Info and data for fans of the play-by-mail games Duel II, Forgotten Realms, and Hyborian War from Reality Simulations, Inc

How to Succeed in Duelmasters

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The name of the game is DUELMASTERS. It’s very important to remember that, because it seems to me that the majority of the players I see out there (notably long-time players) have forgotten that, and, unfortunately, they are spreading that sickness to new players, who don’t seem to notice that the game is not called “Getting to Primus” or “Winning Tourney Championships.” It is called DUELMASTERS

The object of the game is to become the DUELMASTER.

Period.

Seems easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not–it requires some skill and determination and a willingness to learn how to win, win, win, and not listen to some know-it-all Primus-head who says, “You’ll never get anywhere with that worthless warrior!” That’s bullshit, plain and simple, and frankly, you don’t have to listen to them.

When I started playing Duelmasters, it was the autumn of 1990. The game had been in existance for some years, and they had just installed the laser printer (before then, it had been printed on dot matrix printers). The best players in the game were the ones who could, and did, rule the =regular, basic arenas.= ADM was something folks played in for added fun, once they had finally been pushed off their cushy DM Throne and thrown onto the Isle (a punishment for being successful in the arena, which is precisely what they’re calling Primus now). Primus and the Regional arenas came along about a year later, because ADM 100 (the only ADM arena at the time) was getting a little crowded.

But the point of the game was still to become Duelmaster, and hold that throne against ALL comers. No matter what. If you could take the throne and hold it, you were a GREAT Duelmasters player, hands down, and it didn’t matter one way or another if you had warriors in Primus or won at tournaments.

Apparently, this was insufficient for certain managers, who find that they have no purpose in life and certainly no self-respect if they are not worshipped by all Duelmasters players (which certainly does put them in a spot of esteem in the real world, let me tell you). So they started going on about how important Primus is, and how important tournaments are, and wrangling for more than two and a half tourneys a year (back then, the FtF was a giveaway tourney, mostly for local players, and there certainly weren’t any held on the east coast–there weren’t even “prizes,” the winner of FtF tourneys got a cool plaque). So they bitched and whined and got a second FtF, and the more they bitched and whined and whined and bitched, the more they were caved in to. Tournaments became a strange focus for this game Duelmasters, and the vision was knocked askew. No longer was the Duelmasters’ throne the goal of the game–suddenly everyone just “wasn’t great” unless they had Tournament Victors, or better, a Tournament Champion!

Managers pinned their very self respect on the fact that they never got a Tournemant Championship, which, in my opinion, is what is really strangling this once very fine game.

There is one manager playing DM today that understands what the name of the game is, and he plays it. This is Wayne Smith, i.e., “The Consortium.” I’m sure you have him in a local arena, and have worn out your lungers and slashers and whatnot against his Towering Walls of Scum, who are notorious for taking the throne and holding it for turn after turn after turn after turn after turn. (If you’re in Iaye, you know him as “Lenpro,” and should ask him about Herr Panel. If in Zensu, ask “Pandora” about Scarlet. And ask Fandil the Wise, in Ardivent, about any of his greats there.

The Consortium is proud of the fact that he plays =DUELMASTERS=. He knows how to take the “worst” rollups and have them rule arena after arena, apparently without any effort at all. It became my duty in life to create slashers and strikers (and even the occasional lunger) to defeat Consortium Wastes and TPs. I succeeded, every so often, but alas, usually that meant my firebrands got yanked out of the arena much faster, and could only hold the throne for one or two turns. Still, that meant I succeeded.

I held the Duelmaster throne. I held it many, many times over the years. I win. End of game. (Fortunately, it’s an open-ended game, and when you win, you’re permitted to start over with a new piece. But some managers can’t do that. They have to go on and on and on and on and on and on with the same old piece, no matter what happens…)

Unfortunately, I can’t give you a succinct study of how Wayne does it; you’ll have to ask him. Some of his best successes have been some of the dirt-ugliest rollups I ever saw. It was amazing. He was a god of DM to me. My specialty were those firebrands: slashers and strikers and aimed blows (I innovated the slasher style, BTW. Before me, no one knew how to run them, and they were considered the worst style in the game. Unfortunately, my best have been consigned to the abyss, and I can’t even display them proudly as examples of their greatness. Well, I know a certain manager who will take credit, because his slashers– making good use of my designs–are going to burn up the upper ranks where mine were. And he’s not shy about taking credit).

The point of this article is to impress on new players the fact that you =do not= need to win tournament victors/championships or get all your warriors to Primus to be a good manager. The point of the game is getting the Duelmasters throne. Hold it as long as you can. Take on all comers, and if they whine about losing to you, laugh at them. They can’t take the heat? Well, stay out of the arena.

