SQUIRE PHILLIP'S TIPS & TRICKS|
Many more tips can be found in the various Walk, Look and Map pages.
At the beginning of the game your characters are very poorly equipped, and extremely poor. Be constantly on the lookout for better equipment, more money & more food! Remember, that you can pick up Weapons & Armour that you don't need for yourself, and try to sell them in the next Shop you come across. Make sure you have a Whetstone, Armorer's Hammer, and Aventurine, and always repair Weapons and Armor before selling, in order to get the best price. Before selling, make sure that your Characters are equipped with the best.
Look out for any of the Basic Necessities. Restoratives and Herbal Packs are extremely useful in order to regain lost Health/Stamina points, and recover from a Condition. A Shovel is needed in order to investigate Graveyards. Rope is needed in order to swing over Pits in Dungeons.
Although it is often a good idea to stick to the road, don't hesitate to investigate your surroundings thoroughly, looking out for Chests and other caches. An innocent-looking tree-stump, or a mound of dirt may contain a valuable treasure. Ashes never contain anything, but may warn you that enemies are nearby. All cities and towns are worth investigating. Don't forget to search any conquered enemies. NEVER pick up Rations, until you've checked them closely (by right-clicking them) - many are Spoiled or Poisoned!
Save often! Use the BOOKMARK as a short-term SAVE, but by all means use the SAVE GAME facility whenever you feel you're at a crux of the game, especially when you think you've performed well at some stage. There will be many stages in the game where you may come to regret not having saved properly! Always BOOKMARK before you do anything potentially dangerous, like trying to deactivate a Trapped Chest. A BOOKMARK just before a combat is a good idea as well. It is essential to have regular Saves in every Chapter. That way you can always go back later, and replay the game from a particular point.
The EYES OF ISHAP Spell is available early in the game, and is extremely useful for spotting potentially valuable items in the neighborhood. In order for it to be 100% reliable, Owyn must cast it at the full 10 points, losing 10 Health/Stamina points every time. If you don't mind a little cheating, here's a way to the cast the Spell without losing a single point:
Before casting EYES OF ISHAP save BOOKMARK.
Now cast the spell, check the area, and carefully note any potential spots.
Restore the BOOKMARK. Now you have the benefit of the spell without any cost!
You can use this trick with other Spells as well: NACRE CICATRIX, THE UNSEEN, and UNION. Union is slightly different from the others. It allows Patrus to read Moredhel. You will have to note the inital letters appearing on the letter-wheels, solve the riddle, and determine the "pattern of clicks" for opening the chest (i.e. click twice on the first wheel, etc.). Finally restore the BOOKMARK, and apply the pattern.
When you enter a Tavern, always Bard, in order to improve Owyn's Barding Skills, and make easy money. In each Chapter you can only Bard once at each Tavern, but you can Bard there again in another Chapter. You can get two Practice Lutes in Chapter 1 - using them will improve Owyn's Barding Skill a lot. Before using the Practice Lutes make sure that Owyn's Barding Skill is the only one Selected - this will make it rise 50% faster!
Sometimes, while you're Haggling, a Shopkeeper will grow disgusted, and make the Item unavailable. No problem - just exit the Shop, and re-enter. The Item will be available again.
Whenever you've just entered a City, a Tavern or a Shop, use your mouse to investigate all areas, otherwise you might miss something. Most cities have "Shop" and "Inn" hotspots, but a few also have an "Enter" hotspot. Some also exhibit the "Magnifying Glass" Icon, which means you can find something of interest. But beware: If your mouse is faulty, you can easily miss some of the hotspots. There's an easy way around this - use the [TAB] Key instead! This will cycle you through every possibility. Try it!
There are FOUR types of Chests in the game:
ORDINARY CHESTS. To be opened without further ado.IMPROVING LOCKPICKING SKILL. Every time you use a Picklock, your Skill will rise a notch. If you use it successfully, you will gain even more. If the Lockpicking Skill is the ONLY Skill Selected, it will rise 50% faster. This means that the best way for improving this Skill is to find a Lock you can successfully Lockpick, make sure that ONLY this Skill is selected, and then go at it, opening the Lock repeatedly, until you faint from utter boredom!
