You can also return to the MI Index or to the main Last Homely House. .
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ m m mm mm t ee m m m m oo nnn sss t ee rrrr e e m m m o o n n s tttt e e r eeee m m o o n n ssss t eeee r News 08-25-94 e m m o o n n s t e r ee m m oo n n sss tt ee r #28 +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Headlines this time: Super New Creature List Geez, More Complaints About ABM Publication data: eMonster News is published ideally on the 25th of each month. Send all submissions, questions, letters of comment, and subscription information to the email address below. eMonster News is available free for the asking to anyone able to receive it on INTERNET, CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi, America Online, Prodigy, or any other service tied into the net. Press run: 151. To avoid problems with my mailer, I send this out in batches; for a full listing of players on the net, send a note to Scott (below). eMonster News is not affiliated with Adventures By Mail in any way, and nothing in here is necessarily official. We like to think they like us, though. Please copy, post, print, or otherwise distribute this newsletter to as many players as you can; especially if they have email access. We want to promote this here game! Editor & Publisher Scott Micheel firstname.lastname@example.org Keeper of Blurbs Aaron Fuegi email@example.com Group Man Brian Derks firstname.lastname@example.org Monster Mapper & MI BBS Jim Wuerch email@example.com Capture Creature Captain Larry Barrows firstname.lastname@example.org Statmaster Jack Vinson email@example.com Seeker of Demigods Ben Vincent firstname.lastname@example.org Lord of the Hard Sell Tom Richardson email@example.com List Director Sharyl Leis firstname.lastname@example.org Q&A Lady Dana Barker email@example.com Back issues of eMonster News can be got via anonymous FTP transfer. The site is ftp.erg.sri.com , the directory is /pub/pbm/monster_island/newsletters and all files are in GZIP format; to uncompress them, use GUNZIP. This newsletter is also posted to the Internet newsgroup rec.games.pbm, and usually ends up on the America OnLine boards, the World Wide Web, as well as Bif's Monster Resort BBS. You are welcome to post this anyplace you wish, but please leave it intact. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ I can't reach the following players. If you are on this list, send me a note as soon as possible, to let me know you're still active. firstname.lastname@example.org... AOL Member unknown email@example.com... Host unknown firstname.lastname@example.org... Host unknown email@example.com... Host unknown firstname.lastname@example.org... no such user TILLEMA at node MAPLE email@example.com... message cannot be delivered firstname.lastname@example.org... Host unknown email@example.com... Host unknown firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org... Host vm.bi.no unknown email@example.com... User unknown firstname.lastname@example.org... lmail:lock:cannot open ilya's mailbox:: Permission denied Host 'telstr' unknown... email@example.com Jeff.Bates@f71.n228.z1.fidonet.org firstname.lastname@example.org wyn386!wybbs!telstr!telstrii!1-228-71-0!Jeff.Bates@destroyer.rs.itd.umich.edu +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ eMonster Departments: Creature List From: Nemesis382@aol.com Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 15:29:20 EDT Subject: Creature List is now on-line! Here's a new total Creature list I've been working on. It contains all the knowledge you need to know about every Creature in Monster Island. As you can see I need tons of more information to complete this baby. Only you can help me. So be a good sport and send me your data. (Damage was calculated at a base Armor Class of 0.) No need to calculate damage, just send me your AC at the time of the encounter and be sure to include the number of times the Creature can hit in round of hand to hand combat. If you find any differences, send 'em. Some of this information is based on second hand material and most of the Health Pt Range data was taken before Jack changed the amount of damage you can do. Now you can get a more realistic range since you cannot "overkill" anymore. Has anyone captured anything in a Dark Place? I don't think you can but I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know for sure. If that's true, then you can't Capture any Creature found in Dark Places only (i.e. Blood Mummy - not that you'd want to). Feel free to distribute this list to every and anyone who wants it, just as long as you leave my address and name with it. If you send me an update, I'll be sure to send you the newest version of this list. (S.A.S.E. would be greatly appreciated.) Thanx! (The Creature List is now on-line! So just eMail me for the most current.) (Hey I tried to keep the columns straight, but you know...it may look really bad, but it should print okay!) Happy Hunting! Michael Pan 39 Bushwick Street Melville, NY 11747 (516) 421-4260 email@example.com *****Editor: your should print this with a mono-spaced font like Courier !Creature List Deleted, ADF! +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ From: "Jerry E. Ritchie" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 03 Aug 94 22:22:36 EDT Subject: Spell List S P E L L L I S T The following is a list of known spells and the cost (in Action and Spell Points) to cast them: --Notes: "Varies" under Spell Points indicate the cost varies depending on the result. "Spec" under Spell Points indicates that the spellcaster specifies the number of Spell Points to use. Spell Spell Action Spell Number Spell Name Points Points Type ------ -------------------------- ------ ------ ----- 1 Summon Creature spec 60 2 Ensnare Creature varies - 24 Identify Scroll 5 8 25 Read Scroll 18 5 33 Detect Dark Places 8 16 34 Open/Seal Temple Door spec 6 41 Detect Fellow Followers 4 8 42 Detect Rival Followers 8 12 43 Hide Fellow Followers 6 6 44 Detect Natural Hazards 8 16 50 Dig 1/hand 1/hand 52 Repair Small Silver Item 7 5 53 Repair Large Iron Item 12 8 54 Repair Small Iron Item 9 6 55 Detect Plants 6 12 66 Detect Items 24 32 71 Divine Monster 80 60 77 Detect Creatures 12 24 85 Detect Sacrosanct Structure, 8 16 88 Detect Above-ground Places 12 24 701 Torchlight 3 - Situational 802 Ensnare Creature varies - Defensive 805 Light Armor 3 - Defensive 811 Battle Dexterity 15 - Defensive 822 Fire Shield 12 - Defensive 828 Armor 11 - Defensive 844 Battle Slowness 15 - Defensive 901 Fireball 10 - OFfensive 903 Blinding Light 12 - Offensive(Kabukian) 922 Enchant Weapon 20 - Offensive 924 Sleep 9 - Offensive 928 Fear 7 - Offensive 933 Lightning 14 - Offensive(Shroudian) --------------------------------------------- This information is distributed compliments of the Disciples of Light. Monster island players are free to copy each list in whole or in part as long as this note remains attached. Everyone is requested to contact the DOL with any updates/corrections. BBS: Bif's Monster Resort (317) 962-BIFS 8N1. --------------------------------------------- +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Notes from our Readers From: Gerald Hagedorn
