Dungeons and Dragons Online Newbie Guide

Dungeons and Dragons Online Newbie Guide by Depravity

The Absolutely Most Basic Stuff

The d20 system:
Roll a 20 sided die, add some sort of modifier, try to hit a target number. Larger numbers are better numbers.

The abbreviation for a specific die or dice is (number of dice)d(size of dice)
So 2d6 is the same as saying roll 2 6-sided dice.

The developers at Turbine are really, really good about putting in tooltips. Just hover your cursor over just about anything, and you’ll get some sort of information about it.

The menu bar:

This is the way to get to all the bits of information and settings you need to make your character run around and do its thing.
From left to right, the icons and default hotkeys are:
Network Status – If you hover your pointer over this, it will tell you how much latency you’re looking at, how many packets the connections dropping, and other such handy info.
Character Sheet -C- your character’s vital stats, magic, and special abilities all live here.
Backpack -I- Your inventory. See all the stuff you’re carrying and wearing.
Quest Log -ctrl+Q- View information on quests you are currently on or have completed.
Adventure Compendium -P- This lists all the quests available to you, how hard a difficulty setting you’ve done them on, and how much favor you’ve curried with the various factions around stormreach.
Social Panel -ctrl+G- Look here for information about groups that are forming up, members of your guild, and who’s online.
Map -M- Find out where you are.
Help -ctrl+H- Access the DDO Compendium from in game, request a GM’s assistance, or report a bug.
Options -ctrl+O- Change your video and audio settings, how various aspects of the game behave, even remap your keyboard.
Main Menu — Quit, Logout, or access the Help and Options stuff

Running Amok***Of course, Turbine had to change things for Mod 9, so this will get altered after somebody feeds me the new keymap*****
So menus alone aren’t enough and you need to move? WASD, baby. Q and E will sidestep. This is all covered in the in game tutorial. Honest.
Spacebar makes you jump. Holding shift plus moving will make you tumble (assuming you have ranks in the skill Tumble).
The mouse, on the other hand, is an unintuitive thing of splendor and joy.
Assuming you are using the more-or-less standard two button w/ combination scroll wheel and third button, the defaults are:
Left click – select a target, activate a target by clicking on it again, activate something in your hotbar or other onscreen controls
Left click and drag – do this on “neutral” screen space, and you temporarily go into mouse look mode, where the mouse controls the camera. Good for swimming.
Right click – attack! Hurt things! Kill, Krush, Destroy!
Scroll – zoom in and out. Sorry, no first person view yet.
Center button/wheel click – divorce the camera from your character and twirl it around you. Vastly handy when sneaking around.

How ya doing?

This is your health bar. It displays your health (red), magic (blue), and ki (yellow). Everyone gets the red bar, but only classes that need them see their spell points or ki.
If it drops to -10, you’re dead. Yes, -10. Between 0 and -9, you’re incapacitated, and will make a bleeding check every few seconds. If you roll your 10%chance to stop bleeding, you’ll start regaining hitpoints until you’re back at 1.
For some reason, a spare autoattack toggle is included – press the little round sword icon to turn autoattack on and off.
Press C, or click on the icon in the menu bar. This will bring up your character sheet.
The first tab is your vial statistics.

Much of this is self explanatory. I’m willing to bet you can figure out what your name is.
The “Vanguard Warrior” bit on here is the name of the preconstructed path your character is on. If you use a custom build, it won’t show up. Multiclass builds will have that area filled in with their various classes.
The next line shows your race, alignment, and gender. Alignment will affect how some effects work on you, and whether you can use certain pieces of equipment.
Experience points are self-explanatory. The box next to them is your Action Points. You earn four of these per level, and they can be spent on special abilities for your character.
Your stats run down the left hand side, and the first number is the value of the stat.The second number is the modifier for having that stat. Every two points above 10 you go, you get a +1. Every two points below 11, you get a -1. Stats are rarely used directly in any game mechanics (mostly just how much stuff you can caryy and how many spell points you have). Instead, the modifiers are used to influence most things.
On the right hand side, hit points, spell points and ki all show how many of those you have, out of a maximum.
Armor Class is how high an enemy needs to roll to hit you with a physical attack, like a sword or crossbow. The number next to that is how much better it gets if you block (press shift).
The next three numbers are your saves. These are added to a d20 roll to give you a chance to lessen or avoid a magical attack, trap, poison, disease, and a few other things.
Base attack bonus is the starting number for how likely you are to hit with a physical attack.
Spell resistance works like an Armor Class for some spells (most non-damaging ones).
Fortitude is the ability to avoid criticals and sneak attack damage. This comes in chunks of 25, 50, and 100%.
Damage Reduction (DR) will show up in the next area if you have any. DR helps to stop damage from physical attaks.
Energy Resistance helps to stop damage from magical attacks. From left to right those are acid, cold, electric, fire, and sonic.

Hotbars and You
DDO is a game of hotbars. Pretty much everythign you do is going to involve one sooner or later.

The top bar is in the dock. This is going to be the only bar you see when you first start a charcter.
1: The undock button. Click this, and the currently displayed bar will turn into a free-floating bar you can put anywhere you want.
2: Hotbar selector. The number shows which hotbar is currently shown in the dock (you get 20 of them), and the arrows cycle through them. The dock will only display hotbars that aren’t undocked, so the numbers might skip around.
The bottom bar is what they look like when they’re floating around on their own.
3: The dock button. Click this, and the hotbar goes back into the dock.
4: Which number this hotbar is.
5: This button makes the hotbar switch between horizontal and vertical orientations, so you can put them up against the sides of the screen.
6: The second slot is occupied by an active ability. Some abilities are toggles, and when turned on have a blue border pulsing around them.
7: The boots in slot 7 have a “clicky” ability on them. They’ve been used recently, and the white shadow is the cooldown display. The little triangles jutting in from the sides show that the boots are currently being worn. You can switch equipment easily by putting it in the hotbar.

