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Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

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Since our last issue of PBM Chaos took a little longer to publish than is usually the case, I wanted to go ahead and try to squeeze in one more issue in time for Christmas. No matter what your personal and work circumstances are, know that I and PBM Chaos wish each and every last one of you (including the Tiny Tim of PBM, Wayne Smith) a very merry Christmas!

Will there be another issue to ring in the new year with on New Year's Day? Don't count on it. Ho! Ho! Ho! Oh, sure, it's definitely possible, but I ain't making any promises on that one. On the one hand, I'd definitely like to bring the new year in right, but on the other hand, Richard Weatherhead still hasn't sent in that Austerlitz article that I've been waiting on with bated breath for quite some time, now. Richard is a fan of the stuff that we do here at PBM Chaos (and PBM Unearthed and Suspense & Decision before that), and I really needed an excuse to work his name into this year-ending issue. In one of the great and enduring mysteries that has shocked - absolutely shocked - the collective PBM world as a whole, Richard Weatherhead has abdicated his Facebook throne for what I have a nagging suspicion is "more leisurely pursuits." And so, I have become relegated to the occasional mention of his name in issues of PBM Chaos, to try and ensure to the maximum degree possible that Richard doesn't forget me or our mutual PBM cause.

For an issue with hardly any content, personally speaking, I think that this issue turned out OK. But then again, I might be biased, as I love all things PBM, even if certain things within and a part of play by mail gaming might not be my cup of tea, specifically. And if you're reading this from the other side of Carol Mulholland's Atlantic Pond, don't get yourself into a frenzy at the mere mention of the word tea.

I've never been to the British Isles, and I am an unrepentant American revolutionary who it is ingrained within me to naturally resist the English Crown and Parliament. That said, I truly love the United Kingdom and so many different things about all of the different peoples who collectively make up that realm. That shouldn't be taken to mean that I am anti-European, for Europe holds the status of being a real life fantasy land to me. I love its variety and its diversity, and I many times admire the feats and accomplishments and even some of the aspirations that emanate from what I affectionately know as the Olde Worlde. The UK and certain areas of the European continent remain holdouts, bastions of PBM gaming and PBM loyalists that cause my PBM spirit to rise, whenever I think about them and behold them from afar. Don't think for a moment, though, that I don't know that Richard Lockwood continues to partake of fine beverages which are rumored to have a smidgen of alcoholic content. I, myself, don't partake of alcoholic beverages, but the British pub scene is something that I consider to warrant a mention in this digital PBM "publication" that is ever-drunk from the heady elixir that is PBM.

Yeah, I'm drifting, here. Yeah, I'm navel-gazing, as one individual once described it. I don't think that it was meant as a compliment, but I took it as such, because it's such a wonderfully-colorful term. Ever since our beloved Carol Mulholland departed us, the other side of the pond sure seems to have largely abandoned its previously-incontestable reign over the realm of PBM literature - i.e.: the publishing of PBM magazines.

Flagship magazine is no more (well, as far as new issues are concerned, anyway), and that is nothing less than a blight upon the entirety of PBM's European theater of operations. Have you all gone daft? Is there not so much as a single one amongst your ranks over there that will even consider giving rise to a new age of play by mail literature? Pah!

Of course, the truth be known, things aren't much better on this side of the oceanic fence, either. What's the matter with all of us? Do we just not have it in us, anymore? Do we no longer care? Do we now lack the PBM gumption? Well, whatever the cause, whatever the reason, whatever our river of excuses might be, know that I have every intention of ringing the new year of 2024 in with some scorching hot issues of PBM Chaos.

Dammit, which one of you out there just yelled out, "Lukewarm!?" A fellow can still dream, can't he?

In Issue #27 of PBM Chaos, Randy Ritnour's article is one that keeps on running through my mind. Capitalism, he said. But capitalism doesn't preclude doing things for free. Indeed, it has been my experience over the course of my life that the two concepts co-exist, simultaneously. And the last time that I checked, PBM gamers were playing Takamo for free, weren't they?

Me? I certainly don't hate the commercial PBM sector play by mail gaming, for it was the commercial sector of PBM that enabled me to encounter PBM gaming to begin with. Indeed, it has been the commercial PBM sector that has treated me to many years of playing my favorite game, Hyborian War, and the commercial PBM sector has likely been the largest sector of PBM gaming (though there's no actual way of knowing how many free small-scale PBM games have populated the PBM scene over the last half-century or so).

On its face, Randy's article has a nice ring to it. He is, in effect, advocating in favor of what he views to be a "more sustainable model" for PBM, going forward. He wants PBM to transition to what he likely views to be a more sure footing. And on those grounds alone, there's not really much that one can take issue with. At least, not from my perspective.

But being neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist, Mister Ritnour's article that waxed poetically about the potential future of PBM left me curious - curious about what the chances were, realistically, of the current PBM industry to pick the PBM ball up that Randy had placed on the field of opportunity and run with it. Forgive me for asking, but wouldn't that require some kind of actual leadership of substance?

And this is the part of this PBM sermon from the digital mount that will no doubt cue the gnashing of teeth. Not Randy's teeth, per se, but the teeth of those who it falls to, that such a change might be effectuated. And curiosity of curiosities, in the aftermath of devouring Past, Present, and Potential Future of PBM, I was left wondering what would become of me, and of the PBM-related stuff that I do and have been doing for a number of years on end by this point, if PBM gaming were to actually transition to the more "capitalistic" model that he envisions?

There's nothing, whatsoever, wrong with being a capitalist, nor anything inherently evil about preaching the gospel of capitalism. But being a capitalist doesn't preclude anyone from simultaneously also living a double life as a realist. And as my ever-loving PBM mind wanders the paths and byways of reality, I struggle to find the right off-ramp to the PBM model that Randy Ritnour advocates in favor of.

Oh, sure, I could shut down PBM Chaos faster than you could bat an eye. In fact, I have prior established first-hand experience at shutting down PBM publications. Bada bing, bada bam! Just charge for the PBM ham. In theory, that sounds good. Damned good!

But in actual practice, how would that likely work out?

In fairness, though, Randy may not have been talking about PBM Chaos and I. And certainly, I can envision PBM Chaos to be an aberration from an otherwise more sustainable model for play by mail gaming on a much broader level.

