No announcement yet.

New Students Guide to LC

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New Students Guide to LC

    (I'm copying and updating this from the other forum, so expect it to be a work in progress for sometime)

    The New Student's Guide to Lovecraft Country: Arkham by Night

    This is a clearly inadequate and probably greatly lacking guide to help the new student at MU bypass some of the frustration that being a new player in LC often entails.


    The very first item this guide should (but won't really) cover is character creation. It's a lot more detailed than the 8 or so little windows you encountered when you first clicked the "create new character" link. Imbuing your character with a definite personality is far more important than whatever your starting skills are or your character's appearance. Although appearance coupled with personality goes a very long way to establishing your character. Important note: there is no formal review screen in character creation, so make sure you are happy with each step before progressing.

    It is perfectly alright to not know everything about your character when you first start with them. I didn't have the answer as to why Oliver was attending MU (other than Grandma sent him here and was paying for it) until I had been playing with him for about 8 months. And a lot of Oliver's defining characteristics weren't there from the start, but really evolved and blossomed in my first month of play. (He's still changing and growing up today.) Don't be afraid to let your character start out a bit vague and be formed by his environment. Ultimately it will make for a wonderful playing experience, seeing your little baby growing up before your eyes. (And really, in the long term, no one's really going to care that the first time they met you, you said your father was a glassblower, and now you're saying he was a carpenter, just as long as you're now consistently referring to dad as a carpenter.)

    One piece of advice I will add: spend some time doing your homework. If your character is Japanese, make sure you acquaint yourself with the history of Japan in the 20s and 30s. If s/he's British, make sure you know the slang. This game is set in Massachusetts during the late 1930s; wandering around town singing the latest Green Day song is going to get you some odd looks. If you haven't a clue what the 1930s were like (and I'll admit I don't), just realize you're playing a student in a world-class university and act accordingly. And remember, Wikipedia is your friend.
    Last edited by Oliver White; 06-09-2008, 12:00 PM.
    E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
    F is for Fear and its many devices;

  • #2
    Getting started - important commands

    Getting started - important commands

    So, you've just created a new character and have logged in for the very first time. You'll find yourself in your dorm room. Before wandering out in the world, it's best to take a moment or two and get acquainted with the parser and a number of useful commands. In no particular order, you'll want to become acquainted with:

    who - A list of characters that are currently online. Staff may or may not be listed, depending on whether they chose to make their presence known. Characters that are hiding or otherwise disguised may show up differently on this list.

    @people / @findable - The @people command indicates the location of all characters in a public location that have chosen to make their whereabouts known. The @findable command toggles whether you show up with @people or not (the default is to show your location).

    @middlename - By default, all characters start with their full name displayed: e.g., Oliver Kermit White. You can toggle your middle name by using @middlename or just @m. Most people prefer to hide their middle name, but the choice is up to you.

    @afk / @away - Both of these commands are used to indicate that you are not currently at your computer: @away changes your status in the game, while @afk is just a local announcement to the room that you are in.

    @allow / @consent - Skotos games utilize a consent system whenever someone tries to enter your personal space (that mystical zone extending somewhere between 1 and 3 feet from your body). The online help file, help consent, is a good resource for this. I personally have set my consent to allow everyone (@consent allow all), as it gets tedious having to allowing every action by a character or adding each character manually to your allow list.

    @remember / @recall / @forget - The memory system. @recall tells you what your character has @remembered, while @forget can be used to erase a particular memory. The online help file, help memory, does a good job explaining the system. There are a few pieces of important information in your memory that a new player should be aware of. It lists your background that you entered in the character creation step. Importantly, it lists which suite your dorm room is in. Very helpful if you've forgotten where you're staying (the suite names are listed on the doors in the hall).

    @grades - A popup window that lists all sorts of useful character academic information, including: all of your previous courses and whether you passed, the courses you are currently enrolled in, you academic status. More on this later.

    @skills - A listing of the skills your character knows. Starting out, you'll only have a handful: an extra skill, two knowledge skills, and two languages. Their levels will likely range between incidental (novice), to average or possibly good (or fluent). It doesn't matter too much what they start out at, as you'll have the opportunity later on to increase them and gain a lot more. (Besides, this game is about more about roleplaying and less about powering up your character. The skills are just there to enhance the experience.)

    @speak - Switch from English to another language your character knows, e.g., @speak Latin. You'll find that what you understand and can properly say will vary depending on the skill level you have in a given language.

