"Now, you will undoubtedly know some of the following, but since we can't tell exactly which part of the early lessons each student will sleep through, I'll rehash all of the basics for you." Sekiri pokes you with his walking stick. "Wake up!" he grumbles.


"I'm reasonably certain you've figured this part out, since you're already here, but in case you have any acquaintances who wish to join, you can let them know the following."

"To join the Wizards' Guild, they need to come to the Unseen University, which since we're somewhat lazy, we generally just call the UU. If they don't know where we are, they can try and grab a hold of a map of Ankh-Morpork. We'll get to other atlases later." "Once they find the UU, most of the time the gates will be open. If they're not, just north of the gates is a handy place to climb the wall to get in. Or, in the case of students who have already joined, a handy place to get out, usually to head to the nearest pub." Sekiri winks at you.

"Then they simply need to head through the Great Hall, wander up the staircase they'll find at the other end, and head up. There, they'll be able to 'join' this fine institution, and the rest of us will undoubtedly be overjoyed to be told we have a new member."


"Right, now that you are a fledgling member of the UU, you will undoubtedly need some help to get you on the right path." You nod vigorously. "Well, the Unseen University operates on the principle that by placing students in close proximity with a lot of books and knowledge, some of it will transfer to them without the tedious business of teaching and learning."

"That said, there are a few sources of help around, this study being one of them. If I'm not here, and you want a more specific answer than is present in these volumes, you can try asking another Wizard. The UU habitually posts a list of the Wizards that are currently around under that list over there." Sekiri points at a piece of paper tacked on a wall titled 'who wizards'. "It's a rather handy list you can find all over the place that magically updates itself from the master copy."

"The other immediate source of help available is to ask on another ingenious magical device known as the talker. We'll get to the details of how that works in a moment, but the final source of help is the bulletin boards we have around the campuses. You can 'post' a notice on there, but remember, these boards are only checked when a Wizard actively reads them, so it's unlikely to get you any quick response."


Sekiri takes a drink of a large mug of coffee, and becomes noticeably more alert. "When Ragnel accepted you into the guild, he should have given you a copy of Woddely's Occult Primer." As you nod, he continues. "Well, in addition to telling you a little about various magical skills, the book has also been turned into what is known as a talker."

"A talker is a magical device that can be anything which has had a particular spell cast on it. Once it has been prepared, you can then use it to communicate with people over the entire Disc. It has a number of channels that you can use or opt out of, one of which is our guild channel that only Wizards can tune into, so it is an excellent source of help if you ask questions. If you want more information about how to use your talker, you can always use the 'syntax talker' bit on it, right there." Sekiri points at the glowing eyes.

"Any item can be turned into a talker by means of a spell. You can find more information on it in the reference books over there. It can also be cast on an item of yours for a minimal fee by the Wizard Jorodin. He is the one who originally created the spell, I think he has a shop located on Short Street these days."


"Ok, put that primer down and we'll talk about your student studies." Sekiri starts staring off into space, and after a time you cough loudly. "What? Oh, right, studying. I was trying, but I can't seem to remember those early days myself, but hopefully I can help you a little anyway."

"Your student studies will be in a number of different areas of magical skill, and the guild even offers a bit of basic training in other diverse areas, from trading skills to culture, alertness to self defence and even 'health' or fitness as it is sometimes known, yes I know, as horrible as that sounds." Sekiri nods understandingly at your horrified expression. "To enrol in some of those courses, head to the student lounge or equivalent, if you've travelled elsewhere. There, you can check how much the training materials will be, and whether you're ready for that lesson with 'cost' from the secretary. You can do this for just the main skills with primaries, or all lessons offered, and if you have both the monetary resources and experience required for that lesson, you can 'advance' that skill area. The lessons you can enrol in will be limited until you have a basic knowledge in the prerequisites. That is, you will not be permitted to advance in magic.spells until you have sufficient levels of magic.

"In addition to lessons from the guild, you can also learn further skills than the guild can teach you from other people. The more skilled that person is at both the skill and at teaching in general, the less ready or 'experienced' you will need to be for that lesson." As you look interested, he cautions you "Be warned though, individuals lack the full resources of a guild for lessons, and as such the 'experience' you require will be considerably higher than an equivalent lesson here."

"The other way to finish your student studies is this" as he talks, Sekiri grabs a feather from a nearby table and drops it. The feather then floats back up to his hand after it drifts down. Suddenly he floats gently off the ground and hovers there. "That" he says "Is a successful spell. One thing that you will find can happen when you succeed at any particular task, such as a stage of a spell, is that you can realise a particular bit of insight that improves your skill at that task. We generally refer to these as a 'taskmaster' or 'tm' for short, and they improve your skill without cost to you."

"We'll talk a bit more later about different skills and what you should focus on, but for now I should briefly explain a bit more about using your skills and how effective they are."

"In its infinite wisdom, the guild has decided to divide the proficiency which you've attained into literally hundreds of levels, in the case of primary skills, 300 of them, instead of more reasonable divisions like proficient, skilled, adept, expert and master." Sekiri's expression seems to question the wisdom of this practice, but he continues "These 'levels' of skill can be extended past the 300 the guild uses, through learning from other experts outside the guild or tms, as I already mentioned. However, these levels represent only the amount of learning you have attained at these skills, they do not explicitly determine how effective you are at them."

