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Provided by: spellcast_1.0-21_i386

 

NAME

        spellcast  -  a game of duelling wizards
 

SYNOPSIS

        spellcast remotedisplay [ remotedisplay ...  ]
 
        One  game  window will appear on the default display (determined by the
        contents of the DISPLAY environment variable.) The second  will  appear
        on  remotedisplay,  which  should  be either an internet host name or a
        complete X display identifier (host:0.0, for example.) (If just a  host
        name is given, display 0 and screen 0 are assumed.)  If more remotedis‐
        play arguments are supplied, additional windows will  appear  on  those
        screens, and you will have a game with three or more players.
 
        All other machines must add your machine to their X access lists, using
        xhost + <machine_name>.  Please be careful with this since using  xhost
        + you open a really big hole in the security of your system. You should
        only allow access to trusted machines.
 
        There is a maximum of seven remotedisplay arguments --  ie,  an  eight-
        player game.
 

RESOURCES

        The game makes use of two X resources:
 
        spellcast*name: namestring
        Sets  the  name  used for your wizard. If you do not set this resource,
        the game assigns the names "White", "Black", "Red", and so forth.
        By default, each character is male. You can specify a gender by  giving
        a namestring of the form
 
        name:f for a female character,
 
        name:m for a male,
 
        name:n for a character whose gender is ambiguous or not well-defined in
               human terms, and
 
        name:x for a genderless character.
 
        spellcast*font: fontname
        The font used for all text and labels in the game window.  This  should
        not  be  larger  than  about 12-point, or things will start to overflow
        their boundaries.
 

INTRODUCTION

        This is a game concerning the imaginary conflict between  two  or  more
        powerful  wizards  in  a duel of sorcery. The opponents perform magical
        gestures with their hands  to  create  their  supernatural  weapons  --
        spells.  Some  are  so  potent as to be able to blind a man, call forth
        terrifying creatures, or even kill the  unfortunate  victim  instantly.
        Consequently  each  wizard  must  rely on his own cunning to be able to
        time enough defensive spells to avoid  the  brunt  of  his  adversary’s
        attack,  yet  force  in sufficient offensive spells of his own to crack
        the magical armour of his opponent, and kill the wizard  outright.  The
        inventor  wishes  to state that he has never been involved in a magical
        duel but would be interested to discover how realistic the game is  for
        those who have...
        In  a turn, each wizard can either gesture with his hands for part of a
        spell, stab with his knife, or do nothing. They use both hands, and the
        hands  can act either independently or in concert. Monsters cannot make
        magical gestures but will  obey  their  masters’  commands  exactly  --
        although  the  identity  of  the  master  could  change  as a result of
        enchantment. Since wizards are trained  intelligent  humans,  they  are
        able  to  gesture and attack, using both hands independently or in con‐
        junction.  Each  monster,  being  an  untrained,  unintelligent  biped,
        attacks  the  same way every time and picks whichever victim its master
        decides. As a result, only wizards can gesture and cast spells.   Play‐
        ers  personally  acquainted  with  monsters who wish to vouch for their
        ability to cast spells are requested to keep quiet.
 
        After choosing his or her gestures, each wizard  must  make  a  certain
        number  of  decisions  -- choosing targets for his spells, ordering his
        monsters to attack particular targets, deciding the effects of  certain
        spells,  and so forth. After all players have chosen their gestures and
        made any necessary decisions, the effects of all spells and attacks are
        resolved simultaneously.  The next turn then begins.
        The spellcast window is divided into seven sections.
 
        The text window
        This  is  a  large  rectangle in the upper left side of the window.  It
        describes what happens in the duel, blow by blow. There is a scroll bar
        on the left side of the text window.
 
        The gesture history list
        This is several columns of small squares in the upper right side of the
        window -- one pair of columns for each player. The player’s  names  are
        listed at the tops of the columns.
 
        Each  column  lists  the recent gestures made by each player’s left and
        right hands. The most recent gestures are at the bottom; as more  turns
        pass, the columns scroll upwards. Each square may show a spell-gesture,
        a knife stab, or no gesture (an empty square).  There  may  also  be  a
        ’disruption’ icon, indicating that an ’anti-spell’ has interrupted that
        wizard’s gestures at that point, or a ’fog’ icon, indicating  that  you
        could not see that gesture (because of blindness, for example.)
 
        Note  that  everyone’s  columns  in the history list do not necessarily
        scroll at the same rate. If one player makes extra gestures (because of
        a  ’time-stop’ or ’haste’), his column will scroll up extra spaces.  Do
        not assume that gestures that appear to be lined up actually were  per‐
        formed at the same time.
 
