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Mordor FAQ

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Contents

Character and Party building advice

Which are the best races and guilds?

With the possible exception of Ogre, all races offer interesting possibilities. Most players favour Dwarves, Giants and Osiris. If this is your first character or party, you should avoid Human, as it has too short a lifespan for most beginners.

There are four basic skills in Mordor: fighting, disarming traps, casting spells and perception. To beat the game you will need to have at least decent skills in all four areas. The best guilds for the four areas are respectively: Warrior, Thief, Healer (or Sorceror) and Seeker. Mage is a special case of an interesting guild that is unnecessary to win. If you can join one of the five guilds above, it is generally a waste of time to join also a second-best guild (e.g. if you can join Thief and Scavenger with the same character, join Thief).

See Party Creation Suggestions for much more information.

Should I play a solo character or a party?

It depends on your preferences: some players don't want to go through the hassle of managing a party and just require a soloer, while others prefer having other characters around. Generally speaking a soloer should level up faster than a party, but is more prone to facing some nefarious consequences on deeper levels. However, in practice a two-character party tends to level-up quicker than a solo character, so you should choose to play a single character only if you have the most extreme hatred of parties.

What is this Optimal Leveling Route I keep hearing about? Should I follow it?

The Optimal Leveling Route is the best and quickest way of reaching high hit points early on. High hps mean a better chance of survival, and bring you so much closer to beating the game. Following the route isn't essential for winning, but you should try to follow it as closely as possible.

Combat

Why am I dying so much?

First, make sure you have equipped a weapon. You cannot attack monsters without a wielded weapon (your Hands can be used as a weapon if you wield them first, but it is better to buy a weapon from the store).

Why does the game say "Weapon has no effect!"

Some monsters are Weapon Resistant, meaning they are immune to the blows from weapons from earlier levels. To attack these monsters, you must use a weapon found deeper in the dungeon.

Unfortunately, since both Sword of the Winds and Dagger of Stealth are "Level 0" weapons (store-only), they are completely useless against all Weapon Resistant monsters.

Why can't I kill this Lynch Demon?

Lynch Demons are one of the few creatures in the game with Complete Weapon Resistance, which gives them complete immunity to melee attacks. They unfortunately also have Complete Magic Resistance which means they are immune to all but one type of attack. See How to Kill a Lynch Demon if you do not wish to figure out the answer for yourself.

The dungeon

What is this "locked door" I found on Level 8?

In one spot on Level 8 of the dungeon, there is an impassable door with a solid line through it. It is merely a flaw in the dungeon design: in that spot, both a wall and a door exist. Think of it as a fake door.

Where did this door come from? It wasn't there before.

There is a bug in Mordor which causes the Automap to display non-existent dungeon features. It can happen after you reassemble a party separated by a Teleport trap or random teleporter. If your party members are facing different directions after reassembly, the next time you move one square forward, you will also move one square sideways. This confuses the Automap: it may draw features one square adjacent to their actual locations, causing a phantom door or wall to appear in the middle of a room.

This bug can be prevented by turning in place after you reassemble your party (this will realign all members). Unwanted phantom map features can be fixed by renaming MDATA8.MDR in your Data directory to any temporary name and copying a recent MDATA8 from your Backup directory into the Data directory.

More details about this bug can be found in this post from the forum.

Why do my characters age so quickly?

There are several causes of aging in Mordor.

The most common cause is returning to town while wounded. Characters age approximately one day for every 3% they are below their full HP when returning to town. After hundreds of trips to the dungeon, this can result in dozens of years of aging. This problem can be easily addressed by fully healing all your characters before returning to town, either by adding a Healer to your party, or by using healing items. If such items are in low supply or if your Healer has too few spell points remaining, you should heal in priority characters with shorter lifespans.

Casting the spell Sanctuary (or using a Prism of Sanctuary) will cause the caster to age one year. This spell should be cast sparingly, if at all.

Waiting for rescue can be a big factor in aging, especially early in the game. If you are a new player, you should seriously consider the HelpLesson's advice of making a Giant with maximum strength and dexterity to use as rescuer. Once you have stockpiled enough gold, you can hire rescuers at the Morgue.

Getting Raised causes seven weeks of aging. Each raise also exposes you to a chance of developing Complications, which are disastrous. If need be, play more conservatively: keep an eye on your Hit Points and heal up frequently, and spend more time increasing your characters' guild levels before descending to more dangerous dungeon levels.

Reading a tome will age your character by four weeks. If you use tomes to raise all of your character's stats to their maximums, this can result in as much as seven years of aging. If possible, use stat-raising potions instead.

Withering traps age the character who opens the trapped chest by four weeks. They appear to be a significant factor only for parties with no Thieves, or with Thieves that are relatively unskilled for the task at hand.

Deep in the dungeon, monsters with Aging attacks become a factor. Your best defense against these monsters is to raise your Defense score as high as possible and kill them as quickly as possible, generally with an appropriate spell.

Aging is of greatest concern to Humans, with a nominal lifespan of only 100 years. Long-lived races such as Elves (with a lifespan of 400 years) can afford to age a lot more, and can be played less cautiously.

When should I start exploring the next dungeon level?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as much depends on the characteristics of your party and on your playing style. As a rule of thumb: - did you explore the whole map of the current level? Are you sure? Did you cast detect rock on every possible square? - Do you lose less than 50% of your party HP in clearing the current level? - Does clearing the current level give you insufficient experience to pin? If you answered yes to all of the previous questions, you might be ready for the next level.

