Source:Eamon Deluxe Player's Manual, 2nd edition
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Source:Eamon Deluxe Player's Manual, 1st edition
First Edition published April, 1999 and November, 2007. Second Edition published October, 2012.
Welcome to the Marvelous World of Eamon Deluxe!
Eamon Deluxe is a computerized version of what are called fantasy role-playing games or "RPGs" for short. When you enter the universe of one of these games, you become a member of the Free Adventurer's Guild in the world of Eamon. This Guild is made up of hardy individuals who, instead of seeking standard employment, choose to live by their wits, defeating horrible monsters and finding glorious treasures.
Unlike most RPG gaming systems, Eamon Deluxe sets no direct goals to achieve; there are no experience points to earn and no way to finish or "win the game." The main focus instead lies upon character development and the amassing of wealth. If so desired, personal goals may also be set (do good to the less fortunate, destroy all evil beings, etc.) and incorporated into each adventure.
A brief history of Eamon: Donald Brown, John Nelson, and the NEUC
Eamon is one of the oldest computer role-playing gaming systems in history and certainly the most enduring. As I write this, Eamon is now about thirty years old and the gaming formula is still unique and going strong with new adventures being developed and distributed within an active online community.
The original version (hereafter referred to as "Classic Eamon", "vanilla Eamon" or simply just "Eamon") was developed in the early 1980's by a man named Donald Brown. Don created a system that consisted of a master floppy disk (with the Main Hall and Beginner's Cave on it) where one could store characters they had created, carry out common transactions, and be launched into a multitude of adventure settings and scenarios. Each Eamon adventure was a separate floppy disk (or disks) with a database of rooms, monsters, treasure, etc..
Brown did an excellent job of simplifying complex paper and pencil RPGs (like "Dungeons & Dragons") and integrating that genre with the popular "adventure game" style (which tends to focus on puzzle solving, ignoring character development). The result was a unique gaming formula with open-ended development possibilities that made it highly appealing to both gamers and game designers alike. The name "Eamon" (commonly pronounced "E-MUN") was reportedly picked by Brown, at random, from a nearby Irish dictionary during development.
Eamon was released into the public domain as non-commercial software and Brown encouraged people to do whatever they wished with it. Brown himself wrote the master Main Hall disk, a few manuals and utilities for creating adventures, and eight adventures that showed off a variety of ways that Eamon could be expanded. He went as far as including examples of adding sound effects and even a graphic interface before completely leaving the Eamon world, never to be heard from again.
After Brown's departure, the Eamon reins were taken up by a fellow Des Moines, Iowa resident and computer store patron named John Nelson. Nelson started the National Eamon Users Club (NEUC) and personally continued development of the vanilla Eamon system using Brown's original formulas and source code.
The NEUC assigned official numbers to each adventure created for the Eamon library, which soon included over one hundred entries, and a produced a semi-regular newsletter. Nelson's development contributions included bug fixes, slight expansion of the master disk programs and a new set of utilities. Nelson, who contributed eighteen original adventures of his own to the library, standardized the base system to automate such things as doors, healing potions, and the level of light in rooms.
A brief history of Eamon: Thomas Zuchowski and the EAG
Eventually Nelson started focusing on porting Eamon to the PC and his Apple II Eamon involvement, along with the NEUC newsletter, became increasingly sparse and sporadic. Finally, in a desperate act of preservation, a club member named Thomas Zuchowski "continually nagged" Nelson until he finally agreed to turn over control of the NEUC library, membership records and remaining funds.
Tom, who had previously authored several high quality adventures (as well as the popular character editor program that is included on the NEUC's Main Hall distributions), successfully resuscitated the club. Renaming it to "The Eamon Adventurer's Guild", Tom created a professional base for Eamon fans with a regular newsletter that would continue for fifteen years! Tom also personally continued to develop the Eamon system; using a mixture of Brown's formulas and his own, he redesigned the database and main adventure programs to be more efficient and take up less disk space, considerably increasing the speed at which the system loaded and ran. Among other improvements, Tom also updated the manuals, made the player interface more friendly, and continued the automation of handling certain item types (including a standard system for armor and other "wearable" items).
A brief history of Eamon: Matthew Clark and the EAG website
Interest in Eamon had waned considerably by 2001 and development of new adventures appeared to be coming to a halt, so Tom Zuchowski started procedures to officially shut the Eamon Adventurer's Guild down. By 2005 Tom permanently left the scene, passing control to a man named Matthew Clark. Matt had already spent several years building and maintaining the official Eamon Adventurer's Guild website and also authored a high quality Eamon adventure of his own.
As of the last count, there are 258 adventures written for the Classic Eamon system, as well as multiple utilities and customized Main Hall disks. There are also multiple cross-platform Eamon ports and "cousins."
Known Apple II based systems derived from Eamon are: Super Eamon, Eamon Pro, Eamon II, KnightQuest and Donald Brown's own commercial Eamon clone, the SwordThrust series. The known cross-platform attempts over the years include ports of Eamon to the Atari 5200, Atari ST, Commodore 64 (under the name "Imagery!") and several MS-DOS renditions. Strangely enough, there was no known port of Eamon for the Apple II's successor, the Macintosh, until 2012 when Eamon Deluxe 5.0 was released as a cross-platform system.
Currently, all versions of Eamon can be downloaded from Matthew Clark's Official Eamon Adventurer's Guild website: www.eamonAG.org. The Guild website is the largest Eamon resource in the world and is also the official home of Eamon Deluxe 5.0: www.eamonAG.org/pages/eamondx.htm.
This concludes the "brief" history of Eamon, a system which, after thirty years among the world of computer gaming, is still too unique to be easily explained or described. Cheers to those thirty years, to everyone who has been involved with Eamon, to the modern release of Eamon Deluxe 5.0 and to the next thirty years of Eamon gaming.
-Frank Black September, 2012
A brief history of Eamon Deluxe: Versions 1 and 2
Eamon Deluxe began as a leisurely project started in December of 1997 and first released in May of 1998. The project started as an MS-DOS port of an unreleased Apple II upgrade to Eamon 8.0. There were already two known MS-DOS ports, both named "Eamon", so the working name for the new system was, for lack of a better name, temporarily (and jokingly) called "Eamon Deluxe" to avoid any potential confusion. By the time Eamon Deluxe 2.0 was released the next year, it included so many enhancements and improvements that the term "Deluxe" actually seemed relevant and the name became permanent.
