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Kingdom Design

Kingdom Design

By: Rick McDowell

Issue #19

If you are thinking about playing a “PBM game” you are not familiar with and that your friends haven’t played, well, why should you play? You exhale, thinking, this is going to be some work.

PBM games are complicated! There may be 60 pages or more of rules, but there are some with only 4 pages though I don’t quite understand those, as paradoxical as that might sound.

Let us assume you are thinking you might want to take on a new PBM style game: you are back in the saddle again. You know what you like, which I will assume means a fairly deep game of strategy, at intervals processed simultaneously, where the attraction is to both hope for both your tactical choices and the purveyor’s program producing perfect execution, your strategic outlook considering many possible scenarios that may unfold and your superior utilization of resources, and as reward for serious play, in turn receiving results that both make sense and enthrall. Most importantly, joining a strategy game that draws you in more deeply with each turn, where each turn new knowledge is gained, and more possibilities unfold. In a great game there are no “meh” turns and you must be focused, carefully choosing from among dozens of potentially viable orders to produce that perfect set of commands. Intimidated? No? Good, you are our kind.

In my game of that type (Alamaze), you choose both a kingdom from among 24 available including some staples like Dwarves, Elves, Dark Elves…well, that’s about all the expected ones, or Tyrant of Gor, Warlock, Sorcerer, Necromancer, Atlantians, Underworld, Pirates, Gnomes, Sacred Order, Black Dragons and at least a dozen others.

You choose your kingdom carefully, considering its strength not just as a number but across its characters and kingdom traits, along military, economic, covert, magical, divine and esoteric characteristics. Of course, who doesn’t?

Now you pick your region in Maelstrom, the continent in play. There are 12 to choose from, each with different characteristics. There are Capital Regions, Free Trade Regions, City States, Savage Regions. Which terrain mix is preferred? Major city like in the large capital regions, or more secluded island regions? Lots of coast and sea, or perhaps more mountains or forest?

In Alamaze, kingdoms are defined primarily by more than 24 Cultural Traits, as well as terrain adeptness, magical proficiency, and special abilities. Each kingdom is very much distinct. As The Underworld, you feature intrigue and have special orders unavailable to other kingdoms. You will steal, assassinate, kidnap, and reveal skeletons in the closet on your enemies. As the Atlantians, you can control the seas and have powerful nobles to usurp control of PC’s. As Red Dragon, all fear you will bring your wrath to their kingdom as even cities with high walls hardly concern you.

Alamaze perhaps has gained most distinction by differentiating its kingdoms and letting wildly different strategies succeed in the right hands. Despite so many gigantic differences between kingdoms across all aspects of play, and so many thousands of possibilities with any kingdom in any region, no kingdom has become dominant or shunned, and the same can be said of the regions.

Alamaze is famous for not just staying power for 30 years and the design and interface enhancements through four generations that sustains that appeal, but for the quality of its elements – including its magic system, where each kingdom has unique spell lists over nine levels of power. That’s just a hint on one aspect of Alamaze. Your brigades will gain experience and become veteran and with further success rise to be elite. Your leaders will rise from captain to general to marshal in increments and may eventually become game-changing Warlords. Your agents at the highest level can enter the castle of your enemy and slit the throat of their king. Your wizards will rise in power to cast incredible magic.

But all this will not overwhelm you, you instead will be drawn in. Alamaze will flow over you, and you may join those with us that have played on for decades, always discovering something new. Its been around now after winning Game of the Year at Origins and GAMA, for 30 years, now in its fourth generation with all web-based interaction (no snail mail)

Find us at Alamaze Signup there. You are never asked for credit card info and won’t be invoiced until after you do the tutorial, and at least one Duel (against likely a mentor), and only when you get it your first game that begins are you then invoiced for $9.95 for a month. Yes, ten turns in a month for $9.95. You owe it to yourself to give Alamaze a look. There is nothing to risk.

See you soon!


Alamaze Designer

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Something Else Entirely!

Something Else Entirely!

By: Vince L. Falcone

Issue #19

     The Arch Necromancer speaks on PBM Games

I have waged wars across all kinds of platforms; I have played solo missions against endless hordes of villains and monsters only to end up fighting their super-inflated ‘Level Boss’. I have played MMOs and fought everything from intergalactic wars to first-person shooters in a dozen cities across a dozen countries even on a dozen worlds. I have lead armies across maps and rolled the dice that would determine my fate and the fate of the world on more occasions than can be remembered.

And that is my point. I cannot remember in great detail a single one of those ‘glorious battles’. Oh sure, I may recall a particular shot I made, or a kill I landed, but it ends there. Forgotten, along with the rest of the things that just don’t warrant memory. My guess is because the image was overlayed onto my brain, and no real thought or energy was expended on my part. It was simply a manufactured memory; and like all things manufactured –they aren’t built to last. Because it’s a computer-driven game, with brilliant lights, and fancy sounds backed up with a slick soundtrack. None of it is mine. Not the look, not the feel, not even the playing of it. Its all generated to stimulate. No real effort required on my part.

But then, like the kings of old, or an anxious general waiting for news from his scouts, my PBM turn arrives in the mail! This is something else entirely! This is what I have been waiting for all these weeks – news from the front! Word of deeds back home at court or in faraway kingdoms.

I eagerly open my turn, and it reads as if my own vizier were before me, transporting me to where I need to be. And, just like the kings and queens of a forgotten time, I have numerous decisions to make – dozens of decrees that will either seal the pacts of alliance, or send thousands to their death in glorious battle. Mine is the power to command spies to inform me of my neighbor’s activities, send assassins to silence forever a troublesome diplomat, or order my generals and heroes to war for the greater good of the realm. Wizards are summoned to work their arcane magics and summon powers in the service of their king that go beyond the scope of mere mortals.

Armies are hurled at my enemy’s frontiers, and garrisons are reinforced to defend against hostile raiding parties. Treaties are made and broken, tributes demanded, and gifts of jewels, spices and gold are sent to entice prospective allies, or hire the talents of distant nations to do those deeds that cannot be associated with the crown.

And while all of this is enough to stir the imagination, and keeps the piston’s of my mind firing endlessly; turning various options in my head over and over and over again, this is still not the end… the greatest aspect of the game has yet to unfold itself…

Your turns are submitted and received via the mail, but so too is the greatest feature of the PBM system… the interaction with players from all over the world. Why should your kingdom wage war alone, when you can write to another and strike up an alliance, or forge a peace treaty? The power to communicate with players from all walks of life, from every corner of the map who are all here with a singular purpose – the same purpose as yours– the conquest of a realm!

