Welcome to the Ascension ‘tutorial’.  This section was designed to walk you through creating a character, buying the proper items in the store, entering the dungeon, and dealing with your first monster. 

Starting Out 
First thing to do is to select the Character Manager button from the Main Menu of Ascension.  Once you’ve done that, select Create Character and you will see the Character Creation Screen pop up.  Here, you select your character’s Name, Sex, Race, Alignment, Guild and Stats.  Since you’re just starting out, go ahead and pick whatever nickname for your character that you like, select a Human for the race, whatever sex you like, and select Neutral for the alignment.  For the Guild (“Class”) select Artisan.  Now, your stats are set to the minimum for the Artisan guild, but you have 35 extra points to distribute.  Move over to the individual stats and adjust the values to 12, 12, 12, 11, 5, 12 (click the right arrow to add - click the left arrow to subtract).  You will notice that if you take away points from a stat, you receive points you can put in your other stats. The last thing to do is to pick a portrait that you want to associate with your character. 

Important: It’s a good idea to always keep your Int. and Wis. no lower than 10, so your character can use any Tomes they might find (items to raise stats which require 10 Int. and 10 Wis. to use). 

Now, click the Finish button. 

Once your character has been created, the game will return you to the Main Menu Screen.  To begin playing, select Play Game. 

Overview of Stats 
The pane in the upper left hand corner of the screen (with your character’s name as the heading) is the Main Info Pane.  The default view in this pane is the Character Stats view, which shows your character’s age, hit points, spell points, stats, etc. (hold your mouse over the icons to see what the different numbers mean).  As you see, your hits are 15/15, which means your are at full strength.  If you reach 0/15, you will be dead.  Your Attack and Defense are 19/22 (10/10 with your equipment un-equipped), which means you’re pretty much a wimp right now.  You have 120 spell points and are at Spell level 1, but it doesn’t really help much since your current guild (assuming you chose Artisan) teaches very little magic. 

The other buttons located in this pane (beneath the Character Stat data) are for other types of character information.  You can look at resistances, character skills, etc.  You’ll learn all of these buttons as you become more familiar with the game and read the Game Screen section of this Online Information System. 

The large Pane in the top right is the City/Dungeon view. 

Next, we have the Party/Companion Pane (bottom left).  This is where all the characters in your party are shown.  Since you’re by yourself, you only see the information on the one character.  Later on, as you venture into the depths with an organized party, the other characters will be displayed in this pane.  This pane is also useful for keeping track of your character’s hits and status when a view other than the ‘stats’ view is showing in the Main Info Pane! 

The Messages Pane in the lower right corner of the screen is for various messages (click on the ‘lips’ icon in the lower right corner) that will be displayed during gameplay. It is important since messages about significant events will be displayed here. The lower right corner also contains your buffer information if you click on the ‘books’ icon. 

Finally we have the Spells, Automap, Items & Area Look Pane (bottom center).  If you want to look in the current area to see what other characters are around (after you have created more than one), you can click on the ‘Area Look’ button, the compass in the bottom center of the screen, which will display the current characters in the ‘room’ or ‘area’. 

The City 
Welcome to the wonderful and exciting city of Dejenol.  Everything a character could ever want is found in the city.  You have the Store, where you can purchase, sell, identify, combine and uncurse items.  You have the Morgue, where you can raise dead characters or companions, or hire rescuers to find a lost character.  The Bank is a place to store your items and money - unlike the real world, the Bank of Dejenol cannot be robbed, so your money is perfectly safe.  You have the Guilds, which is where your character will learn skills and abilities to become more powerful.  The Oracle is available for those who are seeking a lost character or quested monster or item, and can also cast spells on you for a cost.  The Town Hall is home to Lord Gherrick, who will assign you tasks to complete throughout the game.  And the Confinement facility is there for explorers to purchase creatures as companions, or sell existing companions.  The Fountain is used as a place of resting.  The Billboard is used for announcements and quests.  Each of these places will be described later. 