Finding Things To Put In Your Hotbars
Your character will have feats, enhancements, skills, and various other nifty things that can be used from a hotbar.

When looking at these, which all live in your character sheet (C or ), you’ll notice that some have square icons, and some have octagonal ones.
Square icons need to be placed in your hotbar to be used. Play around, some are ana ction, some are stances that stay on for a while.
Octagonal abilities are always on, and don’t need to be activated.

Making Enemies and Injuring People:

Pick up a stick or something. Right click, hold right click, or just turn on autoattack. Rinse. Repeat.
If you open your inventory (press I or click on the backpack icon ()), and look at the bottom, a description looking something like +4 1d8+12 will be displayed. This string of gibberish tells you how likely you are to hit things, and how hard you’re going to hit when you do. These numbers are influenced by your Strength and sometimes Dexterity (if you have the Weapon Finesse feat). In this case, you have a +4 to hit, and will do 1d8+12 points of damage when you do.

Anatomy of a weapon:

1: The name of the weapon. On randomly generated loot, this is a description of the waepon’s properties.
2: The type of weapon it is, and the (category) it belongs to. Finessable weapons will say (light).
3: The proficiency category of a weapon. Different classes can use different weapon sets.
4: UMD difficulty. If you have the Use Magic Device skill, you can equip items you usually couldn’t.
5: The minimum level you have to be to use this item.
6: Damage rating – I’m not sure where this comes from, actually.
7: Damage the weapon does, expressed as dice + enhancement followed by a list of damage types this weapon counts as doing.
8: Information on the critical damage behavior of the weapon, as a die range (19-20) and how many times the dmage gets multiplied on a critical hit (x4)
9: Which stat effects how likely you are to hit, and by how much.
10: Which stat effects how hard you hit, and by how much
11: Description of the effects on this weapon. Some of these, like the Enhancement Bonus and Keen, are already factored into the numbers above, while others like Pure Good are not.
12: Weapon condition. This tells you what the weapon is made out of, how hard (harder items take damage less often) it is, and how much durability it has left. Permanent damage will show up as a red bar on the right.
Be aware of weapon proficiency, as it does have a serious impact on how well you can hurt things.

1: A proficient weapon you can pick up and use.
2: The golden ! frame means that you are non-proficient, and will take a -4 penalty to hit with that weapon.
3: A red frame means that you cannot use that weapon for some reason.
To calculate your to-hit bonus, you add the relevant stat bonus and the weapon modifier to your Base Attack Bonus, or BAB. You can find this on your character summary on the right hand side. Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins and Rangers get +1 BAB for every level, Bards, Clerics, Favored Souls, Monks and Rogues get +3 for every 4 levels, and Sorcerers and Wizards get +1 for every 2 levels.

To calculate your damage, add the weapon’s base damage die (or dice), the weapon modifier, your strength boonus, and any extra effects on the weapon.

To figure out if you hit anything, the system rolls a d20 and adds your to-hit bonus. If that number is equal to or greater than the targets Armor Class or AC, you hit it and do your damage. If you don’t beat it, you miss. There are some exceptions:
Grazing Hits – if you miss but rolled better than a 10, you hit for the base damage of your weapon, or just the die (dice) part.
Rolled a 20 – 20s always hit.
Rolled a 1 – 1s always miss.

Sometimes you roll high and cause a critical hit. Each weapon has a critical range, which is the d20 result needed to cause a critical threat. Once you’ve done this, the system rolls for you again. If that roll hits, you make your critical hit, and the damage from the basic weapon, its modifier, and your strength bonus are multiplied by whatever the weapon’s critical multiplier is. If the confirmation roll fails, you still hit, but for regular damage. Also note that a high roll needs to hit in order to cause the critical threat – if you need a 15 to crit, but a 17 or better to hit what you’re swinging at, rolls of 15 or 16 are still misses and cause no damage beyond a grazing hit.

A dagger has a critical range of 19-20, and a multiplier of x2. You have a BAB of +1, strength bonus of +3, and it’s a +1 dagger with 1d6 base damage.
Your dagger will have a total to-hit bonus of +5: 1 BAB + 1 dagger modifier + 3 strength
It will do 1d6+4 damage: 1d6 base + 1 dagger modifier + 3 strength
You roll a 15 when fighting a monster with a 17 Armor Class. This is a total to-hit of 20: 15 +5, so you hit. You will now do somewhere between 5 and 10 points of damage.
If you rolled a 19, you would not only hit, but cause a critical threat. The system would roll again. If it rolled a 12 or better (12+5=17), you would have confirmed your critical threat, and caused a critical hit. Since the critical multiplier on a dagger is x2, you would do 2d6+8 points of damage, or somewhere between 10 and 20 points of damage.

Beyond the basics:
You can change the stat you use to hit from strength to dexterity by taking the the Weapon Finesse feat. This only works on weapons that say they are “(light)”, and rapiers.
Ranged weapons of any sort use dexterity instead of strength.
Crossbows and bows do not add strength bonuses to damages.
Bows can add strength damage, but only if you have the Bow Strength feat, currently given with the first level of Ranger.
If using two one-handed weapons, the off hand weapon (the lower slot on your inventory screen), only gets half strength bonus to damage, rounded down.
If using a two-handed weapon, you get 1.5x your strength bonus to damage, rounded down.

