Source:Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, June 1991

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Description

The Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, June 1991 issue.

Source

Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter Archive

Date

June 1991

Author

Eamon Adventurer's Guild; Tom Zuchowski (editor)

License

The use of this item is permitted and constitutes fair use on the grounds that it's free or in the public domain.

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Source:Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, September 1991

The Eamon Adventurer's Guild
June 1991

Financial Report Part II

Just a clarification here about last issue's annual financial report. The goal of the EAG is to be revenue-neutral; that is, to have a net income of zero. Thus, last year's net income of $2.27 was almost right on target. I'd actually prefer to show a similarly small net loss. It would be awful if the IRS got to thinking that the EAG is a moneymaking business! They will be a lot more inclined to look at it as a hobby if it's losing money. Just so the losses don't get too large! <grin>

ProDOS Update

Currently there are 90-odd EAG ProDOS Eamons. Just a few more and all Eamons rated 6.0 and higher will be available in ProDOS. Besides the Public-Domain outlets, I am working to get them available on most major BBS's. These ProDOS Eamons are almost identical to the DOS 3.3 versions with just a few changes to take best advantage of the features available under ProDOS.

Late-breaking news is that I have worked up a utility program that semi-automates the process of converting a 40-column, Upper-Case ProDOS Eamon adventure to 80-column Mixed-Case (lower-case with capitalization). All player input and artifact and monster names are still Upper-Case, but all of the rest of the text is Mixed-Case. These conversions will not have a 40-column Upper-Case option; they will require 80-column text. I have converted a couple of my own Eamons with this utility and the conversion process appears to generally take 5 hours or so for adventures that aren't outrageously non-conventional. The upshot here is that you will begin to see a trickle of 80-column Mixed-Case Eamons become available. My immediate goal is to convert the Top 20 from the ratings list before I resume performing conversions to ProDOS.

Where does this leave II+ users? Actually, it doesn't affect them at all. All 206 original Eamons are still widely available in DOS 3.3. And Diversi-DOS is definitely the way to go for these people; it's generally as fast as ProDOS and is a direct substitute for DOS 3.3. Compared to a Diversi-DOS/GPLE setup, ProDOS is a very difficult operating system to use unless you have at least one drive of 800K or more capacity. Certainly there are II+'s Out There that have such drives, but the odds are overwhelming that such systems will also have an 80-column card and can use the 80-column versions if desired. Videx compatibility will definitely be included, and the 80-column versions will be checked on a II+.

There's a school of thought that believes that the 40-col Upper-Case ProDOS Eamons should continue to be available as well. I suppose that there are some people out there who will prefer this format. I can't personally envision a likely computer setup that would suit it, but different people have different likes and dislikes. I hope that one or more Public-Domain outlet will choose to carry both kinds. If not, I will make them available somehow. Maybe I'll sell them directly if no one is willing to carry them; there can't be too many people who will prefer this format. In any event, if I can find out exactly what they carry, I'll run a special listing of the Public Domain sellers and what they carry in the next issue.

Basically, ProDOS Eamon has been pretty much ignored by ProDOS people. Newcomers on the IIe/c and GS owners simply won't have anything to do with 40-column Upper-Case text. I thought that the ProDOS conversions would be the ticket, but it turned out that virtually no GS owner will touch Eamon because of the text regardless of its operating system. More than one GS'er has told me that he doesn't like "being yelled at". One can only assume that Upper-Case text is rather unfriendly on the GS! <grin> (Certainly, the UC text on my //e is a lot less pleasant to read than UC text on my II+; I'm not sure why.) I have a lot of hope that the new 80-col. versions will supply the breakthrough into this large segment of Apple II users that has yet to happen.

Eamon Adventurer's Guild

Thomas Zuchowski, Editor

Membership/subscription fee for 4 issues:
US-Canada: $7.00; foreign: $12.00; in U.S. funds

The Eamon Adventurer's Guild is published 4 times per year in Mar., Jun., Sep., and Dec.

We are always looking for new material! If you would like to publish your own letter or article in this newsletter, feel free to send one in. If you would like to add your own Eamon adventure to the list, send it on a disk to the above address. It will be assigned an Adventure number, and tested for bugs and other problems before release. An informal critique and disk with bug corrections will be returned.

Expiration date

The usual reminder: be sure to check the expiration date next to your name on the address. If it is "JUN 91" and highlighted in yellow, this is your last issue.

Back issues

Apple-based back issues of the formerly Apple-based NEUC's Adventurer's Log are available from us:
   Mar'84, May'84, Aug'84, Oct'84, Jan'85, Mar'85, May'85, Aug'85, Oct'85, Jun'86, Jan'87, Oct'87

EAG back issues:
   Jun'88, Sep'88, Dec'88
   Mar'89, Jun'89, Sep'89, Dec'89
   Mar'90, Jun'90, Sep'90, Dec'90, Mar'91

All issues are $2.00 each.

