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Donald Brown / CE Software
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Source:SwordThrust Manual (Softsmith version)
Welcome! You are about to enter the imaginative world of fantasy role playing. With the help of your Apple II computer a new world of excitement and adventure is open to you... the world of SWORDTHRUST. You need not have read this manual to participate in the world of SWORDTHRUST, but it will give you a better insight to the workings and procedures of the SWORDTHRUST system. If you type in something that the computer doesn't understand, a list of known commands will be listed for you (please note that commands may vary from adventure to adventure). Future adventures will include any special instructions that are needed. Go forth, into the dark reaches of your own mind; dare to challenge the problems that plague and perplex you in your quest for gold and glory... in the world of SWORDTHRUST.
a game for the barbarian in all of us
by Donald Brown
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Your character
- 3 Combat
- 4 Magic
- 5 Relating to others
- 6 Actually playing the game
- 7 The adventure scenarios
- 8 Tables
- 9 Epilogue
Damien crept down the corridor, a sword in his right hand, a shield in the left. He came around a corner, and saw a door to the east. Deep growls came from the room. Saying the magic words taught to him by the old wizard, his mind slipped from his body and passed through the oaken door. There were two bears inside! He floated into the next chamber and found the golden statue he'd been looking for. He'd have to fight his way through the bears to get his hands on it. Suddenly, the spell expired and he was back in his body. He rested, regaining the strength lost by using his magic. He dropped everything except his armour and weapons, and charged into the room.
When you enter the universe of Diurla, where SwordThrust is based, you become a member of the adventurer's elite, the Guild of Free Rogues. You will go in search of gold, magical weapons, fame, and danger. And, due to its unique modular design, there will always be new places to explore. The limits of Diurla will never be found.
This manual has all of the instructions necessary to run characters in Diurla. Sections II through V describe the underlying logic and rules of the system. Skim through these once, then go to section VI which gives directions for playing the game on your computer. Don't be intimidated by the size of this manual – much of it covers what the computer is doing internally. You don't need to know all of these rules to play the game; learning them as background will merely let you come up with better reasons for why things are happening to you than merely "the gods hate me".
NOTE: Those who are familiar will the author's game of "The Wonderful World of Eamon" will recognize many similarities to SwordThrust, and thus may have a slight "edge" in this game. However, SwordThrust is far more realistic and complex. Study this manual carefully, or you may find yourself in trouble!
In SwordThrust, you will be controlling the actions of a character inside the computer. Up to fifteen characters may be stored on the SwordThrust Master Diskette at the same time. (Whenever a character is killed, there will be room for another one to take its place.) All characters are not created equal. There are several numbers that describe your character's beginning abilities – Hardiness, Agility, Charisma, Fatigue and Left Hand rating.
Hardiness describes the physical brute force of your character. It begins at some random number between three and twenty-four, with the most probable hardiness falling between twelve and fifteen. It has two major effects on what happens to your character.
First, hardiness controls how much your character can carry. Weight is measured in gronds. A weapon will weigh roughly two gronds, a shield will weigh four gronds, a suit of armour will weigh one grond, and a coin weighs 1/100 of a grond (so a bag of one thousand coins will weigh ten gronds). You may carry up to five times your hardiness in gronds and remain lightly encumbered. If you are carrying from five to ten times your hardiness, you are encumbered. If you carry from ten to twenty times your hardiness, you are heavily encumbered. You cannot carry more than twenty times your hardiness. The level of encumbrance affects how quickly you tire (see Fatigue) and your chance of hitting with your weapons (see Combat). Additionally, you can only swim if you are lightly encumbered.
The second effect of hardiness is to describe how many points of damage your body can absorb before being killed. Every time a monster gets a successful blow on you, or you set off a trap that does damage to you, some number is added to the total amount of damage you have taken. If the total amount of damage is ever greater than or equal to your hardiness, you are dead! Magic can cure the damage done to you, and you will be completely cured whenever you begin an adventure.
To show what hardiness does to/for you, consider that fabled Free Rogue, Howard of Ducksblind Hollow. He has a hardiness of 13, and so he may carry up to 65 gronds (a bag with 6500 gold pieces would do this) and remain lightly encumbered. If he carries from 66 to 130 gronds, he is encumbered, and if he carries from 131 to 260 gronds, he is heavily encumbered. If he stuck his hand onto an electric wire that did ten points of damage to himself just before getting into a fight with a wolf and the wolf does more than two points of damage, Howard will be killed! However, if Howard survives the fight, he may use magic to cure those ten points back. For a more complete look at taking damage, see Combat.
In various adventures, your hardiness may also have other effects. For example, the amount of time you may hold your breath while under water is limited to thirty seconds per point of hardiness, so Howard can hold his breath for six and a half minutes. Monsters (a generic term meaning any being you meet during the adventures) can always hold their breath one second longer than you can.
Your hardiness will only change under the influence of rare magical devices that you may find in the caverns, but beware! These things may either increase or decrease your hardiness. If your hardiness ever goes to zero or below, you are dead. Nothing may permanently increase your hardiness above thirty.
Like your Hardiness, your Agility begins at some level between three and twenty-four, usually somewhere between twelve and fifteen. It describes your speed and dexterity, and has its most major effect on combat – several factors are added together to find your chance of hitting with a weapon, and one of these factors is twice your agility. Therefore, Howard (who has an agility of twenty) has a twenty percent greater chance of hitting than Damien (with an agility of ten), all other things being equal. This is explained in depth in Combat.
From time to time, your character will blunder into a trap that he may or may not be able to pull out of, such as falling into a pit while making a desperate grab for something to hold on to. Your chance of avoiding the trap may be affected by your agility.
Again, only magic will permanently change your agility. One of the magical spells you can learn, Speed, will temporarily double your agility. If your agility ever falls to zero, you are dead. Your agility cannot PERMANENTLY be raised above thirty. (If you have an agility of twenty, and you cast the Speed Spell, then your agility will be temporarily increased to forty.)
Charisma describes how attractive you are to others. In addition to physical beauty, it also includes your personality, your speaking voice, anything that makes people say, "Gee, what a great guy (or gal)."
Again, your Charisma begins at some level between three and twenty-four. Only magic can change your charisma. Your charisma cannot go above thirty. If your charisma goes to zero or less, your character is not dead, but will be unable to gain any gold until it is brought back up again.
There are two basic effects of charisma. The first affects the chance of monsters that you find in the dungeons of liking you. For every point of charisma above ten that you have, a monster is two percent less likely to hate you, and two percent more likely to help you. (This also reverses – if your charisma is below ten, monsters are more likely to hate you and less likely to help you.)
The second effect occurs while you are in the Main Hall of the Guild – prices for items you purchase will be lower if your charisma is higher. The exact effect is that whenever you encounter someone to haggle with, he comes up with a subjective charisma which is within three points of your real charisma. Then, the prices for the items you wish to buy are multiplied by ten divided by the subjective charisma. (If you are selling something, the price is multiplied by the subjective charisma over ten. This multiplier is also used when you sell your various treasures at the end of an adventure.)
