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Video Game / Sryth

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Sryth™ is a single-player, story-driven, fantasy text RPG you play right your web browser.
In the world of Sryth™ YOU are the hero!
—Quotes from the About section on the game’s site

Sryth is a text-based browser game created and run by Matthew H. Yarrows that is primarily single-player, with a few multiplayer elements. The game can be described as an online game book with RPG elements (there are 18 skills and 11 magical disciplines you can learn and develop). It is set in the world of Sryth (hense the name) and is of the Heroic Fantasy variety.


The game has plenty of content, some of it free (available to all players) and some available only to people who have subscribed (the cost is a mere 20 US dollars for one whole year). More content is being added regularly.

From time to time there are limited-time events that are available for only a short while and then removed forever.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Has a forum thread. Some of the most commonly used ones are MR (Melee Rating), SP (Stamina Points), AG (Adventurer Guild), AT(s) (Adventurer Token(s)) and GM (Gamemaster, i.e. the admin).
  • Allegedly Free Game: The game is advertized as free, and there’s a lot of free content available… but there’s even more content available only for people who subscribe. Most of the new additions to the game are also available only to subscribers.
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  • An Axe to Grind: There are quite a few axes available in the game (though most are nothing special), and there’s one adventure that’s actually named so.
  • Author Avatar: The man with the wide-brimmed leather hat might be this. According to Word of God the hooded figure you see when you enter the small windowless building with a blue door is one.
  • Backstory: Plenty of backstory, for many things: The world itself, most kingdoms, various NPCs, many of the various locations and creatures… Just look at this wiki page. Reading all of the extra info available will likely take hours, if not days.
  • Big Bad: Technically Igtheon – there’s even an age named after his attempts to invade the world of Sryth – but so far he has not done much. Each storyline has its own Big Bad (such as Runeskin, for example).
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: There’s a very limited number of ATs in the game, but you can get more by donating. In fact, this is the only way to get the best of Tallys’ stuff. Some players are known to have donated over a 1000 US dollars (estimates based on the AT cost of their gear). But even without the best stuff your character can be like a god early in the game, for example if you buy all the Dragongem armor pieces: The cost is 1324 ATs and the bonuses are +45 MR and +109 SP (and that’s without taking into account the weapon and shield equipped). For comparison, your character can start with (at most) 32 MR and at most 36 SP. There are also some optional purchases that amount to this:
    • Zorliarn’s enchantments: One of them reduces the number of 1s you roll during combat, the other one increases the number of 20s you roll during battle. Due to how combat works these two bonuses make a huge difference in the long run (especially when combined with Battle Rage – see below). Total cost of the 2 enchantments: 10’000 gold and 28 ATs.
    • Tarlaro’s elixirs: Buying one of her elixirs is the ONLY way to get Battle Rage, which in turn improves the odds to roll a 20 during combat, and allows you to keep rolling more 20s until the rage has subsided (which can be right away, or in several turns). This can have a huge effect, especially when combined with Zorliarn’s enchantments. In addition, buying all 6 of Tarlaro’s elixirs (total cost is 140 ATs) gives you (in addition to Battle Rage): +6 to Spirit, +2 to Mind, +2 to Aura, +3 to Body, +1 to Might, +1 to Agility, +10 to MR, +7 to SP and +5 to Nevernal Reserve. For comparison: The Jingle Bell-t (a limited-time item that was available in December 2010) had a cost of 312 ATs and overall lower bonuses.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Griffons can be deadly for even the strongest characters if said characters are careless or unlucky enough.
  • But Thou Must!: In some (fortunately rare) cases you don’t really have a choice what to do. For example, in the adventure “Message to Mirgspil” if you hand over your message to the enemy that demands it – you die. In one Proving Grounds scenario you have a choice to help your ally (who tells you to run away) or to flee. If you decide to help – you die. In both cases your stats are irrelevant – you may have reached level 100 in every skill and power, with MR and SP both above 300, and you die anyway.
  • Cap: Abilities (Might, Mind, etc.) are capped at 20. Skills and Powers have a max level of 100. Gold has a cap of 1’000’000. A few items also have levels.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The best example is the fight against the man with the wide-brimmed leather hat (consider yourself lucky if you last more than 2 rounds without using a Blessing of Protection). Any fight can be this if you get to it too soon (and thus are still too weak) or too late (in which case a supposedly-difficult boss is no challenge at all).
  • Death Is Cheap: Most of the time it is very cheap – you are reverted to the way you were when you last saved. There is an exception, however: Losses during the Proving Grounds are remembered and result in lower AT rewards, which is a significant loss, since ATs are the most valuable currency in the world of Sryth.
  • Difficulty Spike: There is no “newby zone” in Sryth, so trying to complete all adventures in the starting village before going to another town results in this.