It is interesting to note, that many of the players will interact ‘in character,’ adding to the flavor of the already sumptuous game. Knowing that there are other kings and queens contacting, and waiting to be contacted only adds to the fun. In time, real-life friendships will arise, and where once a floundering alliance may have existed, talks of a second game with even greater cooperation may begin, and so the wheel continues to spin… and it is a war without end… the kingdoms you play may change, as will the allies and enemies you may have, but the adventure will always be there, and the memories from each war will last a lifetime. The victories will burn brightly in your recollection, and your defeats will gnaw at you for a chance at revenge – but the two greatest things you will take away from your PBM games will always be: the friends in unexpected places you have made, and the memories of the adventures and wars you have journeyed through together.

The time is now, ‘O king. Will you heed the call, and partake in the greatest of adventures, or will you sit by and listen to the tales of the courage of others?

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Duel 2 Alamaze

Duel 2 Alamaze

By: Rick McDowell

Issue #1

Twelve Newbies in One Alamaze Game

     What we see below are a few accounts from newbie Alamaze players posted on our Players’ Forum regarding their experience in their first game. This was an unusual game in that 12 of the 15 players were brand new and all players knew each other from the RSI game Duel 2 (formerly Duelmasters). This was especially interesting for me as I used to play Duelmasters, and had a friend in Paul Brown who ran RSI. RSI was next to the Alamaze booth at Origins / GenCon when Alamaze won the PBM Game of the Year Award, and Paul went on to license a version of Alamaze from me and engaged me to design their next game. You can get more Alamaze info and signup at the Alamaze website.

     The below are straight from the players’ posts, except where indicated with the *ED notations, mainly to explain Troll language.

     Just a bit of explanation for some of the acronyms and Commendations referenced below. We recently introduced Commendations wherein active players at the end of an Alamaze game can recommend special recognition for other players in that game. The three commendations at present are:

  • Iron Willed. This is a commendation for a player who persevered beyond all odds, battling on rather than resigning even in the face of near certain (eventual) defeat. Often close-ended PBEM games can be unbalanced by drops, so Alamaze has an Honor system (to retain their important “Citizen” status a player cannot drop a position before turn 12), augmented by the potential of an award from being recognized by peers as Iron Willed.
  • Chancellor. This is our mentoring commendation; with an experienced player nominated by new players for unselfish acts to aid their understanding and their learning the various subtleties and finer points in the game. We feel our experienced players are very willing to fill this role and are a source of pride in our community so we want them to be recognized.
  • Infamous. This is an award for a player who in any number of possible ways, made the game unforgettable, increased the fun and intrigue, and likely involved some aspects of role-playing to pull it all off.

     These are the abbreviations for the kingdoms in Alamaze Classic:

AN –The Secret Servants of the Ancient Ones

BL –The Dark Skies of the Black Dragons

DA -The Onyx Imperium of the Dark Elves

DE -The Seven Hells of the Demon Princes

DW –The Dwarven Lords of the Talking Mountains

EL -The Golden Woods of the High Elves

GI -The Stone Giants Above the Trembling Ground

GN –The Gnomish Bastions of Alchemy

RA -The Rangers of the Frontier Marches

RD -The Reign of Terror of the Red Dragons

SO -The Hidden Realm of the Unseen Sorcerer

TR -The Damned Lands of the Troll Uprising

UN –The Shadow Brotherhood of the Underworld

WA –The Fiery Reach of the Red Warlock

WI -The Witchlord’s Empire of Doom

     A couple of terms referenced in the newbies’ accounts:

     ESO –Early Strategic Objective. A set of conditions that, if met, provide substantial and important awards to the kingdom accomplishing them either on turn 10 or turn 15. There are more than 100 possible ESO’s.

     SVC –Secret Victory Condition. Besides the Standard Victory conditions, each kingdom is assigned a SVC, a set of accomplishments that result in victory. Similar to the ESO, there are nearly 100 different SVC’s and this is the most common form of victory. A kingdom with a High Priestess can divine the secret intentions of any kingdom. The High Priestess risks death in the endeavor.

Duel 2 Alamaze -Game 105 Remembered (by persona Nitnux)

     So that was pretty fun. I played SO in game 105. We had three players of recent Alamaze experience in Hawk (AN), Nikodemus (DE) and paway (RD) but the rest of us, mostly recruited from the Duel2 play-by-mail community, were all completely new to Alamaze. Because of this, the three pros made a point of going easy on us (at least while we were all floundering in the early game). They all gave out tons of advice and let us find our feet at our own pace.


     IRL I was travelling a lot and my early game was abysmal, not only because of immense misunderstandings about rules, misreading the reaction/emissary tables, and my terrible proof-reading of my order sheets, but I also did a lot of inefficient things with my armies and personnel, and I mis-budgeted several of my early turns, meaning that many orders were wasted and I actually got no PC gains until turn 6.

     Most foolishly of all, rather than focusing on the land grab I had been itching to see some different dynamics early on, regardless of proper strategy, so I ended up losing a level 5 agent in a failed assassination against Rangers in the R9 city, and I discovered how weak SO troops were when I was thoroughly beat up by a neutral village I should never have attacked. Still, I eventually had a battle victory and also got to exploit the broken Chaos mechanic to devastating success, when I landed on a stray WA town in Region 9 where he had two brigades and decent early game wizards sitting very peacefully. None of these actions were of any value diplomatically or strategically, but being a noob I couldn’t resist trying them out all the same.

     When the scores came out with turn 6 I was in a very poor last place, though I had finally gained a first town. Despite that assassination attempt I made early peace with RA and also with DA and DW. I ceded my control claim of Region 9 to the Rangers to guarantee his ESO and we hoped to arrange mine for turn 15 though it ended up proving too tricky. DW took Region 3, DA took Region 6, and between the four of us we wanted to get stuck into war as soon as we could, planning to hit the Giants in Region 5 and the Black Dragons in Region 10.

     Elsewhere on the map, WI was first to get regional control, taking Region 2 in turn 4. He was allied with EL who took Region 1 very soon after. The two of them kind of turtled for a good 10 turns, working on artifacts, training and economic consolidation, while the rest of us got stuck into various costly battles.

     But the biggest dynamic within the game was unquestionably the AN/TR alliance. From turn 1, TR wanted to come out fighting, and boy did he pick fights with pretty much everyone around him. AN focused on keeping DE and RD disrupted (for honorable reasons he didn’t attack new players but was happy for TR to do so) while TR started marching all over the southwest.


