Source:Eamon Adventurer's Log, October 1985

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The Eamon Adventurer's Log newsletter, volume 2 number 2.


Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter Archive


October 1985


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.

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Eamon Adventurer's LogNational Eamon User's Club
Volume 2 Number 2 – October 1985


by John Nelson

For a change of pace, I thought it would be nice to not make anyone mad with this editorial. So I thought I would not have an editorial. But then I realized that would aggravate all the people who look forward to the editorial, so I said "FORGET IT!"

Bob's Editorial

Lately I have been rather impressed with the adventures that have been coming into the Eamon library; some of them taking off in new directions. I have noticed a migration from the straight hack-n-slash type to adventures aimed at children, educational adventures, humorous adventures and adventures with more puzzles to solve in order to survive instead of relying on the sword. Although this move is in its infancy, I predict we will see more of it. This should tend to broaden the story-lines with new imagination providing interesting and possibly thought-provoking adventures.

Personally, I would like to see something with a combination of humorous/puzzle types and educational/children types. I wouldn't mind trying to create some of these adventures myself; but alas, time does not permit me to see the completion of all of my ideas.

I feel there is a place for all types of adventures (sometimes ya just gotta kill somethin'!) and Eamon has some of the best adventures of any system, public domain or not. I salute the Eamon authors (many of whom are members of the club) for sharing their varied talents with us and look to the future of Eamon with optimism.

Club News

Newsletter publish dates

As you have undoubtedly noticed, the last couple of issues of the newsletter have missed the normal publish dates. Contract programming, our full-time jobs, re-organizing the club operation, writing programs to help keep us on top of the club a little better and having to spend a few hours a month with the family has left us with few hours for the newsletter. We wish to express our regrets for the timing problems and we would like to promise you it won't happen again and all that, but we don't know for sure.

The thing to remember is, we will always try to publish the highest quality newsletter possible and you will always receive at least 5 issues per year.

The months we try to put out a newsletter are: January, March, May, August and October. If we are late with an issue, please understand that it simply means we are still gathering information for it, and the issue will contain that much more when it does come out.

Bob Did This ↓
And now for a word from our newest writer here at the club, John's son Scott...

big Ann is on the mat big
Ann is mad at the man big Ann
is mad at Nate

Well, maybe he's a little too new. But experience is the greatest teacher. And besides, we write him off our taxes as a paid writer and the IRS says we have to publish his articles.

Ye Olde Staff

John Nelson – Eldest of the knaves
Bob of Davis – Knave of Ill Repute
Dan Le Cross – Knave of Non-Show-uppance
Steve the Mahr – Rogue Renegade
Thomas Zuchowski – Keeper of the Bugs
The Dover Boys – Knaves of Skullduggery
Rudolph Hess – Manager of Public Relations
Norbert de Ne – Illustrator du Bicyclette
Jeff Harris – Cartoonaire to the King
Larry Phenow – The Jester
Guido the Urp – Food Tester

Where are all these guys? I've never seen more than John and Bob around this place. They're invisible.

Eamon News

Item: Un-contest results – three adventures have been received for the "un-contest" we announced in the May newsletter (which was mailed in June I believe). The following are the adventure titles and authors:

113 Life Orb of Mevtrelek by Rick Volberding
??? Wrenhold's Secret Vigil by Bob Davis
??? Orb of My Life by John Nelson

The adventures have not been rated and are not yet on the distribution list except for Rick's, which was sent to a mail-order firm, and forced us to assign a standard number before we could announce, compare and review all three together. Such is life. The reviews, etc. will appear in the next issue of the newsletter so that both John and Bob have a chance to play all three. (This being some quirk of their own.)

Item: The IBM version of Eamon converted by Jon Walker is available from the club. This version is different than the version John is working on in several ways:

  1. Jon Walker converted the version 1.0 master; John Nelson is working on version 2.0.
  2. The I/O routines and character record are very cumbersome to with in the Walker version. This would make utility programs and other adventures harder to convert.

When the IBM version of Eamon is ordered, we will be sending out the Walker conversion until which time our own conversion is done. Although we will be distributing the Walker conversion, we do not plan to provide extensive support for this diskette.

Progress on the club's IBM version of Eamon: Still in test stage largely because we were waiting to see if Jon Walker had saved us time and work. The conversion will now continue, and it will have the advantages of easier I/O handling and a simpler character record format. This will make support and changes much easier to handle. (And who knows, maybe even a few enhancements.)

Item: New adventures!

