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This so far only concerns how to make archetypes, treasure and NPC's

  • The most up-to-date information regarding archetype properties can be accessed from the types.xml file associated with gridarta
  • There is also a page on the format for fields of the object structure

How to create new archetypes and bitmaps

  1. Determine if new archetype is really needed. Archetypes are only needed to add new images, or if the archetype simplifies creation of a very common item. Don't make a new arch to simply customize an existing archetype.
  2. Figure out which directory/category the object will belong to. This determines an appropriate location for it inside the 'arch' directory. For objects with many animations or that are very large, new subdirectory may be advisable.
  3. Create a bitmap. It must be divisible by 32 in both height and width. The file format should be .PNG 256 colour with transparency.
  4. Create additional bitmaps if you want animation or directional facing.
  5. Split the bitmaps up into 32×32 bitmaps and named according to the naming conventions in the arch. Note, this is not really necessary at current time - non-split images should work properly, but some older clients may have problems with it. (the script “splitxbm” may be used and is included below).
  6. Create an archetype entry. The file should be called object.arc, where object is whatever the new object is. This is the most complicated step, read on for more information about considerations about creating archetypes.
    • Look at other similar archetypes to see how they have been made.
    • If a single 32×32 bitmap is created, only one archetype is needed, but if a larger bitmap is made which is cut down to several 32×32 bitmaps, use “linked” archetypes are needed. To create a linked archetype, add a 'More' line filed by the next piece. The X and Y coordinates in this next piece determine the offset from the head (first) object.
    • When making multipart objects, they should be rectangular. Non rectangular may work, but has not been tested. Note that for multi-part objects, in most cases, only the values in the head portion are used (eg, hp, damage, etc for monsters) so it is generally unnecessary to put a copy of all the head tags in the other parts.
    • See the section later in this document about animations.
  7. If the archetype is a creature or NPC, and if it has abilities such as firebreathing or magical attacks, these abilities are put into the treasures file in the appropriate entry, and as invisible objects. This is also how inventory like bows or swords is given. Look at the other entries in the treasures file for the format to use. Note that if an existing entry in the treasures file does what you want, reuse it for the new archetype. There is no requirement that each archetype have a unique treasure list.

What is an archetype and what is an object?

Objects are directly derived from archetypes. Everything the player sees in the game is an object. The player never deals with archetypes.

Archetypes are the master objects. All objects have an archetype that they are derived from. When an object is created, the archetype is used for all the default values in the object. When an object is saved, the code looks at the differences between the archetype and the object it is saving, and only changes the different values.

Archetypes are the entries in the 'arch' directory. The fields for archetypes and objects are generally the same.

Note that by using this archetype model, it means an archetype can get updated and all objects that are derived from it will get updated - this is very useful when new fields are added - the archetypes can get updated, and all objects in maps, player save files, wherever, get this new value.

It is valid to put items into an archetype, including a customized version. All objects created from the archetype will include the object(s) (including their own inventory).

Things that are alive

The name in parentheses after a flag description is the name as it should be used in the archetype file. For example: Attack type (attacktype)

Attack Types (attacktype)

Attack types bit description
Physical 1 Basic attacktype.
Magic 2 All magic spells, but not prayers
Fire 4 Can ignite objects
Electricity 8 Can also ignite objects
Cold 16 Can freeze objects into ice cubes
Confusion 32 Movement/attack directions become random
Acid 64 Random equipped item gets -1 to magic attribute
Drain 128 Victim loses 2% exp, attacker gains half of that
Weaponmagic 256 Direct damage: Special, use with care
Ghosthit 512 Attacker dissolves (obsolete)
Poison 1024 Some damage each turn thereafter
Slow 2048 Speed is reduced
Paralyze 4096 Speed is reduced to zero
Turn undead 8192 Like Fear, but for undead only
Fear 16384 Like Turn Undead, but for living only
Cancellation 32768 Removes magic (+/-) from items
Depletion 65536 Lose one point from one stat (can be restored)
Death 131072 Chance of instant death, otherwise nothing
Chaos 262144 None by itself, uses random other types
Counterspell 524288 Cancels magic spells
Godpower 1048576 Adds relevant god's attacktype
Holy Word 2097152 Enemies: X5, Undead: X1 -unless friends, others: none
Blind 4194304 Blinds victim

Note that one archetype can have multiple attack types by adding these values together. Thus, something with an attacktype of 65 would attack with both acid and physical.


Creatures can have various resistances. If a creature has a resistance value for a particular attacktype of 100, it is said to be immune to that attacktype. The amount of resistance directly reduces damage. A creature that has 25% resistance to fire only takes 75% of the damage. A creature 99% resistant only takes 1% of the damage.

A few notes: If a creature/object is immune to magic, then it will be immune to all damage from that attack, even if that attack type contains more than just magic.

Otherwise, a creature needs to be immune to all attack types in order to take no damage (thus, a creature that is immune to physical, but getting hit by a weapon that does physical and fire would take normal damage). The attack code goes through all the attacktypes, and calculates the damage that each will cause. It uses the highest damage total that any of these attacktypes will use.

For attacktypes that don't deal physical damage but instead effect the creature in some way (drain, slow, paralyze, etc), the resistance in general reduces the effect (duration, amount drained, etc).

NPC Movement (attack_movement)

Set the variable attack_movement to one of the below (cut from define.h):

/* Monster Movements added by                 */
/* if your monsters start acting wierd, mail me                               */
/* the following definitions are for the attack_movement variable in monsters */
/* if the attack_variable movement is left out of the monster archetype, or is*/
/* set to zero                                                                */
/* the standard mode of movement from previous versions of crossfire will be  */
/* used. the upper four bits of movement data are not in effect when the monst*/
/* er has an enemy. these should only be used for non aggressive monsters.     */
/* to program a monsters movement add the attack movement numbers to the movem*/
/* ment numbers example a monster that moves in a circle until attacked and   */
/* then attacks from a distance:                                              */
/*                                                      CIRCLE1 = 32          */
/*                                              +       DISTATT = 1           */
/*                                      -------------------                   */
/*                      attack_movement = 33                                  */
#define DISTATT  1 /* move toward a player if far, but mantain some space,  */
                   /* attack from a distance - good for missile users only  */
#define RUNATT   2 /* run but attack if player catches up to object         */
#define HITRUN   3 /* run to then hit player then run away cyclicly         */
#define WAITATT  4 /* wait for player to approach then hit, move if hit     */
#define RUSH     5 /* Rush toward player blindly, similiar to dumb monster  */
#define ALLRUN   6 /* always run never attack good for sim. of weak player  */
#define DISTHIT  7 /* attack from a distance if hit as recommended by Frank */
#define WAIT2    8 /* monster does not try to move towards player if far    */
                   /* maintains comfortable distance                        */
#define PETMOVE 16 /* if the upper four bits of attack_movement 	    */
                   /* are set to this number, the monster follows a player  */
                   /* until the owner calls it back or off                  */
                   /* player followed denoted by 0b->owner                  */
                   /* the monster will try to attack whatever the player is */
                   /* attacking, and will continue to do so until the owner */
                   /* calls off the monster - a key command will be         */
                   /* inserted to do so                                     */
#define CIRCLE1 32 /* if the upper four bits of attack_movement             */
                   /* are set to this number, the monster will move in a    */
                   /* circle until it is attacked, or the enemy field is    */
                   /* set, this is good for non-aggressive monsters and NPC */
#define CIRCLE2 48 /* same as above but a larger circle is used             */
#define PACEH   64 /* The Monster will pace back and forth until attacked   */
                   /* this is HORIZONTAL movement                           */
#define PACEH2  80 /* the monster will pace as above but the length of the  */
                   /* pace area is longer and the monster stops before      */
                   /* changing directions                                   */
                   /* this is HORIZONTAL movement                           */
#define RANDO   96 /* the monster will go in a random direction until       */
                   /* it is stopped by an obstacle, then it chooses another */
                   /* direction.                                            */
#define RANDO2 112 /* constantly move in a different random direction       */
#define PACEV  128 /* The Monster will pace back and forth until attacked   */
                   /* this is VERTICAL movement                             */
#define PACEV2 144 /* the monster will pace as above but the length of the  */
                   /* pace area is longer and the monster stops before      */
                   /* changing directions                                   */
                   /* this is VERTICAL movement                             */
#define LO4     15 /* bitmasks for upper and lower 4 bits from 8 bit fields */
#define HI4    240

Picking up other items (pick_up)

Pick Up specifiers (defined with pick_up)

Nothing 1
Wealth 2
Food 4
Weapon 8
Armour 16
All but those defined 32
All 64

Note also that if can_use_armor, can_use_weapon, can_use_ring, can_use_wand, can_cast_spell, can_use_bow are set, then the creature will pick up the matching items even if the pick_up element is not set to pick up those items.

This only applies to monsters. The player pickup method is much different.

