FAMOUS ADVENTURER'S CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL
ADVANCED ADVENTURING COURSE
So you had to be a Hero?Edit
Now that you've been on your own in the real world of high-powered adventuring, you have probably discovered that there is more to this hero business than was covered in your Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School Handbook. (After all, why should we tell you everything at once when we can make big bucks selling you additional manuals?)
In your everyday Quest for Glory, you are bound to encounter situations of such magnitude and unbelievable stress that you probably say to yourself, "Maybe I should have take the Famous Accountants' Correspondence Course, instead."
Relax. We here at the Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School have the information you need. For just 10 golds, plus 25 silvers shipping and handing, we will send your free copy of the Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School's "Advanced Adventuring Manual". This manual will help you survive the everyday stress and strain of marauding monsters, malicious magic, and corporate managers to archive the acme of your adventuring activities.
You, too, can become an "Advanced Adventurer". Guaranteed, or double your money back (minus shipping and handling charges).
How to be an Advanced AdventurerEdit
What is an Advanced Adventurer?Edit
When an adventurer becomes bored with bravery, fatigued with fighting, or ho-hummed about heroics, it's time to start thinking upward mobility. You're in the hero business now, and you can't just rest on your laurels. You must explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations. A hero must boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before - and come back alive.
Now that you've mastered the basics of combat - the trusty thrust, the brash slash, the ordinary parry, and the hodge-podge dodge - it's time to discuss the backbone of battle, the essence of the fracas, the gist of the joust, the peanut butter and jelly of true pugnacity - Strategy and Tactics. As the Old Adventurer would put it:
- "You got to know when to fight 'em
- Know when to be polite to 'em,
- Know when to dodge away and know when to run
- You've got to practice fighting
- Any time you're able,
- 'Cause there ain't (sic) no time for practice,
- When the monsters come. "
Now it is true that some people confuse strategy with tactics, and vice versa. Here is a simple mnemonic to help you keep straight which one is which:
"If it is prophylactic and emphatically didactic, then it's not tactic."
- This is the perfect job for the aggressive, gung-ho type fighter. If you have the moxie for mayhem, the obsession for aggression, the resolution for revolution, and a few friends, then you, too, can have a successful career in pillaging and looting. Imagine yourself at the head of an entire army, storming the countryside and leaving only havoc in your wake. If you love the smell of naphtha in the morning, this is the job for you. Remember - it's "Loot before pillage, sack before burn".
- To be a Hero is, of course, one of the preferred occupations for Fighters of all times and climes. Receiving the adulation of a grateful peasantry (and often as not a few members of the fairer - which is to say, preferred - sex) can do wonders for your ego. The more substantial rewards from those of means can also be very useful when it comes time to advance one' s education and career with our marvelous Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School supplementary materials.
- The Paladin is the Goody-Two-Shoes of champions and the Dudley-Do-Right of defenders. This job is clearly not for everyone. If you are willing to be bold for no gold, risk your name without acclaim and campaign without gain, this could be the occupation for your emulation. A Paladin is a hero's hero (and he can have him). Frankly, Paladins constantly become involved in extremely dangerous quests like slaying Dragons, and rarely survive long enough (or earn enough) to purchase our all-important F.A.C.S. pamphlets.
- Combat Instructor
- It has often been said that "Those who can, do, while those who teach, survive." Of course, this is generally repeated only by those who have never taught. Combat instructors, Drill Sergeants, Samurai Sensei and others of their ilk have two great advantages over most members of the violent vocations they collect steady pay, and eventually Social Security.
- Security Guard
- If you have pangs about pain, misgivings over martyrdom, and are terrified of torture, then the more modest monotony of being a watchman may be for you. The security guard's life is fairly free of strife, but sadly susceptible to extinction by ennui.
- There are few jobs more dangerous, or less rewarding, than that of the Combat Nanny. On the whole, you're better off charging Dragons than changing diapers.
Advanced Magic UsingEdit
Having mastered the basics of magic and gained skill in a few spells, it comes the time for a fledgling Thaumaturgeto figure out what he (or she) wants to do with him-(or her-) self. It is all very well and good going around impressing the rubes with a few trivial gestures of your hands, or broiling a few brigands with your Flame Darts, but merely showing off your magic is hardly the be-all, end-all for a professional. Besides, it doesn't pay particularly well.
