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Changes from New Origins v6

  • Quartermasters can no longer transport infinitely in one map direction.
  • JSON reports are an available option for download.
  • Transport now uses connected distance in overworld and underworld.

To see changes in previous versions, view the Change Log

Rules for NewOrigins v7.0.0

Based on Atlantis v5.2.5

Copyright 1996 by Geoff Dunbar

Based on Russell Wallace's Draft Rules

Copyright 1993 by Russell Wallace

Last Change: May 29, 2024

Note: This document is subject to change, as errors are found and corrected, and rules sometimes change. Be sure you have the latest available copy.

Table of Contents

Thanks to Kenneth Casey for putting together this table of contents.

Index of Tables

Playing Atlantis

Atlantis (as you undoubtedly already know) is a play by email game. When you sign up for Atlantis, you will be sent a turn report (via email). Your report completely details your position in the game. After going over this report, and possibly communicating with other players in the game, you determine your course of action, and create a file of "orders", which you then send back to the Atlantis server. Then, at a regular interval (often one week), Atlantis collects all the orders, runs another turn (covering one month in game time), and sends all the players another report.


A player's position is called a "faction". Each faction has a name and a number (the number is assigned by the computer, and used for entering orders). Each player is allowed to play one and ONLY one faction at any given time. Each faction is composed of a number of "units", each unit being a group of one or more people loyal to the faction. You start the game with a single unit consisting of one character, plus a sum of money. More people can be hired during the course of the game, and formed into more units. (In these rules, the word "character" generally refers either to a unit consisting of only one person, or to a person within a larger unit.)

A faction is considered destroyed, and the player knocked out of the game, if ever all its people are killed or disbanded (i.e. the faction has no units left). The program does not consider your starting character to be special; if your starting character gets killed, you will probably have been thinking of that character as the leader of your faction, so some other character can be regarded as having taken the dead leader's place (assuming of course that you have at least one surviving unit!). As far as the computer is concerned, as long as any unit of the faction survives, the faction is not wiped out. (If your faction is wiped out, you can rejoin the game with a new starting character.)

Each faction has a type which is decided by the player, and determines what the faction may do. The faction has 5 Faction Points, which may be spent on the Faction Areas of Martial and Magic. The faction type may be changed at the beginning of each turn, so a faction can change and adapt to the conditions around it. Faction Points spent on Martial determine the number of regions in which factions can obtain income by taxing or pillaging. Faction Points spent on Martial also determine the number of regions in which a faction may conduct trade activity. Trade activity includes producing goods and materials. Faction points spent on Martial also determine the number of quartermaster units a faction can have. Faction Points spent on Magic determine the number of mages and apprentices the faction may have (more information on all of the faction activities is in further sections of the rules). Here is a chart detailing the limits on factions by Faction Points:

Faction Points Martial (max tax and trade regions / quartermasters) Magic (max mages / apprentices)
0 0 / 0 1 / 1
1 10 / 2 2 / 3
2 25 / 5 3 / 5
3 40 / 9 4 / 7
4 60 / 14 5 / 10
5 90 / 25 6 / 15

For example, a well rounded faction might spend 2 points on Magic, 3 points on Martial. This faction's type would appear as "Magic 2 Martial 3", and would be able to perform tax and trade in 40 regions, and have 3 mages, as well have 5 apprentices, and 9 quartermasters.

As another example, a specialized faction might spend all 5 points on Martial. This faction's type would appear as "Martial 5", and would be able to perform tax and trade in 90 regions, as well have 1 apprentice, and 25 quartermasters, but could not possess any mages.

Note that it is possible to have a faction type with less than 5 points spent. In fact, a starting faction has one point spent on each of Martial, Magic, leaving 2 points unspent.

When a faction starts the game, it is given a one-man unit and 10000 silver in unclaimed money. Unclaimed money is cash that your whole faction has access to, but cannot be taken away in battle (silver in a unit's possessions can be taken in battle). This allows a faction to get started without presenting an enticing target for other factions. Units in your faction may use the CLAIM order to take this silver, and use it to buy goods or recruit men, or use the WITHDRAW order to withdraw goods directly.

An example faction is shown below, consisting of a starting character, Merlin the Magician, who has formed two more units, Merlin's Guards and Merlin's Workers. Each unit is assigned a unit number by the computer (completely independent of the faction number); this is used for entering orders. Here, the player has chosen to give his faction the same name ("Merlin the Magician") as his starting character. Alternatively, you can call your faction something like "The Great Northern Mining Company" or whatever.

      * Merlin the Magician (17), Merlin (27), leader [LEAD].  Skills: none.
      * Merlin's Guards (33), Merlin (27), 20 vikings [VIKI], 20 swords
        [SWOR]. Skills: none.
      * Merlin's Workers (34), Merlin (27), 50 vikings [VIKI].  Skills:


A unit is a grouping together of people, all loyal to the same faction. The people in a unit share skills and possessions, and execute the same orders each month. The reason for having units of many people, rather than keeping track of individuals, is to simplify the game play. The computer does not keep track of individual names, possessions, or skills for people in the same unit, and all the people in a particular unit must be in the same place at all times. If you want to send people in the same unit to different places, you must split up the unit. Apart from this, there is little difference between having one unit of 50 people, or 50 units of one person each, except that the former is very much easier to handle.

There are different races that make up the population of Atlantis. (See the section on skills for a list of these.) In addition, there are "leaders", who are presumed to be of one of the other races, but are all the same in game terms. Leaders and normal people may not be mixed in the same unit. However, leaders are more expensive to recruit and maintain (more information is in the section on skills). A unit is treated as the least common denominator of the people within it, so a unit made up of two races with different strengths and weaknesses will have all the weaknesses, and none of the strengths of either race.


Each turn, the Atlantis server takes the orders file that you mailed to it, and assigns the orders to the respective units. All units in your faction are completely loyal to you, and will execute the orders to the best of their ability. If the unit does something unintended, it is generally because of incorrect orders; a unit will not purposefully betray you.

A turn is equal to one game month. A unit can do many actions at the start of the month, that only take a matter of hours, such as buying and selling commodities, or fighting an opposing faction. Each unit can also do exactly one action that takes up the entire month, such as harvesting resources or moving from one region to another. The orders which take an entire month are ADVANCE, BUILD, ENTERTAIN, MOVE, PILLAGE, PRODUCE, SAIL, STUDY, TAX, TEACH and WORK.

The World

The Atlantis world is divided for game purposes into hexagonal regions. Each region has a name, and one of the following terrain types: Ocean, Plain, Forest, Mountain, Swamp, Jungle, Desert, or Tundra (there may be other types of terrain to be discovered as the game progresses). Regions can contain units belonging to players; they can also contain structures such as buildings and fleets. Two units in the same region can normally interact, unless one of them is concealed in some way. Two units in different regions cannot normally interact. NOTE: Combat is an exception to this.


Here is a sample region, as it might appear on your turn report:

      plain (172,110) in Turia, 500 peasants (vikings), $2500.
        Wages: $15 (Max: $500).
        Wanted: none.
        For Sale: 50 vikings [VIKI] at $60, 10 leaders [LEAD] at $840.
        Entertainment available: $125.
        Products: 23 grain [GRAI], 37 horses [HORS].
        North : ocean (172,108) in Atlantis Ocean.
        Northeast : ocean (173,109) in Atlantis Ocean.
        Southeast : ocean (173,111) in Atlantis Ocean.
        South : plain (172,112) in Turia.
        Southwest : plain (171,111) in Turia.
        Northwest : plain (171,109) in Turia.
      * Hans Shadowspawn (15), Merry Pranksters (14), leader [LEAD], 500
        silver [SILV]. Skills: none.
      - Vox Populi (13), leader [LEAD].

This report gives all of the available information on this region. The region type is plain, the name of the surrounding area is Turia, and the coordinates of this region are (172,110). The population of this region is 500 nomads, and there is $2500 of taxable income currently in this region. Then, under the dashed line, are various details about items for sale, wages, etc. Finally, there is a list of all visible units. Units that belong to your faction will be so denoted by a '*', whereas other faction's units are preceded by a '-'.

Since Atlantis is made up of hexagonal regions, the coordinate system is not always exactly intuitive. Here is the layout of Atlantis regions:

         ____        ____
        /    \      /    \
       /(0,0) \____/(2,0) \____/
       \      /    \      /    \     N
        \____/(1,1) \____/(3,1) \_   |
        /    \      /    \      /    |
       /(0,2) \____/(2,2) \____/     |
       \      /    \      /    \   W-O-E
        \____/(1,3) \____/(3,3) \_   |
        /    \      /    \      /    S
       /(0,4) \____/(2,4) \____/
       \      /    \      /    \
        \____/      \____/
        /    \      /    \

Note that the are "holes" in the coordinate system; there is no region (1,2), for instance. This is due to the hexagonal system of regions.

Most regions are similar to the region shown above, but the are certain exceptions. Oceans, not surprisingly, have no population. Some regions will contain villages, towns, and cities. More information on these is available in the section on the economy.

Region resources:

Here is list of resources you can find in regions:

Region type Resources
ocean fish (100%), giant turtle (30%).
plain horse (100%), winged horse (20%).
forest wood (100%), fur (100%), ironwood (20%), yew (25%).
mountain iron (100%), stone (100%), mithril (35%), rootstone (35%), admantium (15%).
swamp wood (100%), floater hide (40%), herb (100%), mushroom (30%).
jungle wood (100%), herb (100%), mushroom (35%), ironwood (35%), fur (80%).
desert iron (100%), stone (100%), rootstone (30%), camel (80%), mithril (20%).
tundra fur (100%), herb (100%), mushroom (35%), iron (30%).
volcano stone (100%), mithril (50%), rootstone (50%), admantium (50%), iron (100%).


Regions may also contain structures, such as buildings or fleets. These will appear directly below the list of units. Here is a sample structure:

      + Temple of Agrik [3] : Tower.
        - High Priest Chafin (9), leader [LEAD], sword [SWOR]
        - Rowing Doom (188), 10 nomads [NOMA], 10 swords [SWOR].

The structure lists the name, the number, and what type of structure it is (more information of the types of structures can be found in the section on the economy). Following this is a list of units inside the structure. Units within a structure are always visible, even if they would otherwise not be seen.

Units inside structures are still considered to be in the region, and other units can interact with them; however, they may gain benefits, such as defensive bonuses in combat from being inside a building. The first unit to enter an object is considered to be the owner; only this unit can do things such as renaming the object, or permitting other units to enter. The owner of an object can be identified on the turn report, as it is the first unit listed under the object. Only units with men in them can be structure owners, so newly created units cannot own a structure until they contain men.

Atlantis Nexus:

Note: the following section contains some details that you may wish to skip over until you have had a chance to read the rest of the rules, and understand the mechanics of Atlantis. However, be sure to read this section before playing, as it will affect your early plans in Atlantis.

When a faction first starts in Atlantis, it begins with one unit, in a special region called the Atlantis Nexus. This region exists outside of the normal world of Atlantis, and as such has no products or marketplaces; it merely serves as the magical entry into Atlantis.

The Nexus contains portals that provide one-way transportation to various terrain types. A unit that enters one of these portals (by entering the portal and moving IN) will be transported to a region of the matching terrain type. The region chosen is somewhat random, but will prefer to place players in towns where no other players are present. Once a unit has passed through a portal, there is no way to return to the Nexus. It is also possible to use Gate Lore to get out of the Nexus (but not to return).


There are two main methods of movement in Atlantis. The first is done using the MOVE order (or the ADVANCE order), and moves units individually from one region to another. The other method is done using the SAIL order, which can sail a fleet, including all of its occupants from one region to another. Certain powerful mages may also teleport themselves, or even other units, but the knowledge of the workings of this magic is carefully guarded.

Normal Movement:

In one month, a unit can issue a single MOVE order, using one or more of its movement points. There are three modes of travel: walking, riding and flying. Walking units have two movement points, riding units have four, and flying units have four. A unit will automatically use the fastest mode of travel it has available. The ADVANCE order is the same as MOVE, except that it implies attacks on units which try to forbid access; see the section on combat for details.

Note that depending on game settings certain races might be able to swim or fly and there are items that can enable your units to fly or walk on water.