Using other objects (will_apply)

will apply this specifiers
Handles 1
Treasure (chests) 2
Earthwall (tear down) 4
Door (open) 8

Treasure lists (randomitems)

This determines what treasurelist to use for generating the objects treasures. For archetypes, the default is none, but for other objects (like those loaded in maps), it will use the same treasure list as the archetype it descends from unless otherwise specified. In the case of objects, “none” can be be used to make no items generated.

The format of treasurelists is detailed further down in this file.

Treasure lists are also used to give spell and skill abilities to creatures.

Monster Flag Usage

Damage (dam)

Damage determines the amount of damage the creature does. The form this damage takes it determined by the attacktype the creature has.

When determining damage, a number between 1 and the damage value is rolled. Thus, even if you have a +6 damage bonus from strength, magic weapons, etc, a value of 1 could still be generated. Thus, even with very high magical monsters or very high strength monsters, a low damage roll can result some of the time.

Speed (speed)

Speed. A speed of 1.0 means it acts every tick, a speed of 0.1 means it acts every 10 ticks.

level (level)

Int (int)

gives monsters a modifying to find hidden/invisible creatures.

Pow (pow)

If the creature can cast spells, this is how many spell points are regenerated each move.

Con (con)

Monsters regenerate this many hit points each move. This is each time the monster has a move (some for Pow). So two monsters with the same Con can regenerate at different rates if their speeds are different.

Wis (wis)

Determines how close a player needs to be before the creature wakes up. This is done as a square, for reasons of speed. Thus, if the wisdom is 11, any player that moves within the 11×11 square of the monster will wake the monster up. If the player has stealth, the size of this square is reduced in half plus 1.

Spell points (sp)

Number of spell points monster starts with

maxsp (maxsp)

Maximum spellpoints for monsters

flying (flying)

set flying to 1 if this can fly.

See Invisible (see_invisible)

See in the dark (can_see_in_dark)

Spell reflection (reflect_spell)

Very powerful, use carefully

Pass through (can_pass_thru)

Kamikaze attacks (one_hit)

Creatures with this value set to 1 will dissipate when they attack (like ghosts). They dissipate on the first hit, whether it does any damage or not.

Morale (run_away)

Use objects (can_use)

What objects the creature can use. Note that this has largely been replaced with the body location information (see further down). The ones that should in general be used are can_use_shield, can_use_weapon, and can_use_bow. the others are likely to be obsoleted.


  • can_use_scroll 1
  • can_use_skill 1
  • can_use_wand 1
  • can_use_rod 1
  • can_cast_spell 1
  • can_use_bow 1
  • can_use_armour 1
  • can_use_weapon 1
  • can_use_ring 1

Resistances (resist_x)

The amount of resistance the object has to certain attack types or environmental effects. Use negative numbers to make objects more vulnerable to the effects.


  • resist_fire 60
  • resist_cold -30


The fields resist_*, armour, wc and dam can be set in map files to customize monsters. However, if that monster can be equipped with items, and actually equips some, these values will get reset back to those in the clone archetype (normal values.) Thus, if you want to put a wizard in that does dam 50, make sure can_use_armour, and can_use_weapon are set back to 0. Otherwise, when items are equipped, all the above fields will be reset to standard values.

As of 2006-12-09, this shouldn't be the case anymore: server will detect modified archetypes, and store its values in a temporary archetype structure to be able to recompute everything.

Generators and Creature Spawning

Generators spawn monsters or other objects. By default, generators are alive and visible and can be destroyed like any other monster.

Generator (generator)

If set, this object is a generator. Monsters (like mice) can be generators.

Use Inventory (use_content_on_gen)

If set, the generator will create objects from its inventory. If the inventory holds more than one object, one will be randomly selected from the list each time the generator creates one. If not set, the other_arch object will be used.

Object to Create (other_arch)

If use_content_on_gen is not set, the generator will create copies of the object set in this field.

Generator Radius (generator_radius)

The generator will spawn objects within this radius of itself. (Within a square of radius*2+1 tiles centered on the generator, to be exact.) If this is not set, the radius defaults to 1, for legacy behavior. Setting it to zero effectively turns off the generator.

Maximum Number of Objects (generator_max)

If this is set, it limits the number of objects the generator will create at one time. Only objects on the same map are counted. If objects are destroyed or leave the map, the generator will no longer count them and will be able to replace them.

Generator Name (generator_name)

This value is used by the generator for marking and identifying the objects it creates, so it can count them to determine whether generator_max has been met. This field is only used when generator_max is set. If generator_name is not set, the generator defaults to using its name, or if that is not set, to “generator”. If multiple generators on the same map have the same generator_name, they will claim the same monsters. This is a feature, not a bug. :-) It means that you could have four generators in the corners of a room, each named “four generators” and each with a generator_max of 50, and they would create up to 50 total monsters, but in different parts of the room, and possibly from different inventory lists.

NPC's and their life

An NPC can have any combination of the following programs (flags):

FLAGS: (They are checked in the following order:)

  1. sleep (will stand still until woken)
  2. scared (will run away)
  3. random_movement (move randomly)
  4. friendly (will attack enemies of the nearest player)
  5. unaggressive (don't attack until attacked)
  6. stand_still (don't ever move)

sleep + (any) = sleep until woken, then do any of the other things… neutral + random_movement = move randomly around all the time. neutral (alone) = stand still until attacked, then attack and move. stand_still + (any) = do anything except moving

In addition it can have run_away set to which percentage of full hit-points the npc will run away at.

And then there is the NPC features made by Karl Holland (see attack_movement)

Note that scared creatures will become unafraid at some point, so it is typically not useful to set this in maps or in archetypes.

NPC's Speak out

The message structure in a monster may contain:

@match <key>|<key>[...]

This identifies what the monster will say if talked to with a text that matches any keys. They keys are processed as primitive regular expressions, so some characters act as match operators or metacharacters. The asterisk, caret, square braces, and dollar characters are useful to some degree.

An example of usage:

@match hello|hi
Welcome, good friend!
@match bye
@match sss
Whasssamatter?  You got a lisssp or sssomething?
@match yes
Sssorry, me too.
@match ^no$
You're lucky!
@match *
What did you sssay?

Wildcard Character

A key containing only '*' will match anything, but it is not handled in the same way that regular expressions are normally handled.

If a message does not contain an '@match *', then the first key that contains an asterisk will be treated as though the key was '*'. In the example below, if the player says anything, the NPC will say 'Nice tune…' no matter what the player says, even if it does not end with 'bug'. It will not be possible for the NPC to say 'Bah, humbug to you!'.

@match hum*
Nice tune...
@match *bug
Bah, humbug to you!

Avoid using '*' except in the form '@match *'. If the above conversation were amended to also contain a '@match *', neither the 'hum*' nor the '*bug' keys would work.

In fact, '*' is not needed as used in the above examples since '@match sss' operates the same way as '@match *sss*' would be expected to operate in a regular expression. Because of this, be especially careful with short word matches like yes/no answers to questions. '@match yes' triggers when the player enters any word with 'yes' in it! If a conversation contains the word 'yesterday' or 'nobody', the player might type one of these words and the NPC might think they said 'yes' or 'no'.

Word Boundaries

If you want to prevent a match string from matching partial words, use the '^' and '$' metacharacters to bound the word. In the first example, the NPC only responds when the player says 'no', and not when the player says any other word that contains 'no'.

Case Insensitivity

Keys need not contain case variations even though old maps often did. For example, '@match hello' works just as well as the more verbose versions like '@match Hello|hello' and '@match “[Hh]ello'. The matches are done after both the match list and the player text are converted to lowercase.

Multiple Choice

The square braces may be used to construct special matches. For example, a key of '[jy]ello' would match 'jello' or even 'yellow'.


You can use a '@reply' line after an NPC dialog line, and the player will be given an option, or a hint, for a reply.

@match *
Hi, welcome to the shop! We offer various products and services.
@reply products Can you tell me more about your products?
@reply services What services do you offer?

Quest support

As a special case, if the line just after match is 'quest xxx', then the NPC will only display the text (without the quote line) if the player is currently doing indicated quest. See also 'quests' document.

Obviously this feature can be expanded extensively, so expect it to evolve till the next version.

Other Considerations

You might not want to put messages into archetype creatures, this feature is more for making special NPCs for maps. However, certain generic messages in archetypes might add to the general game ambiance a bit (by default: dogs would say “arf arf” guards would say “move along”…) - tm

See also: CFDialog

Objects in general

The name in parentheses after a flag description is the name as it should be used in the archetype file. For example: editable field (editable)

Names (name, name_pl)

If no 'name' field is specified in the object, it will use the name from the 'Object' field.

The 'name_pl' field is the plural name for the object. This only needs to be set if there is the potential for the object to merge with others - for example, there is no reason for name_pl to be set for floors, buildings, etc, as they can not merge with other objects. Only objects that can be picked up really need a name_pl value.

If name_pl is not set, this name defaults to the object→name value, which was either explicitly set or determined from the Object field.

