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DLC 16-updated User Guide

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Main_Menu.jpg(Full size)

Hello all, and welcome to the (in-progress draft of the) unofficial DLC 16-updated guide for Academagia: The Making of Mages. I assume that any who can read this has a strong enough grasp of English to read the options in the main menu and figure out what they do, so I'll get straight to it. Grab notepad and leave your sanity by the door, you're only going to need the first of those.

 

Before you play - Setting Up:

 

"Drag and drop. Something this simple couldn't possibly go wrong." - Former programmer turned woodcutter (attributed)

 

The first step after installing the game is making sure that the latest DLC is also installed. For DLC 16 simply follow the instructions from this topic, for later DLCs (the single one that's planned anyhow) head over to the Support -> Updates section of the forum - download links and instructions will be included in the relevant topic.

 

 

Helpful Functions - What You Should Know (Yet Are Never Told):

 

"It was a random event involving a shop and a shelf falling over. That was literally it." - Bug Reports - The Fruitless Search

 

I personally don't know of many, for better or worse, but here's a few that I did figure out (much later than I should have) and that should be known:

 

1. The "To Anh, Janelle and Kim" screen that the game starts with isn't an unskippable loading screen. Hit pretty much any button on keyboard or mouse and it'll immediately start fading out.

2. During any event or adventure, hit F12 and the game will show a string of information on the bottom-left corner of the screen including the modtools name of the adventure phase or event.

 

 

Character Creation Guide:

 

"How on Earth did Station: Well-To-Do give me +2 Administration, Negotiate and Gates Phemes? What did my parents do, bribe a corrupt historian? Did someone go 'Oh, don't mind our nine-year-old son sitting right there taking notes, please continue with your...historical...overview of the use of now-illegal Gates Phemes' or what? This game..." - Character Creation: A Tool, But For Who?

 

Character Creation is a rather involved process in Academagia (I wasn't kidding about grabbing notepad earlier), so let's go through it step by step.

 

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Step 1 is defining your student's name and gender, and the only step as straightforward as it looks so enjoy that while it lasts. Your student's name isn't going to have any mechanical effects, and his/her gender isn't going to have any mechanical effects worth worrying about (at least in year 1), so go with whatever you prefer. For the purposes of this guide I'll be going with a female student named Deirdre Skye, which might give you a hint as to what kind of person she'll be.

 

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Step 2 is the Talent screen. Here you can spend up to 5 of your 10 Background Points to increase your primary attributes up to a maximum value of 3. Note that this limit only applies to this screen, later options can increase attributes even higher. We'll come back to this screen to actually spend points here later, but now is a good time to think about what your student will be doing and determine what s/he'll need to excel at it. For reference, in the order that the game will later list them (A more mechanical breakdown of what attributes do can be found in Attributes First and Second - Reference List):

 

-Fitness determines how tough your student is, and is necessary to survive more than a single bully.

-Finesse determines how nimble your student is, and is necessary to make precise physical gestures within a reasonable amount of time.
-Charm determines how convincing and/or pretty your student is, and is necessary for many social actions.
-Strength determines how physically strong your student is, and is necessary for (among others) bullying and forging.
-Intelligence determines how knowledgeable your student is, and is necessary for anything that requires memorising details.
-Insight determines how understanding your student is, and is necessary for figuring things out.
-Luck determines how often your student will roll a 20 on a 1d20 (your student, mind, not you), and is necessary for not suffering one disaster after another when trying to meddle with fate.

 

Figuring out what skills your student will be using and which attributes will be required to excel at using these skills is actually a pretty complicated process, especially when you factor in classes and College enrolment, that your class skills might not be your primary skills, and a potential "false start" if your student will eventually end up with primary skills that s/he doesn't even know exist at the start. Yes, this is where notepad can come in handy, and yes, this is significantly easier than it sounds. Especially when you can recite all this stuff from memory. The short version of the process:

 

-Think of the general field your student wants to end up in (nature, crafting, spying, religion, etc).

-Go to the bottom of the Character Creation wiki page and look up which classes are the best fits for your student. Make a note of those classes.

-Go to the list of Colleges (more extensive guide here) and see which College fits your student best. Use your preferred classes and a College's mandatory classes as a starting point. If that fails read the College's focus and description and choose which fits your student's goals the best.

-Make a note of the mandatory classes of your chosen College, go back to the Character Creation wiki page and make a note of the dominant attributes of those classes. Those are your Class Attributes.

-Fill in the rest of your class load (6 classes, 2 or 3 mandated by College, none are mutually exclusive) and mark the respective attributes down as class attributes. Also make a note of your final College and class load choices.

-Think of what your student will want his/her eventual job to be, and if s/he knows take a look at the list of Parent Skills. Make a note of the skills you'll eventually need, and note their dominant attributes as Primary Attributes. Primary attributes that overlap with class attributes are simply Primary/Class attributes. If your student (or you, for that matter) doesn't know what s/he wants to become simply make a note that your student doesn't have a future planned out for him/herself.

 

For those who'd like an example, here is the process Deirdre went through:

 

Deirdre will have some sort of nature focus, which means she'll want to enrol in the classes that are nature-related. Taking a look at the table at the bottom of the Character Creation wiki page, which cleanly lists the 17 available classes by their respective attribute, I see two skills that stand out as perfect fits for a nature build - Botany and Zoology, keyed respectively to Insight and Intelligence. With those two classes in mind it's time to look at the list of Colleges (for a slightly outdated, but more extensive guide, see here) and see which ones have Botany and/or Zoology as a required class, as those colleges will likely have a nature affinity. And indeed they do; College Durand has Botany as a required class and a focus on the flora side of nature, whereas College Morvidus has Zoology as a required class and a focus on the fauna side of nature. Of those two I think Morvidus is a better fit for Deirdre, as it has a stronger focus on nature in general, which means that I'll have Revision and Zoology as required classes, both of which are keyed to Intelligence. Now it's time to return to the class/keyed attribute table and take a look at what I want for the rest of Deirdre's class load. No classes are mutually exclusive, but you absolutely must attend the classes mandated by your college, so we have Revision and Zoology. To that I will add Botany, as it's a fitting class for a nature build, which means I have a class keyed to Insight. I will also add Athletics, as the skills if not the exercise will do Deirdre good, which gives me a class keyed to Fitness. I will also add Negation, a very versatile school of magic, also keyed to Fitness. And lastly I will lastly add History, because in absence of your own glorious adventures there's always the glorious adventures of others to experience.

 

So that puts Deirdre in College Morvidus with a class load of Athletics, Botany, History, Negation, Revision and Zoology, and with Fitness, Insight and Intelligence as her class attributes. If I (or Deirdre, for that matter) had a clear goal in mind for what Deirdre wants to become after graduating I would make a note of what skills she will end up using primarily, and note the dominant attributes of those skills as primary attributes. So say that I wanted Deirdre to become an explorer, she'd obviously invest in the Explore skillset and thus have Luck as a primary attribute. If I instead intended for her to be a veterinarian than Natural Philosophy would obviously be a requirement, which would promote Intelligence from a class attribute to a primary/class attribute. Instead I'm leaving the question of what Deirdre wants to be open and will see how things develop during gameplay. That means I don't know ahead of time what my primary attributes or skills will be and I won't be able to invest in them from the very beginning, but doing so isn't vital. The bit of character development - Deirdre not knowing what she wants to become after graduation - is just as important.

 

When you have a College, class load, general idea of your student's interests and perhaps future plans it's time to still not do anything with the Talent screen. Instead skip over the Talent screen and head on towards step 3. We'll be coming back here later.

 

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Step 3, the big one, is Backgrounds. Shown above is the first of seven similar pages, each of which contains a list of different backgrounds to choose from. Choosing backgrounds is the trickiest part of Character Creation, and it's where your notepad is really going to come in handy. Before I'll discuss how and when and why to choose which backgrounds I'll discuss three mechanical details that are important to know and not immediately obvious:

 

CC3_-_Backgrounds_A.jpg(Full size)

First, you can scroll up and down background descriptions with the mouse wheel if you hover over the description window, despite there being no indication thereof. You can also see that choosing the Omen: Shattered Mirrors background made the other Omen backgrounds greyed out. This is because all Omen backgrounds are mutually exclusive with each other, as are almost all Astrology and all Heritage backgrounds, as well as a few other individual backgrounds from later pages. This by itself is fairly straightforward, however if you choose a background mutually exclusive with another, go to another page and come back...

 

CC3_-_Backgrounds_B.jpg(Full size)

You'll see that the backgrounds that Omen: Shattered Mirrors made unavailable have disappeared from the list. If I deselect Omen: Shattered mirrors and go back-and-forth from this page again the other backgrounds will return, so it's still possible to change your choices if you change your mind. Just not easily.

 

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The third and final detail are Flaws. These are otherwise normal backgrounds that impose a penalty on your student rather than a bonus, and give you another Background point to spend instead of requiring one. Flaws are helpful tools for character building...but not much else.

 

With that out of the way it's time to discuss how, when and why to choose which backgrounds, and forgive me if this sounds like an arcane ritual but Backgrounds are not (always) a simple case of "if X then Y". With only ten points to spend you have to choose wisely, as you'll burn through them faster than you think.

-The first point you should spend is on your Familiar, simply because it's a point you will be spending either way so you might as well spend it now. Familiars can be found on page 5, and there's a number to choose from (see Familiar - Reference List for a list of Familiars available).

-The second (set of) point(s) should be spend on things that define your student's character, which means anything from the first 4 pages. Astrological events and omens, heritage and family, character-defining deeds and education, things that made your student into the person s/he currently is, for better or worse, and perhaps what will determine who s/he'll become. Simply look at the list of available options, look at what sounds interesting and/or fitting (obviously or ironically) for your student's character, and pick the best choices as his/her background.

-The third set of points should be spend back on the Talents Screen, to fill out your attributes. This is where notepad comes in handy because any backgrounds you've chosen that increase attributes aren't going to show their increase here, so you'll need to track those manually. As for which attributes to raise and how high, you'll want all class attributes, all primary attributes, and Fitness at 2. If after that you have points left to spend it's recommended, but not required, to have Insight at 2. If you still have points left to spend you could increase your primary/class attributes to 3 or increase miscellaneous attributes to 2, but neither is required.

-The fourth and final set of points can be spend on Inheritance and Recent Happenings, which are the last two pages of backgrounds respectively. If you have no points left to spend you can always go back and remove a point from somewhere else if you wish, otherwise once you have all the points spend you can proceed past the Background pages, finally, and fill out the last few details.

 

As an example of this process, I'll again use Deirdre Skye:

1. The first point is marked off for later, because while I do want a regular Familiar I'm not sure yet which one. It might depend on my other choices, as well.

 

2. From the first page I choose Omen: Shattered Mirrors, because I need the +1 Intelligence and "mighty destiny" sounds like it'll be fun. Or Fun, Academagia honestly has a surprising amount of overlap between the two.

3. Since that locks me out of one of the +1 Insight backgrounds (which would be Omen: Islandquake) I skip ahead and pick up the other one, which is Prodigy: Spiritual. It means Deirdre will be a bit weirder than most, even for Academagia standards, but for my characters that's generally a forgone conclusion anyway.

4. For the Fitness increase I go back and pick Family: Sports, because I like the idea of Deirdre's entire family being active (although she won't care about Rimbal, personally).

5. With my important attributes where they should be I look for some money, since I happen to know I will need some money early on, and I choose History: Locally Notable. Not just because of the money, one look at Family: Favored Child will tell you that, but because I also like the idea of having likeable parents, and the skill increases are nice too. The two common items are also great, to show off items and the inventory during the UI guide, but guess who completely forgot about that :unsure:.

