Each character is allowed 5 actions per game turn. If a player misses a turn, the computer generates Defend actions for his characters. Late turns will be accepted, but any moves that conflict with other players, and even attacks on non-player provinces adjacent to other player Kingdoms, will be disallowed.
The computer first does every character's first action, then it resolves every character's second action, and so on. The characters with the highest total ability levels (including all increases for magic items and sage discoveries) generally go first, with March ability counted three times.
One exception is that when a character is ordered to Defend, he will always go last.
Another exception occurs when two characters (A & B) are in the same province, and character B wants to do something non-aggressive for or with character A (such as Recruit, Leave or Pick Up armies, casting favorable spells, friendly Encounters and Giving magic items.) In this situation, character A will wait for character B. Also, when character A is coming into a province where character B has plans to do something for character A, even if character B has higher initiative, he will wait for the character A before performing the action. The characters must be of the same kingdom.
Another exception is when a character Pursues another character, and they are in the same province, the Pursuing character will go right after the Pursued character.
If two characters are tied after all this, the lower-numbered character goes first.
The following actions are now explained in detail:
The character Moves to an adjacent province. You cannot Move to a non-adjacent province. If the character has an army with him and the province is occupied by a enemy army, combat occurs. Moving into a province also counts as a partial exploration of the province, with half the effect of an Explore order. If a character Moves into a province for the first time, all unexplored adjacent provinces are described in general terms (terrain, race and ruler). This description counts as a 1% exploration. Unconquered non-player land provinces will usually be defended by 1 or 2 armies. Non-player sea provinces are undefended unless inhabited by whales or mermen. When an army leader Moves into an enemy province, any enemy armies in that province who had been ordered to move away and haven't yet moved out of the province, stay for the battle instead, unless they are sent to an adjacent province by a general who has Defend orders.
If a character is ordered to move to a hex number, but is not adjacent to it, he will move towards it (through friendly hexes, if possible.) The movement order will override orders in a subsequent phase only if the character is practicing in that phase.
The character will stop chasing the province if he can't find a legal way to move closer to it in one phase.
If there are two possible provinces that are both closer to the target province, the following priorities are used:
The character may Explore the province he is in, which allows a chance of finding a feature such as a dungeon or pyramid. There can sometimes be more than 1 feature in a province. The character is told the name of the feature, the treasure that legend says lies within, and the monster guarding the treasure. The Basic Exploration Number for each terrain type is listed in the Terrain Table. An exploration will result in (Basic Exploration Number x (Skill in Explorer Ability + 1))% of the province. A character must Explore 100% of the province to make sure that everything in the province has been found. Exploration also may uncover battlefields, in which case you will be informed which soldiers have fallen in the province. You can explore a province even if its been 100% explored, with the object of learning whether there are destroyed armies in the province. This is useful for the Skeletal Armies spell. Exploration does not reveal information on armies or leaders in the province.
Sometimes you get rumours of previously unheard-of features in your turn reports. About half of these rumours are true, but the rest are false in some respect: the treasure may not actually be there, and/or the feature may be in a different province (although its usually at least next to the rumoured province.)
Monsters are described when they are first discovered, as follows:
|Weak||7-12 hit points|
|-||13-19 hit points|
|Large/Strong||20-29 hit points|
|Powerful||30-44 hit points|
|Very Powerful||45+ hit points|
If a monster has an exceptional ability, such as a Melee ability of 2 or higher, it is described as the next highest level than its hit points would ordinarily justify. Monsters can have abilities not described in your turn report. For example, swordsmen can also have some minor magic. You can expect many intelligent or magical monsters to have magic too.
Note: You can explore a province even if it’s been 100% explored, with the object of learning whether there are skeletal armies in the province.
A character may Search any feature that has been discovered by his kingdom, or that he hears about from another King. When a character Searches a feature, he must face the guardian monster first. He specifies an Encounter Plan. If he defeats the monster, the treasure in the feature is his.
Searching a feature can also trigger a special event: for example, a character may scout a magic pool, drink its waters and be blessed with increased ability, or perhaps be cursed (though this is less likely). See Scout encounter tactic [5.8]. You can Search a feature to Scout it even after the monster has been killed.
