The purpose of this guide is to help players who have just reached level 50 acclimate to the “end game” at Dark Risings. The majority of our game is focused on these end game activities, and they involve skills and objectives that are quite different from those prioritized by leveling.

The guide is given as a series of categories, with specific suggestions offered in each category. Elements from different categories can, should, and likely will be combined in many cases, and the order presented here is not intended as a checklist or a specific sequence. Additionally, this guide is not meant to be exhaustive of all end game activities but rather to provide some ideas for where players might begin after they have completed leveling.

A note about the [+] flag:
The [+] or “newbie” flag is designed to identify new players at Dark Risings for a number of reasons, but an important one to keep in mind throughout this guide is that new players are supposed to be given some flexibility in changing their role as they meet and interact with more characters. You may try something out and ultimately decide that it is not the direction you want to take your character; the newbie flag is designed to accommodate this sort of experimentation.

With that, however, two stipulations should be taken into consideration. The first is that if you do choose to radically change your role, please inform players you have already interacted with (an otell with a quick explanation suffices in most cases). This courtesy alleviates confusion and allows those players to help you integrate into your new role or changes to your role more readily.

The second is that if you decide to experiment with a role that involves your character threatening, offending, or insulting other characters, then subsequently change your mind when the consequences of such a role come to bear, that privilege to experiment with freedom may suddenly expire. In other words, it’s an opportunity to try some different roles, but don’t be a jerk about it.

A note about our player base:
As you learn about Dark Risings, one of the best resources available to you is the current player base. However, while players are always willing to answer questions on the NB or OOC channels, many do not go out of their way to deeply engage lower-level characters ICly. This is largely meant as a courtesy to new players to avoid overwhelming them with information as they level, learn the game, and consider their role. The burden to break the ice is often on new characters, as this is signal to established players that you are ready to engage others. Please utilize this guide as a means to approach established players and to offer topics that might elicit responses.

A note about the IC/OOC divide:
While many players do form OOC friendships with other players, actions taken by characters should be IC and done in accordance with their role. Asking OOC friends to help your character puts them in a difficult position, beyond merely being against the rules, as you are asking them to undermine their role for your benefit. Think of starting a new character as an opportunity to forge new connections with other players, not just solidify or extend existing ones. And just because you are OOC friends does not mean your characters cannot be IC antagonists; it can be a lot of fun! If you wish to work with an OOC friend, you might consider designing characters together who seek common goals.

The world of Dark Risings is vast, and much of it can be intimidating or dangerous before you reach level 50. Although danger still exists, when you reach level 50, you have more resources to respond to that danger than before. Take some time to explore areas and familiarize yourself with the terrain.

There are maps available at Melancholy’s Maps in Arinock and in the Espy Clan Hall, located above Esme’s in the Coalition Tower. Buy an Espy guidebook or map and use it to explore an unfamiliar area. Ask other characters questions about places you have glimpsed or heard of but are unsure of how to approach. Invite them to explore with you. As long as you maintain protective spells (sanctuary, magic ward), teleporting can also be a fun way to find new places to explore within Dark Risings.

Along with familiarizing yourself with the world of Dark Risings, an understanding of the landscape can be invaluable in developing your role. Place can be a powerful tool for grounding a character or setting up a character’s history with a specific details familiar to other characters.

Map of Rhia

The equipment options at level 50 expand dramatically, and leveling gear is not suitable for the challenges you will face from many mobs, other characters, or quests. Sometimes, equipment becomes available in the shops or is auctioned on the auction channel, but most players must resort to gathering gear on their own.

The equipment section of our website can give you a few resources to get started. The ‘Gear Building Worksheet‘ is an eq mock-up that allows you to experiment with eq combinations to see where your stats might end up. The ‘Equipment Information Sheet‘ lists end-game stock equipment and weapons and the areas in which they can be found. You can use this list to initiate conversations about how to find these areas or the items in question.

Again, talking to other characters, especially Dawning and Espy, can be invaluable in finding more information about game items. Ask other characters for advice or if they are willing to help. Try to be specific, as asking for help gathering a piece or two is a lot less daunting; it can also give the interaction a sense of purpose or adventure. Purchase an Espy guidebook and find all of the items listed for an area. Buy an item in a shop and try to determine where it came from. Become familiar with the spells ‘locate object’ and ‘locate person’ and use them to trace an item to its source.

Many characters also collect soul gems, which can be used to make unique and powerful weapons and armor. If this interests you, you might try approaching others about collecting gems together.