Now is the time to go beyond what you learned in Spellcasting 101. If you are tired of low-paying jobs with no security, you need to quest for glory. You, too, can be upwardly mobile! It's time to start learning some real magic.
The best way to improve the status of your spells is to travel to a place where Wizards congregate. Through the city of Shapeirtravel many experienced magic users on their way to the Wizard's Institute of Technocery. This city is thus a good source for advanced scrolls. Whether you wish to commit to the study and time it takes to become a true Wizard, or just pick up a few new incantations, a journey to Shapeir is definitely a step up the magical corporate ladder.
Wizard's Institute of TechnoceryEdit
The Wizard's Institute of Technocery, or WIT, is the ultimate University of the Occult. Within its ivory towers, the aspiring Wizard can learn the inner nature of magic. Of course, it takes time, dedication, and a true love of learning to master the many mysteries, to become the complete conjurer.
Naturally, the Wizards of WIT do not wish to be found by any riff-raff of a would-be wonder-worker. After all, any yahoo can do hoodoo, but WIT's hallowed halls are reserved for the few, the proud, the elite- the true Wizards. While the entrance to WIT is reputed to be in Shapeir, the Institute itself is said to exist on another plane. The entrance is well-hidden from all but those meant to find it. If you are among them, careful application of your knowledge should soon point the way.
Before you can become a full-fledged student, you will be given a series of entrance examinations. Failure is not held against you - as long as you are willing to try again. These trials are a learning experience in themselves.
- Career Paths for the Successful Magic User
- Career Paths for the Not-Quite-So-Successful Magic User
- Royal Magician
- While perhaps not the most prestigious of possible professions for the profound prestidigitator, the position of palace performer is preferable to pecuniary paupacy. More precisely, it pays.
- Weigher of wonders, theorist of thaumaturgy, meditator on mysteries, the wandering Wizard is a savant of sorcery, a watcher of weird, and an academician of enchantments. Delving deep in mystical manuscripts, the Wizard seeks to know the True Meaning of Life, the Universe, and how to do the voodoo that the Zulu do to you.
- The Archmage is the epitome of Power, the elite of enchanters, the creme de la creme of conjurers, the nonpareil of necromancers. Archmages are pretty hot stuff, in fact.
- Court Jester
- While not as dignified as some of the other occupations, Court Jesters, Stage Magicians and street entertainers have one thing that makes them the envy of other professions - an audience. Having someone to appreciate the subtle spinning of a spell, the incalculable incoherence of your incantations, or just to laugh at your jokes, is well worth the price you pay in prestige.
- Computer Programmer
- Just because you are incompetent at incantations, klutzy at conjurations, or a dud at divination does not mean you can't work magic. You, too, can have a successful career in computer programming. Just send away to our Famous Computer Programmer's Correspondence School for further details.
- Corporate Manager
- If you prefer the power of the petty bureaucrat - having people constantly wait upon you, passing down directives on Wednesday which must be completed by Tuesday, and sitting in an air-conditioned office while less clever Magic Users are flame-broiling fiends in the hot Summer sun - then the job of Corporate Manager is for you. Let others do your work for you. Even the simplest Calm spell is more than sufficient to make friends and influence people, encouraging those of lesser ability (such as Computer Programmers) to work long hours of unpaid overtime on your behalf.
Basic Spell UsageEdit
The more skill a Magic User has with a spell, the greater the effect and duration of the spell.
- This was developed for avoiding awkward situations, such as physical combat. It relaxes the natural aggressive tendencies of things in the area of the spell for a short duration. Once in actual combat, however, it is ineffective. A calmed opponent will just calmly eat you. With advanced skills in this spell, it is possible to calm even non-living things.
- Erasmus's Razzle Dazzle produces a bright flash of magic which temporarily blinds an opponent. This, of course, presupposes that the opponent HAS eyes.
- Detect Magic
- This spell is used to perceive the aura of magical power which surrounds objects which have had spells cast upon them. It can also be used to find invisible creatures and things.
- Flame Dart
- This offensive spell projects a ball of magical fire towards an object
- This initially is useful for unlocking simple locks, but can be used to open doors when the caster is sufficiently skilled. Unfortunately, it will not affect most magical locks or doors, or those doors barred on the other side.