A character may Search a feature in a province he does not own, or a feature they have not discovered yet, if they know the location and feature number.
Characters must Search features as individuals; it is a point of honor to defeat a monster in single combat. Armies may not Search features, although a character may Search a feature while leading an army.
You can Search a feature to scout it even after you have killed the monster.
With each Recruit order, a character must specify the army types he will Recruit and the character who will lead the armies. Any character in the province may lead the armies, or they can be placed under the garrison commander. Each province has 1 or 2 army types that can be recruited from the populace. Garrison units may also be recruited, and a character may recruit mercenaries if any are located in the province. You can Recruit armies from the populace only if you own the province, but mercenaries can be Recruited in any province by any character, even a King who owns no provinces. If a character recruits an army type in a province, and there is an Average or higher quality mercenary army of that type in the province, then the mercenaries are hired. Otherwise an army is levied from among the populace, and will be of the same race as the province's population.
Normally, only one army of each type may be recruited per province per turn. There are two exceptions. First, in a King's home province two of each type can be recruited per turn. Second, Garrison units may be recruited in any province populated by humanoids, up to a limit of two per game turn. Within these limits, one order can be used to Recruit any number of armies.
If you can't recruit an army type in a province because the natives don't have that type, you can still recruit it IF the recruiting leader, or the leader you are recruiting for, has an army of that type under his command. The army will start out at the normal quality, but will cost DOUBLE to recruit (because the required armament for that type is rare in that province and you have to pay more for it, or pay to "have it shipped in.") You still only recruit the same number of armies: if there is only 1 army type in the province, you can recruit only 1 army. If there are 2 types, you can recruit 2 armies of any type that your leader commands. Another example: in your home province, you could recruit 4 armies of one native army-type, and the second two armies would be double-cost (but still Average quality.) You can only recruit types that make sense for the province's race (for example, you can't recruit Dragons in a Human province or vice versa.) You CAN recruit any humanoid army type in any humanoid province (humanoids being men, elves, orcs and dwarves.) A recruited army will always be of the provincial race, not the race of the armies led by the recruiting character.
An army is paid when it is hired (the sign-up bonus), and the King must pay the same cost to maintain it at the end of a turn. You can never Recruit armies belonging to another kingdom or defending a non-player province.
A character is allowed to recruit an army in a province belonging to his ally. The recruiter pays 1 gold to his ally for each recruited army. In this way, a vanquished king can hope to get on his feet again.
When you recruit units in an ally's territory, the computer always makes sure that in any given phase, the owner of the territory has the right to recruit there before you do. Also, if you are recruiting in your former home province which is now your ally's province, you can recruit 4 units, and they will start as Average units.
In order for you to Recruit in your ally's territory, he MUST issue a "Treat" order with you (even though you may already be allied.)
Any character can attempt to Hire a Hero in the same province. The character offers a payment of 1-4 gold to the Hero. If the pay required by the Hero is equal to or less than the offer, the Hero will enter the service of the Kingdom at the pay required by the Hero (which may be less than the offer.) The Hero is paid when he signs up and at the end of each game turn.
The pay required by a Hero varies from King to King depending on how much liking he has for your Kingdom, and is unrelated to the ability of the Hero. It helps if the Hero has the same temper, same race and similar alignment. A King can rarely Hire Heroes with an alignment more than two steps removed from his own alignment (for example, a Good King can't usually Hire a Pagan Hero.) You may give a hired Hero orders starting with the action phase after the phase in which he is hired. You can't Hire a Hero who rules his own province.
Releases the army(s) into mercenary status. A King may Disband any army at any time. A character can Disband an army only if he is in the same province. The disbanded army(s) will wander around as unemployed mercenaries until hired by another character. To disband all armies led by the character, write "(DI)sband All".
If there are mecerenary armies in a province when a general passes through it, they may follow that general instead of staying behind.
Releases the Hero into private life. A King may Fire a Hero at any time. A character can Fire a Hero only if he is in the same province. The Hero will wander around until hired by another King.
The specified army(s) stay in the province instead of accompanying the character. If you Leave an army in an ally's province, the army then belongs to the ally. To leave all armies led, write "(LE)ave All". You may leave your armies to garrison the province, or give them to another leader, if the leader is in the province at the time the leave order is executed.