The very most important part of the game is to =HAVE FUN.= And if you are not having fun, then =don’t play.= I am boggled constantly by those who don’t seem to be enjoying themselves at all, but they won’t (or can’t) quit, always trying to get that elusive “tournament championship” or “top of Primus” or “top of Gateway” or “top of whatever” that really isn’t even part of the game.

If you’re going to play Duelmasters, enjoy yourself. Play =Duelmasters.= Have fun. And don’t stress about the “next level.” Because unless it’s important to you to be some hotshot amongst the three or four dozen managers who think THEY’RE hotshots, it’s not important. Enjoy yourself. That’s the key.

— Kathy R. Coleman, aka Tex, aka Raf, aka almost all the fictional characters in Alastari (whose names might remain there, but the souls are here with me)

HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WARRIOR

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I’m sure that by now everyone has had enough of those ‘perfect’ warrior advice articles. And, while they are useful to a point, it’s hard to apply their advice to the hordes of non-perfect warriors we get every day. Hence, this article is for the other 99% non-perfect warriors. The design ideas presented here have been valid over the course of my 15 years of experience with this game, with proven success at all levels of the game.

There are several things to think about when designing a warrior. First is fighting style. Second is longevity. Third is weapon suitability. Fourth is physical capabilities. Fifth is trainability. While I will discuss these separately in this article, they must be thought about simultaneously in order to get the maximum potential from each and every roll-up.

Fighting style is the most important decision you’ll make about your new warrior. Consider all possibilities. Sometimes you will need to experiment with the numbers, play around with several different combinations, before picking the best style. The offensive styles are lunging, slashing, striking, aimed blow, and bashing. The defensive styles are total parry, parry riposte, and parry strike. The mixed styles are wall of steel and parry-lunge. The offensive warriors have lots of attack ability and little defense (except lungers). Their key attributes are usually will (for endurance and attack skills) and strength (for damage capability and attack skills). High wit and deftness are also high on the list as they both give a lot of skills, particularly attack skills. [Tip #1: Never design an aimed blow with less than a 21 deftness.] The defensives have lots of defensive ability (particularly parry) but poor attack. Their key attributes are usually will (for damage taking and parry skills) and constitution (for damage taking). Again, extra wit and deftness is highly desireable for the extra skills. [Tip #2: Keep wit as low as possible on scum warriors.] The mixed styles have pretty good attack and pretty good defense, making them among the most formidable warriors in the game. Their key attributes are will (what a surprise!) and whatever gets them to good cut-offs, because mixed styles use defensive and offensive skills with equal effectiveness. If you notice, speed doesn’t come up as an important stat for any style, but it is probably best utilized by the offensive styles. I tend to like warriors that will perform well (as opposed to looking good but still losing), so I tend to design a lot of offensive and mixed styles.

Longevity is another design concern. The main decision here is whether your new warrior will have a long, Gateway oriented career, or have a shorter life span. If shorter, how much shorter? In general, for maximum learning and maximum training, you’ll want to add as much as possible to wit and will. If you envision Gateway god-hood in your warrior’s future, then designing him with a low wit or will has only a minor affect; it merely takes a little longer for him to reach his full potential. If your warrior has a sandbagging champions future, then you’ll want to add as much wit as possible to get him competitive as soon as possible. For an ADM title shot, you’ll want to build in some easy stat trains that give lots of skills. For a short, rookies or novices oriented career, you’ll probably want a high will because you’ll most likely be looking for quick, significant stat trains. The point is, decide when the warrior is born how long his career will be, and you will be better able to maximize his potential towards that ultimate target.

Weapon suitability must also be considered. As is well known, not all weapons are well-suited to all styles, and every warrior has a favorite weapon. It is important to design a warrior so he will be able to use the significant weapons well-suited to his style. It should not take more than a couple stat trains to get your warrior well-suited to some good weapons. (Consult available charts for weapon suitability.) I feel that it is important to be well suited to several weapons of your style. This gives you the opportunity to change and surprise your foes. If your warrior lacks the attributes to use key weapons of his style, his effectiveness will be diminished.

Physical capabilities is an often overlooked aspect of warrior design. The three main areas of concern are endurance, the ability to inflict damage, and the ability to take damage. At least one of these should be at the ‘good’ level or above, and the more the better. There is usually a trade-off between designing for skills and designing for physical attributes. The trick is to maximize both. Always evaluate the possibility of adding to strength over deftness. The damage capability gained will usually out-weigh the difference in skills. Endurance is usually a key factor in an offensive warrior’s ability to defeat a defensive. Conversely, the ability to take damage is usually a key factor in a defensive warrior’s ability to defeat an offensive. Again, use the available charts to design your warrior to reach the desired physical levels with a minimum of stat trains.

The fastest way for a new warrior to improve is to learn skills with a 21 wit. With a 21 wit, you can usually average three skills per fight for your first 20 fights or so. Going into an adepts tournament with 60+ skills is very good. The higher the wit, the more skills your warrior will learn, so keep this in mind when designing your potential tournament champions.

