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Empath Healing 101

By Eillie


Introduction

The first thing I always say when teaching empaths is that they've chosen the most difficult profession in GemStone III. While changes to our spell list in the future may change this, I expect we will always be the least effective hunters.

One reason is that our training costs and limitations for physical skills such as edged weapons, combat maneuvers, etc. are similar to those for warrior and sorcerers -- but unlike warriors and sorcerers, the sword is really the only way we can effectively fight creatures.

By making informed choices when rolling and training a character, we can PARTIALLY make up for our deficiencies. You'll find that at a certain point, group hunting is by far a better choice than solo hunting -- and that you can often earn experience faster by healing than by hunting.

It's quite possible to advance and succeed as an empath. In fact, the highest-level character in the game, High Lord Strom, at level 90-something, is one.

Just as we depend on others, they depend on us. Herbs and Surtey's tent are expensive, second-rate substitutes for a real Empath. You'll find that folks are really glad to have us around. Most enchanters give us major discounts for their services. Most people auctioning off extra items will give us better prices. Most people will channel us mana for spellcasting or cast defensive spells on us when we go hunting. And people don't like seeing empaths die, so when we do they come to our rescue in a big hurry.

My point here is that power-hungry, anti-social, or violent people (and I mean this in the nicest possible way ) will fail utterly as empaths. Those that enjoy living to help others, who are sensitive and responsive to others' needs (this includes being able to pick out who in a crowd of 50 is wounded as text scrolls by faster than it can all be read), who think there's no better feeling than saving someone's life and getting a hug and the word "Thanks" as reward, and who prefer roleplaying to "rollplaying," make fine empaths. :)


Guild Speak

Type GUILD to speak Guild Speak. Only other Empaths will hear and understand you. This way we can talk about stuff that would bore everyone else ("Left leg please?" "Arathorn's head." "Do NOT heal that guy unless he asks you to, he doesn't like being seen with any weakness." "That cheapskate gave me 20 whole silvers. If I save his life only 56 more times I can buy one Sovyn Clove!") Type COMMON again to speak normally. :)


Transfering & Healing

We heal by taking on the injuries of others, then by healing ourselves. Healing spells don't work when you cast them at other people -- that would be too easy! :)

To transfer health point loss to yourself, type TRANSFER . You transfer 5 health points per level up to 75 HPs (possibly more for giantmen); there is no way to transfer less. What this means is that as you advance, you must be more careful that you don't transfer too many. If you transfer more health point loss than you can take ("overhealing"), you die. Always check your own health (with the HEALTH command) before transferring other wounds! Practically speaking, your life is more valuable than anyone else's -- because while you're alive you can save many other lives.

To heal yourself, PREP HEAL1 and then CAST . This will use one mana point. Be sure you check your mana points on occasion -- if you cast a spell that you don't have the power for, it does damage to your nervous system. When you learn HEAL2, you can use it to heal more points at a time.

To transfer other types of damage, type TRANSFER . The areas are: Left Leg, Right Leg, Left Arm, Right Arm, Chest, Abdomen, Back, Neck, Head.

To transfer hand damage, use the arm. If there's both arm and hand damage, the first transfer will take the arm damage, second will take the hand damage. Eyes are a little weird in that you transfer them from the head, but then use Organ Repair to heal them.

You can transfer areas as soon as you learn the spell to heal it. Empath Circle spells are, in order: HEAL1, LIMREP1, SYSREP1, HEDREP1, ORGREP1, HEAL2, LIMREP2, SYSREP2, HEDREP2, ORGREP2. The "1" spells will let you transfer and heal minor damage, while the "2" spells let you transfer and heal medium and major damage.

If you have minor damage on an area and take minor damage there again -- either in combat or by transferring another wound -- you suddenly have medium damage and begin bleeding. Heal yourself first.

After that, our spell list has several scar-healing spells. You can't transfer scars from other people, normally, even with these spells. What these do is allow you to get rid of scars on yourself. LIMREPT1 through ORGREPT1 heal minor scars, LIMREPT2 through ORGREPT2 heal major ones. EYEREGN and LIMREGN replace missing eyes and limbs respectively.

You get a scar when you heal damage, either with spells or herbs. Healing minor cuts and bruises on the left leg will result in "old battle scars on the left leg." Healing a severed right arm results in a MISSING right arm -- not a good situation to be in. However, beyond the scar-healing spells there are herbs that can eliminate scars and limb loss -- and a special empath trick that leaves some people rather confused.

