Provided by: spellcast_1.0-21_amd64 bug


       spellcast  -  a game of duelling wizards


       spellcast remotedisplay [ remotedisplay ...  ]

       One  game  window  will  appear  on the default display (determined by the contents of the
       DISPLAY environment variable.) The second will appear on remotedisplay,  which  should  be
       either  an  internet host name or a complete X display identifier (host:0.0, for example.)
       (If just a host name is given, display 0 and screen 0 are assumed.)  If more remotedisplay
       arguments are supplied, additional windows will appear on those screens, and you will have
       a game with three or more players.

       All other machines must  add  your  machine  to  their  X  access  lists,  using  xhost  +
       <machine_name>.   Please  be  careful  with this since using xhost + you open a really big
       hole in the security of your system. You should only allow access to trusted machines.

       There is a maximum of seven remotedisplay arguments -- ie, an eight-player game.


       The game makes use of two X resources:

       spellcast*name: namestring
       Sets the name used for your wizard. If you do not set this resource, the game assigns  the
       names "White", "Black", "Red", and so forth.
       By default, each character is male. You can specify a gender by giving a namestring of the

       name:f for a female character,

       name:m for a male,

       name:n for a character whose gender is ambiguous or not well-defined in human terms, and

       name:x for a genderless character.

       spellcast*font: fontname
       The font used for all text and labels in the game window. This should not be  larger  than
       about 12-point, or things will start to overflow their boundaries.


       This is a game concerning the imaginary conflict between two or more powerful wizards in a
       duel of sorcery. The opponents perform magical gestures with their hands to  create  their
       supernatural  weapons  --  spells.  Some  are so potent as to be able to blind a man, call
       forth terrifying creatures, or even kill the unfortunate victim  instantly.   Consequently
       each  wizard  must  rely  on his own cunning to be able to time enough defensive spells to
       avoid the brunt of his adversary's attack, yet force in sufficient offensive spells of his
       own  to  crack  the  magical  armour  of  his  opponent, and kill the wizard outright. The
       inventor wishes to state that he has never been involved in a magical duel  but  would  be
       interested to discover how realistic the game is for those who have...


       In  a  turn,  each wizard can either gesture with his hands for part of a spell, stab with
       his knife, or do nothing. They use both hands, and the hands can act either  independently
       or in concert. Monsters cannot make magical gestures but will obey their masters' commands
       exactly -- although the identity of the master could change as a  result  of  enchantment.
       Since  wizards  are trained intelligent humans, they are able to gesture and attack, using
       both  hands  independently  or  in  conjunction.  Each  monster,   being   an   untrained,
       unintelligent biped, attacks the same way every time and picks whichever victim its master
       decides. As a result, only wizards  can  gesture  and  cast  spells.   Players  personally
       acquainted  with monsters who wish to vouch for their ability to cast spells are requested
       to keep quiet.

       After choosing his or her gestures, each wizard must make a certain number of decisions --
       choosing  targets  for  his  spells,  ordering  his monsters to attack particular targets,
       deciding the effects of certain spells, and so forth. After all players have chosen  their
       gestures  and  made  any  necessary  decisions,  the effects of all spells and attacks are
       resolved simultaneously.  The next turn then begins.


       The spellcast window is divided into seven sections.

       The text window
       This is a large rectangle in the upper left side of the window.  It describes what happens
       in the duel, blow by blow. There is a scroll bar on the left side of the text window.

       The gesture history list
       This is several columns of small squares in the upper right side of the window -- one pair
       of columns for each player. The player's names are listed at the tops of the columns.

       Each column lists the recent gestures made by each player's left and right hands. The most
       recent  gestures  are  at the bottom; as more turns pass, the columns scroll upwards. Each
       square may show a spell-gesture, a knife stab, or no gesture (an empty square).  There may
       also be a 'disruption' icon, indicating that an 'anti-spell' has interrupted that wizard's
       gestures at that point, or a 'fog' icon, indicating that you could not  see  that  gesture
       (because of blindness, for example.)

       Note  that  everyone's  columns  in the history list do not necessarily scroll at the same
       rate. If one player makes extra gestures (because of a 'time-stop' or 'haste'), his column
       will  scroll  up  extra  spaces.   Do  not assume that gestures that appear to be lined up
       actually were performed at the same time.

