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DM FAQ – Or: What the hell are these people talking about?

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Last Revised (8/8/95)

There is a lot of terms used in the Duelmasters Roundtable: here are some
of them:

Caveat Emptor:  We really don't know!  All of this information has been
collated by a number of individuals over several years.  RSI can ( and
does ) modify the program; such events will invalidate some part of what
is written here.  We can only infer ru les by a lack of exceptions -
although this information is the product of dozens or hundreds of people
playing from the beginning, it is not exhaustive.  Some of this
information is taken from RSI publications.

What is AD?

	Advanced Duelmasters - This is a separate game, where your
warriors are immortal -- should they be slain, they come back next turn.
You can play as long as you care.  Trains become somewhat easier, although
your opponents have much more experience.  The
 maximum statistic limit goes up to 25, which is considered superhuman - the  
gain in ability from raising a stat from 21 to 25 is much more than from 9 to  
13, for example.

How do I get a warrior to AD?

	1) You need to have 17 political points (PP).  Every turn in the
Challenger Champs classification gains 2 PP, every turn as Duelmasters
gives 5, and winning eight fights or more in a tournament ( a TV ) gives 5.
	2) Wins and total fights: 20 fights, 14 wins.
	3) Skill requirements: One Advanced Expert, and one Expert.

	Note:  Fights and skill levels can be reduced by a number of TV's
(sandbagger rule), or incredible number of arena fights, (pud rule)
	30 FE and you can get by with two Experts.  40 FE and a
single Expert.  50 FE, and no Experts are necessary, provided that the
warrior has political points  and 14 wins.

	The 14 wins are necessary, unless you have TV's.  Innocence, a warrior 
from Dullens, had over 100 fights before her 14th win and invite.

	Once invited, a new, current, rollup sheet is sent out to you.  It
lists your favorite weapon, favorite rhythm, favorite learn, and possibly
a favored tactic(s).  It is not exactly quantified what a favorite does
for you, but it does give substantially m ore critical attacks with that
weapon.  Your favored skill learn probably was quite obvious to you by the
time that you got the invite. Rhythms are in five categories: Very Low,
Low, Moderate, High, and Very High for both Offensive Effort and Activity
Lev el. A warrior receives some sort of bonus by running at these values;
exact quantification does not exist. Favorite Learn seems arbitrary - not
dependent on style. Favorite weapons must be well-suited to your style.
Regardless of your stats, you are alway s well suited to your favored
weapon in ADM.  A warrior's fighting style gives a range in which
Offensive Effort and Activity Level exist - Total Parries don't get Very
High/Very High! Tactics are defined oddly, certain styles get very few
tactics, such a s Slashers, and other styles seem to have a greater range
of tactics, plus more likely to receive one. A tactic does not have to
make sense with the favorite weapon - a Striker could get Dagger as a
favorite weapon, and Bash as a tactic.

	After the invitation is received, the warrior is eligible for one
last fight in regular arena. Many managers fight the Dark Arena for the
last fight -- why not?  Win or lose, you will go to Advance Duelmasters.
You will also get to fight knowing your fa vorite weapon and fighting
rhythm.

What are the AD classifications?

	Twice a year, RSI runs the split, to place Advanced Duelmaster
warriors into several categories: The criteria are: total skill level,
number of stats trained, and win/loss record, and total number of fights.
The categories are: Primus Inducted , Primus Eligible, ADM, and Home Guard
Eligible. It is not totally known what weight each factor has, although
win/loss record counts for quite a bit. There is a sub -category,
Freshmen, which is a tourney classification for new ADM warriors who have
not yet gone through a split or do not yet have 45 FE.

	Primus Inducted:  This warrior is so skilled, he must fight in
Primus if he is to fight at all.  Until Gateway opens, the very best
warriors go here.  And stay.  Many warriors here have acheived 12th trains
in multiple statistics.  Often, new inductees are fodder for the old
hands.  The fate of Eligible warriors in this place is too ghastly to
contemplate.  Unlike other arenas, there are no recognition points.
Rather, every warrior is ranked.  If warrior X , ranked #200, beats
warrior Y, ranked #151, t hen X will have slot #151, and Y will be ranked
#200.

	Primus Eligible:  Considered a very good warrior, the Elite arena
of Primus is available.

	ADM - Can fight in the warrior's regional arena, or 100/106,
default status.

	Home Guard - Eligible for arena 101, for warriors who advanced to
AD more by experience rather than skill.  This is the lowest
classification of AD warrior, however, cases do exist of a Home Guard
warrior being re-evaluated during a split and becoming Primus Inducted.

