EAMON is a computerized version of what are called "Fantasy Role-Playing Games." When you enter the universe of one of these games, you are no longer John (or Jane) Smith, mild-mannered computer hobbyist. Instead, you become a character in a land of adventure, doing almost anything you want to.
In the land of Eamon, you will be a member of the select Free Adventurers Guild, which is made up of hardy individuals like yourself who want to live by your wits, defeating horrible monsters and finding glorious treasures. (For those of you who want a more calm life, you will have to wait for the game "ADVENTURERS IN THE LAND OF THE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS".)
Unlike most games, there is no single set goal for you to achieve, no way to 'win' the game. Instead, in Eamon, you have a lasting goal to both better yourself and also get rich. If you set for yourself another goal (do good to all princesses, kill all evil wizards, that sort of thing), you may also work towards it in your quests.
To run the adventures of Eamon, you need an Apple II, one disk drive, and at least 32K of memory. (Some scenarios may require 48K.) You do not need this manual (although it does help keep you informed, and informed adventurers survive longer!). The one thing you must possess for Eamon is a large dose of imagination.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The full list of people who deserve mentioning here is too long to give, but a few are--Bill Fesselmeyer, for introducing me to FRP games, my father for introducing me to the Apple, the many good friends who have play-tested this for me, to all the creators of the games I have played and to the writers such as Tolkein, Leiber, and Niven who have given me so many ideas. And, last but not least, to the talented people of Ann Arbor, Michigan who designed that lovely Dragon Picture.
The basic system of EAMON was created and developed by Donald Brown. The individual adventures were created by various people. Non-commercial distribution is encouraged.
Far away, at the dead center of the Milky Way, is the planet of Eamon. It doesn't orbit any suns--all of the suns orbit it. The shifting pulls of all of these great bodies bring strange forces to bear upon this planet; twisting light, tides, even the laws of science itself! Strange things happen there, and the citizens of Eamon must always be adaptable, for things are rarely what they seem, and even more rarely what they were yesterday!
You are a citizen of this weird world. You are a free man (or woman) out to seek your fortune in this world of shifting laws and time. You will usually find yourself fighting terrible monsters such as Orcs, Trolls, and Dragons to get their treasure. However, at times you may find yourself fighting such varied opponents as Billy the Kid and Darth Vader! Anything can happen, anything at all.
EAMON is a fantasy role-playing game. This means that the computer will generate a character for you and you will pretend to be that person. You will command your character into fierce battle, where hopefully he/she will emerge victorious and wealthy.
Obviously, not all characters are equal in ability. Three numbers (called attributes) describe various parts of your physical condition. You also will have various abilities with weapons, which will increase as you gain experience with them, and learn how to better use them. Additionally, you will be able to learn some powerful magic spells. (Of course, you will have to be taught these spells, and the teacher will charge you for the job!)
EAMON is usually non-sexist--there is full room for both male and female adventurers. However, for simplicity's sake, an adventurer will usually be referred to as 'he'--please understand that it refers to 'she' adventurers also.
As mentioned earlier, three numbers describe the basic 'working material' of your character. They are all gotten by selecting three random numbers from one to eight and summing them, thus the numbers can range from three to twenty- four, with more numbers around twelve to fifteen. (By the way, this is called 'three die eight' or written as '3D8'. This terminology comes from older role- playing games where you roll strange dice, and means roll three eight-sided dice and add). The three attributes are HARDINESS, AGILITY, and CHARISMA. Their descriptions and effects are given below--
Your character's hardiness has two major effects. The most important is that your hardiness is the number of points of damage that your body can withstand before you die. In other words, assume Hedric the Horrible is fighting a Troll. Hedric has an HD (hardiness) of 13. The Troll swings his Battle axe (as described later in the COMBAT section of the manual) and hits Hedric for 10 points of damage. This brings Hedric down to three more points of damage before death--if the Troll can hit Hedric again and do more than two points of damage (before Hedric can go home and heal himself, or use some magic to heal), Hedric will die!