But if my time spent in reality has taught me anything at all, it's that what looks good on paper can end up looking entirely different, when the witching hour sounds, and it's time to actually "implement and execute." It would require no consequential effort for me to begin charging for advertisements for PBM games that appear in issues of PBM Chaos (or that appeared in issues of PBM Unearthed and Suspense & Decision in prior years), but implementing a cost to be associated with such does not guarantee that there would necessarily be any takers. Mathematical formulas and equations in the current PBM sphere of reality are not self-executing, so to speak. For in the realm of PBM, much as in the realm of law, one cannot simply wave a magic wand of ipse dixit, and all of a sudden, everyone suddenly becomes far more receptive to a PBM reality with less free and more costs associated with it.

Crossing the Rubicon into a more pro-pay approach isn't the problem. Rather, the core problem will, I think, likely prove to be that it would be an enormously difficult proposition to get everyone - or even a majority - onboard. Such a transition would, I suspect, turn out to have a quite jarring effect. And what if the attempt to implement and execute the transition in question ended up alienating a sizable portion of the existing PBM player base? How now, brown cow? What then?

If you can't give free ad space away, then how do you succeed at charging for it? And if you can't afford to buy ad space, simply because you either have no budget allocated for such, or your money well has literally dried up or your money trees have all died, what then? I'm not talking about anyone who just might be pleading PBM poverty as a ruse. Remove PBM Chaos entirely out of the equation, for argument's sake. What was one thing that Randy Ritnour said in his article that appeared in PBM Chaos Issue #27?"Today, there's precious little advertisement..." And what was another thing that he said in that article that stood out to me? "Our advertising dollars were most effectively spent on free turns for players who recruited their friends to join the PBM world."

Perhaps it's as simple as the return on investment in advertising attempts from past years and decades have resulted in the commercial sector of PBM gaming becoming more gun-shy of paid advertising. Granted, that's merely bald speculation on my part. And quite possibly, it just might be the case that the remaining pillars of the commercial PBM sector have simply evolved to what they now consider to be a comfortable spot. Not perfect, but they're still here, they're still kicking, and they've still got skin in the game.

Hey, who's side am I on, anyway? Me? I'm on PBM's side. And because I count myself a realist, I don't simply operate from an assumption that what worked yesteryear will necessarily work, today, where cost structures and pricing models associated with PBM games are concerned. I don't even assume that a better, more viable model that works for one PBM company of the current PBM era will work at all, much less somewhat, for other PBM companies.

Steve Tierney's recent assertion of, "I am **the** PBM Overlord," aside, to a recent query that I posted over on the Play By Mail Facebook page, I find myself still wondering what the specific ingredients are for this capitalist recipe that Randy Ritnour envisions. How do we take the recipe of what he proposes, and end up with a PBM cake that doesn't fall even further than its already fallen?

I don't disagree that the PBM industry needs a more viable and sustainable commercial model. Certainly, it does. But any "cure" to fix what "ails" PBM gaming is, I think, likely to prove to be anything but simple. After all, PBM gaming suffers from more than one malady. Now, I'm no doctor, but the realist within me has a very hard time turning a blind eye to what I consider to be "the obvious."

I suspect that Raven Zachary might argue, were it his turn up at bat on this issue, that there are realistic - and demonstrated - advertising models that can - and do - work for some PBM games. If you don't know what I'm referring to, then you're either not a member of the Raven Zachary fan club, or you simply haven't been paying close enough attention to some of the stuff that he's been cawing about in past months.

Of course, another side of the overall coin is that advertising in many mediums has grown far more expensive than it was "back in the day."

A new paper-format PBM magazine is certainly within the realm of the achievable, I think, but for it to be "good enough" to persuade people to buy it would, I think, require a consistent and reliable in-flow of quality content. In his article, Randy Ritnour said, "Our collective voices added some strength to the hobby, and the players were the disciples who spread the good news." I do feel that I have some experience in the area of trying to "find" these so-called "collective voices." A new PBM magazine that embraces a "purchase" model rather than a "free" model would likely require "collective voices" across the PBM spectrum to maximize its chances of success upon and after launch. What's the plan envisioned to get these collective voices off their asses and singing the sweet song of PBM, I wonder?

Certainly, I could close up shop and just write the occasional article or two for such a new PBM magazine (or magazines, as in plural). Who's gonna volunteer (or be hired, since a capitalist model is envisioned) to become the new editor and editorial staff. After all, a one-man job will naturally have real limits to what can be achieved, where a new PBM magazine is concerned.

The biggest issue facing a much better (rather than just better) future for PBM gaming is not, I think, traceable to a lack of funds. Rather, my PBM-loving nose has long sniffed the scent of a lack of will and resolve wafting in the PBM air. All of those "can't do this" and "can't do that" vouchers will likely prove to be exceedingly difficult to cash in, in order to accomplish actual, verifiable progress.

While I do love PBM gaming, forgive me, if you will, for daring to believe that it currently has a very dystopian feel and vibe to it. In a time when we need PBM Paul Bunyans, PBM gaming seems to be over-populated with Lilliputians. Randy Ritnour has spoken out. While we may all feel free to quibble over the details, he clearly envisions - and craves - a bigger, bolder, and more financially enriching play by mail world.

And it's not my place - nor my desire - to stand in the way of that vision becoming reality. But like that old woman in an old Wendy's television commercial mustered up the courage to ask, I now feel that it is imperative that the question be asked, "Where's the beef?"

Where's the beef?!

In other words, how do we actually put real meat on the bun of Randy's vision? Chanting the word "capitalism" doesn't seem to just have a Bewitched effect. Of course, I'm definitely no Samantha Stephens. Broad results will, of necessity, require a broad degree of participation and cooperation - not perfect, but broad.

Regardless of what's possible and what's likely and what's preferable, where PBM gaming and PBM's future is concerned, know that I invite one and all to write in - and to weigh in - with thoughts of your own on the subject at hand. A special "thank you" to Randy Ritnour for authoring the article in question that can serve serve as encouragement to help keep moving the PBM ball down the field of progress.

If you haven't mailed out your Christmas cards, already, by this point in time (I'm gonna go ahead and confess freely my guilt on this one), then you really might want to consider staying focused, because the approach of Christmas waits for no man, no woman, no child.

And last, but certainly not least, may your Christmas be bright and cheerful, and may your spirits get lifted. Don't dwell on the presents, and certainly not upon the shopping. may joy be yours to find, and may it be plentiful this holiday season. To all of the usual PBM suspects, including and especially the great many of you whom I failed to mention in this issue, may you one day realize how very important that all of you are to me.

