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e-Monster Issue Twenty-Nine

Editor: Scott Micheel

< 28 | Index | 30 >
              m     m
              mm   mm                         t
        ee    m m m m    oo    nnn     sss    t      ee    rrrr
       e  e   m  m  m   o  o   n  n   s      tttt   e  e   r
       eeee   m     m   o  o   n  n   ssss    t     eeee   r    News 09-25-94
       e      m     m   o  o   n  n      s    t     e      r
        ee    m     m    oo    n  n   sss      tt    ee    r         #29
Headlines this time:  ABM responds!  Gaming gods Keith, Jack, & Bob Tell All
                                               (well, some anyway)


Editor's Note:

This issue is over two weeks late, and will probably be really boring for
those of you on America OnLine, because it's mostly a rehash of what's been
posted there last month.  But I felt it would be important to send it out
to a wider audience due to the postings by Keith, Jack, & Bob at ABM.

I'll try to do better next month.


Publication data:
eMonster News is published ideally on the 25th of each month.  Send all
submissions, questions, letters of comment, and subscription information to
the email address below.  eMonster News is available free for the asking to
anyone able to receive it on INTERNET, CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi, America
Online, Prodigy, or any other service tied into the net.  Press run: 151.
To avoid problems with my mailer, I send this out in batches; for a full
listing of players on the net, send a note to Scott (below).  eMonster News
is not affiliated with Adventures By Mail in any way, and nothing in here is
necessarily official.  We like to think they like us, though.  Please copy,
post, print, or otherwise distribute this newsletter to as many players as you
can; especially if they have email access.  We want to promote this here game!
Editor & Publisher            Scott Micheel
Keeper of Blurbs              Aaron Fuegi
Group Man                     Brian Derks
Monster Mapper & MI BBS       Jim Wuerch
Capture Creature Captain      Larry Barrows
Statmaster                    Jack Vinson
Seeker of Demigods            Ben Vincent
Lord of the Hard Sell         Tom Richardson
List Director                 Sharyl Leis
Q&A Lady                      Dana Barker
America OnLine Liason         Chuck Miro

This newsletter is also posted to the Internet newsgroup, and
usually ends up on the America OnLine boards, as well as Bif's Monster Resort
BBS.  You are welcome to post this anyplace you wish, but please leave it


The PBM game ftp site now has most of the email Monster Island
newsletters ever made -- specifically, we now have all the issues
put out by Cheryl Frech and myself, and lack only the very first Chris Jones
issue.  For convenience, I number the Jones issues 1-3, the Frech issues
4-13, and my own 15-28 (and up).

For those with ftp file-transfer capability, here's what to do.

At the normal prompt, issue the command


That will connect you to the pbm ftp site.  Log on as


with the password being your own email address.  Then issue this

cd pub/pbm

to get to the main pbm menu.  Now, all the files here are maintained in
gzip compressed format, so you'll need the 'unzip' program.  I'm sure
most of you have this, and yours will work fine, but if you don't have
it, there is a copy here, and you'll need to get it like so

get gzip-1.2.4.msdos.exe

Then get into the actual Monster Island section

cd monster_island

Here is what's there right now (file size, name)

    73 README       (it's nothing, really)
  5594 groups.gz    (Brian Derks list from March'94)
  2810 intro.gz     (the file I post to occassionally)
  4811 list.gz      (lots of DOL lists, date unknown)

Then, finally, one level more to get to the newsletters

cd newsletters

And here's the list

  6300 mimail.01.gz  (the UK newsletter #1)

  3271 minews.04.gz  (minews.2 and minews.3 should be up shortly)
  8294 minews.05.gz
  9982 minews.06.gz
  7347 minews.07.gz
  4647 minews.08.gz
  5291 minews.09.gz
 10979 minews.10.gz
 10351 minews.11.gz
 17831 minews.12.gz
  8291 minews.13.gz
  7415 minews.14.gz
  6737 minews.15.gz
 12232 minews.16.gz
 11128 minews.17.gz
 16149 minews.18.gz
 20178 minews.19.gz
 13607 minews.20.gz
 17674 minews.21.gz
 24860 minews.22.gz
 17087 minews.23.gz
 15826 minews.24.gz
 12846 minews.25.gz
 15721 minews.26.gz


From: (Chuck Miro)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 94 14:50:22 EDT
Subject: AOL Liaison for "eMonster News"

If anyone who's not an AOL subcriber wants to have a message posted on the
AOL MI Board, they can send it to me and I'll make sure it gets posted.


From: "Obleman.Eric" <OBLEMAN@SSDGWY.MDC.COM>
Subject: MI vs Magic

I just finished reading the eMonster eMail for August.  I'd like to thank you
for running all the comments you did on ABM service.  I have been hearing the
rumors for a while and am sad to see such overwhelming confirmation of the
truth in them.  Like yours my monster is "developmentally challenged".  It has
gone fifty turns and is still playing around at the first line of Far Inns. 
Like you I have also had very few problems with ABM and none of my seven
friends who play with me have had much trouble, so I guess we are all lucky and
will be staying in the game.  But I have been heavily involved in Magic and
would like to spend some time on it and several of the comments made on the

I consider my credentials as a gamer to be extensive enough to qualify me to
comment on this subject.  I am a wargamer and have been since 1964, when I was
10 years old.  I cut my teeth on the old Milton Bradley wargames like Dogfight,
Broadsides and the Civil War as well as the classic Avalon Hill games and other
old family game stand by board games.  In the early seventies, I was on the
staff of one of the largest and most prestigious wargame clubs in history,
Sparta, until its demise and remain a member of its only remaining fragment. 
With my long time friends and others of my gaming experience exist the kernel
of the group best described as Grognards.  I was an active gamer when D&D came
out and have long since turned my back on it as a game of little social value,
not promoting sportsmanship or teamwork.  I have seen games come and I have
seen them go.  Such as it is, this is my gaming resume.

As I said above, I have been heavily involved in Magic, so I am very familiar
with the game and its potential.  The comparisons that many have made of Magic
to Pet Rocks or, even, D&D and that it is just a Fad are extremely short
sighted and seem to be generated by the anger they should be directing at ABM
for forgetting us in favor of the Magic craze.  Well, I have some real bad news
for all of you who hope Magic is just a fad.  It is not going to go away.  I
should be obvious to even the most disinterested casual observer that Magic is
no Pet Rock.  To be sure, Magic is in the Craze phase, just like many other
games before it.  It is going to subside, and it feels like it is showing signs
of some slow down among core gamers (the people who count anyway) right now,
but it will never go away.  Unlike D&D, Magic is a well thought out, well
executed product that has more manufacturer support than any game I have ever
know.  Wizards of the Coast (WotC), the game's manufacturer, can thank the
Internet for the instant support they can supply the game and they have taken
advantage of Internet's capabilities.  D&D, when it first appeared, was a loose
set of rules, a guideline by designer Gary Gygax's own admission, put out in a
substandard package, by the Milton Bradley and Avalon Hill benchmarks.  It
practically begged for an improved rival, and it was not long before it got
several challengers, not only in role playing, but in the same fantasy role
playing setting as D&D itself.  After one year on the market what has
challenged Magic?  Anyone play much Spellfire lately?  Jyhad shows signs of
being a lasting game, but it will tend to compliment Magic rather than compete
with it and it is made by the same company.  Magic will never be seriously
challenged and there will always be a profit in Magic due its collect ability.

Many MI players will have to wonder why I have spent so much time defending a
game that is ripping the Island to shreds.  Well, I'm not defending Magic.  I
like the game, but I like MI as well and am also angry that one has to be
promoted at the expanse of the other.  By the same token, it would be senseless
for me to not give one game a chance because I'm mad it's degrading another
game I like.  The fault lies entirely with ABM and they deserve all the anger. 
My purpose here is to tell all MI players not to hold their breath waiting for
Magic to die off and become unprofitable.  If you are pinning your hope on that
to happen you are bound to be disappointed.  In the long run and it is better
to drop MI now and save yourself a whole bunch of money and grief.  If you stay
on the Island be prepared for this to continue for a long time and learn to be
satisfied that things will go right most of the time and on rare, very rare
occasion MI will be upgraded.  And take every promise that comes out of ABM
concerning MI with a large portion of salt.  In the case of ABM and MI, a bird
in the hand is worth any number of birds in the bush.

I support the idea of someone or some group buying MI from ABM.  I would not
like to pay any more per turn than the fee now charged to improve the service
to a level provided by other PBM entities for an equivalent product or to the
level ABM lead us all to believe we would get in the first place.  I will be
striking in November and will encourage my seven friends to do the same,
supporting my arguments for the strike with all the fine comments made by all
the MI players published in the August newsletter.

For what it's worth, that's my $.02. Thanks for taking the time to slog through

From: Gerald Hagedorn <HAGEDORN@UMR.EDU>
Subject: MI
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 1994 08:53:18 -0600 (CDT)

        I got a turn back last thursday.  The intersting thing is
that, even though my stats said I had 6 more creature kills.  None of the
battles were printed out.  I got results for the three loggerheads that I
fought, just not creatures.  Did this happen to anyone else?  When I tried
to let ABM know about it on Friday, I was told that both Keith and Jack, were
gone for the day.  Someone, said that they thought they had since fixed
that problem, I just wanted to make sure.

From: Dana Wright <>
Date: 14 Sep 94 20:58:05 EDT
Subject: Re: Trashing ABM

Scott asked me if any of this griping about ABM has spilled over to the
Compuserve boards.  Seems to be only 1 complaint....

I've tried a lot of games through the years and seem to enjoy the ones where my
char can 'grow' by gaining new knowledge and discoveries. I've been in Mi for
over 3 years and there is still (not as often as in past) the element of new
discoveries to be made. No one has found the demi-gods yet... No one has found
any mounts other than the basic one knows if the crystal hills can
be one knows what the "special lighting" is that's needed to enter
a Tainted Hollow...No one has been successful in obtaining the priest level in
their respective religion...And that's FURCAT! (G)...
As for the funny/silly names...What's in a name? This is a fantasy game with
all sorts of strange items, creatures and voodoo. Not to mention the spells one
gets when one become a disciple...
But this IS a game where one has to have a commitment...A game like Quest can
be 'looked at' for a few turns but MI takes longer to obtain the benefits...