       You also use the gesture history list to enter your gestures. At  the  beginning  of  each
       turn, the bottom (most recent) gestures in your column will be empty. (The bottom gestures
       in your opponent's column will be fogged, since you cannot see his gestures until you both
       finish  choosing.) If you move the mouse into one of your bottom gesture squares, and hold
       down the left mouse button, a pop-up menu will appear, listing the possible gestures  with
       that hand. When you have chosen gestures for both hands, press the "End Move" button.

       The status window
       This  is  the small window just below the gesture columns. It lists the name and status of
       every living being in the arena. Your name is at the top; your  opponent's  names  are  on
       successive lines. Names of monsters are indented, and listed below the wizards who control
       them. (Monsters who are uncontrolled are indented and listed at  the  top  of  the  status
       window  --  this  occurs mostly in three-player game where a wizard has summoned a monster
       and then died.) There is a scroll bar on the window, in  case  you  manage  to  have  more
       beings than will fit.

       After each name is the number of hit points that being has left.  After that, there may be
       some letters indicating that certain spells are in effect:

       I: invisible

       H: resistant to heat

       C: resistant to cold

       P: protection from evil

       b: blind

       d: diseased

       p: poisoned

       Speech window
       This is a narrow window, one line tall, below the status window.  Anything you  type  will
       appear  here  (the  cursor  need  not  be  in the speech window.) When you hit Return, the
       message you have typed will appear in each player's text window.

       The common Emacs editing keys will work: ctrl-F, ctrl-B, Delete, ctrl-A, ctrl-E, ctrl-K.

       Spell List button
       This is a button labelled "Spell List", underneath the text window.  If you press and hold
       the  mouse  button on this button, a pop-up window will appear, listing all the spells and
       the gestures that produce them.

       If you use the left mouse button, the spell list will be sorted by gesture. If you use the
       middle  mouse button, the list will be sorted alphabetically by spell name. If you use the
       right mouse button, the list will be sorted by the reversed gesture sequence  --  all  the
       spells  that  end  with  a  clap, then all the spells that end with a digit, and so forth.
       This is useful for looking up your opponent's gestures to see what he might be producing.

       End Move / End Answers button
       This is a button labelled "End Move", underneath the text window.   You  should  click  it
       when  you  are  finished  entering  your  gestures at the start of the turn. If the button
       changes to read "Move ENDED", then you should wait for your opponent  to  finish  entering
       his gestures.

       When  the last player presses the "End Move" button, the game will determine which players
       need to make decisions (about spell targets or other matters.) The decisions you  need  to
       make  will  be listed in the questions window below, and the "End Move" button will change
       to read "End Answers". When you are finished answering, press  the  button,  and  it  will
       change to "Answers ENDED".

       If  at  any  time the button reads "please wait...", then you have nothing to do but wait.
       (This may be because there are no decisions you have to make this turn,  or  because  your
       opponent is taking an extra turn because of a 'time stop' or something similar.) When your
       opponent is finished, he will click his "End" button and the game will proceed.

       When the duel is over, this button will change  to  say  "Quit".  When  all  players  have
       pressed it, the windows will be removed and the program will exit.

       Question window
       This  is  the  wide rectangle at the bottom of the screen. Whenever the game has decisions
       for you to make, it will put them in this window, one per line. (There is a scroll bar, in
       case  there  are more questions than lines.) Move the cursor onto a question and hold down
       the mouse button to get a pop-up menu listing the possible answers.

       You must have answers to all the questions before you click the "End Answers" button.   In
       some  cases,  there  will  be default answers already listed. You may change the answer or
       leave it alone.


       At the end of the game, in addition to his "Quit" button, the player who started the  game
       will see the question "Do you want to save a transcript of this game?" If he answers "yes"
       before hitting "Quit", the program will store a text transcript of the game in a temporary
       directory (usually /tmp, unless your environment is configured otherwise.) This transcript
       will show all gestures made by each player, as well as all the text of the game,  as  seen
       by  an  outside  observer.  Everything  said  by  any  of  the players will also be in the
       transcript, including comments made after the  end  of  the  game.  The  filename  of  the
       transcript will be printed on the standard output when all players have quit.


       Spells  are  created by sequences of gestures made with the hands.  There are five single-
       handed gestures: the fingers spread "F", the palm facing forward, "P", the snap  "S",  the
       wave  "W"  and  the pointing digit "D". Some spells use two-handed gestures, which must be
       done simultaneously with both hands to be valid. The most common two-handed gesture is the
       clap  "(c",  but  the  double  digit "(d", double wave "(w", and double snap "(s" are also
       used.  The other things which can be done with the hand are the  non-gestures:  the  knife
       stab "k" and nothing " ".
       (In  the  game,  the  gestures  are  represented  by  images  of  the hands in the various
       positions. The single-letter and parenthesis-letter abbreviations are used  only  to  make
       this man page readable.)

