Q&A About The DPjudge E-Mail Interface
about the DPjudge | the DPPD | common questions
Questions About... The recognized commands
· The recognized commands
· How to get a list of games and
  information on a specific game
· How to observe a game
· How to join a game
· How to sign on after having joined
· How to check, submit, and clear
· How to send press
· Sending illegal types of press
· Ending a press message
· Updating player information
· Getting around wireless device
· How to resign
· How to take over a vacant position
· The Master's commands
What is the e-mail address of the DPjudge?
This DPjudge (USDP) responds to e-mail sent to dpjudge@floc.net

If I send an e-mail to the DPjudge, what commands may I include in that e-mail?
The DPjudge recognizes only the following forty commands:

·OBSERVE (etc.)

Hey, you said there were forty recognized commands! That's only twenty-one!
Okay, you're right. I left out the nineteen "Master commands" (those that may be used only by a game's Master). These are:


There; that makes forty. That's it. If you are familiar with the Ken Lowe Internet judge, you know that it supports a few more commands. The DPjudge does not support these. Limit your messages to the commands listed above or the DPjudge will simply tell you it does not understand you.

Note that if a specific RULE (PLAYER_DEADLINES) is used in a game, the SET DEADLINE command may be used by persons other than the Master.

Will some of the other Ken Lowe judge commands be supported later?
SET DRAW and TERMINATE almost certainly will be (someday) -- as for any other commands, though, don't hold your breath. I don't really see much of a need for them.

Here is a list of the capabilities provided by the E-Mail and the Web interfaces:

E-Mail Interface Web Interface
 ·Sending Press
 ·Submitting Orders
 ·Setting Absences
 ·Changing WAIT Status
 ·Changing the Game State
 ·Obtaining a Phase HISTORY      
 ·Obtaining a Game SUMMARY
 ·Obtaining a Game MAP

 ·Obtaining a Game LIST
 ·Creating a Game
 ·Taking a Role in a Game
  (Joining, Taking Over)
 ·Modifying Player Data
  (e-mail address, password)
 ·Resigning From a Game
 ·Sending Press
 ·Submitting Orders
 ·Setting Absences
 ·Changing WAIT Status
 ·Changing the Game State
 ·Viewing Phase HISTORY
 ·Viewing a Completed Game's SUMMARY 
 ·Viewing a Game MAP
 ·Voting on Draw or Concession
 ·Reading Documentation
  (like you're doing now)
 ·All Other Activities Not Listed

Does upper- and lower-case ever matter in any command?
No. Never.

How to get a list of games and information on a specific game
How can I get a list of games I can play?
It's as easy as sending a one-word e-mail to the DPjudge. That word is LIST. This request must be made when not signed on to a particular game, and in response you will get a list of all games on the DPjudge that are open to the public and are either forming or waiting for replacement players. This list is short and contains very few details about each game. To get more information on a particular game, either go visit the game's Webpage (which the LIST response will give you) or, to get the information by e-mail, ask the next question....

How do I find out about a game via e-mail?
This is also done by using the LIST command. You can either ask for the status of a specific game to be sent to you by putting:
    LIST gameName
or request the status of a game you have already signed on to (in the current e-mail message) by simply saying:
Note that if you are signed on to a particular game, you may not request a list for any game other than that one.

That seems to give me only the up-to-date unit positions and game conditions. Can I get historical information? How about the e-mail addresses of the players involved?
You're asking about the SUMMARY command. Ask for a game's SUMMARY the same way you ask for a LIST of a specific game. The return e-mail will contain the historical ownership of supply centers, records of when each power was taken over by replacement players, and so forth. As for player e-mail addresses, it is the hard-and-fast policy of the DPjudge to keep all e-mail addresses secret until the end of the game -- only a SUMMARY of a completed game will contain player e-mail addresses.

How about the complete history of the moves of a game? Can I request that?
Sure. Just use the HISTORY command. It has the same syntax as the SUMMARY command, and it returns you, in a single e-mail, and listed in order, all of the phase results for the game.

The maps I can see on the Website are pretty handy. Can I get them sent to me in e-mail?
Yes, you can. Just use the MAP command. It has the same syntax as the SUMMARY command, and it returns you, as an e-mail attachment, the .gif map displaying the current positions in the game. If you add ps or pdf to the end of your MAP command, you will be sent the PostScript or Adobe PDF file (respectively) instead of the gif file.

How to observe a game
Okay, let's talk about the different commands. Mind if we take that weird one first? What do you mean by the "(etc.)" on the OBSERVE command? What kind of command is that?
OBSERVE is just one form of a command you use to join a game as something other than a "map-power." (A "map-power" is a player that will own supply centers and units. You join as a "map-power" using the JOIN command, which we'll get to in a minute.) Joining as an Observer will allow you to send press, but take no other part in the game. Now I hear you asking, "Other than a map power or an observer, what else can I be?" Well, other than OBSERVER, there is MONITOR, but after that, there's no single answer, because some games also support various different types of non-map powers (such as the Exchange variant's INVESTOR players.)

