EFU Newcomer Survival Guide

Started by Electrohydra, April 08, 2021, 10:03:31 PM

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EFU Newbie survival guide.

Hello and welcome to EFU! This handy guide is designed to help you make your first steps in the City of Rings a little less painful. EFU's low-magic, low-level, high-danger world may be different from your usual experiences in RPGs or NWN, and this guide will guide you through some of the major tricks and advice that will help you navigate it's particularities.
It should be noted that all of these are general advice and not hard rules. There are times when they will be wrong, and you should feel free to ignore them if they are getting in the way of your enjoyment.

Part 1 – What should I play?

One of the most common questions new players ask is "Is X viable on this server?" The short answer is probably "Yes". EFU caters to a huge variety of character types and playstyles, but that doesn't mean they are all equally newbie-friendly and some can be more challenging or require more experience with EFU's lore, culture or systems to bring to their greatest potential. If you have a character you absolutely want to play, go ahead, but if you aren't sure, consider these suggestions about types of characters that are more newbie friendly.

Race – EFU's main hub is human-dominated, and these humans often look down on non-humans. As such, human is the most newbie-friendly race.

Class – All classes are viable, but monks and rogues can be challenging for a newer player because they rely more heavily on items. Paladins have strict RP requirements and druids are often treated like monsters in the setting, and as such both are also less recommended for new players.

Background – Probably the strongest recommendation of this guide, new players should pick the Awakened background. Starting off with no ties to the City, your character is free to discover and learn about it as you do. It's a very narratively rich experience that you can only truly live once.

Part 2 – It's time to quest!

   Most of your gold, loot and experience on EFU will be gained by doing quests. Quests are scattered throughout the game world. Some quests are static and are always at the same place. Some quests are randomized and may change place and availability each reset (A reset is when the server is rebooted for any reason. Usually happens around once per day). Each quest can only be taken once per reset per character. All quests are indicated by an orange name, either the name of an NPC who gives the quest, or a placeable you must interact with to take the quest. Examining this NPC or placeable will also give you some valuable information:

   Minimum and Maximum party size – EFU does not use the default NWN party system. Instead, when you accept a quest, everyone near you will be your party and you will take the quest together.

   Maximum and Minimum level – This is generally a good indicator for the difficulty of a quest you are unfamiliar with. Quests with a maximum level of 5 or less are generally trivial, with little to no danger. Any character should be able to easily complete these on their own. Quests with a maximum level of 6 are generally possible to solo but may present some danger and may require some resource expenditure to complete safely. Quests with a maximum level of 7 are usually your introductory group quests, not much harder than the maximum 6 quests, but requiring a group to complete and being longer. Maximum level 8 (and above) quests tend to pose significant danger, and require a party working together efficiently as well as strategic use of your abilities to complete successfully.

Part 3 – Consumers are survivors

   Permanent magic items tend to be very weak on EFU. Instead, the most common items you find are consumables – Potions, wands, scrolls, trinkets or other items with a limited number of uses. DO NOT IGNORE THEM. A huge part of survival on EFU is acquiring these consumables and using them to complement your character's natural abilities. A lot of mid-high level content is balanced around the idea that you will have buffs – And you might often end up without a character in your party that can provide the buffs you need, so it's important to keep a stock of consumables. If you have trouble finding one in particular, it can be a good idea to find a PC with Brew Potion (Very common on EFU) and have them brew the potion you need. Remember, gold is useless in the Fugue!

Part 4 – Blur blur blur

   Out of all the buffs, one stands out as particularly important for every character – Ghostly Visage, usually called Blur on EFU (Potions of Ghostly Visage are called "Potion of Blur"). Very few monsters on EFU have magical weapons, meaning that the DR granted by Ghostly Visage is rarely ignored, massively increasing your survivability especially against swarms. Additionally, a lot of spellcasting enemies like to spam low-level spells which are blocked by Ghostly Visage but otherwise are very hard to resist, such as Magic Missile.

   If you are a Bard or Sorcerer, you should absolutely learn this spell. If you are a wizard, it's a good idea to keep one or two memorized. If you are another class, you should try as much as you can to keep a few Potions of Blur on hand or other trinkets that can provide the spell. If a fight looks hard or is going poorly, casting/drinking/using Ghostly Visage is the #1 best thing you can do to help you survive it in the vast majority of cases.

Part 5 – Healer reporting for duty

   Outside of a few very specific perks, EFU does not have any healer class. Yet healing is an incredibly important part of party play. Because very few classes have access to consistent healing, it is almost entirely done through items. Healing items are some of the most frequent items you will find, and everyone should try to keep a healthy supply of them on hand and ready. If you run out in the middle of a dungeon – Tell your party. They will generally be more then happy to give you some.