These name values are what the player sees for the name. As the player sees it, the name may have the title appended to it, and may also have other per type specific information added in (spell contained within the spellbook for example).

Types (type) & Subtypes (subtype)

Specified in defines.h, the type field determines how an item operates/what it does.

A new type only needs to be added for a new archetype if it is actually used in some part of the program. Addition of new types is generally a rare event. For example, if adding a new monster, there is no need to add a new type in defines.h if the crossfire-server never checks the type element in the object structure for that new type.

Most types are set for items that are applied, items that have special properties.

You should look at the include/defines.h file for the latest type information. When making a map, you should almost never change the type field of an object - instead, start with an object of an appropriate type, then change the fields of the object to appear as you want it to.

See object_types for a wiki version of the defines.h type definitions.

Subtypes are related to types, in that it narrows down the scope of the type of object. For example, the type may be the value for skill, with subtype being the different skill it uses. Or for spell objects, subtype could be the spell identifier.

Subtype is a new field as of April 2003. It's use needs to be extended. As example of this is with all equipment items - they should get moved to be of type 'equipment', with subtype specifying exactly what it does (ring, helm, armor, etc).

Note that the meaning of the subtype is specific to the type itself - they are not unique across all types. For example, for type equipment, subtype 1 might be a helm. But for type skills, subtype 1 might be smithery. One should not rely on subtype to convey any meaningful information unless the type of the object is known or also examined.

The question may then be asked - when making a new arch, when is a new type needed as opposed to a new subtype?

When to add a new type:

  1. If code to support applying the object is completely different than what exists in apply.c (eg, not reusing existing functions), or
  2. If code to support movement of the type does not reuse existing functions (server/time.c)

When to make a new subtype:

  1. New behavior is _close_ to that of an existing type, but is slightly different (eg, teleporters that don't work on players), or
  2. It is necessary to differentiate between objects of the same type. Eg, addition of a new skill adds a new subtype, not a new type.

When unsure, drop a mail to the crossfire developers list.

If there is a header file that contains all the other information related to the object type, the subtype should be defined there. Otherwise, subtypes should be defined in define.h. The subtype definitions should include be prefixed by what they are a subtype for. Eg, SKILL_SMITHERY, SKILL_JEWELER, etc, and not just SMITHERY and JEWELER. It is acceptable to abbreviate the prefix if it is very long.

Client Types (client_type)

Client type information in public information communicated to the client. Client type differs from the type in several ways:

  1. It is more specific than the type information.
  2. The numbers used for client type are more logically grouped (all armor related client_types are in the same range)
  3. client type info does not have a functional component in the server - it only conveys information - the server does not determine what an object may or may not do based on this. At current time, the server does not even look at the client_type for any information.
  4. The client_type can be used to hide the real type of an item. Eg, items of client_type poison should never be sent - client_type should instead by booze so difficult for the client to know what the item really is. similarly, special objects used in quests which appear as something else (eg, a key appearing as a shovel) can use the client type to have the type shown as the same category that shovels would be in.

The client_type list below has large gaps - this is to allow future items to be grouped with items of similar type (Eg, if a new weapon type, say two-handed is added, it should be grouped with the weapons and not put at the end of the table). The entire point of the client_type information is to group the items together.

In the list below, the number in parentheses corresponds to the number in define.h file. At the top of each group of items, the range is given. It is intentional in most cases to leave the first entry of a range blank - this gives room to place really important items of a type at the top. Note that only items the player may be able to pick up or apply actually need types.

Note in most cases, the artifact type items are at the top of a group listing. This is done for artifact items that already have a different face/name, such that the player already knows they are special anyways.

1-49 Specials - items that should be very noticable to the player.
1 bomb (47)
41 power crystal (156)
50-99 Containers - put near top to make things easier for the player.
51 container (122)
51 big containers - chests, sacks, etc.
55 small containers (pouches)
60 specialized containers (quivers, key rings)
100-149 hand held weapons
100 Artifact weapons (15)
101 edged weapons (sword, scimitar, etc)
106 axes
121 clubs
126 hammers
129 maces
136 pole arms
141 chained weapons
145 oddball weapons (magnify glass, stake, taifu, shovel, etc)
150-199 Ranged weapons & ammo
150 artifact bows (14)
151 bow (14)
159 arrow (13). Group ammo with firing type
161 crossbow
165 bolts
250-399 Armor, shields, helms, etc. Give each subtype a group of 10 entries to further subdivide into. This is basically all equipable items not in another group.
250-259 Bodywear (mails - 16) - ordered roughly in order of value
250 Artifact/special
251 Dragonmail - enough of these to warrant their own type
252 plate mails
253 chain mail, scale mail, & ring mail
254 leather armor
255 dress
256 robes & tunics
257 aprons
260-269 Shields
260 artifact shields (33)
261 Shields (33)
270-279 Headwear (34)
270 artifact helmets (34)
271 Helmets (34)
272 turbans (34)
273 wigs (34)
275 eyeglasses (34)
280-400 Misc
280 artifact cloaks (87)
281 cloaks (87)
290 artifact boots (99)
291 boots (99)
300 artifact gloves (100)
301 gloves (100)
305 gauntlets (100)
310 artifact bracers (104) - god given
311 bracers (104)
321 girdle (113)
381 amulets (39)
390 artifact rings (70)
391 rings (70)
450-459 Skill objects - these are items that give you a skill, eg lockpicks, talismens, etc.
451 skill (43)
461 trap parts (76)
600-649 Food & alchemy related items. Flesh items double as both eatable and used in alchemy. Thus, we include the inorganic items here so that most all the alchemy stuff is located in the same general place in the inventory.
601 Food (6)
611 Poison (7)
611 drink (54)
620 Flesh item (72)
622 corpse (157). Used for raise dead spells
624 flesh items, quasi food - dragon steak
625 flesh item - heads, eyes, tongues, teeth (72)
626 flesh item - legs, arms, hands, feet, fingers, etc.
627 flesh item - misc - ichors, scales, hearts, livers, skin (72)
628 flesh items - dusts
641 inorganic - raw (73)
642 inoranic - refined (true lead, mercury, etc)
650-699 Single use spell casting items (scrolls, potions, balms)
651 potion (5)
652 balms, dusts (5)
653 figurines (5)
661 scroll (111)
700-749 Ranged spell casting items
701 rod heavy (3)
701 rod light (3)
711 wand (109)
712 staff
721 horn (35)
800-849 Keys
801 normal key (24)
810 special key (21) (archetype)
811-839 special keys that maps can override the value into. In this way, all the special keys for a dungeon can be given the same client type so they group together. Note that the map needs to be modified to change the client_type of the keys to do this.
1000-1049 Readables
1001 mage Spellbook (85)
1002 cleric spellbooks (85)
1011 Armor improver (123)
1016 weapon improver (124)
1021 Skill scroll (130)
1041 Books & scrolls - information type objects (8)
1100-1149 Light emitting objects & lightables
1101 lighter (75)
1102 torch
1103 colored torches
2000-2049 Valuables - only real value is monetary
2001 money (36)
2005 gold nuggets
2011 gems (60) - this could be divided into more subtypes - probably better for artifact gems to have a different type than worry about sorting ruby, diamond, emerald, etc.
2030 Jewelery (60) - chalice, crystball
8000-8999 Misc - items of no specific use or can not easily be sorted.
8001 clock (9)
8002 furniture (15). These can be used as weapons, but probably shouldn't be.
8003 ten kilo
8006 bagpipe (24). This is type key, probably shouldn't make it that obvious
8011 gravestone (38)
8012 boulders
8013 pillars
8015 flowers
8020 ice cubes
8021 transforming items
25000-25999 Non-inventory items, stuff stuck to the floor, that can be applied.
25011 Town portal (66)
25012 Exits, doors, buildings - much more mundane exits (66). Note to arch writers; only need to set the client_type on the head (this is the case for all other properties as well).
25021 Ordinary signs (98), Shop Inventory (150)
25031 Imperial Post Office postboxes
25041 Slot machines
25042 Trigger (27), levers (93)
25091 Bed to reality (106)

Editable field (editable)

Editable sole meaning is for Crossedit. Crossedit uses editable to determine what menu(s) the item should appear in. Crossfire does not use it at all.

The following table/values determine what menus the archetype will appear in. When looking at this table to determine what the value of editable should be, it is 2^(num-1). That is to say if you want it to appear in the 'shop' menu, it would be 2^6 and not 2^7. By default, objects default to editable 1 - that is to say, they become monsters.

Asterisk(*) marks groups that are really editable.

