(archived from durandus.com via the wayback machine)

Character Creation

The beginning of the game is where you lay the foundation for the way you want to play the game. In Last Outpost, you get choice of Race and Class when you create a new character. You also get to pick the sequence your characteristics will be ordered. I’m no expert in this, but I can at least explain what’s happening when you first log in.

It’s a bit disconcerting for people who are used to having to ask permission and deal with layers of approval in order to get access to a system, but the first question in Last Outpost is, “By what name do you wish to be known?” This is one of those crisis moments for many people who immediately assume they should already have a name. If you’re just logging in for the first time, you type in the name you want to have. When you come back in, you’ll be able to put that name in and log in.

For the first time entry, you’ll be prompted with, “Did I get that right, (whatever you put in) Y/N?” This is so those people who may have botched the logins to get another chance at putting in the correct name and to confirm that you really meant to start a character named “Tralfaz” or whatever it was you picked. A tip on names. Keep them simple. Your life may depend on somebody typing in “cast ‘heal’ hienrichseon” without error. Be considerate of other players and make your name short and easily typed. You’ll be more popular.

After the initial naming, you’ll walk thru two prompts for password — they have to match — and then you’ll be asked if your terminal displays ANSI color. The system is trying to figure out if your machine can display color fonts. While this might seem like a silly question, remember that the core of this game was built when the main colors were black and green. Colored font was a “nice to have” in those days, not a given. They provide a test for you to check, but mostly “yes” works.

Access mechanics done, we now start with the description of your character in the game — sex (m/f) — pick one. So far as I know, there are not any “genetic modifiers” in this game, so the choice of sex is strictly for cosmetic purposes. Girls get more attention because they’re rarer. Often girls will pick “M” just so they avoid that attention. It’s your char, pick what you like and play it like you build it.

Then you get this:

You must select a race.

Dwarf – Hearty and wise, but a bit clumsy.
Elf – Crafty and bright, but frail.
Gnome – Smart and wise, but small and clumsy.
Halfling – Very crafty, but small and unwise.
Human – Average in all respects.
Ogre – Big, tough, and stupid.

And this is where you can make your first interesting choices. Each character is governed by five characteristics — see below — which provide variability across the players. It’s literally a random (or pseudo-random) choice across a range of 3 to 18 with the majority of characteristics falling in the middle ranges. At creation time, your character is given five random numbers in that range. This race selection applies a profile across those numbers by adding or subtracting a baseline. Human is the baseline, so no adjustments get made — up or down. Ogres, as it says, are big, tough, and stupid — so the characteristics governing strength and constitution are boosted while those of intelligence and wisdom are decreased. We’ll show an example later of how it works so don’t get too hung up on it now.

“The stats for a new character are not random. Your character race and stat order determine exactly what stats you’ll get. A gnome who chooses iwsdc has the same stats as every other gnome who chose iwsdc.”

I’m going to pick Dwarf because I want some burliness, but also some wisdom and I’m willing do sacrifice dexterity to get it.

The next choice is for primary class — that is, what do I want my main specialty to be. This has implications later on, but you will get the opportunity to play with the other classes as you go.

You will be able to gain levels in each class, but it will be much easier to
Gain levels in your area of specialization. You must choose a primary class:

Cleric – Divine magic, healing and protection.
Mage – Powerful and violent magic.
Thief – Sneaky and devious arts, outdoorsmanship.
Warrior – Mortal combat and the art of war.

As it says in the prompt, clerics are the healers and get powerful spells to heal, protect, and manipulate the natural world. Mages get the fireballs and mystical things like invisibility. At low levels, mages are difficult to play, but at high levels, they are very powerful. The thief class is often very important because of the thief’s ability to pick locks (of which there are many) and a very powerful attack in the backstab. Warriors are the beef. If you’re a mage or a cleric, you want to have a line of these guys between you and whatever is nasty out there. For this exercise, I’m going to pick Mage.

Now we get to do answer a strange question:

Now you must select the priority by which your vital statistics are assigned.

Constitution – Affects the number of hit points received.
Dexterity – Aids in the use of thief skills. Helps you dodge attacks and
carry more items.
Intelligence – Affects the number of mana points received.
Strength – Crucial for inflicting physical pain on enemies. Let’s you
carry more weight.
Wisdom – Determines the number of spells that can be learned, and how
quickly skills in secondary classes can be learned.

To specify the order of your stats, give the first letter of each in the order
you would like them. For example, entering SCDIW will give you a character
with strength highest, then constitution, then dexterity, then inteligence,
then wisdom. It is important to note that these stats are are relative to the
race of your character. If, for example, your character is a halfling and you
place wisdom last, your character will be very unwise indeed.

