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A note from ForgottenManOnline

Longer, stat-blockier chapter today.

Jim walked out of the town hall into the central area of camp. Even though Jamestown was now technically a ‘town,’ the unplanned sprawl of this central area still felt the same. Few people still sat in the gathering area, though snuggling couples and distant-eyed solitaries warmed their hands by the embers of the cookfire. Jim walked into the area and sat on one of the logs to the back of the camp area and decided to go through the changes that had revolutionised the town and his character, but that he hadn’t had time to check yet.

First, Jim opened his character interface and immediately decided to allocate his 4 bonus attributes to intelligence, which raised the stat to 32+22 and gave him a spell damage of 39. Jim only allocated his talent point after much deliberation. The obvious choice would have been to increase either his Fire Magic, Leadership or Governance talent specialisations, but since he still had hours until sunrise, Jim evaluated all of his options.

Other than his big-three talents, Jim still had the powerful Scholar and the mysterious Reptilian Bloodline talent trees. Jim also briefly considered picking up a personal, profession talent like Leatherworking or Building to help the town and also give him something to do in the long nights while his army slept. Initially, he just couldn’t justify weakening his progression as a leader or in combat just to fill his time; however, one of the tier-one options for each profession, Professional Experience, almost changed his mind.

Professional Experience:
Gain experience points for practicing a profession. Experience points earned depends on the difficult and effort expended.


Ultimately, though, the looming The Lost People and The Source of Death quests convinced Jim to put it off until he felt confident in his combat power. It would be nice, though, to be able to have everyone go to sleep one level, then wake up a level higher the next day. I’ll have to ask Brett how much experience he gets mining when he makes his payment for the Deathless Pickaxe.

Jim completely ignored any of the combat talents available since he hadn’t had to use his spear since obtaining Fire Magic and, for the same reason, the defensively oriented nature of the Reptilian Bloodline talents also seemed like poor decisions. Even though System had unlocked some social functions he hadn’t even known he was missing, Jim still didn’t feel that Guilds would be a suitable talent selection from the Social section of the wheel. The Earth Magic tree held no interest while he had a cadre of Earth Mages in his forces to take those talents for him.

Scholar hadn’t developed any new options yet, and he suspected that he’d have to meet some pretty specific prerequisites to unlock new options. Both The Learned One and the Teacher talents in that tree were labelled as rare, and no basic talents had yet appeared.

Thus, Jim ended up considering only the choices he thought he’d choose from initially: Governance, Leadership and Fire Magic. He didn’t feel like the time had been wasted though; numerous paths were open before him, and he’d already divided his talent choices so widely that he couldn’t help but feel that he would become underpowered if he did not begin to proceed methodically. Jim wondered how the young Earth Mage healer he’d met, Michael, had gone with his pure Earth Magic build. Thinking of that player made Jim first consider the pure Fire Magic talents. No new options had appeared in that field, but the damage-over-time effect of Ignite still represented a great choice. Before he made his decision, Jim stuck to his plan to carefully consider all of his options.

Since the town had upgraded, Jim’s Governance talent options had developed massively! In addition to Fertility that would increase the growth rate of the town, Jim now had access to Conscription, Migration, Taxation, Tourism and a few others. Jim prioritised the rare and special talents that had prerequisites, rather than the basic talents that cluttered the talent wheel.

Conscription: (Rare)
Allows the recruitment of any townsperson as a soldier without their consent. Discounted professional army by X%, where X is equal to the number of Governance talents selected.
Prerequisite: Leadership talent.

Migration: (Rare)
Increases the number of migrants that arrive each day in the town by X%, where X is equal to the number of Governance talents selected.
Prerequisite: Town has unlocked migrants.

Taxation: (Rare)
Increases daily tax income by X% and allows a taxation of goods and services purchased within the town equal to X%. X is equal to the number of Governance talents selected.
Prerequisite: Town has unlocked taxes.

Tourism: (Rare)
Increases the number of migrants and tourists that arrive each day in the town by X%, where X is equal to the number of Governance talents selected.
Prerequisite: Renown greater than 0.


Jim had already familiarised himself with the town’s taxes of 1 copper per person per day when he had arranged the construction of the town hall. With a current population of 286, a 2% increase would only amount to an extra 5 copper, rendering that talent useless until the town grew significantly. The migrant and tourist town abilities were completely new to Jim, though, and he had to investigate those before he could decide.

Migrants:
The town attracts migrants at a rate of 3 per day.
Base of +1 from Town level, modified by: +100% from ‘First Town’ title; +100% from 100 Renown; +3% from Andrew’s Migration talent.

Tourists:
The town attracts tourists at a rate of 0 per week.
Base of 0 from tourism buildings, modified by +100% from 100 renown.


