|◄Eamon adventure #139►|
Peg's Place is an Eamon adventure written by Margaret Anderson and Anne Anderson, probably in 1986. The adventure is distinctive for replacing the standard physical combat system with verbal scoldings, for its randomization of various game elements, and for the fact that it can be played either with or without starting at the Main Hall.
STARTER.BAS on the adventure disk gives the following dedication:
Happy birthday to Peggy Steinmetz of
Greenwood School, River Falls, Wisconsin
The adventure takes place in and around Greenwood School, carefully remaking the various hallways and classrooms that would have been familiar to Steinmetz and Anderson, and populating them with some of the real-world people who frequented them, along with a variety of lurking spies and other villains.
John Nelson announced Peg's Place in the January 1987 edition of the Eamon Adventurer's Log, saying that it was one of a large group of new adventures that the club had received over the preceding months. The last official update to the game was 30 November 1990.
As the story begins, the adventurer is being magically transported through space and time to the distant world of Earth, and upon arrival finds a piece of paper that explains the mission:
In a remote world, once upon a time, a group of teachers, inspired (if that's the right word) by a Wednesday afternoon inservice, all signed a document (legally binding) vowing chastity, poverty, and obedience. This document was entrusted to W. Craig Staff, one of the teachers. On sober reflection he decided to put the document in a "safe place". Somewhat later, Staff left to take a position teaching at UWRF. Because of his heavy teaching load, the other teachers have not been able to contact him.
Shortly after the document was hidden, a political group called S.I.T! (Society to Intimidate Teachers) got control of the school board. Now the S.I.T! has learned about the document and S.I.T! spies are searching the school for it.
You have been summoned here by a spell that several teachers pooled their life savings to buy. You have two hours before the spell wears off. If you find the missing document and take it to the teachers' lounge, you will be rewarded.
Adventurers should realize that in this world violence is frowned upon. Therefore, your only weapon is an unabridged dictionary and all battles are verbal. You need to remember to "scold" or "lecture" your opponents. Also, remember, the teachers hired you. Scolding a teacher will get you into serious trouble and probably make it impossible for you to succeed in your mission.
You have a time limit. You need to find the documents within two hours, by 5 o'clock. At that time the spell will wear off and you will be sent back to where you came from.
In short: you must search the school for the hidden document and take it to the lounge.
Peg's Place features a number of random elements that make the adventure a little bit different each time it's played, and one of these variables is the starting location. There are four exterior doors that lead into the school and you begin the adventure outside at one of these entrances. Wherever you start, enter and begin hunting for the necessary artifacts listed in the next section.
The school is laid out as two long intersecting corridors roughly in the shape of a "T", one running east/west, the other running north/south. Each corridor is lined with classrooms or other school rooms, most of which have only a single exit back to the hallway. As you explore, you can use the
TIME command to keep an eye on the clock.
The only death traps to watch out for are the bathrooms. You can safely enter the lavatory that corresponds to your sex, but if you enter the other (e.g., if you're a girl and try to enter the boy's room), you will "die of embarrassment" and the adventure will end.
Scattered randomly throughout the school are several items you need to complete the mission:
- A memorandum.
READit to get the following message: "Remember to feed crocodiles. Combination ##-##-##." The combination numbers shown in the memo are set randomly and are different each time the game is played, so be sure to note them.
- An envelope marked "Money for Troll".
OPENit to find three dollar bills.
- A flashlight, which you can
LIGHTto see in darkened areas.
A pail of garbage is also needed and can be found in the kitchen, but it doesn't need to be in your inventory. Some other items unneeded for the mission are in fixed locations:
- A book in the school library.
- A sheet of parchment in the closet of the principal's office (with a strange message about mermaids).
- A birthday cake in the first grade classroom at the end of the south hallway.
- A cup in the teachers' lounge that you can fill with healing coffee.
Friends and enemies
The adventure's monsters are scattered throughout the school, some randomly and a few in fixed locations. Some people are friendly and will join you; some are busy and won't leave their work, or will ignore you; others are hostile and will engage you in verbal battle.
Since violent combat is forbidden, conflict is resolved by using
LECTURE to score rhetorical points on opponents. Enemies you succeed in striking may get embarrassed, turn red, or become almost incoherent, and when they lose the argument will completely vanish. (Vanquished opponents leave no bodies behind, but any artifacts they were carrying will appear.)