6. With everything I must have in order in order I look around for interesting backgrounds with useful skill increases, and I settle on taking Deed: Midnight Explorer. The skills are mostly meh (except the incredibly good Observation), but reading the description I got the idea of Deirdre being the romantic sort who's interested in the more romantic aspects of both nature and the night time, perhaps to the point of being a different person when she's in what she thinks of as her favored environment (especially if Prodigy: Spiritual is anything to go by). Quite a stretch, especially for one or two backgrounds, but that's how characters are invented (at least for me).

7. With six points already spend it's time I return to the Talent screen, but on the way I see Astrology: Noon and cannot resist picking it. In part because being perceptive is always fantastic and in part because I like the irony of someone who's interested in the romantic side of nature during the night time being born at noon.

 

8. With my backgrounds set and strapped for points I finally head back to the Talents screen and contemplate how to fill in the rest. I end up deciding to spend one point on the Talent screen to increase Charm to 2, as both the Charm increasing backgrounds (Family: Sky Pirates and Prodigy: Centre of Attention) I didn't think were good fits for Deirdre the romantic "weird girl" night explorer.

 

-. With the point I had marked off at the very start I finally settle on a Familiar, and I choose the Platypus because I happen to know that it effectively gives +1 Luck (among other things) at the very start of the game.

9. My second to last point is spend on Inheritance: Mysterious Package, because I'm a fool who forgot that History: Locally Notable gives out two common items with which I could show off the inventory UI. Oops.

10. The last point is spend on Discoveries: Libraries, which gives me information and Visitation Rights to the Library of the Mantle of Stars as well as the Library of the Manetele, meaning I can freely use both locations to train a skill of my choice and either an extra Astrology skill (Mantle of Stars) or an extra Revision and Forge skill (Manetele). It's honestly a minor bonus, but nevertheless a personal favorite of mine because it means I never have to train just one skill at a time, and the early-game objective of opening up one of the libraries will be fulfilled right from the word go. With how brutal the early game is, that minor bonus feels much better than it has any right to.

 

Again, another one of those processes that's significantly easier after you've done it a few times and gotten the hang of it.

 

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Step 4, once you get to it, is choosing which College to enrol in as well as your student's personal class load. By now you should have a good idea on what College and classes your character will want to attend, so it should simply be a matter of filling in the paperwork.

 

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Step 5 is choosing your portrait. There's two to choose from for each gender/College combination, and it is possible (if a bit of an involved process) to replace one of the stock portraits with a custom-made one. This screen is also the last chance to go back and change things. Up to and including your student's name and gender can be changed by hitting Back on this page, but once you hit Next you're locked into whatever choices you've made. You also cannot review the choices you've made once the game starts, so if you wish to keep that information for later save the notes you've made in notepad. Also please excuse the kitchen sink mess that is Deirdre's backgrounds here. Making sure I had everything for the UI guide...did not go quite as smoothly as I would have liked. If you spend a background point on a Familiar (or got Mr. Pebbles) you'll see one last prompt before the game begins.

 

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Step 6, if you've spend a point on (or, Gods help you, got one from) a Familiar you'll see this final prompt asking you for your Familiar's name, otherwise the game will jump straight into the ingame tutorial. Each Familiar has a default name, and all except the Forlorn Spirit (named Pamela) can be renamed. Once you're satisfied with the name click the strange...nail-like thing above the "Close" text and failing that click all over the Close button. The hitbox of it is a little wonky, but thankfully you should only see this dialogue box once or twice.

 

And with that you'll have finished Character Creation and be in the game with a hopefully usable student.

 

 

Attributes First and Second - Reference List:

 

"What's a trip into a lit furnace if you will get a point of Fitness out of it? You're going to need it later, trust me." - Meta-gaming's Pros and Cons, Revised Edition

 

Quick reference list of the mechanical effects of each attribute, both primary and secondary, and which class skills are keyed to which primary attribute.

 

Fitness determines base Stress and Vitality Maximums (both are Fitness×2), and is the dominant attribute of Athletics and Negation.
Finesse determines base Concealment maximum (Finesse×2), and is the dominant attribute of Calligraphy and Incantation.
Charm is the dominant attribute of Glamour and Rhetoric.
Strength determines Encumbrance maximum (Strength×2), and is the dominant attribute of no class skills.
Intelligence is the dominant attribute of Arithmetic, Dialectic, Geometry, Grammar, History, Revision and Zoology.
Insight is the dominant attribute of Botany, Enchant and Music.
Luck is the dominant attribute of Astrology.

 

Stress increases as bad things happen until you exceed your maximum, at which point you're forced to rest for an entire day.

Vitality decreases as bad things happen until you're at or below 0, at which point you're forced to rest for an entire day.

Encumbrance is the sum total weight of all the items you have on you. Overloading yourself risks getting a reprimand for breaking dress code.

Concealment is the sum total bulk of all the item you have on you. Carrying too much risks getting a reprimand for breaking dress code

 

 

Familiars - Reference List:

 

"Why do I obsessively grind every pebble I find into dust? Oh, if only you knew. If only you knew..." - Oursouk Mage

 

Familiars can be separated into two groups - Common and Exotic. During Character Creation you can spend 1 background point on either a common familiar of your choice, or a random exotic one.

 

Exotic Familiars:

Bat, Carnivorous Plant, Chameleon, Doll, Faux Dragon, Ferret, Fish, Hawk, Hedgehog, Lizard, Mole, Monkey, Muffler, Porcupine, Rabbit, Shade, Snake, Spider, Sprite, Toad, Turtle.

 

Common Familiars:

Cat, Dog, Rat, Owl, Platypus

Spirit (if no other Familiar is chosen, costs 0 Background points)

Rock (gives +1 Background point)

 

 

Continued in the next post.

Edited by Metis

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Separate posts because image limits -_-. Also not all images in the post because image limits <_<...

 

User Interface guide:

 

"It's ironic that the Context button's sole purpose is to list names completely out of context." - Unknown

 

Most of your time playing Academagia will be spend looking at one of two screens - the Event Screen or the Calender screen. The event screen is the one you'll be seeing first at the start of the game, so I'll start with that one.

 

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The event screen, per it's name, is used to show you events that are happening and where you'll make your choice in how to respond to them. The main text can be scrolled through using either the Next/Previous Page buttons, or more conveniently, the mouse wheel. Font size can be changed by hovering over the main text and using either the numpad's + or - buttons, although only the font size of certain text can be increased. It's not strictly necessary to read the text in order to proceed, but it's definitely recommended (not to mention kind of the point).

 

Important note: Hit F12 on the Event Screen to show various game build and patch information in the bottom-left corner, including the modtools name of the event shown on screen. If possible please include the modtools name of an event or adventure stage when posting bug rapports, as this makes it significantly easier to find for debugging and/or bugfixing purposes.

 

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The list of options will generally have enough choices that it'll scroll, in which case the Scroll Top and Scroll Down buttons will appear. Again it's more convenient to use the mouse wheel to actually scroll, but the buttons are a nice indication that you can. Options are colour-coded based on their success chance and are always listed in order of highest to lowest success chance. Mind, that last part is strictly based on the PC's skills and attributes, as can be seen in this image. The Validate Orders button does exactly what it says on the tin, namely making your student go through with whatever option you've chosen. The colour-coding scheme used by the game goes as follows:

 

Green options are a guaranteed success barring a very unlucky roll on a Chance of Failure.

Blue options are more likely than not to succeed, regardless of whether that chance boils down to 51% or 99%.

Black options have an even 50/50 chance of succeeding or failing.

Red options are less likely than even to succeed, be it a 1% or a 49% chance

Purple options cannot succeed barring a very lucky roll on Chance of Success.

 

Options come in two flavours, Exits and Investigations. Exits are what allow you to escape from situations, either unscathed or in worse shape than when you woke up that morning. Investigations are rolls that generally either open up new exits, or give you bonuses on one or more of the existing exits. There's no visible distinction between Exits or Investigations except context (which, sad to say, is not always intuitive) or, during adventures, the Sacrifice a Member option. Sacrifice a Member is an option that only appears during adventures when you have an Exit option selected if you have Clique members (read: friends) you've not yet sacrificed. Sacrificing one will allow you to automatically pass the roll in question and gain all benefits from it as if you succeeded on the roll...except that the game will not display the success text, and your mutual relationship with your chosen sacrifice will take a hit.

 

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The Calender screen is the screen you'll be seeing the most while playing the game, as it contains all the information your student knows and is where you'll be deciding what you student will be doing on a day-to-day bases. We'll discuss how to change actions in a moment, for now let's take a look at the left side of the screen below he character portrait.

 

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The first tab shows your primary and secondary attributes. Hover over the primaries to see any temporary abilities, spells or emotions that are modifying them and how long the effects will remain in place if they are on a strict time limit. Hover over the secondary attributes to see what your maximum values are (including temporary modifications from abilities or spell). The Stress value turns red when you've exceeded your maximum and are about to be forced into sickness. The Vitality value turns red whenever you're below your maximum, although you're not forced to drag yourself to the infirmary until your Vitality score drops to or below 0. There are no penalties to running around with less than maximum vitality except the risk of a string of bad luck forcing you into the infirmary before you have a chance to rest. Encumbrance and Concealment turn red when you've exceeded their respective maximums, making you at risk of being reprimanded for breaking dress code.

 

The second tab shows all active Emotions, all Abilities you possess (and shouldn't, in this case of Elegant Service, but that one's a bug) and all Actions you have. Emotions are semi-permanent abilities that will either help or hinder you. You will gain emotional states at the end of a day when you have the right skill/active stress levels or they are forcefully applied to you, and emotions will be lost if you don't have the right skill/active stress levels to maintain it at the end of a day. A full list of emotions can be found here. Abilities are separated into two groups, which the UI distinguishes between using the black and grey color scheme. Abilities listed in black are active abilities, which are things you can spend a turn doing for either permanent or temporary gain. Abilities listed in grey are passive abilities, which will modify your skills, attributes, chance of success or other things. Note that having a passive ability doesn't necessarily mean it's active - some have a requirement before they will work (Electrical Awareness is one such ability, requiring the Platypus Familiar and Bond of Stars 3), although these are few in number. Actions are functionally identical to active abilities, the distinction between them being inconsistent on a good day.

 

The third tab shows skill and research levels. Skills - separated into parent skills and subskills - are listed by parent skills. Click the plus sign next to a parent skill to show the list of associated subskills your student is informed of, hover over a subskill to see what abilities/spells/items are affecting the skill level and how many skill steps are needed to reach the next skill level. Hover over a parent skill to see what, if anything, is modifying it. The book icon denoted class skills, with the number inside the book listing the student's study level in that subject. Research lists all the research subjects you've unlocked, generally by discovering the associated location, and what research level you're at. Study and Research levels cap out at 10, and cannot be increased further. Subskills default to a maximum of 10, but through certain means it is possible to increase their maximum to 11. One method can increase this limit even further, but for year 1 a skill level of 11 is the practical maximum. Parent skills have no individual maximum, they remain equal to their third highest subskill.

 

The fourth tab shows all spells and Phemes that the student is informed of. This includes spells that the player cannot cast on account of not knowing all it's Phemes, which do not appear on the list of spells the player can spend a turn casting.

 

The firth tab shows a list of all the items the player has in his/her possession and a list of recipes that the player is informed of. This tab is useful for checking which items a player possesses during events, as the actual inventory can't be accessed on the Event Screen, and recipes the player knows of. Also shown is that Deirdre Skye's locals decided to send her off to the Academagia with a plank of oak wood and a book. Funnily enough oak wood planks are the standard wood to use for bookshelves, Deirdre's has the "massive bookworm" background and due to an engine quirk an actual collection of oak planks are hard to come by ingame, so ironically enough it all makes sense in a way.