Dual Wielding:
Any character can hold two one-handed weapons. This will incur a penalty, although on the upside it looks cool. The Two Weapon Fighting feat will reduce this penalty, as will using a light weapon in your off hand.
Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Greater Two Weapon Fighting add extra attacks with your off hand weapon, while Oversized Two Weapon Fighting removes the penalty for using a non-light weapon in the off hand.
One of the major tips you’ll hear from a lot of veterans about dual wielding is not to do it until you have ITWF. Sticking with a shield at lower levels not only makes you more surviveable, but keeps you from having to deal with a penalty to hit when your hit chance is already somewhat low.

The Definitive Attack Bonus Thread

How to Not Get Hit:

Okay, so now that you can hurt things, how do you avoid getting hit?
The good news is, just for being in the game you get a free armor class of 10. Which means something with no attack bonus will only hit you a little better than half the time. But of course, this is unacceptable, so how do you make it better?
By somehow getting your Armor Class up. One way is to wear lots of armor and a shield. This works pretty well for some characters, but tends to fall off in use at higher levels unless you really specialize in it. The other is to invest in stat based armor class, which is lots of Dexterity and maybe Wisdom if you have a monk level. This starts off slowly, and gets better at higher levels. Some people also build characters that don’t have good AC, but have some damage mitigation and lots of hit points.

The most common types of AC bonus you’ll see at early levels:
Dexterity bonus – Your Dex stat gives you a bonus to AC, but this can be limited by your armor and some shields.
Armor bonus – gained from wearing armor, the Mage Armor spell, or armored bracers.
Shield bonus – gained from wearing a shield or casting the Shield spell
Deflection bonus – gained from equipment or the Shield Of Faith spell
Natural Armor bonus – from the Barkskin spell

As a rule, these only stack with bonuses of a different type. An armor bonus of +8 will stack with a deflection bonus of +1, but not with another armor bonus of +4. Casting Mage Armor on somebody wearing platemail doesn’t do anything for them.

Anatomy of Armor

1: The bonus the armor provides to your Armor Class (AC)
2: The maximum dexterity bonus you can apply to your AC while wearing this armor. It will not limit dexterity applied to saves or skills.
3: The armor check penalty applies to skills such as jump, tumble, and move silently. If you are not proficient in the armor, it applies to your attack rolls as well.
4: Arcane casters have a chance to fail spells while wearing armor. Divine casters ignore it.
5: The bonus a shield gives you towards your AC.
6: The amount of physical damage you will ignore while blocking with this shield.
7: Shields can be swung like weapons (called a shield bash). Use your attack key (usually right mouse button) while blocking to bash. Shields do not count as a weapon for purposes of dual weilding.
The armor types each class can wear without penalty are:
Cloth: Monks, Sorcerers, Wizards
Light: Bards, Rangers, Rogues
Medium: Barbarians
Heavy: Clerics, Fighters, Paladins
Each class can also wear any of the lighter armors without penalty.

Characters who wear cloth armor may use Armor Bracers, which carry an armor bonus just like the heavier types of armor. These have no maximum dexterity bonus, and do not interfere with the Monk ability to add their wisdom bonus to their AC. Another option is the spell Mage Armor, which gives a +4 bonus to armor class, although this does not stack with regular armor or armor bracers.

Warforged characters do not wear armor like other characters, although they may still use armor bracers. Instead, they come with a factory installed +2 armor bonus due to the Composite Plating feat. They use items called Docents that add bonuses just like the enchantments on armor. They may also take a few other feats to mimic wearing heavier forms of armor – Mithril Body and Adamantine Body

There is also a type of bonus called a Deflection bonus. Information on this, along with some more types of bonuses uncommon at lower levels, can be found at The *Updated* Definitive AC Bonus Thread.

I’m Still Getting Hit, How do I make It hurt Less?

Damage Reduction
There is a mechanic called Damage Reduction, which stops physical damage.
Damage reduction is usually written as DR (number)/(something). The (number) part is how much damage it will stop, and the (something) is what type of damage ignores it.
For example, a golem usually has something like DR 5/admantine. This means it stops the first 5 points of damage on every swing, unless the weapon used on it is made out of adamantine.
If a damage reduction is written with a dash, like 5/-, it cannot be ignored by anything.

You can get DR quite a number of ways:
Warforged can take feats that give them DR/adamantine.
Barbarians get some DR as they increase in levels.
Spells such as angelskin and stoneskin.
Blocking will give you some DR. Pressing the shift button makes you block, and will give you some ability to resist physical blows. Larger, better enhanced shields increase this, as does the highest passive DR you’d normally get.

Damage reduction, as a rule, does not stack. The best DR you’ve got will override any lesser effects. So a barbarian with DR 7/- will get no benefit from wearing an item that grants DR 3/-, or any Warforged feats that grant him less than 7/adamantine. If you have multiple types, and one is resisted, the enxt best is applied. A Warforged with DR 5/admantine and a 3/- item would still get the three if attacked by something with an adamantine weapon.

When fighting something with damage reduction, the numbers from your weapon will change colors.
Red numbers are regular, unresisted damage.
Yellow numbers are partially resisted.
White numbers have been fully resisted.
Green numbers mean something on your weapon is actually healing your target.
Purple Numbers mean your using something your target is weak against, and doing extra damage.
Miss Chance:
Another way to avoid damage is to gain a miss chance. This is a percentage that must be rolled against after someone rolls a successful hit. If they fail on the percentage, the hit never happens.
Mostly this is a magical thing, ways to get it include:
Concealment from fog/cloud spells (20%)
The Blur and Displacement spells (20% and 50%, respectively)
Invisibility (50%)
Blindness (50%)
A very few items grant 10-20% miss chance

Just like damage reduction, these don’t stack, so the highest effect overrides anything less. The true seeing spell also allows people to ignore the effects of blur or displacement.

