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WHAT EXACTLY IS ARCANUM?

Arcanum Half-Ogre Image aka Heroman The world of Arcanum is a Tolkienesque fantasy world that has recently experienced an industrial revolution. The feel and look of the late 1800's Europe is mixed with the remnants of the "Old (Fantasy) World". Technology and magic have reached an unstable equilibrium, with technology being on the rise in the last 70 years, and magic being in decline from its once penultimate position in the world. Being a true fantasy world, Arcanum is populated with elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, ogres, gnomes and halflings. However, with the advent of technology, the races' roles in society have radically changed, bringing additional tension to the world. The story finds the player on a relaxing vacation when he is thrust into the position of being responsible for the fate of the world. The story, like the world of Arcanum, hinges on the uneasy dichotomy of magic and technology.

ARCANUM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you want to learn a bit more about Arcanum, this is the section to read! We have tried to put together a FAQ to outline the general aspects of the game that people usually want to know about the most. Certain areas of the game, such as online gameplay and game editor information, are explained in greater detail in their own sections on this website. We will update the FAQ when more information is available to us about Arcanum.

CONTENT

HELP INSTALLING THE GAME
SPELLCASTING
TECHNOLOGYBig-AxeBig-Axe
CHARACTER CREATION
NON PLAYER CHARACTERS AND FOLLOWERS
INVENTORY AND ITEMS
WEAPONS AND ARMOR
GAME COMBAT
WORLD GAME PLAY
ONLINE GAME PLAY
GAME EDITOR INFORMATION

HELP INSTALLING THE GAME

Now that the game is out, people report several problems when installing the game. Please note that this help for installing the game section is fairly new and may not address and help to solve all yet occuring problems. Unfortunately it's no guarantee either to get the game running. It is a collection of several possible solutions found by different people which may help to install the game.
Always a good choice is either to visit Sierra's Arcanum Forum or to ask for help at Sierra's Technical Service. If you need advice on how to do this, check out the 3rd dimension Technical Service.

Q: For some reason if I run arcanum in normal mode all the in-game transparencies are black, like there is a black block around all characters, trees have black blocks around them and every ground tile is half black, if anyone has had the same problems please let me know how to fix them.
A: This seems to be a video card problem. Make sure your video card has at least 8MB RAM and your drivers are up to date. You may also try running the game in safe mode. This could work like this: start---->programs----->Sierra----->Arcanum---->Arcanum(safe mode). If the Arcanum(safe mode) is no option in your start menu, you can also run it by using the -no3d parameter in your command line. start---->run--->(search for the correct location of arcanum.exe, then add -no3d as a parameter with a space between arcanum.exe and the parameter. So it should look like this: arcanum.exe -no3d

Q: I am using a Voodoo2 graphic card and the game won't run on my computer...
A: Voodoo2 cards do not support textures of 1024x1024 size, which is needed to run Arcanum. Sorry, but no chance for playing Arcanum while using this card.

Q: I am running a good game set up on my comp, using all the latest drivers for my hardware (e.g. detonator3 for my graphic card), but still have problems playing the game.
A: Using the Detonator3 drivers from Nvidia may cause a problem. Arcanum will work properly when using the Detonator2 drivers.

Q: The game won't start.... Installed it, tried to run it, it starts, says "loading Arcanum", then drops me back to the windows desktop.
A1: If you are running Win98 as OS installing a newer version of the Windows installer may help. Thanks go out to Stone Courier for this advice.
Go to the downloads section of www.microsoft.com and choose windows 98, where you can find Platform SDK Redistributable : Windows Installer Released 01-Jun-2001 version 1.50.2421.1 (8400 kb). Downloading this and installing version 1.2 may fix the problem.
Here's the direct link to the Windows Installer.

A2: Try to make an as clean installation on your computer as possible.
1. Uninstall the game (if you still have a former attempt on your comp)
2. Defrag your hard disc you wish to install the game on
3. Make sure you don't have any program running in the background before installing the game. For this clean up your systray by hitting "alt-ctrl-del" and close the programs running in the background except "explorer" and "systray". Repeat this step until there are only those two left.
4. Install the game and directX8 from the cd
5. Reboot your comp
6. Clean up your systray again in the same way as mentioned before starting the game.
7. Start the game
8. Give it some time. There are a lot and large files which need to be loaded and indexed, so it may take up to 15 or even 20 mins until the loading is done for the first time, depending on your system specs. Do not hit "alt-ctrl-del" during this or all your former work will probably be ruined and you have to start all over again. No worries either. This will only last that long for the first time you start the game.
9. Hopefully the game will now run without problems.
10. Every other time you run the game, you should be able to start the game without cleaning up the systray.

A3: There are a few systems that are having conflicts between some of their components and the new copy protection software (SecuROM) used with this game. Specifically the issues are with the CD-ROM drive, sound card, and some of the maintenance suite software packages.

Some manufacturers, such as Kenwood, have resolved this issue with firmware upgrades for the CD-ROM drive. Contact either the computer or CD-ROM Mfg. for the firmware upgrade and instructions on applying this upgrade. The "Hourglass" problem can also result from conflicts with outdated or incompatible driver software for the sound or video card.
Always be sure that the computer has the latest drivers for the video card and sound card. Drivers are frequently updated to keep the hardware current and to fine tune performance.

To find the brand and model of the sound and video cards as well as the CD ROM: - Click the Start button, choose Settings, and then Control Panel. - Double-click the System icon. - Click the Device Manager tab. - Double-click the Display Adapters icon, then the icon of the listed device. - Make a note of the name and manufacturer of the device. - Double-click the Sound, video and game controller's icon then the icon of the listed device. - Make a note of the name and manufacturer of the device.
Update the sound and video drivers
Driver software is generally available for free as a download on the Web site of the card manufacturer. The particular Web site can be located by a Web search, although domain names are often the name of the manufacturer itself (just as Sierra On-Line is found at www.sierra.com). There are also general driver sites such as www.driverzone.com and www.windrivers.com
When a driver file is found that is the latest for the particular model of card, select it for download. A window will come up asking what to do with the file; select Save it to disk. Find a place on your hard drive to download the driver software; be sure to create a new folder to contain the driver software. After the download, go into the driver software folder in the hard drive and double-click on the executable to extract the other files. There will be at least one README file with instructions on how to install the drivers. These directions are brief, and relatively simple to follow, but are extremely precise, so read and follow the instructions carefully.