 

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The right side of the screen shows the information window, currently containing the ingame description of Concealment. Practically everything that highlights when you hover over it - items, abilities, locations, lores, NPC names, skills, spells, Phemes, etc. - can be clicked for more information, which will show in the information window. The See Previous and See Next buttons will, per their names, show the previous or next screen that the information window showed before. The clock will attempt to tell you the date and weather, unfortunately it perpetually runs a day slow and uses either shortened or archaic names for the various months. Speaking of, ignore that it was supposedly snowing the day before Juvenalia (which would roughly be August 31 in Earth terms), as weather is a mechanic not fully implemented into the game and without mechanical consequences. The same is true for the the two summer months, Kapsus and Theriventus, which is partially why their weather patterns are all over the place.

 

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The buttons around the clock open various tabs in the information window. This is also where the Previous and Next buttons become important, so as to prevent needless re-selecting tabs and scrolling.

 

The first button is the Menu tab, which is where you'll do exactly what you would think a set of options called "Save this game", "Load a game" and "Exit" do. The "Begin another game" button takes you straight to the modlist, which is handy for if you're looking for something specific from Character Creation and are re-rolling the character until you get it. Note that you cannot access this tab when you're in the event screen, so you cannot save or load during events. You can save and load all you want before events, mind, so save-scumming is an option.

 

The second tab lists your student's known lores and locations. Lores are individual snippets of information that serve no mechanical purpose during year 1, but they are an interesting read and will contain all kinds of interesting information about the setting. Location descriptions can be read for both background fluff as well as mechanical information like location bonuses and whether they have a Chance of Discovery.

 

The third tab, not included in the screenshot above, is the Context tab. This button will, during events, list every instance of an NPC who's name is mentioned or is otherwise referenced in a way that allows one to click on their name/reference to their name and see their information in the information window. If that sounds ridiculously complicated, well, rest assured that this is a tab does nothing that the event screen itself doesn't do except, ironically enough, without any sort of context. You can easily go through the entire game without knowing what this tab does, much less without using it.

 

The fourth tab lists every NPC that the PC knows of and their (mutual) relationship. This list can be sorted by name, associated College and numerical relationship value. Every name can be clicked on for a description of the NPC in question, although inter-NPC relationships can only be reliably checked by the CONFIRMATION ORDERS screen (yes, that is a thing). Note that the PC does not start out knowing every student and/or professor on campus, but they will know all of their fellow College mates, professors who's class they're in, the seven Regents (overseers of the Colleges), and Legate Orso Orsi (the headmaster of the Academagia). Also note that NPC student information is limited at first, but if you become Informed of a fellow student (which can be done through a variety of ways) you will be given significantly more information.

 

The fifth tab shows information on your Clique (or, if you don't have one, a message telling you to make some friends) as well as a list of other cliques that currently exist. People in your Clique are listed by name, with their respective Clique Ability below them and their relationship value with the PC next to them. The patrol bonus is a dummied-out mechanic that serves no mechanical purpose. Fun Fact: This is the reason why the screenshot of the list of event options above was a bit of an exception to the usual rule. Beatrix von Wetgen and her insane Persuasion 5 steamrolled the puny tutorial roll, while Deirdre's ignorance on what Persuasion is made it a less than likely roll for Deirdre to pass herself.

 

The sixth and last tab shows you exactly what you'd expect a tab called "Familiar" to do in a magic school game where the PC has a Familiar. Namely, showing you your Familiar.

 

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The last three buttons on the Calender screen are the top three buttons next to the PC's College crest. From left to right you have the Inventory screen, the Control screen and the Calender screen. The inventory screen takes you to your actual inventory, where you can shuffle around items, equip them or shove them in your wardrobe. The Control screen shows you the schedules of NPCs you're currently Controlling, which is something that is generally accomplished through the (proscribed) school of Mastery, but not exclusively. Even so for most people this will only ever bring up a blank screen and nothing else. The Calender screen button simply returns you to the Calender screen.

 

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The inventory screen is where all the item management is done, and consists of three separate inventories - your wardrobe, your knapsack and your student - and some other information.

 

The wardrobe is for storing items that you're not using so they will not count towards your Encumbrance and Concealment scores, and for storing illegal items you really don't want confiscated by the faculty should you get reprimanded. You don't have to be reprimanded for actually using an illegal item or breaking dress code to be searched for contraband, you'll be search every time you're reprimanded (at least for conduct) no matter the reason, and illegal items will be taken away. Naturally, items in the wardrobe don't do anything for you, and they cannot be sold either.

 

The knapsack is for items that you haven't yet had a chance to put away or equip and for items you intend to sell at a later point. Items stashed in the wardrobe cannot be sold, but items in the knapsack do count towards your Encumbrance and Concealment scores. If you're particularly puny or clumsy you might have to make several trips to a shop in order to sell everything without risking a reprimand for breaking dress code, but this shouldn't happen too often. Illegal items in your knapsack are also confiscated by faculty if you're reprimanded, so don't keep anything illegal in there.

 

Your student's personal inventory, formally known as the paperdoll, is where you'll equip items to actually use. Items have to be equipped to be used, and while this screen might seem very low on actual equipment slots this is because equipment slots only show up when you've actually got something to equip them in. Items do not tell you which slot they go into, this can only be checked by trying to equip something and seeing if it'll equip. Mind, most of the time it's fairly obvious where what goes. Items can be sold directly from your person, and obviously count towards Encumbrance or Concealment. Note, however, that no matter how illegal an item is no one will call you out on it for simply equipping it. You can safely wave around a hellfire-inscribed Mastery Wand of Draconic Domination in class and wear a complimentary Demon Helmet attuned to Gates while taking a meal in the Great Hall, your professors will be none the wiser until the catch you trying to sneak into the kitchen.

 

The remaining two things on this screen include the money pile, which is simply how much money you have available in Pims. Fluff wise there are other denominations, but Pims is used in all shops and practically every random event and adventure. The second thing in the Inventory screen is the Chance of Discovery percentage. Important to know is that this figure is your personal modifier that is either added or subtracted to any given location's Chance of Detection, or percentage chance that you'll be reprimanded for trespassing every time you spend a turn in that location. A given location's base Chance of Detection value can be looked up through the Lores and Locations tab, which will always show the base value without your modifier affecting it.

 

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Items that are identified will show their durability type and value, their description, the list of abilities associated with them, their market value in Pims, their Encumbrance and Concealment values, and crafting details if they have a recipe. Items with the Durable durability type items will not break or spoil over time, they are only worn down by corrosive magic or specific abilities. Perishable items will spoil after a specific number of turns, and while there exist spells to preserve them for longer they will nevertheless still spoil eventually. PS, this item is what Deirdre got from the Mysterious Package. Really regretting going with the Smug Blonde portrait rather than Possessed Brunette. It would have been so fitting.

 

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Almost last on our long list is the turn select windows. This is where you'll choose what to do instead of Resting or Attending Class(es). As mentioned before the difference between Actions and active Abilities is murky even on a good day, so consider those the same list split into two. Just as well, really, because rest assured that this list will be significantly longer before the game is over. Cast Spell allows you to send a turn doing exactly that, whereas Use Item allows you to use an active Ability from one of your items. The Details window does indeed scroll, although you'll want to select an action before doing so because the description won't necessarily stick around otherwise. You'll note that your choices here are also colour-coded, although in this instance this comes with two stipulations. One, contested actions like Befriend and Gossip are always colored purple until you actually select a target in the CONFIRMATION ORDERS window. Second is that options are colour-coded based on the most likely effect that action will have, and only the most likely one.

 

For example, Compete is an action that will roll Insight/Compete v.12 for +3 Merit - completely impossible with a starting character that has 2 Insight and 0 Compete - but will also give +3 Merit regardless of whether the roll succeeds or fails. The guarantee of getting +3 Merit is more likely than the impossible roll that gives out +3 Merit, so Compete is colour-coded green for "cannot fail" even though it's associated roll in this instance cannot do anything but fail.

 

Oh, and PS: You can, in fact, run into demonic portals in this game.

 

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Next is the CONFIRMATION ORDERS window. This will pop up every time you've decided how to spend your turns for any given day and hit the Validate Orders button. This is where you'll specify exactly what you want to study, who's head you wish to rip off, and where exactly you wish to try and do this. Certain actions/abilities, like Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars (note: this is actually a modded ability and not exactly what the ability does in the vanilla game) must take place at a certain location and do not require you to roll for anything, so all you can do is specify exactly what you wish to do. With actions that aren't tied to a location and that require a roll you're also able to specify which location you want to use (although keep a location's Chance of Detection in mind, you will be reprimanded if you're caught trespassing) and you're able to add a Stress Bonus to the roll. Stress Bonus allows you to add up to your Fitness×2 to any action/ability directly requiring a roll (more testing required...), but after the day's turns have passed you'll suffer as many points of Stress as you put in. This means the Stress cannot be gotten rid of until the next day, so if you really need a large bonus to a roll now you'll have to increase your Stress Maximum for long enough to not become sick the next day.

 

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The last bit of UI is the shopping screen. This is where you'll be selling useless junk and buying awesome items to wear and use, or in the case of Catalogues where you'll be ordering useful stuff and not doing any selling, because they're catalogues. The Show Shop button is for when you look up any information that's printed in the information window, as that will overwrite the shop inventory and you obviously need that in order to do any shopping. A few things to note about shops: Items bought from a shop or catalogue are always identified; vendors do not care about whether an item is identified or not in terms of what they'll pay for an item; multiple items can be bought/sold at once by selecting multiple items to buy/sell (assuming one has the money of course); vendors do not restock. Sadly that last part is also true for many crafting ingredients. Unique to Catalogues is that you cannot sell items to them, and items bought from them will randomly show up in your wardrobe unannounced after a random amount of days (anywhere from...I think 5 to 14 days, may depend on the catalogue), so keep an eye on your inventory if you're expecting a package.

 

 

Ingame Tutorial Commentary:

 

"So is Modus Operandi a Mastery Pheme or what?" - The Impossible, on cataloguing Phemes

 

The ingame tutorial comes in two forms, Gera's letter and Oan's adventure. I fully suggest you read through both while playing the game, however there are a few details about them which are not/no longer correct and/or incomplete and/or unclear, and I wish to correct those details before moving on with a demonstration of actual gameplay. So, in order:

 

Gera's Letter, page 1 talks about the Calender, and mentions that failing an event/adventure roll will Inform you of the skill you tried (and failed) to roll. What is not mentioned is the fact that this only applies to subskills, failing to roll a parent skill does not naturally inform you of that parent skill. And to clarify: This only applies when failing a roll. Succeeding on a dry roll will not Inform you of the subskill you rolled.

 

Gera's Letter, page 2 mentions the importance of the Train action. This was once...true enough, but currently the Train action can and should be avoided if at all possible.

It used to be the case that a PC did not start the game Informed of the Venalicium Library location by default. Instead players used Train to expand their student's Study Habits skill until they were Informed of enough Research subskills to Train the Research parent skill to 1, opening up the Venalicium Library the long and hard way. The Venalicium Library is the gateway to more efficient training methods that make Train obsolete, so Train need no longer be bothered with anymore.

 

Gera's Letter, page 3 talks about studying and the difference between studying and training. What is does not talk about is that study levels unlock stuff just as well as increasing skills unlocks stuff, and that rather than simply studying one can Study in the Venalicium Library. Of course, see my commentary on page 2 why the latter detail isn't mentioned.

 

Gera's Letter, page 4 mentions the PC's Familiar and their Bond. It does not mention that Bond is listed with your Familiar's skills, not yours, so to increase it you need to train your Familiar (there's actions and abilities that will do this, and yes, the default Train Familiar Action is hopelessly inefficient). It also does not mention that for many rolls half of your Familiar's skill, up to a maximum of half of your Familiar's Bond parent skill (not sure how it's rounded), is added to your roll. This bonus should apply to your Familiar as well, but due to an engine bug your Familiar does not benefit at all from the player's skills regardless of the Bond skill level. Lastly, the game's color-coding mechanic does not account for a student's Familiar skill bonus.