This said, some levels are harder than others relatively speaking, what follows abstracts from instant death monsters: Monsters from levels 1 to 4 follow a fairly linear progression: it can be dangerous to go down a level for characters of insufficient level. Level 5 monsters are fairly unimpressive on average. Level 6 monsters, on the contrary, are fairly tough, approach this level with caution. Level 7 and 9 monsters are for the most part weaker than their counterparts from the respective previous level. Level 8 and 10 monsters are a lot harder than level 7 and 9 ones. Level 11 monsters are not much stronger than those of level 10, however the stairs going back to this last level are adjacent to stud rooms, so that you may end up fighting level 12 monsters, which are, unsurprisingly, quite a bit stronger. It may be a good idea to use Ethereal Portal to avoid the stud rooms, once you know where they are. Monsters from levels 12 and beyond become tougher at an increasing rate, but if you've gotten this far, you hardly need advice. ;)

With all this out of the way, as the Brits say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so the simplest answer is just to take those stairs/chutes/teleporters down for yourself and see how you fare.


Items

What does Erik's +1 Crayons/Dalyn's Smile/Mithril Ore do?

Their purpose is to confuse new players. They have no effect in the game. Do not confuse Mithril Ore with Pure Mithril, however, which is quite useful.

What about Dalyn items?

Dalyn items are artifacts with variable effects. A few are cursed, a few have interesting properties; there is even a Dalyn item that is both cursed and useful. And, no, Dalyn's Smile does nothing, you can sell it for cash.
It has been conjectured that Dalyn originates from some sort of contraction of David Allen.

What does a Tome of Lies do, and what's the point of such an item?

It reduces all of your character's stats by one and ages him/her four weeks. As to the purpose, from Oneway's post:

QUOTE
Creation of the tome of lies was needed because other tomes that do have a good effect exist. As you know, tomes are pretty common on the first level (a clean sweep of lvl 1 could give you even up to 15 tomes or so if you're lucky).
Considering that neutral characters can use evil and good tomes without bad effects (nothing will happen in fact), it would be very easy for them to just use every tome they find without spending a lot of money to completely identify them. With the money saved they'd be able to buy, identify and realign better equipment, thus helping them advance faster in the game.
This is what called the need for tome of lies that have a bad effect on characters of any alignment, so that everyone, including neutral characters, would be forced to id their tomes (at least somewhat). Otherwise stats would have been too easy and cheap to increase.

Now, why they are kept in stock at the store is simply a money issue.
For every item in stock the value drops as the stock quantity increases. A tome of lies that isn't in stock yet would always be worth the maximum amount of gold and thus a huge source of gold because they are so common in the first level. Thus the reason for this decision to keep it in stock is to lower the worth of the tome of lies as you collect and sell more of them so that eventually they'll 'only' be worth about a quarter of their maximum worth. Not doing this would have enabled low level players to advance in the game to easily as the bigger income would have enabled them to buy, identify and realign better equipment.

What do Sashes do?

Sashes may be cursed, but they are useful and desirable. It only costs 1-2 gold to realign or uncurse them, and each type of sash casts a beneficial and powerful spell. They also provide a little bit of Defense to the wearer. Don't sell them -- don't save them: use 'em!

What does the Damage Modifier of non-weapons do?

Nothing. It doesn't affect the damage you do in melee. It does influence the difficulty of identifying non-weapons, but that's about it.

How many items are there in Mordor?

There are 366 different items available for use in Mordor.

Of these, 331 can be found in the dungeon, several of which are quite rare. When items are first found, a Library entry is created. Some experienced players make a game of getting all 331 of these items listed in their Library.

The other 35 items break down as follows:

  • 16 fixed-cost store items (for example, Copper Helm, costing 75 gold)
  • 6 one-of-a-kind store items:
  • Dagger of Stealth
  • Sword of the Winds
  • Lethal Gauntlets
  • Cloak of Night
  • Dorlan's Sash
  • Ring of Power
  • 12 Guild Crests
  • and lastly, 'Hands' -- your bare hands

These 35 items will never show up in the Library, with the exception of Lethal Gauntlets and Cloak of Night, which can be worn by Evil and Good characters respectively, then uncursed, which will cause a Library listing to be created for them.

Why do my stats not vary when I use a stat-increasing item?

One of two things is happening:

  • You are reading a tome or drinking a potion that is of a different alignment than your character. Identify it fully at the General Store and realign it if needed, or give it to a character of the correct alignment.
  • Stats can only go up to your race's starting maximum + 5. You will know a particular stat has reached its absolute maximum when it is displayed in bold in the character window.

Miscellaneous

I've reached Nomad level 12. Why haven't I learned Charm of Opening?

Spells are learned according to your Spell Level, not your guild level. Your Spell Level (or SL) in any guild is equal to your guild level / 2, rounded up. So at guild level 3, you will reach SL 2; at guild level 5, SL 3, and so on.

Nomads learn Charm of Opening at SL 12, which is guild level 23.

Magically locked chests have different colors. What's the deal with this?

The colors are actually a bug in Mordor. The color you see is a result of what happened the last time you encountered a chest or box:

  • Black: you didn't open the last chest or box you encountered.
  • Blue: you haven't encountered a chest / box yet (since visiting town).
  • Green: you succesfully opened the last encountered chest / box.
  • Red: you triggered a trap when you opened the last encountered chest / box.

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