Initially intended as a learning tool for the author, Eamon Deluxe was meant to focus on creating NEW Eamon adventures and taking full advantage of a more advanced hardware and programming environment. Porting classic adventures was tedious work during the first few years, with all of the text and data from each adventure having to be copied and entered manually. Likewise, all of the unique code which comprised each converted adventure's various special effects had to be reverse engineered and adapted for the new environment. Because of the massive amount of work involved, only a few select adventures from the Classic Eamon library were originally intended to be ported to Eamon Deluxe.
Eamon Deluxe 2.0 was released in December of 1998 and among a few other classic Eamon ports, it included all adventures written by both the author and Donald Brown. Rather than assign new numbers to each of the conversions separately, multiple works by the same authors were combined into a single database and released as special "adventure sets". The method used to create these adventure sets was very bulky and inefficient at that time, therefore no further large conversion "sets" were planned.
A brief history of Eamon Deluxe: Version 3
The 3.0 upgrade was started in the summer of 1999 and included a major system overhaul and a revised numbering system for the adventure lists. These revisions were the results of Tom Zuchowski sending a copy of his new "Eamon CD" to the author. The CD suddenly made the entire Classic Eamon adventure library available, along with Emulators to run them in MS-DOS, making it possible to automate much of the conversion process. After a few test runs using emulator extraction, the author was inspired with a plan to include conversions of all known Classic Eamon adventures into the Eamon Deluxe library.
The obvious next step was taken to condense the conversions into organized collections rather than single entities. A new "Multi-Adventure" system was designed and soon permanently integrated into the Eamon Deluxe system framework. Included among various system design upgrades and improvements, was the first port of the Graphic Main Hall originally written by Rick Volberding for the classic Apple II Eamon system.
At the time of its release, Eamon Deluxe 3.0 included the completed sets: Beginners Adventures, The Donald Brown Adventures, The Jim Jacobson Adventures, and The Frank Black Adventures.
A brief history of Eamon Deluxe: Version 4
The Eamon Deluxe 3.0 framework proved to be very stable which allowed further development to focus solely on classic adventure conversions. While working on these conversions, the base adventure programs were heavily debugged and revised, leading to the release of Eamon Deluxe 4.2 in the fall of 2001.
Adventure conversions continued from 2001 to 2006 as time and interest permitted. During that time two original adventures, Journey Across the Muerte Sea and Realm of Fantasy, were also written by new authors specifically for the Eamon Deluxe system.
Sadly, the entire project was discontinued indefinitely in 2006 due to a lack of outside interest, real-world demands, and increasingly difficult compatibility issues which arose with the release of each new Windows operating system. The final public release of Eamon Deluxe 4.2, along with almost all of the existing classic adventure conversions, was made available for public download on the Eamon Adventurer's Guild website, where Eamon Deluxe would sit and remain dormant for the next five years...
A brief history of Eamon Deluxe: 5.0
In November of 2011, a hard drive containing the work directory for Eamon Deluxe 4.5 (which had never been publicly released) was successfully salvaged. Among various minor revisions, version 4.5 included Realm of Fantasy, several new conversions in the Classic Eamon Adventures Volume Three set and an adventure menu list which used "The Waiting Room" as a "dummy" placeholder for adventure sets which had not yet been completed.
In December of 2012, as upgrades were being applied to an intended public release of version 4.5, there was a sudden explosion of renewed interest in Eamon Deluxe and a decision was made to revise and improve the entire system. The final revision of Eamon Deluxe 4.5 was archived in The PC Eamon Museum (with a few humorous alterations) and the 5.0 revision project was started.
Eamon Deluxe 5.0, while maintaining backwards compatibility and a similar interface, is a significant departure from all previous versions. The base adventure programs were rewritten from scratch, as were most of the system programs and utilities. The intent being to make the programs more efficient while adding a multitude of new and enhanced features. Among the most significant improvements were cross-platform compatibility for modern operating systems and the addition of "VI Mode", an alternate output method which makes the system totally accessible to vision impaired or disabled users, into the system framework.
Installing and running Eamon Deluxe 5.0
Windows: Run the installer program.
Mac OS X: Unzip the package and move "Eamon Deluxe 5.0" into the Applications folder. Open the app to start.
Linux: The Eamon Deluxe for Linux "package" is comprised of data files only and will work on any Linux distro that can run DOSBox. Install DOSBox first with a package manager if needed. Eamon Deluxe will not run without DOSBox (or a similar DOS emulator). When the Eamon Deluxe Linux "package" is extracted, it should contain the Eamon Deluxe home folder ("/edx") and a plain text file named "README" which has detailed installation instructions and tips.
Nintendo Wii: [This requires prior installation of the Homebrew Channel, the DOSBox app, a USB keyboard, and an SD card with at least 50MB of free space available. Eamon Deluxe for Wii consists of data files only and will not work unless ALL of the above requirements are met.] Simply extract the Eamon Deluxe for Wii "DOSBox" folder, copy it to the SD card and start the DOSBox app. An interactive menu will launch automatically which offers, among other choices, the option of running Eamon Deluxe.
ALL OPERATING SYSTEMS:
The first time Eamon Deluxe is launched after being installed or upgraded, a prompt will appear, asking if "VI Mode" is required. This refers to an alternate output mode that has been designed for compatibility with with screen readers and other custom access software which is used by vision impaired or disabled players.
Unless a screen reader or similar device is actually being used, simply hit the "N" key to enable Standard Mode and you won't be asked again. If, however, YOU ARE using a device which requires VI Mode output, hit the "Y" key and then the "X" key at the following prompt for verification.
The Eamon Deluxe Main Menu is displayed upon startup. This menu offers options which lead to all other areas of the gaming system. To switch between Standard and VI Mode output, reset the speed for special events, or modify other Eamon Deluxe system settings, choose the Control Panel option. If VI Mode is needed but has somehow been turned off, press "7" and hit Enter at the main menu then simply hit Enter again at the Control Panel menu to reset the display mode.
Windows version only: Using the VI Mode desktop icon or Start Menu shortcut will change the default display setting to VI Mode before launching the system.