When you first enter the game, you will see the Town Hall.  Once you’ve visited Lord Gherrick (and started the main storyline), you’ll appear in the City Square whenever you enter the city.  For now, click the arrow in the top right corner of the screen, or the right arrow on your keyboard, three times to get to the City Square. 

Outfitting your Character - the Store 
The first thing every eager adventurer should do is buy neat items to defend themselves from the foul and evil wretches of the dungeon.  Go ahead and click on the Store button (the cash register drawer).  Welcome to the Store! 

NOTE: Your new character comes pre-equipped with the following items: 
 Bronze Sword or Bronze Dagger (dependent upon guild) 
 Leather Armor 
 Leather Gloves 
 Cloth Cloak 
 Leather Boots 
 Wooden Shield (dependent upon guild) 
 Copper Helmet or Leather Cap (dependent upon guild) 
 You should purchase a Leather Girdle with your starting gold. 

Let’s first focus on how to browse and purchase items from the store.  See the section of items to the right?  This is the Store Inventory.  The top row shows available item classes:  the hands are for the Weapon class, the next one is Armor and the third one is Shields; the individual item types for the selected class are shown below.  To the right of the shield icon are arrows that you can use to view more item classes.  As usual, if you hold the mouse pointer over an icon for a second, the name of the class will be displayed. 

Click on the first item, the Bronze Dagger.  As you can see, the dagger costs 12 gold pieces.  When the item is not aligned, or if the store only has one alignment in stock, you will immediately see the cost. As you find items and sell them to the store, the price will be displayed differently.  For instance, if you click the class arrows and move right to the waist protection (click on the icon), there will be a Leather Girdle there. If you click on it - to the right of the large picture you will see “STORE ITEM, Leather Girdle, SELECT AN ALIGNMENT”, instead of a price, and “Leather girdle 1(g) 1(n) 1(e)” below the Store Inventory.  This means that there are a total of three types of these girdles in inventory - 1 good, 1 neutral and 1 evil.  So to find the price, or buy a leather girdle, you will notice the buttons in the center of the screen that say Good, Neutral, or Evil, click on the alignment of your character after which you can see the price and “Buy” the item (it is suggested to buy this item before you venture into the dungeon). If you find an Evil Tome of Might and sell it when there is none in the store, the listing would then read “Tome of Might 1(e)”. Also, the store charges a price that corresponds to the number of items in stock, for example if Iron Sword was  2(g) 9(n) 4(e), Neutral iron swords would be cheaper than either Good or Evil Iron Swords. It is also helpful to note that Unaligned items can be used by characters of all alignments. 

Now, let’s look at the Leather Girdle information. Click on the Info button next to the Exit button (if you already bought the girdle, select the item in your inventory to bring up this button).  The Misc button in the Main Info Pane automatically pops up with the information.  This button shows you all of the information that the store has on the item - how it affects attack & defense, what the class of the item is, how many hands it takes to use (if any), what guilds are allowed to use it, etc.  Depending on the item, additional information may also be shown, such as the number of ‘swings’ that a weapon provides, or what spell an item casts.  For more information, see the Game Screen section. 

When you find an item in the dungeon, bring it here and click “ID” to identify it, as you will frequently not know everything about the item.  Some items will require more than one identification stage, which usually, but not necessarily, means they are more valuable.  Also, you can click the Info button after every ID process and you will see how the information becomes more detailed. 

Once you have bought the Leather Girdle, right click on it in your inventory and select “Equip Item” (or double click on it).  Protective items won’t do you any good unless you actually wear them! 