Flying units are not initially available to starting players. A unit can ride provided that the carrying capacity of its horses is at least as great as the weight of its people and all other items. A unit can walk provided that the carrying capacity of its people, horses, and wagons is at least as great as the weight of all its other items, and provided that it has at least as many horses as wagons (otherwise the excess wagons count as weight, not capacity). Otherwise the unit cannot issue a MOVE order. Most people weigh 10 units and have a capacity of 5 units; data for items is as follows:

Weight Capacity
silver 0  
grain 5  
livestock 50 0
iron 5  
wood 5  
stone 50  
fur 1  
fish 1  
herb 0  
horse 50 20
sword 1  
crossbow 1  
longbow 1  
chain armor 1  
plate armor 3  
wagon 50 200 (with horse)
pick 1  
spear 1  
axe 1  
hammer 1  
net 1  
lasso 1  
bag 1  
spinning wheel 1  
leather armor 1  
camel 50 20
javelin 1  
pike 1  
meal 1  
iron shield 1  
wooden shield 1  

A unit which can fly is capable of travelling over water, but if the unit ends its turn over a water hex then it will drown..

Since regions are hexagonal, each region has six neighbouring regions to the north, northeast, southeast, south, southwest and northwest. Moving from one region to another normally takes one movement point, except that the following terrain types take two movement points for riding or walking units to enter: Forest, Mountain, Swamp, Jungle, and Tundra. Units may not move through ocean regions without using the SAIL order unless they are capable of flight, and even then, flying units must end their movement on land or else drown.

Units may also enter or exit structures while moving. Moving into or out of a structure does not use any movement points at all. Note that a unit can also use the ENTER and LEAVE orders to move in and out of structures, without issuing a MOVE order. The unit can also use the MOVE order to enter or leave a structure.

Finally, certain structures contain interior passages to other regions. The MOVE IN order can be used to go through these passages; the movement point cost is equal to the normal cost to enter the destination region.

Example: One man with a horse, sword, and chain mail wants to move north, then northeast. The capacity of the horse is 20 and the weight of the man and other items is 12, so he can ride and has four movement points. He issues the order MOVE NORTH NORTHEAST. First he moves north, into a plain region. This uses one movement point. Then he moves northeast, into a forest region. This uses two movement points, so the movement is completed with one to spare.


Movement by sea is in some ways similar. It does not use the MOVE order however. Instead, the owner of a fleet must issue the SAIL order, and other units wishing to help sail the fleet must also issue the SAIL order. The fleet will then, if possible, make the indicated movement, carrying all units on the fleet with it. Units on board the fleet, but not aiding in the sailing of the fleet, may execute other orders while the fleet is sailing. A unit which does not wish to travel with the fleet should leave the fleet in a coastal region, before the SAIL order is processed. (A coastal region is defined as a non-ocean region with at least one adjacent ocean region.)

Note that a unit on board a fleet while it is sailing may not MOVE later in the turn, even if he doesn't issue the SAIL order; sailing is considered to take the whole month. Also, units may not remain on guard while on board a sailing fleet; they will have to reissue the GUARD 1 order to guard a region after sailing.

Most ships get four movement points per turn. A fleet can move from an ocean region to another ocean region, or from a coastal region to an ocean region, or from an ocean region to a coastal region. Ships may not sail through single hex land masses and must leave via the same side they entered or a side adjacent to that one. Ships ending their movement in a land hex may sail out along any side connecting to water. Ships can only be constructed in coastal regions. For a fleet to enter any region only costs one movement point; the cost of two movement points for entering, say, a forest coastal region, does not apply.

A fleet can only move if the total weight of everything aboard does not exceed the fleet's capacity (the rules do not prevent an overloaded fleet from staying afloat, only from moving). Also, there must be enough sailors aboard (using the SAIL order), to sail the fleet, or it will not go anywhere. Note that the sailing skill increases the usefulness of a unit proportionally; thus, a 1 man unit with level 5 sailing skill can sail a longboat alone. (See the section on skills for further details on skills.) The capacities (and costs in labor units) of the various basic ship types are as follows:

Class Capacity Cost Sailors Skill
Longship 150 10 4 1
Raft 450 10 2 1
Cog 750 25 6 2
Galleon 2700 75 15 3

The skill column is the level of shipbuilding skill required to build that ship type.

Order of Movement:

This section is probably unimportant to beginning players, but it can be helpful for more experienced players.

Movement in Atlantis is processed one hex of movement at a time, region by region. Atlantis cycles through all of the regions; for each region, it finds any units that are due to move, and moves them (if they can move) one hex (and only one hex). After processing all the regions, it conducts any battles that result from these movements. After it has gone through all of the regions, units will have moved at most one hex, so it goes back and does the whole process again. This is repeated until all units have had the opportunity to move their allowed distance. Units' movement is spread out over these phases proportionally to their speed, so a unit riding at speed 4 would move twice as often as one walking at speed 2. If the unit requires more than one move to enter a particular region, then it will move once it has accumulated enough movement points to do so. Note that these movement points can be carried over from one month to another if a MOVE (or ADVANCE) command did not complete in the month - for example, a unit on foot trying to move into a mountain region in winter would not have enough movement points to enter in one turn, but if it continues the same move on the next turn, it would use the accumulated points from the last month and manage to enter the mountains at last.

Sailing is handled the same way, with one minor difference: where units using MOVE or ADVANCE will be prevented from entering a GUARDed region (where the guards are unfriendly or worse to the moving unit), fleets will instead enter the region and then be stopped by the guards.

The following table shows when exactly units will move, given their base movement speed. The "x"s mark the phases in which a unit of that speed will move. If you wish to make units of different speeds move together (for example, to coordinate an attack), you may need to tell the faster units to PAUSE in their movement. See the MOVE order for details.

Movement Phase
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Speed 1 x
2 x x
3 x x x
4 x x x x
5 x x x x x
6 x x x x x x
7 x x x x x x x
8 x x x x x x x x


The most important thing distinguishing one character from another in Atlantis is skills. The following skills are available: mining, lumberjack, quarrying, hunting, fishing, herb lore, horse training, weaponsmith, armorer, carpenter, building, shipbuilding, entertainment, tactics, combat, riding, crossbow, longbow, stealth, observation, healing, sailing, farming, cooking, and quartermaster. When a unit possesses a skill, he also has a skill level to go with it. Generally, the effectiveness of a skill is directly proportional to the skill level involved, so a unit with level 2 in a skill is twice as good as a unit with level 1 in the same skill.


Skills may be learned up to a maximum level depending on the race of the studying unit (remembering that for units containing more than one race, the maximum is determined by the least common denominator). Every race has a normal maximum skill level, and a list of skills that they specialize in, and can learn up to higher level. Leaders, being more powerful, can learn skills to even higher levels. Here is a list of the races (including leaders) and the information on normal skill levels and specialized skills.

Race/Type Specilized Skills Max Level (specialized skills) Max Level (non-specialized skills)
leaders None. -- 5
wood elves lumberjack, longbow, entertainment, carpenter, fishing, cooking 5 2
high elves horse training, fishing, longbow, shipbuilding, sailing 5 2
ice dwarves combat, weaponsmith, mining, fishing, armorer 5 2
hill dwarves armorer, weaponsmith, quarrying, mining, building 5 2
under dwarves weaponsmith, armorer, quarrying, mining, building 5 2
orcs mining, lumberjack, combat, building, shipbuilding 5 2
gnomes herb lore, quarrying, entertainment, crossbow, healing 5 2
centaurs lumberjack, horse training, riding, healing, farming 5 2
humans building, riding, combat, mining, farming, cooking 4 2
lizardmen hunting, herb lore, carpenter, sailing, healing 5 2
goblins quarrying, crossbow, shipbuilding, weaponsmith, entertainment 5 2
gnolls horse training, hunting, combat, armorer, carpenter, cooking 5 2
drow elves combat, hunting, longbow, lumberjack, cooking 5 2

If units are merged together, their skills are averaged out. No rounding off is done; rather, the computer keeps track for each unit of how many total months of training that unit has in each skill. When units are split up, these months are divided as evenly as possible among the people in the unit; but no months are ever lost.


For a unit to gain level 1 of a skill, they must gain one months worth of training in that skill by issuing the STUDY order. To raise this skill level to 2, the unit must add an additional two months worth of training. Then, to raise this to skill level 3 requires another three months worth of training, and so forth. A month of training is gained when a unit uses the STUDY order. Note that study months do not need to be consecutive; for a unit to go from level 1 to level 2, he can study for a month, do something else for a month, and then go back and complete the rest of his studies. A unit can also increase its level of training by using a skill. This progress is much slower than studying. Only one skill can be improved through practice in any month; if multiple skills are used, only the first will be improved. A skill will only improve with practice if the unit has first studied the rudiments of the skill.

Most skills cost $10 per person per month to study (in addition to normal maintenance costs). The exceptions are Stealth and Observation (both of which cost $50), Magic skills (which cost $100), and Tactics (which costs $200).


A unit with a teacher can learn up to twice as fast as normal. The TEACH order is used to spend the month teaching one or more other units (your own or another factions). The unit doing the teaching must have a skill level greater than the unit doing the studying. (Note: for all skill uses, it is skill level, not number of months of training, that counts. Thus, a unit with 1 month of training is effectively the same as a unit with 2 months of training, since both have a skill level of 1.) The units being taught simply issue the STUDY order normally (also, his faction must be declared Friendly by the teaching faction). Each person can only teach up to 10 students in a month; additional students dilute the training. Thus, if 1 teacher teaches 20 men, each man being taught will gain 1 1/2 months of training, not 2 months.

Note that it is quite possible for a single unit to teach two or more other units different skills in the same month, provided that the teacher has a higher skill level than each student in the skill that that student is studying, and that there are no more than 10 students per teacher.

Note: Only leaders may use the TEACH order.

Skill Reports:

When a faction learns a new skill level for this first time, it will be given a report on special abilities that a unit with this skill level has. This report can be shown again at any time (once a faction knows the skill), using the SHOW order. For example, when a faction learned the skill Shoemaking level 3 for the first time, it might receive the following (obviously farcical) report:

      Shoemaking [SHOE] 3: A unit with this skill may PRODUCE Sooper Dooper
        Air Max Winged Sandals.

The Economy

The unit of currency in Atlantis is the silver piece. Silver is a normal item, with zero weight, appearing in your unit's reports. Silver is used for such things as buying items, and unit's maintenance.

Maintenance Costs:

IMPORTANT: Each and every character in Atlantis requires a maintenance fee each month. Anyone who ends the month without this maintenance cost has a 33 percent chance of starving to death. It is up to you to make sure that your people have enough money available. Money will be shared automatically between your units in the same region, if one is starving and another has more than enough; but this will not happen between units in different regions (this sharing of money applies only for maintenance costs, and does not occur for other purposes). If you have silver in your unclaimed fund, then that silver will be automatically claimed by units that would otherwise starve. Lastly, if a faction is allied to yours, their units will provide surplus cash to your units for maintenance, as a last resort.

This fee is generally 10 silver for a normal character, and 50 silver for a leader. Units may substitute one unit of grain, livestock, fish or meals for each 30 silver (or fraction thereof) of maintenance owed. Food value for a fractional maintenance cost still consumes the entire unit of food. A unit may use the CONSUME order to specify that it wishes to use food items in preference to silver. Note that these items are worth more when sold in towns, so selling them and using the money is more economical than using them for maintenance.

Maintenance costs are paid in the following order:

  1. Food items the unit owns if the unit is set CONSUME UNITor CONSUME FACTION
  2. Food items from faction units in the same region if the unit is set CONSUME FACTION
  3. Silver in the unit's possession
  4. Silver from other faction units in the same region.
  5. Food items in the unit's possession.
  6. Food items from faction units in the same region.
  7. Unclaimed silver.
  8. Silver from allied units in the same region.
  9. Food items from allied units in the same region.


People may be recruited in a region. The total amount of recruits available per month in a region, and the amount that must be paid per person recruited, are shown in the region description. The BUY order is used to recruit new people. New recruits will not have any skills or items. Note that the process of recruiting a new unit is somewhat counter-intuitive; it is necessary to FORM an empty unit, GIVE the empty unit some money, and have it BUY people; see the description of the FORM order for further details.