Bit Value Name Description
0 0 None Internal archetypes (spells, abilities, map, etc.)
*1 1 Monsters all monsters, generators and NPC's
*2 2 Exits all buildings, towns, teleporters and other exits
*3 4 Treasures Normally used maps as treasures
*4 8 Backgrounds different backgrounds (floors, woods, etc.)
*5 16 Gates and door everything that can be opened or closed
*6 32 Special directors, spinners, firewalls
*7 64 Shop All items needed in shops.
*8 128 Normal objects sacks, signs, gravestone, furnitures etc.
*9 256 False walls Walls that C. Animations (anim - mina) (facings) can be destroyed or broken through.
10 512 Walls different walls, caves, dungeons etc.
11 1024 Equipments mainly weapons and armours
12 2048 Rest treasures foods, scrolls, potions, jewels, etc
13 4096 Artifacts Named weapons, special armors, etc

An archetype can belong to several editable families, by adding the values together. For example, a value of 544 (512+32) would show up in both the special and walls menu.

Animations (anim - mina) (facings)

This section will briefly try to explain how all the animation values (anim_speed,last_anim, FLAG_IS_TURNING and FLAG_ANIMATE work together.)

In the archetype specification, there is a anim/mina sequence which lists faces are used for animations. An example for the big dragon follows:


Anything that is animated must have such a sequence.

FLAG_ANIMATE (anim, mina)is used to inform crossfire that this object should be constantly animated. A case where an anim section as above is used but FLAG_ANIMATE is not set is for arrows and other objects in which the anim field is instead used to determine what face to draw for different facings of the object.

facings is used in conjunction with FLAG_ANIMATE. This is a states the number of facing the objects has (2, 4, or 8 - 1 is the default). The number of faces in the anim/mina sequence must be a multiple of num facings..

here is an example of using animation and facings:

facings 2

The facings go clockwise (1 north (up), 3 east (right), 5 south (down), etc).

If there are fewer than 8 facings (which is typical), the same rotational order is kept. So with only 2 facings, the first half in the group will be used when the creature is pointing to the right, second half to the left.

anim_speed is used to determine how often the object is animated. If anim_speed is 0, then the object is animated anytime it gets an action. If anim_speed is nonzero, then every anim_speed ticks, the object is animated (irregardless of how fast the item is) last_anim is used internally only to determine how many ticks have passed since the item was last animated. anim_speed is useful for objects that otherwise move very slowly but which need to be animated more often. Note: If anim_speed is used, the object must still have a nonzero speed for it to work.

In terms of frequency of animations, 1/anim_speed = object speed. Thus if an object has speed of 0.2, its anim_speed is effectively 5.

Material types (material)

Material bit
Paper 1
Iron 2
Glass 4
Leather 8
Wood 16
Organic 32
Stone 64
Cloth 128
Adamantite 256

The objects material affects how saving throws against an object affect it. Thus, if paper is hit by fire, it tends to burn up, while iron does not. You can look in common/living.c to see the exact values. Note that if the material type is 0 (no material) or is Adamantite, the object can not be harmed in any way.

An object can have multiple material types by adding these values together.

Item Power (item_power)

item_power measures how powerful and item is. This information is only relevant for items that are equipped - one time use items, monsters, walls, floors, do not use this.

When a player tries to equip something, the code goes through all the objects the player currently has equipped and sums up their item_power. The item_power of the object the player is trying to equip is also added. If this total exceeds the characters level, he is not allowed to equip the item.

In simple terms, the sum of all the players equip items item_power must be less than the characters level.

Powerful items should have a higher item_power value. This basically acts as a way to balance the items. It also prevents gifts from high level characters to newbies from being very useful - the item_power may prevent the low level character from equipping this items.

For items automatically generated by the treasure code, the following formula is used:

# enchantments power
0 0
1 0
2 1
3 2
4 3
5 4
6 4
7 7
8 9
9 11
10 13
11 15
12 18
13 21
14 24
15 27
16 30
17 35
18 40
19 45
20 50

An enchantment is:

  • each plus an item has.
  • each point an item increases an ability.
  • each 20% protection an item gives (rounded normally, eg 0-9 counts as nothing, 10-29 counts as one, etc)
  • each attacktype a weapon has.
  • spell path adjustments ( denied paths -2 )

These properties have the following enchantment value

  • lifesaving 5
  • reflect spells 3
  • reflect missiles 2
  • stealth 1
  • xray vison 2
  • see in dark 1
  • invisibility 1
  • slay 2

This same formula can be used for custom objects to figure out their item power.

While the item_power field in the object structure is signed, in general, there should not be objects with a negative item power. However, negative effects an item has may reduce the item power. Eg, a 'sword +4 (str +2)(wis -3)' would really be 3 enchantments.

FIXME add settings explanation, ensure information is correct :)

Body Location

The body locations information determines where the item is equipped onto the character. If the character does not have the slot available, they are prevented from equipping the item.

Some races may have a value of 0 for some locations, this denotes that they can not use that particular item (just won't fit on them).

For monsters/players, the body location information is positive values - this denotes how many locations they have for the different slots.

For items, the body location is negative, this denotes the spaces it uses up. Note that if multiple locations are set in an item, all of those spaces must be available to wear it (it is an AND operation, not an OR). Thus something that has body_neck -1 and body_head -1 means that both the head an neck must be available.

Currently defined list of locations:

load/save name # for humans What object types use it
body_range 1 Rod, horn, wand
body_arm 2 bows (2), weapon, shield
body_torso 1 armour
body_head 1 helmet
body_neck 1 amulet
body_skill 1 skills (holy symbols, talisman, lockpicks, writing pens)
body_finger 2 rings
body_shoulder 1 cloak
body_foot 2 boots
body_hand 2 gloves
body_wrist 2 bracers
body_waist 1 girdle

FIXME - Add information for legs

Using body information

Using this information is quite easy - for objects, just add the appropriate body_.. with a negative value. For monsters, put those in with a positive value. If a monster has a location to use an object, it is presumed in the code that the monster should pick up/equip objects into that location. Thus, setting these for monsters may not really match what they have, eg, kobolds have arms, but it is still set to 0 so that they won't equip things. The above information largely replaces the CAN_USE information.

Note that the unqualified names above only refer to human locations. New locations for dragons or other creatures can easily be added.

Adding body locations

The steps for adding a body location is as follows:

  1. Update the table above for documentation purposes.
  2. Update the NUM_BODY_LOCATIONS in include/object.h.
  3. Update the body_locations structure in common/item.c. Be sure to read the comments above the structure.
  4. recompile
  5. create some items that use these new locations.

Note that most the code itself sees all this as abstract - it doesn't know what goes in what location, or even what each location is called. However, a few bits do care - the skill stuff checks to see if you have any arms free - thus, BODY_ARMS is defined so we know if the player does or does not. The alternative to this would be to have the skill stuff do a strcmp, but then we are defining the name - easier to just presume that the location won't change in the body_locations table - there is no reason that it should.

Meaning of certain attributes for certain items

All objects have strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution, charisma, experience, and spell points. However, how each is used varies for different objects. Here is a PARTIAL rundown:

For rings, str, int, wis, dex, con and cha are modifiers to the users abilities.

For treasures (chests, random_???), hp is the number of items that should be generated. A chest with hp of 5 will generate 5 treasures, a random_scroll space with hp of 5 will generate 5 random scroll types (of which, each scroll type may number more than one - see the treasures file for more information.)

For shop floors and treasures, exp is the difficulty to use for creating the treasure. If exp is 0 (which it is by default), then the map difficulty is used instead.

For armour, last_sp (ARMOR_SPEED) is the maximum speed that the character can have while wearing that armor.

For armour, gen_sp_armour determines the penalty for spell point regeneration.

For exits:

  • slaying = The map which the exit leads to.
  • hp, sp = (x,y) of the destination on the new map.

Everything that can be applied, including items, exits, handles, and thus can have a 'race_restriction' key. The value should be set to a : delimited list of races that will be able to use/apply/open this item. The list is in the form:


with leading and trailing :.

Note that that this only applies to players - monsters can always apply everything. Also, Dungeon Masters are immune.


Lore is a free form text field similar to the msg bug. Its syntax is

lore .. .. endlore

while msg's meaning is dependent on the object, lore is consistent - it should contain background information on the object, or other somewhat general details about the object. It will be put into books, possibly used by npc's and other places where general knowledge should be presented.

Movement types

The movement types (MOVE_..) is a bitmask that determines which method of locomotion the object is using, and is also used to determine what types of movement the space blocks. From define.h:

#define MOVE_WALK       0x1     /* Object walks */
#define MOVE_FLY_LOW    0x2     /* Low flying object */
#define MOVE_FLY_HIGH   0x4     /* High flying object */
#define MOVE_FLYING	0x6	/* combo of fly_low and fly_high for easier checking */
#define MOVE_SWIM       0x8     /* Swimming object */
#define MOVE_BOAT	0x10	/* Boats/sailing */
#define MOVE_ALL        0x1f    /* Mask of all movement types */

MOVE_ALL may change in the future - it is mask for all movement types - used for 'no_pass' - it sets move_block to MOVE_ALL, other places that check for all movement types may also use this value.

It is possible to use string names instead of the numeric bitmask in the move_fields below. It is strongly encouraged that the string names be used for improved readability. In addition, using string names, especially 'all', will result in easier maintainability in the future. For example, if you specify 'move_block 31' right now, that is equivalent of all. However, if new move types are added, using a numeric option will not block the new movement types, where if 'move_block all' was used, it continue to block everything.