For further information on how to update the Video and Sound drivers, please contact the Mfg. of the computer or the specific hardware Mfg.

NOTE* Users with the Creative PCI64 should download the latest PCI64 drivers from Creative Labs Support. The "Hourglass" issue may also be caused by the joystick port settings on some soundcards conflicting with the copy protection software. Please follow the instructions below to disable the joystick port.

- Right-click on My Computer. - Left-click on Properties. - Click the + next to Sound, Video, and Game Controllers - Click on the sound card. - Click on Properties. - Click on Settings. - Put a check in the disable 'Joystick port' box. - Click on OK. - Start the game.

This will disable the Game Port on the computer. If there is a controller plugged in it will now be disabled. To enable the Game Port for other games redo the above instructions and recheck disable 'Joystick port' box. This will not affect any USB controllers. Updating the drivers for the sound card will most likely solve this issue also but this will tell us if in fact the Game Port is the culprit.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, please send an email with complete system information, including sound and video card brand and model names, as well as which drivers have been installed. This will be used in our troubleshooting database which is used to resolve issues such as this and to aid other customers who are experiencing similar problems. One final piece of information will help us in resolving this issue. The Direct X Diagnostic tool can provide us with valuable information.

- Click on START, FIND, select FILES OR FOLDERS. - In the NAMED box, type in DXDIAG.EXE - Make sure that in the LOOK IN box it reads the C: or hard drive. - Click on the FIND NOW button to find the file in a white window down below. - Double-click on the DXDIAG file in the white window to open a gray box with several tabs across the top of the screen. - Click on the SAVE ALL INFORMATION box at the bottom of the screen. - In the SAVE AS box that appears click on the down arrow next to the SAVE IN line. - Click on DESKTOP from the menu that appears. - Click on the SAVE button in the lower right corner of the window. - Click on EXIT to close the DXDIAG window. - Close all windows back to the Windows desktop screen. - Fill out the pre-made email-form of Sierra's Technical Support and attach the DXDIAG.TXT file from the Windows desktop for further troubleshooting.

Q: My game starts slowing down or stuttering and the hourglass spins constantly, making gameplay almost unbearable at times! What can I do?
A: Microsoft left the Debug Mode activated in Directx 8 and 8a for DirectSound. This consumes vast quantities of CPU cycles, and also increases the possibility for creating software/hardware conflicts.

Download the Microsoft DirectX Control Panel applet.

Extract to:

....\Windows\System

go into Control Panel, click on your (newly installed) DX applet

go to the DirectSound tab and slide the debug slider all the way to the left <<<<<<< to disable debug mode.

reboot your computer and restart the game.

Note: This works with DX 8.1 but very occasionally it may already be switched off in that version.

While this has been shown to help those experiencing mild to crippling stutter-chop problems while using DirectX 8, it has also helped clear up graphical anomalies and sound conflicts. Please be aware that some gamers claim Arcanum runs better under DirectX 7 than DirectX 8.

This has been tested and used by many players on a variety of systems with great success. Thanks to Jaydee Daidodji who posted it on the forums and to vesselle who continues to ceaselessly hound gamers to try it.

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SPELLCASTING

Q: Can you cast 'See Contents' on a corpse to have a quick look at what booty it contains? What counts as a 'container'? Can you cast it on someone who is still up and running around to see if they are worth pickpocketing or tackling - for the more mercenary amongst us?
A: You can use the Pickpocket skill on any living thing to "see" what they have. I don't think you can cast "see contents" on corpses (unless they're special corpses that are really containers or something really bizarre like that). So in short - containers are chests, barrels, cabinets, book stands...

Q: The Air, Earth, Fire, and Water magic schools all start with a spell to boost a main stat temporarily. How much will it boost it and about how long does it last?
A: It'll last for as long as you maintain it. All of those spells are maintainable - so they last as long as you want them to (or until your fatigue runs out and you fall over). Their effects probably depend on your magickal aptitude - take Agility of Fire - as your magick aptitude increases you will be able to make yourself (or your friends) faster and faster!

Q: What type of familiar can be summoned with the familiar spell? What will it do and is it a permanent member?
A: You you can only have one at a time, they don't cost any upkeep, so it is permanent, unless it gets killed of course. The type of creature depends on your level/aptitude when you cast it. It levels up like any other NPC, so there is an incentive to keep it alive.

Q: What if a low level mage (eg level 3) trys to heal a level 50 technologist? Does the healing work?
A: It's the appitude, not the level. Any spell that is cast on someone is affected by that person's apptitude. If the level 3 mage has spent every CP he's gotten on spells, then he actually has a fairly high Magickal apptitude. Let's say that an elf spends his initial 5 CPs on magick, as well as the 2 CPs that he gets from leveling. That gets him a Magickal apptitude of 50 by level 3. If the technologist has only spent a few points on tech here and there on tech, then he might be a weak technologist with only a 30 apptitude. In that case, the spell will work on him. It will not be as effective as it would have been on a mage, but it will do some work. If that Techy has a higher tech app than the Mage's magickal app, then the spell will fail.

Q: Does every spell cost only 1 point to learn?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the thief skill 'prowl' and the spell 'invisibilty' any way compliment each other? (Other then simply stacking on top of one another...)
A: Prowling reduces the noise you make as well as making you more difficult to spot. Using both would make you silent and impossible to spot, which is an improvement over simply using one.

Q: How many spells are there in Arcanum?
A: There are to be 80 spells and numerous scrolls that may be spells that Troika have added on as an afterthought.

Q: Will learning a certain spell restrict you to that college of spells?
A: No, Arcanum does not restrict you from buying any spells. You can buy spells from every college. However, buying from every college means you will have lower level spells and not the more power magic ones.

Q: Will you be able to teleport?
A: Yes, you can.This will be done using a spell from the conveyance college.

