Adventure Construction Set - Manual
Start your Amiga with your Kickstart disk as you normally would. You
need at least one blank, initialized disk to use as an adventure disk with
ACS. If you don't have an initialized disk available, insert a Workbench
disk and create one. (See your Amiga User Guide for information on
Once you have one or more initialized disks available, reset your
Amiga with Control-Left-Amiga-Right-Amiga, and when the "Insert Workbench
Disk" screen appears, insert your Adventure Construction Set Ąprogram disk.
After a few moments the ACS title screen appears and the demo begins.
Click either of the mouse buttons, a joystick button, or press any key to
leave the demo and start ACS.
Main Menu commands:
Main menu commands are issued by using the function keys at the top of
the Amiga Keyboard. The six main menu function keys and their resulting
F1: Creates an adventure on a blank, initialized disk.
F2: Makes a backup copy of an existing adventure disk.
F3: Enters adventure construction mode.
F4: Lets you play an existing adventure on an adventure disk.
F5: Toggles between a mouse in port 1 (the mouse will only work
in port 1) and a joystick in port 2, or joysticks in both
ports. The default is the mouse and joystick setting.
F6: Toggles between one or two disk drives. The default
setting is for two drives; press F6 to change to one drive.
Additional Playing Tips:
1. The manual tells how to drop objects your character is carrying.
Please note that you can drop items directly on top of your character. If
the item is not magic and is not set to disappear when dropped, it will
appear when you move off the square you dropped it in. If it's a magical
item which is activated when dropped, you will be the beneficiary (or
victim) of the magic.
2. To pause a game during your turn, click the Wait option with
either mouse button. Click again to restart the game.
3. Never eject a disk while a disk drive's red, "in-use" light is on.
doing so can result in damaged disks. Change the disks in the drives only
when prompted or when the "in-use" light has gone out.
4. The Amiga version of ACS contains an additional adventure entitle
"Galactic Agent" that isn't mentioned in the ACS manual. "Galactic Agent"
cannot be created with the Make an Adventure option from the main menu.
Use Copy an Adventure to copy "Galactic Agent" onto your own adventure
disk. The Copy an Adventure feature requires an already initialized disk
as does the Make an Adventure option.
5. At the beginning of Play an Adventure mode, you are asked to choose
the device that will control your characters by pressing a button on the
device you want to use. This means that you can use a mouse for editing
and a joystick for play without having to unplug either. To move your
character with the mouse during play mode, place the X-cursor on your
character's destination. Click either mouse button to make the character
move. Each click of the mouse button moves the character once. (See the
ACS manual for information on the movement bar.)
Additional Construction Tips:
1. When entering text messages, use the cursor keys to move the
cursor. Press Return to start the next line. Use the Delete or Backspace
keys to erase characters to the left of the cursor. Also, function key F1
erases all the text so you can work with a blank screen.
2. The "Edit Graphics" menu described in the manual has been modified
to take advantage of the Amiga's advanced graphics. There are a total of
32 colors available for use at one time. To draw, select a color then hold
down the left button as you draw with the mouse in the editing window. You
can change the hue of any color by clicking on a color and selecting the
Change Colors option. This brings up a palette control that allows you to
increase or decrease the mixture of hue, color, and brightness, thus
changing the overall appearance of the selected color. Click the
greater-than (>) or less-than (<) sign to increase or decrease the color
Click an image in the upper portion of the screen to magnify and edit
the image. You can page through all of the images by selecting the Edit
More Pictures option. When this option is used, another set of images
replaces the first. Pictures are edited on a pixel-by-pixel basis in the
magnified view window. Click on a pixel to change it to the currently
selected color. To erase a pixel, select the background color and click on
the pixel. Additional new options in Edit Graphics mode include:
Erase - Erases all of the currently selected picture with the
currently selected color.
Save - Saves the current picture in a clipboard area that's shown at
the bottom of the editing screen.
Restore - Replaces the currently selected picture with the contents of
Swap - Switches the contents of the clipboard with the currently
It's often a good idea to Save a picture before editing so that you
can use Restore to undo any adverse changes.
3. Here are some restrictions you should keep in mind when changing
the ACS 32-color palette:
* The bottom row of colors are used by ACS as the system colors;
i.e., the colors used in messages and cursors. You can change
these colors if you want, but the resulting changes may make
some of the displays difficult to read or view.
* The upper-left color in the palette is the background color
used in all the ACS displays. Changing the background color
could also result in hard to read messages, or hard to see
cursors. Also, some characters contain areas where the background
color shows through. When you draw characters and objects with
these "hollow" areas, be sure to use the actual background color.
For instance, if you draw hollow areas in a character with a
standard color that matches the background, rather than the actual
background color, the hollow in your characters won't look hollow
when you change the hue of the background color.
4. You cannot use Deluxe Paint pictures in ACS.
5. If you've never made an adventure before, you'll find it easiest
to use "Let ACS Finish Your Adventure" on the Fantasy construction set for
your first attempt. (Follow the instructions in the manual). ACS will
build an adventure where all rooms have at least one door, all regions have
a way in and out, and all rooms within a regions have room names that
Use the "Non-Altering Play" option from the Adventure editor menu to
test the new adventure. As you play the adventure, not the names you'd
like to change, places you'd like to add text, objects you'd like to add or
delete, creatures you'd like to modify, etc. Use the other ACS
construction options to make those changes. (Refer to the manual for
help.) To leave "Non-Altering Play" mode and return to the adventure
editor, select the "Save" option during play then follow the prompts.
6. If you're an adventure user and want to start constructing an
adventure from scratch, use the "Make an Adventure Disk" option to make an
adventure disk containing one of the three basic construction sets. Then
select "Construct an Adventure." Next, select "Do More Detailed Work"
twice. Finally, select "Erase Everything But Graphics."
Introduction: Your Own Theater..................................3
How to Play the Adventures on the ACS Disk......................3
Making an Adventure Disk................................3
Creating a Character....................................4
Reading the On-Screen Status Reports....................4
Moving Your Character...................................4
Exploring the World of an Adventure.....................5
Things You Can Do During Your Turn......................5
Summary of Player Options.......................................6
Summary of Traits and Skills....................................7
Exploring Aventuria: A Tutorial.................................9
Using the "How to Play" Adventure.......................9
What You Have Learned..................................11
Playing the Other Adventures in Aventuria..............13
Rivers of Light................................................14
The ACS Construction Options...................................15
Asking ACS to Build Adventures For You.........................16
Editing and Constructing Adventures............................18
Step-by-Step Adventure Editing Guides..........................19
How to Add a Door to the World Map.....................19
How to Add and Edit World Map Creatures................19
How to Add Rooms and Regions...........................20
How to Add to and Change Room Contents.................20
How to Add to the Master Lists.........................21
How to Edit Pictures and Create New Ones...............22
Some Special Things and Their Uses.............................24
General Construction Tips and Techniques.......................25
Map Reference Guide............................................26
Room and Region Reference Guide................................28
Creature Reference Guide.......................................29
Thing Reference Guide..........................................34
Graphics Reference Guide.......................................41
How to Use Adventure Construction Set
Your Own Theater...
Owning Adventure Construction Set is like having a theater and a troupe of
actors completely at your disposal. Hundreds of extremely versatile actors
wait for their assignments. They can play just about nay kind of person,
animal, monster, magical being, robot or vehicle you can imagine.
Your set-building crew can construct settings containing up to 240
different "rooms" (or as they might say in the movies business,
"locations"). And you can connect these locations to each other in quite
unusual ways, creating time portals, "beam me down" transporters, and
circles of connecting rooms you can only go through in one direction, and
much, much more.
Last but not least, you have a very resourceful props department who
can equip any setting and story with hundreds of objects and special
effects. Magic items, treasures, furniture, weapons, sound effects and
music, ways to make objects appear and disappear, ways to produce messages,
ways to summon and banish creatures - they're all there. And if you still
can't find what you want, your props department has the tools you need to
design and construct the items yourself.
How to Play the Adventure on the ACS Disk...
This section tells how to make an adventure disk, how to create a character
and how to move your character on the map.
1. Making an Adventure Disk - You will need your ACS disk and a blank disk
(or one which contains information you no longer need). Boot your ACS disk
and select "Make an Adventure Disk." Then use your joystick to move the
cursor down and into the name of the adventure your want (either "Land of
Aventuria" or "Rivers of Light") and press the button.
"The Land of Aventuria" contains a "How to Play" tutorial adventure
play the 6 other mini-adventures described on page 13. "Rivers of Light,"
described on page 14, is a large complex adventure designed to delight even
the most experienced adventurer. (It was built entirely with the same ACs
system you now own, by the way.)
Creating an adventure disk may require several disk swaps. Follow the
instructions as they appear. When the process is complete, use the
joystick to move the cursor up to Exit, and press the button as prompted.
2. Creating a Character - Select "Play an Adventure" then press the button
as prompted. Select "Create an New Player" when it appears (by pressing
the button while that option is highlighted), and continue to follow the
prompts. When a character picture appears, move the stick right and left
to look at different picture choices, and press the button to select the
one you want. Then type in a name (up to 15 characters long) and press the
button once more.
Up to 4 characters can play at once. And since players take turns
moving, all four can be controlled from the same joystick. For information
about adding more than one character to an adventure see Add Someone
3. Reading the On-Screen Status Reports - Once you've selected a
character, the display will change. You'll find your character standing
somewhere in the adventure you choose. If you chose "Land of Aventuria"
your character will be standing just above a castle in a valley between two
mountain ranges. The castle marks the entrance into a simple adventure
called "How to Play."
The text in the wide bar of color across the bottom of the screen will
change continually as you play. The top line in the bar contains the name
of the human-controlled creature whose turn it is and the name of the area
it is standing in. Below that is a message which tells how to proceed.
And on either side are rising bars of color which give information about
the individual's status.
4. Moving Your Character - To move your character, move the joystick which
controls it in the direction you want the character to go. The bar on the
left side of the screen will shorten with each move. When the bar is gone,
that character's turn is over. (The bar will also shorten gradually even
if you don't move. Time passes as you play, and you aren't given forever
to decide what to do.)
If you try to move onto a square which contains impassable terrain
(mountains, for instance) or an obstacle, your character won't move and
your movement bar will not change. If you try to move onto an object which
you can pick up, you'll be told the name of the object you are adding to
your list of possessions, and you'll be prompted to press the button to
continue. If you try to move into a creature and you have a melee weapon
(like a knife, a sword or a club), a battle will be initiated. The
computer will give you blow-by-blow account of the battle, prompting you to
press the button when necessary.
If there's only one character in the game and there are no
computer-controlled creatures on the screen, that character may move again
when the movement bar reappears. If others are playing or if there are
creatures in the room, each will get a turn before the first character
(Note: If different players are simultaneously exploring different
regions, each will be given several turns each time his or her turn comes
5. Exploring the World of an Adventure - As you move, you'll see more map
scroll into view. The main map of an adventure can cover an area 40
squares by 40 squares, but only a 10 square by 15 square area can be seen
Scattered about on the main map are "doors" into regions within the
map, like the castle that leads to "How to Play" in the "Land of
Aventuria." The "Land of Aventuria" contains 7 such regions, one for each
of the 7 mini-adventures. For a simplified picture of its map see page 12.
