Contents of the DM.DOC file
Program and documentation Copyright 1989 by Steve Marum
520 Talley Drive
Sherman, TX 75090
If you find this program useful, please send a modest
donation (suggest $5) to me at the above address. Feel free to
include any comments that you have about the program. If I get
enough good comments and feel ambitious I may release an enhanced
version of the program sometime in the future...
Instructions for DungeonMaster version 1.5
This program is meant to be used with the "Dungeons and
Dragons" (D&D) (TM registered by TSR Hobbies, Inc.) role playing
game. It is designed to simplify and speed up many of the
routine tasks which the dungeonmaster (DM) must do during a
campaign. It will handle campaigns and Player Character (PC)
levels from the Basic and Expert sets.
D&D is designed to be open ended -- TSR Hobbies has set up
some basic rules for play, but the DM has considerable leeway in
how he handles special situations. I have tried to allow for
this in the program. DungeonMaster supplies quick answers in
routine play, yet allows the DM to make adjustments if needed.
The goal is to mechanize the routine, time-consuming calculations
that often bog down play without removing any of the DM's
The program is menu driven and self-prompting. You should
(I hope) be able to use it without having to refer to these
directions after you've read through them.
Preparing to use DungeonMaster
Prepare a disk (or subdirectory) by putting a copy of the
DungeonMaster program on it. If it is a floppy, you may want to
make it bootable and include a copy of BASIC as well -- now you
can run from this single disk. Make sure there is about 5K of
free space for each set of data files you will be creating. Each
campaign (dungeon) can include up to 12 PCs and uses one set of
When you first use the program you will have to enter data
for each PC in the campaign. These data include the character's
name, the player's name, the PC's abilities, level, hit points,
and others. This is the "E" -- edit player characters -- command
in the main menu. After you have keyed in the data for all the
PCs, play it safe and save it to disk with the "W" -- write data
to disk -- command. DungeonMaster will automatically save the
data to disk when you finish up with the "Q" -- quit -- command,
but you never know when someone's going to trip over the power
cord! Save the data every once in a while when things are slow;
it only takes five seconds.
After all the PC data have been entered you are ready to
start the campaign. Return to the main menu and begin!
A function common to many of the commands is that of
selecting a PC to act or act upon. When you need to select a PC
DungeonMaster will present you with a character selection menu.
All active PCs are shown, select one by pressing its letter.
Most commands which do calculations, throw dice to arrive at
results, etc., display a summary of what was done in case a
player wants to quibble ("But did you include my halfling
bonus?"). This also gives you, the DM, the ability to make your
own adjustments if you wish.
Some commands, such as the battle commands, make permanent
changes in a PC's data, such as her hit points remaining. These
commands always give you the option of aborting in case you hit
the wrong key at the main menu by mistake. Other commands, such
as the treasure command, do not offer the option of aborting. In
these cases you simply ignore the results of the command, as they
do not change any PC data.
Of course, many commands will ask for additional
information. If the information requested is a single keystroke,
as in selecting from a list of options, you do not need to hit
"return" or "enter" after answering the question. If the
information may be more than one keystroke you will have to
indicate when you are through by hitting "return" or "enter".
You can tell which type of response is appropriate by looking at
the cursor. If you see a flashing cursor you will need to hit
"return" or "enter" after typing the answer. If you don't see a
cursor, just hit a single key!
Inappropriate keystrokes when DungeonMaster is awaiting a
selection are ignored, sometimes with a beep. If you are at the
main menu and keep getting beeps, check to make sure the "caps
lock" is engaged.
Here are descriptions of each of the menu commands:
This command is called up by pressing the "B" key. It calls
up a second menu of commands which will be described later.
This command is called up by pressing the "R" key. It will
tell you the reaction of a group of monsters to one of the
characters. Just select the character, the rest is automatic.
This command is called up by pressing the "D" key. Type the
number of dice to throw, then the letter for the number of sides
on the die. For example, if the rules call for a roll of "3d6",
or three six-sided dice, you would type "3B". The results will
be shown immediately. If you just want to throw a single die you
may omit the number and just type the letter of the die. There's
even a 100 sided die for generating percentages (ain't computers
This command is called up by pressing the "S" key. It
simply presents the results. No additional keystrokes are
This command is called up by pressing the "H" key. It
increases a PC's hit points, allowing recovery from damage
suffered in battle. The first three options take care of the
three most common methods of healing. The fourth -- other --
allows the DM to key in the number of hit points to add.
Hit points are only added up to a PC's maximum; additional
hit points are wasted. To increase the maximum, as when a PC
advances a level, use the "E" -- edit player characters -- option
in the main menu.
