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   | The Olympia Times                               times@olympia.rt.com |
   | March 4, 1992                                                   v2n5 |
   |                                                                      |
   | Turn 12  Circulation 60                                      "Join?" |
                   Orders due:  March 11, 1992

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

Thanks for all of the enthusiastic support you've given Olympia over the past few months. Keep those suggestions coming!

I've fixed a number of bugs and added some new features for this turn. The skill system is also under revision. Don't be alarmed if you notice some old skills mysteriously gone and new skills in their place. Please wait until the dust settles before asking for compensation for all of the time and money you put into old deleted skills.

My new plan is to merge many of the similar skills into more general skills. For instance, construction will now cover tower, castle, mine and road building. There may also be multiple lore sheets for each skill: 106 level 1, 106 level 2, etc.

During the transition, you may notice that many skills are non-functional, and the lore sheets are missing. Be patient, and wait to report bugs on the skill and lore systems until next turn.

The magic system will also be restructured, details forthcoming. However, if you already know spells your character should be able to keep them.

This turn you may notice the beginnings of a guild system. Feel free to JOIN guilds and experiment with study under them.

There are too many new orders and rule changes to include in the _Times_, so I will be sending out a fresh copy of the rules with this turn to all players.


o Declared attitudes may now be faction->unit and unit->unit.

o New JOIN command to join guilds

Number Guild Skills ------ ----- ------ 3101 Warriors Guild leadership, combat, archery 3105 Guild of Thieves stealth, observation 3106 Guild of Magicians various magic, summoning 3108 Academy of Engineers shipbuilding, construction 3110 Beastmasters Guild equestrian 3111 Traders Guild trade 3113 Performers Union entertainment 3125 Order of the Curators lore research

o Multiple commands may be entered for the IDLE order

o New WAIT SKILL option

o New command to put up a sign, POST

I am inclined to not have a REMOVE command for signs. Instead, signs would only last one turn.

* I don't suggest studying "weather magic" or * * "summoning"; they will likely go away in the next * * turn or two. I'm mostly using them for place holders. *

Remember to enclose multiple-word keywords in quotes:

WRONG: study magical research Right: study "magical research" Right: study 106 <== Recommended!

I suggest referring to skills and objects by their numbers, to avoid grief if the names change or if you make a spelling error.

Victor Mandelstam asked for an Olympia discussion forum. I suggest using the Usenet newsgroup rec.games.pbm. I regularly read this group and will answer Olympia questions posted there.

\ / - Shrine to T'Nyc - / \

Olympia was inspired by the game T'Nyc, written by Stephen Tihor. I never played this game myself, but was so awed and fascinated by its massive scale that I decided I had to create a computer moderated PBM myself.

Olympia turned out to be a huge amount of work to code; three unsuccessful attempts preceeded the current version. Off and on, I have been working on Olympia since 1988. Finally! It seems to be playable now.

T'Nyc has been gone for several years, and I believe that Olympia is quite a different game. However, I hope that I have captured the grand atmosphere of a large, complex simulated world.

Overnight, mysterious posters began appearing all over towns across Olympia...

To Zyzak and Your Bandits,

Ye! Who hath slain without cause! Ye who hath slain without mercy! Ye who hath taken the lives of innocent passers-by! Think not that thy victims were without friends! Thou hast violated the Heavens! Pray that the authorities find you before we! Thy days are numbered! Thou shalt DIE!

May ye shiver at night in thy bed... May ye be forever looking over thy shoulder... WE are near...


Zyzak, when asked if his attacks were retaliation for some wrong done to him:

"No, it's just that I don't like Mondays."

Hmm? A riddler? Oh well, with His keen mind, the answer "river" was pretty obvious. Still the secret of the amulet was denied Him. Fuming with frustration He decided to vent His displeasure on the locals, a small spell of bad weather should improve the mood of the locals. And who was this new slayer abroad in the lands?

Climbing to the roof of His dwelling He called the powers into Himself and slowly the band of fog rolled in.

Looking deep into the fog, he ordered Okelos to return forthwith to Him.

Once more He descended back into His room, and once more He took up the Amulet of Asclepius...

