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NPCs | .foxgrove


Compiled from: LPC ch22.

Part 0: QCS

create npc cowboy

The room you are in will contain a generic NPC which *does not* answer to the id of “cowboy”. This NPC is just a generic NPC whose filename is (probably) /realms/you/npc/cowboy.c and isn’t yet a real cowboy. You’ll need to use the “modify” command to make a proper cowboy out of him.

modify npc name cowboy

This makes the SetKeyName() directive in cowboy.c use “cowboy” as its argument, effectively allowing you to address this npc as “cowboy” from now on. Now you can “look at cowboy” with some results. Obviously our NPC isn’t *just* a cowboy. He’s also a human, a dude, and his name is Tex. How do we make him respond to all of these nouns?

modify cowboy id

You’ll notice there are no arguments following the word “id”. Setting a thing’s id is different from most other settings. If you’ll think back to the LPC datatypes chapter of this manual (you did read the LPC chapters, didn’t you?) you’ll remember that some information about objects is in the form of strings (“cowboy”), some is in the form of integers (the cowboy’s health points, for example) and some is in the form of arrays, which are a group of data points. In this example we want the cowboy’s id to be an array, because of the many ways we might want to address him. Therefore, we want the SetId directive in his file to look like this:

SetId( ({“human”, “dude”, “tex” }) );

You might think that QCS should be able to accept multiple values like this on a line, perhaps with “modify cowboy id human dude tex” as the command.

But what if you want this npc to be a “Boy Named Sue”? How would you accommodate id’s that contain spaces? In designing QCS, I considered having escape characters to allow for such things, but ultimately reasoned that this was just way too much mess. Instead, SetId, and other directives that take arrays as arguments, are handled by entering a query session.

Other NPC features take arrays also. SetAdjectives is one. You might enter this (mud output omitted for clarity):

modify tex adjectives
look at dusty cowboy

There are two other directives that require queries. Things and NPC’s can be looked at, but they can also be smelled and listened to, if you add SetSmell and SetListen. The syntax is:

modify tex smell

And you will then be asked a question about keys and mappings. Understanding mappings is important, but for now you just need to understand that you are being asked *two* separate questions: 1) What on the cowboy is being smelled/listened to?
2) What is the smell/sound?

What this means is that your input will look something like this:

modify tex smell
Tex smells of sweat and manure.

What happens is this:
– You enter the modify command.
– You enter the word “default” to indicate this is Tex’s general smell.
– You enter a dot to indicate that you are done specifying what
part of Tex is being smelled.
– You then specify the smell.

This may seem odd until you realize you can also add smells/listens to parts of things. Not on NPC’s, though. We’ll look at this more closely in later chapters. For now, just use the syntax as shown above. For adding a listen to the cowboy, it works the same way:

modify tex listen
Tex seems to be humming a jaunty melody.

Other features of an NPC do not take arrays, so one-line commands will do. For example:

modify cowboy long This is a cowboy who calls himself Tex, but is in fact a Boy Named Sue.
modify cowboy short a cowboy
modify cowboy level 5
modify cowboy class fighter
modify tex currency gold 1
modify tex currency silver 12
modify tex skill bargaining 5
modify tex skill projectile attack 7
modify tex stat strength 33
modify tex property nice guy 1
modify tex healthpoints 150
modify tex maxhealthpoints 170
modify tex melee 0
modify tex unique 1

If you now issue the “about tex” command you will see that all the changes you made have been put into the file.

You may have noticed the “melee” keyword. Dead Souls 2 NPC’s come in various shapes and sizes, and some of them shouldn’t wield weapons. A wolf with a battle axe would be a strange sight indeed. However, the default combat system makes unarmed creatures extremely vulnerable in combat.
To make an NPC combat-capable without weapons, use the new SetMelee directive. SetMelee(1) makes the NPC capable of proper unarmed combat. SetMelee(0) makes the NPC a weak opponent if unarmed.
NPC’s will generally try to bite during unarmed combat. If this is beneath the capability or dignity of your NPC, you can prevent this with:

modify tex canbite 0

If your NPC should try to escape when the battle isn’t going his way, the wimpy settings should do:

modify tex wimpy 30

modify tex wimpycommand climb ladder

If you don’t specify a wimpy command, Tex will leave the room through a random exit. In this case, when Tex’s health is down to 30% and he is in combat, he will try to climb a ladder.