A region can itself contain up to 16 different rooms. When you move
into rooms, new area does not scroll into view. Instead, when you move
onto a door that leads to another room (or another regions or even back to
the main map), the picture of the new location completely replaces the
picture of the old one.
6. Things You Can Do During Your Turn - If you press your button when it's
your turn, a menu containing additional options will appear in the message
bar. To select one of the options, use your joystick to move the highlight
to it, then press the button.
The next paragraphs describe how to use your options and how to
interpret the information available to you as you play. If you're new to
adventuring, don't feel like you have to master all this information at
once. The mini-adventures in the "Land of Aventuria" were designed to let
you play your way into an understanding of how adventures work. Start
playing them whenever you like, then use this manual as a reference when
you'd like more information. (For a tutorial walk-through of the "How to
Play" mini-adventure, see page 9.)
Summary of Player Options
This section describes actions a player/character can take during a turn.
To produce the menu containing these options, press the button. To select
an option, move the highlight to it with the joystick, then press the
button again and follow the prompts, if any, as they appear.
Move - Select this to remove the menu so you can move your character.
Rest - Select this to attempt to restore some Life Force to a wounded
Fire - Select this to use a missile weapon (if you're carrying one) like a
bow, rifle, grenade, etc.
Use Object - Select this to use a magic object you are carrying. Magic
objects always work, by the way, but some magic items must be dropped
instead of used to be activated.
Drop Object - Select this when you want to drop a possession to see if it's
magic or to put it on a particular square you're adjacent to, or when you
simply want to stop carrying something. If you use this option on the main
map, whatever you drop will be lost forever from that adventure. (Note:
sometimes an effort to pick up an object will produce a "sorry, but you
can't carry more of those" message. If you need to pick the item up in
order to move, drop the one you're carrying first.)
Use Power - Select this when you want to cast a spell you possess. The
greater your character's Power, the greater the chance that spells will
work. Note: Be careful with spells which banish creatures. A banished
creature takes all its possessions with it, so don't banish the creature
who just stole the key you need to get into the next room.
New Weapon - Select this so you can ready a weapon you're carrying for use.
(Note: Picking up a weapon automatically readies it.)
New Armor - Select this to put on or ready a piece of armor you are
Profile - Select this to look at your character's rating in the catagories
described in the next section and to see your character's list of
Add Someone - Select this to add another character to the adventure. (Up
to 4 can play at once). The character will come onto the map at the same
place the first character did, regardless of when the new character begins
playing. If you choose to add a character from another ACS adventure,
you'll be prompted through the necessary steps. The character will come
with its traits and skills intact, but it will keep none of its
Retire - Select this to save your character for later use in an adventure
or to remove a character from an adventure altogether.
Save Game - Select this to save an adventure in progress but continue
IMPORTANT! If your character should happen to fall victim to a powerful
monster or a deadly trap, all is not lost. You will be give the
opportunity to resume the game at the point where you last "Save Game."
"Save Game" is automatically invoked when you enter or leave a region.
Summary of Traits and Skills
Each individual begins each adventure with values assigned to certain basic
traits and skills. Those numbers determine how the characters and
creatures move and fight, how durable they are in battle, and how powerful
they are with magic.
In the course of an adventure the numbers will change to reflect
the outcome of battles, the casting of spells, successful experience, etc.
To find out what the ratings are for your character, press the button and
select "Profile" when it's your turn. The descriptions below tell what
each of the entries in your profile signifies. (Note: A mark like this
"_|_" next to an item signifies a higher than average rating for that item.
A similar mark which points down instead of up signifies a lower than
The maximum possible number for each trait is shown in parenthesis
following the trait description. Normal starting range is 10 to 11 for all
traits except Speed. Normal starting range for speed is 6 to 7.
Speed - How far an individual can move each turn. Speed may be permanently
increased and decreased by magic spells. An individual's movement range
can be decreased by trying to carry too much weight and by being adjacent
to an individual who is aggressive and not friendly. Movement range is
indicated by the rising bar on the left side of the screen. (Maximum of
Life Force and Constitution - Life Force (shown by the rising bar on the
right side of the screen) is an individual's physical durability. Blows
received from an enemy in battle subtract from an individual's Life Force
as does being the victim of certain spells. Being the "victim" of other
spells can add to Life force. When Life force goes to 0, an individual
dies. (Maximum of 63 for Life Force and 31 for Constitution.)
Constitution is an individual's natural capacity for Life Force.
For new characters, initial Life force is always the same as Constitution.
Wounded individuals may restore lost Life Force up to the limit of their
Constitution by using the "Rest" option. If they do not rest, their lost
Life Force will return, but it will take it 6 times as long to do so.
Characters whose Life Force is greater than their Constitution will fight
Power and Wisdom - Blows received from an enemy in battle also reduces an
individual's Power. So does using magic spells and objects, and being the
victim of certain spells you may encounter. Other spells may increase
Power. The higher an individual's Power rating, the greater the chance
that spells he casts will succeed. Individuals with higher Power ratings
also fight better than those with lower ones, and they are more resistant
to battle damage.
Power is not stable. On each turn, an individual's Power will
increase or decrease by a small amount in the direction of that
individual's Wisdom rating. Thus Wisdom is an individual's natural spell
casting ability, toward which his Power will always tend. Wisdom also
helps an individual make better deals when selling items to a store.
(Maximum of 127 for Power and 31 for Wisdom.)
Strength - Swords, treasures, armor, gold, etc. all have weight. An
individual's strength determines how much weight he can carry without being
slowed down. If you notice a decline in your movement bar, yet have not
been the victim of a "reduce speed" spell and are not standing next to any
aggressive "unfriendlies," chances are that you're trying to carry too much
stuff. You need to drop some things and find a magic bag or horse or some
other means of carrying more weight.
If you are wounded, your ability to carry things declines. It returns
as you heal. (Maximum of 31.)
Size - Larger individual's make more powerful fighters. Smaller
individuals dodge and parry better. Size cannot be changed, so take note
of what it tells you about your character's limits and plan your strategy
accordingly. (Maximum of 31.)
Dexterity - When the battles start, dexterity comes in very hand. Like
size, high dexterity increases the force of blows that land. Further, it
increases the likelihood of landing an unusually powerful blow. It also
helps to determine how many blows an individual can get in and how many
shots he, she or it can get off. (Maximum of 31.)
In calculating the effects of a battle, the program considers the weapons
and the armor being used and the Skills, Power and Life Force of the
combatants. (Some weapons and armor aĄrĄeĄ better than others. If you'd
swear you were doing better before you started using that shield or sword,
maybe you should leave it behind for some other poor soul to find.)
To determine the likelihood that you'll hit the mark with a long-range
weapon like a bow. ACS looks at your missile skill. To determine the
probability that you were able to get out of the way of a shot from such a
weapon, it looks at dodge skill.
For gauging the accuracy of your blows in close-range fights, ACS
looks at your melee skill. To determine the likelihood that you were able
to meet an opposing blow with your own close-range weapon, it looks at
parry skill (provided you had your weapon readied of course.)
Armor Skill - lets you overcome the disadvantages of armor (because it
tends to make you clumsy, armor reduces the accuracy of your blows) without
giving up the advantages (it absorbs some percentage of blows from the
Each of these skills can improve each time you use it successfully -
that is, dodge a blow successfully and your dodge skill may increase, hit
the target and your missile skill may go up, etc. The higher a skill
rating is, the harder it is to improve that rating still further. The
maximum for any skill rating is 127. Normal starting range is 25 to 35 for
all except Missile Skill and Armor Skill, 10 to 20 for Missile Skill, and 0
for Armor skill.
Magical Defense - Is a special kind of skill. At its most powerful, it
stops completely all blows or missiles from non-magical weapons and reduces
by half the force of all blows or missiles from magical ones. It is, as
you might imagine, a very valuable ability to possess.
Exploring Aventuria: A Tutorial
This section offers a tutorial walk-through of the "How to Play"
mini-adventure, plus brief guide-posts to the other mini-adventures in "The
Land of Aventuria." (Remember, before you can play these adventures, you
must use the "Make an Adventure Disk" option to make a disk containing the
"Land of Aventuria."
Using the "How to Play" Adventure - In which you can learn how to use the
"help" squares, how to pickup objects, how to fight and how to cast magic
1. Help Squares - If you create a character and then move into the first
castle you see on the main map of Aventuria, you'll find your character
standing in a room which has one square marked with a large H, and three
doors. To find out where the three doors lead, move onto the square marked
with the H.
Help squares like this appear throughout the Land of Aventuria.
Use them for helpful tips and information as you play. To continue with
the "How to Play" tutorial, go through the door at the top.
2. Picking Things Up - In the next room, you'll see a sword lying on the
floor. To pick up the weapon, try to move on top of it as the help square
3. Using Your Other Options - If you press the joystick button when it's
your turn to move, a menu containing additional options will appear in the
message bar. To select one of the options, use your joystick to move the
highlight to it, then press the button.
Try the Drop Object option in the middle of the first column of
options. Use the cursor as the screen instructs to drop the Sword on a
square next to your character. Then move toward it to pick it back up.
You'll do a lot of dropping and picking things up as you play. It's how
you'll get rid of things that prove too heavy, how you move things blocking
your way and how you'll acquire the wealth, goods and tools you'll need to
reach your goal.
4. Dealing with Life-Threatening Enemies: an Example - If you move your
character through the door, you'll soon find yourself in a new room,
outside of which stands a vicious dragon poised to spring.
To attack with the sword, move outside the room and into the dragon,
then press the button when prompted to do so. Keep at this when it's your
turn and you should win, thanks to the fact that your game designers made
your opponent look stronger than he is. And still, he's strong enough to
do some damage if he gets you with his fangs.
When the dragon dies, its picture will disappear and a picture of a
lamp will appear in its place. That's because the dragon was carrying the
lamp. If you had died instead, your picture would have been replaced by
the picture of the sword you are carrying. Whenever a character or a
creature dies, it leaves behind whatever it was carrying (except when it
dies on the main map, or when the adventure constructor designed the
objects to disappear upon the death of the owner).
Be sure to pick up the lamp before you leave the room. Who knows?
Maybe it's magic.
5. Your Life Force Bar - Once you've been through a battle, it's time to
begin using some more of the information always available to you on your
turn. The Life Force Bar (on the far right) indicates how durable you are
in battle. When you fight, enemy blows which land on you subtract from
your Power and Life Force totals, and blows you land on your enemy subtract
from his. When either side's Life Force reaches 0, the battle's over and
the loser is dead.
