Source:Eamon Adventurer's Log, May 1984
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The Eamon Adventurer's Log newsletter, volume 1 number 2.
John Nelson (editor)
The use of this item is permitted and constitutes fair use on the grounds that it's free or in the public domain.
A word from the Editor...
When the concept for putting out the Eamon newsletter was first designed, the initial receivers of the first issue were to be former customers and known Eamon enthusiasts who had contact with us. Since then we've placed an ad in Softalk and have sent newsletters to and have had responses from people who don't know what Eamon is and/or who we are. This was an oversight on our part and we shall now clear up this mystery. This newsletter is brought to you by John Nelson (the same John Nelson that has written and published many Eamon adventures) and Bob Davis. Well, on with the good stuff...
Some bugs were discovered and fixed and another bug discovered and awed over since the last newsletter. The first bug was in the "push" routine of The Underground City (Adventure #30). Actually the entire routine was re-written. The code as amended is given below:
61000 REM /// PUSH 61010 GOSUB 4900:IF S$ = "BUTTON" THEN 61100 61090 PRINT:PRINT "I DON'T UNDERSTAND.":GOTO 100 61100 REM /// PUSH BUTTON 61110 IF ROOM = 5 THEN R2 = 6 : 6010 3500 61120 IF ROOM = 6 THEN R2 = 5 : GOTO 3500 61130 IF ROOM = 17 THEN R2 = 7: GOTO 3500 61140 IF ROOM = 7 THEN R2 = 17: GOTO 3500 61150 IF ROOM = 4 THEN 3019 61190 GOTO 61090
The bug that was discovered and awed at was in The Caves of Treasure Island (Adventure #13). In MAIN PGN, line number 1110 reads:
IF A = 10 THEN GOSUB 1150. Amazingly enough, line 1150 does not exist nor does any line following 1150 all the way down to 1900. A fix has not been made because the routine is not available to us. We are asking our readers to help us out. Anyone having a copy of The Caves of Treasure Island with the missing code please send us a copy of the code at this line number or a copy of the disk. If no one responds by the next newsletter, we will write our own routine to go here; but we would rather have the original code.
A recall is requested for Picnic in Paradise, but we would like to qualify it. When some people ordered the Picnic in Paradise, the copy was made accidentally from an experimental copy. So, before you send your copy of Picnic in Paradise in, do this:
LOAD MAIN PGM from the diskette. Then
LIST 7. It should say
LAST REV. 4-8-84. If you have a date prior to this, please return it to us for correction. If you got the diskette from us, there is no charge. If you got it from someone else, please enclose $3 to pay for the copy fee and postage.
Overview of Eamon
Since this is only our second newsletter and the first one covered a summary of the design process, we thought it would be appropriate to begin at the beginning in this column and work our way into the more advanced designing tips in subsequent issues. Those who are very experienced in designing their own adventures may think we are being too simple, but please bear with us – we will try to build a solid foundation of knowledge and then get into the more advanced techniques.
The Eamon system consists of a master diskette containing multiple programs and individual adventure diskettes that are completely independent of each other. The master diskette passes control from one program to another by writing any needed information into a text file and running the next program. The main programs that are run on the master diskette are:
- THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF EAMON – Gets the name of the player and looks it up on the file. If found, it runs MAIN HALL. If it doesn't find the name, it runs a program called NEW CHARACTERS.
- NEW CHARACTERS asks you if you are male or female and builds your character. When it has finished creating your character it opens a temporary text file called THE ADVENTURER and passes the character's name and record number to MAIN HALL which it runs next.
- MAIN HALL – This is the central hub of the system. The character buys and sells weapons and learns spells here in order to prepare himself for an exciting life of adventuring. When the character is ready, they select GO ON AN ADVENTURE. The program then deletes the character record and requests an adventure diskette. When the player presses a key the program assumes the diskette has been changed and writes the character's attributes into a file called FRESH MEAT. The program then opens a file called EAMON.NAME to read the name of the adventure. The final step is then to run the program by that name.
On the adventure diskette there are usually two programs. The first has the name that matches the name found in EAMON.NAME. This program prints the description of the adventure and the runs a program that is usually called MAIN PGM. The second program (MAIN PGM) is the main adventure program. It is the program you will modify to have your own special effects. The remainder of this article will concern this program.
The most important thing to know about this program is the variable names and the tables that are used for monsters and artifacts. The monster table has a variable name of MD% and the artifact table has a variable name of AD%. Both of these tables are two-dimensional tables. That is, they require two subscripts or pointers. The first pointer identifies which item is being referred to and the second pointer is used to access the monster or artifact attributes.