From: Mark English <ENGLISM@CSOS.ORST.EDU>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 15:01:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Monster Island, as always.

        Got a question for you.  If you don't know the answer, would you 
mind posing it in the newsletter?

        Skizlum Skallaglamm, female Mudwalker at large, seems to be 
pregnant.  She just had her 'Love Cycle', and completed a Love Dance 
successfully.  She's now experiencing morning sickness ("Sometime after 
waking, you experience some dizziness.  Suddenly, you spew chunks!  Yik.  
Eventually you feel better.")
        The strange thing is, the only monster she did a successful Love Dance 
with was a Viper.  Is this unusual?  Has anybody given birth after a 
mixed-race Love Dance before?  Are we about to see the island's first 

From: Dana Wright <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 21:27:32 EDT
Subject: MI:?'s

Do you know if anyone has done Brawn and/or reptron salve who has been
in the game a very long time without benefit? Don't want to waste time.

What are crobbler skins good for?

***** And now our feature attraction...

From: (Chuck Miro)
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 00:15:02 EDT
Subject: AOL/ABM Submission #1


Hi Everyone,

     Since this is my first issue as eMonster's "official" liaison to ABM's
Monster Island Board on America Online, I thought I'd explain that I'll be
copying to eMonster many of the messages that appear on the AOL/ABM MI board
that I've found to be interesting and relevant to Monster Island. I may edit
out some extraneous material and repetitive messages, and I've added in
parenthesis real names to AOL's screen names (sorry if I missed a few). Also,
if you'd like to have messages posted to the AOL/ABM MI board just send them
to me and I'd be happy to post them for you. If you'd like to send email to
any of the authors of the messages and you're not on America Online but have
access to an Internet gateway, merely append "" (no quotes) to the
end of the name.


Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-25 01:05:13 EDT
From:  RHDLAMB (Rob Lamb)

     If you, or anyone else, wants to adopt a couple monsters, mine will be
available shortly, stay tuned.

     I've found another open-ended fantasy game to play, PBEM this time,
which is brand new (turn 8), lots of fun,  much cheaper ($2.50 flat fee,
weekly turns), and is ACTIVELY supported by the GM.

Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-25 02:56:14 EDT
From:  JKim 21 (Jae Kim)

     I have to agree that ABM's service has deteriorated greatly.  I remember
a long time ago reading the Beyond the Stellar Empire board on AOL, and there
were alot of IRATE former players posting messages.  At the time, I never had
any major problems with Monster Island (whenever there was a problem, it was
solved quickly and courteously) and figured that the players that were
complaining were just a bunch of whiners who didn't get their way.   Lately,
I'm beginning to sympathize with those former players.   I've had a great
increase in the number of input errors for turn submissions, the corrections
seem to take forever and ABM's cuurent attitude about such problems are that
they're a BIG hassle and make it seem like it's my fault.  I agree it's a
hassle to both sides, but the mistakes shouldn't be happening in the first
place.   A simple double check on turn inputs would probably eliminate most
errors.   A  "J  26" turned into a "T  26"  should not be happening.   Turn
results sent to the wrong player should not be happening.   Errors made in
correcting a previous error should not be happening.  All these problems make
a great game less enjoyable, and the question of "Is this worth $4?" comes up
more and more often.

     One thing that stands out in my mind about the old Beyond the Stellar
Empire posts is that these bitter, former players used to love the game.
And mixed with their anger was a regret that a game that they had alot of
fun playing before was ruined.  I'd really hate to see that happen to Monster
Island, but lately it seems to be on that path.  I hope that Jack and Co.
don't remain mesmerized from all the money coming in from selling trading
cards, and still have some loyalty to their original customers.  The same
customers that kept the company running before Magic was around.   

Subj:  Re:Next BMT                           94-08-25 03:18:29 EDT
From:  MAMNON (Morgan Hatrick)

     When is the BMT coming out?  I've been wondering the same thing.  ABM
has been sitting on it for quite some time now.  Actually, stacks of Magic
cards are probably sitting on it.  The BMT was probably buried under stacks
of Magic paraphernalia immediately upon arrival.  Or maybe they got some
coffee and/or magic stains on the proof copy of the BMT and discarded it.
Who (at ABM) cares anyway?  Keith?

     I would like to concur with those who think Keith is an asset to ABM and
the players.  I think they should establish a customer service dept. and
place Keith at it's head.  Keith is always helpful and often perky.  Yeah
Keith!!   If the players buy MI maybe we could hire Keith to moderate.

Subj:  Long-Time Players Quitting            94-08-25 07:43:20 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl (Chuck Miro)

     I recognize the feelings of frustration that drives many older players
to consider quitting the game. I think it's a real loss to all of us.

     If you plan to leave the game and you have an advanced Fuvite monster
with several temples under their belt which you would like to see continue
playing and advancing, please contact me. The Shadow Guardians has a home for
him or her.

Subj:  Re:ABM (The Magic Dist. Company)      94-08-25 17:01:50 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

     I just read a review of Magic:TG in a fantasy magazine (_Realms of
Fantasy_) that listed current sales of cards in the millions, with a
projected *BILLION* cards sold by the end of the year.

     In comparison, that makes the income generated for ABM from our little
2000-player game seem pretty insignificant. No wonder ABM hasn't been
devoting much time to Monster Island or to its other PBM games.

     Also another tidbit from the magazine article is that Wizards of the
Coast, which is manufacturing Magic, will be producing a second card-based
game set in a vampire realm. Presumably ABM will be the distributor for these
as well. Any guesses to what happens to the PBM side if ABM's
card-distribution business doubles from what it is now?

:::sigh::: I still love the game. Maybe Jerry Hagedorn was right, especially
in view of all the income ABM must be swimming in they could hire someone to
program MI alone. Or, as Morgan suggests, they may be willing to sell their
pbm interests to another pbm company.

Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-26 15:48:58 EDT
From:  SLIP JEEM (Duane Brockaway)

     Hi All! I know the feeling, three months ago I changed religions and
only got the stat decrease, and not the the increase for the new religion.
I've talked to Jack more than 5 times and each time I was told it would be
fixed on the next turn. It still has not been fixed!!!!!

     Also so I'm still having many errors on the "tween turns results", but
every time I call about that I told that its fixed, so I send in a copy of
the turn and nothing happens. One of my monsters is owed 6 monsters battled
from between tuns that were never added to his stat's.

Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-26 18:09:50 EDT
From:  Atrickpae

     Well folks, I'm bummed. I just started playing MI. I waited 3 weeks for
my first turn, which I recieved only after writing to ABMbob with no
response, and then my second turn sheet was lost! I waited 2 weeks before
realising something was amiss. I wrote a heated letter to Bob and a make-up
turn was generated. Now I found this board only to discover that these
problems are widespread.

     But the other thing I've noticed is the mention of other PBEM games.
Luckily my losses are minor in quitting this game as I have no time invested
in  a character. Why should I continue playing a game when the only response
I get is after threatening to quit? Nor am I willing to invest money in a
game run by a company whose rep is questionable if there are other
competitors out there anxious to get a piece of the pie, especially if it
translates into superior product and response? So the search begins anew.
Anyone have a recommendation?

Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-26 20:10:29 EDT
From:  PaulMcGinn (Paul McGinnis)

     Oh well! Just 275 turns down the tubes.Let's see 275 times $4 equals
only $1000. Actually there were $3 turns in there but who cares? It's still
to damn much if I can"t finish what I intended to do with my monsters.It's
hard to kill a demi-god disciple when they aren't even in the game. Believe
me I'm starting to rack up make-up turns and I had never done that before.It
used to be as soon as I got my turn it was going back out the same day so I
could get my next turn as soon as possible. Now...when it gets there it gets
  --  Slippery Jim & Mudpie Willy

Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-26 22:32:39 EDT
From:  SteveS1709 (Steve Staszek)

     That doesn't even count the $1.00 postage every 4 turns, + the cost of
long distance phone calls to ABM.  We should all sit a month in Far Inns,
Posts, and such safe places for a month as a protest.

Subj:  Superior Service                      94-08-27 12:49:08 EDT
From:  ABMJack (Jack Everitt)

     Please accept our apologies for the less than stellar service at times
in the past month. I'm afraid it's going to get worse in early September, but
by October we hope that everything will be running smoothly again. So, please
bear with us, as we are trying very hard at our end.

Subj:  Re:Monster adoptions                  94-08-29 21:29:31 EDT

     The other players in my group have decided to adopt Felonious, my Fuvite
Disciple. Unlike me, I guess they're still having "fun" in this dead-end (as
opposed to open-ended) game. Sindero Luminoso, a Kabuki neophyte, is
available for taget practice. He's 1 turn away from Faltans Far Post, to the
SouthEast, following the trail.  That's approximately 2 turns almost directly
South of The Cracked Skull Far Inn.

     After reading Jacks sarcastic post, I'm quitting the game immediately.
My gaming time is too valuable to waste just wandering around a stagnant game
system and getting p****d off at a situation that obviously isn't going to
improve. Hope to see you all in some of the GOOD games that are available out
there. (ex-Felonious; ex-Disciple of Fuvah; ex-Nomads of the Red Hand; ex-ABM
game player.)
Subj:  Re:ABM Downhill                       94-08-29 22:20:40 EDT
From:  Fasolt

     You know, I guess if you invest time and effort into a game and then run
into some disappointments, you have to realize that 1) it's only a game, and
2) there are somethings in life we just can't control.  Sure, it leads to
frustration.  I was one of the first BSE players, and I dropped..after some
frustration with a few players who turned on me.  I put alot into the game.
But that's just how it goes sometimes.  The RW does alot more damage to us,
and we usually pay more than $4 for the privilege.

     Bottom line, I guess, is that Jack has been there longer and done it
better than anyone else.  But that doesn't make him perfect and he's nowhere
near being God (playing God, or demi-god, perhaps, but not The Big One
Himself).  If you really feel he's let you down, then move on.  At least he
gave you alot of enjoyment for awhile.

     But on the other hand, you can't blame someone for trying too much, for
growing too fast.  And, after all, if you have already learned everything
about MI there is to learn, then chances are you got 90% of it second
hand...via info trades or alliances.  And who's to blame then if there's
"nothing new"?  In this day and time, 10 Jack's couldn't program faster than
one day's exchanges of info on AOL.