        You  also  use  the gesture history list to enter your gestures. At the
        beginning of each turn, the bottom (most recent) gestures in your  col‐
        umn  will be empty. (The bottom gestures in your opponent’s column will
        be fogged, since you cannot see his  gestures  until  you  both  finish
        choosing.)  If  you  move  the  mouse  into  one of your bottom gesture
        squares, and hold down the  left  mouse  button,  a  pop-up  menu  will
        appear,  listing  the  possible  gestures with that hand. When you have
        chosen gestures for both hands, press the "End Move" button.
 
        The status window
        This is the small window just below the gesture columns. It  lists  the
        name and status of every living being in the arena. Your name is at the
        top; your opponent’s names are on successive lines. Names  of  monsters
        are  indented, and listed below the wizards who control them. (Monsters
        who are uncontrolled are indented and listed at the top of  the  status
        window  --  this  occurs mostly in three-player game where a wizard has
        summoned a monster and then died.) There is a scroll bar on the window,
        in case you manage to have more beings than will fit.
 
        After each name is the number of hit points that being has left.  After
        that, there may be some letters indicating that certain spells  are  in
        effect:
 
        I: invisible
 
        H: resistant to heat
 
        C: resistant to cold
 
        P: protection from evil
 
        b: blind
 
        d: diseased
 
        p: poisoned
 
        Speech window
        This  is a narrow window, one line tall, below the status window.  Any‐
        thing you type will appear here (the cursor need not be in  the  speech
        window.) When you hit Return, the message you have typed will appear in
        each player’s text window.
 
        The common Emacs editing keys will work: ctrl-F, ctrl-B, Delete,  ctrl-
        A, ctrl-E, ctrl-K.
 
        Spell List button
        This is a button labelled "Spell List", underneath the text window.  If
        you press and hold the mouse button on this  button,  a  pop-up  window
        will appear, listing all the spells and the gestures that produce them.
 
        If you use the left mouse button, the spell list will be sorted by ges‐
        ture.  If  you  use  the  middle  mouse button, the list will be sorted
        alphabetically by spell name. If you use the right  mouse  button,  the
        list  will be sorted by the reversed gesture sequence -- all the spells
        that end with a clap, then all the spells that end with a digit, and so
        forth.   This  is useful for looking up your opponent’s gestures to see
        what he might be producing.
 
        End Move / End Answers button
        This is a button labelled "End Move", underneath the text window.   You
        should  click  it  when  you are finished entering your gestures at the
        start of the turn. If the button changes to read "Move ENDED", then you
        should wait for your opponent to finish entering his gestures.
 
        When  the  last  player  presses  the  "End Move" button, the game will
        determine which players need to make decisions (about spell targets  or
        other  matters.)  The  decisions you need to make will be listed in the
        questions window below, and the "End Move" button will change  to  read
        "End  Answers".  When you are finished answering, press the button, and
        it will change to "Answers ENDED".
 
        If at any time the button reads "please wait...", then you have nothing
        to do but wait. (This may be because there are no decisions you have to
        make this turn, or because  your  opponent  is  taking  an  extra  turn
        because  of  a ’time stop’ or something similar.) When your opponent is
        finished, he will click his "End" button and the game will proceed.
 
        When the duel is over, this button will change to say "Quit". When  all
        players  have  pressed  it, the windows will be removed and the program
        will exit.
 
        Question window
        This is the wide rectangle at the bottom of the  screen.  Whenever  the
        game  has  decisions  for you to make, it will put them in this window,
        one per line. (There is a scroll bar, in case there are more  questions
        than  lines.)  Move  the cursor onto a question and hold down the mouse
        button to get a pop-up menu listing the possible answers.
 
        You must have answers to all the questions before you  click  the  "End
        Answers"  button.  In some cases, there will be default answers already
        listed. You may change the answer or leave it alone.
        At the end of the game, in addition to his "Quit"  button,  the  player
        who started the game will see the question "Do you want to save a tran‐
        script of this game?" If he answers "yes" before  hitting  "Quit",  the
        program  will store a text transcript of the game in a temporary direc‐
        tory (usually /tmp, unless your environment is  configured  otherwise.)
        This  transcript will show all gestures made by each player, as well as
        all the text of the game, as seen by an  outside  observer.  Everything
        said  by  any  of the players will also be in the transcript, including
        comments made after the end of the game. The filename of the transcript
        will be printed on the standard output when all players have quit.
 

GESTURES

        Spells are created by sequences of gestures made with the hands.  There
        are five single-handed gestures: the fingers spread "F", the palm  fac‐
        ing  forward,  "P",  the  snap "S", the wave "W" and the pointing digit
        "D". Some spells use two-handed gestures, which must be done simultane‐
        ously  with  both hands to be valid. The most common two-handed gesture
        is the clap "(c", but the double digit "(d", double wave "(w", and dou‐
        ble  snap  "(s" are also used.  The other things which can be done with
        the hand are the non-gestures: the knife stab "k" and nothing " ".
        (In the game, the gestures are represented by images of  the  hands  in
        the  various positions. The single-letter and parenthesis-letter abbre‐
        viations are used only to make this man page readable.)
 