How To Light Things on Fire With Your Mind

If you’re playing a spell casting class, you have more options than hitting things and trying not to get hit. You can do nasty things from afar. DDO uses a point-based spell casting system, much like most other MMOs. Instead of mana, we get Spell Points (SP).

Different class types learn spells in different ways. Favored Souls and Sorcerers know their spells and can cast them at will, but have to pay gold to change spells, which they can only do once every three days. Clerics, Paladins and Rangers know their entire spell lists automagically, and can choose which spells to swap in and out in any tavern or after resting at a shrine. Wizards can use spell inscription materials to learn their spells from scrolls, and can then swap any known spell just like a Cleric.

In order to cast a spell, you must have a certain stat equal to 10 + the level of the spell. Each class has it’s own associated stat:
Charisma: Bards, Sorcerers
Intelligence: Wizards
Wisdom: Clerics, Paladins, Rangers
This stat also influences how many SP they have – the higher the stat, the more casting they can do between rests. It also makes some spells harder to resist.
Favored Souls are special; they need wisdom to determine which spells they can cast and how hard they are to resist, but use charisma to determine how many spell points they get.

This stat can be raised by tomes, enhancements, and equipment for purposes of casting a spell. A paladin with a 10 wisdom and a +4 wisdom item could still cast level 4 spells with his 14 total.

The casters are broken into two major groups by the type of spells they can cast.
These are:
Arcane: Bards, Sorcerers, and Wizards
Divine: Clerics, Favored Souls, Paladins, and Rangers

Arcane casters have a more diverse portfolio of both offensive and defensive spells. Divine casters get more defensive spells and the ability to heal. Bards get a bit of everything, although they are considered arcane for purposes of game mechanics.

Spell List:

To access your spell list, go to your character screen (press C or click on the icon). Click on the “Spells” tab. Each tab down the right hand side (1) corresponds to a certain level of spell. The first one displays all known/memorized spells, while the numbered tabs show only spells of that level. To memorize a spell, click the appropriate level tab, and drag the icon from the list (2) to one of the boxes along the bottom of the page (3). Once you have spells memorized/known, just drag their icons onto your hotbar to make them available for casting.

Material Components
Most spells have a material component requirement. For the most part, all spells of a given level will need the same thing, but exceptions do occur (stoneskin, trap the soul)
I like to spawn a hotbar and put all my components on it, that way I can see at a glance whether I need to do some shopping or not.

There is a category of feat known as Metamagic Feats (no link for just metamagic feats in the compendium yet, but wizards get them as bonus feats, which are listed. Also includes Empower Healing). These need to be placed on your hotbar as well. When active, they will alter your spells in some way, in exchange for using more spell points to cast.

Armor and casting:
Arcane casters get an arcane spell failure (ASF) % for wearing armor. Warforged get it just for being Warforged. If you attempt to cast an arcane spell, you will have to roll a percentile die (a die that goes from 1 – 100) against that percentage. Fail, and the spell fizzles, consuming the spell points it would have used to cause havoc but doing nothing. Divine casters ignore this completely, and there are ways to reduce it for arcane casters.

How To Avoid Things Like Being Set on Fire By Other People’s Minds

All characters have three Saving Throws. These are Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Each one has its own associated stat, which adds that stat’s bonus to the saving throw.
Fortitude: Constitution – handles things like poison, disease, death and blindness
Reflex: Dexterity – handles things like damaging area of effect spells and traps
Will: Wisdom – handles things like hold spells, mind control

Each character gets base saving throw numbers, based off of class, and modified by equipment, spells, special abilities, and the like. Each class has one or more “good” saves, which increase their base numbers faster.
Barbarian: Fortitude
Bard: Reflex & Will
Cleric: Fortitude & Will
Favored Soul: All 3
Fighter: Fortitude
Monk: All 3
Paladin: Fortitude
Ranger: Fortitude, Reflex
Rogue: Reflex
Sorcerer: Will
Wizard: Will

In order to make a save, you roll a d20, add your save bonus (shown on your character sheet – C or ), and compare it versus the Difficulty Class of whatever you’re saving against. If it’s higher, you have saved, and the effect is somehow mitigated. How this happens changes depending on the effect. Many effects simply don’t happen, or happen at half strength (this is usual for area if effect damage spells).

To figure out the saving throws of your own spells, you take 10, and add the level of the spell and the bonus from your casting stat. For example, a Cleric with wisdom 18 (a +4 bonus) casting Blindness (a level 2 spell with a fortitude save), would cause his target to roll a fortitude save of 10+2+4=16 or go blind.

Canned Spells:
There are options to cast magic from items instead of from memory. In these cases, the DC and effectiveness of a spell are based off the absolute minimum needed to cast it. A scroll of fireball, for instance, would cause 5d6 of damage (lowest caster level for it is 5), and would have a reflex save of 14: 10 + a level 3 spell +1 bonus from a stat of 13. In most cases, damage and healing spells are best cast from memory, rather than a wand or scroll.

An important ability granted to monks (lvl 2), rogues (lvl 2), and rangers (lvl 9), evasion allows a character rolling a reflex save for half damage, which is standard for traps and damaging area of effect spells, to take no damage on a successful save.

Energy Resistance
In the same manner that DR stops incoming physical damage, energy resistance stops incoming elemental energy. You can get it from spells, character abilities, and gear. Just like DR, it doesn’t usually stack, and the best value is the one that is used.