Q: When using the teleport spell, must it be a place where one have put a kind of mark or just been there?
A: Yes, somewhere marked on the world map by the game.

Q: How does spell casting work in Arcanum?
A: The casting does not use Mana or any elaborate rituals it instead will effect your fatigue. Fatigue can be reduced via rest or healing.

Q: Once a mages fatigue reaches zero how long will it take to charge back up? Are spells something that you can only cast a few times and then you have to rest for several hours(game time) or does fatigue recharge fast enough for them to be used in every battle?
A: How long it takes to recharge your fatigue points depends on how high your Constitution level is. The higher the level, the faster you recharge. Depending on the level of your Const., you may or may not be able to cast several spells in a row.

Q: How many maintainable spells can you have running at once?
A: You can have your intelligence/4 number of spells maintained at a time. 5 will be the max regardless of INT boosters.

Q: If I cast a spell like polymorph on a character and it misses, will that character turn hostile, also if it succeeds and I turn him into a sheep will he attack me when he turns back if I haven't harmed him in any other way?
A: Spells never miss, so if it doesn't work because the character resists it, they will probably be cheesed at you if they know you did it. And yes, even if you don't harm them, they'll be really chessed if you turn them into a sheep.

Q: How good is the spell 'Unlocking Cantrip' as compared to the 'lockpick' skill - can it/does it open locks of all difficulty?
A: Magick opens most locks with ease. The problem with the cantrip is that it is *very* noisy and using it is almost a guaranteed way to attract guards. Still, it's an invaluable tool when guards are not around. Also, locks have different levels of difficulty. If your magic aptitude is not very high and you attempt to unlock a difficult lock with Unlocking Cantrip, you will most likely fail.

Q: Does the thief skill 'prowl' and the spell 'invisibilty' any way compliment each other? (Other then simply stacking on top of one another...)
A: Prowling reduces the noise you make as well as making you more difficult to spot. Using both would make you silent and impossible to spot, which is an improvement over simply using one.

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TECHNOLOGY

Q: Let's say you find a schematic for gun X, can you build it right from the start or is gun X's value placed above a learned scematic? For example , would I need to know how to build a hand cannon before being allowed to build gun X?
A: Your character will have two sets of schematics - the 'learned' set that you advance through by spending CPs, and the 'found' set that you collect in your travels - whether you find them, steal them, or buy them. Taking your example of 'Gun X'. When you check out your schematics you will see two buttons - the 'mortarboard hat' (learned schems) and the scroll (found schems). Click on the found schems button and you can go through your list and find the Gun X schematic. Whether you can build it or not will depend on your expertise in whichever disciplines are required for Gun X and having the required components of course.

Q: Hows does using a schematic work?
A: You will find the schematic but will need to have all prerequsites in order to use them. If you found one for a rifle with a scope, you would need to have all parts needed to complete the rifle and scope first. Also, you would need to have the abilities of gunsmithing and the appropriate level to be able to even read and understand the scope. Once you have achieved the right level, you will then see a picture of it in the schematic.

Q: Can tools be made of two diff tech skills?
A: Cross disciplinary items are built using special found schematics. Each schematic looks like the basic ones, which list two components each with a 'tech rating' in a particular discipline.

Q: How will cross skill tech stuff work?
A: In a cross-disciplinary schematic one component might be electrical with a required electrical rating of 80 (for example) while the other component could be mechanical requiring a mechanical rating of 50. Once you meet the requirements and have the necessary components you can build the item! If you had an electrical rating of 50 and a mechanical rating of 50 then you would be able to see the mechanical component but not the electrical one until you bought more ranks in the Electrical discipline.

Q: Does increasing a tech skill increase tech aptitude?
A: Yes.

Q: How many Tech items are there?
A: There are more than 56 items that you will be able to create. Thats in addition to the 7 basic ones you can make from each discipline.

Q: How hard will it to find the materials needed to make items?
A: It will not be hard at all actually. The items will be found, bought, stolen, or even earned in the cities and factories and from merchants that specialize in that technology.

Q: Can any metal found in the game be used for the smithy skill? If I found a magickal sword and I'm a techie can I melt it and make a weapon I can use?
A: You won’t be able to melt down weapons, remember you can always sell them and use the money to buy more tech components.

Q: Can a technoligist raise the dead?
A: There are 2 different cross-disciplinary schematics dealing with reanimation that can be found. One is the necromizer, which turns the dead into mindless zombies using skills from the eletrical and chemistry disciplines. The other is the reanimator, which actually completely resurrects the dead using skills from the herbal and electrical disciplines.

Q: Can NPC's build tech items?
A: Basically, you can ask a follower to show his schematics, and you can look through them just like you would look through your own schematics. If he has the skill and the items, you press the Combine button and he makes the item, which ends up in his inventory. He will even wield it immediately if he likes it.

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CHARACTER CREATION

Q: How much experience does it currently take to go up a level?
A: It takes 2,000 experience points to go from level 1 to level 2. 6,700 to go from level 10 to level 11 and 20,600 to go from level 30 to level 31. (these numbers may also be subject to balance changes)"

Q: Is there a chance of creating more than one player to play at a time?
A: Nope, just one Player Character.

Q: Are there classes in Arcanum?
A: No, Arcanum does not use a class-based system. You will be able to put points in any skill you feel is needed for your character, which makes every character unique.

Q: How many points will you have when creating your character to raise stats, buy skills and spells, etc...?
A: You get five points.

Q: Will there be no cleric type of magic or cleric type characters? Is there no magic that is based on religon?
A: The Gods do not directly influence the magick of the world, just as they don't directly influence the tech. There really are no "types" of characters, as you make whatever character you want. If you want to have a character that roleplays being a cleric, you can teach him a lot of healing and nature spells.

Q: What races can be played?
A: There are 8 races that can be played by a PC: Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Gnome, Dwarf, Halfling, and Half-Ogre.

Q: Which characters can play as female?
A: You can play a male from any of the 8 races, but a female from only 4 of them: Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc.