The bedrock of Dark Risings is roleplay. Most of the suggestions offered in this guide can be pursued in character (IC), and, ideally, should be. Interactions between characters within Rhia, the game world, are expected to be IC and consistent with an established role. When developing your role within Dark Risings, it can be helpful to consider your character’s race, class, how they appear to others (their description), and the character’s history or backstory that precedes their appearance in the game.

Just as valuable, if not more, to these individual pursuits is engaging with other characters. Speaking and interacting with other characters can give you a “feel” for your own character that informs how they speak, how they react, how they think through specific circumstances. A character should have a perspective on the world and a personality that draws from that perspective.

Along with this, think about what drives your character and what they hope to achieve. Roles are best thought of as a combination of personality and objective. The two are highly interactive; how one thinks, perceives, and reacts informs how what their goals are and how they approach them, and vice versa.

Find reasons to engage other characters to develop that role and personality. Push yourself to engage unfamiliar characters; while some characters may go out of their way to engage you, not everyone will. That does not necessarily mean they are disinterested; there are a wide variety of roles available within Dark Risings, and not all of them are extroverted. Although this guide hopefully offers some helpful suggestions for topics to approach other characters with, do not limit yourself to what you find in this guide.

Learn how to use the message boards, especially the note board. Notes are written to let characters comment on current events and share information that can deepen roleplay. They are also used by the staff to let players know about upcoming events. Keeping up-to-date with notes and checking them regularly is an essential aspect of familiarizing yourself with Dark Risings. As a complement to the note system, Bree’s gossip is a quick and succinct way to learn about recent events.

Along with current events, Dark Risings has a long history. Characters have recorded their personal histories on our history board (among other uses of the board). Meanwhile, the Library in the Tree in Malhan Park holds guild histories and general lore. Understanding these histories can help you shape your character and your role. However, these histories are not always complete or impartial, and you can also learn a lot about Rhia and its past by talking with other characters. Beyond learning more, these interactions can also give you a better sense of the varieties of reactions characters have to events.

Every character should have at least a passing familiarity with the creation myth, as it is the dominant cultural touchstone of Rhia.

Guilds and clans are institutions within the world of Dark Risings. Each guild and clan is unique, and they serve different purposes within the general world of Rhia. Reading the help files for each one can be very useful for understanding some of the roles readily available through these organizations.

Additionally, talking with clan and guild members can provide insights that the helpfiles fail to capture, along with giving you an opportunity to see a variety of viewpoints held by different groups. Most members are happy to talk about their organizations, but keep in mind that these characters’ roles are not necessarily designed to be friendly or open.

These organizations offer a framework within which to roleplay, while also providing resources for pursuing your own roleplay objectives. There are also gameplay advantages to joining guilds and clans in the form of spells and organization-specific equipment.

If you are interested in joining a guild or a clan, you should definitely speak with a member and write a note explaining your interest. Different organizations have different requirements for membership and different processes for evaluating seekers.

You are not required to join a clan or a guild, but you should have some idea of what each does. You may also find that as you learn more about them, you find yourself thinking: What I would really like to do is this other thing, but there is no organization that does that. If you find yourself following a train of thought like this, keep in mind that players can charter their own clans to fill roles they see within Dark Risings

The staff at Dark Risings spends a lot of time developing fun and engaging quests. These quests come in a variety of forms, from games and tournaments to ongoing stories that you are invited to become a part of. Unless otherwise stated by the staff, quests are IC and are unique opportunities for you to explore your role in unexpected and unpredictable circumstances.

At the moment, weekly events are held on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm server time. Quests are protected, which means that your character will suffer no consequences if they die or are knocked out during the quest. Additional quests may be held at other times, at the discretion of the staff.

If you would like to become more involved in a story quest, along with checking notes and staying up to date with Bree, try to engage other characters on the events of the story. Think of ways that your own character can offer a perspective or try to intervene in the unfolding narrative. Showing up to these events is great, but the real fun is taking an active role in their proceedings. If you have an idea for a way your character can become more involved in an ongoing story, write a note to imm explaining your idea.

Players who write about the story from the perspective of their character may be rewarded for their efforts, as notes and histories written about these events allow characters who were not in attendance to still participate in the ongoing narrative. It can also be an excellent wayto explore your character’s voice.

Player-killing, or PK, is a part of the world of Dark Risings. All PK must occur for established IC reasons, so if you are not interested in PK, it can be mostly avoided if you design your role to avoid these conflicts. Still, there are circumstances beyond your control that may make you subject to attack, and we recommend all players learn some rudimentary skills for running from danger.

