Beginner’s Guide to Blacksmith. Spoiler free explanation of character stats and mechanics.
This is a spoiler free beginner’s guide to Blacksmith. The game has many things to discover, and much of the fun is finding things out for yourself. That said, new games can be overwhelming so here’s a guide. Don’t worry, the game has no Game Over. “Killed” heroes recover HP during the night, and you get free resources every morning so you are free to experiment and try out things.
In this game, you play as the titular character, but first, you pick one of the offered heroes to be your champion. Whoever you chose will be the first hero that visits your Forge, and will be your Champion who runs a free daily quest for you in the background. You can appoint a new Champion by talking to a hero and opening his Trade menu–being a hero is their trade, after all. No matter who your Champion is, soon you will be able to interact with, and hire, all starter heroes, and send them on quests for you.
Each starter hero has a total of 5 stat points, divided over three stats, Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence.
Strength determines attack speed, carrying capacity, and how much crushing damage a hero does with a weapon.
Dexterity determines chance-to-hit with each strike, dodge, and how much piercing damage a hero does with a weapon.
Intelligence determines the quantity, and the effictiveness, of a hero’s ability.
A hero’s ability is their consumable item, things with a number of uses. Shields, potions, throwing weapons, spells, etc. Each hero can carry one kind of item with them, in addition to their weapon and armor of course, and Intelligence determines the quantity and effectiveness of said item. A strong character can carry heavier shields, but an intelligent character’s shield would block more attacks before it breaks.
This game is pretty easy and follows simple rules. Let your common sense guide you if you can’t decide. Like in real life, pick a balance between speed, defense, and offense. That said, in the beginning of the game, I would rate Strength over Dexterity, and pick Intelligence last. Offense is the best defense. A dead enemy can’t hurt you. Krush, Grobar, and Chris seem to be the best starting heroes. Krush, because the weight of armor and weapons weighs down a hero and thus lowers their attack speed and dodge. With his great strength he can use not only the heaviest and thus strongest equipment, but said equipment is the costliest to maintain and thus brings great profit to you. His high crushing damage will overcome any resistance a heavily armored foe would have. In addition, he can equip the best shield from the start–though said shield is so costly that using it often makes him lose money by going on quests instead of gaining it, so only use it when he needs it.
Grobar balances chance-to-hit with attack speed. Early in the game you can unlock the ability to send not one, but two heroes on quests. With Crush in front as a tank, Grobar no longer needs metal armor can be equipped with lighter armor thus increasing his attack speed.
Chris offers an interesting and perhaps better choice. He has the same strength as Grobar, but can make for a much better tank because his intelligence allows him to use his shield much more before it breaks. Heroes are not healed after a mission but only a little–less than 1 HP per night of rest in the beginning–, and thus retain any damage sustained, carrying it over to the next mission. With his shield blocking many attacks, Chris doesn’t take as much damage and thus does not need to take as many days off as others. In this case, a light armored Krush or Grobar–Akira works too–can pick up the slack in damage without the danger of suddenly losing their tank and getting beaten down.
All heroes are fine though, and each has their own story, so it’s recommended you replay the first mission with each character as you unlock them–as a quest, not by starting over the game. The game has many hints and tutorials. Pay attention to them at least once, and much will be clear. Your heroes move and act by themselves in battle. The only thing you control is any consumable items they have, such as potions and arrows, or pressing the Retreat button in case things go badly. In the bottom right are 3 buttons you can use to speed up battles, or pause them so you can look at equipment in detail.
Note that with each hit, durability of equipment goes down–one more reason why I favour slow but strong attacks–and just like in real life, worn out equipment isn’t very effective. In essence, an item’s “Power” rating goes down when durability lowers. This counts for everything, weapons, armor, and tools, and determines not only their effectiveness but also how much money per day a character makes. If a character is present in your Forge, you can repair their items. If you go to them, you can only sell them a new item.
