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Sorcerer Wars

I remember my first sorcerer war well. Arriving in the tearoom one Thursday evening to find Kyric the arch-wizard surrounded by dozens of novices! What was going on? Someone told me to get a novice persona if I wanted to play in the sorcerer war. "But what was a sorcerer war?" I replied, someone else was telling me to hurry, so off I trotted to get myself a novice before waiting for a reply. I returned as Kyric was explaining some rules, but there was so much chattering going on, I didn?t really catch much. Kyric then waved his arms in an impressive fashion and suddenly I found myself a sorceress! A sorceress?? What can I do as a sorceress, the highest level I had reached until then was a heroine. We were all told to "Go NORTH!!" so I did, then immediately stopped having left the tearoom. I pondering on what to do now whilst many other sorcerers (all with the prefix sorcerised) rushed past me waving weapons and other items I had not even heard of before!

Kyric seemed to be shouting at us in an exasperated manner, probably because he had dozens of people firing questions at him, including me. From the shouts I gleaned that we were all meant to kill each other! But the biggest thing I had ever taken on was the ram, and that was out of no choice of mine! I had certainly never even considered attacking a fellow player. Surely I wasn?t experienced enough to keep hold of my shiny new sorceress (which I didn?t have the slightest idea what to do with anyway!). I asked a few new-found friends I had made about this killing and dieing business and found out that my sorcerised persona would only last for this reset, and I would lose it if I died or quit from the game. Hmm, so my "flee out.qq" string that had saved me from many ram attacks wasn?t going to be useful here ... "Still," I thought to myself, "If this was only a temporary persona, what the hell, lets get stuck into it with the rest of the marauding hoards." I found myself a weapon and wandered about aimlessly. I soon bumped into a fellow sorcerised persona, we engaged in battle and it wasn?t long before I found myself blind!

"Help! I?m blind!!" I wailed at my friend.
"Unblind yourself then!" came the helpful reply.
"Oh yes ... I have magic now ... "

My unblind spell worked in time for me to see my attacker fleeing as he had been attacked himself by a group of other sorcerised personae. I decided to get out of there quickly before the gang turned on me. I went off to take a look at the SPELLS list, which my friend had also told me about. I played around with useful looking spells such as BLIND, UNBLIND, CRIPPLE, UNCRIPPLE and WHERE <object/persona>. My friend suddenly warned me about using my magic too much and how I would lose magical powers all together if my magic dropped below 1. He told me that sleeping would help regenerate magic, as it does stamina. Seeing my magic was on about 5 I decided to sleep there and then.

"Ok, sleeping on the badly paved road wasn?t such a good idea", I thought to myself as I was rudely woken up a short time later by someone?s dagger making contact with my axe. A couple of unblind spells later, I fled pitifully leaving behind my weapon. Being on low stamina, low magic, weaponless and not knowing my way around the land very well, I was a very easy target. And sure enough, I fell pray to some mean sorcerer who ended my brief, but fun (if not panicky) existence as a sorcerised sorceress.

And so ended my first sorcerer war. Although I enjoyed it thoroughly I didn?t really have any idea as to what I was doing, or even what I was meant to do at the beginning. The fact that I arrived only minutes before the war started didn?t help as I probably missed the usual preamble where rules and advice are given. Kyric was obviously very busy with half the players pestering him with questions. Luckily there were a couple of people I already knew playing who I could turn to for advice and information. But not every new-comer has this and all too often a sorcerer war is cut short for inexperienced players.

The aim of this article is to give people a brief introduction to sorcerer wars and provide some help and tips in playing.

Sorcerer Wars are either run as pre-advertised events, with big prizes (points and/or vouchers) or impromptu smaller events run at the discretion of any wiz that may be about. Advertised sorcerer wars are generally held on a Thursday night at 9pm, which is the usual event night, although occasionally they have been held on a weekend night. These events usually attract large numbers of players, in the region of 40-50 these days. The standard format of a sorcerer war, whether it be a large pre-advertised event, or a much smaller impromptu one, is that players start the reset with a novice persona with no points. Everyone gets magically transformed into a sorcerer (with the prefix sorcerised), and once everyone gets the go ahead, they can leave the tearoom and start the war! If you die, or quit the game for whatever reason, you lose your sorcerised persona.

The aim of a sorcerer war is kill as many sorcerised personae as possible, although the winner is either the last person left alive, or the person with the most kills, depending on the actual event and who is running it. As a sorcerer you will now be able to make use of magic, and by typing SPELLS you can see what spells are available to you. Useful spells are BLIND/UNBLIND <persona>, CRIPPLE/UNCRIPPLE <persona> which are self explanatory, and also WHERE <object/persona>. This is very useful to find objects such as weapons, and also useful to track any sorcerer who you may be hunting or running from.

Finding a safe sleeping place is crucial during a sorcerer war, but it is also very difficult. Sleeping in a bedroom in the cottage or sleeping in the hut is not advisable. Some of the best places to sleep are those rooms named identically to other rooms, e.g. dense forest, pine forest etc, in a maze, or in a room that is hard to reach. When you have explored the land with your normal persona you will have probably found various rooms where only one persona can fit, e.g. the bathroom in the cottage. This does not apply to sorcerised personae, which means that two sorcerised personae can now fit into what is normally a one-man room.

There are a number of variations on the standard sorcerer war theme. A number of wars have been held where people pair up, then go about working together obliterating the other pairs. There have also been two wizzes vs. mortal sorcerer wars, two teams battling it out, the winning team being the team to have totally wiped out the opposite team. Another variation in the normal war format is re-sorcerising. This is when a certain amount of time is allocated at the start of the reset (usually anywhere between 10-30 minutes) where if you die or quit the game you will be made into a sorcerer again. This type of war is particularly helpful if there are a lot of inexperienced players about as it gives them a chance to get into the swing of things.

Sorcerer wars are a great opportunity to learn and get more experience with fighting. The chances are that many people will not last long for their first few sorcerer wars, but they are held fairly regularly, so people should get a chance to get skilled at them if they wish.

But more importantly, sorcerer wars can be great fun!