     From turn 9 or 10, Rangers invaded Black Dragons, and Dwarves invaded Giants. I sent a couple of emissaries into Region 5 with the DW but I focused mainly on backing Rangers up in Region 10. Dark Elves were also present in both regions.

     In Region 10 we had a pretty fun war. BL was allied with WA, but WA was defending himself against AN/TR. So we hoped BL would be an easy campaign, though it was anything but that. He fought every step of the way, winning several battles against RA and our progress was slow, though gradually our numbers advantage worked in our favour. Progress against the GI was also good to start with but he too proved himself in combat against the DW and halted our progress.

     In the western conflicts I saw that RD and DE made some deft maneuvers and for a long while it wasn’t clear who had the upper hand, but AN/TR recruited GI and EL and by that point, essentially had unstoppable armies. At somewhere around the turn 15 mark, AN and GI swarmed into the DA in region 6, and EL attacked the DW, effectively neutralizing my allies’ offensive opportunities as they had to go into defensive mode.

    UN and GN dropped in turn 16, having not made much impact in the game previously. I think they were already inactive and were defeated by TR long before that point.

     By about turn 18, RA and I had taken most of Region 10, and I had an invisible p7 poised to strike the main BL army with Summon Deaths to finally try and take him down for good. However, the game-changer for us was the point WI announced his plans to invade Region 9 to start working on his SVC. He was pretty gentlemanly about it too, giving a couple of turns notice, and being extremely reluctant to fight anyone anyway.

     At this point, me, RA, DW, DA, and the other beset-upon nations DE, RD, BL and WA realized that an SVC was imminent but might come out of the blue from any of GI, WI, AN, TR and EL. We had to defend together with whatever we could.

     RA and I brokered immediate peace with BL/WA and I ceded pretty much all my Region 10 gains back to BL so he could try to feed his armies. So I never got to fight the BL on the field, which was just as well in retrospect because my army would certainly have been annihilated. He was a fun opponent. I would definitely fight beside him or against him in another game.


     From about turn 23 we tried to engineer a counter/defense/final stand. While Rangers and Dark Elves attacked AN/TR, DW continued fighting EL and I supported DA against GI in region 6. With the imminent arrival of WI we knew that it was going to end badly for the eastern coalition anyway. DE and RD were now out of the running but kept harassing AN/TR for as long as they the units to do so. They also kept the strategic advice coming, for the rest of the game.

     When WI arrived in Region 9, he first apologised to the RA and then attacked him. Then he apologized to me and attacked me.

     My armies weren’t worth much, but with Summon Demon I killed the GI king as we speculated (maybe incorrectly) that he was closest to his SVC and then right after that, I killed the WI king. Those two-turn results were the best news I got all game. WI returned the favour, but only after he had spoken to me and confirmed that we were going to continue fighting, and had reminded me that he now had artifacts protecting his new king.

     In turn 26, AN and GI had knocked me out of Region 6 but for one short, glorious turn I gained the city and control of Region 9 before WI’s numbers advantage started to tell. He swatted away my troops and emissaries and when his Summon Demon killed my king, I lost 10 influence in a single turn.

     By turn 28, Rangers had been evicted from Region 9, Dwarves from Region 3, Dark Elves from Region 6, Black Dragons from Region 10 and I was down to a couple of PCs but with a few turns of gold to keep my emissaries busy, an army still hungry for enemy contact, and a P7-3-3wizard team still itching to make someone suffer.

     Turn 30: RA, BL, DA, DW and RD were all eliminated or dropped, having nothing left to fight with, but mostly all keen to return when we get a new game started.

     At this point, the eastern coalition was just WA, SO and DE, we were all bankrupt and probably had only one or two PCs between us. It became a concern to WI that his allies had taken too much other territory and he’d probably not be able to gain his SVC without stabbing one of them, which he was definitely not prepared to do. It was also likely that they might not have room to gain their SVCs and that we’d possibly be fighting until one of the other game-end criteria was reached, either turn 40 or the elimination of all the smaller players. So WI and I agreed to continue fighting in Region 9 anyway. I didn’t know he’d given an artifact to TR but it figures with his sense of honour that he’d sacrifice something to help bring the game to a close.

     On turn 32, the penultimate turn, at the gates of my final town, the main SO and WI armies were to finally meet on the field, but with a P10, P7 and P7 at his disposal, the WI was able to wipe away 11 innocent SO brigades before they could even finish their breakfast. So, when the battle commenced, I had a demoralized and devastated single brigade left, who felt it their duty to charge into a row of spears and mark their place in history.

     Both AN and TR tried and failed an SVC check, and AN landed his immense army at my final town too.

     For turn 33, WI asked again if I was still going to fight him. With both him and AN on my doorstep with massive armies, I only had one answer. As the TR claimed his hard-fought and well-deserved victory, my p7,3,3 and a rag-tag band of survivors were faced off against the enemy, and were crushed to the last man, at the gates of Fort Goliath, where now the banner of the AN proudly flies.


     The scoring system did not reward me. 8 players finished the game and I ended up in 11th place, behind others who had gone out. I had had a slow start, was always short of PCs, never made HC, owned a city only for 2 turns all game and controlled a region for just 1 turn, and I never owned a single artifact all game, so my point earnings never really got off the ground.

     The finishing players in order were TR, WI, AN, EL and GI, the western coalition who had all been ultimately successful in their campaigns, and then DE, SO and WA. We weren’t the only players from the losing coalition who fought hard, we were just the ones that were able to hold onto something until the end.


     In the late game, TR won a bid for the HC with 250,000 gold, being the most remarkable example of conspicuous consumption in gaming history.

     Whether on the giving or the receiving end of king assassinations, Summon Demon was great fun either way.

     In turn 32 I speculated with a 1 gold bid for an empty HC seat. I didn’t win but it would have been a funny way to earn extra points.

     In turn 32 I was comprehensively zapped by WI’s p10-7-7. It was fitting that I could meet a noble death at the hands of a P10 called Ry Vor.

     One example of my poor ordering: In turn 5 I had a 2 brigade group on 2 ships, and mistakenly tried to recruit another brigade, obviously illegally. The game auto-processing sunk my ships, my 2 brigades and a p2 wizard, all to my immense horror.

     Thankfully Cipher rectified the adjudication so it just disallowed my recruitment, and restored the brigades and wizard to life. Thanks, Cipher!

     I imagine this was an atypical game because of the learning curve for all involved. There was a lot of banter shared in the D2 chatroom between allies and enemies alike, and we shared lots of questions, battle reports, SVCs, and other tactical clues/details which would probably remain very secret in a second game. There was one accidental emissary usurping between DA/DW which DA was very apologetic about, but as far as I saw, everyone played with the utmost honesty and treated friends and foe with equal honour.