       To  cast a spell, gestures are put in an order characteristic of a spell. A list of spells
       (including the gestures needed for them) is given later.  For example, 3  finger  gestures
       on  consecutive  turns  (F-F-F) initiates a 'paralysis' spell. The uniqueness of the game,
       however, is that gestures can be made to operate in more than one spell, provided that:

       a) the gestures have been made in the correct sequence without

       b) not more than one spell is created per gesture;

       c) all gestures for one spell are made with the same hand.

       For instance, the left hand could cast the F-F-F above and could be followed by S-S-D-D in
       the  next  4 turns to finish off a 'fireball' spell (F-S-S-D-D) as the last 5 gestures are
       those associated with that spell. Another alternative is to simply perform another F for a
       second  paralysis spell, as the last 3 gestures are still F-F-F. Thus, it is apparent that
       if spells are used in a wise manner and overlap a lot,  the  overall  number  of  gestures
       needed to cast them can be cut quite dramatically.

       If  a  gesture  can  be construed to create two or more spells then the caster must choose
       which one he wants to use. For example, the last two gestures of a 'finger of  death'  are
       the same as 'missile', yet only on odd occasions would the latter be used. Another example
       of the one-spell-per-gesture concept is the following:

       Right hand:     P P W S    Last 4 gestures form 'invisibility'
       Left hand:      W W W S    Last 3 gestures form 'counter-spell'

       The trouble here is the 'invisibility' spell needs both hands to perform certain gestures.
       However,  since the final S of the left hand cannot complete two spells it is clear that a
       choice must be made between the W-W-S of the 'counter-spell'  and  the  P-P-(w-(s  of  the
       invisibility.   The  caster  must  choose  one  spell if the gestures are completed in the
       correct sequence. Most spells can be shot off to nowhere if not required, but some  cannot
       be;  for example, 'fire storm', which gets you no matter where it is released. Some of the
       larger spells have smaller ones incorporated within.

       Spells can be aborted any way along their development simply by performing a gesture  with
       the hand doing the spell which is not one needed for that spell. There is no penalty, save
       having wasted some time. Note that no spells contain "stab", "nothing", or "C" (half of  a
       clap) and consequently after pursuing one of these alternatives, any spell must start from
       scratch. Note also that wizards only have one dagger each, so they cannot stab  with  both
       hands at the same time (although they can change hands for stabbing without wasting time.)
       Such are the disadvantages of physical violence...

       Certain spells cancel each other if they take effect simultaneously. An obvious example is
       'finger  of  death'  and 'raise dead'. Cancellation occurs when the subject for the spells
       concerned is the same person, although there are some of  the  heat  versus  cold  variety
       which  don't  care who is the subject. Other spells which cancel harmlessly are mostly the
       enchantments, which direct that something be done which may be impossible to obey  due  to
       some  contradiction  (e.g.   you cannot both repeat last turn's gestures and give a random
       gesture with one hand, as you would if the subject of the spells 'amnesia' and 'confusion'
       at once).

       Since  spells  detonate  simultaneously, there is occasionally confusion over spells which
       don't cancel, yet which seem to depend on which happened first. The best example is when a
       monster  is  created  and,  on  the  same  turn,  hit  by  a 'fireball', or something else
       sufficient to kill it. Since both are simultaneous, the  monster  will  attack  that  turn
       whilst  being  destroyed. (There are some exceptions explicitly mentioned, for example ice
       elementals in 'ice storm', or 'counter-spell' / 'dispel magic' against all other spells.)

       Another example of a seeming conflict is when someone who is  resistant  to  fire  is  the
       subject  of  both a 'remove enchantment' and 'fireball'; the enchantment is removed as the
       fireball explodes (since they are simultaneous)  hence  the  poor  victim  is  fried.  If,
       instead,  he  were  not resistant to fire and was hit by a 'resist fire' and 'fireball' at
       once, then he would start to resist fire as the fireball exploded and thus be saved.

       Before the battle commences, the referee casts a 'dispel  magic'  followed  by  an  'anti-
       spell' at each of the wizards. This is so that they cannot commence gesturing prematurely.
       Thus being resistant to fire in your last battle doesn't do you any good in the next.


