 points till level, then you want a fame song after each 5000 experience.

You can now check INFO to see if you need a fame story done. This isn't a measure of your overall fame, just of the fame in your pool. So when it says people are beginning to forget about you, it doesn't mean you're losing fame… it just means that you are nearing the point where you will have too much fame in your pool. At that point is when you will lose it.

It is much easier for us storytellers to get famous because we always have our services at our disposal, others must seek us out and have the songs performed or go to Gwithian, A non-player storyteller, to have a fame song done. The one catch with Gwithian though is, while she may be cheap and convenient, she also gives less fame than a professional.

Now, when you first step foot into the lands as a storyteller you may have noticed a few things in your knapsack, a quill, ink, and some paper. These are the basic tools of a storyteller. When you get enough training in art and lore you can use these implements to write stories about your friends adventures so that they may gain fame. To write the story or song you must get the quill, dip it in the ink, get the paper and write the story (write story/song about <person> praising/teasing their <attribute>).
Praising Attributes are: Beauty ,Charm, Intelligence, Wisdom, Strength, Piety, Agility, Skill, Kindness, Ingenuity, Humor, and Patience
Teasing Attributes are: Appearance, Rudeness, Sloppiness, Stupidity ,Clumsiness, Ill-Temper, Hygiene, and Cowardice

While writing you can do a few actions such as smiling and such but you cannot talk until you are skilled enough, but you can always whisper. You also must be sitting down, if anyone pulls you to your feet it breaks your concentration and you must start over. After writing the story you must give the paper to the person it is about and have them Endorse it. By endorsing it they are allowing you to perform it. You perform songs by typing SING <paper> in the case of a song or RECITE <paper> in the case of a story. It's best to be in an inn or tavern in front of a goodly amount of people, you get the most experience when the piece is performed in a tavern or inn.

Now, when you write it on the paper it's not an actual story or song, this is a common misconception. You must write the actual story or song yourself prior to performing and have it ready to recite or sing somehow (it's best to use scripts, macros, or even just have the song ready in a .txt file and cut and paste it). It's best when someone asks for a story to be written for them for you to tell them ok, it'll take a few days and give them a timeline based on when you think you'll have it done. When it's ready to perform THEN write it on the paper, get the endorsement, and perform it. When you recite or sing the paper you see a message similair to this…"Scheherazade sings a song praising Hercules on his strength." That's all the audience will see if you don't have a song actually written and ready to sing and you'll end up looking foolish and be embarassed.

Now, you can also fold down the corner of your paper (turn paper) and when you perform it your experience may be as much as ten times more than if you hadn't folded it. Folding the corner of the paper tells the game that, yes I am performing an actual song and therefor opens up more experience from what you sing after performing the sheet. Not folding the paper tells the game, I am just going to perform the sheet and nothing else, give me the flat rate of experience.

Folding also changes the message the audience sees when you perform it, instead of "Scheherazade sings a song praising Hercules on his strength." it says nothing to them, but you see "You prepare to sing your song." You also gain better experience by using certain keywords, none that I know, in your song or story when you tell it, the folding of the paper opens up more keywords. When you are done with the paper it's usually best to let the person who it is about hold it for next time. The person may even already have one already so it's best to ask before you write another one so you don't waste paper. As far as I can tell so far, fame story parchments never wear out.

Combat Songs
We also have songs that help to boost spirits or otherwise highten the effectiveness of groups. One such of these is a marching song. To use this you would <write marching song> and sing the paper when you were out in battle with a group. The marching song will raise the spirits of your group causing them to do more damage when they hit their targets. As you age you will be able to sing the song off the paper more than once and it will last longer amounts of time. These songs have a generic song that you will sing each time you perform it unless you fold the corner, folding the corner will let you sing your own if you like. There are four other songs as follows in order from hardest to easiest to master:

Drinking Song - Raises Appearance Stat (Hidden Stat)
Humorous Song - Heals all who hear it (Healing effect goes up with skill)
Marching Song - Raises Strength Stat (-2 RT for each 5 songs)
Dancing Song - Raises Coordination Stat (Helps with Offense and Defense and other things)
Gambling Song - Raises Luck Stat (Hidden Stat)
Heroic Song - Direct boost to Offensive To-Hit (Helps you hit things easier)

After 50 skill in art you can begin to charm snakes, then at 100 you can charm all other animals. At 200 it seems we can begin charming humanoids too, but undead and a few other creatures are still unknown if they are charmable or not. Charming the creature successfully will put that creature under your control much like a priest's minion. You command the animal by typing TELL <critter> to ATTACK <target> or Tell <critter> to FOLLOW <target>. Other commands are STOP and LEAVE. You can also feed and pet and give drinks to some minions and different animals have different abilities like pouncing and bearhugs that help to further impair your target.