     Thanks for arranging the game and recruiting me, Nikodemus! Looking forward to the next one.


     Iron Willed: Destitute Noble (WA). He was fighting against the odds, up against the biggest players for the whole game. Apart from my one-off surprise early battle, I didn’t directly campaign against him while we were at war, and when we teamed up I wasn’t in a position to support him directly. But he was stubborn as hell and when we formed the ‘losers coalition’ he kept going with energy for the fight, the whole way through. Kulvac (BL) was also a stubborn opponent for me and RA, and paway (RD) has to get a mention for the way his armies kept AN/TR at bay for a hell of a long time.

     Chancellor: Nikodemus (DE). He recruited most of the players and made the arrangements to set this game up. He, Hawk (AN) and paway (RD) all helped the newcomers immensely, generally giving advice at the expense of their own game interests.

     Infamous: Tripwire (TR). His desire to fight fight fight fight fight from the get-go was the dynamic that shaped this whole game, as he overwhelmed one opponent after another. He was funny in the D2 chatroom and dropped in to laugh at his own mistakes and (few) military defeats, mainly at the hands of RD. I didn’t meet him in combat or even land in a PC of his, all game. I’m pretty grateful that I didn’t.

     Honorary Mention: There isn’t a category for him but The Dark One (WI) was the most honorable player. He upheld all his agreements with allies, even to his cost. He wanted to play an artifact-based game rather than a war-based one so he was consistently apologetic about attacking people, and kept up a regular communication with me the whole time we were at war. He clearly got the game and played extremely well from the outset -it was just too crowded for him to engineer his own victory. Would definitely enjoy fighting with or against him again.

Duel 2 Alamaze -Game 105 Remembered(by persona Tripwire)

     Me TROLL Rule the world! <Slobber>

     Back at start me trolls couldn’t find our bungs with a stick! Me had many problems and cried to Ancient peoples “Why me?! We poor trolls can’t find bungs!” Ancient peoples helped trolls and we were friends. Me told Ancients, “We only care about Ancients and Trolls, me no like to talk to others. Me eat them all.” Ancients said, “OK, me help you find bung.” Ed* The Troll finds a mentor and ally in the Ancient Ones

     Trolls smiled and said, “Me eat your face!” and fight everyone. Sometimes even friends of Ancient Ones by accident! They other people were in towns and trolls eat towns and sometimes villages. I think we even ate Ancient Ones towns a few times or were going to but Ancient say, “Troll that’s me!” I say, “OH whoops I no mean to eat you.”

     Big moment very early came when Ancient one say, “Troll you make floating sticks and float your trolls to the big city and fight!” Troll say, “We no float before! We no likely!” But Ancient ones show trolls how to make big boats and trolls surprise bad guy on water and smash them! Bad guy said, “WTF!? Why troll on floating sticks!?”

     Troll say, “We eat your face! And then we ate their face and took city on water!” Ed* The Troll invests in sea power in the Sea of Foreboding and captures Avalon.

     Then ‘nother big moment when troll came to fight 2 big fights against giant lizards who like to fly in and blow fire and beat up trolls then fly away! Trolls no like fire! So Troll cry to Ancients, “Big lizards whipping my bung! Me need help!” So Ancients cast spell thingie and make the lizards go to sleep so troll can eat the face from the town while lizards sleepy. So we take 2 capitals from enemies without having to fight big lizards and some other bad guys. We ate the capitals faces though and it was good! Ed* The Red Dragons became a problem for the Trolls, who received some magic assistance from their AncientOnes ally.

     Then bad time came when Warlocky people appear out of nowhere! Then they eat troll army faces and fly away! Troll no like that so we go hunt Warlocky people and eat their faces and their momma’s faces and daddys too!

     Then trolls get confused and start eating more faces of ancient one friends and troll says, “Ancient one has lots of friends! Troll want to eat more face!” Ancient one says, “nononono! You fight that way!” So troll say “Sorry” and move on to other towns and villages and take those instead.

     Then troll start buying talky trolls to talk to towns! Every town we take we put talky troll in it and we start to take towns without eating anything! Was very strange. Ed* The Trolls begin to discover uses for their emissaries

     Then trolls ate some more.. And talky trolls talked some more. Then Ancient one says, “What your SVC?” And troll say, “WTF is an SVC?” And had to go and look back and find out what that was. Then troll started pushing towards getting SVC to rule the world and eat all the faces. But Troll not have artifacts he needs. He has only looky artifacts. So he trade with other good guys and get artifacts. Ed* The Troll Secret Victory Condition required artifacts other than scrying artifacts, so he makes a trade.

     Trolls had lots of shiny coins! Troll saw talky group that liked to talk and said, “Ancients! Me want to talk on talky group!”. Ancient said, “Use many shiny coins and they will put you on talky group.” So troll load up hoards of shiny coins and put them and he got on talky group! People say, “WOW! That lots of shiny coins!” and Troll shrug and say, “We got many more shiny coins!” And people no like that. Ed* The Troll joins the High Council with an outrageously high bid to gain the open seat.

     Then troll get key to open artifact he found but that was all troll needed to eat everyone’s face and win the world. The END! Ed* The Trolls win the campaign by Secret Victory Condition after recovering a powerful quest artifact: one that requires first obtaining the Key to allow access to the location of the quest artifact.


     INFAMOUS: Paway (The Silent One) and his Red Dragons! This was probably the only ASS whipping that the Trolls really got aside from the Warlocks surprise attack. Man the attack 1 is really a punishing attack on trolls. If they can’t get in your face so to speak they are in trouble and none seemed to do it better than RD and their fire!

     CHANCELLOR -Hawk definitely for me. I told him early on I didn’t want to get into any huge alliances and regardless how it ended up and you can ask any of the allies that we had, I only went through him and just wanted to play an aggressive and attacking game. I never asked for much and gave gold away like crazy all game. I think I needed food 1 time in the game but that was it. And a few traded artifacts (Thanks guys!)

     IRON WILLED-Destitute Noble-Definitely! I thought he was out like 3 times and he kept coming back. Near the end we got soooooo lucky. We saw he was back and we guessed that his AN3 I think it was would attack my group by surprise so “Just in case” We had TR1 attack on a 2 vs AN3 and then attack the town and sure enough he did attack and I slaughtered him bigtime. Another instance where Hawk saved my butt suggesting we do that.

     Thanks to all I couldn’t have done it without everyone elses help and the win definitely doesn’t feel deserved with all the help I received with orders!

