I always select "Create your own character" when beginning a new game, so I can't give any advice about the preset characters. Having done so, dividing the 60% "potential" equally among the attributes has always worked OK for me (results in 11% per attribute), although you might find it useful to give a little emphasis to Endurance, Strength, or Dexterity early on.
You can "name" items in this game, which may be handy in some situations. For example,
>NAME THE SWORD "RALPH"
You invoke the Spell of Naming, and the sword basks in the glow of a new-forged synonym. Henceforth, you may refer to it as "Ralph."
You get the idea.
Random Areas and Combat
There are eight areas of the game which are randomly generated the first time you enter them: the wine cellar, the lighthouse, the moors, the Fields of Frotzen, the forest, the jungle, the ruins of Pheebor, and underground. No directions can be given for these areas (although they are not very complex), but I will provide a list of items and creatures which will be found therein. If you seem to be getting your butt kicked in a fight, you can always run away. Just keep moving (you gain back an endurance point per turn) or else retreat to an area where the creature won't follow, and rest.
With one exception, the magic items in this game are randomized as to identity and exact location, and besides the scrolls and potions, can take the form of a rod, staff, stave, wand, stick, or cane. (You will get one of each in each game, as there are six powers, but I will be using "rod" all the time for simplicity's sake.) The following magic items are needed to solve puzzles: scroll of Refreshment, scroll of Gating, rod of Eversion, rod of Levitation, rod of Dispel, potion of Enlightenment. Drink the potion of Might when you come across it and hang on to the scrolls of Honing for your sword and Protection for your armour. Because of the randomization of items, you might find both Enlightenment and Might, or you might have to buy one or both from the Magick Shoppe. The other scrolls (Mischief, Recall), rods (Annihilation, Sayonara, Anesthesia), and potions (Healing, Forgetfulness, Death) can be sold as soon as you want, although you might find the Annihilation and Sayonara rods, as well as the Healing potion, to be useful in combat.
Go northwest. Examine the billboard and weeds. Get one of the weeds. Go southeast and east twice to the Wharf. Examine the water. Get the driftwood (shillelagh). Go west and south and get the rusty lantern. Go west. Get the dagger and wield it. Go west. Examine the onion. Open the cellar door. Save the game and go down. Get the scroll (refreshment) and read it. Say the word written on it and your lantern and dagger will be "refreshed". Turn on the lantern. Explore the cellar. There are a rat-ant, a discipline crab, a tiny crown (take it from the crab after you defeat it), a gold doubloon, a rod, an amulet (kick the skeleton when it grabs you), some moss on the wall (squeeze it to gain dexterity in a few turns), and a stack of crates (with wine bottle at the top). Read the amulet through the wine bottle. Return to the entrance location and go up. Say the word on the amulet and break down the cellar door. Go up. Give the bottle to the cook. Roll the onion east. Put everything but the dagger in your pack. Get the bearskin rug. Continue rolling the onion east, north, and northeast.
For Your Amusement:
Repeatedly say hello sailor around the old sailor.
Ask the cook about himself.
Try to pick up the onion, both with and without the power of the amulet.
Walk across the bear rug and then touch someone.
Read the inscription and say lightning to answer the riddle. Go northwest and get some salt from the brine patch. Return southeast and go west into the lighthouse. Save the game. Leave the onion here for the time being. On the first floor you will find a rod and a giant spider. On the second floor you will find a bubblegum card and a giant slug. If you find the slug too difficult to defeat (I do), throw the salt at it. On the third floor you will find a scroll and a dust bunny. In the room with the dust bunny, drop the rug, walk across it, and then touch the bunny. Get the ring and wear it. Now, go back down to the bottom of the lighthouse and bring the onion with you back to this floor. Save before you go up to the Lamp House. Search the debris and get the sextant. Try to get the chest. Cut the onion and get the chest while the dorn beast is disabled. (Alternatively, you can repeatedly cut the onion and then attack the dorn beast, in order to kill him for experience, but you might want to come back with the sword if you feel like doing that.) Leave the lighthouse. Drop the chest and open it. No, go on, open the chest. Wait two turns. Get the outline and the palimpsest. Close the chest and pick it up again. Go northwest, northeast, and west. Ask the woman about all the objects in the case. Sell the crown, sextant, bubblegum card, doubloon, dagger, and shillelagh. Buy the sword, get it, and wield it. Go east twice and north. Wait. When the monkey grinder manifests, go west, then return east. He will squish the warning nymph. Now give him the sea chest. Close the sea chest and pick it up. Get the hurdy-gurdy. Go north and get the rod. Go south, west, southwest, southeast, southwest, and south three times.
For Your Amusement:
Open the sea chest a second time.
