Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Why did my unit's or faction's name suddenly get one or more underscores (_) at its end? I didn't change its NAME!
This happens when a newly introduced skill or item has a name that clashes with your pre-existing name. Your name will then get as many underscores at the end as necessary to make it non-ambiguous. This should only happen when a turn is run, so your existing orders submitted previously are unaffected. You can change your NAME to something more appealing with your next orders. On the positive side, this will give you an exclusive notification of the new item or skill. Time to investigate!
Why was the cool name (or status) of my unit or faction changed to something stupid?
Your name or status was, in the unreviewable judgment of the admins, in violation of the policy on names and statuses. Don't try it again; next time it will be changed to something worse.
I'm trying to write a book of a skill I know at the level to be taught. Why do I keep failing even though I have a blank_book?
This is uncommon, but it happens. You may just not have the required skills to put your knowledge in writing. Increasing your level of the skill to be taught (or even, sometimes, another skill) may help.
How do I build a house or another structure with immobile items?
That is usually a multi-step process. Assuming that your character had the required ingredients (stone or wood, usually) and the workers to build, and was where you wanted the house built, these would be the orders:
CREATE id-for-my-house some items
# You need to give your new unit something so it doesn't dissolve, and
# probably want to give it at least one sentient so it stays controlled.
# Keep your ingredients
DROP id-for-my-house
MOVE id-for-my-house
# Now you are inside your new building plot.
MAKE 10 stone_wall # Or wooden_wall.  Make walls for as long as you need.
DROP stone_wall 0 # Now all your walls are in the new house unit
At this point, your character is ready to move on to new tasks.
My armies sitting in the plains feel vulnerable. Can I get some temporary protection?
Yes, you can get yourself some earthen_ramparts. They are not as good as wood_walls or stone_walls, but are better than nothing. Just:
COLLECT days soil
As long as there is soil in your parent unit, that will work and result in about one earthen_rampart (enough to protect one fighter) for every soldier type in your unit (not stack). But remember that (a) you need to DROP these immobile items before you can MOVE, ATTACK, or TRAVEL, and (b) earthen_ramparts decay pretty fast, so if you are staying for a while, periodically COLLECT some more.
This dungeon is killing me—literally. Every time I manage to clean out some of the higher levels and leave, I have to fight my way back down, re-skirmishing all the re-spawned monsters on the upper floors. What can I do?
Well, dungeons are supposed to be hard, but there is a method to reduce your aggravation. Once you have beaten a level of the dungeon and killed all the monsters there, give a garrison to the level. That will give you control over that level and allow you to DROP the level below out into the level above or even all the way to the province. Then you can enter that dungeon level without fighting your way through the upper ones again. Think of it as opening up a shortcut to the lower levels.

If more monsters spawn inside a dungeon level you garrisoned, they'll most likely be hostile to its garrison and attack it. One way to avoid that is for the garrison to go hostile to the monster faction (if they are carrying a banner and you know the faction in advance). That way they'll get kicked out of the dungeon before they can attack it. Instead they'll go on a rampage through the countryside. What fun!

Something horrible and unexplained just happened, e.g., (1) my high priest ended up dead five provinces away; (2) half my gold just disappeared; (3) some impostor walked into my locked-down castle and out with all my magical treasures; or (4) all my prisoners just escaped! WTF?
I guess that was a question, after a fashion. I'd opine that it was enemy action. If it was a warrior, you (and most of the surrounding countryside) would probably know what happened. If there was a thunderclap or pyrotechnics (characteristic of priestcraft and magic, respectively), you'd probably have a clue. But if you don't, chances are a high level rogue out for mischief is behind your setback. To reduce the odds of this recurring, I recommend investing in the surveillance skill for a spy-master character you keep close by and some guards (or their more sophisticated and occult brethren).
I traveled to a new province and dropped my soldiers. Why did the soldiers just disappear rather than going to the new province?
This is a consequence of TRAVEL being a single-day command which just marks you as traveling for the subsequent days (if any). While traveling, you won't execute day commands, but only instant commands. However, DROP is an instant command, so you actually dropped the soldiers while traveling which causes items to disappear.

To avoid this problem, instead of:

TRAVEL new-province
DROP soldiers 0
Do this instead:
TRAVEL new-province
GIVE new-province soldiers 0
That will do what you intended because GIVE is a day command.
My unit with a bunch of knights attacked and defeated another unit with a bunch of archers. How did an archer kill one of my knights after I'd already killed them all?
Events are almost always listed in chronological order; if one event is listed after another, it occurred afterwards.

One exception are combat reports where all events of the same type in the same battle (e.g., an archer killing a knight or vice versa) get summarized into a single line with a frequency count, if necessary. That prevents the reports of large battles from blowing up into millions of lines. One consequence of this economy of style is that, sometimes, a later event is listed before an earlier one.

So the combat worked just as intended; that archer killed your knight before it got killed itself. It is just the order of events in your reports that surprises you.

My Major_Ring_of_Invisibility have exactly the same skill bonuses as my Minor_Ring_of_Invisibility. Shouldn't it have a bigger bonus?
That happens commonly with magic items with skill bonuses that come in minor, major, and regular versions. The major ones are rarer than the regular ones, while the minor ones are more common, but they all have the same bonuses.

So what is the point of the major items? Item skill bonuses for the same item do not add up; item skill bonuses of different items do. So a character with a minor, regular, and major ring would receive the cumulative benefits of all. A character with just three major rings would only receive the benefit of having one major ring. So a very well-equipped rogue will want to carry one of each, rather than only the major one.

One of my cleverer characters has been taking some measurements of time, distances, and climates. From these he concludes that the world is only about a quarter of the radius of Earth! What is worse, at that radius, surface gravity would only be about a quarter g, even if the world was made entirely of solid uranium or osmium. So why are all the people not just floating away?
Nice sleuthing, Eratosthenes.

As to your question, there are two responses: For the vulgar, the answer is heavy boots; everybody is wearing them. For the esoteric, the question in response is: So what do you think that implies about what is at the center of the world?

Isn't this game just a ripoff of the game Ascension?
Not really. Ascension is a fun deck-builder game, but the developers ran across it only long after Ascendancy was designed and named. It is a completely different type of game, sharing no content, mechanics, or inspiration.
I have been reading all these FAQs and I'm starting to get the feeling that many of them were not asked at all, frequently or otherwise.
That is an outrageous question! How dare you?
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