- R. Rogers's Reactivating Ritual, or "Trigger", is used to 'set off' operating magical spells already cast upon some object. Thus a Magic User can avoid damage from magical traps. Trigger can sometimes be used to both 'turn on' and 'turn off' certain spells.
- The Leyden's Latent 'Lectrical Discharge spell, or 'Zap', allows a caster to place magical energy upon a weapon. This is released when the weapon strikes an opponent, increasing the amount of damage.
Advanced Spell UsageEdit
- Force Bolt
- Aronson's Arcane Arbalest of Action and Reaction, or 'Force Bolt', is a magical globe of energy which is used to push against something in the distance. Because it can 'bounce' off an object, it can be used against things not in direct line of sight. When properly aimed, a Force Bolt can be made to bounce several times before releasing all of its energy. It may be used as an offensive spell.
- Ellen' s Enchanted Elevator, or 'Levitate', spell allows the spell caster to move up and down at will. This is ideal for getting the book you need off the top shelf in your library or for dusting the top of your refrigerator. This spell continually drains the caster's Spell Points while in use.
- Kirkov's Cosmic Karma Cookies or 'Reversal' reflects offensive spells back upon the caster. Cast this spell before entering magical combat. It should be noted that when two opposing Magic Users both use this spell, the results can be very dangerous to spectators.
Advanced Thieving TechniquesEdit
Warning: If you have not studied the F.A.C.S. Cutpurses' Curriculum, do NOT read this section! This contains classified, top-secret information for Thieves' eyes only.
You have your toolkit and the skill to unlock the securest safe, the stealth to sneak by the surliest security guards, and the dexterity to direct your dagger to your desired destination. You practice daily; honing your skills every chance you get to create that finely tuned machine that is your body. Now it is time to talk about the other tools of the trade.
- In the words of the immortal Sam 'the Man' Ganges, "You gotta scope the rope if you wanta cope."
- This is often overlooked as an essential part of the thief's equipment, but it happens to be very handy. Squeaky hinges on cabinets and doors can create the creak that causes the cops to capture a crook. Oiling hinges reduces the noise considerably. Oil is also useful for moving heavy objects.
- Thief Sign
- The recognition signal used among Thieves is one of the most closely-held secrets of the Consolidated Thieves' Guilds. But you are a Thief, right? No peeking now, the rest of you! O.K. To make the top-secret Thieves' sign, first place your thumb upon your nose with the hand held perpendicular to your face, and the fingers outspread. Then wiggle your fingers while focusing your eyes upon your thumb and patting your belly with your free hand. You should make the sign whenever you believe yourself to be in the presence of a fellow practitioner. However, you should be aware that not all politicians will recognize this symbol - some of them are scabs.
- There does come a time when even the best of thieves gets caught without his equipment, and he really needs to open a lock. True, you may be standing before a locked door at the dead-end of a corridor of the castle of the black prince who has sworn an oath to torture all thieves, with his two neanderthal guards marching towards you, only to discover that you left your lockpick in the shirt pocket of the suit that you sent to the laundry this morning, but it is very important in this sort of situation not to panic. Analyze the situation. Is the door simply latched on the other side? If so, a simple insertion of your Thieves' Guild card should pop the latch. Is the door unlockable with a skeleton key? Then any thin, metal probe such as the pin that was in the black prince's feathered hat which you just happen to find in your backpack can be used to click the lock. Is the door firmly bolted on the other side and does it resist all your attempts at breaking it down? Then put the hat of the black prince on your head covering most of your face, stroll towards the guards, give them a lecture about their appearance, telling them not to slouch, letting them know that you will not tolerate sloppiness, and then push on past, leaving them to think that the black prince has poor taste in clothes combinations. All you need is a little imagination, and you can get through any situation.
- What thief can't imagine himself (or herself) in a fancy oceanside resort, gambling and gallivanting by day with beautiful (or handsome) members of the opposite (or whatever) sex unable to keep their hands off you, and stealthily sneaking by night into the cabins of the rich tourists and accumulating more wealth to fritter away the next day?
- Chief Thief
- Rising to the head of the Thieves' Guild is high status in this workaday world. To gain this coveted position, it is important to have contacts. Be sure to impress any Chief Thieves you meet and go out of your way to demonstrate your talents. Remember, it's not who you know, it's whether they know you.