This command is called up by pressing the "U" key. You can
set the time and day, or increment the time by a number of turns
(sixths of an hour) or a number of hours. You can also advance
the time to the following morning at 6:00.
When the time is incremented each PC's torch (if he has one)
is checked and you are notified if any burn out. (Torches which
do not burn out are, of course, that much closer to burning out
in the future.)
This command is called up by pressing the "L" key. It is
used to light or extinguish torches. After selecting the PC,
either light or extinguish her torch. PCs in the selection menu
with a number in parentheses on the far right of the screen have
a torch burning with that many minutes of time left before they
are used up.
Exit this command by "escaping" from the selection menu.
Check for Wandering Monsters
This command is called up by pressing the "C" key. It
performs a check for wandering monsters as many times as you
request. If none are encountered it tells you so. If monsters
are encountered it tells you on what try they appeared.
A sample use of this command would be at night. You want to
check for wandering monsters every hour while the PCs sleep.
After finding out how many hours they plan to sleep, say six
hours, check that many times. If monsters are encountered on try
number three, advance the time three hours and tell someone he
heard a twig snap...
Generate Wandering Monsters
This command is called up by pressing the "G" key. Normally
you will have some groups of wandering monsters predefined before
play begins. You can use this command to help with this process.
If you should run out of predefined groups during play, this
command will help you quickly generate a new group.
The command is meant to be used with wandering monster
selection tables as described in the rules. It first tells you
the number of the monster type, from 1 to 20, their distance, and
intentions. Look up the type number in the table and use the
information found there to answer the rest of the questions.
You will have to translate the "number" entry in the
selection table to the number of dice and how many sides per die
needed to get a number in the range specified. For example, a
number of 4-16 will require 4 throws of a 4 sided die.
After you have entered the hit dice and adjustments from the
selection table DungeonMaster will present you with a list of
all the monsters (numbered) and how many hit points each has.
This command is called up by pressing the "T" key. It
generates treasure using the table described in the basic or
expert rule books. The amount of currency, gems, and jewelry are
displayed and you will be notified if there are any magic items.
If so, you will have to generate the magic items on your own
based on the level of your players.
View Player Characteristics
This command is called up by pressing the "V" key. It
displays a table of PC characteristics for reference during play.
(Ignore the blank column titled "Move", it is for a piece of data
I later chose not to include.) This command displays all the PCs
in the database. The "Active" column tells you which are
Edit Player Characteristics
This command is called up by pressing the "E" key. You can
select any character, from "A" through "L". All the data on the
selected character are then displayed. Key in the letter of the
data item you wish to change, then the new value in answer to the
questions. Some items are interlocked; for example, when a PC
advances a level, if the new current hit points is higher than
his old maximum hit points you will have to raise his maximum hit
points before increasing his current hit points. Hit "escape"
when you are finished or if you decide not to change anything.
The option to delete the character asks for confirmation in
case you select it by mistake. If you agree, the character is
gone for good. This is worse than killing him.
Selecting a character which is "---unassigned---" allows you
to create new characters by entering all their characteristics.
You will have to do this once per character when new characters
are created by the players. DungeonMaster will prompt you for
all the information it needs. A "sixth of a torch" is used for
torches which are partially burned. A new torch will burn for an
hour, so each sixth is worth 10 minutes. After you have entered
the initial data you will be placed in the edit mode for the new
character. Review the data and correct it as needed, then
Flag Current Players
This command is called up by pressing the "F" key. All
defined characters will be displayed. Initially all the PC names
will be green -- they are all active. If any players are not
present at the current session, and you wish to just ignore their
PCs during play, key in their letter and their name will turn
red. They are now inactive and will not be displayed on most
other selection menus. This prevents you from inadvertently
involving them in battles and such. Each time a letter is keyed
the corresponding PC toggles between red and green; you can keep
fiddling until you get it right.
Write Data to Disk
This command is called up by pressing the "W" key. This
command writes the current database to the default disk. This
gives you a snapshot of the current situation in case something
catastrophic happens to the computer. This way you won't lose
all your work if power fails. You can restart the program and
the data will be as it was when you last ran this command or
In case of disaster: To ensure the integrity of the data as
much as possible, a backup file is used for each dungeon. In
fact, at some times three files exist for the currently used
dungeon. When a save is in progress the new data are written to
a file with the extension ".$$$" (ie. "DUNGEON.$$$"). When this
is complete, the old ".BAK" file is deleted, the ".DGN" file is
renamed to have a ".BAK" extension, and the ".$$$" file is
renamed to have an extension of ".DGN". This way, even if the
computer should die during the save operation, you should be able
to recover at least one of these files; the old information is
not deleted until the new information is written. If you have to
resort to recovering these files, ".$$$" will contain the most
recent data, ".DGN" the next most recent, and ".BAK" the oldest,
so try the files in that order. Depending on when the crash
occurred some of these files may not exist. Just try what you
This command is called up by pressing the "Q" key. After
confirming your intentions DungeonMaster saves the current data
on the disk as above and terminates.
