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Arrowbridge I: The Quest for the Orb

Preface

Arrowbridge is a game based on Dungeons & Dragons but is far simpler, and at the same time far more complicated. The game is designed to be as realistic as possible without making it unplayable. The most enjoyable aspect of the game is the ability to compete with up to one hundred other REAL players and other Bulletin Board Systems. Players that sleep in the wilderness can be encountered by live players and the program will act on their behalf. The game can be played instantly by beginners as it is very simple for low level players and particularly easy to play even if the user has never played any form of role playing game. Once a player has reached higher levels the game becomes particularly complex as players have to juggle armies, castles, groups, taxation, assassins, and many other features. All in all, there is something for everyone!

Note: Unregistered versions do not permit the purchase of riders & knights and players will not be able to advance to level 10. Registration is inexpensive - see the sysop.doc file for more information.


History of Arrowbridge

Five thousand years ago an evil wizard named Zombre Bryan dominated the land. This barbaric ruler was thought to have been incarnated by Lucifer himself. His great powers caused lakes and rivers to dry up, crops died and the land became totally infertile. Over three quarters of the villagers perished in less than four years and his great armies murdered those who would not (and could not) pay their excessively high taxes.

Prince Tabian, son of the murdered king, formed an army of lawless resolutes, which, with the aid of the mystic orb created by the wizard Merxon, finally became known as the Legion of Arrowbridge. The Legion hunted the armies of Zombre Bryan for several decades and finally destroyed his empire. The evil wizard disappeared a few months prior to his armies' extinction and has never been seen again.

Recently, there has been renewed interest in the realms of Arrowbridge by the forces of evil. Mystics all over the land report evidence of increasing evil presence. The Orb of Tabian also, has been missing for over one thousand years and there is growing concern that its mighty power may cause the destruction of all that reside in the land if it is discovered. A call has gone out by the wizard Merxon for a champion to rid the land of the evil invaders and reclaim the lost Orb!


Character Classes

There are four classes available to thee. The capabilities of each class are shown below:

Class: Knight
  • Best Weapon: Two-Handed Sword

  • Best Projectile: Crossbow

  • Best Armour: Full Plate

  • Best Shield: God

  • Moves Per Day: Standard

  • Special Abilities:

    • Strength - A Knight is the strongest character class. A Knight will inflict more damage per hit in combat, have a higher maximum health point count, and will be able to carry more equipment than other class of similar level and will defend more effectively.

    • Powerblow - A Knight will be able to use a special ability called the Powerblow once every (20-level) combat rounds. When an enemy is struck with a Powerblow, double damage will be inflicted.

    • Army Command - A Knight will receive a 15% bonus on the strength of any army that they command.

Class: Thief
  • Best Weapon: Short-sword

  • Best Projectile: Crossbow

  • Best Armour: Ring Mail

  • Best Shield: Small

  • Moves Per Day: (1+level/20) times that of other classes

  • Special Abilities:

    • Concealment - Thieves will not be visible to other players when travelling in the wilderness unless accompanied by an army.

    • Perception - Thieves will be able to use their acute sense of perception to detect most secret passages automatically in dungeons.

    • Agility - Thieves can avoid projectiles with greater ease and are typically very difficult to strike. A thief can also travel far greater distances in a single day. Thieves begin combat rounds at greater distances from the enemy and will often have extra combat rounds.

    • Backstab - The first attack of a thief will incur in excess of double the usual damage due to the backstab ability.

    • Steal - Thieves can steal gold from castle treasuries. The amount they are capable of stealing is (level^2)*20 but if funds are insufficient or if the guards are particularly alert then they will be caught.

Class: Wizard
  • Best Weapon: Mace

  • Best Projectile: Sling

  • Best Armour: Hardened Leather

  • Best Shield: Wooden

  • Moves Per Day: Standard

  • Special Abilities:

    • Magic - Wizards are masters of magic and can cast many powerful spells. A high level wizard is a very powerful adversary! The ability to heal makes a wizard difficult to defeat.

Class: Ranger
  • Best Weapon: Two-Handed Sword

  • Best Projectile: Crossbow

  • Best Armour: Full Plate

  • Best Shield: Dragon

  • Moves Per Day: Standard

  • Special Abilities:

      Non-offensive Magic - Rangers have mastered some non-offensive spells to assist them in their adventures.

Level and Experience

Experience is accumulated by killing monsters that threaten thee or through army battles. Thy level will be promoted automatically when thy experience is sufficient. However, once level eight is reached, further advancement will only be granted after completion of a special mission.


Gold

Gold can be found scattered around the land, by killing monsters or by raiding the burial chambers located in graveyards.