       Each wizard can sustain 14 points of damage, but on the 15th or  above  he  dies  and  the
       surviving  wizard is declared the winner.  Simultaneous death is a posthumous draw. Damage
       given to wizards and monsters is cumulative (so you don't have to do it all  in  one  go!)
       Dead monsters take no further part in the game.

       There is another alternative to being killed, namely the 'surrender'. This is not a spell,
       but a pair of P gestures made by both hands at the same time.  If  any  wizard  does  this
       (accidentally  or  deliberately), he has surrendered, and will be eliminated from the game
       at the end of that turn.  See the end of the spell list for details.


       There now follows, in four sections, a list of the spells which may be cast.

       Protection spells

       'Shield': P

       This spell protects the subject from all attacks from monsters (that is, creatures created
       by  a summoning spell), from 'missile' spells, and from stabs by wizards. The shield lasts
       for that turn only, but one shield will cover all such attacks made  against  the  subject
       that turn.

       'Remove enchantment': P-D-W-P

       If  the  subject  of  this  spell  is currently being affected by any of the spells in the
       "enchantments" section, or if spells from that section are cast at him at the same time as
       the  remove enchantment, then all such spells terminate immediately (although their effect
       for that turn might already have passed.) For example, the victim of a  'blindness'  spell
       would  not  be able to see what his opponent's gestures were on the turn that his sight is
       restored by a 'remove  enchantment'.  Note  that  the  'remove  enchantment'  affects  all
       enchantments  whether the caster wants them to all go or not. A second effect of the spell
       is to destroy any monster upon which it is cast, although the monster can attack  in  that

       'Magic mirror': (c-(w

       Any  spell cast at the subject of this spell is reflected back at the caster of that spell
       for that turn only. This includes spells like 'missile' and 'lightning bolt' but does  not
       include attacks by monsters already in existence, or stabs from wizards. Note that certain
       spells are cast by wizards usually upon themselves (e.g.  spells from this section and the
       "Summons"  section);  the  mirror has no effect on these spells.  It is countered totally,
       with no effect whatsoever, if  the  subject  is  the  simultaneous  subject  of  either  a
       'counter-spell'  or  'dispel magic'. It has no effect on spells which affect more than one
       person, such as 'fire storm'. Two mirrors cast at someone simultaneously combine to form a
       single  mirror.   If  a  spell  is reflected from a mirror back at a wizard who also has a
       mirror, the spell bounces back and forth until it falls apart.

       'Counter-spell': W-P-P or W-W-S

       Any other spell cast upon the subject in the same turn has no effect whatever. In the case
       of  blanket-type  spells,  which affect more than one person, the subject of the 'counter-
       spell' alone is protected. For example, a 'fire storm' spell would not affect a wizard  if
       that  wizard  was simultaneously the subject of a 'counter-spell', but everyone else would
       be affected as usual (unless they had their own  protection.)   The  'counter-spell'  will
       cancel  all  the  spells cast at the subject for that turn, including 'remove enchantment'
       and 'magic mirror', but not 'dispel magic' or 'finger of  death'.  It  will  combine  with
       another  spell  of  its  own  type for the same effect as if it were alone.  The 'counter-
       spell' will also act as a 'shield' on its subject, in addition to  its  other  properties.
       The spell has two alternative gesture sequences, either of which may be used at any time.

       'Dispel magic': (c-D-P-W

       This  spell  acts  as  a  combination of 'counter-spell' and 'remove enchantment', but its
       effects are universal rather than limited to the subject of the spell. It  will  stop  any
       spell  cast  in  the same turn from working (apart from another 'dispel magic' spell which
       combines with it for the same result), and will remove all enchantments  from  all  beings
       before they have effect. In addition, all monsters are destroyed, although they can attack
       that turn. 'Counter-spells' and 'magic mirrors' have no effect. Like the  'counter-spell',
       it  also  acts  as  a  'shield'  for  its subject. 'Dispel magic' will not dispel stabs or
       surrenders, since they are not spells (although the 'shield' effect may block a stab.)