The other effect of hardiness is the total weight that you can carry. The standard measure of weight on Eamon is the Grond, which can be split into ten Dos. You can carry up to ten times your hardiness. Therefore, Hedric can carry up to 130 Gronds (or 1300 Dos). Note that weight-carrying ability is based on the characters base hardiness, not the number of hits he has left. In his unpleasant encounter with the Troll, Hedric can still carry 130 Gronds, even though he only has three hits left before death.
As with all three basic attributes, a character's hardiness is not normally changed. (Unusual magic items or spells might change them). Thus, a player who starts life as a 90-pound weakling will remain one until he dies.
The second basic ability is the player's agility (abbreviated 'AG'). Agility's major effect is in combat--a player with high Agility is more likely to hit an opponent. Agility may also be useful for avoiding special traps (like falling down a mine shaft) or other special occurrences.
The last basic attribute for the player is his charisma (abbreviated 'CH'). Charisma is mostly a measure of physical attractiveness, although it also includes such things as a forceful manner, pleasant speaking voice, and anything else that makes people look at you and say, "Gee, what a nice guy!" (or girl). In some ways, charisma may be the most important attribute, at least for the beginning character. The first major effect of charisma is on the prices you'll have to pay for goods and services (or the prices people will pay you). Obviously, if somebody likes you, he will give you a better price than if you disgust him.
The second effect of charisma is on how citizens of Eamon (generically called monsters) will react to you. Not all monsters are bad--you can sometimes make friends with a few of them, and their assistance may make the difference between life and death! Your charisma will affect the likeliness of their liking you--subtract 10 from your charisma, multiply the difference by 2, and the result adjusts the percentage chance of a favorable reaction from the monster--if there was any chance at all! EXAMPLE: The Mad Hermit of the Beginner's Cave has a 50% friendliness rating, which means that Joe Normal with a charisma of 10 will get make friends with the Hermit one-half of the time. However, old Hedric the Horrible with his charisma of 5 has only a 40% chance of making friends (5-10=-5, -5*2 =-10). On the other hand, Lovable Linda with her charisma of 24 has a 78% chance of making friends. Unfortunately a rat with a friendliness rating of 0 will never make friends, be it with Joe Normal, Hedic, or Lovable Linda.
Being a rough and violent world, combat is the most important aspect of Eamon. In most adventures, combat is taken care of on a blow-by-blow method --every player or monster in turn uses his weapon(s) on one enemy, the effects are calculated, and then applied.
Every time that a player or monster attempts to strike someone else, there is a percentage chance of success. The computer will generate a number from 1 to 100, and if the number is less than the chance to hit, the blow did strike.
Several factors determine just what that chance to hit is. If a player has no armor on, there are three factors-- the player's agility, his ability with that weapon, and the quality of the weapon (also called the complexity).
Roughly speaking, all weapons in the world of Eamon can be divided into five types--axes, bows (this includes all thrown weapons and guns), clubs (or any blunt weapons), spears (or other pole weapons), and swords. Every player has what are called 'weapon expertises' for each class. All players start at the same levels: 5% for axes, -10% for bows, 20% for clubs, 10% for spears and 0% for swords. (These numbers are to reflect the fact that somebody who doesn't know what he's doing is more likely to hit with a club than with an arrow.) Your chance of hitting your target is equal to twice your agility plus your ability for the weapon you are using, plus the complexity of the weapon you are using. For example, our old friend Hedric has an agility of 20 and is using a fair quality sword (with a complexity of 0%). Since he is a starting character, he has a sword ability of 0%. Thus his chance of hitting is 40+0+0 or 40%.