You can restore lost Life Force in two different ways; by using the
"Rest" option, or by finding some place or item which invokes an "increase
your force" spell. In the Land of Aventuria, the first aid square marked
by a cross invokes such a spell when you bump into it. As you use these
different methods, watch your Life Force Bar to see the effect of your
action. (Note: Before your next battle, charge your Life Force way up
before you fight. It'll make you a better fighter.)
6. Your Power Bar - The Power Bar (just to the left of your Life Force
Bar) shows how much magical energy your character has. You might thing of
Power as endurance or fortitude, as "the Force," as spiritual
enlightenment, as the energy in your personal science fiction power pack,
etc., depending on what best fits the adventure you are playing.
You need Power to protect yourself in battle and to cast spells you
might find as you play. The lamp the dragon was carrying contains just
such a spell - in this case a "summon creature" spell which will bring a
mighty genie to the room.
The likelihood that a spell will succeed when you cast it is determined
by how much Power the spell uses up and how much Power you have. The more
Power you have, the greater your chances of success.
In "How To Play," moving into the next room temporarily boosts your
Power so you can cast the "Summon Genie" spell. Try it, then stay in the
room until the genie appears and gives you a valuable gift.
7. The Profile Option - If you press the button and then select "Profile,"
a new screen will appear filled with a listing of the various traits and
objects possessed by your character.
Don't let the display overwhelm you, and don't try to master it all at
once. You already know about some of what is listed there. (Speed
determines the height of the Movement Bar on the left of the screen; Life
Force determines the height of the Life Force Bar and Power the height of
the Power Bar.) And the rest will become more meaningful as you gain
For a description of all the profile entries, study the section called
Summary of Traits and Skills (page 7) as you play. To continue with the
mini-adventures in the "Land of Aventuria," go through the door after
receiving the gift from the genie. You'll find yourself standing in the
first room of "Agent 00111," about to get some practice in firing
What You Have Learned - Before going on, you might want to stop to reflect
on all you've learned so far from this simple adventure.
* You know how to move around now and how to pick up and drop
things, and you know the significance of the three bars that
appear on the screen whenever it's your turn.
* You know how to fight and how to cast spells - though you will
learn from more challenging adventures, the weapons don't
always work and neither do the spells.
* You know that some creatures are friendly and some are not - a
complexity to consider when you're trying to decide whether to
attack when a new creature appears.
* You know that passing through doors can produce surprising
results - increases power, destruction of objects you are
These are principles you'll encounter over and over while you play and
create with your Adventure Construction Set program. As you play the
adventures described further on, you'll learn new variations on these, plus
a whole host of new things to consider besides.
Legend for map of Aventuria
A How to Play/Agent 00111
B Sam Club, Private I
C Alice in Wonderland
D Across the Delaware!
E Deep, Dank Dungeon
F In the Nazi Castle
G Save the Galaxy!
mountains /\ /\
Playing the Other Adventures in the "Land of Aventuria" - This section
briefly describes all the adventures in the "Land of Aventuria."
NOTICE TO ALL ADVENTURERS WHO GO DOWN THESE PATHS!
There are Wandering Monsters on the main map of Aventuria. Some are
Friendly. Some are not. If you are pulled into the lair of any of these
during your journey, study their names for clues to their disposition. But
don't believe everything you read.
Features Common to All the Mini-Adventures - Throughout the adventures in
the "Land of Aventuria," a square marked by a large H will produce a
screen-full of helpful text if you move on top of it. Trying to move onto
a square marked by a cross will increase your character's life force. Do
so often to keep your Life force high and you'll be harder to kill and a
better fighter as well.
Secret Agent 00111 - A simple adventure that demonstrates a common
adventuring problem - the need to find an object (in this case, a key)
before you can pass through a door to reach your goal (in this case,
microfilm and the kidnapped girl being held prisoner). There are two
entrances to this mini-adventure - the door that leads to the right from
the first room in "How to Play" and the door that leads out of the last
room in "How to Play."
Sam Club, Private I - If you've ever seen Humphrey Bogart in "The Maltese
Falcon," you'll get a chuckle from this one. And if you haven't you'll
still have the pleasure of discovering who's lying and what really
happened. You'll also get the chance to see that doors can lead all the
way across town, especially when they're disguised as subway trains and
Alice in Wonderland - An adaption from Lewis Carroll's classic. Follow the
White Rabbit down the Rabbit Hole, wander past the Caterpillar and the
Cheshire Cat, look in on the Mad Tea Party and more. Confront the puzzle
of how to grow big enough to reach the key atop the glass table. A good
example of an adventure where conversation, not combat, tells the tale.
Washington Crosses the Delaware - Even historical dramas can be done with
Adventure Construction Set. Figure out how to get Washington across that
river in this fanciful telling of the tale, and you'll win the day.
Teachers take note; Enter the schoolhouse on the other side of the river
for a demonstration of how adventure puzzles can become entertaining
Deep Dank Dungeon - A 15-room adventure in the classic "explore a dungeon"
tradition. There are bad guys and treasures, there's a room where
everything looks like a door and another where nothing does, there's even a
labyrinth of 4 rooms which all look exactly alike. Try this one when
you're ready for some puzzles with the sort of diabolical twist that makes
you suspect the creator is somewhere watching you, and laughing.
In the Nazi Castle - A 15-room adventure set in the castle of the enemy.
You'll run into lots of armed guards and trick treasure chests in this one,
so build up your life force every chance you get. Your goal is to get the
secret plans and escape with them. If you like to fight, this is the
adventure for you!
Save the Galaxy! - A 15-room adventure set on a space ship, a planet
surface and the subterranean caverns of a frozen asteroid. Wistrik the
Evil is stealing all the crystite from the planet of Irata. You'll be able
to find and stop him... but you better disable the bomb that has
mysteriously appeared in the port engine pod of your ship, as well.
Rivers of Light
This new Stuart Smith epic is set in ancient Egypt and the Near East at the
dawn of human civilization. The goal is the essence of Osiris, god of the
dead and giver of eternal life.
Your quest begins in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the
cradle of civilization. Your first problem is that the world map is full
of uncrossable rivers - uncrossable, that is, for those who don't know how
to swim. The old woman and the hunter can help.
If you locate the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on a map in a good
atlas, you'll know where to look for Egypt on the world map of "Rivers of
Light." The adventure is historically accurate in many other details as
well. If you'd like to know more about the mythology that lies behind this
tale, look into some of the books listed in the bibliography in the
appendix (page 42).
A few words of friendly encouragement and advice. "Rivers of Light"
is a classic adventure filled with challenging puzzles. There's a powerful
weapon, for instance, in Assur, available to all who can find it. And
there's a substance with great healing power in the Ancient Valley where
the old woman and hunter live.
Poke around as you adventure. Look for messages, for hidden doors and
treasures, for things which reveal themselves only after you've crossed a
particular space while carrying a particular item. True, you may die from
too bold a move and have to go back to the last position where you entered
or left a region or saved the game, but at least you'll know not to try
that move again.
When you get stuck, allow yourself to stay that way for a while. Not
all possible solutions will come to you immediately, but the ones that come
slowly will feel even better when they finally do come. Give yourself
every chance to play "Rivers of Light" to its conclusion before you use the
editor to study how it was put together.
The ACS Construction Options
Think of the Adventure Construction Set construction menus as belonging to
3 main screens. And think of the joystick as a kind of gearshift which you
use to move the cursor around in the menus so you can select the options
1. Making Easy Changes - The top screen (see below) i.e., the one you see
first when you select "Construct an Adventure," contains the options you
need to work on the surface of your adventure - to change the name, the
theme music that will play at the beginning, etc.
This screen also contains the three options which cause the program to
write to the adventure disk you are working on: 1) "Save Work and
Continue" (to save the work you've done so far so you won't lose it if
there's a sudden power failure); 2) "Save Your Work and Exit" (so you can
quit constructing and start playing); 3) "Let ACS Finish Your Adventure"
(so you can let the program do the constructing work for you).
SAVE YOUR LET ACS
WORK AND-------------|-----------------FINISH YOUR
EXIT | ADVENTURE
SAVE WORK |
AND CONTINUE |
| | |--CHANGE NAME
| | |--EDIT ADVENTURE
SCIENCE FICTION | INTRODUCTION
THEME MUSIC |
2. Building the Map and Regions - If you select "Do More Detailed Work"
from the top screen, you produce the menu that lets you work on the world
map and on regions and rooms.
Selecting options from the screen produces menus which let you create,
populate and fill up the map, the regions and the rooms in your adventure.
Here also, you put in the doors which lead from place to place in your
EDIT EXIT EDIT
MAP | CREATURES
EDIT | ADD
3. Creating and Editing Things, Creatures and Graphics - If you select "Do
More Detailed Work" again, you produce the screen that lets you add to and
edit the Master Creature List, the Master Thing List and the Master
Graphics Set for an adventure.
Selecting option son this screen produces the menus you need to create
and modify the things, creatures and pictures you need for your map and
your rooms. This menu also contains the options that let you erase
particular parts of existing adventure disks.
EDIT THINGS EXIT
| | EDIT
| | OF CREATURES
EDIT GRAPHICS COPY OR ERASE
Asking ACS to Build Adventures For You
Your ACS program comes with three basic construction sets located on the
back side of the disk. One is ideal for fantasy adventures (the sword and
sorcery sort of thing), another is great for contemporary spy and mystery
dramas, and the third comes equipped for science fiction escapades.
To make an adventure disk containing one of the basic sets, select
"Make an Adventure Disk" from the main option screen and follow the
instructions as they appear. You may then select "Construct an Adventure"
and "Let ACS Finish Your Adventure" (described below) to ask the computer
to build you a new adventure. Note: For best results, start with the
Fantasy set or the Science Fiction Set, especially if this is your first
time to use this option.
|--ACS COMPLETELY REDRAWS THE MAP
|--ACS TRIES TO USE ONLY DEFINED THINGS
|-------EDIT REGION ATTRIBUTES
|------------LET ACS WRITE THE ADVENTURE
|------------EXIT TO TITLE SCREEN
1. You can enter the adventure Name, Author by line and Map Name, or you
can let ACS do it for you. If you want to do it yourself, move the cursor
to each of those options and press the button so you can type in the names
2. Mood offers 3 possibilities: Fantasy, Spy/Mystery, and Science
Fiction. To select among the possibilities, repeatedly move the cursor
into the "Mood" option until you have the one you want. Unless you make a
change here, ACS will use the mood which matches the construction set
you're using. The "Mood" setting determines the names ACS will choose for
the map and the rooms, the pictures it will use to make up the walls, etc.
3. Move the cursor to Challenge and move the joystick right and left until
you have the setting you want. The range goes from "1 Easy" to "10 Hard."
In easy adventures, the creatures you'll encounter won't be too mean and
powerful, and the hints and clues will be more plentiful and easier to
4. The Goal of an adventure is to find some particular object. If you
want to pick the object from the Master Things List, select "Goal" and then
select an object from the list which will appear. (Moving the joystick
left brings up a new list. Moving it up and down moves the highlight from
item to item within a list. Moving it right and pressing the button
selects the highlighted item.)
