Become a prefect in a city that is surrounded by friendlies, and have a city near you that is on a front. It helps if the city on the front is fighting a hopeless battle with one or no reinforcements (for example, against Ma Teng in Scenarios 196 to 210). Learn how to increase your city's gold, either by pillaging or by playing merchants. To play merchants, buy supplies when the numbers are high, sell when they are lower. It is possible to buy for 11 gold, then sell for 7 gold, but not in the same council. Simply accumulate a lot of money and your liege will assign you to support the city on the front. Every time you properly support them, you will be given 500 gold, and 1000 fame and deeds. If you have someone under you with trade skill, use them to buy and sell. Note: It helps if you are next to an enemy city that will be taken over soon; this will cause many riots to lower safety to 0. Pillaging will then always be successful, even if it is under your force.
If your fame is relatively high and you observe at the fields, the farmers there will either give you money that they scraped together for you or even better tell you that they found an item buried in the fields. This item can be just about anything; even rare items.
Better created characters:
Get a 100% item completion in the game.
Bonus created character portraits:
Get a 100% event completion in the game.
To get Lu Bu, fight Dong Zhou during the Dong Zhou story in an all out war when you move your own people. Take all your men and go straight for Lu Bu as soon as you find him. Once defeated, take the officer that has him to a very safe place and finish the rest of the level. Make sure to have powerful people by starting from the beginning, as Lu Bu has 108 war ability. Be sure to take Lu Bu quickly so there will be a better chance of getting him, and you do not have to execute him. Note: Sometimes Diao Chan will appear. Take her after defeating
You can also get Lu Bu when you are Sun Jian through diplomatic situations as follows. You must do this at the beginning of the Anti-Dong Zhou coalition. It helps to have the special created characters that can make people defect well. On the very first diplomatic stage, check if his loyalty is low. At the beginning his loyalty should still be low. Use your created characters to lower it further, then try to hire. He may not go for it the first time. Keep trying and he will eventually give in. However, you will have to reward him. If you do not, he will quickly betray you. He is worth a lot of money when it comes to how many battles you can win with him.
Acquire "green" skills:
You can learn any of the skills: Persuade Reverse, Taunt, Confuse, or Rumor. If you are training and another officer wishes to join you, if they happen to have a green skill that you do not know, you have a small chance to learn it after you have finished training. To increase the probability of an officer coming to train with you, make sure you have a high bond with them.
Acquire "red" skills:
To learn Fight (Tower), Plan (Factory), and Govern (Market), you do not have to max your WAR, INT, and POL. Instead, just get an item and make sure its effect is equal to your max. For example, if WAR maxs at 90 without Fight, then current WAR 80 + Seven Star Sword + Observing Tower = WAR max is equal to 100 = learn Fight.To learn Charm, get the Awards of Valor or Imperial Jade Seal; or max CHA and Observe Fields. To learn Guard, make the Barracks Trust = 26+.
Acquire "yellow" skills:
You can learn yellow skills from any non-sage officer. To gain Weather or Medicine, your officer must have at least a Friendly relation to the officer with that skill. If Friendly, there is 1% to 10% chance of learning. If Trusted, there is a 15% to 20% chance of learning. If Loyal, there is a 25% to 35% of learning. If Sworn Brother, there is a 40% to 50% chance of learning. Note: The percent chances are approximate.
Acquire skills and tactics:
After your officer has a chance to get married and you get married, your spouse will teach you skills and tactics from time to time. You can learn any skill or tactic except the special skill for each set.