And, as before, there may be other special effects of charisma built into special adventures, such as the chance of some high wizard being coerced to do you a favor, which will be affected by your charisma.
The Free Rogues are considered to be the elite of the Adventurers. Therefore, any character generated with a total Hardiness, Agility, and Charisma of less than 39 has the option of committing suicide (which will cause new attributes to be generated) instead of entering the Guild.
Left Hand Rating
By an odd stroke of fate, every character in Diurla is right-handed. Most characters have two hands. The most common ways to attack are using a two-handed weapon or having a weapon in the right hand and a shield in the left. However, a few characters from time to time will give up the extra power of a two-handed weapon and the protection of a shield to get a second attack, and fight with weapons in both hands. When this happens, the Left Hand Rating affects your chance to hit with the weapon in your left hand.
Your Left Hand Rating is a multiplier that begins from twenty-five to ninety-nine percent. The chance of hitting a target with a weapon in your left hand is the chance of hitting the target if that weapon was in your right hand, multiplied by your Left Hand Rating over 100. (See Combat.) This rating can be increased through experience up to 100 percent.
Only rarely will your Left Hand Rating be used for anything other than combat.
In addition to experience, magic may be able to increase your Left Hand Rating, and magic or mechanical traps may be able to decrease your Left Hand Rating. If your left hand ever becomes so mangled as to bring your rating down to zero, you will still be able to use a shield, but you cannot use a two-handed weapon or fight with two weapons.
There is a fourth attribute, whose beginning value depends entirely on your hardiness –
Your character has a "Fatigue Reservoir" (often called "Fatigue Points" or merely "Fatigue") that define how many various sorts of actions you can perform before you exhaust yourself.
Your Fatigue Reservoir begins at twice your hardiness, but can increase to any amount. Various actions affect your Fatigue –
Resting one round regains two fatigue points that you have used (it cannot regain points beyond your fatigue reservoir).
Attacking uses up one fatigue point, unless you are heavily encumbered in which case it uses up two.
Moving one room will waste one fatigue point if you are heavily encumbered, but will regain one fatigue point if you are lightly encumbered. (If you are encumbered, your fatigue does not change.)
When you flee from a monster, you waste one fatigue point if you are lightly encumbered, two if you are encumbered, and four if you are heavily encumbered.
Casting spells uses from one to one hundred fatigue points, depending upon the spell cast. (See Magic)
Whenever you take damage to your hardiness, an equal number of points are taken from your fatigue. When those points of damage are healed, the fatigue points are NOT regained at the same time. You must rest to regain them.
Magic, or other events unique to the various adventures, may use up fatigue.
There are four levels of fatigue – if you have used from zero to one-fourth of your fatigue reservoir, you are rested. If you have used from one-fourth to one-half of your fatigue, you are a trifle weary. If you have used from one-half to three-fourths of your fatigue, you are tired. If you have used up over three-fourths of your fatigue, you are exhausted. The level of fatigue will affect your chance of hitting in combat. (See Combat).
If you ever use up all of your fatigue, you fall unconscious, and will automatically rest until you have at least one fatigue point. If combat is occurring when you become unconscious, that combat will continue. If your opponents win (all of your allies either die, fall unconscious, or flee the room), you will be killed by the victors. Every turn that you are unconscious and combat is not going on, there is a one percent chance of being killed by wandering monsters.
Every time a fatigue point is usefully used (casting spells and attacking are useful; moving, fleeing, and taking damage are not) there is a ten percent chance that your fatigue reservoir will increase by one. Therefore, when you cast the Deathspell, which uses 100 fatigue points, on the average your fatigue reservoir will go up by ten points. (It could go up anywhere from zero to 100 points, though neither extreme is likely.)
Other attributes (Parrying Ability, Armour Expertise, and Weapon Expertises) begin at the same level for all players and only affect combat.
When Howard swings his great sword at the terrible monster (or the terrible monster tries to bite back) many factors must be considered to discover whether or not the sword makes contact with the monster and, if so, what damage is done.
The first factor is the player's or monster's agility – the chance of hitting begins at twice the agility.
The next factors are affected by the weapon. Every weapon has six attributes – a name, a weapon type, the number of hands needed to use it (one or two), a weapon complexity, and two numbers describing the damage.
The weapon complexity is added to the chance of hitting (a good quality weapon will be more likely to hit and thus will have a higher complexity).
Next, the player's expertise for that weapon's type is added in. All weapons can be put in one of five classes – Axe, Bow (this includes all missile weapons such as slings, crossbows, and ICBMs), Club (which includes all blunt weapons such as maces and morning stars), Spear (any weapon one primarily jabs with), or Sword. Every character has a separate weapon expertise for every class of weapon. They begin with 5% for axe, -10% for bow, 20% for club, 10% for spear, and 0% for sword. This number is added to the chance of hitting – therefore, notice that even though a beginning player's sword expertise is zero, his/her chance of hitting with a sword is not necessarily zero!
Finally, an adjustment is made for armour (shields are included in this, too). Although armour will absorb damage from attacks that land on you, it may have the unfortunate effect of lowering your chance of hitting. Every shield or armour has associated with it an odds adjustment. When you attack, the combined adjustments of the suit of armour you are wearing (if any) and the shield you have ready (if any) are taken and may be subtracted from your chance of hitting. However, you can train your character to ignore the constraining effects of armour – your character has an armour expertise, which begins at zero although it will increase. This expertise can cancel out the effect of armour.
To help explain all of this, let's look again at Howard. His agility is fifteen. He is wearing leather armour (which has an odds adjustment of -10%) and is carrying a small shield (which has an odds adjustment of -5%). In his right hand is a sword with a weapon complexity of 10% (nothing but the best for Howard). He has been fighting a little while, and has raised his armour expertise up to 13% and has raised his sword expertise up to 5%.
He encounters a troll and swings at it. His chance to hit is thirty (twice his agility) plus ten (for his weapon) plus five (for his sword expertise) minus two (his armour and shield would lower his chance to hit by 15%, but his armour expertise cancels 13% of that), for a total chance of hitting of 43%.
Now, let's assume that he chooses to drop his shield and instead have another sword in his left hand. His Left Hand Rating is 50%.
The chance of hitting with his right hand is now thirty (twice his agility) plus ten (for his weapon) plus five (for his sword expertise) minus zero (now only his armour is constricting him. It lowers his chance of hitting by ten percent, but his armour expertise can cancel all of that. Notice that armour cannot have a net effect of increasing your chance of hitting.) for a total of 45%. The chance of hitting with his left hand is half of that, or 22.5%.
Once the basic chance has been determined, other factors may affect this. To begin with, if the target has some special protection (such as being semi-invisible, or very small) that would make it harder to hit, the chance of hitting may be lowered by some amount.
Next, a multiplier is used that is based on the character's encumbrance. If you are attacking while lightly encumbered, the multiplier is one, which means that you attack at the full value. If you are encumbered, the multiplier is seven-eighths. If you are heavily encumbered, the multiplier is one-half.
Finally, a second multiplier is used that is based on the character's fatigue. If you are attacking while you are rested, again the multiplier is one. If you are a trifle weary, the multiplier is seven-eighths. If you are tired, the multiplier is five-eighths. If you are exhausted, the multiplier is one-fourth. Notice that these two multipliers combine, so that if you are attacking while you are heavily encumbered and while you are exhausted, your chance of hitting is divided by one-eighth.
Let's go back to Howard's second example. His base chance with his right hand was 45%. If he was rested but heavily encumbered, his chance of hitting would be 22.5%. If he was a trifle weary but only lightly encumbered, his chance of hitting would only be 5.375%.
Once the complete, final chance of hitting is determined, the computer comes up with a random number from one to one hundred, and compares it to the chance of hitting. Normally, if the number is less than the chance of hitting, the blow struck and damage may be done. Otherwise, the blow missed and nothing happens. However, there are two other possible results.
If the number was less than the chance of hitting divided by ten (4.3 in Howard's first example), or a one in any case, a critical hit was scored. A new number from one to one hundred is generated and the computer looks up on the following table to see what happened:
01-50 Armour is ignored
51-75 Armour is ignored and 3/2 normal damage is done by the attack.
76-90 Armour is ignored and twice normal damage is done by the attack.
91-98 Armour is ignored and three times normal damage is done.
99-100 Armour is ignored, and the attack does from ten to 100 points of damage (almost certainly a kill).
If the number to see if your character hit was greater than 90 plus the odds to hit divided by ten (94.3 in Howard's first example), or a one hundred in any case, a fumble occurred. A new number from one to one hundred is generated and the computer looks up on the following table to see what happened:
01-14 No Effect
14-49 Weapon Dropped (If natural weapons used, this is a "Hit Self")
50-74 Weapon Broken (If natural weapons used, this is also a "Hit Self")
75-89 Hit Self, doing normal damage, but attacker's armour can protect
90-96 Hit Self, doing normal damage, armour doesn't help
97-100 Hit Self, doing double damage, armour doesn't help
Also, if a fumble occurs on a left-handed attack and does damage, to the attacker, the right-handed attack does not occur.
Assuming that the attack hit (either a critical or a normal hit), the attacker may learn something. In every case, the chance of learning is the attacker's chance of missing IF THERE WERE NO FUMBLES POSSIBLE. In other words, if your final chance of hitting is 100% or more, even though you could have fumbled on a 100, you still cannot learn anything.
The first learning possibility is for weapon expertise – if you learn (determined by the computer), your weapon expertise for the class of weapon you are using goes up by 1%. Monsters may learn higher weapon expertises also.
The second learning possibility is for your armour expertise. Your armour expertise can only increase if armour is currently lowering your chance to hit. In Howard's first example, where his armour expertise was greater than the effect of just the armour, his armour expertise cannot increase. If your armour expertise goes up, it will also increase by 1%. Monsters do not get this learning opportunity, since it is assumed that they have their armour expertise fully developed for the armour they use.
The third possible chance for learning is for your Left Hand Rating, which will only be checked if you attacked with a one-handed weapon in your left hand. To increase the Left Hand Rating, the computer must not only have made a learning roll comparing your chance to miss, but it must also make a roll comparing one hundred less your Left Hand Rating. If your Left Hand Rating is increased, it will go up by one. Monsters never get these learning rolls, either – any monster that attacks with two hands is assumed to be ambidextrous.
Let's assume that Howard was attacking the troll with two swords, and he hit with his left hand. The computer would first select a number from one to one hundred. If that number was less than 77.5 (100-22.5), his sword expertise would increase by 1% to 6%. No roll will be made for his armour expertise. Finally, the computer would set two more numbers from one to one hundred. If the first number was less than 77.5 and the second was less than 50 (100-50), his Left Hand Rating would increase by 1% to 51%. If both rolls were made, his chance of hitting in the next round would be 22.97%.
When a blow hits, what then? First of all, if a normal (not critical) hit was taken, there is a chance of the blow being parried or blocked. Parrying can only occur if the target of the blow has a weapon in his/her right hand. (Natural weapons such as claws do not count.) The chance of parrying a blow is equal to the target's agility divided by two plus the target's parrying ability. If a blow is parried successfully, no damage is done. Additionally, if the blow was blocked, there is a chance of learning and increasing the target's parrying ability – If the target's parrying ability is less than 70, the chance of parrying ability going up by one is the chance of not having parried at all. Parrying abilities cannot go above 70.
So, if the Troll is armed with a club in his right hand, has a parrying ability of 5%, and has an agility of 10, then his chance of parrying is 10%. If, miracle of miracles, the blow is parried, there is a 90% chance that the Troll's parrying ability will go up to 6% for the next attack.
Assuming that the blow struck and was not parried, the first step is determining the amount of damage done. Two numbers describe the amount of damage every weapon (either artifact-type weapon or natural weapon) does – one called "dice" and one called "sides". The amount of damage done is determined by generating random numbers from one to "sides". The computer generates "dice" amount of these numbers and adds them together. The sum is the total damage done. The two numbers are usually written as xDy, where x is the "dice" number and y is the "sides" number. This terminology comes from older, non-computerized fantasy role-playing games where four-, six-, eight-, ten-, and twelve-sided dice are actually rolled.
To see how this works, we'll have Howard attack again, except this time he has a magical sword called "Gilthranie". Gilthranie does 3D4, So if Howard hits with it, the computer comes up with three random numbers from one to four – two, four, three. This sums to nine, which is the amount of damage done.
Once the amount of damage is determined (if the hit was not a critical hit), first it must pass through the shield, then the armour of the target. A shield will always be a physical item you can carry. Armour may be merely the tough skin of the beastie you are attacking. In any case, every shield of armour stops some blows. The computer subtracts from the amount of damage done, the amount of damage that the armour and shield stop. If the armour and shield stop all of the damage, you are told that the blow merely bounced off of the armour.
One thing to be aware of – the damage that shields and armour stop has to go somewhere. Natural armour, of course, will last until the monster wearing it is dead. However, artificial items have their own "Hardiness", and every blow that they stop comes off of that hardiness. When that hardiness reaches zero, the shield or armour disintegrates in your hand. Good quality armour, the only type available through the Guild, should last for several adventures, but periodic replacing of your armour and shield is recommended. Magical armour and shields that last forever are rumored to exist, but cannot be purchased through the Guild. You will not be warned of the condition of your armour.
To see how this works, we'll continue with Howard's attack on the Troll. The Troll has a small shield that stops one blow, and a suit of crude chain mail that stops two blows. The shield's hardiness is forty – still pretty new – but the chain mail is about to collapse with only one point left.
Howard hit the troll with his regular sword that does from 1D8 (from one to eight points). If only one point of damage was rolled, it bounces off of the shield, only lowering the shield's hardiness to 39. If two or three points of damage were rolled, it will still bounce off of the armour, but in protecting the troll, the armour will disintegrate and Howard will have nice open skin to hit next round. Finally, if five points of damage were rolled, three would have been stopped by the shield and armour (as the armour disintegrated), and two points would come off of the Troll's fatigue and hardiness. If the Troll's fatigue dropped below zero, the Troll would then become unconscious. If the Troll's hardiness dropped below zero, the Troll would be dead.
If any monster is unconscious and lying on the ground, no other monsters bother to attack it. If you choose to attack it, any blow will strike home and kill it. (The possible reason/problem is that unconscious monsters look exactly like dead monsters until they are examined, and it might be worth taking a round to make sure the monster never gets up again, at the cost of missing a chance at attacking a very active monster.)
All of the past information has been presented from the computer's point of view. When you are actually running a character, you get far less information.
First of all, during an attack you are told who attacks who (HOWARD ATTACKS TROLL). You are then told whether the blow was successful (A HIT, A MISS, A FUMBLE, or A CRITICAL HIT). If the blow was parried, you are told that. If the target's shield or armour disintegrates, you are told that. Finally, assuming the blow hit, you are told either SHIELD STOPS THE BLOW, ARMOUR STOPS THE BLOW, or are given an idea of the range of hardiness the target has left –
IN GOOD SHAPE – the target has taken less than one-fifth of his hardiness in damage.
SLIGHTLY HURT – the target has taken from one-fifth to two-fifths of his hardiness.
IN PAIN – the target has taken from two-fifths to three-fifths of his hardiness.
BADLY WOUNDED – the target has taken from three-fifths to four-fifths of his hardiness.
AT DEATH'S DOOR – the target has taken over four-fifths of his hardiness but is still alive.
DROPS TO THE GROUND – the target is either dead or unconscious. If you drop to the ground, and are not told that you are unconscious, you are dead.
You are not told anyone's chance of hitting, whether or not any learning is going on, or what critical hits occurred. (You will be told when weapons are dropped or broken.) Only when you are at the main hall of the Guild of Free Rogues can you learn exactly what your various attributes currently are.
The strange powers that are called "Magic" by the layman have been extensively studied over the years, and have been divided into two major aspects – local and universal.
Very little can be said about local magic. It is often called into being by manipulating magical artifacts or by saying special words, and the area that any particular spell will operate in will be very limited indeed. When trying to manipulate the local magic, you must remember the old adage that "With Magic, all things are possible". However, most gods and wizards being sane, there is usually an underlying logic to be found.
Fortunately, against this chaotic background, some relatively consistent laws of magic have been discovered. The primary application of these laws has been the development of ten spells that you may use almost anywhere in Diurla. You are cautioned, however, that the local magic is more powerful than the universal laws, and so there may be places where your spells will not act normally. Particularly, "dead areas", where some or all of these spells will not operate at all, are not unknown. The Main Hall of the Guild of Free Rogues is completely counter-spelled, no spells will work there.
There is a wizard at the Main Hall of the Guild of Free Rogues who will teach you these spells for a fee. When you learn a spell, you will have a beginning spell Knowledge from twenty-five to seventy-five percent. That is your probability of casting that spell. You will not know what that spell Knowledge is; you will have to gauge it by trying out your spells and notice how often you are successful.
Magic is primarily based on belief. Therefore, to truly believe in your spell, you must be able to see who or what you are casting it on. You must believe that something is possible. Finally, if you are affecting another being, they must be able to believe also, which means that magic is useless against unconscious monsters.
You cast a spell by having your character say the name of that spell, plus the monster/object it is to affect, if any. Therefore, if you are attempting to Charm a dog with you, you would command "SAY CHARM DOG". You cannot abbreviate the name of the spell.
When the spell is cast, the first thing that happens is that a number of fatigue points are expended. The number of points depends upon the spell attempted. Every point used has a ten percent chance of increasing your fatigue reservoir by one.
Attempting a spell does not guarantee that it will be successfully cast. If you have a spell Knowledge of fifty percent, on the average only half of your attempts will succeed. Regardless of whether or not the spell worked, the fatigue points are expended.
If the spell is successfully cast, your spell Knowledge may go up by two percent – your chance of learning about your spell is the chance of it not having gone off. For example, if you had sixty-six percent spell Knowledge and you successfully cast that spell, you would have a thirty-four percent chance of your spell Knowledge going up to sixty-eight.
Where necessary, you will have to provide the focus of the spell (who was it cast upon). If you cannot give a focus, or you give the wrong name of your focus, the spell fizzles.
If everything goes right, the spell will activate.
The ten spells available are –
This spell sends a miniature ball of energy at a living target you specify. (This cannot be used to break down walls or doors, inasmuch as they do not believe in magic.) You will have to give the focus for the target or else you will waste the spell.
If the spell is successful, it will unerringly strike its target, doing 1D8 (from one to eight) points of damage to the monster. Armour and shields will not protect from this damage.
The base cost for this spell is 3000 gold pieces, before adjustment for charisma and haggling. Ten fatigue points are used in attempting this spell.
This spell can heal hardiness damage from your body or the bodies of monsters in the room with you. You need not touch the target to heal him/her. If you want to heal yourself, you simply use the command "SAY HEAL". If you want to heal another, such as a dog, you "SAY HEAL DOG".
If the spell is successful, from one to ten points of damage are removed, although of course you cannot cure more points than have been inflicted. Remember, this does NOT restore the fatigue points that accompanied damage, those are cured by resting.
The base cost for learning this spell is 1000 gold pieces, and uses three fatigue points when cast.
This powerful spell will temporarily double your Agility, which will primarily increase your chance of hitting. It will last for five to fifteen minutes. There is roughly a fifty-fifty chance that you will notice when the spell expires.
If you cast a speed spell while the last speed spell is still in effect, your Agility is NOT quadrupled, the time limit is merely extended.
You can only cast the speed spell upon yourself. The base cost for the speed spell is 5000 gold pieces, and uses 20 fatigue points when cast.
Casting the spell results in a momentary lowering of the strength of natural laws, a gap in the bridge between cosmos and chaos, and a general empowering of the local magic. In other words, when this spell goes off, there is no telling what will happen. Anything is possible, from resurrecting dead monsters to healing people to putting them to sleep to changing your sex! The effects may be either temporary or permanent.
This spell is available for the bargain base price of only 100 gold pieces, and normally uses 1 fatigue point when cast.
This spell is cast upon monsters, and has them reconsider their reaction towards you, at half of their normal chance of hating and twice their normal chance of helping you. You are not guaranteed that the target will feel any better about you – a monster could easily go from ignoring you to active hatred. Also, the changes in the chance of hating and liking are not permanent. If they are ever in a position to reconsider their friendship with you, they will do it at their original levels. (See [[#Relating to others|relating with citizens.) The base price of this spell is 6000 gold pieces, and uses 4 fatigue points when cast.
This spell has a monster do an immediate check of its morale at only half of its normal courage. The monster may flee from the room, or it may stay where it is. Again, you have not permanently halved its courage! Even if it flees, if you enter the room it fled into, the monster will then react to you with its normal courage.
The base price of this spell is 6000 gold pieces, and uses 4 fatigue points when cast.
This risky spell will kill either your target or you. For both you and the target, the Hardiness remaining (Total Hardiness less Damage Taken) is calculated, and then the two each take the other's hardiness remaining. For example, if Howard with his Hardiness of 13 has taken three hits, and the Troll had a hardiness of twenty but has taken 13 hits, Howard would take seven hits which would bring him down to 3 hits left, and the Troll would take ten hits which would kill him. If the Troll had only taken nine hits, the Troll would survive and Howard would be dead!
Historically, this spell is used on Diurla as the crowning touch of a wizardry duel. The person casting it usually is certain that the duel is won and so uses this spell as a flamboyant gesture.
The base cost of this spell is 10,000 gold pieces. It uses up 100 fatigue points, so it will render most casters unconscious.
This spell, which can only be cast on yourself, pulls your mind free from your body and lets it explore from one to three rooms without being in danger. Your mind can only go places you think your body can go – you cannot pass through bricked-over doorways, locked doors, or other such hindrances. Also, if your mind goes into a room that would mean instant death for your body (such as into a raging inferno, over a waterfall, or falling down an elevator shaft), the shock instantly cancels the spell and pulls your mind back into your body.
There is something else you should know – five times in recorded history, a Free Rogue was in a cave with other rogues and announced that he or she was going to try a Farsee spell. It seemed to be cast successfully, the rogue got that far-away look in his or her eyes – and stayed that way. The mind never came back. No one knows what happened. This has happened only extremely rarely, but you should be aware of the possibility.
The base cost of this spell is 20,000 gold pieces, and uses 30 fatigue points when cast.
This spell is designed to send you and your companions home (The Main Hall of the Guild of Free Rogues). If it is successfully cast, seventy-five percent of the time, you and your companions arrive home safely.
If the spell goes off, but you are not teleported home, twenty percent of the time you merely flicker and remain where you are. The remaining five percent of the time, you teleport into solid stone and are killed. Therefore, it is not advised that you merely use the spell to avoid a long walk.
The most common counterspell built into certain caves or buildings is one that blocks the Teleport spell – almost every dungeon cell will be counterspelled.
The base cost of this spell is 30,000 gold pieces, and uses 10 fatigue points when it is cast. (Of course, if you are successful, the fatigue won't matter, because you will be home where you can rest.)
This spell, which can only be cast on yourself, increases the protection of your armour by one. (If you are wearing no armour, your skin becomes equivalent to one-point armour.) Similar to the speed spell, this will last from five to fifteen minutes, and casting the Thickskin spell while another Thickskin spell is in effect merely extends the time – it does not give two points of protection.
If you change armour while the spell is in effect, the spell will be broken.
The base cost of this spell is 8000 gold pieces, and uses 15 fatigue points to cast.
Relating to others
There are two places your character will have to deal with other denizens of Diurla. The first place is inside the Main Hall, where you will haggle with people to buy and sell weapons, learn spells, and keep money on account where it cannot be stolen. Their actions (as well as your own) are very limited. No battle can take place there; you may only deal with them in a business-like fashion.
The second place is, oddly enough, outside the Main Hall while you're on your adventures. The creatures you meet there (Elves, wolves, other humans, demons; all generically called monsters) usually have both a much wider range that they can move over, and a slightly wider choice of things to do.
All monsters that you encounter will fall into three groups – those that hate you, those that ignore you, and those that will help you. The monsters who hate you will attack you and your friends, and may follow you if you try to flee them. The monsters who help you will attack those who hate you, and will follow you around wherever you go.
Whenever a monster tries to decide if it likes you, it first has a chance of hating you. If it doesn't hate you, it has a chance of liking you as opposed to simply ignoring you. These chances are always affected by your charisma and will be affected while you are casting a charm spell.
You may give monsters items. If the monster has no weapon and you give it a weapon, it may use that one in its future attacks.
In any case, the value of what you give will decrease the monster's chance of hating you and will increase the monster's chance of liking you. The amount of change will depend on the value of the present and the current chances. A monster will refuse a gift that would make it heavily encumbered. As with the Charm spell, a bribe may offend a monster that had ignored you and may make it hate you. However, unlike the Charm Spell, the changes to the chances of hating you are permanent. To see exactly how to give items, check section VII, The Adventure Scenarios.
If you ever attack a monster that is ignoring you or is friendly, that monster's chance of hating you first goes up tremendously. Then, every monster in the room that is either friendly or ignoring you reconsiders their opinion of you. If a monster has been charmed, the charm spell is very likely to be broken.
When combat is going on, a monster will do one of three things –
- Rest, and regain two fatigue points. A monster that is ignoring you will always do this. The chance of a monster resting on any one turn is the fraction of that monster's fatigue that has been used up.
- Drop things. If a monster is not lightly encumbered, it may drop everything except its weapon(s), armour, and shield to become lightly encumbered.
- Pick up a weapon. If a monster does not have a weapon, can use a weapon, does not flee that round, and there is a weapon in the room, the monster may grab that weapon to use it next round.
- Flee. Every monster has a certain courage rating (which you will not know when you go against them). If the monster is under the temporary effect of a fear spell, the courage is divided by two, and if the monster has no weapon, the courage is divided by three. Every round, a temporary courage is selected (within twenty of the real courage) and if either that monster's side has taken a greater percentage of its total hardiness in damage than that rating, or if that individual monster has taken a greater percentage of its total hardiness in damage than the rating, the monster will flee the room. You will not be told what direction the monster has fled in, although it can only flee into a room that you can enter, and will stop after entering the next room.
- Attack. If a monster isn't doing any of the other options, it will attack someone on the other side (of those hating or those friendly). A monster will never attack another monster that is ignoring you.
- Occasionally, a monster will have special powers, and may surprise you by doing something different.
When you flee from a room, all monsters that are friendly with you will flee with you, into the same room. Additionally, a monster who hates you may follow you into the room. The chance of the monster following you is its courage divided by two. (Obviously, a monster with a courage of 360 will never flee and will follow you until it is killed.)
If you wish to find out what monsters are your friends and which aren't, you may stop and smile at them. Those monsters who like you will smile back, those who hate you will growl at you, and those monsters who ignore you will, well, ignore you. There's a fifty-fifty chance that the monsters in the room will have a chance to attack you after you smile at them.
Actually playing the game
Regardless of what adventures you want to run your characters through (with a few minor exceptions – check the leaflet included with your adventure to be sure), you must begin by "Booting" on the SwordThrust Master Diskette. Starting your disk system up by booting on an adventure diskette is used to resume suspended games. Directions on how to boot your disk system should have come with your computer.
When the diskette is first booted, you will be asked if you want to play the game, or go into something called the Character Editor. The Character Editor is a set of utilities that lets you delete characters stored on this diskette, display all the characters stored, or move characters from one Master Diskette to another. The exact use of this program will be covered later. Until you have some characters stored on the diskette, this program will not be useful, so you should go directly into the game.
You always begin the game at the front door of the Main Hall of the Guild of Free Rogues, listening to the music coming from within. (If you do not want to listen to the entire song, press the 'ESC' key to stop.) Guild rules state that new arrivals must check in at the desk.
When you arrive at the desk, you will be asked to give the name of your character. If the name you give matches a character that is currently alive and well and living on the Master Diskette, the character will be pulled from the diskette and moved into the Main Hall.
If this is a new character, however, his or her beginning attributes must be generated. The Innkeeper's mother helps you. You first have to give your sex (the old dear is a bit near-sighted), and then you will be shown the three attributes that the computer gave you. You have one possible option – if the total of your Hardiness, Agility and Charisma are less than 39, you may have that character "killed" and have three new attributes generated.
Occasionally, when you see your attributes, the name you selected for yourself doesn't seem to fit. There's something slightly wrong about a character with a Hardiness rating of 24, an Agility of 6, and a Charisma of 14 being called "Fleetfoot". Therefore, you may, if you wish, change your characters name. The only limitation is that your new name cannot be used by any character already living on the diskette.
You will have one chance to alter your character attributes – you may trade two points of Hardiness, two points of Agility, two points of Charisma, or ten points from your left-hand rating for one point of Hardiness, one point of Agility, one point of Charisma, or five points for your left-hand rating. You may do as many trades as you wish, so long as you do not send any attribute below three or above twenty-four (below ten or above 100, for your left-hand rating). Obviously, if you do much trading, the total power of your character decreases.
Your character will be given the normal beginning expertises (5% for Axe,-10% for Bow, 15% for Mace, 20% for Spear, and 0% for Sword), no spells, and 200 gold pieces, and then will be sent into the Main Hall.
The Main Hall
When you are in the Main Hall, there are eight things you can do. You select each action by pressing a letter key for your choice.
1. Go on an adventure
The first thing you can do is to go on an adventure. Every scenario you can adventure in, purchased separately, is stored on its own diskette. One scenario, The King's Testing Ground, is included on the Master Diskette. When you choose to go on an adventure, you will be told to switch diskettes. The diskette you place into the disk drive you booted from determines what adventure you go on.
Before you go on an adventure, be sure you have bought all of the weapons, armour, and spells you wish to and can buy.
More details on what you do while you are on adventures can be found in section VII.
2. Visit the weapons shop
Having proper weapons, armour, and shields is vital to your survival. Although the most powerful and magical devices can only be found outside while on various adventures, there is a weapons shop inside the Main Hall to meet standard needs.
Heinrich, the owner, is primarily interested in weapons. He carries three qualities of each type of weapon (Axe, Bow, Mace, Spear, and Sword). Good quality weapons have a weapon complexity of 10%, fair quality weapons have a complexity of 0%, and poor quality weapons have a complexity of -10%. He will also buy weapons you may have to sell, although if the weapon is identical to the ones he sells, he pays only one-twentieth of its value.
For every weapon being bought or sold, its normal value is equal to the sum of its base price plus some factor times the weapons complexity. If you are selling a weapon that Heinrich does not carry, this value is multiplied by the average damage that weapon does, divided by the average damage that the weapon Heinrich sells does.
For example, let's assume that you are selling a Broadsword, which has a weapon complexity of 5%, and does 3D8 points of damage. From the chart below, we see that the base price for a sword is 50 gold pieces, that the factor for complexity is 4, and that the sword does 1D8 (which means that it does an average of 4.5 points of damage). The value of our Broadsword then is fifty (the base price) plus twenty (four times five, the factor as the normal sword), for a normal value of 70 gold pieces. Since the Broadsword does three times as much damage as a normal sword, the Broadsword will have a final value of 210 gold pieces. (Note that these numbers were selected for easy computation. A normal Broadsword will NOT do 3D8 points of damage.)
The normal price is first adjusted for Charisma, and then Heinrich begins to haggle – he will ask for more than the price he really wants (if he's selling the item), and may be talked into selling it for less.
You cannot have more than four weapons at any one time, so if you have four weapons and you wish to buy another, you must first sell one you are carrying.
Heinrich also has two side selections in his store. The first selection is shields. The normal value of a shield (before adjustment and Charisma) is 250 gold pieces times the number of hits it stops squared, divided by the absolute value of the amount of adjustment on your chance of hitting. He sells two shields; small shields that stop one hit and lower your chance of hitting by 5% (so the value is 50 gold pieces), and large shields that stop two hits and lower your chance of hitting by 15% (so the value is 67 gold pieces).
You may have only one shield, so you must sell any you are carrying before you buy a second shield. Heinrich buys all shields at one-twentieth their value, since most shields are not returned in very good condition.
The second side section is armour. The normal value of a suit of armour is 1000 times its hits squared, divided by the amount of adjustment. He sells three type of suits of armour; Leather (stops one hit at a cost of 10%, so the value is 100 gold pieces), Chain Mail (stops two hits at a cost of 20%, so the value is 200 gold pieces), and Plate (stops five hits at a cost of 60%, so the value is 417 gold pieces). Just as with a shield, you may only have one suit of armour, and Heinrich will only buy suits of armor at one-twentieth of their value.
As with everyone else in the Main Hall, Heinrich's terms are strictly cash on the barrelhead.
3. The wizard
Hokas Tokas was once a great rogue himself, and a specialist in magic. However, a great love of odd alcoholic beverages proved to be his downfall. He now hangs out at the bar of the Main Hall, rising from his drunken stupor only to teach others the ten spells.
He will teach any of the ten spells to anyone who can pay. His prices vary – as with Heinrich, he takes the prices given in section IV, adjusts them for Charisma, then begins to haggle. And, as with Heinrich, you must pay in cash. No credit is extended.
4. The banker
Shylock Fitzhugh-Smythe is a banker who works in the Main Hall. He neither makes loans nor pays interest for money left in his care (he gets his income from the deposits left by rogues who never came back), but he is absolutely trustworthy with whatever you leave with him.
The reason for leaving gold on deposit with him is that any gold you carry with you may be stolen or forcibly taken from you, but any gold left behind is safe. On the other hand, the gold left behind cannot be used as bribes – make that gifts – to make friends with monsters.
5. Examining yourself
The examination equipment, which can be used freely by all guild members, will show you the current values of almost all numbers that describe your character, including your three attributes, your various expertises for weapons, parrying, and armour. It will also show how much gold you have in your possession and with the banker, what armour you are carrying, and what weapons.
Armour and shields are shown by the Armour or shield name, then in parentheses the number of hits stopped and the adjustment to your chance of hitting. For example, LEATHER (1/10%) means that you have Leather armour which stops one point of damage per blow, and lowers your chance of hitting by 10%.
For each weapon you are shown the name, the weapon type (A for Axe, B for Bow, C for Club, SP for Spear, SW for Sword, and an asterisk "*" is included if the weapon is two-handed), the weapon complexity (abbreviated CMP), the damage done, and the chance of hitting with it. For example, if there was the line –
BOW *B 10 1D6 33%
it would refer to a weapon named "BOW", which is a bow-type weapon that requires two hands to use, has a weapon complexity of 10, and does 1D6 when it strikes. Your chance of hitting with that weapon is 33% at your current level of expertise and armour, if you are Rested and Lightly Encumbered. Note that this might be considering an impossibility – if this is a beginning character with an armour expertise of 0, and the person has a shield, that 33% figure includes the lowering of the chance-to-hit assuming that the character was also carrying the shield. Since that is impossible (you can't use a two-handed weapon and carry a shield at the same time), the real chance of hitting is higher.
6. Buy drinks
You may purchase drinks at the bar of the Main Hall for one gold piece per drink. It is only useful to visit the bar immediately before you go adventuring.
For every drink you have at the bar, there is a chance that you will get a hint when you begin your next adventure (you heard something useful in conversation). The chance of getting a hint is your Charisma divided by 30. Having many drinks will almost insure that you will get a hint (although you will never get more than one), but there are side effects to drinking.
To begin with, drinking wastes fatigue at the rate of the number of drinks you had CUBED. So, having one drink uses one point of fatigue, two drinks uses eight points of fatigue, three drinks uses twenty-seven points of fatigue, and so forth. These points will NOT be rested away when you begin your adventure, you will have to rest while in the caverns. Furthermore, if you pass out (drink more than your fatigue can handle), there is a 50% chance that your gold sack will be stolen when you awaken!
Secondly, if you have more drinks than your Hardiness, you become deathly ill and PERMANENTLY lose one point of Hardiness. If this drops your Hardiness to zero, you die!
The effects of drinks are cumulative during each visit to the Main Hall. Going to the bar four times for one drink each time has the same effect as going to the bar once and having four drinks.
Jermaine Munro, one of the most successful female rogues until that encounter with the Satyr, runs a small training shop in the Main Hall. She can train your weapon abilities up for any class (axe, bow, club spear, or sword).
She teaches three courses. The Beginner's course can only increase your expertise up to five percent above the beginning level (10% for axe, -5% for bow, 20% for club, 25% for spear, and 5% for sword). Her base price for the Beginner's course is 100 gold pieces (before adjustments for charisma and haggling).
The Advance course can increase your expertise up to ten percent above the beginning level (15% for axe, 0% for bow, 25% for club, 30% for spear, and 10% for sword). Her base price for the Advance course is 1000 gold pieces.
The Ultimate course can increase your expertises unlimitedly. However, the base price for the Ultimate course is 10,000 gold pieces! Additionally, the Ultimate course is dangerous – for every point of expertise you gain, there is a chance that you will suffer an accident that will lower your Agility by one. Again, if the accident lowers your Agility to 0, you are dead.
The number of expertise points you may gain from each course varies by many factors – the limits of the course you are taking, your Agility and random chance. If you wish to stop a course, you may press the "S" key to halt it prematurely.
8. Leave the game
This will save your most recent purchases onto the diskette, and will put your character into "Cold Storage" so he or she can be recalled for playing again later.
When the disk drive's "IN USE" light goes off again, the computer will sit and do nothing for roughly one minute. If you do not do anything else the computer will eventually restart itself, and return to showing the SwordThrust title slide, preparing for the next character. If you want to work on another game, switch diskettes now – the disk drive will boot off of what you insert. If you are finished with the computer, turn it off while the computer is waiting.
WARNING: Only turn off the computer after you have used the leave command, or while you are looking at the title slide. If you stop anywhere else, your character may be killed!
As you recall, when you first started the system, you could have worked on something called the "Character Editor" which you bypassed. The Character Editor has several nice little utilities that let you handle the characters stored on your Master Diskette.
There are five options within the Character Editor –
- 1. Clear Out All Old Characters
- This program will wipe out at one fell swoop every character stored on your Master Diskette. This is very rarely useful. It also restarts a file on the diskette, so if your disk drive is hungry one day, and does damage so that you cannot play the game, clearing out all the old characters may get things running again. (Obviously, if things still do not work, contact CE Software for a replacement.)
- 2. Display All Old Characters
- This will show all characters on the diskette, displaying them as shown on command five of the Main Hall.
- 3. Delete an Old Character
- This will let you remove a character from the diskette, essentially "killing" him or her. You will have to give the name of the character to delete and you will be given a chance to change your mind.
- 4. Transfer a Character
- This will let you move a copy from one Master Diskette to another. The character is NOT removed from the old diskette as it is written onto the new, so you will have two copies of the character on two different Master Diskettes. This can be used for moving characters from a friend's copy to yours, and will also be useful for new SwordThrust projects currently being developed.
- 5. Enter the Universe of Diurla
- This command enters the normal game of SwordThrust.
The adventure scenarios
The scenario that is included with the Master Diskette, The King's Testing Ground, is in the A Class of the SwordThrust Games. This class is called that because it resembles the old computer game Adventure by Woods and Crowther. You will be given text descriptions of rooms, artifacts, and monsters as you travel about.
At the top of the screen you will find the current dungeon time, your condition (how damaged, fatigued, and encumbered you are), and the description of the room you are in. (Note the dungeon time is NOT real time; the amount of time you take to type in your commands is irrelevant.)
Before you give any command, you will be told what room you are in, any monsters in the room with you, and any artifacts on the ground in the room. The first time you encounter a monster or artifact, a full description will be given for the object. During any later turn, the monster or artifact will be merely named. Finally, any special effects you would notice (There is a green glow around the ball, for example) will be printed.
When you give your command, it will be one or two words. The first word will be a verb (what you are doing). The second, optional word is the object (who or what to do it to). For example, OPEN DOOR, NORTH (this means, of course, "go north"), ENTER CAVE are all possible commands. If you ever use a verb that is not set up for this scenario, all legal verbs will be listed for you.
You may abbreviate any verb or subject so long as it remains unique within its reference, and you may abbreviate the various movement commands to one letter. For example, if there is only a book in the room with you, "GET BOOK" could be abbreviated "GE B" (there are two commands that begin with "G"). However, if there is also a bottle in the room, or if you are carrying a bottle, you would have to say at least "GE BOO".
If there are several identical monsters in the room with you named (for example) BAT1, BAT2, and BATS, and there would be little difference in which one you attacked, you may often simply say "ATTACK BAT" and one bat would be selected to be attacked. Also, other synonyms may be written into the adventures.
If you ever simply hit "RETURN" when you are asked for your command, the last command you gave is repeated. This is particularly handy during combat, where you may attack the same monster several times in a row.
Any action that makes you move from one room to another (the normal movement commands, fleeing from a monster, or some magical teleportation effects) will cause thirty seconds to pass in the dungeon. Any other action (except where noted below) will cause five seconds to expire. The current time is always displayed on the screen, you may keep track of the duration of spells or other time-dependent effects.
When you leave the adventure (either by some magical means such as the Teleport spell, or by moving in a direction that takes you to the Main Hall), you will have to sell any objects other than weapons, armour, and shields – you may keep four weapons, one suit of armour, and one shield.
The commands that are legal in all A Class adventures are –
- NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, UP, DOWN
- All of these will move your character one room in the direction you stated. You may abbreviate the direction to one letter if you wish. You cannot move if there are monsters actively hating you in the room. You will have to flee instead. Occasionally various mechanical and/or magical traps will keep you from moving in some directions, and you will have to figure a way to deactivate them.
- Any object you give with this, such as NORTH WALL, will be ignored.
- This will have your character pick up objects that are on the floor of the room you are in. GET (object) will let you attempt to pick up either an artifact or a monster that is unconscious/dead. GET ALL will attempt to pick up all artifacts that are in the room with you. If you pick up a one-handed weapon and you have no weapon ready in your right hand, the weapon will be automatically readied. Beware – some objects set off special effects when they are gotten.
- If you do not specify the object (you simply said "GET"), you will be asked for one.
- This will have your character drop objects. If you say DROP ALL, you will have either the option of dropping absolutely everything, or dropping everything except your current armour, shield, and ready weapons (for becoming lightly encumbered before combat). If you do not specify the object, you will be asked for one.
- LOOK, EXAMINE
- These commands (they are synonyms and can be used interchangeably) are used to repeat the long descriptions and possibly give new information.
- If you simply say LOOK or EXAMINE (no object is included), it will assume you are looking at the room. The room will be searched, and any secret items or passages may be found.
- EXAMINE (monster name or artifact name) will repeat the description of the monster or artifact, and may notice new facets of the object. Also, if you are examining the body of a monster that fell to the ground, you will be told whether the monster is dead or merely unconscious, and you will also find any artifacts that the monster was carrying.
- This command is used to bring a weapon or shield out of your backpack and bring it into "READY" condition. Your object has to be an artifact that is either a weapon or shield.
- If you ready a shield, any weapon in your left hand is unreadied (put back into your pack). If there is a two-handed weapon in your right hand, it is unreadied.
- If you ready a two-handed weapon, it is readied into your right hand, and any shield or weapon in your left hand is unreadied.
- If you ready a one-handed weapon and you have an empty hand, it is readied into that hand. (A shield that is ready keeps the left hand from being empty. If both hands are empty, the weapon is readied into the right hand). If both hands are full, you are asked what hand to put it in.
- This command lists all artifacts and monsters that your character is carrying. Any special conditions your character is in (Wearing a hat, Giving off a bright green glow, In the shape of a frog) is also mentioned. Any object that you give is ignored. Taking Inventory takes no time.
- This has you swing your ready weapon(s) at whatever monster you specify.
- This is how you leave a room that has enemies in it. You will run out of the room, running in a blind panic. You cannot pick what direction you run towards, although you will go out an exit. If this sends you into a roaring pit of fire, off the edge of a cliff, or into the den of a dozen dragons, so be it. There is a fifty-fifty chance you will notice what direction you ran, otherwise you become disoriented and do not know the direction. Also, enemy monsters may follow you into the room.
- Smiling will tell you how the monsters in the room feel about you. Every monster will either smile back (if it likes you), ignore you (if it is neutral), or growl at you (if it hates you). There is a fifty-fifty chance that you will have lost a round of combat when you smile, and so every monster in the room will attack while you are standing there, grinning like an idiot.
- This command is used to give artifacts to monsters. It will usually make the monsters more friendly towards you. Also, if you give a one-handed weapon to a weaponless monster, it may be able to use that weapon to attack with. Some items may have other effects – giving healing potion to monsters will heal them.
- The format of this command is GIVE (artifact). You will then be asked what monster to give it to. If you attempt to put it all together, such as GIVE AXE HERMIT, the computer will think you are trying to give an AXE HERMIT, and will tell you that you aren't carrying it!
- If for (artifact) you give a number, such as GIVE 10, the command will mean that you are trying to give 10 gold pieces. If you give a real artifact that you found in that adventure, and the monster you gave it to is later killed, the artifact can be found on the monster's body, but if you give gold, it is gone forever.
- This is primarily used to don a suit of armour. You cannot change armour while combat is going on. Additionally, there may be some other things such as rings, hats, shoes, etc. to be worn. These small things may be put on during combat.
- This has you sitting back and resting, regaining two fatigue points. You may rest while combat continues, although you may be attacked while you rest.
- This has your character say something. Certain magic words have power in the various adventures. Additionally, this is the command that is used to cast any magical spells.
- Casting spells is an exception to the abbreviation rule. You must spell out the entire word, i.e., it must be "SAY POWER", not simply "SAY P". Also, if you are casting a spell on someone else, you must put the name of the monster after the name of the spell (and you CAN abbreviate the monster's name), for example, "SAY HEAL TROLL".
- This command WHICH IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE KING'S TESTING GROUND will stop the game where it is, remember your complete situation, and save it. To resume the suspended game, "boot" your disk system with the Adventure diskette instead of the Master Diskette. If someone uses the diskette with the adventure which was suspended, the game (and your character) will be wiped out and cannot be resumed.
Each adventure will have other, additional commands. The King's Testing Ground has two, SWALLOW and OPEN, which may be used in other adventures. SWALLOW is used to consume pills, potions, and food. OPEN is used to open doors, unlock chest, etc. If you are ever uncertain as to what commands are legal, simply give "?" as your command, and all your options will be given.
You begin with 200 gold pieces, which you should spend on your beginning armour and weaponry. The only way to gather more gold is to go on adventures and survive – when you return from an adventure, all artifacts you carry out (except for one suit of armour, one shield, and four weapons) are sold. No bargaining takes place over the money you get. The monsters in The King's Testing Ground are far less dangerous than those in the "real world" to give your novice character a chance of surviving. It would therefore be child's play for an experienced and powerful character to clear out that cavern. Therefore, only beginning characters can enter The King's Testing Ground. Experienced characters can only enter the other adventures. The other adventures can be entered any number of times.
The following tables are provided for your easy reference –
|Odds to hit|
|Lightly encumbered||5 times HD||8/8|
|Encumbered||10 times HD||7/8|
|Heavily encumbered||20 times HD||4/8|
|Odds to hit|
|In good shape||0/5|
|At death's door||4/5|
|Dropped to the ground||5/5|
|01-50||Armour is ignored|
|51-75||Armour is ignored and 3/2 normal damage|
|76-90||Armour is ignored and twice normal damage|
|91-98||Armour is ignored and thrice normal damage|
|99-100||Armour is ignored and does 10 d 10 damage|
|75-89||Hit self, armour stops damage|
|90-96||Hit self, armour ignored|
|97-100||Hit self, double damage, armour ignored|
|Blast||3,000||10||Does damage to a monster|
|Heal||1,000||3||Heals damage on you or monster|
|Speed||5,000||20||Temporarily doubles agility|
|Charm||6,000||4||Makes a monster more likely to be friendly|
|Fear||6,000||4||Makes a monster more likely to flee|
|Deathspell||10,000||100||Kills either monster or caster|
|Farsee||20,000||30||Explore while intangible|
|Teleport||30,000||10||75% likely to go home|
|Thickskin||8,000||15||Increase armour's protection by 1 point|
Damien was relaxing at the Main Hall, mulling his fortunes over a cold mug of blog. He'd won this time, had brought back enough gold to hold a frugal man for three years.
He could probably wait a week before heading out again.