By: Samiel Dimanche
Now there is finally a place for me to rant and rave on and give you all a small bit of insight into how I became the character I came (previous to the whole getting eaten by a trolloc part of my life).
Creation is the Key - Setting your flow strengths and Talents
Most people always seem to think that everything starts when you create your character, but they are wrong. The character only begins inside your head, and by sitting down and doing a little studying is the only way to create a more than decent character. Everyone is limited to a certain set of points that they can distribute throughout their flow strengths. You, as a player need to sit down and figure out what weaves you want your character to have. Once you have started a list of those potential weaves then you need to start using the statweave command to reference and find out the strengths and flowskills required to obtain before said weaves. [Note: No single channeler (Forsaken the exception) has ever gotten EVERY single weave that they wanted, it's a fact of life, you have to make sacrifices.]
I personally always found that the best way to make a strong character is to throw balance to the wind and forget anything you've ever been told about being balanced. Find two flows that work together well and have the weaves that you will want your character to do, and raise those pretty high. Then find a third flow (Spirit is most always a good backup flow if it is not one of the main two) and raise it up, but not nearly as high your two "main" flows. Take the fourth and fifth flows and give them only one point, making your character basically useless with those flows.
While this set up may not work for everyone, and it has the possibility of leaving you open for attacks from other channelers (I.E. A Fire/Air channeler blowing away a Earth/Spirit channeler, or vice versa.) it gives you a strong to base to work from.
By pumping extra strengths over the required strengths for the weaves into your flow stats you not only make your weavings more powerful but you'll raise your max flow skill (which is a big thing for male channelers, who have lower flow skill maxs than females.
Another very important thing to remember are your talents. If you've set your character up to have lightning, but forget to add the Cloud Dancing talent then you're going to be very pissed after a couple hundred hours of failed experiments when you realize your mistake. As well, you also don't want to go overboard with your talents, since why in the world would you need the Earth Singing talent if you've only got one point in Earth skill.
Well, now here is part two of my ranting, hoping to give you guys a little bit of advice on how to make your channeler all s/he can be.
As we all know, just creating a channeler with really great chanstats isn't the end of your great journey, next you have to actually start channeling and raising your stats so that you can do more than fingerflame, crack, and puddle. First, you have to spark (for inborn channelers) or have someone draw out the ability within you (for latent channelers).
Sparking is normally the easiest way for the channeling process to begin (as most people choose to be inborn channelers anyways) and it will automatically happen after some time in the game, normally varying between 2 and 20 hours. During this time you will begin to channel implicitly (which means without being able to control it), so be careful, because you never know when an Aes Sedai, Child of the Light, or even a pissed of Male Channeler of some repute will come through and have their way with you. After you have moved through this stage you will eventually realize what you are doing and you will consciously be able to control weaving.
Now for latents, the process is a little bit longer, and slightly more difficult, as you will have to have someone IC'ly bring out the ability from within you. Use of the sense skill (obtained automatically when you reach level 1 channeling) and a fingerflame is all you need through the code to bring out the ability in someone, but by doing it this way, the person that has the power brought out of them will have to learn how to grasp/embrace, release, experiment, and weave skills, as well as the beginning weaves that inborns spark with, through In-Character teachings with a channeler of the same sex as them.
Now, once you are able to channel, whats next? Go crazy (literally if you are a male) with it. Start channeling and playing around with the system, but be careful with it. My best advice to any starting channeler is to put a couple of points into the Will stat (have it at least at 5, if not higher) to fight off the addiction. As well, do not channel in mass clumps, wasting all your mana/power as soon as it regenerates. The best way to practice is to choose a single weave, then every 5 minutes (which also happens to be how long the experiment flag lasts) weave that weave 15 times, then immediately release. Do not hold Saidin/Saidar any longer then you have to at the beginning stages, your addiction will grow out of control relatively quick.
During your spurts of weaving something 15 times, you will want to experiment (if not only just to give yourself a timer so you don't get in trouble for spamming) for new weaves. To figure out what flows you are going to want to be experimenting with you will use the statweave command. Taking the flowstrengths from the statweave of fingerflame you can see that you would use "experiment fire 2" to try and learn fingerflame. Remember that you can only learn weaves from your two main flows.
Once more I am going to stress the importance of not holding/weaving the One Power more than necessary when you are first starting channeling. The reason for this is the addiction, which will begin to grasp/embrace the Power without you meaning to, as well as eventually casuing a person to implicitly weave, just increasing your addiction ever more. As well a high addiction rating will increase your taint rating over time, making you crazier and crazier before you need to be (of course females are excluded from this). The easiest way to prevent the addiction from ever rearing it's ugly head at you is to only weave a single weave 15 times each time your experiment counter goes off, keeping your grasping to a minimum, and releasing as soon as you are done weaving. At the later levels this will not be the case, but when you first begin, the One Power is such a thrill to someone new using it the addiction piles on faster than you could imagine.
Finally, once you are ready to move on to new heights of power, you will need to raise [level 1 formula removed by Vandread, keep working on it, you'll get it eventually], and you will become a level 1 channeler. It's as easy as that.