     To alot of us, and to alot of new players, this is still a great game.
Your disappointment need not be shared by all and it's unfair to dis the
game and quench the fire of some new monster.  And if you and others do move
on, I hope to encounter you in another game soon, and best of luck.  But as
for me, I'm willing to stay in.  MI is still the best game in town.

Subj:  Re:Monster Island's Demise            94-08-30 00:32:49 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     Ok. I've sat back and watched long enough. I've seen accusations fly,
insults hurled, and people cry and moan. Yes, Monster Island has reached a
slowdown. Yes, customer service and programing has taken a dive lately. I'm
not here to "snow" anyone. But rumors that Jack has abandoned MI to run sell
Magic: The Gathering are greatly exaggerated. Think of me as the GM here to
set the record straight. Would we fault you if you leaped into a high
money-making endevour? Hey, Magic sells. So does Monster Island. When Jack
first launched MI, i can assure you that MANY things in the office suffered
greatly. Jack devoted so much of his time with MI that he ate, slept and
lived MI. MI was, is and always will be his baby. He no more wants to see a
game he put his sweat and blood into die, than i want to up and look for
another job. But for now, other things must slow down. The money we can make
through our Magic sales can only help to strengthen the foundation of our
company making us able to continue games like: Monster Island, Quest,
etc...We have already begun to strengthen other areas of our support staff
hiring  John, Jennifer, Tom & Chris. Still looking, we plan to add to our
ever-building company and come back with a knockout!! With the help of our
new additions, us old timers can return to our old jobs of play by
mail..leaving many of the Magic duties in their very capable hands. I for
one...was never hired to GM play by mail games. But over the years, i grew
into games like: It's A Crime! , Quest and especially Monster Island. I
learned to love Monster Island like a friend..a friend i get to see every
morning. Many of you don't see me. Yes, me. Keith. I'm there every morning. I
process your turns, make mistakes on your turns, correct errors on your
turns. I do all this day in and day out whether you know it or not. I for one
love my job. When i see others knock the game, i take it personally. When i
hear people say we want the game to DIE..i take it personally. I do NOT want
MI to die...and as far as i can tell..i have the final word on that. Many
thanks to Brian Derks for keeping my head on straight these last few weeks.
Brian has been feeding me the Good news (which there hasn't been much of) and
the BAD, (which there's been much). As is everyone else at ABM i too am
guilty of paying too much attention to Magic. It does not mean however, that
i care any less for MI nor does anyone else for that matter. Jack included.
Most of the staff is working long hours sometimes staying very late at night.
I myself am so exhusted some days that i go home and collapse in a heap, only
to awaken some hours later. But do i complain? Nope. Becuase i love what i
do, and so do the rest of us. Magic isn't your enemy. With Magic soaring..we
will soon be back to the things that used to fully occupy our days.
Hopefully, you all will be with us then. None of us here can blame you for
your many frustrations. I can only ask, speaking for all of us at ABM that
you do not dismiss us or our games. A lot has been said about us and our
company. Some lies. Some true. But anyone who says we Don't Care..doesn't
know ABM. The persons you read about that hate and despise us our former
players that couldn't get their own way in the games they played. They spewed
venom about us as their only revenge and recourse. ABM still stands. We stand
because of our loyal friends. With the help of our friends we again will rise
and make ABM what it has always stood for. I am not promising any miracles. I
cannot part the Red Sea. I ask only for a continuance of your patience and
understanding till we can work the kinks out. Thank you for listening to a 10
year ABM veteran rant and rave. Thank you for being there! :)

Subj:  Re:Monster Island's Demise            94-08-30 02:09:44 EDT
From:  Harrisonk (Kerry Harrison)

     Keith, That's all very nice, but frankly actions always speak louder
than words, and ABM's actions indicate that selling Magic trading cards is
much more important then running PBM games to y'all (which I don't really
blame y'all for as I'm sure the Magic cards have one hell of a higher profit

Subj:  Re:Monster Island's Demise            94-08-30 12:51:19 EDT
From:  Ross81 (Ross Stamper)

     Keith, I think what you said wrapped it up.  I myself haven't had any
problems I think that goes to the 100+ turn guys.  But, maybe you guys were
understaffed to handly the expanding game like MI.  Now that you have more
help, and more time, MI for the players that are complaining can get back to
normal.  I don't want to see MI go die.  Before I signed on to Aol I was
really happy with your service until I saw that everyone else was not.  If
the death of MI ever did occur it would mean the death for one of my favorite
games.  I'm going to be around for a long time even if I'm the last monster
on the island.  Guys, just stop complaining about it, all will be nice and
dandy in good time!!  I for one am standing behand MI 100%.  If anyone else
cares to join the line it forms behind me.

P.S.  If it wasn't for everyone at ABM we wouldn't even have had MI.  Thanks
Keith, Jack, and everyone at ABM!!

Subj:  Most Fearsome Warrior                 94-08-31 12:15:54 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

     On a topic not related to ABM Service Complaints, I'd like to bring back
our Most Fearsome Warrior competition so see if we have any new additions to
our list. It's been nearly five months since we compiled the one shown below,
so hopefully we can get some updates from all you monsterly mauraders.

+--------------------AOL Fiercest Warrior Scoreboard--------------------+
  Last Updated                                              April 1994

    Who among us has taken blade, club and spear most often to our fellow
monsters? Who has the greatest fighting skill, battle craft and blood lust?

    Why maintain these statistics? If it's true as Shelly once wrote, that
"Poets are...the trumpets which sing to battle," then let us rely on some of
Illudak's warrior literati for our answer. Sir Walter Scott wrote:

                  "Respect was mingled with surprise,
                  And the stern joy which warriors feel
                  In foeman worthy of their steel."

     Thus, replies Scott, it is only against the best that we test our true
mettle. Yet, it is also true, as Vegetius advised long ago: "Qui desiderat
pacem, praeparet bellum" (Let him who desires peace, prepare for war).

     If your monster(s) sets a new record, please submit the information to
be so that I can update our scoreboard.

+-------------------------The Fiercest Warriors-------------------------+

Category  Monster       (Rlg)  Battls     Group                Player
^^^^^^^^  ^^^^^^^^^^^^  ^^^^^  ^^^^^^  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Overall   Tantor         (F)     90    The Fire Riders    J. Michael Kilburn

Turn 86   Slippery Jim   (N)     72    Order White Rose   Paul McGinnis
Turn 76   Snot Locker    (S)     36    The Fire Riders    Nick McClure
Turn 66   Sanskrit Q.    (F)     26    Shadow Guardians   Jae Kim
Turn 56   Shadowspawn    (N)     36    None               Russell Calkins
Turn 46   Macumba        (S)     34    Shroud's Own       Morgan Hatrick
Turn 36   Kilpurr        (K)     21    None               Josh Knapp
Turn 26   Macumba        (S)      9    Shroud's Own       Morgan Hatrick
Turn 16   Shadow's Pawn  (F)     12    None               Russell Calkins

+---------------------Are You Up To The Challenge?----------------------+

Subj:  Re:Most Fearsome Warrior Contest      94-08-31 21:29:22 EDT
From:  Beekums (BK Morris)

           We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
           For he today that sheds his blood with me
           Shall be my brother. Be he ne're so vile,
           This day shall gentle his condition;
           And monsters in Far Inns now abed
           Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
           And hold their monsterhoods cheap whiles any speaks
           That fought with us upon Monster Island today.

           - Henry V (slightly edited)
             King of England and France
             Early MI player; Follower of Fuvah.

Subj:  MI 2nd fiddle                         94-09-03 15:08:26 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Just a thought.  I attended Orgins in San Jose.  At the ABM table there
was not even a hint of advertising for MI.  I also subscribe to Paper Mayhem
and Flagship  MI has not been advertised in months.  Nor has any ad been
placed in the Dragon.  In my oppinion ABM is letting MI die a slow death.  As
it stands right now MI is very low maintence.  Just plug in our turns and
mail the results out.  ABM will not be making any significant additions to MI
and their customer service,  while always suspect has become abhorent.  I
have stayed in the game thus far for the sake of my group.  Recently I sent a
large check to ABM to replenish my account.  Unless I see significant (as
opposed to token) attention given to MI I will consider dropping and finding
another open ended game run by a company who takes care of their loyal

     P.S.- just in case anyone from ABM bothers to read this- in any buisness
it is vital to not alienate your loyal clients even if you have a flurry of
activity form a new source.  In the long run your steady clients are the
backbone of a company to treat them dishonestly or with indifference is worse
than bad buisness- its dumb.

Subj:  RE: ABM's Demise                      94-09-03 15:44:28 EDT
From:  Beekums

     Actually, I have never complained about MI's service on this board. I
prefer to take complaints with any product to the source. Perhaps if people
continued to take their problems to ABM's phone lines and not this board,
more would happen. Overall, I have NEVER had a problem with ABM's service
that was not solved very quickly. Maybe I'm just lucky.

     As for `Magic, The Etc.' I don't think that game's amazing growth can
continue much longer since it's only a matter of time before the authorities
in a lot of states recognize the game for what it is. It is (in my humble
opinion) a form of gambling, with ABM and other distributors acting as the

     After all, losers in the game often have to give up cards, which have
cash value (just like poker chips). Furthermore, you can only buy these chips
(oops!), I mean CARDS!, from certain sources. Distributors probably even
encourage children to play!

