Rules for Heroic Fantasy

Rules for HEROIC FANTASY Copyright 1990 by Flying Buffalo Inc

HEROIC FANTASY is a play by mail game. Most players are playing by mail, with turns run every two weeks. You can join a game with turns either twice a week, weekly, or every two weeks. (For faster games, you need access to one of the EMAIL services). To join a game, you need to read these rules first. Then send us a "startup sheet" listing your starting "party" of characters, plus your mailing address and a check or credit card info (we accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.) We will put you in a game with other players from around the country (or around the world). Every two weeks (you can join a faster or slower game) you send us a form with the instructions for your characters. We type the orders for all the players into our computer and it processes the turn. The computer determines the results of combat, decides what the monsters and the NPCs (non-player characters) are going to do, and makes you an individual printout showing you what you are supposed to see. We email this back to you and once again you have two weeks (or whatever) to get your next set of orders to us. All the players' orders in one game are processed at the same time; it doesn't matter how fast you get them back to us, as long as you get them back before we run the next turn. (Thus people who get their turns in first don't get any kind of advantage.) If you don't get your orders in, then all of your characters will stand and defend themselves at double strength for that turn.

Please note that if you miss the turn, you are still charged the turn fee. We don't charge the fee in return for typing in your orders. The turn fee is your share of the costs of running the game. We have virtually the same expenses, whether or not you get your orders in. The game goes on, with or without you. If you decide not to continue the game, please let us know, so we can quit mailing you printouts and delete your characters from the database. Simply not sending in orders is NOT sufficient notice that you don't want to play anymore, since players often miss a turn or even two and then continue playing. Due to the way this game is set up, missed turns don't usually hurt you particularly.

VERSION TWO VS VERSION THREE

This is actually the third version of the program. In the first two versions, we told the players there was going to be nine levels to the game, and the object was to go through all nine levels and exit. Players exiting from the ninth level would be given wall plaques as a prize. We never actually finished programming the lower levels, because only a couple people ever got as far as the 6th level, and after eight years only a half dozen are playing in the 5th level. We decided that maybe nine levels was too much. Since we were making a new version of the game, (with a lot of new stuff) we determined to add a better final goal, and to shorten it to only 4 (bigger) levels in the dungeon. The fifth level would be an outdoor adventure; a fantasy wargame where the characters you've brought up through the dungeon maze are the "heroes". Your heroes will be able to wander about the countryside, recruiting an army, until you find a castle to invade. Once you successfully invade a castle, you may retire gracefully, or stick around and defend the castle against the next bunch of brash heroes. Or you can go out and try to get more castles!

As I write this (July of 1994) the outdoor level is not completely programmed yet. If you are already playing in the old version of HEROIC FANTASY, you can continue to do so if you want. Or you can immediately have your characters transferred to a "new version" game. Or you can switch games between levels. We will continue to run all six levels of the "old" version as long as anyone wants to play it. Graduates from the 6th level of the "old" version will be allowed into the "outdoor" level of the new HF. If you have any graduates from the 1st level or 2nd level of the old game, or characters currently in the 2nd or 3rd levels, you may move them to a 2nd level "new" game. If you have graduates of the 3rd or 4th level, or characters in the 4th or 5th levels, you may start them in the "new" 3rd level. If you have graduates from the old 5th level, or characters in the old 6th level, you can start them in the new 4th level. When you graduate the "new" 4th level, or the "old" 6th level, you can go to the outdoor level.

RULE NUMBER ONE

These rules are purposely incomplete. Be prepared to discover that some rules don't mean QUITE what you thought they meant, and to be surprised by things that are not mentioned. We will tell you what orders you can give, but not NECESSARILY what will happen when you give those orders. And we are always thinking of new things to add to the game.

We believe that part of the entertainment of a game like this is in discovering the surprises for yourself. It is possible to communicate with other players, and it is fun to show off by telling them what you have learned. However, this might spoil some of the fun for them. Be sure that your friend really wants to know before you give away any secrets.

Do remember that this is not a game where you "win" or a race to see who finishes first. The idea is to enjoy the experience. There will be plenty of room in the outdoor level for everyone to find his or her own castle.

ERRORS

Each turn, as part of your printout, you will see a copy of the orders you gave, as we typed them in. If we make a mistake, let us know, and we will either repair the error completely if we can, or we will refund DOUBLE your turn fee for that turn as an apology for the error. (Assume that the evil wizard Buffobane interfered and made your character do something unintentionally. Or that your character's foot slipped. Or the spell backfired.) We really don't make many errors, but no one's perfect. Note that if we make a typing error on a SPEECH order, we won't refund your turn fee as that generally has no real effect on the game. If you see what you think is an error, first check to see if we typed what you wrote. If we did, and something strange happened, see rule number one above!

CHARACTERS

A character is one of those individuals controlled by a player inside the maze. Each type or "kindred" of character costs a certain number of "points" to start, and a player may have up to fifteen characters or 100 points worth of characters, whichever comes first. A character has a number of identifying attributes: Name, Sex, Kindred, Class, Strength, Constitution, and Experience. Each character can carry up to 15 prizes or items. Characters have no weapons at the start, but start with a certain amount of gold. There is a store adjacent to EVERY entrance room, where the character can purchase various items.

