This meta-node is devoted to the "Wizardry" series of books by Rick Cook, a set of fantasy novels in which magic and computer programming collide.

The Books:

Characters From the "Real" World: Characters From the "Magic" World: Magic World Locations: Spells and Demons: Other Concepts: This list is a living document; /msg me with any additions or changes. - Erbo

Ahh, Wizardry...

Cue flashback.. and go!

1981... yes, back in the days when floppies were floppy. The Apple ][+ was one of the best computers out there, and had the best non-console games available.

Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead of Sir Tech Software had just released Wizardry - The Proving Grounds of The Mad Overlord. This was the defining game that started the entire genre of role playing computer games. Baldur's Gate owes its existence to Wizardry.

Here, Trebor (the mad overlord and 'Robert' spelled backwards) sent you down into the dungeons under the castle to fight a myriad of different monsters, and rescue treasures from their vile grasps. At the bottom, was Werdna (evil wizard who happens to have the name 'Andrew' spelled backwards) who had stolen an amulet. A good map was critical - level 3 had a myriad of spinners and halls that all looked the same. Good stuff was useful too - few can forget the first time they walked about level 4 and saw the door with the sign on it "Monster Allocation Center" and promptly getting slaughtered.

Wizardry had the classic races - Human (boring), Elf (Mages and Bishops), Dwarves (Fighters and Priests), Gnomes (Priests and Thieves), and Hobbit (Thieves). There also existed a basic set of classes: thief, fighter, mage, and priest. The bishop was almost a basic class - you could get it on the initial roll.

Alignment was also part of the game and limited your party forming abilities. Fighters and mages could be of any alignment, thieves couldn't be good, priests couldn't be neutral. You couldn't have a good and evil character in the same party. Not a big problem for basic classes. Once you got to the elite adventurers though, it got a bit more interesting.

  • Bishops could identify objects (including the mystical #9) and could learn mage and priest spells (though slowly). Like the priest, they could not be neutral.
  • The samurai was an 'advanced' fighter who learned mage spells. A samurai couldn't be evil.
  • The lord was a fighter/priest combo, who had to be good.
  • The Ninja was a mean evil fighter/thief who eventually got to the point where they would walk around the dungeon nude and kill things with critical hits with their bare hands. The ninja must be evil.

The spell system was also interesting - it had a language of its own.

  • Dalto - cold
  • Di - heal
  • Dilto - darkness
  • Lito - fire
  • Morlis - fear
  • Porfic - shield
  • Sopic - glass
  • Tino - Air
  • ba - bad
  • la - BIG
  • ka - bad
  • ma - big
  • mon - still
  • -os - little
  • -al - more
  • -kan - tower
Granted, not all the combinations were available, but most were. While 'katino' was a sleep spell, 'lakatino' was suffocation. 'Halito' was a little fireball, 'lahalito' was a fire storm and 'litokan' was a pillar of flame. 'Dios' was a first level heal spell, and 'badialma' was a "big bad hurt more" which did allot of damage to the monster. You get the idea. But don't forget 'Tiltowait' - for which the best translation was "Nuke them until they glow".

Ahh, the memories this brings back... of seeing the sun rise over a green monochrome monitor and realizing that the school bus came in an hour. Indeed a classic game.

Wiz"ard*ry (?), n.

The character or practices o wizards; sorcery; magic.

"He acquired a reputation bordering on wizardry."

J. A. Symonds.


© Webster 1913.

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