Energy Protection
The spell Protection From Elements acts as an ablative shield, negating incoming damage until it is used up. It does not stack with resistance, and is applied first. If you have 35 points of protection left, 10 points of resistance, and are hit with multiple scorching rays for 20 points each, what happens is:
The first ray is absorbed by protection, leaving you with 15 points of protection.
The second ray is partially protected, leaving 5 points that bounces off of your 10 resistance.
The third ray is partially resisted, letting 10 points through to you.
***Note*** This is how things are supposed to work, but there was a bug that caused any damage that got past the past of somebody’s protection from being resisted. I don’t know if it’s been fixed yet.

The Fire Shield spell and a few pieces of equipment provide abosrption. This is a percentage that any damage getting past protection and reistance is reduced by. If you had 20% absorption when that last scorching ray hit you, you’d only take 8 points of damage, as 20% of it (.2*10 =2) was absorbed.

Just like physical DR, the numbers floating over your target will change color based on its resistances:

Red numbers are full damage, keep it up.
Yellow numbers are being partially stopped somehow, you may want to try switching to a different spell.
White numbers have been fully resisted. Really, try something else.
Green numbers mean you’re playing healer for the enemy. Don’t do this.
Purple numbers mean you’re using something your target is weak against. Keep doing it.

Doing Things That Aren’t So Hostile

In addition to combat abilities, characters have access to skills, which let them do things ranging from leaping over things to talking the merchants into giving them better deals.

Each class has a list of skills that they are proficient in, everything else is considered “cross class” and is harder for them to learn. You’ll get a certain number of skill points at each level, based off class, with bonus points for having a high intelligence or being human. At first level you get 4 times the skill points. Skills are allowed up to a maximum of your total level+3, and half that for a cross-class skill (so a level 12 character could have his skills up to 15, or 7.5 for cross class). Regular skills cost you one skill point to raise one rank, cross class will raise a half rank for one skill point. If you have a multiclassed character, you can raise skills up to maximum, but the class you take each level in decides how much you get for your skill points.

Example: Bob the Fighter 3/Ranger 3 decides he wants to be able to see things coming for him, and buy some ranks in spot. When he reaches level 7, he takes a level of fighter. He can raise his spot skill to 10 (level 7+3), but he’s going to have to pay a skill point per half rank in it, since spot is cross-class for fighters. If he took ranger instead, he’d still have a maximum value of 10, but he could buy it at a rate of one rank per skill point, since spot is a class skill for rangers.

DDOWiki has a good summary of skills

Balance – get back up quickly
Bluff – allows you to sneak attack something that is angry at you. Rarely bought due to a long animation time.
Concentration – keeps you from getting distracted when casting in combat
Diplomacy – talks things out of hitting you and into hitting your friends
Disable Device – shut down a trap
Haggle – get better prices when buying/selling
Heal – allows everyone but warforged to get more HP at a shrine
Hide – exactly what it sounds like
Intimidate – makes things attack you
Jump – Boingy! Boingy! Boingy!
Listen – allows you to hear stealthed enemies when they move
Move Silently – keeps enemies from hearing you when you’re stealthed
Open Lock – gets you into places you should not be
Perform – for Bards, determines the DCs on their fascinate ability and which songs they can learn
Repair – allows warforged to get more HP at a shrine
Search – find secret doors and traps
Spot – see enemies that re trying to hide you, get warning traps and secret doors are around
Swim – swim faster and hold your breath longer
Tumble – take less damage from falling, and roll around like a cannonball (backflips if you get high enough)
Use Magic Device – use magical items you wouldn’t otherwise be able to use, such as wand or race-restricted weapons

Wait, You Want To Do What?

Staying on your feet
The balance feat is highly recommended for front line combat types. Its claim to fame is that balance governs how fast you get up after you get tripped, which happens pretty often whenever there are dogs or wolves around.

Being Sneaky:
TO engage in stealth effectively, you need both of the stealth skills and some way to see anything that’s trying to do the same to you. The standards are:
Move Silently
You need both hide and move silently, as critters can both see and hear you. Spot lets you see where any stealthed sentries are, so you don’t bump into them and find yourself surrounded by things that don’t like surprise visits.
For some really good information, see Part IV of SableShadow’s Rogue Guide

Play with the enemies minds:
Intimidate and Diplomacy – these let you move enemies around.
Intimidate is a pull, getting things to come straight for you. You need some way to handle it – high AC, damage reduction, or some sort of nastiness to drag them through.
Diplomacy is a push, getting things to stop chasing you and move to the next most hated person on their list. It’s not a guaranteed 6 seconds of joy on your part, since if you injure them, they’ll be more than happy to go back to chewing on you.
Bluff lets you convince something to turn around so you can stab it in the back. Unless you take the Improved Feint feat, this is a long animation when you use it. Most people don’t invest in this skill for that reason, but some like the fact that it gives them a few seconds of confusion when things aren’t hitting them.

Remove all those nasty traps:
Spot, Search, and Disable Device. Spot gives you an alert that there is a trap nearby, search lets you find the trap, and disable device lets you shut it down once you find the box. Be sure to keep your equipment up to date when doing this – if you fail a trap roll by 5 or more, the trap box blows up and you can’t try again. Veteran players often have trap locations memorized, and don’t take the spot skill.
Sableshadow comes through again with a compendium entry about trapsmithing.

Bounce over things’ heads and get into interesting places:
The jump skill is great for mobility, allowing you to simply go over things you can’t get around. It has a hard cap of 40 – this was put in so that dungeon designers knew the upper limits of people’s reach. Monks have an ability called Abundant Step, mimicked by Favored Souls’ Leap of Faith, both of which allow you to get a short boost in speed through a jump. These are awesome for people who want that extra edge while exploring Stormreach.