A unit may have a number of possessions, referred to as "items". Some details were given above in the section on Movement, but many things were left out. Here is a table giving some information about common items in Atlantis:

  Skill (min level) Material Production time Weight (capacity) Extra Information
silver   0
grain farming (1) 1 month 5
livestock farming (1) 1 month 50 (0)
iron mining (1) 1 month 5
wood lumberjack (1) 1 month 5
stone quarrying (1) 1 month 50
fur hunting (1) 1 month 1
fish fishing (1) 1 month 1
herb herb lore (1) 1 month 0
horse horse training (1) 1 month 50 (20) Gives a riding bonus with the riding skill.
sword weaponsmith (1) 1 iron 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +2 on attack and +2 on defense.
crossbow weaponsmith (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 Ranged weapon which gives +0 on attack and +0 on defense (needs crossbow skill).
Gives 1 attack every 3 rounds.
longbow weaponsmith (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 Ranged weapon which gives -1 on attack and +0 on defense (needs longbow skill).
chain armor armorer (1) 1 iron 1 month 1 Gives a 33 in 100 chance to survive a normal hit.
plate armor armorer (3) 3 iron 3 months 3 Gives a 67 in 100 chance to survive a normal hit.
wagon carpenter (1) 1 wood 1 month 50 (200 with horse)
pick weaponsmith (1) 1 iron 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +1 on attack and +1 on defense.
+1 bonus when producing iron.
+1 bonus when producing stone.
spear weaponsmith (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +1 on attack and +1 on defense.
+1 bonus when producing furs.
axe weaponsmith (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +1 on attack and +1 on defense.
+1 bonus when producing wood.
+1 bonus when producing crossbows.
+1 bonus when producing longbows.
+1 bonus when producing wagons.
+1 bonus when producing spears.
+1 bonus when producing axes.
+1 bonus when producing spinning wheels.
+1 bonus when producing javelins.
+1 bonus when producing pikes.
+1 bonus when producing wooden shields.
hammer weaponsmith (1) 1 iron 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +1 on attack and +1 on defense.
+1 bonus when producing swords.
+1 bonus when producing chain armor.
+1 bonus when producing plate armor.
+1 bonus when producing picks.
+1 bonus when producing hammers.
+1 bonus when producing iron shields.
net fishing (1) 1 herb 1 month 1 +2 bonus when producing fish.
lasso herb lore (1) 1 herb 1 month 1 +1 bonus when producing livestock.
+1 bonus when producing horses.
+1 bonus when producing camels.
bag herb lore (1) 1 herb 1 month 1 +2 bonus when producing grain.
+2 bonus when producing herbs.
spinning wheel carpenter (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 +2 bonus when producing nets.
+2 bonus when producing lassoes.
+2 bonus when producing bags.
+2 bonus when producing leather armor.
leather armor armorer (1) 1 fur 1 month 1 Gives a 30 in 100 chance to survive a normal hit.
May be used during assassinations.
camel horse training (1) 1 month 50 (20) Gives a riding bonus with the riding skill.
javelin weaponsmith (1) 1 wood 1 month 1 Ranged weapon which gives -1 on attack and +0 on defense.
Gives 1 attack every 2 rounds.
pike weaponsmith (2) 1 wood 1 month 1 Weapon which gives +2 on attack and +2 on defense.
meal cooking (1) Any of : 1 grain, 1 livestock, 1 fish 1 month 1
iron shield armorer (3) 1 iron 1 month 1
wooden shield armorer (1) 1 wood 1 month 1

All items except silver and trade goods are produced with the PRODUCE order. Producing items will always produce as many items as during a month up to the limit of the supplies carried by the producing unit. The required skills and raw materials required to produce one output item are in the table above.

If an item requires raw materials, then the specified amount of each material is consumed for each item produced. The higher the skill of the unit, the more productive each man-month of work will be. Thus, five men at skill level one are exactly equivalent to one man at skill level 5 in terms of base output. Items which require multiple man-months to produce will still benefit from higher skill level units, just not as quickly. For example, if a unit of six level one men wanted to produce something which required three man-months per item, that unit could produce two of them in one month. If their skill level was raised to two, then they could produce four of them in a month. At level three, they could then produce 6 per month.

Some items may allow each man to produce multiple output items per raw material or have other differences from these basic rules. Those items will explain their differences in the description of the item.

Only Martial factions can issue PRODUCE orders however, regardless of skill levels.

Items which increase production may increase production of advanced items in addition to the basic items listed. Some of them also increase production of other tools. Read the skill descriptions for details on which tools aid which production when not noted above.

If an item does not list a raw material it may be produced directly from the land. Each region generally has at least one item that can be produced there. Shown on the description of a region is a list of the items that can be produced, and the amount of each that can be produced per month. This amount depends on the region type. It also varies from region to region of the same type. If the units in a region attempt to produce more of a commodity than can be produced that month, then the amount available is distributed among the producers

Villages, Towns, and Cities:

Some regions in Atlantis contain villages, towns, and cities. Villages add to the wages, population, and tax income of the region they are in. Also, villages will have an additional market for grain, livestock, and fish. As the village's demand for these goods is met, the population will increase. When the population reaches a certain threshold, the village will turn into a town. A town will have some additional products that it demands, in addition to what it previously wanted. Also a town will sell some new items as well. A town whose demands are being met will grow, and above another threshold it will become a full-blown city. A city will have additional markets for common items, and will also have markets for less common, more expensive trade items.

Trade items are bought and sold only by cities, and have no other practical uses. However, the profit margins on these items are usually quite high.

Buildings and Trade Structures:

Construction of buildings and ships goes as follows: each unit of work on a building requires a unit of the required resource and a man-month of work by a character with the appropriate skill and level; higher skill levels allow work to proceed faster (still using one unit of the required resource per unit of work done). Any faction can issue BUILD orders. Here is a table of the various building types:

Size Cost Material Skill (min level) Mages
Tower 10 10 stone building (1) 0
Fort 50 40 stone building (1) 1
Castle 300 300 stone building (2) 2
Citadel 1000 800 stone building (3) 3
Stockade 50 60 wood building (1) 1

Size is the number of people that the building can shelter. Cost is both the number of man-months of labor and the number of units of material required to complete the building. Mages is the number of mages that the building provides study facilities for, to enable unhindered study above level 2 in magical skills. There are possibly other buildings which can be built that require more advanced resources, or odd skills to construct. The description of a skill will include any buildings which it allows to be built.

There are other structures that increase the maximum production of certain items in regions; for example, a Mine will increase the amount of iron that is available to be mined in a region. To construct these structures requires a high skill level in the production skill related to the item that the structure will help produce. (Inns are an exception to this rule, requiring the Building skill, not the Entertainment skill.) This bonus in production is available to any unit in the region; there is no need to be inside the structure.

The first structure built in a region will increase the maximum production of the related product by 25%; the amount added by each additional structure will be half of the the effect of the previous one. (Note that if you build enough of the same type of structure in a region, the new structures may not add _any_ to the production level).

Cost Material Skill (level) Production Aided
Mine 10 wood or stone mining (3) iron
Farm 10 wood or stone farming (3) grain
Ranch 10 wood or stone farming (3) livestock
Timber Yard 10 wood or stone lumberjack (3) wood
Inn 10 wood or stone building (3) entertainment
Quarry 10 wood or stone quarrying (3) stone
Temple 10 stone building (3) herbs
Trapping Hut 10 wood or stone hunting (3) furs
Stables 10 wood or stone horse training (3) horses
Oasis 10 wood or stone horse training (3) camels

Note that these structures will not increase the availability of an item in a region which does not already have that item available. Also, Trade structures do not offer defensive bonuses (which is why they do not have a size associated with them). As with regular buildings, the Cost is the number of man-months of labor and also the number of units of raw material required to complete the structure. You can use two different materials (wood or stone) to construct most trade structures. It is possible that there are structures not listed above which require either advanced resources to build or which increase the production of advanced resources. The skill description for a skill will always note if new structures may be built based on knowing that skill.


There is a another type of structure called roads. They do not protect units, nor aid in the production of resources, but do aid movement, and can improve the economy of a hex.

Roads are directional and are only considered to reach from one hexside to the center of the hex. To gain a movement bonus, there must be two connecting roads, one in each adjacent hex. Only one road may be built in each direction. If a road in the given direction is connected, units move along that road at half cost to a minimum of 1 movement point.

For example: If a unit is moving northwest, then the hex it is in must have a northwest road, and the hex it is moving into must have a southeast road.

To gain an economy bonus, a hex must have roads that connect to roads in at least two adjoining hexes. The economy bonus for the connected roads raises the wages in the region by 1 point.

Cost Material Skill (min level)
Road N 30 stone building (2)
Road NW 30 stone building (2)
Road NE 30 stone building (2)
Road SW 30 stone building (2)
Road SE 30 stone building (2)
Road S 30 stone building (2)
Caravanserai 20 wood or stone building (2)


Ships are constructed similarly to buildings, with a few small differences. Firstly, they tend to be constructed out of wood, not stone. Secondly, their construction tends to depend on the Shipbuilding skill, not the Building skill. Thirdly, while unfinished buildings appear in the region, and may be entered by other units, unfinished ships appear only in their builder's inventory until they are complete. If the builder MOVEs or they are in a fleet that SAILs while they have an unfinished ship in their possession, the ship will be discarded and lost. Finally, ships are never interacted with as objects directly, but when completed are placed in fleets. Fleets may contain one or more ships, and may be entered like other buildings.

Any faction can issue BUILD orders. Here is a table of the various ship types:

Class Capacity Cost Sailors Skill
Longship 150 10 4 1
Raft 450 10 2 1
Cog 750 25 6 2
Galleon 2700 75 15 3

The capacity of a ship is the maximum weight that the ship may have aboard and still move. The cost is both the man-months of labor and the number of units of material required to complete the ship. The sailors are the number of skill levels of the Sailing skill that must be aboard the ship (and issuing the SAIL order) in order for the ship to sail.

When a ship is built, if its builder is already the owner of a fleet, then the ship will be added to that fleet; otherwise a new fleet will be created to hold the ship. A fleet has the combined capacity and sailor requirement of its constituent vessels, and moves at the speed of its slowest ship.

Advanced Items:

There are also certain advanced items that highly skilled units can produce. These are not available to starting players, but can be discovered through study. When a unit is skilled enough to produce one of these items, he will receive a skill report describing the production of this item. Production of advanced items is generally done in a manner similar to the normal items.


Units can earn money with the WORK order. This means that the unit spends the month performing manual work for wages. The amount to be earned from this is usually not very high, so it is generally a last resort to be used if one is running out of money. The current wages are shown in the region description for each region. All units may WORK, regardless of skills or faction type.


Units with the Entertainment skill can use it to earn money. A unit with Entertainment level 1 will earn 30 silver per man by issuing the ENTERTAIN order. The total amount of money that can be earned this way is shown in the region descriptions. Higher levels of Entertainment skill can earn more, so a character with Entertainment skill 2 can earn twice as much money as one with skill 1 (and uses twice as much of the demand for entertainment in the region). Note that entertainment income is much less, per region, than the income available through working or taxing. All factions may have entertainers, regardless of faction type.


Martial factions may collect taxes in a region. This is done using the TAX order (which is a full month order). The amount of tax money that can be collected each month in a region is shown in the region description. A unit may TAX if it has Combat skill of at least level 1, has a weapon and the appropriate skill to use it, has a mount and sufficient skill to ride it in combat or is a mage who knows a spell which damages enemies. Each taxing character can collect $50, though if the number of taxers would tax more than the available tax income, the tax income is split evenly among all taxers.

Martial factions may also pillage a region. To do this requires the faction to have enough combat ready men in the region to tax half of the available money in the region. The total amount of money that can be pillaged will then be shared out between every combat ready unit that issues the PILLAGE order. The amount of money collected is equal to twice the available tax money. However, the economy of the region will be seriously damaged by pillaging, and will only slowly recover over time. Note that PILLAGE comes before TAX, so a unit performing TAX will collect no money in that region that month.

It is possible to safeguard one's tax income in regions one controls. Units which have the Guard flag set (using the GUARD order) will block TAX orders issued by other factions in the same region, unless you have declared the faction in question Friendly. Units on guard will also block PILLAGE orders issued by other factions in the same region, regardless of your attitude towards the faction in question, and they will attempt to prevent Unfriendly units from entering the region. Only units which are able to tax may be on guard. Units on guard are always visible regardless of Stealth skill, and will be marked as being "on guard" in the region description.

