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So, you want to be a hero?

Legend of the Red Dragon is a surprisingly complex game, given that it is a 20-year-old text game. On the surface, it looks very basic, as if there isn't much strategy involved in playing. However, you will notice that some players tend to advance much more rapidly through the levels than others. This is mostly due to strategies based on informed choices, though a little luck can always change the game too.

Hold on a minute! Before you play...

It'll help you decide where to play once you know the differences among the realms we have available here. They differ in slight ways, but each gives a very different dynamic to the game. There are two main factors that determine the different realm rules. They are:

  • Camping - This is defined as staying on a level for an excessive amount of time when you have both the experience and equipment to advance. If you are much too powerful or much too rich or much too experienced for your level, you are probably camping.

    This is a tricky rule and a little hard to understand at first. In simple terms, if you can move up to the next level safely, then you should do so. For example, if you stay on level 5 when you have more than 10,000 experience, then you are generally considered to be camping and should level up soon. The rule is subjective though. Sometimes you’ll manage to get a great player kill while having crappy equipment. If that happens, moving up to level 6 might be hazardous to your well-being. One point where this becomes especially true is level 8 and 9. Once you hit those levels, you’ll likely find that you’ll get to dragon-slaying much quicker if you avoid levels 10 and 11 because those levels absolutely suck compared to Level 12. Most people just skip over Level 10 and 11 once they have the 10,000,000 experience needed for level 12 because it is faster than dealing with the “hell levels.”

    In short: Camping is not merely staying at one level when you have the experience to advance, but rather it is a measure that you are hanging out on a level so long that you are slowing down your ability to reach level 12 and start killing dragons. For more information, see Why is Camping a Rule in the FAQ section of this site.

  • Online Dueling - If you fight another player who is online at the time, this is referred to as an online duel. You fight another player by going to the (S)laughter screen from the Town Square. When you list the players in the fields, it will show a red “ON” next to the players who are online currently. If online dueling is not allowed in your realm, don't attack these players unless you first (W)rite them an in-game message asking for a duel. If they agree, you are then allowed to duel.

These two factors pair up as follows for the competitive realms:

  • Green Realm - Online duels are illegal without prior messaged consent. Camping is illegal.
  • Red Realm - You may online duel anyone, at any time. Camping is illegal.
  • Blue Realm - Online duels are illegal without prior messaged consent. You may camp all you like.

To the battlefield!

So, you've strapped on your armour and you’re ready to play your day. Irrespective of which realm you play, there are a few things that you should try to accomplish every time you play.

  • Kill another player! It's the best way to gain experience and race up to level 12.
  • (W)rite romantic mail. Find a fine looking player of the opposite sex and write them a romantic message. If they say yes, you get exp! Also, flirt with Seth or Violet as well.
  • (A)sk Seth Able to sing you a song in the (I)nn. Trust me, good things can happen.
  • Use JENNIE codes in the (F)orest when you’re in high spirits (watch the first screen after logging into the realm to find out how your spirits are).
  • Cash in your gems. You can hand them over to the bartender at the (I)nn for increased Strength, Vitality and Hit Points. It's recommended to put all of your gems into vitality (which is defense) to help you reach level 12, then switch and put them into strength to attack the dragon. Hit Points are not a good option for the competitive.

I want blood now!

Excellent! To advance in the game, you need to kill people. Specifically, fat, juicy players with tons of experience points, of which you get half. If you don’t kill other players, you’ll advance painfully slowly, and since the competitive realms are full of dozens of players who need experience, you’ll die every day to someone or something, and every time you do, you lose 10% of your experience points. So how do you find these hapless victims to pad your exp count? First, you need to find a player who is still alive, and who preferably has a lot more exp than you do. The easiest way to do that is to keep an eye on the stats page of your realm: Blue Realm, Green Realm, Red Realm. Generally speaking, if you can check it 3-4 times in a day you should have a good chance of finding someone half decent to kill. If someone is alive and logged off, jump on and play! Whether or not you want to risk completing your forest fights before your player kill depends on things like: whether you need cash for a better weapon before you tackle your player kill, or whether you have a sneaking suspicion that other players are watching the stats page too and may get on and snipe your kill while you’re in the forest.

Killing offline players one level above you is the preferred method of getting heaps of experience. You can use your 'skills' on them, and your victims are unlikely to be so powerful that they kill you in one strike. This is where your (T)hieving skills come in handy. They do 3 times as much damage as a normal (A)ttack and are usually the only way you can injure and kill higher-level players. Neat, hey? If your target is sleeping in the (I)nn, you’ll need to get some gold from (Y)e olde bank account to bribe the bartender to let you in to kill them. The bribe cost can be critical at low levels when gold is minimal: some days, you may find yourself choosing between an equipment upgrade and a kill in the inn.

I want a bigger weapon!