What is the F2F like?

	The F2F is an incredible experience. If you count the days until
the envelope arrives in the mail, or drive home for lunch, knowing today
is the day, then the F2F is a good idea. It is two days of non-stop
Duelmasters, meeting with other managers, and di scussing strategy,
warrior design and good arenas to go into.  It starts at eight in the
morning and goes on well past midnight. Generally, they get done with turn
5 or 6 by the end of Saturday, and Sunday finishes the tourney and goes on
to matchoffs.  A s a suggestion, enter several warriors ... it is
absolutely no fun having no reason to get up on Sunday.

What is a Triplett?

	Named after Gary Triplett, a discriminating manager, this is a
warrior that starts with a 17 or better in Wit, Will and Deftness.

What is FE?

	Fight Equivalent - The total number of fights that your warrior
has, using RSI's accounting system. You get one per arena fight, plus one
for every odd-numbered round in a tournament.  Thus, a rookie warrior that
went 4-3 and then fought in a grudge matc h ( Round 13 ) would have 4+1 =
5 FE. Note that if the grudge match happened to be on round 12, he would
have only 4 FE.  This is used to compute tourney classifications and
generally talk about the experience of the warrior.  FE determine what
tourney classification you will compete in, up to the Freshmen tourney.

What are the classes for tournament?

	There are currently 10, six regular DM and 4 AD.

	Primus: For warriors rated as Primus Inducted as of the last
split. (This will be further subdivided into a Gateway arena, considered
above Primus, sometime next year. ) Because of the vast difference in
ability in the Primus tournament, only after roun d five are warriors
eliminated.  The difference in talent between a top-ranked Primus warrior
and one newly inducted is as great as a Duelmaster fighting a raw beginner
in regular Duelmasters, if not more.

	Eligible: Warriors rated as Primus Eligible.  These are warriors
who have great records, are nearly maxed out, or have many stat trains
under their belt.

	ADM: AD warriors who do not fit into another class; this is the
default.

	Freshmen: For new AD warriors, ones under a certain threshold.
Many warriors in the AD tournament have a hundred arena fights, it hardly
was sporting for a 20 fight warrior to compete with them. A new category
was made. This is for any warrior who has t raveled to AD as of the freeze
date.

	Champions: Highest level for regular Duelmasters.  Warriors with
21+ FE at the freeze.  A special case exists here: the Immortal Champion.
A warrior is immortal from the instant an invite is received.  If a
tournament occurs before the arena runs the ne xt turn , the warrior will
still fight in the Champions class, but will go on to Advanced Duelmasters
even if he is slain in the tournament.  It is conceivable to do this with
an Adept class warrior, but I've never heard of anyone succeeding or even
attem pting it.

	Adepts:  Warriors with 11-20 FE

	Initiates: Warriors with 5-10 FE

	Apprentices Warriors with 1-4 FE

	Novices: Warriors with 0 FE at the freeze date

	Rookies: Warriors with 0 FE at the tournament.

What is the freeze date?

	The freeze date is the time when the program is run to determine
tourney classifications.  Generally, it happens eight weeks before a
tourney, allowing players in slow games time to be notified, possibly
change training strategies, and send data back. Ti ming is critical to
picking where you will fight. You can probably guess the fate of the
relatively inexperienced within an classification.

What are some of the tourney prizes?

	A tourney prize is only given to the winner of a tournament. As
there are 10 categories to compete in, there are 10 tourney prizes given
out to the winners each Grand Tournament. Only one is allowed during the
tourney, the particular one is mentioned in the advertising blurb. It is
RSI's policy to offer the same prize at both Face-to-Face tournaments,
since travelling can be quite expensive. At a guess, there are over 100
warriors who have been created or altered by a tournament prize. Somewhere
out ther e, beneficiaries of these prizes exist.  You have been warned.

	Frankenstein - An occasional prize for running a Tournament
Champion, and given to each manager to run in a Bloodgames: The ability to
design a rollup with all 84 points, including size.  Also known as a
"genetic" or "DYO" - Design Your Own.

	Favorites Prize - This prize allows a manager to choose a warriors
favorite learn, fighting rhythm, and weapon, and to choose an offensive
and defensive tactic.

	Skill Prize - Grants 5 skills, of any type, to one or more
warriors. These are extra, and do not count against the max of 120 skills.

	Size Prize - Allows three points of size to be added to or
subtracted from one or more warriors.  A couple of warriors exist who are
larger than size 21. A variant allowed up to three points of size to be
subtracted from Size, and added to other stats.