Duel 2 Alamaze -Game 105 Remembered (persona The Dark One)

     Well, that was my first game of Alamaze and it was a lot of fun. I think the best thing I did was take Hawk up on an offer of help early on. He pointed me in the right direction and left me alone to do what I wanted. My personal goals were to get the ‘feel’ of the game and hunt artifacts. So that’s what I did. My goal was to snag the Ring of Power, so I started working on that right away, but it took a long while! I was able to gain region 2 early and made a bunch of non-aggression pacts with my neighbors, which I upheld with honor. My one official ally was the Elves, and Erik and I spent a bunch of the early turns trying to figure things out. Hawk helped out with advice as I needed it, which was often. I didn’t want to / plan on actually attacking anyone all game.

     And that worked out. I didn’t have any early hitches and worked on powering up my wizards. Frankly, I was terrified that someone would show up with even a small army, as I had like zero military and as cool as the wizards are, you can’t be everywhere at once. Fortunately, no one did. The only real hiccup was that I loaned D. Noble (WA) a ring of protection, but he got mauled by the TR and they took it…

     Finally on turn 18 or so I managed to get the Ring of Power. It turned out I already had found the Ring of Spells and stumbled across the Ring of Invisibility, so I also managed to achieve one of the in-game quests, which was highly cool!

     With rings in hand, and everyone telling me to ‘Get Involved’ I decided to be a little more aggressive and decided that since I was already in Region 10 to get the Ring, I’d see about taking some PCs there. Since I was already friendly with everyone in the North, that seemed to work best.

     So I ended up rumbling with the RA, and it turns out that high level wizards are really, really cool. Fortunately, I was able to take some territory in 9 and 10 and eventually take over region 9. Had some good fights with both the RA and the SO along the way. Learned a lot more about how combat works and what to do with those high-level wizards. Along the way I managed to get Ry Vor up to LVL 10, but about a week after someone else already achieved that quest, dang it.

     Finally, my highlights of the game were:

     Taking Region 2 on Turn 4, which was coolTrading assassinations of our kings with the SOFinding the 3 Rings and solving the quest level 10 Wizard!

     My thanks go out to Floyd/Nikodemus for setting up the game and offering advice, OAB (The Silent One) for also giving me some tips, Erik (Otto X) for being a great ally and most of all, Hawk, for helping me through the growing pains and not laughing at me when I screwed stuff up.

     Finally just a few notes about what I liked about Alamaze:

     I really enjoy hunting artifacts. Great aspect of the game.

     I like the magic and the balance of it. Not sure why the invisibility aspect of the game is getting changed, because wizards are helpless militarily. If you can see them coming and kill their wizards, it’s all over, baby. Seems unnecessary.

     I think the map should ideally be more randomized, but that’s another thing. It could also be larger to allow for more exploration before conflict is imminent.

     Emissaries seem too powerful, rebelling and flipping PCs at will… Seems like that could be a little harder.

     I like a lot of the subtle and detailed orders -very cool -shows a lot of work went into the game.

     Mostly though, it was a fun time and I enjoyed it! Looking forward to playing again!


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The Jungle Clans

The Jungle Clans

By: Peter Rzechorzek

Issue #1

     From a rock outcrop on the big hill, Chun-gah watched his camp in the jungle. Pandemonium. Where the vegetation had been cleared he cold see all sorts of people milling around, engaged in all sorts of who-knows-what. Brightly outfitted Aisharians and short, bow-legged Forsung mixed freely with the Kung Sah, all eager to get something from each other that they have never had before. Never mind that they knew not what it was. At least the Forsung knew what they were about, but he had heard that compared with his own people, they were lousy gamblers. He feared that soon some Forsung warrior would get sick of being cheated and draw his sword. So far that hadn’t happened. The Aisharians were drawing the most attention and were freely mixing with his people. They stood out like a tree on a prairie hill that was for sure. Where the Kung Sah were the color of the steppe, the Aisharians were whatever color struck their fancy. Leathers in red and white, and the color of a fruit he had seen in this jungle that the Kung Sah had no word for. And cloth. Common Aisharians would be dressed in colors that glowed compared with his best ceremonial dress. Kung Sah women were not normally taken by the frivolous or the useless, but the Aisharians had awoken something in them. He saw a Kung Sah woman in a bright Aisharian shirt and hoped in his heart that she didn’t cheat someone out of it in a game.

     They had seemed aloof and a bit arrogant when they first entered the Kung Sah camp, but that broke down very quickly. It was simply their version of the Kung Sah “Suspicious Eye.” Lack of a common language proved no barrier to trade between their peoples. Aisharian cooking implements became a hot item, and in return Aisharian boys were whooping it up, learning to ride horses from the skillful Kung Sah warriors. Recipes were exchanged and young men and women looked each other over hungrily.

     “Quite a mess, isn’t it?”

     Chun-gah just about spat his heart out and almost fell off the rock as he wheeled around. “Damn your ancient hide, Yagadai! How do you expect to stay old when you sneak up on people like that?”

     Yagadai sat down on the rock with a sigh. “My old bones make too much noise to sneak. You were daydreaming.”

     “Daydreaming, my butt!” Chun-gah moved over beside his friend, and they both regarded the mob swirling below them. “I’ve never seen so many people in my life.”

     “It’s been a trial for my clan. You remember Xan Kan Su, do you not?”

     “Yes. She’s been a midwife for Chieu Hoi. Short little thing.”

     “Well, that short little thing almost started a small war. Seems some Aisharian woman was in a hurry and didn’t think little Xu was a real obstacle. Hell, the foreigner was almost twice as tall as Xu, so she might not have even seen her. Anyway, she shoved Xu aside with enough force to push her face down in the mud.”

     Chun-gah looked at his friend with a stricken expression. “Oh, no.”

     “Oh, yes. By the time it was broken up, Xu was doing her level best to flatten the foreigner’s skull with a leg bone. Damn near did it too. She’s hurt, real bad, but she’ll live. Apparently they’ve got good medicine women there. I was lucky, there were lots of witnesses of both sides and they all agreed that Xu was provoked. I don’t think the foreign woman was very popular with anyone. Anyway, I didn’t have to do anything about it, but Xu was so mad I thought she’d just swell up and burst.”

     “I swear, Xu kept the temper of every demon she’s ever slain.”

     “Kept? She’s been a war waiting to break out ever since I’ve known her. And I’ve known her all my life.”

     “And you’re older than dirt.”

     Yagadai laughed and slapped Chun-gah’s shoulder. “I sure feel it today.”