     Any game that creates an expectation that you can expect to win more
than you lose is gambling. States usually interpret gambling restrictions
VERY strictly. They don't care about a few people playing poker at night. But
they do care about someone that get's a percentage of any game of chance (it
cuts into their lottery take!). I could be wrong. But I'll bet (ha ha ha) I'm

Subj:  wow! Such Generated Interest!         94-09-04 01:47:07 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     I never realized tossing my butt into the fire would cause such an
uprising...then i not mean a
lick anyway. No one can really understand what i've said with all the
"Negative Publicity" being generated from the many posts filling this board.
It's a real hoot to log on here and see the "garbage" filling this forum
nightly. To be makes me a bit depressed. This is a Monster Island
forum. Not a Monster Island Bashing and ABM Bashing Forum. If you'd like
one..why not ask AOL to create one? I'm usually a quiet guy. My wife says I'm
a bit passive too often and i take a lot more than i should. If all of you
are really so unhappy with ABM..why not just leave? Go away. Leave us and the
people that wish to play the games alone? Why? Because you want to stay. You
want to make this the most miserable place to be on all of AOL. Why not just
come out and admit it? Who do you really expect to help with all these
comments? You've already quit!! You don't play! Come on! What use here could
you have? I know what you want. You like it when we try to defend gives you more ammo against can call us liars. You post
so much stuff here about us that even players that have never had reason to
believe this stuff..start to. Do you honestly belive in your own minds that
ABM is a place where 4 people walk around all day thinking of new ways to
screw our customers? If tomorrow we decided to sell Ice'd find a
way to blame everything on that. It will never change..will it guys? You will
always blame US for everything that went wrong..whether it was our fault or
not. This is turning itno one giant cancerous growth spreading daily. It's
the same people poisoning the minds of people that really don't even have a
clue to what it is you are even talking about. **TRANSLATION**  If you
continue to read this stuff day in and day will begin to belive it
after a while. (Even if it doesn't affect you). Oh, by the way. I'm not the
lamb being sent into the slaughter as some people may think. I wasn't sent
here on any divine mission. I chose to come here on my own. I sit here at
home with my wife and we go over these posts and she is shocked that people
would actaully say these things about ABM. I always tell her..."Don't be
shocked..wait till tomorrow night..after they read the post I'm going to

Subj:  ABMKeith                              94-09-04 03:42:14 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Keith -- I don't think that anyone here is trying to cast any damaging
aspersons on you personally but I think that your response misses the point.
We have stayed in MI this long because we like the game.  For many of us MI
has been a fun game for years.  I personally run three monsters and I can say
without hesitation that until recently I have enjoyed the game immensly.  I
don't think that you can deny that of late everyone at ABM has neglected MI.
I understand that you may have had your reasons.  What I resent is that no
one at ABM has had the simple candor to honestly approach the members.
Rather ABM made no attempt to reach out to the MI membership and explain
your situtation and give us an honest assesment of when or if things will
return to a semblence of normallcy or, better yet, when some of the changes
long promised will be implemented.  Your last note, while emotional and I'm
sure heartfelt, utterly neglected to acknowledge our legitimate concearns.
Many of us feel betrayed.  We stuck with ABM for years.  Now when ABM is
doing well we are treated like second class citizens.  Worse still their is a
fundamental ethic involved in providing the service which is sub-par.  No one
as far as I know thinks that ABM is out to get us.  We feel neglected and
want to know that ABM will show us the same loyalty we showed it for so long.
By the way my experience with you personally has been universally good and
pleasant.  I have always found you professional and helpfull.  I can tell from
your last message that you genuinly feel hurt.  Please understand that I too
feel somewhat hurt.  To the exent that you took personal offense to anything
I may have said please accept my deepest personal appologies.  In the future
I will try to be more specific as to the exact nature of my complaints as to
avoid the inference that you personally (or anyone else at ABM) are
personally to blame.

Subj:  Re:Monster Island                     94-09-04 21:09:53 EDT

     Again. My apologies. I meant not to bait anyone into any angry replies.
I only meant to say that it would be nice to log on here and see Monster
Island posts and not *Bashing* even though you all have the right to do so if
you choose. People have stated that they would appreciate more GM
participation here in this forum, so i will. i just do not wish to spend 2
hours replying to bashing and flames.. (who would)?  If anyone cares..I AM
still processing Monster Island on a daily basis. How do i know this? Near my
desk is a PILE of MI turns run. Monster Island IS still going strong..and
contrary to public beliefs..there is no slowdown in turns going out.
Programming and bugs are behind in some cases..VERY far behind..but i am
still keeping processing on schedule daily. My motto is always and always
will be: In Today..out exceptions. I would like to wish all of you
a very happy and safe Labor Day. I will see all of you on the other side. :)
p.s. sorry for the different screen name...i do my downloading with this

Subj:  Re:Monster Island                     94-09-05 00:02:12 EDT
From:  Philomorph

     Dearest Keith--sorry to upset you, but why should you be any better off
than those of us who are playing the game MI,such as it is?  I have seen
messages from many long time players who are very
hurt/disappointed/disgruntled.  to date, no one has answered any of their
complaints.  I am a MtG player also.  I was also an IAC player and stopped
because it became so arbitrary and capricious.  I have been playing three
monsters but sat out for a number of months in the past because of poor
GM'ing and expect to do so now for a while, again.  As a Magic player I can
get my cards from any where.  There are at least three local distributers.
There is only one source for MI and I along with many other regulars on this
BB am unhappy with the way things have been handled.  Why does Jack, who is
one damned good programmer need to handle the distribution of Magic; the
Gathering?  It would seem that someone with a high school education could be
taught how to fill card orders in a few days.  Then Jack could do that which
he is best suited for.  It just seems to me to be a p*ss-poor case of
personel management.   Are you guys trying to emulate the US government?  If
so you may be giving the BATF and Janice Reno a run for their money!!!!
   You do seem to be giving a lot of MI players a David Koresh seige
mentallity and backing them into a corner. 

Subj:  Turns: LOST/LATE/SENT 2 TIMBUKTU      94-09-05 03:59:10 EDT

     Hello again my favorite ABM person (Keith),  Quoting you>>If anyone
cares..I AM still processing Monster Island on a daily basis. How do i know
this? Near my desk is a PILE of MI turns run. Monster Island IS still going
strong..and contrary to public beliefs..there is no slowdown in turns going
out. Programming and bugs are behind in some cases..VERY far behind..but i am
still keeping processing on schedule daily. My motto is always and always
will be: In Today..out exceptions...<<

     That's funny (but I'm not laughing), I have sent a turn in three times
to get it processed once.  I have told these fine folks that my monster spent
18 game days in a Kabuki temple square with lighties all around, what I
didn't tell them, was that it was simply beyond my control.  One of my less
than fond memories is the time I received my turn OVER a week late, but the
check enclosed with my order card was cashed right on time, and to top it
off, ABM set their meterwheel back (shhh... people still think that's a post
mark) so that it looked kinda like it was processed on time.  Some people
think the meterwheel is in the post office, but even those people would be
perplexed to see the date on the envelope PRECEDE a turn's input date, hmm...

PS: Thanks Keith, for saying SOMETHING -ANYTHING- but when you say that you
are not here at the behest of ABM, that is really discouraging.  Still, you
DO speak for ABM right?  So tell me, what's the word?

Subj:  Losing Players.. Cleaning House?      94-09-05 04:05:24 EDT

     I have an immensely high opinion of MANY players who have spoken against
ABM.  I have to ask myself why they would do such a thing.  One thing I
always felt about types like: Jerry Hagadorn, Chip Welch, Ben Ramirez, Ben
Vincent, Jerry Ritchie, Mark Hall, Chris Meyer, and many others, is that they
seemed very level and just.  Now some are threatening to quit and the others
already have.

     It is my belief that old steady customers are an asset.  And that
loyalty should be returned.  Why should these some of the finest players in
Monster Island be subject to the type of neglect that can force them from the
game?   I've heard that Jack has expressed concern about the way info is
distributed by the experienced players.  I have also heard that the newer
players are experiencing fewer problems.  Hmm...

     I still have faith in ABM's morality.  So I dismiss (respectfully) the
notion that was relayed to me:

     "ABM is doing nothing to draw new players to MI.  Many players have felt
compelled to drop.  Many more are on the way, it's only getting worse.  The
crystal hills are still there, the 4th edition rulebook has not put out.  ABM
is cleaning house.  They have a potentially great game (especially when they
add all the new stuff), but they're stuck with a bunch of old players that
will complicate their "game of discovery".

     When ABM suddenly produces a bitchin new rulebook, gets rid of the
crystal hills, and introduces a ton of improvements (religion, new items,
races), they'll advertise real big and send brochures to everyone on their
handy dandy mailing list.  They'll suddenly draw an endless stream of new
customers.  Their current playership will be very small by comparison.  ABM
will definitely not want all of those new players "tainted" by the old ones.
The new players will also not like the idea of a bunch of veterans with a
serious advantage due only to their seniority.

     The solution?  Get rid of the current playership now, before the influx
of new players.  This is why the players with all the heartaches are
uniformly over turn 75.  I think though, that another group targeted by ABM
is the well connected, since they pose exactly the same problem as the well
experienced.  Even the butt-kissers are complaining now, I guess none but the
young and quite are spared.  I know this sounds extreme, but just look
around; I think many players have been flagged for the type of "special"
treatment that will force them out of MI.  I also think that ABM's horrendous
campaign to eliminate the top 100-200 players is the surest sign that the
game is about to experience tremendous new changes (ie: the far eastern
region, demigods, all new religion, new items, new mounts, new races, good
customer service, lots of new players, and more)."

     I think we should give ABM more credit (if only to grant them the
benefit of any doubt), but then thoughts like these are encuraged by ABM's

Subj:  Monster Island                        94-09-05 10:02:09 EDT
From:  NYNavyMike (Mike Haas)

     I'm going to put my $.02 worth in...Most of you won't give a hoot, but I
hope some of you will listen..

     ABM has a right to do whatever they want to do..If they are busy selling
Magic Cards, then let them..If you think you can do better, then by all means
design your own play-by-mail games, market them, and spend thousands of
dollars of your own money before you make a dime..Should be easy for some of
you, the way you talk..

     I myself have been at times dissatisfied with ABM's service..I have even
voiced my opinion on the subject here, along time ago..However, it's not my
right to "bash" ABM any more than you guys..If you don't like their service,
then LEAVE...Let other people decide for themselves whether they like it or
not..I won't say i'm ecstatic, but I still enjoy MI..

     It seems some of you quote-toting people would do better debating
politics than spending time bashing Keith, Jack, etc...You could charge each
other $4.00 a comment, and print out the results on a laser-jet
printer..Should make a great PBM game..

