- Title: Eschalon: Book 1
- Release Date: November 17, 2007
- Developer: Basilisk Games
- Publisher: Basilisk Games
If you’re having a tough time getting the hang of Eschalon, you’re not alone. When I first delved into the game, I scoured Steam Screenshots and the developer’s forum for guidance but realized that I had to learn the hard way. This guide is aimed at players who have already given the game a try but are feeling lost or stuck. To save you time and frustration, here’s your path to success. Keep in mind that it might take away some of the adventurous thrill, but before you abandon the game due to its difficulty, you’ll find help here.
Outsmart the Game
You can save the game before opening chests and barrels. If the loot doesn’t meet your expectations, reload, and you’ll get a different result. This can range from finding nothing to discovering items worth a significant amount of gold.
The same strategy can be applied to picking locks, disarming traps, resisting diseases, landing hits, and more. This technique is commonly known as “save scumming.”
Utilize the Terrain
Lead groups of enemies back to narrow passages or doorways, where only one enemy can engage you at a time.
Whenever possible, employ the “Luke-Skywalker-Rancor-move” (crushing enemies with a portcullis). This approach yields fewer experience points but is incredibly effective.
Use light sources to improve your hit chance. The best tactic is to lure an enemy into the light while you remain (partially) in the shadows. In most cases, it’s not wise to fight in complete darkness; instead, create light or enhance your vision somehow.
Avoid running directly up to enemies; let them come to you when they are one tile away by pressing the spacebar. This way, you can have the first strike.
The chance of being ambushed while resting is extremely high, and you can’t rely on much-needed healing in dire situations. In most cases, resting will only worsen your condition. However, if you sleep in short stages of around 5 hours each, you are more likely to remain safe. Save and repeat this process. I call it the “F2-C-R tactic,” and you’ll understand why.
You can camp in almost any location, including dungeons, as long as there are no enemies in sight. If you’re being pursued by fast foes, leave the map, camp there for a while, move a few meters up or down, and return. The enemies will wait where they lost your trail. They won’t follow you to other maps and won’t regenerate health. Also, consider changing your gear if you have items that grant Meditation or Survival bonuses for faster regeneration.
I’ve found the “Agnostic” approach to be the best choice.
Druidic regeneration is acceptable but not overwhelming, especially underground, where it can feel slow.
Atheists cannot use some of the divination spells, such as healing, which would be extremely helpful. However, you won’t be cursed as frequently.
“Nefarious” only provides extra damage for melee weapons, so it’s only beneficial for melee-oriented characters.
“Virtuous” grants you “Bless” without needing to meet its requirements. While it’s helpful for melee combat, it’s no more than a small starting boost.
General Character Creation
Roll your stats until you are satisfied. Keep an eye out for variations in the total starting points, as this can affect your gameplay if you aim to optimize your character.
It’s better to focus on a few skills, such as attack, armor, one utility skill like lockpicking, and cartography (1 point unless you want a challenge). You’ll have opportunities to learn additional skills for a reasonable cost as you progress.
Opening a skill is expensive, so try to avoid it whenever possible. You’ll come across skill books that can open specific skills (saving you 3 points) or raise the skill’s level if you already know it. For skills that can be learned from trainers, it’s best to reach the maximum level (5) with the trainer and then read the skill book. For non-trainer skills, read the book first and then invest points.
The most effective approach is to save the majority of your skill points to boost your main skills with your first level up. However, I don’t recommend this for your first character.
Every stat matters for each character build. A hammer-wielding brute may naturally have low perception and intelligence, but remember that these attributes also affect your resistances (Strength affects toxins, Intelligence affects elements, Wisdom affects diseases, Perception affects magic, Endurance affects all of them).
Some skills are either relatively useless or can be left at 1 point, such as:
- Spot Hidden
- Move Silent
- Short-blade (dagger)
In my opinion, the most overpowered skills are the divination skills (Wisdom). Whether you play as a mage, melee fighter, hybrid, or ranged character, all of them benefit greatly from divination. Rangers and Warriors don’t need to invest much; just a few points to access the spells. You’ll find trainers for these skills, but starting with 1 point in divination is a wise choice.
How to Build a Melee Character
Start with light armor, as it’s the first type you’ll come across and can afford. Transition to heavy armor later if you prefer it. Don’t waste skill points on light armor unless you intend to stick with it.
You’ll need a significant amount of strength for heavy armor, so start with around 18 and prioritize increasing it.
In addition to dexterity, you’ll need some concentration to improve your hit rate. I recommend starting with 10 concentration and around 15 dexterity.
Bludgeoning weapons are great for destroying barrels and doors quickly, making them a solid choice as a starting weapon. You can switch to other weapon types later, as trainers are available.
Focus on using divination spells for buffing, as described earlier. Rings that increase your wisdom are essential, allowing you to reach 20 wisdom with fewer points invested (around 14). Learn spells like Bless, Cat’s Eyes, Ogre Strength, Nimbleness, Leatherskin/Stoneskin, Haste, and Enchanted Weapon. You can follow a similar approach for intelligence to obtain Enkindled Weapon, which is beneficial for various character types. Keep in mind that you can’t carry too much weight in your hands while casting spells, so either increase your strength significantly or switch to a lighter weapon slot (press Enter) if you want to use a shield.
Learn alchemy from a trainer up to level 5, then read a book to reach level 7. Invest 2 points at your level up (for a total of 9), and with two +3 rings, you’ll reach level 15, allowing you to craft the best improvements for your weapon and armor. Your weapon can be enchanted for both ToHit and Damage.
Finally, prioritize raising your main weapon skill to a high level, aiming for 30 or more. Heavy armor should also be improved, with 10 being a decent starting point but more being better.
Neglect other skills, as you can boost them significantly with trainers and books. Eventually, you’ll need the following: weapon skill at
That's everything we are sharing today for this Eschalon: Book 1 guide. This guide was originally created and written by Bennoni. In case we fail to update this guide, you can find the latest update by following this link.