The NAME of a character is up to 31 letters and spaces long and can be anything reasonable you wish to name your character. (Nothing obscene, please!) There is no guarantee that there will not be two or more characters with the same name in the same game.

The SEX of a character is either male or female. The name and sex are used primarily to add color to the game, as each character has a unique number for purposes of identification. (However there are some cases where the sex of the character matters.)

The KINDRED of the character may be Human, Elf, Dwarf, Ogre, Troll, Giant, Fairy, Gremlin, Leprechaun, Hobbit, or Goblin. The different beings have varying strengths and weaknesses, detailed elsewhere in these rules.

The CLASS of a character is either Fighter or Magic User. Only Magic-Users can employ the "major" and "minor" magic spells described elsewhere. Both Classes have their uses, and it is recommended that you have at least one character of each type in your group or party. (The word "party" is sometimes used to describe the group of all the characters belonging to you.)

The STRENGTH of a character is used to attack other characters or monsters, to defend oneself and others, to cast magic, to pick up prizes, and to go through crowded doorways or jimmy locked doors open. A character's Strength is merely a limit for actions done that turn; it does not "go away" upon being used, and is all available for use every turn. A character's initial Strength depends on his or her Kindred and Class. Strength can be temporarily increased by drinking a strength potion, or in other ways.(You can only use strength you already have. If you are drinking a strength potion, it will increase your strength for use NEXT turn.) Temporary strength increases gradually go away.

The CONSTITUTION reflects the amount of damage a character can withstand and continue living. A character's initial Constitution also depends on his or her Kindred and Class. If a character's Constitution ever reaches zero, that character is dead. At this point, you can either drag the dead character to the "store" and pay to have him or her resurrected, or you can drop the dead one from your party. (See "Rescue Parties").

The character's EXPERIENCE begins at zero. A character gains experience by staying alive, killing monsters and other characters, and leaving a level carrying prizes & treasures. Experience points can be "traded in" between levels for additional Strength and Constitution.

THE MAZE

The maze is made of rooms that are interconnected door to door. Each room has a description, and a list of the directions from which you can leave. (If a direction is not listed, you can't go that way. Some directions may be hidden until you cast a "reveal" spell, or "search" in that direction by a fighter, or someone passes through from the other side.) If the direction has a number, that is the size of the door. The size is how many characters can pass through that door in each of the two movement phases. (i.e. a size "2" door will allow a total of four characters to pass through during the turn.) If the direction is noted as a "crumbly wall", then there is no door, but if you have a character of 30 or more strength, you can "barge" or crash through the wall. In the lower levels, this wall may have a different name, but if it's named, you can probably "barge" through it. Each room may have a monster that can attack and be attacked, and there may be one or more prizes or treasures which a character can pick up and use, or gain experience points by possessing. One or more rooms on each level is the "entrance" and parties entering a level will begin in one of these. At least one room on a level is the "exit", and characters in this room may quit that maze level to rest, cash in experience points, and regroup in order to enter the next level. No combat of any kind (or casting of "major" spells) is allowed in either the entrance or the exit (this includes defend and ambush orders), and characters receive no experience points for loitering in these rooms.

Doors lead to adjacent rooms. Any door may be locked by magic. The "lock" spell creates around the door a magical field which slowly dissipates. This dissipation can be sped up by the use of an "unlock" spell, or by physically "jimmying" the door, or by "barging" through the locked door. If a door is size 15 or larger, a character in the room can see what is in the adjacent room.

PRIZES

Prizes can sometimes be found in rooms. When a character picks up a prize, the player is usually informed whether or not the prize is magical, and how much experience it is worth. Some prizes can be "used". This will say "use me" or "use me in a direction" or "use me on a character". If a prize does not say "use me," you cannot order it to be used. However it may still cause something to happen under the right circumstances. Some of the prizes which can be found are:

STRENGTH POTION: when used, this temporarily raises the strength of a character. The temporary strength can NOT be used the turn the potion is used, and gradually wears off.

HEALING POTION: When used, this potion restores lost constitution. If used when constitution is at maximum, it temporarily raises constitution by 1. (This temporary con is used up when you take hits, or if you leave the level you are in.)

UNKNOWN POTION: Could be anything. You can find out what it does by taking it to the store and paying to have it "identified" or you can just use it and find out!

VALUABLES: some items cannot be used, and have no magical powers or uses. However they do have a value in both gold and experience points. You can take them to the store and sell them for the gold (so you can buy something useful) or you can carry them out when you exit and turn them in for the experience points.

WEAPONS: there are various kinds of weapons available, and they increase the strength of your attack. (For example, if you have a +10 Sword, and you attack with 5 strength, you will attack the enemy with 15 strength points.) The computer automatically assumes that you want to attack with the best (most bonus) weapon you are carrying, unless you specify another weapon with your attack order. You can only use one weapon at a time, although you can carry several.

SHIELDS & ARMOR: these add to your defense automatically. You don't have to order anything. The computer assumes that you are wearing the best of the items you are carrying. You can have both a shield and armor, but if you have two shields or two sets of armor, only the best will be used.

BAGS OF GOLD: Sometimes the description of a prize will be "Bag of Gold". When you pick up this prize, the description will change to merely "Bag" because your character has automatically transferred all the gold to his purse. The next turn, the empty "Bag" will disappear.