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 11:30:50 -0600 (CDT) Subject: Scrolls I am curious at the the percentage chance of getting different spells from unreadable scrolls. So I am asking you all to send me how many scrolls you have identified and how many of each you got. I will compile the statistics and relay it to everyone on the group. Thanks in advance Jerry From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Tue, 26 Jul 94 13:41:00 EDT Subject: MI on AOL In case anyone's interested, here's the list of stuff that's available from ABM's File Library on America Online. The library is watched over by the folks at ABM and AOL. I think most of the neat lists comes from the Disciples of Light, probably orinally downloaded from Bif's Monster Resort. The Shadow Guardians have added a file or two. Date Number of Upld File Name Downloads ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #12 7 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #11 7 05/01 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #10 29 05/01 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #9 25 05/01 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #8 28 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #7 7 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #6 7 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #5 7 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #4 7 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #3 11 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #2 12 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #1 15 05/27 MONSTER: MI Newsletter #0 17 07/26 MONSTER: eMonster News #27 1 07/02 MONSTER: eMonster News #26 27 05/27 MONSTER: eMonster News #25 38 05/05 MONSTER: eMonster News #24 34 05/01 MONSTER: eMonster News #23 32 05/01 MONSTER: eMonster News #22 29 05/01 MONSTER: eMonster News #21 27 05/01 MONSTER: eMonster News #20 28 05/01 MONSTER: eMonster News #19 29 05/27 MONSTER: eMonster News #18 10 05/27 MONSTER: eMonster News #17 10 05/27 MONSTER: eMonster News #16 10 05/01 MONSTER: The Watch Tower #3 48 05/01 MONSTER: The Watch Tower #2 50 05/01 MONSTER: The Watch Tower #1 47 05/27 MONSTER: Turn Card Fax Template 13 05/27 MONSTER: "Make Item" Table 28 05/27 MONSTER: Groups, Totems, Battle 20 05/27 MONSTER: Gods and Groups 16 05/27 MONSTER: Far Building Coordinate 17 05/27 MONSTER: Far Post Item Prices 14 05/27 MONSTER: Cross-Reference Table 11 05/27 MONSTER: Far Inn/Far Forge Price 17 05/27 MONSTER: DOL Cross-Reference Tab 12 05/27 MONSTER: Group Coordinate Conver 11 05/27 MONSTER: Far Inn Item Appraisals 12 05/27 MONSTER: Item Buy/Sell Prices 14 05/01 MONSTER: PBM Entry Form 75 05/01 MONSTER: Rulebook 122 05/27 MONSTER: Excel Mapper 17 05/27 MONSTER: Armor/Weapons 40 05/01 MONSTER: Totems & Groups 36 05/06 MONSTER: Mapping Utility 11 05/24 MAGIC: April Newsletter 33 05/24 MAGIC: Individual Cards from ABM 35 05/27 QUEST: FAQ 9/16/93 83 05/01 QUEST: Mapping Utility (PC) 67 05/01 QUEST: Signup form 156 05/01 QUEST: Rulebook 87 05/01 QUEST Rulebook (ZIP) 124 From: Dana Wright <email@example.com> Date: 01 Aug 94 22:40:10 EDT Subject: MI:?'s What is the maximum number of temples someone has been to and does it max out? I know that monsters have 5 Temples visited; I believe that at least one has hit the exact number (7, I recall). I don't think anyone has visited *more* than the minimum, and if he did what he would get. I suspect that you'd get more spells and more spell points, just like before. Maybe slower. And has anyone done a TS with their diety's favored Monster? Lots of people have done TS with their god's Hated Creature (I myself have sacrificed Myrrh Doves to Shroud). I have never heard of anyone doing the sacrifice with their god's Favored Creature. One rumor awhile back said killing a favored creature got him zapped and lost badness, or something. TS might work that way too. Is the TS obtained at a Temple or a shrine only or both? Can anyone help me out here? Newsgroups: rec.games.pbm Article: 13771 of rec.games.pbm From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CasbahCarl) Date: 11 Aug 1994 21:56:01 -0400 Subject: Monster Island: The Shadow Guardians Greetings Fellow Traveller! I am privileged to represent one of the most outstanding groups on Monster Island. The Shadow Guardians is a group of highly motivated, fun-loving and otherwise rabid Fuvites. Whether your monstrous dreams and desires urge you toward the discovery of new knowledge through exploration, the mystical transcendence of priesthood, or the bloody camraderie of warfare, we're the group for you! There are three tribes within the Shadow Guardians--each seeking to fulfill one of the three facets of the Fuvite mission: Battles, Knowledge and Love. In support of these noble goals, the Shadow Guardians publishes a monthly newsletter and makes available a wide array of resource materials, including databases of maps and blurbs that are among the most extensive on the Island. The Shadow Guardians has alliances with six other groups in which we share information and trade newsletters. Thus membership in the Shadow Guardians opens one to the collected knowledge of not just one, but many groups. Best of all, we're a friendly and lively bunch of monsters who will encourage and support your efforts on behalf of the group, as well as your own personal self-improvement. We understand that your number one priority is to have fun, and ours is to make sure that happens. We hope you'll consider joining the Shadow Guardians--We'd Love to Have You! If you're undecided, would like to know more information, or would like to do a little comparison shopping, please let us know! We'd be happy to answer your questions and even provide recommendations of other groups for you to consider. If the Shadow Guardians isn't your cup of elixir, we can steer you to one of our allied groups. But since we're the best, why settle for less!? :) Group Leader ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Bear The Tribes ^^^^^^^^^^ Daring Explorers --> The Pummel Bear Tribe ---- Garchoke Dar Mogore ---- Priestly Disciples --> The Xanxu Cave Spider Tribe ---- Ramses Sarcoma ---- <email@example.com> Fearsome Warriors --> The Bloody