Darindel has achieved level 10, and is poking around on the third level of the dungeon. It’s pretty much like the last two, and I’m thinking of leaving off delving for awhile to visit the nearest other town. Meanwhile, I thought I’d go into why I decided to get serious with this character.

The brief reason is: points! Lots of them. Each race and each class receives bonuses or subtractions (or both) to stats and various skills.

Humans, as usual, are the baseline, so they receive nothing (except on perception skill, a +10). With the other races, there are only two that have no negatives: Amberites and High Elves. They get a positive add to every stat.

When we look at the classes, again there are only two that have no negatives: Rangers and Warrior Mages. Yep, even Paladins get dinged; in their case, intelligence takes a hit.

Moving on to the skills – disarm, use magic device, saving throws, search, perception, stealth, melee, and bows – only four races are without negatives: Amberite, High Elf, Nibelung (dark dwarf), and Vampire.

Finally, each class receives bonuses to the skills, except perception, and these are all positive. The ones for Rangers are very good, and they have the highest in bow skill, no surprise (I’d say they were best by a long shot, but you’d think I was punning ;).

As far as all-around characters go, the Ranger is the clear choice. They even get to learn two realms of magic. Nature spells are required, but you have free choice of the second.

So then it’s down to Amberite or High Elf. Both are good, but the High Elf has a big advantage: able to see invisible, right from the start. Amberites don’t have that, or even infravision.

Of course, there’s that little drawback of experience penalty. Two of them, in fact. 100% for being a High Elf, and 30% for being a Ranger (I consider that one cheap at the price).

Even so, I haven’t found Darry really lagging in the experience department. All his skills are Very Good or better, except melee, which is still just Fair. And he’s only level 10.

When I rolled him up, the stat numbers spun only briefly and stopped. Everything was 18 (charisma was 18/10) except Wisdom, which came in at 15. That result was too good to pass up. It also explains why I wanted him to cheat death. An early demise for this guy would have been painful.

Whether he will go the distance, though, is unknown. After all, that dungeon is a hundred levels (at least) deep. I don’t know if I have the fortitude to keep going that long. And there are worse fates than death. For now, however, he’s rolling along at a decent pace.