What's the difference between a MONITOR and an OBSERVER?
A MONITOR receives only the game's results (and deadline change notices, and draw or concession agreements). An OBSERVER is eligible to send and receive press messages. Also, an OBSERVER shows up on the Web as someone who can "Log In," while a MONITOR does not. Additionally, a MONITOR is not required or expected to be a member of the DPjudge Player Database (DPPD) -- that is, the e-mail address does not need to identify any particular person. MONITORs can therefore be used to update any automatic game-mapping and tracking sites (such as One Site).

Okay, I think I understand. JOIN is for recognized powers (specific nations that can own units and supply centers) in a game, and OBSERVE and similar commands are for everyone else.
You're a sharp one; yes, you got the right idea. The DPjudge assigns an identity to you when you participate in a game. You can be a map-power (either one of your choosing -- from among those map-powers still available -- or assigned to you randomly at game start) via the JOIN command. You can be a named observer (each observer has a unique name), in which case you specify your name when you enter the game using the OBSERVE command. Or you can be another recognized entity of a type specific to certain variant games. One such example is an investor, which is a recognized entity in the exchange variant. You join a game as an investor via the INVEST command. There are others, but you get the idea.

Okay. I understand what you mean now. But how exactly do I use the JOIN and OBSERVE (and similar) command to get me into a game?
To join the game as a map-power player, use the JOIN command. We'll discuss JOIN later, though. Let's finish covering OBSERVE and its friends.

To join a game as a non-map-power, you use a command with the following format:
     playerType createYourName@gameName password
where playerType is (the first few letters, at least, of) the type of non-map power you wish to become. For example, you could use OBSERVE or OBSERVER or OBS to become an observer, and you could use INVESTOR or INVEST or INV to become an investor.

createYourName can be any name of your choosing (except stuff like MASTER or M or the names or initial letters of the map-powers, or any other player ID that is already spoken for). After the at-sign must be the name of the game you wish to join. And don't forget capitalization doesn't ever matter.

password is a password of your choosing. You will need it to SIGNON to the game. Additionally, if you wish to change your playerType for any reason (for example, if you had joined the game as an OBSERVER but now wish to become a map-power by using the JOIN or TAKEOVER command), you will need to use this password in the command that you use to make the change.

Note that the GameMaster will have access to your password, so you may not wish to use the same password that you use to log into the DPPD or that you use on other accounts.

As you can see, then, the DPjudge uniquely identifies each OBSERVER. Contrast this with the Ken Lowe judge, in which each observer uses the same SIGNON Ogamename command. Here at the DPjudge, to interact with a game once you have joined it, you still use SIGNON command but the O is replaced by the player's chosen "ID" and an at-sign. (See the discussion of the SIGNON command below for more details.)

Here are a couple examples of the "join but not as a map-power" command:

     OBSERVE loudMouth@coolgame myPassword
     MONITOR nosyParker@yourGame peeping
     INVEST DonTrump@monopoly iam_rich

At present, Observers, Monitors, and Investors are the only known type of non-map-power, but in the future, there will be more. You cannot just make one up, though. That is,

     SPY SpysAreUs@coolgame myPassword
is neat, but will simply return you an error because the DPjudge doesn't know what a SPY is. (However, if you ask your GameMaster to add the line ALLOW SPY to the game's "status" file, then you can indeed become a SPY by sending in the line shown above. Unless the DPjudge is taught otherwise, though, a SPY is just another name for an observer.)

Cool!!! So I can name myself as an observer! What happens if I sign on using the syntax that an observer would send to the Ken Lowe judge? That is, by saying "SIGNON OgameName password"?
It won't work, since this is syntax that is not recognized by the DPjudge. The only way you can signon as a non-map-power is to use the SIGNON yourCreatedName@gameName password version (the SIGNON command is discussed more completely below). The closest you can come to the Ken Lowe syntax is to use the single letter O as the name you create for yourself in the OBSERVE command. You would still need to SIGNON with an at-sign (the command would be SIGNON O@gameName password) and you will be the only person that will be allowed to have the name "O". If someone else tries to SIGNON as "O" they'll probably fail because they won't get your password right.

How to join a game
Fine. Now I know how to join the game if I don't want to be a map-power. But I want to play! How do I join a game as a map-power?
You'll use the JOIN command, which has the following syntax:
     JOIN gameName password
     JOIN [powerName@]gameName password

If the game is a private game, you will need to add one more word to the end of your JOIN command. This is the game's "privacy password," which you must obtain from the GameMaster. Is is in this way that games can allow access only to a specific invited group of players.

Note that, unlike the OBSERVE (and other non-map-power) game-entrance commands discussed above, the second word to the JOIN command does not need to contain a "player ID" and the game name -- it might simply be the game name.