THE STORE

There is a store adjacent to every entrance room of every level. This is a place where you can turn some of your prizes in for gold, and spend the gold buying certain weapons, armor, and potions.

If your character is in the store, every prize he is carrying will have a "gold value" listed after the experience point value. To sell a prize and get the gold value, simply "release" the prize while in the store.

Prizes "on the floor" in the store are not free for the taking. You must purchase them for the gold amount listed. To buy a prize, just "take" it in the normal way. (But if you do not have enough gold, the "take" order will fail.) If two or more characters try to buy the same prize, the one who "takes" it with the most strength will get it. If there is a tie, one will be selected randomly. It is not necessary for the character actually taking the prize to have the gold. If he doesn't have enough, but you have other characters in the store, the computer will automatically take sufficient gold from all your available characters.

Buying prizes comes after selling, so you can sell a prize and use the money to buy a new one.

There is a wizard in the store who will bring dead characters back to life. The price for this service will be posted in the store. There is no order to resurrect a character. It is assumed that if you drag a dead body into the store, you want it brought back to life. You can, of course, only resurrect your own characters.

Combat of any kind in the store is strongly discouraged!

ORDERS

Each character you have can be given a number of orders (unless the character is dead or asleep, of course), described in detail below. However, there are some basic limits to how many orders each character can perform in one turn. These limits are:

  1. One "speak" order
  2. Any number of "release" orders
  3. One "take" order (take a prize; grab prizes; or give, gather, or share gold)
  4. One "minor" order (minor magic, use prize, search for hidden doors, etc)
  5. One "major" order (major magic, combat, jimmy door, move, exit, barge, etc)
  6. One "weapon" order (specify the weapon to use)
Any order can be abbreviated (if you like) by the first THREE letters of the order.

The format for descriptions of the orders below use the following abbreviations:
char
This refers to a being in the game, either a character or a monster. An individual character is identified by the letter "C" followed by a number. The letter "M" (with no number following) indicates the monster in that room.
prize
A prize is some kind of treasure found in a room. A particular prize is identified by the letter "P" followed by a number. You may not order a character to do anything to a prize that is not listed on your printout as being in the same room (even if you happen to know the prize is there but not visible).
dir
This represents a direction or door name, and can be abbreviated by its first letter. Not all doors are always visible. Although you may order a character to lock, unlock, jimmy, fireball, move through, or barge through a door that isn't visible, the order will fail unless the door is also made visible that turn. (by a reveal order, a search order, or someone moving in from the other side).
str
This represents the amount of strength used by a character to do something. This can be from zero to all the strength the character currently has. If no strength is specified, then zero is assumed.
speech
This is the way characters inside the maze may "communicate" with one another. This is a string of letters, numbers, and spaces that indicate what a player is saying this turn.

SPEAK ORDER
: speech
The "speak" order causes whatever you "say" to be printed out next to your character on the printout of everyone who can see that character. It will also be printed out for anyone in any adjacent room to "hear". The maximum length of a "speech" is 73 characters in letters, numbers, AND SPACES. This is the only order that does not begin with a letter, instead it begins with a colon ( : ). When writing your orders, it is recommended that you DON'T put any orders AFTER a speech order, so we don't mistake it for part of the speech. A speech order simply written as a colon followed by a ditto mark ( :" ) makes that character repeat what the previous character said. A speech order which is just the colon with nothing following it, makes the character repeat what he said LAST TURN. A speech order that ends with three exclamation points ( !!! ) is a SHOUT order, and can be heard by everyone in that particular game. (It will be printed on everyone's printout). It is recommended that you don't go overboard with the shouting, as all that noise might attract unwanted attention. You are allowed to say pretty much anything you want to in speech orders, although we are limited to the characters on our keyboard. We reserve the right to censor obscene or offensive speech orders.

RELEASE ORDER
RELEASE,prize or REL,prize
This order uses no strength. It means you want to drop this prize. You can give any number of "release" orders on any turn. Note that you don't have to release a prize in order for another of your characters to "Take" it. (If you give the take order, it is assumed that you want to release it.) However, the "release" order is useful if you want to dump a worthless prize or if you want to give several prizes to another of your characters. You can "release" several prizes and have the other character "grab" them. (See below).

TAKE ORDERS
TAKE,str,prize or TAK,str,prize
This order means that the character is attempting to pick up that prize. In the store, this is the order to give to buy that prize. If more than one character tries to pick up the same prize, the one who uses the most strength will get it. If they tie, then no one gets it. In the store, if two characters use the same amount of strength on the same prize, one of them randomly gets to purchase the prize. You can take prizes away from another character if you can see the prize number. (Generally that's only when the character is asleep.) Remember that unless the prize (with its identification number) appears on your printout, you may not attempt to pick it up. Generally if a prize is not listed as being in the possession of a particular character, it is on the floor, and available to anyone who wants to "take" it.
GRAB
This is a take order, and means that you want to try to pick up all the prizes on the floor. (This doesn't work in the store!) If you are the only one to give a GRAB order, you will gather up all the prizes left over after all "take" orders are done. This includes any prizes that didn't get picked up because of a tie. It also includes any prizes that were released (by you or anyone else) in that room that turn, but it does NOT include prizes that were dropped by a dying character that turn, or revealed by a dying monster that turn. If more than one character gives a "grab" order, then the prizes are split randomly among them. You cannot give both a "grab" and a "take" order for the same character; this is your one "take" order.
GATHER
This means you gather up all the gold from all your other characters in the same room. If more than one of your characters gives a "gather" order, they divide the gold as evenly as possible.
SHARE
This means gather the gold, as in the gather order above, and then divide it evenly among all your characters in the same room.
GIVE,number,char
Give this amount of gold to the specified character. It can be to one of your characters, or someone else's. (But it can't be a monster). This order is not cancelled or affected by any "gather" or "share" orders by other characters of yours in the room.