110 Fire Island by Greg Gioia
111 Vacation in Europe by David C. Smith
112 Hills of History by David C. Smith
113 Life Orb of Mevtrelek by Rick Volberding
114 Thror's Ring by Tom Zuchowski

Fire Island is the first adventure by a new Eamon author. It is a very large adventure and we are planning to review it, hopefully next issue.

Vacation in Europe and Hills of History are two educational adventures. Vacation in Europe is reviewed this issue in Spotlight On.

Life Orb of Mevtrelek is the first response to our un-contest adventure. We had planned on holding back all of the un-contest adventures and releasing them all at once, but Rick sent his adventure to 3A at the same time he sent it to us and we have therefore been forced into distributing it early. The other un-contest adventures are still being withheld until evaluation is completed.

Thror's Ring is a very interesting-looking adventure that we are going to review next issue. It has some very unique features and promises to be one of the better adventures in the series. I'm holding you to it, Tom.

Utility Lines

by Bob Davis

Subject: Giving characters personalities
Diskette: Eamon Utilities IV
Program: Character Editor

My main complaint about going to the Main Hall and creating a new character is very rarely do I get attributes that fit the character I have in mind. For example: I wanted a big, belligerent ox who would send fear into monsters on first sight and didn't have to be a ladies man but could make a few friends. When asked for my name, I replied Gorgar the Beef. My attributes were generated and displayed: Hardiness – 12, Agility – 16, Charisma – 9. Tough-guy.

Well, not only am I going to have my way but I am going to have some fun at it, too. Enter on the scene the Utilities IV diskette. Once placed firmly into the drive, the all-powerful statement is typed "RUN CHARACTER EDITOR". Control is mine.

I select the slot and drive where my character disk will be inserted (this is a nice feature, especially when copying characters from one master diskette to another). I then display a list of my characters to select for edit. I can choose by name or record number. I choose by name, Gorgar the Beef.

An option menu springs up before me that lists various operations I can perform: update a character, write the updated character to the diskette, clone the character, create a new character, transfer the character to another diskette, etc. I selected the update function and another menu popped up listing every field in the character record with an associated number in front of it. All I have to do is pick the right number and start altering.

Let's start with hardiness; 22 should be more appropriate than 12. And I think an agility of 20 and a charisma of 16 is more suitable to Gorgar the Beef.

Each update made with ease, I now start looking for other things to change. Gold in hand, spell and weapon abilities, armor and armor expertise. A couple of times I got carried away and entered overly large numbers, but the program is checking up on me and won't let me have 100,000 gold pieces or armor of 27.

Just when I am about to run out of things to change, a very interesting item catches my eye – change weapon. Oh, what better way to set off an adventurer's personality but by the weapons he/she carries. I set my little mind into a creative frenzy trying to come up with suitable weapon names for Gorgar. How about a rock; that sounds belligerent. Now for something to portray his ox-like qualities – a barn door. And to round out his collection, a club and an anvil.

As you can see, this handy program allows you to give the adventurer the qualities you desire and also have a little fun at it. (Or in my case, a lot of fun.) I think this makes adventuring more interesting. Of course, you could modify the hardiness, agility, weapon abilities, etc. and make the character invincible, but killing every monster with one blow gets boring and in some adventures proves fatal.

The CHARACTER EDITOR program is easy to use, menu driven with all functions listed and has the following features:

  1. Edit any field of the character record.
  2. Give warnings of over-length and bad records.
  3. Display the character.
  4. Display a list of all characters on the diskette.
  5. Add or duplicate a character.
  6. Transfer the character to another master diskette.
  7. Go directly to an adventure using a selected character.

Previous versions of this program were okay, but the current version (which now comes up on the master menu as version 4.1) is greatly improved and much more bullet proof than previous versions.

Monster Battle improved

The Monster Battle program, found on Eamon Utility III, has been improved. While fooling around with it, we discovered selecting monsters for a battle to be a pain, so we changed the program to have a menu of the monsters available. You can select the monsters for battle by moving the inverse bar up and down the list. Selection can then be made by pressing <RETURN> when the bar is high-lighting the desired monster.

As you may have already noticed, the Adventure Log program found on the Eamon Utilities diskettes does not work when you get over 100 adventures. As a matter of fact, it doesn't work even on 100!

The reason for this is two-fold: 1) It doesn't have the tables dimensioned for greater than 100 adventures. 2) It tries to print the lists with the numbers aligned by printing two spaces less the length of the adventure number. For adventures numbered over 100, 2 - 3 = -1 – this blows the program off. I have fixed the current version of it to not do this. If you are interested, please send a SASE for a copy of the fix. No charge – we're a charity outfit.

