Home  |  Olympia  |  Arena  |  PBM FAQ  |  Links


   | The Olympia Times                               times@olympia.rt.com |
   | May 1, 1992                                                     v3n7 |
   |                                                                      |
   | Turn 22  106 Players                                     "Peach pie" |

Turn 23 orders due: Friday, May 8, 1992 Turn 24 orders due: Friday, May 15, 1992

Orders are due 6:00pm EDT, 22:00 GMT.

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

Study times have been tuned. It is now somewhat easier to achieve "useful" levels of a skill (levels 3-5), but more difficult to reach the higher levels of mastery. The element of randomness in study, previously quite large, has also been limited to 10%.

Note: The formula used is not the "level n/n months" idea which I mentioned to some players in email.

Here is the relevant section from the rules on STUDY:

Lower levels of skills can be attained fairly rapidly. A character should be able to reach level one after a couple of weeks of study. The total study time to reach level three is just over two months of game time. Units may speed this further by studying with a guild or a teacher.

Higher skill levels, however, require substantially longer periods of study to attain. Thus, a unit may achieve proficiency with a skill quickly, but to become an expert will require considerable time and effort.

Study is cumulative, so two study orders for 7 days each are equivalent to one study order for 14 days.

The new rules are also less specific about the rate of study bonus offered by guilds.

* * *

New wait options and matching command:

wait GOLD Wait until the character has at least gold. Same as WAIT ITEM gold .

wait MEN Wait until at least men are in the unit.

wait SIGNAL [who] Wait for a unit to signal (see the SIGNAL command). If who is specified, the wait will only be interrupted if the specified unit signals. If who is not given, the wait will be interrupted by the first unit which signals the waiting unit.


Signal a unit issuing a WAIT SIGNAL order.

* * *

Steve Chapin Reports on Combat Changes

As you know, there have been changes made to the combat routines. Combat will continue to be refined over the next few turns, so don't wager the survival of your faction on a combat outcome. Please do experiment with combat; take out that troll, or those savages that have been annoying you.

The following changes were made for last turn:

1) fatigue was incorporated in combat. The more units fight, the more fatigued they get. Units will always willingly fight a defensive battle, but they will resist attacking other units when they are tired. As their fatigue goes up, so will their resentment at their treatment. Ordering extremely tired units into combat will have a negative effect on their loyalty. Fresh troops fight better than fatigued ones.

2) the military leader is the best leader in the stack, not necessarily the unit on top of the stack.

3) fleeing works for both sides, to the extent that it breaks off battle.

The following changes are in place now, or soon will be:

1) the military leader is again the top unit in the stack. Several players preferred the old semantics.

2) high combat skill is now meaningful. Under the old system, a gang of unskilled thugs was cheaper to develop and more effective in combat than a few highly trained individuals. This is no longer the case.

3) fleeing has been improved. Now, if both stacks decide to flee, combat is called off. There were some strange cases before where a loser would try to flee, be cut off, and then the winner would flee (and escape).

Briareos mopped up the last of the broth with a piece of bread and leaned back in his chair. The black ink of the paper he was holding smeared across his fingertips and he mildly cursed the alchemists and sorcerers who had developed the printing process. Paying his bill, he glanced at the headlines as he stepped out into the lane. "Sheriff Retires?" and "Pain Ponders Prophecy about Pesbrand" caught his eye, but he leafed through the pages until he found the section he was looking for. Some friends were travelling through the unsafe towns of the south and he was concerned for them. But lo! The obituary pages of the Times were empty! Has peace at last come to the land, or was this merely the calm before the storm? Perhaps it would soon be time for him to muster his forces and move south again...

Alas, the ancient arts of war are no more. Everywhere petty commanders see it expedient to fill the ranks with ragtag untrained rabble, hoping to win by the weight of sheer numbers. What of the warrior heroes of old, riding to battle on might steeds? Are their like never to be seen again? Since the times have come to favor wanton slaughter over skill and strategy, we, with much trepidation, have decided to close our combat school and explore the far north.

