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   | The Olympia Times                               times@olympia.rt.com |
   | December 8, 1991                                                v1n5 |
   |                                                                      |
   | Turn 5  Circulation 58                             "E Pluribus Unix" |
                  Orders due:  Sunday, December 15, 1991

Questions, comments, bug reports, to play: olympia@rt.com

I have lots of player mail which I haven't responded to yet. If you sent me mail in the last week and haven't gotten a reply, you should get one soon. There are many good suggestions and bug reports which I need to follow up on.

I spent most of last week moving to New Jersey so there was little time for game development. In fact, my computer system was somewhat damaged in the move, and with all of the confusion and work associated with relocating it's a miracle that I was able to get this turn out at all. I'm betting that players would prefer a buggy, on-time run to an indefinitely postponed turn waiting for me to get to the code. Let me know if you feel differently.

Note: Don't use names with the 'player' or 'begin' commands. I also recommend using numbers to refer to entities instead of names, since names are do not need to be unique.

Bad: player Osswid secret Good: player 501 secret

There seems to be eternal confusion over begin/end and form/done. Perhaps I will try to use the same ending token for both begin and form.

Someone suggested removing the ever-growing player listing from the turn reports and making it available from the server. This seemed like a good way to cut a lot of dead weight out of the reports. The full player listing will be available from the server as the 'players' file.

Name Parsing Considered Harmful -------------------------------

Allowing names to be used in orders instead of numbers seems to be somewhat error prone. For short, fixed names like 'gold' and 'combat' it works well but it becomes somewhat awkward for "magical research". Also, players are trying to use name parsing for their characters which is dangerous since names aren't guaranteed to be unique.

Let me know if you think I should keep name parsing for order input or only allow numbers.

I was surprised that nobody noticed Osswid's great feat of magic in Pactra last turn. Perhaps no one was around to see it, or someone saw it but kept it to himself...

The members of the Voyaging company stretched and yawned. One, known affectionately as Jocko, looked at his companion. "Strange, isn't it Lefty, that we didn't do anything this month? Last thing I remember is getting that cancel order from the boss."

"Yup," nodded the somewhat seamy looking Lefty. "We were going to try and become more observant, but then he told us to cancel that order. Course, he didn't tell us to start on the new orders right away, did he Jocko? Heh, heh." He elbowed Jocko in the ribs as the two shared their private jest.

Jocko stood up, and helped Lefty to his feet. "That's what I like about union work. Well, I guess it's off to that new place now. You got the directions?"

Lefty pulled a crumpled piece of parchment from his disreputable looking jacket, and they staggered off into the wilderness.

Sargeant Carnel: We seems to be running low on funds, boss.

Murphy: I noticed. Here's a thou. Have a ball. By the way, didn't i ask you to recruit 10 men, not 4?

Carnel: Yeah, you did. But boss, me could only finds 4 men. Everybody me ask either know about youse already or waiting for better offer. Seems everyone and his uncle hiring goons, oops, men.

Murphy: Seems we better go get out of here then. Dammit now you got me speaking like you. Sheesh. (mumbling) Just my luck to find a guy just out of elementary school at the age of 18.

Carnel: Sorry boss. We gots our equipment now. We'll gets more goons i promise.

Murphy: Good. We'll go elsewhere first. My bow skills are almost as good as the instructors here anyway. We'd better leave before the teach asks me to stand against a tree with an apple on my head for showing him up again. Just because I split his arrow at 90 yards is no reason to get mad. When we get there, find some horses. 17 days on the road with all this equipment is going to be hell. You do know how to break wild horses, right?

Carnel: Yeah. Youse takes a mace, and...

Murphy: Never mind. Ask a goon you hired. Maybe he knows. (mumbling again) With my luck, he probably was glue a manufacturer before Carnel hired him.

Carnel: When does us leave?

Murphy: Might as well be now. I don't trust my luck with all these people around. A couple of them might be homicidal.

Carnel: Wow, me brudder might be around then. He was always called homicidal.

Murphy: We leave NOW. (mumbling. he does a lot of that you know) Why me?

Drassa has been quiet for these weeks past. Nor have reports of combat or savagery yet reachest mine ears this month. Ah, yes -- many a person have left this busy city for distant towns. The heavens know what they may find beyond the town lines. There hast been reports of another coming of magic into this world. As of yet, I knoweth not whether these dark forces have reached our domain. Nor have I seen manifestations of these magics in fair Drassa. But know I that when spells once again work in this realm, old Master Adoy the Idej shall cackle with glee, for he hath once spaketh onto me: "Ah, my young pupil, thou upon the magic of the ancients must call. The dark force many empires have built. Harness the powers of the universe thou must. But forget not, this ancient force have also many empires destroyed..."