Casting in battle or amassing large amounts of ki:
This is the Concnetration skill. Spellcasters need it to avoid losing a spell when damaged during casting. The higher your concentration, the more damage you need to take at once to get interrupted. Monks use the concentration skill to determine how much ki they can hold onto. Your concentration skill determines how large your stable ki pool is, and how fast it dissipates when you have more than that.

Making Friends So You Have A Reason For Those Ranks In Diplomacy

Can You Hear Me Now?
One pretty major thing first. Voice chat is more or less a must. Go to your options panel and turn it on. You don’t have to talk, but most people will expect you to listen.

Signing Up WIth The Ravaging Horde
Okay, so now that you’re adept at causing chaos and destruction wherever you go, you’d like to find some other people to do it with. This is where the Social Panel comes in.
Press ctrl+G, go ahead. Or click the . Whichever.

You’re going to be tempted to click on that “looking for party” checkbox down at the bottom. Don’t. Just don’t. All you’re going to get is an ugly hat.
This window will display all the groups looking for new members, what classes they’re looking for, and what levels they’re looking for. Anything you don’t qualify for will be shaded.
Many of the people new to Stormreach will assume they shouldn’t “drag down a group” with their “noobness”. Don’t worry about it too much.
If you are, against all advice, really worried about it, click on a group and then push the “tell” button, which will let you send a private message to the leader. Ask him if they’re willing to help a new player.
You may want to avoid groups that have things like “zerg”, “fast run”, or “Know the quest” in them, as they will be less tolerant of people that can’t run the quest blindfolded.
Otherwise select a group and click “join”, then wait for the leader to accept or decline your request.
Alternately, you can click “Create Party”, and you too will be one of the proud star-bearers, with the ego stroking that only comes with having someone else ask if they can run around with you.
Impaqt’s New Player Guide has more socialising and etiquette tips in it. Plus lots of other handy stuff.

Talking To People

These are your major way to talk to people.
You can click a tab to switch to that display, or drag a tab off to make a new window.
Right-clicking on a tab lets you fiddle with its settings, such as what text streams it will display.
You can also create new tabs by right-clicking.
Pressing enter or / (the start to command strings) will jump you to a text input line, redirecting your keyboard input (not a good idea in a fight).

Most servers have a help channel:
/joinchannel help will join it
/1 will let you send chat on it.
If you’ve already used the joinchannel command, you can end up subscribed to up to 4 user channels. They will all have a number associated with them, so /1,/2,/3,/4 will send text to the associated channel. “help” may not end up being your #1 channel

Some handy chat commands:
/t (name) Tell someone something privately
/p Party chat, displays for all memebers of your party
/g Guild chat. This will display for all members of your guild.
/friend add (name) adds someone to your friends list
/friend remove (name) removes someone from your frinds list
/squelch add (name) adds someone to your squelch list. You won’t see anything they type
/squelch remove (name) removes someone from the squelch list
/invite (name) invites someone to your party, assuming you are the leader.
/help will give you a list of commands

If you have a microphone, good for you. A few requests from people who don’t want to hear your entire life:
Push to talk is your friend. We don’t need to hear everything that’s going on around you.
Headphones or a good directional mic – latency is high enough that we don’t get feedback, but we do get echoes. Try to fiddle around with things until this stops happening.

Finding Your Way To The Quest
When you know the name of the quest you’re doing, you can look it up in your adventure compendium (P or ).

You can sort this list by name, level, patron, and how hard a setting you’ve completed it on.
Hovering over an advenure will tell you the name of the adventure, the name of the quest (basically the name of the dungeon you’re entering), and the name of the questgiver. You may recognize a name, or be able to find it on your map. Don’t be afraid to ask, and asking for a specific character means you at least tried. Endless repetitions of “where’s the quest giver?” get old fast.
Once you have a quest started, information on it can be found in your quest log (ctrl+Q or )
It will automatically display the most recently updated quest. Otherwise, quests are broken up by area, listed on the left. Once you select an area, they’ll be listed alphabetically on the right. Reading the descriptions will usually give you some idea of what you need to do, as will actually reading the text from the quest givers. Yes, that’s italicized for emphasis, because not enought people do that.

You may also want to use your map.

1: The name of the area you’re in. If there are enough people, there will be multiple instances of that area, differentiated by a number in front of the area name.
2: Clicking on this arrow will open a list of various instances, so you can jump to wherever your other party members or friends are.
3: This will get you a larger map. Or you can press M. Or hit that thingy.
There are multiple icons that can show up on a map. Hovering your mouse cursor over them will give you more information.
The big ones for quest purposes are:
Chalices (think the quest log icon ) – these are quest givers
Red rectangles – these are quests you aren’t started on and cannot enter, unless you “piggyback” on someone in the party who does have it.
Green rectangles – these are quests you are currently cleared to enter.

Your party members will show up as blue dots, or blue arrows in the case that they’re outside the area currently shown on your map. Clicking on one of the blue dots will put a white bracket around it, and the arrow towards it will trun white as well. This can be pretty handy for following a single person in a swarm of party members.

Keeping Track of Quest Objectives
When you’re in a quest, one of these will show up:

1: Name of the quest.
2: Visibility button. Clicking this cycles the window through a couple of different modes.
3: Quest objectives will show up here. Do them, ????, profit.
4: Click on the XP button to get a detailed listing of the experience points you’re going to get for doing the quest.
5: The Recall button will teleport you out of the dungeon. It takes considerable time and can be interrupted. Once the quest is completed, it will change to “Finished”.

Phat Lootz

Okay, you’ve managed to finish a quest, and you have been rewarded. You’re rich! Now you need to stretch your money as afar as possible, and get the best return you can on selling things.
If you really want to get an edge on the amrket, see Impaqt’s newbie guide for some more serious business advice.