Let’s run through the other services of the store.  Select an item in your inventory.  You can use the “Uncurse” button to remove items that your character equipped that were either cursed or had an alignment that was the opposite of your character’s alignment.  Your character may find items of any alignment in the dungeon, and while “Neutral” characters won’t run the risk of equipping an item that is oppositely aligned, there are also items that are downright cursed.  That’s why it’s not a good idea to equip anything that’s not completely identified.  You will know what an item is after you have completely identified them.  If you have a character whose alignment is “Good” and equip an Iron Sword that’s “Evil” (e), your character will LOSE instead of gain fighting ability, A/D, etc. - plus you will have to pay to have the item uncursed before your character can unequip the item or change guilds. 

The “Combine” button is used for combining like items (e.g. 2 potions of curing with 3 charges each into 1 potion with 6 charges).  This feature is free and it allows your character to be better organized and carry more items. Items must be fully identified and of the same alignment before they can be combined. The risk is that if a combined item is lost or stolen, you lose more. 

If you “Sell” an item, the store will pay you the Value shown.  If the item isn’t completely identified, you will see an “ID cost”, and next to the Sell button there will be an “ID” button that you can use to identify the item. 

When you find items that are aligned, you have the option of realigning it by using the item realign services of the store. However, the store extracts a hefty fee for this service.  If you have a Good item and want to realign it to Evil, select the item and click on the “Evil” button and you’ll be told how much it will cost to realign it.  The reason a character may wish to realign an item is to be able to use it.  If a Good character finds a Neutral (n) or Evil (e) item, equipping the item will not benefit the character as much (and become cursed if it’s oppositely aligned), so the character can bring the item to the store and realign it to their actual alignment so they can equip and use the item and receive the full benefit of the item’s abilities (added attack, defense, etc.). 

In order to identify, realign, uncurse, or sell any items, you must first select the item in your inventory and the options will appear in the store. 

You may notice, in starting out, that things appear very expensive.  The average Tome costs over 50 to identify for just the first stage.  Initially the best way to go about this is to sell the first item you find without identifying it and use that money to identify other found items as far as you can and then sell those until you have enough money to identify everything you find and make a profit from it.  Items that aren’t completely identified will not bring their full value when sold, while other items may be less valuable (e.g. cursed items) when fully identified. 

For more information on the Store, be sure to read the City Store section. 

The Bank 
Okay!  Click on the Exit button to return to the City Square and select the Bank icon (second from left).  Now that the Bank is open you can see the separate sections of the bank.  You can deposit money (Put), withdraw money (Get), and deposit & withdraw items in the top right window.  Most of the time, you will probably want to use the deposit ALL feature to deposit the money to your character’s account.  This can be done without entering the Bank by shift-clicking on the Bank button from the City Square.  To deposit items, click on the item in your inventory and drag the item to the Bank Items list box.  To withdraw them, do just the opposite. 

However, since you don’t need to deposit or withdraw any items, let’s deal with the gold on your character!  For right now, press Put and then the amount of gold on you and click ok.  You just deposited all of your remaining gold into the bank.  If you want to take money out just withdraw it by pressing Get.  However, you wouldn’t very often need to withdraw gold, since all the service and goods providers in the city can automatically withdraw gold from your account when you make a transaction (kind of like electronic banking).  Remember that you can put rare items in the Bank in order to secure an item from being slimed or stolen in the dungeon, or if you just want more room in your inventory.  Keep in mind, however, that items in the Bank are not with you and therefore cannot be used in the dungeon. 

For more information on the Bank, be sure to read the Bank section, which will describe the Party options (for single player mode) in more detail (for when you need them). 

The Guilds 
Let’s leave the bank and mosey on over to the guilds (first button on the left).  When you enter the guilds, you automatically enter your current guild - the Artisans’ guild or whatever guild you selected to start out in.  You can see who and what level the Guildmaster is.  If you advance beyond this level, you will become Guildmaster yourself! 

Let’s move on.  You will see a total of four options on the Guilds screen.  These four are Library, Change, Donate and Exit.  The first option, the Library, is a branch of the guilds that will become very useful later.  The second button allows you to change to a guild other than your current guild (by selecting another guild book at the table).  For this Tutorial, however, we’ll just stick with the Artisans’ guild. 

