Information for Yithians
What's the first thing I need to know about playing a Yithian?
Yithians are, without question, the most difficult characters to play on CthulhuMUD. If you decide to play one, you will undoubtedly find it very challenging and, quite often, very frustrating. We STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT play a Yithian character if you are new to CthulhuMUD. If you're looking to jump into the game and start playing and leveling as soon as possible, you will be sorely disappointed by playing a Yithian. Yithian characters often require much more time and effort to develop than the other races, so if the prospect of doing that does not appeal to you, play a different race.
Really? You're kidding, right?
No, we're not. Don't make a Yithian character unless you're looking for a difficult and unique gaming challenge. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Okay. Well, what exactly is a Yithian?
Also known as the Great Race of Yith, Yithians are an advanced race of aliens who have mastered traveling through both space and time. They are dedicated to gathering as much knowledge as possible, and they explore the galaxy in search of additional information that can be added to the Great Library, traveling to the past and future as easily as they travel from planet to planet. It is believed that the Yithians first came to Earth many eons ago, going back in time to escape some disaster in the future, which would make them the first sentient race to dwell upon the planet. Physically, Yithians have cone-shaped bodies with a single fleshy orb at the top of the cone. They have four long tentacles, two of which end in sharp claws, one which ends in a trumpet-like bell, and one which ends in a sensory orb. However, Yithians also have the ability to transfer their minds into other races and take over their bodies.
Cone-shaped aliens with tentacles, eh?
What's up with the transferring minds thing?
Compared to the other races, Yithians are incredibly weak. If you attempt to go out exploring in your own body during your early levels, you will most likely die quickly and repeatedly. As a result, you will spend a lot of time possessing NPC's and using their bodies to explore and level.
To possess an NPC, use the MINDTRANSFER command. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to possess an NPC that is higher-level than you, so focus your efforts on possessing NPC's that are equal to or below your current level. If you attempt to possess a higher-level NPC and fail, the NPC will become aggressive and attack you. There is both a mana cost and a movement cost to possessing an NPC, which is equal to ten times the NPC's level. To return to your own body, use the RETURN command.
Does that mean the NPC becomes my pet?
No, it means that you become the NPC. You will control its body completely. As you move around the world, people will not see you (the Yithian); they will only see the face of the NPC you have possessed. You will have access to all of the NPC's skills, including languages, combat skills, and magical skills. This gives you access to skills and abilities that other characters may not be able to acquire, usually at levels far earlier than most characters can get them.
What happens to my original body? You know, the cone thing?
Unfortunately, nobody's mind is powerful enough to control two bodies, which means that you stop controlling your Yithian body when you possess another body. So, when you possess an NPC, your Yithian body remains in the same place where you performed the mindtransfer. It won't move or wander around. It'll just stand there.
What if something happens to my Yithian body while I'm not in it?
When your mind is occupying another vessel, you receive no sensory information from your Yithian body. Somebody could walk into the room and start chatting away with your body, but you won't know about it. (In fact, it might take the other person a while to figure out that he's talking to an empty body.) Or someone could steal your equipment. Or tie your tentacles in a knot. Or paint your cone a different color. Or even kill you. Anything of these things could happen to your original body while you're not in it and you wouldn't know about it until you return to it. Therefore, it's a good idea to only perform mindtransfers in safe locations.
So, I use other bodies instead of my own weak Yithain body?
Okay. What happens when I kill something/someone while possessing an NPC?
The experience gain from killing an NPC is divided equally between your Yithian body and the body you are currently possessing. As a result, you're essentially leveling for two, and it takes about twice as long for your Yithian body to gain a level as it does for everybody else. In some ways, it's like playing two characters at once. Your vessel body will level up just like your Yithian body does, and you can increase its skills just like a regular character. However, it can be a bit annoying watching everyone else level twice as fast as your character. Like we said, playing a Yithian can be frustrating at times.
Can I use equipment while possessing an NPC?
Absolutely. As long as your vessel meets the size and level conditions on an item, it can use whatever you give it to use. Just be careful about giving your vessels really expensive or fancy equipment, because when it dies....