LOCKED CHESTS. Some can ONLY be Lockpicked (if your Skill is up to it), others can be Lockpicked AND opened with the proper Key, still others can ONLY be opened with a Special Key. (The same applies to Locked Doors in Houses and Dungeons.)
TRAPPED CHESTS. The SCENT OF SARIG Spell will determine whether a Chest is trapped or not. If this Spell is not active, you won't have a clue and the Chest will explode. The damage varies - in some cases it is nothing to worry about, but in others it is MASSIVE! (It is recommended that you always BOOKMARK, before attempting to open a Chest.) If the Chest is Trapped and SCENT OF SARIG has been cast, you can attempt to deactivate the trap. Your success will depend on your Lockpicking Skill. Note: If the Lockpicker holds the AMULET OF THE UPRIGHT MAN, his Skill will be improved by 15% (cumulative). Make sure any AMULETS you have are held by your BEST Lockpicker!
MOREDHEL WORDLOCK CHESTS. All you need is to solve a riddle.
IMPROVING HAGGLING SKILL. You can slowly raise your Haggling Skill by Haggling repeatedly at every opportunity. In every Shop you enter, pretend you want to buy every single item, and Haggle, until the Shopkeeper refuses to sell it to you. When you've Haggled every item in the Shop into oblivion, just exit and then re-enter the Shop again in order to make all the goods available once more. Repeat until sanity fades.
IMPROVING MELEE/DEFENSE SKILLS. Practice makes perfect. Any ENDLESS combat is a good place for practicing. The Prelate's House East of Kenting Rush is probably the best. It is surrounded by Guards, who will refuse to let you through unless you've spoken to the Priest in the Temple of Kahooli. Attack them! After the first Combat, they will be much weaker. Fight them as often as you can. You can raise your Combat Skills drastically here, if you're patient, and Owyn's Casting Skill as well. When you've raised your skills as much as you want, you can just stand around and rest, and let those wimpy Guards attack you until they all give up and run away - this will raise your Defense Skills.
MANAGING YOUR INVENTORIES. You will often need to move Items from one inventory to another. Example: In order to repair Weapons and Armor you will get the best results from the Character with the best Weaponcraft and Armorcraft Skills. In order to manage this, the Weapon/Armor in question needs to be moved into this Character's inventory, but there may not be room enough! You can solve this by temporarily storing Items in a BAG, or in another character's inventory.
If you find or gain an Item, and there is no room in ANY of your characters' inventories, the Item will go into a nearby BAG. In order to empty the BAG you will have to throw something away! If you leave something in a BAG, and return to it later, it may get stolen in the meantime.
You may sometimes want to temporarily store some of your possessions in a Bag, or any other Cache. This is always risky. However, if you include a SPYNOTE in the Bag, it will be much safer. (Don't ask me why!) Never leave anything in the Prank's Stone/Temple of Banath area, it will get stolen FAST! [In version 1.02 Moredhel Chests are 100% safe places to stash your stuff, I'm told. I haven't tested this, so don't take my word for it.]
If your inventory holds more than one of the same Item, always use the one with the least value first. Example: If you have two Whetstones, one containing 4 charges, the other 12 charges, use the 4-charge one first, in order to free up the slot.
If you have plenty of Restoratives, you can easily regain lost Health/Stamina and cure yourself of any Condition. However, Restoratives are very precious, so you shouldn't use them unless necessary. A good night's sleep will often achieve the same effect, especially if you use Herbal Packs before sleeping in the open, or drink some Ale or Wine before sleeping at a Tavern.
Look out for the drastically varying prices in the Shops you visit. Also note the Shop's specialities. Not all Shops by all Items. (Consult the Shop Web for info.) In some cases Shop prices may vary so much that you may gain from Teleporting in order to get the best price. [This is particularly relevant in version 1.01, where the Prank's Stone Shop gives extravagant prices for Gems.]
More on Shops: If a shop buys an item from you, it will become part of the Shop's stock permanently! There are many ways to utilize this feature, but basically they involve selling the item, and then buying it back again. You will, of course, need to spend some money on such a transaction, but if you do so, the item will be permanently available in this shop! This means you can buy MORE, and also make it available in later chapters. But bear in mind: You only need to sell ONE UNIT! Example: You have 8 Naphtha, and want to add it to a Shop's stock. Keep 7, sell 1. You will lose 1 Naphtha, make some money, and Naphtha will be available from the Shop permanently. If you're filthy rich, you can utilize this by re-buying the Naphtha endlessly, thus duplicating your original Naphtha as many times as you want.