Young Ladies wanted !! Young Ladies wanted !! ---------------------- Needed to form a new Entertainment Troupe

I, Kaspar, have recently arrived in Drassa and noticed the preponderance of single unattached males. Therefore I am accepting applications from suitable young ladies to form an 'Entertainment Troupe' for the express purposes of entertaining these troops. Proof of ability required, although prior experience is not necessary. Management will arrange all training required.

Males who are similarity inclined may also be accepted if they meet the strict requirements and are of an open mind.

All applicants should apply (in person) with appropriate references, to Kaspar, at the Drassa Hotel, at the penthouse suite, where each will be given appropriate trials.

Found in the Want Ads--

WANTED: Adventure! Where is it? Does any of the gods among you know where my people can find excitement. They have grown bored and listless, and have resorted to killing each other. Please! Give us a sign, a purpose in life! Before we become cannibals, before we become ghosts...

Plans are being drawn up to build a place of worship just outside of Drassa. Worshipers of the Twilight Goddess are gathering for the blessing. The worship circle shall not be the temple of some dogmatic religion, we are not seeking followers, only fellowship with friends.

"And here, sir, is an excellent group of workers, if I say so myself," said the sharp-eyed labor dealer. "I could let you have them for a bargain, say 99 gold per man? That's a full 1% discount off of our regular price, but I'm sure you'll keep that be..."

"THIEF!" screamed an irate man, running towards the Perestroikan Trade booth where Gorbachev [562] did business. "Pirate! You swindle me, and then lower your rates!" By now Gorbachev could see that the madman was Sheriff Pelenth of Drassa [505].

"Please, comrade, calm down. How can we deal rationally if you scream? And besides, it's bad for business." The communist leader reached out and patted Pelenth on the shoulder. "There, that's a good Sheriff. Now, what seems to be the problem?"

"Problem? I'll tell you, you dirty swine," Pelenth sputtered. "I pay you 150 gold per man and then I see THIS!" He thrust his arm forward accusingly. He held a copy of the Olympia Times, indicating that the prices had been dropped. "Explain this! You take me to the cleaners, and I didn't even get my men, besides."

Gorbachev bowed. "Tut, now, aren't those the men you asked for over there with Gabriel Synthon, even now working on your new ship? And a fine ship it looks to be. ``Pelenth's Pride''; a fine name. You see, they're helping to build your ship. I cannot help it that the Great God Atnerks did not move them to your faction as I asked. I have prayed to him, and he has assured me that it will work this month. A beautiful ship, yessir..."

"Aye, she is," said Pelenth his eyes gleaming with pride. "Hey, wait, don't sidetrack me like that. What about the price difference?"

"Look around you at the Bazaar. Is it not the nature of things that what one man pays 10 gold for, another may pay only 9? It is the essence of trade that prices fluctuate. I wish to thank you, Comrade Pelenth, for your gracious patronage has allowed me to expand my operations. See how I have recruited all these fine new men to join my organization?" And indeed, there appeared to be at least ten new men standing near the booth, wearing Gorbachev's colors. He pumped Pelenth's hand vigorously.

"Without you, this would not be possible. Why, I'm willing to forget the fact that you shortchanged me 155 gold in the process." Gorby withdrew his hand from Pelenth's grasp and crossed his arms. "Or don't you remember our bargain?" He glared down his nose at the public servant.

"I did?" asked Pelenth meekly. "Oh, now I remember! That 155 was for the maintenance of the unit. I apologize for that oversight; I hope it has not caused you undue discomfort."

"It is nothing." Gorbachev dismissed the thought with a wave of his hand. "But, if I might confide, I could use an infusion of cash for the coming month. Say, a loan of 500 gold? I will repay you, and that will more than make up for the problems caused by your insufficient payment last month. Such a ship that will be. I envy you, I do..."

"Of course I'll help!" smiled Pelenth, reaching for his purse. "Yes, she will be a fine ship, won't she?"

A few moments later, the clodpated Sheriff wandered over to supervise the construction of his new toy. Gorbachev patted his newly-fattened purse with a smile, then turned back to his previous customer. "Now, as I was saying, good sir, these are the finest workers..."

The Riddle Corner. ------------------

The answer to last edition's question: "What has a bed, but never sleeps?" is:


Now this weeks riddle is: "What has a mouth, but never drinks?"