-The Brothers Hecatoncheires

Is your work causing you too much stress? Are you just getting tired of it all? Then why not come to the Village. The Village is a peaceful resort community nestled away in an isolated community, completely free from outside distractions, and as such is perfectly splendid for long, restful vacations. We guarantee you'll be so happy you might never want to leave...And the price, you ask? All we want is information. we can't tell you where the Village is, but we'd be glad to reserve a cottage for you.

Be seeing you,

Number Two

Dragons teeth for sale, well, He is always interested in such things. They even seemed appropiate to His monthly lecture.

Yes, Merlinium the grey[537] was most definitly interested.

>< M ><

The Riddlecorner! =================

The answer to last weeks riddle:

What is it you have to answer? But to answer you have to ask? And to ask you have to speak? And to speak you have to know, The answer.

is: a riddle!

Now this weeks riddle is:

I can hit you in the eye, Yet twinkle in the sky, Expanding when I die, What do you think am I?

The answer in the next edition of the glorious, free ditributed OLYMPIA TIMES!

=>The riddler

Riddles? Here's one for you:

What answer is blowing in the wind?

Roving Reporter's Column ========================

Moments of Idle Comment =======================

All of us would have been happy to see the lack of obituraries in the Times last month. Does this show a new trend in attitudes ? or merely that our current serial killers (Zyzax [513], Dr Pain [814]) are running out of easy victims and that others are learning to run faster ? Even the crazed Rocko, now attempting to hunt down Zyzax before he once more vanishes from sight should probably be avoided until we decide whether his current fit of energy is due to a desire for revenge or just syphilis finally acting on an unhinged mind.

------------------------- -----------

It interests me to notice the growth in shipbuilding in the Drassa region. Several ships are now afloat in the harbour and heading out into the Gulf on their maiden voyages. One even seems to have made the trip with only 1 person on board. Is this person really a superman ? Being able to captain, navigate and sail a galley all by himself, without a crew would certainly be hard work for anyone less. (From memory I believe that in other planes of reality, the average crew of a galley was between 18-40.) Are we soon to see the fruits of these explorations ? Will the outlying regions of Chardia et al become more closely tied with the more established regions of Olympia (Drassa etc) ? Will trade now florish ? Will new and exciting lands become revealed to the bold explorers who are even now searching for them ? And will they survive the pirates and sea- monsters to return to us and tell us of their findings ?

There are several explorers trying to find land routes to the Chardia region and the results of these explorations will probably become available in some of the maps and shared information which even now circulate the world. But is this a good idea or not ? To locate a viable land route between Drassa and Chardia will open up each area to the potential of ravaging attacks by the first armies to cross the route found. Does Drassa really want (or need) a deranged Dr Pain and allies sweeping into their otherwise peaceful region ? And does Chardia/Habyn really want Rocko, Zyzak and followers to rampage across their lands ? Progress will always bring change, but not all change is really desired.

Yes, Guges the wandering minstrel, who has played for the edification of the crowds in Caburh, Camaris, West Ilion, Ilion, and Pesbrand, is taking his leave and sailing off to bring his music to parts unknown, solely to play where no minstrel has played before.

I shall never go back to the Village! I am not a number, I am a free man!

Number Six

Want to post a message in the town square but fear recriminations? No problemo! Postings may not be anonymous, but if your hire us, we'll do the posting for you as we travel around Olympia, and will do other things to embarras your target as well. The fee is small and negotiable and confidentiality is guaranteed, so why not give in to your baser instincts? Contact us in Pesbrand.

The Merry Pranksters (1358)

After three and a half long years of study He had finally attained mastery of the Art. The weather was at His beck and call, He could call back the dead from beyond the grave to fight for him, the very forces of time were malable by Him!

With this initial step accomplished, it was time to set His master plan into effect. Sending out His all seeing eye He spied a small province to the north, somewhere to while away the hot months of the summer to come...