Let's look at these tables in more depth. The monster table contains all the data for a monster. The first subscript is the monster numbers the values contained in the second subscript determine the attribute being accessed. They are:
1 = Hardiness 2 = Agility 3 = Friendliness 4 = Courage 5 = Room 6 = Weight 7 = Defensive Odds 8 = Armor 9 = Weapon Number 10 = Odds to Hit 11 = Dice 12 = Sides 13 = Damage 14 = Reaction 15 = met flag
The artifact table has a similar arrangement:
1 = Value 2 = Type 3 = Weight 4 = Room 5 = Complexity – only if weapon 6 = Weapon Type – only if a weapon 7 = Dice – only if a weapon 8 = Sides – only if a weapon
The designer can do amusing things by manipulating these fields and printing messages to the player. For example, to make a scroll disappear all the designer has to do is change its room number to zero (or some other value that will never be a valid room number). He does this with a statement like
AD%(8,4) = 0.
He could make the adventurer stronger or weaker by modifying his hardiness (field 1). He could scare a monster by setting the monsters courage to zero or make him braver by setting it higher. You could even change a treasure into a weapon by changing the type to a 2 or 3 and setting the other fields (5-8) with appropriate values for a weapon.
Knowing these facts is a vital part of being able to design an adventure and make interesting programming changes. Next issue we will cover some local magic and secret passages.
Notices and Junk
Dungeon Designer 6.0
Version 6.0 of the Dungeon Designer is now ready for distribution. It has been tested and found to be practically perfect. This new version has a lot of new features and is the biggest advance in Eamon yet. The documentation is kept in a standard text file on the diskette that will be accessible to word processors such as Apple Writer II and ScreenWriter. If you do not have a word processor or a friend who does we will send you a copy on paper for $2.00.
Some people received a copy of the Dungeon Designer Diskette Version 6.0 that was a pre-release copy which had a couple of minor flaws and did not contain the documentation. We would like for these people to send their copy back to us for a replacement. To determine if your copy is a pre-release copy,
LOAD DUNGEON EDIT and
LIST 9. If the date on this line is before 4/28/84, you have a pre-release copy.
Diskette return policy
We realize that some errors do exist in Eamon and we are fixing them when we know about them. Many of the fixes will be printed in the Bug Bytes column and you can update your program without having to send in the diskette, costing us both postage and time. DO NOT send in your diskette for program errors. Send back your diskette only for one of the following reasons:
- The diskette sent to you was not the one you ordered.
- The diskette was damaged before being received. In this case, repackage the diskette to prevent further damage and send it back to us. If we receive the diskette improperly packaged, we cannot be responsible for the replacement of the diskette.
- We specifically ask for the return of the diskette.
Once in a while a fix to an error is either too complicated or too long to print in the Bug Bytes column and we will ask for returns to fix the program for you. This does become expensive, but our goal is to clean up Eamon. (Nothing is more frustrating than having your character killed by a program error after an hour of fun-filled adventuring.)
The Eamon newsletter will be published every 10.435714 weeks (5 times a year) on the following dates: January 1, March 15, May 25, August 4 and October 14.
New Eamon adventures
We are receiving Eamon adventures at a fantastic rate! On March 15 we had 48 adventures and since then we have added 20 more!! If you see an adventure you would like to have but isn't shown on the latest list you received from us, you should check with us anyway. More than likely we will have received it already and (depending on the volume) have played and tested it.
The new adventures since the last newsletter are:
- Castle Kophinos
- Behind the Sealed Door
- Caves of Eamon Bluff
- Devil's Dungeon
- Feast of Carroll
- Crystal Mountain
- The Master's Dungeon
- The Lost Adventure
- The Manxome Foe
- The Land of Death
- The Jungles of Vietnam
- The Sewers of Chicago
- The Harpy Cloud
- The Caverns of Doom
- Valkenburg Castle
- Modern Problems
- School of Death
- Dungeons of Xenon
- Chaosium Caves
- The Smith's Stronghold
SORRY! – But we cannot extend credit at this time. Payment should accompany your order as we only have manual means to keep track of credit orders and don't want to risk double billing someone for an error in our records. Besides, keeping track of these accounts cost time and postage which would increase the cost of the newsletter.
Good news, bad news
The good news is the newsletter is alive and well and will continue. The bad news is while some of you good folks out there have helped by ordering diskettes and sending donations, it hasn't been enough to finance the newsletter entirely. So we are forced to go to membership dues. The dues are $12.00 per year (a mere $1.00 per month). This will be the last free issue. The next issue is planned for Aug 4, 1984. Anyone who has not sent their dues in by July 1 will not see the next issue.
Eamon is being documented!