        To cast a spell, gestures are put  in  an  order  characteristic  of  a
        spell.  A  list  of  spells (including the gestures needed for them) is
        given later.  For example, 3 finger gestures on consecutive turns (F-F-
        F)  initiates a ’paralysis’ spell. The uniqueness of the game, however,
        is that gestures can be made to operate in more than  one  spell,  pro‐
        vided that:
 
        a) the gestures have been made in the correct sequence without
               interruption;
 
        b) not more than one spell is created per gesture;
 
        c) all gestures for one spell are made with the same hand.
 
        For  instance,  the  left  hand could cast the F-F-F above and could be
        followed by S-S-D-D in the next 4 turns  to  finish  off  a  ’fireball’
        spell (F-S-S-D-D) as the last 5 gestures are those associated with that
        spell. Another alternative is to simply perform another F for a  second
        paralysis  spell,  as  the last 3 gestures are still F-F-F. Thus, it is
        apparent that if spells are used in a wise manner and  overlap  a  lot,
        the  overall  number  of  gestures needed to cast them can be cut quite
        dramatically.
 
        If a gesture can be construed to create two or  more  spells  then  the
        caster must choose which one he wants to use. For example, the last two
        gestures of a ’finger of death’ are the same as ’missile’, yet only  on
        odd  occasions  would  the  latter be used. Another example of the one-
        spell-per-gesture concept is the following:
 
        Right hand:     P P W S    Last 4 gestures form ’invisibility’
        Left hand:      W W W S    Last 3 gestures form ’counter-spell’
 
        The trouble here is the ’invisibility’ spell needs both hands  to  per‐
        form certain gestures. However, since the final S of the left hand can‐
        not complete two spells it is clear that a choice must be made  between
        the W-W-S of the ’counter-spell’ and the P-P-(w-(s of the invisibility.
        The caster must choose one spell if the gestures are completed  in  the
        correct  sequence.  Most  spells  can  be  shot  off  to nowhere if not
        required, but some cannot be; for example, ’fire storm’, which gets you
        no  matter where it is released. Some of the larger spells have smaller
        ones incorporated within.
 
        Spells can be aborted any way along their development  simply  by  per‐
        forming a gesture with the hand doing the spell which is not one needed
        for that spell. There is no penalty, save having wasted some time. Note
        that  no  spells contain "stab", "nothing", or "C" (half of a clap) and
        consequently after pursuing one of these alternatives, any  spell  must
        start  from  scratch. Note also that wizards only have one dagger each,
        so they cannot stab with both hands at the same time (although they can
        change hands for stabbing without wasting time.) Such are the disadvan‐
        tages of physical violence...
 
        Certain spells cancel each other if they take effect simultaneously. An
        obvious  example  is  ’finger  of death’ and ’raise dead’. Cancellation
        occurs when the subject for the spells concerned is  the  same  person,
        although  there  are  some  of the heat versus cold variety which don’t
        care who is the subject.  Other  spells  which  cancel  harmlessly  are
        mostly  the enchantments, which direct that something be done which may
        be impossible to obey due to some contradiction (e.g.  you cannot  both
        repeat last turn’s gestures and give a random gesture with one hand, as
        you would if the subject of the spells  ’amnesia’  and  ’confusion’  at
        once).
 
        Since  spells  detonate simultaneously, there is occasionally confusion
        over spells which don’t cancel, yet which seem to depend on which  hap‐
        pened  first. The best example is when a monster is created and, on the
        same turn, hit by a ’fireball’, or something else  sufficient  to  kill
        it.  Since  both  are  simultaneous,  the monster will attack that turn
        whilst being destroyed. (There  are  some  exceptions  explicitly  men‐
        tioned, for example ice elementals in ’ice storm’, or ’counter-spell’ /
        ’dispel magic’ against all other spells.)
 
        Another example of a seeming conflict is when someone who is  resistant
        to  fire  is the subject of both a ’remove enchantment’ and ’fireball’;
        the enchantment is removed as the fireball  explodes  (since  they  are
        simultaneous)  hence the poor victim is fried. If, instead, he were not
        resistant to fire and was hit by a  ’resist  fire’  and  ’fireball’  at
        once,  then  he would start to resist fire as the fireball exploded and
        thus be saved.
 
        Before the battle commences, the referee casts a  ’dispel  magic’  fol‐
        lowed  by  an ’anti-spell’ at each of the wizards. This is so that they
        cannot commence gesturing prematurely. Thus being resistant to fire  in
        your last battle doesn’t do you any good in the next.
 

WINNING

        Each  wizard  can sustain 14 points of damage, but on the 15th or above
        he dies and the surviving wizard is declared the winner.   Simultaneous
        death  is  a  posthumous  draw. Damage given to wizards and monsters is
        cumulative (so you don’t have to do it all in one go!)   Dead  monsters
        take no further part in the game.
 
