In the Arena, you will find NPCs that offer services, such as repairing damaged weapons and armor. These NPCs reside in each of the various cities. All of the available services and the places where they are offered available are listed here.
There is one bartender in each inn. His main service is renting rooms, which come in five sizes, from a flea- and tick-ridden single (10 gold per night, negotiable) to the posh and restful Emperor's Suite (75 gold per night, negotiable). Once you rent a room, you must press the camp button to rest for the desired number of hours. The bartender can also sell you various potent potables for you to refresh yourself; be careful when overindulging, though, because just like in real life you risk poisoning yourself.
If you are looking for a way to earn some gold, talk to a bartender and you may be offered escort and delivery quests. Also, if you are on the track of an artifact, a bartender will be able to point you in the right direction.
Bartenders offer various drinks. Options include:
- Djinn 'n Tonic
- Red wine
- White wine
The more you drink without exiting the Bartender's dialogue, the more likely you are to get drunk. If you become drunk, your STR, WIL, END, and LUC stats will be increased, but INT, AGI, SPD, and PER will be reduced. There are stages of being drunk and the first stage could take quite a few drinks. If you have reached your limit, but continue to drink without exiting the dialogue, each drink will add a new stage. While your increasing stats will eventually reach their max values, the decreasing stats will continue to drop down to zero and you will eventually die. A good night's rest (or time spent in fast-travel) will remove the effect and your stats will return to normal.
- Your alcohol tolerance is based on your END stat. The formula is END ÷ (25 ÷ 2.56). This is the limit of the number of drinks you can have before becoming drunk. The first drink that makes your number greater than this value, will cause you to become drunk. Each drink greater than this value will add a new stage. This tolerance will be adjusted if you have equipped magical items or armor that increase your END stat.
- The increase and decrease to your stat values is based on one of the drinks in the bartender's drink list. If seven drinks will cause you to receive the drunk status, then the strength of the effect is based on the cost of the seventh drink in the list. The formula for determining this effect is Drink Cost × 5 × Stage Number. If your limit is 4.023 and you have five drinks without leaving the bartender's menu, you will receive the drunk status and are at stage one. If the fifth drink in the bartender's list costs three gold, each of your stats will be adjusted accordingly by fifteen; (3×5×1). If you had six drinks, your stats will each be adjusted by thirty; (3×5×2). The first of Morning Star is the New Life Festival and the drinks are free. Unfortunately, the effect is calculated on what the drinks normally cost.
- Over time, the number of drinks being counted towards your limit begin to drop off. One drink per in-game minute. When you are in the bartender's menu, the game-time is paused, allowing your drink counter to go up with each drink. Each time you exit the menu, game-time is started and your drink counter starts lowering. If drinking seven drinks will make you drunk at stage one, then exiting the menu and waiting for seven in-game minutes or longer will reset your counter to zero. This means you can then drink seven more drinks. Since you are already at stage one, no change occurs to your stats. However, if you begin drinking after waiting only six minutes, your counter remains at one. Drinking seven drinks at this point will bring your counter up to eight and you will be at stage two and your stats will be adjusted. The effects are cumulative and not compounded, meaning that if your effect is five points per stage, at stage one the stats are adjusted by five and at stage two they are adjusted by an additional five for a total of ten. Your limit is also calculated using your base endurance excluding the effects of your drunkenness.
- One stage of drunkenness is removed for every hour of game-time since your last stage was reached and your stats will be adjusted to your new level of drunkenness or sobriety.
- Bretons have an increased tolerance to alcohol, but it takes longer for the effects to wear off. The formula for calculating their limit is END ÷ (12 ÷ 2.56). It also will take two hours game-time for one stage of drunkenness to be removed.
- There are an additional 5 drinks in the game file that don't appear during play. Golem-maker, Charybdis-on-the-Rocks, Liquid Lich, High Rock Milk, and Claymore-Through-Your-Spleen. The final one is too long for the available space and would overwrite the drink price if used in the game.
- Each inn has ten drink options. Because the stats effects are based on the price of drinks in the bartenders list, if your tolerance is greater than ten, the stats effect is no longer based on drink price. This can result in having no effect, an opposite effect, or a very strong effect, including instant death. This will not affect most characters until their endurance is almost at maximum, however it can affect Breton characters early on due to their increased tolerance.