 

Gera's Letter, page 5 mentions a number of things quickly, but only two things that need clarification. The bit about Exploring fails to mention that in addition to a Chance of Detection, each location has a (hidden) Exploration Difficulty value. This value is a representation of how (un)likely you are to find a place every time you explore that location's Region, and in order to have a chance of finding a location your Luck/Explore roll result must exceed (meet?) the location's Exploration Difficulty value. Even the Map Region Action rolls Luck/Explore,though it doesn't say that it does, so be mindful of that. The Gossip action is correctly mentioned as being useful for increasing inter-student relationships, what it fails to mention is that in order to be truly effective one needs to pass a very high Charm/Gossip roll. Also a note is that the Gossip action is the most basic method to reliably check the mutual relationships between NPC students, provided that you're Informed of the student who's relationship values you wish to investigate.

 

Oan Stage 1 discusses a few things, starting with reprimands and detention. What she fails to mention (or perhaps what she fails to clarify) is that at or after the Discipline level detention you'll be dragged before the Praetexta Court, where you'll be given one chance to explain yourself and avoid being expelled. Fail that one chance, or be dragged before the Praetexta Court a second time, and it's game over. Also mentioned is the Merit Race, although what is not mentioned is that due to the pre-set NPC student AI the Merit race is rarely a fair competition. College Morvidus and College Vernin will win the Merit race more often than all other Colleges combined, although not necessarily. Funnily enough Deirdre Skye is actually in one of those rare situations where the Merit race is a race between Aranaz and Avila (...somehow).

 

Oan Stage 2 discusses student relationships and Cliques. What it fails to mention is that while it's possible that your student will be asked to do something for someone, this is entirely based on random events, not the game's natural progression of the NPC students. Of course some events with other students will only happen if you have a particularly high, particularly low or particularly neutral relationship with them, so they're not entirely "random" as such.

 

Oan Stage 3 discusses Familiars, although it doesn't go into a lot of mechanical details. I've already commented on those details in Gera's letter 4, so I won't repeat myself.

 

Oan Stage 4 discusses Phemes and spells. What isn't clarified is that, mechanically, adding a Pheme to a spell will add it's difficulty level to the roll. Choose a spell that's a roll v.5 and add a difficulty 3 Pheme, and you have yourself a spell that does a little bit more than normal at the cost of it's roll being increased to v. 8. Also, you cannot add Phemes to spells that have no roll associated with them.

 

Oan Stage 5 discusses Location Bonuses, as well as Exploring. The latter of which references a dummied-out mechanic that was removed from year 1 - monster encounters. You will never encounter anything that wishes to kill or harm you no matter where you explore, although 99/100 times you will be risking detention.

 

Oan Stage 6 discusses Competing and Favor. What is not discussed is that, unfortunately, cashing in Favor is entirely random. You might get what you want from any given professor, but you might get something else instead. And, indeed, you might even get something completely useless.

 

Oan stage 7 discusses shops. This stage has only two incorrect details - Merchants will never care whether or not you're carrying a museum worth of illegal goods on you, and students will likewise never complain about your portable Gates exhibit (except the odd random event) whether you're selling it or flaunting it in the Great Hall. Mind, if you're carrying stuff to the point of breaking dress code (which is a loosely defined set of rules if not concept if you hadn't picked up on that fact already) you will risk a reprimand for that, but otherwise neither merchant or student will care.

 

Oan stage 8 discusses duels. Duels are sadly a very poorly documented part of Academagia (I myself have never fought one), but I can nevertheless point out a few things. First, the Gaesa that prevents the loser from using Hostile typed actions on the winner also applies to the winner him/herself - win or lose, neither side of a duel will be able to be hostile towards the other afterwards. Second, which I sadly cannot confirm, I'm fairly certain that your Rival cannot fail to show up for a duel even if s/he got a tactical nuke dropped on his/her face the day prior. Third, which is a mechanical detail that isn't mentioned, for your student to fight in a duel you must tag someone as a Rival (through Declare Vendetta) and then initiate a Duel through activating your rival student's respective Duel adventure. NPC students will not make you your Rival or challenge you to a duel no matter what happens...at least in Year 1, so beware of making enemies.

 

Oan stage 9 discusses adventure mechanics. This is the last proper tutorial stage, and the only detail Oan misses is the fact that your Clique members can only help you on rolls. If an option requires skill ranks to show up in the first place than your Clique won't be able to help you (even Sacrifice a Member can't be done if an option doesn't show up in the first place). Mind that such skill requirements are rare, and those rare times are generally limited to events (which your Clique can't help you with anyway).

 

 

A Primer on Rolls, Chance of Success/Failure, and Glory:

 

"If you have Chance of Success there's never an instance where you can't succeed, just a large number of instances where you won't." - Follies Of The Comet, second edition.

 

Rolls in Academagia are always, without fail, an Attribute/Skill check versus either a set difficulty or against an Attribute/Skill check of someone else - the former is called a set roll (or roll against a set threshold), the latter is a contested roll. The game won't always tell you which attribute is being rolled (adventures never will), but it is done whether the game says so or not. So how do rolls work, exactly? The game rolls a random number between 0 and the relevant attribute's level×2, adds the person's skill level, and adds 1/2 of the skill of that student's Familiar (up to a maximum of 1/2 of the Familiar's Bond parent skill). That number is compared to either a set threshold or what the opponent rolled in case of a contested roll. If the rolled number meets or exceeds a set threshold, the roll is passed. Same for contested rolls, although when contested rolls tie victory might go to the defender (there's unfortunately no good way to test this...).

 

To use Deirdre as an example again, if she decided to Compete she'd roll her 2 Insight for a random number between 0 and 4, add her Compete skill of 0, and add half of her Familiar's Compete skill of 0 (or add 0 because his Bond is at 0, half of which is still 0, whichever you prefer). The result is compared with Compete's set threshold of v.12, and, well you can probably guess what happens next. Clearly impossible, yet Deirdre could still succeed, which brings me to the next point.

 

Chance of Success and Chance of Failure (henceforth abbreviated as CoS and CoF) are invisible statistics which, if the stars align, overturn the outcome of regular rolls. For better or worse. CoS and CoF are both measured in percentages, and whenever a student makes a roll that s/he has a CoS or CoF for the game fishes a random number between 1 and 100 out of a top hat. If the number fished is less than or equal to the value of the relevant CoS/CoF, the roll succeeds/fails regardless of whether it normally would (or even could). CoS/CoF can be increased by a number of ways, including a few spells and several background options. More exact mechanics, such as how CoS and CoF interact when present on the same roll, are not known.

 

Glory is a(nother) invisible statistic that is a shorthand for how (in)famous your student is, both on campus and outside campus, and has the ingame effect of...something. Yeah. The exact value of Glory has been left intentionally vague. Speculation is that it attracts the attention of NPC students (both of the "let me set your hair on fire" variety and the "could you sign my textbook" variety), that it increases CoS at Social type actions, but it's exactly use is unknown. It's generally agreed on that there are diminishing returns to mass-accumulation of Glory, whatever it's effects might be. Glory can be increased by one or two Background options, through a number of special actions/abilities (which are generally either one-time only and/or behind crazy difficult rolls), and certain adventures. Temporary increases are also available, generally through the casting of Spells.

 

Edited by Metis

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Separate post because...oh, you know -_-.

The First two weeks of Gameplay:

"I suppose only one questions remains. Now what?" - Deirdre Skye, Great Gate of the Academagia, Athonos Juvenalia 1657 PC

With character creation and the UI explained it's time to go into detail on what, exactly, you're supposed to do during the game. Now strictly speaking you actually don't have to do anything. So long as you don't get expelled for repeated breaches of conduct you technically "win" when the school year ends, even if you did nothing but attend classes, study and rest the entire year. Of course that'd be a pretty boring way to spend the year. Instead, you should set goals for yourself, either at the start of the game or whenever something comes up that makes you want to do something, and see about doing it. Want to become a master of Glamour? Look for items that increase your Glamour skills, make friends with people good at Glamour (students and professors alike), research the various Glamour subskills, train them up as high as you can manage, etc. Found yourself a the wrong end of Kurt's firing line? Fight back and Duel him, maybe instead try an teach him a thing or two about aiming and being a decent human being (good luck), perhaps go for a more subtle approach and spread rumors so that he suddenly finds himself between Philippe's fist and Joana's...everything, frankly. Academagia isn't just a game about getting increasingly higher numbers until the game runs out of increasingly contrived and mythology-referencing villains to use those numbers on...although high numbers are certainly necessary if you plan on doing anything other than "fail miserably at everything".

As such, the first month of the game is practically always about setting up. It doesn't have to be, trial by fire is certainly one way to go about learning skills, but a method less detrimental to one's health is generally the preferred long-term solution. So the (usual) goals for the first month are obsolete the Train action, because it is horribly inefficient and you should never use it unless you absolutely have to; Start Studying for Midterms, because the (inaccurately named) "mid"terms will start only three months after the game starts and there's a few reasons to study for them sooner rather than later; Finish Oan's adventure part 1, because relatively speaking it's a really easy adventure, being tied to the tutorial and all, and it unlocks some good stuff for relatively little effort; And lastly Form a Clique, because potential friends will make Cliques of their own really fast so you have to be quick on the draw if you want a decent number of potential friends to choose from.

Once again I'll be using Deirdre Skye as an example of how one way of this process looks, although first I will go back through Character Creation because I really don't need the Mysterious Package background, especially when that gives me a ring of Mastery, so let's just...fix that. Axe Mysterious Package for Astrology: The Comet and switch the Platypus for something far more fitting for Deirdre Skye the romantic night-time explorer...like an owl. Observant, intelligent and nocturnal. Perfect. That gives Deirdre Skye the following at the start:

-BACKGROUNDS-
01. Talent: +1 Charm
+1 Charm


02. Astrology: Noon
+2 Observation, +2 Perception, +2 Reason

03. Astrology: The Comet
+1% Chance of Success to all Actions, +1 Luck, +1 Pure Luck

04. Omen: Shattered Mirrors
+1% Chance of Success, +1 Intelligence, +2 Leadership, +1 Oratory

05. Family: Sports
+1 Fitness, +1 to two Random Rimbal Skills, +1 to two Random Athletics Skills

06. History: Locally Notable
+50 Pims, 2 random common items, +1 Temperance, +1 Patience, +1 Conversation

07. Deed: Midnight Explorer
+1 Courage, +1 Romance, +1 Archaeology, +1 Pure Luck, +1 Observation, 1 random Pheme

08. Prodigy: Spiritual
+1 Insight, +1 Awareness, +1 Ethics, +1 Art Appreciation

09. Familiar Bond: Owl
Minister Hiboux

10. Discoveries: Libraries
+1 Library Knowledge, +1 Filing, The Library of Manetele, The Library of the Mantle Stars

-College-
Morvidus
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-Class Load-
Athletics, Botany, History, Negation, Revision, Zoology
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-Attributes-
Fitness : 2

Finesse : 1
Charm : 2
Strength : 1
Intelligence: 2
Insight : 2
Luck : 2
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-Stress/Vitality-
Stress : 0/4
Vitality: 2/4
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-Set Skill Increases-
+1 Archaeology
+1 Art Appreciation
+1 Awareness
+1 Conversation
+1 Ethics
+1 Filing
+2 Leadership
+1 Library Knowledge
+3 Observation
+1 Oratory
+1 Patience
+2 Perception
+2 Pure Luck
+2 Reason
+1 Romance
+1 Temperance
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-Random Skill Increase-
+1 to 2 random Athletics (Archery, Swimming)
+1 to 2 random Rimbal (Endurance, Rimbal Tactics)
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-Spells/Phemes-
1 random Common Pheme (Cleanse)
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-Finances-
+50 Pims
+00 Parental Approval
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-Items-
2 random Common items (Pendulum, Strength Potion)
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-Relations-
N/a
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-Locations-
The Library of Manetele (Information/Visitation Rights)
The Library of the Mantle Stars (Information/Visitation Rights)

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-Chance of Success/Failure-
+2% CoS to all
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In hindsight maybe Centre of Attention wouldn't be that unfitting, since Deirdre already gets +1 Flirting and +2 Leadership from other backgrounds, but I still don't think that she'd actively seek to be the centre of a crowd. But never mind that. Time to actually start playing the game. Forgive all the text BTW, but, well, screenshot limits and I've shown off the UI already...

