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PHANTASIA(6) NetBSD Games Manual PHANTASIA(6)
Powered by man-cgi (2021-06-01).
Maintained for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen.
Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.
phantasia -- an interterminal fantasy game
phantasia is a role-playing game that allows players to create characters
of various types to fight monsters and other players. Progression of
characters is based upon gaining experience from fighting monsters and
Most of the game is menu-driven and more or less self-explanatory. The
screen is cursor updated, so be sure to set up the TERM variable in your
-a List all character names on file.
-b Show scoreboard of top characters per login.
-H Print header only.
-m List monsters.
-p Purge old characters.
-S Turn on wizard mode, if allowed. (Wizard mode is restricted
to the super-user.)
-s Skip printing the header.
-x Examine/change a particular character on file.
The game is multiplayer and game data is saved in a shared common loca-
tion. Characters are password-protected to prevent abuse. Only charac-
ters above level zero are saved. Characters that are left unused for
sufficiently long will be purged. Characters are only placed on the
scoreboard when they die.
The world is based on a Cartesian coordinate system. New characters are
placed randomly near the origin (center).
A number of the player's more important statistics are almost always dis-
played on the screen, with maximums (where applicable) in parentheses.
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; the game is not case-sensitive. One may also use `H', `J', `K',
and `L' for movement, as with vi(1). To move to a specific (x, y) coor-
dinate, use the move (`1') command. A character can move a maximum dis-
tance of 1 plus 1.5 per level at once. Entering a compass direction will
move the player the maximum allowed distance in that direction.
The players (`2') command shows who else is playing. The exact position
is shown for those who are a similar distance or not as far from the ori-
gin. Kings and council of the wise can see and be seen by everyone. A
palantir removes these restrictions.
One can talk to other players with the talk (`3') option. This sends a
line of text to everyone. To remove the current message, just type
<return> when prompted for a message.
The stats (`4') option shows additional characteristics of a player.
The quit (`5') command exits the game.
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'.
Use `X' to examine other players.
One may quit or execute a sub-shell by hitting interrupt. Quitting dur-
ing battle results in death, for obvious reasons.
Several further commands 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.
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 quick-
ness. 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.
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
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
accumulated; 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.
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
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. l c c c c c c l c c c c c c.
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 Experi-
mento 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 pro-
gression as characters increase in level is summarized in the following
nokeep ; l c c c c c l n n n n n.
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
During the course of the game, the player may exercise his/her magic pow-
ers. 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
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-
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 sev-
eral 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 mon-
ster 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.
Also, nastier monsters are found as one progresses 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 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
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 one million.
ten fold strength - multiplies finder's strength by
pick monster - allows finder to pick next monster
general knowledge - adds to finder's brains and
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
Robin Hood - increases shield and adds permanently
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 trea-
sure 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
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 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
affected 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
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 collects
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. 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 lit-
tle 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 infinites-
imally 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
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 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
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 dishonest about 5%
of the time.
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
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 drasti-
cally 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-termi-
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.
NetBSD 10.99 April 1, 2001 NetBSD 10.99