Subj:  ABMKeith                              94-09-05 14:30:44 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Ok, I'll bite. Now that we have both stated our viewpoints, huffed and
puffed in rightious indignation and then appologized lets get down to
buisness.  You said that you are responsible for MI and the players so I am
going to take you at your word.  From now on I am going to hold you to what
you promise and, for good or ill,  will judge you by the way ABM handles the
MI players.  If we get good and prompt service and if ABM's representations
regarding new additions to the game are met then it will reflect well on you
personally, if not then the opposite will be true.  For my part I promise you
that I will intermitently post my impressions of how you are keeping your
promise.  Actions speak louder than words- here is a chance to back up all
the rightious anger will tangable evidence.

     A few points I would like a definite response to:

     1) Why has ABM not made any attempt to advertise fo new players.  As a
PBM vet I know that with any open ended game their is a certain amount of
attrition.  Aquiring new players is therefor vital. Not only has ABM not
advertised MI but at both major cons this year MI was noticably absent from
your booth (except the "small stack" of MI rulebooks which someone alledgedly
saw at orgins-how could I have missed that?)  I know that MI used to be
extensively advertised.  This shows a commitment to keep the game growing.

     2) When will ANY of the new changes be implemented?  I think that the
players desearve a realistic assesment as to when some of the new structures
will be opperational and when the hills will come down (Not to mention
Demi-gods, creatures hinted at in the rulebook ect.)  Responses such as, "In
the near future" wont do.  We are entitled to an educated guess from Jack
which we can rely on.  If you say about six months then we should reasonably
expect that time frame or, if indeed it will be significantly longer THEN YOU

     3) Jack needs to be accesable for at least part of the day to resond
either telephonically or in writing to MI concearns.

     4) No inquiry to ABM should go without a response.  I know of two
instances wherein ABM has ignored correspondence.  One involved a two page
letter which I wrote to ABM which I was ignored (although you did cash my
check which was sent with the letter so don't claim it never arrived- I have
a copy of the letter which I would be happy to resubmit) and the other was
when a friend of mind wrote Jack to ask some questions and was likewise
ignored.  This friend has now dropped the game (and since I encouraged him to
join I feel slightly vicariously guilty).

     5) ABM should take a more active role in the player newsletter
(including getting it out on a timely basis).  An article by Jack should take
a few moments.  Significantly there was a great deal of ABM imput in the past
which has disappeaed of late.

     6) If there is a problem with running a turn or a slowdown in operations
then the players should be informed.  A breif note goes a long way. 

     OK Keith the balls in your court. I am glad that someone at ABM has the
courage to take the heat and be personally responsible for ABM's MI
operations.  It's your chance to show if you are a man of your word or not.
I look foward to your responses to my inquiries.

Subj:  Re:Monster Island's Demise/m:tg       94-09-06 00:00:20 EDT
From:  ProPatri

     I would like to bring up something I've heard from many gaming
companies; while they are jealous of Magic: The Gathering's success, they
fill it is doing the gaming hobby a service by pumping a lot of cash into the
retail stores hands. This cash flow allows the retail establishments (your
local game store) to stay in business and stock other products. I think that
Magic: the Craziness is going to feed a big boom in the introduction of new
products that dealers wouldn't want to risk stocking in other times. So us
Grognards should just take a deep breath and wait for the cards to fall.
(Pardon the pun :D).

Subj:  Sour grapes.Nah,I'm just whining      94-09-06 10:29:19 EDT
From:  Nemesis382 (Mike Pan)

     Well I've been quietly watching and reading all these "bashing" messeges
for quite sometime now. I already put my two cents worth at the beginning of
this gripe session, oh about a month ago. Now just to air my personal
feelings again...generally speaking, service isn't that bad. You (AbM) did
lose a few faxes and re-faxes, but hey it happens. You even over charged my
credit card, but you promptly corrected it when I inquired about the error.
You have been great and helpful through out my three years playing MI. You're
not the's Jack's, for lack of a better word, "attitude" that has
tarnished my view of MI. His constant failure to admit there's a bug in the
program is well known. Why can't he just say "you're right, there's a bug and
I'll fix it soon", instead he tells us there is "no problem". But there is a
problem! want examples, here's a couple more recent ones. Do
you remember when the DoL was trying to clear out a Loggerhead Camp. We
killed over 40 Loggerheads but still could not clear out the camp. We called
Jack many times asking about it, since the blurb stated about 2 dozen dwell
there. Jack told us the blurb was incorrect. Low and behold, alittle while
latter, all the camps were primed to be cleared out. Jack finally admitted
there was a problem a month an a half after we brought it to his attention.
At least he corrected this error. An now the infamous DoL temple incident. For
those of you not familiar with the story, let me fill you in. Not too long
ago, a group of Lightsiders were rebuilding a temple ruin and a not so
friendly Fuvite group was trying to stop them. Well this Fuvite group did a
great job at harrassing the Light followers from finishing this ruin. They
finally snuck in and sanctified the temple in the name of their god. But wait
you say, how can you sanctify a temple with rival followers in the square...
that's what the blurb tells us. Well the Fuvite did and the DoL's
a b*tch. Of course the DoL was upset and quickly called Jack, who simply told
us the blurb was wrong and it was a well known fact the blurb was wrong. Well
obviously it was not a well known fact. What ever happened to sending all
players blurb corrections...I kinda remember AbM doing it in the past. We the
DoL should have known about this, seeing many of us were near the first
incident which enlightened many Shroudians and Fuvites about this flaw. But
the good'ol Fuvite group we were helping didn't inform us about this slight
error. Like I said's a b*tch. AbM has refused to answer many
of our inquires about this incident...yeah, well we are starting to whine
about it now, but if you would have somehow corrected this problem, it
wouldn't have to resort to whining. Hey, if Jack's burnt out programming MI,
why not hire a new computer whiz. It should be easy enough with all the money
you're making with Magic. And don't get me started on all those new
improvements to be added into the game. It's a shame this just isn't my view
alone, but the view of many old DoL members. When you're losing the support
of a group actively promoting the game...that's not good. You know we loved
the game, hey isn't it a DoL member who runs Bif's and created Monster
Mapper. Don't we help out any monster on the island and give them friendly
advise. I'm a fool for still playing, but you still have some of my money and
I'm just gonna drain it down to zero. Hopefully things will change for the
better, until then, this monster won't be playing too much longer. Food for
thought -- cancer starts within.

-Mike Pan (Nemesis Shureshot, DoL)

Subj:  ABMKeith's 10 reasons to....          94-09-07 00:08:05 EDT

1) i never said i was a savior
2) i never said i controlled any more than the processing of daily
    game turns.
3). i have always been loyal to my gameplayers.
4)  This is the WRONG place to air gripes.
5)  Until further notice, Jack IS still in charge of Monster Island
6). I will do all i can to see that Jack resumes work on Monster 
7)  Rome wasn't built in a day.
8)  If you want fun...head to a Tainted Hollow
9)  if you don't......what can i say?
10)  for all those who've said there is nothing more to do? what
         game are you playing? your heart out Letterman! response to you Morgan...i think you have it all wrong.
We don't need "Biting" Wit and "Hot" Flames here. We need game discussion.
This is a forum for Monster Island game discussion..not company business or
policy. A great number of Monster Island players have phoned me recently
rather upset with the happenings in this forum. Many people like the game.
Many others do not. To each his own. Let's try not to spoil it for the (few)?
players that are still having fun. Let's get back to Monster Island..the
reason people write in here.  --ABMKeith

Subj:  Re:ABMKeith                           94-09-07 02:03:54 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Keith does your last note mean that:
   1) I won't get a response to my reasonable inquiries?
   2) You personally disavow responsibility for replying to my questions?

     I think that it is rather disingenuous for you to huff and puff in
rightious indignation and then, after the fact, attempt to qualify your
statements.  I for one will not let you off that easy.  You threw your
personal reputation into the fire and now its time to put up or shut up.
Don't take this the wrong way,  hopefully the issues I raised will be
addressed and you will provide prompt responses to my six questions.  Then we
as players will know that you are a man who backs up his words with actions.

P.S.- "Rome wasn't built in a day" is more vauge than "in the near 
  future" (see my previous note re. vaugness)
P.P.S.- This is a forum for discussing MI- all of my questions relate 
  directly to MI.
P.P.P.S.- I still enjoy MI and only want to see it get better and  to see 
  the players (friends as well as enemies) who make it so much fun stay. 
P.P.P.P.S.- Yaz is my favorite player of all time. Period.
  Thanks Keith- I look foward to an unequivocal response to my questions 
  at your earliest convience.

Subj:  Re: ABMKEITH                          94-09-07 15:36:04 EDT

     I just called ABM, and one of their oh-so-helpful staff picked up the
line.  I asked to speak with Jack, and she asked what company I was with.  I
told her that I was an MI player, and she said I would have to speak with
Keith.  I guess that about settles the quetion of who is at the helm of MI.

Subj:  The great silver mystery              94-09-07 23:32:37 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Hey folks here is an open ended question...does silver work against
undead?  I know that silver arms work against undead but I have fought
several blood mumi and I have seen no difference between my monsters who use
silver armor and the one who does not. (BTW- I have also not seen any
wrestling difference between my monster w/TWO silver knuckles and the monster
with none)  Especially since the silver knuckle blurb specifically refrences
bloom mumi.  I wrote Jack with this question but (suprise) never got any
response.  Let me know if anyone out there has any insight.  Also what
treasure have you gotten after defeating a bloom mumi?

Subj:  Re:New Guy                            94-09-08 01:08:29 EDT
From:  Ross81

     Tim--Despite what some of the BSE guys are saying MI is a great game.  I
just picked up my second monster this week.  You can submit turns by e-mail
or by snail-mail, and they always come back snail-mail.  Don't believe
everything on this board.  Some of the older players are getting bored and
when that happens they start to complain.  Its not that the game is boring
just that they think they have found everything there is to find.  Also ABM
has had some problems but I've been assured that it will soon get back on

     If you're ever looking for a good group the Shadow Guardians are the
best!!  We follow the wonderful god Fuvah and would love to have you.  Just
let me know.