For you each in your own respective way aid me greatly in retaining my grip on sanity.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Charles Mosteller

Editor of PBM Chaos

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Your picture of the sailing ship and question "Should PBM change course?" got me thinking about a recent visit I had to see the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") in Boston. To say that Old Ironsides is a ship from another era would be a gross understatement. It is, in fact, the oldest commissioned Navy ship still floating, having been launched in 1797. And yet when I visited it was teeming with life. Excited visitors were climbing through the hatches, running their hands along the wood and smelling the fresh spar varnish. Active duty sailors (permanently attached to the ship as a special duty station) were running a climbing competition up and down the rigging, to the delight of gasping onlookers. You almost felt like you were part of the crew.

It was an *experience*. And parked just a stone's throw away was a more modern slate-gray destroyer which, while open for tours, did not seem to be drawing anywhere near the same level of crowds.

Now one way to look at Old Ironsides is to compare its combat prowess with a modern destroyer. And when you do this, it fails spectacularly. It would get flattened by guided missiles, radar, sonar, software, and helicopters. It seems to have no place in the modern world. Or does it? Because people are walking for miles along Boston's freedom trail to get there, and then chucking major dollars into the gift shop till to get fountain pens made of old wood removed from the ship (or maybe just a nice trucker cap). Yes Old Ironsides cannot compete in modern naval warfare. But in the neighborhood where it lives now, it's kicking the modern destroyer's butt.

The Navy has had numerous chances to scrap this ship, but generation after generation has continued to care for it. Today they use radiographs and soundwaves to identify problems in the wood, and they carefully source replacement timber from across the country. New materials technology and research has the ship looking MORE like it's original 1812 self than ever before. The paint job is immaculate.

I think if PBM has a rosy future, it's going be something like Old Ironsides. It's going to embrace those things that made PBM awesome back in the day, and use modern technology to do those things even better. When people walk by and see "the new PBM", they will have to stop and see what it is, because they haven't seen something like that before. A few might want to climb in the hatches and try out the rigging.

Old Ironsides did not survive this long by wedging chain guns into the canon ports.

Bryan Ciesielski

Bryan "Sharp as a Tack" Ciesielski,

The spelling of your last name, what they call a surname, continues to elude me. take comfort in knowing that I looked it up, rather than run the risk of butchering it, as is my usual habit when here at my desk going through all manner of different PBM stuff, some of which conjures up thoughts of you and your own PBM-related nefarious schemes undertakings.

Truly, it's interesting reading to partake of these latest words from you, as you regale us one and all with your recent adventure to Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution. Certainly, it's amazing that that particular ship is still with us, at all. I wouldn't mind visiting it, myself, but you and I both know that's never going to happen. It's simply not within the realm of reality for me. So, I'm very glad to that you made the trip there to see it, Bryan. Why do I have the feeling that your failure to mention souvenirs bodes ill for my chances of landing some decent bling?

Your characterization of "the new PBM" is like music to my ears, Bryan. If only more felt as you do. For all of our differences, of which there are many, to include the matter of your wretched youth and my graceful ancient state, I can't help but to sense and to feel that you and I are of one mind on the possibility that PBM could definitely have a bright and glorious future. Perhaps you would consider becoming the poster child for PBM's future?

All at once, Ebeneezer Scrooge appears in the back of my mind, mumbling something about the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I see you in a similar light, Mister Ciesielski, but not in ghost form. The Poster Child of PBM Yet to Come definitely has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Of course you do! How could you, someone like you, not love a title such as that to be bestowed upon you, and right here in front of so many distinguished PBMers following along with every word that I type?

One of the great joys of my life has long been the act and the art of the bestowing of titled. It's how Raven Zachary became the Most Important Man in PBM, you know, and it's also how Carol Mulholland became the Grand Old Lady of PBM. In light of the fact that you're one of the most forward-looking visionaries that currently roams the halls and the byways of play by mail gaming, I think it only fitting that you, also, should have a title as befits a man of your PBM stature.

And with that said, I think that at long last I am off to bed.

Charles Mosteller

Editor of PBM Chaos


See? I even gave myself a title.

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I said I didn't want to swamp you with emails. I don't think I said I wouldn't. So here's another one. This time, it's not about any of your games.

I got my print copy of Games Mastership today. Actually, two of them, from Jon Capps himself. Mainly it was part of a deal I negotiated because I wanted early access to the book. About 8-9 months ago, he sent me his copy of the book and I typed it up into a Word file for reprinting. I was growing impatient with progress on the book, and I knew it was taking forever for him to retype the book from the print copy. So I removed a bottleneck because I wanted to and could. That was my small contribution.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really liked your foreword. It was an excellent tribute to Carol Mulholland and to the PBM hobby as a whole. Good work. Hopefully, given the ebook and print on demand versions available through Amazon, the book will be easily available for decades to come. It truly is the "Holy Grail" of PBM gaming, and quite honestly I was happy to see you played a part in the new edition.

I don't know if anyone actually comes out and says it enough, but thank you for your contribution to PBM gaming over the years. I don't think the state of the current community would exist without you. PBMers would probably be scattered across the internet and at best there would probably be communities for specific games. Your hard work is appreciated. 'Nuff said.

Jonathan Spore


Over the years, I've been thanks more than I could ever possibly remember, for my "contribution" to PBM gaming. I thank you for adding to the bone pile of thank yous. It's always nice to feel appreciated, even when I'm not entirely sure what others are thanking me for, specifically.

There's always people who are glad and who thankful anytime anyone, myself or otherwise, try to keep tossing wood on the fire of the PBM flame, that it might burn all the brighter and help to light a path to a better tomorrow for play by mail gaming. I basically envision my "role" as being little more than a placeholder, for better or for worse.

It's been kind of a long year for me, PBM-wise. I started off the new year of 2023 with Issue #22 of PBM Unearthed, and this year saw me publish 8 issues out of the full run of 29 for that series of PBM newsletters in PDF format. It started off with every intention of it being a newsletter, but the more issues of it that I published back in the latter part of 2022, it just seemed to transition to more of a PBM magazine fairly early on.

Another highlight of this year was that I managed to finish out Hyborian War game number HW-982, a game where I played the kingdom of Nemedia. As always, it was a lot of fun. I finally got around to learning enough about Alamaze to enable me to play in numerous different games of it, a couple of which I am still playing in. Most recently, I've begun digging deeper and deeper into trying to figure out how to play Galac-Tac. I'm proud to say that I consider myself to have made real progress in learning both Alamaze and Galac-Tac, which kind of leaves me wondering what's next?