Customizers Corner

by John Nelson

Last issue we showed how to convert your Eamon masters to use 256-character records. We didn't have room to print one of the program changes. We are printing the change to that program this issue. It is called Transfer Characters and is used to transfer a character from one diskette to another.

 120 INPUT "";N2$: IF N2$ = "" THEN 100
 125 IF N2$ = "?" THEN GOSUB 3000: GOTO 100
 128 IF N2$ = "Q" THEN END
 2100 GOTO 100
 3030 PRINT DK$: PRINT R;".";N$
 3040 IF PEEK (37) > 20 THEN PRINT "====== PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE ======";: GET A$: PRINT

Terminological Inexactitudes

Things appearing in this column must not be confused with actual facts.

Have you ever noticed that the Irishman behind the desk seems to come up with an appropriate phrase at just the right time? We wondered about this too, so we dug into the program and found some artificial intelligence accidentally left there by Don Brown (and don't ask where he'd get it!). We decided it might be really fun to put some real intelligence into the old guy. We picked up one of the new artificial intelligence chips – the IQ-200 chip (6502 compatible).

Wow were we surprised! The first time we tested it, John tried to sign in as Big Rolf the Crude. The guy behind the desk told him he didn't have time to play games, and that he should be working on the newsletter. Then he started listing off all the other projects that were stacked up, turned around, picked up his hat and walked out with the bar wench, and we haven't seen him since!! We had to de-install the chip and find another burly Irishman!

So you say your mother (or was it your wife?) says playing Eamon all the time will never get you anywhere? Well she's wrong! Just look at this:

Announcing the new Eamon trivia contest! Contestants will be asked 25 rounds of questions with all perfect scores advancing to the nationals to be held in Nicaragua (they have the cheapest hotel rates.) Some sample questions are:

  1. What is Vaprak's social security number?
  2. How deep is the Deep Canyon?
  3. Who put the hero in Heroes Castle?
  4. What is the total value of all treasure in all the adventures combined (within 5 gold pieces) if your charisma is 17?
  5. How many adventures did the mimic appear in?

We have been steadily improving and enhancing Eamon programs over the past couple of years, but have been unsure what system we want to use to keep track of the various versions. We formed a committee to resolve this problem and they came up with a program that would calculate the version number from all of the changes made to the programs. Using this new method, you may now order the following special diskettes by the version numbers given below:

Dungeon Designer Diskette version 6.00012105
Eamon Master 3.45/23 version 2.293236
Eamon Master/Tournament Combo version 2.120032.9

Spotlight On

by Bob Davis

(Ratings are given on a scale 1 to 10 with 10 highest. Format is R:D where R = rating for setting, description and plot; D = rating for difficulty, problem solving and survivability.)

#111 – Vacation in Europe (5:4)

by David C. Smith

Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: None – standard 6.0 commands
Special features: None
Playing time: 4 – 5 hours

A friend, Heinrich, has died. But he has left you an inheritance. Heinrich had always talked about going to Europe and you feel this is how he would like you to spend the money he left. Packing your weapons (apparently airport security is low) you board a plane and take off for the European continent.

After landing in London, you find that the flights out have been discontinued due to a strike. You long to find romance and fortune, but now must also find a way home.

This is the first adventure by David Smith and is written to be educational; a glimpse of Europe. David apparently has included some of his own experiences (including getting lost in Poland?) The descriptions of the countries include one or two characteristics of each and the map follows a European map pretty closely – although some countries are hard to find.

Several "keys" must be found to go through a series of moves to find a way home. The "keys" are not obvious and their locations cannot be deduced logically; they are seemingly hidden at random around Europe (hence the 4 – 5 hours).

I rated the adventure for its educational value and did learn a few things about Europe. For you puzzle solvers and warriors, this dungeon is probably not your style. Basically the action is restricted to searching for artifacts and locating the keys. There is lots of treasure, however; I sold my loot for over 10,000 gold pieces!

In summary, this is an educational adventure that is good for beginning adventurers. I believe with a little practice and intriguing plots, David Smith could make quite an impression on the Eamon world.

#108 – The Mines of Moria (8:8)

by Sam Ruby

Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: 6.0 commands, MINE, JUMP, EAT, TRADE, PULL, INSERT
Special features: Must SAVE to another diskette to save game.
Playing time: Undetermined (due to bugs), but less than 8 hours

It is a bad time for the free people. The forces of the Dark Lord, Sauron, are massing; armies of orcs, trolls and evil beasts are strengthening the shadow that will soon envelope the Earth.