    @ooc - allows you to communicate in an Out of Character manner. As a new player, feel free to use the @ooc command to ask other players for help; we're a friendly bunch; e.g., @ooc "How do I find my dorm room again?" Just take a moment or two before asking to figure out if you'll be interrupting something that looks important (and even if you do interrupt, we'll forgive you, if you're polite about it.)

    @assist - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team. Errrr, just file an @assist for the staff instead. If one is available, they can come to your aid and get you straightened out, e.g., @assist "Help! I'm a new player and somehow I've locked myself in this storage closet and can't find a way out." Be prepared though, a staff member may not be available and your problem may take some time to get sorted out.

    follow / elude - The follow command allows you to automatically follow any player of your choosing, e.g., follow Oliver. When you're tired of walking in the steps of greatness, you can follow someone else, or just follow nobody to turn it off. Conversely if Oliver is following you, and you want some privacy, you can elude Oliver. You can just type the command as it is, to see who you are following (follow) or who is following you (elude). A follow command will persist indefinitely until it is ended, and quite frequently characters will be dragged from rooms due to old follows. It's a good idea to get in the habit of checking if someone is following you from time to time and elude the old follows.

    One of the nice facets of the parser, is that it will attempt to complete partially entered commands. Thus if you type exa, the system will assume you meant examine. This comes in handy if you just enter @, as it will show you a list of all the system commands, which you can then experiment with on your own. You can use @adverb and @verb to get lists of all the adverbs and verbs that the game supports, or to just increase you vocabulary. (impress your friends and type appear flummoxed from time to time.)
    E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
    F is for Fear and its many devices;


    • #3
      Before you head out - things to know before leaving the dorm

      Before you head out - things to know before leaving the dorm

      Before heading out to explore, take a moment to:
      look at me (l me)
      examine me (exa me)
      inventory (i)
      Notice the differences between looking and examining. Every item in the game contains different levels of detail depending on whether you just casually look at it, or intently examine it. And depending on the item, having levels in certain skills may increase the amount of detail you can see.

      Clothing - If you followed the above instructions, when you looked and examined yourself (L or exa me), all of your items of clothing were shown. However, when you took an inventory (i), you were told that certain items were completely or partially covered by other clothes. When you look or examine another character, only those items that are not completely covered by other clothes will be shown. Getting dressed in LC is just like getting dressed in real life (except a lot more of a pain). Make sure you put your undergarments on before your outer wear, and that you put your coats on last. If you put your underwear on last, the whole world will know that you're improperly wearing your crepe knickers. (see @help clothing)

      Your money - Before you leave your room, take a look in your closet. You will find your purse or wallet in there, containing all of your money. Do not lose it! This is your starting cash and indeed the only money you will ever have unless your character finds a job, begs, steals or is gifted some, or you expend storypoints to 'buy' more. If you look or examine your wallet/purse while holding it, you will be informed of how much it contains. Getting money from your purse/wallet takes a bit of know-how: withdraw from wallet 'X.xx is the format you want to use, replacing X.xx with the dollar amount (be sure to use the single quote preceding the amount). Putting money back in your purse/wallet is a bit easier: deposit all my monies in my wallet. (see @help money)

      Your room - Your room is your room and no one else's. No one else can open the door. If you want to let anyone into your room, you'll have to open the door from the outside, allow them to enter first and then enter last (as the door automatically closes behind you). When you leave your room and can't find it again, just remember the suite information is stored in @recall. Anything in your room will stay there until you remove it. So feel free to drop all the stuff you find in town throughout your room. Stick the new clothes you buy in the dresser's drawers or the closet; put all those letters in the bookshelf; etc.

      Mailroom - The mailroom in the dorm is where you can send and receive mail. Look around and you'll eventually find it; it's one of the larger rooms in the dorm. Here you can get envelopes, paper, and packages (a nominal fee for the latter). (play around with the commands read, write, sign, address, @readall, @compose)
      Last edited by Oliver White; 06-09-2008, 09:50 AM.
      E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
      F is for Fear and its many devices;


      • #4
        Character Progression

        Character Progression

        There are a number of ways that character progression can be defined. We'll restrict the discussion to coded systems in this tutorial.

        Skills: everyone starts with some, most people want more. During character creation, you were given the opportunity to select 2 areas that you character excelled at in school, two languages that your character knew, and a hobby. If you type @skill, you'll be presented with a list of skills your character knows, sorted by extra skills, knowledge skills, and language skills. Skills range from non-existent to unsurpassed:
        0. Non-existent
        1. Incidental / Novice
        2. Poor / Poor
        3. Below Average / Below Average
        4. Average / Average
        5. Good / Fluent
        6. Considerable / Specialist
        7. Impressive / ??
        8. Superlative / ??
        9. Genius / ??
        10. Unsurpassed / ??
        Languages have a slightly different nomenclature for the various levels (e.g., incidental is replaced with novice). There are also partial levels that represent the level of training you've had--slight, some, considerable and advanced training.