What happens when an NPC that I'm possessing dies?
Well, the first thing that happens is that your mind automatically returns to your Yithian body.
Secondly, the good news. After passing newbie level, all characters lose a certain amount of experience when they die. But if you're possessing an NPC when it dies, the amount of experience that you lose is far less than what other races lose.
Finally, the bad news. Since the body you are possessing is an NPC, it won't be transferred to the area's MORGUE room. Instead, it will stay in the same room where it died. In addition, it's not safe from looting, so anybody who comes across it can take all the items from the corpse and sacrifice it while you're still trying to possess another NPC. In other words, objects that your vessel is carrying stay with the vessel's corpse when it dies, they do not return to your Yithian body along with your mind. So only give your vessels equipment that can be easily replaced, because it can be very difficult (or flat-out impossible) to recover your equipment from the corpse of a dead NPC half-way across the world.
What about quests? Are the rewards also divided up between the two bodies?
Some quests reward you with an experience bonus when you complete them. This type of experience gain is different from the experience you gain by killing a monster, so it is not divided. All of the experience is transferred to your Yithian body.
Some quests may place a deed on you, either during the quest, at the end of the quest, or both. Deeds are transferred to your Yithian body, so there is no need to perform the same quest multiple times.
How do I acquire and improve my skills if I'm always in someone else's body?
In addition to the multiple methods of skill acquisition and improvement that are available to all characters, Yithians also have several additional options. In fact, most Yithian characters possess many more skills at a much earlier level than other characters. It's a balancing mechanism designed to make up for the inherit weaknesses of the race.
First, you can choose to improve your skills just like everybody else. While in your Yithian body, go to a teacher and use either PRACTICE or LEARN to raise your skills.
Secondly, while possessing an NPC, you can use the YITH ADAPT command to raise the skills of your Yithian body.
Thirdly, you can utilize a Yithian focus crystal to leech skills from other people, thereby raising your own skills.
How does the YITH ADAPT command work?
While you are possessing an NPC, you can still use your Yithian body's practices to raise the skills in your natural body. Typing in YITH ADAPT will display a list of the NPC's skills that can be transferred to your Yithian body. If you see a skill that you want your Yithian body to have or to improve, type in YITH ADAPT <skill> <count>. The <count> option can be used to save time, allowing you to spend multiple practices in a single learning session. (Remember, the practices you're spending are coming from your Yithian body, not the NPC.) The YITH ADAPT skill works from any location. The NPC and the Yithian do NOT have to be in the same room.
As mentioned earlier, you will often need to use the bodies of NPCs to do your fighting. Since your experience gains are divided between the NPC body and your Yithian body, the NPC body will occasionally level up, thereby earning practices that can be spent on improving skills. If you wish, you can use those practices to improve the skills of your NPC. As you will see shortly, the Teach skill is very important to getting the most out of the YITH ADAPT command. So if your NPC vessel has some skills you want and has earned some practices, spend those practices on improving the NPC's Teach skill, which will increase the number of skills you can learn from the NPC.
Example: You possess the body of Chuckles the Circus Freak. After killing numerous monsters, your Yithian body gains a level, and now has 3 practices to spend. You type in YITH ADAPT and see that Chuckles has the Juggling skill. For some strange reason, you decide that you want your Yithian body to have the Juggling skill. So, you type in YITH ADAPT JUGGLING. Now your Yithian body has some points in the Juggling skill! Suffering from some terrible brain fever, you decide to also spend the last 2 practices on Juggling. So, you enter YITH ADAPT JUGGLING 2. Now Chuckles is out of practices, and your Yithian body can attempt to juggle with its tentacles. Good luck with that.
So I can just suck up any skill that an NPC has?
No. The ability to adapt a skill from an NPC is modified by several factors. First of all, when you use the YITH ADAPT command, the ratings listed next to the skills are the average value of the NPC's rating in that skill, and your Yithian body's rating in that skill. Therefore, if Chuckles the Circus Freak has rating of 60 in Juggling, and your Yithian body has a rating of 0 in Juggling, then the base rating on the YITH ADAPT list will be 30.