When you JOIN a game without specifying a powerName, you will be automatically assigned a player ID of POWER#1 or POWER#2, etc., etc. This player ID will be sent back to you in the response to your JOIN command. Yes, POWER#6 is kind of boring as a player ID, but it's only temporary (when the game starts, you get to be something special and exciting like AUSTRIA).

If you want to send press or (God forbid!) RESIGN before the game starts, you will need to know your player ID (POWER#1, etc.) to use it in the SIGNON or RESIGN command (each of which is discussed below).

As soon as enough players have JOINed, the game will begin and you will be notified which power you will play. Power assignment is completely random unless you selected a powerName in your JOIN command. (That is, there is no such thing as a "preference list" such as is supported by the Ken Lowe judge).

If you specify a powerName when JOINing a game (which you can only do if a specific "rule" is in effect for the game), you will play that particular power when the game starts. Note that you must spell out the entire name of the power (that is, you may not abbreviate "Italy" as "I", etc.) and you must use the at-sign to separate your chosen powerName from the gameName. If the powerName you specify is already spoken for, you will be told this in response, and you will not have JOINed the game.

You cannot JOIN a game that has already begun.

Here is an example JOIN command, which will result in your becoming POWER#1 (or POWER#2, etc.) in the game named jigdy:
     JOIN jigdy mypassword

Note that the JOIN command is deliberately very different from the Ken Lowe command to join a game (which is SIGNON ?gamename password variantInfo...). At the DPjudge, you do not specify any game variant information when joining a game. At the DPjudge, we assume you know what you're getting yourself into.

Can I both JOIN and OBSERVE? If I were a map-power, could I also enter the game as an observer, perhaps even more than once?
Nope; if your e-mail address is already listed as being associated with some role in the game, you can't do something else. If you have two e-mail addresses to use, though, you could indeed do this, but the game's Master, if he finds out what you've done, won't necessarily like you very much. Also, the only way to pull this off is to create two separate registrations in the DPjudge Player Database, which is cheating and grounds for immediate blacklisting, so don't even try it.

Once you are a map-power, you cannot assume any other role. The only way out is to RESIGN (and again, the game's Master might not like you too much). On the other hand, non-map-powers can change their playerType whenever they wish (for example, an observer could send an INVEST command to become an investor or a JOIN or TAKEOVER command to become a map-power).

How to sign on after having joined
What is the syntax of the SIGNON command?
The SIGNON command must contain exactly three space-separated words.

The first word, of course, is SIGNON.

The second word is used to specify both the power and the game name. This is done in one of two ways:

  1. If signing on as a "map-power" (that is, a player that is eligible to own units) or as the Master, the initial letter of the power name can be given, followed immediately by the game name. For example, the command
        SIGNON Ajigdy password
    will signon to the game jigdy as the map-power which begins with "A" (Austria, assuming the game jigdy uses the standard map). If the game has not yet started, and your player ID is something like POWER#3, you can either use the second SIGNON method (described below), or you can use your power number to SIGNON using this first method:
        SIGNON 3jigdy password
  2. Whether a "map-power" or not, an alternate form of the SIGNON can be used. To signon this alternate way, give the full name of the power as which you intend to SIGNON, followed immediately by an at-sign (@) and the game name. For example, the command
        SIGNON austria@jigdy password
    is identical to the earlier example.
    • This second method must be used to signon as an observer or other type of non-map-power.

The third word must be either the player's password or the Master's password.

How to check, submit, and clear orders
Can I submit orders via e-mail?
Yes. You can submit movement, retreat, and adjustment phase orders by e-mail. Simply list the orders somewhere in your e-mail (after a SIGNON and not within a press message). Orders must be completely submitted. Everything you had on-file before will be thrown out and the orders in your e-mail used to replace them.

How do I clear my orders via e-mail?
Easy. Just send a CLEAR command (after a SIGNON).

Can I check what my current orders are by e-mail?
You sure can. Just send a STATUS command (after a SIGNON).

How to send press
Okay, I've joined a game and I know how to SIGNON. It looks like the most useful thing I can do using the e-mail interface is send press. So teach me how. What is the syntax for the PRESS and BROADCAST commands?
After the initial word in the command (PRESS or BROADCAST), you may specify one or more of the following four "options."
  • No option from the list of four below may be given more than once.
  • That is, you may use no more than one of the items from option group 1, no more than one from option group 2, etc.
  1. TO powerList --or--
    + powerList --or--

    This option is used to specify the player or players to which the press will be sent.
    • You may not include this option if the command you are writing is BROADCAST
    • However, this option is required if the command is PRESS.

    Note that although the plus-sign is recognized as a synonym for TO, the minus sign (which has a meaning in the Ken Lowe judge's PRESS command) is not valid; to send a message to everyone except certain parties, you need to list the receiving players.