For the moment, the land of the west is protected by the Misty Mountains, which Sauron is not yet ready to cross. The men of the south have been fighting bravely, but cannot hold out long against Sauron's dark forces. But there is hope. At great risk, a wizard and his ranger companion smuggled information out of Sauron's fortress which could be of great use to the men of the south. They set out to deliver the information but discovered all paths through the Misty Mountains were blocked due to winter storms and other routes were watched by Sauron. The two men decided to take the path that would not be watched by the Dark Lord because it is more terrible than his army – through the mines of Moria.

Built by the dwarves long ago, Khazad-Dum (the Halls of the Dwarves), became the center of dwarfdom. Skilled dwarvish miners built a kingdom under the Misty Mountains. The mines produced immeasurable amounts of gold, silver, iron, jewels and most important – Mithril, the most valuable metal on Earth! But the dwarves dug too deep and awoke evil things far below the Earth. Many dwarves were slain and the rest were forced to flee. The doors were shut and Khazad-Dum was renamed Moria – the Black Chasm.

As a precaution, the wizard left a copy of the information with the bartender at the Main Hall. The wizard has not been heard from and the bartender now gives you the information to deliver. Your mission is to enter the mines of Moria from the west, survive in Moria, find the exit, "East-gate", and deliver the information to friends.

The setting may sound familiar to you. It is from The Lord of the Rings. And like the book, the action doesn't stop. The monsters are mean and plentiful, the way through the mines is treacherous and the clues/hints are very, very subtle.

I found a variety of monsters from orcs to trolls and from spiders to dragons. The dungeon kept me interested with gates, cave-ins and chasms. A little humor is threaded throughout the adventure. All in all, I am very impressed with Sam Ruby's style. And this is his first adventure! What do I have to look forward to?

This is part one of a three part series. Part two is adventure #109 – The Forest of Fear. Part three we have not received yet but have learned from this adventure (#108) that it will be titled The Ring of Doom. One need not have to go through the series in order or have all three diskettes to play the adventures.

The only problem I had with The Mines of Moria were the bugs (see this issue's Bug Bytes column.) However, bugs in a good adventure are much preferable to perfect code (or no special programming) in a boring adventure. Sam Ruby definitely does not make boring adventures and seems to have a very good grasp of what the Dungeon Designer 6.0 can do for an adventure. I am looking forward to playing and reviewing The Forest of Fear.


Little Green Software has created their first graphic adventure for Super Eamon called The Haunted House. I am trying to acquire a copy, and when I do, will promptly play and review it in the next newsletter possible.

Bug Bytes

by Bob Davis

All revisions to programs refer to the main program (normally called MAIN PGM) of each adventure, unless otherwise stated.

#39 – Museum of Unnatural History

Problem: Program bombs when a diagonal direction is input for a command
Date fixed: 11/15/85
Cause: Adventure used the 10 direction program but the dungeon is a 6 direction dungeon.
Fix: Delete 285

Change 290 by inserting 3000, at the beginning 11 times.

Change 1910 to be 1910 DATA 38

Change 1920 by removing NE,NW,SE,SW from line

Delete 3015

Delete 3025

Change 3030 to be 3030 FOR D = 1 to 6: IF LEFT$(V$,1) <> MID$("NSEWUD,D,1) THEN NEXT

#61 – The Harpy Cloud

This program was changed to print the exits in the long description of the room. Only editing to the room files was done and changes are not required.

#78 – The Prince's Tavern

Problem: When using the GET command with an abbreviated subject (such as AXE for LARGE AXE) and the adventurer has no ready weapon, the message GOT IT followed by YOU AREN'T CARRYING IT is displayed.
Date fixed: 09/14/85
Cause: GET command works fine with the abbreviation, but when it detects that the adventurer has no ready weapon the GET routine passes the abbreviated name (AXE) to the READY routine which requires the full name of the weapon.
Fix: Change 4150 to be 4150 GOTO 17980

Problem: The exit to the tavern is not locked, but is supposed to be. The adventurer can leave without the key.
Date fixed: 09/14/85
Cause: Program didn't check that you had the key
Fix: Move 18200 to 18205

Change 18200 to be 18200 IF AD%(28,4) <> -1 THEN PRINT "YOU HAVE NO KEY!": GOTO 300

#87 – Caves of Hollow Mountain

Problem: Couldn't wear the pack artifact
Date fixed: 09/20/85
Cause: John forgot what he was doing!
Fix: Add 28060 IF A = 4 THEN 28100

Problem: Couldn't remove the helmet once it it worn.
Date fixed: 09/20/85
Cause: John was half asleep.
Fix: Add 28018 IF A = 9 AND AD%(A,4) = -99 THEN 28600