Adventure Updates

You may obtain updated versions of your Eamon adventures from the EAG. Send in a copy of the adventure to be updated and $1.00 per copy to cover our cost, and an updated copy will be returned to you. You must include a copy of each adventure for which you wish an update. NOTE: the update program does not cover conversion of DOS 3.3 Eamons to ProDOS; if you send in a DOS 3.3 Eamon, you will get DOS 3.3 back.

We want to improve Eamon all we can; this includes getting authors to use the latest and best version. Therefore, the version 7.0 Dungeon Designer Diskette and the 7.0 Multi-Disk Supplement may be obtained from us for $1.00 each (US & Canada; foreign $2.00 each). Please specify DOS 3.3 or ProDOS for the DDD (the Supplement is presently available in DOS 3.3 only).

Dungeon Designs

Back to the Basics: Containers
by Tom Zuchowski

A container is any kind of artifact that can hold other artifacts inside of itself. Most containers are simple boxes or chests, but this artifact class also includes things like desks, lockets, sacks, and so on. In fact, anything can be used as a container if the story requires that it be able to contain or conceal other artifacts.

Containers may be closed or open, locked or unlocked. Their initial state is up to you. Once a container is unlocked or opened, it may not be closed again or relocked using the standard MAIN PGM programming. However, if the player puts an artifact into an open container, the container will "behave" as if it is closed, holding and concealing the artifact until the player again opens it.

Like doors, container key numbers default to artifact #99. You must change this number to the artifact number of the actual key or to zero. If you leave it as 99, then the player must have artifact #99 in his possession to open the container. If the adventure doesn't have 99 artifacts, the MAIN PGM crashes when the player tries to open the container.

Also like doors, containers have a Strength parameter that is in effect the container's "hardiness". If the player has no key, he can attack a locked container and wear down its strength until it reaches zero, at which time the container shatters and can be opened. Try to select a container description that fits the strength number that you choose. If the container is a lightly built wooden box then the strength should be around 10. If it is a massive iron-bound strongbox then the strength can be in the hundreds. Make some effort to have the container's description match its strength.

Let's do an example of a container. Let's say that the container is a small, stoutly built, locked wooden box that contains an emerald. The box is artifact #1, the key artifact #2, and the emerald artifact #3. The box will be found in room 1 and the key in room 7. This example underlines all typed input:

ROOM-0  ART.-0  EFF.-0  MONS.-0

YOUR CHOICES ARE--
	1. ADD NEW ROOM, ARTIFACT, EFFECT, OR
		MONSTER
	2. (etc.)

ENTER KEY OF YOUR CHOICE (1-7) 1

DO YOU WANT TO ADD A ROOM, ARTIFACT,
	EFFECT, OR MONSTER (HIT KEY, RAEM) A

ENTER ARTIFACT NAME:
BOX

ARTIFACT DESCRIPTION:
YOU SEE  A SMALL  WOODEN BOX.   IT IS
ORNATELY FINISHED IN DARK VARNISHES WITH
SILVER  INLAYS.   YOU  CAN SEE  FROM ITS
CONSTRUCTION THAT IT IS STOUTLY BUILT.
THERE IS A SMALL KEYHOLE ON ONE SIDE.

VALUE : 5             (not worth much) 
TYPE : 4              (container) 
WEIGHT : 5            (not too heavy)
ROOM : 1              (found in Room #1) 
KEY# : 2              (Artifact #2) 
STRENGTH: 50          (moderately strong)
OPEN? : 0             (Open = 1; Closed = 0) 
USER #8 : 0           (doesn't matter)


ROOM-0  ART.-1  EFF.-0  MONS.-0

YOUR CHOICES ARE--
	1. ADD NEW ROOM, ARTIFACT, EFFECT, OR
		MONSTER
	2. (etc.)

ENTER KEY OF YOUR CHOICE (1-7) 1

DO YOU WANT TO ADD A ROOM, ARTIFACT,
	EFFECT, OR MONSTER (HIT KEY, RAEM) A

ENTER ARTIFACT NAME:
 STEEL KEY

ARTIFACT DESCRIPTION: 
YOU HAVE FOUND A SMALL STEEL KEY.