  2. FAKE TO powerList --or--
    FAKE + powerList --or--
    FAKE +powerList --or--

    This option is used to specify the player or players to whom the press will claim to be addressed. Note that if you include the Master in the true recipients of the message, he must be in the FAKE recipients, and vice-versa. This option may only be used if the game allows FAKE_PRESS and may only appear after any TO option (option 1 above) has been given.

  3. [FAKE] FROM powerName --or--
    WHITE --or--
    GREY --or--

    This option is used to specify the player by whom the press will claim to have been sent. The GREY (or GRAY) version of this option indicates the message is to be sent anonymously. The FROM version allows you to specify a player (either by full-name or by initial letter if a map-power) from whom the press will appear to have been sent. Note that you may not claim that press comes FROM the Master. The FROM version of this option may only be used if the game allows FAKE_PRESS, while GREY (or GRAY) may only be used if the game allows grey or fake press.

  4. QUIET
    This option, if given, indicates that no copy of the press should be sent ("echoed") to the author.

All lines in the e-mail that occur after a properly-written PRESS or BROADCAST command will be considered text for the message until an ENDPRESS, ENDBROADCAST, or SIGNOFF command is found (or until the end of the e-mail message is reached). The message will be sent as soon as one of these lines (or the end of the e-mail message) is reached.

How do I specify a powerList to use in a TO or FAKE TO option?
A powerList is either:

  • the full name of a single power (for map-powers and the Master, the initial letter of the name is recognized, as is the power number [if a single digit] for unassigned powers before a game starts). For example:
    F or france or LoudMouthObserver
  • the initial letters of any number of map-powers (or numbers of unassigned powers), one right after the other. For example:
    would mean France, Russia, and Austria, and
    would mean Power#1, Power#2, Power#4, and the Master.
  • a comma-separated list of the full names of powers. For example:
         France,Russia, austria, Master, kibitzer#1

Could you show me some example PRESS and BROADCAST commands?
Sure I could. Try these on for size. As these examples show, there are often many different ways to write the same press command, and not all methods are shown below.

  1. PRESS TO A -or-
    The simplest possible example of a partial (non-broadcast) press message. This line begins a press message destined for Austria. As long as the game does not allow only grey press, you will be identified as the sender of the message.

    This line begins a broadcast message that will claim to have been sent from Germany.

    This sends press to Austria and makes Austria think that Turkey got the message as well. Note that because TO must precede FAKE TO, this command may not be written as:

    This sends press to Austria and makes Austria think everyone in the game received it.

    This line begins a broadcast message that will claim to have been sent only to Austria, England, Italy, and Russia. Perhaps you are France and are part of a grand alliance to defeat Turkey, but you are not being true to the cause -- you are passing Turkey all of your correspondence with your allies (note that any game observers will see this press, though, so you should hope they don't tell your allies what you are doing).

    Sends press to Austria and France, and you will be identified as the sender.

  7. PRESS GREY TO AF -or-
    Sends press to Austria and France, but they won't know who it came from. In the press you can write something identifying who you are, but the recipient will have doubts.

    PRESS TO A FROM G -or-
    Sends press to Austria, and he'll think it came from Germany.

    Sends press to Austria, who will be told (falsely) that the message also went to Russia, and that it came from Turkey.

    Sends press to Austria, and identifies who you are. Austria will be told (falsely) that the message also went to Italy.
Sending illegal types of press
If my game allows only grey press, do I need to say GREY?
No. It gets said for you automatically.

If a game is NO_PRESS or PUBLIC_PRESS press, does the e-mail interface keep me from violating these rules?
Of course it does. For example, only BROADCAST and PRESS TO MASTER are allowed in a PUBLIC_PRESS press game. You will be lectured if you try to send any other kind of press in such a game.

What happens if I try to do something illegal (like send press faked FROM the Master or send private press in a broadcast-only game)? Will I crash the DPjudge or will it go through and do what it can (for example, leaving out the "FAKE FROM M" part)? Will it alert the Master to someone trying to cheat? Will it botch the press and let the other powers know who really sent it?
It will send mail back to you saying, "you can't do that" but will tell no one that you tried. It will not send the press anywhere, but will return it to you with its politely stated objection to your request.

Ending a press message
What is the syntax for the ENDPRESS, ENDBROADCAST, and SIGNOFF commands?
These three commands have the same syntax. When found as the first word on a line (not necessarily the only word, but the first word), any message being composed is terminated and sent immediately. If the QUIET option was not used, an echo of the press message will be also be e-mailed to you.

If the command is SIGNOFF, the DPjudge finishes processing the e-mail message as if nothing else were contained in it from that point forward. Otherwise (if the command is ENDPRESS or ENDBROADCAST), you may begin another PRESS or BROADCAST message with your next command.

If you don't put any one of these commands in your message, then everything you have after your PRESS (or BROADCAST) command gets sent up to the end of the message. Which means if you have an automatic signature that gets added to your outgoing e-mail to let everyone know how to contact you, you will probably violate gunboat rules. So make sure you have either ENDPRESS or ENDBROADCAST or SIGNOFF in your mail, and make sure to spell it correctly!