The string names are same as the MOVE_ defines, but with the MOVE_ portion removed, eg, 'walk', 'fly_low', 'fly_high', etc. Multiple types can be listed, separated by a space. In addition, a - (minus) can precede the name, which means to negate that type. These are all equivalent:

move_block 6
move_block fly_low fly_low
move_block flying			(special symbolic name)
move_block all -swim -walk -boat

Note the order when using the -(negation) is important - the string is parsed left to right. This is not equivalent to the above:

move_block -swim -walk -boat all

Because it will clear the swim, walk and boat flags, and then set the flags to all.

Also, using only negation is not allowed - you can not do:

move_block -walk

To indicate you want to remove only the walk blocking from the archetype - you must include a positive indicator.

For all practical purposes, using negation only makes sense if using the keyword 'all'. However, if more movement types are added, with symbolic names that include several movement types (eg, MOVE_LAND), using the negation with those names may make sense.

Be aware that when the field is saved out, it may not be saved exactly as it was specified in the load file. This is because the server converts the string to an int at load time, then converts it back to a string.

The fields in the object themselves


Bitmask of above values which determines what form of movement this object uses. For objects equipped by player/monster, move_type grants that movement.

Note that move_type of MOVE_FLY (0x2) replaces FLAG_FLYING.

In general, creatures will only have 1 movement type active at a time.


Represents what movement types are unable to pass this space. If the creature has multiple movement types, they may still be able to pass the space. For example, a player has MOVE_WALK | MOVE_FLY. He tries to move onto a space that blocks MOVE_WALK - not a problem, a he just flies over.


This overrides move_block - basically, this allows movement of the specific type on the space, regardless of move_block of other objects on the space. This is most useful to set on objects that should temporary change the characteristics of the space.


These bitmasks represents for what movement types this object is activated on/off. Replaces the walk/fly_on/off values


Like move_block, but represents what movement types are slowed on this space. Note that it is not possible to specify different penalties for different movement types in the same object. However, multiple objects with different move_slow values (and penalties) can be put on the same space. This replaced FLAG_SLOW_MOVE, which is converted to only slow down walking movement.

move_slow_penalty (was slow_move)

How much the player is slowed down.

This value is a float (before it was an int converted to a float at load time). It is basically how much slower (percentage wise) the player moves through this terrain. A value of 0 is basically a non operation. A value of 0.5 means it takes 50% longer to move through the space. The old values were all positive ints. Basically, it effectively was how many ticks the player is slowed down by.

Certain terrain has skills which reduce the slow penalty (woodsmen in forest for example). As of this writing, the penalty is reduced to 1/4 of what it would be. Eg, a move_slow_penalty of 1.0 would say it takes twice as long to move through the space. If the player has appropriate skill, it would now only take that player 25% longer to move through the space.

Note 2: The old slow_move is loaded and converted into move_slow_penalty. The old SLOW_PENALTY and SET_SLOW_PENALTY macros divided/multiplied the result by 1000, so were basically a non operation. Since it is now just stored as a float, conversion macros are not needed or used.


Not related to this code - noted here since it has the move_ prefix. This is used to track monsters state of the attack_movement variable. It is worth noting that move_type was changed to attack_movement - this matches the name in the archetype, but is a name change in the object field.


If an object has move_block of move_slow and that affects the player movement, the objects message will be printed to the player - thus things like 'The jungle slows you down' or 'The wall is in the way' will be printed. Various hints can be contained in the messages.

Obsoleted fields

This change of logic has resulted in the following fields no longer being used:

  • FLAG_WALK_ON → move_on
  • FLAG_NO_PASS → move_block
  • FLAG_SLOW_MOVE → move_slow
  • FLAG_FLYING → move_type
  • FLAG_WALK_OFF → move_off
  • FLAG_FLY_ON → move_on
  • FLAG_FLY_OFF → move_off
  • FLAG_PASS_THRU → was unused, would be move_type
  • FLAG_CAN_PASS_THRU → was unused, would be move_type

Special player notes

Player can only pick up items if MOVE_WALK is set (this may need to be expanded down the road). Basic idea is that if you are flying, can't reach the ground, if swimming, don't really have any free hands to grab anything.

Misc fields

Those fields are kind of used by all objects, but aren't really in the previous parts.

  • death_animation (key/value): should point to a valid archetype name that will be inserted in the map when the object dies. It should probably be a one-time animation (is_used_up 1).

Special objects


see doc/map-technical for this information.

Holy altars (holy_altar)

(re-done code by Mark Wedel)

Holy altars are altars for the various religions. Praying at a holy_altar will make you a follower of that god, and if you already follow that god, you may get some extra bonus. Meaning of the fields:

  • level: To re-consecrate an altar, the players skill level must be as high or higher than the level field. In this way, some altars can not be re-consecrated, while other altars, like those in dungeons, could be.
  • other_arch: The god that this altar belongs to. This replaces the title field that used to be used.


by Peter Mardahl

The following describes some things about the archetype and implementation for diseases.


Stat Property Definition
attacktype Attack effects Attacktype of the disease. Usually AT_GODPOWER
other_arch Creation Object created and dropped when symptom moved
wc+ Infectiousness How well the plague spreads person-to-person
magic+ Range Range of infection
Stats* Disability What stats are reduced by the disease (str con…)
maxhp+ Persistence How long the disease can last OUTSIDE the host.
value TimeLeft Counter for persistence
dam% Damage How much damage it does (%?)
maxgrace+ Duration How long before the disease is naturally cured
food DurCount Counter for Duration
speed Speed How often the disease moves
last_sp% Lethargy Percentage of max speed, in %: 10 = 10% speed
maxsp% Mana deplete Saps mana
ac% Progressiveness How the diseases increases in severity
last_eat*% Deplete food Saps food if negative
exp Experience Experience awarded when plague cured
hp*% ReduceRegen Reduces regeneration of disease-bearer
sp*% ReduceSpRegen Reduces spellpoint regeneration
name Name Name of the plague
msg Message What the plague says when it strikes
race Those affected Races the plague strikes (* means everything)
level Plague Level General description of the plague's deadliness
last_grace Attenuation Reduction in wc per generation of disease. This builds in a self-limiting factor
last_heal Immunity If set, will not grant immunity when cured naturally


  • * means this # should be negative to cause adverse effect.
  • + means that this effect is modulated in spells by ldur
  • % means that this effect is modulated in spells by ldam
  • attacktype is the attacktype used by the disease to smite “dam” damage with.
  • wc/127 is the chance of someone in range catching it.
  • magic is the range at which infection may occur. If negative, this is not level dependent.
  • Stats are stat modifications. These should typically be negative.
  • maxhp is how long the disease will persist if the host dies and “drops” it, in “disease moves”, i.e., moves of the disease. If negative, permanent.
  • value is the counter for maxhp, it starts at maxhp and drops…
  • dam: if positive, it is straight damage. if negative, a %-age or victim's hp.
  • maxgrace how long in “disease moves” the disease lasts in the host, if negative, permanent until cured.
  • food: if negative, disease is permanent. Otherwise, decreases at <speed>, disease goes away at food=0, set to “maxgrace” on infection.
  • speed is the speed of the disease, how fast “disease moves” occur.
  • last_sp is the lethargy imposed on the player by the disease. A lethargy of “1” reduces the players speed to 1% of its normal value.
  • maxsp how much mana is sapped per “disease move”. if negative, a %-age is taken.
  • ac: every “disease move” the severity of the symptoms are increased by ac/100. Therefore severity = 1 + (accumulated_progression)/100
  • last_eat increases food usage if negative.
  • last_grace: reduction in the diseases' contagiousness every time it infects someone new. This limits how many generations a disease can propagate.


Stats Modify stats
hp Modify regen
value Progression counter (multiplier = value/100)
food Modify food use (from last_eat in DISEASE)
maxsp Suck mana (as noted for DISEASE)
last_sp Lethargy
msg What to say
speed Speed of movement, from DISEASE


other_arch which archetype to convert into
slaying which archetype to convert from
sp how many other_arch to create
food how many items are needed to convert into <sp> other_arch

Bows & arrows

Missile weapons (type BOW) can be used to shoot missiles (type ARROW). The most common weapons are bows and crossbows but other weapons are also easy to implement (e.g. a sling). The following variables have the same meaning for both weapons and bullets:

race type of missile (identifies weapon and missile pairs)
dam the basic damage
wc the basic wc
magic the magic bonus

These are used only for arrows:

hp the basic damage (internal use)
sp the basic wc (internal use)
food the breaking probability after a shot (0-100)

These are for bows:

sp the shooting speed (% of normal speed, 1-100)
no_strength player's strength or monster's level doesn't affect the damage done by bow

The other variables has their normal meanings.