You can only charm so many times in a given period and a failed charm has consequences. The creature who has had a charm attempt failed on it will become enraged and focus attacks on the charmer with boosted stats. The charmer is also in a lengthy roundtime during this exchange and can come out of a failed charm rather beaten or even killed.

Puppets, Masks, Acting, and Books
Puppets and masks are very hard to use so don't expect to be playing with them after only 5 or 6 trainings. The puppets work on a modified action command, typing act puppet says, "hello." would look like A shaggy donkey puppet says, "hello." Puppets are a very powerful way to communicate and entertain, they can only be used in inns and will wear out with use. When you first learn to use them the message will always have the word puppet in it like above (A shaggy donkey puppet says, "hello.") but as you become more skilled you'll learn to make your puppet so believable that people forget they're watching a puppet and think it's the real thing, so it would say A shaggy donkey says, "hello."

So far there are three different "classes" of puppets, these include (from easiest to hardest to use)
Small Domestic Animals (Dogs, Cats, Roosters, etc)
Large Domestic Animals (Horses, Cows, Donkeys, etc)
Wild Animals (Mermels, Foxes, Lions, etc)

Now masks works exactly like puppets, except they generally last longer, cost a bit more, and are harder to use. The good thing about masks is you can perform more "freely" than with puppets. With a puppet you are limited to things that you can do with your hands, with a mask you are only limited to things you can do with your body. There are no actual limitations except for roleplaying them. Like say, it'd be kind of hard to make a puppet tackle someone, but wearing a mask that would be something you could do.

Please, I beg of you, for the good of all storytellers and everyone else out there…don't abuse the puppets and masks! Holyph said she would have the fingers (and various other parts) of the person she caught scripting with her puppets. I would guess this would include any other abuse too, please don't ruin a good thing for us, treat the use of puppets with the respect it deserves.

Acting is another skill that I must beg and plead with you not to abuse. After reaching a certain level in the arts, you can ACT without parenthesis in performance areas. This is a nice little skill to have to make you performances seem more real since a lot of people see parenthesis and it sort of ruins the effect.

Books are used a lot like the Fame Parchments we talked about earlier except it gives us a way to gain experience from telling non-fame stories. When you buy a book you cannot open it until you write in it…the command for this is WRITE <type> STORY. The types you can write are:
Adventure, Love, Mystery, Horror, History, Tradition, Humor, Drama, Fiction, Nonfiction

When you write one of these in the book it makes it a book about that subject and the subject cannot be changed after it's written in the book. Now, as with fame song and stories, the simple writing of the book doesn't actually put the words into it. You need to supply the stories yourself by reciting them, the book is simply a tool that allows you to gain experience from the story you tell after activating the book by reading it. Also, there are different messages you can give when reading the book, also you can TURN BOOK and flip pages just to roleplay a bit along with OPEN and CLOSE. The different actions are changed when you POKE BOOK, here is a list of them.

You read your book with no noticeable actions, You brush off your book… You wet a finger, turn a page in the book… You glance down at your book… You smooth out the top page of your book… Random actions as you read.

Books can be used anywhere and last through several uses, but like everything else it is best to use them in an inn or tavern or other performance area.

Instruments are now available for purchase at a few stores scattered around Athens. Look for more information on each specific instrument soon, but until then here is a small bit on how to use them. The instruments are sold in their shops from easiest to use to hardest. There are three categories: Percussion, Winds, and Strings from easiest to hardest to use. To play an instrument simply PLAY <instrument> or PLAY <type> where the type is light, rapid, restless, lively, showy, graceful, tender, or passionate. Each of those is harder than the first to master. Some instruments will require plectrums, mallets, or bows to play and you will be prompted when attempting to play without one.

Instruments require constant cleaning and care, either with a cloth that you can buy at the store or with a polishing rag and linseed oil or metal polish. Instruments get dirtier and need more polishing the more you use them, especially if you are not skilled with them. To clean you need a cloth and you CLEAN <instrument> WITH CLOTH, to polish you POUR some oil or polish onto a polishing rag and POLISH <instrument> WITH RAG. Some instruments also require tuning, mostly percussion and strings. To tune your instrument just type TUNE <instrument> to see if it needs tuning. If the instrument is flat then TUNE <instrument> SHARP, if it is sharp then TUNE <instrument> FLAT. Too much tuning can snap a string or break a skin on a drum. If this happens you will need to buy replacement strings or skins and PUT them on the offending instrument.

This isn't exactly a storyteller skill, but we seem to be the ones who will be best at it because of the skills it requires (art and gadgeteering among others). Check out the Whittling Guide for more information.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License