       'Raise dead': D-W-W-F-W-(c

       The subject of this spell is usually a recently dead human or monster corpse (it will  not
       work  on  elementals,  which  dissipate  when destroyed.)  When the spell is cast, life is
       instilled back into the corpse and any damage which it has sustained is  cured  until  the
       owner  is  back  to  his  usual  state  of  health.  A 'remove enchantment' effect is also
       manifest so any 'diseases' or 'poisons' will be neutralized (plus any other enchantments).
       The  subject  will be able to act as normal immediately, so that next turn he can gesture,
       fight, etc. If the subject is a monster, it will be under the control of  the  wizard  who
       raised it, and it will be able to attack that turn.
       If  the  spell  is  cast  on  a  live  individual,  the  effect is that of a 'cure wounds'
       recovering 5 points of damage, or as many as have been sustained if less than 5.  In  this
       case, 'diseases', 'poisons', and other enchantments are not removed.
       This  is the only spell which affects corpses properly; therefore, it cannot be stopped by
       a 'counter-spell', since 'counter-spell' can only be cast  on  living  beings.  A  'dispel
       magic'  spell  will  stop  it, since that affects all spells no matter what their subject.
       Once alive the subject is treated as normal.

       'Cure light wounds': D-F-W

       If the subject has received damage then he is cured by 1 point as if that  point  had  not
       been inflicted. (Recall that all spells are resolved simultanously; if a wizard is suffers
       his 15th point of damage at the same time as he is affected by  'cure  light  wounds',  he
       will  remain  alive  with  14  points of damage at the end of the turn.) The effect is not
       removed by a 'dispel magic' or 'remove enchantment'.

       'Cure heavy wounds': D-F-P-W

       This spell is the same as 'cure light wounds' for its effect, but 2 points of  damage  are
       cured  instead  of  1,  or  only 1 if only 1 had been sustained. A side effect is that the
       spell will also cure a disease. (Note that 'raise dead' on a live individual won't).

       Summons spells

       'Summon Goblin': S-F-W

       This spell creates a goblin under the control of the wizard upon whom the spell  is  cast.
       The  goblin  can  attack immediately and its victim can be any any wizard or other monster
       the controller desires.  The goblin does 1 point of damage to its victim per turn  and  is
       destroyed after 1 point of damage is inflicted upon it.

       'Summon Ogre': P-S-F-W

       This  spell is the same as 'summon goblin', but the ogre created inflicts and is destroyed
       by 2 points of damage rather than 1.

       'Summon Troll': F-P-S-F-W

       This spell is the same as 'summon goblin', but the troll created inflicts and is destroyed
       by 3 points of damage rather than 1.

       'Summon Giant': W-F-P-S-F-W

       This spell is the same as 'summon goblin', but the giant created inflicts and is destroyed
       by 4 points of damage rather than 1.

       'Summon Elemental': (c-S-W-W-S

       This spell creates either a fire elemental or an ice elemental, at the discretion  of  the
       wizard upon whom the spell is cast (after he has seen all the gestures made that turn.)

       Elementals  must  be cast at someone and cannot be "shot off" harmlessly at some inanimate
       object. The elemental will, for that turn and until destroyed, attack everyone  (including
       its  owner,  and  other  monsters),  causing 3 points of damage per turn. Only wizards and
       monsters who are resistant to the elemental's element  (heat  or  cold),  or  who  have  a
       'shield'  or  a  spell  with a 'shield' effect, are safe.  The elemental takes 3 points of
       damage to be killed but may be destroyed by  spells  of  the  opposite  type  (e.g.  'fire
       storm',  'resist cold' or 'fireball' will kill an ice elemental), and will also neutralize
       the cancelling spell. Elementals will not attack on the turn they are destroyed by such  a
       spell. An elemental will also be engulfed and destroyed by a storm of its own type but, in
       such an event, the storm is not neutralized although the elemental still does  not  attack
       in  that  turn.   Two  elementals of the opposite type will also destroy each other before
       attacking, and two of the same type will join together  to  form  a  single  elemental  of
       normal  strength.  If  there  are  two  opposite  storms and an elemental, or two opposite
       elementals and one or two storms, all storms and elementals cancel each other out.

       Damaging Spells

       'Missile': S-D

       This spell creates a material object of hard substance which is hurled towards the subject
       of  the  spell  and  causes  him 1 point of damage. The spell is thwarted by a 'shield' in
       addition to the usual 'counter-spell', 'dispel  magic'  and  'magic  mirror'  (the  latter
       causing it to hit whoever cast it instead).