     In a hurt some distance from the hill, Xubachu sat cross-legged by their small cooking fire. He stared at the fire in silence, his moustache drooping limply around his mouth. A stout, middle-aged woman sat beside him, looking at him with moist eyes. She reached out a stubby arm and rested her small hand on the man’s arm. “Why you?”

     The man shook his head silently. He raised his eyes to meet those of his wife, but could not hold them. He returned to the fire. “The task is a big one. We will go very far.”

     “Yes, it is, my husband. I know we have seen many years. I know I will give you children no more, but my husband…” she stopped. The sounds of revelry carried on outside the yurt but could not penetrate the wall of emotion that surrounded the two. Xubachu raised his eyes to his wife’s again and gathered her graying hair in his hand. He squeezed the back of her neck lovingly. “You have many to care for you if I am gone.” He cupped her ear and she pressed her cheek into his palm. “You will not be alone.”

     “If you go I will always be alone.” Her gruffness gone. He winced as he saw her naked love for him. She had always been such a strong woman, and now he beheld a terrified little girl.

     “You will protect me at night? You will guard me from the shadows?”

     She smiled. He saw years melt away from her lined face. “Yes, my husband. No demon will touch your soul.”

     Xubachu traced his thumb against her cheek. “Will you protect me from the demons of the great water when I find it?”

     “I will fight the water demons ‘till my last breath.”

     “Then I will be safe.” He smiled back at her. “I will not fear the dark. And in the light it is I who is feared.”

     “I will make you an amulet tonight, my husband. I will join my sisters under the full moon tonight, and when we are done I will make you an amulet. All our power will be in that amulet. The demons will quake at your passing.” Her eyes began to glow as she gratefully grasped the task. “We will celebrate the coming spring and together we touch even the creator. I will use this power.”

     “That is good.” He drew her close to him. “Now, let’s think of better things than my journey.”His nose touched hers as he smiled into her eyes. “Let’s remember our youth.”

     Children ran and shouted, and people went about their noisy lives, while inside the yurt the years melted like snow beneath the sun.

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Nowhere But PBM

Nowhere But PBM

By Rick McDowell

Issue #1

     Where else can you compete against a dozen or more mature, intelligent adults in a sophisticated, thinking man’s game set in a genre of mutual interest? In a format that lets you play whenever you wish within a cycle of several days, and affords that same convenience to all allies and enemies in the campaign? Where else do games build to a crescendo over several months of thoughtful planning and execution, where lifelong friendships may be made, some of whom may also frequently play the role of arch nemesis? Where reflexes matter for naught, strategy is everything, both in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your position and style of play, as well as those of your fellow competitors?

     Nowhere other than here: PBM/PBEM. While there are thousands of computer, online, and well-presented board games, no other style offers all the advantages of PBEM. So why is the hobby waning instead of waxing?

     Ironically, for some of the same reasons it stands alone as a most appealing combination of attractive game play elements, it is neigh unapproachable to the huddled masses hooked on instant gratification, splashy graphics, download-and-start-clicking, and a torrent of low brow free online games.

     PBEM games and their purveyors are high-end boutique in comparison -for very discriminating buyers who generally know what they want and what they’re getting into:

  • Complexity, which they appreciate rather than cringe from and which by their nature means lots of rules to absorb and enjoy before doing anything in the game;
  • Anticipation replaces instant gratification. This is a hallmark of PBEM but a foreign idea to most gamers, especially younger ones;
  • The boutique (low volume, high cost and high customer loyalty) requirement of producing PBEM is met by the uninitiated as priced too highly. Probably all PBEM moderators have heard something like, “I can play World of Warcraft unlimited for $13 a month. Why would I pay your price?”

     All gamers that haven’t should try World of Warcraft (WoW) or something similar to see what it’s about. After all, it has tens of millions of mostly teenaged players. If after a few hours of play or a few leveling ups, you don’t find WoW tedious and numbingly repetitive, haven’t seen there is little substance behind the flashy graphic veneer, don’t mind a game dominated by 16 year olds who aren’t thinking five minutes ahead, and/or your monthly entertainment budget is about that of a movie and a box of popcorn, you should stay with WoW and its ilk.

     If you want something more stimulating for your brain than for your eyes, come back to PBEM and bring your friends. Players in good PBEM’s think about their game even more of their time away from the game than while actually playing it. They are evaluating the situation, considering alternatives, calculating the implications of every move, inventing the next steps in various diplomatic overtures and the potential consequences of each. It is absorbing, thought provoking, challenging, fraught with peril for miscalculation and great intrinsic reward for plans well-conceived and executed. Of course, there is also that underrated aspect of going against (and with) very bright fellow competitors of living tissue instead of AI. And each campaign is very different than the one before, bringing fresh challenges.

     PBEM will always be boutique; it will never attract a million followers. But it can survive and encourage its bright designers to create new worlds that entertain us for years to come. Here are some obstacles to overcome:

  • Marketing is not very effective because a single company has a very limited budget and is trying to compete online with the marketing dollars of gaming companies with millions to spend.
  • The perception that PBEM is too expensive.
  • The learning curve to come to love the game is normally substantial.
  • The demographic is aging and not necessarily the most technically savvy.
  • The lack of glitz and instant gratification.
  • We need exciting new concepts for games and worlds.

     To those obstacles, I suggest the following be considered:

  • PBEM companies should consider forming a consortium for marketing and awareness and sharing player lists to build a unified community of gamers.
  • PBEM isexpensive, although many boxed games are expensive as well. So are high quality products in any field. The value proposition must be emphasized, meaning the hours of enjoyment per dollar and the uniqueness of the experience for each player, rather than having the same experience a million others might have identically in most online and computer games.
  • This is a delineator for sure. A casual gamer (plays free games) is unlikely to become an avid PBEM gamer, because it is too complicated. We need to find those gamers who enjoy the challenge and mental stimulation, and they are less likely to be actively looking for challenging games than are kids looking for the newest release
  • This is much a marketing problem: we are trying to reach the people who would really enjoy the hobby but just don’t know about it or think immediately that they would enjoy it, and they aren’t looking for it.
  • Producers can make largely text results more attractive, but this is another hard line between eye candy gratification and mental stimulation and anticipation. It seems avid readers of both fiction and non-fiction are the best target demographic, rather than existing gamers
  • A breakthrough design in a totally new genre or an existing genre presented completely differently with lots of hooks could be big for the whole field by bringing new attention

     Word of mouthremains probably the most important marketing tool and way to convey what our hobby has to offer those who would seek mental stimulation in their entertainment. Players, tell your intellectual friends about your favorite PBEM game and join your favorite game with them to help them learn the ropes and become a happy member of our wonderful PBEM community.

