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Crossfire Handbook - Playing Crossfire

This chapter outlines useful information for beginning players on exploring the world of Crossfire.

Handbook Table of Contents

Guides - Back to guides index

  1. Connecting to Crossfire - How to connect to a Crossfire Server
  2. Creating a character - What to consider when creating a new character
  3. Playing Crossfire - General information about moving and interacting in Crossfire ← You are here :!:
    1. Player Commands - Commands any player can use including syntax and description
    2. DM Commands - Commands only a DM can use
  4. Skills - What skills your character should learn
    1. Combat - Skills relating to hand to hand combat
    2. Magic - Skills related to spellcraft
    3. Crafting and other skills - Other skills
  5. Equipment - What equipment should you try and find
    1. Store Guide (the best stores for buying and selling)
  6. Maps - Where you should go exploring
    1. Beginners Atlas - A [uncompleted] guide to the default mapset.

Playing Crossfire

In this section, several basic bits of information are detailed in a concise way in rough order of importance. Various pointers to other sections of this document will help you to round out your knowledge if you want to. All of the available player commands are concisely explained in appendix A (commands). You can always get a summary of available commands while playing the game; hit “?” for help.

How to do simple stuff


Movement is accomplished with the mouse, or with the same keys that some rouge-like computer games use.
The move command is broken up into specific commands for each direction .
To move using the mouse, position the cursor over a square you wish to move to in the view window then click the right hand button.
If you want to use the keyboard's keys, here's a simple diagram of the default standard movement bindings:


KP_7 KP_Home


KP_8 KP_Up


KP_9 KP_Prior

nw-arrow n-arrow ne-arrow

KP_4 KP_Left

w-arrow e-arrow l

KP_6 KP_Right

sw-arrow s-arrow se-arrow

KP_1 KP_End


KP_2 KP_Down


KP_3 KP_Next

The central character refers to yourself and is associated with the number-pad 5 (KP_5) command (stay) or period(.) (stay fire);
you don't move anywhere when you press it.

In order to “run” in a particular direction (i.e. move continuously without having to repeatedly punch the key) hold down the <control> key then hit any movement key or the right hand mouse button to start moving. Release the <control> key when you wish to stop running.

Attack Something

If you move into something, you use an appropriate skill on it. This means walls, doors, and monsters will be damaged if you hit them. If you have the lockpicking skill ready or a key these will be used to open it. If you are running you will always attack if possible. Players and friendly monsters may also be attacked in this way so be careful!

Shoot a Ranged Weapon

Apply the desired Ranged Weapons (e.g. bows, wands etc), then check to see that the Range: slot in the status window indicates that item is “readied” (yes… you can have something applied but not readied). If its not ready, use either the plus or minus keys to rotate though all of the slots. Once readied, hold down the <shift> key followed by a movement key to fire the object in that direction. Alternatively, place the cursor in the view window, then hit the middle mouse button to fire.

Cast a spell

cast - In order to “cast” spells (either incantations or prayers), you must have the skills of wizardry (incantations) or praying (prayers). Possession of a “talisman” or a “holy symbol” will also allow you to respectively cast incantations or prayers. You can only cast those spells you have learned.

to ready a spell in the Range: slot. To “fire” the spell, make a ranged attack by holding shift and pressing the desired movement key.

Note: if you don't have enough mana an incantation will fail. If you don't have enough grace a prayer may work. For more information concerning the magic system see the wizardry guide.

More about the combat system is in the skills guide section under combat.

Invoke - A useful way to quickly cast both incantations and prayers is via the invoke command. Invoke will instantly cast magic in the direction you're currently facing. Invoke can also replace cast and achieve the same effect.

Use a Skill

Ready_skill - In order to use a skill, it must first be readied. A ready skill will show up in the stat window in the Range: slot. If a skill doesn't appear in the slot, rotate the range slot to check for the skill. When a skill is readied, the range slot will appear as “Skill: <skill>'' (otherwise it appears as “Skill: none”) To use the skill, make a “ranged attack” (i.e. hit the same keys or mouse button as for firing a wand). You can ready any skill you have with

Use_skill - This will instantly use the specified skill, such as smithery with:

Also, some skills will automatically be readied when you undertake certain actions. For example, if you run into a hostile monster with a wielded weapon the melee weapons skill is readied.

To learn more about the skills system see Skills guide.

Applying an item

Apply - Most of the time, in order to manipulate or “apply” items you have to be holding them. Move the cursor over to the desired item in the inventory window. You will want to ensure you have weapons and armour equipped before combat by applying them until a small A is shown next to the item. Alternatively you can use the apply command and specify the item you wish to equip such as a bow:

FIXME Insert example image of applied bow.

By using the middle button on the mouse, you may toggle the status (i.e. between “applied” or “unapplied”) of items. Note that some items when applied will be used up (they disappear from the inventory window). Examples of these kind of items include food, potions, and, scrolls.

‘apply -a’ is “always apply”, if the object is already applied then nothing happens, otherwise it is applied. Similarly ‘apply -u’ is “always unapply”. This is can be useful for keybindings since there is no scripting language to check whether an object is applied or not.

