Character Attributes in Ultima III
Characters in Ultima III have several features that affect gameplay. This article will attempt to cover most of these characteristics.
Like its predecessors - but unlike later Ultima games set in Britannia - Ultima III allows the player to choose from several different races, and was the last main Ultima game to do so. The playable races are humans, dwarves, elves, bobbits, and fuzzies. Ultima III also allows each character to have one of three genders: male, female, or "other."
Health and Magic
Characters have hit points that determine the maximum number of damage they can receive, and magic points, that determine the spells they can cast. Even though the documentation mentions reagents, that is only background information. In the game, the only limitation to cast a spell is to have enough magic points to cast it. Better spells need more magic points. There are two types of magic in the game: sorcerer spells and priest spells, each having sixteen spells. For more about magic, see Sosarian Magic in the Third Age of Darkness.
Experience and levels are only useful to determine the maximum number of hit points a character has, for the first time in the Ultima series. Experience is obtained by killing monsters. One hundred experience points (xp) are needed to go up one level. Levels are given by Lord British after gaining enough experience points. Lord British will increase the maximum hit points for a character to (100*current level) plus 50. However, Lord British will only advance players to level 5. Only after getting the Mark of Kings will he advance up to level 25. After level 25, there is no effect for getting more experience or reaching further levels.
Characters in this game have four attributes or statistics (sometimes abbreviated as "stats"): strength, dexterity, intelligence and wisdom.
- Dexterity controls a character's chance to hit, evade attacks and disable traps.
- Strength modifies the damage dealt to an enemy, if Dexterity allowed to hit it. Therefore, Strength is less important than Dexterity.
- Intelligence and Wisdom affect the magic points, either for sorcerer or priest spells, respectively.
Ultima 3 is the first game in the series that features healing spells. Such spells belong to the "prayer spells" category, and their effectiveness is ruled by Wisdom.
The race a character has affects the maximum value each of the attributes can be raised to.
The following table shows the maximum values each race can have in each of the four attributes.
Attributes are gained by going to Ambrosia and donating at the shrines there. Each shrine raises a specific attribute, and each multiple of 100 gold donated will raise the respective attribute by one point.
Ultima III allows the player to choose from eleven professions for each character. Different professions allow for different restrictions on weapons and armour, plus other special characteristics. For more details on these professions, see Older Professions.
The following table show the characteristics of each profession.
Sort the table by weapon or armor to see the characters sorted by best weapon or by best armor; Dexterity bonus is taken into account.
|Profession||Main attributes||Steal & disarm||Magic (magic points)||Strongest melee weapon||Strongest armour|
|Fighter||STR||(None)||(None)||2 +4 Sword (Sun Sword)||2 +2 Plate Armour (Dragon Armour)|
|Barbarian||STR + DEX||Ordinary||(None)||1 +4 Sword (Sun Sword)||6 Leather Armour|
|Lark||STR + INT||(None)||Sorcery (50% INT)||2 +4 Sword (Sun Sword)||8 Cloth Armour|
|Paladin||STR + WIS||(None)||Prayer (50% WIS)||2 +4 Sword (Sun Sword)||3 Plate Armour|
|Ranger||S + D + I + W||Ordinary||Both (50% min. Int/Wis)||3 +2 Sword (Iron Sword)||1 +2 Plate Armour (Dragon Armour)|
|Thief||DEX||Superior||(None)||4 Sword||5 Leather Armour|
|Illusionist||DEX + WIS||Ordinary||Prayer (50% WIS)||5 Mace||6 Leather Armour|
|Alchemist||DEX + INT||Ordinary||Sorcery (50% INT)||7 Dagger||7 Cloth Armour|
|Wizard||INT||(None)||Sorcery (100% INT)||8 Dagger||8 Cloth Armour|
|Druid||WIS + INT||(None)|| Both (50% max. WIS/INT)
Fast MP regeneration*
|6 Mace||8 Cloth Armour|
|Cleric||WIS||(None)||Prayer (100% WIS)||6 Mace||4 Chain Armour|
* Druids regain MP at double the normal rate, up to the total of their Wisdom or Intelligence, whichever is less; afterwards they regain only 1 mp/turn (this is undocumented).
When creating a new character, the following steps have to be done:
- Select an empty spot from the character roster.
- Assign the character a name, maximum of 13 letters.
- Choose the sex.
- Choose the race.
- Choose the type (profession).
- Distribute 50 points between the four attributes. No attribute can have less than 5 points or more than 25 points.
Up to 20 characters can be created and stored at the same time, and parties can be formed by selecting four characters from that roster. Parties can be dispersed and re-formed even in the middle of saved games, before loading a game.
Character creation strategy
Create characters by associating a race and a class that focus on the same attributes. Note that Dexterity is more important than Strength, even for fighting classes without magic.
|Race|| Main attribute
| Intermediate attributes
| Lesser attribute
|Human||(None)||Dex, Str, Wis, Int||(None)||Ranger (D+S+W+I)|
|Intelligence|| Cleric (WIS)|
|Wisdom|| Thief (DEX)|
|Wisdom||Strength|| Wizard (INT)|
- Dexterity also determines success rate of many spells.
- High Strength is pointless if Dexterity is low.