Is that true? Does ENDBROADCAST stop PRESS as well? And ENDPRESS can be used to stop a BROADCAST?
Yes, to both counts. I thought it was weird too, but the Ken Lowe judge does it that way so I said, oh okay, whatever.

Other than the lines after my SIGNOFF, is there any other way I can put lines in my e-mail that will be ignored?
Yes. Any line whose first non-whitespace characters are // will be ignored. This is true wherever the line appears in the e-mail, even if in the middle of a press message. This ability to "comment out" lines may be useful to you if you want to set up an e-mail template containing your commonly used commands. Each line in your template can be commented out, and you can then simply remove the leading slashes on the lines you wish to use in the message to be sent. In this way, you might only need to type the commands once. For example:
    // CREATE mygamename mypassword
    // here's the timing line I usually use
    // TIMING NEXT 2D AT 12:00 GRACE 3D
    SIGNON X@game password
    // PRESS TO A

Updating player information
How do I change my e-mail address so that the game knows where I now am?
Use the SET ADDRESS command. To do so, simply SIGNON to the game in an e-mail message and provide a line of the form:
     SET ADDRESS [newAddress[,otherAddress]...]
Any Address data that you provide should be a valid e-mail address. If you do not specify a newAddr, the e-mail address from which you sent the message will be used. By providing multiple addresses (joined by commas, with no whitespace between the addresses, you may direct that the game send all e-mail to you into more than one mailbox.

How do I change my password?
Use the SET PASSWORD command. To do so, simply SIGNON to the game in an e-mail message and provide a line of the form:
     SET PASSWORD newPassword
It's that simple. This command works whether you are a map power, an observer or other non-map power, or the Master of the game.

Can I change my "wait flag" via e-mail?
Yep. Just send in a SET WAIT or SET NOWAIT command after a SIGNON. That's all there is to it.

What if I will be away? Can I tell the game not to set deadlines on specific dates?
Yes. For this, you would use the SET ABSENCE command. This command establishes dates on which the game will not set a deadline. Any player may use the SET ABSENCE command; however, only the Master may introduce any absence longer than fourteen days. To set an absence, give a date in the same format as used for deadlines (for example, 23 JUL 2003 0:00, but this can be abbreviated), then optionally the word TO and another date. Deadlines will not be set on any of the days included in the date range. You may omit the first date (and begin with the word TO to specify all dates from the current day to the specified date. Here are some examples:
     SET ABSENCE 8 AUG 2003
     SET ABSENCE TO 13:00

Notice how we shortened each line. You normally won't add the time, because absences typically span multiple days without a specific start or end time (midnight is good enough an approximation). Be aware though that it's midnight in the game's time zone, which could be significantly different from yours. If that's the case, add an extra day as a buffer or add a specific time.

We can also drop the year, because you're not likely to set absences more than a year in advance. Notice that this even works in and around the New Year, as shown in the Christmas Holiday example. In fact, you could even drop the months if the absence is set less than a month in advance. So any day after Nov. 24, you can shorten this further to
     SET ABSENCE 24 TO 6
Short and sweet. The last example is more likely to be useful for REAL_TIME games with very short deadlines in the order of 10 minutes, where you want to take a break for lunch. In that case just enter the time, not the date, as this could only be today.

Note that the game's current deadline is completely unaffected by a SET ABSENCE command. To change the current deadline in any way, you must use the SET DEADLINE command. Note further that it is possible to set extensive absences by repeated use of the command. The Master should be vigilant to ensure that the power to set absences will not be abused by any player. The Master may also use this command if he or she will be away and does not wish the game to process during the absence.

Getting around wireless device restrictions
I use a wireless device to send my e-mail, and it does not support my sending a newline character. Is there anything I can do to be able to send multi-line messages to the DPjudge?
Yes. If you begin a line with two backslash characters (\\), then the next non-whitespace character on that line (providing it is not a letter or a number) will serve as a newline character. Here are some examples:
    \\: signon Emygame mypasswd:list:signoff
    \\\ summary mygame\history mygame
    \\; signon Egame passwd;f lon - eng;press to f;This means war!!
How to resign
Tell me about the RESIGN command.
Well, I'd rather not; but okay, if I must. The thing to remember about it is that it has the same syntax as the SIGNON command:
      RESIGN initialLetterOfPowerNamegameName yourPassword -or-
      RESIGN completePowerName@gameName yourPassword

Note that, unlike the Ken Lowe judge, you do not give the RESIGN command after a SIGNON. Rather, you give it instead of a SIGNON. You may send PRESS in this, your final message (get off a parting shot or offer an apology). Here is an example:
      RESIGN austria@theGame myPassword
      I am resigning now, and since I am conscientious like all
      good players should be, I have found a replacement to take
      my place. His e-mail address is JoeBlow@somewhere.com.
      and I've already told him to send in a TAKEOVER command.
      Goodbye, cruel world.