Some NPC’s are designed to travel about. To enable this feature, use the wanderspeed directive:

modify tex wanderspeed 5

If you want him to travel more quickly, use a lower number. By default, wandering NPC’s only wander in rooms that have already been loaded into memory. They avoid loading rooms because loading a bunch of rooms that only the NPC will ever see is a waste of your mud’s resources.
However, if you *do* want your NPC to wander in an unrestricted manner, regardless of whether a room is loaded, use the permitload directive:

modify tex permitload 1

By default, NPC’s stand up when they can. This is so that if they collapse during combat, they try to get back up once they are able to do so.
If you prefer that your NPC maintain some other posture, you can set that posture, then disable autostanding like this:

modify tex posture lying

modify tex autostand 0

If he’s especially lazy, you can have him take a nap this way:

modify tex sleeping 10

Which will have him wake up after about a minute. However, note that if you’ve disabled autostanding, he will remain lying down after he wakes up.

If the NPC should be hostile, that is, he should attack any creatures that it sees enter a room, SetEncounter should do it:

modify tex encounter 100

This means that if the creature it sees has a charisma score of less than 100 (which should pretty much be always true), Tex will try to kill it. You can do some fancy stuff with SetEncounter, such as only attacking orcs, or actually doing something friendly, but to do so you can’t use QCS. Read the NPC and Sentients chapter in the Creator’s Manual for details on how to code such stuff.

If the NPC is a golem or other such non-biological creature, it may be useful to specify what they are made of. The SetComposition setting for a clay golem might look like this:

modify golem composition clay

If it happens to be a golem that does not believe in violence as a solution to problems, you can make refuse to hurt others with the following:

modify golem pacifist 1


Vendors are a special kind of NPC that can sell stuff. Along with the standard NPC settings, vendors have the following:

SetStorageRoom specifies where the vendor’s stockis stored. If a valid room is specified, anything in that room can be sold by the vendor.

SetLocalCurrency specifies the type of currency, such as gold or silver, that the vendor accepts.

SetMaxItems is the maximum number of items in the storeroom that the vendor is permitted to sell.

SetVendorType specifies the kind of stuff the vendor can trade in. “all” allows him to buy and sell whatever. But if he is a weapon vendor, he can’t trade in armor,
etc. See /include/vendor_types.h for the available vendor types. To have a “multi-type” vendor, you’ll have to code it by hand. The result of that looks something
like this:


Like vendors, barkeeps sell stuff, but they are limited to selling food and drink.

Unlike vendors, barkeeps have no limitation on the amount of stuff they can sell. They also do not have a storeroom. The stuff they can sell is specified in their SetMenu directive, like this:

clone woody

You clone a generic barkeep (/realms/temujin/area/npc/woody.c).

modify woody menu

If you don’t understand these questions, type the letter q on a blank line and hit enter.

Please enter the first key element for this mapping:


Please enter the next key element, or enter a single dot to finish entering key elements.


Please enter the next key element, or enter a single dot to finish entering key elements.


Please enter the value for key ({ “bourbon”, “whiskey” }):


Barkeeps also have the SetLocalCurrency directive to specify the currency they accept.

This document outlines the creation of non-player characters (NPC’s).
On other muds, NPC’s are sometimes referred to as monsters. Like the
rooms document, this document is divided up into two sections: basic
NPC building and complex NPC building. NPC’s are living things which
inherit all the behaviours of living things. Documentation on living
specific functionality may be found in /doc/build/Livings.