Transportation of goods

Martial factions may train Quartermaster units. A Quartermaster unit may accept TRANSPORTed items from any unit within 2 hexes distance from the hex containing the quartermaster. Quartermasters may also TRANSPORT items to any unit within 2 hexes distance from the hex containing the quartermaster and may TRANSPORT items to another quartermaster up to 3 hexes distant. The distance a quartermaster can TRANSPORT items to another quartermaster will increase with the level of skill possessed by the quartermaster unit.

In order to accomplish this function, a quartermaster must be the owner of a structure which allows transportation of items. The structures which allow this are: Caravanserai.

The cost of transport items from one quartermaster to another is based on the weight of the items and costs 5 silver per weight unit. The cost of shipping is increased for units with a lower quartermaster skill, dropping to the minimum above when the unit is at the maximum skill level.

Quartermasters must be single man units, and a faction is limited in the number of quartermasters it may have at any one time. The TRANSPORT order counts as trade activity in the hex of the unit issuing the order. The target unit must be at least FRIENDLY to the unit which issues the order.

Not all type of items can be TRANSPORTed to or TRANSPORTed by a quartermaster. Men (including Leaders), summoned creatures (including illusionary ones), ships, mounts, war machines, and items created using artifact lore need to be carried/sailed from one location to another by a unit.


Combat occurs when one unit attacks another. The computer then gathers together all the units on the attacking side, and all the units on the defending side, and the two sides fight until an outcome is reached.


Which side a faction's units will fight on depends on declared attitudes. A faction can have one of the following attitudes towards another faction: Ally, Friendly, Neutral, Unfriendly or Hostile. Each faction has a general attitude, called the "Default Attitude", that it normally takes towards other factions; this is initially Neutral, but can be changed. It is also possible to DECLARE attitudes to specific factions, e.g. DECLARE 27 ALLY will declare the Ally attitude to faction 27. (Note that this does not necessarily mean that faction 27 has decided to treat you as an ally.)

Ally means that you will fight to defend units of that faction whenever they come under attack, if you have non-avoiding units in the region where the attack occurs. You will also attempt to prevent any theft or assassination attempts against units of the faction, if you are capable of seeing the unit which is attempting the crime. It also has the implications of the Friendly attitude.

Friendly means that you will accept gifts from units of that faction. This includes the giving of items, units of people, and the teaching of skills. You will also admit units of that faction into buildings or fleets owned by one of your units, and you will permit units of that faction to collect taxes (but not pillage) in regions where you have units on guard.

Unfriendly means that you will not admit units of that faction into any region where you have units on guard. You will not, however, automatically attack unfriendly units which are already present.

Hostile means that any of your units which do not have the Avoid Combat flag set (using the AVOID order) will attack any units of that faction wherever they find them.

If a unit can see another unit, but does not have high enough Observation skill to determine its faction, it will treat the unit using the faction's default attitude, even if the unit belongs to an Unfriendly or Hostile faction, because it does not know the unit's identity. However, if your faction has declared an attitude of Friendly or Ally towards that unit's faction, the unit will be treated with the better attitude; it is assumed that the unit will produce proof of identity when relevant. (See the section on stealth for more information on when units can see each other.)

If a faction declares Unfriendly or Hostile as default attitude (the latter is a good way to die fast), it will block or attack all unidentified units, unless they belong to factions for which a Friendly or Ally attitude has been specifically declared. Units which cannot be seen at all cannot be directly blocked or attacked, of course.


A unit can attack another by issuing an ATTACK order. A unit that does not have Avoid Combat set will automatically attack any Hostile units it identifies as such. When a unit issues the ATTACK order, or otherwise decides to attack another unit, it must first be able to attack the unit. There are two conditions for this; the first is that the attacking unit must be able to see the unit that it wishes to attack. More information is available on this in the stealth section of the rules.

Secondly, the attacking unit must be able to catch the unit it wishes to attack. A unit may only catch a unit if its effective Riding skill is greater than or equal to the target unit's effective Riding skill; otherwise, the target unit just rides away from the attacking unit. Effective Riding is the unit's Riding skill, but with a potential maximum; if the unit can not ride, the effective Riding skill is 0; if the unit can ride, the maximum effective Riding is 3; if the unit can fly, the maximum effective Riding is 5. Note that the effective Riding also depends on whether the unit is attempting to attack or defend; for attack purposes, only one man in the unit needs to be able to ride or fly (generally, this means one of the men must possess a horse, or other form of transportation), whereas for defense purposes the entire unit needs to be able to ride or fly (usually meaning that every man in the unit must possess a horse or other form of speedier transportation). Also, note that for a unit to be able to use its defensive Riding ability to avoid attack, the unit cannot be in a building, fleet, or structure of any type.

A unit which is on guard, and is Unfriendly towards a unit, will deny access to units using the MOVE order to enter its region. Note that to deny access to a unit, at least one unit from the same faction as the unit guarding the hex must satisfy the above requirements. A unit using ADVANCE instead of MOVE to enter a region, will attack any units that attempt to deny it access. If the advancing unit loses the battle, it will be forced to retreat to the previous region it moved through. If the unit wins the battle and its army doesn't lose any men, it is allowed to continue to move, provided that it has enough movement points.

Note that these restrictions do not apply for sea combat, as units within a fleet are always visible, and Riding does not play a part in combat on board fleets.

The Muster:

Once the attack has been made, the sides are gathered. Although the ATTACK order takes a unit rather than a faction as its parameter (mainly so that unidentified units can be attacked), an attack is basically considered to be by an entire faction, against an entire faction and its allies.

On the attacking side are all units of the attacking faction in the region where the fight is taking place, except those with Avoid Combat set. A unit which has explicitly (or implicitly via ADVANCE) issued an ATTACK order will join the fight anyway, regardless of whether Avoid Combat is set.

Also on the attacking side are all units of other factions that attacked the target faction (implicitly or explicitly) in the region where the fight is taking place. In other words, if several factions attack one, then all their armies join together to attack at the same time (even if they are enemies and will later fight each other).

On the defending side are all identifiable units belonging to the defending faction. If a unit has Avoid Combat set and it belongs to the target faction, it will be uninvolved only if its faction cannot be identified by the attacking faction. A unit which was explicitly attacked will be involved anyway, regardless of Avoid Combat. (This means that Avoid Combat is mostly useful for high stealth scouts.) Also, all non-avoiding units located in the target region belonging to factions allied with the defending unit will join in on the defending side, provided that at least one of the units belonging to the defending faction is not set to noaid.

Units in adjacent regions can also become involved. This is the exception to the general rule that you cannot interact with units in a different region.

If a faction has at least one unit involved in the initial region, then any units in adjacent regions will join the fight, if they could reach the region and do not have Avoid Combat set. There are a few flags that units may set to affect this; a unit with the Hold flag (set using the HOLD order) will not join battles in adjacent regions. This flag applies to both attacking and defending factions. A unit with the Noaid flag (set using the NOAID order) will receive no aid from adjacent hexes when attacked, or when it issues an attack.

Example: A fight starts in region A, in the initial combat phase (before any movement has occurred). The defender has a unit of soldiers in adjacent region B. They have 2 movement points at this stage. They will buy horses later in the turn, so that when they execute their MOVE order they will have 4 movement points, but right now they have 2. Region A is forest, so the soldiers can join the fight.

It is important to note that the units in nearby regions do not actually move to the region where the fighting happens; the computer only checks that they could move there. (In game world terms, presumably they did move there to join the fight, and then moved back where they started.) The computer checks for weight allowances and terrain types when determining whether a unit could reach the scene of the battle. Note that the use of fleets is not allowed in this virtual movement.

If you order an attack on an ally (either with the ATTACK order, or if your ally has declared you Unfriendly, by attempting to ADVANCE into a region which he is guarding), then your commander will decide that a mistake has occurred somewhere, and withdraw your troops from the fighting altogether. Thus, your units will not attack that faction in that region. Note that you will always defend an ally against attack, even if it means that you fight against other factions that you are allied with.

The Battle:

The troops having lined up, the fight begins. The computer selects the best tactician from each side; that unit is regarded as the leader of its side. If two or more units on one side have the same Tactics skill, then the one with the lower unit number is regarded as the leader of that side. If one side's leader has a better Tactics skill than the other side's,then that side gets a tactics difference bonus to their attack and defense.

In each combat round, the combatants each get to attack once, in a random order. Each combatant will attempt to hit a randomly selected enemy. If he hits, and the target has no armor, then the target is automatically killed. Armor may provide extra defense against otherwise successful attacks.

The basic skill used in battle is the Combat skill; this is used for hand to hand fighting. If one soldier tries to hit another using most weapons, there is a 50% chance that the attacker will get an opportunity for a lethal blow. If the attacker does get that opportunity, then there is a contest between his combat skill (modified by weapon attack bonus) and the defender's combat skill (modified by weapon defense bonus). Some weapons may not allow combat skill to affect defense (e.g. bows), and others may allow different skills to be used on defense (or offense).

If the skills are equal, then there is a 1:1 (i.e. 50%) chance that the attack will succeed. If the attacker's skill is 1 higher then there is a 2:1 (i.e. 66%) chance, if the attacker's skill is 2 higher then there is a 4:1 (i.e. 80%) chance, 3 higher means an 8:1 (i.e. 88%) chance, and so on. Similarly if the defender's skill is 1 higher, then there is only a 1:2 (i.e. 33%) chance, etc.

There are a variety of weapons in the world which can increase a soldier's skill on attack or defense. Better weapons will generally convey better bonuses, but not all weapons are as good in all situations. Specifics about the bonuses conferred by specific weapons can be found both in these rules (for most basic weapons), and in the descriptions of the weapons themselves. Troops which are fighting hand-to-hand without specific weapons are assumed to be irregularly armed with makeshift weapons such as clubs, pitchforks, torches, etc.

Possession of a mount, and the appropriate skill to use that mount will also confer a bonus to the effective Combat skill. The amount of the bonus will depend on the level of the appropriate skill and the mount in question. Some mounts are better than others, and may provide better bonus, but may also require higher levels of skill to get any bonus at all. Some terrain might not allow mounts to give a combat advantage.

Certain weapons may provide different attack and defense bonuses, or have additional attack bonuses against mounted opponents or other special characteristics. These bonuses will be listed in the item descriptions in the turn reports.

Some melee weapons may be defined as Long or Short (this is relative to a normal weapon, e.g. the sword). A soldier wielding a longer weapon than his opponent gets a +1 bonus to his attack skill.

Ranged weapons are slightly different from melee weapons. The target will generally not get any sort of combat bonus to defense against a ranged attack.

Some weapons, including some ranged weapons, may only attack every other round, or even less frequently. When a weapon is not able to attack every round, this will be specified in the item description.

Weapons may have one of several different attack types: Slashing, Piercing, Crushing, Cleaving and Armor Piercing. Different types of armor may give different survival chances against a successful attack of different types.

A soldier attacking with a ranged weapon will generally be treated as if they have a Combat skill of 0, even if they have an actual Combat skill. This is the trade off for being able to hit from the back line of fighting.

Being inside a building confers a bonus to defense. This bonus is effective against ranged as well as melee weapons. The number of men that a building can protect is equal to its size. The size of the various common buildings was listed in the Table of Buildings earlier.

If there are too many units in a building to all gain protection from it, then those units who have been in the building longest will gain protection. (Note that these units appear first on the turn report.) If a unit of 200 men is inside a Fort (capacity 50), then the first 50 men in the unit will gain the full bonus, and the other 150 will gain no protection.

Units which have the Behind flag set are at the rear and cannot be attacked by any means until all non-Behind units have been wiped out. On the other hand, neither can they attack with melee weapons, but only with ranged weapons or magic. Once all front-line units have been wiped out, then the Behind flag no longer has any effect.


Combat rounds continue until one side has accrued 50% losses (or more). The victorious side is then awarded one free round of attacks, after which the battle is over. If both sides have more than 50% losses, the battle is a draw, and neither side gets a free round.