To learn more about the uses of various items see Equipment guide.

Applying a building, boat, teleporter

Move over on top of the desired structure. Then hit either middle mouse button while the cursor is on the icon of the structure in the look window, or hit the 'A' key to issue the apply command. If there is a way to get “inside” you will be taken there. If no link exists, you will get the message “the <structure> is closed.” Some buildings have additional requirements to enter.

Applying a Bed to Reality

Applying a Bed to Reality or Saving the game and ending the Crossfire session

A special type of link is the Bed to Reality. To save your player at the end of your game session you must find a “Bed to reality” save bed, move your player over it and apply it (“A”). These beds can usually be found in the inns and taverns dotted around the maps (especially in cities). This prevents you just saving anywhere and forces you to finish what you are doing and return somewhere safe. The save command is to provide an emergency backup in case of a game crash.

FIXME «insert guide for finding a bed of reality»

To learn more see Maps guide.

Picking up items

To pickup items, move over the item, then either hit the ”,“ key or move the cursor over to the look window, position it over the desired item and click the right mouse button. You will see the item appear in your inventory window. If you pick up too much stuff, you won't be able to see it all at once. Use the ”<“ and ”>“ keys to rotate through the inventory list.

In particular, learn not to drop things you don't want to. Some things are gone forever if you drop them onto the ground. You can use the command “help” to learn more about other commands. The ',' (comma) key also picks up objects below you. Another important key is the ' key, which tells your client that you're about to begin a text command. On some clients you can click in a window to type in a text command.

Examining and Identifying Items

Examination means learning about some of the properties of an item. Many items are not what they seem and require closer examination to be sure. Some items are more powerful than normal but some items are cursed or even damned. To check if you have a magical item you must either:

  1. use the skill detect magic (e.g. 'use_skill detect magic)
  2. use a scroll of detect magic (e.g. 'Apply Scroll of detect magic)
  3. use a table of detect magic in a shop by paying the required fee

To make sure you don't have a cursed item you must either:

  1. use the skill sense curse (e.g. 'use_skill sense curse)
  2. use a scroll of sense curse (e.g. 'Apply Scroll of Sense Curse)
  3. use a table of sense curse in a shop by paying the required fee

Identification means a complete understanding of the properties of an item. If you have an item of interest and wish to understand all of its properties you must either:

  1. use a scroll of identify (e.g. 'Apply Scroll of detect magic)
  2. use a table of identify in a shop by paying the required fee
  3. use an appropriate crafting skill on the item
  4. cast identify (e.g. 'invoke identify), note this is a relatively high level spell

For more information see equipment guide.



Non Player Characters are special “monsters” which have “intelligence.” Players may be able to interact with these monsters to help solve puzzles and find items of interest. To speak with a monster you suspect to be a NPC, simply move to an adjacent square to them and push the double-q, i.e. ”. Enter your message, and press <return>. You can also use the meta-command 'say if you feel like typing a little extra.

Other NPCs may not speak to you, but display intelligence with their movement. Some monsters can be friendly, and may attack the nearest of your enemies. Others can be “pets,” in that they follow you around and help you in your quest to kill enemies and find treasure.

Messages and Notices

There are many special items which can be found in Crossfire, of those shown below, the most important may be the signs.

  • Signs: Signs often have messages that might clue you in on quests and puzzles or even refer you to NPCs. It is your job as a player to make sure you read every sign to make sure you do not miss things.
  • Handles and Buttons: These items can often be manipulated to open up new areas of the map. In the case of handles, all a player must do is apply the handle. In the case of buttons, the player must move items over the button to “hold” it down. Some of the larger buttons may need very large items to be moved onto them, before they can be activated.
  • Gates and locked doors: Gates are often tied to a handle or button and can only be opened by manipulating the the handle/button. Doors that are locked can either be smashed down by attacking the door, by using keys key key which can be found throughout the game, or by picking the lock.
  • Pits: Pits can be doorways to new areas of the map too, but be careful, for you could fall down into a pit full of ghosts or dragons and not be able to get back out!
  • Break away walls: Are a common occurrence in Crossfire. These type of walls can be “destroyed” by attacking them. Thus, sometimes it may be worth a player's time to test the walls of a map for “secret doors.”
  • Fire walls: Will shoot missiles (including bullets, lightning, etc.) at players. Some firewalls can be destroyed while others cannot.
  • Spinners and Directors: spinner director These odd items will change the direction of any item flying over them, such as missile weapons and spells.

Death --- the ultimate penalty?

Should your hit point total drop below 0 you will die. What happens next depends on how the game is compiled. If the NOT_PERMDEATH option is being used (this is the default) then your character (and all of his carried equipment at the instant of death) will appear in the last room the character applied a “bed of reality.”

For each time you die, your character loses 20% of their experience (in all categories) and a random primary stat decreases by 1. At low levels, the stat loss is bad news, while it is the experience loss that really hurts at those high levels. You may still regain lost stats (up to your natural limit) by drinking potions of life. Certain gods restore lost stats if you meet certain conditions while praying on their alter.

