In order to register mages to take part in battles on Firetop Mountain, you must sign on as a User. This is achieved by sending an e-mail to the server with the following details:

It must go



Subject: FM Orders

and with the command

NewUser UserName Password

in the body. "UserName" is the name that you want to be known by on the server, and "Password" is the password you will use to identify valid orders in the future.

For example:

NewUser Fred Freddy

You use this User name and password with all subsequent orders you send to the server. Once you have a reply from the server acknowledging your user name, you can register one or more mages, by sending in a registration command. For example:

 User Fred Freddy
 Register Merlyn
Once you have registered your Mage, you will receive a list of all the living mages and their scores, and you can proceed to
challenge one or more of them to a duel!


When you register (and at any other time you specify) you receive a copy of the latest scores and status of all the Wizards of Firetop Mountain. You can pick one or more of these who are not currently engaged in battle and issue a challenge using the NEWGAME order. The controllers of the wizards that you challenge will receive an e-mail notifying them of the challenge. When they accept, you will receive an e-mail telling you that the battle is ready to commence.

Alternatively, you can issue the CHALLENGES order and you will receive a list of 'Open' challenges. You can join in one of these games if you like, by using the ACCEPT command.

The battle then takes place at a pace set by the players. Each round, each player may have to submit orders. The server waits until all the required orders are received, then processes the round and mails out the results.

At the end of these rules you will find a list of the commands that the server accepts, including REGISTER, NEWGAME, CHALLENGES and ACCEPT. You can try these commands out before even proceeding with the rest of the rules, if you like! There is commentary on an example game for you to look at.

Slow Games

On average, people playing games by e-mail tend to like to have a few turns per day. Some like a lot more, and some are a little slower. If you want to play at a particular speed, you should check with your opponent(s) about how fast they will be able to play before accepting a challenge. Typically the challenger will issue a comment with the challenge indicating how fast the game is expected to proceed.

Really slow games will not be allowed to drag on forever. Every so often (about twice a week) the janitor runs a program (called the "Auto Nagger") which checks to see that all the games are progressing. If a player has not submitted orders for a week, the server will send that player a 'reminder' notice. That player will continue to get reminder notices until either orders are submitted or two weeks have passed. Once three weeks has passed without a player submitting orders, the server will close the game, declaring the opponent to be the winner and killing off the timed-out mage.

If you have to go away for some time in the middle of a game, you can contact the game administrator and be put on a list of people 'on vacation'. These people are excused from being slow.


Once a challenge has been issued and accepted, each turn the players send in to the server the directions for their wizards and the monsters under their wizard's control. After orders for the players have been received, the server deals with them as if the actions specified therein occur simultaneously. Certain spells may alter these circumstances. For example, you don't get to see all of your opponent's moves if their wizard is invisible.

Each turn, a player's wizard can either gesture with their hands to weave part of a spell, stab with their knife, or do nothing. They use both hands and each hand can act independently or in concord with the other.

A monster will obey its master's commands exactly. A monster may change controller as a result of enchantment. From that point on the monster's attacks are directed by the new master. A monster may make a single attack each turn against a target chosen by its master or (as a result of a spell) it may spend the turn doing nothing. A monster will attack on the turn in which it is summoned.

Monsters are untrained, unintelligent creatures and can neither gesture nor cast spells. Players personally acquainted with monsters who wish to vouch for their ability to cast spells are requested to keep quiet.


Monsters are created by SUMMON spells. Monsters usually have a "controller" who can direct who they will attack. The control of a monster can change hands if a Charm Monster spell is cast on the monster.

All spells have a target, and SUMMON spells are no different.

The target of a SUMMON spell determines who the controller of the monster will be.

Read that last sentence again. It is very important, and not what everyone expects!

If the target is a Wizard, that Wizard will become the controller. If the target is a monster, then that monster's controller will be the controller of the new monster.

The initial target of the monster's attacks will be the opponent of its controller specified for the SUMMON spell. The TARGET command can be used to change the target of the monster.


Each wizard can sustain fourteen points of damage but dies when fifteen or more points of damage are done. When only one wizard survives (if any do!) that wizard is declared the winner. The winner receives points equal to the number of defeated wizards. Simultaneous death is a posthumous draw. Damage to wizards and monsters is cumulative (so you don't have to do it all in one go!). Dead monsters take no further part in the game.

Wizards may also choose to surrender. This is not a spell, but a pair of P gestures made by both hands at the same time signals your surrender. If you surrender, you lose one point but you get to live on to fight another day. See the final section for details.

When a wizard dies, their score dies with them. This is hopefully a powerful incentive for surrendering before it's too late.