Object creating objects

by Peterm

A creator is an object which creates another object when it is triggered. The daughter object can be anything. (yet another way other than runes to create surprise monsters, though runes are better for that, they're smarter at placing monsters)

You've seen a creator demonstrated if you've solved the Tower of Demonology: when you summon a demon you also get some firetrails

Creator object: an object which creates other objects. It is usually invisible.

other_arch the object to create
connected what will trigger it (button, magic ear)
hp number of times to create before disappearing
lifesave if 1, it will create the object every time it's triggered, and never disappear
slaying the name the created object will bear
level the level the created object will have

Player Movers

by Peterm

Player movers are objects which move objects above them. These objects must be alive. They are directional, so players can be made to move in a pattern, and so can monsters.

Motion is involuntary. Additionally, players or monsters can be paralyzed so that they MUST move along a chain of movers.

Multi-square monsters can be moved by movers, however enough space is required.

Here is the meaning of various fields:

attacktype if nonzero, paralyzes anyone it moves (so they are forced to move along a chain). Default values is 0
maxsp the number of moves that the paralysis will rob the player of, if unset, and attacktype is nonzero, this becomes 2. By default, it is zero
move_type what movement types this mover moves (replaces maxhp to denote flying creatures)
speed how fast a chain of these will move a player along (default -0.2)
sp the direction – if unset (0) motion is random
level if nonzero, players will be moved as well as monsters. 0 by default
lifesave whether it can be used up, meaning is opposite, it may go away if lifesave is set. Default is not set
hp if lifesave is set, the number of times (-1) it will move a player (i.e., it will move someone hp+1 times before it vanishes). default 0
subtype a bitmask that specifies which of arch, name, and race affect the race and slaying flags. If unspecified (or zero), all will be searched. The LSB is arch, the next bit is name, and the third bit is for race. See below for table
race only affect objects with a arch/name/race matching this
slaying don't affect objects with a arch/name/race matching

Subtype table for the lazy:

subtype 1 only arch
subtype 2 only name
subtype 3 arch or name
subtype 4 only race
subtype 5 arch or race
subtype 6 name or race
subtype 7 all three

Note from Mark: Player Movers and Directors are separate objects, even though they look and act similar. Directors only do spells/missiles, however, while player movers only do living creatures (depending on how it is set)


Directors are objects that change the direction of objects moving through the air such as spells and missiles. As in the noted in the section on player movers, they act similar, however in contrast they only affect spells, missiles, or other flying projectiles.

Here are the various fields:

sp the direction–if unset (0) motion is random
subtype a bitmask that specifies which of arch, name, and race affect the race and slaying flags. If unspecified (or zero), all will be searched. See the section above on playermovers for what subtypes mean what
race only affect objects with a arch/name/race matching this
slaying don't affect objects with a arch/name/race matching this

Magical Walls -- walls that cast spells

Magical walls are like other walls, except every now and then, they fire spells.

Magical walls can contain any spell. However, some spells do not operate very successfully in them. The only way to know is to test the spell you want to use with a wall.

Several types of magical walls are predefined for you in the archetypes, and can be found on a pick-map available in crossedit.

If you want a magical wall which is not already defined, all you need to do is choose one of the predefined walls, and modify the 'dam' variable. The 'dam' variable contains the index of the spell. See include/spellist.h to find your desired spell.

Meaning of archetype fields:

field meaning
dam spell the wall will cast
sp integer direction the wall will cast the spell. If 0, the wall will cast the spell in random direction
ac armour class of wall
exp experience value of the wall
speed speed of the wall. You can fine-tune how fast the wall will cast spells
alive 1 means it can be attacked, 0 means not
hp, maxhp hit points
immune immunity OR mask FIXME ??
type for magical walls, this is 62
other_arch obsolete now, means nothing
maxsp has to do with turning walls. The wall will turn by 'maxsp' every time it fires, changing face. To make a wall turn, it is sufficient to set this to 1. Setting it to 8 or any multiple thereof is an exercise in futility
level the level the spell will cast spells at. Level 1 walls will cast spells at minimal strength. Level 100 walls will cast deadly spells
connected either rotate the wall or trigger it. If triggering, set speed to 0 for best results


FIXME expand/fix

Containers can contain other objects up to a certain limit.

weight_limit the maximum weight the container can hold
Str reduces the weight of the objects in the container, 0 == no reduction, 100 = weightless
slaying only let items of this type in the container

Key/value fields that can be used (trunk only):

face_opened face name (including the final .111) to use when the container is opened. Will default to other_arch→face if not defined.
face_closed face name to use when the container is closed. Will automatically be set if a custom face is defined, so not required to set it manually.

Mood Floors

(“Brian Thomas”

FIXME describe

last_sp field is used to determine what will happen to the monster when the floor is activated:

value name description
0 furious makes all monsters aggressive
1 angry as above but pets are unaffected
2 calm makes all monsters unaggressive
3 sleep puts all monsters to sleep
4 charm makes monster into a pet of person who triggers the square. This setting is not enabled for continuous operation FIXME hu??

Altars, Triggers, Detectors and other connected items

FIXME update/expand

Note: This is not quite complete documentation, but is correct as far as it goes (0.92.1)

slaying what the sacrifice must match. It either matches the archetype name (internal value only), object name, or slaying field of object. “money” is a special case - in this case, an exact name is not needed, any types of money will match
food how many objects must be sacrificed. If slaying is money, then the value of the money must be greater than the food value (ie, if food=200, then 200 sp, 20 gp, or 4 pp will all work.) Note that this is stored in a 16 bit signed value - thus the maximum is 32767
msg what to print when the altar is activated
connected a link to other objects to activate
sp spell number to cast when activated FIXME still working?
level what level to cast the spell at
hp if set, use hp to match to that object type

Note: For all sacrifice types, the number to activate the altar must be in one object. Thus, in the above money example, 100 sp and 10 gp would not work. Likewise, if the needed sacrifice was 2 swords, 1 normal sword and 1 +1 sword would not work, even though 2 of either one would.

Quick summary of the different altars:


Triggers are slightly different than normal buttons/pedestals/whatever in that they reset after a short amount of time. Thus, they can be used to open a door for a short amount of time. Triggers use stats.wc as a temporary storage value to note activation.

exp determines when the trigger resets. A smaller value means faster reset
ac old value of the condition for TRIGGER_BUTTON and TRIGGER_PEDESTAL to trigger only when condition changes from false to true

The different triggers are:

  • TRIGGER_BUTTON: if weight on the button is greater than the weight value for the trigger, push a trigger
  • TRIGGER_PEDESTAL: if a matching object is on top of the pedestal, then trigger a trigger
  • TRIGGER_ALTAR: Takes a sacrifice, then pushes a trigger. If “last_sp 0” is set, the altar will trigger the connected value TWO times per sacrifice: Once by dropping the sacrifice, second by altar reset. If “last_sp 1” is set, the altar won't trigger the connected value by reset - Hence, only ONE time per sacrifice.
  • TRIGGER (handle): Pushes a trigger.

Note: At one time, there was a difference between triggers and buttons - they were considered different types for activation. However, now they are all the same - a button can push a trigger, and vice versa. And of course, triggers can activate other triggers, and the same for buttons.


These are sort of combo buttons & altars. If the pedestals race matches the slaying of an object on top (race of player matches any player), then push the connected objects. By default, pedestals match players. They differ from buttons in that specific objects activate them (vs an amount of weight.) They are different from altars in that the object that activates them does not disappear.

Inventory checkers (64)

Inventory checkers passively check the players inventory to see if it contains some object. Thus, you can make portals which you can't pass through if you contain certain objects.

slaying object name we are looking for
race archetype name we are trying to match for
hp match on object with that type value
last_heal remove object if found
last_sp if set, than having that object is a match. If 0, then not having that object is a match
connected value to to push
no_pass if set, you can only pass through that space if you be allowed to (depending on last_sp determines if having/not having is the match criteria). If no_pass is 0 (default), then the inventory only acts as a trigger/button

General usage notes: Putting a check_inventory space in front of a gate with another on the other side works reasonably well as a control mechanism. Note, however, that other people may still be able to slip by. To get around this, use the no_pass to 1, and put it in the space you want to control (probably makes sense to put a fake door or other object there to make it a little more obvious what is going on.)


This object samples the square its in, and if it finds an object named in the slaying field, it will trigger other objects. Detectors are a lot like pedestals - the only really difference is that they sample the space periodically, where as pedestals will get triggered the instant something is dropped. The use for pedestals is to add some indeterminate time delay (indeterminate since you can never be sure at what point in its timing the player will actually drop something on the detector.)

slaying name of the thing the detector is to look for. FORCEs with slaying fields matching slaying field of detector will be detected if hp is set. SPECIAL_KEY with slaying field will match when on the ground (not in inventory). If equals player, will detect players
speed time between samples
connected connected value of detector
sp 1 if detection sets buttons, another value if detection unsets buttons
hp non zero if it is to search through an inventory of an object sitting over it. Note that the search only goes in the direct inventory, not recursively in all inventories


This object inserts a FORCE into a player who stands on it. This force does nothing except contain a string in its slaying field which can be discovered by a detector.

slaying the code
speed how quickly it will mark something standing on it
food duration of the force it inserts. If nonzero, the duration is finite: about 1 food per 10 seconds
name slaying field of a force to remove

See also the 'quests' file for special values on slaying field.