5. Don't change the next two options - ACS Completely Redraws the Map and
ACS Tries to Use Only Defined Things. These are useful for scrambling an
existing adventure, as described below. (You should change "ACS Tries to
Use Only Defined Things" to "ACS Creates Several New Things" if you are
starting with a sparse master list and you want ACS to add to it so it can
make a more interesting adventure. The basic sets which come on the ACS
disk are not sparse.)
6. Use Edit Region Attributes to tell ACS how many and what kinds of
regions you want in your adventure. You can have up to 15 different
regions and can name each one or let ACS do it for you. If you make no
changes here, ACS will automatically build an 8-region adventure and will
use your overall "Challenge" setting to determine the difficulty of each
If you do select this option, a new menu (below) will appear so you
can give ACS specific instructions about how many regions you want and how
you want them built.
|--WRITE A COMPLETELY NEW REGION
|--EDIT ANOTHER REGION
Use "Type" to tell ACS what you want the rooms in the region to look
like. (There are 8 possibilities, including letting ACS pick the type for
you.) Use "Challenge" if you want the region to have a different
difficulty level from the one you chose from the overall adventure.
Use the second option from the top to set the number of regions ACS
will build. Set it to "Write a Completely New Region" for each region that
you want, then set the next region to "Leave This and Later Regions Empty."
Use "Edit Another Region" to move from region to region to make these
7. Select Let ACS Write the Adventure, then go do something else while ACS
does it work. A message will appear when your new disk is ready for
playing. In the meantime, the screen will periodically give you a new
estimate of how much longer the process will take.
Important: Remember, playing an adventure changes it. Things get picked
up and moved around or destroyed, creatures dies and give up their
possessions, etc. Before you play your new adventure for the first time,
you may want to use "copy an Adventure" to make a copy of it. That way
you'll have an original version to work with if you decide you want to edit
the adventure and/or make copies of it for your friends who also own ACS.
Starting With an Existing Adventure
You can also use the "Let ACS Finish Your Adventure" option to scramble old
adventures into freshly playable new ones. If you want to use the same
map, select "ACS Adds a Few Doors to the Map." Otherwise, pick "ACS
completely Redraws the Map."
You can also decide how much you want to change each region, selection
among "Write a Completely New Region," "Leave Region Almost Unchanged,"
"Shuffle Contents Only" and "Shuffle Room Layout and Contents" for each
one. The only thing you can't select for a region which already exists is
"Leave This and Later Regions Empty."
As before, when you've entered the directions you want ACS to follow,
select "Let ACS Write the Adventure" and go do something while ACS does its
work for you.
Note: Any adventure created with the "Let ACS Finish Your Adventure"
option can be edited and changed with the other ACS construction options
described in the next sections of this manual. You can add sound effects
and music, edit out or tone down a creature who's causing players a lot of
trouble, put in text messages to make the adventure more richly detailed
and suggestive (especially important for spy/mystery stories), and more.
You can also use the "Copy or Erase Part of an Adventure" option to use
work you've done for one adventure as the starting place for another. See
page 26 for further on for more information.
Editing and Constructing Adventures
The ACs construction options let you work on the 5 fundamental program
parts which underlie every adventure:
* The World Map, which contains terrain of various types and
doors to and from the map regions.
* Maps of each region, which are composed first of a diagram
showing an overview of all the rooms in the region, and then
of pictures of each room in detail.
* The Master Thing List, which contains a record of every basic
prop and special effect.
* The Master Creature List, which contains a record of every
basic creature and from which the creature lists for the world
map and for each region may be made up.
* A Master Graphics Set, from which pictures can be selected for
terrain, things and creatures.
Learning Your Way Around The System
The fastest and easiest route to understanding how the ACS construction
options work is by using them to modify an adventure you've spent some time
playing. The next few paragraphs contain step-by-step instructions for the
editing actions you are likely to take most often.
To follow along, use a disk containing an adventure you know, and try
to perform the operations described. If it's an adventure you still want
to play, use a backup copy so you can make changes without worrying about
messing things us. (You needn't worry too much anyway. Since deleting and
adding are equally easy, you can always take out whatever you wish you
hadn't just added, and you can always put back what you wish you hadn't
One bit of friendly advice. Don't use the editor to look at "Rivers
of Light" until you've given yourself plenty of time to solve its puzzles.
Sometimes it takes a while for the solution to a puzzle to come, but when
it does, figuring it out yourself is just that much more satisfying. Wait
until you're through playing "River of Light" before you use the editor to
see how Stuart Smith put it together.
Step-by-Step Adventure Editing Guides
Doors may lead form one place on the world map to another or to any room in
1. Select "Edit World Map" from the map and region menu to produce a set
of map editing options. Then select "Draw World Map."
The large rectangle on the right represents the whole map, and the
lighter rectangle within it represents the section of the map you are
looking at. If you move the cursor up from the menu onto the screen and
then move it against the edges of the map section, new terrain will scroll
into view and the position of the lighter rectangle will change within the
darker one. Experiment with this until you understand how to use the
little "two-rectangle" map to tell where the section on the screen lies on
the big map.
2. Use "Select New Terrain" to flip through the 16 terrain possibilities
until you come to the doors.
Move the cursor back down into the menu and push it toward the "Select
New Terrain" option. Each time you do this, a new terrain picture will
appear in the small square and a new terrain description will appear below
the menu. There are 16 different terrain types to choose from in all.
Numbers 13 through 16 - Castle, Regal Gateway, Boat, and Cavern door in the
Land of Aventuria set are doors. When you add them, ACS prompts you
through the process of telling where you want the doors to come out.
3. Move the cursor into the map, then move it to the spot you want the
door on and press the button.
On world maps, putting down new terrain replaces what was already
there. And terrain can be set so that it is open only those who do or
don't carry some object (which you pick) or so that it evokes a spell
(which you pick) when someone moves on it. For more information see the
World Map Reference Guide on page 26.
How to Add and Edit World Map Creature
Up to 8 Ācreatures can be instructed to appear. You pick the creatures,
the terrain they will appear in, and what percent of the time they will
1. Select "Edit Map Creatures" and then select "Add Another Map Creature."
A list of all the creatures available in the Master Creature List on
your adventure disk will appear. Move the joystick up and down to move the
highlight from creature to creature. Move it to the left to select a
different group within the list. Move it to the right and press the button
to select the highlighted creature.
If there is no "Add Another Map Creature" slot available, select a
creature you no longer need and edit it as described in the next step.
2. Select the creature you want to edit, then select each of the items you
wish to change.
A new menu will appear. Repeatedly selecting the top lines lets you
flip through 12 terrain types to pick the one you want the creature to
appear in (12 and not 16 because you can't pick any of the doors).
Repeatedly selecting the third line in the menu lets you tell ACS what
percentage of the time you want the creature to appear. The higher you set
this percentage, the more likely you are to run into the creature while
exploring in the terrain type it inhabits.
If you select the "Edit Trait" option, a screen will appear which is
very much like the one you see when you select "Profile" option while
playing. By moving the cursor to any item in the list and then moving the
stick simultaneously holding down the button, you may change any of these
For more information about creature traits (especially including using
the three "Strategy" settings to determine how the creature will move and
behave), see Creature Reference Guide on page 29.
How to Add Rooms and Regions
Adventures may have up to 15 regions and up to 16 rooms per region. You
decide the number of regions you want and the number, size and location of
the rooms in each region.
1. To add a room to an existing region, select "Edit Region" and then
select the particular region you want.
If the name of the region you want isn't on the bottom of the new
menu, select "Next Region" until it is, then select it. A top-view diagram
of all the rooms in the region will appear. Select "Add Room" and follow
the instructions as they appear on the screen.
Rooms may be up to 15 squares wide and 10 squares high. If you want
to connect the new room to its neighbor with a normal two-way door,
position it so that it shares a common wall with that neighbor. If you
make a drawing mistake, use the "Delete Room" option and then start over.
2. To add a region, select "Add Region," type in a region name and press
the button, then continue using "Add Room" until you have all the rooms you
You may build up to 16 rooms. It's better at first, though to build
fewer than that so you can add on later if you decide the adventure needs
another room. If you want to put things and creatures in the rooms as you
go along, select the "Edit Room" option described in the next section.
How to Add to and Change the Contents of Rooms
You may have up to 16 creatures from your Master Creature List and more
than 500 things from your Master Thing List in each region. You could if
you wanted, stack them all on a single square in a single room.
1. Select "Edit Region," then select the region which contains the roomĀ
you're interested in, and then select "Edit Room."
The cursor will appear (as a very small solid square) so you can tell
ACS which room you want to edit. When you do so, a menu containing 4
options will appear. To change the characteristics of creatures already in
("resident") or assigned to ("random") the room, select the 2 options on
the left. To add or delete either things or creatures select the "Edit
Contents of Room" option.
2. After selecting the "Edit Contents" option, select each option as
often as you want and follow the directions as they appear. To return to
the main region editing menu, select "Exit."
To get information about what's already in a room, select "Examine
Room." Use "Add 1 Thing" to bring up the Master Thing List so you may
select an item from it. Use "Add Many Things" if you want to put down
multiple copies of the same thing. Use "Add Creature" to bring up the
Master Creature List so you may select from it. Use "Delete Thing" to get
rid of something - thing or creature - previously added.
Unlike world map terrain, new items do not replace old ones. Instead
they form a stack. For more information about regions and rooms, including
information about adding random creatures to rooms, see the Region and Room
Reference Guide on page 28. For information about creating stacks, see
page 39 in the Thing Reference Guide.
Note: When the Master Thing and Creature Lists appear, they do so in
segments. Select "View Another Group" to bring up a different segment.
Select "Next Thing" and "Previous Thing" to move the highlight within a
segment. For information about the logic behind the groupings, see the
Creature Reference Guide on page 29 and the Thing Reference Guide on page
How to Add to the Master Thing and Creature Lists
Each list can contain up to 128 items.
1. To add a new thing, select "Edit Things" and then "Add Thing."
You will be warned that once a thing is added, it cannot be deleted.
(It can however, be edited into an entirely different things within its
category.) Then you will be prompted by the screen to tell whether you
want to proceed, what type of thing you want to add, and how many of them
an individual may possess at one time. You may then move the cursor to
each option in the thing profile to set it as you want.
To return to the main menu, select "Exit." For more information , see
the Thing Reference Guide on page 34.
2. To add a new Creature, select "Edit Master List of Creatures" and then
select "Create a Creature."
A creature profile - similar to the profile for characters - will
appear. You may change any of the items in the profile and then return to
the main menu by following the on-screen instructions. Note: When you
change a creature's characteristics in the Master Creature List, the
changes are not reflected in the adventure.
For more information, see the Creature Reference Guide on page 29.
