Players often ask for my advice in terms of Arms and Equipment as well as Monster
Companions. The items and companions I choose tend to remain constant in all Rune Factory games. In Rune Factory 3, I would recommend the following:
For Weapon: A short sword and shield. The first decent Shortsword that usually can be found in Special Deals even early in Spring is the Steel Sword +. You then can find the Aquasword... When you are able to do so, make or buy Defender, then Durandel. Good shields can be made early in the game but make certain always to equip one. When you can make or obtain it, the Chaos Shield is excellent protection.
For Accessories: Even the Handknit Hat offers decent protection early in Spring. When you are able to make or purchase a Fancy Hat, that is superior headgear. ANY footwear is recommended, but Water Shoes are useful in the Vale Dungeon. Strider Boots and Sneakers become available fairly early and can be upgraded to become decent in terms of both types of Attack and Defence.
The nature of upgrading Weapons and Accessories in Rune Factory 3 means that almost any item can be modified to become whatever you wish it to be. I prefer a well-balanced Weapon and Equipment in terms of Attack and Defence, so I tend to upgrade equally across the board in terms of physical Attack, magic Attack, physical Defence and Magical Defence. I have been wearing an upgraded Happy Ring as it is supposed to increase the probability of obtaining War Trophies from Monsters but I do not know how effective it is in this respect. With the upgrades I made, the Level 10 Happy Ring has the following stats:
Happy Ring, Level 10: ATK +13, DEF +15, MGC ATK +16, MGC DEF +18, INT +2.
Not bad for an Accessory with NO Attack or Defence at Level 1!
The Fancy Hat begins at Level 1 with DEF +45, MGC DEF +45
In upgrading it, therefore, I added Attack and Magic Attack.
Secret Shoes were my earliest footgear with:
Secret Shoes: DEF +20
As soon as the Strider Boots became available, however, I made certain to obtain those. What I like about them is their balance in terms of all necessary attributes:
Strider Boots at Level 1: ATK +25, DEF +25, MGC ATK +25, MGC DEF +25
Sneakers are higher in ATK, but have no other attributes. Sneakers at Level 1 have: DEF +32
Bone Boots have higher protection with: DEF +68
Like the Sneakers, however, that is ALL they offer. I personally preferred to upgrade my Sneakers by adding more ATK, MGC ATK, DEF and MGC DEF.
The Chaos Shield has: DEF +18, MGC DEF +50
Where Weapons are concerned, I always favour a Shortsword mainly for its speed and the fact that it can be used in conjunction with a Shield. The Dual Blades may look cool but, if you compare their potential with that of any Shortsword, you will see that they are inferior Weapons. Hammers and Axes are very powerful but slow in the extreme. A Spear offers a longer reach and is good for defence as it keeps foes at a distance, but again, it is far slower than a Shortsword and you can gain your Defence by carrying a good Shield.
Compare the first Dual Blade, the Short Dagger with a simple Broadsword:
Broadword: ATK +5
Short Dagger: ATK +6
The first Shield is the Small Shield, which provides DEF +6 at Level 1. A Broadsword with a Small Shield therefore is: ATK +5, DEF +6, which is far superior to the Short Dagger with only one more ATK point and NO Defence.
The Steel Sword usually can be obtained almost at the start of the first Spring and it doubles the Attack points with +10 ATK. I always opt for the Steel Sword with the best Shield I can obtain until I am able to find the Elemental Swords such as the Aquasword and the Windsword. In RF2, you only could obtain an augmented Steel Sword in the form of the Steel Sword + by trading with another player. In RF3, it should appear in Special Deals in the first week in Spring. It is a very potent blade for a beginner:
Steel Sword +: ATK +21, MGC ATK +5
When it appears, I snap up the Defender which has ATK +63, DEF +15, but in all honesty, it is not as important in RF3 as it was in previous games, as you should have your own Forge by the time the Defender appears and should be able to make better Weapons, either by upgrading a simple Shortsword like the Steel Sword + to Level 10 or by making more advanced Shortswords.
Interestingly enough, the Backscratcher, which was a Request Reward in RF2, is available at the Smithy quite early in Special Deals, and one should not sneer at the humble tool as it falls into the category of a Shortsword and its stats are amazing.
Backscratcher: ATK +27, MGC ATK +48
Remember that these are nothing more than very early recommendations for a beginner. When the game progresses, I favour different Weapons and Equipment, but always a Shortsword and Shield, even when my Character graduates to the best items.
As far as taming Monsters is concerned, remember that the War Trophies that a Monster drops in the dungeons usually is its Most Favourite Gifts and one can tame a Monster quickly by returning a War Trophy to it. The first Monsters to tame when your own Skill Levels are high enough probably should be a Cluckadoodle and a Buffamoo, for the sake of the Eggs and Milk that they leave in the barn as offerings each day. With a Steamer, you can make Pudding from any Egg:
Pudding: HP Rec +40%, RP Rec +80%, HP Max -20%, VIT +10, INT +8%
Note that Maximum HP will decrease by 20% when you consume Pudding, but it does a good job of restoring Energy apart from this.
With one Yellow Grass and any size of Milk in a Mixer, you can make Medium Cheese, which is amazingly useful as it will restore your RP by 75% at Level 1:
Medium Cheese: RP Rec +75%
If you have a Pot, you can make Hot Milk with any size of Milk:
Hot Milk: HP Rec +120, RP Rec +25%, HP Max +30, VIT +2
Remember that any food you consume has a time limit in terms of its effects. All of the items mentioned here have a short duration of 3 Hours but there are other food items that last 6 or even 12 hours. The items that last 12 Hours tend to require multiple ingredients, such as Pizza and Doria. They are among the most valuable food items in terms of shipping value, so you may wish to ship those and use less valuable, simpler items for Energy Recovery.
For HP Recovery, you should purchase the Cure Tome and then the Cure All Tome. When they appear, Medipoison, Mediparalyse and Mediseal are far more useful than any Medicines or Food for curing any status ailments as they take no space in your Rucksack and use very little RP.
With a Pharmacy, you can make Recovery Potion and Healing Potion to restore HP as well as other potions to cure Status Ailments, but frankly, the Magic Spells are more practical as all potions take space in the rucksack. The Pharmacy is most useful for making the spices and herbs used in cooking such as Sour Drop, Heavy Spice and Mixed Herbs. This is not the concern of a beginner, however.
The next Monster to tame should be one that can be used as Transport as well as providing good battle support in combat. I always favour the Silver Wolf. The Hunter Wolf is more powerful but the Silver Wolf can be tamed at lower skill levels. The Silver Wolf leaves the gift of a Wolf Fang in the Barn each morning, and this is an excellent material for upgrades as it adds ATK +4, MGC ATK +4 to any Weapon or Accessory.
Welcome to my Rune Factory 3 Site
Although HarvestMoonForever remains my primary site, you will find all my posts and Guides for Rune Factory 3 on this site. I created a site for Grand Bazaar in this manner and it has proven quite useful. The actual Guides as always will be published by IGN as well.