Just like Taxation, the two talents that improved these modifiers would be useless until the town became a high enough level for the small percentage bonus to actually increase the amount. He’d already learned through his spells that Platinum Online didn’t round up. The fact that Andrew had selected Migration did mean that the breakpoints for migration would come sooner rather than later... Wait… how did Andrew select Migration if the town wasn’t a town yet… has he levelled up? I’ll have to check next time I see him.

Conscription tempted Jim, though. The pathetic militia that came out of the recruitment office barely seemed worth Jim’s time. If Jim hadn’t been able to replenish his force from the rescued refugees, or if this were a leadership talent that would increase his command limit, he’d have picked Conscription in a heartbeat. The Jamestown militia only lacked 3 members after the fight with the Avians though, which made the talent temporarily worse than Ignite or another leadership talent

In the end, Jim’s role as the town’s militia commander caused one of the Leadership talents to win out over Ignite. He needed to increase the number of Non-Commissioned-Officers he could employ in order to increase his command limit. Moreover, in Leadership, Jim had unlocked two special talents through hidden prerequisites and one was even Epic rarity:

Hero: (Epic)
You are a renowned hero, with the might and presence to match. Increases the power of all stats by X% and increases command limit by X%. X is equal to the number of Leadership talents selected. These bonuses are multiplicative with other bonuses.
Prerequisites: Renown greater than 0; Governance; A reputation of Local Hero or higher with your home town.

Auxiliary Forces: (Rare)
You may hire auxiliary forces, such as scouts, cooks, and armourers, from towns that you have high levels of reputation in. You may employ X auxiliary units, where X is equal to the number of Leadership talents selected. Auxiliary forces do not count towards your command limit.
Prerequisites: A reputation of Local Hero or higher with a town.


Jim nearly selected Hero on the spot due to its Epic evaluation. Nearly. The talent would give him an additional troop and a 2% increase to all of his stats, which sounded amazing. However, just like with all of the other scaling talents, Jim hadn’t yet invested enough points to actually make it worthwhile. Hero wouldn’t even give him a single extra point of spell damage with only a 2% bonus.

‘Maybe next level’ might as well become my own, damned personal motto, Jim thought sourly. Then he picked Auxiliary Forces. If Jim made Vanessa or one of the other hunters a scout, he’d gain another troop slot anyway. He also suspected that having a formal scout or other auxiliary would likely have bonuses beyond just a free command limit increase.

His decision made, Jim could now turn his attention to upgrading the militia and the town. Jim started with Langdon’s spearmen. Now that these troops had three talents selected in the Piercing Weapons combat talent, Jim could select from the second tier of talents. After looking at the options, Jim could only make one conclusion about second-tier talents: They were overpowered!

Hoplite:
You may equip a light shield in your off hand, even when wielding a two-handed piercing weapon. Grants Shield combat talent proficiency equal to your Piercing Weapons combat proficiency.
Prerequisite: Hold the Line!

Companion Cavalry:
You may wield two-handed piercing weapons while mounted. Grants Riding personal talent proficiency equal to your Piercing Weapons combat proficiency.
Prerequisite: Charge.

Cripple:
Attacks that pierce your target’s muscles reduce their combat ability by X%, where X is equal to the number of Piercing Weapons talents selected.
Prerequisite: Impale.


Jim lacked both warhorses and shields at the moment. If it weren’t for the glut of iron and the Simple Iron Shield recipe from the Haunted Iron Mine dungeon, Jim would have selected Cripple, even though it seemed the weakest of the three. He had to give up his dream of cavalry for now because the town would not be able to risk their precious few cart horses as Jim’s combat mounts.

For unlocking the advanced tier of Piercing Weapons, your damage bonus with Piercing Weapons has increased from 25% to 50%.


With this talent selection, the entire front-line force of Jim’s militia underwent a qualitative change.

Their designation in his command interface changed from Militiaman to Hoplite. Every member’s base physical attributes increased significantly. Their health increased dramatically. The veterans in the group, Langdon, Burke and Martin, who already had high stats, toughened from around 18 in strength and constitution to around 21, which most notably brought their health up to a whopping 210. The regular forces also underwent an increase in health, going from the 50 they had at level 5 to 90 at level 6.

Having seen their progress for some time now, Jim could determine that, until the soldiers proved themselves like Burke had, the regulars of the militia and the enemies they fought had a huge penalty to their base attributes. While Langdon and the other seemed to increase their attributes by 3 each level and received a +3 boost from their tier 2 talent, the rest of Jim’s force only gained 1 to their primary stats but still received the +3 boost from their tier 2 talent. They didn’t seem to get bonus points like players though so, eventually, well-geared players would drastically out scale the natives of Platinum Online.