        There  is  another alternative to being killed, namely the ’surrender’.
        This is not a spell, but a pair of P gestures made by both hands at the
        same  time.  If any wizard does this (accidentally or deliberately), he
        has surrendered, and will be eliminated from the game  at  the  end  of
        that turn.  See the end of the spell list for details.
 

SPELLS

        There  now follows, in four sections, a list of the spells which may be
        cast.
 
        Protection spells
 
        ’Shield’: P
 
        This spell protects the subject from all attacks  from  monsters  (that
        is, creatures created by a summoning spell), from ’missile’ spells, and
        from stabs by wizards. The shield lasts for that  turn  only,  but  one
        shield  will cover all such attacks made against the subject that turn.
 
        ’Remove enchantment’: P-D-W-P
 
        If the subject of this spell is currently being affected by any of  the
        spells  in  the  "enchantments" section, or if spells from that section
        are cast at him at the same time as the remove  enchantment,  then  all
        such  spells terminate immediately (although their effect for that turn
        might already have passed.) For example, the victim  of  a  ’blindness’
        spell would not be able to see what his opponent’s gestures were on the
        turn that his sight is restored by a ’remove  enchantment’.  Note  that
        the  ’remove  enchantment’  affects all enchantments whether the caster
        wants them to all go or not. A second effect of the spell is to destroy
        any  monster  upon which it is cast, although the monster can attack in
        that turn.
 
        ’Magic mirror’: (c-(w
 
        Any spell cast at the subject of this spell is reflected  back  at  the
        caster  of  that  spell  for  that turn only. This includes spells like
        ’missile’ and ’lightning bolt’ but does not include attacks by monsters
        already  in  existence, or stabs from wizards. Note that certain spells
        are cast by wizards usually upon themselves  (e.g.   spells  from  this
        section  and  the "Summons" section); the mirror has no effect on these
        spells.  It is countered totally, with no  effect  whatsoever,  if  the
        subject  is  the  simultaneous  subject  of either a ’counter-spell’ or
        ’dispel magic’. It has no effect on spells which affect more  than  one
        person,  such  as  ’fire storm’. Two mirrors cast at someone simultane‐
        ously combine to form a single mirror.  If a spell is reflected from  a
        mirror  back  at a wizard who also has a mirror, the spell bounces back
        and forth until it falls apart.
 
        ’Counter-spell’: W-P-P or W-W-S
 
        Any other spell cast upon the subject in the same turn  has  no  effect
        whatever.  In  the  case of blanket-type spells, which affect more than
        one person, the subject of the ’counter-spell’ alone is protected.  For
        example,  a ’fire storm’ spell would not affect a wizard if that wizard
        was simultaneously the subject of a ’counter-spell’, but everyone  else
        would be affected as usual (unless they had their own protection.)  The
        ’counter-spell’ will cancel all the spells cast at the subject for that
        turn,  including ’remove enchantment’ and ’magic mirror’, but not ’dis‐
        pel magic’ or ’finger of death’. It will combine with another spell  of
        its  own  type  for the same effect as if it were alone.  The ’counter-
        spell’ will also act as a ’shield’ on its subject, in addition  to  its
        other  properties.   The  spell  has two alternative gesture sequences,
        either of which may be used at any time.
 
        ’Dispel magic’: (c-D-P-W
 
        This spell  acts  as  a  combination  of  ’counter-spell’  and  ’remove
        enchantment’,  but its effects are universal rather than limited to the
        subject of the spell. It will stop any spell cast in the same turn from
        working (apart from another ’dispel magic’ spell which combines with it
        for the same result), and will remove all enchantments from all  beings
        before  they  have  effect.  In  addition,  all monsters are destroyed,
        although they can attack that turn. ’Counter-spells’  and  ’magic  mir‐
        rors’  have  no  effect.  Like  the  ’counter-spell’, it also acts as a
        ’shield’ for its subject. ’Dispel magic’ will not dispel stabs or  sur‐
        renders,  since  they  are not spells (although the ’shield’ effect may
        block a stab.)
 
        ’Raise dead’: D-W-W-F-W-(c
 
        The subject of this spell is usually a recently dead human  or  monster
        corpse   (it   will  not  work  on  elementals,  which  dissipate  when
        destroyed.)  When the spell is cast, life is instilled  back  into  the
        corpse  and  any damage which it has sustained is cured until the owner
        is back to his usual state of health.  A ’remove enchantment’ effect is
        also  manifest so any ’diseases’ or ’poisons’ will be neutralized (plus
        any other enchantments).  The subject will be able  to  act  as  normal
        immediately,  so that next turn he can gesture, fight, etc. If the sub‐
        ject is a monster, it will be under  the  control  of  the  wizard  who
        raised it, and it will be able to attack that turn.
        If  the  spell  is  cast  on a live individual, the effect is that of a
        ’cure wounds’ recovering 5 points of damage, or as many  as  have  been
        sustained  if  less  than  5.  In this case, ’diseases’, ’poisons’, and
        other enchantments are not removed.
        This is the only spell which affects corpses  properly;  therefore,  it
        cannot  be stopped by a ’counter-spell’, since ’counter-spell’ can only
        be cast on living beings. A ’dispel magic’ spell will  stop  it,  since
        that  affects  all spells no matter what their subject.  Once alive the
        subject is treated as normal.
 
