Riftlords Rules

Copyright 1994 Flying Buffalo Inc (by Rick Loomis, Chuck Gaydos & Steve MacGregor)

Riftlords (RL) is a trading game. The object is to make the most profit. We will list the following top tens every turn: total money, percent increase since ten turns ago, pirate killers, pirate killers over the last five turns.

You can play as many positions as you want - you cannot trade between positions, but all are on your one printout. There is NO setup fee, and the first 3 turns (for three ships) are free. You can add additional positions any time. The turn fee is $4 for the first three positions (ships) plus $1 per position over three, with every sixth ship free. (i.e. $4 for 3, $5 for 4, $6 for 5, $6 for 6, $7 for 7, etc). A "position" is the name of your ship.

Each ship has a name, and a "message" that is seen by everyone who sees that ship (up to 73 characters - can include name, address & phone number, etc). Ship names can be up to 40 characters long. The message can be changed anytime you want. Ship names cannot be changed.

Each position starts out (at a random star) with a ship with one cargo pod, one engine, no laser cannons, and three shields, and 10,000 credits. You can at any time drop positions that aren't doing well, and/or add new positions. (But the minimum turn fee pays for 3 positions/ships, so you might as well keep at least three). All money is kept in the intergalactic bank as electronic credits, so cannot be lost or stolen. Each cargo pod can carry 100 units of cargo. Each "warp engine" increases the size of the "warp" the ship creates when it moves, and increases the range. (Movement is instantaneous between stars/planets by the warp engines). Each laser cannon increases the chance of destroying a pirate. Each shield increases the defense against pirates. Also there is a chance of losing one shield to meteors during flight. If you have no shields, you might lose a cargo pod, engine, or laser cannon.

PIRATES: Each turn you will be told which stars have reported pirates. Also there is always a chance of pirates in "The Rift." If you do not go to The Rift or to one of these planets, there is no chance you will meet pirates. Prices are higher in The Rift, and at worlds where pirates were reported. Each ship has standing orders regarding pirates. The initial standing order is "avoid." Giving this order reduces your chance of meeting pirates, and if you do meet them they will take a shot at you and randomly hit a shield, cargo pod, engine, or laser cannon. Hitting a shield just takes away the shield. Hitting a cargo pod means the pirates get one pod, and its cargo (randomly selected). (If you only have one cargo pod, and they hit it, you don't lose it, but they get half your cargo). Hitting an engine means you must spend money for "repairs." You don't lose the engine, but you cannot use it to move until it is "repaired." (If you have other engines you can move at reduced speed. If that is your only engine then you have to get it repaired before you can move. You can get an engine repaired for free if you do that instead of moving or prospecting). Hitting a laser cannon destroys it, and you have to buy another one. If YOU have laser cannons, when you are attacked by pirates under "avoid" you get a shot at them. There is a small chance of capturing one pirate & getting a reward, or recapturing some randomly chosen "loot." The more laser cannons you have, the better your odds, but still not much chance under "avoid." Another choice is "fight them if we have them outnumbered." If they have you outnumbered, they will get one shot at you, same as "avoid." But if you have them outnumbered you will fight them until they are all destroyed, or until they destroy enough of your laser cannons and shields where you no longer outnumber them. You get a bounty for each pirate destroyed. Third choice is "I am hunting for pirates." This increases greatly your chance of finding pirates, and makes it less likely for you to retreat if they get a few hits on you. If more than one player is "looking for pirates" at a pirate infested world, each will meet, and fight, a portion of the pirates. (If one of the players is "hunting for pirates" and the other is not, the "hunting" player will most likely end up fighting more pirates). When the computer calculates whether you are "outnumbered" it includes laser cannons and shields. If you are only fighting if you have them outnumbered, the computer is more conservative when counting shields. Note: players are not allowed to shoot at each other - only at pirates.

If pirates are reported at a world, they stay there until someone comes looking for them and "defeats" them. When reported, a reward is offered. The longer it goes without them all being defeated, the bigger the reward per pirate. You collect the reward for each pirate you kill, but prices stay higher unless you defeat all the pirates there.