MINOR ORDERS
The following are minor magic orders, and can only be given by a magic-user:
LOCK,str,dir
This locks the door in that direction. The more strength you use, the longer the door will stay locked. (One turn more than the number of strength used.) Only a magic user can give a "lock" order. The turn you "lock" a door, characters can move through it. The "lock" takes effect next turn.
UNLOCK,str,dir
This is the opposite of the "lock" order. The number of turns of the "lock" is reduced by one plus the amount of strength used. Only a magic-user can give this order.
REVEAL,str
This reveals all hidden doors and/or objects in a room. The more strength you use, the longer everything stays revealed. If you know there is a hidden door in a direction, you still have to "reveal" it to go through it.
SPY,str,char
This spies on a particular character. It puts a glowing "aura" around a character that tells anyone else in the room the details about this character that other players normally wouldn't see, such as what his current strength and constitution are, what prizes he is carrying, and so forth. The more strength you use for this spell, the longer the effect lasts. If you use it on a monster ("M" in the space for ), the more strength you use, the more likely the spell will work. In order to cast this spell on a character, the character must be in the same room with the one throwing the spell. And in order for you to see the results of the spell, you must be able to see the room in which the victim ends the next turn. In other words, if you use this spell on someone on the same turn he is leaving the room, you might not get to see the results. However anyone in the room where he arrives will get to see that he was "spied" and see all the details.
SPY,str,dir
This spell may tell you what is in the next room. The more strength you use, the more likely it is to succeed. There must be a door in the direction you are casting this spell in order for it to work.
WAKEN,str,char or WAK,str,char
This spell attempts to wake up a sleeping character. The more strength you use, the more likely it is to work. It may wake the character, or it may reduce the number of turns that the character will remain asleep.
INVISIBLE,str,char or INV,str,char
This spell can only be used in the THIRD level and below. It can't be cast in the 1st or 2nd levels. It can only be cast on a fighter, and it makes that fighter invisible to all except monsters who hunt primarily by their sense of smell. It can be cast on some monsters. The more strength you use, the longer the character will remain invisible. This spell can be reduced or eliminated by use of the REVEAL spell. Your character will still appear on your printout, followed by the word "Invisible". If an invisible character gives a "speak" order, the speech will appear on other people's printouts without the speaker showing up! Giving any kind of "attack" order while invisible will erase the invisibility and make your character visible.
PROTECT,str,char or PRO,str,char
This spell can also only be used in the THIRD level and below. It can be cast on any character or monster. It adds "protection" to a character and each point of protection will cancel out one point of magic attack. For example, a fireball normally does 10 points worth of damage to your constitution. If you have 2 points of protection when the fireball goes off, you only take 8 hits to your constitution. The more strength you use, the more protection you have. Protection gradually wears off, and the more you have, the faster it wears off. A character cannot cast this spell on himself.
STRENGTHEN,str,char or STR,str,char
This spell can also only be used in the THIRD level and below. It can be cast on any fighter and some monsters. It adds temporary strength to the fighter, the same as if he had used a strength potion. The more strength you use in the spell, the more temporary strength the fighter will have.

The following are minor orders that can be given by any character, fighter or magic user:
USE,prize : use a "use me" prize, or use a "use me on a character" prize on yourself.
USE,prize,dir : use a "use me in a direction" prize.
USE,prize,char : use a "use me on a character" prize.
To use a prize, the character giving the order must have the prize in his or her possession. You cannot "use" a prize on the turn you take it from someone else.
IDENTIFY,prize
If you are in the store, you can use this order to find out what a prize or unknown potion is. It costs you half the gold value of that prize. (If you don't have the gold, the order will fail.)
SEARCH,str
This will search the room for hidden monsters. The more strength you use, the more likely it is to succeed in finding any invisible monster. This is the order that a fighter will give. A magic user should "reveal" as that will definitely find any invisible monsters. (However it will also reduce the remaining invisibility of any invisible characters in the same room, so a magic user might use "search" if he has an invisible comrade in the room.)
SEARCH,str,dir
This will look for a hidden door or crumbly wall in that direction. The more strength you use, the more likely it is to work. Again this is the order a fighter will give. A magic user should "reveal". A fighter can only look in one direction at a time, or look for hidden monsters. A "reveal" will search for monsters AND look in all directions for hidden doors. A "reveal" always works, a "search" will sometimes fail.
LUG,str,char
This is the order you use to drag a sleeping character or dead body around. You must use at least one less strength than the current strength of the character being dragged. (Thus it takes zero strength to lug a fairy around, but 59 to drag a giant). If you use more strength than necessary, the character being dragged moves through the door with that extra amount of strength (you can actually push him through the door ahead of you.). If two or more characters or monsters try to "lug" the same character in the same direction, the strengths are added together. If they drag him in different directions, the strengths cancel each other out. The sleeping or dead character will move in the same direction as the one giving the "lug" order, of course. If you give this order without moving, you are trying to keep any monsters from dragging your dead comrade off to their lair. You can only "lug" a character one room per turn (i.e. no double room moves.)
AIM,dir or AIM
You must give this as your minor order if you are attacking with a bow or crossbow or other missile weapon. If you are attacking a character or monster in the same room with you, just say "Aim". You can shoot at a character or monster in an adjacent room by giving "AIM,dir" . You must also give an attack order specifying which character you are attacking. You can attack the monster in the room to the north, for instance by giving the following two orders: "AIM,North" and "ATTACK,M".

