Considerations for Avians

Avians (also affectionally called beaks) represent the ranger class. Usually one of the first additional classes to be added to a MUD expanding its base classes, these scouts combine excellent offensive capabilities with powerful reconaisance skills. There are always a fair number of avians around, if only for track, their single greatest advantage. Because they are also birdmen, the avian can also be called to move around drunken spellcasters, providing the only truly reliable means of transport for such people (short of buying a vehicle, almost as expensive as an enhance). They have virtually no use for mana, only needing a little to feed their track skill. All their other skills, including flight, are free! Finally they can level like greased lightning, letting the other classes watch their dust. Their main drawback is that, because of the shape of their wings, tail and claws, they can virtually wear no armor. Body armour goes first, cloaks second, the girdle third and finally boots are lost to the talons. Needless to say, this makes the avian rather vulnerable.

Weapons policy: The avians are somewhere between the dwarf and the human, having up to 4 weapon, and 2 unarmed attacks (claw). That, and the fact that the augmenting skills equal, if not surpass the damage done by weapons, a balance should be struck between raw damage output and bonuses. Usually this means that the avian will have one weapon set for pure damage output, and the other for bonuses. This doesn't mean that the damage weapon should not have bonuses, it just means that the weapons total damage output is as high as possible.

Armor policy: Avians can never reach the to hit/damage bonuses dwarves or kender can have, nor the armor class a human or illithid will sport. They will have to do with getting as much bonuses out of what little they can wear and try to kill the mob before they can do too much damage. As such, all emphasis should be placed on bonuses, only letting AC or other considerations play part where the difference is significant (like onyx bracer VS white bracer).

Grouping considerations: Avians are a true support class. Their vulnerability makes them even worse tanks than druids, but in the second rank they can just as easily make mincemeat out of their opponent with their powerfull skills. Also, they can be invaluable guiding a group through a maze or finding new opponents in large areas with deadly accuracy. Avians can group with any class that is able to catch the blows for them, even sufficiently advanced elves! Just as long as they don't group up with other avians, in which case vulnerability augments vulnerability.

Most prominent weakness: Avians have extremely little in the way of armor and should therefore at all times possible use sanctuary and either group members or charmies (easily gained trough glare) to keep from getting hurt.

The best approach to killing an opponent after tracking it down is to simply use the kill command, followed by chucking a few feathers into the fray. After that windblasts will have to do. If the opponent is really nasty, a tailsweep can be done before the feathers are flung, after which windzone and peck will have to suffice until the opponent gets up and blast can be used again. IF the enemies' blows are bothering you too much, get a charmie and write some aliases, making use of the fact that ALL charmies have rescue capabilities. Unlike other races, avians can simply learn EVERYTHING they can possibly learn, because they start with a low ETL and they got few skills as it is. you never know if one of the less used skills can become usefull sometime. Even throw has its use! Always have hover and vision on, they are free anyway and can prevent a lot of agony. And use birdseye liberally while exploring unknown terrain or mazes, or simply when you want to see if that big bad agro has returned. A final tip, tan can be really useful in getting rid of nodrop or noremove weapons!