How to Edit Pictures and Create New Ones
The picture possibilities you scroll through for terrain, characters,
creatures and things are grouped onto 3 screens. To get to those screens,
select "Edit Graphics."
1. Select the picture you want to edit or the blank area into which you
want to add a picture.
The first screen has room for the 16 pictures which must be used for
map terrain but which may also be used for things or creatures. The second
screen (select "Edit Another Group of Pictures" to see it) can contain up
to 48 pictures which may be used for things, terrain or creatures. The
third screen can contain up to 46 pictures, all reserved for creatures
When you have the screen you want, use the "Edit Another Picture" line
to move the selector from picture to picture, bringing an enlarged version
of the selected picture into the drawing area.
2. Use the joystick to paint what you want into the drawing area.
To draw, move the cursor from the menu into the drawing area and press
the button to put down a block of the selected color. Choose "Draw Another
Color" to select another of the four available color choices. Choose
"Change Paint Color" to change the color of the paint swatch currently
For more information see Graphics Reference Guide on page 41.
Magic spells are both a category of things in their own right and something
which can be hooked to Magic Items, Portals (doors), and Obstacles and
Spaces. Altogether there are 15 different base spells available.
Each magic spell can be made to display a short three-line text
message when it is invoked (providing the opportunity to explain to the
player/character what is happening) and may be made to disappear after its
first use. Here are the 15 base spells and what each does.
1. Kill all But an Owner of (you pick the things from your Master Thing
List). Don't be casual about how you employ such a spell in your
adventures. It does just what it says, and no one wants to adventure in a
world where death is too frequent and too often arbitrary and unexpected.
2. Summon/Banish Creature (you specify the creature, picking it from your
Master Creature List). This can be used to banish all creatures present in
a room where the spell is cast, or it can be used to summon to the room any
creature on the Master Creature List. Banishment happens immediately.
Summons will not be answered until the following turn. This spell may not
be used on the world map. (Note: When you banish creatures, they take all
their possession into oblivion with them. Don't banish the creature who
stole the key you need to get into the next room.)
3. Increase Magic Defense But Not to Better Than...(you pick from four
possibilities). At its most powerful, a magic defense completely absorbs
blows from normal weapons and reduces damage from magic weapons by half.
4. Decrease Magic Defense But Not to Better Than...(you pick from four
possibilities). The opposite of the previous spell.
5. Increase the Victim's...(you pick Constitution, Strength, Dexterity,
Speed, Wisdom, Dodge Skill, Parry Skill, Armor Skill, Melee Skill or
Missile Skill.) Traits are increased by 1 point, skills by 5. The effect
of the spell is permanent - until the next spell is encountered, that is.
6. Decrease the Victim's...(you pick Constitution, Strength, Dexterity,
Speed, wisdom, Dodge Skill, Parry Skill, Armor Skill, Melee Skill, or
Missile Skill). See previous spell.
7. Change Power of Victim by...(you specify a number between -63 to +63).
Because an individual's Power automatically changes in the direction of his
Wisdom each turn, it does not matter whether you choose for the effect to
be temporary or permanent. All changes to Power are temporary, no matter
what the setting.
8. Change Life Force by ...(you specify a number between -63 to +63).
Like the previous spell, except Life Force does not decay when it is
greater than Constitution. A permanent increase is Life Force can only be
lost in battle or to another spell.
9. Give to Victim (you pick the thing from you Master Thing List). One
use for this spell is to give a Magic Spell to a hero/player or a creature.
10. Display Long Message (up to 8 lines long, up to 32 characters per
line). This spell is usually used with the spaces and obstacles in a means
of telling the player/character about a special occurrence or object or to
give a clue.
11. Play Music (you select from 30 different possibilities). Choices 1
through 12 are sound effects. Choices 13-30 are musical themes. The
choices with "endless" in their titles (14 through 17) will continue to
play until another music choice is activated. (See "Stacking Things on One
Square" on page 40 for an example of an effective use of endless themes.)
12. Rid Room of Every Uncarried... (you pick the thing from your Master
Thing List). A particularly fiendish use of this spell would be to attach
it to an invisible object (one with no picture) which you place directly in
front of a visible treasure, naming the treasure as the thing to rid the
room of. Alternately you could use it to rid the room of a covering placed
over a valuable object hiding underneath. (See the section called "Let
There Be Light" on page 40.)
13. Add to Room One (you pick the thing from your Master Thing List).
Does just what it says. The effect is immediate.
14. Activate All Things at This Place. Especially useful for setting off
a series of spells associated with items, spaces and/or obstacles stacked
on a single square. See "Stacking Things on One Square" on page 39.
15. Do nothing. Use this when you simply want to display a short message
at the bottom of the screen but don't want to do anything else. Since
spells can't be dropped, it might also be used to give creatures or
player/characters a characteristic they could not rid themselves of-a curse
perhaps, which prevents passage through certain doors.
Some Special Things and Their Uses
The basic Fantasy, Spy/Mystery and Science Fiction construction sets all
contain a few very useful special purpose things. Here's a listing of some
of them, along with brief descriptions. For more information, see Things
Reference Guide on page 34.
1. The Do-all Spaces and Obstacle - The Do-All-Walk Space is activated
whenever someone walks on it and the Do-All-Bump Obstacle when someone
bumps into it, and each will then activate, in order from top to bottom,
whatever spells lie below it. The Do-All-Carry Space (a Custom space,
actually) works the same way, but is activated only by someone carry;ing a
particular item (which you get to pick when you place one of these in a
2. The Music and Message Custom Spaces - When you place these in a room,
you get to choose the particular text or music which will be produced when
the space is activated - either by being walked on or by a Do-All spell
3. The Rid the Room Custom Space - Place this one in a room and you get to
tell ACS what to remove from the room when the space is activated. Its
storytelling power lies in its association with the thing you name when you
place it in the room. For a nice example of what can be done with a "Rid
the room" spell, see the discussion of "Let There Be Light" on page 40.
(Note: If you check the basic sets, you'll find other custom spell spaces
there as well - "Add to Room 1," "Increase Life Force," etc. Like the Rid
the Room Custom space, these let you pick the spell modifier when you place
them in a room.)
4. The Flight Spell - If you use "Edit Thing" to take a look at this
spell, you may find it hard to imagine what it's good for. By itself, it
does nothing. But if you set some terrain to be "Open Only to Owners of
Flight Spell," it becomes powerful indeed. (The same principle can be
used, of course, for rivers open only to owners of a swim spell, a trick
employed to get "Rivers of Light" off to an interesting start.)
5. The Decoder Custom Space - Available in the Spy/Mystery set, this
variation on the message space described above will display text whenever a
Coded Message is dropped on it. It's a good example of how a basic idea
like a custom message space can be tailored with a picture and a different
activation method to perform a very useful function in an adventure. The
same trick was used to produce the Help spaces in "How to Play" in
General Construction Tips and Techniques
1. Do some browsing and planning before you start constructing.
ACS will let you begin the construction process with as much or as
little as you like (down to "nothing but graphics") on your adventure disk.
The advantage to starting with a basic construction set is the time it
saves you in the creation of Master Things and Creature Lists.
Pick one of the sets and spend some time browsing through the Master
Lists to see what's available. Think about where you might use this
powerful, aggressive enemy creature or that magical crossbow. Draw
diagrams of your regions on paper so you an think about where you want to
If you decide you need something not in the set or want to modify
something that is there, you can use the "Edit Things," or "Edit Creatures"
and "Edit Graphics" options to create new items or change existing ones.
In time you will wind up with new versions of the basic sets which have
been modified to fit your own style, taste and adventure construction
2. Pay attention to the pace of your adventure.
Some actions take the computer longer to perform than others. Be
thoughtful about how you place these in your adventure. When a door leads
to another region for instance, the program must go to disk for new
information. Use such doors sparingly so that adventurers do not tire of
waiting for the new information to appear.
Also pay attention to the order in which things occur. When a short
text message is associated with a spell for instance, the message will be
displayed before the spell itself if activated. Make sure your message
makes sense if read before the spell takes effect.
3. Pay attention to the pacing of difficulty and frustration in your
If you make things too hard at the outset, no one will keep playing
long enough to discover all the neat stuff you planted. Make sure you've
given the adventurers enough success and mystery to hook them before you
ask them to deal with your more fiendishly clever tricks and traps.
You might accomplish this by leaving a very powerful but breakable
weapon in the first room adventurers will enter. Or you might orchestrate
matters so that passing through an early door delivers a big temporary
boost in Life Force or Power. Either of these actions will help
adventurers make it through early perils without giving them too much of a
4. Use the work you put into one adventure as a starting place for others.
To use an existing adventure as a starting place, begin with a disk
containing that adventure and use the "Erase Part of the Adventure" option
to get rid of the parts you don't want. (To find the "Erase Part of the
Adventure" option, select "Construct an Adventure" and then select "Do More
Detailed Work" twice.) You can erase the maps of the world and the
regions, or the Master Creature List, or everything but the graphics.
You can also copy graphics from one adventure into another. Select
"Copy Graphics From Another Adventure," then select the option you want and
follow the instructions as they appear. You could use this option to copy
a strange graphics set into an existing adventure. More to the point,
though, you could use it to copy your own custom graphics set into each of
a series of adventures.
5. Back up and date your work.
Good adventures are not constructed in a day. As you work, make a
backup copy at the end of each session and put the date you did the work in
the name of the adventure (e.g., "Superdungeon Oct. 15"). Doing this keeps
you from trusting all your hard work to a single disk and makes it easy for
you to figure out which version is the latest should you get confused about
Map Reference Guide
1) Draw World Map - The full map area is 40 squares by 40 squares. Only a
10-square by 15-square section can be on the screen at one time. The
larger rectangle to the right of the map represents the whole map; the
smaller grey rectangle inside of it represents the section visible on the
The square on the lower right contains a picture of the terrain type
that can be added if you move the cursor up into the map area and press the
button. Moving the cursor into the menu and to the left brings a new
terrain picture into the square. The name of the terrain type appears at
the end of the second line. Whether the terrain is passable or whether it
evokes a spell when crossed appears on the third line.
When you put a piece of terra on top of existing terrain, the new
replaces the old. There are 16 different terrain types available. To
select a new name, picture, or travel condition or spell for any of the 16,
see "Change Definition of Map Terrain" below. To learn how to put doors on
the World Map, see "Adding Doors" below.
2) Change Map Name - Selecting this option lets you type in a new name (up
to 15 characters long) for a map.
3) Change Definition of Map Terrain - Repeatedly select "Terrain #" to
move the selecting highlight among the 16 possibilities. To select "Change
Picture" to change the picture for the highlighted terrain type. (Both
these options can be activated by moving the joystick either right or left
to go forward or backward through the available choices.)
Select "Name" to type in a new name, and select the fourth option to
determine whether and under what conditions the terrain may be passed over
by players and creatures. If necessary, ACS will bring up the Master Thing
List so you can pick an object or spell from it to complete your editing of
the terrain type.
