Playing Crossfire

Section 3.1. Basics

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

How to do simple stuff

Move around and attack

Movement is accomplished with the mouse, or with the same keys that some rouge-like computer games use. To move using the mouse, position the cursor over a square you wish to move to in the view window then click the right hand button. If you want to use the keys, here's a simple diagram of where the various movement keys will take you:

The ``.'' refers to yourself; you don't move anywhere when you press it. In order to ``run'' in a particular direction (i.e. move continuously without having to repeatedly punch the key) hold down the control key then hit any movement key or the right hand mouse button to start moving. Release the <control> key when you wish to stop running.

If you move into something, you will attack it. This means walls, doors, and monsters will be damaged if you hit them. Players and friendly monsters may also be attacked in this way, but only if you set the peaceful flag to ``off''. To learn more about the combat system see section combat.

Picking up items

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

Applying stuff: wear armour, wield a weapon, eat, and so on.

Most of the time, in order to manipulate or ``apply'' items you have to be holding them. Move the cursor over to the desired item in the inventory window. By using the middle button on the mouse, you may toggle the status (ie between ``applied'' or ``unapplied'') of items. Note that some items when applied will be used up (they disappear from the inventory window). Examples of these kind of items include ``food'' , ``potions'' and ``scrolls'' To learn more about the uses of various items see chapter 6 (Equipment).

Shoot a ranged weapon

Ranged weapons include bows wands rods , or horns . Apply the desired weapon, then check to see that the Range: slot in the status window indicates that item is ``readied'' ( can have something applied but not readied). If its not ready, use either the plus or minus keys to rotate though all of the slots. Once readied, use the ``&lotshift>'' key followed by a movement key to fire the object in that direction. Alternatively, place the cursor in the view window, then hit the middle mouse button to fire.

Enter a building or boat.

Move over on top of the desired structure. Then hit either middle mouse button while the cursor is on the icon of the structure in the look window, or hit the A key. If there is a link to a map drawn of the ``inside'' you will be taken there. If no link exists, you will get the message ``the <structure> is closed.''.

Use a skill

In order to use a skill, it must first be readied. You can ready any skill you have with the ready_skill command. Also, some skills will automatically be readied when you undertake certain actions. For example, if you run into a hostile monster with a wielded weapon the melee weapons skill is readied. A ready skill will show up in the stat window in the Range: slot. If a skill doesn't appear in the slot, rotate the range slot to check for the skill. When a skill is readied, the range slot will appear as ``Skill: <skill>'' (otherwise it appears as ``Skill: none''). To use the skill, make a ``ranged attack'' (ie hit the same keys or mouse button as for firing a wand). To learn more about the skills system see chapter 5 (Skills).

Cast a spell

In order to ``cast'' spells (either incantations or prayers), you must have the skills of wizardry (incantations) or praying (prayers). Possession of a ``talisman'' or a ``holy symbol'' will also allow you to respectively cast incantations or prayers). You can only cast those spells you have learned. Issue the meta-command `cast <spell> to ready a spell in the Range: slot. To ``fire'' the spell, make a ranged attack. Note: if you don't have enough mana an incantation will fail. If you don't have enough grace a prayer may work. For more information concerning the magic system see chapter 4 (Magic).

Saving the game and ending the Crossfire session:

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

About NPCs

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

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

Important special items

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

Matters of life and death

Attack system

Every time you make an attack, your attack is classified with one or more ``attacktypes''. For example, an attack made with a ordinary sword results in the attack being made with the attacktype of ``physical''. For another example, if a Mage attacks with a fireball spell the attack is made with the ``magic'' and ``fire'' attacktypes. In similar fashion, a defender may be protected, vulnerable, or immune to any attacktype.

Here is a summary of the attack system; in fact, its a bit more complicated.

Hitting an opponent

Several quantities are involved in determining whether an attack will hit its target. The attacker will hit if his Wc is less than or equal to the defender's Ac + 1D20 (Note: 1D20 is a random number between 1 and 20) or if the D20 gives a 20 (remember, both Wc and Ac improve as their value drops lower).

