Realms of the Dragon
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Combat Basics

There's more to fighting than just typing "kill goblins" and standing there waiting to see whose head comes off first. Even meathead 10 Int Orcs can benefit from reading and planning. Get a handle on some of the finer points in the art of staying alive if you want to take on tougher monsters.


The Realms has a great variety of weapons and it behooves you to find the right one. See the Newbie Handbook for basic information on weapons. While the Judge command won't give you good information about the damage done without advancing the relevant skills, it will tell you the number and types of attacks a weapon has, and what skill the weapon uses. Every weapon has a certain (secret) minimum skill level to use effectively, so weapons that are useful at low levels may not be at high levels, and vice versa. More attacks and attacks with elemental damage are better, and generally the higher quality weapons have higher save levels.

Attack commands are the meat of a fighter's offense. They do substantially more damage than basic melee damage, which is often useless against tough opponents. Commands are also much more picky about weapon choice, requiring higher, and often multiple types of, skill, as well as dictating whether one or two handed weapons are better. A one handed weapon deals less damage and fewer than a two handed one, but whether dual wielding one handed weapons is more effective than holding a single two handed weapon depends on your weapons, Guild, and advancement plan. Read the help files and experiment with different weapons to figure out what suits you best. The best weapons are generally found on tough monsters rather than in shops, and be sure to get them enchanted to reach maximum effectiveness.

Weapons are generally of little use to high level spell casters. Instead, you should study and experiment with all the different spells in your arsenal. Higher GP cost spells are usually, but not always, more effective. However, there are several other considerations, which are often not spelled out in help files. Whether a spell attacks a single or multiple targets often makes a substantial difference in efficacy. Miscellaneous spells can also offer powerful combat utility, and can be cast at the same time as attack spells. A tough fight will last many rounds, so debuffing an enemy is a wise GP investment. Many players find that sacrificing a portion of damage to use a different spell with additional effects, such as stat drops, is more effective than simply shooting as hard as possible.


As with weapons, there are thousands of different armours to wear in the Realms. See the Newbie Handbook for the basics of how armours work. Wear a piece in every slot, and wear the heaviest possible without becoming impeded. Good armours substantially raise armour class (AC) which greatly reduces the damage you take. Veteran players will carefully combine pieces and enchantments to balance or focus protection against particular damage types. In general, armours for fighters have better physical protection and armours for casters have better elemental protection.

But armours are only the tip of the iceberg. Every guild has defensive spells or abilities. You should always keep all of them active, and almost always want to substantially advance for them. More importantly, there are a number of critical spells, usually acquired from other players, that are necessary for defense at high level play.


The single most critical defensive spell. Never enter a difficult fight without a shield. A proper shield reduces all incoming damage by 65%. Game balance and high level play assume you always have one of these. Shields degrade over time as they absorb damage, and protect against less damage as they degrade. Shield ratings and damage protection are:

  • Enormous, 75% or more. Only acquirable in very narrow circumstances.
  • Huge, 65%. The gold standard.
  • Very large, 55%. When you see your shield at this level it's time to get a new one.
  • Large, 45%
  • Good, 35%
  • Small, 25%
  • Very small, 15%. A very small shield that degrades will simply vanish.
Guilds that can give shields to others:
  • Priest. Good aligned only and the usual source for good players.
  • Shaman
  • Cleric. Unlikely that a cleric will be willing to shield non-Drow.
  • Occultist
  • Paladin. Good aligned only.
Additionally, there are some Guilds which can self shield, but not grant a shield to others:
  • Alchemist
  • Chaos Mage
  • Dark Knight
  • Druid
  • Halfling Fighter
  • Mystic
  • Shadowthief
  • Sorceror


Layers absorb hits before other defenses, preventing all damage. Once layers run out, damage proceeds to the player as normal. Layers are the primary caster defense, making up for the small HP pool by preventing most or all incoming damage every round. Generally layers are self only, but Wizards and Sorcerors can give layers to others. The following Guilds have layers:

  • Alchemist
  • Dark Knight
  • Druid
  • Mystic
  • Ninja
  • Occultist
  • Pyromancer
  • Shadowthief
  • Sorceror
  • War Wizard
  • Wizard

AC Spells

A simple buff to defense, but one not to be underestimated, AC spells increase armour rating, usually against either physical or elemental damage types. These are cheap to cast and every spell casting guild has at least one. Many of them can be cast on others, so get as many as you can from friends before entering a tough fight. Be aware that almost all of them run on a timer, so they may disappear without warning, making relying on them as your main defense unwise.

Fighter Defenses

Fighting Guilds have defensive commands rather than (or in some cases, in addition to) spells. These commands are quite powerful, but often the only defense the Guild has other than a good set of armours. All commands greatly reduce incoming damage, but the mechanisms and effects vary widely among Guilds. A fighter should always use his defense command.


Basic Survival

Practice Dummies

Here are some monsters found around the Realms that are tough enough to put a dent (or worse) in a max level player, but who don't cast spells or have any special tricks. They do have powerful basic offense and defense, so be prepared. In roughly increasing order of difficulty:
  • Virulent, in Valeris Forest
  • The Gilded Aurumvorax, in Valeris Forest
  • Lycra, in Castle Laodicea
  • Jaspar, in Castle Laodicea
  • Raven Drowbane, in Iapage
  • The Gladiator, in the Madagor XP Cave
  • Astillar the Blue Dragon, in the Wastelands
  • Monsters in the Crag of Evil, on Ravens

Return to the Combat Guide

Page last modified Fri Apr 8 11:00:03 2022 by Thresh

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