Settlement Commands

Within each settlement the following options will be available:
  • [A]rmy - Armies may be purchased by adventurers of any level. Riders and Knights can be purchased only from special settlements.

  • [B]ank - Which Bank? Arrowbank! Options include:

    • [C]urrent Balance - Shows thy bank balance (gains 1% interest per day)

    • [D]eposit - Deposit into thine account or another's.

    • [L]oans - Borrow gold for purchases (5% interest per day)

    • [W]ithdraw - Withdraw from thy account.

  • [C]astle Commands - Access the commands for castle owners or when laying seige to a castle. [See "Castle Commands" for more information]

  • [G]amble - Enter the roulette chamber and gamble thy gold! Note: The maximum amount of gold that can be gambled in any one bet is 20000 gp.

  • [H]eal - Heal thy wounds and cure thy poison.

  • [L]ibrary - The library contains valuable information, past and present. The library functions are as follows:

    • [I]nstructions - This document!

    • [L]ist of Adventurers - Displays a ranked list of adventurers in this land of Arrowbridge.

    • [N]etwork List - Displays a sorted list of networked adventurers.

    • [P]ost Message - Send another adventurer a message on the noticeboard. Messages may be posted to other systems when operating in an Inter-BBS mode.

    • [T]op Adventurers - Displays a list of adventurers who have advanced considerably in the history of the game.

    • [W]ho is in Arrowbridge - Shows adventurers currently in the land of Arrowbridge and their activity.

  • [P]otions - Healing potions are available from towns. They can be particularly helpful when travelling far from a settlement. At least one potion should be carried at all times. Potions will also cure thy poison.

  • [R]etire to Inn - Sleep in safety. An inn is 100% safe from intruders.

  • [S]tore - Purchase weapons, armour, projectiles, shields and torches.

  • [T]avern - Important information can be gained from those in the tavern! Not only do taverns produce some of the finest ale in the land, but many interesting characters can be found in the taverns dotted throughout the realm. Visit taverns often. Beware: thou must not drink too much.

The Noticeboard

A noticeboard will be displayed upon entry into any settlement if there are any messages for thee.


Combat Commands

Combat takes place when an enemy is encountered. It is performed on a round-by-round basis. As thy level increases, thou will be able to perform more attacks in a single round when attacking lower level enemies.
  • [A]ttack - Attack thine enemy with thy melee weapon.

  • [C]ast - Allows wizards and rangers to cast combat spells.

  • [D]rink - Drink a healing potion for extra health and poison curing.

  • [F]ire - Fires a projectile at thine enemy. The chance of a standard projectile missing is proportional to the distance that the projectile must travel. Projectiles cannot be fired when adjacent to thy enemy. Projectiles may occasionally strike thy opponent as a critical hit - for example, penetrating an eye, and in such cases much more damage will be inflicted.

  • [1-9] - Movement commands. Use thy keypad and ensure Num Lock is ON!

Note that melee and projectile weapons may only be used if they have been previously arranged by the [A]rrange command in the movement menu.


Movement Commands
  • [N,E,S,W] Direction commands

  • [A]rrange/Drop - Change or drop thy weapon, armour, shield or projectile. This must be done if a new item is to be used in combat.

  • [C]ast - Allows Wizards and Rangers to cast a spell

  • [D]rink - Drink thy healing potion. This will both heal thee and cure thy poison.

  • [L]ook - Search the surrounding area for other adventurers, dragon lairs, burial chambers, etc.

  • [P]eer - Peer into a gem to view a map of the surrounding countryside. Gems are only usable in direct sunlight, and as such, do not function in the underworld.

  • [R]etire - Retire in the wilderness. Note that other adventurers WILL be able to encounter thee!

  • [V]iew - View thy statistics

The Environment

Seasons - The seasons will change as the year progresses.

Weather - The weather changes hour by hour. The bridges in the land may be flooded during stormy weather and nastier monsters may appear as the weather degenerates. Beware!

Time - The time of day will progress as thou move through the game. The time of day depends on the number of moves thou hast made. Make haste to an Inn when twilight strikes as sleeping outdoors gives thy enemies a chance to attack thee.


Armies

Armies may be purchased from any city. There are three types of men that can be purchased and the prices vary according to the number available. The equivalent strengths of the type of men are shown below:
  • 1 Guard = 1 Guard
  • 1 Rider = 5 Guards
  • 1 Knight = 12 Guards
Knight adventurers will automatically receive a +15% bonus on the army strength due to their ability to command armies.


Castles

Castles provide a store for all thy accumulated wealth, earning great interest. Castles are also a protective environment for thy army.