When you try to apply some of that knowledge to a task, the levels of learning that you have are combined with your natural aptitude for that skill, as determined by your basic attributes, such as your strength or intelligence." Sekiri looks at you thoughtfully as if appraising your intelligence, and you wonder what his conclusion is. "Naturally, your basic attributes or 'stats' were determined long before now, but some clever youngster has come up with the ability to, once, 'rearrange' your stats to whatever you like, within limits. Now, because you can only do it once it is something that should only be done after a lot of careful thought, so we'll put aside that discussion to a later date."

"Now, the way your level of a particular skill and your attributes combine was first determined by a young fellow named Benjamin Onuster. Eventually, we ended up calling the results your B. Onuster number, which in time shortened to 'bonus'. I doubt too many people even remember him these days. The resulting bonus is different for various skills, but in all of them, a significant bonus increase occurs in the first 60 levels of a skill, and thereafter bonuses increase in a straight line with levels in a skill. It is your bonus for a particular skill that determines how good you are at it in most practical applications.


"I'm guessing that you joined the Wizards' Guild because you saw our recruiting poster - 'Join the Wizards' Guild, travel to far and exotic places, meet interesting people, and transform them into invisibly small components with 6 different flavours and various spins'. No? Ah well, guess that one didn't make it through marketing." Sekiri looks downcast for a moment at this news.

"Anyway, to do the travelling part, there are a number of ways, from actually walking" Sekiri shudders as he continues, "to catching a carriage between cities or towns, or stepping through magical doorways to travel to far places instantly. We'll get to the last of those during your Graduate Studies, but in the meantime, you're going to need to know a bit about the phenomenon known as geography."

"I'm no expert on the subject myself, and unfortunately we did manage to lose our Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography a while back, but there are a few purveyors of maps around these days." Sekiri hands you a catalogue for a map store. "There you go, at that place you can get a map of the major cities of Ankh-Morpork, Djelibeybi, Sto Lat, Bes Pelargic and Genua, along with many of the larger towns."

"Between those of course, you have all that, er..." Sekiri waves one hand around aimlessly while seeming to struggle with the concept "empty space and stuff, with trees and animals, er, unprepared food growing in the ground I think? Terrains or something." Sekiri regains his equilibrium "Anyway, never go there myself, hardly a buffet table anywhere. You could ask one of those hedge type wizards I guess, but you better take a meal with you, I don't think those poor chaps get a lot to eat."


"Well, we've talked about the, ah, whatsit numbers.." You helpfully supply the words level and bonuses, and Sekiri continues "Right, them. There are some other numbers that get thrown around here, very big on numbers, Wizards. Number of meals, number of beers, pi, you know the sort of thing."

"But one of the other ones is guild points, often abbreviated to 'gp'. This is essentially the amount of magical energy you have available to you to do wizardly things, like cast spells or use other guild commands. We'll discuss those later. The number of guild points you have is based on your magic points skill bonus, plus another 50 tacked onto that." As you ask a question, he replies "No, I have no idea why they did that. Anyway, different spells and commands will take differing amounts of your energy, and if you don't have enough, you can't do whatever you're trying. However, your energies will regenerate with time."

"Because you specialise in Wizardry, you'll be able to use all your energies for magic, however, you will need to keep a reserve if you try to use any other types of commands, like fighting or crafting things. How much of your energy is reserved and how much you can use for those other things is determined by your points skills in the other specialities. Check your 'gp' and you should see what I mean. You should also note that some magical artifacts like yellow rings drain off some of your regeneration."

Sekiri suddenly stands and pokes you with a toothpick. As you exclaim 'Oww!', he sits back down and continues. "The next number is your hit points. Some time ago, some too-smart-for-his-own-good fellow decided that one hit point or hp was the amount of health you lose when someone stabs you with a toothpick. If I did that another 500 times or so, you'd be dead!" Sekiri chuckles and says "While the term stuck, I believe that young fellow died trying to figure out how many toothpicks worth an oak tree falling on you was. Anyway, you can increase the number of hit points you have by taking lessons in the other.health skill. We offer basic training in such here at the UU."

"Finally, we have your guild level. This is how the Unseen University determines your progression through the different levels from Applicant up to a Fourth Level Wizard, and accordingly therefore, when you graduate. The UU will consider you to have graduated, and allow you the opportunity to join an Order, once you have reached guild level 40. Your guild level is the average of the levels of your primary skills, those you see in the student lounge when you check 'cost primaries'. I'm happy to discuss an appropriate choice of Order with you later on, once you're eligible to do so."


"Finally, and quickly, since they're just about to bring up second breakfast, I'll just pass on a tip for you."

"You will often find in Wizardry, that there are many different names, commands or other things for you to remember, and it can all get a tad confusing. Here's a little trick I learned." Sekiri reaches over and taps you on your right temple, and you suddenly realise a new way to organise your mind. "That will allow you to use 'nickname' to abbreviate or otherwise certain long spell and other names in your mind. For instance, you could nickname the spell Reckless Encouragement of Arcane Peacock to 'REAP', and still have the sentient entity that is the spell recognise what you mean."

"There is another even more useful method known as 'alias' available to you as well. You can get 'help' on how to use this, and if you're unsure, you can always ask on the talker.

There is a knock on the door and you realise Sekiri is no longer paying attention to you as his second breakfast is wheeled in, and you slip quietly out of the room until your next lesson.

URL: http://www.gunde.de/discworld/sekiri/basics.html