	Immortality Prize - The warrior cannot die; if slain in combat,
simply comes back next turn. The only disadvantage is that a warrior does
not get a chance to train up abilities. Effectively, Advanced Duelmasters.
This one hasn't been given out in several years.

	87 Points - Gives an extra 3 points to the starting statistics of
a new warrior.

	Swap Prize - Allows 2 pairs of statistics to be swapped on one or
two rollups: Thus an 10-18-4-4-15-13-6 rollup could become
10-4-4-18-15-6-13, then 14 points could be added as usual.

	Clone/Twin Prize: A Clone prize allows you to copy exactly a
warriors starting abilities, including fighting style, favorite
learn/rhythm/tactic(s). A twin allows you to copy the statistics, but
alter the style.  This will result in new bases and favorit es. You may
either clone or twin.  You can't clone or twin someone else's warrior
without permission.

	Resurrection Prize:  Allows a manager to bring a slain warrior
back into active play.

What is a sandbagger?

	A warrior that fights mostly in tournaments, mostly because he's
really good, and the manager wants to pick up TV's with him. The old
meaning was to a number of warriors who had only 19 arena fights, and thus
were not invited to Advanced Duelmasters, lea ving them fighting in the
Champions class for a number of years. Finally, a rule change in the
Invitation program caused the Sandbaggers to be sent off to AD. At least
one of these "Champion" class warriors, was Inducted to Primus at the next
split!

What are skills?

	Skills are competence within a field, and the categories should be
fairly obvious. A warrior starts with a particular base. From that point,
he can learn 20 more skills in each category. More skills indicate greater
competence within a warrior. Beating a warrior with many more skills
than yours is very difficult.

What is this thing about losing skills by training stats?

	We need to go into a discussion here.  What does each do?

	Skill Training - When you train skills you may receive 0 to 6
skills.  Skill learns are critical to winning from the 10 fight range well
into Advanced Duelmasters.  You may learn 20 in each category.  Learning
all 120 skills generally takes several year s of steady play.  After about
100-110, the so-called "Wall" is reached, and the last few skills only
come with great patience.  The number of skills learned per fight is
dependent on many factors, much hotly debated.  Some suggestions to
improve skill le arns: fight more experienced warriors, win the fight, and
have a very high Wit.

	It should be noted that style preference determines how you will
learn skills.  Slashers don't learn Defense very well, and Total Parries
have problems with Initiative, as these skills are contrary to the basic
nature of the fighting style.  Every style seems to have a skill it does
poorly at. If you are so fortunate as to have a warrior that has a favored
learn in an off-area, count your blessings.  It is frequent that you will
be have 20 skills in all but one, where you need five or so remaining
skills . What you can do is selective training.

	Stat Training - When you train stats, you gain two things...
skills associated with various stat points, and benefits due to a higher
characteristic.  Strength raises give a few attack and parry skills, but
also increase endurance, encumbrance, and has a shot at increasing
damage dealing ability.

	Now, various stats (notably 21's and 11 Deftness), give skills
when you raise a stat to that level. Again, you can only learn 20 skills
in each category.  So, if you learned an Attack skill by training a stat,
that counts against the twenty you could lea rn by training skills.  There
is no limit on gaining skills because you trained a stat.  Now you can
only learn 19 more attack skills by training skills.  Many managers train
skills only until the statement "xxxxx can no longer train SKILL in this
arena"


	Selective Training - Without going into the skills/stat breakdown,
it is pretty much agreed that there are no skills gained by training
Consititution, no Parry in Wit, no Decisiveness in Deftness, no Attack or
Parry in Speed, no Riposte in Will, and no Defense, Initiative,
Decisiveness or Riposte in Strength.  Thus, if you have learned 20 Attack
and 20 Parry Skills, you can train Strength with impunity.

What does "maxed" mean?

	Generally, it means a warrior has learned all 120 skills, and is
training statistics to gain ability.

What is winning a tournament?

	Winning eight or more fights in a tournament makes you a
Tournament Victor.  A TV gives a warrior an increased chance at making
challenges in regular arena play.

	The Tournament Champion is the overall winner of the Tournament.
A TC fights in regular arena for free for the next six months, and the
manager wins some sort of prize to alter an existing fighter or make a
superior new warrior.

What is skill base?

	Skill base is total number of skills that a warrior starts with.
An Expert is defined as 16 skills.  Thus if a warrior required 2 skills to
get Expert in attack, four for Initiative, and eight each for the other
skill categories, he would have a total s kill base of 14 ( 16-2) + 12 (
16-4) + 4 * 8 = 58 skill base.  It is possible to start with a negative
skill base.