Your printout tells you the name of the world you are at, the price of cargos available there, the prices this world is willing to pay for items, and the price this world will charge for "fixing engines." You see the ship names and "messages" of any other players at this world on this turn, a list of the worlds infested by pirates and the rewards they are offering, any special cargos you may be offered, and a list of the worlds you can get to in one turn. The three worlds in the game where each item has the highest price(and that price), and the three worlds in the game where each item has the lowest price (and the price) are listed.

Not every item is available at every world, and not every item is wanted. If the item is not wanted, you can sell it for a minimal price if you are desperate. Prices will go up and down, according to the actions of the players, and certain preestablished formulas. Any time a player or players buys an item at a world, the price goes up for next turn.(the more bought, the higher the price) Any time a player delivers a cargo at a world, the price goes down (the more cargo, the more it goes down). Anything that is for sale, that no one buys, the price will gradually decrease until someone buys it, or it hits rock bottom (whatever that might be for that product). Anything that is wanted, and no one provides, the price offered will keep increasing until someone provides it. Pirates make the price of everything higher. Some items at some planets will have cycles - In addition to all of the other price changes, the price of certain items will increase for x number of turns, and then decrease again for x number of turns. And the x might be different at different worlds.

Prospecting: any position can spend a turn at a world and "prospect." You will find a random amount of one of the "prospecting" items (which can also be purchased in some places), which you can then sell. Some worlds are better than others for prospecting. If you miss a turn, all your positions "prospect" that turn. The amount you find may be more than your cargo capacity. Next turn, as much as you can carry is automatically loaded onto your ship after all regular purchases, and the excess that you can't carry is automatically sold for whatever price that world has for that item. (You can choose to sell some or all of the prospected item regardless). It is also possible when prospecting to "salvage" an engine, cargo pod, laser gun, or shield.

Illegal goods: some cargos are illegal at some worlds. The price offered of course, will be very high. The higher the price, the better chance you will get caught. If you get caught, all the illegal cargo that you tried to sell is confiscated and you are charged a "fine" of 10% of the value of the cargo (at that world's prices, which will be high) and you cannot leave this world until you pay the fine. If you have enough money, the fine is paid automatically. If you don't have the money, then you can sell off cargo or engines or whatever, or prospect until you do. If you are caught, your move for that ship for that turn is cancelled. When you show up at a world, you will be told if any of your cargos are illegal there. If you choose not to sell them there, you won't be "caught" smuggling illegal goods - you can always leave and try to find a place where they are legal. (You cannot "buy" a cargo at a world where it is illegal).

You can buy at most one (each) engine, cargo pod, or laser cannon on any one turn, because it takes time to "install" them. You can buy as many shields as you have engines, each turn.

Things that might be found prospecting: (all but artifacts can also be purchased at some worlds)

Things that might be illegal:

Colonists. (Immigration might be illegal at some worlds). The price a world will "pay" you for colonists is generally what the colonists themselves will pay to get to that world. If colonists are offered for "sale", you will be told the price you will be paid to carry them to each of the worlds you can get to in one turn (and which worlds they are illegal at). You don't have to "buy" them. When you get to the destination they are automatically unloaded and you collect your "fee." If you are ambushed by pirates on the way, and lose some of your cargo, your "fee" is reduced proportionally. If you take them to an illegal world and get "caught" some of them may be arrested before they can pay you. If you check off the "colonists" option, and you have any cargo space to carry them, you will go to the world they are paying for, even if you checked off another destination for your "move."

Other items that will be listed on your printout.

Passengers. If there is a passenger at a world, he announces where he wants to go, and the maximum he is willing to pay. If you can get to that world, and want to go there, you can "bid" for his business. The lowest bidder takes the passenger and gets the money. (He takes up no cargo space and can't get hurt by pirates). If you are an unsuccessful bidder you don't get any money for the passenger, and you are told how much the low bid was. You cannot bid more than the maximum the passenger is willing to pay, and you can't bid less than l credit. If two players tie in their bids, one is randomly selected. If you successfully make the low bid for a passenger, and you give orders to go to some other world, you will go to the world that the passenger is paying for.

