Ever stop to level a character to level 5 and lose 3 days?

For the past few days I’ve been in Wendle Mansion on a couple of lowbies, learning the heck out of the area and driving Romani pretty well nuts with my on going tells as some parts of the area drive me strange with frustration :->  To be fair, she’s tight lipped, I didn’t really expect her to share too, too much as I know she takes her immortal duties very seriously.

I originally visited the area to obtain a cloak of spirits, a lowbie body wear with con on it for rogues and aberrants so that I could get my level 2 thieves to level 5 and slow the autodelete timer.  As I got to looking around the area I found a number of interesting programs and the heart of Lord Wendle that sort of sucked me into the story line of this haunted mansion.

In many ways the area reminds me strongly of the Shining with the blood appearing at night and disappearing through the day, whispering warnings to you and so forth. Romani certainly captured the atmosphere right down to the idea of the ghosts tormenting the house guests to insanity … though that’s more from the book than the movie adaption.


An excellent little levelling area it’s got a good story line that draws you further into the area. It relies on a number of easily found skills like search and dig to get you through the area, though there is a spot you can adept mount if you’re paying attention. (Minor spoiler ahead) I didn’t realize that you could search in a container on the ground, so after all these years I learned something new which finally answered the question of where the skull-bone mask comes from.

A few useful levelling items all in a small spot with a quick repop (as low as 8 minutes from time to time). It’s possible to get most of the puzzles solved without fighting, which is helpful since most of the items in the area stop popping once you hit level 10. This makes farming trickier but not impossible when you’re hunting for the level 2 versions.

If you pay close attention to extra descriptions and hang out in rooms to wait for programs and read everything that’s said, it does prod you along towards your goal.


There are a couple of things I’ve come to loathe thanks to this area, or maybe I always did and this area reminded me of how much I hate them.

Oh my god I’ve come to hate waiting 30 minutes for a mud day to cycle. When you’re trying to figure out a puzzle whose triggers are midnight in almost every hot spot you only get to try one thing per half hour. That’s a half hour you’re not leveling because you’re worried that maybe you’re going to become too high a level for the puzzles. You’re standing in the next spot eating mushrooms out of a chest and drinking off your dragonskin waiting for 30 minutes in case there’s a program in the room that fires off. Of course you could start a lowbie army and sit in several spots at once but that does sort of defeat the idea of a real new player experience right? I mean that’s a big bad avatar approach …

I had been thinking of using this technique in my building but I’m right off it now. Either that or there needs to be more going on … I can live with ALL NIGHT something’s happening in the area and at MIDNIGHT something special happens in a part of it, but to have to be in 2 different spots (at least) at once means a lot of sitting idle logging the room.

The only other critique I’ll throw on this is that it’s not at all clear if I’ve finished the area or not. I found and fought a beast that looks like the end dude and received the items that other old Cry of Despair articles point to … but … did I break the curse or not? Should I have idled more in that last room I got to?

And what was up with Sarah in the shed? I spotted her there once, and now I can’t for the life of me seem to get her to appear again, even though I’ve moved to a different character… I’m wondering if she only appears to higher level characters now because my first time through was on a higher lowbie.

So there are a few things left to figure out. Romani did a great job on this area my personal frustrations aside 🙂 I will certainly revisit it and try to figure the rest out, there can’t be a ton left :> If you’ve never been, it’s a great way to learn how to explore.  Until next time!

Seth’s Fortress and the Chaos Maze (or … My Adventures in Imm CR’ing)

I’ve very recently developed a desire to relearn how to map the Chaos Maze.  This is something I used to know back in the day but as a matter of course it’s been changed over the years.  I used to take the Guild of Druids to Magus of Evil (the equipment works well on an evil druid) and to Jade (who doesn’t need a couple of strands?).  As I’ve become the Second of the Guild of Thieves getting out to Jade seems more imperative.  After all, thieves need strands to make Falcon sets, in addition to their general usefulness on their own.

So I sat down last night, thinking myself well prepared.  I had some help and notes to guide me and I set out.  I share this litany of mistakes with you in part to remind myself any time I get thinking I’m good at this game of where I’ve been and also so that you can learn from my mistakes.  Had I been a little more careful, there would have been no need for an imm to CR 3 of my characters (thanks again Romani!!).

Did you know there’s no obvious way to get a Paladin to hide?  Me either!  The chaos hound just before the maze reminded me about it.  Ok, into the maze … you know … if you forget to hide someone and switch to another window, sooner or later you’re going to have to CR the first guy right?  Off with the weathered boots and on with the moccasins.

When I’ve seen people map the maze in the past I see them come back with a bunch of charmed chaos creatures in tow, put them all to sleep and away we go.  I’d love to know how they do it because every second or third creature my dominate would fail and I’d be fighting.  Sure, just relog … oops, there goes the charm on the other mobs.  Kill it off!!  Ok, not bad but you’ve got to watch that your alignment doesn’t drift too far or zapski!  Not only that, but if you kill them, you’ll be dealing with them next repop.  Not the end of the world, but one more thing right?  Why deal with them?  Well … false fires, pick up coins and finally a private room that will stop you from spamming in the directions once you have them.