Eamon Deluxe is a dynamic system which allows for system upgrades and continued expansion of the adventure library. With version 5.0, the system has been revised so that new versions can be installed over older ones without losing any character files, new adventure designs, or other personal data. The only requirement is that the file system location and structure is kept intact after the initial installation (including the Start Menu entries in the Windows version).
The Official Eamon Deluxe Homepage contains download links for all supported versions of Eamon Deluxe. These links are updated frequently to reflect new changes and additions. An existing Eamon Deluxe installation can be updated to the latest release by simply downloading the latest release and installing (Windows, Linux) or copying (Mac OS X) it over the previously installed version.
Note: While most user data is unaffected, updating Eamon Deluxe WILL destroy any saved games. It is recommended (although not required) that all characters are returned to the Main Hall before updating.
Far away, at the dead center of the Milky Way, is the planet Eamon. It doesn't orbit any suns, two great suns orbit it! The shifting pull from these great bodies bring strange forces to bear upon this planet; twisting light, tides, even the laws of science itself! Strange things happen on Planet Eamon, and the citizens must always be adaptable, for things are rarely what they seem, and quite often not the same as they were from one day to the next!
Eamon Deluxe is played through characters who are imagined to be citizens of this weird world that belong to the famous Free Adventurer's Guild. Free Adventurer's are men and women who have dared to seek their fortune in the marvelous world of shifting laws and time. Players will often find their characters fighting terrible monsters such as orcs, trolls, and dragons and claiming various riches and treasure as their own. However, Planet Eamon is bound by no laws of time or space and anything can happen once an adventure has been started. At any random time a character could end up facing such varied opponents as Billy the Kid or Darth Vader!
Basic character attributes and abilities
Eamon Deluxe is a mixture of several popular types of gaming systems. The two core aspects of that mixture being "adventure games" and "fantasy role-playing games." In an adventure game, a player normally progresses through the exploration of pre-mapped settings, often having to locate special objects or solve various puzzles to proceed on to other parts of the game, until reaching the ending.
Role-playing games (or "RPGs") also involve diverse pre-mapped settings, but rather than playing a single adventure in the first person perspective, RPGs are based heavily upon creating and developing characters which the player then takes on many adventures, imagining themselves as these characters as they explore and make decisions. Characters can quickly develop through shrewd adventuring; growing stronger in various attributes and skill levels, while gaining wealth, and acquiring better equipment.
All new characters created in Eamon Deluxe start at a beginning level, but, just like the people playing them, they are also a diverse group with different strengths and weaknesses to work with and build upon. Three numbers (or "attributes") will describe the general physical makeup of a newly created character. These are called Hardiness, Agility and Charisma. These attributes are each obtained by the computer rolling three eight-sided dice and adding the results together. Thus the numbers can range from three (the lowest) to twenty-four (the highest), with most rolls averaging around twelve to fifteen.
This technique is called "rolling three-die-eight" (commonly written as "3D8") and the terminology comes from various multi-sided dice used in the original pencil and paper style role-playing games upon which computer RPG games are based. Aside from looking interesting, these strange dice are used to determine random factors, adding a stronger sense of reality to the experience.
Along with the three main attributes, characters are also defined by various skills, including weapon abilities, spell casting and combat experience involving fighting while wearing heavy, protective armor. While a character's skills will increase with use, the three basic physical attributes cannot be changed through "natural" means in any way. However, Eamon is a magical world, and ways may be found to increase (and sometimes decrease) a character's attributes in certain adventures; also, when a character becomes wealthy enough, there are special shops in the village and practice areas just outside of the Main Hall which are rumored to be able to boost any attribute or ability (see section 7 for more information).
For those who wish to instantly create a character with specific attributes, ability levels, etc. (and who don't mind a little "cheating"), Eamon Deluxe includes an editing program which allows every aspect of a character to be customized to exact specifications (see section 8.1).
For the sake of example in the next few sections, it will be assumed that a new character named "Hedric the Horrible" has just been "created", with a Hardiness of thirteen, an Agility of twenty and a Charisma of five.
A character's Hardiness has two major effects, the number of damage points that their body can withstand before they die and the total amount of weight in weapons, armor and other objects that they can carry with them. The name for the standard unit of weight in Eamon Deluxe is called "gronds." Gronds are sometimes further split into tenths using a smaller unit called "DOS" (so one grond equals ten DOS) but there is no real reason for the DOS unit other than that is what Donald Brown decided when he created the original Eamon system. Eamon Deluxe preserves this system and further standardizes it as one grond generally weighs as much as two gold coins, however, cumbersome items (like a stack of plates or a full quiver of arrows) can weigh more in gronds than they would if only using the two-coin system.
Hedric the Horrible, whom we just "created", has a Hardiness of thirteen. This means he can withstand thirteen harmful "hits" (damage caused by attacks from an enemy, being poisoned, setting off traps, etc.) before he perishes. Hedric can also carry up to ten times his Hardiness in items, or one hundred thirty gronds. The amount of weight a character can carry is a static number based upon their base hardiness, not the number of hits they have taken, so they are still able to carry the same amount whether critically wounded or in perfect health.
The only major effect of a character's Agility in Eamon Deluxe is found in combat. A character with high agility is more likely to strike an opponent and also to dodge attacks from that opponent as well. Some adventures will also use character Hardiness and/or Agility to determine other factors which are specific to that setting (like the chances of successfully opening special objects or avoiding dangerous traps).
A character's Charisma is a combination of both their physical attractiveness and how likable their personality is. Charisma can often effect how the citizens and other sentient beings on Planet Eamon will react to them.
For example, many merchants will offer slightly better pricing deals to a likable character with a high Charisma than they will to a character with an average or low Charisma. While on an adventure, a character's Charisma may also effect how some creatures will react to them; choosing to attack, ignore, or become friends with them. The more friends a character has in an adventure, the more help they have during battles.
The actual percentage adjustment that Charisma has upon the decisions of others (or "Charisma Factor") is figured out by subtracting ten from the character's Charisma and then multiplying the difference by two.
For example: The smelly hermit from the Beginner's Cave has a base friendliness of 50%. This means that Joe Normal with a charisma of ten will get to make friends with the hermit 50% of the time. However, Hedric the Horrible (with his Charisma of five), has only a 40% chance of making friends with the hermit. Lovable Linda, with a maximum charisma of twenty four has a 78% chance of making friends.
