General Information (general.txt)

General Information
===================

PWMAngband is basically a complex multiplayer dungeon simulation. A player
creates a character, choosing from a variety of races and classes, and then
plays that character over a period of days, weeks, even months.

The player will begin his adventure on the town level where he may acquire
supplies, weapons, armor, and magical devices by buying from various shop
owners. Then the player can descend into the Pits of Angband, where he will
explore the many levels of the dungeon, gaining experience by killing
fierce creatures, collecting powerful objects and valuable treasure, and
returning to town occasionally to buy and sell supplies. Eventually, as the
player grows more experienced, he may attempt to win the game by defeating
Morgoth, the Lord of Darkness, who resides far below the surface.

Note that PWMAngband is a very complex game, and it may be difficult to grasp
everything at first, especially if you have never played a "roguelike" game
before. You should probably browse through all of the "online help files",
especially this one, before beginning any serious adventuring...

About the game
==============

PWMAngband is available for Windows systems, although it can be played under
Linux by simply using WiNE. It is written in C, and the source code is freely
available.

See the Official PWMAngband Forum Page at
http://www.mangband.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=9 for up to date information
about the latest version of PWMAngband, including a complete list of recent
modifications. Feel free to post compliments, complaints, suggestions,
bug reports...

See the Official MAngband Home Page at http://mangband.org/ for up to
date information about the latest version of MAngband, including a complete
list of recent modifications.

See the Official Angband Home Page at http://rephial.org/ for up to date
information about the latest version of Angband, including a complete list
of recent modifications and a wiki about the game which includes a full
user guide.

This version of PWMAngband is under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL)
version 2. A copy of this licence is included with the game, in the file
copying.txt.

The basic help files supplied with this game are more or less up to date,
but when in doubt, you should ask the newsgroup or the forum for
confirmation.

Remember to tell all your friends about how much you like PWMAngband...

A quick demonstration
=====================

PWMAngband is, as mentioned above, a very complex game, so you may want to try
the following quick demonstration. The following instructions are for
demonstration purposes only, and so they are intentionally boring.

For this demo, we will assume that you have never played PWMAngband before,
that you have not requested any special "sub-windows", that you have not
requested any special "graphics" modes, that you have a "numeric keypad" on
your computer, and that you are using the default options, including, in
particular, the "original" command set. If any of these assumptions are
incorrect, you will need to keep in mind that this demo may not work. There
are many ways to view this file while playing, in particular, you should be
able to view it using the "online help" built into the game.

The first step is to select a server on which to play. If the metaserver is
up, a list of servers will automatically appear when the client is launched.
Choose a PWMAngband server (common servers are powerwyrm.publicvm.com,
wyrmband.ath.cx and pwmangband.seymourfamily.org). If the metaserver
is down, you may be asked to choose a server manually by entering its name.

When the game starts up, you will be asked to enter your account name. For
this demo, let's assume you don't have one, so enter an account name and a
password to protect your account, and then press 'a' to create a new
character.

During character creation, you will be shown the character information screen,
and you will be asked a series of questions. For this demo, enter a character
name and a password to protect your character (you can use the default name and
password which are equal to the account's name and password), and press 'a'
three times to select a "female human warrior" character. Then press 'b' and
'Enter' to choose the standard roller, and choose stat order by pressing
'a', 'e', 'd', 'f', 'c', and 'b'. Press 'Enter' twice and your
character will be placed into the "town".

You should now be looking at the basic dungeon interaction screen. To the
left is some information about your character. To the right is an overhead
view of the town. A lot of things happen in PWMAngband while the game is
waiting for you to specify a command, so stay safe in the Tavern and take
a good look at the town. You will see a variety of symbols on the screen. Each
symbol normally represents a terrain feature, an object, or a monster.
The '@' symbol is special, it represents your character (or any other player
currently connected to the server). You can use the '/' command to find out
what type of monster a given symbol represents. Press '/' then 't' now
to verify the meaning of the 't' symbol.

The large rectangles represent stores and houses. The "numeric" symbols
represent an "entrance" to a store. The '.' symbols represent the "floor".