The Battle Sub-Menu
This menu is used during battles and contains all the
commands used at that time. Having a second menu keeps the main
menu from being too cluttered and allows the use of more
mnemonic, two letter commands here. Thus, to get at any of these
commands you will have to enter two keystrokes. The first
keystroke will be displayed in case you get interrupted and
forget what it was. If the second keystroke does not make a
valid combination, the first keystroke is discarded and the
second keystroke becomes the new first keystroke (got that?) in
preparation for a keystroke to follow. In other words, if you
make a mistake just ignore the bad keystroke and start again
keying in the two letter command you want.
Hand-to-Hand, PC Attacking
This command is called up by pressing the "HP" keys. Select
the PC who is doing the attacking. Key in the number which the
player threw on the 20 sided die (they like to do that themselves
for some reason...) or a "0" to abort out back to the battle
menu. DungeonMaster will then ask if the defender (monster) is
retreating, whether he's using a shield (if he's not retreating),
his armor class, his magic, the PC's magic, and finally, any
other adjustments you may want to make to the "to hit" roll. Hit
any key after all this to see the results.
Don't worry if the "base `to hit' throw needed" for a well
armored monster is higher than 20; the final result after all
adjustments is limited to 20. By the same token, the adjusted
number thrown is constrained to be between 1 and 20 inclusive.
As detailed in the rules, a roll of 1 always misses and a roll of
20 always hits. All applicable bonuses, such as strength, are
included based on the PC's data in the database. If the PC is a
thief Dungeonmaster will ask if she's attacking unnoticed from
If the results show that the attack hit, DungeonMaster
proceeds to calculate the damage inflicted. Enter the number of
sides on the die to use based on the weapon used in the attack.
DungeonMaster will determine how many hit points of damage were
done, including any strength, magic, or "thiefly" adjustments, if
Hand-to-Hand, Monster Attacking
This command is called up by pressing the "HM" keys. It is
similar to the "HP" -- hand-to-hand, PC attacking -- command
above except the rolls are reversed. The same questions are
asked, and bonuses are awarded to the PC for his dexterity or the
fact that he is a halfling being attacked by a creature larger
than man-sized. When DungeonMaster asks for the monster's hit
dice, round up (ie. if its hit dice are listed as 3+1, enter 4).
If the attack hits, DungeonMaster will compute and display the
damage based on the number of sides on the die that you enter.
This damage is then subtracted from the hit points of the PC
being attacked and his remaining hit points are then displayed.
If this number is zero or negative the PC is dead. His data
remain, though, so you can resurrect him later.
Missile, PC Attacking
This command is called up by pressing the "MP" keys. As
before, select a PC and enter the number he rolled on the 20
sided die. Then answer the questions; there will be some new
ones regarding the range and amount of cover present. The
results shown for the roll will include adjustments for the PC's
dexterity or the fact he is a halfling, if appropriate. If the
attack hits, damage is assessed as before.
Missile, Monster Attacking
This command is called up by pressing the "MM" keys. It is
similar to the "MP" -- missile, PC attacking -- command above
except now the monster is attacking the PC. An adjustment is
made for the PC's dexterity if appropriate.
This command is called up by pressing the "GI" keys. Key in
the group's roll of the six sided die and DungeonMaster will
decide who has the initiative in combat. No adjustments are made
to the number rolled.
This command is called up by pressing the "II" keys. After
selecting a PC, key in her roll of the six sided die.
DungeonMaster will make adjustments based on the PC's dexterity
and race, then present the results.
This command is called up by pressing the "CM" keys. Enter
the morale of the monsters (from the rule book), and tell
DungeonMaster how they're doing. DungeonMaster will then decide
whether they will retreat or continue fighting.
This command is called up by pressing the "HW" keys. This
command is the same as the "H" -- healing -- command on the main
menu. It is placed again in the battle sub-menu for convenience,
in case there is a cleric in the party to make repairs on the
fly, so to speak. Of course, the option for "rest" is not
appropriate in this situation.
When you are finished with the battle, return from the
battle sub-menu to the main menu by hitting "escape".
That about does it. Good luck and may your campaigns be