Even so, the damage the upgraded militia would inflict was huge. With their 9 strength, 3—5 damage Militia Spear and the 50% damage bonus, the basic militia would each deal an average of 18—21 damage. Burke, Martin and Langdon, who didn’t receive penalties to their attributes, would deal around as much as one of Jim’s fireballs!

Seeing this massive improvement, Jim decided he would repeat the upgrade to tier 2 with his earth mages. Just like the hoplites, the mages had access to tier 2 talents based on various prerequisites.

Stoneskin:
You may imbue allies that you heal with the toughness of stone. Reduces damage taken by X% for as long as you channel Earthen Vitality. X is equal to the number of Earth Magic talents selected.
Prerequisites: Earthen Vitality;

Gargoyles:
You may animate defences that you create with Earthworks by creating gargoyles. Gargoyles are carved creatures of stone that will engage in melee combat when your Earthworks fortifications are attacked. The combat power of Gargoyles is equal to half that of their creator’s. You may maintain X gargoyles, where X is equal to the number of Earth Magic talents selected.
Prerequisites: Earthworks

Might of Stone:
Increases Strength and Constitution by X, where X is equal to the number of Earth Magic talents selected.
Prerequisites: Strength of the Earth.


So far, Jim’s Earth Mages lacked the combat talents he wanted to give them as backup defensive troops and instead functioned as the militia’s healers. Therefore, Jim selected Stoneskin. This would further boost the mages’ healing touch spell even further than Earthen Vitality, which allowed them to constantly channel the spell rather than inefficiently recasting, did.

For unlocking the advanced tier of Earth Magic, you may now learn tier 2 Earth spells.


Even though Jim didn’t yet have access to any tier 2 Earth spells for the earth mages to learn and truly empower them, Jim still felt gratified when he saw the transformation these militia troops went through. Earth magic boosted a mix of attributes, improving their Constitution and Wisdom base attributes to 9 and granting them a corresponding health and mana pool of 90.

He regretted that all he could do for Vanessa’s hunters was to grant them their third basic point in the Projectile Weapons talent. For them, he selected the rare Poisoned Arrows talent.

Poisoned Arrows: (Rare)
Arrows deal an additional X% damage as earth magic damage over 10 seconds, where X is equal to the number of Projectile Weapons talents selected.


With a militia this strong, they might have a chance of taking on the elite slavers that held the last 110 refugees captive. Jim wasn’t done, though. Having selected a 2nd Leadership talent, Jim could increase his command limit by 10 after appointing Burke as a non-commissioned officer, which he did immediately. With his selections made and his force limit increased, Jim immediately went to the recruitment office to fill out his new force limit of 45.

Once Jim entered the recruitment office, he accessed the building and immediately spent 140 of his saved-up copper to recruit 14 peasant militia. He replaced the three who had died, the gap left by Burke after his promotion, and the ten new slots in his force limit. After inputting his requests into the recruitment office interface, the planned troops walked out of a back door that, as far as Jim could tell, was only a closet.

Once the forces assembled, Jim received a rather unpleasant prompt. The fact he’d expected it, didn’t make Jim feel any better.

Units recruited through the recruitment office receive a 50% penalty to all growth. The troops may be trained to regular condition at relevant training buildings.

 

He then tried to specialise the peasant militia exactly the same as the Hoplites, only to find that they also only received half the normal number of talent points and, as Lizardmen, one of those points was mandatorily used on Scaled Skin. Jim shook his head in disappointment and gave these… empty souls… the basic spear talents they’d need to be helpful: Hold the Line! and Impale.

Jim tried to engage the new recruits in conversation, but they only seemed to understand basic instructions. After learning this, Jim gave up and just sent the strange people to rest out the night with the rest of his militia. Jim shook his head again in disappointment before he returned to the town hall to review the town upgrades.

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A note from ForgottenManOnline

Did I go into too much detail with Jim's options? I'd like some feedback as to whether or not I should remove some of the detail here, as I feel like this chapter was quite long and slow.

That being said, this is a LitRPG, and I know many readers live for this sort of information in order to immerse themselves in the game world.

Either way, happy for feedback on the detail!


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About the author

ForgottenManOnline

Bio: Hi,
My name's Tim and I'm writing Forgotten Man Online, a game-literature light novel web-series that I plan to release here, on Royal Road, and eventually hopefully through Amazon's Kindle platform.

I studied writing at university for three years and then became a high-school English teacher in Australia (6 years in). Hopefully, that means you will find my content to be of a high standard and that you will enjoy it, provided you can stand the British spelling of words :).

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