Rick McDowellDesigner and Producer for Alamaze, Fall of Rome, and Kingdoms of Arcania

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Successful People Believe They Deserve Success

Successful People Believe They Deserve Success

Part 9 of 10

What if I told you that there are certain people that don’t think they believe they deserve good things to happen to them? I know it sounds crazy right. I mean who in their right minds would assume that they don’t deserve the good things in life.

What kind of cancerous or toxic mental ideas are they suffering from for them to think this way? Believe it or not, this is not rare. Too many people sabotage themselves from achieving success because they believe they do not deserve success.

One common variation of this is thinking all your future success will be beyond your grasp since you screwed up royally in the past. It’s just not going to happen. Forget about it. They believe in stigma.

They believe there are certain things you cannot do. If you do it in the past, you’re sealed from any kind of success. You are a failure and you will continue to be a failure.

Now, they don’t explicitly think about it in these terms but the effect is the same. They can’t bring themselves to do something needed and to sacrifice something required for them to achieve great success in life.

Another variation of this is the Impostor Complex. This complex afflicts people who accomplished many things. They know how to write best-selling books. They know how to speak in front of large audiences. They know how to connect with people.

They know how to do the right things at the right time with the right people to produce the very best results. But deep down inside they feel they are impostors, frauds, fakes, hypocrites, or liars. They call this Impostor Complex, and it’s real.

In fact, you only know less than Oprah Winfrey, herself who reported that she suffered from Impostor Complex. Deep down inside, it goes back to the same place. It goes to this burning idea of not deserving success.

Well, flip the script because the more you walk around with Impostor Complex or the self-sabotaging idea the less likely success will happen. Eventually, even if you have achieved great victories in the past, your Impostor Complex might catch up with you and erode your ability to make things happen.

It robs you of the enjoyment and immediacy of the feeling of success. You deserve success. Why? Well, you deserve it because you know how the pieces fit. I understand that you’re feeling like a fraud right now.

I understand that you feel you’re the biggest faker in the world but when you look around the room, who knows where the pieces fit? Who can see the big picture? Who can see where this is all headed? That’s you.

That’s why you are in the position you’re in. Understand that. Embrace that fact. Others can work hard but they don’t know how the pieces fit. They’re smart people around you. They are hard workers. They sacrifice a lot.

They don’t know how the pieces fit. You hold the key and that’s why you’re able to focus on providing value and this will make you feel more deserving. It is a value that people pay you for. It is the value that people keep you around for.

Focus on providing it and you will feel more deserving. Don’t let the thought of not deserving to be successful, erode your confidence because you will disappoint and hurt many people. I know it sounds kind of weird but your success is their success.

When you provide value to them, they benefit. You should know your success defines your ability to provide value. If you let your Impostor Complex or your feeling you do not deserve success take over you, it will erode your competence because when your competence breaks down, you let other people down because you’re giving them less value.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Reprogram Your Mind For Success

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Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Part 8 of 10

There’s a common mythology about success. They’re supposed to be independent. They’re supposed to be strong. They’re supposed to be lone thinkers.

It’s as if they came up with a vision of the future and through their own sheer effort, sacrifice, and focus, they turned that vision into reality. Well, that image of the heroic, maverick, and successful person happens from time to time.

It is far from the most common case of success. Successful people eagerly ask for help. They do this because they know they’re not jacks of all trades. They can’t do everything. They have specializations but they also know success requires other parts.

For example, if you want to be a successful online entrepreneur selling stuff online, you may be good at promotions, marketing, product selection, web design or affiliate marketing.

There are so many moving parts but chances are you probably will only be good at one thing or two things if you’re lucky. What do you do with the rest of the picture? Do you try to do a half-assed job with the rest of the pieces?

Your success is the sum of its parts and more. If you have only two good parts and the rest is junk, what do you think will happen? Successful people focus on their core competency. They focus on what they’re good at.

These are the linchpins of their success. For everything else, they ask for help. Help can come in many forms. You can delegate. You can outsource. You can collaborate. You can put up things for discussion and brainstorming and then come up with implementations.

Whatever the case may be for these other things, you’re not relying on yourself. You are tapping into the eternal truth that two heads are better than one especially for brainstorming and coming up with ideas.

Believe it or not, when you are in a room full of people and you’re trying to solve a problem, you solve the problem in a way that doesn’t add 1 to 1, 1 to 1 is 2. But when you are in a group of people, exponential ideas come about.

This should not be unexpected because people look at the world in different ways. Different people have different vantage points. They have different points of view. They have different experiences and this can be a very helpful resource.

Why don’t you do it? Well, most people struggle because of pride. That’s what it is. If you pick at that pride and dig deep, it leads to fear. Don’t let pride or fear hold you back from victory and success. That’s what you’re doing when you refuse to ask for help.

It doesn’t make you look weak. It doesn’t make you look like an idiot. It doesn’t make you look like you are a failure and screw up. It does none of that because even the most successful people eagerly ask for help.

I’m not just by asking for help. They eagerly seek it out. You’re not less of a person because someone helped you along the way. What’s important is you pay it forward. I’m not saying about paying back the person.

It’s more than that. It’s about paying it forward. When you become successful, there will be other people trying to be successful that you will encounter. Help those people because somebody who achieved success in the past helped you get on the way.

That’s how you pay it forward. If that person helped you once, help others a thousand times. A thousand different people, help them individually.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Reprogram Your Mind For Success

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Your Past Mistakes Don’t Have To Define You

Your Past Mistakes Don't Have To Define You

Part 7 of 10

I can’t even tell you how many people I come across who say, “I’m a failure”. “I don’t have it”. “I suck”. Life sucks. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Every single year, I get poor. I’m stuck.

These people are not low IQ individuals. They’re not ugly. There’s nothing in their appearance that makes them inferior. Instead, it’s their attitude that dooms them to a life of mediocrity, struggle, and frustration.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re feeling these things you’re feeling that your life follow a pattern where one day is basically the same as the day before it.

There’s really not much change in your life. Before you know it, you feel that you’re stuck in your life. It’s as if the script keeps playing over and over. It’s the same boring old movie again and again. Same movie, different day and then, comes the conclusion. Death.

I know it sounds depressing. It’s definitely discouraging but I want you to understand where that mindset leads to. It definitely doesn’t lead to a happy place. If there was any doubt before, now you have the answer.

People who screw up in the past think it seals the rest of their life. Your past mistakes don’t have to define you.