And of course, this year has saw PBM Chaos, a series of rapid-fire PBM mailings sent out via e-mail which is fairly similar to stuff that I've published in the original Suspense & Decision magazine and PBM Unearthed. As to which of the three turned out to be the best, they all share certain things in common, but they each had/have their respective strengths and weaknesses, I suppose.

Jon Capps had asked me via e-mail if I would write the foreword for the reprint of the book titled Games Mastership: How to Design and Run a Play-By-Mail Game. I count it to have been a true honor to be asked to do that, and it was something that I just wouldn't have felt comfortable passing on, due to the sheer amount of respect that I retain for Carol Mulholland. I'm glad that you liked what I had to say in that foreword. It's the first foreword for a book that I've ever written, if I'm not mistaken, and honestly, I didn't even have a clue where to start or know what to say. I sort of winged it, I guess that you could say. Somebody had to do it, and it was very kind of Jon Capps to think of me, when the time came for a foreword for the book to be crafted.

My "plan," if you want to call it that, was to kind of wrap things up and just sort of drift away from PBM gaming entirely, by the time that my 60th birthday rolled around. Naturally, as might be expected, I screwed that up. I'm older than I used to be, I'm tired, my eyesight isn't what it once was, and I really don't know how much gas that I still have left in my tank to carry on doing this whatever it is that you want to call it. Surely, someone else should have come along by now and sent me packing.

And now, as things turned out, Jon Capps recently suffered a heart attack. II really hate that. I sure do hope that he experiences a full and complete recovery, but something like that no doubt scares the living crap out of people. Our mortality reminds us all, from time to time, that our physical bodies all wear out and they all have eventual expiration dates.

I still owe you e-mails, Jonathan. Every day is like a slog, and every single day, some things invariably end up getting prioritized over others. I'm behind in so many different things that, honestly, I really doubt that I'll ever manage to get completely caught up in my lifetime that remains, however long or short a span of time that ultimately turns out to be.

It's plainly obvious to anyone reading this mess that I am rambling, but sometimes, a good ramble is something that has a way of helping me to relax. It's later, here, almost two in the morning, and I really need to find a way, somehow, to master the art of brevity. I probably don't get enough rest, even though I never really seem to get anything done. And when I get nothing done, PBM is all the poorer for it. Alas!

But I haven't forgotten about that recent batch of e-mails that you sent to me, and my conscience was bothering me, when you newest e-mail added itself to my in-box. I plan to write you back at length, and maybe we can figure something out about the stuff that you e-mailed me about. Know, my friend, that I do appreciate your time and your interest and good disposition through it all.

Thank you kindly,

Charles Mosteller

Editor of PBM Chaos


"I am **the** PBM Overlord. Just sayin'."

- Steve Tierney

Madhouse UK

Play By Mail Facebook Page (2023)

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PBM Overlords image that appeared in Issue #22 of PBM Unearthed.

Galac-Tac image ad for Talisman Games
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Recently, I returned to the Talisman Games website, and created a solo game of Galac-Tac, in a bid to stretch my limited knowledge of that PBM game, if I could. I could, and I did!

Thus began the deep space saga that was Galaxy #182.

Unbeknown to the vast majority of you out there reading this, right now, I had previously begun writing an article about Galac-Tac, based upon Galaxy #179. It was going to be included in last issue, but then I decided to strip it out and hold on to it, as it seemed very unlikely to me at that time that I would finish it in time for Issue #27.

My play in games of Galac-Tac, thus far, have been focused upon learning some of the basics of the game's order system, as well as to glean some insight and familiarity with the Galac-Tac game interface.

Just below this column of text, I included a list of the multiplayer games of Galac-Tac that are currently filling. Take special care to note the yellow box with the date of December 25 in bold purple letters. That's only five short days away, as of the time that I write this.

Will I be joining this mulitplayer game of Galac-Tac that's just about to start? Honestly, I haven't decided, yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. So, if you choose to sign up, there's a chance that you might get to play in the same game of Galac-Tac with me. With the interval between turns set at two weeks for the processing of turns, that length of time for a game that's played online gives me pause, when I considered whether to put my name on the dotted line. Two weeks between turns is just about right, when playing a PBM game via the postal service. But for an online game? Sheesh!
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For the Galaxy #182 game of Galac-Tac, where I assumed command of the Gumentar Empire, the way that I came up with the name for my empire was to take the first two letters of the word "argument," and shift them to the very end. Thus, Argument became Gumentar. Bow and pay homage, galactic infidels!

One thing that I did different in this solo game was to scrap all of the ships that my empire started with on my first set of turn orders. Why did I do this, you ask yourself, as your eyebrows raise and your ears perk up? To try and reduce the amount of confusion that I've encountered previously, when undertaking to learn more about Galac-Tac. Say what you may, but this really did work for me.

In a multi-player game of Galac-Tac where you're faced off against other living, breathing human beings, going this route would likely quickly result in your empire beginning to fall behind. But if you don't care about winning and losing, when you're playing in a solo game of Galac-Tac all by yourself, it really does make trying to keep track of your empire's assets a lot easier, and especially when you're brand spanking new as a newcomer to Galac-Tac.

On several different occasions, I fired off some e-mails to Davin Church, the Talisman Games GM, and Davin was very timely with his replies. Part of the mistakes that you will make, as a newcomer to Galac-Tac, will end up being fairly obvious things, in hindsight. But as you're going through it all, with all of it being new or fairly new to you, various different things will run together, and as Davin could tell you, more than once I got in a rush in reading some of his replies, and ended up overlooking certain things that he tried to underscore for me.

But that's part of the price of doing business with gamers in the general public. One thing that GMs of PBM games need to understand is that what is obvious to you may well be anything but obvious to the poor sap struggling to make sense of it all.

This time around, I succeeded at developing colony systems into production systems. As it turned out, it really wasn't hard to do, at all, but in Galaxy #179, it was kicking my ass trying to figure out how to do this basic task. Sometimes, newcomers to PBM games will over-think things, and end up being their own worst enemy in the process. But that, too, is just part of the overall learning process.
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The GTac Assistant, an off-line gamer-written Windows program which can help you with your turns, was also something that I experimented with, though for the most part, I relied upon the online game interface in Galaxy #182.

GTac has some neat mapping options, as evidenced by the screenshots above and below.

It's said that GTac not only watches for typing mistakes in your orders, it will upload your orders directly to the web site for you, and it will also help you to monitor and manage your empire, complete with interactive graphical maps that can be custom-designed for your own personal needs.

Thus far, I've only played with GTac relatively little, and I can see that it has potential, but in the 46 turns of Galaxy #182 that I've made it through, so far, I can't honestly say that I am overly drawn towards it. Not yet, anyway. Thus far, I have strong mixed feelings about it.

