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

Q&A about the game


Forgotten Realms Q&A gathered over time
(Answers are from RSI unless otherwise specified)

Q: If an army (multiple units) is carrying a magic item, does the bonus from the magic item apply to all units in the group, or just the particular unit that is carrying the item?

A: All the units in the group, but _not_ any units outside the group, even if they are owned by the same player.

Q: How do bonuses work in modifying a unit’s abilities?

A: (From –name withheld–)
Well, the way a bonus works is, each unit in a stack gets the same number of points added to its stack as every other unit. However, there is a maximum bonus each unit can get in each ability that is dependent on its base ability rating. The cap is 150% or +10, whichever is higher. So, a unit at 30 can grow to 45, but a unit at 0 can still grow to 10. This is true for all ability bonuses and for hit points, and was going to be true for movement, but it was decided that making it true for movement would slow the game down. So, a unit with 1 or 2 hit points can only ever gain +1 hit point from bonuses (including an avatar with a hit point bonus); a unit with 3 or 4 hit points can only gain a maximum of +2 hit points, and a unit with 5 or 6 can gain +3. For instance an avatar with a +2 bonus gives 1 hit point to all the 1 and 2 hit point units in the stack and 2 hit points to all the tougher units. Ability bonuses work the same way. A +1 bonus is a +1 bonus, but not all units can make use of 20 points worth of bonuses.

(From RSI)
As far as I know, bonus hits don’t depend on the intitial hit points of the unit. However, bear in mind that it is possible to do more than one point of damage per clash, so a 2 or 3-hit unit will not necessarily always take 2 or 3 hits to die. (Since it’s also possible for a unit to deflect damage, it may take more than that, too.)

Q: How do experience points work in modifying a unit’s abilities?

A: (From –name withheld–) A 10 point experience bonus is a +10% to all of a unit’s abilities; a unit at 10 xp with a rating of 10 magic and 20 missile gains 1 magic and 2 missile. Experience is not capped, aside from not growing past “maximum”. A unit with 0 ability, a +10 bonus, and 10000 experience points could get to Max, in theory.

Q: How are experience points awarded?

A: When a unit has combat he gains 2 XP for winning the battle and 1 XP for losing but surviving. It doesn’t matter how many battles the unit has in a turn, only 2 XP max will be awarded. These points adjust all his ratings by a percentage amount. Experience is more important than magic items, as it affects all combat stats.

Q: How does the Forgotten Realms program add all these bonuses together?

A: (From –name withheld–) Unit and item bonuses are calculated, up to the cap of 150% or 10, whichever is higher. Experience points and terrain effects are calculated, without a cap. Altogether these modify the unit’s base stats.

Q: Are bonuses cumulative, or is the best bonus used?

A: They are cumulative. However the limit to any stat is 255.

Q: Avatars fight any hostile force within a 1 hex radius. I have an Avatar in a city and another Avatar is approaching, so i assume they will fight when he is one hex outside the city. Will my Avatar (and army) still receive the city defense bonuses?

A: Yes.

Q: Do allies in the same hex receive bonuses from an Avatar? how about magic items? a city?

A: No, no, and no.

Q: If I summon an avatar with 50 hits, can I offer gold so the hits increase more than 50?

A: Yes, the maximum is 250 hits.

Q: To submit the summon order, your leader can be in the city by the end of the turn, right? We are submitting turn 20 orders and my leader is on the way to a city and will be there at the end of the turn. Will it be ok to put the summon order in this turn?

A: No you must start in the city at the beginning of the turn you are summoning. You must be sitting in the city when you submit the order.

Q: My friend got Karsus killed when he attacked a city recently. His concern was that since he had an Avatar, he will not be able to summon on turn 20. We were wanting to know if he would or would not be allowed to summon on turn

A: He can summon. Karsus isn’t a summoned or summonable avatar; he’s already down on the Prime Material Plane.

Q: An Avatar fights any hostile force within a 1 hex radius. If the Avatar is in a Forest hex, and the other force is in a Mountains hex, which terrain is used to affect combat?

A: Could be either. When you get a description of an Avatar fight, it’ll say “the battle around 12:54” (instead of “in 12:54”). The program picks one of the hexes within the Avatar’s range and that’s the one that affects terrain, defensive bonuses, etc. It won’t always be the ‘best’ hex available, and I don’t think there’s any way to control which one it is.

Q: What is the formula for Avatar points?

A: (From Tyler Jensen)
2 * (gold production + hexes owned) + 8 * (Leader Character’s experience) = Summoning Points. Also, as an aside, if I am not mistaken, Avatars are summoned at the end of a turn. Thus all those hexes
and gold production you pick up in the turn you summon all count. This has proven correct for every Avatar I’ve summoned so far.

Q: Is my MOVE order modified when I retreat from a hostile force?

A: If a unit on continued movement is forced to change course for any reason, it will attempt to return to its original movement pattern. If it is able to do this before it runs out of movement for the turn, it goes back to its original course. However, if it runs out of movement before getting back on track, the “detour” movements it took to avoid or retreat will be made a part of its continued movement from that point on. The only way to correct this is for you to give it a new movement order; there’s no way for the inputter to check or influence this since it’s done by the game program after input is complete.