Let's say you're at least second level. Lord Berr hobbles in with a severed right leg, which I transfer to myself. Since I'm standing, I scream and fall to the ground. I mumble something about always forgetting to lie down. Then I cast LIMREP2. I now have "a fractured and bleeding right leg" and "a missing right leg." I cast LIMREP2 again, and have "minor bruises and lacerations on the right leg" and "a missing right leg." I ask in Guild Speak, "Someone take my right leg a minute?"

You TRANSFER EILLIE RIGHT LEG. Suddenly I have no right leg damage at all, and you have only minor bruises and lacerations. The scar's gone! I transfer the right leg damage back from you and heal it. You have no scar while I just have a tiny one I can live with. In the trade, this is usually called "cleanup." In order for it to work, you shouldn't heal major wounds down all the way, just down to minor wounds. The exception is if you're out hunting; those minor wounds can leave you vulnerable to worse injuries.

There's no point in worrying about cleaning up MINOR scars, unless you're vain and want to look your best. They have no effect on your ability to do anything. Even fixing your missing limbs is rock-bottom priority when people are bleeding to death.

We get no experience points for transferring wounds from each other -- otherwise there'd be nothing to stop us from transferring the same wound back and forth and becoming Lords and Ladies in two days.

We DO get experience from transferring from others, but not for the actual healing. One trick we sometimes use is to allow lower-level characters to take health point damage from the injured, while a higher-level empath takes the HP damage from the lower-level empath to let him keep taking more.


Diagnosing

DIAGNOSE is not particularly useful. It will tell you whether or not they're injured, but not what the injuries are. DIAGNOSE FULL will tell you how many health points they have, where they're injured, how much they're bleeding, and whether they're poisoned or diseased. To use DIAG FULL though, you have to have both hands free.

LOOK is the best choice usually -- you can quickly see if they have injuries. If they're low on health points too, they'll probably tell you -- or else get in the habit of typing TRAN once after you heal all their obvious injuries, if you're not low on health yourself. However, diagnosing is the only way to tell the difference between a freshly blinded eye and one blinded by a scar.


Bleeding

Bleeding means you're losing health points at a certain rate per round (about 7 seconds). TENDing a wound (first aid skill) can stop bleeding temporarily. The more training one has in First Aid, the longer the bandage will last and the shorter the roundtime will be. Some people in a particular secret society have the ability to clot their blood magically; the effects may look a little strange to us.

You don't earn experience from transferring health points from a bleeding character, even if they're doing the clotting trick and aren't actually losing blood. Get the wounds first if you can -- if the character is not so low on HPs that he's in immediate danger of bleeding to death.

Poisons and diseases also remove a number of health points per round, though the amount they remove changes from round to round. Mana bread that has gone bad can poison you, so ALWAYS sniff it before eating it. Unless it has a wonderful aroma, don't eat it. Eventually the poison/disease wears off, but until then, the victim REALLY needs an empath to keep taking the damage. Sometimes a poison can be too much, such as one I saw which took 160 health points per round. There's nothing to be done about those. Poisons and diseases are not contagious, so don't be afraid to heal someone with one -- just watch your own health points carefully so you don't overheal.


Herbs

If you see other herbs around, they might be the old herbs -- type SHIFT HERBS in the game for a list.

Health Points Acantha Leaf


Limbs

Minor bruises & lacerations Ephlox Moss

Fractured & bleeding Ephlox Moss

Severed Ephlox Moss

+Old battle scar Cactacae Spine

+Mangled Calamia Fruit


Minor bruises about the head Rose-Marrow Potion

Lacerations & mild concussion Aloeas Stem

Trauma & bleeding from the ears Aloeas Stem

+Scar across the face Haphip Root

+Several facial scars Brostheras Potion

+Terrible mutilation wounds Brostheras Potion


Nervous System

Twitching Wolfrew Lichen

Sporadic convulsions Bolmara Potion

Uncontrollable convulsions Bolmara Potion

+Slurred speech Torban Leaf

+Constant spasms Woth Flower

+Difficult time with muscle control Woth Flower


Chest/Abdomen/Back

Minor bruises and cuts Basal Moss

Deep laceration Pothinir Grass

Gashes and serious bleeding Pothinir Grass

+Old battle scar Talneo Potion

+Painful looking scars Wingstem Potion

+Terrible permanent mutilation Wingstem Potion


Eyes

Irritated Basal Moss

Swollen Pothinir Grass

Blinded Pothinir Grass

+Black and blue Talneo Potion

+Bruises Wingstem Potion

+Blinded Bur-Clover Potion


Invasions

When creatures enter town and start attacking people, it's a time for extra caution. Find a safe place and stay there! Don't try to fight the attackers yourself. There are more effective killers than you, and your life is the most precious, for you have to stay alive in order to heal others. If anything comes into Town Square, run to the Raging Thrak Inn to the northwest, then go to the front desk (don't check in though). There's a node there, which will help you absorb mana as fast as you do in TS, but creatures rarely enter the Inn. Use a crystal amulet to announce your location (invaders rarely have amulets, so this is safe 95% of the time). Empaths and clerics often gather there, or outside the town in the Wayside Inn, to heal and rezz during times of danger.