Units with the Healing skill have a chance of being able to heal casualties of the winning side, so that they recover rather than dying. Each character with this skill can attempt to heal 5 casualties per skill level. Each attempt however requires one unit of Herbs, which is thereby used up. Each attempt has a some chance of healing one casualty; only one attempt at Healing may be made per casualty. Healing occurs automatically, after the battle is over, by any living healers on the winning side.

Any items owned by dead combatants on the losing side have a 50% chance of being found and collected by the winning side. Each item which is recovered is picked up by one of the survivors able to carry it (see the SPOILS command) at random, so the winners generally collect loot in proportion to their number of surviving men.

If you are expecting to fight an enemy who is carrying so much equipment that you would not be able to move after picking it up, and you want to move to another region later that month, it may be worth issuing some orders to drop items (with the GIVE 0 order) or to prevent yourself picking up certain types of spoils (with the SPOILS order) in case you win the battle! Also, note that if the winning side took at least 5% casualties in the battle, any units on this side will not be allowed to move, or attack again for the rest of the turn.

Stealth and Observation

The Stealth skill is used to hide units, while the Observation skill is used to see units that would otherwise be hidden. A unit can be seen only if you have at least one unit in the same region, with an Observation skill at least as high as that unit's Stealth skill. If your Observation skill is equal to the unit's Stealth skill, you will see the unit, but not the name of the owning faction. If your Observation skill is higher than the unit's Stealth skill, you will also see the name of the faction that owns the unit.

Regardless of Stealth skill, units are always visible when participating in combat; when guarding a region with the Guard flag; or when in a building or aboard a fleet. However, in order to see the faction that owns the unit, you will still need a higher Observation skill than the unit's Stealth skill.


The STEAL order is a way to steal items from other player factions without a battle. The order can only be issued by a one-man unit. The order specifies a target unit; the thief will then attempt to steal the specified item from the target unit.

If the thief has higher Stealth than any of the target faction's units have Observation (i.e. the thief cannot be seen by the target faction), the theft will succeed. The target faction will be told what was stolen, but not by whom. If the specified item is silver, then $200 or half the total available, whichever is less, will be stolen. If it is any other item, then only one will be stolen (if available).

Any unit with high enough Observation to see the thief will see the attempt to steal, whether the attempt is successful or not. Allies of the target unit will prevent the theft, if they have high enough Observation to see the unit trying to steal.


The ASSASSINATE order is a way to kill another person without attacking and going through an entire battle. This order can only be issued by a one-man unit, and specifies a target unit. If the target unit contains more than one person, then one will be singled out at random.

Success for assassination is determined as for theft, i.e. the assassin will fail if any of the target faction's units can see him. In this case, the assassin will flee, and the target faction will be informed which unit made the attempt. As with theft, allies of the target unit will prevent the assassination from succeeding, if their Observation level is high enough.

If the assassin has higher stealth than any of the target faction's units have Observation, then a one-on-one fight will take place between the assassin and the target character. The assassin automatically gets a free round of attacks; after that, the battle is handled like a normal fight, with the exception that neither assassin nor victim can use any armor except leather armor. Most armor is forbidden for the assassin because it would make it too hard to sneak around, and for the victim because he was caught by surprise with his armor off. If the assassin wins, the target faction is told merely that the victim was assassinated, but not by whom. If the victim wins, then the target faction learns which unit made the attempt. (Of course, this does not necessarily mean that the assassin's faction is known.) The winner of the fight gets 50% of the loser's property as usual.

STEAL and ASSASSINATE are not full month orders, and do not interfere with other activities, but a unit can only issue one STEAL order or one ASSASSINATE order in a month.


A character enters the world of magic in Atlantis by beginning study on one of the Foundation magic skills. Only one man units, with the man being a leader, are permitted to study these skills. The number of these units (known as "magicians" or "mages") that a faction may own is determined by the faction's type. Any attempt to gain more, either through study, or by transfer from another faction, will fail. In addition, mages may not GIVE men at all; once a unit becomes a mage (by studying one of the Foundations), the unit number is fixed. (The mage may be given to another faction using the GIVE UNIT order.)

Magic Skills:

Magic skills are the same as normal skills, with a few differences. The basic magic skills, called Foundations, are force, pattern, and spirit. To become a mage, a unit undertakes study in one of these Foundations. As a unit studies the Foundations, he will be able to study deeper into the magical arts; the additional skills that he may study will be indicated on your turn report.

There are two major differences between Magic skills and most normal skills. The first is that the ability to study Magic skills sometimes depends on lower level Magic skills. Magic skills cannot be learnt to a higher level than the skills they depend upon. For example, if a Magic skill requires Spirit 2 to begin to study, then it can never be studied to a level higher than the mage's Spirit skill, so in order to increase that skill to level 3, his Spirit skill would first have to be increased to level 3. The Magic skills that a mage may study are listed on his turn report, so he knows which areas he may pursue. Studying higher in the Foundation skills, and certain other Magic skills, will make other skills available to the mage. Secondly, study into a magic skill above level 2 requires that the mage be located in some sort of building which can offer specific facilities for mages. Certain types of buildings can offer shelter and support and a proper environment, some more so than others. If the mage is not in such a structure, his study rate is cut in half, as he does not have the proper environment and equipment for research.

It is possible that there are advanced buildings not listed here which also can support mages. The description of a building will tell you for certain. The common buildings and the mages a building of that type can support follows:

Fort 1
Castle 2
Citadel 3
Stockade 1


The three Foundation skills are called force, pattern, and spirit. Force indicates the quantity of magical energy that a mage is able to channel (a Force rating of 0 does not mean that the mage can channel no magical energy at all, but only a minimal amount). Pattern indicates ability to handle complex patterns, and is important for things like healing and nature spells. Spirit deals with meta-effects that lie outside the scope of the physical world.

Further Magic Study:

Once a mage has begun study of one or more Foundations, more skills that he may study will begin to show up on his report. These skills are the skills that give a mage his power. As with normal skills, when a mage achieves a new level of a magic skill, he will be given a skill report, describing the new powers (if any) that the new skill confers. The SHOW order may be used to show this information on future reports.

Using Magic:

A mage may use his magical power in three different ways, depending on the type of spell he wants to use. Some spells, once learned, take effect automatically and are considered always to be in use; these spells do not require any order to take effect.

Secondly, some spells are for use in combat. A mage may specify that he wishes to use a spell in combat by issuing the COMBAT order. A combat spell specified in this way will only be used if the mage finds himself taking part in a battle.

The third type of spell use is for spells that take an entire month to cast. These spells are cast by the mage issuing the CAST order. Because CAST takes an entire month, a mage may use only one of this type of spell each turn. Note, however, that a CAST order is not a full month order; a mage may still MOVE, STUDY, or use any other month long order. The justification for this (as well as being for game balance) is that a spell drains a mage of his magic power for the month, but does not actually take the entire month to cast.

The description that a mage receives when he first learns a spell specifies the manner in which the spell is used (automatic, in combat, or by casting).

Magic in Combat:

NOTE: This section is rather vague, and quite advanced. You may want to wait until you have figured out other parts of Atlantis before trying to understand exactly all of the rules in this section.

Although the magic skills and spells are unspecified in these rules, left for the players to discover, the rules for combat spells' interaction are spelled out here. There are five major types of attacks, and defenses: Combat, Ranged, Energy, Weather, and Spirit. Every attack and defense has a type, and only the appropriate defense is effective against an attack.

Defensive spells are cast at the beginning of each round of combat, and will have a type of attack they deflect, and skill level (Defensive spells are generally called Shields). Every time an attack is launched against an army, it must first attack the highest level Shield of the same type as the attack, before it may attack a soldier directly. Note that an attack only has to attack the highest Shield, any other Shields of the same type are ignored for that attack.

An attack spell (and any other type of attack) also has an attack type, and attack level, and a number of blows it deals. When the attack spell is cast, it is matched up against the most powerful defensive spell of the appropriate type that the other army has cast. If the other army has not cast any applicable defensive spells, the attack goes through unmolested. Unlike normal combat however, men are at a disadvantage to defending against spells. Men which are in the open (not protected by a building) have an effective skill of -2 unless they have a shield or some other defensive magic. Some monsters have bonuses to resisting some attacks but are more susceptible to others. The skill level of the attack spell and the effective skill for defense are matched against each other. The formula for determining the victor between a defensive and offensive spell is the same as for a contest of soldiers; if the levels are equal, there is a 1:1 chance of success, and so on. If the offensive spell is victorious, the offensive spell deals its blows to the defending army, and the Shield in question is destroyed (thus, it can be useful to have more than one of the same type of Shield in effect, as the other Shield will take the place of the destroyed one). Otherwise, the attack spell disperses, and the defending spell remains in place.

Some spells do not actually kill enemies, but rather have some negative effect on them. These spells are treated the same as normal spells; if there is a Shield of the same type as them, they must attack the Shield before attacking the army. Physical attacks that go through a defensive spell also must match their skill level against that of the defensive spell in question. However, they do not destroy the defensive spell when they are successful.


Apprentices may be created by having a unit study manipulation. Like Mages, only one man units, with the man being a leader, may become Apprentices. Apprentices may not cast spells, but may use items which otherwise only mages can use.

Non-Player Units

There are a number of units that are not controlled by players that may be encountered in Atlantis. Most information about these units must be discovered in the course of the game, but a few basics are below.

City and Town Guardsmen:

All cities and towns begin with guardsmen in them. These units will defend any units that are attacked in the city or town, and will also prevent theft and assassination attempts, if their Observation level is high enough. They are on guard, and will prevent other units from taxing or pillaging. The guards may be killed by players, although they will form again if the city is left unguarded.

Wandering Monsters:

There are a number of monsters who wander free throughout Atlantis. They will occasionally attack player units, so be careful when wandering through the wilderness.

Some monsters live in lairs, caves, and other structures players cannot enter. Such monsters will never leave their habitat and will never wander around, but they can attack player units present in the region. The willingness to attack is dependent on the monster's aggression level. It is worth reminding that monsters inside the lair will always be visible to the player regardless of their stealth score as any other unit in the structure. Empty lairs will spawn new monsters regularly if old ones are killed. Players can guard regions with lairs, and monsters will not spawn there.

Other monsters do not live in lairs but wander freely. Wandering monsters can spawn in any unguarded region regardless of whether there is a lair. Guarding will prevent monsters from spawning in a particular region. Their willingness to attack depends on their aggression level, and monsters can advance to neighboring regions while moving. Some monsters could have preferred terrains that they like more than others, and then they will be willing to enter such regions more likely than others. At the same time, some terrains could be so uncomfortable that monsters will never enter them. If a monster has particular terrain preferences, he will try to be close to the habitat he likes, and he will not go deeper into the territory that is not connected with his preferred terrain.

A small tip to the players about guarding: guarding will prevent monsters from spawning and attacking player units, but in such a way players will not get any loot from monsters too. Monster hunting is a desirable activity because it is fun, and you can get a great reward like silver, magical items, weapons, etc.

Monster movement probability table

Directions Prefered Neutral Move Preferred Move Neutral Stay
1 1 0 33% 0% 66%
1 0 1 0% 20% 80%
2 2 0 50% 0% 50%
2 1 1 28% 14% 57%
2 0 2 0% 33% 66%
3 3 0 60% 0% 40%
3 2 1 44% 11% 44%
3 1 2 25% 25% 50%
3 0 3 0% 42% 57%
4 4 0 66% 0% 33%
4 3 1 54% 9% 36%
4 2 2 40% 20% 40%
4 1 3 22% 33% 44%
4 0 4 0% 50% 50%
5 5 0 71% 0% 28%
5 4 1 61% 7% 30%
5 3 2 50% 16% 33%
5 2 3 36% 27% 36%
5 1 4 20% 40% 40%
5 0 5 0% 55% 44%
6 6 0 75% 0% 25%
6 5 1 66% 6% 26%
6 4 2 57% 14% 28%
6 3 3 46% 23% 30%
6 2 4 33% 33% 33%
6 1 5 18% 45% 36%
6 0 6 0% 60% 40%

Controlled Monsters:

Through various magical methods, you may gain control of certain types of monsters. These monsters are just another item in a unit's inventory, with a few special rules. Monsters will be able to carry things at their speed of movement; use the SHOW ITEM order to determine the carrying capacity and movement speed of a monster. Monsters will also fight for the controlling unit in combat; their strength can only be determined in battle. Also, note that a monster will always fight from the front rank, even if the controlling unit has the behind flag set. Whether or not you are allowed to give a monster to other units depends on the type of monster; some may be given freely, while others must remain with the controlling unit.