The most common enemies are S.I.T! spies, who may suddenly appear in random locations to spar with you. Other foes are the District Enforcer, the Chapter One Inspector, the DPI Hit Man, and the Russian Agent. The Fire Inspector and the UPS Delivery Man may ignore you, or may even join you on your quest. If the UPS Delivery Man is vanquished, he'll drop the large package he's carrying and out of it will step the lovely and scantily-clad Fifi la Femme.
Characters who may be friendly (or at least unlikely to attack) are Dick, Trygve, Bobbi, Lorraine, Mary, Robin, Cathy, Peggy, Romelle, Bert, Pat, Theresa, Debbie, Roger, Nancy, Simone, Barb, Gin, Steve, Paul, Jan, Andy, the Reading Coordinator, office secretary Marge, the Principal, the Nurse, and the Troll. You may also meet a friendly dog whom you can
- When you have found the memo showing the combination, go to the kitchen entryway. (It's located just to the east of the intersection of the two main hallways.)
- Enter the west side-chamber, then go down to reach the basement area.
- Use the combination to open the locked door.
- Go west to find an underground pool where some crocodiles are playing. Per the memo,
FEEDthe crocodiles to make them drop the item they're playing with — a key.
- Return the way you came and go to the west side of the gymnasium. (The gym is just west of the kitchen.)
- Open the door with the key.
- Go west, then down to reach a staircase that descends into some caverns.
LIGHTyour flashlight to see where you're going.
- At the bottom of the stairs, follow the underground river east.
- Meet the troll and give him the three dollar bills. As he grabs the money he will drop the notebook (labeled "W. Craig Staff") — this is the document you've been tasked with retrieving.
- Return to the surface and make your way to the teachers' lounge (located at the western end of the east/west corridor).
- Upon entering the lounge with the notebook, your mission will be complete and the school will erupt in celebration: friends will tell jokes, dance on the tables, pop champagne bottles, and hand out Snickers bars. Any unvanquished enemies will sulk in the corner. If the UPS delivery man is around, he'll put down his box and Fifi will step out and begin flirting with the party-goers.
The magic spell that sent you to the school finally wears off and you find yourself transported back to the meadow east of the Main Hall, where you may recover all the weapons you left behind. Pick them up and then enter the hall to end the mission. The pawnbroker Sam Slicker will pay you for your haul, including 5,000 gold pieces for the teachers' gratitude.
Tom Zuchowski reviewed Peg's Place in the June 1988 edition of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter and gave it a score of 8 out of 10, saying he "had a great time." Zuchowski noted that the adventure wouldn't necessarily suit younger players or the hack & slash crowd, and felt that exploring all the classrooms wore a little thin, but said that the time limit worked well to raise the tension, and praised Anderson's non-violent alternative to combat. He estimated the playing time at 1.5–2 hours.
Anderson in the adventure's dedication identifies the location as "Greenwood School, River Falls, Wisconsin", which opened in the fall of 1955. New sections were added to Greenwood in the early 1960s and early 1990s, and it was remodeled in 2013 (at which point the main office was moved from where it's depicted in the adventure). The school currently serves about 400 students.
- Anderson's descriptions of the underground river and sunless sea are drawn from the poem "Kubla Khan" (1816) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge which describes a romanticized Xanadu.
- The red-covered book found in the library is a copy of Areopagitica (1644) by John Milton. Reading it reveals the subtitle, "A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England."
- Reading the paper in the fourth grade classroom reveals the short poem "Motto for a Dog House" (1926) by Arthur Guiterman:
I love this little house because
It offers, after dark,
A pause for rest, a rest for paws,
A place to moor my bark.
- Reading the chalkboard in the language room reveals the following words in Norwegian:
In English, the text reads:
Hvor er kaffen?
Tretti dager har September, April, Juni og November.
Hvor er toalettet?
Where is the coffee?
Thirty days have September, April, June and November.
Where's the toilet?
- Visible from one of the classrooms are "the scenic bluffs of Pete's Creek"; this refers to the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River which flows through the nearby University of Wisconsin campus.
- The "DPI Hit Man" is presumably from Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction.