Eamon Adventurer's Log/May 1985

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◄ March 1985 Eamon Adventurer's Log August 1985 ►
May 1985
Provided by Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online.  Original at http://eamonag.org/newsletters/acrobat/NEUC8505.pdf.
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Eamon Adventurer's LogNational Eamon User's Club
Volume 1 Number 7 – May 1985

From the Editor

As I mentioned last issue, we have been considering what should be done about some of the adventures we have received. We decided to set up a committee of Eamon Club members to discuss the problem. That meeting was held April 27th along the Club staff and members in the Des Moines area.

The conclusion was – we don't want junk for adventures. If we receive an adventure from the author directly, we will review the adventure and get the feedback to the author. If the adventure does not pass our very lenient requirements, it will be rejected. So as to not embarrass the author, it will not be a public rejection. The only time we will do that is when it is unavoidable (i.e., we throw out an adventure that has already slipped through and made it on the list.)

These Eamon adventures have been discontinued:

#32 House of Ill Repute
May be borderline illegal
#59 Jungles of Viet Nam
Drug usage was heavily involved
#71 Operation Crab Key
Descriptions unfitting an Eamon adventure.
#88 The Shopping Mall
Nothing of interest (only 1 artifact!)

I know there will be those who say we are practicing censorship, but look at it this way: we're not censoring the designers right to put out an adventure like this, we're just refusing to put it on our list and distribute it.

Another class of adventure that we do not encourage but will accept is the small adventure with few artifacts, few monsters, and no (or very little) special programming. We feel these adventures are boring and a waste of time, but may have the value of allowing the beginning designer to try a simpler adventure before he dives in. Also, some beginner players may like these. We may cease accepting these, however, if we feel we are receiving too many.

We would like to hear from the rest of our members on the decisions we've made. We are only trying to establish some standards and we feel if we don't draw the line somewhere then there will be no standards. 'Nuff said.

Terminological Inexactitudes

Bob is on Safari. In honor of this event, we considered writing a new adventure entitled BobQuest. There would be only four rooms. You start out in Des Moines, if you go east you're in Ohio (for God knows what reason!), and if you go south you're in Missouri. South from there, you enter Texas (Bob likes to take big steps!). The only commands are NORTH, SOUTH, EAST. WEST, SLEEP, DRINK and EATPIZZA.

Lifetime memberships are now available to the club. This is one thing we have been asked for quite frequently. We have decided to offer lifetime memberships to the first one hundred people who send us $10,000.00 (each) – (U.S. Cash – no checks).

Our Staff

John Nelson – Our founder
Bob Davis – If found, please return
Jeff Harris – Lost cartoonist, now found
Steve Mahr – Copy boy – so to speak
Dan Cross – Gaffer
Gary Flanagan – Dragon artist – retired?

Eamon News

by John Nelson

New Adventures

I would like to announce some new adventures, but I would like to explain a few of them, since some are of questionable merit.

The Eamon adventures that were listed last issue have been given numbers and a couple of additional adventures were added. The new adventures are:

93. Flying Circus by Rick Krebs
94. Blood Feud by Rick Krebs
95. Maze of Quasequeton by Brian Kondalski (b)
96. Chamber of the Dragons by Brian Kondalski (b)
97. House of Secrets by George Gunn
98. Slave Pits of Kzorland by Rick Hersam (c)
99. In the Clutches of Torrik by John Nelson
100. Sorcerer's Spire by John Nelson

Adventures flagged with a (b) are for beginners and may be very boring for experienced players. They contain very little, if any, special programming. We considered putting these on a separate list or not accepting them at all because of their very simple nature. The reason we decided to go ahead and accept them as-is is because we thought they might be alright for the beginning Eamon adventurer. (Someone who doesn't expect a lot of special programming or complex missions.)

There is no mission or plot to adventures 93 - 96, or 98. Also, adventures 93 through 96 did not have descriptions of monsters as a complete sentence. You would get something like "A METAL-CLAD FIGURE" for the entire description. I added "YOU SEE A" to the beginning of all of these descriptions.

The adventure flagged with a (c) contains little or no special programming, but the monsters you must battle are too tough for a beginning character.

For my own part, I will never create an adventure that I feel has no merit. I think if you don't put in special programming or something special to keep the player's interest, then it isn't worth doing. Therefore my latest two adventures – In the Clutches of Torrik and Sorceror's Spire – are not to be grouped with the entry level adventures, even though they happen to be on the same list above. Sorceror's Spire has been in the works for a year and is one of my better ones (at least I think it is.) In the Clutches of Torrik is a small adventure that I created as a diversion, but it has some interesting twists.

Last issue in the Designer's Den column, I talked about hardiness and what it should be for different kinds of monsters. This was intended as a guideline and not as a hard-and-fast rule. In a couple of Eamon adventures we have looked at, we have noticed hardiness values well into the hundreds for more-or-less "normal" humans, simply because the designer wanted that monster to be "tough". We have the philosophy at the club that a normal (although maybe somewhat tough) character should be able to survive most adventures. That doesn't mean he should be able to whip anyone he comes up against, just that he should be able to survive the encounter – long enough to flee, anyway. Also if someone writes an adventure that has a dragon with a hardiness of 220, we feel it is unfair to have another adventure where that's the average hardiness of the run-of-the-mill slave or guard. In order to create a consistent universe, we have to stick to some kind of guidelines.

In this vein, we have changed some of the monsters in strength from the level that the designer placed them. Some were well into the "god" class where not even a god of thunder could have survived. We hesitated to do this, since we do not like to modify other people's adventures, but when you are trying to standardize a system like Eamon, you have to put the monsters into line with the normal range of attributes. I think they will play better and be more enjoyable now.

IBM-PC version status

The IBM-PC Eamon version is well on its way. I have converted all of the programs on the Master Diskette (except for The Beginners Cave) to IBM-PC Basic and tested them. They appear to be working so far. The Beginners Cave has been converted, but has not been tested yet. Once testing is complete on this we enter the second phase – full scale, detailed play-testing.

When the system is debugged, then we should have about 90 adventures to convert. All adventures will be changed to version 6.0 during this phase, because it is easier to make all the custom changes for every adventure than it is to re-convert every base program.

Commodore 64 version status

We got some stuff from one of our members who was converting Eamon to the Commodore 64, but we have not done anything on this system yet. Bob has volunteered to handle it, but then he disappeared and hasn't done anything yet. Sorry. Nothing new here to report.

Eamon publicity expands

A+ Magazine ran an article on adventure games in which you can create your own adventures. Among them was Eamon. The article was a good introduction for the uninitiated, except they said that the Master Diskette and the Dungeon Designer Diskette were flip sides of the same diskette. Some distributors are doing this, and apparently they thought everyone was. Rather than trying to explain that we don't distribute them this way, we have decided to copy these two diskettes in this manner for $5.00 if you say you saw the article in A+.

We have also heard that the club was mentioned in a May 27th issue of InfoWorld recently. (Anyone have a copy so they could send us a copy of the article?)

Maybe all this publicity will help increase our membership.

 This Space For Rent

Utility Lines

by John Nelson

This is one of those issues that contains Utility Lines. Not all of them do, you know. Anyway, this issue I wanted to cover one of our most sought after secrets! No – not that secret, I mean the one that tells you how to install the save game feature.

The following instructions will explain how to install the Save Game routine into almost any Eamon adventure. It is written in general terms for experienced and inexperienced users alike. Special note should be taken that this procedure works as it is for most standardized Eamon adventures. (Adventures that have not been altered by other distributors or programmers.) Some distributors place their own programs in the catalog for advertising purposes and some even rename the files. These instructions are intended to be used for diskettes as they are distributed by the club. If your diskettes are non-standard, see the Customizers Corner column for instructions on what to do for non-standard diskettes.

Part One – Modifying the Plain Program

  1. Make a copy of your adventure diskette before going any further. We'll wait here until you've finished. <<<<<< whistle - whistle - whistle >>>>>> Done now? Good! This is necessary so that if you goof up your diskette (very easily done!), you'll have a back-up to restore from. If you do goof up your disk, restore from the back-up and try again. Don't try a second time on your back-up without restoring. If you wish to skip the back-up step, then skip all of the following steps as well. We wish to disclaim all responsibility at this point if you do not make a back-up.
  2. Insert your adventure diskette and type LOAD MAIN PGM. If you get "FILE NOT FOUND" then your adventure needs to be standardized first. See the Customizers Corner in this issue for further instructions. After the program is loaded, list the program to determine the following:
    1. Locate the DATA statements containing the commands for the adventure. These are usually found at line 1920. If there are a lot of them, they may occupy lines 1920 and 1930. The SAVE command must be added to this list, if it does not already exist. If it does already exist, then we have a problem. It means that either the save game feature has already been installed or that the designer put a SAVE command in for adventure purposes. Example: You're supposed to save a princess from a lava flow heading this way, using the SAVE command.) Currently, I know of no adventures that do anything like this, put it is possible. If you do run across an adventure that uses the SAVE command for adventure purpose, you should be able to change this command to something like RESCUE, etc. If the save game feature has already been installed then you're finished. (Wasn't that easy?)
    2. The SAVE command should then be added to the end of the data statements for the commands. You can do this by typing a new line (such as 1925 DATA SAVE) or adding the word SAVE to the end of the existing data.
    3. The count of the number of commands should be changed to reflect the addition of the save command. This DATA statement is usually found in line 1910. If it says DATA 37, change it to DATA 38. If it says DATA 34, change it to DATA 35; etc.
    4. Locate the command branch routine. This line is the line that branches to the different commands depending on the command the player entered. This line will be a string of junk like ON C GOTO 3000,3000,3000,3000... for a full paragraph. At the end of this line, you will need to put a branch to the save routine. The text files we will be using to install the save routine will place the save routine at line 30000 and the restart routine at 29000.
    You will therefore need a 30000 at the end of your ON GOTO line. The ON GOTO line is normally found at line 290.
  3. If you prefer, you may choose to make a new line to put the branch to 30000 on. This may be necessary if the line is so long that Applesoft truncates (chops off) the end. If you prefer to do it with a separate line, it would look like this:
    295 ON C - 39 GOTO 30000
    39 is the number of commands that precede the SAVE command in the list of commands.
  4. Determine whether lines 20 and 29000 - 40000 are available to be used for the save routine. (Be sure they do not currently exist in the program.) If there is code already there, you will destroy it if you continue, so don't.
  5. Save the main program, by typing SAVE MAIN PGM. If it is locked (indicated by an * next to it in the catalog entry), you will have to unlock it before saving it.
  6. Insert Eamon Utilities IV, then type LOAD CREATE TEXT TO SAVE GAME
  7. Insert the adventure diskette again and type RUN.
  8. LOAD MAIN PGM and type EXEC APPEND SAVE RTN. You will see a bunch of prompts appear on the screen. Don't panic. This is normal behavior when an Apple is eating. When the prompts stop and the cursor reappears, MAIN PGM has been altered. List it and you should see the save routine has been installed at line 30000. The restore routine should be at line 29000.

You are now finished with Part One. SAVE MAIN PGM. You are done with it for now.

Part Two – Connecting the restore feature

  1. Load the program that starts with EAMON ADVENTURE #nn. If the catalog is non-standard, try standardizing it using the Customizer Corner Column in this issue.
  2. Determine if lines 5, 6 and 9 are available to be added to the program without deleting existing code.
  3. Insert Eamon Utilities IV and load the file "CREATE TEXT TO FIX BOOT".
  4. Insert the adventure diskette again.
  5. Type RUN (This creates the text file "FIX BOOT PGM")
  6. Load the file "EAMON ADVENTURE #nn" (nn = the number of the adventure)
  7. Type EXEC FIX BOOT PGM. This will install the logic to recognize that the game has been saved.
  8. Be sure the file is UNLOCKed and then save the program under the same name it was loaded from (EAMON ADVENTURE #nn).

You are now ready to test the adventure. Enter the adventure from the master diskette (using a character you don't care about). Once you have gone a couple of rooms into it, save the game. Then re-boot and see if it restarts okay.

You may then delete the files FIX BOOT PGM and APPEND SAVE RTN from the adventure diskette.

Customizers Corner

by John Nelson

This column will run from time-to-time when we want to explain how to make a special change to the Eamon system or plead with you not to make certain changes. This column is intended for those familiar with at least a little programming. If you know how to load an Applesoft program, change a line number, and save it back to the diskette (even if it is locked! i.e., UNLOCK program before saving it), then you should have enough expertise to handle most of the changes that will be given in this column. Some changes may require more complex operations.

To Die Or Not To Die

This is a very simple change that can be made to the Eamon Master to keep your character from being erased from the Master Diskette whenever you leave on an adventure.

LOAD MAIN HALL
Insert REM at beginning of line 1000
UNLOCK MAIN HALL
SAVE MAIN HALL

This prevents the Main Hall program from writing into your character record, which is what causes the system to think you are dead.

This type of change is considered "cheating".

Save Game Feature... Standardization Process

by John Nelson

Originally, I added the Save Game feature to about 20 Eamon adventures a few years ago because I was tired of not being able to interrupt a game once it was started. A lot of the time, you would have no idea how long a game would take and if it took longer than you had, you were up the creek.

I didn't believe in using the Save Game to avoid risk, I just wanted to be able to stop a game in the middle. I therefore used a routine that would store off all the variables and would restore them later.

The process of installing the Save Game feature may be a complex one, depending on the adventure and the version you have. The procedure for installing the actual save game routine will be covered in the Utility Lines column. These instructions presume your diskette is in a standard format. In this column, I will cover how to tell if your adventure is a standard format and if not, how to make your adventure diskette into a standard format in preparation for installing the save game routine.

The first thing to do is a catalog of the adventure diskette. Some of the earlier adventures had -> <- on each side of the adventure number in the catalog. This was changed back when I began installing the Save Game routine.

A standard catalog will now look something like this:

EAMON ADVENTURE #21
QUEST FOR MARRON
EAMON.NAME
EAMON.ROOMS
EAMON.ROOM NAMES
EAMON.MONSTERS
EAMON.ARTIFACTS
MAIN PGM

The two points to look at are:

  1. Does the main program have a name other than MAIN PGM?
  2. Does the EAMON ADVENTURE # file have an "illegal name"? (The -> <- business.)

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you should go through the standardizing process before trying to add the save game routine.

Please note: If you buy your diskettes from sources other than the club, the catalog may look a lot different. These instructions are for earlier standard versions. You'll have to interpret these instructions and adapt thee to your copies if they are non-standard. This type of thing is one of the reasons we are striving to standardize the Eamon adventures. It is just too difficult to write up documentation and instructions for something that is totally unpredictable.

The order of the files is not too important. The part you need to take note of is the adventure number line. If it has the -> <- nonsense in the catalog, the program will have to be loaded, unlocked and saved in a format like this:

?CHR$(4);"LOAD A";CHR$(8);"-> EAMON ADVENTURE #nn <-"
?CHR$(4);"UNLOCK A";CHR$(8);"-> EAMON ADVENTURE #nn <-"

To get around this, the program name should be changed. This can be done with a ZAP program such as in Bag of Tricks. In addition, the name of the boot program has to be changed within the DOS sectors of the diskette. Copy II Plus has a sector editor in it that I highly recommend as well as a function for changing the name of the boot program.

If your catalog is already standard you may skip the rest of this article and go to the Utility Lines column for instructions on installing the Save Game routine.

If you have the -> <- stuff in your catalog, stand-by. We'll explain how to fix this up.

Changing the name of the boot program – There are two ways to change the name of the boot program and make the name a legal DOS name. The first is to use a ZAP type sector editor program. This method is more complicated and if you are not familiar with it, use method II below.

Method I. ZAP method.

Upon boot-up, DOS runs the program whose name is given in track 1, sector 9, at a displacement of $75 of the diskette. This program name is currently "A<-> EAMON ADVENTURE #nn <-". (The first left arrow given is the back space character CHR$(B).)

Using your sector editor, change the name to just "EAMON ADVENTURE #nn" (where nn is your adventure number). Also, change the name of the program in the catalog. This can be done using the sector editor or the command: ?CHR$(4);"RENAME A";CHR$(8);"-> EAMON ADVENTURE #nn <-, EAMON ADVENTURE #nn"

Method II. Using another diskette - recommended over the above procedure

  1. Insert your adventure diskette and type ?CHR$(4);"LOAD A";CHR$(8);"-> EAMON ADVENTURE #nn <-"
  2. Insert a new (blank) diskette and type INIT EAMON ADVENTURE #nn, Vnn (use the adventure number in place of the nn's)
  3. Copy all other files onto the new diskette (using FID or some other DOS 3.3 copy program that will copy individual files). Do not copy the file with the arrows in it.

If you don't have a program called "MAIN PGM" on your disk.

Find the program in your catalog that has an "A" next to it (indicating it is an Applesoft program) and is between 52 and 120 sectors in length. This will be your main program. Whatever name it has on it, rename it to MAIN PGM. Then load the program that has an "A" next to it that has the name of the adventure. Example: If I were standardizing Valkenburg Castle, I would do a CATALOG. Note the name of the main program. Let's say it was "THE CASTLE". There would be another program on that disk that would be an Applesoft program by the name of VALKENBURG CASTLE. (It would be smaller than the main program.) This program runs the main program as so, since you are changing the name of the main program, you must change this program to run MAIN PGM. For our example we would type in:

RENAME THE CASTLE, MAIN PGM
LOAD VALKENBURG CASTLE

Then list it, finding all references to the old main program name on any RUN statements in the program and changing them to run MAIN PGM. For our example, let's say line 180 is:

180 PRINT DK$;"RUN THE CASTLE"

Change this to:

180 PRINT DK$;"RUN MAIN PGM"

Now unlock the VALKENBURG CASTLE program, or whatever the name is on the one you are converting, and save it.

UNLOCK VALKENBURG CASTLE
SAVE VALKENBURG CASTLE

You should now have the file names changed as needed to install the save game routine. See the Utility Lines Column in this issue.

Spotlight On

#45 – SwordQuest (8:8)

by Roger Pender
Reviewed by John Nelson

Extra Commands: Save, Read, Open
Playing Time: 4 - 5 hours

When I played this adventure several months ago, I was killed twice before I could even get into the castle, so I knew I'd better take a substantial character with me. I chose Galahad (a character we have been distributing on the Master Diskette for the past couple of years). He had perfect Hardiness, Agility and Charisma (all 24's); 100% weapon abilities in all weapon classes, 100% spell abilities in all spells, plate armour, a shield, and good armour expertise, as well as some fairly heavy (although not ridiculous) weapons. He barely survived! I'm glad I didn't take anyone less qualified.

The story line on this adventure is that Morgan Le Fay, Arthur's half-sister, has stolen Excalibur and has spirited it away to her castle. Your job is to find it and return it to Arthur.

I was in seventh heaven during the entire adventure. There was a lot of combat against some very tough opponents. I would say this is the maximum combat adventure that it is possible to survive with the maximum normal character in Eamon. If I hadn't had friends along, and used my wits every step of the way, it would have been curtains.

But this adventure has more than lots of combat. It has good descriptions, a logical layout, good puzzles, some new and interesting magic and lots of action. I wasn't bored for a second. You won't be either.

#51 – Eamon Bluff (7:6)

by Tim Berge
Reviewed by Dan Cross

Extra Commands: none
Playing Time: 2 - 3 hours

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back to the days of your childhood?, your youth?, or more importantly, back to The Beginners Cave? We've all heard the expression, "You can never go back." Have you ever tried only to be stopped by William Misslefire? Oh sure, you can create a new character and start all over again, but have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to take that seasoned adventurer you've painstakingly built over the last couple of years back to where it all began?

For obvious reasons The Beginners Cave has to be one of the most oft-played scenarios. Surely we must know it by heart! So Eamon Bluff is going to play to a pretty tough audience, right? Only a first-rate story teller could pull this one off. It's the same everything and yet, it's not the way you remember it. "You are at the mouth of a dark cave set into the hillside. A sign above you says (..ginn.rs..nly).. and goes south here into the mouth. Another sign here is splattered with blood with a skull and crossbones etched in it." Thus begins your destiny with déjà vu. Make no mistake, this is not a rip-off. You know the old saying "just when you think you've seen it all before", etc.

Eamon Bluff is the perfect time machine. H.G. Wells couldn't have done it better. Tim Berge not only allows you to adventure into the past, but more specifically creates a journey through your past. And this is what I liked best. I don't know about you, but I suspect if we compared skeletons in our closets I'm not the only one who would like to go back and make things right. In The Beginners Cave I took anything and everything I could get. I stopped at nothing, not even murder; I killed the very friends that helped me through the cave, with one exception, Cynthia (for the reward of course). I wanted to sell their weapons so I could get even mare money. Take, take, take, you get the picture.

I know by now you're probably asking yourself, among other things, is it really possible to go back and change the past? And if so how will that affect my future? To find out, "borrow" that horse again and wake up those monsters with the new battle-cry "Forward into the Past!!!"

#52 – The Devil's Dungeon (5:3)

by Jeanette Merrill
Reviewed by Steve Mahr

Extra Commands: Read, Drink, Open, Kiss
Playing Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

As I left the Main Hall, I was approached by a rather vile character who offered to show me a secret dungeon containing riches. With nothing better to do and the chance for an extra buck, I took him up on his offer. I wasn't displeased.

It was a smaller dungeon, 55 rooms, with good descriptions. The maze was not difficult to follow and "LOOK" did not find the secret passages. I actually had to think; an unreasonable requirement for a mead- and wench-loving adventurer.

The monetary rewards of this dungeon were not tremendous, but there were other benefits. And what a surprise I got when I tried to..., but that would be telling.

A battle scarred veteran would probably get a bit bored and be wishing for a skin of wine (I brought my own) and a fair wench (I tried but she refused). There were not a lot of monsters to vanquish, but some of the ones I met were certainly not pushovers.

All in all, The Devil's Dungeon is a fairly good adventure, especially for one of the older Eamons. (Although the number is 52, this adventure was around for quite some time before it was added to the catalog. When I asked John why it was around a long time he grumbled something and said "shut up and write.") I would recommend it, especially for a novice player.

Notices & Junk

by John Nelson

Missing Adventures

Since adventures 32, 59, 71 and 88 have been discontinued, we are no longer distributing these. That leaves gaps in our adventure list, which we don't like to have. If anyone knows of any Eamon adventures out there that are any good, we would like to get them and use them to fill in these spaces.

I am writing new adventures that I will use to fill these spaces as soon as they are finished, if no other adventures fill the slots first.

From the Order Desk

Steve Mahr has taken over handling of large orders (whenever we can find him). Originally we were giving Steve all orders, but since that was creating unnecessary delay for small orders, we are now handling small orders ourselves and giving the larger ones to Steve. By having Steve process orders, we have time to work on bugs, more adventures and to do correspondence. If anyone is having problems with orders, please let us know.

Orders for documentation have not been filled yet, but will be by June 15. If you have ordered documentation and don't receive it by June 20th or so, let us know. It's possible it got by us. (Heaven forbid!)

New Diskette Prices

Our diskette prices have been lowered to be brought more into line with what others are distributing for. We don't know for sure why we are doing this, but you should order before we find out how much we're losing. The current member prices are:

1 - 4 diskettes ......... $3.00 each
5 - 9 diskettes ......... 2.75 each
10 - 19 diskettes ......... 2.50 each
20 - 39 diskettes ......... 2.25 each
40 - up diskettes ......... 2.00 each

Is Your Membership Expired??

That's a good question. When we started the club, we were hoping everyone would join at once. (How stupid can you get, right?) Then everyone's membership would expire at the same time. As people joined afterwards we started back-dating their official start date so that it would be the same as everyone else's. When people continued to join later in the year we had to change the way we did it. That means, for most of you, it is time to send in your annual dues. We are printing the mailing labels with your effective date of membership. If it states July 1, 1984 (07/01/84) then your membership dues are due. If this is the case, please send $12.00 for another year. Our accountant says our annual budgeted money has run out. (Our bank seems to agree!)

Bug Bytes

by John Nelson

Bug reports over the past couple of months have been downright scarce! What few bugs we do have to report were from within our own testing here at the club.

I know there are more bugs out there, so how about helping us out and reporting them?

Master Diskette 2.0 – The Beginners Cave

5-28-85

Line 2365 was added – there was no reward for Cynthia.

2365 IF MD%(9,5) = ROOM THEN PRINT
    : PRINT "YOU ARE ALSO GIVEN ";
    10 * CH;" GOLD PIECES": PRINT
    "FOR THE SAFE RETURN OF ";MN$(9)
    ;".":GOLD = GOLD + 10 * CH

Line 3540 was replaced. The new line should be:

3540 PRINT DK$;"READ EAMON.ROOMS
    ,R";ROOM:NX = 0: FOR X = 1 TO
    ND: INPUT RD%(X): IF RD%(X) <
    0 AND V%(ROOM) > 1 AND ABS
    (RD%(X)) < = NR THEN RD%(X)
    = ABS (RD%(X))

Adventure #45 – SwordQuest

5-15-85 While doing a power spell, a knight who was not in the room before was magically teleported into the room. This was unintentional on the part of the designer, but was a side effect of performing the monster reaction routine.

This happens because R3 has not been set = ROOM before GOSUB 3600 is executed during the monster comes alive routine.

Adventure #46 – LifeQuest

Cherubim and Seraphim had attributes of:

HARDINESS = 1000
AGILITY = 1000
FRIENDLINESS = 100
DEF. ODDS = 100
OFF. ODDS = 100
DICE = 4
SIDES = 100

These are totally out of line with the rest of the Eamon universe! It threw all the balance out of the system. I changed these attributes to:

HARDINESS = 40
AGILITY = 10
DEF. ODDS = 30
DICE = 4
SIDES = 5

This still leaves them extremely tough monsters, but at least now they are reasonable. I normally do not like to change other people's adventures and I have been known to resist the urge, but this was too much, sorry.

5-15-85 – BAD SUBSCRIPT ERROR ON LINE 530

Line 530 change MD(0,13) to MD%(0,13)

Adventure #48 – Picnic in Paradise

There has been some confusion on the monster and artifact routines in the past and some people now have bad versions. To ensure your routine is correct, compare it with the code below. In the Attack routine, a GOSUB 4700 is done and then some programs have a line that sets M = X after it returns. This line must be deleted, if present, once the routines match the ones below. This occurs because these routines return a value for M or A as the number of the found artifact or monsters.

4700 REM  >>> MONST SEARCH
4705 WH = RO:HA = - 1:EMB = RO
4710 FO = 0:BM = 0: FOR X = 1 TO NM:
     IF S$ < > MN$(X) AND LEFT$ (MN$(X),
     LEN (S$)) < > S$ AND RIGHT$ (MN$(X),
     LEN (S$)) < > S$ THEN 4750
4720 IF MD%(X,5) < > WHER AND MD%(X,5)
     < > HAVE AND MD%(X,5) < > EMB THEN 4750
4730 IF S$ = MN$(X) THEN BM = X
4740 FO = FO + 1:M = X
4750 NEXT : IF FO > 1 AND BM THEN M = BM
4760 RETURN

4800 REM  >> ARTIF SEARCH
4805 WH = RO:HA = - 1:EMB = RO
4810 FO = 0:BM = 0: FOR X = 1 TO NA:
     IF AN$(X) < > S$ AND LEFT$
     (AN$(X), LEN(S$)) < > S$ AND
     RIGHT$ (AN$(X), LEN (S$)) < >
     S$ THEN 4850
4820 IF AD%(X,4) < > WHER AND AD%(X,4)
     < > HAVE AND AD%(X,4) < > EMB THEN 4850
4830 IF S$ = AN$(X) THEN BM = X
4840 FO = FO + 1:A = X
4850 NEXT : IF FO > 1 AND BM THEN A = BM
4860 RETURN

Adventure #62 – Caverns of Doom

5-17-85 Line 1140 change DIM V%(96) to DIM V%(NR)

The program would bomb off on a bad subscript error when you were walking around, minding your own business.

Adventure #48 – Castle Rivineta

The one's for you, Ron! I desk checked the program prior to our distribution to anyone and found errors in the 3600 - 3800 reaction routine. GOTO was used instead of RETURN. Since this routine is a subroutine, this caused an OUT OF MEMORY error rather quickly. I am publishing this fix for those who got their adventures from other distributors. No one received a copy from the club with this error, since we fixed it before we sent any out. The lines to fix are:

3750 change GOTO 300 to RETURN

3800 change GOTO 300 to RETURN

3850 change GOTO 300 to RETURN

If any of you have run into any bugs lately, please let us know / hear from you.

Designer's Den

by John Nelson

With Bob gone and wanting to get some fresh points of view, I've asked Jeff Harris (at sword point!) to give us a new perspective on some things he'd like to see in an adventure. When you're designing these things, sometimes the designer gets into a rut of the same-old-stuff with very few new and creative twists. Jeff has come up with same wild ideas, which I'll let him express, then (when I finish laughing) I'll make a few suggestions on how some of these ideas could be transferred into an Eamon adventure, programming-wise.
— John

Something completely different

by Jeff Harris

Well, it's Springtime; John's been rattling the bars on my cage again, so another winter's hibernation is over. He's stuck me with the title of Official Eamon Gadfly, so I might as well earn it:

PETS: Ever see the John Wayne movie Big Jake? Remember Dawg, Duke's four-legged companion? I'd like to meet an occasional character (preferably a friend) wandering about with his/her trusty animal sidekick. Now, no "real" adventurer would take a Pekingese along; puppies, kittens and guppies would not do on a monster hunt. I'm talking about Dobermans, Mastiffs, or the occasional 1600 lb. polar bear. Or even some "exotic" animal like a Pegasus, a tame firedrake, or an invisible six-foot rabbit named Harvey. Consider the possibilities:

A pet dragon that scorches locked doors – or obnoxious visitors – upon command.

Faithful dogs that are trained to sniff out treasure, avoid traps, and find their way out of mazes.

Trained ferrets to get into and out of tight places perhaps scooping a little loot along the way.

Self-sufficiency... plenty of corpses to feed a hungry pet.

For you space opera buffs, how about a survival adventure/sabotage mystery aboard a lifeboat in space.

How about a Saturday Night at the Olde Watering Hole – one large room with dozens of adventurers present.

For you Airwolf fans, Blue Thunder addicts, etc., spend the entire adventure inside a one room aircraft (or a Viking-like boat, etc.) "moving" the vehicle in different directions, looking for trouble and booty.

ARMS & ARMOUR: How many of you have ever heard of the Society for Creative Anachronism? Lotsa blank stares, eh, so let me explain: the SCA is a non-profit, educational organization based on the concept of "keep the Middle Ages alive by study and imitation." Science, technology and the arts have their own guilds; military equipment and tactics are perpetuated through tournaments, skirmishes, and the occasional war; and such truly unpleasant things like plagues and famine are happily ignored. Anyway, I've been an authorized fighter for nearly four years, giving and getting my fair share of combat bruises. I'm currently phasing out my trusty conveyor-belt (similar to boiled leather) armor for some lovely steel plate, and I spend a considerable amount of time maintaining my weapons (rattan sticks reinforced with fiber-tape) and gear... the amount of wear-and-tear is phenomenal! Which leads me to the topic of Arms and Armor. Once the stuff is bought and paid for, the Eamon enthusiast seldom gives it another thought. I find this rather disappointing – I can relate to August weekends frying in my armor, or melee fights where allies and enemies get inseparably mixed together (recognizable only by their armor), or long hours spent learning/perfecting the various weapon systems. Magic weapons and endless ATTACK commands are okay, but here's what I'd like to see some more of:

An Exhaustion Factor. You put on 30 lbs. of heavy clothes and go play basketball for a while and maybe you'll appreciate this more.

Broken armor. Yes, it does break – usually at the worst possible time. And it takes time and resources to fix... if you know how. (I've learned a little elementary blacksmithing building my SCA plate.)

Remember when the kung-fu movie craze started? Here's a basic movie plot:

  1. Student learns kung-fu.
  2. School is attacked, teacher shamed/injured.
  3. Teacher passes along a "secret" (i.e., "magic") technique.
  4. Student takes revenge on villains.

I'd like to see an adventure built along similar lines, with plenty of emphasis on steps 1 and 4.

Well, so much grumbling for this issue. Remember: be creative!

John here again — almost forgot about me, eh?

To go through some of these ideas, let's examine how some of them could be implemented into Eamon adventures and what some of the problems are.