        ’Cure light wounds’: D-F-W
 
        If the subject has received damage then he is cured by 1  point  as  if
        that point had not been inflicted. (Recall that all spells are resolved
        simultanously; if a wizard is suffers his 15th point of damage  at  the
        same  time  as  he  is  affected by ’cure light wounds’, he will remain
        alive with 14 points of damage at the end of the turn.) The  effect  is
        not removed by a ’dispel magic’ or ’remove enchantment’.
 
        ’Cure heavy wounds’: D-F-P-W
 
        This  spell  is  the  same as ’cure light wounds’ for its effect, but 2
        points of damage are cured instead of 1, or only 1 if only 1  had  been
        sustained.  A  side  effect is that the spell will also cure a disease.
        (Note that ’raise dead’ on a live individual won’t).
 
        Summons spells
 
        ’Summon Goblin’: S-F-W
 
        This spell creates a goblin under the control of the wizard  upon  whom
        the spell is cast. The goblin can attack immediately and its victim can
        be any any wizard or other monster the controller desires.  The  goblin
        does  1 point of damage to its victim per turn and is destroyed after 1
        point of damage is inflicted upon it.
 
        ’Summon Ogre’: P-S-F-W
 
        This spell is the  same  as  ’summon  goblin’,  but  the  ogre  created
        inflicts and is destroyed by 2 points of damage rather than 1.
 
        ’Summon Troll’: F-P-S-F-W
 
        This  spell  is  the  same  as  ’summon  goblin’, but the troll created
        inflicts and is destroyed by 3 points of damage rather than 1.
 
        ’Summon Giant’: W-F-P-S-F-W
 
        This spell is the same  as  ’summon  goblin’,  but  the  giant  created
        inflicts and is destroyed by 4 points of damage rather than 1.
 
        ’Summon Elemental’: (c-S-W-W-S
 
        This  spell creates either a fire elemental or an ice elemental, at the
        discretion of the wizard upon whom the spell is cast (after he has seen
        all the gestures made that turn.)
 
        Elementals  must be cast at someone and cannot be "shot off" harmlessly
        at some inanimate object. The elemental will, for that turn  and  until
        destroyed,  attack  everyone (including its owner, and other monsters),
        causing 3 points of damage per turn. Only wizards and monsters who  are
        resistant  to  the  elemental’s  element  (heat or cold), or who have a
        ’shield’ or a spell with a ’shield’ effect, are  safe.   The  elemental
        takes 3 points of damage to be killed but may be destroyed by spells of
        the opposite type (e.g. ’fire storm’, ’resist cold’ or ’fireball’  will
        kill  an ice elemental), and will also neutralize the cancelling spell.
        Elementals will not attack on the turn they are  destroyed  by  such  a
        spell.  An  elemental will also be engulfed and destroyed by a storm of
        its own type but, in such  an  event,  the  storm  is  not  neutralized
        although the elemental still does not attack in that turn.  Two elemen‐
        tals of the opposite type will also destroy each other  before  attack‐
        ing,  and two of the same type will join together to form a single ele‐
        mental of normal strength. If there are two opposite storms and an ele‐
        mental,  or  two  opposite elementals and one or two storms, all storms
        and elementals cancel each other out.
 
        Damaging Spells
 
        ’Missile’: S-D
 
        This spell creates a material object of hard substance which is  hurled
        towards  the subject of the spell and causes him 1 point of damage. The
        spell is thwarted by a ’shield’ in  addition  to  the  usual  ’counter-
        spell’, ’dispel magic’ and ’magic mirror’ (the latter causing it to hit
        whoever cast it instead).
 
        ’Finger of Death’: P-W-P-F-S-S-S-D
 
        Kills the subject stone dead. This spell is  so  powerful  that  it  is
        unaffected  by  a ’counter-spell’, although a ’dispel magic’ spell cast
        upon the final gesture will stop it. The usual  way  to  prevent  being
        harmed by this spell is to disrupt it during casting -- using an ’anti-
        spell’, for example.
 
        ’Lightning Bolt’: D-F-F-D-D or W-D-D-(c
 
        The subject of this spell is hit by a bolt of lightning and sustains  5
        points  of  damage. Resistance to heat or cold is irrelevant. There are
        two gesture combinations for the spell, but the shorter one may be used
        only  once per battle by any wizard. The longer one may be used without
        restriction. A ’shield’ spell offers no defence.
 