Yes friends, Eamon, which has only had the player's manual (a real antique!) and the designer's manual, is being documented further. First was a general utilities document which is included on all of the new utilities diskettes. Now, more detailed documentation is being worked on for the utilities and the designer systems. We will be announcing availability in future issues. It may be enough to fill an entire three-ring notebook by the time its finished. We would like to even consider having special notebooks made up with the Eamon seal (the dragon) printed on the front and want to solicit the opinions of our members on whether you would be interested in this.
Speaking of documentation, we are now beginning a trend of documenting Eamon on standard word processing text files. These are readable by Apple Writer II and Screen Writer II. We hope this will not inconvenience too many of you but we are experiencing increasing printing and postage costs due to the increasing amount of documentation for Eamon and this seems to be the best solution. Printed copies will still be available from us at the rates specified.
Eamon tournament to be announced!
We believe far too much time has gone by since the last Eamon tournament and are working to remedy this problem. Unlike previous tournaments, this will be open to everyone. An entry fee will be included in the price of the tournament diskette with prizes being given away. More information will be available in the August 4 newsletter.
Things appearing in this column must not be confused with actual facts.
Rumor has it that Donald Brown judged an Eamon contest for an Apple user's group and announced 13 winners. When confronted, Mr. Brown was apprehensive to talk to us and seemed rather out of sorts. He would ramble a bit and then avoid any questions leading us to suspect that something has altered his thinking! What could have happened to our beloved Father Eamon? Could this be a bad clone? Or has he lost all that is virtuous and romantic within himself? If this is a clone, where is the real Donald Brown? Only CE Software knows for sure and they not telling!
Now for your convenience! Our new drive-up window is ready with two-lane full service 16 hours a day (except Friday afternoon and Sunday morning). Phone ahead orders will be accepted on holidays.
The Eamon club softball team (the Imperials) is making appearances around the southwestern part of the country. Any team wishing to challenge the Imperials please write to us and we will give you dates and times. Remember full battle armour is necessary.
Questions and Answers
In this column we answer commonly asked or interesting questions we receive.
Q. How do I get out of The Lair of the Minotaur?
A. We have a map if you want to cheat, but try this; it is much more satisfying. We will assume you are past the iron gate and are getting lost wandering about the tunnels. Drop something useless at each intersection you come upon. Heading through the passages, you will probably come upon thee items again. That is because the passages are continuous (Eamon is a magical place indeed!). Using this technique and an orderly strategy, you should be able to find your way out.
Q. How do I get out of The Devil's Tomb?
A. If you don't have a power spell you will spend the rest of your days in the first room. That same spell is used to get out of the Tomb. Once you make it to the sign which says abandon all hope, power must be used quickly. If you wait too long, the spell has unpredictable results such as bringing dead enemies back to life. In earlier versions of The Devil's Tomb, a program error prevented all but the very lucky to survive the last room.
Q. What is an "official" adventure?
A. An "official" adventure is one designed with any version of the Dungeon Designer Diskette that does not have modified files (different formats). The adventure should also be the original diskette from the author and not modified by others except to correct program errors and/or reformat the catalog to a standard Eamon catalog. Changing the base program to do special or all together different processing does not exclude the adventure from being "official". On the contrary, it is a welcome and refreshing change (especially to those of us who know how Eamon works – this keeps us honest). It is nice if the adventure could be listed using the ADVENTURE LIST program, but not necessary.
I have received much correspondence from beginning adventurers asking, "What Eamon adventures should I get first?" Well, instead of a detailed review about one adventure, this issue I will deal with five beginning adventures that the club has just happened to put on special (what timing!) The five are:
- #10 – The Magic Kingdom by David Cook
- #13 – Caves of Treasure Island by Genz and Braun
- #15 – Heroes Castle by John Nelson (familiar?)
- #22 – The Senator's Chambers by James Plamondon
- #42 – Alternate Beginner's Cave by Rick Volberding
All five of these may be purchased for $20 (U.S.) or $5 each separately.
The Magic Kingdom – While spouting off about evil magicians, one of them (using magic of course) overheard your eloquent phrases and was moved enough to teleport you to a strange land. There is no way out without performing a deed for the king of this land.
Caves of Treasure Island – You were left on a mysterious island and have to rendezvous with the ship on the other side. Dangerous passages wind through the mountains and you must choose the safest path.
Heroes Castles – You agree to help a beautiful maiden rescue her lover from Heroes Castle. The castle is filled with treasure galore, but can you get out with it?
The Senator's Chambers – The Senator has abducted his political opponents! You must go into his dwelling and find as many of them as possible.
Alternate Beginner's Cave – Basically a simple adventure to build up your character without having to be bored by the original Beginner's Cave for the eighteenth time.
I hope this will help all our relatively new Eamon adventurers. Next issue I will deal with intermediate, somewhat difficult and almost impossible adventures for fun, profit and frustration.