All the various merchants love a good haggle, and can often be talked into giving you better prices, both buying and selling. Even if you don’t have any ranks in the haglle skill, having a haggle item can save you a few percent here and there, which will add up. Hold on to the best haggle item you can, and put any other “plain” (no other enchantments) haggle items on the auction house, as you’ll usually get more than you’d get from a broker for them.

Some things that bump your haggle skill:
haggle items
Charisma – either items or the Eagle’s Splendor spell
Heroism, Greater Heroism, Good Hope spells – these don’t stack
Luck Bonus – a few items give a luck bonus to skills
Inspire Competence bard song
rogue/ranger/human skill boost enhancement

Reputation Quests
A few quests grant a bonus at an associated set of vendors. Complete these and you get a discount.
Some of the early ones are:
Harbor – The Lost Seekers (aka Waterworks)
Marketplace – The Seal of Shan To Kor (aka STK)
The DDOWiki haggle entry has a complete list

Some of the merchants are specialised, dealing only in one type of item. They buy at better prices for than the general merchants, but only for a the types of items they deal in.
Weapons 3-17,000 gp: Marketplace
Weapons 17,0001 and up: Fare Trades in House Deneith
Armor 3-8,000 gp: Marketplace
Armor 8,001 and up: Second Gauntlet Goods in House Kundarak
Clothing and Jewelry: Marketplace

The Lowbie Shopping List:

This is meant as a list of the things you should keep, or try to get a hold of early in your career. There are some slight spoilers in here.

Underwater Action item – you don’t swim often, but at times these are literally lifesavers
Proof Against Poison – usually min level 5, they sometimes show up as bound items from waterworks. Poison is pretty common all through the game
Disease Immunity – these start showing up right at level one. Your first mummy (complete with mummy rot) is going to be around level 5
Good aligned weapon – holy, pure good, or flametouched iron. You’ll want this for The Delera’s quest string
Fire/Acid weapon or spell – try to use one of these whenever smacking trolls around, as it hurts their regeneration
Blunt weapon – for skeletons. They’re enough of a pain without having your damage reduced
Slashing wepaon – these go through zombie DR
Ghost touch – incorporeal enemies aren’t common until later, but it’s always nice to be able to actually hit them when they do show up. I like ghost touch of righteousness weapons (good bump to hit), the community at large prizes ghost otuch of pure good (more damage).
Mnemonic pots – if you don’t cast spells, give these to people who do. They are greatly appreciatred, to the point where Major Mnemonics are sometimes used as a currency.
Haggle item – Expensive on the auction house, just hold onto the best one you’ve picked up. Those few percents on prices add up pretty quickly.

Potions/wands/clickies (aka the basic first aid kit):
These can be expensive for a starting character, but try to get a handful of each.
Remove Curse – kobold shamans love this, and it doesn’t go away at a rest shrine.
Remove Blindness – the first time I got hit with this, I thought I’d fried my graphics card. Blindness just plain sucks.
Remove Fear – currently unuseable if you are feared, but this cures fear in everyone around you.
Poison Neutralization – not only stops a current batch of poison, but makes you immune for a few minutes.
Remove Disease – disease doesn’t happen terribly often, but it can easily leave you incapacitated or even dead. Better safe than sorry.
Cure light/moderate/serious – I shouldn’t have to tell you this. Lower level pots are slower, but much much cheaper. Get more than a handful.


Some pieces of scenery may have a nice sparkly effect, or a creature may drop a purple bag. If you doubleclick, or target and press the “U”se key, you will pick up a collectible. They can be turned in to various NPC collectors in exchange for some sort of reward. This is pretty regularly a potion or a piece of equipement. Doing these turn ins can get you lots of saleable items, as well as a few things that will save you money. If you want more space than your small collectables bag gives you (you did talk to the dwarf when you got off the boat, right?), medium collectable bags are available at some of the general vendors for about 90,000 gold.

There are three categories of these that stand out:

Crafting Ingredients
Most rafting is currently tied to raids, but there are a few things that can be done by anyone at the Stone of Change in the marketplace.
Pretty much all of these will sell okay on the auctionhouse, and some will sell extremely well.

funerary tokens
string of prayer beads
vial of pure water
silver flame hymnals
tome: prophecies of khyber
luminescent dust
fragrant drowshoods
sparkling dust
deadly feverblanch
lightning split soarwood

Many of the mushrooms, plants, and bugs you find can be turned in for medicinal potions.
Some of these give you special items, that mimic another effect with a different name. I listed by the generic equivalent here.

sweet whitecaps – cure light or repair light
deadly feverblanch – remove disease
withered cryptmoss – cure/repair moderate
cryptmoss – cure moderate
cryptmioss worm larva – cure/repair moderate
duskbrood trumpeter – cure/repair serious
sour darkcap – cure/repair moderate
fragrant drowshood – chance for a cure serious
Bruised Spore Pod – cure/repair serious
intact spore pod – cure serious
lily petal – cure moderate
woodblossom nectar – remove blindness
crimson nightshade – remove curse
These last three are (lily, nectar, nightshade) are all available from bushes in the Tangleroot Gorge area. Once you can run around in here without fear, they can help keep you supplied. When running the Assault on Splinterskull quest chain, be sure to grab the bush behind the quest giver every time you talk to him again.

pheonix tavern purchase order – chance at cure/reapir moderate scroll
‘Wavecrasher’ cargo manifest – chance of cure moderate wounds wand
runic parchment – chance of cure serious scroll
house sealed letter – chance of cure serious wand

Critter Hate
When creatures drop collectibles, the returns are usually weapons of some sort. The top tier collectible, the one that the collector wants one of, will usually give you a stack of 20 pieces of bane (+2 to hit/damage and 2d6 extra damage versus a creature type) for that type of creature. On rare occasions they give out melee weapons of lesser bane (+1 to hit/damage, 1d6 extra). These can get you a decent kobold or hobgoblin beater early in game.


