For Wizardry: The Five Ordeals players, this is abasic guide with a collection of important information for new players, this is alsohelpful to other Wizardry titles, such as Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls.
Character Creation 1
Note: if you are using Type A creation you’ll be given an opportunity to select your class prior to distributing bonus points. More on that later.
– Race determines base characteristics.
– A character’s maximum is base + 15. A character can go beyond this with enchanted items, but a level up will never raise a stat beyond base + 15.
– In many scenarios, female characters trade a -1 Strength for +1 Vitality.
– In Wizardry V, if VIT dropped below 3, the character becomes LOST. That’s probably what happens here as well, and LOST probably also occurs when any stat drops below 3.
Strength/STR. This stat means little more than fulfilling class requirements unless A LOT of points are added. A STR of 5 functions the same as a STR of 17 in terms of fight damage, whether ranged or melee. At STR 18, the minimum and maximum damage increase by 1. Every point thereafter is an additional +1 to damage. A male dwarf with STR 26 will gain a substantial +9 to physical weapon damage. I do not know if STR affects fight accuracy, but given much of this game is based on old D&D rule sets, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Intelligence/IQ. Seems to affect Wizard spell damage and rate of acquisition of new spells. It’s important to note that Wizards are eligible to learn new spells of the next level on every odd level regardless of IQ, but a higher IQ usually helps a character obtain more of them.
Piety/PIE. It’s the Priest spell equivalent of IQ. In these scenarios, a high PIE will not affect spells like Heal, Mega Heal and Giga Heal, but seems to affect damage spells like Blades and Firewall.
Vitality/VIT. Strongly affects maximum HP, perhaps even more than class. Upon character creation, starting HP will be determined by class and VIT: VIT of 11 provides +1 to max HP, and every four points thereafter, another +1. Given this, the question is, do we see benefit from adding to VIT beyond the 11, 15, 19, 23 thresholds? I think there may very well be. See more on Max HP later in the guide.
Agility/AGI. Affects turn order in combat (albeit unreliably) and, combined with class and LUC, determines how effectively a character handles treasure chest traps. It’s notable that AGI doesn’t affect Armor Class at all.
Luck/LUC. Affects handling treasure chest traps, combined with AGI and class. LUC very likely influences avoidance of traps when they’ve been set off. It probably affects more than this.
Character Creation 2
– Using Type B means that a character will need sufficient bonus points to achieve a class. Type A allows picking a class, then distributing bonus points.
– Not every scenario allows Type A character creation. Type B is the Wizardry standard, but Type A is much more convenient for creating the Samurai, Lord and Ninja classes.
– In Type A, bonus points are distributed more appropriately in the advanced classes. Why would a Ninja need 18 PIE, anyway?
– There are drawbacks to choosing Type A. Characters start out older (20 I believe, rather than 15). The character may not have sufficient points in the appropriate stats to be effective in their chosen class. For example, a Type A Ninja probably needs very high VIT due to the comparatively low maximum HP of the Ninja class, or be stuck in the back line and having to use Hide/Ambush to fight. The Ninja also needs very high AGI and LUC in order to replace your Thief for treasure chest trap disarming, which is one of the main reasons for creating a Ninja. Then, if the Ninja lacks very high STR, the Ninja will be relying heavily on RNG with critical hits (insta-kills) in order to be effective.
– Most of the time characters will receive 6 to 9 points. Here and there (probably roughly 1 in 5) you’ll see point values between 16 and 19. Lucky tosses (maybe 1 in 25?) turn up 26-29, which can make a very solid Samurai. 36+ does happen, and this will put the character in Lord range.
– The amount of bonus points you can get is probably capped at 40 or 60, likely scenario-dependent, thus with some scenarios, rolling a Ninja is impossible. If that scenario doesn’t allow Type A creation, Ninja would only be possible by re-classing.
– If your intent is to re-class the character (Wizards and Priests usually) then shooting for high bonus point values becomes much less beneficial. More on that later.
