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Usurper

Introduction

Welcome to Usurper, a fantasy game filled with fast paced action, violence and instant death. This game has only one purpose : to give you a good time without the need of reading any lengthy documentation. You can actually enter the game and go berzerk straight away. However, you can consider continuing to read and perhaps learn something that can keep you alive for a while.

You can choose to play as a lonewolf adventurer/warrior who seek gain only for yourself, and care little for anything else. You can also form teams in which you and your comrades fight for each other. In either case you should always concentrate your efforts on the dungeons. It's in these huge cave areas that your fortune can be made, or your life end... There are over one hundred dungeons stretching from the top of the huge mountain, down to it's deepest level. It may be said at once that no creature has ever returned from the deeper levels. The ancient legends say that on Durunghins bottom there is a "thing" so powerful that the worlds destiny can be altered with it. But the legends also say that the guardians of this "thing" goes beyond everything your worst nightmares can bring forth... Well, no one has ever reached beyond the magic 90th level--you might be the first. You can take your team with you to the dungeons. It is almost always better to have more than one to face those monsters.

Completing the final challenge at the bottom of the huge mountain will reward you with immortalization in the chronicles. Your name will live forever.

It is important to note that in the dungeons, many strange creatures lurk around. Some will eventually approach you and offer different things. Your response will ultimately lead to either riches or to death...

If you don't fancy strolling down the dungeons, you can do other things. You can visit the Dormitory, where many of the characters take their rest. You can kick them out of their beds and challenge them for a fight, or perhaps try to murder them while they sleep...

You will always have opponents in this game, not just the monsters you challenge in the dungeons, but also computer controlled characters. These guys are not always nice. Some will try to slain you just for the hell of it! The dungeon monsters, on the other hand, are always there waiting for you.


Team Play

A nice feature of Usurper is the team function. If they wish, players can form gangs/teams and seek their luck together. The gangs can be used to gain control of the town, which in its turn can add income to the members. Controlling the town brings your team money, but remember that everything has a price. Every gang wants to beat the leaders. You don't just have to worry about other player gangs. There are also computer teams that are waiting just to whip the senses out of you and your comrades. If you don't trust the other players you can hire in computer characters to fight for your team. Don't trust them too much though as most of them can be turned when offered the right sum of money... Other teams can at all times challenge the town controllers. Gangfights are mostly short, bloody and dirty. It is recommended that you let your teammates know before you take them out to a street massacre where they risk to lose everything, including their lives.

Teams can also enter the dungeons together. This can be a good way to help fellow members to raise their experience. After a successful battle you can take them to see their levelmaster, and raise their level.


Character Creation

Upon the creation of a new player you will be given the opportunity to choose between different races and classes. This selection is vital to the type of game you will be involved in. First of all, every race and class has different abilities according to strength and defence, but they also have different values when it comes to 'valor' and 'darkness'.

Take a Paladin for example. This character is aimed for goodness, and should be played good. That means that you should spare innocent victims, perform quests of valor, and thereby raise your valor. However, the paladin can also be played bad, and perform violent acts such as murder innocent creatures and visit whorehouses. Unfortunately your characters deeds will eventually catch up with him. In the case of the paladin this will cause his soul to darken, and eventually something terrible will happen. But of that I will not discuss anything more here.

If we take another character like the troll, this creature can and should be played bad. To be vicious and commit evil deeds will raise the trolls darkness score, and eventually reward him. But it must be said that you can experiment whith different combinations, as none is totally predictable. If you want the ultimate killing machine, consider the choice of Troll as race, and Barbarian as class.

Also remember that every race and class has their own special abilities. The Gnoll has a poisoned bite. The Paladin can at extreme situations use a so called soul-strike, this is a blow where he use some of his hitpoints to create a kind of superblow. The Paladin has this ability due to his strong virtue. In difficult situations he can concentrate this force and use it to achieve maximum performance. However, a good Paladin can achieve greater than a dark paladin. The strike can be used when you want a quick solution in a battle against a stubborn foe, or in a situation where you have little hope to stay alive. The 'soulblow' is a VERY risky business though. If you use all your hitpoints in a strike, an enemy can easily defeat you...

