MirBSD manpage: phantasia(6)

PHANTASIA(6)                 BSD Reference Manual                 PHANTASIA(6)


     phantasia - an interterminal fantasy game


     phantasia [-abHmpSsx]


     phantasia is a role-playing game that allows players to roll up charac-
     ters of various types to fight monsters and other players. Progression of
     characters is based upon gaining experience from fighting monsters (and
     other players).

     Most of the game is menu-driven and self-explanatory (more or less).

     The options provide for a variety of functions to support the game. They

           -a   Get a listing of all character names on file.

           -b   Show scoreboard of top characters per login.

           -H   Print header only.

           -m   Get a monster listing.

           -p   Purge old characters.

           -S   Turn on wizard options, if allowed, if running as root.

           -s   Invoke phantasia without header information.

           -x   Examine/change a particular character on file.

     The characters are saved on a common file, in order to make the game in-
     teractive between players. Each character is given a password which al-
     lows later retrieval. Only characters above level zero are saved. Charac-
     ters unused for a while will be purged. Characters are only placed on the
     scoreboard when they die.


Normal Play

     A number of the player's more important statistics are almost always
     displayed on the screen, with maximums (where applicable) in parentheses.

     The character is placed randomly near the center of a Cartesian system.
     Most commands are selected with a single letter or digit. For example,
     one may move by hitting 'W', 'S', 'N', or 'E', (lower case may also be
     used; at no time is the game case-dependent). One may also use 'H', 'J',
     'K', and 'L' for movement, as with vi(1). The move ('1') command is for
     moving to a specific (x, y) coordinate. The distance a character can move
     is calculated by 1 plus 1.5 per level. Moving in a compass direction will
     move the player the maximum allowed distance in that direction.

     A player may see who else is playing by using the players ('2') option.
     One may see the coordinates of those who are the same distance or closer
     to the origin as the player. Kings and council of the wise can see and
     can be seen by everyone. A palantir removes these restrictions.

     One can talk to other players with the talk ('3') option. In general,
     this is a line or so of text. To remove the current message, just type
     <return> when prompted for a message.

     The stats ('4') option shows additional characteristics of a player.

     One may leave the game with the quit ('5') option.

     One may rest by default. Resting lets one regain maximum energy level,
     and also lets one find mana. More mana is found at larger levels and
     further distances from the origin.

     One may call a monster by hitting '9' or 'C'.

     'X' can be used to examine other players.

     One may quit or execute a sub-shell by hitting interrupt. Quitting during
     battle results in death, for obvious reasons.

     Several other options become available as the player progresses in level
     and magic, or to other stations in the game (valar, council of the wise,
     king). These are described elsewhere. In general, a control-L will force
     the redrawing of the screen.

     Other things which may happen are more or less self-explanatory.

Fighting Monsters

     A player has several options while fighting monsters. They are as fol-

           melee     Inflicts damage on the monster, based upon strength. Also
                     decreases the monster's strength some.

           skirmish  Inflicts a little less damage than melee, but decreases
                     the monster's quickness instead.

           evade     Attempt to run away. Success is based upon both the
                     player's and the monster's brains and quickness.

           spell     Several options for throwing spells (described else-

           nick      Hits the monster one plus the player's sword, and gives
                     the player 10% of the monster's experience. Decreases the
                     monster's experience an amount proportional to the amount
                     granted. This also increases the monster's quickness.
                     Paralyzed monsters wake up very fast when nicked.

           luckout   This is essentially a battle of wits with the monster.
                     Success is based upon the player's and the monster's
                     brains. The player gets credit for slaying the monster if
                     he/she succeeds. Otherwise, nothing happens, and the
                     chance to luckout is lost.

Character Statistics

           strength      determines how much damage a character can inflict.

           quickness     determines how many chances a character gets to make
                         decisions while fighting.

           energy level  specifies how much damage a character may endure be-
                         fore dying.

           magic level   determines which spells a character may throw, and
                         how effective those spells will be.

           brains        basically, the character's intelligence; used for
                         various fighting options and spells.

           mana          used as a power source for throwing spells.

           experience    gained by fighting monsters and other characters.

           level         indicative of how much experience a character has ac-
                         cumulated; progresses geometrically as experience in-

           poison        sickness which degrades a character's performance
                         (affects energy level and strength).

           sin           accumulated as a character does certain nasty things;
                         used only rarely in normal play of the game.

           age           of player; roughly equivalent to number of turns. As
                         age increases, many personal statistics degenerate.