Ross/Tek'ta, Fuvite
Shadow Guardians

Subj:  ABM: Hangups & Ringalings             94-09-08 04:36:51 EDT

     Quoting Keith>>A great number of Monster Island players have phoned me
recently rather upset with the happenings in this forum....<<

     My heart is bleeding profusly for these fine fellows (BTW, would the
great many please identify themselves?).  I also sympathize with the poor
souls who can't even get ABM to come to the phone.  There are some people
with concerns which are actually valid, matters of great importance that ABM
should take care of.  Group projects have been laid to waste, monsters have
lived and died according to ABM error, accounts have been charged wrongly,
these items SHOULD be addressed.  It is genuinly sad that so many fine
players have been ignored.

     Hey Ross, Mike and the great number who called Keith, check it:

     Today (7 SEP, 14:30 EST) I called ABM and asked to speak with Keith, the
woman who answered the phone told me to call back in 15 min.  When I did, the
phone rang, and rang.  Then in reward for my patience, the phone was picked
up, then hung up (14:50 EST).  Of course I was deeply insulted, but not in
the least surprised.  This has happened before, and to others, but ABM has
simply been ignoring their 518)2374870 number lately, only hanging up on the
hapless callers when the ringing gets just too annoying.  They have a
dedicated phone # for Magic orders, a 1 800 number at that, so now when the
4870 phone rings, they know it's one of those darn PBMers.

Subj:  Re:The great silver mystery           94-09-08 07:20:56 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

>> Hey folks here is an open ended question...does silver work against 
>> undead? 

     In my characters' experiences, I've found that silver works well against
regular, run of the the mill undead, such as mummies. Like you, I haven't
found a real difference against the more exotic undead like Blood Mummies.
The blurb couldn't be wrong, could it? :/

Subj:  Re:ABM: Hangups & Ringalings          94-09-08 18:26:00 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     You were hung up on Morgan?? I hardly believe so! No one hangs up on
anyone at ABM. Did you give someone a reason to hang up on you? I recieved
calls from Ross, Glenn, Steve, Jeff, Brian, Bill etc. and YOU in the last
week. (that's all i can remember). Why would anyone hang up on you? Are you
sure you aren't getting just a bit paranoid?  --abmkeith

Subj:  Re:Simon says...  Shut up!!           94-09-08 18:32:14 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     That's fair and good morgan..but all you seem to do is find that "DARK
CLOUD" all the time.. when is the last good thing you've said about ABM? Oh,
and if you think any of my posts have been flames or deragetory towards our
players..maybe you should reread them. I can find nothing that stands out as
a flame? Oh, my apologies for not answering your last post. About Jack not
coming to the phone. Just because he doesn't come to the phone doesn't mean
he isn't in charge. And just because i do answer the phone doesn't mean i am
in charge. I hope that better explains things. -k-

Subj:  Re:Wool over sheep's eyes.            94-09-08 18:36:24 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     Look who's telling others to lighten up... (sigh)  --abmkeith

Subj:  Answer to questions.                  94-09-08 22:39:44 EDT
From:  Abhorrence

Let me answer some questions asked by Keith, since no other questions are
being answered up here.

> "...when is the last good thing you've said about ABM?"

     There have been 40+ posts by Mamnon (Morgan) where he has openly
supported AbM's MI by offering players information and participating in MI
discussions.  In some of the posts he even supports comments made by Jack
(check a post dated 7/27/94).  It was until after 40 or so posts that he even
began questioning why AbM stopped supporting MI and other games.  I would say
that this type of active support of a game goes far beyond mere lip service
of saying "Gee I like all you AbM guys.", dontcha think?

> "Oh, and if you think any of my posts have been flames or deragetory
towards our players..maybe you should reread them. I can find nothing that
stands out as a flame?"

     First let me give you the definition (Webster's New Collegiate
Dictionary) of FLAME:  2. To burst or break out violently or passionately.
<FLAMING indignation with>. Second, the definition of DEROGATORY: 1.
Degrading, detracting  2. expressive of a low opinion: DESPARAGING. Now that
we have that out of the way, lets take a look at you earlier posts, which you
claim are not  FLAMES or DEROGATORY.

> "When i see others knock the game, i take it personally. When i hear people
say we want the game to DIE..i take it personally. I do NOT want MI to
die...and as far as i can tell..i have the final word on that."
------ This qualifies as a flame.

>"The persons you read about that hate and despise us our former players that
couldn't get their own way in the games they played. They spewed venom about
us as their only revenge and recourse."
------ This is a degrading statement.

>"It's a real hoot to log on here and see the "garbage" filling this forum
 ------ I would say that this is degrading.

>"If all of you are really so unhappy with ABM..why not just leave? Go away.
Leave us and the people that wish to play the games alone? Why? Because you
want to stay. You want to make this the most miserable place to be on all of
------ Another degrading statement.

>"This is turning itno one giant cancerous growth spreading daily. It's the
same people poisoning the minds of people that really don't even have a clue
to what it is you are even talking about."
------ This qualifies as a flame.

>"Are you sure you aren't getting just a bit paranoid?"
------ Degrading.

     Well, I did my part and addressed a question from AbM, now when will all
the question from all the people up here be addressed?

     Oh, one more thing, I found multiple mentions from Keith that he could
be considered (or is) a GM for MI.  If this is not the case (as he now says)
then he should refrain from saying such things.  I say this because he will
simply hurt his credibililty when he is called on as a GM to respond to
certain questions, like the one he now faces.  If he cannot correctly address
the question put up here, then he should have someone with the knowledge and
experience do it.

     By the way, I still think people should lighten up.  This is (and always
has been) a discussion concerning the lack of support that AbM has shown up
here, and at no time has anyone made personal attacks or comments against
specific individuals of AbM (the reverse cannot be said.).  When one gets up
here and tell people to shut up and leave because they don't want to listen
to what they have to say, one is attacking the individual.

Subj:  Re:Answer to questions.               94-09-08 23:01:53 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Abhorrence- Bravo! Masterfull!  Nothing tastes worse to a person than to
eat his own words.  Keith has left a paper trail.  He has made many
statements and then attempted to qualify or outright deny them after the
fact.  Fortunitly we can go back and reread these posts.  Your highlighting
the duplicity by exerting the choice portions of his messages is what we
attorneys call impeaching a witness.  Comfronting a person with his own words
is the best way to discredit them.  (wait- the last refuge of the cornered is
to claim that the quotes are "taken out of context.")

Subj:  Re:The great silver mystery           94-09-08 23:45:03 EDT
From:  GauchoGlen

     Chuck--While silver weapons seem to work better against Undead I'm not
so sure about silver armor (not to mention rings, charms, bone neckess ect.)
As for the knuckes who knows?  Do you have any experience with silver v
nonsilver armor against undead?  My monsters (one with all the silver items
mentioned above) and the other with none seem to take just as much damage
from undead.  Hmmm....
Have you gotten by a Blood Mumi yet?  If so what did you find?

Subj:  Re:RE: New Guy                        94-09-09 00:55:11 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn


Quoting Morgan

>    BTW, (to all), *I couldn't care less* about the new things that may or
may not be developed.  What I insist on, is that I get what >I pay for.  It
seems that 4 or more monsters can't co-op together lately since ABM can't
manage to process 4 turns (in a row) >reliably AND on time.

     Funny, I seem to have very few problems with that.  With one notable
exception whenever I send in my turns they get processed on the same day and
are in my mailbox in two days.  BTW, here's a hint, if you REALLY want to
make sure your turns will get attention  call Keith tell him there coming and
THEN fax them or whatever it is you do to send yours in.  I Faxed 4 turns for
4 different monsters on two different turn cycles on Friday and had them all
in my hand by Wednesday and I don't blame Keith for the delay I blame the
wonderful mail service in this country that takes three weeks to get a notice
of a dental appointment 2.5 miles.

>Russ, all I want is for MI to take care of their customers.  I'm tired of
ignore-ance.  If they make an error they should fix it.  And I >want to have
at least a little faith that my turn will come back WITHOUT errors.
Unfortunatly, I'm lucky if I even GET a turn back! > I don't EXPECT a turn
in my mailbox anymore, if it come it does and if it doesn't then I call, get
the run-around, then send another >one in.  When I get errors, I just keep on
truck'n, Shroud's Own manages to kill even WITH crippling errors.  I guess
we're just that >good.  Still, it's not fair for those who feel they should
get what they pay for.

     Morgan, I'm not sure why you addressed that last paragraph to me.
Unless you misplaced a "O" with a "U".  Or maybe it was a continuation of my
previous post.  But that post was mostly in regards to the fact that suddenly
the board was being overun with messages from people acting like authorities
that I had never heard of before and the ones I did recognize were BSE
players.  If the BSE players want to throw an occasional cut in at ABM that's
one thing but they were the only people talking for what seemed like weeks.
This is an MI board not a bash ABM board or lets say how unhappy we are
board so that we can further try to hurt ABM since they aren't paying
attention to us board.  If I have a problem I take to the people responsible
and they either fix it or they give me a reasonable explannation or  they
don't get my money anymore.

     I'm involved in other games and it seems like everyone puts all kinds of
things on hiatus for the major cons during the summer.  I've seen it before
and it happened again this year.  Personally, I always plan for a bit of a
slow down in the summer and spend the extra money on things like amusement
parks, baseball games, and golf.  Unfortunately, Baseball went on strike and
that's when I started to get antsy and want more service and it was still a
few weeks before Gencon.  Hopefully, now that all the major cons are past
things will get a little more back to normal.  And, you say the employee you
got sent you to Keith?  The one I got didn't even know who Keith was and sent
me to Bob who then sent me to Keith.  Of course, Jack was at Gencon at the
time but Keith has told me before that Jack doesn't really want to talk to
anyone and only talks to Magic Dealers because it such a good income source
he HAS to.  Otherwise, Jack would just sit and Program.

Subj:  Re:ABM: Hangups & Ringalings
Date:  94-09-08 18:26:00 EDT
From:  ABMKeith

     You were hung up on Morgan?? I hardly believe so! No one hangs up on
anyone at ABM. Did you give someone a reason to hang up on you? I recieved
calls from Ross, Glenn, Steve, Jeff, Brian, Bill etc. and YOU in the last
week. (that's all i can remember). Why would anyone hang up on you? Are you
sure you aren't getting just a bit paranoid?  --abmkeith<<<

     Also, Keith, it would be much better if you responded to people's
questions rather than trying to come up with snappy comebacks. Essentially,
what Morgan (or perhaps it was Glen) said: put up or shut up.