Q: Does the gender of your character affect your beginning stats in the game?
A: Yes, gender does affect starting stats, +1 Constitution (CN) , and -1 Strength (ST) for females.

Q: What races are by default more atuned to magick or tech? Like elves are more atuned to magick and gnomes to tech. What about ogres, orcs, halflings and such?
A: Basically, elves are magick, dwarves are tech. Every other race is neutral, except for halfelves who are slightly magick oriented. This is their 'starting' position. There is nothing stopping you developing your dwarf character into a mage (although dwarves have several penalties that make it difficult) and having a high magickal aptitude.

Q: Do Half-Elves recieve a magic aptitude bonus?
A: They get a 5% magick aptitude bonus (i.e. their magick aptitude starts at 5, magick biased).

Q: When you create a character you're starting stats are 8 right? You can raise them by using the 5 character points that you are given. But can you lower them to get an extra character point?
A: You can't lower a stat to get an extra point, however you can choose a background, which will lower some stats/skills and raise others.

Q: Can you customize the look of your character?
A: Yes, but it will depend on race, armor worn, and/or weapon being carried. The character portraits will be using a color palette for PC's that will be dependent on armor or clothing.

Q: With the removal of fate-point conversion to CP, is there a way to advance/train skills without leveling (ie. gain CP)? Same question for stats, spells, schematics, etc.
A: There is 'permanent' way to increase a stat/skill (as opposed to using a potion/elixir or wearing a stat/skill increasing item) without spending a CP. There are blessings and curses in the game which can raise or lower a statistic/skill, and of course there are items which you can wear that increase(or decrease) skills/stats. You can find schematics. You can also find magick items which can have built in spell casting abilities...

Q: Do some races have advantages over others?
A: There will be some pluses and minuses to various races for an example a Half-Elf will have a +1 to Dexterity but has a -1 (lose) to all Tech skills.

Q: Will different races start in different parts of the world?
A: No, all characters will start in the same location. It will depend on what race and background you chose to what happens next with the interaction of others.

Q: If a character is perfectly balanced between tech. and magick, is he penalized when using one or the other?
A: You get penalties to using an item if you are strong in the opposite field. (e.g. using a gun while being strong in magick). If you are neutral, then things will work as normal.

Q: Can you complete the game with a character who has no fighting skills?
A: Yes, the game will be balanced enough to allow this, but it may make things far more difficult.

Q: Does intelligence determines what level of spell a mage can use? What other stats aside from willpower will be useful to a mage?
A: Intelligence determines how many spells you can have active at once, Willpower determines the maximum level of spell you are eligible to purchase. Fatigue is the ammo for spells, and raising Constitution or Willpower will increase your fatigue stat by 2 and 1 respectively, in addition, constitution determines your fatigue 'recovery rate'. Although this is not a 'large' factor during combat, but you won’t have to stand around as long after combat waiting to recharge.

Q: How long does it take to max out aptitude (either magic or tech), and around what level could this realistically be achieved?
A: Aptitude maxes at 100(%) 20 or 30 spells or cp spent in tech stuffs.

Q: Will Mages directly rely on more attributes than any other character style to be effective in combat (constitution, intelligence, willpower, dexterity)?
A: No. Mages seem to be the easiest to create. Willpower is your most important stat. If you want to be able to maintain alot of spells, then intelligence is probably your next important. Otherwise, Constitution will probably be your best friend. Dex will help out anyone, but is by no means necessary for a viable mage.

Q: Will Mages have to buy spells individually and don't get 200 extra spells to use with the magic skill they have (as technologist do in the form of found schematics)?
A: They do have to buy their spells, just as a tech has to buy their schematics. Now techs can find schematics to increase their abilities, but Arcanum is LOADED with magickal items and weapons for mages to find.(some newly created, some ancient, whose magicks have been forgotten). Some are cursed. You get to decide if you want to use them or not, because they give you a bonus AND a detriment.

Q: Will a generalist, a character skilled in numerous fields, but really good at nothing be able to survive or will I need to be much more specialized?
A: Yes, you should be able to complete the game with a "Jack of all trades".

Q: Is it right that you can only spend 12 CPs in any one stat over the life of the character? This means those that start at 8 can get to 20, and those with positive modifers can go above 20, and those with negitive modifers can never get to 20 with out some type external (Magical, Tech, Item) help?
A: Correct, you can only spend 12 CPs. So if you have a negative BG/race modifier, you can NOT reach a modified 20 by spending CPs. You would have to use an item/spell/potion/whatever to reach a modified 20.

Q: Can you split each CP into percentages, i.e. hand a .25 to lockpicking, a .25 to pick pockets, etc? Since the penalties and pluses are broken into percentages, it seems logical being able to distribute to skills in the same way.
A: No you can't split CPs.

Q: Do potions affect the magick/tech aptitude?
A: Magick "potions" (healing or whatever) are more effective on PCs with magick aptitude, less effective on techies. Tech "potions" (herbology, thereauputics) are more effective on techies, less effective on magick users.

Q: Does the magic/tech system affect the way that I travel through the world of Arcanum?
A: In most instances, no. However, as you gain magickal aptitude, the train conductors will begin to give you a hard time. They may even make you sit at the back of the train in the mage's caboose. And if you are getting near the top of your magical aptitude, and are a truly powerful mage, they won't let you on the train at all.

Q: Will there be orc-elves in Arcanum? The Races compendium says it is possible for the orcs and elves and humans reproduce together, because theyre the same species.
A: It's not part of the Arcanum 'logic' to allow 'orc-elves'. Nonetheless, despite the complete absence of any inherent and universal magickal quality in the human race, humans are always able to produce fertile hybrids with three other completely disparate species, none of which are able to reproduce with one another: these being the elves, orcs and ogres.

Q: When playing an evil character, will there be less side quests and will the game be thrice as hard because you don't easily get NPC's in your party and shops are inaccessible/more expensive... ?
A: Eligibility for quests does not always depend on alignment. In fact a lot of quests can be done by any PC, regardless of alignment. Of course the number of solutions to a quest may not be as open to you depending on your alignment...There are quests that are only open to you if you are of one alignment type, but they are about equal, just as many good as evil. You can play the game as an evil PC, or a good PC. Both paths are viable. In terms of dealing with shopkeepers and thelike (if your evil), it really depends what their alignment is in comparison to yours. There will be places for evil PCs to "shop", that a good PC won't have access too.