Some items have a small number in the lower right hand corner of their icon, and their description will say that they contain charges of a spell. These are called clickies, since you can click on them to fire off that spell, regardless of class (although barbarians can’t use them while raged). These can stretch out your capabilities, making your character more survivable and cheaper to run.
To use a clicky, put it into your hotbar and click on it. Be aware that if it’s not equipped, the first click will equip it, and the second one will activate it. Be sure to re-equip whatever it bumped out afterwards.

For a good in-depth post on clickable effects, see Aranticus’s Clickies, the Route to Self Sufficiency.

As a rule of thumb, most offensive spells are not going to be worth casting from clickies, as the saves on them are going to be poor.
Curative spells, such as remove curse/blindness/disease or neutralize poison, are very worth holding on to. They can save you tons of gold you would have spent on the equivalent potions. They also let you play backup medic, letting you lessen demands on the cleric’s SP bar.
Spells that are usually caster only can sometimes work in your favor. This can be the only way some characters ever see the shield spell, which is extremely nice on two weapon or two handed fighting builds.

XP and What To Do With It

One of DDO’s strongest points is the deep character customization. Not only can you change aspects of your class through the enhancement system, you can mix and match classes to get a acharacter that does what you want it to.

General leveling mechanism in DDO:
Gain XP, which earns you ranks
The first four ranks you gain in any level net you Action Points (AP), which can be spent on enhancements
The fifth rank earns you another level
Rinse, Repeat


Every five ranks, you will earn a chance to level. This makes your character more powerful, increasing things like saves, base attack bonus, skills, hitpoints and spell points. You may also develop new abilities, or gain new spells.

To gain a new level, go to a trainer for the class that you want to gain that level in. There are full sets of trainers in Korthos, the Harbor, and the Marketplace. They’ll walk you through leveling, letting you buy new skill ranks, as well as feats or spells if you’re getting one that level.

Things everyone gets at (most) level(s):
More hitpoints. These run from 4 (sorc/wiz) to 12 (barbarian).
Skillpoints. You get a number of these based off of class (rogues get 8, everyone else gets less) and your “permanent” intelligence score (this is your base + any tomes you may have eaten, but not gear or enhancements)
Better saves. The class charts will show you when these go up.
Feats. All characters get a feat at levels 1,3,6,9,12,15 & 18. Some classes get “bonus feats” at certain levels.

When you level, you can take it in any character class you want. This is called multiclassing. Simply go to the trainer for the appropriate class and they’ll hook you up.
There are a few restrictions, however:
You can only have (three) classes at any one time.
Alignments must match: Monks must be lawful, bards and barbarians must not be lawful, paladins must be lawful good.

You will receive skills, spells, hitpoints, bonus feats and special abilities based off of whatever class you are taking for your next level.


Enhancements let you tweak what your character can do, making things work better, or maybe even getting you entirely new abilities.
You get 4 Action points (AP) over the course of a level, which can be spent at a trainer to gain enhancements.
Some enhancements are only available after you have met certain prerequisites, such as a feat, another enhancment, obtaining a certain level, or spending so many AP total.

You will always be able to purchase available to your race at your total level.
You will only be able to purchase abiliteis available to your classes at the level you have in those classes.
For example:
Our fighter 3/ rogue 4 character above is human. He can purchase:
Fighter Armor Mastery I (available to level 3 fighter)
Rogue Skill Boost II (available to level 4 rogue)
Human Improved Recovery II (available to level 6 human)
But not:
Fighter Strength II (available to level 6 fighter)
Rogue Skill Boost III (available to level 7 rogue)


At every level you will get at least one skill point. These can be spent to increas your ranks in various skills.
Each class has a list of skills that are considered “class” skills, all other skills are considered “cross class” skills.
When purchasing skills, class skills are bought at a rate of one rank per skill point spent on them. Cross class skills only get a half a rank for each point spent.
The maximum ranks you can learn in a skill are determined by your total character level+3 for “class skills”, and half that for “cross class skills”.
For example, a level 6 character can have up to 9 skill ranks in class skills, and 4.5 in cross class skills. Half ranks don’t count, as skill numbers are rounded down.

You will get skillpoints based off of whatever class you are currently leveling. A fighter/rogue gaining a fighter level will only get (2+int modifier) skill points, not (8+int modifier).
When you spend these skillpoints, the price of a rank will be determined by the class you’re gaining a level in as well. That fighter/rogue above can buy ranks in Intimidate, Jump, Repair, and Swim (fighter class skills) for 1 point each, but he has to spend 2 points to get a full rank in disable device, even though has a rogue level.
Any class you have a level in allows you to buy ranks in its class skill list up to maximum, even if it’s not the one you’re leveling at the moment (those skils may still cost a point per half rank, however)

Say that fighter/rogue has 2 fighter levels, and 4 rogue levels, and he’s gaining a new fighter level. He has 6 total levels, and is going to take his 7th as a fighter, making him a ftr3/rogue4.
He can buy any skill on the skill lists for fighter or rogue up to 10 (his total character level +3)
Things on the fighter list will be bought at a cost of 1 point per rank, to a maximum of 10.
Things on the rogue skill list (and not on the fighter) can be bought at a cost of 1 point per 1/2 rank, to a maximum of 10.
Things on neither list (such as the heal skill) can be bought at a cost of 1 point per half rank, to a maximum of 5 ((7+3)/2)

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