Weapon expertises can be increased through use in combat. The scheme goes as follows: Assume Hedric is fighting his troll and scores a successful hit. The question now is, did Hedric learn anything about how to use his weapon better? Well, it just so happens that his chance to learn is his chance to have missed. Thus, 60% of the time Hedric will learn from his blow. If he does, his sword expertise will go up by 2%. Thus, next time his chance of hitting will be 42%. (Notice that his chance of learning on the next successful blow is only 58%.)
Well, Hedric somehow made it out alive from his Troll battle, and has brought his sword expertise up to 12%. He then wants to take his booty and new knowledge and get a better weapon. If Hedric goes and buys a new sword-like weapon, such as a rapier which has a weapon complexity of 15%, his chance of hitting with it will be 40+12+15 or 67%. However, if he decides to switch weapons and get a Battle axe with a complexity of 15%, his chance with that will be 40+5+15 or 60%--his experience with swords will not help him with his axe.
If an attacker is wearing armor, his chance of hitting may be reduced. After all, one just isn't as agile when one is fighting from within a tin can! A player may carry a shield, which will lower the chance to hit by 5%, and may also wear either leather armor (lowers chance by 10%), chain mail (20%), or plate armor (60%!). However, these numbers are "worst cases". A player becomes used to the constricting effect of wearing armor, and builds an armor expertise (called AE). It is built the same way that weapon expertise is increased--every time a successful blow is landed and the effect of armor is bigger than the player's AE, a check is made on the chance to miss and that is the chance of the armor expertise going up by 2%. Thus a successful blow may increase the chance to hit by 4%. Armor expertise is carried over from each type of armor. Thus if you've brought your AE up to 10% while in leather armor and you go to chain, your chance to hit will only drop by 10%, not 20%. However, the effect of armor expertise can never increase the chance to hit--if the AE is 32% and you go to leather armor, the net effect will be 0, not adding 22%.
In addition to agility, weapon expertise, weapon complexity, and armor, there may be magical or other extraordinary forces at work that will affect the chance of hitting. When a blow hits, a random amount of damage is done to the target. This amount of damage is based on the weapon and will be given in 'N D N' format. (Remember 3D8 for the three basic attributes?) This base number of damage is usually lowered by the armor worn by the defender--leather armor and shield each take one point of damage, chain takes 2, and plate armor takes 5 points of damage away from that taken on the body (all effects are cumulative and magical devices may act as armor).
That, of course, is what usually happens. However, due to flashes of good luck or clumsiness weird things can happen. About 5% of the time an attacker will get what is called a 'critical hit'. That will get one of the following results (each result is followed by the percentage chance of its occurrence): Ignore armor (50%), three-halves normal damage (35%), twice normal damage (10%), triple normal damage (4%), or automatic kill (1%).
About 4% of the time the attacker will fumble with his weapon. It will have one of the following effects: Recover from fumble without any other effect (35%), Drop weapon (40%, if the attacker is using built-in weapons such as claws, the attacker simply recovers instead), Break weapon (20%, with a 10% chance of hitting oneself at the same time), Hit self normally (4%), and Hit self with double damage, ignoring armor (1%).
The strange shifting forces around Eamon sometimes give results that can only be called 'Magical'. However, most of these effects are extremely localized, and will not be consistent from one adventure to the next. Most often these strange things will be the special results by carrying magical items, however, some citizens of Eamon who have lived all of their lives in one location may have learned how to control the forces around them.
There are, however, four spells that work almost everywhere. Anyone can be taught these spells without too much difficulty (if you can find a wizard who will teach them to you!). When you learn a spell, you will start with a random ability in it from 25 to 75% (you will not know what your ability is). As with combat experience, this can be increased every time you successful cast the spell--If a random percentage roll is less than your chance to not have cast it, your ability will go up by 2%. However, there is a catch in casting spells-- due to the tiring effects of sending all this power through your body, every time that you attempt to cast a spell REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTEMPT WAS SUCCESSFUL your chance for the rest of the adventure is halved. Thus, old Hedric who knows a spell with a 200% ability will always cast it the first time. His second try will also always work (100% of the time). His third try will only work half (50%) of the time. On the fourth try the chance is down to 25%, fifth try 12%, and sixth only 6%. Fortunately for Hedric, however, if you know a spell your chance of successfully casting it can never be less than 5%, so Hedric can use his spell for the rest of the adventure at the same odds.