No matter how bad you screwed up in the past, it doesn’t have to hold you back unless you let it hold you back. When you keep repeating scenes in your head of being rejected, humiliated, embarrassed, betrayed or oppressed.

What do you think happens? Do you think you get justice in the here and now? Do you think you change the material fact of what happened in the past? It does not. It’s not like the movie Back to the Future and you got a flying Delorean that you can jump into like Marty McFly. It doesn’t work that way. What happened in the past happened. What you can change is your interpretation.

What you can change is its effect on you in the here and now. Claim this power. The key to external change which is happening in you right now your appearance, your work, your business, the amount of money in your bank account, how big your house or apartment is.

All across the board is an internal change. Change your relationship with your past and you change your future. Does your past condemn you? Does it make you feel small, weak, and powerless?

Well, you can change how you interpret your past. Internal changes mean changing your thought patterns, assumptions, beliefs, and emotional habits. While it’s perfectly true that the world doesn’t care about your feelings, it cares about your actions.

It aims at results. Where do you think those results come from? It comes from your thoughts because when you think about your situation in a certain way; you end up in an emotional state. In that emotional state, you make certain decisions.

When you make those decisions, you change your world because you acted. What if you can change your thoughts? What if you can change your assumptions about your past?

Your life doesn’t have to feel like a runaway roller coaster where the moment where the moment you think about something negative, everything has to end up with a negative choice again and again and again.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Please understand that you are always in control because you can always choose how you interpret things. You can always choose what you think about. You can always choose what you dwell on.

Do not let go of that power. That would be the height of irresponsibility and I hate to say this and it’s painful because when I first realized it when somebody said it, it hurt me. It stung.

That was precisely the point because at that point I grew. You do it to yourself. You really do. I know it doesn’t make much sense. Who wants to live a frustrated life?

Who wants to feel this pain? But you do it yourself. The answer, stop doing it. Take responsibility. You can do it. Do something else.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Reprogram Your Mind For Success

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This Is the First Thing You Need To Do To Become More Successful

This Is the First Thing You Need To Do To Become More Successful

Part 6 of 10

What is the first thing you need to do to become more successful? If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, I will buy a book or I will sign up for some course.” Other people might think they have to find the right guru or mentor to help them achieve success.

Those are important but you’re putting the cart before the horse if that’s your line of thought. There’s something more fundamental you need to do. There’s something more basic you need to attend to. What am I talking about? I’m talking about belief.

Pay attention to your mental inventory because until and unless you believe you can change, nothing will happen in your life. This is a powerful form of this. This is the most important ingredient in the process of changing your results because you’re trying to become more successful.

This is a simple matter of changing your results. Obviously, you’re not happy with the results you’re getting. You want to be more successful but don’t automatically assume that you can change.

Embrace this possibility. Recognize its full features. Stare it in the eyes and let it in. Absorb it. Most people don’t go through this. They automatically assume that they can change.

What happens? They buy book after book, sign up for course after course, take many steps, and end up with a lot of nothing. Why? They built their empire of change on a foundation of sand. It did not occur to them. They didn’t believe things can change.

They didn’t believe they were worthy of success. They didn’t believe they have full authority and ownership of their life. Please understand that you should believe you can change because it is the key that turns the lock of that mental prison you’re in.

You’re not locked in the past. Instead, the self-fulfilling prophecies paralyze you and that becomes your future. You should analyze what you’re thinking and what you believe about yourself. If your beliefs are the wrong place, you are wasting your time.

What do you need to believe?

Believe you can change. Believing you can change means you can effect change all across your life. This means greater power over your circumstances, greater power over your life, and greater power over your opportunities. Say to yourself, “I can change.”

Now, repeat it again and again. After you’ve done that, I want you to come up with three solid examples when you changed. Most people can do this fairly easily because you are capable of change.

If you want something basic, look at how you can ride a bicycle. That is change. Why? Because at a certain point in time in your life’s history you did not know how to ride a bicycle.

Find that point where you switched from not knowing how to ride a bicycle to one who can ride a bicycle. Look for these monumental changes in your life. It doesn’t have to be big. You don’t have to be a hero. It doesn’t have to be overly grand or dramatic but once you base it on the truth of how you changed in the past that means you can change now.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Reprogram Your Mind For Success

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Successful People Aim to Fail Quickly

Successful People Aim to Fail Quickly

Part 5 of 10

You have probably read the article title and did a double take. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why in the world would somebody want to fail quickly?” “Isn’t failure something we’re supposed to avoid?” “Isn’t it something we’re supposed to run away from?” “Isn’t it a mark of embarrassment or even humiliation?”

Why in the world would successful people of all people aim to fail quickly? You should understand that successful people know failure is always a possibility. They don’t candy-coat it. They don’t deny that it exists.

They don’t make up excuses for it. They don’t dress it up in many fancy rationalizations, excuses, and justifications. They do none of that. Instead, they look it straight in the eye. It’s always there. People feel the pain.

Maybe, it’s monetary. Maybe, it’s social which means loss of reputation. Whatever the case may be, failure means pain. They realize so they look at what they stand to gain. They do a calculated risk-benefit analysis and if the analysis comes out right, and the project is worth taking on, they still keep looking at the possibility of failure to motivate them.

These people know the difference between wanting to fail and getting ready for setbacks. Their mindset shifts to failing quickly. They want to know if this will not pan out.

I want this to flame out quickly so I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and go on to the next opportunity. Quick failure means quick lessons. It is not a judgment on your character as a human being.

It is not some summation of your value as a person. It doesn’t define you. Instead, you learn what you need to learn like Thomas Edison who once used a hair from a man’s beard in his efforts to invent the light bulb.

Obviously, that did not pan out, but that didn’t stop Edison from trying many times. You need to fail quickly so you can quickly determine that the road you’re on is not the right road. You can then shift to go to another road and then try another one.

Quick lessons mean a faster track to eventual success. That’s how successful people think. People who struggle for the rest of their lives experience failure and look at failure as something that defines them.

What did they do? They dwell on it. Instead of a quick failure that yields important quick lessons, they dwell on the failure and the lessons they get are worst lessons because it’s all about them.

They’re not smart enough. People don’t like them. They don’t have enough money. They can’t get money. They’re trapped in their life with all these ‘toxic’ lessons.

Fail quickly and get the lesson quickly. This enables you to minimize the cost and the pain. Pain will always be a part of the equation but it doesn’t mean that you have to maximize it. It doesn’t mean that you have to let it burn you and define you as a person. When you do that, you make success more elusive.

Learn the secrets to developing a success mindset.

Reprogram Your Mind For Success