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12.10: Research

Research attempts to discover sub-skills which are not commonly known or made available when the category skill is learned.

Research is mostly used to discover new magical spells, as few spells are granted when a magic school is learned. However, even common skills such as Shipcraft, Combat and Construction may have hidden sub-skills which can be found through research.

Research for all skill categories except Religion [150] must be performed in a tower, by the tower's owner (the first character inside the tower). Towers make good laboratories for scholarly investigations, and minimize distractions. Other occupants of the tower may not use research.

Research into Religion [150] must be performed in a temple, by the temple's owner.

When a category skill is learned, its lore sheet appears in the player's turn report, listing information about the skill as well as sub-skills which may be studied directly based on the parent skill.

An example:

Lore for Shipcraft [120]
All skills concerning ocean travel fall under this category.
Shipcraft encompasses the building and repair of ships,
training of sailors, and navigation at sea.

The following skills may be studied directly once Shipcraft
is known:

   num   skill                              time to learn
   ---   -----                              -------------
   9502  Sailing                            one week

Further skills may be found through research.

The last line (`Further skills ...') indicates that there are sub-skills of Shipcraft which are not mentioned in the lore sheet. These hidden skills may represent rare or hard-to-learn knowledge, or perhaps technology which has not yet been discovered.

Study of these skills is not possible based simply on knowledge of the parent skill. Sailing [9502] can be learned by a character, no matter where he is, once Shipcraft is known. Hidden Shipcraft skills, however, must be learned in other ways, even if the character has learned their entity numbers from other players.

There are two possible ways such hidden skills may be learned:

  1. Through a rare book or scroll which offers instruction in the skill.
  2. Through research.

Research is the more difficult choice. However, to learn rare sub-skills there may be no alternative. Perhaps there are no players who already know the rare sub-skill, and so cannot record scrolls to instruct others. Or if there are, they choose to keep their knowledge secret.

Research incurs a fee of 25 gold to pay for miscellaneous materials and costs.

Each week of research yields a 25% chance that a new skill will be discovered.

If research is successful, the new sub-skill will be added to the character's partially known skill list. It then must be studied in order to become fully known and usable.

For example:

1: > research 120
1: Will research Shipcraft for seven days.
7: Research uncovers a new skill:  Improve ship rigging [9999].
7: To begin learning this skill, order 'study 9999'.

Partially known skills:
   9999  Improve ship rigging, 0/7

The `0/7' qualifying the new sub-skill in the partially known skill list indicates that seven full days of study are required to learn the skill, and none of them have yet been completed.

1: > study 9999
1: Paid 100 gold to begin study.
1: Will study Improve ship rigging for seven days.
7: Learned Improve ship rigging [9999].

The research order is no longer used on the new skill once it becomes partially known. Research may continue to be used on Shipcraft [120], however, to seek out more hidden sub-skills.

Category skills may not be learned through research.

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