Billboards: each planet has a "billboard" which may contain a message of up to 5 lines of up to 35 characters each, which will be seen by all players who show up at that world. It costs credits to put up a message. You may pay any amount of credits to put your message on a billboard, but you must pay at least one more credit than was paid for the current message. In other words, if there is no message currently, you can put up a message for one credit. But if there is a message already, and the person who put it there paid 10 credits to put it up, you have to pay at least 11 credits to replace it with your message (and his goes away, and he does not get any refund). If two players both bid for a billboard on the same turn on the same planet, the one who offers the most credits gets the message. The other player does not spend any of the credits he offered. If they both bid the same, one is randomly selected by the computer to be the successful bidder. The amount "paid" for a message will go down one credit per turn, so eventually it will only cost someone 1 credit to replace your message, if he or she so chooses.

Note: any text you write (name of ship, message, billboard) that is too long, we will shorten to make it fit. We may just truncate it (cut it off when space runs out) or if we have time we may figure out an abbreviation that will make it fit.

Random Events: From time to time, a random special event will occur on a world which can greatly affect the price of an item there over the next few turns. Stars with random events will be listed on your printout each turn, along with the items they're offering special prices for. Each random event will last at least 3 turns. When a random event is on its final turn it will not be listed in the random events section of the printout; so if a random event is listed, and you can move there in one turn, you will arrive in time to take advantage of the special price. Examples of random events:

World types:  N = Normal/common
              A = Agricultural
              M = Mining
              H = High-Tech
              X = Manufacturing
              R = Religious

Sequence of events

  1. Evade and retreat threashold orders processed.
  2. Troops disbanded.
  3. Ships vs ship combat.
  4. Ships that retreat from combat don't get to fire at the planet, drop troops, or buy and sell anything.
  5. Strafing ships fire at ground troops and colonists.
  6. Attacking troops dropped.
  7. Troop vs defender combat.
  8. Surviving attackers fight each other.
  9. Prospecting find ordered sold by player is sold.
  10. Illegal cargo ordered sold has a chance of being seized and the player fined.
  11. Cargo is sold.
  12. Cargo and troops are jettisoned.
  13. Artifacts are sold.
  14. Engines, cargo pods, laser cannons, and shields are sold. An engine that is sold can still be used on the same turn.
  15. Fines are paid.
  16. Any money gained from sales, less fines paid, can be used to buy things on the same turn.
  17. Damaged engines are repaired. An engine can't be used on the turn it's repaired.
  18. Engines, cargo pods, laser cannons, and shields bought. An engine can't be used on the turn it's bought. A cargo pod can be used on the turn it's bought. Laser cannons and shields can be used against pirates on the turn they're bought.
  19. Troops hired and loaded.
  20. Cargo bought.
  21. Spies dropped or reinforced.
  22. Shipyards built.
  23. Training centers built.
  24. New industries built.
  25. Technology level increases done.
  26. Unsold prospecting find loaded on ship, excess is sold if all won't fit.
  27. More money paid on any fine still owed if excess prospecting find is sold.
  28. Advanced Navigational Computers bought. It can't be used on the turn it's bought.
  29. Changes in pirate status made.
  30. Bids for passengers made.
  31. Colonists are loaded.
  32. Bids for billboard space made and new messages put up.
  33. Ships move to destination stars.
  34. New players entered.
  35. Non-moving ships do prospecting.
  36. Pirate combat.
  37. Meteor damage.
  38. Populations increase by 10%.
  39. Passengers pay for passage.
  40. Illegal colonists have a chance of being arrested.
  41. Legal and unarrested colonists unloaded and pay for their passage.
  42. Free colonists take over unpopulated stars.
  43. Taxes collected.
  44. Spies caught.
  45. Conquering armies take over their stars.
  46. New stars named.
  47. Troops are paid. Troops hired this turn don't get paid.
  48. New pirates created.
  49. New prices computed.
  50. New passengers created.
  51. New colonists created.