To repair or forge, you need materials. If you go to the Smelter in your Forge, you can smelt down ore. Note the red bar that will fill. If you can fill it almost completely, you will get the full amount of metal–1.0 in this case. Any less and you will get less, such as 0.3 bars worth of metal. If the bar is filled, it overheats and you lose everything. Until you get the hang of it, aim low. Some metals melt much faster than others. With the gained alloys you can go to your Anvil, select a type of item–weapon, armor, or tool–and then the specific item. A number between brackets tells you how much of an alloy you need. Naturally the more material is used in its creation, the more expensive, stronger but heavier an item is. Heavy items slow down attack speed and dodge.
To forge well, click the anvil with the white dot of your hammer in tandem with the indicator rings that appear during crafting. They will shrink down and then stop moving. This golden ring is where you wish to click. Picture your hammer falling down with the rings, and hitting the anvil when the rings do. If you do this perfectly, you get a 10.0 score, and the item will be better. You can also increase your score by using the Space bar of your keyboard to operate the bellows, burning coal or other fuel, but that is a more advanced technique. If you do try to use this, the yellow bar is your pumping, the red the heat, and the heat should be over 50% all the time. If you do this perfectly, your score goes to 15.0. But I repeat, this is an advanced technique I barely manage despite consistently making 10.0 score items.
As you smelt and forge, you will see the red bar in the upper left corner of your screen deplete. This is your energy bar. If it depletes your character slows down considerably and is unable to work anymore. Sleeping restores half a bar. The rest can be restored by buying food in the inn. The blue bar is a surprise.
A rule of thumb is to simply replace all heroes’ weapons with the exact same equipment. Anything you make will be of superior quality than what they start with, even if it’s just a basic item–replacing a character’s cool scythe with a spear seems like a downgrade, but your new item is automatically better than their worn out stuff. Armor however, should be made out of cloth and leather unless they are going to be tanking–leather armor is unlocked from the Research menu. You have limited supply of metal in the beginning, and priorities must be made. And what you need, is a working economy.
No man is an island. By supplying people with the tools of their trade, they will generate income and materials which will eventually all end up in your shop. Even if they can’t afford it, giving a hero or villager good items allows them to get rich enough to eventually pay you back with interest, either through large purchases, or by earning you resources. Giving the miner the best pickaxe you can craft, for example, lets him mine up ore quickly which in turn you can use to make more items and sell them. The people you supplied can now work more successfully and earn more money, meaning that soon they will want to splurge in your shop.
You will want to talk to everyone in the town at least once. The tailor and tanner will give you free cloth and leather every day. The miner free ore. The innkeeper’s meals will heal every hero over night. The Mason will want to work with you to rebuild the town.
Rebuilding the town is a priority. By expanding the inn, new heroes will settle in town, and soon you can send 2 heroes on quests every day–thus enable the Tank/DPS team strategy. Sending heroes on a quest costs Quest Tokens, and you only get one free token per day. Thus you can only go on one quest per day until you unlock someone who can sell you these tokens. If you don’t spend your daily token, a random hero will do a random quest for you. In addition, the hero you select as your Champion will go and do the quest you selected in their Trade menu, thus giving you some free money and items every day–they will keep the best stuff though, so experiment with where you send them.
If you want to talk to a specific hero or villager, then before noon, you can go to your Client menu and summon them. They will only come if they like you though, so it might be necessary to visit them in person. Heroes can never be met in person, and must always be summoned unless you wish to wait for them to visit you. Most heroes have personal stories, so chat with them if something comes up.
As you do quests, the storyline continues. More villagers will show up and request their appropriate buildings. Building costs will come out of their pockets, and that from the land’s Ruler who tithes all villagers weekly. However, this is slow going so you will probably wish to pay most yourself.
Finally, have fun. The time seems to go quickly in this game, but that’s just there for immersion. In reality, there is unlimited time and resources. The game only saves when you sleep, so you can read or experiment at your leisure and then just restart your game.
Anyway, this is as spoiler free as I can make a complete beginner’s guide. Let me just add that you can look at an alloys’ precise stats from the Inspect menu or the Anvil, that each metal can have only one catalyst, and that it pays off to buy books from the librarian.