Text Based Gaming

Yesterday, I had stumbled upon a hand drawn map I had did for The Rose: Council of Guardians. It was for my own record and possible use for Tunnels & Trolls as well since it was a easy role playing game to get into. There was also a support site for The Rose with a lot of ASCII maps as well and I managed to grab a few of them so I could use it to find my way to important locations and rest areas to heal up.

Let’s just say my fingers danced a lot over the keyboard back in those days as well. When I took up resident in this small town here in 1992 there where five (sometimes six) BBS’s and one one was busy you just connect to another. And for those who don’t know about the bulletin board system, here is what Wikipedia has to say about :

A bulletin board system, or BBS, is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through email, public message boards, and sometimes via direct chatting. Many BBSes also offer on-line games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. Bulletin board systems were in many ways a precursor to the modern form of the World Wide Web, social networks and other aspects of the Internet. Low-cost, high-performance modems drove the use of online services and BBSes through the early 1990s. Infoworld estimated there were 60,000 BBSes serving 17 million users in the United States alone in 1994, a collective market much larger than major online services like CompuServe.

Indeed, it was a strange and magical time back then. That’s when I discovered The Rose: Council of Guardians on one of them. By this time I had my fill of Legend of the Red Dragon and was looking for something more to explore and to grow upon, and with The Rose you could do just that.

I had created a couple of characters and one of them advanced up in levels and then one day the BBS I frequented was gone it went the way of the dinosaurs. And over the years I had forgotten about it, until the other day when I was skimming through some duo-tangs of gaming adventures that I had written up and discovered the World of Corinthia and some of the ascii maps of South City Forest, Satyr Woods, Imperial City, Quentin and Spalango and decided to re-imagine them in a new mapping program. I know I had added in a few other places since I was thinking of running a Tunnels & Trolls campaign using this kingdom…. places like Lando Lake and Misfitville to give players more options to explore.

But, looking at my notes had stirred up some memories of long hours on the computer tying up the phones lines that’s for damn sure.


The Rose: Council of Guardians

Kingdom of Corinthia

Long before the World Wide Web there were BBS’s and on those BBS’s there were text based games. These Bulletin Board Systems where interconnected by individual computers with a main server in the area and others to dial up into. It was used to leave messages, but basically there where several text based games that one could play.

One of those text based games was The Rose: Council of Guardians and I was hooked on it for the longest time. Exploring the city than the surrounding areas; battling goblins, orcs, visiting gypsies and being trained in skills. The further you explored the more the monsters hit a tad harder. There where many late nights of exploring, adventuring with another player or two, or just sitting in the tavern and chatting about things.

The Rose was just such a place that was what the kids call a “time waster” these days. But, it was an awesome waste of time.  Even though you where on line and tied up the phone lines and some people got upset because your phone line was always busy and they where trying to get a hold of you. Ah, good times, good times.

The world was name Corinthia and it sort of inspired me to sketch out a map of it as I explored to keep it handy by me to see where I was and how it related to the other areas. Also, I decided to use the setting for a Tunnels & Trolls world since the races involved were similar in nature: Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Fae, and Giant. It was a good time while it lasted and then the internet was born and BBS’s where disappearing, dying out like dinosaurs.

The other day I stumbled upon Corinthia in my T&T section on the shelf and dusted off the duo-tang and had a look at my makeshift map and decided to give it a make over once again, to breathe new life into it and awaken some memories that where locked in a nostalgia drawer.

I added a few more towns here and there and other areas to explore. But the main areas and settlements are still there: Spalango, Quentin, Imperial City, Gypsy Camp, Satyr Woods, South City Forest and Wizards Spire as well as Dragon Whelp Mountains and Connover Ridge.  I still have the ascii maps of some of the areas like Spalango and Quentin and the Satyr Woods as well. But, for now here’s my version of the world and how I saw it.




After fancing up my Andor Kingdom for Quest of the Ancients RPG. I decided to hunt up some other maps of kingdoms I had drawn up over the years. Then I stumbled upon my world map of QUERP. Yep, the planet is named after the very role playing game system it got it’s name from. At the time I had picked up QUERP, there was no default setting, so I created a world. After drawing the continents and adding the mountain regions and forest, I started naming them. Starting from the southern most land I started jotting down names as they popped in my head. The names didn’t have any meaning other than sounding cool in my head. After I jotted down Brusia, the big island in the middle of the Rorisea, my two youngest children were arguing in the other room. Which gave me the inspiration of two warring nations of Savaria and Bailos, then I added Peytara to the north since this nation is sort of a peacekeeper and friends with both.

The island kingdoms just to the north west of Peytara names were drawn from players that graced my game table at one time or another: Shelbia, Bridgetta, Erynne, and Sarahana. This left the long continent just north of Peytara and so Chancetta was born, as well as Darrylan.

The frozen continent I named Kharrl. Because, I heard an animated llama say it and seemed like a good name to use. And thus there was QUERP all ready to go and to be explored. I only had done up Brusia Kingdom in full since that’s where the adventurers would start, maybe I might write up the rest just for the hell of it.

I’m in a creative mood of late.


Quest of the Ancients: Andor Kingdom


My Version of Andor Kingdom

Quest of the Ancients is a fantasy role playing game by Vince Garcia and published by Unicorn Game Publications in 1988. Basically, it could be considered a retro-clone of Dungeons and Dragons since it mainly focused on the skill system used in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game. But, instead of using a twenty sided die you used a thirty sided one for, what I guess, a change of pace.

My friend, Dave and I, stumbled upon it back in 1991-92 in a used game rack. Dave snatched it up since it $10 and he figured he’d give it a read and mine it for world information for his gaming group. Though, he started to read it some ideas for adventures formed in his noggin about adventuring in this realm of Islay.

I didn’t get my copy of the game until a few years ago. I read through the book and then I did a rough sketch of my version of Andor that no player has ever lain eyes upon and no character set foot in it… yet.

The backstory for Quest of the Ancients is that the world is named Jewel and Islay is a huge continent with several nations in it. One of them is Andor Kingdom; in the rule book several nations are written up and have details of the land the kingdom is in. All except for Andor which only has two paragraphs written:

Andor: This was the former capitol of Gorus during the First age. Known then as Modia, it was a powerful nation that united with Hocwrath and Krella to form a confederacy seeking to dominate the continent. After the demis of Gorus and the Triad. Modia fell into a state of chaos and darkness lasting for centuries. It is left undeveloped for the GM to utiluze as he chooses.
Capitol: Arkon
Government: As determined by GM.
Sovereign: As determined by GM.
Deities worshiped: As determined by GM.

Also the map of the continent left Andor blank as well so that a GM could build up in and populate it the way he/she wanted it. Basically, with the detailed world around it,  it is easy for a GM to insert their own kingdom in it. And so, I went about to build up Andor with a great lake in the center, a few forests and a lot of ruins peppered in this new kingdom.