Movement: The map shows the names, planet type, and location of each of the populated planets you can move to. (Some are named after stars, and indicate the one populated planet at that star). Each turn you will be given a turn sheet, and all the planets you can move to that turn will be listed on your turn sheet, so you can just check off the one you want to move to. In case you want to look at the map and figure out how long it will take to get to a world, the distance you can move in one turn is the square root of the number of engines you have. If you have one engine, you can move one space in the four directions. If you have 4 engines, you can move two spaces, and if you have 9 engines, you can move 3 spaces. If you want to move 5 spaces diagonally, you must have 50 engines. The following chart shows you how many engines you have to have to move various numbers of spaces. Assume you are in the square marked "0." You cannot move to a space on the map that does not have a planet. (Another way of looking at it: the horizontal distance squared plus the vertical distance squared, must not exceed the number of engines you have).

+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 200 | 181 | 164 | 149 | 136 | 125 | 116 | 109 | 104 | 101 | 100 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 181 | 162 | 145 | 130 | 117 | 106 |  97 |  90 |  85 |  82 |  81 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 164 | 145 | 128 | 113 | 100 |  89 |  80 |  73 |  68 |  65 |  64 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 149 | 130 | 113 |  98 |  85 |  74 |  65 |  58 |  53 |  50 |  49 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 136 | 117 | 100 |  85 |  72 |  61 |  52 |  45 |  40 |  37 |  36 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 125 | 106 |  89 |  74 |  61 |  50 |  41 |  34 |  29 |  26 |  25 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 116 |  97 |  80 |  65 |  52 |  41 |  32 |  25 |  20 |  17 |  16 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 109 |  90 |  73 |  58 |  45 |  34 |  25 |  18 |  13 |  10 |   9 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 104 |  85 |  68 |  53 |  40 |  29 |  20 |  13 |   8 |   5 |   4 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 101 |  82 |  65 |  50 |  37 |  26 |  17 |  10 |   5 |   2 |   1 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| 100 |  81 |  64 |  49 |  36 |  25 |  16 |   9 |   4 |   1 |   0 |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+

There are 4 different orders in which the stars can be listed in the movement section of the turn sheet for your ships.

The selected option applies to all of your positions. You can't have different options for different ships.

Advanced Rules: Eventually you are going to want to do something with all the money your ship has been earning. If you have a million credits, you may buy an "Advanced Navigation Computer" which allows you to go outside the limits of the printed map, where you can find uncharted worlds, colonize them (and name them)and build a space empire; and where players are allowed to shoot at each other. When you buy an ANC for a position, that position is no longer listed in the "Top Ten" for beginning players, but now has to compete in the "Top Ten" for "advanced players." When you buy your first ANC, we will send you a free copy of the advanced rules. You do have to buy an "ANC" for each position that you want to go outside the map, and each position has to earn enough money for its own "ANC."

To start in the game, just tell us whether you want to be in the weekly game, the bi-weekly game, or the monthly game, and tell us the names of your ships. If you just start with three ships, your first three turns are free. If you start with more than three ships, we will give you $12 worth of free turns. Any time you want more positions, just tell us the ship names you want to use.

Advanced Riftlords rules.

An Advanced Navigating computer costs one million credits. Allows your ship to go beyond the rim. Puts your position in a different "top ten" list. (Advanced players).

Unnamed (numbered) stars beyond the rim can be named. If you have an ANC and you are in range of an unnamed star, you will be offered colonists to take there for no money. If you take colonists to a planet you get to name it, and it "belongs" to you. (The name you give it must have at least one letter in it; it cannot be just a number). As long as it belongs to you, you get 1 credit per colonist in taxes per turn. (Once it gets 10,000 colonists, it becomes an inhabited world, and has unlimited colonists for going to other worlds, and your taxes are 10,000 per turn). Colonists normally increase at 10% a turn, but you can bring it more colonists if you like. (If someone else brings colonists to a world that is already owned by you, ownership does not change - you get the colonists). If you have ANC, and a colonized world is within range, the question is asked on your turnsheet "Do you want to provide free passage for colonists to the world you are going to?" If you check yes, then you carry as many as you have room for. It two players bring colonists to an unowned world at the same time, the one who brings the most colonists owns the world. If they bring identical numbers then the ship with the greater mass gets thw world. If the masses are also the same then one is selected at random.