VALUE : 1		(not worth much)
TYPE : 9		(key)
WEIGHT : 1		(doesn't weigh much)
ROOM : 7		(found in Room #7)
USER #5 :		(doesn't matter)
USER #6 :		(doesn't matter)
USER #7 :		(doesn't matter)
USER #8 :		(doesn't matter)


ROOM-0  ART.-2  EFF.-0  MONS.-0

YOUR CHOICES ARE--
	1. ADD NEW ROOM, ARTIFACT, EFFECT, OR
		MONSTER
	2. (etc.)
ENTER KEY OF YOUR CHOICE (1-7) 1

DO YOU WANT TO ADD A ROOM, ARTIFACT,
	EFFECT, OR MONSTER (HIT KEY, RAEM) A

ENTER ARTIFACT NAME:
LARGE EMERALD

ARTIFACT DESCRIPTION:
YOU SEE A MARVELOUS LARGE EMERALD!  IT
HAS AN EXQUISITE COLOR AND WONDERFUL
CLARITY.  IT HAS BEEN CUT INTO AN OVALSHAPE WITH LARGE FACETS.

VALUE : 500	(valuable)
TYPE : 1	(treasure)
WEIGHT : 1	(doesn't weigh much)
ROOM : 501	(inside Artifact #1)
USER #5 : 0	(doesn't matter)
USER #6 : 0	(doesn't matter)
USER #7 : 0	(doesn't matter)
USER #8 : 0	(doesn't matter)

That's how it's done. Be sure to print out the manual. It has all this information and more in it, and you will find it a valuable reference.

The above example is not a complete printout of everything that you will see on the screen. There are quite a few on-screen menus during data input that list the allowable inputs, so that you don't have to memorize such things as the artifact type of a key. In fact, the menus almost cover such information better than the manual does.

The USER prompts seen with some types of artifact data input, such as the key above, are not used by the standard MAIN PGM programming. They are made available for the purpose of adding extra data for special programming. If you have not added any such extra programming, simply enter zero at each prompt (or hit Escape to retain the default value shown on the screen) and ignore them.

Adventure Reviews

#86 Castle Mantru

by Steve Costanzo

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski

MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: HiRes screen at startup
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer Rating: 6.0

Description: You are summoned before King Stevron. He wishes you to go to Castle Mantru, where the evil wizard called Crimson has hidden the magical Amulet of Wizdom, which was stolen from the king. If Crimson has the amulet long enough, he will be able to use its powers to control the world.

It is rumored that the amulet is also where you will find Crimson deep in his castle. It is also rumored that Crimson has many deadly monsters and traps in his castle.

King Stevron says that he will reward you well if the amulet is brought back and is not damaged. Any special weapons that you find are yours to keep. You will probably have to kill Crimson to get out safely.

Comment: This adventure isn't terribly sophisticated. It plays much like an earlier version of Eamon, with no hidden artifacts or locked doors to contend with, but it has the convenience of the shortened commands that version 6 allows. The descriptions and monsters are on this same level: short and simple but not exactly lyrical in their content. The 76-room map is laid out well enough, and the room names and descriptions list available exits, a definite plus.

So while there is little of special note to make this adventure stand out, it is a competently done Sword & Sorcery dungeon and well worth a play. The Hi-Res screen at the end of the intro is a nicely done line drawing of the Castle that was a very nice touch. As puzzles are nonexistent and the monsters are suitable for mundane weapons, I give this adventure a (3) for difficulty. All in all, a superior beginner-level Eamon adventure.

#90 The Doomsday Clock

by Jim Tankard

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski

MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: DISARM
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Time limit
Playing Time: 1-2 hours
Reviewer Rating: 6.0

Description: You have been assigned to the embassy in Moscow, officially as an Air Force attache. Actually, however, you are a highly-trained member of a covert branch of the CIA known as SOG, or Special Operations Group. SOG was famous during the Vietnam War for its covert operations behind the lines in North Vietnam, including assassinations.

One night you are called to duty by your section chief, who looks like he is about to have apoplexy. He informs you that our agents have discovered an unbelievable but terrible plot -- the Libyans have succeeded in putting an atomic bomb somewhere in the Kremlin and the thing is set to go off in a few hours! If the bomb explodes, the Soviets will think the Americans did it and launch their missiles, starting World War III!

It is your task to go into the Kremlin and find the bomb and dismantle it. Your adrenaline starts pumping! This is the one you have been waiting for -- the assignment that will let you use all your training and skill, and save the world besides!

Comment: This adventure does a nice job of conveying the tension of the situation. Every move that you make takes one minute, and the bomb goes off after two hours! Each round prints an inverse bar with the remaining minutes on it. It can really get on your nerves, which is a nice approximation of how you would feel if the situation was real.

The maps and descriptions of the Kremlin grounds give a pretty good feel for how it is laid out and what it must be like. Descriptions and room names give available exits, an very important feature in Eamons with a time limit. Good use was made of version 6 stuff, with notes, containers, and other features in ready abundance. Jim supplies you with a full arsenal of modern weapons and special equipment for the task at hand. All in all, a well-turned-out adventure.