Q: Are there not going to be any female gnomes or female halflings in the world of Arcanum?
A: Gnome and Halfling women exist in the world as NPCs, however you will not be able to play one. This was a decision made early on due to art size limitations/time constraints.

Q: Is it right, that you can receive skill training from NPCs? Can you gain actual skill points and not just a higher level of skill mastery? If so, how many points do you gain per training session?
A: You don't get more points. Instead you use that skill better. For example, a certain level of training in the bow skill will make you fire 3 arrows at once. Just putting more Character Points into the skill can't do that.

Q: How are Fate Points awarded? Are they just given every few levels, or do you get awarded extra Fate Points for solving major quests?
A: Significatly good or evil quests give you Fate Points. If you complete a quest in accordance with your alignment, kill a certain creature, do something a certain way... you get a fate point.

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NONPLAYER CHARACTERS AND FOLLOWERS

Q: Will we be able to meet all these people that the Tarantian on the official site mentions(i.e. payne, faraday, westwind) or are they just there for setting?
A: In fact that you can meet a fair number of people mentioned in the Tarantian.

Q: How useful is a techie follower? Can they make very advanced items, and can they use cross discipline schematics?
A: Followers can make items from LEARNED schematics (ones they bought with CP's), but they can't get schematics from FOUND schematics. Basically, you can ask a follower to show his schematics, and you can look through them just like you would look through your own schematics. If he has the skill and the items, you press the Combine button and he makes the item, which ends up in his inventory. He will even wield it immediately if he likes it.

Q: Will there be factions for you to join?
A: There are some factions you can join or align yourself with if you wish. Other than this, Troika has remained silent as not to spoil the game.

Q: If NPCs react to a charcters alignment, how much could a character get away with (stealing, murder, etc.) if he never gets caught in the act? For example, I make a character who behaves nicely most of the time, but slips out once in a while at night and whacks someone with no witnesses. Will the townsfolk automatically treat him as an evil character? Will guards and police come after him?
A: Killing people but not being seen affects your alignment, but not your reputation. Your reputation is not hurt as long as nobody sees you.

Q: Can you ask NPC'S questions?
A: There will be no TELL ME ABOUT option. All dialogues are branching. In other words, what you ask and what they reply will depend on your character's attributes and the reaction and faction of the NPC.

Q: Does alignment effect NPC reactions? Or just reputation?
A: Alignment does affect reaction to the extent that if you're mister goody 2 shoes, don't expect to be offered membership in a thieve's guild, or if you're an assassin, don't expect the local law enforcement to ask for your help in solving a crime. Alignment is more about dialog options(and hence quest options) then actual reaction (although it does affect this statistic to some extent). Reaction is determined by many statistics (race, beauty, reputation, dialog choices, etc...) You can play the game as an evil PC, or a good PC. Both paths are viable. In terms of dealing with shopkeepers and the like (if your evil), it really depends what their alignment is in comparison to yours. There will be places for evil PCs to "shop", that a good PC won't have access to.

Q: How will you give orders to followers?
A: Through an interface that you can hide if you like.

Q: How many followers can you have at one time?
A: You can have Charisma/4 followers at once. This does not include followers who are assigned to you for a specific quest, nor any of your follower's followers, summoned creatures, etc., also there are ways to get a bonus to your follower limit(charisma/4), which of course increases the number even more.By all accounts there will most likely be 10-20+ potential followers, of all different persuasions(thieves, mages, fighters, diplomats, techies, etc..).

Q: Will morale affect your followers?
A: It will depend on what you as the leader do in the world. Doing unspeakable acts will cause good-minded NPC's to leave your company.

Q: Can mage NPC's get new spells as they progress?
A: A mage NPC can get new spells as they progress, depending on their levelling scheme.

Q: About how many diffrent types of enemies will there be?
A: 70 creature types, 4 varieties of each, and hundreds of unique NPCs.

Q: How big of a role will the gods play? Are they mentioned in dialogue in the game? Are they sects devoted to worshipping them... will they appear in mortal form? Will you recieve anything else besides blessings and curses from them?
A: The gods of Arcanum, for the most part, will work through blesses and curses. And they are somewhat involved in the main story arc, and some side quests. They will not "appear" in mortal form, nor will the people of the world react to your choice of alignment with a particular god.

Q: Will NPC's followers level up when you do? Will they start at different levels depending on your level when you first find them? Will NPC's gain experience along with your character? How will it work?
A: Followers level up when you do. They start a specific levels. In battle, you do not gain experience for hits made by your followers, but you still get the experience for the kill. Having followers do not decrease the amount of EXP you gain upon completion of quests. When your follower levels up, they will put their character point into whatever skill their levelling scheme dictates.

Q: To what extent will you be able to command your followers outside of combat? Can you ask mages to cast a specific spell when not in combat. Can you ask a techy to build stuff? or ask a theif to pick a lock?
A: Followers can be told to make things, and pick locks. Spells are limited to healing and cure poison.

Q: Will it be difficult to play through the game without any followers?
A: It will be more difficult to go through the game without any followers, but can definetly be done.

Q: If you get a follower and he's higher level than you, can he reach levels over level 50?
A: No. The max level is 50.

Q: Will there be children of all races, running around playing and basically just be in the way?
A: No children of any kind in Arcanum. Certain countries have laws saying that you cannot sell a game that allows children to be killed. To avoid that a gutted version has to be sold there with the children ripped out, Troika decided not to put any in to begin with.

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INVENTORY AND ITEMS

Q: Will there be any Tech items that you can't construct but just find around the world? Or are there plans for every Tech Item?
A: There are plenty of tech items that don't have schematics - many of the guns in Arcanum are available for sale - some of them are components for schematics though.