	The current theory on skill base is as follows:  Certain stat
points give skills; the higher the better.  A particular fighting style
modifies these: in the case of the Lunger, Attack and Initiative go up,
and Parry is reduced (among others).  Every styl e modifies the bases to
some degree. Finally there is a random element, adding or subtracting from
skill bases, known as the luck factor. There is great variance in warriors
even with very similar or even identical statistics.

	The highest known starting rating is Master, 26 skills.  This is
INCREDIBLY rare, requiring contrived stats and a good luck roll.  I doubt
that there have been five warriors who started with that in the history of
Duelmasters, with over 200,000 rollups.  Advanced Experts are also very
rare.  An Expert is considered a sign of a good warrior, not uncommon for
Lungers to start expert in Attack or Parry-Ripostes to start with Expert
Riposte.  More than one Expert is quite uncommon, and there are some
warriors who started with four ratings on the rollup. No case of five
ratings on the rollup is known to exist, but is thought possible.

What are the rankings for Skills?

	As mentioned above, Expert is 16 skills.  Advanced Expert is 20,
Master is 26, Advanced Master is 34, Grandmaster is 44, and Arch Master is
56 skills in a particular category.  Remember the rule: +4,+6,+8,+10, and
+12.  It is conjectured that a warrior c ould reach the next category, at
70 skills.  These are abbreviated as E, AE, M, AM, GM, ARCH.

	It is the custom for some to multiply the number of skills by 5,
to have a psuedo percentage, they might say they have a 105 Decis - This
means 21 skills, Advanced Expert +1.

What are the Bloodgames?

	The Bloodgames is a separate game that comes by every two years.
There are usually three or four arenas, depending on the number of
players.  Each arena gets about thirty or so teams.  The top three
warriors at the end of turn 10 are sent to Advanced Duelmasters.  Several
people will receive tee-shirts.  What's the catch?  There are *no*
replacements.  When all five of your warriors are dead, that's it.  The
death rate is *much* higher - about 25% of the arena dies each turn.  In
the 1993 Bloodgames, an arena started with 165 starting warriors, and only
21 were alive after turn 10.  Warriors are rated by kills - a 5-5-5
warrior is better than a 10-0-4.  The bonus to playing is that you get to
select from a special rollup sheet - with 9 pre-generated warriors, plus
one of your warriors will be a genetic, so you have a shot of getting
your dream warrior to Advanced Duelmasters. Survivors of the Bloodgames
start in ADM quite poorly, as they only have 10 turns of development.
With patience, they can become some of the best warriors around. Pile
Driver is one such, who regularly TV's Primus.

My warrior is dead - What can I do?

	There is a few things.  If you happen to have a resurrection
prize, you can use that.  If there was an error on your input strategy,
AND YOU CAN PROVE IT, the warrior will be restored.  Other than that,
there is always the Tourney of the Dead.

Tourney of the Dead?

	Every two years ( alternating with the Bloodgames ), a tourney is
held as an adjunct to the Fall Mail-in.  You may enter dead warriors into
four catagories: Apprentices, Initiates, Adepts, or Champions.  Any
warrior that TV's can return to his arena and try to make it to AD.  A TC
in the Dead Tourney is automatically sent to Advanced Duelmasters.  No
other benefits for the Dead Tourney exist such as TC prize or TV
challenge, or even political points.  Warriors can learn skills while
dead, and will grad ually progress up classes, and may eventually make it
out.  The fight comments are changed to an ghoulish, entertaining nature.

What's Gateway?

	Gateway was advertised by RSI shortly after the January 1995
Face-to-Face. The training skill bug was not known for several years, many
early warriors were ruined in this manner. Still, those that stuck it out
are still better than the next generation of "well-trained" warriors,
because of experience.  Secondly, for a number of years, Donatello was
*the* dominant warrior in the game, winning the Primus championship at
least eight times. Several managers complained about stagnation in the top
ranks, plus the fact that their early warriors, due to the programming
bug, were not competitive. Gateway offers the chance to learn five more
skills in each category (a new maximum of 25 skills, each), and to learn
the skills lost by early stat training. Entrance in to Gateway is
irrevocable, and is limited to Primus Inducted warriors. A number of new
monsters will be added, as an optional fight. I presume at least a few
would be evenly matched against the likes of Dee Dee or Delbeath. (Dee Dee
has succeeded in raising all trainable stats to 25.)

What if I can disprove some of this info?

	I will be happy to revise upon being corrected.  Anyone who wishes
to add sections, please feel free.  I will send this to anyone interested.

- John Thompson (azrael@netcom.com)
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