No, this isn't an ad for Viagra! You'll need to upgrade your weapon and armour pretty frequently, but, which ones to buy? It's not a science, but you'll find the following weapons and armour are the ones you should be shooting for:

  • Short Sword - $3k weapon
  • Leather Vest - $3k armour
  • Huge Axe - $30k weapon
  • Iron Armour - $30k armour
  • Power Axe - $200k weapon
  • Armour of Death - $200k armour
  • Wans Weapon - $1m weapon
  • Full Body Armour - $1m armour

Sometimes the game throws you a curve ball or a sudden opportunity, and you might have to buy something different to get a kill, but most of the top players won't deviate much from these guidelines. Whether you upgrade your weapon or armor first depends on what you plan to do next: survive the forest/pass a master or two (armor), or attack another player/the Red Dragon (weapon). See the Upgrading Equipment wiki page for more detailed info.

So, tell me more about which levels are hard and which are easy.

I mentioned earlier that competitive players usually stay on level 8 or 9 until they have 10mil exp. The reason is simple: level 10 and 11 are deadly awful. If you're stuck there, it sucks to be you. Here, take this: How to Deal with Level 10/11. However, if you're smart and not totally desperate, you'll stay on level 8, earn lots of gold, and kill players until you have the experience to go straight to level 12. Most people find the 1mil weapon and armour are sufficient to get past the level 10 and 11 masters with a couple of tries and a bit of luck.

Below level 8, you just want to climb the ranks as quickly as possible. The higher the level, the more gold on offer, so go for it!

I MADE IT! I'm level 12. Where's this dragon?

When you're on level 12, there are several really tough forest monsters and a few really easy ones. Plus, metric buttloads of gold. Which monsters give you more gold than trouble? Kal Torak, Humongous Black Wyre, Black Warlock (though be careful) and The Wizard of Darkness. (This assumes you’ve made it to level 12 with the 1mil equipment. If you have less, just kill the first two.) Always run from: The Mighty Shadow, Cyclops Warrior & Corinthian Giant. Use your skills on Mutated Black Widow and Black Unicorn, as they’re worth lots of gold but they also hit hard if you let them. Here’s a handy monster chart

An average day on level 12, if you’re using your skills for gold rather than saving them for the dragon, should earn you 4-5 million gold. And you should always be using your skills for gold unless you’ve already got equipment that gives you a good shot at killing the dragon. On those days, the forest is just one big fairy hunt.

The biggest mistake most people make on level 12 is buying big armour. You see, the dragon is an angry old beast with thousands and thousands of hit points. If it wants you dead, no amount of armour in the world will save you, but a strong weapon might. If you find it on a quiet day. :D If it's your first time killing the dragon that round, save up your gold every day until you catch a fairy (they revive you if you are killed) and buy the biggest weapon you can afford - either the 40m or 100m weapon should do nicely. Then (and only if you have gold left over), buy the best armour you can afford. You can see on this Thief vs. Dragon chart here that your odds of killing the dragon don’t even approach reasonable unless you’re packing at least the 40mil weapon.

To fight the dragon, go to the (F)orest and press "S" to (S)earch for the dragon. To have the best chance of killing the dragon, you need to have all of your skills available. With the 40m weapon, you will need about 5 Thieving skills and a fairy to kill it. Sometimes more, sometimes less. If you're successful, then woohoo! You're reset to level 1 and ready to begin the climb to level 12 again--and you’ll get there with more skills to use on the dragon next time. The first dragon kill is always the hardest. If you don't slay the dragon today, try again tomorrow.

A couple of final questions...

How do I rob the bank? If you have a fairy and you’re a Thief, go to the bank and press 2. Surprise! Be aware, not all robberies are equal.

Who is Jennie? It's like a cheat code, except you're allowed to use it! To read up on Jennie, go here: Jennie

Thief, Mystic, Death Knight! Who should I start as? Start as a Thief. (For the lengthy, nerdy explanation, see here) You can rob the bank, easily kill players above you with T skills, and earning extra skill points in the forest is just a matter of having a gem on hand when you see the Thieves’ guild. Never choose Death Knight. Though it sounds awesome, the skills you earn are only as strong as Thieving skills, and harder to earn. The key to being at the top of the ranks in LoRD is mastering the Mystical skills. However, they are a tough one to start out with. Whether you start M or T, you’ll want to aim for 12 M points (Light Shield is a critical part of winning) and more than 15 T points by the time you’re facing your SECOND dragon. But that's a subject for another tutorial!

But, but, I have more questions! Great! We're here to help. Search the forums, in particular the Strategy Forum. There is a wealth of knowledge in there. Read the Nuklear LoRD Wiki. Ask a fellow member a question, either in-game, in the live chat, in a forum private message, or simply post a thread asking your question. We're friendly, I promise.

That's about it. Most importantly, have fun, say hello on the forums and enjoy LoRD with the rest of us! :)

Written by injektilo*, Valkyrie, and The Mystical One