        Initial skills range from incidental to average. There are many ways to increase the level of your skills as well as learn new skills. Some obvious means to increase your skills:
        • Enroll in classes each semester
        • Study a book in the library
        • Ask a professor or a classmate for a tutoring session

        Setting classes aside for a moment, and focusing on the other two methods. How do we actually study? We use the @study command. To study with another player who has offered to teach you something, the syntax is: @study skill with person. E.g., @study mathematics with Oliver. It's that simple! Even simpler is the fact that you don't have to remember this because the game will prompt you with the appropriate commands, when a person offers to teach you something. You can also study from a book: @study with my colorful book. A @study session takes 25 minutes to complete, and as long as you are in the same room with the teacher, you can move around, talk, walk to new proximities, and you'll keep on studying. At the end of the 25 minute period, you'll be informed that you sense you are now better at the skill (if you leveled up) or that you need more practice (if you failed your lesson and earned a partial level). Expect to take several lessons in a subject before you actually level up. You can @study once every 20 hour period, and if you level up in a skill you can't @study that particular skill again for 7 days. In order to return the favor and teach something to someone else, you'll need at least an incidental teaching skill, so why not ask someone to tutor you in that (or see if the library has a book that might help)? The syntax for teaching is near-identical to studying, e.g., @teach biology to Oliver. You can also @assess a person for their level in a certain skill, if you wish.

        The Academic System

        The first thing to know about the academic system in LC, is that you don't actually go to class. Attending class occurs during the daylight hours, which happen when you're logged off. So don't worry that you are apparently locked out of every classroom, because just a few short hours ago you were in there taking notes. You just don't remember it.

        However, just because your character goes to class when you're not around, doesn't mean he or she is going to pass their classes without additional help. The current system for passing a class works something this: You have a base chance to pass any class, you can increase this chance by studying the appropriate skill during the term. For many of the classes, the skill name is somewhat obvious, however for others it might be a bit tricky to figure out. To pass Math 101, you'll need to study mathematics during the term. At this point in time, staff do not wish to publish a full list of all the available skills in the game. Unfortunately, that means you'll have to figure out, on your own, what skill Engineering 101 imparts. Luckily, your fellow students have likely taken and passed most every course, so just ask someone if they'll tutor you in a course and they'll (hopefully) give you lessons in the appropriate skill.

        At the end of each semester, grades will be sent through the campus mail system. You will either pass (and gain a skill level or two) or fail (and generally grouse about the stupid system for a few days). You can use the @grades command to check which classes you have passed or failed. For reference, the semesters are as follows:
        Fall Session: Begins Sept 17th and ends December 20th.
        Spring Session: Begins January 7th and ends May 15th.
        Summer Session: Begins May 31st and ends August 15th

        After your character has been enrolled for 8 semesters (24 units), you are eligible to graduate with a bachelor's degree. A button or link will appear in the @grades pop-up. By clicking it, you instantly graduate MU with a BS or a BA. The instant part is key, because if you click it during the middle of a semester, you will instantly be kicked out of school, without getting credit for those classes. You can stay in school as long as you want, with no penalty (other than missing out on the post-graduation job benefits, as well as graduate classes), or you can leave school at any time (even before you get your degree). After graduating with a Bachelor's, you you are eligible to enroll as a Master's student (12 units) and subsequent to that, as a doctoral student (12 additional units). Once you have graduated with your Ph.D., you're done with school.

        To enroll in new classes each term, be sure to visit the registrar's office in Edwards and fill out the appropriate form. (see @help topics on Graduating, Enrolling, Dropping Out, Suspension/Expulsion)

        Gainful Employment

        You need more money? Then you need a job. The job system is accessed primarily through the @career command window. It lists all available jobs in the game, highlighting those you are eligible for, and explains how one goes about applying for the job. Some jobs are RP'd jobs and those typically involve some IG duties (and higher pay, possibility for advancement); some are strictly bluebooked (lower pay, slower advancement). Social advancement (from undergraduate to upperclassman to a graduate student and finally a townie with a various degree) opens up new job possibilities. (see @help topics on Careers, Social Ranks)
        Last edited by SPXios; 05-22-2013, 05:56 PM.
        E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
        F is for Fear and its many devices;


        • #5
          The Orne Library - Mind the Ghosts

          The Orne Library - Mind the Ghosts

          A lengthy primer on how to use the Orne Library can be found here:

          It covers aspects of finding books and then studying them.
          E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
          F is for Fear and its many devices;


          • #6
            The Town - Everything's locked!