  • Elemental Powers: The power of Elementalism grants control over the four elements, and the ability to summon elementals.
  • Freemium: The game has a lot of content available for free, and even more available only to subscribers: The ability to log in regardless of server load, more character slots (4 instead of 2), more adventures, more events, more locations to visit, a way to learn all skills and powers instead of just some of them, Grand Residences, Multiplayer scenarios… See this page for an incomplete list of the things subscribers get.
  • Gargle Blaster: Hammertounge Brew. If your character's reaction to it is anything to go by it lives up to its name.
  • Global Currency Exception: ATs are the ONLY currency accepted at Tallys' Trading Post.
  • Golem: Some of the enemies you can encounter are this.
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This can happen to any careless player using the Finger of Dread. Said item inflicts serious damage to the enemy, but also inflicts a little damage on the character (and it ignores Blessings of Protection and similar effects, since they affect only damage from enemies). If the character’s health is low enough he can die as a result.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The man with the wide-brimmed leather hat. There are also a few enemies that may have been intended to be hopeless boss fights, but as new things were added to the game, it became possible to win previously-hopeless fights.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Completely averted. You get loot by searching the bodies of your slain foes and the surrounding area, and the stuff you find is what you would expect. For example, if you kill all the beasts living in an old building you might find old items (and maybe some gold) that belonged to whoever lived there in the past (or whoever the beasts have killed since moving in). Kill the bandits in a bandit camp and you get the stuff they stole from travelers as well as the weapons and armor they were using (the leader’s sword is often of higher quality than the weapons of his underlings). Killing bandits/goblins/tzaril/krogari/etc. encountered at random usually gives only the items the enemies were using. Killing a giant spider in some isolated forest will likely produce nothing when you search the surrounding area (though if you’re lucky you might find something other travelers have lost or thrown away).
  • Informed Ability: Tallys’ abilities.
  • Killed Off for Real: Two NPCs that had been around since the start of the game were permanently killed during a certain storyline. A small village that had also been around since the game's early days was permanently destroyed during said storyline.
  • Level Grinding: In Sryth grinding is not only recommended, but actually required.
    • Want to have the best non-Tallys shield in the game? Then you have to complete The Cave of the Ice Troll 36 times (and you can complete it once every 24 hours, so you’ll need at least 36 days to do this).
    • Want to have access to the first of Tarn’s lower levels? Complete the ground level several times.
    • Want to get all the gems for a certain bowl? Then the Lords of Ogredom challenge is waiting for you (and unless you’re the luckiest person in the world you’ll need several visit at best)...
    • Want to have all the Goblin Totems (or at least the ones you need)? Then a certain Windowless Tower is waiting for you…
    • The Hall of Ruin: Completing all of the current one-time content requires finishing the Hall 19 times (assuming that you do everything every time), and you are allowed to complete the scenario once every 12 hours, with the timer starting when you finish it. The final reward? Lots of experience… and a permanent increase to your MR, SP or NvR (your choice), which is probably the most valuable type of reward.
  • Mana: Called "Nevernal Reserve" in the game, as Nevernal energy is the source of all magic in Sryth.
  • Meaningful Name: “Raknar’s Mad” is called so for a reason… Also, the names of some adventures.
  • Money for Nothing: Gold is scarce only early in the game. Once your character becomes strong enough to successfully complete (some of) the replayable (read: grinding) scenarios money stops being an issue.
  • Money Sink: There are a few, and most are available only to subscribers. The most obvious ones:
    • Blessings of Protection are probably the oldest one in existence.
    • The upgrades for the Grand Residences are the biggest money sink in the game – in the short term, at least. In the long run two of the possible improvements – the Trossk guardian and the Mirror of Gating (as well as the Catamarok treasure it can grant access to) are pretty good sources of extra gold instead.
    • Some of the possible purchases in the game appear to be nothing more than money sinks: Buying a horse (and tending to it), the Wooden Talismans in Sageholt, Rithwyra's Luck Coin, Verugarn’s enchantments…
    • Some raffles allow you to buy tickets for them with gold.
  • Necromancer: Some of the enemies you get to fight. Also any player that has the power Necromancy can raise or destroy the undead in some situations.
  • Older Than They Look: Magic (especially Shadow Magic) extends the life spans of mages. Because of that some NPCs are literally centuries old.
  • One-Hit Kill: In the Battlegrounds challenges you can find Black Orbs. Each one has 2 to 8 charges, and each charge kills one enemy, regardless of said enemy’s stats. Fortunately the orbs work only against opponents encountered during the challenges.
  • One Steve Limit: Mostly played straight, as most names in the game are unique (though some are very similar). But there are several NPCs named Jodd and Player characters can have any name (within reasonable limits) so theoretically you can meet an NPC named same as your character.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Dragons of Sryth are similar to western dragons in appearance. Several kinds have been seen so far: Dusk Dragons, Shadow Dragons and Sea Dragons. All (or at least the ones seen so far) are as intelligent as humans and quite powerful (at least in theory).