Joe Normal: (10 - 10 = 0, 0 x 2 = 0). 50% + 0% = 50%. Hedric the Horrible: (5 - 10 = -5, -5 x 2 = -10). 50% + -10% = 40%. Lovable Linda: (24 - 10 = 14, 14 x 2 = 28). 50% + 28% = 78%.
Many of the beings encountered on adventures, however, will have a pre-set friendliness factor and thus react the same regardless of your character's Charisma. A rat with a friendliness rating of 0% will never be a friend, be it with Joe Normal, Hedric the Horrible, or Lovable Linda; likewise, a fellow adventurer with a friendliness rating of 100% will always become a friend to your character.
Being a rough and violent world, combat is often an important aspect of Eamon. In most adventures, combat is taken care of on a blow-by-blow method: Every valid combatant in the room gets one turn to attack one enemy, the effects of that attack are calculated, and the result (hit or miss) is applied.
All weapons are simplified into types zero through five. Type zero is "natural weapons" which can include just about anything but will always have the same odds (0% bonus) and can never be dropped or broken. Weapon types one through five are: Axes (any "chopping" weapons), projectile weapons (everything from a standard archery set to a machine gun), clubs (any blunt weapons), spears (all weapons which are used with lunging or jabbing motions), and swords.
Weapon types one through five have what are referred to as "weapon odds" or sometimes "weapon complexity". This is a number that reflects the quality of the weapon and how hard it is to use properly. A club may have an odds value of twenty since it is easy to use, while a more complicated weapon such as a bow may have a negative odds value (-10 is common for bows). The actual effect of weapon odds on a combatant's chances to hit their opponent is described in further detail in section 4.3.
The amount of physical damage a weapon will cause an opponent is determined by the damage "dice" of that weapon. All weapons (including "natural") have a pre-set number of dice with a pre-set number of sides. An average sword has a damage level set around 1D10 or 2D5; meaning one ten-sided dice that causes 1-10 points of damage or two five-sided dice that cause 2-10 points of damage respectively. A normal "powerful" weapon will have a damage level of around 2D8 (capable of doing 2-16 points of damage).
Standard levels of armor are also divided into types. Even numbers determine the actual type of armor, with odd numbers indicating that a shield is also included. For example: Chain armor alone has a value (or "class") of four, chain armor with a shield is class five, and so on. Armor class names are used generically, regardless of what the armor is actually comprised of (a dragons with class four armor made of scales would is still considered as having "chain armor").
In most cases armor is factored in as "hits absorbed" from an attack, meaning the wearer has a certain amount of damage deducted from the total applied when struck in combat. They basic "armor class" and the hits deducted by each is as follows:
Armor Class Name Hits Absorbed ----------------------------------- 0 ............None .........0 1 ............Shield .......1 2 ............Leather ......1 4 ............Chain ........3 6 ............Plate ........5 8 ............Magic ........7
Armor also affects the odds of one opponent striking another in combat (after all, one just isn't as agile when fighting from within a tin can!). All non-character combatants are affected the same by weapon quality and armor encumbrance factors, with the assumption that they know all their skills on an average level, while characters have abilities that often start out in a lower range but increase to highly skilled levels given time and experience. The actual effect of worn armor on a combatant's chances to hit their opponent is described in further detail in section 4.3.
Weapon types and character weapon abilities
All new characters start with the same skill levels for weapon expertise: 5% for axes, -10% for projectile weapons, 20% for clubs, 10% for spears and 0% for swords. These numbers reflect that an inexperienced adventurer who is just starting out is more likely to hit with an enemy with a club than with an arrow.
Weapon abilities can be increased through the successful use of each type of weapon in combat. If Hedric the Horrible is fighting a troll and scores a successful hit, then a dice roll will be used to determine if Hedric learned anything about how to use his weapon better; his chance to learn is the same as his chance to have missed, so a one hundred-sided "percentage" die (or 1D100) is rolled.
For example: If Hedric's chance to have hit was 40%, then he will have a 60% chance of his weapon ability going up by 2%. In the next round, his chance of hitting the same opponent would then be increased to 42%, while his chance of raising his ability would reduce to 58%. Weapon abilities will continue to increase until the natural limit of 100% is reached.
Armor types and character armor expertise
Character's can use shields and several types of armor to help protect them from bodily harm. As mentioned above, the stronger the armor, the more cumbersome it is and this will affect your character's chance to hit an opponent in combat until they fully develop a skill called "Armor Expertise."
The following chart describes the types of armor, the amount of protection they provide, and how much they reduce a character's chance to hit their opponent. As with the similar chart above for non-character armor class, even numbers are types of armor and odd numbers mean that a shield is also included.
Armor Class Name Hits Absorbed Odds Adjustment ----------------------------------------------------------- 0 .........None ...........0 .................0% 1 .........Shield .........1 ................-1% 2 .........Leather ........1 ................-4% 4 .........Chain ..........3 ...............-16% 6 .........Plate ..........5 ...............-36% 8 .........Magic ..........7 ...............-36%
The odds adjustment here reflects a new character with and Armor Expertise of zero. As the character becomes used to the constricting effects of fighting and maneuvering while wearing armor, their increased Armor Expertise will reduce the odds adjustment until, finally, armor has no negative effects at all.
A character's Armor Expertise ability is developed the same way as their weapon abilities: Every time they successfully strike an opponent in combat, 1D65 is rolled. If the result is larger than the odds adjustment of their armor versus their current Armor Expertise then their ability is increased by 2%. Armor Expertise will continue to increase until it reaches the maximum limit of 65%, whereupon any type armor can be worn without negative effects.
Basic combat: attacking an opponent
Every time that a character attempts to strike another living being, there is a percentage chance of success which is figured by comparing multiple factors. Likewise, opponents have a similar set of factors that determine their chance of success when attempting to harm your character.
All combatants are given the base chance of 50% plus two times the difference in agility and armor between them and their target. If a weapon is being used then half of the "weapon odds" value is added (up to a maximum increase of 15%). If your character is the attacker then their Armor Class, Armor Expertise relevant weapon ability is also figured into their odds to hit.