Note about all connected items

Whenever an object that is connected gets activated, all other objects with the same connected tag also gets pushed. For some objects (pedestals, inventory checkers) this is likely to be meaningless. However, if something like an altar is pushed in this fashion, it will no longer be usable (only take one sacrifice, and being activated in this fashion makes it so that it looks to have been activated.)

One trick for connected objects that you want activated once: Set your initial connects to a set (or multiple sets) of iron spikes that are in a 2×1 enclosed area. On top of the spikes, put a boulder, and on the other space, put a large button that is then connected to whatever object. Thus, when the spikes are activated, they push the boulder to the other space, that then activates whatever is desired.


msg what to print when applied
food how many times the sign can be read. 0 means no limit
last_eat how many times the sign has been read (only used internally)

FIXME isn't level applicable?

Poisonous booze

Poison player or monster that applies this booze

Stats.hp is poison damage.

stats.hp must be greater 0 to do damage. It used to be less than 0 for -stats.hp direct damage, but that has changed. stats.hp ⇐ 0 now means no damage at all, just loss of 25% food.

FIXME check


Duplicators copy or remove objects. Duplicators are triggered objects.

connected connected value for the duplicator
other_arch archetype that this copies - if the archetype on top of the duplicator doesn't match this, it isn't copied. Note that it only matches the archetype - the object can then be further duplicated. For example, if other_arch is sword, it will duplicate sword +4, different attacktypes, etc, and all of those are duplicated. But it will not duplicate a dagger for example
level the number of copies to make (1 means no changes). If set to 0 the object is removed


arch duplicator
level 2
other_arch sword
connected 5

Where 5 is connected to a lever. When the lever is pulled, if a sword object is on top, its number is doubled. If there is anything else on top, it is unaffected. If the lever it is connected to is not pulled, it is also unaffected.


Transports are objects that help the player move. These should not be confused with EXITS, which instantly transport a player from one map to another.

Instead, transports may let the player move faster, give them move types they don't have, etc. A simple example of this would a horse. It doesn't let the player move anyplace he normally couldn't go, but lets him get there faster. Ships would be another case - the player normally can't move across water, but with a ship, he can.

Meaning of various object attributes (KV means the value is stored in the key/value list, and thus the get_ob_key_value() and set_ob_key_value() routines need to be used.

move_type the move type this object has
move_allow normal meanings - useful for things like boats so people can actually get on the boat
speed how fast the object moves
weight_limit how much this object can carry
weight_speed_ratio (KV) this value is taken as a percentage which is multiplied against against the weight this object is carrying (the player) - this is then divided by weight_limit to determine the effective loading to determine effective object speed, eg: speed = base_speed - (base_speed * pl→weight * weight_speed_ratio) / (weight_limit * 100). Thus, if weight_factor is 0, this object will move the same speed no matter how loaded it is. If it is 100, then if the transport is fully loaded, it moves at a crawl. In a sense, this somewhat mimics the player movement speed. Large transports, like boats, should likely be largely unaffected by weight (maybe have this value at 10), where something like a horse would have a relatively high value
base_speed (KV) this is only needed if weight_speed_ratio is set - it is used to know what the base speed to use in the calculation (since speed is getting clobbered). If this is not set and weight_speed_ratio is set, the archetypes speed will be used
passenger_limit (KV) how many players this transport can hold. Thus, boats can transport a party (this being set to 6) while horses could only transport a single person. If this is not set, a default of 1 will be used
face_full it may be desirable to have different faces to denote what the transport looks like if someone is on it vs not (mounted horse vs just a horse). This is used to denote what it will look like when loaded. If the transport becomes empty, it will fall back to the archetype face
anim_full like face_full above, but for animated objects

Usage/implementation details

To activate a transport, the player will apply it just like any other object. When this is done, the pl→contr→transport will point to the transport. If the player is the first to board it, then transport→contr will point to the player. The player is placed into the inventory of the transport.

When on the transport, the player will see other objects on the transport. When the player issues a map command, if they are the 'captain', the transport moves as directed. If not, the move command is ignored. Note that players on the transport can issue other commands (say, cast, etc).

Some special handling is done relating the player and transport speed so that transport speed is used. If the transport doesn't have speed to move, the move command is ignored. The player speed_left is set to -0.01 when on the transport - in this way, the player will get actions and not limit transport speed.

When aboard a transport, the player will be in the inventory of the transport. The player can see other objects in the transport. If the player drops an item, it is placed into the transport inventory, and not the map.

When hit_map() hits the transport, we examine look for all players in the transport and damage them as appropriate. Note that items are not damaged.

As of this writing, transports are non living creatures, and thus can't be damaged.

Flags & specifications: (usage: flag value)

Note: the flags are case sensitive.

G = generator. O = object.

Note (961129): These notes look correct as far as they go. However, oftentimes, the real effect in game terms might be more complicated than list here. As an example: Exp value is just base - it will be further modified based on stats, levels, and potentially skills.

Flag syntax Meaning
Object <name> name of O, internal refs only
name <name> name of O as seen in the game
race <name> race of O, internal
slaying <name> those O's with this race receives 2x damage
other_arch <other obj's name> which other O this G generates
More use between linked object definitions
face name
which bitmaps to use in animation of the O. If TEAR_DOWN flag is set, this contains the different stages of being destroyed. face name is the name of the face (ie, food.111). This may only be set in the arches, not in maps.
end terminates definition of this O
last_heal <no> internal use (for regaining hit-points)
last_sp <no> internal use (for regaining spell-points)
last_eat <no> internal use (for consuming food)
speed <no> speed of O. A negative number means that speed_left will be randomized when the object is loaded
speed_left <no> speed of O remaining, internal
face <bmap no> bitmap first drawn for O
Str,Dex,Con, Wis,Cha,Int <no> default ability for O
hp,maxhp,sp,maxsp <no> default value for O hitpoints, spellpoints
maxsp in main.c:fire() which arrowtype to use Number equal to to the arrows type definition
exp <no> Experience gained for killing O
food <no> nutrition value for O. *DANGEROUS* as it's also used to contain internal values for non-edible objects. This should be changed in future FIXME is this still relevant
dam,wc,ac <no> default damage, weaponclass, armorclass. dam 0 gives a 'friendly' monster ;)
wc main.c:move_gate(). Is used by gates to indicate in which position they are
x,y <no> relative coords for bmap when using large objects. x=y=0 is default, x=1 is second bmap in first row etc.
nrof <no> number of O:s. 0 means that objects of this type are not to be joined/split (it's a lone object)
level <no> O:s level
direction in which direction (1=north, 8=north-west) this O is moving (flying). Simple schematic of the dirs:
type <no> the object as defined in 'defines.h'
material <no> the sum of materials in this O. (see materials FIXME check link when exists)
value <no> the value for this O
weight <no> the weight for this O
carrying sum of the weight of objects within this object
attacktype <no> type of attack from O. (see attacks FIXME check link when exists)
invisible <1> set if O is invisible
magic <no> magic modifier of O. (bracers +3 has magic 3)
state internal. Used when animating the object
alive <1> set if O is alive (can be attacked)
applied set if object is readied/worn/etc.
unpaid set if object is unpaid (internal)
no_pick <1> set if O can't be taken
no_pass <1> set if O can't be passed. (eg, a closed door)
walk_on <1> O is applied by anything walking onto it (obsolete – use move_on walk instead)
walk_off <1> O is applied by anything walking off it (obsolete – use move_off walk instead)
fly_on <1> O is applied by anything flying onto it (obsolete – use move_on fly_low instead)
fly_off <1> O is applied by anything flying off it (obsolete – use move_off fly_low instead)
is_animated <1> set if O is animated
flying <1> set if O is flying (obsolete – use move_off fly_low instead)
monster <1> set if O is a monster
friendly <1> set if O will make a monster help player instead of attacking
generator <1> set if O is a generator
auto_apply <1> O is applied when it is loaded (for instance, some chests open automatically when the map is loaded)
treasure <1> not used yet FIXME ??
apply_once <1> not used yet FIXME ??
see_invisible <1> set if O can see invisible player
can_roll <1> set if O can be rolled
is_turnable <1> set if O can be turned 'automagically'
is_lightable <1> set if O is something like a lantern that can be lit FIXME ??
is_used_up <1> bizarre. O is used up after created, eg an explosion FIXME ??
identified <1> set if the item has been identified
reflecting <1> set if O is reflective
changing <1> set if O will change appearance
splitting <1> set if O will divide
hitback <1> set if O hits when being hit
blocksview <1> set if O blocks line of sight. For multi-tile objects, this flag may be set uniquely for each part.
undead <1> set if O is undead
scared <1> internal (O is running away from players right now)
unaggressive <1> internal (not used yet) FIXME isn't is used
reflect_missile <1> set if O throws back missiles
reflect_spell <1> set if O throws back spells (some)
no_magic <1> set if O totally resists magic (*use with care*) FIXME is this true to any item?
tear_down <1> set if O can be torn down (using animations and hp)
run_away <no %> percentile of hp left which causes monster to flee
pass_thru <1> set if O can be passed thru by objects <below>
can_pass_thru <1> set if O can pass thru objects <above>
pick_up <value> which items monster will pick up (see pickup (above))
is_buildable <1> set if items can be built on top of this O

Treasures and abilities

The treasures are kept in LIBDIR/treasures. Their format is:

treasure <name>


Also, 'treasure' above can instead be 'treasureone'. This means that only 1 item on that list will be generated. The chance for all objects on that list are summed together, and one is then generated.