Character Types

     Character statistics are rolled randomly from the above list, according
     to character type. The types are as follows:

           magic user   strong in magic level and brains, weak in other areas.
                        Must rely on wits and magic to survive.

           fighter      good in strength and energy level, fairly good in oth-
                        er areas. This adds up to a well-equipped fighter.

           elf          very high quickness and above average magic level.

           dwarf        very high strength and energy level, but with a ten-
                        dency to be rather slow and not too bright.

           halfling     rather quick and smart, with high energy level, but
                        poor in magic and strength. Born with some experience.

           experimento  very mediocre in all areas. However, the experimento
                        may be placed almost anywhere within the playing grid.

     The possible ranges for starting statistics are summarized in the follow-
     ing table.

     Type          Strength   Quick    Mana    Energy   Brains   Magic
     Mag. User      10-15     30-35   50-100   30-45    60-85     5-9
     Fighter        40-55     30-35   30-50    45-70    25-45     3-6
     Elf            35-45     32-38   45-90    30-50    40-65     4-7
     Dwarf          50-70     25-30   25-45    60-100   20-40     2-5
     Halfling       20-25      34     25-45    55-90    40-75     1-4
     Experimento      25       27      100       35       25       2

     Not only are the starting characteristics different for the different
     character types, but the characteristics progress at different rates for
     the different types as the character goes up in level. Experimentoes'
     characteristics progress randomly as one of the other types. The progres-
     sion as characters increase in level is summarized in the following

     Type        Strength   Mana   Energy   Brains   Magic
     Mag. User     2.0       75      20      6       2.75
     Fighter       3.0       40      30      3.0     1.5
     Elf           2.5       65      25      4.0     2.0
     Dwarf         5         30      35      2.5     1
     Halfling      2.0       30      30      4.5     1

     The character type also determines how much gold a player may carry, how
     long until rings can overcome the player, and how much poison the player
     can withstand.


     During the course of the game, the player may exercise his/her magic
     powers. These cases are described below.

           cloak           magic level necessary: 20 (plus level 7)
                           mana used: 35 plus 3 per rest period
                           Used during normal play. Prevents monsters from
                           finding the character, as well as hiding the player
                           from other players. His/her coordinates show up as
                           '?' in the players option. Players cannot collect
                           mana, find trading posts, or discover the grail
                           while cloaked. Calling a monster uncloaks, as does
                           choosing this option while cloaked.

           teleport        magic level necessary: 40 (plus level 12)
                           mana used: 30 per 75 moved
                           Used during normal play. Allows the player to move
                           with much more freedom than with the move option,
                           at the price of expending mana. The maximum dis-
                           tance possible to move is based upon level and
                           magic level.

           power blast     magic level necessary: none
                           mana used: 5 times level
                           Used during inter-terminal battle. Damage is based
                           upon magic level and strength. Hits much harder
                           than a normal hit.

           all or nothing  magic level necessary: none
                           mana used: 1
                           Used while combating monsters. Has a 25% chance of
                           working. If it works it hits the monster just
                           enough to kill it. If it fails, it doesn't hit the
                           monster, and doubles the monster's quickness and
                           strength. Paralyzed monsters wake up much quicker
                           as a result of this spell.

           magic bolt      magic level necessary: 5
                           mana used: variable
                           Used while combating monsters. Hits the monster
                           based upon the amount of mana expended and magic
                           level. Guaranteed to hit at least 10 per mana.

           force field     magic level necessary: 15
                           mana used: 30
                           Used during monster combat. Throws up a shield to
                           protect from damage. The shield is added to actual
                           energy level, and is a fixed number, based upon
                           maximum energy. Normally, damage occurs first to
                           the shield and then to the players actual energy

           transform       magic level necessary: 25
                           mana used: 50
                           Used during monster combat. Transforms the monster
                           randomly into one of the 100 monsters from the mon-
                           ster file.

           increase might  magic level necessary: 35
                           mana used: 75
                           Used during combat with monsters. Increases
                           strength up to a maximum.

           invisibility    magic level necessary: 45
                           mana used: 90
                           Used while fighting monsters. Makes it harder for
                           the monster to hit, by temporarily increasing the
                           player's quickness. This spell may be thrown
                           several times, but a maximum level will be reached.

           transport       magic level necessary: 60
                           mana used: 125
                           Used during monster combat. Transports the monster
                           away from the player. Success is based upon
                           player's magic and brains, and the monster's
                           experience. If it fails the player is transported
                           instead. 60% of the time, the monster will drop any
                           treasure it was carrying.

           paralyze        magic level necessary: 75
                           mana used: 150
                           Used during monster combat. "Freezes" the monster
                           by putting its quickness slightly negative. The
                           monster will slowly wake up. Success is based upon
                           player's magic and the monster's experience. If it
                           fails, nothing happens.

           specify         magic level necessary: none
                           mana used: 1000
                           Used during monster combat only by valar or council
                           of the wise. Allows the player to pick which mon-
                           ster to fight.