Pets – These are no real problem to do in Eamon, except for a couple of minor points. a.) Being creative. It is fun to run into a monster with an unusual pet. Try something different. Dreaming them up is half the fun. You don't want to use the old run-of-the-mill pets all the time. b.) The pet should react the same as the monster. This gets a bit trickier, but can be done. Check the adventure #48 Picnic in Paradise – Rebecca reacts as her father, the old warrior, does. In order to do this, all you have to do is have the pet as a higher numbered monster than his master. Then make a change to the reaction routine of the base program that if the subscript equals the pet's monster number, instead of calculating his reaction, simply copy the reaction of his master! Sample code of such a change:

3655 IF M = PET THEN MD%(M, 14) = MD%(MSTR,14): GOTO 3670

For a special monster, such as a dragon that scorches locks (or enemies) upon command, you would need special coding in the SAY command area (lines 16000 - 16999). For example, let's say you have a baby dragon with you that will do this. First you have to give some clue to the player that such action is possible. Perhaps have the description of the dragon say that he looks friendly and obedient, as if he would scorch enemies upon command, or some such thing.

Then put in code like (assume PET is a variable set to the monster number of the baby dragon):

16060 IF LEFT$(S$,6) = "SCORCH" AND MD%(PET,5) = ROOM THEN 16100
16100 REM /// DRAGON-SCORCH
16110 S$=MID$(S$,8)
16120 GOSUB 4700 : REM Version 6.0 Monster Search routine
16130 IF NOT FO THEN ?:?"THE DRAGON DOESN'T UNDERSTAND!": GOTO 100
16140 ?:?"THE DRAGON ATTACKS "; MN$(M);" WITH A":?"BLAST OF FLAME BREATH!"
16150 DF = M: D=2: S=4: GOSUB 7635: GOTO 300

If you aren't using version 6.0, you won't have a monster search routine at 4700 and will have to write your own.

Now let's try something a bit harder: a dog that can sniff out traps and sniff out treasure. Let's assume the magic dog is monster number 2, you are standing in room 7, with room 8 being directly south as a secret passage, and containing a treasure (artifact #9), and east being a secret pit that you would fall into and die. Special code might be:

205 IF MD%(2,5) = ROOM AND MD%(2,14) = 3 THEN GOSUB 28000
28000 REM /// DOG SENSE ANYTHING?
28010 IF ROOM = 7 THEN ?:?"THE DOG STOPS DEAD IN HIS TRACKS."
28020 IF ROOM = 7 AND AD%(9,4) = 8 THEN ?:?"HE BARKS AND SCRATCHES AT THE SOUTH WALL."

Explanation: In line 205 we first had to determine that the dog (monster 2) was in the room. This is done by checking his field 5 (MD%(2,5)) equal to the room variable ROOM. Then, the program must be sure he is a friend of yours. (In our example he won't help you unless he is.) If both of these conditions are true, then the program will perform the subroutine at 28000.

Line 28010 checks to see if you are in room 7 (since you know there is a pit to the east), and prints the dog's warning. Of course the warning can be subtle as it is here, or it could be more blatant, such as "THE DOG GROWLS AT THE EAST TUNNEL" or even "THE DOG TRIES TO STOP YOU FROM GOING EAST."

Line 28020 then checks to see if you are in room 7 again, and if so, it checks to see if the treasure is still in room 8. (You might have already discovered it.)

An even more difficult bit of programming would be the ferrets that retrieve things for you. This type of programming is difficult to simulate. It could be done by using the say command such as "SAY FETCH DIAMOND" at which the ferrets would run into a hole and fetch the diamond and return it. Let's try this:

Room description:

YOU ARE IN A SMALL STARK CELL. THERE IS
A COT SECURELY BOLTED TO ONE WALL AND A
SMALL RAT HOLE IN THE WALL UNDER THE
BUNK.

FERRET IS HERE.

YOUR COMMAND? LOOK INTO HOLE

YOU LOOK INTO THE HOLE AND SEE A LARGE SPARKLING DIAMOND!

YOU ARE
  IN A STARK CELL.
FERRET IS HERE.

YOUR COMMAND? GET DIAMOND

THE DIAMOND IS OUT OF REACH.

YOU ARE
  IN A STARK CELL.
FERRET IS HERE.

YOUR COMMAND? SAY FETCH DIAMOND

THE FERRET RUNS INTO THE HOLE AND
RETURNS A FEW SECONDS LATER WITH
THE DIAMOND.

YOU SEE A SPARKLING DIAMOND.

YOUR COMMAND? GET DIAMOND

GOT IT.

The programming needed to accomplish this would be:

1. Get routine – not allow getting diamond if it is still in the room in was originally placed (room 0 would be best). If the adventurer is in the correct room, but the diamond has not been ferreted out, print that it is out of reach.

4210 IF A = 6 AND AD%(6,4) = 0 THEN ?:? "THE DIAMOND IS OUT OF REACH.": GT=0: RETURN

2. Look routine – If you are in the stark cell, check for looking "into hole" if this is the case, and the diamond is still in room 0, print that you see the diamond.

IF ROOM = 23 AND (S$ = "INTO HOLE" OR S$ = "HOLE" OR S$ = "IN HOLE" THEN IF AD%(6,4 )= 0
THEN ?:?"YOU LOOK INTO THE HOLE AND SEE":?"A LARGE SPARKLING DIAMOND!": GOTO 300

3. Say command – If the adventurer is saying "fetch" (followed by some other item name), go to a routine that figures out what he is trying to fetch, then check whether or not the adventurer is in the correct place, the diamond is still in room 0, etc. If so, change the room number of the diamond and print the message that the ferret went to get it.