Terrain pictures are shown in groups of 4 so you can see what
multiple-square patches of the terrain will look like when you're
considering new pictures. If you want to modify one of the pictures or
draw a new one, see Graphics Reference Guide on page 41.
Important! Terrain types 13-16 are portals (doors). See "Adding Doors"
below for information about using them.
4) Movement Off Edge of Map Is/Is Not Permitted - Select this option to
determine whether or not the map "wraps." If you permit movement off the
edge of the map, the top edge and bottom one are treated as though there
were joined to each other, and so are the right and left edges.
Topologically, the three-dimensional shape a wrapping map corresponds to is
a torus. (A doughnut is also a torus. Think about it.)
5) Move Entrance to the Adventure - Use this option to select the spot
where all new adventures will start regardless of when they are added to
Adding Portals (Doors) - ACS considers terrain types 13-16 to be
one-way doors regardless of their pictures or names. When you add a door
to the world map, follow the instructions as they appear to say where you
want the door to come out.
You may have up to 32 one-way doors on the World Map. Those same
doors may also be used to mark the exit points of one-way doors which lead
from inside rooms back to the World Map.
Using the same place to mark an entrance and an exit destination helps
players make conceptual sense of the map. A door might represent the
entrance to a city whose streets and shops are defined by the rooms in the
region the door leads to. Making a one-way door lead form inside the
region back to the same spot helps underline the notion that the region
represents an extension of the world map.
You may also use 31 additional locations on the map as places where
one-way doors come out. You can even have doors on the world map lead to
other places on the world map (see the Boat in Aventuria, for instance).
Generally, you will not want to add doors to the world map until you
have build the regions you want them to lead to. Moreover, because ACS
will let you put down whatever you want, including impassable terrain, on
top of places where one-way doors come out, you will not want to do a lot
of map revision after you have designated a number of map locations as
one-way door exits. You won't usually want to have players emerge from a
region only to find themselves surrounded by mountains unable to move.
For information about "Editing Map Creatures," see "Putting Random
Creatures in an Adventure" on page 33 in the Creature Reference Guide.
Room and Region Reference Guide
Each Adventure can contain up to 15 regions and each region can contain up
to 16 rooms. Select "Add Region" to build a new region, and select "Edit
Region" to modify or add to an existing region.
Either choice leads to a menu which contains the options "Add Room,"
"Delete Room" and "Edit Room," (If you select "Edit Region," you will be
asked to select the one you want to edit before these choices appear.)
1. Add Room - When you select "Add a Room," the room first appears as a
small flashing square which you may move about on the screen with your
joystick. Once you press the button, the joystick will make the square
grow in size instead of moving it. You may use it to make a room up to 15
spaces wide by 10 spaces high.
New rooms may be placed anywhere you like so long as they don't
overlap with existing rooms (but rooms may share a common wall).
2. Delete Room - This option lets you place the cursor in a room you want
to get rid of and press the button to get rid of it. Note: If you
accidentally delete the destination for a one-way door, ACS will banish
creatures who pass through the door and will place all player/characters
who pass through it on the world map at the adventure's starting point.
3. Edit Room - Select this option and use the cursor to identify the room
you want to edit, then select a choice from the new menu which will appear.
The choices allow you to change the room's name and to add, subtract and
edit creatures and things in the room.
4. Change Room Name - Selecting this option lets you type in a new name
for the room.
5. Edit Room's Contents - Selecting this option brings a picture of the
room to the screen along with a new menu of options. The options on the
right let you pick things and creatures from your Master Things and Master
Creature Lists, and they let you add those things to the room at the places
you designate with the cursor. Use "Add Many Things" when you want to put
down several copies of the same thing before selecting something else.
The top option on the left - "Delete Thing" - may be used to remove
either things or resident creatures from the room. The selecting cursor
will appear so you can pick the thing or creature you want to delete.
Selecting "Examine Room" lets you move the selecting cursor around,
pressing the button when you want a description of the thing or creature at
a particular spot. (Note: The Examine option will tell you if a spell at
a location produces music or a sound effect, but it will not play the sound
"Select Wall Picture" lets you choose a new picture for the wall of
the room. This is especially useful when you want the room to "play the
role" of something else - a field, for instance, or a forest, or a mountain
6. Adding Doors - When you use the "Add Thing" option to add a two-way
door to a room, the program will let you place the door on a wall shared by
an adjacent room. When you use it to add a one-way door, follow the
instructions as they appear to determine where the door comes out. Doors
may lead to other places within the same region (or even in the same room),
or to other regions, or to the world map.
7. Stacking Things on Top of Each Other - Unlike editing on the world map
where new terrain replaces whatever old terrain it is placed on top of, you
may stack many things in the same space in rooms. For more information,
see "Stacks of Things."
To learn more about the "Edit Resident Creature" and "Edit Random Creature"
options study the Creature Notes section below.
Creature Reference Guide
You can have up to 128 creatures in a Master Creature List. Each can have
its own unique combination of name, picture, traits, skills, battle
equipment, behavior patterns and possessions.
Further, you can customize each of these characteristics for
individual creatures after you have placed them in a room or instructed
them to appear in a room or on the World Map. Thus, you might design a
single leprechaun for your Master Creature List, yet have many leprechauns
in the game, each with a different list of weapons and possessions.
1. Creating and Editing Creatures - To add creatures to your Master
Creature List and modify ones already there, select "Construct an
Adventure, and then select "Do More Detailed Work" twice, and finally
select "Edit Master List of Creatures."
2. Grouping Creatures in Catagories - ACS lets you divide your Master
Creature List into 8 smaller lists to make it easier to think about the
kinds of creatures you have. The Fantasy builder set, for instance, has
four lists containing persons (one for friends, one for enemies, one for
thieves, and one for neutrals), two lists containing beasts (one for
hostile beasts, the other for neutral ones), one for evil beings (banshees,
demons and the like), and one left open for a category of your own
To change the name of a creature category, select "Change Creature
Class Name," then select the name you want to change and type in a new one.
You pick the class a creature belongs to when you use the "Add Creature"
and "Edit Creature" options. To learn how to make a creature behave like
a friend, enemy, etc., see Setting Creature Strategy below.
3. Changing a Creature's Profile - Begin by selecting "Edit a Creature"
and then the name of the creature you want or by selecting "Add a
Creature." To change any item in a list of creature characteristics, move
the highlight to that item with the joystick, then simultaneously hold down
the button while moving the stick.
If the item needs typed input from you, ACS will ask for it. If the
item is one where you can choose among 2 or more preset possibilities,
repeatedly select the item to browse through the possibilities until you
reach the one you want. If the item needs something from the Master Things
List, it will bring up the list so you may select from it.
Use the last item in the profile list to determine how many copies of
the creature ACS may put into an adventure when you use the "Let ACS Finish
the Adventure" option. When picking resident creatures, ACS looks first
for creatures which are limited in number. When assigning randomly
appearing creatures, ACS looks for creatures which may appear many times.
4. Creature Traits, Skills and Possessions - You can set any of the trait
and skill numbers anywhere between 0 and their maximum (see Traits section
earlier). To calculate how much a creature or character's strength will
let it carry, subtract Life Force from Constitution and divide by 2, then
subtract your answer from Strength and multiply and result by 100.
Individuals carrying more than half their maximum capacity will be slowed
Before you can ready a weapon or a piece of armor, you must add it to
the creature's inventory with the "Change or Examine Possessions" option.
Choosing the "Mimics" option causes the creature to exactly mirror the
opponents it encounters. (Note: If you set Speed to 0, the creature's
name will not be displayed when it is its turn to move.)
Selecting "Change or Examine Possessions" lets you page through all
the treasures, magic items, weapons and armor on your Master Thing List.
Pressing the button highlights the item indicated by the pointer on the
left side of the screen, and adds that item to the creature's inventory.
If the item is already highlighted (i.e., already belongs to the
creature), another will be added if an individual is allowed to own more
than it already has. Otherwise, the item will be removed from the
creature's inventory. Moving the pointer to the top or bottom of the list
brings a new segment of the list to the screen. There are 4 segments in
Deciding what to give to creatures and how powerful, durable and
skillful to make them is an art, not a science. Finally there is no
shortcut for experience when it comes to shaping creatures to fit your
adventure. In general, the higher the number in any category and the more
potent the weapons and magic in the creature's possession, the more
powerful and resourceful the creature.
But player/characters can themselves become more powerful and better
equipped as they play. Thus, the effect on the game of a creature's power
possessions and goals depends upon where in the adventure it is
encountered. A mean duel with maximum power and the magic sword to end all
magic swords is not someone you want to run into just outside the main
entrance, nor is a complete wimp worthy to face a powerful experienced
The three construction sets each contain a range of creature strengths
and weaknesses in each category. Learn you way to good adventure
constructing by experimenting with them. Place them in rooms or on the
map, then play to see whether they have the effect you wanted for your
adventure. If they don't, return to construction and edit them, then try
them out again in play.
5. Setting Creature Strategy - Thing of creatures as having personalities
which shape their decisions. When it comes time for them to move, they
look at the alternative possibilities, then choose a path or action that
matches their personality.
Use the three items on the strategy line to set a creature's basic
personality. Each item has two possible settings. Think of the last item
- Friend/Enemy/Thief/Neutral - as determining four basic types, and think
of the first two as a pair shaping that type's behavior.
A creature which is Aggressive and either Brave or unwounded (Life
Force equal to or exceeds Constitution) will behave as a fighter. A
creature which is Peaceful or which is both Cautious and wounded (Life
Force less than Constitution) will behave as a slinker. No slinker will
attack or cast a spell.
When a creature's turn comes, each possible type will look for an
pursue its targets in the order they are listed below.
A) A fighter enemy loves to attach player/characters and friends, and may
attack neutrals and thieves it encounters on the way to its goal. It won't
attack a fellow enemy. It will seek a player/character, an aggressive
friend, a peaceful friend, an exit, an aggressive neutral or thief, a
peaceful neutral or thief, or gold.
B) A slinker enemy will seek a peaceful enemy, an aggressive enemy, an exit
C) A fighter friend will seek an aggressive enemy, an aggressive neutral, a
peaceful enemy, an aggressive thief, a player/character, or an exit. It
loves to attack the first four categories, is willing to attack a peaceful
neutral or thief, but won't attack a player/character or another friend.
D) A slinker friend will seek a player/character, or an exit.
E) A fighter neutral will seek an aggressive friend or enemy, an aggressive
thief, a peaceful friend or enemy, a peaceful thief or aggressive neutral,
a peaceful neutral, gold or an exit. It is not averse to attacking anybody
but prefers to attack player/characters, aggressive friends, peaceful
thieves, and aggressive enemies.
F) A slinker neutral will seek an exit.
G) A fighter thief will seek treasure or gold, or an exit. It is willing
to attack anybody in the way but will go around a peaceful enemy, friend or
neutral, if possible. (No allegiance is shown to other thieves, however.)
H) A slinker thief will seek treasures of gold or an exit.