A number of managers advocate early stat trains that burn skills. I only do this in the most severe of cases, like a 3 wit scummy warrior. The main reason I don’t do this is because any warrior I want to fight beyond novices is going to need as many skills as he can get. In addition, if a warrior burns skills early, he’ll end up with less than his contemporaries at the time they both max skills. This leads to diminished skill levels when the warrior makes a TC run in the Freshmen, ADM, or Eligibles class, and to a protracted struggle to get the warrior inducted to Primus/Gateway when the time comes. It also eliminates the option to sandbag in the champions since your burned warrior will never have the skills to compete with non-burned warriors.

However, I do design for trainability. I like my warriors to have a shot at a TC in the ADM or Eligibles class, so I will purposely leave deftness at 9, counting on the quick, easy trains once all my skills are learned. You can do the same in wit, will, speed, and even strength; leave the starting stat a couple points below a level with significant skills, then train those stats when you make your TC run. Of course, since you’re planning on making this training run in Advanced Duelmasters, the best stat for trainability is a 21. Every train past 21 will give you quick, significant, valuable skills.

Of course, any set of design rules or guidelines will have its exceptions. There are many good warriors out there who did not follow any of the rules outlined above, but there are many, many more dead ones. So, if you follow these rules most of the time, most of your warriors will be winners.

That said, let’s do a couple examples. First, we’ll redesign the legendary Broke Stroker.

ST 10 + 0 = 10
CN 10 + 0 = 10
SZ 10
WT 9 + 6 = 15
WL 9 + 6 = 15
SP 11 + 0 = 11
DF 11 + 2 = 13
Style: Lunger
Comments: His wit and will are high enough to make him a viable long-term warrior. He starts well-suited to the short spear, and is only one strength train away from longsword suitability. He’s got enough con to take a hit, and he’ll likely also get good damage with his first strength train, if not on the original overview.

ST 5 + 4 = 9
CN 8 + 0 = 8
SZ 14
WT 8 + 5 = 13
WL 13 + 4 = 17
SP 10 + 0 = 10
DF 12 + 1 = 13
Style: Slasher
Comments: He starts well-suited to scimitar, and has enough ST, CN, & WL to get normal endurance. He has a good shot at good damage to start with, and if not, it’s only a train or two away.

ST 12 + 5 = 17
CN 8 + 1 = 9
SZ 7
WT 11 + 6 = 17
WL 8 + 1 = 9
SP 14 + 0 = 14
DF 10 + 1 = 11
Style: Striker
Comments: This low will wonder needs help to get normal endurance, thus the high strength. It gives the additional bonus of guaranteeing good damage on a relatively small warrior. The 11 deftness gives him suitability to almost every weapon.

Now it’s time for you to go forth and design your own godlings (or is that ‘doglings’?). Armed with these guidelines, you too can have your share of Broke Strokers in Advanced Duelmasters. Good luck, and may the gods guide your blows straight and true! — Neon Necromancer [Gateway – Psycho Scientist, et al.; DM 18 – Mad Scientists; other random teams and 100ish ADM warriors]