If you colonize a world, it is yours until someone puts troops there. Troops cost money (more expensive at ag worlds and mining worlds, cheaper at others). Troops offered at any world within range of a world beyond the rim. Troops cost you one credit per turn for pay, if you can't pay them, they disappear. You can also "jettison" them if you don't need them. If you unload them at at a world that's not yours, and outside the rim, they try to capture it. If it is not defended, you capture it. If it has troops, there is combat. Defenders have the advantage. Combat is to the death. All attackers are attacking defenders until all defenders are destroyed. Each army gets one shot per round, attackers have a 20% chance of getting a hit, defenders have a 30% chance of getting a hit. Multiple attackers, defenders firepower divided proportionally. (Note, if any player has ordered his ship to defend against attacks instead of prospecting or moving away, any ships dropping troops will have to fight in ship to ship combat before the troops can be dropped. Ships that withdraw from ship to ship combat don't get to drop troops. If an attacking ship orders ground support while unloading troops, instead of moving away or prospecting, its laser cannons kill one defending army per laser cannon, in the first round only. Ships not unloading troops can order their laser cannons to fire at defending armies or attacking armies, and kill one per laser cannon in the first round only. Laser fire comes before any armies get their shots. If defenders are destroyed and more than one attacker remains, they shoot at each other until only one attacker is left and he gets the planet. If they all kill each other, the original owner still owns, even if he had no ships or troops there at all. If no one is unloading troops, any ship at the world can still fire at defending troops and destroy one per laser cannon. You cannot unload troops on a world that has no population.

The owner of a world gets a report on that world every turn listing: population (until it becomes populated), income this turn from the world, any combat at that world, what ships are present at the world that turn. (Players will be charged 25 cents extra per world owned to cover the longer printout. Players using the 'Short' version of the printout, or getting their results via email will be charged only 10 cents extra per world).

Billboards: in the new worlds, billboards belong to the world owner and he can change the message on it whenever his ship is there for no cost. Other players can't change the "billboard" at a world owned by someone else. Instead of billboard, it will be called a "message beacon".

You can at any time jettison troops from a ship (without attacking anyone) and they no longer cost you. You can "disband" any number of troops defending a planet. Paying troops: cost one credit per turn, charged at the end of the turn before fines, but after sales, etc. (First order you can give is disband troops, then sell stuff, then pay fines, buy stuff, collect taxes, and then pay troops). If you don't disband enough troops, and can't afford to pay them, some will desert. An equal percentage at each world will desert. Troops on your ship will be the last to desert.

When you are outside the map, at a colonized world, your ship instead of moving or prospecting can shoot at other ships, defend the world from attackers, or shoot at defending troops, or even shoot at colonists. If you shoot at colonists, if there are any ships defending from attackers, you will engage them in ship to ship combat first. After combat, each of your remaining lasers kills one colonist each.

Combat: when you are outside known space, you are given a combat option for your ship: evade combat or shoot back if fired upon. If you evade, he gets one shot at you while you leave. If you shoot back, your move is cancelled. You also have to give a retreat level. If you give no retreat level, it is automatically "no lasers left". You can state how many laser cannons you want to have left when you retreat. (i.e. if your level is 10, when he shoots your 11th cannon, you retreat). When you retreat, he gets one more shot at you. You are still at the world for the following turn, and you can then change your combat option to "evade". If you shoot at someone, either as defender or attacker, if either party loses one or more cargo pods, shields, or laser cannons, there is a chance that the winner will recover some of them, and anyone prospecting at that world that turn has a chance of recovering some of them. (10% of combat losses are recoverable). The winner is anyone who does not retreat. If both parties hit retreat level on same round, neither is the "winner" and neither can recover stuff. Anything recoverable but not found can be prospected for, during the next three turns. For each thing recoverable, for the combat round, each item has a 50% chance of being recovered, by someone, all players eligible have an equal chance of recovering it. For the round after combat, only prospectors can recover, and again each item has 50% chance. For 2nd round after combat, any recoverable item will be found by a prospector, or will disappear forever.

Taxes for stuff bought and sold - you can buy stuff at your world for half price. When someone else buys stuff at your world you get 1% of what he pays for it. When someone else sells stuff at your world, you get 1% of what he gets. If you sell stuff at your world, you get 1% more than the stated price.