        ’Cause Light Wounds’: W-F-P
 
        The subject of this spell is inflicted with 2 points of damage.  Resis‐
        tance  to  heat  or  cold offers no defence. A simultaneous ’cure light
        wounds’ does not cancel the spell; it only heals one of the  points  of
        damage. A ’shield’ has no effect.
 
        ’Cause Heavy Wounds’: W-P-F-D
 
        This  has the same effect as ’cause light wounds’ but inflicts 3 points
        of damage instead of 2.
 
        ’Fireball’: F-S-S-D-D
 
        The subject of this spell is hit by a ball  of  fire,  and  sustains  5
        points of damage unless he is resistant to fire. If at the same time an
        ’ice storm’ prevails, the subject of  the  ’fireball’  is  instead  not
        harmed  by  either spell, although the storm will affect others as nor‐
        mal. If directed at an ice elemental,  the  fireball  will  destroy  it
        before it can attack.
 
        ’Fire storm’: S-W-W-(c
 
        Everything not resistant to heat sustains 5 points of damage that turn.
        The spell cancels wholly, causing no damage, with either an ’ice storm’
        or  an  ice  elemental.  It will destroy but not be destroyed by a fire
        elemental. Two ’fire storms’ act as one.
 
        ’Ice storm’: W-S-S-(c
 
        Everything not resistant to cold sustains 5 points of damage that turn.
        The spell cancels wholly, causing no damage, with either a ’fire storm’
        or a fire elemental; it will cancel locally with a ’fireball’,  sparing
        the subject of the ’fireball’ but nobody else.  It will destroy but not
        be destroyed by an ice elemental. Two ’ice storms’ act as one.
 
        Enchantments
 
        ’Amnesia’: D-P-P
 
        If the subject of this spell is a wizard,  next  turn  he  must  repeat
        identically  the gestures he made in the current turn, including "noth‐
        ing" and "stab" gestures.  If the subject is a monster it  will  attack
        whoever  it  attacked  this  turn. If the subject is simultaneously the
        subject of any of ’confusion’, ’charm person’, ’charm monster’, ’paral‐
        ysis’ or ’fear’ then none of the spells work.
 
        ’Confusion’: D-S-F
 
        If the subject of this spell is a wizard, next turn one of his gestures
        will be changed randomly. Either his left or his right hand (50% chance
        of  either)  will  perform  a half-clap, palm, digit, fingers, snap, or
        wave (chosen at random). (Recall that  a  one-handed  clap  is  useless
        unless  the  other  hand also attempts to clap.)  If the subject of the
        spell is a monster, it attacks at random that turn. If the  subject  is
        also  the subject of any of ’amnesia’, ’charm person’, ’charm monster’,
        ’paralysis’ or ’fear’, none of the spells work.
 
        ’Charm Person’: P-S-D-F
 
        Except for  cancellation  with  other  enchantments,  this  spell  only
        affects  wizards.  When the spell is cast, the caster tells the subject
        which of his hands will be  controlled;  in  the  following  turn,  the
        caster  chooses  the gesture he wants the subject’s chosen hand to per‐
        form. This could be a stab or nothing.  If  the  ’charm  person’  spell
        reflects  from  a ’magic mirror’ back at its caster, the subject of the
        mirror assumes the role of caster and controls down his opponent’s ges‐
        ture.  If  the subject is also the subject of any of ’amnesia’, ’confu‐
        sion’, ’charm monster’, ’paralysis’ or ’fear’, none of the spells work.
 
        ’Charm Monster’: P-S-D-D
 
        Except  for  cancellation  with  other  enchantments,  this  spell only
        affects monsters (including elementals, though it’s not very usefel  on
        them!).  Control  of  the  monster  is transferred to the caster of the
        spell (or retained by him) as of this  turn;  i.e.,  the  monster  will
        attack  whosoever  its  new  controller dictates from that turn onwards
        including that turn. Further charms are, of course, possible, transfer‐
        ring  as before. If the subject of the charm is also the subject of any
        of: ’amnesia’, ’confusion’, ’charm person’, ’fear’ or ’paralysis’, none
        of the spells work.
 
        ’Paralysis’: F-F-F
 
        If  the subject of the spell is a wizard, then on the turn the spell is
        cast, after gestures have been revealed, the caster selects one of  the
        wizard’s  hands; on the next turn that hand is paralyzed into the posi‐
        tion it is in this turn. If the wizard already had a paralyzed hand, it
        must  be  the  same hand which is paralyzed again. Most gestures remain
        the same (including "stab" and "nothing"), but if the hand being  para‐
        lyzed  is performing a C, S, or W it is instead paralyzed into F, D, or
        P respectively.  A favourite ploy is to continually paralyze a hand (F-
        F-F-F-F-F etc.) into a non-P gesture and then set a monster on the sub‐
        ject so that he has to use his other hand to protect himself, but  then
        has  no  defence  against  other magical attacks. If the subject of the
        spell is a monster, it simply does not attack in the turn following the
        one  in  which  the  spell was cast. Elementals are unaffected.  If the
        subject of the spell is also the subject of any of  ’amnesia’,  ’confu‐
        sion’,  ’charm  person’,  ’charm monster’ or ’fear’, none of the spells
        work.
 