- To really become a Godfather, it helps to have plenty of relatives. You must learn to use bad grammar and mumble when you speak. Above all, be generous. If someone has something you want, make him an offer he can't refuse.
- Tax Accountant
- If you think juggling figures and balancing budgets doesn't take a lot of agility, try it someday. For a real test of agility, try balancing two sets of books!
- It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.
- See politician.
Professional Adventuring OrganizationsEdit
This place is where adventurers can get together, relax, and chat about monsters. It is a good place to catch up with the local gossip and to learn about local employment situations. Be sure to sign in when you first enter a strange town to give yourself official Adventurer Status. Otherwise, the locals might mistake you for a vagrant and have you arrested. It's an easy mistake.
This organization is for real Heroes. This means no pansy Magic Users or slimy Thief scum will be admitted. Only the best and the baddest can join the 'Eternal Order of Fighters'. You got to have true grit and heavy mettle. We're glad you're bad and we're keen you're mean. "EOF - The Guts, The Glory, The Greatest!" Membership by invitation only.
This benevolent organization provides a thief with the comfort of a home away from home. Where else can you relax in public knowing no one is looking through the Wanted ads for you? Where else can you be certain the jolly stranger next to you is attempting to pick your pocket? How else can you be bailed out of a strange jail?
The way to locate the local Thieves' Guild is to contact a local thief by use of the Thieves' Sign. Once you have found the guild and identified yourself, it is not uncommon to be asked to prove your identity. A simple test is often given to prove your worth to the organization. Accomplishing this trial will improve your position in the guild. Failing the test will earn you the rank of 'convict.' It is recommended that you do not fail.
Special Southern SupplementEdit
The Land of ShapeirEdit
Shapeir is a small Sultanate in the South. It consists of two major mountain ranges surrounding a desert of sand dunes. Its climate is arid and extremely hot in the Summer. It has two major cities: the capital, Shapeir, in the north, and Raseir in the south. Shapeir's principal income is from imports and exports as it is along a major trade route. It is noted for its exotic scenery and fascinating bazaars.
Background and HistoryEdit
The twin cities were built around Katta settlements (see Sentients of Shapeir) protected by mountain barriers. Magical springs which never run dry create the central fountains of the cities. Both Raseir and Shapeir were designed as mirrored cities, with the Sultan's Palace in Shapeir, and the Emir's in Raseir.
Some thousand years ago, a Marid called Iblis (see Djinn) attempted to rule the world and turn all men into slaves. He created a huge city in the desert and tried to summon the Djinn to his side. The Sultan Suleiman bin Daoud in turn summoned all the magical Djinn he could bind, and a great war occurred. Iblis was defeated and bound into the form of a statue. Ruins remain near Raseir of what is now called the 'Forbidden City.'
The Sultan is the absolute ruler of the realm. The current Sultan, Harun alRashid, is noted for his wisdom and judgment. The Emir is the governor of Raseir. During the past year, the Emir of Raseir is rumored to have disappeared, and there have been disquieting tales about the current political situation.
- Without it, you are just a heap of bones covered with sand. It is best to carry several waterskins when traveling in the desert. Water is available in the cities and at the occasional oasis.
- The friend you can depend upon for roaming the dunes. This creature makes an excellent mount. It is fearless, loyal, and quick to defend its master against monsters. It is obedient and willing to go wherever its master wishes. Most critically, it can always find its way back to the place where it is stabled, so it never gets lost. A properly trained Saurus will understand such simple commands as "go home," "Stay," and "Get off my foot." Your Saurus -- Don't leave town without it.
- For long distance travel of any sort, it is best to join a caravan.
The basic coin of the realm is the Dinar, a gold coin equal in value to the gold coin of Spielburg. The people of Shapeir also use centimes, which are small brass disks. The current rate of exchange is one silver to ten centimes, and ten silvers (or one gold) to one dinar.
When visiting the city of Shapeir, it is wisest to first seek out a Money Changer, who will exchange your coins. This person will usually retain a small percentage as an exchange fee.
Sentients of ShapeirEdit
There are several intelligent races associated with this region.
- Humans are a relatively new race to this area. They created the cities and towns which occasionally dot the landscape of Shapeir.