     Monsters get bigger farther from the origin (0,0). Rings of distance 125
     from the origin determine the size. A monster's experience, energy level,
     and brains are multiplied by the size. Strength is increased 50% per size
     over one, and quickness remains the same, regardless of size.

     Nastier monsters are found as one progresses farther out from the origin.
     Monsters also may flock. The percent chance of that happening is desig-
     nated as flock% in the monster listing. Monsters outside the first ring
     may carry treasure, as determined by their treasure type. Flocking mon-
     sters, and bigger monsters, increase the chances of treasure.

     Certain monsters have special abilities, as follows:

     Unicorn           can only be subdued if the player is in possession of a

     Modnar            has random characteristics, including treasure type.

     Mimic             will pick another name from the list of monsters in
                       order to confuse.

     Dark Lord         very nasty person. Does not like to be hit (especially
                       nicked), and many spells do not work well (or at all)
                       against him. One can always evade from the Dark Lord.

     Leanan-Sidhe      also a very nasty person. She will permanently sap
                       strength from someone.

     Saruman           wanders around with Wormtongue, who can steal a
                       palantir. Also, Saruman may turn a player's gems into
                       gold pieces, or scramble her/his stats.

     Thaumaturgist     can transport a player.

     Balrog            inflicts damage by taking away experience, not energy.

     Vortex            may take some mana.

     Nazgul            may try to steal a ring or neutralize part of one's

     Tiamat            may take half a player's gold and gems and escape.

     Kobold            may get nasty and steal one gold piece and run away.

     Shelob            may bite, inflicting the equivalent of one poison.

     Assorted Faeries  These are killed if attacking someone carrying holy
                       water. These are Cluricaun, Fir Darrig, Fachan, Ghille
                       Dhu, Bogle, Killmoulis, and Bwca.

     Lamprey           may bite, inflicting 1/2 of a poison.

     Shrieker          will call one of its (much bigger) buddies if picked

     Bonnacon          will become bored with battle, fart, and run off.

     Smeagol           will try to steal a ring from a player, if given the

     Succubus          may inflict damage through a force field. This sub-
                       tracts from energy level instead of any shield the
                       player may have thrown up. This is a very easy way to

     Cerberus          loves metal and will steal all the metal treasures from
                       a player if able.

     Ungoliant         can bite and poison. This inflicts five poisons, and
                       also takes one from the player's quickness.

     Jabberwock        may tire of battle, and leave after calling one of his
                       friends (Jubjub Bird or Bandersnatch).

     Morgoth           actually Modnar, but reserved for council of the wise,
                       valar, and ex-valar. Fights with Morgoth end when ei-
                       ther he or the player dies. His characteristics are
                       calculated based upon the player's. The player is given
                       the chance to ally with him. No magic except force
                       field works when battling Morgoth.

     Troll             may regenerate its energy and strength while in battle.

     Wraith            may make a player blind.


     The various treasure types are as follows:

     Type zero             none

     Type one              power booster - adds mana.
                           druid - adds experience.
                           holy orb - subtracts 0.25 sin.

     Type two              amulet - protects from cursed treasure.
                           holy water - kills assorted faeries.
                           hermit - reduces sin by 25% and adds some mana.

     Type three            shield - adds to maximum energy level.
                           virgin - used to subdue a unicorn, or to give much
                           experience (and some sin).
                           athelas - subtracts one poison.

     Type four (scrolls)   shield - throws a bigger than normal force field.
                           invisible - temporarily puts the finder's quickness
                           to one million.
                           ten fold strength - multiplies finder's strength by
                           pick monster - allows finder to pick next monster
                           to battle.
                           general knowledge - adds to finder's brains and
                           magic level.

                           All the scrolls except general knowledge automati-
                           cally call a monster. These preserve any spells
                           that were already in effect, but are only in effect
                           while in battle.