Q: I already know about the 'items-fading-away-with-time' feature... But does it apply to everything?
A: If you put the items into a container (barrel, chest, dresser, etc) they won't decay and fade away. So you could keep huge stashes of stuff somewhere. As for interacting with background objects... general furniture and stuff cannot be interacted with, but items can (gold, weapons, potions, books and such). You can also shoot out lights, and they will respawn. Doors and windows can be destroyed. Chests do have a maximum, but its pretty big. They can hold approx eight times what a person can hold.

Q: Will money be useless in acranum?
A: Certain tech degrees are semi dependant on money as the subcomponents aren't necessarily easily found in the wild. And of course you can never buy enough health and fatigue potions.While money is not "necessary," it opens up options. You must pay for training for example (but not everyone's gonna want training). You can use money to complete certain quests, and obtain certain other stuff that aren't strictly "equipment" that you cannot have otherwise by simply killing someone and taking it from them.

Q: Does money weigh anything?
A: Money does NOT weigh anything. It does stack in your inventory though, so it takes up the same amount of inventory space, regardless of the quantity. All other stackables: arrows, fuel, bullets, charges, have weight.

Q: Will the inventory screen be easy to use?
A: Yes, it will be much like that of Diablo, meaning that you will be able to move items around to places you want them or make into any orderly fashion. The inventory area be in a grid with various squares to store items. That way, things are easy to find when you have a use for them or wish to sell them. There will also be an AutoPack feature that automatically rearranges the items for you to maximize the amount of inventory space you have.

Q: Will items be randomly placed or pre-placed or in a little of both?
A: Preplaced. Arcanum doesn't have much randomness in it.

Q: How much can you carry?
A: That will be limited by weight and quantity. You can carry unlimited amounts of gold, arrows, bullets, charges, and fuel.

Q: Will there be safe places to keep items?
A: Troika has not said yes or no as of yet. They are looking into the possiblity of having lockers for storing items for long periods of time.

Q: Will there be stores where you can buy tech items, or will you have to make all of them yourself? If you can buy them, would making your own make them better?
A: Some items you can definitely buy, but high level tech items will probably be either very rare or very expensive.

Q: If you put your items into the chest will they disappear after a while?
A: No.

Q: If items won't disappear will some NPC be able to steal them?
A: No.

Q: Is there going to be some mobile extra storage like a car's trunk?
A: No, unless you think of your followers as pack mules.

Q: If your NPC dies will you be bale to retrieve your items from him? And how much time do you have to revive a dead NPC?
A: About 24 hours (until they decay)

Q: Can you give arachnids or summoned monsters your items so that they can carry them?
A: No, nor will you be able to take their stuff.

Q: Are you going to loose any items when you die and restart? Or do you restart from saved game?
A: Reload (you "lose" nothing in that sense).

Q: How does the item creation works? Do you pull one thing over on the other or is it different?
A: Your known schematics are listed in a special subset of the character screen. These schematics can be ones you bought with Character Points, or ones you found. On each schema will be a button. Press it and, if you have the requisite components in inventory, they will go away and be replaced with the item you are trying to build. For found schemas, this may not work unless you have the appropriate level of skill in the required disciplines.

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WEAPONS AND ARMOR

Q: Are there no two-hand weapons ?
A: There are some weapons that are strictly "2 handed" like the staff. Other weapons behave differently if you have a shield-like item. For example you normally need a strength of 12 to use some sword with no penalties, but the Strength require could bump up to 16 to use with shield with no penalties.

Q: Do different type of weapons do different type of damage (ie slashing, piercing, blunt trauma, etc)? Will some types of weapons be more effective against some types of adversaries (ie hammers smashing skeletons/automatons with ease, swords being more effective against fleshy enemies like .. uh, wolves and rats that aren't made of granite/sandpaper/whipped cream) ?
A: Weapons can do 6 types of damage; Fire, electrical, poison, magickal, fatigue and normal. Certain creatures may have lower or higher resistances to certain types of damage. Beyond that, there are particular, individual, weapons which are more effective at killing certain creatures, or creaturetypes. In addition, weapons like a mace will do more fatigue damage than a sword. Each weapon is further categorized for purposes of critical hits and misses. The critical hit categories are cutting, crushing, impaling, electrical,and fire. The critical miss categories are bladed, bludgeon, handled, guns, bows, hands, explosive, fire, and electrical. The types are used to determine the type of critical you receive. For example, cutting weapons are more likely to scar on a critical hit, whilecrushing are more likely to cause unconsciousness. Similarly on a critical miss, fire-based weapons can literally explode on a very very bad roll. Other factors in criticals: critter's body type (biped, quadruped, amorphous, insect, snake, and avian), attacker's skill and training, and weapon bonuses.

Q: Weapons and armour will be damaged and so forth. Is it a percentage that decreases as the items are used? If an item is so worn that its useless, can it be repaired to full working state again?
A: Weapons are now damaged whenever they are used to hit things made of of wood, fire, metal, stone and glass. This would include monsters made of such substances. Repair capabilities are given to blacksmiths, junk dealers and fine armorers, so you will be able to have your weapons repaired for a fee. The quality of the repair will depend upon the skill level of the person doing the work. The armor that someone is wearing will not damage your weapon. If your weapon would have gotten damaged every time you hit someone in armor, then you'd go through weapons like crazy (unless you were the diplomatic type, of course). Armor is relatively thin, so we thought it wouldn't damage your weapon much, while beating on an earth elemental or a door would.

Q: Why use a bow instead of a gun?
A: Two reasons. First arrows are cheaper than bullets. Second bow skill does not depend on your tech skill.

Q: How is ammo handled?
A: You can either buy it or a cheaper method would be to aquire the skill to make it yourself.

Q: Which races can wear armor?
A: All races will be able to have some armor although it will be harder to find armor for races such as Half-Ogres and Dwarves. If you are looking for armor to fit a dwarf, it may be best to find a dwarven city.

Q: Can Half-Ogres use any armor?
A: In Arcanum clothing and armour come in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. These can only be worn by the relevant races: Small: Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome Medium: Human, Elf, Halfelf, Halforc Large: Halfogre. There are also gender and other restrictions as well.