Research in Galac-Tac requires time and consumes a lot of your empire's resources. In the 46 turns that I have spent playing in galaxy #182 of Galac-Tac, my empire is still at Tech Level 2. That said, as you might expect, it's a refreshing feeling whenever your empire manages to succeed in advancing its tech level.

In Galaxy #182, my empire advanced from tech Level 1 to Tech level 2 on Turn #30. But it really wasn't my highest priority. Then again, I was only playing against computer-controlled empires, and not very many of them, at that. So, there existed no pressing sense of urgency for me to make increasing my empire's tech level an actual priority. Against actual human-controlled empires, I imagine that Galac-Tac has a way of making you more nervous and paranoid.

And on that note, I'm gonna go ahead and join the Galaxy #113 game starting soon! Join me, if you wish, if you dare. Or start a solo game of Galac-Tac of your own, to explore it at a comfortable pace.

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Galac-Tac is © Talisman Games

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Now you can live the most powerful legend of them all. HYBORlAN WAR is a Play-By-Mail game where you control the destiny of the Hyborian Age of Conan. Aquilonia with her Black Dragon knights, slumbering Stygia gathering her wizards, the fantastically helmed armies of Kambulja in the east. Any one of these kingdoms is yours to rule, or choose from over thirty others -- unique and authentically recreated from the Conan series.

The absolute gripping power of this world can be yours. Send forth your lords and generals to lead the armies of invasion. Send forth your heroes to adventure, your spies to kidnap nobles, steal secrets, and assassinate your enemies! Decree the policies of your land, giving your subjects good government or bad. Call upon your priests to speak the wisdom of prophecy and council. Command the sorcerous incantations of wizards. Indeed, the tide of war may turn upon their arcane magics. Rule and Conquer! It is an age of empire and the jeweled thrones of the earth await you.

HYBORlAN WAR is owned and operated by Reality Simulations, Inc..
Contact RSI: [email protected]

Hyborian War is © Reality Simulations, Inc.

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TAKAMO is a strategic level game of interstellar exploration, expansion and conquest. The game is set in an evolving three-dimensional galaxy, the scope of which you are not likely to encounter in any other game. Each player takes control of an emerging star-going civilization with immense potential and even greater dangers. The number of possible opponents and allies is virtually limitless.

Takamo is © 2013 Kgruppe LLC

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The Heart Of The Game

DungeonWorld is a fantasy adventure game. It is set in an epic world full of monsters, mayhem, swords and sorcery. It is deliberately 'pulp' in style, going for the high-fantasy swashbuckling approach rather than the more sombre and moody fantasy found elsewhere.

DungeonWorld is a character-based game. Each character you control in the game is an *individual*. Perhaps they travel together, or perhaps they don't even know each other and have entirely separate adventures. That's up to you. It's all down to how you use your orders. New Players who have tried other sorts of PBM games often assume that their characters are a

'group'. This is a misconception. Your

characters are only a group if you *play them that way*.

Goals and Achievements

Players of DungeonWorld set their own goals. This is not a game you can 'win' in the traditional sense. There are no game-defined victory conditions to achieve. You decide what your character's objectives are and then try to achieve them within the game.

Almost anything is possible in DungeonWorld. Maybe you just want to become a famous warrior with a lot of 'kills' to your name? Maybe you want to learn a lost magical spell, the scroll torn from the claws of a dying dragon? Maybe you want to become the leader

of an influential guild? Or a High Priest? Or a King? Anything is possible in DungeonWorld ... but the grander your schemes and plans the longer it may take to achieve them! And once

you DO achieve them... well then it's time to decide what to do *next*!


This game has no 'end' as such. It keeps running forever and players can continue to take part for as long as they want to! The game has been

specifically designed to be a long-term action-packed adventure game. Anybody who thinks they are going to achieve power and recognition over night is likely to be disappointed. Then

again... you could get lucky. As we keep saying... anything is possible!

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The Nexus Engine

DungeonWorld was designed from the Nexus Engine, the powerful game-design tool which was created by Madhouse UK for the purpose of making elaborate and innovative PBM adventure games. The Nexus Engine is also the father of Steel Fury (another of our games) and will probably be used even more in future. Should you ever play another Nexus game you'll find that a familiarity with some of the basic mechanics learned from DungeonWorld play is very helpful, while each game designed from the system is still quite different and therefore a new challenge to play!

The Biggest World - Ever!

We made DungeonWorld into a *vast* game. It really is absolutely huge. We believe it is the most immense and comprehensive game PBM game of its type ever made... but we won't rest on our laurels! We are constantly adding to and enhancing the game so that it *remains* the biggest. This isn't a game that you'll outgrow in a year or two and become bored with... because DungeonWorld is growing *with* you!

Heroic Adventure

In general, DungeonWorld is a Heroic Adventure Game. By which we mean most of the normal player positions are ''good guys''. Certainly they are played in various shades of grey, but the basic premise is that adventurers are on the side of light and the monsters... aren't. There are special DungeonWorld positions whereby players can take control of the darker side of the game too. Players interested in such things as ''monster positions'' and ''Darkwalkers'' should let their GM know! In general it is recommended that you play the standard adventurer position for a while before trying one of the other types, which are usually more suitable for experienced players.

DungeonWorld is © Madhouse UK 1999 & on, All Rights Reserved.

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The MEPBM Discord is alive with voices!

This is a unique game with a very deep learning curve. This is not easy for most newbies to pick up easily. Hence why this is a small community of players. One thing for certain is the current idea of mentors has not solved the problem of gaining and growing the player base. If MEG chooses to want to expand their game, than they should continue to try new ideas to see this happen.


The idea of games with only newbies is a solid one imo. It allows mistakes by both sides to be forgiving as they learn. Keep it 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4, 5 vs 5 as long as the waiting time to begin a new game is no more than say 3 months (this will obviously vary). Put a turn limit on the game before it ends, maybe 15 turns. Lower the cost per turn for these newbie games, might help if someone drops that another newbie picks up the position. The idea with this is to not make money (hopeful a price point that will allow a break even for MEG) but to try to grow the player base. Newbies have the rules, the ME Wiki, and this Discord forum to ask questions and learn, let alone random searches on the internet.


Yes, JO is the next step from the old Palantir map program. Leaps and bounds next step. Most of the data from both the turn pdf and xml are parsed into the program — unless you want to look at the character portraits, little need to refer back to your turn file. (Some exceptions.) It is or has a map, but in addition, tools for everything you need to play the game. Map, economy planning, reference info for orders & spells etc, order input/checking/drawing on map/submission to MEG. All the info from your allies’ turns is there too. It’s really a great interface.