Some Spells, especially EYES OF ISHAP, NACRE CICATRIX and THE UNSEEN are totally unreliable unless you spend the full amount of points.
Some Spells, although seemingly weak (and cheap), can be extremely useful. DESPAIR THY EYES is a good example of this: It will cost the Caster next to nothing AND be very useful (although it needs to be cast regularly).
Some Spells last for a time proportional to the points you spend on it. Don't overspend! Example: You can cast a Spell, and have a choice of spending 5-30 points, meaning that the Spell will last for 5-30 rounds. If you're in Combat Mode, and foresee the end of the Combat within, say, 10 rounds, DO NOT spend more than 10 points! Anything beyond that is pure waste, and you can always re-cast the Spell anyway. (The same applies when casting Spells in Traps.)
Near Romney, you can obtain FETTERS OF RIME from a Moredhel Chest. This one is a MUST - don't miss it! You will almost certainly come to rely on this one a lot! In addition to Damage, it will freeze your opponents for a number of rounds.
Near Sarth, you can find SKIN OF THE DRAGON. This is essential. You can also buy it, but of course you won't, if you can get it gratis. If you have both FETTERS and SKIN, you can technically finish the game, without gaining any other Spells (except for STRENGTH DRAIN in Chapter 8). But of course you will want all the Spells you can get! My favourites include EVIL SEEK, MAD GOD'S RAGE, TOUCH OF LIMS-KRAGMA and FIRESTORM, but this doesn't mean a thing. Other players prefer the more esoteric ones, like MIRRORWALL, GAMBIT OF THE EIGHT, RIVER SONG.
GRATIS RECOVERY OF HEALTH/STAMINA. TRAPS are excellent for this. If your Characters need to regain lost Health/Stamina points, enter a Trap, and REST as long as you need. No TIME passes in Traps, so no Rations will be spent.
You can perform a similar trick during Combat. When only one Enemy is left, FREEZE him with an appropriate Spell or a Powder Bag, and then REST your Characters as long as you can. If, by the time the enemy gets unfrozen, you still haven't recovered fully, the enemy will probably try to flee, in which case you can cast the Invitation Spell. Repeat, until your characters are fully recovered.
TRAPS. If you have SKIN OF THE DRAGON, you can barge through any Trap in the game, without solving it. The Spellcaster will lose points, but they can be regained by RESTING, before exiting the Trap. Solving Traps is a lot of fun, though!
THE ARMS OF DALA Shop in Wolfram is a good place to buy Weapons and Armor. Apart from being the cheapest Shop in the game, it has lots of 50% and 75% stuff, which means it's even cheaper. You should be able to repair everything satisfactorily, and then the Temple of Tith is just a few steps away - you can get everything Blessed with a #3 Blessing here. During the Guild War, you can also go here, buy a lot of cheap Greatswords, repair them, and then sell them in Romney at outrageous prices! You can do this as often as you want.
MONEY-MAKING TRICKS!Make sure James, Locklear and Patrus have plenty of money to spend in Raglam in Chapter 5. (The Siege Towers in the area contain lots of Elven Crossbows and other stuff you can sell at the Raglam Shop.) This Shop has Bessy Maulers for sale, at 1125 Gold. They are only 75%, but you should be able to repair them. If not, you can buy Heavy Bowstrings in this Shop as well. James and Locklear will, of course, want to buy Maulers for themselves, but why not have them buy an extra one for Gorath? And while you're at it, buy lots of those Flaming Quarrels as well.
Don't miss the STACKBUG TRICK and the BROKEN CROSSBOW TRICK, both of which have special pages devoted to them!
MAKING MONEY IN TANNEURS.
James David Allan (in Manitoba) has pointed out the following procedure, which basically allows you to earn as much money as you wish! At Tom's Tavern in Tanneurs your regular Barding Fee will be 130 Gold, if your skill is 100%. When you enter the Taver, first Bard, and then talk to Spitzer the Gambler. He is always ready to gamble, unless you are in the middle of the Quest for the Collector, in which case he won't, until you've found the collector, and sent him to the Temple of Silban. The procedure is as follows:
Talk with Spitzer, and gamble (the maximum 50).