       'Finger of Death': P-W-P-F-S-S-S-D

       Kills  the  subject  stone  dead.  This  spell  is  so powerful that it is unaffected by a
       'counter-spell', although a 'dispel magic' spell cast upon the final gesture will stop it.
       The  usual  way  to  prevent being harmed by this spell is to disrupt it during casting --
       using an 'anti-spell', for example.

       'Lightning Bolt': D-F-F-D-D or W-D-D-(c

       The subject of this spell is hit by a bolt of lightning and sustains 5 points  of  damage.
       Resistance  to  heat  or  cold  is  irrelevant. There are two gesture combinations for the
       spell, but the shorter one may be used only once per battle by any wizard. The longer  one
       may be used without restriction. A 'shield' spell offers no defence.

       'Cause Light Wounds': W-F-P

       The  subject  of  this  spell is inflicted with 2 points of damage.  Resistance to heat or
       cold offers no defence. A simultaneous 'cure light wounds' does not cancel the  spell;  it
       only heals one of the points of damage. A 'shield' has no effect.

       'Cause Heavy Wounds': W-P-F-D

       This  has  the same effect as 'cause light wounds' but inflicts 3 points of damage instead
       of 2.

       'Fireball': F-S-S-D-D

       The subject of this spell is hit by a ball of fire, and sustains 5 points of damage unless
       he  is  resistant to fire. If at the same time an 'ice storm' prevails, the subject of the
       'fireball' is instead not harmed by either spell, although the storm will affect others as
       normal.  If  directed  at  an  ice  elemental,  the fireball will destroy it before it can

       'Fire storm': S-W-W-(c

       Everything not resistant to heat sustains 5 points of damage that turn. The spell  cancels
       wholly, causing no damage, with either an 'ice storm' or an ice elemental. It will destroy
       but not be destroyed by a fire elemental. Two 'fire storms' act as one.

       'Ice storm': W-S-S-(c

       Everything not resistant to cold sustains 5 points of damage that turn. The spell  cancels
       wholly,  causing no damage, with either a 'fire storm' or a fire elemental; it will cancel
       locally with a 'fireball', sparing the subject of the 'fireball' but nobody else.  It will
       destroy but not be destroyed by an ice elemental. Two 'ice storms' act as one.


       'Amnesia': D-P-P

       If  the  subject  of  this  spell  is  a  wizard, next turn he must repeat identically the
       gestures he made in the current turn, including "nothing" and  "stab"  gestures.   If  the
       subject  is  a  monster  it  will  attack whoever it attacked this turn. If the subject is
       simultaneously the subject  of  any  of  'confusion',  'charm  person',  'charm  monster',
       'paralysis' or 'fear' then none of the spells work.

       'Confusion': D-S-F

       If  the  subject  of this spell is a wizard, next turn one of his gestures will be changed
       randomly. Either his left or his right hand (50% chance of either) will  perform  a  half-
       clap,  palm,  digit,  fingers, snap, or wave (chosen at random). (Recall that a one-handed
       clap is useless unless the other hand also attempts to clap.)  If the subject of the spell
       is a monster, it attacks at random that turn. If the subject is also the subject of any of
       'amnesia', 'charm person', 'charm monster', 'paralysis' or  'fear',  none  of  the  spells

       'Charm Person': P-S-D-F

       Except for cancellation with other enchantments, this spell only affects wizards. When the
       spell is cast, the caster tells the subject which of his hands will be controlled; in  the
       following  turn,  the  caster  chooses  the  gesture he wants the subject's chosen hand to
       perform. This could be a stab or nothing.  If the 'charm person'  spell  reflects  from  a
       'magic  mirror'  back  at its caster, the subject of the mirror assumes the role of caster
       and controls down his opponent's gesture. If the subject is also the  subject  of  any  of
       'amnesia', 'confusion', 'charm monster', 'paralysis' or 'fear', none of the spells work.

       'Charm Monster': P-S-D-D

       Except  for  cancellation  with  other  enchantments,  this  spell  only  affects monsters
       (including elementals, though it's not very usefel on them!). Control of  the  monster  is
       transferred  to  the  caster  of the spell (or retained by him) as of this turn; i.e., the
       monster will attack whosoever its new controller dictates from that turn onwards including
       that turn. Further charms are, of course, possible, transferring as before. If the subject
       of the charm is also the subject of any of: 'amnesia', 'confusion', 'charm person', 'fear'
       or 'paralysis', none of the spells work.