Go ahead and press F4 or type “/g” and you’ll see a message (in the message window) stating how much experience you need to make the next guild level, in this case level 2.  When you make levels, your hits points go up and often your A/D increases as well.  To gain experience, you need to go down into the dungeon and slay some monsters.  When your character has enough experience and gold to ‘make level’, return to the Guild and use the “Level Up” button to increase your character’s skills.  You will sometimes find items in the dungeon that are guild specific.  When you do, Donate the item to the guild and you might be in for a surprise. 

The Morgue 
We’ll skip the Morgue for now, since it’s fairly self-explanatory, and nobody has died yet.  When you do need to visit the morgue, you will find it very easy to use. The morgue workers can raise characters or companions as well as go into the dungeon and retrieve characters. It is important to note, however, that the morgue extracts a fee for these services, and the fee can be substantial. Keep in mind that with any type of resurrection (from the morgue or a spell), there is always the risk of complications during resurrection that can leave your character permanently disadvantaged.  For more information on complications, see the section on Dying

The Confinement 
We’ll also skip this neat city service; later on, as you collect more gold, you can go here and purchase companions to help you out in the depths below. You can also bring creatures back from the depths and sell them for profit!  Just think of how much money a skilled Mage could make doing that! 

The Billboard 
Go ahead and pop into the Billboard right outside the dungeon entrance for a quick look at the latest news and bounties.  In Multiplayer mode, you can post your own bounties for items or monsters that you need or have.  As you continue to play the game and the storyline builds, important and exciting news and bounties will appear! 

Lord Gherrick 
Lord Gherrick is the driving force behind the storyline of Ascension.  He will assign you tasks to complete and reward you for many of them.  Be sure to visit Lord Gherrick and find out what the first task you need to complete is!

The Dungeon 
Well, let’s get going!  Go back to the city pane and click on the icon with the dungeon doors (from the City Square, click the left arrow at the top left of the city pane, then the third button).  You are now in the exciting dungeon, where few have been brave enough to enter.  The upper level doesn’t have many really nasty monsters (but there are a few), so you should be able to survive your first encounter.  You are currently standing in the entrance hall, on top of the stairs that take you to the city.  If you wanted to go back to the city, you would turn around and walk forwards through the large double doors.  The first thing you need to do is get ready for the nasties.  Make sure the Stats view is visible in the Info Pane (so you can watch your hit points).  The Automap will help you navigate through the dungeon without getting lost.  Now, you’re ready!  Movement in the dungeon is accomplished by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.  Pressing the Up Key will move you one square forward, the Right Key will turn you to the right, the Left Key will turn you to the left, and the Down Key will turn you in the opposite direction. 

For more information on these and other commands, see the Commands section. 

Go ahead and press the Left arrow to go toward the stairs up to level 1. Press the Up arrow until you walk up the stairs and then follow the path right, left, right until you are facing a set of doors. Once you pass through them, you start your venture into the dungeon proper.  It is recommended to explore level 1 for your first few guild levels...the monsters are the weakest here. 

At the end of the corridor on the other side of the door is a nasty little critter, maybe even two or three of them.  So, for your first lesson in combat you’re going to run in, then immediately turn around and run back out.  You will go up to the door, run in and run out by holding down the shift key and pressing the down (turn around) arrow.  The down (turn around) arrow turns your character around.  By pressing the Shift key at the same time, you tell the game to turn around AND take a step forward.  So, what you’re going to do is run into the room (up arrow) and then run out (shift+down arrow), right?  Now, make sure you get a good look at the monster(s) when you first walk into the room.  Now, run into the room, look at the monster(s) and run back out!  You may get hit - and even killed if they are able to hit you when you first enter and then turn to run.  If that happens, create another character and try again.  If you didn’t leave the room quick enough, there’s a chance that your character will have swung and hit (and maybe even killed) a monster before running out (since the default fight option for a character is attack). 