Problem: Adventurer's friends are to leave the room if the adventurer does something they consider disgusting. They didn't always leave even though the description indicated so.
Date fixed: 09/20/85
Cause: Variable R3 was not set to the current room before performing the reaction routine at 3600. The reaction routine believes the adventurer has moved to another room and calculates the courage of the monster to decide if the monster will follow the adventurer. This has the effect of moving the monsters that leave the room back into the adventurer's room which they tried to vacate.
Fix: Change 30360 by inserting R3 = ROOM before the GOSUB 3600

Problem: Adventurer never dies; message displays YOU ARE FEELING MUCH BETTER NOW.
Date fixed: 09/20/85
Cause: Test routines were left in the program (it just wasn't John's day).
Fix: Delete 2005, 16800, 16810 and 16840.

#108 – The Mines of Moria

Problem: Gates do not block passages correctly.
Date fixed: 11/06/85
Cause: Room connections did not indicate gates' blocking direction.
Fix: Use Dungeon Edit program on the Dungeon Designer Diskette to alter the following room connections. (Be sure the text files on the adventure diskette are unlocked before editing.)
Room Direction Was Should Be
13 North 81 116
28 North 29 122
41 East 42 128

Problem: INSERT command would reveal a lever which cannot be acted upon.
Date fixed: 11/06/85
Cause: Correct room to use the INSERT command is not being checked.
Fix: Change 28517 to be 28517 IF ROOM <> 91 THEN 90


Delete 28525

Problem: SYNTAX ERROR occurred whenever the GIVE command is used with a subject.
Date fixed: 11/06/85
Cause: Extra line in GIVE routine.
Fix: Delete 9015

Problem: Special programming in LOOK command to detect a pit doesn't work.
Date fixed: 11/14/85
Cause: Special programming in the wrong place.
Fix: Delete 6610

Move 6620 to 6085, deleting 6620

Problem: GIVE command does not transfer the artifact from the adventurer to the monster.
Date fixed: 11/06/85
Cause: Extra line preventing the GIVE command from working.
Fix: Delete 9097

Problem: If the adventurer comes upon the mithril gate and does not have the key to open it, there is no way for the adventurer to go back and get the key or continue the adventure.
Date fixed: 11/13/85
Cause: Human error.
Fix: Add a method of returning to another part of the dungeon if the key is not in the adventurer's possession by the time the gate is reached. Add:


Problem: Blast spell doesn't work.
Date fixed: 11/06/85
Cause: When determined that the spell is successful, the routine branches back to the main loop without performing the damage.
Fix: Change 11481 to be 11481 IF BB = 1 THEN R3 = ROOM: GOSUB 3600: GOTO 300

Delete 11485

Change 11536 to be 11536 AD%(87,4) = 0

Problem: No SAVE command
Date fixed: 11/12/85
Cause: Diskette is too full to save the game. This is a problem because the game can last awhile.
Fix: Added SAVE command to allow the game to be saved to another diskette.

Add 295 ON C - 35 GOTO 18000

Change 1910 to be 1910 DATA 36

Add 1930 DATA SAVE

Add 18000 REM ///SAVE




Problem: INSERT command always works as long as the adventurer has the item to be inserted, even if nothing is available to receive the inserted item.
Date fixed: 11/12/85
Cause: INSERT command not checking if the receptacle is in the room.
Fix: Add 28620 IF AD%(34,4) <> ROOM THEN PRINT: PRINT "IT DOESN'T FIT.": GOTO 300

DDD 6.0 – Dungeon Designer Diskette

Program: MAIN PGM
Problem: Could not FLEE in a room with exits northeast and southwest.
Date fixed: 08/10/85
Cause: FLEE routine in ten direction dungeons is only considering the fix six exits.
Fix: Change 270 by replacing 6 with ND

Change 8020 by replacing 6 with ND

Program: DUNGEON EDIT – version dated 3/09/85 only
Problem: Continuous insert was not indicated by an inverse I when editing descriptions.
Date fixed: 09/21/85
Cause: Human error.
Fix: Change 605 to be 605 I$ = "": H = PEEK(36): V = PEEK(37): HTAB 39: VTAB 1: INVERSE: PRINT MID$(" I",IS+1,1): NORMAL: HTAB H + 1: VTAB V + 1

Change 642 to be 642 IF A$ = CHR$(9) AND CI THEN IS = NOT IS: H = PEEK(36): V = PEEK(37): HTAB 39: VTAB 1: INVERSE: PRINT MID$("I", IS + 1,1): NORMAL: HTAB H + 1: VTAB V + 1: GOTO 615