Once the odds to hit have been determined, a roll of 1D100 is made and, if the roll ranges from one to the percentage chance to hit, the blow is a considered a success and the resulting effects are determined. In addition, there may also be magical or other extraordinary effects in some adventures which will factor into combat as well.
If the roll is greater than the chance to hit then the attacker will either simply miss their opponent or fumble the attack. A fumbled attack can result in several negative effects upon the attacker, including, among other things, dropping their weapon, damaging their weapon, breaking their weapon, or hitting themselves instead.
As explained in section 4.1, when a blow hits, a random amount of damage is done to the target. This amount of damage is based on the weapon's dice and number of sides to those dice. This base number of damage is usually lowered by the armor worn by the defender; leather armor and shield each take one point of damage, chain takes 3, and plate armor takes 5 points of damage away from that taken on the body (all effects are cumulative and magical devices may sometimes act as armor).
That, of course, is what usually happens. However, due to flashes of good luck or clumsiness weird things can happen. For example: in many of the classic adventures, about 5% of the time an attacker will get what is called a "Critical Hit". That will get one of the following results (each result is followed by the percentage chance of its occurrence): Ignore armor (50%), three-halves normal damage (35%), twice normal damage (10%), triple normal damage (4%), or an automatic kill (1%). This was a standard in the early versions of the original Eamon system and was carried over to many Eamon Deluxe conversions (such as The Donald Brown Adventures) to make them more authentic. The Beginner's Cave has standard "classic" combat and the Eamon Deluxe Demo Adventure has standard "modern" combat.
About 4% of the time the attacker will fumble with his weapon. It will have one of the following effects: Recover from fumble without any other effect (35%), drop weapon (40%, if the attacker is using natural weapons such as claws, the attacker simply recovers instead), break weapon (20%, with a 10% chance of hitting oneself at the same time), Hit self normally (4%), and hit self with double damage, ignoring armor (1%).
The strange shifting forces around Planet Eamon constantly create effects that can only be described as magical. However, most of these effects are extremely localized to a particular adventure setting and will not be consistent from one foray to the next.
There are four common spells that work almost everywhere. Any character can pay a knowledgeable wizard to teach them these spells at a starting level. When they first learn a spell, a 1D100 die will be rolled and they will start with an ability level ranging from 25% to 75%. As with combat abilities, there is a chance that each spell ability can be increased every time your character successfully casts that spell; if a 1D100 dice roll is less than their chance to not have cast it, their ability will increase by 2% until they reach the 100% natural limit.
For example: Hedric has now learned the BLAST spell and been given a starting ability of 30%. If he successfully casts the spell and a 1D100 roll yields a result from one to seventy then his overall ability for that spell will increase to 32%, with a roll from one to sixty eight being required for the next increase.
There are also "wildcard" rolls involved in spell casting: A roll from one to five will always be successful and a roll of one hundred will overload your character's mind and they will not be able to cast that spell for the rest of the adventure.
Due to the tiring effects of sending supernatural powers through their body, every time your character attempts to cast a spell (regardless of whether or not they succeed) their next chance is reduced by half until they "rest up" their brain for a bit. The STATUS command can be used to see the actual values of their current spell abilities as well as their overall spell abilities among other useful information.
Note that this is the way that the four common usually work. Eamon Deluxe is a marvelous and very random world and spell abilities may not drop at all when your character uses them in some adventures, while in other places spells may work quite differently or sometimes not at all.
The Blast spell
This spell can be used by your character to send a magical blast of pure energy at either an opponent or an item (such as locked doors or chests). If successfully cast, a BLAST spell will always hit its target and do 1D6 in damage. Also, if the target is a living being, armor will not help absorb any of the damage from a BLAST spell.
The Heal spell
This spell can be used to remove damage points from either the character casting it or any other living creature (in effect, "healing" them). If successfully cast, a HEAL spell will remove 1D10 in damage points from its target.
The Speed spell
If successfully cast, a SPEED spell will double your character's agility for a random amount of time (ranging from eleven to twenty turns). If a SPEED spell is cast successfully while another one is already in effect, the new spell will increase the amount of rounds left, but it will not have the effect of further multiplying a character's agility. The SPEED spell is mostly useful when a character is engaged in combat with a skilled opponent, has a long paper to write within a short amount of time, or needs to study for an exam.
The Power spell
Depending upon the adventure your character is on, successfully casting a POWER spell may cause a harmless diversion or have powerful effects (both helpful and harmful in nature). It's basically a call to the magical forces around your character that says, "Hey, do something!" In many adventures, Power will do little more than make a loud noise, in many others it may be the key to surviving or moving on to different points in the game. If you become totally stuck (or just feel daring), give POWER a try.
Relating with citizens, monsters, and other living beings
There are two places your character will be encountering other denizens of Planet Eamon, on their adventures and at the Main Hall of the Guild of Free Adventurers.
The Main Hall and its surrounding areas are heavily protected by the Guild and, while your characters may communicate with the various people there to do business, they will not be permitted to start fights or break any other rules. The Guild also enforces fair business policies on the various merchants so, while they will not do you any real favors for your characters (except possibly giving them good prices depending upon their Charisma), they will not cheat their customers or otherwise harm them. They are mostly simple businessmen and women, out to relieve Free Adventurers of their gold while helping outfit them to go get more as well.
During your adventures outside of the Main Hall, however, anything can happen. By default, the being found in an adventure may seem rather simple-minded; when they first meet your character, they will decide if they like them or not, dislike them or choose to ignore them completely. If they decide to become friendly then they will follow your character around and fight on their side during any battles. If they don't like your character...then they will most likely try to fight them in deadly combat. Once they make up their minds, they will usually keep with their decisions, unless your character does something particularly nasty (such as ATTACK a friend) or nice (such as give a "neutral" monster extremely valuable items or large sums of money).
Just because monsters do or do not like your character does not always mean that they will fight to the bitter end either; some, including both enemies and friends, will be less courageous (or smarter) than others and will run from what they view as a losing battle. In some adventures they will run out of exits and into a nearby room to which you can follow them. In others they may leave the game completely, never to return.
All Eamon adventures are unique, however, and some will allow your character to interact further with its inhabitants, including options to make small talk, ask important questions, have conversations, give orders, get ideas, play games, etc..