Damaging a hit opponent

Damages are randomly generated, with the magnitude of the random number being based on the attacker's Dam stat. If defender is immune to an attacktype in the attack, he receives no damage, if he's protected he receives half damage, if he's vulnerable to this kind of attacktype, he receives double damage. For physical attacks, the percent of your Arm value is subtracted from incoming damage. Some magic weapons can ``slay'' various races of creatures. If the weapon slays the defender, the attack damage is tripled.


Accumulation of experience will result in increasing the level of the player's character. In a Crossfire game where skills are not present, experience is only gained for removing traps and killing monsters. A player will gain a new level when their experience total reaches a new amount in the hierarchy shown in the following table:

Relationship between experience and level for the first 10 levels.

In the skills-based game, several kinds of experience exist. The score represents the ``overall'' proficiency of the player and is the sum of all the differing kinds of experience possessed.

The player accumulates experience into various ``experience categories'' according to their actions. Another way of putting this is that you become better at what you do most often and most successfully. For example, a player who kills monsters with incantations gains experience in casting incantations. A player who steals from creatures often will get better at stealing, and so on.

Each experience category will have a level assigned to it based on the amount of experience accumulated in it (using the same schedule shown in the table above.) Use the skills command to investigate which skills your character has and to see the level of ability you have in each experience category. See chapter 5 (Skills) for more information about skills and skill-based experience.

As an aside, monsters also are assigned a level of proficiency and may gain experience. The main way which monsters gain experience is by killing players! Beware going after a monster that has killed several players, it will be much more difficult to challenge!

Calculation of selected secondary stats

Both the primary stats and level of the character will influence the secondary stats given below. In the skills-based game, the appropriate experience category is identified for purposes of determining which level is used in the calculation. In the non-skills game, the overall level is always used.

Note: categories are given for the default settings, and this can be changed by the server administrator

Refer to table primary stat effects if a quantity in a calculation is left unexplained.

Weapon class (Wc)

The Wc calculation is:

class Wc - thaco(STR) - weapon Wc - level - 1 every 6 levels

where thaco is found using the STR stat on table primary stat effects, the weapon Wc can be determined from the Crossfire Spoiler and the level is taken from the physique experience category.

Weapon Speed

The calculation for weapon speed is quite complex (but here it is!). The value for the weapon speed is:

speed/(LF * NastyFactor * LessNastyFactor)

where LF (``level factor'') is a number between 0.8 and 1.2 that increases with the level as (4+level)/(6+level)*1.2, (the level is taken from the overall level), and both NastyFactor and LessNastyFactor are calculated below.

The value of NastyFactor is:

2/3 + MaxC/363 - ((0.00167*WpnW)/MaxC) + (speed/5) + ((Dex-14)/28)

where MaxC is the maximum carrying limit of the character, WpnW is the weapon weight. Weapon weight can be determined from examining the given weapon (ie look at the number to the right side of the weapon icon in the inventory window).

The value of LessNastyFactor is:

2 - ((WpnF - magic/2)/10) where WpnF is the ``weapon factor'' and magic is the value of the enchantment on the weapon (i.e. +1, +2, etc.). Weapon factor is given for some weapons in the table below.

1.6 nunchacu
1.5 dagger
1.4 Sting, katana, shortsword, taifu
1.3 Belzebub's sword, Darkblade, Excalibur
1.2 Firebrand, Frostbrand, Mjoellnir, Mournblade, Stormbringer, broadsword, falchion, light sword < long sword, quarterstaff, sabre, sword, trident
1.1 Deathbringer, Demonbane, Dragonslayer, Holy Avenger club, hammer, mace, unicorn horn
1.0 axe, stonehammer
0.9 Skullcleaver, morningstar, stake, stoneaxe
0.8 large morningstar
0.5 Bonecrusher, Gram, shovel
0.3 large club
0.1-0.4 chair
0.1 bed
Weapon factor (WpnF) for selected weapons