To enter orders for Atlantis, you should send a mail message to the Atlantis server, containing the following:

      #ATLANTIS faction-no 
      UNIT unit-no
      UNIT unit-no

For example, if your faction number (shown at the top of your report) is 27, your password if "foobar", and you have two units numbered 5 and 17:

      #ATLANTIS 27 "foobar"
      UNIT 5
      UNIT 17

Thus, orders for each unit are given separately, and indicated with the UNIT keyword. (In the case of an order, such as the command to rename your faction, that is not really for any particular unit, it does not matter which unit issues the command; but some particular unit must still issue it.)

IMPORTANT: You MUST use the correct #ATLANTIS line or else your orders will be ignored.

If you have a password set, you must specify it on you #atlantis line, or the game will reject your orders. See the PASSWORD order for more details.

Each type of order is designated by giving a keyword as the first non-blank item on a line. Parameters are given after this, separated by spaces or tabs. Blank lines are permitted, as are comments; anything after a semicolon is treated as a comment (provided the semicolon is not in the middle of a word).

The parser is not case sensitive, so all commands may be given in upper case, lower case or a mixture of the two. However, when supplying names containing spaces, the name must be surrounded by double quotes, or else underscore characters must be used in place of spaces in the name. (These things apply to the #ATLANTIS and #END lines as well as to order lines.)

You may precede orders with the at sign (@), in which case they will appear in the Template at the bottom of your report. This is useful for orders which your units repeat for several months in a row.


All common items and skills have abbreviations that can be used when giving orders, for brevity. Any time you see the item on your report, it will be followed by the abbreviation. Please be careful using these, as they can easily be confused.

Order Summary

To specify a [unit], use the unit number. If specifying a unit that will be created this turn, use the form "NEW #" if the unit belongs to your faction, or "FACTION # NEW #" if the unit belongs to a different faction. See the FORM order for a more complete description. [faction] means that a faction number is required; [object] means that an object number (generally the number of a building or fleet) is required. [item] means an item (like wood or longbow) that a unit can have in its possession. [flag] is an argument taken by several orders, that sets or unsets a flag for a unit. A [flag] value must be either 1 (set the flag) or 0 (unset the flag). Other parameters are generally numbers or names.

IMPORTANT: Remember that names containing spaces (e.g., "Plate Armor"), must be surrounded by double quotes, or the spaces must be replaced with underscores "_" (e.g., Plate_Armor).

Also remember that anything used in an example is just that, an example and makes no guarantee that such an item, structure, or skill actually exists within the game.

ADDRESS [new address]

Change the email address to which your reports are sent.


Change your faction's email address to atlantis@rahul.net.

      ADDRESS atlantis@rahul.net

ADVANCE [dir] ...

This is the same as the MOVE order, except that it implies attacks on units which attempt to forbid access. See the MOVE order for details.


Move north, then northwest, attacking any units that forbid access to the regions.


In order, move north, then enter structure number 1, move through an inner route, and finally move southeast. Will attack any units that forbid access to any of these locations.


ARMOR [item1] [item2] [item3] [item4]


This command allows you to set a list of preferred armor for a unit. After searching for armor on the preferred list, the standard armor precedence takes effect if an armor hasn't been set. The second form clears the preferred armor list.


Set the unit to select chain armor before plate armor.


Clear the preferred armor list.



Attempt to assassinate the specified unit, or one of the unit's people if the unit contains more than one person. The order may only be issued by a one-man unit.

A unit may only attempt to assassinate a unit which is able to be seen.


Assassinate unit number 177.


ATTACK [unit] ...

Attack a target unit. If multiple ATTACK orders are given, all of the targets will be attacked.


To attack units 17, 431, and 985:

      ATTACK 17
      ATTACK 431 985


      ATTACK 17 431 985

AUTOTAX [flag]

AUTOTAX 1 causes the unit to attempt to tax every turn (without requiring the TAX order) until the flag is unset. AUTOTAX 0 unsets the flag.


To cause the unit to attempt to tax every turn.

      AUTOTAX 1

AVOID [flag]

AVOID 1 instructs the unit to avoid combat wherever possible. The unit will not enter combat unless it issues an ATTACK order, or the unit's faction is attacked in the unit's hex. AVOID 0 cancels this.

The Guard and Avoid Combat flags are mutually exclusive; setting one automatically cancels the other.


Set the unit to avoid combat when possible.

      AVOID 1

BEHIND [flag]

BEHIND 1 sets the unit to be behind other units in combat. BEHIND 0 cancels this.


Set the unit to be in front in combat.

      BEHIND 0


BUILD [object type]


BUILD given with no parameters causes the unit to perform work on an unfinished ship it possesses, or on the object that it is currently inside. BUILD given with an [object type] (such as "Tower" or "Galleon") instructs the unit to begin work on a new object of the type given. The final form instructs the unit to assist the target unit in its current building task, even if that task was begun this same turn. This help will be rejected if the unit you are trying to help does not consider you to be friendly.


To build a new tower.

      BUILD Tower

To help unit 5789 build a structure.

      BUILD HELP 5789

BUY [quantity] [item]

BUY ALL [item]

Attempt to buy a number of the given item from a city or town marketplace, or to buy new people in any region where people are available for recruiting. If the unit can't afford as many as [quantity], it will attempt to buy as many as it can. If the demand for the item (from all units in the region) is greater than the number available, the available items will be split among the buyers in proportion to the amount each buyer attempted to buy. When buying people, specify the race of the people as the [item], or you may use PEASANT or PEASANTS to recruit whichever race is present in the region. If the second form is specified, the unit will attempt to buy as many as it can afford.


Buy one plate armor from the city market.

      BUY 1 "Plate Armor"

Recruit 5 barbarians into the current unit. (This will dilute the skills that the unit has.)

      BUY 5 barbarians

CAST [skill] [arguments]

Cast the given spell. Note that most spell names contain spaces; be sure to enclose the name in quotes! [arguments] depends on which spell you are casting; when you are able to cast a spell, the skill description will tell you the syntax.


Cast the spell called "Super Spell".

      CAST "Super Spell"

Cast the fourth-level spell in the "Super Magic" skill.

      CAST Super_Magic 4

CLAIM [amount]

Claim an amount of the faction's unclaimed silver, and give it to the unit issuing the order. The claiming unit may then spend the silver or give it to another unit.


Claim 100 silver.

      CLAIM 100

COMBAT [spell]

Set the given spell as the spell that the unit will cast in combat. This order may only be given if the unit can cast the spell in question.


Instruct the unit to use the spell "Super Spell", when the unit is involved in a battle.

      COMBAT "Super Spell"




The CONSUME order instructs the unit to use food items in preference to silver for maintenance costs. CONSUME UNIT tells the unit to use food items that are in that unit's possession before using silver. CONSUME FACTION tells the unit to use any food items that the faction owns (in the same region as the unit) before using silver. CONSUME tells the unit to use silver before food items (this is the default).


Tell a unit to use food items in the unit's possession for maintenance costs.


DECLARE [faction] [attitude]

DECLARE [faction]


The first form of the DECLARE order sets the attitude of your faction towards the given faction. The second form cancels any attitude towards the given faction (so your faction's attitude towards that faction will be its default attitude). The third form sets your faction's default attitude.


Declare your faction to be hostile to faction 15.

      DECLARE 15 hostile

Set your faction's attitude to faction 15 to its default attitude.

      DECLARE 15

Set your faction's default attitude to friendly.

      DECLARE DEFAULT friendly

DESCRIBE UNIT [new description]

DESCRIBE SHIP [new description]

DESCRIBE BUILDING [new description]

DESCRIBE OBJECT [new description]

DESCRIBE STRUCTURE [new description]

Change the description of the unit, or of the object the unit is in (of which the unit must be the owner). Descriptions can be of any length, up to the line length your mailer can handle. If no description is given, the description will be cleared out. The last four are completely identical and serve to modify the description of the object you are currently in.


Set the unit,s description to read "Merlin's helper".

      DESCRIBE UNIT "Merlin's helper"


Destroy the object you are in (of which you must be the owner). The order cannot be used at sea.


Destroy the current object


ENTER [object]

Attempt to enter the specified object. If issued from inside another object, the unit will first leave the object it is currently in. The order will only work if the target object is unoccupied, or is owned by a unit in your faction, or is owned by a faction which has declared you Friendly.


Enter fleet number 114.

      ENTER 114


Spend the month entertaining the populace to earn money.


Entertain for money.


EVICT [unit] ...

Evict the specified unit from the object of which you are currently the owner. If multiple EVICT orders are given, all of the units will be evicted.


Evict units 415 and 698 from an object that this unit owns.

      EVICT 415 698


      EVICT 415
      EVICT 698

EXCHANGE [unit] [quantity given] [item given] [quantity expected] [item expected]

This order allows any two units that can see each other, to trade items regardless of faction stances. The orders given by the two units must be complementary. If either unit involved does not have the items it is offering, or if the exchange orders given are not complementary, the exchange is aborted. Men may not be exchanged.


Exchange 10 LBOW for 10 SWOR with unit 1310

      EXCHANGE 1310 10 LBOW 10 SWOR

Unit 1310 would issue (assuming the other unit is 3453)

      EXCHANGE 3453 10 SWOR 10 LBOW

FACTION [type] [points] ...

Attempt to change your faction's type. In the order, you can specify up to two faction types (MARTIAL and MAGIC) and the number of faction points to assign to each type; if you are assigning points to only one type, you may omit the type that will not have any points.

Changing the number of faction points assigned to MAGIC may be tricky. Increasing the MAGIC points will always succeed, but if you decrease the number of points assigned to MAGIC, you must make sure that you have only the number of magic-skilled leaders allowed by the new number of MAGIC points BEFORE you change your point distribution. For example, if you have 3 mages (3 points assigned to MAGIC), but want to use one of those points for something else (change to MAGIC 2), you must first get rid of one of your mages by either giving it to another faction or ordering it to FORGET all its magic skills. If you have too many mages for the number of points you try to assign to MAGIC, the FACTION order will fail. Factions may have the same requirements to disband excess units before changing faction point allocations based on how many apprentices or quartermasters are controlled by the faction and how they are restricted.


Assign 4 faction points to MARTIAL, and 1 to MAGIC.


Become a pure magic faction (assign all points to magic).


FORGET [skill]

Forget the given skill. This order is useful for a mage, apprentice, or quartermaster who wish to become a normal unit. A common reason for this is to be able to change faction points.


Forget knowledge of Mining.

      FORGET Mining

FORM [alias]

Form a new unit. The newly created unit will be in your faction, in the same region as the unit which formed it, and in the same structure if any. It will start off, however, with no people or items; you should, in the same month, issue orders to transfer people into the new unit, or have it recruit members. The new unit will inherit its flags from the unit that forms it, such as avoiding, behind, revealing and sharing, with the exception of the guard and autotax flags. If the new unit wants to guard or automatically tax then those flags will have to be explicitly set in its orders.

The FORM order is followed by a list of orders for the newly created unit. This list is terminated by the END keyword, after which orders for the original unit resume.

The purpose of the "alias" parameter is so that you can refer to the new unit. You will not know the new unit's number until you receive the next turn report. To refer to the new unit in this set of orders, pick an alias number (the only restriction on this is that it must be at least 1, and you should not create two units in the same region in the same month, with the same alias numbers). The new unit can then be referred to as NEW in place of the regular unit number.

You can refer to newly created units belonging to other factions, if you know what alias number they are, e.g. FACTION 15 NEW 2 will refer to faction 15's newly created unit with alias 2.

Note: If a unit moves out of the region in which it was formed (by the MOVE order, or otherwise), the alias will no longer work. This is to prevent conflicts with other units that may have the same alias in other regions.

If the demand for recruits in that region that month is much higher than the supply, it may happen that the new unit does not gain all the recruits you ordered it to buy, or it may not gain any recruits at all. If a new unit gains at least one recruit, the unit will form possessing any unused silver and all the other items it was given. If no recruits are gained at all, the empty unit will be dissolved, and the silver and any other items it was given will revert to the first unit you have in that region.