– Watch out for alignment restrictions. Picking Neutral automatically knocks a character out of the Lord and Ninja class possibilities, and there’s little worse than seeing a 40 or better show up when I’m rolling a Neutral character. For that reason, very few of my created characters will be Neutral alignment.
Form a Party 1
– The first three characters are considered to be in close range of the first two enemy groups. Characters in close range should have high HP, and their AC should be low.
– The 4th, 5th and 6th slots are in medium range of the first two enemy groups, and long range of any others. In order to choose the Fight command, a character in one of these slots needs a medium or long range weapon equipped.
** Thieves and Ninjas are able to choose Hide in place of Fight. If Hide is successful, on the next turn Thief or Ninja can Ambush, allowing Thief or Ninja to use a close-range weapon from the 4th through 6th slots. Do note, upon using Ambush, the Thief or Ninja becomes a viable close range target for monsters. A failed Hide attempt seems to do the same.
Which classes are an absolute must have?
– Thief or Ninja for treasure chest traps. In order to improve equipment, your party will need to raid any and every chest it finds. Most chests are trapped, and those traps are very nasty.
Which classes are an extremely good idea to have around initially?
– Priest. Priest spells are a must-have. The Lord class does get priest spells, albeit at several levels behind (probably 5 levels, and that’s far too long to wait for poison and paralysis cures). It may be possible to survive on potions, but it’s a terrible idea. Half of the monsters in later stages of the dungeon cause poison, paralysis or worse.
– Wizard. There will be large groups of monsters that need to die as soon as possible. While a warrior can only kill one or two per turn, the Wizard can kill them all. Many Wizard spells (Wizard Eye, Levitate, Teleport) make dungeon crawling much easier.
Form a Party 2
Party slots 1 through 3 are typically reserved for Fighter, Samurai, and Lord. All of these classes can survive a good beating. Fighter and Lord will pick up enough armor for a sufficiently low AC. Samurai armor, however, can be harder to come by, and generally provides less protection (This is definitely scenario-dependent).
* A Priest can survive in the front, especially a Dwarf Priest with very high VIT. Wizardry Priests aren’t those pathetic Final Fantasy clerics; these priests can armor up quite well and get a reasonably low AC. I tend not to do this because it opens up my Priest to close-range paralysis attacks. A paralyzed Priest means using a potion or ending a dungeon run prematurely, with your party running full-speed straight to the temple.
* Some may stick the Thief in the front. With their low maximum HP and very limited options with armor, don’t expect the Thief to survive very long.
* Ninjas are an interesting pick. They can get some amazing Ninja-only equipment in some scenarios, and Ninja is the only class where AC drops automatically with level if no gear is equipped. However, Ninjas require many more experience points to gain a level than the other classes. Playing a Ninja probably boils down to player preference.
* Bishops gain good HP similarly to Priests, but have fewer armor options from what I’ve seen. They’ll also be behind many other classes in levels. They’re better off in the back if you use them at all.
Party slots 4 through 6 are protected from close range attacks as long as slots 1 through 3 are actively in the battle. Sleep, paralysis, stoned and dead members will be pushed to the very back, potentially causing the back slots to be forced into the front, with the 4th slot obviously getting priority. 4 through 6 will typically be safe from close range attacks, however.
* Thief and Wizard belong in the back. Bishop should probably do the same, if you use one.
* If I were to field 2 Priests (I do not, but there are worse ideas out there), one of them would be in the front, the other in back.
Another thing to consider is that some scenarios allow off-hand attacks, while others do not. For those that allow off-hand attacks, as long as a character isn’t using a shield, the Fight/Ambush commands allow a character to make two separate attacks, potentially killing two different monsters. Samurai and Ninja tend to get the best off-hand weapons, so their value definitely increases in these scenarios.
Notes on Wizard Spells
– Wizard Eye. Here’s your automap. Uses will deplete fast.
– Stone. Don’t use it, but note how early you get this spell. Now realize how soon your enemies will use it on you.
– Sleep. Surprisingly useful on big, dumb monsters further into the dungeon.
