Custom housing in Multiplayer Roguelikes

Lurking of Internet Archive I’ve found a document about custom housing is written by EvilEye, one of the main developers of PernMAngband. Fist part of this document explains quite regular stuff, but second one is about Custom Housing – possibility to create houses of any form. There is this document.

This document is written by EvilEye,
one of the main developers of PernMangband.

The house system in PernMangband is different to that of Mangband. It can seem quite complicated to a new player/player upgrading from the original knowledge of houses in mangband.

House commands are activated by the ‘h’ key. For roguelike key users – the real keys 😉 , press ‘\’ then ‘h’ for the same house menu. You will be asked to enter a direction – you should select the direction of the door beside you.

Buying/selling a house is simple. After bumping into the door and finding
the house for sale, and at a good price, you just choose buy house from
the house commands menu.

Also on the menu is a change owner command. You may give a house (or privately sell) to another user. This user must be in the game at this time, or the command will fail.

Now, the hard part. When you buy a house, it is owned by you, and only you have access to it. This is also the same for if you are given a house by another player. You may change permissions on your house door with the third menu option. Think of unix, but dont think too hard about unix. This command lets you permit party access (This ONLY allows party access if you are the owner of the party too). The other two permissions are dangerous, and should be used with care. One allows class access (rogue, mage, telepath, etc. ). The other allows racial access (elf, human, etc.). A final option sets minimum level for access. This can never be set higher than your own current level.

When you die, and you will die, and your ghost is destroyed, all of your houses will become vacant. The houses will appear up for sale to all players again. The items which you had stored will (should) be removed, never to be seen again.

Destroying houses is only for the admin wizard to remove houses which have been built by users. It should not be of interest to normal users. It destroys the house.

You may, if you are very lucky, find a scroll of House Creation. This is highly unlikely, but should you find one or buy one in the BM (Black Market – shop 7), you will want to know how to use it. Reading a scroll in the wilderness will allow you to walk around, creating walls as you move. You get 25 moves per scroll, and reading subsequent scrolls allows you to add extra moves (still 25) to your current move counter. Moving diagonally, and running out of moves will cause your building attempt to fail. Also, if another player is building, your attempt will fail (the builders are on strike). Building around existing buildings is not permitted for security reasons – it will fail. Building upon moats belonging to houses will cause the spell to fail also.

A house may be built deliberately without a floor – a courtyard. All the grass, trees, water, etc. are kept just as they were. This can be done by inscribing the scroll (First scroll) with @F. Building subsequent houses inside another house IS possible, even though building around existing houses is not.

This document uncovers a lot of stuff about early years of MMORL (multiplayer roguelike) genre. It appears that PernMAngband actually had better housing system in past days then all MMORL have today.

Recently I’ve started to gather MMORL history, I’ve even didn’t add there a chapter about PernMAngband, because I’ve considered this game to be actually early version of TomeNET. But it’s not. 

Download: PernMAngband source

And recently EvilEye himself in MAngband discord commented some of the past events. I’ll include it to the History.

But what’s the most important – we need such housing system. This will make MMORL housing even more advanced in a certain way than Ultima Online – as in UO you could build beautiful houses, but only in special spots from 7×7 to 18×18. If our players will have a possibility to build houses of any forms – it will give possibilities to build entire cities by player. One day…

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