        ’Fear’: S-W-D
 
        In the turn following the casting of this  spell,  the  subject  cannot
        perform  a  C,  D,  F or S gesture with either hand. (He can stab, how‐
        ever.) This obviously has no effect on monsters.   If  the  subject  is
        also the subject of ’amnesia’, ’confusion’, ’charm person’, ’charm mon‐
        ster’ or ’paralysis’, then none of the spells work.
 
        ’Anti-spell’: S-P-F
 
        On the turn following the casting of this  spell,  the  subject  cannot
        include  any  gestures  made on or before this turn in a spell sequence
        and must restart a new spell from the beginning of that spell sequence.
        (This  is  marked  by a special ’disruption’ icon interrupting the sub‐
        ject’s gesture history.)  The spell does not affect  spells  which  are
        cast on the same turn; nor does it affect monsters.
 
        ’Protection from Evil’: W-W-P
 
        For  this turn and the following three turns, the subject of this spell
        is protected as if using a ’shield’  spell,  thus  leaving  both  hands
        free.  Concurrent ’shield’ spells offer no further protection, and com‐
        pound ’protection from evil’ spells merely overlap  offering  no  extra
        cover.
 
        ’Resist Heat’: W-W-F-P
 
        The subject of this spell becomes permanently resistant to all forms of
        heat attack (’fireball’, ’fire storm’ and fire elementals). Only  ’dis‐
        pel  magic’ or ’remove enchantment’ will terminate this resistance once
        started (although a ’counter-spell’ will prevent  it  from  working  if
        cast  at  the  subject at the same time as this spell). A ’resist heat’
        cast directly on a fire elemental will destroy it before it can  attack
        that turn, but there is no effect on ice elementals.
 
        ’Resist Cold’: S-S-F-P
 
        The effects of this spell are identical to ’resist heat’ but resistance
        is to cold (’ice storm’ and ice elementals). It destroys ice elementals
        if  they  are the subject of the spell, but doesn’t affect fire elemen‐
        tals.
 
        ’Disease’: D-S-F-F-F-(c
 
        The  subject  of  this  spell  immediately  contracts  a  deadly  (non-
        contagious)  disease which will kill him at the end of 6 turns counting
        from the one upon which the spell is  cast.  The  malady  is  cured  by
        ’remove  enchantment’,  ’cure  heavy  wounds’  or ’dispel magic’ in the
        meantime.
 
        ’Poison’: D-W-W-F-W-D
 
        This is similar to the ’disease’ spell, except that ’cure heavy wounds’
        does not stop its effects.
 
        ’Blindness’: D-W-F-F-(d
 
        For  the next three turns (not including the one in which the spell was
        cast), the subject is unable to see. If he is a wizard, he cannot  tell
        what  his  opponent’s  gestures are, although he will sense what spells
        are cast. If he tries to cast spells (or stab) at other beings, he will
        miss.  Blinded  monsters  are  instantly destroyed and cannot attack in
        that turn.
 
        ’Invisibility’: P-P-(w-(s
 
        This spell is similar to ’blindness’; the subject of the spell  becomes
        invisible  to  his  opponent  and  his monsters. His gestures cannot be
        seen, although his spells can. No other being can attack or cast spells
        at  him,  with the exception of elementals.  Any monster made invisible
        is destroyed due to the unstable nature of such magically created crea‐
        tures.
 
        ’Haste’: P-W-P-W-W-(c
 
        For  the  next three turns, the subject is speeded up; wizards can make
        an extra set of gestures, and monsters can make an extra  attack.   For
        wizards,  the effects of both sets of gestures are taken simultaneously
        at the end of the turn.  Thus a single ’counter-spell’ from his  adver‐
        sary  could  cancel two spells cast by the hastened wizard on two half-
        turns if the phasing is right. Non-hastened wizards  and  monsters  can
        see everything the hastened individual is doing.  Hastened monsters can
        change target in the extra turns if desired.
 
        ’Time stop’: S-P-P-(c
 
        The subject of this spell immediately takes an extra turn, on which no-
        one  can  see  or  know  about unless they are harmed. All non-affected
        beings have no resistance to any form of attack, e.g. a wizard  halfway
        through the duration of a ’protection from evil’ spell can be harmed by
        a monster which has had its time stopped. Time-stopped monsters  attack
        whoever  their controller instructs, and time-stopped elementals affect
        everyone, resistance to heat or cold being immaterial in that turn.
 