Mummy Tribe ---- Sol-Rac Orim ---- From: Sindre Stabell Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 16:02:10 CET Subject: Re: MI/UK news In UK MI there are rumours of a Jewelled Mace (DC5 Bashing weapon) and of a Wrestle With Jossmen blurb which allows you to enter the order WF Wrestle Friend. You are supposed to gain a lot of wrestling skill from this. Do you know anything about this? From: Gerald Hagedorn Date: Tue, 23 Aug 1994 14:07:58 -0600 (CDT) Subject: Question/Spell Points I just noticed something odd on my turn. Since I got my 5th temple I have been getting 25 spell points back each turn. Then all of the sudden a couple of turns ago I started regaining 26 each turn. A similar thing also happened to my other monster that has 3 temples in. Has this happened to anyone else?? I was under the impression that the # of points you got back each turn was effected only by the number of temples you had visited. Could it be that once you have been following a god for a certain amout of time you get a slight increase in the gain?? Let me know what you think. From: fuegi@CS.ColoState.EDU (Aaron D. Fuegi) Date: Tue, 23 Aug 94 13:12:34 MDT Subject: Re: Question/Spell Points Regarding your spell point question, first I will mention for you if you don't know it already that the number of spell points you get is 20% of your max spell points possible each turn regained. My guess is, given the change you mentioned that Jack probably just changed the rounding so that it is rounding up instead of down. What is the total number of spell points your monster has? To figure this out you may have to go back to the turn where you last got new spells? Article: 13880 of rec.games.pbm Newsgroups: rec.games.pbm From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Magle Brodersen) Sender: email@example.com Subject: Monster Island players at KJC Games Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 10:48:50 GMT Hello everybody! I just wanted to know if there are other monsters playing from KJC Games that have access to the net. I am willing to do information exchanges, if you like. Article: 13882 of rec.games.pbm Newsgroups: rec.games.pbm From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Christopher G. Wood) Subject: More MI newbie Q's Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 09:07:46 -0500 Thanks to everyone who helped me out with advice a couple weeks ago. I have a couple more questions if ya'll don't mind. *****Editor says: answers were provided by the following; email@example.com (David Perry) firstname.lastname@example.org (CasbahCarl) email@example.com (Garrett R Le-Page) (1) What do I do about thirst? >You sate your thirst by either coming across a pond or a waterhole (both >of which might be poisoned, but you only lose some health for that every >turn until you flush that out with a clean water source), or by going to >a Far Post or Far Inn, where you are served water free. You cannot get >water from the Sea or a Geyser. (2) I am about 30 squares east on turn 5. Should I be pushing eastward or should I stop to take advantage of terrain. For example at an early Quest for Knowledge last turn in Swamp, I discovered how to make Leather Armor. Unfortunately there is no swamp near where I ended up. Should I backtrack or just do without the armor until I find more swamp to the east? >That's a tough one, and it depends in part on how eager you are to >explore. If you stay west too long, you won't gain Toughness. But if you >head east too quickly, you'll get your butt kicked. Personally, I think >that Leather Armor is an essential item and I would backtrack to fashion >one. > >My advice at this point is to keep advancing east - there will always be >more swamp, and more interesting things await you the farther east you >venture. (Unless swamp is only backtracking less than a turn's distance - >then go back and make that armor.) (3) If I reeneter a square where I killed a creature last turn, can I attack it's relative? If so, will it be automatic or do I have to use an (A)ttack order? >There are others of it's kind in the square -- the only creature known >to travel from square to square are Plodders (and maybe Demon Condors.) >Frequently, if you return, you'll find the same creature immediatly. >Other times you'll have to look around -- using the A order, or even just >Jazzercizing or Practicing Weapons, or Questing. (4) Should I be using my knife or my driftclub as my primary weapon? >I believe the driftclub is better, and you'll find better clubs before you >find better knives, so it's good to have as high clubbing experience as you >can get as fast as you can get it. Frankly, I'd say go Quest for a Carved >Club (in low hills), and use that. In general, use the highest combination >of skill level and damage class you have. (5) I got to level 2 in Missile using my Sling. Should I continue to practice with it or switch my practicing to a different weapon? >The rules state that missile weapon practice is the most effective of all >the weapon types. It's always a good idea to have good missile proficiency >as well, and soon enough you'll have a better missile weapon with which to >do it. Also, please note that every time you hit with it, you gain a >little skill with that weapon -- and that hitting in combat gets you more >skill than just practicing. If it were me, I'd practice Missle unless >you only have level 1 in other areas -- then I'd work on a hand-to-hand >weapon and get that up to skill 2 before going back to work on Missle. (6) I'm getting 4-6 muscle per turn by (J)azzercising. Is this about how much I should be shooting for? >That sounds good. In fact, if I were you, I'd take advantage of the relative >easiness with which you can gain muscle in your early turns, and shoot for a >minimum of 5 Muscle per. More would be better. My one regret at the beginning >of the game is not developing my muscle as fast as everyone else seemed to. >My Turn-50+ monsters have to expend a minimum of 26 action points in order to >get 1 Muscle. Get it while the gettingsgood. Article: 13896 of rec.games.pbm Newsgroups: rec.games.pbm From: Jack Vinson Subject: MI: Gnitgnats and the Far Structures list Date: 26 Aug 1994 15:41:19 GMT Okay, my poor monster has been plagued by Gnitgnats for about five turns now. He's tried the two suggestions that occurred to him after questing for knowledge: walk through jungle and sleep in a hidey hole. Nothing. Any suggestions? Does someone have the Far Structures list? And is it accurate. I've found four Far Posts and the info on the list does not seem to be accurate. I'd also like to know where (0,0) is on that list since it seems some Far Inns are further West than the closest