The answer again in the next edition of the GLORIOUS OLYMPIA TIMES!!!

Remilai looked thoughtfully at the neat rows of books in front of him.

"Well, I've finally done it. Around this research library, I will found the Magician's Guild." He then turned to prepare an advertisement in the _Times_. Not yet having developed an autocalligraph spell, he wrote it out by hand.

"Hear ye ... no, too cheap-messenger-like. Oye, oye, ... that's more like it." he mumbled as he etched out his proclamation. Calling a messenger boy, he sent it off to the Times. Now to study these books a little more, he thought. Wouldn't do for anyone to know more about them than the Guildmaster...

_______________________________________________ / /'| \______________________________________________\/| | | | OYE! OYE! | | | | All gentles interested in the practition of | | of the arcane ways of magic, be hereby | \ notified that there is, opening this month, | / a Magician's Guild, currently to be located | | in the city of Drassa. All those seeking | | membership may contact Remilai du Chat Gris, | | Guildmaster, or leave a note in PO Box 3106 / | on Join St. The Guild Library is stored in \ | the headquarters at ender2@husc.harvard.edu, | | and it's use is free to all guild members. | | ______________________________________________|_ \/_______________________________________________/


Be it known that the regions of Drassa, Hothras, and Pactra are under the protection of Pelenth, Sheriff of Drassa. Within these bounds, the following laws temporarily hold:

+ There will be no killing of aligned units (those that belong to a faction).

+ There will be no persuasion of aligned units.

+ Theft will not be tolerated.

These laws are in force to promote the general peace and prosperity of the region. All violators will be arrested; at this time, there is no option to capture villains, so realize that violations of the law will result in the death of the malefactor.

Note that for now, these laws are temporary. I am proposing that each of these laws be voted on, so that I may better define my role as Sheriff. Therefore, please apprise the Great God Atnerks of your position on each of these three issues.

Let the will of the people rule!

Pelenth [505] Sheriff of Drassa Protector of Hothras and Pactra

His morning rounds complete, Sheriff Pelenth returned to the Tower of Darkness, and fished his soggy copy of the Olympia Times out of the moat.

"I should just buy it at the newsstand", he thought.

He returned to his quarters with a cup of coffee, and sat, sipping it, while trying to decipher the articles in the Times. He had trouble enough understanding the articles, and the runny ink wasn't helping. One article stood out very prominently, though. It read:

"Slavs... Only 100 gold per man...You can't lose..."

The coffee turned spontaneously bitter in Pelenth's mouth.

"That swindler!", Pelenth shouted. He leaped to his feet, a little too quickly, and lost his balance, falling backwards into the chair. The wet Times flew out of his hand, and impacted the stone wall of the tower, sticking there for a few seconds, like a spitball.

"I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" Pelenth extracted himself from the splinters of the broken chair. He dashed out of the room, and sped back out of the tower. He raced across town, only momentarily distracted by the sight of the proud ribs of his new ship jutting out of the shipyard. His memory was jogged when he noticed the colors worn by the men working on the ship. The 30 slavs were still bearing Gorbachev's flag.

"I'll murdaloise him!", Pelenth said with renewed vigor. He sprinted into the Bazaar at breakneck speed, knocking over several food stands. In his haste, he turned a corner without looking, and violently collided with a vendor carrying dozens of oranges. The oranges went flying, pelting a local (and poorly trained) group of entertainers. A cheer went up from the crowd.

"Sorry", shouted Pelenth over his shoulder, as he raced toward the Perestroika Trade booth, and did a flying tackle over the counter. Gorbachev, having been tipped off to his presence by the oranges, ducked.

* * * CRASH * * *

"Comrade, comrade, calm yourself!", said Gorbachev, grasping Pelenth by the shoulder, pinning his arm behind his back. He politely asked the customer standing in front of the booth to wait, then returned his attention to the violent peacekeeper.

"You pirate! You thief! You swine!", screamed Pelenth. "You cheated me on our arrangement! You overcharged me! And then you didn't even give me the men!!!"