        ’Delayed effect’: D-W-S-S-S-P
 
        This spell must be cast upon a wizard. The next spell the subject  com‐
        pletes,  provided  it  is  in  one of the next three turns, is "banked"
        until needed -- i.e. it fails to work until its  caster  desires.   (If
        you  have  a  spell  banked, you will be asked each turn if you want to
        release it.) Note that spells banked are those cast by the subject, not
        those cast at him. If he casts more than one spell at the same time, he
        chooses which is to be banked. Remember that P is a ’shield’ spell, and
        surrender  is  not  a spell. A wizard may only have one spell banked at
        any one time.
 
        ’Permanency’: S-P-F-P-S-D-W
 
        This spell must be upon a wizard. The next spell he completes, provided
        it  is  in  the  next three turns, and which falls into the category of
        "Enchantments" will have its effect made permanent.  (Exeptions: ’anti-
        spell’, ’disease’, ’poison’, ’time-stop’, ’delayed effect’, and ’perma‐
        nency’ cannot be made permanent. Note that ’resist  heat’  and  ’resist
        cold’  are  inherently  permanent  enchantments.)   This means that the
        effect of the extended spell on the  first  turn  of  its  duration  is
        repeated  eternally.  For example, a ’confusion’ spell will produce the
        same gesture on the same hand rather than changing randomly each  turn;
        a  ’charm  person’  will mean repetition of the chosen gesture, etc. If
        the subject of the ’permanency’ casts more than one spell at  the  same
        time  eligible  for  permanency,  he  chooses  which  has  its duration
        extended. Note that the person who has his spell  made  permanent  does
        not  necessarily have to make himself the subject of the spell. If both
        a ’permanency’ and ’delayed effect’ are eligible for the same spell  to
        be  banked  or extended, a choice must be made; whichever is not chosen
        will affect the next eligible spell instead.
 
        Non-spells
 
        ’Surrender’: (p
 
        This is not a spell; consequently, it cannot be cast at anyone, nor can
        it be dispelled, counter-spelled, reflected off a mirror, or banked.  A
        wizard who makes two simultaneous P gestures, irrespective  of  whether
        they  terminate  spells or not, surrenders and the contest is over. The
        surrendering wizard is deemed to have lost unless his gestures complete
        spells  which kill his opponent. Two simultaneous surrenders count as a
        draw. It is a necessary skill for wizards to work their spells so  that
        they never accidentally perform two P gestures simultaneously.  Wizards
        can be killed as they surrender (if  hit  with  appropriate  spells  or
        attacks)  but  the  "referees"  will  cure  any diseases, poisons, etc.
        immediately after the surrender for them.
 
        ’Stab’: stab
 
        This is not a spell, but an attack which can be directed at  any  indi‐
        vidual  monster  or wizard. Unless protected in that turn by a ’shield’
        spell or another spell with the same effect, the target stabbed suffers
        1 point of damage. The wizard only has one knife, so can only stab with
        one hand in any turn, although which hand doesn’t matter. The stab can‐
        not be reflected, counter-spelled, dispelled, or banked.
 

BUGS

        Does not conform exactly to the original Spellcaster rules. Tough. Some
        points of divergence:
 
        The choosing of targets for monsters is handled much too  late  in  the
        round,  and  monster  attacks are not perfectly simultaneous with spell
        attacks. This results in a number of minor effects which are  inconsis‐
        tent  with the original rules. Since I don’t plan to do a major rewrite
        anytime soon, you just get to live with it.
 
        If ’remove enchantment’ is cast on a wizard who is also the subject  of
        a  summoning  spell,  the  summoned  monster  should be destroyed after
        attacking.
 
        If a mind-control spell (paralysis, confusion, amnesia) is  cast  on  a
        monster  by  a time-stopped wizard, the spell should take effect on the
        next turn, rather than (as currently happens) the turn after next.
 
        The ’delayed effect’ and ’permanency’ spells should be able to bank  or
        extend  spells  cast during the same turn, as well as those cast during
        the next three turns.
 

HISTORY

        The original paper-and-pencil version of  this  game,  entitled  Spell‐
        binder, was created by Richard Bartle; it was printed in his zine Sauce
        of the Nile.  He  attempted  to  have  it  commercially  produced,  but
        apparently didn’t get very far.
        It was reprinted (with some changes) as Spellcaster in the fanzine Duel
        Purpose, written by Mike Lean. From there, it was scanned and posted to
        the  Net by Andrew Buchanan (buchanan@heron.enet.dec.com). I grabbed it
        and wrote this X version.
        Richard Bartle <76703.3042@compuserve.com> would like to point out that
        he is not at all dead. He has nicely given his permission to distribute
        this program, as long as it remains free.
 

AUTHOR

        Andrew Plotkin <ap1i+@andrew.cmu.edu>
 
SPELLCAST(6)
 

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