- Small humanoids with a frivolous outlook on life, Gnomes, as always, go anywhere they choose to go in order to have fun. Since mankind seems to be the butt of many of their jokes, wherever humans congest, Gnomes are pests, as they frequently know magic. If you become the victim of one of their practical jokes, it is best to grin and bear it.
- Katta are small, feline-like humanoids which have adapted well to dealing with human society. They resided for centuries in the region around where Raseir was built, but are now found throughout the Southern regions. They are gifted artisans and talented merchants.
- Half horse and half human, the Centaurs roam the deserts of Shapeir in nomadic herds. They make excellent guides for this region, since they take pride in knowing the desert like the tips of their tails. Centaurs are extremely honorable, but have no sense of humor. They do not get along well with Gnomes.
- The Liontaur looks like a cross between a human and a lion. They reside primarily to the south of Shapeir in their great kingdom of Tarna. Occasionally a young male will wander into the Shapeir lands. Liontaurs are fierce fighters and very proud, so it is best not to annoy them.
The Land of EnchantmentEdit
When Shapeir is called the 'land of enchantment', it is not simply a motto. There are many magical beings residing here.
They are all shape-changers, but most frequently take man-like forms. They are occasionally found trapped in items such as bottles and rings. Releasing a Djinni from such an item can be very dangerous.
- Djann take the shape of animals, live in the mountainous areas, and are seldom seen.
- Djinn are commonly associated with air. Tales are told of wishes being granted to whomever releases a Djinni from an item. Tales are also told of the Djinni destroying the one who released him.
- Shaitan prefer to live around streams and running water. As this is an extremely arid region, Shaitan are extremely rare.
- Ifreet are fiery creatures that prefer the remote dunes of the desert.
- Marid are the most powerful of all the Djinn.
Much of the magic in Shapeir has to do with shape-changing. It is not uncommon for humans to be turned into animals, animals into humans, and snakes into Trademark Lawyers. It is wise to be wary around Wizards and Djinn to avoid this occupational hazard.
Endemic Monsters of the Desert RegionsEdit
Creatures endemic to the desert regions have one outstanding characteristic - they are tough to kill. The evolutionary reasons for this are rather obvious. A monster, as always, is defined as "that which attacks before asking questions".
- Jackalmen are jackal-like humanoids that travel in packs. They are cunning and prefer to attack things previously wounded.
- Desert brigands roam the desert in search of unwary travelers to waylay. They are tough fighters and experts at desert survival. Tribes of brigands occasionally band together to attack caravans.
- The griffin is a highly intelligent creature which seldom attacks humans. However, this cross between an eagle and a lion is a ferocious fighter, and is extremely tough. It is difficult to kill, and will retreat from battle if seriously injured. Once its anger has been aroused, however, it will not forget an enemy.
- Griffins can be found nesting on the rocky ledges of the mountains surrounding the desert regions.
- This is an extremely quick-footed creature well adapted for racing down and disemboweling prey with the deadly claws upon its hind feet. Like most species of sauruses, this one is not noted for its brains.
- The rare southern desert Moose, a benevolent and fraternal creature, is frequently found congregating in groups around a drinking hole. It is extremely dangerous to approach at such a time, since you will probably be forced to wear a silly hat and be dunked into the pool. It is also advised to avoid the stampede when the Moose discover that the only thing to drink is water.
- The giant black desert Scorpion is one of the deadliest creatures upon the sands. Its claws are capable of inflicting deep wounds. The tail has a stinger which contains a deadly poison. One sting brings death to the one stung. Antivenom pills are available, but are of no avail against multiple stings. Unless a fighter has an extremely good defense against the tail, he or she should avoid this monster. Retreat from combat usually means a stab in the back.
- Elementals are created by magical spells placed upon the primal elements of Earth, Air, Water, Pizza, and Fire (Some theoreticians suggest that there are only four real elements, but most modern scholars agree that fire is undoubtedly a basic element). The Elementals have the characteristics of their associated element.
- Supernatural creatures of the undead which prey upon the living. The very touch of one's claws has a chilling effect upon the victim similar to frostbite. The more wounds the ghoul makes, the more the victim's movements are slowed, until he finally collapses. It is best to avoid damage from Ghouls entirely.
- This distant relative of the Djinn is frightening and dangerous to encounter. It is invisible, distinguished only by the movement in the sands and the fearful reactions of animals in their vicinity.