How do skills work?

Version 1.4 / updated on 2005OC04
Return to the main guides index


In Clan Lord, you gain experience mostly by defeating monsters, but also by exploring far places, by the people that are sharing with you, by skinning creatures and by a few other things. You also get experience from the library.

All the experience you get is applied to your current trainer. That is the last trainer that told you "Welcome aboard. Go into the world and learn what you may, while practicing our craft." You know a NPC is a trainer when he greets you with something like this: "Hail, Drablak. You have much to learn." The part after the "Hail Drablak" is referred to as the trainer message. The trainer message tells you how good you are in the skill that this trainer teaches. We refer to a skill by the trainer's name, hence you may have 15 ranks of Bodrus, and 20 ranks of Spirtus. You may also hear people talk about "troilusing", which refers to the trainer Troilus, which teaches to self-heal faster.

So this is how it works: you chose the skill you want to learn and you talk to the corresponding trainer until he says "Welcome aboard. Go into the world and learn what you may, while practicing our craft." At that point you are training in that skill until you change trainer, or until you reach the maximum that trainer can teach you (in the case of 'capped' trainers). When you have earned enough experience to get a rank you will get a message that tells you that you learned something. The message you get depends on the skill you are training. For instance, if you are training with the Marsh Hermit, you'll get a message "*Your eye grows keener.", and if you are training Detha you will get "*You seem to be defending yourself better."

Most people keep track of the number of ranks they have in each skill. There are programs that can help you do this like Scribia or Temus. You can also just take notes when you get a message. When you want to confirm how many ranks you have you just bump into the trainer and see how he greets you. That will give you a range of ranks (see the table below).

Trainer messages

Here are the ranks corresponding with the trainer messages.

Ranks Message
0-9 You have much to learn.
10-19 It is good to see you.
20-29 Your persistence is paying off.
30-39 You are progressing well.
40-49 You are one of my good pupils.
50-99 You are one of my better pupils.
100-149 You keep my on my toes.
150-199 It is hard to find more to teach you.
200-249 Teaching you is a challenge.
250-299 There is not much more I can teach you.
300-349 Teaching you has taught me much.
350-399 You have attained tremendous skill.
400-449 We are nearly equals.
450-499 You may be proud of your accomplishment.
500-549 You are becoming a master of our art.
550-599 (bows.) Your dedication is commendable.
600-649 You show great devotion to your studies.
650-699 You are a credit to our craft.
700-749 Few indeed are your peers.
750-799 (bows deeply.) Your devotion to the craft is exemplary.
800-899 It is always good to greet a respected colleague.
900-999 You are truly a grand master.
1000+ Let us search for more we might learn together.

In-between ranks

To know how close you are to earn a new rank in a skill you can ask a NPC in the library or in your profession's hall. For instance Asterru in the free library will greet you with a message like this when you're close to earn a rank: "Aerin, you are almost ready for a breakthrough. Detha talks about you." There are a little more than 7 messages that these NPCs can give you, but you'll mostly see the following 6:

The first of these means that you have only a little of the required experience to earn a new rank, while the last one means you're really close to earn it. The other messages (not listed above) are something like this: "you have a difficult task ahead of you. Remember Valtrim's lessons." You get these messages sometimes after departing, and that means that you have to earn more experience to get to the 'you have just begun to work' than normally you would.

What does Aitnos do?

There are NPCs like Aitnos and Tey'zhe that greet you like this: "I can help you put the knowledge you have gained while studying to use more quickly." So what do they mean? Normally when you have earned a lot of experience (while in the library for instance) you get ranks at the rate of one every 90 seconds or so. If you don't want to wait you can ask someone like Aitnos to apply your ranks faster. He'll apply them more than one at a time, but not all of them at once if you have many. I'm not sure exactly how many he applies each time you talk to him. The disadvantage of this is that you don't know exactly how many ranks you just gained, and programs like Scribia will not reflect your exact number of ranks.

Combo trainers

Some trainers do not teach a single skill, but a combination of primary skills. For example Swengus is a combo trainer that teaches a mix of Balthus (balance) and Regia (balance regeneration). When you get a rank of Swengus, you get a fraction of a Balthus rank and a fraction of a Regia rank. I'm not sure of the exact percentage of each, but suppose it's half Balthus and half Regia. That would mean that if you trained 100 Swengus ranks, you would have 50 Balthus ranks and 50 Regia ranks. And if you actually talked to Regia, she'd greet you with the "You are one of my better pupils" message, eventhough you never trained with her directly. Some combo trainers have a built-in bonuses, i.e., if you add up all the percentages of the primary skills they teach, you'd get more than 100%. What that means is that by training with them, you actually get more than 1 rank's worth of skills for the experience that would normally only give you 1.

Trained ranks

Some people will talk about 'trained ranks' as opposed to trainers' messages. This is because of the combo trainers described above. In the example above where we suppose that Swengus is half Balthus and half Regia, someone who never trained Regia directly but trained 100 Swengus would get the "You are one of my better pupils" message from Regia. So you actually have 50 effective ranks of Regia, but you'd still have 0 trained ranks in her. It's a distinction that is important in some cases but most poeple don't bother with it. One thing to remember is that most game effects use trained ranks, not messages ranks. Your total number of ranks for instance, if you trained 100 Swengus, is 100, not 200 as you'd get if you added all the trainers' messages (100 Swengus + 50 Regia + 50 Balthus).

Exile trainers

Some people have trained extensively with some trainers and as a result have been offered to buy a training ledger for that skill. Training ledgers enable these people to teach the skill to others by writing their names in the ledger. Training from an exile is exactly the same as training from the normal trainer, except for the procedure that is a little different (you need to share the exile trainer initially when he or she enters your name in the ledger, and you have to say that you accept him or her as your trainer). Farhope has an excellent scroll listing exile trainers. Give her cooking ingredients if you see her.

Special messages

There are a few exceptions to the above messages. One if training advanced pathfinding. Above what the Marsh Hermit can teach you, you must access a series of books and you must consult these books for each chapter. The in-between messages will be slightly different than those listed above, but they're easily understood. Another exception is the speciality blades, the Gossamer, the Fellblade and the Bloodblade. Fighters can train in these special weapons. They don't need to talk to trainers for that, they just need to practice with the weapon. They can also reflect on their training and they'll get messages that are slighly different than those of regular trainers.

Special weapons messages

Here are the ranks corresponding with the speciality blades messages (that I know of).

Ranks Message
0-9 You have much to learn.
10-19 You feel tolerably skilled.
20-29 Your persistence is paying off.
30-39 You are progressing well.
40-49 You are becoming proficient.
50-99 You have learned much.
100-149 You have become skilled. (Your toes tingle)
150-199 You have become very skilled.
200-249 Learning more is a challenge.
250+ ?

If you have additions or corrections to what is on this scroll please send them to me: drablak at pucks dot org. Thanks!

Drablak. Return to Drablak's Hideaway
Quick Navigation: Journal Travels Guides History Scrapbook What's New
For more information or comments, please send enchanted mail to Drablak at pucks dot org..