The trouble with a game just for new players, is that a lot of them will almost certainly drop in the first few turns, and without experienced players to take over their nations, the game falls apart.

We've tried many ways of keeping new players over the years, and have more ideas up our sleeve. But arguably the heart of the problem is that the game is complicated, old-fashioned, and with a very steep learning curve. So only a small portion of the players who think they are interested will actually want to play.

Maybe we need to brush off BOFA...

John Davis GM

This is 2023, folks need to have an experience of expectation before giving something a try. Create a short video that walks through the game in the view of JO, explaining and highlighting basic game mechanics. This way a newbie has some idea what to expect. (Nics videos are great but more for an intermediate player). That with a reduced cost and with a short game (no more than 15 turns before it ends?) should help reduce (but not eliminate) some of the drops.


Those who don't like what they see in the video won't even sign up. Get the video professionally done.


I like your point @Gorgar Besides, there are plenty of beginner resources (all the links in the MEPBM wiki), but even those require quite some determination. Even though I do have a good bit of war gaming experience, following many of the articles is very difficult to follow after only reading through the manual before and without any hands on experience.

I believe (besides aforementioned general intro), a Let's Play video series, which would give some background into the though process behind specific decisions would be great. Maybe like 20-30 mins video per turn. This would be enormously work, though would certainly benefit new players (I transfer my experience as someone who also recently started Legends PBM).


""But arguably the heart of the problem is that the game is complicated, old-fashioned, and with a very steep learning curve. """

Precisely. One small thing you could do would be to add an announcement to the first turn or setup of any game with new players.

"IMPORTANT - please read. There are players in this game new to the system. Please support them. To the new players- this is a team game, and it is a complex game. Your teammates will be offering valuable advice. Please try and post a rough draft of your orders to them at least a week in advance, so they can spot errors and offer constructive suggestions. Always remember though - it is your Nation, you are playing it, and you are free to make any moves you wish. To the returning players, please advise, but let the new player play, do not try to tell them what to do. In a few turns they will pick up the system for themselves."

I think staking out the boundaries will make things more comfortable.


Nic's videos do indeed partially accomplish the "Let's Play" idea - focusing on various aspects of the game. But I can see benefit from a very basic "order input flow" video that takes you through the logical sequence of order creation for a beginner player.


Might be better coming from players than the GMs, community content and all that... someone could be the face of the game.


If anyone fancies putting together gameplay videos for beginners, that would be fantastic.

John Davis GM

Well, I just watched Nic's first 2 videos, and they are awesome. I think they provide really good info for the newbeeies. I will go through them in the next days, and maybe we can come up with a way of updating where he ended or something like that.


I'm on the side that kidnap is harder, fwiw.


Is there already an estimate when game 972 will start? I am super excited for my first MEPBM game.


How long did it took you to learn the rules and mechanics of the game?

I am kinda scared, the rulebook has 342 pages...


That's why we suggest you find someone to be a mentor. They'd play in the same game, on the same team that you are on. You could get on discord voice each turn to talk about orders and such. It's the fastest way to learn.


I first played the game on and off back in the late 90s when it transitioned over to email. Then I discovered beer and women, so gaming took a back seat. Once the pandemic arrived, I rediscovered the game and came back to play it though I had very little clue about what I was doing. I would echo the above and recommend you start in a 1650 game where there is a mentor available, with you playing as a reasonably secure position - for example in my first game back I played as the Dwarves. As the turns are fortnightly, and communication within teams is easy these days, you have ample time to ask all the wacky questions I myself was asking. It really is a game that's best learned by playing it.


With apologies, I have posted version 6.1 of the battle calculator, as the new section that shows numbers of surviving troops had errors in the calculations.


REF 973: Don't you just love it when a plan comes together! Another Greybeard plan executed to perfection. Nice try #12

Top tip, Never buy anything at your front door. Its probably a duffer! Chortle. Snigger etc. and never leave insufficient to defend your capital. Oopsies!


2715 falls each game no matter what. I'll grant you a few turns earlier than usual this time. EO can take 2715 on T4 (T5 latest) no matter what. Congrats on making it T3. But I'm not sure that going after DrL+QA instead of Mordor is the right play long-term in this format...... unless you can eliminate them which seems doubtful. Let's see where we end up on T10, my friend! Then we'll know for sure if it was the right play.


Dont know if possible but maybe NK and SK rather than CityTowers everywhere actually get played as a 4th allegiance. A kind of active NPC.


Just a comment about Eriador, nothing to do with 424 or any very recent game. When your enemy is to the north and your ally is to the south in Dunland consider setting up at 1715 with a c50 to remove the bridge. Backup is in the swamp (no production but it wouldn't be much anyway, and town at 1615. Either pay most of your pc points to improve your capital or backup, or use SNA points to hide a town on the other side of the road. Much better than having Arnor and Rhudaur (for example) come down and crush you in the first few turns, as happened in a game that ended recently. And I've seen this again and again, so in case you are there, and never considered this option, I've laid it out.


True. I blew the bridge as Harlindon. Stopped a lot of troops coming North.


Bombadil gives u emissary bonus when u fail curious if Saruman does probably not he is a nasty individual especially for a loyalist character.

Tim Huiatt

Congratulations to the Usurpers. I was playing Arnor in this one. My first time to play the nation. Things actually went better than expected militarily. I think the game was pretty much over on the turn when we lost all of our curse mages at the then Tirkhor capital and also lost all our SM artifacts. We hoped to be able to steal one back, but Usurpers held the agent and Curse advantage, and our emissary squads were not going to be enough to turn the tide. Well played by the Usurpers.


I never try to recruit or go near that dragon with a character. He is way to fickle.


I was desperate for a good NPC but he ate my champion emissary. Was most annoyed.


Any suggestions on the best reaction for a Usurper encountering the Barrow Wight, but don’t want to recruit it?



No! Too many hire armies going on! Unfortunately i have no clue from my plethora of doubles, although i guess the Northmen may profit if involved (wink) ....... (although the IK should be wary and certainly a rethink on char names, "Smelly Bryn", really??? Gorth (wink) not much better with his choices (note plural)........Radar suggests my friend the FK is getting ambitions and abilities mixed up. I have Din fully laden for dinner, (with other guests, naughty naughty ).............more lines drawn in the sand. So its ALL in time folks. Would anybody be interested in buying out mounts steel or timber with me (or all 3) I don't want to be greedy with my "mithril cut".