            The Town - Everything's locked!

            If you go wandering around town on your own, you'll find that most everything seems to be locked. It's not because all the shop keepers decided en mass to deny you entrance. Rather, it just turns out that in these hard times, very few shops stay open late to cater to the student population. This can get frustrating, trying to figure out where everything is and what there is to do around town. The key locations you should know about
            • the Library, which is east of the men's dorm on campus
            • Axton fieldhouse, which is just west of main campus across Coolidge. It houses the pool (in the basement), and a whole lot of exercise equipment on the first two floors. School dances and parties are often held on the ground floor.
            • the Garden Cafe, which is south of the men's dorm, and
            • Church street, which is just north of campus, as many of the open shops are along Church street.

            There are a lot more places to get acquainted with, but this is a good start. Use the @people command to see where everyone's at. It's a good way to discover places you might not have known existed (everyone's in a red rowboat, what does that mean?)

            As Arkham can be at times difficult to navigate, I have prepared a map listing the various establishments that are generally open at night. It can be found here:

            (This map will be periodically updated as new locations are opened.)
            E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
            F is for Fear and its many devices;


            • #7
              Shopping - Oops, I left my wallet in my room

              Shopping - Oops, I left my wallet in my room

              Currently there are a number of stores in town which are more than willing to help you part with your parent's hard-earned money, including several restaurants, a general store, a toy store, a beauty parlor and many others. The first rule of shopping is always have money in hand. The employees won't give you the time of day unless you show them that you have enough money to pay for whatever is you want to buy, but they won't tell you how much something costs until they show you the item, which they won't do unless they see that you have enough cash (see the mess you can get in?). Luckily, several stores have price lists or menus.

              So you've found a place that looks like a shop, how do you know what they sell? Just ask. E.g., ask worker, ask Rider, etc. If they do have items to sell, they'll list them. Then to buy something specific ask for that item. Eg., ask worker for orange juice, ask rider for satchel. If you're holding enough money, they will then offer you the item, and you can then accept from worker or refuse worker. Sometimes what you want is specific, say a black pair of wool slacks. All the system will tell you is that Jericho offers you his slacks to you, which isn't helpful at all. Here's where a few shopping tricks come into play:
              • typing accept by itself will list, in a more detailed fashion, what is being offered to you.
              • you can ask for an item repeatedly before refusing or accepting. Up to six asks, and you are presented with a complete list of items (beyond six it becomes abbreviated: Jericho offers his seven slacks to you.)
              • Thus, if you are interested in something specific, you can repeatedly ask the employee for the item, and after every 6 or so requests, you can specifically examine the employee's item (e.g., if you wanted black slacks, you ask Jericho for slacks six times, and then examine Jericho's black slacks. If he's holding any, it will give you the description of it whereupon you can accept black slack from Jericho or simply refuse Jericho and continue with ask Jericho for slacks until what you want appears.
              • Another option is to ask for an item repeatedly, and then examine specifically for it. E.g., ask Jericho for slacks x10, then examine Jericho's black wool slack and if he is holding any black wool slacks it will show up.

              This is especially useful (and much quicker) if you use the command buffer accessible from most clients with the up arrow.

              Shopping for a specific item (e.g., a white, tiny, fuzzy kitten) can be an exercise in patience. Even long time players also complain about it. Staff can be accommodating about items and may alter an existing item of yours to another description, as long as it is already an available option, if you ask them nicely. Don't abuse staff.
              E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
              F is for Fear and its many devices;


              • #8
                Originally posted by Oliver White View Post
                The Town - Everything's locked!
                Another place to know about is where to register for classes after you have taken that first semester. You need to go to Edwards Hall on the corner of Coolige and Church Streets (North of the Axton Fieldhouse, West of the rest of the University) The Registration Office is in the Northeast side of the building, just look for the Assistant in the room and ask him for a form, and return the form to him at the appropriate time (after the end of the current semester for the next semmester - before the beginning of the next semester).

                Should you miss the registration window, you can file an @assist with what classes you want to be signed up for, should you miss the registration window. The staffers have been very nice and fixed my registration for a semester, and I am grateful for it.
                First Patient of Mendus
                Manchester's 'Accident Prone' Patient

                SPCade "And by we I mean Nyx"
                PL: Fionn (Fionnghuala)
                CM: Finella
                ICO: Thera
                LC: Belle Griffin

                The Underground Starts Here!