The Main Hall, the Village, and the Practice Yard
Your new headquarters will be a room you rent at the Main Hall of the Guild of Free Adventurers. You can buy weapons, armor and even spells there, as well as train to advance your skills, gamble and get lost in other friendly diversions. You can check out your character's current attributes, skill levels and possessions. You can also keep some money with the banker (money in the bank is safe if you're robbed on an adventure but, then again, you can't use it to ransom yourself out of a sticky situation either!)
Those who are familiar with Classic Eamon will notice that Eamon Deluxe features an extended Main Hall, three times the size of the original, which has two added areas of interest for your character to wander about if you so desire.
It seems that the traditional open enrollment policy, combined with the lure of easily obtained wealth and fame, has turned the Guild of Free Adventurers into a major enterprise on planet Eamon over the years, attracting many of the courageous and not a few of the foolhardy to seek fame and fortune by the sword. This large influx of adventurers has also lead to what business leaders call a subsidiary industry. A small village has been constructed just outside the gates of the Main Hall, its residents eagerly waiting to provide extra special services to those who make a living as professional heroes. However, unlike those who run their businesses from within the Main Hall's gates, none of these village merchants carry the Official Guild Seal of Approval, and any business interactions with them is considered done at your character's own risk...
At the center of the village is a mysterious statue, thought to have been setup by some of planet Eamon's very few benevolent priests in memory of all those adventurers who have lost their lives while out on adventures. It is rumored that some sort of spirit lives within the statue, and that those who approach it respectfully will receive a reward (though whether this is true or just a rumor is quite uncertain). The odds are that, even if such a spirit did exist, it would likely be limited in its power, so anyone seeking it should probably not get greedy with hopes of repeated showers of such blessings.
South of the village is the "practice yard". It is located slightly away from the other businesses, so that the sound of clanging weapons and magic sonic blasts won't interfere with the more peaceful activities of its neighbors too much. In this practice yard can be found teachers, skilled in the various adventuring arts, who are ready to help you increase your skills-- for a large fee, of course.
In the middle of the practice yard lies the info booth. Nobody is exactly sure what the shady character who runs it does, other than directing the more obtuse adventurers to the different trainers available. It is rumored, though, that he also has information about hidden valuables which he may offer to share. For a price.
Buying weapons and armor
Marcos Cavelli owns a small weaponry outlet in the Main Hall which deals in standard weapons and armor at fair prices. New characters start out with 200 gold pieces to spend on equipment which should get them leather armor and at least one decent weapon if they visit Marcos' shop.
Marcos carries the five standard weapons: An axe, which does 1D6 of damage and has a base price of 25 gold pieces, a 1D6 bow for 40, a 1D4 mace for 25, and a 1D8 sword which has a base price of 30. Marcos will also buy used weapons. He will pay 15 gold pieces for an average or poor quality weapon and considerably more for better quality weapons, it all depends on what you have.
Marcos' base prices for armor are 50 gold pieces for a shield, 100 for leather, 250 for chain mail, and 500 for plate armor. He will also give you a trade-in credit for your old armor (at a bit less than what you paid for it).
Marcos' credit terms, like all of the businesses in the Main Hall, are very simple: None.
Hokas Tokas, the resident wizard of the Main Hall, is willing to teach anybody spells for a price. His base prices for spells are: 100 gold pieces to Learn POWER, 1,000 for HEAL, 3,000 for BLAST and 5,000 for SPEED. Hokas is gruff but fair; he will never cheat you and will stick by you until you learn your spell.
Shylock McFenney, the local banker, will open up an account for any member of the Free Adventurer's Guild. He is absolutely trustworthy with the funds left in his care and does not charge any fees. He also does not pay interest, nor does he make loans (he makes enough money from adventurers who deposit money with him and never return.)
Ernst Stavro Jesse James Schmitt runs the "Paris Casino" which is always open, always lively and always offering free drinks accompanied with an invitation for Free Adventurers to risk their gold pieces. Many a fortune has been built, just as many a fortune has been lost, in the blink of an eye, after being bet against the spin of one of Schmitty's brightly colored roulette wheels.
Though many an unlucky gambler has bitterly accused Schmitty of rigging the wheels, in truth the odds that the wheel gives aren't too bad, and not a few adventurers have left the tables with more than they entered with. Schmitty doesn't seem to notice the rumors some patrons spread about his integrity, he just chuckles and maintains his pleasant, outspoken demeanor, knowing that it means business is good (and that those spreading the rumors will most likely be back for more).
The Good Witch's Emporium
A beautiful and mysterious lady, nobody is exactly sure where the witch came from, though since she arrived she has seen a brisk trade among the Guild's Adventurers. What exactly goes into her magic potions is a mystery, though judging by her prices the ingredients are most likely rare and expensive.
Her draughts can raise your character's various attributes by one point, and can even raise some of them over their natural maximum levels, though each drink will cost several thousand gold pieces (with, perhaps, a slight discount if your character's Charisma is already above average or more).
Grendel's Exotic Weapons and Custom Smithery
When Marcos' weapons are found to no longer be adequate for the seasoned adventurer, those lucky adventurers who have survived long enough to become "seasoned", start having to look outside the Guild walls for exotic, more powerful weaponry. Upon arriving at the village, Grendel the smith was quick to fill that gap, and he now offers a highly reputable, yet somehow still discrete service; providing an assortment of high quality, and/or individually tailored implements of destruction for the wealthy aggregator.
Grendel's used weapons usually include a stock starting with 2D8 weapons of all types for 500 gold pieces and ending with up to 2D16 strength weapons that sell for 1,200 gold pieces. Alternatively, if your character has acquired enough money, they can pay Grendel to design a custom weapon built to their specifications (choosing everything from its name, to its complexity, to its total damage potential). Weapons may be built with a deadliness factor of up to 3D12, although such weapons do not come cheap and may in fact require a small fortune be paid to Grendel before he begins work.
Spell practice (with a licensed wizard)
It is well known around the Main Hall that there is certainly no love lost between this extremely polite mystic and resident mage, Hokas Tokas. Indeed Hokas' drunken ravings about "that smarmy git" have become something of an occasional, highly amusing entertainment at the Main Hall bar. It can't be denied though, that the mystic's focusing and concentration techniques have lead many average adventurers to some truly staggering heights of magical prowess.
