Note: Not Updated Since 2005
There are five different stats you can apply ability points to:
|Rank||Points Per Level||Total Points|
|R0/R1 (levels 2-19)||5||90|
|R2 (levels 20-29)||4||40|
|R3 (levels 30-39)||3||30|
|R4 (levels 40-49)||2||20|
|R5-R7 (levels 50-75)||1||25|
One thing to keep in mind when applying starting runes is that there are minimums for the in-game runes. If you plan to apply an in-game rune later of a certain type, you must be sure that your maximum in that stat when creating your character is at least 85. If it isn't, you will need to make sure to take starting runes to make up the difference. Dwarf healers in particular should keep this in mind as it is impossible to take an int rune in game as a dwarf unless you take the appropriate starting runes when creating the character.
Typically there are three types of trait runes affecting stats that you may want to consider taking when creating a character:
+10/+10 Runes cost 12 ability points to apply. They increase one stat by 10 (base and max). The cost is 1 point greater than a the equivalent rune would cost to apply in game, but the advantage to the starting rune is that you can apply a regular rune in addition to it later in the game, which can either allow you to take a cheaper rune to make the same maximum stat or allow you to reach a higher maximum stat. If you don't plan to take another rune at a later point for the skill, you don't want a +10/+10 rune. It's almost never worthwhile to take any of the ones smaller than +10/+10 because you can easily find the smaller ones in game if you end up needing them.
Apprentice runes cost 8 ability points to apply. They increase one stat by 10 and decrease two others by 5 (base and max for all). These are typically used if at least one of the two stats is one the character will not need and the character will want to apply a large rune on top of the stat that it will be increasing.
Racial runes are special traits that are only for certain races. In general these are high cost and are not worth it for most, but if you really want to get a stat maximum high, it may be worthwhile (giant's blood is an exception, it's not overly expensive for what it gives)
The following types of runes can be found in game for all five stats. Note that the larger the rune, the higher level mob typically required to drop it. Intelligence runes of all sizes, large dexterity runes, and constitution runes of large and small sizes are the most popular. Spirit runes are the least popular. The +20 rune is the least efficient to use.
Each rune has a creation cost required to apply it. You can't apply a rune unless you have that many ability points available. When you apply the rune it increases your base and max for the specified stat by the amount specified on the rune.
If you already have an in-game rune applied of the same stat you can apply a larger one. It will replace the smaller one and will refund you the creation cost of that smaller rune when the larger one is applied. You must have enough ability points to meet the creation cost of the larger rune when applying it, since the refund does not take place until after the rune is applied. When replacing a rune you do not get the smaller rune back. Starting trait runes are not affected by this, the one exception being the +1/+3 rune, which is replaced like in-game runes.
The chart below is a list of all the in-game stat runes available. The extra cost is the number of ability points it will cost above the amount that your maximum stat will increase. The total cost is the amount of points required to apply the rune and max it. Since there is an additional cost to apply runes, you want to be careful not to pick a rune too large and end up wasting extra points to apply it when you could have used a smaller one.
|Name||+ Stat||+ Max||Creation Cost||Minimum Req.||Extra Cost||Total Cost|
In addition to stats there are other uses for ability points. When creating a character there are many starting traits you may want to consider which will use your ability points. Most starting traits aren't very useful, but some which may be useful depending on your character type are fleet of foot, ambidexterity, lucky, precise, and the +5 weapon skill runes. If you are playing a class of character that may have an excess of ability points, you should take a good look at the starting traits that may improve your character. Note that there are some types of characters which will require these starting traits (ambidexterity for example is required for the popular chainsaw barbarian template).
Another use of ability points in game is applying weapon mastery runes. All weapon mastery runes cost 5 points to apply. Although most weapon mastery runes aren't terribly useful, there are times when they can be useful if making specialized characters. The most popular weapon mastery rune is throwing mastery. Archery is a discipline and not a weapon mastery rune so it costs no ability points to apply.
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Cari D. Burstein - cdaveb AT anybrowser DOT org