Ok, if it's so good, how come I didn't give it a higher rating? Well, essentially you have to fight and kill everyone that you meet. While this is not unusual in Eamon adventuring, I was left wondering what the Soviets would make of a truckload of dead guards and KGB officers, bomb or no bomb. Some special programming for special monster relations would have been a huge plus in this scenario. Secondly, the time limit is too short to find the bomb unless you happen to luck into it. While I don't have a problem with a short time limit, it offends me that there is no way (that I could discover) to figure out where to look. The Kremlin is a big place! Lastly, I personally favor Sword & Sorcery stuff and don't get real excited about contemporary settings, as a rule.

Eamonauts who enjoy adventures that offer some real texture to their scenarios may favor this one. Hack&Slashers won't find much here to kill and maim. The puzzles are all within the normal bounds of what can be done with embedded artifacts. Because of the time limit, you may have to play it more than once before you finally cover all the bases and manage to find and disarm the bomb. I give it a difficulty rating of (9) because of the game's complexity in relation to the time limit.

This is a pretty unique adventure and well worth a play; there's nothing else like it in Eamon.

===#97 The House of Secrets by George Gunn

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski

MAIN PGM Version: 4
Extra Commands: OPEN, DIG, READ, DRINK
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: None
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer Rating: 6.0

Description: You are returning to the Inn and take a short cut, when you stumble over the bodies of several adventurers. Their arms and armor have been stripped away, but you search them anyway. On one you find a crumpled map and a note. The note vaguely mentions treasure and extreme danger. Your purse is a bit light so you follow the map. After a long trip, you close in on your goal. In the distance is a stone building. As you near the building, you spy a message engraved in stone:

ENTER YOU MAY, BUT HEED WELL
POWER THOU MUST TO ESCAPE
MAGIC THOU MUST TO DRAGONS FELL
KEYS THOU MUST TO TREASURE TAKE.

You move on.

Comment: This adventure had a large, well-organized map. It is somewhat misnamed; this "house" is manor-sized with several dozen rooms, courtyard, wine cellar, etc. Combat wasn't especially bad for my advanced character's weapons. The inscription is partly right; you do need Power and many keys to get past a number of obstacles. But the dragon wasn't too difficult with my magic-level sword, though he did take some wearing down. For a character with mundane weapons, there does appear to be a magical means provided to handle the dragon.

This is a nice, average-level adventure, certainly worth playing. There's no quest; this is strictly a kill and loot scenario. But it isn't a simple straight walk through. There are several locked doors, and the keys are not exactly lying by each door! I give it a (5) for difficulty.

#112 Hills of History

by Dave Smith

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski

MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: None
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer Rating: 5.0   Average Rating: 6.0

Description: You have been up for several nights in a row studying for your final exams at the College of Wizards and Wanderers. Your history test is the one that really worries you. There are so many historical figures and deeds to learn. You suddenly remember an endurance potion that was given to you by a Senior you once did a favor for. You take a large swallow.

Too late, you notice that the potion's expiration date has passed! As the room begins to spin, your mind tries to focus on all the facts you have been reading about. You must find your way out of this nightmare. Learn what you can while you fight history's villains and search for the treasures of our past.

Comment: You find yourself on a road in a strange land that is populated by a wide assortment of people from the history of the world. As usual, there is no exit in sight and you must traverse the entire map before you find it. While there is a fair amount of combat, it isn't too difficult to overcome your enemies. About the only puzzling consists of doing a LOOK in every room and opening embedded containers to find hidden keys and treasures.

The premise of the adventure works out well enough and the historical aspects are presented as well as you could possibly expect in single descriptions. One item drove me nuts and lowered my rating of this adventure: Dave has set up every piece of water on the map as a death trap. I guess that he assumes that your armor carries you to the bottom, and he permits you to enter the water without any warning or windup. Never try to go in a direction that might put you underwater and you will enjoy this adventure more than I did. I give it a difficulty rating of (5).

Bugs 'n' Fixes

#1 Main Hall and Beginners Cave (ProDOS version)

Date: 5/11/91

The ProDOS Master was modified to display Mixed-Case (Lower-Case with capitalization) text. If it detects the ID byte of a II+, it offers the option of using either Mixed-Case or all-Upper-Case text. Also, the adventure launcher was significantly upgraded, offering improved menus and drive polling for painless pathname selection.

Graphics Main Hall (ProDOS version)

Date: 5/11/91

The ProDOS version of the Graphics Main Hall now has the same improved adventure launcher as described above for the ProDOS Eamon Master.

#29 The Lost Island of Apple

Date Fixed: 3/27/91

Problem: NO BUFFERS AT 1150
Fix: Move (renumber) Line 1060 to 1800.

#90 The Doomsday Clock

Date Fixed: 4/1/91

Problem: You get killed if you successfully disarm the bomb.
Fix: In Lines 207, 1210, 26050, change DIS to DB