Program: DUNGEON EDIT – all 6.0 versions
Problem: When duplicating a monster, the long description is copied from the last record edited and not from the record to be duplicated.
Date fixed: 11/03/85
Cause: Record number was not reset to reflect the duplicated record number.
Fix: Change 5410 by inserting REC = NO + 300 before GOSUB 20000

Program: DUNGEON LIST – all 6.0 versions
Problem: Main menu displays ENTER OPTION (1-6) when 7 options are available.
Date fixed: 11/13/85
Cause: Human error
Fix: Change 140 by replacing (1-6) with (1-7)

Adventure Tips

by Bob Davis

  1. In the Graphics Main Hall are many splendid and wonderfully enlightening things to do, such as gambling your entire fortune away. Once all monetary funds are depleted, the fun is generally over and gambling establishments will not let you participate any longer. This is also true at the Graphics Main Hall when trying to risk more than you have. But what about risking less than you have? A lot less, as in using the house's money! This can be done by using one additional keystroke when placing your bet.
  2. Ever wanted to show your friends a little of Eamon? You grab a character and run off to the Beginners Cave to give them a quick taste but find that you cannot get in because the Knight Marshall deems you over-qualified for the dungeon. Wouldn't you like to give that marshal a piece of your mind and go strutting in anyway? You can! Once he says you are too experienced, just type in CTRL-O and you are on your way. This same keystroke will also work when the Knight Marshall says you may only take one weapon into the dungeon. Note: This command only works on Main Hall version 2.0 diskette.
  3. In an adventure designed with the Dungeon Designer version 6.0, certain artifacts may be attacked, such as gates, doors and containers. But please, if you are going to attack a container, put it down first. Several cases have been reported where adventurers have become severely wounded, sometimes losing members of their bodies – particularly fingers. This message brought to you as a public service announcement.
  4. Another version 6.0 adventure tip – commands may be abbreviated as long as they are a) unique, or b) a direction of movement, within that adventure's list of commands. For example, the ATTACK command may by shortened to A as long as there is no other command starting with A. Directions are a little different. If you type in an abbreviation that is not unique, but it is a direction (such as D for DOWN when a DIG command is also possible), then the direction command will take precedence.
  5. One last 6.0 adventure tip – If you are having trouble surviving an adventure and need a little help, by all means try the power spell a few times. A "feature" exists where it is possible to raise your armor and heal some of your wounds at the same time. However, this may be changed in an adventure by a devious designer and therefore not always work.

Notices & Junk

by John Nelson

It has been a fairly quiet two months or so since last issue. We have been working on a new database to keep all of the members' information in and a new system for processing orders is being installed. Some of you may have noticed it only takes a few days to get your orders filled now. (As a general rule!)

We would like to become ever more proficient, seeking to top new heights in our quest to serve our members in the most efficient manner possible – to be able send out your order three weeks before we receive any knowledge of your very existence — uh, sorry, I got carried away.

Anyway, we would like to seek your input on how we can serve your needs better than ever before. What do you want from us, anyway!?

Please send suggestions for what you think would make us more efficient, productive, or helpful to you.

One thing some of you have been doing lately is writing things like bug report, order, etc. in the lower left hand corner of your envelopes. This really helps a lot. We can sort the mail a little faster and by glancing at an envelope sitting on the desk, we know what it is. We wouldn't mind if this were done all the time.

Designer's Den

by John Nelson

This issue I want to be stern to those who are not putting fun stuff in their adventures. I write these columns so people will get some ideas for neat stuff to put in their adventures. Some of you are not paying attention! Heads up! I want to see some improvement here. 'Nuff said.

This issue I will talk about:

  1. Gates for DDD Version 6.0 adventures
  2. Armor, buried treasure and other extended 6.0 functions
  3. A save game routine that works with a full disk
  4. Some previously undocumented 6.0 features

Part 1 – Gates – How to use them in Version 6.0

Gates were previously discussed in Adventure Log V1N4 for version 5.0. At that time, it was not believed necessary to do version 6.0 because in Version 6.0 gates and doors are handled automatically (as long as they are set up correctly). Since there has been some confusion, however, I will explain it in greater depth this issue.

In version 6.0, gates are artifacts just like a sword would be. But instead of having complexity, dice and sides – fields it has no use for – it has room into, key number and strength. These fields are used by the 6.0 base program to know how the gate functions.

The room into field tells which room you would enter once the gate or door has been opened.

The key number identifies which artifact you must have in your possession to open the door or gate.