     One more thing for the record: I'm a former BSE player. Does that make
my input on AbM and MI of no value? Count my messages, and those of other
"accused" ex-BSE players. I think you'll find that we toss in one or two
messages for every 20 or 30 that the MI players themselves generate. This
forum doesn't need us to keep this issue rolling, so whoever keeps making
that insinuation should review the postings a little more thoroughly. It is
disingenuous, ill-informed, and rather rude to accuse the BSE players of
causing trouble here: this is not the case at all.

Subj:  ABM hangs up                          94-09-09 06:38:24 EDT

     Quoting Keith>>You were hung up on Morgan?? I hardly believe so! No one
hangs up on anyone at ABM.<<

     Keith, I left the most insulting part of your statement out, so maybe we
can forget that it was said.  However, I take real offense when someone
challenges my integrity.  This is not the game.  I will have a phone bill
that will show two 1 min. calls to (518)237-4870 on the the date of 7 Sept,
and you will have an apology to make.  You can start right now, if you'd like
to recover your face.

Subj:  Blood Moon Tribune                    94-09-09 06:39:54 EDT

>>Also ABM has had some problems but I've been assured it will soon get back
on track.<<

     And the cow jumped over the (blood) moon.  I'm tired of waiting for the
Bood Moon Tribune to come out, ABM has been siting on it for ages now.  Come
one, come all, any who want a copy may email me their US mail address and
I'll send you a copy free of charge (my pleasure).  It's the best one yet
(and the last from me).  It was guest edited by a fine talent named Tracey L

Subj:  Re:ABM: Hangups & Ringalings          94-09-09 16:43:02 EDT
From:  Cashew Nut

     Keith -- You forgot to mention you got a call from me last week.  I
called and the line was busy, I called a few minutes later and the phone rang
and rang and rang, over twenty fives times.  I called again a few minutes
later and finally it was answered.  I called to complain about my turn being
over a four weeks late.  Thankfully I finally received it, this week.

Subj:  Re:Wool over sheep's eyes.            94-09-09 19:36:51 EDT
From:  Ross81

     Alright, I see what you mean.  I just hope MI gets back to normal soon.
But complaining is still not the answer.  We should work with ABM not
against them, or the other way around for that matter.

Subj:  Re:Some suffer more, some less        94-09-09 20:35:59 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn

     Morgan, I didn't say the mail was at the root of all the problems. But,
they are far from perfect.  And, I AM still trying to figure out how when I
faxed two turns on one sheet of paper one got proccessed right on time and
the other "never arrived".

     However, my biggest complaints on MI are from a time when you were all
gung ho for it and Jack was more involved.  Jack cost me  group members and
if he doesn't want to get on the phone or handle complaints that's OK with

Subj:  Quit yer d*** whining                 94-09-09 21:13:09 EDT
From:  SteveS1709

     Geez, I wait 2 days since I last checked this area and there's about 24
messages... about 3 of them worth reading.   Guess what?  This whining is
doing very little to change ABM, and AOL is making a fortune off of us when
we write, then sift through all this crap.  Also, who ever said ABM was
perfect?  I'll wait 'til Oct. to see the promised reforms.

     On to a real question: has anyone ever entered a Tainted Hollow?  How/
what light source, etc?   Steve.

Subj:  And now ...                           94-09-10 19:19:22 EDT
From:  Beekums

 ... for something completely different.

     Is one Class Four weapon as good as another Class Four weapon? Like
other players, I've got my monsters chasing around trying to find exotic
edged weapons and the like. Other than the thrill of adventure (which I'm not
discounting) does one class of weapons make a difference in monster v.
monster battles???

Here are the various rumors I've heard.

1) Pole weapons help defensively.
2) Edged weapons do more damage.
3) Bashing weapons do more damage (sound familiar?).
4) Silver weapons do more damage against some creatures in dark places.
5) Silver armor reduces damage taken from creatures in dark places.
6) Pointed weapons are not as effective in battles.

Anything to add? To confirm? Correct?

Subj:  Re:Quit yer d*** whining              94-09-11 17:35:35 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn (Russ Calkins)

     I've been in Tainted Hollows.  I'd heard that you could get in with just
torches.  However, that didn't work for me.  The torchlight spell did, but
then all I did was wander around lost and come back out after 40 AP's wasted.
Obviously something more is needed.

Subj:  Question...                           94-09-12 01:25:26 EDT
From:  Tim Kline

Well, I still have yet to recieve my first turn... hopefully I'll get it
soon. :) But I was wondering... what happens when your monster dies?  Are you
reincarnated with little or nothing and far from home, or do you have to
start ALL over again or what?

Subj:  Re: Death                             94-09-12 02:44:01 EDT

Quoting Tim>>But I was wondering... what happens when your monster dies?  Are
you reincarnated with little or nothing and far from home, or do you have to
start ALL over again or what?<<

     Hey Tim, How's it go'n?  As for your question, I would direct you to the
authorities on death (ie: The White Tiger Clan, and The Black Death).
Shroud's Own has aided these two groups in achieving their status as 1st &
2nd on the list of groups with most members killed.  We of Shroud's Own are
quite proud to have assisted them in their quest for death.  The White Tigers
& The Black Death both enjoy the dubious distinction of having had approx.
30% of their active members killed (give or take about 5%).  So, I'd have to
say, "they're the experts."

Subj:  Re:Question...                        94-09-12 10:27:55 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

>> But I was wondering... what happens when your monster dies?
>> Are you reincarnated with little or nothing and far from home,
>> or do you have to start ALL over again or what?

     Greetings Stormrider, One of my monsters, a Shroudian called Fangor, was
killed by the vile and disgusting members of the White Tiger Clan, may their
hearts be eaten by a Ghoul Buzzard.

     Anyway, in answer to your question, you lose about 10 percent of your
stats (except health, where you lose 100%) and you lose all of your weapons,
armor and other things you were carrying.

     You become a ghost in the spot where you were killed, and you get to
watch as a ghost your murderers void the bladders on your poor, mistreated
carcass. ;)  On your next turn you can start travelling to a temple of your
god for resurrection. Oh, but that's only if you've reached acolyte status.
Anytime before, or if you haven't followed a god, then you're dead for good.
You can get killed up to three times and still get resurrected. After that
then you're dead for good too.

     Having a character travel as a ghost is not very exciting, so I'd
recommend against it.   ;)

Subj:  Toughness                             94-09-12 23:04:17 EDT
From:  Cashew Nut

Here is a copy of a letter I sent to Keith, can anyone answer it?

>> Subj: Toughness
>> Date: 94-09-06 19:00:42 EDT
>> From: Cashew Nut
>> To: ABMKeith

>> Hi Keith: What, why, or when does toughness go up.  I just realized  Boa 
>> has only gone up 2 points in toughness in 32 turns.  On the other hand 
>> Ridin' Rice Burner has gone up 11 points in only 10 turns.  How can I 
>> increase Boa's toughness?

Has anyone else had any problem with toughness not going up?  Any info will
be helpfull.  Thanks.

Subj:  Re: Toughness                         94-09-13 06:21:56 EDT

Hey Kathy, Boa needs to head east to get tough.  If at any time a monster
fails to get toughness 'tween turns, then he is too far west for his turn
level.  The Shroud's Own temple sits on the cut-off line for turn 50
toughness.  Turn 62 toughness is right around our 0 east line.

Subj:  Re:Toughness                          94-09-13 07:16:51 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

>> Has anyone else had any problem with toughness not going up?
>> Any info will be helpfull.

     About 20-30 turns ago, Sol-Rac went through a period of time without
gaining any toughness. I think it lasted about eight to 12 turns. I called
ABM about it and as I recall was told that was the breaks. Sol-Rac at the
time was heading northeast and then east, so he was travelling in the right
direction. A friend whose character was travelling due east nearby continued
gaining toughness.

Subj:  Re:RE: ABM's service                  94-09-13 17:17:04 EDT

     Don't waste your money calling abm this week as I was told this morning
that Keith is on vacation until then!!!

Subj:  Come on guys........
Date:  94-09-13 23:22:13 EDT
From:  ABMBob

     The purpose of Jack's post was to inform everyone there might be another
delay...not to provoke even more complaints.  We are being 100% square with
you about the BSE delay and what's going on.  Stop trying to read more into
this than there really is.

     To date we have added 7 new staff members, and its simply still not
enough.  We've added 7 new computers, a new network, lots of software, hired
an outside consultant, and a myriad of other things to get this under control
so that Jack, Mike and myself (Bob) can devote more time to the PBM areas of
our business.  We have plans to add at least 3 more staff members in the
coming month.  People are being trained, and yes, there is a light at the end
of the tunnel.

     Let me repeat....BSE is the only game whose turnaround was affected by
the recent growth in our business.  MI was affected in that Jack didn't have
time to program new modules into the game recently.  Those are the ONLY two
affects this has had on our PBM business.  Keep in mind that BSE has been
offering very good turnaround for 14 years previoiusly.

     So, although a couple of you might think we are lying thru our teeth,
what we've posted is the truth.  Sure, things change with time....maybe we'll
hire 2 new people this month, not 3 as I mentioned above (or it might be 4 or
5)....but the underlying concepts are correct.  We are working frantically to
get everything back to normal.  We are sorry that some players always want to
believe the worst in any given situation, even when there are no facts to
support such beliefs.  All we can do is continue to keep you informed and
thank you for your patience.

Subj:  From ABMBob                           94-09-14 00:51:11 EDT
From:  ABMBob

     I usually don't monitor the MI folder as I'm usually pretty clueless
about specific game details and wouldn't be of much help to most of you.  I
thought I'd check it out tonight and it seems that there are a couple things
I do have to say after all:

A) From my end I see only two problems with the MI service you've been
receiving from ABM.  Corrections are taking longer to be done and Jack isn't
adding new modules to the game quick enough to keep long time players happy.
     Unfortunately, anything that takes Jack's time is going to suffer a
delay.  We aren't happy about this either.  You have our apologies if you are
one of the few who suffer from a correction being overdue. We are doing
everything possible to return things to the way they were and get Jack back
on MI.  