Races:
  • Humans - good overall choice.
  • Hobbits - great rangers.
  • Elves - builds mana faster than other races.
  • Half-elves - more robustly built than the elves.
  • Dwarves - make great warriors.
  • Trolls - big and strong.
  • Orcs - great as fighters and magicians.
  • Gnomes - good in combination with alchemists and assassins.
  • Gnolls - poisonous bite. unfortunately with a rather weak constitution.
  • Mutants - ...?
Professions:
  • Alchemists - can poison their weapons.
  • Assassins - backstabbing is their trade.
  • Barbarians - raw strength is favored among the barbarians.
  • Bards - "masters of soft voices". In the beginning the bards are fairly innocent. However, with accumulated experience, the songs learned from the singmasters will prove as useful as the sorcerors spells. Bards are invaluable in team-play, since they can boost morale.
  • Clerics - spell masters.
  • Jesters - jesters are very hard to hit.
  • Magicians - spell masters
  • Paladins - should be played GOOD. Have soulstrike as special weapon.
  • Rangers - excellent stealth qualities. Hard to hit.
  • Sages - spell masters.
  • Warriors - the standard fighter class.

Spells

Cleric Spells

LevelSpell EffectDuration Mana
1Cure Light +4-7 HP1 Turn 10
5Armor +5 ProtectionWhole Fight 20
10Baptize Monster Enemy FreezesRandom 30
15Cure Critical +20-24 HP1 Turn 40
20Disease Random Disease1 Turn 50
25Holy Explosion (M) 20-30 Damage1 Turn 60
30Invisibility +15-25 ProtectionWhole Fight 70
40Angel 100 DamageWhole Fight 80
50Call Lightning 80-89 Damage1 Turn 90
60Heal +200 HP1 Turn 100
70Divination +110 Protection (*)Random 110
80God's Finger 220-250 Damage1 Turn 120

(*) The DIVINATION spell will also reduce players darkness with 50 and increase chivalry with the same amount.)


Magician Spells

LevelSpell EffectDuration Mana
1Magic Missile 4-7 Damage1 Turn 10
5Shield +4 ProtectionWhole Fight 20
10Sleep Enemy FreezesRandom 30
15Web Enemy Freezes1 Turn 40
20Power Hat Regains 60-201 Turn 50
25Fireball 60-70 Damage1 Turn 60
30Fear Enemy FreezesWhole Fight 70
40Lightning Bolt (M) 60-70 Damage1 Turn 80
50Prismatic Cage Absorbs 20Whole Fight 90
60Pillar of Fire 100-112 Damage1 Turn 100
70Power Word Kill 220-265 Damage1 Turn 110
80Summon Demon 200-300 DamageWhole Fight 120


Sage Spells

LevelSpell EffectDuration Mana
1Fog of War +3 ProtectionWhole Fight 10
5Poison Enemy Level +1Whole Fight 20
10Freeze Enemy Freezes1 Turn 30
15Duplicate Your Attack X 2Whole Fight 40 (+25 HP)
20Roast (M) 50-65 Damage1 Turn 50
25Hit Self 70-80 Damage1 Turn 60
30Escape Enemy Freezes1 Turn 70
40The Giant +25 DamageWhole Fight 80
50Steal Enemy's Money1 Turn 90
60Energy Drain 130-141 Damage1 Turn 100
70Summon Demon 100-120 DamageWhole Fight 110
80Death Kiss 240-290 Damage1 Turn 120

(M) Affects whole group of monsters.


Dungeon Events

In the dungeons you will sometimes bump into individuals and creatures with not just fighting on their mind. Some will just be out to make fun of you. Others will try to trick you into an early grave. Most encounters will be short, but there are a few exceptions where you will have the opportunity to participate in a mission where high politics is often involved. Your success on these missions is vital for the chance to ever get another chance. So, keep your mission record on the plus side (it can turn negative). Don't play with spies and diplomats when you are a low level character. And never lie to Ragmoth.


Bards (with new ability for version 0.18)

The bards should no longer stand back to the other classes in Usurper. You should be a team-player if you choose this class. The bard is best used in team-battles where he/she can heal a team in one turn!

The bards learn a new song for every 10th level...it is a hard job to aquire the experience to deliver the ancient myths. Awakening the spirits in the audience is a tough job. Be it for good or evil, the Bards actually learn 2 new songs for every 10th level. One song is a violent attack song, the other one is a soft healing hymn...perhaps useful in romantic situations as well. Be aware though, the songs on the higher levels are so powerful that immortal deitys can accidentaly join in to experience the artist. And you never know what they might come up with.


The King

Characters with a certain level can attempt to usurp the royal throne. The task is easy if no king or queen exists. Should that be the case, you will get the title without struggle. Should a king already be in rule, you will have to infiltrate the castle and try to remove the current ruler (assassinate or something).

Pros being the king:
  • You are the top gun in the game, isn't that enough?

  • You can close and open establishments (shops).

  • You can enforce new taxes.

  • You have the power to order the Court Mage to impose his magic (good or evil). The Royal Magic is very powerful, since you can be a decisive force in ongoing events.