– Fire. Much more useful than the damage numbers of 1-8 would indicate when you factor in IQ and vulnerability.
– Unlock Door. Sometimes the Thief struggles with locked doors, and this might have better luck.
– Thunder. The first spell that hits all enemy combatants for decent damage.
– Magic Screen. Cast this when facing a boss late in the game. The boss will probably resist your damage spells, anyway.
– Levitate. Once you have access to this spell, keep it up at all times unless you must intentionally fall down a chute. On top of avoiding pits and chutes, your party will no longer be surprised, and they will surprise the enemy much more often.
– Conjuration. Some scenarios allow for persistent summons (they stay with you until they die or until you leave the dungeon). On these scenarios, this spell is extremely powerful, especially if the summons happen to call for help.
– Anti-Magic. Cast this first when facing a late-game boss. Nasty spells have a chance to fizzle out immediately.
– Six Boons. Has a chance to do nothing.
– Turn Undead. Don’t let the damage values fool you into casting it. Undead resist this spell frequently.
– Nuclear Blast. When in doubt, let ’em have it.
– Teleportation. Useful, but don’t misclick on a rock!
– Seventh Boon. Has a chance to do nothing.
– Maelstrom. ?
Notes on Priest Spells
– Heal. It’s as good as you get for a while, unfortunately.
– Armor. This, Mega Armor and Giga Armor all stack and can be recast in the same battle.
– Divine Trap. A wonderful spell until it betrays you.
– Silence. Very useful against large groups that sling spells. Even if it only works on half of the group, it’s very capable of saving characters with a low max HP.
– Mega Armor. This stacks with the other “Armor” spells, and stacks when you recast it.
– Locate Person. May this spell be entirely useless to you.
– Name Monsters. Useful and persists for your entire dungeon run. Is that guy in robes a sorcerer or a ninja? Is that small animal a harmless stray dog or a deadly vorpal bunny?
– Cure Paralysis. Hopefully your Priest learns this immediately.
– Break Screen. I feel like this would be pretty useful on boss fights, but odds are you’ll have better things to do. Namely curing paralysis, petrification or HP, for instance.
– Giga Armor. By now you know it can stack if recast in the same battle.
– Cure Poison. It’s another one I hope my Priest learns quickly.
– Protection. Persists for the entire dungeon run, but does not stack with multiple casts.
– Reduce Magic. This spell is much more useful for your enemies. It can end a dungeon run for me in a hurry.
– Summon Elemental. Some scenarios allow persistent summons (they’ll follow you for your entire dungeon run unless they die). If the scenario does, this spell becomes very powerful, but probably not quite as useful as the Wizard summon spell because undead won’t call for help.
– Raise Dead. I don’t think it’s quite as reliable as a Temple revival, but worth a shot if you’re in a dungeon run gone wrong. This probably ages the revived character by 1 year.
– Cure All. Finally, healing your party won’t take forever. This spell is glorious.
– Evacuate. The most useful application of this would seem to be mid-fight, but losing ALL items is devastating. (Forget about the gold loss.)
– I don’t use any other spell of this level. In almost all situations, I’m better off saving the spell use for Cure All.
– Heal Party. ++++++++++
– Raise Ash. This will work on a just plain dead character, too. This spell definitely ages the recipient by 1 year.
– Prodigy. I like to cast this spell immediately before gaining a level. There’s a chance the character will relearn it immediately.
Should We Nuke Them?
The absolute worst thing that can happen to a character is LOST.
The second worst thing that can happen to a character is LEVEL DRAIN. Level drain drops a character’s level by at least 1, and on top of that, to minimum EXP for that level. Merely one level lost like this can equal a loss of nearly 1 million EXP for advanced classes. They’ll also lose a decent amount of max HP.
*Things that cause level drain (nuke these creatures on sight!):
– Any monster with Vampire in its name.
– Wights. I detest Wights.
– Shadows often cause level drain, but not always, possibly scenario-dependent.
– Late Bosses often cause level drain.
– Anything that remotely looks like a Mind Flayer gets remorselessly blasted by my team.