For a humble fee of 1,000 gold pieces, the mystic will give your character a chance to practice one of their spells. This has the potential to raise that spell up by several points, even allowing them to raise it higher than that natural limit of 100% (though, the truly unlucky will risk a chance of paying the fee only to learn nothing at all).
Weapon Wielding 101 with Don Diego
Some have said the sum of Don Diego's abilities with every type of weapon is surpassed only by the size of his ego. However, the quality of his teaching can't be denied and for 1,000 gold pieces per strike, he'll offer your character the chance to improve their weapon abilities by attacking one of his practice dummies. All sales are final and there is no guarantee: your character may get lucky and raise a skill by several points or simply learn nothing at all. Like the practice yard's mystic, Don Diego can also help your character raise their weapon skills well above their natural limits.
Mastering the art of wearing one's clothes properly
Usually adventurers only get smacked by a giant's club when trying to relieve said giant of their money and treasures. The giant who resides in the practice yard, however, realized that, by aiding adventurers in the skill of efficiently fighting while burdened under the weight of heavy armor, he could keep his treasures, get paid heavy fees, and still have the satisfaction of smacking adventurers silly with his club.
For 1,000 gold pieces per strike, the giant will take a swing at your character. Should they successfully dodge his attack, they will have a decent chance of increasing their Armor Expertise by several points. Though, should the giant manage to clobber them, they won't learn anything at all (and may even suffer some temporary memory loss instead).
Examining your character and leaving the universe
Unlike most things at the Main Hall, it does not cost you anything to examine your character or quit Eamon Deluxe. The first option will create a "character sheet" style display similar to using the STATUS command when on an adventure, but with slightly more information. Exiting the universe will safely stow your character away until you are ready to return to the Marvelous World of Eamon Deluxe for further adventuring.
Using the Character Editor
A complete character editor has been included for those who wish to customize their characters to exact specifications. The character editor can also be used to revive the dead and return characters directly to the Main Hall if they are on an adventure. Eamon Deluxe places no restrictions upon how characters are created or developed, leaving those decisions entirely up to the player.
For those who wish to create a custom character that is strong enough to complete almost all Eamon Deluxe adventures, yet still "average" enough to keep the experience challenging, use the following as a guideline for attributes:
Hardiness=40, Agility=30, Charisma=24, Armor Expertise=65%, heal=200%, all other spells=100%, all weapon abilities=40%. They should also be equipped with plate armor, a shield, and at least two 2D8 weapons with about a 25% complexity each.
Using test characters
Another fast and convenient way to play an Eamon Deluxe adventure is by selecting the "Test an Adventure" option from the Adventure Design Menu. This option will let you select from a special set of pre-made characters and go directly to an adventure rather than creating and equipping a "real" character.
The test characters are available in both genders and have attributes ranging from somewhat weak to nearly invincible. Test characters never change, no matter what happens to them while on an adventure, and are allowed to be on an unlimited amount of adventures at the same time. Note for the nostalgic: The classic Apple II test character, "Sam", has been included (renamed "Zombie Sam" in Eamon Deluxe 5.0.)
Going on an adventure
Many of your exploits will involve exploring castles, caves, dungeons, and other places reminiscent of common adventure games. However, Eamon Deluxe is vast and unusual and there really is no "typical" adventure setting. Along with classic mediaeval-themed dungeon crawls, there is also a wide variety of science fiction or contemporary themed settings. Ranging from the darkest dungeons, to distant planets, to the modern day sewers beneath the city of Chicago, Illinois, one can never know what to expect from one adventure to the next.
Your character can only go on one adventure at a time (character data management would otherwise be impossible) and must be returned to the Main Hall before they can embark upon another adventure. Classic Eamon collections (such as "Beginners Adventures") are counted as a single adventure for such purposes even though they actually contain several individual adventures within them. Test characters (see section 8.2) are recommended for those who simply wish to browse these multi-adventure sets.
You can quit playing an adventure whenever you want by using the QUIT command. Use the SAVE command first if you wish to return to the exact point from which you are quitting, and use QUIT HALL to remove your character completely from the adventure (or adventure set) and return them to the Main Hall exactly as they were before you started the adventure.
To return to a previous game, select the option to continue a saved game (regardless of whether you actually used the SAVE command or not) from the main Eamon Deluxe menu and, once the adventure has started, use the RESTORE command to load a previously saved game if desired.
If your character is dead (and you don't mind breaking the laws of nature) or has somehow become stuck "on an adventure", the Character Editor can be used to place them back at the Main Hall, alive and well (see section 8.1).
Returning from an adventure (selling your loot)
When you return to the Main Hall from an adventure, you will first be stopped by the Knight Marshal on duty who checks the number of weapons you are bringing back with you. If the total count is greater than the legal limit of four, you will be asked to select the ones you want to keep and allowed to sell the extras with the rest of your loot.
Once the Knight Marshal lets you through the first gate, you will proceed to the local buyer of treasure and booty. This is usually Sam Slicker, a shrewd and experienced (but fair), business man who has been in the adventure resale business a very long time.
Characters with a decent Charisma can often haggle an extra five to ten percent on the resale value of most items, while certain things (such as gold or other precious metals) will always be worth the same amount no matter what.
Standard commands in an Eamon Deluxe adventure
The following commands are standard in nearly every Eamon Deluxe adventure. To see the current command list for an adventure, enter a question mark at the command prompt. To repeat your last command, hit Enter without typing anything (this is useful during combat, among other things). The HINTS command will bring up the help menu which includes general tips for playing Eamon Deluxe as well as any notes, tips, solutions, etc. which are specific to the current adventure.
MOVEMENT COMMANDS: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, UP, DOWN, and FLEE.
Try and move your character in the given direction if possible. In some adventures you may also be able to move diagonally using the commands: NE, NW, SE, and SW.
If combat gets too rough, you can attempt to run away with the FLEE command. If you don't specify which way to go (FLEE SOUTH, FLEE DOWN, etc.) then the game will send your character scrambling in a randomly chosen direction.
ITEM MANIPULATION COMMANDS:
CLOSE: Attempt to close a door or container.
DRINK and EAT: Attempt to consume something.
DROP: Drop a carried item. DROP ALL: Attempt to drop every item your character is carrying.