Far Posts... *****Editor: We published a list of Far places in a previous issue, and while it was the most comprehensive I've been able to find, it was not exhaustive and contained a number of omissions and errors. Add to that the nagging feeling that there are some Far Posts that have the same name, so I would be wary of using it as your sole source of information. Article: 13898 of rec.games.pbm Newsgroups: rec.games.pbm From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CasbahCarl) Subject: Re: MI: Gnitgnats Date: 26 Aug 1994 12:08:01 -0400 Personally, I like Gnitgnats. That's a guaranteed creature kill and missile practice for every single turn. Yeah, sure it's tough to get a date ("It's been 435 days since you had any."), but otherwise I think they're great! However, if you don't like 'em, the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to stay at a Far Inn. The Jossmen are kinda particular about the hygiene of their guests (go figure!) and will kill the swarm for you. +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ More Complaints about ABM and the world in general... From: usvkn7xn@ibmmail.COM Date: Wed, 27 Jul 94 11:44:12 EDT Subject: Fuvite Temple CS A rather upsetting occurrence happened last week that has the DOL and at least myself rather upset with Jack & ABM. We had been reconstructing a temple ruins 4 squares to the northeast of the Jolly Ogre. After 4 months of rebuilding while being attacked by Fuvites & Shroudians, not to mention LV orders performed by these villains, we were down to a few hundred AP remaining in the rebuild. At this point a group of Fuvites entered the square and performed a Ceremony of Sanctification on the Temple and made it a Fuvite Temple. The DoL Team still remained in the Temple square with all parties alive, but the CS order still succeeded. Mark Hall and I both agree that if they had left the square or had been killed that this would have been understandable. Due to the fact that the Ceremony of Sanctification blurb says: "The sanctification can fail for two reasons: A follower of another God is present in the square, or your God already has a temple nearby." We both are in agreement that this should not have occurred and are rather upset about it. I just succeeded in talking to Jack Everitt about this and he stated that the blurb is wrong in regards to this fact (CS with other followers). He said that it is common knowledge that this is not true... Just who this knowledge is common for I do not know. He said that he can not change the fact that this Temple is now a Fuvite Temple. This has happened several times in the past and he assumed that everyone knew that the blurb was incorrect. I intend to make sure this is common knowledge -- I will post on Bif's MR and the e-Monster newsletter. From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 08:12:10 EDT Subject: ABM coumputer error? The following is from a friend of mine who offers another idea on the mailing problems ABM is having: "The problem may not be e-mail related, but related to the general insanity of how that company is run. I just got back from overseas and was reading my monster results (more on them later). my turn was processed on July 19 at 11:14 a.m. But the envelope (I notice things like this) was postmarked July 18! That turn was mailed in. I think one of their problems may be that there computer is on the wrong date. From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 19:37:55 EDT Subject: Jack the GM on AOL Jack is back to posting on the AOL MI board--will wonders never cease!! :) Here are his posts: Subj: MI Programmed Using? 94-07-31 18:52:59 EDT From: ABMJack Rob, It's programmed in Microsoft QB 7.1 Prof. Dev. Sys. Have no idea total size of programs, as I use many include files, etc. Subj: Re:New order suggestion 94-07-31 18:54:11 EDT From: ABMJack Someday I'll "Make It So!" Subj: Re:Jack and combat 94-07-31 19:00:57 EDT From: ABMJack Rober, Ah, but I've also programmed an information game. The problem of course is that I haven't been able to add new info as fast you guys have gobbled it. This is very frustating to me, esp. since I have a ton of material waiting to leap into the game If only there was time to do it. I personally dislike battle-oriented games and much more prefer exploration oriented ones. As for the future, with online communication speeding the spread of new things discovered in the game - to a point where it's hard to envision anything being secret - something new has to evolve here. Something that takes into account Online info disbursion. Frankly, what PBM game isn't a Stat building game? Something I would love to expand is the depth of stats in the game, too. Sorry this isn't longer. -- Jack Subj: All: Temple Sancto 94-07-31 19:13:54 EDT From: ABMJack Yep, that blurb is incorrect. Not intentionally. I intended to program it the way it reads...but never got to adding in the part for checking to see who else is there. THEN, players seemed to like it not working...so I forgot about and of course, SPLATTT! I don't intend to change the way it works. I will change the blurb when I next tackle some MI programming tasks. -- Jack Subj: Re: Blurb errors 94-07-31 19:15:11 EDT From: ABMJack Hmmm...don't think they're are any intentional blurb errors. You guys already do a great job of spreading incorrect things, why would I need to add more? -- Jack Subj: Re: Bodden Camps 94-07-31 19:16:12 EDT From: ABMJack Gee, I haven't seen anyone enter one. Do I have a crooked Spyglass, or something? -- Jack Subj: Beyond the Crystal Wall 94-07-31 19:18:22 EDT From: ABMJack Ummm...it's not a question of How many desire it. I think Everyone who's on turn 60+ wants to see the next huge area completed. Especially, ME. It's simply a lack of time to do it. Fruststrate the hell out of me, too. -- Jack From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Thu, 04 Aug 94 11:50:36 EDT Subject: Bob from ABM on AOL The following is ABM Bob's wrap up of the situation regarding the BSE Slowdown. I'm copying it to you because he talks a bit about the operations at ABM, for anyone who is interested. Subj: BSE Delay 94-08-04 11:03:42 EDT From: ABMBob Sorry its taken so long to post a message regarding the recent delay in processing BSE turns. Here is what happened: The delay was simply caused by too much business being thrust upon us too quickly. We are now involved in mail order gaming sales and are also distributing to 400 stores. Such a rapid growth took us completely by surprise. Since Mike is a partner in ABM it immediately took him into many other jobs and what started as a BSE slowdown quickly turned into a stoppage after about a month. BSE was the only game affected as