                • #9
                  Fitting in - "Don't be a jellybean!"
                  A Quick and Dirty Guide to the 1930s

                  I hope it's okay to add to this thread, but I think some people get put off by not knowing much about the 1930s; let's face it, between Google and Wikipedia, researching the era can be a little overwhelming. So if you're wanting to dive straight in, here's a few helpful pointers on theme.

                  History and Events

                  Wikipedia never fails; at the other extreme, you can find details of events year by year.

                  The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn starting in most places in 1929 and ending at different times in the 1930s or early 1940s for different countries. It originated in the United States; historians most often attribute the start of the Great Depression to the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday, which marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement. The economy eventually recovered from the low point of the winter of 1932-33, with sustained improvement until 1937, when the Recession of 1937 brought back 1934 levels of unemployment. Of course, you wouldn't always know it to look at some of the wealthy students attending MU, their spending keeping Arkham afloat.
                  You can find out more by typing @help depression.

                  Other brief but neat facts:
                  1930: Pluto is discovered

                  1931: Al Capone is imprisoned for Income Tax evasion; the Empire State Building is Completed; the US gets an official national anthem.

                  1932: Amelia Earhart flies across the Atlantic; scientists split the atom; FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) is elected.

                  1933: Assassination attempt on FDR; Prohibition ends in the US; the twenieth amendment; the Loch Ness monster is first spotted!

                  1934: Bonnie and Clyde are killed by Police; the Monopoly game hits the shops.

                  1936: The Hoover Dam is completed.

                  1937: Amelia Earhart vanishes; the Golden Gate Bridge opens; the Hindenberg Disaster.

                  1938: Broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" causes panic!
                  You can find out more by typing @help thirties.

                  Speech and Language

                  "Booze", "Sweet", "Greaseball", "Yo!".. you might not believe it, it might seem -too- modern, but this is slang from the 1930s and here is a handy guide to using some yourself. You can find much more in depth ones on the net, like this, but here are some good ones for getting you going:
                  Babe, broad, dame, doll, frail, twist, muffin, kitten: woman
                  Butter and egg fly, hot mama, sweet mama, sweet patootie, dish, looker, tomato: pretty woman
                  Cute as a bug's ear: cute
                  Baby, bird, cat, egg, gee, gink, goose, hombre, jobby: man
                  Boob, palooka: dumb guy
                  Abercrombie: a know-it-all
                  Greaseball, half portion, wet smack, wet sock, jelly bean: unpopular person

                  Behind the grind: behind in school (uh oh!)
                  Doss: sleep
                  Hop, rag, jolly up, romp, wingding: dance or party
                  Togged to the bricks: dressed up
                  Take a powder, blow, split, scram, drift: leave
                  Make tracks, dangle: leave quickly
                  Scrub: poor student

                  Other useful stuff
                  Abyssinia: I'll be seeing ya!
                  Aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, cool: very good
                  Yo! yes
                  You and me both: I agree
                  You shred it: You said it
                  Murder!: Wow! (oddly enough)
                  Nuts!: That's nonsense!
                  Suds, salad, dough, moolah, rhino, bacon, bread: money


                  We're students, so naturally we're going to spend our time neglecting our studies and carousing 'til the wee hours. In that case, it's only right that you have a favourite song! Artists of the period include Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong.. and if you nosey on down to the Music Jukebox website, you can see and even listen to some period songs from the early thirties and the late thirties.
                  You can find out more by typing @help music.

                  Fash-ee-on (or Fashion)

                  We can talk the talk, we can dance to the best song.. now we just need to look the part. A simply Google search will give you some idea, or you can check out this awesome thread. Given that the items available in game are all in theme already, you can't go far wrong.


                  • #10
                    A note about writing letters, papers, notebooks, diaries, and so on...

                    The fountain pens, like the pencils, are basically functionless props for the sake of RPing. You don't need a pen or a pencil in order to write.

                    The notebooks, diaries, and papers in game are writable. You can:

                    write on my paper, "Test message, etc."

                    write on my diary's/notebook's/binder's cover or first (second, third...etc) page "Test message, etc."

                    @compose my paper/notebook/diary/binder gives you a graphic popup box that you can type into

                    @readall my paper/notebook/diary/binder gives you a graphic semi-WYSIWYG display of what you're reading.

                    LSP Suede
                    "If you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble." Sappho