     Type five             dagger - adds to strength.
                           armour - same as a shield, but bigger.
                           tablet - adds brains.

     Type six              priest - rests to maximum; adds mana, brains; and
                           halves sin.
                           Robin Hood - increases shield and adds permanently
                           to strength.
                           axe - like dagger, but bigger.

     Type seven            charm - protects from cursed treasure (used before
                           amulet); used in conjunction with blessing to bat-
                           tle Dark Lord.
                           Merlyn - adds brains, magic, and mana.
                           war hammer - like an axe, but bigger.

     Type eight            healing potion - sets poison to -2, or subtracts
                           two from poison, whichever is better.
                           transporter - allows finder to move anywhere.
                           sword - like a war hammer, but bigger.

     Type nine             golden crown - allows the player to become king by
                           going to (0,0).
                           blessing - cuts sin to 1/3, adds mana, rests to
                           maximum, kills Dark Lord with a charm, and gives
                           bearer first hit on all monsters.
                           quicksilver - adds to quickness.

     Type ten              elven boots - adds permanently to quickness.

     Type eleven           palantir - allows one to see all the other players;
                           used by council of the wise to seek the grail.

     Type twelve/thirteen  ring - allows one to hit much harder in battle,

     Any treasure type 10-13 monsters may instead carry a type nine treasure.

     A monster may also be carrying gold or gems. These are used at trading
     posts to buy things. A gem is worth 1000 gold pieces. Too much gold will
     slow a player down. One may carry 1000 plus 200 per level of gold. A gem
     weighs one half a gold piece. Monsters of treasure type 7 or higher may
     carry gems.

     The chance of a cursed treasure is based upon treasure type. The more
     valuable treasures have a greater chance of being cursed. A cursed treas-
     ure knocks energy level very low and adds 0.25 poison.


     Rings are only carried by nazguls and Dark Lords. They come in four dif-
     ferent flavors. All rings rest the player to maximum and cause him/her to
     hit much harder in battle with monsters (assuming the ring is being used
     for battle.)

     Two types of rings are cursed and come either from nazguls or Dark Lords.
     After a few times of using these types, the player falls under the con-
     trol of the ring, and strange, random things will occur. Eventually, the
     player dies, and gives his/her name to a monster on the file. Dying be-
     fore the ring is used up also renames the monster.

     The two remaining types of rings are much more benign. The one from a
     nazgul is good for a limited number of battle rounds, and will save the
     player from death if it was being used when he/she died. The one from
     Dark Lord is the same, except that it never is used up. rings disappear
     after saving someone from death. In general, cursed rings occur much more
     often than normal ones. It is usually not a good idea to pick one up. The
     only way to get rid of a ring is to have a monster steal it.


     A player may become king by finding a crown and going to (0,0). Players
     must have a level in the range of 10 to 1000 to be able to find a crown.
     When a player with one or more crowns reaches level 1000, the crowns are
     converted to gold.

     Once a player is king, he/she may do certain things while in the Lord's
     Chamber (0,0). These are exercised with the decree ('0') option.

     transport      This is done to another player. It randomly moves the af-
                    fected player about. A charm protects from transports.

     curse          This is done to another player. It is analogous to cursed
                    treasure, but worse. It inflicts two poison, knocks energy
                    level very low, and degrades the maximum energy. It also
                    removes a cloak. A blessing protects from king's curses.

     energy void    The king may put a number of these scattered about his/her
                    kingdom as he/she pleases. If a player hits one, he/she
                    loses mana, energy, and gold. The energy void disappears
                    after being hit.

     bestow         This is also done to another player. The king may wish to
                    reward one or more loyal subjects by sharing his/her
                    riches (gold). Or it is a convenient way to dispose of
                    some unwanted deadweight.

     collect taxes  Everyone pays 7% tax on all gold and gems acquired, re-
                    gardless of the existence of a king. The king collects the
                    accrued taxes with this option.

     The king may also teleport anywhere for free by using the origin as a
     starting place.