Secondly, that base rating of 30 is then modified by the average rating of the Teach skill between Chuckles and the Yithian body. (In this case, the Teach skill represents the ability of Chuckles to teach the skill to your Yithian body.) If the average rating of the Teach skill between the two bodies is low, then it will decrease the base rating of the Juggling skill. Conversely, if both Chuckles and the Yithian have high ratings in Teach, then the base rating of the Juggling skill will rise, making it easier to learn.
After these modifications, only those skills that have a final rating over 25 will be available on the YITH ADAPT list. If you're possessing an NPC and some of its skills are not showing up on the YITH ADAPT list, then either your Yithian body, the NPC, or both needs a higher Teach skill before you can adapt it.
Uhh... Could you summarize all that?
Sure! The Teach skill is an integral component of successfully utilizing the benefits of the YITH ADAPT command. When both the NPC and the Yithian have high ratings in the Teach skill, you will have access more of the NPC's skills and have a better chance of learning them. In the beginning, it will take you some time to develop your Yithian's Teach skill. Therefore, your best chances of using the YITH ADAPT command will come by possessing mobs that have a high Teach skill of their own (such as teachers, professors, and instructors) to balance out your low rating in the Teach skill. However, most NPCs in the game do not have the Teach skill. As a result, you will need to increase your Yithian's Teach skill over time so you can then flip the tables and balance out the lack of a Teach skill in most upper-level NPCs.
What are Yithian focus crystals?
They are objects designed to give Yithians yet another method of acquiring and/or raising their skills. When held, the crystals leech skills from other characters, both NPCs and players, who are in the same room. They absorb more of a skill when that skill is actually used in their presence, but they are also capable of absorbing latent skills. It is entirely possible for a focus crystal to absorb skills while you are simply standing in a room talking to somebody. You can see what skills are in a crystal by using the LORE command (you will need the Lore skill for this). When you USE the crystal, a random number of the skills in your crystal will be transferred to your character. If your character does not currently have the skill, you will gain it. If you already have the skill, it will be increased. Remember, there is a random element involved with the crystals, so you will not necessarily gain every skill in the crystal. However, you have a better chance of gaining the skill as its level within the crystal rises.
Why do other people constantly ask me to get them a focus crystal?
Yithian focus crystals were designed for Yithian characters. Other races who attempt to use them suffer from significant penalties when they make the attempt. While it is possible for a non-Yithian to gain a skill or two from using a crystal, it is highly unlikely. In fact, because of the way the crystals are designed, they are practically useless to low-level non-Yithians. Nonetheless, some people are stubborn enough to hold on to them and try to beat the odds, unable to grasp the fact that the crystals are intended to be used by Yithians. You can fetch a crystal for others if you want to, but they won't find them nearly as useful as you will.
These same racial conditions will also apply to you if you are possessing a non-Yithian NPC. If you try to use a crystal while possessing a non-Yithian NPC, your odds of successfully acquiring any skills from it are greatly reduced. (Not to mention the fact that the skills will be transferred to the NPC, not your Yithian body.) The best way to use a focus crystal through your early levels is to give it to your NPC, hold it while you're out exploring, then give it back to your Yithian body before trying to use it.
Okay. Anything else I should know about?
Another command you should be familiar with is the YITH ABDUCT command. This command is only available while you are possessing an NPC. This command automatically transports the NPC to the starting room in the Yithian library, enabling you to equip the NPC, steal its skills, or perform other Yithian actions on it in the relative safety the Yithian Library.
Does all this mean that I can never explore in my own body?
Absolutely not! As you advance through the levels, you will eventually reach a point where you will be able to survive in the outside world. (In fact, you don't have to wait for that point. You can go out in your own body whenever you want, but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily survive the trip.) Through the use of trains (to improve your low Strength and Constitution), increased knowledge of spells and skills, and other improvement techniques, you can go a along way toward overcoming your inherit Yithian weaknesses. The good side is, by hunting/killing in your own body, you no longer have to split your experience gain, so you're more likely to level faster. The bad side is that you will take the full penalty of experience loss when you die. So it's a higher-risk/higher-reward scenario.
Good luck, Yithian!