Q: How should I structure my armies?

A: (From John Holt) Provide a hierarchy if possible for the LEAD/FOLLOW command in your army. If they all follow one unit, and that unit dies, you’re in a heap of trouble. All of the units under him when then have to be given new follow orders. Have different groups that follow different units and have those units follow one main unit. If your main leader dies, you’ll have less orders to give to reorganize the army to FOLLOW a new leader. On the flip side, if one of the sub-leaders dies, you’ll have to issue the FOLLOW command on the units following him, but hey, better a small few than the whole army. Plus its easier to split the army up this way. Always try to have high hit units are leaders. Another bonus is if a leader dies, items that were attached to that unit are transferred up to that unit’s leader automatically.

	Giant Boulder Thrower		(leader)
		Human Knight			(sub leader)
			Human Militia
			Troll Mothers
			Goblin Infantry
		Human Cavalry Archer		(sub leader)
			Human Heavy Infantry
			Giant Militia
			Ogre Mage

Q: What’s the best character to start with?

A: (From Dave Hewitt) I like to start with the Archmage character, since it gives all the non-magic using units the maximum +10 for magic when you add in the Javelins of Lightning.

A: (From Rob Gruber) I usually go with the High Priest. It has good movement, decent magic and comes with armor that can only be produced at the metropolis, couple that with the fact that it has the best defenses and I think the choice is pretty clear.

Q: Why did my unit on ‘explore’ enter into combat?
A: (From Vincent Wong) It is because of two factors; firstly, your unit has run out of MP – it can’t pay the 10MP penalty for the encounter. Secondly, it didn’t accumulate enough impulse to move away when the enemy entered it’s hex.

Q: What’s the earliest turn someone has conquered a city?

A: (From John Holt) That I know of:
In FR game 109, R15(?) conquered Azzkolazz on turn 3.
In FR game 40, Rob Gurber conquered Neverwinter on turn 4.
In FR game 68, John Holt conquered Darkhold on turn 4.

Q: Do Avatars make that much difference? Are they equal to a stack that cost 1500 gold pieces?

A: (From Tyler Jensen) Avatars are killer if you have a stack to go with it. Those hit bonuses, the two hex info radius and swath, the lack of a 10 mp penalty in fights, the bonus to unit abilities, etc.. BUT then again, if you have no army to go with your avatar, then that is a wasted avatar. I am one of those that look at avatars as a kick ass bonus item. Lone avatars just dont cut it against big stacks in my books. Just my thoughts.

Q: At what community size does the community begin granting bonus’ to the units inside? What are the bonus’?

A: (From Mike (legioix)) Town and above. The bonus at a town works out to 20% defense, 10% melee. A city adds a 1 hit point bonus to each unit, the metro gives a bonus of 2 hit points to each unit.

Q: In a battle, is the damage from magic, missile and melee cumulative, and are the units damaged by points per hit or is the damage a % of the total?

A: 1) Cumulative. 2) Points per hit, though it’s not a 1 hit = 1 point of damage thing. A single hit may do no damage, or more than one point of damage.

Q: When you eliminate another player from a game, do get any gold that he may have in his treasury?

A: (From HawgLaw1) The only thing you get from eliminating a player is the hex’s you take from him, the communities you take from him, and the experience your troops gain killing his units.

Q: Could a CN avatar ally with a LN avatar or does it have to be CN and CN?

A: (From legiox) Neutral can ally with good or evil. Only good and evil are mutually exclusive. Lawful and chaotic have no restriction. It is the good or the evil that determines the ally limitations.

Q: To summon an Avatar, do you need the 1500 by the end of turn 19 or the end of turn 20?

A: (From Patrick McGuire) Money is taken out before you enter the main phase (movement/combat) of 20. So you will need it by the end of 19, unless you have some friendly gold giving allies. In which case, it could be given to you on turn 20, since the Give order preceeds the Summon order. Or you could eat some of your orders, if you’re close.

Q: What is the minimum number of realms placed in a FR game?

A: We try to start with at least 40 of the positions filled.

Q: If a member of an alliance gets both tablets of fate and to the location desired in the allotted time, does the alliance win or just the realm with the tablets?

A: Just the realm with the tablets.

Q: How is the “entity value” calculated on the blue sheets?

A: (From Mobius) The sum of the total gold production of all your communities, the base cost to craft all your items, and the base cost to build all your units.

A: (From RSI) I think it’s just items and units, but am not positive. It’s something the game designer threw into the rankings, and no one else is really sure why.

Q: Are there plans to have FR games on new maps? (Asked on 12/5/00)

A: Yes, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for their completion.

Q: I have an army with a weak leader. I want to make another unit in the group the leader. How do I do this?

A: (From John Holt)

The rules specifcally state “A unit ordered to lead will not detach itself from its group unless it is specifically ordered to lead a unit that it presently follows.” Therefore you’ll have to have your new leader issue a LEAD command
for the current leader.

Q: When does a group pay the 10MP penalty for an encounter?

A: (From John P) The movement penalty for contact is taken off at the end. The impulses are not counted at the time of contact.

Q: I noticed Avatar # 15 is missing from the list. Is it possible to still summon that Avatar?

A: No, A15 cannot be summoned.

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