If you win, he will stop. Talk to him again, and gamble. Do this until you lose.
When you lose, stop gambling. Now you can Bard again, earning 250 Gold!
You can repeat the above procedure endlessly, earning amazing amounts of money. It's not exactly fun, but worth it. (I tried as far as 8000 Gold, before getting bored.) Note that you can return here (by walking and teleporting) in Chapters 2, 3 and 6, in order to earn even more money! You will then run into new enemies, but THAT shouldn't keep you away from the dough!
A Plagued House south of the Temple of Lims-Kragma contains some money (34 Gold). A weird feature here, probably not intended by the programmers, is that you can enter the house as many times as you want, and find the money each time, if you don't mind getting the plague! If you're patient enough you can amass a fortune here. You will get Plagued 50% when you enter for the first time, and Plagued 100% for the second time. After that it doesn't matter how often you enter. You can easily cure yourself of the plague afterwards, either with Restoratives, or a combination of Herbal Packs and Sleep.
MAKING MONEY DURING THE GUILD WAR.
At the beginning of Chapter 3 the Guild War is on, and will be until you finish it. During the Guild War, prices at the Romney Shop will be sixfold. You can utilize this by selling all kinds of junk here at extravagant prices. Here's how you can take advantage of the situation in order to make MASSES OF MONEY:
Before you make an end to the Guild War, march North to the Temple of Banath, and from there Teleport to the Temple of Tith. In the Arms of Dala Shop you can buy Greatswords (50%) for 300 Gold (hagglable down to 240 Gold). Buy as many Greatswords as you can carry and have Gorath repair them. Now Teleport back to Banath, then go to Romney and sell the Greatswords. If you can repair them to 100% condition, they will sell at 648 Gold. Repeat as often as you want. (And remember that you can use the Cheat Chest as an extra Backpack. This will save you a lot of journeying back and forth.)
POISONED QUARRELS RESALE TRICK.
The value of Poisoned Quarrels is more than five times that of Ordinary Quarrels. Quarrels can be Poisoned by using Silverthorn (at a cost), or the Silver Spider (gratis). As soon as you're in Chapter 3, you will automatically have the Spider, allowing you to Poison Quarrels freely. In a few Shops which have Quarrels for sale, this means you can buy Ordinary Quarrels, Poison them, and then sell them back at a PROFIT! The best place to perform this trick is NIA'S GOODS in Chapter 3, i.e. if you have solved Nia's Quest in order to open up the shop. Here you can Buy, Poison and Sell at a Profit of 22.4 per Quarrels . (Haggling may result in a slightly larger profit.) This can be repeated endlessly, until you're as rich as you need.
In other Shops, the Profit is too small for bothering with. But if you happen to be dying for an extra couple of Sovereigns in any of these Shops, this might be your solution.
As already stated you can make at least 22.4 from each transaction at Nia's Goods. You can make 12.2 if you're here in Chapter 1. Other possiblities are Fletcher's Post in LaMut (11.8), Sign of the Eagle in Krondor (5.9), Split Tree Goods in Caldara (4.8), and The Armory in Malac's Cross (2.1).
LIMM'S PICKLOCKS. Limm is found at the entrance to the Krondor Sewers in Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6, and will sell you Picklocks  for 25 Gold (repeatedly). This is a very good price! In a shop the cheapest price possible for Picklocks  would be 105 Gold. This means that you can sell Limm's Picklocks at a profit in most shops (if they buy Picklocks). The problem here is that neither of the Krondor shops will buy them. The closest shop is The Mercantile in Darkmoor, where you can sell 12 Picklocks at 38.2. This means a profit of 13.2 per each set of 12. The closest shop after that is Nia's Goods (Chapter 2 after solving her Quest), where 12 Picklocks will be bought at 55.6, resulting in 30.6 profit. There is room for 36 Picklocks in each slot your Inventories. Of course you can utilize the Cheat Chest, and stuff it full of Limm's Picklocks, then go to Darkmoor and try to sell them. I haven't bothered to try, but if you decide to experiment with this feature, please let me know, if you find it worth the effort.
Finally, a truly devious Money-Making Scheme (discovered by Jay Sevara). Please note that this works much better in Version 1.01. In this version the Prank's Stone Shop is extremely expensive, but in Version 1.02 it is quite ordinary. The following description is based on Version 1.01.