This set of orders for unit 17 would create two new units with alias numbers 1 and 2, name them Merlin's Guards and Merlin's Workers, set the description for Merlin's Workers, have both units recruit men, and have Merlin's Guards study combat. Merlin's Workers will have the default order WORK, as all newly created units do. The unit that created these two then pays them enough money (using the NEW keyword to refer to them by alias numbers) to cover the costs of recruitment and the month's maintenance.

      UNIT 17
      FORM 1
          NAME UNIT "Merlin's Guards"
          BUY 5 Plainsmen
          STUDY COMBAT
      FORM 2
          NAME UNIT "Merlin's Workers"
          DESCRIBE UNIT "wearing dirty overalls"
          BUY 15 Plainsmen
      CLAIM 2500
      GIVE NEW 1 1000 silver
      GIVE NEW 2 2000 silver

GIVE [unit] [quantity] [item]

GIVE [unit] ALL [item]

GIVE [unit] ALL [item] EXCEPT [quantity]

GIVE [unit] ALL [item class]

GIVE [unit] UNIT

The first form of the GIVE order gives a quantity of an item to another unit. The second form of the GIVE order will give all of a given item to another unit. The third form will give all of an item except for a specific quantity to another unit. The fourth form will give all items of a specific type to another unit. The final form of the GIVE order gives the entire unit to the specified unit's faction.

The classes of items which are acceptable for the fourth form of this order are, NORMAL, ADVANCED, TRADE, MAN or MEN, MONSTER or MONSTERS, MAGIC, WEAPON or WEAPONS, ARMOR, MOUNT or MOUNTS, BATTLE, SPECIAL, TOOL or TOOLS, FOOD, SHIP or SHIPS and ITEM or ITEMS (which is the combination of all of the previous categories).

A unit may only give items, including silver, to a unit which it is able to see, unless the faction of the target unit has declared you Friendly or better. If the target unit is not a member of your faction, then its faction must have declared you Friendly, with a couple of exceptions. First, silver may be given to any unit, regardless of factional affiliation. Second, men may not be given to units in other factions (you must give the entire unit); the reason for this is to prevent highly skilled units from being sabotaged with a GIVE order.

Unfinished ships are given like other items, although a unit may only have one unfinished ship of a given type at a time. To give unfinished ships, add the "UNFINISHED" keyword to the beginning of the [item] specifier.

Completed ships which are part of a fleet may be given too; the owner of the fleet they are currently in must issue the GIVE order, and give the ships to the owner of the fleet that should receive the ships. If the recipient is not the owner of a fleet, then a new fleet will be created owned by the recipient.

There are also a few restrictions on orders given by units who been given to another faction. If the receiving faction is not allied to the giving faction, the unit may not issue the ADVANCE order, or issue any more GIVE orders. Both of these rules are to prevent unfair sabotage tactics.

If 0 is specified as the unit number, then the items are discarded.


Give 10 swords to unit 4573.

      GIVE 4573 10 swords

Give 5 chain armor to the new unit, alias 2, belonging to faction 14.

      GIVE FACTION 14 NEW 2 5 "Chain armor"

Give control of this unit to the faction owning unit 75.

      GIVE 75 UNIT

Give our unfinished Longboat to unit 95.

      GIVE 95 1 UNFINISHED Longboat

Transfer 2 Longboats to the fleet commanded by unit 83.

      GIVE 83 2 Longboats

GUARD [flag]

GUARD 1 sets the unit issuing the order to prevent non-Friendly units from collecting taxes in the region, and to prevent any units not your own from pillaging the region. Guarding units will also attempt to prevent Unfriendly units from entering the region. GUARD 0 cancels Guard status.

The Guard and Avoid Combat flags are mutually exclusive; setting one automatically cancels the other.


Instruct the current unit to be on guard.

      GUARD 1

HOLD [flag]

HOLD 1 instructs the issuing unit to never join a battle in regions the unit is not in. This can be useful if the unit is in a building, and doesn't want to leave the building to join combat. HOLD 0 cancels holding status.


Instruct the unit to avoid combat in other regions.

      HOLD 1

JOIN [unit]



Attempt to enter the building or fleet that the specified unit is currently inside. This is particularly useful if you don't know what the building or fleet number will be, as is the case when a new fleet is created.

If the target unit is not inside a building or fleet, then the unit issuing the JOIN command will leave any building or fleet that they happen to be inside, to be with the target.

If the NOOVERLOAD flag is specified, and the target unit ends up on board a fleet, then the unit issuing the JOIN command will only attempt to board the fleet if the fleet would be able to sail with the issuing units' weight loaded on board.

The MERGE flag may only be used by the owner of a fleet, and will cause the entire fleet they command to join the fleet owned by the specified unit - the units on board will move to the other fleet, and all the ships of the fleet will be given to the target fleet. This command will fail if any unit in the fleet to be merged would be denied entry to the target fleet.


Instruct the unit to enter the building or fleet that unit 17 is in.

      JOIN 17


Leave the object you are currently in. If a unit is capable of swimming or flying then this order is usable to leave a boat while at sea.


Leave the current object


MOVE [dir] ...

Attempt to move in the direction(s) specified. If more than one direction is given, the unit will move multiple times, in the order specified by the MOVE order, until no more directions are given, or until one of the moves fails. A move can fail because the unit runs out of movement points, because the unit attempts to move into the ocean, or because the unit attempts to enter a structure, and is rejected.

Valid directions are:

1) The compass directions North, Northwest, Southwest, South, Southeast, and Northeast. These can be abbreviated N, NW, SW, S, SE, NE.

2) A structure number.

3) OUT, which will leave the structure that the unit is in.

4) IN, which will move through an inner passage in the structure that the unit is currently in.

5) PAUSE, which will instruct the unit to spend one movement point admiring the scenery, presumably to coordinate with slower moving companions. This can be abbreviated P.

Multiple MOVE orders given by one unit will chain together.

Note that MOVE orders can lead to combat, due to hostile units meeting, or due to an advancing unit being forbidden access to a region. Combat occurs after an antire movement phase has been completed for all regions.

Example 1: Units 1 and 2 are in Region A, and unit 3 is in Region B. Units 1 and 2 are hostile to unit 3. Both units 1 and 2 move into region B, and attack unit 3. Since combat happens after all movement has been done for the phase, they attack unit 3 at the same time, and the battle is between units 1 and 2, and unit 3.

Example 2: Same as example 1, except unit 2 is in Region C, instead of region A. Both units move into Region B, and attack unit 3. Because combat happens after all movement has been done for the phase, they still attack unit 3 at the same time, and the battle is still between units 1 and 2, and unit 3.


Move N, NE, enter structure 1 and use the passage there

      MOVE N
      MOVE NE 1 IN


      MOVE N NE 1 IN

NAME UNIT [new name]

NAME FACTION [new name]

NAME OBJECT [new name]

NAME CITY [new name]

Change the name of the unit, or of your faction, or of the object the unit is in (of which the unit must be the owner). Names can be of any length, up to the line length your mailer can handle. Names may not contain parentheses (square brackets can be used instead if necessary), or any control characters.

In order to rename a settlement (city, town or village), the unit attempting to rename it must be the owner of a large enough structure located in the city. It requires a tower or better to rename a village, a fort or better to rename a town and a castle or a citadel to rename a city. It also costs $10000 to rename a village, $20000 to rename a town, and $30000 to rename a city.


Name your faction "The Merry Pranksters".

      NAME FACTION "The Merry Pranksters"

NOAID [flag]

NOAID 1 indicates that if the unit attacks, or is attacked, it is not to be aided by units in other hexes. NOAID status is very useful for scouts or probing units, who do not wish to drag their nearby armies into battle if they are caught. NOAID 0 cancels this.

If multiple units are on one side in a battle, they must all have the NOAID flag on, or they will receive aid from other hexes.


Set a unit to receive no aid in battle.

      NOAID 1

NOCROSS [flag]

NOCROSS 1 indicates that if a unit attempts to cross a body of water then that unit should instead not cross it, regardless of whether the unit otherwise could do so. Units inside a fleet are not affected by this flag (IE, they are able to sail within the fleet). This flag is useful to prevent scouts from accidentally drowning when exploring in games where movement over water is allowed. NOCROSS 0 cancels this.


Set a unit to not permit itself to cross water.

      NOCROSS 1









The OPTION order is used to toggle various settings that affect your reports, and other email details. OPTION TIMES sets it so that your faction receives the times each week (this is the default); OPTION NOTIMES sets it so that your faction is not sent the times.

OPTION SHOWATTITUDES will cause units shown in your report to have a character placed before their name, which indicates your attitude towards them. These characters are "!" for hostile, "%" for unfriendly, "-" for neutral, ":" for friendly and "=" for allied. OPTION DONTSHOWATTITUDES turns off this additional decoration.

The OPTION TEMPLATE order toggles the length of the Orders Template that appears at the bottom of a turn report. The OFF setting eliminates the Template altogether, and the SHORT, LONG and MAP settings control how much detail the Template contains. The MAP setting will produce an ascii map of the region and surrounding regions in addition other details.

For the MAP template, the region identifiers are (there might be additional symbols for unusual/special terrain):

#### BLOCKED HEX (Underworld)


Set your faction to receive the map format order template


PASSWORD [password]


The PASSWORD order is used to set your faction's password. If you have a password set, you must specify it on your #ATLANTIS line for the game to accept your orders. This protects you orders from being overwritten, either by accident or intentionally by other players. PASSWORD with no password given clears out your faction's password.

IMPORTANT: The PASSWORD order does not take effect until the turn is actually run. So if you set your password, and then want to re-submit orders, you should use the old password until the turn has been run.


Set the password to "xyzzy".

      PASSWORD xyzzy


Use force to extort as much money as possible from the region. Note that the TAX order and the PILLAGE order are mutually exclusive; a unit may only attempt to do one in a turn.


Pillage the current hex.


PREPARE [item]

This command allows a mage or apprentice to prepare a battle item (e.g. a Staff of Fire) for use in battle. This allows the unit to override the usual selection of battle items, and also cancels any spells set via the COMBAT order.


Select a staff of fire as the preferred battle item.


PRODUCE [item]

PRODUCE [number] [item]

Spend the month producing the specified item. If a number is given then the unit will attempt to produce exactly that number of items; if this is not possible in one month then the order will carry over to subsequent months. If no number is given then the unit will produce as much as possible of the specified item.


Produce as much wood as possible.

      PRODUCE wood

Produce exactly 3 crossbows.

      PRODUCE 3 crossbows

PROMOTE [unit]

Promote the specified unit to owner of the object of which you are currently the owner. The target unit must have declared you Friendly.


Promote unit 415 to be the owner of the object that this unit owns.

      PROMOTE 415

QUIT [password]

Quit the game. On issuing this order, your faction will be completely and permanently destroyed. Note that you must give your password for the quit order to work; this is to provide some safety against accidentally issuing this order.

Note that although this order affects the faction as a whole, it nevertheless needs to be issued by an individual unit, and so the email containing the command to quit needs to include both #atlantis and unit lines.


Quit the game for faction 27 if your password is foobar.

      #atlantis 27 "foobar"
      unit 1234
      QUIT "foobar"

RESTART [password]

Similar to the QUIT order, this order will completely and permanently destroy your faction. However, it will begin a brand new faction for you (you will get a separate turn report for the new faction). Note that you must give your password for this order to work, to provide some protection against accidentally issuing this order.


Restart faction 27 as a new faction if your password is foobar.

      #atlantis 27 "foobar"
      unit 1234
      RESTART "foobar"




Cause the unit to either show itself (REVEAL UNIT), or show itself and its faction affiliation (REVEAL FACTION), in the turn report, to all other factions in the region. Used to reveal high stealth scouts, should there be some reason to. REVEAL is used to cancel this.


Show the unit to all factions.


Show the unit and it's affiliation to all factions.


Cancels revealing.


SAIL [dir] ...


The first form will sail the fleet, which the unit must be the owner of, in the directions given. The second form will cause the unit to aid in the sailing of the fleet, using the Sailing skill. See the section on movement for more information on the mechanics of sailing.


Sail north, then northwest.