Attack the vapour. If it manages to steal any of your items, you will find them in other Moors locations. Explore. You will find a guttersnipe, a scroll, a rod, and a potion. When you find the wounded pterodactyl, turn the dial on the hurdy-gurdy to the ear, and then turn the crank to the right. While the pterodactyl is asleep, get the arrow, and then rub the weed on the wound. Drop the arrow. When he wakes up, he will now be well-disposed to you. Take the whistle. Pet him if you like. We'll be doing more with the pterodactyl later. For now, head to wherever "the mist thins out a bit to the southwest" and go southwest, west, northeast and north. Get the horseshoe. Kiss the unicorn's horn. Give the sea chest to the unicorn. Say the word on the amulet again and break the stall. Go in and get the saddle. Leave the stall and go south, southwest, and northwest.
Go north. Get the fish cake and eat it. Go north. Open the door and go west into the Magick Shoppe. Show all the rods, scrolls and the potion you've collected to the old woman. Consume or sell whatever you have, as appropriate. Ask the woman about the potions in the case. Buy the rabbit's foot, take it, and rub it. Buy whatever potions you can afford, if you need to. Leave the shop. Read the palimpsest. Say the word on it.
The Ethereal Plain of Atrii
Notice the curtain hanging in the air. If you walk through it, you will return to the Magick Shoppe. There are two other curtains on the Plain (Over Seaport and Over Town) which go to the Armour and Weapon Shops, respectively. Try to go southeast. Examine your items. Notice that the vague outline has turned into a phase blade? ("What on earth do I do with a vague outline?" "Nothing... on earth.") Cut the outline with the phase blade. Then go southeast. Wait here for a while. Try to get the coconut when the Implementors drop it. An ur-grue will appear and slurp up the coconut. Keep waiting. When the cheerful Implementor holds out the goblet to you, take it. You will be transported to Edge of Storms. Taste the coating in the goblet.
For Your Amusement
Don't take the coconut when the Implementor asks you to.
Have a full invnetory when the Implementor tries to give you the chalice.
Say the name of the chalice outside.
The Fields of Frotzen
Go west into the Fields of Frotzen. Explore the area. You will find a scroll and a four-leaf clover. There are three scarecrows in this area, but only one of them scares the corbies (they squawk with "fear", "terror", or "anxiety", as opposed to "anger", "rage", or "fury"). When you find it, turn the dial on the hurdy-gurdy to the eye and turn the crank to the right. Note the colour of the rags on this scarecrow. Wait here while a butterfly finds the sweet coating on the goblet. Now find and enter the crashed farmhouse and close the door. While we wait for a storm to brew, open the hurdy-gurdy, put the goblet in it, and close it. Turn the dial to the clock and then turn the crank to the left. Open the gurdy, get the goblet, and examine it. You'll find you've "turned back the clock" on the butterfly and now have a caterpillar!
When the house crash-lands again, open the door and go north. Look under the house. Look at the flowers. Wait until the mayor arrives. When he opens the jewel box, examine the keys. Take the one that was the colour the corbies were afraid of. You will be transported back to the Fields. Make your way to the place where you couldn't pass by the corbies. Now that you are carrying something of the colour that scares them, you will be able to pass by into the Gray Grotto. Examine the rosebush and take the compass rose. Go to the Intersection. You can now drop the key. Go north twice and west to the Magick Shoppe. Show the woman the scroll. Sell the outline and gurdy. Again buy any potions if you are missing some. Leave the shop and go northeast and north.
The Forest and Jungle
Explore. In here you will find a cruel puppet, a scroll, a rod, and a hellhound. The answer to the riddle on the boulder is youth. Drop the saddle at South Chasm. Return to the Magick Shoppe and show the woman the wand and scroll. Leave the shop and go south twice, southeast, and west. Wait for a gondola to appear, and for the conductor to say "all aboard". Get into the gondola. Wait four turns until you are near a maintenance tower, and then jump to it. Go down and save the game. Explore. You will find an ivory tusk, a rod, a scroll, a nasty bloodworm and crocodile, and an idol with a "crocodile tear" hanging in it. When you've collected everything, go to Quicksand. Hit the baby hungus. Go to the idol, waiting for the mother hungus to follow you. Get into the maw. With the mother hungus standing on the maw, get the jewel. In the idol, turn on your lamp. Squeeze the moss. Point the rod of Eversion at the idol. Return to the Quicksand. Point the rod of Eversion at the mother hungus. Point the rod of Levitation at the baby hungus. Get the jewel. (You may need to wait until your strength returns.) Now use the scroll of Gating to return to the Magick Shoppe. Sell the tusk and trade the tear for the hourglass. You can now sell most of your magic items since you no longer need them, except for the rod of Dispel and scroll of Gating. Leave the shop and go south twice, southeast, and north. Buy the scale mail and cloak and wear them. Go south and west and ride the skyway.
For Your Amusement:
Insult the cruel puppet.