Council of the Wise, Valar

     A player automatically becomes a member of the council of the wise upon
     reaching level 3000. Members of the council cannot have rings. Members of
     the council have a few extra options which they can exercise. These are
     exercised with the intervene ('8') option. All intervene options cost
     1000 mana. One intervene option is to heal another player. This is just a
     quick way for that player to be rested to maximum and lose a little
     poison. The main purpose in life for members of the council is to seek
     the Holy Grail. This is done with a palantir under the seek grail option.
     The distance cited by the seek is accurate within 10%, in order not to
     make it too easy to find the grail. A player must have infinitesimally
     small sin, or else it's all over upon finding the grail. In order to help
     members of the council on their quest, they may teleport with greater

     Upon finding the grail, the player advances to position of valar. He/she
     may then exercise more and niftier options under intervention. These in-
     clude all of the council members' options plus the ability to move other
     players about, bless them, and throw monsters at them. A valar's blessing
     has the same effect as the treasure blessing, except that the affected
     player does not get his/her blessing flag set. All intervention options
     which affect other players age the player who uses them. Valars are
     essentially immortal, but are actually given five lives. If these are
     used up, the player is left to die, and becomes an ex-valar. A valar can-
     not move, teleport, or call monsters. (An exception to this is if the
     valar finds a transporter.) This is to allow him/her to dispose of excess
     gold. Any monsters which a valar encounters are based upon his/her size.
     Only one valar may exist at a time. The current valar is replaced when
     another player finds the grail. The valar is then bumped back to the
     council of the wise.


     The wizard is usually the owner of the game and the one who maintains the
     associated files. The wizard is granted special powers within the game,
     if it is invoked with the -S option. Otherwise, the wizard plays no dif-
     ferent from other players. The wizard abilities are outlined below.

     change players        When examining a player, (game invoked with -x, or
                           'X' is used from within game), the wizard may also
                           change the player.

     intervention          The wizard may do all the intervention options. One
                           extra option, vaporize, is added to kill any offen-
                           sive players.

     super character type  An extra character type is added. This character
                           starts with the maximum possible in all statistics,
                           selected from the other character types. A super
                           character's statistics also progress at the maximum
                           possible rate, selected from the other character

Special Places

     Certain regions of the playing grid have different names. In general,
     this is only to give the player some idea of his/her present location.
     Some special places do exist.

     Trading Posts  These are located at |x| == |y| == n*n*100 for n = 1, 2,
                    ..., 1000. Trading posts farther out have more things for
                    sale. Be careful about cheating the merchants there, as
                    they have short tempers. Merchants are dishonest about 5%
                    of the time.

     Lord's Chamber
                    This is located at (0,0). Only players with crowns may

     Point of No Return
                    This is located beyond 1.2e+6 in any direction. The only
                    way to return from here is a transporter or to have a
                    valar relocate the player.

     Dead Marshes   This is a band located fairly distant from the origin. The
                    first fourteen monsters (water monsters) can normally only
                    be found here.

     Valhala        This place is where the valar resides. It is associated
                    with no particular coordinate on the playing grid.


     Once a player reaches level 5, the game will start to time out waiting
     for input. This is to try to keep the game a bit faster-paced.

     A guru will never be disgusted with your sins if they are less than one.

     A medic wants half of a player's gold to be happy. Offering more than one
     has, or a negative amount will anger the medic, who will make the player
     worse (add one poison).

     The Holy Grail does little for those who are not ready to behold it.
     Whenever anyone finds it, it moves. It is always located within 1e+6 in
     any compass direction of the origin.

     There is a maximum amount of mana and charms a player may possess, based
     upon level. Quicksilver is always limited to a maximum of 99.

     Books bought at a trading post increase brains, based upon the number
     bought. It is unwise, however to buy more than 1/10 of one's level in
     books at a time.

     Players over level 10000 are automatically retired.

     A blindness goes away in random time.

     Players with crowns are identified with a '*' before their character

Inter-terminal Battle

     When two player's coordinates correspond, they may engage in battle. In
     general, the player with the highest quickness gets the first hit. If the
     two players are severely mismatched, the stronger player is drastically
     handicapped for the battle. In order to protect from being stuck in an
     infinite loop, the player waiting for response may time out. Options for
     battle are:

     fight        Inflicts damage upon other person.

     run away     Escape from battle. Has a 75% chance of working.

     power blast  Battle spell.

     luckout      One-time chance to try to win against the foe. Has a 10%
                  chance of working.

     Sometimes waits for the other player may be excessive, because he/she may
     be battling a monster. Upon slaying a player in battle the winner gets
     the other's experience and treasures. Rings do not work for inter-
     terminal battle.


     Edward Estes, AT&T Information Systems, Skokie, IL


     All screen formats assume at least 24 lines by at least 80 columns. No
     provisions are made for when any of the data items get too big for the
     allotted space on the screen.

MirBSD #10-current              April 1, 2001                                9

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