Well, wasn’t that fun. If you got hit go back to the city (back down the main stairs and through the double doors).  When you enter the city, you’ll see that your hits still aren’t back to normal.  Go to the Fountain, and click on on it for quick heal for a fee.  Presto! back to full health.  If you don’t go to the fountain or make a level in the guild, you will heal with aging when you re-enter the dungeon (which is recommended until you can afford to pay at the fountain).  Now you’re ready to take out whatever it was *gulp*.  You may be wondering why the monster(s) were able to swing at you even though you didn’t do anything besides run in and out.  This is because Combat in Ascension happens in real time - whether you’re ready or not - and the monsters are always ready.  Combat takes place in approximately 2 second rounds. You get to swing, then the monster does, or vice versa and so on.  Fortunately, you can run away and save your hide, allowing you to return to the city and recover your hit points before doing battle once again with the nasties.  You may use this as your main ‘weapon’ in trying to survive the first few levels - that’s why you learned it first!  This is going to be your main advantage in staying alive for the first few levels. 

Now, if you feel up to it and you’re all healed up, go back into that room and nail those monsters!  Since your character will automatically begin fighting a creature if they are at war and in range, all you need to do is walk in and watch the fight (unless they are ‘peaced’, in which case you will want to hit ‘f’ to begin fighting).  Keep in mind that if the monster hits your character, you’ll probably want to turn around and go back to town to heal up before continuing the fight.  Even though your character may start automatically fighting, it’s up to you to get them out of there if things turn bad! 

So, Go for it! 

If you were successful, you killed the monster(s), if you weren’t - you’re probably dead.  If you’re really having a tough time, try creating a Giant with maximum Strength and Dexterity by taking points away from Charisma and then Intelligence and Wisdom.  That’ll be one hard character to kill. 

Now, if you killed the monsters, you’ll notice you have some experience points and probably found some gold (unless they had a chest).  If they had a chest, it’s sitting there, waiting to be opened (unless it’s “Magically Sealed”).  If it’s not “Magically Sealed” you will see the trap description in one of a few colors.  That tells you how good you are at identifying and disarming traps.  For more information, you’ll need to read the Treasure section - heck, you’ll end up reading it sooner or later anyway.  If there’s a chest, press ‘o’ to open it.  Gold!  Neat!  Did you find an item?  If so, you can take it back up and try to identify it (if you have enough gold) or sell it. 

Follow up 
So much for your first encounter - feel like a studmuffin yet?  Well, you’ve got a long way to go.  You’ve probably noticed that when you kill the monsters that are in a room and go back, it’s empty.  That’s because they’re dead!  However, after a period of time, the dungeon will ‘repopulate’ with new monsters.  So, until then, you’re going to have to go exploring.  Since the monsters you killed won’t reappear for awhile, you should remember the most recent path you took so you can retrace it when returning to the city.  There’s nothing more challenging than trying to fight a running battle back to the city when what you wanted was a full scale retreat!  Keep in mind that you’ll stay alive by running away when your character’s hits get low.  After awhile, you’ll be strong enough to not really have to worry about little encounters. 

As mentioned above, your character will automatically begin fighting if they enter a room with hostile monsters (or the monsters become hostile).  You can change this by selecting Options from the right-click menu in the Party window and modifying the action for each character in the party (right now, there’s only one) to carry out during a combat situation. 

Even though this little ‘tutorial’ got you started, it’s recommended that you go ahead and read the entire Helplesson (Online Information System).  You’ll need to anyway to find out what guilds are available, their abilities, and what races can join them.  Ascension is a very large game - easy enough for the beginner, and complex enough for the serious player. 

As you become more familiar with Ascension, you may want to organize a Party to explore the depths below.  To do this, simply press the ‘a’ key to ask a character who is in the current area to join you! 

Well, you should be able to figure it out from here!  Good Luck!

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