Never ever stay put with curses or agent companies, it takes 1 turn to make ineffective!


My agents will do nothing this turn, my commanders will sun themselves, merry xmas!

Colin Hughes

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The PBM Night Before Christmas

Charles Mosteller

'Twas the night before Christmas, when throughout PBM
Turnsheets were printing on a moderator's whim
Envelopes were stuffed and lay in a pile

It looked as if many had been there a while

The gamers were waiting out by their mailbox
Just checking and checking and checking their clock
Impatient and frazzled and out of their minds
Some spazzing, some nervous, some on their behinds

A lair with computers, GMs going mad
If you missed your turn deadline, you're gonna be sad
You're plotting and scheming and up late at night
You're hoping and praying that things will go right

You screwed up your orders, you sent them in late
The kind of PBMer that all GMs hate
The rules were unclear, the format was hard
Your reading of rules left your brain feeling jarred

An ad in a magazine, imagination unleashed
Signing up for a game that wasn't released
Waiting for days that would soon turn to weeks
Arriving at last, your gripes turn to shrieks

Ripping it open, your eyes dart and dash
You're griping and cussing, this shit cost you cash
Betrayed and backstabbed, your allies all suck
You thought you had talent, what you needed was luck

A space war, a battle, a fantasy world
The way things turned out caused your toes all to curl
The next time, you'd get 'em, you'd win for damned sure
But for what you were paying, you sure hoped for more

Rick Loomis invented what we call PBM
Beyond contestation, we owe thanks to him
Takamo, Galac-Tac, Dark Age, Alamaze
By any true measure, PBM was a craze

There's Riftlords and Raceplan, TribeNet, Middle-earth
All these many years later, PBMing brings mirth
Celestrek, Dark Magus, and Death By Starlight
Duelmaster, Timepilot, and Aspects of Might

So many have gone, and so few are left
Of hundreds and hundreds, we're all now bereft
Aegyptus, Ad Astra, Earthwood, Evermoor
Keys of Medohk - Blood, Guts, & Gore

What once used to be, is gone but still lives
There's no substitute for what PBMing still gives
They're turn-based, they're magic, they're looking for you
I've tried them, I've played them, but what will you do?

Is PBM dying? Is it all dead and gone?
Are we standing 'round waiting? Are we left all alone?
There's magic in gaming, there's fun in turn-based
I invite you to try it. Won't you just try a taste?

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Charles Mosteller

If you want to talk about putting lipsticks on pigs, then let's talk about PBM rulebooks. As far as textual swine go, let's just go ahead and dump all kinds of different PBM documentation into the pigpen of complaint. But why am I going all hog wild on PBM documents?

Because even when they're pretty, they've still got a lot of ugly going all the way to the bone. Even when they've obviously had a lot of thought put into them, they still tend to come up short. PBM rulebooks frequently miss the mark, and their litters of text piglets tend to not actually reduce the barriers and obstacles that stand between newcomers to PBM gaming and converting them into long term PBMers. Don't take my word for it, though - just count the size of the player bases for various different PBM games.

If PBM companies aren't willing to update their PBM websites to add a little visual pizzazz to better catch the eye of potential newcomers to the hobby, then do you really think that they're likely to do extensive overhauls of their rulebooks and other PBM documentation?

If you can design and/or program a PBM game, then you're a shoo-in to write PBM documentation, right? Wrongamundo!

Part of the problem, I think, is traceable to PBM companies and PBM GMs tending to fall into habits in the way that they do things, in the way that they approach challenges that manifest themselves in front of them - such as the challenge of crafting documentation with an eye towards precision, where various different PBM documents are given birth to.

Rulebooks might as well be War and Peace in miniature. Newcomers to play by mail gaming who run into PBM rulebooks and their assorted ilk of various PBM documents invariably tend to get ambushed by documents that don't get the job done for the very simple reason that, as currently constructed, they can't get the job done.

Just because a PBM rulebook might be lengthy does not mean that its persuasive. Just because a rulebook is comprehensive does not mean that it is easy to understand.

And when PBM games are reliant on the use of codes for their order schemes, PBM rulebooks can easily become textual rabbit holes that newcomers fall into, never to be seen nor heard from, again.

On a basic level, PBM games tend to take the form of turn-based games - which means that they're not really all that different from a wide variety of other non-PBM type games, such as board games. But the number one reason that I play so few boardgames is due to, guess what, the rulebooks that accompany them.

Encountering poorly written rulebooks is akin to stepping in proverbial pigshit. You may not like hearing that, but it's the truth, nonetheless.

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For almost four full decades, I have been associated with PBM gaming in some way, shape, or form. Thus, I am not a complete stranger to this style of gaming, nor to its various mediums (paper and digital) of gaming.

Getting newcomers to PBM to give PBM games a try is only one part of a much broader challenge. Even if you succeed at getting them to try your PBM game, if you can't retain them as players for any real length of time, then you've still got a very noticeable problem. PBM documentation can be a poison all its own, for it can be a real interest-killer of the first magnitude. Sooie!

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The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But rather than aiming for the shortest distance between a newcomer and PBM games, what the PBM industry routinely does is to over-rely upon dated text-dense documentation. This has been a calling card of PBM games for as far back as I can remember. Even some of the more recently-crafted PBM documentation tends to still fail its basic underlying purpose.

A newcomer to PBM gaming suddenly faced with hundreds of pages of dry reading, or even dozens of pages of dry reading, can just as easily say, "To heck with it," and go do something else. And yes, the situation can be just that precarious.

PBM gaming is quite a lovely pastime. Truly, it's a beautiful hobby, and it can yield fun in spades. But at the same time, PBM gaming also has a very ugly side - a brutally ugly side - and that side is the documentation that accompanies its PBM games.

If PBM can't succeed at eliminating the many obstacles and barriers that interfere with rapidly integrating newcomers into the hobby, then low player numbers will continue to plague PBM gaming. Documentation deficiencies and shortcomings are not an imagined problem. They're real!

For bad documentation is alive and well within and across PBM gaming. That's just a fact. When I first start looking at a PBM game to try, it invariably turns out to be the documentation that turns me off from playing more PBM games.

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Gamers want to play games. They crave to play games. They hunger for it. They thirst for it. The "required reading" section of PBM games belongs in a library, not as a wall between newcomers and the actual playing of the PBM games that have, against all odds, caught their eye. The PBM industry has long taken a "slop the hogs" approach to creating PBM documentation. "Just any old thing will do" seems to be the actual reality for documentation that accompanies play by mail games. You are certainly free to disagree with me, but that is my opinion of it, as I scan the horizon of the PBM documentation that I am aware of (which is quite a lot, actually).