Spies: Any world you are at, outside the rim, you can order a spy emplaced, and how much money you want to give him to establish himself. Each turn, the spy reports to you how many troops on the world, and which ships are at the world this turn. He stays there until he spends all your money. He will spend from 1 credit to 1 credit for each troop at the world. (i.e. if there are 100 troops at the world, he will spend from 1 to 100 credits). After the money is spent, he is either caught or killed. The owner of the planet may be told whose spy it was, or may be told only that he caught a spy from an unnamed player. You can only have one spy at a world at a time. Also, if you come back to a world where you already have a spy, you are allowed to spend more money for that spy since you cannot place another one. i.e. the option is add to a spy's money rather than "emplace a spy". ] You can put spies at your own worlds. They don't spend any money as long as you own the world, but they will be there to report on the enemy if someone takes the world from you.

Until a world gets 10,000 colonists and becomes "populated" you can't do anything with it except (if you choose) declare it to be a Religious world. Once it becomes populated the following rules apply.

All colonized worlds start out at "Tech level F". You can build a shipyard at the world, which allows you to sell shields, and repair engines. Also allows you to build cargo pods, lasers, and engines at various tech levels. But you must have shipyard first. You can spend money to raise tech levels, and spend money to "start" various industries. When you get to a particular tech level, your world starts selling that ship part. If you go up one tech level higher than the minimum for a ship part, the cost of the ship part is reduced.

It costs a million credits to raise a tech level. Costs 500,000 credits to build a shipyard. Also each time you raise the tech level of a world, you increase your income from taxes. The basic populated world gets you 10,000 credits per turn, for tech level F.

Initially colonized worlds buy nothing and sell nothing, except for ship parts as above. However, you can start an "industry" on the world by spending money. That world will then start offering that good and will randomly select an item they "want" from a special list. (If you later start producing an item they "want", they will cancel that want and start wanting something different from the list). A world can "produce" up to four items, and if you want a fifth it is a lot more expensive. (x2 for a fifth, x3 for a 6th, x5 for a 7th, X10 for an 8th, X20 for the 9th, at which point it will be either producing or buying every product!) When you first actually go to a world in the unknown area, you are told whether it is an "Ag type" or "Mining type"

New Mining worlds: each mining world has 3 minerals it is cheap to produce, and 3 that it is expensive to produce. When you first find the world you are told which 3 are cheap here (Gold, Platinum, Titanium, Moly, Laser Crystals, Jewels).

To produce a mine, you spend: (M is one million)

Item            Cheap   Expensive
----            -----   ---------
Gold            1M      2M
Platinum        1.5M    2.5M
Titanium        3M      4M
Molybdenum      3.5M    4.5M
Laser Crystals  4M      8M
Jewels          5M      12M
You can also produce mines at agricultural worlds at the "expensive" rate.

New Ag worlds: the following items can only be produced at Ag worlds. Cost is in millions. These items cannot be produced at Mining type worlds.

Food                    .5M
Chemicals               3M
Recreational Stimulants 5M
Furs                    8M
Pharmaceuticals        10M

The following items can be produced at either type world, once you have raised the tech level.

Tech Level E:  Heavy Equipment        1M
               Recreational Holograms 2M
Tech Level D:  Weapons                3M
Tech Level C:  Computer Chips         4M
Tech Level B:  Longevity Drugs        8M
Tech Level A:  Robots                10M

To get "Artwork" as an item to sell, you have to declare your world "a religious world" sometime while it is building up its population, but before it becomes a "populated world". If you do this, then when it becomes "populated" it automatically starts an "artwork" industry at no extra cost. However, all tech level increases cost twice as much.

TROOPS: Cost 1 credit per turn to pay. Cost 10 credits each to "hire" at a normal, hi-tech, manufacturing, or religious world. Cost 40 credits each to "hire" at an Ag or Mining world (they need the labor). Cost 50% less at a world that sells weapons. Troops are not available outside the regular map, unless a world sets up a weapons industry. Then you can buy a "military training center" for .5 million, which makes troops available for 20 credits each. As usual, if someone else buys them, you get 1%, and you can buy them at half price. You can buy them and then unload them on that same world the next turn, so any world that has a training center is likely to be well defended. Keep in mind anyone can "hire" the mercenaries available at your training center, and might use them to invade your other worlds. Of course players are not allowed to "unload" troops inside the regular map.