Favorite Weapons

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     One of the best ways to improve a warrior's record in basic is to find his 
favorite weapon.  The effect of using a favorite weapon is that a warrior's attack 
ability will improve.  A warrior will throw more critical attacks, improve the odds to 
inflict critical damage, and make attacks that are more difficult to dodge and parry.
     There are two methods used to find a favorite weapon.  The first is, "Don't worry 
about it.  They tell you when you get to ADM anyway."  While some managers have the 
patience to wait that long, I would rather have my favorite in hand in fight one!
     The second method is called, "Charting."  The way I chart weapons is I break 
down, statistically, my warrior's attacks with a particular weapon. (No, it's not 
difficult to do!)  I chart 4 categories, (1) Total number of attacks, (2) Total number 
of crit attacks, (3) Total number of crit damages, (4) Total number of knockdowns.
     (1) Total number of attacks (#ATT) -- Record the total number of attacks with the 
weapon in question, including hits, crits, misses, parried attacks, dodged attacks, 
and wild swings.
     (2) Total number of crit attacks (C ATT) -- Record the total number of critical 
attacks with the weapon in question.  Do not get good attacks confused with critical 
attacks.  A good attack is a statement that is more descriptive than, "strikes with 
dagger," but is not as spectacular as a critical.  An example of a good attack is, 
"Bats outward with her quarterstaff," or, "Makes a lunging attack wielding a short 
spear."  These are more descriptive but are not outstanding.  A critical attack is 
exemplified by spectacular statements such as; "Catapults forward, longsword stabbing 
cruelly at his foe," "Punches with piston-like horsefelling power," or "Hatchet 
flashes with snake-like speed and accuracy."  As you can see, crit attacks are very 
obvious.
     (3) Total number of crit damages (C DAM) -- A crit damage statement will signify 
a significant amount of additional damage and is typified by a statement such as; 
"Spectators cringe as the horrific power of the blow strikes home" or "It was a 
devastating attack."
     (4) Total number of knockdowns (# KD) -- Record every time an opponent is knocked 
off his feet with the weapon in question.
     The next step is to convert this data into a usable format.  To do this I divide 
the last three categories by the first.  This gives a "batting average" of sorts.  
EXAMPLE: Dark One fights his first three fights with a scimitar.  In those three 
fights Dark One made 16 attacks, 2 crit attacks, 4 crit damage, and 1 knockdown.  This 
breaks down as such:
C ATT = .125
C DAM = .25
# KD = .06
     Remember, the more fights with the weapon, the more accurate your chart will be.
     Looking at Dark One's performance with the scimitar we can conclude that it is 
not his favorite weapon.  I determine this by looking at the three categories in order 
of precedence.
     First I look at C ATT:
     .00-.25  Doubtful
     .25-.35  Slight possibility
     .35-.50  Very possible
     .50 +    BINGO!
     If your warrior is critting 50% of the time, stick with that weapon.  Favorite or 
not, it is VERY effective.
     Next is crit damage.  This is trickier to look at, as the primary chance to do 
critical damage is primarily based on strength.
Does little     0%
Normal         1-5% (style dependent)
Good           10%
Great          25%
Tremendous     50%
Awesome        75%
     Look for increases in the expected average crit rate.  These numbers may be a 
little off as I don't have a large enough sample of warriors with high damage ratings.  
In the example, Dark One rated at 25%, and with his great damage rating it appears he 
is not doing any additional crits.
     Finally, knockdowns.  I don't have a fast and easy rule for this, but anything 
over 15% or 20% if attacking the legs, could bear investigating.  It's best to look at 
all three and infer a weapon's performance.
     Dark One switches to a short spear and after 4 fights has 15 attacks, 7 crit 
attacks, 6 crit damages and 2 knockdowns.
C ATT = .466
C DAM = .40
# KD = .13
     This weapon suits him much better.  His crit percentage is up for all categories.  
This weapon has a very good chance to be his favorite weapon.  In this example it 
wasn't, but his W/L record improved with 6 straight wins. (By the way, the names and 
weapons have been changed but the numbers are from one of my ADM warriors.)
     Okay, I've figured out that the weapon I'm using is not my favorite.  What now?  
There are some indicators to help you.  Look at how your warrior uses his current 
weapon.  If he likes to slash a lot, stay with a slashing weapon.  Also, look at good 
attacks.  If a warrior makes quite a few good attacks with the weapon, try a weapon 
that is used in a similar fashion.  I.E. epee is used in similar fashion to a long 
sword.  Dark One loved to lunge with his scimitar at a 3:1 ratio.  Try weapons that 
fit your stats at first but don't be afraid to try a weapon that is out of your stat 
parameters.  Should you find your favorite and you don't have the strength, size and 
deftness to use it, who cares.  The fact that it's your favorite will nullify or 
minimize all those penalties.
     I know that this is a question on the mind of new managers, as it was for me when 
I was new to the game.  I hope someone can get some good use out of this article and 
expand upon the charting method in their own way.  If you have any questions, 
comments, additions, or criticism please feel free to Diplo.
                                   -- Abe
                                      Ango (DM 64, 103)
                                      Imploding Ducks (DM 19, 103)

DUELMASTER HAIKUS

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Weeks without a shave
Blood pounding in my thick skull
Smell my righteous stench

Dark arena blues
Cannot compete worth my salt
You want fries with that?

Metal on grindstone
Bloodthirsty roar in my ear
Slaughterhouse Seven

Opponent has flail
My plate sparkles in the sun
Laugh till exhaustion

– by Terrablood

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)

Are YOU a MegaManager (TM) ????

45 views

Just take this simple survey:

1) Do you think of yourself as a Megamanager?
(If No, 10 pts.)

2) Have you ever been referred to as a Megamanager?
(If Yes, 20 pts.)

3) Do you deny it?
(If Yes, 20 pts.)

Primus TVs (lifetime):
10 pts. each

Avg. # of entries in a tourney:
1 pt each

Avg # of TVs in a tourney:
3 pts each

Primus Inductees:
3 pts each

One of each style in ADM:
10 pts.

One of each style in Primus:
50 pts.

All your ADMers are lungers or plungers:
40 pts.

Number of arenas you are ACTIVE in:
2 pts each

Number of arenas you have teams in:
If all, 20 pts. Otherwise nothing.

Scoring:

If you answered any of these questions, Congratulations! You are NOT a
megamanager!!!

If you threw this out with out looking at it, you ARE a megamanager.