  • You have the authority to dissolve or ban marriage.

  • You will have the pleasure of having other players crumbling in the dust before you. You will hear them scream when they swim across the moat and find out about the surprises you have put there.

  • You can put other players kids in the royal orphanage.

  • You can imprison (and execute) other players.

  • You can sleep safe at the castle (until you are deposed).

  • You can't go to prison! You stand above the law.

  • Other players can't spy on you, or attack you.
Cons being the king:
  • You cannot be in a team when you are king.

  • People wont appreciate you for the taxes, which you might have to set

  • If you want to be able to hire soldiers (security).

  • You have responsibility for the law and the proper behaviour of your subjects. (you can of course be a bad king, but people will probably remove you from office if you act mean and vicious)

  • You must take care of all orphants produced by irresponsible parents!

  • A lot of people will hate your guts whatever you do.

  • You will probably be assassinated.

The Immortals

When a player completes his doings on earth, he may choose to retire from Usurper altogether, or ascend to the world of the immortals (heaven). Should you decide to become a immortal it does not imply immediate supreme powers and "almightyness" at your fingertips. Contrary to popular belief, life in heaven can be hell.


The Relations

As soon as you do something nice or bad to another player/npc this will be recorded and affect your relation with that character. All of this will, of course, play a part later on when you want to bribe or recruit a team-member or have a love-affair. The Npc's are more predictable in their shift in attitude. They get annoyed when attacked and pleased when you help them. But don't be foolish and think that you can kill Ugluk 50 times and then send him a million bucks and everything will be well. These guys remember exactly how many times you have done wrong and the grudges are nursed until it's time to settle the old score.

You can marry another player/npc when you both are in love with each other. The matrimonial bond carries benefits; You get extra experience. You can have kids. Your spouse can be nice to you (if you are lucky). The drawbacks are mainly related to the kids. They can be kidnapped, put in an orphanage or even die (causing grief and anxiety). Having forced sex with other players/spouses can prove to be most detrimental to yourself. Watch out especially for npc characters, who tend to pay back as soon as the clock passes midnight :)

Raising children is an expensive business. If you can't afford to pay for their upbringing, your offspring will be sent to the Royal Orphanage. This means that the royal treasury must spend tax-money on an ever increasing number of kids. The King might be generous and take care of the little rascals for a period of time, but he can also decide to put the babies to the wolves or something... Should the royal treasury not hold enough funds to sustain the children then they will starve and ultimately die... Your enemies may try to harm your offspring by poisoning, kidnapping or beating them. There are ways to protect your children though.

If you should decide that a divorce is the way to go, then keep in mind that custody of your children will go to the other parent! Your children will get depressed from a divorce. That is not good.

A husband can never attack his wife (and vice versa), except in team-fights. You can trick other players by sending them "gifts" with poison or other scary stuff inside.


Shortcuts to Success

Questions:
  • Are you the type of player who wants to achieve faster progress than the normal monster and team bashings can result in?

  • Are you the type of player who can do almost anything just to beat the others?

  • Are you willing to risk everything in these attempts?
If you answered yes to all of the questions above you should read further. If you answered no to one or more of the questions: why not read this anyway?

First of all, there are good and evil acts that can give you experience and money. They can, of course, give you pain and death as well. Most important of all, though, they influence your soul. Every bad act darkens your soul, and every good lightens it. Swinging either side over the limit will give you some unpredictable and sometimes fatal consequences. Some races can withstand good or evil better than others, and can therefore benefit longer.

Usurper is not a normal and restricted fantasy game. It includes some more modern features too. Ever heard of drugs and steroids? Well, here they are. There are many different types of drugs in this game. They all have two things in common though. Firstly, they send you into dreamland where you can receive hallucinated experiences which add to your earlier experience. Drugs also increase your addiction to narcotics. You should be very careful not to turn into a junkie, cause if you start to stuff yourself full with drugs every session, you'll soon enter your final dreamland. Keep an eye on your -Drug Addict- parameter and also remember that drugs occasionally give you bad trips, or can even kill you with an overdose...

Steroids will not give you any experience. They will, however, give you what you are always going to need in these kind of games : MUSCLES. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to crack those enemy bones just as easy as you pull the wings of a fly? Well, buy some steroids and you will (never) regret yourself. Steroids comes in many different types. The results on your body will show at once! Just keep an eye on your -Mental Stability- parameter. It will show when you're about to crack. And please try not to fool yourself with these pills. Psychos are not treated kindly in this game.

Good Luck in Your Quest!

(Zen Paradox, The light at the end...)