Go through the jungle to the Waterfall. Go southwest, northwest and west. Notice the castle. Return east. Rub out the footprints. Wait three turns for the hunters to leave. Get the minx. Don't worry when she jumps out of your arms; she'll follow you, although you may have to wait a turn for her to catch up. Go southeast and west into the Chapel. Sit in the pew. Look under the pew. Get the vial. Stand up and go east and south. Examine the glyph. Get the caterpillar from the goblet. Try to go west. Show the caterpillar to the Christmas tree monsters. Get the silver ornament. Go west. Open the mailbox. Get the leaflet and read it. Open the parcel. (You now have a burin.) Go south into the cabin. Read the book. Search the bench. Get the black hemisphere. Go north and west. Attack the wight. When you have won, get the snowflake (it's actually a diamond). Go west. Point the rod of Dispel at the dome. Run back east twice and north. Return south and write the glyph in the lava with the burin. Go north. Wait three turns. Ask the Cardinal for the reliquary. Open it and get the white hemisphere. Put the peg in the hole and you will get a grey sphere. Go northeast and north. Make sure the minx is present. Go through the jungle, get on a tower (pick up the minx first) and into the gondola, and return to Mizniaport.
For Your Amusement:
Point the rod of Levitation at the reliquary.
Point the rod of Sayonara at the snow wight.
Ruins of Pheebor
Use the scroll of Gating to go to the Forest (to leave the Plain where there is no curtain, just say the word of power again). Find the Oak. Wait for the minx to dig up a truffle. Get it and go to the Pool of Youth. Enter the Pool while holding the truffle. Put the truffle in your pack. Go to South Chasm. Blow the whistle to summon the pterodactyl. Put the saddle on him. Get the minx, mount the pterodactyl, and go up. Point the compass rose to the south. Go northeast twice, and then land. Explore. The ghoul with the spade can be killed in the conventional manner. Throw the vial of holy water at the undead warrior to take care of him. There is also a potion in this area.
For Your Amusement:
Eat the truffle in front of the minx.
At the Plaza, stand under the arch and turn the hourglass. Go south twice and examine the trench. Wait three turns while the two knights fight and one is killed along with his horse. Drop the truffle into the trench. Get the minx. Turn the hourglass again, go north four times, turn it once more, and go north two more times. Wait for the minx to dig up the truffle. Get the helmet and wear it. Turn the hourglass and return south to the Plaza. Go to North Chasm and south onto the bridge. Get the umbrella and open it. Go down off the bridge. Get everything you dropped. Go to the Armour Shop (southeast, southeast, southwest, south three times and through the Moors, southwest, west, and north). Sell the hourglass, ornament, diamond, rod of Dispel, and your scale mail. Buy the plate mail and wear it. Use the scroll of Protection. Leave the shop and go northwest, north, north, and west. Check the last potion that you got from Ruins. Sell it or drink it, as appropriate. Go to the Intersection.
For Your Amusement:
Read the notice at either end of the bridge. Try walking across it.
Open the umbrella while flying on the pterodactyl.
Open the umbrella indoors.
While wearing the helmet, repeatedly look into the grey sphere.
Castle and Underground
Blow the whistle. Get on the pterodactyl and go up. Point the rose to the northeast and fly southwest. Land in the castle courtyard. Hide behind the bush. Get a root and eat it. Wait and watch. When the platypus leaves, get out of the bush and examine the statue. Open the compartment and take the jar. Blow the whistle again and ride the pterodactyl. Point the rose northwest and fly southeast; then land. Look into the grey sphere. Put everything in your pack except your sword, the jar, and your three luck charms (horseshoe, clover, rabbit's foot). Say the word of power that the warlock spoke. Open the door and save the game. Go in and blow a bubble. Turn the mirror so that it faces one compass point clockwise from the direction of the sunlight (e.g., if the light is coming from the southeast, turn the mirror south). The beam of light will be reflected down the passageway. Explore the underground using this light. The "lurking presences" are grues; you should be able to defeat them in a fight, but you can also usually just avoid them by keeping on the move. The things such as umbrellas, number 13s, and black cats are lucksuckers. If one appears, hit it with one of your luck charms. You will probably need to backtrack and make new mirrors, because they don't last forever, and can also be popped by the creatures wandering about. When you find the room with the shadow, blow a bubble and turn it so that the sunlight is reflected directly onto the shadow. Since you have enough compassion, you will survive its attack. Search the treasure and take the coconut. You can try to run out of the passage, or just hang around - the end is the same.
For Your Amusement:
Get killed by a lucksucker.
For Your Amusement at various times:
Refer to the old woman as "Y'Gael".
Ask the old woman about anything you can think of. For some objects you will get different responses depending on your character's gender, so try playing as both male and female.
Turn the crank on the hurdy-gurdy near the Y'Gael. (Remember, there are 12 possibilities.)
Play all 12 settings of the hurdy-gurdy in front of the pterodactyl.
Get a monster to attack you when the pterodactyl is present.
Sell a truffle to Y'Gael.
Drink a potion without shaking it in front of Y'Gael.
Drink the potions of Forgetfulness and Death. Drink the potion of Death in front of Y'Gael.
Examine the vague outline.
Use all the wands on yourself.
Attack Y'Gael or use a wand on her.
Attack a friendly character.
Insult a friendly character or a monster other than the cruel puppet.
Talk to, examine, and listen to the bandits.
Read the scrolls of Mischief or Fireworks.
Last updated 10/31/12