You can say what you want, and you can believe what you want to believe, but the dead weight of sub-par documentation is like a cement anchor around the neck of PBM gaming. Pretending that PBM documentation isn't a problem is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Pretending doesn't make PBM rulebooks more effective. PBM gaming has more than its fair share of rulebook Frankensteins lurking in wait for newcomers to play by mail gaming.

In order to rapidly read PBM game documentation, brevity must be its hallmark. Clear, concise examples crafted with extreme precision and stark attention-to-detail must rise to the fore. The core essence of the bare minimum necessary to learn to play a given PBM game must be distilled from voluminous tomes of confusing text-speak.

But of course, this would require effort. This would require an investment of time and energy. How many PBM companies and PBM GMs are actually prepared invest that time and energy and effort, in order to reshape the face of PBM gaming's documentation for the better?

One thing is certain. Deficient PBM rulebooks aren't gonna fix themselves.

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Only ten days left before the Diplomacy

World deadline!

Just a final reminder that the next Diplomacy World deadline is January 1st.

PLEASE remember to send in your articles, columns, letters, event flyers, questions, comments, illustrations, threats, demands, and restraining orders before then!

Don't forget, all the back issues of Diplomacy World can be found at: 

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If you were serious about having an interest in TribeNet, it need not be a daunting or especially time consuming game. It does have the capacity to stretch to fill almost as much time as you have spare if you choose to do so, and it can be a little frustrating for the impatient who would like to maximize everything immediately. But it can equally reward a far more relaxed and gradual approach.

In many ways the game is more suited to such an approach, although depending on the goals you set, progress can be sped up - generally by splitting off sub-tribes and villages which can develop their own skills and research topics.

Frankly, in your first turns it will seem there isn't an awful lot you can do, other than send a very large number of people hunting and a very small number of people to a small number of other tasks.

If exploration interests you, I would recommend jumping in now, asking for a mentor (who understands what you are wanting to accomplish, and to be placed near them) and helping fill in the some of the many massive chunks of the new starting continent.

A lot of the complication in TN derives from wanting to do everything immediately (in a game designed to still have plenty to strive for a decade after you start.)

The restart means there are lots of players within a short distance that can be co-operated with. You don't need to set up a village to farm and make ships if you have someone already doing this you can trade with. Saves a lot of effort even.

You will want find some way of improving your economic situation fairly quickly, but having a broad strategy (that you periodically review as you come across some aspect of the game that you find particularly intriguing) means you do not need to spend enormous amounts of time working out how to enter your orders (which does take a little getting used to and can become quite lengthy if you choose to make it so) means this need not be overly demanding and you instead swirl plans around your head or curse the lack of a convenient ford on that annoying river separating you from your current destination.

Why not contact Peter at [email protected] and ask for a start, ask too for me (Jeff Perkins, Clan 150) as a mentor and to be started somewhere nearby me. (Bonus, Raven is not far away and is good for second opinions. Plus, he loves building ships, if you want to get into naval exploration of the wider world.)

Thanks for the newsletters!

Jeff Perkins

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Thanks for writing in, and extending a personal invitation to me to join TribeNet. It's always good to know that somebody out there is paying attention to what I'm writing, and of course, it's always nice to hear back from one of our PBM Chaos readers. And yes, I was serious about having an interest in TribeNet.

I recently watched a Chris Helmsworth movie from a few years back called In the Heart of the Sea. It's a movie about whale hunting, and of late, it's a topic that continues to float around in my mind. As to whether whaling is an option in TribeNet, I don't know. I think that I will send GM Peter Peter Rzechorzek an e-mail and ask him.

Having already spent a sizable amount of time, this year, trying to learn how to play Alamaze and Galac-Tac (more on Alamaze than Galac-Tac, but I'm really just getting started on the latter), TribeNet may just prove to be too tall of a mountain for me to climb, Jeff. Honestly, learning how to play PBM games can sometimes be more than just time-consuming. It can also be a draining experience.

That said, I can't imagine what it must have been like back in the heyday of PBM gaming, with hundreds and hundreds of different PBM games to choose from. Raven Zachary has described TribeNet as a complex game with a lot of rules, and he's said that one needs to learn how to tread water pretty quickly, where learning how to play TribeNet is concerned.

I went to look up your TribeNet clan on the TribeNet Wiki, this morning, Jeff, but it didn't list Clan 150. Your clan hasn't gotten eaten by cannibals, has it, Jeff?

Speaking of which, can players play a clan of cannibals or headhunters? That's a spur of the moment thought that I had, just now.

It's 4:20AM, as I write this response to you, Jeff. If I intend to push Issue #28 of PBM Chaos out the door by Christmas Day, though, then I have to just keep on pushing through. Thanks again for your e-mail and your interest, Jeff! Who knows? Maybe I can ring in the New Year by bring a new tribe into existence.

Charles Mosteller

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I've just run the last turn of DungeonWorld before Christmas. There's a LOT going on. What's on my mind? Trying to make sure the game doesn't get old, that it always feels fresh, that the challenge is sufficient but not depressingly overwhelming.

Steve Tierney

Anyone feeling rich?

I can learn the following skills here: 1/ Void Walker, 500 XP 500 GP, 'L' '1001'. 2/ Zero Gravity Combat, 2000 XP 2000 GP, 'L' '1002'. 3/ Serene Contemplation, 500 XP 500 GP, 'L' '1003'. 4/ Eye Of Space And Time, 15,000 XP 20,000 GP, 'L' '1004'.


I managed 11 damage on the high crusader!

Jeremy Baxter

15k xp is quite a lot. Got bigger for killing the Skeletoid.


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Update: On 12/7, I suffered a heart attack. I am now home, but having to make some changes in my life going forward.

Galen (Jon Capps)

Due to the weather conditions, and Galan still recovering and having follow ups, turns are still on hold since we haven't been able to pull the cable safely to him yet. Be patient - the turns will come. Life and my dad's health comes first.

There will not be a cycle in Jan. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Green Sun:

Rise & Fall

The game is settling in to its monthly turn cycle and always looking for new players.


Well, that's put the cat among the pigeons! I've just realised what happens when a ship lands on a world with a higher gravity than the TOAL engines can support! How to get out of this one. . . . .

The history of my race is beginning to look like an early Poul Anderson, or Gordon R. Dickson book.


Always system scan before you land.


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