PHANTASIA(6)PHANTASIA(6)NAMEphantasia - an interterminal fantasy game
SYNOPSISphantasia [ -HSabmpsx ]
Phantasia is a role playing game which allows players to roll up char‐
acters of various types to fight monsters and other players. Progres‐
sion of characters is based upon gaining experience from fighting mon‐
sters (and other players).
Most of the game is menu driven and self-explanatory (more or less).
The screen is cursor updated, so be sure to set up the TERM variable in
The options provide for a variety of functions to support the game.
-s Invokes phantasia without header information.
-m Get a monster listing.
-a Get a listing of all character names on file.
-x Examine/change a particular character on file.
-H Print header only.
-p Purge old characters.
-b Show scoreboard of top characters per login.
-S Turn on wizard options, if allowed, if running as ``root''.
The characters are saved on a common file, in order to make the game
interactive between players. The characters are given a password in
order to retrieve them later. Only characters above level zero are
saved. Characters unused for awhile will be purged. Characters are
only placed on the scoreboard when they die.
Edward Estes, AT&T Information Systems, Skokie, IL
A number of the player's more important statistics are almost always
displayed on the screen, with maximums (where applicable) in parenthe‐
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', 'L', for movement, similar to vi(1). To move to a specific
(x, y) coordinate, use the move ('1') command. 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
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 he/she. 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 a 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 either with the quit ('5') option.
One may rest by default. Resting lets one regain maximum energy level,
and also lets one find mana (more is found for larger levels and fur‐
ther distances from the origin).
One may call a monster by hitting '9' or 'C'.
Use 'X' 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 con‐
trol-L will force the redrawing of the screen.
Other things which may happen are more or less self-explanatory.
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
luckout This is essentially a battle of wits with the mon‐
ster. Success is based upon the player's and the mon‐
ster's brains. The player gets credit for slaying the
monster if he/she succeeds. Otherwise, nothing happens,
and the chance to luckout is lost.
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 before
magic level determines which spells a character may throw, and how
effective those spells will be.
brains basically, the character's intelligence; used for vari‐
ous 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 accu‐
mulated; progresses geometrically as experience
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 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 other
areas. This adds up to a well-equipped fighter.
elf very high quickness and above average magic level are
elves selling points.
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 fol‐
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, 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 pro‐
gression 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 trad‐
ing posts, or discover the grail while cloaked.Calling a
monster uncloaks, as well as choosing this option while
teleport magic level necessary: 40 (plus level 12)
mana used: 30 per 75 moved
Used during normal play. Allows the player too move
with much more freedom than with the move option, at the
price of expending mana. The maximum distance 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 nor‐
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. Guar‐
anteed 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 pro‐
tect 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 level.
transform magic level necessary: 25
mana used: 50
Used during monster combat. Transforms the monster ran‐
domly into one of the 100 monsters from the monster
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 base 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, noth‐
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 monster to
Monsters get bigger as one moves farther from the origin (0,0). Rings
of distance 125 from the origin determine the size. A monster's expe‐
rience, energy level, and brains are multiplied by the size. Strength
is increase 50% per size over one, and quickness remains the same,
regardless of size.
Also, nastier monsters are found as one progress farther out from the
origin. Monsters also may flock. The percent chance of that happening
is designated as flock% in the monster listing. Monsters outside the
first ring may carry treasure, as determined by their treasure type.
Flocking monsters, and bigger monsters increase the chances of trea‐
Certain monsters have special abilities; they are 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 palan‐
tir. 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.
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
either 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
ten fold strength - multiplies finder's strength by ten.
pick monster - allows finder to pick next monster to
general knowledge - adds to finder's brains and magic
All the scrolls except general knowledge automatically 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
Robin Hood - increases shield and adds permanently to
axe - like dagger, but bigger.
Type seven charm - protects from cursed treasure (used before
amulet ); used in conjunction with blessing to battle
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 max.,
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.
ring - allows one to hit much harder in battle, etc.
Any treasure type 10-13 monsters may instead carry a type nine trea‐
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
treasure knocks energy level very low, and adds 0.25 poison.
Rings are only carried by nazguls and Dark Lord. They come in four
different flavors. All rings rest the player to maximum and cause
him/her to hit much harder in battle with monsters (assuming one has
chosen to use the ring for battle.)
Two types of rings are cursed and come either from nazguls or Dark
Lord. After a few times of using these types, the player falls under
the control of the ring, and strange, random things will occur. Even‐
tually, the player dies, and gives his/her name to a monster on the
file. Dying before 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 disap‐
pear 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
A player may become king by finding a crown and going to (0,0). Play‐
ers 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
affected player about. A charm protects from trans‐
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,
regardless of the existence of a king. The king col‐
lects the accrued taxes with this option.
The king may also teleport anywhere for free by using the origin as a
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. Mem‐
bers of the council have a few extra options which they can exercise.
These are exercised 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 ease.
Upon finding the grail, the player advances to position of valar.
He/she may then exercise more and niftier options under intervention.
These include 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 cannot move, teleport, or call monsters. (An excep‐
tion 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 encoun‐
ters 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 different from other players. The wizard abilities are out‐
When examining a player, (game invoked with '-x', or use 'X'
from within game), the wizard may also change the player.
The wizard may do all the intervention options. One extra
option, vaporize, is added to kill any offensive 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
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 dis‐
honest 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 ori‐
gin.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
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 posses, based
upon level. Quicksilver is always limited to 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
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 mis-matched, 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
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.
4th Berkeley Distribution June 1, 1994 PHANTASIA(6)