MAJOR ORDERS

The major orders fall into three categories: Major Magic Spells; Major Combat Orders; and Other Major Orders. Of course only a magic user can prepare a Major Magic Spell. Note that "Moving" is also a major order, and you can only give ONE major order per character per turn. Thus if you are preparing or casting a major spell, you cannot also move that character. The Combat Orders cannot be given in "entrance" or "exit" rooms. Major Spells can be prepared, but not cast in the "entrance" or "exit". (And fireballs and arrows cannot be shot into entrance or exit rooms. These are "sanctuaries". ) The "quit" order can only be given in an exit room.

During combat, either physical or magical, a character can allot any or all of his or her total strength to certain tasks, although only one Major order can be given per character on any turn. Any character that is not asleep "defends" automatically with all the strength not being used for something else. In addition, other characters can add some of their strength to your defense. This all protects you against physical combat. Only the "protection" spell protects you against magical attacks.

All of the physical attacks on a character are added up, and if the total strength is more than the amount of strength defending that character, the difference is subtracted from the character's constitution. Any armor or shields carried by the character automatically add their strength to his defense every turn. If a character gives no orders except a "speech" or "release", he automatically defends with twice his strength. Characters which are asleep do not defend with any strength.

MAJOR MAGIC

PREPARE,spell
This is the order a magic-user gives to prepare a major spell for future use. A major spell must be prepared before it can be cast (and thus takes two turns to use). Preparing a spell takes all of a magic user's ORIGINAL strength (i.e. the strength he or she started the game with). Thus it always costs a fairy 1 strength to prepare a major spell; any human 10 strength; any Ogre 35; etc. If the magic-user has additional strength due to a strength potion, or turning experience into extra strength, the extra strength will defend or can be used for a minor spell. Note that even though you use all of your strength preparing a major spell, you can cast certain minor spells with "zero" strength, and they still have some effect. Once prepared, a major spell can be "carried" indefinitely. You can only have one spell prepared at a time, and if you prepare a different one, the first one goes away. Holding a prepared spell does not interfere with anything else you are doing, so it is adviseable to have your magic users normally carry a spell prepared. Although preparing a spell takes strength, you don't include it as part of the order as it is always the same amount for any given character.

The following are the major magic spells. Each must be prepared before use, and none can be used in an entrance or exit room. Casting a spell also takes ALL of a character's original strength. Therefore when a character is casting a major spell, he or she generally has no defense against attack and you should have another character defend your spellcaster. Remember that anywhere appears in the examples below, you can put "M" if you want to attack the "Monster" in the room. (But you have to be able to see the monster to attack it. You cannot make a blind attack against an unseen monster.) Note that a character cannot cast a spell on himself or herself.

BLAST,char
This spell gives as much damage to the target as the caster's original strength. In other words, a human casting a blast will cause 10 hits of damage. An Ogre casting a blast will cause 35 points or hits of damage. Any strength defending the character or monster, including armor or shields, will NOT help. The blast comes directly off his constitution. However, any "protection" that the target has, will be deducted from the strength of the blast. If the target has more protection than the amount of the blast, then the amount of the blast is deducted from the protection the target still has.
FIREBALL,dir or FIREBALL
A fireball can be thrown through a door into an adjacent room, or cast in the same room as the magic user. When a fireball explodes, EVERY character in that room takes ten hits directly off his or her constitution, regardless of strength defending. (Protection helps here too.) More than one fireball in the same room will not do any additional damage. You can explode a fireball in the same room where you are by not listing a direction, but your spellcaster will also take ten hits. If there is no door in the specified direction, or if the door is hidden and not revealed, or if the door is locked at the end of the turn, the fireball will not go through and instead will go off in the room where it was cast (oops!). Also there is a small percentage chance that a fireball will just accidentally misfire and go off in your room, so if you plan to cast a lot of these, your other characters should get out of the way! Monsters in a room with a fireball will usually take hits also, but you don't get any experience points for killing a monster with a fireball.
SLEEP,char
This spell has a 75% chance of putting that one character or monster to sleep for three turns. (Some monsters are immune). Sleeping characters and monsters do not defend themselves from attack, and prizes they may be carrying can be taken while they are asleep. If you kill a monster while it is asleep, you only get half as many experience points as you would have if you killed it while awake. (You will be told how many points you would have gotten if it were awake.)
HEAL,char
This spell can only be prepared in the third level or lower. It works the same as a healing potion; if the character is wounded, it puts his constitution back to normal. If he already has full constitution, it adds one to his con. It can be used on a monster. It cannot be used on a dead character.
CHARM
This spell can also only be prepared in the third level or lower. It attempts to charm the monster in the same room with the spell-caster. The more original strength the magic user has, the more likely this is to work, and the longer it will last if it does. (This works better for an Elf than it does for a Fairy). If it is successful, the word "charmed" will appear after the monster and the monster will not attack any of your characters while it is charmed. In addition, you can order the monster to attack characters in its room. The order to have the monster attack a character is: MONSTER, , . This orders the monster in the same room with that character to attack him. Of course you must previously have charmed that particular monster. Giving the monster "attack" orders uses up the charm spell faster. In order to use this order, any one of your magic users (not necessarily the one that actually charmed the monster) must give this attack order as her major order for the turn.