*Creatures with a breath weapon. Several of these “breathers” in a battle together can inflict major devastation rapidly. Note, damage dealt by breath weapons decreases as the monster’s HP decreases, providing even more incentive to incinerate, freeze or zap them quickly.
– Any monster with Dragon in its name.
– Demon Dogs.
– Mushrooms. Beware of status effects with these things.
– Fire Elementals.
– Insect swarms.
*Creatures with critical hit (instant-kill) physical attacks. I don’t mess around with them.
– All Ninjas and Assassins.
– Vorpal Bunny.
– Greater Demons.
– Many Bosses.
*High-level spellcasters. Many of these should be high priority to kill. Silence isn’t a bad idea.
– Lesser Demon/Greater Demon/Any Demon.
– Lich and other high level undead.
– High-level Samurai.
– Any robed guy that’s not a Thief or a Ninja beyond the third floor.
– Royal Ladies/Ladies not wearing any armor beyond the third floor. (Possibly including the third floor.)
– Sprites and Fairies.
When a Wizard (or Priest) reaches 13th level, they’re eligible to learn all Wizard (or Priest) spells regardless of what class they gain a level in. So, for example, re-classing your level 13 Wizard into Priest creates a Lv. 1 Priest with all of that character’s known Wizard spells. When the character gains levels in Priest, s/he will eventually fully complete the Wizard spell list along with picking up the Priest spells. It works in the same way with the Priest class, and you do not have to re-class a character into a magic-using class for them to learn the spells they happened to miss upon reaching 13th level Wizard/Priest.
Want a Wizard-spell-slinging Lord? Or a much more useful Thief? Maybe a Bishop that gets a huge head start in one of the spell lists? Re-class can do that.
Drawbacks of re-classing a character:
– Stats are reset to racial base. A very substantial drawback. That character will need some blessed level-ups to match his or her former effectiveness in the original class as well as being proficient in the new class. I recommend the Hobbit race for any character that will end as a Thief so that they won’t be completely helpless when facing traps.
– The character ages 5 years.
– The number of spell uses per rest equals the number of spells they know for the level, so that’ll end up being 5 or 6. A pure Wizard or Priest will end up with 9 casts per level.
– Due to how Wizardry handles max HP gained per level, the character will be gaining only +1 max HP for many levels. More on that in another section.
**I will not re-class any front-line warrior class, and there’s absolutely no point to re-classing a Thief or Ninja, for their skills will not transfer to their new class.
**A benefit that can be overlooked is that a Lv. 1 character re-classed from Lv. 13 Priest has the opportunity to learn the Prodigy spell, recast and relearn it over and over again for each new level up. That would help get the character back up to speed quickly, or give a boost to other lagging characters.
Treasure Chests and Traps
– This game is nice enough to give you an idea of a character’s skill at identifying traps. It seems to max out at 95%. I wouldn’t take this at face value. Know that a score of 50% means that the character will be completely and utterly unreliable at identification and disarming.
– Thief vs. Ninja. The Thief’s primary function is to identify and disarm traps. They are capable of dealing damage in combat, especially with the right weapon, but combat is definitely a secondary function of the Thief. The Ninja’s primary function, on the other hand, is to kill monsters. They are capable of disarming traps, but consider this their secondary function. Ninjas will set off more traps on average than Thieves.
– Is there a way for a Thief to contribute more in combat?
* Re-classing an evil or neutral Wizard (13th level) to Thief is an option. Keep in mind the character’s stats will be set to base for his or her race. Unless that character is Hobbit race, his or her trap effectiveness won’t be good until some points in AGI and LUC are picked up, and many damage spells won’t be great until IQ gets higher. This character will also never have wonderful max HP. Re-classing a Priest instead (13th level) could be the better option.
– What are the traps to be especially wary of?
* Teleportation. Usually it’s just a minor nuisance, however, setting off a Teleportation trap has a chance of teleporting your party into a rock (the chance is obviously dependent upon how many “rock spaces” are in the map on your current floor, as well as any “anti-teleportation zones”). If your party teleports into a rock, hit CTRL+F1 immediately or all six members and their equipment are LOST.