EXAMINE: Repeat the long descriptions of items and monsters. May also reveal "hidden" items (those mentioned in a description of something else, but not immediately listed as being in the room). Examining monsters will also report their current health status. Examining food or beverages will tell you how many drinks/bites are left. Extra information may also be available for a variety of items.
GET: Attempt to pick up and carry an item. GET ALL: Attempt to GET every item in the room.
LIGHT: Turn on items that are used as light sources so that you can see in dark rooms. If an item is already lit, LIGHT can be used again to extinguish it. Note that in certain adventures LIGHT may also be used to light something on fire or perform other actions.
OPEN: Attempt to open things.
PUT: Attempt to place one item in or on another item.
READ: Attempt to read various item with markings on them.
READY: Select and equip a weapon to be used in combat. When your character starts an adventure, either the most powerful weapon they are carrying (Eamon Deluxe 5.0) or the first weapon in the list (older versions) will automatically be readied. The same applies when a GET command is used and your character does not have a weapon readied.
REMOVE: Either make your character remove something that they are wearing or attempt to remove one item from another.
USE: Generic command which can have a variety of functions. Many adventures have items which produce all sorts of interesting effects when a character is told to USE them.
WEAR: Have your character equip armor (including shields) or put on clothing, shoes, hats, jewelry, or anything else which one might wear.
ATTACK: Use a weapon against items or other living beings. It is sometimes possible to force open locked doors or containers this way. Verification will always be asked when your character tries to ATTACK any being that isn't an enemy so as not to unintentionally harm a friend or innocent bystander.
FREE: Attempt to release a captive from various imprisonment.
GIVE: Attempt to give money or items to others. Enter a numeric value for the subject to give away gold pieces (e.g. GIVE 100). Neutral beings can sometimes be bribed into becoming friends if they are given 5,000 gold pieces or an item of equal value. When others are given drinkable or eatable items, they will usually just take a drink or bite and hand it back. If they are given a weapon, they will READY it if they don't already have one.
REQUEST: Ask another being to give your character an item which they are wearing or carrying.
SMILE: Kill 'em with kindness. Every living being in the room will display a reaction showing how they currently feel about your character. Different or special reactions may occur in some adventures, however the default reactions found in most are growl (enemies), ignore/look (neutral beings), and smile (friends). SMILE can also be used to simply pass a turn.
These commands only work after your character learns the related spells.
BLAST: Attack an enemy or an item with a magic blast of energy. A successful BLAST will do 2-10 points of damage (ignoring enemy armor factors) and can be useful when your character doesn't have a weapon or is facing a heavily armored foe.
HEAL: Either heal your character's wounds (when entered without subject) or heal those of another living being.
SPEED: Temporarily double your character's agility. This spell can be useful when losing in battle to a skilled opponent or attempting to thoroughly clean and organize a house in one afternoon.
POWER: An unpredictable spell of randomness which has useful or amusing effects in most adventures.
INVENTORY: Display a list of all of the items your character is wearing and carrying. If INVENTORY is entered with a subject then it will display a list of items worn and carried by another being instead.
STATUS: Display a classic RPG "character sheet" style layout with a detailed report of your character's current skills, attributes and other data. STATUS will also display special reports or effects in some adventures.
LOOK: Repeat the long description of the current room. Unlike many classic Eamon systems, LOOK does not find hidden objects or doors in Eamon Deluxe. Instead, the EXAMINE command is used to search for and reveal such things.
SAY: Make your character say something. Anything. A lot of adventures have "magic" words or phrases which trigger special effects. SAY VI MODE is a system command which toggles extra screen clearing off and for the current adventure.
SAVE: Eamon Deluxe adventure allow for up to five different saved games. If entered by itself, a prompt will follow asking which saved game slot to use and if a new name for that slot is desired. Entering SAVE 1, SAVE 2, etc. will "quick save" the game using the slot number specified, keeping its current description. Save 1 [Name] will save your game in that slot and change the description to whatever you specify.
RESTORE: Restores a previously saved game. Works just like the SAVE routine, with RESTORE 1, RESTORE 2, etc. used to invoke the "quick restore" feature.
HINTS: Displays a menu with general help along with any available hints or notes specific to the current adventure.
QUIT: Stop playing the adventure and return to the Eamon Deluxe main menu. QUIT HALL: Exit the adventure completely, removing your character and placing them back at the Main Hall in the exact state they were in before the adventure was started.
Credits and license info
Credit goes to the developers of the original Apple II Eamon system, Donald Brown, John Nelson, Rick Volberding and Thomas Zuchowski. While obviously and intentionally based upon Classic Eamon, Eamon Deluxe is a unique system written and developed entirely by Frank Black Productions. It is intended as a tribute to Classic Eamon, a preservation effort, and a gateway for the continued creation and enjoyment of Eamon adventures in a modern environment.
Along with those mentioned above, special thanks also go out to:
Matthew Clark for creating and maintaining the official home of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild. Matthew and his website have long been an indispensable resource to the Eamon community.
The DOSBox Team (www.dosbox.com) for providing me with one of the tools needed to continue the development and cross-platform distribution of the strange, continually-mutating creature that is Eamon Deluxe (still in its native environment, long after support for that environment was abandoned by its own creator). DOSBox 0.74 is free software distributed under the GNU General Public License.
Luke Hewitt and Patrick Moen for their extensive help in the inspiration, development and testing of VI Mode.
John MacArthur, Jared Davis, Thomas Ferguson and Derek C. Jeter who were the first authors to pen adventures using the Eamon Deluxe system. Thomas deserves extra thanks for all of his work with recovering lost treasures, converting classic adventures, and a multitude of other contributions to the Eamon community.
And, of course, all of the game authors out there who contributed their own entries into the massive and varied Eamon adventure library. Whether it be a 26-room, 5-monster cave or a Middle-Earth epic, every Eamon adventure is a fun and fantastic journey into the imagination of its creator and is a piece of gaming history.
Eamon Deluxe 5.0 - A complete fantasy/RPG/adventure gaming system. Copyright (C) 2013 Frank Black Productions
Eamon Deluxe is released as free software under the GNU General Public License and is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. For more information write to: Free Software Foundation, Inc. 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111 You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
Donations are very much appreciated but never required; all I really ask is that you have fun.