Part 1: Basic NPC Building

I. The simplest NPC


inherit LIB_NPC;

static void create() {
    SetKeyName("praxis peasant");
    SetId( ({ "peasant", "praxis peasant" }) );
    SetShort("a local peasant");
    SetLong("Dirty and totally disheveled, this poor inhabitant of Praxis "
	    "still somehow maintains an air of dignity that nothing can "

There are two things you should note. The first is that an NPC is also a general object, meaning that you have available to you all the things you can do with general objects, like setting descriptions and ID’s. The second is that a basic NPC does not require a heck of a lot more. I will cover the NPC specific functions here.

Level, race, and class are the three most important settings in any NPC. Together they determine how powerful the NPC is. You are absolutely required to set a level and a race. For those who absolutely do not want to give the NPC a class, you do not have to. But, you must instead manually set the NPC’s skill levels, which is described in the second part of this document. In general, however, you always want to set the class.

Together, the class and race and level determine which skills and stats are considered important for the monster, and how good at those skills and stats the monster is. The order in which you call these functions is irrelevant, as everything is recalculated any time one of the above changes.

Also, note that SetRace() may only be called with a race listed in the mraces command with simple NPC’s. If you wish to build an NPC with a unique race, you need to do some limb manipulation, which is described in the advanced section.

While not required, you will normally want to give an NPC a gender. The default is neutral. However, in this world, very little is neuter. Your choices for this function are male, female, and neuter.

II. Other NPC Configuration Functions

Function: int SetMorality(int amount);
Example: SetMorality(100);

This is a number between -2000 and 2000 which determines the morality of an individual with respect to good and evil. -2000 is absolute evil, and 2000 is absolute good. The actions of players determine their morality, and often those actions are relative to a target. Thus killing an evil being can be considered good, while killing a bad
one evil.

Function: int SetUnique(int x);
Example: SetUnique(1)

Marks the NPC as a unique monster. This allows the room which clones your NPC to use the negative values to SetInventory() (see /doc/build/Rooms) to make sure the NPC only gets cloned every few days.

Part 2: Advanced NPC Building

I. Functions

You may use these functions to make your NPC’s a bit more interesting than the simple variety.

Function: void SetAction(int chance, mixed val);
Examples: SetAction(5, (: DoSomething :));
SetAction(5, ({ “!smile”, “!frown” }));
SetAction(5, ({ “The peasant looks unhappy.” }));

Sets something to randomly happen every few heart beats while the NPC is not in combat. In the above examples, the NPC has a 5% chance each heart beat of performing the action you provided with the second argument. The action can be a call to a function, a list of potential commands, or a list of strings to be echoed to the room.

If you pass a function, that function will be called each time an action is supposed to occur. If you pass a list of strings, one of those strings will be randomly chosen as the target action for this heart beat. If the chosen string begins with a !, it is treated as a command. Otherwise, it is simply echoed to the room. Note that you can mix commands and echo strings.


Function: void SetCombatAction(int chance, mixed val);
Examples: SetCombatAction(5, (: DoSomething :));
SetCombatAction(5, ({ “!missile”, “!fireball” }));
SetAction(5, ({ “The peasant looks angry.” }));

This function works exactly the same as SetAction(), except that these actions only get triggered while the NPC is in combat. This is the best place to have the NPC cast spells.


Function: varargs void SetCurrency(mixed val, int amount);
Examples: SetCurrency(“gold”, 100);
SetCurrency( ([ “gold” : 100, “electrum” : 1000 ]) );

This function allows you to set how much money an NPC is carrying. The first syntax allows you to set one currency at a time. The second allows you to set multiple currencies at once. Not that if you use the second syntax, it will blow away any currencies the NPC might already be carrying.


Function: mixed SetDie(mixed val);
Examples: SetDie(“The black knight bleeds on you as he drops dead.”);
SetDie((: CheckDie :));

If you pass a string, that string will be echoed as the NPC’s death message when it dies. If you pass a function, that function gets called with the agent doing the killing, if any, as an argument. For example, with the above example, the function that you write:

int CheckDie(object killer);

gets called. If you return 1, the NPC goes on to die. If you return 0, the NPC does not die. In the event you prevent death, you need to make some arrangements with the NPC’s health points and such to make sure it really is still alive.