16060 IF LEFT (S$,5) = "FETCH" AND MD%(9,5) = ROOM AND MD%(9,14) = 3 THEN 16100
16100 REM /// FERRET FETCH
16110 S$=MID$(S$,7)
16120 IF S$ = "DIAMOND" AND ROOM = 23 AND AD%(6,4) = 0 THEN 16150
16130 ... (do whatever else you want)
16140 GOTO 300
16150 ?:?"THE FERRET RUNS INTO THE HOLE AND ":?"RETURNS A FEW SECONDS LATER WITH ":?"THE DIAMOND."
16160 AD%(6,4) = ROOM: GOTO 300

Sounds easy, huh?

For some of the other items Jeff mentioned, I would like to say that some of these features are present in Don Brown's SwordThrust series. Exhaustion, armor breaking etc. have been done in this system. Part of the problem in doing these in Eamon is simply that it is more trouble than it's worth most of the time. For an occasional change of pace, however, I think they would be refreshing.

Club News

Part One

by Steve Mahr (new staff writer – but sh-h-h-h don't tell Steve. He doesn't know yet. — John)

Bob is on currently on vacation. I'm not sure where or for how long, they just told me to shut up and write.

A list of documentation available to members was printed in the March 1985 issue. We have had a couple orders, but not enough to go to print. Until the club can afford a good copier (don't hold your breath), we will have to wait until there have been enough requests to justify printing costs.

A list of diskette prices was also printed in the March issue. Since then, there has been much discussion about making the adventures more affordable to members. A close look at the volume of diskettes being ordered has revealed that the club can afford to lower prices and still be able to maintain the equipment. Thus, so forth, and yea verily, the following price list will be in effect as of June 1, 1985 for members only. Non-member prices remain as published.

1 - 4 disks $3.00 each
5 - 9 disks $2.75 each
10 - 19 disks $2.50 each
20 - 39 disks $2.25 each
40 - up disks $2.00 each

We also have in the backs of our little minds...

John says to say "it is our hope" because "little minds" doesn't sound dignified and professional and I asked him since when has he become dignified and professional and he threw a notebook at me and reminded me that he is a honcho and I am a gofer and he is also bigger than I am so...

It is our hope that the difference between member and non-member prices will encourage new memberships.

And speaking of members (see how deviously I snuck into that), we want to encourage your participation. "And how do I do that?" you ask as you sit by your keyboard in California, Maine, or who knows where else. "Easy," says we here in Iowa. Write to us. Use the same general format as in the newsletter and review an adventure or two. Send in reports of the bugs you find and wonder how we could miss such an obvious error. Tell us how much you like the newsletters and the general club operation, well OK. We will accept, seriously consider, and act upon criticisms and suggestions.

Yes, John. I can be serious. Really. Quit laughing!

We do want your input and will respond to letters.

Part Two

by John Nelson

The Un-contest!

Bob and I were discussing Eamon contests and adventures a while back. (Long before Bob disappeared mysteriously.) We came up with an idea we thought would be really neat.

As varied as people are, we think you could come up with a story idea for an adventure, give the idea to three different people and ask them to make an Eamon adventure from it, and you would get some pretty interesting differences. Besides that, you could tell a lot about the designer from the adventure he came up with. It would even be interesting to compare the adventures for differences in style, mood, etc.

We therefore devised our "un-contest" in which you don't have to enter to lose. Anyone that wants to can enter. Just design your Eamon adventure around the storyline we give here and send it in when you've tested and debugged it. We will take the ones we think are the best and add them to the Eamon adventure list.

This also has the added advantage that we can fill some of the holes in the adventure list that were created when we discontinued some other adventures.

The guidelines we would like to stick to are:

  1. Maximum of 70 rooms. This will help shorten play time.
  2. Maximum of 35 monsters.
  3. Maximum # artifacts (not including bodies) = 50
  4. Version 6.0 Base program only
  5. Must be received by September 1, 1985
  6. You name the adventure and its characters
  7. Base the adventure on the storyline given

The general storyline is:

Things are not right with the Eamon world. The most timid of animals attack humans on-sight. The fields are ravaged one-by-one at night.

No one knows the cause of this strange disturbance, and only one man (you supply the name) can restore order. But _________ has had his life-orb stolen and is bed-ridden, losing strength day-by-day.

Your mission: Recover the Life-orb of _________, find the cause for the natural disasters and chaos, and either help _________ correct the problems or find a way to do it yourself.

That's about it. You can add you own descriptions on subsequent pages or make wording changes if you wish, but try to stick to the theme given.

When we receive everyone's adventure, we will put the results (like the number of adventures we received, etc.) in the newsletter. All acceptable adventures will be placed on the adventure list.

Adventure Tips

by John Nelson

There is an age old proverb of the ancient adventurer that goes like this:

What isn't nailed down is mine.
— Anything I can pry loose isn't nailed down.

That seems to sum up the attitude of most of your local barbarian adventurers. But the modern adventurer must be a bit careful. The following is some advice on looting and making off with the booty.

Avoid taking food from an 8 foot troll while he's eating.

Never steal a hat from a wizard while he's awake, wearing the hat, and knows a disintegration spell.

Never argue with a ninety foot dragon while bound to a sacrificial altar.

Never take advantage of a princess that owns a pet that likes to eat men in armor 'cause they're crunchy.

Never take jeweled locks from cell doors that are restraining hundreds of crazed metal-eating kzorks.

Pop Quiz:

When you've broken your last weapon, find yourself at death's door (knocking loudly), have exhausted all your spells, and are faced with twelve imperial guards and a nineteen foot hill giant, do you:

  1. Pretend to be one of them and hope they don't notice
  2. Ignore them and hope they'll go away
  3. Kill the hill giant to impress the guards
  4. So into an epileptic seizure, hoping to confuse and frighten them
  5. Organize a Swat Team with the guards and attack the giant

Of course, there is no one single solution to that one, you could try them all and none of them would probably work.


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