Castles may be taken by any player with an army. Protection of a castle incurs bonuses on thine army strength as follows:
  • +10% when defending thy castle
  • +10% if thou art sleeping in the castle with thy men
If the KING of Arrowbridge is sleeping in a castle then his personal escort of 200 Royal Knights will be on guard and "The Royal Guard is Posted" message will be presented when thou enter the castle.

Options available to castle owners are:
  • [B]uild personal army - Take men from the castle for thy own campaigne.

  • [C]astle Treasury - Deposit or withdraw funds from thy castle treasury. Interest is calculated at 2% per day but the treasury will be available to any army that captures the castle.

  • [F]lag - Set thy flag design.

  • [H]enchman - Send a henchman after any adventurer that thou chooseth. Castle henchment are far cheaper than standard assassins. The KING will be able to send a higher level henchman than any other castle owner.

  • [L]eave men on guard - Post the castle guard.

  • [S]teal gold - Thieves may steal from the treasury. If caught, a message will be sent to the castle owner reporting the incident and the player will be thrown into a cell for the remainder of the game and will not be released until the following day.

  • [T]ax Level - Set the tax level that will be collected by thy tax collector. A tax collector (LV 13) must be first hired before any taxes will be collected. The tax collector will only tax players of level 11 and below so that he will not place himself at any extreme risk. The tax collector will collect taxes from those that wander into the particular shire that the castle governs.

    Note that all taxes gathered by the tax collector will be automatically placed into thy castle treasury. Also, each day the treasury will accumulate interest at 2% but 1 gold per man in thy castle army will be subtracted to cover army expenses. If thy treasury funds are insufficient to support thy castle army then army members will gradually leave thine army!

King of Arrowbridge

The King of Arrowbridge shall be the adventurer that captures the Castle of Arrowbridge. The King shall be awarded a personal escort, The Royal Guard, which is the equivalent of two hundred knights. The name of the current King will be displayed when each new day is begun.


Spell List
  • [A] Torchlight - Provides illumination in the darkest of places. [WR]

  • [B] Cure - Cure thy poison. This spell may have to be cast several times to totally cure thee when thou art severely poisoned. [WR]

  • [C] Detect Traps - This spell will permit thee to detect traps when opening treasure chests before they are discovered by accident. Note that there is a 20% chance of failure. [WR]

  • [D] Magic Missile - The main offensive spell of the Wizard. This spell is cast as a projectile and will damage thine enemy according to thy level. This spell will never miss thy target. [W]

  • [E] Turn Dead - This spell will cause damage to any undead creature. Note that it is effective only once per encounter. [W]

  • [F] Strength - Added strength will permit thee to inflict more damage and have a greater chance of penetrating thy enemy's defenses during melee combat. Missile combat is unaffected by this spell. [W]

  • [G] Heal - Heal thy wounds. This spell may have to be cast several times in order to fully heal a seriously wounded adventurer. [WR]

  • [H] Protection - This will increase thine armour and shielding strength, decreasing the chance of an enemy strike against thee. [W]

  • [I] Enslave - When cast on a Black Orc, the enemy will be transformed into a Rider in thy army. [W]

  • [J] Perception - This will enable the caster to have an increased perceptive ability, resulting in detection of characters in the wilderness and secret passages in the underworld. [WR]

  • [K] Raise Dead - When cast in a Graveyard during twilight, this necromantic spell will raise several corpses per casting and add them, as guards, to thine army. [W]

  • [L] Lightning - Perhaps the most powerful of all combat spells. This spell will project a bolt of lightning causing severe damage to thine enemy. It does, however, drain thy magic points quickly. [W]
Key: [W]=Wizard Only, [WR]=Wizard & Ranger


Experience Required

The following table shows the experience required for all character classes.

Level Experience Needed
10
210
360
4140
5290
6550
71020
81860
93360
106040
1110,840
1219,440
1334,840
1462,390
15111,710
16200,000


Equipment Masses

All equipment carried has a mass that adds to thy encumberance as listed in the tables below:

Weapon Mass
Dagger1
Cudgel3
Whip4
Mace6
Short-Sword12
Sword19
Morning Star30
Battleaxe31
Two-Handed50

Armour Mass
Cloth4
Padded Leather9
Hardened Leather12
Ring Mail15
Scale Mail22
Chain Mail33
Full Plate50

Shield Mass
Wooden5
Small8
Medium13
Large20
Dragon36
God43

Projectile Weapon Mass
Sling2
Short Bow5
Long Bow10
Crossbow40

Other Item Mass
1000 Gold Pieces1
Gem1
Torch2
Healing Potion8