Healing The Dead

If someone dies with negative health points, they will die again immediately if a cleric tries to resurrect them. The same is true of bleeding, though they'll have a bit more time. When someone dies, often they'll need both a cleric AND an empath.

If the body is an a dangerous place, drag it to safety if you can. Get your hands free and diagnose full. Be careful not to overheal, otherwise there'll be one more person for the clerics to rezz.

When someone is "vaporized," it means they're not only dead, they have the most serious possible wounds on every location on the body. This can happen when someone falls from a great height. There are big experience points there for us, but don't be overeager -- you could quickly find yourself bleeding at 50 points per round, and then be limbless when you're done. It's really a job for two or three empaths.


Teamwork

The key here is to get people healed quickly, especially those that are bleeding badly -- while maximizing everyone's chances at earning experience, and minimizing the scars we're stuck with.

Older empaths should leave wounds and health point damage for younger ones, handling what the younger ones cannot. However, some older empaths are unable to hunt for experience because they can't kill creatures 10 levels below themselves, and can earn experience only from healing. It's definitely a balancing act.

Watch your experience; when your mind gets numb, bow out for a bit and leave it to other empaths if they can handle it. If you're at MUST REST, don't heal anyone unless nobody else can, because you will earn very little or no experience from it anyway.

If someone asks you specifically to heal them, that patient is yours to deal with unless you pass them on. Similarly, is someone asks me to heal them, that patient is mine to deal with unless I refer them to someone else. However, if I've just eaten a Sovyn Clove and am in a long roundtime, and the patient says "Help me Eillie, I'm dying" you can help them.

Scar cleanup is an important part of working with other empaths, but it takes lower priority than healing. Unless, for example, someone died and Ravenstorm is about to go after them with his Transference spell, and he's missing both arms.

Gladiatorial Games are fondly known as the Healer 500. This is the one time when players fight each other for fame and glory. Nobody dies in these, but instead fall unconscious and are dragged to the infirmary. Six empaths can be constantly in a state of MUST REST from this event. :) We just take turns, usually in alphabetical order, healing the losers as they're dragged in. The key is to get people healed fast, so they can move on to the next round. If you overheal during one of these, you pass out rather than die -- but it's still going to mess you up for a while.


Quirky People

Some folks don't like being healed in public, because they don't want to be seen as weak. Others will make public comments about "blasted cocky healers" but are actually nice folks at heart.

Many Lords don't want to have their "fractured & bleeding" hands healed, because they hunt creatures that regularly break them again anyway -- and they're so well-trained in First Aid that they can slap on an incredibly long-lasting bandage in a second or two.

Some will be very demanding and fret over the tiniest scratch, while others will either forget they're wounded or be so shy they'd rather bleed to death in TS than ask for help. Others roleplay mute characters, so they can't ask for help without breaking character. Whenever someone taps you on the shoulder, hugs you seemingly at random, or the like, LOOK at them to see if they're injured because they might be trying to tell you something. :)


Stats, Training & Equipment (this gets complex!)

Unless you're already a Lord or Lady, it's worth rerolling if you have bad stats. This game can be a commitment of several years, so take the long view here -- it's not that painful to reroll after a couple of weeks, compared to what it'll be like late. If you do reroll, withdraw all your money, put all your stuff in a backpack, and hand it off to someone you trust to hold onto until you're done, so that you can have these things when you're done rerolling. :)

If you aren't getting at least 35 physical and 35 mental training points per level, you most definitely want to reroll.

Placement of your stat rolls is very important! As empaths, we get a +10 bonus to Wisdom and Logic, so you don't need more than 90 in either of those stats. However, you DO want a pretty good number in Wisdom, for it determines how many mana points you'll have every year. 85-90 Wisdom is perfect; 91+ is overkill.

A high number in Aura is good, as it affects both your Physical and Mental Training points, and determines your Spirit Points. Empaths need all the Strength they can get for hunting purposes -- NEVER put anything under 70 in Strength, and you should really try for an 80 or more. Charisma and Reflex are where you can put your two lowest rolls, generally. Your choice of race (and the associated bonuses) will affect how you'll want to assign stats. Racial bonuses go into stat BONUSES, while profession bonuses go directly into the stat -- this means that racial bonuses aren't going to affect your training points, but the profession bonuses will.