The four basic spells are:
This spell sends a magical burning arrow at your opponent. Armor will absorb damage from it, but if the spell is successfully cast it will always hit its target, regardless of the range. However, the Blast spell only works on living (or at least animate) objects and the targets must be seen by the person casting it. The arrow will do 1 D 6 of damage (a random number from one to six).
The Heal spell removes hits from the body of the person casting. It will cure 1 D 10 hits, but never past 0. (Hedric, having taken five hits, casts a Heal spell on himself successfully. He got a good casting this time--would have cured 8 hits normally, however it only cures five hits one him, bringing Hedric back up to perfect condition).
This powerful spell will double the caster's agility for from 10 to 34 turns. You will know when you have cast the spell successfully, however you will not be told when it wears off. If you successfully cast a Speed spell while one is already in effect on you, the new spell will reset the time for you--it will not have the effect of quadrupling your agility. Obviously, when you cast the Speed spell your chance of hitting goes up accordingly (Hedric had a 56% chance of hitting with some weapon before casting the spell, with 40% of that because of his 20 agility. When he casts the Speed spell on himself, his chance will increase by 40% again, giving him a 96% chance of hitting).
The Power spell may well be the most powerful spell available to you, and certainly the most uncertain. It has no set effect, it's a call to the Gods saying "Hey, do something!". What they do will certainly differ from place to place, and may even differ from one moment to the next! It could kill all of your enemies, teleport you randomly somewhere else in the place you are exploring, cause an earthquake that buries you and your opponents alive, or anything else you can and cannot think of.
For all of these spells, it should be pointed out that this is the way they >> USUALLY << work out. In some obscure sections of the world spells may not drop in ability every time you use them, in other places spells may not work at all!
RELATING WITH CITIZENS
There are two places you will be encountering other people of Eamon, on your adventures and at the Main Hall of the Guild of Free Adventurers.
At the Main Hall, you will be able to communicate with the various people there and do business. However, they will not do you any real favors (except possibly giving you good prices on things if they like you), and you will not be permitted to fight with anybody there. Essentially, they will be businessmen and women, out to relieve you of some of your gold while helping outfit you to go get more.
On the other hand, during your adventures outside of the Main Hall, you will not be able to communicate with most of the people you find. Additionally, they will usually be rather simple-minded--when meeting you they will decide if they like you. If they do like you, they will follow you around and fight on your side during any battles. If they don't like you, they will try to kill you. These people are rather set in their ways--once they make up their mind about you they will usually keep with their decisions, unless you do something nasty such as attack a friend, or you do something especially nice, such as healing an enemy.
However, just because they do or do not like you does not mean that they will always fight to the bitter end. Some people or things you encounter will be less courageous (or smarter) than others and will run from what they view as a losing battle--both your enemies and your friends. When someone retreats they usually kick up a cloud of dust so you cannot see which way they ran, although they will always only run out of exits that are really there, and you can usually follow them.
Once again, though, note that all of the statements above were prefaced by the word 'usually'. In some parts of the world you may be able to work quite well with others, give orders, get ideas, even play games with them. As always, the key word is flexibility.
HOW TO REALLY AND ACTUALLY PLAY EAMON
(Never thought we'd get here, did you?)
To actually run EAMON on the Apple II, you must first 'bootup' on the diskette marked "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF EAMON" or simply "EAMON MASTER DISK." It must be in slot six, drive one-- Eamon doesn't know how to handle any others yet.