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Most are little more than big strong brutes that pose a threat only to relatively weak characters, but there are some exceptions.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: One of the most common types of enemies, you’ll be seeing a lot of them from the very beginning (“The Caves of Westwold”, one of the first adventures you need to complete, has goblins as your opponents). The “7 goblins” series of adventures shows that goblins are not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Most are just stupid brutes, but there are a few exceptions.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Any item you drop or sell is gone for good. Also any item you miss, for example the Axe of Bramble – the NPC that reveals to you the true power of the axe is no longer available once you start Proving Grounds V. The only way to get back lost unique items is to beg the GM for help. Also any sword dropped into the Well of Blades.
  • Perpetually Static / Status Quo Is God: The game is in constant development, so new areas get added from time to time (and sometimes old areas get removed or overhauled). Apart from that for free players (almost) nothing changes regardless of what they do (and any changes that do happen are just flavor text). For subscribers things are a tiny bit better:
    • One storyline brought the death of two NPCs that had been around since the start of the game, and the razing of a village that had also been around since the very beginning
    • Another (currently incomplete) storyline involves Time Travel, so it could result in some significant changes… or it could result in something as insignificant as one NPC getting replaced by another, along with some text changes
    • Most limited-time events introduce new characters and locations. Sometimes these new additions vanish without a trace when the event ends, other times they become permanent additions to the game’s world (though without the special bonuses from the events)
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: There’s a female NPC that reacts differently if your character is male. There’s also an NPC that is the opposite gender of your character. Apart from these two instances the only difference your character’s gender makes is in the way some NPCs will address you.
  • Religion of Evil: The Kurund don’t even try to hide the fact that they worship the dark god Joloreth
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Tzaril.
  • Ret-Gone: Seems to have happened to Unleri as a result of the events of Proving Grounds VI. Not 100% certain since this storyline is not yet over, but very likely.
  • Savage Wolves: One of the first adventures players get is a quest to wipe out a pack of vicious Crag Wolves that keep attacking a local farmers sheep.
  • Save Scumming: Because your progress is not remembered until you save your game you can try out all the possible paths through a particular adventure and pic the one you like the most (or the one that is most rewarding). This is even encouraged, since most adventures can be abandoned without loss. Still, there are a few exceptions: Getting defeated in the Proving Grounds or during the Ring of Illusion is remembered even if you quit without saving, and the timers of some events (such as the Battlegrounds challenges) continue even if you quit or get killed.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Out-of-universe: Some players have used this method to come up with names for their characters. For example: Edanust is Tsunade backwards. No known cases of this being used in the game.
  • Secret Identity: You assume a new identity as part of your mission on Saarngard Isle.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: A minor challenge is to use only specific experience to advance skills and powers. A bigger one is to not use powers in combat (except restoration).
  • Shapeshifting: Tzaril and Krogari can take the form of humans, and keep it even when killed.
  • Summon Magic: Some of the magic powers in the game allow you to summon creatures to help you or to attack your enemies.
  • Time Travel: A key plot element of Proving Grounds VI.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Limited-use items tend to receive this treatment from many players. Examples include the Keppbekk Elixirs (there are only a few in the whole game), Tallys’ Whisper, and some items that are no longer available, such as the Bell of Wonder. Most people choose to keep such limited resources for emergencies, such as when they are about to get killed in a Proving Grounds scenario.
  • The Undead: A common enemy. The list includes Skeletons, Ghosts, Ghouls, Zombies and more.
  • The Wiki Rule: Has one here.
  • With This Herring: Averted. Irzynn the Outfitter gives you quite a lot of free stuff (though all of it is low quality) before moving to Durnsig. If your character has been upgraded to AG status you can visit him in Durnsig and get Goblindoom (which is the best weapon available to AG members for quite some time) and Adventurer's Ring (one of the best rings early in the game). In some of the early adventures, such as the River Pirates and the Secret of Stoneback Hill, you are given some free items you can take. Later in the game you’re on your own, but by that time you likely have better stuff than anyone else (except Tallys, who seems to have collected nearly all the best weapons and armors in the kingdom of Tysa, as well as some from other kingdoms – or even other worlds).


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