If the server administrator has made death permanent, there is still hope for your character. When the RESURRECTION option is enabled (the default option when NOT_PERMDEATH is not being used) other characters may bring you back from the beyond. There are 3 spells that are capable of doing this, but remember to retrieve the corpse of the character that is to be resurrected!

Important commands

Some of the important commands to master follow. For a list of all commands visit player_commands

Meta-command (') - Any command listed by the use of help (? key) can be used by spelling it out after the meta-command is issued. For example, you can use the command say either by hitting the double-q (“ key) or by issuing the command string 'say.

Bind - You may bind any key with a complex command using the binding commands ('bind and 'unbind). For example, you could bind the use of the meditation skill to the key “m.” To do this first type:

  • 'bind use_skill meditation

then press <return>. The game will then ask you for a key to bind the command to, you then hit m. You can also rebind this key to something else later if you wish too. Issue the command:

then press <return>. The game will then ask you for a key to unbind, you then hit m.

Pick up - The command pickup allows you to change your pickup status. Ten different modes for pick up exist:

  • Mode 1: Pick up one item
  • Mode 2: Pickup up one item and stop
  • Mode 3: Stop before picking up items
  • Mode 4: Pick up all items
  • Mode 5: Pick up all items and stop
  • Mode 6: Pick up all magical items
  • Mode 7: Pick up all coins and gems
  • Modes above 7: Pickup items with a value density greater than the pickup mode.

Value density is value in gold/weight in kilograms. The value in gold is what the item is worth if you sold it in the shop. Gold coins have a value density of 66. Density 10 will pickup silver, gold, rings, wands, books, and scrolls. Artifacts are also picked up. Whenever you move over a pile of stuff your pickup mode controls if and what you collect. You can always pickup stuff using the pickup command (,) regardless of your current pickup mode.

Playing with other people

As a general rule, other Crossfire players will prefer to cooperate or at least leave each other alone. If you go about killing other player's characters you may not only risk their continued wrath, but the anger of the server administrator as well. Check out the house rules before you start slaying players.

Useful multi-player commands

Here are some useful commands for playing with other players:

shout - This meta-command will broadcast your message to every player currently logged in.

say - The say command only sends messages to players who share your current map. Invoke this command just like 'say

who - This will give you a listing of all the current players and the maps they are on currently. Invoke this command as 'who.

maps - This command can be a good way to find out where other players are.

tell - Will send your message only to the player indicated. It is invoked as:

  • 'tell <character name> <message string>.

The simple party system

If the SIMPLE_PARTY_SYSTEM has been enabled on your server you can use this to adventure with other players. All experience gained by members of the party is split equally, and in addition, party members are always peaceful towards each other. Here's 2 useful party commands:

1) To form a party issue the command:

  • 'party form <party name>

2) To join a party, type:

  • 'party join <party name>

Note: creating a party does not automatically make you a member, you still have to type 'party join <party name>

To see all of the options, visit party.

Hints on Playing Crossfire

7.1 Beginning players

I'm on the starting map, what do I do now? You should be in a city square with a few sign posts in the middle. Move over the signs and apply them (“A”) to read what they say.

For beginners, there are several maps designed for them. Find these areas and clear them out. All throughout these levels, a player can find signs and books which they can read by stepping onto them and hitting “A” to apply the book/sign. These messages will help the player to learn the system. Probably the first, best area for a beginning player to start out in is “Beginners.” This area is a small house located southwest of your starting location.

Flailing about with spells Some items are perishable. If you shoot a fireball into a room full of scrolls, you will notice them going up in smoke! So be careful not to destroy valuable items.

Tips on surviving Crossfire is populated with a wealth of different monsters. These monsters can have varying immunities and attacktypes. In addition, some of them can be quite a bit smarter than others. It will be important for new players to learn the abilities of different monsters and learn just how much it will take to kill them.

Most monsters in the game are out to mindlessly kill and destroy the players. Killing monsters will help boost a player's score. When fighting a large amount of monsters in a single room, attempt to find a narrower hallway so that you are not being attacked from all sides. Charging into a room full of Beholders would not be wise, instead, open the door and fight them one at a time.

More advice can be found in the Survival Guide .

7.2 Priorities for low-level characters

The priority for characters below about 5th level is to gain some basic items. In this regard, better armour and better spells are best. Look for a quest among the various islands that will allow you to obtain mithril mail. Whenever you scrape together ~100-200 platinum pieces go shopping for armour and weapons (or spells). If you are a fighter type, try to have at least a +2 weapon, +2 helmet, +2 suit of armour, and +2 shield before you reach 5th level. For wizards, attempt to recover enough treasure to be able to buy up good attack spells. For priests, first thing to do is worship a god! Try to get the holy word prayer as soon as possible. Make sure your current god allows good potential use of this spell.

For all classes, get access to the detect magic incantation as soon as possible. This will allow you to sort through the treasure you find while you're in the dungeon, and will save you time and money at the shops.

guides/playing_crossfire.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/01 08:19 by karl