Function: mixed SetEncounter(mixed val);
Examples: SetEncounter(40);
SetEncounter( (: CheckDwarf :) );
SetEncounter( ({ str1, str2 }) );

This allows you to set up a behaviour for an NPC upon encountering another living thing. Note that this behaviour occurs for both players and other NPC’s. Using the first syntax, the NPC will simply attack any other living thing with a charisma less than 40. The second syntax calls the function you specify. You may have it do any
number of things, however, you must also return a 1 or a 0 from that function. A 1 means that after the function is called, the NPC should initiate combat against the thing it just encountered. A 0 means carry on as usual.

Finally, the third syntax is likely to be used in places other than the create() funciton in the NPC. This syntax lets you set a list names which are simply enemies to the NPC. More likely, you will be using AddEncounter() and RemoveEncounter() for this.


Function: string *AddEncounter(string name);
Example: AddEncounter((string)this_player()->GetKeyName());

Adds a name to the list of names an NPC will attack on sight.


Function: string *RemoveEncounter(string name);
Example: RemoveEncounter((string)this_player()->GetKeyName());

Removes a name from the list of names an NPC will attack on sight.


Function: SetInventory(mapping inventory);
SetInventory( ([ “/domains/Praxis/weapon/sword” : “wield sword” ]) );
SetInventory( ([ “/domains/Praxix/etc/ruby” : 1 ]) );
SetInventory( ([ “/domains/Praxis/etc/emerald” : -10 ]) );

This functions behaves almost identically to SetInventory() for rooms (see /doc/build/Rooms). The big difference is that you may pass a string in addition to a number as the value for any item you want in the inventory. In the first example above, that string is the command the NPC issues when the sword is cloned into its inventory. In other words, if you want an NPC to do something special with an item it has in its inventory, in this case wield the sword, you pass the command string as the value instead of a number.

Note that this means only one of such item will be cloned, and it cannot be unique.

II. Events

The following events exist in NPC’s. You should have a good grasp of function overriding before overriding these functions.

Event: varargs int eventDie(object target);

This event is triggered any time the NPC is killed. The event returns 1 if the NPC dies, 0 if it fails to die, and -1 on error. If you intend to allow the NPC to die, you should call npc::eventDie(target) and make sure it returns 1.


Event: int eventFollow(object dest, int chance);

This event is triggered whenever an NPC is following another living thing and that thing leaves the room. Returning 1 means that the NPC successfully followed the other being, and 0 means the NPC did not.

3. Manipulating limbs

The basic set of limbs an NPC gets is generally set when you set its race. You can get a list of supported NPC races through the mraces command. Occassionally, however, you may want to create NPCs of unique races, or with unique body structures. Or perhaps you want a human whose right hand is already amputated. This section deals with doing those things.

Amputating a limb is simple. Call RemoveLimb(“limb”). Note that that is not useful for removing a limb that should not be there. Instead, it is used for amputating a limb that looks amputated.

If, on the other hand, you wish to remove a limb which simply should not have been there in the first place, call DestLimb(“limb”).

The most simple case of actual limb manipulation, however, is to change the basic structure of an individual NPC around for some reason. For example, perhaps you wanted to add a tail to a human. For this, you use the AddLimb() function.

Function: varargs int AddLimb(string limb, string parent, int class, int *armours);
Examples: AddLimb(“tail”, “torso”, 4)
AddLimb(“head”, “torso”, 1, ({ A_HELMET, A_VISOR, A_AMULET }));

This function adds a new limb to the NPC’s body. The first argument is the name of the limb to be added. The second argument is the name of the limb to which it is attached. The third argument is the limb class. Limb class is a number between 1 and 5. The lower the number, the harder the limb is to remove. A limb class of 1 also means that removal of the limb is fatal. The fourth, optional argument is a list of armour types which may be worn on that limb.

In some cases, you may wish to create a new race from scratch. This requires adding every single limb manually. You first call SetRace() with a special second argument to note that you are creating a new race:

SetRace(“womble”, 1);

Then, you add the limbs for that race one by one. Make sure you call SetRace() first.