Q: Will you need arrows for a bow, like bullets to guns? Are there magick arrows?
A: Yes. It's doable engine wise, but its dependent on the bow, all arrows are the same.

Q: Can't half-ogres use pistols?
A: Because of the size of half-ogres, they will not be able to use smaller guns.

Q: Will halflings be able to use larger weapons?
A: The larger weapons will have some sort of strength requirement. Since halflings start with a severe strength penalty it would take quite awhile for one to effectively wield, say, an elephant gun. But they can achieve it.

How many different types of bullets are there?
A: One size fits all... there is only one kind of "bullet" in Arcanum. There are 4 types of "ammunition": Bullets, Arrows, Batteries, and Fuel.

Q: Assuming we don't kill people by disintegration, will we be able to pick the armor off of dead bodies, or will we have to buy them from merchants and such?
A: If they were wearing armor, you will be able to take it. Then you can wear it, sell it, give it to your followers, whatever. The exception to this would be basic townspeople who are wearing either rural or city clothes (not armor).

Q: Will some types of weapons be more effective against some types of adversaries?
A: Weapons can do 6 types of damage: Fire, electrical, poison, magickal, fatigue and normal. Certain creatures may have lower or higher resistances to certain types of damage. Beyond that, there are particular, individual, weapons which are more effective at killing certain creatures, or creature types. In addition, weapons like a mace will do more fatigue damage than a sword.

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GAME COMBAT

Q: Is it possible in combat, to do an action while moving? I'm referring to shooting a gun while running, or throwing a dagger? Obviously, this doesn't apply to spellcasting...
A: Nope and nope. No moving about while attacking, firing yer weapon or whatnot.

Q: Can you keep getting xp from enemies you already killed by resurrecting them?
A: Each enemy has a pool of xp. You are awarded the xp for defeating the enemy (hits award some of the xp, kills award the rest), but once the pool is used up, that's it

Q: Will the game have turn-based combat or real-time combat?
A:: Both. You as the player will decide.

Q: What is the difference between turn based and real time?
A:: In turn-based combat, everything is computed as to who is fastest according to stats and who goes first due to element of suprise. After all things are computed, the game will decide who gets a the first turn to strike and then who will go second turn to strike, and so forth. In real-time combat, whoever has the fastest fingers on his/her computer hits first and the most. No turns, so it is very possible to for you to hit an opponent at the same time the opponent is hitting you.

Q: Can you change from turn-based to real-time mode?
A: Yes, the space bar will allow this.

Q: Are there different types of attacks?
A: Yes, there are weapons that deal fatigue damage or crushing damage. You can even aim for specific parts of the body by using the hotkeys.

Q: Will a higher level character still have to fight those lower level monsters?
A: No. The A.I. (artificial intelligence) of the game will judge the strength of your party and decide if that low-level group of monsters were going to attack you and you are far superior, they would simply not even bother to attack you.

Q: How will any high level guys at the far ends of spectrum (lvl 50 mage vs. lvl 50 techy) fight each other?
A: The two level 50 characters aptitude (assuming their magick and tech aptitudes are equal) cancel each other out so there are NO penalties for either of them! The mage's spells will work as normal, as will the techie's gadgets.

Q: What happens if my character dies?
A: If your main character dies, the game continues for a few seconds giving any followers the chance to resurrect you if they have the necessary skills. They might be to busy fighting to survive to help you though, or might not make it it time - best to stay alive. Otherwise reload or start a new character. Your choice.

Q: If you sneak up behind somebody who isn't wearing armor and stab them in the back with a large knife or sword do they die automatically?
A: It depends on the weapon, how skilled you are with the backstab skill, how many hit-points they have and your strength bonus or penalty.

Q: What is a saving roll and how works it?
A: A saving roll is a virtual die roll that is compared to one of your characters statistics, if you "pass" the roll, generally the spell, or whatever, simply has no effect on your PC. For example in Arcanum certain spells have a saving roll which is compared to your Willpower, which ranges from 1 to 20. So the computer rolls a virtual 20 sided die and compares the result to your Willpower statistic, if the roll exceeds your Willpower then the spell is successful, if it doesn't then the spell fails, i.e. you made your saving throw/roll. So, in these cases, the higher your willpower is the more likely you are to be "immune" to certain spells.

Q: How fast will real-time combat be?
A: There is an option to click once on an enemy and your character will just continually attack them. Also, in multiplayer, the characters will defend themselves if attacked with no good connection. They just start fighting back with their equipped weapon. They may not be as good as a planned strategy, but it should buy some time.

Q: Lets say a mage throws a lightning bolt at a techie, who at the same time fires a bullet. If the bolt and bullet where to hit eachother, which one would surpass?
A: They would pass and hit their targets. Now the chance of hitting the targets would depend on the whole magick/tech thing...

Q. When playing a generally peaceful character, will you you recieve experience points although you don't kill your enemies?
A: Experience points are awarded for completing quests in non-violent manners, a diplomat or thief is a fully viable character. Although perhaps not a complete pacifist. You still need to do something about those pesky monsters who come after you...

Q: How will dexterity work in turn based combat? Do you just receive more action points, or do you actually get more turns than people with lower dexterity? Once I enter combat do all the enemies go and then all my guys go (or vice versa), or do turns take place individually?
A: The more Dexterity you have the more action points you get. Each character has his own turn in combat. The order in which you go is determined by your perception, the higher the better.

Q: Can you use skills in combat?
A: Yes, there will be some that you are able to use in either real-time or turn-based.

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WORLD GAME PLAY

Q: When you get a quest, is there something which identifies the location of the quest so that you can return upon completion to the correct loction without walking around form hours trying to find that particular spot again?
A: More or less. There are 2 sections that deal with quest stuff, one for notes/rumors and one for the actual quests. Between those 2 sections it's pretty easy to see who wants you to do what. The quests are also color coded for easy reference/sorting/viewing.