       'Paralysis': F-F-F

       If  the  subject  of  the  spell  is  a  wizard, then on the turn the spell is cast, after
       gestures have been revealed, the caster selects one of the wizard's  hands;  on  the  next
       turn  that  hand  is paralyzed into the position it is in this turn. If the wizard already
       had a paralyzed hand, it must be the same hand which is  paralyzed  again.  Most  gestures
       remain  the  same  (including  "stab"  and  "nothing"), but if the hand being paralyzed is
       performing a C, S, or W it is instead paralyzed into F, D, or P respectively.  A favourite
       ploy  is  to  continually paralyze a hand (F-F-F-F-F-F etc.) into a non-P gesture and then
       set a monster on the subject so that he has to use his other hand to protect himself,  but
       then  has  no  defence  against  other  magical  attacks. If the subject of the spell is a
       monster, it simply does not attack in the turn following the one in which  the  spell  was
       cast.  Elementals  are unaffected.  If the subject of the spell is also the subject of any
       of 'amnesia', 'confusion', 'charm person', 'charm monster' or 'fear', none of  the  spells

       'Fear': S-W-D

       In the turn following the casting of this spell, the subject cannot perform a C, D, F or S
       gesture with either hand. (He  can  stab,  however.)  This  obviously  has  no  effect  on
       monsters.   If  the subject is also the subject of 'amnesia', 'confusion', 'charm person',
       'charm monster' or 'paralysis', then none of the spells work.

       'Anti-spell': S-P-F

       On the turn following the casting of this spell, the subject cannot include  any  gestures
       made  on  or  before  this  turn in a spell sequence and must restart a new spell from the
       beginning of that  spell  sequence.  (This  is  marked  by  a  special  'disruption'  icon
       interrupting  the  subject's gesture history.)  The spell does not affect spells which are
       cast on the same turn; nor does it affect monsters.

       'Protection from Evil': W-W-P

       For this turn and the following three turns, the subject of this spell is protected as  if
       using a 'shield' spell, thus leaving both hands free.  Concurrent 'shield' spells offer no
       further protection, and compound 'protection from evil' spells merely overlap offering  no
       extra cover.

       'Resist Heat': W-W-F-P

       The  subject  of  this  spell  becomes  permanently  resistant to all forms of heat attack
       ('fireball',  'fire  storm'  and  fire  elementals).  Only  'dispel  magic'   or   'remove
       enchantment'  will terminate this resistance once started (although a 'counter-spell' will
       prevent it from working if cast at the subject at the same time as this spell). A  'resist
       heat'  cast  directly  on a fire elemental will destroy it before it can attack that turn,
       but there is no effect on ice elementals.

       'Resist Cold': S-S-F-P

       The effects of this spell are identical to 'resist heat' but resistance is to  cold  ('ice
       storm'  and  ice  elementals).  It  destroys ice elementals if they are the subject of the
       spell, but doesn't affect fire elementals.

       'Disease': D-S-F-F-F-(c

       The subject of this spell immediately contracts a deadly  (non-contagious)  disease  which
       will  kill  him  at the end of 6 turns counting from the one upon which the spell is cast.
       The malady is cured by 'remove enchantment', 'cure heavy wounds' or 'dispel magic' in  the

       'Poison': D-W-W-F-W-D

       This  is similar to the 'disease' spell, except that 'cure heavy wounds' does not stop its

       'Blindness': D-W-F-F-(d

       For the next three turns (not including the one in which the spell was cast), the  subject
       is  unable  to  see.  If  he is a wizard, he cannot tell what his opponent's gestures are,
       although he will sense what spells are cast. If he tries to cast spells (or stab) at other
       beings,  he  will miss. Blinded monsters are instantly destroyed and cannot attack in that

       'Invisibility': P-P-(w-(s

       This spell is similar to 'blindness'; the subject of the spell becomes  invisible  to  his
       opponent  and his monsters. His gestures cannot be seen, although his spells can. No other
       being can attack or cast spells at him, with the exception  of  elementals.   Any  monster
       made  invisible  is  destroyed  due  to  the  unstable  nature  of  such magically created

       'Haste': P-W-P-W-W-(c

       For the next three turns, the subject is speeded up; wizards can  make  an  extra  set  of
       gestures, and monsters can make an extra attack.  For wizards, the effects of both sets of
       gestures are taken simultaneously at the end of the turn.  Thus a  single  'counter-spell'
       from  his  adversary could cancel two spells cast by the hastened wizard on two half-turns
       if the phasing is right. Non-hastened wizards and monsters can see everything the hastened
       individual is doing.  Hastened monsters can change target in the extra turns if desired.