Note: A creature who is damaged in combat with a player/character will:
1) turn into a neutral if currently a friend; 2) turn aggressive if
currently peaceful; or 3) turn into an enemy if currently a smart (see next
paragraph), aggressive neutral. For more information about creature
movement, see the next two sections.
6. Creatures and Spells - Creatures are smart if their Wisdom is greater
than 14 and dumb if it is less than 6. Creatures between those limits will
act smart some of the time, and the higher their Wisdom rating, the greater
the chance that they will do so.
Only smart creatures will cast spells or use magic items when they
possess them, and even smart creatures will only cast spells when their
Power is greater than or equal to their Wisdom.
Creatures will cast damaging spells only on their foes and beneficial
spells only on their friends. If a creature casts a "Banish" spell, it
will banish all creatures from the room except for itself. Creatures
cannot cast the following: Do nothing, Rid room of all, Add to room one,
Activate all things, Display message and Play music.
7. Additional Movement and Behavior Rules
A) Creatures who reside in a room do not get a turn until a
player/character enters the room. The player/character gets his or her
turn first, but the creature then gets its turn even if the
player/character leaves the room. In that case the creature may move
toward an exit permitted to it (see next rule). Creatures may, therefore,
"follow" player/characters into a new room.
B) No creature will move onto any space or obstacle, including custom
ones. Creatures will move onto doors only if the doors have no do-all, rid
room or add to room spells associated with them, and lead to someplace in
the same region.
C) Creatures will not pick up magic items, weapons or armor. All
creatures, except friends and slinker neutrals, will pick up gold. Only
thieves will pick up treasure.
D) Most creatures will go toward a less favorite goal if it is closer than
a more desirable one.
E) A slinking, wounded creature will see an exit.
F) Smart, powerful (Power greater than or equal to Wisdom) creatures will
cast a spell on their selected goal if it is an individual and they have an
appropriate spell. If they have more than one appropriate spell, they will
use the one with the lowest item number. Smart, half-powerful creatures
will use magic items in a similar fashion provided the objects are
activated when used.
G) An overburdened creature will drop a magic item, a treasure or gold.
H) A creature will ready an appropriate weapon. If it is "safe" (not next
to a foe) it will ready a missile weapon if it has one. Otherwise it will
ready a melee weapon if it has one. If it has more than one appropriate
weapon, it will ready the one with the lowest item number.
I) A fighter who is "safe" and has a readied missile weapon will fire if
its selected goal is a foe. Note: fired missiles may hit anyone in the
line of fire.
J) A friend who selected a player/character as a goal and who is next to
the player/character will drop a magic item if it has one.
8. Putting Random Creatures in an Adventure - By selecting "Edit Map
Creature" or "Edit Room's Random Creature" you may instruct a creature to
show up some items but not others in a particular type of terrain or in a
particular room. This is particularly useful for creating events like the
occasional appearance of a river god or of a ghost who sometimes haunts a
corridor. It's also a way of keeping the adventure fresh by giving players
a chance to experience different challenges on different visits to the same
When a random creature appears on the map, the hero/player is drawn
into a special area for the encounter. The borders of the are will match
the map territory in which the player/character was traveling.
You can have one random creature list for the world map and one for
each region in an adventure. Each random creature list can contain up to 8
creatures chosen from the Master Creature List (and customized i.e., give
different trait settings, possessions, etc.).
Each creature on the random creature list for the world map can be
assigned to appear in a particular terrain type by repeatedly selecting the
"Appearing in" option. The percentage of the time that the creature will
appear can be set for all random creatures.
The appearance percentage range for random map creatures is 0 to 60%.
For room random creatures it is 0 to 75%. (The range can be set higher for
rooms because adventurers typically spend less time in particular rooms
than they do in particular terrain types on the world map. Also, the
opportunity to add a creature exists before every move on the map, but it
exists only upon entering a room in a region.
Once you've added a random creature to a random creature list, you
cannot remove it. But you can set its appearance percentage to 0 or edit
it into a completely different creature. Random creatures will only be
added to a spot in the room which doesn't have a thing on it.
No more than 16 creatures can occupy a region at once. Once 16 are
present, no new random creatures will appear and no creatures will answer a
"summon creature" spell until someone leaves. Random creatures which have
been added to rooms no longer occupied by a player/character are
Thing Reference Guide
A thing in ACS can be just about anything - a weapon or magic item a
hero/player might pick up and use, a door leading from one place to
another, a space fixed so that walking on it causes music to play, etc.
And things can be made to masquerade as other things (even as terrain and
individuals) to keep adventurers on their toes. You can have up to 128
things on an adventure's Master Thing List.
1. Creating and Editing Things - To add things to your Master Things List
and modify ones already there, select "Construct an Adventure," then select
"Do More Detailed Work" twice, and finally select "Edit Things." The
profile of one thing in your Master Thing List will appear.
The options in thing profiles work just as they do elsewhere in ACS.
Some must be repeatedly selected to bring up their various possibilities,
while others will ask you to type in text or numbers. To add a new thing,
select "Add Thing" and follow the instructions as they appear.
To work with a different thing already on the list, select "Edit
Another Thing." A new menu will appear along with a list of the things in
one of the 13 different thing catagories. Moving the joystick up and down
moves the highlight from item to item in the list. Moving the joystick
right selects the highlighted item. Moving it left brings a new category
to the screen.
Once you add a thing to your list, you cannot remove it, nor can you
change the decision (which you made when adding it) about how many of it an
individual may own. You can, however, edit it into a completely different
thing within the same category.
The categories are Treasures, Magic Item, Missile Weapon, Melee
Weapon, Armor, Magic Spell, Portal, Space, Custom Space, Obstacle, Custom
Obstacle, Store, Room Floor. The options which you may set for each thing
depend upon the category the thing is in.
2. Treasures - Treasures are perhaps the simplest of the things you can
include in an adventure. You may select their weight (which determines how
easy they will be to carry), their value (important for determining how
much a store will sell them for and how much it will offer to buy them
back), and whether they will disappear if dropped.
But even within this simplicity, ingenious tricks are possible. If you
look, for instance, at the Magic Bag in the Fantasy builder set, you'll
notice that its weight is set to a negative amount. ACs adds the weight of
all items in an individual's possession when determining whether the
individual is strong enough to carry everything without slowing down.
Having something with negative weight means being able t carry much more
than before without slowing down. Whoever finds that magic bag will be
grateful indeed. (The same negative weight trick is also used for horse in
the Fantasy set.)
There's one Treasure you'll always find on a brand new list. It's
called Gold, and it has some special properties. Individuals are allowed
to own as many of these as they can carry (25,000 pieces is the maximum,
more than anyone could possibly carry unless you set the weight to 0). And
you may not change the value from the preset value of 1.
Change the picture and name when you want to replace the gold standard
with something different for a particular adventure. (Dollars, for
instance, are used in the Spy/Mystery builder set, and crystite is used in
the Science Fiction one.) Whatever the standard, by carefully setting the
weight in tune with the strength you give to characters and creatures and
the value you give to desirable objects, you build a basic economy for your
For example, consider a world in which gold weighs 1 unit per piece,
individuals begin with strength of 12, and the magic sword to end all
swords costs 1500. In such a world, a hero would need to be the
beneficiary of some strength-increasing spells or the lucky finder of a
magic bag of some light, valuable objects (like jewels) before he or she
could afford that sword.
3. Magic Items - Magic items are treasures with magic spells attached to
them. The spell can be set to be invoked when the item is picked up and
/or used and/or dropped. For a discussion of all the possible spells, see
"Magic Spells" on page 22.
4. Missile Weapons, Melee Weapons and Armor - Missile weapons are those
which can operate at a distance (bows, rifles, grenades, etc.), Melee
weapons are effective up close (daggers, claws, clubs, etc.). Armor
absorbs some of the force of blows against its wearer (chain mail, thick
hide, shield, etc.)
Power (set between 0 and 31) is a measure of the damage a weapon will do
or, in the case of armor, of the damage it will prevent.
Attack adjustment (set between -35% and +40% for weapons and -65% and +10%
for armor) combines with a player/character's weapon or armor skill to
determine how likely it is that blows or missiles will hit their mark. The
higher the positive attack adjustment, the more likely success will be.
Note: The attack adjustment for armor does not affect anything about
blows struck against the armor. Instead it affects the success of its
wearer with the weapons he is using. Think of it as a representing how
awkward and cumbersome the armor is. And think of armor skill as the
ability to overcome the cumbersomeness of the protection so you can fight
well while wearing it.
You might also use armor as a "cloak of skill" by setting it's power
to 0, so it doesn't ward off blows, while setting the attack adjustment to
+10%, so it will improve its owners skill with weapons. Such a piece of
armor might be called a "priest's protection spell" and could be set to
disappear after the first use or to break easily (see next item).
Chance of Breaking (set between o and 15%) determines how likely it is that
the weapon or armor will break when it is used. (Individuals automatically
try to parry melee blows if they have a melee weapon of their own readied.)
If you are using a weapon to represent some natural quality that it doesn't
make sense that the owner would lose, be sure to set the Chance of Breaking
Magic/Not Magic determines how successful the weapon will be against magic
Select Usable Only by Owner for items like claws, teeth, fists, etc. If
this option is set to Can be Used By Anyone After Owner Dies, the weapon
will appear when the body of the departed owner disappears. A
player/character will not be permitted to drop an item that is usable only
by its owner.
Range determines the number of spaces (horizontally, vertically or
diagonally) that missiles will travel before their force is spent. (Note:
missiles will not pass through Obstacles, but they can pass between two
items which are diagonally adjacent to each other, if the shot is
Thinking About Weapon and Armor Design - Like creature constructing, the
design and placement of weapons in an adventure is an art, not a science.
As a starting place, study the weapons and armor in the basic construction
sets. Notice that the more powerful ones tend to have nĄeĄgĄa tĄiĄvĄeĄ
attack adjustments - that is, they decrease the likelihood of a successful
blow and therefore require higher skill ratings if they are to be used
One good rule, then, is that the more powerful the weapon or armor,
the greater the degree of skill which ought to be needed to wield or wear
it. Another good rule is to avoid making super weapons (+40% Attack
Adjustment, Power in the 10's or 20's) unless you want to guarantee a huge
edge to anyone who finds them. Try placing and modifying different weapons
in different ways, then notice their effect on the game when you play. In
time, you will develop a feel for the kinds of weapon characteristics that
best suit the kinds of adventures yĄoĄuĄ want to design and play.
5. Magic Spells - Magic Spells are both a category of things in their own
right and something which can be hooked to things (Magic Items), portals,
and obstacles and spaces (including custom obstacles and spaces).
Altogether there are 15 different base spells available. They are
described in some detail beginning on page 22.