it is the only game directly processed by the three partners of ABM. All the other games kept up their normal, quick turnaround. Originally we had anticipated a stoppage of only about 2 weeks as we had hired someone to take over Mike's new responsibilities. We waited for that person to give their 2 week's notice at their current job so they could start with us. Well, the day came and the new employee had changed her mind without notifying us. That put us another 3 weeks behind schedule as we had to restart the search from scratch. All the time this was occurring, business was in the process of doubling once again. So...to sum it up. We now have 3 new full time members of our staff, and 2 part time. Mike is back onto BSE...and is sorting out the pile of turns that has accumulated. A lot of colony adjustments have been run, and a set of colony turns have been printed. I believe they've already been mailed. Everyone is receiving a coupon for a free 140TU turn for every turn you submitted that was affected by this delay. The colony printouts also are free. We still have some turns in the office to process, so everyone's turns are still not done. The reason for this is that a lot of very difficult turns have accumulated and these take considerable time to process. We are working on getting things back to normal ASAP. Political turns should be in the mail to you by this coming weekend. I hope this has helped explain things. You have our apologies for the stoppage as well as for not having been able to notify you earlier of what was occurring. Other than the switchover to the new BSE system a couple years ago, this has been the only "burp" in BSE processing in 14 years and it was handled as quickly as possible. Thanks very much for your patience and understanding. --Bob Cook From: Gerald Hagedorn Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 10:16:00 -0600 (CDT) Subject: Jack I have been extremly satisfied with the service Jack (and ABM in genaral) has given me, in the past. Recently I tried to get a hold of Jack for two weeks. The only way that I would be allowed to talk to him is if I was a Magic dealer. What is worse is that, not only is Jack not coming to the phone. Jack does not have time to even fix the bugs that exist in the program, let alone program in the new things that have been promised to us long ago. I am not going, spend anymore time complaining. What I am going to do is attempt to propose a solution. I think that Jack should hire someone, even parttime to program Monster Island. That would allow Jack to do Magic and us to have some progress. I would be willing if the game was updated constantly to pay $4.50, or $5.00 at turn. I just want something done. I had hoped with the hiring of the three new people at ABM that Jack would have time for monster Island, but that has not happend. What do you think about my Idea that Jack hire a dedicated monster Island program. If you like what you hear let me know, better yet let Jack know. The only way we are going to get any thing done is if Jack know how upset we are and how many of us are upset. From: email@example.com (Ilya Taytslin) Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 11:04:44 EDT Subject: ABM goofs Concerning ABM's goofs: very early in the game (almost three years ago) I got along with my turn results a copy of Mike Pan's credit card slip. I destroyed it, but someone else might have decided to use it... PS. Trident sells for 150 Ocs at a Far Forge. From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 00:03:15 EDT Subject: ABM complaints on AOL At Jerry's request, I posted his message on the AOL MI board, which raised some issues concerning ABM and customer service. Here are the postings that have resulted as of Aug. 23. Subj: Re:Jerry Hagedorn's Message 94-08-16 17:33:05 EDT From: Nemesis382 I agree with Jerry. Many DoL members are thinking of quiting due to the Temple incident, Jack won't answer many of our questions reguarding the situation. And that no new major "things" have popped up recently, many members are getting disatisfied with ABM service. It is getting boring lately. I've slowed down in sending my turns. Oh well, just my personal feelings. Subj: Re:Jerry Hagedorn's Message 94-08-17 00:11:57 EDT From: SteveS1709 Jack can, and has been, contacted here on AOL... he's called ABMJack. He has answered questions for me via email, why not give it a chance? Subj: Re:Jerry Hagedorn's Message 94-08-17 02:41:02 EDT From: MAMNON >>Jack can, and has been, contacted here on AOL... he's called ABMJack. He has answered questions for me via email, why not give it a chance?<< Steve, FYI: I have been informed of nearly *countless* instances of ignore-ance from ABM to their players. I also have my own experiance to go by. Take a poll of the very active and well conected, you'll find that in their opinion, ABM was doing well some time ago, then suddenly customer service took a SERIOUS dive. I guess you've been lucky. But I think others have been giving ABM a chance beyond the extent of dignity. Subj: Gen-Con 94-08-23 00:18:45 EDT From: Cashew Nut I went to Gen Con, the giant game convention in Milwaukee, WI. ABM said they would be there. When I finally found them, Jack was there. His one small table was completely filled with Magic Gathering card game. He didn't have one single thing on the table for any of his play by mail games. I asked about that and he pulled out some MI rule books and placed them on the table. The next day there was not anything for MI on the table again. No wonder he hasn't opened up the eastern area, nor gotten the Demi-gods into play. Any questions that we asked he danced around the issue, and didn't give any real answer. 