Pellic Quest was a computer-moderated science fiction play-by-mail (PBM) game appearing as early as 1978. Conflict Interaction Associates published it as a spinoff of Flying Buffalo's game Starweb. In the game, 10–15 players competed to dominate a universe strewn with artifacts left by a super-race, the Pellics. Players role-played one of six character types with options to develop their position, expand through conquest, conduct diplomacy, and other actions. The game received generally positive reviews in gaming magazines in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The publisher appeared to close the game by 1988.

Pellic Quest
PublishersConflict Interaction Associates
Years active1978–1988
Playing timelimited (closed ended)
Materials requiredInstructions, order sheets, turn results, paper, pencil
Media typePlay-by-mail

Development edit

Conflict Interaction Associates published the game as a "licensed 'spinoff'" of Starweb.[1] The games shared many similarities, with Pellic Quest having more tactical detail.[1] It was reviewed as early as 1978 in an issue of Dragon magazine.[2] The game was moderated by computer.[2] The cost in 1978 was $6 for the rulebook, and $1.50 per turn.[2] By 1981 turn fees had increased to $2.25.[1] In a 1988 issue of Flagship, the editors indicated that the game was likely not running anymore.[3]

Gameplay edit

Pellic Quest was a PBM game for 10–15 players in which each player commands an alien race, able to jump between over 200 worlds.[4] The science fiction setting presented a universe where a departed "super-race called the Pellics" left various artifacts.[2] Players attempted to dominate the galaxy.[1] Ground combat was also a game element.[5]

Players started by choosing to be one of six role types. Each had different abilities, and each earned victory points in a different way. The Emperor used people and material to earn victory points while the Crusader conquered and subjugated planets. The Brigand was a pirate who raided planets and built space fleets. The Droyds were robots who earned points by destroying planet life and building more droyds. Traders used the production potential of each world. And the Zente were insectoid warriors that bred at a high rate and tried to destroy everything in their path.[2]

Each player started on a different home world with a given industrial capacity, production capability, number of soldiers and a stockpile of material (the game's currency). Each turn, players mailed in an order sheet with computer codes for various orders. These orders related to: (1) creating star fleets, industries and soldiers, (2) movement, (3) combat, (4) reconnaissance, (5) developing alliances, and (6) diplomacy.[2] Three types of star fleets were available: scout, battle, and all-purpose.[1]

The player who amassed a certain number of victory points first was the winner.[2]

Reception edit

In the September 1978 edition of Dragon (Issue 18), Dave Minch liked the fact that the game was computer moderated, which he had not experienced before. "With this there can be no bad die rolls, no faulty judge interpretation, and no over-balanced character overrunning the game. You play against known character types and can react accordingly so that you don’t make mistakes because of total ignorance. You always know exactly what your limitations are and what you must do to counteract them." Minch concluded with a recommendation: "All things considered, the game is well worth trying and spending time on. I look for games of this type to happen much more frequently."[2] In the April–May 1979 edition of White Dwarf (Issue 12), John Reynolds liked the multitude of possible actions that players were allowed. He concluded, "Pellic Quest is the first game to be produced by CIA and if it's anything to go by, the hobby of computer gaming is here to stay."[4] In a 1979 Game Survey held by The Space Gamer and published in the May–June 1980 edition (Issue 20), readers rated the game 5.6 out of 10.[6]

Reviews continued into the 1980s. In the August 1981 edition of The Space Gamer (No. 42), Steve Jackson compared Pellic Quest favourably to its antecedent, Starweb, saying, "I'd recommend this to any StarWeb player who enjoys the original game and wants to try a variant – or to the tactics-oriented space gamer looking to 'get his feet wet' in PBM computer combat."[1] A reviewer in the November–December 1983 issue of PBM Universal highlighted the game's moderation and low pricing.[5] In 1985, the game tied with DuelMasters, Power, and Quest of the Great Jewels for Third Place in the 1st Annual Paper Mayhem Awards for "Best PBM Game".[7]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Jackson, Steve (August 1981). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer. No. 42. Steve Jackson Games. p. 36.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ward, Jim (September 1978). "Reviews: Pellic Quest; Computer-Moderated Role-Playing". Dragon. No. 18. TSR, Inc. p. 8.
  3. ^ Editors 1988. p. 28.
  4. ^ a b Reynolds, John (April–May 1979). "Open Box". White Dwarf (12). Games Workshop: 13.
  5. ^ a b Editors (November–December 1983). "Gamealog". PBM Universal. No. 1. p. 30.
  6. ^ Jackson, Steve (May–June 1980). "1979 Game Survey Results". The Space Gamer. No. 28. Steve Jackson Games. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0194-9977 – via Internet Archive.
  7. ^ Editors (November–December 1985). "1st Annual Paper Mayhem Awards". Paper Mayhem. No. 15. The Paper Mayhem Association. p. 23.

Bibliography edit

  • Editors (1988). "Spotlight on Computer-Moderated SF Games: Pellic Quest". Flagship. No. 18. pp. 27–28.