"Nonsense, comrade!", rebutted Gorbachev. "What's fair is fair. You agreed to the terms of the contract, you signed it, and if anyone cheated, it was YOU!" He waved the contract in Pelenth's face. "See? You short-changed me! The contract specifies 5155, and you only paid 5000! And as for the men, look over there." He lifted Pelenth up, and pointed toward the shipyard. "Are they not where you asked them to be? Are they not working on your ship, as we speak? And a fine ship she is..."

Yes, she was a fine ship, Pelenth had to agree.

Gorbachev continued. "The only reason why they're still bearing my colors is because our Lord Atnerks was unable to requisition new uniforms for them. He mentioned something about your binge of persuasion causing a shortage..."

Pelenth meekly apologized. "Er, so how much was it I owed you?"

"655 coins will cover it."

Pelenth doled out the money, and slinked away, not wishing to cause further trouble to the respectable businessman.

Gorbachev returned to the customer in front of him. "So, that was 50 top-quality men you were placing an order for?"

"Er... was that it?", asked the customer. "No, wait..."

As the evening sun turned the Gulf of Drassa into a giant cup of borscht, Gorbachev closed up the Perestroikan Trade booth. "Makes me hungry," he thought, rubbing his stomach. It had been a long and productive day, and it was time to find supper.

He wandered through the Drassa Bazaar, giving business to the few food vendors still open. He bought a shepherd's pie and a pint of ale, and stood munching his repast while contemplating his recent run-in with the Sheriff. After downing the last of his food and drink, he wiped his fingers on his tunic, tossed the mug back to the vendor, and belched his satisfaction. Suddenly, from behind, a calm voice broke his reverie.

"Do you think the yokels bought the act?" asked Pelenth, as he slipped from the shadows.

Gorbachev whirled, taken by surprise. "Oh!" he breathed, relieved. "Don't do that. Let's walk, shall we?" The two headed off towards the shipyard. "I expect so. After all, you have been known to fly off the handle now and again, and your reputation, while certainly far-flung, does not paint you as the most rational of us."

"True," nodded Pelenth, smiling to himself. "Yet it does have its uses. You'd be surprised you much easier Sheriffing is when the populace thinks you're just kind uncle Pelenth, a bit woolyheaded and mostly harmless."

The two strolled to the shipyards and checked on the progress of Pelenth's Pride, nattering all the while. "Tell me, friend Sheriff, what is it that makes you such an effective persuader? Men flock to your banner, while myself and my friends are hard pressed to attract independent units to us."

"Ah, it's a gift, really," said Pelenth, chuckling. "And I have a certain technique. I draw my sword, and politely say, ``I'd like you to join my team. Here's 50 gold. Just remember: Captain McCook said no.''" He shrugged. "It's worked every time but one; that Faith Fortune, bless her, just said ``humph'' and walked away. Now that my bluff's been called, I'll have to find a new method."

"Interesting," said Gorbachev. "I use a different means to expand my men. I hire one man, then recruit until I have 10 or so. Then, I send them round the ale houses and brothels to gather who they may. They're not very particular about who the get, or how, so the results are somewhat less than satisfactory. Still, they're free, and then I sell 'em off."

Pelenth shook his head. "Still smacks of slave trading to me, but it's perfectly legal. And, I must say, those boys you sold me are certainly doing a fine job on this ship, albeit a slow one. Well, I'd best be getting back to my evening rounds. Good day to you, my friend."

"And to you, comrade," smiled Gorbachev. As Pelneth traipsed off into the shadows, his smile turned wicked. "Foolish pawn," he gloated, "you serve me well." He turned, and vanished into the night.

Gorbachev sighed contentedly as he closed up his booth at the Drassa bazaar. He stopped momentarily to admire the sunset, which set his mouth watering. He was hungry, yes; but it was gold, not food, that he thought of, when he looked upon the golden gleaming disk setting beyond the horizon.

Gorbachev returned to his senses, and wiped the drool off of his chin. It had been a good day, he mused, even though that sale had fallen through. He hefted his previously-empty coin purse, now pregnant with Pelenth's money. "Yes, yes, mingle!", he whispered to his coins. "Make babies!"

That fool Pelenth would be worth much, much more than a paltry 500 coins. Soon, he thought, soon, Pelenth will be but a pauper, and _I_ will be the voice of the law.