COMBAT ORDERS

Any of these orders may be given to a fighter or a magic-user. None may be given to any character in the entrance or exit rooms. Remember you cannot both move and attack.
ATTACK,str,char
This is the order you give to physically attack a character or monster. The amount of strength you use is how many hits you will get on his constitution if he doesn't have any defense. The best weapon you are carrying will add its strength to your attack. The best armor and/or shield the victim is carrying will add its strength to his defense.
AMBUSH,str,dir
This order will attack the first character (other than your own) coming through that door this turn.
WATCH,str,char
If the character or monster you are "watching" attacks anyone in your party this turn, you will "attack" him with this much strength. This is particularly useful if you don't plan to attack another player, but you don't trust him either.
DEFEND,str,char
This uses the specified amount of strength to defend that character. This is useful to defend a sleeping character or a magic-user while preparing a spell.

OTHER MAJOR ORDERS

Any of these orders may be given to any character.
MOVE,str,dir or MOVE,str,dir,dir
This is how you move from room to room. There are two "movement phases" so you can move two rooms per turn if you know where you are going. If you want to move two rooms at a time, note that you give both directions as part of the same order (you don't write two different move orders). If there is no open door in the direction specified, you simply won't move. If there is no open door in the second part of a double move, you will just stop in the first room. Normally zero strength is plenty to move through any door. However, if a door is not big enough for all the characters who want to move through it that turn, the ones which use the most strength will go through. The one who uses the most strength of all is the "first one through" for purposes of ambush on the other side! If, for instance, a door is size two, and three characters are trying to move through it, only two of them can go through on the first movement phase. The one using the least strength has to wait until the second movement phase, and therefor cannot make a "double move" that turn. Note that you can move out to another room, and then back again on the same turn. (Example: Move, North, South) This would be if you wanted to see what was in the next room and you didn't have a magic-user available to spy the next room. Also note that the number of characters who can move through a door in one turn includes those coming from both sides, so someone coming in from the other side might prevent some of your characters from going through a small door.
FOLLOW,str,char
If you give this order, your character will follow that character if he moves to an adjacent room. If he makes a double move, you will only follow one room. (But you'll see which way he went from that room.) If someone is "following" you, and you want to get away, you will have to make two double moves in a row. Remember that this is a major order, so you cannot both "Follow" and "Attack" at the same time.
JIMMY,str,dir
This is how a fighter can unlock a locked door. The more strength you use, the more likely it is to work. If the door is not successfully unlocked, you still may reduce the number of turns it will remain locked. A magic user can "jimmy" a door too, if he wants to do some other minor order at the same time instead of the "unlock" order.
BARGE,dir
A character giving the "barge" order will go through that door ahead of everyone else. If there is an unlocked door in that direction, it takes 15 strength, and it also makes the door twice as big as it is normally, and the character barging through takes five hits from his constitution. If the door in that direction is locked, it takes 15 strength and the character takes ten hits, but the door becomes unlocked, no matter how much lock spell was still on the door, and the door is still doubled in size. If there is no door, but a "crumbly wall" in that direction, it takes 30 strength and the character takes ten hits, and a size "1" door appears. If a door is already enlarged by a previous "barge" it won't get any bigger, but the character still takes hits. An enlarged door or wall eventually goes back to its previous condition. [The brownies who repair damaged walls wait until no one is looking, then quickly fix the wall.] The new size takes effect immediately, so other characters can go through at the same time as the "barging" character. Important: you can attempt a "barge" on a turn that you can't see the door or crumbly wall, if you already know what is there, and you are casting a "reveal" spell at the same time to reveal it. If you have at least 15 strength, the attempt will be allowed. But if you fail to "barge" through the door (because you didn't have 30 strength and it was a wall instead of a door, or because there is no door or crumbly wall there, or you forgot to cast the "Reveal" spell, or whatever reason) you will STILL take the hits from your constitution. You just ran full-tilt into a stone wall!
QUIT,prize,prize,prize
This is how you leave a level so you can go on to the next one. You must be in an exit room to give this order. (Exit rooms are identified with the word "exit".) You may take up to three treasures or prizes with you. Any prizes or treasures you are carrying that you don't list with this order get turned into experience points for the character carrying them. (You don't have to take three - you can turn them all into experience if you want.) You can take a prize from one of your other characters while quitting. When you "quit", prepared spells are lost, your temporary strength or con goes away, and your con goes back to normal if you are wounded.
XXX
This is the order you give to "dump" a character from your party. If a character is dead, and you decide that you don't want to spend the gold to bring him back to life, or if you decide that you made a mistake in your original party choices, and want to bring in a different character, you can give this order to a character. He immediately becomes a computer-run npc, and on the same turn you can bring in a new character or characters (see "Rescue parties").

