Big Trouble in Little Britannia

I’m not going to beat around the bush here: Ultima 5 is not going well for me. I’m having a real heck of a time getting started and feel like I have accomplished almost nothing in the four to five hours I have played the game. Now I understand that the game is difficult and its objectives are a little obfuscated, but I am having serious difficulty determining HOW to overcome the simplest of problems such as leveling up my characters. I have been grinding monsters such as trolls on bridges and have not noticed even a slight increase in experience for my characters. Some of them have difficulty dealing with even one encounter with almost any enemy. How can I progress if I can’t even survive? Anyway, here’s what I’ve done.

Clutching at Straws

After being resurrected at Castle Britania, I was pleased to find a safe place I could walk around and get some solid information. I talked to several denizens of the castle, including the infamous jester Chuckles, but was not able to learn much other than they really miss Lord British. Exploring the area surrounding Castle Britain was a little more fruitful. East, North, and West Britain all contained useful shops and information, including a shipbuilders with a clue about the HMS Cape, the legendary ship from which I was able to invoke massive power in Ultima 4. Unfortunately, I could not even afford a skiff and was off to do some more grinding.

I returned to Yew to pick up some more information when I noticed a moongate which I jumped into popping me out near Moonglow; the town in which I began my adventure as a mage in Ultima 4. Gleaning little information from this town, I was sent packing to Lycaeum, keepers of the flame of truth, where I was able to find some important information. I learned the true name of one of the shadowlords, the lord of hate. This information will definitely come in handy, but I was unable to make any use of it at this time.

[The true name of the Shadowlord. Notice Shamino is dead.]

Another moongate journey took me to Trinsic, the city of Honour, where I was able to learn one word of power for opening a dungeon which I am not ready for yet. After leaving the city I visited its shrine where I meditated and received a quest to go read the Codex at the isle of the Avatar, formerly where the Abyss was located. With no boat and no hope of leveling up, I stopped for the session which lasted several hours.

Please Help Me

I really want to like this game, and I can really see why people do, but I am in dire need of tips. Combat is the major sticking point for me because it is much more difficult. It seems like no matter how much I fight and how many times Lord British visits me while camping, I never see any advancement. My characters are weak, they are not good at anything, and I have some empty clues I can do nothing about. Please help me out because I am seriously considering hanging this one up until later.

Slight spoilers are OK as I am pretty familiar with what will happen in the game having read lots of info about the Ultima series in my free time, but please respect any others who may stumble upon the blog in terms of any serious spoilers… even though I doubt there are many. I hope I can push past this, but I won’t force myself.

>What Mantra do you wish to meditate using?
>Please help me.
>Please help me.
>Please help me.

Thou art granted a vision!

--Backlog Killer