With an unusual sigh of impatient the mage slammed his book shut. It seemed as if he would have to go overseas after all. His studies were not producing the effects he wanted, and if there is one thing the Grey Wizard hated, it was a wasted effort. Soon he must return to his books, but for the moment he needed some exersize. So summoning the seven, he headed off down to the docks to have a look at the ships.

But the docks were empty. Where had the Pinafore gone? Off to the yards it must be. While in the yards, he nosed around, if it must be that he would travel by sea, then he'd may as well learn a little about the workings of the boats so a good one could be chosen. After a couple of weeks of intense intruction at last he felt he knew enough, and called for the Seven once more.

To go where he must, the mage would need to be able to handle wordly matters as well as magical, and quickly the seven instructed him in the basics of combat.

The riders would be arriving at Pactra by now he thought, and wondered how they were progressing. Staring deep into the flames he same them, armed to the teeth poking around the town. Those poor townsfolk didn't know what to make of them, although a couple seemed quite interested. The riders were recruiting. Okelos's tall form entered the picture, and the huge warriers plate armour seemed to do the trick, as at least one of the youths accepted the offered purse of gold.

All this time, The Seven kept working at the road, biding there time, for soon, soon the killing would begin. The Mage grinned as their surface thoughts floated into his mind, how primitive they were. Suddenly distracted he realised that there were five of them now. No wonder they looked so happy.

Loyal Citizens gather to rid town of Wolves.

D'arc Shadowborn was heard to have offered the services of his personal guard, The Darklings, to Rocko, for the cost of 6 longswords. The contract was supposedly in answer to Rocko's claim to rid Drassa of Wolves. The terms of the service contract are apparently under concideration and action should take place soon.



Dear Sir: I have lived in Drassa for several months now, and I see some things I find extremely untenable, for which I shall be leaving Drassa for what final destination, I don't know. However, I am writing in an attempt to change the situation, so that when I ever return to Drassa, it may change.

Rocko 'The Truth' Zigarelli is running for sheriff of Drassa. A sheriff is a useful person, but I wonder exactly how safe this person is? He casually drove his longsword through two non-players, and how far of a leap is that to doing the same to any number of real people?

And there is the matter of the 'Darklings' and 'Shadowspawn' in D'Arc Shadowborn's faction. Plain and simple, these people seem less than pure in intention. They have over 10 people in that faction, and that's more than most of the other people.

All around, I don't feel safe in Drassa.

Thank you, Alan Mooresson


Hey, this Rocko guy seems pretty good. He got rid of those two wierdos that were lying about with a minimum of fuss, and has said several times how he doesn't intend to go after anyone else, those two were just a test...and an example. That's what a good sheriff ought to do.

Guido Roundskull

Ho ho! Impatient am I getting that the forces of magic returning to this world will be. The months so slowly seem to pass. Think of a thousand things I do, before even done with present jobs I am. Tired of waiting am I. Ah, but not let impatience cloud my mind I must. Remember I do, when Ekul to me came in my old marshy home in Deh-goh-bah. Oh, he but a young knight was then. He so little patience had then the force of magic to learn. But he eventually enough learned, of course. Bah! But that so long ago was, and a realm too far away in too. Speak nothing of that will I now. In the town of Drassa I am. Ah, yes! Soon, very soon, this place once again ruled by magic will be. Hardly wait I can!

--Master Adoy the Idej

******************************************************************************** PERSONALS ********************************************************************************

E- Have wandered to the far off town of W.H. Look forward to a bonded dispatch from same. Will continue along on my journey. ES


E- The river seems endless. I have been making stops at every port. I hope my dispatches have reached you; if not, bring it up with the messengers' guild in Drassa. I will continue my explorations as per your instructions; however, I have been taking time to hone my combat abilities learned under your patronage. As ever, your servant, EE


Our patron, E- 'Tis wonderful being on the road again. Me and me stalwart companion have completed the mission, you requested, and will provide a full report to you in Drassa when return within a month's time. It is hoped our tidings sent from D. will have reached you already. LJ


-- 32 players submitted 507 total commands this turn.