And the format for an item is:

arch <name>
nrof <n (random 1 to n items generated)>
magic <max-magic>
chance <1-100%>
end (or "more", if this is not the last element)

If “magic” or “nrof” is omitted, it is set to 0. If “chance” is omitted, it is set to 100%. “yes” tells what can be generated if this item was generated. “no” tells what can be generated if this item was not generated. “yes” and “no” can of course be omitted.

Note: the 'no' and 'yes' fields are meaningless in treasureone treasurelists.

Also, instead of an item, a list to transfer to can be used instead. The format is the same as for an object, but instead 'list <list>' is used instead of 'arch <name>'.

For list transitions, the chance, yes and no fields have the same meaning. 'magic' is used to determine the difficulty required to transfer to the new list.

If the list is of type 'treasureone', and a list transition fails, what happens next is determined by the 'nrof' field. If it is zero, no object is generated. If 'nrof' is one, than another attempt is made to generate an item (or list transition) from that treasurelist. There is a maximum number of attempts that can be made.

Also, a reserved list name of 'NONE' is allowed. This means that no item should be generated (of relevence only on treasureone lists.)

To use such a treasure, just put “randomitem <name>” into any archetype in the archetype-file. Random treasure will then be generated whenever such a monster is generated by generator, or when a map containing such <monsters> is loaded for the first time.


Adding in invisible objects like known spells and skills gives these abilities to the object.

for example:

    treasure pirate
      arch skill_stealing
        chance 50
      arch skill_throwing
          arch skill_punching
      arch heart
         chance 5
      list standard


    treasure skeletalmage
      list standard_old
      arch ability_fear
      arch ability_frostbolt
        chance 67

Treasure lists of gods are special. See below.


Treasure lists of gods are special. They must be of 'treasure' type, not 'treasureone', and the 'yes' and 'no' fields must not be used. The contents of a god's treasure list is not used by create_treasure(), but by god_intervention() which traverses this list from beginning to end until an item causes an action. The “chance” in the treasure list can be used to randomly skip items, but items that don't have an effect (e.g. healing follower, but follower isn't injured) will be skipped anyway. The meaning of the different items in the list is:

Treasure list reference:

Such a list is passed to create_treasure() with flag GT_STARTEQUIP. The generated treasure is put into the followers inventory. The follower can get unlimited amounts of this treasure just by praying long enough. See below (“other visible items”) for an alternative way of giving items to followers.

Invisible books (with specific names):

Can be accessed through determine_holy_arch() which will return the item's other_arch field. For example, such book with name “avatar” determines the avatar archetype for the “summon avatar” prayer.

Invisible book with name “grace limit”:

If follower doesn't have maximum grace, or follower's grace is less than item→stats.grace, a “holy possession” prayer is invoked and the function returns. Can be used to limit the lower part of the treasure list to followers with much grace.

Invisible book with name “restore grace”:

If the follower's grace is negative, sets the grace to a small positive value and returns.

Invisible book with name “restore hitpoints”:

If the follower's hitpoints are not at their maximum, sets hitpoints to maximum and returns.

Invisible book with name “restore spellpoints”:

Can restore the followers spellpoints. The maximum spellpoints for this effect are calculated using this formula:

max = follower->stats.maxsp * (item->stats.maxsp / 100.0)

In other words, the item's stats.maxsp is the maximum in percent relative to the followers normal spellpoint maximum. If the followers current spellpoints are below 50% of 'max', they are set to a random value between 50% and 100% of 'max', and the function returns.

Invisible book with name “heal spell”:

Casts a heal spell (which spell is determined by item's slaying or stats.sp field) and returns if the spell was successful.

Invisible book with name “remove curse”:

Removes curse from all cursed (but not damned) items, returns if curse was removed from at least one item.

Invisible book with name “remove damnation”:

Removes curse and damnation from all cursed or damned items, returns if curse or damnation was removed from at least one item.

Invisible book with name “heal depletion”:

Removes all depletion effects and returns unless the follower's stats were not depleted.

Invisible book with name “voice_behind”:

The follower hears a voice from behind. item→msg is what the voice says. Always returns.

Invisible book with name “message”:

The follower receives item→msg as a simple message. Always returns.

Invisible book with name “enchant weapon”:

The follower's weapon is enchanted in various ways. item→level affects how much the weapon is enchanted, higher value means less enchantment.

Invisible spellbooks:

If the prayer in the book is not yet known to the follower, and the follower has the required level, teaches the prayer to the follower and returns. The prayer is determined by item's slaying field.

Visible spellbooks:

If the prayer in the book is not yet known to the follower, the follower has the required level, and the follower doesn't already have a spellbook with that prayer, gives a copy of this spellbook to the follower and returns. The item must have FLAG_STARTEQUIP. The prayer is determined by item's slaying field.

Other visible items:

If the follower doesn't already have this or a similar item (with same type, name, title, msg and slaying fields), gives a copy of this item to the follower. You have to set FLAG_STARTEQUIP in the archetype yourself if you wan't the copy to have this flag. This method (with FLAG_STARTEQUIP set) should be prefered for giving items to followers, because it is rather safe to use. The amount is limited, because if the follower wants more of it he has to go back to an altar of his god. He can't pray an hour over an altar and then go fighting with a hundred potions of restoration.

Other invisible items:

If the follower doesn't already have it this item, gives it, similar to visible items. Except, it ALWAYS gives it, upon conversion. And on conversion to another religion, it is ALWAYS removed. Signs and forces and skills may not be given/taken this way.

Misc change description:

The following area describes various comments about various pieces of code. In general, the information describes a basic idea of how things work. The following may not really be necessary, but I figure that it is probably worth saving, and this seemed to be as good as place as any.

LIGHTING CODE (by Brian Thomas):

  1. fast calculation of lighting. For players los (line- of sight) is calculated from a linked list of nearby lights. For monsters, no los is calculated, rather a modified check_wakeup routine is used to see if they will follow/attack players. Monsters with can_see_in_dark act normally in dark areas.
  2. New attacktype -AT_BLIND. This is a pretty severe penalty for monsters and players alike. Players cant see any square but thier own, monsters can only attack/follow players who are in an adjacent square. Need to make the monsters stumble around when no player is near, rather than the current way in which they stand around waiting to get “ace'd”. Undead cannot be blinded, nor should be effected by darkness. For other monsters, if they have immunity to blindness or can see invisible, they are uneffected by AT_BLIND attacks.
  3. New spells. Some magician, some clerical. They work, but may need to be adjusted for playbalance. Normal spells available include: “light”, “darkness”, “sunspear”, “faery fire” and “dark vision”. All spells (but darkvision) work do something) whether the lighting code is used or not.
  4. Modified archetypes and artifacts list to encompass changes to the code from lighting. Also, some new archs introduced, namely “flint and steel” for lighting stuff on fire and “torch” a source of light.

How to add new values

This section details how to add new fields/flags to an object structure.

1) Send mail to the development list to make sure that a new element is really added.

For flags:

2) Update the FLAG_.. entries in include/define.h for your new flag. Recycle unused values if possible - there may be cases where you want to group the new flags together. If you are adding beyond the end of the existing values, update the NUM_FLAGS entry

3) Decide the name of your flag as loaded/saved in objects. The default syntax is the name you assigned in step 2 above, minus the leading flag_ part.

4) In the common/loader.l, update the load section (where the code is mostly ^value SET_OR_CLEAR(…)) add your entries in.

5) update the flag_names in common/loader.l. The location of your names _must_ be in the same array location as the FLAG_ value.

6) Update other areas of the code that you presumably know about that will use these flag values.

7) As appropriate, update the arch files and rebuild.

Programming notes

This section provides some specific programming notes about objects. If you don't actually work with the C code, there is no need to read this section.

Almost all the char* pointers in the object structure use a shared string library. See shared_strings for more details.

When copying objects, the copy_object routine should always be used. It will add reference counts to the copied strings.

Shared string data should never be modified by any means - eg, strcpy(op→name, “new value”) will update all the objects that use the same shared string as op does for its name.

dev/objects.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/20 16:32 by leaf