Any "alphabetic" symbols always represent monsters, where the word
"monsters" specifies a wide variety of entities, including people, animals,
plants, etc. Only a few "races" of monsters normally appear in town, and
most of them are harmless (avoid any mercenaries or veterans if you see
them). The most common "monsters" in town are small animals (cats and dogs)
and townspeople (merchants, mercenaries, miscreants, etc).

Now use the 'l' command to "look" around. This will cause the cursor to
be moved onto each "interesting" square, one at a time, giving you a
description of that square. The cursor always starts on the square
containing your character.

Now press 'i', to display your character's "inventory". New characters
start out with some objects to help them survive (though there is an option
to start with more money instead). Your character will have some food, a
potion, some torches, and a scroll. Press 'e' to see what you are
wearing. You will find you are wearing armour on your body, wielding a
dagger and lighting the way with a torch. You have many other
equipment slots but they are all currently empty.

Press 't' to take something off. Note that the equipment listing is
reduced to those objects which can actually be taken off. Press 'g' to
take off the armour, and then press 'e' again. Note that the armour is no
longer shown in the equipment. Press escape. Press 'w' to wield something
and observe that the inventory listing is reduced to those objects which
can actually be wielded or worn, press 'e' to put the armour back on.

So far, you have used the 'w' and 't' commands, which
take energy, and the 'e', 'i', 'l', and '/' commands, which are
"free" commands, and so do not take any energy. In general, the only
commands which take energy are the ones which require your character to
perform some action in the world of the game, such as moving around,
attacking monsters, and interacting with objects.

If there were any monsters near your character while you were experimenting
with the 'w' and 't' commands, you may have seen them "move" or even
"attack" your character. Although unlikely, it is even possible that your
character has already been killed. This is the only way to lose the game.
So if you have already lost, simply exit the game and restart this demo.

One of the most important things that your character can do is move around.
Use the numeric keys on the keypad to make your character move around. The
'4', '6', '8', and '2' keys move your character west, east, north,
and south, and the '7', '9', '1' and '3' keys move your character
diagonally. Explore the town and try to find the '>' symbol. This is a
"staircase" - it is the entrance to the dungeon.

Attempting to stay away from monsters, try and move your character towards
the entrance to the "general store", which is represented as a '1' on the
screen. As your character moves around, use the 'l' command to look
around. You can press escape at any time to cancel the looking. If you die,
start over.

One of the hardest things for people to get used to, when playing games of
this nature for the first time, is that the character is not the same as
the player. The player presses keys, and looks at a computer screen, while
the character performs complex actions, and interacts with a virtual world.
The player decides what the character should do, and tells her to do it,
and the character then performs the actions. These actions may induce some
changes in the virtual world. Some of these changes may be apparent to the
character, and information about the changes is then made available to the
player by a variety of methods, including messages, character state
changes, or visual changes to the screen. Some changes may only be apparent
to the player.

There are also a whole set of things that the player can do that can not
even be described in the virtual world inhabited by the character, such as
resize windows, read online help files, modify colormaps, or change
options. Some of these things may even affect the character in abstract
ways, for example, the player can request that from now on all monsters
know exactly where the character is at all times. Likewise, there are some
things that the character does on a regular basis that the player may not
even consider, such as digesting food, or searching for traps while walking
down a hallway.

To make matters worse, as you get used to the difference between the player
and the character, it becomes so "obvious" that you start to ignore it. At
that point, you find yourself merging the player and the character in your
mind, and you find yourself saying things like "So yesterday, I was at my
friend's house, and I stayed up late playing PWMAngband, and I was attacked by
some wild dogs, and I got killed by a demon, but I made it to the high
score list", in which the pronoun changes back and forth from the real
world to the virtual one several times in the same sentence. So, from this
point on you may have to separate the player and the character for
yourself.

So anyway, keep walking towards the entrance to the general store until you
actually walk into it. At this point, the screen should change to the store
interaction screen. You will see the name of the shop-keeper, and the name
of the shop, and a list of objects which are available. If there are more
than twelve different objects, you can use the space or arrow keys to
scroll the list of objects. The general store is the only store with a fixed
inventory, although the amount of various items may vary. One of the items
sold here are flasks of oil. Press 'down' to highlight the line with
flasks of oil and press the 'p' key to purchase some. If you are asked
how many you want, just hit enter. Any time you are asked a question and
there is already something under the cursor, pressing return will accept
that choice. Hit enter to accept the price. Many commands work inside the
store, for example, use the 'i' command to see your inventory, with the
new flask of oil. Note that your inventory is always kept sorted in a
semi-logical order, so the indexes of some of the objects may change as
your inventory changes.