- Although drinks are removed from the drink counter fairly quickly, the counter is not reset if you load a save game. If you were to accidentally drink yourself to death and reload a save to try again, your drink counter may already have several drinks stored, making your initial tolerance lower than expected. Exit to DOS or allow the appropriate number of game minutes to pass to ensure the counter is reduced to zero.
- Because there is internal rounding with the stat values, you will occasionally notice that your drink tolerance or the drink effect is one higher than expected.
Blacksmiths run equipment stores. They sell weapons and armor and will buy weapons, armor, and magic items. Blacksmiths can also repair weapons, armor, and charged magic items (marks, crystals, bracers, rings, and artifacts). Repairing items takes time, and quicker repairs are more expensive. Conversely, the longer you can afford to wait, the cheaper the repair will be.
- The music that plays in a blacksmith's store is an alternative version of Arena's intro theme.
Mages sell potions and magical items to all comers and offer spells and access to spellmaking services for their magic-using compatriots. They also identify magic items you pick up in your adventures (turning them in your inventory list from a vaguely-named blue to a specifically-named orange or red). Unsurprisingly, they make their home in the Mages Guild. If you see a mage outside of the guild hall, you can talk to him, but you will not get any services from him; only Mages inside the Guild building will offer services.
The spellmaking interface appears on a scroll, with your character's name and level written on the top, as seen to the right. The menu provides the following options:
- Name: your character's name.
- Balance: how much money you have.
- Level: your character's level.
- Spell Cost: the cost of the spell if purchased.
- Spell Name: the name of the spell, which you must fill in yourself.
- Save vs.: the save that must be made to avoid your spell. This applies only to offensive spells. Options here include "Cold", "Fire", "Magic", "Poison", and "Shock".
- Target: the possible objects the spell can affect. Options here include "1 Target, Touch", "1 Target at Range", "Area - Centered on Caster", and "Area - at Range, Explosion". Note that changing this changes the cost of the spell. Non-offensive spells will always say "Caster" (this cannot be changed).
- Casting Cost: the number of spell points it will take you to cast the spell at your current level.
- Effects: the heart of the spell. You may add up to three effects to a spell. The duration of one round is five seconds real time. Each effect you add causes the price of the spell and the casting cost to rise.
To permanently write the finished spell into your spellbook, click on Buy Spell at the bottom of the screen. For details on the various spell effects you can pick from and some pointers on creating useful spells, see Magical Effects.
Priests reside in temples. They offer healing and can cure diseases or poisons. If you feel generous, you may also donate gold to gain a blessing. Though you may occasionally see priests outside of temples, often delivering judgments to all, only the ones in temples will provide services.
Blessings affect the chance for players to hit enemies. Unfortunately, it's also applied to the enemies, which makes its benefit only marginal. If your enemy has better stats, having a blessing can actually reduce your chance to hit them. If, however, your character has better stats and can withstand taking damage each time your enemy swings, then blessings can help reduce the time needed to dispatch them.
Blessings are stored internally as units similar to stats and their modifiers. The more gold you are willing to donate for a blessing, the more units you receive and the stronger the effect will be. The cost formula is: five gold × character level = one unit. If the amount donated is less than the cost for a single unit, you will not actually receive anything, but the priests will still give their standard response; "Receive our blessings..." Over time, the blessing will continue to remain at full effect, but the duration depends on the month and day you received the blessing. For the starting month of 3E 389 Hearthfire, blessings are removed each Sundas morning. Each month following, the day blessings are removed progresses by five days. So, for Frostfall, blessings are removed on Fredas, and on Middas for Sun's Dusk. For 3E 390 Mid Year, blessings are removed each Middas. The 16th of Mid Year is the Mid Year Celebration and with the first settlement you enter, you will receive a notice that blessings are half price. This is rounded down and the new cost formula is: two gold × character level = one unit. The Arena Player's Guide mentions that temples may show partiality to those from their own province, but this does not affect blessings.
- The half price blessing during the Mid Year Celebration only operates correctly in version 1.06. In version 1.07 you can't receive any blessings on this day. Although the priests still say "Receive our blessing..." they neither accept the donation nor bestow a blessing. The 15th of Evening Star is another holiday that mentions half price blessings, but this doesn't occur and it operates the same as any standard day.
- During normal play there are various glitches that can occur that can be corrected by simply saving and closing and restarting the game. This can also affect blessings, making it impossible to receive one. Because there is no visual indicator or register for whether you have an active blessing, it is best to perform the save and restart action prior to paying for a blessing.