The strength tells how strong the door or gate is. This will be how many hit points it could take if an adventurer started beating on it with a weapon.

The easiest way to explain how this works is to give some examples. Let's assume we want to have a gate in room 6, blocking passage east into room 7. We will assume we already have 14 artifacts on our file for weapons and treasures, so we will make the gate itself artifact number 15. It will require a key, which will be artifact 16 – an old iron key.

When entering room 6 in the dungeon edit program, when it prompts for EAST: We know we want to go into room 7, but there is a gate between these rooms, so we have to tell the base program (that will read this stuff later) that there is a gate there and which artifact number it is.

We do this by entering 115 for the EAST prompt. The fact that the number is greater than 100 tells the base program that this is a gate number, not a room connection. The program then has to look at artifact 15 (which it derives by subtracting 100 from the code for east) for further information on whether the gate is locked, etc.

When entering artifact 15, The Gate, the dungeon edit program prompts for Room or Room Into. This is where you enter the 7 for the room you will enter. The program will also prompt for Key Number, which in this case is 16, and the strength.

The strength is how strong the gate is. It is possible to break down gates with weapons by attacking them. The designer is responsible for saying how many hit points the gate can take before being broken open. This may be desirable for many reasons: Maybe the adventurer did a power spell and the key disappeared. Maybe he lost it, it was stolen or he can't find it. It allows a little more freedom of action for the adventurer. The designer may even intentionally or unintentionally not put a key into the adventure, intending for the player to have to break the gate down.

Once you have set up the east direction in room 6 as 115 and have set up the gate as artifact 15, having a room code of 7, a key of 16 and strength of whatever you want from 1 to 32767, the base program will handle the opening of the gate for you. No programming will need to be added. Artifact 16 can then be defined as a key, but it is really not an important part of the coding, it just has to be an artifact and should be a type 9 (key) artifact.

Part 2 – Number conventions for extended 6.0 usage

When I designed Version 6.0 of the Dungeon Designer, it was actually adopted from a Designer System for Knight Quest, a proprietary super system I was developing.

Using the same general principles developed there, I adapted some of the feature to Eamon. Room code conventions were set up for hidden artifacts, embedded artifacts, and artifacts inside other artifacts. Every room code you could ever imagine was established for Eamon. — (Oops! Wrong, Dragonlips.) We have plenty of other room codes that we would like to add to the system eventually, but have not had time to do it yet.

We want to establish standard codes, so that everyone will be using the same ones, and we will be able to put these room codes into the Dungeon List program, so that it can determine where things are.

The existing room codes for artifacts in DDD 6.0 are:

  • +100 for Inside a container
  • +200 for Embedded in the room description
  • +300 for Hidden in a room

Currently, monsters do not have the same room code conventions as above, but this is intended to be a future enhancement.

New room codes we want to add to the system:

  • +400 for buried in a room
  • +500 for randomly placed

While we are on the subject of DDD enhancements, further enhancements are also planned that will allow additional artifact types.

Current artifact types are:

0 – Gold
1 – Treasure
2 – Weapons
3 – Magic or Special Weapons
4 – Container
5 – Light
6 – Healing
7 – Readable
8 – Door / Gate
9 – Key
10 – Bound Monster

Additional artifacts are planned for the future as follows:

11 – Shovel / Pick
12 – Armor
13 – Booby Trap
14 – Magic / Special

Additional routines will have to be added to the base program to make these useful.

Digging routine could be something like:

 26000 REM /// DIG
 26010 GOSUB 4900
 26020 HS = 0: AF = 0: FOR X = 1 TO NA: IF AD%(X,2) = 11 AND AD%(X,4) = -1 THEN HS = 1
 26030 IF AD%(X,4) = 400 + ROOM THEN AF = X:
 26060 ?:?"YOU FIND NOTHING.": GOTO 300

Note: This will allow you to dig up only one artifact at a time. To find a second object (if there is one) the player would have to dig a second time.

To allow you to change armor within an adventure, a WEAR command could be added as follows. Note that field #6 of the artifact table will contain the hits stopped value for the armor and field #5 will contain the adjustment factor of the armor.

 27000 REM /// WEAR
 27010 GOSUB 4900: GOSUB 4700: IF NOT FO THEN 90
 27020 IF AD%(A,4) <> - 1 THEN ?"YOU DON'T HAVE IT.": GOTO 100
 27030 IF AD%(A,2) = 12 THEN AD%(A,4) = 0 : MD%(0,8) = AD%(A,6) : EA = AD%(A,5) : ?:?"OKAY." : GOTO 300
 27040 ?:?"YOU CAN'T DO THAT.": GOTO 100

Booby traps will be coded as if they were weapons, but will be activated when you try to get them. Modifications have to be made to the get routine. There is already a special pick-up routine that gets executed whenever you pick anything up. This routine is at 4200. The modifications below will recognize and process artifacts with a type of 13 as booby traps.