After you are shown the title page (which you can break out of early by hitting the "ESC" key), you will be almost ready to enter the Main Hall. Simply follow directions (for the sake of your mothers, if nothing else!). If you are new to Eamon (or your character was killed the last time he went out), you will be directed to the man in charge of new adventurers. He will show you what the attributes of your new character are, and let you read some instructions that are stored on the disk. If you have this manual, you don't need to read his instructions. Finally, you will be sent to the Main Hall, where all old adventurers go immediately from the Irishman.
The Main Hall will serve as your headquarters. You can buy spells there, as well as weaponry and armor, you can 'check out' yourself and all your attributes and abilities. You can also keep some money with the banker there. He gives no interest, but money in the bank is safe if you're robbed on an adventurer. (Of course, you can't use it to ransom yourself out of a sticky situation, either!).
GOING ON AN ADVENTURE
Of course, the main purpose of the Main Hall is as a place to leave from to go on adventures. Most of your exploits will be exploring caves and old ruins, doing similar things as in the popular Adventure games. However, Eamon is wide enough to also have you go to casinos and gamble your money away, raise an army to fight invaders (both from other countries and from space!), or do just about any other activity you can think of.
Only one Eamon adventure will be stored on a diskette. To go on an adventure, work from the Main Hall as directed, inserting the diskette with the new adventure into the disk drive at slot six, drive one at the proper time. From then on, you're on your own. (Notice: characters who do not return from adventures are considered dead. Thus, turning off the computer in the midst of an adventure or halting it by Ctrl-C or 'RESET' merely commits suicide).
To help your character get some gold to equip himself properly and gather a little bit of experience, one adventure is included on the diskette-- The Beginners Cave. It's a gentle little romp through a set of caves underground. I strongly advise that you do send your new character through this first. If he can't survive this, there's no point in going out to the dangerous places. (For more information on The Beginners Cave, see the enclosed sheet).
BUYING WEAPONS AND ARMOR
You will have 200 gold pieces when you start a character, and hopefully more after your adventures. One of the most important things for you to do with this gold is to buy weapons and armor. Additionally, you may sometimes want to sell a weapon, be it because you have no need of it or because you have reached the legal limit on weapon ownership of four.
Well, Marcos Cavelli owns a small weaponry store in the Main Hall that will do this for you. Marcos carries five standard weapons--an axe, which does 1D6 of damage and has a base price of 25 gold pieces, a bow which does 1D6 and has a base price of 40, a mace which does 1D4 and has a base price of 20, a spear which does 1D5 and has a base price of 25, and a sword which does 1D8 and has a base price of 50. For each weapon Marcos sells three grades of quality--poor (with a weapon complexity of -10%, but only half the base price), medium (with a weapon complexity of 0, at normal price), and good (with a weapon complexity of 10%, at double the base price). Furthermore, the price you are given can vary from one-third to three times the normal price, depending upon how your charisma and how Marcos feels about you.
Marcos will also buy old weapons. If it's of a type that he doesn't sell, Marcos will pay an average of 100 gold pieces for a weapon. If it is a weapon from his stock, he will pay around 1/4 the normal price.
Marcos's base prices for armor are 50 gold pieces for a shield, 100 for leather, 200 for chain mail, and 500 for plate armor. He will also give you a trade-in of your old armor at its old price, subject to adjustment for the way he feels about you.
Marcos's credit terms, like all of the businesses in the Hall, are very simple--none.
Hokas Tokas, the local wizard in the Main Hall, is willing to teach anybody spells for a price. His base prices for spells are: Power (100 gold pieces), Heal (1000 gold pieces), Blast (3000 gold pieces), and Speed (5000 gold pieces). As with Marcos, Hokas will adjust his prices for how much he likes you, but he will never give credit. But, however he may grumble, he is a nice fellow and will never do anything to you if you try to buy a spell you can't afford, or try to buy a spell twice.