In a house in PRANK'S STONE, an Inventor will offer to turn your Rubies into Diamonds. He can do this, but they're only 2% Diamonds! The price of a 2% Diamond is roughly equivalent to an 8% Ruby, so unless your Rubies are extremely poor, this is obviously not worth doing. However, there is a way to utilize this feature. It is quite complex, but extraordinarily devious. I cannot resist including it here.
In Chapter 1 there is a side-quest which involves finding Makala's Ruby. It is an extremely poor 1% Ruby. By returning it to the LaMut Garrison, you will be rewarded. This seems pretty straightforward, but here's what you need to do:
When you bring the Ruby back to LaMut, don't return it immediately. Sell it in the LaMut Shop for 2s8r. (It will now be permanently in stock here.) Then buy it back for 8s2r. And buy another one! You now have TWO 1% Rubies. Return one to the Garrison, in order to reap your reward. Keep the other one.
The next step calls for you to be situated in the Romney - Prank's Stone area, before or after the Guild War. (This is possible in Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6.) You must have some funds, approximately 500 Gold. First make sure you've killed all enemies between Romney and Prank's Stone. Then camp near Romney and get a good night's sleep. Now DROP every single item in your inventories, except for that 1% Ruby. (I know this is risky, but if your Bag or Chest is somewhat off the beaten track, preferably containing a Spynote, you can easily get away with this.)
Now enter Romney, carrying NOTHING BUT THE 1% RUBY. Sell it to the Shop at 1s3r. Now buy back 60 (!) of those. Each of your three characters has room for 20 Rubies. (You'll spend a maximum of 540 Gold, but Haggling can minimize this to 420 Gold.)
Now march to the Inventor's house in Prank's Stone. Have him convert all 60 Rubies into 2% Diamonds.
Finally, sell all the Diamonds in the Prank's Stone Shop. It'll pay 63s1r for each, resulting in a profit of over 3000 Gold Sovereigns!
Unfortunately the Shop will only pay 18s for each Diamond in Version 1.02 of the game. This means that the profit will only be about 600 Gold for 60 Diamonds, so you'll have to repeat this 5 times in order to gain the same amount of money as in the older version. The good news is that since the Prank's Stone Shop is inexpensive in Version 1.02, you can perform the whole procedure without leaving Prank's Stone. The Romney Shop is no longer needed.
SPECIAL TIP: Robert West has pointed out that in version 1.02 you can actually profit by over 3000 Gold Sovereigns, DURING THE GUILD WAR, by buying the Rubies in Prank's Stone and selling the Diamonds in Romney! The Webmaster is extremely grateful to Robert for thus making this clever scheme "version-proof"!
Here's a mind-bending scheme for you to contemplate!
WARNING: Only possible in VERSION 1.01!
Gorath can't find a Bessy Mauler until very late in Chapter 6.
Wouldn't it be great if he could get one sooner? Here's a way:
When they return to the Northwarden area, go to the Chests, where you poisoned the Rations earlier. Put Gorath's Bessy Mauler in the northernmost Chest. (For some reason this Chest seems to be safer than the others.) Leave a good supply of Flaming Quarrels here as well. And if you still have money enough, why not visit the Dencamp Shop, buy lots of Enchanted Quarrels, and leave some in the Chest as well?
At the beginning of Chapter 6, once you get out of the Sewers, go to the Temple of Astalon, and teleport to the Temple of Tith, near Wolfram. Now go and have Gorath fetch his Bessy Mauler and all those nice Quarrels. (He can buy Enchanted Quarrels in Dencamp or Sarth.) Finally teleport back to Krondor, or wherever you want to go next.
And, by the way, if James and company don't need to sell the Diamonds Tamney gave them, don't do it! Leave them in the Chest with all the other stuff, for Gorath to pick up. Gorath and Owyn are not likely to be carrying a lot of money at the start of Chapter 6, so they would love to have a Diamond or two. If you can manage this, you should have them teleport to the Temple of Banath first, in order to sell the Diamonds in Prank's Stone.
A FOOTNOTE: Can Gorath ever repay James and Locklear? Yes, he can! He can supply them with Guarda Revanches in Chapter 7! If you think this is impossible, think again. All the clues are here, on this very page!