Every chance you get, train in Edged Weapons! The skill costs a bit more than blunt, but there are more swords and axes out there to choose from than clubs, maces, etc. This is just my opinion, but it seems to be a commonly held belief. Even if you choose to roleplay an empath that doesn't hunt -- which is a viable path -- training in weapons will help you defend yourself.

Wear leather armor, and train in Armor skill until you have +40 -- which is eight times, or 7th level. Armor training will reduce your roundtimes. Other types of armor require too much training and can cause your spells to fail -- and a failed healing spell can be dangerous. When you can afford to (this will be a while!), try to get the armor enchanted by a high-level mage. It's an expensive process but worth it. When an armor merchant comes to town, once your armor's enchanted a bit, get it padded against criticals, strengthened, and lightened. (If your armor is padded, it can't be enchanted anymore -- so balance your decision carefully. Usually money and opportunity are the big factors there anyway.)

Train in Shield skill often if you can. This gives you a nice bonus to your defense.

At level 0, train twice in Minor Spiritual spells. After that try to learn two spells every year: one Empath Circle spell, and one Major or Minor Spiritual Circle spell. Major Spiritual has some great stuff you can use for hunting later on: Bravery (11) and Heroism (15) both give you significant bonuses to your AS. The Minor Spiritual Circle spells up to 3rd level are useful, but be wary of Spirit Barrier as it lowers your AS while raising your DS. (It's good for rescue missions, but not for hunting.) Spells such as Unbalance and Call Lightning on the Minor Spiritual Circle are quite useful too.

You can stop training in the Empath Circle when you've learned ten spells, or keep going to 20 for all the scar spells. Or plan for the future (when the spells will be completely revamped) and keep training in it to 30. You'll be giving up useful spells from the Spiritual Circles if you do that however.

Always double-train in Physical Training until you reach your max HPs -- and then always single-train in it, to increase your HP recovery rate.

Double or triple-train in First Aid until about 10th level at the very least. If you keep training in it you'll get better at skinning creatures, and since it's such a cheap skill for us there's little reason not to keep training in it.

Double or triple-train in Mana Sharing until you have a +102 in it. At about 7th level you'll find you're constantly short of power; if you have Mana Sharing others can send you more when you need it. Rumor has it some of our upcoming new spells may benefit from further training in it, and it's cheap, so you might want to keep singling in it thereafter.

Spell Aiming isn't terribly useful. None of our spells need it, except for Fire Spirit, which isn't devastating anyway. :) It also affects one's skill with wands, but that's an expensive and difficult way to hunt. You can safely skip it unless you've got a few extra training points to kill.

You want to have at least one rank of Swimming by level 10, so you can swim to the shrine in the Krolvin area. Train in Climbing maybe once every three or four levels. If you have some spare points you can put them into Scrolls, Trading, Perception. Hiding can be fun, but honestly not very useful without Ambush, which costs so much for us to train in.

Don't worry about Combat Maneuevers or Multiple Opponents until you're at about 18 or so and can afford one every other level or so.

Here's what I have for stats. I'm relatively successful at hunting, -- for an empath. Which means I can hunt creatures near my level, with characters near my level, IF they hold back a little bit and let me get in a blow or two. Or if the hunting party is completely outnumbered anyway. I can't hunt solo well however; I usually barely survive a long stun, and then run back to town. That's life as an empath. :)


Name: Eillie Lindenleaf

Race: Sylvankind Profession: Empath Expr: 600230

Gender: Female Age: 53 Level: 22

Maximum Mana Points: 66 Health Points: 135

Hair: long, straight, dark brown. Eyes: grey

Complexion: fair

Lindenleaf family fame: 5299679 points.

Statistic Bonus

Constitution (CO) : 61 ... 5

Dexterity (DE) : 50 ... 5

Discipline (DI) : 71 ... 5

Logic (LO) : 69 ... 9

Intelligence (IN) : 58 ... 4

Strength (ST) : 89 ... 19

Reflex (RE) : 85 ... 22

Charisma (CH) : 51 ... 5

Wisdom (WI) : 100 ... 25

Aura (AU) : 98 ... 29

(The stats and bonuses reflect 22 years of stat gain, as well as profession and racial bonuses. Don't expect to see a set of raw die rolls this nice!

I should not have put a higher stat in Reflex than Dexterity -- Sylvankind Empaths rise quickly in RE and slowly in DE. The low DE makes me very vulnerable to spells such as ewave, so I get knocked over rather easily. However, few creatures cast ewave, and I'd rather have a low DE than a low ST.