WEAPON ORDERS
WITH,prize or EMPTYHANDED
If you attack a character or monster, you will automatically use the best weapon you are carrying (the one that adds the biggest number to your attack). If for some reason you want to use a different weapon than the best one, you can specify which weapon you are using by giving a "with" order or specify that you aren't using a weapon by giving the "emptyhanded" order. An example might be that you have a weapon which only has a limited number of uses, such as a magic wand or a bow with only a few arrows. You might be attacking a wimpy monster, and therefore specify that you want to use your dagger in the attack instead of wasting an arrow.

OTHER COMMENTS ON WEAPONS

The description of a weapon will generally tell you how much it adds to your attack. Generally a weapon is intended only for a specific kindred of character. Characters of other kindreds may be able to get some benefit (a reduced amount), or may get no benefit at all. For example, if a fairy is carrying an "Ogre Club" it will probably include the comment "Too big to use" and will not add to her attacks.

Some weapons, such as bows, rather than saying how much strength they will add, will say "needs ammunition". When the character with the bow is also carrying the appropriate ammunition, then the bow will say how many hits it adds to the attack. (See the AIM order in the list of minor orders - you must "aim" a missile weapon to use it.) Each time you attack with this weapon, you use up one unit of ammunition.

Some weapons, such as crossbows, require two turns to use. Such a weapon will say "needs ammunition" until the carrier is also carrying appropriate ammunition, such as a quarrel. Then it will say "use me". If you give the "use" minor order for that weapon, it will load or cock the weapon, and it will then announce how much strength it adds to your attack. Cocking the weapon uses up one unit of ammunition. Using the weapon in combat uses up the ammunition previously loaded. There is no way to "unload" a crossbow once it is loaded. You can give it to another character already loaded. It is possible that a character might not have enough strength to cock the crossbow. In that case, it will NOT say "use me" when you have the right ammunition. You will need to give it and the ammunition to a character with more strength.

If you give a "watch" or "ambush" order with your missile weapon, you won't use up any ammunition unless you actually attack someone.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
The orders you give to your characters are executed in the following sequence:

  1. Minor magic and jimmy - effect of lock is delayed.
  2. Release prizes.
  3. Take prizes.
  4. Grab prizes.
  5. Combat and blast spells.
  6. Sleep spells.
  7. First movement phase - including ambush.
  8. Second movement phase - including ambush.
  9. Lock spells take effect.
  10. Fireball spells.
  11. Use prizes (must have been carried by you at turns start).
  12. Prepare magic spells.
  13. Quit.

Speeches made by characters are listed with them in the room in which they end their turn, even if they were killed that turn. Any player with characters who left, entered, or moved through a room will be able to see what was "said" in that room or any adjacent room.

For the most part, if you examine the above list, you will be able to determine what your reasonable options are, and why other things may not have worked as you intended. For instance, a character who was killed in normal combat cannot throw a fireball because combat occurs before a fireball goes off. A character who is wounded doesn't get the effects of a healing potion before a fireball going off during the same turn finishes him off. However, a character killed while casting a sleep spell DOES get to cast the spell.

SPECIAL NOTES ON LOCKING AND UNLOCKING DOORS
If you lock or unlock a door, and move on the same turn, the spell takes effect in the room where you started the turn. You can lock a door as you go through it, and you can unlock a door as you go through it. However, if a door is locked at the beginning of the turn, then it must END the turn unlocked for you to be able to go through it. If a door is unlocked at the beginning of a turn, then locking it will not prevent a character from going through it the same turn it is being locked. However a lock spell WILL prevent a fireball from coming through on the same turn it is being cast. In order for a fireball to go through, the door must be unlocked at the end of the turn. If both a lock and an unlock are cast at the same time, they cancel each other out and the difference takes effect. A "barge" order will cancel all locks cast on that door that turn.

WRITING YOUR ORDERS

Orders should be submitted on standard Heroic Fantasy turnsheets. One will be provided with each turn. You can buy extra ones if you like (see our price list). However, if you have lost the turn sheet, a plain lined piece of paper is just fine. The section of the turnsheet devoted to orders is divided into three columns.

The leftmost column is for comments and notes to yourself, such as the name of your character, available strength, or whatever is convenient for you.

The second column is for the character's identification number, the one that starts with "C". You'll probably need only one row per character.

The final and largest column is for that character's orders. When you have more than one order for a character, separate them on the line with a little extra space so we can easily tell where one order ends and the next begins. If a "speak" order is given, it is a good idea to put it last on the line, or by itself on the next line, so we don't mistake other orders for part of the speech.