 4210 IF AD%(A,2) = 13 THEN R = AD%(A,5) : GOSUB 23800 : D = AD%(A,7) : S = AD%(A,8) : DF=0 : GOSUB 7635 : RETURN

This code checks that it is a booby trap that the adventurer was trying to get and, if so, reads the appropriate effect from the EAMON.DESC file by setting the record number to AD%(A,5) and doing a GOSUB 23800 to read and print the effect. It then sets up the defender as the adventurer (DF=0) and does a GOSUB 7635 to accumulate the damage and check injuries, etc.

Of course, you will want to be fair to the adventurer. If he examines it before picking it up, he should have a chance of detecting that it is a trap. You would accomplish this by adding code to the look routine. A couple of suggestions on doing this: 1) You could make the discovery a random chance or a sure thing. 2) You may want to have another field (field #6) be something like a) a new artifact type that replaces the 13 upon discovery that it is a booby trap, or b) be the effect number that is read to explain what you find by examining the artifact (a trip wire, a poison needle, etc.). The look routine should have some means of disarming the trap or at least recognizing it.


To use field #6 as a new artifact type:


To use field #6 as an effect number:

 6710 IF AD%(A,2) = 13 THEN AD%(A,2) = 1: R=AD%(A,6) : GOSUB 23800 : RETURN

AD%(A,2) = 1 sets the artifact type to 1 (treasure). This in effect will disarm the booby trap. If you didn't want to disarm it, but only recognize it as a booby trap, then omit this portion of the statement.

Part 3 – Save Game Feature for large adventures

While we were playing The Mines of Moria we felt an irresistible urge to save the game and come back to it later. This was impossible, because the save game feature had been partially removed by the author. We were able to save the game anyway by interrupting the program with CTRL-C, putting in a diskette with a lot of free space on it and typing POKE 51,0: GOTO 18040.

To restart the game, we copied MAIN PGM onto the disk with the save files and ran that program. The program would then bomb on the OPEN statements. At that time, we switched diskettes again, to put the regular diskette (MINES OF MORIA) back in, and typed POKE 51,0: GOTO 29060 - wa-la the game was restarted.

To provide a cleaner way to restart a large adventure, the designer should make the following changes to the base program:


To insure these are the correct line numbers for the version of the program you are using, the first line (18045) above should be just after the line to CLOSE the files and do the X = FRE(0).

The second line (29055) should be just before the OPEN statements in the restart routine.

Part 4 – Undocumented features in Version 6.0

There are some features in the newest version of DDD that have not been documented anywhere. They were put in during development of some of the adventures. These features are:

  1. Plural monster capability
  2. Healing potions are not necessarily good for you
  3. Temporary truce is possible

1. Plural monster capability – If you have a monster that is really a plural – slaves, guards, army, etc. – and don't want this to print as ARMY ANTS IS HERE (improper grammar!) set the monster's weight to 9999 in the edit program. A line in the base program checks this and when it finds 9999 for a weight, it prints ARMY ANTS ARE HERE.

If your version does not have this, here is the code that does it:

 150 FOR M = 1 TO NM: IF MD%(M,5) = ROOM AND MD%(M,15 = 1 THEN PRINT MN$(M); " "; MID$("ISARE",1 + (MD%(M,6) = 9999) * 2,2 + MD%(M,6)=9999));" HERE."

Also lines 7655 - 7675 could be changed similarly, but this has not been incorporated into the DDD yet.

2. Did you know you can make a "healing potion" that hurts the adventurer, instead of helping him? All you have to do is make the effect of the healing potion a negative number. When you do this, and the adventurer drinks it, he gets the message SOME OF YOUR WOUNDS SEEM TO OPEN! instead of SOME OF YOUR WOUNDS SEEM TO HEAL!

3. If you have a base program that was created after Temple of the Trolls was written, you have a temporary truce ability. This allows you, as the designer, to set a fixed number of turns where battle will not occur. This comes in handy when you are in the middle of a special process, such as a trading with an enemy or a sales transaction, etc. To use this feature, set the variable TT to the number of turns the truce is to be called for. Each turn, the TT counter is set down by 1. If it reaches zero, the truce is over and the battles may commence.

If your version does not have temporary truce, you can install it by making the following changes.

510 IF TT THEN TT = TT - 1