An ST of 89/19 is good for combat, but Sylvankind are small and lightweight (we prefer "lithe" and "svelte" ), which puts a damper on carrying a lot of weight or dragging bodies. For a great extra strength bonus that will help in combat, as well as more HPs than I'll ever have, choose the Giantman race instead. But I see it as an important roleplaying choice, not as a way to optimize your stats, and there are tradeoffs. Sylvankind for instance have an incredible resistance to disease and poison.


Bonus Skill Name

82 Armor Use

99 Shield Use

10 Combat Maneuvers

99 Edged Weapons

20 Climbing

15 Swimming

30 Stalking & Hiding

50 Perception

66 Scroll Reading

5 Magic Item Use

102 Mana Sharing

15 Spell Aiming

134 First Aid

62 Trading

20 Picking Pockets

(The first ten times you train in a skill, it gives you +5. The next ten times, +4, the next ten +3, the next ten +2, and after that it's always +1. This prevents high-level characters from being utterly godlike.

You may wonder at the Picking Pockets -- no, I don't steal from people. Training in this skill (as well as Perception) helps me prevent anyone from successfully picking MY pockets. But the best way to keep your silver safe is keep in in the bank as much as possible.)


Circle of Magic: Major Spiritual

lv Num Code Name


1 0201 calm Calm

2 0202 sshield Spirit Shield

3 0203 manna Manna

4 0204 unpresence Unpresence

5 0205 light Light

6 0206 darkness Darkness

7 0207 purifyair Purify Air

8 0208 liverune Living Rune (*)

9 0209 untrammel Untrammel

10 0210 silence Silence

11 0211 bravery Bravery

12 0212 interfere Interference

13 0213 minrsanct Minor Sanctuary

14 0214 bind Bind

16 0216 frenzy Frenzy

17 0217 hrbmstry Herb Mastery (*)

18 0218 spirserv Spirit Servant (*)

19 0219 spshield Spell Shield

20 0220 mjsanct Major Sanctuary (*)

Circle of Magic: Minor Spiritual

lv Num Code Name

-- ---- ---------- ----------------------------------

1 0101 swarding1 Spirit Warding I

2 0102 sbarrier Spirit Barrier

3 0103 sdefense Spirit Defense

4 0104 disresist Disease Resistance

Circle of Magic: Empath Base

lv Num Code Name

-- ---- ---------- ----------------------------------

1 0801 heal1 Heal I

2 0802 limrep1 Limb Repair I

3 0803 sysrep1 System Repair I

4 0804 hedrep1 Head Repair I

5 0805 orgrep1 Organ Repair I

6 0806 heal2 Heal II

7 0807 limrep2 Limb Repair II

8 0808 sysrep2 System Repair II

9 0809 hedrep2 Head Repair II

10 0810 orgrep2 Organ Repair II

11 0811 limrept1 Limb Repair III

12 0812 sysrept1 System Repair III

13 0813 hedrept1 Head Repair III

14 0814 orgrept1 Organ Repair III

15 0815 limrept2 Limb Repair IV

16 0816 sysrept2 System Repair IV

17 0817 hedrept2 Head Repair IV

18 0818 orgrept2 Organ Repair IV

19 0819 eyeregn Eye Regeneration

20 0820 limregn Limb Regeneration

(*) = not implemented.


The odd codes for the Repair III and IV spells are because they used to be called Repair True I and II.

I'm now going to be training in Minor Spiritual because I'd really like to learn Unbalance. The reason I trained so much in Major is because the more spells you know on a list, the better you'll be at casting certain spells on it -- such as Bind, an extremely useful hunting spell when it works. But I've been neglecting the Minor Spiritual spells.


The Future

The Empath Circle list is going to go through massive changes, possibly making a good portion of this document obsolete. :) The latest word is that we will have 5 or 10 healing spells rather than 20, and we'll have mental attack spells to enhance our hunting. Perhaps even the ability to reverse- transfer damage, though that's just a rumor and has some inherent problems.

There are already slots for spells 825 and 830 -- Major Forget and Intensify. Intensify's workings have not been revealed, but Major Forget will make the target lose its prepared spell and the mana points required to cast it, and take nervous system damage -- while the caster will have that spell prepared plus the extra mana required to cast it -- essentially, ripping the spell from the target's mind. That alone may make it worthwhile to train in Spell Aiming. :)

These new spells will mean an increase in our ability to hunt, and an excellent reason to train in the Empath Circle spell list beyond tenth level. :)

Eillie Lindenleaf


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