* Rainbow Ray. It’s Wizardry casting 7th-level Prismic Missile on your party. Petrification, paralysis, death, ash, and severe damage are all on the table for your entire party. Typically, this trap won’t show up until you’ve gone fairly deep into the dungeon.
* Spell Blaster. Any spell users you have are up against magic drain. They may also forget some spells. As if that wasn’t enough, they may be killed or reduced to ash as well.
* Exploding Box. There’s nothing like setting off a “boom box” after a nasty fight with breathers. Any member who didn’t die in the fight is probably dead now. This causes heavy damage to the entire party.
* Gas Bomb. The entire party has a chance to be poisoned. Bad, bad news if your Priest doesn’t have Cure Poison or your party doesn’t have any cure poison potions.
* Magnetics. One member loses an item, and equipped items aren’t off-limits. Deceptively aggravating.
– Divine Trap is your friend. … Usually. If your character identifies a trap that does not make sense, for instance, a Rainbow Ray on the 3rd floor, cast Divine Trap to confirm your character’s findings. Unfortunately, Divine Trap will lie occasionally. (Perhaps the character’s PIE characteristic affects this?)
– Also worth noting:
* Venus Kiss can have good effects, like increasing a character’s stats or max HP, or even decreasing age. I still would never set this trap off intentionally, as death and ash are also possible. Ash is but one (small) step from LOST.
* Alarm is the only trap I set off intentionally on occasion. When the alarm goes off, monsters will appear that belong on one floor further from the one your party is on now. It’s probably not the brightest thing for me to do.
Things Every Player Should Know
– If your party gets wiped, it is not game over. Your dead party is still in the dungeon, and you will need to create a new party to rescue the old party. This is one of the few reasons you’d ever want to go inside the dungeon with less than 6 party members. You’ll need at least one party member slot open so that you can add members of the old party to the new party while in the dungeon.
– Many players use CTRL+F1 to reset the game if they’re about to get wiped out. This will allow you to resume your run prior to the last fight. I don’t make use of this because the threat of a wipe-n-haul makes each dungeon run interesting to me. Others like to reset when character level ups aren’t to their liking. My preferred method of “cheating” is to wait for large bonus points upon character creation. Make Wizardry the most fun for you and cheat as you see fit. However, if you reach the screen with the gravestones, it is too late for a reset.
– Never use anything but the Stables at the Inn. The Stables returns characters’ spell uses. Healing should be done using your Priest spells only. Allow your Priest to rest in the Stables, then enter the dungeon. Heal everyone to full HP with spells. Return to the Stables, rest for spells, rinse and repeat as needed. Using the Inn to heal HP causes characters to age, plus there’s no reason to waste the gold.
– Why did this awesome warrior character with 25 VIT gain only 1 max HP when s/he leveled up?
* Wizardry will re-throw ALL hit dice for ALL levels accumulated, adding in all VIT bonuses, upon a character reaching the next level. For example, suppose a Fighter reached level 6. For HP, Wizardry will roll 1D10 six times, adding in [VIT Bonus]*6 as well. If this new total is greater than the Fighter’s current max HP, the new total becomes the Fighter’s max HP. If the new total is equal to or less than the Fighter’s current max HP, the character gains +1 HP. With this system, inevitably, there will be low tosses and high tosses. One level may be only +1, but the next could easily be +30.
– I don’t use Bishops at all. Their level and spell progression is awful. I can create a Wizard or Priest, level them to 13, then re-class them to level 13 in the other class long before a Bishop even picks up 6th-level magic. Their ability to identify items saves gold and inventory space, but it can also cause a nasty cursed item to stick to the character. I’d rather pay the shopkeeper to identify everything.
Also, should anyone have anything to add, send it to the Comments section and I’ll try my best to faithfully add it to the guide and credit you. I have no problem with this guide turning into a team effort.
For any new players, if I haven’t scared you away from Wizardry yet, go inside and have a good time!