Shylock McFenney, the local banker, will open up an account with anybody. He is absolutely trustworthy with the funds you leave in his care, although he does not give interest, nor does he make loans. (He makes enough money from adventurers who deposit money with him and never come back.)
Unlike most things at the Hall, it does not cost you anything to examine your attributes. It is generally a good idea to examine your attributes last thing before leaving to go on an adventure, and write them down--you cannot examine yourself in the midst of an adventure!
LEAVING THE UNIVERSE
This is simply ending the game. However, your character is stored on the diskette, so he or she can be called up again the next time you play. You should only leave the system this way--otherwise some disk files may be destroyed, and your character will be trapped forever in the horrible bit bucket!
That's really about all there is to say about playing Eamon. Of course, the best way to learn is by starting up a character and running him through a few adventures. One thing I would warn you about--do not get too attached to any character. Unfortunately, while wealth and expertise come rather quickly in this world, so does death.
I am very interested in any and all comments and suggestions on Eamon. I am particularly interested in getting copies of adventures that other people create for Eamon. If you want to build your own adventures, all of the tools I used in creating the Beginner's Cave should be on the master diskette. Feel free to list and examine them to help build your own. However, do not at all be constrained by them, the theme of Eamon is do what you want to with it. Eamon hereby officially belongs to the people who play games on computers, all I ask is that you enjoy it.
THE BEGINNER'S CAVE
The Beginner's Cave has been set up by the Warlord as a service to all Free Adventurers, giving them a chance to try their skills in a not-too-dangerous setting. Let us all toast the Warlord for restocking the cave daily!
Only beginners are permitted in the Cave. A beginner is someone who has no armor expertise and who still has all of the starting levels of weapon exper- tise. You are permitted to carry in only one weapon and any armor you wish. You will not need torches as there is sufficient light in all parts of the Cave. A Knight Marshall (William Misslefire) is on duty to be sure that you do not break the rules (and to keep you from doing something really stupid, like entering the cave without any weapon at all!).
Once you are in the Cave, you will give commands by entering verbs and subjects, such as "GET STONE". If you use a verb that the computer doesn't understand, all verbs will be listed. You must be very exact and use the words that the computer knows. For example, if you are carrying a DEAD MONKEY and you say DROP MONKEY the computer will not understand. (Sometimes the computer does recognize more than one word for an object, though). If you want to repeat the last command given, simply hit 'return' when asked for your next command.
A few commands you should know about:
N, S, E, W, U, D, NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, UP, and DOWN all will move you in the direction given.
INVENTORY or "I" will list all of the items you are currently carrying.
READY brings a weapon into 'ready' mode, meaning that it will be the weapon used in an ATTACK command.
GET picks up an object (not a monster!) from the floor. GET ALL gets all objects there. If you get a weapon and you have no weapon ready, it will ready that weapon automatically.
Other commands are either self- explanatory or they are designed to make you experiment.
To return to the main hall, you must leave the cave (getting to the Cave Entrance) and move North. Once you have done so, Sam Slicker (the local dealer for treasures and booty) will pay you what they are worth (with the price adjusted by your Charisma). You will then be returned to the Main Hall.
Of course, that is only if you survive. If you died, remember that it probably wasn't that great of a character anyway!
NOTE: If you accidentally stop the program while it is running, (such as accidentally hitting 'reset'), you may be able to continue by first getting back into BASIC and then entering:
]POKE 51,0:GOTO 1000
THE MINOTAUR'S LAIR
The method of running the Minotaur's Lair is roughly the same as it was in the Beginners Cave. Of course, the monsters and treasures and rooms are not the same, and some of the verbs that the computer recognizes are different, and the Power spell may have different results, but why quibble?
A major difference now is the fact that you will not know the way out. A hint to adventurers: In cases like this, your top priority should be finding a way out and mapping the dungeon. Also, only a real louse would not at least try to find a good friend if he/she knows one is in here. (Remember, louses do not have high charisma!)