Each Lord has (apart from his race) three main traits: Courage, Strength and Experience. Advanced and custom games will give each lord some additional more or less random (depends on race and scenario) traits. Lord's traits can be seen in Here and Ahead windows, and by hovering the mouse cursor over lord's image. Traits can also be found on the Vassals pages. The three main traits have their own bars in the upper right of the main window.
The more Courageous a lord is, the better he can handle battles. Gaining courage is possible with the following:
- Finding Blood Of Courage in a special location (raises courage randomly)
- Finding a fairy (raises courage to Utterly Courageous)
- Killing other lords or enemy garrisons (raises courage by 1 level)
- Finding a scroll of Fortitude
- For a lone lord only, courage can be gained by slaying dangerous animals (armies scare them off).
Losing Courage is possible by finding Thorns of Despair (TOD) when seeking at special locations (see section 6). Also, Foul kings and Foul heroes have a small chance to decrease the courage of the lord they hit in battle. A terrified lord will be too frightened to enter a battle at all.
Some cowardly actions, like disbanding army right after a battle, can also decrease courage.
Strength is very important in Movement and battles. If a Lord becomes Utterly Exhausted then he can't move any further and needs to rest, or eat supplies to be able to gain strength. The game features the concept of "Negative energy" meaning that all energy used up by Utterly or Nearly Exhausted lords must be recovered before they can move again in the same day.
Gaining Strength is possible with the following:
- Eat stores (in citadels, keeps or from caravans). Eating 1 store consumes 1/2 hour. Note that dragons cannot eat stores and have to rely on the other methods for gaining strength.
- By resting. Pressing the "rest button" gives you a bit of strength (much less than 1 store), and takes one hour. Note that resting is automatically applied to all nighting, “to battle” and synchronisation actions.
- Healing: Healers can transfer part of their strength to other lords – your vassals. Allied units (lords belonging to another player with whom you have an alliance) can also be healed in a one-off session, but this will leave the healer at night and unable to move or perform any more healing. It takes a Master Healer to heal a dragon.
- By Seeking at special locations and finding shelter.
- Only for dragons and lone lords: by eating animals (ie press “Seek” at the same location where animals reside). Different animals give different amounts of sustenance, depending on their size. Lone lords should preferably eat the less dangerous animals (sheep, cattle, deer), as the dangerous animals could attack and therefore are best avoided. Dragons, werewolves, skulkrin and caravans can pass wild animals unmolested.
Strength is lost every time a lord performs actions such as seeking, moving and fighting. It can also be lost if a lord is poisoned by a rogue.
Experience helps lords in battle. The most experienced lords become heroes and dominate the battlefield. Experience will also help in recruiting a dragon if Advanced Recruitment is chosen for a game.
Gaining Experience is possible with the following:
- Fighting other lords / enemy garrisons
- Reading a scroll of Wisdom.
- For a lone lord only, experience can be gained by slaying dangerous animals (armies scare animals off).
Experience can't be lost.
Necromancers are able to see shades and receive guidance about their location. They can recruit neutral shades, thus gaining control over their garrisons, and master necromancers can even recruit shades who are still loyal to the enemy.
Healers can restore other lords strength, but it takes a master healer to heal a dragon. They also limit the spread of disease when an army is too numerous.
Represents a lord's view of the world. It is a hidden trait, that will make itself noticeable during recruitment, where lords with a matching trait will be much more willing to join the same side. The relationship between lords will indicate if they're of the same nature or not.
Determines how quickly a lord will lose his strength when performing actions.
Influences how quickly a lord will be able to travel across the land. It can be increased by reading a scroll of swiftness.
Determines how good a lord is at seeking, how much time he will spend on it, and the quality of guidance he receives at towers. It also influences the amount of experience he is able to gain by his adventures. The ignorant and slow-witted might find little use for scrolls that are sometimes discovered while travelling.
It's a trait that indicates lord's familiarity with a certain type of terrain, giving him certain benefits when travelling or fighting on it. Mountaineers move quicker through mountains and can cross them even in most dire conditions, highlanders are faster in hilly country, fenlanders in marshes, foresters in forests, and plainsmen riding over plains. Rangers find a quick way over any kind of terrain.
Siege engineers are clever at attacking enemy strongholds, and siege masters, in addition, are able to defend their own more effectively; they can also put to good use some defensible terrain features.
Rogues can sneak when on foot, steal, and poison their enemies. They're skilful in hiding in difficult terrain and able to recruit even in the presence of enemy caravans and ships.
Mercenaries demand money for their service. In citadels and cities of their race, mercenary commanders are able to hire a 100 mercenary soldiers per day for free (but that will increase their daily wages for the player).
Dragonfriends are able to recruit dragons, and dragonriders are even able to ride them.
Some lords fight better when they lead only warriors, and some when they lead only riders.
Represents lord's conduct in a fight. Those who are impulsive will plunge in the middle of it, disregarding the casualties they might take; prudent lords will approach it more cautiously.
Is how a lord is seen by his peers. Forceful lords are better recruiters then reticent ones, and forceful heroes need less money to hire mercenary soldiers in cities of their race, while reticent heroes need more.
Some lords are more charismatic leaders than others, and that influences the total number of soldiers they can command, thus also augmenting the size of the army where diseases and desertions start appearing. Reading a scroll of persuasion will increase lord's leadership skill.