You can't give orders to characters who are asleep or dead (other than "XXX"). You cannot "use" a prize unless you start the turn with it. You cannot attack a character or monster that you cannot see on your printout right now (although you can ambush the direction you think he is coming from.) A character cannot cast a spell on himself. You cannot attack a character not in the same room unless you are using a bow or other missile weapon.

RESCUE PARTIES

If your party has fewer than 100 points worth of characters, and fewer than 15 characters, you may (if you wish) bring in a "rescue" party. You may at any time drop dead characters (or those you are tired of) from your party by using the "XXX" order and at the same time bring in a new character. Just use one line of the turn sheet. Write "new" in the space for the character number, and in the space for orders write the new name, and three letters for "Sex", "Kindred", and "Class". (i.e. a female fairy magic-user would be FFM). Rescue parties will start in the same entrance room that the rest of your party did, but will have no gold.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU EXIT A LEVEL

It is not necessary to exit all your characters in a particular level or game at the same time, but if you do, all of the following still applies. The only difference is that if you don't immediately send in a "rescue party" on the next turn, you are automatically dropped from that game of HF. (You can join that game again later, but you might not start in the same entrance room). You can, if you wish, exit some of your characters and bring in rescue parties to replace them. This can go on as long as you want, but of course the rescue parties don't start out with any gold. (If you want to start out with gold, you need to start a new game, and pay the setup fee again.)

When you order a character to exit a level, all of the prizes you didn't tell him to keep will be turned into experience points. On the following turn you will be given a sheet of paper which lists your name, the level you just exited, and a graduate number (such as LEVEL 1 GRADUATE #32). This sheet will also list the game you exited from; the character's name, cost in points, vital statistics, how much gold he is carrying, and what prizes (if any) he or she is carrying. (Note that if you don't bring any gold or prizes with you, you will not start the next level with any.)

DO NOT LOSE THIS SHEET. This sheet is your character. If you lose the sheet, your character has died. You can wait as long as you want to before entering another level, as long as you have this sheet.

Any time you are ready, you may now enter that character and any other graduates into the next level. You don't have to keep the same characters together; you can enter any graduates that you have into the next level, subject to the usual restrictions of no more than 100 "points" worth of characters and no more than 15 characters. And just as before, if you don't have a full "party" you can bring in rescue parties later. There is no "setup fee" for starting parties into lower levels.

The character graduate sheet includes spaces for you to fill out when you start a new level. The space for "new name" should only be filled out if you want to change your character's name. At this point you have the opportunity to exchange experience points for extra strength or constitution. (1000 experience is required for one strength, 500 experience for one constitution). A magic-user whose strength has been increased this way will still only use his original strength for preparing and casting major spells. This will leave strength left over to defend with, or do minor orders with. If you increase your constitution, however, the new constitution becomes your new "maximum constitution" which a healing potion will restore.

If you want to be in a faster or slower game than you were in before, now is the time to specify it. You can only switch speeds between levels. If you don't say, we usually put you in a "two week" game. We also offer "slow" games with moves once a month for overseas players. We also offer "one week" games and "two times a week" games for players who can send and receive their turns via electronic mail. It is recommended that you do NOT sign up for a weekly game if you will be mailing your orders in. Remember that the letters have to go BOTH WAYS in the mail, and it can easily take ten days for a letter to make the round trip.

We will be printing a list in our magazine of the ten characters of each kindred which have exited each level with the most experience points.

The following is a list of the different types of "characters" you can choose for your party. The list gives the "code", then the kindred, then "F" for fighter or "M" for magic user, then the Strength, then the Constitution, then the Cost. Each kind of character costs a certain number of points. You can have up to 100 points worth of characters, and up to 15 characters total. (Thus you cannot have two Giants in your party, nor can you have 100 fairy fighters.)

Code= F  Kindred=Fairy  Class= F  STR= 1  CON= 1  COST= 1
      F          Fairy         M       1       1        2
      G        Gremlin         F       3       4        3
      L     Leprechaun         M       3       4        4
      H         Hobbit         F       5      15        5
      H         Hobbit         M       4      15        7
      K         Goblin         F       7      20        6
      P          Human         F      15      30        9
      P          Human         M      10      30       11
      E            Elf         F      25      25       15
      E            Elf         M      20      25       18
      D          Dwarf         F      30      40       23
      D          Dwarf         M      30      40       36
      O           Ogre         F      35      40       29
      O           Ogre         M      35      40       46
      T          Troll         F      50      50       57
      X          Giant         F      60      60       72
In order to create your party, give us the name of each character (up to 31 letters and spaces each), the sex, (male or female), the Code, (H for Hobbit, X for Giant, etc), the Class (Fighter or magic user), and the Cost (to help us figure out what you want if you get it wrong).(Note that the code for a human is "P" for "People". "H" is for "Hobbit". )

Example:
Fred, Male, Dwarf, Magic User, 36
Sue, Female, Elf, Magic User, 18
Orga, Male, Ogre, Magic User, 46

Or:
Fred, M,D,M, 36
Sue, F,E,M, 18
Orga, M,O,M, 46

It costs $5 to get into a game, and each turn costs $3. You may join as many different games as you like, but you will be charged a turn fee for each one. We have been running this game since 1982, and other play by mail games since 1970. There are currently over 500 people from around the world playing Heroic Fantasy. (But only 8-15 in your particular "game" or "dungeon".)