But Pelenth's might was still formidable; perhaps, Gorbachev thought, he should seek the aid of a wizard in these matters of treachery. Just this morning he had received an invitation to Remilai du Chat Gris' inauguration. He could talk there to his old ally, now the new Master Magician... But he must be careful; Remilai was not the fool the Sheriff was, and he posessed Dark Powers. Gorbachev shuddered at his memory of the clairvoyant understanding that the mage possessed. Yes, he must be very careful...

Gorbachev's train of thought was interrupted by Pelenth's voice from the shadows. Gorbachev whirled around, startled.

"I see you've eaten already," said Pelenth, pointing to the drool stains on Gorbachev's tunic.

"Er..." Gorbachev did not wish to explain why the stains were there. "...yes."

They walked. "So," said Pelenth, "are they buying it?"

"What, the slavs?"

"No, no -- our subterfuge. You know, you the honest businessman, plagued by slanderous rumors, me, the witless Sheriff, a threat to none save himself..."

"Oh, yes, they are buying it," replied Gorbachev.

"What, the slavs?"

"No, the subterfuge," said Gorbachev. Actually, it's an easy role for me to play. I've done it before. I guess I just have this loveable, giving kind of face."

"Yeah, and some bird doo on your head," jested Pelenth.

"Hey -- that's not fair! I don't talk about your buck teeth," retorted Gorbachev.

Pelenth's gawky smile disappeared.

"But enough of that," Gorbachev said. "I see your recruitment drive is working quite nicely."

"Yes, I persuaded everyone but Faith Fortune, bless her soul."

"Ha, ha, yes, that was Conundrum's doing. He's an old friend of mine -- we went to school together. In fact, he's the one who suggested I visit Drassa in the first place. He was right -- this is a beautiful city."

"Is that so..." Pelenth said. I shall have to pay this Conundrum a social call, he thought. I'll teach that scavenger not to grab MY prey. He continued talking. "Meanwhile, I see you're not wanting for workers. You must not be very picky."

"Not at all!" Gorbachev protested, "They're top notch -- I still pay them 50 gold commission, upon joining. Why do you think I needed a loan?"

"Oh, I see."

"Yes, but I'm thinking of bringing my prices back up. 90 gold per man is just too low."

"90 GOLD PER MAN?!!!"

"Yes, but it's killing me. One man pointed out to me recently that it took him one week to find his own men, and that it took him another four weeks before they had paid themselves off -- 5 weeks total. Whereas my men could go to work for him immediately, and earn an average of 91 gold each, after only 6 and 1/2 weeks."

"Gee, that's quite a deal. So, considering I find an average of 3 men per "recruit", then if I wanted 10 men, that would take..." The Sheriff squinted, and started counting his fingers.

"3 weeks," Gorbachev interrupted. "3 weeks to hire them, then 4 weeks work before they paid themselves off -- 7 weeks total. My men would show a profit sooner, and you wouldn't have to worry about a random element. You want 10 men? You got exactly 10 men, in only one day. If you need more than 10 men, say 20, then it would take you 6 weeks to hire them, and my men would have already paid themselves off, before you'd even see a dime from your new recruits. And 20 of my men would cost you only 1800 gold -- who can't afford that?"

"But what if I didn't want them diluting the skills of the unit you "transfer" them to?"

"For another 400 I'll throw in the group, and "swear" the entire unit to you. Furthermore, I can give the new unit any commands you want, for that month -- just specify it on the order. And -- oh, yeah -- a name change is also free. So you really _can't_ lose."

"That's quite something. But how come that man you talked about earlier didn't buy any slavs himself?"

"Well, he was a Russian economist, you see, and he was broke."

"Hmm, well then, I should buy some more of your slavs myself -- especially at your new, money-saving rates."

"That's the smartest thing that's ever come out of your lips, comrade."

The sun had set, and darkness now blanketed the town. "Well, I'd be getting back to my evening rounds. Good day to you, my friend."

"And to you, comrade," smiled Gorbachev. He watched Pelenth trapise off into the shadows, then waited a minute before saying:

"Did you get all of that down?"

"Yep," said the Bolshoi Ballerina, stepping out of the shadows, with a notepad in hand.

Gorbachev's smile turned wicked. "That foolish pawn," he gloated, "He doesn't even know when he's giving me good ad copy."

-- 663 commands submitted for 126 units.