Note that if there is any problem with your e-mail message, anywhere in it, you will not be RESIGNed. For instance, if you misspell PRESS in the above example, you will still be playing Austria until you RESIGN in a perfect e-mail message. If you do successfully RESIGN, this will be reported to you in the response to your e-mail.

One final thing. The Master may never RESIGN. If he needs to leave the game for any reason, he must find a replacement for himself and serve until that replacement issues a TAKEOVER command.

How to take over a vacant position
I think I can guess what the TAKEOVER command does, but tell me anyway.
Okay. It allows a kind, much-appreciated soul to become a map-power in a game that has already started. Which means that one of the map-powers has taken a powder and left the spot available. The command has the same syntax as SIGNON and RESIGN:
      TAKEOVER initialLetterOfPowerNamegameName yourPassword -or-
      TAKEOVER completePowerName@gameName yourPassword

Remember that, like the RESIGN command, the TAKEOVER command does not follow a SIGNON command but rather is used instead of a SIGNON command. It does serve the same purpose as SIGNON, in that it does sign you on to the game -- that is, you may send press in your TAKEOVER message. You are only allowed to TAKEOVER vacant map-powers. Here are the two possible ways to TAKEOVER an abandoned position as Austria:
      TAKEOVER Agamename password
      TAKEOVER austria@gamename password

Note that in a private game, the game's privacy password (as supplied to you by the GameMaster) will need to be given after your personal password. For example, like this:
      TAKEOVER austria@gamename password privacyPassword

Note that the GameMaster will have access to your password, so you may not wish to use the same password that you use to log into the DPPD or that you use on other accounts.

The TAKEOVER command is also used to become the new Master of a game. The password that must be used is the password of the current Master (who cannot resign his position). The proper way to hand a game over to a new Master is to locate the willing replacement Master, give him the game's Master password, and have him e-mail a "TAKEOVER master@gamename password" command.

The Master's commands
What is the CREATE command?
The CREATE command is used to create a new game and become its GameMaster. The syntax is as follows:
      CREATE gamename password [ruleVariant]
      [status file lines]

A gamename may contain only alphabetic characters (a through z), numeric characters (0 through 9), and the underbar character.

The recognized ruleVariants are: standard, payola, and xtalball. If not provided, the ruleVariant will default to "standard."

Assuming no game with the given gamename exists, a new game will be created, and the sender of the message will be set as the game's Master. If the message contains a line beginning with the word FORM, the game will be immediately set up to accept JOIN commands, etc. Otherwise, the game will be put in preparation mode (in this state, the game is as yet hidden from the world) and the Master will be told how to access the game's status file via the Web.

If the message contains a line beginning with the words SET UNLISTED, only persons knowing the game name will know about the game (it will not appear in the game lists on the Web, nor in the response to an e-mailed LIST command or on The Diplomatic Pouch Openings List). The GM can change this at any time by sending a new message with either SET LISTED or SET UNLISTED in it.

Lines that appear in the e-mail after the CREATE command (until any SIGNOFF command is encountered -- with the exception of any FORM line) are put into the game's status file as part of its initial content. The various lines that are understood are all described in the status file directive list and in the description of the DPjudge rule set. Exceptions are the GAME, MASTER, and PHASE status file directives, which will be silently ignored -- these cannot be added to the status file by the CREATE command.

(Masters should become familiar with the status file directives and the rule set; these are used to govern all of the different game parameters, including whether to make a game PRIVATE, so that only invited players may JOIN.)

For example, the following e-mail message:

CREATE mygamename masterPassword
private privacyPassword
desc A standard game on the standard map.
map standard
timing move 2d
Rule no_press coastal_Convoy
rule power_choice
will create a private game (named mygamename) that will be played on the standard map, that will have two-day movement phase deadlines, and that will not allow press but will allow landed fleets to convoy armies. Additionally, players will be able to specify which power they want to play (assuming their choice hasn't been spoken for already) when JOINing the game. Finally, the message specifies that the game should be allowed to form immediately (that is, the Master will not need to visit the game's Web page to cause formation to begin).

Note that any errors in the the lines added to the status file are not reported by the e-mail response. The Master will learn of any such errors when he visits the game page on the Web.

Once he receives the e-mail reply to the CREATE command, the Master also has an opportunity to modify the game status file in any way, altering, deleting, or supplementing any lines he may have provided beneath the CREATE command. Again, consult the status file directive list for details on updating a game status file. By sending extra lines in the CREATE command and/or modifying the status file using the Web page, the Master establishes all game parameters and rules, can provide a description for the game, can set up DUMMY (unplayed) powers, etc., etc.