B) I can't believe the discussion that's going on about somebody being hung
up on!  In the past couple months we've installed two completely new phone
systems.  We've added 6-7 new phone lines and 7 new staff members.  Yes,
there have been days when the phones have rung and rung, simply because the
phone technician hadn't arrived yet to run the wires from the new lines into
our KSU.  There's no underhanded plot to avoid your calls. Yes, there have
even been days when we've been programming the new phone systems and may have
picked up on your call and disconnected you.  You have our apologies for that
if it happened to you.

     We've also added 7 new staff members...mostly sales people for Magic.
Yes, these are new people.  They are being trained about all our products but
their main job is to take orders.  They will be curteous to you and try to
route your call to someone who can help you.  If they are not, I'd like to
hear about it.

C) Yes, Keith is on a well deserved vacation this week....and I hope he
spends his entire time trying to dry out after hitting that 50 ft drop at the
end of Splash Mountain, and doesn't think about MI until he gets back.  You
all may not realize this but Keith is the best ally you could have here.
Stop trying to make him the bad guy and twist his words around.  He's your
voice at ABM. 

     BTW,  while Keith is on vacation Jack is supervising a data entry temp
to keep the turn processing on time for both MI and Quest.

D) Glen wants answers to his 6 questions.  I believe we've already covered
some of them but here goes:

1) Why have we not advertised to new players?  The answer is simple.  PBM
advertising is vastly expensive in relation to the response.  It has to be
carefully done.  Contrary to popular belief, advertising in PBM magazines
does not get players to any great degree.  You'll notice we did an insert in
Cryptych for both MI and Quest not long ago.  We ARE actively recruiting a
LOT of new players from various computer nets.

     We are criticized for not publicizing our PBM products at ORIGINS.
Nobody ever praised us when we lost money every year for the last 10 years
going to ORIGINS to support our games and conduct seminars!  The one year we
go to a convention to actually make a profit, we are condemned.  

     I guess the point of this topic actually is that you are asking us to
demonstrate we plan on supporting MI by advertising for new players.  The
answer is YES, we plan on advertising MI and recruiting new players.  And one
thing that may not have occured to you is that maybe, just maybe, some of the
profits from Magic could be used to build up the PBM side of our business in
a major way!  We have a design or two in the works that you wouldn't believe,
and just never had the resources to implement!

2) When will any new changes to MI be implemented?  I can't venture a guess.
All I can say is that we are doing all we can to train people to take over
areas of Jack's responsibilities.  No one can take over his MI duties and
programming, but they can replace him in other areas.  The problem lately has
been that when we hire 2 new people, business grows and we find we actually
needed 4!  We are fighting to catch up and hopefully pull ahead for a while.

3) Jack needs to be accessable.  Yes, and this is already true.  He is often
accessable.  There are times, sometimes days at a time, when he's super busy
and inaccessable for MI calls.  This is unavoidable, and (again) should clear
up when we have enough staff to assist him.

4)  No inquiry should be ignored.  Yes, I agree completely.  Sometimes what
you see as being ignored is actually sitting on Jack's desk waiting for a
resolution.  We try to address ALL correspondence as best we can and there is
no "policy" to ever ignore anyone's questions.

5) ABM should be more involved in the newsletter.  Jack again needs to be the
one involved here.  Same reply as the past.

6) Inform players of a slowdown or problem with a turn.  The answer to this
one is easy.  There hasn't been any MI slowdown.  If there's a problem with a
turn, our policy is to try and correct it so the player never even was aware
of the problem in the first place.  Obviously this isn't always possible.
When there is such a problem we should inform you, and I know this hasn't
always happened.

     We are flattered that you all are so involved with MI that you can
become emotional over anything less than perfection.  Some of you won't be
happy with anything but direct access to Jack at all times, and his full
attention on MI.  I won't mislead you and say that this will happen at any
specific time.  I can assure you though, that MI is a game we plan on
supporting and running for a long time.  If some of you want to put your
monsters on vacation for a while until new areas of the game open up, by all
means do so.  If some of you want to quit a game that has given you so much
enjoyment over the years, that is your choice.  Just remember the fun you've
had in MI, and don't do newer players any disservice.  Simply realize that
for now you have reached a point in the game where you have learned all there
is to learn.

Subj:  RE: ABMBOB                            94-09-14 03:28:52 EDT

     Well Bob, I must say, I'm am pleased.  I am glad that ABM has addressed
our concerns.  I am very happy to see Glens questions answered, and to be
advised of the situation at ABM.  I am looking forward to your service
returning to it's previously high standards, and given your recent post that
seems likely, if a little uncertain in the timing.

     As far as the improvements and new modules go, they have always sounded
good to me, but my biggest concern is service and bugs.  I hope these items
are given higher priority than the new things.

Thank you for your very level and substantial response to Glens questions,
and the rest of our posts.

Subj:  Re:RE: ABM's service                  94-09-14 15:59:39 EDT

     They have added 7 new staff, none of which know how to check to see if a
monsters turn has been run! (Keith's vacation is over on Monday)

Subj:  Re:Toughness                          94-09-14 21:59:19 EDT
From:  SteveS1709

     Toughness maxes out depending on the race of your monster... mine maxed
out about 25 turns ago.

Subj:  BMT plus Jack's ramblings             94-09-14 22:35:27 EDT
From:  ABMJack

     Yep, it's my fault it hasn't gotten out. Just been way too busy to get
to it. Each day I have more than one hundred tasks I need to do. Each day I
get 4-12 of them done. Each day the number of new tasks grows by 6-18. Get
the picture? I work 60-80 hours a week (and so do Bob and Mike). The phone is
constantly ringing off the hook. Or busy and many can't get through (we lost
a huge dealer order/Magic because of this....huge!). [To give you an idea of
how crazy it is here, we're already have had to toss out and install a Second
new phone system in the a span of 3 months.

     We're simply doing the best we can do right now. 

     As for accepting calls, except for Mark Hall, I'm not taking any MI
calls. Nor am I taking dealer calls anymore. Just not physically possible.
This week, for example, Keith is on vacation. So we have a temp in to input
MI and Quest this week, and I have to supervise her, run the games out, check
'em, etc. I don't have time to do it. I'm just doing it anyway.

     Incidentally, yesterday I readied the BMT (i.e. printed up a new Group
Listing). But haven't had it printed yet...still hope to have it out finally
next week. You can all through Mud Pies at me if it'll make you feel any

     Hey, I FINALLY have a computer for home, so I shall try to keep up with
the msgs here.

     One more thing, Don't you think we want to give great service for our
PBM games? Of course we do! We even take pride in doing so. And as I stated
before, it's very frustrating we can't keep up with everything at the moment.
But it sure doesn't mean we don't want to!

-- Jack  (tired, frazzled, and in deep need of a long vacation. What IS the
number of the Monster Island Tourist Board? Me and Nada have got to go

Subj:  By my count                           94-09-14 22:48:55 EDT
From:  ABMJack

     Bob can't count. We've added 8.5 people (not including one we trained
and dismissed cause he didn't work out). Btw: Anyone notice how slow we've
been at depositing your checks? I'm lucky if I get to this even once a week
Subj:  Re:Jack and Bob                       94-09-15 18:37:32 EDT
From:  RobertJ896

     A pleasure to see both of these ABM folks on the board here and
answering questions.  Somehow, I think that if this had been done a month or
two ago we wouldn't have had to put up with all the rambling lunacy of the
complaint crowd here.  Nice to see ABM getting a handle on things!

Subj:  Re: Gnit Gnats                        94-09-15 20:21:21 EDT
From:  Beekums

Ahhhggggg!!!!! I've got gnit gnats! Shame shame, nothing but shame. Get 'em
off, ahhhhgggggg!!!!!!

Subj:  X'ing inactives..                     94-09-15 23:20:07 EDT
From:  SteveS1709

     Hey, the way I see it... it's tough enough to kill another monster by
yourself... why not nail a follower of the opposite religion at every
opportunity?  I've seen tough monsters get KO'd because the player went on a
2 week vacation.  I would expect nothing less from my enemies!

Subj:  Timeliness                            94-09-16 14:04:40 EDT
From:  CasbahCarl

     I'd like to jump in with a compliment on ABM's service. I faxed in turns
for three monsters this week (on Tuesday the 13th, at 3:18 p.m.). Well, I was
stunned to get all three back on Thursday!! The turns were processed within
10 minutes of being faxed in and must have been snail-mailed right away (I
get my mail in Washington, D.C., which was recently certified by the Postal
Commission and others to have the slowest mail delivery in the nation).

     I couldn't believe it! That was absolutely, without question, the
fastest turn around I've experienced in the two years that I've been playing
Monster Island. And it was a temp yet, who was inputting the turns while
Keith's on vacaction.  Hmmm...say Keith, maybe you should go on vacation more
often. ;)

Subj:  Re: Gnit Gnats                        94-09-16 21:56:12 EDT
From:  Fasolt

Lord, I hate them!  Shed them once, but they're back again!

Subj:  Re: Gnit Gnats                        94-09-17 23:28:34 EDT
From:  RobertJ896

     Why are you guys carping?  Free combat every turn, and they're a
pushover!! If you don't like 'em, end your turn at a Far Structure!  Or make
some Gnitgnoff!

Subj:  Re:Toughness                          94-09-19 19:14:45 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn

     I don't think your toughness maxes out.  I'm over turn #150 and I gained
a toughness on my last turn.

Subj:  Re: Gnit Gnats                        94-09-19 19:21:30 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn

     I've got`em and I love em.  I need the missile practice.

Subj:  Re: Kieth's Vacation                  94-09-19 19:24:04 EDT
From:  Shdowspwn

     Mine was screwed up in the other direction.  I called to see if my turn
had been run since Keith was on vacation and was told NO turns were being
processed that week.  I then found my turn on the bottom of a pile of mail in
at 3 in the morning.  Those phone answerers need a little more training.

Subj:  Competition Among Groups              94-09-20 20:36:25 EDT
From:  Beekums

     Since there have been a few shake ups around here, perhaps group
leaders/board reps could provide some info on their groups.
Numbers of members?
Religious affiliation, if any?
Area(s) where most active?
Ambassadors (sp) to other groups?
Recruiting Contacts?
Start date?
A SHORT (25 words or less) description of goals.


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These newsletters were taken from Aaron Fuegi's Monster Island Page.
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