   Healing your allies is just as important as healing yourself, and you shouldn't wait for the last minute to do so. If someone is "Injured", they should receive some healing. If they fall to "Badly Injured", it should be a party-wide priority to get them healed up. That goblin can wait until after your friend isn't one unlucky critical hit or stray Fireball away from death.

   While everyone should do some healing, it is common in larger parties for 1 or 2 characters to take up "Healer Duty", explicitly or not. Usually backline characters like wizards or sorcerers, characters on Healer Duty stand in the back and focus almost exclusively on healing whoever gets hit the hardest in the frontline. If you find yourself in a dungeon that you suspect might be too difficult for you, volunteering for "Healer Duty" is a great way to keep yourself safe (because you keep to the back) while still being an incredibly valuable asset to your party.


I went and did the pw recovery feature on the forums just so I could log in and contribute to this great post. Very succinct and with the most important details not well-covered in the wiki, all very good info. As a player who has often taken years-long breaks, I've had to relearn how to play EfU several different times over the years, and every time there's a steep learning curve, steeper than the vast majority of other difficult games.

That said, just wanted to add one thing, touched on on the wiki, but deserving to be said multiple times.

Let it be known: In EfU, you will die. You will not like it, you will be unhappy about it. It'll feel like it's costing you days or weeks of progress. When it happens more than once in a week, it can feel Sisyphean, like you're just endlessly treading the same path, doing the same work. The best thing to remember is that in a world this low-power, it doesn't actually really matter that much. Because your character can't do that much of anything in the world all on their own, your experience as a player in the game is going to have more to do with your character's IC relationships with other PCs than your character's level or the contents of their backpacks. This gives the de-leveling from death a bit of an unexpected boon when you think about it, as in a way, it allows your character to go back in time to a lower level, where they can again travel and quest with other lower level PC's that were made more recently than yours. PC's your character otherwise might not interact with, friends and enemies your PC might not otherwise make.

These relationships that your character makes are really their most powerful attribute and tool, far more than any class level or piece of DM loot, and the cyclical nature of how the very difficult upper-level challenges can kick you periodically down into the mid-level scrum are in many ways the system and DMs doing your character a favor, by pushing them forcibly back into the general population pool where they are forced to make new friends and enemies.

Anyways, just died to a big fat crit last night, so was thinking about this stuff and just wanted to share. Great guide Electro!


This is very useful and well-written, thank you for posting!


Very good guide! Surprisingly thorough yet succinct. Not only did you cover the basics nicely in your first 2 posts, but your last 3 posts gave some advice that'll undoubtedly save a few greenhorns from getting mauled by rats. Blur is just, a literal gamechanger. Hordes of small enemies go from being horrifying gauntlets to fodder. And blur is really just the most specific/important of Part 3: items are vital. In a world where attribute enhancement items are unheard of and +1 weapons basically don't exist, spells and potions are vital. Not to mention the tons of miscellaneous garbage that lets you cast numerous buffs on yourself.

I'll also say that Drilled is 100% right, relationships are power in EFU. The right allies can not only alleviate your need for items (buff casters are a fighter's best friend) but generous allies have often given me potions or equipment when I'm running low. At risk of sounding like a massive nerd, friendship is power in EFU. Being well-connected can take you much farther than being level 8. Obviously, having both is nice too.

Finally, to add my own advice to this awesome collection of wisdom: find your own fun and pursue it. EFU has a ton of different activities to pursue. Some people may prefer to quest and casually RP with the friends they make. Sitting around a campfire and telling jokes is a perfectly respectable way to pass your time in EFU. Likewise, some people want to get to Ring 1 and see all the content that the City has to offer. That's also a great goal that will get you engaging with the other players and facing interesting challenges. Finally some people want to join a faction and become embroiled in some political schemes.

These can be great player-driven sources of challenge and roleplay; however, do be warned that PvP is (to my knowledge) the only way of permanently dying in EFU. And if you get involved in politics you're going to paint a big House crest-shaped target on your back. Not trying to dissuade you from joining factions, trash talking, and engaging in PvP. Just wanted to warn new folks that they can die to rats in the sewers a thousand times but one crazy assassin and the next thing you know your character is dead. I'd personally advise that if you want to focus more on casual RP or Ringrunning, avoid the political stuff on that character.
What has been, it is what will be, And what has been done, it is what will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.


Just as a note to future new players who read this, this thread is still useful but some information is outdated. For example, druids are no longer generally considered as inherently antagonistic.