Athonos Juvenalia:
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars

Straight from the word go I've obsoleted the Train action thanks to the Discoveries: Libraries background, so that's one goal already completed. Those who don't start with that background will instead be spamming Study in the Venalicium Library - it'll slowly but surely train your Research subskills, which includes the Library Knowledge subskill, which is the "normal" way to access the Mantle of Stars and the Manetele at skill levels 6 and 9 respectively. Since you want to study for your classes anyhow, and since studying in the Venalicium Library is the usual method of doing so, you could argue that I don't really get anything from this background. It's true that I don't get much...but I'll get enough. Today I spend two turns studying my Insects skill, since I'm in Zoology class and that means I'm informed of all Zoology subskills, and one turn studying Social Skills. The reasons why will become clear later.

Random Event:
And of course the game deigns to slap me with a random event right on the first day. Deirdre gets surprised by a levitation trap placed on a cookie jar, and can either give up, use Observation to try and look for another way to escape, or use the Wizard's Tailor Revision Spell to escape...somehow. Since I'm in Revision class there's nothing to be gained from trying and failing the Revision Spells roll. Failing a roll does Inform you of the skill if it's a subskill, but since I'm in the class I already know it. Giving up might or might not serve any purpose whatsoever, so it's time for some observation. The roll succeeds, and opens up the option to test my Patience with trying to reach a nearby curtain. I've got Patience already from the Locally Notable background, probably the only reason the roll isn't purple frankly, so I've again got nothing to gain from trying and failing. I do have something to gain from trying and succeeding, unlikely as it might be, so I try Patience.

Holiday Event:
Oh, right, so on every holiday there's a set event that always occurs, and Juvenalia is no exception. Today you get the meet the mentor that no one except Gera bothered to inform you of - Oan. You can refuse her help, but it's a really dumb idea to do so. So I don't. Instead she talks a bit about game mechanics and asks me what I think my greatest talent is. Your answer can be any attribute that's at 2 or higher, or nothing specific, but I went with Luck - namely because that increases my Pure Luck and I'm going to need that later. And if you think that's meta-gaming, well, you've not seen anything yet.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Got my promised skill step increases, and for getting Social Skills 2 I'm Informed of all Befriend subskills. Conversation and Temperance I already had by way of Locally Notable, but Listen I did not. I also get some stuff for the Insect increases and the skill steps I got from studying at the Mantle of Stars, but those aren't important right now. Maybe later, but not right now. As for the random event, well, it fails and I lose a skill step of Dedication for my troubles. Only I don't have Dedication, so I didn't have a skill step to loose. Effectively that random event just informed me of the Dedication skill at no cost, since it didn't actually increase my Stress, decrease my Vitality or got me a Reprimand. Is this mercy? From Academagia? Now I'm scared.

 

Athonos 1st, Monday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars

First day of classes, and what better way to spend the evening than in a library? After spending an entire holiday in that same library? Yeah, another reason I like to take the Discoveries: Libraries background. Much easier to justify being a bookworm when your student is, quite literally, a bookworm. My turn is spend on studying Listen.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
The promised increase in Listen is mine, as is Befriend 1, so I can go and fetch myself a friend with a very reasonable chance of success. Also interesting is that Athletics class taught both a step of Competition and Fish today. The first is interesting because it gave me the Eyes in the Back of your Head Ability, which in turn revealed Danger Sense for me. I would train it, as it has an easy attribute point up for grabs if you do, but I won't. Danger Sense is a ludicrously difficult skill to train and so it's not worth it right now. Useful for later, though. The step of Fish is interesting because this is actually the only skill step of Fish that any class will teach you, and of course you don't get it from Zoology, you get it from Athletics. Not that Fish is a skill worth bothering with, but I always find it interesting.

Athonos 2nd, Tuesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Befriend

That'll take care of one half of the "form a Clique" goal, although I still need to decide on a friend. Who to befriend is actually quite a challenge, both from a meta-game and from a story perspective. You'll want someone who's Clique Ability isn't completely worthless (see: Zorzi Galea), who doesn't share too many of your skills and classes so you can benefit from your friend's expertise, but you don't want someone who you can't stand either. I personally don't like making cross-College Cliques, so I won't be going after people with very good abilities (see: Ana Flavia Bessa or Durand de Thiomines if you're not in Incantation class, Vincent Eins, Zoe Melis). Instead I'll go for someone in Morvidus. Deirdre currently has every Morvidus kid at a mutual relationship of 1 except for Joana Lio y Rossollo and Uliva Valaresso who are both at 2 (...somehow), but I don't really care to make friends with either. Joana for reasons that should be obvious, Uliva because I'm not in need of someone obsessed with snakes. I decide on Beatrix von Wetgen. She's in three classes Deirdre is not in (Astrology, Geometry and Incantation) and her Clique Ability, while not super useful, might serve a purpose one day.

Random Event:
So ironically enough my second choice of friend, Eliana Carosi, shows up and asks me to taste some "hybrid vegetables" she's been working "all year" on. I suspect this event should have fired perhaps not in the first half of the first week, but oh well. The vegetables look like nothing anyone would want to eat unless they're about to die anyway (that tends to be the case with all consumables you find during random events), and the PC wants out. My options are to give up and taste them anyway, which will not be good for my sanity if not my health, Observe around for anyone I could send Eliana to, try and use Dialectic to convince her otherwise and to try and use Deceit to fake tasting the...things. Dialectic is a parent skill, so no point in trying and failing that. Failing Deceit would inform me of the Deceit skill, but it would also tick off Eliana and I do intend to befriend her at a later date. Observation is tried, but fails and produces no results. I choose to give up and taste the things anyway in the hopes of increasing Deirdre's relationship with Eliana. That plan works, unfortunately I get a point of Stress for my efforts because Eliana runs her mouth about what went into growing those...lovely...things.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
I get my friend and a step closer to my intended next friend, so all in all I'd call that a successful day. Pity about the point of stress, but I'm still 4 points away from suffering a mental breakdown, so I'm still good. The reason you always want to be at least 4 points away from mental breakdown is because a student successfully using Bully on you adds a full 3 Stress, which can easily push you into sickness. This is also the reason why starting with only 1 Fitness (and, generally, 2 Stress Maximum) is a really terrible idea - one bully and you're sitting out the entire next day.

Athonos 3rd, Wednesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

Today I hit the first point where my priorities conflict. On one side I want to get Eliana as a friend ASAP, because she's at a high risk of being Befriended by the first person that tries. Adding to the problem is that I already have a friend, and that gives me a penalty to all attempts to Befriend another person. And my measly 2 Charm/1 Befriend isn't able to Befriend her successfully, even against Eliana's natural 0 Charm/-1 Befriend because of that penalty. Getting her befriended ASAP means studying the Befriend skills, but at this point I also think it's about time to get started with Oan's adventure. I end up choosing to go forward with Oan's adventure. After three days of classes and libraries I think it's time for a break, but rest assured that I'm watching the Clique tab like a hawk.

Adventure:
If you don't start with the libraries open on day one and you don't want to use Train ever (which is a good sentiment, but not necessarily always the best idea), the second Mentor stage is the second way of becoming Informed of the Befriend subskills. Of course there's a roll required to successfully not make a fool of yourself in the process, which thankfully I can do now that I have Beatrix as a friend. As was the case during the UI guide she absolutely crushes the Persuasion check, and I don't have to bother with anything else. The only observation I could fail for skill information is a parent skill everyone always starts the game with - School Survival - and even if I luck out on the 50/50 chance and succeed it won't do me any good. So persuasion it is, and for my troubles I get a very shiny Persuasion skill step, allowing me to train the skill myself later.

Random Event:
It took a few days, but it's finally time for the dreaded "wall of purple". Deirdre heard some rumors about a shopkeeper having been kidnapped and a hint as to where s/he(?) might be held, and I've got a long list of options to try and save the poor person. Except every last one will fail, so I've got nothing to gain but skill information. I have a choice of Climb, Famous Speeches, Architecture and Lockpicking, as none are parent skills, but I honestly don't need any of them. Climb is a subskill you get for free at some point (not sure exactly where, but Deirdre already has it). Famous Speeches is a Rhetoric skill, which I have no interest in. Architecture I know for a fact I will need a little of later...but I will also get that little I need later from the Mantle of Stars. Lockpicking is another skill I don't need, and with my puny Finesse I wouldn't be able to use it even if I wanted to anyway. I decide to give up and just tell the guards, hoping that they'll just ignore me and let me go.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
+1 Relationship with Rixenda la Serena thanks to Oan's little stint, but you can go right ahead and forget that because it'll never be relevant. A shiny point of Persuasion to call my own, which I will train later. The random event gave me...a free skill step of Reason and nothing else. Which is a surprise, because I really don't recall merciful events being...well, just being, really. Well, don't look a gifted horse in the mouth and all that. Most important is that Zoology class rolled nicely on it's skill variance and decided that it would today teach me a third point of Insects, which gives the Student of the Drones Ability, for +1 Planning, Command and Logistics. The latter two are subskills of War, and with my +2 Leadership from Omen: Shattered Mirrors that now gives me three War subskills, which is really, really good. Even better, though, is Planning. Planning is...well, you'll see.

Athonos 4th, Thursday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Venalicium Library

Classes have to be studied for, so I will do just that. First on the list is Revision, because it's Study Mastery ability has something Deirdre very desperately needs.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Very short and uneventful day, giving me a study level of Revision and a skill step of Library Knowledge. Since I started with 1 rank and got another rank from...somewhere that brings me up to 3, which is enough to open up the Library of Longshade. Longshade is generally the first location used for making the Train action obsolete, but there's a catch. Longshade is a mess, and in order to use it you need to first tidy it - in other words, succeed on an Insight/Filing v. 10 roll. Once you pass it Longshade is open to you forever more, and it will very handily make Train obsolete. An alternative, and one I commonly use, is to hold out for Library Knowledge 6, which is when the ready-to-use Mantle of Stars opens up. Of course if you have the Discoveries: Libraries background the issue becomes mostly moot. I say "mostly" because Longshade trains the very useful and very difficult to learn Concentration skill, which is also the reason why I'm not at risk of the Mantle of Stars outliving it's usefulness and being without a library any time soon - Longshade is right there, I just need one roll to open it up. But that's a plan for another day.

Athonos 5th, Friday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars

Another simple day spend getting Planning up from skill level 0 to 1. For very, very good reasons.

Random Event:
A simple event today involving a...person-that-talks-too-much reciting historic events in a tavern that he himself only half remembers. I could have tied (and failed) to use my own knowledge of History to search his stories for inaccuracies, but seeing as how that wasn't going to happen and I have nothing to gain from it I just sat and listened to the man's stories. They were exaggerated, but I still got a free skill step of Famous Battles out of it.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Famous Battles is an interesting find because it is another War Subskill, and it's got a very History-like feeling to it, so I guess I'll get that instead of another rank of Command.