Looking at His calander, He noticed that it was time for the guild elections once more and not being a slouch when it comes to democracy, He put His mark on a piece of parchment, and teleported it to the guild counting chambers....

Submissions for the Tomb of Magic were increasing again, but He supposed people needed reminding of such things... so:

/--------------------------------------------------------/\ / To all Practitioners of magic: / \ /--------------------------------------------------------/ / | |\ / | I, Merlinium the grey seek your help in an endevor | \/ | this being the discovery of how the magic in our world| | works. | | To aid me in my research I need to know many | | things, principly how long it has taken you to learn | | the incantations that you posess. In addition to this| | it is necessary for me to know of your progress in | | your studies in the art. For every spell that you can| | reveal to me this information, I will reveal how long | | it will take you (on average) to learn any two other | | spells (either specified by you, or I'll pick them for| | you). For those of you interested in cash, I will pay| | 5 gold to each person volenteering such information. | | Other information that I find useful is how long| | you have spent in refining your ability with both | | specific spells, and in research in general. For the | | specific spells, I will trade you as above, the times | | for two other spells. Alternativly 10 pieces of gold| | could be yours. The information of magical research | | will be rewarded with either how long you may expect | | to have to study, to attain the next level of | | proficiency, or 10 gold pieces. | | In my studies I have come across thirteen spells| | but I only know how long it takes to cast 5 of them, | | anyone revealing the length of time for other spells | | will be rewarded with either 20 gold coins, or two | | other casting times. | | Lastly but not leastly, those of you who posses | | lore about spells may either sell it to me (20 gold) | | or swap it for two other pieces of lore. | | The above rates (in gold) are increased by a | | full fifty percent for members of the magicians guild.| | | | Merlinium the grey | | [537] | \_____________________________________________________/

Hao winced as the needle passed through his skin. Tears ran from his eyes. "Careful, Osric, and be sure it will scar. I want a reminder of this day." He winced again as the needle made another pass. "Careful man! Your healing hurts more than the knife that did this!" Osric spoke. "sorry M'lord. I am a warrior by profession and I leave the sewing to my women. I am no mage to see the future but I think you should not worry about this wound scarring. A few inches higher and to the left and it would have been your heart pierced." "Everyone dies sometime, Osric, but Honor lives forever. What I want to know is, can I ride?" "Aye, lord, but I do not advise it." said Osric. "Some of the new men you hired said they heard the Turbaned ones bragging that their lord was to become a vassal of Pain, the lord of Chardia." "Regardless of who's boot he licks, I will roast his eggs over a fire or die trying!" "E.. e... even if you have to go to Chardia?" stammered the golden masked wizardling, who had recently called himself Ulric. "Even if I have to strangle this cur with Pain's own intestines." said Hao. "Then it is a blood feud, lord?" said Osric. "Aye, Osric, a blood feud."

Here birdy, birdy, birdy...

I'd love to see a dead Bird of Death

Gertan yet again opens to the riddle section. Wow, another tough one. Too bad I heard it before. The answer is "A riddle".

Greetings again,

It's gratifying to see results in the formation of the defensive league in Caburh. We will not surrender!

Greenbeard the Dwarf

Ah, now its time for a real party. My good friend Cluspanes has just arrived in town. With the two of us here, there's no way that old stick 'n the mud Laughing Jack will be able to hold up in that guild hall of his. A night on the town is definitely, in order, to celebrate at his expense of course. Now let's see, there's a new singer at the Silent Centaur tavern; I'm always in the need of picking up new songs. I wonder if that old horse Archibald is still behind the bar; he quite good at it to consider'n his size and hooves and all. Definitely a place to stop for a bit o'ale and cheer. Ah me, first thing first get the meal ticket to show up for the party. Let's see, I got a bit a paper and some ink.

To my good friend and worthy guildmaster, It has come to my knowledge that an old acquaintance of yours has just come to Rimmon. Knowing how well you value friendship, I've taken it upon myself to alert you of this fact. Your friend and mine, the noble warrior Cluspanes is passing through town this month. I hope you'll join us some evening for supper and reminiscing on the old days. Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at my lodgings at the inn of the Drunken Sailor on Port Row.