Top ten lists: For the advanced players, we'll have a "total value" list and a "total empire" (number of planets owned) list.

Skills:

We are adding the following to Riftlords effective immediately. Now you will have more to do than just try to get the most money. SKILLS: In order to give the players more things to work towards, we are adding "skills" that you can build up (like role playing characters building up skills or experience). Each of your ships has ten different skill ratings that increase when you do certain things.

PLUS: each turn, each ship would be able to choose one of these skills to "practice" and get an additional increase in that skill.

TOP TEN LISTS: We have so far been printing the top ten beginning players, advanced players, most improved players, pirate killers, pirate killers last five turns, and for advanced players, biggest empires. We are now going to add a bunch more "top ten" lists, and give you the option of choosing which 6 appear on your printout. You get 6 per player, not per ship. However you may change your choice every turn if you want. Choose any 6 from the following list: Ship Values (Basic); Ship Values (Advanced); Most Improved over Last Ten Turns; Pirate Killers; Pirate Killers Last Five Turns; Empire Size; Firing Skill; Troop Combat Skill; Smuggling Skill; Prospecting Skill; Navigation Skill; Ship Repair Skill; Mining Skill; Espionage Skill; Colonization Skill; Cargo Loading Skill; Total Number of Troops; Total Taxes Collected Last Turn; Total Ship Mass. A ship's mass is the sum of its Engines + Cargo Pods + Laser Cannons + Shields.

For Advanced Players:

PLANET SKILLS: Each planet would have certain skills also. Each turn each planet can choose one skill to increase. Each planet would also have a "Loyalty Level". As long as this level is 100 or more, you get 100% of the taxes you are supposed to receive from this planet. If the loyalty goes below 100, then it is multiplied by your taxes to determine the amount you actually get. If you haven't visited your planet for awhile, their loyalty goes down, and they start "skimming" some of your taxes. Loyalty level could be more than 100, but you would not get any extra taxes from this. Loyalty level goes down 10% per turn automatically. (Amount of decrease rounded down to the nearest one, so it doesn't go lower than 5). Loyalty level starts at 100 when you first capture a planet, goes up (50) when you show up. (Purpose of this rule is to give you a reason to visit all your planets occasionally, and to make a way for an empire to automatically decline if a player quits playing. If he is no longer playing and making money, his empire will be held together only with his taxes. As his planets get less and less loyal, taxes will decrease until he doesn't have enough money to pay all his troops. When he can't pay his troops, eventually they desert, and the planets won't be defended against new players. However please note that there is no "revolution" rule. The loyalty may get very low, but you won't lose the planet unless another player takes it away from you). In addition, each time you build/establish an industry at a world, that world's loyalty level goes up 100 and its Loyalty Rating goes up by 10.

Planet skills:

For schools, every turn that a player starts the turn at a school and does not retreat from combat, he gets the benefit of going to school, even if he moves away that turn. Thus players are encouraged to trade at a planet that has a school, but school owners can keep their enemies from studying at their schools by firing at them.

The archeological site number is public information to anyone at the world. The presence and types of schools is also public information. How close you are to finishing another school, and the other two numbers, are secret information only revealed to the planet owner.

NEW COLONIZATION RULE: In order to colonize a new planet, you also must have 100 food and 100 heavy equipment on board when you colonize. The food and heavy equipment are used up during the colonization.

To send us your orders by EMail, it isn't necessary to fill out and send back the turnsheet part of your EMail printout. Instead you can list the things you want each ship to do. Just make sure you list the orders in the same order that the turnsheets ask for them. Example:

   Position #1939, The Hindenburg
     Sell 300 Hydrogen
     Sell 2 Laser Cannons
     Buy an Engine
     Buy a Cargo Pod
     Buy 4 Shields
     Buy 400 Helium
     Move to Betelgeuse
     View Prices at Procyon
Be sure to include the game number, turn number, your real name, your security code, and your Flying Buffalo account number in the first line of your message.

Here is an online version of the game MAP