20 days ago MI ran a turn for one of my monsters, and on his first move he ran into another monster and the two fought. He killed the other monster and then when he went to pck up all the equipment the computer crashed. After waiting and waiting and no turn result I called ABM up, they informed me of what happened and they said they are working on it. I still have not recieved a turn result. I think we, the played, should demand more attention be brought to MI. After all there are over 75 other play by mail games we could send our money on. I like MI, I enjoy the game, but what about continue improvement, customer service, fast turn around time, and game support. In Paper Mayhem issue #68 it listed a rating of 72 Play by mail games, Monster Island is listed as number 44 and ABM other two pbm games, It's a crime and Beyond the Stellar Empire are the bottom two on the list. It goes on to rate 42 pbm companys and ABM is listed 36. This speaks very badly for ABM and their current operational procedures. Subj: Re:Gen-Con 94-08-23 01:08:05 EDT From: SteveS1709 Unfortunately, ABM is in business to make money. They have many of us already committed to MI for a few turns, + the time we've invested in our monsters. They're testing our patience! Subj: Re:Gen-Con 94-08-23 10:04:00 EDT From: CasbahCarl I think you made many good points. I feel that ABM should decide whether they want to continue being a PBM company. In my personal opinion, developed from talking with numerous other players, ABM has not been a PBM company for several months now. They've been a distributor for Magic, and very little else. At least we get our turns processed. Those poor suckers on BSE have gone months without that happening, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky. By the way, Sol-Rac hasn't had a chance to slice and dice any Shroudians lately. Would you mind letting me know where I can find one of your monsters? ;) Subj: ABM (The Magic Dist. Company) 94-08-23 14:30:17 EDT From: MAMNON Quoting Chuck>> At least we get our turns processed. Those poor suckers on BSE have gone months without that happening, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky.<< Luck? LUCK?! No Chuck, it takes skill to find a PBM company that'll take your money and run you around as adeptly as ABM. Those suckers in BSE don't get charged for there misfortune, we do. Thanks for your input, we can count on you, and we're not even sending you 4 bucks every ten days. You are very right about the question of remaining a PBM company, they could save the customer base if they'd just sell the whole mess to another company. Hey chuck, would you like to pool resources? Between the two of us maybe we could BUY MI!! If we don't have enough cold cash, maybe we could get the players to buy it!! Like an employee owned company, you know? I AM serious BTW. PS: I vote for one of the DoL staff to moderate. Subj: Re:Buying MI 94-08-23 21:58:59 EDT From: RHDLAMB Quoting Morgan>> >if they'd just sell the whole mess to another company. Hey chuck, would you >like to pool resources? Between the two of us maybe we could BUY MI!! If >we don't have enough cold cash, maybe we could get the players to buy it!! >Like an employee owned company, you know? How much income does MI currently generate each month? It's probably only a fraction of what Magic brings in. Are the figures listed publicly anywhere? What would the code, mailing list, and other MI related assets be valued at? Ever since the BSE fiasco, I've suspected that ABM may be INTENTIONALLY ignoring, and thereby killing off, the PBM side of their business so that the Magic distribution side looks even better. Then they could justifiably say to investors/financial backers/BANKS who they may have made contracts or loans with before Magic: "look at the numbers guys, pbm is dying, magic is growing, let us drop pbm and restructure the company (and our loan) to that of a wholesale distributorship." Jack may want OUT of the pbm programming business, and who could blame him? After several YEARS of doing the same thankless job, Magic is probably like a breath of fresh air, big bucks with relatively little hassle. ABM might WELCOME an offer to take MI off their hands, along with BSE, Quest & Its a Crime. Subj: Re:ABM (The Magic Dist. Company) 94-08-23 22:32:09 EDT From: Seneca LXI I don't want to make it look like I'm laughing in all your faces (all = anyone who sends money to AbM), but isn't AbM supposed to be active in this forum, and all the other folders in their area? How long has it been since anyone saw a message from any of them up here, in any folder? Three weeks? A month? Six weeks? I vaguely remember seeing something around the first week of July...maybe I was halucinating! My heart goes out to you people who are still able to send money. Such compassion. (But, as someone else said, at least you are still getting turns back, unlike those fools in BSE!) [BTW, don't bother trying to buy a game from AbM: people who truly loved their games have been trying to do it for years. If they even accept an offer, they'll ask for far too much...rumor is the last quoted price for BSE was more than all of AbM grossed last year. You'll do far better off either finding a new game or starting your own from scratch.] Subj: Re:ABM (The Magic Dist. Company) 94-08-23 22:56:32 EDT From: RHDLAMB Quoting Seneca>> >How long has it been since anyone saw a message from any of them up here If you want a Real Good Laugh, exit out of this MI forum and check out the posting in the "Mail Order: Magic" forum, message from Hyperflash, dated 8/18. Is this ABMs new company in Florida, selling "computer products and jewelry", or did some rogue wholesaler just post randomly here and ABM hasn't checked their mail since then!? Pretty amazing either way. Maybe it was approved by ABM? Subj: Re:ABM (The Magic Dist. Company) 94-08-24 01:59:48 EDT From: Ewop I too went to Gen-Con and like Kathy said the table was filled with Magic Gathering cards. What Kathy failed to mention was that those stupied cards sold like hot cakes. In 15 mins. Jack must have sold $300 worth of cards. (makes our $4 every ten days look like a boogier don't it) I'm not going to knock what Jack is doing, and I would like to see him spend more time on his own games instead of hocking someone else's stuff. (hint, hint) The Gathering didn't turn me on, but neither did Cabbage patch kids or pet rocks. Subj: A watched pot don't boil... 94-08-24 05:08:56 EDT From: MAMNON The MI we knew is long gone. The game we play today is a back burner enterprise, simmering away untended on the fading flames of reputation and dedication. So now what? Subj: ABM Downhill 94-08-24 14:07:50 EDT From: Ross81 What is this about ABM going down the tubes? I haven't been playing for a long time so I don't know what it was like at the start. But, from the time I began till now I've always got my turn's on time. I have noticed one thing, though. I tried to get a new monsters a few weeks back and it took so long that I had to call. They haven't been getting very many new players in the last few months. So, that may be the cause for them to sell Magic. From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, Aug 24, 1994 11:09 AM EST Subj: Re: More ABM complaints I am glad that my posting got a dialog going. My intention was to find a suggestion to give to Jack on how to solve the problem. I have to agree that Jack is burnt out on monster Island programing, being a CS major I can't blame him much. I would think though that MI is bringing in enough money on it's own to hire atleast a part-time programer. I hope that ABM gets there act together soon because they are running alot of my friends out of the game. There are three reasons why I stayed with the game; the game itself, the people I run with, and the upgrades and service to MI by Jack. Soon I will Only have one of the three reason and when that happens ABM will no longer be getting my money for MI. They are already not getting my money for Magic. From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 16:48:14 EDT Subject: More complaints from AOL Subj: Aaa!! It's a monster... 