Athonos 6th, Saturday:
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars

Seems like a really boring way to spend a Saturday, doesn't it? Well, it's worth it. Getting the second skill rank of Planning, Famous Battles and Logistics today.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No random event today, so straight to results. And boy oh boy, are those results worth it. Getting Planning to 2 gives me the Learn from Mistakes Ability, granting me a permanent +1 Insight and +1 Intelligence. In addition the Famous Battles and Logistics increases pushes my War parent skill to 2, where the Understand Strategy Ability increases my Insight by another +1. That's three attribute points for getting three skills up to skill level 2. Well, technically four skills, but I started with Leadership 2. Very few other skills will be quite this lucrative, but those few do exist and they will help immensely if I find them. Danger Sense is one, but it's a monster to train (especially with low Insight, and for Danger Sense my current Insight of four is a low score). The Athletics parent skill is another, but since I have a class in that I'll just let that sort itself out. There's two more I can remember off the top of my head (Acrobatics and Theory of Arithmetic), but neither are available to me and one isn't worth the effort, so for now that's that.

Athonos 7th, Sunday:
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars
-Study at the Library of the Mantle of Stars

Like I said, much easier to justify when you have the Massive Bookworm background. I'll get to stuff like adventures eventually, just...when I can actually do them. And not fail miserably. Which takes friends. Which takes skills. Which takes time. Which takes me having studied for my classes so Cheimare doesn't slap me in the face when it comes rolling around. Which takes more time. See the problem?

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Again no random event today, so straight to results. I spend the three turns studying Conversation, Listen and Temperance respectively, so I am now the proud owner of Befriend 2. I will get Eliana as a friend and that's final. No, of course I'm not a creepy stalker person. Why would you think that?

Athonos 8th, Monday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Befriend

I said I'll get her and by gum, I will get her. Today is spend on Befriending Eliana in the Great Hall (+10% Chance of Success location bonus at Befriending) with a +3 Stress bonus. Charm 2/Befriend 2 +3 minus some sort of penalty v. Eliana's Charm 0/Befriend -1. GO!

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Again no random event today, so results. Finally I get Eliana, she's now a part of Morvidus Scouts, so all her delicious skills (Arithmetic, Dialectic, Glamour) and...entirely useless Clique ability is mine. That completes as much as the "Make Friends" objective as I can, because I really doubt I can Befriend another person with all the penalties to the roll I'm getting for having two Clique mates already, and the garbage Charm/Befriend ranks. The bad news is that with 1 Stress to start with and +3 on top from the Stress bonus I'm currently sitting on 4/4 Stress and 2/4 Vitality thanks to a bug with the Family: Sports background. So one bad random event or bully and I'm sitting out an entire day. I think that needs to be addressed, sooner rather than later.

Athonos 9th, Tuesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Rest

4/4 Stress and 2/4 Vitality is just all kinds of bad news, so let's fix that right now. There's a myriad of ways to deal with Stress and a good few ways to deal with Vitality, but Resting is one of the best. Always available, restores both values to full and rarely has any downsides. I could also have sat on the 2/4 Vitality for a while longer and Used the Athletics Field twice to get rid of my Stress and get some steps to random Athletics skills, but I want to get rid of this stress now.

Random Event:
Deirdre decides to go for a walk, but upon reaching the Great Gate she sees Aymeri Couer running for his life, stopping only briefly to say "Tell them I'm Lambert Cobo!", and then four scarred tough guys show up demanding to know where the kid they're chasing just ran off too. My options are to point them towards the Aranaz dorm (please note that Deirdre has no idea where that location is, but this random event doesn't care), attempt to Intimidate them away, or use my Voice to call for the inexplicably absent guards. Intimidate is a skill I could get easily if I cared, which I don't, and Voice is a Music subskill that I can get fairly easily if I cared, which, again, I don't. Since I rested I could probably take the inevitable Vitality and/or Stress hit from these bruisers and not be forced into sickness, but, eh, I just rested and I don't feel like taking a hit for Aymeri, so I point the totally friendly people towards the location I don't know of.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Resting restores my Stress and Vitality to 0 and max respectively, and for the random event I'm rewarded with Aymeri's screams, a deceptively valuable +1 step to Playfulness and a -1 relationship hit with Aymeri. That puts me at a very not pretty -1 mutual relationship, which may or may not be bad. I don't have any efficient means of increasing it, though, so it'll have to be what it is for now.

Athonos 10th, Wednesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

Been a while since we've seen Oan, hasn't it? Time to change that.

Adventure:
The third meeting with Oan is about your Familiar, and will likely be the first time your Familiar will be making a roll rather than the PC. Be glad this won't happen often, because Familiars trying to make rolls is a...painful experience. Thankfully the tutorial roll is puny, but, well, so is your Familiar. Even so Minister Hiboux manages to pass a blue check, doing well enough on improvised training to accomplish something.

Random Event:
The entire school body, Deirdre included, is forced to attend a performance by the Academagia orchestra, and who else but Deirdre would be chosen to sing in front of literally everyone? Not anyone enrolled in Music class, or anyone who even knows what the Voice skill is, that's for sure! Complicating matters further is that when Deirdre walks on stage and prepares to sing (or try to) she suddenly finds herself croaking. And not in the "fails miserably in front of an audience" sense, but in the "why does it sound like there's a frog stuck in your throat" sense...although I suppose that the distinction will soon be merely academic. My options are to use my knowledge of Negation Methods to undo whatever happened, bet on my Pure Luck that I can pull a student out of the audience to sing instead of me who won't hurt people's ears, or go backstage for a minute and test my Voice. I already have Pure Luck from Oan's first meeting and I already made my opinions on Voice known, so let's try the one skill I actually have a class in.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Minister Hiboux not messing up with the improvised Familiar training means I'm Informed of the Move Silently skill, which would have been very nice to get if I wasn't enrolled in Athletics, but I am. The random event actually succeeded, and not only do I avoid making a fool of myself but I managed to impress the Incantation professor, Professor Marlein Knoht. I also get another point of Negation Methods for my troubles, but since I have a class in that I should learn it over time anyway. The point of Favor with Professor Knoht is the most interesting, because it is possible (if highly unlikely) to cash that in for +1 Step to Theory of Incantation. I will have to keep that in mind for later, if and when I have about a thousand Pims to spend. Currently I have 50, with 20 marked off for the Tutorial, so...that's not going to be relevant any time soon.

Athonos 11th, Thursday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Venalicium Library

Classes must be studied for. I study. I also studied on Thursday last week, this is because you can randomly lose the ability to Study in a library for a day because...well, because, really. You'll get the ability back after the next day if you do, so I prefer to study on Thursday if I can. That way I'll definitely have Saturday free and the Venalicium Library available. Again, Massive Bookworm backgrounds, makes everything so much easier.

Random Event:
Oh ye who call themselves random events, why art thou so...random. And annoying. Revision class proves to be a bit more interesting than usual, as Professor Aventyrare gives the class a chance for Extra Credit, which will add to my exam scores come Cheimare and Kaliri. Useful, but since I intend to study Revision all the way to 10 most likely completely unnecessary to get First Class Honors. Still, I'm given the choice of believing that only fools volunteer, use my knowledge of Revision Phemes to cast the required spell (please note, Revision class has so far taught nothing about Revision Phemes), or challenge myself and use my broader knowledge of Revision to try and show off. Being in the class there's no reason to try and fail Revision Phemes, but I try it anyway.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Studying Revision in the Venalicium gets me an insignificant relationship increase as well as a currently insignificant Decipher Handwriting increase, and an unlikely success on the random event gets me a point of Revision Methods and the promised point of Extra Credit. Now as soon as Revision classes and/or random events teach me some Revision Phemes I might just be able to cast a Revision spell one of these days...

Athonos 12th, Friday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

It's going to be another weekend of studying and libraries, so let's get some adventuring done on Friday.

Adventure:
Today Oan talks about spells and Phemes. You know, the things we used yesterday during Revision class. As for options there's only two, but they're interesting options. I could go with the not-actually-a-roll Creativity option to, well, honestly to make a complete fool of myself, or try out my Memorization to try and perfectly copy a Mirabilis Pheme. Creativity will give me a very helpful point of Playfulness, but succeeding on Memorization will also open some good stuff. I got Playfulness from a random event earlier, so I go with Memorization.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No random event today, so results, and for what seems like a short day there's quite a few results. For succeeding on the Memorization option I get the Mirabilis, Modus Operandi and Zenith Phemes, the Glow of Victory Spell that is currently sadly lacking in use (Finesse 1/Persuasion 1 v. 4 to cast), Information on the Orthography, Glamour Phemes and Concentration skills, and 1 skill step towards Diction and Phemes. Yes, that's the entire Enspell skillset revealed from one successful roll. As I said, going through the tutorial is worth it.

Athonos 13th, Saturday:
-Study at the Venalicium Library
-Study at the Venalicium Library
-Study at the Venalicium Library

Classes must be studied for, ergo, I shall study them. All three turns are spend on increasing Revision. Incidentally, if you wish to do the same thing three times and speed up the CONFIRMATION ORDERS window, you can set the first turn of something to the class/skill you want to study three times, hit Back to return to the Calender Screen, and then hit Validate Orders again. Every instance of your chosen Action/Ability will be automagically filled in with what you set the first turn to.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No events, so I get my promised increases and nothing else.

Athonos 14th, Sunday:
-Study at the Venalicium Library
-Study at the Venalicium Library
-Study at the Venalicium Library

Yay Revision. And yes, I did just spend my entire weekend in a library to study for my classes.

Random Event:
While patrolling the campus, because first year students that don't have enough Patrol subskills unlocked to increase the Patrol parent skill do that, Deirdre sees a comet that she's pretty sure is unknown. She immediately abandons the whole "patrol" thing and makes a sketch of it, but that gets her no closer to knowing what it is. My options are to leave the sketch with Professor Badcrumble, the Astrology professor and Regent of College Avila, try and figure out what the comet means through my knowledge of the Theory of Astrology, or do some old-fashioned Research. I didn't spend all this time in the Mantle of Stars twiddling my thumbs, so Theory of Astrology it is.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
More stuff about Revision is learned, and for succeeding on the Theory of Astrology roll I get...another step in Theory of Astrology. Eh, the skill was actually lagging behind a bit and it didn't cost me anything, so I'm not complaining.



And that concludes the first half of the first month. Continued in the next post because I'm getting the impression that this post is starting to explode due to all the text...

Edited by Metis

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The second two weeks of Gameplay:

Athonos 15th, Monday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

Another point where priorities conflict, because in a few days it'll be Workshop Days, a holiday with some brutal rolls for how early in the game they are and how useless classes are. I'm undecided on whether I should spend my time preparing for them so I can actually succeed at the holiday event, or just throwing it under the airship and going on with my own business. For now I decide to continue with Oan's adventure, since the sooner I get that done the sooner I can call that objective complete.

Adventure:
The fifth Oan stage talks about location bonuses, which I've used already when using the Befriend action. Sadly most location bonuses aren't worth mentioning, but there's a few that will be helpful more often than not, such as the Great Hall and it's bonus to people using the Befriend action. As for "discovering" the effects during this adventure stage, I can either look around like a headless chicken or be a bit smarter about it and use my Perception skill to actually look around properly. Despite all sanity pointing to the contrary, I actually look around like a headless chicken.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No random event, so results. For looking around with barely a hint of what to look for I get a step towards Theory of Enchant, as well as Information on the Enchant subskill Magical Appraisal and the Blackmail subskill Observation, and the Great Gate location but go right ahead and forget that, it'll never come up. The real prize is the information on the Magical Appraisal skill, as that is the skill that teaches the infamous 6th Finger Spell. Notice how that spell rolls Intelligence/Enchant v3, and if successful it'll increase your Enchant skill? Yeah. I'm not in Enchant class, so you're not going to see me abuse it to it's full splendour, if at all, but it's there.