Q: Can you hide in a store until the shopkeeper goes to bed in order to steal from it?
A: Yes, it is possible to hide in a store until the shopkeeper goes to sleep at night. But for the sake of not cheesing the game, Troika put the shopkeeper's inventories right next to their beds (which happen to be in the back room of the store). Their bedrooms are locked during the day when the store is open, to deter you from getting their stuff. And if you try to break into it at night, there's a very good chance you will get caught. So it is possible to do what you want, but it will not be easy to get away with the theft.

Q: Can you sleep anywhere as long as you are outside a town?
A: Yes, you can sleep anywhere when in the "world map". In a "town map" area, you can only sleep in an inn - as the local guards don't like loiterers

Q: May little subareas be found while using the world map for travel?
A: If you are traveling via the world map, and happen to pass a "hidden" area, it will get marked on your map, the same as if you walked there on foot in normal game time.

Q: Will the land be choped up into squares or will it actually be one large chunk? How will loading take place?
A: The world is broken down into sectors. As you walk along, sectors in front of you are loaded in, and the ones behind are thrown away. There is no barrier to walking, no map "edges" in the world.

Q: How long would it take to walk from one side of arcaum to another (in real time of course)?
A: Arcanum is roughly 2000 by 2000 sectors. It would take you approximately 35 real-life hours just to walk across this map, assuming you never stopped due to random monster encounters or to go into a town, cave, dungeon, etc.

Q: What kind of travel ways can you take?
A: Walking, train, teleport, boat.

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ONLINE GAMEPLAY

Q: Will there be a server for finding multiplayer games, ala BNET?
A: Currently Arcanum will have two modes of multiplayer play. Network and Internet. Network listens passively on your local IP subnet for server broadcasts to get a list of what games are available. Internet hooks you up to WON.net to get lists of Arcanum games. Internet also allows for people to chat online in WON chatrooms. You may also keep a list of bookmarked games to join again. In any case, one computer must select to host a game and then other computers may join that host. Theoretically, the host could leave the server running forever and have a persistant world.

Q: Can any player of a multiplayer game save the game and come back to it later, or just the person who starts the game?
A: Only the server can save the multiplayer game.

Q: Does a Multiplayer game end if the game's creator logs out?
A: Yes.

Q: Lets say you restrict a multiplayer game to only have character from level 9 to 13. If you start at level 11 and go up to level 14, would you still be in the game, or would you get kicked out?
A: No, you wouldn't get kicked out. The level range only tests that you're the right range when you enter the game.

Q: If you download a mod for arcanum, can you single play it?
A: Yes, you can single play mods. In fact if you play them single player you can still use turn-based combat, which is normally disabled for multi-player. One thing you can't use in mods is world map travel (single player or multi-player).

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GAME EDITOR INFORMATION

Q: Can we check against pc name ? ifpcname=(sleeper) then printf("HI")
A: No.

Q: Will people with child of a hero background that get a sword in singleplayer get one in multiplayer too ? Same for the backgrounds that give objects.
A: Starting equipment from skills/stats and background probably won't be changeable

Q: Can you guns or objects that gain levels with you ?
A: You can make weapons depend on scripts, and you can use scripts to determine a player's level. At the very least you can make a weapon that depends on the level of the player.

Q: Is it possible to check against people getting levels for example to give a message like hey mate you got a level up ?
A: Probably. The level up event can probably trigger a check against the level, and play an appropriate script. "Welcome to level 10!"

Q: Is it possible to temporalely take cp from a pc character or make him weaker if you believe that he is too high level for your mod ?
A: There are curses that can do something similar. If someone is too high a level, the easiest thing to do is just have the person running the modset the sever to not let people in above a certain level.

Q: Is it possible to temporalily give him cp ? the opposite.
A: Again, blessings should have the desired effect.

Q: Is it possible to put Virgil into a single player mod ?
A: No, but you can create someone exactly like him. Even though you can't cut and paste within the editor, you can build something very similar. It would probaly work better that way anyway. Virgil probably has a lot of stuff that is specific to the main game.

Q: Is it possible to make a bridge dissapear according to pc action ? or become totally imassable ?
A: Absolutely. It may be a matter of teleporting the PC to a location that doesn't have the bridge, but there should be ways to do it.

Q: Is it easy to make a vampire playable race ? Give bonus at night minus at day plus if his fatigue is under 40 his psionics image that makes him look like a human breaks and we see him like the monster he is ?
A: Nope. The race and background effects can not be changed in the editor, they are all hardcoded in the editor.

Q: Let me imagine a mod like 4 kingdoms. Each player gets a kingdom and controls it. He can say to a group of fighters to go and burn a house down. Can he see the battle from far 1000 screnns or he has to go with them ?
A: Nope. How far away you can scroll is controlled by your perception. You might want to script in advisor NPCs that tell you how the battle is going through dialog.

Q: When designing a mod, can I have a NPC guard, for example, wander around in a give area, rather than sticking to a specific patrol path?
A: Yes, you can do day/night wander settings, and they'll wander around within 6 or 8 tiles of their stand point.

Q: Will mods made from the version of world editor that was sent out with the full press demo be compatible with mods from the final version?
A: Yes.

Q: Can we lock our mods?
A: Yes, they can be compiled and locked.

Q: Can you script events based off real-world dates? Like have NPCs say "Merry Christmas" on Dec. 25th?
A: No. The game can have in-game events like that, but nothing based off of your computer's clock.

Q: How difficult will it be to program dialogue with the editor?
A: It takes about an hour to fully program a character, provided you have planned out the story, plot and events that will happen in it.

Q: If I create a MOD and start a multiplayer game with it, does a player who joins the game have the MOD downloaded to his/her computer in a fashion that he/she can save and later start a new game in, and even open in the editor and further tweak?
A: All players have to download and install the Mod before they can play it. Yes, you can open up and fiddle with any mod that you download. It will be zipped up with a special tool, but your game comes with the tool for compressing and decompressing mods.

Q: Can you modify what NPC's will trade, and what they will trade for?
A: Yes, to both. You can control their inventory, which refreshes approximately once per day, and you can control what they want to buy.

Q: Will a mod or two be included with the game?
A: At least one module that is not compressed into the big data file but instead is included in its own directory. It will serve as an example of how to make scripts, dialogs, quests, backgrounds, items, etc.

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