This is where you get to fine tune your selections and do it in a way that you really can’t see happening. What’s going on here is that you have the opportunity to pick what order — from highest to lowest — you want your character’s characteristics to fall. In the beginning you got five random numbers between 3 and 18 — we’ll say they were 10, 9, 11, 17, and 5. The game will put them in descending order — 17, 11, 10, 9, and 5 — and you’ll get to say which characteristic those numbers will be applied to. The catch is that you don’t know what the numbers are.

For my dwarven mage, I picked: icdsw

So the highest number was assigned to intelligence, the second highest to constitution, then dexterity, strength, and finally wisdom. That was probably a mistake because once the numbers are assigned to the characteristics, the racial modifiers are applied. Remember that dwarves are “hearty and wise, but clumsy” so the racial characteristics will add a bit to constitution and wisdom and take a bit away from dexterity. The result will be racial boosts on my lowest characteristic (wisdom which I assigned last in line) and to constitution (which i assigned as second) while the penalty to dexterity will be against the middle number. What I’m hoping for is a very burly dwarf with a lot of capacity to withstand damage (high constitution) while taking advantage of racial wisdom to boost a low number without sacrificing too much in the way of dexterity. Each permutation of race, class, and ordering creates a character with unique strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, I don’t know what the numbers are, so the only way to tell if it works is to continue on into the game and start to play.

You’ll move on to:

The command prompt can show your health as a percentage, or as a raw total.

Which would you prefer? (Percent/Raw): raw

You can see the obvious exits from a room with the ‘exits’ command. If you
want, they can also be displayed automatically when you enter a room. Do you

want to see exits automatically? (Yes/No): yes

And eventually you’ll come to a screen that says:

Welcome to the Last Outpost

0) Exit from Last Outpost.
1) Enter the game.
2) Enter description.
3) Read the background story
4) Change password.

When you choose 1 and press enter, you’ll be dropped into Town Square and ready to start your adventure. You’ll see something like this:

Town Square
You are in the town square, this is the social center of the town. Main
Street continues both North and South, while Second Avenue runs off to
the West. There is a well here that provides fresh water to the town.
a wooden club lies here.
A hard leather jacket lies here.
a glaive lies here.
A soft leather jacket lies here.
A short sword lies here.
a small flail lies here.
A pair of hard leather sandals lies here looking lonely.
A large leather shield lies here.
A set of gleaming mithril leggings lies here.
A cityguard stands here. [ 2]
Umar No Truce with the Shadow! is standing here.
You have found a new place, The Last Outpost!

“Town Square” is the name of the “room” and the text under it is a description of the space. Under the description is a list of the things in the room starting with “a wooden club lies here.” and ending with “Umar No Truce with the Shadow! is standing here.” The club is an object — a weapon to be precise — and Umar is a fellow player. The cityguards (2 of them) are non-player characters or “mobs” which are run by the computer. Finally, is an informational message that you’ve found a new place called, “The Last Outpost.” You’re now in the game.

The command: sco (for score) gives this

You have attained : (mage 0) (warrior 0) (cleric 0) (thief 0).
You have 24(24) hit, 96(96) mana and 122(118) movement points.
You have scored 100 exp, and have 371 gold coins.
You have been playing for 0 days and 0 hours.
You are 25 years old. It’s your birthday today.
You are carrying 8 items, totaling 9 pounds.
You have 0 of 20 saveable valuable items.
You have been to 1 zones and have seen %0 of the world.
You belong to no clan.
You are standing.

Which tells you something about you — notably that you start out with some stuff experience points and money, along with some other statistics about your status.

The command: eq (for equipment) gives

You are using:

<worn on body> a soft leather jacket
<worn on legs> a pair of leather pants
<worn on feet> a pair of soft leather mocassins
<wielded> a short sword

The command : who shows who else is online with you.

[Lv] [Clan] Name
[ 0] [—-] Garal the dwarven Man
20×4 [IndS] Issib — lets see how long I can stay 20×4
20×4 [Drgn] Umar No Truce with the Shadow!
20×4 [Drgn] Wyatt zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba

Garal is my new dwarven mage and I’m not seeing anybody who happens to be invisible at this point because I haven’t yet acquired the ability. This may or may not be everybody in the game.

So, the game can now begin. I’ve created my character, and gotten logged into the game. Now, I have to learn and earn in order to survive and grow.

2 Responses to “Character Creation”

  1. on 16 Nov 2007 at 12:27 am RahjIII

    “While this might seem like a silly question, remember that the core of this game was built when the main colors were black and green.”

    Actually, Roo had a green screen terminal, but mine was amber. So, orange and green and black. :)

    You are correct in that there are no character modifiers between choosing a male or female character. It is just a preference.

    The stats for a new character are not random. Your character race and stat order determine exactly what stats you’ll get. A gnome who chooses iwsdc has the same stats as every other gnome who chose iwsdc.

  2. on 23 Jul 2009 at 1:34 pm Issib

    It’s awesome that I was sitting in TS when you made this!