Also, let's say one of your characters and one of your armies are in the same province, but the character does not lead that army. That character is still allowed to "Leave" the army to another character, or the garrison commander. Therefore, the "Leave Armies" order becomes an all-purpose "Transfer Armies" command.
When you use the "Leave" as this transfer command, if you "Leave All", it will still only leave units that you directly lead, not units under other commanders or the garrison command.
Picks up the specified army(s), which will then follow the character around.
You can Pick Up an army led by a co-located character. You can't use the Pick Up order to pick up a unit for another character. You can't use the "Pick Up" order on an army in the same turn that the army is recruited. (exception is Pick Up All).
To Pick Up all UNLED armies (with Garrison Commander) in the province, write "(PI)ck Up All".
The character can attempt to Cast a spell in a Magical ability that he has some skill in. The spell must be an Action Spell, not a personal-combat spell. The chance of success is 15% plus 15% per level. Be careful that you don't use the Cast Spell command to use a magic item.
The character Uses a Magic Item to cast a spell, specifying the ID number of the magic item. A spell cast from a magic item is automatically successful.
The character attempts to Encounter another character in the same province, to talk to him, steal from him or engage in personal combat.
If a character wants to Encounter another character with combat in mind, there are some limitations. Heroes who don't lead armies can always be Encountered by other Heroes, but evade encounters from Kings 50% of the time. Kings only accept a non-peaceful encounter if both King and challenger attempt to Encounter each other in the same province in the same phase. Heroes who lead armies also do not accept encounters.
If the encounter plan has no combat tactics or personal combat spells (including Charm), these restrictions do not apply. If the Steal tactic is used in such a restricted encounter, the chance of success is halved.
If 2 or more characters are in the same province and all characters Practice the same ability in a phase, and one character has a higher skill in the ability (unmodified by magic items he possesses), the character(s) with the lower skill in the ability will rise in skill 1 level (provided he has sufficient aptitude, explained below.) If the characters have the same skill level, there is a 10% chance of rising 1 level for each character. A character who Practices alone has a 5% chance of rising 1 level.
When a character Practices an ability with another character, and one character has higher skill because he possesses a magic item that raises his skill level, that magic item does not count and both characters have only a 10% chance of improving.
A character's chance of rising 1 level is halved for each level beyond his natural aptitude. For example, if a character has a natural aptitude of 1, he has no trouble attaining level 1 in an ability, but has only a 50% chance of attaining level 2, a 25% chance of attaining level 3, and a 12.5% chance of attaining level 4. This applies even when the character is learning from a character with a higher level. The chance to increase by experience is affected by aptitude in the same way.
Aptitude may increase if a character is due to rise in level, (either from practicing or experience), but can't because of low aptitude. The chance of an aptitude increase depends on the current skill level:
A character Spying on a province will report on its owner, owners of adjacent provinces, taxation of the province, army types recruitable there, and whether the province is the capital province of the Kingdom.
When a character spies on a province in a phase, he will have a chance of knowing about any events that occur in the province in that phase. These events will be described in the General Intelligence Report, which is separate from the character's spy report.
There is also a chance of finding out what Sage Discoveries the spied-on Kingdom has, and obtaining them for the use of your Kingdom. Sage ability also has something to do with spying out inventions. If a spy sees an invention, some Sage ability will help him figure out how to get it for your kingdom. Sage level 1 will be more than enough to understand all common inventions, but higher ability may be needed for inventions of obscure design. The chance for discovering an invention by spying is limited to twice the chance of discovery by Sages.
Once per game turn, a spy will also report on the military forces and characters in the province. If a character spies on a province, moves to an adjacent province and spies there, the King will get this military report for both provinces.
Spies always give accurate reports of the events occurring in a province, but military reports, taxation values and army types are subject to a margin of error which decreases with increasing skill in Spy ability. A character may only Spy on a province he is actually in.
A general ordered to Defend will be able to react to enemy invasions of adjacent provinces for the rest of the turn. For example, if you order a general to Defend as his first action, and an enemy general invades an adjacent province as his fifth action, your general will move his army to that province and his troops will fight with the defenders in the battle. This movement does use up movement points, and if an army uses up its movement points it can no longer react to an invasion.