      SAIL N NW


      SAIL N
      SAIL NW

SELL [quantity] [item]

SELL ALL [item]

Attempt to sell the amount given of the item given. If the unit does not have as many of the item as it is trying to sell, it will attempt to sell all that it has. The second form will attempt to sell all of that item, regardless of how many it has. If more of the item are on sale (by all the units in the region) than are wanted by the region, the number sold per unit will be split up in proportion to the number each unit tried to sell.


Sell 10 furs to the market.

      SELL 10 furs

SHARE [flag]

SHARE 1 instructs the unit to share its possessions with any other unit of your faction that needs them. Thus a unit with a supply of silver could automatically provide silver if any of your other units in the same region does not have enough to perform an action, such as studying, buying or producing. SHARE 0 returns a unit to its default selfish state.

This sharing does not extend to the heat of battle, only to economic actions. So a unit that is sharing will provide silver for buying or studying, and resources for production (for example, if a sharing unit has wood in its inventory, and another unit is producing axes but has no wood, then the sharing unit will automatically supply wood for that production), but will not provide weapons to all units if combat occurs.

Note that in the case of sharing silver, this can leave the sharing unit without enough funds to pay maintenance, so sharing is to be used with care. You may like to make sure that there is a unit with sufficient funds for maintenance in the same region, and which is not sharing, as those funds will be shared for maintenance, but not for less important purposes.


Instruct the unit to share its possessions with other units of the same faction.

      SHARE 1

SHOW SKILL [skill] [level]

SHOW ITEM [item]

SHOW OBJECT [object]

The first form of the order shows the skill description for a skill that your faction already possesses. The second form returns some information about an item that is not otherwise apparent on a report, such as the weight. The last form returns some information about an object (such as a ship or a building).


Show the skill report for Mining 3 again.

      SHOW SKILL Mining 3

Show the item information for swords again.

      SHOW ITEM sword

Show the information for towers again.

      SHOW OBJECT tower

SPOILS [type]


The SPOILS order determines which types of spoils the unit should take after a battle. The valid values for type are 'NONE', 'WALK', 'RIDE', 'FLY', 'SWIM', 'SAIL' or 'ALL'. The second form is equivalent to 'SPOILS ALL'.

When this command is issued, the unit is instructed to only pick up combat spoils if they could use the chosen form of movement while carrying the spoils. Thus a unit with SPOILS FLY selected would pick up combat spoils until they reached their flying capacity. If the spoils provide movement capacity themselves, this will be included in the decision of whether or not to take the spoils - so a unit with SPOILS RIDE would always pick up horses. SPOILS SAIL will use the capacity of the fleet the unit is in to determine whether to take spoils or not. SPOILS ALL will allow a unit to collect any spoils which are dropped regardless of weight or capacity. SPOILS NONE will instruct the unit to only collect weightless items, such as silver.


Set a unit to only pick up items that it can carry and continue to fly:


STEAL [unit] [item]

Attempt to steal as much as possible of the specified item from the specified unit. The order may only be issued by a one-man unit.

A unit may only attempt to steal from a unit which is able to be seen.


Steal silver from unit 123.

      STEAL 123 SILVER

Steal wood from unit 321.

      STEAL 321 wood

STUDY [skill]

STUDY [skill] [level]

Spend the month studying the specified skill. A level may be specified which means that study will be continued from turn to turn until the unit reaches that skill level.


Study horse training.

      STUDY "Horse Training"

Study combat to level 3.

      STUDY combat 3

TAKE FROM [unit] [quantity] [item]

TAKE FROM [unit] ALL [item]

TAKE FROM [unit] ALL [item] EXCEPT [quantity]

TAKE FROM [unit] ALL [item class]

The TAKE order works just like the GIVE order, except that the direction of transfer is reversed, and with the extra condition that a unit may only TAKE from another unit in the same faction. Since that makes TAKE FROM [unit] UNIT pointless, that form of the GIVE order is not supported.

The TAKE order is primarily intended to make automated delivery caravans less prone to generating errors, as they can use TAKE to collect the appropriate goods only when they are in the right place to collect, so the supplying unit doesn't need to keep trying to GIVE to a unit that is only there some of the time. However, it can be used anywhere you wish to transfer items, ships or men, just as GIVE can.


Take 10 swords from unit 4573.

      TAKE FROM 4573 10 swords

See the TURN order for an example of a caravan using TAKE FROM.


Attempt to collect taxes from the region. Only Martial factions may collect taxes, but only if there are no non-Friendly units on guard. Only combat-ready units may issue this order. Note that the TAX order and the PILLAGE order are mutually exclusive; a unit may only attempt to do one in a turn.


Attempt to collect taxes.


TEACH [unit] ...

Attempt to teach the specified units whatever skill they are studying that month. A list of several units may be specified. All units to be taught must have declared you Friendly. Subsequent TEACH orders can be used to add units to be taught.


Teach new unit 2 and unit 510 whatever they are studying.

      TEACH NEW 2 510


      TEACH NEW 2
      TEACH 510

TRANSPORT [unit] [num] [item]

TRANSPORT [unit] ALL [item]

TRANSPORT [unit] ALL [item] EXCEPT [amount]

Transport the specified items to the given target. In the second form all of the specified item is transported. In the last form, all of the specified item except for the specified amount is transported. Long distance transportation of goods between 2 and 3 hexes away has an associated cost. This cost is based on the weight of the items being transported. At higher skill levels of the quartermaster skill, the cost for transporting goods will be less. At higher skill levels of the quartermaster skill, the maximum distance goods can be transported increases over the above. The target of the transport unit must be a unit with the quartermaster skill and must be the owner of a transport structure. For long distance transport between quartermasters, the issuing unit must also be a quartermaster and be the owner of a transport structure. Use of this order counts as trade activity in the hex.

For historical reasons, the order DISTRIBUTE can be used in place of TRANSPORT and has the same meaning and syntax.


Transport 10 STON to unit 1234

      TRANSPORT 1234 10 STON

Transport all except 10 SWOR to unit 3432



The TURN order may be used to delay orders by one (or more) turns. By making the TURN order repeating (via '@'), orders inside the TURN/ENDTURN construct will repeat. Multiple TURN orders in a row will execute on successive turns, and if they all repeat, they will form a loop of orders. Each TURN section must be ended by an ENDTURN line.


Study combat this month, move north next month, and then in two months, pillage and advance north.

          MOVE N
          ADVANCE N

After the turn, the orders for that unit would look as follows in the orders template:

      MOVE N
          ADVANCE N

Set up a simple cash caravan.

      MOVE N
          TAKE FROM 13794 1000 SILV
          MOVE S S S
          GIVE 13523 1000 SILV
          MOVE N N N

After the turn, the orders for that unit would look as follows in the orders template:

      TAKE FROM 13794 1000 SILV
      MOVE S S S
          GIVE 13523 1000 SILV
          MOVE N N N
          TAKE FROM 13794 1000 SILV
          MOVE S S S

The orders in a TURN block will be inserted into the unit's orders template when there are no month-long orders remaining to be executed. In particular, if the unit does not have enough movement points to cover the full distance of a MOVE or SAIL command, the movement commands will automatically be completed over multiple turns before executing the next TURN block.

WEAPON [item] ...


This command allows you to set a list of preferred weapons for a unit. After searching for weapons on the preferred list, the standard weapon precedence takes effect if a weapon hasn't been set. The second form clears the preferred weapon list.


Set the unit to select double bows, then longbows then crossbows


Clear the preferred weapon list.



WITHDRAW [quantity] [item]

Use unclaimed funds to acquire basic items that you need. If you do not have sufficient unclaimed, or if you try withdraw any other than a basic item, an error will be given. Withdraw CANNOT be used in the Nexus (to prevent building towers and such there). The first form is the same as WITHDRAW 1 [item] in the second form.


Withdraw 5 stone.

      WITHDRAW 5 stone

Withdraw 1 iron.

      WITHDRAW iron


Spend the month performing manual work for wages.


Work all month.


Sequence of Events

Each turn, the following sequence of events occurs:

  1. Instant orders.
  2. Combat is processed.
    • ATTACK orders are processed.
  3. Subterfuge orders.
  4. Give orders.
  5. Tax orders.
    • DESTROY orders are processed.
    • PILLAGE orders are processed.
    • TAX orders are processed.
    • GUARD 1 orders are processed.
  6. Instant Magic
    • Old spells are cancelled.
    • Spells are CAST (except for Teleportation spells).
  7. Market orders.
  8. Movement orders.
    • ADVANCE, MOVE and SAIL orders are processed phase by phase (including any combat resulting from these orders).
  9. Month long orders.
    • TEACH orders are processed.
    • STUDY orders are processed.
    • Manufacturing PRODUCE orders (those that produce items from other items, such as using the weaponsmith skill to make swords out of iron) are processed.
    • BUILD orders are processed.
    • Primary PRODUCE orders (those that produce items from region resources, such as using the mining skill to produce iron) are processed.
    • ENTERTAIN orders are processed.
    • WORK orders are processed.
  10. Teleportation spells are CAST.
  11. TRANSPORT orders are processed in multiple phases. In each phase all units in all hexes are processed before starting the next phase. Items may move in each of the phases but only once in each phase.
    1. Items are sent from non-quartermaster units to quartermaster units.
    2. Items are sent from one quartermaster unit to another quartermaster units.
    3. Items are sent a quartermaster unit to non-quartermaster units.
  12. Maintenance costs are assessed.

Where there is no other basis for deciding in which order units will be processed within a phase, units that appear higher on the report get precedence.

Report Format

The most important sections of the turn report are the "Events During Turn" section which lists what happened last month, and the "Current Status" section which gives the description of each region in which you have units.

Your units in the Current Status section are flagged with a "*" character. Units belonging to other factions are flagged with a "-" character. You may be informed which faction they belong to, if you have high enough Observation skill or they are revealing that information.

Objects are flagged with a "+" character. The units listed under an object (if any) are inside the object. The first unit listed under an object is its owner.

If you can see a unit, you can see any large items it is carrying. This means all items other than silver, herbs, and other small items (which are of zero size units, and are small enough to be easily concealed). Items carried by your own units of course will always be listed.

At the bottom of your turn report is an Orders Template. This template gives you a formatted orders form, with all of your units listed. You may use this to fill in your orders, or write them on your own. The OPTION order gives you the option of giving more or less information in this template, or turning it off altogether. You can precede orders with an '@' sign in your orders, in which case they will appear in your template on the next turn's report.

Hints for New Players

Make sure to use the correct #ATLANTIS and UNIT lines in your orders.

Always have a month's supply of spare cash in every region in which you have units, so that even if they are deprived of income for a month (due to a mistake in your orders, for example), they will not starve to death. It is very frustrating to have half your faction wiped out because you neglected to provide enough money for them to live on.

Be conservative with your money. Leaders especially are very hard to maintain, as they cannot usually earn enough by WORKing to pay their maintenance fee. Even once you have recruited men, notice that it is expensive for them to STUDY (and become productive units), so be sure to save money to that end.

Don't leave it until the last minute to send orders. If there is a delay in the mailer, your orders will not arrive on time, and turns will NOT be rerun, nor will it be possible to change the data file for the benefit of players whose orders weren't there by the deadline. If you are going to send your orders at the last minute, send a preliminary set earlier in the week so that at worst your faction will not be left with no orders at all.


Atlantis was originally created and programmed by Russell Wallace. Russell Wallace created Atlantis 1.0, and partially designed Atlantis 2.0 and Atlantis 3.0.

Geoff Dunbar designed and programmed Atlantis 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 up through version 4.0.4 and created the Atlantis Project to freely release and maintain the Atlantis source code.

Larry Stanbery created the Atlantis 4.0.4+ derivative.

JT Traub took over the source code and merged the then forking versions of 4.0.4c and 4.0.4+ back into 4.0.5 along with modifications of his own and maintained the code until v5.0

After that, Stephen Baillie took over the code and maintained it until the v5.2.3-v5.2.5 time frame.

Artem Trytiak took over the code maintenance at that point and has maintained it since along with a number of other contrubutors to the github project.

The Atlantis source code is now hosted on github at the Atlantis github project. Additionally, Artem runs the New Origins website which hosts the New Origins games and the related Discordserver, which serves as a de-facto development community.

Please see the CREDITS file in the source distribution for a more complete, but still inadequate, list of contributors.