Basic Arial guide for new player
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What can dagger do:
(1) Decent melee fighting with concealed and 25 dex. (2) Excellent str maledicts. (3) Excellent dex maledict. (4) Excellent bleeding.
What sword can do:
(1) Excellent melee fighting with riposte and flourintine and 25 dex. (2) OK-ish finisher in flurry.
Really crucial missing thing:
(1) Ability to lag.
I would not suggest sword because the only benefit sword offers over dagger is better melee fighting. Lag is more important, especially in Empire where you need to gang well.
(+) Good lag skill in pincer. (+) Good finisher in disembowel. (-) Hard to find light axes, have to compete with elf axe specs (like the War Master) for axes.
(+) Good lag skill in cranial, but you need Skullcrusher edge to be halfway decent (it would be Excellent if you were high strength). (+) Excellent additional malediction in boneshatter.
(+) Good lag skill in lash (most reliable lag skill for a dex warrior, but no extra damage). (+) Excellent utility in eyejab/entwine/pull. (+) Whips and flails disarm very well (including offhand disarm which has an amazing edge).
Overall, my suggested build for you:
Dagger/Mace Whirlwind/Soul. Reasoning:
(1) Newbie-friendly because daggers and maces should be easy to get. (2) Exceptional maledicts: hamstring + artery + hurl + poison (use a poisonous dagger) + boneshatter should give you about - 28/18 str/dex. No one outside of a well-geared Riddle warrior can surmount that. (3) Soul because you need HP and you're not going to have good gear as a newbie. Soul instead of Cry because Cry is stronger but takes more skill to time it correctly. Cry heals you 102 hp (regardless of preps!!!) and grants haste and hit/dam/str/con on a 0 tick timer. Soul is straight 200 hp. As a newbie, I recommend Soul. (4) Whirlwind since you wanted it. I don't like it that much but it could be fun with all your maledictions. (5) Lag (cranial) is really important in Empire ganging. In Empire you should design for gang-fighting more than for solo-fighting.
Edges to pick, in order:
(1) Skullcrusher (low str cranial becomes reliable) (2) Ambidextrous Disarmer (offhand disarm becomes amazing) (3) Reckoning of the Mongoose (concealed becomes amazing vs gangs)
From what I hear you won't get more than 3 edges so feel free to PM should you somehow have enough to take another edge!
What you should do:
(0) Read thoroughly about lag mechanics: how much lag each skill does both to the user and the victim. Lag is the basis of CF PK! (1) Level to concealed. Try to have most weapons practised to a high %. Perfect dodge/parry/shield block/dagger/enhanced damage/trip/bash/disarm. (2) PK for a long, long time to get a good feel for your dagger spec. Allow exp to come naturally as you retrieve and PK and kill random mobs in the way of PKing etc. (3) Get hurl. Now stop levelling completely and PK continuously until you're VERY comfortable with dagger spec. You might CON die here but that's OK. (4) Get to 40, pick mace. Perfect cranial ASAP. You can't pick Skullcrusher edge yet until you get precise aim I think, so save your edge points. PK continuously until you're VERY comfortable with both your specs. You might CON die here but that's OK. (5) Get to hero, pick both your legacies (Soul and then Whirlwind). Get skullcrusher, ambidextrous disarmer, reckoning of the mongoose edges. PK continuously until CON death.
Should you CON-die before you get to hero, that's very good. Roll another one, and repeat the same process. Aim for 50 PKs, at least Elite Blade status, and CON or AGE death (if you're good enough).