When a spell belongs to the Magic Spell category, it can only belong
to a creature or a player/character, and it is invoked only when the owner
casts it - and only then if he, she or it has enough power and/or luck to
do so. (You may set the amount of power required to any number between 0
Each Magic Spell can be made to display a short three-line text
message when it is invoked (providing the opportunity to explain to the
player/character what is happening) and may be made to disappear after its
When spells are invoked by a space or obstacle or by dropping an
object on a space, they take effect at that space or obstacle. When they
are cast or invoked by the use of a Magic Item, the her/player chooses the
target of the spell. (An exception: if a spell invoked by a dropped object
applies only to an individual and it's dropped on a square next to the
dropper unless it's dropped on a creature.)
Magic Items which invoke spells upon being picked up take effect where
they were, unless they apply to individuals. If they do apply to
individuals, they act on the one who picked them up.
6. Portals - Portals (i.e., doors, passageways, tunnels, time windows,
etc.) may invoke a spell (which you pick) whenever they are passed through.
Alternately, they may simply allow passage from one room to another (or
even to another region or to the world map). And if they are not set to
invoke a spell, they may be set to allow passage only to those who own or
don't own a thing you pick from the Master Thing List.
Portals may be designated as normal two-way doors or as one-way, no
Two-way doors can only be used to provide passage between rooms which
share a common wall. One-way, no-return passages can be made to lead
anywhere within the region they start in, or anywhere on the map, or
anywhere in another region. When you install them, the program will prompt
you through the process of setting where they come out.
Whenever you make passages lead from one region to another, or to and
from regions and the map, ACS must go to the disk for new information. Use
such jumps by all means, but to keep the pace of your adventure brisk (and
because jumps from one region to another can be very disorienting), use
such passages sparingly.
If a Portal is set to bar passage to all carrying or not carrying
something, it may also be set to display a 3-line message explaining why
passage is blocked. You may type in any message you want. You may also
set the blocked passage so it will destroy the object named when you pass
through it - a nice little way to set a chasm so it can only be crossed by
a rope which breaks after delivering you to the other side.
Don't forget that you can have any picture for a door that you like.
For a delightfully puzzling use of that fact, see the room where the whole
wall seems made of doors and the adjacent one where there seems to be no
door at all in the Land of Aventuria mini-adventure called "Deep Dank
7. Spaces and Custom Spaces - These things offer a way to put spells and
barriers within a room without using a door. Like doors, Spaces and Custom
Spaces can be made to invoke any spell, or they can be set to bar passage -
and say why - to any player/character carrying or not carrying anything you
pick from the Master Thing List. In addition, a Custom Space can be made
to invoke a spell if a thing you specify is dropped on it.
A Custom Space is like a wild card. It lets you choose which
characteristics you want in common for every copy you put down, and which
ones you want to vary each time you put a copy down. The Help spaces
(marked with a big H) used in the "Land of Aventuria" adventures on your
ACS disk offer a good illustration of the usefulness of Custom Spaces. By
creating the Help space as a Custom Space, the tutorial designers were able
to give you a symbol you could depend on for helpful information and still
give you different information each time they used the symbol.
A Custom Space can also be used as a "vending machine," a place where
an individual can drop one thing and get back another. To create this
effect, set line 5 to "Invoke Spell When Thing Dropped Here" and pick the
thing you want to use as quarters ("Gold" perhaps). Then set line 7 to
"Add To Room One" and pick the thing you want the machine to dispense
(anything from candy bar to a magic sword). Since this is a Custom Space,
you must pick either the thing to be dropped or the thing produced when you
put this trick into the room.
There is one limit on Custom Spaces. While they can be associated
with both a spell and a thing (if they contain a spell evoked by dropping a
particular item, for instance), you cannot wait until placing them in a
room to pick bĄoĄtĄhĄ the spell and the thing. One or the other must be
specified during construction of the Custom Space. (Note: ACS will not
use any Custom Spaces when you use the "Let ACS Finish the Adventure"
Spaces and Custom Spaces are wonderfully versatile props. Turned into
beds and chairs with the appropriate spell attached (Increase Life force),
they can be made to heal all who "rest" upon them (i.e., move onto them).
As "costumes" they can masquerade as anything or terrain type, creating
puzzles for the adventurer where things are not what they seem.
You might, for instance, make a space called "invisible cover" which is
the same color as the floor. By placing this item on top of other things
in a room, you could then hide those things from view. You might then
make a Magic Item which invokes the spell "Rids the Room of All Uncarried
Invisible covers" when it is picked up. Picking up the item would then
have the effect of making visible any item covered by an invisible cover.
For more uses of Spaces and Custom Spaces, see "Stacking Things on One
8. Obstacles and Custom Obstacles - To make a place in a room or on a map
impassable to everyone under all circumstances, put an Obstacle there (like
a table or mountain). If you want the obstacle to be temporary, set it to
disappear after the first time it's bumped into.
You may also associate a spell with an obstacle so it will be invoked
whenever a player/character bumps into the obstacle. If you want to be
able to chose a different spell modifier each time you put a copy in a room
- a different text message, perhaps, or a larger or smaller increase in
Life Force - use a Custom Obstacle.
The treasure chest used in the "In a Nazi Castle" mini-adventure is an
example of the usefulness of Custom Obstacles. The designers were able to
leave immediately recognizable treasure chests throughout the adventure,
yet put a different treasure (with the "Add to Room One" spell) in each
Like Spaces, Obstacles are remarkably flexible props. Obstacles with
not associated spell are useful for decorative detail, for making mazes
with walls within rooms (see the "Land of Aventuria" mini-adventure called
"Deep Dark Dungeon") and for making red herrings - items which look like
they might be worth investigating but which adventurers discover to be
simply obstacles if they spend the moves necessary to check them out.
9. Stores and Room Floors - Stores and Room Floors are not very editable,
but they are especially useful. You may pick the picture for each, and you
may have only one of each per Master Thing List. The picture you assign to
Room Floor will be used for the floor of every new room you create. ACS
will not add any Stores to the adventure it creates when you use the "Let
ACS Finish Adventure" option.
When you place a store in a room (you may add up to 1 per region while
editing a room's contents), your things list will appear so that you can
select the store's inventory. You may pick from among the treasures, magic
items, weapons and armor in your list. How many you can have in inventory
for each item depends on what you chose for the "No one may own more than X
of these" option. Just keep pressing the joystick button over an item to
discover whether you can have only 1 or up to 3 of it in stock.
Stores know the value you have assigned to things in the adventure,
and they compute all transactions accordingly. Stores will also buy back
items at a reduced rate. The smarter a player/hero is (i.e., the higher
his or her Wisdom rating ) the better the deal.
10. Stacking Things on One Space - You may have more than 500 different
things in each region in an adventure, and if you wished, you could stack
them all on a single square in one room. And though you are not likely to
go to that extreme, you will find stacking things on top of each other very
useful for creating various special effects.
When you create a stack of things, it's important to remember that the
thing on top (the last one you put down) will be executed first. Also, if
a "Rid the Room of All Uncarried" spell names an item in a stack, that item
will also be removed when the spell is cast. And finally, an "activate all
things" spell activates only spells in the stack. Here are some special
effects you can create with stacks of things. Each stack is listed from
top to bottom.
A) Disease - This stack is both simple and deadly: 1) "Activate All Things"
Space, 2) "Increase Life Force by 10 Temporarily" Space, 3) "Decrease Life
Force by 10 Permanently" Space.
The adventurers leave the square the stack was on with the same amount
of Life Force that they entered with, but now 10 units of that Life Force
will tick away at the rate of 1 unit every few turns - about twice as fast
as Life Force regenerates when less than Constitution.
Four such disease would be enough to kill an adventurer. The rate of
decay would be too great for rest to overcome.
B) Using Endless Music Themes - Whenever you use the "Let ACS Finish the
Adventure" option, it always places the goal of the adventure on top of a
stack designed to give you musical accompaniment while you read the
congratulatory message for successful completing the adventure. This
"success stack" contains 1) the treasure/goal; 2) an "Activate All Things"
space; 3) a "Play Music" space set to play the endless theme which matches
the music mood for the adventure; 4) a "Display Message" space set to
display a congratulatory page of text; 5) a "Play Music" space set to play
the short fanfare.
After the player/character picks up the object, and then moves onto the
space, the Do-All spell puts everything in motion. The music starts to
play. The message appears as the music continues. When you press the
button again, the short fanfare plays, ending the "endless theme" in the
C) Let There Be Light - Here's how to create the effect of shining a light
into a dark room. Place objects in the room and cover them with "Invisible
Covers." Then put the following stack at the room's entrance: 1) an
"Activate All Things" Space; ) an "Open only to owners of a lantern/Rids
the room of all uncarried covers" Custom Space set to display the message,
"Your light shines into every nook and cranny"; 3) an "Open only to those
who don't own a lantern" space set with a do nothing spell which displays
the message " You can walk forward, but it's quite dark here."
The Do-All Space lets both passage conditions shine through but
continues only with the spell that was actually invoked. Player/characters
not carrying a lantern receive the message that it's dark. Those carrying
a lantern are told that light is shining into the room and they see items
The messages play a crucial role in this trick, by the way. By
persuading adventurers that they need a light, it sets their expectations
so they'll accept what they later see as the result of light being shined
into darkness. In good adventures, messages often work in this fashion.
Your ability to create depends greatly on how clever you are in using
messages to plant ideas you can play on later.
Graphics Reference Guide
You can have 3 "pages" (screens) of pictures with up to 16 pictures on the
first page, up to 48 on the second an up to 46 on the third - a total of
110 pictures in all.
The third page in the set is reserved for pictures of creatures -
that is, you may choose pictures from it only when selecting pictures for
creatures. The pictures from the first two pages can be used for anything
- terrain, things or creatures. Unless you make a change with the "Change
Definition of Map Terrain" option (in the "Edit World Map" group), the 16
pictures on page 1 are used by ACS as the world map terrain pictures.
Selecting a Picture to Edit - Moving the cursor back and forth along the
"Edit Another Picture" line at the bottom moves the selecting bars among
the pictures on the page. The picture being selected by the bars is
displayed just above the menus. If you want to draw a brand new picture,
select a blank space on the page. To choose a different page, select "Edit
Another Group of Pictures"
Drawing - Move the cursor up into the magnified version of the selected
picture. Hold the button to put down a block of the color currently
outlined by the selecting box. If you draw on top of colors different from
the one you're using, the new color will replace the old. If you draw on
top of the same color, the color will be replaced by the currently selected
background color (the top left one of the four currently available color
Selecting a Different Color - Selecting "Draw another Color" moves a
selecting rectangle among the four currently available color choices.
Selecting "Change Paint Color" changes the color in the selecting
rectangle. Changing the paint color in the top left choice changes the
background color. Any change in paint color will affect all pictures using
Erasing a Picture - To erase a picture, select the background color (top
left of the four possibilities), then draw over everything with that color.
Note: To draw pictures which won't blur into adjacent pictures when you
use them use only the background color for the the bottom and right edges
of the picture.
Provided by THE SOUTHERN STAR for M.A.A.D.