 

Athonos 16th, Tuesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Venalicium Library

 

I noticed that I'm sitting on Study level 8 for Revision, so I decide to finish that up ASAP. For reasons. Also because I noticed that at the rate I'm going I won't have every study level at 10 come Cheimare, so I need to step that up a bit. Not that I need them all at 10 for Mid-terms, Gera's letter told me as much, but eh, I like not having to worry about exams at all.

 

Random Event:
After a nice day spend studying Deirdre walks into the Morvidus common room to find Eliana and Hector Per Vittoria practising their Incantation, which goes wrong as Eliana's spell suddenly sets a shelf on fire. Now, as Eliana's friend I'm automatically Informed of her, so I can see that she has no Incantation skills. At all. And not a good Finesse attribute besides. I can only assure she learned it from Beatrix, who's lack of being in Dialectic, Grammar or Rhetoric class leaves her a poor teacher. Either way Deirdre is given the choice of using Reason to find something to smother the fire with before it turns into an inferno, Observe for anyone who could help put the fire out, or use my own lack of knowledge of Incantation Spells to probably turn it into an electrical fire. I'm not in a mood to observe, so I just click Reason and hope for the best.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:
The random event succeeds and I get a skill step of Competition out of it. Not entirely useful since it's an Athletics subskill and therefore likely to be trained to 10 regardless, but eh, I'll take it. The Revision study level increase is also mine. One more session in the Venalicium and I've already finished studying for one of my classes before the first of the ten school months are over. Again. Massive bookworm background. So much easier.

Athonos 17th, Wednesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Venalicium Library

Revision study mastery get!

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No random event, so the results are mine. For finishing my Revision studies I get +5 PA, so I will now actually get some form of allowance every other week, and +1 to my Finesse attribute. Not all classes give out an attribute for maxing out their study level, but Revision is one of them, and I very much appreciate that because that means I'm no longer stuck at 1 Finesse.

Athonos 18th, Thursday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

Adventure:
Oan's sixth tutorial discusses Favor you can get with professors (I got some already from a random event earlier) and a bit about Competing. Oan's idea of demonstrating this is for you to help a random professor (I rolled Professor Knoht), who she mysteriously knows is going to be attacked by laughing bees soon. Deirdre's options are to consider what she knows about these Insects, lure them away with Eliana's Glamour Spell, or try to make better use of Beatrix' Incantation Spell than Eliana did yesterday to blow the bees away. Since Insects is a green investigation it is picked, revealing that laughing bees don't like smoke. This revelation replaces Beatrix' Incantation Spell option with an easier Incantation Spell one that conjures smoke instead of wind. Blue is now the best option, so I let the Incantation fly and hope this goes better than Eliana's practice session earlier.

Random Event:
Speaking of Eliana, just one day after she nearly set the Morvidus common room on fire she manages to mess another thing up. Eliana was again casting spells in the Morvidus common room, only this time she managed to somehow animate a wolf statue, who promptly left the room. And that makes the wolf's master, a now animated statue of a warrior maiden with a really sharp spear, not happy. Deirdre walks into the mess at that point and is "asked" by the warrior maiden to return her wolf, since she cannot leave the room, or else Eliana will "suffer the consequences". As necessary as that seems before Eliana will learn her lesson about practising spells in the common room she is Deirdre's friend, and there's no option to not do anything besides. Options are to use Animal Husbandry to bring the wolf back, use Chemistry to mix a sleeping powder to bring the wolf back, use Courtly Fashion to dress up like the maiden and lure the wolf back, use Conversation to ask for advice from the maiden, and examine the maiden's outfit with our knowledge of Courtly Fashion for a hint maybe. None of those skills I have trained other than Conversation, which is still a nice shade of red, and I don't need Information on any of those skills. I opt for Animal Husbandry, since it's the most fitting for a Morvidus student.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
What a long day. The adventure succeeded, and for my troubles I get a second point of Favour with Professor Knoht, Information on the Flawless Timing skill (which sadly makes my Pendulum useless, but eh, it's worth money), and a step of Confidence. The random event actually succeeded against all odds, giving me +1 step to Mammals and a point of relationship with Eliana. I'd argue that the step of Mammals isn't useful, since I get it from a Morvidus-only event and a Morvidus student is always in Zoology, but it might actually come in handy later.

Athonos Workshop Days:
-Study At the Mantle of Stars
-Study At the Mantle of Stars
-Study At the Mantle of Stars

This day is a damn cheat, but I'll get to that. Right now I'll sink all three turns into studying Temperance. You will see why come Saturday.

Holiday Event:
So on every holiday, of which there are two in each month, a set event will happen that can be either good or bad. And this one is bad. While Deirdre walks around town and enjoys the sights she runs into two other Academagia first years, Philippe Marchant and Zorzi Galea, arguing with magicians over who's magic is better than the other. Options are to use a Negation Spell to help my fellow students escape from what is certainly a bad situation, use an Incantation Spell to help them fight the trained adults (1) in broad daylight (2) in the middle of the street (3) during a festival (4. 4 reasons why this is a terrible idea. Ah, ah, ah!), use my Awareness to consider what I know about this apparent rivalry, or try to get both sides to see reason using Diplomacy. Should be easy, right, I mean Deirdre is taking Negation classes, right? No. Over the past two-and-a-half weeks Negation classes have taught, in total, 0 steps of Negation Spells, so I'm rolling dry attributes on the class skill. This event takes preparation to actually pass successfully, but I deemed it not worth the effort, so instead I hit the Incantation Spell options and watch as the inevitable happens.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:
The holiday is, as expected, a dismal failure, and for causing a fight in the street everyone involved is docked 2 Merit points. Except that this game is the first I've played where Morvidus isn't in a neck-and-neck race with Vernin for every Merit prize in the game, instead it is lagging behind Hedi, so I count that as a non-factor. I do get Information on the Incantation Sell skill for failing on a roll, but I don't especially care. If it's not Theory of Incantation it's not useful to me. Incidentally, the first point where Negation class will teach a step of Negation Spells is on Athonos 23 with a variance of 3, meaning it can be taught up to three days earlier or later, it's randomly determined at the start of the game. So the earliest point where Negation classes could teach a step of Negation Spells? Two days after the set holiday event that gives you a roll too difficult for attributes alone. This will not be a recurring trend, rest assured.

 

Athonos 19th, Friday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study At the Venalicium Library

I noticed that my Astrology skill are taking more than one skill step to increase a level, so it's time to get more Luck. This is done by getting my Negation study level to 10, although that'll take a while. What won't take a while is getting my Filing skill a little higher, so I can safely Tidy Longshade and use that while I'm waiting on my Luck.

Random Event:
Apparently feeling a bit down from yesterday's mess Deirdre decides to change her schedule a bit and practice some Incantations while taking a meal at an odd hour. Unfortunately she ends up sharing a table with resident weird girl Rixenda la Serena, who soon demands my napkin for...well, let me just quote the game here, because "You're not even sure what the proletariat is, much less what they eat!". A bit of childish back and forth later that goes from weird to bizarre an agreement is made where I cause a distraction, so she can rifle through the trash bin unnoticed for it's treasure trove of used napkins, and she won't spread the rumor that we're best friends in return. On a scale of 1 to Academagia Weird I'd put this event at a good 8. Trust me, there's much weirder. Either way my options are to double-cross her and run away, use my untrained Theatre skill to invent a spectacle that won't embarrass the daylight out of me, or probably summon a Dragon with a miscast Glamour Spell given the way that Morvidus spellcasting has been working out recently. I don't see anything to gain from double-crossing her or from getting the Glamour Spell skill, so I choose Theatre and hope for the best.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
A study level of Negation is mine, as is a very pretty Filing skill step, unfortunately my theatrics with Rixenda only end up embarrassing Deirdre. Enough so that I lose a skill step of Composure, which would be terrible if I had such a skill step to lose.

Athonos 20th, Saturday:
-Study At the Mantle of Stars
-Study At the Mantle of Stars
-Study At the Mantle of Stars

More rushing Temperance. All three turns are spend on Temperance.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
No random event today, finally, so results. My rushing got my Temperance to 6, which does something very useful for me. Namely, it gives Deirdre her first Emotion. For having less than 2 Stress and more than 5 Temperance I gain the Peaceful Heart emotion, which increases my Charm and Patience both by 1 for as long as Deirdre doesn't get so stressed that she loses it. If random events and Workshop Days has taught me anything it's that I really, really need more attribute points to just succeed on dry rolls, because skills clearly aren't doing it for me right now. I've got more planned, but that'll take some more effort yet.

Athonos 21th, Sunday:
-Study At the Venalicium Library
-Study At the Venalicium Library
-Study At the Venalicium Library

Studying for Negation, because I need +1 Luck and I need it soon.

Random Event:
While walking around Deirdre suddenly sees Vincent Eins running up to her, and he challenges her to a race. My options are to decline, Observe for something that might improve my odds, or take his challenge and start Running. Yes, Deirdre is in Athletics class. Yes, Running is an Athletics subskill. Yes, it's still purple. Vincent E is just that good. I observe and notice that some well-applied Sabotage will allow me to cheat. Since I don't have a mind for cheating, especially when it's likely to fail, I simply decline the challenge.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
For evading the random event I lose a relationship point with the person I grabbed and handed to Vincent E, who happens to be fellow Morvidus student Malthezar Mhadi, but I do get a point of Bluff for my troubles. Gossip is a good skillset to have and there's no good place to train it, so I do appreciate that. Also a thing that happened is that Rixenda successfully used Encourage Fellow Student on me, and taking a look at her I see she's entered a Clique called "The Diabolical Society" with notable prankster Rui da Casga. I...think I'm going to have to keep an eye on her. Just in case.

Athonos 22th, Monday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Tidy the Library of Longshade

I've got 4 Insight and 6 Filing, so I got a 50/50 shot of Tidying Longshade. Let's try it.

Random Event:
...After the random event. Wandering around the school Deirdre suddenly hears a cry to "stop that brat!", followed by the sight of Zorzi being chased by a group of fifth year students. My options are to not do anything, use Persuasion to ask just what is going on anyway, attempt to catch Zorzi myself with my not-so-amazing Running skill, or use my untrained Brute Strength to try and stop a group of stampeding fifth years. I still got my best friend Beatrix and her crazy Persuasion behind me, so persuasion is done. The fifth years answer my question simply with "race", but that's enough information. At this point, for some inexplicable reason, all previous options - including the "don't do anything" option - disappear, and is replaced with a Schoolyard Education roll of "let them race". With that being my only option I don't have much choice.

End-Of-Day-Tally:
Luck is on my side, for once, because Longshade is successfully tidied and the random event went my way as well. For that I get a new library to spend entire weekends in (Massive Bookworm. Easier. Will not stop reminding you), a step of Dedication and a step of Schoolyard Education for the random event. Incidentally I checked the mod tools, and the roll is necessary to not wish the fifth years good luck, which will offend at least one of them enough to shove you to the ground for -1 Vitality. Odd skill to roll for an odd little complication, but at least it's easy to pass.

Athonos 23th, Tuesday:

-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

 

After tidying Longshade I think Deidre's had enough of libraries for a day, so let's instead spend some time with Oan.