94-08-24 14:56:27 EDT From: PhreakShow Well, I would give you a summary of my turn results but honestly,I am so disgusted with ABM at the moment, I am not in the mood. I have been extremely satisfied with the service Jack (and ABM in general) has given me, in the past. $$Ah, the good old days!$$ I have to agree with the complaint about Jack. I also hear he is spending more time with Magic....his business. I would hate to see the game loose the valuable expertise/experience of the older monsters, but it maybe what Jack needs to shake him up. (Although the way his attitude has beenprojecting lately, it probably won't)...with the impending baseball strike, have a solution! WE STRIKE! Why doesn't every monster in most of the groups, (I would say we could contact about 50% of the players using bif's alone) not run a turn in the month of november. This would give everyone 2 months (8 turns) to find a Far Structure, and hole up. The strike would not hurt any monster since, with the make up turn policy, you could just make up the turns you missed, pressing whatever monsterly advantage you long term gamers are striving for. $$A certain editor says$$ Take a poll of the very active and well connected, you'll find that in their opinion, ABM was doing well some time ago, then suddenly customer service took a SERIOUS dive. $$Could that have been when some lonely jerk invented a faddish money grabbing wonder called Magic? I heard that ABM's next trick is the cornering of the market in the resurging Pet Rock industry.$$ I HATE it when long time gamers drop out of the game. There is something lost, especially in an open ended game, when quality players stop playing... WE STRIKE! I agree with the idea that we have to make ABM remember that the customer (us) is still out there giving them money. MI has seemed to reach a point where ABM does not seem to care whether we are here or not, but this may not be the case if in some month (say November) a group of monsters does as you say. I have recently started playing Suzerainty and have decided that Steven Massey is an excellent GM. He is interested in the comments of the players and wants to know of any improvements that we would like to see to increase the enjoyment of the game. Jack seems to have lost this -- he does not seem to care at all. I have been informed of nearly *countless* instances of ignore-ance from ABM to their players. $$Welcome, have a seat. Grow old and die$$ I would be willing... ...to pay $4.50, or $5.00 at turn. I just want something done. $$Send us money. If we make a mistake, or fail to notice that you exist, send more.$$ WE STRIKE! Striking is a little drastic, but it could be what we need to do. I (and several of my electronically challenged friends) have been having problems with errors in input on our turns (and sometimes with turns just not showing up). The most recent was a weapons training at the Bottom Hill, was left off my turn. I called ABM and spoke to Jack. $$I guess SOME people DO get to talk to Jack!$$ He assured me that he was adding the order 'as we spoke' and that I would not have to waste an extra turn at the Far Inn. I then sent off my next turn. Low and behold, when the results arrived, weapons training at the Inn was not part of them. $$ Kind of like the dog that finally catches up to his own tail, it stinks (dogs don't wipe)$$ I am very dissatisfied with the (lack of) customer service the non-Magic side of ABM has shown in the past 3 months. I'm switching to Suzerainty...well, mostly anyway. Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-25 01:05:13 EDT From: RHDLAMB Ross, >I tried to get a new monsters a few weeks back and it took so long that I had to call. If you, or anyone else, wants to adopt a couple monsters, mine will be available shortly, stay tuned. I've found another open-ended fantasy game to play, PBEM this time, which is brand new (turn 8), lots of fun, much cheaper ($2.50 flat fee, weekly turns), and is ACTIVELY supported by the GM. Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-25 02:56:14 EDT From: JKim 21 I have to agree that ABM's service has deteriorated greatly. I remember a long time ago reading the Beyond the Stellar Empire board on AOL, and there were alot of IRATE former players posting messages. At the time, I never had any major problems with Monster Island (whenever there was a problem, it was solved quickly and courteously) and figured that the players that were complaining were just a bunch of whiners who didn't get their way. Lately, I'm beginning to sympathize with those former players. I've had a great increase in the number of input errors for turn submissions, the corrections seem to take forever and ABM's cuurent attitude about such problems are that they're a BIG hassle and make it seem like it's my fault. I agree it's a hassle to both sides, but the mistakes shouldn't be happening in the first place. A simple double check on turn inputs would probably eliminate most errors. A "J 26" turned into a "T 26" should not be happening. Turn results sent to the wrong player should not be happening. Errors made in correcting a previous error should not be happening. All these problems make a great game less enjoyable, and the question of "Is this worth $4?" comes up more and more often. One thing that stands out in my mind about the old Beyond the Stellar Empire posts is that these bitter, former players used to love the game. And mixed with their anger was a regret that a game that they had alot of fun playing before was ruined. I'd really hate to see that happen to Monster Island, but lately it seems to be on that path. I hope that Jack and Co. don't remain mesmerized from all the money coming in from selling trading cards, and still have some loyalty to their original customers. The same customers that kept the company running before Magic was around. Subj: Re:Next BMT 94-08-25 03:18:29 EDT From: MAMNON When is the BMT coming out? I've been wondering the same thing. ABM has been sitting on it for quite some time now. Actually, stacks of Magic cards are probably sitting on it. The BMT was probably buried under stacks of Magic paraphernalia immediately upon arrival. Or maybe they got some coffee and/or magic stains on the proof copy of the BMT and discarded it. Who (at ABM) cares anyway? Keith? I would like to concur with those who think Keith is an asset to ABM and the players. I think they should establish a customer service dept. and place Keith at it's head. Keith is always helpful and often perky. Yeah Keith!! If the players buy MI maybe we could hire Keith to moderate. Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-25 03:39:50 EDT From: MAMNON Quoting Jkim>>I've had a great increase in the number of input errors for turn submissions, the corrections seem to take forever and ABM's current attitude about such problems are that they're a BIG hassle and make it seem like it's my fault. Hey!! Thats my feeling exactly!! How'd you do that?! Subj: Looks like the plague to me... 94-08-26 17:20:29 EDT From: Abhorrence My my my. Has the screw-ups of AbM surpassed even BSE? Now, one of their most easily run games (input vs. turn cost) is suffering because AbM has actually not done what they promised? SHOCKING. Well, Carl, start keeping your eyes open because it will get a whole lot worse. They really believe that these cards are gonna make them millions and they'll last forever.... Gee.... many people said that about D&D. Nothing last forever, especially fads, and that is what these cards are. Once more AbM has chosen what part of the population they want to cater to, the younger crowd who have no real concept of money and the power it gives someone. Mark my words, as soon as they get a sign of these cards dwindling they will come running back trying to salvage what they have, covering up everything that happened. Life goes on, people, so don't waste your time waiting for these guys to start listening to you. They haven't tried that for over 6 years, and they are not going to start now. Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-26 17:01:35 EDT From: Sarnath GM I'm a former BSE player and I started the question to AbM in their folders up here and we were all kicked out and put in the commercial area (see the BSE thread in there for a lot more detail). I played MI for a few turns, but didn't like it, but it seemed interesting. The unfortunate thing is that AbM is running it like they did most of their other games that are either history or heading there (IAC and BSE). You all have to realize something, and that something is you are all consumers, and should get what you pay for. Your vote is your dollar, and if you are not happy then leave. If the game gets better, you can always go back, but be careful! AbM has a very good history at lettng teir games slip, and as long as they are making money (somehow and someway) they'll go in that direction. They seem to not realize that a company should have as its number one priority CUSTOMER SERVICE. If your customers are satisfied they will not only continue to play, but bring others in. AbM seems to feel (and have said it in the past) that they can always make up the losses of a few players with new ones. There are a lot of quality games on the market, and there is no need to settle for less. So if you are not happy, tell them to "mothball" your monster, and sit out the game for a while. If they really do change (and I doubt it, sorry) you can come back, but at least you make your feelings known. Sorry to be so long winded, but sometimes I just cannot sit by and watch others fall into a nasty thing like this. Whatevr you guys decide to do I wish you all the luck with it! :D Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-26 18:09:50 EDT From: Atrickpae Well folks, I'm bummed. I just started playing MI. I waited 3 weeks for my first turn, which I recieved only after writing to ABMbob with no response, and then my second turn sheet was lost! I waited 2 weeks before realising something was amiss. I wrote a heated letter to Bob and a make-up turn was generated. Now I found this board only to discover that these problems are widespread. But the other thing I've noticed is the mention of other PBEM games. Luckily my losses are minor in quitting this game as I have no time invested in a character. Why should I continue playing a game when the only response I get is after threatening to quit? Nor am I willing to invest money in a game run by a company whose rep is questionable if there are other competitors out there anxious to get a piece of the pie, especially if it translates into superior product and response? So the search begins anew. Anyone have a recommendation? Subj: Re:ABM Downhill 94-08-26 20:10:29 EDT From: PaulMcGinn Oh well! Just 275 turns down the tubes.Let's see 275 times $4 equals only $1000. Actually there were $3 turns in there but who cares? It's still to damn much if I can"t finish what I intended to do with my monsters.It's hard to kill a demi-god disciple when they aren't even in the game. Believe me I'm starting to rack up make-up turns and I had never done that before.It used to be as soon as I got my turn it was going back out the same day so I could get my next turn as soon as possible.Now.........when it gets there it gets there. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ From: CasbahCarl@aol.com Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 14:04:35 EDT Subject: Jack's Response Subj: Superior Service 94-08-27 12:49:08 EDT From: ABMJack Please accept our apologies for the less than stellar service at times in the past month. I'm afraid it's going to get worse in early September, but by October we hope that everything will be running smoothly again. So, please bear with us, as we are trying very hard at our end. -- Jack Everitt +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Editor Gets The Last Word... I run two monsters with about 200 turns between 'em. I've been lucky, I guess, to have had no major problems with ABM. I've never had a turn lost, or delayed very long. Had a few input errors, but they were so minor I never even bothered to have them fixed. Both my monsters are still in the thick of it, getting 5 blurbs a turn for the last few turns. Maybe they are developmentally challenged, but there is still lots of things for me to do out there. I have sympathy for those who've reached 'the wall', who've done it all and await the new with desparate hope. I hope myself that by the time I reach that level, the new area has opened up and all is right with the world. For now, I'll continue playing and hope for better days. But if you decide that the game isn't any fun for you anymore, please give us on the net a chance to give your monster a new home. There are more than a few people who would love to take over an established monster. Meanwhile, stay tuned! eMonster News will continue to bring you every bit of news that happens. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+