Erik [1105] Voyager and Troubadour Extraordinaire

Now to find some sap to deliver this. Ah just the thing.

Erik the Explorer looks across the avenue and finds that he's wandered to the offices of the messengers guild. He casually strolls into the cluttered domain and approaches the clerk. "My good man, I have an ergent dispatch for Laughing Jack, Master of the Traders' Guild. Please be so good as to have one of your runners deliver this immediately." "Fine, sir. I'll have it delivered by sometime this afternoon. Now, as to the fee. It will be" "Excuse me, I said immediately. This is official guild business." "I'm sure, friend. However, there is an additional fee. I'll have to call in one of the pages from another task." "I care not what task he pursues; this one is more important. And as to cost, this is official guild business. Add it to the tab." Erik drops the dispatch on the clerks desk and promptly leaves the shop. As he leaves, he can hear the clerk continue, "But sir, who shall I say has authorized this expendi..."

Ah well mission accomplished and none the worse for wear nor coin pouch the lighter. Ah what a burden poor LJ must be under to be respectable.


Do you need to get that ship done soon, but have no one to help you?

How about that extra bathroom that your mate has been bugging you to get?

Does your castle need more manual laborers?

Do you need a personal guard so much that you will train them?


Labor Force [1462] Tell us where to go and we will be there ready for work.

PS: We carry no money.


I am surprised to see my name mentioned in the Dark Prophet's reports. Obviously, the Dark Prophet is trying to cause trouble. I am in no way connected with the Dark Prophet. The only way is that Dr. Pain killed me off in Chardia. I hope nobody takes his comment seriously, as it is not true. He is just trying to cause dissention.

Tharkin [811] (the real one!)


Beware these killers. A threat to society they are. Watch thy backs. The peaceful people of this world must unite if we are to survive.

Number of Last place Name innocents slaughtered of massacre ============================================================================== The Black Company [1301] 15 Chardia [354] (aka. Castle Guard) John Smith [823] 3 Camaris [355] Dr. Pain [814] 1 Chardia [354] Zyzak [513] at least 9 Nallos [212]

A WORD OF CAUTION: There are others among thee who have also killed. These are but known criminals.

A WORD TO THE UNDERWORLD: Is this all that thou canst do? Surely more among thee can do better, and make thyselves known on this glorious list.

I am attempting to compile map of the entire world. Anyone interested in helping please contact me via the Times. Already mapped areas are of extreme interest, as are other adventurous players willing to journey into the unknown.

- The Sage -

In the name of Enlightenment, i seek fellow travellers upon The Path of the Arcane Arts. Let us join together and share what knowledge we have garnished.

Mygathome' the Wanderer

* * * The Dragaeran Trading Company Presents * * *

The Olympia turn checker!

This marvel of the mideval age reads in turn commands, checks syntax, and prints out an english version of the commands for easy checking. No longer will you buy 5 of 6 instead of 6 of 5. It also does some rudimentary reasonability checks (ie. buyable items are within a certain range, routes use certain numbers).

Next, Vax, Sparc, and Decstation binaries are available from shrimp.cs.washington.edu in pub/olympia, with Sun3 binaries available "Real Soon Now"(tm). Don't be the last one in your Cabal to own one!

Comments/questions/bug reports to hauck@cs.washington.edu, or [808].

Oleg the Loudmouth's Interesting Player List ============================================

This is a list if people you might want to watch out for, because they've done, erm, "interesting" things in the past.

Dr. Pain [814] -- Killed 12 new players in Chardia on turn 17, captured 2 units in Habyn on turn 21. Units owned (only a very partial list): 1301 1371 1321 1359

Milinkthos [808] -- Present in Chardia during Dr. Pain massacre but was not attacked; listed by Dr. Pain as ally. (?)