Oh and since you’re on a vampire, keep an eye on that blood 🙂

Ok so they’re dealt with at last (you got the rats too right??) so now it’s time to try and figure out the path.  There’s a lot of room at this point to spin your wheels and get nowhere.  Especially if your clues about how to solve the maze are wrong.  Over the years the solution to the maze has changed but the overall idea has stayed the same.  It’s a testament to creativity in how this maze can be tweaked and re-tweaked and yet stay so similar.

So … after 3 or so hours of using the wrong directions, assuming that I was messing something up, I found out I was using the wrong method.  Seems my notes are at least a generation too told 🙂  Oops.  Oh well.  With a different method I was at the divine protector in short order.  Bitty boppity boo and the whole crew is through.  Down the hallway, past the slavering beast (thanks hide!!) and I’m parked outside the door of the Magus of Evil.  Ok, 1 am on a work night?  I’m told it was well past time to get to bed (thanks mom … hun!  No seriously… I’d just stay up and have to drag all day long, I can be bad that way…)

Ok fresh morning, and ready to go… hey .. log in and do a quick kill, catch a repop and then I’ll have an hour to map the maze.  Let me stop you right here.  This is the first BIG mistake.  No matter how good you think you are, no matter how fast you’ve mapped the maze in the past … this is a no supplicate area with lots of multi-avatar mobs.  MAP THE MAZE FIRST!!  If you’ve successfully mapped the maze twice in the last 10 years … read this whole paragraph one more time!

Magus of Evil is not a tough kill.  I’ve racked up lots of kills here, but never multi-solo.  Not to mention my auto-quaff triggers and such aren’t set up on all my characters.  Mistake number 2, take the time to prep properly.  Being over-eager to jump in and kill will usually end badly.  When my thief, paladin and warrior all dropped I really realized this.  I was of sound enough mind to flee my remaining thief and move back into the hallway with my mage and cleric.

Ok time to CR.  Well … I have a surviving thief, so I’ll relog him so Magus will not be aggressive and then I’ll loot the corpses.  Quit … oh wait!  Do you see it?  When you quit you break your group.  This rookie move is what put me behind the 8 ball.  I had a mage and cleric standing around doing nothing and who were not in combat.  Walk them in and cr, redistribute the weight as much as possible, drop potions if need be and recall… a nice calm response.  Remap the maze, pick up the potions and start over.  Quit… damn.

Well that tears it, I’ve got to get the maze mapped post-haste.  No time for charming, if I can get a char back through grouped I can dump stuff on the floor if I have to.  I almost made it too.  With 5 ticks remaining I had the maze mapped, now I still had to get re-grouped and get back to Magus’ room without another incident.  I might have made it… 5 minutes or so… 3 corpses…  If it had been 1 corpse I would have gone for it.  If I lost it … ok.  3?  Chickened out!  Now I had already checked if anyone was around in the order who could help out and when that failed I gave Romani a heads up just in case she was thinking of going for a relaxing coffee and coming back to the keyboard in 20 minutes 🙂  I’m grateful she hung around 🙂

The cost of the cr was a maddening voices and two essences of the kundalini … a bit pricey but much better than the alternative.  Given the Nasrs, Justices, rings of the ancient gods and other goodies in the corpses it could have been worse.  Some people were commenting on how expensive it was … immortal cr’s are not a right, they’re not hard coded like supplicating is … you rolls the dice you takes your chances.  If you don’t like it, there’s still 5 ticks …  I just wish it hadn’t been the same wearloc on two dev chars … my storage can re-equip one, but I had to loot one off another character.  That’s my only beef, two of the same item can be a bother.

So that’s it.  I did get two kills in on Magus bringing home a couple of sets of low cost gear.  I gained a ton of experience, learned a lot and it only cost me a moderate amount … a lot better than the dt’s I used to hit while learning!

A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.

Oh what’s the title about?  You’ll either have to ask Romani or bear with me a minute.

Once upon a time in the Realms of Despair I was part of both mortal councils simultaneously.  Tharius had been in the Newbie Council for years and Raemakoin became the Guild of Druids Symposium representative.  Later after imming and deimming, Tharius became the Symposium rep for Dragonslayers.

In casting about for ideas on how to participate in the Realms I remembered how much I enjoyed The Symposium so I had no hesitation in asking Romani if I could become an “at large” member.

I didn’t know how this would go over, certainly it’s been a long time and a lot of things in the Realms have changed that I am still not aware of, so a “not now” would not have been all that much of a surprise.

The mudmail went off to Beleth and Sunday night I logged in hoping to meet up for a quick interview after the regular meeting.  By the end of the meeting I was back in the Symposium and eager to get caught up.

Thanks Romani, Beleth, Stoneheft and anyone else who participated in this decision.

If you have ideas that you’d like to help develop and get into the game, feel free to drop the Symposium a line either by mailing one of the members directly or by posting on the TS board in the Town Hall.