 

Adventure:

The seventh stage of Oan adventure discusses shops, and will reveal a useful shop you otherwise cannot get if you don't pass the stage successfully, so it's important to prepare for this one. The issue comes from the fact that the Admiratio, also known as the Empire Market, is packed and navigating it without Oan's help is hard. My choices are a very refreshing Pure Luck to just take turns and hope I go the right way, a surprisingly green Navigation roll to follow Oan's directions, and a less stellar Economy roll to figure out where Oan is going based on what she told me. Pure Luck and Navigation are both Raid subskills, and checking it I have just enough Pure Luck to get green on this check, but I don't even have Navigation Informed. Turns out that Beatrix's 5 Navigation isn't helping me this time, because Eliana has Navigation 6. I have two friends with enough Navigation to pass that check. Grumbling a little about wasted opportunities on Juvenalia I go for Navigation. Might as well.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

I get a point of Memorization, which would have been very helpful for Oan's Pheme/Spell tutorial roll, and Information on the Negotiate and Duel Conduct skills. The latter is a remnant of old versions of the game, since now every PC starts with 1 rank in every School Survival skill and Schoolyard Education 1 Informs you of all Duel subskills. The former is quite nice though, since while actual shops don't care about a student's Negotiate skill (or any skill that doesn't unlock their shop, for that matter) it does have a few good uses during certain events and adventures. I might train that up later.

 

Athonos 24th, Wednesday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Study at the Library of Longshade

 

So the reason that the tutorial on shops Informs you of Duel Conduct is because the next Oan tutorial requires you to have 1 rank of Duel Conduct. And where better to train that skill than in my new and fresh library? Longshade is awesome, and you'll soon hear about why.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

No random event, so a short day. Studying at the Library of Longshade gets you 1 SS to a subskill of your choice, 1 SS to the Concentration subskill, and 1 SS to a completely random subskill, which today was the Calligraphy subskill Forgery. Longshade, and other actions/abilities that train random skills, are good ways to potentially unlock a bunch of subskills you'd otherwise never know about, but sadly they're not useful for unlocking specific subskills you want in a hurry. Well, unless you want to save/load, but with there being well over a hundred subskills the odds of you finding a specific one are...not high. Also a constant source of entertainment is trying to figure out how studying one thing lead to studying another. For example, how did Deirdre learn something about Forgery while studying Duel Conduct? Well, I imagine that most people could think of a reason or two, but rest assured that some combinations are so fitting (or mind-boggling) that they skip straight into genius territory. This gets even worst with the Emperor's Sphinx, but that's a story for another day.

 

Athonos 25th, Thursday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "Request a Meeting With Your Mentor"

 

The first month is coming to an end, so time to wrap up my goal of finishing the first part of Oan's adventure.

 

Adventure:

Oan's eighth stage discusses a bit about Duels, but sadly no enough to actually participate in one without having to guess at what things mean. Sadly Duels aren't something commonly fought (I myself never have), so information on them is scarce. As for the actual stage itself it's a really easy question of "which Duel subskill would you like to gain 1 skill step towards?", and I go with Duel Conduct. Might as well pretend to be working towards some planned strength, I figure.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

Again no random event, and for my adventure stage I get a +1 SS to Duel Conduct and (wholly redundant) Information on all Duel subskills. That I will likely never train beyond what they're at now. That's not to say that Duel is never used during adventures or events, but I never play students who'd solve their problems that way rather than through less direct (and/or visible) methods, and I don't think Deirdre is an exception. In Y1 it's also no possible for NPC students to challenge you to an actual Duel, only the PC can do so, and even that only after having Declared a Vendetta. Which is an action that takes more ranks of Schoolyard Education to unlock than I tend to ever put into it.

 

Athonos 26th, Friday:
-Attend Classes
-Attend Classes
-Adventure "One more meeting with Oan"

 

And that completes the Finish Oan's Adventure Part 1 goal.

 

Adventure:

What I consider the first stage of Oan's adventure proper does have a tutorial-y feel to it, but what is explained is...how to select her adventure. Which I've had to do, what, seven times to get to this point? It's a bit redundant to say the least, but it's there. As for the adventure stage itself, well, that is a story your student can figure out on his/her own. Though I will say that this particular stage requires no roll to pass.

 

Random Event:

Deirdre is half-listening to Professor Regnault Pachait's Zoology lecture when she overhears Uliva being told by Joana to prove she's not a wimp. Uliva's response is to send a black snake towards the professor's desk, and Deirdre has the option of ignoring the situation, telling on Uliva, or telling on Joana. This, to me, seems like a fantastic time to not do anything. Professors can handle themselves, can they not?

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

Nothing from the adventure stage with Oan, but for staying quiet I get a free skill step of Observation and Character Study. And the knowledge that, yes, Professor Pachait can indeed take care of himself. My only regret with this event is that I'm not ready to fight off Joana yet, because telling on her is the most hilarious exit by far.

 

Athonos 27th, Saturday:
-Study At the Venalicium
-Study At the Venalicium

-Study At the Venalicium

 

Negation, Negation, Negation.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

No random event, but while I was studying far beyond class material requires Magsa Nembo used his personal ability, Grab an Academic Lifeline, on me. He didn't pass his Charm/Beguile roll for the relationship increase and added Friendship, meaning he'd be added to my Clique, so the ability use is no skin off of my back. Honestly I'm quite flattered that mister Durand student would come to me for help on a Negation project, although I suppose that Deirdre is the resident bookworm.

 

Athonos 28th, Sunday:
-Study at the Library of Longshade
-Study at the Library of Longshade

-Study at the Library of Longshade

 

I would have finished studying for Negation today, but I lost the Venalicium ability today and I won't get it back until tomorrow, so I instead grab a few points worth of Explore subskills - Animal Husbandry, Climbing and Seeking Friends in Hidden Places, Morvidus' college skill.

 

End-Of-Day-Tally:

No random event, so that concludes the first in-game month. My studying at Animal Husbandry got me an extra step of Baking (...not like I was planning on grabbing Girars anyway), Climbing got me an extra step of Gambling (placing bets on how heigh you can climb, I suppose) and Seeking Friends in Hidden Places got my a step of Veneration of the Saints (the best people are in the least likely places, I guess).

 

---

 

End-Of-Month-Tally, Deirdre Skye, Athonos 1657:

 

At the end of every month it's a good idea to both look back on the state of your goals, and to look forward to what you wish to accomplish during the next month and what holidays you'll have to deal with. Also where you're at with what things you want, what you have and what you need to do to get the rest.

 

Goals for this month:

-Obsolete the Train action. Successfully accomplished, the Discoveries - Libraries background gave me the Mantle of Stars on Juvenalia and I've been using it liberally.

 

-Start Studying for Mid-terms. Tentatively successful, but not successful enough. Revision is at 10/10, Negation is at 7/10, and my other four classes are all at 0/10. I want to have them all at at least 5 by the start of the fourth month, and at a rate I'm going I could certainly accomplish that, except that I also want to get Zoology to 10 (+1 Fitness) and my other three classes (Athletics, Botany and History) are all classes who's Mid-term counts for more than jack towards my final grade, so I want them higher than 5 as well. I'll have to step up the studying if I want to get straight tens for my study levels come Cheimare, but I think it can be done.

 

-Finish Oan's adventure, part 1. Successfully accomplished, although I'm completely unprepared for Oan's actual adventure.

 

-Form a Clique. Successfully accomplished, as I'm fine with having two friends. It's possible to get a bigger Clique, but that would require a time investment I can't afford right now. Besides, I think I'm good friends wise.

 

Goals for Pramidi:

-Set up for the Sphinx. The Sphinx is the end-goal for all-purpose skill training, and since I don't have an idea of what specific skills Deirdre will need to learn that is the best I can do. Unlocking the Sphinx takes either Library Knowledge 10 or Filing 9, getting the Certificate of Imperial Favor will take Early Empire 8, and getting Wits 13 to actually Match Wits consistently (or as consistently as the game will let me) is going to be...hard. Not "impossible", but hard. There's a reason why this month's goal is "set up". Not "switch over to" or "start to use".

 

-Prepare for The Festival of Pixies. The Festival of Pixies is a holiday event that takes a roll of one of two specific skills to pass. So far I've unlocked...neither of those skills. It's not the end of the world if I fail that holiday event, like I did Workshop Days, but it'd be better if I don't fail.

 

-Prepare for The Dance of Fools. Ho boy, the Dance of Fools. The Dance of Fools used to be a simple holiday event, as all others are, but, well, used to. It's why I need a rank or two in Architecture (alternatively, Hide) among a number of other skills. While I've done nothing towards this event yet, it's not hard and I happen to know where to find the skills I don't tend to start the game with (read: Architecture obtained through training Astrology). I definitely want to succeed on this holiday, but it's not hard to do so and takes place at the very end of the month besides, so I'm in no rush.

 

-Finish Oan's adventure, part 2. Another adventure I've not prepared for enough, but I've made a start and with my starting 3 Observation I won't have to try too hard. Also, friends. My friends will be very helpful while doing this adventure.

 

-Continue Studying for Mid-terms. I'm behind schedule for getting 10 Study levels in all my classes before Cheimare, but I'm not far behind and if I hadn't lost the Venalicium Library on Sunday I'd be exactly on schedule to boot, so I'm not worried.

 

And that concludes the example of actual gameplay.

 

Edited by Metis

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...I swear this forum's code is a house of cards held together by duct tape and hope. How in Loki's name did that happen?

 

The HTML volcano problem has been dealt with. We now resume our regularly scheduled guide.

 

The Final on Finals (Exams guide):

 

"The numbers don't lie." - Basia Rydz

 

There's honestly not much to say about exams that the Exams Guide on the wiki doesn't, so, eh...yeah. Have fun.

 

 

Miscellaneous Matters:

 

"Ye shall pass this black check, or ye shall fail this blue check. One or the other." - Academagia RNG (attributed)

 

During any given playthrough there's a few things that most if not all players will want to get, some of which lead into yet-unexplained gameplay mechanics, but getting them in the first month simply isn't going to happen. So rather than keep playing for however long it'll take I'll just explain them here in rough order that Deirdre would (probably) get them:

 

Selective Focus (Concentration 9, AKA Longshade Spam):

-Each subskill in the game has a hidden value called the Training Modifier, which determines how hard that skill is to train by nature. It's why Library Knowledge (TM: 1.0) is much easier to train compared to Danger Sense (TM: 2.5), despite both being keyed to Insight. Selective Focus temporarily reduces a skill's Training Modifier by 1.0, which the previous example shows isn't a negligible difference. Furthermore, if a skill's Training Modifier is reduced to 0.0 exactly the game will read that skill as needing "0/0" skill steps to reach the next skill level, regardless of how high or low it's keyed Attribute is, meaning every step will increase the skill level. Selective Focus will make training subskills easier as soon as you need more than one skill step to advance in skill level, so make good use of it.

 

Certificate of Imperial Favor (The Early Empire 8, AKA History Class or Cobblestone Path to Nowhere)

-An item which can be equipped to grant Visitation Rights to various locations in the (mostly vacant) Imperial Palace, including the Emperor's Sphinx room. Without the Certificate you'll be facing a heinous 15% CoD every time you Match Wits with the Emperor's Sphinx, and that is just not doable.

 

Improved Familiar Handling Ability (Zoology 5, AKA Zoology class or dumb luck)

-On a successful Insight/Familiar Kinship v.8 roll you'll be able to expand four Familiar subskills of your choice by 1 skill step each. This is practically the only ability that allows you to quickly train your Familiar in skills other than the Bond subskills, so if you intend to have a useful Familiar without a reasonable amount of time Zoology 5 is practically a requirement. That said by the time I generally start to care about my Familiar (one or two months after Mid-terms are over) I'll most likely have gotten two other Zoology skills unlocked from mass abuse of Longshade and/or the Sphinx, so I don't have a set way of unlocking the skills.

 

Edited by Metis

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yea I had to edit some of my last postings here because they where messed up like this when I send them but after I cleaned it up via edit it worked.

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Fixed it manually for now, since it's probably important to have the updated guide not looking like an HTML volcano erupted.

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