Your Defending general will act fairly intelligently. For example, if an enemy sends armies into a Defended province and two adjacent provinces, the Defending general will go to the aid of one adjacent province with a part of his forces if he is strong enough; if not, he will stay to defend the province. If he wins a battle, he will Pursue the general who invaded an adjacent province. Note that in order to move to one province to defend it, then move back across to the other adjacent province, he would have to move three times, in which case he would have to have armies with a speed of at least 3, or good March ability.
A general will not react to the invasion if his army can't move there because the terrain does not allow it. For example, a general in a land province who leads 1 Fleet and 3 Bowmen doesn't have enough transport to move into a Sea province if it is invaded, and can't move to a land province because a Fleet may not move directly from one land province to another.
You can order your general to Defend an area of 7 provinces, centered on any province up to two provinces away. However, he will only react to an invasion of a province if that province is adjacent to both the province the general is currently in and the province he was assigned to Defend. Note that you can use this rule to limit the provinces you want to Defend.
A general with Defend orders may use the rest of his actions to practice, explore, etc. If he receives a Move, Pursue or Trail order, the Defend order is canceled.
A character's Defend order is canceled if he loses a battle, to prevent further needless defeats.
A "Defend" order will include defending your ally's territories, but only if you are Enemies with the player who attacks your ally.
A character can be ordered to chase after another character for the rest of the turn. For example, if you order a character to Pursue as his first action, he will keep moving from province to province until he arrives in the province occupied by the targeted character. You can specify other actions on phases 2 through 5 which will be attempted if the pursuit is resolved before the end of the game turn. All rules listed under the Encounter action apply to Pursuit encounters.
If both characters lead armies, the pursuing character will attempt to run him down and defeat him in battle. If the Pursuing character does not lead any armies, then an encounter plan must be specified which will be executed if they meet. If the scent is cold, this may take time, so it is best if you move the character to where the targeted character was last known to be.
If the Pursuing character leads an army and the pursued character doesn't, or visa versa, the Pursue order is ignored. If you Pursue or Trail character who belongs to your Kingdom, and both characters start in the same hex, the Pursuing character will perform the action after the man he's chasing.
"Characters On Patrol" (Police Academy 7?!): This is like the Defend order, except whenever the character hears of an intruding character, he chases him down.
Write this order by having the character "Pursue" his own character number. This means the character will track down any detected Enemy character who enters a hex next to the character. The evasive skills of Thieves and Spies still operate normally.
The "Patrol" order works differently in some important respects from the Defend order, while in other respects they are quite similar:
The character follows and spies on a character, gaining information on the character's Actions, race, temper, alignment, treasures owned and armies led.
If the character is a King, some information may be gained concerning the finances, alliances, enemies and controlled provinces of the Kingdom. Like the Pursue order, the Trail order ends when the character finds and has spied on the character for one phase. Further Trail orders would be needed to maintain the spying. A character leading an army may not be ordered to Trail.
A character may Give a magic item to another character. List the ID number of the magic item and a co-located character who will receive it. The characters may belong to different kingdoms. If so, you may specify that the gift will be made only if the recipient Gives you a specified magic item in the same phase.
You can give limited amounts of gold to other Kings. Only a King may use this "Give Gold" order. The King does it by using the Give command together with a specified amount of gold, giving it to another player's character (King or Hero) located in the same province. A King may give out in a game turn no more than 10% of the size of his treasury at the start of the game turn (although he may always give out at least 10 gold if he has it in his treasury.) Be careful that you don't "Give" an amount of gold that equals a magic item I.D. number carried by the King.
|Action||Chance to Improve Ability|
|Move (on land, with armies)||10% Forced March|
|Move (by sea, with fleets)||10% Naval|
|Recruit or Hire||5% Druid|
|Pick Up or Leave Army||5% Forced March|
|Pick Up or Leave Naval units||5% Naval|
|Cast Action Spell||10% in related Magical Ability.|
|Supreme Commander at battle||15% Tactical or Naval|
|Lead some units at battle||10% Tactical or Naval|
|TA-lk to opponent||10% Druid|
|FI-re arrows||10% Archery|
|CA-st combat spell||10% in related Magical Ability|