Seldon the Avatar [809] -- killed 1863 in Pesbrand on turn 20. Units owned: 1400.

Tharkin the Cool [811] -- listed as ally by Dr. Pain. Claims it's not true, and that he has nothing to do with Pain other than being a victim.

Mohammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi [819] -- Attacked newbie player in Ilion on turn 21, but fortunately was unable to beat one man. Units owned: 819 834

John Smith [823] -- Present in Chardia during Dr. Pain massacre but was not attacked; listed as ally by Dr. Pain; killed unit that killed player 830 and others in Chardia; killed 2 other units in Camaris on turn 20. Units owned: 1317 1494? 1935 1972?

Sadness [853] -- Listed as ally by Dr. Pain; killed once in Chardia while studying at guild towers, so must have had Dr. Pain's permission. Units owned: 1880

Sightings last turn: ====================

Dr. Pain [814] -- spotted in Habyn Seldon the Avatar [809] -- left Pesbrand for Ilion on day 5. Mohammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi [819] -- spotted in Habyn Sadness [853] -- ended turn in Pesbrand

If you believe any information on this list is incorrect, please write me. If you would like to contribute information, especially combat reports and/or sighting reports, please do so. Information is like a breath of fresh air: it makes everyone's day happier.

-- Oleg the Loudmouth, living up to his name.

A convoy of men on horseback leading a pack of oxen laden with trade goods made it's way slowly along the trail. The leader of the convoy holds his hands up signalling a halt down the entire line as he spots his point man galloping back.

"What is it?", the leader asks.

The old scout's grizzled face twisted into a scowl. "Troll ahead, sir"

The leader's expression took on a haughty look. "Trolls? Don't bother me with trolls. I don't stop my convoy a for a lousy troll. For a second there, you had me scared."

"He's blocking the trail ahead, sir."

The leader's eyes narrowed. He looked up at the sun. He was still slightly ahead of schedule. He could afford to let his men have a little fun. Besides, the troll will serve as a good example. He whistled and a group of 14 men came up with big 4's written all along their platemail, their longswords glittlering in the sunlight.

* * * *

Much much later...

The smell of roasted troll wafted slowly from the campfires. There was even enough left over to dry and use for jerky in the journey ahead. The men settled down to sleep and the leader remarked, "God, we're good. And the shipment of batswings will be on time for the next full moon so little Jimmy can be cured of lockjaw."

Starlight Courier - When you can't be bothered by measly trolls.

We have offices in both the old and new continent:

Locations in: Drassa Pactra Cnossa Pesbr-[Opening of the New Continent branch has been postponed due to the arrival of Dr. Pain]

Tony Wayland [572] - Old Continent Contact Flint [869] - New Continent Contact

What is Starlight Courier?

Starlight Courier is the only Olympia based courier service that will handle monetary and/or goods transactions between different groups. We move things from place to place in a nutshell.

What a dumb idea. I can just make a group and do it myself. Or can I?

Starlight Courier provides cheap and effiecent transport over long distances when you can't afford to use 500 to make your man, spend money keeping your lackey happy, pay your men wages. Pay money to recruit , outfit the people and then send them off to deliver something. If the person you want to deliver to is right next door, it might be cheaper to walk to them, but what about months of travel away?

Wait. If I can't afford to, how can you afford to?

Well this is how Starlight Courier operates. You tell me what you want to move, where and I send a unit to pick it up. The easiest transaction for both of us is gold. Gold transfers are near instantaneous as I once I pick up the amount of gold you want to send I activate the unit I have closest to where you want to send it to and instruct them to go and give your group the money, minus my fee which you will be told up front.

For material goods: armor, weapons, wild horses. I will send someone to pick up the goods and either deliver them via the fastest mode of travel or sell them at the closest market and have them bought somewhere else if possible and then deliver. I supply the people, I supply the network, I'll even supply the mode of transportation. And most of all... I supply the security and assurances that your goods will get there.

Okay how much?