When the Master decides that the game status file is ready (which could be immediately -- he might not have needed or chosen to add any lines to the status file at all), he can move the game out of preparation mode. This is done by use of a checkbox that appears on the Master's Webpage. The Master may choose to either "Allow the game to form" (meaning that the game will accept JOIN and other similar e-mailed commands) or to "Set the game to active."

This latter option ("Set the game to active") is used only very rarely. It would be used when migrating a game in progress to the DPjudge or when otherwise setting up a position. Before using this option, the Master would first be sure to add all power and player information, set the current game PHASE (this is very important), and provide unit locations and center ownership data in the status file. If the Master does not change the current game phase from FORMING and chooses the "Set game to active" option, the powers in the game will be completely set up as if for the first turn of the game. Only if the Master has changed the game PHASE so that it is no longer FORMING but is instead an actual phase in the game flow, will the status file (presumably containing non-game-start unit positions and center ownership, etc.) be left entirely as-is by the "Set game to active" option. Use of the "Set the game to active" option requires a careful and attentive Master, who must completely set up a game status file (including when the next DEADLINE should fall, etc.).

And PURGE does the opposite?
Indeed, the PURGE command is used to completely remove a game. Unsurprisingly, its syntax mimics that of the CREATE command:
      PURGE gamename password
But there are several restrictions: The game must either be in the preparation phase or forming and no player may have joined yet. If they did, make them resign. The reason that there are so many restrictions, is that a game, once started, is not the property of the GM, but of all involved. The restrictions are there to protect this shared property from the whims of a single person (the GM). The normal way to end a game that needs to be ended prematurely, is to set its status to terminated. If you have an absolutely good reason to want to eradicate an active or even finished game, tell that to the judgekeeper and he may decide to honour your request or reject it altogether.

What if I'm not really satisfied with the name of my game and would like to RENAME it?
Then you would use the RENAME command. Its syntax is very similar to the previous commands:
      RENAME gamename newgamename password
Avoid as much as possible using this command after the game already started, as players may not notice the name change message until after they entered their new orders, leading to all kinds of unnecessary frustrations.

Can I change the game state?
Yes, you can, by way of the following single word commands: FORM, ACTIVATE, WAIT and TERMINATE. Any other state, like PREPARATION or COMPLETED, can not be set in this way, but must be reached by the normal game mechanics. Nor can a completed game be changed to a different state, unless with the assistance of the judgekeeper, who will need a damn good reason to do so. For a game that already started to go back to the FORMING state, you first need to ROLLBACK to the starting phase. Afterwards you need to explicitly set the state to ACTIVE to get going again, or ROLLFORWARD to the desired phase. All players will still have the same powers assigned to them.

What is the syntax of the SET DEADLINE command?
This command (which sets the current deadline) has the following form:
      SET DEADLINE [weekday] [day [month [year]]] [hour:minute]
That is, you must at least specify a weekday (either in full or abbreviated as MON, TUE, etc.) or a day of the month (from 1 to 31) or a time or any combination thereof. The DPjudge assumes that you're trying to set a deadline in the future, so if you omit a certain part it will replace it with the first appropriate date component following the time of the message. If you only specify a time, the date will be set either as today or tomorrow, depending on whether the given time is past or before the current time, i.e. within the next 24 hours. If only the day is given, the month is set to either this month (counting from today onwards) or next month (if smaller than today). If set the month must be written in full or as an abbreviation, such as JAN or NOV. Likewise, if the year (two or four digits) is omitted, it will be set to either the current year or the next one. But when omitting the time (hour:minute), this will be set either to the "AT" parameter from the TIMING line of the game's status file, or (if the game has no such timing parameter) to midnight (0:00). A notice will be broadcast to the game announcing the new deadline.

Note that if a specific RULE (PLAYER_DEADLINES) is used in a game, the SET DEADLINE command may be used by persons other than the Master.

What is the PROCESS command?
The PROCESS command will cause the game to immediately process the current phase. This command can only be performed by the Master and is recognized if the word PROCESS appears as the first word of any line outside a press message. Note that the PROCESS command is only supported through e-mail, though the Master can achieve the same effect by submitting the final unsubmitted set of player orders and adjusting the deadline to cause processing at the next scheduled check.

The one difference between PROCESS at the DPjudge and PROCESS on the Ken Lowe judge is that the current phase will not be processed unless all players have submitted whatever they are required to submit for the phase. However, the DPjudge will process a game even if all orders are not yet submitted if an exclamation point is appended to the command, like this: PROCESS! If any player has not submitted orders for a phase when a PROCESS! command comes to a DPjudge, the judge will go ahead and process the phase, defaulting anything that is unsubmitted to HOLDs, WAIVEs, DISBANDs, and REMOVEs chosen randomly. Without the exclamation point, however, the DPjudge doesn't get into this business; instead it will simply reply that the game cannot yet be processed. The Master has access to the file where all player data is stored, and he can update that data if he needs to do so before requesting a PROCESS.