       'Time stop': S-P-P-(c

       The subject of this spell immediately takes an extra turn, on which no-one can see or know
       about unless they are harmed. All non-affected beings have no resistance to  any  form  of
       attack,  e.g.  a wizard halfway through the duration of a 'protection from evil' spell can
       be harmed by a monster which has  had  its  time  stopped.  Time-stopped  monsters  attack
       whoever   their   controller  instructs,  and  time-stopped  elementals  affect  everyone,
       resistance to heat or cold being immaterial in that turn.

       'Delayed effect': D-W-S-S-S-P

       This spell must be cast upon a wizard. The next spell the subject completes,  provided  it
       is in one of the next three turns, is "banked" until needed -- i.e. it fails to work until
       its caster desires.  (If you have a spell banked, you will be asked each turn if you  want
       to  release  it.) Note that spells banked are those cast by the subject, not those cast at
       him. If he casts more than one spell at the same time, he chooses which is to  be  banked.
       Remember  that P is a 'shield' spell, and surrender is not a spell. A wizard may only have
       one spell banked at any one time.

       'Permanency': S-P-F-P-S-D-W

       This spell must be upon a wizard. The next spell he completes, provided it is in the  next
       three turns, and which falls into the category of "Enchantments" will have its effect made
       permanent.  (Exeptions: 'anti-spell', 'disease', 'poison', 'time-stop', 'delayed  effect',
       and  'permanency'  cannot be made permanent. Note that 'resist heat' and 'resist cold' are
       inherently permanent enchantments.)  This means that the effect of the extended  spell  on
       the  first  turn  of  its duration is repeated eternally. For example, a 'confusion' spell
       will produce the same gesture on the same hand rather than changing randomly each turn;  a
       'charm  person'  will  mean  repetition  of the chosen gesture, etc. If the subject of the
       'permanency' casts more than one spell at  the  same  time  eligible  for  permanency,  he
       chooses  which  has  its  duration  extended.  Note that the person who has his spell made
       permanent does not necessarily have to make himself the subject of the spell.  If  both  a
       'permanency'  and  'delayed  effect'  are  eligible  for  the  same  spell to be banked or
       extended, a choice must be made; whichever is not chosen will  affect  the  next  eligible
       spell instead.


       'Surrender': (p

       This  is  not a spell; consequently, it cannot be cast at anyone, nor can it be dispelled,
       counter-spelled, reflected off a mirror, or banked.  A wizard who makes two simultaneous P
       gestures, irrespective of whether they terminate spells or not, surrenders and the contest
       is over. The surrendering wizard is deemed to  have  lost  unless  his  gestures  complete
       spells  which  kill  his  opponent.  Two  simultaneous surrenders count as a draw. It is a
       necessary skill for wizards to work their spells so that they never  accidentally  perform
       two  P  gestures  simultaneously.   Wizards  can  be killed as they surrender (if hit with
       appropriate spells or attacks) but the "referees" will cure any  diseases,  poisons,  etc.
       immediately after the surrender for them.

       'Stab': stab

       This  is  not  a  spell,  but an attack which can be directed at any individual monster or
       wizard. Unless protected in that turn by a 'shield' spell or another spell with  the  same
       effect,  the  target  stabbed suffers 1 point of damage. The wizard only has one knife, so
       can only stab with one hand in any turn, although which  hand  doesn't  matter.  The  stab
       cannot be reflected, counter-spelled, dispelled, or banked.


       Does  not  conform  exactly  to  the  original  Spellcaster  rules.  Tough. Some points of

       The choosing of targets for monsters is handled much too late in the  round,  and  monster
       attacks  are  not  perfectly  simultaneous with spell attacks. This results in a number of
       minor effects which are inconsistent with the original rules. Since I don't plan to  do  a
       major rewrite anytime soon, you just get to live with it.

       If  'remove enchantment' is cast on a wizard who is also the subject of a summoning spell,
       the summoned monster should be destroyed after attacking.

       If a mind-control spell (paralysis, confusion, amnesia) is cast on a monster  by  a  time-
       stopped  wizard,  the spell should take effect on the next turn, rather than (as currently
       happens) the turn after next.

       The 'delayed effect' and 'permanency' spells should be able to bank or extend spells  cast
       during the same turn, as well as those cast during the next three turns.


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


       Andrew Plotkin <>

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