10 gold a day per guy needed plus 5% surcharge. Minimum charge of 200 per delivery. If you want to haggle an bargain, you better give me some pretty damn good perks.

Anything else?

We also do birthday parties and bar mitsvahs.

Here's a little riddle for the riddler: I have a gold head, I have a gold tail, but I have no body. What am I?

THE BLACK CASTLE NEWS "All the news we're permitted to publish." Issue 3


(Chardia) -- Speaking at an informal news conference, Dr. Pain, one of the Dark Prophet's leading generals, said that the Dark Prophet had still not returned to Chardia. However, Dr. Pain emphasized that in the Dark Prophet's absence, the Dark Nation would continue to be ably led by a committee of New World personalities.

The Dark Prophet is believed to have returned to his stronghold retreat in the Far North of the Old World. The location of the Dark Prophet's base is unknown, but it is believed to be heavily guarded, and only accessible during certain times of the year.


(Chardia) -- Dark Nation officials expressed concern today over the continuing unrest in Pesbrand. Recent signs and communications in Pesbrand indicate that dissidents such as Oleg the Loudmouth are continuing to use the Dark Nation as a "bogeyman" to scare newly-arrived immigrants to the New Lands.

Oleg the Loudmouth is currently aboard the Wrath of Zeus [2206] in Pesbrand Harbor. Oleg was exiled from Chardia and a 5000 gold bounty placed upon his head during the early days of the Dark Nation. He next appeared in Pesbrand, where he murdered the owner of the Wrath of Zeus and claimed it for his own. According to Dark Nation sources, the Wrath of Zeus contained over 10,000 gold at the time of its capture. Since that time, Oleg has preyed upon immigrants to the New Land by inciting them against the Dark Nation while spending his own time and money developing a trading empire.

Asked whether Dark Nation forces were planning to intervene in Pesbrand, Dark Nation officials stated that although their presence had been requested by several citizens of Pesbrand, at this time they saw no need for action. Privately, officials confided that they expected the citizens of Pesbrand to realize soon that Oleg and similar dissidents represent a considerable danger to *all* the citizens of Pesbrand, and to resolve their problems internally.

The Chronicles of Pain Part V

The dead of winter fell upon Chardia in the form of a blinding snowstorm. Raging winds blew the snow in bitter, stinging clouds, and streets and alleys were soon blocked as the snow mounted. Tempers grew short as the city shivered and huddled inside the buildings.

In the Red Dog Tavern, the Red Company and the Guardians of the Art met in a vicious barroom brawl that left 15 dead and many others wounded. Each claimed a victory and taunted the other. The weather refused to break, and the next night fighting broke out again. Three were dead before Despair suddenly appeared on the scene, his face a twisted mask of rage. He swept into the brawl, knocking aside the fighters like little children.

That night, Despair met with the Archmage of the New Lands in the dread Black Room atop the Tower of Mages. Strange lights were seen to move in the windows atop the Tower, and a strange fog soon enveloped the town. That night a wild storm broke over the town, crackling with wild lightnings and swirling winds.

The next morning, for the first time in over a month, the sun rose above Chardia.

A Parable

Once upon a time a man was walking in the country. As he passed a farm, he saw the farmer come out of the barn carrying a board. The farmer walked over to a mule that was standing placidly in the garden eating the farmer's lettuce. Sneaking up on the mule, the farmer hit it a tremendous swipe across the head.

The mule looked up somewhat surprisedly at the farmer, who pointed out of the garden and yelled at the mule. The mule obediently trotted out of the garden.

The man called the farmer over. "I noticed that your mule left the garden when you pointed. It seemed like a well-trained and obedient mule," he said.

"Oh, yes," replied the farmer. "It's very well-trained. It will do whatever I tell it."

"Well then, why did you hit it with the board?" asked the man.

"Oh, that," said the farmer. "Well, you see, first you have to get its attention."

Moral: If you act like a mule, don't be surprised when you get hit with a board.

-- 2548 commands queued for 422 units