Mayhem and Dawning both offer training in PK for members and non-members, with different emphases. Outside of these organizations, you can learn a lot from seeking out spars with other characters. Additionally, there may be events such as tournaments or competitions that involve PK, organized by the staff or by organizations, that allow you to learn and engage in PK without jeopardizing your role or earning enemies.

If you are interested in PK for role-playing purposes, please make sure you are familiar with the rules relating to PK and its place within RP. PK can be a valuable tool for developing roleplay: If you want to play a role that involves martial competence or intimidation, for instance, a willingness to PK makes sense. Along with this, PK can be used as a means of resolving conflict ICly. If you want to establish a role that involves PK, think of ways to bring your character into conflict with others and try to engage other players as an antagonist.

Please keep in mind that, along with RP consequences of PK, there exists the potential for material consequences as well. With IC justification, items may be looted from a character knocked out in the course of PK. At present, this is done with the assistance of staff (send a petition explaining what you would like to loot) or, if no staff responds to your petition, the knocked out player should assist you (tell them what you wish to loot upon revival; if they do not comply, please send a note to imm explaining the circumstances). The items looted should have an IC justification contingent upon your character’s established role or the specific RP significance of the items looted.

It is also possible for one player to murder another. Murder is a transgressive act. It subjects the murdered character’s items to rot and is considered far more extreme than a simple knockout. Murders can only be performed with the assistance of the staff; if your character feels that your opponent’s character has crossed a line, please do your best to inform the staff of your intentions to murder so that they may be available to assist. The staff will likely inquire as to your grounds for seeking murder over a knockout; please, be prepared to answer their questions. Additionally, as the act of murder is considered outside the norm, the consequences for your character’s RP may extend far beyond whatever might transpire between your character and their opponent.

If you are looking for ‘proof of victory,’ instead of loss of life, your character may scalp a knocked out opponent without triggering rot. While, like murder, the IC reactions to such an act may vary, it is generally considered a middle ground between a knockout and murder.

Because we want to create an environment where roleplay is encouraged and players can enjoy themselves, we monitor PK closely and take roleless PK very seriously.

Although this point is made in a handful of ways throughout this guide, it is important enough to have its own section. The players who get the most out of Dark Risings are those that create opportunities for themselves, rather than waiting for them to be offered.

Choose an objective and pursue it. Try to involve other characters in that pursuit, where possible, and work with them to achieve a goal. Talk it over with others and refine the idea. Be generous and willing to share the idea, and, occasionally, to let another character run with it, if they are enthusiastic about it. Be open to the interventions of others. Take other characters’ skillsets, backgrounds, and specific knowledges into consideration and think of how those can serve your purpose in a way that respects and values their character. Their contributions should be essential, with meaningful and consequential effects on the goal, rather than just a passive audience whose only option is to react to your character’s actions. Don’t force your RP on others; enable them to become participants instead of observers.

Sometimes these goals are small and personal, sometimes they are massive and potentially world-shifting, but the more initiative, consideration, engagement, and development you put into them, the more you will get out of the game and your interactions with others. You might need an item made to complete a task; find an artisan within Rhia and ask for their help. If your character wishes to topple an empire, they will need to win over others to their cause through flourishes of oratory or performances of goodwill, they will need to marshal resources with the help of others, they will need to make preparations with their allies and strategize with trusted advisors, and on and on and on. The grander your ambition, the more it will necessarily involve the engagement of others.

As you think about your character’s objectives, also consider how they can involve others in pursuing those objectives. Break down that pursuit into a series of steps and brainstorm on how each of those steps can be a path to engaging others. It’s not always necessary to have a master plan; usually, it’s beneficial to be flexible, for best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. But having the next step in mind helps you to actually take it, even if the path as a whole remains unclear. Setbacks are possible, but they are also opportunities to reconsider your approach and how it involves others. Characters who are determined to see a goal through generally will, as long as the goal is feasible and involves others in the pursuit.

For our part as a staff, we will do what we can to help you realize your RP objectives. But the more your RP involves and engages others meaningfully, the more we will work to make it possible. If you wish to pursue singular power for your character, understand that it will involve work on your part comparable to the goal they wish to achieve; if you wish to change the course of history, realize that such changes are never the result of one person’s actions in isolation. Keep us informed; petitioning with pertinent developments is good, writing notes to imm and establishing a body of documentation is even better. And please, be patient and understand that our resources (time, energy, creativity, what can feasibly be accomplished with our game mechanisms) have limitations. The more we are aware of your intentions, the more we can anticipate how to budget those resources.

In many ways, this is the true endgame within the endgame. Although with imagination, it has no definite conclusion.