Some variant game-phases may not be supported by the DPjudge. That is, games may list phases (in their FLOW) that are manually processed by the GameMaster. When such a game phase is current, the Master must use the PROCESS command to cause the DPjudge to advance the game to the next phase. Deadlines are still set for such phases (the Master is declared late if the game is not instructed to PROCESS before the deadline is reached).

How about the PREVIEW command?
The PREVIEW command is identical to the PROCESS command except that the phase results are only "previewed." This means that the results are sent to the Master (and only to the Master) via e-mail, and the game map and status file are not modified (that is, the game is not advanced to the next phase; the current phase is left unprocessed).

How about the RESIGN command?
The RESIGN command enables the Master to resign a player from a game. This is identical to if the player had resigned themselves from the game. Unfortunately, a lot of less experienced players just stop playing without any notice. This command lets the Master resign the player or the Master can also "un-dummy" a dummied player by using this command.

How about the DUMMY command?
The DUMMY command is not meant as a reflection on your playing abilities. Instead, this allows a Master to set a particular power to be played by the computer. This is most useful when it is difficult to find a replacement player for an abandoned power. Sometimes, you do find someone after the power has already been dummied. You can then use the RESIGN command to un-dummy the dummied position.

And what if I use the REVIVE command?
In that case the resignation will be undone and the player will regain his power. This is the same as when the player sends a TAKEOVER mail for his own power. You can optionally add a password as a second parameter. If omitted a random one is created. In either case the player is informed of the new password in the welcome back mail. He can later change it with SET PASSWORD.

But what if in the meantime someone else took the spot?
Inform him politely that the original player desires to play on. If he agrees, you can RESIGN him first, and then REVIVE the original player. Assuming the game didn't process the turn yet, this succession of commands should do the trick.

How would I put a game back at a previous phase?
You would do this using the ROLLBACK command. This command on its own will roll back one processed phase, ignoring any skipped phases in between. You can also put a phase abbreviation after it -- for example, you might say
When you use the ROLLBACK command, the game will be put back on that particular phase, all player orders will be cleared, and a new deadline will be set.
Additional options are:
RESTORE This restores the orders instead of resetting them, in general meaning the game is ready to be processed.
FULL This will undo any persistent settings, like game rules or the game description or even whether a power is a dummy or taken over, to what they were in the selected phase. Use with caution.
For example
will roll back to the Winter 1904 Adjustments, with all build orders restored and any rule and other persistent changes made after that phase undone.
Note that this command may only be used on an active game. That is, once a game is completed, ROLLBACK is no longer possible. One reason for this is the fact that once a game has completed, the game summary, indicating player identities, has been published. Be very careful with the FULL option, because it might undo power replacements and other changes that may cause you some headaches. In case of doubts or trouble, contact the judgekeeper.

What if the game had started prematurely, while I had forgotten a crucial parameter that influences the game start?
You can rollback to the forming phase with
This will not change power assignment. After you made your changes, change the game status to 'Active' and the game starts again with the same players playing the same powers.

And can I undo a rollback?
Yes, you can, thanks to the aptly called ROLLFORWARD command. This command takes the same options as ROLLBACK but instead of going back to an earlier phase, it jumps to a later phase, provided that the game has never been processed since the last rollback. Multiple rollbacks can be undone by a single rollforward and vice versa.
Note that if you changed a rule that affects the game results before rolling forward, the results and even the game maps may look different than before the rollback. For example if you chose a different blind rule, the new player maps will reflect that change. Players may or may not have kept copies of the older maps, and take this as an issue. It's therefore advisable to make sure you have the players' full consent before carrying it out.

What is the OFFICIAL command?
The OFFICIAL command has the syntax:
     OFFICIAL [subject]
This command allows the Master to cause any PRESS and BROADCAST messages that are given later in the current e-mail message to be delivered using the specified subject (rather than the usual e-mail subject "Diplomacy press"), and without the usual press header ("Message from Master to Austria", etc.). The OFFICIAL command applies to all PRESS and BROADCAST messages until the end of the current e-mail message or until another OFFICIAL command is given. Note that if no subject is provided in an OFFICIAL command, any subsequent PRESS and BROADCAST messages will be sent as normal (with the usual subject and header). The OFFICIAL command is limited to 60 characters.

And the REVEAL command?
The REVEAL command is just a single-word command. If a game uses the NO_REVEAL rule, the REVEAL command must be sent in by the Master after the game completes when the time is ripe for player identities to be revealed. Only when this command is sent in will the game be automatically reported for ranking purposes, the final game summary be completed, etc., etc.

What if I am Mastering a game and if, for whatever reason, I need to give up my position?
You (yes, you) are 100% responsible to locate a new human Master for the game. Until that person e-mails in a valid TAKEOVER command, the game is still entirely your responsibility. Once you have located a willing Master to take over for you, simply give that person the game's current Master password and await his or her TAKEOVER command. You will be mailed to let you know when you are no longer the Master of the game.

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