Purchase a few more flasks of oil, if possible: this time, when asked how
many you want, press '3' then return to buy three flasks at once. Flasks
of oil are very important for low level characters, because not only can
they be used to fuel a lantern (when you find one), but also they can be
ignited and thrown at monsters from a distance. So it is often a good idea
to have a few extra flasks of oil. Press escape to leave the store. If you
want, take time to visit the rest of the stores. One of the buildings,
marked with an '8', is the "Tavern", and is not a real store. You can stay
safe in this building, people and monsters won't be able to attack you while
you're inside.

Now move to the staircase, represented by the '>' symbol, and press
'>', to go down the stairs. At this point, you are in the dungeon. Use
the 'l' command to look around. Note that you are standing on a staircase
leading back to town. Use the '<' command to take the stairs back to town. You may find that any townspeople that were here before have disappeared and new ones have appeared instead. Now use the '>' command
to go back down the stairs into the dungeon. You are now in a different
part of the dungeon than you were in before. The dungeon is so huge, once
you leave one part of the dungeon, you will never find it again.

Now look at the screen. Your character may be in a lit room, represented as a
large rectangle of illuminated floor grids ('.'), surrounded by walls. If
you are not in a lit room, keep going back up to the town and back down
into the dungeon until you are. Now look around. You may see some closed
doors ('+') or some open doors (''') or some open exits ('.') in the
walls which surround the room. If you do not, keep playing the stairway
game until you are in such a room. This will keep the demo simple.

Now look around using the 'l' command. You may see some monsters and/or
some objects in the room with you. You may see some stairs up ('<') or some stairs down ('>'). If you see any monsters, move up next to the
monster, using the movement keys, and then try and move into the monster.
This will cause you to attack the monster. Keep moving into the monster
until you kill the monster, or it runs away, or you die. If you die, start
a new game. If the monster runs away, ignore it, or chase it, but do not
leave the room. Once all the monsters in the room are dead or gone, walk on
top of any objects in the room. Press 'g' to get the object, and it will
be added to your inventory. If there are any closed doors ('+') in the
room walk up next to them and press 'o' and then the direction key which
would move you into the door, which should attempt to "open" the door.

Now use the movement keys to explore the dungeon. As you leave the room,
you will probably notice that your character cannot see nearly as far as
she could in the room. Also, you will notice that as she moves around, the
screen keeps displaying some of the grids that your character has seen.
Think of this as a kind of "map" superimposed on the world itself, the
player can see the entire map, but the character can only see those parts
of the world which are actually nearby. If the character gets near the edge
of the "map" portion of the screen the entire map will scroll to show a new
portion of the world. Only about ten percent of the dungeon level can be
seen by the player at one time, but you can use the 'L' command to look
at other pieces of the map. Use the '.' key, then a direction, to "run"
through the dungeon. Use the 'R' key, then return, to force your
character to "rest" until she has recovered from any damage she incurs
while attacking monsters. Use the 'M' key to see the entire dungeon level
at once, and hit escape when done. If your food rations are still at index
'a' in your inventory, press 'E', 'a' to eat some food. If your oil
is still at index 'b' in your inventory, and there is a monster nearby,
press 'v', 'b', ''' to throw a flask of oil at the nearest monster.
To drop an item from your inventory, press 'd' plus the index of that
item. You can use the '^X' key to quit and save the game.

You now know enough to play a quick game of PWMAngband. There is a lot more
for you to learn, including how to interpret information about your
character, how to create different kinds of characters, how to determine
which equipment to wield/wear, how to use various kinds of objects, and how
to use the more than fifty different commands available to your character.
The best resource for learning these things is the online help, which
include, among other things, a complete list of all commands available to
you, and a list of all the symbols which you may encounter in the dungeon,
and information about creating new characters.