Damage (Dam)

Current weapon, character class (table
primary stat effects) all effect the value of Dam. The calculation for Dam is:

Class bonus + DmB + Weapon damage + Skill damage

In addition, for every 4 levels of fighting expertise (physique experience category level) 1+(Dmb/5)) is added to Dam. Some skills (namely the hand-to-hand, or martial arts skills) can add significant damage to the overall total. The amount that is added depends on the user's level in that skill. Note that weapon damage is automatically added to your damage rating in the stat window when you wield any weapon.

Armour class (Ac)

For characters that cannot wear armour (ex. Fireborn), their Ac can improve as their score increases. The calculation for Ac is then:

Class Ac - level/3

The value of the character Ac may decrease to the value of -10. After that, no more improvement is made regardless of earned experience. The overall level is always used for this calculation.

Hit points (Hp)

A character will gain the following number of Hp for eachlevel gained between levels 1-10:

(HpB)/2 + D4 + D4 + 1 + 1/every even level if HpB is even.

Where D4 is a random number between 1 and 4 and you always get 1 hit point gained per level, regardless of HpB. For levels after 10th, Hp grow 2 per level. The overall level provides the correct value for level in the calculation.

Mana (Sp)

A character will gain the following number of Sp for each new magic experience category level gained between levels 1-10:

(MgB(POW))/2 + D3 + D3 + 1 every even level if MgB is even.

Where D3 is a random number between 1 and 3 and you always get 1 mana gained per new level. For magic levels past the 10th, mana grows 2 per level.

Grace (Gr)

A character will gain the following number of Gr for each new wisdom experience category level gained between levels 1-10:

(MgB(WIS) + MgB(POW))/8 + D3

Where D3 is a random number between 1 and 3 and you always get 1 grace gained per new level. For levels past the 10th, grace grows 1 per wisdom level.

Death --- the ultimate penalty?

Should your hit point total drop below 0 you will die What happens next depends on how the game is compiled. If the NOT_PERMDEATH option is being used (this is the default) then your character (and his all of his carried equipment at the instant of death) will appear in the base map (the one you first started out in).

For each time you die, your character loses 20% of their experience (in all categories) and a random primary stat decreases by 1. At low levels, the stat loss is bad news, while it is the experience loss that really hurts at those high levels. You may still re-gain lost stats (up to your natural limit) by drinking potions.

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

Some advanced stuff

Some useful advanced commands

Meta-command (')

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

Binding commands ('bind and 'unbind)

You may bind any key with a complex command. For example, you could bind the use of the meditation skill to the key ``m''. To do this first type:

'bind use_skill meditation

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

'unbind reset

to totally reset bindings on keys.

Pick up toggle (@)

This allows you to change your pickup status. Eight different modes for pick up exist: ``don't pick up'',``pick up 1 item'', ``pick up 1 item and stop'', ``stop before picking up'', ``pick up all items'', pick up all items and stop'', ``pick up all magic items'', ``pick up all coins and gems''. Whenever you move over a pile of stuff your pickup mode controls if and what you collect. You can always pickup stuff using the pickup command (,) regardless of your current pickup mode.

Invoke ('invoke)

A useful way to quickly cast both incantations and prayers is via the invoke command. To use it effectively, bind invoke <spell> to any key. Then, when that binded key is pressed, your character will cast that magic in the direction they're currently facing.

Playing with other people

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

Useful multi-player commands

Here are some useful commands for playing with other players:

  • shout This meta-command will broadcast your message to every player currently logged in. The say command only sends messages to players who share your current map. Invoke this command just like say.

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

  • tell Will send your message only to the player indicated. It is invoked as: 'tell <character name> <message string>.

The simple party system

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

1) To form a party issue the command:

'party form <party name>

2) To join a party, type:

'party join <party name>

To see all of the options, type 'party help.

Back to table of contents
Go to chapter 2
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